Chester Saves the Universe "
By: Chester , The Captain's Cat , [NPC]
Korov , Strange Birdlike Alien , [NPC]
Sylia , Strange Birdlike Alien , [NPC]

Stardate: 58209.23 0130



Chester prowled around the massive network of jefferies tubes on the Zion. He was feeling bored. He did not understand why Captain has stopped making time for him. Chester decided that he was not going home to Captain. The Zion was a big place and he was going to explore it all. There was one major problem, however. Chester was hungry. To his dismay, there were never any mice on the Zion. He remembered fondly when Captain took up on a vacation. He spent the whole time hunting mice, and the birds, the birds were Chester's favorite. There were not any birds on the Zion either.

A hunger pang caused Chester to shutter, and he was about to give in and go back to Captain when his nose caught a odd new scent. Excitement instantly pumped through Chester, he slowed down and crouched low. The hunt was on.

*** Two small and unassuming aliens materialized in a dark recess of jefferies tube 12A, junction 2 in the USS Zion. It had taken the aliens over 80 years to travel from their galaxy to this one. A mere speck of time for these ageless beings who where countless centuries old.

Even if they had appeared in the main corridor, at a mere 3 centimeters tall, the scrawny orthinoid-like aliens may well have gone unnoticed by the crew attending to the high state of alert.

Ironically, the threat posed by the tiny aliens was far more serious than the war being fought. One hundred years before their predecessors made a similar quest, but failed. This was their last effort.

One of the aliens, named Sylia, produced a small device which which hovered where she dropped it into the air. The other alien, whose name was Korov held out a small crystal sphere attached to a scepter-like device which they called a "transmuter." Sylia activated the device which caused the sphere to glow like a bright red dot floating in the darkness.

In just a few moments this tiny transmuter would achieve full power and with it, the aliens would enslave the minds of everyone inside a parsec of it. Once this phase was completed the alien's transmuter would open a gateway to their home galaxy and the invasion would begin. The sentient lifeforms in this quadrant would be helpless to stop it.

***

Chester watched the strange creatures for a moment, he could not believe his luck. This was real prey and it was time for action. Chester pounced on the nearest bird and wasted little time. He pinned the started creature to the floor with his sharp claws and calmly bit its head off. It was Chester's opinion biting off a bird's head is a good way to keep it from getting away. Chester set aside his dinner and closed in on the second birdie. Chester was surprised that the second birdie did not just fly away, then he noticed that the second birdie was chasing a tiny red dot. Chester loved this game. Captain used to play it with him a lot. Forgetting his hunger, Chester pounced on the red dot and to his surprise, he caught it. Chester never caught Captain's red dot. He thought that this one must be broken so he bit down on it and crushed it. Chester was proud of his massive jaws. He then noticed the second birdie trying with all its might to pull what had been the red dot out of his mouth. Chester showed the birdie the claws on this right paw and then gave it one big swat. The birdie stopped moving. It was dinner time.

Return of the Worm"
By: Ian Hunter, Commanding Officer, [PC]

Stardate: 58209.23 0800



The rare moment of silence was interrupted again by an audible signal emanating from Lieutenant Forrester's console.

She acknowledged the alert and studied the information for a few seconds.

"Captain?"

"Yes Lieutenant?"

"Its a coded signal from Lieutenancy Tappert's computer worm."

"Already?"

"Yes Sir."

"She said it could take months to even begin infiltrating the Federation network. How is this possible?"

"I don't know Sir."

Hunter shifted in his chair, some what amused. "Very well, alert Tappert."

"Yes Sir," replied Forrester over the sound of her console's chirps as she signaled Tappert.

"Lieutenant Tappert, please report to the bridge."

There was a long moment of silence.

"Lieutenant Tappert, please report to the bridge. Acknowledge."

Hunter tapped his combadge, "Computer, locate Lieutenant Maxine Tappert please."

The computer immediately chimed back, "Maxine Tappert is in her quarters."

The Captain tapped his combadge again, "Miss Tappert, this is the Captain, please acknowledge."

She did not answer.

"Lieutenant Forrester, please send security to Tappert's quarters."

"Right away, Sir."

Within a matter of a few minutes security answered back. "Tappert was found unconsious in her quarters Sir. She's on her way to sickbay."

"Understood."

Homefire #70"
By: Dr. McIntyre , Medical Officer , [NPC]
Teilani Dane, Chief Medical Officer, [PC]

Stardate: 58209.23 0805



====Sickbay====

McIntyre watched as Lieutenant Tappert materialized on the biobed. He pulled out his tricorder and did a quick scan. She appeared to be in some sort of neuro-shock.

He tapped his combadge, Dr. Dane, medical emergency, please report to Sickbay.

"Dang.. " Teilani muttered, "When can a woman simply enjoy her chocolate mouse!." She grabbed her coat and hurried down the corridors.

"Doctor coming through... to the side!!" she shouted as she started to run the last few yards. Coming to a screeching halt, she tugged her coat..

"Ok so where is the emergency?" she said grabbing one of the medical tricorders from the shelf.

"Its Lieutenant Tappert, she was found unconscious in her quarters."

"Hmmm... where there indications of it being an accident?"

"No Ma'am, we found her all hooked up to her system."

Teilani ran the tricoder along Max's body.. then she frowned. "That's not good..Can you hand me the neurocortical monitor?"

This little device was used to to record a complete encephalographic profile. Carefully Teilani placed it on the parietal bone and programmed it so that the readout was displayed on one of the sickbay's main computer consoles.

Doctor McIntyre watched as the screen began to spill out its information. He bit down on his lip pensively.

"You know she should stop using those neural implants, they are hyper active." said Dane.

"You'll never convince her of that," replied McIntyre not taking his eyes off the monitor.

The medic glanced from the monitor back to the doctors, "What does it mean?"

"It means that her own mind can not keep up, resulting in a shut down.. Frankly it's a sort of rebooting of the system. It's similar like a coma."

The medic took a step back from the biobed. "Can you help her?"

"We can not do much, only make her comfortable and see to it that her mind comes to rest..

The medic dismissed himself.

McIntyre looked at Tellani from across the bed, "it doesn't look as bad as the last time she was here, but...."

He drew a deep breath, "well, what do you want to do? She'll be devastated if we remove the implants, if we don't she may never recover."

Teilani nodded. "True if we could only .. she paused. "What if we modify them in such a way that if she exceeds their program or use that they some how stop working.

McIntyre nodded, what if we used nanites to manage and repair those connections?

Do you know of a Doctor Beverly Crusher?

Teilani shook her head. "Heard of her but never really met her."

"Seems her son, uhm... Will I believe published some remarkable designs. Perhaps we have access to some of that information."

"We must do it quickly," Teilani said. "I don't know how long we can keep her on neural support.

"I'll get right to it," said McIntyre excusing himself.

Homefire #71"
By: Ian Hunter, Commanding Officer, [PC]
Mressha KaTira , Science Offcier , [NPC]
Simon Zent, Chief Science Officer, [RNPC]

Stardate: 58209.23 1050



Lietuenant Zent entered the Science lab and approached the work station manned by Sahril. Watching over her shoulder were the other two science officers, Ensign Dewey and Ensign M'ressha.

"Status report?"

Sahril's fingers lifted from the LCARs input screen as she pushed herself back a little ways and turned her chair toward Zent.

"No Sir, the code that Ms. Tappert used, its a very high level encryption."

Zent ruffled the hair on the back of his head and sighed in frustration, "Will you be able to crack it any time soon?"

"No Sir, I estimate that if all the ship's computational resources were allocated to the task it would take 4,097.3 days."

He turned toward Dewey, "well?"

Dewey looked down at his shoes nerviously. "I checked with OPS and Engineering, no one else has access to Tappert's code."

Zent lectured, "This data could contain vital information. We need to figure this out."

"I have an idea Sir," said M'ressha.

Zent nodded, "okay."

"Ms. Tappert used an avatar, almost as an extension of herself. It may have assimilated that information."

"Its possible, okay see what you can do."

Ka'Tira sat down at the large holomatrix work station in the center of the lab and began locating files. It didn't take her too long.

"I think I found it. Its a level 3 file though."

"I hate to do this," said Zent tapping his combadge, "Captain Hunter to science lab 1 please."

After the captain arrived, Zent updated him on their progress.

The Captain agreed with his recommendation. "Computer, command override, authorization sidney bravo 9."

The computer chirped.

Seconds later, Tappert's avatar appeared on the holopad in the center of the worktable.

Hunter rolled his eyes as Zent moved hurriedly around the table to where Ka'Tira was.

The Captain addressed her, "Krystal."

She turned and blinked at him innocently.

"Krystal, why are you naked?"

She looked down and covered herself and started screaming in a shrill little pitch.

Zent shook his head and reached down to the LCARs and froze her program.

"I'll fix it."

A moment later Krystal disappeared and re-materialized as the standard emergency medical hologram.

Krystal's voice began to eminate from the holographic doctor, "Please state the natur.... Hey!"

"Just another moment Captain, I've substituted the personality extensions, the program is still assimilating."

Krystal continued to protest the change in her appearance and then suddenly stopped and looked forward with blank expression.

"Do you know who I am?" inquired Hunter.

"Yes. Captain Ian Hunter, commanding officer of the USS Zion, serial number..."

Hunter lifted his hand, "that's fine."

He circled the hologram, "What is your name?"

"Krystal."

Hunter nodded, "Krystal, Maxine is unable to assist me in a very important matter, so I need you to take over for her."

"Aye-aye Sir."

"Good. I need you to help Mr. Zent here access some important stuff Maxine was doing for me. Do you understand?"

"Yes Sir!"

Hunter nodded toward Zent, "She's all yours."

Data began to fill a holograph screen directly in front of the holographic avatar, "Do you recognize this?"

"Yes, It's Maxine's data-mining worm."

"Yes it is, now, the Captain and I need the decryption key. Do you know it?"

"Of Course."

"Go ahead then," said Hunter.

With blazing speed the hologram manipulated a 3-dimensional array comprising of more than a thousand symbols which represented the code. Suddenly the screen changed, flashing to a bright green color.

"Done."

Zent nodded, "It worked Captain."

"Thank you Krystal. You are dismissed." Said Hunter.

"You are welcome Captain."

Zent turned off the hologram.

"Get that data up to intel and get it analysed."

"Yes Sir."

Homefire #72"
By: Keighlee Alexi, Crewman, [RNPC]

Stardate: 58209.23 1130



=== Starbase 1 ===

"Where am I?" said Keighlee in a slow mumble.

"You are in sickbay," answered the nurse.

"What happened?"

The nurse cleared her throat producing a sound almost like a snarl and looked over at a man standing near by.

"Well," she continued, "you were drugged by the Commodore. I'm afraid ..."

The nurse was interrupted by a man near by, "But don't worry, the Commodore is in the brig."

She felt her stomach turn.

The man stepped forward, "I need to ask you a few questions."

The nurse interceded on Keighlee's behalf, "she's been through a lot, it can wait until tomorrow."

The man continued anyway, "The Commodore is being investigated for treason," he scrutinized Keighlee's reaction but resigned to the fact that she was just too lethargic.

"Hang 'em."

The officer was poised with smugness, "We believe he was trying to set you up to take the blame if he were caught. Fortunately for you we caught him before he could do that."

"mmm... thanks."

"Now, I'm afraid though, I have some other bad news," the officer informed her.

The nurse muttered something under her breath.

"eh hem," he continued, "The doctor has cleared you for active duty. You are to report immediately to TR-35."

"Right now?"

"Yes," insisted the officer. "DefNet has ordered all hands to their stations. We are on high alert."

Keighlee sighed and closed her eyes.

"Miss?"

Keighlee's brain mustered the power to think things through as the nurse and the officer bickered about her condition.

She had the dawning realization that TR-35 was where she started this nightmare from. Maybe there'd still be someone from the Zion looking for her. Maybe she could get home.

She sat up on the sickbed. She felt woozy as she swung her legs over the side. The nurse held out her arms to steady her. "I'm good," she insisted, "I'm...good."

"You see?" said the officer, "now there's a real soldier."

====================

Before she knew it, she was dressed and onboard a type 6 shuttle craft at full impulse.

Facade "
By: Quint Freedman, Executive Officer, [NPC]
M'Ressha Mikaht, Fighter Pilot, [RNPC]

Stardate: 58209.23 1300



Burner yawned as they continued their surveillance on the Federation ship yard. So far not much was happening. "This has been a rather boring assignment. I thought we could have blown something up by now."

Blitzer stretch in his chair, "yeah,"

"So," began Burner, "Did you ever go down to Engineering and talk to our engineer?"

"I did indeed."

"How did that go for you?"

"Well, let's just say our new engineer, is a man of few words."

"That's the truth," muttered Burner as he touched his control panel. " I wonder if he would say anything if we were about to toss him out the air lock"

Blitzer grinned, "I wonder if RAWR could get anything from him?"

Burner clapped his hands together. "Let's find out. Oh RAWR, where are you," Burner almost sang her name.

The holographic beauty started to materialize on the bridge. Burner noticed a look of distress on her face, but before he could ask her about it she sputtered and disappeared with a audible pop.

Burner looked at Blitzer, then back to the spot where RAWR had been, "What happened? RAWR?"

Blitzer studied his console, "I'm no systems analyst but there seems to be a fluctuation in the ODN network."

"Let's get that engineer up...", Burner's words were cut off by the opening of the bridge door. Their reclusive engineer entered with a look of concern on his face.

"We've got a problem", he said. "Yes we do", said Burner. "RAWR is broken." "I suppose that makes sense", said TJ as he stepped over to a nearby console.

Blitzer raised an eyebrow toward Burner.

TJ pulled up a display of the Federation station outside. "The energy output is all wrong. It's way too high and does not have the right signature.". The energy signature swirled on the display.

Blitzer, "What does that mean?"

"it means that we are looking at a very large hologram", said TJ

"Its a ruse?"

"Yes," said TJ.

Blitzer turned to Burner, "Does that mean we don't get to blow it up?

Suppressing his own disappointment, Burner said, I'm afraid so Big Cat. We don't want them to know we are here. Plot us a course out of here. We need to hook up with the Zion.

The LCARs panel beeped in response to the catian's touch. "Laid in."

Burner touched his console and the state of the art engines of the Pegasus throbbed to life. "We're outta here," said Burner.

TJ quietly left the bridge and returned to engineering.

The News "
By: Ian Hunter, Commanding Officer, [PC]
Jonathan Wright, Executive Officer, [PC]
Max Fischer , Intellegence Officer , [NPC]

Stardate: 58209.23 1305



USS Zion: Intel Department

Lieutenant Max Fisher was working a double shift. The whole intel department was. It's not every day that you get handed active Federation security access codes. This could not believe his luck. This was every intel analyst's dream come true.

Max was monitoring several Federation transmutations. High on his priority list was the safety of their mission. Max could see that the Feds had not detected their occupation of the tachyon sub-station. He was concerned about their under cover engineer who was removed from the sub-station.

So far, she seemed safe. Max had the computer flag transmutations so that he would be notified of any change in her status.

The Pegasus was monitoring a shipyard that was reported to building a new class of ship. "That's interesting," murmured Max. The stations status report read more like a intel report than a shipyard. He pulled up their supply requisitions and was surprised to see a very lean supply list.

Max forwarded this information to command. This smelled more like a trap than a shipyard.

Max continued sifting through the data until he came across information about his former boss, Alyssa Northrup. She has been killed early in their mission. It seems that someone had determined her true identity and was aggressively investigating her. This concerned Max s it might force an early end to their mission if the Feds connected her to the Maquis.

He flagged this as well and included this information in his report tonthe captain.

Max also found a treasure trove of troop strength and movements. Max flagged these as well and saved them for military review. Max then turned his attention to a rather odd note about the Federation president meeting with a diplomatic delegation from the Romulan Star Empire. Try as he might, Max was unable to find out any details of this meeting. He flagged as well.

Max paused to rub his eyes. Then his eyes landed on a startling piece of intel. At first, it was just a name. It was a name familiar to him so he decoded the message. As he read the message his heart fell.

"Computer, what is the location of Lieutenant Silvio?"

"Lieutenant Silvio is in main engineering."

Max hated to be the bearer of bad news, but he couldn't just ignore this one. He was supposed to report his findings to the commander, but Max decided to waiver a bit non protocol. Silvio was his friend. "Fisher to Silvio"

"Go ahead Max"

"I've found some startling intel. I think you should see it. Can you come to my office?"

"I'm on my way."

Max picked a PADD up off his desk and transferred his report to it. When Silvio arrived he simply handed him the PADD.

Max watched the color drain from His friend's face as he read the report.

Silvio's jaw set. "Thank you," he said as he spun on his heal and left.

Out in the corridor Silvio slapped his communicator badge, " Silvio to Captain Hunter."

He swiftly walked down the corridor and boarded the turbo lift while he waited for a reply.

After several moments passed, Hunter answered his hail.

"I need to speak with you Captain. It's important."

"I'm in holodeck 3. Mr. Silvio, if it is urgent, you can meet me here, or I will be in my ready room at 1350"

Silvio appeared to enter on to a 3 foot ledge of a large large rock structure, not unlike something out of Earth's Mayan history. Below him was a sprawling alien jungle steeped in humidity.

Hunter slung a knapsack from his shoulder onto a rock ledge and pulled a gym towel from it, wiping the sweat from his forehead. He sat down next to the knapsack as Silvio approached.

"Sorry to bother you sir," said Silvio

"Have a seat," invited Hunter.

Silvio did not feel much like sitting, but he needed Hunter's help. Silvio sat down after handing Hunter the pad. "Intel came across this information. They are going to execute my father for crimes against the Federation."

Hunter reviewed the intel and handed it back to Silvio.

"What do you want me to do?" he said baiting him.

Silvio did not know how to put it so he just blurted it out. "Can we go to Earth and rescue him?"

Hunter shook his head, as he handed back the PAD, "Sorry. Its not that easy."

Silvio's heart rate quickened. "I request a leave of absence."

Hunter shook his head again, "You can't succeed in busting your father out of deathrow. Sorry, no..."

Silvio's jaw clenched. "Thank you for your time." He spun on his heel and left the holodeck. He boarded the nearest turbolift. As the doors closed he slammed his fist into the wall.

In the holodeck, the arch had disappeared and Hunter was still sitting on the pyramid.

"Computer," said Hunter. The computer chimed a response. "Load personal program, 'Colorado.' he said.

The scene changed and Hunter was now sitting on a ledge of a mountain.

Long Ride Back "
By: Keighlee Alexis , Engineer , [NPC]

Stardate: 58209.23 1542



Keighlee sat in the co-pilot seat of an old Federation shuttle. Her destination was T35, the Federation Taychon station near Neptune. While only ten minutes had elapsed since they left Earth's atmosphere, she felt like it had already been hours. She swiveled slowly back and forth.

Aside from the subdued pleasantries as she boarded the shuttle, she had not spoken a word to the only other occupant, the pilot.

She paused to regard him. A grey-haired man who must have been at least 65 years-old. His face was cragged with age and his skin was tanned and weathered. Her stare didn't go unnoticed and the man turned his head.

She averted her eyes and swiveled her chair to face the rear of shuttle. It was almost completely filled with containers of various sizes.

"Were you going to say something Missy?"

She swiveled back, "Uhm, no.. uh." She shook her head.

The old pilot smiled back at her and regarded her impish swiveling.

"How old are you, 17? 18?"

"No," said Keighlee defensively, "I'm 24."

The pilot scoffed, "Still to young to be in a war if you ask me, Miss."

She folded her arms and swiveled again to face the rear so she could lean back in her chair. She didn't say anything.

Another ten minutes of silence passed before it was interrupted by the pilot.

"I'm sorry if I offended you. It's just that you remind me of my grand daughter."

What she heard seemed a little contrived, but she stopped rocking and turned her head a little.

"...she's dead of course."

Keighlee winced a little. She tried to resist. She had her own problems to worry about but she was too sensitive of a creature herself to be rude or ignore the old man.

"I'm sorry..." her voice trailing off, "the war?"

The man drew a deep breath, "yes. I'm ashamed to admit, she defected and was killed in action."

In that moment she was forced once again to recognize the pain and anguish she must have cast on her mother, step-father and her own grandfather." Tears welled up in Keighlee's eyes almost immediately.

The old man turned toward Keighlee. Seeing her, he didn't know what to say.

Keighlee wiped her eyes, "I'm sorry, I...lost my father in the war."

Keighlee worked to regain control of her emotions. She still felt lethargic from the serum given her by the Federation.

"I apologize, the war gets to us all," he said.

She nodded and looked back at the pilot. "How long to we get to T35?" she asked him in an obvious attempt to change the conversation.

"For you, I'm afraid you are stuck her for 4 to 5 hours. Supplies get delivered first."

She sighed and slumped deeper into the chair.

After a while Keighlee turned to the front and leaned forward. She looked at the output on the LCARS. She pressed a few screen prompts accessed the system functions.

It was an old shuttle. "All systems running normal," she reported instinctively.

The pilot nodded.

She keyed in her counterfeited id, the system engaged and she began to explore what she had access to. It was pretty limited. She could access technical information on T35. It was back and operating under normal Federation specifications.

There were notes regarding her make shift repairs. She read the report describing her actions above and beyond the call of duty. She smiled slightly.

That was all the information she had access to. She switched back to the shuttle information systems and in boredom took to reading the shuttle's maintenance logs.

At one point in the shuttle's history a malfunction in the impulse drive caused the starboard nacelle to fuse. A potentially dangerous situation had not old shuttle been retrofitted with minimal safety measures.

She turned off the log and set the LCARS back to monitoring engineering functions. She leaned back in her chair and found she couldn't keep a wake. She let herself drift off to a light sleep.

Homefire #76"
By: Ian Hunter, Commanding Officer, [PC]
Jonathan Wright, Executive Officer, [PC]
Jax , Information Broker , [NPC]
Melissa Jarvis, Chief Security Officer, [RNPC]

Stardate: 58209.23 1644



"She's Got a Ticket to Ride" ======Captain's Ready Room============= Hunter was uncharacteristically sitting back in his chair, his feet up on the desk as Wright entered the ready room he had been summoned to.

"Hello Captain"

Hunter set the napkin with Jax's note down and with a slight flick of the wrist the napkin floated across his desk until it came to rest in front of Wright.

"What's this?" Wright's bow curled in confusion.

"You recall my niece, Jax?"

"Yes sir."

Hunter slid his feet off the desk desk and leaned forward, steepling his fingers.

"Based on previous experiences, she probably has some very important intel...but,"

"...but always with a hitch."

"It is an interesting message. It would seem we are on a mission without an objective at the moment," said Wright. "We have time to see what she has to say."

"I intend to find out what she is up to."

Wright stood up, "I'll start making arrangements."

Hunter stood up, "Nothing elaborate, 30 minutes."

He nodded as Wright dismissed himself.

A moment later he entered the bridge himself,

"Helm, set a course for the Saturn moon, Titan."

"Aye-aye."

The Captain crossed the bridge to the ops station.

"Forrester, what is the status of the Pegasus?"

She turned slightly, "the Pegasus has resumed surveillance detail."

"Very good, keep a close tab on them, I'm leading an away team to Titan. you have the bridge

He walked up to the tubolift and turned, "let me know when we arrive, I will be in transporter room 3"

"Yes Sir."

After stopping at his quarters to change into civilian clothing, he stepped back onto the turbolift and tapped his combadge. "Commander Wright, who's coming with me?"

"lieutenant Jarvis and myself," said Wright.

"Good. Meet me in Transporter Room 3. I'm there now," he said as the doors whizzed close.

"Yes sir."

With the tap of his pad, Hunter sent the coordinates given him by Jax to the transporter officer's console. "What can you tell me?"

The transporter officer had already initiated a scan, It's in an area one kilometer beneath the surface, no security fields in place. It appears to be adjacent to a mining complex... One strong lifesign for sure, hard to tell for certain with the atmosphere."

"Three to beam down," said Hunter as the rest of the landing party arrived.

He acknowledged them with nod as he stepped on to the transporter pad.

"Phasers on stun."

Wright and Jarvis adjusted their weapon settings and stood waiting for transport.

"Energize."

Wright felt the pull of the transporter effect. He watched as the transporter room faded away. When it was done Wright found himself standing in a small control room.

Jarvis looked around the room, drew her phaser and left the room.

Sitting at the main console was Hunter's niece Jax. Wright's eyes darted around the room and found three bodies on the floor. They were dressed in civilian clothes. Wright looked at Jax, his eyes narrowed.

Jax sighed and rolled her eyes. Directing her attention to Wright she said, "They are still alive."

Wright nodded his head, but said nothing.

"Welcome to the main operations of the Titan Mining Center," said Jax. "I was starting to think you did not understand my message."

"Well, you know me kiddo. Everything by the book."

There was a brief pause, "What's going on?" asked Hunter.

"This is an automated mining facility," she said. "There are six staff members on site." she gestured at the three sleeping miners. "These three and three more off duty miners. They are all sleeping."

Jarvis entered the room. "The compound is secure sir. There are three more like these guys in the barracks."

Hunter nodded at Jarvis as he rubbed his chin, "Okay, so why are we here?" he asked slowly.

"I was on Earth gathering intel for my father. My cover was blown so I was making my way out of federation territory. I saw you on Mars and thought I'd ask you for a ride home."

Hunter regarded her, squinting slightly. Obviously there was more to her request, otherwise she would have asked to come with when she was on the shuttle.

"Is that all?"

Jax laughed softly. "What a silly question uncle. I wouldn't expect you to give me a ride for free."

"Of course not, you learned that from Rex."

"Like I said, I was on Earth. My father has been concerned about odd communications between Remus and the Federation. He sent me to earth to keep an eye on things."

Hunter cleared his throat. Remus was rumoured to be a mining planet operated by a population the Romulans considered second class citizens. He searched his thoughts but drew a blank at how it could have any significance.

"Remus? What?"

Jax nodded. "something is happening in Romulan Star empire. I'm not sure what it is, but it's big. The Romulans have sent a delegation to Earth."

Hunter glanced at Wright who was listening intently. Fischer had mentioned a Romulan delegation coming to Earth also. Jax's intel seemed to be corroborate.

Rex Tull had taught Jax well, fish some more, he thought to himself, he kept his poker face and shrugged, "Is that all you got?"

Jax laughed again. "That's not enough? I saved the best for last Uncle Ian. The Federation is planning to impress their Romulan guests by executing a few high profile prisoners. A couple names that you might know."

Hunter smirked slightly, "I'm listening."

"A former university professor turned underground rebellion leader with a last name of Silvio." Jax paused. "Don't you have a crew member with that name?"

"Perhaps."

"The second execution is the one that will pay for my ticket. A certain Federation traitor named "William Riker. Know him?"

"I think you bought yourself a ticket, You got the details?" asked Hunter holding out his hand.

Jax stood and placed on slender leg on her chair, reached into her boot and pulled out a nasty looking dagger. She noted with much amusement that both Wright and Jarvis visibly tensed up. "Relax," she told them as she popped the handle of the knife open, retrieved a isochip and handed it to Hunter."

Hunter took the isochip from her and handed it to Wright. "Is that your stuff?" asked Hunter gesturing to a dufflebag on the floor.

"Yes. I'm ready to get off this ice cube."

Hunter nodded as he tapped his combadge, "Hunter to Enterprise, 4 to beam up."

Onward Again "
By: Keighlee Alexi, Crewman, [RNPC]

Stardate: 58209.23 1750



Keighlee awoke to the sound of voices. It was the old pilot conversing with Flight Control. He was getting authorization to enter shuttle bay 9.

She sat up and adjusted her uniform, and opened the landing/navigation screen on her LCARS. She sat back and watched as the pilot made his approach.

He maneuvered and set down the shuttle effortlessly. The systems powered down and the rear hatch opened. The pilot stood up and smiled at his passenger. "You might want to get up and stretch. It will be a half an hour or more for the cargo to be unloaded. More cargo comes on after that."

Keighlee groaned.

"Non-station personnel are restricted to deck 3 and deck 7. The crew lounge is up on deck 7. You are welcome to come up there if you like.

She nodded, "Thanks."

After several moments had passed a crewman boarded and started removing the containers. Before long the shuttle was empty. A man approached her and saluted her and began to explain that the cargo wouldn't be loaded for another hour.

She interrupted his excuse, "I'm not the pilot. He's on deck 7."

"Oh, oh. Of course, I'm sorry," he said.

"No problem Ensign," she said smiling at him.

She watched as he sped away to the turbo lift on the other side of the tarmac.

She activated the controls and closed the hatch and began her premeditated plan. She popped open the shuttle's maintenance kit and activated the controls that opened the hatch in the floor. She lowered herself into the crawl-way and began her work.

She reprogrammed the magnetic constrictor flow control on the impulse engine so that it would overload the port nacelle after about 3 hours of flight time. She then rerouted the overload shutdown so that when it did overload it would reset and the shuttle computer system would handle the failure. Worried the old pilot would come in any moment, she rehearsed her feeble story about what she was doing.

Fortunately, it didn't come to that and soon she was closing the maintenance hatch.

She checked the LCARS to make sure her sabotage would be undetectable. "I'm getting good at this," she said to herself. If everything went as planned they'd be underway and the shuttle will become disabled. That might give the Zion an opportunity to rescue her. But how would she let them know where she was?

She re-opened the rear hatch and stepped down the ramp and looked around. The hanger bay was deserted. She walked to the turbo lift and ordered it to deck 3.

As the lift doors opened she stepped out and looked around.

The corridor was as deserted as the hanger bay. Half way down, she found a locker room for female crew members. A shower would be nice but as she peaked in, she changed her mind. She sighed and went and found the old pilot up on deck 7 by himself.

"What is this place?" she asked.

"Automated mining facility. Minimal crew." he said looking around the empty room.

She did as he did, and looked around. The lounge was bigger than Miranda's but empty. It was dark and grimy, some of the tables had dirt on them. As did the floor and the bar counter. Containers lay strewn about and service wires and conduits hung down from their ceiling pathways.

"Never seen one of these before?"

She shook her head, "no."

"Well, we have these all over the place. Thousands. If there's a rock out there big enough, we'll mine it.

A man came into the lounge and approached them. "Your cargo ship is ready for departure."

The old man nodded and then turned to Keighlee, "well, let's be on our way."

Keighlee followed the man down to the hanger bay. Keighlee stopped as they reached the shuttle, but the old pilot kept walking.

"Sir?"

He turned around. "no no Missy, we're taking a little bigger ship," he said pointing his thumb over his shoulder at an old Danube class run about.

Keighlee hurried her stride to catch up with him. "I don't understand."

"I'm a relay pilot. I fly different things around to places. I don't always fly the same ship," he explained as they boarded.

She slumped in her chair.

He smiled and shook her head. "On the bright side, Missy, you'll get to T35 a little faster now."

"That's...great," she said with a feigned smile.

Jax is Back "
By: Ian Hunter, Commanding Officer, [PC]
Jonathan Wright, Executive Officer, [PC]
Jax , Civilian , [NPC]
Miranda, Lounge Manager, [RNPC]

Stardate: 58209.23 2350



Hunter had anticipated that his niece, Jax, would be returning to the ship with him.

The landing party was greeted by ops hospitality department.

"Please assign Ms. Jax to VIP quarters, she is restricted to deck 10."

Jax stopped and faced Hunter. She crossed her arms and her eyes narrowed

Hunter looked at Jax to catch her darting expression of protest. He just gave her a wink.

"Yes Sir," replied crewman.

He turned to Jax, "Do you have any plans for supper?"

Not yet, "She said.

Hunter nodded.

As they left the transporter room, he turned to Wright, "Officer's mess for a bite to eat?"

"Yes sir."

As they walked, the Captain sighed.

"Well this mission is turning into quite a circus.

We're here, deep in enemy territory, with no primary objective, less than a parsec from Earth, we have on board a stowaway, an assassin, and now," he paused to think of a descriptive word for his niece, "...trouble."

As the turbolift doors closed behind them, he added, "Did I leave anyone out?"

Jax laughed. "Uncle Ian. I'm no trouble at all."

Hunter drew in a deep breath and turned to Wright, "How about Miranda's instead?"

"Sounds good to me," said Wright.

"Miranda's it is then. Deck 10."

====Miranda's======

"This should be fine," said Hunter gesturing at a table near the front view port. The three of them sat down.

Miranda watched as Hunter and Wright led their guest to a nearby table. She did not recognize the young woman. She smiled at them as she approached the table. "Hello," she said, "How can I help you?"

"I think we're all in need of a good meal," said Hunter, he gestured toward his niece, "including our new guest, Jax Tull."

Jax looked at Hunter.. "It's Jax. Just Jax""

"Well, Just Jax. Perhaps you would enjoy our special tonight. A bowl of hearty beef stew," said Miranda.

Jax nodded. "Sounds good to me."

Hunter nodded, "That sounds good to me too."

Wright ordered the same, Miranda left to get their food.

"How is Rex, these days?" asked Hunter.

Jax shrugged. "I'm afraid that I haven't talked to him for a while. He has been spending a great deal of time over in the Romulan Star Empire. He is convinced that something is happening."

"Yes, you mentioned Remens," replied Hunter.

"I have to agree with him. The Feds are also behaving differently." She shook her head. "I don't like it."

Miranda returned and placed their food before them.

"That smells delicious," said the Captain acknowledging Miranda's dish. He turned to Wright, "I haven't had a decent meal since before I left for Mars."

"It is very good," said Wright as he took a spoon full of stew. Just as he was about to take another bit the ship's comm chirped. "Sickbay to Commander Wright."

"Wright here."

"There has been some positive changes in Clarice's condition. You asked us to keep you informed."

"Very good. I'll be right there."

Wright placed the spoon back in his bowl. "If you will forgive me. I really should check on her."

Hunter nodded and wiped the corner of his mouth with a napkin. "That's fine Commander," he paused, "We'll continue in my ready room 0800?"

"Yes sir."

Hunter took another scoop of stew. "So, you have been on Earth for how long?"

"Long enough uncle. I'm ready to go home. You should prepare yourself. Earth is not as it once was."

"I've heard stories."

"Stories cannot do it justice," she replied shaking her head.

"Anything on Adriana?"

Jax finished her stew and leaned back in her chair. "I've not heard from her in a long time."

A long moment of silence past. Hunter finished his meal and pushed the dishes aside.

"So, the Romulans....Something the Alliance should be concerned about?"

"I was not able to find anything specific, but my opinion is that you should never trust a Romulan."

Seeing Jax was finished with her meal, Hunter stood up. "I'll walk you to your quarters, if you like."

"Thank you uncle. I'm exhausted."

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