Literary Challenge #39 : Lone Drone
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Join Date: Jul 2012
02-22-2013, 12:04 PM
After much deliberation, Isabella Hillel decided that she hated Benjamin Sisko. Her husband Yair had been racked with uncertainty after his "vision" in the Bajoran wormhole and subsequent talk with Sisko. The look in Yair's eyes when he recited Sisko's words to her was horrific. "Miles O'Brien spent the last three years of his life helping poor Bajoran colonies. It only makes sense that the Prophets would smile on his work - and want someone else to carry on."
Right now Yair was playing with their four year old daughter Emily. It was obvious to Isabella (and probably Emily too) that he wasn't paying attention. His mind was lost in the wormhole.
I woke up to the red alert klaxon and Lieutenant Carpenter's high pitch voice begging for the senior staff. Isabella was already stirring next to me. I ran into the closet to find a uniform and a phaser while she went to comfort Emily.
"Hillel to Ensign M'Taztru."
"M'Taztru here. We entered the Gamma Orionis System Seventeen Theta Two Hundred Eleven and detected that appears to be the remains of a Borg vessel, sir."
I stood up and jogged towards the safe where my weapons are kept. "Is it safe to use the emergency transport protocol?"
"Yes sir. There are no ships within sensor range. Someone could be cloaked though."
"Thank you. I'll be right there." I closed the safe and stood up. "Computer, beam me to the bridge, authorization Hillel Tango Epsilon Eight."
I was the first senior officer to reach the bridge. Apparently no one else remembers about the emergency transport protocol at 0347 hours. Lieutenant Carpenter stood up and walked over to me. Her blond hair was a mess and her face was pale.
"Sir, we have detected the wreckage of a Borg ship."
"Understood. Lieutenant, I relieve you of command, but please stay here until Captain Carter arrives."
She nodded and a let out a sigh of relief. "I stand relieved sir."
My first orders were to shut off the annoying klaxon and order non-essential alpha shift personnel back to their quarters. Finding Borg wreckage in the Gamma Orionis Sector was not worth waking up the entire crew for. It might not have been waking anyone up for. I made a mental note to suggest a replacement for the gamma shift leader once this affair was sorted out.
Once Carter and T'Panna arrived, I relieved M'Taztru from the tactical post and told him that I'd complete the rest of his shift. Carter shared my annoyance at Lieutenant Carpenter. She didn't know why we were visiting Gamma Orionis System Seventeen Theta Two Hundred Eleven, but really, finding wreckage gave us all the information we needed. It was time to move on.
The Bajoran operations officer mentioned something about life signs. Bajorans and their Prophets...I hadn't slept well since I met their wormhole aliens. I've been drinking a lot more since then too. Why can't they keep their religion to themselves?
"Hillel, what is your recommendation?" Carter was staring at me.
I quickly replied. "I'm sorry sir, I was focusing on something else. What was the question?"
The Bajoran woman answered. "Do you think it is safe to beam the Borg life sign into the brig?"
These wandering thoughts about her Gods would have to wait. "We can do it, but I'd rather send the shuttle
to retrieve it. I think that this is the perfect time to test Jarvis' new remote maneuvering system."
In hindsight, sending the
probably wasn't the best idea. The rendezvous with the Borg was flawless, but the landing left much to be desired. We watched
's nose drag along Shuttle Bay Two's floor and felt sorry for Jarvis. We did get a good laugh once the crash webbing restrained the shuttle.
Some of my security team moved the unconscious drone to the brig on deck 15. We were met by counselor sh'Raul and Lieutenant Thyssr, the Andorian doctor with the most knowledge of the Borg. At least Andorians don't have crazy Gods that hijack your life.
I stationed Ensigns Solane and Gardener at the door and joined the Andorians inside. I'm not quite sure what sh'Raul was hoping for - I thought the plan was to keep the drone unconscious forever. I guess that his time spent counseling wounded Jem'Hadar in the Gamma Quadrant softened him up. This poor soul had already lost his life when he was assimilated. Why not just end things for him?
My mind started to wander after a few minutes. Emily was having difficulty with her schooling, and Isabella and I had no clue what to do differently. It's not like we could just fire the only teacher onboard and do a better job ourselves. But if we end up moving to Bajor, I bet there are plenty of good teachers there. Emily might finally get comfortable being around other species. But what if she follows the Prophets? I just can't stand how...
I was startled by a loud crashing sound. The emergency bulkhead had slammed down, and then the brig was ejected into space. Thyssr was lying on the ground with right his arm and foot missing. The bulkhead must have severed them. Did I forget to tell him about that security feature?
I help calm Thyssr down until the medics and removed him. I thought my troubles were over, but T'Panna was blocking the exit. Vulcans don't have a lot of facial expressions, but I could tell that there was fire underneath her calm silence.
Commander T'Panna was very disappointed in Hillel. It was almost like his mind was trapped somewhere else. Why was he so slow to answer questions? Why did he fail to warn Thyssr about the bulkhead? A big red line painted on the floor is not a good excuse for failing to tell a junior officer about emergency protocol.
The drone had been programmed to emit an obscure frequency that would bypass the ship's shields and allow for a remote transport.
's sensors identified the threat and took the necessary precautions. The brig detonated one thousand meters away from the hull, causing a breach on deck 13 and one fatality. The death toll could have been much worse.
Now she was on her way to brief Captain Carter. Why had he failed to respond when she called earlier? She approached the door and pressed the chime. This was an arranged ruse though - he had programmed the door to automatically admit her.
Carter was sitting on his couch, facing the viewports. He did not greet her. She silently walked over and joined him. Then she asked what was on his mind.
"This afternoon Admiral Leavenworth contacted me to let me know that he is preparing a court martial. He called my excursion into the Mirror Universe 'a prime example of how personal feelings have compromised your ability to lead.' The court will convene at Starbase 24 in one month."
T'Panna shifted to face Carter directly. He continued. "The interesting thing is that he gave me a choice. I can take reassignment away from the Odyssey and retain my rank. He implied that my next command would be that of a cargo hauler. Or I can stand trial."
"I'm sorry," she quietly replied. Then she leaned in to kiss Carter, but he withdrew and stood up.
"It gets worse. If I don't take his offer, he's going to prosecute you as well. Your main infraction was failing to report our relationship, which isn't going to land you in a prison. But it will almost certainly keep you from being promoted again. I have to admit it - Leavenworth knows how to get a reaction. I almost lost my temper when he told me that he would come after you.
"So what can I do? If I stay, both of us are going to lose our careers. Or I can leave you here and carry freight to refugees for the rest of my career. There's no way anyone would approve of a crew transfer, and I couldn't ask you to sacrifice your career to join me in exile. I have one week to make my decision."
T'Panna walked over to him and buried her head in his chest. This was going to be the first time that she'd cried in his presence.
Note: Hillel's encounter with the Prophets is shown in Literary Challenge 38. Carter's excursion in the Mirror Universe is shown in Literary Challenge 37.
Last edited by superhombre777; 02-22-2013 at