With their return to their own time after their encounter with the Borg at Dovek II the small Federation Task Force, consisting of the USS Boudicca and the USS Rosenante limp to nearby Starbase 989, where they are informed that due to the damage caused by the Vexarak Spoilers the starbase is unable to handle the repairs for such extensive damage.
As a result, with the USS Kelman taking on the families and pets of both crews from the station, the three starships make their way to Starbase Geneva, where the facilities are made available for repairs.
Looking for Love
Once released on leave, Ben Soma and Sanok, head for Axtis III, where they begin their search for Marah Neru, a woman that Soma loves. Neru disappeared five years ago from the Soma family home shortly after Ben had rescued her from unsavory types on the very same world.
Following a series of clues, and hampered by the passage of time (brought about by the unexpected five year jump into the future), Sanok and Soma have returned to the planet to locate Marah and free her from her captors. In doing so, they discover that there is an ancient rite of challenge that will allow them redress and all but force Marah's captor, A Nausicaan named Turok, a relative of Kavol.
During their investigation they were told by a Klingon named Klagth of a traditional trial of redress known as Ch'mok. The Ch'mok is requested before the council of the planet and consisted of three trials or challenges. Ben Soma, accompanied by Sanok, began the Ch'mok by hunting a Dagger Beast.
In the second round of the Ch'mok it was the Nausicaan Turok that took the prize, as his physiology was better suited to the consumption of the liver paste. Ben Soma became violently ill, but after the victor was declared, Sanok provided Ben with a pill that he had purchased from a local physician. This pill, which was unnamed, immediately settled Ben's stomach and allowed him to quickly recover from the discomfort and nausea that the trial had caused him.
Turok's victory, however in the second trial meant that the third stage of the Ch'mok the trial by combat, now had to be waged. The winner of that trial, would be considered the legal victor, and a poor outcome could mean that Ben lost all hope of rescuing Marah Neru. For Turok, such an outcome was not desired, as he wished to deny Soma possession of the woman, if only to break spite him for his part in the death of his Brother.
What Soma and Sanok were not aware of at this point was that Turok had already sold Marah to a slave trader named Turrel Mousette. The continuation of this ruse to make that Turok still had Marah was nothing more than a desire for the Nausicaan to gain some sort of vengeance against Ben Soma for his perceived role in his Brother's murder six years prior.
The final stage of the Ch'mok was called and the collected members of the Axtis City community gathered to watch the trial. From the beginning, Soma found himself out-massed and out brutalized. despite his best efforts, Turok proved to be a formidable opponent, and Soma was defeated after a brutal event.
With the majority of the trials of the Ch'mok completed to Turok's favor, Soma was give twenty-four hours to leave the planet without the benefit of the knowledge of Marah's whereabouts.
Injured and defeated, Soma returned to his cabin to consider his options and to partially recover from some of his injuries.
Meanwhile, however, Sanok could not abide by the situation and proceeded to follow and observe Turok and the Andorian Shren. As the two were drinking heavily as a result of their celebration, Sanok had only to remain patient long enough for the Nausicaan to pass out before making his move.
Sanok, confronted Shren and through the use of applied force and coercion, managed to acquire the location of Marah Neru. This location turned out to be the planet Aldavye, a slave trading colony located in Orion Syndicate space.
Realizing that they had no ship, Sanok spoke with Ben and the two of them then went to Klagth, whom they had befriended earlier. With his help, they took a Klingon B'rel Class Bird of Prey to Aldavye, where it was discovered that Marah was owned by Turrel Mousette.
As Klagth had once been in the employment of Mousette, he had intimate knowledge of that man's habits. After some discussion, ben and Sanok decided to approach the slaver with a legitimate offer to purchase Marah, and they offered a reasonable, if not generous price for her.
BUt before the deal could be completed, Mousette discovered that Klagth had returned, and the two apparently not being on good terms, this caused some difficulties in the negotiations.
Eventually, strong-arm tactics had to be used to rescue Marah, and in the ensuing conflict Klagth was injured. It is believed that he sacrificed himself to aid Soma and Sanok, although the Klingon's fate is uncertain at present.
The two officers managed to return to Starbase geneva with Marah in tow, where she joined Ben aboard the USS Rosenante.
Meanwhile, aboard Starbase Geneva Eian O'Neill and Jessica Signos have a revealing discussion about Jessica's involvement in the Notorious Section 31, where she operated as the assassin codenamed "Lily".
The conversation is too much for O'Neill, who still reeling from his recent reassimulation back into a normal human being, is either unable or unwilling to accept Jessica's role. As a result, Jessica left a PADD in Eian's possession and departed, returning to her quarters, while O'Neill continued to undergo his personal physical therapy in the Holodeck aboard the station.
It was shortly thereafter that Jessica was abducted by a section 31 cell led by a man named George Hayden who ran a shoe repair shop on the station. Hayden was given the task of breaking Jessica's hold on Lily, and in doing so, restore the assassin to full operability.
As a result of the information that Jessica/Lily had provided to Captain Ahmed Ibn Salid and his subsequent revelation of this information to an admiral with Starfleet Intelligence, Signos' cover was purposely blown by SFI to draw out the Section 31 cell suspected of operating on the station.
Salid reluctantly agreed to this, in exchange for immunity for Signos and proper psychological treatment. He felt betrayed however, when Starfleet intelligence decided not to mount a rescue of Signos, but rather see how far they could track her , thereby revealing even more of the cell operating aboard the station.
Frustrated and now with his operational access revoked, Salid determined to do the right thing. When Liam O'Neill and Eian O'Neill brought Salid evidence of Signos' abduction, the captain revealed his plan, which was to leak information that he was aware of the existence of the section 31 operation, and thereby forcing the group to send Jessica/Lily to kill him. The hope was then to capture her, and then use any forensic evidence to capture Hayden and his cell.
But things didn't quite work out as planned, when Salid found himself unable to conduct an investigation of the shoe store due to extensive Starfleet Intelligence surveillance. So the Salid determined a secondary course of action, in the hopes of locating his missing crewman.
Using contacts aboard Starbase Geneva, he was able to make arrangements for the Rosenante to perform detailed scans of the station without alerting any of the Starfleet intelligence or Admiralty personnel aboard the station.
His patience and hard work paid off when it was discovered that a small section of the station appeared to be missing from the sensor scans. At first Ahmed believed this area to be shielded in some way, but quickly came to realize that the area in question was actually phased-out of their universe after performing a detailed study of Starbase Geneva's internal sensor scans and cross referencing them with the Rosenante's own scans.
The area was designed to match the scanning cycle of the Starbase's sensors, but because of this, the Rosenante was able to detect the area with little problem. However the phased nature of the location created a problem of it's own. This was because sensors could not scan the interior of the affected area and therefore, a transporter could not be used.
This caused Salid to develop a plan in which two security teams would stand by to transport into the affected area as soon as the area phased-in to their current existence. this could be fairly well predicted using the historical sensor data already acquired, and so Salid and Commander O'Neill made preparations to mount the offensive. It was estimated that they had a very short window in which to operate.
When the area phased-in, Salid and Liam O'Neill along with Eian O'Neill and two squads of Marines beamed into the area where they encountered Jessica Signos. They began to speak with her, when the area suddenly phased out, taking them along for the ride.
It was then that the Section 31 operatives attacked the Starfleet personnel. They had been hidden by a personal phase suit known as a Ghost Suit and were armed with a projectile weapon known as a Warp Accelerated Railgun (W.A.R.). A quick and nasty firefight ensued and when the smoke cleared the Starfleet forces had gained victory. They had captured two Section 31 Operatives and killed six. Amongst those captured was Lucia Del Santos.
After the capture of Lucia del Santos, Salid and the rest of the team withdrew from the phased area to the Roenante's Iso-lab, where Liam O'Neill and Kitty Fisher worked to determine if there was any sort of remote communication of triggering mechanism embedded by Section 31 within the mind of Jessica Signos.
Scans indicated that beyond the range of extensive personality implants, behavioral conditioning and post hypnotic triggers, there was no immediate means that Section 31 could activate Lily.
With the potential problem of Hayden's escape, Salid, and Eian O'Neill developed a psychological profile for George Hayden and then put into place a plan to lure the section 31 Operations chief into action of Salid's choosing.
Targeting his shoe store, after determining that it was a place and function that was of particular psychological importance to hayden, Salid and O'Neill trashed the location in the hopes of flushing out an enraged and psychologically inferior Hayden.
Despite the passage of time, and the fact that Hayden had managed to escape from Starbase Geneva the plan had merit. The enraged Hayden returned to the station, and set into plan actions that he felt were impenetrable.
He kidnapped Salid from his quarters in the middle of the night, through the use of a Ghost Suit. He then ferried the Captain to another area of Geneva station which was phased out as well. Although this one was cleverly hidden within a holodeck and so was much harder to locate.
He then proceeded to torture Salid for the sheer pleasure of the act rather than for the collection of information. Salid took little notice of the events on a psychological level, due to the fact that he had managed to consume a specialized drug that completely inhibited the sensation of pain and dulled the active sense of the body.
As a result of this specialized desensitization, Salid was able to goad Hayden into remaining in place long enough for Eian O'Neill to locate him, as was planned. A specialized assault team then beamed into the phased area, and subdued Hayden.
With the last active member of the Section 31 cell captured, Salid and the others were no longer in danger of reprisals from Starfleet Intelligence, although they were now firmly considered enemies by Section 31.
I See You
Elsewhere, Henry Jacobs began his rehabilitation for his replacement eye, which was lost in the Borg attack aboard the two Federation Starships. Doctor Jennifer Caskie aided in the surgery to replace his missing eye with a cybernetic prosthetic known as an Ocular Implant, similar to those used for blind officers serving within the fleet.
Among the many abilities that the eye possessed, were thermal imaging, Enhanced Electromagnetic Spectography, Telescopic vision and other visually related abilities. Initially when Jacobs began to utilize the new Implant, he activated the various features by verbal command, but he was startled to realize that the device was capable of being instantly activated by thought alone. This was a direct result of the device being wired directly into his nervous system. The microprocessor was capable of interpreting commands sent along his optic nerve and fulfilling those requests in near real-time.
While this was a little disconcerting at first, it would later prove to be a significant advantage going forward.
Refits and Repairs
Despite orders to stand down for leave Steven Wade Matrix, Eian O'Neill and Henry Jacobs were unable to stay away from the repairs and refits aboard the Rosenante and the Boudicca. They aided in the significant repairs and logistical support that was required to be performed in order to return both vessels back to full operational status.
In addition to the replacement of the port-side warp nacelle aboard the Rosenante, another project was implemented while the Rosenante was under repair. With the suggestion of Doctor Bruce Maddox, the dean of science of the famed Daystrom Institute a Prototype Sensor Array was installed for field testing.
Not everyone on Starbase Geneva felt that the crews of the USS Rosenante and the USS Boudicca had been sacrificed in vain. Amongst the supporters of the task force's actions was Captain Zephyr, assigned to the Starbase staff. His determined advocacy, fueled by his understanding of the situation and conditions that the two ship's faced in the Dovek System led him to push for a memorial sculpture to be commissioned in honor of the two ships and their crews.
The Memorial was unveiled at a formal dinner, immediately following an awarding ceremony for Captains Salid and Durand. The ceremony was very beautiful and moving, and it was revealed that the memorial would be displayed on the promenade level of the Station as an on-going testament to the sacrifices made by those two crews in safeguarding the United Federation of Planets from the Borg.
Command School Anyone?
At the same time, Matrix and Thomas Jackson were assigned to undertake advanced command training aboard the station so that they could be fully qualified in their command certification. They underwent advanced tactical training, command ethics and morals training, and additional hand-to-hand training with Lieutenant Detron Trei. In addition, all participants were required to undergo post-mission counseling and evaluation.
Both Jackson and Matrix scored well in their command training, even going so far as to posit a few unique tricks to the famed Kobayashi Maru scenario, although neither of them managed to save both the freighter and their ship. Their lecture series and practical training took place in a combined lecture hall and holodeck. As part of their training regime, they were also interviewed by trained counselors to determine their psychological condition and therefore suitability for command and the mental rigors that the "Burden of Command" placed upon line and flag officers. Both officers were found suitable for advancement and were bridge and command certified.
With the massive loss of personnel between the two vessels, the very fact that some of the crew could be promoted and commended for their contributions to the success of the missions was a welcome bit of good news.
This was no more true than with the promotion of Commander Jackson. With the resignation of Captain Alan Durand, Captain Calvin Capps was assigned to replace him. BUPERS decided also at this time to replace Commander Jennifer Caskie as First Officer and this prompted Capps to look for a replacement.
The new captain decided upon Commander Jackson, who was given the posting upon the completion of his command level training. The newly minted commander assumed the duties of First officer aboard the USS Boudicca as soon as Caskie had transferred back to the USS Rosenante where she would once again resume the position as Chief Medical Officer.
This gave the Rosenante an unprecedented three officers of Lieutenant Commander rank or beter.
The Two Masts
As much as it was unwelcomed, Captain Salid saw no alternative but to recommend that two members of the task force crew be brought forward on charges. However, feeling that both officers could be salvaged he opted to conduct a captain's mast for USS Rosenante crewmember Andrew Elliot Maddox while Detron Trei who had already been the subject of a Captain's mast was moved forward to an Admiral's Mast.
In both cases the charges were very serious. In Maddox's case the series of charges were:
- Charge One: Willful intent to conduct subversive activities contrary to the interests and goals of the United Federation of Planets, whereby you have rendered aid to the enemies of the Federation to the detriment of her citizens and holdings.
- Charge Two: That you willingly or otherwise placed in unnecessary jeopardy the lives of your fellow Starfleet officers, whose names shall be listed upon the filed report for your perusal as Appendix A. These acts are classified as indirect endangerments, and are inferred through acts undertaken by yourself should your actions have continued unchecked by the due authorities established by Starfleet Command.
- Charge Three: That you through action, or inaction put forward an effort to assassinate a duly appointed officer of Starfleet and in so doing interfered with a mission of the most critical sort. That in your actions, you endangered the lives of the crew and threatened to sabotage the completion of a lawful mission necessary to maintain the safety and security of the United Federation of Planets.
- Charge Four: That during your attempt at assassination, you caused the near fatal injury of a fellow officer, namely Ensign Joseph Willowbrook.
- Charge Five: That you took upon yourself the duties of an Ambassador of the United Federation of Planets, contrary to your assigned duties, without the authority of duly appointed officials, and in so doing, entered into negotiations and conduct which has been determined as counterproductive to official Federation Domestic and Foreign policy.
- Charge Six: That you willingly and enthusiastically undertook an agenda to aid the enemies of the United Federation of Planets in their efforts to subvert, injure, defame or render impotent, said Federation and thereby acted as an agent for an external power in opposition to the United Federation of Planets.
Of those charges three carried the potential of the death penalty, while the other three carry sentences ranging from fifty-years to life imprisonment if found guilty. In addition, If convicted there is the loss of all rank and privilege associated with Starfleet Service. however, with the recommendation of Captain Salid to the Judge Advocate General's Office, that Maddox be charged and that he serve a suitable punishment for those charges brought against him. Thereby allowing Maddox, should he agree to the suspension of formal charges should instead face the captain's mast, rather than be formally charged with a General Court Martial. Maddox agreed, and the following punishment was levied against him:
- Reduction in grade to that of crewman, his commission as a Starfleet officer revoked.
- He will be held to maintain a 85% efficiency rating in your departmental status reports and performance reviews.
- Restricted from recreational holodeck use until further notice.
- Mandatory confinement for 24 hours of every week for the next month in the brig.
- Required to undergo psychological counseling with a ship's counselor at least once per week, unless released from this requirement by the supervising counselor.
The second Mast for Lieutenant Detron Trei of the USS Boudicca, was a little more ambiguous and so was handled a little differently. The charge was having jeopardized the lives of starfleet Officers and Federation citizens through an impetuous act, not authorized by your commanding officer, by initiating telepathic contact with the Borg at Dovek II and thus, alerting them to the presence of two federation starships, and thereby placing the crews of those ships in harms way, The admiralty has determined that you are to be sentenced in accordance to an Admiral's Mast, so that you may remain in service with starfleet in the hopes that you will regain your honor and rank, which has been sullied by these actions. Lieutenant Detron Trei, In accordance with Starfleet regulations Article 13 sections 2153 subsections A-Q, having found you eligible for an Admiral's Mast rather than a General court-Martial, and determining that you could still become and remain a valuable officer in the service of starfleet, I have been ordered by Starfleet Command, to hereby read you the rulings of said Admiral's mast and thereby enforce such orders as are contained therein.
He was sentenced as follows:
- You are hereby demoted to the rank of Ensign Senior Grade, and are not eligible for promotion until such time as you prove your value and worth to the fleet, through thoughtful and decisive actions, not fraught with impulsiveness as you have been shown to exhibit in the past.
- In addition, you shall not be eligible to hold the position of department head, until such time as a senior officer within your direct chain of command should determine you rehabilitated.
- You are to spend twenty four hours each week for the span of one month in the brig, and have all shore leave revoked without express special permission by your immediate commanding officer.
- You are also to maintain a professional readiness and efficiency rating of 85%.
Should you fail to adhere to any of these requirements, You will be tried and if convicted sentenced to incarceration in a maximum security facility in accordance with the laws of the United Federation of Planets.
|USS Boudicca Missions
|Missions: The Anointed | Fires of Heaven | To Each His Own | A Blast From The Past | Swords To Ploughshares | Downtime | The Loudest Silence | Through The Looking Glass | Where Fools Fear To Tread | Just Another Saturday Night | Once More Into The Breach | Personal Logs | Bandits on the Surface | Dead or Alive | Starting Over | The Raven's Nest | Recurrent