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United Federation of Planets

Mission 01: "Changes"

The U.S.S. Gladiator is ordered to escort the I.K.S. T'Mahg, a Klingon K'Vort-class Bird-of-Prey through Klingon space to Avalon Fleetyards. Upon arrival there, several technical schematics will be transferred to Avalon for development and construction.  There is no explanation as to why a Federation ship must escort a Klingon vessel through Klingon space. Also, there is no indication of what the schematics are of.
     While escorting the T'Mahg through their space, there is an accident in the science lab aboard the Gladiator. Several crew members are injured and the accident appears to have been caused by an acidic slime-like substance. Also found in the science lab were traces of Romulan DNA.
     Later, the same black acidic substance is found in Engineering. It eats through a plasma conduit casing. The result of this is an explosion the severely burns Chief Engineer Riley. He is rushed to sickbay for treatment.
     Further analysis of the acidic substance reveals that it is alive.
     Outside of the Gladiator, a spatial distortion is detected. Chief Science Officer Rager goes to the bridge to study the phenomena while Runabout Pilot Kinslayer is in the Mess Hall watching the distortion. Kinslayer feels he should get to the bridge in case his expertise as Acting Helmsman will be needed in moving the Gladiator away from the distortion. In the turbolift, he hears the turbolift car scrape against the turboshaft wall. As he exits the turbolift onto the bridge, the turbolift car falls the nine decks to the bottom of the primary hull, directly above torpedo tube one. Several crewmen are injured when the turbolift car impacts on Deck 9.
     On the bridge, the distortion is on the viewscreen. Ensign Rager is studying it when a photon torpedo inexplicably fires at it. The torpedo misses the distortion by a few meters and explodes behind it. The shockwave hits the distortion and actually stabilizes it into a more solid form, a Romulan Warbird.
     Captain Pitt hails the Warbird but there is only disruptor fire in response. The two vessels exchange fire. Pitt again hails the Warbird, this time with a photon torpedo lock. After there is no response, Lieutenant Cavazos fires the torpedo, but it remains in the torpedo bay. The life-form has migrated to torpedo tube two. Pitt orders the ship to come about in order to bring the aft tubes to bear. While this is happening, the Warbird prepares to fire a torpedo at the Gladiator. Instead of firing, the Romulan torpedo explodes in the tube, destroying much of the ship. The crew comes to the conclusion that the Romulan Warbird is infected with the same acidic life-form as the Gladiator.
     The Warbird captain hails the Gladiator and warns Captain Pitt to move off because he has just activated the autodestruct system on the Warbird. Pitt has the Gladiator move off and attempts to hail the T'Mahg to warn them as well. It is then learned that the T'Mahg is gone, she had cloaked just after the first shots from the Romulans.
     Once the Gladiator is safe, the crew waits for the Warbird to explode. I doesn't. The life-form board their vessel must have infiltrated their autodestruct system.
      Now the T'Mahg has decloaked and is on an attacking run to the crippled Warbird. Pitt warns her off but is ignored. She begins firing on the Warbird. Pitt is left with no

choice but to fire on the T'Mahg. He orders Cavazos to fire phasers at minimal power. Instead, due to a life-form  infection, the phasers fire at much higher than full power. The resulting blast tears the head off of the Bird-of-Prey and kills almost all Klingons on board. The Gladiator beams aboard the survivors from both ships to Cargo bay 2 for emergency medical relief. 
     On the bridge, Kinslayer is upset at the destruction of the Warbird. He informs everyone that his father was the Captain of that ship. Being half Vulcan, he keeps his emotions under control. Rager is sent to sickbay to look for a way to combat the life-forms. On his way there, he discovers that Kinslayer's panel is about to explode, but is too late in warning him. The panel explodes and Kinslayer is beamed to sickbay for treatment. Commander Torek and Ensign Lenares are beamed to the T'Mahg in environmental suits to recover the schematics from the computer core. They successfully transmit the schematics to Avalon via subspace.
     In sickbay, all communications are cut off. Shortly after, a second life-form appears, this time a yellow one. Dr. Benong and Ensigns Rager and Kinslayer are forced to retreat. Just before leaving, Rager feels this is a unique time to study the life-forms. He pulls out his tricorder to examine the yellow life-form. It attacks and seriously injures his arm. Now all three crewmen flee sickbay.
     Dr. Benong meets with Captain Pitt and Counselor Brussel to discuss the possibilities of this life-form. It is decided that the life-form is probably intelligent, based on its behavior. Also decided, is that Kinslayer should have some time alone with his father.
     Kinslayer and Rager, after being separated from Benong in the Jeffries tube, made their way to a corridor not far from Transporter room one. There, an acidic smell is noticed coming from Rager's arm. A third life-form, this time a blue one, emerges from his arm. Kinslayer and Rager run to the transporter room to beam the life-form off of Rager's arm. They successfully beam the life-form to a containment area in Cargo Bay 2. Before they can beam Rager himself there for treatment, the power to the transporter room is interrupted. Then the yellow life-form eats through the door and attacks. Somehow the power is returned to the transporter and Kinslayer is successful is beaming the yellow life-form into space, where the vacuum kills it.
     Kinslayer and Rager are beamed to the temporary sickbay for treatment. They then study the blue life-form. They discover that this life-form has traces of Rager's DNA encoded within its own. Also, this one is capable of surviving a vacuum. Now, the black life-form infects the Cargo Bay systems and opens the space door. Thankfully the forcefield remains up. Cargo Bay 2 is evacuated and all of the Romulan and Klingon survivors are moved to Cargo Bay 1. Only then does the forcefield fall. Also, the containment field holding the blue life-form falls and it is sucked into space by the decompression of the cargo bay. Unlike the yellow life-form, the blue one does not die, but hangs suspended off the starboard beam of the Gladiator...alive.
     Ensign Kinslayer is finally put to work at his designated duties of Runabout Pilot. He is sent in the Runabout Tigris to retrieve the blue life-form. His father accompanies him in order to give them some time alone. Just after beaming the life-form aboard the Tigris into a containment field, another Romulan Warbird decloaks and tractors in the Tigris before the Gladiator can react. Through an open comm link to the Tigris, the crew of the Gladiator learns that the black life-form was developed by the Romulans as a first strike weapon against the Klingons. For several months, both the Klingons and the Romulans had been preparing for war with each other. The Klingons had planned to have Starfleet build new battleships at Avalon Fleetyards. They assumed that Starfleet would side with the Klingon Empire in the conflict. When the Gladiator rendezvoused with the T'Mahg, the Romulans secretly beamed the black life-form to the Gladiator Science Lab in hopes that it would consume the ship and crew and produce a higher life-form. In many ways, it did. The Romulans came to claim the blue life-form.
     The Gladiator pursues the Warbird into Romulan space. A marine boarding party, along with Ensign Rager, boards the Warbird and retrieves Kinslayer. After fleeing the Warbird in the Tigris, the boarding party returns to the Gladiator. Then, four Klingon attack cruisers and three Romulan Warbirds decloak and a battle ensues. Rather than be caught in the middle, the Gladiator flees toward Avalon. At the first M-class planet, the Romulan and Klingon survivors are put off the ship and the life-forms are beams into space at warp speed, killing them.
     In the officer's lounge, a fight breaks out among some crew members about whether the Gladiator should have stayed and fought or not. In the fight, one crew member is accidentally vaporized. Upon investigation, it is found that the vaporized crewman is in fact another life-form.
     The U.S.S. Gladiator soon arrives at Avalon Fleetyards and has the Klingon battleship specifications deleted.