EPISODE 2.20 - “THE CROSSING”
written by Travis Cannon
Captain Benjamin Kelsoe sat on the bridge of the Pioneer. Sitting next to him was Commander Connor Burt. Major Kroge’s son, Janseen, had become a Cadet and was studying to become an Ensign about the Pioneer through the permission of Admiral Anton. Janseen, now dressed in a Starfleet uniform, was seated at the navigation officer’s station.
“Captain?” came Craig’s voice.
Kelsoe turned and looked at Craig.
“Yes, Craig?” Kelsoe said.
“Sir, I’m picking up a Romulan Warbird on sensors,” Craig said.
Kelsoe turned back towards the helm.
“Mr. Zimmer,” Kelsoe ordered. “Drop to impulse.”
The Pioneer dropped down impulse from warp factor two. He turned back to Craig.
“Is it in visual range?” Kelsoe inquired.
“Negative, sir,” Craig said. “No yet.”
Kelsoe turned towards Braxis.
“Can you read anything from your sensors, Braxis?” Kelsoe said.
Braxis turned to his station and began to type, he looked down at his station’s console.
“Lieutenant Craig is correct,” Braxis said. “I am also reading a Romulan Warbird. It appears to be adrift.”
“We’re entering visual range,” Zimmer announced.
“On screen,” Kelsoe said, turning his head towards the view screen.
The screen flickered on to show a Romulan Warbird with very severe damage. It was greenish black and it was most certainly adrift. Kelsoe grabbed the arms of his chair and stood up slowly.
“My God,” Kelsoe said. “What the hell happened?”
The entire bridge crew looked at the Romulan Warbird. Burt was now standing beside Kelsoe. He looked toward Kelsoe.
“Whatever did that could destroy us if they could do that to a Romulan Warbird,” Burt said.
Kelsoe turned around and looked up at Tuff, who was working at his station.
“I’m not detecting any other ships on sensors,” Tuff said.
Kelsoe turned around and looked back at the adrift Romulan Warbird. What had happened? Why had the Romulan Warbird been attack? Why? There were too many question that needed answering.
“Do we report this?” Tracy inquired.
Kelsoe turned toward her.
“Absolutely yes!” Kelsoe said and sat down in his chair. “Red Alert! We don’t want to be surprised if anybody shows up.”
“Aye, Captain,” Tuff said.
The lights immediately dimmed and red light came on.
We have stumbled across a Romulan Warbird that has been severely damaged. So far we are not picking up any life forms aboard, but I remain optimistic. Whatever it was that attack them, will surely come back.
Kelsoe stood on the bridge behind Zimmer.
“I want to keep at a safe distance,” Kelsoe said.
“Halting at a thousand yards,” Zimmer said.
Braxis was sitting at his station, facing the center of the bridge.
“Captain,” Braxis said.
“Yes, Braxis?” Kelsoe said in reply.
“We should send an away time over and try to determine what happened,” Braxis said.
Kelsoe nodded, “That would be a wise and logical plan.”
“Of course it would be,” Braxis said.
Burt stepped over to Braxis and placed his hand on Braxis’ shoulder.
“Is it just me, or are you getting used to humor?” Burt inquired.
Braxis rolled his eyes, and sighed.
“I believe it is you, sir,” Braxis said.
“All right,” Kelsoe said. “Burt, Tuff, Dr. Braga, Joanna and myself will go over to the Romulan Warbird. You have the conn Mr. Braxis.”
“Uh, yes, sir,” Braxis said.
Kelsoe nodded and Burt and Tuff followed him to the turbo-lift.
The away team transported over to the dark Warbird. Strapped to their wriest were flashlights. Immediately after transportation was complete Tuff took out his phaser. Joanna took out her tricorder, Ensign Kavoc and Lt. Harrison Gregg followed her towards the Warbird’s reactor core. Kelsoe, Burt, Tuff, and Braga started in the direction of the bridge. They reached the bridge with very little difficult, except for the Romulan corpses scattered throughout the ship. Braga checked all the Romulan bodies to see if any had any form of life within their green blood soaked bodies. None of them were alive. When they entered the bridge they all fanned out to cover the space quickly.
Braga walked among the corpses to check for lifesigns. Tuff and Burt went over to one of the consoles to see if they could bring up the logs of what happened. And Captain Kelsoe stood in the center and looked around. It did not take much time for Braga to call Kelsoe over to one of the bodies. Kelsoe jogged over and bent down.
“Is he alive?” Kelsoe inquired.
“No,” Braga said. “However his face seems familiar.”
Kelsoe looked down at the dead Romulan commander’s face. Kelsoe could not match a name with the face. Kelsoe straightened his back and called Tuff over. Tuff stepped briskly over and took a look at the Romulan’s face.
“My God,” Tuff said, his eyes become very wide. “This is Commander Terrok.”
“Commander Terrok?” Braga inquired, looking up at Tuff.
“I’m be damned,” Tuff said. “This is the Khellian.”
He looked over at Kelsoe.
“The Warbird we encountered earlier this year,” Kelsoe said. “I remember that. They took a sample of my DNA for something.”
“Yes,” Braga said. “They did - I remember.”
Braga stood up and took his tricorder out. He began scanning with it. Burt walked over and Tuff told him about Terrok. Burt looked up at Kelsoe. Kelsoe tapped his commbadge.
“Kelsoe to Pioneer,” Kelsoe said.
“Yes, Captain?” Braxis inquired.
“I’ve got some news,” Kelsoe said. “This is the Khellian.”
“Captain L’mar’s ship,” Braxis said. “Yes, I remember it distinctly.”
Braga was now leaving the bridge, following something he was picking up on his tricorder. Kelsoe licked his lips.
“We’re going to explore the ship some more,” Kelsoe said.
“Of course, Captain.”
Kelsoe took a step forward and they turned back to look at Terrok. He looked up at Burt and Tuff, who were looked at him.
“Commander Tuff, go down and see if you can help Lt. Commander Withrome,” Kelsoe said.
“Aye, sir,” Tuff said and left the bridge to head for the reactor.
Kelsoe turned to Burt.
“Let’s follow Dr. Braga,” Kelsoe suggest.
“I’m right with you,” Burt said as he followed along side Kelsoe out of the room.
They were now somewhere deep within the ship’s core. Braga was in the lead, still following the thing he had picked up on his tricorder.
“What are we following?” Burt pondered aloud.
“I’ve picked up a human life form aboard that is alive,” Braga said. “I want to find it.”
“Why?” Burt pondered aloud.
“Don’t at like a child, Commander,” Kelsoe said. “If he is alive, he might be able to tell us what happened.”
The darkness of the halls made movement sometimes difficult, especially with the dead bodies laying all around. Soon they reached a room that was lit by green liquid tanks. All the tanks were bubbling. The beeping on Braga’s tricorder stopped. Braga looked up.
“He’s in here, somewhere,” Braga said.
Burt stepped forward.
“Come out,” Burt said. “No need to be afraid. See, we’re humans too.”
Kelsoe and Braga walked up to the tanks filled with green liquid. Inside each tank was a small organic ball. Braga scanned the organic ball with his tricorder.
“It’s a human embryo,” Braga said. “It’s still in its early stages.”
“Are these the life forms you detected?” Kelsoe inquired.
“I don’t think so,” Braga said. “Right now the embryo hasn’t taken on any human form. Plus, I believe it’s dead.” He swung the tricorder over all the tanks. “All of these are dead.”
Meanwhile Burt was stumbling around the room. Suddenly there was a loud, high pitch scream and Burt emerged from the shadows with a small human child in his arms.
“Calm down,” Burt said. “You’re safe now.”
Kelsoe and Braga turned around. Kelsoe’s eyes opened wide.
“Oh my God,” Kelsoe said.
He quickly stepped over to Burt.
“Let him go,” Kelsoe demanded.
“Okay,” Burt said, confused.
Burt released the boy, and he stepped away from them. He looked up at them with big green eyes. The boy’s hair was light brown. Kelsoe dropped to his knees to be at the boy’s level. He stretched his arms out.
“Don’t be afraid,” Kelsoe said. “I won’t hurt you. I promise.”
The boy ran up and put his arms around Kelsoe. Kelsoe hugged the boy, and rubbed the back of his head. Kelsoe stood up, carrying the boy.
“We’re taking him to sickbay - now,” Kelsoe said in a firm voice.
Burt tapped his commbadge.
“Burt to Pioneer, four to beam directly to sickbay.”
Blue light illuminated the room as they were transported off the Romulan Warbird.
The boy sat on a bio-bed as Dr. Braga tended to his injuries. Kelsoe and Burt stood nearby watching. Burt nudged Kelsoe, noticing that he was staring at the boy with horrified eyes. Braga finished and stepped over. He, too, noticed Kelsoe’s expression. Kelsoe looked at them.
“That boy looks like me,” Kelsoe said.
“Captain,” Braga said, slowly. “That boy is you.”
“What?” Burt said.
“Well, a clone,” Braga said.
“The Romulans can clone people?” Burt questioned.
Kelsoe’s gaze never left the boy.
“Apparently so, Connor,” Kelsoe said. “I can see me in him at that age. He’s skinner though. I was a little more chubbier at six. The way he moves, and looks around. It’s all like me. He’s eyes are the dead give away. Those big green eyes. They’re the same. Big and observing, ready to explore.”
“He has a name,” Braga said. “He told me his name is Ben.”
“Ben,” Kelsoe said, “of course it is. He’s me. I’m him.”
“Not exactly,” Braga said. “I’m not quite sure how long he’s been, well, alive. I’m going to have to run a few test.”
Kelsoe was rubbing his chin. He looked over at Braga. He nodded slightly.
“All right,” Kelsoe said. “As long as you don’t scare him.”
Kelsoe’s commbadge chirped. He tapped it.
“Captain,” came Braxis’ voice. “You are need on the bridge.”
“All right, I’m be there shortly,” Kelsoe said. He turned back to Braga. “I’ll be back soon.”
Kelsoe and Burt left the sickbay and walked down the hallway towards the turbo-lift. Burt walked along side Kelsoe.
“Are you okay, Captain?” Burt asked, as they walked.
“I don’t know, Connor,” Kelsoe said. “I feel, I don’t know, well, violated.”
Burt nodded. “Taking your DNA and cloning you and all, huh?”
“Yes, Connor, that,” Kelsoe said rolling his eyes. “Come on! What’s the matter with you? You’ve been acting strangely lately.”
“I’m sorry,” Burt said. “I guess that whole thing about being captain... well, that just wasn’t for me.”
“Sorry I got mad,” Kelsoe said.
“No, that’s okay. It’s total understandable. If someone bad a clone of me without my consent I’d be pretty piss too.”
They reached the turbo-lift and the doors opened with a hiss. Kelsoe stepped into the turbo-lift, followed by Burt.
The turbo-lift doors closed and it began to hum. Soon they reached the bridge. The doors opened with a hiss and Kelsoe stepped out.
“What’s going on?” he demanded.
“We’ve picked up a ship,” Braxis said.
Janseen was standing next to Braxis in the enter of the bridge.
“Yes?” Kelsoe said.
“It’s a So’ja Cruiser,” Janseen said. “I think they attack the Romulans.”
“Why would they do that?” Kelsoe asked.
“When we spoke with Captain L’mar, he said that the Romulan Star Empire wanted to open up trading with the So’ja,” Braxis said in a very factual tone. “I believe that there must have been some kind of dispute.”
“So’ja didn’t like what they heard, eh?” Burt said sliding into his chair.
“Undoubtedly so,” Braxis said.
Kelsoe looked over at Tuff.
“Have they detected us yet?” Kelsoe inquired.
“No, Captain,” Tuff said, checking his sensors.
“All right,” Kelsoe said. “Let’s get the hell out of here. Mr. Zimmer, set a course for Deep Space Five - warp factor five.”
“Aye, Captain,” Zimmer said. “Setting course.”
“I’m going to go back down to sickbay and join Dr. Braga,” Kelsoe said. “Commander Burt, you have the conn.”
Kelsoe turned and reentered the turbo-lift.
Kelsoe entered the sickbay. Ben, the six-year old boy, was still siting on the bio-bed. Kelsoe looked at him. He looked older now, like he was ten. He shook his head. Dr. Chase Braga was sitting at his desk analyzing the data he had gathered. Kelsoe walked over to Braga.
“Anything?” Kelsoe asked.
“Yes,” Braga said, standing up. “I’ve found out something very interesting. The Romulans have implanted a gene to make him grow at a fast rate. Right now he’s around ten years old. He’s been talking more. He said he’s been alive for about nine months. I know this may sound weird, but I think he’s a prototype for a different clone.”
“Huh?” Kelsoe said.
“He’s growing too fast,” Braga said. “With the data I’ve gathered, I don’t think he’ll be alive for much longer, maybe a week.”
“Can you explain that, please?” Kelsoe said.
“He is you,” Braga said. “But he is not entirely you. He lacks some genes that you have. To survive you would have to give up all of your blood.”
“All of it?”
“Yes,” Braga said. “All of your blood. You would have to sacrifice yourself to allow him to live.”
“Is that some sort of flaw with the Romulan genetic growth?” Kelsoe pondered.
“I think it is,” Braga said.
The small computer console on Braga’s desk beeped. Braga looked down.
“Oh, excuse me,” Braga said. “One of my test is completed.”
Braga sat down and began to review the results. Kelsoe looked over at Ben and walked forward.
“Your name is Ben, too,” said Ben.
“Yes,” Kelsoe said.
“Are we the same person?” Ben asked. “Oh! I know I’m not suppose to listen. Captain L’mar made that clear. I was only to observe.”
“Huh? Observe?” Kelsoe said.
“I heard him tell Commander Terrok that I was to replace someone,” Ben said.
“I suppose you were made to replace me,” Kelsoe said.
“But something went wrong, right, mister?” Ben asked.
Kelsoe stepped closer to the bio-bed and sat down next to Ben.
“I’m afraid so,” Kelsoe said.
“I figure so,” Ben said. “They said I was growing to fast, not like the other one.”
“The other one?” Kelsoe said. “Who?”
“Shinzon,” Ben said. “He was the one Captain L’mar took most pride in.”
“Shinzon?” Kelsoe said. “Who’s Shinzon?”
“I don’t know,” Ben said. “I never met him. I only heard Captain L’mar and Commander Terrok speak about him. I seems like he was to replace someone too, but the Senate changed their minds and he was cast away into the mines of Remus. Do you know where Remus is?”
“Yes,” Kelsoe said. “It’s a natural satellite of Romulus.”
“What do you suppose happen to him?” Ben asked.
“I don’t know,” Kelsoe said.
“Do you hate me?” Ben asked.
“Huh - what?” Kelsoe said.
Ben shifted around.
“Well that’s how it looks like when you look at me,” Ben said.
“It’s just that it’s strange to see myself at ten, again,” Kelsoe said.
“Tell me more about Shinzon,” Kelsoe said.
“Not much to tell,” Ben said. “Just that Senate was not pleased with him, or something. Captain L’mar said that the Senate didn’t want to use his plan to make clones to replace people. Captain L’mar got mad, yet he still kept doing it aboard his ship with the help of Commander Terrok.”
“Replacing people,” Kelsoe said, rubbing his chin. “Who would the Romulans’ want to replace?”
Kelsoe thought, it would have to be someone with a lot of power and influence. Suddenly it occurred to him.
“Picard!” Kelsoe said.
“What?” Ben said.
“Shinzon must be Picard’s clone,” Kelsoe said.
“Who’s Picard?” Ben asked.
“Captain Jean-Luc Picard,” Kelsoe said. “Officer in commander of Starfleet’s flagship, the Enterprise.”
Kelsoe ran down the halls towards the turbo-lift. The crewmen in the hallways, got out of his way while he ran pass. It did not take long for him to reach the turbo-lift. Once inside Kelsoe gave the computer the command for the bridge and soon he reached the bridge. Kelsoe ran out of the turbo-lift and into the bridge.
“Quickly,” he ordered. “Contact Starfleet Command. Now!”
Tracy looked up shocked.
“Uh, yes, sir,” she said. “Opening a channel now.”
The screen placed to Admiral Hayes siting at his desk. He looked up, and was most obversely surprised.
“Captain Kelsoe?” Hayes said. “What’s the matter?”
“Where’s the Enterprise?” Kelsoe demanded. “Where’s Captain Picard?”
Hayes raised his hand. “Calm down, Ben,” Hayes said. “Captain Picard and the Enterprise has been sent to Romulus to meet with the Romulans’ new leader, Praetor Shinzon...”
“Praetor Shinzon...?” Kelsoe said, softly.
“Yes,” Hayes nodded. “Admiral Janeway gave the order to him herself. She wanted to be the one to tell him that peace may be here. We believe that Praetor Shinzon is a Reman.”
“Reman...?” Kelsoe repeated, softly.
“Yes, Ben,” Hayes said. “What’s the matter.”
“We need to call them back,” Kelsoe said. “We’ve just found out that the Romulans have been making clones.”
“Clones!?” Hayes said.
“Apparently the Romulan Senate stopped it a couple years ago,” Kelsoe explain, “but Captain L’mar, one of the designers of the cloning plan, is still making clones. Right now we have a clone aboard with us. A clone of me.”
“Clone... of you?” Hayes said slowly.
“Yes,” Kelsoe said. “I’ve learned from him that this Shinzon is a clone. Of who? He was no sure. But I have reason to believe that Shinzon is a clone of Captain Picard. You must call them back, now!”
“We’ve just lost communications with the Enterprise,” Hayes said. “We believe they’ve meet with Praetor Shinzon. If what you say is true, Captain Kelsoe, then I’m sure that Picard will take care of it. I’ll discuss this further with Starfleet Command, meanwhile I want you to keep an eye on the So’ja. Hayes out.”
The view screen switched to the standard transmission end image of Starfleet Command. Kelsoe turned and looked at his crew.
“Captain?” Burt said standing up.
“Connor, we’re going to follow our orders,” Kelsoe said, and stepped down into the center of the bridge. “Mr. Zimmer, set course for the Romulan Warbird. We’re going to find out what really happened. Meanwhile I’ll find out what Joanna discovered.”
Kelsoe turned and went back into the turbo-lift.
Captain Kelsoe walked into Engineering. Most of the Engineering personnel were walking around performing their various duties. Kelsoe looked around and saw Joanna working on a console near the warp core. Kelsoe walked up to her.
“Joanna?” he said.
She turned around.
“Oh, Captain. What can I do for you?” Joanna said.
“What did you find out on the Warbird?” Kelsoe said.
“What happened wasn’t any attack,” Joanna said. “I can tell you that! The reactor of the Warbird was set to overload.”
“What!?” Kelsoe exclaimed.
“One escape pod was missing, too,” Joanna said. “Someone set the reactor to overload and then left. Who was it? I don’t know. Did Dr. Braga check the identities of the dead crewmen?”
“I don’t know,” Kelsoe said. “We were all kind of distracted by finding the cloning lab.”
“Um, Captain, Lt. Commander?” Kavoc inquired.
Joanna turned and looked at Kavoc.
“Yes, Ensign?” Joanna said.
“I did not mean to listen in, however I believe I have the knowledge that you are searching for,” Kavoc said.
“Oh! You do?” Joanna said.
“Yes,” Kavoc said. “I took the liberty of scanning the Romulan Warbird before we left. All the crew was accounted for except Captain L’mar.”
“L’mar!” Kelsoe said. “Of course. He would have set the reactor of overload.”
“Why would he damage his own ship?” Joanna asked.
“The Senate did not want to fund his cloning experiments,” Kelsoe said. “The So’ja Coalition are obversely interested.”
Suddenly the alarms went off and Burt’s voice came over on all the communications.
“Red Alert! All hands to battle stations.”
Kelsoe turned and ran out of Engineering.
“What the hell is going on?” Kelsoe asked as he eased down into his seat.
“The So’ja Cruiser has powered her weapons,” Burt said.
“Hail them,” Kelsoe ordered.
“Their responding,” Tracy announced.
The view screen lit up with the bridge of the So’ja Cruiser. He met the gaze of his old nemesis, Maj Ru’mal.
“So you live?” Kelsoe said.
“To fight another fight,” Ru’mal said. “Ah, but this time I have something that you want.” He smiled wickedly and stepped back. L’mar stepped into view.
“Ah, Captain Kelsoe,” L’mar said.
Kelsoe grabbed his chair’s arms and stood up. “L’mar!?”
“So nice to see you again, too,” L’mar grinned. “I hope you’ve found Ben. He was not one of my most prized creations, yet he served his purpose.”
“And what was that?” Kelsoe inquired.
“To stall you from telling Starfleet about my clones,” Ru’mal said. “I had to protect Shinzon. Even though I was forced to abandon him by that despicable Senate. Whom are all gone now thanks to my creation.”
“What’s going to happen to your people?” Kelsoe said. “Are you going to let them suffer and die under the rain of a vengeful clone?”
“Shinzon is a prefect creation,” L’mar said. “He’ll do what needs to be done, to avenge my governments betrayal and your Federation’s with strain.”
“You won’t get away with this!” Kelsoe said.
“Oh, but we already have,” Ru’mal said. “If you check you sensors you’ll see that we’ve already gone to warp.”
Kelsoe turned and looked up at Craig.
“Confirmed, Captain,” Craig said. “Sensors pick them up three light-years away.”
“Bye - bye, Captain,” L’mar said. “Parting is such sweat sorrow.”
L’mar and Ru’mal began to laugh. Kelsoe signaled for Tracy to terminate the transmission, which she did. Kelsoe turned around and shook his head. Kelsoe commbadge beeped.
“Sickbay to the bridge,” came Braga’s voice.
Kelsoe tapped his commbadge.
“Yes?” Kelsoe said.
“Captain, I think you better get down here,” Braga said.
Kelsoe looked up at Burt. Burt nodded.
“Go,” Burt said.
Kelsoe dashed into sickbay. Over on the bio-bed laid Ben. The bio-scanners were up and covering his body. Kelsoe ran over and Braga stopped him.
“You don’t want to see,” Braga said. “Believe me. He’s way begun any help.”
“Let me go, Chase,” Kelsoe said. “Let me speak to him.”
“Very well,” Braga said, releasing Kelsoe.
Kelsoe took a deep breath and straighten his uniform. He slowly began to walk closer to the bio-bed. As he got closer, he could see more and more of Ben’s head. As he pass the bio-scanners and glanced down at them. The monitors on them showed Ben’s DNA strands and also his pulse, which was become weaker by the second. Soon Kelsoe had a full view of the boy’s face. His veins were all visible with what looked like green blood.
“Why his is blood green?” Kelsoe inquired softly.
“He has some Romulan DNA in him,” Braga said. “To be able to live a full life and slow down his growth rate, as I said before, you would have had to donate all your blood.”
Kelsoe looked down at Ben, who's eyes opened. Ben stared up at with blood shocked eyes.
“I’m...I...I....mmm,” Ben muttered.
“Shhh,” Kelsoe shoved, rubbing Ben’s forehead. “It’ll be okay. You have helped save us. I won’t forget you.”
Ben summoned all the strength he could to speak again.
“Do you love me, father?” Ben inquired.
Kelsoe had never thought of it that way. But in a sense it was true. Ben was genetical part of Kelsoe and could be defined as his offspring.
“Yes...,” Kelsoe hesitated, “I love you, son.”
Ben smiled, weakly and then the monitors beeped and he went flat line. Kelsoe looked at the bio-scanner’s monitors. He looked up at Braga.
“Let it be noted in the logs that... my son, Benjamin Kelsoe, Jr., died at oh eight hundred hours,” Kelose said.
“Yes, Captain,” Braga said. “Anything else?”
Kelsoe looked down at Ben and sighed.
“I would have never thought I would feel like this,” Kelsoe said. “I feel like I have truly lost my child.”
“In a way you have,” Braga said. “I was wrong about him being a total clone. You see he was the next step in L’mar’s experiments. He’s not you. He’s a mix between you’re DNA and the DNA of a Romulan female. But he was raised to seem like a clone. I’ve analyzed the data that I took from L’mar’s lab. From his personal logs it seems like he was trying to create a super being of some kind.”
“Then he is my son,” Kelsoe said. “Did you tell him?”
“Yes,” Braga said. “And I must tell you he was very pleased to and honored to have you as a father.”
Kelsoe smiled, but it failed quickly.
“Somehow I don’t think that Shinzon was the same,” Kelsoe said. “Something awful is going to happen and I don’t no what it will be.”