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Star Trek Both Hands Full Fourth Edition

PROLOGUEKevin Alber's hands were shaking as he tried to boost the gain on thelbspace communication He had anticipated the signal being jammed and so he haddden a number of relays through out the the nebula just in case the"worse casecenario"happened " Worst Cahappening even as he tried to get Admiral ericPressman on the line Just getting the Admiral on the line was problematic enoughecause Alber's assignment was top secret, even if the Admiral was in his office takingalls, he might not be able to respond Fortunately the Admiral was available, but heunded distant hiw Admiral eric ps face was distorted not fromaxing and waning of the digital signalcaused blocks of pixelso freeze or fade out completely before new information swept in to refresh it TheKlingons must have been jamming a wider area than usual, perhaps anticipating thatd have hiddes in order to circumvent theirg a signal whichalso meant that they knew that he knew that they were onto himeyre moving everyone out now, Lt Kevin Alber said I'm not sure wheretheyre taking us, but we're going to lose this project

"Alber was afraid of more thanst loosing the project He was certain he and the other black-ops'engineers were likelytheir lives so that the Klingons could maintain thed the technologythemselves And since the present Engineers and Admiral Pressman were the only onesn Fleet that knew about this particular project, it was unlikely anyone would be missedand Pressman would be unable to complain, even to the Klingon's who he had made thedeal with, Alber had known the risks when he had signed on for the joint venture and hadd some of the counter measures he had taken would detour the" worse casescena The project was a simple one, Under the command of Admiral Pressman and hisio He was wrongof starship It would be the first Klingon Federation hybrid ship, at least, that Alber e classcounter part in the Klingon Empire, an Admiral Sheaar, the two would design a newware of, combining some of the best technology the Federation and the Klingon Empireas Pressman's idea to legally circumvent the restrictions placed on theFederation by the romulan Federation treaty, a treaty that prevented the Federation fromeloping their own cloaking devices Since the Klingons already had cloaking devicesd they were not a member of the Federation when the Treaty between the Federationd the romulans had gone into affect, there was no restriction on the Klingons use anddevelopment of cloaking technology The romulans had no doubt believed the KlingonEmpire's days were numbered, and, consequently, were not impressed with KlingonKlingon technology Considering the peace between the two empires was tenuous ar orearch and development or theuld have been greattheest, it was also likely the romulans had simply chosen to risk the Klingons improvingheir technology The romulans had stolen technology from the Klingons in the past, sod dod bebe known, the Klingons research and development had slowed toeritable crawl, and judging by the ships and the uniforms on the Klingons that crewedthem the Klingons were nothing more than a rag tag fleet a mere shadow of theformidable enemy they once were during the Klingon Romulan War Admiral Pressmanlieved this to be trand apparently, so did Admiral Sheaar, or the twowouldn't have made the agreements they had made, all clandestine in nature, Alber knew

ns would have been concerned about the federation "borrowing Klingonechnology, but the reverse, the Klingons"appropriating"Federation technologywouldn t have been seen as troubling And that was what Pressman wanted to exploit,Cor, as Pressman was always so willing to point out, even though the romulans were aparanoid lot, the romulans relied too heavily on the Federation always following through'Should i set the self-destruuence?” Alber askedAre you crazy? Pressman asked "" And lose all the valuable time and effort wet into this researchAlber wasn t blind to the fact that he was expendable in Press eyes, biwas still hopeful that Pressman had a solution to his present crisis After all, finding andoliciting the kind of allegiance Alber was providing was a bit risky to ones career ItPressman's best interestotect himDid you install the equipment I sent you? " Pressman askedwhat it is orow it works, I dont see the relevance It's not hooked to anything important anddoesnt seem to be a self-destruct device, but then again, it's impervious to scansol routineAlber nodded and removed what appeared to be a gold coin from his pocket He set thisdown, heads up, on the computer terminal in front of him Its proximity triggeredsomething in the console The coin self-illuminated Command pathways began toappear on several of thetors, branching off, forcing each page to scroll

Thenstructions and codes flew by so fast that Alber couldn't make them out Pressman'simage disappearedBehind alber beyond his sight, a cube illuminated he had never noticedbefore, as it blended in perfectly with the ceiling protrusions in Auxiliary ControlFurthere had ever noticed the cube befewho hadstalled it, blindly following the blhis full attention and he racked his brain trying to remember where he had seen it, oranything similar before Something from a history lesson, it seemed The cube produa strange pattern of lights, causing his shadow on the terminal interface to shift and fadeHe turned and looked up at the cube and the psychedelic swirling of colors that filled theA female appeared before him She appeared as a point, grew into a line, grewnto a two dimensional image of a female, and then filled out into three dimensions as ifhad been a picture of a person that had suddenly inflated It happened so fast that hearely registered the"phase in"part of her manifestation, but it happened sufficientlyhat his mind had interpreted her sudden materialization to mean she was ahologram, not a living perseState your name and purpose, she saidAlberwhat's the password? the hologram askedUm i deow,Alber stammered Maybe she meant his personal computeraccess code "Cherry Apple RedCaptain Alber, she sa

Alber relaxed a little He had to suppress some stray thoughts She was, nodoubt, one of the best looking holograms he had ever seen, reminding him of a garciaoIo-novel, but his situation was dire and so he couldn t allow his mind to go off on sucha tangent as entertainment He needed to lock down the ship and incapacitate theKlinattempting to steal everything he had worked so hard on " Are yothe new security system that Pressman was telling me about?aptain Alber, she said, softer, stepping forward " I am for youHe was confused by her statement and again his mind went towarddea ontertainment The fact thaimed to be for "him as if pihadresent, something to help him through the lonely nights of this mission, was ratherpleasant thought He actually thought he was going to have to thank the Admiral Sheached out and touched him on the chest, just below the left shoulder, palm flat agaCaptain George Alber screamed The pain that exploded through his chest waseven the cardassianorture session he had been through about six years ago The only fortunate thing waslat the pain was so great that he passed out before death came upon hirtepped back, looked up and to the left, accessing the securitynformation for her ship

Her gaze returned forward, she deflated into a two dimensionalramework, turned slightly so that only a trace line of her remained, a thin black lineAnd though the line was visible, a person might easily miss it if you didn t know whatwere looking for That line shrank further, finally becoming a dot no bigger than thep of an eraser on a pencil, before disappearing completely The woman appeared andreappeared throughout the ship, disposing of all hostiles on board In some instancesmultiple versions of her appeareAfter her ship was quiet, she turned her attention to the starships outside heration She determined theabotage them was to over load theircores She killed an engineer and destroyed one of the shier ship fleddecided to let them go, for they were no longer a threat Then she turned her attentionback to her ship and decided to clean up the mess she had made After all, it would notdo to have the insides of her ship marred by decaying flesh No, that wouldn t do at allnt her Commanding Officer to find the ship in disarray No, she wouldave to clean and clean shehere would be no trace of any organics remainingthe ship or in the space station that encapsulated the ship

CHAPTER ONEDoctor Selar touched Garcia lightly, waking him Startled, he grabbed her armand pulled her off her feet Selar controlled her fall, landing on top of him, hands eitherde of his head Her eyes locked with his and she watched with curiosity the growingecognition on his face as he transitioned from dreams to waking life He frowned andsed up on her arm and then finally let go The impression of his grip remained, leavingwhite marks on her arm from grasping so tight The white slowly receded, her armushing out Selar didn't protest the injury or the fact that she was pulled onto the couch,practically on top of him She felt the warmth radiatinhim a heat that caran unnaturally high metabolism as far as humans were concerned Selar was wearing thelky gown that she had worn the first night they had participated in Pon Farr ritualsas like silk but was a material invented by vulcans It was designed to sparkleand or transition through various level of transparency depending on certainariables The sparkles caught Garcias eyes,

drawing his eyes away from her eyes for aomentSorry, Garcia said, returning her gazeFor grabbing my arm and drawing me into you or for that look you just gavee? Doctor selar askedHiding your feelings for me is not logical, " Selar said, and then amended thestatement: For you What has transpired between us has not been lostYeah, I'm just unduly influenced by the amount of oxy-tocin flowing throughmy veins, Garcia said, remarking on the hormone that increases the likelihood ofbonding in humans, And besides, it's not logical for you to wake me upmy feelings, or am I telepathically projecting to you in my sleep?It was necessary to wake you

You have a Priority One message from Star FleetHeadquarters, Selar said"Real tirtape delayed Would you like privacy?o, Garcia said, not jumping up to respond right away Though he hated toadmit it, he was comforted by Selar's weight on top of him Well, I don t think that will'e never received a Priority One messageDoctor Selar repositioned herself to allow Garcia to get up He pulled on a shirtbefore activating the viewer in Selarled seated, drawing her feetThe Star Fleet screen saver image faded and was replaced by an image of Admiral anton the couch, hands on her knees while garcia signaled the viewer with his imLeonard H McCoy For a moment Garcia hesitated, wondering ifd been a tapedhe had attended McCoys funeral a little over three months pried to see you up and about HoComputer is this a live feed? Garcia askedTam, it's me McCoy Im alive, McCoy said, talking over the computersresponse of 'affirmatiear it from me before you heard it throughHow is this possible? Garcia stammered, coming closer to the screenYou no doubt know that the Preservers made a copy of you and that your copyas responsible for the destruction of their space station in lota space, McCoy saidWhat wasn t in the report was that they also made a copy of me, removed my Katra thatyou were carrying and then put it back into my body Your copy helped me escape

This is too fantastic, "Garcia said, skeptically Still that would explain why hehad not had hallucinations of McCoy ever since he was abducted He still only had vaguememories of the abduction which he was certain were false memories what hewouldn t trade to have some of his other selfs memories from the point of their divisionone told me you were alive or that I, the otheI asked them to keep my return a secret I wanted to tell you, McCoy saidanted to tell you in person when you got here, but the Enterprise will be arriving afterave already departedDeparted? Where are you going? Better, how did you get to Earth from Iotia if Irescued you at lota? None of this is making any sense, Garcia saidI'll send you my report, " McCoy said"Itll explain everything you need toEverything I need to know? "Garcia asked "That suggest there are things yodon t want me to knowam, I was afraid you werent going to live, judging from Crusher's reportMcCoy said I just wanted to call and spewanted to see for myself that youwere okayI'm well, thank you, Garcia said""I'm Okay You're okay Everyone seems tobe okay How come there isnt a media storm covering your return from the dead?whoa, hold it, McCoy said ""T'm not ready for that story to break And when itdoes Star fleet wants tot

They want it to lookdeath had beenaked in order for me to complete a mission In fact, the mission I'm going on requiresme to still be deadAren't you a bit old for this cloak and dagger crap? Garcia askedI'm not too old to kick your butt, McCoy saidWhy exactly did you call me? Garcia askedBecause, I love you, son, McCoy said "I should only bemonths, which will have me back in plenty of time to see you gradbe cleared up by then and i will be able to go out in public Just try to be safe till i geback, alright?m always safe, "Garcia arguedExcept when you're trying to be the hero, McCoy said"Look, I have to goReally, take care of yourself till I get backL Garcia said, ""Garcia outThe screen went dark before the Star Fleet emblem appeared Garcia turned toSelar " Did you know he was aliveareAnd, from the sounds of it, perhaps I shouldn,t have heard this ms surprised as youThis is the first I am learning about it, " Selar said " I am justGarcid,“ Literallyn a bit of a temper, Garcia stormed out of Selar's quartersad not taken theme to put on his boots, but no one he passed seemed to notice or care It took him all ofsix minutes to arrive at the guest quarters where Lt Nancy Carter was staying Garciahad learned about his preserverm reading her report of her explorations of thertifact slash space station, which everyone believed was Preserver Apparently it hadbeen an edited report Garcia had his doubts about the space station being Preserver, bu

how wonderful itbe liberated Hrov tiid, hugging him and then biting him on the ear She turned to Nancy ""How could youre forgotten to give these to him?I was just so caught up in everything that happened, and then being reunited witmy daughter, and Carter saidSuddenly all of Garcias mental companions were present Duana and llonabegan to bicker about who would access the remaining orb when the downloadedprogram of Lal stepped up and ended all debate No sooner than she was in her newmanifested body was she out the doorGarcia pursued lal, catching upwith her He had no intentions offor that would have been rude but he wanted to know what she was about Ever sinceData and he had linked minds, Lal had been running around in his head which he hadnminded so much because she was rather quiet and unobtrusive, compared to his otherental companions But now, she was out and almost ruIher stride was so greatDeanna was pursuing, enjoying the exertion She commented on just how alive she feld how wonderful it was to feel her blood flowing and her leg muscles flex She askedhim to look at her legsot now, Garcia snapped

" Lal, wait Where are you goingI'm going to see my father, Lal saidMaybe you should call Data, HROV Troi saidtappee Garcia couldn t argue with that The three of them paused in the corridorHehis communicator badge and said, "Garcia to Data I need to see you NowEnsign Garcia? Data responded " I am presently occupied at Ops Perhaps wecould communicate later?Father? Lal askedBut the communication wasDatas side She continued on herway to find her fatheal, we will talk with Data later, but right now, why don t we just return to myquarters, Garcia saidDeanna talk some sense into her Garcia askedWe could wait in Datas quarters, HROV Troi suggestedo we cant, Garcia said" I cant condone entering Datas quarters, even if sheomputer, belay that order, Garcia said "Lal, we cant go to the bridge Yorcant just go to the bridgeal askedcause Garcia began and stammered at a sudden loss of a goodargument"Just because There are rules, protocols, a chain of command, andComputer, resume Bridge, Lal saidMaybe you should let her have this, HROV TMaybeyour mind, Garcia said "Im the one thats going to get inouble, not either of you

A moment later Lal stepped off onto the Bridge, took a moment to orientateherself, found her father and headed right to him Garcia followed, grimacing BeforeLal was even halfway to Data, Garcias prediction had come trueWhat is the meaning of this? Picard demanded, expressing his anger at both theption and the intrusion onto the bridgeI think II think you better, the real Troi said, standing up, arms akimbo She waseminded of the time she had met herself on the hok, courtesy of Lt Barclay " Andart withRiker found himself suddenly amused at the real Trois lack of humor, impressedby the outfit the"fake"Troi was wearing, and not a little surprise that garcia wasomehow involved in it all Riker managed to maintain hifor the most partwith only the real Deanna aware of his mirth She hit his armWorf stepped forward and grabbed Garcia's arm to impede further progressThey exchanged glances Worf growledCounselor Troi, rogue Troi program Rogue Troi program, yourself, " GarciaSenior staff to the conference roPicard said "Now

EnsigGarcia didnt need further explanation to know thatesence wasn t lustexpected, but rather, it was demanded Worf took liberty to escort himThis is very interesting, " Doctor Crusher said, completing her scans of both theROV Lal and the hroV Troi "There are no sign of the technological devices that areprojecting them, nor are there any signs of any radiation fields that one might expectind around a hologramWere nethe hrov troi saidht Crusher said "The hrov ttual flesh and blood TIHROV Lal is, however, an android, exactly as data had designed herMinus the quantum fluctuations that caused her brain toHow did you forget to tell us that you brought this alien technology on my shipcard asked cartersorry, Sir, Carter said, appearing remorseful She looked to Captainunoz, her commanding officer, and back to Picard, the Captain of the Enterprise whohad come to their rescue at lota"Lack of sleep, the joy of being reunited with mydaughter, and then, everything else that happened on top of thatno excusI dropped the balloth of them, "Garcia said, not quietly enoughry and help me to understand what's going on here, Riker said, directing hisstatement to Doctor Crusher "Is Garcia telepathically controlling these hroV'sdirectly, Garcia said before Crusher could respond "If Icompletely subconsciousDo you notice anything unusuae real counselor Troi askedDefine unusual?" Garcia asked "The fact that i'm in conference with twoI think she meant are you experiencing any unusual side effects to the