The Endeavor was tasked with finding a freighter that had gone missing for several days. They discovered it unpowered and adrift. Commander Slayer beamed over with a team of technicians and medical staff in EVA suits. They discovered that everyone aboard was deceased from a variety of bizarre causes. The engines were too damaged to restart, but the technicians were able to restore limited power. Removing their suits, they performed a more thorough examination of the corpses. Taking the ship in tow, Endeavor left a group aboard the freighter to continue repairs, and beamed the rest back.
Within hours, a large number of accidents were reported on both vessels. Crewmen had abandoned their posts, fights and injuries were reported. Admiral Frennier found Ensign Pulver weeping over his recently deceased mother, and it was a struggle to subdue him and take his knife away. Leading the young man down to Sickbay, the Admiral discovered the place in chaos. Wild music was playing, crewmen danced about, and Chief Nurse Klemash was doing an erotic strip tease on top of the central biobed. Admiral Frennier tried in vain to get Doctor Dobiz Ran to regain control of his staff, but he was lost in a Betazoid song before finally passing out. Frennier strapped the young ensign onto the nearest bed and went back out into the hall.
The admiral leaned against the wall. He was sweating profusely, and his hands were shaking.
Suddenly, he was wearing his gold ensign’s uniform. He was in the cave while the ionic storm thundered outside. The Narvox alien was lying under the silver Starfleet blanket, his injuries tended as best as a tactical ensign could do. He was dying, and they both knew it. Ensign Frennier had wanted to go out and find the rest of his shuttle party, but in this storm, even if he did, he doubted if he could ever find the cave again. They talked about space exploration and dreams, and the young human spoke with passion about the Federation. Finally, the alien smiled at him. “Thank you. Thank you for making my final hours so pleasant. I would very much have liked to see your Federation of worlds. Do not weep, my young friend. I am ancient, and the last of my kind. I have seen such wonders, but it is time to go to my rest. Let me give you one last gift.” He held out his hand. Ensign Frennier took the long fingers in his. The cave filled with light and the crackling sound of energy.
Admiral Frennier stumbled down the hallway. Taking a turbolift, he somehow made it to his quarter’s deck. Weaving down the hall, he staggered into his room.
Now sights and sounds flooded into his mind. Phasers and photon torpedoes firing. T’vel on Mount Seleya looking deeply into his eyes, saying, “This is my first pon farr.” Crewman thrown back and forth as the sounds of disruptors impacted the shields. Making it to the end of his Ascension Ceremony, Gorkon standing over him. “Today, you are truly a Klingon Warrior; I am proud to welcome you into my House.” He plunged the pain stick right into Frennier’s chest. Burning Tholian ships twisting slowly in space as the Assembly begged the Federation Council for a truce. Fighting with an artificial dewclaw to defend Slayer-of-Animals’ honor in Kzin space. Vowing to eat the hearts of his murderers over the broken body of Gorkon. Sheliak, Breen, Orions, Cardassians, and a hundred other foes. Azetbur telling him that they could no longer be together as she was now Chancellor, and taking Brigadier Kerla instead. And over it all, the sound of countless klaxons blaring Red Alert. D’k tahg in hand, he had to stop the noise.
The door opened, and Commander Thyriss strode in, her ushaan-tor clutched in her grip, blood lust in her eyes.
“I have found you at last, Admiral, skulking in your quarters. I am the best warrior on this ship. All have fallen to my blade today. Even your pussy cat lies unconscious in the hall. I have always wanted to test myself against you in true combat. Fight me.”
The admiral did not respond, lost in his own nightmares.
“Fight me, Son of Kahless!” Thyriss slashed open his tunic, his hot blood staining her arm.
The pain caused Admiral Frennier to leap up into a fighting stance. Another enemy had come. Let them all come.
Her spinning kick caught his head and he fell. Laughing with joy, Thyriss dove towards him, but he flipped her against the wall. Recovering quickly, she answered his Klingon roar with Andorian battle song, as red and blue blood flowed.
“Admiral, are you alright now?”
Frennier looked up and saw Commander Audruz, his Trill Science Officer, standing over him in an EVA suit. Several similarly dressed technicians moved about the room. He was lying in his bed.
“What? Who? What happened?”
“Sir, the freighter was infected with the Psi 2000 virus. As soon as I heard the symptoms the crew was experiencing, I donned an EVA suit and ordered my staff to do so as well. We have dispensed the cure to all crew members and are decontaminating the ship.”
“Excellent, Commander. I must get to the bridge.”
Commander Audruz gently held both of his shoulders. “I do not think so, Sir. You have several injuries. Lt. Commander Ujmed is in temporary command of the bridge. Also, um…”
Her head nodded towards the bed covers. Curious, the admiral raised the sheets, and saw her wide smile inside the helmet.
Lowering the covers, he said, “I understand, Commander. Lt. Cmdr. Ujmed has my full confidence. Tell her to carry on.”
“Aye, sir. Besides, we do not want to disturb Commander Thyriss.”
Admiral Frennier turned to his side, and saw the Andorian sleeping soundly.
He knew that Commander Audruz and her staff were laughing behind their glassy helmet covers.