Commander Aldrin walked out of Admiral Picard's Ready Room with her head hung low. Normally if she was like this, it would be because her superiors had dressed her down pretty severely. But this time it wasn't the case. This time, she attempted to shun herself from the rest of the bridge because she had just had to give the full report of the Battle of Tatooine, two days after it had occurred.
68 ships lost, over 65,000 souls gone she reminisced inside her head as she walked in the turbo lift.
"Deck 14." She ordered as the turbo lift took her to her destination. I guess it's different when you have to deliver the report rather than help with it.
She couldn't put it out of her mind. So many mistakes had been made prior to the battle. Leaving the Klingons and Romulans behind even though the Empire couldn't get any more ships than what they had at the battle. Not attempting to stop them from using hyperspace to ram into their fleet. Letting Fleet Admiral Halsey kill everyone and everything on Tatooine.
As the turbo lift slowed to a halt before it opened to it's destination, Aldrin suddenly felt a mysterious sensation, almost as if someone was watching her. Looking around outside the turbo lift, she found nothing but empty hallways as she slowly walked to her temporary guest quarters.
As soon as she opened the door, she heard an unfamiliar voice say "You know, if you were really sad, you'd leave Starfleet over this."
"Who's there?" She demanded as she increased the lighting to see the perpetrator.
"Oh, no-one really, just someone who's keeping tabs on your petty little war." The lights were now fully lit up, and Aldrin could now clearly see who was inside her quarters.
"Q," she coldly demanded, "get out. Now."
"Oh I'm sorry, have Jean-Luc and Kathryn been speaking ill of me behind my back?"
"I don't have the patience or the will to put up with you right now. Go pester someone else if that makes you happy."
"Why Miral I'm touched." Expressed Q with a faked shock. "No-one I've ever met has told me to go away like that before."
"That doesn't mean I can't say it." Argued Aldrin. "Now go."
"Fine, fine, I'll leave." Relented Q as he moved towards the door. "Ah, before I go though, there was something I wanted to tell you."
"Get to the point Q."
"You see, when the stardrive of the Arizona collided with the Eclipse, the saucer was far enough away not to be destroyed. Now while it was hit with a massive shockwave, it did manage to fall into the gravity well of Tatooine, where it crashed on the ground as per Starfleet saucer landing procedures dictate, in no small part to the automatic software picking up on this. Once the battle was over, Imperial scouts searched the wreckage for anything meaningful, before stumbling upon the only survivor and only occupant of the saucer at the time-"
"Stop it Q." Requested Aldrin as she staggered back into a wall. Facing away from Q, she held her hand over her mouth to try to hide her expression, before recomposing herself and asking "Are you saying he's alive?"
"Oh yes, he very much is, Miral." Answered Q as he slowly walked up to her. "Currently in an Imperial cell while they work out how to interrogate him for information."
"We've got to save him." She stayed as she started towards the door.
"A-a-ah." Stopped Q as he put his arm in front of Aldrin, barring her passage. "No-one's going to believe you. They'll think you're crazy."
"Well then what do I do then?" Angrily asked Aldrin. "I can't just let my Captain rot in a cell while I sit here doing nothing."
"My advice would be to wait until it's the right time." Answered Q. "Until then, as Picard is somehow fond of saying now, stay vigilant. Trent will be fine for now, but if you act too soon, you may just get the both of you killed."
"...Alright Q." Submitted Aldrin. "I'll play your game."
"I can assure you, this is no game." Replied Q. "Trent's sacrifice has sent shockwaves throughout the multiverse. Already, other omnipotent brings across the multiverse are struggling to comprehend how our universe and the Empire's universe are at a stalemate. A special friend of mine, or should I say the new version of that friend, has taken a keen eye in the conflict already. For now, you must play out what happens and wait until it's your turn. Until next time."
Within the blink of an eye, Q vanished in a flash, leaving Aldrin alone in her quarters. She picked up a nearby PADD, reviewing what Starfleet has released to the public about the battle. While it was lacking in some details, it did pick up on the major events of the battle, exposing Halsey's treasonous behaviour, commending Trent for his sacrifice, noting the total casualties at the time. Aldrin put the PADD down as she lay on the couch, exhausted from the days prior.
Let the wait begin. She thought to herself as she fell asleep, unsure of the future but knowing it was full of promise.
In the grey lit corridors of the ISD Progenitor, Fleet Admiral Motti strolled through the corridors as he approached the room he intended to visit. He took extra pride in his steps as his new rank badge sat on his chest, and beamed with pride as crew members took extra notice of him compared to before. He knew that not only did they now admire him, but they looked up to him even more for guidance and inspiration.
He had been longing for this sense of achievement ever since the Federation had defeated the Dominion in the war, setting a terrible shadow over the Founders as their ability to lead was questioned relentlessly by their own subjects. Now though, the Founders were able to divert the attention away from them for the time being, and instead at the newly arrived Galactic Empire, scaring the population back into line before working out strategies to defeat them.
Motti walked through the door he was intending to walk through; the ship's brig, whereupon he spoke to the officer in charge of the brig at the time.
"Fleet Admiral." Greeted the officer as he stood up from his seat in salute.
"At ease, Lieutenant." Calmed Motti as he walked up to console the officer was at. "May I speak with the prisoner?"
"You can, but it's highly likely you won't get anything out of him." Was the officer's answer as he interfaced with the console to show Motti where he was. "Not even Lord Vader was able to get anything out of him. He said something about him having a 'strong mind', and that he even tried to hit him. We had to chain him to the wall so he couldn't lash out at anyone."
"Understood Lieutenant, I'll be careful." Replied Motti. He turned to walk into the corridor the prisoner's cell was in, and the officer returned to work supervising the brig.
Once he finally reached the brig, he typed in his new all-access password, and the doors slid open to reveal an unconscious man chained to the walls. A ripped and torn uniform sat on his body as he slowly raised his head up in acknowledgement of the new visitor. The door shut tightly behind him as he began slowly walking down the steps to the prisoner.
"Captain Darius Trent." Began Motti. "You're the one who started this all."
"I didn't start this, Vader did when he attacked us first." Corrected Trent.
"Just, making sure you remember everything." Replied Motti as he walked slowly towards Trent. "After all, what's the point in interrogation if the prisoner can't remember anything?"
"I won't tell you anything about Starfleet, or how to operate whatever's left of the Arizona!" Yelled Trent in defiance.
"That is what I was expecting." Replied Motti. "Your people have a history of rebuffing all attempts at interrogation."
"Thanks for the compliment, I'm sure Starfleet would hear it if you let me go." Slyly joked Trent.
"Very funny." Commented Motti. "Now tell me, what do you know of the Dominion?"
"Oh don't get me started on them." Began Trent. "We had a war with them 6 years ago, took out hundreds of ships, killed millions on both sides. We only prevailed because we cured their leaders of a disease which was wiping them out."
"...Thanks for the reminder." Replied Motti as he turned away back to the corner. Trent saw him slightly turn a goldish colour as he began to change.
"You're not the real Motti are you?" Figured Trent. "You're a Changeling."
"Why how could you tell?" Asked the Changeling as he turned his new face towards Trent. Trent was shocked and horrified as he knew whose face it was.
"Turning into my Father proves nothing." Shot out Trent. "Now, what do you want with me?"
"Simple, I want to help you get out." Answered the Changeling as he returned to his original Motti look. "The people here want to use you for some project they're struggling with. They say it could win the war."
"Well, I don't know how to operate or build a super weapon, so you're going to have to tell them I'm not their man."
"It's not a super weapon actually. For a fact, even I don't know what they want you to do. All I was told was to...convince you into joining the project."
"And what of the Eclipse? Surely that takes priority."
"The Emperor realised his mistake in leaving it out here on the frontlines where it can be easily attacked. As a result, he moved the project back to Kuat, where they say they can repair and complete it within 6 or so months given the resources."
"So then, what am I supposed to do?" Asked Trent. "The only non-command things I've ever done were a full course on engineering and a partial course in bioengineering at the academy."
"Well," Began Motti as he prepared his composure for a longer speech, "you're going to have to listen to me very carefully…"
So, first things first, as this chapter is being released just before Christmas, I'd like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year before I forget. Given the time of year, I guess you could call this an early Christmas present, because I'm not going to upload something on Christmas Day.
Secondly, just to re-establish this before I go, I will be taking a break from writing over Christmas and throughout January. I'll be on holidays overseas in this time, so I won't really be online anywhere for that time period. This doesn't mean I've given up on this story at all, and I only intend to continue it later after the holidays are over.
Finally, I'll also take this time to tell you all that I have a reddit account up and running. While I don't have anything for the Fan fiction subreddit best story of the year thing, I will try to find to time soon to post the cover art for these stories and some wallpapers I designed as well. If you want to, you can follow me there as well, as I also make the occasional meme on the Star Trek Memes subreddit. I'll also try to post the cover art for the next story there as well when I'm about to release it, so that's another reason to follow me there. Just search up u/darius_trent on reddit, and you'll find me.
Stay tuned for:
Star Trek Vs Star Wars: Project Chimaera
and once again, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy new year!