Sunday, 16 January 1994

The Empire Saga Chapter Two

Sisko sat at his desk in his office. The communication he had been waiting for had finally arrived. On the screen in front of him was Captain James Watt, commanding officer of the U.S.S. Valkyrie

    “I’m sorry Ben.” said Watt. “But we have nothing in our files about Ben Kenobi either. We hardly had any contact with the outlying regions of Tattooine when we visited. The only one who could possibly know anything about him is Ambassador Magus, and he’s on a sabbatical.”
    “And when will he return to the Valkyrie?” asked Sisko.
    “I’m afraid I couldn’t tell you. You know what Magus is like.”
    “Well, is there anything in your files that could help us?”
    “I can transmit our files and logs to you, but they won’t be much different than those you got from Starfleet Command. I’m sorry I couldn’t be of more help.”
    “Any help from you is very much appreciated.”
    “It’s been good to see you again, Ben. Watt out.”
    Sisko switched off his terminal. He let out a huge sigh. He then activated his communicator.
    “Sisko to Odo.”
    “Odo here.”
    “How is our guest doing?”
    “My guest is very quiet at the moment, Commander. The only thing he said is that he still wants to speak to you.”
    Sisko paused as he let out a huge yawn.
    “Very well. I’ll be there in a few minutes.”

    A few minutes later Sisko walked into the detention win. It had been some hours since the disturbance in Quark’s bar, and many of those who had been arrested had since been released. There was now only one left in the cells: Ben Kenobi. When Sisko entered he saw Kenobi sitting on the bed in the cell. Sisko approached the cell.
    “I’m Commander Benjamin Sisko, the commanding officer here. You must be Ben Kenobi.”
    On hearing Sisko’s voice Kenobi looked up.
    “At last. I have waited many hours for you.”
    “I understand that you were responsible for the disturbance in Quark’s bar. How did you cause such a disturbance?”
    “I did not mean to cause a riot. I just wanted to warn them of an impending danger, a danger that threatens you all. If you had granted my request as soon as I had arrived here on your station none of this would have happened!”
    “Are you saying that I am responsible for the disturbance?”
    “I was implying no such thing, Commander. I was saying that it could have been avoided.”
    “Enough of this.”
    Sisko walked over to the table in the middle of the room and pulled out one of the chairs. He moved the chairs towards the cell and then sat on it.
    “So tell me, Mister Kenobi, you spoke of an impending danger. What danger?”
    “That I cannot say.”
    “But you said you came here to tell me of this danger. Now you say you can’t?”
    “I cannot say because I do not know exactly what the danger is. I know that there is a danger to you and your station, and it is a great one, but I do not know exactly what it is!”
    Sisko let out another sigh, and he began rubbing his face. His fatigue began to show.
    “Tell me, Mister Kenobi, what government do you represent?”
    “I represent no government, Commander.”
    “Then who sent you?”
    “I came of my own accord.”
    “And this danger, who warned you of it? Who are your sources?”
    “You would not believe me if I told you, Commander.”
    “Try me.”
    Kenobi paused for a moment as if to gather his thoughts.
    “I sensed a change, a shift in the balance of the Force. Something told me that this shift was a great one. This is what directed me here to your station.”
    “The Force? What is this ‘Force’?”
    “The Force is something that controls all of us. It defines who and what we are. It defines life itself!”
    Sisko got up from his seat.
    “Are you trying to tell me that my life was defined by some ‘Force’? A Force that I have not seen or heard of?”
    “The strongest point of the Force is in the place you have called the Gamma Quadrant. It is there that colonial wars took place many years ago. It was during those wars that the Jedi Knights were at their most glorious.”
    “What are these Jedi Knights?”
    “There are only two left. I am one of them. The other was consumed by the dark side of the Force. It is the dark side of the Force that threatens you and your station.”
    Sisko did not reply. He began to pace up and down the detention wing.
    “I can tell you are sceptical.” said Kenobi. “I can sense that the Force is not with you.”
    “Damn you!” Sisko cursed. “Will you stop talking in riddles!”
    “I was not aware that I was.” said Kenobi.
    “Then tell me something I can understand! Don’t talk to me about this so-called Force you live for, that threatens us on this station!”
    “There was one man who could have told you more of this danger, but alas he was killed before he could give me the information.”
    “Who? Who is this man?”
    “The man in question was Commander Salg, a member of the Klingon attaché to Tattooine. He was also leader of the rebel forces on Tattooine. His role as a diplomat provided the perfect cover. It was he who discovered what the danger was, and he began to tell me about it, but before he could he was killed by an Imperial Storm Trooper.”
    “Then does this danger involve this ‘Empire’ in your sector?”
    “That is one possibility, but as I have said before I cannot tell you.”
    “And you say that this Commander Salg was a rebel leader?”
    “If you do not believe me you can always check with his superiors on his home planet.”
    “Very well, I will.”
    Sisko left the detention wing. A few minutes later he was back in Ops. As soon as he entered he walked over to the main control panel and opened a communications channel to the Klingon homeworld. He was soon on touch with the leader of the Klingon High Council himself, Gowron.
    “I am sorry to bother you.” said Sisko. “I was hoping you could provide me with some information regarding your military attaché on the planet Tattooine, and most notable the commanding officer of that attaché, Salg.”
    Gowron’s eyes widened.
    “What do you know of Salg?” he said.
    “All I know is that a short while ago he was killed by an Imperial Storm Trooper. I have heard rumours that he was using his role as a diplomat as a cover for his true intentions, as a leader of the rebellion on Tattooine. Is that true?”
    “I am unable to tell you Commander, if it is true or not.”
    “Then you are denying the rumours? You are saying that Salg was just a diplomat?”
    “That information is top secret. I can neither confirm or deny it.”
    “I need to know if the rumours are true or not, Gowron. At this moment we are holding a citizen of Tattooine, and he says that Commander Salg tried to give him some information regarding a possible danger to the Alpha Quadrant. He says that this is the reason he was killed. I want to know if that is true.”
    Gowron appeared to be annoyed somewhat by what Sisko had said.
    “To give you such information would require clearance of the highest nature.”
    “I can easily get such clearance from Starfleet Command. But it would save a lot of time if you were to give me the information I needed now.”
    A look of annoyance appeared on Gowron’s face.
    “Very well, Commander. I will arrange to have the information transmitted to you on a secure channel immediately. Gowron out.”
    The screen went blank. A few seconds later the computer panel in front of Sisko came to life with the information from the Klingon homeworld. A slight smile appeared on Sisko’s face when he read the information.
    “The old man was right.” he said. “Salg was leading the rebels, in an attempt to protect Klingon interests on Tattooine!”
    “Commander, we have an incoming transmission from Starfleet Command.” reported an Ensign.
    “On screen.” Sisko ordered.
    The image of Admiral Lethbridge-Stewart appeared on the screen.
    “Greetings, Commander Sisko. It’s good to see you again.”
    “Likewise, Admiral.”
    “I’ve just had a communication from our ambassador to the Time of Legends, Thomas Leacock. He informs me that you are holding a prisoner from the Gamma Quadrant, one Ben Kenobi.”
    “We are, but how could Ambassador Leacock know of this?”
    “That doesn’t matter. He has asked to me ask you to release Mr. Kenobi.”
    “For what reason?”
    “Ambassador Leacock gave no reason. But I have learned that when he asks you to do something you do it. I won’t want to have to order you, Benjamin.”
    “I understand, Admiral. Mister Kenobi will be released shortly.”

    A short time later Sisko was back in the detention wing. He walked over to the cell that held Kenobi and pressed the panel, releasing the force field that kept Kenobi captive.
    “You are releasing me, Commander?”
    “I have been asked to by my superiors, Mister Kenobi. You are free to go. You may stay on the station as long as you wish.”
    “Alas, I cannot. I must be making my way back to Tattooine.”
    Sisko accompanied Kenobi to the docking ring. When they reached the airlock door they stopped.
    “I trust you will pay some heed to what I have said.” said Kenobi.
    “I cannot do so without proof, Mr. Kenobi. So far all I have is your word that this station is in danger.”
    “To not heed my words will be unwise, Commander.”
    “I will inform my superiors of your visit, but they will say the same as me. They cannot do anything without further proof.”
    “Then I’m afraid all may be lost, Commander. I have done what I set out to do. Now I must return to my home.”
    Kenobi pressed the button on the panel and the airlock door opened. Kenobi stepped into his small ship.
    “Before you go.” said Sisko. “You were correct about Commander Salg. He was leading the rebel forces on Tattooine.”
    Kenobi smiled.
    “You see, I’m not just a foolish old man. I hope to see you again, Commander Sisko, but this time under more pleasant circumstances. May the Force be with you, Commander, always!”
    Kenobi closed the door of the airlock. Soon he was on his way. Sisko stood on one of the balconies in the Promenade and watched as Kenobi’s craft went back through the wormhole. As he entered Sisko said one thing to himself.
    “I hope you are wrong, Mr. Kenobi. I hope to dear God that you are wrong!”