Hope and Despair

Hope and Despair was a mission carried out by the Tryfan-class USS Horizon, NCC-825002, between stardates 12.0821 and 12.1104.

Mission orders

To: Captain Tergin, CO, USS Horizon & Commander Sheila Marevic, CO, USS Dakota
From: Admiral Fuchsia Tino, Fleet XO, Cocoon Fleet
SD: 12.0906


There has been a new threat that has been identified within the Cocoon. These beings attacked the USS Horizon over a week ago and just two days ago Starfleet lost all contact with the USS Syracuse. Upon further investigation, the USS Vesalius found some of the same subspace signatures and trace elements found by the USS Nightingale, indicating that this could indeed be the same group of people that call themselves the 'Hands of the Great Hope'.

My mission for you, Captains, is to take your vessels back through the transwarp conduit that has been left open and investigate the possibility of further threat to the Cocoon and present a detailed report to myself as well as the Cocoon branch of Starfleet Security.

Captain Tergin will be the commanding officer for this mission. The Dakota is going along to provide tactical support if it should be required. You will depart at 0800 tomorrow morning for the conduit. The Nightingale has managed to contain its expansion but no one knows how long it will remain intact.

This mission is of the utmost importance to the Cocoon's safety.

Attached is a security report filed by the Horizon on the Hands of the Great Hope.

Godspeed and good luck,
Admiral Fuchsia Tino
Cocoon Fleet Commanding Officer

Senior staff

CO: Captain Tergin
FO: Lieutenant-Commander John Roberts
FCO/2O: Lieutenant Jarek Malaar
CEO: Lieutenant JG Fred Bordaq
CSO: Lieutenant JG Arkanis
CMO: Lieutenant JG Trinity Layne
OPS: Lieutenant JG Nathan Cady
CSciO: Ensign Baxter Dennett
Trainee: Cadet California Douglas
Mission advisor: Lieutenant JG Patuxent

Mission summary

written by Adam West

Returning from the Noo'ach Peace and Trade Conference, the Horizon heads for SB Omega. Lt<jg> Trinity Layne is immediately called away to Earth to deal with a family emergency. Meanwhile, Cadet Cal Douglas becomes overpowered by an alternate personality, the avatar of a force of death that he has inherited. While undertaking a quest in his subconscious to retake control of his body, Cal's usurper begins murdering crew members of the Horizon, exhibiting supernatural powers. During a showdown in the ship's bell lounge, Cal subconsciously battles the evil force within him as security forces battle with him physically. Sadly, though the entity is defeated, the battle kills Cal's body and all of his multiple personalities.

Lt<jg> Cady deals with the death of Cal with great difficulty, but before he has much time to process his grief, the Horizon is attacked by an unknown vessel, which takes the advantage of surprise and fires energy rings that engulf the Horizon and drain its shields. The vessel's crew identifies themselves as the Hands of The Great Hope and say that they will 'purify' the Horizon. Unknown to the Horizon crew, they are attempting to find and destroy the entity that had possessed Cal Douglas. With the shields down, the 'Purifiers' begin boarding the ship. As security attempts to fight them off, it is discovered that their physical touch either causes the victim to become a convert to their order or kills, depending on the physiology of the touched. The Purifiers reach the bridge and Cady is touched in the battle before security incapacitates the attackers. Malaar uses his increasingly powerful psychic abilities to save Cady.

While Cady leaves to try and manually restore power at the secondary computer core, Malaar proposes a plan to take a shuttle and attempt to disable the tractor beam holding the Horizon in place. Capt. Tergin agrees and insists on joining Malaar on the mission. Cady arrives back on the bridge with civillians Or'Nonya Matala (ambassador and Captain's consort) and Kris Olsen (life-partner of John Roberts). Another unknown ship appears near the Horizon. LtCmdr. Roberts recognizes the ship as belonging to the race attempting to get to the computer program stored in his brain. He takes Kris and they leave abruptly on a shuttle, with the newest ship following. Moments later, a D-warp shuttle arrives carrying new chief science officer Ensign Baxter Dennett, a sentient hologram. Left as the senior officer on the bridge, Cady devises a strategy to soft-launch all of the Horizon's photon torpedoes, setting them to detonate once they float within range of the enemy vessel. Dennett uses his shuttle to assist Tergin and Malaar, disabling the tractor beam and returning to the Horizon just as the 54 torpedoes explode, destroying the enemy ship. The Horizon jumps to warp to avoid the blast, unknowingly amplifying the subspace tear formed by the Purifier's unusual energy source as it exploded.

Meanwhile, on Earth, Trinity Layne-Malaar struggles with her mother's illness and the personal conflicts with her sister and brother. Sitting alone in the desert, unknowingly watched by an entity known only as the Old One (merged with former USS Athene CNS Kiaja Wirth), Trinity is attacked by a pack of wild dogs, but doesn't have the will to live necessary to fight. Kiaja leaves her gestalt with the Old One and joins her mind to Trinity's giving them a new sense of purpose and a renewed spirit. She fights back and escapes the dogs, although her mother's health has continued to worsen. Trinity returns from Earth and is granted her request to become the Horizon's counselor, probably as a result of Kiaja's influence. She soon finds out that a new first officer has been assigned to the Horizon—an Alpha Centauran named Dhalit P'Nehbuddar. The two women become friends as they await the Horizon's arrival.

When the Horizon returns to Omega, Cady is transferred to Deep Space 101. Layne-Malaar and P'Nehbuddar board the Horizon, followed soon by new chief medical officer Cmdr. Vi Taliesen. After brief R&R (and Captain Tergin's alternate reality adventure), the Horizon receives orders to further investigate the Purifiers. Accompanied by the USS Dakota, they will travel through the transwarp conduit held open by the subspace tear that formed in the destruction of the previous Purifier vessel. Just before leaving, a Kindel named Blaze Starsinger arrives on board as new chief of operations. Jarek and Trinity also discover a telepathic bond between them, due to Malaar's psionic abilities and Layne-Malaar's merger with the telepathic Kiaja.

The Horizon and Dakota travel to the conduit without much difficulty, however when they arrive, they find that the subspace tear around the conduit is larger and will pose a problem. They head toward the conduit, and while the Horizon gets sidetracked due to telemetry problems (possibly caused by particle waves in the tear which may be sentient), the Dakota continues through the tear. The small escort corvette arrives on the other side of the conduit and is deposited in the middle of twelve Purifier vessels. Through luck, they destroy one of this ships and hide in a nearby nebula. The Horizon arrives, finding only six Purifier vessels and after some investigation, they realize what happened and where the Dakota is. The Horizon engages the Purifiers and the Dakota soon escapes the nebula and joins in. The Purifiers manage to get a small boarding party on the Horizon, which is soon disabled. After managing to find a number of weak spots in the Purifiers, the two Federation vessels disable one enemy vessel and destroy several others. (Unbeknownst to the rest of the crew, Jarek Malaar simultaneously becomes involved in a time-spanning event that occurs simultaneously with the battle. Taken out of time and replaced moments later, he is drafted by a future version of Starfleet to find pieces of a mysterious weapon that is intertwined with events on the Horizon past, present and future.) As the Purifiers begin to regroup, a signal is detected and the remaining Purifier vessels converge at the signal and withdraw through a transwarp conduit. Tergin decides not to pursue and the Horizon and Dakota crews begin investigating the disabled Purifier ship.

As Cmdr. P'Nehbuddar leads an away team to the Purifier vessel, the Dakota crew begins collecting significant debris from the Purifier's power cores for study. Concurrently, mission advisor Patuxent (the product of a human impregnated by a Q) becomes possessed by an entity claiming to be the god of the Purifiers. He is contained in sickbay. On the Purifier vessel, Starsinger (who has the ability to interact telepathically with computers) begins searching through the Purifier ship's systems and encounters a being calling itself the 'Great Hope', god of the Purifiers. The two entities are indeed both what they claim to be: the one communicating with Starsinger was a dormant, benevolent computer program that had been used to guide the Purifiers to a peaceful society, but the one possessing Patuxent was a variant of that computer program that became more powerful and guided the Purifiers toward fanaticism.

A Purifier still on the disabled vessel initiates a self-destruct program and raises shields, trapping the away team there. Starsinger allows the Great Hope to download itself into his mind just before the Horizon manages to beam the away team back. When the Purifier ship explodes, Tergin decides that they have collected sufficient information and orders their return to Federation space. Before leaving Patuxent's body, the evil Great Hope tells Tergin that if they ever return, they will be utterly destroyed.

Upon the Horizon's return to Omega, Lt<jg> Bordaq is offered a position developing a transwarp project and leaves the Horizon. Cmdr. Taliesen and Ensign Dennett are also reassigned. Lt<jg> Arkanis is given a transfer as special operations officer of the Horizon and is to be put in charge of an independent team of operatives as an experimental department reporting directly to the captain. New CEO, CMO, CsciO and CSO will be assigned soon.



Awards received

Star of Hope: Cadet California Douglas

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