Flashback 1

Star Trek: Phoenix-X
The Tilonian System

Somewhere, out in the far reaches of the stars, the Shuttle craft Lime travels through space. Inside, its two occupants, a Commander Night Gotens and an Ensign Dan tackle the controls like two inexperienced high school students.

Ensign Dan: "So say if this control panel were a lady, I'd slowly tap her buttons until her inertial dampeners were recalibrated and her warp drive system came online. Then, boom! Warp speed baby."
Gotens: "Ugh! Enough already! How long are you going to go on talking?? I have two hours of fan fiction reading to do, and I've only got the first two words down!"
Ensign Dan: "What kind of fan fiction reading?"
Gotens: "It's based on Beverly Crusher's Frame of Mind universe. This writer supposedly copies the story and character-types... but the difference is that there's an added fork to the lunch scene."
Ensign Dan: "That's the worst thing I've ever heard."
Gotens: "Hey! Writers nowadays don't create their own material - they add on to other people's!"
Ensign Dan: "Then where do those people get their material?"
Gotens: "They steal it from even earlier works. --Now get back to work, mapping out this system and so on."
Ensign Dan: "I finished an hour ago! You know, if the Federation and the Cardassians would stop increasing their borders, we wouldn't have to map out these new star systems."
Gotens: "Did I say you could state your opinion? No! In fact, I specifically said that you were to change your opinions to match my own!"
Ensign Dan: "Uggh. Fine. Okay. Let's get outta here."
Gotens: "Good idea. We'll rendezvous with the ship in 10 minutes; warp 2 ...Let's make that 4..."
Ensign Dan: "Are you sure you know what your doing?"
Gotens: "Trust me. But I'll be the one engaging the systems."
Ensign Dan: "Yeah but the last time you did that, you blew the warp manifolds--"
Gotens: "--I said, I'll be engaging the systems! Also, I'll be spinning around in that chair, so you'd better make room. Weeeee!"

Meanwhile, the Nebula class, U.S.S. Phoenix treks through space. An Admiral Daniel stands at its Bridge, peering out into the vastness of space in awe and wonder.
Armond: "Um... sir, are you okay? You seem to be squinting a lot."
Daniel: "Yes, I'm quite fine, Lieutenant. Thanks for your concern. If you must know, I was merely admiring space itself and the universe as a whole."
Armond: "I completely understand, Admiral. Just the other day I was saying to GoyCho that space is the final frontier, and that these were the voyages of the starship-- Well, I don't want to bore you with all the details."
Daniel: "No, go on! I enjoy those spontaneous moments of heightened awareness."
Suddenly, Commander Avery enters the Bridge.
Avery: "What's going on here? Are you guys socializing? We have a command structure for a reason!"
Daniel: "Oh, lighten up, Avery. You need a girlfriend or something."
Avery: "I do have one! She's an Orion. But she's currently away on some special business in the Orion system for the eighteenth time - peh! Whatever that's all about."
Daniel: "Dude. You're totally being played."
Avery: "I don't need you to clarify my situation for me!"
Daniel: "Oh, so it's going to be like that, huh? Well you can forget leading the mission in the Tiloniam system now!"
Avery: "We were supposed to go to the Tilonian system."
Daniel: "What!? --Er, no... I just changed it... to the Tiloniam system. Now get to work. And I want you to lead this mission!"
The Admiral leaves for his Ready room.

Aboard the Lime, the two officers have reached the end of their ten minutes.
Ensign Dan: "Commander!"
Gotens: "We're not leaving until you admit you had a good time with your old Commanding officer."
Ensign Dan: "But I haven't! I've been having a horrible time! We serve aboard the USS Xena, an all female ship except for three guys. I do all these ship-chores so that I can finally get that promotion; but you never give it to me. I hate it!"
Gotens, tears up: "Aww. I can sense the denial in your words. That really touched me, Ensign Dan. --Okay, we can go now."

The shuttle jumps to warp just moments after the Phoenix enters visual range. Daniel enters the Bridge.
Armond: "I'm detecting a Federation shuttle craft."
Daniel: "Argh... what now? Oh, you meant that as a report! Heh. --Oh hey, a shuttle craft. Hail them. Heh, heh."
Armond: "Yes, sir... Sorry, sir. They just jumped to warp 6, out of communications range."
Daniel: "Crew, follow them and open a channel. --Ahem. Greetings. I am an Admiral. That's all you need to know, so respond now or else."
The crew just look at him.
Daniel: "Wait, wait. That was way too short. Okay, let me try again. --Ahem. Hah! You think you can escape from me? Yeah right! Like you have a chance? My ship is the fastest ship in my fleet; let alone you are a shuttle craft. If you don't respond, I will have to ask you to lower your shields, and board your little shuttle craft. ...The only thing I ask is an answer. Jeez!"
Avery: "That was the worst approach ever."
Daniel: "Hey! You're on very thin ice with me. Very thin ice."

The Lime receives the hail, but gets a lag in communications before they drop warp.
#Daniel: "...If you don't respond, I will have to ask you to lower your shields, and board your little shuttle craft. ...The only thing I ask is an answer. Jeez!"
Gotens: "I recognize that voice. I met him about 82 years ago..."

FLASHBACK. Both Daniel and Gotens encounter each other at a food table during an important Federation party. All around them are Starfleet big-wigs, and hanging anti-Klingon banners.
Daniel: "Hi. I'm Captain Daniel. You must be...?"
Gotens: "Lieutenant Gotens. We met previously, on Trill? You temporarily exiled yourself from the Federation due to politics? I befriended you and taught you how to play ten different kinds of sports? We stayed up every night and talked about the stars and what it'd be like to map them?"
Daniel: "Ohhh, that Gotens! Well what have we done together lately?"
Gotens: "We ran into each other at this party."
Daniel: "Aww. That's great. --Well seeya!"

PRESENT. Gotens then snaps out of his flashback and shakes his head.

Gotens: "Wait a second. I knew him way before that. That jerk!"
Just then, the Phoenix drops warp too, and then raises again.
>Daniel: "How come you ignored my hail the first time? We detected no malfunction in communications. If I didn't know better, you were ignoring us. Now please identify yourself. --Security, I want your men to be ready to board the shuttle if they provoke us."
>Wallace: "Acknowledged, Admiral."
Gotens: "But I...? Uggh!"

Meanwhile, the U.S.S. Xena drifts through space. Captain Aeris paces the Bridge impatiently.
Aeris: "Where are those two? Gotens was supposed to trick Ensign Dan into that shuttle trip so he could knock the Ensign out and steal back my favorite coffee travel-mug!"
Wendy: "You do know that you can just replicate those?"
Aeris: "Yes but it's the principle that counts."
Wendy: "--Oh my gosh. Captain, I'm receiving a distress signal from the U.S.S. Ixion. A fleet of Jem'Hadar attack cruisers are heading towards the location of the shuttle craft!"
Aeris: "What!? Someone call Deep Space 9! We're in a botched Galaxy class starship for God's sakes. Just because they tried adding that third nacelle to our ship, doesn't mean it makes us invincible!"

Elsewhere, aboard Starbase 55, an Admiral Vincent Cloud and Captain Cid watch the events unfolding in the Tiloniam system upon Cloud's office's large view-screen.
Cloud: "That can't be good. We put Daniel on the Phoenix because nothing ever was supposed to happen to it again... You know, after that whole Maxwell going mad thing and all."
Cid: "The Ixion and the Xena are the only ships close enough to help!"
Cloud: "Oh man. Don't get me started on the Xena. After Picard decides to talk about his futuristic experiences in the future at one of the Federation's annual anti-Klingon parties, Admiral Theseus decides it'd be good to try a three nacelled Galaxy class ship! That, and he wants to keep the old-style Admiral uniforms in circulation."
Cid: "You're... not concerned about the immediate danger unfolding in the Tiloniam system, are you?"
Cloud: "Cid, you have a lot to learn about being an office guy."

Ten Dominion ships drop warp and open fire upon the Phoenix. Daniel quickly beams both Gotens and Ensign Dan aboard.
Daniel: "Okay. Let's prepare battle..."
He turns to the screen and notices the shuttle craft in mid-explosion.
Daniel: "Um... Let's prepare running instead."
Avery: "Agreed. But we'll do it from my command, because I've decided that I'll be taking command of this vessel."
Daniel: "Now's not the time for one of your posture inspections, Avery."
Avery: "No, I mean I intend on mutiny! For far too long has your crew been silent about the truth of what you are. A Changeling!"
Daniel: "Can someone please get rid of this guy?"
The Phoenix is fired on, multiple times by the Jem'Hadar ships. A control panel eventually explodes and knocks Commander Avery to the floor.
Daniel: "Well, that's one way of doing it."
Armond: "Shields down to 10-percent."
#Vern: "Engineering to Bridge. The warp core is experiencing multi-fluctuations. It must've been that last torpedo! All the core started emitting a pink glow since then."
Kayl: "I like pink."
Armond: "Pink? That's a wussy color... Wussy? That reminds me of Avery! --Hey! Maybe Avery was right? We should take command of the ship. How can we all be so sure enough to trust the Admiral? Not to mention that the Admiral had lied about who he was for years."
Daniel: "I didn't lie! I just... omitted certain sentences during the course of my day."

Admiral Cloud sits down in his chair, as the view-screen continues to show three Starfleet icons against ten Dominion icons. All of a sudden, three Dominion icons disappear.
Cloud: "Oh man. On top of all this, my monitor is malfunctioning!"
Cid: "Uhh, no sir. Three Dominion ships have been destroyed... Six of them seem to be heading for the system's star."
Cloud: "Well then. Keep me informed."
Cid: "I don't need to. You can see it right there!"
Cloud: "Office people don't talk back, Captain. In fact, they're supposed to just do whatever people tell them. How else do you think starship's have been in service for so many centuries? That's right. We office people kept the Iconian transport technology down and are proud of it!"
Cid: "Really?"
Cloud: "Yes. Now let's continue watching. I just got the specs on a new starship that I would rather not go over right now."
Cid: "I gave you those specs."
Cloud: "Oh... well this is awkward."

Aboard the lead Dominion ship, the head Vorta approaches the Jem'Hadar First.
Jem'Hadar First: "The experimental J3 torpedo seems to be launching just fine. Although, it should have destroyed the Phoenix."
Feylou: "Hmm. Yes. Yes it should have."
Jem'Hadar Second: "My fault. The guys and I ran into a few over-heating issues with the experimental torpedoes. Yeah, we're really sorry. It won't... It won't happen again. Promise. Well, as best as we can promise. I'll just get back to work now. Yeah."
He leaves.
Feylou: "Then we'll exact our vengeance upon the Federation. Oh how I loathe and despise that white-picket fence organization."
Jem'Hadar First: "Why do we not just annihilate them and be rid of them?"
Feylou: "Tell me about it!"
Jem'Hadar First: "Listen... Vorta master. There is something I must confess I have been finding myself thinking about lately. They are not thoughts I am proud of... What if we, the Dominion, just learned to get along with the Federation? I'm sure we could, you know, work out some treaties, or perhaps a peace?"
Feylou: "You fool! You've been in the Alpha Quadrant too long! Someone shoot him quickly!"
The Jem'Hadar Third pulls out his weapon and blasts a disrupter pulse into the First's chest. The First hits the floor.
Feylou: "Now you will be the First."
Jem'Hadar Third, aka. New First: "But about Jem'Hadar Second?"
Feylou: "I'll be pitting you two to a death match in five minutes. Then we will complete our suicide mission. The Federation will learn to respect and fear us after we're through with them! MWAHAHAHA!"

On the Phoenix, Daniel continues to be confronted about his true nature.
Daniel: "Alright, fine! So I lied a little bit about my human status, or lack there-of. But you should have seen that little girl's face. I couldn't tell her I was her people's mortal enemy!"
Kayl: "What little girl? Anyway, no dice, Captain. We didn't embark on an exchange program with the Klingon's, in which half our ship would be Klingon crew, just to lose it all now!"
Red: "Yeah! Those anti-Klingon parties are really hurtful, you know."
Armond: "We want a good reason not to provoke you - You, a Changeling who is obviously more agile than us."
Daniel: "How about that time I couldn't tell some little girl about my lack there-of human status?"
The three officer's just look at each other and nod.
Kayl: "What little girl?? Uggh! Forget it."
Armond: "You're off the hook, sir."
Red: "But we Klingons want our bed cushions fluffed every day!"
Daniel: "Consider it done."

Back down in Sickbay, Ensign Dan decides to head out to do what he can to help.
Gotens: "You're just going to mess things up again! Remember that time you made that fleet of Dominion ships attack us in the Tilonian system?"
Ensign Dan: "That was just now. And it wasn't me! And it was in the Tiloniam system!"
Gotens: "Oh, so you say."
Ensign Dan leaves.
Gotens: "Aww. That stupid Admiral is to blame for all this!"
EMH: "Is it the Admiral that is to blame, or, let's be honest now, is there something inside you that needs fixing?"
Gotens: "I guess, you're right, holographic guy. Thanks for the talk. It really helped."
EMH: "Hey, it's what I do."

The ship shakes yet again from more incoming fire!
Armond: "Captain. I've been studying the effects of these experimental torpedoes. They're repellant to nadion particles. I've got an idea. If we can reroute phaser anti-matter into the shield's outter shell, then any torpedo coming this way would be ricocheted."
Daniel: "This is not the time for speculations."
Armond: "That last torpedo hit re-stabilized the shield matter-anti-matter couplings and matched them to phaser signatures. This can work."
Daniel: "Seeing how that is techno-babble, then you're probably right. Make it so!"
#Vern: "Engineering to Bridge. The warp core is over-loading. We have to eject immediately!"
Daniel: "Will that interfere with Armond's crazy, matter-anti-matter plan?"
#Vern: "Well... the anti-matter is all stored in the core. But Armond thinks all ship energy is anti-matter, so, I'm pretty sure not."
Daniel: "Then, make it so! ...Hah! Being a commanding officer is the best."

Lieutenant Armond makes his crazy changes, and a J3 torpedo ricochets off the shields of the Phoenix. The torpedo heads back toward the Dominion ship.
Feylou: "Oh my. Now we die. I never saw Karemma."
The Dominion ship explodes! But the other Dominion ships with experimental torpedoes finish pumping the star with ammo. The star begins buldge and erupt...

The U.S.S. Xena approaches the Phoenix, scanning them.
Wing, tears up: "Poor Jem'Hadar. Does no one care about them?"
Aeris: "Lieutenant Commander, they went to war with us."
Wing: "Oh, so that makes it okay!?"
Aeris: "I'm just going to change the subject now. Hey, is that the Phoenix? They look badly damaged!"
Wing: "Affirmative."
Wendy:"Not only that; it looks like the Phoenix just unloaded their warp core as that star is about to explode! Is this the end of the Admiral Daniel and his illustrious crew of nobody's?"
Wing: "It better be. The anticipation is killing me! Oh, and it looks like the Captain is about to yell something important."
Aeris: "Transporter room, beam everyone from the Phoenix over!"

The crew from the Phoenix is beamed out seconds before the Xena jumps to warp and the explosive wave from the star vapourizes everything in the system. Back on Starbase 55, Admiral Vincent Cloud is just finishing going over the specs for a new Prometheus-looking starship.

Cloud: "And... according to this padd, the Mutli-Vector class starship, built for the X-Project, is finally ready to go. Starfleet has confirmed that the X-Project is a failure and they want the ship to run as a normal vessel, because-- well, the war and everything."
Theseus: "Excellent."
Cloud: "But I don't get it? The X-Project wasn't a failure. The technology installed in it works perfectly! It just seems like this is all some big cover-up by some undercover shadow agency within the Federation. But what agency, or possibly, section?"
Theseus: "Don't worry your pretty little head, Admiral. --Now, Captain Cid, contact Deep Space 9."
Cloud: "What are you doing?"
Theseus: "This is it, Vincent."
Cloud: "What is it?"
Theseus: "The first day of a new era."
Cloud: "What are you talking about?"
Theseus: "Guards, by order of Starfleet Command, escort Admiral Vincent Cloud to Sickbay."
Cloud: "What!? No! Let go of me!"
Two gaurds grab Cloud and drag him out the room.
Theseus: "To have his memory erased..."
Cid: "You're going to deploy the Phoenix-X?"
Theseus: "Affirmative. Contact that Admiral... Admiral Daniel... Or should I say, Captain Daniel?"
Cid: "You're demoting him?"
Theseus: "I'm not demoting him, Starfleet Command is."
Cid: "Why?"
Theseus: "You'll think of a reason. MOOHOOhahahaha!"

Later, the Xena docks at Deep Space 9. Daniel reads a report recieved from Starfleet Command on Ops.
Daniel: "I'm demoted because I'm a Changeling? That's obsurd. What, just because we're at war with my people?? War is good for the economy!"
Sisko: "Someone must really be laughing back at Starfleet."
Daniel: "Uggh. Oh well. At least it's public now. Maybe I'll finally get all the respect I deserve?"
Just then, two Engineer's walk by.
Decker: "Go back to your Quadrant!"
Tekoa: "Yeah, stop killing people and get a real job!"
They watch them leave.
Daniel: "Ugh! Ignorance! Wasn't ignorance supposed to have been abolished by the 24th century?"
Sisko: "Er, yeah, but, you know, I think there was a time-travel incident somewhere that ruined that."

Down on the Prominade, Lieutenant Kayl appraches Lieutenant Armond.
Kayl: "Uh, Armond. Just a heads up, that all energies on the ship aren't anti-matter."
Armond: "Oh, uh... I knew that. Hah! ...Okay, maybe not. What are you doing here anyway?"
Kayl: "There's supposed to be a meeting with the crew here. We're getting a new starship!"
Armond: "Great. You know, it's too bad the Phoenix was annihilated back there."
Kayl: "Actually, there were a few pieces that survived... They're going to rebuild the ship for continuity sakes. Yes. Continuity is very important."
Armond: "I hope my quarters were destroyed. I left that place a complete mess."

#Daniel: Captian's log, Stardate 51599-point-74. The ship has been damaged horribly, but instead of waiting for repairs I am to take command of a failed Transwarp-project ship after the closure of its project, the X-Project. Starfleet must not have wanted to put the ship to waste.

Commander Night Gotens joins the accumulating crowd on the Prominade.
Aeris: "Well, Night, I'm proud to have had you as part of my crew."
Gotens: "I'm proud to have been under your command."
Aeris: "Good luck. --Oh, and about the coffee mug thing?"
Gotens: "Right here. Sorry, I kind of got hungry after a while."
He hands it over, but it is full of oatmeal.
Aeris: "You keep it."

The Changeling, Daniel then takes his place on the pedestal and addresses his crew.

Daniel: "Greetings! I've just received a message from Starfleet... Because Commander Night Gotens reporting my actions of interrogating him that time--"
Ensign Dan: "--And this is not the only time Daniel has done something like this. The Federation is upset of him."
Daniel: "You're relieved of duty!"
Ensign Dan: "But I'm not on duty."
Daniel: "Then... when you go on duty, you'll be relieved!"
Ensign Dan: "...Yes sir."
Daniel: "As I was saying - With a successful plea bargain, I am to command a new Phoenix... as Captian."
Gotens: "As Captian... you're not Admiral anymore?"
Daniel: "No... only this ship will be different. Qualities of it are unique. I will be very proud to command the Pheonix-X. And I hear I should be getting a new Commander.
Ensign Dan: "Sir--"
Daniel: "No! You're relieved!"
Ensign Dan: "Jeez. Talking jello."
Daniel: "You're relieved too!"

In the crowd, Gotens turns to Red.
Gotens: "Wait a minute. It's my fault he's demoted?"
Red: "Well, now that you're our first officer, you have to report everything we report to you."
Gotens: "Which reminds me. Your lack of forehead ridges issue - not my department."
Lox, walks over: "Hello. I'm Doctor Lox. Perhaps I can be of assistance?"
Red, happy: "Can you!?"
The two walk off, talking. Suddenly, Commander Avery walks over.
Avery: "So you are the pathetic one who took my place?"
Gotens: "Yeah, that's right. Watcha gonna do about it? You better get outta my face before I bust a plasma cell up on yo' gludios maximus."
Avery: "I'll be watching you Gotens. Your every mistake, fault, and scratch. When I'm done with you, your career in Starfleet will be forgotten."
Avery walks away.
Gotens: "Oh man... and I have a wedgie. This day just keeps getting worse."

Docked at Deep Space 9 is the U.S.S. Phoenix-X. Down in Engineering, a Lieutenant Kugo enters.
Kugo: "What a fascinating vessel. Being that my mind is of Vulcan form, I will not become over stimulated."
Vern: "Hey look, a Transwarp drive!"
Kugo: "OHMYGOD! --Oh, and uh, hi. I'm the new Chief Engineer."
Vern: "Thats impossible. I'm the Chief En--"
He checks his duty padd.
Vern: "Aw man! Transferred to the Hood!? That ship really sucks."
Kugo: "I have a feeling we're supposed to keep this Transwarp drive a secret from outsiders."
Vern: "Now that I know, are you going to mind-meld with me to make me forget?"
Kugo: "And ruin my manicure? No thanks."
Vern shrugs and then leaves. Kugo just walks over and touches the Transwarp drive.
Kugo: "Pretty."
Daniel: "Curious. Does tactile contact alter your perception of the Phoenix-X?"
She looks over and notices Daniel.
Kugo: "AAH! Oh right. The whole shape-shifting thing. --And no. For Vulcans, touch does not connect you to an object in a very personal way."
Daniel: "Just thought I'd ask. I'm taking command of this ship, and just wanted to know what people thought of our secret drive. Wait a second... secret drive!?"
He rips a yellow sticky note off the drive and reads it.
Daniel: "...-To Phoenix-X crew. Please keep this drive a secret, as we would like to use your vessel for important covert missions. Enjoy!-"
Kugo: "What a twisted situation. Are you going to do what they say?"
Daniel: "Hmm. Perhaps. I believe we can save some lives using this drive, even if it has to be a secret. I'll also be keeping our superiors in check, so that they don't use this power for evil. I'm hoping the rest of the crew will feel the same way, otherwise... you know, they've got issues."
Kugo: "Uhh. Yeah! That's what my reasoning is going to be too. Heh. --I have to go now."

She slowly backs out of Engineering, leaving Captain Daniel to the Transwarp drive.

Kugo: "Weirdo!"