Flights of Fancy

Author: Kyle Bernard <csktech[at]>

Category: Crossover

Rating: PG-13

Keywords: None

Legalese: All characters with their respective rights, properties, and copyrights are the property of their respective creators, authors, owners, producers, and agencies. These characters are used without permission. No copyright infringement is intended or meant, and no money will be made from this story. This story may be copied in its entirety, and may be distributed as long as all copyright information remains.

This is not official, just something I'm playing with.

Chapter 1

Sitting in the left hand seat Montgomery Scott scowled at the control panel The message he'd just received had left a bad taste in his mouth "Fleet Auxiliary Goddard, Captain's log, Stardate, 46725.3 Montgomery Scott recording, Since leaving the Enterprise sixth months ago I've been traveling around revisiting certain stops from the original voyages of the original Enterprise, Now I have to confess that the changes in the last seventy five years have been impressive from a technological strand point but I canna say I approve of all of them.."

Scotty mashed down on the record button, "I canna say I approve of many of'em If I'm honest with meself. That blasted Admiral Jellico, who the hell is he to tell me that if I'm flying Starfleet property than I hafta accept Starfleet missions when it's convenient. Convenient for who? Not bloody me that's for Damn for sure!" He patted the shuttle's arm rest fondly, "Well there's no avoid'en it lass, we are back in Starfleet, wither we like it or not." He punched the record button again, with more force that was necessary, continued, "Per Starfleet orders I've entered the Omicron Delta system to begin a search for some missing craft. There have been reports of an old style space craft that have floated in and around this system for years. Four Months ago the USS Defiant was transiting the area and managed to get a verraa bad sensor scan. Without a doubt there is a ship in the area but Ill be damned if I'm not looking for a Flying Dutchman. My orders are to search the system till Starfleet can break another ship to relive me. And that was all the bloody admiral could tell me."

Scotty wandered back to the food replicator and ordered a light dinner. Returning to the cockpit he checked the flight instruments and made a few minor adjustments to the Goddard's course.

"Computer, begin a passive Ion scan of the surrounding system."

"A complete passive scan will require seven months and 13 day to complete."

"Aye," Scotty sighed, the voice of the computer sill reminded the old engineer of Nurse Chapel. "Let's speed that up just a wee bit. limit the initial scan to the asteroid belt of this system."

"New search parameters will require 17 hours and 54 minutes to complete."

"They you'd best be at it now. Initialize scan with specified parameters."

The next few days were frustrating for the semi-retired Starfleet engineer. Search and rescue wasn't an uncommon task for a Federation Starship, but the lack of progress left Scotty feeling beaten and battered. The initial search had turned up over two hundred possible contacts and each one had to be checked out individually. The factor that complicated the search was that all of the more positive contacts we located well inside of the system asteroid belt.

It hadn't helped his mood when Admiral Jellico had messaged him with the news that the Goddard would be the only ship in the area for at least three weeks. <The Blasted Admiral couldna even take the time to speak with me hisself, Leave a bloody message>. "Bahhh," he groaned out loud He hadn't slept in three days, which left him in a mood that his old shipmate would have called grouchy.

"Computer, Time to next contact," He asked in a weary voice.

"At current speed 4 hours and 27 minutes," The computer replied in a nearly toneless voice.

"Can we increase speed to one tenth impulse?"

"That action would violate Starfleet safety policy and flight rules."

"I dinna ask for a lecture on the rules you blasted infernal machine," Scotty muttered to himself. "Aye that that it would, but calculate shield strength. At that velocity would the shield have at least a fifty percent chance of maintaining integrity?"


Scotty called up the navigation charts of the system. "Well No wonder lass. I must be getting old; we've been going against the drift rate the whole bloody time. Recalculate shields on the assumption that we change course and reenter the asteroid belt and go with the flow so to speak?"

"Shields would be sufficient. However the time required exiting the asteroid belt and reentering would exceed previous estimated time of arrival."

"And doesn't that just figure?" Scotty let out a big sigh, "Continue on present course and wake me in four hours. I've got to get some sleep."

The alarm klaxon woke Scotty from a deep sleep. "Computer report," He exclaimed in a sleep filled voice.

"We are being scanned by gravimetric sensors."

"Location," Scotty asked, yelling against the noise of the alarm

"Seventeen thousand kilometers from target number 131."


"Unknown at this time."

"Kill the bloody alarm, full scan."

While he watched the scan in progress on the monitors Scotty killed the engines of the Goddard letting her proceed on inertia alone. He had no longer taken his finger off the power control when the computer reported, "Gravimetric scan had ceased."

"Aye, Ill just bet it has. Makes sense now. If I were a ship in an asteroid, I'd be scanning for anything that was overtaking me too." Scott cleared his voice, "Proceed on reaction thruster only, bring us in nice and slow."

It was only a few minutes later when the Goddard came to a rest. Scotty fell back in his seat, "Would ya look at that. Where is Jim Kirk when you need him?" The ship, which had been concealed by several huge asteroids, was painted dead black and the curved lines were a thing of beauty.

Filling the view screen was a ship that was huge by Federation standards. Computer, can yea identify it?"

Negative, there is no ship in the databanks that matches this profile. Sensors indicate that power and life support are present."

"Can you identify its power source?"

"That information is classified."

That statement rocked Scotty back in his chair. "Computer," he said in his classic accent which was made worse by frustration with the situation, "I'm a Captain of a Federation starship, she might be small but WE," he accented the word we, "Have been recalled to duty, so per Starfleet regulations, section 13, override security protocols and identify the power source.

It took the computer half a second to worm her way through the overriding priorities, in the end she answered, "The ship has a Naquada power source."

"Now I know yea've gone off the deep end, that's a bloody myth."

"The existence of Naquada was confirmed by Major Samantha Carter in 1997. All references have been omitted from all unclassified Starfleet computers. Access to this information is limited to ship's Captains and above."

"Oh bloody hell."

Captain's log, Stardate, 46725.7; the discovery of the unknown ship has left us hanging here in space. I've tried to contact Starfleet Command but there is and energy shield that is blocking any transmission. Attempts to leave under impulse and warp drive have failed. I don't know if it's the same field that prevents us from leaving on not and at this point it truly doesn't matter. I've no choice but to beam over to that ship and find out if its possible to deactivate it or not. Failing that, I've started modifying the Goddard's transporter so that in a worse case scenario I can once again store myself until some sort of rescue mission arrives. I've left detailed instructions on how to reverse the procedure; I can't count on someone like Geordi LeForge coming along a second time. Hopefully it won't come to that.

Scotty strapped a transporter control unit to his left arm. "Computer if you receive an emergency beam out command, activate program Scotty Alpha One and power down to lowest maintenance level, acknowledge command."

"Command is acknowledged and running."

"Well then, that it. Here goes nothing, Energize."

Scotty had barely finished materializing, when he was greeted, in perfect English, by a young looking man wearing a black uniform. "Welcome aboard the Atlantis Captain Scott, I'm Tau Ri, the ships AI."

Chapter 2

The overly familiar greeting surprised Scotty for a few seconds; he stood there studying the young man the stood before him. The darkly clad AI reminded Scotty of a young Pavel Chekhov without the awkwardness. He felt a quiet strength that emanated from the Captain of the Atlantis.

Scotty stepped forward offering his hand, Montgomery Scott of the United Federation of Planets, Please to meet you Captain Ri."

"You misunderstand me Captain Scott; I'm not the Atlantis's captain. I'm her computer.

"Ya have me at a wee disadvantage lad."

"I'm a holographic interface. My people found that information was assimilated better when it was presented by a person rather than simply displayed on a screen. I was specifically designed to run the Atlantis."

Scotty covertly searched the hologram for the telltale flicker that occurred when a hologram was presented outside of the controlled circumstances of a holodeck, finding none he decided to treat the young man just as he presented himself. "And just who are your people lad?"

The AI hesitated for a few seconds. His scans of the shuttlecraft showed that the Federation, while technically advanced, was still years behind the Atlantians. Still the computer figured, they were both in the same bad situation and the odd of them getting out of it were extreme. "I was constructed on the world of Bacchus Prime. My people as you call them were the oldest colony of a race of humans.

Bacchus Prime, Stargate Control
(About the height of the Atlantian culture)

The motorized sound of the Stargate filled the room along with the nearly unique sound of the each of the sigils locking in as a connection was made, the operator, wearing the tattoos if the technical class, turned to the Hologram standing next to him, "Wormhole established with Earth."

The still water appearance of the Stargate exploded as the event horizon crashed into the room. Tau Ri, clad in the appearance of a Kine student was accompanied by the Captain of the Atlantis, Cha'trai.

"Incoming data transmission from Earth confirmed," The technician announced

Cha'trai stared directly at the gate. "Let's go meet your father Tau Ri."

Merlin's form was so completely defined that it even looked as if he'd stepped through the Stargate like any other Kine adept, when in fact he was still on Avalon, Which was only fair, Tau Ri was broadcasting from the currently unfinished Atlantis, two hundred mile above Bacchus.

The ancient AI greeted the pair, "Captain Cha'trai as always a pleasure." The AI's voice turned decidedly colder as he turned to his 'son,' System update please."

Tau Ri wasn't bother by his fathers tone, in fact, given that he'd been grafted from Merlin's programming he would have done the same thing in the same circumstances. Though they had started out essentially as twins, the eighty years that Tau Ri had been active while the Atlantis was under construction had caused him to form a completely different personality, just as the Kine council had hoped.

"Hull crystallization is at 99 percent. Life support systems have been installed and all primary, secondary and tertiary systems have been tested and certified for human use. Hyperspace engines have been installed and run statically run to confirm operation."

"And your systems Tau Ri?"

"I am well father." There was a hint of amusement in the young AI's voice. He knew that it grated on Merlin when people called him Tau Ri's father so the young man, like any son, wasn't above pulling his fathers chain a bit."

Merlin considered his son. Tau Ri was the best approximation to Merlin's coding and systems the Kine technology could create. He chosen carefully which of his memories and subroutines to include, Merlin raised an eyebrow, but said nothing, instead he turned back to Cha'trai, "Captain Cha'trai, I have your complete mission specs. I realize that the secrecy has been extreme but when you see the mission you will understand the reasoning behind it. Perhaps it would be best if we went somewhere more secure."

"Of course," replied the tall woman, I've reserved the secure briefing room."

As the Captain turned, Merlin touched Tai Ri on his shoulder. The Younger AI's eyes lit up in surprise as the complete data package was transferred between the pair.

In the briefing room The Captain sat down while the pair of computer generated AI's stood. "Before we begin, let me pass on the apologies of the Kine council for keeping you in the dark, but it was thought best if this information didn't become generally known until after we had a solution in place. You and the Atlantis are that solution."

"Excuse my curiosity Merlin, but what could be so critical that the council would hide it from the people?"

"At current usage through out the colonies and at current mining rates unless other sources are found we will run out of Naquada in less than 150 years. Your mission is to find new sources and return them to Bacchus for distribution. You are authorized and eighty year mission span, if you fail to find new sources in that time frame you're to return and your remaining fuel will be used as an emergency reserve. Here are the additional resources that have been granted you…"

Tau Ri turned back to Scotty, "to answer your unasked question, we are, or were a mining ship. Like any culture we needed additional energy resources to fuel growth."

Scotty was growing concerned with the lack of any true information that he was getting from the ships AI, in his own manner he decided to tackle it head on. "Lad I think it would be best of perhaps if I spoke directly to your Captain."

"I wish that were possible Captain Scott. Captain Cha'trai and her crew have been held in medical stasis for more that 10,000 years and I'm afraid if immediately medical help isn't available when I open the stasis they will die within seconds. Until then, I'm all you have."

Scotty's face fell just a bit. "Well then I suppose we'd best get some help on the way now shouldn't we. Id ya'd lower the capture field that surrounds meship I can have a starship here within a few weeks."

If an AI could look worried, Tau Ri accomplished that task remarkably. "I wish that were possible Captain Scott, The Atlantis is not responsible for that field. In fact we are trapped here just as you are, and have been for thousands of years."

Chapter 3

Captain's log, Supplemental: I've returned to the Goddard and disabled the transporter program. With the news that both the Goddard and the Atlantis are stuck here in this space I've made the decision to try and help free the Atlantis and by doing so, the Goddard as well. After consulting with Tau Ri, I've decided that we simply don't know enough about whatever force is holding us both in place. Thought I know the risks and the chances of the Goddard escaping and small I've decided to run a controlled experiment.

Scotty stopped the log entry and turned to the assigned task. "Computer Id like complete diagnostics on both the warp drive and the impulse engines"

"Impulse and warp engines are at 100 percent."

"Computer, override warp drive safety systems, Set course 001 mark 021, maximum warp on my command."

"Command authorization required for safety override."

Command override authorized, authorization, Scotty alpha zero thirty two, delta gamma whisky, override."

"Override acknowledged all systems to your command"

Scotty sat down in the pilot's seat. "Stand by." He reached for the comm button, "Goddard to Atlantis, are ya ready lad?"

Tau Ri appeared in the center console monitor, "All sensors are ready Mr. Scott."

"Call me Scotty lad, if'n we're working together call me Scotty, everyone does."

"Very well, Scotty. I have doubts on the usefulness of this plan. I have tried this many times over the years with no results."

Scotty glanced over at the image of Tau Ri, "Basic science lad, change the conditions of the test, yea've never had another ship here to try while you record the results and right noow we certainly don't have enough information to even guess what might be causing this dead zone in space. I wish Mr. Spock were here, now there was a sharp man," He mumbled to himself. "Test commences in thirty seconds, Goddard out."

Scotty sat back in the seat and waited, "Computer maximum power to the structural and inertia fields, Engage."

The power indicators on the control panel spiked, but the small shuttle remained motionless. Scotty ran a finger across the coolant system control; balance the settings against the increased work load. A low moan began to roar in the cabin and the warp drive fought against whatever force was holding it in place.

A loud klaxon filled the cabin accompanied by the computer, "Warning, Warp drive power has exceeded 120 percent of rated output, Containment breach in 15 seconds."

"Reroute all emergency power to the containment systems." Scotty mad a fast calculation in his head, "and divert Life support and 15 percent of structural power there as well." He watched as the containment warning alert started counting upwards, when it reached 27 percent he let loose with a sigh of relief.

That relief was short lived as the computer announced that warp drive power now at 137 percent of design parameters and the containment power began counting down rapidly. The warning was unnecessary, the Goddard had begun tossing about like a life boat in a hurricane.

Scotty was thrown from his seat. "Computer," he shouted against the combined noise of the engines and the warning klaxon, "Emergency shut down, now."

The cabin of the Goddard went dark, leaving Scotty looking out over the asteroid field. A few seconds later the main cabin lights came back on. Scotty reached over and rerouted the previously borrowed power back to the primary systems. He sat in the silent cockpit until the computer rebooted, "Emergency shut down successful. Engines may be restarted when cooled, estimated time, 30 minutes."

"Aye Lass, I was sorry to hafta done it to ya." He patted the console gently, but yea came through like a champion."

Thirty minutes later all of the Goddard's systems were back and running, leaving Scotty feeling very relieved. "Lass I want a level seven diagnostic on all systems, lets find out if we broke anything."

"Level Seven diagnostics initiated, completion time, 34 hours."

"Aye," Scotty conceded, "If ya need me I'll be over on the Atlantis."

Chapter 4

Scotty materialized on the bridge of the Atlantis. "Well lad" he said as he strolled over to the rear work station, inwardly impressed just how much Tau Ri's attitude reminded him of the way Mr. Spock used to work.

"I'm currently analyzing the data. To be honest I don't see any appreciable differences from previous scans."

"Damn, I was hoping something would happen." Scotty's face turned pensive, he wasn't sure how Tau Ri would react to his next question. "Look lad, perhaps if yea let me see the previous scans of the asteroid field, the ones before the lass were caught in this tangle foot would be of some use."

"I'm afraid that's impossible."

Before Tau Ri could continue, Scotty interrupted, "Lad there seem to be a lot of impossible things going on around here," he said in a darker tone.

Scotty's tone wasn't lot on the AI. "Scotty… there wasn't and asteroid field here when we entered the system. The seventh planet exploded. Perhaps I should explain."

"I think that would a damnnn good idea."

Aboard the Starship Atlantis
Mission launch plus 23 years

Captain Cha'trai sat in the captain's chair and watched her crew work. Below her, in two tiers were the pilot and copilot on the lowest level. Above and behind them were the navigator and systems stations, the captain sat directly behind the second tier, her chair centered so she could observe. Behind her, the auxiliary stations which could back up the primary ones and the mission specific workstations. At the moment, all the lower levels were manned, and Tau Ri was at the auxiliary science station.

"Navigator, position report please," The captain's voice was a motherly whisper. After so long in space, and working together for years even before launch, the crew knew their captain, the words were more of a formality.

"Leaving orbit of planet seven for planet six, ETA four hours," The navigator's soft voice belied her skill. No one that met Lytrisha would ever suspect that she was a crew member of a starship; she looked more like and exotic dancer than a high skilled member of the Kine.

"And about freaking time," The copilot added. "There wasn't enough Naquada on seven to blow my nose."

Lytrisha looked down on the copilot, "Del, just because you didn't get to dig one of the Hammerheads out doesn't mean that it was a complete waste of time. We found massive reserves of gold, uranium, so what if it's a bit chilly."

"A bit chilly she says," Del crumpled a coffee cup up and tossed it at the navigator, "Ly… news update, you can scoop oxygen up with a snow shovel on that planet… that's a little bit more than chilly."

Lytrisha casually tossed the coffee cup over her shoulder where it landed in the trash disposal. The Captain allowed the easy back and forth banter between the crew because she knew that it was simply something to do during the long hours in space.

"Entering orbit around planet six captain." The pilot rarely spoke while on duty, when he did it was always something that concerned 'his' ship.

"Thank you Conn." Cha'trai turned back to the science station, "Tau Ri, please give me passive planetary scans."

The scanners on the Atlantis began listening and scanning on every frequency that was imaginable. Tau Ri was careful not to let anything active go out just yet. A misunderstand a few years back, led to a hard learned lesson, nearly leading the Atlantis into a war that she really wasn't equipped to fight. Thankfully the Captain had managed to convince the locals that a gravimetric scan wasn't a weapon.

The crew stared at the screen blankly, all sharing the same sickening feeling. They knew what Tau Ri's report would say; the bomb craters were big enough to be seen from space. "Essentially a dead world Captain, Tau Ri, said in a dead pan tone. "The planet was an earth style world, completely destroyed. The atmosphere has been completely ripped away. No back ground radiation, though there is a minor EM signature coming from the third moon."

"Thank you Tau Ri. Conn, bring us within 30,000 Kilometers of the third moon.

"Aye Captain."

"Tau Ri, I want to know where that EM signature is as soon as possible, go to active scans"

Tau Ri initiated a full scan then became oddly quiet. "Tau Ri?"

"Captain I've lost the EM reading and now I'm getting an unknown radiation emanating from the planet. Lethal levels in two minutes minutes."

"Conn Get us out of here." The words were barely out of her mouth when the planet exploded, sent chunks everywhere. The Atlantis was partially shielded by the moon, but did not escape unscathed. The lower hull was fractured. But only pure luck held the ship together as she escaped into the shadow of the moon.

Cha'trai slammed the all call button. "This is the Captain, All personal to stasis units." She turned to Tau Ri, "She's all yours, do your best to keep us alive."

Starship Atlantis
Current date

"Holy Mother of God lad, he did yea manage to survive?"

"As the planet broke up the moon also fractured, the pieces shielded the ship. It was then I discovered that all the propulsion systems were not responding."

Scotty smiled, "well lad yea've done well for yourself, I think I may have an answer to one of our mysteries."

Chapter 5

"Lad can ya give me a display of the space surrounding the Goddard, say 100,000 kilometers." A small scale holographic display appeared just above the console. Scotty leaned down, resting his elbows on the console. Only small bits of the ships were visible from that angle, both ships were obscure by bits of the asteroid field. "Lad give us a view from the top."

The star field rotated, giving Scotty a better idea of what was in the surrounding space. "Aye… now the pieces fit." Then more to himself, "What I don't understand is how ye managed to escape with so little damage. Ya seem to be in perfect shape."

The ship didn't escape Scotty. Watch this, the star field disappeared and a small representation of the Atlantis took its place. Thought it would be hard to tell that it was the same ship. Massive cracks crisscrossed the hull which was also scorched carbon black, dulling the high gloss finish of the hull. "Only our structure fields held the ship together," Tau Ri said emotionlessly. "If the Captain had delayed ordering the crew to the stasis there would be no life aboard the Atlantis. All the environmental systems were compromised. Now watch this," slowly the holoimage changed. First the scorch marks disappeared. Then, slowly the cracks in the hull began to close. Finally the lights on the bridge reappeared

Scotty stood there feeling both jealous and outdated, "Well I'll be a monkey's Uncle, a self repairing starship."

"Not all is as it seems. What you've just seen was 7,000 years of constant repair work. The hull was recrystallized, but it was a painfully slow method. The tools were originally designed to deal with micro fractures that occurs on any ship that has been in space for more that a few years, it was never envisioned that it would be used in this way."

Scotty nodded his head, "But given enough time, anything is possible. Good work lad. Now let's see if we can find the Sassenach bastard that keeping us here. Lad do ya think you could make this console a wee bit more understandable to me."

"Of course Scotty," the AI answered. The science console blurred even faster than a human eye could follow and in its place was what looked like a standard Federation science station."

"Thank yea lad, I like to be just a wee bit hands on if ya know what I mean." Scotty's hands flew over the console, recalling the asteroid field. "Now, if I'm correct the bastard is hiding verraa close."

"But I've scanned every inch of every object within my sensor range."

"Aye and I have no doubts that yea've done your best, but what we have here is a dead man's switch. You and your ship were lead into a cleaver trap lad. The EM signal you picked up, that… that was the bait for sure and I'll bet the brass off me buttons he is hiding on one of these."

Scotty enlarged the image, magnifying the area directly surrounding the Atlantis and the Goddard. "Now see if my logic tracks, It was the active gravimetric scan that triggered the explosion, so whoever set this trap was used to such technology and if we follow that, perhaps they have a way of shielding themselves from a scan, but I don't think their as smart as they believed." Scotty fingers flew over the panel changing some settings and creating new ones. "Me old history teacher would be proud. Lad can ye modify your scanners, what Id like to do is send out a gravimetric ping of 3000th of a second and then listen on passive sensors for the bounce back, it may not tell us where he is, but when we find a dead zone, dollars to doughnuts we've found him.

"Modifications complete," Tau Ri reported. The bad news is that I only have a five degree, what did you call it, a ping zone? The scans will require a long time.

"Time laddy is something we have plenty of. Start with these bastards," Scotty jabbed his finger at the three largest asteroids nearest the Atlantis, "I'm betting that's where we will find'em."

Chapter 6

Scotty found himself dumbfounded when he saw the engine room of the Atlantis. He spent the next few hours looking at every monitor, switch, and fiber optic cable, everything that he didn't have to take apart; though he was sorely tempted in the case of the Hyper drive got a close inspection from his critical eye.

In the center of the room was a chamber that surrounded a glowing pale blue crystal that was the size of a small tangerine. The housing of the crystal reminded Scotty of the old style dilithium chambers of the Constitution class starships.

His eyes flickered over to the display on the wall. <Aye now that makes perfect sense, power distribution and cooling.>

Behind the chamber Scotty found a series of controls that had no direct correlation. "Tau Ri," he started, "what do these little buggers do."

"Those are the multiphasic field controls; they are the heart of the Hyperspace engines. Power from the Naquada generator is fed through the crystal chamber and is returned at the specific power setting multiplied by the required factor." Tau Ri was being intentionally vague.

"Wait a second lad," the engineer bristled. "Matter and antimatter canna exceed a one to one ratio, that's a fact of physics.

The Atlantis's AI smiled with a humor that Scotty didn't believe. "Your physics Scotty… not ours, now let me explain…"

Tau Ri answered his questions with the patience of a saint. He translated control panels for the Starfleet engineer

"Laddie, I hae to admit that I'm impressed; If you're a freighter I'd dearly love to see what a ship of the line would look like."

"Scan completed," Tau Ri announced.

Scotty raised his head from the technical manual that Tau Ri had translated. Scotty wasn't sure if he'd ever understand how the hyperspace engines worked but he was having a bonnie time reading about it and the challenge was feeding his curiosity with a vengeance. "Well lad, any hits?"

"Perhaps it would be better if I showed it to you? The AI asked.

"Aye, I'll be right up," Scotty said as he turned the monitor off and headed for the lift.

When Scotty arrived at the bridge Tau Ri had a hologram of the third closest asteroid floating above the rear science station. The hologram showed an undefined section near the center of the lifeless rock.

"Well what hae yea found?"

There is a twelve meter void in the center of what appears to be the remains of the moon. The only thing we know is that there is a void there. It could be just an empty cavern."

A scowl formed on Scotty's face "Noow that's a bit unlikely. How could a void escape a sensor scan from both our ships? That's the place all right," He said with conviction. "We are gonna hae to go over and take a look."

"I can not support such a risky plan. We have no idea of what the cavern contains, nor do we know if there is an atmosphere that will support life."

"Aye," Scotty conceded. "I think we'll have to dump a tricorder in there and hope it can break through the stealth field. If not, I'll suit up and jump in feet first so to speak. Let's get to work lad."

"Scotty beamed back aboard the Goddard. He searched the various storage bins for the most powerful tricorder that he had. With a brisk efficiency he removed the power pack and quickly modified it to accept pack from a phaser. With the increased power the tricorder should be able to broadcast through the solid rock that surrounded the void. Scotty placed the modified tricorder on the transporter and tapped his comm badge, "Goddard to Atlantis, are yea ready lad?"

"Scanners are set to highest sensitivity," the AI broadcast.

"Energizing now," Scotty said as he ran his fingers across the panel. The hum of the transporter filled the shuttle and the tricorder shimmered into its component molecules and faded away. "Transport completed, begin your scans."

Using the scanners for Tau Ri was like listening and looking to a human person. There was a background noise that sounded like static on a radio but to Tau Ri it was like listening to a concert though a noisy crowd. "I'm getting an intermittent signal. There seems to be an oxygen atmosphere with somewhat higher levels of nitrogen than humans are used to but…" The signal died before Tau Ri could finish his point. "Signal lost."

"Damn, did you get anything else?"

"Just some basic environmental information, whoever or what even built the base was at least close to humans physically. Oxygen and temperatures are within human limits but my readings indicate the void is at zero degrees centigrade."

Scotty let loose an uncontrollable shudder. "Aye, I'll nay be wearing me kilt when I beam down. Lad have yea given any consideration on what we can do to end this threat. If yea are a mining ship, I assume that yea have some high explosives that can be employed if needed."

"I have a large inventory of explosives, from conventional to Naquada warheads…."

Scotty grinned, "That'll do the trick alright."

"But release of any explosive requires human intervention."

"Well show me the way laddy."

"Mr. Scott," The AI hesitated, "It requires authorized intervention."

Scotty's shoulders slumped when he realized what Tau Ri was getting at. "Well it never rains, but it pours. I'm sure I can whip something up when the time comes, for now, its past time to see what we've been fighting."

Scotty now dressed in the heavy winter uniform and wearing the heavy jacket he'd been wearing when the Jenolan had crashed on the Dysons, sphere transported into the void. Bathed in complete darkness, Scotty ignited one of the emergency lights and tossed it to his left. A second light went to the right. In the dull reflected light the engineer found what he hoped he would, on the far wall a large screen, surrounded by controls of some kind sat there, blank and dead looking.

"Scott to Atlantis, Looks like we've found the bastards, now if I can only find which of these panels are working."

Scotty advanced to the control panel and began a minute inspection of each switch and control. Even after searching for a half hour, Scotty was no closer to finding the answer. In the background a high pitch squeal sounded, it was the warning that the lights were about to expire. "Blasted things," he swore as the room went pitch black again.

Scotty fumbled in the dark as he felt for more emergency lights. He elbow inadvertently hit one of the controls and the screen came to life. The universal translator kicked in as the humanoid began to speak

"My enemies, the being, dressed in a military uniform began, "If you are watching this, than my people have failed and my world in now under your control. Once you were our children, sent off to explore and to make your own world, instead you've returned not in triumph but as conquers, I can not help but feel that we failed you. Enjoy your victory, for it shall not last long."

Scotty hung his head in sadness, "Well lad that explains it," He said into the comm link.

"I don't understand."

Scotty let out a big sigh. "I've seen it before. A planet established a colony and over time the child begins to resent the parent." Remembering the surface that the Atlantis's scan had displayed, "The wee lads didn't even scan the planet. The just bombed it and left, never bothering to try and talk peace."

"So when the captain ordered the active scan we triggered the last ditch weapon."

"Aye, the capture field was meant to hold anyone in orbit while the world took its last revenge."

"Scotty… that makes no sense."

"To you, no. but to them it does, they would rather kill of the entire race then face defeat. Pride certainly does go before the fall. Get me out of here lad, there's nothing more we can do."

Scotty beamed aboard the Atlantis, he had an idea that would allow them to destroy the asteroid and escape the capture field but there were problems, major ones. Over the next few hours, both Tau Ri and Mr. Scott worked on the problems. The first, getting the Goddard into the Atlantis's shuttle bay without a working engine was solved using compressed gas cylinders.

Once the cylinders were mounted and positioned correctly, it was only a matter of controlling the bursts of gas, a rather handy demonstration of Newton's third laws of physics. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction, thus new thrusters for the Goddard were born.

It was Newton's first law that could have given them problems, once the Goddard started moving they needed to be able to stop it once they got her in the shuttle bay. That was handled by the Atlantis's artificial gravity field. As the Goddard floated through the bay doors, Tau Ri applied a 3 tenths gravity, an outside force, and the Goddard settled down softly.

"A nice piece of work lad, noow it's up to me." Scotty dug around in the port side nacelle, scrounging parts from different systems. When he was done three hours later he had a ugly, but serviceable magnetic bottle. He carefully extracted the anti-matter from the warp drive of the Goddard and carefully moved the bottle inside of the Goddard.

"Tau Ri, are you ready? Remember that if this works we need to enter hyperspace within .004 seconds or we'll be swallowed by the whale."

"Calculations are complete and I'm standing by."

"Energizing…. Now!"

Captains Log, Stardate. 46725.8: Montgomery Scott recording. The antimatter bomb that I transported into the void did the trick. The asteroid was destroyed and both the Atlantis and the Goddard are intact. Without a power source for her warp drive the Goddard is dead in the water so we are proceeding into federation space. Tau Ri has expressed some concern that he will be confiscated by the federation and that his crew will be held in stasis rather than revived. I hae to admit, that knowing Jellico's record these are valid worried, to that end we are proceeding at sub-warp speed while I try and contact the Enterprise. Failing that, Tau Ri has insisted that we return to Bacchus Prime. I can see his point, but so far he has refused my request for any star maps of that system. I suppose we will take the future as it comes. Scotty out!

The End


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