Kira was walking through the ship's corridors. He was on his way back from engineering with a report for the Captain on the new armour technology that the *Ronin* was secretly equipped with.
"Psst... Kira...." called Nige from inside a doorway. Kira looked around and followed Nige into the hydroponics bay.
"What's going on?" asked Kira quizzically. "What on Earth are you doing in the hydroponics bay??"
"Kira, I need your help. I have a way to defeat the Kelvans!"
"What kind of joke are you playing, Tyran. There is no way!"
"Yes, yes there is, and all it needs is you, me, and two others to disobey a few orders and we can prove to Evans and Pike that running away and wasting time is *not* the answer!"
"Tyran, do you have any idea, what you're suggesting...? To the ship's first officer?? How do you know I'm not going to go straight to the Captain and tell him about all this?"
"Because I know you Kira.... You've disobeyed orders with me before when it was necessary..."
"We were in a different situation then..."
"Were we? Were we really...? You know deep down that this is exactly the same!"
"Tyran, there is no need. Benton is finding out all the Kelvans' secrets from their data core as we speak."
"Benton... hah! As if! He's one of them, Kira! Don't you see... Having a Kelvan, on the only Federation ship that is engaging them doesn't strike you as a bit odd? He's feeding them information... for all we know, he could be sending them our co-ordinates and our entire database right at this moment!"
"But Lieutenant Wang..."
"A decoy! To throw us off Benton. Kira, I need you, without you I can't do it."
"Tyran.... I've got more responsibilities now then back on the *Knight*. If I do this, I could lose my position, my rank... my commission even! So could you!"
"Don't you think it's worth the risk if we save the whole galaxy? Come on, you're a doctor. Saving lives is your job."
Kira sighed and sat down on the bench. "What do I have to do?" Tyran began to explain.
Lieutenant Tierro was in sickbay. Since Ming had become possessed, she had hardly left sickbay, and had not stopped working on a way to help him. Hancock had gone off shift and Doctor Jin wasn't around. Ciara was alone with Ming, who lay restrained on the bed. She found it hard to look at him... the glowing eyes turned her stomach. She turned to go back into the office to do some more research and walked straight into Tyran.
"Commander! You scared the life out of me."
"I'm sorry Lieutenant, I didn't mean to frighten you...." Tyran walked over toward Ming. "Any change?"
"None...," she replied sadly. "The Kelvan seems to be gaining more and more control by the hour. It won't be long before he may be gone forever," she sniffed.
Tyran stepped over and took her in his arms as she began to cry.
"I don't want to loose him...," she wept.
"Maybe we don't have to...," suggested Tyran. "I may know how to bring him out of this...."
"Are you serious??" she asked looking at him, her eyes full of hope.
"Deadly serious! What do you do if someone is infected by the Ithelian Flu?"
"Well, we administer treatment, and kill off the virus...."
"Well, let's imagine Ming has the flu.... How would we cure him...?"
"... Kill the Kelvan! But how?"
"You leave that to me. I need you to help me and the rest of our team, kill the Kelvans."
"Me? How...? Why...?"
"I need you to monitor one of
us mainly as he performs his role. And also, to treat anyone who may be injured
in the process."
"And you're sure this will help Ming?"
"Well then, count me in."
"Great! Meet me in the shuttle bay in three hours. All should be ready by then."
Outside the cockpit of the *Pendragon*, Kelvan fighters screamed past. The ship was rocking violently, but the pilot expertly dodged their attacks and was giving them a run for their money. The Federation pulse cannons were making short work of their shields, and mince meat out of their hulls. If only the real things were as easy to destroy...
The pilot was interrupted as the holodeck doors hissed open behind.
"Computer, freeze program," said Tyran as he came in and took a seat. "Looks like you missed your call as a fighter pilot. Those were some pretty nifty maneuvers,"
"I used to race ships like this when I was younger. I could turn one of these babies round a tribble."
"Then you're just the person I'm looking for, for a secret mission."
"Yes, this comes straight from the Admiral himself. Not even Captain Evans knows. We can no longer trust Lieutenant Benton. We've reason to believe he is working with the Kelvans. We can't risk letting him find out about this, so only the Admiral and the people involved know."
"Who are the others?"
"I can't say until we are all together in the shuttle bay.... Security reasons."
"Great, but why me? Why not Lieutenant McMillan?"
"Because I suggested you. It can't be much fun for you living in her shadows all the time. I convinced the Admiral to let you have a shot at this mission. The mission that could save our galaxy. Think about it... You could get a promotion for this, you'd be forever remembered in Starfleet history as a Hero... think about it... 'Ensign Danielle Holmes flew the ship that defeated the Kelvans'."
"I admit... *Lieutenant* Holmes sounds good."
"Hey, why stop there? This type of thing, they bump you right up to Lieutenant Commander!"
"Are you serious?"
"As serious as a Vulcan priest."
"Great! When do we leave?"
"Two hours -- meet me in the shuttle bay. Remember, tell no one!"
As Tyran walked toward the shuttle bay, his mind wandered back to the last time he fought Kelvans. When he was alone on the runabout and fought one hand to hand, when he was on the away mission to the Kelvan moon, and the sight of the Kelvans... This was the most reckless and dangerous thing he had ever done, and he was now risking the lives of his best friend and two young officers who had their whole lives ahead of them.
The shuttle bay doors slid open, and there was the *Pendragon* sitting before him, his crew already awaiting him... Holmes, Tierro and Kira. He walked toward them, not knowing what to say. He stood before them for a moment and looked them over.
"Let's get on with it," he said, leading the way aboard the *Pendragon*.
When they got onboard, Tyran took the tactical station, Kira sat at ops and Holmes made her way down toward the helm. Tierro sat behind Kira.
"Miss Holmes, fire up the engines. I'm opening the bay door now." said Tyran. As the doors opened alarms began going off. "Don't worry about those alarms, Ensign. It's all part of the plan."
"What plan?" whispered Kira.
Tyran put his fingers to his lips and turned his attention back to his station.
"We've cleared the *Ronin*" announced Holmes.
[*Pendragon*, this is *Ronin*. Return immediately.]
Holmes looked around waiting for someone to answer.
[*Pendragon* come in!] Evans demanded.
Tyran cut the comm channel. "Holmes, set a course for the Battle Planets, warp 3."
The *Pendragon* was quiet for a long while. No one said a word, until Dani decided to break the silence.
"Commander, this mission wasn't authorized by the Admiral, was it?"
"No, Ensign, I'm afraid not." replied Tyran.
"So there will be no promotion, no fame, no chance of going down in history?"
"If we come out of this alive, we'll probably all be court-martialed."
"*If* we come out of this alive?" she asked.
"You didn't tell me there was as big a risk as this involved!" said Tierro.
"Look, I'm sorry I lied to you Dani, but I needed you, each one of us on this mission is critical to it's success, and if we all focus, we'll get out of it alive. I've seen your piloting skills, I have no doubt you will perform fine. Let the rest of us do the rest of the work."
"Tyran, Don't you think it's time you told us what we are all going to do?" suggested Kira.
"Of course." He replied. "Firstly, you Kira. As you can probably guess, you'll be our shields. The *Pendragon* has refractive shielding, so we shouldn't be picked up on sensors. If we should be, then you'll pump up the shields then. Not before. When we beam into the Kelvan control centre...."
"Wait a minute! We're going down there??" stammered Ciara.
"Don't worry, I've been on these things before, I know exactly what I'm doing" answered Tyran. "Kira, when we're down there, you'll provide me with a shield while I work."
"Work on what?"
"I'll get to that. Ciara, while Kira is doing this, I want you to be continually monitoring him. If he seems to be weakening or if he collapses, we will have to abort and get the hell out of there as fast as we can."
"What about me?" asked Holmes.
"You will stay aboard the *Pendragon*. As soon as we're done, you'll beam us up and get us away from here." Tyran could see the doubt on their faces. "Don't worry, this will work," he said. Although he could see his attempt to boost their confidence wasn't having much effect.