Alpha Quadrant

Sol Sector

Earth-Luna area

Year 2383

“Captain, the Titan has been destroyed," Norwood said. Worried glances filled the faces of the Preserver crew.

Xeroth turned his chair to the Operations panel. "Mark," he said. "Open a channel to the entire fleet."

"Aye sir. Channel open."

Any anxiety that Xeroth had before disappeared. Confidence entered his voice. "This is Captain Xeroth of the Preserver. I am taking command of the fleet. Any objections to this will be noted in my official log."

"Captain, we're receiving two messages from Klingons objecting...but that's it." Norwood replied.

"Good, good. Xeroth to all ships. Initiate Attack Pattern Pi 21 on the lead Borg Cube."

Seconds later, the colossal mass of Federation and Klingon ships descended on the lead Borg cube. One by one, ships were destroyed by multiple Borg weapons. As the fleet continued their attack, other Borg vessels responded, quickly dispensing with the desperate Federation and Klingon forces. Their sacrifices were not met in vain.

As the last quantum torpedoes crashed into the Cube, flames raced across its hull. As the Federation/Klingon fleet backed off, the Cube exploded into a mass of flaming hull fragments. A piece of debris flew past and rammed into a Klingon Bird of Prey. The Bird of Prey disintegrated, yet the hull fragment was merely torn.

"Cache, what is the status of the Borg fleet?" Xeroth asked.

"Three Cubes, eight Spheres, two Diamonds."

“Captain!” shouted Woskosky. “I’ve located an Alpha Node!”

“Cache?” asked Xeroth.

“Confirmed, captain, thought I cannot locate the exact coordinates.”

“Mark, contact the fleet and tell them to search for the Alpha Node,” ordered Xeroth.

“Aye!” Seconds later, Norwood spoke. “Sir, the Saratoga has located it!”

“Where?” Selak asked.

“024 Mark 8” Norwood replied.

“Transfer the coordinates to the fleet!” yelled Xeroth.

Within moments, Cache had sent the coordinates, and set course for their target: a Tactical Borg Cube.

The fleet intercepted the Tactical Cube and attacked. It fired its holding beam on the lead Sovereign-class ship, Vigilant. Within a matter of seconds the Cube released the ship. The Vigilant drifted in space, slowly spinning. It stopped, and powered up.

"Sir," Selak unexpectedly stated, "I do not read any life signs on the Vigilant…"

"The Borg must have assimilated that ship!" said Xeroth. “Kel, fire at will!”

The Preserver quickly attacked with everything it had, and the Vigilant was soon destroyed.

“Xeroth to the fleet, lock all weapons on the Cube and fire on my command!" Xeroth said with some indication of excitement.

“The fleet reports ready, sir,” said Woskosky.


The Preserver's ten forward torpedo tubes each fired four quantum torpedoes at the Cube, and the fleet followed in suit.

As the last of the weapons crashed into the hull of the Cube, a surge of green light shot out and illuminated the Preserver and the fleet green. As it was exploding, a Sphere crashed through the explosion.

The Sphere fired a beam at the vessel next to the Preserver, tearing the vessel into two. Large chunks of debris crashed into the Preserver, sending it spiraling out of control.

The crew was launched into the air and onto the deck.

When Xeroth looked up and around his bridge, it he swore he was in hell. Sparks flew across the bridge, starting fires on the panels and floor. A ceiling panel fell on top of him, sending him to the floor.

Cache stood up and found Selak on the floor, far from the helm panel. He quickly deactivated his emotion chip to shelter himself from the emotional onslaught.

Xeroth slowly pushed off the panel, heavy from his fatigued muscles. “Cache... take the h-helm...”

"Yes sir," replied Cache.

He ran for the console, and looked at the view screen to see a Bird of Prey coming toward them. He punched in the commands to turn, barely missed the vessel.

As if to spite Cache, a feedback surge ripped him away from the helm controls, destroying the console and reactivating his emotion chip.

Cache looked up at the console wide-eyed with his mouth gaping as he braced himself. A derelict Klingon Negh'Var class vessel was right in from of them.

The Preserver, with no helm controls and out of control, was headed straight for it.

Cache's shoulders slumped and sighed.



Chapter 1

Alpha Quadrant

Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards

Mars Orbit

Drydock #476

Year 2382

“Captain on the bridge!" Commander William Woskosky announced. All of the crew and engineers stood as their captain exited from the turbolift. Lane Xeroth had never been on the bridge... his bridge before.

Of course he had studied the schematics and he knew them like the back of his hand. Though nothing that he had studied about his ship was even close to comparable to the real thing.

He thought to himself as he looked at all of the men standing there, I've always imagined what my first command would be like, but now that I think about it, they were nothing compared to the real thing. He smiled slightly. This is much better.

"As you were." he said proudly to the crew of the Akira-class U.S.S. Preserver, NCC 79821

Everybody went back to work on the Preserver to get it ready for departure.

The bridge was a mixture of different hues of brown. Everything was on one level.

He had entered from the turbolift at the center of the rear wall. To his right was the Operations station, with its own alcove, the entry to the Briefing Room and the Environmental and Science stations, behind him were multiple stations for sensor readouts and ship’s status. In front of him were the three central chairs and conn station, and to his left was the Tactical station, also with its own alcove, the entrance to the Ready Room, and the Engineering and Support stations. Xeroth smiled.

“Hello, sir.”

Xeroth recognized the voice well. He turned in the direction of the voice to see one of his good friends.

Commander Woskosky had worked with Xeroth before, on the Enterprise-D. They had been separated since its destruction on Veridian III twelve years earlier.

“Will!” Xeroth exclaimed. They embraced each other. “I’ve been looking for you! Where have you been?“

“I’ve been realigning the sensors for a few hours now. Just came to see if you have arrived yet.”

“I was so happy to see your name on the crew manifest.”

“As was I.” Both smiled even wider than they had before. “Well, I have to get back to the sensors.”

“Alright. Meet me later in my quarters; we need to catch up on the past couple of years.”

“Will do, sir.” Will walked to the turbolift as Xeroth sat back into the captain’s chair.

He walked down from the upper deck to the command chair. His command chair. The one Lieutenant Cache was sitting in.

Cache was an Soong-type android, created by Lieutenant Commander Data of the Enterprise, along with assistance of Starfleet, five years previous. Working on the chair’s control panels, he neglected to notice the captain next to him.

“Excuse me?” Xeroth asked.

Cache looked up, his silver eyes meeting with Xeroth’s blue eyes immediately as he stood. At six foot four, he was much taller than Xeroth. His hair was a sandy brown, and his skin had a light flesh-colored tone, unlike his “father’s” light gold. The speed that he had stood attention caught Xeroth by surprise, causing him to take a step back.

“Hello, Captain Xeroth. I am…”

“Lieutenant Cache, I know,” said Xeroth. “You’re my science officer, correct?”

“Yes, sir.” Cache replied.

“I’ve never worked with an android before…”

“Not many have, sir.”

Xeroth laughed. “Of course.” After waiting a few moments, Xeroth spoke up again. “If you’ll excuse me…”

Cache, confused, slightly tilted his head. Looking at the chair, then back to Xeroth, he nodded and stepped out of the way.

“Of course. I apologize, captain.”

“Thank you…”

As he turned to sit, the bridge became silent. All heads turned to the captain.

When I sit in this chair, Xeroth thought to himself., my life will change forever.

As he sat in the chair, a loud applause erupted from the workers. Xeroth smiled, and nodded. “As you were,” he said, and the crew again returned to work.

Looking to his right, he saw three people working on the Environmental station. He looked only a few feet to see the entrance to the Briefing Room, and on the bulkhead, the ship’s dedication plaque.

Getting up, he walked to the plaque, scanning it with his eyes, his reflection looking back at him with the same look of wonder that he gave the plaque. He read the motto:

“As long as the Sun, Moon, and Earth exist... everything will be alright.” -Hideaki Anno

How true... Xeroth thought. How true.

Lieutenant Commander Sorn’ah, even being the very soft-spoken Klingon that he is, an extremely rare sight, could be heard all over Main Engineering.

jIyajbe’! The conduit burst for the eighth time today! I swear it’s a veqlargh!”

“Commander, please...I’m trying to concentrate on these diagnostics...” Lieutenant Junior Grade Melinda Griswald said, calmly.

Sorn’ah took a deep breath. “I’m sorry, Lieutenant. a Klingon, after all.”

“Don’t worry, that’s ok.” They both smiled at

each other.

“Who is the assistant engineer?” someone yelled from the entrance. Griswald walked up to the loud man.

“Admiral Haugen...hello sir,” she said.

“What do you call this?” He forcefully handed her a padd.

“It’’s the warp core diagnostic I did two days ago, sir.”

“Really? Sure doesn’t seem like much of a diagnostic to me. From reading others from that same day, yours seems to be very flawed.”

“ is that, sir? I had Lieutenant Commander Sorn’ah check it for me before I handed it in.”

“Ah I see, so you need help with this.”

Griswald couldn‘t help but show a small bit of anger on her face. “Well...he didn’t make any corrections, sir...he never has had to...”

“You should know that there is a first time for everything, Lieutenant.” Sorn’ah walked over with a forced smile on his face.

“What seems to be the problem, Admiral?” he said.

“Lieutenant Griswald here seems to have given me a faulty warp core diagnostic.”

Sorn’ah took a quick look at the padd.

“I checked this myself, sir. It wasn’t flawed at all.”

“Not from looking at two other diagnostics from other engineers.”

A regular Klingon would have threatened him to a fight to the death, for taking the word of a subordinate over their superior was a deep insult. Sorn’ah was not a regular Klingon.

“Who were those engineers, Admiral?”

“Lieutenant Honner and Lieutenant Commander Jonas.”

Sorn’ah accessed their files. “I remember telling them to correct a few things in those reports.” He brought up the diagnostic reports. “They don’t appear to have done so. Sorry to say, sir, but you’re wrong.”

Admiral Haugen’s face became red. “Fine then...carry on.” The admiral stormed out of Engineering.

Griswald sighed of relief. “Thanks, Lieutenant. He’s been strict with me since everyone found out...”

“You’re welcome.” replied Sorn'ah. Griswald walked back to her work. “And Lieutenant....” She turned to Sorn’ah. “You can call me Sorn’ah.”

Griswald smiled. “You can call me Melinda.” Sorn’ah smiled back. They both returned to their work.

“I’m telling you, Selak, we need that power to test the phaser energy transfer conduits,” Lieutenant Commander Kel T’Mol said. Her Bajoran half was getting the best of her.

Lieutenant Selak crawled out from under the helm. She stood up to put in commands. “Can you not wait, Lieutenant? I am almost finished.”

Kel calmed down at hearing this. “How much longer?”


Sparks blew out from under the helm.

“I stand corrected,” said Selak. “Two hours.”

“Two hours? You call that almost finished?”


Kel shook her head. Selak‘s Vulcan calm annoyed her. “Look, the phaser test will take me at least five hours, and we launch off in twelve. I still need to inspect the aft torpedo tubes and realign the shield emitters.”

Selak turned to face Kel. “How long will each task take?”

“Well...the shields will be about four hours; the torpedo tubes will take about two...”

“Then can you not inspect the torpedo tubes while I finish programming the helm controls?”

Kel gave up. She had lost this argument. “Alright, you win. But you better be done in two hours.”

“I give you my word.”

“Good, I’m glad,” Kel said sarcastically. She walked to the turbolift, having to dodge a few people before getting there. “Deck 9.” The turbolift started moving. “I need a break.”

The tingling ended. Xeroth appeared on one of the transporter pads of the Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards starbase. Admiral Haugen was in front of him, stern-faced as ever.

“Follow me,” Haugen said, his voice very monotone. He followed him out of the transporter room to a turbolift. “Deck 12.”

“What is it we need to discuss, sir?”

“Your mission, Xeroth.”

He'd had been waiting for this since he first stepped onto the bridge; he was finally going to receive his first assignment as a captain.

The turbolift stopped and the doors opened with a small ’swoosh’ sound. As they walked into the corridor, Xeroth asked, “What is our mission, sir?” He stared into the eyes of the admiral. There was no indication of emotions on his face or in his eyes.

He’s better than most Vulcans, Xeroth thought.

“Let’s wait until we get into my quarters, Xeroth.” Haugen replied with a stern voice.

Both were silent until they reached the admiral’s quarters. As they walked in, he saw models of the six ships on the wall that the admiral had previously commanded. He looked back to the admiral as he sat in his chair.

“Take a seat Xeroth.”

“I’d prefer to stand, if you don’t mind, sir.”

“Sit down, Xeroth.”

“Yes sir,” Xeroth replied quickly as he sat in the chair.

“About your mission...” Haugen handed him a padd. “We received a distress call from the Hawkings Colony. Here is the transmission.” Haugen pressed in a few command on his computer and the transmission started.

“My God... it’s not like any thing I’ve seen before! People...air, buil...collap..colony be...ripp.. out...ground! Sarah, keep th…kids…the house! It‘s…my god no!”

The transmission stopped. Xeroth took a moment to absorb everything he had heard. He looked at the admiral, expecting to see sympathy on his face. Instead, Haugen was still stoned-faced. The admiral's apathy disturbed him.

“Starfleet Headquarters received the distress call at 0728 hours. As you can see, the transmission was severely damaged.”

“If I may ask sir, do you have any idea you did this?”

“I have an idea, but I’d rather not disclose it at this time. The Preserver is to go to the Hawkings Colony and assess the situation. Dismissed.”

“Yes sir.” Xeroth rose from his chair to the door. Before he left, he turned to Haugen. “Sir, why do you not tell me your suspicions? Wouldn't I be able to carry out my mission easier if I knew what I was looking for?"

“I have my reasons, Xeroth. Now, please get back to your vessel and be ready to depart.”

“But…yes sir.”

Lane considered forcing the issue, but decided not to risk court martial. With his attitude, he wouldn't put it past him.

Not exactly what I expected…

He turned and left for the transporter room.

Hours later, Xeroth entered the bridge. The bridge crew stood and faced him.

“Captain on the bridge!” Woskosky announced.

The engineers that were working on his vessel were gone. All that were left are his crew, and he liked it that way.

“As you were," Xeroth said as he walked to his chair and quickly sat down. “Operations?”

Lieutenant Mark Norwood, the ship's operations officer, was daydreaming, a small flaw of his. “Oh, yes, ready sir,” he said with his thick Australian accent.


“Ready,” Selak said.


“Ready,” said Kel.

The sound of the umbilical cables disengaging from the Preserver echoed through the bridge.

“Xeroth to Engineering. Ready Sorn’ah?”

“Ready.” Sorn’ah replied.

“Xeroth to Hemmingway. Ready medical?”

Commander Minerva Hemmingway, chief medical officer, was bored. She had completed everything well before the due time. She sighed. “Ready, sir.”

“Ok, then. Helm, one-fourth impulse…”

The impulse engines, for the first time, powered up and could faintly be heard across the ship. As the ship started to move, the docking clamps detached from the hull.

Space appeared for the first time on the new viewscreen as they pulled out of the construction bay. Mars, the stars, and multiple drydocks could all be seen.

“Lieutenant Selak, set a course to the Hawkings Colony. Warp eight.”

“Course set sir. We have left Utopia Planitia.”

Xeroth smiled. “Engage!”

The mighty warp engines of the Preserver surrounded the ship with a warp bubble, propelling it to speeds faster than light.









Chapter 2

Alpha Quadrant

U.S.S. Preserver

En route to the Hawkings Colony

‘Captain’s Log: Stardate 58426.8. This is my first entry as captain of the Preserver. All systems are at full operating capacity and no problems have arisen so far. Lieutenant Sorn’ah is very competent.

I’m still perplexed by the transmission I heard in Admiral Haugen’s quarters…the colony ripped out of the ground? It’s strange, to say the least…and I've never been one to like being kept in the dark...'

There was a chirp from the ready room door. “Come in.”

It was Woskosky.. “Hi Lane. It’s certainly been a while,” he said with a smile.

“Yes, it has. Please, sit, we have a lot to catch up on.” Woskosky sat down in a chair in front of Xeroth’s desk.

“Wow, how long has it been now, twelve years?” asked Woskosky.

“Somewhere around there. So Will, what have you been up to?”

“Well, after the incident with the Enterprise, I was promoted to lieutenant junior grade, and transferred to the New Hampshire, in the science department. It was later destroyed during a battle in the Dominion War…got in an EVA suit as the ship was being ripped apart by Jem’Hadar warships. Out of 527, I was one of the 14 that survived. Served in San Francisco for a while, until it was attacked by the Breen. Helped with the rebuilding process. I studied on Titan for a few months, then I was transferred here. How about you, Lane? You sure as hell rose up through the ranks quickly. It’s close to Picard’s record, isn’t it?”

“Yeah, something like that.” Xeroth replied, coldly. He rose and walked to the replicator. “Bloodwine, cold.”

Synthenol or alcohol?”


A small glass of bloodwine appeared in front of Xeroth. He grabbed it and sat back down.

“You like bloodwine? Can’t stand the stuff…then again, I can't really stand most Klingon cuisine,” said Woskosky.

“It grows on you.”

“So what have you been up to?”

Xeroth took a small sip of the bloodwine. “Well, after the Enterprise crashed, I worked at Utopia Planitia for a few years, studied various starships designs. Even had a hand in designing the Akira and Steamrunner-classes. I later served on the Faith as tactical officer, the Evangelion as tactical chief, during the War, the Stiles as first officer, now…my first command. I’m still a bit daunted.”

“I would be too.”

For nearly two hours, the captain and his first officer caught up on old times, separated for a decade by duty and war.

A small beep interrupted them. It was from Woskosky’s commbadge.

“This is Woskosky, go ahead.”

“Sir, you’re needed in Science Lab 2.”

“On my way.” He got up from his chair. “Good to see you again, Lane.”

“You too, Will.”

Woskosky left Xeroth's ready room, leaving Xeroth to himself. After a short silence and an empty glass of bloodwine, he turned to his computer, and accessed the personal file of Captain Jean-Luc Picard.


Few people had taken a break during the preparation of the Preserver. One of those people was Mark Norwood. People always called him an “overachiever”. He didn’t know why. He just tried his hardest, that’s all.

Norwood had always liked the holodeck. When he was a teenager in Melbourne, he would have phaser duels with his Uncle Caillan on the holodeck. That hobby continued in adulthood.

During the ship's construction, he had programmed his favorite dueling program into the holodeck computer.

He walked into the holodeck. “Computer, begin program Norwood Alpha 2.”

'That program is already in use," replied the computer.

"What?" He put in the command to open to doors and walked in. Immediately, a beam of energy shot past him. Grabbing his phaser, he ran behind a wall, breathing heavily. He knew whoever it was who had accessed the program was on the other side, and he knew they were good.

Knowing his current position wasn't safe, he searched for a new spot. He spotted a hovercar on its side he could hide behind. But he’d have to make a jump for it.

Norwood took a few steps back, and made a run for it. As he came out from behind the wall, he turned and fired, hoping to hit anything. He did. What he hit screamed.

Distracted, he rolled behind the hovercar, slipped on his landing foot, and landed on his head.

The world spun around him. All he could understand was a female voice. Soft, comforting…

“Kel to Transporter Room 1, two to beam to sickbay.” As he dissolved into energy, he looked up at the person above him. He thought of how beautiful she was as he lost consciousness.

Hours later, the Preserver dropped out of warp as it arrived at Verina III, the location on the former Hawkings Colony.

“Sir, we’ve arrived at the destination,” Lieutenant O’Hallery said from the Ops console, filling in for Norwood while he recovered in Sickbay.

“Lieutenant Selak,” Xeroth said, “drop to impulse and initiate standard orbit procedures.”

“Aye sir.”

Xeroth turned to the Ops station. “Lieutenant O’Hallery, scan for the Hawkings Colony.”

“For it, sir?”

“Yes. Do it.”

“Yes sir.”

“Captain,” O’Hallery said, “the Hawkings Colony…it’s gone, sir. No trace of it at all. It’s as if it’s just been…”

“Scooped away,” finished Xeroth.

“Yes sir…” replied O'Hallery.

"On screen,"

A moment later, what was left of the Hawkings Colony appeared on the viewscreen. In a field of beautiful hues of blue and green, the crater that was now the colony was a perfectly round, ugly scar.

Commander Hemmingway, unable to get a message to the captain through the comm system, stepped out of the turbolift.

“Captain, this has to be impossible…” Kel said.


“I’m detecting…a Borg energy signature…”

The bridge grew silent, save for a few gasps. Hemmingway started to shake. As she started to fall to the deck, Kel caught her.

The situation, Xeroth thought, just got a lot more complicated.


Chapter 3

Alpha Quadrant

The Bajoran Sector

Station Deep Space Nine

Colonel Kira Nerys sat at her desk in her office on Deep Space Nine. She peered out the porthole to see the Bajoran Wormhole, an intergalactic tunnel from the Alpha Quadrant to the Gamma Quadrant, open up. A small object came through. The wormhole closed back up not long later. It was believed by the Bajorans to be the Celestial Temple of the Prophets, their gods. To others, they were omnipotent aliens who resided within it. Either way, her friend, the former Starfleet captain, commander of DS9, Bajoran Emissary to the Prophets, and Dominion War hero Benjamin Sisko, had become one a few years ago, fulfilling a millennial prophecy. Kira had been left in charge.

After years in war, life seemed…unusual. War had become her way of life. Wondering if she’d still be alive the next morning had become something she accepted. Now she worried about what Quark was illegally trading and what came out of her end of the wormhole.

Kira has spaced out, and noticed someone at her door. “Enter.”

Lieutenant Rolawski walked in, padd in hand.

“A transmission was received from the Defiant through the wormhole, ma’am.” Kira took the padd. “It’s a Priority One message.”

Kira looked up, very surprised. “Dismissed.” As Rolawski left, Kira entered her access code. Priority One messages were extremely rare, used only when there was a threat to the Federation.

The message read:

To: Colonel Kira Nerys, Commander, Deep Space Nine

From: Erin Archer, Captain, U.S.S. Defiant

Sent: 58463.6

Received: 58463.7


Hello, Colonel Kira. Captain Archer here with, frankly, disturbing news.

I must keep this short, but in summary, the Dominion ambassador has informed me that there has been, of all things, possible Borg activity along their borders. I ask you to forward this to Starfleet Command. The Dominion is setting up heavy defenses around the wormhole, and they ask Starfleet to do the same. Send me their reply for the ambassador as soon as you can. Archer out.


Kira now wished she could keep her current life.

The away team materialized on the planet surface. It consisted of Woskosky, Cache, Kel, and two security guards, each armed with phaser rifles. They were in a large, grassy field of cerulean blue.

“Commander,” Cache said, tricorder in hand. “This way.” They all walked in the direction that cache had pointed, eventually finding the crater. It was a perfect circle.

Kel scanned the crater with her tricorder. “It’s Borg, alright. A tractor beam of some sort.”

Cache added to that. “The last time this happened, in 2365 on Jouret IV, the first attack on Earth by the Borg happened soon after.”

“But why would they need a sample of our technology again?” asked Woskosky.

“Well,” said Cache, “I first would like to know how the Borg are still in operation. It is believed that when Unimatrix One was destroyed, the Borg Collective no longer existed. Assuming they have some sort of a “backup”, so to speak, perhaps they have forgotten some of their knowledge.“

“We should return to the ship to alert Starfleet.” Woskosky said. He tapped his commbadge. “Woskosky to Preserver. Five to beam up.”

“Wait,” said Kel. He belayed the order. “I’m detecting a lifesign up ahead, but it’s faint.” Kel ran along the edge of the crater with the rest of the away team behind. Kel stopped and kneeled down to find a small Andorian child, face down. Cache scanned him with his tricorder.

“He’s alive,” reported Cache. “But barely.”

“Woskosky to Preserver. Six to beam directly to sickbay.” The away team dispersed into energy.

Less than a second later, they appeared in Sickbay, with a medical team already awaiting them. They carefully lifted him up and placed him on the primary biobed and went to work on him.

“Will he be alright?” asked Woskosky.

“I don’t know,” said Hemmingway, running from one end of Sickbay to the other, tricorder in one hand, hypospray in the other. “But I must ask all of you to leave, you’re in the way.”

Though ruffled by the doctor’s apparent lack of bedside manner, Woskosky and the away team filed out of Sickbay.

Kel had filled her report to the captain, and decided to check on the man she helped in the holodeck and the child from the colony.

I know I’ve seen him somewhere before, she thought. I hope he’s ok.

It was 0128, but she figured she’d do this before meditation and sleep. As she entered Sickbay, her eyes had to adjust for the dim light. She turned toward the biobeds and saw him and the child. She read the display:

Norwood, Mark. Lieutenant.

I knew I’d seen him before. He’s the Ops officer. Kel went to look for Commander Hemmingway. Kel thought of how sullen she seemed to be whenever she saw her.

She didn’t see her anywhere around Sickbay. “Computer, locate Dr. Hemmingway.”

Doctor Hemmingway is in Sickbay,” replied the computer.

She decided to check the office. Kel found Hemmingway there. Crying.

Kel rushed to her, holding her. “What’s wrong?”

It took a while for her to respond. Finally, she took a deep breath, and calmed down. “I…” she started. “It’s just…memories.”

How can I help this woman? I’m not exactly a counselor…may as well try…

“What kind of memories?”

“My family…they were all killed at Wolf 359...I saw the file of their ship destroyed by the Cube…”

Now Kel understood. The recent Borg activity. “I’m so sorry…”

No wonder she’s so sullen…but haven’t most people gotten over that?

“That’s why you stumbled on the bridge?”

Hemmingway nodded. “It was pure shock…after reading the report of how Admiral Janeway destroyed Unimatrix One, and the collective collapsing, I was so relieved…no longer would anyone have to go through anything that I did, you know? It was my parent’s birthday a week ago, actually…”

Kel wanted to help the doctor more, but she had no idea what to do, or even of what to say.

“I was so embarrassed on the bridge…I don’t want to show such strong emotion in front of the crew...’physician, heal thy self‘, you know?”

“I know the feeling…”

Hemmingway looked up, her jet black hair ruffled and her jade green eyes reddened by tears. “How so?”

“I’m both Bajoran and Vulcan. Living on Vulcan as a child was...not easy for me…”

“Of course…I’m sorry…”

“You don’t have to apologize.”

Kel figured it out. Strong emotions…well...

“Doctor Hemmingway…I think I know a way to help you deal with your feelings…”

“You mean how to get rid of them?”

“No. To control them. I’ve learned that pretending that your feelings aren’t there only hurts more.”

“Yes, yes…well, I suppose…”

“Great! Meet me tomorrow, 2100 hours if you can.”

“I’ll try…”

“You’ll be there?”


“See you there.” Kel walked away.

“Oh, Lieutenant Kel?”


“Lieutenant Norwood will be fine soon. He suffered a small concussion.”

Kel had forgotten about that all together. “Oh, thank you doctor. How did you know...?”

“I’m a Betazoid.”

“Oh...“ Kel blinked. “Well, good night.”

Seems as if I’m doing double duty, she thought. Tactical officer and counselor.

Chapter 4

Alpha Quadrant

U.S.S. Preserver

In orbit around Verina III

'Captain’s Log: Supplemental. Everyone I know can recall where they were, and what they were, doing, when it was reported that Voyager had returned home. Not only did they, after seven years, return from being stranded in the Delta Quadrant, they brought shield and weapons technology from the future, a new form of faster than light propulsion, and an amazing amount of information on the Delta Quadrant, they brought news that the Borg hive mind had been destroyed! It almost made up for all the millions of deaths of the Dominion War. It almost made up for the 11,000 that died at Wolf 359 at the hands of the Borg, two of which…

I have sent a science team to the planet surface to gather anything they can that could help us on assessing everything that happened here. Of what exactly, I’m not sure. Then again, I’m not too sure a good number of things now…’

Xeroth shut off his log and gave a small sigh. After taking a small sip of his glass of raktajino, he accessed the Preserver’s subspace radio. He got an error message in response.

“Xeroth to Lieutenant Sorn’ah.”

Sorn’ah here.”

“I’m trying to send a message, but the subspace radio is down.”

There was a short silence. “You should be able to now, captain.”

“Thank you. Xeroth out.” Developing a personality already, are we Preserver? He tried the subspace radio again.

“Destination please,” said the computer.

“Utopia Planitia Starbase, office of Admiral Joseph Haugen. Priority One and initiate encryption program Xeroth Beta Phi 9.”

After a minute’s wait, the face of Joe Haugen appeared.

Captain, so soon?”

“Admiral, we believe we know what happened to the Hawkings Colony. The crater where the colony used to be shows evidence that a Borg tractor beam was used.”

Not surprising.”

“Could you elaborate, sir?”

The admiral sighed. “Before I do, Xeroth, you must not tell anyone other than your senior staff, do you understand?”

“Yes sir.”

The admiral’s voice became very low. “We’re not the first to have problems with the Borg. In the past week, Starfleet Intelligence has been receiving reports that the Klingons, the Romulans, the Dominion, the Cardassians, and even the Ferengi and the Gorn have either encountered Borg ships or have had colonies disappear.”

It’s an invasion… Xeroth thought. ”What types of ships?”

“According the reports, Scouts and Spheres Luckily no Cubes.”

“Do they have the ablative armor and transphasic torpedoes?”

“If they did, I doubt we’d be alive to have this discussion.”

“Whatever happened to the technology, Admiral? The reports said nothing of what had happened to it all.”

“The fate of the weapons technology that Voyager brought from the future was yet to be decided between the major powers, but for now…I believe Temporal Investigations has taken all samples of the technology until the conference in a few months…which your ship will be attending, by the way.

“I am sending another ship to your current location to replace you, the Spiegel. Once the Spiegel arrives, you are to leave and proceed to Starbase 68 for you new mission objectives and a quick ship-wide assessment. Admiral Fox will brief you once you arrive.

"All good things must come to an end, captain. It's a well known fact. Haugen out.”

“All good things must come to an end…I hate that quote…”

Yet it turns out to be true most of the time… he thought.

The bridge was filled with flames. Half of the crew lay on the ground, dead. There was no sound to the explosions or the screams. There was no sound of the Borg weapons slicing through the hull of the Westminster Abbey.

Three green shafts of light appeared, quickly forming into Borg drones. The ship's computer was too badly damaged to sound the intruder alert, as if it was just giving up.

What was left of the crew silently fired their phasers to no effect. Silently ran for the turbolift.

Silently screamed as the drone’s assimilation tubules pierced their necks, inserting the millions of nanoprobes that would, within seconds, make them one with the Borg.

One woman, sitting in the center chair, tried to save those she commanded, those she had worked with and loved.

A drone grabbed her from behind, ignoring her struggle and plunged its tubules into her neck.

As her skin turned gray, she let out a scream that pierced the silence.


Hemmingway awoke, startled. As she caught her breath, she looked at the chonometer on the table next to her bed.

“Four hours of sleep…same as usual..”

As she got undressed to get into the sonic shower, the computer beeped.

There are two messages.’

She turned on the sonic shower. “Play them.”

After a small confirmation sound, it started.

“This is Captain Xeroth. There will be a meeting of the senior staff in the briefing room at 1000 hours. Come with an open mind. Xeroth out.”

Next message.’

“This is Kel. Just reminding you of our meeting tonight at 2100.”

“Doubt I’ll have any time…” she muttered.

“I really hope you can make it. Thanks.”

She gave a small sigh. “If it’ll stop those damn dreams…”

Having waken up late, Sorn’ah was in a rush as he finished a diagnostics report. Lieutenant Griswald was next to him, taking notes.

“Will you be ok here, Melinda?” he asked.

“Yes, I’m fine,” she responded. “Thank you.”

Lieutenant Eric Cresser, working only a few feet away, turned to face the both of them.

“Wait a minute,” he asked, “you’re leaving her in charge?”

“Of course, she is the assistant engineer,” said Sorn’ah.


Griswald backed off, gazing to the floor.

“But what, lieutenant?” asked Sorn’ah.

Cresser paused. “Permission to speak freely, sir?”

“Permission granted.”

“How can you think of leaving her in charge? You don’t know what she’ll do! For all we know, she’s one of those rebel spies!”

Cresser’s outburst caught the attention of the engineering crew.

“That’s enough, lieutenant,” said Sorn’ah.

“No! Her species and their slaves killed my entire family, and I for one will not serve under such a monstrosity, no matter for how short of time!”

“That’s enough, lieutenant!” Sorn’ah roared, causing Cresser to stand back in shock. “I am the chief engineer, Lieutenant Griswald is my assistant, and she will be in charge while I am outside of engineering! I don’t care if she personally choked your mother to death, if she is in charge, you will listen to her!”

A deathly silence engulfed Main Engineering. Cresser’s legs were shaking. After partially regaining his composure, he spoke up.

“Permission...” he choked, clearing his throat and turned to Griswald. “Permission to return to my’am...”

She looked up, although she did not meet his gaze. “Permission granted.”

Putting down his padd, Cresser shakily turned and walked out of engineering. Sorn’ah turned and face the rest of the crew.

“That goes for the rest of you!” he screamed. Turning back to Griswald, he nodded. “Don’t worry,” he whispered. “You’ll be fine.”

Patting her on the back, he left engineering as the crew started to return to work, knowing never to anger their chief ever again.

Sorn’ah was the last to arrive in the briefing room.

“I apologize for being late, sir. I had a small…disagreement with Ensign Cresser about leaving Lieutenant Griswald in charge.”

“That’s quite alright; I’ll have a talk with him about it later. Prejudice is the last thing we need,” said Xeroth. “Anyways, before I say anything else, you are all under Starfleet General Order 3. What I am about to tell you is not only vital to the Federation, but possibly to the entire galaxy. It is not to leave this room at all until I or Starfleet says so.

“People, there is no mistake about it. The Borg are back.”

Save for the humming of the power conduits behind the bulkheads, there was absolute silence.

“Mr. Cache, do you have any theories on how this is possible?” asked Xeroth.

“I do not know how, sir,” he replied. “When Unimatrix 01 was destroyed, it was observed by various sources that all the branches of the Collective were disconnected from each other.” Cache tapped a panel in the table, and the small viewscreen on the wall came to life. “This is a video from the IKS Kaloth, a small Klingon freighter.”

An image of a Sphere attacking another small freighter appeared. It stopped suddenly. Seconds later, it self-destructed, sending the disabled freighter it was attacking spiraling in flames. The image changed to static.

“The Borg, rather than let other species have a sample of their technology when they are vulnerable, fuse anything worthwhile.” Cache paused for a few seconds, then continued. “It is possible that a few ships did not do this.”

“But I thought they couldn’t function without a central hive?” asked Kel.

“That is what we have observed,” Cache replied. “Until I have more information, anything else I say will be speculation, and nothing more.”

“Thank you, lieutenant. That was very insightful. Commander Hemmingway, how is the child?”

“He’s in a deep coma,” she replied, quietly, “and barely alive. We have him on life support, but I don’t know how long he’ll last.”

“Keep trying, doctor,” said Xeroth. “If he ever does wake up, he could have some useful information.

“Ok...” Xeroth thought for a second of where to place assignments. “Lieutenant Cache, Will, I want you to search the Borg database...”

“No need captain,” interrupted Cache, “I have the entire Borg database in my neural net.”

Xeroth paused. “Well,” he replied, slightly irritated, “Commander Woskosky does not, and I would prefer more than one opinion when you and him search through the database and come of with some theories, understand?”

Cache blinked, surprised. “Yes sir.”

Xeroth sighed. “Commander Sorn’ah and Lieutenant Kel, I want you to work on a way to strengthen our defenses. They were only here a day ago, and I want to be prepared in case they decide to come back.”

“Aye sir,” they replied in unison.

Xeroth stood, fixing his uniform. “I know this is a comes as a shock to you. I share what you are all feeling. But, we must let that feeling pass, for we have a job to do. I have not been with you all long, but from what I have seen, you will be more than able to do what we wear these uniforms for.” Xeroth paused. “We are to stay here until the Spiegel arrives, then we will set a course for Starbase 68 for a small upgrade and a complete briefing on the situation. Dismissed.”

After Sorn’ah had returned to Engineering, Griswald, mentally strained, returned to her quarters. She had spent the last hour under the angry stare of many people, who hated her and her species, with a passion.

She opened up her closet and pulled out a small bucket, placing it next to the bed. Sighing, her form started to melt into a russet brown color, morphing from her human form to her true form, common for the Changeling race when they needed to regenerate.

She had never known the Great Link. With having battled her own species in the Dominion War, she was glad.

Lieutenant Cresser’s words echoed in her mind. ‘Her species and their slaves killed my entire family, and I for one will not serve under such a monstrosity, no matter for how short of time!’

How common is it, she thought, for someone to hate her own species? It sure seems easy for others to hate another...

Now a gelatinous puddle on the floor, she warped and moved into the bucket and let her worries drift away.

Chapter 5

U.S.S Preserver

In orbit around Verina III

The bridge was quiet. Not much had happened since the briefing. The third shift was almost over, and Xeroth, Woskosky, Norwood, and three other crewmen were on duty. A beep from the Operations panel interrupted the silence.

"Captain," said Norwood, "the Spiegel is hailing us."

"On screen," replied Xeroth. The image of Captain Skolla, an Andorian, appeared on the viewscreen. Xeroth frowned as Skolla's antennae twitched.

"Well, well," said Skolla, "if it's isn't Lane Xeroth? What a small galaxy we live in." He had a large smile on his navy blue face.

"Hello Skolla," replied Xeroth, slightly annoyed.

"Well, I'd like to chit-chat, captain, but it sounds like you have an appointment." A crewman off screen handed Skolla a padd. "Before you leave, we'll be beaming some cargo for you to deliver to Starbase 68. We will arrive at your position in a few hours."

"Understood," Xeroth replied. "Xeroth out." He signed and leaned both in the chair. The crew, slightly amused by the spectacle, returned to their duties. Woskosky, on Xeroth's right, leaned over to him.

"What was that all about?" he asked.

Xeroth sighed again. "When I was in my first year at Starfleet Academy, Skolla was a senior, and I became his favorite...'plaything'."

"Oh? Was it really that bad?"

"He once dumped a pile of rotten Ktarian eggs on me at the Quantum Café in front of a girl I liked."

Woskosky suppressed a laugh and turned his attention to his station.

"If you'd like, I'll tell you more horror stories when we get to the starbase," said Xeroth.

"I look forward to it," replied Woskosky. His friend smiled, for the first time in a long time in what seemed liked years.

If this is an invasion, thought Xeroth, will I have time to smile?

Hemmingway was in Sickbay, reading reports ranging from inventory to medical files. She had decided to take Kel up on her offer, but had to wait for the replacement to arrive before she could leave.

Rubbing the bridge of her nose, she dropped the padd in her hand and left the office, walking into the infirmary.

In the main biobed lay the child found at the ruins of the colony. Scanning him with the tricorder he found nothing different from before. Scanning his mind with her telepathic and empathic senses, she again found nothing.

“He’s alive,” she murmured, “but it’s as if he has no mind.”

Closing the tricorder, she walked back to her office. Unbeknownst to her, the child started moving.

At first, only his fingers moved, slowly twitching. Eventually, he sat up in the bed, getting Hemmingway’s attention.

Turning to the biobed, she slowly walked toward the child.

“Hello?” she asked.

The child faced her, and jumped off the bed. A bulge started crawling under his skin. Seconds later, a metallic, star-shaped device burst out of his face. His skin quickly became gray, and implants started to erupt across his body. His blank eyes looked directly into Hemmingway’s as he slowly walked towards her. Her knees failed under her and she collapsed to the floor.

“Computer! Erect a forcefield around Biobed 1!” she screamed. The drone walked into the forcefield and was stopped. It looked around, putting up its left and touched it. Small instruments burst from its fingertips and touched the forcefield, causing it to flicker violently.

‘Warning, forcefield collapsing,’ informed the computer.

Hemmingway grabbed the medical console and lifted herself up, tapping her commbadge.

“Sickbay to security!” The commbadge emitted a negative tone. “Sickbay to bridge!” Again, the commbadge failed to work. “Computer, why isn’t the comm system working?”

‘A dampening field has been erected around Sickbay,’ it responded.

A shrill sound echoed off the walls as the forcefield collapsed, sending feedback energy through the EPS conduits. Explosions erupted from the biobeds and the walls. Hemmingway ran into her office.

“Computer, erect a forcefield around Sickbay!”

‘Forcefields have been disabled.’

As the computer responded, the replacement nurse walked in, catching and the drone’s attention. A small rectangular device sprouted from its forearm.

“Watch out!” Hemmingway shouted, but it was too late. The drone raised its are and a green bolt of energy hit the unsuspecting crewman in the chest, sending him flying into the corridor. The bolt had ripped a hole in him and destroyed the bulkhead behind him. He slowly fell to the floor, the residual energy in his body causing him to spasm.

“Captain,” said Norwood, “I’m detecting weapons fire and explosions in the corridor outside Sickbay.”

Xeroth stood up and walked to the Operations panel. “What?”

“And a dampening field has been placed around Sickbay.”

Xeroth tapped his commbadge. “Xeroth to Kel.”

“Kel here, sir.”

“Get security teams down to Sickbay; something is wrong. We’ve detected weapons fire.”

There was a pause. “Aye, sir.”

The drone turned to the doctor’s office. Hemmingway ducked as it fired its beam, crashing through the window and hitting a control panel, destroying it in a ball of flames.

She turned her head and saw the door in the med lab that lead to the corridor, her best chance for escape. Grabbing her desk computer, she through it into the infirmary, distracting the drone. As she ran for the door, it noticed her and fired as she jumped into the corridor. The beam grazed her shoulder and she collapsed to the floor, her arm in a spasm.

Kel and two security teams came around the corner. She stopped and kneeled next to Hemmingway, her entire body now convulsing.

“The child...” sputtered Hemmingway.

“The child?” asked Kel?


Kel’s eyes widened. As Hemmingway’s eyes rolled into her skull, Kel motioned to two security guards.

“Get her off this deck and treat her.”

They nodded and grabbed the doctor, rushing her to the turbolift.

Kel turned around and stopped. She heard an increasing humming noise coming from Sickbay.

“Team!” Kel shouted. “Retreat!”

It was too late. The infirmary door exploded, catching an entire team of security guards and sending the rest down the corridor in the air.

Slowly, Kel sat up, coughing. As the smoke cleared, she saw a large hole in the wall. A small shadow walked through the hole into the corridor, turning to Kel. Metallic hooks sprang from its legs and arms, attaching to the floor. Kel raised her phaser rifle and fired at full power, but to no avail. The drone had already adapted to the frequency and put up a shield in defense.

The flesh around its neck began to separate, revealing circuitry beneath it. Looking Kel in the eyes, it did something that made Kel scream in horror.

Its head toppled off its body and fell to the ground. A black mist appeared from the neck and started to fill the corridor.

Kel jumped up and ran to the turbolift, scanning the cloud with her tricorder. She tapped her commbadge.

“Kel to bridge! The drone has emitted a cloud of nanoprobes and they’re heading for the ventilation ducts!”

“Kel, get off that deck, we’re going to isolate it!” replied Xeroth.


Kel entered the turbolift with three other guards. Two others were running for the turbolift, but time had ran out. Kel manually closed the turbolift doors, leaving them behind.

Chapter 6

"Star Trek: Preserver" and all characters, terms, and related articles are Copyright
(c)2003 Brandon Springer, Tom Draeger and SYNAPSE Studios. And duplicaiton is prohibited.
"Star Trek" is copyright (c)2003 Paramount Pictures. This is a fan fiction and no profit is made from this.
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