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For other uses of "Zenith", see Zenith.

"Zenith" is the first chapter of the first volume of Star Trek: Final Voyages, written between April and May 2014 and published on 7 May 2014 by CaptFredricks.

The USS Enterprise-E is sent to the Denab system for a routine exploratory survey. Unbeknownst to the crew, a dangerous foe lies in wait.

Teaser Edit

William T. Riker, recently promoted to the rank of captain, gazes nostalgically around the bridge of the USS Enterprise-E before heading to the USS Titan, his new command. Another officer, who introduces himself as Martin Madden, enters the bridge and states that he's Riker's replacement as first officer of the Enterprise. Madden, nervous about meeting Captain Jean-Luc Picard, asks Riker for insight on his personality. Riker says that the captain is quite casual with the senior staff, and that Madden should call him by his first name. Worf and Geordi La Forge, both accustomed to Riker's practical jokes, see through it, though Madden does not.

Picard exits his ready room, and Madden approaches him. Picard welcomes Madden and asks him to join him for dinner in his quarters so they can discuss matters further. Madden replies with "[s]ounds good... Jean-Luc..." which takes the captain by surprise. He pretends to be angry at the embarrassed Madden, but he is really not. Picard then tries out the new restraint system on his captain's chair, indicating that "[i]t's about time" that the seats have restraints.

He then informs Madden of their new assignment, in the Denab system. When Madden asks if Picard has ever been there, he simply responds that "[i]t's a place where [...] no one has gone before."

Log entries Edit

Memorable quotes Edit

"Uh, sir... I haven't met Captain Picard yet. What's he like?"
"Well, he's not exactly a by-the-book type officer – he likes to keep things very casual with his senior staff. In fact, the best way to get on his good side is to call him Jean-Luc."

Martin Madden and William T. Riker


"Captain Picard does not 'keep things casual'."
"The commander doesn't know that, though."
"Ah, I see. Captain Riker wished to fool him as a... practical joke."
"Exactly."

Worf and Geordi La Forge


"This, sir, is the Mark VII. It's got state-of-the-art ergonomics, command interfaces—"
"Captain, I told him that you were content using your old chair."
"Let's give it a try, shall we?" ... "Well, it's... comfortable."
"Try this button, captain."
(after discovering the new built-in safety harness)
"Oh. It's about time."

— An ensign, Worf, and Jean-Luc Picard


"Commander, our first assignment will be in the Denab system."
"Sounds good, captain. Have you been there before?"
"No. It's a place where... a place where no one has gone before."

Jean-Luc Picard and Martin Madden


"How'd you get this assignment?"
"By Commander Madden's recommendation. He had confidence in me when nobody else did."
"Oh... I was sent here as a replacement helmsman in the event that something happened to the head conn officer. I was on a long list of names – I really don't know what made them pick me."
"I guess you're special. To be hand-picked for the position from a roster by none other than Jean-Luc Picard is a testament to your ability."
"Thanks. I hope I can live up to the hype."

Joanna Faur and Dina Elfiki (a vague reference to Branson)


"Now, I understand you are skilled in physics and astrometric sciences, correct, Miss Elfiki?"
"Aye, captain."
"Good. It's been some time since the Enterprise had a proper science officer, and I think you'll do quite well."

Jean-Luc Picard and Dina Elfiki (a reference to Spock)


"Strange."
"What is it?"
"For a moment, I was reading trace amounts of polaric radiation in Cargo Bay 2."
"Correct me if I'm wrong, lieutenant, but isn't the use of polaric ions prohibited because of their instability?"
"I believe you're right, captain."
"Lieutenant, what effect would polaric ions have on internal sensors?"
"It's possible that they could disrupt them... long enough for a small away team to beam over while our shields are down."
"Commander, be careful down there. I have no idea what you may find."

Dina Elfiki, Martin Madden, and Jean-Luc Picard


"Welcome to the IKS GhIqtal. I am Kardok."
"Hello, captain. Are you well? I was informed that you had been injured..."
"I'm quite well, doctor, as you can see."
"Where are the injured then?"
"I'm afraid there are none."

Kardok and Beverly Crusher


"You honestly haven't figured it out yet? Perhaps you should have your visor checked, commander. I 'invited' you here to witness the destruction of your precious Enterprise. Your captain will join you shortly, and we will take a trip to see... the Master."
"Who is the Master?"
"He is the one who sent us here, to lure the flagship of the mighty Federation into our grasp. Picard will make an excellent bargaining tool to attain what we want."
"Which is?"
"How do you Humans say it? The... keys to the castle?"
"If you think the entire Federation is just gonna lay down arms to serve this master of yours, you're sadly mistaken."
"Hah! You make me laugh, Human. Your puny Federation is nothing compared to the might of the Zenith Alliance. You've never heard of us, I'm sure... but we've been growing in the shadows. Members from various races in the galaxy, including Humans, have already joined our ranks."

Kardok, Beverly Crusher, and Geordi La Forge


"Ah, captain! Welcome to the IKS GhIqtal. I've been expecting you."
"Who are you? Why am I here? I demand to see a neutral representative!"
"I am Kardok. You are here because I wish it. Of course you do. Unfortunately there are no such representatives available."
"By your actions, I can see you are obviously not a part of the Klingon Defense Force. What faction are you affiliated with?"
"The Zenith Alliance."
"I am unfamiliar with them."
"Soon, captain, you will be very acquainted with us."

Kardok and Jean-Luc Picard


"What does this man want, what is the Zenith Alliance, and why the hell is a Breen manning the conn on a Klingon ship?"
"We know about as much as you do, sir."
"I intend to get to the bottom of this. Whoever these people are – I will find out."

Jean-Luc Picard and Beverly Crusher


"Send a distress call to Starfleet on a secure channel. Inform them that this may be the last message sent by the Enterprise."

Martin Madden


"Any last words for your valiant crew, captain?"
"Even in light of this new threat, we shall rise up against it. Even if we all perish, our struggle will not be in vain. Evil will always be triumphed by good in the end. Whatever you seek to gain by doing this, Kardok, will ultimately be for naught."
"How touching. I can feel the nothingness of my endeavors creeping in already. It is glorious!"

Kardok and Jean-Luc Picard

Background and trivia Edit

  • A precursor to the main plot of this chapter was written by CaptFredricks in 2010 under the title "Lego Star Trek". It was meant to be a short "film" of sorts that he would make with his LEGO minifigures, but it never came to fruition. He preserved the story, though, and used some of the plot details in this chapter.
  • Neither Shinzon nor the Scimitar were referenced in the original version of this chapter.
  • Several characters were taken from the original "Lego Star Trek" story, and renamed.
    • They include: Martin Madden, formerly John Benson; Miranda Kadohata, formerly Ensign Turrell; Joanna Faur, formerly Lieutenant Jordan; J'dan, formerly Telnok; Maglus, formerly Klingon Gunner; Dagan, formerly Klingon Officer; Nen, formerly Klingon Helmsman; Graal, formerly Klingon Engineer; and the Master, formerly X. The IKS GhIqtal also was renamed from the original, IKS Pak'tu.

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Newly-promoted Captain William T. Riker took one last look around the bridge of the USS Enterprise-E before leaving for his new command, the USS Titan. As he headed for the turbolift, another officer exited onto the bridge.

"Hello, sir. I'm Commander Martin Madden," the officer introduced himself.

"You're the new first officer, I take it?" Riker asked, extending a hand.

"Yes, sir," Madden replied, shaking his hand. "It's an honor, captain."

"Good to meet you, but I'd better get going. Would hate to get left behind by my own crew."

"Uh, sir..." Madden hesitated. "I haven't met Captain Picard yet. What's he like?"

Riker chuckled. "Well, he's not exactly a by-the-book type officer – he likes to keep things very casual with his senior staff. In fact, the best way to get on his good side is to call him Jean-Luc."

"Jean-Luc? Alright, thanks, sir," Madden said appreciatively.

"No problem, commander." He nodded. "Geordi," he said, waving to his good friend, Geordi La Forge, one last time before leaving.

"See you, comm – I mean – captain," Geordi replied, chuckling.

Commander Worf looked at Geordi in bewilderment at Riker's 'advice' to Madden. "Captain Picard does not 'keep things casual,'" he mused.

"The commander doesn't know that, though," Geordi responded with a smirk.

"Ah, I see. Captain Riker wished to fool him as a... practical joke."

"Exactly," Geordi nodded.

Just then, Captain Jean-Luc Picard exited his ready room.

Madden nervously made his way over to him. "I'm Commander Martin Madden, sir – the new first officer."

Picard extended a hand. "Welcome aboard, commander. I certainly hope your sudden transfer from the Talos didn't catch you too much by surprise."

"Not at all, sir. I'm privileged to serve on the Enterprise."

"Well, as you can see, there is much work to be done before we can leave. I'd like you to join me in my quarters for dinner at nineteen hundred hours; we have much to discuss." Picard began heading for his chair.

"Sounds good... Jean-Luc..." Madden stuttered.

Picard stopped and turned around with an unamused look on his face.

"Captain Riker was just pulling my leg, wasn't he?" Madden asked, embarrassed.

Picard turned back around, mouth forming a small grin. He took a look at his chair, which seemed different than the last time he sat in it.

"What's this?" he asked of Worf and a young ensign who were standing by the chair as he walked up.

"This, sir, is the Mark VII. It's got state-of-the-art ergonomics, command interfaces..." the ensign began.

"Captain, I told him that you were content using your old chair," Worf interrupted.

Picard looked it over for a moment. "Let's give it a try, shall we?" He sat down. "Well, it's... comfortable."

The ensign leaned down toward him. "Try this button, captain." He pointed to a button on the chair's armrest.

Picard pressed it, and a harness immediately strapped him down in the chair.

"Oh," he chuckled. "It's about time."

The ensign smiled confidently at Worf, who replied with a frown. Picard pressed the button once more and the harness disengaged.

"Thank you, gentlemen," he said, and the two walked away.

"Commander," Picard said, beckoning Madden over. "Our first assignment will be in the Denab system."

"Sounds good, captain. Have you been there before?" Madden asked.

"No. It's a place where..." he paused for a moment and grinned. "A place where no one has gone before."

"Captain's log, stardate 56950.3. It has been six weeks since our battle with the Reman warbird Scimitar in the Bassen Rift. In spite of Praetor Shinzon's coup d'état, it would seem we have been left with several possible avenues for peace with the Romulans. Meanwhile, the Enterprise's orders are to proceed to the Denab system for a routine survey mission."

Picard and Madden were seated at the table in Picard's quarters, finishing up their meal.

"Thanks for the dinner, captain. It was really good," Madden said with a stutter.

"You're welcome, commander," Picard replied. "Getting to know you has been quite… insightful."

Madden hung his head. "I-I'm sorry about earlier today on the bridge, sir. I meant no disrespect..."

"Oh, it's quite alright, commander. Mr. Riker was partially correct – I am casual with the officers that I have come to know and trust. In time, I'm sure you will join them."

"Thank you, sir," he smiled. "Oh, I almost forgot about the remaining unfilled officers' positions," Madden suddenly changed the subject, handing Picard a PADD.

"Operations manager, science officer, and conn officer," Picard read aloud. "Hmm. I believe Mr. Data had recommended Miss Miranda Kadohata as his successor at ops," he remarked.

"Alright."

Picard continued reading over the list of candidates for the other positions. "Joanna Faur served as a training pilot at the Academy. She's received three commendations for her service there."

"S-Sounds like a good choice for the conn."

"Indeed. Do you have any recommendations for a science officer?"

"I'd like to offer Dina Elfiki for you to consider, sir. She's got multiple degrees in physics and astrometrics, and… I've met her personally. She's got a good head on her shoulders, sir."

"Hmm, yes. Her profile did stand out to me. Very well, commander. Inform the three of them of their new assignments."

"Aye, sir. Thanks again for the dinner."

Picard stood and saw him to the door. "It was my pleasure, commander."

...

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