Previous episodeNext episode

“Close encounters of the far kind”

part 1

by Lord Thanatos


16/03/09 19/06/09







1. Arrival at the border colonies

2. Checking in

3. The helpful Vulcan

4. Colony hopping

5. The arrival

6. The away mission

7. The report

8. The dead

9. The plan

10. The encounter






SCENE 1: Arrival at the border colonies


LT: “Harwood colony, this is Captain LT of the USS Greate Pier. Please respond.”


Ray Harwood replies after a few seconds. His image appears on screen.


Harwood: “This is Ray Harwood. Welcome to Harwood colony, captain.”


LT: “Thank you. Glad to finally be here… All is still quiet, I hope?”


Harwood: “Yes, it is… No colony has been contacted by the aliens in over 3 months. Which is fine by me…”


LT: “Agreed. Shall we plan our meeting for 1600 hours?”


Harwood: “That will be fine, captain. May I ask how many of your crew will be attending?”


LT: “Ehm, four I guess… But why do you want to know? I’m sure there’s enough coffee…”


Harwood: “Well, yes, I’m sure, hahaha… But our chief of security wanted to know. For whatever kind of security reasons…”


LT: “Paranoia most likely…”


Harwood: “Hahaha, possibly, yes… Well, all of us have been a little on edge since the threats from those weird aliens, so I hope you’ll be able to forgive his ‘paranoia’…”


LT: “Of course… Tell your chief of security that Lieutenant Commanders Selurtis and Linton, my first officer Commander Eisinga and myself will be beaming over at 1600 hours…”


Harwood: “Will do. And until then, anyone who wishes to stretch their legs on our moon is welcome to do so.”


LT: “Thank you very much. I’m sure there’s quite a few people onboard who want to breathe some fresh air… I just hope they won’t be phasered down by your security people, hahaha…”


Harwood: “I’ll see to it personally… And I’ll make sure there’s enough coffee, hahaha…”


LT: “No need, I can’t stand the stuff. LT out.”


Just before Ray Harwood disappears off the screen his face suddenly shows surprise at that last remark. Linton enters the bridge and addresses the captain.


Linton: “You wanted to see me, sir?”


LT: “Yes. You might have noticed we’ve arrived at the border colonies. Before you leave my ship, I want to thank you and your crew for completing her…”


The 2 gentlemen shake hands.


Linton: “No problem, captain, that’s our job... I’ll extend your thanks to all of my crew.”


LT: “Please, do so and be sure to be on time for the meeting at 1600 hours on the colony.”


Linton: “Aye, sir.”



SCENE 2: Checking in


Rodney Haynes, the head of security on Harwood colony, sits behind a desk in the small lobby of the main building. He has a serious face on today, like every day, and records the data of the people attending the meeting.


Haynes: “Thank you. Please proceed to the meeting room, first door to the left. Next one, please. And your name is?”


Linton: “Lieutenant Commander Samuel Kay Linton.”


Haynes enters the name in the list of attendees, but seems to require more precise information, while Selurtis walks in…


Haynes: “…and what does the K stand for?”


Linton: “Kay…”


Haynes: “Yes, what does it stand for?”


Linton: “Kay!”


Haynes: “Sir, you’ll have to be more cooperative… I require your full name. Now, what does the K stand for, please?”


Linton: “KAY!”


Haynes: “Really, sir… I can’t let you attend the meeting if…”


Selurtis interrupts Haynes mid-sentence…


Selurtis: “Yes, you can…”


Haynes: “Sir, I don’t know who you are, but on this colony I’m head of security, I’m Lieutenant Haynes.”


Selurtis: “Then I’ll tell you who I am. I’m Lieutenant Commander Selurtis and you are hereby relieved of duty, I'll take over.”


Selurtis walks around the desk and reaches for the PADD in Haynes’ hand. Haynes, looking quite stunned, relinquishes the PADD to Selurtis.


Selurtis: “You wanted to record the attendees for security reasons?”


Haynes: “Ehm, yes…”


Selurtis: “Alright, I’ll help you… I already see a few names here… Linton’s name with a typo, by the way… I’m adding Captain LT and myself… Voila, there we go… All done.”


After adding the names he roughly throws the PADD on the desk…


Selurtis: “Alright, let’s go to the meeting room, the captain should be here any minute.”


Linton follows Selurtis into the meeting room and Haynes wants to follow suit.


Selurtis: “Ehm, not you, Haynes… You’re relieved, remember?”


Haynes: “Sir, I really should…”


Selurtis interrupts Haynes again…


Selurtis: “Should go and eh… guard the door or something… Good idea.”


Selurtis pushes the button to close the door and before Haynes can say anything the door shuts an inch or two in front of his nose... Haynes reluctantly and uselessly stands guard in front of the door as Captain LT enters the lobby and walks up to Haynes.


LT: “Hello there… Is this the meeting room?”


Haynes: “Yes, sir.”


LT: “Good, good…”


LT is about to walk into the meeting room when Haynes tries to ask something…


Haynes: “Ehm, sir, can I ask you…”


He’s once again interrupted abruptly…


LT: “Not now, ensign, I’m late as it is…”


Haynes: “I’m a lieutenant, sir…”


LT: “Oh, well done!”


LT closes the door by pushing the button and the door once again barely misses Haynes’ nose…


LT: “Good afternoon, all… As I’m fashionably late, I assume everyone is here?”


The long conference table has 16 chairs around it, of which just 6 are occupied.


Harwood: “Welcome to Harwood colony everyone… Ehm, captain, didn’t I just see you talk to Haynes outside? As chief of security he needs to be in this meeting…”


Selurtis answers for the captain…


Selurtis: “That was indeed Haynes, but I relieved him...”


Harwood: “I see… Well, then we’re complete indeed. Let’s quickly introduce ourselves so we can get down to business. My name is Ray Harwood, I lead this colony. This is doctor Kensington, chief medical officer. Then we have Captain LT…”


LT: “And next to me is Commander Eisinga, first officer of the Greate Pier. Lieutenant Commander Selurtis, the head of security for all the colonies and Lieutenant Commander Linton, now in charge of the technical implementation of the forthcoming security measures. Alright… Now we’ve been formally introduced and if all of you don’t mind, I’d like to keep this meeting as short as possible… I bet all of us had enough meetings concerning this subject in the past months, so I suggest we simply compare notes and see how Starfleet’s orders for all departments fit together. Then we can draw up a schedule and execute the plans as efficiently as we can.”


Harwood: “Sounds like a plan to me. The sooner we get the security measures in place, the sooner we can all go back to our old lives. I, for one, next to leading this colony, am a scientist as well. A scientist who wants to get back to researching the soil on this planet. In the last 4 months my attention has been taken away from that project.”


Eisinga: “Shall we start with the security department then? Security has the most prominent role in this whole situation…”


Selurtis: “Indeed… During the journey here, I’ve been working on a security plan, which has been approved by Starfleet. I will give you the details… It’s quite a list of security measures. To start out, there will be 1 security officer for every 50 colonists, with a minimum of 10 per colony. All security personnel will carry hand phasers at all times. In addition to that, all adult colonists will be issued hand phasers in case of a yellow or red alert status. They will also receive proper training to use those phasers. Every colony will get 2 phaser arrays, 4 torpedo launchers and a supply of 25 torpedoes for each launcher at least. Larger colonies may get more defensive weaponry. Also, each colony will get a shield generator, if they don’t already have one. And the last thing I have on my list is evacuation plans. For each colony a local evacuation plan needs to be made, because in most cases, not all buildings can be protected by the shields. Some of the colonies are very big; there wouldn’t be enough energy to feed the shield generators. There should be one large building designated as a safe haven in case of an attack that we can’t fight off. Well, that about sums it up. More than enough work cut out for everyone.”


Eisinga: “Sounds like quite a lot of security measures.”


Selurtis: “I agree it may sound a little over the top, but I don’t want to underestimate the situation and be responsible for the potential death of thousands…”


LT: “Alright. Doctor Kensington, I understand you’ve been put in charge over all medical personnel on the colonies… What are your plans?”


Kensington: “Basically, all colonies have sufficient medical personnel to cope with heavy casualties. The only thing we really would need in case of heavy attacks is more general medical supplies which have already been sent underway by Starfleet. They should arrive with the first cargo ship to reach the border colonies. Lieutenant Commander Selurtis spoke about a ‘safe haven’ protected by shields on every colony. I think it’s a good idea to move each sickbay to that safe area, including all medical supplies, enough bio beds, etcetera.”


Selurtis nods as he answers.


Selurtis: “Of course…”


LT: "That leaves the technical side of the story, Linton."


Linton: "Yes. We will immediately start constructing the phaser arrays, torpedo launchers and shield generators. All 40 of my crew will work as one team so we can bring the weapons and shields online in fairly rapid succession. As this is the first time we're going to do something like this on terra firma instead of on a ship there's no telling how fast we can work. But with the materials the Greate Pier has brought along combined with local supplies we at least have enough to setup the weapons and shields on the first 2 colonies."


Eisinga: "In what order do you suggest we start protecting the colonies?"


Linton walks up to a monitor, pushes a number of buttons. The screen now shows a schematic representation of all 21 colonies, under each colony the number of colonists is shown:



Linton: "I think everyone, including security in particular, will agree with me that we should start here at Harwood and then simply proceed to the closest colony each time. That way we can protect the more populated colonies pretty early on in the process."


Selurtis: "Agreed. The 6 biggest colonies are among the 8 closest to here, including Harwood."


LT: "Another issue; transport. I understood that Harwood colony has a low warp cargo ship which can be used to transport crew and supplies?"


Harwood: "Yes, our cargo ship is at the disposal of Lieutenant Commander Linton and his crew for the entire duration of the project."


Selurtis: "And I'll be stationed on the Greate Pier for a while. The Greate Pier will be visiting all colonies after this meeting and as we visit each colony I'll be able to determine what needs to be done on which colony."


LT: "Alright, anyone else have something to add?"


Shaking heads and silence answer the question.


LT: "Then I suggest Selurtis, Linton and Kensington grab a map of each colony and discuss with each colony leader what will be the shielded building. Then Kensington can start to supervise the setting up of sickbays in those buildings. After that, I suggest Linton and his men get to work setting up the defenses a.s.a.p."


Everyone agrees with the suggested plan of action.


LT: "Any questions?"


Without allowing time for the others to reply, LT continues:


LT: "Good, good. This meeting was already too long, but it could have been worse... I suggest we set this plan in motion immediately while the day is still young. The Greate Pier will leave as soon as the safe haven plans have been drawn up. But we will leave no later than 0900 hours tomorrow, be sure to be ready by then."


Kensington addresses Linton and Selurtis:


Kensington: "Shall we reconvene here in 1 hour? I need some time to prepare."


Linton: "Fine with me. I'd like to get my crew underway unloading the cargo bays, if that's ok with you, captain."


LT: "Of course. If you need additional hands, just ask Commander Eisinga, he'll assign additional help from Greate Pier’s engineering crew."


Linton: "Thank you, captain."


Linton now turns to Selurtis, requesting his help:


Linton: "Will you help direct my crew to put all the cargo in the right areas? You know best where everything needs to go..."


Selurtis: "I'll walk with you..."


LT: "Alright, now let's get out of here. I need soup."



SCENE 3: The helpful Vulcan


Serrag and a dozen of his crew enter cargo bay 3. A few meters away, Linton is instructing his men when Selurtis approaches Serrag.


Serrag: "Lieutenant Commander Serrag reporting for duty, sir. I brought a bunch of able men and women to help you unload the cargo."


Selurtis: "Yes, you're very welcome. We need all the help we can get; it's a lot of stuff we need to unload."


Serrag puts a smile on his face as he replies:


Serrag: "Unloading 'stuff' is our specialty, sir, hahaha..."


Selurtis: "Hmm, a laughing Vulcan? You're not quite the average Vulcan, are you?"


Serrag's smile turns into a little sadistic-like smile...


Serrag: "Your perceptory skills are incredible."


Selurtis: “I’ve worked with a Vulcan before, on Opeth II, but I’m glad you don’t seem to have his superiority complex, hahaha…”


Serrag: “My superiority prevents me from having a complex, sir.”


Selurtis: “Oh no, not you too…”


Selurtis buries his face in his hands…


Selurtis: “If you are so ‘superior’, what are you doing here among us mere humans anyway?”


Serrag: “Humans amuse me.”


Selurtis: “ Superior my gluteus crackus… You’re just a Vulcan lacking emotional control…”


Serrag: “You’re right about my emotions… Almost, that is... I do have the same emotional control most Vulcans have, only I decided not to apply that control so much. Come to think of it, that even makes me superior to other Vulcans as well, I can have fun! These crates, sir?”


Serrag points at a few crates while he walks towards them still looking at Selurtis with a big smile on his face. Selurtis retains his Vulcan-induced disgruntled look...



SCENE 4: Colony hopping


Sitting in the big chair on the bridge, the captain makes an entry in the log.


LT: "Captain's log, stardate 63149.19. All the necessary cargo has been transported down to the surface and the last of the crew just returned to the ship. We've just departed from the Harwood colony and set course to the next colony, the Stewart colony. End log."


Eisinga: "Finally something to do... Quite honestly, 3 months at warp 9 doesn't really tickle anyone’s fancy, I was quite fed up with it."


LT: "I agree, it didn't really pose a challenge for this ship or its crew. But at least the crew had a chance to get to know the ship and their fellow crew."


Eisinga: "Well, at least we now have 20 more interesting colonies to visit... Looking forward to it."


LT: "Yes, me too..."


Eisinga: "I wonder what Starfleet Command will do after the security measures are in place..."


LT: "What do you mean?"


Eisinga: "Well, as soon as all the weapons and shields are installed on all the colonies, I'm sure they can fend for themselves. The Greate Pier won't be needed here anymore, I assume..."


LT: "Indeed. And quite honestly, I have no idea what Starfleet Command wants the Greate Pier to do then... Perhaps the Greate Pier will be recalled to Earth. Though the crew has settled in by now, I'm sure Starfleet Command will still see this crew as inexperienced. Chances are that after this mission they want to assign more experienced personnel to this ship and send it on whatever kind of mission..."


Eisinga: "Hmmm..."


LT: "Hmmm?"


Eisinga: "Well..."


LT: "Well what?"


Eisinga: "I just don't like that prospect, I'm quite happy as second in command on this great ship. Though it seems logical from Starfleet’s point of view."


LT: "Logical? Are you turning Vulcan? First you become a vegetarian and now you start with the logic thing... Before you realize it, you're going to change your hairstyle to coup-de-boring and start playing kal-toh."


Eisinga: "Hahahaha... Well, just let me ask you something in return then..."


LT: "How Vulcan, answering with a question, hahahaha..."


Undeterred, Eisinga continues to ask his question anyway, playing along with his best Vulcan imitation:


Eisinga: "Is it logical to assume that when someone uses the word 'logical', he or she is a Vulcan?"


Maresca: "Sir, sorry to interrupt, but you've got an incoming transmission from Harwood colony."


LT: "Alright. On screen."


Ray Harwood appears on the main viewer.


LT: "Ray, what can I do for you?"


Harwood: "Captain, sorry to bother you so soon again..."


LT: "You're not bothering me, Ray. Else I would’ve ignored your hail, haha..."


Harwood: "Good, haha. J.D. Parks just hailed me a minute ago; he's the leader of the Utis VIII colony. As soon as I answered his hail and his image appeared on my screen, the communication was somehow terminated. I tried raising Utis VIII again, but there was no response. I can't even be sure my hail reached them. Can you try to hail the colony, captain?"


LT: "Maresca, please try and hail Utis VIII."


Maresca: "Aye, sir, on it."


LT: "Ray, just curious, does a thing like this happen more often?"


Harwood: "Well, sofar we've never had any communication problems with any of the colonies. Not since the communications array was installed. But, we've never hailed or been hailed by Utis VIII before... That would be unusual, since we don't exchange equipment, supplies or personnel with them like we do with some other colonies."


LT: "Hmmm, odd. Any luck, Maresca?"


Maresca: "No, sir, no response. I don't think they're receiving us at all, must be something wrong with their communications equipment."


LT: "Keep trying."


Eisinga: "How about hailing one of the other colonies in the Utis system? There are 2 more, right?"


Harwood: "Yes, that's right... Utis VIII is in daily contact with the colony on the Apparan asteroid and there's a third colony on Utis IV Beta."


LT: "Maresca?"


Maresca: "Already hailing the Apparan colony, sir."


LT: "Find out if those colonies can make contact with Utis VIII or perhaps know what's going on..."


Maresca: "Yes, sir."


Ray: "Could it be a malfunction in their communications equipment, captain?"


LT: "Could well be, Ray. Hard to tell. As it seems, they didn't receive our hails at all, which could indeed indicate just that."


Ray: "Or they could be under attack by the aliens..."


LT: "Well, let's not jump to any conclusions... And we don't want to spread any panic either."


Ray: "You're right..."


LT: "Maresca?"


Maresca: "Both Apparan colony and Utis IV Beta report that they also cannot reach Utis VIII. Neither colony can tell us what's wrong..."


Ray: "What can we do now, captain?"


LT: "I don't think there's a choice of options, Ray. I'm afraid we have to go there and find out exactly what's going on... Helm, set a course for Utis VIII and engage at warp 9."


Pattison: "Aye, sir."


LT: “E.T.A.?”


Pattison: "51 hours and 14 minutes."


LT: “Hmmm, that long, huh?”


Ray: "Keep me updated, captain..."


LT: "Will do. LT out. Maresca, inform Starfleet of our change of plan."


Maresca: “Yes, sir.”



SCENE 5: The arrival


Serrag walks into cargo bay 3 where he finds Selurtis.


Selurtis: "Ah, Commander Serrag, I wanted to thank you and your crew for helping with unloading."


Serrag: "Our pleasure, sir."


Selurtis: "May I ask you to help me out again?"


Serrag: "If I can..."


Selurtis: "I just have a non functioning power coil in one of the phaser setups for Stewart colony. I thought you'd be able to fix it more quickly than me, I have limited experience..."


Remembering the previous conversation with Serrag he adds in a semi annoyed tone:


Selurtis: "And you're Vulcan, you can do anything, right?"


Serrag: "Compared to humans, yes, it would seem like that in many cases..."


Selurtis: "I don't think I'll ever get used to Vulcan arrogance..."


Serrag: "Vulcans can get used to anything, if we're bothered by anything in the first place... Your anger towards me for example, it doesn't get under my skin at all... You humans could take an example from that."


Selurtis: “So, we’re inferior, is that what you're saying?”


Serrag: “I never said that, that was your own conclusion, sir. But, I’m glad you reached that conclusion yourself, saves quite a bit of embarrassment.”


Selurtis: “Ok, that’s it…Get out!”


Serrag: “Hmm, your volatile nature seems to underline the…”


Selurtis does not allow for Serrag to finish his sentence:


Selurtis: “OUT!!”


Serrag walks out of the cargo bay and into the corridor as he hears the voice of the captain over the com system:


LT: "LT to Serrag."


Serrag: "Serrag here, captain."


LT: "Do you have time to drop by on the bridge, commander?"


Serrag: "It seems that I all of a sudden have an opening in my agenda, captain. On my way."


LT: "Good, good."


Moments later Serrag enters the bridge and approaches the captain's chair.


Serrag: "Commander Serrag reporting as ordered, sir."


LT: "Ah, commander, there you are already."


Serrag: "What can I do for you, sir?"


Maresca: "We're approaching Utis VIII, sir. Shall I hail them, sir?"


LT: "Go ahead, Maresca."


Serrag is distracted by the news of the approach to Utis VIII and wants to feed his curiosity:


Serrag: "What's the story of this planet anyway? The data I’ve been studying indicated the planet is about 4% bigger than Earth, no seasons, mostly tropical conditions, no animal life whatsoever, so no one gets eaten unless the colonists turn into cannibals... Seems like a perfect place to live and have a BBQ party with replicated meat. It has been colonized a long time ago, but it just has 136 people living on the surface...”


LT: "BBQ? I must have a chat with the locals, hahaha... And indeed, it sounds like a nice place to live. But I think the reason for the low number of colonists is that it's a support colony for the Apparan asteroid colony. The Asteroid mining project has been the priority, before colonization."


Maresca: "No response from the surface, captain."


LT: "Are we in visual range yet?"


Holcraft: "We've just entered range, sir."


Eisinga: "On screen."


A very curious Eisinga stands up from his chair and walks a few pases towards the main viewer.


Eisinga: "Nice planet and all, but zoom in on the colony, please."


The image quickly changes to a screen filling view of the colony. Upon seeing the images, LT also leaps from his chair and joins Eisinga...


LT: "What in the hell...? There's nothing left!"


With an angered voice he commands:


LT: "Red alert. Scan the entire colony immediately for survivors!"


Eisinga, in a half mumbling voice, describes what he sees:


Eisinga: "A few ruins and nothing but thick, black smoke... What on Earth happened here?"


LT: "Come on, Holcraft, report!"


Holcraft: "There seem to be no survivors, sir."


LT: "Can you tell what happened?"


Holcraft: "The colony seems to be hit by a weapon of unknown origin. It shows no resemblance to phasers, disruptors, photon torpedoes or any other weapon we know of... I can't even read a particular weapons signature... The very center of the colony seems to have been vaporized, and the surrounding area is completely scorched."


LT: "Scan the entire surface of the planet for lifeforms or ships and scan for any ships in orbit or anywhere close to here. Warp trails, anything..."


Holcraft: "Scanning... No lifeforms of any kind on the entire surface, nor any ship. Scanning the area... Sensors show no ships in orbit or anywhere near, nor any evidence there was a ship here recently."


LT: "Dammit! Go to yellow alert. Eisinga, assemble an away team and get down there. Find out anything you can. Don't forget to pack phasers."


Eisinga: "Serrag, you’re with me. Eisinga to Doctor Shelley and Lieutenant Commander Selurtis, please report to transporter room 1."


Shelley: "On my way."


Selurtis: "Understood."


LT: "Contact Starfleet Command and inform them about this incident. Tell them we're currently conducting an investigation and we'll be contacting them as soon as we have new information."


Maresca: "Yes, sir."


LT: "Relay the same message to all the border colonies. Tell them to be increase security to the maximum and to be on the lookout for incoming ships of any kind. Also tell them to contact the Greate Pier if there's anything out of the ordinary to report."


Maresca: "Understood."



SCENE 6: The away mission


The 4 person team materializes on the surface of the planet at the edge of what used to be the colony. As Eisinga described earlier, there wasn’t much to be seen except ruined buildings and a stack of black smoke rising high into the atmosphere.


Eisinga: “Ok, team. According to sensors there were no survivors, but do keep your eyes open anyway, there might be someone left alive under the rubble… Also check for anything that can possibly be salvaged. Ok, let’s comb this war zone.”


Each of the team moves in a different direction. Selurtis arrives at the center of the colony where everything has been totally vaporized. He can look down into a huge crater of 3 meters deep…


Selurtis: “My god, even the soil under the colony has been vaporized…”


He takes readings with his tricorder, steps into the crater and continues to scan. Meanwhile, Serrag looks around in the remains of a building.


Serrag: “A power generator…”


He clears some bulky rubble from the control panel and tries to activate the generator. No success… He scans the generator with his tricorder, reads the generator is beyond repair, shakes his head and moves on… He then sees a shoe sticking out from under the debris on the other side of the room and immediately runs over to the poor man. He takes a quick scan of the victim and knows it’s no use to dig him out quickly… He continues to scan the debris of the building and does yet another discovery…


Serrag: “Serrag to doctor Shelley.”


Shelley: “Go ahead, did you find someone?”


Serrag: “I found two people, but unfortunately they’re dead and buried under quite some debris.”


Shelley: “That makes 7 dead then; I’ve found 5 bodies sofar… Mark their locations on your tricorder and continue the search.”


Serrag: “Yes, doctor. Serrag out.”



SCENE 7: The report


Back on the bridge of the Greate Pier the captain receives a message from Starfleet Command:


Maresca: “Sir, incoming message from Admiral Mullins.”


LT: “Alright, on screen.”


Mullins: “Hello, captain.”


LT: “Admiral…”


Mullins: “That’s some bad news I received from you, captain.”


LT: “Yes, sir. I’m sorry that I don’t have any better news to give…”


Mullins: “Me too… Listen captain, I’m sorry to disturb you, I know you’re currently occupied investigating the incident, but I just had to contact you to ask if there was anything new to report. I’ve got quite a few worried people here…”


LT: “I understand, but unfortunately, my away team hasn’t reported anything new yet. Let me contact them and you can listen in to their report.”


Mullins: “Please do, captain.”


LT: “Captain LT to away team, Eisinga, please respond.”


Eisinga: “Eisinga here.”


LT: “Commander, I’ve got Admiral Mullins listening in. Do you have anything to report?”


Eisinga: “Hello, Admiral. Unfortunately, nothing good to report. At this moment we have 7 dead bodies and we found no survivors sofar. Unless we find anyone else, I think we may assume that all the others are dead as well… We’ve nearly completed our search.”


Mullins: “That is sad news indeed… Anything else to report? Can you identify who or what did this?”


Eisinga: “I think Lieutenant Commander Selurtis is better qualified to answer that question, sir.”


Selurtis: “Admiral, I’m afraid my news will not be any more cheerful, as I don’t have a clue as to who or what did this. I scanned for weapons signatures, radiation, residual particles of any kind left in the air and soil... I scanned for everything, but came up with less than nothing. But it seems reasonable to assume the aliens that threatened us, are responsible.”


Mullins: “Agreed. Alright, thank you, away team.”


LT: “Admiral, we’ll send you a full report within the hour.”


Mullins: “I’ll be expecting it. Now, if there’s nothing else you have to report at this point, I have the sad task to contact the families of the colonists…”


LT: “Good luck, sir.”



SCENE 8: The dead


Shelley scans a badly burnt body on an examination table and dictates her findings to the computer.


Shelley: “Body identified as Lieutenant Devon Leama. Third degree burns over 65% of the body, bones in the right arm are completely shattered, probably due to falling debris. Cause of death: lethal level of blood carboxyhemoglobin of 89%. Nurse Halstead, please place this body in the morgue.”


Halstead: “Yes, doctor.”


Shelley: “Shelley to the captain.”


LT: “Go ahead, doctor…”


The doctor is takes off her gloves…


Shelley: “I’m ready to give my report…”


LT: “Alright, give me the abridged version, doctor.”


Shelley: “I have 11 bodies in the morgue, all identified, all badly burnt and most showing signs of begin hit be flying or falling debris. Some bodies more complete than others…”


LT: “Send the details to the console in my ready room, please.”


Shelley: “Consider it done, sir. Shelley out.”


The look on Eisinga’s face seems emotionless, despite the fact he’s concerned about the situation…


Eisinga: “LT, what’s next?”


LT: “Well, I’m not quite sure yet. I can’t decide that on my own, it’s a complicated matter… We just lost 1 colony, we have 20 more to protect, 1 ship to do it with and apparently a lethal enemy lurking around the corner… As much as I hate to admit it, we need a meeting to discuss the options. Be in the conference room in 30 minutes and have Maresca invite Selurtis, Serrag, Shelley, Spalding and let her get Linton to patch into the meeting from Harwood as well… I’ll personally ask the admiral to join.”


Eisinga: “Alright.”


LT: “I’ll be in my ready room making up that report for the admiral… You have the bridge.”



SCENE 9: The plan


Counselor Spalding walks down the corridor. Serrag catches up with him.


Spalding: “Ah, commander. Good to see you.”


Serrag: “Hello, counselor. May I assume you’re heading for the conference room?”


Spalding: “That’s right.”


Serrag: “Can I ask you something, counselor?”


Spalding: “A Vulcan asking for a counselors help? Hahaha…”


Serrag: “I’m not in any kind of emotional distress, counselor.”


Spalding: “I thought so. And sorry for laughing, I didn’t mean to offend you, commander.”


Serrag: “I might be a Vulcan with more emotions shining through than the average Vulcan, but it’s quite hard to offend or insult me, I assure you. In fact, that’s the subject of my question…”


Spalding: “Hmm, I’m intrigued, go ahead…”


Serrag: “Well, it seems that I keep offending the odd officer on this ship. They call me arrogant and they respond quite hostile when I give them tips and for some reason they deny my superiority.”


Spalding: “Well, you must understand that from a human point of view, Vulcans do seem to come across as arrogant as they usually have more knowledge of a certain topic and usually don’t fail to share that knowledge immediately. Vulcans are capable of usually coming to the right conclusions when they apply that knowledge combined with their impeccable logic.”


Serrag: “That’s my point indeed… I’ve allowed myself to feel emotions and thus stand a little closer to humans in that regard, however, I still do not understand why they are so hostile. As you correctly pointed out, we’re superior in our level of knowledge and know to apply logic. Why does it bother them so much to be inferior?”


Spalding: “I don’t think it’s the fact of you being superior that bothers them. It’s the fact of being confronted with it that pokes them in a sore spot.”


The 2 enter the turbo lift and the counselor orders it to deck 1.


Serrag: “I see… Interesting.”


Spalding: “So, if you want a word of advice… Don’t confront them with their inferiority, they’re already aware of that. And if not, ignorance is bliss to them, hahaha…”


Serrag: “Thank you for your advice, counselor. Another question, if I may?”


Spalding: “Of course…”


Serrag: “You’re human, yet you just referred to humans in the third person…”


Spalding answers, while they leave the turbo lift and head for the conference room:


Spalding: “Yes, hahaha… That’s because I’m a counselor, I have to keep my distance…”


Serrag: “I’ve been surrounded by humans for 73.6% percent of my life, does it surprise you to hear I still do not understand them fully?”


Spalding: “Oh come on, I’m a counselor… I get to listen to people all day who don’t even understand themselves, hahaha…”


Both men laugh and while briefly looking at each other realize they are about to enter the conference room to discuss a very serious matter. They hide their smiles and walk into the room. Inside, the others are already present, including Admiral Mullins on Earth on one screen and Linton on Harwood colony on another.


LT: “Welcome, please, sit down, we’ll start this meeting right away now you’re here. I assume everyone knows what happened on Utis VIII… or at least what the sad result is. What we need to do now is figure out what we have to do now.”


Admiral: “Any suggestion is welcome at this point, lady and gentlemen.”


Eisinga: “Well, if I may be so bold, admiral… It’s clear we can’t protect all the colonies instantly, it takes time for Linton’s crew to setup the weapons and shields.”


Linton: “And don’t forget, we don’t have enough materials to build those weapons and shields for all colonies. That cargo is still in transit to our location. We’re working on Harwood colony currently and we only have enough material to protect Stewart colony next, or whichever other colony gets priority.”


Eisinga: “My vote would be on Apparan colony. Admiral, if I may make a suggestion… I suggest we evacuate Utis IV Beta to the Apparan asteroid colony. There are just 28 people on that moon and if we evacuate them, we only have Apparan to worry about in this system. And then I suggest we install the weapons and shields intended for Stewart colony on Apparan.”


Mullins: “It sounds like a good idea, commander, but how do you suggest we deal with the colonies in the Pershard and MTRP systems?”


Eisinga: “I’m aware my plan doesn’t include any of those colonies. The only thing we can hope is that they, for now at least, have an interest in the Utis system only. I don’t see how we can protect all colonies, we’re only one ship.”


LT: “And that’s where you’re wrong, number one.”


Eisinga: “Sir?”


LT: “Admiral, I suggest we evacuate Utis IV Beta to Apparan as suggested by Commander Eisinga and then proceed to continue to hop to the nearest colony on our way back to Harwood colony. We have 40 Kaneda class fighters in the shuttle bay… On that journey back, we can drop 2 Kaneda fighters at every colony.”


Mullins: “Excellent idea, captain.”


Eisinga: “Indeed… The Kaneda fighters may just be sublight spacecraft, but they do have 6 phasers and 2 torpedo launchers each, I believe… Good firepower…”


Serrag: “Gentlemen, if I may? The evacuation plans and deployment of shuttles are indeed sufficient measures to safeguard the security on all colonies to an extent, however, we must not forget that we also can call upon a psychological weapon.”


Mullins: “Which is?”


Serrag: “Rebuild the colony on Utis VIII as quickly as we can. If they learn the colony is being rebuilt, we give them a very strong signal that we will not give up so easily. It may deter them from attacking again…”


LT: “Or it will do the opposite; provoke another attack. But, I actually do agree. Linton, when will the weapons and shields be operational on Harwood?”


Linton: “In less than 6 hours, captain.”


LT: “That means we don’t have to launch 2 Kaneda’s at Harwood, they can defend themselves, so we can drop 4 Kaneda’s at Utis VIII, which will most likely stop the aliens from attacking again. Then we still have exactly enough fighters to deploy 2 of them at every colony. The engineering section on the Greate Pier can run on a skeleton crew while the rest helps Linton’s crew out rebuilding the colony. At least, it seems logical to me that Linton and his men transport over here as soon as possible…”


Linton: “Yes, I agree… I suggest we finish up here on Harwood and then jump straight into our cargo ship, assuming the admiral approves.”


Mullins: “I do… But, how do you propose to build a new colony from scratch?”


Linton: “I happen to know that here on Harwood they have quite a lot of materials we could perhaps use. I’d have to talk to Ray Harwood, but I’m sure we can arrange something.”


LT: “If need be, I can ask at every colony we pass if they have any useful material to spare, if Harwood can’t provide us with enough. Just let me know in that case.”


Linton: “Aye, sir.”


Mullins: “Alright. Does anyone else have any additional good ideas?”


Silence answered his question.


Mullins: “Alright. To recap, these are you orders. Captain, launch 4 Kaneda’s and deploy your engineering crew on the surface immediately after this meeting is over, they can start preparing the colony for a rebuild. Then proceed with the evacuation of Utis IV Beta to Apparan asteroid colony. You will drop 2 Kaneda fighters there and after that will drop 2 more at all the other colonies. Lieutenant Commander Linton and his crew will transport to Utis VIII without delay, after finishing work on Harwood. I’ll be contacting Ray Harwood in a minute to make sure he understands the need for those materials, Linton.”


Linton nods once to the admiral.


Mullins: “On arrival on Utis VIII: rebuild the colony in record time to give those aliens the proverbial finger.”


Linton: “Yes, sir. No problem.”


Mullins: “After that, go to Apparan and setup the weapons and shield there. Any questions?”


After a second or 2 of silence the captain answers for all of them:


LT: “No questions, sir.”


Mullins: “Ok, no time to lose people, get going. Good luck, everyone. Mullins out.”


LT: “Alright people, you know what to do. Dismissed.”



SCENE 10: The encounter


LT: “Captain’s log, stardate 63157.3. The evacuation of all 28 people from Utis IV Beta to Apparan was executed successfully and without incident. We also launched 2 Kaneda’s at Apparan, which are matching the speed on the asteroid. The engineering crew on Utis VIII is preparing the destroyed colony to be rebuilt as soon as Linton’s crew arrives. They have 4 Kaneda fighters in a synchronous orbit above them and a small complement of security officers on the surface to protect them against the aliens… We’ve left the Utis system and are en route to MTRP V to drop off 2 Kaneda’s at that and every next colony. End log.”


Eisinga: “Man, I’m tired…”


LT: “Yeah, I’m drained as well… Still tired from yesterday’s events and I hardly had any sleep last night… You’re hereby ordered to get some rest.”


Eisinga couples two sentences together…


Eisinga: “It’s still one hour until shift change aaah, what do I care… I won’t argue with you today, hahaha…”


LT: “Like you dare to argue with me anyway…”


Eisinga: “Don’t get me started, hahaha… Too tired.”


LT: “I’m going to shut my eyes for half an hour as well, and after that, I’ll fix one huge steak… I’m in the mood for some red meat…”


Eisinga: “Alright, hahaha… Enjoy.”


LT: “Thank you, Eldert.”


Eisinga leaves and LT looks around to find out who is the senior officer of the rest of the bridge crew.


LT: “Holcraft. Take good care of my ship… You have the bridge.”


Holcraft: “Yes, sir.”


Holcraft takes the captain’s chair while the captain makes for the turbo lift doors. Then, without warning, the ship suffers a big blast from some kind of weapon… A few people on the bridge fall over or get knocked out of their chairs.


LT: “Red alert! Drop to impulse. Evasive maneuvers! Holcraft, take your station and give me a damage report.”


Holcraft’s command of the ship was yet again cut short… He races over to the ops station. The captain deploys his behind on the hide of the captain’s chair again.


Holcraft: “Hull damage across several decks, breached on deck 14. The section has been sealed off. Reports read several minor injuries.”


K’Ehlen: “Shields at 100%, weapons are ready…”


Eisinga rushes back onto the bridge…


Eisinga: “What’s going on?”


Holcraft: “An unidentified ship dead ahead, sir. It was apparently able to fire on us when we were at warp 9.”


LT: “Hail that vessel, all frequencies…”


Maresca: “Hailing…”


Eisinga: “I bet it’s our unknown alien friends…”


Maresca: “No response, sir.”


Eisinga: “Can you identify the ship, Holcraft?”


Holcraft: “Unknown configuration, but it looks similar to the ship that was observed by Utis VIII over 3 months ago. Only a lot bigger… And sensors indicate an identical composition.”


Eisinga: “Then they are our alien friends…”


LT: “Repeat hail, Maresca.”


Before Maresca can confirm her orders, the ship is hit again by more weapon’s fire.


K’Ehlen: “Shields down to 72%...”


Maresca: “No response to hails, except for the weapon’s fire.”


LT: “Ok, no more mr. nice Pier! Target their weapons and fire phasers!”


K’Ehlen: “Firing!... Direct hit!”


Holcraft: “Some damage, but I think their weapons are still…”


Holcraft is interrupted mid-sentence by a third blast…


Holcraft: “I think you get the point. Hull breaches reported on deck 13 and 9. More minor injuries. Shields at 54%.”


LT: “Dammit! Fire again!”


K’Ehlen: “Firing!... Direct hit, sir.”


Holcraft: “I think we damaged their weapons pretty badly.”


The alien ship fires again…


K’Ehlen: “Shields now down to 53%, their latest attack wasn’t nearly as powerful as their first 3… Hardly any additional damage to the shields.”


LT: “Not good enough… Fire again, destroy their weapons!”


K’Ehlen: “Firing again.”


Again, a direct hit to the weapons…


Holcraft: “Direct hit, their weapons read as offline, sir.”


LT: “Well done…Hail them again…”


Maresca: “Hailing… Again no response, sir…”


Holcraft: “Wait a second, they are responding sir. They’re moving towards us at full impulse. I think they may attempt to ram us, sir.”


LT: “Evasive maneuvers, helm.”


The alien ship, unable to use what could be described as phaser-like weapons, as they were destroyed by the GP, now fires a different type of weapon that they apparently have available. A blue plasma-like beam emanates from the hull and immediately penetrates the shields, knocking them offline. The engines are targeted next and suffer the same fate.


K’Ehlen: “Sir! Shields are down!”


Pattison: “Engines are not responding!”


Computer: “Intruder alert.”


Holcraft: “33 intruders just beamed aboard on decks 1 and 15…”


LT: “Seal bulkheads and raise force fields in all key locations. Captain to all crew! Intruder alert! Set phasers to stun and fire at any alien intruder on sight!”


Holcraft: “Bulkheads closed off and force fields raised.”


LT: “DAMMIT! I won’t have uninvited guests on MY ship! Everyone, grab your phasers…”


LT grabs his phaser, followed by the other bridge officers doing the same. Just as LT sets the setting to stun, the doors open and a group of 8 aliens comes bursting in.


The aliens are humanoid in shape and they seem to possess the same general features as humans, like 2 eyes, 2 ears, something that has to pass for a nose, two arms and two legs. Their eyes are big in comparison to humans, and they are as black as their skin… However, they do not seem to grow taller than about 90 cm.


They do not appear to have any form of clothing covering their skin. They seem to have 2 sets of overlapping shoulder blades which almost seem to want to cut through the leathery skin…


They don’t seem to carry any weapons, however, one of them points his left arm in the direction of Eisinga and a broad orange-red beam strikes the first officer in the shoulder. He immediately drops to the floor and is clearly in agony… LT runs towards the aliens kicking the first one in the face. The alien drops to the floor and soon after that finds LT’s foot pinning his head to the floor. He points his phaser in the direction of the next alien and fires. The alien joins his friend on the floor. LT raises his foot from the first alien and blasts him with a phaser shot.


A third alien raises his left arm in the direction of the captain and fires… The shot grazes LT’s upper right arm and he obviously responds by returning fire… The first 2 aliens he phasered down are starting to regain consciousness after just a very few seconds and one of them fires at the captain. A direct hit to the left knee makes him drop to the floor… On the floor, he sets the phaser to heavy stun. Sort of hiding behind the leg of a console, he manages to shoot both aliens down again…


Meanwhile, the third alien joins others in a fight on the other side of the bridge. Every now and then one or two new aliens enter the bridge… The bridge is one big battlefield… Starfleet officers shooting down aliens, aliens shooting down Starfleet officers…


The only difference… The aliens seem to get up after a few seconds, after being shot… Shot down Starfleet crew stay on the ground…


(to be continued...)


Previous episodeNext episode





 Changed: In scene 4: Stardate 63148.8

To: Stardate 63149.19

Reason: With the old stardate the departure in scene 4 would have taken place a few hours before the meeting in scene 2.