Sunday, 16 January 1994

The Empire Saga Chapter One

It was a normal routine day on station Deep Space Nine, in orbit around the planet Bajor. In Operations the commanding officer of the station, Commander Benjamin Sisko, surveyed the happenings. At the science station sat Lieutenant Dax, the female Trill, and at the engineering station sat Chief Miles O’Brien. At the main control station stood Major Kira, the Bajoran national and first officer of the station. It was then that the so-called normal routine day would change.

    “Benjamin, I’m picking up something on the sensors.” said Dax. “Something’s coming through the wormhole.”
    “Odd.” said Sisko. “Nothing is due to return from the Gamma Quadrant for the rest of this week! Put it on screen.”
    The screen came to life. The image of the Bajoran wormhole, the only stable wormhole known to exist, appeared on the screen. The opening of the wormhole opened, and a small craft could be seen exiting.
    “I’ve never seen that sort of ship before.” said Kira.
    “Open hailing frequencies.” Sisko ordered.
    A few seconds passed.
    “No answer to our hails.” said Kira. “But there are transmitting a visual message. They are requesting permission to dock.”
    “What do the scans reveal?” asked Sisko.
    “The scans show that there’s only one life form aboard.” replied O’Brien. “The engines on that thing aren’t very impressive. They only have a maximum speed of warp one.”
    Sisko paused and rubbed his chin.
    “Major, direct the vessel to docking ring five.” he said.
    Sisko activated his communicator.
    “Sisko to Odo”
    “Odo here.”
    “We have an unknown guest who is about to dock at ring five. I would be grateful if you could carry out a full security sweep of his ship.”
    “Understood. Odo out.”
    Sisko turned to Kira.
    “Can you handle this Major?” he asked. “What with this personnel revue having to be in tomorrow I’ll be too busy to handle this.”
    A short time later Kira, Constable Odo and a full security team were stood at the airlock on docking ring five. Odo was tapping the panel next to the door.
    “Scans show the vessel to be weapon less.” he said. “Only one occupant.”
    “Let him in.” said Kira.
    Odo opened the door of the airlock. When the door opened the ship’s lone occupant could be seen standing. The figure of a man, of medium height and slim build. He wore a brown robe with the hood covering his entire face except for his mouth.
    “I’m Major Kira Nerys of Deep Space Nine. This is our Chief of Security, Constable Odo.”
    The stranger raised his head slightly to acknowledge Kira’s presence. Then one of the guards carried out a body search of the stranger. When he reached his waist he stopped. From out of the stranger’s pocket he took a small cylindrical object. He handed it to Odo.
    “What is this?” he asked.
    “It is a means of defence.” the stranger replied. “Now if you don’t mind I would like to see the commanding officer of this station as soon as possible.”
    “I’m afraid that’s out of the question.” said Kira. “Commander Sisko is very busy at the moment.”
    “Very well, I will wait. Although the longer I am made to wait the sooner the danger will appear.”
    The stranger pushed past Kira and Odo.
    “What is your name?” asked Odo.
    The stranger stopped. He turned around and removed his hood, revealing his short white hair and white beard.
    “My name? I am Ben Kenobi.”
    Before he continued on his way down the corridor Kenobi approached Odo and held out his hand.
    “If you please, Constable.”
    Odo handed Kenobi his object.
    “One final thing, Mr. Kenobi.” said Kira. “Where exactly are you from?”
    “Where am I from?” asked Kenobi. “I currently make my home on Tattooine, but in answer to your question, Major, I am from many places. Now, if you do not mind, I am in need of refreshment. If I am to wait before seeing your Commander than I may as well do so on a full stomach!”
    Kenobi continued on his way down the corridor. Kira looked at Odo.
    “Tattooine.” she said. “That name sounds strangely familiar.”
    “As does the name Kenobi.” Odo added.
    “Run a full check on this Kenobi.” said Kira. “Commander Sisko would be very interested in this.

    A short time later Major Kira entered Sisko’s office. Sisko was busy studying his computer terminal. He did not look up as Kira entered.
    “How is our guest?” Sisko asked.
    “Rather odd.” Kira replied. “He wants to see you. If I hadn’t stopped him he would have marched right up here to Ops!”
    Sisko turned his attention away from his terminal.
    “Why does he want to see me?” he asked.
    “He didn’t say. He said something about danger.”
    “So where is he? Where is he from?”
    “He gave his name as Ben Kenobi, and he says he makes his home on the planet Tattooine.
    Sisko leaned forward in his chair and leaned on his desk.
    “The Tattooine system is Empire territory.”
    “The Empire?” said Kira. “What Empire?”
    “The Empire is…well, an Empire? Their territory is larger than that of the Romulans, the Cardassians and the Monstrons combined. I don’t know much about them, only that about eighteen months ago they tried to form an alliance with the Monstrons.”
    “What stopped them?”
    “Phineas Magus!”
    Sisko activated his communicator.
    “Sisko to Dax. Please report to my office.”
    A few seconds later Dax entered.
    “Lieutenant, try to establish a link with the Starfleet mainframe, and try to get as much information as you can about Tattooine and the surrounding systems. Also try to find out as much as you can about one Ben Kenobi.”
    “Odo is already doing that.” said Kira.
    “I don’t think there will be much on file.” said Dax. “Only one Federation starship has visited Tattooine, the Valkyrie.”
    “Where is the Valkyrie now?” asked Sisko.
    “On a mapping mission two systems away.” said Dax.
    “Try and get in touch with Captain Watt.” said Sisko. “As soon as you do put it through here. Major, you keep an eye on our guest.”

    Quark’s bar, on the Promenade of the station, was always a hive of activity. On this day the centre of activity seemed to be the new visitor to the station, Ben Kenobi. He sat at the bar in Quark’s, a glass of ale in his hand. Kenobi looked a worried man, like he had the weight of the station on his shoulders. At the other end of the bar the owner, Quark, stood watching him. Quark had an uneasy look on his face. As he stood watching Kenobi the station’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Julian Bashir, sat down at the bar.
    “Synthahol please, Quark.” Bashir asked.
    Quark continued to watch Kenobi.
    “Quark, I’d like a glass of synthahol please.” Bashir again asked.
    Quark shook his head.
    “My apologies, Doctor Bashir.” said Quark. “My thoughts are elsewhere. What was it you wanted?”
    Quark gave Bashir his drink. He then stood on the opposite side of the bar from Bashir and continued to observe Kenobi. Bashir noticed this, and he, too, looked down the bar at Kenobi.
    “What are you staring at?” asked Bashir.
    “Our latest visitor from the Gamma Quadrant.” Quark replied.
    “So?” said Bashir. “We get lots of visitors from there now.”
    “I know.” said Quark. “But there’s something different about him, something odd.”
    Bashir looked at Kenobi.
    “He looks quite normal to me.” he said. “Just a normal looking old man.”
    “But I’ve seen his type before. They always know something that the rest of us don’t!”
    Bashir finished his drink.
    “Well I can’t stay here all day and talk about some old man.” he said.
    Bashir got up from his stool and left the bar. After putting away the dirty glass Quark slowly approached Kenobi.
    “I noticed your glass was nearly empty.” said Quark. “May I refill it for you?”
    “I am quite alright, thank you.” Kenobi replied.
    Kenobi finished his drink and began to get off his stool. He stopped and then looked at Quark.
    “I have heard much of you since my arrival here.” said Kenobi. “I have heard that you have much influence on this station.”
    Quark smiled.
    “I like to think so Mister…”
    “Kenobi. Your influence may be of help to me, seeing as Commander Sisko is unwilling to see me at the moment. How would you like to help me?”
    “I would be glad to, for a….”
    “Do not worry, you will be rewarded.”
    “What is it you want me to do?”
    “Just gather as many as will fit into this establishment. It may be better for me to address a larger number than one man!”
    “You mean you want to hold a meeting in my bar?”
    “Exactly. I am hoping to leave this station by dawn tomorrow. I would be grateful if you could hold this meeting tonight, perhaps during your usual opening hours.”
    “But what do I tell them?”
    Kenobi paused.
    “Tell them you have some new entertainment for them, something never before seen in this stat system!”

    Sisko leaned back in his chair and rubbed his eye. It had indeed been a long day. He had been up since four in the morning sorting out the personnel revue. With it now being seven in the evening he was getting very tired. He was glad when he reached the final personnel file. Before he started the door buzzer went.
    “Come in.”
    The door opened and Kira and Dax entered.
    “I hope you have some good news for me.” said Sisko. “And I hope it will be short.”
    “I’ve checked all of the files.” said Dax. “The only information there is on the Empire is either from the Valkyrie’s logs and from the first Federation ship sent to mediate between the Empire and the rebels.”
    “Did you manage to make contact with the Valkyrie?” asked Sisko.
    “Not yet.” Kira replied. “But we’ll keep trying.”
    “What about this Kenobi man?”
    “There’s almost nothing on him.” Dax replied. “Will the files say is that he fought in some kind of colonial war many years ago, and that he received some kind of special training.”
    “And that’s all the information Starfleet has?”
    “Starfleet Command recommended we contact the Valkyrie.” said Kira. “But as I said we’ve been unable to reach them.”
    “So what is Kenobi up to now?” asked Sisko.
    “For most of the time since his arrival he’s been in Quark’s.” Kira replied. “Odo reports that in the past half hour or so Quark’s been getting more customers than normal.”
    Sisko again rubbed his eye, and this time he yawned.
    “Does he still insist on seeing me?” asked Sisko.
    “Not any more.” said Kira. “But you’ll be glad to heat that he plans to leave at dawn.”
    “And I plan to be fast asleep at dawn.” said Sisko. “Continue to watch him.”

    The crowds began gathering in Quark’s bar. Behind the bar Quark stood with a huge smile on his face. The smile soon disappeared however when he saw Odo entering with the crowd. Odo soon approached the bar.
    “What is going on here, Quark?” Odo asked.
    “Just some new entertainment I have planned for this evening!” replied Quark.
    “What sort of ‘entertainment’?”
    “I assure you, Constable, that everything is above board.”
    “With you nothing is above board. But just to make sure I will stay to watch this new ‘entertainment’.”
    Quark seated himself at the bar. He looked very displeased.
    “Well if you’re going to stay at least buy a drink!”
    Odo shot Quark an icy stare. Odo then turned away from Quark when he saw Ben Kenobi entering. Kenobi approached the other end of the bar. Quark went scurrying toward him.
    “Is everything complete?” asked Kenobi.
    “As you can see, the place is packed!” Quark replied. “Now, about my payment….!”
    “We will discuss your payment afterwards.” said Kenobi. “Now, where may I be able to speak so everyone can see me?”
    “You wish to speak?”
    “That is why I asked everyone here.”
    Quark looked around the room
    “You might as well stand on the roulette table.”
    Kenobi approached the gambling table. As he did Kira entered and joined Odo at the bar.
    “What’s going on?” she asked.
    “It appears our guest is some sort of entertainer.” said Odo.
    “A stand-up comedian?” said Kira. “He hardly looks the type.”
    Kenobi now stood on the table. He motioned for the gathered crowd to be silent.
    “Ladies and gentlemen, many of you will know me as the latest visitor from a sector of space you have dubbed the Gamma Quadrant. Others will know me by my name, Ben Kenobi. Normally I do not leave my home on Tattooine, but I felt it necessary to leave my home and to come here, to warn you of an impending danger, and all of your lives could be at risk!”
    “What do you mean?” shouted one of the crowd. “In danger from what?”
    “Endangered by a power from beyond this star system, a power that could turn Bajor into an asteroid field!”
    The gathered crowd began to raise their voices, wanting more information. Kenobi continued to speak, to tell them of the impending danger. Since the crowd contained mainly Bajorans they believed Kenobi to be some sort of religious emissary. They began to get restless, and some of them began to get violent. While all this was going on Odo and Kira sat at the bar and watch. Kira activated her communicator.
    “You’d better get down here Commander.” she said.
    On the gambling table Kenobi had stopped talking. He looked around at the gathered crowd and looked shocked and dismayed.
    “Wait!” he cried. “You have misinterpreted my words! The danger does not come from your gods!”
    The crowd began to get even more violent. Tables, chairs and glasses began to fly. Quark began to panic.
    “No! No!” he cried. “Odo, do something!”
    Odo activated his communicator.
    “Odo to Security, send a full security contingent to the Promenade. The natives are getting restless!”
    A minute later a full security team arrived at the bar. The scene resembled a bar room brawl, but the crowd were not fighting each other, they seemed to be pleading to their gods, asking them to save them from the impending danger. It took some time but the security team just managed to get them under control. Many arrests were made. As the crowds were taken away Quark stood in the middle of the room surveying the damage.
    “How could they do this?” he said. “My lovely bar!”
    Kenobi got off the gambling table. He now stood beside it. Odo approached him.
    “I did not mean for this to happen.” said Kenobi. “My words were misinterpreted.”
    “That’s doesn’t matter now.” said Odo. “I’m placing you under arrest.”
    “None of this would have happened if your Commander had granted my request!”