AOH :: HONOREMP.TXT|
Star Wars: Honor of the Empire - Star Wars meets Star Trek:TNG story.
This story was orininally in 6 parts, but I combined the parts into
one file to make downloading easier. firstname.lastname@example.org
Please mail all flames and/or suggestions and comments to the author:
| After several long weeks I have finally finished this story. It is |
| a serious script for a Star Trek:TNG meets Star Wars episode. I hope |
| you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. This is my first|
| attempt at writing a Star Trek story, so please forgive any style |
| problems that might arise. |
| Thanks to Scott Seamark, Chris Brelje, Marcus Pressl, and especially |
| Mike Swihart for all their help during this undertaking. I would also |
| like to thank the writer of "The Return" for giving me the inspiration |
| to write what thousands of others have only dreamed of writing. The |
| story will be posted in six chapters, each ending at a Commercial Break|
| in order to make the size of the story seem smaller, and to give me an |
| incentive to write. |
| A very special thanks to all of you who sent me email. Your |
| encouragement is what carried this project to completion. |
| And now, I present to you, "For the Honor of the Empire." |
CHAPTER ONE: "For the Honor of the Empire."
[Open scene to a large room on board a Karellian Star Destroyer. In the
Command Center of the _Devastator_ we can see several men dressed in
flat grey uniforms, styled like Prussian military issue. They bussle
around huge terminals and workstations that radiate away from a Central
View Screen and flanking windows. Outside, we see a specks of light on a
inky background, and a lone, dying red sun in the center. Admiral Valasian
stands in the Center of the Command Center, facing the view-port.]
Valasian: "Commander Tarkin, what are the reports from our probes? The
Emperor is most anxious to have the rebel nuisance dealt with
swiftly." [Valasian stands nearly motionless, save for a
nervous tick under his monocled left eye.]
Tarkin: "Sir, all probes report negat- wait, my Lord. Probe 3472 is
now reporting...human lifesigns on the third moon of a Class
J Gas Giant in system LBJ 617. Shall we investigate?"
Valasian: "What do the Imperial Records show for LBJ 617? Is it a
known colony site? The Emperor has little patience with
officers that chase wisps of smoke."
Tarkin: "Admiral, the records indicate that LBJ 617 was charted over
half a millenium ago, and has never been visited since, at
least by official colonists."
Hadrian: "My Lord Tarkin."
Tarkin: "Yes, Lieutenant Hadrian, what is it?"
Hadrian: "Supplementary broadcast from Probe 3472 indicates that the
system is inhabited with over seven thousand humans, and that
it is generating immense amounts of power consistent with a
[Cool Imperial March theme music starts.]
Tarkin: "A rebel base perhaps?"
Hadrian: "That would be my guess, sir, though the distance is making
transmissions somewhat unreliable."
[Tarkin looks to Valasian, who nods almost imperceptibly.]
Tarkin: "Communications Officer, open channels to the _Imperator_
and _Phalanx_. Inform them of the course change to LBJ 617."
[Valasian smiles coldly. Close in on Valasian's face.]
Valasian: "Now we shall deal with the rebels in one swift decisive
[Fade into Opening Sequence: Space. The Final Frontier...]
[Cut to Commercial.]
[Return to Episode. In upper Left Corner, the words:
"For the Honor of the Empire"
[Fade in on the Bridge of the _Enterprise_. Picard is sitting in his
chair, with Riker at his side reading something on his armrest. Data is
at Ops, as usual, and Worf is standing at the Weapons Console. Beside him
at the Security console is a new add-on character, Lieutenant Holiday, a
blond haired human male. At the Helm is another new character, Ensign
McMurphy, a dark haired human male.]
Picard: "Captain's Log, Stardate 46353.8. We are currently on a
seven week routine star charting mission in Iturbide Cluster,
a region of space on the fringes of Federation. As of
this log entry, we have currently charted over seventeen new
systems, all devoid of any interesting phenomenon. The
mission has become quite tedious."
McMurphy: "Captain, we are approaching System 111-30."
Picard: "Drop to impulse, Ensign."
McMurphy: "Aye sir. Dropping to impulse."
Riker: "Data, what do sensors reveal of the system?"
Data: "Sensors indicate that system 111-30 is composed of a standard
Class III binary star system, with both primary and
secondary stars are spectral type M3, and there is very
little terrestrial matter within the system. However,
sensors are picking up planetary nebulae at 2312.2 au
distance from the binary."
Riker: "Another exciting system. No planets of any type here?"
Data: "None, Commander."
Picard: "How long does Space Sciences need to adequately survey the
Data: "Approximately 7.23 hours, sir."
Picard:[expressionless] "Splendid. Number One, I'll be in my Ready Room
should anything interesting happen. You have the Conn."
Riker: "Thank you sir."
[Picard leaves to the Ready Room.]
Riker: "Worf, how close are the Tholians to us?"
[Worf appears to be a bit confused.]
Worf: "Their closest vessel is seven hundred parsecs away, sir,
but - "
Riker: "What do you think, Worf, shall we invite them over for a
game of Parrises Squares?"
Worf:[growls] "Commander, the Tholians have little honor. They would
not be appropriate opponents."
Data:[turns in his seat] "And may I remind you, Commander, the Tholians
are crystalline entities without the required number of
appendages for such a sport. I believe more appropriate
choices would be Chess, Pelusion Acc-"
Riker: "So you are saying that you wouldn't challen -"
[Communications beep-beep noise.]
Worf: "Commander, we are receiving a signal from a Federation
outpost. Audio Only."
Riker:[presses his communicator] "Captain to the Bridge."
[Picard enters the Bridge.]
Picard: "Patch it through, Lieutenant."
Worf: "Aye sir."
Audio Message: "To any Federation Vessel, this is Commander Mobatso from
Federation Outpost Chelea Four. An alien probe has entered
our system and conducted a full spectrum scan. Attempts to
to hail the probe were unsucc--/ major static /--he probe
sent a signal puls--/ more static /-- is -" [Message breaks
Worf: "The signal has completely faded, Captain."
Picard: "Chelea Four is only fifteen parsecs from here. It should
not have broken up so soon. Lieutenant Worf, what caused
Worf: "Sensors are inconclusive at this distance, sir."
Picard: "Hail Chelea Four, Lieutenant."
[Buzz-buzz to indicate failure.]
Worf: "The Outpost is not responding, sir."
Picard:[frowns] "Ensign Mcmurphy, are we the closest starship to Chelea Four?"
McMurphy: "Yes sir."
Picard:[sighes] "It is probably nothing, but I'd rather play it safe.
Ensign, plot a course for Chelea Four, Warp Six."
McMurphy: "Aye sir, course plotted and laid in. ETA: two and a half
Picard: "Lieutenant Worf, keep trying and inform me as soon as they
respond. Inform StarFleet Command of our course change."
Worf: "Aye sir."
Picard: "Number One, schedule a staff meeting to be held in one
hours. Until then, you have the Conn."
Riker: "Aye, Captain."
[Picard walks off into his Ready Room. Scene shifts ot the Command Center
of the _Devastator_. Commander Tarkin is studying the main viewer. The
oultine of a moon fills the lower half of the display.]
Tarkin: "Sensors, report."
Hadrian: "The moon is a standard type I moon, with a nickel-iron core,
and just a trace of an atmosphere. On the far side is the
population we detected, obviously a military base. Its
power emmissions are incredibly high."
Tarkin: "ETA to the rebel stronghold?"
Hadrian: "Four minutes at current velocity, but sir -"
Tarkin: "What is it, Lieutenant?"
Hadrian: "The power outputs are more than any rebel base I've seen.
They are far more concentrated. Their shielding makes it
difficult to scan though. Most unusual, considering the
inferior technology the Rebels employ."
Tarkin: "Perhaps the Rebels are getting inventive."
Ensign: "Commander Tarkin! We are receiving a communication from the
the Rebel base. They are using an encryption scheme we have
never encountered before. The computer is translating it
now. Shall I patch it on audio?"
Tarkin: "Yes, of course Ensign. Inform the Admiral that the Rebel
scum wish a discussion."
Audio:[Mobatso] "Greetings. This is Commander Mobatso representing the
United Federation of Planets. You have entered one of our
systems and we wish to open relations."
Tarkin:[confused] "United Federation of Planets? Lieutenant, does the
computer have any information on this 'Federation'?"
Hadrian: "Running file scan now, sir.....no, sir. The computer has
no record of any 'United Federation of Planets'."
[Admiral Valasian enters the Command Center. All crew members give him
a crisp salute.]
Valasian: "Commander, your report."
Tarkin: "My Lord, we have recieved an encrypted transmission from
the Rebel moon stating that they are members of a
Valasian: "Indeed. Have they sent any fighters up to greet us."
Tarkin: "No my Lord, they have not."
Valasian: "Intriguing. They obviously fear us, and are attempting a
useless ruse. Commander, ignore their drivel and crush them
at once! The Emperor is expecting a great victory, and if
the Rebels are willing to give us an easy one, so much
Tarkin: "But Admiral, sensors report power anomolies, we are not
even certain that they are -"
Valasian: "Commander, do not question my orders. I do not need to
remind you that I am the Emperor's Representative in
Tarkin: "Forgive me, my Lord, but I *must* insist, we do *not*- "
Valasian: "Commander! Do not try to intimidate me with your family
connections. Your father may be the Grand Moff of the
Imperial Fleet and Commander of the Battlestation, but
that will not protect you from insubordination."
Tarkin:[Visibly incensed, but complying] "Yes, my Lord, your orders shall
be carried out."
Valasian: "See that they are, Commander, to the letter. I shall be
in my quarters. I want to see your full report afterwards."
[Valasian turns on a heel and steps quickly to the door. The entire
Command Center crew salutes. Tarkin turns slowly and gives an almost
imperceptive expression of sadness as he stares at the moon.]
Tarkin: "Communications Officer, inform the _Phalanx_ and the
_Imperator_ that Admiral Valasian ha ordered the Rebel
base to be obliterated. Arm all fighters with nuclear
and proton bombs, and prepare to attack in one minute!"
[Fade to exterior shot. The three mammoth wedge-shaped Star Destroyers
close in on the moon, with swarms of hundreds of fighters screaming out
of their bays. The fighters streak toward the base in precise
The fighters make a single pass, dropping their payloads over their
target. The bombs detonate upon hitting the base's deflector shields,
and the massive explosion of over a hundred nuclear and proton bombs
overcome the deflector shields of the base. Ion cannon batteries open
up from the Star Destoyers, pulverizing the ferro-concrete surface
bunkers. From a protected hardpoint, phaser fire is returned. Fade
to Command Center on _Devastator_.]
Hadrian: "Commander, the fighters report that they have overcome
the Rebel's shields - barely. Commander, if this report
is correct, their technology *is* far beyond the resources
we assumed the Rebels had, or they have one hell of a power
source to energize a deflector of that strength. The TIE's
reported that their Turbolaser cannons had no effect on the
Tarkin: "Understood, Lieutenant. Continue planetary bombardment."
Hadrian: "Aye sir. Enemy is returning fire."
[Command Center is slammed around.]
Hadrian: "Sir! The Rebels have hit us with a stream of phased light
at a frequency which our shields don't protect against. We
are in danger of sustaining significant structural damage!"
Tarkin: "Order the fighters to step up bombing runs and
fire-suppression missions. I want that energy weapon
neutralized. We shall retreat tothe darkside of the moon
and await their reports."
Hadrian: "Sir, sensors report that a signal pulse has been sent,
heading 286 mark 71."
Tarkin: "Continue electronic jamming, Lieutenant, and locate the
the destiantion of the transmission."
Hadrian: "Yes, Commander."
Ensign: "Commander, TIE squadron leader Rilkin reports that the Rebel
energy weapon has been neutralized."
Valasian: "Excellent. Open a hailing frequency to the rebel scum."
[Tarkin whirls around, surprised to see the Admiral behind him, who has
obviously entered the Command Center unnoticed.]
Ensign: "Transmitting, Admiral."
Valasian: "Rebel scum, this is the Imperial Star Destroyer _Devastator_.
Your insurrection is lost, your forces are vanquished. You
have been beaten. Surrender now, and you shall be spared
total destruction. Close channel."
Tarkin: "Admiral, I -"
Valasian: "Commander, I am insuring that my orders are followed.
I shall make sure your devotion to duty and courageous
actions are mentioned in my report."
Ensign: "Commander, transmission from the rebel base coming in."
Valasian: "Let's hear it."
Audio:[Mobatso] "Alien vessel, this is Commander Mobatso of the United
Federation of Planets. We mean you no harm. why have you
fired upon us?"
Valasian: "Channel open. Rebel scum. You are defeated, surrender
at once, or we shall crush you like a Beretka nut in an
Audio:[Mobatso] "I assure you, we know nothing of the rebels you speak
of! We are an outpost of the United Federation of Planets,
and only wish to open peaceful negotia-"
Valasian: "Close channel. Communications Officer, open channels to
the other ships."
Ensign: "Open sir."
Valasian: "All ships, annihilate the Rebel base. Do not leave anything
alive or recoverable."
CHAPTER TWO: "For the Honor of the Empire."
[Fade back to _Enterprise_ warping through space...]
Picard: "Captain's Log, supplementary. We are presently en route
at Warp Six to investigate a disturbance at a Federation
Research Station on Chelea Four. I have contacted Starfleet
Command, and they have informed us that the _USS_Hood_ and
_USS_Valiant_ are standing ready to assist us, should the
situation require a more violent solution. I am entertaining
suggestions for an alternative course of action."
[Fade to Bridge Observation Lounge. We see our familiar characters sitting
around the kidney-shaped mock-oak table. LaForge, Riker, Worf, Data, Troi,
Crusher, and Picard are discussing possibilities.]
Data: "Captain, two minutes ago we received an additional message
from Chelea Four. Commander Mobatso said that they were
under intense attack by starships of unknown design, and which
did not answer their hails. According to the message, which
quite brief, the alien vessels conformed to no known
construction style, and used very small attack craft as a
primary assault force. They disabled the deflector shields
almost immediately, and Mobatso did not know how long his
auxillary defenses would hold out."
Picard: "I see Data. Did Commander Mobatso say anything else?"
Data: "Not anything we received, sir. The message was badly garbled
and it is highly probable that the signal was being jammed
by the alien vessels."
Riker: "I know Chelea Four is a Starfleet Proving Grounds of sorts,
but what exactly is the outpost for?"
Data: "Chelea Four is a proving grounds for Starfleet theoretical
science experiments. It was chosen for its relative isolation
and distance from the Romulan and Ferengi borders."
Picard: "I met with Commander Mobatso just six months ago. He said
they were working on a new warp engine design, but he didn't
give any specifics. We can be rest assured, however, that the
Outpost was more than capable of defending itself from an
Worf: "Commander Mobatso's message suggests otherwise..."
Laforge: "And I would assume that their shield generators are at least
as powerful as our own."
Riker: "But we don't know how the aliens managed to drop their
shields so quickly. They could have used weapons that the
shields were not set to deflect, or they may have simply
Picard: "I agree Number One. But one thing we do know. They are
employing squadrons of small fighting craft, which penetrated
the Outpost's shields. We have no reason to assume that the
intent was hostile from the beginning, but in case it was, I
want to be prepared."
Worf: "Our phasers are capable of cycling single phaser bursts, but
only up to three a second. It will be [pause] *difficult* if
there are large numbers of fighters."
Riker: "Is it possible to configure one of the phaser collimeters to
hit multiple targets, maybe at a reduced power level?"
LaForge: "Certainly. It would take a bit of work, and the collimeter
would have to be reconfigured. It would also have to be under
computer control since no human could possibly be fast enough
to lock onto each one and fire. But it can be done."
Picard: "Excellent. How long would it take to reconfigure?"
Laforge:[shrugs] "Shouldn't take more than a couple hours per collimeter."
Picard: "Make it so. Leave the dorsal collimeter as it is, in case
we need a full phaser. I hope that we will not have to
use it. I would much rather have a peaceful end to this.
That is all."
[The crew gets up and filters out of the room. Riker takes the oppurtunity
to talk amiably with Deanna. Picard leaves for the Bridge, and Worf, Data,
and Geordi head toward Engineering. Switch camera to Worf, Data and Geordi.]
LaForge: "If you are now needed anywhere else, Data, I could use your
help callibrating the collimeter control circuits. I don't
like the computer controlling them much, but it has to be
done and you're the fastest on the ship."
Data: "Certainly, Geordi. I shall be pleased to assist you."
LaForge:[sighs] "Yep, the universe is sure getting complicated. Hostile
races everywhere. The Romulans, the Ferengi, the Borg...
makes you wonder..."
Data:[confused] "Wonder what?"
Laforge: "Well, sometimes Data, it just seems like every other race we
meet is hostile toward us, and that they seem to be getting
more and more powerful each time. First the Romulans, then
the Klingons, now the Ferengi, the Q, Negielum, the Kardassians,
the Borg, and now this."[shakes his head]
Worf: "Few of those have any honor in battle. That is our greatest
advantage and our greatest threat."
[Geordi, Data, and Worf enter a turbolift.]
Geordi: "Engineering. Ah yes, Worf, but it kinda makes you wonder
why so many are our enemies. Honor or no honor, they, for
whatever reason, seek to destroy us, to conquer and subjugate
us. Why should they hate us so?"
Data: "One could postulate that other races share certain
characteristics with humans. I have observed that humans can
frequently appear to be incapable of accepting what they
have. They always seem to exhibit a desire to strive to
obtain more. If other races have simular drives, then
perhaps conflict is inevitable. [pause] There have been
notable occasions when races have voluntarily controlled
these desires to their mutual benefit, however. Humans and
Klingons are a case in point."
Worf: "Only the Federation showed honor. A warrior does not turn
on an ally in the face of danger, like the Romulans. The
Federation stood and fought at our side even *before* we
were allies. [Pause] Many still distrust the Federation,
but in StarFleet *my* honor has *increased*."
Laforge: "Do you truly believe that Worf? That honor above all else
determines the moral rightness of a race?"
Worf:[Pauses, takes a deep breath, stands straighter] "Hold. [turns as the
turbolift comes to a halt] Klingons had believed that *batlh*,
honor, could only be developed by the greatest Warrior. But the
true measure of a warrior is not battles won, but the way he
distinguished himself with valor. Allowing a vanquished foe to
live, keeping his word, giving his life for his friends, allies,
and duty, *that* is how the warrior gained batlh. Batlh *was*
the Empire. Resume."
[Worf faces foreward, his teeth grinding. After a pause, he
turns to Geordi.]
"The High Council knew that other races that lacked honor would
attack the Empire should a weakness be shown. Batlh would be
preserved through strength. Honor did not, however, pervade the
hearts of all Klingons. Some learned that ignoring honor could
lead to [sneers] *profit*. By betraying the honorable, great
power could be seized."
Data: "Like Duras."
Worf:[nods with a look of disgust] "Humans fought hard for barbarians -- no
offense intended, Commander. The Federation could not be
ignored because of its power. The High Council recognized
that it could be a dangerous force if manipulated by men with
"At Khitomer, the Federation proved themselves worthy of
honor. However, factions within the Empire were becoming
powerful without regard to batlh. When the crisis came, the
Federation aided the honorable, those of the Empire who still
clung to the ways of the Warrior.
"Honor dictates those who can and cannot be trusted.
Without trust, conflict is inevitable."
LaForge: "So you think that we will see more Klingons in StarFleet
soon then, huh?"
Worf: "Of course."
[They arrive at Engineering.]
LaForge: "Well, we had better get started on these callibrations,
[Worf nods to Geordi and Data, and walks off deeper into Engineering.]
Picard: "Ensign McMurphy, what is our ETA to Chelea Four?"
McMurphy: "Two hours and thirty seven minutes sir."
Picard: "Increase to Warp Factor Eight."
McMurphy: "Aye s--"
[Telltale beep beep sound from Security Board.]
Holiday: "Incoming Message from Chelea Four, all frequencies Captain."
Picard: "On screen." [Picard stands up, tugging at his jersey. We see
the view screen jump around, and static crackles across the
image of Commander Mobatso. He is bleeding from a head wound,
and it is is obvious his Command Center is ablaze around him.]
Mobatso: "To any Fed-/skrriiich-pop/ vessel. This is /pop/ Chelea Four.
We ar/zliiich/der attack by a race whi/zzzzz/ identif/zzz-sizzle-
pop/ as the Empi/fizzzzz-snap-zzz/ Primary life support is /pop/
out, and all/skriich/fenses have been neut/grrz/ized. Please
/whiiiinee-skrich-snort-pop/" [Screen becomes TV-snow mess.]
Holiday: "That's it sir."
Picard: "Helm. Belay that order. Increase speed to Warp Factor nine
point three. Engage."
McMurphy: "Aye sir. Warp nine point three. ETA, seven minutes."
[Fade to _Devastator_ Command Center. Admiral Valasian steps nervously and
deliberately across the stainless steel floor. On the View Screen we see
the image of the moon, with TIE fighters zipping by in close formations,
and great flashes of light from what we can presume to be the remains of
the Chelea Four Outpost.]
Valasian: "Lieutenant, report."
Hadrian: "My Lord, the fighter wings report that the base has been
obliterated. Sensors verify this observation, and no life
forms are being picked up."
Tarkin: "Have you determined where the energy signal was sent to?"
Hadrian: "No sir. The signal must have been a ruse as well."
Tarkin:[raises an eyebrow] "A ruse? Explain."
Hadrian: "When the signal was sent, it barely registered on our sensor
scans. It appears to have literally disappeared. There were
particles emitted, but the sensors were unable to track them."
Valasian: "A tachyon beam perhaps?"
Hadrian: "No, my Lord. A tachyon beam would have left a definate
signature which our sensor arrays would have picked up. Nor
could it have been any type of hyperspatial shunt device."
Tarkin: "Some new *alien* technology, perhaps?" [Tarkin turns and gives
Valasian a cold look, which is returned.]
Valasian: "Commander, do not be ridiculous. It must have been a vessel
using an invisibility device. Order the squadron to spread
out and search the system for an ion trail. The ship must
still be here somewhere. I want it captured before it can
jump to light speed!"
[Cut back to the _Enterprise_ Bridge.]
McMurphy: "ETA to Chelea Four, four minutes, Captain."
Riker: "Lieutenant Worf, Lieutenant Commander Data, to the Bridge!"
Picard: "Lieutenant Holiday, are sensors picking anything up from
Holiday: "Yes sir, but I can't get a very accurate reading at this
range. It seems that there are three *very* large objects
in the system that shouldn't be there."
Picard: "Any further transmissions from Chelea Four?"
Holiday: "No sir. Sensors do report considerable electromagnetic
activity within the system however."
McMurphy: "Could be sir, or possibly crude sensor equipment."
Holiday: "Captain, sensors report that the objects each mass over ten
*million* metric tons! Power levels are incredible!"
Riker:[to Picard] "That's over three times the size of the _Enterprise_."
[Picard nods, a stern look on his face. The stage left turbolift door
opens and Worf and Data emerge and take their respective stations.]
McMurphy: "Chelea System in one minute, thirty seconds."
Picard: "Do sensors pick up anyhting about the Oupost?"
Data: "Negative, sir. We are not reading any power levels or
Federation transponder activity."
Picard: "I don't like this at all, Number One."
[Riker gets up and hurries to the Tactical station beside Worf.]
Riker: "Shields up, *red alert!*"
Worf: "Shields at maximum. Photon torpedoes armed and ready, sir.
Dorsal phaser array is armed and functional. Primary phaser
Picard: "Understood, Lieutenant."
McMurphy: "Forty seconds to intercept."
Worf: "Sir, sensors report no change in alien dispersal...I do
*not* think they detect us."
Data: "Sensors indicate alien vessels continuing along projected
flightplans. No change in electromagnetic activity."
Riker:[Raising an eyebrow, a bit cynical] "It's not like we're cloaked..."
Picard: "Slow to impulse."
McMurphy: "Aye sir. Slowing to impulse power."
[Exterior shot of _Enterprise_ emerging out of warp in deep space. In the
distance several moving objects appear to begin to head toward the
_Enterprise_. Cut to _Devastator_ Command Center.]
Hadrian: "My Lord! The _Phalanx_ reports that a ship just arrived
out of hyperspace fifty parsecs from its current location.
They are sending their fighters to intercept."
Tarkin: "Why didn't our sensors pick up their exit from hyperspace?"
Hadrian: "I don't know, Commander."
Valasian: "Well, *check them* lieutenant!"
Hadrian:[shaken] "Yes sir!"
[Hadrian fiddles with dials and buttons for a few seconds.]
Hadrian: "Sensors check out within acceptable parameters."
Ensign: "Data from the _Phalanx_ coming in now, sir. Volume of
vessel, three million metric tons. Power levels are extremely
high for a vessel of that size. Life signs read
approxiamately twelve hundred crewmembers, apparently
humanoid. Ship configuration does not correspond to any
Tarkin: "Then it does not appear to be a Rebel starship. The Rebels
have only a few converted freighters, they do not have
access to power plants of that magnitude."
Hadrian: "Sir, I am unable to determine the propulsion system of the
intruder. It literally seems to *slide* through space. Its
engine mass accounts only for one seventh of its total mass."
Valasian:[with a cold smile] "Communications Officer, order the _Phalanx_
to attack the Rebel vessel as soon as it is within range.
Inform them that we shall be joining them shortly."
Tarkin:[his face aghast] "SIR! That is madness! It is obvious--"
Valasian: "Commander! Do not force me to relieve you of your
command! That *is* a Rebel ship. The Emperor would not
be pleased if we allow it to escape, now will he?"
Tarkin: "Valasian, your hunger for power and glory are clouding your
judgement -- that ship is using power levels half our own in
one *twentieth* the power plant mass! They *cannot*
possibly be the Reb--"
Valasian:[incensed] "Commander Tarkin. [He speaks quietly, and delibrately]
I hereby relieve you of your command. You are to go to your
quarters and remain there until further notice. Do you
understand me, Commander?"
Tarkin:[quietly, restraining his anger] "Yes my Lord. I understand you
[Tarkin turns and walks out of the Command Center. As the doors close,
the Command Center is quiet. Valasian turns and gives a hard look, the
officers and crew immediately turn back to their business. Valasian turns
to two Stormtroopers at the Command Center door.]
Valasian: "Guards. See to it that Commander Tarkin arrives at his
quarters, and that he remains there! [The guards nod and
Valasian turns back to face the View Screen. Peering out
toward the distant battlefield, he straightens his uniform
and posture.] Lieutenant, close on the Rebel Crusier. We
shall eradicate the rebel scum the moment they are within
CHAPTER THREE: "For the Honor of the Empire"
[Fade back to the _Enterprise_ Bridge.]
Worf: "Captain, alien vessel at 122 mark 159 is increasing speed
on an intercept course. I read increasing power emmissions
in their foreward weapons arrays."
Riker: "How are they armed, lieutenant?"
Worf: "They appear to a have many small amplified laser weapons,
and two main particle emmitters."
Picard: "What kind of damage are they capable of?"
Worf: "Sensors are inconclusive, but the power ratings are immense.
I recommend extreme caution."
Picard: "I agree lieutenant. Open hailing frequencies."
Holiday: "All channels open sir."
Picard:[sternly] "Greetings. I am Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Federation
starship, _Enterprise_. We received transmissions that you
have entered this system and attacked a Federation Outpost.
We require an accounting of your actions."
Holiday: "There is no response, Captain."
Data: "Sensors report zero power emmissions and no life forms on
the Chelea Four Outpost."
Worf: "Intruder is moving at .52 of light, and closing. Distance,
Troi: "I sense that they are ignoring us, Captain, as if they do
not believe us."
[Picard frowns. Another beep-beep sound.]
McMurhpy: "Sir, sensors report over one hundred small vessels in several
vee-formations approaching at .73 of light speed. I am reading
power ratings higher than that of our shuttlecraft. They will
intercept in 12 seconds."
Riker: "It appears as if their minds are made up..."
Picard: "I'm afraid I must concur, Number One."
Worf: "Alien fighters are entering classic attack dives, multiple
approach vectors. Shall I open fire?"
Picard: "No! Wait lieutenant, let's see if they are still willing to-"
[Explosion sound, Bridge is rocked, lights flicker, etc.]
Riker: "Damage Report!"
Holiday: "Shields completely unaffected by alien fighter's energy weapons.
However, several of the fighters launched what appears to be
missiles employing a large mass of protons. A few pierced the
shields and impacted on the Secondary Hull."
Intercom:[Crusher] "Bridge, this is Dr. Crusher. Radiation Protocols on
Decks Sixteen through Twenty-one are being implemented. Minor
casulties are being reported."
Picard: "Keep me posted, Doctor. Picard out. [To Data] Data, can we
track the fighters and grab their pilots with a transporter
Data: "The computer is capable of tracking up to four hundred
independent targets at any one time. It should be possible
to cycle the transporters at each target every fifth of a
second. It would, of course, require us to drop our
Picard: "Time to intercept with larger vessel?"
[Bridge shakes again, lights flicker.]
McMurhpy: "Sixteen seconds, Captain."
Data: "Captain, the enemy fighters are keeping very close to the
hull, making it difficult to lock a phaser onto them. We
could, however, extend our warp envelope around the fighter
swarm, then extend our distance from the mother vessel."
Worf: "Alien vessel is locking their primary weapons onto us, sir."
[Picard glances up to activate the Bridge Communications Computer.]
Picard: "Geordi, extend warp envelope to 10,000 meters around the hull."
Intercom:[Geordi] "Aye sir, you'll have it in three seconds."
Picard: "Helm --"
Worf: "Alien vessel is firing."
Riker: "Evasive manuever Delta!"
[Switch to Exterior shot:
Two red columns of energy streak away from the wedge-shaped _Phalanx_,
headed for the _Enterprise_. The _Enterprise_ turns hard to port. TIE
fighters swarm the _Enterprise_ like flies on roadkill. The red beams
strike the shields, which glow bright green for an instant before they
collapse. The beams hit the _Enterprise_ Saucer Section, rupturing the hull
and the bridge sensor dome. We see neat-o explosions shudder the
Cut to the Bridge: Lights go dim for battle, klaxons wailing. Several
of the stations spark, and even burst into flames as they go blank. The
Helm explodes in McMurphy's face, and he screams as he thrusts his arms up to
protect himself. He seems to be alright though, and continues to attempt
to work his station, dodging sparks and flames. Fires break out all over the
Bridge. Riker is knocked off his feet, but gets up, and returns to his
Picard: "Helm, get us out of here, any heading, warp one!"
[Exterior shot: The _Enterprise_, its wounds still burning and arcing,
veers off to port, and then enlongates like a rubber band as if jumps to
warp speed. Switch to _Devastator_ Command Center.]
Ensign: "My Lord, Commander Mellis of the _Phalanx_ is hailing us."
Valasian: "On Screen.[Pause] Mellis, what is the status of the battle."
Mellis:[on Main Viewer] "My Lord, we engaged the Rebel Cruiser at maximum
weapons range. Our fighters dealt it little damage, however
our Ion Cannons stung them badly. The Rebel scum broke off
and must have engaged their invisibility device, for we lost
sensor contact. One more thing, my Lord."
Valasian:[with arched eyebrow] "Yes, Commander?"
Mellis: "When the cowards engaged their device, several of our fighters
diasappeared with them. We have lost all contact with them."
Valasian: "I have never known the Emperor to be pleased with
incompetence, Commander. I suggest you find them, and
quickly. Close Channel. Lieutenant, increase sensor sweep
to four light years. I grow weary of these childish
'cat-n-mouse' games. I want those Rebels found!"
[Switch back to the _Enterprise_ Bridge, still on fire, Damage control
teams are spraying the consoles with fire-retardents. Data is attending to
Riker: "Damage Report."
Holiday: "My console is not responding sir."
Picard:[glances up] "Geordi. Geo- [Presses his communicator] Geordi, can
you give us a damage report from Engineering?"
Intercom:[Geordi] "Yes sir. We have sustained massive damage to the power
arrays in the saucer section. Primary power couplings are
complelety fused. Sensors are currently inoperable, but should
be back on line any time now. Apparently we were hit by highly
energized ion particles which overpowered our shields. I
wouldn't suggest trying whatever you did again."
Picard:[nervous chuckle] "Agreed Commander. Can you restore power to the
Intercom:[Geordi] "Not for a while, Captain. The power couplings are
completely unusable, they are going to need replacing. I
can give you power in *maybe* six hours, but I can't give
you any guarantees."
Picard:[frowns] "Understood. Picard out."
Riker: "Shall we assemble on the Battle Bridge, Captain?"
Picard: "At once. McMurphy, report to sickbay."
McMurphy:[holding his burned hand.] "Yes sir. Thank you sir."
[Picard walks over to Turbolift One, which does nothing. He looks around
and see that the others are in a similar predicament. He gives Riker a
smirk, and they open the access panels in the floor, and disappear down
the emergency exit shafts.
Cut to Exterior shot: _Enterprise_ is still in warp, and the confused
TIE fighters, which are no longer firing their weapons, assemble in the
safe zone around the _Enterprise_. Periodically, an outer fighter strays
too far, and tumbles out of warp into open space.
Cut to TIE Fighter Cockpit. We hear the radio transmissions.]
Skull Seven: "Skull Leader! What is going on! I just lost contact with
Skull Leader: "I have no idea. One minute we were in sight of the _Phalanx_,
the next we were not. Skull Three, can you get a sensor
reading from your location?"
Skull Three: "Negative, Skull Leader, I can only read us and the Rebel
Cruiser. I can sense nothing outside of ten thousand meters
from the Cruiser."
Skull Leader: "Acknowledged, Skull Three. All fighters, form on the
Cruiser, drop velocity to zero. Skull Three, I want you to
keep your channel open and attempt to cross the edge of
your sensors range."
Skull Three:[Pause] "I- I copy, Skull Leader. Moving to edge of the
sensor anomoly, five thousand meters from cruiser, eight
thousand, nine thousand, ten - AAAAGGGH/*static*/"
[Cut to the exterior shot. About thirty fighters in a rhomboid formation
are spaced unevenly between the Warp Nacelles of the _Enterprise_. You
can just barely see a stray TIE fighter disappear out of the Warp
Skull Leader: "Skull Three, acknowledge. Skull Three! [sighes] All
fighters, concentrate fire on the large glowing red areas
in front of us!"
[Cut to Battle Bridge. Everyone in their normal places.]
Picard: "Data, give me a damage report."
Data: "Aye sir. Dr. Crusher reports that we have sustained one
hundred and twenty five casulties, and thirty seven
confirmed deaths. Roughly one third of those figures were
civilians, Captain. Sensors have been restored."
Picard: "That is unacceptable. [His face is white] Lieutenant Worf,
what happened, exactly."
Worf: "We were struck with high energy ion beams at a range of only
two hundred thousand kilometers."
Riker: "That might mean they were waiting to fire, or that their range
is limited. It is obvious they meant to attack."
Worf: "I agree. Their weapons must be short-ranged, our phasers can
hit a target at four hundred thousand kilometers -- [beep.beep]
Sir, sensors report thirty enemy fighters attempting to damage
our impulse engines. Shields holding at 96.4 percent."
Data: "Captain, we are now capable of exercising the transporter
option we were discussing before the attack. The _Enterprise_
should be far enough away to drop out of warp and grab the
pilots one by one before any of their large Cruisers can
Riker: "Yes, Data, but won't they detect us when we drop out of Warp?"
Data:[ponder-face] "Unlikely, Commander. The sheer distacne we have
traveled should be far greater than their primitive
electromagnetic sensor ranges."
Picard: "Agreed, Data. Helm slow to one-third impulse power."
Ensign: "Aye sir."
Picard: "Worf, assemble a security team in Transporter Room Four."
Worf: "Aye sir."
Picard: "Number One, won't you go greet our guests."
Riker: "Gladly, sir. Worf, Holiday, Deanna, come with me."
[Worf, Deanna, Holiday, and Riker leave through the turbolift.]
CHAPTER FOUR: "For the Honor of the Empire."
[Open to Command Center of the _Devastator_.]
Hadrian: "Admiral! Sensor scans have picked up the Rebel Cruiser.
She is bearing 158 mark 016. Distance, point two light
Valasian: "Excellent! Recall all fighters! Inform the _Phalanx_ and
_Imperator_ that we will jump to hyperspace in five minutes.
Prepare to engage the Rebels. We shall take care of this
matter once and for all!"
[Cut to Tarkin's Quarters. The room is fairly spartan, especially for that
of a captain of a ship. There are a few awards on the wall, and a small
bookcase carrying about twelve books of various sizes and colors. Tarkin
is sitting at his desk, holding a picture of his family in his left hand,
and he is staring off into the void of space. He slowly presses a small
button on the desk.]
Tarkin: "Computer. Start Personal Log. I cannot believe the
arrogance of Valasian. He is an Admiral, he is my commanding
Officer, and he is the Representative of the Emperor. Yet
his judgement is becoming impaired. Does he not realize
that this conflict will have far reaching consequences for
the Empire? A conflict with this 'Federation' may bring down
everything that has been built. I must do something to
defuse this situation. If nothing else, I must save the
honor of the Empire, if there is even any honor left to save...
[Sigh] "If I had entered the system alone, we would
have encountered the aliens, then erased the logs and returned
home as if nothing had ever happened.
"I can only hope that my father would be proud of my
ideals, he certainly would not be proud of my actions. As
the Commander of the Death Star, he would not think
twice about attacking these aliens, bringing to bear
the might of the entire Empire down upon them. I cannot.
The Empire cannot afford another war. We are already
stretched too thin as it is. The Rebellion is a serious
threat, despite what fools such as Valasian think. Still,
perhaps the Rebels are correct. The Old Republic, at least,
kept the peace, ruling with compassion, ruling with honor.
Weakly, perhaps, but they did not enrage their populace, or
control them through fear. Nor did they ever consider
genocide as a means of --[chime]--Computer off. Yes,
what is it?"
[Door opens, breaking the grey darkness with the harsh white light from
the corridor. The silhoette of an aide stands in contrast to the bright
Aide: "Commander Tarkin, excuse the intrusion. Admiral Valasian
requests your presence in the Command Center. We are about
to engage the Rebels."
Tarkin: "Fine, thank you. I shall be there in one moment."
[ Cut to _Enterprise_ Transporter Room. O'Brien, Riker, Troi, Holiday,
Worf, and three security guards in the room. All but Troi and O'Brien are
armed with hand phasers, conspiciously out in the open.]
Riker: "O'Brien, lock onto the lead fighter and beam the pilot
O'Brien: "Aye sir. Energizing now."
[An Imperial Fighter pilot in the traditional black flight suit begins to
materialize on the transporter pad.]
O'Brien: "The pilot appears to have some kind of energy weapon on
him. I am attempting to disarm it now, Commander."
[The pilot materializes fully, and looks around nervously, obviously
startled. He feels around himself to make sure he is all there, and it
is apparent that he has never experienced beaming before. The security
guards take a step forward, and the pilot instinctively grabs for his
weapon, removes it from his holster, aims and fires in one fluid motion.
Nothing happens. The pilot looks quickly at his weapon, then lets it drop
with a sharp thud to the pad, raising his arms over his head.]
Riker: "Welcome aboard the Federation starship, _Enterprise_.
Step off the pad."
[The pilot quickly steps off the pad, probably out of surprise more than
anything else. He removes his helmet, and shakes his head a bit, relishing
the feel of 70 degree fahrenheit air on his sweaty face.]
Skull Leader: "What the hell happened? How did I get here? What is going
on, Rebel slime!"
Worf: "You have been taken prisoner onboard the _Enterprise_. Do
not try to escape, and your stay will not be...*unpleasant*"
Skull Leader: "...Right. What is going to happen to my flight?"
Troi: "They will be transported to the ship, and detained in our
brig until the Captain can repatriot you."
Riker: "You shall be escorted to our Bridge. We have many questions
Skull Leader: "Rebel Fools! I'll tell you nothing!"
Riker: "Don't you see? We are not part of this 'Rebellion' you
speak of! And I think you will talk. We do not want this
conflict. Worf, find more suitable clothing for the Flight
leader and escort him to the Bridge."
Worf: "Aye sir. You. Come with me."
[Worf points his phaser at the Imperial pilot, and waves him to the door.
The pilot looks confused, but manages a contemptuous spat at Riker as he
leaves. Worf growls and gives him a forceful shove out the door.]
Troi:[grinning] "Will, the pilot is very confused. He wants to believe
us to be the "Rebel Scum", but the reality around him
contradicts that, and he knows it."
Riker:[smiling] "And you find that funny?"
Troi: "What I find humorous is that he continues to try to be
the brave warrior he is trained to be, despite the
position he is in."
Riker:[serious] "I don't find that very funny at all. That attitude could
prove very deadly if this conflict continues."
Troi:[surprised, pleasantly] "Will! You've been hanging around the Captain
Riker: "Perhaps. [winks to Deanna] O'Brien, beam the other pilots
aboard, disabling any weapons, and send them to them
containment cells on Deck Twenty."
O'Brien: "Aye sir. It will take about six minutes."
Riker: "Very good, carry on. [Presses his communicator] Captain,
we are transporting the pilots aboard now. O'Brien
estimates that the process will take six minutes to complete."
Intercom:[Picard] "Understood, Commander. Return to the Battle Bridge as
soon as possible. Picard out."
[Riker nods to O'Brien, and then leaves with Troi and Holiday.
Cut to Worf and Skull Leader(Rilkin) in hallway.]
Skull Leader:[sneering] "What am I to address you as, Rebel?"
Worf: "I am Lieutenant Worf."
Skull Leader: "I am Captain Taddeus Rilkin, of the Imperial Star Destroyer
_Phalanx_. I am leader of Skull Flight Fighter Squadron.
What are you, Rebel dog, a lackey?"
Worf:[visibly incensed, but keeping control] "I am *not* a lackey. I am
Chief of Security on board the _Enterprise_."
Rilkin: "I have never seen one of your ugly kind, what are you?"
Worf:[straightens] "I am Klingon, a warrior race."
Rilkin:[scoffs] "Warrior race, indeed! You run from battle, like a dog
with it's tail between its legs, using your cowardly
Worf:[a bit confused, though he knows he is being insulted] "Only a fool
would have challenged one who is *not* his enemy."
[Worf and Rilkin arrive at a door. Worf motions to it as it opens.
Rilkin nods and cautiously and enters.]
Worf: "Change into the uniform. You have five minutes."
[Worf closes the door, leaving Rilkin alone in the small closet with a
uniform hanging from a hook. Cut to Worf outside as Rilkin emerges
wearing a tan Recreational uniform.]
Rilkin: "Well, Rebel, though I am not so foolish as to believe what
anything you say, I must admit that I have never seen
anything like your ship before."
Worf: "Come, we shall go to the Battle Bridge now."
[Worf and Rilkin begin to head toward a Turbolift. Various crew members
walk past them, none seem to pay any notice.]
Rilkin: "If you, uh, Kli-klingins, are --"
Rilkin: "- are such mighty warriors as you say, why have I not seen
any others on board here?"
[Worf remains silent as they reach an open Turbolift. They enter.]
Worf: "Battle Bridge."
[The whine of the Turbolift begins as it begins its journey.]
Rilkin:[sneers] "You have not answered my question, Rebel."
Worf: "*You* are the prisoner, not I."
Rilkin:[turns to Worf] "The Empire shall crush you, surely you must
[Worf rolls his eyes in exasperation.]
Rilkin: "Those vessels you encountered were merely a scouting force.
Even now, the entire Imperial Fleet is on its way to
vanquish you Rebels once and for all. Your warrior race will
spend the rest of their lives in the spice mines of Kessel, or
...serving as models in a Cantassian *Dress* Factory -"
Worf:[He has had enough. He grabs Rilkin by the front of his uniform and
slams him into the wall.] "You *will* remain silent until
we reach the Battle Bridge. You *will* be obedient and
respectful to the Captain, or [Worf lifts Rilkin six or seven
inches off the floor] I will be [pause as a nasty grimace
forms on Worf's face]...displeased. Do you understand?"
[Rilkin reluctantly nods affirmative. Worf releases the Captain gently,
and straightens his own uniform as the Turbolift comes to a stop at the
Battle Bridge. Worf and Rilkin step out onto the Bridge.]
Worf: "Captain, this is the prisoner, Captain Taddeus Rilkin."
Picard:[Face grim] "Greetings, Captain."
[Rilkin is silent and stern.]
Picard: "Well, Captain, I was hoping that you could help us. We have
been forced into a conflict which I believe that is in the best
interests of both the Federation and your Empire to end peacably."
Rilkin: "You started this conflict with your treachery, Rebel scum. You
You shall pay for your insurrection with you lives!"
Data:[confused look on his face. He turns around in his chair.] "On the
contrary, Captain Rilkin, I do not believe we represent this
"Rebellion" you speak of. We have insurrected against no-one."
[Rilkin gives a stern, yet spiteful glance at Data.]
Rilkin: "This ruse is futile! Admiral Valasian shall deal with you
[Worf growls quietly and tightens his grip on Rilkin. Rilken realizes his
dire mistake and shuts up.]
[Beep-Beep noise. Worf gives Rilkin to Holiday and goes to his station.]
Worf: "Captain. We are picking up a subspace anomoly four hundred
thousand kilometers directly ahead of us."
Data: "I confirm this anomoly. There is a lack of stability in the
fabric of space in that region, and its event horizon is
Riker: "A cloaked ship?"
Data: "Unlikely, Commander. The region of space is much too large
for any cloaked vessel to create. It is still growing."
Worf: "Sensors just detected a gravitic distortion along the leading
edge of the event horizon."
Picard: "On screen. [Turns to Holiday:] Lieutenant, escort our guest
to the brig."
Holiday: "Yes sir."
[Holiday grabs Rilkin by the arm, who simply grins evilly as he turns away
from the screen. Holiday gives him a puzzled look, and Rilkin's face
immediately returns to a disinterested blank. They enter the turbolift.
Cut to exterior: _Enterprise_ is in the lower left hand corner facing away
to the upper right. In that corner, we see a blank flat black disc expanding
slowly - suddenly three huge metallic wedges burst from the disc. It
dissipates immediately after they exit. Cut to Battle Bridge.]
Troi: "Oh my..."
Data: "Captain. Three cruisers have appeared before us at a range of
three hundred and forty two thousand kilometers. They are
Worf: "They are powering their foreward weapons arrays. Their
deflector shields are already activated."
Picard: "Red Alert. Shields up. Arm all weapons. Helm, keep us no
closer than two-hundred and fifty thousand kilometers."
Worf: "Weapons armed and ready sir. Shields are up."
Riker: "We can still warp away, Captain."
Worf:[biting his lip] "Sir, I must agree with the Commander. A warrior
chooses his battles with care."
Data: "Intruders have closed to twenty seven hundred thousand
Picard:[stern] "Open a hailing frequency."
Worf: "Frequency open, sir."
[Cut to Command Center of _Devastator_]
Ensign: "My Lord! The Rebel cruiser is hailing us."
Valasian: "Probably trying to grovel for their lives. I could use a bit
of entertainment. Patch it to the main viewer."
Ensign: "At once, my Lord."
[Pan to main viewer. We see the face of Captain Picard standing on the
Battle Bridge of the _Enterprise_.]
Picard:[on viewer] "This is Captain Picard of the Federation starship
_Enterprise_. Respond at once. We wish to parley for an end
of hostilities. We have thirty of your fighter pilots on
board in detention who wish to be repatriated. Respond please."
Valasian:[his lips turns into a thin, wry smile] "Open the channel."
Ensign: "Yes my Lord."
Valasian: "Captain Picard. I am Admiral Rolf Valasian, commanding the
Three hundred and Seventy-Third Scouting Fleet. We have you
under our guns. Yet you wish to parley."
Picard:[on viewer] "Yes Admiral, I do."
Valasian: "Very well, Captain, say what it is you have to say."
[Hadrian comes up to Valasian. Valasian gives the signal to mute the
channel. Tarkin enters the Command Center.]
Valasian:[hisses] "Yes, what is it!"
Hadrian: "My Lord, we are only two hundred and sixty kilometers away.
The Rebel ship is evading, but we will be within firing range
in two minutes. All weapons are primed and ready."
Valasin: "Very good. When we are within firing range, fire unless you
are directly ordered otherwise."
Hadrian: "Yes my Lord."
Picard:[on viewer] "I represent the United Federation of Planets. You have
entered our space and destroyed one of our outposts. You have
fired on my ship and killed several of my crew. [frowns] I
propose, however, that we meet to defuse this situation before
it grows any worse."
Valasian:[cocks an eyebrow and grins weakly] "Indeed."
Picard:[on viewer] "I suggest that you transfer over to the _Enterprise_ to
discuss this like gentlemen."
Valasian:[his grin has completely disappeared] "Do not take me as a fool,
Captain Picard. You Rebel Vermin shall be eradic-"
Tarkin: "Mute Channel!"
[Valasian whirls around and glares at Tarkin.]
Valasian:[growling] "This had better be important...Commander..."
Tarkin: "Bring them over here. I'm sure Lord Vader would enjoy
interrogating when we return to base. Besides, their technology
seems to be better than our own. If we could capture their
vessel, it would make a fine prize to the Emperor, who...I am
sure, would show his gratitude most lavishously."
Valasian:[his face brightens at the realization of power to be] "Yes,
Commander, you are quite right. Resume."
Ensign: "Open, my Lord."
Valasian:[more pleasant] "Captain, I assure you, I am a reasonable man. I
shall offer a compromise. You send your second in command over
to the _Devastator_ with his entourage, and I shall send my
second in command to your vessel as insurance. Then I will
meet with your second and discussion the plans. Agreeable?"
[Tarkin shoots Valasian a surprised look, horror in his eyes. Valasian
simply ignores him. On the Viewscreen we see Riker give Picard a similar
look. Picard's face remains stern.]
Picard:[sighes] "Agreed. I shall send Commander Riker and my third officer,
Lieutenant Commander Deanna Troi [ Hadrian turns to Tarkin and
whispers, "A woman?" Tarkin responds with a confused shrug] over
in a shuttlecraft."
Valasian: "Excellent. I shall send over Commander Tarkin. I assume you
already have Captain Rilkin there?"
Picard: "That is correct, Admiral."
Valasian: "I hope that this will bring our respesective empires together.
Valasian Out. Close channel."
Ensign: "Channel closed, my Lord."
Valasian: "Commander Tarkin. Report to the Shuttle Bay and prepare for
transport over to the "Federation" vessel. Your orders are to
stall as long as possible, and if the oppurtunity arises, free
our men and capture the Rebel cruiser. You will have our
Tarkin:[uncomfortably] "Yes, my Lord."
[Tarkin pivots on his heel, and leaves the Command Center. Once the doors
close, Valasian turns to Hadrian and begins to speak in a soft, low voice.]
Valasian: "Once Commander Tarkin has left the _Devastator_, I want three
contingents of Stormtroopers in the Shuttle bay. I want the
Rebels captured and imprisoned - no wait, I'll be there myself.
After I interrogate the Rebel prisoners, we shall attack the
Hadrian:[eyes widen, face whitens] "And Commander Tarkin and the pilots..."
Valasian "...shall die in the Service of the Emperor. [pause, stands up
and dramatically straightens his uniform, cleans monocle, etc.]
A sacrifice for the honor of the Empire."
[Valasian chortles a bit. Center on Hadrian, who nods to Valasian, and slowly
turns back to his console, his face pale in the harsh green light of his
console. His eyes mist, and a look of pain appears as he mourns the
inevitable death of his friend - for nothing!]
CHAPTER FIVE: "For the Honor of the Empire."
[Open to the Battle Bridge of the _Enterprise_.]
Troi: "Captain, he is lying. He does not want to parley with us."
Riker: "Surely they know they outmatch us. What is the point?"
Worf: "Men without honor often enjoy *toying* with their prey."
Troi: "But I sense that it is more than just that. Valasian seems to
care little about his *own* men."
Picard: "I understand Counselor, I am sensing the same thing. Still,
there must be a peacable solution to all of this. I will not
allow the deaths of crew members simply be precursors to the
deaths of thousands, if not millions of others. [frown] Data,
have you discovered anything about their technology?"
Data: "Yes, Captain. The ship configuration appears to be designed
around the concept of psychological warfare. The immense size
and relatively primitive technology suggest that psychological
effects are more important than starship effiecency. It also
appears that the primary offensive weapon of the Imperial
warships is their fighters."
Worf: "My sensors indicate that the foreward and flank sections of
the vessels are heavily armoured, but their drive section
is not armoured at all."
Data: "The configuration also suggests that phaser and photon
weapons would do little damage to the ship if struck from
the front or side. However, their fire control and sensor
equipment is is easily accessable and poorly shielded or
Riker: "Their Achille's heel."
Data: "Yes, Commander. Their control systems seem to favor
independent fire from their laser batteries and not from
a central command. However, their control equipment is
housed in a single location, easily targetable by our
phasers and photon torpedoes."
Picard: "Number One, take Deanna with you to Shuttle bay two and
prepare to leave. We will keep contact with you through
your communicators, and will beam you off at the first
sign of trouble."
Riker:[nervously] "Yes, Captain."
Picard: "Good luck Deanna, Will."
Riker: "Thank you sir. Deanna?"
[Riker and Troi leave the Battle Bridge into a turbolift.]
Picard: "Lieutenant, lock all weapons systems on the control towers
of all three cruisers. I hope that we will not have to use
Worf:[look of grim satisfaction] "Aye sir."
[Fade to the Shuttle bay on the _Devastator_. Technicians bustle about,
tending to the various tasks, 'droids scurry around as well. In the center
of the bay, which looks like a huge swimming pool, an Imperial Tri-Wing
Shuttlecraft (from Return of the Jedi) is being prepped, with
its wings locked in the vertical position. Tarkin enters the bay, and is
escorted to the shuttle.]
Tarkin: "Is the shuttle preppeed and ready for my immediate departure?"
Techie: "Yes Commander. All systems are in perfect working order."
Tarkin: "Very good. Inform Admiral Valasian that I shall leave
Techie: "Yes, Commander Tarkin."
[Tarkin climbs into the Shuttle. Exterior shot: Lights flash and klaxons
wail as the Shuttle lowers out of the Bay, poking through the blue force
field that holds the atmosphere in. Once outside the Bay, the Shuttle's
wings fold down for flight. It's aft thrusters propelling it toward
[Cut to the _Enterprise_ turbolift. Riker and Troi are in it.]
Riker: "Shuttlebay Two."
[Whirring noise as the turbolift begins to move.]
Troi: "I sense your fear, Will. I feel it too."
Riker: "I just hope the Captain's plan works, or we won't be the
only ones who might die."
[Deanna turns to Will and embraces him warmly.]
Troi: "I'm sure that it will all turn out alright. We have made
it through worse together."
Riker:[smiles] "I know, Deanna. I know."
[The Turbolift comes to a stop, the two release and enter the bay.
Geordi is there with Barclay, apparently prepping the shuttle. You can
see the silhoettes of the empty TIE fighters through the force field.]
Geordi: "Well, Commander, the shuttlecraft is ready. We have added
a few things to it, mainly a concealed compartment with two
hand phasers in it - just in case. It's shielded and should
be protected from their scans."
Riker: "Thanks, Geordi."
Barclay: "G-good luck, De-deanna, Commander."
Troi: "Thanks, Reg." [She gives him a reassuring smile.]
[Riker touches his communicator.]
Riker: "Riker to Battle Bridge. We are ready to depart."
Intercom: [Picard] "Acknowledged, Number One. You may proceed, and, Will
and Deanna. The best of luck to the both of you. I hope we
will not need it."
Riker: "Thank you, Captain. Riker Out."
[Riker gestures politely to the shuttle and smiles at Deanna, who returns the
smile and climbs into the shuttle. Riker winks at Geordi and Reg, and then
climbs into the shuttle, the hatch closing behind him. Once sitting down,
he begins the power-up sequence. Troi settles down in a passenger chair,
clasping her nervous hands in her lap. Riker gives her a reassuring glance,
his eyes sparkling.]
Riker: "Shuttlecraft One ready for launch."
Intercom:[Geordi] "Shuttlecraft One, you may leave when ready. We'll keep
dinner warm, Commander."
Riker: "Acknowledged, I hope it's Gok."
[Troi makes a "ooh, that's gross!" face.]
[Riker hits the thruster controls and the shuttlecraft glides gently out
of the bay, and begins its journey to the _Devastator_. Cut to exterior
shot. The shuttles pass each other midway. The _Enterprise_ shuttle
continues on toward the Imperial Star Destroyer. Cut to interior of
Riker: "Federation shuttlecraft to _Devastator_. We request
permission to dock."
Intercom:[cold, calculated voice] "Federation craft. Proceed to the
ventral docking bay. Any course deviation will be interpretted
as a hostile act, and shall be dealt with accordingly."
Riker: "Acknowledged. [Cuts the communication and turns to Deanna]
Not very friendly."
Deanna: [shivers] "I don't like this a bit, Will. We are heading into
[Riker nods slowly, and returns to piloting the craft.]
[Switch to interior of the _Devastator_'s docking bay. There are assembled
approxiamately one hundred white armoured Stormtroopers. The force is
divided in half, with an alley between them.
The shuttlecraft slowly comes to a stop, then moves vertically into the
bay, and then laterally over to a solid steel platform. We hear:
"Warning! Warning! Rebel Shuttlecraft now entering Docking Bay!".
The shuttle comes to a stop. Cut to interior of shuttle.]
Riker:[looks toward Deanna] "You sense anything."
Troi: "Yes, but it is hard to filter out. There is great animosity
out there, but at the same time great confusion, about what
I am not sure."
Riker: "Shall we, then?"
[Riker and Troi get out of the shuttle craft onto the cold polished steel. The
Imperial March Theme plays in the Background. The Stormtroopers are standing
at attention, each armed with a blaster, in formation on either side of the
two, leaving an alley approximately four meters wide. At the end of the
alley stands a several offical looking men in dark grey uniforms. Valasian
and Hadrian are among them. Riker gives a quick glance at Deanna, who takes
a breath and gives him a forced nod of assurance back. The two walk down the
alley toward the uniformed men, and the Stormtroopers, in proper Prussian
fashion, turn crisply to face the Federation Representatives. When they
approach, the stern faced officers regard them silently, obviously waiting
for Riker to make the first move.]
Riker: "Greetings. I am Commander William Riker of Earth. This
is Lieutenant Commander Deanna Troi of Betazed."
Valasian:[with a coldness that could snap steel] "Greetings, Commander.
I am Admiral Rolf Valasian, and this is my Assistant aboard
the _Devastator_, Lieutenant Hadrian. I am the Representative
of the Emperor of the Galactic Empire."
Riker: "I am honored, Admiral. Shall we get down to business?"
Valasian:[Smiles warmly] "Why, of course, Commander. [Smile snaps to a
cold, thin line on his chisled face.] Guards! Take these
Rebel Scum to the Detention Block! See to it that no *undue*
harm comes to them. Lord Vader will enjoy *interrogating*
whatever is left of them when we return!"
[Break to an exterior shot of the Imperial Tri-Wing. The shuttle manuevers
up to the _Enterprise_. Cut to the interior of the shuttle, with Tarkin
Intercom: [Worf] "Imperial Shuttlecraft. Cut your engines and drop your
shields. You will be beamed aboard presently. _Enterprise_
[Tarkin raises an eyebrow, about to say something, but the channel has already
closed. Cut to exterior view. Shuttle slows to a halt. _Enterprise_
tractor beam attaches to it. Cut to transporter room. O'Brien, Worf, a
Security Team, and Picard are waiting. Tarkin materializes on the pad.]
[Worf bites his lip, then draws a phaser and points it at Tarkin. Tarkin
realizes this, and raises his left arm as his right allows his weapons
belt to drop to the floor.]
Picard: "Welcome to the _Enterprise_, Commander."
Tarkin:[recovers his composure] "Thank you. I am Commander Erich Tarkin,
Captain of the Imperial Star Destroyer, _Devastator_. Before
we continue, Captain, I demand to make sure my men are
being well treated."
Picard: "You can rest assured, Commmander, that your men are fine.
But I understand your concern and desire to see them
yourselves. If you would come with me."
[Tarkin looks at Picard and Worf with meticulous scrutiny. He appears
satisfied after a pause, and steps down off the pad. He glances a second
at Picard, who is unarmed, and lingers one on Worf, who straightens up.]
Tarkin: "Very well, let us proceed."
Picard:[turns to a security guard] "Stay here, we may need you again."
[The guard nods, and Picard and Tarkin leave the Transporter Room, Worf
following close behind, phaser still drawn.]
Tarkin:[after several seconds of silence. His face is expressionless.]
"This is not a military vessel, is it, Captain?"
Picard:[frowns] "No, Commander, it is not."
Tarkin: "Your mission then, if I may be so bold?"
Picard: "The _Enterprise_ is an exploration cruiser."
Tarkin: "I see. Then you have civilians on board."
Picard:[still stern] "Yes, Commander."
Tarkin: "And I am sure several were killed in the exchange."
Picard: "Thirty-seven were killed, Commander. More than half were
Tarkin:[still expressionless] "A pity, Captain."
[They reach a turbolift and enter it. Tarkin remains silent until they
approach the Brig. Tarkin and Picard enter the room and approach the
cell where the pilots are being held. They seem to be in relatively good
cheer. Rilkin steps to the door. Picard and Worf wait at outside door,
ushering the guards out.]
Tarkin:[hushed] "Captain Rilkin, how are the others."
Rilkin: "Wha - fine. The Rebels have given us adequate housing and
attention, but wh-"
Tarkin:[cutting Rilkin off] "Have they punished or tortured you in any way?"
Rilkin: "Jeoriss and Handen were shot with a stun weapon when they
attempted to overpower a Rebel, but they are fine now. What
is going on? Were you captured?"
Tarkin:[shakes his head] "No. I convinced Admiral Valasian to parley
with these people. I believe we can come to an agreement."
Rilkin:[in shock] "What!?! Parley with the Rebels? That is mad!"
Tarkin:[forcefully] "Captain! Isn't it obvious that these people are not
the Rebels! This technology is alien to us, they have power
effiency only dreamed of by Imperial Engineers. This Federation
is not part of the Rebel Alliance, although I have little doubt
that they would support them if ever they met."
Rilkin: "You Idiot! How do we know that they haven't?"
Tarkin: "What would they gain by attacking a lone squadron far from the
rest of the Main Fleet. They would lose their advantage if they
tried. No Captain, these people are not the Rebels, but another
empire. One that I believe is not in the Empire's best interests
to go to war with - yet."
Rilkin: "You are a fool and a coward, Tarkin! These people are nothing!
The Empire will crush them! *We* will crush them!"
Tarkin: "No, Rilkin. We would certainty not. There would be devastation
of a magnitude that would completely drain the military strength
of the Empire. Worlds would rebel and we would not be able to
react in time. No, it is time for our Empire to mature. I will
not start this war. The Emperor will have to himself."
Rilkin: "The Emperor will have you killed for treason."
Tarkin:[raises an eyebrow] "So be it."
[Tarkin turns around and walks over to Picard.]
Tarkin: "Captain, we must talk. There is not much time."
[Picard's serious frown is softened by a confused and concerned look at that
statement. Cut to _Devastator_'s Detention Block. Riker and Troi are
sitting in a polished steel cell. Both still wear their insignias. The
doors slide open with a loud hiss, and in walk two Stormtroopers
accompanying Admiral Valasian.]
Valasian: "And how are you two enjoying your stay here, hmm?"
Riker: "Release us! We are not the Rebels you seek! We came to discuss
a peaceful resolution to this!"
Valasian: "Yes, I know that you are not the Rebels. They have more backbone
than you do. Still, your ship is quite impressive. Perhaps you
would care to tell me about it."
Riker: "*Perhaps* we would care not to."
Valasian: "You will not have much choice."
Riker: "We will resist you."
Valasian:[a cruel smile forms on his face] "I was rather *hoping* you would
say that, Commander. [Harsh] Fengiss! Bring the devices..."
[Cut back to _Enterprise_, Picard's Ready Room. Tarkin is sitting in one
of the chairs in front of Picard's desk. Worf is standing behind him,
near the door, with his phaser in his holster. Picard is standing at
the ubiquitious foodslot.]
Picard: "On Earth, we have a drink called "tea", made from the brewing
of certain leaves. I am quite taken to it. Would you care
for some Commander?"
Tarkin:[carefully] "Yes, that would be fine, Captain."
Picard:[forcing a pleasant smile. It is obvious that it is forced.]
Worf:[startled. His face grimaces at the thought of *tea*] "No...thank
Picard: "Two Earl Grey. Eighty-five degrees."
[Two glass tea cups of piping hot Earl Grey tea materialize inside the
slot. Tarkin looks on in wonder, never having seen such a device. Picard
removes the two cups and hands one to Tarkin. Picard sits down, tugs at
his jersey, and takes a sip of tea. Tarkin sips his hesistently.]
Tarkin: "Intriguing. We have something very similar, we call it "Mekla",
also from brewing leaves."
Picard:[face stern] "We are not what you had expected, are we Commander?"
Tarkin:[Looks down, sighes] "No, Captain Picard, you are not. We had assumed
that your outpost was a stronghold for a group of Rebels against
the Empire. I am deeply sorry for what happened."
Picard:[serious face] "What *did* happen, Commander? Our reports are
sketchy, at best."
Tarkin: "We picked up your outpost on our sensors, and we investigated.
The power levels on the outpost were very high, high enough to
be a military base. The screen and EM frequencies were all
wrong, and as Second in Command I began to feel that this was
not a rebel base at all, rather another Empire's outpost.
Before we could investigate further, Admiral Valasian gave the
order to fire on the outpost. He is impetuous, ambitious, and
has frequently made impulsive decisions. To him, it was an
obvious rebel ruse. Even after the base had sustained incredible
damage from our weapons, and had even fired back with its phased
light weapon, Valasian still could not accept it as another
Worf: "You Admiral seems to have little honor, Commander."
[Picard shoots a concerned look at Worf. He appears to be about to say
something as Tarkin turns his head slightly.]
Tarkin: "Yes, Lieutenant. He has little honor. At times I believe he
has no honor."
Picard:[sighes] "Commander. I want to believe you. It would make it so
much easier to resolve this conflict, but you must understand th-"
Tarkin: "But I do understand, Captain. I understand the need for trust
in this matter. I have told you what had happened. But
remember, I am a Commander in the Emperor's Navy. I do not always
agree with his decisions, but I am loyal to him. I believe that
this conflict should end, peacefully if possible."
Picard: "But Valasian..."
Tarkin: "...could care less. Captain, I would be lying to you if I
truly believed I would make it back to my ship alive. I do not
doubt your intentions. Your ship is not designed for warfare,
and you are not a warrior. Valasian, however, would not think
twice about destroying this ship, with myself and the pilots
Picard:[astonished] "But surely, the Command crew on your ships would not let
him do that..."
Tarkin:[sighes] "Of that I am not so certain. I only know that you must try
to get your people back now. Lieutenant Hadrian is a good man,
Captain Picard, he will protect your people as long as he can.
Valasian will want to know the weaknesses and strengths of this
starship, and he will enjoy getting that information."
Picard:[astonished whisper] "Will and Deanna..."
[Picard and Worf look at one another in surprise and fear, their eyes
widening. Picard stands up, but Tarkin remains sitting, staring idlely
out the window at the behemoths outside.]
Tarkin: "Captain. Target the _Devastator_'s control pylons on either
side of the bridge. That will momentarily cut power to the
entire vessel without hurting any of its crew. It should give
you the time necessary to rescue your people."
[Picard nods to Worf, who rushes into the Battle Bridge. Picard turns nad
regards Tarkin. He begins to say something, but Tarkin cuts him off.]
Tarkin: "Captain, I forfeit my commission for this, and my life as well
once we return to Headquarters. But I will not allow a senseless
war develop because of Valasian's incompetence. I would not
want that on my conscience. Would you?"
Picard:[dramatic pause] "No, Commander Tarkin, I most certainly would not.
[Picard leaves the Ready Room. Hold on Tarkin for a few seconds. He looks
very tired. Cut to the Detention Center of the _Devastator_. Valasian
is standing by a moveable cart with all sorts of cruel instruments on it.
Next to him, hovering a meter and a half in the air is a black globe with
an assortment of spidery injection needles. It is making that warbling
Valasian: "Now then, shall we start with you, my pretty woman?"
Riker: "Stay away from her!"
Valasian: "I will if you tell me what I wish to know! My patience is
Riker:[growling] "If you so much as lay a finger on her --"
Valasian:[to the Stormtroopers] "Restrain him!"
[One Stormtrooper snickers deeply as he thrusts the butt of his blaster into
Riker's abdomen, knocking the air out of him. The other hits Will in the
face with his blaster, sending his head snapping back into the steel
wall, blood spraying from his smashed nose. Chortling, they bind his hands
and feet with metallic binders.]
Valasian: "Never mind him, pretty thing, you have enough to worry about..."
[Valasian smiles wickedly as the humming glode moves in on Deanna, its
spidery limbs searching out her soft flesh. Deanna panics and draws her
hands up to her breast, surreptiously activating her communicator. She
screams as loudly as she possibly can as Valasian comes at her. Cut to
Battle Bridge on the _Enterprise_.]
Worf: "Sir, incoming message from the Counselor...[Worfs eyes ignite]
She is screaming sir!"
Picard:[Spins, glances up as his jaw drops] "Mister O'Brien, lock onto
Counselor Troi and Commander Riker and beam them out back as
soon as the Imperial warship's shields drop!"
Intercom:[O'Brien] " Sir, I cannot lock onto them, there are too many people
in the are--"
Picard:[roaring] "Beam them all aboard, damn it!"
Intercom:[O'Brien] "Y-Yes sir!"
[Intense theme music build-up]
Worf: "Phaser's targeted on the _Devastator_'s power arrays. Photon
torpedoes targeted for its escorts, dispersal pattern Beta."
[Camera Close-up on Picard's Right side, you know, so we can see Worf.]
Picard: "Fire, Lieutenant!"
CHAPTER SIX: "For the Honor of the Empire."
[Exterior shot: _Enterprise_'s main collimeter powers up and a column of
phased light bursts forth, piercing the Screens of the _Devastator_, and
destroying the power stations next to the Sensor Domes. Photon torpedoes
launch forward, MIRV, two on each remaining Star Destroyer. One
torpedo breaches the shields while the second homes in on the power stations,
sending yellow and white explosions into the harsh void. All three ships
shudder with the impact, the left hand Star Destroyer drifting slowly to
port, the righthand to starboard, and the _Devastator_ careening down.
Lights flicker and go out momentarily as the leviathans drift.
Cut to Battle Bridge.]
Picard: "Mister O'Brien! Transport them aboard now!"
Intercom:[O'Brien plus an exchange of phaser/blaster fire in background.
Troi's screams add to the cacophony.] "We got them Captain.
Security should have them under control soon."
[Sure enough, the blaster fire stops.]
Picard: "Medical Team to Transporter Room Four."
Intercom:[Crusher] "Already on their way Captain."
Data: "Sir, sensors are reading increasing energy levels in the
Imperial warhsips. Their power is being restored."
Picard: "Ensign McMurphy, set course to Chelea Four, warp one."
McMurphy: "Aye sir. Course plotted and laid in."
Intercom:[O'Brien] "Captain, ther - [sounds of a scuffle, we can hear Valasian
in the background:] Rebel vermin! You shall pay dearly for this
outrage, I promise you!"
Picard: "Mister O'Brien, I shall be there shortly. You may take any
action you deem necessary to insure our guests' proper behavior."
Intercom:[O'Brien] "Aye sir. Transporter Room Four out."
Picard: "Data, you have the Conn."
[Picard leaves the Battle Bridge into his Ready Room where Tarkin is still
Tarkin: "You retrieved your crew members?"
Picard: "Yes, we did. Thank you."
Tarkin:[relieved] "I am glad to hear that. Maybe now we can settle this matter,
Picard: "We have also captured your Admiral, who apparently was too close
to our people when we tried to transport them. I would like you
to escort me to the Transporter Room to greet my returned crew."
Tarkin: "Of course, Captain."
[Picard and Tarkin leave the Ready Room. Cut to Transporter Room Four.
O'Brien and three security guards have their phasers drawn and pointed at one
Stormtrooper, his hands in the air and helmet on the floor. Another
Stormtrooper is unconsious on the floor. There are several scorch marks
on the far wall, possibly from blaster fire. One Federation Security Guard
lies bleeding on the floor with Crusher, Dr. Solar, and two other medical
attedents hovering over him. Troi is sitting on the pad with her left arm
over Will, who is holding his bloody nose. Valasian is seething next to
the unconscious Stormtrooper, wary of O'Brien's weapon.]
Crusher: "He's dying. Dr. Solar, we'll have to risk giving him 5 ccs
of Cordrazine. We need to get him to sickbay immediately.
[Presses her communicator] Transporter Room Three. Lock on
to Dr. Solar's communicator and beam directly to Sickbay.
[Crusher stands up as Picard and Tarkin enter. She walks over to them as
Dr. Solar, the two attendents and the wounded security guard are beamed
Crusher: "I'm --"
Valasian:[raving] "What is the meaning of th--"
Tarkin:[hisses] "You will be silent, Valasian!"
Valasian:[shocked] "Commander! How dare y--"
Tarkin:[shouts] "*Silence!* [Steps deliberately up to Valasian and stares
him dead in the eyes] Or I may have to use my *family*
Valasian:[growling] "You wouldn't dare, Commander."
Tarkin: "And why not? My superior has lost his mind. He is endangering
the Empire. My actions would not be questioned, Admiral, so I
suggest that you silence yourself if you wish to preserve your
commission in the Imperial Navy."
Valasian:[growling] "I shall *not* forget this, [Spits] Commander."
Tarkin: "Nor shall I, *Admiral*."
[Crusher and Picard watch this event with concerned interest, but do nothing.
Crusher turns to Picard to whisper.]
Crusher: "I'm not sure if the Security guard will live, Jean-Luc. He
was hit directly in the center of his chest. As for Will, he
appears to have been bludgeoned with some metallic item,
probably a rifle butt. I found no internal injuries, but I'd
like for him to come down to Sickbay for a full examination."
Picard: "Agreed. Will, report to Sickbay."
[Will is helped up by Deanna, but he waves her away, walking toward and out
the door toward sickbay.]
Crusher: "The unconscious man is alright, just stunned. Deanna seems to
be fine, but I'd still like to give her an examination as well."
Picard: "In a few minutes Doctor. For now I need her here."
[Crusher nods and leaves the Transporter Room.]
O'Brien: "I'm sorry Captain, I was unable to deactivate their weapons
before they materialized."
Picard:[with a reassuring smile] "I understand, Chief. Take the two Imperial
men to the brig. [Much quieter and softer] And Chief, I am
O'Brien:[smiles] "Think nothing of it, sir. I understand completely. But it's
nice to hear it."
Picard: "Thanks Chief."
[O'Brien and the Security Guards escort (and carry) the two Stormtroopers out
of the Transporter Room. Only Picard and Troi, Tarkin and Valasian remain in
the Transporter Room. As soon as the doors close, Valasian makes a grab for
Troi, thinking that Tarkin would go for Picard. Instead Tarkin lashes out
a well-placed foot, tripping Valasian and sending him to the cold floor.]
Tarkin: "Enough, Valasian. Intervene again, and I will have Captain
Picard send you to the Brig with the others. It is for their
sake and the fact that you are a noble that I allow you to
remain here. Do not give me reason to forget my manners."
Valasian: "You traitorous imbecile! You have wasted our chance for
escape! I will --"
Tarkin:[louder] "You *will* remain quiet until I tell you otherwise. Do
you understand me?"
[Valasian gives Tarkin a wickedly dirty look, but remains silent. He stands
up slowly, ignoring the hand that Tarkin offers, then brushes himself off.]
Tarkin: "Captain, forgive my superior. He truly believes that what he
is doing is right, and by our society's standard it is. But it
is not right for me."
Picard: "Commander, I --"
Tarkin:[puts a hand up to stop Picard] "No, Captain, I believe I understand
your Federation better than you think. Please allow me to
"The Galactic Empire is built upon a foundation of fear. It
trains its servants to be ruthless in the methods, and unsavory
in their practices. I have never been like that. There are a
few of us, a very few, who still cling to the days when the
Imperial Navy had honor, when people would look at someone in
a Naval uniform with admiration - not fear and hatred."
Picard: "I can imagine. The Federation -- my *own planet*, and several
of the other member worlds went through similar periods in our
Tarkin: "This phase of terror will pass. The Empire is held together
by that terror, but it cannot last. The Rebels we so quickly
strive to destroy are proof of that. The more we destroy, the
more Rebels there are.
"Captain, I am a Commander of a starship, not a politician.
Had I been in command of the Squadron when we encountered your
system, [looks at Valasian] I would have ordered the fleet to
turn around and leave, and to forget that we had ever seen you.
You see, Captain, your existence puts my Empire in jeopardy.
It cannot deal with an internal and external threat at the
Picard: "Commander, while I do not *personally* agree with the methods
of your Empire, the Federation's own Prime Directive prohibits
us from meddling in what is clearly matters of internal affairs.
We would not intervene in your internal conflict."
Tarkin: "Captain, I do not believe that. The rivalry between our empires
would force you to "intervene". And your very existence would
start the process that would unravel the very fabric of the
Empire, throwing us into a bitter civil war in which millions, if
not billions, would surely die. By all reason, I should destroy
you now, claim we had destroyed a Rebel base and an experimental
warship, and then never return to this region of space again."
[Valasian looks at Tarkin, and a thin smile begins to form on his face.]
Troi: "But you won't."
Tarkin:[sighes] "No, I will not."
[Valasian's expression shifts to burning anger.]
Picard: "Then what will you do?"
Tarkin: "I shall lead the Squadron home and report to the Emperor
everything that has happened. I will then resign my commission,
if I can. I will leave the declaration of hostilities between
the Federation and the Empire up to the politicians. I am
merely a military officer, with a beautiful and loving wife, and
two darling daughters. The thought of starting a war that
endanger their lives would not allow me to sleep at night."
Picard: "I will see to having your men returned to unharmed at your
Tarkin: "Thank you, Captain. I would like to think that we will be able
to meet again, under more pleasant circumstances. However the
reality of the situation draws me out of that fantasy. [colder]
You will return my men within one half hour, and we will then
depart from your systems, I hope, for good."
Picard: "I shall look forward to meeting you again, Commander Tarkin."
Tarkin:[Turns to get onto the Transporter pad, but stops and turns around.]
"Captain Picard, before I leave, would it be possible to
procure the recipe and ingredients for Earl Grey? I would like
to bring a gift home to my wife."
[Cut to interior of the Bridge of the _Enterprise_. Picard and the rest of
the Bridge crew are at their stations on the Mian Bridge, power apparently
restored. On the screen we see the face of Tarkin.]
Tarkin: "Captain Picard, we are now departing. I strongly suggest
posting a force here, in case my plea to the Emperor does
Picard: "Understood, Commander. May your audience go well."
Tarkin: "Thank you, Captain. Until next time. _Devastator_ out."
[Screen returns to starfield. We see the three Star Destroyers jump to
lightspeed. Beep Beep frrm Worf's station.]
Worf: "Incoming transmission from Starfleet Command. Admiral
Nakamura is hailing."
Picard: "Thank you Lieutenant Worf, I shall take it in my Ready Room.
Number One you have the Conn."
[Picard leaves to his Ready Room, Camera follows him. He sits down in his
chair, tugs his jersey, and turns the computer screen to face him. Admiral
Nakamura (female) appears.]
Nakamura: "Greetings, Captain Picard."
Picard: "Greetings, Admiral."
Nakamura: "Starfleet wishes to inform you that reinforcements are on their
way to Chelea Four."
Picard:[frowning] "That may not be necessary, Admiral. I have just concluded
a temporary cease-fire with another human government that calls
itself, the Galactic Empire.
"Admiral, this empire is reminiscent of the 20th Century
Nazi Germany. After discussing with the Commander of one of
Imperial warships, a Commander Tarkin, I am convinced that
while there are some honorable men in the Empire, it is on
whole rather unscrupulous and violent. In many ways, much
like the Romulan Empire."
Nakamura: "Their technology - equivalent to our own?"
Picard:[disappointed] "No, Admiral, but that is not the point. Their
Empire is driven by violent ambition. The whole situation
was due to a rash decision to attack an assumed "Rebel" base
and increase the Admiral's glory. Fortunately, for both of us,
Commander Tarkin managed to defuse the crisis at the risk of
his own life and career."
Nakamura: "I see, Jean-Luc. You feel then that they constitute a threat
to the Federation."
Picard: "Our contact constitutes a threat to _both_ sides, Admiral. I
strongly suggest that Starfleet imvokes General Order Four
within this entire region of space, and leave several monitoring
stations to insure that this dreadful situation does not
Nakamura: "You seriously believe that by restricting this region of space
from all Federation activity that we can have peace with this
Picard: "I do."
Nakamura:[sighes] "Very well, Captain, I will suggest it to Starfleet Command.
Thank you Captain Picard, for everything. You are to proceed
to Starbase 153 for repairs and rest and relaxation. Once
again, you deserve it. Nakamura out."
[The Computer screen is filled with the Federation logo.]
Picard: [aloud, but to himself] "Don't thank me, thank Tarkin. I did nothing.
He risked his life, all for the honor of the Empire."
[Pull camera away slowly, leaving through one of the windows, so that we can
see the saucer section of the _Enterprise_. The mournful ending theme music
is playing quietly.]
Well, that is the end, I hope you enjoyed it!
Thanks to everyone who contributed ideas, suggestions, comments, and flames.
I could not have done this without you all!
And to Gene Roddenberry, whereever he is now, thanks for reminding all of us
that the future is ours to develop, anything that we dream cam happen.
Thank you, Gene.
-Peter M. Brown
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