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  Lieutenant J.g. Sierra Gar, SD
DL: When the looking glass breaks... part 1

The following events take place roughly fifteen years from now.

All is quiet as the Excelsior travels through deep space at cruising warp speeds. The ship is taking some sensor readings on its way back to starbase.

This Excelsior is relatively new, a prototype for the Tornado class. Designed to be sleeker and faster than anything that has come before, it is designed to operate for an extended period of time, even at high warp.

On the Bridge, Captain April Westmore sat calmly, while her new first officer, Commander Gar, paced around the bridge like a cat, observing anything and everything that moved. Funny enough, she picked this up from a former first officer, a particular Denobulan who held the position when she first arrived.

April looked over at the XO. With quite the sense of humor she remarked, "Commander, I'd be careful if I were you. Pace around much more like that and you might fall through the floor."

This prompted a slight chuckle from Sierra, who only shrugged in response. She stopped her pacing and returned to her chair.

Sierra opened her mouth to speak. "It sure is different..." but her thought was interrupted by an alarm.

The operations officer looked up from her console. 

"Captain, I am detecting a distress signal." A pause as the officer at ops tried to make out what was being broadcast. "Ship... under fire... alliance. That's all we can get."

Sierra raised an eyebrow. "This far in the middle of nowhere?" she asked, turning to her CO.

April spoke. "How far away, Lieutenant Tane?"

The ops officer looked up once more. "Five lightyears, Captain."

A frown from Sierra. "Even at warp nine it'd take at least a day to get there. I'd recommend slipstream."

Captain Westmore nodded. "Helm," she instructed, turning towards the officer at the helm station. "Lay in a course for the vessel. Plot a slipstream jump. I want to arrive a bit short so we can get a better idea of what we're looking at."

"Aye, Captain," was the male Vulcan's calm response. He tapped at his console for a brief moment. "Course plotted."

April stood up from her seat. "Helm, take us in."

The officer at the helm nodded, tapping at his console. "Entering the slipstream corridor in five, four..." As he spoke, the sound of a deep hum filtered through the floor as on the view screen, a swirling vortex appeared.

"Three, two," It grew until nothing else could be seen. "One."

The Excelsior had entered the slipstream corridor. The bridge was silent as everyone watched, and waited, stealing themselves for whatever was to come. Unfortunately, no matter how much preparation was made, no one would be ready for what came next.

A few minutes later the Excelsior exited the corridor, close enough to the source of the distress signal to get a good idea of what was going on, but far enough away that they shouldn't be in direct danger... at least not immediately.

The ops officer checked her sensors and frowned. "Captain, I'm reading a transponder from the vessel under attack, but... I don't..." she paused, the view screen itself showing several other smaller ships assaulting one significantly larger craft.

"Speak up, Lieutenant, from the look of things that ship doesn't have all day." Captain Westmore turned towards the ops station, and waited.

"The distress call originated from... the I.S.S Horizon."

This was not good news at all. Where the captain and first officer's original thoughts were of responding to a vessel in distress, they were now thinking one thing as they gave each other a look. Almost as one they both posed a question, to the rest of the bridge staff as much as to themselves.

"How the hell did they get here?"

Although caught off guard, or perhaps even because of that, April wasted no time in giving her next order. "Helm, keep us out of range for now."

The Vulcan raised an eyebrow, nodding as he kept the ship out of harm's way.

Gar turned to the tactical station. "Put up the shields, but keep the weapons offline. We don't want to appear aggressive."

A nod from a rather intimidating looking human male at tactical as he tapped his console before announcing in a deep voice, "Shields are up."

Sierra and April both nodded, looking at each other.

April frowned. "The prime directive would seem to apply here. These ships don't belong in our universe. Whatever happens must..." but then she cut herself off, realizing the flaw in what she said fairly quickly.

Sierra interjected. "Unfortunately, they are here. Regardless of where they came from, it's doubtful that..."

But Sierra couldn't finish her sentence before Lieutenant Taine looked up. "Captain, commander. Three of the six smaller vessels are breaking off their attack and are heading for..."

But she couldn't finish her sentence either as the ship shook slightly.

Tane checked her console. "Shields holding. Those things are quick."

Sierra sighed softly. "Well... like it or not, we're more involved now than ever."

April's calm nature seemed to shift. "Red alert. Mr. Winfrid, target their engines and weapons, but don't destroy them. It's time to see what this ship can do."

The sound of the red alert klaxon pierced through the air like a very rude wake-up call as tactical acknowledged his orders.

What followed was a few minutes of exchanging fire, the smaller ships packing a surprising amount of heat. Finally however, the three vessels that were engaged with the Excelsior were disabled, drifting in space. The vessel in distress seemed to have dealt with their assailants as well.

Sierra looked around the bridge, which seemed intact, even if it wasn't a pretty thing to see. "Damage report," she ordered.

Tane looked up. "We paid quite the price. Warp drive is offline, the starboard shields are gone... and impulse power is down to sixty percent."

April sighed, "Begin repairs immediately."

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