EPISODE 2.17 - “DEFECTOR” - Part One
written by Travis Cannon
Captain’s Log - Supplemental:
The experience of the Mot’Ta has left me shaky, as I am sure it has with Lieutenant Norman Craig. It is strange, though I have only known Craig for less than two years, I feel as if I have known Norman for my entire life. We try not to show it while on the bridge, but we are starting to predict each other. It is odd. Yet my professional opinion of Craig does not change, my personal one is much different. I only hope that I am able to feel like this with the rest of my crew as our mission proceeds.
Captain Benjamin Kelsoe sat on the bridge of the U.S.S. Pioneer as they head towards Za’da Gol to checkup on a Federation colony. As Kelsoe sat there is mind drifted to the bonding. For the first time he realized how much Craig cared about Tracy - no! She is Ensign Tracy Carson, not Tracy. Kelsoe shook his head. He must keep control. No, but it is okay, he had started to call he Tracy before the bonding. It is okay for him to call her Tracy.
Suddenly the communications station began to beep. Kelsoe looked over at Tracy.
“What is it, Tracy?” Kelsoe said.
There was a pause on the bridge. Braxis turned around from his station and looked at Kelsoe. Damn! Kelsoe thought. The Mot’Ta has confused me. Kelsoe looked at Tracy with an expression that was a plead for help. So Tracy ended the awkward silence.
“We are receiving a transmission from Deep Space Five,” Tracy said looking down at the console. “It’s from... Admiral Hayes.”
“Hayes’ at DS-Five?” Burt said looking at Kelsoe.
Kelsoe returned the look.
“Hayes never leaves Starfleet Command unless it is extremely important,” Kelsoe said, he then turned to Tracy, “Put him on screen... Ensign Carson.”
“Aye, sir,” Tracy said and punched the command.
The screen flashed to Admiral Hayes and Admiral Anton standing in Anton’s office in DS-Five. Kelsoe stood up.
“What can I do for you, Admiral Hayes?” Kelsoe inquired.
“Ben,” Hayes said. “I want you to change course and rendezvous with the Niagara.”
“Shall I switch the transmission to my ready room, sir?” Kelsoe asked, gesturing towards his ready room.
Hayes shook his head.
“No,” Hayes said. “That will not be necessary. No matter what the crew will find out.”
“Very well, Admiral,” Kelsoe said and sat back down.
Hayes turned and nodded towards Admiral Anton. Anton nodded back and then looked at Kelsoe.
“Three weeks ago the U.S.S. Niagara picked up a S.O.S. call on a So’ja frequency,” Anton said. “They investigated and discovered a small So’ja scout ship with one occupant. His name is Major Kroge. He is an So’ja Intelligence operative who wanted to defect.”
Kelsoe’s eyes opened wide.
“Defect?” Kelsoe said.
“Hell no!” Burt said. “There is not anyway in hell that a So’ja operative is defecting to the Federation.”
“I’m afraid it is true, Commander Burt,” Admiral Hayes said. “Now let us allow Admiral Anton to continue - Harold.”
“Yes, sir,” Anton nodded. “Major Kroge as been interrogated quite extensively. At that time we were not really sure if his story we correct. We then checked it with our own operative within the So’ja and have found that it is true. We then contacted the Velos, who have a much sufficient lie-detector machine. According to the lie-detector test Major Kroge is telling us the truth.”
“You will be picking up Major Kroge as a member of your crew,” Admiral Hayes said. “The Niagara will bring him to you from here. We are sending the quadrants as we speak.”
Kelsoe turned towards Craig.
“I’m getting them, sir,” Craig said.
Kelsoe turned back to the screen.
“Why are you sending him to us?” Kelsoe inquired.
“He knows a lot about the Oralian sector,” Admiral Hayes said. “His official assignment will be Navigation Officer.” Hayes stepped forward so that he looked closer than Anton. “I know this may be unsettling, and some, if not all, of your crew will not like this, but the Starfleet Command and I have made the decision. Hayes out.”
Everyone on the bridge is completely silent. Kelsoe stars at the view screen, which now showed the stars speeding by at warp speed. He looks over at Ensign Eric Zimmer.
“Change course to rendezvous with the Niagara at the coordinates that Admiral Hayes sent,” Kelsoe ordered.
“Aye, Captain,” Zimmer said, punching in the commands.
Kelsoe turned and looked at Burt.
“We better inform the crew,” Kelsoe said, he then turned up and looked towards Commander Tuff. “Rob, we’re going to need two security personnel to guard Kroge.”
Tuff nodded gravely.
“Yes, sir,” Tuff said.
Kelsoe stood up and looked down at Burt.
“You have the conn, Commander Burt,” Kelsoe said, and walked towards his ready room.
Kelsoe sat in his ready room waiting for news of the arrival of the Niagara, which was bring the Pioneer’s new crew member. Not just any new crew member, but a So’ja defector. Kelsoe, himself, had doubts of whether this Major Kroge was one to be trusted. After all, Major Kroge was a So’ja operative working for the So’ja Intelligence. How far could they trust him. Trust. That seemed something very important these days. With the Romulan sneaking around in the shadows and the new threat of the So’ja Coalition. It was hard to say who was on who’s side.
The door chime beeped. Kelsoe looked up.
“Come in,” Kelsoe said.
The door opened with a hiss and Braxis stepped into the room.
“Commander Braxis?” Kelsoe said with a smile. “What can I do for you?”
Braxis stepped over to Kelsoe’s desk.
“Please, sit,” Kelsoe said.
Braxis slowly sat down.
“Captain,” Braxis said. “I apologize for what I am about to say, but you are not yourself.”
Kelsoe leaned back, and slowly nodded.
“I know, Braxis,” Kelsoe said. “I’ve known that ever since the bonding.”
“I have already helped Lt. Craig suppress the memories of your life,” Braxis said. “He was having difficult with the loss of your wife.”
Kelsoe raised his eyebrow.
“Oh, I see,” Kelsoe said.
“And you have shown feelings for Ensign Tracy Carson,” Braxis said. “I have noticed the way you look at her. You look at her as if you are Lt. Craig, when you are not. I approach you with the same reasons I approached Lt. Craig.”
“So you’ll show me how to get rid of Craig’s memories?” Kelsoe asked.
Braxis paused and thought.
“In a matter of saying, yes,” Braxis said. “It is an ancient Vulcan meditation. We usually only use it to suppress memories that conjure up feelings that are difficult to control, like guilt. But I have found that it has been successful with Lt. Craig.”
“How do we do this?” Kelsoe inquired.
“It will take several days,” Braxis said. “To help you along, I shall meld with you.”
“I won’t get stuck with any of your memories?” Kelsoe asked.
“No,” Braxis said. “I will merely act like a guide in your mind, directing thoughts to the subconscious and the conscious.”
Kelsoe nodded, “This sound good, but can it wait until we get Major Kroge settled in?”
Braxis raised his eyebrow and pondered this.
“Very well,” Braxis said. “However, anytime you find yourself wondering into Lt. Craig’s thoughts, I want you to tell yourself the following: I must control my mind. My thoughts are mine, and mine alone, all others are not. I must control my mind.”
“I promise,” Kelsoe said.
“Very well, sir,” Braxis said, standing up.
The communications beeped. Kelsoe snapped his commbadge.
“Yes, what is it?” Kelsoe said.
“Captain,” came Burt’s voice. “The Niagara has arrived.”
The Niagara, a Prometheus Class ship, hung along side the Pioneer in the vacuum of space. The two ships looked very much different, but at the same time similar. Both were obviously of Starfleet design. Kelsoe now stood on the bridge of the Pioneer awaiting the incoming transmission from the Niagara’s captain. Kelsoe turned and looked at Tracy.
“Open a channel,” Kelsoe said.
Tracy nodded and pressed in the command. The view screen switch to a shot of the Niagara’s bridge. Her captain stood in front of his chair. To his right stood the Niagara’s first officer, who Kelsoe recognized as Commander Jonathan Bly, whom he had met at a conference on Deep Space Nine. The captain, well the captain was Captain Edwin Sutton, a tall gentlemen with short crisp black hair and a small well-groomed mustache. Captain Sutton gave a short bow to Kelsoe.
“Captain Sutton,” Kelsoe said. “It’s so nice to see you.”
“As you,” Sutton replied in a very elegant voice. “I’ve heard a great many things about you, Captain. For such a young man, you seem to command a very efficient crew. I believe you now know that I am here to add a crewman to your roster.”
“Yes, I understand that quite well,” Kelsoe said. “A So’ja. I’m really thrilled.”
“I quite imagine so,” Sutton said with a slight chuckle. “If it will reassure you, I have not difficulties with Major Kroge. He has been quite the gentleman.”
“Yes,” Kelsoe said, gritting his teeth. “That is reassuring. We’ll prepare to beam Major Kroge over. I have security personnel waiting in transporter room one.”
“Wise,” Sutton said. “I know that your crew have dealt with the So’ja, were as my haven’t. Some of your crew may not take such a keen liking to Kroge as mine has. Transporters standing by, Sutton out.”
Sutton’s image was replace by the stars. Kelsoe turned to Tracy.
“Tell transporter room one to beam Major Kroge over,” Kelsoe ordered.
“Yes, sir,” Tracy said.
Tuff watched his console. After fifteen seconds he looked up from his console into Kelsoe’s eyes.
“Major Kroge’s been safely transported over,” Tuff reported.
“Tuff, Braxis,” Kelsoe said. “You’re with me. Burt, you have the conn.”
Kelsoe walked up to the turbo-lift with Braxis and Tuff.
They walked down the hallway, Kelsoe in the lead with Tuff and Braxis walking behind, with Kelsoe in the center. Soon they came to the entrance to transporter room one. Kelsoe stopped and muttered something to himself. Braxis recognized it as the meditation he had told the Captain about earlier. Kelsoe took a deep breath and stepped forward, entering the transporter room.
To his surprise the two security personnel, Ensign Jeri Manon and Ensign Rick Soto, assigned to guard Major Kroge were already having a friendly conversation with him. Kelsoe looked at Kroge. Major Kroge was wearing standard Starfleet civilian clothing, with a So’ja leather belt around his waist. Other than that, Kroge’s attire was no different than any Federation citizen.
As Kelsoe entered, Kroge looked up and smiled. Kelsoe saw the razor sharp teeth and was a little taken back. The expression Kroge wore on his face was that of happiness, yet those sharp teeth looked eerily menacing. Kelsoe took a step forward and extended his hand. He felt the scaly hand of Kroge gripped his and shake firmly. Kelsoe looked up from the green scaled hand to the lizard-humanoid face of his new So’ja crewman.
“So,” Kelsoe said slowly. “You are Major Kroge.”
“That is correct, Captain Kelsoe,” hissed Kroge in a very friendly tone. “I am very pleased that the Federation as given me this opportunity to join Starfleet.”
Kelsoe nodded slowly as they released their hands. Kroge noticed the expression on Kelsoe’s face.
“You are thinking, ‘how do I know I can trust him?’,” Kroge said. “I cannot tell you what to think, Captain, but I can tell you this... I was one of Ba’l’s supporters who survived to the rebellion. I was unable to escape with President Ba’l, so I acted as if I was pleased. If you request to ask Ba’l about my loyalties, he will assure you that my loyalty cannot be bought. I have support Federation-So’ja bonds when others have spit at the very idea of being apart of the Federation. This is a dream come true for me.”
At this Kelsoe relaxed a bit.
“I might have a conversation with Special Envoy Ba’l at that,” Kelsoe said.
“Envoy?” Kroge asked.
“Yes,” Kelsoe said. “Ba’l is now a highly respective diplomat for the Federation Special Envoy, and he is doing quite a good job at that.”
“It is kind of you to tell me this,” Kroge said. “It makes me happy to see that Ba’l is proving to be a productive member of the Federation.”
“Now if you’ll come with me,” Kelsoe said. “We’ll show you your quarters.”
“You mean I will have my own quarters?” Kroge inquired.
“Yes,” Kelsoe said. “Like most crewmen on this ship.”
At this Kroge seemed very happy.
“On So’ja ships, crewmen sleep in one room of bunks,” Kroge said. “There is no such thing as privacy on a So’ja ship unless you are a captain or commander.”
“Well,” Tuff said. “Starfleet is different.”
“As I have seen,” Kroge said.
Kelsoe turned to Braxis.
“Inform the Niagara that transport as gone well, and we thank them for their assistance,” Kelsoe ordered.
Kroge walked about his quarters, eyes wide, amazed with the room he had. He turned back to Kelsoe with a smile.
“Is this all mine?” Kroge inquired.
“Yes,” Kelsoe said with a laugh. “You have your own personal replicator, sonic shower, computer terminal, bed and living chambers.”
Kroge walked up to the bed and sat down on it. His green face lit up.
“This is so comfortable,” Kroge said. He stood up and walked to the window and looked out. “I have never had a window in quarters before. Just being able to see the stars is a huge difference.”
Kroge turned and looked at Ensign Soto and Ensign Manon standing by the door. Kroge pointed at them.
“Well they be following me every where?” Kroge inquired.
“Until the crew gets used to having you aboard,” Kelsoe said.
“It is for your own protection, Major Kroge,” Tuff said. “We really haven’t met that many friendly So’ja.”
Kroge nodded. “I understand. We really aren’t that smart of a race. Yet somehow we are able to build huge starships and space stations. This amazes me.”
“I’m sure it does,” Kelsoe said.
Kroge stepped around the bed and towards the replicator. Kroge looked over at Kelsoe and Tuff.
“Try it,” Tuff said.
“I would, but I’m not sure that it has any So’ja drinks in its database,” Kroge said.
“Well,” Kelsoe said. “Just try water.”
Kroge cleared his throat.
A glass of water materialized on the replicator platform. Kroge’s eyes widen. He picked it up and sipped it. He looked up with wide eyes, shocked.
“We don’t have this kind of technology,” Kroge said. “To make water out of thin air. Amazing.”
“Thank you,” came a female voice.
Kelsoe and Tuff parted to reveal Lt. Commander Joanna Withrome at the door. Joanna stepped forward and looked Kroge over.
“So this is Major Kroge?” Joanna said.
“Yes,” Tuff said.
“Hello,” Joanna said, extending her hand. “Lt. Commander Joanna Withrome, I’m the Chief Engineer.”
Kroge shook her hand.
“Major Kroge,” he said.
They finished shaking hands and Joanna eyed Kroge.
“A little different, huh?” Joanna said.
“Oh, yes,” Kroge said. “People have been really friendly to me so far. I have problems understanding this with how the relations between our two governments are.”
“You don’t need to act like you are just a So’ja anymore,” Kelsoe said. “You are a member of the Federation.”
Tuff cleaned his throat. Kelsoe turned towards him.
“Yes, Commander?” Kelsoe inquired.
“We’re a little late for Major Kroge’s medical review with Dr. Braga,” Tuff said.
“Oh,” Kelsoe said. “I don’t think Dr. Braga will be that angry. Come, follow me, I’ll take you to sickbay.”
Kelsoe gestured towards the door and Kroge followed Tuff out of the room.
Dr. Braga sat in his office reading over a data pad that one of the medical assistants had gave him. It was about the major So’ja medical history that the Federation had got from Ba’l. Braga was one of the few Starfleet medical officers qualified to give medical treatment for a So’ja. As Braga reviewed the data the door to sickbay opened and Captain Kelsoe, along with Tuff and Major Kroge stepped in. Braga stood up from behind his desk and walked into sickbay.
He gave a slight bow.
“Welcome to sickbay,” Braga said. “I am Dr. Chase Braga.”
Braga shook hands with Kroge. Kroge nodded.
“Impressive medical facility,” Kroge said, standing in the center of sickbay and staring at all of the medical equipment.”
“Thank you,” Braga said. “I’m pleased to inform you that I am one of the few Starfleet doctors certified to give medical treatment to you.”
Kroge turned and looked at Dr. Braga.
“Uh, yes,” Kroge said.
Braga gestured to one of the bio-beds.
“Would you be so kind as to sit down, please,” Braga said.
Kroge stepped up to the bio-bed and propped himself up on it. He looked over at Braga, who picked up a medical tricorder, and walked over holding it. Braga ran the tricorder along Kroge’s forehead and most of his head. Braga stepped back and looked down at the console on the medical station next to the bio-bed. He nodded.
“Everything appears to be the normal in your brian,” Braga said. “No abnormalities. Now I’ll need to take a blue sample.”
“Blood?!” Kroge choked.
“It’s a standard procedure,” Kelsoe said.
Kroge nodded. “Very well.”
Braga picked up a hypo-spray and placed it along Kroge’s neck. Braga pushed the button and there was a hiss of air. Braga removed the hypo-spray and placed in on a collecting device on the medical station. There was a slight pause, that was superseded by a electronic hum. There was a beep on a console lit up showing Kroge’s DNA pattern. Braga stepped over and looked at it. He rubbed his chin.
“Odd,” Braga said.
“What?” Kroge inquired.
Braga turned around and looked at Kroge strangely.
“What is it, Dr. Braga?” Kelsoe inquired.
“His DNA is slightly different than a normal So’ja,” Braga said.
“Huh?” Kelsoe said. “How can that be?”
“I have no idea...,” Braga said.
“Genetic testing,” Kroge interrupted.
Kelsoe, Braga and Tuff, who had been talking with Ensign Soto and Ensign Manon, turned and looked at Kroge.
“Genetic testing,” Kroge repeated. “The So’ja High Command has begun performing genetic testing on the So’ja fleet personnel.”
“Why?” Kelsoe inquired.
“To make a super being that the Federation cannot kill with their phasers,” Kroge said. “All it has done to me is given me an incredible sense of hearing. I could hear Tuff and the security guards talking as clear as crystal when I was speaking with you, Dr. Braga.”
“That’s extraordinary!” Tuff said. “Captain, we might be able to use him better in security.”
Kelsoe held his hand up and silence Tuff.
“Sorry, Commander Tuff,” Kelsoe said. “But Starfleet Command want’s Major Kroge to be our navigation officer.”
Braga turned to Kroge.
“Anything else that I need to know about?” Braga inquired.
“Nothing medically,” Kroge said. “But one thing I must request, Captain.”
Kelsoe looked at Tuff and Braga and then at Kroge.
“By all means,” Kelsoe said.
“I have a son,” Kroge said. “And I do not wish for him to stay on Fanu.”
“What about his mother?” Braga inquired. “Surely she can take care of him.”
“No,” Kroge said. “She cannot.”
Kelsoe, Braga and Tuff looked at Kroge confused.
“She is dead,” Kroge said. “Thanks to the barbaric experiments of the So’ja High Command.”
They all lowered their heads. Kelsoe stepped forward and placed his hand on Kroge’s shoulder.
“I’m sorry,” Kelsoe said. “I was not informed. We’ll get your son, and he’ll live the life of a Federation citizen.”
Kroge nodded and looked up at Kelsoe, holding back tears.
“Thank you, Captain,” Kroge said. “If I know him, as well as I think I do, he has already escaped the interment camp on Fanu.”
Kelsoe narrowed his eyes.
“Fanu is deep in So’ja space,” Kelsoe said.
“How can he escape?” Tuff inquired.
Kroge looked around the sickbay at all of them.
“Isn’t it obvious?” Kroge inquired. “The Venka Nebula. A So’ja shuttle is much easier to handle in it than any Federation ship. Unless he has been discovered.”
Kelsoe looked at Kroge. He suddenly felt the urge to help Kroge deeply. He barely knew Kroge, yet he was already willing to risk the ship to help Kroge rescue his son.
“I’ll contact Admiral Anton,” Kelsoe said.
Kelsoe sat in his chair in his ready room facing Admiral Anton on the view screen. Anton looked ill. He was not pleased. Admiral Hayes sat next to Anton.
“The Venka treaty is still in effect,” Anton said. “If we go anywhere new the Venka Nebula then the So’ja will consider it as an act of war. I cannot allow you to go, Ben. No military presence in the Venka nebula.”
“Admiral Hayes,” Kelsoe said. “The Nova class ships were originally short range science vessels. The So’ja should not no about the change, unless they have operatives working in Starfleet.”
“That is true,” Hayes nodded. “However I much agreed with Admiral Anton. We understand Major Kroge’s concern for his son. They best we can give you is to allow a shuttle to rendezvous with Major Kroge’s son’s shuttle, and hopefully safely escort him away from So’ja space.”
“I understand, Admiral,” Kelsoe said. “But I must inform you that if the So’ja fire upon the shuttle craft, I will protect my people.”
“I understand and agree, Ben,” Hayes said. “Just promise me that you’ll be careful. Send your best man with Major Kroge in the shuttle craft.”
“Yes, Admiral,” Kelsoe nodded.
“Contact us after the rescue,” Anton said.
And with that the transmission was terminated. The Federation seal appeared on the screen along with the standard “Transmission End” words. Kelsoe stood up and rubbed his forehead. He felt the wetness on his skin. He was actually worried and worked up over the son of a So’ja. But as Kelsoe pondered this even more and relieved that we was not thinking of Major Kroge just as a So’ja, but rather as a member of his crew. He need not want to see Kroge suffer.
Kelsoe looked up and walked towards the door. He paused and turned around to look down at his desk at his wife’s picture. He smiled and then left. Kelsoe stepped up into bridge. As he walked past Braxis’ station he gave a slight nod, and Braxis knew how the conversation with the Admirals went. Kelsoe stood up in the center of the bridge and looked around. The bridge immediately became quiet. Kelsoe looked over at Major Kroge, who was siting at the navigation station, who was looking back at him. Kelsoe gave him a quick grin, then became serious again.
“Admiral Hayes and Admiral Anton have denied the Pioneer permission to go and meet with Major Kroge’s son in the Venka Nebula, however Admiral Hayes need say that we could send a shuttle craft to rendezvous with Kroge’s son’s shuttle,” Kelsoe said. “Mr. Zimmer, you will be the shuttle pilot. We need our best pilot on that shuttle incase a So’ja cruiser appears. Also accompanying Major Kroge and Ensign Zimmer will be Commander Braxis.”
Braxis turned around in his seat and looked up.
“A logical choice, Captain,” Braxis agreed.
“Huh?” Burt said, looked form Braxis to Kelsoe.
“I am the science officer aboard this vessel, Commander,” Braxis explained. “We can merely keep Major Kroge hidden and all I would have to do is tell the So’ja Maj that I am a science officer, and their databases would confirm that. To obey the Venka Treaty, the So’ja would not fire upon a science mission.”
“Yeah,” Burt said standing up. “But don’t you remember our first mission? The So’ja had attacked a Federation science vessel.”
“The Clark,” Tuff, who was the first officer of that science vessel, said, “was attacked by a So’ja Rebellion ship.”
“So!?” Burt said. “Who is in power?”
“The So’ja Coalition,” Major Kroge said softly. “Formally known as the So’ja Rebellion.”
Burt turned and pointed at Kroge.
“Exactly,” Burt said. “The So’ja Coalition is an entirely different government than the So’ja Republic was.”
“That is true,” Kroge nodded. “The Coalition did not ratified the Venka Treaty. The Federation may still consider the Venka Treaty valid, but the current So’ja government does not.”
“I am well aware of the full circumstances about this,” Kelsoe said. “But I am obligated to obey the orders of Starfleet Command. Admiral Hayes said that the Pioneer is not to enter the Venka Nebula, unless Starfleet personnel were in danger.” Kelsoe turned to Zimmer. “Don’t get into danger, just because it would allow the Pioneer to come. I want you in and out. Got that?”
Zimmer nodded slowly, “Yes, Captain.”
“All right,” Kelsoe said. “We have one hour to prepare. Let’s get to work.”
The shuttle craft floated along side the Pioneer. Kelsoe sat in his chair and watched as the shuttle craft went into warp. Kelsoe lowered his head and rubbed his forehead.
“I don’t like this on bit, Captain,” Burt said. “Just siting here.”
“Neither do I, Connor,” Kelsoe said. “Neither do I.”
To be continued...