1113: We've Got to Stop Meeting Like This

by Dabin Reece, Rada Dengar, Vol Tryst, Lance Hartcort
and Fleur Le Marc
Stardate: 100930.14
Hours after One Big Sky


"Three? But sir, why three?" February Grace pursed her lips and put a hand on her hip.

There was also the echoing sound of her foot tapping on the marble floor of the museum, where everyone was currently assembled. Specifically, in the office of museum security. On the opposite side she tried to balance a fussy baby Sophie, who was way past nap time.

As was her father.

"This is a freakin' side show," Reece complained. "Get Liisy on the horn. She'll straighten this all out."

"Dabin," Vol bit his lip thoughtfully. "Perhaps it would behoove you to..."

"Or that Admiral chick. I know she hates me, well, she doesn't hate me but she doesn't love me either. I know she thinks I'm hot. She'll vouch for me."

Jariel Camen slapped himself on the forehead. Fleur widened her eyes at him, and he looked up at her apologetically.

"Did I actually do that? I'm sorry, I thought I only thought I was doing it."
February handed Sophie's squirming form off to a dazed and confused Gillan Pace.

"Um, what just happened here?" Pace asked, as Sophie flopped her head down onto his shoulder and immediately fell asleep.

"Jariel, do something!" February whispered frantically. "He's really done it this time."

"What did I do?" Reece objected. "I'm telling you the thing looked like my great-grandmother's table cloth. Only she took much better care of her things and there weren't nearly so many stai-"

*DABIN!* February thought. *You have the right to remain silent, I suggest that you use it!*

"We are going to need three witnesses to attest to Commander Reece's character if we're going to even consider overlooking this...travesty," said the security guard who held the card key to Reece's cell.

"I'm tellin' you, Dude, I so did not mean to spill my cherry Slurpee all over your- what was it? Your big-time paper dealeo?"

"THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE!" The guard snarled, wishing he could bang his head into the nearest available wall, or perhaps Reece’s instead.

"And the nougat smudge on the Bill of Rights was an accident too..." Fleur mumbled under her breath. "Good thing we didn't take him to see Statue of Liberty or her head would now be floating upside down in Hudson River."

"Actually, it would sink," Dabin pointed out, as Fleur rolled her eyes. "You're thinking of what would have happened if I’d knocked the head off the statue of Zephram Cochrane. That's made outta wood."

"Like your head, little boy." Le Marc shot back. "Excuse me if I lack your scientific acumen, and respect for priceless historical documents."

"Focus, people!" Bru blurted out, interrupting. "We need three trustworthy individuals, and we need them now."

"Hopefully at least one of which has experience removing nougat from parchment," Dabin said, stroking his non-existent beard thoughtfully.

"We'll cross that bridge when we come to it. Isn't Rada Dengar here on Earth as well?" Jariel asked, brainstorming. "Along with Wren?"

"Yes! And Lance left after the movie so he was not present for the..." Bru was trying to look for the correct word, not wishing to say crime.

"Travesty." The guard chimed in once again.

"Then we will need to find a way to contact them. Commander Dengar could be anywhere," Jariel postulated.

"Could it be as easy as a combadge? Maybe Wren took one with her." Bru asked hopefully.

"This isn't getting me out of here any faster!" Dabin tapped his foot in annoyance. "Someone just give them a jingle! How hard can it be to find anyone here? There aren't even any symbionts. Ten billion? That's nothing."

There was the sound of a buried snort coming from somewhere among the assembled group. Bru looked about her and saw the Counselor resting his nose on his propped up fist. She was staring at his profile, which made it very easy to see the corner of his lips which the Betazoid was forcing into a frown although it was obvious he was trying to hide a smile.

Dabin piped up, "What's so funny?"

Vol gave up his charade as he inhaled and then exhaled, trying to control himself from bursting into giggles.

"I'm trying to imagine the Captain's reaction to... all this..." Vol released a few chuckles, rocking back and forth before composing himself once more.

"You think this is funny?" asked the security guard.

Vol shook his head, but once more he emitted sounds that indicated he was trying not to make the situation worse.

Bru pinched her fingers to either side of her nose, trying to combat the headache which had set in the moment she saw the first red, syrupy stripe of sludge dripping across the words "When in the Course of human events..."

Vol couldn't help but read her thoughts loud and clear, which were: *More children, just great.*

"The Captain's reaction? She should be worried about my reaction. After all I've done for her! I'm left to scour the Earth, literally, for people to bail me out of jail!" Dabin stalked back and forth in his cell, quite serious about the absurdity he was currently spewing.

“It is strangely difficult on a planet of ten billion to find three who can attest to Reece being a responsible adult,” Fleur thought aloud.

"Hey! What about Keiran's family? There is a whole country just dripping with O'Sullivans and they all love me! We all basically married into the family."

"I think we are going to stick with the original plan. Testimony from our crew mates will go farther than that of civilians, no matter how charming those civilians might be." February said. She pointed hopefully at the panel that the guard was sitting at, asking with her eyes if she might be allowed to use the communications to try and hail Wren or Rada. He stared at her blankly.

"May I, sir? Please?" she asked in her smallest, most polite voice.

Finally the guard stepped aside, allowing her access, after taking just a moment to isolate the forcefield controls.

"Excuse me, Mister... what was your name?" Dabin asked the guard.

"Sergeant Sims."

"Sergeant Sims, it’s really dry in here. Could I have a drink? Maybe...."

*Don't say it!* Bru's voice rang through his mind, the same three words everyone else in the room was thinking.

"A Slurpee? I never got to finish mine."

Sims turned to face Reece with his hands on his hips. "We serve water. For you, in a sippee cup."

“Dude, that’s so not fair! Isn’t there something in your Bill of Rights about Slurpees for all?

“I know now there’s a section about the right to fair nougat,” Fleur mumbled.

Bru quickly cleared her throat, and even more quickly raised her voice as she opened a channel, to silence the room. "Lt. February Grace to Wren Elton. Are you there?"

The voice that answered seemed to suggest that if they had gotten through to Wren then her time on Earth must have involved at least one gender reassignment surgery, if not three.

[February?] the man asked, not having at all expected to hear from her. [It’s Rada. I can…get Wren if you need her.]

His voice seemed somewhat quieter than usual, like a whisper, but also much happier than Bru could remember hearing it in quite a while. Her eyes widened as she put the pieces together that after a very long time apart Rada would be answering Wren’s communicator, and she felt instantly like she should apologise for the call.

“I’m not interrupting anything, am I?” she asked carefully.

[No,] Rada replied instantly and more loudly than he’d intended, trying quickly to explain as he realised what Bru was probably thinking. [I was just…]

“It’s okay. Really,” Bru cut him off, knowing Rada well enough not to actually expect he was about to go into detail about things she’d really rather he didn’t, but cautious because she had enough of Deveral’s memories to know there were some experiences that should definitely be kept just between two people, and others even they should forget. So Rada was given no chance to lie, or to explain that in actuality he’d just been watching Wren sleep.

“If you’re sure I’m not interrupting anything then we could use your help and Wren’s, too. Dabin accidentally..." She stressed the word as she tried to smile apologetically at the guard, but he wasn't buying. She frowned and tightened her fists at her sides. "...turned a large patch of a treasured historical document into a sticky red mess, and now he needs three character witnesses.”

[Pardon?] Rada asked, sure he’d heard that wrong.

“I know!” Reece said, throwing his arms into the air as he leaned as close to the panel as he could and shouted. “It’s totally unfair. Last time they only wanted one!”

“Last time?” Sims asked in disbelief, knowing he’d have heard if this had happened on Earth and so wondering how many official pieces of history on how many worlds one man could possibly have spilled sugary, brightly colored drinks on.

“We’d really appreciate it if you could both get here as soon as possible,” Bru stressed, hoping to get the three witnesses before Reece convinced Sims that anyone who’d attest to his responsible character should be locked up too.

[Okay…] Rada said, pausing momentarily, still sure he was confused about at least some of the details. Then again, he considered, Reece did once attempt to burn off his tastebuds as an act of friendship; something which still today gave him those strange nightmares in which his tongue was a fuse and Reece was some sort of animated coyote, and so this really made no less sense. [Where are you?]

“We’re in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s security office.”

Rada paused again, ready to question just exactly what had happened, but he quickly decided better of it. [We’ll be there as soon as we can.]

“Thank you so much,” February answered with relief, closing the channel then opening another. "One more?" Her eyes plead with the guard and he threw his hands in the air.

"Sure, why not? Why don't you just call up the President of the Federation while you're at it!" Sims exclaimed.

"Dude owes me a favor, actually..." Dabin interjected.

Bru widened her eyes at Reece and again he fell silent, but not before crossing his arms and huffing mightily.

“February Grace to Dr. Lance Hartcort.”

[Ummm….hello?] A unfamiliar female voice answered back. [This is Lance’s communication thingy.] A giggle followed.

February exchanged glances with Reece who simply smiled broadly and winked knowingly. Vol snickered quietly to himself as Jariel hung his head down and Fleur once again rolled her eyes.

"Careful, Frenchie. Keep that up and you might sprain an optic nerve." Reece grumbled.

“I’m looking for Dr. Hartcort," Bru continued. "Is he there?”

There was another playful giggle and mumbling could be heard in the background.

“Sounds like he’s there.” Vol commented as he tried to regain his composure.

[Um, he is around here...] the voice answered with a sultry laugh. […somewhere. Who can I say is calling?] A louder laugh followed.

February sighed. She knew Lance had to be there and really did not have time to deal with…whoever this was.

“Can you please tell him that February Grace needs to speak with him right away.”

There was another pause. [You sound like a girl, you're not his wife or anything are you?]

“What?” February looked at Reece who simply shrugged his shoulders. “No!”

[Girlfriend?] There was more muffled laughing and it sounded like the communicator was dropped and picked back up. [If so…you’re a lucky girl.] The last part was more of a sigh then a statement then it sounded like the communicator was dropped again.

“No I’m not, well I am lucky but not because of Lance, I, I mean I’m not his girl…goodness gracious…just give Lance the communicator please.” She blushed bright red.

“Is it hot in here or is it just me?” Reece asked amused by the whole situation despite his current predicament.

There were more sounds of the communicator being moved around and being banged against things before Lance’s voice came across. [Hello, this is Lance; doctor extraordinaire and anatomy expert, what can I do for you?]

“Well about time. Didn’t you hear me on the communicator?” February asked, ignoring the doctor’s flair.

[Well, no actually. I was…well…indisposed.] A tired giggle could be heard in the background.

“Reece is in trouble and we need you help.”

There was a pause and a harsh “Shush!” followed. [Is he alright?] Lance's voice now carried obvious concern. [What’s the problem?]

“There has been an…incident…at the Smithsonian. We are at the main security office. Can you get here?”

[Yes, I will be there shortly. Lance out.] The channel closed.

Jariel looked at Reece. “You are going to owe him BIG time.”

"Not only that," Bru groaned, once more rubbing her throbbing temples, "But I don't want to be present when TC Blane finds out what you've done to one of the most important historical documents in the history of his planet..."

"Sergeant...Sims, was it?" Jariel stepped forward, again putting on his diplomat's hat and mentally straightening it.


"Well...I would ask that as you...ponder the charges and factor in the possibility of any premeditated, malicious intent on the part of Commander Reece that you imagine the innocence of a wide-eyed child. Overwhelmed and overstimulated by all the sights and sounds around them...curious, and fun-loving..." As Jariel spoke, a sugar-wired Tress began to spin in circles at his feet.

She put her finger up to her lips and began running it over them quickly, making a blbblblbelbelbelbebbllll noise as she started to get dizzy. Her goggles slipped down over her chin as her beloved aviator's cap slid down too far, as Sims gaped down at her, speechless.

"Imagine if an actual child had done it," Jariel continued, "...someone like, well, like..."

Everyone watched in silence as Tress lost her balance and fell to the floor, giggling maniacally from both exhaustion and the after-effects of too much candy.

"Someone like that?" Sims asked, arching a brow.

"Yes," Fleur replied, picking Tress up and holding her against her hip. "Someone exactly like that."


Commander Dabin Reece
Chief Science Officer
USS Serendipity NCC-2012

Lt. Commander Rada Dengar
Chief Engineering Officer
USS Serendipity NCC-2012

Lt. Vol Tryst
Ship's Counselor
USS Serendipity NCC-2012

Commander Lance Hartcort
Chief Medical Officer
USS Serendipity NCC-2012


Fleur Le Marc
Civilian Crew
USS Serendipity NCC-2012

1112: Forever Lost

by Denise Moreno and Tucker Brody
Stardate: 100922.15
Immediately After To Do Better

Denise moved eagerly. She was so close. It looked like she was finally going to make it. Only then instantly she stopped in her tracks; her stomach fearfully sinking, as an all too familiar pained and angry voice shouted out viciously from behind her.



Everyone but Denise, including the two Serendipity officers, turned to see who it was. For her it was entirely clear from the voice alone that it was Tucker Brody. Denise simply froze in place, almost able to feel the phaser that Brody had aimed square at the centre of her back.

“The Captain is no longer to be trusted. I am now in command of this vessel.”

“This is mutiny,” Denise said, turning slowly and confirming every suspicion that Brody did indeed have a phaser at the ready. What was truly shocking however was the state he appeared to be in; not just physically but psychologically as well. The man’s normally military posture had been replaced by a bent, burdened stance and he teetered in an obvious struggle to keep his feet beneath him.

“You don’t look well, Brody...”

Brody ignored her comments entirely, speaking loudly to all around him.

Captain Moreno came here to destroy the Temporal Drive. She’s lost her nerve and wants to strand us all here, in this time.” All eyes turned to Denise, some accusing and others disbelieving. She was far past caring what any of them thought of her, still she recognised the doubt in the eyes of a few and dearly hoped she could use it.

“I am still in command of this ship,” she reminded them all in her most determined, disciplined voice, which was tremulous in spite of her wishes. “I order you to escort Commander Brody to the brig.”

Some of the crew looked afraid, some looked uncomfortable, but not a single person moved.

A smirk crept over Brody’s face and Denise knew right away that her bluff had failed. There was no way she could force anyone here to obey her any longer.

“I’m not going anywhere, Captain." Brody gestured with a tilt of his head, his voice dropping to a tone of cold finality as he added, "Now step away from the Temporal Drive or I will kill you.”

As her eyes caught his, she had no doubt that he would fire. Yet what unnerved her most was the unmistakable instability she found gleaming in those normally focused eyes. Tucker really didn’t look well. For a second, she found herself thinking of how her hand; her shaking hand, was so close to her own phaser. She calculated the risks. Brody was the only one who had his weapon fixed on her, and she doubted his reflexes were operating at full capacity right now. She took in a deep breath, her eyes never leaving his.

There was a chance that she could fire first. She just had to do it without hesitation. Realising that was the factor which would determine who lived and who died, her hand began to move away from the weapon. If she could kill without hesitation then she was too far gone already. "All right,” she said softly, putting her hands up and stepping towards Brody.

The action should have calmed or at least comforted Tucker, perhaps eliciting a smug grin, yet his countenance merely grew more anxious. His hand vibrated from side to side as if to indicate she must hurry. The smirk he’d worn before had completely faded, replaced by the grimace of a silent mouth poised to bark orders, as if he wanted to demand she do something more but he didn’t know what.

This was not the Tucker Brody she knew.

Fully aware now what he had become and in spite of herself, for just a moment a trace of pity crossed Denise’s features. The expression of disgust and fury that immediately leapt to his face in response made Denise’s heart skip in a beat in shock; shock, that was, that he didn’t immediately kill her where she stood.

“Perhaps I am not the one who’s lost their nerve,” she wondered intentionally aloud, searching his eyes for any hint that she was right. Evidently, Tucker would not take this calmly.

“I HAVE NOT LOST MY NERVE,” Tucker spat, and though every sense in her wanted to back away in fear her feet were too past caring to move. What she saw as she looked deep within him said that he was right about this, but wrong about so very much.

“Look at you,” she droned, forcing her lips to form the words even as the world spun around her and her hands and feet tingled, going numb from fear. “Something’s changed in you, Tucker. Everyone here can see that.”

“I AM,” he started, but stopped; insisting his tone be calmed. “I am merely more…more determined, more focused…than ever.”

Denise saw her chance and she took it. She focused her eyes on his with all her strength and what little remained of her composure, attempting to unsettle him in that way she’d seen him do with many others before.

Instantly she realised her error as a small, mocking laughter began to fall from Tucker’s lips. Somehow, her failure had returned to him some sense of stability.

“Oh, that’s very good, Captain,” he said with mild amusement in stark contrast to the unsteadiness still in his stance. “What did ya think was going ta happen? Was I supposed to fall apart and then suddenly everyone would rush to your side?”

Denise wanted to argue, to fight him on his terms, but then something happened under the weight of his glare that she could no more resist than she could've prevented the scorching of her face if she’d been looking into the sun itself. Railing against all efforts to fight, her eyes fell away from his, just for an instant, but for a thousand times too long for anyone to have missed it. Murmurs began in the gathered crowd around them.

“Everyone here knows that I will deliver them through time. They know I am willing and able to do whatever it takes,” Tucker insisted, and even as many of the murmurs were near inaudible whispers, in her heart Denise could feel that not one of their agents disagreed.

“You’re right. They do,” she said, close but not quite yet defeated. “But they don’t know what they’re getting themselves into and I think you know that.”

Again Denise turned to speak to the crowd. She slowly drew in and released a breath, wondering if she had any chance of making them listen, or even if Tucker would give her the chance to continue.

“You think you know him. You don’t trust him but you’re sure, you’re so confident, that his goals are the same as yours.” Her tone grew more anxious, even desperate as she spoke. “Well, you thought you knew my goals too, but you were wrong. It’s true I did want to take us back. I wanted to take us back more than anything, but I was never intending to change the illustrious Department of Temporal Investigations to suit our, or even my, purposes.”

Curiosity passed over a few expressions, but not a single person seemed at all swayed.

“Temporal Investigations has taken everything from me,” she said, all the frustration of decade after decade finally catching up with her as her breathing grew less even. “So I was going to destroy it; to go back to just the right point that I could stop it from ever coming into creation. It’d have been like tearing away the first vital bricks, to cause this hideous monument to our arrogance to come crashing down to the ground. Time would have been restored to what it should have been. My life would have been restored to what it should have been.”

Her eyes moved from person to person, finding nothing but blank stares as though she was speaking some foreign language to suggest that her own actions meant Tucker’s motivations could be unknown to them. She realised she was wasting her breath.

Tucker exhaled a short, bitter laugh. "Your life. Your life?" His voice rose again both in volume and in pitch. "That's right, because everything that has ever happened, for all time and in all time is about YOU, isn't it Denise?” Anger was overcoming his words as he began to speak each and every syllable with increasing speed. “Never mind the lives that time has stolen from the rest of us too, every man, to the last.” His eyes became wild; he was practically shouting now.

He drew in a deep pained breath, the sound by the ears of others was morphed into a vicious threat, clearly conveyed by burning eyes which spoke volumes about what he intended to do with the rest of his life. The unstable determination that radiated from him in this moment felt like an unstoppable river; the water running angrily and uncontrollably along once solid ground and tearing it away to nothingness. “Well it's time to put things right, and that's exactly what we're about to-."
Abruptly mid-sentence for just a second the river froze, as at the back of the room a low, rasping voice rose that no one had ever, in a million timelines, expected to hear.

"It's over, Tucker."

Brody startled and spun. In an instant his weapon was trained on the woman the voice belonged to: his eyes widening because this very sight should be impossible.

The voice emanated from a woman battered, and bloodied by his own hand: a woman whose weight was being almost entirely supported by the strong arms of her husband.

"Captain Zanh!" Jamie Halliday exclaimed, unable to contain himself a moment longer. Ashton Ledbetter reached up and put his hand over Halliday's mouth, only releasing him once Keiran O'Sullivan gave a look that told Ashton he'd better let go or there'd be Hell to pay if they all got out of this alive.

"You..." Brody's eyes burned through Zanh. "This is all because of YOU!" He began to shake and sweat profusely. Another, entirely different sort of look was exchanged across the room between Keiran O'Sullivan and Ashton Ledbetter now: all other eyes were remained fixed upon Zanh Liis and Tucker Brody as they stared each other down.

Denise Moreno was, for the moment, too shocked to act.

The computer counted down seventy-five seconds until initiation of the Temporal Drive.

"We've all lost in the past." Liis said evenly, her tone as calm as it was commanding. "How much of the future we lose is being decided this instant, in this place. Do you really want-"

"I want what belongs to me!" Tucker cried, his arm shaking as he struggled to keep hold of the phaser. "I want my accomplishments. I want the life that you, that the other timeline, took from me. I want my wife. I want our children- I-" he trembled even harder as the computer indicated that there was now merely seconds until the drive would activate. Soon he'd be well on his way back to all those things that History had so cruelly denied him.

Looking upon him, the sadness that ran from Denise Moreno's eyes all the way to her heart was now abysmal and complete. This was the moment where she could see so clearly just how little really separated her from the likes of Tucker Brody, and all traces of fear or doubt were suddenly gone.

As Zanh held Brody's gaze, Denise took a halting, half-step forward.

[Sixty seconds until the Temporal Drive is engaged.]

"I want what you took from me." Brody repeated, the stubborn demand for things that deep down he knew no one could ever return to him now, but for which the rage and bitterness that practically was consuming him refused to ever acknowledge were forever lost.

Unbeknownst to Brody, O'Sullivan's eyes shifted toward Moreno, and he gave her a nearly imperceptible nod of approval as he saw what she was planning to do.

"How did I take your life from you, Tucker?” Liis demanded, so tired but so much more so of this persecution for crimes she had no memory of committing. “What happened-"

"What happened?” Tucker snapped, almost as if the anger he felt and the tragedy of his life should be enough to tell anyone, let alone this demoness who’d dominated his nightmares, why they were here. “What happened is that TI has been punishing me in this lifetime for mistakes I made in another. How can you hold a man accountable for errors in judgment he hasn't even made yet? Decisions that have been erased by time itself?"

The way he spoke now, his eyes growing absent from the room and seeming to look back across all the worst moments of a lifetime all at once, made Liis realise how much larger many of the targets for his hatred were than her. At least in his mind, Temporal Investigations itself, this organisation that he’d spent so much of his life immersed in, was causing him this inner torment no man deserved.

"I don't-" Liis continued, her eyes showing him a sudden, shocked compassion. Though she knew he deserved no such consideration, she wondered now how much of this monster before her came from the man himself and how much from the evil she’d seen herself within the higher ranks of Temporal Investigations: the same dark hearted men and women as lacking in courage as they were in conscience.

Those of Jonas Vox’ sort.

The same ones who had taken so much from her, and from Keiran.

"I released you from the hospital." Tucker's voice dropped, barely audible now as he appeared to be far more back there than he was present here. "I let you go, and you were still sick. So sick that it cost so many lives. Your ship. Your crew."

Liis felt her stomach knot and fought the urge to recoil in horror at this disclosure, even as Keiran's hand squeezing tightly against her shoulder reminded her that he may be lying- she knew, somehow that he was not. In a life that hadn’t been and now wouldn’t be, a ship full of people she cared about and would have gladly laid her own life down for would have died, because of her. Nothing had happened here, but the knowledge made her feel somehow colder as it broke away another piece of her soul. In this instant she understood a little more of what Tucker had been living with now for so many years.

"The line was corrected. Erased. But it didn't matter. No matter what I did, they were going to carry that mistake forward. They were going to penalize, to hold me back. To keep me from the life I was destined to live and the woman meant to stand at my side."

"Landry Steele." Keiran whispered into Liis' ear, and she stood just a little taller though her face offered no confirmation she'd heard him. Her eyes however did say that she doubted if all of this was really just about what he’d been denied in this timeline, if it was just the redirection of anger at himself for what he’d done in another.

"You can't be certain that making this jump will correct everything." Liis warned, as Moreno continued to move incrementally forward. "All you'll be doing is ensuring that everyone on this ship, and on mine, including Landry is deprived of the futures they are meant to have."

Brody winced, an involuntary physical reaction to the mention of Steele’s name.

"What about my future!" Brody shouted, his words so strained that it was like every further second he lived in this timeline was a new cause of insurmountable pain. "What about the past that was ripped away from me?"

Liis offered him no audible answer; she didn’t need to, as a look was exchanged between the Serendipity officers. Deep down all those with experience with non-linear time knew that for all their technology and their resequencing abilities, the one thing that could never really be truly changed was your own past. Success may be fleeting, but every mistake would be with you forever.

Denise was fully aware of this fact as she considered what might be the biggest mistake of her life, looking up to the Temporal Drive with her hand brushing down once again over her side, a shudder passing through her lips.

“I’m sorry.” Liis spoke honestly and sadly as her eyes burned through him.

A look of confusion and disbelief passed over Tucker’s face to have heard those words. He was completely unprepared and unaware of just how much she meant by it though, as out the corner of her eyes Liis watched Denise withdraw her phaser from her side and aim it to the drive above her. Only at the last instant did Tucker realise, his eyes widening in horror as he turned a rapid about face, too late to do anything but watch as Denise’s weapon fired.

“No!” he screamed, as the beam struck at the very heart of the drive. In an instant the energy spread like a wave of fire, burning away at the vital components, exactly as Denise knew it would.

Only then it didn’t stop, as with a flash of light and a violent sizzle, the energy was redirected. Ashton and Jamie had reconnected the drive so as to cause it to burn out the engines should they try to use it, and those same connections now caused the phaser energy to travel a path of flaming sparks all around them. True flame would have spread no less efficiently in the driest of forests, as the energy moved like the hand of death casting the once functional systems into being little more useful than ashes.

“No. No. No…” Tucker insisted to himself, taking his head into his hands, and tears building in his eyes.

A soul-shattering wail rose above the sound of the fire suppression system alarms. Jamie hurried to override both the system and the alarms as there was no real danger of conflagration. Everyone stood perfectly still, unable to move, speak, or look away as Tucker Brody collapsed to his knees.

His screaming continued, unabated, and the sound of it chilled Zanh Liis through. Her own knees faltered, and Keiran grasped her more tightly around the waist, keeping her from falling down.

Then, the sound stopped, and in the split second it took for the man to make the motion of raising the phaser in his trembling hand and turning it on himself, Zanh Liis broke free of the grasp of her husband and dove, snatching it away and groaning as she landed painfully on the deck beside him.

She tossed the weapon to Keiran, who grabbed it out of the air in one swift, smooth motion even as he tried to comprehend what she had just done.

Brody looked up at her, his expression indescribable as the tears filled and overflowed from his eyes.

“No, Tucker.” Liis whispered, remembering darker times when a better version of the very man before her had prevented her from taking the same dark, violent action against herself. “No.”

The sound of boots pounding as they carried someone into the room sounded behind the group, though still, no one turned or moved.

“Keiran, as Interim Director of Temporal Investigations I order you to arrest Dr. Brody, and the rest of the Poseidon’s misguided crew. Ledbetter, assist Captain O’Sullivan in…” William Lindsay ordered, only now stopping to look down and see that Zanh Liis had reached up, and placed her hand on Brody’s cheek. Brody shook as a man freezing to death in the unforgiving waters of a frozen ocean; and yet even after all he had put her through, all the times he had haunted the worst of her nightmares, she was determined to show him compassion.

“No, Will.” Liis insisted. “He needs to be in a hospital, not in prison.”

“We’ll let the medical staff decide that, right?” Keiran stepped forward, once again placing a hand on Liis’ shoulder.

“Send him to the Sera,” Liis insisted. “Turn him over to McKay. I trust him to make the determination.”

Keiran and Will exchanged a glance, and out of respect for her experience with the man and aboard this ship, Will deferred to her request.

“Very well. The rest of you, into the brig. Beginning with you.” He took the phaser out of Moreno’s still shaking hand, and clamped his other hand down on to her arm. Finally, she returned from her own thoughts to the present.

She looked up, taking a moment to lock eyes with each member of her former crew. “You heard Captain Lindsay,” she said softly. “I expect you all to give him your full cooperation.”

Liis watched as Ashton Ledbetter and Jamie Halliday stepped forward, each taking hold of one of Brody’s arms and lifting him up before hauling the man from the room.

While everyone else filed out, Keiran assisted Liis to her feet. He moved carefully as he proceeded, taking such good care to ensure he didn’t do so too quickly, he looked at her with an expression of deep complexity and concern. There was a one word question burning in his mind that he simply had to ask.


Liis shrugged her aching shoulders, and unable to give any logical, definitive reason, she gave the only reply that she could. Though it would have been confusing to anyone else, to a man who understood her mind, her nature and her convictions as well as Keiran did, it was the answer that made the most sense that any could.


Denise Moreno
Former Commanding Officer
USS Poseidon


Tucker Brody, MD, PhD
Former Temporal Investigations Agent

NRPG: And there you have it, ladies and gents (wait, I’m the only chick here, but still) this is what happens when a man travels 14,000 miles (literally) to kick his Captain’s keister back into gear and finish the mission.

And so politely, too.

Thanks, Danger. ~ZL

1111: Uneasy Allies

by TC Blane and Josiah Barlow
After The Same Mistake Again

-= Main Bridge , USS Serendipity=-

Paul Andrews’ eyebrow rose just slightly as if in surprise as he saw the Sera’s bridge on his screen, with TC Blane now seated in the command chair. However he was not a man to be easily fazed and he quickly recovered his usual sceptical expression.

[I’ve noticed your weapons have powered down,] Andrews reported, looking to a readout on his armrest. [So it was by the Temporal Investigations agents’ hands we were fired upon?]

“That’s right,” TC said with a nod, thinking it best not to mention Steele’s role in what happened. “But I have taken back control of the bridge.”

Andrews appeared to accept this and thankfully none of the TI agents on board had the nerve to correct him on it just now. They had to know that it was in the interest of the Sera for the TI ship to see them as an ally, and as long as they were on board that made it in their interest too.

[Good,] Andrews replied, seeing no need for more words than that. [We estimate it’ll be at least forty minutes before our ship regains any faster than light capability. What is the status of your warp drive?]

“You tell me,” TC answered.

[It appears to be fully functional,] Andrews replied, uncertain as to why TC wouldn’t know the answer himself but seeing little point in wasting the time questioning him on it.

With the exception of TC Blane, disbelief crossed over the faces of everyone on the Sera’s bridge.

“No, that’s impossible,” Peterson objected; still conscious in spite of his injuries though entirely unwilling to make any move against TC now. “We saw the warp core destroyed.”

Again Andrews’ face appeared almost ready to display surprise.

[Would you care to explain this, Commander?]

“I don’t have all the facts yet, but it’s my belief that several members of my crew simulated a loss of antimatter containment. For obvious reasons the warp core wasn’t actually ejected during the simulation. We did however see the simulated result on the main viewscreen.”

“How could you possibly know that?” Peterson said disbelievingly.

“I know this crew,” TC answered, looking to him out the corner of his eye, before turning back to Andrews. “Even with our warp dive though, I doubt we’ll be able to catch up to Brody.”

[Agreed,] Andrews admitted; even a ship as old as the Poseidon would be far out of the reach of conventional warp drive already. [However yours is the only Federation ship in the immediate area. Once our repairs are complete we will use our skimming technology to bring you along in our pursuit of the Poseidon. We will be a much stronger force if the Serendipity is operating at full capacity.]

“We’ll do all we can,” TC answered, as eager as anyone to get their crewmates back. “It’ll be a hell of a lot easier though if you can give us a hand getting the intruders out of our Engineering section.”

[Of course,] Andrews said, nodding to one of his men.

Pretty soon all over the ship the TI agents began being transported away; first those from Engineering, then those walking the Sera’s halls, until finally Peterson and his men disappeared and left the Serendipity crew alone on their bridge.

TC nodded to Andrews. “Thank you. We will begin to make as many repairs to our systems as possible. We will be ready to assist when you are.”

Andrews nodded slowly. [Very good. I’ll contact you in thirty minutes with a status update.] The screen went blank.

TC let out a long breath and leaned forward in the captain’s chair, resting his forehead in his right hand. The pain in his shoulder was excruciating and to top it off he could not shake the feeling that he was making a pact with the enemy. *The enemy of my enemy is my friend.* He thought to himself.

“Commander?” Steele’s voice broke the general silence of the bridge. TC Raised his head and turned his blue eyes towards her and slowly rose up from the chair.

“Get me a head count of who is on board. I need a damage assessment and find out who is the illusionist is in engineering that pulled this off.” He pulled down on the front of his duty jacket and slightly flinched as it pulled on his burned shoulder.

Landry was not sure how to react. She was sure that TC Blane would have shipped her off the Sera with the other TI agents. Perhaps he preferred to push her out of an airlock himself, not that she cared.

When Landry did not move TC approached the tactical station where she stood and lowered his voice so that only she could hear. “You looking for a special invitation Steele?”

She slowly raised her eyes to meet his. “Why didn’t you…”

“Because you are still a member of this crew, for now. You’re my responsibility, it’s my right, and the Captain’s when we get her back, to determine what happens to you.” He stared at her. “Rest assured there will be repercussions for your actions. But right now I need your help. You have to decide what you are and where you stand.” He thumbed towards the view screen. “Are you TI?” He then pointed towards the ceiling. “Are you part of Brody’s crew?” He then pointed to the deck. “Or are you part of Starfleet, part of the Sera’s crew? You’re gonna face judgment in any case.” He reached up with his good arm and placed his hand gently on her shoulder. “It is time to choose who you are and who your heart tells you to stand with.”

Looking up into his eyes, if the expression on her face could have been given a name, it would have been tormented indecision. What her heart told her was obvious. Could she have left it just to her heart then the answer was forever Tucker Brody. For whatever he may have done and whoever else he may be, he was now and would always be the man she loved.

Her mind of course told quite a different story. She still knew exactly why things had ended; that he was gradually trying to take away all that she was. That hadn’t changed. However it was like a spoken debate against a beautiful song; the words of her mind were clear and logical but so much harder to want to believe in.

She took in a shallow breath. She was TI. She was part of the Sera’s crew. However if she’d belonged on Brody’s crew then she’d have been there already. Tucker was what she’d wanted, not power or a different place in time, and she knew she couldn’t have him without accepting things she couldn’t.

It didn’t matter though anyway. Even if she’d wanted to be a part of all that Tucker was doing, to say the words now would simply get her locked up and ultimately she’d get neither of her choices.

Truly she was so very numb and she knew she didn’t have a choice at all. Or perhaps she had the same choices she’d always had and that was exactly the problem. Whatever the particulars, as she opened her mouth no words came out and that pretty much told TC all he needed to know.

TC nodded to her and turned abruptly around. She would be dealt with later but for now there was no point in doing anything but giving her the time to think and to make up her mind.

“Excuse me, Commander,” Sue Tenney’s voice called out from behind him.

“Yes, Ensign,” TC replied, turning towards her seated at the science console Peterson had made him take.

“I’ve found a message here from sickbay, sir. It claims our hand phasers are working now.”

TC breathed in and out, that rare smile of his being allowed to show for just a moment.

“Good,” TC answered in a tone that to someone who really knew him made it clear just how much more comfortable he was in the knowledge that if this whole thing went pear shaped they’d have at least something modern to defend themselves with.

Though, as his shoulder reminded him this wasn’t exactly a good day, with their bridge back at least temporarily under their control and some decent weapons again, things were looking up. Taking the command chair again, he considered how it was rarely a good idea to trust good news to stay but it was even worse not to put it to use. Even if Andrews turned out in the end to be worse than Brody, for now TC had a chance to catch up on the state of the ship and to put some things in motion, so he was going to take it.

“Blane to Sickbay.”

[Sickbay here,] replied a very familiar voice.

TC wasn’t surprised in the least to discover Lair Kellyn had been involved in this, even if the last he’d heard she was unconscious and recovering from being submerged beneath the ice on Sibalt.

“I take it we have you to thank for that little display before?”

Before she could answer, a small voice could soon be heard in the background.

[So it worked?]

“It worked,” TC confirmed.

[It was definitely a group effort,] Kellyn added. [We couldn’t have done it without the people in engineering.]

TC made a note to find out precisely who did what so he could properly show his appreciation later. For now however every second counted.

“Understood,” he answered, before he closed the channel. “Blane to Security.”

[Yes, it’s security sir,] replied the nervous Ensign without thinking; evidently the most senior member of the staff to have made their way back to Main Security so far. He seemed almost afraid to ask the question that was so clearly on his mind. [Have they really gone, sir?]

“That’s what I want you to find out for me. I want a complete search of the ship. Even if they’re gone, we don’t know what they may have left on board.”

[Understood, sir.]

TC quickly closed the channel and opened another.

“Blane to Engineering.”

[Barlow here,] Josiah replied, the relief at having Engineering back to themselves still overpoweringly clear in his voice.

“I need you to begin repairs to the ship immediately. You have an hour. Focus on the shields. We may soon need this ship to fight.”

[We’ve already started, sir.] Barlow confirmed, now that they’d gotten their ship back intent on making it as hard as possible for anyone else to ever take it back over again.

“Good,” TC answered, thinking of how much he still didn’t trust Paul Andrews. “Also, if possible I want you to get long range communication back online.”

Experience had taught TC that when it came to dealing with secretive organisations like TI it was often a very good idea to make sure someone else knew what was going on.

[Aye, sir.]

Blane turned back toward the communications station. “As soon as we can talk to the outside universe get me Starfleet command.” He sat back down into the captain’s chair. “And find out where the Alchemy is at.”

-= A short time later =-

Ensign Landers and Parrish slowly made their way through the long deserted halls of the Serendipity. Both held tricorders in their hand that they swung slowly back and forth looking for anything out of the ordinary. So far they had found nothing unexpected.

“How much more do we have to search?” Landers asked.

Parrish shrugged. “I think we will be done once we finish the officers quarters. Which is this corridor.” Suddenly his tricorder beeped. “Hold up a second.”

He turned towards a door to his left. “I’m getting lifeform readings. Three of them.”

Landers confirmed the finding with his tricorder. “Humanoid.” He looked at the door. “This is Commander Blakeslee’s quarters. He is not onboard.”

Parrish put his tricorder back onto his belt and pulled out his phaser. “It is probably his wife and kids. But we should be sure.” He rang the door chime.

A moment later the door swung open and tall woman wearing a Starfleet uniform stood in the doorway. No rank or other distinguishing markings were on the uniform. Long brown hair hung down around her shoulders and green eyes looked over the two security officers. Upon noticing the drawn phaser in Ensign Parrish’s hand she folded her arms across her chest and a look of distain crossed her face.

“I must insist that you put the phaser away. There are kids in here.” She scolded firmly.

Parrish and Landers exchanged glances before Parrish slowly holstered the weapon. “Sorry.”

The woman nodded her satisfaction and then smiled warmly. “Much better, thank you.” Her stance relaxed. “Now, how can I help you gentleman?”

“Um, we are conducting a search of the ship to be sure that all of the crew is alright after the invaders left.” Parrish looked past the woman into the Blakeslee’s quarters. “Is everyone alright in there?”

The woman smiled broadly. “Oh yes. The family is perfectly fine. No one was injured but there was concern for a while because of elevated heart rates and the production of adrenalin. But those symptoms are common in stressful situations.”

Landers’ eyebrow raised in confusion. “Pardon?”

The woman opened her mouth to repeat her last statement but her reply was cut off by the sound of another woman’s voice. “Computer, discontinue the DHA program.”

The brown haired woman smiled warmly. “Goodbye.” Was all she said before she faded away.

Standing at the entrance to what would be one of the bedrooms was a Deltan female wearing a Starfleet uniform with the pips of a lieutenant. She gracefully strode over to the doorway. “I thank you for notifying us that the danger has past. Internal communications are still not working and I could not leave my quarters with the children here.”

Parrish had served on the Sera for over a year and had met Lt. Samthia Blakeslee before. “I am glad to see that everyone here is safe.” He smiled. “DHA?” He asked.

“Domestic Holographic Assistant.” Samthia explained. “It was a gift from my husband. He wanted to try and make my life a little bit easier. I swore I would never use it but in this case it was quite helpful. I did not know if you where friend or foe.”

“Understandable.” Parrish looked at Landers who was staring at the Lieutenant. Lander had just come aboard when the Sera had been docked at earth and apparently this was his first encounter with a Deltan. Parrish elbowed his fellow ensign in the ribs and snapped him out of his trance. “Commander Blane has retaken control of the bridge and the ship.”

“Tell the Commander that I am at his disposal.” Samthia smiled as she stepped away from the door. “If there is nothing else I will finish putting the kids to bed.” Seeing no reply coming she closed the door.

Parrish punched Landers in the shoulder. “What is wrong with you? That’s Commander Blakeslee’s wife, not to mention a superior officer.”

Both men started to make there way down the corridor to the turbolift. The doors opened and both men stepped in. As they turned to face the now closing doors Landers exclaimed. “I got to get one of those DHA’s”

Lieutenant (SG) Josiah Barlow
Engineering Officer
USS Serendipity NCC-2012


Commander TC Blane
Acting Captain
USS Serendipity NCC-2012

NRPG: Ah, I have missed this. Brilliant work, both of you. -=/\=-ZL

1110:Five Minutes to Do Better

by Denise Moreno
After The End of the Fight

-=Bridge; USS Poseidon=-

The Poseidon was a blaze of noise and commotion. All around were busy preparing and fretting for in a few minutes, as the blaring siren that seemed to be coming from within her Captain’s own skull insisted, they were about to courageously disembark from their natural place in history to steal their rightful one.

For most it was merely crossing the line to safety. For some it was but the beginning of a glorious journey; like ancient sailors setting off in the spirit of war and the hope of conquest of the seas of time. For only one did the drawing of the moment nearer bring ever more doubt about what the hell made her think she could do this.

Sitting in her command chair, with what seemed like the entire crew moving around her from station to station, Denise felt almost like she wasn’t here. It was like she was just watching it all happen with no control anymore, and she felt absolutely sick. Yet no one even seemed to notice.

Never before had her stomach felt so uneasy. It was more than just a knot. It was more like a living scuttling creature, subsisting entire of her own guilt, as it squirmed and writhed within her; ever more violently attempting to force its way upward to her throat. She tried to take slow breaths out and in, to gain some sort of focus, but each one simply turned to a shudder as she thought of all she’d done.

They’d abandoned their own people on the Sera and she did nothing to stop it, for it was her only hope of saving her son. She’d taken a weapon to the man that in another world she would have loved, for the transmitter that he’d hidden would prevent her from seeing that child she never got a chance to hold. She had justified it all, growing to hate herself only a little more with each action, always attributing the need for it all by the photograph of a young man she’d never even met. Now as she glanced down to where that photograph was kept, she didn’t want to look at it anymore; she didn’t want to look into his eyes to ask what he’d think of his mother now.

She’d always thought that for all the recklessness and evil within the people around her, that somehow she was different. She had a reason to be here beyond just personal gain. She cared about her actions and their consequences, too much to ever find the blood on her hands that they did. That was what she’d thought until this moment as the words repeated again and again in her mind.

“Captain, he’s dead.”

That is what the medical team had told her after finding Kenneth Mitchell, who was if not the bravest then the most humble man she’d ever known, lying in a pool of his own blood in their cargobay. His wounds had evidently been worse than she’d realised and there was nothing they could do.

Since this entire mess began, she had never been so close to crying as she was right now; though she had to fight it if not out of pride then out of necessity of maintaining a certain image.

There was no justifying this. He was not an evil man, nor even one who had intentionally chosen to position himself against her. He was simply a scared and lonely old man, who only wanted to go home. She could so clearly now still see that longing he’d had in his eyes. The hardest part of seeing that look was knowing that she’d only gotten in to this because she’d wanted the exact same thing.

Now he was dead but she still lived. What a sick galaxy and time was this where the greater the evil within the longer one could survive. Perhaps though, she wondered, if it was only the evil that really survived in the end.

^There are five minutes remaining until Temporal Drive activation,^ the computer cheerfully informed her.

So there it was; five minutes left until she could go back to a time and place where she got to pretend her hands were clean. Her life and her crimes would be undone. She doubted she, that is the she that she was supposed to be, would ever even realise what this version of her had done, and that was a comfort of sorts. However it was a comfort that only lasted a second until she reminded herself of how nothing else had gone to plan.

She looked around at these people who would turn on her so easily. Then suddenly she felt absolute disgust at herself as she really looked at who she was becoming. It was downright stupid to think that somehow this would be the one point where everything went right. She took in another shuddering breath as she really processed what this meant, while everything around her just got faster.

What the hell were they doing here? They were talking about actions that would affect billions of lives, with untellable consequences for the entire quadrant, just to fill whatever gaps they felt in their existence between what they had and what they deserved.

All of a sudden, her eyes were at once a picture of sadness and determination as her hands gripped onto the sides of her chair and forced her to her feet. There was a slight shake to her stance but she did not fall back down. For so long she’d been pitifully asking herself if this was truly all she had to show for a lifetime. However she would not pity herself anymore.

Though most didn’t even seem to notice her, Lieutenant Wilson who Brody had installed as chief of security, immediately stopped the security checklist he was working through and turned to her.

“Is something wrong, Captain?”

“Everything’s fine,” she replied with just the slightest shake to her words at first. “I’m going to make a final inspection of the jump drive.”

The narrowing of the man’s eyes showed he was suspicious that he was not being told the whole story, especially as he noticed Denise’s hand unintentionally brushing by her phaser.

“Would you like me to accompany you, Captain?” he asked with false concern.

“That will not be necessary,” she answered with all the authority she could muster. “You finish your work here.”

“Aye, Captain,” he replied with, though she could never have missed his scepticism.

She had to pretend not to notice it though, just as he had to pretend not to see that shake to her every step she simply couldn’t hide as she moved swiftly in the direction of the turbolift. As the turbolift doors closed behind her however that was another matter.

Stepping quickly away from the nearest people, the man immediately hit his combadge.

“Wilson to Brody.”

-=Quarters of Tucker Brody=-

Tucker Brody was a physical and mental mess. His ribs were cracked, his body bruised, and he was in enormous pain from the beating he’d received. Breathing had become a particularly difficult task. Yet it was nothing compared to the pain as he thought of how close everything had come to slipping away. The alarm was blaring to suggest they were almost there, but his entire world still seemed to teeter on the head of a pin. It could all still so easily fall, even after everything he’d done.

Yet the room was still spinning, his head was aching, and he was struggling even to move from the spot on the floor where he’d settled. He demanded himself to be to stronger than this though. Feeling the weakness brought on by recent events just made him so furious at himself that the very thought of it had his heart pounding and his breathing grew rapid and uneven.

When he’d heard the sound of his combadge he’d been barely able to drag himself to his feet, and as he did he needed a sharp inhale first just to get the breath to his lungs to answer with.

“Brody here.”

[I’m sorry to disturb you, sir, but our Captain has just left the bridge. She said she’s going to inspect the Temporal Drive but…Well, she was awfully shaky.]

Brody’s eyes suddenly widened.

“She wouldn’t,” Brody cursed under his breath but the realisation very quickly struck him that she would. He couldn’t believe this was happening now.

“Okay, listen very carefully,” he insisted with a sharp inhale, harshly enunciating every single word. “The Captain can no longer be trusted. She’s been deliberately concealing information and was responsible for the release of the two enemy prisoners from our brig. I am hereby removing her from command.”

Before he’d even finished speaking, Brody was already beginning to make lurching movements towards the door of his quarters. Wilson had never heard such anger in Brody’s voice and he knew better than to challenge him on this. Wilson had never had much faith in Denise anyway.

[Understood, sir.]

“She can not be allowed to reach engineering,” Brody spoke the words as a mixture of deadly threat and utter panic. “You do whatever you have to stop her! Do you understand?”

[Yes, sir, I understand,] Wilson replied soberly.

-=Turbolift Four=-

Denise took in a deep breath to try to steady her shaking hands, but any chance of that happening was lost as the turbolift made a sudden cracking sound, the lights cutting out, as it stopped dead in its place. They were trying to prevent her getting there which meant she’d been discovered.

She turned rapidly around towards the turbolift controls. Her hands struggling to pull off the cover, she finally managed it. Clumsily she then attempted to override whatever had been done to cut her out. However it was becoming very quickly apparent as her almost arthritic fingers struggled to make the necessary adjustments that she simply didn’t have the practical knowledge of the ship’s systems to do it.

“Damn it!”

She turned to the door, contemplating attempting to force it, but she knew she didn’t have the strength to do so. Her head fell into her hands, though she was not yet ready to consider if she should just give up now. Then she gasped as she suddenly had an idea. She quickly took hold of her combadge.

-=Deck Three=-

Will had almost forgotten that he still had his TI communicator in his pocket until it suddenly began to chirp. He pulled it out, more in an attempt to silence the damn thing before the noise drew anyone to him than anything else.

“Who is it?” he said at a harsh whisper, greatly hoping it’d be someone from TI somehow caught up with them but not holding his breath for that.

[It’s me, Will. It’s Denise. I’m using the TI frequency and not the ship’s so no one should be listening in.]

He seriously considered simply not responding at all but his better nature made it impossible for him to ignore how desperate Denise sounded.

“Well given our chance for a private chat’s not likely gonna last fer very bloody long, I’d suggest ya talk quickly.”

[Are you anywhere near the bridge?]

Will’s immediate response was to scoff about why he’d possibly tell her, though it quickly occurred to him that she could easily enough track him by the communicator and so there was little point in trying to hide his position from her.

“I’m a few decks down,” he answered, intentionally keeping just how close he was vague and in particular not mentioning the fact that he was heading there already.

[Okay…] she said, breathing heavily. [Will, listen to me. I’m stuck in a turbolift and they’ve cut the power from the bridge. It’s…turbolift four. Is there any way you can override it from where you are?]

There was a way; the security measures on these old ships were fairly simple in design and it should be possible to manually override the controls from a nearby wall interface. However that didn’t mean he wanted to.

“Why should I help you?” Will asked, showing that none of the anger he felt at her betrayal had simply evaporated over time.

Denise would have struggled to answer herself that question, she had no idea what if anything in her could possibly deserve anyone’s help right now, but she knew exactly how to answer it for Will.

^There are three minutes remaining until Temporal Drive activation^

[Because if I don’t get to Engineering then in a few minutes the Temporal Drive will be activated. You know what that could mean for the Federation. I can stop it, Will.]

Will cursed under his breath. He had no reason to believe her, but the continued siren reminded him he was running out of time.

-=Turbolift Four=-

“Please William.” Denise spoke the words quietly; not to Will himself but almost as one would to a god they didn’t really believe was there.

She breathed heavily, finding herself so hopelessly unprepared to be here in the darkness. She had spent so many years convinced that she could have handled everything they could have thrown at her. She really had known it all; singlehandedly she’d been able to design the plans needed to use their wonderfully complex technology to alter time itself. Yet none of that meant a thing as she truly thought about being alone in the dark with an entire ship of armed people after her,

Only then she heard a crack and the lights came on, the turbolift resuming its motion. She knew she wasn’t completely alone.

“Thank you, Will.”


Wilson had taken charge on the bridge, taking the command chair, with a young inexperienced Ensign assigned to the tactical console.

“I don’t understand it, but somehow Turbolift Four is moving again,” the Ensign reported.

“Then try to override!” Wilson ‘suggested’ in a tone that warned the Ensign just how much he didn’t want to have to tell Brody they’d failed.

The Ensign’s hands moved quickly, but not quickly enough. Taking in a deep breath, he looked back up at Wilson.

“It’s too late, sir,” he said regretfully. “It’s already arrived at Engineering.”

Thinking he’d deal with the Ensign later, Wilson slapped his combadge angrily.

“Wilson to Geller. I need a security team to Main Engineering right now!”

-=Main Engineering=-

As the turbolift door finally opened, Denise held her breath. She didn’t know if the engineering staff would have been informed they were supposed to be stopping her, but as they continued busying themselves around her she didn’t think they had.

She had the Temporal Drive in sight in the distance, two members of the Serendipity’s crew standing by it, and she quickly began to walk, almost to run in its direction.

^There are two minutes remaining until Temporal Drive activation^

“Captain,” Powell said nervously, intercepting her. “Everything’s on track to activate the drive. What…what are you doing here?”

“I want to see the Temporal Drive.”

Powell looked confused, but Denise thought to herself that that was okay. She just had to keep him confused long enough to get to where she was going.

“Now’s really not a good time for an inspection, Captain. I…”

[Wilson to Powell,] Powell was cut off by the sound of his combadge and suddenly Denise’s eyes grew wider.

“Excuse me, Captain,” he mumbled, preparing to respond.

“Wait,” Denise said, suddenly stopping dead in her tracks and speaking with every ounce of determination and authority she still had. “Do not answer that. Give it here.”

Powell looked at her then down at his combadge with confusion, taking it into his hand

“That’s an order,” she insisted.

[Wilson to Powell. Please respond.]

Powell looked completely uncertain what he should do, but when all else failed he preferred to defer to authority. He quickly handed the combadge to Denise.

[This is…]

Denise pulled open the combadge cover and cut out the power supply, leaving Wilson unable to finish.

“Now, as I was saying,” Denise said, with a slight sigh of relief. “I need to see the Temporal Drive.”

“Yes, Captain…”

Denise turned, her steps again drawing her closer to the device as her hand fell to her side preparing to grab hold of her phaser.

Denise moved eagerly. She was so close. It looked like she was finally going to make it. Only then instantly she stopped in her tracks; her stomach fearfully sinking, as an all too familiar pained and angry voice shouted out viciously from behind her.

Ensign Denise Moreno
Commanding Officer
USS Poseidon

NRPG Note from the Captain: My apologies to my crew for the delay in posts/sending them out, I have been very ill recently. Working to get back on track and into the swing now. ~ZL