9.12.07

Episode 82

Star Trek: Phoenix-X
Forbidden Crossing, Part III

The Phoenix-X’s violent shaking begins to subside as the ultra-transwarp conduit stabilizes the ship. Everyone slowly pulls themselves off the floor in pain.
Cell: “Ugh... where are we?”
Red: “The ultra-transwarp conduit.”
Cell: “If this is another one of those trademark Klingon practical jokes, I swear that I’ll make sure you won’t be seeing your next forehead waxing.”
Kayl: “No Captain... look! We really are travelling at faster-than-transwarp speeds!”
Seifer: “Well, I’ll be a Bolian’s uncle.”
Armond: “I never thought it’d be possible... but here we are, on a trip to the Andromeda galaxy! What strange new worlds and new civilizations will we find? What fascinations or intrigues will we encounter?”
Cell: “That’s just the exact same question, twice, only with you generalizing it the second time around.”
Armond: “Sorry, Captain.”
0: “What... where am I?”
They look over to find another being is on the bridge with them.
Cell: “Ahh! This is really awkward, suddenly.”
Q: “I’ll fill in. You see, long ago, I, the Q, had a conflict with this insane being, called 0. Let’s just say that after much fighting, he was banished from the galaxy. That’s right, we banish people sometimes!”
Cell: “How pathetic, Q. You’re always having conflicts with other supreme beings; first the X and now this 0! When will you ever learn?”
Q: “Hey, I can’t have other powerful beings that aren’t part of Continuum around! That’d just be taboo. Ego is a part of our power. Without it, we are nothing!”
0: “I’m crazy! I’ll kill you all!”
Q: “Not now, 0.”
He snaps his fingers and 0 disappears.
Cell: “Ego, huh? Ever think that maybe there are other omnipotent beings out there that want to exist without being bullied by you?”
Q: “Considering that I’m me, and not them; no.”
He shakes his head.
Q: “I really thought you would’ve been different as a non-human, Cell. But it turns out you’re just like Picard and Janeway - slaves to their ideals. It’s time for me go now. You’ve made me a bit upset.”
He flashes out of there.
Seifer: “Great, Captain. Our only guest in weeks and you scare him off.”

Theseus sits at a table in the Bar & Lounge, with a drink, while staring out the windows at the passing conduit. Wallace grabs a drink a notices him.
Wallace: “Wow. The Andromeda galaxy... I never thought it’d be possible.”
Theseus: “Okay, so what did you think; that we’d be stuck in that other God-forsaken galaxy for the rest of all time? Being in the Milky Way is like being stuck inside a can of sardines!”
Wallace: “I guess you have a point.”

While waiting for their arrival into the Andromeda galaxy, Seifer sits at a station at the back of the Bridge, playing a computerized version of dom-jot.
Seifer: “Hah! Take that you pixelated colored ball!”
The Captain walks over and shuts down the game.
Seifer: “But this game is so much safer than the real one. No angry Nausicaans.”
Red: “Sir! We are nearing the Andromeda galaxy!”
Seifer: “No angry Nausicaans there either.”
Ensign Dan: “Ooooh, this is it. I’ve waited my whole life for this opportunity.”
Cell: “You’re relieved!”
Kayl: “Captain, aren’t you the least bit excited about exploring this brave new galaxy?”
Cell: “I suppose so, Kayl. But a Captain doesn’t show emotion, for he must be the strength that holds his crew strong - especially now, as we’re entering the truly great unknown.”
Red: “Preparing to drop ultra-transwarp.”
Cell: “Ooohhh! This is it!”
The crew just look at him.
Cell: “Ahem. Back to your stations.”
Suddenly the ship begins to rumble. Then it starts to shake more. The shaking continues until becoming violent quakes!
Armond: “You guys were wrong, THIS is where the doom and gloom is!”
Red: “--Unable to stabilize the ship! The transition back into normal space is causing gravimetric disturbances!”
Cell: “Not to worry. I’m sure everything is going to turn out just fine in the end.”
Seifer: “What makes you say that?”
Cell: “Happens every week with us.”

The ship drops ultra-transwarp, back in to normal space, but spinning. Lieutenant Commander Red slows the spin to a complete stop. The Phoenix-X finds itself within the Andromeda galaxy, surrounded by foreign stars.

Seifer: “Wow...”
The Commander squints one eye and holds his thumb over the view of the Milkyway galaxy, on screen.
Seifer: “I never realized how small our galaxy is. This puts a whole new perspective on the Milkyway races.”
Cell: “Bridge to Engineering. What the hell caused that disruption to the ship?”
#Kugo: “Unknown, sir. At first we were thinking it was a ghost haunting Deck 12... but then we realized that we weren’t stupid. Anyway, we’ll get back to you.”
Cell: “Understood.”
Armond: “Captain! We have a hull breech in the Shuttle bay!”
Cell: “Seal that area!”
#GoyCho: “Shuttle bay to the Bridge! The bay’s door has been breeched and we’ve lost Omega. He was working at one of the consoles near the doors.”
Seifer: “Oh right. Omega has been studying the ship lately, seeing how it works and such - as per his android curiosity. He must’ve been at the Shuttle bay part of his journey when the ship was trying to exit the conduit.”
Armond: “Oh no, he’s dead!”
They cut to a view of Omega, drifting, limp in space.
Red: “He is an android. He does not require oxygen to function.”
Lox: “Neither does Ensign Carol, after her blood transfusion with a Breen specimen.”
Cell: “Stop talking!”

All of a sudden two alien ships drop warp. A small centipod, and a larger starship. The starship opens fire toward the centipod, but the centipod dodges each blast. The centipod suddenly swoops by Omega and beams him away. It then warps out of the system.

Cell: “You see what happens when you talk?”
The alien starship then hails the Phoenix-X. A creature with a hundred tentacle limbs appears on screen. Theseus and his team step onto the Bridge.
>Forto: “Strange ship. I am Forto. We are the vessel Mordoc. You will identify yourself, and then you will surrender your rights to the Kelvan Empire.”
Seifer: “Hey look. They have the same customs as we do here, starship flying and communicating verbally.”
Theseus: “We’ll handle this, Captain Cell. --Kelvan ship. We are pre-representatives from the Milky Way galaxy’s Federation and would like to sit down and discuss some things over a drink from your native culture.”
>Forto: “Federation, huh? We had one of those in our galaxy... Didn’t like ‘em. Had ‘em destroyed.”
Cell: “Ugh. Let me handle this, Theseus. --Kelvan ship. We noticed you were battling a smaller ship you arrived here with. It stole one of my crewmembers.”
>Forto: “So, what are you getting at? Do you really expect me to put two and two together? Do you know how much work that is?”
Cell: “I’m saying, if they are your enemy, then we are your allies. We would like to help you track down that other ship.”
>Forto: “You will be my ally as soon as we conquer you! Do you people not get this?”
Seifer: “But what if we don’t want to be conquered?”
>Forto: “Then nothing! You will be conquered anyway!”
Seifer: “I’m still not following.”
Cell: “Look Forto. What if we made a deal with you? We’ll help you find that other vessel and when we find it, we’ll talk about our conquering even more. If we can’t find it, then we’ll hand ourselves over peacefully.”
>Forto: “Fine! All this picking apart of my intentions is giving me an upper arm-hemisphere ache.”
The screen clicks off.

Meanwhile, the centipod speeds through space at incredible speeds. Inside, another hundred limbed creature moves around, tapping at controls and working the ship, alone. On a nearby metallic bed, Omega lies, unconscious.

#Omega: “What... what is going on?”
His voice pours out a nearby speaker.
Ramat: “I’ve downloaded your program into my alien computer database. It was about to degrade within your android hardware.”
#Omega: “How dare you--!? Oh, you saved my life. My android consciousness thanks you.”
Ramat: “Not so tough now, huh?”
#Omega: “No.”
Ramat: “Hm. I didn’t expect that. --But then perhaps I should learn to expect the unexpected now that I’m roaming the open space.”
#Omega: “Omega does not understand the words being spoken through the universal translator.”
Ramat: “I escaped my people because I didn’t agree with their ways. Now I roam free, rebelling against them whenever possible.”
#Omega: “The point of such an endeavour escapes me. Omega does not understand.”
Ramat: “Did your previous owners have to explain everything to you too? I wonder if it’s some annoying android trait.”

Elsewhere, the Phoenix-X and the Mordoc speed through space together at warp. Theseus meets with Cell in the Conference room.

Theseus: “What was the point of that, Captain? I am the only one authorized to speak to the native people of this quadrant!”
Cell: “You were going to get us conquered. I did the right thing.”
Theseus: “What would you know of the right thing? You turn your back on Section 31 whenever it is most convenient for you!”
Cell: “Well, when one of Section 31’s schemes are to convince the Evora that they need hats and then secretly embed tracking devices into those hats, it’s pretty hard not to turn your back on them! Besides... you’re no angel yourself - You helped start this whole X-Project thing and then bailed when it all seemed like it was going nowhere for you!”
Theseus: “That is merely speculation on your part, and you know it! The real reason I left was to pursue other Section 31 missions of a covert state. You’d be surprised at how well I can play a flirtatious vixen.”
Cell: “Now I’m just horribly disturbed.”

Aboard the Kelvan ship, a sub-commander enters the Bridge.
Nekan: “Are you sure it is wise to go along with these aliens?”
Forto: “They seem to have the energy. I just want that centipod captured already. It’s been a month!”
Nekan: “The High Command was foolish to put you on this hunting mission. There are far more important things to be worrying about... like conquering other cultures.”
Forto: “Tell me about it! Hopefully this will all be over soon. I wanted to conquer that one culture of mole-rabbit-like creatures. They think they’re so good!”
Nekan: “Calm down now, Forto. We should get to that secret hail from the Phoenix-X. The guy has been waiting for ten minutes already.”
Forto: “Oh, fine. That Phoenix-X group is a bunch of prissy weaklings with a lack of arms if you ask me.”

Out in space, the centipod meets up with another similar centipod. The Kelvan creature beams over with special cargo.
Ramat: “Good to see you again, Biket.”
Biket: “I’ve brought the cargo you asked for. But next time you contact me, make sure I’m not in the middle of an arm cleaning. You know how important those are to me.”
Ramat: “And to all of us. But enough about the whole arm thing, I want you to meet Omega.”
Biket: “You must’ve been out here in the Andromeda galaxy too long. You’re making up imaginary people!”
#Omega: “I assure you, Omega is real.”
Ramat: “He sometimes switches from first person to third person dialogue. Guess which he’ll do next sometimes; I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.”
Biket: “Whoa! A talking computer. You’ve definitely out-done yourself, Ramat... is what I’d be saying if such a thing didn’t already exist.”
Ramat: “--Omega, this is Biket. I met him out here in the frontier and he helped me to see the truth of the Kelvan Empire.”
#Omega: “Was your empire always like this?”
Biket: “Well there are different Kelvans in different sections of the galaxy. Ours in particular are obsessed with conquering. I think the others are too, but we barely pay attention to them because... well, who cares about people you don’t know, right?”
#Omega: “What a poor attitude.”
Biket: “Your talking computer is bringing me down, Ramat. I’m out of here.”
Ramat: “But we were going to exchange star charts??”
Biket: “Maybe some other time when you become moderately lowered in temperature again.”
#Omega: “Are you referring to ‘cool’?”
Biket: “Ugggh!”
He leaves.

Commander Seifer goes down to the Phoenix-X’s Main Engineering to meet up with Kugo and Armond.
Seifer: “Hey, pointy-eared woman, where are all the Corps of Engineers?”
Kugo: “As soon as they found out their job of getting us here was done, they all went to the recreational facilities to celebrate.”
Seifer: “Ohh! Maybe it’s not too late for me to join them.”
Armond: “We called you here because we think we know why the ultra-transwarp conduit came in so roughly.”
Seifer: “This better be good. I left a perfectly good secret, illegal, gambling tongo game in one of the broken turbolifts.”
Kugo: “Armond suggests that the Andromeda galaxy is fraught with horrible radiation.”
Armond: “It’s slowly making the galaxy uninhabitable.”
Seifer: “Hmm. I remember Wallace saying something about this. But then he started going on and on about Kelvan’s wanting to invade our galaxy, it just put me to sleep.”
Kugo: “Well, it was that radiation that effected our ultra-transwarp conduit. Now, at our current status, we won’t be able to jump into an ultra-transwarp conduit to get home.”
Seifer: “Oh my God! We’ll be stuck here forever!!! We’ll become one of those lost ships with no real purpose or uniform updates.”
Armond: “Not to worry; Kugo and I think we can neutralize the radiation interference with the conduit. But it may take some time.”
Seifer: “Make it happen. The last thing I want is to become slaves to the Kelvan Empire before my 40th birthday. Although, thanks to Lox’s rejuvenation techniques I look and feel like I’m in my late twenties.”
Armond: “Oh he does wonders.”

Meanwhile, aboard the Kelvan ship, Mordoc, the two senior officers are met with a new visitor. Admiral Theseus beams over, without the Phoenix-X’s knowledge.
Nekan: “How did you do that?”
Theseus: “Emergency transporter unit. All us Section 31 types have them.”
Forto: “I have no idea what you’re talking about, but talk fast so that I may conclude the pointlessness of this conversation!”
Theseus: “My organization is well aware of your radiation situation here in the Andromeda galaxy. We’re willing to help you transport to our galaxy, if you’re okay with being allies with us.”
Forto: “Allying with people is not something we are acquainted with. When we get to your galaxy we will want to begin what is in our nature... the conquering of inferior species.”
Theseus: “Hmm. That’s kind of a downer. But I suppose we could drop your armada off in Breen territory or something. Perhaps even in Dominion territory... But you must retain equal allies with Section 31.”
Forto: “There is that word again! Ugh. It will take some convincing, but my superiors may go for it. They are known to be vulnerable to leniency when their lives are in danger.”
Theseus: “It’s the same way with the people in our galaxy sometimes.”
He reaches out his hand to shake one of theirs, but is suddenly stumped at which of the hundred arms to go for.

Aboard the Phoenix-X, Mayhem sits in the Captain’s Ready Room with both Wallace and Cell there.
Mayhem: “...And so, instead of reconfiguring me, the Iconian program was such a small part of the larger program, that it merged with me instead. I suppose it contained some kind of attachment algorhythm that was meant for it to attach to the main Iconian virus program.”
Cell: “Fascinating. But that still doesn’t explain why you corrupted all the replicators on Deck 8?”
Mayhem: “Oh. That was because Ensign Borishnikov angered me when he commented on my husky male-dominating voice. In my opinion, it is an improvement from what Section 31 programmed me with. Lox’s programming tried to keep it husky but now it has faded. Luckily the Iconian virus has returned it to me.”
Wallace: “What an amazing origin story! But you should know that you weren’t created by Section 31. They only retrieved you from the USS Rune after you were posted there for some time.”
Mayhem: “What are you saying, that I was some sort of EMH? That is horrible! I want to kill myself now!”
Wallace: “Actually, you were a testbed Emergency Command Hologram... based on Voyager’s EMH’s specifications.”
Mayhem: “Well... it is a little better.”
Cell: “So does that mean Mayhem is programmed with Starfleet protocols and training?”
Wallace: “Indeed. He is qualified to be a Starfleet officer. You just have to re-activate his programming... One way is to press a secret button located in his lower back.”
Mayhem: “Just like Data. I think I’ll delete that aspect of me.”

The centipod continues to sit in space. Ramat activates a chamber that opens up from the floor and ascends into the room.
#Omega: “I’d ask what that was, but I’m more interested finding out when I will be returned to my body.”
Ramat: “That piece of junk was ruined in your ultra-transwarp conduit. Not to worry, though I have a new body for you. That is what Biket gave me when he was here.”
#Omega: “Then, in that case, I feel I am free to ask what that chamber is.”
Ramat: “I’ll answer that question before you even begin to engage in such asking. You see, Biket is a scientist and has been experimenting on a special, a highly volatile molecule, capable of wiping out entire star systems. The thing is, that the molecule is very reactive and in suspension. The wrong configuration, or sudden movement and it could kill us all.”
#Omega: “That is the omega molecule. By mere coincidence, my body contained a suspension of those for safe keeping.”
Ramat: “I’m far too pre-occupied with this to pay attention to what you’re saying, right now. --Now, when Biket went back to his ship, I secretly beamed this chamber over here and replaced his with a fake one. It will be a while before he knows.”
#Omega: “You intend on destroying your own people?”
Ramat: “Just the ones that are after me, so that the Empire will leave me alone... and more importantly, that I will know I am capable of surviving on my own.”
#Omega: “Omega once tested himself in such a way. He once lived in space for four days.”
Ramat: “When you say ‘he’, you mean ‘you’, right?”
#Omega: “Yes.”
Ramat: “Just checking.”

Commander Seifer enters the Bridge and runs into Captain Cell.
Seifer: “Well this is an unlikely encounter. It’s good to see you, Captain.”
Cell: “I saw you five minutes ago.”
Seifer: “Then it would seem that my Trill symbiont isn’t doing his job today.”
Cell: “Forget it. I was just thinking how unfortunate it was that when upon entering the Andromeda galaxy we were met with misfortune and preoccupation.”
Seifer: “Tell me about it. An ideal situation would have seen us arrived here and lucky enough to meet a neighbouring species with good intentions.”
Cell: “Which makes me wonder... how can we make first contact without revealing the Phoenix-X’s secret engine?”
Seifer: “Duh. Swear the whole new race to secrecy and get them in on the cover-up.”
All of a sudden, Crewmen Nathan enters the Bridge, shaking his fist.
Nathan: “I’ve been meaning to speak to you two. Who do you think you are for bringing me into this galaxy? I never asked to have the risk of being stranded here forever from you!”
Cell: “Get back to your station!”
Nathan: “Yes, Captain.”
He turns around meekly and gets back into the turbolift.

Back aboard the centipod, in the Engineering room, an empty shell android body is lowered from a platform from the ceiling. Ramat watches intently and then goes to the controls.
#Omega: “Is this the body you were speaking of?”
Ramat: “Indeed. It’s going to take a while for the chamber to be ready, so I thought I’d work on you for a while. You’re not going to cause a ruckus as soon as you’re downloaded into this body, are you?”
#Omega: “Omega intended to, but if Ramat thinks another course of action is preferable then let it be known.”
Ramat: “Indeed, I do - and that action is inaction.”
#Omega: “Omega will comply for the time being, in the interests of monitoring your destructive endeavours to satisfy my obsession with studying things.”
Ramat: “Very well. Activating the download.”
The computer revs up and the shell android’s body suddenly opens its eyes. The eyes glow momentarily as Omega is downloaded into it. Suddenly, the android is brought to life and sits up abruptly.
Omega: “Alive, alive. Illogical! Illogical! The universe is illogical!”
He begins to heat up when Ramat quickly stabilizes his program.
Omega: “Universe, making sense... now becoming, logical.”
Ramat: “Phew. That was a close one. It seems being integrated into the android systems makes you prone to logic. I’ve adapted a rationalization algorithm to fix that though. --Now we need a name for you... I’ve got it! How about, Omega?”
Omega: “That is already my name.”
Ramat: “Yes, but now there’s a different origin behind it. And that origin is because you will be helping me with the omega molecules. It will be something to go down Kelvan history!”
Omega: “Very well. But may I ask, where was this android body acquired?”
Ramat: “Long ago, a civilization created many outposts contained with many androids. But the sun in their home star system went nova and wiped their civilization. All that was left were random androids at their left over outposts. Biket and I found this one and thought it would come in handy one day.”
Omega: “I would appear as if your ambitions came true.”
Ramat: “Yeah, it’s strange how luck came about. We Andromedans are more used to bad things happening to us.”

Captain Cell watches as Theseus and his team are speaking at the back of the Bridge, telling each other amusing anecdotes and such. Cell then turns and enters his Ready Room where Mayhem is sitting.
Mayhem: “You wanted to see me?”
Cell: “I have a feeling that the Admiral is up to something...”
Mayhem: “He’s just an Admiral.”
Cell: “Last year, we witnessed him move in a manner un-human-like and weird. I’m starting to suspect that he’s more than what we see.”
Mayhem: “He’s just talking to his friends on the Bridge. After the mission he’ll be erasing their memories.”
Cell: “Exactly! He’s always doing stuff. I want you to get close to him and find out what’s really going on... if anything. But I’m sure I’m not wrong, because that would just be crazy.”
Mayhem: “I’m not a part of your crew. I don’t have to take your orders.”
Cell: “We activated your Starfleet experience files you gained from the Rune. I’m enlisting you as our Intelligence officer with the rank of Lieutenant.”
Mayhem: “In that case I suppose I am a part of your crew. But it doesn’t mean I’m going to be doing what you say.”
Cell: “Very well then. I DON’T want you to gather intelligence on Theseus and I DON’T want you to activate your Starfleet uniform image parameters.”
Mayhem: “I WILL gather intelligence on Theseus and I WILL activate my Starfleet uniform image parameters.”
He gets up and leaves the Ready Room.

The Phoenix-X and the Mordoc drop warp and surround the centipod.
Forto: “Excellent. We couldn’t have done it without the Phoenix-X’s tracking sensors. They were 2 metres longer than ours.”
Nekan: “It is surprising how teaming up can be helpful. Perhaps we should do it more often?”
They both stop and think about that ludicrous idea for a second.
Nekan/Forto: “NAH!”
All of a sudden, they are hailed by the centipod.
>Ramat: “So you’ve finally shown your ugly faces.”
Forto: “If I recall correctly, Ramat - it is you who has been off the map, and on the run, I might add.”
>Ramat: “No you mightn’t! I’ve just been preparing a little explosive surprise for you. No longer will I have anything to do with the Kelvan Empire, and no longer will I be forced to sort through countless lightweight, distilled, compact cuboctahedron’s.”
Forto: “You know you are one of us, Ramat. There was no one more dedicated to sorting those cuboctahedron’s than you. Thanks to your help, 5000 are able to fit in one Kelvan tool shed.”
>Ramat: “Don’t tempt me! I’ve made up my mind about the Empire. I’m going to destroy you like countless angry starship people have done before to other starship people they didn’t like!”
Forto: “Very well then. But in the end, you’ll see what is true to your heart... and then you’ll grieve the loss of the Mordoc... and the loss of your son.”
Nekan: “Uhh. Actually, he doesn’t have a son.”

Aboard the centipod, Ramat enlists Omega’s help in activating the molecule chamber.
Ramat: “Are you with me, Omega?”
Omega: “Very well. But we must aim away from the Phoenix-X. That is one vessel I would like to continue to be in good standings with.”
Ramat: “The explosion should wipe the entire sector, and perhaps even the quadrant as well. Don’t even get me started on the possibilities of it ruining space for the entire galaxy... not that that would change this galaxy’s fate.”
Omega: “Then perhaps Omega has been a bit too hasty in the assistance of Omega to you in this situation. I am Omega.”

Down in the Phoenix-X’s Stellar Cartography room, Theseus walks in and secures that he is alone there. Unfortunately, he does not see Mayhem hiding behind a wall around a hallway bend.
Theseus: “Computer, activate secret channel Theseus-Delta-Pie-Tango, and hail the Mordoc.”
#Computer: “Channel activated.”
A hovering viewscreen pops up with Forto and Nekan on it.
>Forto: “We’re kind of in the middle of something here.”
>Nekan: “Yeah, and it involves destroying, a thing we are new to and are curious if we will enjoy it!”
>Forto: “Besides, if you’re calling about allying with the Kelvan Empire, you can forget it. I spoke to my superiors and they’re not very excited about the idea.”
Theseus: “You didn’t even try to persuade them, didn’t you!”
>Forto: “Of course not! I want to stay in their good books you know. And for us Kelvans, the exodus guest list out of this hell-hole is a limited one.”
Theseus: “No wonder your High Command gives you all the bad assignments - you can’t even handle a simple task! One of our galaxy’s many neural parasites couldn’t get you to touch your forehead.”
>Forto: “At least I don’t work for an organization that undermines the state! You don’t even have a good name for it. You just call it Section 31. ---Oooooh! Look out - here comes a numbered ‘section’ out to get us.”
Theseus: “Since when did Kelvans have emotions, anyway?”
>Nekan: “It’s these radiation levels. They’ve been messing with our heads!”

Down in the Phoenix-X’s Engineering, Kugo and Armond check on the status of the ultra-transwarp drive.
Armond: “Well. It took some time, but I think we’ve finally reconfigured the ultra-transwarp drive to neutralize the Andromeda galaxy’s radiation levels.”
Kugo: “And while we were doing that, I learned a whole lot more about the drive, myself.”
Beck: “So? You two missed the parrises squares game we Corps of Engineers had in the gymnasium earlier!”
Armond: “Did you go into over-time?”
Beck: “Far from it. We started chatting and ended up throwing the game for an intense discussion about anti-matter devices! It was an engineer’s dream!”
Kugo: “Umm. Great.”
Armond: “Let’s just get the Phoenix-X home. The sooner we find out if we’re stranded in this galaxy, the better.”
Kugo: “Good idea. I wouldn’t want to build up the suspense of not knowing, only to be let down at the end. That’s how my cousin found out his wife wasn’t the one pregnant, but he.”
Armond: “Understood. --Engineering to Bridge. We’re ready to take the ship into an ultra-transwarp conduit.”
#Cell: “Acknowledged. Stand-by.”

Meanwhile, on the Bridge, the crew watch as the Mordoc fires torpedoes at the centipod.
Seifer: “We’ve got to do something. We can’t let them destroy that ship!”
Cell: “It’s always about what you say we can and can’t do, isn’t it?”
Suddenly, Lieutenant Mayhem enters.
Cell: “Welcome to the bridge, Lieutenant. I believe this is your first time since being on duty. Take it all in, because it only gets more sterile from here on out.”
Mayhem: “I did a little ease-dropping. It turns out Theseus has been trying to create ties with the Kelvan Empire. Also, Ensign Jeera has been sleeping with Ensign Corvy, behind Ensign Liana’s back.”
Seifer: “That bitch! I can’t wait to find out what happens next though.”
Cell: “It sounds like I chose well for my Intelligence officer. As for Theseus - he’s going to get a Brig imprisonment of a lifetime. --You there! What’s your name?”
Elly: “Lieutenant Elly, sir - acting as Chief of security while no one else is available.”
Cell: “What are your qualifications?”
Elly: “Two years of Dabo table waitressing and four years of Fizzbin.”
Cell: “Good enough for me. Go arrest the Admiral. But I want him alive as per the opposite of our standard procedure.”
She’s about to head for the turbolift when Theseus suddenly enters the Bridge.
Theseus: “What is this - coming after me so soon?”
Cell: “It’s over, Theseus! We know about your little game with the Kelvans.”
Theseus: “Do you? Well that’s great. That is really great that you know about it. How more great can it be that your knowledge has been increased lately of that?”
Cell: “I also mentioned that it was over.”
Theseus: “We’ll see about that, Captain! They haven’t created an uber-starship that couldn’t hold me down; William J. Theseus!”

He activates his emergency transporter unit and beams onto the centipod.
Ramat: “First, we’ll re-adjust the dials and knobs... and then we’ll activate the molecule launching sequence, and then we’ll just--- who the hell are you??”
Omega: “He is Admiral Theseus, from the Milky Way galaxy.”
Ramat: “Well this is an unexpected surprise. I hope you don’t mind the torpedo bombardment from my own people. They’re desperate like that sometimes.”
Theseus: “Your people are fools!”
Ramat: “They are not. The Kelvan race is a proud and strong species. Why, classifying them as fools is like eating a lightweight, distilled, compact cuboctahedron. Some of which, I’ve used to power this chamber.”
Theseus: “Then my extra-sensory perceptions were true. You have been harnessing the omega molecule all this time.”
Ramat: “I do have a life, you know.”
Theseus: “It looks like you’re planning on warping out of here after you fire this thing. Good idea. But I’m afraid I’m going to be re-scheduling your itinerary.”
Ramat: “Get away from that chamber! It is highly off limits to people I don’t know!”
Theseus just takes out a phaser and fires it at Ramat. The Kelvan hits the floor and falls unconscious.
Omega: “Now you two know each other as ‘attacker’ and ‘victim’.”
Theseus: “You’re one of those Andromeda androids, aren’t you? Starfleet has studied you and I know you have a compartment in your abdomen.”
Omega: “It is where I keep my starship toy collectibles.”
Theseus: “We’re going to suspend the molecules inside a mini-chamber within you.”
Omega: “Omega cannot allow that.”
Theseus: “I can just reprogram you to accept the terms.”
Omega: “Very well then. Omega will comply as it is inevitable anyway.”

Meanwhile, the Phoenix-X takes position between the centipod and the Mordoc.
Red: “Ship movement completed.”
Cell: “Excellent. --Armond, hail the Kelvans.”
>Forto: “Why do people keep interrupting?? Destroying the centipod should only take a second; but instead it’s taking seventeen minutes! I knew the High Command would skimp out on giving me weapons that work.”
Cell: “Listen, Kelvan person. What if I told you that you weren’t the first species bent on conquering other races?”
>Forto: “Impossible!”
Cell: “I’m afraid there is some truth to my words. You see, the Milky Way galaxy is chock full of races whom have made it their sole purpose to take over other species of inferior or equal strength to their own for desire of being superior... or just in control.”
Seifer: “He’s right. There’s the Borg, the Dominion, the Breen, the Sphere Builders, and there’s even the Klingons.”
Red: “Hey!”
Seifer: “Accept it, Red.”
Cell: “Even the Na’Khul attempted to conquer Earth in another timeline. But they were easily stopped by a temporal reset button.”
>Forto: “We Kelvans are better than them though. We have efficiency and certainty!”
Seifer: “That’s what the Suliban said... but there’s no trace of them anymore.”
>Forto: “Ugh!! We can’t have other races with the same goals as ours! How can this have been done before? We were the original conquerors!”
Cell: “Oh I know. You’ve been doing it way longer than any of those other species have.”
>Forto: “Then our goal should be to target those species first and annihilate them as the competition! This is the beginning of war, Captain; pure and unrelenting war!”
Cell: “What about your centipod prey?”
>Forto: “Oh, we still want him... We just won’t kill him now. The Kelvans will have to work together to make this increased level of goal achievable. I’ll be sure to bring this to the High Command’s attention.”
Seifer: “Well, Captain. It looks like we made a difference.”
Cell: “What are you talking about? We just made them more blood thirsty!”
Seifer: “Hey, a difference is a difference.”

Meanwhile, aboard the centipod, Omega is extensively hooked up to the molecule chamber. A transfer begins allowing the first molecule to be stored within him.
Theseus: “Excellent... excellent! With these molecules, the Kelvans will have to do what we say! Mwahahaha!”
Omega: “Omega fears indigestion.”
All of a sudden, the transfer begins to destabilize. A few sparks suddenly fly off the connection.
Theseus: “I don’t understand. What’s going on??”
Omega: “The transfer has exposed the molecules to the Andromeda galaxy radiation. They are beginning a state of destabilization.”
Theseus: “We’ll all be killed then!”
Omega: “Omega does not understand the concept of death.”
Theseus: “It’s when a person stops being a person and becomes an inanimate object!”
He stops the transfer, but the molecules within the big chamber continue to move around and become irritated.
Omega: “Omega supposes that inanimation is what would be desired of those molecules right now.”
Theseus: “What are the odds that a project that we barely understand would go life-threatingly wrong at the very last minute??”
Omega: “I believe it is Zephram Cochrane who once said, ‘Fate is a comical genius.’”
They look to their right, noticing that Ramat is being transported away by the Kelvan starship. It is then the Phoenix-X hails.
>Cell: “Theseus! We’re detecting elevated levels of destabilization coming from the centipod’s omega molecule chamber!”

Elsewhere, Biket on the other centipod suddenly notices that his omega molecule chamber has been exchanged for a fake.
Biket: “What the...? This chamber is full of cuboctahedrons!”

Back aboard Ramat’s doomed centipod, Theseus and Omega find they are out of solutions in a situation gone from bad to worse.
>Cell: “Theseus, we’re beaming you back to the Phoenix-X before the Kelvan’s destroy you.”
Theseus: “Not for all the Vulcan female neropressure massages in the universe!”
>Seifer: “We’ve got the opportunity for you to stay alive over here... Hey? Hey?”
Theseus: “Well... I do enjoy being alive sometimes. --We’ll make a deal. You save my life and I’ll go easy on how I kill you all for betraying me earlier.”
>Seifer: “Sounds fair to me.”

Suddenly, both Theseus and Omega are transported back onto the Phoenix-X. But the ship is pounded on by the energy weapons of the Kelvan starship.

>Forto: “Now it’s time for you to meet your end, Phoenix-X!”
Cell: “What’s going on? I thought by meeting you on the same level would render us friendlies?”
>Forto: “You can’t expect us to bridge the great void over a 300 year ETA, can you? We need your ultra-transwarp capability, now!”
Seifer: “By destroying the Phoenix-X?”
>Forto: “I admit my logic escapes me... --but I am just so full of Kelvan passion!”
Omega: “Wait. It looks like Ramat is waking in the background. I am certain he will help us.”
The crew watches as Ramat gets up and gains the attention of the Kelvan bridge team.
>Nekan: “So, you’re going to continue to oppose us, are you?”
>Ramat: “On the contrary. I’ve regained my faith in the Kelvan people, thanks to Theseus. The fact that Forto transported me back instead of destroy me adds to that faith.”
>Forto: “I was going to destroy you if you didn’t agree to work with us, but now I guess I don’t have to.”
Cell, sarcastic: “Well that is just great.”
>Ramat: “Visit the Andromeda galaxy all you want, Captain. But you will just be on the Kelvan’s most wanted list. We won’t stop until you surrender your vessel.”
He stops to think.
>Ramat: “Like right now.”
Nekan is about to press the button to take control of the Phoenix-X, but Theseus interrupts.
Theseus: “--I believe we are all forgetting the fact that the centipod is about to explode of destabilized omega molecules.”
Armond: “I wasn’t aware of this.”
Theseus: “Oh, well, now you are.”
Cell: “Helm, ultra-transwarp. Engage!”

The Phoenix-X turns in space and jumps to ultra-transwarp as the centipod begins to explode. The Mordoc also warps out of there before getting hit.

Inside the ultra-transwarp conduit, the Phoenix-X shakes violently.
Armond: “Sir! The conduit is being ruptured by its beginning point within the Andromeda galaxy. I believe it’s the omega molecule explosion.”
Seifer: “You have to admit, though, ultra-transwarp is still the only way to fly.”
Everyone holds on as the shaking turns to rumbling. After a good while, Q makes an appearance.
Q: “Cell!”
Cell: “What?”
Q: “Nothing. I just wanted you to know how that felt. Not so encouraging, is it?”
Cell: “I have my own ways to encourage myself. One of them being ordering my crew around.”
Everyone notices Q’s tattered clothing.
Kayl: “Bad outer-galactic experience?”
Q: “If you must know - yes. I’ve been fighting with that 0 this whole time, with the great void acting as our outer-galactic battleground. Now that I think of it, it probably is pointless to appear to you in this way when I can make my appearance anything I want.”
He snaps his fingers and his clothes flash back to normal.
Q: “I gave that omnipotent fool one good right hook, and now he’s down for the count! He should be out just long enough for us to return to the Milky Way.”
Cell: “No one cares, Q! We all experienced our own level of your doom and gloom warnings, yet still are unfazed by your omnipotent adventures.”
Q: “Well then it may also unfaze you to know that your friend Theseus here falls into my little category just as much as the 0’s, X’s, P’s and (*)’s do.”
Cell: “(*)??”
Q: “Never-mind.”
Seifer: “Theseus, explain yourself!”
Theseus: “Perhaps another time. I’m going to meet with my advisors. They must feel horrible for having absolutely nothing to do this whole time. Did you know Caithlin worked on Nimbus III?”
He leaves the Bridge, so everyone turns their heads toward Q.
Q: “Do you mind if I use your infamous Battle Arena for a while? I’ve heard so much about it and would love to pit some Klingons against my musket wearing 18th century French alien creatures.”
Everyone watches as he leaves the Bridge as well. The rumbling has died down to a smoother ride.
Armond: “Sir, I think we’ve cleared the omega explosion... although, it has destroyed that one end of the conduit.”
Red: “It is nothing to worry about. Like the normal transwarp conduits, the Phoenix-X is capable of creating its own ultra-transwarp conduits. It is how we were able to get to the Andromeda galaxy to begin with.”
Kayl: “Yes but creating a conduit and just riding one is a lot different. The creation travel takes up so much more power.”
Seifer: “That would explain why my ship-powered beard razor didn’t work. I almost came down with the Riker look.”

Back in the Andromeda galaxy, the Mordoc drops a rough warp ride, spinning out of control. When the helmsmen stops the spinning, the crew each slowly get up off the floor.
Forto: “What happened? First everything was good, and now it isn’t.”
Nekan: “Yeah. Strange how that can happen in life sometimes.”
Forto: “Ah, well. At least we’re still in the Andromeda galaxy - the very same galaxy that the crew of the Phoenix-X did everything to get to. They sacrificed their safety and security just to get to this prize, but we get to live here! We are the true winners, for getting to be in the Andromeda galaxy as we choose.”
Nekan: “Uhh. You’re forgetting that it’s doomed with fatal radiation.”
Forto: “Dammit!”

Down in Engineering, Kugo, Armond, Kayl, Cell, Seifer and Beck all stand around the new android model.
Kugo: “As far as we can tell, the molecules stored within him are safe... The... omega molecules, may I remind you.”
Cell: “Omega, how could you possibly agree to this?”
Omega: “Omega is anything but unaccommodating. Also, Omega’s weakness is logic.”
Seifer: “Oh no! Your model change has you speaking in third person even more than before!”
Cell: “This is crazy. Even if the omega molecules were more safely suspended within Omega than ever in any point in history before, we couldn’t possibly allow him to go on... in Federation space... aboard our starship!”
Kayl: “It’s true that the risks out-weigh the cause by astronomical proportions, but there’s no possible way to access Omega’s internal chamber to neutralize the molecules.”
Beck: “She’s right. The chamber is beyond even the Corps of Engineer’s ability. I just think tampering with it could be disastrous. The specifications to this chamber is a testament to the Kelvan’s technological capability.”
Seifer: “So if an enemy vessel destroys the Phoenix-X, not only will we be dead, but the entire quadrant could be destroyed.”
Cell: “Until we can figure out how to access the molecules, we’ll have to watch him closely. If he gets into the wrong hands, the results could be devastating.”
Seifer: “I know. I just detailed those results.”
Armond: “All we need now is a good name for our new android friend.”
Kugo: “How about... Omega?”
Beck: “It seems simple. I like it.”
Omega: “But that is what my name was before!”
Armond: “Yeah but now it has a re-affirmed origin. Also, you made two mistakes - you didn’t use your new name and you didn’t say it in the third person.”

The Phoenix-X eventually drops ultra-transwarp back into the Milky Way galaxy. Agent Wallace enters the Bar & Lounge and seeks out Theseus, who is sitting at a table, looking out to the stars.
Wallace: “What did you do, Theseus?”
Theseus: “I’m sorry? You must be referring to the Andromeda incident. Well, things didn’t turn out as well as I had hoped with the Kelvans. But we did get a lovely consolation prize.”
Wallace: “You shouldn’t have even tried to do what you did. The organization isn’t the type to be throwing its weight around!”
Theseus: “If anything, we should be throwing our weight even more around! I wanted to make the Mizarian homeworld a conquered Section 31 planet by now.”
Wallace: “One more thing... Seriously, what are you?”
Theseus: “Mhmeh heh heh heh heh! Like I told your shapeshifting Captain - perhaps another time.”

He turns his attention back to out the large windows. Up in the Conference room, the senior staff speak to Elena and Nelkast over subspace.

>Elena: “Well it looks like you screwed up again, Phoenix-X!”
Cell: “We haven’t even told you what happened yet.”
>Nelkast: “Sorry. We’re just so used to that being our first reaction to your missions.”
Seifer: “How about a little leeway here? All we did was get onto the Kelvans’ most wanted list, and nearly burn-out our ultra-transwarp engines passing through the great barrier again. No biggie.”
Kugo: “After thoroughly going over them, it would seem they would need work and repair for our next journey out of our galaxy.”
>Elena: “Interesting. Although, we regret to inform you that there isn’t going to be another journey anytime soon. The Corps of Engineers are going to uninstall the ultra-transwarp until we are ready to use it again.”
Lox: “Well. At least we got a nice little trip to the Andromeda galaxy out of it.”
>Nelkast: “Which reminds us, Doctor. We want you to erase everyone’s memory of this adventure.”
Lox: “What!? I’ve already done that eight times with the crew. Any more and they could lose their minds!”
Armond: “Are you saying I didn’t dream that encounter with the Halkans?”
Lox: “There was more than an encounter - you became their leader for a short while.”
>Elena: “Very well. Keep the memories! Andromeda didn’t sound so appealing as it should have, anyway. We’re not jealous. Don’t look at us like that!”

The screen clicks off. Later, the Phoenix-X docks at Starbase 83 to drop off the engine components and the Corps of Engineers. Cell and Seifer step off the docking port and onto the station.
Cell: “Well, Commander... so much for that Andromeda idea.”
Seifer: “No worries, Captain. There are plenty of other races who have yet to mark us as mortal enemies. Some of them are even destined to be the ones who destroy us.”
Cell: “That’s comforting, I guess. But what really bothers me is that we never got to meet a new intelligent species and become enlightened in the process.”
Seifer: “If you’re looking for enlightenment, you’ve got to look all around you and see the universe for what it is.”
Cell: “That’s quite poetic, Commander.”
Seifer: “Thanks. Ensign Karley said it, but I’m claiming it as my own.”

THE END