Into Shark Infested Waters

Captain's Log:
We have reached Starbase 435 and are in the process of picking up our new Commander, Nathaniel Kine, a Post-Borg with extensive experience reintegrating into human society.

"So do you know what this Kine guy looks like?" Vex asked as she and Cam stepped onto the starbase.

"We'll know him when we see him." Cam replied.

And indeed they did. Commander Nathaniel Kine wasn't hard to pick out in a crowd. He was a tall specimen, with some of the most extensive Borg implants they had ever seen in a single individual. Cam recalled in Kine's dossier that around 80% of his body had been replaced by Borg cybernetics. So much so that attempting to remove them would've killed him. Which made the fact that Kine looked nothing like a Borg rather impressive. The surgeons had no doubt done their best to make him look as non-Borg as possible.

Even then, he wasn't winning any beauty contests. His lower jaw had been removed and a cybernetic apparatus had been installed that allowed him to eat, drink, speak, etc. It was a jarring sight. And his voice even more jarring when he spoke in a synthesized voice.

"Captain Gunner. Pleasure to meet you." Kine offered his more human hand to Cam.

Cam shook it, "The pleasure is mine, Commander. Are you ready to board the Osiris?"

"Affirmative." Kine nodded and made his way to the docking tube.

Vex looked at cam with an eyebrow raised. "I think I'm going to like him."

----

https://media.moddb.com/images/mods/1/22/21329/ScreenShot_861.jpg

Saren sat in the captain's chair aboard the USS Pericles, a Defiant-class that Janeway had assigned to him. The crew was bare bones, just enough to man the ship and aid Saren in his mission. His XO, a stern-looking woman named Wilco, seemed displeased with the current situation, but maintained a professional attitude about it.

"What's our ETA?" Saren asked the helmsman, a Bajoran named Olan.

"We'll reach Zandar in thirteen minutes." Olan responded.

"Good, once we break out of warp engage the cloak so we aren't detected." Saren said. Janeway had spared no expense on the Pericles, this thing had more illegal tech in it than a smuggler's scow. The cloak was on loan from the Romulans, and while they weren't in any position to enforce the ban on cloaking technology the Federation was kind enough to continue to follow it, but this was a special case. The Pericles was also armed with red matter torpedoes from the Klingons and ablative armor arrays that, according to Janeway, weren't from this century.

She wasn't messing around.

The Pericles cloaked after exiting warp, and Saren leered at the viewscreen as it showed him a picture of a large gas giant with a habitable moon orbiting around it. The moon was Tau-Vega IV, and somewhere on the surface was a secret Section 31 outpost...

Saren stood, "Wilco, you have the conn. Saunders, Raxis, with me."

"What do you plan to do, Commander?" Wilco asked.

"Assess the situation..." Saren said with a hint of concern in his voice.

----

"Captain, you have a message waiting for you in your ready room." Nalah said.

Cam frowned and made his way there, and when he activated the console he was met with a face he didn't expect to see.

"Cam." R'ana said plainly.

"Hey." Cam said plainly. There was an awkward pause.

"I heard you got a new ship." R'ana finally broke the silence

"Yeah."

"Like it?"

"It's not the Titan."

R'ana finally smiled slightly. "I can't believe you miss that old piece of junk."

"It was home for us all when we didn't have a home." Cam said.

"True..." Again another awkward pause.

"So I take it you didn't call to wax nostalgic?" Cam finally said. His stomach was doing back flips.

R'ana's features stiffened. "I'm calling because there's something... something's going on. I'm being sent to the Zandar sector to look into some missing ships."

"Klingon ships sometimes do that." Cam said bluntly, with a hint of disdain.

"But here's the thing. Zandar was a sort of taboo word back when I was working in Starfleet Intelligence. No one wanted to talk about it."

"Do you know why?"

"No, but I did some research. And I was threatened with treason if I looked into it any further. Whatever is going on there, I don't think it's good." The look on R'ana's face told Cam that she was extremely anxious. He had never seen her like that, and that scared him.

"What do you want me to do?" Cam said.

"Having someone I trust watching my back would be nice." R'ana said.

"Consider it done." Cam said without hesitation.

R'ana looked almost surprised. Her face softened and her lower lip quivered ever so slightly. She didn't think he'd be so willing to jump into this. Knowing he was had taken her aback. "Thank you, Cam."

"I'll notify Starfleet. Say we got word of a distress signal. We'll meet you at Zandar."

R'ana nodded, and then another long, awkward pause. Then she forced a smile. "I'll wait for you there. Edison out..."

"Wait." Cam stopped her. "It's good to see you... Really... I'm glad you're doing okay."

R'ana nodded and tried searching for words. And when she failed she forced another smile. "I'm glad... as well..." She shook her head in frustration.

"It's okay. I know." Cam said softly. "This isn't easy for me either."

R'ana nodded and yet again a gulf of silence spanned the time between then and the next moment she spoke. "I should go..."

Cam sighed and nodded. "Be seeing you."

"Be seeing you." R'ana said before cutting the transmission.

Cam pressed is comm badge. "Nalah, change of plans. Set a course for the Zandar system. Maximum warp."

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