Star Traks: Boldly Gone... was created by Alan Decker and Anthony Butler. It's based on Star Traks, which in turn is based on Star Trek, created by Gene Roddenberry. Star Trek is owned by CBS, Paramount and Viacom. If you're offended by mildly disturbing language, situations, and the utter disregard of some of Star Trek's greatest premises, not to mention a huge jump 120 years into Star Trek's future, better hit the 'Back' button on your browser right now. If not, welcome aboard!

Author: Alan Decker, Anthony Butler
Copyright: 2003

STAR TRAKS: BOLDLY GONE…

“Vacation Thirty-One”

By Alan Decker and Anthony Butler



As she hung from a particularly nasty cliff on the Icelandic planet of Nartoth, just outside of the Beta Quadrant, Rosalyn Bain realized suddenly that she’d forgotten her wedding anniversary.

“This virus will infect every planet in the Federation one by one until your whole corrupt enterprise is brought to its knees!” cackled Thoblo, one of Rosalyn’s many nemeses.

Thoblo was an Orion environmental activist gone bad, whom Rosalyn had been tracking for several months. It was only now, at the end of her search, that Rosalyn realized she should have called for backup. She wasn’t quite as spry as she was in her youth, and (unfortunately), in hand to hand combat with Thoblo, Rosalyn happened to dodge when she should have thrusted, and ended up hanging from a cliff, several hundred meters from the ground, thinking about her forty-fourth wedding anniversary.

“Trying to concoct a way out of this mess?” Thoblo taunted, kneeling down to face Rosalyn.

“Not exactly. Do you remember what the gift is for forty- four years? Is it tholidamyde or duridium?”

“I’m not sure what you’re talking about,” Thoblo said honestly.

“Or is it wax?”

“What?” Thoblo leaned forward a little more.

“I said you’re not going to succeed in your evil plans!” Rosalyn said suddenly, reaching up with one hand while she hung from the cliff with the other, dragging Thoblo down by the front of his jacket.

With gravity working against him, Thoblo tumbled forward, over Rosalyn’s shoulder, and plummeted downward, screaming all the way.

Rosalyn got her second hand-hold back and sighed, dangling. “Well, there’s one problem down. Now what to do about that anniversary…”


“Bloody peculiar,” Captain Reginald Bain said to himself as he stared at the twirling Starfleet Academy symbol on his holographic desk terminal.

“Problem, Captain?” Lt. Commander Tovar asked from the doorway to the Captain’s Lounge.

Bain looked up, startled. “How long have you been standing there, lad?”

“Several minutes,” Tovar said. “I didn’t want to interrupt your ultra-space call.”

“For what it’s worth, I appreciate it,” Bain sighed, leaning back.

Tovar stepped into the lounge. “I came by to report that we’ve reached spacedock at Femius Three and are preparing to undergo the sweep.”

Bain mumbled something that ended in “…bloody interstellar rodents,” then said, “Well, Mister Tovar, how long will it take to complete the sweep?”

“The engineers at Femius say it will take approximately four days.”

“Four days,” Bain said, shaking his head. “And for what?”

“A rather nasty infestation, sir.”

“Gerbils.”

“Not just regular gerbils, Captain. Interstellar gerbils.”

“Poppycock.”

“Need I remind you, they have fangs, can reproduce by incidental contact, and can exist in a vacuum.”

“Silly, fluffy little bastards.”

“They have infested the ship.” Tovar cleared his throat. “And, they, uh, bleed acid.”

Bain looked up. “What?”

“They bleed acid, sir.”

“You failed to mention that one, didn’t you?”

“Slipped my mind. Doctor Kasyov found that out when she dissected one this morning. Rather messy.”

Bain swiped a hand over his face. “We need to start the sweep immediately and evacuate the crew to the planet. Have accommodations been arranged?”

“Already done,” Tovar said. “And may I say the timing of this…infestation…is somewhat fortuitous, what with your impending anniversary. As it was, we would have been assigned to the Coremborus Belt and not been able to rendezvous with Mum in time. Now we, I mean you, can take a few days off to spend quality time with her.”

“Yes,” Bain nodded. He pointed to the spinning hologram on his desk. “Problem is, I can’t seem to get through.”

“What?”

“I’ve been told your Mum is on a field trip with her tactics class, somewhere in Sector 21808. I didn’t even realize Starfleet Academy cadets took field trips. Sure didn’t in my day. Then again, that was some years ago…”

“I see,” Tovar said, raising his eyebrow. “Sir, I just realized I have a large meal cooling …somewhere. I will be right back.”

“Certainly,” Bain said. “Oh, and thanks for reminding me about that anniversary. Can’t believe I nearly forgot the bloody thing.”

“You have a lot on your mind, Captain!” Tovar called over his shoulder as he dashed out of the lounge and down the corridor.


“You what?”

“Now, don’t get so emotional, son.”

“You nearly fell to your death!”

“If I had a credit for every time I nearly fell to my death…well let’s just say I wouldn’t need to work anymore.”

Tovar gritted his teeth at the hologram of Mrs. Bain on his desk. “You don’t have to work now!”

“Says who?”

Tovar sighed. “You realize that, because of this assignment, you’re going to miss your anniversary.”

“Rubbish. I’ll be right on time for it. I’ll rendezvous with you in three hours, at which time your father and I are going to enjoy a true vacation. Do you think you can arrange for him to get some time off?”

Tovar glanced around a bit. “I think I can manage that, Mum.”

“Good. See you soon, cherub!”


Captain Bain shifted from foot to foot as he stood on the Anomaly’s flight deck holding a large box, gift-wrapped in cobalt blue and tied with a yellow ribbon. Rosalyn’s favorite colors.

“I hope she likes it.”

“I think she will like anything coming from you,” Tovar said, standing next to Bain.

“As long as it isn’t a paperweight,” Shelly Marsden quipped, standing at the docking controls beside Bain and Tovar.

“A what?” Tovar asked.

“Ancient Earth gift,” Bain explained. “Used to hold down sheets of…well, things people wrote on before there were computers. Papers.”

“Ahh.” Tovar looked at Marsden. “And am I to take it this is the gift you received from Cole Anfibon?”

Marsden smouldered. “Yes. It had the Starfleet emblem on it. He thought it was ‘kitschy.’”

“How…retro of him,” Bain chuckled.

“Thoughtless is more like it,” Marsden frowned. “Then again, it’s only our five month anniversary. I suppose I shouldn’t be expecting a latinum tennis bracelet just yet.”

“This is foolish,” Bain said, staring at his box.

“I’m sure whatever you got her, she’ll adore it, “ Tovar said encouragingly.

“Forty-four years. What do you get for someone who’s managed to stomach you for forty- four years?”

Marsden stared at her readouts, watching as Rosalyn’s ship came in. “Forty-four? Wow…”

“Sounds like a lot of time, eh?” Bain asked.

“Yeah, I guess,” Marsden said. “I haven’t even been alive forty-four years.”

Bain slapped her on the back. “Well, here’s to hoping!”

Marsden grimaced. “Your wife’s landing, Captain.”

Bain looked up as a silver, dart-shaped vessel with swing- back nacelles glided into the shuttlebay and landed on the deck. The hatch near the front of the vessel opened, and Rosalyn Bain ducked out, tugging behind a small hovercart laden with luggage.

“Reggie!” Rosalyn called out, skipping down the platform. She glanced over her shoulder at the pilot. “Thank you, Ensign Chives! Good luck with the rest of that planetary survey mission!”

“Planetary survey. Right,” a voice muttered from within. And the sleek craft lifted off the shuttlebay floor and darted back into space.

Marsden whistled low. “High-warp ultra-shuttle. Mark Nine. I’ve seen some specs on those, but didn’t realize there were any in production.”

“It’s a prototype, dear, “ Rosalyn said, stepping up to embrace Bain and kiss him long and hard. “It’s so good to see you again, Reggie!”

Bain was transfixed by the dot in space left by the transport ship as Marsden hit the switch to have the bay doors close. “How did you manage a ride like that, dearest?”

“Starfleet R and D owes me a few favors,” Rosalyn said dismissively. “Now then, are you packed and ready or should we drop by your quarters first?”

Bain gestured to the opposite side of the bay. “The Titicaca is prepped and ready to go. I’m afraid it’s not quite what you’re used to, but…”

“Oh, bother, Reggie, I’m sure it’ll do just fine. Let’s get a move on, shall we?” And Rosalyn was already headed over to the raceabout, luggage in tow. Bain, then Tovar, tried to take it from her, but she shook them off. “Woman’s got to carry her own belongings, isn’t that right, Miss?”

Marsden looked around. “Who?”

“Miss…”

“Marsden. Um, Lieutenant Marsden.”

“Well, you know a bit about being independent, I imagine.”

“I…guess.”

“Never let a man carry your luggage. It’s a sign of weakness. I’ll send Reg back with some souvenirs for you all. I’m sure you’re all good workers. Bye now!”

“But…Mum…” Tovar stammered as Mrs. Bain ushered Captain Bain into the cockpit of the Titicaca.

“Tut-tut, Tovar. Your Father and I are about to enjoy a long-overdue vacation. No sense in prolonging the departure!”

Tovar frowned. “I guess not.”

“Now give your Mum a kiss.”

He leaned forward and pressed his lips to her cheek. “Be careful, Mum.”

“And why would I need to do that?” Rosalyn asked, ducking into the raceabout as Bain started the engines.

Tovar looked in at Bain through the side window. The Captain was smiling wider than Tovar had seen in some time. Tovar smiled back. The captain, more than anyone, deserved this.

“Interesting lady,” Marsden remarked as Tovar stepped up next to her, touching the control to reopen the shuttlebay doors.

“Indeed,” said Tovar as the Titicaca lifted off the deck.. “They make for a spectacular couple. I just hope nothing bad happens to them.”

“Why would you say a thing like that?” Marsden asked as Tovar watched the raceabout slide out of the shuttlebay.

“Past experience, Lieutenant. Past experience.”


“Ah, the beach!” Reginald Bain announced, stepping out of the seaside shanty and looking out over the crashing ocean as dawn broke over the horizon.

“I hear the temperature will get up to thirty-six degrees by midday,” Rosalyn remarked from behind Bain, as she brewed tea in the replicator. Celsius, of course.

“Smashing! Perhaps I’ll try out that surfboard whats-it that’s behind the shack.”

“Be careful. I don’t want you breaking your hip like you did when we went fireboarding on Bersallis Three.”

Bain rolled his eyes. “I’m made of sturdier stuff than that, dear.”

“Of course you are,” Rosalyn said gamely. “Tea?”

“First-rate.” Bain took the cup from Rosalyn and sat on the porch of the modest shanty, studying its wood-plank appointments. “I say, how did you come upon this little getaway?”

Rosalyn sipped her own tea thoughtfully. “It’s owned by, um, a friend at the Academy.” She couldn’t very well say it was a Section 31 safe house. No, not when Bain didn’t even know there was a Section 31. “It’s out of the way. Off the beaten path.” Equipped with sensor dampers and ultrared screens, she wanted to add, but didn’t.

“First-rate,” Bain said again, drinking his tea. “I do believe I will try out that surfboard today.”

“Don’t forget, we’re going for a beach walk in the afternoon. I’d like to explore some of the surroundings. I hear there’s a waterfall about a kilometer south of here.”

“That sounds like a grand idea. Maybe you could try out your anniversary present.”

Rosalyn blushed. “I daresay I won’t be wearing that thing in public, darling.”

“Does that mean you don’t like it?” Bain wondered.

“Quite the opposite,” Rosalyn cooed. “Or didn’t I make that quite evident last night?”

“Touche,” Bain said, and rose. “Very well, then. Time to hit the surf.”

“Please be careful, dear.”

“You know I’m always vigilant, Ros.”

“Right.”


Rosalyn sat reading her Betazoid gothic romance, glancing occasionally out the window to see Reginald navigating the waves on that silly board. Somehow, Rosalyn never quite could let her guard down.

Even now, on vacation, she was still alert, ready for danger.

What a silly notion. Maybe it was because she couldn’t quite stay retired. Maybe she had a need to be in the thick of things, constantly involved in the more dangerous missions. Maybe it was because Admiral Carn wouldn’t let her go. Maybe she craved the adventure, the risk, the pumping of adrenaline.

But when it came to her Reggie, she didn’t take chances. She knew that they were safe on Gulfbreeza. Thirty-one sent their most sought-after informants and agents in distress to Gulfbreeza. It was, for all intents and purposes, nonexistent. It didn’t appear on any space maps. It wasn’t detectable on long-range sensors. It was shielded from landing or beaming down, unless one happened to know the complicated meta-numeric four-dimensional access code. Even if you did beam down, unless you bore the proper genetic marking, you were held at bay in a force-field and the proper authorities were alerted.

Rosalyn had simply told Bain that the hypospray she administered to him was an inoculation against poisonous indigenous creatures, when actually it was actually the genetic marking. It carried with it the pleasant dividend of making Bain detectable to her sensors from four sectors away.

Bain seemed to welcome inoculation, since the Anomaly had recently been overcome by nasty vermin. Fortunate, Rosalyn thought, as she read her book.

“Hello, Rosalyn,” a voice suddenly said. It wasn’t anywhere near Reginald’s hearty brogue.

Rosalyn was immediately on her feet, her padd clattering to the floor. “Who’s there?” she demanded.

“An old friend. Actually, a friend of a friend.”

“You’ll have to be specific,” Rosalyn said, picking her padd back up. “I have a lot of friends.” She punched a few controls, and her romance novel disappeared from the screen, replaced by a powerful sensor mechanism. She immediately put it through its paces, attempting to detect whoever was near her. So far, nothing was showing up.

“You may have remembered my associate, a Mister Thoblo.”

“Ah, yes. He’s dead.”

“I know. I discovered the body.”

“Hrmph,” Rosalyn grunted. “I’m surprised it was recognizable.”

“It barely was!” the voice boomed.

Rosalyn’s brow furrowed. She still couldn’t track the signal.

“So how do you know our friend Thoblo?” she asked, keeping Reginald in sight as she moved around the shack, checking for booby-traps, sensors, or killer-probes.

“I’ve been working with him for years trying to find the right time to unleash the Botanical Retrovirus on the planets of the Federation. I will make sure Thoblo’s plan of destroying the Federation is brought to completion. I’ve grown tired of watching the Orion Environ Movement parlay for change with the Federation Council. We will make a true show of Orion might!”

“How do you expect to do that? I turned your retrovirus over to the Section Thirty-One science division. You can’t possibly hope to get your hands on it again.”

“I don’t need to get my hands on it, when you can just as easily get it for me.”

Rosalyn harrumphed. “Not bloody likely.”

“Then I’ll just go ahead and terminate your husband. Forty- four years is long enough to be married, don’t you think?”

“Don’t you dare!” Rosalyn snapped.

BOOOM!

She was out the door before she even felt her feet hitting the ground. At first she thought a storm had hit from out of nowhere, since water was torrenting down all around her. But soon that subsided, and she saw it was just an immense wave. She rubbed the saltwater from her eyes, scanning the beach for her husband. Then she saw the surf board, embedded in the beach, and a few lumps behind it.

She scrambled to the site where Reg was buried, furiously digging. He was face down, only an arm and leg and half a buttock sticking out of the sand. Rosalyn knew she didn’t have much time to get him out.

She dug and dug, finally turning him onto his back, pushing sand out of his face. “Reginald, honey…speak to me!”

Thankfully, he was conscious. “Dear? That was one bugger of a wave!”

“We’re getting out of here,” Rosalyn said. “This resort, obviously, is unsafe.”

“Nonsense! We’re Bains. We’ll stick it out. It was just a wave. A minor tumble.”

“Let’s go to Risa Six instead,” Rosalyn said, pulling Bain up by his hand. “I need to be around people.”

“I thought you said you wanted some seclusion?” Bain grinned.

“I changed my mind. Can’t a lady change her mind?”

Bain rubbed his chin. “I suppose. Still, I was just getting to like this place.”

“You’ll like Risa Six too, trust me. I know some out of the way places there. Let’s just go! Don’t forget your present…that pocket watch, or whatever, that I got you! Priceless, that thing was. Pack it up now. Let’s go!”

“You are excitable, aren’t you, love?”

“That’s me!” Rosalyn said, pulling Bain up the beach and into the sea shanty.

“Let a man dress!” Bain said, as she threw belongings into her satchels, zipping them up.

“Go in your swimsuit. Be spontaneous!”

“What’s gotten into you?”

“Let’s just call it wanderlust!”

“You don’t really think I’ll let you go, do you?” the voice piped up again.

Rosalyn darted up among her fitful packing. “Pardon? Reggie, did you hear that?”

“Hear what?” Bain asked.

Damn, he must be tuned into her auditory wavelengths. Smart bastard.

“You have no choice but to let me go,” she responded.

“I said we could go, didn’t I?” Bain said, scratching his head as he tossed his latinum pocket watch into his shirt pocket and picked up his suitcase.

“Excuse me,” Rosalyn said, dashing for the bathroom. “Just have to freshen up a bit.”

Bain cocked his head. “What in the world was in her tea?”


“All right. What do you want?” Rosalyn fumed, staring into the bathroom mirror.

“The virus. In its entirety. With the delivery mechanism.”

“I couldn’t give that to you, even if I wanted to.”

“That’s a shame, then. Because you both will die here.”

“I never got your name…” Rosalyn said, stalling for time as she removed a Section 31 polycorder from her satchel and began scanning for any traces of her opponent.

“General Warder, at your service.”

“Didn’t realize your group had a ‘general,’” Rosalyn quipped.

“They didn’t, until I came along. Now then….”

“How did you get access to this place?” Rosalyn wanted to know.

“That’s not important, is it?” the voice asked smugly.

“It is to me.”

“Let’s just say I called in a few favors.”

“Big favors,” Rosalyn grumbled.

“Regardless, you see that we have reached an impasse in our discussion. You will either turn over the virus to me or I will kill you and your husband. Section Thirty-One, your husband’s starship–nobody will be able to save you.”

Rosalyn cracked her knuckles. “I don’t need anyone to save me. I can take care of you all on my own.”


“Come now, Reginald, we must be on our way!” Rosalyn Bain shouted as she dragged Bain out of the safe-house.

“Really, darling, I don’t see what all the hurry is about.”

“You know tourist traffic this time of year.”

“What time of year?”

“The, uh, Pon Farr Days on Vulcan, of course,” Rosalyn improvised as she and Bain dashed out onto the sand. “Call the runabout, dear.”

Bain punched the pip on the collar of his tropical shirt. “I’m trying, Ros. The Titicaca doesn’t seem to be responding.”

“I can see why,” Rosalyn said dully.

“Pardon?” Bain asked, as Rosalyn crashed into him, shoving him into the surf, just as a blast wave knocked them all tumbling sea.

Moments later, Bain emerged from the water, coughing up sand, to be faced with the smouldering fireball that had once been a beach shack and a raceabout.

Rosalyn poked her head up next to him. “They don’t make pursuit vessels like they used to, do they, darling?”

“They generally don’t do that.” Bain rubbed his chin. “Unless there’s foul play involved.”

“Don’t be silly. Listen, why don’t we go spelunking.”

Bain arched his eyebrow, looking at Rosalyn. “Spelunking? At a time like this?”

“Take our minds off our troubles.”

“What we need to do is radio for help.”

Rosalyn seemed thoughtful. “That might be a problem, since the radio was on the raceabout.”

“Not to worry.” Bain yanked his smooth metal carryall out of the surf and set it down on the beach. “We’ll be talking to someone on the Anomaly in seconds.”

Rosalyn looked over Bain’s shoulder. “Really.”

“Indeed. Let me just check one…hmm. That’s funny.”

“What?”

“There seems to be some kind of field preventing us from getting out a signal.”

“Go figure. Then we should definitely hide in the caves.”

“We’re Bains. We don’t hide.” Bain handed his case to Rosalyn and turned to gaze out over the water. “I’m going to find the bugger who did this and give him a proper comeuppance. No one fouls up my forty-fourth wedding anniversary and gets away with it!”

“Too true, Reginald,” Rosalyn said, then suddenly added. “Watch out, dear! Debris!”

Bain turned his head. “Where?”

“Behind you!” Rosalyn cried, then smashed Bain hard upside the head with his carryall case. Bain dropped unconscious to his knees and fell face-first into the sand.

“Smart, Rosalyn, really smart,” she muttered, tossing Bain over her shoulders in a classic fireman’s carry and grabbing Bain’s suitcase in her free hand. Unfortunately, her case would have to be forfeit. There was only so much she could carry.


“Mum!” Tovar shot up in bed, sweat dripping down his forehead. “Mum, watch out!”

“Who are you talking to?” Lt. Jamie Torgerson rolled over to face Tovar as he sat there, transfixed on the stars outside his windows.

“Just thinking about my mum,” Tovar said quietly.

“Here we go again,” Torgerson mumbled, putting her pillow over her head.

“I’m just going to check on her,” Tovar said. “Tovar to bridge.”

“Bridge. Prosak here.”

“Commander, have we heard anything from the Captain yet?”

“Actually, we received a communique from him just a few minutes ago. It was quite brief. Apparently, he and Mrs. Bain are having an extraordinary time on their vacation.”

“Really?” Tovar said, relief filling him.

“I would not lie,” Prosak replied dryly.

“Of course not. Thanks, Commander. Tovar out.” Tovar lay back down and put his hands behind his head. “They’re going to be fine.”

Torgerson replied by snoring loudly. Tovar, meanwhile, fell sound asleep.


“Damned arthritis,” Rosalyn groused, rubbing her shoulder as she unloaded Bain, content that she had a decent place to hide for the moment. She let out an exhausted breath and slid down the side of a cave wall, several hundred meters above sea level and well within the hollowed out chasms of one of Gulfbreeza’s few mountains.

Since Rosalyn was almost certain that her opponent had disabled whatever technological protections Section 31 put on this planet, she had to rely on one of the natural protections, that being the mountains. They were made of solid bekkarite, which rendered even the most advanced of sensors useless. It had the unfortunate side effect of rendering communications equipment useless also, although Rosalyn’s opponent had pretty much done that anyway.

So it was up to her. She stared at Bain’s insensate form and wondered when he would wake up. She hated to go traipsing off, leaving him to his own devices, but she was reasonably sure he wouldn’t find his way out. Reginald Bain had many wonderful qualities, but one thing he did not possess was a sound sense of direction.

Rosalyn stood up, rubbing her hands together. She would go back out into the wilds of Gulfbreeza, find her adversary, and settle this in Section 31 fashion. In Bain fashion.

Her husband would be proud, if only he knew.


“What do you mean you can’t find her?” General Warder snapped at the sensor operator of his Orion Free Raider as it skimmed the atmosphere of Gulfbreeza.

“She must have gone into that mountain range,” Henching Assistant Imelda said, pointing at the rolling mountain range on the viewscreen. “Maybe you can go in there and find her.”

“And go one-on-one with a trained Section Thirty-One operative on her turf? Are you kidding?”

“What’s the alternative?” Imelda asked.

“We wait for her to come out,” Warder said, settling back into his chair in the small, two-person cockpit of the Raider. “And then we pounce on her.”

“She’s coming out,” Imelda informed him.

“Zounds. I’d just gotten comfortable.”


“Come out, Warder!” Rosalyn called out, stepping out of the ground-level opening and walking into the sparse forested area that made up most of the interior of the continent where her safe house was located. Was being the operative word.

Operative being the operative word.

Rosalyn dashed through a list of available weaponry as she moved through the foliage. The two isotopic disruptors she’d brought along were destroyed in the safe house explosion, and those were the only weapons she carried, at least in the traditional sense. It was her honeymoon, after all. On any other occasion, she would have brought a little more firepower.

Rosalyn remembered she was also carrying a dagger, sheathed at her ankle. A present from her protege, a young Andorian who’d gone on special assignment several years earlier and hadn’t been heard from since.

She often thought of J’warn when she was teaching tactics class. He was the last pupil she’d tried to instruct in the ways of Section 31, and after him, she really hadn’t cared to take on any more proteges. It would rather be like adopting a child after your natural children had gone off to college. Actually, Rosalyn thought wryly, she’d done exactly that.

She was stirred from her thoughts as a fireball lit up the forest in front of her.

“A cloaked ship,” Rosalyn said calmly, backpedaling the way she came. “A cloaked ship. That has to be the answer.”

“You’ve deduced part of it, Rosie, not that it’s going to do you any good,” Warder said inside her head. “The retrovirus, please. I’m rather tired of chasing you.”

“You’ll have to kill me.”

“I don’t think you’d like that. I especially don’t think your husband would appreciate it.”

“I don’t think you will kill me. I’m your only chance at getting the retrovirus.”

Another blast lit up the forest behind Rosalyn. Now she was blocked in on two sides.

“Oh, I believe I’ll muddle through without you.”

“But what would the other Orions say, hmmm? If you fail to produce the retrovirus, might they just get a little antsy? Elect another General? Perhaps there’s someone on the ship with you right now who can perform the job as good if not better than you can. Wouldn’t this be a prime opportunity for that person to take control?”

“Whatever you’re getting at, it won’t work.”

Rosalyn evaded a falling tree and sidestepped along a rocky path that led up a curving trail. The trail would take her up the side of the mountain, and although that left her exposed to open fire, her proximity to the mountain would play hell with Warder’s targeting sensors.

“So what are you flying these days, Warder?” she asked as she navigated the mountain path, keeping a handhold against the mountain as she worked her way up along the winding trail. “Orion Free Raider. Morthodox-class?”

“Wouldn’t you like to know.” Warder’s tone told Rosalyn she was right. Morthodox-class Free Raiders were good, sturdy ships. Rosalyn knew that vessel’s weaknesses as well as she knew her kitchen, but that knowledge did her no good without a ship of her own or any weapons to speak of. She’d have to rely on her wits, which didn’t really worry her that much.

“Tell me, Warder, how did you manage to keep Section Thirty-One from finding out about your plans here?”

“You speak as if you’re sure they don’t know.”

“If they knew about you, they would have made their presence known by now,” Rosalyn said confidently.

“How can you be sure you’re not a…what’s the human saying? Sacrificial lamb?”

“Now it’s you that’s playing mind games,” Rosalyn said.

“It was worth a try,” Warder said, and Rosalyn could tell he was smiling. She could also tell by the amount of time it was taking Warder in between retorts that he was trying fervently to acquire her with his targeting scanners and getting more and more frustrated by the second. Just what Rosalyn wanted.

Rosalyn stopped moving, concentrating on the sounds of the air whipping by her ears and bird-like creatures singing in the distance.

She could just barely hear the humming of that ship’s engines. It was only twenty or thirty meters above and in front of her, coasting by, trying desperately to acquire her signal.

She didn’t move. The mere movement could alert the ship’s motion sensors. That was the only kind of sensor reading that the bekkarite didn’t mask, unfortunately.

“Come out, come out, wherever you are, Rosalyn,” Warder insisted. “Give me that wonderful virus of yours. Lead me to it, and I just may cut you in on the deal.”

Rosalyn felt like chuckling, but said nothing.

“That’s it! You want to hide? Fine. I’ll come down there and find you myself. And when I do, I promise my ship is going to obliterate you where you stand. Then we’ll go after your husband.”

Still, Rosalyn said nothing, until she was confident the whirr of the raider’s engines had passed by.

Then she climbed still higher. It would pay to have whatever tactical advantage she could get, and height was certainly one of those.

She became aware of the sound of a transporter beam activating, and she steeled herself against the flat rock wall.

Quietly, Rosalyn crept along the upper ledge, looking below to try and get a glimpse of her target.

Sure enough, there he was. A tall, but still somewhat unassuming Orion. Warder was far less muscular than Thoblo, but his beady eyes more than made up for his lack of girth.

Rosalyn measured the distance with her eyes. She was easily three meters above Warder, and his path would take him directly beneath her. Her Section 31 training suggested an array of attack methods, but Rosalyn finally decided on the most direct one.

Calling out a battle cry, Rosalyn pounced down on Warder from above, crushing him beneath her.

Warder rolled Rosalyn off him, then leapt to his feet. Rosalyn did the same.

“Ah. The prey finally comes out of hiding!” Warder sneered.

“Funny,” said Rosalyn. “I was about to say the same thing about you.”

“Touche,” said Warder. “Look…there’s no reason this can’t be civilized. Why don’t we make some kind of deal?”

“As long as it involves you turning yourself over to Section Thirty-One, I’m fine with that.”

“You’re not in a position to bargain!” Warder snapped, his voice becoming high. “My vessel has its weapons trained on you.”

“That’s not altogether true,” Rosalyn said. “If it did, you’d never have had to come down here.”

“Again, touche,” Warder said. “But I’m not out of tricks.”

“Oh, no?”

“Oh, yes,” Warder said, and grinned toothily. “I have something of yours.” He reached into his vest pocket. “Well, to be more precise, I have something of your husband’s.” He removed the duridium pocket watch she’d given Bain.

Rosalyn covered her reaction well. “Where is he, Warder?”

“On our ship. Safe for the moment. His fate is in your hands.”

“So is yours,” Rosalyn responded quickly.

“What, then, are you to do?” Warder asked, staring Rosalyn in the eye.

“I’m going to help you find the retrovirus,” Rosalyn said simply, causing Warder’s pale eyes to gleam.

“Excellent. I knew you’d understand. Warder to Raider Nineteen. Two to beam up. Security precautions.”

Rosalyn grinned, doubting that those security precautions would be enough.


“Listen, I don’t know who you are, but you had better tell me what you’ve done with my wife, if you know what’s good for you.”

“I’m not supposed to be talking to you,” Henching Assistant Imelda said, sitting across from Bain in the aft compartment of the raider, leveling a neutron disruptor at the captain. His ankles and wrists were bound by glowing white energon ties. “I’ve been given explicit instructions to watch you, and that’s all. I’ve heard you can be quite tricky.”

“All right, I give up,” Bain sighed. “Who have I pissed off?”

“Pardon?” Imelda asked.

“Obviously, this is retribution for something awful I’ve done to you, or your boss, or one of your relatives, or one of his. I know the story. Capture me, torture me, try to make me pay for whatever pain and suffering I’ve caused you. Well, fess up. Who are you working for?”

“I really can’t go into that.”

“Well, whatever the case, my wife is innocent. Let her go. It’s me you want to deal with.”

Imelda bit her lip. “Well, actually…”

“Good, I’m glad we’re all together now,” Warder said, shouldering into the room with Mrs. Bain in tow. “I trust we all know each other.”

“Actually, I haven’t really been introduced,” Imelda said, nodding at Rosalyn.

“And isn’t that a pity,” Warder dead-panned.

“Rosalyn, honey,” Bain said. “Be brave. These people won’t hurt you.”

“I know they won’t, dear,” Rosalyn said, looking at Warder with uncertainty. She had no doubt she’d defeat him, but she was starting to fear he might blow her cover, and that was something that absolutely couldn’t happen.

“I’ll get you out of this in a jiff, darling,” Bain said. “I’m working on a plan as we speak.”

“How quaint,” Warder said. “Maybe the two of you should join forces,” he suggested to Rosalyn.

“That will be enough of that, Mister Warder.”

“You know him?” Bain asked.

“We had a brief conversation as he was abducting me, Reg. Quite an unpleasant man.”

“Did he say what he wanted with me?”

“You know, he didn’t.”

“Enough!” Warder said, wrenching Rosalyn’s arm. “It’s time we had a conversation.”

“Certainly.” Bain stood, prompting Imelda to stand and wag her weapon at him.

“Not you,” Warder said. “Your lovely wife has what I want.”

“What, you’re going to steal her Tactics 13-B lesson plan?”

“I’d never part with that,” Rosalyn said lightly.

“What then?” Bain asked, confused.

“That’s between me and wifey,” Warder said. “Imelda, keep Captain Bain occupied, if you please.”


“He doesn’t know,” Warder said flatly as he shoved Rosalyn into the cockpit of the raider.

“You’re quite perceptive,” Rosalyn replied.

“Don’t you trust him?”

“It’s not about trust.”

“Bet he doesn’t know your daughter’s in Section Thirty- One either.”

“And how do you know about that?” Rosalyn asked, trying and succeeding in not sounding concerned. The last thing she needed was for Warder or his Orion cohorts to go after Audrey.

“You’d be surprised about what I know about Section Thirty-One. And you in particular.”

“Hm.” Rosalyn surveyed the controls, shelving those thoughts for the moment. “Typical layout for a Morthodox-class. Should I take the helm, or are you afraid I’d try to abscond with your little ship?”

“Afraid isn’t quite the correct word. Suspicious is more like it,” Warder said, and waved Rosalyn with his weapon into an aft chair. “I’ll steer. You point us toward the retrovirus.”

“Well now, it’s hidden,” Rosalyn said simply.

“From you?”

“No, I know right where it is.”

“Then so will I. Soon. Or ‘Reg’ dies.”

Rosalyn yawned. “Very well. Lay in a new course. Zero- zero-three mark one-two-five.”

“Excellent,” Warder said, beaming.

“And this is just a thought, but you may want to cloak.”

“You’re as intelligent as you are lovely.”

And as dangerous, Rosalyn thought.


“Your wife seems nice,” Imelda said as she held her weapon trained on Bain.

“Thanks,” Bain said.

The two stared at each other a long moment.

“Do you follow intragalactic rugby?” Imelda wondered.

“Most definitely,” Bain said.

“That’s good.”

The two stared at each other for another long moment.

“You’re rather new at this, aren’t you?” Bain said.

“I’m supposed to be in college,” Imelda said distractedly. “Harry Kim Junior College of Mars, to be exact.”

“Oh. Hrm…right. Fine school, I imagine.”

“But I decided to drop out and join the Orion Environ Movement. My parents would be so mirffled at me if they knew what I was up to.”

“I have a daughter much like you. Always on a crusade.”

“General Warder is going to revolutionize the way the Federation looks at colonization. Some planets should be left untouched,” Imelda said. “The general says that we should be able to appreciate some planets from afar, like works of art.”

“How trendy of him,” Bain said. “I’m sure the Federation Council would listen to anything the Environ Movement had to say, and give it careful consideration. But hijacking a captain isn’t going to help matters.”

“We’re not interested in you,” Imelda said, then immediately regretted it. She wasn’t supposed to be talking to Bain.

“Then who, pray tell, are you interested in?” Bain’s brow creased thoughtfully. “No…it can’t be…”

“Well, since you already seemed to have figured it out…”

“You’re using me to get to Admiral Larkin, aren’t you?”

“Actually…”

That’s when an explosion rocked the raider. Imelda turned her head just long enough for Bain to rise out of his seat, waddle forward with his bound feet, and clobber her in the back of the neck with his bound hands. She slumped unconscious to the deck as her weapon clattered to the floor.

“What a bloody disgrace,” Bain muttered. “Having to hit a young woman like that.” He crouched and tried to grab her disruptor, but his hands were bound too tight. He couldn’t quite get a grip. Sighing, Bain leaned as far down as he could and grasped the weapon in his mouth, swallowing the handle until he almost gagged, and twisting the device in his mouth until he felt his tongue sliding across the firing stud.

“Thrts bttr,” Bain mumbled, careful not to accidentally fire the weapon.

Thus loaded for battle, Bain hopped out of the aft compartment.

“Rmm cmmn, Rssln!”


Smoke from a blasted conduit filled the cockpit of the raider. “What in blazes did you do!” Warder’s infuriated voice cried out over the din of a dozen alarms.

“Trade secret, I’m afraid,” Rosalyn said, swinging blindly with her fists, connecting on two blows to what felt like Warder’s stomach. She heard him drop to his knees, then drag her down to the deck.

“I demand to know!”

“Well, first of all,” Rosalyn said, searching for Warder’s neck, then grabbing it and strangling him. “You must realize that the one major design flaw in the Morthodox-class raider is that is its primary guidance system explodes when exposed to delta radiation. It actually prompted a huge recall in the sixties…I’m surprised you never heard about it…” Warder responded by squirming away and kicking her in the face.

Rosalyn then grabbed his feet and twisted one of his legs nearly backwards, pinning him in the small of the back with her knee. “Then,” she grunted, “I simply had you lay in a course for a sector that happens to be flooded with delta radiation. It’s all a matter of logistics, dear! Now say uncle!”

“Never!” Rosalyn heard the bleep of a communicator being pressed. “Imelda, you’re needed!”

“Hrmmmmm…” came the groggy response.

“Sounds like your friend is incapacitated,” Rosalyn replied sweetly. “Now say uncle, dear, before I have to break your leg.” Suddenly a disruptor blast sailed over her head. “Imelda!”

“Rrmrmmrmr!”

There must’ve been someone else working for Warder on the raider!

Rosalyn shot to her feet, tracing the origin of that muffled grumble and sending a roundhouse kick lashing out in that direction.

Something fell against her, and she pummeled it. Finally, just enough smoke cleared so that she could see that she was bashing her own husband.

“I’ve got a bloody strong wife,” Bain groaned, then lost consciousness.

“Agreed!” Warder cried, launching himself at Rosalyn.

Without getting up, Rosalyn lashed out with a pointed hand that caught Warder right in the neck, knocking him out in mid air. He fell on top of Bain.

“Happy Anniversary, love,” Rosalyn said softly, pushing Warder off Bain. “What’s say next time I let you plan the trip?”


Captain’s Log,

Stardate 177413.7. The Anomaly has arrived in Sector 31816 to collect a radical Orion environmentalist and his college- aged accomplice, after my wife and I had a rather harrowing encounter with them. I’m happy to say that no…lasting…damage was done to either of us. We’re now en route to Starbase 920 to drop off the Orions and their ship, and return to our previous mission. It’s gratifying to be able to do the good work of Starfleet, even while on vacation, but I’m sorry that Rosalyn had to get involved. She doesn’t deal with things like that on a regular basis, having been a teacher for so long.


“Lucky. That’s what you two are,” Tovar said, nodding vigorously, the cup of tea shaking in his hands as he sat in Bain’s quarters with he and Rosalyn. “Very.” He sipped. “Very lucky.”

“Yes,” Rosalyn said, looking askance at Tovar. “I would have to say the circumstances were darn near miraculous.”

“You laid a very convincing beating upon that nasty Orion,” Bain said, throwing an arm around Rosalyn as they sat on the couch. “And me, I’m afraid.”

“It’s amazing what adrenaline will do,” Rosalyn said. “I just kept lashing out. You know how it is…in the heat of the moment, one never really knows what one is doing.”

“Yes,” Tovar said. “That’s true.”

“Still,” Bain said. “I’ve seen combat-trained Starfleet security officers that couldn’t fight like that.” He looked at Tovar. “Present company excepted, of course.”

“Of course.” Tovar stood up, quickly sitting his half-empty teacup down. “I have to be on the bridge.”

“It’s good to see you, Tovar,” Rosalyn said, beckoning the Yynsian over. “Come here, love. Give your mum a kiss.”

Tovar bent down and kissed Rosalyn on the cheek. “Be more careful next time,” he whispered.

“What’s that?” Bain asked.

“I said bring back a souvenir next time!” Tovar said, then bolted out of the Bain quarters.

“Strange boy,” Rosalyn said, and sipped her tea.

“Yes,” Bain said. “Dear…”

“Best not to dwell on those things, Reg,” Rosalyn said. “Now do you want me to wear that anniversary gift to bed, or not?”

“Of course I do, but…”

“No buts. I’ll meet you in the bedroom, darling.”

“It’s useless to argue with you,” Bain said, shuffling off to the bedroom. “See you in a few.”

Rosalyn waved at him. “Yes, of course, dear!” She smiled. She’d bought herself just enough time to put in a report to Section 31. It was about time they knew of Warder’s plans. She could arrange to have Section 31 “intercept” Warder while he was at the Starbase. That way, they could get their hands on him and find out how he was able to penetrate the defenses of Gulfbreeza. He was getting information on Section 31 from somewhere, and she had to know where from. Maybe she could even arrange to get in on the interrogation. Yes, that would be fun.

Rosalyn was about to pull out her microtransmitter and put in a call to Section 31 when she thought better of it.

Tonight was for her and Reginald.

Tomorrow, though, she’d make Warder rue the day he ruined her anniversary getaway.


THE END.



Tags: boldly