Star Trek

The Adventures Of Kes



Strange Dreams


Can the strange dreams Kes are having be a key to how to rescue Janeway?





© J.R.Olson 2005

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Chapter 1

Kathryn Janeway enjoyed the trip. She was standing on the bridge at the Federation Starship USS Budapest on the way to Bajor where an important conference was to be hold. The conference would deal with such important things as the rebuilding of Bajor after the Dominion War, how Starfleet defence forces would be stationed in the sector and how the co-operation with the Bajorans should work out. Even if the Dominion War has ended some years ago and the wormhole to the Gamma Quadrant was closed, there were still a lot of work to be done and there were always the problem with the Cardassians. Even if they were rather peaceful these days, having learned a lesson during the Dominion War, there were always the risk that revisionists of some sort who were dreaming about glorious days of the past could seize power again. The Bajorans didn’t trust the Cardassians. And they have all the reasons for not doing so, Janeway thought.

“A nice sight isn’t it”, said Commander Ehman who was standing beside Janeway, looking at the main screen. Janeway nodded. On the screen she could see the station Deep Space Nine, the station who have been such an important place during the recent years, first during the Bajoran-Cardassian conflict and then during the Dominion War. But there was also another thing that made Janeway’s heart beat somewhat faster when she looked at the space station. It was here the Voyager adventure had started about nine years ago when the starship Voyager had left Deep Space Nine to search for a Maquis ship with her security officer Tuvok on board. At that time she didn’t know that the mission would take them almost across the universe, to the Delta Quadrant and that it would take seven years to get home.

She lost herself in thoughts about the people she had worked with during those years in uncharted space, Chakotay, Tuvok, Paris, Torres, Kim, Neelix, Kes, Seven and all the others. Sometimes she wondered what they were doing now. Chakotay was in command of the good, old Voyager and Kim was also on board the old ship, Tuvok was a teacher, Paris and Torres were living together and had a daughter, Neelix was in the Delta Quadrant, The Doctor was at the Jupiter Station. I’m happy that they decided to keep his program intact, Janeway thought. It would have been a tragedy if they had terminated or changed it. The Doctor had become almost like a human friend and she was glad that he was still intact. As for Seven, Janeway had no idea what she was up to for the moment but as she was still involved with Starfleet affairs, Janeway was sure that the two of them would work together in the future. As for Kes, Janeway had no idea where she was. I hope that she is safe and well, she thought. I really wonder what happened to her after our last encounter.

The Commander’s voice brought her back to reality. “Prepare for docking procedures, Mr. Ross!” “Yes, Captain” came the reply from the man at the conn. Captain Ehman turned to Janeway. “We’re getting ready to dock. It has been a pleasure to have you on board on this trip, Admiral. I hope that you will have a nice stay here. Give my best regards to Admiral Paris and Captain Picard.” Janeway smiled. “I will do so Captain and thanks for your hospitality”. She turned and went to the elevator.

After getting her bags in her personal cabin, she left the ship and started to walk out of the docking bay. A Starfleet ensign who was standing at the hatch of the docking bay looked up when he saw her and Janeway realized that the man was waiting for her. “Admiral Janeway?” the man asked, walking up to her. “I’m ensign Sarasin, Elkanah Sarasin and I have strict orders to take you to Bajor immediately. They are waiting for you there.” “I thought the conference would start tomorrow”, Janeway said. I was looking forward to have a meeting with Commander Kira at this station first”. “Yes, I understand that” the ensign said, “but there have been a change of plans. Admiral Paris is very eager to see you right away at Bajor.” Must be very important then, Janeway thought, not without being a bit disappointed.. She would have liked to take a look around Deep Space Nine, maybe have a cup of coffee at Quark’s before meeting with Kira and a good nights sleep before the conference. But never mind, Janeway thought.

She followed the ensign towards Docking Bay 2. The man was talking but she didn’t really listen to what he was saying. There was something that didn’t really fit, she thought. Why didn’t they send a message to the ship? Then I could have taken a shuttle direct to Bajor instead of this procedure. And there was something about the all to friendly ensign that she didn’t like. More like an ancient salesman in looks and manners than a Starfleet ensign. And a little too old to be just an ensign, she thought.

They had started to walk into the docking bay when Janeway turned around to confront the ensign and get some answers about the whole strange situation. But when she did that, she saw that the ensign had a phaser pointing at her. “I did realize that you should suspect something, you do have a reputation” the ensign said with a mean smile. “But I won’t hesitate to shoot if you do something stupid and my men are on strategic points in this docking bay so don’t try anything!”. Janeway didn’t answer, she just stepped back and kicked the phaser out of the hand of the ensign. Then she knocked him out with a kick in his face. But then three other people came against her. She turned around and punched one of the men in his face, but another one got a hold of her arm and the third pushed something to her neck. Hypospray, she thought before she blacked out.


Chapter 2

Janeway slowly woke up and realized that she was tied up and lying on the floor in what was obviously a cargo bay. There was also another person in there, a big blonde man who obviously was her guard because the man had a phaser rifle pointed at her. “Don’t try anything, I shoot!” said the man. Stupid idiot, Janeway thought. How can I do anything when I’m tied up like this? She decided to stay calm and take the first chance to get back at those who had captured her when such a chance would appear.

After a while, a hatch in the wall opened up and the man who had presented himself as ensign Sarasin walked in. But now he wasn’t wearing a Starfleet Uniform. Now he looked more like a Maquis or some other rough character from the Federation borderlands. “I’ll make you pay for kicking me in my face” the man said. “Just wait. But you’re too important for our plans right now”. I wish I’d kick his head off, Janeway thought. She looked sternly at the man and said: “What the hell are you think you’re doing? I’m a Starfleet Admiral. The whole Starfleet will be looking for me. Whatever you plan, you will fail.” “Shut up”, the man said. “Starfleet will never find us and if they want you back alive, then they will be smart enough to not search for you at all”. He turned to the big blonde man. “Sedate her! I don’t want any trouble. She’s dangerous!” The big blonde man walked up to her with a hypospray in his hand and pushed it to her neck.

When Janeway woke up again, it didn’t take many seconds before she realized that she was in a prison cell, lying on a blanket at the floor. It was a small cell with stone walls and a small window near the roof. She reached for her commbadge but it was gone. She tried to jump up and get a grip of the iron grid at the window to see what was going on outside. Her third try was successful and she heaved herself up to get a look out of the small window but the only thing she saw was a bleak landscape. Walls surrounding the nearest area and some buildings, some of them half-erased and the other not in the best shape. Looks like an abandoned settlement or base or something, she thought. The window was impossible as a way to escape. It was too narrow and the iron grids at the window were thick and solid. She went to the door but it was a solid iron door with a small hatch that could only be opened from the outside.

There’s nothing I can do right now, except to wait, she thought. She did realize that she would soon meet some more talkative people. And she was right, about one Earth-hour later the door suddenly opened and three men walked in. One of them was the man who had called himself “ensign Sarasin”. He had a phaser in his hand, the other was another shabby figure, also with a phaser. The third man, on the contrary, did seem to be an authority. He was dressed in black and also had black hair and a black pointed beard which made him look as a cross between some devilish character or a wizard.

“Dear Admiral” the bearded man said with a smile. “It’s a pleasure to have you here”. He bowed ironically. “Skip the crap talk and explain to me what I’m doing here. Why have you kidnapped me?” said Janeway. She didn’t try to hide the anger she felt.

The man smiled. “Nah, nah nah, Admiral Janeway. Don’t be upset now. First of all, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Mystro.” “That doesn’t say me anything” said Janeway even if she had heard the name being mentioned about some seedy business. “Ah, you’ve been away in the Delta Quadrant too long” the man said. “Otherwise you should know that I do have some reputation and have been an influential figure for a long time”. “I don’t care if you are the exiled Emperor of some far away planet or just a clerk of some sort. I demand that you tell me what this charade is!” The man smiled, an arrogant smile that annoyed Janeway. “But that’s exactly what I’m trying to do” he said. “You’re an important part of my glorious plan, a plan that will really give the Federation leadership some headache. I’m sure that they are ready to pay a high price to get you back. After all, you are an Admiral and a well-known person after your odyssey  to the Delta Quadrant.” “And what do you expect in return?” Janeway asked. “Latinum? Power? You should know that you can’t blackmail the Federation.” “Latinum?” the man said. “Nonsense, I can get both wealth and power in many other ways. No, this is unselfish help to an old friend. Do you know about Governor Hyde?” the man asked. “Governor Hyde? The Traitor?” Janeway said. She did know about Governor Ebbe Hyde. The man had been assigned as governor to one of the Federation settlements on a planet close to the Cardassian border. He had used that position to make a fortune on smuggling and  criminal activities and it was obvious that this Mystro, or whatever his name was had worked for him in his seedy business. As a governor of a strategic important colony, Hyde had been well-informed about Starfleets defence plans, information that Hyde had sold to the Cardassians. When the Dominion war broke out, Hyde’s treason had caused much trouble for the Federation. After the war, he and his closest companion Ralph Bergh had been captured by Federation forces and they had been sentenced to life in prison. Janeway realized what the plan was. They were simply going to liberate their former boss by kidnapping her and make some sort of exchange. She knew that the Federation would never negotiate about such an exchange and wondered if the man was totally insane just to think about such a possibility.

“Are you totally out of your mind?” she asked. “Do you really think that the Federation would discuss such an exchange? Releasing a convicted traitor? Are you kidding? You must be mad!” “No, I’m not kidding and I’m not mad” said the man. “I’m totally sure that they will do what I want after a while. They will definitely do it when I send them a file, showing how a Federation Admiral is tortured. And if they should be stubborn and you will die here during our “treatment”, a treatment which we will make a detailed documentation about, then we’ll wait and then we’ll abduct someone else. We were actually thinking of getting Picard, the symbol of Starfleet. Or Admiral Nechayev. But they were impossible to get so you became our first choice. Oh yes, I’m sure that they will do what I want, sooner or later. If the kidnapping plan shouldn’t work, then I have other alternatives too. But I’m sure that this will work out fine. I’m very well informed about what Starfleet will and can do.

The man was obviously mad, Janeway thought. But at the same time intelligent and dangerous. She had no doubts about that they would torture her and then kill her if the Federation didn’t accept the kidnappers demand, something the Federation never would do. What did worry her was the man’s arrogance, Just as if his plan had already been successful. “Do you really think you can hold me here. The Federation will send out spaceships and search for me. They will find me very soon.” “Nonsense, my dear” the man said. ”I’ve taken every precaution to fool them and this base is impossible to find. I did buy a sort of cloaking technology from a Romulan traitor many years ago and my clever technician, Mr. St.Pierre has developed it into a cloaking device combined with a forcefield for the whole base. They can’t find us here! Besides that, I’ve spread some false information about where we are. I’m sure that Starfleet have sent Voyager to search through the planets in the Badlands. Well, they can look there if they want because we’re not there.” He laughed. “Don’t underestimate Captain Chakotay, Janeway thought. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if he would find me. The man called Mystro suddenly looked at Janeway with strange look in his eyes. “Ah, you’re thinking of a way to escape!” he said “You’re dreaming that your beloved Chakotay will come in his shining starship and rescue you! How romantic! I’m so happy that I do have some telepathic abilities too. It makes it much easier to control you.”

Mystro turned around and walked out. “I do hope that you will enjoy your stay here” he said. “Now it’s up to your colleagues at Starfleet if your splendid career will end here, in my kingdom.” The three men walked out and closed the door.

Damn” thought Janeway. She did realize that her situation was difficult, more difficult than she wanted to admit. She was totally sure that this Mystro meant what he said. If the Federation didn’t release the traitor and his subordinate, then they would slowly torture her to death while in some way sending the whole ghastly “show” to the Federation authorities to see. “There must be a way to escape, she thought.

“Now this is incredible! A Federation Admiral is kidnapped and no one have seen or heard anything!” Admiral Nechayev was upset. She had just got the message that one of her admirals had been abducted. The day before, Admiral Janeway had suddenly disappeared from Deep Space Nine, just as quick as she had arrived and no one did know anything about what had happened. Now they had got a cryptic message from an organisation called “Ring Of Fire” who told them to wait for further instructions. Meanwhile the search for the missing admiral had started. Of course, every file with information on Deep Space Nine had been controlled. It did show that Janeway had been met by a man in Starfleet uniform and escorted to Docking Bay 2. They had tried to trace the Valerian freighter which was supposed to have left Deep Space Nine shortly afterwards. The trace led to the Badlands and then…nothing. It was like the ship had disappeared.

“They must be hiding in the Badlands and if they do, then we’ll find them.” The voice belonged to Captain Chakotay, an ex-Maquis member who once had been Janeway’s First officer on Voyager during their journey through the Delta Quadrant. He was deeply worried. During all those years on board Voyager, he had gained a certain respect (and maybe more than that) for Janeway. Now he was worried that something terrible would happen to her. If they harm her in any way, then I will chase them all the way to hell and back, he thought.

“It’s obvious that the security on this station doesn’t work as it should and why should it, with traitors and terrorists in charge!” said a man at the end of the table in the conference room when they were seated. The man was Admiral Wayne Styles, a rather young Admiral who, like Janeway, had made a fast career in Starfleet due to a combination of hard work in Starfleet during the recent years and influential parents with contacts in the Government. The man was obviously ambitious and clever but he was also snobby and arrogant which had created some controversies with the Bajorans which he, as the Starfleet commander in the area had to cooperate with. A woman in a Bajoran uniform at the other end of the table looked at him with a look that could have killed. She was Kira Nerys, the Commander of Deep Space Nine. “I will not tolerate any more insults from you, Mr. Styles. I have had enough of your constant slurs against the Bajoran representatives at this station. One more word from you and I will inform the Bajoran government that…” “Please calm down” another voice said. “We can’t accomplish anything by arguing.” The voice belonged to Captain Jean-Luc Picard, the legendary Starfleet captain on USS Enterprise. “I’m sure that Commander Kira and Chief Of Security Ro Laren”, he nodded to another Bajoran woman who was sitting beside Kira, “have taken every precaution to make this station a safe place. However, the kidnappers seem to have been very well informed about the security on the station and they have obviously planned their action very well”. “So maybe the Commander of Deep Space Nine and her Chief Of Security should start looking after traitors and informers among the security crew on this station. There must be a leak somewhere” Admiral Styles said. Kira Nerys was going to say something but was interrupted by Admiral Nechayev who obviously didn’t want any more conflicts and bad feelings among those around the tables.

“We got a Valerian freighter,which is obviously not a Valerian freighter and we got a Starfleet ensign who obviously not is a Starfleet ensign” said Ro Laren. We are working together with Starfleet to find out who that man is and what’s the purpose with the abduction. We are also checking our security system and the possibility for leaks among our crew. The rest is up to Starfleet.”

“Do you think they can be hiding in the Badlands?” Admiral Nechayev said to Captain Chakotay. “That’s possible” said Chakotay. “But I know the area very well and I’m taking Voyager to the Badlands to search for them. I will personally see that we’ll search every planet and every rock that’s possible.” “Meanwhile, we will take a look at possible hiding places in this area” said captain Picard. “I don’t think they could have got too far in that ship.” “I wonder what their motives are” said Admiral Paris, who had been seated quiet with a  worried look on his face. “Poor Kathryn” he said with a sigh. “Whatever it is, there must be something big. They don’t kidnap a well-known Admiral just for the sake of doing that” Picard said.



Chapter 3

She woke up with the same feeling of horror that she had the night before, and the night before that, having had the same nightmare three nights in a row.

She was walking in a long dark corridor towards a closed door. When she came to the door she opened the hatch, just to see her old friend Kathryn Janeway being inside the door, in a small prison cell. Janeway looked at her as if she was saying “I must get out of here”. Then suddenly the scene changed, she was sitting in a space ship watching a planet on the main screen, a grey, somewhat desert-like planet with two moons of which one moon looked as if someone have chopped off nearly half of it with a gigantic axe. The whole scenario looked scaring in a way.

The morning after the first night, she hadn’t really reflected that much over the dream. She thought it was just a nightmare, triggered by her experiences on the Starship Voyager during its flight through the Delta Quadrant and later on with the Starship Lynx which finally had brought her to this world. But now, after having the same dream three nights in a row, she understood that there was a message of some sort.

When she was younger, she had learned that her species, the Ocampa had had certain mental abilities and during her stay with the Voyager crew it had been confirmed, both by the holographic doctor on board the ship and by some of here experiences. After being transformed to an energy being and later on restored back to normal with a human lifespan by the entity known as Q she knew that she still had some of those mental abilities intact. Nowdays she often avoided thinking about them, they had given her too much trouble in the past and once forced her to leave the people she loved and cared for. Being restored to normal had been like being released after a prison sentence and she had promised herself that she would only use her relative powers, or what was left of them in case of emergency. But she couldn’t ignore the dream. Her friend Captain Janeway, or Admiral Janeway or whatever she was needed help.

She looked out of the window. It was still dark outside, only the light from the stars and the two small moons illuminated the sky. She enjoyed the life on this place, New Carlisle  as it was called by the inhabitants. They were nice and friendly people and ever since arriving here she had done her best to help them in every possible way, as responsible for the agricultural sector and also sometimes assisting the doctor, an ex-Starfleet doctor who had also once joined the Maquis. After all, she did have some medical experience after being the assistant of the Voyager holographic doctor for three years. But now, all her joy of living a normal, happy life on this planet had disappeared. The Captain needs help and I must find her, she thought. Fortunately there were people on this planet who could help her and wouldn’t dismiss her dreams as nothing more than dreams. She decided to talk to them as soon as possible the coming day. I guess I must take a vacation from work this day, she thought.

Bohumil Novak was bored. Uttely bored. He was sitting on a rock on a small mountain, overlooking the small community where he had been living the past months. He was a rather tall person with dark hair hanging down in his eyes, sort of a person who could easily fit into a crowd without really being noticed. At least until he decided to do something, then he could very quick be the central figure in that activity.

Up until now he had enjoyed the calm and uneventful life on this small settlement on this planet which was located in the borderland between Bajoran Territory and the Tzenkethi Coalition. Some former Maquis and settlers from the Demilitarized Zone between the Federation and Cardassia had settled here, finding the planet far away enough from both the Federation and Cardassia to have to deal with them on a daily basis but close enough to get assistance from the Bajorans and the Federation if something went wrong. But there were also some risks included with living in a border area. It did attract some not so nice types and therefore he and some of his friends had decided to act as some sort of security force for this planet, using their own old Maquis ship as “navy”.

He thought about the recent years which had been too filled of dramatic events. His previous life had been shattered when the Cardassians raided the colony in the Demilitarized Zone where he was living, killing its inhabitants including relatives, friends and a former girlfriend. After that he and his old friend Mike Cortez, a former Starfleet officer had joined the Maquis. But their ship, the Lynx had been transported by some strange force to the Delta Quadrant. After some adventures, including being involved in a conflict between two races in the Delta Quadrant they had met up with the strange telepath called Kes and thanks to her they had also encountered the Federation Starship Voyager which also had been transported to the Delta Quadrant. They were actually going to join the Voyager crew and follow them home but first after making the final arrangements with the people they had protected on that Delta Quadrant planet, making sure that the Dictator of the other empire had been finally defeated and no longer was a threat to their friends.

The plan had been to meet up with Voyager one week later at a specified place but a plasma storm forced them out of their course and when they finally arrived to the place where they shoulf have met up with Voyager, the ship wasn’t there. Kes, who in the last minute had decided to stay with them instead of Voyager had been totally calm about the incident. “Well meet them again, I know that” she had said. He hadn’t been so sure of that, instead he had more and less decided to go back to their friends who they had helped in the conflict. But then they encountered some beings who told them about a wormhole. And as some sort of miracle, they did find the wormhole which led to a part of the Gamma Quadrant not to far from the Alpha Quadrat and from there, they had worked their way back for many months before finally ending up at New Carlisle. Some of his crewmembers did know some of the inhabitants and they had decided to stay and lie low before taking any risks with the Federation authorities. They had also found out that their friends on Voyager had arrived home somewhat earlier. So far they hadn’t had any opportunity to seek out their old friends. Kes had proposed that they should do so one or two times but there had always been something else to take care of first.

After settling at New Carlisle, some of his crewmembers started working with different things on the planet while remaining as some sort of defensive force for the planet. For him it meant that his colleague Mike Cortez and Mike’s girlfriend Linda managed the paperwork while he was free to work with what was necessary for the moment, if it was dealing with smugglers or Bajoran authorities , buying new equipment of some sort or transporting things from one place to another. Some of those business deals weren’t strictly legal, his ship was filled with computer equipment, weapons and transport technology that weren’t exactly available from the Federation headquarters. But so what, he thought. I’m not harming Federation interests in any way, just making sure that we got what we need in an emergency. After the events with the Cardassians in the Demilitarized zone those years ago, he didn’t trust the Federation authorities .

But the two last months had been totally eventless and now he wanted for something to happen. Maybe we should invite the Voyagers to a reunion party, he thought. That would be a good idea, it would be nice to meet them again and Kes would be delighted.

He was interrupted in his thinking when he saw someone approaching, a petite blond woman. Kes, he thought. What a pleasant surprise. They were good friends ever since they first ran into each other during a very dangerous situation back in the Delta Quadrant. Of course he did fancy her a bit and found her very attractive but that was something he hardly admitted to himself. I don’t want to screw up a good friendship, besides that my life is complicated enough as it is, he thought. Nevertheless, her visits were always welcome.

“Kes”, he said with a smile. “I wondered if you had left this place. I haven’t seen you for a couple of days. Too busy with the flowers?” Kes gave him a smile in return, “Well, there have been a lot of things to do.” Then the smile on her face disappeared and was replaced by a worried look. “Linda said that I could find you here. I got to talk to you because I have had such a weird dream.” She described the dream about Janeway, the prison cell, the planet with the two moons and the fact that she had been dreaming the same dream three nights in a row. Novak, who was well aware of her mental abilities felt a chill going through his bones. There’s something going on he thought. He had always had a certain respect for spiritual things and he had learned to trust Kes’s abilities ever since they first met in the Delta Quadrant.

“And you have had the same dreams three nights in a row and it’s always the same scenario?”, he asked. “Yes”, Kes answered “and I think the Captain might be in danger. Something has happened to her, I can feel it. We got to help her.” Novak nodded. He had the same feelings as Kes about Janeway and the other friends on Voyager and if something was wrong and if Janeway was in trouble, they should at least try to do something. He stood up and looked down at the valley below. “I’m gonna talk to Mike, he said. “Come on!”.

They were sitting in the room which Mike Cortez called his “office” in the building below the mountain. Novak, Kes, Mike Cortez and his girlfriend Linda Lindsay, drinking coffee while discussing the situation. Mike, who was a tall, dark haired person with a moustasche who once had been a Starfleet Officer before joining the Maquis had just came back after talking to a Bajoran who was living in the settlement. “I talked to Varis Hovath. He had heard something from his cousin, who is living on Bajor that there have been some Starfleet activity in that area the recent days. There were also some conference on Bajor scheduled about the security forces in the sector with some Starfleet and Bajor hotshots involved but nothing have been heard or confirmed from that conference and there are some rumors that the conference have been aborted or postponed and there are also rumors about breakdown in the negotiations and who knows what. There have also been some rumors about something on Deep Space Nine but everything seems very vague”

“Yeah” Novak said “and Hovath only have second-hand information. Now this activity can have had something to do with the conference but I have a bad feeling that there’s something more going on. By the way, do you know anything about any system like the one Kes described, a planet with two moons, one of them shot off in half or something like that. “No, I’ve never heard of any such place” Mike said “but we’ve been I the Delta Quadrant for a long time before arriving here and something could have happened during the recent wars. But do you think that it can be a system somewhere nearby?” “I don’t know,” Novak replied, “it’s just a feeling I have. Ah, never mind, we got do do something. We can’t just sit here and talk.” He looked at Mike and Linda. “Try to get our people, contact Henry or Sonny or anyone of the old gang and tell them to come here as soon as possible. “So we’re going out to find Janeway?” asked Linda who was a dark-haired, friendly woman. “I guess so” Novak said.

About an Earth hour later a bunch of people were gathered in the small office where Novak tried to explain the situation. “Now what are you planning” a rather stubby figure said, looking as he had swallowed a sour lemon. “Tinkerbell have had a nightmare and you are ready to drop everything, I mean everything just to go out in space and look for something you don’t even know if it’s exists or not. Now I don’t have time for this, I’m building a shuttle which will…” “Ah shut up Sonny Boy” Novak said with a mean look “you know as well as I do that there are more about Kes’s mental abilities than we really know about. There’s something weird going on and I’m planning to find out what it is. And I do need a good engineer on that junk heap we call ship.” “If someone is weird, then it’s you” Sonny said with an exaggerated gesture. “You’re absolutely crazy, out of your mind and totally irresponsible. But I’m crazy too because I’m going with you!” he said, sudely smiling. “Fine, at least we agree on something!” Novak said with a smile. “Now what would I do without my daily commentator who question everything I do and say. Besides that you are actually rather good as an engineer and I might need your knowledge.” Then he turned to the others in the room. “What about the rest of you?” The other people in the room nodded or murmured a yes and all of them actually seemed eager to go out on some sort of mission.

“What are we going to do now?” Kes asked Novak. “How will we find out if something has happened to the Captain? Do you have a plan or so?” Damn, Novak thought, I don’t have any plans at all but I must pretend as if I have one After all I’m supposed to be the leader of some sort for this mission. He didn’t want to look totally out of ideas in front of Kes and the others. He stood silent for a while and thought about what Mike Cortez had said earlier about Starfleet activities and the conference. The he looked up. “I guess”, he said and made a short pause, “I guess that we must start at one place where there can be some information available.” The he turned round and started walking out of the room “C’mon everybody”, he said. “We’re going on vacaaation! To Bajor and Deep Space Nine!”


Chapter 4

Slowly the spaceship Lynx docked at Deep Space Nine. Officially they were “doing some trading for the inhabitants of New Carlisle” and should only make a short stop at the station before continuing their journey to somewhere else, as they had informed the authorities at the station. Novak hoped that the authorities on Deep Space Nine wouldn’t be too suspicious despite the current situation. “Me and Mike will take a look at this place. If we’re lucky we’ll run into the person we want to run into very soon and then we’ll might get some information.” “I’ll come along” said Kes. “No” said Novak. “I don’t know how much of Voyager’s adventures in the Delta Quadrant are known here but I wont take the risk that someone with a long history on the ship is seen at Deep Space Nine, especially not when we are trying to look at bad guys who are here in seedy business. If someone on this station is involved, then I won’t give them any clues to what we really are planning. Besides that, there’s enough with two people sneaking around for now”. Kes did look a bit disappointed but realised that Novak was right. Even some of the other crewmembers who had looked forward to a short visit to Quark’s Bar accepted the situation. Novak and Mike went down the stairs from the bridge to the lower deck where the entrance was.

They hadn’t more than left the spaceship and started walking through the docking bay before they saw a person standing right in front of them, a woman in a Bajoran uniform. “Well hello, Ro Laren” Novak said, “it’s been a long time. Haven’t seen you since that raid against that Ilidarian convoy, when you warned us off and finally decided to quit Starfleet”. “I don’t believe it”, Ro Laren said with a smile ”I thought it was a bad joke when I heard that a spaceship named Lynx was about to dock. I thought you were dead all of you, or in prison. There have been so many rumors about you. “Well, it’s a long story and I will give you some of it but there’s also some information I would like to have from you”. “Then we’ll go to my office” Ro Laren said. “Good” said Novak “then we can pretend that you are suspecting us for something illegal.” Ro Laren looked at him but decided not to ask more, at least not for now.

They entered Ro Laren’s office and the door closed behind them. “I do hope that you’re not involved with or are planning something which would be seen as a crime on this station or against Bajor. In that case I have to arrest you” Ro Laren said. “I work for the Bajoran government nowdays and I’m not gonna permit anything which violates Bajoran or Starfleet interests on this station. As you are my friends, I’ll give you that warning here and now.” “Don’t worry, Novak said. “This has nothing to do with Bajor. Just one name: Kathryn Janeway!” Ro Laren looked up “What about her?” she said with a suspicious look. “We have the feeling that she’s in trouble of some sort and that someone on this station or Bajor knows something about it.” Novak then told her the story about their journey through the Delta Quadrant, the encounter with Voyager, their return to the Alpha Quadrant, the story about Kes and her recent dream. Ro Laren just looked at the two men, first almost astonished but then with a look that told them that she actually believed them. “If anyone else had come up with such a story, I wouldn’t have believed it” she said and continued “I’m strictly forbidden to speak to anyone but a few, selected people about this but since you already seem to know everything, yes Admiral Janeway has been kidnapped and it happened here, on Deep Space Nine. It was obviously a well-planned operation because no one seem to have heard or seen anything. We’ve got a message from some organisation or whatever called “Ring Of Fire” who have told us to wait for further instructions. I don’t know who they are or what they want and I don’t know if Starfleet are negotiating with them or not but this has created a lot of tension between the Bajoran government and the Federation authorities. There are some people in Starfleet, among them the Starfleet Commander in this area who believe that Bajoran extremists are involved and I know that they suspect one member of the government, the Minister Of Security for being involved in some way. Damn, they more and less accused both me and Kira Nerys for being involved. Therefore we’ll get no information about what’s going on right now. Therefore I would also suggest that we’ll continue this discussion on board your ship, under the cover of my security staff doing a search on your ship. I would also like to meet this Kes. “Fine” said Mike. “you two can go to the ship together with some reliable security people. I’ll join you in a couple of minutes”. Both Ro Laren and Novak looked at him. “Where are you going?” Novak asked. “Checking out another source” Mike said.

The place looked exactly as he remembered I from a couple of years back. Some new customers and some new faces behind the counter and at the Dabo tables. But the place was basically the same, and the owner was definitely the same. A short toady Ferengi with a flashy vest stood behind he counter as he always used to do.

Mike Cortez went up to the bar and the Ferengi looked at him for a while. Then he smiled a smile which was supposed to look welcoming “Mr Cortez” the Ferengi said “what a surprise, I thought you were dead or in prison, well that’s what I heard. It’s really been a long time.” “I’m delighted that you still remember me Quark” Mike Cortez said “but I would prefer that you are a little more discreet. As a former Maquis, without being paroled and just passing by while attempting to do some serious business, I have to be careful. “I see” Quark whispered, looking as if he was involved in whatever Mike was up to, “but don’t worry, your secrets are safe here. By the way, your charming colleague Mr. Novak, is he also here?” Mike did have some serious doubts about how safe any secrets were at this place but continued as if nothing had happened. “Yes, he’s here too and right now he’s questioned by our former Maquis colleague Ro Laren while the security team is searching our ship and he’s a bit irritated over that. Not really nice, treating old friends like that. What’s wrong with this station nowdays?  We come here and are treated like criminals. Not like it was in  the good, old days, eh.” “No” Quark said “both the Bajorans and Starfleet are a bit touchy right now. It has been some events the recent time….” “Which have something to do with an abducted admiral, I suppose” Mike said, looking Quark in the eyes. For the first time since Mike first sat his foot on Deep Space Nine some years ago he could see real surprise in Quark’s eyes. “Ah, you do know about it?” the Ferengi said. “Words travels fast here around” Mike said “even if Starfleet does it best to hide some facts. As I’m a curious man, I would like to know everything about it and I would also like that our little conversation here stays between us and is not leaked to Starfleet, Ro Laren or anyone else.

Quark looked at him. “Everything has a price…” “I know” Mike said and picked up a green emerald of considerable size. “And our little friend here can be yours if you give me the information I want” “Ah” Quark said, “now we are talking the same language.

Then Quark started to talk in a slow, whispering voice of what had happened some days earlier, how Admiral Janeway obviously had been abducted by some person in a Starfleet uniform, the speculations about the purpose of the action and Starfleet’s suspicions on the security personal on the station, the Bajoran Chief Of Security and the Bajoran defence Minister. Mike did know all about that but he suspected that the Ferengi could have some more information. “What about that Starfleet Officer?” Mike asked. “Do you know anything about him?” “Well” Quark said, “the same day as the Admiral was abducted, I did se a Starfleet Officer, an ensign which I hadn’t seen on this station before. He walked by, stopped and looked inside, then walked on which I found strange because very few Starfleet people misses the opportunity to visit this excellent establishment. But, “ Quark continued” the reason I did notice him is that he looked exactly like a person I did see here some Earth-weeks ago, a person who actually was here and asked a lot of questions about the station. But then he wasn’t in a Starfleet uniform. He was in civilian clothes and presented himself as Elkanah Sarasin, a Betazoid trader. But I can tell you, he was not Betazoid, he looked too human for that. Later on he was sitting at a table, discussing with two other humans. They did seem to have a lot to talk about. And that isn’t all. “Quark added. “What is it more then?” Mike asked, a bit annoyed that Quark didn’t have any more details to come up with. “I have heard a certain rumor that this is something more than just a Bajoran sceme, that some really nasty persons are involved, persons with a large criminal record and that they do have their contacts high up in the hierarchy”. “Bajorans or Starfleet?” Mike asked. “I don’t know” Quark replied “But someone with much influence”. “Do you know anything about some organisation, maybe a Bajoran organisation called “Ring Of Fire?” Mike asked. “No” said Quark. “I’ve never herd anything like that being mentioned here and believe me, if this is a Bajoran organisation, then I would have heard about it. Words travel fast here.” “I’m sure they do.” Mike said with a not to friendly grin and slowly pushed the gemstone over the counter towards Quark who gripped it with a look of happiness in his face. It does hurt to give that goodie to that little greedy troll, Mike thought. But at least he’s given us some information we didn’t have before.

“I did know that she was in trouble” Kes said. They were gathered at the bridge at the Starship Lynx, discussing and comparing what they’ve got so far about the abduction of Admiral Janeway. Novak nodded. Once again, Kes’s strange mental powers had led them into a strange adventure. Novak then looked at Ro Laren, who was sitting at the seat where the pilot normally used to sit. “What was this conference all about and why was Janeway attending it? he asked. “I don’t know” Ro Laren said. “The only thing I know is that the government of Bajor and Starfleet were discussing the defence strategies in this sector and for some reason they did invite Janeway among other Starfleet officials”. Ro Laren started to name those who was invited. “Picard too?” Mike Cortez asked. He had just returned from Quark’s Bar. “Why was he invited? Enterprise isn’t connected to the defence of Bajor in any way, not what I know.” “It might have something to do with the Cardassians, he’s supposed to be an expert on them” Ro Laren answered. “Or maybe they just invited him for PR reasons, both he and Janeway are some sort of celebrities in Starfleet.” “What about Cardassia?” Novak asked. “Can they be behind it?” “I doubt it” Ro Laren said. “Not their current government. But we don’t know if there are any opposition group who wants to restore to the old system which may have something to do with it.” “It doesn’t make sense” Novak said. “No, I don’t think neither the Cardassians or the Bajorans are involved” Mike said. “The whole Ring Of Fire thing is a decoy of some sort. It sounds to much like The Circle or something Bajoran, probably to trick us.” Ro Laren nodded. “I’ve heard that the Minister of Security was against more Starfleet intervention in this area.” Novak said. “Yes” said Ro Laren. “His name is Lenaris Antos and he’s known to be something of a spokesman for independence who was against Bajor being a member of the Federation. Starfleet don’t trust him because of that but I don’t think he’s involved and neither do Kira Nerys” Ro Laren said. “So we have a Defence Minister who want more Starfleet and a Minister Of Security who wants independence” Novak said. Who organized this conference anyway?” “Admiral Nechayev, Admiral Paris and Admiral Ross, I suppose” Ro Laren said. “Admiral Styles led the preparations for the conference on Bajor” she said with a sigh. She had already informed them about the problem between Admiral Styles and the Bajoran government.

“Quark mentioned a Betazoid trader called Elkanah Sarasin” said Mike and told the others about his discussion with Quark. Do you have any information about him?” Ro Laren looked at Mike. “I’ll check with our system”. She logged in the ship’s coputer to the main system for the station. “Now why didn’t that little creep say anything to me about this Betazoid? Just wait until I get him” she muttered. “Because you used the wrong method to talk to him”, Novak said, looking at Mike with a wry smile. Ro Laren continued to work with the computer. “Nothing for Deep Space Nine, but it’s almost impossible to check everyone who comes and gores here. I’m gonna check with Bajor. Maybe he have had some business there too. Yes. Here he is! But he’s not registered as a Betazoid but a human technician assigned to Starfleet.” Novak went to the screen to look at the picture and suddenly looked as if he had seen a ghost. “Bl***dy s**t! That bastard!” The others looked at him. “What’s wrong”, Kes said, obviously worried by  the look of anger and hatred on Novak’s face. “This man” Novak said “with a mean look and a not too friendly smile” is not a Betazoid or Starfleet personal. This is Rune Bent!” “Do you know him?” Kes asked. “Oh yes I do. Or at least I did know him a long time ago. We were actually friends until I realized what a bastard he was. He almost got me jailed because of false accusations for thefts that he was responsible for and I didn’t even know about and a friend of mine was tricked into criminality and later killed thanks to him. I promised that next time I saw him, I would blow his head off with a phaser. I haven’t seen or heard anything from him for many years so I suspected that he was dead or in jail somewhere but obviously he’s still alive and well. And if he’s involved, then I have an idea of who is responsible for this.” Novak looked at Mike Cortez. “Do you remember Mystro?” “Yes” Mike said. “I have never had the opportunity to meet him but I was involved in a search for him when I was in Starfleet.” Mike turned to Ro Laren and Kes. “He’s a dangerous criminal who have been involved in a lot of illegal business in the Federation and in other empires as well. Smuggling, assassinations, slave trade, you name it. Bent have been working for him for many years according to what I know. Mystro has telepathic abilities and is cunning and clever. If he’s involved, then there’s something big going on.” “And if he’s involved, there’s no time to lose” Novak said. “Admiral Janeway’s life is in great danger because they might kill her even if they get what they want. We must hurry!” Novak turned to Ro Laren. “Do you know anything about a planet with two moons of which one is damaged?” he asked. “No, I’ve never heard about such a system. Haven’t you checked the Federation database?” she asked. “We have, but nothing so far” Novak said. “Now, the Federation is very effective when it comes to update its databases but I suspect that this system might be not so far away, maybe in Bajoran or Cardassian space, at least beyond or nearby the Badlands. It’s definitely not in the Badlands because that’s the first place Starfleet will search.” “That’s right” Ro Laren said. “Voyager is already there and Starfleet are searching in all directions. But how do we know that they are somewhere nearby, it could be very far away?” “No” Kes said “I just got this feeling that they are not so far away.” Ro Laren gave Kes a look full of doubt and was going to say something but a look from Novak made her change her mind.  Kes then gave them a detailed description of her dream of Janeway in jail and the desert-like planet with two moons. “The Carmina system and the Ada system got planets which could fit to your description” Ro Laren said. “They are not so far away from the Cardassian border and nearby the Mariah system. Both planets were used by the Cardassians during the occupation, they had bases there and both have been used by the Maquis, or by smugglers, or criminals but what I know they are both uninhabited. “Do you have any pictures” Mike asked. “Ro Laren accessed the computer again and a picture of a desert-like planet with two small moons became visible. “Carmina II” Ro Laren said. “No”, said Kes. “It don’t look at all like the planet in my dreams:” Another picture became visible. “Ada IV” said Ro Laren. The picture showed a big grayish planet of which half was in shadow, orbited by two moons. “That’s the one” Kes said. “It’s there they are holding her!” “Are you sure, it doesn’t fit with your description of the moons?” Novak said. “I’m sure” Kes said. “I know it’s there.”

“The picture is old” Ro Laren said. “Something could have happened during the Dominion War which destroyed one of the moons. But I know that Starfleet have been searching in that area. Why haven’t they found it?” “They might be searching for the wrong things and who knows,  if Mystro is involved, then he have probably made some smart move to fool them.” Novak said. “Never mind, we are going there right now.” He turned to Ro Laren. “Try to get in touch with Captain Chakotay on Voyager and tell him about this. Don’t alarm Starfleet or the Bajoran authorities yet as long as we don’t know if there are someone there involved in this mess who might warn the kidnappers. And thanks for the help Laren!” “My pleasure” said Ro Laren with a smile and left the bridge.

Kes watched when the crew got the ship ready for start. Don’t worry Kathryn, she thought. We will help you.


Chapter 5

The spaceship was on it’s way to the mysterious planet where they suspected that Janeway was imprisoned. Everyone was quiet, concentrated on the flight and thinking about what would await them when they finally got there. Novak had been quiet and sullen for most of the flight which was unusual and both Kes and Mike Cortez did fear that he would turn the rescue mission into a personal vendetta for something that happened many years ago. Despite that, Kes felt a strange calm. It was as if she was sure that the mission would be successful in some way.

It was Mike Cortez who broke the silence. “The most important thing is to save Janeway” he said. “Everything else, including your dealings with Bent must come second.” “I know that” Novak muttered “I’m not that stupid that I’m gonna risk anything. But when we’ve got Janeway into safety, then Mr. Bent is all mine.” “Ah, you don’t mean that!” Sonny Saxon, the engineer said “You will make peace with your old buddy, forget the past, drink some beer and have a sing-along and everything will be as it was in the good old days. I know you!”  “Ah, shut up you idiot!” Novak said but couldn’t help smiling at the same time. “Now what would I do without your stupid comments, that’s the reason for bringing you along on this trip” Novak said. Kes looked at them. She had always wondered about the strange humor and stupid jokes these two persons exchanged but she did know that it was a way to keep the tension down in a dangerous situation. And Novak’s bad temper actually did seem to vanish after the somewhat stupid discussion between him and his engineer. “When we get there, what will we do?” she asked. “Except for the proposed beer-party with my old buddy, I don’t have any plan yet” Novak said with a wry grin. “We’ll have to improve when we’ll get there. The fact that no one has discovered their base or whatever it is worries me a bit. They can be hiding underground or using some device which makes them invisible. I was thinking about beaming out the Admiral but if they have some forcefield or so, that can be impossible. Mystro is a smart guy and he has probably taken all kinds of precautions to avoid them being discovered. “It looks like we have something to look forward to” Mike said. “Are we really sure that we are on the right track?” Henry Remi asked. He was a tall guy who did have some resemblance in looks and manners to Tom Paris. “We have just Kes’s dreams to go for. Now what if they are wrong?” “In that case I’m a total idiot” said Novak. “No, I do trust Kes’s instincts here, they have been right before, don’t you remember that?” Kes felt a little uncomfortable when thinking of the fact that the whole mission was based on her dreams. It also scared her a bit. It felt spooky to know that a dream she had was a reflection of reality, of something that really had happened or was happening. But if it could be to some help to save Janeway, who had rescued her back in the Delta Quadrant, then her abilities had a good purpose and were something to live with.

Captain Chakotay was more than annoyed when he spoke to Kira Nerys, the commander of Deep Space Nine. His starship Voyager had left the Badlands after days of searching among the planets in the Terikof  Belt without any results and was planning to do a search near the Cardassian border when Kira had got in touch with them, telling them about the visit of the Lynx at Deep Space Nine and that Novak and his gang, including Kes had gone searching for the missing Admiral. Despite being happy that Novak and his people were back in the Alpha Quadrant, he wasn’t too happy about them going away of their own to find Janeway, who obviously had been kidnapped by a ruthless criminal whose records were well-known to Chakotay, according to the information Kira had got from Ro Laren. It was also the fact that he hadn’t been contacted until now. “Why haven’t you contacted me earlier?” he asked “We tried,” Kira said “but there were some disturbances. We couldn’t reach you.” “It must have been the plasma storms” Harry Kim said. Kim was one of the few remaining members of the senior staff who had been in charge on Voyager during their trip through the Delta Quadrant. “Never mind” said Chakotay. “We’re going to that planet now and I will also contact Picard on the Enterprise to see if they can get there in time too.

Janeway woke up as if something had disturbed her and looked around in the cell. Then she realized that she was not back on Voyager but still a prisoner in this hellhole. She looked up a the small window near the ceiling where the eerie light from the moons spread some light in the cell. What was I dreaming?, she thought. Then she remembered. She had been dreaming about Voyager. And Kes of all people. It was like Kes had come into her ready room on Voyager just to say something but the she had woke up. She hadn’t seen or heard anything from Kes since that day in the Delta Quadrant when Kes decided to remain on the Lynx ship until they were supposed to meet up a week later. But they had never arrived. Something terrible must have happened to them on that planet where that Maquis crew had helped the population against an invading empire, she thought. Maybe the Dictator of the hostile empire had had another armada ready to attack. But in some way she still had the hope that they had survived. And that dream, it was like Kes was around somewhere and tried to tell her something. A bit spooky, she thought. She decided to drop every dream and return to her own reality. Dreams won’t get me out of here, she thought.

The recent days hadn’t given her much hope. So far they had made no attempt or threatened her with the torture that Mystro had threatened her with the first day. It was obvious that there was some delay. Are Starfleet really negotiating with those criminals, she thought. The price for her release should be the release from Federation prison of two traitors. When that was done, the whole criminal bunch would probably leave for Cardassian space. It was not impossible that they had some friends there who could protect them, at least for so long that they could find another place to hide. As for any exchange, Janeway had a bad feeling that Mystro and his gang wouldn’t let her go. She knew too much about them and she was sure that there were some feelings of revenge against Starfleet among them too. I must get out of here, she thought. Janeway had hoped that she could try to escape in some way when her wardens gave her food or when they should transport her somewhere. But she hadn’t been allowed to leave the cell. The food was served through a small hatch near the floor and the toilet and washroom was a small alcove in the corner. The door was of solid steel, locked with a code and the window was too small. I guess I have to wait, she thought and decided to try to sleep again. I will be ready and fit for action when the opportunity comes, she thought. But it did take time before she could sleep again.


Chapter 6

It had taken them two days to arrive to the star system they were looking for. Now most of the crew were gathered at the bridge. “Ready to go out of warp” the pilot, an Asian man called Wong announced. On the screen, they could see a small dot being visible beside a Class-F Star. “Magnify!” said Novak. The image on the screen changed and now they could see. “It’s……….here.” Novak whispered.

Kes stared at the screen almost wth horror in her eyes. It was exactly as it had been in her dreams. A greyish desert-like planet with two moons. The inner, somewhat bigger moon looked normal while the outer, smaller moon looked as if someone chopped a piece out of it. The whole scenario looked spooky in a way. “It’s exactly as in my dreams”, she whispered to herself. “Scan for lifesigns” Novak said. “I’ve done so” a crewmember named Pat Jardine answered “but there are none. At least none I can detect.” “Janeway is there” Kes said. “I just know it”. “So what have they done?” Novak said with some irritation while they approached the planet. “Have they turned themselves into rats and dug holes in the ground where they are hiding?” “Can they be underground?” Mike Cortez asked. “No” Jardine answered. “I’ve scanned underground too, at least some kilometers down. But look here!” Novak ran over to his console “What?” “This area, I’ve studied the winds here. It looks like this area is unaffected. Just like some island which the waves are passing.” Mike joined them at the console. ”They can be using some sort of cloaking technology” he said. “Oh yeah, they are down there. And if it hadn’t been for the wind plus our faith in Kes here” Novak said and nodded at Kes who gave him a smile back “we wouldn’t have seen it either. I guess the Starfleet or Bajoran ships who checked this area just checked for lifesigns and nothing more. But we knew better, didn’t we? Good job Pat, you’ve just earned another gold star in my book.” “You’re lying” Sonny Saxon said. “I must have earned several books with gold stars during these years but I have never seen them, only heard complaints.” “Oh yes, you have earned them and you’re going to earn one more soon.” Novak said. “I want you to do something which will make the ship look damaged in some way.” “OK, when, where and how much?” “Hmmm…” Novak continued. If you can make one of the engines look that damaged that we have to land to fix it. But not worse than we can have it back in order as soon as possible. “Well, I can always let out some plasma and cut off the starboard engine. I hope it will fool them” Sonny said. “OK, do it.” Novak turned to Wong at the helm. “I want you to land it there” he pointed at a spot on the pilot’s screen “not to far but not to close either.” He turned to the other crew members. “OK, here’s the plan. We’re gonna fake some engine problems and land. Then I do hope that those who are hiding there will dislike our presence and come out of their shell to check and then we’ll see.”

The Lynx slowly approached the planet and prepared for landing. The pilot and the engineer tried their best to make the ship look damaged and the crew also faked emergency landing procedures if those who were hiding below had a way to listen to their intern communications. Then the ship landed on a wind swept plain some kilometres from the place where they suspected that the hidden base was.

“Not the place I would like to visit in the fist place” Henry Remi said and looked out of one of the small windows. “Sand, stone and rocks”. “Perfect for a creep like Bent” Novak said. “OK, I want everyone awake and aware of what’s happening around the ship. I’m sure that we’ll have visitor’s soon. How about the atmosphere and such. Do we need envirosuits?” “No” Pat Jardine answered “but it’s cold, windy and the atmosphere is a bit thin. It’s not recommendable to stay out there for too long. “Good” Novak said. “Now let’s wait”.

“Hey look!” Henry Remi said and pointed  at the screen. Suddenly the grayish sky behind the small hills in front of them just changed and revealed some buildings visible behind the hills. And there was more than that. Three armoured vehicles were approaching at high speed. Novak turned to Henry Remi “Go to the weapons station! If they make a single attempt to shoot, wipe them out! But first of all I want to se what they are planning.” “They’re hailing us” Linda Lindsay said. “Open a channel” Novak answered. A voice boomed out from the speakers, a voice that Novak did recognize all too well. “Alien ship! Who are you and why have you landed here? This is a restricted area. Get out of here quick or we’ll open fire!” “Bent?” Mike Cortez asked. “Oh yeah,” whispered Novak and nodded. “Now, let’s play with open cards for a while”. Novak went up to the main screen which only showed the landscape and approaching vehicles. The houses in the background had disappeared, just as if they never had existed. They’ve turned on their cloaking again, Novak thought. Then he said “I’m Commander Bohumil Novak of the trading ship Lynx. We’re having serious problems with one of our engines and have landed here to repair it. “In that case you must surrender while we..wait a minute. Novak? Bohumil Novak? Do you have a visible channel. “Yes” Novak answered. “Visual contact” came Linda’s voice from behind. The screen went up and they could see the face of a dark-haired, smiling man but the smile didn’t reach his eyes who had a mean look. “I’ll be damned, the man said. It’s really you. Don’t you recognize your old friend Rune Bent? “Oh yes I do” said Novak with an affected smile. “Well, I’m happy to see that.” Bent answered. “If I’m correct, you did promise to blast me with a phaser next time we met, didn’t you? “Yes, I did” Novak said, not to friendly this time. “and I do have the power to do so. I have a phaser cannon pointed at your toy cars and I can blow them to kingdom come when I want to. “Let me remind you that I have some spaceships too”, Bent added. Maybe not as powerful as yours but there’s no problem for them to go up and shoot a sitting duck like your ship. But why don’t we try to solve this in a peaceful way. Let us forget about mistakes in the past and discuss our current lives instead. By the way, what are you doing in this area? I thought you were dead. You were in the Maquis, weren’t you? I heard that you all were killed off  by the Cardassians. “The rumor about my death is a bit exaggerated” Novak said. Actually, we had to hide for a while. As for being here, we’re doing some trading and while trying to get away from a Starfleet vessel, we did get some trouble with the engines and thought it was best to find a quiet place to repair them.” “So you’re hiding from Starfleet?” Bent said. “Then I might have a proposal which can be of some interest.” Let’s hear it” Novak said. “You’re having trouble with Starfleet and have a fast high-class ship. We are also having some problems with Starfleet and the Bajorans and we have a well-camouflaged base as you probably know now. We have some business going which requires a fast ship and maybe you could help us with that detail. It’s an one off-mission and it will bring me a fortune when it’s done and you will have a fair share of it if you do assist us. So why don’t we bury our hatchets and cooperate instead? What do you think?” Bent said with an affected smile. “Wait a minute” Novak said and turned to Linda. “Cut off both audible and visible channels!”

Novak turned to the others. “Don’t let him fool you. He have seen that we have a good and fast ship and he wants to use it for his purposes. Then he’ll waste us all when the mission is done or make us take the blame for it while he’ll get away. I know him, he could sell his crazy mother to get a fortune and then buy her back to sell her again if he got something out of it. But I want to go inside that cloaked area. It’s the only way to get Janeway out. I was thinking about beaming her out but that’s impossible with that cloak and forcefield. So we have to go inside.” “But that’s dangerous” Linda said. “We don’t know how many they are and they won’t let any of us run around in there.” “No” Mike added “but if we want to find the Admiral, then we have to go inside. I agree with Bohumil here. Let’s pretend that we want to do business with that creep and then we fool him before he can fool us.” “OK, let us agree to his ideas and see what will happen. Open the channel again!” Once again Bent’s face became visible. “OK” Novak said. “There might be something in your proposal. So let us discuss it and if the price is right then we might cooperate. And as you said, why bury ourselves in past mistakes. “Good”, said Bent. “Now won’t you join us for a trip to my well-hidden base. “I will take some of my people with me while the rest of my crew repairs the ship” Novak said. “Give me two minutes.”

He ordered Linda to cut the communication and turned to the other crew members. “Sonny, what about the ship?” “No problem” the engineer said. “We can start now.” “Good” Novak said. “I’ll take Mike, Henry and Pat along. I need Pat to find and disable that cloak or forcefield or whatever and you two as bodyguards if that creep tries to shoot me in the back. The rest of you… Kes rushed forward. ” I’ll come along too” she said.  Novak looked at her as if he didn’t believe what she was saying. “No, you better stay here, this is very dangerous”, he said “No, I’m not staying” Kes said with that determined look in her eyes that Novak had learned to respect “you’ll need me to find the Captain, uh Admiral Janeway. Maybe I can sense in some way where she is. I’ve seen that prison cell in my dreams and…” No, it’s to dangerous Novak said and pointed at the screen where they now only could see the landscape and the three alien vessels. “I know that you want to help Janeway and I also know that you are very brave but that man is a psycho, more dangerous than Jabin, Culluh or whatever we ever encountered in the Delta Quadrant and he has a boss who is ten time worse who happens to have some telepathic abilities too. This is a very dangerous mission and…” “That’s why you’ll need me” Kes said “you need someone who can find Janeway and you’ll need someone with telepathic abilities too. Besides that, five persons are better than four to cover your back!” Novak, almost jumping of anger was trying to come up with something but was interrupted by Mike Cortez. “Kes, Bohumil is right. This is almost a suicidal mission and it’s too dangerous for you. We…” “I’m going with you, like it or not” Kes said “and if you two are going to stand here and argue, then those people out there will be really suspicious.” She turned to the stairs which led down to the lower part of the ship “Let’s go!” she said. Novak waived his arms in a dramatic gesture. “All right!” he screamed and shook his head. Then he followed her down the stairs with the other three crewmembers right after. “Sonny” he said to the stubby engineer who happened to stand at the end of the stairs “now here’s your big chance. I’ll leave you in command of the ship. I want everyone alert and ready for anything. If I need the ship going or a beam-out or anything, then I want it as fast as possible. Try too keep an eye on the surrounding space too and the communications, both from their base and if there should be any Starfleet message coming in to them or us. And if anyone of those jokers or their vehicles or spaceships or whatever should come too close, blast them!” “My pleasure!” Sonny said with a big grin and went up the stairs to the bridge.


Chapter 7

There was an atmosphere of desperation over the meeting, like if time was running out. And indeed it was. The deadline was close. “According to their final message, we have to agree to their terms in two hours. Otherwise they will start cutting Admiral Janeway in small pieces, according to their message” said Admiral Nechayev. “Is there no way of tracing where the messages are coming from?” asked Admiral Paris. “Negative” Admiral Ross said. “they are using very sophisticated ways of sending those messages and sometimes I wonder if they have access to Starfleet codes and know how to avoid detection. They seem to be very clever.” “What about our Bajoran friends, the Minister and their Security Chief” Admiral Nechayev said. “Any moves from their side?” “Not so far” said Admiral Styles. “We are keeping them under surveillance. But it’s difficult when one of the suspects are in charge of their Security Organisation. We don’t know if we can trust anyone of them.” “And our Starships?” asked Admiral Paris. “They are still searching but those kidnappers can be anywhere” said Admiral Nechayev. According to Captain Chakotay, Voyager have searched the Badlands and the planets in the Terikof Belt without finding them. The Voyager is now searching beyond the Badlands, near the border to the Tzenkethi Coalition. But it’s like finding a needle in the haystack. What about Deep Space Nine and Bajoran space?” “We are doing what we can” Kira Nerys said. Ro Laren have questioned everyone who could possibly be involved, we have checked everything and everyone who could have been to the station and Ro Laren’s team of security are searching every ship that docks on the station if they should have anything to do with this. So far nothing. We also have Bajoran ships checking the nearby planets but no results so far.” “What about the Enterprise” asked Admiral Ross. “The Enterprise is on standby if its needed to get the prisoners here” Admiral Nechayev answered.  “What?” Admiral Styles said. “You don’t mean that we are going to release Hyde and Bergh. They are traitors!” “I know that as well as you and we have no intention to do so if it’s not absolutely necessary. But we can’t just sacrifice one of our own Admirals without trying everything.” “But releasing them, giving after for terrorists is against everything Starfleet stands for!” Styles continued. “Janeway knows the risks. She must be prepared to die for the principles Starfleet stands for.” “I must agree with Admiral Styles here even if I hate to say that” said Admiral Paris. It could create a very dangerous situation if we start to give after for such demands. But there must be a way…” “At least we must do what we can to drag on the negotiations as long as possible.” Admiral Nechayev continued. “Therefore I have given Captain Picard an order to get the prisoners and bring them here. I will also send a message to the kidnappers that we will accept their demands. Then it’s up to the Enterprise to try to trick them. I’m sure that Jean-Luc Picard is the man for that”. “But that’s..” Admiral Styles said. “What if Picard fails. If that happen, then you are in trouble. “ he said to Admiral Nechayev. “I know.” she answered.

They were sitting in one of the small armed vehicles which had encountered their spaceship together with Bent and the driver and were approaching what looked like an abandoned camp or base. For a few seconds, the forcefield was de-activated so they could enter. Novak couldn’t help being impressed by how well-camouflaged the base was. “Impressing, isn’t it?” Bent asked. “Yeah right” Novak said. What is it. “Ah, it’s a cloaking device that Mystro bought or stole from the Romulans once upon a time. My friend Bernard St.Pierre, you remember him, don’t you, have modified it to cover the base and also combined it with a very effective forcefield.” Bent said. Novak did remember St.Pierre, a rather arrogant guy who was helping Bent with different technicalities but he had never believed that the man could come up with something like this forcefield. “OK what will happen if a Starfleet vessel approaches and discover my ship?” Novak asked. “Don’t worry. We are well informed about Starfleet’s moves. But if they show up then we’ll contact your ship and they must land inside our forcefield before Starfleet discovers them or just get the hell out of here. Otherwise they are on their own.” Novak nodded but said nothing. Bent’s arrogance and self-confidence was irritating. He acts like if he has four aces and a king, Novak, thought, and what do I have? A bunch of jokers. And a Queen? He looked at Kes who was sitting near one of the walls of the vehicle. He wasn’t pleased at all to have her along on this mission. This was dangerous, very dangerous and he wished that she had stayed on the relative safety on the ship instead of following them on this mission. He had tried to prevent her but he knew that it was impossible to make her change her mind when she had decided something. Now why must she be so stubborn?, he thought. Don’t she understand how dangerous this is? But he did also  admire her for her courage, her guts, strong will and determination.

They arrived to the camp and stepped out of the vehicle. Novak saw how Kes was looking around, obviously trying to locate the building where Janeway was imprisoned. He also saw that Mike Cortez, Henry Reno and Pat Jardine was alert and ready. “This way please” said Bent and pointed at the largest building, one of the few that didn’t seem so damaged. Novak looked around and noticed the antennas on a nearby building. Probably the place where they keep the equipment for the forcefield. He looked at Jardine and saw that he too, had noticed it.

They entered the building and came into a big room which looked as a combination of office, meeting hall and bar. There were  some other men in there and Novak did recognize some of them, one was St.Pierre. The other was a big blond man who Novak remembered as John Aaron, something of a hitman. “Dear friends” you remember or old friend Novak, don’t you?” St.Pierre, a tall, blond, rather good-looking person looked at Novak and the others with disgust. “I see that. Now didn’t you promise that you should kill us all next time you ran into anyone of us” he said. “I thought you always kept your promises” Now, would I love to push that sarcastic smile down your throat, Novak thought but gave the other man a smile back. “Times changes” he said “and your boss has given me an offer I can’t refuse”. “That’s right” Bent said “we have decided to make peace in order to do some serious business which can bring us all fame and fortune. Mr.Novak and his friends got a good looking spaceship which we could have use for and rather than taking it by force and use a crew who don’t know anything about it, we’ve decided to cooperate and play a trick on an organization we don’t like. ”That’s right” said Novak” and as the Ferengis are saying: Opportunity and instinct equals profit and I should need some profit right now.” “Yes, and greed is eternal” laughed Bent. Some of the tension in the room faded and Novak took the opportunity to introduce his team. “This is my First Officer Mike Cortez, this is Pat Jardine and Henry Remi and this is Jen, my secretary. She’s from a planet in the Vulcan Empire and good at maths, therefore I always bring her along when it comes to making deals”. He heard one of Bent’s men laugh and whisper “Secretary” when he mentioned Kes.  Believe what you want, you idiot, Novak thought and was happy that Kes hadn’t reacted when he gave out the false information. “One of those logical types” Bent said. “ She looks good for being a Vulcan or related to them. But never mind, you do know some of my friends” he said and introduced the three others as Lindley, Mannington and Samuels. They seemed to be tough guys.  Then he turned to Mike Cortez. “I’ve heard about you. You were in Starfleet, weren’t you?” “Yes I was” Mike said “but I left. I didn’t like them. I joined the Maquis instead” “Well, that wasn’t such a good idea either” Bent said  with some sarcasm in his voice. “I heard you got beaten up. “Yeah”, said Novak. “We had to run and then we got stuck on that backward planet, what was it’s name?” “Mintaka III, I think. It was very primitive” Mike said. “Finally a Bajoran merchant vessel found us and helped us to repair the ship so we could go back to our home space. Then the war was over and we had to start living which isn’t easy when we’re regarded as outlaws. So we decided that if they see us as outlaws, then we’ll give them what they want. No use to be honest.” Novak said. “Well, you seem to have learned something during these years” Bent replied. “But let’s get back to business. We are involved in a small operation which will be a real slap in the face for Starfleet. The man we are working for, a real genius have come up with a brilliant plan to save some men of importance who are now imprisoned. So we have kidnapped one of their precious celebrities and we’re going to make an exchange” “Who’s that celebrity?” Novak said, trying to sound enthusiastic. “Now, I won’t reveal too much yet but it’s a celebrity and we’re sure that Starfleet will think both once and twice before sacrificing one of their best and most well-known officers. “Must be Picard.” Mike Cortez muttered. “Ah, not really correct” Bent laughed. “But close!. You’ll see!” He continued “Our boss will receive the message soon if they accept our demands or not. But according to what we know, Starfleet will probably try to fool us when it comes to an exchange. Therefore we need your ship, a fast ship with experience from running from Starfleet. Your mission will be to transport the liberated prisoners to a planet in Cardassian space where we, or should I say, our imprisoned friends have some contacts while we will do everything we can to lay a false track for Starfleet to follow.” “I don’t like that the Cardassians are involved” Novak said. “I don’t like them and I don’t trust them either“ “Don’t worry about them, Bent continued “our boss knows how to deal with them, besides that this is not Cardassian officials even if they were that once.” “What happens if Starfleet rejects your proposal”, Mike said. “Then we’ll start torturing our prisoner and send the file to Starfleet and I promise that it will be a show for them to watch and remember” Bent said with ice on every word. “I would really like to do that, she almost broke my jaw that arrogant bitch. “I wish she had, Novak thought. “We may waste her anyway” Bent said. “Just as a warning to Starfleet.” “Suits me fine” Mike Cortez said “I hate Starfleet!” He actually looked as if he meant it. “Well, they will lose anyway” Bent said. “If they reject our proposal, one of their Admirals will die, maybe during torture. If they accept and release the prisoners, then it will be a great loss of prestige for them and they might lose their Admiral anyway.” Bent laughed again and continued. “You will be meeting our boss this afternoon when he returns. Then we’ll know…” he was interrupted by one of his men who came running in. “Bent” he yelled “I’ve got a message from the boss. Starfleet has accepted our demands! The boss is on his way here to prepare for the exchange.” Bent and his men looked at each other in triumph and then at Novak and the others. “ I knew that” Bent said. “Now I will prepare for the arrival of our boss. You can wait in our guesthouse”, he said.

The guesthouse, as Bent had called it was a store-like building opposite the main building with a large room where some sleeping-bags and other equipment was stored. “What a shithole!” Henry Remi said. “Do they expect us to be staying here?” Novak held up a finger in front of his mouth while Mike started to scan the room with a tricorder, obviously searching for eavesdropping devices but after half an hours searching he hadn’t found anything. There was no electricity our power-source at all and it was obvious that Bent and his friends hadn’t planned for having any guests at all during their stay here. Novak and his friends decided to take the risk to speak.

“Do I want to wring the neck of that little weasel” Henry Remi said. What an arrogant bastard!” “You have to stand in line for that” Novak whispered, still careful about the environment. “We must act quickly” Kes whispered and Novak did see a glimpse of fear in her eyes. “You did hear what they were planning to do with Captain, sorry Admiral Janeway.” “Yes I did,” Novak said” and I’m glad that Starfleet accepted the demands. That will give us some time. We’ll have to wait until Mystro gets back. Then we’ll know what they are planning and it will probably be dark then which will be better for us. We must locate where they are holding Janeway and shut off that forcefield. He turned to Kes. “Do you have any idea where they are holding Janeway?” No, not yet. I must try to concentrate and see if I can get some sort of connection.“ “Take your time” Novak said and gave her a smile. She was brave and he really wanted to tell her that. “You did a good job in there.” he said. She nodded. “But why did you call me Jen and said that I was related to theVulcans?” “Because they are well-informed and if they have some information about Voyager, then they might find the name Kes there.” He turned to the others. “Now we just have to wait.”


Chapter 8

Don’t worry Captain, we’ll help you! Janeway jumped up. “Kes!” she said. Then she realized that she had been asleep and dreaming again. But why was she dreaming about Kes all the time? Did it have something to do with her memories of saving Kes from being imprisoned and the fact that she now was in the same situation? But these dreams and the voice in her head was so real, just as if Kes herself was outside the cell, talking to her. I must be going crazy, she thought. I don’t know if Kes is dead or alive now. Maybe it was a ghost or spirit from the afterlife who contacted her. But why?

Damn, she thought. I must focus to get out of here. They would open that door sooner or later and then she would be ready for action. She was interrupted in her thoughts by a landing space vessel and she immediately got the feeling that something was going to happen. It didn’t take so long before she heard voices in the corridor. The small hatch in the door opened and Mystro’s sinister face became visible. “My dear Admiral, he said. I must inform you that Starfleet have accepted my demands. He smiled and Janeway could both see and feel the triumph in the man’s voice and manners. “Unfortunately, they are planning to trick me and therefore I’ve decided to execute you as soon as my friends are liberated and in safety. Just as a warning to them what will happen to those who try to fool me. Such a pity, isn’t it. But first I have to plan my next move in this cosmic chess” He closed the hatch and disappeared.

Janeway couldn’t believe that Starfleet were accepting the demands from the kidnappers. But Mystro had talked about Starfleet trying to fool him. They’re up to something she thought. They must be searching and maybe they will show up soon, she thought. She decided to stay alert and ready and wait for the chance to escape.

The Lynx crew had seen the small vessel land and they guessed that Mystro was on board. Their guesses were confirmed when the man called Lindley came in. “The boss has arrived and he wants to meet you. They left the store building and went back to the main building with Lindley some steps away from the others, watching them closely. They don’t trust us but so far they don’t seem to suspect anything, Novak thought. He noticed that Kes was looking around and was very concentrated. He could also see the determination in the faces of the other crewmembers. They entered the room and there he was, Mystro himself together with the smiling Bent. “Welcome” Bent said. “This is my old friend Bohumil Novak and his crew. I’ve made a deal with them that they should help us for some fame and fortune.” “Welcome, the black-clad, bearded man said. “I’m Mystro and I’m in charge of the operation. I’ve heard a lot about you Mr.Novak and I supposed that you have heard of me too. “Yes I have, you seem to have quite a reputation” Novak said. He was trying to keep his mind clear, knowing that Mystro had some telepathic abilities and maybe could sense if there was foul play going on. “Yes, I have and I’m flattered that you know about me.” Novak then introduced his crew. Mystro looked at them one by one and turned to Kes. “A blonde Vulcan” he said. “Very interesting. He stared at Kes, obviously concentrating. Watch out Kes, Novak thought, he’s a telepath! Kes answered very calmly “No, I’m not a Vulcan, but we’re related to them.” She used the same intonation and way of speaking that Tuvok used to do.  “I see” Mystro said. Then he turned to Novak again. “I’m glad that you have decided to help us. We need a fast spaceship. As you probably know, Starfleet have accepted my demands. Unfortunately, I’ve got some information that they have done so just to fool me. Therefore I have decided to execute Admiral Janeway. Yes, that’s her we are holding. That will teach them a lesson. But first I will liberate the prisoners I want released. I know that they are on board the Enterprise and that the ship is heading to the place I suggested for the exchange. As I happen to have the command codes of the Enterprise, I will make the ship impossible to manoeuvre, release the prisoners and give them the dead body of Janeway in return. Your ship will take our released friends through the Badlands to Cardassian space while my ships will fool the ships that are trying to follow us. My plan is very detailed and it will not fail, thanks to my caution. You will be rewarded when we will meet in Cardassian space. Now I will prepare the final details for the operation and two Earth hours from now, I will give you the instructions which you must follow carefully. Until then I would suggest that you’ll wait in your quarters.” He turned around. “Mr Bent, follow me to my office”.

After being guided back to their quarters, the Lynx crew just looking at each others. Kes was the first one to speak. “We must act now” she said. “That man is very dangerous. He tried to read my thoughts and I’m not sure if he succeeded or not.  He is suspecting something and I could also feel that he’s very evil”. “Do you know where Janeway is?” Novak asked. “I’m not sure but I think it is in that small building beside this one. I think she’s in the basement, I saw the small window near the ground and I’m pretty sure that they keep her there. I could also sense something. I think she is there!” “OK, I take Kes and Henry with me and try to get Janeway out of there while you and Pat will go the house where they have the equipment for the forcefield, I think it’s the building beside the main building. Shut the forcefield down, destroy the whole installation if necessary and try to contact Sonny and make them get our junk heap moving. I want them to wipe out their spaceships and all vehicles they’ve got. And if you run into that arrogant bastard St.Pierre, break his jaw and send my regards.” “You bet I will” Mike Cortez said with a grin. “OK, let’s go!” Novak said.

Novak opened the door, then he and Mike Cortez strolled out. There was no one outside but the man named Lindley immediately walked out from the main building. “The boss wants you to stay inside while he’s planning the operation” he said. Novak and Mike just stood outside, like if they were taking some fresh air, talking and didn’t noticing him. Lindley walked up to them, clearly annoyed. “Hey, you got to go inside, the air is too thin to breathe for a longer time and besides that, the boss wants you to stay inside.” “And I want you to shut up!” Mike said and knocked out the man with a karate hit on the neck. They looked around but it seemed like no one else had noticed what had happened. “C’mon”, Novak said. “Now well get the Admiral!” He, Kes and Henry ran towards the building where they believed that Janeway was hold prisoner while Mike and Pat ran in the other direction.

Mystro walked trough the corridor with Bent behind him. “I’ve really fooled that idiot.“ Bent said with triumph in his voice.. “I told him that we should make peace and cooperate and he would earn a fortune for helping us with this operation and he believed it. He’s so incredibly stupid! It will be real fun to waste all of them when the operation is over,heh heh, heh!” he laughed. Mystro opened the door and walked into his office and Bent followed him. “Maybe I keep that little blonde Vulcan or whatever she is, his secretary” Bent said. “She will have another master from now on”. Mystro closed the door and turned to Bent. “You fool!” he said “you stupid, bloody incompetent fool!” Bent just stared at him. “But what are..” Mystro stared at him with fury in his eyes and screamed: “Don’t you know who they are? They are Starfleet agents. They are friends to Janeway, Chakotay and all of them. They were also in the Delta Quadrant with them and they are here to help her! And that small blonde girl! She’s a telepath from the Delta Quadrant and she’s tracking Janeway. Why do you think they would bring her along otherwise? As a go-go dancer? You idiot!” Bent looked at Mystro with fear in his eyes while Mystro  squeezed his hands round Bent’s throat, almost strangling him while he continued to scream. “During this operation I have taken every precaution to fool Starfleet and avoid us being discovered. I have tried to steer their suspicions on the Bajorans, I have made them search for us in the wrong places and I have taken every precaution to hide this base. And you, you spineless, worthless excuse for a living being have practically inviting Starfleet agents to my base! My base! He pushed Bent hard so he fell unto the floor. “But I thought…”Bent almost whined. “You thought!” Mystro screamed. “How can you possibly think when you don’t have a brain! I’ll make you pay for this if the operation fails! He grabbed Bent and dragged him up from the floor. “Kill them!” he screamed. “All of them! Now!” Bent stumbled out through the door.

Novak went up to the small building where they obviously were holding Janeway as prisoner and knocked on the door. They heard someone approaching and the big, blonde man named John Aaron opened. ”What are you doing here? You are not supposed to be here, he grunted” “Mystro have given us orders to take the prisoner to our ship, Novak said. The man looked at him, obviously a bit confused and Novak hoped that he had fooled him. “No, I must check with the boss first” the man answered. Damn, Novak thought and then suddenly pushed the man hard so he fell into the building. Kes and Henry Remi followed and Kes shut the door so that no one outside would see what was going on.

Novak tried to get a grip of the big man but he just grabbed Novak and threw him in the wall as if he had been a doll. Then he reached for a phaser rifle. Kes saw the danger and kicked the man hard in the back while Henry tried to hold him. Novak was up on his feet again and tried to wrestle down the big man but was once again pushed into the wall. Kes jumped up on the man’s back and tried to scratch his face but he just shook her off as if she was some annoying bug. But now Henry had got the man’s phaser rifle and smacked him on the head with it. The big man fell like a chopped tree. “Bloody monster” Novak said while he was trying to get on his feet again. He looked at Kes who also were trying to get herself back in order again. “Are you allright?” Novak asked. “Yes, I think so” Kes said, obviously a bit shaken. “Thanks” Novak said and nodded to Henry. “Here are the stairs to the basement” Kes said and the others followed her.

Janeway suddenly heard some commotion going on upstairs, as if someone had got a fit of bad temper and was throwing things around. Then she heard whispering voices. They are here to get me, she thought, getting ready for action. They will take me to the execution but I will not go like a lamb to the slaughter. I’m gonna go out with my phasers firing, she thought while the footsteps came closer and she was ready to go to action. She heard the voices, one of them sounded familiar and then there was a woman’s voice which also sounded familiar. It sounded like…… Suddenly the hatch in the door opened. Janeway had expected to see Mystro’s arrogant face but instead it was Kes’s face. Kes of all people! Is  this another dream or am I hallucinating, Janeway thought. “We’ll get you out of there”, Kes said, just like in her dreams. Then she heard the other familiar voice said. “Step back while I blast the lock!” She heard the wheezing from a phaser and covered her eyes while the phaser burned a hole where the complicated lock was sitting. Then the door opened and Kes entered, followed by Bohumil Novak and another man, that Tom Paris lookalike who alsowas a member of the Lynx crew. Kes rushed to Janeway and hugged her. Then she looked at her with tears in her eyes. “What have they done to you”, Kes asked with a worried lok in her blue eyes. I must look terrible, Janeway thought. “I’m okay” Janeway said and gave Kes another hug. “And so are you!” She looked at the three people who had come to liberate her. “But what are you doing here and how did you find me?” “Now that’s a long story” Novak said “and it’s thanks to Kes that we could find you. But now we got to get out of here as soon as possible.”

Janeway followed her liberators through the corridor and up the stairs but when the came to the door they could see a bunch of armed men outside. “Come out!” they heard Bent bellow. “Come out or we’ll blow the building to pieces. “Is there no other way out?” Novak asked. “Not what I know” Janeway said. “So what are we doing now”, Kes whispered. “Making time” Novak said.


Chapter 9

When Novak, Kes and Henry went into the small building to find Janeway, Mike Cortez and Pat Jardine sneaked into a smaller building where they suspected that the communication center was placed. At the same time they sneaked into the building, Mike heard some voices outside and saw a couple of men with Bent at the head running up to the store building where the Lynx team were supposed to be. “They’re after us” he said. “We got to move quick now.”

A door to a larger room opened and the man called Bernard St.Pierre came out, obviously alarmed by the commotion outside. He stared at the two Lynx men and started to pull up his phaser. “Damnit”he screamed. They are here! Tell Mystro..” Mike Cortez took two steps forward and kicked the phaser out of St.Pierres hand then he followed it up by hitting St.Pierre hard on the jaw with his fist. St.Pierre fell to the floor, totally knocked out. “Sorry dear friend” Mike said “but I had direct orders from my Commander.” Meanwhile Pat Jardine rushed into the room and pointed his phaser at another man who was sitting there. “Just try to touch that communication device and I’ll vaporize you!” “Hey, don’t shoot!” the man said and raised his hands in the air. Mike rushed into the room. “Shut of the forcefield or cloaking device or whatever it is! Do it! Now!” he ordered. “I don’t know how it works. He does!” the man said and pointed at the unconscious St.Pierre outside the door while he continued to wail. “Oh shit, I knew this would be a disaster.” “Oh shut up, you fool” Mike said, pointed his phaser at the man and stunned him. “Don’t worry.” he said to Jardine. “I just stunned him, I couldn’t stand hearing his whining. Now, can you shut down this cloaking device?” “I’ll try” said Jardine. “You better hurry” Mike said “because our friends are in trouble.

Novak’s blood froze to ice in his veins when he saw one of the armed vehicles which had picked them up earlier move up towards the building where they were.  He had noticed earlier that the vehicle had a small laser cannon of some sort. Not so effective, he thought, but effective enough to totally vaporize this building. He knew that Bent wasn’t going to hesitate. They had already decided to execute Admiral Janeway and now they had the chance to get rid of him, Kes and Henry at the same time.

Since Bent’s men had surrounded the building, Novak and Janeway had succeeded in taking out two of their enemies with their phasers. Janeway had the phaser rifle which Henry had knocked out the guard with and it was still working. Janeway turned to Novak. “What are the odds for making this? What do we have more? I suspect that you have a ship somewhere.” “I do” Novak said “and I got Mike Cortez and another of my men out there trying to access that cloaking device or forcefield. As long as they are at large and…” Janeway heard a sudden noice behind her. She turned around and delivered a violent kick right in the face of the man called John Aaron who Henry Remi had knocked out earlier. He had obviously regained his consciousness and tried to sneak upon them. But now he was back in dreamland. “That’s my thanks for the lousy food and treatment.” Janeway said. Novak looked at Janeway with a nod of gratitude  and then at Henry. “I thought you knocked out that mammoth.” “I did” Henry said “but maybe it takes more to knock him out with the wooden head he got. “Well, if he tries that one more time, shoot him!” Novak said. Kes looked at him. “I hope you do mean stun him” she said. “Well, yes I did mean that” Novak replied.

But now the armed vehicle was standing outside and Bent started to scream out his demands. “You got one minute to surrender! If you don’t, then we’ll blow up the building.” “Is there any point in surrendering?” Novak shouted. “You will shoot us anyway!” “It’s up to my boss to decide” Bent said “your chances to survive are better if you cooperate. We want your ship and we might need your crew to use it. OK, time’s up. Come out!” “We better do as he said” Janeway suggested. They are not so many and we might have a better chance outside than in this rat hole and I see no signs of them getting hold of your colleagues.” “No, you’re right” Novak whispered. “if they had captured Mike and Pat, then he would have showed us them.” He turned to the door “Do I have your word that you’re not firing when we are coming out?” he asked. “You have my word!” Bent replied. “OK, we’re coming out.

They walked slowly out of the building. Bent and five of his men were waiting outside. “Drop your weapons, all of them!” he ordered. They did so. Bent went up to them with a sarcastic smile on his face. “You bloody idiots.” he said. “Did you really think you could fool me? You’ll pay for this!” He turned to his men. “I might have some use for Admiral Janeway and that Vulcan girl or whatever she is but I don’t need the rest of them. Stand them up against that wall and shoot them. he said but suddenly started to look around. “Wait a minute. There are two missing!”

Mike Cortez stood in the corridor outside the room where the equipment for the cloaking device was and looked out of the window. He didn’t like the look of the events outside and decided that there was time to interfere in the action. “Abandon the work with that stuff” he said to Pat Jardine. “We got to help our friends.” “I got it!” he heard Jardine’s voice. “Got what?” he asked. “The forcefield” came the reply, “I shut it off.” “Excellent! Now contact Sonny and tell him to get the ship moving and tell him to wipe out those armed vehicles.”

Bent was interrupted in his ordering when suddenly a sharp crack was heard, just as if someone had shut of or on some electric device. Suddenly the sky, which had looked a bit foggy and distorted was clear as a starlight night and the eerie landscape, lighten up from the shine of the two moons of which one was almost shot in half was clearly visible. “The forcefield!” someone screamed. The forcefield is off!” And they could also see the Lynx ship slowly rising from the ground behind the hills in the distance. The next second a phaser beam shot out from the spaceship and the armed vehicle in front of the house exploded. Then a second shot hit another vehicle some meters away.

Janeway went in action. She ran up to the nearest of Bent’s men, gripped his arm and throw him over his shoulder, then she picked up his phaser rifle and stunned another one. Henry Remi started wrestling with another of the bandits while Novak picked up a phaser from the ground and stunned one of the men who was aiming at Janeway. At the same time Mike Cortez and Pat Jardine came out from the communications centre and started firing.

A sound from a starting spaceship suddenly made everyone turn their heads. A small ship suddenly took off from  a nearby field. “Mystro!” Janeway said. “He’s getting away!” Novak took up a communication device, some older Starfleet commbadge which he probably had got in some way many years ago and which he had used as a Maquis and screamed “Sonny, take that ship down!” The Lynx ship fired but missed. “Shall we follow it?” Sonny’s voice came over the communicator. “No, pick us up first. We’re faster. We’ll get him!”

Those of Bent’s men who were still standing up were in some sort of disarray and didn’t seem to know what to do. But the leader of the pack was not out of the game. Bent had been thrown to the ground when the first shot from the Lynx ship took out the armed vehicle. But now, when everybody had their attention to Mystro’s escape, he suddenly sneaked up behind them, gripped Kes and held her as a shield in front of him. “I’ll kill her!” he screamed. “I kill her if you try to do something!” Janeway and Novak looked at each other. “He’ll do it” he whispered. “Put down your weapons or she dies!” Bent said with an evil glimpse in his eyes. Novak and Janeway did so while Mike Henry and Pat hesitated. “Drop them my friends” Bent said and pointed his phaser at them. “They did so. “Now the wheel has turned again” Bent said with an evil smile and pointed his phaser at them. He had them all under control again. All of them.

But not Kes! She tried to break loose from him while staring at him and trying to concentrate her powers on him. When Q had restored her to normal and given her a human life-span he had removed most of the powers which had made her a danger for Voyager. But not all and now she tried to use what she still got against Bent.

And it worked! Bent suddenly looked dizzy. He stood right up and down, dropped his phaser and pushed his hands to his head as if he had got a headache and didn’t know why. Kes pulled herself free from his grip and Novak went into action. He kicked Bent in the stomach and planted his fist in Bent’s face. Then he picked up a phaser and pointed at Bent. “That was my main reason for bringing my secretary along on this mission”, he said with a mean smile. Janeway looked at Kes, she didn’t understand the irony in Novak’s words. “And now” Novak said with the same mean smile “I think it’s time to end this conflict once and for all.” He aimed at Bent and adjusted the power of the phase to its highest level. “Go ahead you bastard! Kill me then!” Bent said with hatred in his eyes. Please don’t, Kes thought. She couldn’t imagine Novak killing someone in cold blood, even if Bent was an evil criminal. Novak aimed at Bent, then with a dramatic gesture he lowered the phaser. “You know my friend”, he said with an almost friendly voice “I might be a bastard, I might be a cheater, liar and a very dishonest person. But I don’t execute people who can’t defend themselves. Not even you. And do you know why? Because I’m not like you!” 

He waved at Mike and the others who held the other bandits in control with their phasers. “Tie him up!” “You will regret it” Bent said when Mike tied him. “You will regret that you let me live. I’ll come after you!” “I look forward to it”, Novak said. Then he turned to the others and pointed at the Lynx ship which had landed on the same field that Mystro started from. “Pick up those who are knocked out in the buildings around here and bring them along to the ship. Now we’re going after Mystro!”


Chapter 10

They were sitting in the spaceship Lynx, following the ion trail that Mystro’s ship had left. The Lynx did have transporter technology but it was limited and it would have taken too long time to beam everybody up one by one. Instead it was better to land the ship and take on board everybody. The prisoners were tied up and sedated in the cargo bay, watched by two of the crewmembers.

“Why didn’t you shoot him down in the first place?” Novak said to Sonny Saxon. “I wasn’t sure if it was you who were on that ship and were trying to get away. And when you finally got your act together and ordered me to fire, then he turned and I missed and then you ordered me to pick you up instead.” Sonny said. “Well, thanks for your concern about our welfare” Novak replied. “It’s so typical for you” Sonny complained ”Here I am, doing a job that would have given me a promotion if this had been Starfleet and all I get from you is complaints. It s so typical” Novak laughed. “Honestly, you did an excellent  job there and I’m actually proud of you. I did have my reasons for bringing you along on this trip after all.” He went up and patted Sonny on the back, so hard that the stubby engineer almost stumbled. “I own you a couple of gold stars and a beer at Quark’s! And that goes for all of you! When we were in the middle of the mess, I thought that Bent acted as if he had four aces and a king. But he didn’t, he only had lousy cards. Me on the other hand,  I had some jokers and a Queen.” He pointed at Kes who smiled back. “And I won, thanks to you!” Everybody laughed, especially Janeway who found it good to be back among friends again. Not in her wildest dreams could she have imagined that the help would come in shape of those rough ex-Maquis and Kes. “How did you find me really?” She asked Novak. “Kes did find you.” he said. “Tell her about your dream” he said to Kes. Kes told Janeway the story about the strange dream she had about Janeway in a prison cell and the picture of the planet and the moons. “It was so real”, Kes said. “Just as if really had experienced it. And when we came to that planet, it was like I’ve actually had been there before, even if I never had.” “You seem to have some of those mental abilities intact after all” Janeway said. “and I’m actually happy for that. Otherwise I could have been dead now. Thank you very much Kes!” Janeway said and got a beautiful smile from Kes in return. “And now we are all here together, like a big happy family” Sonny’s voice came from the engineering station. “Yeah, aren’t we a lovely bunch?” Novak replied. Kes just pointed at her head and smiled. She’s probably used to these people and their crazy jokes and comments, Janeway thought.  Personally she did find the lack of Starfleet discipline a bit disturbing. “But tell me about the rest” Janeway said, wanting to come back to the actual subject “what about your adventures in the Delta Quadrant?”

Novak and Kes told Janeway about their adventures in the Delta Quadrant, how they finally made it back to the Alpha Quadrant, just like Voyager did and about their search for her, the visit to Deep Sace Nine and Novak’s earlier confrontation with Bent many years ago. Janeway told them about the abduction and the plan for exchanging her with two convicted traitors. Mike Cortez who had listened to their talk suddenly interrupted them. “So it was that ex-governor Hyde they wanted out of prison, him and that Bergh.” “Yes, said Janeway and looked at Mike who looked as if he was thinking about something. “What is it?” Janeway asked. Well, I do have a theory why they were so well-informed…” Mike began but was interrupted by Henry Remi who pointed at he screen. There! There he is! Novak, who had been sitting at the floor in a very un-commanding way while listening and talking with Janeway and Kes suddenly got up and if like someone had pushed a button he turned into something more like an alert commander. “Magnify!” he said. The picture on the screen changed and what had been just a dot on the screen turned into Mystro’s escaping ship. “Shall I take him out?” Henry Remi asked. “No!” Janeway answered in Novak’s place “I want him alive and I want to get some information out of him what this was all about and who gave them all the information about the conference, Starfleet routine and such.” Henry looked at Novak who nodded. “She’s the Admiral and gives the orders, he said half-jokingly. “Honestly, it can be a good idea to take him alive. He did brag about having the command codes for the Enterprise and I’m sure that Starfleet wants to know how he got them.” “Believe me” Mike said, “we’ll never get a word out of him but I do have a plan.” Janeway looked at him but Mike now turned his attention to the main screen. Pat Jadine pointed at the screen and said: “Whatever we’re gonna do, we have to make it fast because he’s approaching the Cardassian border!”

Mystro was furious. In a couple of hours his splendid plans had been torn to pieces. He’s carefully planned operation which he had worked on for months had been ruined because of the stupidity of his most loyal helping hand, the incompetence from the rest of his crew and by that Novak and his gang of ex-Maquis personnel. But I will get away, he thought, I will get away and I will return and take revenge! If he only could get into Cardassian space, then he could make it. The Lynx wouldn’t dare to follow him because of the risk for a diplomatic conflict between the Federation, Bajor and the new Cardassian government. And even if they did, there was always the hope that a Cardassian patrol ship would shoot them or at least chase them away from the border area. Of course, that would also result in himself being captured by the Cardassians for illegal trespassing. But he did know some people in Cardassia who could get him out and then…. But now he must concentrate on holding on as long as possible. They won’t shoot at me, he thought. They want me alive. He looked at his screens, trying to calculate the distance between his ship and the Lynx and was planning to shoot out a torpedo, just to delay them further when he suddenly became aware of a menacing threat just in front of him.

“This will be damn close” Novak said. He looked at his pilot Wong. “Can’t we go any faster?” Wong pointed at his console and shook his head. “Sonny?” Novak said and turned around to his engineer. “Sorry” he said without his usual sarcasm or humor “the engines are at their maximum.” “I can take him out” Henry said and looked at Novak. “Wait…” Novak said. What do I do now?, he thought. But then Mike pointed at the main screen. “I don’t think we have to worry about it” he said. Novak turned around and saw a big spaceship approach from the other direction. “It’s Voyager!” Kes shouted. “Well, I’ll be damned…..” Janeway said.

Chakotay stood at the bridge, looking at the small vessel ahead of him and the somewhat bigger Maquis ship which was following it and the situation was more and less clear for him. “Hail the Lynx” he said to Harry Kim. “Both visual and audio”. Immediately the view of the Lynx bridge became visible and Chakotay could see Janeway, Novak, Cortez, Kes and some of the other ex-Maquis that he did know all too well and he couldn’t hide a sigh of relief over the fact that Janeway was safe. “Admiral..” he started but there was no time for talk. Janeway marched up to the screen as she always used to do when she was in command of Voyager. “It’s Mystro”, she said. “Get him!”

Mystro didn’t have the time to react or think about a possible way to escape before he felt a transporter taking him away. In the next second he was standing in Voyager’s transporter room. Four security guards were standing there, aiming their phasers at him and in the next second Chakotay entered the transporter room. “I’m Captain Chakotay at the Federation Starship Voyager and you are under arrest.” Chakotay said and nodded to his security team: “Take him to the brig.”

Just like in the good, old days, Janeway thought. She was sitting in the briefing room but it was Chakotay who was sitting at her usual place. It was a strange feeling to be here again, just like coming home and discover that everything has changed and nothing is like it used to be. Both Novak and Kes did seem to have the same feeling, they did look uneasy both of them. Only Mike Cortez and Harry Kim did seem to act as if nothing had happened since the days in the Delta Quadrant.

Kes did have mixed emotion about this visit. Of course it was nice to be back on Voyager again, the ship which she had so many fond memories from and which had been her home for so long. But there was just too much which wasn’t the same anymore, too many of their friends missing. They had made a short sightseeing on the ship before the conference in the briefing room but it had felt strange to visit Engineering without Torres, Sickbay without The Doctor and the Mess Hall without Neelix. She also missed Paris and Tuvok. Janeway and Chakotay had informed her, Novak and Mike Cortez about what their friends was doing nowdays and she hoped that Neelix had found what he was looking for. But she felt a bit sad that many of her friends were gone from the ship. There were just too many memories and too many changes. Novak, probable thinking the same thing had just looked at her when they were sitting in the mess hall, drinking coffee. “There’s nothing for us here anymore” he had said. She had actually felt a bit relieved when the sightseeing was over and they gathered in the Briefing Room.

Bent and his crew had been transported over to Voyager and put in the brig. They were probably arguing with Mystro about who’s fault it was that the operation failed. But there was one more question. Who had helped Mystro in planning this operation? Janeway was determined to find out who it was and she did have some ideas. “So what are we going to do now…..Admiral?” Chakotay said with a smile. It was obvious that he was very relieved to see Janeway back safe and healthy. Janeway had told her story about the abduction, the death threats and the almost miraculous rescue by the Lynx crew. “Why this sneaking around and not contacting Starfleet Headquarters. Have you become a Maquis too, Admiral?” “I don’t think so, even if it’s tempting sometimes” Janeway said. But there’s a leak and I’m going to find out where it is.” Chakotay recognized the determination in her eyes from the days when she was in command of the ship. “Mr.Cortez here have given me some information which I find very useful and I do have a plan how to do. First I’m going to contact Admiral Nechayev and ask her to gather some people at Deep Space Nine, including two Bajoran ministers. Then I want you, Captain Chakotay, and only you to have a private talk with Mystro because you have a spiritual mind and know how to deal with such things. Mystro have some telepathic abilities which can be dangerous and if there’s someone among us, in the absence of Tuvok, who can deal with such people and control the thoughts, then it’s you. No offence to Kes, but she knows too much about this to be the one who confronts Mystro in this matter. Now this is what we’re gonna do…”


Chapter 11

Admiral Nechayev gathered the other Admirals, Kira Nerys, Ro Laren the Bajoran Minister Of Defence and the Bajoran Chief Of Security to deep Space Nine for a conference and a briefing about the latest events in the kidnapping drama. Now they were sitting in the Briefing Room at Deep Space Nine. “Why do we have this conference here?, the Bajoran Defence Minister asked. “Wouldn’t it had been better if we had had it at Bajor, in a proper conference room?” “I have gathered you here because I wanted to inform you about the latest events in this ghastly affair. I’m happy to inform you that Admiral Janeway is in safety. “What about those traitors?, Admiral Ross asked. “Did we make an exchange for the Admiral?” “Admiral Nechayev didn’t answer. Instead the doors opened and Admiral Janeway, together with Captain Picard entered the room. There was a common sigh of relief among the others. “Kathryn!” Owen Paris said and everyone could clearly hear the happiness in his voice. “I’m so glad that you are safe!” Janeway smiled at him. “Thank you, she said. It’s good to be back.” Admiral Paris did seldom show such emotions in public but Janeway had been his special favorite, ever since she was at the Academy. He had followed her career carefully during all these years.

Janeway looked around in the conference room. Then she started to walk up towards the Bajoran Chief of Security but suddenly turned and went up to Admiral Styles instead. “You failed!” she said with ice crystals on every syllable. “You and your friends Mystro and Bent. You failed to get your old boss Hyde released!” Admiral Styles’s face got red and he started to stutter. “What..what are you talking about?” “This whole plot” Janeway said. “I did wonder why they were so well-informed about everything. About my arrival to Deep Space Nine, Starfleet’s attempts to find me and all that. Mystro tried to make the evidence point at the Bajorans, most possible some Bajoran extremist group. But those evidence were too clear!”

She turned to the others in the room. “The Bajoran Defence Minister wanted the conference and he wanted it here on Bajor. The Chief Of Security was against more Starfleet involvement in this sector because he saw it as a risk for more dependence on Starfleet. But you” she turned and pointed at Admiral Styles, “was the one who invited me and Picard to this conference and you did know exactly when I was going to arrive at deep Space Nine and you were also the one who had all information about where Starfleet were searching after the kidnapping. So when I was sitting in my cell at Mystro’s base, I started to wonder. I have also got some information from another source that Governor Hyde did have someone in Starfleet who cooperated closely with him in his illegal business, someone who they never caught and you happen to have relatives who were living on the planet where he was a Governor. Thanks to your influential parents you did succeed to hide and get rid of every possible evidence about your business with Hyde, Bergh and Mystro but with two of them in prison, there were always the risk that someone should talk one day. So you got in touch with your old friends Mystro and Bent and came up with this plan. Unfortunately for you, neither of you were smart enough to make it work as you wished.”

Admiral Styles glared at Janeway with anger. Then he turned to the others in the room, smiled his old, arrogant smile and said. “Now look here, Admiral Janeway is upset, confused and obviously in bad mental health after being kidnapped and locked in. I can’t understand why she is accusing me. I assure you that..” He was interrupted when the doors opened and Chakotay came in together with Mystro. The sinister criminal looked at Admiral Styles with anger in his eyes. “You betrayed me!” he screamed. “You told them about my base, the forcefield and everything. As soon as they started to put pressure on you, you gave up!” Mystro stared at Admiral Styles who once again started to stutter when Mystro tried to use his telepathic abilities on him. “I, I haven’t told them anything about the base on Ada IV or the forcefield or…” “How did you know that the name of the planet where Admiral Janeway was hold as prisoner was Ada IV?” Chakotay asked Admiral Styles. Got you!, Janeway thought. She did have some more evidence about Bent visiting Bajor one times too many and being seen together with Styles but this mistake from Styles was more than enough. “Arrest him!” Admiral Nechayev said and a couple of security guards walked in, gripped Admiral Styles and pushed him out of the room while Chakotay and Picard escorted Mystro out the same way. The sinister criminal was furious. “Why am I always surrounded by idiots and incompetent fools?” he seethed. “Maybe because you are one yourself” Picard answered.



They were celebrating the happy ending of the events at the most appropriate place at Deep Space Nine, at Quark’s Bar. Kes, Novak and the rest of the Lynx crew, Janeway, Chakotay, Kim, Kira and Ro Laren were sitting around some tables which they had pushed together to make room for everybody. Quark, who saw the chance for a radical increase in today’s income and who also was a bit happy that some of his information had been available, was constantly coming up to the place where they were sitting, serving them beer, which they of course had to pay for and trying to be the perfect host. “Well, you must admit that my piece of information was very valuable” he said with his most charming smile, or at least was what he thought was a charming smile. “Yeah Quark,” Novak said, “thanks for your generous help.” He stressed the word generous, well aware of the fact that Mike have paid what was actually a small fortune for the rather small information Quark had given them. “Next time, you’ll give me the information,” Ro Laren said. “Nah, let us not hope that Admiral Janeway will be kidnapped again” Quark said. “Besides that, you should learn something from your friend here” he pointed at Mike Cortez “ he knows how to deal with witnesses and get the best information out of them.” Ro Laren just shook his head. “You’ll never make him change, I know. He’s hopeless” Kira Nerys said.

Some hours earlier, Admiral Nechayev had showed her gratitude to the Lynx crew for their efforts to liberate Janeway. She had told them that they were also included in the amnesty which had been granted to most of the ex-Maquis after the Dominion War. “So I can actually take a vacation on Risa without being arrested? the always talkative Lynx engineer Sonny Saxon had asked and even the calm and composed Admiral Nechayev had smiled at that comment. Then Kira Nerys had informed them that since they obviously have established themselves as some sort of “Defence Force” for the planet New Carlisle, her plan was to make that more official. “The planet is in a border section and both the Bajoran fleet and Starfleet have limited resources. Therefore I will give you a commisson to act as a defence force for that planet and the nearby area, at least for the time being. You will cooperate with the Bajoran defence Fleet and Starfleet in this matter. “Suits me fine.” Novak had said “It’s a nice place but I don’t want to sit there and stare at the clouds all the time. I need some excitement too from time to time.

Admiral Paris had also dropped by at Quark’s to thank them for liberating Janeway. He had looked a bit surprised when he looked at Henry Remi who actually did look as if he was a relative to Tom Paris, something which had amused some of the people around the tables and caused some comments after he had left. “Well, now he got to go home and check his diaries for the last 30 years or so. Naughty, naughty Admiral” Sonny said and got an irritated look from Janeway who didn’t really like that they made fun of Admiral Paris” “Maybe he though that you were Nick Locarno” Novak said, talking about another Tom Paris lookalike who had been involved in a similar accident as the one who nearly ruined Tom Paris’s career and finally made him end up on Voyager. “Well, the old vampire didn’t look that evil after all” Novak continued “I wonder why he and Tom were so at odds with each other.” “Let’s talk about it another time,” Kes said. Like everyone else there, she did know about the bad relationship between Tom and his father and she didn’t want to spoil the rest of the evening with an ongoing discussion about that. Right now she just wanted to relax and have a good time with her friends. She was happy that Janeway had been saved and that she had played a great part in making that possible. Seems like I have paid back some of what I own to Janeway, she thought. She was also happy that she still had some of her mental abilities intact. When Q had restored her back to normal, she had promised herself not to use them if it wasn’t absolutely necessary and so far she had kept that promise. Only when I can help and save people, she thought. She was also very happy that she had got in touch with Janeway and some of her old friends from Voyager and she had promised to visit them in the future. She was already planning a trip to Earth, where she would visit Starfleet headquarters and she also hoped that she would get an opportunity to visit The Doctor, her old friend from Voyager. But right now she wanted to go back to New Carlisle, the flowers and the calm life. Exploring and adventures are OK, she thought, but it’s actually nice to have a safe place where to rest and have a normal life too.

“So what are you up to now?” she asked Janeway “Well since the conference had been postponed until Starfleet has come up with a replacement for Admiral Styles” Janeway answered “I have nothing particular to do for the coming week. So I’m going back to Starfleet Headquarters. But I have talked to Captain Chakotay about an inspection tour in a couple of weeks which will take us to a certain planet were some good friends are living right now.” You’re welcome” Novak said, raising his glass. Kes laughed and joined in the toast.