"Yes, I assure you the base is unprotected. Bring your birds, and you will have run of the place until the Federation catches wind of it, by then, you best be gone," the Ferengi voice said, low and hard to understand, but apparent none the less.
The two men wore suits and ties, more akin to 21'st century wear than 25th, with Starfleet insignias sewn into the suit right above the heart, if they truly even had hearts. They looked very similar, squared jutting chins, broad jaws, and blue eyes. One however was blonde, the other dark haired.
The dark haired man cut the recording off, and both stared at Luke. Luke simply stared back for a moment.
"You don't suppose that is me," he finally said, looking from one to the other.
The blonde looked to the dark haired man then back to Luke.
"I am Agent Right, I work with Commander Drake. This is Agent Martin."
Drake, of course they worked with him. He was the spook of the system, and why bother to come on his own if he could send some goons.
Luke just watched the two, and said nothing.
"Well, anyway, Drake asked us to contact you about this, and quite frankly, we think you have more to do with this than you think."
"I dont think anything, because I do not know what this is, and since I do not know what this is, the chances of me being involved lies between slim and absolutely not. With that said, feel free to go on. I am interested in finding out what it is all about," Luke looked blankly at the two again, and waited their answer.
The dark haired man stood up, and ignored the frown of disapproval from his partner.
"I am tired of this crap. Look, the guy on the recording is your buddy, that we have you speaking to up until the time he left the station about a week and a half ago. His name is Git, and he asked you to transport some illegal material into Federation Space. Now, you can either start cooperating with us, or we can throw you in the brig until you do. Is THIS clear enough for you, Captain?"
Luke was stunned into silence, something that happens very little. Git was a small time smuggler, not someone that the big boys would even bat an eye at.
"Simmer down Martins," Right said, and Martins sat back down, with quite the frown on his face.
"You acknowledge that you know Git?" Right asked.
"I know him," Luke said, now his curiosity was getting the better of him. Also, it sounded like Git had gotten himself into more trouble than he could handle.
"Then you know he is small time, and obviously not worth our time," Right said, now a look of concern on his face.
"Low lifes like that usually don't register on the big boys pay scale, in other words, Captain," Martins said, offering a sneer of dislike to Luke.
Luke thought of many come backs in but a moment, most of which would have prompted the big suit to hit him, but he didn't have time for that. Something was up with Git.
"What happened?" Luke asked.
Martins pushed a file over to Luke, then Right explained.
"Your friend, Git, apparently got mixed up in a Romulan group that wish to take control of the empire itself. Normally that would not be our concern. Yet, they are looking for something big, what they are looking for, we are not really sure. There is talk of a star eater, which sounds ridiculous of course. Other talk of a better cloaking device. That sounds a bit more feasible. Apparently, Git did some work for them, and once he was involved with them, they decided they would use him until they could not use him anymore."
"Your little ugly friend got in over his head, which of course isn't that hard for the midgets of the Galaxy to do," Martin chuckled, this time Luke looked him in the eye.
"He is my friend, sir, and I would ask you show some decency, if not respect."
"I will show you...." Martin began, but Right grabbed his shoulder, and Martin shut up.
"Captain Minhere, we think Git is in danger. We lost contact with him near the neutral zone. Everything went dark. He apparently sent the Romulans here, but why I do not know. They came expecting the place to be easy pickings, and obviously it was not. Martin and I were dark at the time, and it took us this long to get back here. The Federation assured us that the place was secure, and wished to see where you stood on things. You passed the test. We will be removing the Quantum Device from your warp drive before you leave."
"Don't bother, Lt. Commander Pac already removed it," Luke said, waving it off. He was use to booby traps, bombs, and set ups. His former upbringing taught him that, and his extra curricular activities kept the skill sharp.
Martin frowned, but said nothing.
"Anyway, if you can help us to find your friend, we can see to his safety. If you know where he may be, or, if there is a way to track him that you know of. I fear the Romulans have him, but we do not know for sure."
"I don't know. I see him very little anymore. I was raised around him, you see," Luke said. He was not really divulging information, he knew the two already had that information.
"Well, anything that can help. Contact us through Drake if you think of something," Right nodded, and motioned for Martin to follow him out as they stood. "Keep and read the file, it is your mission statement. If you are caught somehow in neutral zone, or anywhere outside of Federation Space, you will be deemed a rogue agent, and subject to whatever laws you broke. Is this understood?"
Luke simply nodded.
Luke met Sezirea outside of the office.
"What was that about," she asked, concern now flowing across her face.
"We will talk on the Blackwolf. Have Pac perform a complete sweep of the ship and all of it's systems. Make sure there are no bugs," Luke said, as he lead Sezirea to the transporters.
"Things are picking up around here, and we are already chest deep in it without even knowing," Luke said, and Sezirea could see the concern in his eyes, something she seldom saw in Luke's eyes.
Lt. Commander Pac, Lt. Commander Seziera, and Lt. Monica all accompanied Luke into his ready room. The crew watched, but knew not to question any of their captain's actions. He was a hero, so they were all told. Most were either awed by him, or perhaps jealous of him, but he had never given any of them a reason to dislike him one bit.
"What is this all about, Captain," Pac asked. Of course he did. He was the voice of reason and in many ways the voice of the Federation. This was one of many reasons Luke liked having him around.
"It seems we have a, mission to go on," Luke said, looking to Seziera, then back to Pac. "Starfleet wishes us to check out some star systems for a group of rogue Romulans. This will be off of the record, in many ways."
Pac and Monica nodded, Seziera simply folded her arms and leaned against the wall. She was interested in hearing his spin on all of this. Monica wouldn't care one bit, she would follow Luke to hell and back. In fact, Seziera had a feeling Monica had a similar background as Luke. Pac on the other hand had to be convinced. Not that he would disobey orders, Pac would never do such a thing.
"Why discreet. It sounds like a common mission to me," Pac said, his head tilting only slightly.
"It is in the neutral zone, Pac. And if we are caught, the Federation will not acknowledge our mission," Luke looked into Pac's eyes, attempting to determine what the man may be thinking.
Pac simply shrugged.
"Then we should not get caught. Give me the coordinance Captain, and I will see to it that the crew is informed that we are on a classified mission. There will be no outside contact unless administration says so."
Luke smiled. He was growing to like Pac more and more.
(Writer's Note- From this time on, understand this is either a true story to you, meaning you can accept it along with the canon, or not. I have done some research into Star Trek, having only been a semi-fan, and mostly of TNG. It is good to note here that Star Trek does not follow any real canon, therefor, I hope any reader can look past anything that may seem out of place in what you, yourself believe. The thing I have come to enjoy about Star Trek, is that it leaves a good bit open to ones own imagination. No, I have not become a Trekkie yet. I will not be dressed as a Klingon or Vulcan anytime soon. I have come to respect the writers, and the community, and the wealth of imagination that it encourages concerning our own universe, and the things around us. We are all mere people, enjoying our families, our friends, and our very lives around us, while an entire universe spins about us.
Again, I am no Trekkie. However, when the night is dark, and I look up, I can almost see that somewhere, somehow, out there, there is more than just the life we have around us. It should garner a deeper respect for our universe around us, and make us realize, not how unimportant we are, but how important we are, to be a part of this universe and it's surroundings. While man may not have achieved the ability to go "where no man has gone before" in the physical sense, we are blessed with the imagination to go where none have gone before, and through writing it down, we can take along some friends. I hope you enjoy the crazy life of Luke Minhere, in or about the year 2409, as much as I enjoy your stories. You are welcome to join me, and you are more than welcome to participate with your own writings. While the universe is huge, there is no reason that our characters would not cross each others path.
Math says time and space are not fixed. The right combination of things, the correct formula, and anything is possible. So, ENGAGE, my friends, and enjoy. )
"Captain's Log, encoded. My ship has been sent to the edge of Delta Quadrant. We are not the typical exploration ship, in fact, we are not out here to explore at all. We are here to develop information. It appears that the Romulans as a culture are in trouble, and have been since the destruction of their home planet, Romulus. Desperate people do desperate things. Their sense of centralization has fractured, and now there seems to be core groups here and there. My friend, even more than a friend, a family member in everything except actual blood, has gotten himself caught up into something, and I fear he may be in trouble. Worse, Section 31 has taken an interest in his endeavors, and his friendships. He was involved in the attack on a Space Station, even were he not involved purposefully. His intent has no bearings on the way Section 31 sees him. If there is a splinter group of Romulans out there, then I must find them. They apparently have hopes of recreating the empire they once were. They may also have my friend, Git. Drake is no fool. While I may have turned down a mission to retrieve information of some Romulans attempting to see the rebirth of their empire, I will not walk away from my friend. Civilizations come and go. Some have lasted for millions of years, and some have died out in mere centuries. However, friends are who make us who we are. I live in a time when the one is sacrificed, if need be, for the greater good of the many. Honorable, to say the least. However, I never bought into that. I would sacrifice a galaxy to save those I love. Apparently I am someone Section 31 feels they can use. On the otherhand, Section 31 is something I can use."
Luke hit save, knowing that the encryption can well be broken some day by the Federation, Section 31 in particular. He didn't care so much about that. In fact, a part of him wanted them to see it.
The Delta Quadrant was only recently, in space terms, explored by the U.S.S. Voyager, an Intrepid Class Science Vessel, though only by accident. The Voyager was trapped a great distance away. Trapped by space and time. A transwarp was able to bring them back, and bring forth a new era in space travel. A new era does not always make for something better. The Delta Quadrant brought them some fabulous discoveries, but it also brought them the Hirogen, the Borg, and the Undine. None of these considered "good finds". However, it is the Hirogen of the Delta Quadrant that has caught Luke's attention. They are friends with the Romulans. This is where Section 31 apparently feels Git may be. Unfortunately, Luke knows this is probably where Git is, and has been off and on for some time. He never bothered with the why of it all, the edge of the Delta Quadrant is not exactly the Delta Quadrant, and the Ferengi tend to be wherever commerce may be most plentiful.
Now, the U.S.S. Wolfpack has been docked, and the U.S.S. Blackwolf has been recommissioned. A tactical escort ship, it is only fitting, if one is to enter the Delta Quadrant, to have a ship that is well prepared to defend itself. Luke could not help wonder on the "recommissioned" part, as he had not heard of the ship prior. He was assured it was fitted with everything he would need, and most important, a transwarp system that could get him home.
He was the captain of a ship with 700 members on board, including some civilians. Now, he is a captain of 50, and civilians on board would be rare to say the least.
"So we are on a mission of discovery," Luke spoke through the on board comm system. "It may be filled with dangers, but I assure you that on the Blackwolf, we will be safe. Everyone on board is expected to do their jobs, and some day, we may very well get accommodations if we succeed. Captain Minhere out."
Sezirea smiled, as Luke turned the mic off.
"Mission of Discovery is it?"
"Well, yes. Discover who these Romulans are that apparently felt a need to attack a Star Base. Discovering where Git is would not be so bad. Discovering what may be going on right on our border. Yes, I would say a mission of discovery," Luke offered, then leaned back into his leather chair, the one he had removed from the Wolfpack, that had been salvaged from the Nina.
Sezirea offered a smile. She was Trill, joined with a symbiotic life. Her memories stretched generations passed her current captain's, yet something about the young human was intriguing. He was not raised by humans, he was raised by Ferengi, a strange upbringing for sure.
"I wonder how they would feel knowing that their captain is considered a rogue fleet captain," she said, but not in any attempt to spark a philosophical discussion, Sezirea really wondered such.
"I am not sure, but whether being sent to study the 4 moons of Aura in the Alpha Quadrant, or sent to find out what the Romulans are up to in the Delta Quadrant, they have their jobs to do. Weighing them down with mission specifics would not be beneficial," Luke offered one of his own smiles, the one that usually stopped people, particularly females, in their tracks.
"I would fear that you would have more transfer request than we could manage," Sezirea replied, unaffected by the smile.
Sezirea was the bridge science officer, and it was her duty to insure that, even though they were not on a science discovery mission, that science would continue to be researched.
"May be so, Commander, but we will not be studying that behavioral process. Now, if you would meet me on the bridge, we can get underway. There is an old outpost that was once run by the Vulcans, but the space station is now civilian. I think we can expect to find some answers there from some old acquaintances of mine," Luke said.
Luke's eyes flowed to the leather chair, then both exited the ready room.
"Outpost Z," Luke motioned to the monitor as the old space station came into sight. It was basically a typical space station, rounded and rotating.
"It looks rusted and falling apart," Monica said, eyeing the screen from her tactical station.
Luke looked to the screen, obviously not seeing it the way she did. Of course he knew his own views were influenced by other factors.
"Well, indeed Monica, it may look that way," he said, his smile fading only slightly. "We wont be docking though, so do not worry. Pac, you will need to beam us aboard. Monica, Sezeria, and Jason, you are with me. Nazsea, you have the bridge."
Luke looked about as soon as the transport was finished, plasma pistols in hand. He carried two, and was known for his abilities with them. The rest of crew carried Star Fleet issued phasers, make VIII. Something that would eventually have to be changed, and stopping here may actually be useful in just that.
"The station is very quiet," Jason said, looking about through his molecular visors. "It has been for some time."
Luke nodded. He had been here several times, though never with this crew. Never with his own ship either.
Usually the place was a bustle of activity, though not exactly with the people that Star Fleet liked to rub elbows with. The Nina was allowed to keep track of them, a record of them was better than driving them into hiding.
And the Ferengi were very good at hiding.
"Captain, there are life signs here, this way, toward what I would assume is the administration part of the station," Jason said. The way he motioned confirmed to Luke the man was right, that exactly where administration was.
Luke peered into the dining hall, which was completely shut down, the chairs were properly placed onto the tables.
"Mig ran a tight ship in there," Luke said. "He never shut down, either."
"Mig?" Sezirea asked.
"A Ferengi acquaintance," Luke said. "They, well, bought this space station years ago. It was intended as a docking station, for civilians as well as, others."
"So he is the owner?"
"One of them," Luke chuckled a bit. "Come on, let' get to the administration office and see what is happening."
"Ah, Captain Luke Minhere, my old acquaintance," the Ferengi said from behind his desk. Two large Klingons stood on either side of him, eyeing the new comer.
"Mig, how are profits," Luke asked. It was meant in the way of a pleasant greeting, but it seemed to cause Mig to wince, though only slightly.
"Fine, fine," Mig said, motioning Luke to enter. "Your crew members, will they be coming in as well?"
"No, they feel cramped in small places," Luke replied, offering a warm smile. Luke saw the quick glance between the Klingons. They were carrying typical disruptors, Klingon styled. Neither wore the official outfits of their empire, and Luke could only assume they were not here on empire business.
Luke entered, and heard the air shift as the door closed behind him.
"I didn't know you would have company in here, but then again, the place is deserted, aside apparently from your friends here," Luke pointed out.
"Friends? No, they are my body guards. I hired them only a few days ago. They are renegades from their empire, and were in need of work."
The two Klingons simply stared at Luke.
"I see," Luke said. " We wont be staying long, of course. We have business elsewhere."
"Ah, the Federation, always has business somewhere. As always, my good acquaintance, you are welcome here. Take your crew to the Hospitality Suite, you should have passed it on your way in. Make yourselves at home, your meals are on me." Mig nodded to Luke.
Before Mig could finish his nod, Luke's Plasma Pistols were in motion, a speed that almost defied the human mind. The two Klingons fell dead before they even knew they were in a gun fight.
Mig's head dropped to the desk as he let out a big sigh.
"I knew you would catch on," Mig said.
"Hospitality Suite? As if you would break the law and have such a place on board," Luke chuckled, as he examined the two Klingons. The door behind him opened with his crew filing in, phasers in hand.
Mig smiled as he looked to the crew.
"There are more in the deck below. No doubt they already know you killed their friends here."
"How many, and why are they here," Luke asked.
"About another half dozen. They were left here by a Romulon War Bird three weeks ago, they were the only ones to come aboard."
Luke looked them over, one apparently being the elder, his face more scarred.
"He was their leader, and there was no apparent second in command," the Ferengi offered.
"So we have six more below, monitoring what is going on?" Luke asked, a bit concerned as he looked out of the office door down the long corridors.
"Relax, and leave them to me," Mig said, as he gathered himself together.
"What are you going to do, proposition them to death?" Luke chuckled at the very non-violent little businessman that was pushing passed him into the hall.
"No, not to death. I will make a deal with them. Obviously they are not part of the Empire, and obviously their leader is dead. Also obvious, and was becoming apparent to them, their Romulan friends were not coming back for them. You actually interrupted a discussion of whether to kill me, or allow me to live as their partners. I was quite pleased you arrived, because I believe the me being killed side of the argument was beginning to win. It was hard for me to obtain the upper hand, since everything I had they could acquire after my death."
Luke nodded, understanding.
"So what is it that you plan to offer these other Klingons," Pac asked.
"A job," Mig said, a smile on his face as he headed down the hall.
"Shall we join him?" asked Sezeria.
"No, let him be. He knows what he is doing," was all Luke could offer. The others did not seem to like the idea of just standing there while apparent enemies were below, but Luke just motioned them back to the dining hall.
"We will take advantage of his offer of a free meal," Luke chuckled.
[[Well said in post 13 above I am reading these with an open mind. Like you suggested the "Trekverse" is a big story and while some points are 'canon', you are enjoying it from your perspective and no one should take that away from you (within reason).
For my part, I am enjoying this as an observer. It's almost like a daily short story to me Keep it up! ]]
"This won't stand Luke, I tell you, this WONT STAND!" Mig hopped about a bit, as he did when he was upset, losing his normal all business demeanor.
Luke finished the last of his meal, a nice ice steak from sector four. This was one of the most expensive meals the station had to offer.
"The way I see it, old friend, you owed it to me," Luke said, leaning back to allow the meal to digest properly.
"I owe you? I owe you?" Mig demanded.
"See, we are agreed," Luke chuckled, as the Ferangi's face actually turned a shade of red, something that was not easy to do to such dark skin.
"What? No, that is not what I meant. You have been here now for a week, and in this week you have paid for nothing," Mig said, his eyes showing his anger, only causing Luke to chuckle. He then lifted a hand, knowing he was pushing his friend past the point of friendship.
"Federation credits are good everywhere," Luke said, and tossed a card to Mig.
"Knowing you, you tramp, this is probably a trick," Mig insisted, but scurried away with the card. Luke knew he would be charged more than any of the meals, and any of the supplies he transferred to his ship was worth. He did not care. The Federation could pay for it, he would get what he needed, and Mig would make out like the great businessman he was.
Mig returned with a big smile, and a very different demeanor as he planted himself in a chair at the dining table with Luke. Customers were actually in the space station now, since Luke got rid of Mig's Klingon problem. The two he killed were brothers, and leading their band of a half dozen Klingons on a coup to take over the station. They had stopped all traffic before Luke's arrival.
Now, the space travelers were filtering in again, and Mig even had some new security to watch over his place in the way of the remaining Klingons he brokered a deal with. Face captivity on a Federation prison planet, or work for Mig. Even the stubborn, honor and glory bound Klingons could not pass it up.
"Look, I appreciate everything you did for me Luke, but you know, business is business," Mig said, nodding his head.
"Of course, and that is why I paid you, when I well could have stuck to your agreement of gratuity," Luke chuckled.
"Well, that, yes, but I am talking about something else. I mean, we don't get many Federation ships out here, and let me tell you, that one you have parked out there is a beauty to behold, and can put the fear in even the dimmest of aliens," Mig said with as much respect as he could muster.
"But," Luke asked, his own smile now fading, knowing exactly where this was going.
"But it can't stay here," Mig said, and Luke knew it was not easy for the Ferangi to say. To anyone else, it would have been cut and dry. Mig would have thanked them and sent them on their way within 48 hours. Luke was in many ways like family. Sure, a human family member, but family all the same. However, that big Federation ship had been hovering near his station long enough.
Luke nodded, and put his best smile back on his face.
"Mig, you have always been the best business man," he said, a show of the highest honor and respect to his Ferangi friend. Mig sat prouder now, sure he was making the right decision.
"Good, that is settled. I am not saying you can't come back through here, and check up on old uncle Mig time to time. Bring your credits and trades and all of course," he said, standing up.
Luke smiled and nodded, but his smile hid his disappointment. Not at Mig for kicking him off the space station. No, Luke was impressed with the fact that he had stayed this long. He was disappointed that Mig had no answers for him concerning Git.
Luke had also hoped that someone would have passed through that he recognized that he could inquire about Git. He was able to get supplies that he could not have gotten from any Federation stop, and for that, he was pleased.
Luke walked to the look out, a part of the station that few cared to even take note of. It stared out into deep space, where few have even gone. It was blackness, deep and dark. Somewhere out there, Git was in need of help, even if Git did not know it. The trick was to get to him in time.
Mig watched the young human, a frown crossing his own face. The young man was greatly worried, even if he did hide it well. A worried Luke really worried Mig. He watched as Luke's hands automatically dangled to the duel plasma pistols that hung on his hips.
Something was coming, something bad. Mig just knew it.
Captain's Log, Encoded: Pac has the Blackwolf in tip top shape, as we transgress space. I have elected to stay away from the space stations in the area, keeping a low profile from the rest of the fleet. For weeks we have traveled, a course set for Cardassian Space, a place called the "Bad Lands". With a name like that, one does not need to wonder about what kind place this is.
Commander Pac assures me the field emitter and the RCS accelerator that he has worked into the system will help the ship in battle, if a battle comes. It does divert from over all speed, but the margin is negligible and may well be worth it. I trust completely in my crew, and the Blackwolf needs be completely self reliant.
Finding Git is like finding a needle in a hay stack. If he does not wish to be found, he will not be. Not by me, not by anyone. Going dark as we have, and rogue as we are now marked, it may be easier for me to get a message to Git.
Romulan Space proved to be unprofitable in finding Git, but sure opened up more questions. Git apparently was tied in with some Bajorian Rebels. I simply need to find out who. This will also answer some questions that Star Fleet will have concerning some Romulan antagonists that still wish a war.
Dr. Sizeria checked her readings, and then checked them again. She was sure of it now, though she was pretty sure of it before. There was a black hole in the vicinity, and it was not a stationary object. It was adrift among the stars. It was a rare object indeed. Black holes, for their part, are not uncommon. Many form when a massive star collapses so hard and so fast that it forms a gravitational well.
These lone, drifting black holes, however, were not a common find.
What was it's mass? Where did it from? These things were lost within the depths, if you can call it depths, of the collapsed star itself. Some are hypothesized to have been created by beings long ago, civilizations that have come and gone, reached warp capability, then lost their way. Others probably were discharged from a binary system, two stars interlocked in a gravity dance, until one or both supernova knocked the other completely out of orbit. She had to tell Luke to set a course, and they could get a close up view of just that thing.
"Sizeria, you know we are on a mission. The Federation has asked us to report on the possible Romulan Cardassian plot, and that is what we are to do," Luke said, looking over his desk.
"Luke, we have been in this area, listening to communications, dark as you call it, for days now. Nothing has transpired yet, and we could do that while setting a course for the phenomenon. As Science officer, Captain Minhere, I insist."
Luke frowned, but everything she said was correct. She also had the right to insist, and even demand, as the science officer, if the Blackwolf was not performing other matters. The Federation was still dedicated to it's scientific, peaceful missions, even though there seemed to be war at every front now.
"Fine then, Commander Sizeria, as you wish. Only because I do not feel like arguing with you on this," Luke said sternly, then a smile creeped across his face.
Sizeria nodded, and turned about quickly.
"I will give the bridge the coordinance now," she said as she left the ready room.
Luke sighed. He hated science missions. Sure, some turned out to be pretty interesting, that he could not deny. However, most turned out to be a bunch of numbers on a chart that meant little to nothing to him, while the scientists and the doctors all nodded and looked impressed.
"Captain Minhere to bridge, we will be changing course settings in a moment. Commander Sizeria will have the bridge and your attention while she performs some very important scientific studies on a phenomenon, probably a singularity, in the area. Lt. Jason McCoon and Lt. Catarina Vibbert will report to the bridge for further orders," Luke said, then turned the com off.
"And I will relax with a bottle of brandy and some music in the lounge below," Luke chuckled.