Sunday, 16 January 1994

The Empire Saga Chapter Three

Magus stood in his quarters on the Valkyrie. Teddy and Toby slumbered peacefully before the blazing log fire. Tabby and Jimmy were sleeping in one of the armchairs. There came a ring at the door. Magus answered. A young Ensign stood there waiting rather timidly. Magus gazed at the youth over the top of his spectacles. It was a habit he had found useful over the year, for although most humans took little notice of it for some reason it made both the Cardassians and the Mentarkans very nervous. The story was circulating that this was the very gesture Magus had made before he turned Kempec of the Klingon High Council into a slug. Magus’ reply to this allegation was that the transformation was merely an extension of what Kempec had become.

    “Captain Watt would like to see you in his ready room.”
    Magus smiled a beatific smile at the young man.
    “Convey my compliments to the Captain, and thank him for his kind invitation. Could you also inform him that it is my intention to have buttered crumpets and strawberry jam for tea, and he is most welcome to join with any guests he may wish to bring.”
    The Ensign relayed the message to Watt. Watt burst out laughing.
    “He doesn’t change, does he?” he smiled at Amarus. “Tea at the Ambassador’s today.”
    Accordingly, when ship’s time was four o’clock they made their way to Magus’ quarters.
    “Mr. Amarus, if you would be mother.” smiled Magus, handing Amarus an ornate silver teapot. “Now James, I believe you wished to see me.”
    “About two weeks ago a Ben Kenobi dropped into DS9. He claimed the station was in danger, almost caused a riot. Commander Sisko asked for our help, but there wasn’t much we could do. What do you know of Kenobi?”
    “Ben Kenobi..a very nice young man. I met him about sixty years ago. He along with our old friend Vader, s only one of two surviving Jedi Knights.”
    “Any idea what the danger he spoke of could be?” asked Amarus.
    Magus shook his head.
    “Doesn’t DS9 orbit Bajor?” asked Magus. “I was there once, had a most enjoyable theological debate with the Kai.”
    “When?” asked Watt.
    “The year 1556 if I remember correctly.” replied Magus. “I would think that if there is any danger then perhaps the wormhole is the place to look.”
    “And it was 1558, Magus.” said Teddy.

    It had been six weeks since the visit of Ben Kenobi to Deep Space Nine. Since that time Commander Sisko had made his report to Starfleet Command. It was as he told Kenobi. Those at Starfleet Command were very sceptical. Many meetings were held. It was decided that as there was very little evidence no action would be taken. Starfleet Command would later learn that this would be a grave mistake.
    Meanwhile, on Deep Space Nine, things continued to go on as normal. There were the usual comings and goings from the Gamma Quadrant, but nothing out of the ordinary. There were the usual disturbances on the Promenade, but nothing Odo and his security teams couldn’t handle. But it was almost exactly six weeks after Kenobi’s visit to the station that everything changed. In Operations it was a normal routine day, as it was on the day of Kenobi’s visit. As usual Lt. Dax and Chief O’Brien were sat at their respective science and engineering stations. Major Kira stood at the main control panel. It was then that Dax noticed something on her instruments.
    “That’s odd.” she said. “I’m reading a slight change in the structure of the wormhole.”
    “What do you mean?” asked Kira.
    “I’m unable to say at this moment.” Dax replied. “But I’ve never seen anything like this before.”
    “Something’s coming through.” said O’Brien.
    “On screen.” Kira ordered.
    The view screen came to life. The image of the wormhole appeared. The wormhole looked as if a ship was about to pass through it into the Alpha Quadrant. At first nothing appeared, no ship came through, but then it changed.
    “Something’s coming through.” said O’Brien.
    Before he continued a look of amazement appeared on his face.
    “Bloody hell!” he said. “Nothing that big has ever passed through the wormhole before!”
    “Confirmed.” said Dax. “The vessel coming through is much larger than a Galaxy class starship.”
    The nose of the ship began to show through the wormhole. Slowly more of it began to appear.
    “Initial scans show it to be nearly as large as the station.”
    Kira activated her communicator.
    “Kira to Sisko. Please report to Ops.”
    A few minutes later Commander Sisko arrived in the turbo life. As soon as he arrived he saw the image of the ship on the screen.
    “What is it?” he asked.
    “Unable to determine at this time.” said Dax. “But nothing that size has ever come through the wormhole before.”
    The ship was now halfway out of the wormhole. It appeared to be triangular in shape.
    “Running scans.” said Kira. “Cross-referencing with the database.”
    A shocked looked appeared on Kira’s face. She looked at Sisko.
    “What is it?” asked Sisko.
    “The computer shows it to be a Star Destroyer.” Kira replied. “Of the Galactic Empire!”
    “Red alert!” Sisko called. “Raise shields, arm phasers and photon torpedoes.”
    The Star Destroyer continued to move out of the wormhole.
    “Their weapons are armed.” said O’Brien. “And…wait! Something’s coming out of that thing!”
    On the bottom of the Star Destroyer was a square hatchway, large in size. From this hatchway five smaller vessels emerged.
    “Tie fighters approaching.” said Kira. “Each armed.”
    The Tie fighters assumed an attack formation and raced towards the station. When they got nearer they opened fire.
    “Fire phasers.” Sisko ordered.
    Kira fired the phasers at the fighters. Each time she fired she missed.
    “They’re too small for us to get a lock on them!” Kira said.
    “Try photon torpedoes.” said Sisko.
    The photos torpedoes were armed and fired at the fighters, while was destroyed the others were not damaged. They still flew in their attack formation. After moving away from the station they did a U-turn and moved back towards the station. They opened fire again.
    “Shield power down to sixty percent.” said O’Brien. “Trying to compensate.”
    “Try to get a lock on at least two of them.” said Sisko. “Fire phasers and photon torpedoes on my mark.”
    A few seconds passed. The fighters started to make another sweep of the station.
    “Lock established on two of them.” said Kira.
    “Fire!” Sisko shouted.
    The weapons were fired and two of the fighters were destroyed.
    “The Star Destroyer is now clear of the wormhole.” Dax reported. “They are powering up their weapons.”
    “Shields not yet fully restored.” said O’Brien.
    “They’re opening fire!” said Dax.
    A huge blast from the Destroyer was aimed at the station. The blast hit the shields and the whole station rocked with the impact.
    “Shields gone!” said O’Brien. “Unable to re-establish them!”
    “They are moving towards docking rings four, five and six!” said Kira.
    Sisko activated his communicator.
    “Sisko to Odo. Assemble full security teams at docking rings four, five and six. Be prepared to repel borders.”
    Sisko turned to Kira.
    “Join Constable Odo in assembling the security teams.” he said.
    Kira got on the turbo life and left Ops.
    “Tie fighters below us.” said Dax. “Re-assuming an attack formation.”
    “Fire phasers.” said Sisko.
    Before the order could be carried out the fighters fired. The station again rocked with the impact. This time however the fighters caused even more damage.
    “They’ve hit the main reactor.” said O’Brien. “Partial loss of power imminent.”
    The lights in Ops began to dim slightly.
    “The Destroyer is now less than a hundred kilometres away.” said Dax.
    At the entrance to docking ring four Kira joined Odo and the security team there.
    “Nothing coming through yet.” said Odo.
    “We’ll have to wait and see.” said Kira.
    In Ops Sisko continued to try his best.
    “Get a lock on the Star Destroyer.” he said. “Fire everything we have!”
    “Unable to sir.” said O’Brien. “Power drain is taking effect. Weapons systems off line.”
    Then Dax noticed something on her monitor.
    “I don’t know how but they’ve managed to break into the computer.” she said. “They are accessing the docking program. They’re releasing docking rings four and five.
    Sisko activated his communicator.
    “Sisko to Kira. Expect borders any time now. Do anything you can to repel them.”
    Sisko then walked over to the science station.
    “There’s only one more thing we can do.” said Sisko. “If I may, Dax?”
    Dax got up from her seat, and Sisko sat down in it.
    On the docking ring the security team prepared themselves. Kira handed Odo a phaser.
    “But I don’t use these!” he said.
    “Believe me, you’ll need it now!” said Kira.
    Then a loud clanging noise could be heard. The team looked around. It was the sound of a ship docking with the station.
    “Set phasers to maximum stun.” ordered Kira. “Prepare to fire when they appear.”
    Slowly the airlock door began to open. At first it didn’t open completely, but after a few seconds it was fully open. As soon as it had opened about thirty Storm Troopers could be seen.
    “Open fire!” Kira ordered.
    The battle had begun. Phaser and blaster fire was exchanged between the station’s security team and the Imperial Storm Troopers. The Troopers were pegged back in the airlock. It seemed that they were holding back for a while, but then they began to launch a full force attack. They stepped out of the airlock and with their blasters at full power they opened fired on the security team. The security team was hopelessly outnumbered, and many fell.
    “Get out of here Major!” Odo shouted.
    “No way.” said Kira.
    “There is no way we can win this battle!” said Odo. “We must retreat!”
    Kira paused for a moment.
    “Alright.” she said. “But you’re coming with me!”
    “I can handle myself.” said Odo. “Now go!”
    Odo and Kira moved from their position of cover, and as Kira ran down the corridor Odo stood in front of the Storm Troopers. The Trooper in front fired his blaster at Odo and was amazed when Odo changed into his liquid form and the blast just passed through him. Then before they could do anything Odo reverted fully to his liquid form and passed through the grate in the floor. The Storm Trooper in front took his com-link off his belt.
    “We have secured docking ring four. We are now moving toward the Promenade.”
    In an adjoining corridor Kira had stopped to get her breath back. While she was doing this she heard more Storm Troopers coming down the corridor. She then realised that there was d door behind her and she pressed the panel next to it. She entered the dark room and closed the door, but not entirely as she left a small enough gap so she could see and hear what was going on outside. What she saw and heard amazed her. The first thing she saw was a party of Storm Troopers trotting down the corridor. A few seconds later they were followed by another party of Storm Troopers, this one slightly smaller. Then behind them walked a tall figure clad entirely in black. The noise of heavy breathing could be heard. The figure stopped in the middle of the corridor. A Storm Trooper approached him.
    “We have secured the docking ring, Lord Vader. Our parties are now moving towards the Promenade.”
    “Good. The sooner we bring the Death Star through the wormhole the sooner we can begin our conquest of this quadrant.”
    A large party of Storm Troopers had now made their way to the Promenade. The men and women began to panic, and the Troopers fired their blasters everywhere. Many were killed. Then a battle with the security teams started. People took cover as blasts were exchanged. Quark watched from his bar. Quickly he began to gather arm fulls of alcohol bottles. He was fearful of his bar being damaged twice in two months.
    While this battle had been taking place Odo had managed to slip into the Promenade. He had now reverted back to his humanoid form. He watched from afar as many of his security teams fell. Some were killed, some were just injured. Odo then decided to revert back to his liquid form and he managed to slip behind the massive band of Storm Troopers. He managed to slip into Quark’s bar. Quark, as usual, was panicking.
    “Aren’t you going to do anything?” said Quark. “They’re destroying the place!”
    “There’s nothing I can do!” said Odo. “We are hopelessly outnumbered!”
    Kira, meanwhile, was trying to make her way back to Ops. Reports began to filter in from all over the station about the attacks and casualties. When she arrived in Ops on the turbo lift the first thing she saw was that it was full of Storm Troopers. One of them saw her on the turbo life.
    “Quickly!” he called. “Get her!”
    Before the Troopers could do anything she fired her phaser and hit one of the Troopers, sending him flying. She then activated the turbo life again and was soon out of Ops. A short time later she was in a deserted corridor. Slowly she began to walk along, her phaser held out in front of her. She then heard a noise behind her which startled her. She turned around and saw O’Brien standing behind her.
    “You startled me!” she said. “What the hell happened in Ops?”
    “They just swarmed over us!” said O’Brien. “About fifty of them. Dax and Commander Sisko were taken, but I managed to get past them.”
    “What about the rest of the station?”
    “Reports coming in from everywhere. There are so far about a hundred casualties on our side, and the number is rising. They’ve managed to gain control of the Science wing, the school, Sickbay and the entire docking ring. The battle is still raging on the Promenade. That’s the first place I went to. It won’t be long before they take the whole station. But what I want to know is why they’ve attacked us. We’re of no strategic importance to anyone, not even the Cardassians anymore!”
    “I know.” said Kira. “When I was catching my breath I heard this Lord Vader say something about bringing some Death Star through the wormhole and starting some campaign here in the Alpha Quadrant.”
    A shocked looked appeared on O’Brien’s face.
    “I’ve heard of the Death Star.” he said. “It’s the most powerful weapon ever conceived in the Gamma Quadrant.”
    “A weapon?” said Kira. “What sort of weapon?”
    “It’s more of a space station than a weapon, but I heard it can pack one hell of a wallop. I’ve also heard it’s about the size of a planet!”
    Kira paused for a moment.
    “Then if they do managed to bring that thing through then it will..”
    A shocked looked appeared on Kira’s face as she considered what might happen.
    “Did Commander Sisko managed to send a distress signal?” she asked.
    “He did, but we didn’t know about this Death Star thing until now. As far as I can see the only choice we have now is for one of to escape in one of the pods!”
    “We can’t abandon the station!”
    “We have to! It’s the only way of letting the Federation know of the Empire’s plans!”
    “Then you’ll have to go! As first officer of this station I must stay behind!”
    “Out of the question! You may be my superior officer Major, but this time I’m giving you an order! Get out of here while you can!”
    Then they heard a noise down the corridor. Several Storm Troopers were approaching.
    “Get out of here!” O’Brien shouted. “Get to the escape pods! I’ll try to hold them off!”
    Kira paused. Then she ran off down the corridor. Behind her she heard the Storm Troopers getting closer to O’Brien’s position. She then heard phaser fire, and then a cry of pain. It was from O’Brien. The Troopers’ blasters were set on stun, and O’Brien was attacked. He lay on the floor unconscious. The troopers stood over O’Brien’s fallen body, and one of them removed the phaser from his hand. Then heavy footsteps could be heard. The Troopers looked behind them and began to move out of the way as Darth Vader approached. Vader stopped when he saw O’Brien. He looked down at his body.
    “This appears to be the last one, Lord Vader.” reported one of the Troopers. “Everyone is now being held. The military personnel, the civilians and children. Everyone.”
    “Excellent.” said Vader. “Inform Grand Moff Tarkin that Deep Space Nine is ours, and that he may board at his own leisure.”
    Kira had managed to make her way to the first level of the station where the escape pods were kept. She walked over to the computer panel and entered her own personal identification code. The small doorway opened, revealing the inside of the escape pod. Kira stepped inside and the door closed behind her. She sat down in the chair and started operating the computer panel in front of her. Slowly the small engines of the pod began to come to life. She then began the final countdown. A few seconds later the escape pod was launched. From the window of the pod she could see Deep Space Nine and the huge Imperial Star Destroyer now attached to it. A few parts of it were on fire, and the smoke began to drift off into the empty void of space. She began to feel unhappy. She had not wanted to leave the station. It was in her nature to fight until she could fight no more, but she knew that someone had to tell the Federation of the Empire’s plan, and that she was the only one who could. She just hoped that her escape pod could be found in time.