Welcome to Earth - Part 1 "The First Shot"
Episode 3 - The Future That Was
Location: Earth Orbit
Timeline: Mid 2416 (Alpha)
Captain Vadosia Arlin did not ask for this transport mission. In fact, she adamantly voiced her objection to Admiral West, but for whatever reasons the human overruled her, and now she was stuck with an obnoxious Federation Councilor who constantly poked his nose where he shouldn't and who had a habit of making outrageous demands as if he were royalty, making the last few weeks among the worst of her life. She knew West didn't like her, but she didn't know he hated her this much.
So it was to her great relief when the Kabul finally dropped out of warp and arrived at their destination.
"Lieutenant Logan, inform the Councillor that we have arrived at Earth." Said Arlin. "And Ensign Fanne, open a channel to orbital control."
"Channel open, Ma'am." Responded the operations officer.
"Orbital control, this is Captain Vadosia Arlin of the USS Kabul. We have Councillor Nienzi Chang of Alpha Centauri on board. Requesting permission to . . ."
Before she could finish her sentence, the Bolian captain was abruptly interrupted. A female voice came through the comm.
"Kabul, this is orbital control. Lower your shields and prepare to transfer Councilor Chang to the custody of the USS Seine."
Arlin frowned at the unexpected request. "On whose authority?"
For a few moments there was no response.
"Captain," Said the Vulcan tactical officer. "The Seine, the Oxford and the Altidore have locked their weapons on us." A pause. "And so have the orbital defense satellites."
Then the view screen flickered to life, and Arlin immediately recognized the man on the screen.
"Captain Champagne, why is my ship targeted? What the hell is going on?" The Bolian demanded an answer.
"Earth is now under the control of General Bolanus. Starfleet Command has been relieved of its authority over this planet as has the civilian government due to corruption and actions that have jeopardized the security of the Federation and potentially ruined any opportunity of ending this war. Your vessel has been ordered to stand down and surrender Councillor Chang to the USS Seine so that he may be safely escorted to his scheduled meeting with the present government. Failure to comply will result in your ship being disabled, Councillor Chang being forcibly beamed off, and your ship being destroyed as a penalty for high treason against the Federation," said Louis calmly as he stood by to order the assault while hovering his hand over a tactical firing button.
"Treason?!" Arlin sprang from her chair, fire in her eyes. "We have all sworn an oath to defend the Federation, its Charter and its Constitution. You and Bolanus broke that oath, tore the Charter and the Constitution to pieces, and you accuse me and my ship of treason?!"
The Bolian captain paused briefly to regain her composure. "You have picked the wrong side, Champagne. You will pay for this. Bolanus will pay for this. Every one of you traitorous hypocrites will pay for this."
Quietly Louis looked at his tactical officer and pressed a button to signal the rest of the fleet to begin their assault. The tactical officer immediately set the orbital defense platforms to open fire. Louis couldn't help but smirk as he pressed the button that closed the channel as he opened an internal communication relay to the Transporter room.
"Do we have a transporter lock on the transporter tag that was embedded into Councillor Chang's uniform?" he asked.
"That's an affirmative, sir," said the transporter room.
'Excellent,' thought Louis. 'That means that our spies have been very successful in maintaining their cover while continuing to aid our cause.'
"We just lost shields, Captain." Reported Lieutenant V'Lo. There was not a trace of concern in the Vulcan's even voice.
Arlin turned to her tactical officer. "What do you mean we lost shields?"
"They were shut down from main engineering." Answered Vulcan. "And my access to shield control is blocked."
"What the hell?" Came the confused response from the Ship's first officer. With a press of his comm badge the human commander said, "Alva to Edison, what happened to the shields?"
There was no answer.
"Lieutenant Commander Edison, respond!" The XO's voice grew increasingly agitated as he exchanged a look with his still standing captain.
It all made sense to Arlin now: Admiral West's insistence that the Kabul transported Chang to Earth, the sudden replacement of her former chief engineer by Edison several weeks ago, and the unexplained malfunction of the ship's virtual intelligence.
Returning to her chair, the captain buckled in. "Condition Red. All hands to battle stations."
"What's going on, captain?" Asked a visibly exasperated Alva as the siren sounded and the bridge was engulfed in a dreary red glow.
But before Arlin could answer, Ensign Fanne at the operations station interrupted them. "Two transports in progress. One from Councilor Chang's quarters, and the other from main engineering. Both to the USS Seine. It's . . ." The Ensign paused and looked up at Arlin. "It's Commander Edison."
At the same moment Alva's expression turned from bewilderment to fury. "That s@% o* b*(!#!"
Just then the first volley of fire from the orbital defense platforms made contact with Kabul's reinforced ablative armor plating, and the bridge shook violently.
[To be continued. . .]
Captain Vadosia Arlin
CO, USS Kabul
Captain Louis Champagne
Earth Orbital Satellite Defense Headquarters