Star Trek: New Horizons

1.01 - “Jump”

written by Travis Cannon

Jack Keller blinked.


The lights were red.

He eased himself up from the floor and the wailing of the alert klaxons bellowed across the damaged bridge. Keller spun around as sparks flew from the bulkhead above.

“Captain!?” he cried.

Keller looked across the bridge at the command chair, and there he was. Captain Gavin Pryce sat slumped in his chair, blood pouring from his head. Keller rushed over and placed his finger on Pryce's neck, feeling for a pulse.

There was none.

The captain was dead.

“Anyone else still here!” Keller called out as he pulled himself over to the executive officer's chair.

“Commander?” came a weak voice from behind the helm. Keller jumped down and dived over the helm terminal. Behind it he found Ensign Manny Hakim. He had a bruise on his left check, but other than that he was fine.

“Can you stand?”

“Yes, sir,” Hakim said.

Hakim took his place behind the helm console, and Keller sat down on the navigation/operations console. “Looks like we're the only bridge crew left.”

The helmsman examined his console. “Shields are down to 78 percent,” Hakim read out the damage report. “Life support is down on seven decks. Weapons inoperable.”

“Damn!” Keller bit his lip.

An alert beeped from the console in front of him. Keller looked down. “Those bastards seem to be come back for more?”


“Is the drive charged?”

Hakim looked down at the terminal. “89 percent of stage one charge, sir.”

“Good enough,” Keller said. “Computer, Activate jump drive.”

“Activating,” came the calm computer voice.

Ensign Hakim look down at the display before him and watched as stage one power charge reached critical. Keller glanced over as sparks burst from the tactical terminal behind them. “Jump!”

Ninety-six hours earlier...

Commander Jack Keller smiled and shook hands with Admiral Thadius Rutledge, and Captain Gavin Pryce.

“Welcome aboard the Horizon, Commander Keller,” Rutledge crooned. “You won't find another like her in the entire fleet. Built exactly to my specifications, and the Space-Fold Drive, wait until you see it!”

Pryce extended his arm and the three of them left the transporter room, and entered the corridors, with Admiral Rutledge in the lead.

“Space-Fold Drive, sir?” Keller looked puzzled.

“Yes,” Rutledge grinned hypnotically. “My private baby, so to speak.”

“We call it a Jump drive,” interjected Captain Pryce.

“Ever since those damn scalys started a fight,” continued Rutledge, “and with the Cosmos-class failure, Starfleet Command has been looking at new propulsion systems.”

“I thought they had worked out the problems with the quantum slipstream drive?” Keller asserted.

“Oh they have,” Pryce inclined his head.

“But come on,” Rutledge said. “With the war, we need something that will give us a tactical advantage. And right now, we're losing. The scalys have access to Oppressor technology; Those damn mass drivers. They're killing us! Minark has been destroyed, and the Tealuian Alliance is about to succumb. We have no time to waste.”

“So Starfleet invested in this jump drive?” Keller inquired.

“Yes!” Rutledge grinned. “A remarkable piece of technology.”

They turned a corner and approached a turbolift door, waited for a couple seconds before the doors opened and they stepped in. Rutledge gave the computer their destination and within moments they were on there way.

“You see, Commander,” Rutledge continued. “Unlike warp drive - which is a very inefficient mode of transportation - a jump drive does not require access to sub-space. In fact there is no real need for the ship to be in motion. We can simply punched in the desired coordinates and with a press of a button be instantly transported to the new location.”

“Yes, sir,” Keller inclined his head. “I'm aware of the theories of space folding developed by Doctors Burton and Haye, but are you telling me that it has been done?”

“Well, in simulations,” Pryce said.

Rutledge gave him a stern look. “Indeed, all the holodeck simulations worked marvelously. That's why Starfleet approved physical tests, which we did on the Mars colony, and they were stupendous!”

“Now we are going for a much larger test,” Pryce added.

Just then the turbolift doors opened and Keller was met with a sight to behold.

Where the warp core usually stood was a column of pulsating green light. Hovering in the center of the column was a silver sphere which occasionally sent shocks of orange bolts into the green light. The entire thing was encased in a see-through containment unit.

“This is the space-fold drive, Commander,” Rutledge beamed.

A railing circled the unit, with a radius about the same as that found in the engine room of an Intrepid-class starship. A few meters from the railing was a terminal display. Two engineering officers and one science officer stood before it, examining the readouts on the screen.

“Lieutenant Commander Beltram?” Pryce called out.

The senior officer turned around and saw them. He took a deep breath, handed the young women next to him a data padd and rushed over. He extend his hand and Keller shook it.

“This is Commander Keller,” Rutledge made the introduction.

“Pleasure, sir,” Beltram said. “Been looking forward to this day.”

“Lt. Commander?”

“I just assumed the word's been given” Beltram said, looking from Keller to Rutledge. “The mission is a go, isn't, sir?”

Rutledge grinned from hear to hear. “Admiral Anton just approved it, son.”

Keller adjusted his footing. “So let me get this straight then,” he said. “You're going to be testing a jump drive with the Horizon?”

“Absolutely!” beamed Rutledge.

“What if it doesn't work?” Keller asked.

“We have a back up warp core,” Beltram said, pointing over to a hatch on the other side of the jump drive. “We can go up to warp four with it.”

“Believe me, son,” Rutledge said, giving Keller a pat on the back. “We won't need it.” He paused and looked up at the drive. “Oh,” he said suddenly. “Lieutenant?” he called towards the engineering console.

The science officer turned around and walked over.

“Sir,” she said.

Keller noticed her black eyes. A Betazoid.

“This is Lieutenant Janice Pelar,” Rutledge said. “She's on loan from Admiral Pavoc's office.”

“We know each other,” Keller grinned slightly. “What brings you here, Janny?”

“As the Admiral said, Jack,” Pelar said, sternly. “Starfleet Intelligence has a lot riding on this project. The Horizon Project must work if we are to have a serious tactical advantage over the Coalition.” She paused and returned her attention to admiral. “If I may, Admiral, Mr. Beltram was just going over the system specs with me.”

“Of course,” Rutledge said. “Back to it you two!”

Beltram nodded, and returned to the engineering terminal with Pelar behind him. Rutledge and Pryce turned to leave. Keller moved to follow them, but stayed for just a moment, hoping Pelar would look back, but she didn't.


“Commander?” Rutledge called after him.

“Coming, sir.”

“Well, what do think, Commander?” Pryce inquired, as the three of them entered the captain's ready room.

Keller grinned. “Impressive ship, sir.”

“Indeed,” Pryce said, his Irish accent coming out slightly. He walked past his desk to the replicator built into the side of the wall. “Something to drink?”

“No thank you.”


“Some hot ginger tea, would be welcomed, captain,” Rutledge said, as he took a seat in one of the cushioned chairs in the small lounge area. He gestured for Keller to do the same. The commander followed suit, taking a seat and waited as Pryce returned with a ginger tea and a cup of coffee.

“Ah thanks,” Rutledge said, as he took the ginger tea and gave it a sipped.

“Admiral, may I speak freely?” Keller inquired, leaning forward.

“By all means, yes.”

“Why am I here?” Keller asked. “All Captain Ramses told me was that you wanted to see me. Is the Dallas being fitted with jump drive?”

“No,” the admiral said, taking a sip of his ginger tea. “The Dallas won't be getting a jump drive, and you won't be going back to the Dallas.”


“You're to be my XO,” Pryce budged in.



“Surely my duties aboard the Dallas...,” Keller began.

“We need you, son,” interjected Rutledge. “You're performance aboard the Dallas has been exemplary. Tom Ramses will be hard placed to find a better first officer.”

“Why me?”

“You came highly recommended.”

“By whom?”

“Top people,” Rutledge said. “Admiral Anton and Admiral McCloud picked your name out of a list of ten candidates.”

“If you don't mind, sir,” Keller stated. “I'd like to know who recommended me.”

“Lieutenant Pelar,” Rutledge stated matter-of-factly.

Keller took a deep breath. Why would Janice do that? They'd broken off their relationship a long time ago. And from what he had saw an hour ago, her feelings were still the same.



“Are you aboard?”

“Do I have a choice, Admiral?”

“No,” Rutledge said. “No, a guess you don't.” He finished his tea. “We'll leave for Deep Space Five at twenty two hundred hours.”

Deep Space Five.

Keller had just been here. The Dallas had dropped him off here where he then caught a ride aboard the Titan to the Jupiter Shipyards. Now he was back, and as the executive officer of the USS Horizon.

Keller presently found himself standing in command and control of the space station, along with Rutledge and Captain Pryce. They had just finished their briefing with Admiral Harold Anton, the Starfleet Commander, Admiral Dustin McCloud, Starfleet Operations, and Admiral Christopher Truman, the commanding officer of the Oralian sector operations and the Third Fleet.

Truman glared up at the view screen.

“So they really did it, did they?” his gravely voice filled with disbelief.

“Oh yes, they did,” sung Rutledge, his London accent slightly coming through.

Truman turned to Anton, standing along side Admiral McCloud. “You just had to let me have an Emperor-class?”

Anton shrugged. “It was Thadius' pick. After all, I did gave him the pick of the fleet.”

“Aye,” McCloud mused. “And what does he do? He selects one of our newest and most advance starships, one that we could use more against those damn scalys.”

“A more advance ship should be able to handle the jump drive better than an obsolete Constellation,” Rutledge asserted

“You wanted to put the jump drive on a Constellation-class?” Truman blanched.

“We're at war, Chris!” growled McCloud. “With the Breen making another advance, I thought it would be wise to keep our most advance cruisers on the front line.”

“Yes, yes,” Anton relented. “But I agreed with Thadius. With such a new conceptual engine, I figured our most advance ship should test it... at least until the tests have proven successful. Then perhaps we'll start issuing the jump drive to the Covert and Defiant-classes.”

“Can she still go to warp?” Truman asked.

“She's been fitted with a small warp core,” Rutledge affirmed. “Similar to those we have on runabouts. Maximum speed warp factor four. But with a jump drive, this lady won't need to go to warp.”

“We'll see,” McCloud grumbled.

“Well, it's been nice meeting with you, Captain, Commander,” Anton shook Pryce and Keller's hands. “Godspeed.”

Keller and Pryce entered the briefing room together. The senior staff had assembled and Keller was getting his first look at the entire staff together for the first time.

Pryce took a set at the head of the curving table. Keller took the first seat next to Pryce. He looked down the table at the senior staff.

“I believe you've all had the opportunity to met Commander Jack Keller,” Pryce said, “our first officer. He comes highly recommended and previously sevred aboard the Dallas under Tom Ramses.” There came a few nods around the table at the mention of Ramses name. “Now,” Pryce said, leaning forward. “We're about to  embark on a historical test cruise; The first space-fold drive ever developed by Starfleet will help break boundaries, distances, and give us a much needed advantage over the Coalition.” More nods of agreement and excitement. “I trust you all know your assignments.” Nods all around. “Then let's make history. Dismiss.”

Jack Keller strolled down the corridor, feeling lost. He took a left, through a door, and stopped dead in his tracks.

“Jack!” came a friendly voice. “I was wondering if you were ever going to stop by a say hello,”

Keller took a further step into the room. “Kel,” he said with a nod.


Dr. Kelly Saunders stood by a biobed giving a young science officer a cursory examination. Off to side, looking concern was a MACO Colonel with blond hair.

“You're busy, I can come back,” Keller said.

“Not at all,” Saunders said, taking a hypospray from a nurse and pressing against the young science officer's neck.

“Ah! That hurt, doc!” protested the young man.

“You'll live, Hutch,” Saunders grinned.

“If you say so, doc,” he said, jumping down from the biobed, rubbing his neck.

“What if something else comes up?” the Colonel asked stepping forward.

“You know were to find me,” Saunders said. She turned back to Hutch. “Don't you have work to do?” she asked.

“Come on, doc?” he protested. “Something more! I've got a fever!”

“You're fine, Hutch,” she said. “I've given you something for it, you'll be fine. All right?”

Hutch looked at Keller and then nodded. “All right...,” he said slowly. “But I'll still contact you if I notice anything more.”

“Fine with me,” Saunders said. “Just go.”

“All right!” Hutch said. “I'm going.”

He hesitated, then marched out of the room, trying hard to look very determined. The MACO followed after him. Keller did a double take.

“Why's there a MACO onboard?” Keller asked.

“Colonel Morgan? You know, a new technology that can help us wage war, the Starfleet Marines loves that kind of stuff,” Saunders said.

“And what about the lieutenant?”

“Lieutenant Hutchby? He's a hypochondriac,” she said, placing the hypospray back on a tray. “All I gave him was a placebo.”

“And the fever?” Keller questioned.

“In his mind,” Saunders said, stepping towards her office. Keller followed her. She slumped down in her chair and looked at one of padd she had on her desk. Keller leaned against the wall.

“Been a while,” he said, admiring how her ebony skin glowed in the light of the medical bay.

“I believe the last time we saw each other was at Captain Mandrake's court martial,” she lowered the padd and looked up at him.

Keller nodded, remembering how they once both idealized Victor Mandrake when he taught them at the Academy. “You know,” he said. “I still can't believe it.”

“I know what you mean, Jack,” Saunders said. “He was a role model.”

“Yeah,” Keller said. “But not anymore.”

Saunders nodded in agreement. “We have one of his last crew onboard.”

“Really?” Keller inquired. “I thought they were all court marshaled as well?”

“She wasn't,” Saunders said, leaning forward on her elbows. “Apparently Captain Kelsoe put in a good word for her with the review board.”

“After she helped Mandrake takeover his ship?” Keller questioned.

“Apparently so,” Saunders said leaning back. She hesitated. “I heard you and Janny bumped into one another.”

Keller pulled up a chair and sat down. “That obvious, Kel?”

“You're like a big brother to me, Jack,” Saunders grinned. “I can read you like a book.”

“Just rub it in, little sis!” Keller joked playfully.

“Serious?” Saunders said leaning forward. “How did it go?”

“She was good, Kel,” Keller said. “You'd think she'd show something after seeing me again, being empathic and all, but no?”

“She's a betazoid, Jack,” Saunders said. “Not all betazoids are empathic, you know?”

Keller shrugged.

“How to do feel?” she asked.


“Do you still care about her?”

“I don't know. Maybe,” he admitted. “I think you never get over someone.”

Saunders leaned back in her chair. “And now you're both assigned to the same ship. How long before the Mr. Romeo breaks out?”

“Funny,” Keller said. “But I think I'm mature enough to conduct myself in a professional manner... the question is, can she?”

“I don't think you have to worry about her, Jack,” Saunders said.

“Why not, I'm irresistible?!”

“Well, I'll try and contain myself,” she said, standing up. “Now, ready for you physical?”

“What?” he protested.

“Don't play dumb with me, bro,” Saunders said, pointing at him with her index finger. “You know the regs.”

“I see how it is,” Keller joked. “You've been waiting to get my pants off ever since the staff briefing.”

“You're damn straight,” Saunders laughed. “Now drop 'em!”

The bridge was teeming with activity. The Horizon had maneuvered a safe distance away from the station. Keller stood up from his chair as Captain Pryce and Admiral Rutledge entered from the rear turbolift.

“Report?” Pryce said, taking his seat in the command chair.

“All stations report ready, Captain,” Lt. Commander Zed, the Edosian tactical officer called out from his station.

“How's our destination look, Mr. Lipton?” Pryce turned towards the science station.

“According to long range sensors,” Chief Science Officer Lipton reported, “the Dallos Cluster is free of any obstructions.”

Pryce gripped the arms of his chair and stood up. “Well, Admiral,” he said, turning to Rutledge. “It appears all system are a go.” Pryce stepped up behind Ensign Manny Hakim at the helm. “Would you care to do the honors, sir?”

Rutledge grinned with glee. “To make history?” He hesitated and shook his head. “No thanks, Captain. That honor belongs to you. Making history belongs to the young, not the old.” He paused. “Though I would like to view the test from engineering. You know, keep an eye on my baby.”

“By all means, sir,” Pryce said, understanding the admiral's reluctance to give the word.

Admiral Rutledge gave Pryce a nod of thanks and turned to leave. He stopped by Keller.

“Welcome to history, Commander Keller,” he gave Keller a pat on the back and then left via turbolift.

Pryce stepped up to the center of the bridge. “All right,” he took charge. “Mr. Hakim, lock in coordinates for the Dallos Cluster.”

“Locking, sir,” Hakim said, grinning ear to ear.

Captain Pryce looked at Keller and grinned. They both took their seats.


“My god, it worked!” Lipton blurted out from the science station.

Keller looked up at the view screen and saw the purple blue haze of the Dallos Cluster. He almost smiled. The son of a bitch was right!

An beep came from the helm.

“Mr. Hakim?” Keller asked from his chair.

“Sensors are picking up something?”

“Care to elaborate, Ensign?” Pryce demanded.

“Sorry, sir,” Hakim said, and squinted at the his console. His brow furrowed. “That can't be?”

“What is it, Mr. Hakim?”

“We're taking fire!” Zed suddenly cried out.

The bridge shook violently.

“Who?” Pryce demanded.

“It's the Breen, sir!” Zed read from his console. “It appears we've jumped into the middle of a Breen advance into the Dallos Cluster.”

The ship shook, again. A steam blast came from a bulkhead to the left.

“Return fire, Mr. Zed!” Keller order, stepping out of his chair, and leaning against the tactical station.

“Aye, sir.”

“Send a distress call to Deep Space Five!” Pryce ordered.

Keller heard Lipton acknowledge the order.

“The Breen are turned for another pass!” Zed reported. “They're firing!”

“All hands, brace for impact!” Keller heard Pryce shout over the discharging console.

The bridge rocked and Keller was thrown off his feet. He heard Pryce giving orders. The science station exploded, sending Lipton flying up against the bulkhead. Debris rattled down on him and something struck him on the head and his mind went blank.

The present...

“Is the drive charged?” Keller demanded.

Hakim looked down at the terminal. “89 percent of stage one charge, sir.”

“Good enough,” Keller said. “Computer, Activate jump drive.”

“Activating,” came the calm computer voice.

Ensign Hakim look down at the display before him and watched as stage one power charge reached critical. Keller glanced over as sparks burst from the tactical terminal behind them. “Jump!”

“What the hell did you do!” Lieutenant Janice Pelar glared at Keller with her black eyes.

What remained of the senior staff, plus Pelar, Colonel James Morgan, and Admiral Rutledge had gathered in the briefing room.

“I had to do something,” Keller retorted.

“I mean, come on, Jack!” Pelar ragged. “Stage one! Come on! I thought you were paying attention during the briefing. The drive takes forty-eight hours to build up. That's eight stages. With a jump at only at stage one the system was going to overload. It couldn't take the stress of the demand put on it, causing the navigation system to fry. And now we're lost! God knows where!”

“Why didn't you just go to warp?” Morgan asked.

Keller looked over at the MACO.

“A Breen cruiser would have run us down at warp four,” Keller explained. “I did what had to be done to save the ship and the crew.”

“Save the crew!?” Pelar glared at Keller. “The captain's dead because of you.”

Soon the entire room erupted in shouts, everyone blaming someone else for their current predicament.

“Everyone calm down!” roared Rutledge.

His sudden outburst, so contrary to his quiet demeanor, silenced everyone.

“Look,” he said, standing. “I know we're lost, with no navigation system to speak off. But we'll rebuild it. The computer may have been damaged, but we'll handle it. We're Starfleet damn it! We're going to pull together and get through this.” That seemed to calm everyone's nervous. “Now pay attention. The test was a complete success. The jump drive works. We can use it, when it is fully charged. I know that right now we cannot pick our destination, but anywhere is better than the middle of nowhere. If we're lucky, we'll find some allies, and help. But we are going to stay together.” He paused and looked at Keller. “Commander Keller did the right thing. The Breen would have destroyed us,” he looked at Morgan. “Even if we went to warp.”

“So what do we do now, sir?” Pelar asked.

Admiral Rutledge furrowed his brow. “I'm not in command, Lieutenant.”

“But you are the senior officer, Admiral.”

“Commander Keller is next in command,” Rutledge said. “And I suggest that we all get behind and support him during this tough time.” He paused. “There's a reason you were all selected for this mission,” he said. “And now we find ourselves sailing into new horizons aboard a good ship, with a good crew. No Admiral could ask for anything more.”

Jack Keller stood in the ready room. The newest of the ship had diminished sense he first beamed aboard. The ready room was a disaster. Everything was covered in debris. He stepped up to the window and looked out at the vastness of space.

Nothing. As far as the eye could see. Maybe the admiral was right. Maybe they would find their way back home.

The doorbell chimed.

“Enter,” Keller turned around to see his visitor enter.

The door whooshed opened and Lieutenant Janice Pelar stepped into the doorway.

“Did you really recommend me to Admiral Rutledge for this assignment?” Keller inquired.

“You were the perfect candidate for the job,” Pelar said, stating it as if it were a fact. “Besides, it was Admiral Anton who selected you, and it wasn't solely based on my recommendation.”

“Are you playing with me, Janice?” Keller asked.

“So it's Janice now?” Pelar raised an eyebrow and stepped through the doorway, allowing the door to close behind her. She stepped closer to her former lover. “I preferred it when you called me Janny.”

“You made you're feelings clear a long time ago,” Keller said. “And I respect that.”

“Strong feelings never die, Jack,” she said. “And now we're stuck... trapped... in the middle of nowhere.”

Keller took a step closer to her. And they embraced. His lips pressed against hers, and she returned his attention. After a moment they stepped back, but still clung to each other. Pelar laid her head on his shoulder and sighed with content.

“I screwed up, Janny,” Keller breathed softly.

“I know,” she said. “But at least, this time we can fix it together.”

Keller smiled and held her tighter.

“I think I like that.”

“It's a plan then.”

“A plan,” he agreed.