Monday, 31 December 1990

The Valkyrie Chronicles - The Theophilus War Chapter 4

The U.S.S. Valkyrie neared Sector 001, the galaxy known as the Milky Way. The crew were not happy. Morale was somewhat low. They knew that a grave task lay ahead of them.
    The usual crew members were aboard, but they also carried one special passenger, Bob Dones. His daughter had been kidnapped by Count Dracula, who was under the influence of Doctor Armand Theophilus.
    Soon, they were orbiting the planet Earth, and Starfleet Headquarters. They docked without incident. The senior officers of the Valkyrie, Captain James Watt, Commander Arthur Pendragon, and Lt. Commander Simon Winthorn were summoned before the Federation Council, Ambassador Magus was also summoned.
    When they entered the chamber, they were shocked to see a Monstron general seated at the table, next to Admiral Benton.
    “This is General Addams of the Monstron Empire.” said Benton.
    “With all due respect.” said Watt. “This is hardly a matter for the Monstron Empire.”
    “The Temple of Orlok was raided by a party of humans.” said Addams. “That makes it our matter.”
    “Gentlemen.” said Benton. “We are her to discuss the crisis, not to engage in petty squabbles.”
    The Valkyrie crew seated themselves at the table.
    “Are your repairs complete, Captain Watt?” Benton asked.
    “We would have liked more time.” Watt replied. “We are hardly in any shape to go after anybody.”
    “Come, now, Captain.” said Benton. “Dr. Theophilus is using an eighty year old starship. The Valkyrie is more than a match for it.”
    “An old starship with Galaxy Class engines.” said Magus. “And with technology stolen from many other craft. I detected Klingon, Romulan, Ferengi, Sontaran, even Borg technology on their ship. The body may be old, Admiral, but the mind is very able and willing!”
    “Enough of these metaphors!” snapped Addams. “We must discuss our strategy!”
    “Our strategy?” said Watt.
    “General Addams is to accompany you on this mission, Watt.” said Benton. “After all, Dracula was recently in residence on the Monstron homeworld.”
    “Believe me, Captain.” said Adams. “I dislike this as much as I see you do.”
    “Just remember one thing then.” said Watt. “I am the captain of the Valkyrie, and I give the orders.”
    “General Addams is only assisting in an advisory role.” said Benton. “Nothing more.”

    Many thousands of light years away, the starship that had been stolen by the forces of Armand Theophilus, which he had re-named “The Satan”, moved slowly through space. He strode through the corridors of his starship. He then came to his private laboratory. The first person he saw was his long-time comrade, Celsius.
    “The weapon is complete.” said Celsius. “All goes according to your plan.”
    “Is our contact in place in Starfleet Headquarters?” Theophilus asked.
    “He is.” Celsius replied. “And the Valkyrie is due to leave Earth in three hours. From what he can tell, the engineers will have to continue their repairs en route.”
    Theophilus then activated his communicator.
    “Theophilus to bridge.”
    “Dolcoon here, master. What is your order?”
    “Set a course for the Star of Hope.” Theophilus ordered. “We will intercept and attack the Valkyrie there.”

    The final preparations were made while the Valkyrie was still docked at Starfleet. Lt. Amarus was showing General Addams to his quarters on the ship. The General was not pleased.
    “These are the best quarters you have for me?” he said.
    “These are the quarters normally reserved for Starfleet admirals.” said Amarus.
    Addams gazed around the room.
    “I suppose they will have to do.” he said. “Leave me, now. Tell your captain I will join him shortly on the bridge.”
    Amarus left the quarters. After he had, Addams sat down at the table, and opened his small case. Out of it, he took a small communication device. He then activated it.
    “I am aboard the Valkyrie.” he said. “All is now ready.”
    An hour later, all was complete. All the main bridge officers were in their positions when General Addams entered the bridge. When he did, Commander Pendragon got up from his usual chair.
    “If you would like to sit here, General.” he said.
    “Thank you, Commander.” said Addams.
    Pendragon then sat in the chair normally reserved for Counsellor Trospheo.
    “Would you like to guide us out of the starbase, General?” asked Watt.
    “I have studied many of your procedures, Captain Watt.” said Addams. “It would be an honour. Ensign Greenleaf, ahead, one quarter impulse power.”
    Greenleaf carried out the order. Within a matter of minutes, they had exited the starbase.
    “Full impulse power, Ensign.” Addams ordered.
    “How long until we reach the Star of Hope?” asked Watt.
    “At warp six, twenty seven hours and forty three minutes.” said Winthorn.
    “Can we not travel at warp nine?” said Addams.
    “The warp engines are still undergoing some repair, General.” said Watt. “Warp six is the maximum we can travel at the moment.”
    “Then warp six it will have to be.” snorted Addams.
    As soon as they had left Sector 001, they moved to warp six. Meanwhile, Sutek had been carrying out a record search of Theophilus’ known crew. Watt watched him.
    “Theophilus is acting as captain of his vessel.” said Sutek. “With Celsius as his first officer. His second officer is a man known as Dolcoon, a native of the planet Traxxor.”
    On hearing this, Amarus walked over to them.
    “Did you say Dolcoon?” he asked.
    “You know him?” asked Watt.
    “We were in the same class together at the Traxxor Military Academy.” Amarus replied. “A fine student, but something inside of him snapped about a year after graduating. He’s know to have committed crimes on four Traxxon colonies.”
    “Is there anything else?” asked. Watt.
    “This part would interest Magus.” said Sutek. “Theophilus is known to be in possession of a being known as Airdragon, much like the dragon owned by Magus. This dragon is capable of hyper flight, in space, at a speed of warp two.”
    “I didn’t know such a thing was capable.” said Watt.
    “The last air dragons were known to be used by the Wose terrorists.” said Sutek. “But that was twenty years ago. They were thought to be extinct.”
    “Find out as much as you can from the files.” said Watt. “I’ll be in my ready room if you need me. You have the bridge, number one.”
    As Watt entered his ready room, he saw Magus sitting on the sofa.
    “Glad you could join me, Captain.” he said. “There is something I wish to discuss with you.”
    “About the mission?” asked Watt.
    “About General Addams.” said Magus. “I sense something different about him, like he is not who he says he is.”
    “He’s a Monstron.” said Watt. “What do you expect?”
    “He is meant to be here only as an advisor.” said Magus. “But something tells me he is here for another reason, what I can’t tell.”
    “I need more than that, Magus.” said Watt. “I don’t like having him on board, but I have to follow orders. Addams is meant to be the foremost expert on Dracula. We have to follow orders. Until you have something more definite, I can’t do anything!”
    “There is one other thing.” said Magus. “I was contacted yesterday by Gandalf. A mortal wizard who was in his custody escaped recently. This man was one of Gandalf’s most promising students, but he chose the darker ways. He was being held on the Time for crimes against the Federation. He was due to be taken to one of the penal colonies.”
    “What is his name?” Watt asked.
    “Droome.” Magus replied. “A most likeable young man, but his mind was taken over by a lust for power. I believe that he may have fulfilled that lust with the help of Armand Theophilus.”

    The journey over the next few hours passed without incident. Watt took this time to visit the Gresley at the front of the ship. When he entered, he saw Counsellor Trospheo sitting at the bar. He went over and joined her.
    “I’m glad you could join me, Captain.” she said. “There’s something I would like to discuss with you.”
    “About General Addams, perhaps?” said Watt.
    “The crew are very suspicious about him.” said Trospheo. “And not just because he is a Monstron.”
    “Has Magus put you up to this?” asked Watt. “As I told him, I have to follow orders. I was the first one to object to him coming on this mission.”
    “But I sense a certain duplicity with him.” said Trospheo. “The Monstron mind is very difficult to read telepathically, but I can still sense something different about him, something different from other Monstrons.”
    “I will bear your reservations in mind, Counsellor.” said Watt. “But my hands are tied.”
    Then, General Addams entered the Gresley. There was a sudden silence when he entered. As he sat down with his drink, the conversations continued.
    “See what I mean.” said Trospheo. “Nobody on this ship trusts him. On a mission such as this, that could be dangerous.”

    It was another ten hours before the Valkyrie reached the system that contained the Star of Hope. All seemed well.
    “Readings, Mr. Tompkins.” queried Watt.
    “All seems in order, Captain.” Tompkins replied. “No ships in this sector…”
    Tompkins paused as he picked up a new reading.
    “I’m picking up a sub-space anomaly.” he said. “Similar to the one encountered by the Lohengrin in the Gamma-Omacron system.”
    “Confirmed.” said Amarus. “The same ion particles are also being detected.”
    “What is this nonsense?” said Addams. “It is probably nothing more than interference!”
    “I don’t think so, General.” said Watt. “Make a full sensor sweep. Leave no star unturned.”
    “I’m picking it up again.” said Greenleaf. “This time much closer, fifty thousand kilometres off the port bow.”
    “Again confirmed.” said Amarus.
    “On screen.” said Pendragon.
    The screen switched on. All that could be seen was open space.
    “There is nothing there.” said Addams. “We are wasting our time.”
    “Will you kindly keep quiet, General.” said Watt. “This is not a Monstron vessel!”
    The sensors continued to scan the surrounding area.
    “It is moving toward us at full impulse power.” said Tompkins. “Now fifteen thousand kilometres away.”
    “It may be nothing more than a Klingon Bird of Prey.” said Addams.
    “For the last time, General.” said Watt. “This is my ship. Any more from you and I will confine you to your quarters!”
    “Ten thousand kilometres and closing.” said Tompkins.
    “Yellow alert.” said Pendragon. “Arm phasers and photon torpedoes.”
    Then, it happened. There was a shimmer in space, the same shimmer that happened when a vessel uncloaked. The bridge crew of the Valkyrie were shocked.
    “It’s him!” said Watt. “It’s Theophilus!”
    On board the Satan, Theophilus sat in the captain’s chair, with Celsius and Dolcoon at the helm.
    “They are in range, sir.” said Dolcoon.
    “Fire now!” cried Theophilus. “Fire the weapon!”
    On the Valkyrie, they were now on red alert.
    “Massive power build up at the front of the ship.” said Amarus. “Readings way off the scale.”
    “Raise shields!” ordered Pendragon. “Ready to fire phasers!”
    Before they could do anything, a bright red light shot out of the Satan. It completely bathed the Valkyrie. The shields were useless against it. It seemed that nothing could be done.
    Several minutes passed, although it seemed like hours, passed. The bridge crew of the Valkyrie all lay motionless on the floor. Slowly, they began to regain their senses. They slowly got to their feet. It was as if nothing had happened. They all gazed around at each other.
    “I don’t know who any of you are.” said Pendragon. “Or where the hell we are.”
    “Neither do I.” said Watt. “I have no idea what has happened!”