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.