Captain's Log, SD 201810.02
Capt. Zak Taylor
<<--! From the Sim of SD 201809.28:
. Admiral Harrison said, "We have a new mission, seemingly custom made for the Darmok. Have either of you heard of Ambassador Adam Android?"
. Captain Taylor glanced at Patterson, "Wasn't he a Starfleet Captain at one time?"
. Patterson noted, "Adam Android, yeah, Ambassador to the Aslans, ... I think I met him on the Agamemnon once."
. Harrison nodded, "That's him. He sent us an urgent communique. Seems the Kyrathian Swarm is on the move again." His face turned grim, "I'll send you the datafile. They're nasty, Captain."
. Captain Zak Taylor sat back from the terminal on the desk in his Ready Room with a sudden blow of air. "Phoosh! Admiral Harrison was right, these things are nasty!" He stood and strode over to the replicator. "Coffee, hot, black, sweetened." In a moment he collected the mug and lifting it, blew on it to cool then took a sip before turning back to his desk.
. As he seated himself he took another sip of his coffee, then composed himself again and pressed the comm button on the console. "Ops, connect me with Ambassador Adam Android in the Aslan Heirate. You'll probably need to do several linkages to make the connection, he's a long way from here."
. The Ensign manning Ops replied, "Aye, sir, I'll let you know as soon as I have the connection." Zak nodded and closed the comm, sipping his coffee again. He muttered under his breath, "I need to share this data file with the crew, but there's a lot of info there. Spearhorse definitely needs to get familiar with those Soldiers and Gatherers, they're the biggest threat. Medical needs to know about those plant spores, they're deadly and highly infectious. Relok and his science staff need to be familiar with the whole damn system, it's so interconnected it'll probably give Relok logic nightmares! And Engineering might have to figure out a way to rebuild the hull while we're under attack! That won't be fun! Damn, these bugs are scary!"
. Just as he said that the Ops officer called, "Sir, I have Ambassador Android on the line." Zak sat up straighter, "Put him through, Ensign."
. The Android no longer wore a Starfleet uniform, but he looked exactly the way he did when last he stood on the bridge of the Sojourner fifteen years before. Not a wrinkle marred his face, not a grey hair glinted on his head. He still wore the well-trimmed goatee he'd started wearing way back when he commanded the ISS Reciprocity.
. Instead of a Starfleet uniform, he wore a glossy brown suit that resembled the exoskeleton of the human-sized erect cockroaches that were the Federation's strongest ally in the deep Gamma Quadrant, the Aslans. Instead of a necktie, dangling around his neck was an ornate ribbon with a large medallion, the medal the Aslans had given him nearly 20 years ago when they declared him the Hero of the Heirate after he returned their long lost religious artifact, the Vordock. They wouldn't let him take it off, at least in public.
. To each side of the Android, and slightly behind him, stood a vicious-looking tiny dinosaur, the last remaining active members of the Scaled Guard, the robotic Raptors, who had bonded with the Android when he was Captain of the Reciprocity and now followed him everywhere he went.
. The Android smiled, something that always caught people off guard, and said, "Good afternoon, Captain Taylor. I admit, when I heard they were sending the Darmok, I was expecting Admiral Johannsen, but I've heard she finally retired."
. Zak forced himself to relax. It wasn't every day one spoke to an Ambassador who had served in that capacity for over a decade. "Yes, Ambassador. I understand she was torn between her family and her duty to the Fleet and to the Darmok in particular. She finally chose family. I was honored to receive command of this fine ship when she retired."
. The Android nodded and there was a pause for a moment before he spoke again, "So, have you read the data file on the Kyrathian Swarm?"
. Zak nodded then said, "They're a bit frightening, if you ask me."
. Adam stroked his beard then said, "You know, in all the years I commanded the Reciprocity - you know the big Romulan Warbird I inherited command of after the end of the Dominion War - there was only one time that ship was seriously damaged, and that was by the Kyrathians. They drained her shields, landed on the outer hull, and managed to rip a hole all the way through the outer and inner hulls and breach the inner corridors. We lost a half dozen Raptors, several Klingon warriors, and a few valiant Starfleet officers before we finally defeated the intruders, and that was after the Reci had turned tail and run!"
. Zak shuddered. He'd seen one or two of the enormous D'deridex-class warbirds. You could fly a Galaxy-class ship right through the opening in the middle without worrying about scraping the paint. The Darmok was hardly bigger than the nose of one of those monsters.
. Adam smiled again, "Don't worry, we're not going to send the Darmok into a face-to-face battle with a half-dozen Colony ships. We just want to find out what they're doing and where. That's what the Darmok is good at, reconnaissance without being noticed, right?"
. Zak smiled back, "Yeah, that's what they tell me, anyway. So, we'll make best speed to the Bajoran Wormhole, jump through, and then continue at high warp for a few weeks, right?"
. Adam grimaced, "Yeah, the Aslan Heirate is way out here in the Gamma Quadrant. Most of the area between the Wormhole, where the Dominion used to be, and the Aslans, is safe or sparsely populated. It used to be dominated by the Dominion," the Android smirked at his pun and pushed on, "but after the Founders withdrew it broke up a little. There's still some worlds administered by Vorta and patrolled by Jem'Hadar, but they keep the truce. I'm looking forward to meeting you in person, and seeing the Darmok again, it's been a long time."
. One of the Raptors stepped forward and chittered at the Android in its unintelligible Raptor-speak. The Android nodded then addressed Zak again, "My Raptor informs me I have a meeting shortly, so I'll need to sign off. Contact me again once you're through the Wormhole. Android out."