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Fall 2009

Fall 2009

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Newsletter of the 210th Marine Expeditionary Unit, STARFLEET Marine Corps

What Have They Done to My Trek?
The Dark Side
By Major Mark Webb

FALL 2009 ISSUE
CONTENTS
What Have They Done to My Trek? The Dark Side Calendar Food and Drink From Headquarters 2009 General Staff Listing Region 12 Staff Update When Things Go Very Wrong First Aid—Hygiene News From Region 12 Fiction Section Not Entire Successful—Part IV

In my previous rantings, I have spent a great deal of time talking about time-lines and the future and the past. I have talked about people and heroes and the impact that changes in their lives would bring to those around them. Now, fellow Trekkers, let us talk about the individuals who brought about this change in the timeline, the villains of the piece, the Romulan crew of that terrible ship. OK. The ship comes back in time after old Ambassador Spock’s failure to save Romulus from destruction. It follows Spock’s ship back so that it can capture it, and take revenge on old Spock. They get into a scrap with George Kirk’s starship and it is destroyed, no doubt causing significant damage to the Romulan ship. They then wait for more than 20 years to confront young Spock and Old Spock and have them watch the destruction of the planet Vulcan. My first question is, what did they do all that time they were waiting? Did I experience some missing time in which this was explained? I get that their ship might have taken some damage, but did it take 20 years to repair it? What were they doing? Where were they? We know they weren’t on Romulus, because if they were, that people would have learned from this future technology and they would have built a mighty fleet and conquered the Federation and the Klingons and anyone else who gave them lip. So were they on Reisa all this time, soaking up rays and getting lucky? Were they in suspended animation, waiting for their chance to get even? Bad writing, guys. By the way, if you the reader have answers to my questions and wish to discuss them further, I invite you to email me at blackrogues@cox.net and let me know. Maybe we’ll put your comments in our little newspaper here. So they wait for J T Kirk and young Spock and they destroy Vulcan. They are in turn destroyed by Kirk and Spock before they can destroy Earth or take their technology back to their decidedly more primitive past selves. What did this gain for them? Is this what you would have done? Even if I didn’t know one possible outcome of the future, I wouldn’t have done that, so why did they do it? If I’d been among their crew, I’d have killed that crazy commander of theirs. He was obviously a moron. He was so crazed by the destruction of Romulus that he didn’t even think about the possibility that he could have prevented the whole thing with the technology in his own ship.

STAFF
Editor: J.D. Clancy jdclancy@multinatl.org Contributor: Mark Webb, MAJ webbmaw@cox.net

210th MEU WEB SITE
http://fedchaplain.tripod.com/210meu.htm

Well, what else can you say about those individuals? What a bunch of geniuses. What I’d really like to know, is, what are the writers going to do in the future with our time-line? Are we going to see more Batman-like features on this same timeline, or was this an experiment? Are we going to be treated to Star Trek 12, the Beginning, and Star Trek 13D and Star Trek Continues? If they were going to do this, why did they sell off all that property last year? Why couldn’t they have just left it to the fans to carry on. They could have put it out there as a sort of open-source thing and let people who love Trek take it from here. They are doing that anyway. If you know what they are thinking, please email me at the email address above.

Calendar
2010 STARFLEET International Conference; July 29-August 1, 2010; Wagoner, Oklahoma; website: www.ic2010.org 2011 STARFLEET International Conference; August 11-14, 2011; Pocono Manor, PA; website: www.ic2011.org
DISCLAIMERS: Paramount Pictures and its licensees have the sole authority to generate profit from Star Trek trademarks, and this publication in no way intends to infringe upon copyrights held by Paramount Pictures, Viacom, or any other Star Trek copyholders. The opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of STARFLEET, The International Star Trek Fan Association, Inc. or the STARFLEET Marine Corps.

Food and Drink
By J.D. Clancy You’re cooking a nice dinner. In these times, you may not have enough spare money for a bottle of vintage wine to serve with it. (heck, you may not even have money for a bottle of cheap ‘bum wine’) The obvious solution is to make your own! You may be thinking that you need a lot of skill and expensive equipment to make wine. Nothing could be further from the truth! Step #1: Make an extra-rugged bag by double-bagging plastic trash bags. Step #2: Pour into the bag: warm water, your choice of fruit or fruit juice, raisins, tomatoes, yeast, and as much sugar as you can get. If At this stage, your homemade wine may not look apsugar is not on hand, powdered drink mix (Kool-Aid) will work pealing, but its just three days away from goodness! too! Note: If you do not have yeast, moldy bread does just fine. Slices should be moist and can be put in a sock to strain any stray elements. Then throw the sock full of bread into the plastic bag. Step #3: Tie off the bag with a knot. Penetrate the bag with a straw, or some other type of tube to allow carbon dioxide to release. Step #4: Let the bag sit and brew. Three days is enough, if you really can't wait. A week is a more reasonable time. Normal wine takes around a month to brew. NOTE: this method can also be used to make wine in prison, while in detention, or even in a Klingon Death Camp. DISCLAIMER: The Food and Drug Administration advises the public not to consume any liquid resulting from this manufacturing process.

From Headquarters
2009 GENERAL STAFF LISTING
COMMANDANT, SFMC Major General John Roberts DEPUTY COMMANDANT, SFMC General Wade Olson SERGEANT MAJOR, STARFLEET MARINE CORPS Master Gunnery Sergeant Jerome Stoddard COMMANDING OFFICER FORCECOM Lieutenant General Aaron Murphy COMMANDING OFFICER FINCOM Lieutenant General Linda Olson COMMANDING OFFICER INFOCOM Brigadier General Sean Niemeyer COMMANDING OFFICER TRACOM Brigadier Bruce O'Brien

Region 12 Staff Update
REGION COORDINATOR Vice Admiral Jeffery Higdon SENIOR VICE COORDINATOR Rear Admiral Beatrice Hart JUNIOR VICE COORDINATOR Brigadier Rolando Gomez HONORARY VICE COORDINATOR Admiral Helen Pawlowski FINANCIAL OFFICER Commander Jeff Gallus PUBLICATION OFFICER Commodore Raymond Brown SHAKEDOWN OPERATIONS Brigadier General Gary Hollifield RECRUITING & RETENTION Commander Chris Tolbert WEB ADMINISTRATOR Vice Admiral Michael Dugas

The Black List—Fall 2009—Page 2

When Things Go Very Wrong
By J.D. Clancy This time, we talk about knives. The focus of this discussion is the knife as a tool, not a weapon. The variety of styles and materials of knives is vast. Some people may ask: do I really need a knife at all? The answer depends upon you. If owning a knife goes against your beliefs, you need to have other tools that take the place of a knife. Most people are familiar with the ‘Swiss Army’ knife. ‘Swiss Army’ refers to a particular brand, but most people use the name for any knife with a variety of blades and tools that fold up into a safe-to-carry item. An advantage of this type of knife is versatility. The disadvantage is that the tools are not quite as good as the full-size item (for example, the screwdrivers may be awkward to use or fold up while being used) Similar to a Swiss Army knife is the ‘Leatherman’ or multi-tool. Like a Swiss Army, the multi-tool has a variety of blades and tools that fold into a compact knife. The multi-tool is different in that it is designed as a pair of folding pliers, with Multi-tool with a variety of blades each side of the handle containing the blades and tools. For folding knives, a ‘lock-back’ style would be preferred. When the blade is opened, it ‘locks’ in this position for use. When you are done, there is some kind of mechanism to unlock the blade so it folds into the handle. This type of knife is safer to use than a non-locking folding knife. There are also a variety of straight knives. Bayonets, buck knives, hunting knives, survival knives and ‘Rambo’ knives are typical. Straight knives can vary in size, but all will have a blade permanently attached to a handle and be carried in a sheath. Some straight knives and bayonets will have a ‘saw toothed’ back. This is not meant to be used for especially violent combat- it was originally designed for use as a wood saw. Lock-back knife with extended blade A disadvantage of wearing a sheathed belt knife is unwanted attention from other citizens and law enforcement officials in urban areas. If you wander around a disaster with a large knife on your belt, it may make others feel uncomfortable. This can bring you to the attention of any police who are in the area. Of course in wilderness areas it would not be unusual for you to have some kind of survival knife on your belt.

Ka-Bar brand straight knife

The survival or ‘Rambo’ knife has a handle that is hollow and can be used to store small items. An advantage of the hollow handle is that you can insert a stick into it and now you have a spear. This is one type of knife to be careful about when purchasing through mail order and internet sources. Very cheap versions have been available for years, and they are of extremely poor quality. Like the survival knife, a bayonet can be easily made into a spear. Insert a stick into the loop meant for the rifle barrel, and lash the handle to the stick with rope. Military bayonets are usually rugged and well-made because of their original purpose. Most are obtained surplus and may need some cleaning and sharpening before they go into your survival kit. Specialty knives are available for hunting/butchering. If you intend to hunt game, a skinning/gutting knife would be a good idea. A heavy butcher knife makes cutting through bone and tendon easier. Filet knives are thin and flexible- great for cutting meat off the bone or dealing with fish.

Survival knife (top) and M1 Garand Bayonet

In a disaster, don’t forget knives you may have around your house! Most people have kitchen knives that work just as well for food preparation tasks in a disaster. You probably have some kind of box cutter/utility knife/paint scraper in a tool box that could be useful. Quality is a definite issue when buying a knife. Don’t expect too much use out of a $1 bargain basement lock back. On the other hand, a $300 knife is probably not a wise use of your survival supplies budget. Like any other item, be

The Black List—Fall 2009—Page 3

familiar with the brand names and products before you go to the store. You may have a good brand name knife for primary use and also a few less expensive knives in the survival kit as spares. We shouldn’t talk about owning a knife without talking about having something to sharpen knives with. When a knife is dull it becomes dangerous to use. You have to use more force to slice with a dull knife, and someone ends up being cut by accident. Stones are the most affordable sharpening tools. Increasing in price are various specially-designed blade sharpening kits. Any tool with a sharp blade (knife, axe) should be sharpened periodically. Anyone who uses a knife should be careful. The last thing you need in a disaster is to injure yourself with a knife. Such wounds can be serious. There may be no medical care available to treat you. After days, infection may take hold in the wound. You may not be able to perform your daily survival activities until you heal. The knife is a versatile survival tool. Used safely, it can make your survival experience easSet of sharpening stones ier.

First Aid-Hygiene
Some people may be tempted to become hermits after this article on hygiene. ‘Don’t Panic’ advised The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I echo that sentiment! Every day you are exposed to a variety of things that may cause illness, but you survive! That’s because our immune systems get stronger by fighting off all these infections. I was in a particular national chain fast food store today. It was not busy and I thought about food safety as the cook (wearing disposable gloves) put together the hamburgers. There are a lot of food safety laws and inspectors out enforcing those laws. Especially when we are talking about a communicable illness like H1N1, there are a lot of holes in the system as well. I made a short list of items:

 The handle on the door. How often have you seen an employee wipe this down?  Customers used a nozzle that dispensed ketchup into little paper cups. How often is the handle wiped?  I saw someone pick up a lid for their drink. They put several back in the pile after touching them.
At busy times, are table tops wiped down after every customer? Not to pick on just restaurants- what about your local general merchandise store? When do people buy medicine, hand sanitizer, and anti-bacterial wipes? Most people purchase these items when they or someone in their household is actively sick. You would be surprised where the money you use to buy these things has been. Money changes hands frequently and is never cleaned. A lot of illnesses are transferred person-to-person from simple lack of personal cleanliness. People use the bathroom in a restaurant, don’t wash their hands, and start touching things that other people touch after them. People sneeze into their hands and start touching everything. Public health authorities have been trying to get the public to sneeze into their shirt sleeve or the crook of their elbow instead of into the hands. The majority of people who die from everyday infections and illnesses are those with compromised immune systems. When you get sick and recover, you’re building up your immune system to deal with similar diseases in the future. A healthy adult should have no problem fighting off the various illnesses we are exposed to on a daily basis. If you are someone with a weak immune system or chronic illness, you don’t necessarily have to isolate yourself at home. Take sensible precautions; up to and including wearing gloves, a mask, and avoiding contact with contaminated items. DISCLAIMER: This article provides general advice only. Follow your health care provider’s recommendations on your unique conditions.

News From Region 12
It was announced by the Region Coordinator that a separate Region Summit would not be held in 2010. As Region 12 is the host for the STARFLEET International Conference in Oklahoma in 2010, there will be an attempt to schedule time for a CO/XO meeting and a Region mixer at this event.

The Black List—Fall 2009—Page 4

Not Entirely Successful-Part IV
By Major Mark Webb The following is a work of fiction which is based upon the Star Trek version of the future. It is intended in no way, to infringe upon or otherwise exploit any copyrights, patents, licenses, or other properties, either real or intellectual that are held by any legitimate holder of any portion of the Star Trek franchise. 8. The briefing room was crowded once again. The officers of Deep Space Nine were once again routed out late at night to hear about what represented more trouble for their remote space station. Ben Sisko pointed at the display screen as he spoke to his people. “As you can see, people,” he said grimly, “The Dominion threw everything they could spare at the M4 and they couldn’t even slow it down. It punched through their lines and headed deeper into Cardasian space than any of our incursions have ever gone. It gathered what it needed from one of their automated deep space observatories, destroyed that observatory, and now, it’s headed back out of their space once again.” “What is its present course, Captain?” asked Commander Worf from his seat next to Commander Dax at the conference table. “It’s headed straight for us,” Sisko replied grimly. “It’ll be here in nine hours.” Through the murmur of voices at the conference table, Major Kira’s voice came loudest. “Why? What does it want here? Is it after the wormhole?” “At this point,” Sisko responded, “We’re not sure exactly what it wants. It could be after the station as a strong tactical threat. It could be planning to go through the wormhole, intending to try its luck in the Gamma Quadrant. It could even be thinking of destroying the wormhole so that the Dominion can’t use it again. We just don’t know.” “Well, one thing’s for sure,” Miles O’Brien said as he stared at the screen. “We had better get ready is if we were fighting a major fleet engagement, or we could lose the station.” “Deep Space Nine is the most heavily armed and fortified installation in Federation space,” Sisko said. “The M-4 will be taking a big chance by taking us on directly. If it tries for the wormhole, though, my inclination is to let it go as long as it shows no hostile intentions toward the wormhole itself.” “What about the Prophets,” Kira asked, deep concern showing in her strong face. “Major,” Sisko responded, "In my experience, the Prophets are well able to take care of themselves. Like I said, though, as long as it doesn’t show any overtly hostile threat to the wormhole’s structure, I’d just as soon let the Dominion deal with it. On the other hand, if it powers up weapons or takes any other threatening steps toward us or the wormhole, then we’re going to solve this problem, for good and for all now. Let’s stop all traffic between here and Bejor until after this is over and let’s stop all arrivals and

departures. Let’s lock this station down and get her battle ready.” The assembled officers murmured their agreement and as one, they rose from their chairs and filed out of the room. Sisko spoke up. “General Mar'Tok and Mr. Worf, would you stay a moment, please?” The two Klingons stood before him expectantly and he spoke to them after the briefing room door closed behind the others. “General, may I call on your ship to help out on this?” “Of course,” the general said proudly. “It will be an interesting contest. I look forward to it. I shall alert my crew at once and get my ship ready for hot combat launch. We shall be at your disposal.” “Thank you, General,” Sisko responded. “I had no doubt that we could count on you.” The general nodded and left the room. Mr. Worf ,” Sisko said, now turning toward his tactical officer. “I need you to take the Defiant out, too. I think that two cloaked ships will be better than one in this situation.” Worf answered at once. “Yes, Captain. But Captain,” he added, “Does not our agreement with The Romulans prohibit our use of the cloaking device within the Alpha Quadrant?” Sisko smiled tightly at the Klingon officer. “The Romulans are our allies, now. I think it’s about time to see how far we can make the letter of that agreement stretch.” Worf muttered a stream of Klingon swear-words under his breath as he was want to do, and then he simply said, “Aye, sir.” He then turned and walked out the door. Sisko sighed and stared at the frozen tactical display of the battle between the thinking computer and the Dominion fleet. Then he moved across the room to one of the portholes. He stood there for a long time, gazing out at the millions of stars around the station. 9. The space station bristled with weapons. As time passed, the Federation had equipped it with more and more phasers and quantum torpedoes, until it was practically hairy with them. Now, they had all been run out on their retractable launchers and weapons crews waited expectantly in their weapons sails. The operations center was a hive of activity. Tactical teams monitored the arrays of weapons and carefully marked the course of the approaching weapon ship. Meanwhile, other officers at communications consoles fielded numerous calls and complaints from anxious ship captains who wanted to put out from the station and get as far away from the area as they could. The station’s deflector shields were already up though, and they had been carefully tuned in such a way that they could yield the maximum protection from the super weapon. Sisko and Odo stood side-by-side on the walkway that encircled the room in similar attitudes of expectancy. “All secure down below, Constable?” Sisko asked the shape-shifting security chief. “Naturally, sir,” Odo replied. “Quark and every(Continued on page 6)

The Black List—Fall 2009—Page 5

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one else I might be concerned about have gone to ground and I feel confident they’ll stay put until after this is all over. At least,” he added. “They had better if they know what’s good for them.” Cisco smiled. “One thing you can count on from Quark, his sense of self-preservation is usually stronger than his desire for profit, at least, most of the time.” Odo chuckled quietly in his close-mouthed tightlipped way. Miles O’Brien spoke out from the tactical pit below them. “It’s coming into visual range, captain.” “On screen,” Sisko barked. The main view-screen flickered and then the skeletal framework shone brightly in the reflected light from the Bejoran sun. Now, Deep Space Nine’s crew got its first look at one of the most terrible things ever devised by thinking beings. The struts for the warp nacelles had been shortened and the nacelles had been drawn closer to its main hull, and a third one had been added to give some redundancy to the warp drive. The hangar deck and outer cargo bays had been stripped away and much of the roundness of the saucer section had been stripped away to reveal the main structural framework beneath. The main bridge had been removed and the upper sensor and weapons arrays and been remounted lower on the super-structure. At almost every point where structural members came together to make a hard point, a weapon launcher of some type had been added. The ship no longer held an atmosphere, having no enclosed space to contain one. Instead, it had been reduced to its most simple form, with everything having a specific function and any delicate components being contained in heavily shielded casings. Anyone familiar with its technology could immediately identify each and every part of it and see exactly what it was meant for. This configuration was clearly capable of a great many things, but the thing it was most capable of, was the destruction of those who threatened its survival. “You’ve got to admire it, though, haven’t you,” O’Brien said in a hushed voice. “You can’t beat that for absolute efficiency and functionality. The Borg would be impressed.” The quiet conversations of the command crew, as they looked at the deadly-looking vessel, were cut short as it opened fire on the station. “It sure doesn’t waste any time,” Sisko growled as he braced himself against the railing. “Total reply with all weapons, people,” he called across the room. “Fire at will!” From the parts of the circular station that faced the threat, a hale of phaser bolts and torpedoes lanced out and battered at the shields of the thinking warship. The two objects in space now were locked in a fierce embrace of fire. Unimaginable energies were hurled between the starship and the station and the shields of both, threw off the onslaught with showers of visible light, heat, and radiation. Stars could have been born and put to death within the conflagration. Deep Space Nine pummeled its agile opponent with all weapons that could be brought to bear on it. M-4 used all its considerable abilities, jinking and jumping around the sky, and coming at the station from different angles, and with different patterns and modes of attack. Both were taking a toll on each other, but as time passed,

the superior maneuvering abilities of the M-4 began to turn the tide of battle to its advantage. The careful placement of its fire began to interfere with the station’s ability to cope with the tremendous heat being given off by its own shields. “We’re starting to overheat, Captain!” O’Brien cried out from his master engineering console. “We’re compensating, but we can’t take this forever!” “Worf and Mar’Tok will be in position soon,” Sisko responded. “They should be able to take some of the heat off us directly. Maintain firing rate everyone.” The two klingons stared at each other on their ship’s view-screens. “Are you ready, my friend?” Mar’Tok asked. “Yes, general,” Warf replied instantly. “Then let us begin,” the general barked. “Captain Sisko may be feeling some heat over there, about now.” The two ships de-cloaked and fired on the M-4 from different angles. The Federation’s prototype warship, U.S.S. Defiant hammered the enemy weapon with its rapidfire phaser canons and a spread of torpedoes. The klingon bird of prey sent triple bursts of disruptor fire into the attacker’s shields. In another warship, there would have been a delay of perhaps many seconds as the crew experienced their surprise and struggled to adapt to the new tactical situation. M4, however, was different only in the time it took to respond to the change in events. It’s thought processes were instantaneous and its reaction times could not even be measured on the two allied ships. It moved away from the space station to give itself some maneuvering room and began to combat the two ships directly. “Hold your fire!” Sisko barked. “We might hit the other ships.” In an instant, the torrent of energy from the space station halted, and although this meant that the two defending ships now had to deal with the super-weapon without help, it also meant that the station’s shields could recover and the growing heat problems could be relieved. The two starships fought valiantly, the superior speed and tactical ability of the thinking warship soon had them both fighting a defensive action just to survive. “We’ve got to do something!” Sisko cried out. “We’re losing them!” “I think,” Odo said thoughtfully, “that I’d better do something.” Cisco had forgotten that his changeling security chief was in the room. “Do you have something in mind, constable?” Sisko asked anxiously. Odo walked around the edge of the operations room to the transporter pad and stepped up on it. “Beam me out there,” he commanded briskly. “Beam me out to the perimeter of the shields.” “Are you sure that’s wise, Odo,” O’Brien asked, looking astonished. Odo responded quickly, knowing there wasn’t much time for explanations. “When I met the other one of the hundred, he was able to travel through space without a ship. I don’t have the knack of that, but I think I can manage. Now please, beam me out quickly!” O’Brien nodded and quickly switched his console to transporter operation. He entered the necessary coordinates and energized the transporter. Odo faded from the
(Continued on page 7)

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pad and found himself in a realm he had never been in before. He had referred to the time when he had met another changeling, who, like him, had been sent out as one of a hundred changelings by their people, as infants, so they could learn how other races would deal with them. In that encounter, the other changeling had not been impressed with what Odo had been trying to accomplish and so had left, believing that Odo was traveling down a wrong path. “Do you think he can do anything, sir,” O’Brien asked. The operations center had gone silent as everyone waited to see what would happen now. “If anyone can do anything against that thing,” Sisko replied grimly, “Odo can. Try to keep track of him if you can, chief. He may need to be beamed back in a hurry.” “I’ll do my best, sir,” O’Brien acknowledged. Odo felt the cold of space and the radiation he was bombarded with as long as he maintained his human form. He quickly changed to his natural state and drifted like a water drop in weightlessness. As he passed through the station’s shields, he felt their energy and their repulsive force. He allowed them to push him away. He reached out and felt the lines of force exerted by al the objects in the Bejoran system that had any amount of gravity. He used them to flow across and through space toward the thinking warship. He began to feel enormous power and the sense of enormous possibilities that could come to anyone who could move through space at will. He was now confident he could make a difference in this crisis. When he reached the superstructure of m-4’s hull, it was not even aware of him. It had never encountered anything like him before and had no concept of what a threat he could be to it. It continued to concentrate al its attention on the battle at hand. Odo flowed over and through the super-structure and felt his way over things that were both familiar and unfamiliar. As he moved through the skeleton of the ship, he found pathways that he was able to identify as data lines. He followed these to where they came together in larger and larger concentrations. He moved faster and faster, being confident that he was on the right track, now, the track that would lead him to the heart and mind of M-4. Finally, he reached it. It was encased in force-fields and a solid shell that would shield it from almost anything. With tiny tendrils of himself, he explored the boundaries of this thing. He searched the areas where the data lines and power lines passed through the force-fields. He poked and prodded, looking for the tiniest gap or opening. After what seemed like an eternity, he found one. He fed himself through it, atom by atom, molecule by molecule. Again, this seemed to take forever, but it actually took only a few seconds. He flowed onto the protective housing of the thinking computer, itself. Using the same method, he found his way inside it, and in another few seconds, he was in among the very circuitry of M-4. He wasted no time. He transformed himself into a metal-eating insect and tore into the vital innards of M-4. At first, this had no appreciable effect, but then, in the middle of making a sophisticated maneuver to dodge General Mar’Tok’s disruptor barrage, the former starship staggered in space. Again, M-4 tried to exe-

cute a maneuver, and, again, it failed to complete. “Something’s happening!” O’Brien exclaimed from his console. “Odo’s doing something.” “Open a channel to our two ships!” Sisko shouted. “Aye, sir,” Kira acknowledged. The faces of the two klingon officers soon filled the screen. “Cease fire and get some distance from M-4,” Sisko called to them. “Odo is onboard that thing and I think he’s thrown a monkey-wrench in the works.” There was a cheer from around the operations center. “A monkey-wrench?” Mar’Tok asked. “I will explain later, General,” Worf replied. “For now, we had better do as he asks.” The two officers closed their channels, and the M-4 was revealed anew. Now, though, it was reeling drunkenly across the sky. M-4 could not understand what was happening to it. It had no way to detect a parasitic attack and it had no defense. After still more time passed, there seemed to be no control of the vessel that contained M-4 at all. Its impulse engines stopped and it began to tumble, completely out of control. “I’m detecting Odo again!” O’Brien cried out excitedly. “He seems to be waving at us.” “Beam him back here, now, chief,” Sisko barked. A few seconds later, Odo appeared on the transporter platform once again. He grinned from ear to ear. “What an exhilarating experience!” he exclaimed. “Tell everyone to brace themselves. I think I manage to tie its matter and anti-matter valves open. If I’m right, it would…” He was interrupted by a blinding flash on the screen. People cried out around the room and covered their eyes. When the screen cleared, there was no longer a ship where M-4 had been. The starship that once proudly carried the name U.S.S. Alliance had gone to take its place in history. “Damage report!” Sisko called out. After a moment, the answer came back, “Nothing that can’t be fixed in a few hours, sir. No immediate threat to the station or any ships.” “No casualties, sir,” came Dr. Bashir’s voice from the infirmary. “Good,” Sisko said, smiling broadly. “Let’s have a debriefing in the main briefing room in 20 minutes, and I want reports from all departments on my desk by end of shift. Let’s get this behind us, people,” he added. “We still have a war to win.” There was silence in the operations center. Everyone looked at Sisko from their stations. Finally, Dax broke the silence in her usual style. “Debriefing hell,” she said with a grin spreading across her face. “This calls for a party!” This was met by another chorus of cheers from everyone. Sisko smiled indulgently. He thought for a moment and then said, “Did I say at the end of shift? “I meant 0800 hours tomorrow.” This was met by smiles and laughter from the room at large and they began to return the station to a normal condition. They would celebrate this victory in style, as they had done for so many others, and they would go on to fight and work together for a final victory in this lonely outpost on the edge of space.

The Black List—Fall 2009—Page 7

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