Chapter 27 of Starfighter! The Iconoclast
By: Tom Sczepkowski
With editing and clean-up by: Frederick P. Kopetz
Copyrights: STAR TREK is © 2004 by Paramount Pictures, Inc. STAR BLAZERS is © 2004 by Voyager International, and, STAR WARS is © 2004 by Lucasfilm, Ltd. GARGOYLES is © 2004 by Disney Entertainment. The Technomugar Empire is © 2004 by Frederick P. Kopetz and is mentioned here by the author's permission. All original elements of this tale are © 2004 by Tom Sczepkowski. All rights reserved, not to be copied without the author's permission.
Starfleet Skunk Works
Project KOBOL Headquarters
Groom Lake Nevada
Battlestar USS MISSOURI NCC-0911
Throughout the centuries the term “Area 51.” has been the center for its, history, and conspiracy theories that would rival most novels. During the days of the United States it was one of the most heavily guarded and most secretive locations during that countries history.
To this date that still hasn’t changed, although there are some differences, for one Alien Species are now commonplace in the everyday world for several hundred years now, and spaceflight is as common as going to the corner market. This made the UFO phenomena something of forgotten folklore during a time when paranoia and tribal warfare were commonplace of the era. Such mindsets were since long forgotten as well as even the once top secret installation faded into history and too was forgotten.
However to someone like Creighton Dantes whose memory was as long as his lifespan remembered “Area 51” quite well. And was involved in the bases operation during its heyday, and regardless of its bygone and obsolete era has kept the base operational and as secret as it was 400 years ago.
Creighton realized that after he and his wife were captured by the Cardassians in an attempt to gain Creighton’s Knowledge to the KOBOL and Wave Motion projects, that if his work were to continue it would have to be at this base. With the exception of two airframes on Calix IV all of his designs and testing were built, tested and launched from Area 51.
After he heard that Calix IV had been captured by the Tholians, he regretted having the two airframes left there, The Inferno and the Valkyrie. Upon his return he would make it id first order of business to have both airframes stored at Area 51.
Still Creighton had many reasons for keeping the facility secure. If someone were to scan the area from orbit all they would see nothing more then the remains of an ancient ruin of which time forgot. This was done by the use of special screens emanating from the base, and if someone were to try and fly over it they would visually see the same thing.
The facility was mostly underground which also housed various Starships that he would be working on; the base was large enough to house 8 ships. For the larger class of ships which couldn’t land, the base used Molecular transporters which Creighton developed from the extinct Kalanden race. With the use of these transporters Creighton was able to transport any class of vessel to the base, and even launch new classes of ships without being detected. These tactics were met with some success as when they were returned to service the Dominion Forces were quickly overpowered.
This was how Creighton planned to enter the next two ships into service. He looked back and forth at both ships with satisfaction while we he stood on a long gantry which over looked the two stored in the huge underground facility. Both these ships were designed by Creighton’s hand.
He looked at the ship on the left named Swayback. She was designed from Nokkar’s stories from when he was a Jedi Knight of ships the Republic used in what he had referred to as the Clone Wars. She was essentially a Heavy Cruiser. The first of her class and also was one of the first ships to have a shield which protected itself from the new Breen energy damping weapon. On her hull she had large guns similar to that of the Argo, however larger. She did have the familiar design of a standard Starship complete with the familiar Saucer section and extending Nacelles. He was proud of the design however that felling was nothing of the pride he felt of the ship that was berthed next to her.
She was something of a paradox as well as an obsession. If anyone quite knew the lengths he went through to design this ship they certainly would have him brought up on charges then either committed or executed. He just stared at her and thought about the lifelong quest and journey that took him to the moment to the point where he was standing finially after 300 years of a dream, finally came into reality.
Creighton refused to call her a Starship, however insisted that she be referred to her as a Battlestar. As he walked down the gantry and up to the Mammoth ship. She was indeed by far the largest if not the most powerful ship ever designed and built for Starfleet, and in addition to being bowered by 5 Trilithum powered warp cores, she was also fitted with the powerful Wave Motion Generator. With a single beam of energy the Missouri had the capability to destroy an entire planet.
Even though Swayback was close to being completed 2 weeks earlier; Creighton had all worked on her stopped and transferred all construction crews in order to finish Missouri. Many of the work crews never saw Creighton that driven before, drawing comments and speculation as to why the calm patient Southern gentleman became so driven he almost seemed a different person after he returned from his home in New Jersey one day.
The reasons for those speculations were all in a data pad that Creighton read in his hand as he was on a turbo lift that on his way to Missouri’s Bridge. When the Enterprise entered that dimension she deployed long range sensor probes. It was then discovered that Vaught used Inferno to aid a band of mutineers commit an act of piracy, and Creighton wanted to know why.
He remembered the meeting in Destines’s office when he learned about Astra’s death. They seemed to know about the Comet and who was behind it. What was strange to Creighton the official word that was released right after the incident with Vaught and the Inferno was that the Comet was nothing unusual, that it was because it had slipped through the Inter-dimensional rift that the initial returns were false. Creighton knew that if he wanted to find out what was happening that he couldn’t go through channels. Thinking about the meeting in Destine’s office that day, It was clear that Starfleet didn’t know what was going on. Worse he felt that they didn’t know how to handle the situation. Let alone his son Vaught, because normally his assignments came directly from Admiral Neycheav, and from her demeanor she didn’t like the idea that Vaught was out there, and it seemed that she was the only person that had that understanding of the entire situation but was now on it’s way too or already on a planet 148,000 light years from where Vaught was. However it wasn’t out of the realm of possibility that Vaught knew more than any of them.
As Creighton looked at the data pad his mind wandered back to that summer night at his home on sandy hook after reading that the data on the Comet was nothing out of the ordinary he knew something was wrong, and he remembered through his 400 year life span when something overwhelming became apparent always someone was trying to cover something up.
Whatever the circumstances Vaught had become fully involved. This had to be the last thing that anyone in Starfleet wanted, and that their worst fears were realized once Vaught made contact with the Star Force. Perhaps it was Neycheav who ordered that the information be covered up, or perhaps it was a worried and war weary Federation council that wasn’t ready for another encounter with another hostile alien species. It didn't matter Creighton needed to know what it was.
In order for the Enterprise to keep in contact with Starfleet Command, she had to release several long range subspace buoys, and he knew that someone was using those buoys to look in on the EDF Earth. Creighton was able to access the buoys and was able to download each of their computer cores. However, he was more interested in information that was in another computer, Namely the Inferno’s flight recorder. He was hoping that Vaught was making some sort of record of what was happening and that if he could access the data he could know what his thinking was.
Being Inferno’s creator there were things that he knew about the fighter that others did not. And he was able to access her flight recorder without Vaught knowing. In fact there was no one that knew that even that could be done.
Being discreet he performed his research from his study. He found that Vaught was indeed making a log of sorts and one entry jumped right out at him. It referred to a transmission that was in Vaught’s native dialect of Telezar of which Vaught translated.
The log entry made Creighton feel uneasy and it was here that things started to come together. He needed to find out what was said in those transmissions that would make Vaught as well as the Argo’s crew react so strongly.
He needed to gain access to the EDF’s Mainframe and listen to the messages their computer system was far less complex then the Starfleet standard to and was able to gain access very quickly. When he played back the messages he felt as if his heart stopped. The message was broken every other word being clear, Creighton didn’t need to understand the language, he knew that voice…..it was unmistakable. Creighton used the probes to triangulate where exactly the message came from. His eyes grew wide as the probe sent back an image of the planet the message emanating from, then he saw the comet was on a direct course for it right after the messages were sent. However as Vaught observed it resumed its base course stating in his log;
“It was as orders were being given then countermanded by a higher power.”
Creighton then noticed that when the Argo left Earth the Comet changed its course again for the planet where the transmission originated and that course hadn't changed since. He had noticed by a long range scan around the planet in question that there were several ships in orbit that had arrived there from the same direction as the comet was taking. Perhaps this was an advance fleet of some kind. Whatever it was, whoever this was, it was apparent that they didn’t want the Argo to get there and find out………what?
Looking at the logs he realized that Vaught was aware of this, and predicted pretty accurately what was going to happen. He know that force sensitive beings can have visions of a possible future, however Creighton knew that Vaught wouldn't pursue such a risk based on a vision, he had to be drawing his conclusions based on what the data was telling him. Creighton was using the same data that Vaught had to se if they would come to the same conclusion without bias. He also notated that he was sometimes in conflict with sharing the conclusions with the crew of the Argo since they were not successful in convincing their superiors and resorted to piracy.
Creighton understood the “Why.” However it wasn't enough for him. Indeed the conclusions made based on the data available between Starfleet and the EDF and the Argo on the Comet was conflicting. It was because too many parties were using the information to manipulate events in order for it to be seen their way.
Creighton wasn't ready to go as so far to agree that it proved anything, From Harmless comet, to being a threat to planetary system. To Creighton there was a difference in not knowing what something was, and being convinced that it was nothing to believing that it must be an alien fortress bent on destroying the universe. Creighton felt it was inappropriate to make such a leap of faith. Creighton felt that whoever had the right answer still wasn't acting appropriately.
He realized that it was a cascade effect that had caused the rash behavior, perhaps it started by His own government for failing to escalate the data to at least someone at the University level, namely himself, The EDF for also failure to investigate the matter properly after their power grid was disabled twice, which caused the Star Force and Vaught to take matters into their own hands.
He really couldn't or wouldn't find fault with the Star Force’s actions. Being an accomplished Professor although his primary field of study was Music he also held a PhD in Physics and Spatial warp engineering. He understood why Starfleet made the decision to send Vaught to investigate. He just hoped that it was based on his expertise that Vaught made his conclusions, so they could be trusted as sound….However what Creighton couldn't trust was his conclusions past the point when he translated those messages, for then it became a personal matter for him and he might have been acting out of emotion, causing him to loose his objectivity. Creighton indeed felt the same way as Vaught did as soon as he too recognized the voice.
Creighton needed facts.
It was apparent to Creighton that in all of the excitement no one bothered to ask what were the White Comet’s characteristics that would rule out conventional explanations even if, no one knew what it was?
Creighton realigned the probes to the Comet itself. Under normal circumstances the probes should have penetrated the core of the Comet. What Creighton realized was that he couldn't penetrate the outer gasses.
The Star Force’s and Vaught’s conclusions started to sound good however to Creighton it still didn’t make a cause and effect connection at all.
Creighton started going about it another way. He opened a new data base and rescanned the Comet. Not taking anything for granted he began looking at the characteristics of the Comet as if it were for the first time. He first recorded how it was moving; He determined that it was traveling at about Warp 5.
He knew as Vaught did that no natural phenomena traveled faster then the speed of light. So the next question then, to determine what was causing it to move at that speed, followed by its color and its size which were also important considerations. When he matched the Data of the White Comet to that of the other comets he was looking to see if any of the data matched up.
He wasn’t surprised when none of it did
The next thing he looked for was the initial report; the one that had been given to Vaught when he was still on Calix IV. The data said that it had an Orion warp signature, then read a report filed by an EDF scientist who also speculated that the White Comet was emitting some sort of power field which according to the sensor probes scans weren't at this time.
It was then that he thought of the Area 51 base, and fed that data into the Database and compered it to the Comet. He realized that the same screens that were being used to make Area 51 look dormant that same technology was being used within the comet to make it look like just a comet. This could have been why that Starfleet made the judgment call that it did because they just gave the comet a glancing pass and saw nothing, or perhaps just felt happy enough that a first glance showed nothing.
The next set of data Creighton needed to investigate was Vaught’s speculation on the Comet constantly changing its course towards the planet, where it was believed to be the message point of origin. Looking at the course corrections of the comet in relation to the planet there was another angle which Creighton hadn’t considered.
The very design of the Missouri was partially based on what might have been considered mythology, when Creighton took away the legends and folklore that had been passed down from the centuries, he found what was left was scientific fact. The encounter the Enterprise experienced while under the command of Captain James T. Kirk with the Greek God Apollo came to mind.
Even the Missouri herself was reversed engineered from the same mythology. An ancient alien wreck named Galactica found on the planet Mercury by Creighton 1n the late 1990’s. Creighton learned first-hand although through very unconventional methods that mythology shed in the proper light might turn into history.
In the case of the Comet, Maybe the first conclusion made by Admiral Neaychev was correct. Perhaps someone else had the same sort of idea for the comet as he had for the Missouri; Creighton agreed the most logical choice were those of the Orion civilization. Their Mythology spoke of an ancient empire that marauded the galaxy by riding on comets, referring to themselves as the Comet Empire. He knew of one person that was of Orion decent who was a member of one of the Orion syndicate’s ruling family; called Zordar.
The Zordar’s held a great interest in the Comet Empire folklore and had based it’s ruling principals based on the ancient texts; which had during one time or another conflicted with Federation interests. If anyone had the knowledge and the expertise to will such a dream into reality the Zordar family was the likely suspects. He knew that there was some chatter in Starfleet about it when the comet was first sighted. However no one bothered to confirm the data. He remembered that Neaycheav mentioned a Nevar Zordar whom Creighton knew quite well as well as the person thought to have sent the messages...it was then that Creighton remembered something else, which made the data clearly show that there was indeed a threat and a danger. He looked at his watch and realized that it was about the time when Starfleet Intelligence would make there usual spy attempt to ascertain what Creighton was working on. Being an expert at computers he was able to avert such attempts by a protocol that leads the intruding computer to another database in another location all together giving them random false information.
Creighton thought for a moment, that perhaps he could get someone to listen after all.
He copied all the information and his research of the White comet, Vaught's Log's and the transmissions of the message into the "Dummy Database., and also sent it to a few other people whom Creighton thought might be interested.
That was three weeks ago. There was no inquiry as to Creighton's Research as he now Stood in the open Turbo lift as he looked up from the data pad and onto the bridge of the Missouri.
He was alone on the bridge the remainder of the crew hadn’t come aboard yet, as he finally walked out of the turbo lift and onto the bridge.
He walked around the looking at the various consoles and stations throughout the bridge. As he looked at the command chair which he fashioned after the Constitution class design….for Nostalgia.....During the day's when he commanded a Starship He wondered for a moment what kind of person her eventual captain would be, then realized that for the Moment the Missouri was his ship.
He sat in the command chair
He pressed a small button on the arm of the chair and a small Keyboard came out the side as the View screen flickered to life, showing that the Computer was accessing the Federation database and was fully downloaded.
She was more than ready.
As since Creighton really didn’t like conversing with a computer vocally, his hands typed keys on the keyboard as the bridge screen flickered in response.
Creighton started to read again carefully all the data that the Enterprise and the Subspace probes monitoring the EDF Earth were sending back. Although the Iscandarian mission held an interest to him he was more interested in the data collected on the Inferno and Argo.
Even though he went through all once before he needed to go over it again, for as soon as Missouri was launched Destine as well at the highest officials of the Federation counsel would know about her existence. As he again read deeper into the data there was another set of entries which were in Vaught’s log which also warranted investigation, that of the Commanding officer of the newly designed EDF flagship the Andromeda Captain Gideon, and his striking resemblance in appearance as well as mannerisms to that of James T. Kirk.
Probing into the various logs of the subspace buoys, one of them picked up a transmission between the Argo and the Andromeda during a standoff no doubt provoked by the Star Force’s actions. Creighton realized that if what he was planning was going to be successful he was going to have to make contact with Gideon and for Starfleet’s support Creighton had to be positive without any doubt that Gideon and Kirk were the same person.
He sat back in the command chair and finally went through all of it again; Why the Star Force left under the circumstances it did, Vaught’s involvement, The White Comet, (which he appropriately named the Comet Empire),the identity of the woman behind the mysterious messages, and Captain Gideon.
The identity of the woman in the transmissions weighed the most heavily on his mind, weather if she was who he and Vaught thought she was or not, that person was a subject that could not be broached with Creighton’s wife Melisande. To be even caught investigating this would mean serious consequences with Melisande and Creighton would have to find some way to keep it from her.
Melisande was the one variable that Creighton hadn’t considered since he would have to hide the fact that he was even leaving Earth on an away mission, if he knew this questions would arise from her since Creighton hadn’t even commanded a ship within the last century,
That thought had to be placed into the back of his mind as the Turbo Lift doors opened revealing two youngish men.
“Mr. Locarno and Mr. Tarsus…..You might come forward.” Creighton said.
The two men looked at each other surprised that Creighton knew their idienties so readily as if they were being expected.
Creighton was expecting them.
He knew who the men were because of their reputations The Man on the Right Nicolas Locarno was expelled from Starfleet academy while acting as squadron leader caused the Death of another Cadet during a flight maneuver. Creighton remembered the matter with such detail because the cadet who was killed was romantically involved with his Granddaughter Starsha.
The man on the left Simon Tarsus, who was a medical technician serving on Enterprise -D was dismissed from Starfleet when it was discovered that he was in fact ¼ Romulan and not Vulcan which he indicated on his Starfleet entrance forms. He learned of Simon from his adopted daughter Selar who was serving as a Doctor on the Enterprise-D and expressed to Creighton the unfair decision that Starfleet had reach with regards to Tarsus.
“I’m Admiral Creighton Dantes.” He said plainly “I’m the designer and commanding officer of this ship you are standing on.”
The two men looked around then back at Creighton.
“So I guess the next question to ask is why you’re here?”
They didn’t answer
“Gentlemen, this is an auspicious occasion for all of us,” Creighton said “For what we have here is an opportunity.”
“An opportunity for what?” Tarsus asked.
There was a moment of silence when Locarno gave a sarcastic smirk
“Because you think were idiots?” Locarno said sarcastically, Tarsus simply rolled his eyes and took two steps away from Locarno.
Creighton looked directly at him. Tarsus knew that whatever was driving him he was in no mood to deal with sarcasm. However Creighton did not fly into a rage, out of the command chair and into the young man’s face. He simply leaned forward, with his voice even tempered, and said, "Mr. Locarno; we’re sitting in the middle of the Nevada Desert deep within a base that doesn't exist on a ship that no one knows even exists, Now you take an attitude with me again… I'm going to tear you're god damn head off and use it for a football!"
“So what do you think Jean-Luc?” Creighton asked
He knew that Picard had been standing there for some time arriving on the bridge on an opposite turbo lift. Picard walked over as Creighton Turned in the chair to him.
Picard looked around for a moment.
“Tarsus is right; you are turning to them out of desperation,” Picard said.
“I was referring to the Missouri.”
“I know, Admiral,” Picard said “Even more reason for my concern of assigning those two to this ship.”
“You stood up for Tarsus at his hearing!” Creighton said.
“He’s a different person now.” Picard said “Regardless of his feelings of responsibility to your daughter, why he should feel any allegiance to the institution that abandoned him then tried to have him killed!”
Creighton sat back into the chair.
“You heard his story?” Creighton asked.
“Most of it,” Picard said.
“Yeah, I think you know all of it.” Creighton said “because when he was telling me that story the question came to my mind is when Selar found out about this how was she able to get here so fast in order to stop Vaught?”
Picard didn’t even blink.
“Just good fortune, I presume.” Picard said.
“That and a Galaxy- class Starship running like a bat out of hell.” Creighton said looking at Picard.
“My guess is that Selar found out about this while trying to find someone to reverse Tarsus's Dismissal, She runs into brick walls then learns about the assassination orders; probably from one of the higher ups in command that was once a patient of hers at Starfleet medical. She knows that only such orders involves Neaycheav and her brother, She tells Beverly what's about to happen and Beverley does not pass go, does not collect $200.00 dollars, comes right to you with it, and you feeling responsible high tail it to Earth hoping that Selar can talk to her brother out of doing the obvious. I’ll bet you any amount that if I check the orbital logs ill see that the Enterprise just so happened to be in Earth orbit at the same time all of this was to have gone down…..now shall we dispense with the bull?”
“Your son means to kill me as well,” Picard said.
“That's what I'm saying." Creighton said "You risk your life and career to save the kid now you're saying times change and you don't think he should be here....what the hell is that?"
"It’s because you surround yourself with very powerful and dangerous people, Admiral," Picard said.
"By dangerous, meaning Vaught?" Creighton said.
"Not only him," Picard said. "However, now that you mention it; how lucky am I that when Selar stopped him from killing Tarsus he didn't stop to wonder how she arrived there, if he had would I have been standing here talking to you today?"
"Destine and I have been trying to talk him down from it ever since he came back from Wolf 359 then we had to talk him down from it again when you wouldn't insert the Borg virus, The only thing Destine could do was to transfer the Enterprise into Neaycheav's area of command to keep Vaught cool for a while.....then you were captured by the Cardassians and when he read the report he found out who interrogated you and tortured you."
"Gul Madred?" Picard said.
"In this room, you do not ask questions. I ask them, you answer. If I am not satisfied with your answers... you will die." Creighton said
Picard remained silent.
"You remember what he said to you?" Creighton said about "That you should prove an interesting Challenge....that you were the most interesting person to walk through his door in so many years? Well, he was referring to Mesasinde and myself."
"It was Madred was the one that tortured you for the designs to the Wave Motion Generator," Picard said
"When Vaught found out that Madred couldn't break you I think that changed his mind." Creighton said "He was only a child when Melisande and I were abducted the methods were too close to be a coincidence for him When he read our file and came up with the same guy....Rumor has it that it pissed Vaught off....he went after the guy, and the Cardassians have a Starfighter just as good as Vaught."
"Gul Macet" Picard said "I've met him as well."
"From what I heard Macet left Madred's office for twenty seconds, when he came back he found his head cut off and an old Starfleet insignia pin dated from the time my wife and I were abducted was found next to the body." Creighton said.
Picard listened to Creighton as he continued.
"Now maybe you're right, about the flaw of characters of those I associate with, I love my son, and his mother doesn't know any of this, and although his methods are questionable I admit; he should never be put into the same pile as these other people you refer to, He's been beaten up more times by people that make people like Madred look like a street hustler and he's always the first one in and the last one out; And he has a daughter that loves him so much she followed him into the Marines, I'm sorry that it had to be my son but without Vaught doing what he does we would have been a distant memory on this planet."
“I can’t let that affect my judgments.” Picard said “Like Tarsus, one day I may come home turn on a light and see him sitting there....maybe not because of what happened at Wolf 359 but because of something that happened here at this base, this ship....I have never seen a starship design like this before.”
“Battlestar,” Creighton corrected.
Picard remained silent as he looked around the bridge again.
“She's terrifying.” Picard said "I don't know which to be more concerned with the ship itself or the fact that you actually thought a......Doomsday Machine such as the likes of this was even necessary to be used!"
“You don’t sound confident,” Creighton said
“In your designs I am confident.” Picard said “That’s the problem.”
"A Wave Motion Gun?" Picard said "Do you have any idea the impact this will have on the Galaxy?"
"Fear," Creighton said
“You, on your own initiative you have single-handedly constructed a War machine of immense power,” Picard said
“One of the advantages of having a long lifespan,” Creighton said.
“I am wondering Admiral if we are ready for this?” Picard asked.
“Truman was forced with the same issue…” Creighton said “As did the original designers of the Battlestar…..one society destroyed itself and the other nearly destroyed themselves…..History repeating.”
“Then why did you allow yourself to create such a weapon?”
Creighton smiled and thought for a moment,
“I’ve been designing spacecraft since the early 2000’s.” Creighton said “When I built the Maiestas probe and discovered the Galactica on Mercury I realized that there were great powers in the universe."
"The Galactica was the rumored alien ship you found." Picard said "That's what you based this ship on?"
"She wasn't built by aliens," Creighton said "It was human hands that constructed the Galactica…150,000 years before our recorded history.”
Picard looked at him with interest since archeology was one of his hobbies.
“150,000?” Picard said.
“No one knows about this.” Creighton said “Except my son.”
“But if what you are saying is true…that would rewrite our whole history!” Picard said
“To a point,” Creighton said “You see their science, their technology started running away with itself, to the point where the computers and the machines they built turned against them and destroyed their entire civilization…..they escaped in a hand full of ships and came here when they got here they decided to abandon the technology and start over and with the tribes of humans on this planet as the eons passed our curiosity caught up…..and I think as the years passed someone tried to make a record of what happened and I think that store is told many times Sodom and Gomorrah, Noah...but even if you take that all away there still is the battle of good versus evil……within in that holds the equations why the United States built the atomic bomb, what brought us the Starship and the design of this ship .”
“Perhaps they were right.” Picard said “Perhaps our Science is running away with itself.”
“That’s Q talking.” Creighton said
“And as much as I hate to admit it he may have a point this time if he chose to express it.” Picard said
"Yeah but he's not going to." Creighton said
"Always so confident," Picard said. "You're in command of this ship now; however what are the consequences when it is forced upon us to use the full power of this technology you created?"
"I'll answer that with this question." Creighton said "What if the Enterprise were equipped like the Missouri during the first Borg Crisis.......would you have restrained from using the full power of the technology or whatever the it was that you said?"
“I would have used any weapon I had."
"I rest my case." Creighton said.
"As a Starfleet Captain I wouldn't hesitate one moment to use any weapon or any technology, if I had to." Picard said
"Well that's not entirely true. You didn't introduce that Virus into the Borg Collective when you had the chance. That was something which cost us dearly in the second Borg conflict."
“That’s not the point.” Picard said.
“No, your point is that you want to justify that the Enterprise was a vessel of exploration with it’s force as a defensive stance only while the Missouri is only measured itself as a weapon of war…..well I hate to tell you this but were at war....and I'm tired of the bloody noses...we’ve been getting our ass kicked all over the Galaxy I think it's high time that someone sends a message to the Cardassians the Dominion, The Borg, and anyone else who is proving to be a pain in the ass!”
"And what would that message be, Admiral?" Picard said.
"Don't mess with us!" Creighton replied
“And with that message delivered what follows this class of ship, what is the next step?”
“My next step is to get geared up to send the next message!” Creighton said “That's What I do!....you need to understand J-L It's a Cycle, If Vaught doesn't do his job I cant do mine I can't do my job you can’t do yours…and to continue doing your job that is if you want to continue reaching out into the galaxy then were going to need ships like the Missouri and Swayback ready to back you guys up, so think about that the next time you want to play on my conscience because I play with bad people!"
Picard looked at him again and smiled.
“Why didn’t you say so?” Picard said
The two men laughed.
“No, you have a point, I just never really saw it that way before.” Picard said
“You're not supposed to.” Creighton said “What I design are tools to help figure out what kind of situation you're in and then how to get out of that situation; when those tools become obsolete or they can no longer protect you or do it’s job then I’m the one who decides what the next step is….and I do that when I read you're log’s when I visit the shipyards and talk to the Captain's there the people that actually have to use these things.”
“But in the Missouri's case it’s different.” Picard said
“Why do you think?" Creighton asked
“You took command of this ship; you never took command of any of you're other Prototypes, the last time you served on a bridge of a starship I was a child.”
“I have a felling I'm going to get called out on this a lot within the next few hours." Creighton said.
"I don't think anyone could make a valid argument that you weren't fit to command." Picard said
"Most if not all of you're battle tactics are still in use today and I know that you have written new strategies......but you taking command of a ship at this time is incredibly risky for the Federation if they lose a brilliant mind like yours.”
“Thank you J-L.”
“I hate it when you do that.”
"I want you to join me on this." Creighton said
"With your experience Admiral, I would only get in the way."
"I have two personnel stakes in this mission." Creighton said, "I need your objectiveness, besides with Riker and the Enterprise at Iscandar you're between jobs for a while....when were done I'll deliver you to Enterprise myself. "
“So I am demoted to a first officer?” Picard asked
“Yes and no.” Creighton said “If we get into a scrape I'll want you on the Bridge….but I have some research for you.”
“Regarding?” Picard asked
"The EDF.....That's where were going J-L." Creighton said "I want you to concentrate on one of their Captains. Namely, a guy named Gideon. He's the commanding officer of one of their new ships, known as Andromeda. When we come out of the Inter-dimensional rift I want you to find Gideon and I want you to contact him, and I want you to see his reaction."
"Why his reaction?" Picard said.
"Because you were the last person to see him and you buried him in a tomb of stones," Creighton said.
Picard stiffened. "That's not possible, Admiral."
"I didn't think so either until I started looking into what was going on over there, Vaught filed a report which said that Gideon had the identical appearance and mannerisms as Kirk and had a knowledge and made references to Starfleet without ever being prompted, then when Vaught assured him that Starfleet had no interests there and that his presence was an accident Gideon asks him to stay and assigned him to the Star Force," Creighton said.
"I've gone over some of the preliminary data you sent." Picard said "The Star Force is the squad that commandeered the Argo?"
"Right and pay particular attention to the transmissions between Gideon and the Commander of the Argo.......Some kid named Wildstar but you really get a good look at Gideon."
“Very well, Admiral,” Picard said.
“In turn I want to give you something for your services.” Creighton said
“I don’t understand-“
Creighton held up his hand. “Within the database of this ship’s computer core resides the entire history of the Civilization of which this ship is based on.”
“How was that possible after 150,000 years?” Picard asked
“You know me J-L.” Creighton said “I have ways of figuring stuff out.”
“I shall enjoy reading that admiral.” Picard said “What does Admiral Destine think of all of this?”
“Ill let you know after she finds out.” Creighton said
Rather then working in her office, Destine found the peaceful warm evening at Sisco’s in New Orleans. She put her data pad aside and looked up at the night sky and was remembering when was the only sky she could see. Then, in later years the sign of the morning blue sky meant pain in her metamorphosis from Gargoyle to Human. But that was so many lifetimes ago when she was bent on destroying the human race….now she was in charge of protecting them ….How ironic… she thought as she closed her eyes and her thoughts were filled of an old love.
“Mother?” A voice interrupted her daydream as she opened her eyes to see Creighton standing in front of the table.
She smiled slightly at him as he reminded her so much of Thomas…and yes even saw herself in him at times. A moment later, she straightened in her chair and beckoned for Creighton to sit.
“Sorry.” Creighton said “It slipped out.”
She had to think for a second what Creighton was referring to as it dawned on her that he referred to her as “Mother.” She hadn’t given it a second thought, although it was not the Gargoyle way….However it was what Thomas wanted so that Creighton could have a sense of stability in his life.
She knew he was right as she chuckled slightly. Destine never looked up from her datapad however got right to the point, saying,
“What are you up to, Creighton?”
Creighton looked at her and said nothing. As she still did not look up from her data pad slid a similar unit across the table to Creighton with an image
“This was taken by short range scan after she materialized in orbit, where a the signature of a molecular transporter was detected which only means one thing, That ship was launched from Groom Lake and anything from Groom Lake is all you,” Destine said.
“That's a pretty nice shot of her.” Creighton said commenting on the image.
"What’s the problem?” Creighton said “I told you about the Missouri and Swayback in the office about a month ago.”
“You failed to mention something.” Destine said
“Well as soon as the ship metalized of course we ran a scan on her.”
“Of course.” Creighton said
“One of the things that we all found confusing is that the ship’s power readings are extremely high for any Starships, and we noticed that you have two particle cannons mounted on each side of the bow both attached two chambers that run down the side of the bow directly into the Power core to the Wave Motion Generator. I’m told that the Argo and the Andromeda are fitted with the same kind of device called a Wave Motion Gun, which is a weapon of immense power. Now I’m not an engineer but they was the ship’s power conversion is utilized using the wave motion generator and multiple Starfleet Warp Cores. Which I was told wasn’t even possible, The Missouri’s Wave motion Gun would make the Andromeda’s look like a water pistol.”
“I’ve never seen the design of the Andromeda,” Creighton said.
“Creighton, why didn't you tell me about that weapon?” Destine asked
“Sure.” Creighton said “Just like I was kept informed of the Cosmo DNA device and Inferno.”
“Hey! I didn’t know what was going on either until that day.”
“You know I’ve working on the KOBOL project for over 300 years.” Creighton said
“I know all about your little reverse engineering project. What you built goes way beyond that.”
She touched the side of the Pad. Then, another image appeared.
“Is this the ship you brought back from Mercury?” Destine asked.
“Yes.” Creighton said.
Destine was growing impatient.
“All right Creighton, where’s the other God damn ship?” Destine demanded.
“There is no other ship.”
Destine tapped the pad irritably.
Creighton just leaned back into the chair.
"Where did you get that? There aren’t more than five people who are to know about the other Battlestar between here and the President’s office,” Creighton said.
“Well, make it six now,” Destine said bluntly.
Creighton stiffened in his chair, “It’s top secret stuff….Admiral…..I can’t tell you about it.”
She finally looked up from the data pad. Creighton could tell she was angry.
“You don’t think I see it anyway?” Destine asked.
“Go ahead” Creighton said.
“I noticed the difference when I looked at the scans.” Destine said "You didn't think I would know right away a variant....You used a different class of ship to base the design of your ship and I'm asking you where did you get the details of the other Battlestar?"
Creighton did not reply.
“I know how you work, Creighton.” Destine said “If you reversed-engineered the Missouri from the Galactica, there would be a greater resemblance to the original ship. When I saw the Missouri from the image taken I realized that you used a different ship. Not Galatica….so the secret is out!! You didn’t say anything, you I’m right about what I’m saying, and at this point Top Secret means nothing the Good damn thing is already in orbit!”
Creighton looked at her for the moment and thought heavily about what he was about to say next.
“It’s not easy, after being silent about this and having it locked up for three centuries.” Creighton said
"Galactica's computer core was virtually dust." Destine said “What am I looking at here?”
Creighton sighed .
“The ship on the Upper Left is that of the Battlestar Pegasus a Mercury class Battlestar.” Creighton began,
“This Class of Battlestar were the most advanced Colonial Capital warships/carriers of the Colonial Fleet. They were top-of-the-line vessels at the time of the Fall of the Twelve Colonies Introduced some years after the First Cylon War, And as you see the structural design of the Mercury class differs significantly from the Galactica type Battlestar.”
“Twelve Colonies…….Cylon War?!” Destine said “The only thing that we were ever able to retrieve from the computer was a projected flight projection from Earth Orbit 150,000 years ago…..“How deep does this rabbit hole even go?”
“Pretty deep.” Creighton said "Because I was there."
"What do you mean you were there?" Destine said
Creighton looked up at the sky then pointed the buildings one by one then looked back at destine.
“Some cause must have created all this, “Creighton said motioning to the city. “But what caused that cause?”
“Is that what this is another Cygnus?” Destine said “We both know how that turned out.”
She looked at him thoughtfully for a moment and could tell that he was distraught. She felt as if she had just kicked him in the stomach with that last comment. Clone or not, Creighton was her son as Thomas pointed out, and she had no desire to hurt his feelings although she needed the information.
“I never have forgotten that you and I are more than Clansman Creighton,” she said. “Things have just gotten so complicated that I think that we have all forgotten the values of the close Knit Family that your father created. Sometimes I think I have failed him in that aspect.”
“Times have changed.” Creighton said “Pop would have understood.”
“Understanding…..yes…you shared that well with your father….you understood each other …yet I never fully understood you “
“Meaning?” Creighton said.
“What drove you to this?” Destine said.
“After Melisande and I were taken by the Cardassians they had downloaded all my data on the Galactica, Also my reverse engineering plans for the Starfleet design.” Creighton said with some agitation.
"The wave motion generator," Destine said "You kept that in you're head which they couldn't get to ....So you went after an improved design....because if the Cardassians built the thing you would counter with a better one that could accommodate the design of the Wave motion Generator. The Galactia's design couldn't support it so you went digging." Destine said as then her expression turned to astonishment when she realized something.
“You said you were there,” Destine said.
“150,000 years ago." Destine asked
Creighton reached into a small briefcase pulled out a small amulet and placed it on the table
Destine’s Jaw Dropped.
“Impossible!” Destine said. “The Phoenix gate hasn’t been seen since the 1990’s”
“You just have to know where to look.” Creighton said “I was able to recover it from the Time stream Using a refraction beam through a Dilithum crystal…..Once I had it I was able to pin point when the Galactia had entered Earth Orbit, Once there I was able to copy their computer core, that gave me all the information I needed regarding their history and Military operations. Then by Programing their Chronology into the computers I was able to come up with a referable timeline and points of reference. Making Nemours jumps to their time then back to this time……He chuckled to himself.
“I’m glad you find this funny.”
“No, I don’t.” Creighton said “I saw their fleet yards I walked in the cities....I learned….and I was able to download and read their entire history…..I even was able to walk on their Home world…..and even a planet where Human civilization began.”
“The Scribes of Avalon tell a story similar to the Bible’s book of Genesis, however the scribes refer to Eden as Kobolosk.” Destine said
“The Planet was known as Kobol.” Creighton said
“Hence the name of the project.” Destine said
“And you let the rumors speculate about the ship being reversed engineered from the Galactica, to keep the Cardasians in the dark, and with the Phoenix Gate, you could leave and come back almost at the same time so you could be gone for years and no one would know you missing.” Destine said
“Using the Phoenix gate made me able to go back and see for myself what the designers were thinking, and I could almost instantaneously adapt into my design.”
“Creighton I have to ask, did you ever reveal yourselves to them?”
“I got into one scrape.” Creighton said “Fortunately for me Vaught was there at the time, he got me out of it.”
“What the hell was Vaught doing there?”
“He would come with me from time to time.” Creighton said “He took most to the musical history.”
“I’ll bet.” She said “Anyone else go with you?”
“No, Creighton said. “Just Vaught.”
“And These Cylons?....” Destine asked. “What was their problem?….”
“I just had this conversation with Picard,” Creighton said.
“Well, now you can tell me about it.”
Creighton sighed “All right……..The Humans were spread out among 12 planets.” Creighton said “The Cylons who were originally A.I.’s created by the Humans eventually separated themselves from the colonies then returned years later in a coordinated surprise Nuclear attack which was through. The survivors escaped in whatever ships that would carried them and with the last remaining Battlestar the Galactica leading them through a series of misadventures they accidentally stumbled here.” Creighton said
“And you witnessed all of this?” Destine said
“And made a record,” Creighton said. “In the end, some of the Cylons worked with the humans to get here.”
“What about these Cylons now? Where are they?
“Both the Humans’ and the Cylons’ recorded history stops once the Galactica arrived here. The lower models of the Cylons were granted their freedom from the Higher models and left in their own vessel. I never went downside….but the plan was to abandon all the technology. Galactica was already a broken ship when she arrived here. She along with the rest of the fugitive fleet were flown by their flight management computers into the sun. As the Galactica passed Mercury, her engines failed and she was caught in Mercury’s gravitational field where she crashed.”
“Knowing you as I do, you stayed aboard right until the point where she crashed.” Destine said
“Her Captain William Adama…….”
“Really ?” Destine asked.
“That was the man’s name,” Creighton said “He thought he was the last man off the ship but he wasn’t I needed to stay on as long as I could I guess I felt since I was going to resurrect her or at least something close to her I felt I had the right.”
“Maybe she was intended to stay right where she was.” Destine said “And not to have you come along toying with it, setting into motion events that might go beyond our control as it did theirs….have you ever thought of that?”
“I spent 5 years thinking about it.” Creighton said.
“5 Years?” Destine asked.
“That’s how long it took Galatica to reach Earth from their planetary system.” Creighton said
“You lived among them.” Destine said.
“And I vowed I would not return to my home until they found theirs.” Creighton said “When I returned everyone thought I was gone for an 8 hour day.” Creighton said “Melisande thought I was out of my mind when I got home…the next day I laid the Keel down for the Missouri.”
“In all the Wars before that threatened us, The Xindi, The Klingons, V’ger, The Probe, the Borg….twice, you always made upgrades to our current fleet solutions but you never launched a class of ship overcompensating with such weapons systems that are clearly in direct violation with the Articles of the Federation. Why now?”
“Times are changing.” Creighton said “I felt our edicts needed to be changed also, however I couldn’t do that unless I truly understood what it was that I was creating.”
Destine glared at him “How can you dare say that?!” She demanded “with the length of your years and mine to see where this world started off as and see where it has come to now.”
“But at what cost?” Destine said “Living in almost squalid conditions as a refugee for five years, just so that you can justify building a weapon that could bring down another civilization just as it did theirs?”
“Exactly,” Creighton said.
“And in doing so you took the rights out of the Galactica’s true commander as to what he intended Creighton, What you went through and endured, I could only imagine but it still makes what you did in the end wrong!”
“Then let History Judge me.” Creighton said “If I can prevent what happened to them happen to us then I will take any punishment you see fit.”
Destine sat back in the chair and just glared at him even her red hair seemed to be aglow in her anger. However she realized that whatever forces stirred within Creighton once stirred with her and with much more sinister intentions.
“I forget there were times where I would have been willing to finish what the Cylons started.” Destine said still never breaking eye contact till then she finally did looking up at the sky and shook her head
“All right, I’ll drop it,” she huffed. “But you still haven’t answered all my questions.”
“You just said you were going to drop it,” Vaught said.
“The Battlestar thing, not this.” Destine said, as she took the datapad and pulled up another image.
Creighton sat motionless
“This I won’t drop, Creighton,” she said in an angry tone as she continued
“You left a trail of breadcrumbs so that I would find this out....why?!”
“I had almost forgotten what she looked like,” Creighton said softly
“You know how Melisande feels about this!”
“That’s between me and my wife!” Creighton said
“She’s dead.” Destine said pointing to the image of the young woman displayed on the data pad “Telezart was destroyed by a subspace weapon thirty five years ago what’s wrong with you?”
“She’s alive,” Creighton said. “She also has a name.”
“All right… " Destine said, “Creighton, maybe I don’t understand you’re logic with regards to the Battlestar, however this borders on being criminally liable. You can’t just shift resources like that for one person."
"There is also Comet Empire."
"Which is bearing down on the planet you think that girl is on?"
“You know during your little investigation, did you even bother to read all of Vaught's Log's?"
"No." she said.
“It makes constant references to someone named Nova; a young woman identical to Star."
Destine glared at him.
"Yeah," Creighton said "How did I know I was going that reaction?"
“It looks like we both went through a lot of trouble to get information.” Destine said
“Sometimes it pays to go through a lot of trouble.” Creighton said "I knew you were sweating over something when I came to Starfleet Headquarters looking for answers about the transmission Star received from Iscandar about Astra's death, and instead I get grilled about Inferno you didn't even know I was coming, I knew Vaught was on a mission that means whatever was involved with that comet had just happened!"
“Don’t go delving into this, Creighton.” Destine said “You may not like what you find.”
"What interests does Starfleet have with this universe?"
“How long do you think before Vaught or this mystery girl starts putting everything together, if they haven’t already!” It only took me ten minutes.
“Creighton tapped on the data-pad of the image of the girl wearing the blue dress.
“She’s alive.” Creighton said “And that Comet proves it!”
“How do you make that assumption!?”
“Because the Damn thing keeps altering its course to intercept her every time she tries to send a message!”
They both realized that there voices were carrying as they both took a deep breath.
“That Comet reaches Earth,” Creighton said “And it’s game over, once they take the planet they’ll have Wave Motion….. if that happens and they are able to mass produce it; it’s game over for everybody!”
“So what’s your plan?” Destine said
“If you’re thinking that I’m taking the Missouri Guns blazing into Telezart’s orbit I’m not. I’m Leaving Telezart to Vaught for the moment….It’s the Comet that’s bothering me.”
“So you want to introduce yourself to the EDF and pledge our support?” Destine said, “Creighton, for Christ sakes we’re in the middle of our own war which I might add were not doing all that great in…..I never thought I’d hear myself say this but thank God for the Klingons and the Romulans.”
“Which makes me wonder why are you keeping me on the sidelines why haven’t I been placed in command of a battle group?”
Destine stooped eating and looked up at Creighton.
“That’s the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard……Are you crazy……With everything that you know…..about Starships and propulsion systems, and weapons systems all that stuff you at Groom Lake people would laugh at the old 20th century legends of “Area 51.” I wonder how much people would find it funny if they knew just you were up to!?”
Creighton sat back in his chair as Destine resumed eating her food.
“You cant leave the EDF dimension unmonitored and the Enterprise isn’t enough, she’s involved with Iscandar and that’s almost too much for one Starship to handle…..if were not involved there now were going to be involved there in six months, If Comet Empire invades the EDF Earth and they have the designs to wave motion, along with the plans to the Galactia class…….
“All right I get the whole ugly picture so what’s the next step?”
“I want to go there and knock on the door I specifically want to make contact with a captain of a starship there…..called the Andromeda.”
“Oh!! Not this whole James T Kirk thing again!” Destine said “That man has more sightings then Elvis did!”
“It’s him…I’m sure of it.”
“And everything else?”
“We have to get geared up for this, and right now were not even close!” Creighton said “The Enterprise is in that universe right now Spock is there, McCoy is there, Scotty is there, You already suspect Zordar so it’s only a matter of time before the other two get involved….Riker and his people are the best in this business….and I’m taking Picard….we knock on the right doors we have a good chance of winning this fight that’s coming……. Now I can’t transfer crews from other starships because of the war effort…….I had to get a little creative.”
“You’re already doing this!” Destine said “You transferred the personnel you launched the ship it’s in orbit and you know there is no way I can stop you….how can I….so why all of this why did you even bother to ask me?!”
She sighed heavily as she grabbed her fork out of frustration and ate a large portion out of frustration then slammed the fork down out of frustration.
There was a moment of silence when Creighton spoke again.
“Because I need your approval.” Creighton said
“If you wanted my approval you wouldn’t have waited until after the fact!”
“As my Mom,” Creighton said
Destine looked up at him she looked into his eyes.
“You have the same eyes.” Destine said as she trailed off for a moment. Then cleared her throat
“A wise man once said no matter how exalted the throne we’re all seated on our own arse…..and when it comes to you I’m on mine…I can’t fire you and I can’t scramble you’re whole command overnight, But what I am going to do is put you in tactical operational command of both missions.”
“Iscandar is 148,000 light years from where we will be.” Creighton said
“They will have report directly to you Creighton, It’s the only way I’m going to sell this…..now if the mystery woman is who you think it is and she sent that message then one could argue that it was meant for the Star Force and not for Starfleet!”
“What if it could be sold that Telezart was somehow transferred to that universe by use of a subspace weapon and the message was a distress signal?”
“40 Years after the fact!?”
“That Comet is bearing down on them.” Creighton said “They had reason to be silent until now.”
“That’s a stretch.” Destine said “And how do we sell Vaught.”
“Explain if it is her Vaught will be better to handle the situation. That’s why I’m not running into this….but if they run into trouble I can be there!”
“Don’t be so sure Vaught can handle this.” Destine said “She was like a Mother to him when you and Melisande were taken by the Cardassians.
“When he was all of ten,” Creighton said
“But that’s what I don’t understand…Vaught is close to Fifty Now! And if she had lived she would be well over 70!”
“She’s gargoyle,” Creighton said “You’re over 1,400 years old you don’t look a day over 45…..”
“But what I’m banking on is her power. And she, like Vaught, was extremely powerful with the Force.”
“All right…go,” she said. “But If I start having trouble here I’m pulling you out.”
“Understood,” Creighton said.
“You heard about all this crap with the Valiant?” Destine asked.
“The Dominion Star Destroyer?” Creighton said. “I’ve heard stories.”
“And you’re not the least bit concerned?”
“If you want before this mission, I’ll bring the Missouri in and take it out.”
Destine thought for a second.
“No.” She said “By now they know that the Missouri has already been launched and there wondering what to do about it…..my guess is they’re going to place that ship in order to play a cat and mouse game and I don’t want to give into them.”
“Good deal.” Creighton said
“You know thinking back,” Destine said between bites “You said you had two Classes of Starships coming off the Rhodes, what else do you have going on at Groom lake?”
“She’s called the Swayback.” Creighton said “She’s a heavy cruiser. She’s not equipped with Wave motion but she can fold space.”
“To the teeth,” Creighton said “More than a match for the little Dominion Cruiser they put together.”
“When will she be completed?”
“She’s done.” Creighton said
“Well when are you going to tell me about it?” Destine said
“That’s up to Federation High Commissioner Grasso.”
“Creighton, I want that ship.”
“Those ships.” Creighton said as he handed Destine an old fashioned manila folder. Destine opened the folder and read down the list of twenty seven starships comprising of Galaxy, Sovereign, Defiant, and Prometheus classes.
“What the hell is this?”
“It’s what’s been going on at Area 51.” Creighton said “New starships with a new generation of weapons systems….It ‘s called the task Force 1 project.....I think you should command it.”
Destine looked at him bewildered.
”The man you want to talk to is Jacob Grasso.”
“You can’t keep this from Melisande when she finds out….there will be hell to pay,” Destine said.
“Well if you don’t see her and I don’t see her chances are well be fine.” Creighton said
“Don’t leave your communicator pin on the dresser.” Destine said
‘Right,” Creighton said “What else do you have?”
She closed her eyes as if to gather her thoughts the she looked up back at him, the anger gone from her face.
“As your superior officer and knowing my position in Starfleet you know as to why I act a certain way towards you.”
“I know.” Creighton said
“A Mother couldn’t be more proud of a son,” she said.
Her Comments seem to have brightened Creighton’s face.
Destine gave him a rare smile.
“Go away,” She said then went back to her data pad.
As he turned and walked away Destine put the datapad down and watched her son unaware that he was watching him walk down the avenue then turning a corner and out of sight.
Filled with uneasiness she leaned back into the chair and sighed heavily.
It is a very well-known fact that Operatic performers will sometimes style voices from a predecessor. Such an example would be as Luciano Pavarotti modeling his Voice after Giuseppe Destfano for one to hear Destanfano perform one can her key points in their technique moreover not to accuse the artist of copying ones voice from the other but rather a stepping stone to model their own voice.
Such was the technique of Melisande Corsair, the wife of Creighton Dantes, who was one of the most well renowned vocalists and musicians within the galaxy. Her Gargoyle physiology has enabled her to use her voice over the centuries although she will take time to rest her voice to either conduct or compose or play music, the cello being her instrument of expertise. She in turned based on what she sang would style her voice after Linda Eder for the Stage and Anna Netrebko for Operatic roles. Today she was practicing her vocal talents using the former mentioned for the model for a stage production that was being performed about Eva Brawn in the mid 1940’s
The production was received well by the critics, as it was commented by Destine herself that as Creighton was as brilliant in his technological prowess, Melisande matched him in brilliance as a composer. Although they did not often share or understand in what went on in each others worlds, their marriage worked. However after the events of being held captive by the Cardasians drew her more emotionally closer to her husband she chose not to let her become a part of his world for as she explained to her husband that not knowing and not trying to understand what he did she could do more for the family. Creighton in turn agreed (At his wife’s urging) to be stationed to a permanent planetary assignment. Both the hierarchy of the Federation and Starfleet Command would give a sigh of relief for his request being that he was not only the greatest tactical mind within the Federation he was the most brilliant technically, so Creighton would work on his technological marvels and Melisande would compose her music and never the twain ever met. With the exception of one day a week that they would make for each other and the occasion when one was lonely for the other.
They only one whom they allowed to share both their worlds was their son Vaught. Who in only 49 years Melisande considered to be more brilliant in engineering than his father was and was a better musician than she could ever hope to be.
However still, Vaught was becoming a growing sense of anxiety for her, which started for her when he enlisted in the Marines then only increased during the Borg conflicts Then the dominion war leading up to events of his current mission with the Star Force. She tried to still separate herself from what he did, for the rumors about what Vaught had turned into were unimaginable for her. When he visited and they played together or she saw him teaching his classes seeing his artistry performing as a pianist or guitarist, could not imagine her son would be the same type of man who would swoop in from a high orbital jump impaling people with Light sabers.
The thoughts were weighing heavily on her mind, as it eventually broke her concentration thus ending her practice session. She had the computer end the music as she walked out onto the balcony of the spacious mansion and watched the sun set behind the Twin lights perched high above the Shwesberry River. On the Ocean side she saw that a Runabout which was parked on what was a restored helicopter pad which Creighton re-enforced to handle such a craft.
She must not have heard him land during her session. What was odd to her was that the vehicle was just Parked there usually when her husband came home he would be just dropped off in this case the vehicle stood alone powered down with the door closed, and what was even stranger was there was no pilot seen about unless he was inside the House with Creighton.
She walked down the stairs softly
“Craig?” She said softly which was her nickname for Creighton as her nick name to him was Millie.
A chirping noise coming from the bedroom distracted her. She quietly walked into the bedroom and heard the shower running from the bathroom which was a separate room but a part of the bedroom.
She let the breath out and was about to call his name as the chirping sounded again.
She walked into the bedroom and discovered the source of the chirping sound when it chirped yet again.
It was Creighton’s Communicator pin…..left on the dresser.
As she picked it up she had inadvertently pushed the center of the com badge.
“It took you long enough!” Destine snapped and continued speaking……..
Startled she dropped the pin on the dresser and picked it up again quickly and placed it back on top of the dresser. She started to walk away quietly….
“Your Official transference of Command to the Missouri has been transmitted.” Destine said.”
Melisande stopped and took two steps backwards and glared at the pin looked at the pin and said nothing. When Destine realized that there wasn’t a reply Destine realized the error.
“Mel?” She asked.
“Yes.” she said quietly and Destine knew it.
“He’s in the shower isn’t he?” Destine said realizing the error.
“Yeah……” Melisande said “He’s in the shower.”
“He keeps doing that!” she said “You shouldn’t even be answering his communicator, Mel!”
“It was an accident.” Melisande said “I was trying to pick it up to bring it to him when I hit the center…..but what was all that you said….Creighton doesn’t command Starships.”
“Well……no he doesn’t,” Destine said
“I don’t suppose you’d care to explain what’s going on?” Melisande said
“That would not be my first choice of action, no,” Destine said “I’ll let him explain this to you….Destine out.”
She was taken aback of how Destine’s actions of closing the channel so quickly now very confused she walked over to the shower and again when she was about to call his name when she stopped in mid-breath. She turned and looked down a very large hall where Creighton’s Study was.
As Creighton rarely entered her studio she rarely entered his study. She stopped at the closed door which was guarded by a touchpad, she touched the pad and it asked for a security code. Melisande thought for a second then she a wry smile came across her face as she entered what she thought the code was. The door hissed then unlocked and moved inward. She walked in and looked around the Comfortable midsize room Study. She was surprised as absent minded her husband was the room was meticulously kept. She had expected to see data pads strewn about the desk and everything to be in a sense of dissary.
She looked on his desk to see pictures in frames but the largest was a drawn portrait of herself in a black formal gown singing into a microphone.
She had never even known the portrait existed when she realized that he thought of her often. As she looked to the other side of the room and saw am angled drafting table in a corner with a slide arm on were blueprints printed on actual paper something rarely seen in the day and age. Along with sketches of what she knew was the Galactica although it was altered to resemble a Starfleet ship. She then brought the sketches over to the desk where she compared them against the drawn portrait then realized that it was he who had drawn it. She realized that although Creighton was indeed into his work he also though about her with as much detail as he did his Starship.
She found herself smiling broadly
She realized how much after 400 years she was still in love with him
She walked back to the drawing table looking at the blueprints. She could tell that the Battlestar was further along then what he had revealed thinking that the ships construction must be at the Area 51 facility which she called “The playground.”
She flipped each page of the large blueprint page by page hoping to maybe get an insight what Creighton was up to. However she looked onto the small loveseat where she saw his briefcase laying open on a small love seat next to a grandfather clock.
She stared at it considering what her next choice would be.
She stepped quietly out into the hall where she stepped out into their bedroom she heard the shower running in the bathroom so she walked quickly back into his study regarded the briefcase slightly then knelt down and started to go through it. She came across a felt jewelry box upon opening it, it revealed a Vulcan IDIC pendant. She turned it over and whispered the inscription to herself.
“Although my soul is Vulcan In my heart I will always be you’re little girl…..always, Selar.”
The inscription brought tears to her eyes as she stopped wondering what she was doing then continued to gently look through the briefcase, Then coming across another framed Photo this one was Vaught and her granddaughter Star both in their Starfleet Marines dress Uniform and on either side of the frame were gold Dog tags each with their name rank and serial number.
She realized as she looked around the room, Creighton rarely used data pads he seemed to prefer notebooks as she started to browse through them. She found them extremely perplexing, page after page of complicated equations, or sketches of something that he was trying to build but was still in his mind. Looking through the various notebooks she began to feel that this was a side to him that she never saw. She considered for a moment that these were the plans to the wave motion generator, which she knew he had started thinking about while he served as Chief Engineer on Constitution Class Starship the Defiant which disappeared 100 years ago while he was on leave. Creighton was nervous about leaving any reference to the wave motion generator on any data base, since that incident. Although she couldn’t speculate why, she didn’t know what the thing did. However she knew he started to decline storing his work on the main Starfleet database. However to her it seemed that Creighton wasn’t making much of computers anyway to her it looked as if he was even to performing such complex formulas in his head when she came across an old fashioned 20th century slide rule and she shook her head wondering how he was able to even use that.
Melisande realized that from all of this Creighton was very close to completing what was being called Project KOBOL. She didn’t know what meaning the name had however looking through his notes he knew the name he had given the Battlestar. As she confirmed by getting up and looking at the blueprints on the drafting table.
“Missouri.” She Whispered “NCC-0911.”
She knew whatever the Missouri was it had to be Creighton’s design. The ships name and the Navel Construction Contract number represented were parts of the Former United States history that she knew was of historical significance to Creighton; it was then that she had a sick feeling come over her.
He was assuming command of the ship himself
He was going away.
He had a plan to change the course of spatial warfare.
Looking at the plans of the Missouri at his hand writing it seemed to her that He was very, very angry……why?
Now back at the Love Seat she reached the bottom of the briefcase and gasped at what she saw. It was another sketch but of someone that she tried for so many years to put out of her mind and forget about.
She shuddered out of anger as a tear rolled down her face.
She placed the items carefully back into Creighton’s briefcase carefully leaving it where it was and left the rooms with her fists clenched. She walked into the bedroom and stood in front of the partially opened bathroom door the shower still running She was ready to burst into the bathroom as she took a deep breath ready to scream in anger at her husband She walked over to the closet gently took out a towel and quietly walked into the bathroom………
Creighton initially started to take what started to be a very quick shower but as with Creighton, while he was standing in the shower he began thinking about things and when he did he Lost track of the time.
His thoughts were that of the young girl’s image. They were ones of guilt and remorse. She was a subject that was never breached in the household after her death. Could he have been mistaken?
If she was alive she would be around 70, Creighton thought. But that’s regarded in human years it’s possible……. Even if I could make contact with the EDF, how can I contact her…..Do I contact her?…..I have to… I have to know what the hell happened to her…I have to know how she ended up there…
Creighton was still lost in his thoughts when he was suddenly realized that more time had elapsed then what he thought, while glancing at his watch.
“Dammit!” he said and hurriedly finished the shower. As he shut the water off and began looking for his towel which he realized he had neglected to take with him.
“Son of a Bitch!” He muttered to himself
Almost in a reply an arm which he knew belonged to his wife thrusted into the shower towel in hand.
Creighton took the towel sticking his head out of the shower to see Melisande standing there arms folded leaning against the sin, and the look on her face told him that the conversation was not going to be pleasant.
“Something wrong?” Creighton asked not knowing the real reason which was upsetting his wife.
“Maybe,” Melisande said
He looked at her
“Do I have to guess?”
“What is the Missouri?”
Creighton looked at her with some irritation
“Millie, I cannot tell you about classified information.”
“You don’t have to. You left your communicator on the dresser again,” Melisande said.
Creighton immediately glared at her.
“Did you answer my communicator?” Creighton asked
“And when you answered did you say right away Hi it’s Melisande… Creighton is in the shower? Or did you do what you usually do and not say anything making the person on the other end think they were talking to me?”
“I know, I know it’s bad,” Melisande said.
Creighton placed the towel around him as he stepped out of the shower.
“You can’t be answering my communicator.” He snapped “How could you?!”
“Look before you get into it you should probably know.”
“There is no excuse for this.” Creighton said as they walked into the bedroom turned and faced her.
“Who was it that called?”
“Demona,” she replied.
“Confirming my command orders no doubt,” Creighton said.
“Creighton; you’re a flag officer,” Melisande said “A Naval Architect….you haven’t commanded a Starship in a Hundred years….why now?!”
“You’re getting mad at me?” Creighton said walking over to the closet, "My leaving it on the dresser or no, touching that communicator is the worst thing you could have done.” Creighton said as he selected a uniform.
“You would think so,” she muttered.
Creighton spun around she knew he was angry.
“What else did you do?” he said quietly.
She just started at him as he just looked at her.
“Were you able to get into my study?” he said, with his voice raising as he spoke.
She responded only with a guilt ridden face making Creighton extremely angry.
“You read my files!?”
“I know you’re angry!”
“Anger doesn’t even begin to describe it!” Creighton said not yelling but she knew he was still angry as he flopped on the end of the bed
“You violate our entire family’s security, not to even mention national security, If anyone found out I could be court-martialed, Actually I don’t even know what they would do the stuff I’m working on is so secret they couldn’t even assign an investigator!”
“I know what I did was wrong.”
“I wonder if you do.” Creighton said “What if a Founder made their way into here and was disguised as the desk or a chair?”
“The security protocols on the house…” Melisande said.
“You got in!” Creighton said “All of this because you don’t trust me?”
“Look.” Melisande said “First Astra Dies; Vaught disappears, Selar and Star go on this mission and now out of the clear blue sky you’re placed in command of a Starship so secret you can’t even tell your wife about it or even that you were going!”
“Well guess what?!” Creighton said as he began to dress. “Get packed because now you’re coming along.”
She looked at him shocked.
“What?!” she said
“You went through my files you saw what was in there! You don't know who can see what! Anyone can grab you to try and get any information--”
“I didn’t understand any of it!”
“They can rip the images from your brain, Millie!” Creighton said.
“Craig, I know you're trying to protect me but I have a full concert schedule for the next three weeks.”
“Cancel it,” he said. “NOW!”
“Craig!..... Absolutely not!”
Creighton grabbed his communicator pin.
"One word from me and this house is in full lockdown."
"Don't you dare threaten me!"
"I'm not threatening I'm stating a fact either you're with me on that Runabout, or you spend the remainder of this war locked in this house."
It was then that Creighton's communicator pin chirped.
"What!" he said
"Balloon gone up?" Destine's Voice said filled with sarcasm "That was really nice work what do you guys do for an encore?"
"We’re having it now," Creighton said.
"If you haven't already, you might want to change the access codes on your briefcase and your study." Destine said
"How does she-?"
"I told you!" Creighton muttered
"Well then they could be monitoring the communications then!"
"That could be." Destine said "I'm sending the squad to secure the house in 30 minutes."
Creighton Glared at Melisande.
"Because of the nature of your mission I could have it show that Mel is re-instated as a full ambassador to the Telezar union of interplanetary council.....we can sell it that way."
"To be reinstated Telezart would have to still exist, and your mission you have to have to involve the planet in some way."
"Do It," Creighton said.
"Done," Destine said.
"That means I get to stay here," Melisande said.
"No, it means that you’re going to shut-up and listen to what your husband has to say then do as he says.......Or so help me, I’ll lock you up myself!"
"She's not kidding," Creighton said "That's it, you’re in this and we go for the full nine innings."
Melisande reluctantly nodded yes.
"All right," Creighton said "we’re good."
"Have a nice trip." Destine said with jaded sarcasm and closed the channel.
She stood there and looked at him as he continued to get dressed
"Start packing." Creighton said.
“You haven’t answered my question!” She snapped, while grabbing a large duffel bag from her closet then started opening drawers pulling all her clothes out and throwing them in the bag.
“You noticed that,” He chided as he adjusted his uniform and placed the comm badge on the right side of his chest.
She gave an exasperated sigh and placed her hands on her hips. After being married for almost 400 years to the same woman he knew she wouldn't let up until he gave her something.
“It’s a First Contact mission,” Creighton said as he walked out of the bedroom and walked over to his study. As she followed him
"You left the door open?" Creighton said with annoyance as he pulled out his phaser.
"What the hell are you doing?!" she demanded
She noticed his face, and for the first time she knew that something was indeed terribly wrong.
"Step Back." Creighton said as he opened the door slowly and aimed the phaser ready to shoot. He then pulled out a tri-corder and scanned the room for several moments. The look was off of his face. He walked in the rest of the way and shut the door she realized that he was probably now changing the code on his study and shut the door so that she couldn't see what he was changing it to he then emerged from the door holding the briefcase and shut the door again.
“First contact," she said "And you expect me to accept that as a sufficient answer?” Melasinde asked.
“I’m kind of hoping that you will.” Creighton said as he motioned her to turn around as he tapped quietly on a keypad for a moment then when he was satisfied that the study was indeed secure he walked back into the Bedroom as again Melisande followed
“I see.” She said sarcastically “So it’s standard practice now for the Federation to choose a naval architect with no diplomatic experience to represent them in First Contact which always the possibility to be a high-pressure, possibly volatile diplomatic situation.”
“Jean-Luc is going to do the talking.” Creighton said
“Jean-Luc Picard Currently is a patient at Starfleet medical.”
“They were able to fix his mechanical heart ahead of schedule. With the Enterprise away he was available.”
“Jean-Luc is an experienced Starship Commander.” Melisande said “He has done this sort of thing all the time.”
“Don’t start with me, Millie,” Creighton said angrily, now helping her hurriedly put clothes in the bag. “It’s a new class of ship.”
Melasinde zipped up the bag. And she put on her shoes then grabbed and put on a leather jacket that Creighton had given her for their most recent anniversary.
"You look nice." Creighton said
"Oh! Do shut up!! I haven't even had a shower," she snapped "Look at my hair!.....Besides, don’t change the subject! When the Galaxy Class and the Sovereign Class were launched you weren’t placed in command of those Starships.”
“It’s a radical new generation of design.” Creighton said “Things might get a little dicey.”
Melisande shot him an angry glare then her eyes widened as if she suddenly realized something.
“Oh boy,” Creighton Muttered
“Now I know where I saw those blueprints It’s that project you’ve been working on with that stupid alien ship that you went nuts over centuries ago….Project KOBOL the……Battlestar that’s what it’s called.”
Creighton sighed “You want to talk a little louder? Because I don't think Cardassian Central Command heard you!" He shouted.
“Ok! Let’s get a couple things straight Number 1 I am you’re wife and I would appreciate it if you WOULDN’T SCOLD ME FOR THE NEXT FIVE MINUTES!!!; and Number 2 You talk in you’re sleep SO WHAT DO YOU THINK CARDASSIAN CENTRAL COMMAND THINKS ABOUT THAT!!!!?????"
“Not to get married!” Creighton said.
Melisande walked into the bathroom with a small bag which Creighton realized was her make up kit as she started choosing which makeup in the bag Creighton muttered something about the time she was taking and how the Missouri was going to be obsolete and in mothballs. In reply she looked up at him, and threw a compact down in anger and walked over to him and was standing directly within an inch from his face their noses almost touching.
"Don’t you have something to pack?" She said quietly
Creighton replied by holding up his briefcase and smiling then rolling his eyes turned around and walked back into the bedroom. His COM badge chirped again as Creighton began talking to some one.
"I loathe men," She said and went back to packing her make-up bag when she finished her sorting of what she thought she needed she walked out into the bedroom and noticed that Creighton was holding her duffel bag and a much larger duffel bag also filled to the seams.
"What’s in there you said you only had your briefcase?" she asked.
"Shoes and dresses," he said
"Which ones?" she asked as she turned to see her closet completely empty
"Oh Dear God!" She shouted "You Stuffed everything into one bag!?"
She tried to grab the bag from him as he wrestled free. She then saw a Starfleet Marine M.C.A.O. division standing in front of their bedroom door.
"Sort it out Topside," Creighton snapped quietly. "It's game time; let’s go!"
"I'll put those on the runabout for you sir while you finished getting squared away," The Marine said taking the bags as Creighton handcuffed his briefcase to his wrist.
"Thank you, son," Creighton said as he turned back to Melisande and gestured for her to go first out the door. as the two walked out of the bedroom down a set of stairs and out onto the deck where they saw 4 runabouts and Marines about some on the Deck some combing the Beach with German Shepherd’s as Vaught turned to talk to one of them the young Marine who also had a German Shepherd sitting by his side snapped to attention.
"Easy, son," Creighton said. "You're in Charge?"
"Lieutenant Crane sir.....of the 322."
"If his first name is either Frasier or Niles I'm shooting myself in the foot with someone's phaser." Melisande said
The lieutenant looked at her with confusion then back at Creighton.
Creighton looked back at her with a smirk where she just rolled her eyes and walked past them as two marines followed her.
"Of course it is." She muttered
"Sir?" He asked
"You go by Martian or Marty?"
"Marty." Crane replied.
"Ok Marty here's the deal, no one gets in that study, but I don’t want anybody on your team dying for what's in there. Things get hairy you blow the room....blow the house if you have to then get the hell out of here."
"Yes sir." Crane said
"Intelligence always made it that we reside in San-Francisco there are screens that give a false image of nothing being here. I doubt they even know there is even a house here but I can’t take any chances."
"You’re in safe hands sir." The Marine said
"There's stuff in the fridge when you get hungry you know how to use the Replicators right."
"Yes sir…thank you, sir." The marine said At this point Melisande walked back and had her hands on her hips.
"You want to show them how to use the Flat screen so they can watch the game on ESPN?" She said sarcastically.
"I'm sorry mamm...."He said “E-S-?
"It was just a little inside joke Marty." Creighton said "Don't worry about it."
"Yes sir." Crane said then snapped to attention
"Good luck, son." Creighton said as he and Melisane began walking to their runabout.
"Admiral?....Mamm?" Crane said.
Creighton and Melisande turned back to him.
"I just wanted to take an opportunity to say sir that all of us here are great admirers of your son." Crane said
"You know Vaught?" Melisande asked
"I never had the honor to meet the Major, ma’am," Crane said.
She looked at Creighton who smiled.
"I’ll see to it that all of you do when he returns from his mission." Creighton said
"That would be an honor sir, thank you."
Creighton nodded as he and Melisande started walking down the deck stairs onto the sand when he heard Lieutenant Crane call to his German Shepherd.
"Let’s go, Eddie!"
Creighton and Melisane turned to each other then looked at Lieutenant Crane and the German Shepard as they started their rounds around the house.
"Do you suddenly have a craving for tossed salad and scrambled eggs?" Melisande asked him.
"That’s not funny that’s not funny at all." Creighton said as they walked onto the beach and over to the Runabout on the pad. she stopped and looked into the night sky at the moon then out over the ocean waves. she closed her eyes and took in the salt air on the cool September evening.
She opened her eyes again and noticed that Creighton was sitting in the pilot’s seat of the runabout as the lights of the various panels laminated with various colors.
She looked back at the house one more time then walked into the runabout as the door closed behind her. She walked into the flight deck where Creighton was and sat down in the co-pilot’s seat. As Creighton started the engines and the runabout lifted off the Pad, he turned the Runabout around the house filled the cockpit windows and she sighed heavily almost with despair.
"We'll be back before you know it." Creighton said as he piloted out over the ocean.
"No fighter escort?" she asked
"Unnecessary attention," Creighton said "Low altitude and slow down through South America then about halfway through the Andes Mountain range, I’ll start the accent to orbit....The Missouri is in orbit around the dark side of the Moon so it will be about a twenty five minute trip.
"You're very thorough," she said, while looking at him.
"Wish I didn’t have to be." Creighton said
"Craig?" She asked
"Hmmm?" He replied not looking from the panel
"What does Telezart have to do with all of this?"
Creighton still never waivered from the panel
"You know what……. let’s not go there right now," Creighton said.
“Vaught stayed!” Melisande said quietly “He would have known immediately what was happening and would have made his way back.”
“He might have found out about Astra.” Creighton said "She died on their Mars."
“We both know that’s not his reason.” Melisande said. “He’s been in enough special ops missions without even being seen at all....Then all of a sudden with no reason he deliberately blows his cover, He doesn’t work that way, you know that I know that, there would have to be another reason!”
He finally looked at her
“I don’t know What Vaught is doing out there I didn’t even know Vaught was out there until if you remember I was at Starfleet Command trying to find out about Astra that’s when they told me about Vaught and Inferno. I called Destine out on it and the truth is she's as much in the dark as everyone else as to what's happening.”
“Then why would Demona give me my credentials back? This all fits in someway and you know the reason and you won’t tell me.....what are you trying so hard to protect me from?!"
The mere mention of the reference and a sudden look of despair came on his face and she could have sworn that tears started to well in Creighton’s Eyes .
He caught his composure and looked back towards the panel.
They were married for so long she could almost tell what he was thinking and feeling and by seeing the sudden hurt in eyes and on his face she remembered the last time she saw that look.
“Only you could figure out Vaught’s reason for doing what he did." "You were the only one who was always a step ahead of him." Melisande said “And when you discovered what he was doing That’s when you fast tracked the Launch of Missouri and that’s why you’re personally taking command What was it that he found?”
“You really need to let this go.” Creighton said shaking his head when he realized the irony of the comment since Destine said the same think to him just a few hours ago. “You may not like what you find.”
"I already don't like what I've found!" She snapped "I love you Creighton, and you know I absolutely adore the time we spend together....but this is what we both didn't want."
"It's my fault I shouldn't have been so absent minded leaving my stuff around," Creighton said.
"And I knew better then to violate your trust....I agreed after we were rescued from Cardassia I would never again know what you were doing for Starfleet." She said as a tear rolled down her face
"Passing Panama," Creighton said as Melisande started to become more upset.
"Do you know how it kills me that I can’t ask you about your day....that you feel that you can’t tell me what's bothering you?!"
"I knew it was hard for you," Creighton said Looking out the window "It was hard for me too...it wasn’t that I didn’t trust you Millie...."
“Then trust me now!" She exclaimed "Why did Vaught break ranks and commit piracy to help those people to take that ship?” She Insisted "What purpose do they need him for!?"
Creighton looked at her. Then looked down at the panel as he made a slight course adjustment
“National Security isn't what's on your mind ….is it….the way you two are acting this is personal.”
She looked out the window as they passed Argentina then her eyes widened and she looked back at Creighton.
“That’s how Demona was able to reinstate me." Melisande Said ".....the answer was staring at me as clear as those Mountains!..... and I never saw it......Telezart…..You found Telezart.”
“I don’t have all the facts I'm not sure of anything!"
“Yes you are......At least enough!" Melisande cried as a tears rolled down her face. “This is about her….You never could let her go….”
She was sobbing uncontrollably as Creighton grimaced immediately found a clearing and set the Runabout down then turned towards his wife.
“Let her Go?” Creighton said. “Letting her go is one thing. But acting like she never existed is criminal!”
“Even though the very mention of her breaks my heart?” Melisande sobbed.
The comment enraged Creighton said as he grabbed Melisande.
“What the Hell is the matter with you!? Creighton yelled.
Melisande Gasped. “I loved her!” Creighton screamed “Trelaina was my entire world!”
“I know.” She sobbed “I know it hit you hard…..and after all of these years-“
“She was your entire world too, Millie!” Creighton said forcefully “How can you so easily forget her to the point where we can’t remember her or even talk about her have her picture out, or even say her name?”
“It wasn’t fair you knew that it was killing me inside.....I couldn’t keep on about it!”
She was crying hysterically now. And Creighton was worried for her. He gently pulled her over to him and held her gently.
"You think I don't remember!?" Melisande cried out "All the time you spent with her!........I would watch you when you thought I wasn’t looking I saw you they way you held her...... You didn’t even know I was standing there watching the both of you....and you held her so gently........I could see the love you held for her ...how much you loved her."
Creighton quietly held her as Melisande was now hysterically crying to the point where she was having hard time breathing. Creighton just held her quieting her for several minutes as she calmed herself
Creighton chuckled to himself
"You remember there was a time I was afraid to go near her?"
"You....were....so nervous...around her..." Melisande Said
"You remember what you told me when you found out what I did that first time?" Creighton asked
She held him tighter and sniffed
"How can a man who can design intricate systems for a Starship not be able to figure out a simple Diaper?" Creighton said
There was a moment or two of silence and he could tell that she was laughing a little as she looked up at him her eyes red and puffy.
"You got served by those diapers." Melisande said "You always put them on her crooked I would stand there after you finished and she would look at me as if she knew it was wrong."
"How about when I kept putting her shoes on the wrong feet?" Creighton asked
"Oh you drove me crazy with that!" Melisande said as they both laughed.
"I still have the videos of her that you shot of her when I was trying to teach her how to ride the bike....I would watch them in my office at Area 51."
"Do you still watch them?" She asked
"All the time." he said
"Even the one of her prom night?"
"The one where I was in the Tree with the Phaser rifle?" he asked
She laughed aloud.
"I think that's when Vaught decided he wanted to be a Marine." She said
"Vaught.....You remember how instantly attached to him she was when he was born? Creighton said ....."She was already twenty with her own life ahead of her....and I remember when she saw him for the first time and he suddenly just smiled at her......She always wanted to take care of him.....he was in that swing as she would play that piano for him and he just watched her...When ever she walked into a room where he was he just became so...... happy to see her."
"Thank god she was there when we were taken by the Cardassians." Melisande said "Then we broke out and hid on Calix IV for years....she became his mother."
"Trelania…….That was our daughter Millie……our oldest child……how could we let her go?” “She protected her brother like a son….That’s probably why Vaught was so damn protective of Selar when she was growing up…..Those are our memories of her Millie…..and I refuse to act like they didn’t happen!”
"Is that why you draw her?" Melisande asked
"You went all the way to the bottom?" He said
"Creighton I’m sorry." she said as he held her again
“Did I hurt you?” Creighton asked not realizing the extent of her anger when she shook her
"You never have." She said
Creighton wiped the tears from her eyes. She sighed heavily and stood up straightened her shirt then sat back down and grasped Creighton's hands.
“You and Vaught always blamed yourselves for Trelaina’s death,” Melisande said. “You, because you couldn’t be there and Vaught because he felt he wasn’t powerful enough with the Force to save her…We were at war with Cardasia, We were taken prisoner, Vaught was all of three years old! She sacrificed her life so that he could get away…..I didn’t forget about her Craig… I didn’t want you two to consume yourselves over it. Then Selar's parents were killed and she joined our family and I had to let Trelaina go....... If I her own mother can do that in the name of God why can’t you?”
Creighton looked at her thoughtfully.
"You really want in on this?” Creighton said
“Yes.” she said.
“We go the whole Nine innings,” Creighton said.
She chuckled to herself.
"You said that twice to me today." Melisande said "the last time you said that is when you proposed to me almost 400 years ago.” Melisande said. “I said yes and I meant it then and I meant it now.”
She stopped talking and looked out the window
"Say where are we?" Melisande said
"Argentina," Creighton "Probably a farmer’s field someplace."
"A farmers field?!" Melisande said "Isn't that dangerous?"
"Only if I land on a cow." Creighton said.
“Creighton!” She said
“Who would know to look for us here?”
She didn’t respond just looked out the window
“ Ok.” He said As he started the engines again “Buckle you seatbelts and make sure you're arms and legs are in at all times.” Creighton said as the Runabout Lifted off as Creighton put the small ship into a steep climb.
When they reached the ship and landed on the Missouri‘s extensive hanger deck. And as soon as they stepped off the runabout. She immediately was not used to seeing her husband this way. When he was at home he always seemed absent minded his voice barely went above a whisper. . During their Visits with Demona she always had the impression that he was regarded as the mad scientist of Starfleet earning the Nickname “Doc Brown.” Which came from an old time traveling story told in the 20th century. It was very rare that she had ever seen him in action. Even though that she many times met him at his office for lunch or dinner, and she rarely had any interest in what project she was working on for Starfleet for it was all too technical. She found a new respect for her Husband for one.
Walking through the enormous vessel which he alone designed. (Usually it takes several teams to design and build a starship.) and 2. The way everyone treated him on board. She wasn’t used to having people stop instantly what they were doing and snap to attention whenever he walked into a room while giving her a tour of the ship.
She saw Creighton take it all in stride but she had noticed a level of confidence she hadn’t seen in her husband through their long marriage.
But during the tour when some officer was explaining to her what a particular component did her eyes met Creighton’s to her relief she had found the same old Creighton was still there.
Much to her relief.
“Admiral on the Bridge!” came Picard's Voice as soon as the Turbolift doors opened as she saw everyone stand up from their stations at full attention.
Creighton suppressed to laugh as Melisande jumped.
“Relax people.” Creighton said, “Captain Picard, we keep doing this our crew is going to be pulling hamstrings although appreciated lets stow the formalities for the duration of the trip.”
“Very good Admiral,” Picard said
Creighton motioned Melisande to the Command Chair where he sat she stood next to him as he Motioned to Picard to the other side of the command chair, where then Creighton pressed a button and like an elevator the command chair platform raised up where an oval shaped door on the ceiling opened revealing a 360 solid window view. Creighton pressed a button on the command chair as line with Inferno the windows went Opaque. Displays now filled the windows. Picard and Melisande looked with interest.
“Here’s our position.” Creighton said softly to as he pointed towards the screen. “That’s where Telezart was and that’s the position of the Inter-dimensional Rift.”
He than pointed to the lower left of the opaque window
“Calix IV.” Melisande said
“That I assume is our starting point.” Picard said
“Good a place as any.” Creighton said “So here’s what we know.”
“Admiral Neaycheav knew for some time that the Tholians had the planet, but they couldn’t get past my lab’s defenses.” Creighton said
“I thought you’re son was sent in to get Inferno out.” Picard said
“As an after thought I don’t think that’s the case.” Creighton said
“He was Sent There.” Melisande said
"They wanted me to think that." Creighton said "I was under the impression that the base and the two Prototypes were destroyed." "I think something got lost in the shuffle all those years ago. Once the Tholians were reported on Calix someone got nervous, I think Neyacheav sent Vaught there to wipe out all the Tholians and secure the base only, I think at that point he should have been extracted, that would have been the end of it I think." Creighton said
"Enter the White Comet." Picard said
"When Vaught secured the base Neaycheav told him about the comet. She may have asked him to see if there was anything flyable in the hanger. He saw that the stasis field was probobly undisturbed which was protecting those ships from age and wear, there were only two prototypes airframes available to him, Inferno and the Valkyrie."
“What makes you think that?” Melasinde said
“I was already on my way to Starfleet Headquarters after I received that message from Star, about her mother, I didn’t tell anyone I was on my way, but when I got there it was if they were wanting to talk to me. I wasn't there for five minutes when Neaycheav started grilling me about Inferno……I checked the sensor logs the Comet was being tracked on Long range Scans and disappeared into the dimensional rift Just as I was making my final approach to Starfleet headquarters.”
“So whatever transpired had just occurred when you arrived.” Melisande said
“And Inferno was heavier equipped.” Picard said “But he would have to know what he was looking for.”
“Well maybe he did.” Creighton said “Maybe he was there on a past mission that we don’t know about….but the point being everything was going fine then that comet goes through the Rift and everything goes wacko....I went through this who scenario with Destine her reaction was proof enough for me but it also proves that she's not in total control of the situation. That's where we come in were going to coordinate with the Enterprise while we conduct our investigation."
"It sounds like the Enterprise needs to investigate why the Enterprise is even at Iscandar." Melisande said
Creighton tapped some Keys as another display came up.
“When the Enterprise entered that Dimension she deployed some long range sensor probes..” Creighton said “Using those probes I was able to pull up some information.”
Creighton tapped some more keys
“Millie you were right saying that Vaught knew that something was wrong right away. This is inferno’s Computer Log. As he pointed to the display. You see here he’s accessing the navigational Database. When I accessed it I found that with the exception of the Sol system. Nothing is identical to our universe Stars constellations planets, there all different.”
“There are no duplicate worlds in that universe?” Picard said
“None and the Earth in that universe from the year 2000 on has a totally different history.” Creighton said
Melisande and Picard pondered the images.
“Still nothing for us to explore except for one thing.” Creighton said tapping keys once more.
“At Stardate 334.16 Vaught is on an approach orbit to their Earth…..then a Power Surge is detected being directed towards the Capital city and according to Inferno's flight computer Vaught swings her around and activates all her weapons systems.”
Picard looked at the display “It looks like once he establishes that there isn't a threat he continues for a landing…..on this small island off the coast of Florida.”
“I think that was of interest to him since those chain of islands haven't exited on our Earth since the Xindi probe destroyed them.”
“There is a watch that I made that control’s Inferno’s functions So you could access the computer even fly it if you had to.” “He tries to make mission logs but he isn't very good at that and when you read through them you can tell that he gets frustrated but at stardate 338.17 he starts making references to a transmission that was received by the Defense command. They cant make out the Language however Vaught is able to, and not long after he translates those messages and their Data is brought to their Defense Council it's right after that meeting; Vaught remotely flies Inferno using the wrist device, from the Florida island To their Capital city in this case is roughly around where Tokyo is located on our earth…within 24 hours of that Inferno shoots down a fighter and Destroys a Defense Satellite in order to assist Mutineers commandeering a Starship.”
“The question is why?” Picard said
“Everything points to that message that was received.” Creighton said “The crew of that ship determined that it was some sort of threat and the only person who could tell them that was….
“Vaught.” Melisande said “Because the message was spoken in Telezar.”
“Bravo.” Creighton said “I was able to track down the message and when I played it…..
Creighton tapped some more keys as the message played throughout the room although it was broken Melisnades eyes widened as she looked at Creighton
“Trelania!” Melisande gasped.
Picard looked at the display “I don’t want to dash you're hopes however the odds are….”
“Unlikely.” Creighton said “I analyzed the transmission and it was sent using a subspace frequency from a duo band subspace wave amplifier.”
There was silence.
“I designed the duo band subspace wave amplifier,” Creighton said “Which didn’t make any sense so I was able to trace the signal back to it’s point of origin….”
“And this was located in their universe?” Picard said
“So why out of 2,000 Federation planets Telezart is the only identical one in this universe?” Creighton said
“There could be many explanations.” Picard said
“You’re right there could.” Creighton said “But try this reasoning and if either of you are not convinced I’ll scrub the whole mission.”
They were silent as Creighton leaned back in the command chair and looked up at the celling.
“This next question is for my wife.” Creighton said “Who do we know that are really into comets?”
“Well that’s simple.” Melisande said without even having to think. “That Whole Nutcase royal family from Orion who had control in the syndicate…..Zordar.”
Creighton didn’t say anything as Melisande looked at the display showing the position and speed of the comet.
“Trelania told me about one of the Princes from that same family attended the same university as she did…..and they weren't fond of each other they were constantly squaring…………..
“Wait for it.” Creighton said
…..”off.” Melisande finished and looked at him.
Creighton straightened in the command chair
"Admiral." Picard asked "Did Trelania possess the same power as Vaught?"
"Yes." Melisande said "Nokkar felt she had greater power but Vaught had greater focus."
"What are you leading to J-L?" Creighton asked
"Lets assume for a moment that all of this is what we think it is." Picard said "It would only be a matter of time that you're son be identified and if the person on the planet is indeed you're daughter then they will surely know before they do." Picard said
“Our mission is to contact the EDF in this universe and open relations with them." Creighton said "That is the mission we are proceeding on. What you need to know is I am also going to be watching the Telezart situation closely. I’m leaving this in Vaught’s hands but what you need to know, is that if anything goes wrong at any level I’m going to respond with Total Disaster.”
The words chilled Melisande as she looked at Creighton his eyes never left Picard's. Creighton could see that he was thinking about what he said
“That’s why you rushed the launch of the ship.” Picard said “Because if it was needed you would go all out….and with this ship and you’re tactical experience it would be a combination that no one could stop.”
“Tactical experience?” Melisande said “Creighton couldn’t real in a fish.”
“I know he likes to keep a low profile but you’re Husband is one of the greatest battlefield tactician’s in the history of Starfleet. That’s how he creates these designs from battlefield experience. “
“Ok thank you.” Creighton said “I’m very good at getting into my own trouble I don’t need you're help.”
“That was my way of protesting you're motivations for this mission aside from that you may count on my full support.”
“Thank You.” Creighton said “I think.”
“We are ready to leave orbit Admiral at you're leisure.” Picard said
“Course 445 Mark 8…..The inter dimensional rift….Tell the chief to fluctuate between warp four and warp 6 rotating every forty five minutes that will break the engines in…Start the Wave motion Engine before going to warp.”
“Very good Admiral.” Picard said. Knowing that Melisande would want to talk to Creighton alone for a moment he used a ladder on the opposite side of the room. As Creighton looked at his wife. She walked over to him looked at him for a moment then and rubbed the side of his gray hair gently.
“What if Telezart was destroyed by one of their own illegal Subspace weapons? And all this something else?” Melisande said.
“I don’t think so Millie” Creighton said
She knelt down next to him and clasped his hands
“I know you’re sure, and I know that you’ve done all the calculations I understood what you showed me….and I realized that you spent a lot of long nights going over all of that data….I’m sure Vaught did too…..because he is like his father….a good man….but even if you find her it’s not going to eradicate the last forty years….Vaught only has a child’s interpretation of her and If she is alive she would only remember him as a child.”
“So what are you suggesting that I not even look?” Creighton asked
“Creighton……” She bent her head down the sighed heavily. Then looked back at him.
“I don’t even know what to suggest.” She said as she felt the Missouri power up her engines.
“You’re blaming yourself for something you weren’t guilty of.” Melisande said “I could see if you had acted irresponsibility during those times there would be some reason to be mad at you….but it wasn’t…..Remember when Dr Saverious first created us?.....you couldn’t even talk you were in a mindless rage all the time, but I saw something in you so did Thomas and Demona "It took time but you transformed from this mindless raging being to brilliance in everything you do!...look……. you design Battlestar’s its what the fates had in mind for you….don’t look at it any other way because what happened couldn’t have happened any other way.”
“It’s not absolution.” Creighton said “I’m their father….and It’s not Trelaina that I’m solely worried about.”
“Vaught.” Melisande said
“You don’t know.” Creighton said “You don’t know what he’s been through.”
”Those Marines at our house regarded him as a hero.”
“There is another side to him.” Creighton said
She put her hand up
"That’s an aspect I don’t want to know.” Melisande said
“It’s an aspect that you’re going to have to find out." Creighton said "And don’t give up on Trelania. I sleep and eat weaponry…. Subspace weapons are unstable…no one ever built a subspace weapon that big, not even the Sona, unless someone has really built a star fortress the size of a world and controlled it…but, probably not, since such generators are inherently unstable. The generators could have created a wormhole and Telezart could have slipped through it! Seismic stress would have totally wiped out all population centers but considering that Telezart is hollow and that most of the atmosphere’s warmth and almost all of the cities were underground, it’s possible that there could have been survivors.”
“Any survivors would have to be very tough, Craig,” Melisande said.
“Millie,” Creighton said. “Trelaina like her brother is that tough. We thought that Vaught was Lost to the Borg at Wolf 359. He came back a hero! She could have used the Force to protect herself…. that in addition to the house it could survive in space if it had to.”
“But she didn’t have any training like Vaught,” Melisande said almost in a hopeless voice.
She was crying softly Creighton stood up and lifted her gently to her feet. And wiped the tears from her eyes.
“But she’s smart…” Creighton said. “She has to be. She’s a Corsair…Like her mother.”
“You’re smart, too!"
"Not like you."
"Now that's true." Melisande said looking around the tactical area as she looked out the window seeing that the ship had gone into warp for the first time.
"You're not smart like us... you're Smarter than all of us!”
Next Chapter: “PATTERNS OF THE FORCE…”
To Return to the Introduction to Starfighter: The Iconoclast, click here