Honor Among Warriors:
The Gryphon Story

By Lt. Col. William D. Smith <Grifter77@aol.com>
Commanding Officer, USS Gryphon

Chapter 13: Interrogation

Commander VanEseltine walked with the Security detail escorting Ensign Cook from her quarters.  The team was making sure she did not become a menace, killing more crew members, on her way to questioning.  In the Gryphon's brig, Sgt. Pruden lowered the security field of a holding cell and motioned Cook into it.  A part of his security team had their phasers trained on her in case she tried something foolish.  They would not hesitate to stun her if things went wrong.

Cook slowly sat on the bed in the cell and looked at Pruden in disgust.  She shook her head and spit at his feet.  "You and your ship are doomed, along with the rest of the Alpha Quadrant!"

Pruden reached out and pushed her against the wall.  His voice evidenced his rage barely held in check.  "Lay down and shut up, you traitorous witch.  We'll deal with you soon enough."

Pruden then walked out of the cell and reactivated its security field.  The shimmering field was a sad sight to Cook's eyes.  She knew they had caught her.  Still, she was already going through plans in her mind to get out of the cell.

VanEseltine tapped his comm badge and got the bridge. "VanEseltine to Johnson.  Have you regained control of the ship?"

"Johnson here.  We have contained boarding parties, but the ship is still defenseless.  I'm rigging a holo imager into the viewers to try and let the other ship think the Romulans have control of it.  We had the computer capture Demar's image and Lieutenant Higdon is loading it into the system right now.  By the time they figure out what is going on, we can board that ship and take it down."

"Well, we have our saboteur here.  An Ensign Cook was the culprit.  She planted the virus into the computer and I plan on getting more info out of her so we can get that thing out of the computer.  I'll need some assistance, though.  Can you please send down the Diplomatic Corps and Counselor Alcumbrack?"

"Yes, Commander, I'll do that.  They are on their way.  Now if I could only get some power to the weapons, we would be all set."

"Well, do what you can.  I'll see what we can do down here.  VanEseltine out."

VanEseltine stared into the cell directly at Ensign Cook and she just laid there with a small grin on her face.  This was not very comforting to him.

Lieutenant Higdon finished her work on the holo imager and turned to Johnson.  "Well Commander, I've hooked it up to speak just like Demar did.  All you have to do is talk and the computer will copy and transmit in the voice and image of Demar. Now, while you do that, I'm gonna keep working on the computer to see if I can break this virus."

Johnson stood there with her arms crossed.  She looked at the view screen staring at the Romulan Bird of Prey that was sitting there waiting to finish them off.  She still did not know why the Romulans would pull such an unprovoked maneuver such as this.  To her, the Romolans' move was illogical, and Romulans were just as logical as Vulcans.  Something big must be going down for them to do this.  She then looked at Higdon.  "Well, good.  Keep it up. Inform me immediately of any changes in our status."

Higdon acknowledged with a nod of her head and went back to work.  Johnson then walked over to Commander Jasienski, Lieutenant Kennard, and Counselor Alcumbrack.  She rested her hands on her hips.  "Well ladies, we have found the traitor and they have her secured her in the brig.  Now we need your 'talents'.  And find out all you can about what is going on down there."

Kennard smiled a little.  "Oh goodie.  It's been a while since I got to utilize my so-called 'talents' and put them to good use."

Jasienski chuckled a little.  "You just can't wait to get down to business can you?  Well, this time I get to play bad cop."

Kennard shook her head and said, "Uh uh.  Remember, I'm the bad cop and you're the good cop.  It's how we do it."

Counselor Alcumbrack put her arms around both of the feuding ladies and chimed in, "Look here, ladies.  I'm putting a stop to this right now.  I'm gonna be the bad cop and you two are gonna be my cronies.  Ya got it?"

Kennard and Jasienski looked at each other and laughed a little as they made their way toward the turbo lift.

Back on Deep Space Nine, Dr. Bashir managed to save Captain Sisko from his grave wound and he was doing fine and in stable condition.  Captain Seals was still up in Ops making sure things were going as planned.  Lt. Colonel Smith had managed to mop up the remaining Romulan forces and secure the station as well as help down in Engineering to get the shield generators repaired.

"Captain Seals, long range scanners detect two incoming Romulan ships," said Dax.

Seals straightened up.  "On screen.  Maximum magnification."

The view screen lit up with two Romulan Birds of Prey coming in quickly toward the station.  Seals looked over at Kira. "Major, can you raise the Gryphon?"

Kira fingered her console then slammed it with her fist. "No, sir.  The signal is being jammed at the source."

Seals was afraid of this.  He moved over toward the control panels and stood by, deciding what he should do.  He then looked over to Kira again.  "Major, hail Commander Worf."

"Aye aye, sir," said Kira as she brought up Worf's face on the view screen.

Worf's ridged head stared back at Seals.  "Yes, Captain."

"Commander Worf, I need you to intercept those two Romulan ships coming in toward the station.  We have most things fixed here, but we still need some more time.  Dispatch them or drive them away from the station.  Then I want you to scan for the Gryphon and investigate why we lost communications with them."  Seals crossed his arms behind his back.

Worf gave a slight nod.  "It shall be done."

The view screen switched back to the approaching Romulan ships.  Seals walked over and stood beside Kira.  "Has Starfleet gotten back to us yet, Major?"

Kira shook her head in disappointment.  "Well, sir, they said that the closest forces they have to us are three days away at warp eight.  We are on our own.  Now, I did manage to put in a call to a Klingon Bird of Prey, the Assailer, which offered their assistance if we need it."

Seals moved back to the control panel and looked around and the damage that the station had suffered.  He wondered how this would look on his record, coming on board the most important space station in the Alpha Quadrant only to have it attacked and boarded while the so-called Emissary lie unconscious and dying. Seals then asked himself what kind of Liberty he had gotten himself into.

The Defiant cloaked and made its way toward the Romulan vessels.  Worf sat in the Captain's chair with both arms on the chair's armrests, staring intently at the view screen as he waited for the perfect time to leap upon the Romulans.  Worf hated the Romulans who attacked unprovoked and without honor.  He would deal with them in his own way.  The Defiant had a good crew aboard and they trusted his leadership.  He expected to lead them to a proud victory this day.

"Sir, we will be in weapons range in two minutes.  When do you want us to release the cloak?" asked Decker, the Helmsman.

"Mr. Decker, when you achieve phaser lock on the lead vessel, drop out of warp, disengage the cloak and fire at will."

Decker looked back at the screen ahead and pushed fields on his control panel.  "Aye aye, sir."

Worf was very happy, for he was in battle.  He preferred to do it hand-to-hand, but good old-fashioned ship-to-ship combat was good for his tactical experience.  He looked around at his crew and made sure everything was in order for them to commence their attack.

Suddenly the Romulan ships started firing their disruptors at the cloaked Defiant, missing it wildly.  Decker used evasive maneuvers to avoid most of the disruptor bolts, keeping the ship cloaked and on course.

Ensign Shields looked over at Worf.  "Sir, I believe they picked us up on their tachyon scans.  It seems that we took some damage in the last fight and we leaked a little plasma.  I'm trying to find the source and get it repaired."

Worf swung his chair around and looked sternly at Shields. "Why was I not notified of this?  And why did this go unnoticed?"

Shields looked a little weary.  "Sir, the computer did not find the leak when it ran diagnostics.  It may have just ruptured by itself."

It was too late to worry about it now.  Now, they were too close for that matter anyway.  The Defiant decloaked and came on, phasers blazing.

Kennard, Jasienski, and Alcumbrack made their way to the brig. Commander VanEseltine and Sgt. Pruden had moved Ensign Cook out of her holding cell and restrained her with a security field while she sat on a chair behind a table.  The three women moved toward the table.  The Counselor sat directly in front of Cook while Jasienski and Kennard flanked Cook on either side.

Cook stared blankly ahead, but spoke.  "Well, well, well. It seems I must be important, to have three Starfleet Female officers interrogate me, instead of one male officer.  You are so pathetic.  I will not yield any information to you."

Kennard adjusted her glasses with her right finger then got right in the face of Cook, the security shield keeping her at a short distance.  "You will tell us all we need to know or you will get first hand experience of what it feels like outside an airlock!"

Jasienski leaned against the wall and nodded, "Look, Cook, you better listen to her.  When she gets on a roll, I can't even stop her."

"I'm sensing some pain and fear from you, Ensign Cook.  Do you feel pain and fear right now, at the situation you are in?" asked Counselor Alcumbrack.

Cook looked at Alcumbrack coldly, then looked up toward the ceiling and said nothing.

Alcumbrack smiled a little.  "Look, sister, we ain't got all year.  My advice to you is for you to cooperate in any way you know how, because you are hip deep in a pile of you-know-what. And if you don't start singing, that you-know-what is gonna get a whole lot deeper."

Cook looked back at Alcumbrack and managed a weak smile. "You humans have such colorful sayings, but you don't realize that what I tell you is meaningless.  You and your ship are doomed."

"Let us be the judge of that," chimed in Kennard who started to play with an electric shock stick.

Jasienski spoke again, "Cook, listen to reason.  We aren't here to kill you or push you out an airlock, despite to my partner's wishes.  So tell us what we need to know and they'll go easier on you at your court martial."

Cook turned her attention to Jasienski.  "Look, I know nothing.  I am nothing and you soon will be nothing, in the grand scheme of things."

Kennard lost it again.  She slammed the stick on the table startling Cook in the process.  "Now look here! Unless you start fessing up, you are gonna regret it"

Alcumbrack motioned for Kennard to back off, which she did hesitantly.  The Counselor then spoke again to Cook.  "Now, Ensign Cook.  You realize that, sooner or later, we will get the information out of your head.  We don't have a Vulcan on board or we would have them do a mind meld on you, so you lucked out there.  However, when we arrive back at Deep Space Nine, we can extract the information with chemical means and the side effects won't be very pretty, if you get the picture."

Cook laughed aloud.  "Your precious little station will be just a memory to all because, right now, superior Romulan forces are attacking it."

Alcumbrack looked over at VanEseltine who walked away from the interrogation to call up to the Bridge.  "VanEseltine to Johnson."

"Johnson here."

"Commander, have you established communications yet?  We need to warn the station that those other Romulan ships are on the way to Deep Space Nine."

"I've tried all channels, Commander.  It seems the other Romulan ship is jamming our comm system.  All we get is static."

VanEseltine thought for a second.  "See if you can get Chief Marchant to rig up a special comm unit that can bypass those signals."

"Aye aye.  Johnson out."

VanEseltine then walked back over to supervise the interrogation.

"Look here, Cook.  I feel for you.  I really do.  But you have to realize the situation you have gotten yourself into here. An act of treason is a serious crime and without your cooperation, we won't be able to help you," said Alcumbrack soothingly.

Cook looked a little less stern and finally sank her head. "You know, I was raised by Romulans for many many years.  My family was massacred by the Romulans during an unknown raid into some outbound colonies.  I was raised to serve the Romulan Empire. When I got older, they wanted me to join Starfleet and let them have an insider to help feed them intelligence and data.  This was to be my last mission.  I am plagued with a fatal disease that has no known cure and my last act of desperation was to sabotage this vessel."

Kennard moved in slowly.  "Now we are getting somewhere."

"What purpose does the Romulan Empire have by attacking Federation stations and ships?" asked Jasienski.

"Well, you see," said Cook, "this is just a test run.  The big show is on the horizon."

Alcumbrack looked puzzled, "What do you mean by 'the big show', Cook?"

Cook looked back at her.  "Domination of the Alpha Quadrant by Dominion and Romulan forces, with some help from the measly Cardassians."

All three interrogators looked at each other in shock.  From what they were hearing, the Romulan government was siding with the Dominion to help take over the Alpha Quadrant.  Kennard was not satisfied.  "Why would your government give up all it has to join the Dominion, when you know they will soon turn on you?"

Cook stirred a little in her chair.  "Well, the fact is, we are going to be masters of the Alpha Quadrant.  The Dominion have plans to pacify the Delta Quadrant, which they feel is in need of it as well.  They feel the Alpha Quadrant makes good pickings, but we made an arrangement to be Wardens of it for them.  Thus Romulan rule would be absolute."

Jasienski spoke up.  "How did your forces enter Federation space so easily . . . without getting detected by our forward observation posts and front line trip wires?  Cloaking is not enough."

Cook shook her head as she smiled.  "We are not alone in this endeavor.  You should look to yourselves for the answer to that question."

Kennard looked at Jasienski and motioned for her to follow her out of the brig.  Jasienski followed her, leaving Cook, Alcumbrack, Pruden, and VanEseltine in the room.  Alcumbrack asked another question.  "Cook, can you give us the details of your next attack?"

"Boy, you better get me off of these charges or something, because what I'm gonna tell you is gonna get me in some hot water."

"You are already in hot water," VanEseltine pointed out.  "Tell us what they plan next."

"I am privy to only the information pertinent to my mission, but I can tell you this.  Your ship has a shadow, and if I were you I would go into the light as soon as I can.  You will find a Romulan staging base on the third moon in the Dextar system.  You will find all that you will need to know from there. Now, that is all that I can tell you because that is all I know. Please make my death a painless quick one, because this disease is eating me up from the inside out."

Alcumbrack told Pruden to turn off the security field and he did so hesitantly.  She then walked over and gave Cook a hug.  Cook resisted at first but then returned it.  Alcumbrack then whispered into her ear, "Missy, if you are lying to us, you won't have to worry about the courts.  I will pass judgment myself.  Now, I'm sorry about your disease, but I hope you didn't start the end of the Alpha Quadrant."

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Honor Among Warriors: The Gryphon Story, © 1998 by William D. Smith, is reproduced from the April 1998 issue of Gryphon Trek Gazette with permission.
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