|Introduction||The Station||Puzzles||Away Team|
|The Thing||Bug Hunt||Deep Space Nine||The Second Attack|
"Captain Ahmad, I would appreciate you backing off and letting us handle this situation." Admiral Richard Cray-Nîmes said, smiling condescendingly, "We know what we're dealing with - you don't, so don't worry about it!"
The Admiral leaned back slightly and just for a second it looked like his combadge was a metallic black instead of the usual gold.
"On the contrary, I know about this probe... it was called Project Asmo, and it was some sort of genetically engineered organic tech, artificial intelligence experiment that has been totally screwed up by your people."
The smile on Cray-Nîmes' face froze, and became slightly more feral. "Do you know what happened to the boy who knew too much? If you know what's good for you you'll call off this investigation."
Ahmad placed as much ice as he could into his voice: "Admiral Richard Cranium, sorry, Cray-Nîmes, ninety-four people were gone before we could help them, and the remainder are little more than mindless inanimates who would be better off dead. I lost six members of my crew to this 'Project Asmo', and now Federation Station Deep Space Nine is under threat as well as the planet Bajor, not to mention our access to the Wormhole. So don't tell me what I can and cannot do. I owe it to those people and I owe it to my crew to carry on with this investigation - regardless of what Starfleet 'Intelligence' says. Ahmad out." He broke contact abruptly.
"I see you and Admiral Cray-Nîmes are the best of friends." Sisko observed dryly.
"I don't know him from Adam, but dickheads like that brass me off no end."
"I know what you mean." Sisko said. "Anyway, this thing, this Asmo is hanging around here, and people are in danger. Bad enough we have the Dominion to contend with and the Founders. All it takes is for a panic to develop, and the Cardassians will pounce upon a chance to drop in and take over; and I'm not going to stand here and let that happen. Things are already way too tense with the intensifying situation in the Gamma Quadrant."
"I entirely agree," Ahmad said, and stood up, straightening his uniform. "You're in command of the station, so I won't presume to give any orders, but perhaps it would be a good idea to get all non-essential personnel off the station. Tell'em we're on a bug hunt or something."
Major Kira Nerys lay sprawled across the bed wearing a black negligée. She gazed deeply into his eyes and took his hands. "Akeel, get this thing off the station and I can make your stay at DS9 a very pleasant one."
"How can I ever refuse an offer like that!" Ahmad replied gently, drawing her close. Slowly their lips met. The kiss lasted a long time...
Ahmad woke abruptly. He was alone - the dream seemed so vivid, she had felt so real - yet she had never even looked at him in reality. Why did he have such a dream? It was not in his nature to experience erotic dreams, it was not logical; then he realised why - it would soon be time. Pon Farr, the time when his blood would burn, the time when he would be required to take a mate or die, a time when he would be stripped of his veneer of civilisation and his baser instincts would be laid bare. It happened every seven years and was a terrible thing to go through for Vulcans, who prided themselves on their logic and the pinnacle of civilisation that they had achieved at the expense of emotion.
"Not now, please!" He pleaded to whoever out there may have been listening.
Although he was raised on Earth, he was still a Vulcan, subject to their particular physiological needs; the erotic dream was the first sign. He'd have to get this mission over and done with and find some way to get home, or even Vulcan itself, before long - he had at least six weeks if he was lucky; then he reminded himself that Vulcans did not believe in luck - it was illogical.
He looked at his chronometer - 04:00 hrs, something was not right, he never woke up like this - there was a sense of foreboding in the air. He could feel his heartbeat very strongly and sensed his blood racing through his veins.
The darkness remained.
This time the room was lit by a blood-red light - the kind used during alert conditions.
He crept out of bed, wrapped a robe around himself, and approached the replicator.
"Water, 4° Celsius", a glass of water appeared in the tray.
He lifted the glass to his lips and screamed as a wave of searing pain struck him in the back. He fell to the floor and doubled up. The pain travelled up and down his back and began to spread along his arms, legs and to his head.
Somehow he managed to hit a com-panel. "Qnayf!" he gasped once then passed out.
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