Episode 1: Return to Deep Space 9, Pt. 1
by Justine Norton-Kertson
originally published in Headcanon Magazine
Captain’s Log: Stardate 64968.7
We had a surprise run in with an Undine ship while en route from Ferenginar to pick up Tellarian Ambassador Crer. He’s on Octra V for a medical conference and since we’re in the area we’ve offered to ferry him back home to Tellar.
The attack left us with a blown out plasma injector, limiting us to warp 5. EPS conduits are also on the fritz, making our navigational deflectors mostly useless. Fortunately, I know this sector of space like the back of my hand. I contacted Captain Ro, and the Tycoon is scheduled to dock at Deep Space 9 first thing tomorrow morning for repairs.
We may have been able to fend off the assault, but we failed to determine what an Undine warship was doing so deep inside Federation territory. The battles against the Undine are all in the Beta Quadrant. This could be bad…
I have a meeting with Captain Ro at 0900 hours to fill her in on the situation.
Personal Log: Stardate 64968.9
We left Ferenginar at 0500. It was good to see my father and Leeta again. Grand Nagus Rom’s reform regime continues moving forward at a steady pace, and the Tower of Commerce has never been more alive and bustling.
I have to admit, it still feels strange to see females out in public and wearing clothing. Profits in the Ferengi Alliance have climbed almost exponentially since the full integration of females into the economy though, so no one really complains, at least not too much. Of course there are those who argue that women should still be forbidden from wearing clothes even while they participate in public life, but it’s been years since that idea was taken seriously by more than a fringe element of Ferengi society.
It just goes to show how powerful the profit motive is among our people. Females—with father and Moogie at the helm—very well may be ushering in a golden age of wealth and prosperity on Ferenginar. I couldn’t be more proud of them both, and not just because we’re now the most wealthy family in the Alliance.
In other news, I’ve been captain of the brand new—fresh off the New Utopia Planitia shipyards—USS Tycoon for less than three months and the ship is already damaged. We were attacked by an Undine vessel on our way to pick up Ambassador Crer on Octra V. It’s extremely unnerving that one of their ships was found in the Alpha Quadrant. So far all the fight has been contained to the Beta Quadrant.
On the positive side though, the damage to the Tycoon means an unexpected detour to Deep Space 9 for repairs. I haven’t been to the station in years. It will be good to see Ro Laren again. We became quite close during my time there as chief engineer of the Defiant.
I spoke with Jake as well. He’s planning to come up from Bajor for lunch tomorrow. Almost five years. That’s how long it’s been since the last time I saw him, when Jennifer was born. Time goes by so fast. It couldn’t be more fitting that our reunion will take place aboard Deep Space 9. Sure, it’s not the same Deep Space 9 we grew up on together. But it doesn’t matter. It’s still home, and it always will be. I hope he brings Jennifer with him.
Captain’s Log: Stardate 64969.4
I briefed Captain Ro on our clash with the Undine ship. She had related and equally disturbing news of her own to share. As it turns out, she wasn’t particularly surprised to learn about our scuffle. A number of Undine ships have been spotted in and around the Bajoran Sector over the past couple of weeks, most recently near Tavela Minor. But ours is the first reported confrontation.
Everyone on the station is justifiably on edge as rumors spread that the Undine War may be coming to Bajor. They already invaded the Sol System and the Klingon Empire. Casualties have been massive. Upon hearing about our altercation, fear became heavier than the rains of Ferenginar. Captain Ro immediately put the station on high alert and we went straight into a meeting with our combined senior staffs to analyze the rapidly shifting situation.
Chief Narraz assured me our repairs would be finished by 1430 hours. The Undine attack will only delay our schedule by a day. Ensign Dral contacted the embassy on Octra V and notified them of our delay and updated ETA.
Personal Log: Stardate 64969.9
Jake isn’t able to come to the station after all. I can’t say I’m not disappointed. Once Bajoran authorities got word of a nearby attack on a Defiant Class ship, they shutdown all civilian transports between Bajor and Deep Space 9 until further notice. He offered to use his “Son of the Emissary card,” as he likes to call it, to get onto a Starfleet transport to the station. It was hard, but I told him not to, that I just wouldn’t have time to see him.
Blaming all the commotion on the station and last minute meetings to talk about the Undine problem was easy enough. All of that is true too, even if the real reason I told him not to come is that it just isn’t safe. Ten years ago I might have stayed quiet and let him risk it. But he has a family now, and his wife is pregnant with their second child. His daughters need their father to be alive, and I could never forgive myself if…
Well anyway, we both promised to make time to get together as soon as possible. Who knows when that will be through, realistically. Especially if war with the Undine does come to Bajor. Hopefully those fears turn out to be unfounded.
Interestingly, I ran into Admiral Picard for the first time since he became a synth. I’m not entirely sure what he was doing on the station. We were both in a hurry so only had a brief moment to exchange superficial greetings. It was amazing though. The golem really is a perfect replica of his body. If I didn’t already known he was a synth, I never would have guessed that I wasn’t talking to Admiral Picard in the flesh. Even though I was. Well, sort of. It was the first time a person’s consciousness was uploaded into a synthetic shell like this, with the shell literally becoming the individual—memories, habits, and all. Even now a decade later, it’s still the biggest breakthrough in the field of cybernetics since the positronic matrix. Picard isn’t the only one of these new human-synth hybrids anymore, but he’s the first one I’ve had the pleasure of meeting.
Captain’s Log: Stardate 64973.5
We dropped off Ambassador Crer on Tellar at 1015 hours, and on orders from Admiral Janeway we turned around almost immediately to head back to Deep Space 9. Earlier this morning there was another Undine attack. They destroyed a Federation ship near Tracken II, well inside the Bajoran Sector and way too close to Bajor itself for comfort. The science vessel was on its way to study gravitational anomalies in the Badlands when it was ambushed. It looks like none of the fifty-three people onboard survived, although there is one escape pod unaccounted for. Our orders are to join the growing fleet at Deep Space 9, and I’ve been ordered to help Captain Ro coordinate security in the sector until further notice.
To be continued…