The airlock doors slid open and Ryan stepped out onto SB-901. As was usual for a captain coming aboard, a welcoming committee had been arranged and was awaiting him.
"Captain Evans, I am Captain Mallory, welcome to Starbase 901." she said shaking Ryan's hand.
"It's nice to be here at last, Captain. We've had a long trip."
"One which I'm sure I'll be hearing about soon," she replied. "This is my first officer, Commander Loran," she began. "Commander Nadira, Intelligence; Chief of Operations, Ensign Razek; and Chief Science Officer Paul Deveraux."
"May I introduce Commander Kira, my First Officer; Commander Tyran, Chief Tactical Officer; and of course Admiral Pike."
The officers exchanged handshakes as Captain Mallory approached Ryan. "Commander Loran will sort out some repair crews for the *Ronin* straight away. As for you, I believe we all have something to talk about."
The four *Ronin* officers followed the Captain, who were in turn followed by her crew. She led them to her ready room where Evans, Pike, Kira and Tyran explained all the events of the past few months. During the meeting, Pike had called his faithful assistant Jamie Piper and Benton. They arrived with some data chips. These were placed into the Captain's computer console and then the events of the *Knight* and the information extracting from the Kelvan data core began to play for the SB901 officers.
As the screen went blank, the room remained silent for a few seconds.
"Well...," began Captain Mallory. "...that's definitely... a lot to deal with. And I can sense that you have all had a hard time dealing with all this. We will do all we can to help."
"Do you have any ideas on how to proceed further?" asked Garek.
"Vague plans... none of which would have any lasting consequences," replied Ryan. "We're just about out of ideas."
"We have the *Arisotle*, the *Virginia*, the *Cavalier*, and the *Nova* docked here right now, with the *USS Hornet* only a few light years away. I'm sure the Captains would be happy to help out."
"Pointless and suicidal," snapped Benton.
"Excuse my officer's behavior," pleaded Pike. "What he means is, the *Ronin* had been equipped with state-of-the-art weapons, shields and special armor to combat the Kelvans. The other ships would be taken out pretty easily."
"Then there must be something else we can do. We can't just sit back and watch the Milky Way fall to the Kelvans," said Mallory hopelessly.
"There is one thing that might help... It came to me in a dream," spoke up Ryan. "Kira used time travel before... against the Kelvans. Maybe he could do it again."
"I've already spoken about this with Tyran," replied Kira. "We're talking hundreds-of-thousands of years, and billions of light years distance. I just couldn't do it."
"Then we have to come up with another option," said Mallory.
"Captain Mallory," spoke up Deveraux. "We may not 'ave to use zhe Commanderz abilitiez to send 'em back in time. 'Ave you 'ad a chance to read zhe reports on Vince Kelly?"
"Yes, yes I have. Are you suggesting that..."
"Captain Evans, I wouldn't have thought you'd have been aware of the actions of one Vince Kelly, but a few months ago, he was a very dangerous terrorist who planned to destroy this part of the Galaxy. The reports on him, particularly those files by a Lieutenant Josephine Schmidt, state that somewhere along the lines he acquired an *Iconian gateway*."
"Intelligence says it is hidden somewhere within the Briar Patch," added Nadira.
"Then if we could find it, we could use it to travel far enough back in time to fix the Kelvans' original galaxy and stop them from ever coming here, or to the Andromeda galaxy," said Pike hopefully.
"But how do we find the Iconian gateway?" asked Tyran. "The Briar Patch is huge!"
"We 'ave done extensive scans on zhe Briar Patch, Commander. Zhere are only a very limited number ov planets in zhe Patch, with only a few of zhem as viable hideouts. I shall send zhe information to your ship's computer."
"Then, with that settled, all that is left is to find it and fix the galaxy," smiled Pike.
"Captain Mallory, if we could borrow Mr. Deveraux to work with our scientists on a way to fix the Kelvans' galaxy, we would be grateful," requested Ryan.
"You may take him. And anything else you need, just ask."
"Thank you, Captain. Let's get to work," he said, standing up. "Let's be ready to go as soon as repairs are complete."