Gateway to Success

Gateway to Success was a mission carried out by the Tryfan-class USS Horizon, NCC-825002, between stardates 14.0302 and 14.0812.

Mission orders

To: LtCommander James T. Burke, CO, USS Horizon
From: Branch Admiral Ardeous Brockman, Fleet XO, Cocoon Fleet
SD: 14.0222

Captain,

At this present moment the Federation is in secret talks with the President of the Kalosian Republic. These talks were to initiate a trade agreement with the Kalosian government and the Federation. On stardate 13.0621.1927 the USS Meade, the younger Miranda Class variant, science vessel, was ordered to the Nauv sector to hand off the first geological survey team, whom under the supervision of Professor Eisen Haptfield were to surface scan the southern polar region for the berillium mining facilities, that the two governments were agreeing on funding. The reason that the Kalosian government have requested the presence of the Federation is that the mining facilities that it has previously set up on their orbiting satellites have been attacked by an unknown force, traced to a nearby system. Captain Jules Ingram took the action of setting up a trace team in a type 5 shuttle pod, but lost his away team consisting of his FO and CSO, whilst tracking the last attack on the sites.

Last contact with the Meade was on stardate 14.0130, when Captain Jules Ingram reported 6 hours after their departure, the detection of a further class M planet on long range sensors. Captain Ingram informed Omega that he was proceeding to investigate the intense gravimetric force coming from within the planet. Nothing further has been heard from the Meade and she fails to respond to attempts at communication.

You, LtCmdr. Burke, are to prepare the Horizon for immediate departure to the Nauv sector, to the last know coordinates of the USS Meade and investigate the fate of the ship and her crew. Rescue and return any survivors, if destruction of vessel has occurred. Using whatever investigative methods deemed necessary, please use the upmost consideration of the Prime Directive in any first contact situations.

Godspeed to the Horizon and her crew, good luck on your first mission, Commander Burke.

Regards,
Admiral Ardeous Brockman
Cocoon Fleet Executive Officer

Senior staff

CO: Lieutenant-Commander James Burke
FO: Commander Leyson Ayden
FCO/2O: Lieutenant-Commander Jarek Malaar
OPS: Lieutenant Blaze Starsinger
CNS: Lieutenant Bordaq
CEO: Lieutenant JG Dariale
CSciO: Lieutenant JG Melody Cuen
CSO: Lieutenant JG James Mauler
CMO: Ensign Electra Threin
SOCO: Lieutenant JG Arkanis
SOXO: Lieutenant JG Nathan Cady

Mission summary

compiled from situation reports by Ruud Visser

The FXO calls in the middle of the night to tell captain James Burke the Horizon will have to depart Malvedia ASAP, interrupting the current mission. All contact with the USS Meade, investigating attacks on Kalosian mining facilities in the Nauv sector, has been lost and the Horizon is ordered to find out what happened. Burke receives private orders to retrieve the logs of Professor Eisen Haptfield, a scientist aboard the Meade.

While en route to the Kalosian system, Ensign Kate Spencer-Burke, the captain's wife, arrives aboard the Horizon. Burke takes some private time with her, enjoying each other's body and forgetting for a moment about their work. After lunch, he checks with Lt Mauler to see what they know about Prof. Haptfield.

Ensign Rendash Kuaar, 19 years old and fresh from the Academy, arrives to replace Lt Dariale as CEO. Burke welcomes him aboard and shows him to engineering. After meeting his staff, he's taken on a tour of the ship by Cmdr. Leyson Ayden. Ayden's cold, intimidating attitude disappears a bit after a short talk with Kuaar. Later that day, with all the introductions done, the newbie is impressed with the way the ship—and specifically engineering—is running.

Burke asks the SpecOps team to recover the logs from Professor Haptfield. As the team is about to leave the Horizon, all power goes out. With the forcefield separating the shuttle bay from open space gone, the SpecOps shuttle is sucked/blown against the half-open bay doors. Fortunately, nobody gets hurt. The team leaves the shuttle and splits up. Lt Arkanis and Cady decide to go after Chug, who has escaped from the brig. Lt. Bordaq is also going after the prisoner and soon meets up with Ark and Cady.

LtCmdr. Jarek Malaar goes to his quarters to make sure his wife and daughter are alright. The three of them go back to the bridge, so Malaar can do his job while being close to his loved ones. In the meantime, Dr. Wednesday finds himself trapped. With all power gone, he can't return to his own reality.

While realigning a damaged phase converter, Cmdr. Ayden is visited by Mzinka, the old swamp witch the crew encountered in Andromeda. She gives him a confusing warning, and the only thing he understands is that Dr. Wednesday is somehow involved. Nevertheless, it's clear to him something bad is about to happen.

Chug comes across the captain's wife and takes her hostage. Not much later, Ark and Cady arrive at the scene and deduce what happened. After sending someone to inform the captain, they proceed with the hunt. They soon catch up with him and overhear him talking to Kate. Bordaq interrupts his hunt for Chug to inform Burke about the hostage the escaped murderer has taken. Naturally, Burke's first reaction is to rush out and go after Chug, but Bordaq talks him out of it. Instead, the CNS resumes the hunt himself. Minutes later, the ship is rocked by an explosion in cargo bay 2. Incidentally or as a result, power gets restored to the upper three decks.

Kate takes advantage of a moment of confusion and attacks Chug. Despite several well-placed kicks and blows, the criminal remains aware enough to stun her before she can complete her escape. The last bit of common sense gone now, he starts beating her up heavily. Fortunately, Bordaq arrives in time to save her life.

Confusion reigns on the bridge, as nobody has as much as a clue about what's happening. Preliminary star sightings suggest they're out of explored space, but the abnormal readings could just as well be attributed to a malfunctioning computer. A disc-shaped object appears off the starboard bow, but before anyone can figure out what it is, sensors pick up a massive spatial distortion rapidly heading their way. Just as it enters visual range, power fails again on the bridge. After a few uneasy moments in complete darkness, power returns, allowing them a look at the object that has arrived. It's unmistakably a vessel of some kind—but not one even remotely familiar to any of the bridge crew. The spatial distortion is soon found to be a gateway of some kind.

After the alien vessel has scanned the Horizon, all systems except the warp engines mysteriously come back online. Sensors pick up the Meade's shuttle nearby. Keeping a close eye on the alien vessel, the Horizon moves within transporter range and beams the shuttle's two occupants to sickbay. In the meantime, Kuaar heads up to the bridge to discuss the situation with the captain.

Threin performs surgery on the captain's wife. She'll make a full recovery, which can't be said about the two people rescued from the Meade's shuttle. Dr. T'Salek can't treat their radiation poisoning and estimates they'll live for another day at best. Burke leaves the bridge to be at Kate's side. He blames himself for her injuries, and wishes he hadn't accepted this assignment.

The alien vessel sends out a series of prime numbers, presumably in an effort to establish dialogue. However, the 2 is missing from the series. Starsinger and Malaar conclude it's a test of their intelligence, and decide to reply by transmitting the number 2. In return, the aliens send a *huge* data stream, almost too much for the Horizon's computers to process.

Elsewhere on the ship, Dr. Wednesday is greeted by Dr. Gilbert, an older version of his former assistant. When Wednesday used his Reality Engine to travel to the Horizon, it was destroyed. Gilbert spent the next thirty years rebuilding and improving the Engine, which now has the size of a hand-held box. Wednesday accepts the invitation and joins Gilbert on the way to their own time and space. Their beaming out disrupts the data stream between the alien vessel and the Horizon. The aliens seem to take this as a hostile act, and the ship starts moving towards the Horizon.

Ensign Kor, a Klingon/Hirogen hybrid, arrives from the USS Destiny as the new CSO. A golden teardrop-like pod detaches from the alien ship and moves over to the Horizon. The bridge crew speculates about its purpose, and agrees it acts more as an emissary than as a weapon. Burke, Bordaq and Kor leave the bridge to go and greet it.

Through logical deduction and perhaps some lucky guesses, the crew makes contact with the aliens inside the pod. On a first glance, they appear very friendly, just as curious about the crew as the crew about them. Things change when Kor hears the aliens might be covertly accessing the main computer core. The alien emissary quickly apologizes for accessing the Horizon's computer without telling, and severs the connection. On his ship, however, another alien species isn't happy with the Horizon crew's quick discovery. The Clan Leader intents to carry out his scouting mission no matter what resistance the Horizon offers.

Still not fully trusting Lavender/Green, as the emissary is called, Kor wants to get some scans of the pod's internal structure. He decides to use gravity waves, hoping the alien won't perceive them as a scanning device. Burke offers to adapt the VIP quarters to the emissary's environmental needs. L/G gladly accepts, as this might enable him to gather more information on the Horizon. Kor and Bordaq leave to prepare the quarters, which Burke wisely wants surrounded by forcefields.

The Malvedians return to the Horizon, this time a group from the future. They say Ayden has to come with them, or Dr. Wednesday, who is about to arrive, will do great damage to the universe. Ayden understands and agrees, at the same time realizing it were the Malvedians who gave him the cybernetic implants that have bothered him for so long. Though not fully understanding the reasons, Burke trusts his FO's judgement and has no choice but to let him go. Moments later, Dr. Wednesday indeed appears. Before anyone can apprehend him, he's gone again, taking Chug with him.

Threin leaves sickbay, planning to run some scans on L/G. Just as the captain gives his okay, a distress call from the USS Meade comes in. Almost instantly, the Meade arrives through the gateway. Captain Ingram, the Meade's CO, isn't happy with hearing the Horizon has one of the aliens aboard. He tells Burke to isolate the emissary and cease all communications with him.

Threin and Kor activate some additional medical sensors. Unknown to them, though, this gives L/G a way to access the rest of the ship's systems. He learns of the Meade's appearance and speeds up his plan. Fortunately, Threin quickly discovers the security breach. She starts substituting the methane in the quarters by helium, rendering L/G unconscious. Meanwhile, the SpecOps team and Starsinger work on keeping the probes at bay.

Cady and Kor make some modifications to the weapons. At the risk of being fired upon by the aliens, Burke decides to do a complete reboot of all systems to get rid of the probes. His plan succeeds and he opens fire as soon as the weapons come back online. The aliens' shields are quickly taken offline, while the Horizon only receives minimal damage from return fire.

Heavily damaged by the Horizon's phasers, the alien ship ejects a dozen lifeboats and sets course for the gateway to get back to their own universe. They never reach home, though, as the gateway is too instable to allow passage. Eleven of the lifeboats warp away, the twelfth one stays behind and is captured by the Meade. Later, Burke learns L/G's mate is aboard, as well as their offspring. They have no hostile intentions and Burke allows them the freedom L/G asks.

Kuaar takes an engineering team over to the Meade to help with repairs. Cady is also on the team, undercover, to execute the orders Burke received at the start of the mission: to retrieve Professor Haptfield's logs. Cady manages to do so without being discovered by the Meade's crew, bringing yet another Horizon mission to a successful end.

As the ship is on the way back to SB Omega, Admiral O'Connor hails to discuss Ayden's sudden departure. She agrees to Burke's proposal to offer the vacant FO position to Bordaq. The Admiral also has an award to hand out: Malaar receives the Sulu Medal of Honor for his services to the Horizon as FCO.

Promotions

None

Awards received

Sulu Medal of Honor: Lieutenant-Commander Jarek Malaar

Meritorious Service Citation: Jonathan Illingworth

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