EPISODE 2.18 - “DEFECTOR” - Part Two
written by Travis Cannon
The Federation shuttle craft slowly floated across the vacuum of space. Directly in front of it was the Venka Nebula, which do to a treaty between the Federation and the So’ja governments allowed the Federation to conduct scientific research of the nebula and its unique minerals. However this shuttle craft was not there to do any scientific research, but was really there to rescue a So’ja who was trying to escape, the son of a So’ja defector. The son of Major Kroge.
Kroge sat in one of the back seats of the shuttle craft. Ensign Eric Zimmer sat in the pilot seat, and next to him sat Commander Braxis. Kroge was a little nervous. He did not know if Janseen would be followed by a So’ja ship, or how many ships would be sent after Janseen. After all Janseen had stole a So’ja shuttle to make it off Fanu. And since Fanu, luckily, was positioned next to the Venka Nebula Janseen should have been able to make an easy escape. However Kroge was unsure on how much the So’ja would want him back. Janseen had been held in a interment camp on Fanu, because of Kroge’s defection.
Kroge did not want Janseen to grow up in the So’ja Coalition’s rule, so he had pleaded with Captain Benjamin Kelsoe to help him in rescuing Janseen. In return, Kelsoe asked Starfleet Command, who only allowed for a single shuttle to go. Knowing that a shuttle craft would be no match for a So’ja cruiser, Kelsoe had gotten Admiral Hayes to say that if the shuttle was attacked that the Pioneer could go to the Venka Nebula.
It had been approximately thirty minutes since the shuttle had arrived at the Venka Nebula and there had been no sign of Janseen or his shuttle. Commander Braxis and program the shuttle to perform continuous scans of the nebula, to make it seem like they were indeed analyzing the minerals within the nebula. Zimmer was keeping the shuttle on alert status, so that they could go to warp if trouble ever roused. Kelsoe had given Zimmer specific instruction not to get endanger if it could be avoided.
Braxis looked down at his scans, and then looked up towards Kroge with a cock of his head.
“No sign of his shuttle yet?” Kroge inquired.
“Sorry, not yet,” Braxis said and leaned back in his chair. “However, we have been able to get a lot of information about the nebula’s minerals. It appears that the nebula contains high energy materials.”
“Yes,” Kroge said. “The reason why we did not want any military ships around the Venka Nebula was because we were afraid that you would try and steal our main source of energy.”
Zimmer turned around and looked at Kroge, squarely in the eyes.
“The Federation would never do that,” Zimmer said.
Braxis raised his eyebrow.
“I am sorry to correct you, Ensign,” Braxis said. “That was indeed the Federation’s purpose in opening negotiation with the So’ja Republic. The energy that this nebula creates is much more effective than the antimatter energy that powers this shuttle.”
“So we were right to think that the Federation wanted to take the energy from the nebula,” Kroge said.
“Yes,” Braxis said. “However certain members of the Federation believe that to be wrong, and immoral.”
“Like you?” Kroge inquired.
Braxis raised his eyebrow slightly. “I was one who opposed the idea of taking away energy from another people,” Braxis said. “However I had little influence on the eventually creation of the treaty. Since we could not get any minerals from the nebula to use for energy, we made sure that we would be able to study the nebula.”
“Smart move,” Kroge said, his tongue hissing in its reptilian way.
Braxis nodded in agreement. Suddenly the sensor console started to beep. Braxis spun around and looked down at the console.
“Sensors are picking up a shuttle craft approximately a thousand yards in the nebula,” Braxis said. “Scanning for lifesigns. One So’ja male, and one So’ja female.”
“A So’ja female?” Kroge inquired.
“Yes,” Braxis said. “Why, did you not expect this?”
“No, I did not,” Kroge said. “Can you hail the shuttle?”
“That would be ill advised,” Braxis said. “I believe that the shuttle may be bugged.”
“Bugged?” Zimmer said, moving his fingers closers to the helm controls.
“Yes, Ensign Zimmer,” Braxis said. “Any hail made to the shuttle would be seen and heard by the So’ja Coalition. I have reason to believe that there may be a So’ja starship somewhere out of our scanning range.”
“Or cloaked,” Kroge said. “We have some new ships that do not released ionized gas.”
“Do to the minerals within the nebula?” Zimmer asked.
“Yes,” Kroge nodded.
“This is most disconcerting,” Braxis said. “We must inform Pioneer about this.”
Kroge nodded in agreement.
“Opening a secure channel,” Zimmer said.
On a small view screen in the medium the shuttle’s helm Captain Kelsoe’s face appeared.
“Report,” Kelsoe said.
“We have found Janseen’s shuttle,” Braxis said. “However we have reason to believe that their may be a cloaked vessel somewhere nearby.”
Kelsoe nodded, while rubbing his chin.
“All right,” Kelsoe said. “We’ll make our way to rendezvous with you. If you can beam Janseen aboard and go to warp.”
“Yes, Captain,” Braxis said.
“Good,” Kelsoe said. “Pioneer out.”
Kelsoe’s image vanished from the screen, which now showed the Federation’s seal. Braxis looked up at Kroge.
“Why didn’t you tell him about the girl?” Kroge inquired.
“It was not necessary information for our current status,” Braxis said.
“I don’t understand the problem?” Zimmer said, still keeping his hands close to the helm controls.
“It is very risky bring another person,” Kroge said. “She could be a spy.”
“You believe your son is that foolish?” Braxis inquired.
“Well,” Kroge said. “No, just a little too trusting. Janseen always had an instinct to help people.”
“He sounds like he’ll fit in with the people of the Federation,” Zimmer said.
“I’d like nothing better than that,” Kroge said.
Suddenly the sensor console started beeping.
“What’s that?” Kroge asked.
Braxis spun his chair around and looked down at the console.
“You were right,” Braxis said. “It was a cloaked ship. We are now picking up a So’ja ship. The patterns look strange, like none that I have seen.”
“Let me see,” Kroge said.
Braxis put the image of the energy wave of the So’ja ship on the center monitor. Kroge glared at the image. He shook his head.
“This is not good,” Kroge said.
“What?” Braxis inquired.
“It is the Da’gi,” Kroge said.
“But these readings say that it is a different ship,” Braxis said.
“The Da’gi has been updated since the last time the Federation encountered her,” Kroge said. “She is the second best ship in their fleet. The Kal’sa is the flag ship. Let us hope the she, the Kal’sa, does not arrive.”
“Mr. Zimmer,” Braxis said, narrowing his eyes as he looked at the sensor console. “Bring us closer to the nebula. Let us hope that Janseen is able to get out of the nebula.”
“Yes, sir,” Zimmer said, punching the helm controls.
The shuttle craft turn sharply and headed towards the edge of the cloudy nebula. They all looked through the window of the cockpit at the nebula. It was like looking into orange colored fog. They were unable to see the shuttle pod and the Da’gi but the sensors could.
“We must be able to beam Janseen and his passenger aboard once they exit the nebula,” Braxis said and then paused of a beat. “How far is the Pioneer?”
Zimmer punched the console and looked up.
“She should be here soon,” Zimmer said.
Braxis nodded. Kroge started to get tense. The Da’gi was no doubt looking for Janseen and his mysterious passenger. Braxis had his full attention on the sensor console. Braxis eyes narrowed as he concentrated his attention. “The Da’gi does not appear to be following the shuttle.”
Kroge gave a sigh of relief.
“However,” Braxis said, “I still is a premature time for celebration.”
Kroge looked at Braxis, and then over at Zimmer.
“Are Vulcans always this way?” Kroge asked Zimmer.
Zimmer nodded. “Yes,” he said. “Always.”
“It is the logical way,” Braxis butted in.
They looked up at the nebula again. Through the cloudy orange mass the yellowish-brown So’ja shuttle faded into eye sight. The shuttle was circular with a pointy nose. Its cockpit window curved nicely around its sleek body. It had a single fin on top its back. It made a thirty-sixty-ninety triangle with the hypotenuse the side connecting with the top of the shuttle’s frame. It had one wing, on either side, that curved down. From a full frontal view the shuttle looked triangular. Attached to the ends of each wing was a new feature that was not apart of the original So’ja shuttle pods. Attached to each curved wing was a blue and red lit warp nacelles that also created a thirty-sixty-ninety triangle.
The shuttle slowly cruised towards them, with every moment become more visible. Soon the shuttle was close to the edge of the nebula. Then from behind the shuttle, from within the orange cloud that was the Venka Nebula, slowly emerged the So’ja Battleship Class 13-X, Da’gi.
Zimmer turned and looked at Kroge.
“Do you know their shield frequency?” Zimmer asked.
“No,” Kroge said. “I did not serve aboard the Da’gi. Maj Ru’mal did not like me. Or trust me.”
The So’ja shuttle pod was considerably dwarfed by the Da’gi. It was a massive ship that was much, much larger than the Enterprise-E. And the Da’gi is not even the largest ship in the So’ja Coalition fleet. The Kal’sa, the only existing So’ja Destroy, is larger than a Borg cube. Kroge snapped out of his trance and turned to Braxis.
“There is no way that the Pioneer can defend us, as well as itself, against the Da’gi,” Kroge said. “Especially with Maj Ru’mal in command.”
Braxis turned and looked at Kroge, for a moment it was silent.
“We will try our best,” Braxis said. “I do not believe that they will pursue us after we leave So’ja space.”
“That is true,” Kroge said, agreeing. “I don’t believe that the Coalition wants war right now.”
Braxis nodded, “Logically.”
The So’ja shuttle pod drifted closer and closer to the edge of the nebula. The Da’gi was gaining on the pod with great speed. They watched as the Da’gi fired disruptors at the shuttle pod’s warp nacelles. It was a direct hit and the shuttle pod slowed to a halt.
Soon their console beeped. Zimmer looked up at Braxis, confused.
“Uh,” Zimmer said. “The So’ja are hailing us.”
Braxis turned quickly to Kroge and nodded. Kroge stood up and quickly hid in the back of the shuttle craft. Braxis then turned on the monitor. The eyes of an elderly So’ja, who still had the fire of a youth, stared back at him. It was Maj Ru’mal.
“Federation vessel,” Ru’mal said. “I advice you to return to your ship at once, this is a matter of the So’ja state.”
“We are merely conducting scientific readings,” Braxis said.
“I suggest you return to your ship,” Ru’mal repeated, very frustrated. “Do not make me force you.”
“I understand,” Braxis replied.
“Good!” snapped Ru’mal. “Da’gi out.”
The transmission was terminated. Braxis looked up at Zimmer as Kroge came back into the front of the shuttle and sat down.
“Mr. Zimmer,” Braxis said. “Get us close enough to the shuttle to make a safe transport.”
“The nebula will make it harder,” Kroge advised.
“I understand, Major Kroge,” Braxis said. “We must attempt to save your soon and his companion.”
Braxis nodded to Zimmer.
“Now, Mr. Zimmer,” Braxis said. “Now.”
Zimmer placed his hands on the helm controls and placed in the commands. The shuttle jolted forwards with extreme speed. Zimmer slowed as they came up to the edge of the nebula to come along side the So’ja shuttle pod. The communications console beeped.
“They’re hailing us, again,” Zimmer said.
“Ignore them, Mr. Zimmer,” Braxis commanded. “We must have not distractions.”
Zimmer nodded. The shuttle craft slowed and soon stopped along side the So’ja shuttle pod. Kroge worked the sensors station from his seat. It had started to beep. Kroge turned to face Braxis.
“The Da’gi is engaging their disruptors,” Kroge reported. “Their locking in on us.”
“We must drop shields to make the transport,” Zimmer said.
“Keep her steady, Mr. Zimmer,” Braxis said. “I can make the transport in a couple seconds, the shields will only need to be down for approximately five seconds.”
“They’re firing!” Kroge said.
A disrupter beam shot out from the massive Da’gi and struck the shuttle craft. The shield took most of the hit.
“Shields down to seventy-three percent,” Kroge reported.
“Steady, Mr. Zimmer,” Braxis said calmly. “Prepare to drop the shields, Major Kroge.”
“Yes, Commander,” Kroge said.
Suddenly there was a bright burst of light and two red beams shot across their view point.
“What was that?” Kroge asked.
“It’s the Pioneer!” Zimmer shouted, cheerfully.
The monitor lit up with Captain Kelsoe face.
“Sorry it took so long,” Kelsoe said. “We’ll try and draw their fire.”
Kelsoe image disappeared. The Pioneer came up around their backs and towards the Da’gi in the nebula. Braxis nodded to Kroge.
“Lower the shields and prepare for transport,” Braxis said.
Kroge nodded and punched in the command. The shield lowered and Braxis transported them over. Braxis’ fingers moved quickly as he transported Janseen and his unknown companion over. There was a glow of blue light in the shuttle as the beaming energy illuminated. When the light dissipated there stood a young So’ja male dressed in a orange military uniform that was obversely to big for him and a young female So’ja with long dark hair and wearing tattered clothing that was ripped and dirty. Braxis quickly raised the shields back up.
Kroge turned to his son and looked at him.
“You’re wearing a Coalition uniform!” Kroge said.
“Sorry, father,” Janseen said. “I needed a disguise.”
“Who’s this?!” Kroge snapped looking at the So’ja girl.
“In all due time, Major Kroge,” Braxis said. “Right now, we must get away from the Da’gi.”
“Sorry, father,” Janseen said. “I did not know Maj Ru’mal was testing the upgrades on the Da’gi in the nebula.”
“That’s all right, son,” Kroge said.
“Major Kroge,” Braxis said. “I need you to resume your duties.”
“Yes, sir, Commander,” Kroge said, and turned back to the sensor console.
Janseen and the female So’ja sat down on the floor of the shuttle craft. The cuddled together. Kroge ignored this, even though it did not please him.
“Mr. Zimmer,” Braxis said. “Get us out of here.”
“Yes, sir,” Zimmer said and punched the helm controls.
The shuttle craft spun wildly around. The Pioneer came about and started going in the same direction as the shuttle. The Da’gi spun slowly to allow its front to line up with the So’ja shuttle pod, which was now empty. The Da’gi fired an array of disruptor blasts which hit the So’ja shuttle pod, which soon became an explosion.
Kroge started at the sensors.
“Commander Braxis, sir,” Kroge said. “The explosion as created a shock wave.”
Braxis looked at Kroge, confused.
“How can this be?” Braxis inquired, looking at the sensor readings. “No vessel creates shock waves like that.”
“Most vessel you’ve seen do not have So’ja power systems,” Kroge said.
“Mr. Zimmer,” Braxis said, spinning back around to the helm. “Brace the ship for impact.”
“Aye, sir,” Zimmer said.
By now the Pioneer was already in the lead, and Zimmer maneuvered the shuttle to follow. The shock wave took on a visible form. It took on the color of the nebula. The Da’gi engaged its cloaking device and was no longer on the sensors. The shock wave was getting closer. The monitor on the shuttle cockpit console blinked to the image of Captain Kelsoe’s face.
“Commander Braxis,” Kelsoe said. “Quickly lower your shield and we’ll beam you over. We can sacrifice the shuttle.”
“Yes, Captain,” Braxis said.
“Major Kroge,” Braxis commanded. “Lower the shields.”
“Major Kroge, now,” Braxis said.
Kroge pressed the button and the shield lowered. The shuttle craft continued without at that same speed until the shock wave hit the shuttle and destroyed it.
Back aboard the Pioneer, Kelsoe turned to the helm pilot.
“Go to warp five, now!” Kelsoe ordered.
“Aye, sir,” the helm pilot said.
The Pioneer jumped into warp just before the shock wave could hit her.
Captain Kelsoe sat on the bridge he had kept the Pioneer at warp five and was happy to have Ensign Eric Zimmer back at the helm. Kelsoe felt that he should check up on Major Kroge. Kelsoe stood up, giving the conn to Commander Burt and headed for the turbo-lift. Kelsoe took the turbo-left to deck four and walked down the hallways until he arrived in front of Major Kroge’s quarters. He pushed the door chime, and the door opened with a hiss.
Major Kroge was standing in the center of the room, facing Kelsoe. Kroge’s son, Janseen and his female companion were siting beside the table. Kelsoe stepped in and the door closed behind.
“Captain,” Kroge said cheerfully, however his tone of voice told Kelsoe that he was trying to hide something.
“This is my son, Janseen,” Kroge said introducing Janseen. “Janseen, this is Captain Benjamin Kelsoe.”
Kelsoe shook hands with Janseen and then glanced over at the So’ja girl.
“Who’s this?” Kelsoe said.
“That’s what I’ve been trying to find out, sir,” Kroge said. “My son just will not tell me.”
Kelsoe raised his eyebrows.
“Oh, really,” Kelsoe said.
Janseen was still dressed in the orange So’ja uniform that was too big for him and his companion was still dressed in rags.
“Why don’t we get them some dissent clothing first,” Kelsoe said.
“Yes, of course, Captain,” Kroge said.
Now Janseen and his companion had clothing on that was similar to Kroge’s, which were Federation civilian clothing. Kelsoe had suggest that they could to the mess hall to get something to eat, which they did. Kroge sat next to Captain Kelsoe, while Janseen sat next to his companion. Kelsoe stared across the table at Janseen.
“Janseen,” Kelsoe said. “I believe it is time that you tell your father who this girl is.”
Janseen, being still very young looked at Kelsoe.
“How old are you?” Kelsoe asked.
“Fourteen, sir,” Janseen said.
“Good,” Kelsoe said calmly.
“Captain?” Kroge asked, confused.
“Just a moment, Major,” Kelsoe said.
“Now, Janseen,” Kelsoe said. “Please tell us who this is. I want to know who I risked my ship for.”
“Prisoners of the Coalition, Captain,” Janseen said.
“Yes, I know,” Kelsoe said, trying to stay calm. “But who is this girl, you have got to tell me sometime. The Federation would like to know its newest citizens.”
The girl smiled.
“I become citizen?” she said.
Janseen quickly quieted her. Kroge’s eyes suddenly opened wide. He recognized her.
“Oh, you did not!” Kroge said softly. “You did not!”
“Father, I can explain,” Janseen said.
“Ru’mal will kill you,” Kroge said in a hushed voice.
“What?!” Kelsoe said.
“This is Maj Ru’mal’s daughter!” Kroge said.
“Maj?” Kelsoe said. “Don’t you mean Admiral?”
“No,” Kroge said, attempting to cal down. “The Coalition is much different than the Republic. Under the Coalition all Admirals must remain on Ka’al with Chancellor Ar’kon to advise him.”
“Ah, I see,” Kelsoe said. “But Ru’mal preferred the command of a ship.”
“Yes,” Kroge said. “So he was de-promoted to Maj.”
“So this is his daughter?” Kelsoe said, looking at the girl.
“Yes,” Kroge said.
He turned to his son.
“Janseen,” Kroge sneered, “what is she doing with you?”
“She was the water girl at the mines that they had me working at, father,” Janseen said. “We’ve fallen in love.”
Kroge turned and looked at Ru’mal’s daughter.
“Is this true?” He asked.
“Yes, sir,” she said in a submissive way.
“We have wed,” Janseen said.
“Is this a problem?” Kelsoe asked Kroge.
“Under So’ja lay the girl’s father must give consent,” Kroge said. “I do not believe that Ru’mal would give consent to this union.”
“We not So’ja no more!” the girl barked suddenly. “We Federation!”
“I’ve been teaching her the Federation language, father, like you’ve taught me,” Janseen said. “Nandia has been so happy to learn.”
“Nandia?” Kelsoe said. “Is that her name?”
“Yes,” Kroge nodded. “It is.”
Kelsoe turned and looked at her.
“Nandia, do you want to be a member of the Federation?” Kelsoe asked.
“Yes, sir,” Nandia said in a submissive tone.
“I’m not punishing you child,” Kelsoe said.
“I... apologize, Captain,” Janseen said with a slight hesitation. “This is the way she speaks to her father.”
Janseen turned and spoke to Nandia in So’jan, the So’ja language. Kelsoe did not understand a single word, he could only make out that Federation was said. After Janseen finished Nandia smiled brightly.
“I not punished to speak me mind?” Nandia said very slowly.
“No,” Kelsoe said. “You must certainly are not.”
“You kind, Captain,” Nandia said.
“She still has much to learn,” Janseen said. “I apologize.”
“No, that’s okay,” Kelsoe said, and turned to Kroge. “I must return to the bridge and inform Admiral Anton of what has happened.”
“Of course,” Kroge said nodding.
Kelsoe stood up and gave a slight bow to Nandia and left. Kroge lowered his head and spoke to them softly.
“We are welcomed here,” Kroge said in So’jan. “Do not fire the humans, they are kind and we will be accepted.”
Kelsoe stepped out of the turbo-lift onto the bridge.
“Report,” Kelsoe said as he stepped down into the center of the bridge.
“We’ve been experiencing some minor energy lose, but Joanna’s working on it,” Burt said.
Kelsoe turned around.
“Yes, Lt. Craig,” Kelsoe said.
“For the last half-hour, I’ve been picking up strange readings from out port side,” Craig said. “It is as if something as been following us.”
“Following?” Kelsoe said.
Suddenly the light dimmed.
“What’s happening?!” Kelsoe demanded.
Zimmer typed franticly at the helm controls.
“I’ve lost helm control, sir,” Zimmer reported.
“All systems are failing,” Tuff reported.
“Shields, weapons?” Kelsoe inquired.
“Useless,” Craig reported. “Engineering as lost all power.”
“Sir?” Tracy said. “We’re being hailed.”
Kelsoe looked at Tracy with wide eyes.
“On screen, Ensign,” Kelsoe said.
The screen blinked to the image of Maj Ru’mal. He smiled.
“Captain Kelsoe,” Ru’mal said. “Commander Burt, so glade to see you.”
“Uh, yeah,” Burt said with a mock smile.
“Unfortunately not the best of times,” Ru’mal said. “I believe you have something that belongs to me.”
Just as Ru’mal finished his sentence, Kroge appeared from the turbo-lift.
“Ah, Major Kroge,” Ru’mal said. “I believe your son as stolen my daughter.”
“He didn’t steal her Ru’mal, and you know it,” Kroge said. “Their in love.”
“I do not give consent to such a union,” Ru’mal said. “And since I was unable to stop it I blame you Major Kroge... and you Captain Kelsoe.”
“What?!” Kelsoe said.
“You have violated So’ja law, Captain,” Ru’mal said. “And further more you have taken my daughter aboard your ship. And for that, you will pay. You will. I shall have my revenge, on the both of you.”
The transmission was terminated. Kelsoe looked to Craig.
“Any thing on the shields?” Kelsoe asked.
“I’ve managed to get shields up to fifty-six percent....,” Craig stopped. “Captain?! I don’t understand, our shields are lowering!”
“What?!” Kelsoe spun around and looked at the view screen.
He watched. As the Da’gi uncloaked in front of them. Its rear was facing them. Kelsoe looked down at Zimmer to gestured him to get the hell out of here, but Zimmer’s expression told Kelsoe that helm control was still off-line. Kelsoe watched as the Da’gi turned around to face them.
“Are they going to fire?” Kelsoe asked.
“I don’t think so, Captain,” Kroge said. “He said that you and I will pay.”
Just as Kroge finished his sentence the bridge lit up as both Captain Kelsoe and Major Kroge were transported off the bridge. Burt stood up.
“Stop the transport!” he ordered.
Tuff looked down at his console.
“I can’t, Commander!” Tuff said.
“Sir! I’ve got helm control back!” Zimmer announced.
“Commander, they’re firing disruptors!” Craig said.
Burt placed his right hand on his forehead, trying to think quickly. He hesitated and then gave his order.
“Mr. Zimmer,” Burt said. “Set course of DS-five, maximum warp!”
“Commander? What about Captain Kelsoe and Major Kroge?” Zimmer said.
“Mr. Zimmer, I gave you an order!” Burt said siting down in the captain’s chair. “Make it so!”
Zimmer reluctantly obeyed. The Pioneer quickly moved out of the disruptor beams path and went to warp.
To be continued...