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Daniel Jackson

Aftermath

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I found this while removing files from my old computer today.

6 parts all up (though I'm sure tr'Lenz & Askre wrote a part 7 & 8)

Enjoy.

Aftermath Chapter One - The Gathering Storm by Sniperwolf

"Counselor I must once again protest at the continuation of these

sessions"

"Well, Captain Carldon, you really cant argue with an order given by

Starfleet?s highest officials. Try to remember that they do have your

best interests in mind." Counselor Frey'la found it easy to remain calm

when dealing with patients like Carldon. After all, he was accustomed to

dealing with the most difficult of Starfleet Officers.

"Are you even listening to me, Counselor?"

To this he could only smile, "You were saying that you feel mandatory

counseling sessions were a waste of time..." he paused waiting for her

to continue - according to her file she made nearly the same speech to

every counselor she had seen.

"Since I'm sure you've heard about my infamous speech, I'll be quick -

I feel that making all the officers who were promoted to Captain,

during the Dominion War, attend counseling sessions was a good idea...four

years ago. The war has been over for five years. If these officers were

to have nervous break-downs due to their inability to deal with the

extreme stress of being promoted to captain in a war situation, they would

have done so already."

"You make a strong point, Captain, but there isn't much you can do to

change the fact that you have to attend these sessions - I don't know if

you realize this, but if you co-operated a little more, these sessions

would go by a lot faster..."

"Fair enough, Counselor," she paused considering her next words

carefully, "...so what did you want to talk about?"

When the session ended Counselor Frey'la noted with surprise that he

felt mentally drained. Dealing with Carldon took more out of him than he

thought it would, but no matter...he had his orders. And with that in

mind he opened up a sub-space channel to Admiral Miller on Earth. Within

the next few seconds he found himself staring at the Admiral -

"Admiral, I have just completed my first session with Captain Carldon

as ordered."

"Well, Counselor Frey'la, what is your recommendation?"

"The Captain and her crew should be the ones to transport the President

to Cardassian space."

For a moment it seemed that Admiral Miller would cut the connection

between himself, on Earth, and Frey'la, in orbit of Betazed, on the USS

Challenger...but tact won out, "I'll take your recommendation under

consideration, Counselor - Miller...out." Frey'la sighed, he hoped the

Admiral would take his recommendation seriously.

"Computer, time."

"It is now 0500 hours," came the mechanical reply.

Sota Nath looked out the window of her office to see the sun slowly

rising over a nearly rebuilt Cardassia Prime, and in one week it would be

home to a diplomatic conference unlike any the quadrant had seen. She

had been up nearly every night for the past month planning the

conference, and every day convincing her government and others that the

conferences? aims were merely to promote continued peace between the powers

that participated in the War. A beeping from a computer console drew her

out of her thoughts. It was a pre-recorded message from the Romulan

government - they were accepting her invitation and would be sending

Chairman Quinn aboard the D'ernecius to the conference. Curiously, the

Romulans decided to come after only the first invitation, but predictably,

the Romulans were the last to accept. The Breen were the only ones to

refuse her invitation - the Klingon Ambassador had arrived yesterday, the

Dominion Ambassador, Weyoun, was arriving tomorrow, and the Federation

President himself was on his way onboard the USS Challenger. For what

seemed the tenth time that night, she stifled a yawn. And with that, she

turned off the computer and headed off to her quaters for a short nap.

"Computer, time."

"It is now 1450 hours" came the mechanical reply.

1stOmetiklan growled. They were supposed to have arrived at Cardassia

an hour ago - it was all the Vorta...Weyoun's fault they were late.

Moments later, Weyoun stepped onto the bridge, but he saw the kind of mood

the 1st was in so he turned around and headed back into the turbo-lift.

Weyoun realized that he was in the minority of Dominion officials who

preferred these new Jem'Hadar, after all he recognized the advantage of

giving them a higher degree of free thought, but sometimes they were

just impossible to deal with.

For the third time that day Commander Shadow found himself sitting

across from Ambassador Askre, the Betazoid attach? to President

DigitalFreak - both of whom were now guests of the Challenger. Askre wanted to see

the Captain, but at the moment she was refusing to see any more people on the presidents staff.

"Commander, you really have no idea why she refuses to see me?"

"I'm not lying to you - all I know is that she wanted to be left alone

for a few hours."

"Well, thank you, Commander," he got up to leave, but as an

afterthought, he turned and asked, "Oh...and, Commander, has there been any word

on the Romulan ship...D'ernecius? Captain T'Leara wanted to rendezvous

with us for the final portion of the journey into Cardassian space."

"I haven't heard anything yet, Ambassador. I will let you know the

moment I do."

"Thank you, Commander." Before Shadow had a chance to say anything else

Askre was gone.

Wonderful he thought to himself. As of 5 minutes ago, he didn't know

anything about meeting up with a Romulan ship, and he considered it a

safe bet that the Captain didn't know anything either. And that was

something that she would not like.

" A raktajino for Lt. Elmo , synthale for Lt. Commander Hawkeye and

coffee for me," came the drink orders from Lt. Commander Daniel Jackson.

"Daniel, do you always address people by their rank?" questioned

Hawkeye.

"Well, its just something I unintentionally tend to do that?s all..."

"Even when you and the people your addressing are off duty? And are your friends as well?" quietly

asked Elmo.

"Well, I did say it was unintentional," he said grinning widely.

While Hawkeye and Daniel settled into a conversation comparing stories

they had heard about the President, Lt. Joey Elmo found his thoughts

drifting elsewhere. He wasn't that curious about why the Challenger was

the one ship chosen to go to Cardassia, it was just his job to get them

there- he was the Challengers chief helmsman. And besides, being a

Betazoid left little room to wonder about people's motives, although he

wasn't really fond of reading peoples thoughts. He mentally shook himself

out of his musings, after all...he was out with friends, and he felt he

should at least try to pay attention to them. He looked up to see

Hawkeye staring at him, and he noticed that Daniel had left to talk to

Te'Mor, the Andorian female who was chief operations officer on board.

"Sorry...I got distracted..." muttered Elmo.

Hawkeye dismissed this with a wave of his hand, " Relax I know you've

got a lot on your mind...hey look, is that who I think it is? Wow, its

Doctor Looney -I don't think I've ever seen him in the mess hall

before."

This of course was an exaggeration, but the half human-half Vulcan

doctor was rarely seen any place other than sickbay. Out of nowhere came

the Commanders voice ordering all seniors officers to their stations -

Elmo, Hawkeye and the others headed over to the turbolift, and moments

later were on the bridge.

"Hawkeye, report," barked the Captain.

Hawkeye read the data on his tactical consoles as fast as he could,

"Captain, the Romulan warbird D'ernecius is de-cloaking off the port bow."

The Captain nodded, "Lt. Te'Mor, hail them."

Carldon leaned over to Shadow and quietly asked-

"Shadow, what was the Romulan Captains? name again?"

"T'Leara."

She got up and approached the view-screen, "Captain T'Leara, its a

pleasure to meet you." T'Leara merely nodded in return, "Captain Carldon,

if you match our flight pattern, we estimate that we will reach

Caradassia Prime within the hour."

"Understood...Challenger out," Carldon turned to her first officer,

"Does the Ambassador still want to see me?"

"Last time I checked, yes," came the commanders dry reply.

"If he wants to see me I'll be in my ready room, and let me know the

second we reach Cardassia."

It turned out the Ambassador only wanted to express his thanks to the

crew of the Challenger for being such gracious hosts to him and the

President. Carldon didn't really care for the political duties that came

with being a Starfleet captain, and she found herself not giving her full

attention to the Ambassador. She was about to apologize when Shadow

called her on to the bridge. He turned to her with a small smile,

"Welcome to Cardassia, Captain - home to the largest diplomatic conference

since Khitomer, or at least that?s what they?re telling us." She did her

best not to laugh, "Captain, were being hailed from the surface,"

"Thank you, Te'Mor - onscreen." The bridge crew of the Challenger was

greeted by Sota Nath?s smiling face, "Captain, on behalf of my people -

welcome to Caradassia Prime."

Aftermath Chapter Two - Evade, Aquire, Confront - by Elmo

?Aw man! Whose idea was this anyway?? Lt. Commander Daniel Jackson exclaimed, tugging at the obviously tight collar of his dress uniform.

?I heard that Askre ?suggested? to the captain that the Challenger be the one to transport all the representatives down to the conference? replied Lt. Elmo, as he, Jackson, and Lt. Commander Hawkeye strolled down the corridor, making sure to take as much time as possible to reach the lounge.

?I?d like to just reach out and pop that guy, right in the??

?Hawkeye!? grinned Elmo, ?he?s the President?s assistant. Show a little respect.?

?I don?t care if he?s the Borg Queen?s mother! Did you know that he had me run from the bridge conference room all the way to main engineering for the President?s drink? He insisted that the longer the energy had to travel, the worse the water tastes when replicated. He said he ?wants only the best for the President?. Sheesh, give me a??

?Shh!? exclaimed Jackson, as the trio approached the large double doors of the lounge. The doors quietly slid open and they entered the bustling room. Platters of food and drink were circulating, and a small band was playing in one of the corners. The smell of orchids and other tropical flowers filled the air, as they arched far overhead and down the walls.

?Nice of you gentleman to join us,? Commander Shadow said dryly. Te?Mor walked away, as it seemed that their conversation was over.

Captain Carldon approached them, ?Everyone take their places. The ?show? is about to begin?? she quipped. The crew at once straightened and quickly moved to stand in front of the large bank of windows. The doors to the lounge opened, and the delegates from Earth, Romulus, Cardassia Prime, Qo?nos, and Omarion Gamma entered, lead by Sota Nath. At once, the ship dipped, diving into the atmosphere of Cardassia, parting golden clouds as it descended.

The crew stood at attention as the Federation President D.F made a quick yet astonishingly still dry speech about peace, unity, and partnership.

?Ten strips of latinum says that the conference is sabotaged by the week?s end,? came the raspy whisper of Hawkeye.

?No way! That would be too clich?. Besides, that?s not very reassuring coming from chief of secur??

?I?ll take you up on that,? whispered Jackson from the corner of his mouth, before the captain whipped around and shushed them.

As the speech ended, everyone began to mingle in the elaborately decorated lounge. The Romulan ambassador, Quinn, approached the Jem?Hadar attached to Weyoun. He inclined his head, ?I never thought that I would meet a Jem?Hadar in person. It?s a pleasure.?

The First merely grumbled, ?for you??

Quinn pretended not to hear. ?Tell me, were you in the battle of Chin'toka??

The First?s attempts to ignore Quinn were failing, ?no, I was only breed two years ago.?

?Two? I hear those are terrible years. Pity you weren?t there though, it was a great victory for your side. I didn?t realise the Dominion was still breeding Jem?Hadar. Tell me: what is your purpose now??

The First growled again, ?I serve the Founders.? Weyoun glanced their way, and quickly crossed the room.

?Ambassador Quinn, I must say that it?s a great honour.?

?For you,? Quinn replied dryly. ?I?ve wondered how long I could go without having to encounter one of you.?

?The Vorta are the voice of the Dominion. It stands to reason that dealing with the Dominion means dealing with a Vorta.?

?I meant a Weyoun??

Across the room, Chancellor Martok was demonstrating a spirited rendition of Klingon opera for Sota Noth, whose kind smile looked more like a grimace of pain. ?I must say Chancellor, that is most? impressive,? she said sweetly once he had finished.

Martok gave a hearty laugh, ?so are your diplomatic skills. But remember, it?s not the sound of the voice, but the words it speaks.? He took a swig of blood wine and laughed again, ?Of course, volume doesn?t hurt either!?

?Indeed,? muttered Shadow, still in his corner. He returned to sipping on his Pina Colada as Captain Carldon grabbed his arm. ?Your orders were ?mingle?, not ?brood?. Obey them or I?ll put you down for insubordination, and knock you down to lubricating the manifo? what are you drinking??

?Oh, just a tonic mixed with blood wine and Romulan Ale. Want some??

?Agh, no? This is a diplomatic function, not a night-club.?

Shadow grinned, ?I was looking for assassins.?

?Each representative has two security personnel. Besides, that?s why I have Hawkeye here.?

?Ahem? Captain, have you seen Lt. Commander Hawkeye lately??

Realising she hadn?t, she quickly scanned the room, and slowly said, ?no?

Shadow was more than happy to point him out for her, in the opposite corner of the room. ?Next time, you should put all crew attending diplomatic functions on official duty, not just ?suggest? they come.? The captain stood with her mouth open as she watched the actions of Hawkeye and a female Klingon, both obviously intoxicated. Luckily, the crowd obscured her most of the view.

?Remind me to have a talk with him later.?

?Oh, I will,? said Shadow, grinning madly now.

Carldon caught the look, ?well, I?m glad you?re enjoying yourself. This is supposed to be the kick off to the largest peace conference in the history of the quadrant!?

?Yeah, I?ve been wondering about that too??

Carldon huffed, exasperated, ?wondering about what??

?Peace, peace from what? It?s not like there is a war being fought, there?re no battles being waged. In fact, I?d say that the Alpha Quadrant is the quietest it?s been in centuries. Not even a report of tension between the Romulans and the Klingons! What?s being negotiated here? The only species I can see as being potential problems would be the Cardassians and the Dominion, but they?re not even in the same quadrant anymore!?

?Well, I?d think it?s pretty damned important if the Federation has gone through so much trouble to help out.?

?What kind of trouble??

?The NX-4648. Taking one year to complete and move to Cardassia Prime, equivalent to trying to move a miniature Starbase from Earth to here. A major feat, to say the least. Really Commander, you should read about your missions before undertaking them.? Sota Nath had approached the two as they ?quietly? argued.

?Indulge me,? said Shadow, struggling not to roll his eyes. ?What?s the NX-4946??

?The Federation was one of the few powers to be onboard from the start. As soon as they heard there could be a chance for these talks, they jumped at the chance to contribute. The Federation Council commissioned its construction almost two years ago. It arrived last month, as a sign of good faith, in both the talks, and in Cardassia.?

?Hmm, what?s its name? If the Council actually agreed on it, it?s got to be contrived. Peace Harbour? Amnesty Interspatial? Love Station??

?The NX-4647, otherwise known as the USS Unity,? Shadow rolled his eyes at that, and Carldon kicked him swiftly, ?is currently situated above one of Cardassia?s few remaining oceans. A virtual floating city, it contains everything needed to support the representatives and their aids, for as long as the talks take. It?s a historical significance, this being the first time all major powers live together in harmony,? she paused. ?Hopeful harmony.?

By now, the USS Unity was in view. All guests turned to gaze at its magnificence? even Hawkeye. Nath wasn?t kidding when she said the Unity was like a miniature Starbase. The only difference that could be seen was the upper saucer was flatter than it?s larger cousin, and the hull was slightly golden. It floated peacefully above the gently rolling waves of Cardassia Prime, awaiting the ambassadors. Seeming to stand for all the hope of the quadrant, it appeared immovable and indestructible. And yet, in seventy-two hours and thirteen minutes, it would lay at the bottom of the frigid waters, a twisted, blackened hulk, never to rise again.

Aftermath Chapter Three- Betrayal by Hawkeye

71 Hours, 22 minutes prior to Event

Hawkeye glanced across the lounge at Elmo and Daniel Jackson as they laughed with a couple young female ensigns. They had been his oldest friends and now Hawkeye would betray them.

Setting down his full glass of Saurian Brandy, Hawkeye made his way towards the exit. He had never touched his drink, but had pretended to be drunk to ward off conversation. He did not feel like socializing with these good people ? these good people that he would betray in a matter of hours. And as much as that hurt him, he was hurt even more by the painful memories of his wife?s death.

53 Hours, 8 minutes prior to Event

Cardassian diplomat / philanthropist Sota Nath, strolled through the manifestation of all her dreams. She walked through the halls of the newly completed Unity. The Unity was a symbol of peace and was the first real chance Cardassia, her home, and the rest of the Alpha Quadrant had for peace in a long time.

Sota Nath had worked on creating the Unity for the last five years. She had put every bit of strength and soul she had into the Unity and it was finally complete. Five years ago, at the end of the Dominion War, Sota Nath had vowed to finally stop the fighting in the Alpha Quadrant. She had seen too many friends and loved ones die in the Dominion War alone, not to mention those that starved to death during the Federation ? Cardassian hostilities. All the money had gone to increase Cardassia?s ability to go to war.

Now, with peace just over two days away, Sota Nath was excited and happy beyond belief. She looked at the chronometer on the wall and cried a tear of joy. In just over 53 hours, the President of the United Federation of Planets would give a speech in these halls as the diplomats from every major power in the Alpha Quadrant listened. That was where the peace would finally begin.

If she only knew that in just over 53 hours, the President would be dead and the quadrant would be the farthest from peace that it had ever been.

28 hours 34 minutes prior to Event

Askre handed President Digital Freak a copy of the speech he would be giving in just over 28 hours. ?Here you go sir. I have proof read it and I believe that it is perfect. It is very heartfelt and emotional, sir.? The Betazoid respectfully lowered his head towards the President. ?I applaud you.?

The President smiled with sincere gratitude. ?Thanks. I just used my heart.?

Askre nodded his head again. ?Well, sir, if you?ll excuse me ? we both need some rest before tomorrow.?

?Good Night.?

?Likewise, sir.? And with that, he was gone. Askre headed toward his quarters on the Challenger. Once inside, he pulled out his secure transmission device and contacted Quinn.

26 hours, 22 minutes prior to event

Hawkeye walked into the dark cave on the surface of Cardassia Prime. The cave?s mouth opened up almost directly into the face of a cliff and was almost impossible to find, unless you knew what you were looking for.

Once inside, he proceeded towards the main chamber. During the short walk, Hawkeye was haunted with more images of his wife?s brutal death at the hands of a Jem?Hadar. He promised he would avenge her and now he was 26 hours from doing just that.

After another few meters, the cave opened into a large chamber that held a large table, some equipment and about twenty men. At the head of the table was a fairly large screen with an image of an impatient Romulan. As Hawkeye walked into the chamber, the Romulan began to speak. ?You are late Mr. Hawkeye.?

Hawkeye turned towards the screen and glared at the man whom he had never seen. ?And who, may I ask, are you??

?Names are not necessary. I am the one who funded this little coup de tat of yours.? Answered the smug Romulan.

Hawkeye felt the anger grow inside of him. ?This is not a coup. It is about making the Dominion pay for what they did.?

Without any feeling or heart the Romulan replied, ?O, that?s right. Naming this event aside, let?s get down to the details. I want an overview of your plan.?

Fighting the urge to turn off the viewer, Hawkeye called his men over and started going over the details. He pointed at a young male in a blue Starfleet uniform. ?Thanks to counselor Frey?la?s ?expert? advice to Admiral Miller, the Challenger was assigned to escort the President to Cardassia Prime. This allowed me to be assigned to..?

The Romulan on the viewer interrupted, ?Yes, yes. I know that much. I want details on the mission, not on how you got here.?

Not acknowledging the Romulan, Hawkeye continued, ?Two hours ago, Unity technicians, joined with us, wired a Dominion ? made device into the warp core systems of the Unity. In just under 26 hours, that device will cause the warp core on the Unity to lose cohesion and breach, effectively destroying the station.?

The Romulan interrupted again, ?I want to know the exact time.?

Hawkeye fought to control his anger as he looked at the chronometer on the equipment next to him. ?25 hours and 59 minutes.?

The Romulan glanced off screen for a moment then looked back. ?No, five minutes later.?

?By then all the diplomats would be on the station. Plus the press. That would kill hundreds more than we need to,? Hawkeye argued. He realized that people were already going to die and that fact haunted him. He would not allow more to die senselessly. He finally turned to face the viewer. ?You may be funding this mission, but I am in charge!? Without waiting for a reply, Hawkeye turned back towards his men and continued, ?After the explosion destroys the Unity, inspectors will find evidence of Dominion involvement. This will be seen as a horrible act against peace and the Alpha Quadrant will unify as one against the Dominion. We will finally make them pay for what they did to our loved ones during the war.? Hawkeye paused a moment to try and force his wife from his mind.

During that moment, the Romulan spoke up again. ?What about President Digital Freak? He is a pacifist and will stop another war at all costs. By destroying the station earlier, you allow him to live and there will be no repercussions against the Dominion.?

Hawkeye turned to face the viewer as he answered the question. ?All the diplomats are arriving to the station by shuttle. It?s more of a PR reasoning than a practical one. The image the are trying to relay to the press is going to be shuttle from every major power all rising to one goal at the same time- the station.? Pointing to the Betazoid to his left, Hawkeye continued, ?This is Askre. He is on the President's personal staff. He will be placing another Dominion device on the President?s shuttle, similar to the one on the station. It will seem as if the Dominion also assassinated the President of the United Federation of Planets. The more militant Vice President will take over and will not allow Digital Freak?s death to go unpunished.?

The Romulan looked at the Betazoid. ?Are you willing to kill your own boss.?

Askre looked back at him, ?If it will benefit the Alpha Quadrant in the long run ? yes I am willing, sir,? Askre replied as he matched Quinn?s gaze.

23 Hours, 16 minutes prior to event

After arriving back on the Challenger, Hawkeye went directly to his quarters and lay down. He realized he was going to kill his own people and start a war and that fact weighed heavily on his shoulders. Every few minutes he found himself questioning what he was doing, but always convinced himself otherwise as the image of a Jem?Hadar slicing his wife?s neck floated into his head. That image had been burned in his mind and he always saw it -it would never go away.

As he lay on his bed, Hawkeye found himself crying.

After arriving back on the Challenger, Askre also went straight to his quarters. As soon as the doors shut behind him, he pulled out his transmission device and contacted Quinn.

Before he could say a word, Quinn ordered, ?You will not follow through with Hawkeye?s plan. I do not want there being a chance of it being tied back with you. The blast will be bigger than Hawkeye thought and will destroy the President?s shuttle mid ? flight. You just make sure he is on time.?

****As soon as Quinn signed off with Askre, his com. ? unit beeped, signaling an incoming call. The communications console was a secure unit and only a few people could contact it.

Quinn quickly switched on the viewer and a human Commander in Starfleet flickered into view.

?Report.?

?I have completed the task you asked sir.? The blast will be twice as big as originally planned. The diplomats should all be killed.?

?Thank you Commander Shadow,? replied the stern Romulan. ****

10 minutes prior to event

?Captain, the shuttle Adams is ready to launch,? reported the young Andorian Operations officer.

Captain Carldon stood, faced the Andorian and replied, ?Thank you Te?Mor.? Then she glanced at Commander Shadow in the chair next to her. ?She?s all yours Commander.?

Shadow smiled and stood as the Captain headed over to the turbolift. As she neared the door, Hawkeye heard her say what he had hoped she wouldn?t. ?Elmo, your with me.?

Hawkeye had known that the blast would take down some of the shuttles and had dealt with it. He hadn?t planned on losing Elmo also. Once again the feeling of betrayal and grief swept over Hawkeye as he watched his best friend go to his death.

Event

Sota Nath ran outside her office towards the Cardassian ? made shuttle. It was prepped and ready to launch. Sota Nath took a minute to stop and glance up at the beautiful thing she had made ? the Unity hung right above her as the slowly rising sun glistened off her hull.

As she starred at it another sun erupted in the sky ? except for this one came from where the Unity had stood a second ago. As she tried to comprehend what had just occurred a shock wave struck her and threw her back ten feet. Flaming shards of debris struck the shuttle next to her and killed the pilot. More debris struck her office and it erupted into flames. The sky had fallen.

Captain Carldon stood with her hand on the back of Elmo?s chair. She was staring out the forward view screen at the Unity as it hung in front of them. ?She sure is beautiful isn?t she?? the Captain asked.

As Elmo turned to answer the Captain, a bright light engulfed the shuttle and Elmo could feel the heat on his back. Before he had a chance to turn back to the controls, the shuttle began to tumble towards the Earth.

At precisely 0815, a Dominion ? made mechanism shorted out the containment systems of the Unity's warp core causing the anti-matter and matter to come together at an uncontrolled rate. Controlled, this process creates enough power to throw a ship into warp or power an entire station for years. Uncontrolled, this process creates an explosion more powerful than any other bomb ever made.

As the core exploded, it ripped apart the beautiful Unity and created a shock wave that flew out in all directions, hitting all the diplomatic shuttles flying towards her. It knocked all of them back to the ground and an alarming rate. A moment later, their was no Unity, miles of Cardassian city had been scorched by the shock wave, and every diplomatic shuttle had crashed landed, except for the Dominion?s, which had been delayed because of a missing PADD.

Aftermath Chapter 4 - When the Bough Breaks, the Cradle Will Fall? by c_looney

Dr. Looney felt the deck of his sickbay suddenly rumble, throwing a few 500 year old glass medical instruments off the shelves and shattering into shards upon impact. He gripped his desk to brace himself.

?Sickbay to Bridge. What has just occurred?? he said as he keyed his commbadge. While awaiting an answer, he exited his office and entered the patient area to check the status of the few patients there were.

Lieutenant Te?Mor responded to the call.

?Sickbay, expect casualties immediately. Bridge out.? Te?Mor was quite curt, her blue hands flying across the Ops board like lightning.

Sickbay was virtually flooded with blue light as 12 seriously injured members of all different species materialized. Nurses flew through the room, assisting those whom were damaged the worst.

?Kaplan, Johnson, start triage in Cargo Bay 2, stat! Mason, Campbell, assemble the antigrav gurneys?we have to get these people off the floor,? Dr. Looney had never been in a crisis situation before, especially not of this magnitude.

?Commander!? a male voice yelled from the surgical bay in the far corner. The doctor spun around to acknowledge the source of the transmission, only to have his limited emotional block give way. On the biobed, President Digital Freak was doused in blood and convulsing.

****

Hawkeye lay in bed, a broken man. He had lost everything he loved?first his wife five years ago, and now his friends had died at his own hands. He couldn?t think. He couldn?t speak. He couldn?t hear. He could barely breathe. Every cell in his body was telling him to shut down?give up before he lost anything else?but one tiny part of his psyche was telling him to PUSH ON. He mustn?t give up! This is the moment he will have revenge!

"Lieutenant Te'Mor, are there any friendly ships in the vicinity?" someone asked from across the bridge. Te'Mor keyed her Ops readings onto a viewer behind her and read them aloud.

"There is a Klingon ship, the IKS Qa'pla, on long range sensors, as well as a Romulan ship, the Devordes, and the USS Covington..." she reported, returning to the main ops console.

"Hail them, and tell them that there has been an emergency on Cardassia Prime. Signal that we need immediate medical relief..." someone ordered.

"We've recieved signal back from the Qa'pla and the Covington, both are en route. The Covington says they will arrive in 3 hours, and the Qa'pla will be here in 6." Te'mor reported.

"And the Devordas?" someone asked.

"No response. I am continuing to send out distress calls, but they do not respond..." she was cut off by a shrill beep from the console. She tapped a few displays.

"The Devordas is hailing..." she reported, her antennae perking up.

"On screen," someone ordered.

The image of a scar-faced Romulan commander stared at them across space. He didn't say much.

"This is Commander B'loeli. You are in need of aid?"" he asked. It sounded more like a statement than a question, his face showing no concern, or any emotion at all for that manner.

"Yes. This is Commander Shadow of the USS Challenger. There has been a crisis at the peace negotiations. The USS Unity has been destroyed, and all en route shuttles crashed on the surface. There are over an estimated 5,000 dead or injured. We are not equipped to handle a medical catastrophe of this magnitude."

"How unfortunate." was all the Romulan commander spat out. Te'mor was pissed.

She stood up from her station and opened her mouth, but Shadow interrupted.

"That's enough, Lieutenant." he ordered. She sat back down reluctantly. Someone turned back to face B'loeli across subspace.

"Commander, will you be able to assist us, or are you going to sit there while hundreds die from not recieving immediate medical care?!" Shadow asked, feeling much like Te'Mor himself. The stone-faced Romulan paused for a moment and gave a dry reply.

"We will assist you. Estimated time to arrival is 4 hours. Devordas out."

"What does Intelligence have on this guy, erm," Captain Carldon paused from her communique with Admiral Miller to read a PADD, "Commander B'loeli?"

Admiral Miller sighed and read a PADD offscreen.

"Of all the Romulan commanders, HE had to be the one to answer. You want to low-down? Here goes: He was recently promoted to Commander, having been waiting for the promotion for 12 years. His life before then seems pretty uneventful, but we have reason to believe that he was or even still is a member of the Tal Shiar. He was very recently assigned to command the warbird Devordas...actually it was 3 days ago..." Miller faded off.

"I don't like the sound of that, Admiral." Carldon sighed, rubbing her forehead. Miller looked grim.

"Be very wary Captain. Keep on your toes. Starfleet out."

Star Trek: Aftermath. Chapter 5 - ?The Next In Line?

By: Admiral Kahn

To summarize the events that took place in a flash on Cardassia Prime would only take two words. The End.

The End of peace, the end of stability, and the end of lives. In a blinding flash, thousands of lives were lost to make way for a new unity in the Alpha Quadrant. Years of work and struggles to build the Unity, a symbol of peace and hope for all lives in the Galaxy, all wiped out in a blinding flash that was the warp core of that magnificent symbol exploding.

A Flash was all that he saw. It all happened so fast. He was sitting in the pilot?s seat of the shuttlecraft and then?then what? What happened? Where was he?

There was suddenly the sensation of nausea, and a pain in his neck and right arm as Elmo realized where he was. He looked around the damaged shuttlecraft, but everything was too dark to see. Main power must be out, Elmo thought to himself.

It took him a minute to figure out where he was in the shuttle, by waving his one good arm around and feeling the area around him, Elmo guessed that he was still in the front section of the shuttlecraft, except the shuttle seemed to be upside down, and he was laying on a control panel.

Suddenly, Elmo felt the ground lurch beneath him. Artificial Gravity is out too Elmo thought. That?s when he felt the drops of water begin to fall down the back of his neck. Something wasn?t right?

Elmo?s eyes had adjusted to the darkness, but still not enough to see much. The walls of the shuttle began to creak, as if they were under some kind of pressure. There was an object strapped to the pilot chair above his head, Elmo reached for it, and felt the pain in his right arm again, it must be broken.

The object Elmo grabbed, as he suspected, was a flashlight. He turned it on, and instantly he could see better than he had been able to before, except what he saw worried him.

As he suspected, he was laying on the roof in the front of the shuttle craft, the front glass was below him, and instead of seeing starts or a blue sky and clouds, or even the Unity, there was an eerie green color staring at him?. Water. The Shuttle was underwater and it looked like it was sinking fast.

Elmo felt the trickle of water on his neck again, and turned to see where it was coming from. There were cracks in the Shuttle?s structural integrity, water was leaking into the shuttle. The back was already flooded, the bodies of the dead delegates Elmo was ferrying over to the Unitywere already floating in water. There wasn?t much time left for Elmo.

The Captain??, Elmo thought. Where is she?

Elmo remembered that she was right behind him, and then suddenly?

The events played out again in Elmo?s mind. The Shuttle flying towards the Unity, the bright sunlight shining into the shuttle suddenly becoming brighter as the Unity erupted into flames. Elmo remembered the heat on his back, and then suddenly? he was here.

But where was Captain Carldon?

The answer was given to him a second latter, when Elmo saw her body among the delegates in the back of the shuttle.

Captain Dana Carldon was dead.

?Oh No.? Elmo managed to say. He didn?t have time to mourn for her, or any of the delegates. He had to work quickly to restore main power to the shuttle, so that he would be able to contact anyone outside for help.

The Shuttle creaked again, and Elmo came to the conclusion that it may be approaching a crush depth?. Elmo had to work fast. He pulled a cover off of the panel he was sitting on, and began to work at re-routing the relays of the power distribution.

Time was running out.

______________

The USS Covington, and the USS Challenger for nearly 6 hours had been frantically searching the area on Cardassia for survivors, or evidence that the explosion had been an accident. So for, they had come up with nothing much to show for either objectives.

Evidence of Dominion involvement had shown up when a piece of the Warp Core from the Unity had been beamed up, there were traces of Ilixieum, a crystal that the Dominion uses in their Warp Cores, it operates similar to Dilithium except is highly volatile when exposed to Tacyon Radiation, there was also an abundant amount of Tacyon Radiation detected when the Unity exploded. It seemed clear that the Dominion not only sabotaged the Unity Station, but also caused an explosion on the President?s own Shuttlecraft heading towards the station.

The Bridge of the Challenger was busy with activity. Communications were coming in faster than they ever had before, frantic cries for help from people on the Surface. Sensor logs being examined bit by bit. Nothing seemed to be turning out right. The Mission was a failure.

?Commander Shadow,? came a young female ensign operating the ops. Station. ?I have finished scans of sector 599, I am proceeding to sector 600.?

?Did you find anything?? Shadow asked, already assuming the answer she was about to give.

?None sir, there were no life form readings in those sectors.? Came her reply

?Keep looking ensign, keep me informed on your progress?

Shadow walked to the Captain?s Ready Room, and stepped in. ****When he disappeared from sight, the young ensign pressed a key on her console and began to record a message.

?Three to One, he?s in position? we can proceed with phase two.? Said the young officer.

An alarm came up on the consol, and told the ensign that her message had been acknowledged. Everything was going according to plan.****

Shadow sat down in the Captain?s chair in her Ready Room. He wondered if she was alive? but he didn?t think long, or hard.

?Commander Shadow,? Came a voice from the intercom, it was Commander Hawkeye.

?Yes, go ahead.?

?We?re receiving a transmission from Starfleet command, sir. Its Admiral Miller.? Hawkeye reported.

?I?m on my way.?

Shadow stepped onto the bridge again, it seemed as if he never got a break anymore on this ship. He could feel the mood on the bridge, he didn?t like it. Everyone was afraid, and scared of what might happen next. Nothing was going well it seemed, the whole mission was a disaster. With thousands dead, including the President of the Federation, who had died on the Challenger itself, no one on the ship could feel any worse.

?Put the transmission on screen.? Shadow finally said.

On the main viewer, the face of Admiral Miller, who seemed angry and frustrated, replaced the image of Cardassia.

?Commander Shadow, I received your report on what happened. Captain Carldon was a good woman. It?s a shame what happened. Which is why, I hereby grant you a field commission of Captain. Congratulations, the Challenger and the mission is now under your command. I wish this were under better circumstances. Continue on your work, rescue as many survivors as you can down there. Keep me updated, Admiral Miller out.?

The transmission was cut, and Shadow stood still for a long moment. Again, he could feel the mood on the bridge wasn?t good. In fact, it had just gotten worse. What had just happened in the crew?s eyes, was that they just acknowledged Captain Carldon?s death, even though to them there was a possibility she was alive.

Shadow walked off towards the Ready Room again, and the rest of the bridge crew tried to continue working.

Upon entering the Ready Room, His ready room, Shadow sat behind the desk, and activated the computer console. He began to activate an encryption algorithm, and transmit a message.

He spoke slowly, and clearly and tried to hold back his emotions to the Computer terminal.

?1st, so far so good. The Admiral played his part well. With Carldon out of the way, I am in command of this end. The Challenger is under my control, as well as the Starfleet relief mission here. I hope everything is going well at your end of the arrangement. The plan seems to be unfolding perfectly. Our Pawn Hawkeye did meet with his contact on Cardassia. I did notice that the blast happened later, and was double what Hawkeye originally intended. I believe this can mean only one thing, someone else tampered with the equipment. Someone else is fooling around with our plan. Hawkeye might be a security problem; I will take care of him.

Don?t worry, we did find that evidence of Dominion involvement on the President?s shuttle. You seem to be holding up your act quite well yourself, old friend. We?ll have our way soon enough. Send no reply to this message.?

Shadow pushed the transmit button, and laid back in his chair. Everything was going according to plan, he thought again?

______________

?Almost got it!? Elmo said. His hand was shoved into a wall, and he was trying to remove an ODN relay, and connect it to a new power source. The Work had progressed smoothly, but he was almost out of time. Water had already filled up more than half of the shuttle, and the air was starting to get thin.

?Done!? Elmo yelled as lights in the shuttle came back on. Elmo stood up, and began to tap on the controls to activate the communications system. He was just about to transmit a message, when an indicator went off on the panel. He was receiving a transmission?

He received it, and he heard a familiar voice. The Voice of Commander Shadow?

He couldn?t hear much of what was going on, lots of interference and static took up the transmission but he knew the message wasn?t for him.

"Our Pawn -------eye did meet with his contact on --------. I did notice the blast---end--------- later and was double what ----Hawk originally intended.?

Was Shadow talking about Hawkeye? What did he mean by the blast was double? Was Hawkeye responsible for the explosion of the Unity? The transmission continued for a while more.

?Someone else tampered with the equipment. Someone else is fooling around with our plan------?

The transmission began to break apart, Elmo tried to get it back, and he heard ?Send no Reply? before the surroundings around him began to melt away and were replaced with those of a Starfleet transporter room. Elmo had been transported from the shuttle, and almost collapsed onto the floor of the Transporter pad.

?Elmo!? Came Daniel Jackson?s shout, ?Am I sure glad to see you! I thought you were dead!?

?What happened?? Elmo asked, he seemed startled and confused again.

?You?re the first survivor we?ve picked up in a while, c?mon, we got to get you to sick bay.? Jackson said, already pulling on Elmo.

?Ow!? Elmo yelled, Jackson was pulling on Elmo?s right arm, the one that might have been broken.

Elmo began to think about the events again, and couldn?t get his mind off of what Shadow was saying. He had a bad feeling about this, he began to think that he couldn?t trust Shadow, or Hawkeye anymore, something didn?t feel right anymore.

______________

?Put it on screen.? Shadow said, now sitting in the Command Chair of the Challenger.

An officer from the back of the bridge changed the image in the viewer to one of the Seal of the Federation in the background, and a man speaking on a podium.

??and so, with the unfortunate death of President Digitalfreak, and the terrible events that have unfolded at Cardassia Prime, I, Askre, have been appointed the new President of the United Federation of Planets. As President Digitalfreak?s chief of staff, I believe it is my responsibility to assume this role, and try to bring justice to those who are responsible for the tragic events on Cardassia.?

There was an applause heard on the transmission, and all Shadow could do was smile.

Yes, the plan was unfolding just fine.

------------------------------------

Edit: I can't seem to fit Part 6 in just yet....maybe after a reply?

Edited by Daniel Jackson

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I'd forgotten about c_looney.

Believe it or not, but I'd been thinking of doing another OL members-featured story, to help wrap up the whole experience before the site goes away.

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Believe it or not, but I'd been thinking of doing another OL members-featured story, to help wrap up the whole experience before the site goes away.

Great idea!

Now, part 6 (by yours truely)...

Aftermath: Chapter 6 - Revelations

By Daniel Jackson

Personal Log, Stardate 58472.1

Lt. Joey Elmo recording.

?It has been 2 days since the destruction of the U.S.S. Unity and the death of Captain Carldon along with thousands of other Federation, Cardassian and other Alpha Quadrant personnel. Preliminary reports indicate that Dominion explosives were used to disable and subsequently destroy the main reactor on board the Unity. The apparent delay of several Dominion shuttles prior to the explosion would seem to corroborate this. However, I feel that something is amiss. While stuck onboard the damaged shuttle, I somehow uncovered a covert communiqu? that may possibly implicate two senior officers in the apparent terrorist attack. One of these officers just happens to be one of my closest friends; something I would never have thought possible. I?ve known him most of my career and even helped him overcome despair after the loss of his wife. This revelation, if true, is shocking to say the least. I just don't know if I can trust anyone anymore. If one of my closest friends can turn his back on the Federation, then......?

The door to Elmo?s quarters beeped. Startled, Elmo managed to whisper, ?Computer, pause recording.? Then after a short pause, Elmo spoke up. ?Come in?

As the door slide open, the young Lieutenant was greeted with a surprisingly upbeat Lt. Commander Daniel Jackson. Jackson slowly stepped into the room, casually observing the decor. ?You know Elmo, you should really do something about these quarters. It makes a Ferengi hovel look attractive.?

Elmo looked at Jackson sternly, but didn?t respond.

?Look, I?m sorry. I know you went through a horrible ordeal. I was just trying to cheer you up,? said Jackson who slowly began to back away from the seated Elmo.

?I know, its just....? Elmo paused as he tried to think of the right words. ?This whole crisis is really affecting me. I was there. When I felt the heat following the explosion, I really thought that was it. But that?s not all.....? Elmo paused once again. He noticed his friend Daniel was listening intently to him. Daniel appeared to be sympathetic, but he couldn?t be sure. What if Jackson was involved somehow? Elmo didn?t want to let on that he knew of a conspiracy aboard the Challenger unless he was sure he could trust his friend. Before Elmo could continue though, both he and Jackson were interrupted by the beep of Jackson?s communicator.

?Te?Mor to Commander Jackson?

?Jackson here?

?Chief Engineer Nick and I have finished the analysis of the explosive used in the attack?

?Finally,? replied a curt Jackson.

?Sir, as you know, Ilixieum is a very delicate substance. It takes a long time to properly examine this material. If not handled correctly it could....?

?Yes. I?m sorry,? Jackson realized that his mood had now become somber. He didn?t like seeing Elmo this way. Their friendship had lasted for years, ever since Hawkeye introduced them to each other. Recent events had taken their toll on Elmo and it was beginning to affect Jackson. Jackson continued, ?I?ll be in Engineering shortly. Jackson out.?

Jackson then turned to Elmo and said ?Joey, are you going to be ok? You start your shift in an hour. If you want, I could...?

?No, I?ll be fine. Listen, you?d better get down to Engineering to see what Te?Mor has,? Elmo replied.

?Ok. I?m going. But remember, if you want to talk about it, I?ll listen,? remarked Jackson.

The despondent Elmo suddenly felt a little more at ease. Perhaps Jackson was sincere, he thought to himself. Jackson turned to leave. The door to Elmo?s quarters slid open and Jackson proceeded to Engineering. As silence returned to the Lieutenant?s quarters, Elmo returned to his personal log. The computer terminal had been flashing during his entire conversation with Jackson, however Elmo was more concerned with his own thoughts and feelings during that time to bother turning off the interface. Elmo stared at the screen for 30 seconds before saying, ?Computer. Resume recording.? Again, Elmo struggled to find the right words. ?Perhaps.....no.....hopefully this situation can be resolved. Maybe its not as bad as it seems. I do need to tell someone about this, but I just don?t know who. Daniel is a good man and he seems sincere. Now that he is acting 1st Officer I really should tell him in case anything else is planned. I just have to weigh up my options.? A weary Elmo then sat up. He was deep in thought. He was about to go on duty with possible saboteurs and didn?t know what to do. He then said in a gruff voice, ?Computer. Encrypt log, authorization Elmo, tango, alpha, 3, 1? With that, he got up and headed into his bedroom to get changed......

?Report!? came the authoritative voice of Lt. Commander Daniel Jackson as he entered the aft section of Engineering where Lt. Te?Mor and Chief Engineer Nick were standing discussing the results of the analysis. Both officers looked up at the approaching Jackson. Te?Mor proceeded to direct Jackson to the nearest console on the side wall. As all three officers approached the console, Te?Mor began to speak, ?Sir, our analysis of the explosive material uncovered from the wreckage is complete. The bomb used in the attack on the Unity was definitely of Dominion design. The trace elements of Ilixieum, known only from Dominion weaponry would confirm this.? ?But that?s what we were meant to believe,? exclaimed Nick, who appeared run-down and in need of a rest. Both he and Te?Mor had been working on this analysis since the unstable materials were brought onboard. The chief continued, ?Closer analysis of the Ilixieum reveals that it is not natural.?

?So what your saying is that someone maybe trying to implicate the Dominion in all of this?? remarked Jackson, stunned at the thought that this may run deeper than was initially realized. Te?Mor spoke up once again. ?Not just someone sir, the Romulans!? ?What?!? came a burst of horror from Daniel Jackson. ?Yes sir? continued Te?Mor. ?As I recall from a science symposium I attended two years ago, the Romulans revealed that they had indeed successfully manufactured an unnatural form of Ilixieum.?

?But what would the Romulans gain from implicating the Dominion.....? Before Jackson could finish his sentence, he realized the possible consequences of the events that had taken place the other day. ?Oh my God!? Jackson paused, regained his composure and said, ?I?ll speak with Captain Shadow immediately. Report to the briefing room in 30 minutes. This is much more serious than we thought.? As Jackson turned to leave, Te?Mor and Nick turned to each other. Both had become worried. They too realized that whatever happened next may decide the fate of the Alpha Quadrant.

?......no......no.....oh my god........argh!!!!!!? shouted a distressed female voice who had just woken up from what can only be described as a horrific nightmare. ?What happened? Where am I?? the female voice continued, still in a daze and unable to see. At this point, the female realized that she was restrained against some sort of metallic post, her arms tied behind her.

?Ah, Captain Carldon, I see that you have awaken,? came a voice to the right of her.

?Who?? replied the dazed Captain.

?It is I, Sota Nath. And to answer your earlier questions, I do not know. It appears wherever we are, our captors are fond at keeping us in the dark.?

At that moment, Captain Carldon realized that the entire room was pitch black except for two lights. One hovered above her head, while the other hovered above the figure of whom Carldon recognized as Sota Nath. Nath too was restrained in the same fashion as Carldon.

?And just who are our captives?? questioned Carldon.

?I?m sorry Captain, our captives have yet to reveal themselves.? replied Sota Nath, who despite her situation, was relatively calm. She had little time to comprehend what had occurred. The Cardassian diplomat had only been awake an hour before Carldon had woken.

?....and considering the alternative, pray that you don?t find out.? came a husky male voice that appeared to be manufactured, perhaps due to some voice altering mechanism.

Determined to find the origin of the voice, Carldon shouted ?Who are you? And what do you want from us?? and waited for the reply.

?My dear Captain, do you take me for a fool. You of all people should know very well that an enemy would never reveal their name, let alone their face unless it was absolutely necessary.? exclaimed the mysterious voice. ?I don?t know what your talking about!? replied a concerned Carldon, feigning uncertainty to the question.

?Come now Captain. I know the Federation wants peace at any cost, and I know very well why you were chosen to lead the Federation delegation to Cardassia.?

?What is he talking about Captain?? asked Sota Nath.

?I don?t know Sota, but whatever he?s trying to find out, he wont get it from me.? remarked Carldon.

The male voice let out a short chuckle. ?Very funny Captain. I see you were trained well. It doesn?t matter anyway. I know everything you know.? Although his voice was full of confidence, he knew very well that his comment was not entirely true.

?Then why am I being held captive? And what do you want from Sota Nath?? shouted the Captain.

?Do not demand answers from me Captain. You are in no position to......? The mysterious male voice was cut off by a determined response by Carldon, ?Stuff you,? she shouted.

?Very well, it seems this method will not work. Perhaps you will be more responsive with other techniques.? With that, the mysterious figure pressed something on a control panel. Within seconds, a green mist surrounded Captain Carldon and Sota Nath. Moments later they were unconscious.

The mysterious figure then turned and proceeded to the nearest exit. The door slid open and the figure entered the next room. He sat down at a desk and turned on a visual display unit.

?Askre, report?

?All is proceeding as planned sir. We are ready to move to the next phase.? came the response from the devilish face of the Romulan spy Askre.

?Excellent. It would appear though, that the Captain is a very strong willed woman. Even so, I will have her secrets. Section 31 will not win this day. At the very least, no-one will be looking for her,? he paused, then continued. ?Ah, the ingenious of Romulan cloning techniques. Our transport of the Captain and Nath seconds after the explosion worked perfectly.?

?Agreed. But sir, why do you need Sota Nath??, replied Askre.

?Why?? The figure paused in mid thought and gave a chuckle, then continued. ?Because it amuses me. Now proceed with the next phase.?

?Understood? said Askre. And with that, the mysterious figure turned off the viewscreen and smiled. Quinn was pleased.

?The Romulans!?,? exclaimed Captain Shadow. So that?s who tampered with the explosive, thought Shadow. Apparently they were up to something as well.

Captain Shadow sat at the head of the Briefing Room table. There was a somber mood surrounding everyone present. Those in attendance included the saboteur Hawkeye, Chief Engineer Nick, Lt. Te?Mor, and Lt. Commander Daniel Jackson. Hawkeye was uptight. He now realized that his Romulan associates had manipulated him. They had altered the explosives placed onboard the Unity without his knowledge. He felt angry, but at the same time despondent. While he was glad that Elmo survived, he felt dismayed that thousands more had perished that weren?t meant to. Captain Carldon?s death had also affected him. The crew had yet to hold a memorial service for her as the rescue effort was still continuing. His thoughts were interrupted by the voice of Lt. Te?Mor.

?Yes sir. As Commander Jackson no doubt informed you earlier, the use of Romulan-made Ilixieum makes the explosive even more unstable, giving it the potential to cause more damage than the exposure of natural Ilixieum to Tachyon radiation.?

?Yes, I see,? replied Shadow, who despite this new piece of information remained calm. He did not want to overstep his mark. With that he glanced at Hawkeye. He noticed the grim look on the man?s face and thought to himself - You sad, sad fool. Before this is over, you will be dead and there is nothing you can do to stop us.

?Sir!? Daniel Jackson exclaimed, interrupting Shadow?s thoughts. ?Would it not be prudent to contact Starfleet with this information??

?No, not just yet. I want to investigate this matter further.? replied Shadow.

?But sir, even so, I still recommend that we contact Starfleet with what we have.?

?I said no. And if anyone does contact Starfleet without my permission will be reported. Is that clear Commander!? barked the Captain.

Everyone looked horrified. Each thought that the new Captain was starting to stress despite his often calm exterior. Even Hawkeye took notice. Little did he or the rest of the crew present know the real reason for Captain Shadow?s outburst. They had no idea of Shadow?s involvement in this conspiracy.

A concerned Jackson replied, ?Yes sir, I understand.?

?Good. Now onto other matters. Dr. Looney reports that the medical situation is now under control. The medical staff on both the Challenger and the Covington are being assisted by both the Klingons and the Cardassians. The Romulans...? Shadow pauses, ?the Romulans have also been assisting with the wounded. Hawkeye, any sign of Dominion ships??

Hawkeye looked up and said ?...um..no sir. No sign of any Dominion ships since they left the system shortly after the explosion.?

?Ok. Nick, what is the status of the Challenger??

?Well Captain, as you know Science and Engineering teams have been working in the vicinity of the U.S.S. Unity for that past 36 hours, so we are stretched pretty thin. Having said that, the Challenger is operating at 100% efficiency,? said Nick.

?Excellent. Well if there isn?t anything else......dismissed.? said Shadow. ?Oh and Commander Jackson, I?ll be in my Ready Room, so you have the Bridge.?

?Aye Sir,? replied Jackson.

With that, everyone got up and proceeded onto the Bridge. Chief Engineer Nick took the aft Bridge turbo lift and headed to Engineering. Te?Mor took her station at Ops and Jackson took his seat in the Captain?s chair. Hawkeye took his station at tactical, but his thoughts were elsewhere. Shadow crossed the Bridge and entered his Ready Room.

As the door closed behind him, Shadow took his seat at the Captain?s desk. He turned to the small viewscreen on his desk and pressed on the control panel. A blurred vision of a Jem?Hadar appeared on screen. ?Status?? asked the 1st.

?It appears that the Romulans were the ones who tampered with our explosive device. It could be possible that they also planted the bomb that exploded on former President Digitalfreak?s shuttle.? whispered Shadow.

?Hmm....this could be a problem. Monitor the situation closely,? said the 1st. ?I will,? replied Shadow. The 1st continued, ?It will be curious to find out what their agenda is. We are about to enter our next phase. This cannot fail. The Dominion will control the Alpha Quadrant.?

The screen then went blank. Shadow sat back in his chair and contemplated the situation. He had been undercover as a Starfleet officer for almost 10 years thanks to the dissemination of information from the Starfleet vessel U.S.S. Hera captured by his people 11 years ago. Since his people?s alliance with the Dominion 6 years ago he has been working to further Dominion interests as well as his own people. Shadow swivels his chair, looks out the window of his Ready Room and smiles. He thinks to himself, We can end what we started with the Dominion 6 years ago. The Breen can finally become a significant controlling power in the Alpha Quadrant.

?Lt. Te?Mor to Captain Shadow? came the sharp voice of the female Andorian over the Comm. channel. ?Yes Lieutenant?? replied Shadow, who was resting on a comfortable leather sofa inside his Ready Room. His thoughts were focused on the impending next phase of the Dominion plan. He had given much thought to it. He realized that despite what will come he needed to remain undercover until the plan was completed. His position as ?Captain? of the Challenger was vital to its completion.

?Sir, we?re receiving a transmission from Admiral Miller. Its urgent.? relayed Te?Mor.

?Very well, I?ll take it in here.? As he said this, Shadow got up and walked over his desk and sat down. The small viewscreen came on, showing an irate Admiral Miller. The Admiral spoke in a bellowing tone, ?Captain, did you know about this?!? ?Sir?? came the surprised response from the Captain. ?Did you know that new President Askre has ordered Starfleet vessels to be massed on the Cardassian border without authorization from Starfleet?? barked the Admiral. Shadow thought to himself, This is getting better by the hour. The plan is now proceeding just as we hoped. He replied, ?No sir, I didn?t. But I thought the President outranked anybody in Starfleet, so....? He was cut off by the Admiral who spoke once again, ?Yes of course he does, but he did not consult with Starfleet Command, he just issued the orders. Where is he Captain? I want to speak with him!? Shadow responded, ?I don?t know. The last I saw of him, the President had beamed down to the planet to conduct emergency diplomatic talks with the Cardassian government. He hasn?t reported in since he left, and unfortunately we?ve been having trouble with planetside communications and sensors for the past two hours.?

?I don?t care how you do it Captain, but find the President immediately. Starfleet does not want another war on its hands. Admiral Miller out.? The viewscreen flickered off. Shadow smiled and thought, This gives me an idea for getting rid of Hawkeye?s presence onboard the Challenger. Shadow then sat up and headed out of his Ready Room and onto the Bridge. As he stepped onto the Bridge, most of the Bridge crew looked at him with questioning glares with the exception of Hawkeye and Elmo; the latter had been trying to perform his duty at the Helm station.

Captain Shadow spoke, ?Commander Jackson. I need you to take a security away team down to the planet to locate President Askre. Without planetside communications or sensors at the present time, you will need to beam down to the President?s beam down point and start your search from there.?

?Understood sir.? Jackson then turned to Elmo and said. ?Lieutenant, if your up to it, I want you on the away team.?

Elmo turned and responded, ?Yes sir, I believe I can handle it.? Elmo felt that he needed to get off the ship. His bad feeling about the whole situation was growing and he was beginning to feel increasingly uncomfortable around Captain Shadow.

?Very well,? replied Jackson.

?Oh and Commander,? Captain Shadow interjected. ?I want Commander Hawkeye to accompany you as well.? Commander Jackson then turned to Hawkeye, who looked up, visually acknowledged the order, and proceeded to press his communicator. Hawkeye spoke, ?Lieutenant Martok, Ensign Queue, report to Transporter Room 3 for an away mission.? Following this, Hawkeye, Elmo, and Daniel Jackson entered the aft turbo lift. They turned to face the entrance. Jackson exclaimed, ?Deck 8, Transporter Room!? The turbo lift door then slid closed. This was followed by an eerie silence as the three men took the turbo lift to their destination.

?Ugh, nice terrain,? remarked the female ensign Queue, disgusted at the landscape she was witnessing.

The Away team had beamed down to a murky swamp on the edge of an apparently abandoned Cardassian settlement. Abandoned for possibly good reason as much of the architecture showed the effects of destruction caused by weapons fire, no doubt caused by the Dominion?s punishment of the Cardassian people at the end of the war. Nearby was a run-down military outpost that did not appear to be in operation.

?Great place to hold diplomatic talks,? came the offbeat remark from the young Lieutenant Martok. ?Hmm, this does seem to be an odd place for the President to beam down to,? remarked Jackson. ?Keep your eyes peeled everyone.?

Hawkeye and Elmo were silent. Hawkeye knew that Askre was a Romulan spy and knew they were heading into a trap. It certainly felt like it. Elmo still couldn?t shake his bad feeling and this place certainly didn?t help that. He wasn?t fond that Hawkeye had been ordered on the Away mission. What if he turns against us? If he was responsible for the destruction of the Unity then who knows what else he is capable of.

?Sir!? exclaimed Lieutenant Martok, interrupting Elmo?s thoughts. ?I?m picking up faint Betazoid signs coming from that nearby building.? Martok gestured to the run-down military outpost.

?Very well,? remarked Jackson. ?Lets go, and be careful. We don?t know what we may find.?

As the Away team made their way towards the building, clouds began to form above them. The surrounding area was becoming increasingly dark. It appeared that it would soon begin to rain. Everyone noticed this and as a result walked a little faster. When they approached the building, Jackson whispered, ?Lieutenant, Ensign, take point?. The two security officers moved forward and slowly entered the building. The rest of the team followed. On entering the building the team discovered a large open room with what appeared to be small 2 meter wide crates scattered everywhere. Hawkeye, who had taken up the rear, was becoming increasingly uneasy. He spoke up. ?Daniel, this doesn?t feel right. Maybe we should contact the Challenger and beam more security personnel...? Before Jackson could respond, a green energy beam came out of nowhere and hit Lieutenant Martok square in the chest creating a gaping wide cavity, instantly killing him.

?Take cover!? shouted Jackson. Hawkeye, Elmo, Jackson and Queue ducked behind some of the crates. More green energy blasts hit the crates in front of them as the Away team struggled to keep from getting hit. The Away team proceeded to return fire. Between shots, Elmo asked halfheartedly ?Who are they? I can?t see who?s firing at us.? More green energy blasts hit the crates in front of them. ?I don?t know? shouted Jackson, ?but we need some backup.? Jackson tapped his communicator badge as the others continued to return fire. ?Jackson to Challenger....Jackson to Challenger, please come in.? There was no response. Elmo then attempted to do the same, ?Elmo to Challenger,? again there was no response. ?Our communicators must be dead,? he exclaimed.

Suddenly five figures burst through the main door behind them. One of them shot the young female ensign in the back incinerating her. Another figure exclaimed, ?Drop your weapons....now!? Jackson, Elmo and Hawkeye slowly turned and dropped their weapons. They were surrounded. One of the figures stepped out of the shadows in front of them to reveal the face of their attackers. They were Romulans. One of the Romulan attackers shouted, ?Get up!? The remaining team members got up. The lead Romulan gestured to the three men with his phaser. ?Now move,? he barked, now gesturing to an opening on the other side of the room.

Hawkeye, Jackson and Elmo slowly moved in that direction. They were surrounded on all sides by Romulan soldiers. As they entered the next room, the three men noticed an array of Romulan computer consoles apparently in full working order. A number of Romulan officers were feverishly working on them for some reason that was unknown to the captured Federation officers, even to the saboteur Hawkeye. The three officers also noticed another figure at the end of the room who appeared to be issuing orders to some of the Romulan officers.

?Halt!? barked the lead Romulan behind them. Jackson, Elmo and Hawkeye stopped.

The figure at the end of the room turned and spoke, ?So, its seems that the Challenger crew have come to have see if I am alright. How touching,? came the sardonic comment from the figure. Elmo and Jackson cried out in unison, ?President Askre?!? ?Quiet,? barked the Romulan officer behind them. ?It is alright Commander, let them speak? replied an increasingly sardonic Askre. ?I bet they have so many questions. Well that is except Hawkeye of course.?

?What the hell does that mean?? asked Jackson in a half-hearted shout, ?....and what is the new President of the Federation doing in what appears to be a secret Romulan base on Cardassia? Are you the one responsible for the destruction of the Unity??

?Hahaha,? came the bellowing laugh from Askre. ?Me?? Askre feigned a surprised response. ?I would think that my presence here is fairly self-evident, but that is none of your concern. As for the destruction of that pitiful attempt to promote peace in the Alpha Quadrant....? Askre paused and began laughing again, ?Hahaha, I would never dirty my hands in such a way. Why don?t you ask your good friend, Commander Hawkeye??

?What?!? shouted a totally shocked Commander Jackson. Hawkeye didn?t respond, his head facing down. He didn?t want to admit it, but he knew in his heart that he had to. It would be the first step to atoning for his sins. After a long pause, he finally spoke, ?Yes......its true. I am the one responsible for the destruction of the Unity and the thousands of lives lost.?

Jackson replied, ?Tell me you are joking. There is no-way that you would......? Jackson was cut short as Hawkeye interjected. ?Dammit Daniel, you don?t understand. You never fought in the war. You never lost loved ones at the hands of the Dominion. Those stuck on Earth like yourself never witnessed the true horror that people like me did. The Breen attack on San Francisco was nothing in the grand scheme of things. I witnessed first hand my very own wife slaughtered by a Jem?Hadar soldier. I wanted to make the Dominion pay for what they had done.?

?By killing thousands of innocent people?? remarked a distressed Jackson.

?I did not want it to be that way,? shouted Hawkeye. ?I wanted justice. I wanted the Federation, the Klingons, the Romulans....dammit, I wanted the entire Alpha Quadrant to wipe out the Dominion once and for all. But did that happen? No! They signed a stupid peace treaty that allowed the Dominion to regroup and rebuild their forces. Occupying Cardassia was not good enough. Every single Dominion sympathizer should have been hunted down and imprisoned.?

?But Hawk, we?ve been friends for years. Elmo even helped you when......? replied an increasingly concerned Jackson.

?Don?t bring Elmo into this,? shouted Hawkeye.

Elmo himself did not respond to this. He was silent, apparently miles away. His suspicions were confirmed and yet he still could not believe it. Everything around him was a blur. All he could hear were voices. His entire world had just seemed to come crashing down.

?Did you ever once think that the Dominion is just pure evil!? Hawkeye continued. ?What I did was to ensure that the people of the Alpha Quadrant would unite again against the Dominion, but this time, to drive them back to the hell from which they came!? With that, Hawkeye?s anger slowly turned to sadness as he thought of the thousands of people who perished from the destruction of the Unity. ?I just wish, that there was some other way....? said a now very somber Hawkeye.

?Mwahahahahahahah. Fool!? exclaimed the sardonic voice of Askre. ?Like all humans, you allow negative emotions to drive your actions. And they blind you to the reality of everything around you. It amuses me to hear your motivations. We used you Hawkeye. Do you think that your original device had the capacity to make such a message? Hahaha.?

?Damn you Askre. You?ll pay for this!? shouted Hawkeye.

?I do not think so. You see, you and your ?friends? are now permanent ?guests? of the Romulan Empire. Take them away Commander tr?Lenz.? bellowed an amused Askre.

The Romulan commander pointed his disrupter at the three Federation officers. ?Move!? he exclaimed.

As the three men were being led out of the room, all Elmo could think of was the other possible conspirator. With Hawkeye implicating himself, then Captain Shadow was definitely part of the conspiracy.

?Sir, planetside sensors and communications have been repaired, but I cannot seem to contact the Away team or President Askre,? remarked Lt. Te?Mor.

Captain Shadow replied, ?Keep trying Lieutenant. I want to find out if.........? Before Shadow could finish, he was interrupted by a young male Lieutenant at Tactical. ?Sir, 30 Jem?Hadar warships have just appeared off the starboard bow!?

?Appeared?? questioned Te?Mor quietly.

There was a pause as Captain Shadow thought to himself, Right on time.

?Very well Lieutenant Maddux, Red Alert, raise shields.? barked the Captain.

?Shields not responding Captain!? came the distressed response from Lieutenant Maddux.

?Sir!? shouted Te?Mor. ?The Romulan ship D?ernecius has cloaked, the Covington reports that their shields are down also and the Klingons.......?

Before Te?Mor could finish, Shadow barked through his communicator, ?Nick where are our shields,? in a convincing attempt to show his concern.

Chief Engineer Nick, who was frantically working the main console in Engineering replied, ?I don?t understand. They should be up. There?s nothing wrong with them. It?s as if.....? Nick?s comments were cut off by the voice of Lt. Te?Mor. ?Sir, the lead Jem?Hadar warship is hailing us. They wish to accept out surrender!?

Again, there was a pause, as Shadow once again thought to himself, And so it begins.

?Sir?!? shouted Te?Mor again.

Shadow stood up from the Captains chair, walked a few steps forward and said, ?Tell them......we surrender.?

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:lol-bounce: Ooooh dear I remember this one, yeah I did write one part, the last main story part I think. Quinn wrote then the epilogue if I remember correctly.

I can check and see if I still have my part somewhere well hidden in old folders. Can't guarantee anything though :s

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