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The Patrol part 2

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      "Well, what did you think of our little archive. Those were just the high points of course."
      The visitors looked at the officer then at a slightly older graying man who was apparently their leader. Although they were all in civilian clothes they had some sort of connection with Star Fleet. Some were Human, some were not, the leader appeared to be Human, mostly, but he had the air about him that he was something more as well.
      "Well. I think this place has possibilities. If you don't mind some company." The man said.
      "We're chronically understaffed. If you can fill any of our vacant positions, you're welcome to put in for a transfer here."
      They laughed. "You don't understand. I'm... let's just say Star Fleet doesn't have authority over me although I abide by their rules and chain of command. Usually. I, and my party, would simply tell them we were staying here. If your commander has no objections."
      "I'll go get her." He walked away.
      In a moment the commander came in. "Commander Klastor." The aid introduced her. "I didn't get your name sir."
      "I didn't give it." The gentleman looked at the commander. "Congratulations on your promotion to full commander. It was long over due."
      "Yes it was." She said flatly. "Lieutenant Davis tells me you want to stay here. What do you have to offer this station besides six more bodies breathing our air?"
      "Well, I have nothing to offer except our rather unusual abilities and services, we'll get to those later. But we do bring our ship, and a squadron of remote piloted fighters which will be at your disposal. Mr. Kavel is an excellent repairman and engineer. Miss Marot is our cook and medic, she has some other talents as well, which she has been teaching me. Officer Aashth is our security man and self defense instructor."
      The security man greeted her with a standard Klingon gesture, which the commander returned a little hesitantly. Marot, a small dark-complected slightly mysterious female of untellable species, smiled at her.
      "Miss Rontel doesn't breath, much. But she does understand more about computers and data systems than the people who built them. And of course Wan, he used to be Andorian, but now he's more cyborg than not. He's our jack of all trades and pilot." Wan stood rather stiffly at attention and bowed with a slight scowl.
      "Which leaves the question, who are you?" Klastor said.
      The man almost smiled. "Usually people just call me 'the Commander' but here, to avoid confusion, I am thinking about going by my old rank of Colonel."
      Klastor looked around, "That's wonderful. The Colonel of what?"
      "Now, just our team, but some time ago, I had other duties. I'll fill you in in due time. Let's just say that if we stay, your lives won't be dull any more."
      "And what is your team?"
      "We are... The Patrol."


      The officers of the station got to tour The Patrol's ship. But it was a tour like no other they had ever had. The Colonel beamed over with them, but he sat in his ready room with a large cup of a bitter smelling hot liquid that he called South American Coffee and told them to wander around the ship at will.
      Commander Klastor split them up into two groups. Her group went to check out the ship's armament and defensive systems, the other group looked for the crew accommodations and amenities.
      Both tour groups were amazed at what they found.
      "I don't believe this." Lieutenant Davis said.
      Ensign Gabriel walked through the room. "These are not standard holographic projectors. What is it for?"
      Davis touched the control panel. "Why would anyone need a holo-deck the size of a shuttle bay?"
      Chief Matthews was looking at a small display next to the control panel, "You can open that far wall and use this as a landing bay, it even has a null gravity feature to render the whole room as free fall, while a simulation is running."
      They looked around the room, then slowly walked into the hall, still not believing what they had seen.
      Below their deck, the same conversation was taking place.
      "I don't understand this. Three separate engine systems." Ensign Jeap said about three times.
      "The primary system is more than capable of running all the ship's systems." Klastor said.
      "If I'm reading this right, the third system uses ionized anti-matter, it has to either be coaxial warp or transwarp." Lieutenant Hies said, she looked back at the information on the display, "I've read about these kinds of units, but they said the energy matrix is said to be so unstable that it's impractical."
      The commander nodded, "Given this ship's phaser output range, they need all the energy they can get. Plus the other weapons. Using the ion system, what would the output be on that disruptor cannon?"
      "Enough to take out a small planet." Hies said after thinking about it.
      "Commander. Look at this." Ensign Walsh said from the far side of the engineering section.
      The others walked across and stood by Walsh.
      "Is it?"
      Klastor nodded. "That's what it looks like to me. But I bet its metaphasic."
      "What are they doing with a metaphasic cloaking device?" Hies asked.
      Elsewhere Chief Matthews was examining a small robot that appeared at first to simply be part of the automated cleaning detail.
      "What's so fascinating about a carpet cleaner?" Lieutenant Davis asked.
      "How about a carpet cleaner with full surveillance gear and a three phase offensive laser array?"
      "Yes." Matthews turned the robot to one side, the emitter crystals were obvious. "Those aren't for vaporizing the odd bit of lint on the floor either."
      "No doubt." Ensign Gabriel said, "And the things are everywhere." He pointed to another unit gliding along the floor going the opposite way.
      Commander Klastor whistled, something odd for a Klingon woman to do.
      "What?" Hies said to her.
      "I just figured out what this is."
      "What is it? Another holodeck?"
      "No. Look around, think about it. Cargo bay door, bulk transporter platform, and that up there." She pointed at the ceiling.
      Hies didn't get it.
      The other group walked in. Matthews recognized it immediately. "A replicator."
      "Where?" Gabriel said bewildered, he didn't see a replicator.
      The commander nodded. "This whole room is a replicator."
      The others looked at the walls and ceiling again in a new way. Light dawned.
      "No wonder they need so much energy." Jeap said.
      "Commander, you won't believe some of the stuff we've seen." Matthews said through her communicator.
      "Yes I would." She nodded, "Let's go see the Colonel, he's got a lot of explaining to do."
      The Colonel was sitting where they had left him. "Coffee? The only worthwhile contribution Earth ever made to my life." He asked them as they walked in. They all declined. "Maybe I can answer your questions before you ask them."
      Commander Klastor nodded, "That will take a lot of answering."
      "First of all, the big question. This ship." He gestured to the room around him. "It does not exist. It has no registration, our telemetry is basically a convenience for friendly ships when we want to be seen, there is no record of its construction, or anything installed on board. Our engines are without serial number, our weapons without tracking code. In fact, when we first encountered you, you seemed rather at a loss to deal with us."
      "The black ship."
      "Yes. Although what you fired on after you hailed us the second time was a holographic projection. Our cloak is undetectable unless you are in direct contact with the hull." He grinned, "And you've probably wondered about our slightly unusual engine arrangement."
      "A little." Jeap said half under his breath.
      "Well, the fusion system runs our ship under normal operations, the standard anti-matter dilithum system runs our weapons, warp drive, and things like that. The ion engine, well, unorthodox systems require unorthodox power."
      "Transwarp?" Jeap asked.
      "After a fashion. Let's just say we can outrun almost anything." He chuckled at some private joke. "And what we can't outrun, we can almost certainly out-shoot. If this ship had been available at Wolf 359, the Borg may have gotten one heck of a headache. We certainly gave the Dominion a few things to think about. Did you like the laser cannon?"
      "It was impressive." Klastor said, "But a little out of date."
      "Under normal circumstances I would agree with you. It started out as a planetary defense battery. But with a few modifications we made to it, it has a peak output of over 40,000 terawatts."
      "That's almost as much as a Galaxy class ship."
      "And we can sustain it for over an hour." The Colonel smiled proudly. "Our shield numbers would make you think a Galaxy ship was left standing naked in comparison. That and we have other surprises."
      He sipped his coffee then continued. "You found our replicator, and our holodeck. Neither of which are standard issue. We use both in our work. Sometimes very extensively which requires a vast source of energy. Also our transporter has been modified. We can literally transport anything smaller than our ship up to twice as far as a standard transporter. And do so at warp. Something which has been useful at times."
      The crew from the station didn't know what to say.
      "So now you are wondering what we do with all these things..." He let the statement hang in the air for a moment.
      Somebody said, "Yeah."
      "We perform some rather unusual services for the Federation and Star Fleet. We had been based on an asteroid in the Tacomey system for the last few years, but traffic in that system has increased and our comings and goings began to attract unwanted attention, so we have been wandering homeless for some time. We were on a mission in this area and happened upon your most unusual shuttle. I made a few inquiries, and was given authorization to see if you might allow us to stay here until other arrangements can be made."
      "In return for what?" Klastor said plainly.
      "In return for, well, our services for the duration. And perhaps some improvements to your lives here and the station itself." He smiled gently at the commander. "The first thing I would do would be to upgrade your weapons and shields slightly. Just so I would feel secure. There are certain individuals that would seek to stop us from getting a good night's sleep."
      "No doubt." Jeap said.
      "And if any of you mention the fact that we are here, you will get a long sleep without the benefit of a prescription." The Colonel said with an iceberg of cool in his voice. There was no mistaking his warning.
      "We've had some trouble with the Lattorian privateers again."
      The Colonel smiled, "Not any more. Several of their ships ran into turbulence the other day. Seems they need some major repairs."
      "Turbulence?" Matthews said.
      "Sheered their nacelles right off three or four their ships. Crushed the entire section of another one's lower hull. It was terrible."
      Some of the station crew looked incredulous. "We never received a call to assist any of their ships."
      "Happened right in the middle of their system. Must have been an uncharted solar flare or something."
      "How could you disable five ships without being seen or tracked?" Klastor said staring at him.
      "We never moved. We sat in their convoy lane cloaked and used a heavy particle beam to simply demolish each ship as they went by. Then in all the confusion, we slipped away."
      Gabriel whistled, "I saw something mentioning a couple of supply ships being damaged in an unusual open space accident. But they didn't say what kind of ships they were."
      "Black market ships going to meet a couple of assault traders. The Ferringi never got their order."
      "Which upset them to no end."
      "No doubt." The Colonel said smiling.
      "What do you do for the Federation?" Klastor said after they all laughed.
      "I'll tell you later. Right now, suffice it to say we provide needed services where standard measures have failed or cannot be used."

      Back aboard the station they rejoined the others in the observation deck. They were all standing watching the eternal night of stars float by.
      The Colonel chuckled immediately. "Aashth!"
      "There he is, FOUR!" Somebody shouted.
      Aashth swung by the windows on the cable.
      "He's too close, he won't make five." Somebody else said.
      "It's his first time, four is pretty good." Klastor said.
      "But seven is the record." Davis said.
      Later the Colonel laid a small silver box on the Commander's desk. There was no buttons or controls on it, it was just a small silver box about eight centimeters square. "Now, we are completely alone." He said looking at the box.
      The commander touched her com badge. It didn't do anything. "Davis to my office." She said to the computer. Then in a minute she spoke a little louder, "Yellow alert, Battle Stations Drill."
      "Like I said. We are alone now." He sat in one of the old chairs across the desk from her and looked her over as if appraising something of great value.
      "OK, so let's talk. Or do you have something more interesting in mind?" She said with a full Klingon smile.
      "Perhaps both. But we'll talk first."
      "Humans." She muttered.
      The Colonel looked into her eyes with a rather intense expression on his face. She felt warm all over, he was still looking at her, but now he was smiling. She found her breath coming in short sharp pants.
      "Very nice. But we'll just talk right now."
      Klastor felt a little disoriented, she was standing next to her desk, with her uniform shirt undone. She glared at the Colonel, "What did you do to me?"
      "Nothing, yet." He had her eyes again, locked in his gaze. He released her. "Shall we talk."
      A dozen thoughts dashed through her mind, most of them violent. But she snorted loudly and sat back at her desk, without refastening her uniform. "Yes. Talk." She said roughly.
      "We work for the President of the Federation, and various representatives of that office."
      "What do you do for them?"
      "Whatever needs done."
      It was Klastor's turn to stare deeply into his eyes. "You kill?"
      "Whatever is necessary."
      "Political assassination. Military insurrection? Sabotage?"
      "We've even sung Klingon Opera. It depends on the mission."
      "But that is against the most basic Federation principles. The Prime Directive..."
      The Colonel nodded. "Which is why we don't exist. I have no record with any Federation organization. My people have never been born, my ship was never built. As far as your logs go, we are not here, nor have you ever heard of us."
      "The Unknown Warrior." She smiled broadly, "One of my favorite legends from the Home World."
      "I will tell you the full legend sometime, all of it, including the lost chapters."
      "You know them?"
      He stood and nodded, "I am living them."
      Klastor nodded slowly, "Then you and your people may stay."
      "Thank you. But I have had enough talk." He stepped toward the desk.
      She felt that feeling again, but this time he reached across and grabbed her by her uniform and yanked her up and halfway across the desk into a brutal kiss with strength she could not believe from one three times her age or more.
      He smashed his mouth into hers until she tasted blood in her mouth from her lacerated lips.
      He slowly let up on her so she could breath. "You, you are not, you are not Human." She managed to say as she gasped.
      "Not exactly, no." Then he pulled her the rest of the way across the desk.

      The station's guests were assigned quarters, after a fashion. Wan, the Andorian cyborg refused quarters altogether, but stayed in a stall in the old crew locker room. The Colonel said his quarters were on his ship. The others took over a three room suite and said they'd convert it to meet their needs.

      Miss Rontel walked up to Chief Matthews and put a slim hand on his shoulder, "You oversee the station's computer. I need your assistance." Her face was expressionless.
      He had no idea what to say or do. Commander Klastor had said they would be staying for awhile, and they had full access to all the stations systems, but...
      "You will assist me." She said, her hand was still on his shoulder.
      It sounded like an order.
      Matthews nodded, "What do you need to do?"
      "I need to take your computer off line and replace it with one of ours."
      His face was as blank as hers.
      "I will turn yours back on after some modification, it will be more and better than it is now when I am done with it."
      "Why do you need to do it?"
      "Security." She ran her finger down his arm. "Been a long time since I have been around so many men." She said without even a twinkle in her eye.
      "The Colonel said you don't breathe much."
      "Only to talk in this environment. I don't need much air." She also didn't smile, frown, or change her facial expression. Her voice stayed in mid range with only the most minor inflection.
      "What species are you?" Matthews asked as they waited on the lift.
      "I don't know. We've never been able to identify me. My DNA isn't on record, nobody has ever seen anybody like me." She stepped into the car as the doors opened.
      "What do they think you are?"
      "A plant." She said as the doors shut.
      He was silent until the lift came to a stop. She stepped out and went down the curving hallway to the computer room. Matthews touched the out of date lock panel and the door opened. "A plant." He repeated. "But you look like a woman to me."
      "I have all the necessary body parts to operate as a Human female." She said looking at the displays and control panels. Then she turned toward him, "All the necessary parts."
      Matthews nodded. "That's good."
      "I will have them beam the processor over." She said. Rontel touched a jewel on her bracelet. In a minute a gray/white transporter field materialized a silver rectangular box about half a meter by a meter in one corner of the room.
      "That's it?" Matthews said.
      "It doesn't use standard Federation technology. Most of it is based on Borg technology, some of it is 'borrowed' from others. It has several times the processing and control capability as your current system. When we leave, it will come with us. In the meantime, it will expunge all record of us and what we do here from your systems, and replace any odd voids with fabricated but accurate information based on the information already in the system."
      "How do you interface it into our system?" He was looking at the featureless box.
      "It already is." She said touching his arm again. "See if you can scan for us on your station."
      He went to the monitoring station and changed it over to emulate the command level scanning station. It showed the station's regular compliment. No more no less. He brought up the computer room. He was in there. Her and her box were not. Then he went to a visual inspection of the station. He could find no sign of them or their stuff. Everything up to and including their dinner and Aashth's swing orbit had been removed and replaced with what looked like normal station routine, right down to the seamless time index. He turned around. She was there, and so was her Borg computer. Her hand was on his arm again.
      "So you are really a plant." He said looking at her. He touched the back of her hand, then he slid his fingers along her thin smooth arm. "You don't feel like a plant."
      "Thank you." Her unmoving face stared at him, he found her irresistible.
      He didn't resist.

      Much later aboard the nameless ship sitting cloaked in a tight orbit of the station several of The Patrol stood in front of the Colonel.
      "The station is ours." Rontel said. "The crew will cooperate with us in any way they can."
      Marot nodded. "They are all very open and agreeable. They find us fascinating, and welcome the diversion."
      "I trust you have made contact with them all." The Colonel said to the small dark woman.
      "Yes." She flashed a gleaming smile of perfectly white teeth, "And they have already begun to forget when we arrived. Their other memories of us will be foggy at best, and with time, fade altogether after we leave."
      Wan coughed, which for him was falling down laughing. "Battle shuttle. Unusual. I enjoy it."
      "That's all that counts." The Colonel said chuckling to his friend.
      "How about you?" Kavel asked him. "You spent a long time with the commander."
      "Yes I did. And I found her immensely refreshing."
      "She has a powerful personality, even for a Klingon female." Marot said, "She almost got away from you." She was evaluating her student.
      "I've had worst than her for breakfast. I enjoyed her resistance. And her strength." He flexed his body and his mind, reliving the sensations.
      "So we are staying here for awhile?" Kavel said.
      "Yes." The Colonel answered. "We'll work from here for a time. While Jot Ti looks for a new home for us."
      Wan started at the name, "Jot Ti has not checked in for a long time. He may have betrayed us."
      The Colonel looked at Marot. "Is he still alive?"
      She closed her eyes and seemed to blur slightly to those watching. Then she was back in the here and now, "Yes. He lives."
      "Then he has not betrayed us."

      The next few months were a combination of the absolutely routine, and the fantastically unusual.

      A high warp shuttle arrived without transponders or even running lights, and docked with only the barest exchange with the station. Aboard was a ranking official from a Federation member world accompanied by a small entourage of aids.
      Commander Klastor welcomed them, then announced she had never laid eyes on them.
      The Colonel appeared and asked them to come aboard his ship. They vanished in the gray/white transporter shimmer.
      The pilot and crew of the shuttle performed some minor maintenance on their ship, then had a quick meal with some of the station's officers.
      "We've done things like this before. Our flight plan says we are here to show the ambassador's sister the Malorian Glow Clouds, we'll go by them on our way back." The pilot said. "We only stopped here to check that plasma vent."
      The commander smiled. "I have a feeling the clouds are going to grow in popularity."
      The party arrived in the shimmer.
      "We must go." The ambassador said.
      The pilot nodded and they left, just like that.
      "We'll be leaving in a few hours." The Colonel said.
      "Yes commander. Duty calls." He had that look in his eyes, "But perhaps I could be delayed a few minutes."
      "Only a few minutes... Humans." She growled. But the growl was more in anticipation than derision.
      Without a word she followed him to the zero gravity athletic chamber in the lower area of the station.

Continued in: The Patrol Part 3

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[NOTE:This Story Is FAN FICTION. This presentation carries the copyright The Media Desk, 2005. Author retains all rights, including the right of approval for publication. STAR TREK, and all images and situations affiliated with STAR TREK are originally owned and copyrighted by PARAMOUNT STUDIOS and other entities. They are used in this story without intent to harm or otherwise defame PARAMOUNT or the estate of Gene Roddenberry. If either of those parties object to it, the story will be pulled immediately. The Media Desk is not in any way affiliated with PARAMOUNT. For information contact Levite. Email- drleftover[~at-]themediadesk[~dot-]com (email scrambled to screw with spammer robots), or surface mail to: The Media Desk, PO Box 1276, Dover, DE 19903 ]