The Shadow of Vulcan is a series centered around how the destruction of Vulcan in Star Trek triggers an ancient conspiracy revealing the dirty secrets of the planet's past and threatening the existence of the entire universe. It is written by the user MattiasWestby, though not while logged in. 18.104.22.168 18:59, June 30, 2012 (UTC)
Captain Ender could have laughed at the absurdity of the situation were it not for the USS Hyperion drifting above and his knowledge of it's mission: body collection. They drifted in the asteroid belt which had been Vulcan before the arrival of the Narada. He still vividly recalled the call. He had been on shore leave on Archer IV with his crew. A certain Federal Agent 059 or whatever had appeared and told him Vulcan had been destroyed. The blow had come hard. ender was one quarter Vulcan and had close friends and relatives on the planet. Only his cousin Eroth was still alive. His third-in-command Darak was dead, having gone home to finish a test that would have given him captaincy of a starship, his lifelong dream. His beloved grandfather Khaliin was also dead. And his childhood sweetheart T'kaal had survived but been crippled for life, forever to be on a wheelchair and life support. Her Starfleet dreams were over forever. The blow had been hard, but then this agent had given him probably the most idiot assignment in Federation history: his ship, the USS Archer, was to be assigned to the Vulcan asteroid belt and search for survivors. How could anybody survive the complete destruction of a planet? And even if they had, how could they have lived more than ten seconds in the vacuum of space? The only life signs they had found were when they accidentally scanned the Hyperion's bridge. William Ender scanned the next asteroid. Nothing, as usual. First Contact Day was in a week. He had to get off this assignment to celebrate. How could you celebrate First Contact Day in the remains of a destroyed planet on a futile assignment? Of course, there would be no celebration this year. Most of the Vulcan race was dead, and the first contact had been with a Vulcan ship. Wiping a tear from his left cheek, he scanned the next asteroid. Nothing. So it had been for the duration of his assignment. He toyed with a little Chinese finger puppet, then scanned the next asteroid. He sighed and swiveled in his chair, then threw another dart into the holograph of Nero on the wall. Right in the eye. The boredom was oppressive and consuming. He scanned again. Suddenly, a beeping sound filled the air. A life sign! Finally, something to break the silence! He called up Chief Engineer Mason Tandem. "Teleport one life sign," he said in an authoritative captain's voice. "Aye aye, cap," said Tandem, a little confused. Ender leapt from his chair and ran to the transporter room.
When he arrived, he saw only a strange artifact sitting there. It looked like a vertical cylinder covered in markings with a pair of serpents snaking up the sides. They met to hold a dodecahedron in their mouths. Each side had a lock, all unlocked except for one. Beside it lay the dead body of what had obviously been the life sign. It looked like a Vulcan, but the facial features were all wrong. It had jabbed an obsidian key into it's forehead as soon as it began to materialize. It lay on what used to be a spacesuit but had been ripped up by something. Ender removed the key with shaking hands, and then he looked at the artifact. "I wonder..." he said to himself, and stuck the bloody key into the final lock. Then, with a decisive twist, it unlocked.
From the bridge of the Hyperion, Captain Maximilian Kingfisher could only watch in horror. A massive bolt of lightning snaked out from the bottom of the Archer. It drove into an asteroid and smashed it to pieces, then leapt towards Hyperion. The ship shook with the impact and rocked back and forth. Two men went flying into the viewscreen and collapsed. They didn't get back up. Another shock went through the Archer. "Red alert," yelled Kingfisher, "RED ALERT!!!" Red lights blared. Another bolt snaked towards them. "Fire a tachyon pulse at it," yelled Kingfisher, "reverse the polarity." The pulse deflected some of the blast, but not enough. One last shock struck the bridge and then everything went black and cold. It is very cold in outer space.
Somewhere in a distant galaxy, a long way from Earth, there was a small, icy planetoid drifting in space, orbiting far from a small red dwarf. At the center of this world was a prison. And chained by ancient systems and programs in a cryogenic tube was a mysterious hooded man. He had been scorched black by fire and frozen by ice. There he had lain undisturbed since a time before cavemen had learned the art of fire, before man had made tools, before we even walked on two legs. He had been there since the rise of empires more ancient than the Tkon. Hehad seen the big bang which had created the universe. He had been imprisoned here in a time before the beginning of this universe, at the end of another one. But finally, his andient chains broke. He opened his eyes as the cryotube shut down and opened up. He grinned and raised his hands to he heavens. The small planetoid imploded and he was destroyed instantly. But as his body was destroyed, something more powerful emerged. It reached out and the star exploded. He swept through the galaxy and flung the stars and systems into the central black hole until nothing remained. And then, he felt a powerful presence in a distant galaxy. He tensed. His revenge was coming. And he headed for the Milky Way galaxy.
The USS Titan rocked with the second blast. "Lock phasers," yelled William Riker, "and brace for impact!" A phaser struck down the second Bird-of-prey, but the others still surrounded the ship. A volley of photon torpedoes slammed into the ship. "We have a warp core breach, Captain," yelled Lt. Matthew Anderson, "We have to evacuate the ship!" Riker hailed the transporter room. "Evacuate as many people as you can," he yelled, "and hurry!" The speaker crackled to life. "We don't have enough power," came the weary voice of Chief Engineer Harry Pathfinder, "the ship is going down." Riker turned to the screen. "If we're dead," he said, "we'll take them with us. Set self destruct for a ten second countdown." The countdown began. "Hail them and say we surrender," he said. The ships moved in for the kill. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...
Suddenly, the lights came back on and the doors opened. There stood Jean-Luc Picard. "Good job," he said, "Kobayishi Maru reveals so many things about a person. For example, a psychiatrist would say that your solution - to take them down with you - indicates a strong loyalty to duty, but a hint of -" Riker stood up. "Oh, be quiet," he laughed, "I haven't seen you for two years, and you come in talking about psychology!" Picard laughed. "I have been temporarily reassigned," he explained, "to Starfleet Academy. Which reminds me, why are you taking the Kobayishi Maru? You already passed it with flying colours." Riker shrugged. "Blame UESPA," he said, "they put me on a five year assignment to a top secret, highly experimental, very risky mission, and wanted to see how I would react to a Kobayishi Maru situation." Picard adopted a thoughtful look. "Come with me," he invited, "tell me more about this mission." Riker walked up to him. As the cadets watched, he and Picard walked out the door. "What mission?" wondered Lt. Anderson out loud, "I though we were being assigned to a Yamato-class ship for a survey into the Bajoran wormhole?" Everybody else thought so too.
Meanwhile, on Centauri VII, in the colony of Terra Nova just outside of the main colony, deep underground beneath the jungles and deep into the caves full of dilithium crystals growing on the walls, there was a council. Twelve hooded figures sat around a table and waited. Suddenly, three figures beamed down. They walked up to the table. The hooded ones stood up. "Are Breen always this late," one asked, "for important meetings?" One of the Breen snarled. "We were held up," it said, "by the black hole from the Romulus incident. It reopened and grabbed up our ships. One of them was sucked up. The strange thing is that the black hole appears to contain some sort of stable wormhole structure leading to an alternate universe formed by the Romulan Nero, and Spock. They both survived, though Nero is now dead." The hooded ones were silent for a few moments. "Interesting," said the one who had spoken earlier, "our prophecy was correct. Which means, of course, that in this alternate universe, Kaamen-ral has escaped." There was murmuring among the congregation. "I assumed the Dark Lord was dead," said another Breen, apparently the leader of the group, with a very fancy environment suit festooned with symbols, "as is said in the Scripts of Maalath." The Breen crossed an "x" symbol in the air at the mention of the sacred scripts. "The scripts," said the same hooded one, "are wrong." The third Breen pulled out a phaser. "YOU DENY THE SACRED-" he began. The hooded ones raised their hands and the Breen flew backwards. He stood up and started screaming and holding his head as blood came out his ears. His eyes rolled back in his head and he collapsed, dead. His suit cracked and burned away, leaving only a bloody, unrecognizable corpse. The hooded one lowered his hand. "You," it said, addressing the leader, "are Captain Aah'th L'hortha of the Breen Bird-of-prey Kaa'thul. You have at your command a small fleet of H'roka-class Bird-of-prey warships. We wish to use this fleet to our advantage. Seek out the Federation experimental tachyon drive ship, the USS Enterprise-F, and bring it here. We will use it to find Kaamen-ral and return him to his universe, then rebuild the Temple of the Seven Dark Suns and become his mortal hosts. Together, we will rule the universe and all the parallel and alternate universes, all the dimensions, all of existence as we know it. It will be ours." There was silence. "If you fail us," said the hooded one, "you will meet the same fate as your comrade." The corpse made a sickening wheezing noise as gasses escaped his intestines. Aah'th pulled out a Breen tricorder with shaking hands and contacted the Kaa'thul. "Beam us up," he yelled, sounding braver than he felt, "and set course for Memory Alpha." He shook with anger. "NOT THE WIKI, YOU IDIOT!!," he yelled, "THE PLANET!!!" The two of them disappeared in a green light. The hooded ones stared at the space where the Breen had been seconds before. "Do well," the speaker said, "or meet a grisly fate."
"Now, Warp 10 has always been the limit," said Riker, "but the basis of tachyon drive is that tachyon particles have limitless speed. We use a form of propulsion utilizing tachyons by surrounding the ship in what we call a tachyon field. Then, the energy of the tachyons is channeled through the warp core and charges the dilithium crystals beyond conventional power. They can then push beyond warp 10." Picard and Riker walked down the hallway of Memory Alpha as scientists and historians pushed past them. They stepped into the Memory Alpha Museum and walked past the old UESP Enterprise's first ring, all that could be salvaged from the warp breach that destroyed the ship on a routine mission to Pluto. "So, Riker, you're saying," inquired Picard, "that you can exceed the warp 10 limit?" Riker shrugged. "It's not as simple as that, sir, " he explained, "the design has not been tested on a starship before. It could overload the warp drive and blow us to smithereens." He lowered his voice. "The only way to stabilize it," he whispered, "is with an omega particle." They stopped. Picard gaped at him. "Omega particles," he whispered in horror, "are incredibly dangerous. You could cause all the warp drive in an entire quadrant to cease!" Riker nodded. "Hence the secrecy," he said, "and the danger that warranted that I undergo a Kobayishi Maru test again. We will have to undergo the tests in an alternate universe without warp drive. We used red matter to open a gateway to the flight of the Phoenix and formed an alternate universe where the ship was destroyed in flight. The area around Earth is safe for testing. The problem is that I'm not experienced in time travel. The Federation says that you know more about time travel than any other living man." Picard shrugged. "I am sure there are people more knowledgeable on the subject than me," he said, "Like Ira Graves 2.0, the android storing the consciousness of Dr. Graves." Riker shook his head. "Mr. Graves can't pilot a starship," he announced with a wink. Picard was confused for a moment. Then, it dawned on him. "Me," he asked, " be the first man to break the transwsarp barrier?" Riker grinned. "Second," he replied jokingly, "but yes. You will pilot the USS Enterprise-F through the new Vulcan wormhole and into the history books."
The Titan left spacedock the next day and headed for Vulcan, where they would rendezvous with the Enterprise-F. Little did they know that behind them, a Breen Bird-of-prey was following them. Captain Aah'th grinned. "The beginning of the end..." he said to himself. He turned to the com panel. "Warp 6," he barked to the engineering room, "and make it snappy. Tonight, I will be captain of the same Bird-of-prey. Tomorrow, the first transwarp starship in history." And they set off after Titan and into the undiscovered country of the future.
Orbiting Vulcan is a space station commissioned by UESPA five years earlier. It was part of a project to create a stable wormhole and explore the universe beyond all warp limits. But the Vulcan wormhole soon turned out to have a far more valuable purpose - the ability to create alternate universes. The project was, of course, quite dangerous. It had been attacked by Romulans six months earlier under the intention to create a universe where Romulus had not been destroyed. As a result, nobody was free from security protocols. Even the decorated Admiral Jean-Luc Picard. He groaned as lasers coursed over him scanning for weapons. When they stopped, two men in dark suits entered the room. One was a Vulcan, the other a Romulan. The Romulan took off his dark sunglasses. "Greetings, Picard," he said, "my name is Maximus, chief of interrogation and torture for the House of Duras and certified expert in information extraction. Now head of interrogation for the Federation. And this is Tyboth. When I'm done, he'll mind meld with you to make sure you've been telling the truth. If you aren't who you claim to be, be aware the consequences can be, let us say, brutal." He pulled out num-chuks and jangled them in front of Picard's face to enforce the point. The num-chuks returned to his bag, and he turned around, taking a deep breath. He whirled around and pulled out a knife, pressing it against Picard's nose until it bled. Picard didn't flinch. Maximus smirked. "So, you're a tough guy," he asked himself, "which means what? But of course, time for the good cop to make an appearance." He sat down on a chair across from Picard. "Now, Picard," he said casually, "tell me your mother's maiden name." He adopted a casual look as well. "Cabrett," he replied. Maximus shook his head. "Wrong," he announced. Picard stood up, yelling "You claim that I-" Maximus pushed him into his chair. "Please, Picard, if that really is your name," said Maximus in a scolding tone of voice, "please control your emotions! Now, you were born when?" Picard groaned. "July 13th," he replied, "2305." Maximus shook his head. "Wrong," he announced, "that's two out of four questions wrong." Picard opened his mouth in shock. "My file-" he began, but was interrupted by a smack on the face from Maximus. "Question three," Maximus continued, "you once said about Ira Graves what?" Picard wiped the sweat off his forehead. "I said he was a brilliant man," he replied, "but at social situations he was a boaster and a-" Maximus whirled around, knife in hand, and held it to Picard's throat. "You said," he snarled, "Ira Gates was a wonderful man and that you wished you could have been his friend in Starfleet Academy." Picard sweated. "You're lying," he choked, straining to speak against the pressure of the knife on his throat, "I was told Ira Graves never even attended the Academy. He was self taught." Maximus shook his head. "Sorry, Picard," he replied, "I am convinced you are an impostor and will therefore be killed on sight." Picard opened his mouth to argue, then realization dawned on him. "You set me up," he realized in horror, "and now you can dispose of me claiming I was an impostor and I was killed trying to escape. But you are the impostors." Maximus smiled and Tyboth walked closer. "I wondered," he said with malice, "when you would figure it out." Slowly, he and Tyboth began to morph and change into something else only vaguely humanoid. A third leg sprouted out from them. Their necks split open and divided into three transparent tubes. Their faces got longer and proboscises sprouted from their mouth. Their clothes ripped open and soon they were no longer even vaguely humanoid. There stood two Undines, with evil looks on their faces. "Maximus" held up his hand. "The Borg stood no chance against us," he explained, "because we too are masters of assimilation. But where Borg use nanobots, we use microbes. You will be infected, and your biological and sometimes technological significance will become a part of us." He grinned. "And of course," he said mockingly, "resistance is futile." A grey fluid started flowing out of his finger. It formed into a tentacle and reached for Picard's face. He leaned backwards, but it kept coming and started crawling towards his nose. Suddenly, the door opened and two phaser blasts destroyed the false Maximus. The tentacle turned back to liquid and splattered against the floor. William Riker stood there, aiming a phaser at the false Tyboth. "Where is Tyboth and Maximus," he yelled, "and how do we find them?" The false Tyboth smiled, reaching for his shoulder. "Both dead," he yelled defiantly, "and so are you!" He pulled a little tentacle, and an explosion of grey liquid ripped through the room.
The Klingon scout ship C'thali'tak orbited the world of Ardas III, or at least what was known as Ardas III in another universe. Here, it was known as Tarammal, and was home to what dould be salvaged of the Narada and a valuable supply of dilithium crystals. Here was where Captain Ender arrived. After the artifact had crumbled to dust and a malevolent entity popped out, he leaped into the transporter and beamed. The transporter had randomly sent him to this world, a slave mine not unlike Rura Penthe but worse. The slavemasters made Nero look like Mother Theresa and the prisoners made the Mirror Universe look friendly. The average life expectancy here was two weeks. Ender had the ill fortune to end up right in the middle of a fight between two of the Klingon guards. For a moment, everybody just stared. Then, one of the Klingons yelled "WHOEVER CAPTURES THIS PRISONER GETS FOUR HUNDRED THOUSAND FEDERATION DOLLARS!!!" Captain Ender dashed down a corridor with five Klingons in hot pursuit. He leaped onto a minecart and pulled the lever, hurtling down into the deep, dark caves. A Romulan prisoner jumped into the cart and punched Ender, breaking his nose immediately. He immediately gave it a Vulcan nerve pinch, but it had trained for that. Ender dodged a left hook and kicked it in the face. It groaned and fell back, clinging on to the back of the cart as it dragged along. The point on it's left ear was scraped off. But the fight wasn't over yet. It grabbed Ender by the scruff of his neck and pulled him down, using him as a ladder to climb back ino the cart. He threw three wild punches. The fourth caught the neck of the Romulan, and he lost his grip for only a moment. Ender kicked right in the groin and sent the Romulan dragging along the bottom of the cart. Ender crawled up to get back into the cart, only to fly into a vein of explosive nykrillth. He reached down and grabbed up the struggling Romulan, lest he accidentally kick a nykrillth crystal and blow them all to smithereens. For a moment, they forgot their differences and clung on to each other in fear as they bumped over rocks and crystals, narrowly missing two Orions and a Gorn. They passed through safely. The Romuln wiped the sweat off his forehead, and they both laughed in relief. Then, Ender remembered they were fighting and punched the Romulan, who went flying right into a nykrillth crustal. Ender clung on as the air was filled with fire and flying rocks, and he hurtled down into a lower passage. Thalaron erupted from vents on the walls and surrounded the cart. Ender coughed and gagged as the deadly poison filled the air. Worried, he kicked the walls and twisted around to fly into an underground river. He swam under the collapsing rocks and leaped out to find the cavern collapsing. Dodging rocks and blasts as the thalaron caught fire and exploded, he jumped over a chasm and ran over the burning bridge to land in a stable cavern seconds before it would have been cut off by falling rocks. He took a breather, but only a short one, for two Klingons fired a phaser blast at him. He ducked behind a rock to see a Klingon crushed beneath a boulder. His limp hand held a phaser. Ender picked it up, muttering an apology to the dead Klingon, and fired at the others. One was injured in the shoulder and fired continually until the rock turned white and started melting. Ender fired another blast set to "Cut Through" and vaporized the injured Klingon. The other one vaporized the rock. Ender jumped behind abother rock to avoid the second blast. It cut through the rock and struck the room full of thalaron. Ender jumped into the air as the Klingon was ripped apart by flying shratnel and the captain was sent flying to his imminent death. Or so he thought.
Picard opened his eyes to look into a face he never thought he would see again. "Just rest," said Beverly Crusher, "you're fine. You hit your head during the explosion. Fortunately, you were pinned underneath the desk in the next room over and the fluid couldn't reach you." Picard started to sit up. "Riker," he began, but a sharp pain tore through his head and he lay back down. "Riker is fine," she said, "he went unconscious trying to hold his breath so the fluid couldn't get in. He's right here if you want to talk to him." Riker walked over to his bedside. He smiled. "You know, captain," he said jokingly, "what are you doing lying down on duty?" Picard laughed. "Good to see you too," he replied, "feeling better?" Riker smiled playfully. "Fine," he said, and then adopted a more serious look. "Undines in the VWS," he said shaking his head in despair, "what next? For all we know, President Taibo'lath could be an Undine. Nobody is above suspicion. But anyhow, we've pulled a scan and multiple security checks, and we have chosen a totally secure skeleton crew. We are ready to launch." Picard smiled. "I'll be there," he confirmed, "concussion or no concussion. Thank you, Dr. Crusher, but I have to go." Dr. Crusher held him down. "You're already on the Enterprise-F," she replied calmly, "and until you recover you will be issuing orders from the sickbay." Picard groaned. "Beverly," he argued, "I admire your concern, but-" She held him back. "But," she continued, "you are injured. Go to sleep. I'm sorry, Picard, but it is for your own good." He moaned. "Alright," he lamented, "but I won't enjoy it." She smiled and went to tend to another man. Picard and Riker looked at each other. "Five minutes," said Picard. "I'll get a stretcher," Riker grinned. Picard climbed into the stretcher and pulled a sheet over his head. Riker pushed him to the teleporter room and punched in the coordinates of the bridge. Picard climbed onto the transporter pad, ignoring the shooting pain in his head. "Energize, number one," he said, and disappeared into blue light.