USS PHOENIX NCC-2315
Captains’ Log, Stardate I.IX.2319
Our resupply mission of installing a new plasma
generator accomplished, PHOENIX has left Dhal Theta II in the
capable hands of the crew of the science ship USS PERGOLESI. They
will oversee repairs to the science station after the damage caused
by the arboreal entity and the ion storm. We are now awaiting new
"Hello, Tanya." Admiral Evans smiled warmly as
his face appeared on her desk monitor.
"Admiral." T.E. Lawrence sat in her chair in her
ready room and made herself comfortable.
"What do you know about the Demara system?"
"It’s on the edge of Federation space in the
Third Quadrant within the Neutral Zone. It has a class B star. I’m
afraid I don’t know much else about it, sir."
"You are right. We don’t know much about it.
Funny that it is so close to Federation space and yet we’ve never
explored it. Well, we are going to change that right now. I want you
to set a course for the Demara system as soon as possible. One of
our deep space buoys has picked up a disturbing image around the
fourth planet in the Demara system."
The screen went from Admiral Evans to a fuzzy
image deep in space.
"I’ll clarify it for you." The image focused and
sharpened into a Romulan warbird. Lawrence leaned closer to the
"Hello!" She whispered softly.
"As you can see we are very concerned about their
appearance in the Demara system. And we want you to investigate
this. From what little information we have, the fourth planet is a
frozen world, with temperatures below freezing even at the equator.
We nicknamed the planet Glace (pronounced gloss). I can’t impress on
you how important it is that you find out what they are doing so far
away from their own empire. Are they doing scientific research or
are they on some covert operation against the Federation. Keep an
eye out, Tanya, they don’t belong there and neither do we. Keep me
informed on whatever you find. Good luck."
With that the screen went blank. Lawrence leaned
back in her chair and whistled softly. She pressed the comm. button.
"Captain to all department heads, to my ready room on the double."
Things are never easy are they?
Stunned faces surrounded her as she finished her
"Just one, sir," LCDR QaS offered.
"If there are Romulans in the Demara system, I
would expect that PHOENIX should anticipate battle," he said
CAPT Lawrence understood all too well the enmity
between Romulans and Klingons. She was not about to let this mission
devolve into some sort of war game. "At this point, Mister QaS, this
mission is reconnaissance only. As far as Starfleet knows, this is
only one solitary Romulan ship."
LCDR Soen Mon’Teith echoed the Chief Engineer’s
concern. "But a Romulan warbird that close to Federation space,
Captain. That puts me on yellow alert."
Lawrence smiled. "We’ll have back up should we
need it, Commander. The EURIPIDES, the STARK and the T’POK are all
within five days of the Demara system. But let’s find out what that
warbird is doing there before we hit the panic button."
"Maybe they are merely ‘lost’," CDR Seabrook said
a bit darkly.
Stardate 4.IX.2319, 0912 Zulu
PHOENIX has come out of warp near the fourth
planet in the Demara system. Long range sensors have indicated no
activity with the Romulan ship.
CAPT Lawrence exited her ready room onto the
bridge. She glanced at the main operations station, port side aft on
the bridge. "Report, Commander McConnell!"
LCDR Alice McConnell was regarding long-range
sensor data in front of her on the station monitor. "Sensors
indicate minimal power signature emanating from the Romulan ship,
Captain." She looked up. "She seems to be powered down."
"Anything from Demara IV?"
McConnell shook her head. "We’ll know better when
we are closer to the planet."
Two hours later, within seven million kilometers
of Demara IV, CAPT Lawrence cautiously ordered PHOENIX slowed to one
"Open a channel, Lieutenant," T.E. directed LT
Gabrielle Leroux at the communications station.
"Channel open, sir," Leroux responded as the
chirping of her console indicated the open channel.
CAPT Lawrence stood and took a couple of steps
forward, all the while her eyes on the image of the Romulan warbird
on the main view screen. "This is Captain T.E. Lawrence of the
Federation starship PHOENIX. Do you require assistance?"
A palpable silence greeted her inquiry.
"No response from the warbird, Captain," Leroux
confirmed. She started, holding her hand up. "Wait a minute; I’m
getting something from the planet."
Lawrence looked at McConnell who immediately
began sensor sweeps of Demara IV.
Leroux punched the controls and a faint yet
steady voice filled the PHOENIX’s Bridge. "Starfleet ship,
medical attention is required."
CDR Stryker looked askance at CAPT Lawrence. "I
thought Third Fleet said this planet, in fact this system, was
Lawrence held up her hand as her eyes swiveled to
LCDR McConnell. "Commander?"
McConnell examined the results of her sensor
sweep. "Sensors are picking up some sort of complex beneath the
surface of the planet, sir. Not extremely extensive, but there is
technology, Romulan in origin. I’m detecting seven…no, eight life
forms within the complex."
"A secret complex this close to Federation
borders," mused Lawrence. "These Romulans have been busy. Open the
channel again, Lieutenant." The captain waited a moment, and then
spoke up, "What is your situation on the planet?"
"We’re all sick," the voice continued. "We
haven’t seen any supplies in two weeks. We need food and
medicine…" the voice trailed off.
Lawrence made a gesture for Leroux to mute the
channel. "Opinion, Commander?" she inquired of CDR Stryker.
"We know nothing about what the Romulans are
doing with this installation," Stryker said, "but, I think we can
assume, since Starfleet knew nothing about it, that they’re up to no
good. I don’t know what they think they are doing, but it’s probably
safe to assume a trap is possible."
"Captain… Commander?" McConnell interrupted. "My
readings indicate that only two of these life form readings are
Romulan, and their readings are weak at best. One is Vulcan…and the
other five are Rigelian."
"What? Orions?!" Lawrence said incredulously. "On
a secret Romulan base?"
"They could be captives," Stryker suggested.
"If this is indeed a medical emergency, we don’t
have the right to refuse them aid, even if there are Romulans,"
Lawrence said. "But that doesn’t mean we go in there with our eyes
"Another thing, Captain," McConnell said a bit
more urgently, "one of the plasma generators in the complex seems to
be on the verge of breeching. I’m reading heightened levels of
"That could be what’s making them sick," Stryker
Lawrence turned to her First Officer. "Commander,
assemble medical and engineering landing parties. I want a heavily
armed security escort with them. I’ll have Colonel Horn put the
marines on yellow alert. Then we’ll assemble a security detail. As
soon as we know what’s what on the planet, I want a security team to
beam over to the Romulan ship and see what they can find out."
Within 30 minutes the medical, engineering and
science landing parties were organized. CAPT Lawrence communicated
with the anonymous male voice on the planet.
"We are about to beam a medical team to your
coordinates. We note that your plasma generator is on the verge of
"Yes…." came the weaker-sounding voice over
the comm., interrupted now and then by static. "It has been go…..ffline
for days now, and that is cau……o lose containment integrity."
"Are there any engineers among your group?"
"No….and we ar…..t familiar with Romulan
technology. Please hurry." A beeping indicated that the comm.
Lawrence looked at her First Officer. "Better get
those teams down there fast, Commander. And, Commander, I want to
keep in constant contact with your teams, understood?"
"Yes, sir," Stryker nodded, and proceeded off the
"Mister Pyrebon," Lawrence said as she approached
the helm, "as soon as the landing parties have beamed to the planet,
move PHOENIX closer to the warbird. I want to know just what the
devil is going on here."