Sunday, 16 January 1994

The Empire Saga Chapter Five

    Since the Galactic Empire took control of Deep Space Nine the interim government on Bajor had been very quiet, mainly because they feared an attack on the planet itself from the Empire. But when no attack was forthcoming they decided to act. From the surface five small Bajoran vessels were launched. Each had very minimal armaments. What they hoped to achieve only they knew.

    Aboard DS9 in Operations they soon picked up the Bajoran vessels.
    “Are they insane?” said Tarkin. “What do they hope to achieve?”
    “Bajorans are proud people.” said Vader. “It is only recently that the Cardassians have vacated this system. They probably fear that we will soon occupy this system.”
    “Then they are correct.” said Tarkin. “Open a hailing frequency to the Star Destroyer.”
    The communications channel was opened to the Star Destroyer.
    “Charge all of your weapons.” Tarkin ordered. “Target the Bajoran vessels. Take no prisoners. We must set an example to the people of Bajor. They must not stand in the way of the Empire!”
    The Bajoran vessels neared DS9. Suddenly they opened fire on the mighty Star Destroyer. The Destroyer shuddered, and because it was attached to the station the station also shuddered with the impact.
    “What is taking them so long?” said Tarkin. “Why haven’t they destroyed those useless vessels?”
    Suddenly two blasts ripped into two of the Bajoran vessels. A few seconds later they exploded. The other three were soon taken care of also. From her science station in Ops Dax watched helplessly. As soon as the vessels were destroyed Tarkin walked up the steps near the turbo life. He then turned around and looked at Vader.
    “Lord Vader, send a message to the Bajoran government.” he said. “Tell them that if they send another attack force we will destroy this station and all aboard it!”
    Tarkin then walked onto the turbo life and left Operations.

    Commander Data sat in his quarters aboard the Enterprise. He was seated at his computer terminal. He had altered the instruments on this terminal so it could operate at a might higher speed, a speed more suited to him. After Major Kira had beamed aboard the Valkyrie he had been asked by Picard and Watt to see if it was possible to tae the Empire’s Death Star through the Bajoran wormhole. As he was busy studying the files on the Death Star his door buzzer went.
    “Come in.” he said.
    The door opened and Commander Sutek entered.
    “Ah, Mr. Sutek.” said Data. “Your assistance here is most appreciated.”
    Sutek sat himself on the other side of Data’s desk.
    “Tell me, Commander.” said Sutek. “What have you found out so far?”
    “The only information we have on file is mainly hearsay and second hand reports. They mainly say that the Death Star is roughly the size of a small planet, it has the weapons capability of fifty starships, and it has a massive propulsion system.”
    “It is indeed a mighty weapon. If such a vessel were to travel to the Alpha Quadrant it would pose a greater threat than the Borg.”
    Data looked down at his computer screen.
    “I am just receiving the information on the Bajoran wormhole from Starfleet Command.” he said. “Fascinating. The molecular structure of the wormhole is very intriguing.”
    Sutek walked over to the other terminal in the room.
    “What is the largest vessel to ever pass through the wormhole?” Sutek asked.
    “The records show that the largest vessel to pass through it is a Klingon freighter, slightly smaller than a Galaxy-class starship.”
    Sutek fed some information into the computer.
    “Seeing as we have very little information on the Death Star on file we must…improvise. For instance, let us say that the Death Star’s maximum speed is warp nine, the same as a starship. Now, for a vessel of that size it would need approximately ten warp engines to move at that speed.”
    “Agreed.” said Data.
    “Add to that the weapons power needed to destroy an entire planet.” said Sutek. “And we have…”
    Sutek stopped when he saw the information on screen.
    “Commander Data, will you please verify the information I have just found?” he said. “This information is most…shocking.”
    Data fed some information into his terminal. When he had finished he looked up at Sutek.
    “Your analysis is confirmed Mr. Sutek.”
    “We had better see Captain Picard and Captain Watt.”
    In the Observation Lounge of the Enterprise Picard, Watt, Magus and Ambassador Watt sat at the table. Data stood next to the view screen.
    “The information Commander Sutek and I have discovered is very grim.” said Data. “As we did not have much information on file we had to improvise somewhat. What we discovered that if a vessel the size and power of the Death Star tried to enter the Bajoran wormhole it could destroy the entire Bajoran system, and possibly take out three surrounding systems.”
    “How reliable is this information?” asked the Ambassador. “I’m not much of a scientist but I need to know if this analysis is up to spec.”
    “I have learned to trust Commander Data’s analysis implicitly.” said Picard. “And I’m sure Captain Watt can vouch for Commander Sutek.”
    “I can, and will.” said Watt. “This puts a whole new angle on things. We not only have to save DS9 but possibly the whole Bajoran system as well.”

    Dax continued to work at her science station in Operations. It had been almost ten hours since she had been brought back to her station by Grand Moff Tarkin and asked to find a safe way of bringing the Death Star through the wormhole. Unlike Data and Sutek she had more information to work with. She worked harder than she had done before. Then, her findings were complete. Her facial expression changed to that of shock. The Storm Trooper assigned to watch her as she worked indicated to Vader that her work was complete. Vader approached the science station.
    “What have you found?” he boomed.
    “You’re not going to like it.” said Dax. “I’ve studied all of the variables three times over, and there just isn’t a safe way you can bring your Death Star through the wormhole. If you try you could destroy the entire Bajoran system!”
    “Not good enough!” Vader shouted. “You must find a way!”
    “The wormhole has never taken anything the size of a planet before.” said Dax. “The molecular structure of the wormhole will become unstable and it will create a massive energy surge which could cause the wormhole to explode, and when it does it will take Bajor, the entire system, and us with it. To try and bring that thing through would be suicide!”
    “You will run your analysis again, Lieutenant.” said Vader. “And you will find a way of bringing the Death Star into the Alpha Quadrant.”
    “There is only one way to get it here.” said Dax. “And that’s the long way round!”

    Meanwhile some semblance of normality had returned to the Promenade. Although there was a heavy presence of Storm Troopers many of the civilians tried to go about their every day lives. This soon stopped however when the imposing figure of Darth Vader strode through. His destination was Quark’s bar. As soon as he entered there was complete silence. Quark looked very uneasy when Vader entered. Vader stood in the doorway looking around. He was in search of Grand Moff Tarkin, but he was not in the bar. Vader turned to leave, but before he could Quark scurried up to him.
    “Lord Vader, may I have a moment of your time?”
    Vader turned round and looked down at Quark Compared to Vader Quark looked like a midget.
    “What is it you want?” Vader boomed.
    “I would like to thank you for not imprisoning me with the military personnel of this station.”
    “You are not considered a threat by us. You are useful in that you can provide refreshment to our troops.”
    “I know, but I was wondering…when will I be paid for all of this? Your troops are clearing me out!”
    Vader leaned forward slightly. Quark cowered.
    “You should be thankful that I have let you live as long as you have, Ferengi.”
    “I can be of much use to you if you let me live.”
    “How?”
    “I have many contacts in this and the surrounding systems. I can get almost anything you want!”
    “At this moment in time all the Empire desires is control of your Quadrant!”
    Vader turned once again to leave.
    “I am sure my people will help you, for a price.”
    Vader once again turned to face Quark.
    “How can you…or your people, help us?”
    “By giving you some plans to parts of this Quadrant.” said Quark. “And I also happen to know that you are having trouble getting in parts of this station’s computer. I have something that may be able to help you there.”
    “What?”
    “I will only see your commanding officer, that Tarkin man. I will speak only to him.”
    Although his face was covered by his mask Quark could tell that Vader was annoyed.
    “Very well. I will inform Grand Moff Tarkin of your proposal.”

    Ambassadors Watt and Magus sat at a table in Ten Forward, aboard the Enterprise. From a distance the hostess of Ten Forward, Guinan, watched them. They appeared deep in conversation. It was while she watched that Guinan sensed something was wrong with Watt and Magus. She sensed that something was not quite right. Then she leaned down behind the bar and took out a small bottle which was full of green liquid. She walked over to the table Watt and Magus were sitting at.
    “May I join you?” she asked.
    Watt and Magus got up from their seats.
    “Certainly.” said Watt.
    “I’m sorry I haven’t been able to see you sooner, Guinan.” said Magus. “What with this Empire thing I’ve been rather busy.”
    “It’s about that I want to talk to you about.” said Guinan. “I sense something wrong, wrong with the information we’ve received.”
    “What do you mean?” asked Watt.
    “I don’t quite know.” replied Guinan. “I’ve sensed it for a day or so now. I don’t know what you told Picard but it seems to me that you’re holding back on some of the information, as if there’s a lot more, as if you know how all of this is going to turn out.”
    Watt got up from his seat.
    “We have told all that we know.” he said. “If there is any more to tell then it would be top secret, and as you do not have security clearance you wouldn’t be told anyway. Now, if you’ll excuse me I have some work to do.”
    Watt walked away from the table and left Ten Forward. After Watt had left Guinan turned to Magus.
    “It is not wise to insult the next Federation President.” said Magus.
    “But you now I’m right Magus.” said Guinan. “You are holding back on something.”
    Magus leaned forward on the table and stared straight into Guinan’s eyes.
    “I’ve known you for over four hundred years, Guinan.” he said. “I trust you implicitly, but this time I must ask you to trust me. You must not mention this conversation to anyone, not even Picard or Captain Watt. If I were to tell you anything, anything about what you suspect, then I would be breaking the most supreme law.”
    “You mean the Prime Directive?”
    “No. I mean the Laws of Time!”
    Then Magus’ communicator was activated.
    “Picard to Magus.”
    “Magus here, Captain.”
    “Can you join us in the Observation Lounge, Ambassador? It appears that Major Kira has a plan she wishes to discuss with us.”
    “Understood Captain. I’m on my way.”
    Magus got up from his seat. Before he walked away he looked a Guinan.
    “Remember, do not mention this to anyone else!”

    Dax could find no answer to Vader’s problem. She could see no way possible of bringing the Death Star safely through the wormhole. Because of this she was removed from her science station in Operations and taken back to her cell. Two Storm Troopers escorted her through the Promenade towards the detention wing. From inside the wing Sisko heard their footsteps. Then, the Storm Troopers were at the entrance, and Sisko could see they were bringing Dax back. Then a plan began to form in his mind. He tapped on the wall of his cell.
    “Odo, are you there?” he whispered.
    “Yes Commander.”
    “These small grates in the cell walls.” said Sisko. “Would it be possible for you to go through them in your liquid form?”
    “I am only a few hours away from my re-generative period. I may not be able to reassume humanoid form.”
    “You may be the only chance we have of getting out of here. Chief O’Brien, when Dax is brought back you distract the Troopers. Odo, you go through the grate into Dax’s cell and try to slip out once the force field is down.”
    “Understood, Commander.”
    The Storm Troopers and Dax were now in view. O’Brien stood at the front of the cell which contained Odo and himself.
    “Over here!” he called.
    It was then that Odo reverted to his liquid form, and while O’Brien kept the Troopers distracted he managed to make it through into Dax’s cell.
    “I’m feeling a bit ill.” said O’Brien. “Would it be possible for you to take me to see Dr. Bashir?”
    “You look fine to me.” said one of the Troopers. “Your request is denied. You put her in the cell.”
    The other Trooper led Dax to her call. He failed to notice the pile of white linen lying outside the cell. After Dax was in her cell he joined the other trooper. He peered into O’Brien’s cell.
    “Wasn’t there someone else in the cell with you?” he said. “That odd looking one.”
    “I’ve been here alone all along.” said O’Brien.
    The Trooper shook his head.
    “Could have sworn there were two in that cell.”
    The Troopers left the detention win. As soon as they were out of sight Odo reverted to his humanoid form.
    “Now to release you.” he said.
    “No.” said Sisko. “A mass breakout is the last thing we need right now. You must find a way of either contacting Bajor or Starfleet Command. By now a small force should be on the way here. They need to know what they’re up against. You must find a way Constable.”
    “I understand, Commander. Afterwards I will come back for you.”
    Odo slowly walked out of the detention win. At the entrance there were two Storm Troopers standing guard. By reverting back to his liquid form he managed to slip past them. He now stood in the Promenade, near Quark’s.  Carefully he peered inside. He could not believe what he saw. Stood at the bar was the imposing figure of Darth Vader, and on the opposite side of the bar to Vader was Quark. Quark appeared to be very happy. A broad smile was on face. In Quark’s hand was a computer clearance card. Odo recognised it as being a top security card. Odo knew that Quark could be a sneaky little so and so, but he never new he would try to help the likes of the Galactic Empire. Odo continued to watch the happenings in the bar when suddenly he felt a hand on his shoulder. He turned round and saw Grand Moff Tarkin standing behind him.
    “I had a feeling it would be you who would try to escape.” he said.
    Tarkin signalled to Vader, and Vader left the bar.
    “I want you to escort him back to the detention win.” said Tarkin. “And double the security there. I don’t want any more escape attempts.”
    Vader started to lead Odo away, and then he stopped. He then handed Tarkin the computer card.
    “What is this?” asked Tarkin.
    “I managed to get it off the Ferengi.” said Vader. “It will give you clearance to the most sensitive areas of the station’s compute. Now we will be able to copy some of their technology and add it to the Death Star.”
    “You have done well, Vader.” said Tarkin. “Did you promise the Ferengi anything?”
    “I did.” said Vader. “But I will not keep the promise.”
    Tarkin smiled.
    “Well done, Vader.”
    Tarkin then walked in the direction of Operations. As Vader led Odo back to the detention win a smile appeared on his face.
    “It’s about time that weasel Quark got his comeuppance!”