1109: The End of the Fight

by Keiran O’Sullivan and William Lindsay
Soundtrack: Nightminds by Missy Higgins
Immediately following But One Priority


-=USS Poseidon=-

It was plain to see from his size alone that Keiran O’Sullivan was a physically powerful man.

He seemed at times to be a steady juggernaut: slow moving, but unstoppable. Yet now there was nothing lacking in his speed as constant, sweeping strides drew him across what felt to be an imperceptible distance to his wife. Each step landed more quickly than the last as the force of his massive form struck against the deck. The sound it made as the vibrations shook the floor beneath them made the entire ship seem a fragile construction compared to the love of this single-minded, solitary man.

William Lindsay could barely keep up with Keiran’s pace, still he did not shout for him to slow down. He could not ask that of O’Sullivan, who had taught him so much about the dangers of drawing unwanted attention. He couldn’t give voice to the thoughts screaming through his head- wishing Keiran would stop before the rattling noise of his every movement drew the Poseidon’s entire crew to them. He owed it to Keiran now to simply keep his mouth shut and follow.

It was difficult to perceive fear in the heart of a man as courageous and controlled as O’Sullivan. Yet, and even though he could not see the expression on his face, Will knew that on the deepest level Keiran was afraid that they might already be too late. He knew, because he was trying his best to dismiss the very same fear.

The repetitive, violent, insistent sound of the screeching alarm announced that Poseidon was soon to be buried, fast and deep, within the sands of past time. Its howling wail seemed to be aimed at Keiran’s ears alone, an eerie warning of Liis’ dark fate. That shattering sound fought for supremacy with another, and was in the end drowned out almost completely by the pounding of his heart.

When he thought of the fear she must have felt…the anguish- the things that Brody must’ve said to her…

As he rounded the final corner, Keiran’s mouth fell open in preparation to speak a prayer. It died before forming upon his lips, no words could be found. No man could doubt what he’d ask for and no god of the benevolence he was taught to believe in could have denied something so entirely dear to him, even without his asking.

He could not speak the wish that she be all right because it meant considering again that she might not.

With the holosuite controls in sight his breathing grew faster and he was only able to whisper, “Please. Oh God, please…”

His hand trembled as he accessed the panel and began to type in the override command. His large fingertips refused to do his bidding; he cursed himself as the computer beeped its defiance.

“Brody lied to us,” Keiran growled, though it was more the sound of a wounded beast unable to stop its descent than of one simply ready to attack. He saw in this moment a mistake that could come to haunt him for the rest of this life and the next. “Son of a bitch- I should have…”

Will saw the fear and uncertainty threatening to envelop his greatest friend, swallowing the man whole before his eyes. Keiran was frozen dead still, eyes locked on the uncooperative controls.

Will knew that in moments like this a man could make an instant choice he’d always regret – to attack the panel and set off God knows what security protocol Brody may have in place, or to attempt to leave to track Brody down so by the time he returned it was far too late.

He could see Keiran about to snap and make such a choice-- it always happened in the times when you felt like you were losing a battle you couldn’t possibly go on after. Keiran’s own family motto seemed all too appropriate for the moment as Will saw the Irishman’s hands were trembling.

Will knew he had placed all their lives in danger with his investigations and there was every risk he’d do it again. Whatever respect or concern he’d ever felt for anyone in his life, he was sure it didn’t mean a damn compared to what Keiran felt now. This could be a great difference between the two of them, but right now all it meant was that Will’s own hands were steady.

“Let me try.” Will placed a hand on Keiran’s shoulder and then moved quickly past him, beginning to input the same command that Keiran had attempted.

Though not a religious man, Will could have understood praying as he held his breath, typing the code in letter by letter:


It was a name, indeed, Will thought. Bastard had to reverse all the letters…

With the last letter keyed in the door finally clicked an unmistakable sound: the release of the lock.

Keiran’s eyes opened wide and he spoke his next words very softly. “Thank you.”

His tone left Will unsure whether it was intended for him or for God but he didn't much care which of them got the credit. All he cared about was what Keiran did next.

What he knew for certain was that whatever outcome awaited on the other side of that door it would be fiercely personal for O’Sullivan. All Will could do to help now was to make damn sure no one on this ship was able to follow him in.

“I’ll stay here and keep watch,” Will announced, his desperate eyes urging Keiran onward. “Go an’ get her.”


Keiran charged through the holographic image of her door with enough force to tear it from its hinges. He was horrified at the sight of the room it revealed.

He had never seen the real one it was modeled on, but every detail, down to the last was burned into his memory- committed there the moment that Liis had told him of its existence. It was more than just a memory from alternate times. This place was the nightmare that had hunted her in waking thoughts and restless sleep down to this day, even when she could wake to find she was safe in his arms.

He was frantic as his eyes scanned the room, fearing he’d find only the limp, empty shell of the woman that he knew, the tangible remains of the soul he loved, already extinguished.


There was no answer.

He finally found her in the corner by the small metal bed, her legs hugged up tightly against her body, her head resting upon her knees. He rushed over as quickly as any man’s legs could take him. Aching and desperate to hold her, he forgot all about the bundle he’d tucked under one arm; her clothing that he’d repossessed from Brody. It fell into a heap on the floor as he dropped down to his knees beside her.

“Liis, look at me.”

Still she did not respond. She didn’t believe that he could possibly really be there if she did.

He gathered her up in his arms as quickly as he could, pulling her in tight against his chest. “Liis, I need ya ta listen to me. We have to go.”

She finally turned to him, her expression almost curious as her eyes stared beyond him, devoid of any true indication of recognition. She had been through so much, her mind refused now to validate even the warmth of his touch as authentic.

She couldn’t- no- she wouldn’t speak to this ghost. Surely it was only the latest of Brody’s machinations to try to rip away what tenuous hold on her mind she had left.

“Please, Liis…you’ve got to hear me.”

The apparition sounded so much like him, yet she knew too well that in this place every lie could be so convincing that it stood on equal footing with the truth.

“Keiran!” Lindsay called from beyond the door. “Is she alright?!”

When Liis heard Will’s voice shouting from outside these walls, her eyes snapped up. He was certainly not someone she would hallucinate here- not that way.

“Keiran!” Will tried again, more insistently. “Is Liis alright?”

Keiran gently moved his hand to stroke the side of her face. His eyes stayed focused solely on her as he wished there was something more he could do to help her.

Her expression changed to one of utter confusion as she became all the more uncertain about what was really happening.

“No, she’s not,” he answered, his voice fully conveying the weight of his dread. He looked up a second later as Will appeared in the doorway.

“We’re runnin’ out of time, William. You…” He grasped Liis even more tightly as she remained limp as a rag doll in his arms. “You have to get to the bridge- you have to do something.” His eyes glimmered in the harsh, clinical light as he pressed his cheek against the top of Liis’ bowed head.

“I can't just leave you here,” Will objected, unwilling to abandon them now.

“I am the only one who can help her. You’re the only one who can save us all.” Keiran insisted. “Please, William, I’m beggin’ you. Go.”

Will could not refuse this request.

“You are going to get her off this ship,” Will promised, his eyes reflecting concern and admiration for the best friend he had ever had-- a man he suddenly realized he may never see again. He gave a final, respectful nod before he took off at a full run down the corridor.

Keiran shifted position and gently lifted Liis’ face toward his. He searched the fathomless depths of her eyes, haunted by the emptiness within them. “Liis, we are goin’ to get you out of here.”

Any sign that she was still fighting at all faded away again to nothing. She just stared at him; hazy, medicated, unable to connect his words to thoughts and actions strong enough to overcome her fear he was just another illusion. He could see she was ready to cry.

“Liis- god, why didn’t I…look at this.” Keiran shivered as he tenderly took her face into his hands, realizing what a fool he’d been not to have thought of this before. “Watch. Computer, end program.”

She looked up, her heart still clinging to the thinnest of hopes that this truly was her Keiran, the man she believed had the power to make all the horror go away. She held her breath.

The contents of the room flickered and vanished one by one into nothing, along with the very walls that contained them.

Soon all that was left was the grid, scattered articles of familiar clothing on the floor, and the man who was staring at her now with tears gleaming in his bright blue eyes. “Please, Liis, wake up. Come back to me from the Hell that Brody has locked you in. I- I just can’t lose you now.”

Fragments of so many thoughts and experiences tried to connect to each other to form an image she could accept as reality.

He could be real, she thought. Maybe it really is over.

Yet she feared if she trusted this, and it wasn’t really here this time- if it was just another desperate fiction contrived by her mind to buy her five more minutes of sanity- she would be so truly lost that nothing that happened afterward could ever bring her back.

Keiran could see the battle raging again inside her as her shoulders began to shake. Where there once had been only certainty that he wasn’t real. It was a hopeful, beautiful sight and he would not miss this opportunity.

“I have somethin’ that belongs to you,” he whispered, with as much love as any man had ever spoken any words.

He reached one shaking hand into the pocket of his jacket and then grasped hold of her left hand with the other. “I’m only sorry it took me so long to get 'em back to ya.”

Liis didn’t know what was happening until she felt an incredibly familiar sensation. It was cold metal moving down her finger, settling down against her hand once it was positioned where it had belonged for so long.
She opened her eyes again fully now. They darted from the metal and glimmering stones to the crest on the signet ring immediately. It was so real, utterly unable to exist in only as a figment of her desperate imagination that she turned, suddenly taking in the room in a hurry to see what else could be.

The grid that meant these were actually holosuite walls.

Her clothing-- scattered all around them.

Then there was Keiran, her husband-- his strong arms grasping hold of her as tightly as he dare.

She tried to focus on him fully now, fighting so hard against the dizziness that swept over her as the medication made images twist and momentarily overlap each other, until finally it stopped. As his face slowly came into focus something caught flame inside of her.


Now a different sort of tears formed in his eyes as Keiran pulled her even closer to him, clasping her to his chest as he kissed her tenderly.

“Yes, a chuisle, i’s me,” he promised, when finally their lips parted again. “I’m here, and I’ve come to take you home.”

-=/\=- Keiran O’Sullivan
Security Liaison
The Alchemy Project


Captain William Lindsay
Interim Director
The Department of Temporal Investigations

1108: Logical Obsession

by Salvek

After Turning Over Stones – Part Two

-=Ministry of Justice, Vulcan=-

“You are late. I find you in contempt.” Savol announced smugly as the hearing reconvened. Despite having bounced back and forth to all corners of Vulcan as well as the Alchemy in a compressed amounted of time, Salvek and Zander had made it back to the Hearing Room at the exact time the hearing was scheduled to resume.

Give or take three minutes.

It was the “take” that proved to be their undoing. The two men had quite literally skidded to a halt before Savol’s dais as they hurried to make it back in time. The Vulcan was more than willing to overlook their well-intended attempt to not be late and slap on the misdemeanor on top of the serious charges Salvek was already facing.

Savol’s triumph was going to be short lived however. Little did he know, Zander and Salvek had returned to the hearing armed with information, and help. The doors to the Hearing Room opened, and an impossibly tall slender woman entered the room. Despite the marbled floor and impeccable acoustics of the room, she did not make a sound as she walked. Nor did her long flowing robes sway in any way. She simply seemed to glide across the floor.

Her features were as motionless as her clothing, yet still beautiful for a woman of over one hundred and fifty years of age. The Vulcan’s in the room seemed in awe, as if they were in the presence of a master conductor of a great symphony. Without making eye contact with anyone, she continued towards the dais, and then up it, executing perfectly measured ninety degree turns whenever it was necessary.

When she finally stopped, Savol raised an eyebrow in curiosity.

“We are honored by your presence Minister P’arella.” He asked, more than stated.

“New evidence has been presented to me that necessitates your recusing yourself from this inquiry.” P’arella said flatly.

“May I ask why any such evidence would require me to step down?” Savol inquired, though he seemed to know the answer.

“If true, it makes you a suspect in the death of T’Dara, which makes your leading this inquiry illogical. Step down.”

P’arella stared through Savol as she waited for him to move. He was in no hurry, as he deliberately set down his gavel, and rose from his seat. Commander Jars was seated to the right, so he moved to the left to take an empty seat, but P’arella stopped him.

“You will stand with the accused.” She stated.

“Am I accused?”

“Soon enough.” P’arella said coldly as she lowered herself down into the seat Savol had previously occupied. He moved down the stairs to stand next to Salvek, who did not so much as move when Savol arrived. Blakeslee smiled and gave a little wave. “This hearing is once again called to order. Commander Blakeslee.”

Zander moved forward and handed P’arella a PADD, containing information she did not need to review, since she had already seen it a short time before.

“We would like to enter the following into the official record. Proof through financial records that Minister Savol used his influence at the Vulcan Medical Research Division to enlist the aid of a third party for a secret program intended to eliminate the Pon Farr cycle from the Vulcan species.”

Zander backed away from the dais and turned to face Savol. “Would you like to name the third party, or should I?”

Savol set his jaw defiantly. He had no intention of offering any information until required to do so. Something that would come soon enough.

“It would seem,” Zander continued, as he referred, just for a moment, to his own PADD for a few notes he had hastily jotted down before returning to the hearing, “That Minister Savol was once cited by the Medical Research Division for being too logical. Seventeen years ago he was reprimanded for being so obsessed with the obtainment of pure logic that his peers felt it was actually compromising his ability to perform his duties.”

“Pure conjecture.” Savol said.

“Oh really?” Zander chuckled. “Not according to the documents I obtained. You see, when I mentioned the name of that third party to some of your peers, they weren’t at all surprised, and they were quite willing to share with me any information I asked for. The authorities, at this very moment, are dismantling the office of the physician that led the research project on the Vulcan end that you were also a part of, providing all the legal protection they needed to perform their work in secret.”

“Of course the key to all this,” Zander continued, “Was Relanon. They offered the Vulcan’s the holy grail of logic, the elimination of the Pon Farr, the last vestige of pure passion pervading Vulcan society. All they needed was a few subjects to implement their trials on.”

Salvek turned slowly towards the back of the room, where he saw T’Dara’s family, listening to every word, as Zander brought Relanon’s involvement to light.

“Tucked safely away on Bajor they provided all the logistics, all the support, and all the medications needed to conduct these experiments on the Vulcan people.”

“Even if you believed Relanon was doing something good for the Vulcan people to start, how could you possibly continue once the events on Bajor came to light?” Salvek asked, unable to remain silent anymore. He stood before Savol, mere centimeters from his face. “Their lack of compassion coupled with their lack of intelligence led to the death and sickness of untold numbers on Bajor.”

Salvek could not help but think of little Tress, a child so much like his own. A beautiful girl that was an innocent victim of a plague that never should have been. And Tress was one of the lucky ones, in that despite her loss of hearing she would still live a full and healthy life. Many had not survived at all.

Savol glanced away, a look of frustration on his face now, as he cast his eyes on nothing in particular. “They were so close, it was too late to stop.” He looked back at Salvek, and regained his composure. “I am not required to answer your questions.”

“Indeed you are not. I would strongly suggest you exercise your right to remain silent,” P’arella stated from her position at the head of the room. “Your trial will be coming soon enough.” She added.

At the rear of the room, T’Dara’s brother, T’Far, stood up from his seat and exited the room.

“The bailiffs will place Minister Savol under arrest.” P’arella ordered.

Savol, to his credit, made no attempt to stop the arrest. The guards escorted him from the room. Once he was clear, Zander continued.

“Obviously Relanon could not fulfill their promises. Their experiments only accelerated the Pon Farr, rather than eliminating it. Given enough time, and guinea pigs, they may have accomplished their goals. T’Dara paid the ultimate price for what I will reluctantly refer to as research.”

Commander Jars stood up, and faced P’arella. “I move that this hearing be dismissed, immediately.”

P’arella banged her gavel, and turned towards Salvek. “I apologize to you, your shipmates, and Starfleet that you have been inconvenienced by these events. You are free to return to Starfleet. All charges against you are hereby dismissed. We stand adjourned.”

Murmurs began filling the room, as the spectators arose and began filing for the exits. Salvek placed a hand upon Zander’s shoulder.

“Thank you. I am in your debt.”

“I’ll keep that in mind,” Zander answered.

Salvek looked towards the exit. “If you’ll excuse me.” He had someone to catch before it was too late, and the Hearing Room was emptying rapidly. Hastily, he pressed through the crowd and out into the corridors. The person he was looking for was nowhere to be seen.

Salvek jogged out the building exit into the midday sun. He squinted and used is hand to shade his eyes. Behind one of the pillars at the entrance, he saw a single foot sticking out. He approached and circled the pillar, coming face to face with the person he was looking for.

“It was you, wasn’t it? You attacked Commander Blakeslee and I in the alley, and left the note telling us to follow the money.”

T’Far finally lifted his gaze to look at Salvek, through such indescribably melancholy eyes.

“I’ve seen the passion in your eyes. There is no hiding your love for her.”

“My group and I, we knew they were running tests. I knew my sister was one of the subjects. There just weren’t ever enough of us to do anything about it. Their security is impenetrable. The Pon Farr is all the Vulcan people have left of their hearts. Without it there is no difference between us and a Borg, or an android. I would have done anything to stop them, and save her.”

“You are a dissident.”

T’Far looked away. Salvek could quite easily turn him over to the authorities at this very moment. Salvek knew better than anyone the look of passion in a Vulcan’s eyes. He had seen it in T’Far from the moment of their first encounter.

“We only want our people to embrace the emotions they have been given. We are not terrorists, like some.”

“Yet you spoke of the Medical Research building’s security as if he had looked into it. As if you intended to attempt to penetrate it.” Salvek observed.

“We would have stolen or destroyed any research we could have gotten our hands on, to stop them. We never would have hurt anyone.”

T’Far looked down at the ground, and tears began to form at the corner of his eyes. “She just wanted the experience. Thought it would serve her well for getting into Starfleet.” He pinched the bridge of his nose with his thumb and forefinger to try and suppress his sorrow, but the tears simply spilled over the edge anyway. “It should have been me. I should be dead. She was so intelligent, had so much more to offer then I did, could have saved so many people.”

He pitched forward, burying his face into Salvek’s shoulder. Salvek wrapped both his arms around the young man and simply let him cry.

“When we were children, father would give her medical devices, tricorders, empty hypos, to stimulate her interest in medicine. She would examine me and diagnosis me with some absurdly long named viral infection. I’d always laugh when she tried to pronounce it and she would raise her little eyebrow at me as a reminder that we weren’t supposed to be giggling. I loved her so much.”

T’Far began to sob again. His body would shudder as the ache of generations of suppressed emotions poured from the soul of one heartbroken young man. After several minutes, he composed himself to the point where he could stand. He examined Salvek’s tear soaked tunic.

“You must think me quite the fool.”

“Indeed I do not.”

“What am I supposed to do without her?”

“You say she had so much more to offer then you did, that she could have helped so many. If you truly believe that, then honor her memory by helping others, as she did. The dissident movements are always a dead end. Vulcan society is not going to change, but I am not so closed minded to emotions as most. If you cannot bear to live under these conditions, then leave this place, and live as you feel you wish to somewhere else. Somewhere where you can both embrace your emotions, and fulfill your sister’s goals of helping others.”

“You are saying I should join Starfleet Medical?” T’Far asked.

“I am saying exactly what I said. Starfleet is an option; you would most likely enjoy Betazed. And on Bajor, there are so many that could use the help of someone like you. You are a victim of Relanon’s crimes like so many of them. Give it some thought, and talk to your parents.”

T’Far nodded slowly, and cleared away the tears before anyone noticed. Salvek could tell he was still only just beginning to grieve for his sister, as anger over her death had prevented him from feeling sorrow before this point. His future was still very much clouded, which was why Salvek advised him to think his choices over before rushing to any conclusions.

“Thank you, Commander Salvek. Peace, and long life.”

”Live long, and prosper, T’Far, brother of T’Dara.” Salvek returned the Vulcan sign, and stepped away from T’Far. He found Zander Blakeslee waiting patiently on the steps leading up to the building.

“What now, Commander?”

“I wish to return to Earth immediately. I would like to know what has become of the Serendipity.”

“That makes two of us.”


“What is the status of the jump drive?” Salvek asked the moment he entered the bridge. Gira Lassiter surrendered the command chair, and returned to the helm.

“I got wind of the dismissal of the charges over the media wire, and I’ve had the jump drive charged ever since. We can be back at Earth as soon as you say engage,” Gira said. She was as anxious to leave Vulcan as everyone else, and had been wondering what was taking Salvek so long to return to the ship once he was cleared of any wrongdoing. As she spoke she double checked the coordinates one last time to make the transwarp jump to Earth, making sure she would not accidentally overshoot the planet and thus delay their return.

“Excellent. Then by all means, engage.”

Commander Salvek
First Officer
USS Serendipity NCC-2012

1107: The Same Mistake Again

by TC Blane and Jon Peterson

Concurrent with A Positive Turn of Events

-=Main Bridge, USS Serendipity=-

TC stared at the fading glow of the detonated warp core on the forward viewscreen for several seconds before turning his gaze upon the visibly shaken Peterson.

“So what now?” He asked not even trying hide the sarcasm in his voice.

Now was the time to turn the mental screws. All of the elements of the situation had turned in the Sera’s crews’ favor. TC knew it and so did the TI agents left onboard.

TC folded his arms across his chest, a painful move considering the still fresh phaser burn to his shoulder. “You’re not actually expecting them to come back, are you?”

He motioned towards the very large TI ship looming over them. “As long as they are hovering there Brody is not going to come back.” He looked at the grim looks on all of the TI agents’ faces. “You all know this.”

He turned to face Steele. “All of you know this.” He repeated as he fixed his gaze on her. His ice cold blue eyes conveyed pity for the woman who obviously was feeling more pain then she let show.

He turned his eyes back to Peterson. “So, What now?”

Peterson’s eyes lingered a moment longer, staring at the image before him, his sinking heart and tired mind telling him that they didn’t stand a chance with just him here in charge but his ego, albeit bruised, refusing to let him accept that that was true. “Now…” he stopped and drew in a breath, putting on his most confident ‘Captain voice’ before continuing. “Now we get the hell out of here.”

“And go where?” TC asked incredulously. “Take a look at your sensors. Impulse is still offline. Even with it we’re years from the nearest planet or starbase.”

“He’s right, sir,” One of Peterson’s men added quietly, having read it on his sensor display.

“So what?” Peterson snapped as if simply irritated and not as if he was recognising the truth in what TC was saying. “We have people on board who have technical skills centuries ahead of the technology this ship uses. They can modify the impulse engines to get us there far quicker than you could imagine.”

TC could tell Peterson had no faith in his own words, surely as everyone else could see the same, and he seized his opportunity. He spoke now less to Peterson and more to the rest of the bridge.

“What makes you think you’d have a chance in hell at doing that before the entire crew over there get their warp drive back online? You couldn’t even repair your own ship without our help.”

It was clear to all that Peterson had no answer to this and the exchanged looks between the TI agents seemed to ask if there was even any point doing what he said now. They all feared Brody but there was little Peterson could do to them now he was on his own.

Peterson seemed to be able to sense this. He quickly sounded like he was arguing with the entire crew, unconsciously taking a step away from TC Blane now that he had no Brody to protect him. Without realising it, Peterson’s hand was reaching down to his phaser.

“Then we get far enough away that…that…”

“Grow up,” TC said intentionally scoldingly, when he could see Peterson’s confidence was quickly slipping. To a man who’d seen all Blane had, Peterson’s inexperience and ill equipment for this task was far too obvious. “They’re not coming back.”

Now Peterson was truly beginning to panic. His tone was getting desperate and his words growing ever faster.

“We don’t need them! We still have a Federation starship. There are a lot of people out there who’d want what we can offer. We contact them, they’ll come to us…”

Peterson expected some sort of response and looked around futilely at the eyes of each and every one of his agents hoping for it, when all he was met with was silence. A look of disgust crossed over TC’s so often unreadable features. Some of Peterson’s own men looked at him similarly.

“You would really sell the Federation’s secrets to the highest bidder just to save your own ass?”

Peterson’s spluttered but had no way of arguing against this. TC again stepped nearer to Peterson, making this point as clear as he possibly could.

“There’s only one way out of this and you know it,” TC chided. “You contact that ship and surrender yourself.”

Peterson knew exactly what would happen if he did that. He was still a young man but a conviction of what was effectively temporal treason would mean he spent the rest of his long lifetime locked away in a tiny room without any chance of ever again doing any of the things he so loved.

“No,” he said, suddenly far more stoic. He was not going down that path.

“No, what?”

Peterson did his best once again to ignore TC, stepping away from him once more and turning his back to the viewscreen. Peterson’s words, suddenly defiant and far louder, seemed to violently shake the still and silent air.

“No, we’re not going to surrender! We’re going to fight!”

“You know you can’t win,” TC replied incredulously and Peterson had finally lost all patience.

His hand, until now only resting, angrily drew his phaser and turned to aim it at TC. Seeing TC’s eyes though, and that he was not afraid to risk his own life, he quickly changed his mind and locked the weapon on Landry Steele.

“No, but the Poseidon still can! If they get their time drive to work then they can make a jump back and prevent any of this from happening,” he argued, though his words were more hopeful than faithful. “What happens to this ship doesn’t matter. We just have to do as much damage as possible to that ship out there so they’ll be unable to stop them.”

TC shook his head and laughed at Peterson’s continued threatening gesture towards Landry.

“Are you serious? She had been nothing but a pain in my side since this whole thing started. You’d be doing me a favor. She’s been more of an ally to you than anyone else on this ship. Not a good choice of a target.”

Just then a beeping emanated from the tactical station in front of Landry. She glanced down at the sensor readings. “Their main power systems are back online. They’ll have shields and weapons in under a minute.” She looked at TC and then to Peterson.

TC’s gaze never left Peterson, as his eyes bored into the man as if looking into his soul. Peterson got the feeling that TC was reading his thoughts. It severely unnerved him.

Peterson glanced at Steele and then to TC. His eyes swept around the bridge as he realized everyone’s eyes were on him. Suddenly he realized fully the amount of responsibility that was heaped onto his shoulder by the sudden departure of the Poseidon. Sweat formed on his brow and he felt physically sick.

“Well, you’re the man with the gun. What’s the call?” TC’s voice broke the silence.

Peterson held the phaser higher. “I said we fight.” He glared at Steele. “Fire everything we got at them, NOW!

From a purely logical perspective Steele knew this may represent Brody’s only chance at the future she wanted for him. She glanced down at the controls in front of her and on autopilot her fingers slowly set the targeting solutions and armed the torpedoes. Only then she stopped, just short of depressing the fire command. She slowly lifted her head and looked at TC, who she noticed was staring intently back at her. She swallowed hard and turned her eyes back to the console in front of her as she slowly shook her head.

“No.” Her fingers moved quickly over the console and disabled the torpedoes.

Peterson’s brow furrowed in rage. “What? No.” He shook the phaser at her. “You have to fire. Shoot them.” He yelled. “Now damn it or I’ll kill you!!”

Steele never looked up from the console as if she had suddenly realized that her path was no longer tied to Brody, that she had nothing left. “Go ahead.”

Peterson stepped towards the tactical station. “You backstabbing witch! I’ll do it myself.”

Twice in a twenty four hour period the team of TI agents had made the same critical error of getting within arms reach of TC Blane and for the second time TC Blane had made the offending agent pay dearly for that mistake.

Before Peterson realized that in his rush to get to the tactical station he had to pass within arms reach of TC, the ship’s second officer had placed him into arm lock, broke two of his fingers in the process of taking away his phaser, and currently had him planted face down on the deck with his knee square in the middle of his back. Peterson could not move and hardly breathe from the weight of TC on his back.

TC picked up the liberated phaser and slowly stood up and away from Peterson who only curled into a ball while cradling his broken fingers. There was a look of impotent spite in his eyes as he stared at TC above him.

“Someone shoot him!” Peterson demanded of his men, but they did nothing.

TC did not raise the phaser and instead let it hang in his hand by his side in a relaxed fashion, his finger resting lightly on the trigger. He turned and faced the rest of the remaining TI agents. Several had by now raised their phasers and pointed them at TC.

TC’s eyes flowed from one agent to another. His ice blue eyes met each of theirs in turn as he silently waged battle of wills against each of them. They knew that they had more weapons, that he could not possibly take all of them out. But each knew that TC would fall one or two of them before they brought him down. Their eyes told him that none of them were willing to be the one to make that sacrifice.

Brody’s abandonment of his men had ripped away their will.

“Landry, disable our weapons, lower our shields and open a hailing frequency,” TC ordered without taking his eyes off of the remaining agents who now one by one slowly lowered their phasers as they each came to the realization that their part in this story was coming to an inevitable conclusion. TC sighed silently within his soul with relief to see that they had come to the same conclusion as himself. It would be foolish to fight a battle that would benefit no one.

Steele had finally raised her head from the console during TC’s struggle with Peterson, if it could be called that, and now she watched the silent battle of wills unfold.

“Steele!” TC’s voice shook her from her daze.

She nodded and her fingers quickly completed TC’s command as the Sera’s crew moved around the TI agents collecting their weapons. “Frequency open.”

“This is commander TC Blane of the USS Serendipity. I have reassumed command of the ship.” He turned and sat in the captain's chair. “How may we be of assistance?”

Commander TC Blane
Acting Captain
USS Serendipity NCC-2012


Lieutenant Jon Peterson
Rogue Temporal Investigations Agent
No longer commanding the USS Serendipity NCC-2012