Schematics of the timelines stretched out on the display before him, twitching and shifting as if they were nervous creatures with lives of their own. Black spots would form along their lengths and appear to consume the timeline before exploding into maelstroms of erroneous lines and alternate paths. It was beautiful in a way, but the display was merely a three-dimensional representation of the sudden and destructive forces unleased on time itself. The reality was not as pretty as the glowing lines projected in the air of his ready-room. The reality was war and all its collateral damage, destruction and death.
Captain Walker of the USS Pastak pinched the bridge of his nose and ignored the ever-shifting displays for a moment. The Temporal Accords had been created to halt the very problem now faced by the signatories. His door chimed, drawing him from his musings.
Commander Nereda entered, a stack of PADDs under one arm and a mug of raktajino in her other hand. The Cardassian first officer set the stack of PADDs on a free corner of his desk, hooked a chair with a foot and dragged it over so she could sit across from Walker.
“Well, this is an unmitigated disaster.”
Walker grimaced as the commander said what everyone else was thinking. “Did you find anything?”
Nereda pushed a few PADDs before him and sipped her drink. “A few leads. It’s like trying to find patterns in static. Any word from our esteemed guest from the early 25th century?”
“Nothing so far,” he said with another grimace. He’d been charged with introducing a temporal celebrity to their organization and it had all fallen apart so quickly and so unexpectedly.
“Hmm,” Nereda mused, fingers tapping against her mug. “Well, then I guess we have to start assembling the profiles on our own.”
Walker nodded. “I’ve been trying to figure out the connections we might have missed. Noye had Na’kuhl support for example.”
“The representatives were surprisingly antagonistic,” Nereda said with a frown. “Most Na’kuhl I’ve known through work have been a bit more accepting.”
“Most are,” Walker agreed. “Which makes me think these Na’kuhl might be hardliners. This is the most threatening of the hardline leaders.” He pushed a data PADD across the desk. She picked it up and quickly read through it.
“Vosk?” She questioned. “He hasn’t been conclusively linked to the recent activity, but it’s been speculated he’s been involved.”
Walker nodded. “He’s a temporal terrorist, and he’s opportunistic. What happened at the accords could be a huge opportunity for him. Still, there’s something bothering me about this.”
“One of the more peaceful and secured moments in our history was more or less blown up, Ben,” Nereda said. “There is a lot to be bothered by.” Her tone was teasing but the smile didn’t reach her eyes. Incidents like this could send lasting shockwaves across time. It was a Temporal Agent’s worst nightmare.
“Yes,” he agreed, “But is this an opportunistic coincidence?”
Nereda’s eyes widened. “Do you think there was collusion? He hasn’t worked with others before.”
“At this point, I don’t know. If Vosk is involved and trying to make a move, then it could go either way. He’s smart enough to see things coming and take advantage of them, but he’s also ruthless enough to try to shift things to his benefit.”
“Why? And when would they even have met?”
“That is one of the better questions. I’ve been trying to figure things out since I returned to the ship. I’ve put in a word with Command; they’re sending us an operative with extensive experience in dealing with rogue Na’kuhl elements.”
“Trying to get ahead of them.”
He nodded. “And if this Krenim, this Noye fellow, has managed to collude with some temporal terrorists, well it begs the question, who else has he been speaking with?”
“The Sphere Builders, for one,” said Nereda as she scanned another PADD. “If this after-action report of yours is accurate, Researcher Noye’s timeship is utilizing Builder tech in several key systems.”
Walker pinched the bridge of his nose again. “Considering the Builders’ history, I can’t help but wonder which one is manipulating the other in that relationship.”
“Sounds like we’ll want a word with Daniels on all of this, Ben,” replied Nereda. “He’s had his share of experience dealing with both Vosk and the Builders… more’s the pity, really.”
“Agreed. I’ll make the calls. Hope you don’t have any plans for the next thousand years or so,” Walker managed a thin smile as his first officer grimaced. “It appears we have other plans.”