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Star Trek TNG: Old Friends (standard:Fan Fiction, 12079 words)
Author: KirkAdded: Mar 19 2006Views/Reads: 3380/2432Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
While on a medical mercy mission, the Enterprise encounters a 100-year-old mystery.
 



Click here to read the first 75 lines of the story


"Aye, Sir. Mr. Data and I have gone over the distribution plan step by
step. There should be no problems," answered Worf. 

"Very good." He said as he turned toward 'Ops'. "Mr. Data, has there
been any increase in speed?" 

Data tapped his console a few times. "No, Sir. We are still at warp
9.15," he replied. 

"Bridge to engineering." 

"Aye, Sir," Riker responded over the Com. 

"Status, Number One." Picard barked. 

"The Chief Engineer is resisting all my efforts to increase speed." 

"Mr. La Forge?" asked the Captain, waiting for an explanation. 

"Captain, we have maintained this speed for over 12 days. The manuals
recommend no more than 6. We're lucky we haven't lost a nacelle due to 
overload. We are at 99.7% power. The warp core can't handle any more." 
Geordi sighed, as he looked back at the warp core, knowing this was the 
longest it had ever produced that much power. "The last time I looked 
Sir, we're pretty far out for a tow." He shook his head knowing what 
was coming next from his Captain, but he had to say it. 

"Geordi, a million more people may die by the time we reach Utari IV. We
have to do everything we can to reduce that number and relieve the 
suffering of these people. Cut all non-essential systems. Evacuate and 
shut down decks if need be, just get more speed." 

After a few moments of silence, the reply came from La Forge, "Aye,
Sir." 

A minute later, Worf, standing at the security station announced,
"Captain, my status board is showing systems being shut down all over 
the ship. Commander Riker has ordered the evacuation of decks 10 
through 21." 

"Ship's speed is increasing, Captain. We are now at warp 9.3. Speed is
still increasing, now at warp 9.42 and holding," Data informed Picard. 

"What is our revised ETA now, Data?" asked Picard. 

"One hour and six minutes, Sir," replied the android. 

"Mr. Worf, have the decks 10 through 21 been evacuated, yet?" 

"It has just been completed, Captain. All personnel accounted for,"
replied Worf. 

"Cut all power to those decks as well as life support," Picard ordered. 

He got up from his command chair and walked to Data and helmsman
Lieutenant Ruth Wesley. 

"Keep your eyes on the power, Lieutenant. As soon as it becomes
available, transfer it to the engines. Mr. Data, keep me apprised of 
status," he said as he peered over each of their shoulders. 

"Speed is now 9.5, 9.6, speed is now 9.72 and holding," said Data. 

The Com chirped. "Engineering to Captain Picard." 

"Go ahead Number One," he replied 

"That's all there is, Captain. Let's hope we don't need that tow." 

"Agreed. ETA now, Mr. Data?" asked Picard. 

"At this speed, thirteen minutes and ten seconds." 

Picard returned to his chair with a sense of satisfaction. 

"Captain, long range sensors are picking up a vessel at extreme range on
the fringe of the nebula," Data reported. "The ship doesn't appear to 
be headed toward any known destination." 

"Mr. Worf?" Picard asked. 

"Unable to determine vessel design at this time. It is not transmitting
an ID beacon, and is traveling at sub-light speed. It is probably an 
automated freighter that is off course," replied the Klingon. 

"Make a note of the location of the vessel and we'll investigate when
our mission is complete." 

"Aye, Sir," growled Worf. 

"Captain, we are approaching Utari. The first few transport coordinates
have just come into range," reported Lieutenant Wesley. 

"Mr. Worf, notify Viceroy Willim and begin transport. Lieutenant, plot
an orbit that will take us over the transport sites as quickly as 
possible," Picard said, looking at Ruth. 

"Aye, Sir," replied both Worf and Ruth Wesley. 

"Captain, Viceroy Willim is on audio," said Worf. Picard gave him a nod
and a channel was opened. 

"Captain, reports are starting to come in that they have received their
shipments way ahead of schedule. Many hundreds of thousands of lives 
may have just been saved. I have a gift from the Utari people, to The 
United Federation of Planets. A shuttle has been dispatched to your 
ship, and it should arrive shortly. It's just a small token of thanks 
for going so far out of your way on this mission of mercy. Again, thank 
you." The channel closed. 

"Transport of the medicine to the planet has been completed, Captain,"
Worf said. 

"Very well. Put us into a standard orbit, Lieutenant Wesley." He hit his
Com badge. "Number one?" 

"Yes, Captain," replied Ricker. 

"Please arrange to redistribute power to the systems and restore power
to the lower decks." 

"Aye, Sir." 

"Oh, and would you revive Mr. La Forge and tell him I said 'Well done'?"


Will turned to look at Geordi who was over by the warp core, banging his
head against the wall. 

"I'll be sure to tell him," smiled Ricker. 

"Mr. Data, let's check out that shuttle," said Picard as he headed to
the turbo lift. "Shuttle bay three," he said as Data joined him in the 
lift. 

* * * 

They waited out side the shuttle bay until the readings showed that it
had been repressurized. The door opened and there sat an older style 
shuttle that appeared to be well maintained. 

Data held up his tricorder and passed it over the craft. "There appears
to be a container in the aft compartment that is shielded from my 
scans." 

"Shielded?" asked Picard, with his curiosity piqued to a higher level. 

"Yes, Sir. It is not emitting any harmful radiation so either the shield
is doing what it is designed to, or the contents are not radioactive. I 
would advise caution, Captain," stated the golden android. 

"Mr. Data, why would the Utarians wish us harm after bringing them the
medicine they so desperately needed?" Picard asked, as he motioned Data 
to open the aft hatch. 

Data opened the hatch and both he and Picard stood in disbelief. The
container nearly filled the aft compartment. It had symbols and 
markings that indicated that it contained the most rare and most sought 
after substance in the galaxy. 

Wars had been fought over it. 

Gold pressed latinum was worthless next to it. 

They opened the container, still unable to believe what they were
seeing. 

The container was filled with pure dilithium crystals. 

Data held up his tricorder and confirmed the contents. 

"Captain, there is more dilithium here than is currently being used in
all of the Federation," stated Data. 

"Now we know why they're isolationists," stated Picard. "Have Mr. Worf
get a security crew down here to store the crystals in cargo bay 8. 
Have them seal and shield it. I don't want anyone scanning us and 
finding out what we're carrying," he said, holding up a huge crystal. 
"No mention of this is to be made to the rest of the crew. Schedule a 
senior staff meeting at 19:00. In the mean time, research everything 
you can about Utari IV. I'll expect a report then. Oh, and ah, make 
sure you arrange to have this shuttle returned," said Picard, placing 
the crystal back in the container. 

"Aye, Sir," replied Data. 

************ 

"Captains Log supplemental, all indications are that the spread of the
plague ravaging Utari IV has been halted. Repairs have begun on the 
engines. A vessel was detected at extreme range on our journey here. I 
intend to investigate as soon as we can leave orbit." 

************ 

At 19:00 Picard entered the conference room. Seated at the table were
Riker, Data, La Forge, Dr. Crusher, Worf, and Counselor Deanna Troi. 

"Viceroy Willim has reported that the spread of the plague has stopped.
Many critical cases have shown signs of improvement. I consider our 
mission here a success. As you may have heard, the Utarians gave us a 
'gift' for the Federation's help. It is that 'gift' that has prompted 
this meeting," said Picard. "Mr. Data?" 

"What the Captain is referring to, is 21,000 kilograms of pure
dilithium," said Data, as if he were talking about a basket of flowers 

Riker's jaw hit the table. Troi pointed to Geordi and Dr. Crusher
grabbed a hold of him before he fainted. Worf looked concerned. 

Data continued, "As you know, the Utarians are a non-aligned species.
They are also extreme isolationists. We are the first Federation ship 
to have visited here in 60 years. The first contact ship, The Komack, 
was mapping the Vani Nebula when they discovered the system. They found 
a strong dampening field around the planet. It allowed transporter 
function but sensor readings were nearly impossible. The Utarians 
greeted the Komack by sub-space radio and then wished it well on its' 
continued journey. Having been denied a first contact meeting, they 
left." 

"A long way, out of their way for nothing," said Riker. 

Data continued, "The Utari system is at the extreme edge of Alpha
Quadrant. The Klingons, Romulans and the Cardassians have no 
settlements for over 200 parsecs. The Vani nebula also serves as a 
natural shield to sensors. Unless you were traveling in this direction, 
you would never know that this system exists. The dampening field was 
still operating when we arrived. If this truly was a 'small token', 
then we know what they were trying to hide." 

"Dilithium has a unique and powerful sensor signature. If Utari IV is
that dilithium rich, no matter how isolated you are from others, nebula 
or no nebula, somebody is going to find you. Once that happens, you 
have invasion after invasion. I would have figured out how to hide 
myself too," said Geordi. 

"Why did they specifically ask the Federation for help?" asked Troi. 

"I doubt that they've been contacted by anyone else. If any of the
Empires had been there before, that damping field would have been an 
open invitation to investigate. There wouldn't have been anyone down 
there to have contracted the plague," answered Riker. 

"Dr. Crusher, what is the medical status on Utari?" asked Picard. 

"Right before this briefing, I contacted the Minister of Health, and he
told me that deaths due to the plague has ceased. It's a very quick 
acting serum," she replied. 

"Mr. La Forge, how are the diagnostics doing on the engines?" asked
Picard, as he turned toward Geordi. 

"We should be restarting the warp core by 07:00. After a few final
checks we should be ready to leave by 08:00," answered La Forge. 

"Good. It's going to be a long trip back and I still want to investigate
that ship," said the Captain. "No one is to discuss this matter with 
anyone outside this room. No mention of it in personal logs. We can't 
even chance relaying this to Star Fleet over sub-space. We will be 
returning to Star Fleet Command after our investigation of that vessel. 
Dismissed." 

"Mr. Worf," Picard said, as the others exited the room. "Have you had
any luck with the sensor readings on that ship?" 

The Klingon shook his head. "No, Sir. The distance of the ship as well
as its proximity to the nebula has made it impossible to identify. All 
we know for certain is that it is there." 

Picard nodded and Worf left the room. 

************ 

"Captain's Log, Stardate 46526.9. Commander La Forge has completed his
repairs and he reports that the warp engines are at full readiness." 

************ 

"Lieutenant Wesley, break orbit and set course for the unidentified
ship, warp 6. Engage," ordered Picard. 

The Enterprise leapt into warp. For a few hours, things were quiet on
the bridge. Data broke the silence. 

"Captain, I am beginning to receive some information on that vessel." 

"Is it a freighter, Data?" asked the Captain. 

"I do not believe so Sir, however I'm getting an indication that this
may be a Federation vessel, possibly a Starship." 

"A Federation vessel? I thought the Komack was the only Federation
vessel to be out this far. I'm pretty sure that it returned," stated 
Riker, looking at Picard. 

"That is correct, Commander. It was decommissioned and scrapped 28 years
ago," replied Data. 

"Life signs?" asked Picard. 

"None detectable at this distance," replied Data. "It is moving at .15
of light and, if these readings are correct, it is without power." 

"I'll be in my ready room. Let me know as soon as you learn anything
new." 

"Aye, Sir," replied Riker. 

* * * 

The Com chirped. "Captain, we have new information on that vessel and
are almost within visual range." 

"Acknowledged, Number One," answered Picard. 

The Captain entered the bridge from his ready room. "Report." 

"It's defiantly a Federation vessel, Captain. It's an old style
Constitution class," reported Ricker. 

"Constitution class? They started making them before they were using
stardates. Which one is it?" asked Picard. 

"We don't know yet, Sir," answered Riker. 

"What we do know is that this was one of the original 12 deep
exploration starships. Only two made it back from the 5 year missions 
assigned in the early 2260's," said Data. "Our namesake, NCC-1701, 
which continued in service for several years afterward and the 
Excalibur, NCC-1705 which was damaged in a war game exercise with Dr. 
Richard Daystrom's M-5 computer in 2262, Stardate 4729.4. It was beyond 
serviceable repair and was retired to the fleet museum. 

"To be stationed on one of those original starships was considered to be
the best assignment available. Command was assigned only to the very 
best officers," said Riker. 

Tapping his keyboard Data continued, "No life signs are onboard. All
power plants are dead. Ship's ambient temperature is the same as open 
space. The ship appears structurally sound. Other than the identity of 
the vessel, nothing more can be ascertained until we board." 

"Captain we are now in visual range" barked Lieutenant Worf. 

"On screen." 

The faint image of a vessel with a saucer shaped section, a fuselage,
and twin cylindrical warp nacelles appeared tumbling slowly against the 
stars on the view screen. 

"There is no doubt that that is a Federation vessel and an old one,"
said the Captain to no one in particular. "But which one?" 

"Captain, we are close enough to use the tractor beam to steady the
vessel," said Data. 

"Can that ship handle our tractor beam?" asked Picard, concerned. 

"It is structurally sound, Captain," replied Data. 

"Make it so." 

The ship on the screen came to a halt right side up relative to The
Enterprise. 

"Lieutenant Wesley, bring us along side of that ship and illuminate it
please. I want to know who she is," said Picard. 

The Lieutenant tapped some keys on her console and the image of the ship
grew on the view screen. A strong light came on, and shined on its' 
left nacelle. 

"NCC-1703. The USS Lexington," said Riker. Lieutenant Wesley suddenly
looked like she had seen a ghost. 

"Mr. Data, do you have any information on the Lexington?" asked Riker. 

"Yes, Sir," he said glancing at Wesley seated next to him. 

"The USS Lexington was the fourth Constitution Class Starship built. It
was one of the 12 original deep space starships built in that class, 
which were the most advanced and prominent of their time. It was 
commissioned on August 21, 2222. Stardates were not in use yet. It 
started its' 5 year mission in 2258, Stardate 1717.5 and never 
returned. The last known position of the ship was in the Deneb system, 
in 2265, Stardate 5932.2, over 8000 light years from here. The last 
Commander of that ship was Commodore Robert Wesley," he said, as all 
eyes turned to look at Ruth who stared fiercely ahead. 

"Thank you Mr. Data. Lieutenant Wesley, will you join me in my ready
room?" 

They entered the room and Picard said, "Have a seat Lieutenant." 

She sat, still looking very stiff. 

"Ms. Wesley, are you alright?" he asked. 

"Yes, Captain. Thank you," she replied, not looking him in the eye. 

"I take it from your reaction that that name has a meaning to you." 

"Mr. Data knew. That's why he was watching me when he told you the story
of The Lexington. Commodore Wesley was my great grandfather. Along with 
Captain Kirk and Fleet Captain Garth, my great grandfathers' tactics 
and command style are required reading at the Academy," she said. "No 
one ever knew what happened to him. The last report he sent was that 
they were answering a distress call in the Kalib system, 6 light years 
from their position in the Deneb system. Nothing was ever heard from 
them again," she said. 

"Do you wish for some time to collect your feelings?" he asked, looking
at her for signs of an emotional display. 

"No thank you, Captain," she said as she held her hand up. "Although I
honor his accomplishments, I didn't know him, I only know 'of' him." 

"Very well, Lieutenant, return to your station." Picard said, satisfied
that she had regained her control. 

"Thank you, Sir," Ruth said as she stood and left the room. 

Picard hit his Com badge, "Mr. La Forge report my ready room." 

"Aye, Sir," came the reply. 

************ 

"Captains Log Stardate 46527.3. The Enterprise has found a first
generation starship, The Lexington. As inexplicable as it may seem, it 
is 8000 light years from its last reported position. We are continuing 
to run scans before we deem it safe to beam an away team aboard." 

************ 

The door chimed in the ready room. 

"Come," said Picard. 

Geordi entered the room. "You wanted to see me, Sir," he asked. 

"That ship does not belong here, Mr. La Forge." He took a deep breath
and continued. "Something happened to it and it's crew to have it wind 
up in this location. We owe a thorough investigation, to Star Fleet, 
the Federation and most importantly, to the descendents of the crew of 
The Lexington." 

"I agree," said Geordi. 

"That's why I wanted to let you know that I've put a call into Star
Fleet for help in this situation. We need experts to help us find out 
what happened to her. I don't want us over there fumbling around and 
ruining anything that would lead to an answer. I have tremendous faith 
in you and your staff, Mr. La Forge. I just don't want to be second 
guessed by Star Fleet on a 105 year old mystery." 

************ 

"Captains Log, Stardate 46533.1. The Enterprise has been holding
position for 16 days waiting for the team of forensic engineers and 
historians that may be able to help us figure out the mystery of The 
Lexington. A long range, high warp shuttle was dispatched 14 days ago. 
It should be arriving shortly." 

************ 

Picard's Com badge chirped, as he was working out in the gym. 

"Bridge to Captain." 

"Go ahead Worf." 

"The long-range shuttle is approaching, Sir," Worf growled. 

"Store it in shuttle bay 2 and have a welcoming committee escort them to
my ready room. I will be there shortly," huffed Picard, as he finished 
his calisthenics. 

* * * 

Picard entered the bridge and headed to the ready room. He noticed that
the entire bridge crew was looking at him out of the corner of their 
eyes. 

"What is It, Number One?" he said as he stopped in his tracks. 

Riker gave him the 'You're not going to believe this' look with his
eyes. 

He turned and entered his ready room and saw a person seated in a chair
with his back turned to him. 

At the sound of the door opening, the man stood up at attention in an
old style, Star Fleet dress uniform with Captain's bars on the 
shoulder, and said, "Permission to come aboard, Captain?" 

Picard stood with a look of disbelief. He looked around the rest of the
room and saw no one else. Then the logic of the situation dawned on him 
and he extended his hand in welcome. 

"Of course, makes perfect sense. Welcome aboard, Captain Scott," said
Picard, as he heartily shook Scott's hand. 

"Aye. When you told them it was a Constitution Class, they immediately
thought of me," said Scott, proudly. 

"Why the Uniform?" Picard asked with a curious look on his face. 

"Well, Sir, Star Fleet found it necessary to yank me from a vacation on
Argelia. Now there's a place a man can get used to. Everything you want 
is at your fingertips. Of course, the last time I was there, I got into 
a wee bit of trouble." 

"Mr. Scott," Picard said impatiently. 

"Aye, Sir, They changed my status from 'retired' to 'active'. I didn't
know they could still do that. Anyway, they threw all these credits my 
way, and said that 'this is what Captains make now a days,'" He showed 
Picard a piece of paper. Picard nodded his head yes. 

"Good God, in my day, we didn't make that in a decade," said Scott.
Picard started to say something and Scotty raised his hand and said, 
"Anyway, I would have done it if they gave me a cases of Scotch and a 
glass. They didn't, so I brought my own," beamed Scotty from ear to 
ear. 

"It's good to have you onboard again, Mr. Scott," Picard said, as he
shook his hand. 

"Aye, Sir, and call me Scotty." 

* * * 

A meeting was convened after Picard had apprised Scott of the Utarian
situation, and the department heads were reintroduced to Captain Scott. 
When it was time to face Geordi, Scotty gave him a hearty handshake and 
patted him on the side of the cheek. 

"I've been keeping tabs on you, Commander," he said. "You're well on you
way to becoming a 'Miracle Worker'." 

"Thank you, Captain," replied Geordi, with a wide grin on his face. 

When they sat down, Worf and Scott were seated across from one another.
They tried to stare each other down. 

"I've called this meeting, so that Captain Scott can go over how he
intends to inspect the Lexington, and possibly get some answers as to 
what happened to the crew." Picard said. "Please, proceed, Captain." 

"Thank you, Sir. I've read all of your reports. We know this much: The
ship is totally intact. There is no evidence of any kind of attack. 
There's absolutely no power. Even after a hundred or so years, that 
shouldn't be. There're very few instances that could cause that," he 
said, while Geordi nodded his head. "The fact that there are no bodies 
on the ship means that they must have been removed from the vessel in 
some manner. I doubt they transported into open space. Judging from the 
direction that the ship was traveling from, it passed through a large 
portion of the nebula. The Borg are known to use them to open 
trans-warp nexuses. Being this remote may have helped keep the Utarians 
location secret." 

"How do you intend to proceed?" Picard asked Scott. 

"First, I would like to replicate and charge a bank of old style ships
batteries. That way I won't have to rewire anything to use your power 
converters. With those, I should be able to get some systems up and 
running. Possibly gain access to the ship's log or automatic flight 
recorder. I would like to take three teams, medical, science, and 
engineering. That way, while I'm checking out the systems with one crew 
in engineering, the medical team can inspect sickbay, and the science 
team can start on the bridge. Hopefully, we will find clues for the 
disappearance if the crew and the reason that ship is here. Once I have 
some power, I'll inspect the impulse engines and then the warp drive. 
Star Fleet wanted me to bring a couple of Academy engineering buffs to 
help go over the systems. Just like my old Enterprise at the time, that 
ship out there had been around a while when it disappeared. There's 
probably so much jury-rigging done on it, looking at specs will be 
useless. That's why I want real engineers over there," Scott said, 
turning to look at Geordi. 

"Thank you," said La Forge, bowing his head. 

"I now have to tell you, the Lexington was on a secret mission when it
broke off to answer the distress call," said Scott. 

"That's not in any of the records," replied a startled Riker. 

"Aye, I was informed just before I left," said Scott. 

"What kind of secret mission?" growled a now concerned Worf. 

"The secret kind," snapped Scott back at Worf. 

"Captain Scott, could you be a little more specific?" asked Counselor
Troi. 

"All I was told was there was only one other person alive that would
realize what the mission was about. That's all they would tell me," he 
said, as he smiled back at Deanna. 

Getting the empathic message coming from him loud and clear, Troi
smiled, looked down at her folded hands on the table in front of her 
and blushed. 

"A mystery wrapped in an enigma," stated Picard. "Doctor Crusher,
assemble a team of medical personnel, Number One, recruit a team from 
the science department. Mr. Scott, select your team as you see fit. Mr. 
La Forge, have your department start on those batteries right away. Is 
there anything else?" 

"Captain, may I request that Lieutenant Wesley be able to transport over
with the teams? Her courses at the Academy were based in life 
sciences," requested Mr. Data. 

Picard looked in the direction of the doctor, his first officer, and
Scott. 

"I have no problem with it," she said, waving her hand. 

"Aye, I was told about the lass. It's probably the right thing to do,"
said Scott. 

"She should be one of the first onboard," stated Riker. 

"Agreed," said Picard. "Have a list of the personnel prepared and give
it to Commander Riker. Have the teams report to transporter room two at 
08:00 hours. Dismissed." 

The department heads rose and started to file out. 

"Mr. Scott," said Picard. "Could you remain a moment?" 

"Aye, sir," he replied as they waited to be alone. 

"Scotty, did Star Fleet give you any clue as to what they meant? I don't
like these kinds of surprises so close to a possible Borg trans-warp 
nexus." 

"I'm sorry, sir. I'm just as much in the dark as you are." 

Picard nodded his head, and Scott headed to the door. 

* * * 

The evening was still young after Mr. Scott had eaten in his room. He
checked on the progress of the batteries and found that they were 
already completed and being charged. "Could have used a few of those 
replicaters back on the old Enterprise," he thought. He reviewed his 
team selection, which included Geordi and Data. Satisfied there was 
nothing else to do but wait, he grabbed two distinctly different 
bottles of scotch and headed to Ten Forward. 

* * * 

Ten Forward was busier than usual. Sixteen days of having little to do
tended to bring in many people that were simply bored out their minds. 
Guinan was wiping down the bar from a recently departed customer as 
Scott entered. 

He looked around, saw no one that he knew at that moment and headed to
the bar, occupying the recently vacated spot. He set the bottles down 
on the counter and spoke to Guinan. 

"Hi. Ah, could you help me Ma'am?" He asked politely. 

"Sure, what can I do for you?" she replied with a wide smile. 

"I was wondering if you could be so kind as to point out Guinan to me?"
He asked. 

"I'm Guinan," she replied. "You must be Captain Scott." 

"Montgomery Scott," he said reaching to shake her hand. "Call me
Scotty." 

He picked up the hundred-year-old bottle of scotch and handed it to her.


"This is for you. The last time I was here, the android let me have a
bottle of your real stuff, so I'm returning the favor." He set the 
other bottle on the counter and said, "Now this one's for drinkin'." 

"How very kind of you," she said. "You know, I've never met a man that
could drink a whole bottle of Aldeberan whiskey and survive," she said, 
as she examined the scotch. 

"I had help," he replied as he opened the bottle on the counter.
"Captain Picard and I shared a few toasts." 

"That's not the way I heard it," she replied, setting the
hundred-year-old bottle under her counter. 

"Would you care to join me?" he asked, holding the other bottle up. 

"Sure," she said as she placed two glasses on the bar. 

Scott poured two fingers in each and raised his glass. 

"To old and new friends," he said, as they clinked glasses. 

"Health and long life," she responded. 

Guinan sipped hers and Scotty downed his. 

"You know, next to me, you're the oldest person on this ship," she said,
as she refilled his glass. 

"I am? You look around 40. Just how old are you?" 

"Let's just say, that I'm a little older than that, and leave it at
that," she said, as they clinked glasses again. "I think there's 
someone here that would like to meet you," she said, as she looked in 
the direction of a table with a women seated alone at it. "Here, give 
her this refill for me," she said, as she pushed a tall glass with 
something yellow in it and topped off his glass. 

He gave Guinan a wink and nod, and headed over to the table. 

"Do you mind some company?" asked Scotty, as he placed her refill in
front of her. 

"I think I'd rather be... oh Captain Scott," she said as she stood. 

He waved her back down in her seat. "This is a social call,
Lieutenant..." 

"Wesley, Sir. Ruth Wesley." 

"Pleased to meet you," said Scott. 

"Likewise," replied Ruth, as they shook hands. "Dr. Crusher has told me
that I'm to go with the medical team over to my great-grand father's 
ship." 

"Aye, I believe Star Fleet owes it to you and your family, even if we
wind up not being able to figure out what happened." 

"Did you ever meet him, Sir?" she asked, sipping her drink. 

"Aye. I met him at a debriefing, following a disastrous war game
exercise. A fine officer he was. A true gentleman, and as smart as they 
come. A real leader. My ship's captain knew him real well. He sometimes 
told stories about him. They borrowed from each other for battle 
strategy," said Scott, then taking a sip. 

"You mean Kirk?" 

"Aye, James Kirk," he stated, sadly. 

"What are we going to find over there, Sir?" 

"I don't know, Lieutenant," he said softly, looking out the observation
windows at the Lexington, thinking of his old ship, and his long dead 
crewmates. 

* * * 

The following morning, Mr. Scott arrived in transporter room two and
found it filled with crewman, boxes of tools, and scientific equipment. 
Everyone was checking each other's environment suits to make sure all 
the readouts were correct. A rather large crewmember had his back 
turned to him. He looked for Commander Riker and found him by the 
transport controls. 

"Who's that?" asked Scott, pointing. 

Riker looked in the direction of the big guy. 

"Me," growled Worf, as he turned to glare at Scott. 

"Just remember this, Mister Worf," Scott started to say as he returned
the glare. "That old lady over there has never had a Klingon on her 
before. I doubt she wants you there anymore than I do." 

Worf raised himself to his full height. "I am the head security officer
of this ship. I am going on this mission to insure that secret over 
there doesn't effect this ship or any of the away team. If that's not 
good enough for you, Sir, I respectfully request you stay here!" he 
said defiantly, while nearly bumping helmets with Scott. 

"That's enough, Lieutenant," said Riker. 

Worf turned and stomped away. 

"Everyone is here and ready, Commander," said Data. 

Riker hit the Com, "We're all set here, Captain." 

"Very well," came the reply over the Com. "Good luck, Mr. Scott." 

* * * 

The first group to transport was the engineering team. They immediately
placed portable lighting to use in conjunction with their headlamps. 
The first thing they noticed were uniforms. At least a dozen were lying 
on the floor, on consoles, and on chairs. There were cups sitting in a 
few spots around the room. Data activated his tricorder. 

"Make certain that a complete visual record is made before anything is
moved," he said, waving the tricorder around. He pointed it at a cup. 

"Empty," he stated. He moved to a wrapper lying on the floor. "Also
empty. No residue at all." He pointed his tricorder at a crumpled 
uniform lying on the floor. "Strange." 

Scott went to the auxiliary power room. The battery banks had been
beamed over and placed exactly as he had asked. He waited for Data to 
finish his scans and motioned for the team to assist him in installing 
the fresh units. 

* * * 

The science team materialized on the bridge. Several light stands were
erected and a couple of tricorders came to life. On first inspection, 
the bridge seemed the same as the pictures they had seen from files, 
except that uniforms with different stripes of rank on the sleeves, 
were scattered around the bridge. After closer inspection, they notice 
a clipboard, an old style earpiece, some multi-colored memory cards, 
and some earrings scattered around the floor. 

"Data, what did you find down there?" Riker said, after tapping is Com
badge. 

"It appears that the crew simply disappeared, right out of their
clothing. No trace biological residue is present at all," answered 
Data. 

Three tricorders came to life and analyzed several pieces of clothing.
Three sets of heads turned to Will and shook their heads. 

"We're finding the same on the bridge. Mr. Scott, how soon before we
find out if we'll have some power?" 

"Fifteen minutes, Commander," came the reply. 

* * * 

The medical team materialized in sickbay. After light had been
established, Beverly noticed a uniform, a hypo, and a medical tricorder 
lying on the floor. On one of the diagnostic beds, she noticed a 
patient gown and a blanket that looked like it had been covering 
someone. Ruth went out to the office area, with a tricorder. On the 
Doctor's desk, she saw a framed picture of her great grandfather and a 
person she could only conclude was the chief medical officer. They were 
both smiling and each was holding up a huge striped bass that they must 
have caught back on Earth. She also noticed a medical uniform, a 
stylus, and a clipboard that had some notes on in. The last word was 
never finished. 

"Crusher to Commander Riker." 

"Yes, Doctor." 

"I'm finding evidence that all biological matter simply vanished off
this ship, from one cell organisms to food to people." 

"Data and I are finding the same thing. Gather as much information as
you can, before I inform the Captain," replied Riker. 

With that, the emergency lights went on. 'Boy that was a quick 15
minutes,' thought Riker. "Well done, Mr. Scott," said Riker to his Com 
badge. 

Back in engineering, Geordi asked, "Why did you tell him 15 minutes when
you knew we were almost done?" 

"Old habits die hard," said Scott, as they walked over to the master
control panel and checked the readout. "Good thing I locked everything 
out," said Scotty. "Everything is turned on. Look here," he showed La 
Forge. "Besides the normal such as lighting and life support, the 
shields are set to full, and the weapons were hot. If I had left things 
unlocked, the batteries would have overloaded before we had a chance to 
reset and would have had to start all over." 

"Ok, everybody. We're going to power up the diagnostic circuits. I want
everything turned off," ordered Geordi. 

"I'm going to take a look at those impulse engines," said Scott. 

* * * 

The science and the medical teams took turns beaming around the ship.
Everywhere they went they encountered the same type of evidence. 

"I think I have enough for my report. Riker to Captain Picard." 

"Go ahead, Number One." 

"Someone or something snatched these people off this ship, right out of
their clothes. It's not just the people either. I'm standing in the 
middle of the galley. There is no food residue in any of the ship's 
stores. There is no biological residue of any kind on board this ship. 
It's as if one second they were here and then gone the next." 

"Captain," chimed in Doctor Crusher. "This wasn't a virus of any sort,
nor were they disintegrated. That would show up on our medical 
tricorders." 

"Mr. Worf, have you found anything that may look like a threat to the
away team?" asked Picard. 

"Negative, Sir, but until we know what happened, I would advise leaving
as small an away team as possible," answered Worf behind Riker. 

"Scott to Captain Picard," came a voice on the channel. 

"Go ahead Mr. Scott." 

"I think I'm getting the picture as to why this ship is out here. I'll
let you know as soon as I check one more thing, Scott out." 

"That was fast," said Riker to no one in particular. 

"Well he is a 'Miracle Worker,'" sneered Worf. 

* * * 

Scott made his way to the warp drive engines. All the circuits seemed
fine. He turned a switch to allow power to the status board and looked 
at the last readouts. He noticed something odd. The power curves were 
off. They seemed familiar in a way, but couldn't place it. He opened 
the dilithium chamber and saw that the stones had been burned and 
pitted. He checked the readout on the anti-matter pods. As suspected, 
they were completely empty. 

He walked around the room noting this and that, and went to the farthest
corner. He noticed a hastily made cordoned off area marked, "Authorized 
Personnel Only". There were no such areas in the old Enterprise's 
engineering section. That notice was posted outside in the hall. He 
held his tricorder up and took several readings. 

He walked into the room and there it was. 

* * * 

"Scott to Captain Picard." 

"Go ahead, Mr. Scott." 

"I know what happened, Captain. I need to return to the ship to
explain," said Scott. 

"What about the rest of the away team?" asked Picard. 

"I would advise that they return as well. I'm going to need to speak to
you alone and have a secure encrypted channel opened to Star Fleet 
Command." 

Picard's eyebrows went up as he turned to look at Deanna, seated on the
bridge to his left. "Very well." 

* * * 

When Scotty returned, he went to his quarters and requested the secure
channel. When he was finished and sent his message, he notified Picard. 


"Join me in my Ready Room, Mr. Scott," was the reply. 

The door chime went off. 

"Come," said Picard. 

The door opened and Scotty walked in and waited for Picard to motion him
to sit. 

"Any chance of letting me know what that information was you sent to
Star Fleet?" asked Picard. 

"I'm sorry, Sir. I have to wait for a reply. If I fail to, I can be
tried for treason." 

"Treason?" asked Picard. 

"The only thing more severe is General Order 4. At least it was in my
day," said Scott, dead serious. 

"No vessel may enter the Talos system. The death penalty. It's still on
the books," stated Picard. 

"I can tell you what happened over there otherwise, Sir." 

Picard made a 'go ahead' motion with his hand. 

"The Lexington ran out of fuel." 

"What?" said a surprised Picard. 

"She simply ran out of fuel. If you check the heading that it would have
taken from the Deneb to Kalib systems, give or take a few gravitational 
oddities, you end up right here." 

Picard tapped at his laptop. It checked out. 

"The impulse tanks were empty and all the anti matter was used up. The
dilithium was burned and pitted. The ship was on red alert. It was 
powered up with full deflector shields; weapons on full, set at old 
warp 6, and stayed that way until the anti matter ran out. They were 
attempting to answer a distress signal, so I understand the defensive 
settings." 

"I would have done the same," said Picard. 

"She must have stayed at warp 6 for around 75 years. The control board
was set for automatic maintenance, so it is possible. There are very 
few moving parts in those old starships. When the anti-matter ran out, 
the impulse engines automatically came on and continued the journey at 
full impulse till that fuel was exhausted. It was only a matter of a 
few hours for the batteries to go dead with that drain on them. She 
then continued the journey coasting along right through the nebula. You 
discovered her only because she had recently emerged from it." 

"Data and Geordi are going over the data right now," said Picard. 

"Bridge to Captain Scott," bellowed Worf on the Com. 

"Scott here." 

"There is a priority one, encrypted message for you from Commander, Star
Fleet." 

Picard turned his pad and offered it to Scott. 

"Would you rout it to the Ready Room?" 

Scott read the message and seemed to breath a sigh of relief. 

"It seems I'm allowed to tell what I know to anyone on a 'need to know'
basis." 

"Do I qualify?" asked Picard. 

"I'm going to need a full meeting of all the department heads, but first
I'd like to let Geordi and Data confirm my hypothesis. Would you mind 
if I went to my quarters a bit?" 

"Not at all, Mr. Scott. We'll convene the meeting when you're ready." 

"Thank you, Sir," he said as he rose and headed to the door. 

* * * 

On the way to the guest quarters, Scott stopped at Ruth's door. 

He punched the chime and the door opened with Ruth dresses in a robe. 

"Oh, I'm sorry, Lieutenant," he said looking at the floor. "I just
wanted to see how you were holding up after today." 

"Captain, uh, thank you, I'm doing well," she said, as she saw that he
was as embarrassed as she was. 

"Well, then, have a good evening," he said as he walked down the
hallway. 

She smiled back at him and wondered how he could be so warm and caring
when he was so alone on the ship. 

* * * 

When Scott reached his room, he took the bottle he had opened the day
before and took a long swig. He thought again of his long dead friends. 
He wanted to tell Ruth about the theory he was working on about her 
great-grandfather and his crew, but she was out of the loop. He wished 
he had someone to talk to. He asked the computer the location of 
someone. 

* * * 

Mr. Scott rang the chime on the door, with a new bottle in hand and a
fresh bouquet of flowers from the arboretum. The door opened. 

"Good evening," he said as he handed over the flowers. "I was wondering
if you would mind some company this evening?" 

"How could I say no to a man that can drink a whole bottle of Aldeberan
whisky and survive?" she said smelling the flowers. 

"I had help," he answered. 

* * * 

The next morning, Scott asked the Captain to hold a meeting at 10:00
hours. As the department heads filed in, Scott was busy arranging some 
ancient memory cards in front of him. On the desk was an old style 
memory card player. 

"Are those real?" asked Riker. 

"Aye," replied Scott. 

When they were seated, Picard asked Data and La Forge, whether they're
findings concurred with Scott's. 

"The ship ran out of power, Captain," answered Geordi. "Plain and
simple." 

"I agree, Captain," added Data. 

"How much would it take to re-energize the ship?" asked Picard. 

La Forge looked at Scotty. Scott gave the 'go ahead' sign to talk. 

"We'll need to siphon some fuel for the impulse engines and ferry over
some anti-matter. We certainly have enough dilithium to spare," he 
said. "All the systems are in excellent condition. Once the impulse 
engines are online, we can reestablish life support and gravity, and 
most major ship functions. Restarting the warp drive would be just as 
simple after a full system check." 

"Commander, were you able to determine what caused the disappearance of
the Lexington's crew?" Picard said, turning his head toward Will. 

"No, Sir, all we know is they just vanished." 

"Mr. Scott, are you ready to begin?" 

"Aye, Sir." 

He pulled a card marked with a one. He activated the viewer and said, "I
had no idea Star Fleet had these cards stowed on the shuttle. 
Apparently, They assumed that we were going to find the secret. All of 
this is classified to the point just below General Order 4. I've been 
authorized to share this with you as a 'need to know' basis. Remember, 
repeating any of this is considered treason." 

Most of the people in the room took a deep breath except Data, and Worf
who looked like he was going to stick his tongue out at Scott. 

Mr. Scott took the card and dropped it into the antique player. 

The machine came alive and began to speak. 

"Classified top secret by Commander, Star Fleet. Authorization
required." 

Scott punched in a code. 

"Authority, recognized." 

A few seconds went by, as the machine seemed to have to think about what
it was doing. Finally the same machine voice returned. 

"Ship's and personal logs, USS Enterprise, Stardate 5127.3, James T.
Kirk commanding." 

"What does the old Enterprise and Kirk have to do with the Lexington?"
asked Riker of Scott. 

"I'll try to explain as we go," answered Scott. 

A voice from the past emerged, one that Scott alone in that room had
heard in person before. 

"Captain's Personal Log, Stardate, 5127.3. I've received orders for the
Enterprise to enter Romulan space on a black-op mission. I've been 
ordered to reveal this to Mr. Spock alone. The remainder of the crew is 
to be kept in the dark. If captured, the ship is considered expendable 
and must be destroyed at all costs." 

Data and Picard looked at each other. 

"Ambassador Spock?" asked Data. 

"Aye, Commander Spock. He was first officer and science officer." Then
Scott caught himself. "Ambassador? He was teaching at the Academy." 

"He eventually followed his father into the diplomatic arm of the
Federation," replied Data. 

"I never would have believed it to be possible. Sarek and Spock couldn't
have anymore different from each other if they tried. That is with the 
exception of their both being stubborn as mules. We never got along 
with each other, otherwise I would have known he went into the 
diplomatic branch." 

"What does this have to do with the Lexington?" growled Worf. 

Scotty glared at Worf and dropped another card into the machine and
punched a button. 

"Captain's Personal Log, Stardate 5127.6. The Enterprise has been
surrounded by Romulan Warbirds. One of then is a flagship with a 
Commander onboard. I have begun showing signs of 'erratic' behavior 
that will serve us to obtain our ultimate goal. The crew is getting a 
little edgy with my off the wall commands. Now it's Spock's turn to 
play act," said Kirk's voice from the playback machine. 

"It was Spock's job to convince the Romulans that he was willing to
cooperate and surrender the Enterprise," explained Scott. 

He dropped in another card. 

"Personal Log, First Officer Spock reporting. I've gained the Romulan
Commander's confidence and she seems to believe there is a future 
between us. Everything is advancing as planned." 

"What did Spock mean about there being a future with her?" asked Troi. 

"The Romulan Commander was really taken with Spock. It was these
feelings for him that allowed the operation to proceed as well as it 
did," said Scott, as he dropped in another card. 

"Ships' Log, Stardate 5128.9, Second Officer Montgomery Scott,
reporting. Mr. Spock has reported from the Romulan ship, that he had 
relieved Captain Kirk due to mental instability. In retaliation, he 
attacked Spock. In defending himself, Spock used a 'Vulcan Death Grip' 
that killed the Captain before anything could be done to stop it. 
Commander Spock in now in command of the Enterprise. I will run the 
ship while he is aboard the Romulan Warbird. I have made the 
announcement to the crew." 

No one said anything. Scott dropped in another one. 

"Captain's Personal Log, supplemental. I'm dead. Dr. McCoy is surgically
altering me to pass as a Romulan so I can get to our objective and 
rescue Spock before they figure out what's happening, kill him, and 
fire on the Enterprise." 

Finally, the last one was inserted. 

"Captain's Log, Stardate 5130.1. 

Thanks to Mr. Scott's amazing ability to continuously pull our butts out
of the fire, we are on our way back to Federation space with a bonus. 
It's up to the Federation as to what to do with them both." 

"What were they after?" asked Beverly. 

"This," said Scott, as he turned on the viewer. 

"What is that?" asked Worf. 

"Looks like a weather sensor," said Troi. 

"If I am not mistaken, it is a Romulan cloaking device," said Data. 

"That's correct, Commander," said Scott. 

"They faked the whole thing to get it?" asked Geordi. 

"Yes, it gave the Federation deniability if the ship was caught,"
explained Scott. 

"That cloaking device in on the Lexington?" asked Riker. 

"Aye, the only ones still alive to have seen it, is Spock and myself,"
replied Scott. 

"As you all know, the Federation entered into a treaty with the
Romulans. One of the main points on the Romulan side, is that the 
Federation does not have and will not invent or test cloaking 
technology. To break it, is grounds for war," said Picard. 

"What was the bonus?" asked Beverly. 

"They captured the Romulan Commander," answered Scott. 

They all stared at Scott. 

"She was onboard the Lexington when it disappeared," stated Scott. 

"She was helping?" asked Riker. 

"She knew if she returned, she would have been tried for treason and
would have brought disgrace to her family. Also, she apparently had a 
thing for Spock. She probably thought it might be the only way to find 
her way into his heart," said Scott. 

"Did she have anything to do with the crews disappearance?" asked
Picard. 

"No, Sir. When I saw the odd readings on the warp display, I had trouble
placing them, even though they looked familiar. They were the readings 
I saw when I turned off the cloaking device, and it powered down," 
answered Scott. "I was the one that installed it on the old Enterprise 
to save our hides," replied Scott. 

"I don't understand," said Riker. 

"What's that got to do with the Lexington's crew?" 

"Yeah, they got the message, turned off the device and warped to the
Kalib system," said Geordi. 

"Yes, and no," said Scott. "They were running tests on the thing. I
believe that the cloaking device was engaged when they received the 
message. When he realized they were in intercept range, Commodore 
Wesley must have ordered red alert and told the helm to go to warp 6 
for the Kalib system. The engineer shut down the cloaking device and 
went to red alert at the same time, setting the warp engines for warp 
6. The cloaking device didn't have a chance to power down, and the ship 
was still semi-cloaked when it went to warp. While going from real 
space to warp space and the ship partially cloaked, it caused a shift 
in biological matter on it. I believe that the Lexington crew is in a 
phased state, much like I was stored in the transporter buffer for 75 
years." 

"You mean they're still alive?" asked Picard. 

"As much as I was," answered Scott. 

The room was silent for a minute. 

"Data, is that possible?" asked Riker. 

"Yes Sir, In fact, it explains the lack of biological residue on the
ship," data replied. 

"What do you recommend?" asked Picard. 

"We need to take the Lexington back to where it happened. I believe the
crew will return if we activate the cloaking device in a certain way, 
with certain conditions, and when the ship is in the proper 
orientation," replied Captain Scott. 

"Mr. Scott," said Geordi, "That ship is limited in its capabilities
compared to this Enterprise, which took two weeks to get here. It took 
that one 75 years to get out here at a safe operating speed. How do you 
intend to get around that?" 

"Trust me, Mr. La Forge, I can do whatever I set my mind to." 

"I'll take it under advisement, Mr. Scott," said Picard. 

"Mr. La Forge, arrange the refueling of the Lexington. Mr. Scott,
prepare her for the return journey." 

"Remember, that all of you are under a gag order here," stated Scott. 

They all nodded and filed out. 

************ 

Slowly, the Lexington came back to life. After firing up the impulse
engines, gravity and life support were restored. The emergency lights 
went out and the main lighting came on. From Ten Forward, Guinan could 
see deck lights coming on in the saucer section, and finally, the 
bridge itself. She smiled. Soon Scott was ready to install the new 
crystals. 

"Mr. Data is in the process of ferrying over some anti-matter and a
selection of crystals for you, Mr. Scott," said Riker. 

"Thank you, Commander," said Scott as he headed to the hanger deck. 

An hour later, Mr. Scott stood by the warp control panel. 

"All readings are good. Intermix is set. Everybody hold your breath," he
said, as he punched the button to power up the warp engines. 

A low hum could be felt and heard. 

From Ten Forward, Guinan could see the warp nacelles grow bright and
begin swirling with the focused power of the dilithium. 

"Way to go, Scotty," she said to herself. 

* * * 

"How do you intend to stay up with the Enterprise on the return trip?"
asked Data. 

"How are you going to keep up with us?" Scott asked in return. 

Data looked confused as he return to the shuttle. 

* * * 

"Mr. Scott, we are going to leave a skeleton crew onboard the Lexington.
What do you feel you'll need as a bridge crew?" asked Picard over the 
Comm. 

"I need a helmsman, a navigator, and science officer. At least one of
them needs to be of command rank, if I'm needed in engineering." 

"Why a science officer?" 

"I need someone to man the sensors at the science station, Sir," replied
Scott. 

"Very well, I'll see to it. Picard out," he turned to Riker. "Have Mr.
Data, Lieutenant Wesley, and Worf report to my ready room in one hour." 


Riker nodded as the Captain left the bridge. 

* * * 

"I'm temporarily reassigning all of you to the Lexington. Mr. Scott
needs someone that can handle the helm. That's you Lieutenant," he said 
to Ruth. "He needs someone that can handle the sensors and navigation, 
as well as take command. That's you Commander Data." 

"Why would Captain Scott request me?" growled Worf. 

"He needs a tactical officer and someone for communications. I also want
my head of security on board that ship, for many reasons," he said, 
glancing at Ruth. 

Worf picked up on the fact that Ruth knew nothing of the cloaking
device. 

"Understood, Sir," he replied, sticking his chest out. 

"Please beam over immediately," he said, and returned to the bridge. 

* * * 

"Mr. Marrero, lay in a course back to the Deneb system, warp 8," said
Picard, to the new helmsman. "Engage." 

The starship Enterprise jumped into warp. 

* * * 

Scotty sat in the Captain's chair, and asked his bridge crew if all
systems showed ready. 

"All systems show green, Captain," said Ruth from the helm. 

"Course is laid in, Sir," said Data, as he shifted from navigation to
the science station. 

"How do things stand from your end, Klingon Lieutenant?" asked Scott
without looking at him. 

"Opening hailing frequencies is no job for a warrior," sneered Worf, as
he checked communications and the weapons display, which was not 
activated. 

"Let's catch the Enterprise," he said. "Ahead warp 11," 

Ruth turned her head and looked at Data. 

"Captain, the helm only responds up to warp 10," said Data. 

"Hit the override switch, and key it in manually," Scotty said as he
smiled back. 

Ruth looked at Data and he showed her the switch and the manual input
display. She looked back at Scott, with uncertainty in her eyes. 

"Trust me Lieutenant," he said. 

She keyed in the new setting and sat there, waiting. Finally, Data
turned to Scott and said, 

"You have to give the command, Sir." 

"Oh, ah, right. Punch it, Lieutenant." 

"That means engage," said Data. 

She entered in the command, and the Lexington sprang like a carnivore in
wait. A low tone became audible in the background. It grew in volume as 
well as pitch. Scott looked around the bridge. There were no warning 
lights. He kneeled and held his hand on the deck plate. 

"She's a beauty," he said to no one, in particular. 

************ 

On board the Enterprise, Ensign Regar at tactical started to say,
"Captain, the Lexington..." and with that a blur shot past them on the 
view screen. "...just over took us," he managed to finish. 

"Mr. La Forge?" asked Picard. 

"I don't know where that came from. I thought they would be lucky to
keep up." 

"Increase speed," he told Marrero. 

"Speed is now warp 8.5," he said. "We are gaining on them." 

"It's unbelievable he's able to get that old ship to do that," said
Picard to Riker. 

"He is resourceful," Will said, smirking. 

"Captain, I'm picking up a vessel at extreme range exiting the nebula,"
said Regar. 

"Quickly, Ensign, identify it," snapped Riker. 

"Cube shaped," came the reply. 

"All stop! Red Alert," barked Picard. "Open a channel to the Lexington,
audio only and tight beam." 

Scott was having the time of his life. 

"Captain, there is an incoming audio message from the Enterprise,"
stated Worf, pleased he had something to do. 

Scotty punched a button on his chair. "Scott here." 

"Captain Scott, a Borg ship has been detected at extreme range exiting
the nebula. I doubt they have detected us yet but you must power down 
and begin silent running. If the ship comes this way, we'll have to 
come up with something to protect ourselves as well as the Utarian 
system behind us." 

Even as Picard was speaking, Scotty pointed at the helm to Ruth. 

"Aye, Sir," replied Scott, as he pointed to Data to cut power and play
dead. "You have the Con," he said to Data, as he headed to the turbo 
lift. "I'll be in engineering." 

"Grease monkey," muttered Worf under his breath. 

* * * 

"Has the Borg ship changed direction to intercept us?" asked Riker to
Regar. 

"They are not headed for us, Sir, but if they continue their present
heading, they will detect us within the hour," stated Regar. 

"Two starships, old or new can't take out a Borg ship," said Riker. 

"We can double back. But, if the Borg get close enough to that system,
even if we manage to destroy that cube, the entire collective will know 
of the existence of Utarians. We'd be signing their death warrants," 
sighed Picard. "No, we'll have to make our stand here, one way or 
another." 

* * * 

Scott entered engineering. After checking with the staff, he grabbed a
toolbox and headed to the sealed area in the back. He took a small 
device from his belt, and keyed in a combination. The seal opened and 
in he went. 

* * * 

"Open a channel to the Lexington, Ensign," said Picard. 

"Channel open, Sir." 

"Lexington, this is Picard." 

"Lexington here, Sir," replied Data. 

"Where is Captain Scott, Mr. Data?" asked Picard impatiently. 

"He went to engineering after your last message, Sir," Data replied. 

"Grease Monkey," growled Worf under his breath. 

"That is your commanding officer you just insulted, Mr. Worf." Riker
jumped in. 

"I don't like him," replied Worf. 

"The feeling is mutual, I'm sure," snapped Riker. 

"He called me 'Klingon Lieutenant'," complained Worf. 

"Better than Klingon Ensign," stated Picard in a warning manner. 

"Understood," came Worfs' reply, slightly less challenging. 

* * * 

Scott finished what he was doing, checked his work, and hit his
communicator. 

"Scott to Enterprise." 

"Go ahead, Captain," replied Picard. 

"I need to speak with you in private, Sir," came Scott's voice over the
Com. 

Picard, and Riker went to the Ready Room. 

"Go ahead, Mr. Scott." 

"I have an idea..." 

* * * 

The Borg ship altered course and jumped into high warp. They were on an
interception course of another vehicle traveling at high warp. The Borg 
ship got to within weapons range, and disabled the warp drive of the 
vessel. As The Borg closed in to probe the ship, the vessel exploded 
with the fury of a thousand warp cores, utterly annihilating the Borg 
ship. 

The Enterprise and the Lexington shimmered back to visibility. 

"Unbelievable," said La Forge, staring at the destruction on the view
screen. 

"He is resourceful," said Picard, as he turned and smiled at Riker. 

On Ten Forward, Guinan, smiled as she looked at the hundred-year-old
bottle of Scotch. 

************ 

"Captains Log, Stardate, 46535.2 recorded under security lockout 'Omega,
Omega 7, Captain Montgomery Scott in temporary command of the Lexington 
reporting. The cat is out of the bag, so to speak, about the Romulan 
Cloaking device, and Star Fleet is out one long range, high warp 
shuttle. I adjusted the Romulan cloaking device to envelope the 
Enterprise as well as the Lexington to keep the Borg from detecting us 
while we set the trap, while the Enterprise enveloped us both with her 
shields to protect us from the explosion. After borrowing some 
anti-matter from the warp engines, a shielded crate of dilithium, and 
using a proximity fuse on the shuttle, we were able to deliver the 
Gigaton explosion from the unfocused dilithium needed to over come the 
Borg's shields and prevent them from alerting the collective about the 
Utarians. Hopefully, its' disappearance will be treated as a 'critical 
malfunction' by the collective. The Enterprise and the Lexington are 
back in route to the Deneb system." 

************ 

"I have to admit, the Borg never saw it coming," grumbled Worf from the
Com station. 

"Not bad for a 'Grease Monkey', eh Lieutenant?" said Scott. 

* * * 

Both ships cleared the nebula and headed directly to the Deneb system. 

"Mr. Marrero, how long before we reach the Deneb system?" asked Picard. 

"At current speed, 22 days," he said. 

La Forge had entered the bridge. 

"How is he doing keeping up with us?" asked Picard. 

"Sorry, Sir, we're keeping up with him." 

He gave Geordi a look and Geordi nodded. 

* * * 

On the Lexington, the Enterprise leapt away on the view screen. 

"It's time to stop playing around. Miss Wesley, maximum warp." 

* * * 

The Captain and Geordi were smiling broadly, when Mr. Regar said,
"Captain!" 

As he said so, another blur shot past on the view screen. 

"No way," said Riker. 

"Yes, Sir," answered Geordi. 

"What's their speed?" asked Picard. 

"Close to trans-warp," answered Regar. 

"Whew," said Riker. 

"Send to Commander, Lexington," said Picard. "Kudos." 

Geordi walked over to his engineering center and hailed Captain Scott
himself. 

"Scott, here," he replied. 

"Scotty, how are you do that with a 150 year old starship?" 

"Think Mr. La Forge. These old girls were built for power and survival.
The cloaking device used even more power so engineering was altered to 
provide it. You gave me pure dilithium to replace the old uncut and 
crude crystals we used at the time. I poured all that power into the 
engines." 

* * * 

Picard was in his quarters when he was notified that the ships had
reached the Deneb system. He dressed and headed to the bridge. 

After reaching the bridge, Picard hailed the Lexington. 

"Captain, how are your preparations coming?" 

"All the ships logs are still locked out to us, but I was able to get an
engineering telemetry tape of when the incident happened. I am rigging 
a trip switch for Commander Data for when the ship is in position," 
reported Scott. 

"Very well, have your crew beam aboard when you are ready," said Picard.


On the Lexington, Scott turned and looked at Data. "Everything is set,
Commander. If my theory is correct, when you throw that switch, you 
should be knee deep in naked people. If I'm wrong, I and a skeleton 
crew will be joining you for the trip back to Star Fleet." 

* * * 

"Captain Scott has beamed aboard," reported Worf, back at his old
station. 

"We're ready when you are, Mr. Data," said Picard to his Com badge. 

The turbo lift opened and Scott entered the bridge. 

"All readings are nominal. I am activating the device," Data informed
the Enterprise. 

From Ten Forward, Guinan saw the Lexington shimmer and fade. Then snap
back into existence. 

* * * 

"Captain, I believe we were successful," said Data as several shocked
voices could be heard yelling behind him. 

* * * 

After several minutes to allow the crew of the Lexington to dress, the
Lexington's command crew was ready for an explanation. 

"Commodore, Wesley is hailing us," said Worf. 

"On screen. This is Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Captain of...this
Federation vessel." 

"Commodore Robert Wesley, commanding the USS Lexington. Excuse me," he
said, squinting at his screen and then pointing. "Are you related to a 
Lieutenant Commander Scott stationed on board the Enterprise with Jim 
Kirk?" asked Wesley. 

"You could say that," replied Scott. 

"Commodore, would you let me talk to Commander Data?" 

"You mean the android? He is a weird sort," said Wesley. 

"I am well, Captain," replied Data from behind Wesley. 

"Commodore, I believe the easiest way to do this is to have you beam
over so we can help sort things out." 

Wesley nodded and said, "Five minutes." 

"He's certainly taking this odd 

situation, well," commented Riker. 

"I heard he was an excellent officer and a complete gentleman," said
Ruth, as she turned her chair to look at Scott. 

He smiled back. Turning back to tactical he jerked his chin at the
Klingon. "Mr. Worf," said Scott. "You may want to give the crew of the 
Lexington a wide berth. No need for fights breaking out around the 
ship." 

"I agree," said Picard. "Take some time off and make yourself scarce
while the Lexington crew members are aboard." 

* * * 

Saddled up to the bar in Ten Forward, 

were Scott and Wesley. 

"What is this crap, Scott?" Wesley asked while trying not to retch. 

"It's called 'synthahol'. I wanted to make sure it wasn't just me,"
Scott said, pushing the glass away for Wesley. "Try this," he said, as 
he opened a bottle that he brought with him. 

"Scotch?" said Wesley. 

"What else?" answered Scott with a huge grin. 

"What did you do to my ship, Mr. Scott?" said Wesley in a mock serious
tone. 

"She's a great ship. It was just like going home. I just made a few wee
modifications. With a few more, she can hold her own against these new 
ones," said Scott, waving his hand around. 

After talking a while, Wesley wandered over to a table that Scott had
pointed out to him with a woman sitting alone. They talked for few 
minutes and then they hugged. As they left together, Scott could hear 
him say, "I'm very proud of you, and I would love to hear about my son, 
grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren." As 
the door closed, he heard him say, "My son Joey is still alive?!" 

Mr. Scott chuckled, as he poured himself another drink. He had done a
little research and found that Wesley's son, Joey, was born one year 
before the Lexington's disappearance. He was still alive and kicking 
and doing quite well for a man of 106 years of age. He informed Ruth of 
his research earlier that day. Looking at the Lexington through the 
observation windows, he couldn't help but feel nostalgic. He stood, 
imagining that ship outside the window was his old Enterprise and held 
his glass high. "Here's to ya', lass," he whispered and sipped his 
drink. 

* * * 

The next day, the Lexington was ordered back to Earth to Star Fleet
Command for debriefing. Scott was offered a ride. 

"I think I'll stay on the Enterprise until I decide if I'm staying or
going," he said to the Commodore. 

"My chief engineer has been asking me what you did down there to pump up
the power like that," said Wesley. 

"Just tell him, that my life's work is in that jury riggin'. He'll
either get it or he won't," Scott said, thinking of Geordi. 

************ 

"Captain's Log, Stardate, 46537.1. Captain Scott has requested to remain
on board the Enterprise to catch up on 24th century engineering. After 
recent events, Star Fleet has agreed." 

************ 

Scott relaxed in his quarters, after a day of training in the holodeck.
Just as he was going to bring up some specs on his screen, the door 
chimed. 

"Come in!" he said. 

The door stayed closed. He walked over and manually opened it. 

A bouquet of flowers was thrust in his face as well as a
hundred-year-old bottle of scotch. 

"I understand that you're the only man that can drink a bottle of
Aldeberan whiskey and survive." 

"I had help," he said, as he accepted the flowers and motioned his guest
to enter.


   


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