This story is based in the "Star Trek" universe. The use of anything related to "Star Trek" in this series is not intended to infringe upon the rights of Paramount
Pictures. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise.

All other content or otherwise are works of my own imagination. All events are fictitious in nature.

Any similarities to persons living, dead, or otherwise are purely coincidental.

This story contains strong themes of homosexual content, if this offends you in any way, please refrain from reading further. If you are not of legal age to read this, please leave now.

A/N: I'd like to thank TalonRider for editing this chapter. His unparalleled brilliance and tiresome effort applied to my work is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

A Vulcan’s Love
-By Emulated

Chapter 20: Zero Hour

Earth, San Francisco

Vice-Admiral Becker nodded, “Yes, the Romulan diplomats arrived at Vulcan seven minutes ago. Everything appears to be on schedule.” He paused, “The report also details that Ambassador Spock arrived with them. He will be working closely with both sides during the talks.”

Ive looked at him, “Is the President ready for her transfer to Vulcan tomorrow?”

“Yes, Sir. Starfleet Security is coordinating with Command. There does not appear to be any problems.”

Ive nodded, “Good, keep me apprised if anything should chang-“ He began, before he was interrupted.

“Admiral Ive, there is an urgent Priority One hail originating from the Romulan Star Empire. It’s Chairman Kozarr of the Tal Shiar.” Came the voice of his PA Lieutenant Carey, through the comm.

Ive looked at Becker, “Take a seat, Admiral.” He said, before he tapped on his combadge, “This is Ive, please send the transmission into here.”

“Yes, Sir.”

The two gentlemen waited for a few seconds before Kozarr’s face appeared on the screen. To any average person, Kozarr would have appeared to be calm and collected, but to Ive and Becker, all they could see was the man’s agitation. Clearly something was wrong.

“Admiral Ive, I’m afraid I have no time for pleasantries so please listen carefully.” Began Kozarr.

Ive nodded slowly.

“Approximately thee minutes ago, we received an intelligence report warning us about an imminent attack against the Federation, which is to be carried out by the terrorist cell responsible for the stolen warbirds.”

Ive spoke up, “What kind of attack?” He asked.

“Radiological. The report detailed the use of thalaron generators. We can only speculate that these were prototype units left over by Shinzon.”

“What is the intended target?” Asked Ive, his voice still emotionless.

Kozarr paused, “Federation planets. The report doesn’t state which, but there are going to be multiple, concurrent attacks.”

Becker turned to Ive, “Every populated planet has an anti-cloak generator, it will be impos-“ He began before Kozarr interrupted.

“No, the terrorists are aware of your generators, so they are launching the attacks from commercial and private vessels. They will not use the warbirds.”

That caught Becker off guard. There were hundreds of thousands, if not millions of vessels, which were located within the Federation at any given moment, and they couldn’t all be checked for thalaron generators. The terrorists could be in orbit of the intended planets at that very moment, seconds away from firing a thalaron burst, and killing millions in a matter of seconds.

Ive paused for a moment and looked at Kozarr, “How accurate is the source?”

“It’s from one of our operatives. We’ve verified the signature. It’s as accurate as it gets.” He looked off the screen, “I’m sending you the report now. But I’ve mentioned the main points.”

Ive watched at the file instantly appeared on his console.

Kozarr continued, “Admiral, I have also dispatched a fleet of warbirds towards Vulcan. They are under cloak, but given the size of the fleet, you may detect their entry through the tachyon detection grid. I am sending them to ensure the safety of the Romulan diplomats, but if they can assist in any way, please hail me.”

Ive nodded, “Understood, they may enter Federation space, but I want them to de-cloak when they reach the border. I need to know where they are at all times.”

Kozarr guessed that Ive would ask for something like that, “Of course. They should cross the border in under an hour.”

“Thank you, Chairman.”

Kozarr bowed his head, “Good luck, Admiral.” He said, closing the channel.

All was silent within the room, before Ive stood up and tapped his combadge, “Computer, open a Priority one channel to all Federation ships, authorisation: Ive-three-lamba-echo-lambda.”

“Channel open.”

“This is Admiral Ive of Starfleet Intelligence, I am initiating protocol Alpha-Talon immediately. All Starfleet vessels are to go to red alert and await further instructions. Ive out.” He said, and within seconds, a loud pulse began to sound, along with the lighting being dimmed and shutters crawled across the windows of the building. A subtle drone could also be heard, indicating that the shield grid, which protected Starfleet’s main buildings within San Francisco, was coming online.

Becker followed suit and tapped on his combadge, “This is Becker, I want this building to be secured immediately. Heads of department and all essential personnel are to report to U51.” He said, as five heavily armed security personnel rushed into Ive’s office.

“Sirs, we’re your assigned security detail. We are here to escort you to your given destination.”

Ive nodded and glanced over at Becker, “Walk with me.”

Becker headed over as they walked out of the room, surrounded by the security detail. The corridor was lined with more security personnel, helping to evacuate all non-essential officers, and assisting those who were heading down to U51. Lieutenant Carey rushed over from her desk and walked with Ive and Becker. She was carrying a PADD in one hand, and had a small earphone pressed against her left ear. She would be his direct form of communication with the Federation and Starfleet for the next few minutes.

“Sir, San Francisco, along with all major cities, are entering lock-down. Planetary defence systems are standing by…” She said, as the information was relayed to her PADD, and to her ear.

“Very good.” He responded, as they entered into a large turbolift. One of the security personnel keyed a code into a panel in the lift, causing the doors to shut, as it began its descent into U51.

“Sir, we have a transmission coming in from Andoria, it’s the President.” Said Carey.

“Open the channel, audio only.”

There was a slight pause as the channel opened, “Admiral Ive, what is the current situation?” Came the President’s voice.

“Madame President, we have just been notified about an imminent terrorist attack by the Romulan terrorist cell.”

There was a slight pause, “Do we know what the target is?”

“No Mam. But all evidence points towards multiple simultaneous attacks with radiological weapons.”

“What about the anti-cloak generators, have they detected anything?” She asked.

Ive shook his head, “They are not using the warbirds, they are in private or commercial ships.”

“I will return to Earth immediately.” Said the President.

“Madame President, you are in the safest place at the moment. I strongly advise that you remain on Andoria. I cannot guarantee your safety otherwise.”

There was a slight pause again, “Ok. I will remain here. But I want you to keep me apprised.”

“Of course. We will keep a continuous link open with you.”

“Very well, good luck, Admiral.”

“Thank you Mam.” He said, before the connection was closed.

Carey turned to him, “Sir, Admiral Hayes, along with several of the President’s advisors have arrived within U51.”

Ive nodded, “Good.” He said, before the lift finally came to a halt. The doors slid open and the security detail fanned out. There was a short, white corridor that led to a huge set of double doors, leading to U51. In short, U51 was Starfleet’s equivalent of Omega-Zero. It was a highly fortified, underground installation, which allowed direct communication with the entire Federation. Due to its extreme depth and transport inhibitors, it was impossible to beam in or out of that location, so turbolifts and Jefferies tubes were the only means of entry and exit.

Ive walked through the double doors, and past the security personnel, before he was greeted by a large, brightly lit room. In the centre of the room was a massive oval table, which had enough seating available for all high-ranking officials. At one end was a seat for the President, and at the opposite end was a large screen. Along the width of the room, on either side, were hundreds of computer consoles with personnel operating them. The consoles were on an incline, so there were many levels which went up either side, allowing them to look down on the table. And while this facility had always been manned since its construction earlier that year, it had never been in official use, until the recent crisis.

The mood in the room was quite hectic as people rushed to find their seats. Those who were already sitting were loudly discussing what had happened, with some tapping away on their PADDs, trying to find out more. Admiral Ive walked forward and went down the steps which led to the table. Seeing as the President wasn’t on the planet, he would assume command of the facility. In occasions such as these, Starfleet Intelligence took precedence over Starfleet Command. Ive stepped up to his chair and looked around the table. Everyone who was seated quickly stood up, as all eyes focused in on him. The room quickly fell into silence. Becker walked up and stood behind the chair closest to the Admiral.

Ive looked at everyone, before he sat down, with everyone else following suit. He glanced down at his console, before he looked up at them, “Five minutes ago I received some intelligence, which indicates that an attack against the Federation is underway.”

Some murmurs were heard around the room.

“The intelligence points towards a concurrent attack on multiple Federation planets. It also details that the attack is to be carried out by the Romulan terrorist cell.” He paused, “We believe that they are in possession of thalaron emitters, which they will use in the attack.”

A few people in the room muttered to themselves at the mention of ‘thalaron’. In short, thalaron was a type of radiation in the EM spectrum. The Federation long abandoned research into this form of radiation because of its potential use as a biogenic weapon. A miniscule amount of thalaron radiation would be more than enough to kill every living organism on a starship. And with the knowledge that the terrorists have thalaron emitters in their possession, things could quickly begin to spiral out of control.

“The terrorists are also aware of our anti-cloak technology, and are therefore going to use commercial or private vessels in which to launch the attack.”

That quickly sent the room into chaos. Many of the officials around the table turned to each other, discussing what they just heard, or moreover, what are they going to do.

“Please, let me finish.” Said Ive loudly, bringing the room into silence again.

“Upon receipt of this news, I initiated protocol Alpha-Talon. It is also my recommendation to this council, that we order all ships to head towards the closest inhabited planet and perform a search of all private vessels in orbit. I would also recommend that we restrict private vessels from entering inhabited systems.”

Admiral Hayes, head of Starfleet Command spoke up, “ALL of our ships? What of our borders? What if the Romulans or the Tholians decide to attack?”

“Yes, all of our ships. But seeing as they would be in orbit of our planets, we are at no extra risk to being attacked.” He replied.

“What of the President? Why isn’t she here?” Asked another Admiral.

Becker spoke up, “The President has been secured on Andoria. We have seven ships operating nearby, they’ve been assigned to protect her.”

“Do we know what planets are at risk?” Asked Hayes.

Ive pressed a button and pulled up a map of the Federation on the large screen, “At the current time we are not sure. But our best guesses would be one of the larger populated planets: Earth, Vulcan, Denobula, Trill…they are all possible targets.”

Hayes tapped on a button on his console, overlaying the position of all Starfleet ships, “We have more than enough vessels to protect every inhabited planet, but most are hours away at maximum warp.”

Ive nodded, “Therefore we must make a decision now.” He said, before he tapped on his console, “I’m sending each of you the document I received from Chairman Kozarr. You may read it at your discretion, but I have given you the summary.”

Admiral Brooks of Starfleet Tactical looked at Ive, “I agree with your assessment Ive, we need to move our ships immediately.”

Several others around the table called out in agreement.

Ive nodded and turned to Becker, “Give the order, all Starfleet ships are to head towards the closest inhabited planet to them at maximum warp. Once there they are to scan each ship in orbit for traces of thalaron technology. They are also ordered to establish a quarantine around each system. No ship enters or leaves a system unless it has been searched. Any vessels detected to be carrying thalaron technology are to be reported to Command immediately. End message.”

Becker nodded and tapped on his PADD, “Done. The message has been sent.”


USS Titan

I thought you looked really cute with spiky hair.”

“It was illogical.” Replied T’Luk, as he sat next to me. We were on duty in Astrometrics. There were a few other people there, but they weren’t that close to us.

I giggled at him, “Don’t worry, I won’t make you do it again…” I paused, “Unless you’re up for it, of course.”

He opened his mouth to object, but was rudely interrupted.

“RED ALERT, ALL HANDS TO BATTLESTATIONS!” Came the Captain’s voice through the Comm, as the klaxon began to sound.

“What the hell?” I remarked as I stared intently at my display. Sensors weren’t showing any sign of the warbirds nearby, hell, there weren’t even any ships within a one-light-year radius of our current position.

“Kai.” Called out T’Luk. “We have just received a transmission from Starfleet Command.”

I looked over at his console, “What does it say?” I asked.

“It reads that all ships are to go to red alert, protocol Alpha-Talon has been initiated.”

“I wonder what has happened.” I said, looking back at my console, searching the database for any news.

T’Luk tapped away as well, “There does not appear to be any news of any incidents.”

I turned to him, “Perhaps one of the warbirds have been found.”

He shook his head, “There is no record of that.” He looked at me, “We will have to wait and see if we receive any further information.” He said. Fortunately we didn’t have to wait long, as five minutes later, we received a message from Command.

I read aloud the last line again, “…Any vessels detected to be carrying thalaron technology are to be reported to Command immediately. End message.” I looked at T’Luk, “Thalaron technology?” I asked, “I really don’t like the sound of that.”

“Indeed. It would be logical to assume that the terrorist cell are responsible for this alert.” He replied.

“But all ships are to be searched? We know that the terrorists are using warbirds.”

T’Luk thought for a moment, “It is possible that they will use civilian vessels, as they would not rouse suspicion and would be difficult to search.” He looked at me, “They would be vulnerable in the warbirds, as we can detect them.”

I nodded. He had a point. As soon as the terrorists knew that we had the generators, they also knew that they couldn’t approach any planet without being detected. T’Luk’s speculation made sense. I began to think for a moment, before I heard a loud drone sound for a moment, indicating that we had increased our speed. I looked at my console, we had reversed our course and were heading for Regulus, the closest inhabited planet to us. We had also increased our speed to warp 9.95, only a few ships could exceed that velocity. I glanced at a map on my console, once again looking at the ten-light-year void which separated us and Klingon space.

“We can’t turn around.” I remarked.

T’Luk looked at me, “Why?”

I pointed to the map, “The warbirds could be hiding there.”

“Kai, there are numerous locations which have not been searched by ships, there is no evidence to suggest that they are there.”

I thought about it for a second, before I stood up, “I’m going to engineering.”

“Kai?” Remarked T’Luk.

“I’m going to see if we can boost the output of the generator, that way we could see if there are any warbirds there.” I replied.

He paused for a moment before he nodded, “Please be sure to get authorisation this time. I do not want to visit you in the brig.”

I smiled at him, “I’ll behave.” I said, as I walked out of the door.

I headed down the corridor, entered a turbolift, and rode down to main engineering. As I stepped through the large double doors, I was met with quite a few people rushing about, holding PADDs and keying things into consoles. I walked toward the warp core, noting how loud it was. I glanced over and saw H’Jan standing next to one of the consoles surrounding it.

“I’m ready here, try it now.” He called out.

There was a slight pause, before the warp core seemed to ‘beat’ faster, the sound and vibrations increasing slightly.

H’Jan looked at the console and nodded, “It’s working, we’re steady at warp 9.97. The antimatter injectors are at 130%. They seem to be holding.”

Commander Librescu walked over to him, “Good work, Ensign. Take a break for a few minutes.”

He nodded, “Thanks, Sir.” He said, before he noticed me.

I headed over, “You’re really pushing her, aren’t you?” I asked.

“Yeah, and then some.” He paused, “Can I help you with something?”

“Actually, you can. I want to boost the output of the generator.”

A smile crept onto his face, “’Boost the output?’” He joked.

I nodded.

“Oh, you want to break it, like you did with the sensors?”

“I didn’t break them. I was testing their limit.” I smiled, “And I have to say, they performed well.” I looked at him, “So what about the generator? I need it done quickly.”

He walked over to a console and I followed, “I can try to increase its output from here…” He said trailing off as he tapped away, “Why’d you need it done anyway? We’re heading in the opposite direction.”

“That’s the thing, we haven’t scanned any of the space back there. The warbirds could be hiding under cloak.” I said.

He nodded, “I guess...There, I’ve done it.” He looked at the display, “Wow, I’ve increased the range by a whole light-year. I’m good.”

I looked at my PADD, we still weren’t detecting anything, “Yeah, but if you could extend it by an extra six-light-years you’d be even better.”

“Six?!” He said loudly, “You want me to blow it up?”

“Blow what up, Ensign?” Asked Comm. Librescu, as she headed over.

I looked at her, flashing her a grin.

“Ensign Taylor. I should have know.” She said crossing her arms, “You always seem to need our assistance when we’re really busy.” She said light-heartedly.

“Oh, but you engineers work wonders when under pressure.” I said, but decided to drop the humour, “Commander, I need the range of the anti-cloak generator to be extended.”

H’Jan nodded, “I’ve already increased the power flow to 120%.”

She thought for a moment, “Take it up to 150%”

He tapped on the console, “There.”

“Commander!” Called out Lieutenant Librescu from across the room, “Could you come over here, please?”

The commander held up her hand, and then turned to H’Jan, “Keep playing with it, just don’t exceed 160%. Try tweaking its interface with the computer core.”

He nodded, “Thanks, commander, I’ll do that.”

She smiled, before she headed off.

I looked at H’Jan, “We’ve only gained an extra light-year. Take it up to 160% and do that ‘tweaking’ business.”

He stared at me, “Yes, Sir.” He said, before he tapped away at the console, and sat down, “This is going to take a minute.” He remarked, so I pulled up a seat next to him.

“It’s pretty scary, isn’t it? Thalaron radiation.”

He nodded, “Even a miniscule amount would be enough to kill every living thing on this ship. All in a matter of seconds.”

I grimaced, “Yeah, lovely.” I looked at him, “Why the hell would someone make a device capable of producing that?”

“I have no idea.” He said, before I heard some loud chirps emit from one of the consoles next to H’Jan.

“This is new.” Said H’Jan, as he looked at the other display.

I looked at him, “What just happened?”

“We’ve lost our uplink to command.”

I frowned, “Was it something we did?”

He shook his head, “I’m not sure.” He said, before he paused, “The generator is working normally, and the output is at five light-years further. You aren’t going to get anything more out of it.”

I nodded and was about to recalibrate the unit before H’Jan turned around, “Commander, we have just lost our uplink to Starfleet.”

Commander Librescu looked over, “Do you know the cause?” She asked, as she headed over.

“Negative, I’m working on it.” He called back.

Librescu stood at the console and looked at the display, before it suddenly returned to normal.

“Oh, the connection is back online.” Remarked H’Jan, before he ran a quick diagnostic, “I’m not sure what went wrong. Everything appears to be alright on our end.”

She tapped on another display, pulling up a list of some ships nearby. The USS Intrepid was a little over a light-year away, so she tapped on it and selected the Chief Engineer. We waited for several seconds, before a Trillian female appeared on the screen.

“This is Chief Engineer Cho of the Intrepid, can I help you with something?” Asked the woman.

“Yes, I am Chief Engineer Librescu of the Titan. We have just experienced a brief loss of communication with Starfleet Command, I was wondering if it was an isolated incident.”

The woman shook her head, “No, we have just experienced a similar malfunction ourselves. Everything seems to be running as usual at this moment.”

Librescu nodded, “That’s ok, it must be an issue at Starfleet’s end, possibly due to this protocol. Either way, we’ll investigate it from our side.”

“We will do the same, if we find anything, we’ll pass it on to you.”

“Likewise. Thank you for your time, Commander.”

“No problem, I guess we’ll be seeing you at Regulus.”

Librescu smiled, “It seems that way. Titan out.” She said, before she closed the channel and looked at H’Jan, who was still working, “Anything Ensign?”

“Not yet. It happened at the same time I initiated the generator, but if the Intrepid was also affected, it couldn’t have been that system.”

I stared at him, “So it wasn’t the generator?”

“No.” He said before he turned around, looking at the Commander “I’d like to go down to the computer core and see if I can find anything out from there.“

I looked down at my console and began to recalibrate the generator.

“That’s a good idea, Ensign. Perhaps you might find out something.” She said.

I felt a flow of energy over my body as I glanced at the screen, “Erm…” I began.

H’Jan looked at me, “What’s wrong?”

I looked up at them, pointing to the display, “We…they…” I stuttered unable to talk.

H’Jan and Librescu leaned closer and looked at the screen, their eyes widening slightly. There, as bright as day, were four unknown contacts, approximately six-light-years away.

“The warbirds.” Remarked H’Jan, “You found them. We found them.”

I swallowed and tapped on the display, requesting a detailed scan. A few seconds passed before the generator identified them as four Romulan D’deridex class warbirds. We had found them. We actually found them.

Librescu squeezed H’Jan and my shoulders, “Great work Ensigns.” She said, grinning.

H’Jan looked at me, “Call it in, Kai.”

I reached for my combadge and paused, “You, do it.” I said, “You done the work.”

He nodded and flashed me a grin, as he pressed on his combadge, “Captain Riker, this is Ensign Li from Engineering.”

“Riker here, go ahead Ensign.”

“Sir, I believe we have found the warbirds. They are at a bearing of one-six-zero, range at approximately six-light-years.” He tapped on the display, “I am sending the data up to Commander Clark now.”

USS Titan - Bridge

Commander Clark nodded, “Yep, I have the data now, Sir. And the Ensign is correct, it does appear to be four Romulan warbirds.”

Captain Riker walked over and looked at the display, “They were right there the entire time.” He tapped his combadge, “Good work, Ensign, we’ll take it from here.”

“Thank you, Sir, Li out.” Said H’Jan, closing the channel.

Riker walked over to his chair and sat down. He looked over at Commander Caves, “I think we should come about and set a course, we can alert Starfleet on the way.”

Caves nodded, “I agree. We shouldn’t pass up on this opportunity. We can get them now.”

He looked over at Alex, “Ensign, bring us about and set a course for those warbirds. Maximum warp.”

“Aye, Sir.” Said Alex, as he brought the ship out of warp, turning it around, and going to warp again. “We should reach the coordinates in a little over four hours.”

“Very well.” Remarked Riker, as he turned to Commander Clark, “Send a message to Starfleet Command, tell them about our recent find.”

“Yes, Sir.” Replied Clark, as he relayed the message.

Riker looked at him, “What other ships are nearby?”

Clark tapped on his console, “The Intrepid is the only ship within ten-light-years. She’s approximately one-light-year away.”

“Hail them.”

Clark initiated a hail, “They’re responding.”

“On screen.”

There was a momentary pause, before a view of the Intrepid’s bridge appeared, centring on the Captain and First Officer, The Captain spoke up, “This is Captain Sumner of the Intrepid, how can I help you, Captain?” He asked, smiling warmly.

Riker smiled back, “How does hunting some warbirds sound?” He asked, but held up his hand, “Don’t volunteer just yet, as we’re the only two ships in the sector, so we’ll be going in alone.”

Captain Sumner leaned forward, “Have you detected the warbirds?”

Riker nodded, “We managed to increase the range of our generator, and are picking up four warbirds at six-light-years away from our current location. “

Sumner thought for a moment, “Do you have the coordinates, Captain?”

Riker turned to Clark, “Send them the coordinates.”

Clark nodded and tapped away.

Sumner glanced toward the tactical station and then back to the screen, “Yes, they are seven-light-years away from us. At maximum warp, we should be able to catch up with you.”

Riker nodded, “Good. I’ve just sent a message to Starfleet, they should respond soon. While we can be first on the scene, I don’t want to be caught without any reinforcements.”

“I agree.” Said Sumner, pausing, “We’ll rendezvous with the Titan at two-light-years away from the coordinates. Then we can wait for reinforcements before we go in.”

“Great, we’ll see you there.”

“Indeed. Intrepid out.”

Riker turned to Clark, “Any word on Starfleet?”

“Yes, they’re dispatching several vessels to assist us. Command says they’ll send more instructions once we rendezvous with the Intrepid.”

Riker faced forward and stroked his beard, before he turned to Alex, “Ensign, how long until we rendezvous with the Intrepid?”

“At our relative velocities, two hours and forty seven minutes, Sir.” He replied.

“Very good.”


San Francisco, U51 - Two and a half hours later

Admiral Ive, I think you need to see this, Sir.” Called out of the officers, Lieutenant Cadman.

Ive looked up at her, “Transfer it to the main viewer.”

The room became silent as the screen changed to display a portion of the Federation.

“What are we looking at here, Lieutenant?” Asked Becker.

The screen zoomed in on two ships travelling close to each other, “These two ships, Sirs, are travelling away from their closest planet.”

“Could they be heading somewhere else?” Asked Becker.

“I cannot see how, Sir. They appear to be on a heading towards the Klingon border.”

“What ships are they?” Asked Ive.

“The USS Titan and USS Intrepid.”

Becker leaned close to Ive, “The Titan, that’s Riker’s ship.”

“Indeed.” Said Ive, “Lieutenant, have we received any communications from those ships?”

“No, Sir, wait…The computer shows that there was a loss in communication with both ships, almost three hours ago.”

Several people murmured to themselves. Admiral Hayes spoke up, “Loss of communication? They’re off the grid?”

Cadman looked down at them, “Yes, Sir. They’re failing to connect to any of our subspace beacons. We’re only receiving telemetry from our deep space sensors.”

“Is it possible that there’s a fault at our end?” Asked Ive.

She tapped on her display, “No, Sir. No other ships appear to be offline. There is definitely an issue at their end.”

“Hail the Titan.” Ordered Ive.

“Yes, Sir.” She said, but quickly frowned, “I’m not getting a response from our hail.”

“Try again, Lieutenant.” Said Becker.

“Aye Sir.” She said, trying several more times, before shaking her head, “Nope, they’re not responding. We’re definitely hailing them, and they should be receiving it. I have also hailed the Intrepid, but I’m also getting no reply.”

Admiral Brooks looked at Ive, “The chances of both of their subspace communications failing is astronomical. And even if that was to happen, they wouldn’t be at high warp heading towards nowhere.”

“What are they doing?” Muttered Becker quietly.

“Perhaps we should consider the possibility that they are no longer under our control.” Said Hayes.

“Could you elaborate, Sir?” Asked Becker.

Hayes leaned forward, “There has already been an incident of sabotage aboard the Titan, what if this is another attack? What if they’ve been commandeered?”

“The Titan was thoroughly checked by Starfleet Intelligence. We checked both the ship, and the crew.” Replied Becker.

“How else could you explain what has happened? We have two ships, both off the grid, both not responding to our hails, and they’re at high warp heading to a region of space that hasn’t been scanned by the anti-cloak generator.” He said.

Becker nodded, “That does make a good argument, but the Titan has almost a thousand crew onboard. I highly-“

“Thalaron emitters.” Said Ive.

“Sir?” Asked Becker.

“The report specified thalaron emitters. It is possible that one of these were placed on both ships, and were activated.” He said.

Everyone became silent for a moment while they pondered over Ive’s words. “My god.” Remarked Admiral Casey of Starfleet Medical. “If that indeed happened, then no one would be left alive.”

“Yet the ship would be fully operational.” Finished Admiral Brooks, “Leaving the terrorists with two very powerful Federation starships at their disposal. So while we were searching every commercial ship, they could use our own ships against us.” He turned to Ive, “I recommend that we send an entire fleet after them.”

Admiral Hayes nodded, “I tend to agree with Admiral Brooks.” He tapped on his display and pulled up another map, “Task force- Lambda is comprised of some twenty-five ships. They are about five hours away at maximum warp. We can send them to intercept the Titan and the Intrepid.”

Becker looked at them, “Even so, there are still numerous possibilities which could explain the lack of communications.”

“All the more reason why we should investigate the issue further.” He replied, looking at Ive, “You are in charge here, Admiral. What is your decision?”

Ive looked at him, “We send the fleet. We need to find out what is going on.” He said, before he looked at the screen, ‘And in five hours, we’ll find out...

USS Titan - Bridge

Sir, we’ve received another communiqué from Starfleet.” Said Commander Clark.

“What does it say?” Asked Riker.

“They are sending Task force- Alpha to assist us. They are at high warp and should arrive at the coordinates in one hour, fifty two minutes.” He replied.

Riker smiled, “Good.” He said, turning to Alex, “Ensign, change our velocity to ensure that we arrive at the coordinates in one hour, forty minutes.”

“Aye Sir.” Said Alex.

Riker turned to Caves, “I think the Titan and the Intrepid can hold out for twelve minutes against them.”

Caves nodded, “Yes, the Romulan ships may be large, but they are still using relatively old technology. We should be fine until the reinforcements arrive.”


One hour, thirty minutes later

Have you ever been into battle before, T’Luk? I mean, besides being on the Titan?” I asked.

He looked up from his console, “No. The Nova was a relatively small vessel. She was not designed for combat.”

“So you guys just stayed in the ‘safe’ areas then?” I asked.

He raised an eyebrow, “In a sense, we did. Although our missions never took us too far away from the centre of the Federation.” He looked at me, “Have you ever been in combat before?”

I nodded, “Yes, once on the Bellerophon.”

“Care to elaborate?” He asked.

“Well, we were travelling near to the Badlands, just performing a routing sca-“ I began, before Captain Riker came over the Comm.

“This is the Captain. We are less than ten minutes away from the coordinates of the Romulan warbirds. They have spotted our approach, but are not making any attempt to leave. Regardless, when the Titan and the Intrepid drop out of warp, we will strike first.” He paused, “Approximately ten minutes after our arrival, Task Force- Alpha will arrive to reinforce us. So we will not be going in alone.” He paused again, “I know many of you have never been in a battle situation, aside from training, but I am telling you now that you will be ok. Just concentrate on what you have to do and we’ll take care of each other. I selected this crew because you are all young, smart and have a lot of potential. I know you won’t let me down. Riker out.”

I looked at T’Luk, “I think that made me more nervous.”

He raised an eyebrow again.

I giggled at him, “Well, you can’t get nervous, so you have nothing to worry about.”

“Perhaps not, but I will still take care in ensuring that you are safe from harm.” He replied.

I suddenly felt better inside again, “You’re so perfect, you know that?” I said quietly, before Commander Jones’ voice came through my combadge.

“Commander Jones to Ensign Taylor.”

I tapped my badge, “Taylor here, what can I do for you, Commander?”

“I haven’t had the time to reorganise the science department at the moment, so I’d like you to be in charge down in Astrometrics during this engagement.” She said.

I looked over at T’Luk, before I replied, “Erm, sure, Commander.” I said, nodding, “Anything I can do to help.”

“That’s great. Take care down there.” She replied.

“You too Commander.”

“Jones out.”

I sat there for a second, before I glanced at T’Luk, “Can you believe that?”

“It is logical to assign someone to be in command down here.” He replied.

I nodded and grinned at him, before I looked down at my display. We had six minutes and seventeen seconds before we dropped out of warp. I tapped on the display to see how far behind the reinforcements were. They would drop out of warp in some eighteen minutes later. I was sure that we could last that long, at least.


San Francisco, U51

Ive looked at the Lieutenant, “Any answer to our hails?”

“No Sir, we have still received no communication from the Titan, or the Intrepid.” She replied.

He thought for a moment, “How long until Task Force- Lambda reaches the coordinates?” He asked.

“They are still three hours and twenty seven minutes out.”

“Have they changed course?” Asked Becker, referring to the Titan and Intrepid.

“No, Sir. They are still on their previous heading, however they are now travelling alongside each other.”

Admiral Hayes spoke up, “I don’t like where this is heading.”

Ive looked at him, “No. But if the ships are under Romulan control, they must be stopped. We cannot allow them to carry out their mission.”

Becker looked at him, “Well, our ships are still three and a half hours away.”

‘Yes,’ thought Ive, ‘three and a half hours.’


USS Titan

I looked at them, “And remember, reinforcements are only ten minutes away. If worst comes to worst, we’ll be ok.”

The seven crewman and three Ensigns nodded at me, as I stood in front of them in Astrometrics.

“Thirty seconds before we exit warp.” Called out T’Luk.

“Ok, everyone stand up and grab onto something.” I said, as I walked over to my console next to T’Luk.

While being a scientist was usually a great job, and was respected by many people, we were pretty much useless in times such as these. I mean, it’s not like we could use a telescope, or a microscope to beat the Romulans. No, all we could do was what we did best: to scan for anything that might give us an advantage. I’d looked at the space where we’d drop out of warp, and to be honest, there was nothing there. No particles of space dust, nothing. Yeah, we were pretty much useless.

“Ten seconds.” Remarked T’Luk, causing me to look over at him. I reached out and grabbed his hand. He turned to me and looked into my eyes. And for a split second, everything was ok. Nothing mattered. All was at peace.

The drone of the warp drive could be heard coming offline. I looked up at the screen, at first there was nothing there, but once I interfaced the generator in with our view, I could see four warbirds. Time seemed to pause for an instant, before red phasers, along with several quantum torpedoes were fired from the Titan, impacting on one of the enemy ships. Its image distorted for a second, before I realised that we had targeted its cloak. Seemingly Commander Clark was removing their veil of invisibility before they could take out our generator.

The Romulans fired several torpedoes, impacting heavily on our starboard shield, rocking the ground beneath me. I glanced down at my console to see the shield status: 98%. But that was just one ship with one volley. We’re going to have to lower the odds if we were to survive against all four. We watched again as the Titan fired at another warbird, while the Intrepid flew past our viewer as it chased after another one. From the firepower that we were unleashing, it was clear that Clark wasn’t holding back. Our weapons seemed to be on continuous fire at all angles.

I looked up at the screen to see another spread of torpedoes closing in on us, before the Titan banked sharply to the left, then back again, avoiding the fire. I watched as we came about, flew over one of the warbirds, and then behind another one, using it as cover. Alex was definitely pushing the ship to the max, he was treating this thing as though it was a runabout. But as we came about the warbird, suddenly there was another one right in front of us. I instinctively leaned to the side, but the Titan pulled up steeply, bringing us above them.

The floor shook violently again, causing one of the crewmen to fall to the ground. But before she could get up, we were hit again, and then again.

“Fuck!” I remarked, over the sound of the shield impact, “We’re getting pounded!”

“Shields are at eighty two percent.” Said T’Luk.

I looked up at him, but turned around when I heard the door slide open, as H’Jan stepped in. Another volley from the warbirds almost knocked him off his feet as he staggered towards a console.

“What is it?” I asked.

He held up a hand as he frantically tapped away at the display.

I stumbled over to him, holding onto the rail as we were hit again. I looked at the console to see what he was doing. He appeared to be looking at the transmission logs, specifically the time which we lost communication with Starfleet.

“Why the hell you still doing that?” I asked, as the ship jerked to the side.

“Wait!” He shouted.

T’Luk turned to us, “The Intrepid has just lost her warp drive.”

I felt a shiver make its way down my spine. I assumed that my proximity to T’Luk would have shielded me from feeling some emotions, and while it was doing something, clearly it wasn’t doing as much.

“Warp drive?” I asked.

He nodded. Confirming the news that no one wanted to hear. A loss of warp drive signalled one thing; you couldn’t run, you had to stay and fight, or you die.

“FUCK!!!” Shouted H’Jan as he banged his fist against the console, “Bastards!”

“WHAT?!?!” I shouted.

He turned to me, ”It was a trick! A FUCKING trick!” He tapped on his display, “We lost contact with Starfleet because the Romulans blocked our signal!”

I looked at him, “No, they can’t have. We’re still receiving data, see?” I said, pointing to the status of our reinforcements.

H’Jan stepped closer and looked at me, “They aren’t there Kai!” He shouted, “No one’s coming! It’s all FAKE!” He said before he tapped his combadge and ran towards the door. “Captain Riker, this is Ensign Li…” He began, before he moved too far away for me to hear.

“What do you mean they’re not coming?” I shouted after him.

He faced me, “We’re on our own. Starfleet isn’t ten minutes out. It’s the Romulans, they sent us a fake signal. They’ve been feeding us false information.”

“WHAT?!?!?” I shouted back.

He pointed at the console, “LOOK!” He said, before he took off.

I looked at the console. I immediately began to feel lightheaded and sick from what I saw. T’Luk made his way toward me.

“We have lost warp drive and long range communications.” He began, “Kai?” He asked, looking at me.

I looked at him, “Look.”

He looked down at the display. The Task Force were no longer there, instead it was replaced with empty space. I zoomed out. There was a task force on its way, but it was still over three hours out. We couldn’t survive three hours. And with without warp drive, we couldn’t run either.

I looked into T’Luk’s eyes, and for the second time, I saw fear. But in his fear I found strength. I stumbled past him as we were hit by another volley again.

“Kai, this is Commander Jones. I am disengaging the lockout surrounding the shuttlebay doors. I want you to launch a shuttle and set it on a course for the Klingon border. Ask them for assistance. Tell them to-“ Came Jones’ voice, before the comm system cut out.

I tapped my badge, but nothing happened. Seemingly internal communications were down. I walked over to the console and began to tap away madly.

“What are you doing?” Asked T’Luk.

“I’m trying to access the shuttle bay doors.” I said, finding that they were still locked. Commander Jones was probably cut off before she could unlock them.

He paused for a moment, ” Let me.”

I stood aside and watched as he quickly tapped through the menus and attempted to get them to open. I had no idea what he was doing, presumably he was putting his computing knowledge at work. I heard the doors open behind me, so I turned and watched as a scared looking Trey approached us.

“Shouldn’t you be on the bridge?” I asked.

He shook his head, “Alex is up there, he’s flying.”

I nodded and then looked back at the console. I looked at the shuttlecraft and I suddenly came up with an idea. I looked over to the others on duty, “People listen up!” I shouted, gaining their attention, “T'Luk has overridden the shuttlebay lockout, so I want each of you at one console, we’re going to launch them remotely.”

They stared at me for a moment, before they took up positions. I quickly assigned them a shuttle each.

“Launch them straight away and open fire at the first chance you get, use them to get some of the heat away from us.” I said, as I selected one of the shuttles and assigned it a route towards the Klingon border. I tapped a few more buttons and watched as the shuttle powered up and flew out of the shuttlebay, before it quickly jumped to warp. But even if the Klingons received the distress call, they still had ten-light-years to cross. They wouldn’t get here for hours either. I tried to put that out of my mind as I started to bring the runabout online, as the other crewman launched the shuttles.

I looked up at the large screen, as six shuttlecraft came flying past, all of them opening fire against the warbirds. And while their weapons weren’t as powerful as ours, they still packed a punch. I glanced at T’Luk, “Take the Captain’s yacht. It has more powerful weapons.”

He nodded and began to initiate it’s launch protocol, when the Titan was hit heavily again.

“Shit!” Called out Trey, “Shields down to thirty seven percent.”

I managed to get the Interceptor online and flew it out of the shuttlebay. It felt quite odd to be piloting a ship while not being inside it. It almost borderlined on being cool, but this wasn’t the time for fun. I set a course towards the Intrepid, I was going to give them some support. As the ship came into view, it was clear that they had taken a beating. Scorch marks were covering her hull, she looked a mess. Although I’m sure we didn’t look any better.

I began to fire at a warbird attacking her, but the ground rocked violently, along with a tremendous crash being heard. We were hit by a lot.

“That attack hit the bridge.” Called out T’Luk.

Trey rushed up to me, “Oh my god! Alex! He’s up there!”

I fired at the warbirds again, just as the Titan shook again.

“They are targeting the bridge.” Said T’Luk, looking at me, “They are all targeting the bridge.”

Trey looked at me wide eyed, “Alex! How is he?”

I looked at him, “You’re the telepath, you tell me!”

He seemed to drift into a daze, seemingly trying to sense Alex, so I went back to work.

“The shield around the bridge is at fifteen percent. It will not last much more.” Said T’Luk. I clenched my fist. If there was one universal law of combat, it was to not attack the bridge. Disable the ship by all means if it is war, but don’t take out the bridge.

I looked over at one of the crewman who had just lost their shuttle, “I want you to shut every non-essential system offline. Replicators, showers, long range sensors, dim the lights if you have to. I want you to reinforce the shields around the bridge.”

He nodded and went to work, as we were hit again.

“A direct hit to the bridge.” Called out T’Luk.

That was it for me. If they threw the book out of the window, it was time for us to do the same, “I want you to all set a collision course with your shuttles. Aim for their bridge.” I shouted to the crewman.

They all looked back at me.

“They are aiming for our bridge, where the CAPTAIN is! I will not let them make that shot!” I said.

They glanced back at their consoles and programmed in the collision courses. I looked up at the large screen as the shuttles impacted against the warbirds. Most of them impacted against the shield, but one got through, hitting the bridge and causing the ship to go into an uncontrollable spin. I looked down at my console. I changed the Interceptor’s heading and aimed for a warbird. I watched as it drew closer and closer. I tapped on the button to give it full impulse, as I looked up at the large screen.

The Interceptor impacted against the shield in a blinding flash of light. Part of me felt saddened in that split second at its loss, as the ship had saved me once before, but now it left us in a triumph. The Interceptor punched through the shield and entered the front of the ship, in the bridge. It seemed to continue through, causing massive secondary explosions, destroying most of the front section. I watched as the warbird was hit by more explosions before it finally erupted in a ball of fire, which was immediately extinguished by the vacuum of space.

“I have lost shields.” Called out T’Luk, who was piloting the Captain’s yacht. I looked up again, and watched as the small ship was destroyed by weapons fire, tens of metres away from a collision course. We’d destroyed one warbird, disabled another, but there were still two more left. And we were fresh out of support craft.

The Titan quickly banked to one side, dodging a barrage of fire from the Romulan ships, causing them to fly over us. I switched to the aft viewer to see them attack the Intrepid. They continuously fired at her port nacelle before they punched through her shields, and ripped the nacelle cleanly off the ship. My eyes widened at the level of destruction.

“The Intrepid has lost weapons, her shields have failed, and her engines are offline.” Relayed T’Luk.

The warbirds came about again, firing on our bridge.

“Alex is up there!” Repeated Trey.

I looked at him, “Can you sense him?”

He nodded, “I can feel him.” He shook his head, “He’s under so much pressure.”

The ship shook again, “We’ve lost weapons!” Called out one of the crewman.

I looked at the screen again as the warbirds flew over, landing another blow at our bridge, “Our shields are offline.” Said T’Luk.

Trey’s face was one of fear, he turned and ran towards the door, but I stopped him, “I need to see Alex. I need to be there!” He shouted.

I grabbed him by the shoulders and looked at him, “Alex needs to concentrate if he’s going to avoid them. You’ll distract him if you go up there.”

“No…” He cried, trying to squirm away.

“TREY!” I shouted.

He looked at me, his eyes wide, and seemed to settle down. I led him over to the console again, as the Romulans came in for another pass. Trey gripped my arm tightly, but at the last second, the Titan performed a clockwise lateral spin. Exposing the ‘bottom’ of the ship, rather than the bridge. Their weapons fire impacted against the main deflector, destroying it.

I looked at T’Luk. The Titan was only going to last for so long against this bombardment without shields. There will be a point where she can’t take anymore hits. I watched on the screen, expecting the warbirds to come back together, but this time they split up. One was going for our top and the other was coming for the bottom. No matter what Alex did now, one of them was going to hit the bridge.

I reached out and grabbed T’Luk’s hand, as the Romulans approached. I clenched my eyes shut. Hoping, willing that this nightmare would end.

“Sir I’m picking up some massive spatial distortions.” Called out a crewman.

I opened my eyes, “What? I asked, as I looked up at the screen.

I watched as the warbird quickly approached, but a split second before it fired at the bridge, some blue weapons fire began to impact against it’s top shield, causing it to pull up. I quickly tapped on the display to change our view. On the screen was one ship, with two others decloaking behind it, before three more decloaked behind them. I wasn’t aware of the configuration. I had never seen that class of ship before, and neither could the computer recognise them. I watched as they fired against the warbird again, impacting it’s shield.

“We are being hailed.” Remarked T’Luk.

“Patch us in.” I said.

There was a slight pause, before a familiar face appeared, “Captain Riker, this is Raylis of the Goran battlecruiser Gorana. We are here to assist you.”

“Raylis?” Sobbed Trey, as tears flowed down his cheeks.

“Please remain at all stop, so we can adequately protect you. Raylis out.” He said, before the channel closed.

“The Goran ships are hailing the Romulans. I am patching us in.” Said T’Luk.

“Romulan vessels, you are ordered to surrender immediately or be destroyed for declaring an act of war against the Gorn Hegemony. This is your only warning.” Said Raylis.

There was a few seconds pause, before the six Goran ships began to open fire against the warbirds. I watched as their shields fluctuated, and finally collapsed under the strain. The blue weapons impacted all over their hull, before both ships exploded in a white flame. The Titan shook slightly from the explosion, before all was calm. An eerie calm. I shook my head slightly, and glanced around the room. Everyone was wide-eyed, still running on adrenaline, our hearts still beating at a thousand kilometres per hour.

T’Luk reached out and gently pulled me into an embrace. I wrapped my arms around him and held him close, as I closed my eyes and exhaled. He slowly stroked my back soothingly, before he tilted his head towards my ear.

“I love you, Kai.” He whispered softly.

“I love you too, T’Luk.”

We stayed close for a few seconds before Trey started to move towards the door, I pulled back and watched him. I glanced up at T’Luk, “I’ll go with him, just in case…” I said, implying that Alex may have been injured.

He nodded, “Go.”

I turned and followed Trey out into the corridor. The place was a mess. EPS conduits had ruptured, the lighting overhead had been destroyed. This didn’t look like the same ship. Fortunately, as the lifts are located near the middle of the ship, one of them was still functional. Trey and I stepped inside and rode up to the bridge. The journey took forever, but we finally emerged up there. The place was also a wreck. Consoles had exploded, chairs had been disconnected. But the thing that frightened me the most was this large crack which ran across the ceiling, near to the view screen. One more hit to the bridge, and this entire room would have been exposed to space.

Trey rushed out and headed for Alex, as I walked toward Commander Jones. I looked over at Trey as he tugged on Alex’s arm, causing Alex to look up at him. I could see from that distance how shaken he was. Trey pulled him up from his chair and stood there facing him for a moment. I watched as he reached out, placed his hand on the back of Alex’s neck, before he pulled him into a kiss. I continued to stare at them, as Trey gripped Alex tighter, closer. Savouring the closeness, and never wanting to let go.

I glanced over at Captain Riker who was staring at them, but Counsellor Troi tapped on his shoulder and gave him a look, which I read as, ‘Leave them alone. They need each other’. Riker nodded and glanced around the room, before his eyes set on mine. He nodded at me, and I nodded in return. It was clear from the look on his face that he knew how close we came. How close we all came to the end.

All was calm for a moment, before a large spiral of yellow lights began to appear near to the view screen. It looked like a transporter beam at first, a fact which became evident as three Gorans materialised on the bridge, Raylis being one of them. Alex and Trey pulled apart and focused on the intruders.

Captain Riker walked over and expressed his gratitude with them. I couldn’t make out what they were saying at this distance, but they didn’t speak for long. As soon as the Captain finished, I walked over to Raylis. I looked up into his large cat-like eyes.

“I don’t know what to say…” I began.

He smiled, “It’s not necessary. I am just sorry that we didn’t arrive sooner.”

I glanced over at Alex and Trey, who were hugging each other, tears of love streaming down their cheeks, “I think you came just in time, Raylis.”


USS Enterprise- Seven hours later

It was without a doubt that the attack against the Titan and the Intrepid was one of the worst incidents recorded since the Dominion war. Both ships were heavily damaged, but were deemed salvageable. Even so, it would take a few months in dry dock in order to repair the damage sustained. Of course the ships didn’t mean anything when lives were at stake, and unfortunately, twenty-three people lost their lives. Seven from the Titan, and the rest from the Intrepid. And while I hate to demean those who lost their lives, in reality, many expected that figure to be much higher. So I stand by my comment to Raylis when I said that they arrived just in time, because they had.

The Goran battlecruisers remained with us and provided both ships with support, medical, and maintenance help until Task Force- Lambda arrived. Seeing as our long-range sensors were offline, we were quite surprised to see twenty-five Starfleet ships appear, but it was a very welcoming sight. Fortunately, once the battle was over, the Goran ships were able to hail Starfleet and explained the situation to them. We later found out that Starfleet speculated that the
Titan and Intrepid had been commandeered by the Romulans during the time in which we were out of contact, but they were pleased to learn about the actual outcome.

There was also some belief that the Romulans had already transferred over the thalaron generators, thus implying that they could still be utilised. But upon a detailed sensor sweep of the warbird derelicts, the wreckage of the thalaron generators were located, and were properly disposed of. And with some assistance from the Tal Shiar, Starfleet concluded that all thalaron generators had been destroyed, along with the terrorist cell. So with that out of the way, it was time for us to look towards the future, and to prepare for the days ahead.

“You know, I still prefer the
Titan.” I said, as I rested my head on T’Luk’s shoulder.

“We are on a
Sovereign Class ship, the design is identical.” He commented.

I smiled, “Yeah, and I guess it’s a little special, being the
Enterprise and all.”


Seeing as the
Titan and Intrepid were in such a bad state, the crews from both were spread out amongst ships from the task force. And once Starfleet stood down from protocol Alpha-Talon, they sent more ships to help us out, including the Enterprise; where T’Luk and I were assigned to share some guest quarters with each other.

I turned to him, “You know, there’s some talk about letting us have a few weeks off, while the
Titan is in dry dock.”

T’Luk nodded, “The damage is extensive. It will take many weeks to repair.” He paused, “It would seem logical to allow the crew to have extended shore-leave, given the events that happened.”

I thought for a moment, my mind replaying the events of the past day.

T’Luk leaned forward and kissed my forehead, as if he wanted to remove the memories from my mind.

I smiled up at him, “I love you, baby.”

“I love you too, Kai.” He said, as he stroked my back.

We sat together for a moment, before the doorbell chimed.

“I’ll get it.” I said, as I stood up and walked over. I pressed the button to reveal Commander Jones standing there, “Commander, it’s good to see you.” I said, stepping aside, “Please.”

She smiled, “Thank you, Kai.” She said, as she stepped in, “Good evening, T’Luk.”

“Good evening, Commander. Is there something we can help you with?” Asked T’Luk as he stood up and straightened his shirt.

She faced us, “Actually, I’m here to give you both some news.” She said.

“Please, have a seat.” I said, pointing to the sofa as I drew up a chair myself.

“Thank you.” She replied. It was clear that she was still affected from what had happened. She seemed to be all there, but
not there, if you know what I mean. I glanced at T’Luk, presumably the bond was doing its thing, and was stopping me from being affected in the same way. I sat down opposite her, while T’Luk sat on the sofa.

“What is it, Sir?” I asked.

She looked at me, “The first preliminary scan of the
Titan has been analysed by Starfleet. They are estimating that it will take at least five weeks in dry dock to repair the damage.”

I nodded. The last time I saw the
Titan was out of a viewport once I came aboard the Enterprise, and even at it’s relative distance, the damage still looked severe.

“Five weeks is quite an extended period. What will Starfleet do with the crew?” Asked T’Luk.

She nodded, “While you’ve probably heard the rumours already, I can tell you that they are correct. Command has granted every member of the crew extended leave until the
Titan is ready to leave dry dock.” She paused, “This isn’t just because parts of the ship is inhabitable, but also because most of the crew will need time to deal with what happened. Command knows that you can’t rush things like this.”

“Yes. I think that is the best decision.” I said, looking at her, “What about the Captain and senior staff?”

“The senior staff have been relieved of duty, myself included. The Captain may remain close to the
Titan, but he has been told to take a break too.” She glanced from T’Luk to myself, “But you know what Riker’s like, he couldn’t be kept away from her.”

I smiled, “As long as he gets some kind of a break.”

“I’m sure Deanna will make sure he does.” She replied, before she retrieved a PADD and handed it to us, “Here is a list of the ships in the fleet outside. Each of them will be heading towards separate planets, to drop off the
Titan crew to their chosen destination.”

T’Luk took the PADD, “Thank you.”

She nodded, “I’d also like to announce that you’re both officially off duty until further notice.”

I glanced at T’Luk and then back to her, “Yes, Sir.”

“Good.” She replied, before she looked at me, “Kai, there’s also been quite a lot of talk about what you done, with the shuttlecraft.”


“Several high ranking officials heralded your resourcefulness in the matter. So you can expect to hear from someone in Command about that.”

I looked at her, “It was your idea to send a ship to the Klingons, Commander.”

She nodded, “But you launched the other shuttles and brought us valuable time. Not to mention that you destroyed one ship, while disabling the other.” She paused for a moment, “And as your commanding officer, I’m very proud of both of you. I’ll be making sure that you get the correct recognition for what you did.”

“Thank you, Sir.” I replied, thinking about what happened, “But we were just doing our jobs.”

She smiled, “You’re scientists, but what you did went beyond that. That’s why I’m proud of you two.” She said, before she stood up, “Anyway, I’ll leave you two together, I still have a few more rounds to make.”

T’Luk and I walked her to the door, “Thank you, Commander.”

“You’re most welcome.” She said, pausing, “And if I don’t see you before you depart. I hope you both have a nice and relaxing time.”

I nodded, “You too Commander. Bye.”

“Bye.” She replied, as she walked down the corridor.

I turned and followed T’Luk over to the sofa. I let him sit down first before I laid by back against his chest, picking up the PADD and reading from it, “So, where do you want to go?” I asked.

“I do not mind. We may travel to Earth, if you wish.” He replied.

I scrolled through the list and tapped on one of the ships, before I handed it to T’Luk, “I like the look of this ship.”

“The USS Archer…” He said, as he read off it’s destination, “It is going to Vulcan.”

I nodded, “Yep.”

“You wish to go to Vulcan, Kai?”

I turned around and looked at him, “Yep. We agreed that the next time we go on shore leave we will go to Vulcan.”

“We do not have to.”

I grabbed the PADD, “I
want to.” I said, before I added T’Luk and myself to the ship’s manifest, “There you go. We will beam across tomorrow at thirteen hundred hours.” I said, facing him, “We should reach Vulcan in three days.”

He stared at me for a moment, “I will make a call to my parents tomorrow.”

I smiled, “Good. I hope they won’t mind us arriving so soon.”

“Not at all. They have expressed a great interest in meeting you, Kai. It is highly unlikely that they would mind.”

I leaned forward and kissed him, “I hope they will like me.”

He cupped my face, “They will love you.”

I hope you enjoyed reading this chapter of A Vulcan's Love.

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