Deep under the northern pole of the lead Kelvan Battle Planet in the cavernous command complex, Fleet Admiral Dernom of the Second Kelvan Empire lay sprawled in his command pit. His baleful yellow eye glared angrily at the primary display grid suspended before him. Things were not going as planned.
For starters, the entire Kelvan Armada was having to navigate around a particularly large and dense nebula. While the thousand or so Battle Planets would not have been overly affected by a trip through the gas cloud, the millions of Agricultural Planets, Water Planets and Habitat Planets, and to a lesser degree the Industry Planets and Raw Material Planets, would not have survived.
A swarm of yellow blips on Dernom's tactical display emerged from the fuzzy zone representing the Briar Patch Nebula, as the humans called it; each blip representing another human starship. A few tentacle flicks on the control surface, and a swarm of red blips -- hundred times as numerous as the yellow ones -- appeared on the display, each of these representing a Kelvan fighter craft.
Normally, the Kelvan fighters should have been more than a match for anything the pathetic lifeforms in this galaxy could muster, except for the *Others*, of course, except that these tiny *Federation* starships were using some sort of temporal technology never encountered before.
Fleet Admiral Dernom watched as the yellow and red blips drew ever closer together and finally merged into a single, swirling mass. His tentacles began twitching in agitation, and his baleful yellow eye burned more and more fiercely with rage as, one by one, the red blips began winking out. This encounter was evolving just like most of the previous ones had: the Federation resistance swarmed out of the Nebula, engaged the Kelvan forces, and quickly retreated back into their protective nebula once victorious.
Anger and frustration growing, Dernom watched as the last red blip was snuffed out. A horrible keening howl erupted from him and echoed to the cavern's vaulted ceiling far above. The Kelvan underlings working around the chamber busied themselves with their duties, trying their hardest to not get noticed by their enraged superior just now.
*Intolerable!* thought Dernom fiercely. *That these insignificant vermin could defeat the mighty Kelvan Empire time and again was... INCONCEIVABLE!* Slowly, Dernom calmed himself -- the time he'd spent in human form had given him an appreciation for human emotions, but his behavior was no doubt incomprehensible to his underlings.
He twitched a few more tentacles across the controls and the tactical readout changed to show this entire section of the Galaxy. As he contemplated the new display, an evil rumble grew within him, a rumble that would never have been mistaken for a laugh, but which was his version of a laugh nevertheless.
*The pitiful humans may think they're safe from our Battle Planets inside the nebula, but while they're hiding and carryout out their guerrilla raids, our mighty fleet will obliterate their homeworlds! And then we'll be able to come back and take our time with them.*
Admiral Pike tugged on his field jacket and zipped it up half way. Yeoman Piper placed his phaser pistol into his outstretched palm, and he snapped it securely into its holster.
Piper took a step back and appraised him critically. Seeing nothing amiss, she smiled and said, "Good luck, sir."
"Thank you, yeoman," replied Pike.
"I just wish I was coming with you."
"No you don't," corrected Pike. "If this crazy plan works, our next stop is the year 500,000 BC, and 4.4 million lightyears from here in the Maffei Galaxy, so we can stop the domino effect of galactic destruction the Kelvans started." He placed a fatherly hand on Jamie's shoulder and said, more softly, "Don't worry. We'll be back before you know it."
With that, he turned and walked out of his quarters, headed for the shuttle bay. Jamie Piper stood a while, staring at the closed door, wondering if she'd ever see him again.