Found: One Stardrive Section, Slightly Used

Found: One Stardrive Section, Slightly Used was a mission carried out by the Tryfan-class USS Horizon, NCC-825002, between stardates 13.0509 and 13.0825.

Mission orders

To: Captain Tergin, CO, USS Horizon
From: Fleet XO, Cocoon Fleet
SD: 13.0509

The USS Horizon is to proceed to the Andromeda galaxy, and complete a mission that the Cochrane was not able to. The USS Hudson was destroyed over a month ago, the Cochrane had been sent to investigate, but was recalled early. It is the Horizon's mission to determine the cause of destruction of the Hudson, if that is possible, and to ascertain whether or not there is a sizable threat to the Federation from the Andromeda galaxy. Based on the Horizon's report, Starfleet will decide whether or not the wormhole to the Andromeda galaxy needs to be destroyed.

Good luck,
Fleet XO, Cocoon Fleet

Senior staff

CO: Captain Tergin
FO: Commander Leyson Ayden
FCO/2O: Lieutenant-Commander Phryn
OPS: Lieutenant JG Blaze Starsinger
CEO: Lieutenant JG Dariale
CMO: Lieutenant JG William Patton
CSciO: Lieutenant JG Melody Cuen
CSO: Lieutenant JG James Mauler
CNS: Lieutenant Darlene Houston
SOCO: Lieutenant JG Arkanis

Mission summary

written by Chris Doucette

After the arrival of FCO LtCmdr. Phryn, a 10,000 year old Cheron, the Horizon departs for the M'Sagro system and the wormhole leading from M'Sagro III to the Andromeda Galaxy. Captain Tergin explains to the staff that they are taking over a mission originally assigned to the Cochrane, which was recalled early. They are to investigate the destruction of the USS Hudson, a Starfleet ship reported missing a month ago. Tergin implies that if the crew discovers a significant threat to the Cocoon, Starfleet may destroy the wormhole, a possibility which disturbs CEO Dariale, who is from Trasior Prime, an Andromedan planet. She was the first Andromedan to join Starfleet.

Lt<jg> Arkanis, meanwhile, deals with the news that Rico, a member of his special ops team, apparently died in a shuttle accident. Still guilty over the death of FO P'Nehbuddar and now feeling responsible for Rico's death, Arkanis loses control in the Ship's Edge and, after doing considerable damage to the furniture, is restricted to quarters for two weeks. In a vision, he learns that Rico is still alive and under the protection of the also presumed-dead Captain Elizabeth Davies.

Tension continues to grow between Tergin and the new first officer, Commander Leyson Ayden, whose cold, compassionless analysis borders on the offensive.

Somewhere else, Captain M'Treel Diak of the Hudson is tortured, apparently under the authority of Thylassa Korian, an Andromedan "entrepreneur".

The crew set to work researching the Hudson's situation as they prepare to enter the wormhole. Dr. Patton brings himself up to date on Starfleet's activities in Andromeda. He studies the last reports of the Hudson and the Cochrane and discovers that both crews were showing signs of low morale and psychological disturbances, possibly related to the two races of telepathic beings residing in the Wormhole, the Light and Dark Moieties.

Cmdr. Ayden visits sickbay for an obligatory checkup. He seems to connect with Patton more than he has with anyone so far, but tries to detach himself and remain totally professional, even when Patton suggests the possibility of removing some of Leyson's cybernetics. When Patton guesses correctly that the FO is from the futute, Ayden immediately orders him to drop that line of thought. Later, the CMO tries to glean some useful information from the data on the telepathic attacks of the Purifiers and the Dark Matter anomaly.

As the Horizon approaches the wormhole, Captain Diak escapes from his captors and sets course for the wormhole in a fighter ship. Just before entering, the Horizon receives orders to wait at the entrance until a personnel matter is addressed. To kill some time, Ayden and Dariale take a tour of Outpost 108. After returning to the ship, Ayden is surprised to find newcomer Ensign Fedds Maxon—a Bajoran who was on the Enterprise-J with Ayden in the future—at his door, desperately afraid of travelling through the wormhole. Ayden does his best to comfort Fedds and decides to try being friends with him.

It turns out that the Horizon has been waiting for the arrival of Lt. Darlene Houston, a temporary ship's counselor to replace Jay McMadeth. Once she is aboard and given a warm Horizon welcome, the ship sets course for the wormhole and crosses into Andromeda. While this is happening, Blaze is possessed by some entity called Chasm that has been residing in the gestalt crystal in his quarters.

At almost the same moment, Phryn wakes up from a disturbing dream to realize that he is in the ship's lounge, his face turned pure black.

At almost the same moment, Phryn wakes up from a disturbing dream to realize that he is in the shuttle bay, his face turned pure white.

Dariale nurtures her suspicions that a group of Andromedan terrorists known as the Purists are responsible for the Hudson's demise. The Purists are fanatical Andromedans, and especially Trasiens like Dariale, who demand that the Federation remove itself from Andromeda. Hoping to find some way, covert perhaps, of dealing with the terrorist threat, the engineer sends a coded message to her friend Philomena Alderbrite, Captain of the USS Mauritania.

The medical staff bring Phryn to sickbay, only to discover that they can't agree on what color his face is. Some see it as pure white, others as pure black. Patton sees the usual half-and-half.

Tergin senses something wrong on board, but remains unaware of Phryn's sudden split into three versions. The Mauritania makes an unscheduled appearance as the Horizon crosses into Andromeda. Dariale beams over to visit Alderbrite; Ayden picks up on Dariale's somewhat suspicious activity, but lets the matter go.

Captain Diak reaches what appears to be a Starfleet ship, but is in fact another setup by Thylassa Korian. Her subordinates keep Diak from asking too many questions about the situation, while Thylassa hints that someone is paying handsomely for the information they obtained from him.

Somewhere on the planet Fenax Alko IV, a strange old witch who seems to be uncannily aware of everything that's happened, starts chanting the word Viviltot. On the Horizon, Ayden stops by Blaze's quarters and, after an awkward exchange, suddenly hears the word Viviltot repeated over and over again through the comm system. Dariale returns to the ship, manually stops the noise, and explains that Viviltot is a character from an ancient Trasien folktale.

No'urdan, who knows something is wrong with Blaze, tries to convince his brother Or'Nonya that his lover is somehow possessed. In the middle of the transmission, however, he is cut off. CSO Mauler reports that someone is jamming all communications to and from the other side of the wormhole.

Ensign Fedds and Specialist Valarn Taya, after discussing the latter's romantic problems, notice that all the phasers in the armory have last power. On the bridge, Mauler reports power fluctuations all over the ship. Suddenly, the phasers all overload and explode just as Fedds and Taya evacuate the armory. In the ensuing confusion, one of the civilian teachers calls the bridge and says a strange old woman—in fact, the woman from Fenax Alko IV—is mucking around in the arboretum and asking for Dariale.

Ayden, Dariale and Houston confront the woman, who reveals herself to be Mzinka, another supposedly fictional character from Trasien folklore. She calls Ayden Flesh Entombed and Dariale The Prodigal Maker. Guards attempt to take her into custody but are repelled by a strange shield of fog coming from the water in the pond she's standing in.

Blaze/Chasm enters and turns out to be Viviltot, the traditional nemesis of Mzinka. The black gestalt crystal, which he now wears on a necklace, begins to glow eerily. Ayden, the Flesh Entombed, is now possessed as well by something called Galivvan. Mzinka indicates that Phryn—"Both in Three"—is also a part of this mythological mess. It appears that Mzinka, Galivvan and Phryn are Viviltot or Chasm's ancient enemies.

Arkanis and his SpecOps crew arm themselves with older weapons from sharpshooter Wolf's private collection, since all the phasers have been destroyed. They head to the arboretum to try and deal with the increasingly confusing situation. Arkanis, of course, demands that everyone stand down, but Chasm arrogantly refuses and launches an energy wave at the big blue man, who then engages the possessed OPS in hand-to-hand combat.

Chasm's magical abilities throw Galivvan, Mzinka, and the three Phryns into despair—the entity's power is much greater than the three of them combined. Tergin arrives, and Mzkina, addressing the captain as Youngelder, asks his advice. He suggests that Galivvan might gain some strength from Ayden's consciousness, but is more or less baffled by the events going on around him.

Somewhere else, a Purist learns of Viviltot's appearance and is frustrated—apparently, Viviltot was not supposed to make his appearance so early.

Patton and Trobul arrive on the scene. As Arkanis begins to falter in his battle with Chasm's dark powers, Trobul tries to intervene but only succeeds in drawing some of the dark energy around him, slowly killing him. Patton does his best to help the medic.

Dariale starts to piece clues together. She tells Tergin about the Trasien legend of an epic battle between a wizard (Galivvan), a witch (Mzinka), a demon (Viviltot/Chasm), and an immortal traveller, who must be the age-old Cheron, Phryn. Originally, Chasm was defeated by the other three and "sealed in oblivion", but Blaze's crystal has somehow given him increased power. Dariale speculates that these characters are actually members of the Light and Dark Moieties, and that the Purists could be somehow controlling them for their own purposes.

Wolf manages to fire a bullet into the gestalt crystal, making Chasm effectively powerless. Trobul is released from the dark energy, while the enraged Chasm nearly kills Wolf and injures Ark. Blaze seizes the opportunity and with help from Phryn and Mzinka, retakes control of his mind, once again expelling Chasm into oblivion. The old witch disappears, Ayden returns to normal, and there's only one Phryn.

Tergin decides, despite Ayden's protests, to go ahead and continue with the real mission, and save the investigation of the legendary battle for later. Ayden bottles up his frustration as usual, but answers some of Houston's questions about his cybernetics. Their conversation is interrupted by CSciO Melody Cuen's report that the Hudson's ion trail has been located.

Captain Diak discovers he never really escaped his captors. Thylassa indicates several parties who are interested in "buying" the Andorian captain, including the Purists.

Ayden and Patton discover that the FO's cybernetics are not actually expanding because of his injuries, but simply shifting location. Tergin informs them that a lifepod from the Hudson has been found and Mauler is beaming the two survivors to Sickbay. They turn out to be a human PO, Lee Tsung, and the Andorian OPS, Ensign Fibrilitar ch'Dreek. The only answer Mauler can get out of Tsung is that the ship was attacked by Purists, as Dariale suspected.

On the Mauritania, first officer LtCmdr. Dek, who seems to be working for someone other than Starfleet, contacts Thylassa and negotiates for the "merchandise". Thylassa demands a higher price, and Dek reluctantly agrees to check with his superiors. Meanwhile, one of the mercenaries posing as Starfleet, "Lt. McMurphy", betrays Thylassa and helps Diak escape for real in an EVA suit, while she jumps ship in a shuttle. Diak escapes to the emptiness of space before Korian's ship is disabled, and begins tracking McMurphy's shuttle.

Several hours later, shaken from travelling at warp speed without any protection except the suit, Captain Diak boards McMurphy's shuttle from the outside and knocks her out. He sets course for the Mauritania.

Mauler has the Horizon trace the path of the escape pod and the Hudson's trail, which leads the ship to the site of the Hudson's destruction. It appears nothing has survived in the debris field.

Arkanis goes to sickbay to get his arm fixed. He has been simulating the arboretum fight to convince himself he could have defeated Chasm, and ended up getting his arm broken in the exact same place again. However, he tells Patton that Chasm got much, much worse.

Blaze is overwhelmed by the stress of the recent events, and collapses from exhaustion on the bridge. As Patton helps take him to sickbay, Ayden asks the CMO to send Ensign ch'Dreek to him as soon as possible. Patton visibly disapproves of the FO's priorities but agrees. Meanwhile, a shuttle apparently registered to the Mauritania approaches. Ayden insists on taking every precaution, while Tergin refuses to preemptively assume the shuttle is hostile. The shuttle is brought into shuttlebay two.

Ensign Bordak, on his way to his new assignment on the Horizon—more than two years ago, before he changed his name to Bordaq—somehow arrives on the scene and is dismayed to learn he has traveled into the future, where everyone on the ship already knows him. Ensign McMadeth, meanwhile, is on his way back to Earth on a special assignment, contemplating the meaning of his existence.

Blaze wakes up en route to Sickbay. He tells Patton he's been too stressed out to eat recently, which explains his fainting. Patton has No'urdan bring him some food so they can spend some time together. No'urdan arrives with a birthday present for the Kindel—a promise ring, symbolizing his loyalty to him. Meanwhile, the two occupants of the shuttle—Diak and McMurphy—are brought to Sickbay. Patton recognizes him and starts to tend his wounds, suffered during his torture by Thylassa. Ayden pressures the doctor to let him interrogate the captain first, but Patton flat out refuses.

Dariale accompanies Ayden to the Shuttlebay, where Mauler is conducting a thorough investigation of the shuttle. Looking at some low-level radiation scans, the CEO discovers there was a Trasien on the shuttle just a few minutes ago. Before she can inform anyone or try to locate the intruder, the intruder, having taken the form of shuttlebay chief Millie Munroe, disables her.

Ayden, paranoia at maximum with Dariale's collapse, interrupts Ark's session with Lt. Houston to have him and his team trace the shuttle's course to try and find anything to help them figure out what is going on. Patton arrives and tries to determine what happened, while "Munroe" goes unnoticed as she touches several people, collecting their genetic information. She accompanies Patton to the MRI room, but quickly leaves them and shifts into Patton's form.

Tergin arrives in sickbay and uncharacteristically insists on speaking to Diak while he is being treated. "Patton" enters and, unable to take out Diak with so many people around, tries to buy time for himself by nonchalantly ordering some coffee from the replicator and enjoying it. He excuses himself a few moments before the real Patton enters, reporting that Dariale was attacked by another Trasien. Tergin and Dr. T'Salek realize that the coffee drinking should have alerted them—Patton *hates* replicated coffee—and try to think of a way to locate the intruder without tipping him/her off.

Diak regains consciousness after his surgery. Tergin informs him of the situation, and Diak tells him how the Hudson was destroyed—they took onboard a shuttle with a Trasien Purist aboard, who quickly sabotaged every system on the ship. Diak would have been killed, but he was beamed out by the mercenaries at the last second and detained for torture.

Suddenly, the ship goes to red alert, and Lt. Kali reports that a warp core breach is underway. With Dariale still disabled, Kali sends a confused Ensign Bordak to engineering to deal with the crisis. Tergin realizes the Horizon is about to share the Hudson's fate. He heads to engineering and runs into Bordak, instantly sensing a time displacement.

Ayden and Bordak try to contain the breach as well as a computer virus which is spreading through every system on the ship. At the same time, Diak describes that very virus to Tergin in sickbay. Tergin sees the situation calls for Blaze's ability to interface with the computer, and sends him to the computer core. He heads to the bridge and has the ship prepare for saucer separation.

Patton and T'Salek quickly move all the critical patients to the saucer's primary sickbay. Patton decides to stay on the drive section—he wants T'Salek and her unborn child to stay on the saucer.

In the midst of ship-wide chaos, Melody Cuen momentarily succumbs to amnesia, forgetting that she left the Q Continuum to join Starfleet. She high-handedly threatens Tergin with the wrath of her "parents", the Q.

Blaze interfaces with the computer but is not prepared for what he sees. Before he can contact Ayden, a shock from the core renders him unconscious.

Phryn, in command of the battle bridge, remembers commanding a doomed ship called the Caimeno which crashed into an M class planet, then snaps out of it in time to hear Melody's ranting over the comm.

Diak leaves Sickbay, against T'Salek's advice, to help on the bridge, while Ayden recommends that the saucer leave as soon as possible. As the warp core breach becomes imminent, he orders the drive section evacuated except for himself, Bordak, and Mauler on the battle bridge. He manages to eject the core six seconds before it breaches, but the shockwave from the explosion disables the drive section.

Mauler comes to engineering and finds Bordak and Ayden still alive, but Ayden seriously wounded with a huge piece of console embedded in his abdomen. They take the FO to Sickbay, where they discover Patton and the medical staff still aboard, and tending to all the crewmen who were unable to evacuate. Although Ayden's wounds would normally be fatal, his cybernetics completely heal him and force the console out of his body.

Bordak comes to terms with the fact that he can do nothing to repair the engines. Ayden wakes up and Patton informs him that the ship is disabled and floating through a nebula. Shirtless and running almost entirely on cybernetic systems, the FO leaves to do whatever he can.

The saucer section picks up as many escape pods as it can find before heading off to search for the drive section. Just before it leaves, though, the Mauritania arrives and opens fire.

On the Mauritania, it seems someone has managed to beam everyone off the bridge and lock everyone out of the computer. LtCmdr. Dek has helped the intruder stay undetected on the ship for several weeks. After giving the intruder enough time to complete whatever his mission was, he discreetly drops the barriers around the bridge.

The intruder scans the Horizon saucer for Trasien lifesigns. He finds one, and assuming it is his ally aboard the Horizon, beams it along with himself onto a shuttle which heads off into Andromeda. In fact, he has beamed off Dariale—the other Purist was killed in the breach.

Melody falls unconscious when a torpedo hits the Horizon. She is beamed to sickbay, where she awakens and says she is alone. Patton, on the drive section, senses her distress. The drive crew manage to send out a probe to signal the saucer.

Bordak suggests using the shuttles' warp engines to essentially tow the stardrive out of the nebula, just as the saucer section picks up the probe's signal and heads for the nebula. When the drive crew realize only one shuttle and one runabout have survived the disaster, Ayden decides to have all 67 of the crew squeeze onto the runabout and abandon ship. Ayden sets the stardrive to self-destruct in five hours.

With the Mauritania's help, the saucer section locates the runabout leaving the nebula and picks up the rest of its crew. Ayden reports that personnel losses are surprisingly low.

Dariale, who during all this has been kidnapped by a Purist named Kardem, overhears a discussion between him and a co-pilot who is not a Trasien, but a human. She manages to escape and, morphing into a spaceborne animal, travel through empty space to the Horizon.

Thylassa Korian tells an associate that she salvaged the Horizon stardrive before it self-destructed, and that her buyer is a mysterious Klingon woman.

Upon re-entering the wormhole, the Horizon enters a parallel universe where the Romulans, Cardassians, Breen, Dominion, and Tholians have allied and nearly wiped out the Federation…

… But That's Another Story.



Awards received

Outstanding Mission Award (for both this and the next mission)

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