Captain Chakotay had asked Captain Regina Farkas, of the Vesta, and Commander Glenn, of the Galen, to join him as he brought his acting first officer, Lieutenant Harry Kim, and Commander B’Elanna Torres into the small circle he intended to utilize in managing the current crisis. Lieutenant Kenth Lasren, his Betazoid ops officer, Counselor Hugh Cambridge, and Admiral Janeway’s personal aide, Decan, were also present. Both were already well aware of how complicated their mission had become in the last few hours.
Torres and Kim appeared stunned and sickened by their captain’s revelations. The shock had already passed for everyone else and been replaced by mingled trepidation and determination.
Commander Torres was the first to speak. “I just want to make sure I’ve got this straight.”
“Please,” Chakotay said.
“The Kinara are about to put Admiral Janeway on trial for crimes she supposedly committed during Voyager’s maiden trek in the Delta Quadrant. Once that trial ends—”
“Presumably with the admiral’s execution,” Counselor Cambridge interjected.
“Almost certainly,” Captain Farkas corrected him.
“Once that trial ends,” Torres repeated, refusing to acknowledge or accept their pessimism, “the Kinara intend to open negotiations with the Confederacy for passage through their local network of subspace corridors for the purpose of acquiring some unknown resources that lie beyond Confederacy space but can only be readily accessed by utilizing their corridors.”
“Which we cannot allow to happen,” Captain Farkas noted.
“Because we now know that whatever the Kinara’s objectives might once have been, in the last few months they have come under the influence of at least four of the original eight Neyser essences,” Torres continued.
“Individuals believed to be so dangerous that their own people intentionally disembodied them and kept them incarcerated for thousands of years,” Cambridge reminded her.
“And who have used their first taste of freedom to convince or coerce some of the most powerful Delta Quadrant species already predisposed to mistrust the Federation, including the Turei, the Vaadwaur, the Devore, and the Voth, to ally themselves against us,” Kim added.
“Is our potential alliance with the Confederacy off the table?” Torres asked.
“Admiral Janeway indicated prior to her departure that she did not believe the Federation and the Confederacy could ever form an alliance,” Farkas replied.
“And that was without hearing my report on Voyager’s joint mission with the Twelfth Lamont, the results of which, in my opinion, would make any such alliance unconscionable,” Chakotay noted.
“It doesn’t matter anymore,” Torres argued.
“Excuse me?” Chakotay said.
“Vesta isn’t in bad shape, but Voyager lost her main deflector in the last battle and is, conservatively, days away from being completely repaired. Galen is no match for the Kinara’s firepower. That gives us one starship against the Kinara’s ten, including that Voth monstrosity that almost destroyed us. We’re going to need help rescuing Admiral Janeway and the Confederacy is our only option right now.”
“After what Inspector Kashyk—or whoever he really is—said, I’m not sure how inclined the Confederacy will be to offer assistance,” Farkas suggestedAn original novel set in the universe of Star Trek: Voyager—and the sequel to Protectors and Acts of Contrition!
Admiral Kathryn Janeway faces a tribunal determined to execute her for supposed crimes committed during Voyager’s maiden trek through the Delta Quadrant. Captain Chakotay knows that the Kinara, several species now allied against the Full Circle fleet, are not all they appear to be. The Confederacy of the Worlds of the First Quadrant—a pact he cannot trust—is his only hope for unraveling the Kinara’s true agenda and rescuing Admiral Janeway. Meanwhile, Seven and Tom Paris are forced to betray the trust of their superiors in a desperate bid to reveal the lengths to which a fellow officer has gone in the name of protecting the Federation from the legendary Caeliar.