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"The Price of Liberty" is the second chapter of the zeroth volume of Star Trek: Federation Legacy, written in ca. June 2013 and published on 17 June 2013 by CaptFredricks.

Background and trivia Edit

  • Like its predecessor, "Khitomer Crisis", this chapter was published in three segments initially before being condensed into one.

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"Acting captain's log, stardate 83165.2. Captain Taggart and all senior officers of the USS Leviathan have been killed and I have assumed command. Our objective—stop the Borg from accomplishing what they set out to do in the Vega System. We can only hope that our mission will be successful."

Repairs are ongoing on the Leviathan. Jason is on the bridge, sitting in the captain's chair. He turns to Tala. "How long until we can have shields and weapons?"

"A few more minutes, sir," she replies.

"Jason, we're being hailed by the USS Seacole," Lucas says, turning to meet Jason's gaze.

"On-screen."

The viewscreen comes to life and Captain Alcott is seen on the bridge of her ship. "Where is Captain Taggart?" she inquires.

Jason lowers his head in sorrow. "He's... dead..."

Captain Alcott sighs. "That is regrettable, he will be missed. However, this is not the time to conduct a memorial service. I have need of your assistance... ensign."

"How can we help?" Jason asks.

"Several of our ships in the area have been badly damaged, and I need you to transport survivors to your ship, then bring them here."

"Understood," Jason replies.

"Goodbye, and good luck, ensign."

Jason is handed a damage report by a crewman. "Here is the report you asked for, sir. Most of the damage has been repaired, however, several systems are still offline."

"Thank you," Jason replies, taking the report. He turns his attention to Tala. "Can we go to impulse?"

"I believe so sir."

"Good, do a scan of the system, and take us to one half-impulse." The ship groans as it accelerates.

"Scan complete, sir," Hannah reports.

"How many ships are there?" Jason inquires.

"Four, sir," she replies. "The Kelvin, the Oakland, the Bohr, and the Montreal."

They reach the first ship, the USS Kelvin. "Beam the survivors aboard."

Ernie initiates a transport from his console. "We have them sir," he says.

"Moving position to the next ship, sir," Hannah tells him.

"Activate transport," he says.

They transport the survivors and go to the next ship. "Transporting survivors of USS Bohr."

They head for the final ship, the USS Montreal. Ernie begins the transport but suddenly a conduit blows in the wall of the bridge. Jason spins around in his chair. "What happened?" he inquires of Ernie.

"The transporters use a lot of energy, sir. It looks like that last transport really did a number on the ship's subsystems." Jason smacks his armrest. "If I reroute auxiliary power to the transporters, we should be able to beam the remaining survivors off the Montreal," Ernie tells him.

"Do it," Jason responds.

Ernie reroutes the power and initiates the transport. "We have them sir," Hannah smiles.

"Good. Tala, take us back to the Seacole's position."

"Aye, sir," she replies. They return to the Seacole and transport the survivors onto the ship.

"Thank you Jason, we couldn't have done that without you," Captain Alcott smiles as the channel closes.

The comm channel chirps to life. "Captain, we're being hailed by another ship, the USS Renown."

"Put it on-screen."

Captain Vo'Lok appears on the view screen. "You are not Captain Taggart," he says, puzzled at why this young ensign is sitting in the captain's chair.

"No, I'm not," Jason replies.

"I see," Vo'Lok raises an eyebrow. "Then I presume he is dead, and you have assumed command?"

"Yes, sir," Jason answers. "We're reading that your ship has been disabled, is that correct?"

"Yes," replies Vo'Lok.

"We can offer you assistance if you need..."

Vo'Lok interrupts Jason before he has a chance to finish his sentence. "No, our ship will not be ready for combat any time soon. But we may be able to help you repair your damaged shields and weapons."

"Thank you, captain," Jason replies as the channel closes.

"Acting captain's log: supplemental. The USS Renown has sent away teams to help us repair the damage on the Leviathan. Captain Vo'Lok also sent me orders regarding the Borg in the area."

Jason exits the ready room and walks onto the bridge. "Repairs are done... sir," Lucas tells him. Jason nods at him.

"What are our orders, captain?" Tala inquires.

"Captain Vo'Lok tells me there are several damaged probes in the area. We have to destroy them before they can regenerate."

"Aye, I'm detecting at least five signatures nearby," Hannah tells them.

"Let's get to work," Jason says. The ship accelerates to impulse and goes into a debris field. Three probes are directly ahead of the Leviathan. "Lock phasers, standby on photons."

"Aye," Tala responds. She targets the first probe.

"Fire!" Jason orders. The phaser banks glow orange as the beams shoot out into space at the probe. It explodes in a flash of light.

"Whoa..." Lucas says, a bit surprised at the relatively large explosion.

"Looks like they've taken more damage than we thought," Jason says. "Lock weapons on the next probe and fire."

The photon torpedo tube lights up as a torpedo shoots out of it at high-speed toward the second probe. It explodes in a brilliant display of smoke and light. They fire upon the last three probes and they all explode like the first two. "Well that's not much of a challenge, is it?" Lucas says.

Jason nods his head. "Sir, long-range sensors are back online," Hannah reports to him.

"Captain, I'm picking up more Borg signals near Vega IX..."

"Set course to intercept," Jason orders.

"Aye sir," Ernie responds.

...

The ship drops out of impulse and into orbit of Vega IX. "All stop," Jason says, signaling the helmsman.

"Answering all stop sir," Ernie replies.

"How many Borg ships in the area?"

"Six, possibly more," Hannah answers.

"Coordinate our attack with the other Starfleet vessels in the area."

"Aye... captain," she responds.

Lucas chuckles. "Captain, heh, I never thought I'd hear anyone call you that."

"Oh stop," Jason says sarcastically. "You never seem to find anything good to say do you?"

Tala smiles and Hannah giggles. "I assume you two know each other pretty well?" Ernie turns and looks at them.

"Who, him? I don't know him," Lucas says, turning back to his station.

"Alright, enough. Let's focus on the mission at hand," Jason's face suddenly turns serious. "Tala, you got a weapons lock on the Borg yet?"

"Yes, sir. The first two ships are in range."

"Fire torpedoes."

The Leviathan spews a volley of torpedoes at the Borg ships. "Minimal damage to the ships, sir."

"Captain, might I suggest using phasers to take down the shields, and saving the torpedoes for the hulls?" Ernie inquires of Jason.

"He's right sir, phasers work better against shields than torpedoes," Tala adds. Jason nods. After a few shots with the phasers banks, the Borg's shields drop.

"Fire torpedoes, full volley!" Jason orders. The ships explode, leaving a vibrant yellow-orange glow behind.

"The other Federation ships are signaling that they have things under control now, sir. We can send an away team down to the planet when you're ready," Hannah says.

"Alright. Tala, Ernie, you're with me," Jason says, as he stands up and heads for the turbolift.

"Sir, may I remind you of the Starfleet regulation which states that when an away team is sent into a dangerous environment, the captain..." Tala begins, only to be interrupted by Jason.

"Your concern is noted, Tala, but I'm not a captain. I'm an ensign; and I'm going down there. They need our help, come on." The three of them enter the turbolift.

The away team materializes on the planet. "Whoa, what is that?" Ernie asks, pointing to a giant Borg ship that has landed on the planet.

"It looks like one of those probes we destroyed earlier," Jason replies.

"Sir, this is not good. The Borg appear to be mounting a full invasion on the planet," Tala states worriedly.

"We have to find Administrator Post," Jason says, walking toward the settlement ahead of them.

They reach the outer limits of the town. Several Borg are there to greet them. They quickly shoot them down and move ahead. Lucas calls them from the ship. "Captain, come in!"

"What is it Lucas?" Jason asks.

"Jason, I've got some bad news."

"What?"

"The Borg have already assimilated more than half of the planet's inhabitants."

Jason turns to Tala and Ernie. "We've gotta hurry."

They reach another group of Borg that are surrounding several colonists. "Help us!" a colonist shouts frantically.

Jason shoots one of the Borg, and the rest turn their attention to the away team. They kill the Borg fairly easily and move on. "These Borg are much different than the ones I've heard about," Ernie comments.

"Yeah, why aren't they adapting to our weapons?" Tala asks.

"The Khitomer's EMH said that they were 'disconnected' somehow," Jason responds.

They come to a building where two people are standing, one holding a phaser rifle pointed in their direction. "Stay away, Borg! I-I'll shoot!" the frightened ensign shouts.

"Don't worry, we're friends!" Jason replies, approaching cautiously.

"Lower your weapon," the woman tells him.

Jason, Tala and Ernie walk up to them. "Jason Fredricks, of the USS Leviathan."

"Thank you for assisting us, ensign. I am Willa Post, administrator of the Vega Colony," the woman says, introducing herself. "This is Ensign Kolez." She points at the still nervous officer next to her.

"We have to transport the remaining colonists to the Leviathan."

"I will round up as many as I can here."

Jason taps his combadge. "Fredricks to Leviathan, prepare to beam up survivors."

"Sir, we can't get a lock on anybody down there," Hannah responds. "Something is inhibiting the use of transporters."

"Understood." The channel closes. "Well, guys, we're gonna have to find what's jamming the transporter signal."

"Sir, I'm detecting a large power signature a few kilometers south of here," Ernie reports.

"That sounds like what we're looking for."

"Oh, ensign, before you go, take these phaser rifles. They do more damage than standard phasers," Kolez says, handing them all phaser rifles. He also gives Jason a kit equipped with photon grenades. "Be careful with those," he warns Jason. "They are small, but powerful."

"Thanks," he replies. "Come on guys, it's time to finish this," he says, addressing Tala and Ernie.

"Right behind you, sir," Ernie replies.

On the Leviathan, Lucas is in command. A console beeps. "Sir, detecting Borg vessels on approach," Hannah says.

"Raise shields, red alert," Lucas responds.

One of the probes fires upon the Leviathan. The ship shakes on impact. "Shields are holding, sir," Hannah reports.

"Return fire!" Lucas shouts. The Leviathan returns a volley of fire at the Borg ships.

"Minimal damage to the probes, sir," Hannah says, looking disappointed.

"Blast!" Lucas hits his armrest. "Continue firing."

"Shields down to 68%!"

Lucas gets an idea. "Prepare to eject warp plasma from the nacelles."

"Sir?" the tactical officer questions.

"You heard me, ensign."

"Aye, sir." The tactical officer presses several buttons. "Ready."

"Eject plasma!"

The Leviathan's nacelles begin to eject green warp plasma, shielding them from their enemies' view. "Fire at will!" Lucas shouts.

The Leviathan opens fire once again, this time badly damaging two of the probes and destroying three of them. "We did it sir," Hannah says, smiling.

"Not bad for my first command," Lucas gloats.

Hannah rolls her eyes at him and laughs.

...

Back on Vega, the away team heads for the other side of the colony. "There, sir. Look!" Tala points at a fortified structure several hundred yards ahead of them. They begin running towards it.

"This is a sniper rifle, isn't it?" Jason asks.

Tala examines his rifle. "Well, it has a scope..."

Jason switches the rifle to sniper mode, and aims at a tactical drone standing next to a control panel. He shoots it down, but not without attracting the attention of several more Borg. "We've got to get that force field down," Jason tells them.

"Don't worry sir, we'll take care of the other Borg while you disable it," Tala replies.

"Alright, let's go." Tala and Ernie shoot down several Borg with their rifles as Jason makes his way for the control panel. Suddenly, a Borg turret shoots in his direction. "Whoa," Jason yells, as the blast barely misses him.

Ernie turns to look as another turret shoots at him. "Watch out!" he calls to Tala. She ducks to miss the fire of the turret. Jason shoots the first one down and then runs to the control panel. Ernie manages to shoot the second turret while dodging another round of fire from it.

Jason types frantically at the console as more Borg approach from the south. "Jason, hurry," Tala says in a worried tone. "I don't know how much longer we can hold them off."

"Okay, give me a second..." Jason continues working on the console as Ernie swings around behind him to take out some more Borg. The console beeps and the force field lowers. "I did it! It's down." Jason walks over to another console that was behind the force field. He tries to access it, but a heavy tactical drone that was in an alcove activates.

"Uh, sir..." Ernie's voice trails off.

Jason picks up his phaser rifle. Tala spins around and shoots the Borg, but her shot barely even affects it. "This one's shielded, sir!" she yells.

Jason remembers the grenade satchel kit that Ensign Kolez gave him and replicates a grenade. "Watch out!" he calls to them. Ernie jumps out of the way as Jason throws the grenade at the Borg.

It explodes in a red glow, but the Borg remains standing. "Damn!" Jason shouts, seeing that the Borg is still alive. Ernie shoots at the Borg and its arm sparks, revealing that the grenade did more damage than they thought it did. Tala, realizing this, opens fire at the Borg, and Jason follows suit. The drone collapses in a heap in front of them. "That outta do it," Jason says with a half grin. He walks back over to the console, and begins typing. "If I send a feedback pulse through the system, it should destabilize the whole network," Jason tells them.

"That would certainly save us from having to deactivate each array manually," Ernie responds.

"Let's give it a try." Jason continues typing. "That should do it. I suggest we clear out though, this console's likely to explode." They run away from the Borg array as the console overloads, exploding with a bright flash. "Haha, we did it!" Jason cheers. Tala and Ernie smile.

Jason's combadge chirps. "Captain, can you hear me?" It is Hannah again.

"Yes, Hannah, go ahead," Jason replies.

"You did it, sir. Transporters are now operational."

"Acknowledged. Transporter room, beam us up." They begin to dematerialize.

Back on the ship, Lucas is staring out the view screen. He lets out a big sigh. "What's keeping them?" he says impatiently. Just then, the turbolift door opens, and Jason, Tala and Ernie walk onto the bridge. "Oh, there you are. I was starting to wor... I mean, I was about to give the administrator a call—see what was keeping you guys," Lucas says to Jason.

"Good to see you missed me, Lucas," Jason chuckles.

"Well, I hope you didn't have too much fun without me. What did you guys do, buy a summer cottage?" Lucas says sarcastically. Jason puts his face in his palm. Hannah lets out a soft laugh.

"Is he always this..." Tala begins.

"Yes," Jason interrupts her sentence. Lucas narrows his eyes at Jason, to which Jason gives him a look such as to tell him to get out of his chair. Lucas stands up and walks over to the science station.

"Sir, we're being hailed by Admiral Quinn," Hannah says.

"On-screen."

Admiral Quinn appears on the main viewscreen. "Captain... oh, Jason. Where is Captain Taggart?" Quinn asks with a bemused look on his face.

"He was killed by the Borg, sir," Jason tells him.

"I see. He was a fine officer, and will be missed. But that is not the matter at hand right now. Our fleet is moving into an offensive position to push the remaining Borg ships out of the area. We need the Leviathan to join the fleet."

"Understood sir," Jason replies.

"Good luck, Jason," Admiral Quinn says as the channel closes.

"Set course to meet up with the fleet," Jason orders.

"Aye, captain," Ernie replies.

...

The Leviathan rendezvous with the fleet. "There are several Borg cubes still in the system," Lucas reports.

"Helm, move us in range of the nearest cube," Jason orders.

Ernie acknowledges and engages the impulse engines. "Range?" Jason asks.

"Fifteen kilometers and closing," Lucas replies.

"Ready weapons."

"Twelve kilometers."

"Weapons locked on target, sir," Tala says.

"Ten kilometers."

"Fire!" Jason says, standing up as he gives the order. The phaser banks glow orange as the beams shoot at the cube.

The other Federation ships also open fire on the cube. "Coordinate our attack with the other vessels," Jason says.

"Adjusting attack trajectory with the other ships, sir," Tala replies.

Several volleys of torpedoes are launched at the cube. "Status of the cube?"

"It's hull is at 87%."

"Continue attack vector."

"Aye, captain," Tala responds.

The cube begins to show signs of damage, as multiple explosions can be seen within it. "Cube's hull is at 34%!"

The cube manages to destroy two of the Starfleet ships before it is finally vanquished. It explodes in a large display of light. The shockwave of the explosion can be felt on the Leviathan. Lucas lets out a happy shout. Tala and Hannah both have large grins on their faces. Jason breathes a sigh of relief.

"Sir, we're being hailed by Admiral Quinn again," Hannah reports.

"Put him on-screen," Jason replies.

Admiral Quinn once again is seen on the viewscreen. "Well done, Leviathan. The remaining Borg forces are retreating to their own space. Please report to Earth Spacedock so you can be debriefed for your next mission. Quinn out." The channel closes.

"Helm, set course for Sol System, warp five."

"Aye, captain. Course plotted."

"Engage." The Leviathan enters warp.

The Leviathan drops out of warp in the Sol System. Several ships are being brought into drydock for repairs, the Khitomer being one of them. "Sir, we are getting a hail from the USS Khitomer..."

"On-screen." Jason has a puzzled look on his face as the Khitomer's EMH appears on the screen.

"I heard about what happened on Vega. Well done, ensign," the EMH says to him.

"Thank you," Jason replies.

"With time and training, you will make a good commander. I hope that you will look back on this day and see me as a mentor, or possibly even a father figure. Good luck, ensign. Khitomer out." Tala tries to restrain herself from bursting out laughing after hearing the EMH's comment about being a father figure to Jason.

As soon as the channel closes, Lucas lets out a laugh. "I'm sorry, that's just... priceless," he says.

"Oh, shut it," Jason retorts. The Leviathan moves closer to the Spacedock. The dockmaster contacts them and clears them for docking.

...

Once on board, Jason heads for Admiral Quinn's office. "The Admiral's office is that way," an officer points down the corridor. Jason enters Quinn's office.

"Please, sit down, Jason." Admiral Quinn motions for Jason to take a seat. Quinn pauses before continuing. "How would you like to be in command of your own ship?"

Jason looks surprised at this proposition. "I-I don't know... I mean, I'm only an ensign."

"Starfleet has authorized me to promote you to lieutenant immediately. And, if you are willing, they have agreed to give you command of the Leviathan."

"Wow, that's certainly a very tempting offer, sir," Jason ponders what Quinn has said.

"Jason, what you showed today is that you are more than capable of handling yourself out there. You obviously have a knack for command, and if you ask me, it would be foolish to turn this down." Jason nods. "I wouldn't have recommended you for this command had I thought you weren't ready." Jason looks up at him as he continues to speak. "So, what do you say?"

Jason grins, staring out into space.

...

Jason exits the turbolift and onto the bridge of the Leviathan. "Captain on the bridge!" Hannah shouts.

All of the bridge officers stand at attention. "At ease," he replies. He walks over to the captain's chair and sits down.

"So, where to now... captain?" Lucas inquires.

"I don't know. Let's see what's out there." Jason rests his chin on his hand as Ernie plots a destination on the helm. The Leviathan warps out of the system.

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