Commander Conway looked at the ceiling taking a deep breath. He looked around the Bridge having been given temporary command of the Ship while Captain Tevok meditated and Captain Cook went to take care of his wife, now he had found out that through the Captain of the ship that the virus had gotten on board. He then looked at Kuna, who was also acting security chief on the bridge. "Secure all areas, double the cureís output and get the ship under lockdown mode."
"Aye sir," Kuna growled out as he began to punch the buttons of the controls working hard to get his security to find out what went wrong. As well as hoping to have the mole still on board the ship so he could deal personally with the traitor.
He looked at Lieutenant Wu then. "I want you to try and break that jam on the probes again, maybe we can break through, try all means again, and we have to find a weakness while not abandoning the station."
Lieutenant Wu only nodded and began to turn dials and press buttons to try once again at what was looking to be a hopeless attempt at contact.
Ensign Riley was sitting at this computer and found a message already waiting, text only... he was curious though as to where it came from, so checking the return point he found that it came from one of the communication probes near Federation space... which was good, he was happy that the cloak was still working.
"Ensign... if you are reading this, then you must have done well on your duty to the Federation, however, thanks to your communication I have been able to get a list of your crew... and have discovered that your Vulcan friend it seems has found it logical to try and work on a cure.... However, my sources show that he might be developing another virus, maybe to help him out... you should pick an animal and help him with his research... however, be careful, I doubt that they would allow more tampering with air ducts, more fast and careful. Also, between you and me, you are promoted to a Lieutenant as of you finishing reading this report."
Riley only smiled but then it turned into a frown... "Make another of my crew members into an animal?" he was having second thoughts suddenly about this admiral he seemed rather suspect about the motives of the Admiral. He logged out and then logged into his mail again, and strangely just as he thought, there was another message from the admiral.
"You might not trust me right now... so, I have included information for you download to give to someone you trust... please be careful, I trust you downloading the information I gave you in the first place, please put this with it so you donít have to carry around a lot of PADDís with you."
Riley put the PADD and connected to the file included only to blink as both the e-mail and the PADD went blank... seconds later alarms blared, before changing to the computer voice toning out something that made Rileyís blood turn cold.
"Computer virus detected... Life Support controls being over ridden, warning, unknown pathogen detected in airways, closing off main ventilation vents... unable to do so, override not responding, manual override needed."
Riley only looked around him. "What have I done?" He whispered as he heard his doors locked, locking him inside and his roommate out of their cabin... "Great... he is going to be so angry now." He looked up at the ventilation vent as he began to hear a hissing noise... and felt something tickle his head. He knew that in some way this would fit his crime perfectly... he just buried his head into his arms and wept.
Kuna turned around. "Commander, we have the first indications of the outbreak... lowest deck, crew housing for Ensign Gary Riley, and Ensign Satoshi Kagami.... Ensign Kagami is on duty on the torpedo roll bar as security, and Riley is within his cabin."
Commander Conway only shuddered. "Poor man... only an Ensign and cut down almost to his prime." His eyes misted over what most likely was a past memory but he shook his head. "Kuna, what is the status of manually shutting off the areas that are infected?"
"Eighty percent Commander... however we are having to condeem some crew members to the future spreading of the virus... we have lost one and a half decks to the virus... unsure of how long it will take for the areas to become unaffected."
Commander Conway only shook his head again. "Doesnít matter, have all marines onboard and security officers to get in environmental suits... and shut off gravity around the main life support decks... evacuate those decks as well... we cannot take another sabotage, or it could affect the entire crew... also restrict main computer access to only commanding officers or bridge duty officers."
Kuna nodded his Klingon head and carried out his new orders, eager to get done so he could start his investigation. Not knowing that one other problem had been added to the ship... a small bug that would go undetected until too late.
The alien commander smiled a little at the whoop that was given by the others as the computer bug began to talk to them... mainly giving them an update of how the virus was going, and how much of the ship was infected. Suddenly the whoop died in mid throat and the commanderís smile fell. "What is it? What is the matter?"
The officer at the read out turned around slowly, "It seems.... The virus stopped spreading, it was as our advisors feared... they are learning, they have the computer programmed to tell when foreign substances in large quantities are introduced into the environment. They were able to manually close off areas of the ship.
The commander only smiled. "But that would mean that the Captain... or should I say Commander...." He stopped and looked at the field of stars on the view screen. "That ship is ready to fall apart with the chain of command with so many commanding officers on board." He smirked... "So... what about the location beacon? Can we locate this ghost ship?"
"Negative sir... we have gotten it down to about half of the sector but that is it. We will try and focus it more as we get more information."
The commanding officer sighed. "Very well, just probe around and see what information you can get without breaking any security walls. We could use any information for our invasion."
"Commander," Another officer yelled from the back of the command deck. "We have word from our home... they are going to send back up at our word... but it will take another couple of years due to radiation in the area... the storms have returned for the year."
The commander only sighed, he hated those ion storms that traveled their home space, it impeded their traveling ships and battle plans... he just hoped that he could succeed where his father failed.
Commander Conway looked across the conference room at what most likely would be called an awkward and most troublesome moment. Kuna sat on Conwayís left and Captain Tevok on the Commanderís right. On the other side, dressed in a lighter uniform and special designed from the cabin replicator sat Captain Weasly Cook and Emily Maria Cook. Only they were humanoid foxís... as the Captain had informed them already, a Red Fox.
"So...are you saying that Ensign Riley came to your cabin to replace filters? And you let him?" Kuna said with a growl. "That is rather sloppy espessially making sure that you were scheduled with the repair teams."
Captain Cook growled back a deep throaty sound at the accusation. "I did not do this on purpose. Emily was ill and I was worried for her health, besides, I think they were due... we got sent here instead of a look over, being ready to be decommissioned they felt that we could go another month and then have us hand our ship over to the wreckers for spare parts."
Conway only held up a hand. "Now, now... we do not need to have a fight to the death right now... so no growling both of you." He looked at each other, he felt that Captain Tevok might have been wrong handing the reigns of this meeting over to him... but if he was going to be the First Officer on board this ship, he would have to start now.
Captain Cook looked surprised and then at Kuna who only smiled at the Captain. He looked of all things happy. Cook laughed. "I donít think we will listen to you in the holodeck... after all, a human cannot growl and I just did." He was referring to a Klingon means of staying somewhat like a wild hunter, growling to warn others away from prey or personal fights.
Conway sighed... "Just donít get into any blood battles okay? It would look bad if the Captain and an exchange officer from the Klingon Empire got into fights regularly. Besides... are we sure that the vents were the ones that contained the virus on them?"
"Foster to Tevok... I have the results from the Captain personal quarters... and we have a positive match... but, it is a new kind of strain... I believe that it was made just to turn a person into the Red Fox... but other than that one change in the code... it is all the same, only more resilient and hardy... by all accounts, you should be on all fours and... well, protecting your den and barking instead of talking."
Captain Cook shook his head. "So, what have you been doing since I have been out?" He looked rather interested, since they had not attacked the enemy in the eight and a half hours since he had left the bridge of the ship. "Conway... did you even let your dog onto the bridge? Did you do anything?"
Conway looked at the ground. "We have been running circles around the station to prevent the other vessel to approach it... we have also been able to remotely repair turrets around the area, as well as remotely wire up those that cannot be used again to act as mines, they tried to approach twice and both times encountered out impromptu mines."
Emily looked infuriated, her voice was a low angry growl deep in her throat and she didnít even seem surprised. "You did what? You do realize that the station could be rebuilt? They would only beam them to the planet most likely, but the more we defend it, the more they might see fit to just destroy it to save their hides and move on."
Commander Conway shook his head. "No, I will not leave this planet, I will not let them out of my sight, I need to do this."
Captain Tevok looked over at Conway. "I can see your logic in this, however, this is not the time nor place to settle grudges and personal vendettas... I suggest that you listen to the Captain and his wife... or mate as the proper term would not apply."
Captain Cook look at his preveous and soon to be first officers. "You mean, you stayed here... so, was it a fiancť? Or was it a father?" no one needed to have the question clarified, they all knew what was being implied.
"No," Conway said with a shake of the head. "it was neither, you see, I am the last of a group of friends before we all went into the academy, I was the youngest so I was two years behind them... they all became captains of ships... and then, they all disappeared, one of them is in another galaxy if not another universe... one of them is on that planet down there and the other... well, letís just say he was always a lion of a man."
Captain Cook smiled, "So... you made a pun... there is hope for you yet." He said this while smiling while Conway shook his head.
"No... a play on words, I figured since you are a Fox..." He said with a smile but was interrupted by Emily.
"Just because we are foxes, it does not mean we both are sly and cunning with words or actions." She crossed her arms across her chest, she and Weaslyís uniforms were short sleeved to prevent over heating with their fur.
Yet another voice interrupted the conversation. "Commander and Captainís, we have just been able to get the cure pumping again, only... we canít seem to access the lower decks anymore... I think the virus and shut off values are working against us... also, the virus is now dying off, but it will be another half hour before we can go in without it affecting us."
Conway tapped the delta on his chest responding to the report. "Understood, as soon as it is clear, beam Ensign Riley to our location or the bridge if we are not here, we want to talk to him."
"Understood sir." The line went silent as it was closed. Conway looked at the others around him.
"All right, if that is all, I think we can dismiss to our posts... oh and Captain, miss, I think you should report to Sickbay to get check over one more time, we donít need you to be unknown carriers... I know you were checked already but we rather be safe than sorry."
Weasly and Emily both cringed and wrinkle their muzzles. Emily spoke first. "Great, we get to see Nurse Grecian again... I can hardly wait... I am not going to get another flea bath... she is not gentle at all."
Commander Conway did not hear that comment having exit the Conference Room already, heading to his cabin to get some thoughts together and visit with his dog.
†Robert Conway walked out of the Turbolift and down the hallway to his room where as he opened the door, just as he expected Sam his Golden Retriever was waiting sitting in front of the door patiently waiting for him. "Good boy Sam." Robert said as he leaned over and ruffled the head of the Canine... of course Sam moved his head from under his hand and began to sniff it trying to get information with all the scents that he had picked up. He gave a small whimper soon and looked at him with questioning chocolate brown eyes.
Robert laughed, "That is my Commanding officer, he.... Changed, he is more like you actually, another canine... Donít worry; I donít think he would mind you aboard." He smiled as Sam gave a small bark and began to wag his tail. "Okay, okay... weíll go to the Rec Room, I am sure we can find something to do." As he said that, he picked up a ball from the table and the two of them left the cabin and headed off to the Rec Room.
Weasly and Emily both were sitting on separate bio beds and looked at each other as the Doctor was hunched over a display screen looking at their DNA patterns, he looked at the two of them and then back to the computer Screen. He was comparing charts and was trying to make sense, well, he had three charts up for each of his patients, one was their human chart, one was taken right at the time when they entered Sick Bay, and the last one had been taken just moments ago. He took a deep breath and turned around to see the two of them.
"I have bad news..." He looked grim and solemn. "I am afraid that the virus is still working within you... you are not contagious as far as I can tell, but your DNA has slowed down, but is still moving towards what I can only assume to be a full four legged Red Fox... I am sorry Captain but... I am not sure how long you are going to be able to communicate to your men, so I am going to have to medically officially relive you of duty as of this moment... I will have the Computer beam you...."
Captain Cook interrupted the Doctor. "Doctor, if we are going to become full Foxes... what about the cure? Wonít that work?" He was confused now, wouldnít that work.
The doctor only shook his head again. "I am afraid that this time... the cure is only acting as a agent to slow the process, if this had been the normal virus, you would have awoken with a tail in your face most likely curled up on your bed."
"That fast?" Cook muttered. "Will, in that case, at least let me wonder the halls or something, I will go stir around three hours, three and a half at most.... And this is not some diseases that people can beat, you will become a full fox, it is a matter of time only." The Doctor only smiled faintly and turned and walked back to his main office.
Weasly and Emily only looked at one another with concerned faces. They didnít want to become four legged and lose the ability to talk. But they knew that they should try and spend the time to the best of their ability, so they began to head to the recreation deck.
Meanwhile, the Captain of the Marines was wearing a special EV suit due to his unusual body shape. He was leaning against one of the bulkheads near the primary Life Support units as they guarded the area against any saboteurs that might think now was the time to kick them again.
One of the guards walked up to him. "Sir, we have reports that the lower areas are now only containing the dead virus, however, the crew is full animals, it seems that the cure since it was not pumping at the same time, and the virus was growing."
"It speeds up the process." The Captain said with a deep gravelly voice as he looked at the Andorian by the looks of the helmet. "Well Ivan, as long as we have these suits on, we should be safe."
Ivan nodded his head and walked to his post, they had been switching around their posts just so no one would go too stir crazy. The captain had ordered extreme caution, but the Marine Captain couldnít blame him, two attempts of being taken over and free fur coats as the captain had commented in passing, anyone would be afraid. "I have a bad feeling that this is just the calm before the storm."
Onboard the bridge of the Emily Maria, progress was being made. Lt. Wu spun around gleefully, "Sir, I think I did, I think I am able to break through the jam and send out an SOS, however... we could be detected and set upon."
Captain Tevok sat in the chair. "Do so Lieutenant, we must not allow them to attack in secrecy... we were able to destroy one of their main Destroyers, but we must deal with one that is making repairs as we speak."
Lt. Wu nodded his head and began to work his controls like a musician works an instrument, and soon he was speaking into the computer control. "Mayday, Mayday, this is the Emily Maria, We have a outbreak, I repeat, we...." The ship shook and power went out before coming back online. "We are under attack, I repeat, alien invaders have discovered us and are attacking us mayday." He looked back at Captain Tevok. "Thatís it, they jammed me again.
Captain Tevok only pressed his fingers together making a pyramid with them. "That is all we can do..." He turned to the Romulan worker at one of the side stations. "How is the cloak?"
"Wonít do us any good, they know..." They were hit again, as Gillian yelled out in anger at being hit again. "Right where we are, they might not see us, but they know the general direction we are in."
Captain Tevok was about to make an order when they shook for a third time rattling loss items on the bridge. Sparks flew from an over head light as well as the engineering console, the officer at the controls was able to dive to the ground and avoided major injuries, but still had first degree burns on his hands.
"Engines are offline Captain." An Engineering officer cried out in shock as he looked at his readouts.
"Very well," Captain Tevok said with a look around the bridge. "Take the cloak off line, deploy our armor... and load Quantum Torpedoes, we shall buy as much time as we can afford." His voice showing that he didnít expect them to survive the encounter.
"Thank you Captain, but I shall take over from here." A voice barked out as Captain Cook exited the turbo lift, almost getting his tail caught in the door. "I do not plan on having my atoms spread across the galaxy." The ship shook once again, but nothing else blew up, the bridge had yet to fill with smoke and Cook was glad of it.
"Very well sir." Captain Tevok said as he got up. "But the moment you lose communication skills I shall come back in command." Once again he was speaking in the cool calculation Vulcan tone of voice devoid of all emotion.
The alien commander looked at the screen as the black of space shimmered and the small pest appeared only, looking more like an armored pest then what most ships he had gathered looked like. "Report." He roared at his crew, he hated surprises and this little ship was full of them.
"Armor of some kind, able to be weakened by weapon blasts, but shields are offline for them. Only it is laced with a material preventing beam in." He ducked as the Commander threw a loss piece of metal that had been shaken loose from the last attack.
"Target the plating around the main life support areas; I want strike teams ready, along with our new prototype guns." He smiled as alarms blared. He watched the view screen as torpedoes headed at them before being annihilated by there now operational defense screen. "Try to punch through to us now." He said with a laugh.
Captain Cook was leaning forward in his chair; he slammed his fist into the armrest free of controls. "They got some new toys as well?" He growled out in anger and frustration. "I want battle plans on punching through that screen, thereís got to be a weak point somewhere."
Kuna only smiled happily. "Charging the main phasers banks," He waited a second before yelling out the confirmation. "Firing weapons now." He said with maybe too much Klingon glee at attacking an enemy. They watched as the Phasers only got absorbed by the shields and they rocked from the attacking enemy.
"Gillian." Captain Cook started to say but was cut off.
"I know Captain, I know, I am trying my best but they are getting better, I think the computer is taking better control now." They all knew what that meant; the computer targeting system on the enemy ship was such that it would get harder to dodge as you go on in battle.
Suddenly the ship rocked really hard and power fluctuated momentarily. From the back of the bridge came the most dreaded words one could hear, the same cold chill that one could have on facing the Borg went through the Bridge crew at that moment. "Intruder Alert, Intruder Alert." The Computer blared out her sickening warning; it was now up to the marines and security personally to keep the fur off them. The deck had been plunged into darkness and without any light from anything, it was impossible to see.
The first wave of alien invaders were shocked when they found themselves in weightless atmosphere, right away they began to tumble and spin, however they spotted a column of white clad personal stomping towards them wearing magnetic foot wear and open fired upon the invaders. The invaders returned in kind only their weapons were different, how different the men in white didnít know until one who had been shot minutes ago let out a started scream over the comm. Link between the men.
Lt. Commander Hanson rushed to over the man, while others were placing beacons for the stunned aliens to be transported to the Brig. He took one look within the visor and tapped his left wrist. "Captain Cook, we have a problem. It seems that they have portable virus weapons... I have," stopped as more men began to let out shouts of horror and franticly trying to get help. "I seem to be the only one unaffected by the attack Captain, I am afraid that our suits are no match for the projectiles that they are using."
Captain Cook sat stunned on the bridge as he heard the last report. He looked at the view screen which was fuzzy a little but still useable. The size of the ship alone dictated that they would be overrun with superior numbers. "Understood Hanson, I want you divert all the remaining security men under your command to help secure the areas. You are under orders to have portable cure canisters on your men, Be sure to tell the Marines that as well, that way, we can fight for as long as we can."
"Understood Captain, will follow through." Captain Cook looked at the ceiling and muttered a few choice words under his breath. Captain Tevok raised an eyebrow at hearing him.
Hanson stalked the hallway, having sent five of his own men to the Infirmary to try and get them stabilized, he was walking past a blackened control panel when his light showed something shocking. His own EV suite was ripped and he could see the end tip of one of the weapons. This was confusing him when he realized something; his face looked similar to the aliens that had tried to invade them. He shook his head, as he continued on his patrol. He knew that he was adopted off a barren planet by his mother and father, and now... could it be, that his real race where the ones that was causing this problem... and why was he not affected. He tapped his wrist again. "Captain Ivan, report to my patrol pattern now, I... Iíve got some research; I think I might have a way of combating the enemy. Just... buy me as much time as you can." He didnít know if this was what humans called a hunch or a wild goose chase, but he wanted to see if it is right or just his over active mind. He also hoped that the Marine Captain would listen to the Chief of Security, or be a pain in the neck and refuse to even respond.
The alien Commander drummed his fingers on the arm of his command chair; he didnít like the waiting for his first team to report a success. However, he knew that it would be some time until they could detect the widespread deployment of the virus.
He suddenly got what he was waiting for, only it didnít contain what he wanted to hear. He turned to the computer sonar officer at the report, his face growing darker and darker at the ill fortune that was befalling him.
"Scans indicate a total of five new cases, however, we are able to pinpoint that our men are being held captive, unable to beam them back though."
The alien commander only growled in annoyance, although it was borderline anger and fury. "Fine, deploy teams two and three, I want a pronged attack, spread them thin, and when they are engaged, I want team four to go in and take the bridge." All he got was the affirmative. "But first, letís show that we are not blood thirsty and we will show mercy. Open a channel to the other ship."
"Captain," Lieutenant Wu spoke touching the metal ear piece in his ear. "We are receiving a hail from the enemy vessel." He looked rather nervous.
Kuna, when we can, fire another Phaser barrage at them, try and punch out one of those screen points." All he got was a nod of the head. He looked at the front of the bridge. "Put it on screen." The screen switched from the view of the alien vessel to that of the face of what most likely was the Commander of the alien strike force. However the view was mostly hidden in darkness, so all he got to see was a general outline of a rather large creature... most likely humanoid in shape.
The body reeled back a little and more into the shadows as if surprised to find a humanoid Fox in command of the ship. "Captain Cook?" he stated, while it sounded more like a question. "I... well, I must say that you are more resourceful then I first gave credit for you."† The alien gave a strange sound almost like laughing, and Cook realized that the commander could see his slow movement to a full fox. "Tell me, how would you like to be giving pink skin again? All you have to do is surrender and wait out our time in your space on your little station, I am sure your crew would be happy to know that they get to keep their own selves and not become covered in fur."
Captain Cook took one look around the bridge. "I think I can say that we... bark yip yap." Captain Cook clamped his paws on top of his muzzle looking horrified.
Captain Tevok walked to the Command Chair pushing one button and then finished the Captainís sentence. "We rather speak with body language then surrender our ship." Yet, whatever feeling and tense triumph was lost on the emotionless expression of such could be heated words.
The commander laughed at this. "You Vulcans always make even the most exciting pieces of speaking boring and dreary... I am glad that you will soon have your emotions released." The screen cut off and then the ship shook rupturing a pip in the back of the bridge releasing steam into the bridge.
"Mr. Kuna, would you kindly return fire at the enemy vessel and as the Captain would say, have at it." The captain turned as the turbo lift doors open and Commander Conway walked onto the bridge. "Commander, I would think that an emotional Human would do well in this battle, seeing how a computer is targeting us, a human would be more difficult to predict." Captain Tevok got up and walked away from the chair as Conway took it, he looked at Captain Cook who only shrugged his shoulders and made a small whining noise
Commander Conway looked at the Captain, "Finally lost vocal range of human speech?" He sighed as he took the command chair as another shot hit them. "Damage report on the enemy ship? I know we are doing poorly at the moment."
MíRess who was holding onto her chair let out a Yowl of protest at the suddenly jerk. "They are barely affected by the attacks; torpedoes still are being destroyed before reaching the hull when we try to test for a hole." She was not too please at the battle going on around her.
Commander Conway looked at the view screen as another set of Torpedoes were launched at them, he knew where they were heading. "All hand brace for impact." He was right as they slammed into the pylon hold their port nacelle, damaging it badly. The bridge crew where thrown to the floor of the ship, and they were slowly getting up.
Conway looked around them when suddenly more alarms blared out, well the same ones as before, and they knew that they were in trouble. "Intruder Alert, Intruder Alert." The computer intoned with the cool and calm demeanor as if it was reporting an incoming transmission.
"Seal off the decks and lock out all life support controls, I want them controlled here on the bridge." Conway ordered. Tevok only nodded and moved to comply with the order.
Captain Ivan growled as he heard fire attacks coming from the forward lines, their EV suites having been producing the cure now for twenty minutes, he just hope that they would be able to keep them at bay for that long. Suddenly the communication lines exploded with not only swearing but news that grew horrible.
"Richard, flank him... dang there armor they are adaptive... Watch your back... Dang Iím hit... falling back... We canít hold this line... Good heavens.... They got knock out... I canít breathe; the mask is breaking my new nose... Theyíve reached the second lines already..."
He gripped his rifle as his andorian antenna wavered in anticipating the coming battle. Of course he just hoped... suddenly the lighting and gravity he could feel was coming online. "What in blazes is...?" A blast next to him made him realize that they were being pushed back. "This is it men."
The bridge had the knocked out figures of most of the bridge crew including the now fully Fox form of Captain Cook, the others were changing already... and in some cases shrinking a little. However the news that was being sent over the main viewer was grim, the alien commander was still in shadow as was the bridge of the Emily Maria being retrofitted a little to the aliens needs and wants.
"This crew is more paranoid then any federation starship before us. The moment we beamed in, the Vulcan did something to the computers and we cannot access most systems... we were able to restore lighting and gravity to the areas that were devoid of it... but the main control systems seemed to have been moved, we have our hackers try and either locate the new base, or break through the encryptions."
The Commander of the alien ship only laughed. "No matter this ship is weaponless and we can always use it to throw off anyone that might come, if they got the mayday they got through." He seemed to be unable to repress a small flicker of a spark of respect for this crew, they seemed very resistant to the new order and sticking to their past... but as one captured document said, the more you cling to the past, the more painful the future is to you. Also, before they try any famous Star Fleet suicide sacrifices, I want the auto destruct terminated; I want this to be a floating zoo set adrift when we are done with her. Also, I want you to take the weapons roll bar and cut off all access computer and otherwise to no one but us, we canít let them control the weapons now can we?" He laughed as the screen when blank and his men that boarded went to finish his orders...
The engineering of the Emily Maria was teaming with what remained of the shipís compliment, which after sealing off decks behind them, and around them... left them with just about only the two decks above and below engineering, life support was jammed shut by now most likely Transformed marines and security detail... they were moving cargo from the only cargo hold they had access to that wouldnít blow up when under fire to barricade the entrances to Engineering.
Commander Conway walked around the upper deck of the engineering as people who were part of the relief bridge crew were being put in charge of areas of the ship. He wondered if in the history of Star Fleet if a situation where relief officers were suddenly thrust into command of posts those they only had to deal with mostly on graveyard shifts.
He turned to face the weapons officer that was newly promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. "Now Lt. Kagami I know you are more use to the roll bar, but you are the only one with the most knowledge about weapons systems... I want you to hack your way and get a impromptu weapons targeting system down here... I donít know what or how much time we have left but we must hurry, before they find a way through all our walls and towers to Life Support."
Lt. Kagami turned to go before turning to face the Commander. "Uh sir..." He looked sheepishly down at the ground. "Before we evacuated the Roll bar... we kind of...."
Conway had an idea already of what was happening. "Ah..." Was all he said before turning around and moved to another part of the new command post... he knew that this would be the last strong hold, Sickbay was being cleaned out and move to another location... they would make a final stand here if needed, too bad Captain Cook was trapped, he felt that he would have thought of some great traps or ambushes for the invaders.
Commander Conway looked over the last defenders, and the phrase that was emblazed upon the dedication plague rang through his mind. "Rode the six hundred," He muttered as he looked upon the men that would most likely not see another day the same way.
"Aye sir," A man, graying in the temple said as he came up beside the Commander. "A poem that seemed to have struck the poor captains heart... considering that over the life span, this is the six hundredth Miranda class vessel to be built, we could be the last one to face a battle we do not come home from." The officer that was talking was wearing the engineer gold color.
Conway turned to the left and smiled. "Ah... so the great poet of engineering has come up here?" He said this in the same joking manner that he had heard Captain Cook say it. However the glare he got caused him to raise a hand. "Hey, Iím just trying to keep the Captainís humor alive at the moment."
The Engineer only glared before smiled a big grin. "No need to apologies, but as the Captain would say, you should find your own humor and interests." The Chief Engineer only looked back at the warp core. "We should activate the force field to prevent stray fire from damaging the core shell." He sounded like he was muttering to himself. "I hate what some of these people are doing, placing traps on areas that we could take back later." He then began to walk off quoting what felt like a line from another old Earth poem.
"I am on a ship of fools." Conway said under his breath as he realized what was finally going on... he was what felt like a figure head, while everyone went their own ways.
The alien leader of the small band of five slowly moved into the main control for the roll bar. "Okay... I want wiring pulled and to make sure that engineering section is sealed off from this area. You heard the Commanding officer, we do not want to sit on a ship we cannot control."
"Aye sir," One of the aliens said saluting and went right to the controls and began to punch up commands. He smiled; humans make it so easy to access important... He stopped as something began to pip through the speakers. "Five, Four, Three," The emotionless voice of the computer counted down. Before any of them could realize what was happening, or that all main entry points to the roll bar had sealed automatically, detonation charges blew, completely pulverizing the roll bar and damaging the outer hull right below it.
The ship shook as part of it blew apart, causing alarms to blare out and making most of the alien invaders jump out of their seats and hurry to control panels to try and find out what caused such a large explosion. They looked at the view screen as their commander came onto it. "What just happened? Why did you blow up the roll bar?"
"It was not us my commander." The alien away leader spoke in hast. "I think that the humans are more resourceful then we first thought on boarding them... they prevented us from using their own ship against others of their own kind." He was also infuriated at learning the cause of the main explosions as well; he lost five good and loyal officers, five more that would be less to take care of the enemy. "Also... the brig is empty; they must have moved our men with them, this new Commander is really getting on my nerves with the way he is running and not accepting the fate that he has been played. He thinks he can run... well, he is trapped on all sides now." He laughed as he got the nod from his commander to do what he felt best, and he planned to break into both life support systems by any means possible.
The ship shook as men worked and ran along both the upper cat walk and the main floor of engineering. "What is going on? I want a status Report, what are they doing to our ship?" Commander Conway, the now commanding officer of the Emily Maria almost lost his footing as major shock wave shocked the ship.
An Engineer ran up to him just as a control panel behind them overloaded and ruptured sending sparks all over. Conway looked behind him as he looked back at the PADD he was given. He then looked around. "Great... they have just blown through both life support controls... we have limited..."
"Warning... Viral entity in high quantities has been detected, safety features disabled... unable to compensate... Warning unable to activate Self Destruct program, unable to cause explosive decompression, Section 31 override codes compromised.... Star Fleet vessel activating self defense fry sequence.... Unable to follow command... Engineering section compromised of viral entity, spreading outwards." The crew all were rushing around trying to work out enough information to a) clear up the circles the computer were going in, b) Finish any projects before they couldnít and c) Prepare enough food and rations to hopefully keep killing each other not an option.
The science lab where the Chief of Security had fled was also compromised with the virus and the three scientists were showing signs of rapid fur growth and shrinking. He didnít need long to know that all three had become a member of the rodent species... and still he was unaffected by the virus. He calculated another half hour was added to his research time with the lost of his three helpers, at least it was now to the trial and error part of the work. An otter was sedated on the table, once having been the crew member Gary Riley, and a person he felt had allowed the eventual discovery of them. So he felt that it would do well to test the cure on him.
The bridge of the Emily Maria was dim, having the lighting lowered to the more comfortable lighting of the aliens, when a light begins to beep and one of the remaining boarding party members moves to activate it, on the viewer, a sight that caused everyone to looked at it while closing their eyes in anger. A ship that so far was one of a kind with intelligence saying that the second of the Ambrosia Class vessels will be finished in another month, but this one ship they knew they had bad luck with in the past. Flanking the large ship were two vessels, a Miranda and an Akira Class ship acting as escort.
"Status on the Ambrosia and her paper bag escorts?" The new captain of the Emily Maria asked in a slow draw waiting for what he knew would happen. He was not surprised at all.
"She has weapons hot and shields have just come online, they look like they want a fight. However, we cannot make certain that they are targeting us." The new sonar officer called out.
"Make it stay that way... act like we are wounded and list a little... vent a little drive plasma of this ship as well, we must act the part now." He smiled as he felt the ship tilt and warning alarms blared briefly as plasma began to vent.
The Ambrosiaís Captain stared at the view screen as the Destroyer mark II as their old advisor called it stood in the background looking on as well.
"Well, Ethan?" Captain Leon asked as he stood up, his lion tail swishing by the movement. Turning to face a very helpful person that helped save the crew at the last minute, he hoped he could do so again against the race that had a slight obsession with Federation space. "Can you give me any weak points to our advantage?" He turned to one of the acting officers at an auxiliary control. "I want our command codes changed, we cannot afford to have another Kirk on our paws... especially if we can save the crew on board the Emily." He turned to look at the screen. "Looks like she was out matched," His muzzle twitched. "I want a full scan of the station and the ship, I want to know what happened to them."
"Already done sir," He didnít turn to face the officer, by the tone of voice he knew what the fate would be already. "All station personal are fully animal, no deaths so far, I think a computer virus is making the replicators make the necessary food right now,† I guess they still have respect for humans."
"What about the Emily Maria?" He just hoped something was going right. "I want to see if we can beam aboard survivors; it looks like they lost their entire roll bar." He already was counting the Emily Maria as lost. He growled at the news there as well.
"Only an alien boarding party... the rest are animals, sorry Captain, but we seem to be the only group here now to help." Megan Wiley responded her ears pulled back in annoyance. She was not happy at the results like the captain.
Captain Strife only looked around the bridge, it was clean and perfect, and he had a bad feeling that it would become a mess after this battle. "Deploy the Armor, I want all transphasic torpedoes primed to detonate over the shielding, we might be able to over load the power grid that way." He then turned and sat down on in the chair. "Have the Potomac and Nile fall in behind us, I want them to give fire support but they shouldnít take the blunt of the attacks." His face then took on a grim and dangerous look to it. "Red Alert, battle stations, I want them to know that they will not take away any more peopleís lives again." His fur was bathed then in red lighting along with bulkheads around the bridge, a battle was being started.
Onboard the Emily Maria the alien boarding party was rushing around trying to find anything to help in attacking the ship. But every weapon system had become fried or blown up. They were realizing that they were lucky to still have a functioning life support for them and to spread the virus through the ship. The view screen showed the Destroyer Mark IIís bridge as it shook under the first volley of phaser fire and spread of Transphasic torpedoes. "I want you to get your engines on line, I donít care what you do, but destroy that ship, ram it if you have to." He then turned on one of his own men on the bridge. "You idiot, return fire already, I want those shields down for us to use the virus on them as well." He did not like the looks of things, their bridge shook again.
Onboard the Nile, the Akira class shipís bridge sparked as a rear console exploded. The Captain looked behind him as a crewman was sent flying; he was dead before he reached the ground. Suddenly alarms blared as the science officer turned in her seat. "Captain, we have an enemy Cruiser class ship bearing down on us, I think they came from the asteroid belt, they could be reinforcement for the enemy." The captain looked at the view screen as the bridge was shook once again hurting the side of his chest right below the rib cage. "Weapons, target all remaining Transpasic torpedoes on that Cruiser." He looked around as his ship was hit by more weapons fire, this time coming from the Cruiser. Suddenly a very large explosion rocked the ship, feeling like it came from somewhere on the ship.
"Captain," The chief engineer shouted over the comm. "We have power fluctuations; warp core is being shaken up badly along with two power plant reserves failing... I am not sure how much longer I can keep shields holding." His voice sounded stressed and frantic.
Suddenly the ship shocked hard sending most everyone to the ground. When the science officer crawled back into her seat she shouted in fear."Shields are down!" The next barrage of weapons caused the ship to really shake, sending more sparks into the air and rupturing a pip in the back of the bridge.
The helm officer screamed out dire news then."Helm's not responding!" The view screen which showed the enemy Cruiser growing larger, their final movements sending the ship into the enemy vessel, making everyone know the fate of the ship. The cruiser besides scorch marks here or there, like she was still holding together better then the Nile.
The Nile really shudders, as countless consoles explode into a light show of sparks killing two more bridge officers. A beam falls from the ceiling trapping the rest of the others on the bridge, blocking the turbolifts.
"Hull breach decks three; eighteen and twenty six, life support is failing." The science officer shouted before her console exploding killing her before she reached the deck. The ship shook again as a fire erupted in the back of the bridge, the Captain was the only one left alive on the bridge. He looked around the destroyed bridge as fires began to erupt on other consoles. The final orders he make before the bridge was destroyed by the next barrage of weapons fire was "Abandon Ship."
The Ambrosiaís bridge looked on as the burning wreck of the Nile, whose decking around the bridge was completely gone with gaping holes in half her side along the engineering section of the ship, and as escape pods erupted from the hull of the now lost Akira Class, they knew what was happening. "Weapons, I want protective fire for those escape pods, have the Potomac fall back and collect those the make it past us."
He then looked back at the screen as the Nile crashed saucer first into the engine area of the Cruiser. Overloading the shields and then plowing into the metal hull of the Cruiser then, pulverizing the already chewed up hull of the ship. Suddenly there was a flash of bright light as the core erupted in its final act, an uncontrolled detonation of matter and anti-matter. Taking out the Cruiser with it, the other two shipís bridge crews just stared at the spot where the enemy vessel stood.
"Captain... the Emily Mariaís shields have failed, she is open for boarding parties. Also the weapons protection screen on the Destroyer has been overloaded, torpedoes can reach her now." The security officer reported, his voice quiet at the loss of another star ship, but every Captain and crew member knew the risks when they signed up for Star Fleet academy.
"Weapons lock all weapons on key locations." The ship shock again as sparks flew from an unused console. "I want that Destroyer taken down, protect the Emily Maria as well."
"Captain... warp signature detected.... Sir, it is the Phlox, the medical ship is on her way and will help with casualties, however I doubt the cure they have will help anyone." Megan Wiley said while looking over the console, her red tail twitching in glee at the news.
Captain Strife only growled a feline sign of displeasure... "Have both the Potomac and the Phlox remain at a distance... we are going with our weapons blazing." All he got was an acknowledgement of the deed and the ship began to move forward as she received damage, as well as dishing it out herself, amazingly, two transphasic torpedoes could only punch holes, big holes, but did nothing much in damaging the ship.
The ship shook a lot harder than before causing Captain Strife to fall back into his chair. "Damage report he roared above the sound of a hissing conduit. "I want to know how much blood we will take from them as payment for our ship.
Once again Science Officer Wiley reported. "Hull breeches on decks five, six, twenty four, and thirty, no casualties as of yet, it seems that our instincts can tell when something is about to happen in areas."
Captain Strife only nodded his head. "Right, Sam, I want another run at them, and fire everything we can at them, phasers, Phonton Torpedoes, Quantum Torpedoes and what remains in our stockpile of Transphasic Torpedoes." He had a fire in his eyes as he looked at the now blackened hull of the enemy ship, and he could see where power was failing or gone totally, on top of having holes punched into the ship like Swiss cheese.
"Aye Captain loading weapons." The weapons officer replied. Laying in the attack plans as the helm turned the ship around and charged the enemy Destroyer letting lose another barrage of weapons fire, as the Ambrosia was hit back, but her shields were holding for now.
Suddenly sensor alarms sounded. "Captain two more warp signatures... two more vessels are coming to our aid... there Defiant Class." Megan said with a low growl of joy, "We are getting the upper paw."
Captain Strife looked back at the Destroyer. "Hail them; we have them slowly out numbered." He looked back and when he got a nod of the head he turned back to the screen. "Commander, Surrender your vessel, you are unable to run and you are out gunned now."
Megan however stared at the view screen as the ship suddenly stopped firing. "Captain, I am reading an energy build up... there... I think they are going to destroy themselves."
"All hands brace for shock wave, Get us out of here." Captain Strife ordered as the Destroyer blew itself up, sending the Emily Maria spinning on her axis like a top. But she suddenly stabilized and began to move forward, the plasma leak suddenly stopping.
"Report, why is the Emily Maria moving away..." He stopped. "Weapons, target their warp nacelles and take them out, but nothing else."
"Aye, Captain, targeting engines, she shouldnít be going anywhere shortly." Sam said with a smile he fired a low powered Ship laser attack speed, and launched from the phaser banks and slammed into the port nacelle. "Direct hit, they wonít be going anywhere."
"Captain, I am reading exactly sixty alien life signs, and the animal life signs... CAPTAIN, I am reading transporter activation, they were just beamed to the planet, or at least starting the process."
"All security teams, prepare for enemy ship combat, you are ordered to retake that ship." Captain Strife ordered as he looked at the view screen his lion tail swishing back and forth.
Back on the Emily Maria, the Chief of Security smiled as the otter began to grow more and more human when suddenly all progress stopped. "What... he rushed to the controls and tried to find out what was going on. "This canít... it was supposed to..." He turned around at hearing a gasp and groan as the officer slowly woke up. He took one look at his hands and blinked.
"NO!" he shouted. "I am not going to be like this... I was happy with my old form..." he turned to face the Security Officer. "Change me back; I will not face my captain like this... I was tricked and I will not see this through."
"Yes, you will see this through; at least till I get the cure into the compartments of the ship, then I will turn you back."
The officer wanting to return to his prison that he felt he fully deserved and not liking this form of parole nodded in agreement. It took five more minutes but they were able to bypass all standing security codes.
Gary couldnít help but make what sounds like an otter chatter of a laugh. "I guess they thought no one would have worked on a cure so, they left all the codes alone."
"That... and the computer is half insane with all the different conflicting orders, what with this section 31 stuff." The CSO muttered as they watched the screen confirm the introduction of the cure into the ships environment, and already he could see the changes of the lab technicians, being a Squirrel, White Mouse, and a command rat by the look of things. Suddenly he turned and stunned Gary who was about to inject himself with the virus again. "No you donít the Captain will decide your fate."
The cargo bay one was jammed like a zoo, with sedated animals as they loaded up the cargo transporters however, suddenly the blue lights of transporters appeared as security officers beamed in, only the shock that cause the alien guards to not fire right away, was that they were humanoid animals. Which began to fire right away upon the alien guards, and this surprise was what caused the cargo bay to become secured. Suddenly the acute hearing of everyone heard the hissing coming for the air vents. This confused the boarding party from the Ambrosia that is until they began to notice changes with the crew.
Commander Conway was not happy; well... he was happy to have found a warm patch of air and the fact that they had to tailor a new uniform for him. One that could help with him being a Gecko now, he was looking over a new energy projection and was amazed that the energy saved on the life support could now be shunted to other areas, mainly on how to get the shipís engines repaired. He felt a presence and turned around the come almost face to face to Captain Leon Strife, almost being the key word because with the mane, Leon was a head taller than Robert Conway.
"Robert? Is that you?" Leon asked concern and disbelief at mainly the fact that now; two starships were now crewed by the humanoid animals caused by both a cure and virus interaction.
"Leon?" Robert asked, in a slightly different accent of voice, sounding more of an Australian accent to his voice, one that he didnít have before. "It is... however, my voice was changed or altered a little... I now sound like something some old twentieth century advertisement company would create." He sounded miffed.
"Robert." Leon said with a smile. "Donít be too hard; besides I came on some happy business, I heard that your crew might have found a way to..."
"Yes, we have already started it the moment we were able to operate controls again... it is working, in fact Captain Cook and his wife are over there overseeing the way that the others are coping, some of them, like our sedated traitor is not taking it too well."
"Traitor?" Leon said with real concern. "You mean.... Like another person that took our fourth member of the group to another galaxy?"
"Not that bad, but he turned the Captain into a Red Fox." Robert said with a sigh. "The Captain is going to deal with him later today." Robert said with a flicker of his tongue. "But I assure you the punishment will fit the crime." He said hoping to ease the angry look in Leonís face.
Leon only looked at Robert with a piercing glare that was made even more intimidating with the face of a lion. "We shall see, I just hope I can have a few minutes with this person alone."
The station was beginning to come on line and plans were already being made to place atmospheric pods with the new Cure over the planet and bath the atmosphere with the cure and hope to catch all the transformed sentient life forms on the surface below. Overseeing this process was Commander Emily Maria Cook.
In the Main debriefing room, another meeting of equal importance was taking place. While two security guards stood at the door, Captain Cook looked at the cause of the situation. "Ensign Gary Riley." Here the Otter slumped a little in his chair looking at the table. The Captain looked at the PADD that was in front of him. "I looked over your request on punishment, and I need to remind you that I am the Captain and I will decide the payment for your action, this is a serious matter, and I think that returning you to an Otter would be not good enough." The Captain looked across the table, and waited till Gary looked him in the eye. "You are hereby ordered that tomorrow to report to Security and begin your training in that field... we no longer have a Roll Bar and I think teaching you some discipline will do you good." He looked down acting like everything was finished however he looked up suddenly and added more as if it was nothing big. "You also will have this going on your personal record and a cap for two years of not rising any further then you are, Ensign, you are dismissed." He nodded at the two guards. They were a Bengal Tiger and an Australian Wild Dog who walked forward and escorted Ensign Riley out of the room. He sighed and looked out the conference window and the stars beyond the protective covering. "Now what are we going to do?" He had not heard back from any of Star Fleet Command, only that they were sending another Medical Ship, this one full of consolers to help those on the planet to adjust to being humanoid again. All he knew now, was he was to act as a floating diplomatic ship for anyone who might be coming and he felt he would get to see every major power player in the Alpha Quadrant now that the planet was gaining the means to join the Galaxy on a broader scale.
Elsewhere on the ship, in a cargo hold, one of the nurses still wearing the blue of medical was sitting on a blue barrel and was playing an Ocarina, while a Weasel practiced with an Andorain ice dagger, while listening to his Girlfriend as she practiced... they both were trying to handle the stress now of new bodies and a new life... and both were unsure of what would come in the future. They both looked at each other and smiled. The otter having retained as fur spots the spots that denoted her as a trill, an un-joined one, but a trill none-the-less.
Meanwhile the planet was becoming closer to becoming freed from its past as a test bed for the first strand of the virus that was now finally beginning to get a cure for, although due to the time span, every single animal on the planet was becoming a humanoid version of themselves, save those that are totally aquatic and unable to live above the water line.
Captain Leon was standing on the planet surface looking around as counselors from the Medic Ship McCoy began to work with those that were regaining speech after years of only communicating with growls and body language... of course time would soon tell that with the planet body language would become part of the dialect, making it somewhat difficult to have diplomats.
But there was one person that the Captain was looking for in particular. Suddenly bounding over to him was a female Kangaroo. The facial expression was one of surprise; at least in the eyes they showed surprise. "Captain Strife? They got you too?"
Strife looked at the Kangaroo and noticed that she was wearing an armband colored red with four gold pips. "Do I know you Captain?" he was confused, something felt strange about this situation.
"Donít you remember?" she looked down and laughed. "Well... I didnít have a pouch before the event. But... the Virus was a little more crazy back then I think though. Captain Timothy Barns at your service, so, do you think they are going to send out a star ship for those of us wanting to come back into the service?"
Captain Strife looked shocked at the Kangaroo person. "Tim?" He shook his head. "Unfortunately, they also got Robert... the Emily Maria is in orbit, missing her roll bar, the Captain is in a yelling match with some of the Admirals to get his ship repaired and stationed out here."
Captain Barns shook his head. "A Miranda Class ship in orbit you say? Why would he want a target practice ship?" He looked around himself. "Since when would the Federation send a supply ship out here? Someone must have messed up, there are three crew compliments from Mirandaís that the Aliens got over here during your lulls up top... must say, you sure are not consistent, that is until word spread of some whales in the oceans."
Strife shook his head a little laughing a lion roar of laughter. "Well then, there is much to get caught up on, shall we continue our conversation on the science station?"
"What? They have a science station as well?" He looked around. "I can see the Federation is still intact, but how much...." He paused, before suddenly looking around. "So... you said they got everyone? What is King then?"
Strife ignored the question for the moment, planning to explain to his friend when they were on the station. "Including those on the planet.... Three thousand personal totals... we are still trying to figure out how many Star Fleet officers there were, Klingon warriors, and a few Romulan spy ships were affected completely by this." Strife reported as he tapped the Delta symbol on his uniform. "Strife to Station Home, come in, I have two to beam up including myself."
"Station Home is that the name of the station?" Barns asked in confusion as the blue energy of a beam out surrounded the two crew members.
Captain Tevok was accompanying the crew of the Iroquois, a Defiant Class starship into the outer fringes of the planetary system. They have focused so much energy on the building of the base around the small planet that the outer area had still be largely unexplored, when suddenly sensor alarms blared and everyone turned to look at the screen as the image was punched up.
"I donít believe it." One of the Crew members whispered out loud. "Itís a construction ship." Captain Tevok suddenly smiled and turned to the Captain. "Captain, I will be beaming over there with some of my crew... I think I have found a way to maybe stop this war of human words." The once Vulcan turned around and left the bridge heading to carry out a plan that had just been made. The Owl like body shuffling into the Turbolift to be carried to another part of the small ship.
Six months later
The space around the Planet Ark was teeming with space ships as the independent colony moved about. They felt that because of everything that had happened, along with them holding secrets to a universal altering virus, that it would be best to join no governmental organizations, amazingly, due to its location, it had become a neutral meeting area for Romulan, Klingon, and Federation diplomats, as well as ships. Of course there is a strict, no firing rule or the offending ship would be infected, being a law put in place to prevent the area to become an arming zone.
So far, peace has reigned in the sector, but every ship is always on standby just in case another threat would come from the distant stars, stars that sometimes would be like shinning diamonds and other times, like the reflective eyes of a hungry beast staring at its prey from the dark of the jungles of space.