Disclaimer: Neither Buffy the Vampire Slayer
nor Star Trek
belong to me. Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy deserve all the credit for creating Buffy
, and Gene Roddenberry along with a host of others get credit for Star Trek
, though the particular characters of this story are, for the most part, my own invention.Memory Alpha Secure DatabaseFile Retrieval Request 127255.8320932199Classified Report on Battle of Branzeva IVWarning: Level 10 clearance required.Clearance confirmed.The strange phenomenon which stopped the Borg completely at the Battle of Branzeva IV remains under investigation. Joint investigation by Starfleet Intelligence and the Cardassian Intelligence Bureau have been so far unsuccessful in determining its nature. The investigation committee, being chaired by Legate TarikaFile retrieval canceled.Memory Alpha Secure DatabaseFile Retrieval Request 127255.8336032192Project KeelerWarning: Classified Eyes Only Double Black/Unauthorized Access will be reported immediatelyClearance confirmed.The planet Gateway was first charted by the USS
Enterprise NCC-1701 on stardate 3134.4, Captain James T. Kirk commanding. On the planet, a sentient temporal device was discovered, which identified itself as the Guardian of Forever. The device was utilized by Captain Kirk, science and first officer Lieutenant Commander Spock and chief medical officer Lieutenant Commander Dr. Leonard H. McCoy at that date, and, immediately afterward, Captain Kirk issued an absolute quarantine of information and travel to the planet Gateway. Starfleet Intelligence Station Ramesses was established above the planet on stardate 4203.9 by the authority of Fleet Admiral Lynne J. Harrison, Commander Starfleet, and President Kenneth Wescott, classification level Presidential Top Secret. This classification level continues under its current form. Eyes Only Double Black Clearance last renewed on stardate 120003.9 by authorization of Fleet Admiral Annika Hansen, Starfleet Chief of Staff, and President Stanik.View More?Error: An illegal action has been requested. Download of Eyes Only Double Black files not authorized from your location.Override accepted. Downloading.Error: Deletion of file retrieval requests is a violation of Federation law and Starfleet regulations.File retrieval requests 127255.8320932199 and 127255.8336032192 have been deleted.Thank you for using Memory Alpha Cultural & Scientific ArchiveUnited Federation of Planets
Willow Rosenberg abandoned the computer terminal, closing her personalized tricorder and folding it into one of the many pockets in her dress. She pretended to wander, blending into the crowd as she looked purposely for the agreed meeting place - a bar in the station’s Promenade.
When she arrived, she knew it. There were gamblers at one end playing some alien game or another, the bar filled with people of all sorts, including, making Willow slightly uneasy, a number of Starfleet personnel. She tried to look her part as a tourist as she sat down at an empty table near the bar.
She watched the people for a few minutes, as they were talking, moving, and just generally going through the motions of life. She didn’t want to do it, but it had to be done. Everything was broken. And it was her job to do it. To fix things. To fix it so everything went as it was supposed to.
So she wouldn’t die.
“Good afternoon, and welcome to Prin’s,” said a Bajoran waitress who had come up when Willow hadn’t been paying attention. “Do you want anything?”
Willow gave as genuine a smile as she could and said, “Uh, can you get me some Andorian desilo tea?”
“Sweetened or unsweetened?”
“Sweetened, please,” Willow said.
“Alright. Be right back,” the waitress said, with a smile as she left.
Willow could have gone for her at one time. Now, she didn’t much think about that sort of thing. Not since the Borg.
Ah, there was her contact. He sat at the table quickly, squirreling the way a lot of Ferengi did. In sitting down, he said “Ms. Harris, I presume.”
“Yes,” Willow said, as though she hadn’t a care in the world. “And you must be Skran.”
“Of course, Ms. Harris,” Skran said, leaning back in his chair. “Now, a business partner told me you had business for someone with a good ship for transporting-- something.”
“Yeah,” Willow said. “Me. Transport for one person, nothing else.”
“I don’t run a passenger ship, Ms. Harris,” Skran said, leaning back toward Willow, “and certainly not anywhere danger-”
“Five hundred bars of latinum,” Willow said, interrupting him. “For one passenger into Federation space.”
Skran’s eyes widened at the amount Willow had named, but quickly composed himself. He was better than Willow’d expected, but all these types were the same. For the right price.
“It sounds a little... too good to be true,” Skran said. “You’re a hew-mon,” he continued, which Willow almost rolled her eyes at, “You can get pretty much anywhere in the Federation for free. I can’t think of why you’d need my ship unless-” he trailed off when the waitress came back, leaving the cup of tea. After Skran had assured her (they apparently knew each other) that he wanted nothing, he continued.
“Unless it were something you wanted very secret. I’m going to need, say, a thousand bars and the location you want to go.”
Willow kept her eyes steady as she sipped her tea calmly. “I know J’varak told you my destination is non-negotiable. I’ll give you a general direction, exact coordinates when we get close. Don’t want anyone selling it out, you know?” she said, with a clearly false smile at the end.
Skran looked at her a bit more suspiciously now, but he said, “If you’re not going to give me the location, then, I’m going to need twelve hundred bars. I have to pay my employees and all, of course.”
“Twelve hundred bars for one passenger?” Willow snorted, “Into Federation space? Fat chance. Besides,” she said, “if I’m not mistaken, you’re carrying certain, shall we say, questionable objects you’re transporting now, headed for Earth?”
Skran’s mouth dropped for several seconds, and began speaking, “How did you know-”
Willow interrupted him, “I have my sources. We’re going the same direction anyway. I’ll take you a little out of your way, and then you can go merrily on to Earth without a mysterious report showing up in Starfleet records. I’ll give you seven hundred.”
Skran had looked afraid, and suspicious, but her rising bid made his eyes twinkle in anticipation.
“Well,” he said, “I guess I could do it for less. But I’m still going to need the full thousand bars. I don’t want to spend too much time in Federation space, you understand?
“Of course,” Willow said, “but a thousand? For one passenger, when we’re going in the same direction anyway? I’ll give you eight-fifty.”
“Nine hundred, and you’ve got a deal.”
“Of course,” he said. “I wouldn’t believe a hew-mon could pay it, but J’varak said you were worth it.”
“I always am,” she said, giving a slight, mysterious smile. “I have five hundred bars a sealed crate in one of the cargo bays, under my name,” she said. “Your people can take it, with the pass code, ‘Sixty-nine Scooby.’ You’ll get the other four hundred on our safe arrival.”
“Of course. We’ll be ready to go by tomorrow morning. It was a pleasure doing business with you, Ms. Harris,” Skran said, leaning back in the booth as Willow stood up.
“Likewise,” she said, getting up and reaching into her dress. She finished her tea with a last sip, and left three slips of latinum on the table as she slipped out and blended once again into the crowds of the station.
A quick exertion of magic as she entered her temporary quarters on the station, and the two hundred fifty bars she’d already made in the cargo bay was doubled, but that extent of exertion immediately put her out cold, awaiting what was to come.
She would fix it. She would fix everything
Tikas stepped into the ship’s Crew Lounge for the first time wearing the uniform of a Starfleet commander, and surveyed the room quickly. She went over to the bar. The bartender, tonight apparently human, came over to her almost instantaneously.
“Give me a Romulan Ale,” Tikas said, sitting down at one of the stools quickly. The bartender nodded without speaking and left for the replicator.
“Well, look at you!” came a voice from behind her. Tikas spun around, feeling her mouth twitch upward as she saw her friend, and the ship’s chief medical officer, T’Belaar. “Finally out of that snowsuit and into some real clothes,” her teasing tone continued.
Tikas smiled to her friend, “Well, it already feels like I’ve been promoted,” she said. “Granted, Starfleet commanders aren’t exactly the same.”
“No, they’re not,” T’Belaar said, sitting down at the bar. “But I hear they’ve already got something lined up for you.”
“I haven’t heard anything,” Tikas commented, looking at her friend for a moment.
“Just a hunch,” T’Belaar said, winking as the bartender came back. After he had left Tikas’ drink, T’Belaar looked up at him, “Yeah, could I get another dark lager?”
As the bartender sped away, Tikas sipped her ale. She grimaced slightly, as always, from the synthehol, but let the mostly intact flavor fill her mouth, savoring it for a few seconds before swallowing. She turned to T’Belaar, speaking again, “Right. What do you know, Doctor?” she said, emphasizing the title.
“Let’s just say, don’t be shocked when Sitara calls you into the ready room tomorrow morning,” T’Belaar said, in the same maddeningly mysterious way she always did. It must be against one of the laws of nature for a Vulcan hybrid to have such a wicked smirk, Tikas thought as she rubbed her forehead slightly. T’Belaar instantly stopped and, concerned, asked, “Are you alright?”
“I’m fine,” Tikas said, a little too quickly. Just a small headache. Very small!” she said quickly, before T’Belaar could interrupt. “No problem.” T’Belaar looked at her closely, before apparently dismissing it as her drink arrived. Tikas quickly changed the subject. “What are you doing when we get back to Earth, after the wedding?”
“I’m gonna spend a couple weeks in Israel,” T’Belaar said. “My cousin has a house on the Mediterranean there, but she’s on Qo’noS on assignment for a few months. You’re welcome to join me, if you want.”
“Maybe for a few days,” Tikas said. “I’m staying with Davina’s family in-- what is it, Kalarada?”
“Colorado,” T’Belaar easily corrected. “At least, that’s where Davina grew up.”
“That’s right,” Tikas said, taking another sip. “What are you doing after that? Back on assignment?”
“No, I have a bit more leave scheduled,” T’Belaar said. “Going back to Vulcan to-- ‘see’ Rolan.”
Tikas nodded without needing clarification. She remembered the last time T’Belaar had gone back to Vulcan to see her husband. Seven years ago, if she wasn’t mistaken. They hadn’t been friends, then. “And then?”
T’Belaar looked up, smirking again, “You’ll see,” she said, finishing her drink quickly. “Listen, I’ve gotta finish some reports on a few checkups. We’re still on for the holodeck tomorrow night?”
“Eighteen hundred hours,” Tikas said. “Your choice this time. Don’t be late.”
“Never am,” T’Belaar said, as she stood up. “See ya later, Cassie,” she said, as she began to make for the door.”
“‘Bye”, Tikas said, watching T’Belaar as she left the lounge. She took another sip of her ale as she regarded the room again and, getting up, began to make for another table. She still had time tonight to celebrate.
The next morning, Tikas was grateful as she entered the Enterprise
’s bridge that she hadn’t broken out any of her private stash of real Romulan Ale the night before. Though not as bad as it was for aliens, it still left you with a hell of a hangover, and she didn’t have to deal with that this morning.
“Good morning, Commander,” she heard as she stepped off the turbolift.
Tikas nodded to the junior officer, Schmidt, “Good morning, Ensign.” It was Schmidt’s way to greet everyone as they got to the bridge for their shift, as a matter of courtesy. After all, his console was closest to the main turbolift to the bridge. It wasn’t completely regulation, as Tikas understood it, but nobody ever had a problem with him.
That he’d gotten her new rank correct the first time was to his credit. Tikas moved through the bridge to her own station, sitting to the right of Captain Koryavina’s command chair, and began pulling up the day’s duty rosters. It was the first officer’s job to manage the crew and any problems that might crop up, though she didn’t have too many of those this close to a refit.
It was a few minutes after her arrival that the captain finally arrived on the bridge. Tikas did not to look up, as tempting as it was given the information she’d received the night before. After having gone around the bridge and received reports from various officers about their status, Koryavina came full circle, past the helmsman, and approached Tikas.
“X.O., could you give me your briefing in my ready room?”
“Of course, Captain,” Tikas said, tapping her console to shut it off and picking her padd off the small table by her chair as she stood to follow Koryavina. “Iglesias, you have the bridge.”
“Yes, Subcommander,” he said, half-aware, still working at his station. Tikas decided not to make an issue of it as she followed Koryavina past several working crewmen and into the ready room.
ready room was subtly decorated in a variety of reds. Nowhere near a traditional Romulan commander’s almost bare office, but, compared to other Starfleet offices she’d seen, it was very understated. The only real image in the room was a small, marble idol of some god or another. Venus, that was it. Like Earth’s sister planet.
The captain took a seat behind her desk and, looking up at Tikas, spoke, “Report.”
“No significant personnel problems,” Tikas said. “I will be handing out the last crew evaluations for this tour for today and tomorrow. Ensign Schmidt and Lieutenant Ajira are both up for promotion when we get back, and I am recommending Chief Johnson be brought up to Senior Chief as soon as possible.”
“Nothing else to report?”
“No, ma’am,” Tikas said, still standing.
“Okay, then,” Koryavina said. “I have some news for you. Please, take a seat.”
Tikas sat down, a bit uneasily, as it was different trying to sit at attention in a Starfleet uniform, but quickly settled herself.
“It hasn’t been formally announced yet,” Koryavina began, “But I’m getting kicked upstairs. Rear Admiral.”
Tikas was shocked, and she knew she looked it. She quickly brought herself under control. “Congratulations, Captain,” she said, “But, I thought--”
“Yeah. It’s been since-- well, since Branzeva, really,” Koryavina said. “I’m tired, Tikas. I’ve served in space for most of my life, and I’ve commanded starships for almost fifteen years. When the flag offer came up, I decided to take it, deferred until the end of the tour. I’m taking command of Starbase 624, and command of Starfleet operations in that area of the galaxy.”
Tikas’ brow furrowed in thought, “I cannot remember 624, Captain--”
“It’s in the Sigma Iotia system,” Koryavina said. “Where Commander Akaran is from.”
Tikas thought for a few seconds. “Then,” she said, “this is why you are having the wedding when we get back to Earth. If I’m not mistaken, Sigma Iotia is not far from--”
“You’re not wrong,” Koryavina interrupted. “Spuria is retiring altogether. We agreed when we set the date for the wedding. Her father’s planning to retire from politics,” she said, “and someone needs to keep the dynasty together. He’s been pushing her for a few years, and, since Guevara
went up for refit a few months ago, she’s been essentially waiting for the wedding before making her retirement official.”
“I see,” Tikas said. “What is happening to the Enterprise
“She’s undergoing a complete refit, as you know,” Koryavina said, “and you, Commander
,” she emphasized her new rank, “are being appointed refit supervisor over the coming months.”
Tikas hadn’t really been shocked before. She knew this, now, because, this
must be what shock really feels like. “Refit supervisor” was a Starfleet assignment meaning, essentially, captain in waiting. “Sitara, I-- I don’t know what to say.”
Koryavina smiled, “You’ve earned it, Tikas. In the last few years, I have seen no one more dedicated to the well-being of this ship and its crew than its first officer. That is why I recommended you. Honestly, you would have been offered a ship of your own years ago if you weren’t technically non-Starfleet. Now that you are,” she said, trailing off.
“I-- thank you, Captain,” Tikas said, pulling herself together. “It’s an honor.”
“It’s my pleasure, Commander,” the captain said, rising, “knowing the Enterprise
will be in such capable hands.” Tikas rose with her, shaking her hand in the human way, as she continued, “Until then, we still have jobs to do. Report to the bridge, Commander. I’ll be out shortly.”
“Yes, Captain,” Tikas said, acknowledging the order with a nod and, with a last glance, at the ready room left for the bridge.
A Romulan captain of the Federation flagship. Irony, Tikas thought to herself, was not dead.