Horizon Squared

Horizon Squared was a mission carried out by the Tryfan-class USS Horizon, NCC-825002, between stardates 15.0428 and 16.0220.

Mission orders

To: Commander James T. Burke, CO, USS Horizon
From: Admiral S'Telk, acting Fleet XO, Cocoon Fleet
SD: 15.0428

1. Commander, I direct your attention to the Narojab Sector. In the center of this sector is a world listed as Amazon on the star charts. Amazon is a class M world, so Earth-like it could be its twin. When first discovered by the Exploratory Service, the world held no sentient life forms. Two years ago it was decided to establish a colony on Amazon. Within the last nine months personnel from the Amazon Colony have been vanishing one or two at a time. Now the situation has changed. There has been no communication with Amazon Colony for fourteen days. Outpost 721 does not have the necessary resources for this type of investigation. It did launch two long range probes, neither of which returned.

2. The nearest planet to Amazon is five light-years to the galactic north. It, too, is a class M world, although a bit on the dry side. More than ninety percent of this world is desert, hence its name of Deserte, a world translated from the native's language. The natives of Deserte are humanoid in appearance and genetic studies confirm that they can inter-breed with most other humanoid species. At time of initial contact the Deserte natives had small star ships and had just started to explore the immediate area. There was a minority of their population which opposed such exploration as a pollution of the 'True Path'. Until recently there has been no overt confrontation with Deserte.

3. You are to investigate the cause of silence from Amazon Colony and the status of Deserte.

4. You are also authorized to investigate the recent appearance of the USS Horizon, NCC-1000. The position as reported by you staff is not very far from your projected course to Amazon. Ascertain the craft's present status, survivors, and attempt to discover how and why the Horizon, NCC-1000 came to be in its present location. Place a marker beacon and a salvage team will followup.

Good luck,
Admiral S'Telk
Cocoon Fleet acting Executive Officer

Senior staff

CO: Commander James Burke
FO: Lieutenant JG Abi Seldon
OPS/2O: Lieutenant JG D'Art Storm
CEO: Lieutenant JG Stan the Man
CMO: Lieutenant JG Electra Threin
CSO: Lieutenant JG Nathan Cady
CNS: Ensign Alex McRae
SOCO: Lieutenant Arkanis

Mission summary

written by Ruud Visser

The USS Horizon, NCC-825002, is docked at SB Omega and many of the crew are enjoying a party at the infamous Mystery Bar following the conclusion of their latest mission. Ensign Lonu, temporal dynamics specialist, and Lt<jg> Falara, the head of stellar cartography, are still on the ship to do some maintenance on the sensors. Much to their surprise, they discover an old version of the USS Horizon, the NCC-1000 of the Horizon class, adrift in space. It disappeared without a trace in the early 23rd century. They report their finding to captain James Burke, who relays it to the Fleet Admiral and request permission to be the first to investigate.

The next day, Burke presents the orders for their new mission. All communications have been lost with the Amazon colony in the Najorab sector and the Horizon is to investigate. Furthermore, they are to check up on the planet Deserte, five lightyears north of Amazon. Deserte is inhabited by a civilisation that is just beginning to explore their surrounding space. As the NCC-1000 lies pretty much on the way to Amazon, they can do a quick exploration there first.

Lt<jg> Abi Seldon, recently promoted to first officer following the successful completion of her CGT, oversees the exchange of the Augur sensor pod in favour of a general weapons pod. When that is done, the Horizon heads out towards the NCC-1000's coordinates. Early scans show pretty much what would be expected of a two-hundred-years-old derelict starship. However, the crew also gets some strange life sign readings, jumping from none to seven thousand and back to none.

Seldon leads an away team including Lt<jg> D'Art Storm, who also just completed CGT and is now second officer as well as chief of operations, Dr. Electra Threin, security chief Lt<jg> Nathan Cady, the holographic chief engineer Lt<jg> Stan the Man, and Ensign Lonu. Upon arrival, they seem to have travelled back in time about two hundred years, to the time when the NCC-1000 was in active service. They soon discover they are all part of the crew. Upon arriving on the bridge, Captain Stuart Mann, the NCC-1000's CO, tells them about this big bad ship outside… the USS Horizon they just left behind.

Dr. Threin manages to operate one of the early-23rd-century tricorders and she gets some strange readings from the away team. Storm tries to figure out how to use the navigations console. Captain Mann already tried hailing the other ship, but got no response. He asks Seldon for advice, but she does not really answer him.

Meanwhile, Ensign Anur Eynar arrives by D-Warp from SB Omega, having just graduated from the USS Destiny. He will be the Horizon's new chief of sciences. Captain Burke welcomes him aboard and immediately sets him to work on figuring out what is wrong with the sensors. Nobody knows what happened to the away team and why they cannot hail them. Burke is called to the transporter room, where the away team's counterparts from the NCC-1000 just materialized.

Stan discovers that he is no longer a hologram, but instead a being of flesh and blood. His counterpart, Stanley Mann, now on the NCC-825002, discovers that he has become a hologram. The former discards his portable holo-emitter, causing the latter to shimmer out of existence. When Burke later notices Mann's absence, he believes he was already beamed back to the NCC-1000.

Elsewhere, a group of Challia scientists are monitoring both Horizons' displaced teams. The Challia are ungendered and are studying the behaviour of gendered species. The relationship between Storm and Cady catches their interest, and they decide to run a little experiment on them.

Burke returns to the bridge. There is still no contact with the away and attempts to beam them back continue to fail. He decides to take a shuttle and go after them. The counsellor, Ensign Alex McRae, and the crew members from the NCC-1000 go with him. He hails Captain Mann and with both crews working together, they soon figure out what has happened.

Storm and Cady experience a moment of heated passion, but they have no idea why. Captain Mann sends them to sickbay, where they try to find an explanation for their strange behaviour. However, the equipment is so unfamiliar that it is a lost cause. Instead, they focus on finding a way to get everyone back to their own time. Upon their return to the bridge, Cady experiences another moment of uncontrollable passion, this time together with Dr. Threin. Of course, this is also the Challia's doing. Cady, Threin and Storm are called to the shuttle bay where Burke, McRae and the real senior staff of the NCC-1000 are just arriving.

Engineer Mann reappears in the NCC-1000's shuttle bay. Unknown to either crew, the Challia brought him back. They initiate another experiment: three groups, the first consisting of one male and one female, the second of two males and the third of two females, are transported from the Horizon to an isolated position on an unknown planet. Captain Burke and his wife, Ensign Kathryn Burke, are the first group, Cady and Storm the second, and Dr. Threin and chief field medic Lt<jg> Anais Markham the third. The planet they are transported to is actually Amazon, where the Horizon was ordered to in the first place to check up on a Federation colony.

Threin and Markham do a quick investigation of their surroundings and learn that it has rained very recently. Before they can find out more, they get calls from Burke and Cady. The Challia forgot to remove their communicators, so the three groups can at least stay in contact with each other. On their way to the others, Cady and Storm are attacked by a pack of local animals. They send a distress and try to escape, but Cady is knocked down by a quill. Burke, his wife, Threin and Markham, who just rendezvoused about a kilometre and a half away, respond to the distress call.

Seldon leads the new and old Horizon on a pursuit of the missing crew, following an energy trail to Amazon. Captain Cassandra Threin, former CO of the Horizon and currently aboard to visit her cousin Electra, hears of the situation and goes to the bridge to offer her assistance to Seldon. At the Admiral's request, she is placed in command until Burke returns. Seldon is not really happy with the decision, but she concedes to the wishes of Fleet Command.

Threin, Markham, Burke and his wife make it to Cady and Storm. Cady is unconscious and with the tip of the arrow still in his leg, his condition is worsening. While Threin and Markham are removing the arrow and repairing the wound, a small band of Humans appears from the woods. They attack the Horizon group because they mean to take their prey: Cady. Threin cannot feel their mental presence, indicating they probably are not real Humans.

The old and new Horizon arrive at Amazon and enter orbit. Seldon and Captain Threin discuss a plan of action. They decide a landing party is too risky, so Seldon will do a shuttle reconnaissance. Stan is called to enhance the shuttle's sensors, but having lost his link to the ship's computer, he has lost all confidence in his own abilities. He leaves the task of enhancing the shuttle's sensors to MCPO Ta'Vern, his first assistant, and goes to the counsellor. When the shuttle is ready, Seldon, Eynar and Ta'Vern take it to Amazon, where they arrive just in time to rescue Burke and the others from their attackers. They take the enemy leader with them to the Horizon. Captain Threin recognizes him as a member of the Deserte Stellar Command.

Sensor scans show all 212 Amazon colonists are being detained in a sports arena, with a transporter shield covering the entire building. A direct assault is too risky, so Burke tells the SpecOps team to find a quiet route in. Meanwhile, Cady recovers from his injuries and soon wakes up. Dr. Threin discovers that the baby Kate Burke is carrying might have been harmed by beaming to the NCC-1000 and back.

The SpecOps team beams down to rescue the colonists. Burke is in the Horizon's Mission Information Center and sees the infiltration is proceeding as planned. A Sandstorm class Deserte warship approaches and he is called to the bridge. The Deserte commander claims he came to take back what is theirs and opens fire. Burke tries to protect the NCC-1000, but he cannot prevent them sustaining heavy damage. As the battle continues, a temporal bubble mysteriously forms around the NCC-1000 and she disappears from normal space.

The Horizon rescues all of the colonists, but the colony itself is destroyed by the Deserte warship. Eighteen Deserte invaders are killed in the process. The Horizon leaves Amazonia to rendezvous with the freighter Trump for transfer of the civilians, then proceed to Omega. Captain Burke makes up his report to Fleet HQ.

The unborn child of Bordaq and Amy DeSantos is placed in stasis. It needs Tal nutrients that only Bordaq can provide, but he has been placed on a secret mission by Section 31. Amy is concerned for his well-being, not in the least because the Nurec-Talis are still around. Far away from the Horizon, Mr. B, the Bordaq from the mirror universe, gets dressed down by a superior in Section 31. He failed to fulfil a misison for the first time ever. Mr. B blames it on the real Bordaq. Jay McMadeth appears, saying he is speaking for the Nurec-Talis. Meanwhile, the Bordaq from this universe is in a shuttle that is constantly changing course. He has no idea where he came from or where he is going, or how long the journey will yet take.

The USS Hermes is due for a major overhaul and all its crew is reassigned. Lt<jg> N'Borga Vandenberg, CEO, is moved to the Horizon, where he is reunited with former crewmates Stan the Man and Ta'Vern. Stan tells him he is no longer a hologram. They agree N'Borga will be acting CEO until Stan is fit to return to full duty.

Burke and his wife are worried an alien transporter might have damaged the child she is carrying, but there is nothing they can do about it for now. Their game of chess is interrupted by a red alert call. An unknown starship is approaching. It does not answer hails and sensors show no lifesigns. Burke leads an away team to investigate. They encounter a large bear-like creature, which is, fortunately, dead. They split up to look for the engine room and the bridge. The Horizon's sensors suddenly pick up a large number of lifesigns from the alien vessel, where there used to be none. Storm believes the beings are coming out of hibernation. Seldon contact the away team to alert them. Burke and his team make it to the bridge just as Seldon's call comes in. They gather some items for study, then beam back. Burke tries to hail the vessel's crew, but he gets no response. The vessel starts moving and the Horizon follows for the time being, but they break off the pursuit when orders for a new mission come in.

Mr. B escapes from a secret base on Mars and sets course to the Cocoon. Bordaq arrives at the Horizon, still without a clue as to where he came from or what happened. He is very happy to be reunited with Amy. Now that he is back, they can synthesize the necessary proteins for their unborn daughter.

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