U.S.S. Corsair - NX-011979
Nebula II Prototype
“Sic Parvis Magna”
(Greatness From Small Beginnings)
“Progeny of the Progenitors – Part 25”
## Planet: D’aisnenn – Underground Complex ##
The long hallways of this mysterious alien hallway haunted the captain as he was paraded through its depths. Like the Roman emperors of old he was pushed and prodded ahead of an armed procession as a subjugated enemy on display for all to bear witness. The few glances Ramius cast backwards revealed the smiling face of this man Stone who was reveling in his success where so many others had failed. Captain Taverain Corsica Ramius, the elusive, unpredictable, and illustrious captain, who had slipped through NeoDyne’s fingers time and time again was at last in their custody.
Ramius could only growl at the constant prodding of rifle into his backside as he attempted to stall his journey into the bowels of the alien structure. The walk would at least give him some time to think. Luck, random chance, destiny – he hoped would fall in his favor allowing him a chance to act. There was still hope even in this seemingly impossible situation. He’d been in worse spots before. Not many, but had somehow managed to survive against the odds.
The orange pulses that had followed him before resumed their attraction to his presence. He and he alone seemed to have some connection to this place yet he had no idea what thread bound him to this technology. His footsteps continued to illuminate the hallways and indeed it seemed the entire complex was tuned to respond to his position moment by moment.
“Stop right there captain”, the cold voice of Stone called out. Ramius complied as the two mechanized drones behind him halted as did the remaining security detail. A door opened and Stone appeared beaconing the captain inside. “This way.”
Ramius entered as the mechs followed. The large room was dark devoid of the energy outside in the corridors he had been led through. Portable lamps and generators were scattered about the walls and ceilings as dozens of engineers and scientists scurried about with unknown duties. Aside from the darkness this room was different from the others. The unusual markings and lines seemed to straighten and converge into a single solid line on the floor which ran the length of the long room stopping at a large white pillar at the center of a circular chamber.
Approaching the pillar he noticed the dark line ended abruptly at the unassuming solid white cylinder at the center of the room. This room had no markings, no trace of technology, nothing distinguishable anywhere. Its walls were white and bare and the enigmatic pillar was the room’s only feature.
“RAMIUS”, a voice called out echoing off the smooth walls of the circular room.
Tav turned to see Captain Akina and the marines on their knees held at gun point by several armed guards. Two of the marines appeared to have been beaten badly and Akina himself had a split lip and a nasty bruise on his jaw.
“Akina! Are you alright?”
“I’ve been better. Why is it we always end up in situations like these? No wait, just tell me you have a plan for getting us out of this mess.”
“Oh I doubt any of you will be leaving this facility for a very, very long time”, Stone said stepping forward. “As you are most likely aware we are quite safe from any threats or interference from your fellow officers above. There is enough rock and ice to keep anyone busy for quite some time and should they somehow find a way to breach this planet’s natural defenses this facility can withstand the combined might of the Romulan and Federation fleets. It would take a thousand years for even the heaviest phaser or disruptor to cut through the sheer amounts of solid neutronium around us. I assure you we are quite safe here.
“Funny”, Ramius answered with a smirk. “We were able to penetrate the facility without firing a single shot.”
Stone’s smirk faded to a scowl, but only for an instant. “Your presence while unexpected was anticipated. NeoDyne you see has gone to great lengths to develop special contingencies to deal with you Captain Ramius. Your crusade against the company and its assets has not gone unnoticed. You should be flattered that so much effort has been expended to stop a single man and his dedicated and skilled crew. Quite simply Captain once we identified the Corsair in orbit we allowed you to enter this facility.”
“A trap? For what purpose”, Ramius answered.
“We’ll soon get to that, but first there is someone who wishes to speak with you.
Ramius was prodded by two guards towards a computer terminal that had been setup in the barren chamber. A largeviewing screen had been attached which Stone activated.
“Sir, are you receiving us?”
“Indeed Commander Stone. Excellent work. We shall speak later as you have done the company an invaluable service.” Stone nodded and stepped aside revealing to Ramius and his men the person whom he was speaking.
“Merikai, you bastard”, Ramius hissed instantly recognizing the face of the NeoDyne president. He lunged toward the screen only to be restrained by the guards.
“You seem to have an uncanny talent for being in the wrong place at the wrong time Ramius. However for once, you are exactly where I want you”, Merikai said with a smirk that only intensified Ramius’s anger for the man.
“Still having others do your dirty work for you? What makes you so confident that these mindless minions of yours are any better than the dozens of others we’ve stopped in the past”, Ramius shouted. “You can send a thousand men against me, a million, a billion and I will still find a way to stop you Merikai. It’s quite obvious you yourself are too much of a coward to face me in person. You must feel quite secure sitting in that black tower of yours playing god. Just remember one thing Merikai – Mount Olympus can be scaled and one day soon I will come for you and no power mortal or divine will save you.”
Merikai laughed at the captain’s comments. “Your blind optimism and pureness of hatred is a rare quality Ramius. However you are nothing more than an annoying fly which occasionally bites. You pose no threat to me, my company, or my plans – and you never will. When will you see the truth Captain? Your ship and crew while formidable and dangerous are nothing. You have no idea what you are fighting against.”
“Then enlighten me so I can kill your ambitions that much faster!”
“Perhaps in due time Captain however for the moment your knowledge is but a tiny fragment of the big picture. If you weren’t such a stubborn and impossible man perhaps you might live to see my plans achieve fruition after so many years and so many setbacks. You may hate me Ramius, but my plans involve a future free of war and of conflict. The age old dream of utopia is at last within reach. Our goals are not dissimilar. I want a galaxy free of conflict and where peace and prosperity can last for an eternity. How can you turn your back on such a noble and wonderful dream? It can be a reality Ramius!
I beg you. Stop this crusade and join us! Together we can usher in a new era of peace! We can eliminate disease, end violence, provide for the common good, and even extend life. Humanity no longer must be bound to these primitive shells of flesh. We can transcend our frailties and for the first time cheat the reaper of his prize once, now, and forever!
Yes! We no longer need to fear death and with your help we can master it! Can you selfishly turn your back to such a prize? Will you deny the entire human race a quantum leap in evolution simply to quench your petty needs?”
Ramius said nothing for a moment his expression holding nothing but contempt for the NeoDyne President whose image flickered on the viewing screen.
“How many lives have been sacrificed for this dream Merikai? How many more will be destroyed in this madness?”
“Those sacrificed will pave the road to a brighter future. They will not be remembered for the role they played in building perfection!”
“What ARE you babbling about Merikai”, Ramius growled at the screen. “This utopia you speak of is no more than a nightmare built upon the souls both dead and alive at the hands of your company! I have no intention of participating in this lunacy and madness which has destroyed thousands of lives, scarred the environment across a dozen planets, and brought nothing but decay, destruction, and death to those who have glimpsed this terror you call a dream! Your goals are the antithesis of all that is pure, good, moral, and just. And as for your so called dream – it is just that. Death is a fact of life Merikai. It comes for us all and it will always be so. No mortal can prevent it. Not even you.”
“But you are wrong Ramius. I can and I will. But defeating humanities greatest enemy is not my only aim. My father left me a greater legacy to fulfill one he was unable complete. I have Captain Akina to blame for his conviction and death.”
Captain Akina wasted little time rebutting the President’s statement. “Your father Julius Merikai was a traitor to the Federation and a man consumed by avarice and lust for power. His death in the shuttle accident was unfortunate, but justice was served. If your father hadn’t been engaged in selling military secrets and technology to the Breen then I would never had been sent to infiltrate NeoDyne and expose him. If you still cannot accept the truth Merikai, when all the facts are clear, then you are just as blind as your father. Justice will be served again Merikai if not by us then by others. Someone will always be there nipping at your heels like a wild dog until they at last are able to deliver a fatal bite.”
Merikai laughed at the captain’s defiance. “Am I supposed to be frightened Akina? In the last decade I’ve rebuilt this company and its fortunes right under Starfleet’s nose. I won’t make the same mistakes my father made and I certainly won’t be brought down by one or two intelligence officers who lack political power. Nobody knows you exist Akina. You are a shadow and so is Ramius. Neither of you are officially doing anything which is tantamount to doing nothing. As shadows if the lights are switched off on your activities and your supporters all of you will cease to exist.”
Ramius laughed this time interrupting Merikai. The captain’s eyes seemed charged with fire as he spoke. “Not even you Merikai can control the whole of Starfleet. You may have informants and possibly even influence with brass, but your connections will not save you once we expose your activities. So long as I draw breath I will do everything I can to see that you and your ruinous corporation and its ambitions are disrupted, subverted, and eventually destroyed.” Ramius bore a proud, defiant smirk as he glared at the corporate executive on the screen.
“You would have been awarded a place of high standing in the new order of things. However it is you who are blinded to reality. My plans are already in motion and neither you nor anyone else can stop them. Despite your pathetic morality Ramius, you will help me fulfill my father’s dream.”
[ To Be Continued… ]
CAST OF CHARACTERS
Captain Taverain Ramius
Commanding Officer, USS Corsair
President Alistair Merikai
Chairman, NeoDyne Defense Corporation
Captain Zane Akina
Starfleet Intelligence Operative