Enterprise: The First Adventure | Chapter 19 of 22 - Part: 1 of 15

Author: Vonda N. McIntyre | Submitted by: Maria Garcia | 2193 Views | Add a Review

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Chapter 12

THE DIRECTOR OF the oversight committee, pacing the command balcony of his fleet’s flagship, tossed aside the reports from his myriad of spy probes. In the past, he might have found their information intriguing. In the future, he might review it and use it to eliminate or co-opt the petty thieves and smugglers and the minor traitors it had exposed. So far, though, the information gave him nothing that he wanted.

“Sir—!” His adjutant hurriedly saluted. “The captain begs your attendance.”

“More reports?”

“We’ve reached the Phalanx, sir.”

The flagship captain hovered over the sensor stations, astounded by their findings but not quite ready to believe them.

“The Federation has broken all agreements, tacit and stated, signed and unsigned. This is no natural phenomenon! It can have no purpose but as a staging area for war!” He turned in awe to the director. “Sir ... our intelligence had no hint of this. How did you know?”

The director had spent his career taking credit for whatever would benefit him, even when it meant disguising luck, or lies, or uncertain information as preternatural knowledge.

“I may not speak of state secrets,” he said.

“Of course, director, I understand—please pardon me.”

“What of the captured prototype?” the director said, trying to sound indifferent.

“What?” The captain’s expression slowly gained [296] comprehension. “The new fighting ship? Oh, it’s there, director. This is its sensor signature.” He pointed out a small set of speckles among an enormous pattern. His brow ridges darkened with excitement. “We’ll soon punish the Federation for its arrogance.”

The director regarded the image, wondering if the fleet captain really believed the Federation responsible for what they had found, or if he were being ingenuous. The director knew the Federation had nothing to match this.

The display extended across the width of the command balcony. Its insubstantial edges flowed around the director, the captain, and the adjutant like a flood around small islands, and still it could barely contain the image of the incredible alien starship.

 

On the bridge of the Enterprise, Chief Engineer Scott uneasily occupied the command position. He had only a little time left before he would have to make the decision about pulling back. His orders left him no leeway. He worried about the shuttlecraft. He had no faith in Mr. Sulu’s piloting ability after his performance back at Spacedock.

Dr. McCoy came out of the lift.

“Dr. McCoy,” Scott said, “should ye no’ stay in bed? Ye look terrible.”

“Thanks,” McCoy said. “I’m glad to know I look better than I feel.” His smile was sickly. “It hurts just as bad lying down as standing up, so I might as well know what’s going on.” He rubbed his eyes, his temples. “Mr. Spock has a lot to answer for, when Jim brings him back.”

“If Captain Kirk brings him back.”

At the helm, Pavel Chekov tried to convince himself he did not want to yawn. He usually stood low watch, during quiet late-night hours. Today he had been called out of sound sleep to take Mr. Sulu’s post at the Enterprise’s helm. He was not yet quite awake.

He detected signals headed straight toward Enterprise, and adrenaline wiped away every wish for slumber.

“Mr. Scott—unidentified ship—no, ships—at scanner limits! Heading toward us, toward worldship, at high warp factor. From Klingon Empire!”

[297] “Thank ye, Mr. Chekov,” Commander Scott said. He waited.

“Scotty, you’ve got to warn Jim!”

“Nay, doctor—’twould alert the fleet that Copernicus is within their realm. If we’re silent ... perhaps they’ll no’ detect the shuttlecraft.”

The Klingon fleet dropped from warp-speed to normal space and swept toward the worldship.

Scott held the Enterprise steady at the farthest edge of Federation space. The worldship drifted deeper into the Empire’s realm.

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Alice
Great book, nicely written and thank you BooksVooks for uploading

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