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StarTrek Online - Breakaway
Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5 - Part 6

One week ago, USS Leviathan.

"Take good care of her" he said, looking at the corridor.
She wasn't sure if he was talking to her or the ship.

"And take care of yourself too, little sister"
She smiled softy, gazing around as they reached the turbo lift.
"Bridge" he ordered, and the lift started to move on que.

"What ship had the fleet issued you as replacement?" She asked.

"I'm not sure yet, I've heard talk of a new type of destroyer going in rotation, on paper the specs are interesting to say the least."

"The Chimera?"

He looked down and smiled softly, she had heard the rumors, too.

"That's right, but I'll be in command of the Lynnfield until official orders come in."

"A cruiser then, off to explore are you?"

"It'll be a shift from front lines for sure, I'm not entirely certain why I'm being pulled from rotation."

"Maybe Wagner had something to do with..."
She didn't finish, noting a scornful look growing in his eyes.
The lift stopped and the doors slip open, ending the conversation entirely.
"Admiral on the bridge!" The xo yelled, as Deetex and Calisto Seraphine stepped out in unison.

The two marched straight to the command chair, leaving the entire bridge crew standing at attention for a few precious agonizing seconds.
He inhaled deeply, ready to downplay his well prepared speech.

"As you all know I have been relieved of duty from the USS Leviathan, following in my steps is Captain Calisto Seraph.
Yes, we are related, but I trust you will all show her the same loyalty and devotion you have given me, she is a fine officer and capable captain."
He stepped down from the raised platform, and gestures his sister to the big chair.

"Captain Seraph, she's all yours."

Her dream faded slowly from mind as she woke up.
It had been two years since she was given command of the Leviathan.
Two years of combat patrol, of escort detachments, two long years of secondary military operations that no one had ever bothered to notice.

'I am a Starfleet captain damnit!' She thought to herself.
'I am the stuff of legends, it's not fair!'

Her bunk was warm and damp, she had one nightmare after another, reliving the past three days in her mind over and over again.
Her mouth was dry and throat scratchy, she got up and headed to the replicator, ordering a glass of cold water.
Closing her eyes she drank the whole glass in one go, letting her mind wander.
A week ago the leviathan's long range sensors detected a Tholian battle group heading for new Romulas, outside her patrol area -outside Everyone's patrol area, and ordered an intercept.
How was she supposed to know of the Tholian Web's scrambling properties?

Now the Leviathan was lost, completely destroyed and it's debris in phase shift, off for their wretched scientists to take apart and recycle for fuel.
A crew of a thousand, and only a handful of survivors... Two escape pods was all the USS Lankiveil could retrieve.
'A captain goes down with her ship!'
The decree plagued her at every waking moment, taunting her.
She left the bridge, only after seeing everyone else left already, only after setting a ramming course and speed.
'Why was I saved!'
She wasn't a coward, and to her reasoning did exactly as she was supposed to, but why was she still alive when so many of her friends burned to their deaths.

Now she was on her way to Earth Space Dock, the Lankiveil was burning it's warp coils recklessly to deliver her as soon as possible.
'Wagner must be pissed.'

Within a few hours she would be standing in the Admiral's office, facing a board of old men with angry looks and prejudged conceptions.
'Or a firing squad, if I'm lucky.'

More then anything, the one fact that weighed down on her the most, was the disappointment her Brother would show.
No matter how much she would apologize, she was sure Deetex would kill her on the spot the moment he saw her.
It was his nature, mirror or prime universe, killing those who disappoint was what he does.

Her combadge chirped, breaking her chain of thought.
Her roommate stirred but remained a sleep.
One survivor, a friend at least made it out... but just one of a few, out of a thousand.

Her badge chirped again.
She sighed and walked over to the table, picking it up and pressing down the receiver button.

"Good morning Captain"
It was the Lankiveil's XO, a preppy officer and paperpusher, owning his position only to the endless training cources he had followed... no battlefield experience... and no respect judging by the way he spat her rank.
"I hope I did not wake you"
He was lying... or at least apathetic.
"But we're aproaching ESD's perimeter, please report to transporter room 2."

She sighed again, quietly.
"On my way" she finally replied.

'burocratic paperpushing spineless whimp'
She saw him only briefly while being debriefed by the Lankiveil's captain, thankfully the captain was a more experienced officer, but sadly coming of age and retireing soon, he wouldn't take any risks for her.

As she put on her uniform she looked herself over in the mirror.
Her clothing was desheffled, creased and scortched, her left sleeve torn revealing her arm and the patched gash she bandaged herself.
'nice scar' was the only thing she could think of.
She didn't bother tidying up.
'Why would I?' she wondered.
'getting the boot anyway...'

Within a few minutes she stood at the Transporter pad, still defiantly facing forward but staring at nothing in particular.

None of the bridge officers on the Lankiveil attended, none of the Leviathan survivors were summoned... only  herself and the Transport operator were present.

The pads activated, two security officers materialized.

"Captain Seraph?" one burly Bolian asked.
She merely nodded.

The two officers parted, unspeaking but clearly intending her to join them.

Standing between the two, the operator beamed them straight to the overhead station.

She closed her eyes as the room around her dematerialized.

when she opened them again she was greated by an even larger security parade, MACO's, four of them, all in armor and packing heavy weapons.

"Captain Seraph, you will come with us" the lead soldier called out.

The other soldiers tightened the grip on their weapons, anticipating her to make a move.

Pausing for only a moment she slowly made her way down from the Transporter pads, following the path indicated by the lead MACO operative.
She felt uneasy, as if thousands of eyes were trained on her... all staring at her through the scopes of their rifles.

'All this, for one ship?'

The hallways were completely devoid of life.
None of the usual crowd were present, not a single soul to be seen.
They had cleared everything.
Even fountain had been shut off, it's glassy water still and quiet.

The short stroll to the admiral's offices was quiet and uneventful.
No doubt the soldier's would love her to make a sudden move, but now, for once in her life, a lifetime of submissive work has given her excellent muscular control.

Two soldiers halted besides the final doorway, the other two stepped through and held position on the other side of the bulkhead.

One nodded sideways, indicating to her to move on alone.

She swallowed, and took a deep, calming breath.

slowly, one step after another, she entered the office... all chatter from it quieted down.
Fleet admiral Wagner sat at the tablehead, gazing at her first with a look of anger, then surprise, settling finally on annoyance.

Slowly the other attending admirals looked up as well, each with a look of confusion and frustration.

"What is the meaning of this?" admiral Quinn inquired.

"Sir" She replied.

"Who is this?" another admiral demanded.

A few statements and questions flitted about over the table, until finally silence fell and all the admirals looked at her.
Finally one, Admiral Bernprint, spoke up.

"Wrong Seraph"

She tilted her head sideways, matching their confusion.

"eh... excuse me?"

"This is a waste of time, get her out of here" Wagner ordered.

"This isn't about the Leviathan?" she asked.

The room fell silent.

"What about the Leviathan?" Wagner asked.
One of the other admirals pulled up a padd and scrolled through various messages.

"Lost with all hands it seems, except for Miss Seraph here."
"All hands?!" Quinn asked.

Calisto coughed, attracting attention.

"Me and 15 others, Sirs"

"What happened?" Admiral Bernprint asked, gesturing her to take a seat.

"Berny, this really isn't the time for..." Wagner started, interupted by Calisto deliberately dragging her chair over the floor.

"Obviously we're no where closer to finding Deetex now than we were this morning, take a seat Miss Seraph, what of the Leviathan?"

Starting slow and shaky at first, she downplayed the events as she remembered them.
She told them of how they detected the Tholians, how they aproached them under cloak and how they knew they were being followed.
She told them of the valiant fight she and her crew put up, of the eerily beautiful Tholian web that was being spun behind her, how it snared their nacelles and tore the hull apart.

Finally, she told them of sending her crew to the escape pods, her decision to set the ship on collision course with a Tholian carrier, then how she abandoned her station just to get the last survivors out as quick as possible.
Subconciously she placed her hand over her scarred arm, as she remembered the damage wrought to the old but powerful ship.

"Well..." Wagner started.
"The loss of the Leviathan is certainly regrettable, and the circumstances couldn't be timed worse."

"Meaning?" She spouted before she knew it.

Disgruntled, Wagner straightened in his seat.

"Meaning, we are currently involved in other affairs as well, which your brother has not helped to improve."

The instant he said that Calisto swung into her battlemode, a trait that runs in the bloodline it seemed.
"What about Deetex?" she demanded.

"That is on a need to know basis, you are dismissed." Wagner stated.

Calisto fell silent, her eyes blazing but her expression fixed.

Quinn got up from his chair, dismissing the MACO's with a hand gesture as he walked up to Calisto.

"Come, lets take a walk"

The two of them took a stroll along the ESD promenade, as Quinn explained to Calisto how her brother had gone renegade.
He told her of how her brother confronted the admiralty, how he threw his career away as ran off with his ship, how he threatened admiral Wagner.
"So naturally, when we got the flash transmission that life pods were salvaged from a destroyed ship with stx charter, and a captain Seraph was among the survivors, we automatically assume it was your brother."
"Deetex wouldn't do something that reckless unless provoked, he must've seen something that he thinks will give him an edge"
Quinn stated out over the promenade, lost in thought.
"Possible, but the damage is done, even if he succeeds he can't come back."
"So where is he now?"
Quinn shrugged.
"We don't know, the last we heard his ship was headed to the Gamma Orianis gateway, we lost our sensor lock before he arrived however, we do not know why."
"Lost lock, how?"
Quinn waved her off, a serious look on his face.
"We're still investigating that, look..."
He turned to face her.
"You're pretty beaten up but you're still in a heap of trouble for deviating from your patrol zone, get some rest, I'll summon you in a few days and we can talk more, that sound okay?"

It wasn't okay, it was everything but okay.
She wanted to scream and yell and beat the information out of this old man, she wanted her brother back and in one piece.
She didn't want to rest, not at all.
"I'll be fine, sir." Was all she could quietly say in reply.

With a sly grin Quinn straightened and started to walk.

Before they knew it the two officers stood in front of the admiral's office.
Quinn padded her on the back.
"I understand you want to go in after your brother, we would,too"
She swallowed hard.
"But we just don't have the ships for such an operation right now."

He fumbled in his pocket, pulling something out and pressing it in her palm.
"But these people might" he whispered.
Without waiting for her reply he entered the offices and sealed the doors.
And there she stood, slightly confused, but seething with rage.
It took her a minute to bother looking at the thing he gave her.
It was a single unmarked isolinear chip.
She hurried back to her assigned quarters, and without hesitation slid the chip in her terminal.
All that was on it was a location, date and a single word: thinktank.
She scolded the screen, slamming a fist on the desk, the date was in a week's time!

She sunk her head in her palms and took deep, calming breaths.
Finally she decided to query the computer.
"Cross reference location and date, list all events and known affiliates."

Within a second the computer gave a report, no data.


nothing of relevance, no events, no meetings, nothing.

She let out a heavy sigh of frustration, halfway transforming it into a yawn.
Over the past few days she hadn't slept well, and today was weighing down on her.
Stripping from her tathered uniform she lay on bed and closed her eyes, drifting off into a quiet, restless sleep.

It didn't take long for the nightmares to start over again.
The horrible last moments of the Leviathan, the futile efforts of the crew to keep the mighty ship intact.
The pointless weapons fire against the Tholian carrier and the equally senseless struggle against the Web.
She issued general order 13.
Saw her crew off.
yelled at her bridge officers for staying.
Setting the collision course and removing the anti-matter containment fields... and finally the blinding flash of the Leviathan's hull burning.

She jolted up, half awake and half enraged.
Breathing heavy and bathed in sweat she placed her hand over her scarred arm and closed her eyes.
Trembling she whimpered softly, the loss of her crew and ship affecting her more than anything.
She just could not believe how quick it all went bad, how horribly she failed to life up to her brother's expectations.
She let out a single pained outcry that lasted forever, as she thought of her brother, now maybe lost forever.

Only then did she feel she wasn't alone.
Instinctively she pulled her dagger from under the pillow, a habit from the other universe she had learned not to give up.

"Who are you" she asked in the dark.

"We heard you were looking for us."

"Lights!" she ordered, the room quickly and smoothly illuminated.
Standing in the doorway she saw a lean man dressed in a royal blue tunic.
There was something disarming about him, but when she gazed up at his face she instantly felt the hair in her neck standing up.

"You're Borg"

"I am Deltan, yes I was assimilated into the Collective three years ago but have since been liberated."
'Deltan, oh that's clever' she thought to herself.
'Stay alert Calisto...'

He took one step closer, his grey metal eye and occular implant fixed on her.
"I assure you I am harmless."

She straigtened on her bed, not bothering to cover her naken body, but making sure the dagger was in clear sight.

"Why are you here?" she asked.

"I represent a covert thinktank, enlisted by Section31, it is our objective to gather intelligence to be used by... anyone who can."

He took a stool and sat down next to her, his metal eye trained at her and his occular implant gazing idlely into the room.

"Your brother, the former admiral Deetex Seraph, is still very much alive.
He is currently deep in Borg territory heading to the Quadra Sigma system, where he and his new allies intend to engage and defeat a sizable Borg force preparing to execute a temporal incursion."

"New allies?"

"Yes, he has affiliated himself with a group that operates outside Federation juristriction, much like Section31 but notably more capable.
They call themselves the Sardaukar, we have concluded this group is equally formidable, militarily considerably more capable then we are.
They have enlisted him as General."

"Why are you telling me all this?"

"Because he will fail in his mission, the Borg in that system have put up formidable defences and have deployed tactical assets, we thought it would be... appreciable if you at least knew what was going on."

"How polite... for a former drone no less."
She held nothing but miscontent for the Borg and had little pity on the many liberated drones the Federation employed.
They all had short manners and lacked social skills, much thanks to the Collective's hive mind no doubt.

"There is one other thing you should be aware of, Miss Seraph."

"What's that."

"That your close family friend, mister Lane, also has had dealings with the Sardaukar, you may wish to address him in this regard."

"Lane?" she quoted the name and thought back to her friend.
She hadn't seen Argon in a few months, not so much a call or letter or even seen his name in a report.

"I've said all I could, and will leave you to your thoughts, if you'd like I could perscribe you something to help you sleep better with?"

This broke her train of thought, she looked up at him, confused.

"Officially I am a physician, I serve on the USS Placeholder."

"Oh, no thanks."

He got up from his stool and headed to the doorway.

"If you change your mind, look me up, or ask for Cypher... and for what it's worth, we are all deeply saddened by Deetex' imminant demise"

"Get out!" she hissed.

As she heard the doors close she dropped back on the bed, curling up she clutched the dagger her brother gave her so long ago, and began to wheep.

She cried herself to sleep, feeling completely alone and deserted, and for once at last she slumbered without the nightmares...