Aboard Hope, Capt. Rick Barlow is felled by Gerrick, the Red King, whose schemes approach fruition as the crew are transferred to the Crimson Knife. A captive Janelle James attempts a psychic distress call to Amelia Moore, who is fighting for her own life aboard Eternity. The Away team are in the neural hub, engaged in vicious conflict with an army of automated tentacles and pikes. LtCdr. Hocevar is struck in the head, her body sent tumbling by a tentacle seemingly under the command of former captain James Maxwell, now an assimilated husk in the command chair. Burried deep within the unimatrices of the Borg consciousness, Colin Byrne, Jim Maxwell, and the Borg King Sion make strategic moves to set the end game in motion.
On the bridge of Eternity battle rages between the away team and the automated defenses, seemingly driven by the machine incorporated James Maxwell. An odd lapse occurs; Logan uses this as oportunity to assimilate Maxwell with Gen 7 nanoprobes. As both men collapse to the deck, Cdr. Vreenak takes control. LtCdr. Hocevar, suffering the effects of a concussion, makes what moves she can to provide Lt. Scott, crewman Rostham, and others with the control surfaces they need to secure the ship. Aboard the Crimson Knife, Anam offers prayer before being taken to interrogation by Gerrick, the Red King. V’ger is silent, as within the ether world of unimatrices and machine consciousness, Colin Byrne, Jim Maxwell, and the Borg King Sion play out final moves of a game Maxwell proclaims to have inevitable result. Unimatrix 4 flies to ruin, freeing Maxwell of Sion’s grasp to welcome death. Colin’s final struggle is threefold; remove “Eternity” from Sion’s grasp for foreseeable time, salvage the lives at risk in decaying unimatirx six, and visit a seering vengeance upon the Mad God King. Yet, the essence of his own life continues to ebb.
Aboard the Crimson Knife, Lt. Farooqi’s cooperation wins quick respite for himself and Janelle James. Shifting to Eternity, acting Capt. Vreenak orders transport of Hope’s crew. Within the recesses of the Borg consciousness, battle plays out between Sion “Xatrix” Logan and Colin Byrne. Outclassed at every turn, Colin has little recourse other than to hold out, watching in dismay as Sion sets Eternity’s tachyon core to overload. His own link to the data conscience proves useful. Colin orders the erasure of the computer core in which Sion’s root file is hidden. Completing the job is Vreenak Omega One, which lays indiscriminate claim to the final life forces of Sion Logan, Colin Byrne, and the entire machine consciousness of V’ger, ravaging it to unthinking darkness. Eternity’s core builds to critical intensity, setting off fleetwide alarms. Gerrick orders the release of Hope, and immediate withdrawal at warp. After approving a freshly treated Marisol to beam to Engineering, Capt. Vreenak orders collision course with V’ger. Once in Engineering, LtCdr. Hocevar enlists the help of Sarah Jamieson and Jim Maxwell to manually eject the tachyon core. As complications arise, both Jim and Sarah lay down their lives in sacrifice, for their shipmates…for their sins. The ejected core explodes, laying cataclysmic waste to the remaining fleets, and sweeping space clear of any evidence of battle. The Dyson sphere survives, it’s surface scrubbed clean of any soil or life. “Eternity” and “Hope” are nowhere to be found.
Six years have passed since the remarkable events that returned USS Eternity, USS Hope, and the crew to the Alpha Quadrant. In that time, Cdr. Owen Scott has won a high level teaching post, the love of his life, and the joys of a young family. The Calmest persona is now freed from within Scott’s mind, and lives an autonomous existence as a well known photonic being. Talla Vreenak has returned to the Ildius system to help oversee the rebirth and growth of the Romulan Empire. Though he quietly shuns the title “Ambassador,” he espouses cooperation and alliance with the Federation as the most surefire means to the Empire’s longevity. Assisting him with this task is his wife of 5 years, Capt. Marisol Vreenak. She has been assigned as Lliason officer, and walks a tightrope to honor both her allegiances, and her husband. For her mission, StarFleet has provided USS Hope.
Hope returns to the Ildius System, to meet first a smuggler who has mended his ways, and then to find surprise in the sudden arrival of a Sabre Class vessel, the Erika Hernandez. Curious, Capt. Vreenak invites her CO to meet after docking, to find another surprise in the form of an old friend, now Commander Owen Scott. Along with her new Yeoman, PO3 Gabriella Adelaide, Marisol and Ambassador Talla Vreenak discuss the nature of Scott’s mission, and the delicate political balance that is the regrowing Romulan Empire. Back on Earth, Rick Barlow concludes the day’s teaching, Soon, he’ll be at home, with wife Amelia and daughter Maddie. Yet now, his eye is drawn to an odd communication from an organization called “The Aegis Group.” Their operative, Henry Okafor, comes fresh from a corporate kidnapping rescue. Now he learns of the missing USS Eternity, and StarFleet’s desire to retain his emplyer’s, and his services. From Listening Post 221, Okafor gathers evidence, and considers the talent he’ll need for the pursuit.