A gradual change

This takes place one thousand years after the events of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Now? There is a new Enterprise in space. The crew? Captain James Barnabas,CMO Sonny Degrias, Commander B-4, second commander Jacob Strong, Holoprogram Chief Security 2.97,and Chief Engineer Rebeca Stern to name a few. This takes place aboard the Enterprise-Z.

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8. It starts with hello

 “Hello, B-4,” Adrian said. He was in his ready room. “How is your captain?”

B-4 appeared to be grim.

“He is the reason I called you,” B-4 said. “You are in orbit around Cardassia Seven, correct?”

“Yes.” Adrian said, then he takes a sip of his dark black coffee.

And Adrian listens to what the android has to say.

“My captain is in captivity on Cardassia Seven and his impostor has refused to name where he is . . .”

Adrian spat out what he had drank.

"Hold your horses,B-4!" Adrian said. "Did you just say that Barnabas is currently a captive on Cardassia Seven?"

B-4 nodded.

"Affirmative, sir."

"The man who evaded Romulon capture, escaped a career ending court martial, and went through time travel more than I can count has BEEN CAPTURED?"

"Affirmative, sir."

"I will personally join the search party."

"And sir, make them pay. They were about to instigate a war between the Romulons and Star Fleet."

Adrian nodded.

"I will." Adrian said.

"B-4 out." B-4 said.

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

. . . 25 Minutes later. . .

"It could be a trap, Captain!" Adrian's First Officer Jordan La Forge stressed.

"They do not expect us to search the tunnels." Adrian said.

"My duty is to make sure you don't die," Jordan said. "Your duty is to the ship and the crew," Jordan tapped on the middle of his hand. "I have a duty to ensure the captain of this ship remain alive for the change." Rygork came into the transport room with three other security personnel. Adrian and Rygork shared a single look. No telepathic connection. Just one look. "And I am going to make sure that I go instead--"

Jordan fell back into Rygork's arms.

"Put him against the wall," Adrian said.

Rygork shared a nod to the other security guards  (who, by the way) were all highly  trained Klingons. Their names were Cognito, Jarrett, and Worf. This Worf is not in any way related to Admiral Worf formerly stationed on The Enterprise D  and Deep Space Nine. Rygork carefully placed Jordan against the wall. Rygork approached the transporter. Then he walked up the steps and came to Adrian's side. With a simple nod toward the transport chief, they were beamed down to the surface.

They were beamed down near  a park.

At the park were Cardassian couples.

"Do not alert them," Adrian instructed the crew. They were all dressed, casually, to blend into society. Their phasers kept in bulky long pockets that did not allow to be seen. Their shapes could not be distinguished, simply put, from the wrinkles on the fabric. "If anything, alert me through the telepathic phone if you find a cave with a anti-Cardassian half-breed symbol."

"Yes, sir." The three said.

The group split up save for Adrian and Rygork.

Have you told Clair about your recent discovery?, Rygork questioned Adrian.

Adrian frowned, as they were walking over the bridge.

Of course not!, Adrian replied, How do I tell my wife that after thirteen years of marriage I have discovered that  I do not like the opposite gender?

Rygork sighed.

You have to tell her before the change occurs and she finds out for herself, Rygork looked over to see rigid themed geese swimming, A major reason why you do not want children with.

Adrian got in Rygork's way.

Don't put it that way, Adrian insisted.

Rygork frowned.

Which way?, Rygork asked, It makes you seem more aware of your sexual preference? Or you not wanting to have a child with Clair?

"Enough."  Adrian said.

"Of which?" Rygork asked.

"This!" Adrian said. "If we are going to make this work, I need time to say it and figure out the best way to tell her! It is not easy keeping a secret from Clair."

"Let me make it easier for you, Janeway," Rygork said. "We will not continue this affair until you own up to it."

Rygork left Adrian.

Adrian sighed, raising his mental barriers up so high not the most advanced telepath could get through.

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

. . . 45 minutes later.  .

Cognito found the cave, and so he alerted everyone through the telepathic phone. Worf responded,Rygork responded,Jarrett responded,and Adrian not so much. He had to comm him using the combadge. Cardassia Seven, really, does not allow telepathic communication only verbal speaking. If anyone were found to be telepathically speaking they would face a fine and brig time. It turned out that Adrian was close by. Adrian listened intently to the instructions then ended the communication afterwards.

Cognito traveled into the tunnel, careful to not make a sound, searching for any opposing Cardassians.

He kept this up for thirty-two minutes.

Mr Cognito?, He heard the captain's voice, where are you?

Further down, Cognito replied, Be careful.

That is exactly the same thing Rygork told me, Adrian mused.

I believe I am getting closer,  Cognito speculated, I will clear a path if there need to be.

Allright Cognito.

Cognito went further and further into the cave.

". . Slap me. . ." He heard a voice.

Cognito heard skin against skin making the sound of 'smack'!

"Better?" Christi said.

"Harder." Barnabas said.

Smack!

"You realize even with recovering from your wounds we will make more in you," Christi said. "To jolt the DNA to our friend Folker."

"My crew know me best," Barnabas said. "They have likely figured out what is going on."

Christi wrapped her fingers around Barnabas's neck.

"Or I can just murder you here and scrap the plan," Christi said. "Never was  a team player in cognito."

The shape of disruptor was raised in the direction of cognito.

"What?" Barnabas said.

Cognito is shot through the forehead making him fall to the ground lifelessly. His fall was silent. A secondary Cardassian drags the dead body to the side. The passage way was long wide and tall enough for someone of seven foot nine to be walking around in. A metal mouth clamp is applied to Barnabas's face in attempt to prevent him from sending out a warning. The  secondary Cardassian noticed the torso glowing a light blue haze slowly being replaced by a pure white color.

"The body."

"What about it?"

"It is preparing to evolve!"

Christi sighed.

"But he is dead," Christi said. "Dead means no life."

Cognito's chest moved up and down after a brief glow in his forehead. His entire body glowed a perfect white color. Now keep in mind Barnabas is unable to see a thing. Evolution, Barnabas believed, was the change in appearance not solidity being taken away.  Far as he was concerned, nothing was happening but something WAS happening.  He heard the sound of a body falling to the rocky surface. The body of Cognito  transformed into a mystical glowing white ball with curly energy tails radiating off the center.

Then Cognito flew out through the ceiling.

There were gasps escaping from what sounded to be a lot of other Cardassians.

"Hide," Christi said. "With the prisoner. There may be more where he came from."

"No! I have a better idea. . . Why not . . ." Their voices hushed to barely a whisper.

Barnabas then was dragged and dropped against a rigid surface with his hands tied behind his back. Barnabas can feel his large hands brushed up against a hard surface. He could smell his captors were close by. The hums of machines were low and slightly obscure. Barnabas can hear the sound of light bootsteps. Two pairs. One belonged to a light-weight man. The second boot-step belonged to someone fairly tall, weighed more than the average human, and their boots did not make the same creaking sound as their counterpart.

“Jim!”

It was Adrian.

No.

NO!

Barnabas heard the fire of a disruptor and the clash of a body landing followed suit.

“NO!” Adrian shouted, exchanging phaser fire.

Barnabas heard the mouth clamp be burned off right off his mouth leaving burn marks on the side of his face. Barnabas could hear a demand for reinforcement in his mind from Adrian to the still alive guards. He had a rough idea where everyone was in the room. His ankles, apparently, were bound together. It was difficult for his shoulder blades to be clashed together in his position. Barnabas can feel his wrists were stiff just barely regaining the ability to move.

Rygork, don’t leave me!, Adrian plead.

. . . Janeway, Rygork weakly thought stroking the side of his lovers face, it is my time to evolve. I can feel it.

Rygork, please!, Adrian plead.

Barnabas felt a sharp pain in his forehead and then he lost all senses.

Barnabas was falling.

Down where?

Barnabas possibly would not know where.

Then the fall abruptly stopped making Barnabas seemingly float in darkness.

That is also when Barnabas could hear a big booming powerful and familiar voice from all around.

You must stay,” Barnabas heard Treylane's voice. Someone had grabbed his right hand. A warm and cozy feeling was attached to the hand. “It is fun and all watching you fall, but there are plenty of things you have to oversee in the land of the living.”

What possibly did Barnabas have left to accomplish?

Being human.” Barnabas heard the vague reply.

The warm hand let go of Barnabas's right wrist.

And Barnabas screamed at the top of his lungs.

Oh that's when the captain heard a roar of laughter.

"You are so easy to scare,Cardassian!"  He heard Treylane's voice in the middle of the laughter.

Afraid.

It was then that Barnabas realized he wasn't flying but being blown. The wind blowing against him. He was going in the opposite direction!  He felt light. But the light feeling was bound to leave. He then crash landed in what felt heavy. Bound to the ground. Barnabas could feel his shoulders, his hands, his heart racing, and what seemed to be blood trickling down his head over his closed eye lids. Barnabas heard the rush of boots beating against the floor scuffling in a way. The influx of orders being exchanged were at first confusing to Barnabas’s ears. Barnabas heard what sounded to be phasers burning away at the binds around his ankles and wrists.

“Janeway to Voyager, two to beam up!” Adrian shouted.

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