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Raptor's Beak

Posted on 26 Jun 2012 @ 12:48pm by Crewman First Class Claire Williams & Lieutenant Commander Brul Unger

Mission: Linearity
Location: Icor System
Timeline: 3rd March 2158 -- The Earth-Romulan War

OLD

Daavros gave a nod to the viewscreen, where the station's shields could be seen to be activating. "The agreement was that I returned when you returned. I have seen fit not to inform them of my plans, but I would advise we very quickly depart."

When the Chronos shuddered from the impact of some weapon fire - more so than one would expect from weapons three centuries older in design and capability - it made their objective clear, and Wells reclaimed his central chair. "Mister Klefmann! Bring us out and take us to 2158. Third of March, Icor star system." He called over the din of the assault, giving Daavros a hard stare as he gave the order, angered by the fact the Tzenkethi had clearly backed them into a corner. "It's time to set things straight."

"Yes, Commander." Isaac was happy that the CO was back, and getting the ship out of harm's way as the Tzenkethi station started to test the shields of the vessel.

NEW

"This is it," Commander Wells said quietly, almost in a whisper, as the USS Chronos shifted from the twenty-sixth century deep into the darkest years of the Earth-Romulan War. "2158." It was a bad year to be in this sector of space. It was always terrible for one's incursion factor (and, of course, avoiding causing irreperable damage to the 'true' timeline).

The commander looked to the two senior officers to the fore of the bridge, Verne as exquisitely calm as ever, and Klefmann working studiously at his interactive console. "Scan the sector first for any human or Romul-" Wells never got to complete his sentence when the red alert systems instantly activated. With the Chronos' cloak active, there was little threat of the locals discovering them, but it was still troubling when two NX-class starships zoomed straight past the vessel's stern, five small Romulan vessels hot on their trail.

Daavros was smiling in the chair Wells had let him assume, not far from his own. An extremely amused expression was painted across his smug face, observing one of the factors that caused the creation of the Federation unfolding before him. No doubt, he would happily see things go awry, but that would also cause unknown variables to interfere with his own plans. Nevertheless, extreme caution would have to be exercised.

"Take us into the asteroid field," Wells ordered. It would be no good scanning for the Tzenkethi or Arievul, as they would be employing tactics to disguise their readings in this alien time, but that was what Daavros was for.

"I have sent the coordinates to your helm officer," the Tzenkethi said warmly, crossing his legs as one of the Romulan vessels collided with the NX-class Avenger, destroying both vessels instantly. "They will be meeting one another now, and will surely be unaware of your arrival."

The rebellious and angry side of the German helm officer started to slowly build, ready to jump up to the Tzenkethi and demand him for some answers of why the hell they were doing what they were doing. Questioning the orders of his commanding officer, however, was not on a list of things he was about to do. "Aye, sir!"

It took only a few more minutes for the Chronos to move across the battlefield that the Icor system had become in this period of time without having the vessel become destroyed itself. The battle continued to rage on, with neither side now managing to gain the upper hand over the others. Sensors detected a further number of Romulan vessels inbound, but historical records indicated the other NX (the Dauntless) escaped to report vital information of the Star Empire's movements to Starfleet Command, which proved useful in engagements soon to come.

In range, the Icor asteroid field loomed ahead, and hidden within was their target; nestled within one of the larger asteroids was a disused hanger bay, once utilised by local pirates according to Daavros, and now being re-purposed by Arievul and the Coeval Cabal.

"Suggestions?" Wells asked, looking to Daavros.

The Tzenkethi waved a hand at the screen. "All you need to do i-"

"Commander..." One of the ensigns to the rear of the bridge was staring straight at an unknown figure. Clad in nothing more than dark combat fatigues. Long pointed Romulan ears were jutting from uncouth black hair, atop grey sharp features that made up a near-demonic face, but one could not deny that there was a level of class and sophistication about his person - although that was thrown off by his bright golden eyes, full of crazed joy and hatred.

It was Arievul.

Wells could not help but sigh at the sight of the elusive figure he had been chasing for years - it felt like lifetimes, given how long he had been jumping through time to track the Coeval Cabal's leader, the man most called a myth, and the man that had led to Commander Wells losing nearly all of his reputation in the past few years of service. Chasing shadows indeed, he thought, but acknowledged now that he had been outsmarted.

"This was your plan, wasn't it?" He asked firmly, trying to look into the Cardassian-Romulan hybrid's augmented irises, but finding it hard to not find himself thrown deep into madness at the golden glint. The fact he was a hologram was probably the only reason they were largely safe.

Daavros seemed even more put out than the Chronos's CO, his monotone features and colour shifting into other areas of the spectrum at the sight of the man who had clearly manipulated him.

"What is the status of the timezone?" Wells asked Verne, his eyes full of concern. Arievul had jumped back to a pivotal moment in causing this very meeting and altered it, but they were still here despite all of that. A sinking feeling was growing deeper and nastier within his gut, realising how this temporal terrorist now had the fate of the Earth-Romulan War on a knife point, right at the heart of an otherwise unimportant conflict within the war.

"Don't waste your time, Wells", interrupted Arievul. "Or should I say, don't waste your timelines. They are growing quite confused, aren't they?", said him, with an evil grin. "I have to say I quite enjoy seeing you jumping around looking for me."

"This is the closest we've come," Wells said, letting the malice punctuate his voice as he spoke, "and it was because you let it happen. It would take a fleet of timeships to undo the hurt you've caused to two points in time." As if to prove what he was saying, the purple-clad commander entered a quick couple of commands into his computer, and an image appeared with three primary points: 2158, 2388 and 2543. From the 2158 point, two lines: one red, one green, spread forward separately until converging on 2388, and two new lines erupted from that before reaching 2543, where the technology was made.

"There are two alternate timelines running parallel to one another because of what you've done here, and somehow, you're maintaining that paradox to make it possible." And Wells knew he could not hope to undo it without starting from scratch, and even that would be highly unlikely, given the damage that would have to be done to the Chronos' personal timeline to reach that point; people would cease to exist. "How? And how do we fix it?"

Another voice then interrupted: the Tzenkethi. "You can't." He rose and walked towards Arievul's hologram, sickened and full of admiration equally. "He's created a self-contained loop that has overwritten your ability to reach the meeting; he will still meet with my associates' earlier incarnations, whilst also not being present at the meeting to deal with you now." Daavros was certainly not guilty for his part in the ploy, but he was still angry at being used, and it was that vengeance he knew he could no longer have that was bothering him. "He has the technology regardless, and that-"

"Tell me how to release the Liberty Belle." Commander Wells' demand was given with force to the Cardassian-Romulan terrorist, his blue eyes bright with determination. And at least I can still capture one version of Arievul, he thought, knowing Verne and Klefmann would be tracing him now.

Arievul grinned again, this time without any humor. "You are just like a timeline, Wells: easy to manipulate." The terrorist's eyes moved outside. "Oh, so you're tracing me? Clever," he said mildly, "but useless," he added mercilessly. "I'll give you the Liberty Belle, Wells. The temporal mine she's trapped in? It has two highly advanced chroniton clocks running creating the loop. You know how fond I am of old techology. But there's a catch. If you stop one, you'll not stop the other and that will make the chroniton waves expand in all of the timelines I have the mines spread within. You'll have to use all of your ship's power to stop both at the same time. If you fail, you'll destroy several timelines and the stupid cattle aboard the ship." He paused. "The funny part is that the loop will leave them with their memories intact."

The Cardassian-Romulan hybrid's hologram walked around the Chronos bridge, arms crossed behind his back. "Do you know the advantage of being called good, Mr. Wells? It's that you have to make the moral decision, whereas I haven't. Your choice: You can save several timelines and a ship of disgusting people that may change the destiny of the quadrant in their timeline, or you can get me." The hologram started to fade, suddenly retuned. "Before I forget, inside the mine you'll find the device that will shut down the other mines in others timelines. Afterall, I got what I wanted. It's fair that you get something, so you all don't feel like the useless cannon fodder that you are. Goodbye Wells." The hologram disappeared.

Each of the bridge staff were looking to Wells to see what he was going to decide. Daavros was looking to the commander as well, but he looked more concerned for his end of the deal that had been made, simply for his own well-being no one doubted.

"Commander," the Tzenkethi started, more deference in his manner than ever seen before, "you must realise: the Liberty Belle is but one ship. What are they compared to-"

"And what if Kirk's Enterprise had been the one chosen?" Wells shot back after some seconds thought.

"Yes, but if Arievul is left to escape, he can go on and cause limitless and unknown damage to several points in time. Whatever the Liberty Belle may do might be undone anyway!" Daavros was becoming more urgent in his speech. "You might be undone!"

Wells gave the Tzenkethi a hard long look. "I think not, Daavros. There will be other chances to catch Arievul. He won't be able to go now without striking; he's restless, and he's an egomaniac. His greatest strength was being unknown; his greatest strength was that people did not truly believe he existed, but now he's proven it, and now," Wells' eyes glinted, "now we know he does. Now the Temporal Integrity Commission will hunt him to the ends of time."

TBC

 

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Comments (1)

By Brul Unger on 26 Jun 2012 @ 1:20pm

Arievul is one m****** . lol. Quite enjoyed writing him.