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“Bram’s blood painted door”

by Lord Thanatos


08/10/09 17/10/09







1. In the dark

2. Holographic conspiracy

3. To seek out new life and old enemies

4. A mini party

5. Abduction

6. From far away team

7. Undercover

8. Rule of acquisition #285

9. Bragging rites

10. Continuing mission





SCENE 1: In the dark


Two Akira starships drop out of warp and fly towards the Greate Pier and Linton’s cargo ship, both of which are in orbit around Utis IV Beta. Captain Newlin hails the Greate Pier.


Newlin: “Captain Newlin of the USS Van Rosemondt to Captain LT.”


LT: “Captain, welcome to the border colonies.”


Newlin: “Thank you, glad to be here. The journey was long enough…”


LT: “Yes, unfortunately I know.”


Newlin: “My orders are to relieve you here at the border colonies.”


LT: “It seems you know more than we do. We’ve been kept in the dark. The only thing we knew was that you were coming…”


Newlin: “Well, this is about all I know as well…”


LT: “I take it you don’t have any new orders from Admiral Mullins to give to us then?”


Newlin: “No, sorry, I don’t…”


LT: “Hmm, then I can only hope the admiral tells us soon what he has in store for us… Anyway, the border colonies are yours… Enjoy.”


Newlin nods and the connection is terminated.



SCENE 2: Holographic conspiracy


Shelley walks into the lounge, orders a drink at the bar, and sits down at a table near a window. Bart Endersby brings her the drink after a short while…


LT: “Captain’s log, stardate 63298.62. The two Akira’s which were sent to replace us have arrived. We leave them well protected colonies, as all weapons and shields have been installed, including on the previously evacuated Utis IV Beta. The mission was supposed to last at least 3 months, but it seems it’s over after just under 2. I don’t know if that means we did our job too well or not well enough…”


Shelley: “Thank you, Bart.”


Endersby: “Enjoy… It’s good for you.”


Endersby sits down next to the doctor, leans over to her and continues in a softer voice:


Endersby: “Did you notice that the crew is much more relaxed lately, doctor? People seem… less on edge…”


Shelley: “Well, since the Inj ship was blown up, people have a reason to be more relaxed…”


Endersby strokes his chin…


Endersby: “Are… are you sure that’s the reason, doctor?”


Shelley: “Well, it makes sense anyway… I, for one, am glad to be rid of those things… Not that I hate my job, but I’d rather not be treating wounded or putting bodies in the morgue after yet another Inj attack… Since the Behemoth was blown up I haven’t had a single patient with anything worse than a sprained ankle.”


Bart speaks very quickly and seems very suspicious of the situation…


Endersby: “Hm, hm, yes, perhaps, uhm… Well, I’m telling you, something weird is going on, but I can’t quite put my finger on it…”


Shelley: “What do you mean? Everything seems fine to me… People are just happier than a few weeks back when the Inj threatened to kill us all…”


Endersby: “Perhaps. Ah, customers, customers…”


He runs over to the bar and serves the customers. The doctor just laughs a bit and takes a sip from her drink.



SCENE 3: To seek out new life and old enemies


The captain and his first officer are in LT’s ready room. The captain sits up straight with his legs up on the couch. Eisinga sits in a chair and says:


Eisinga: “I agree, but all the colonies are relatively safe now.”


LT: “True, but you never know what can happen. There are 2 more Behemoths out there, most likely harassing and killing other races as we speak…”


Eisinga: “Hmmm… And what could they be after? I didn’t buy the ‘resources’ thing…”


LT: “The resources on Alsk are common. And it’s not the Osids they’re after; they were willing to slaughter them by the billions… No, it’s not resources and they’re not looking to enslave any race, they don’t need a workforce…”


Eisinga: “And strategically, the planet wasn’t particularly interesting. It might be near the Federation border, but frankly, a border is all it is… It’s weeks away from any interesting Federation target… Months without warp.”


Maresca: “Crewman Maresca to the captain.”


LT: “Go ahead.”


Maresca: “The admiral wants to speak to you, sir. Shall I put him through?”


LT: “Yes, please. Thank you.”


LT and Eisinga both stand up. LT walks over to his desk and Eisinga makes for the door, intending to leave the captain alone.


LT: “Commander, please sit down. If the admiral gives new orders you have a right to know as well…”


Eisinga shows a tiny smile and nods… He sits back down. LT adjusts his uniform and opens the channel.


LT: “Admiral Mullins, good morning…”


Mullins: “Ah, captain, good morning…”


LT: “It’s been a while… What can I do for you?”


Mullins: “Sorry to keep you uninformed for so long, captain. But quite honestly, the reasons are quite complex.”


LT: “I understand. I take it you have new orders for us? Are we to return to Earth, admiral?”


A short eye contact between the captain and his first officer reveals both are nervous, anxious to hear the answer…


Mullins: “No. Not yet anyway.”


LT pushes a button and the screen turns black. He raises his fist into the air and back down again a few times and melodically sings:




Eisinga just laughs a bit about what the admiral said and LT’s reaction to it. LT pushes the button again and the admiral reappears.


Mullins: “What happened?”


LT: “Eh… A slight… technical issue, I guess…”


Mullins: “Oh… Well, anyway… That’s not all… You have a whole set of new orders, captain. But first I want to extend the compliments of Starfleet Command to you and your crew. You have performed admirably in the face of adversity and deserve credit for dealing with the Inj the way you have.”


LT: “Thank you, admiral. I’m glad to hear…”


Mullins: “Please make sure to pass that on to the crew…”


LT: “Will be done… And our orders, admiral?”


Mullins: “Haha, yes, yes… It seems you’re as eager as the day you left Earth with this ship, hahaha…”


LT: “Well, I won’t lie… I love being in command of this ship, admiral, but just bobbing along with a cargo ship for a few weeks tends to get a bit… eh…”


Mullins: “Boring?”


LT: “Well, at the risk of sounding ungrateful, which I’m not, it is perhaps…”


The admiral interrupts…


Mullins: “Rest assured, captain, this mission will not be boring. I guarantee it.”


LT: “I like it already…”


Mullins: “Your orders, captain… Explore beyond the border colonies…”


LT: “You’re sending us on an exploration mission? Brilliant!”


Mullins: “I wasn’t quite finished yet, captain. That’s only part of it. As you know, there are 2 more Behemoths out there… You are to find the 2 remaining Inj ships and find out what they are up to and what they want. The Greate Pier has the most experience with Inj, so the choice was clear which ship to send.”


LT: “I see… But, if the choice was clear, why did you keep us in the dark so long? We could have been preparing for this mission for a while already…”


Mullins: “The reason why brings me to the next part of your orders… You are not allowed, under any circumstances, to contact the Behlamun.”


LT: “The Behlamun? Why?”


Mullins: “Is that order clear, captain?”


LT: “Yes sir!”


Mullins: “I’m afraid I can’t disclose the reason and have to keep you in the dark once more. You will be informed when the time comes. With your experience, you’ll be the first to know.”


LT: “I don’t understand, but I… understand…”


Mullins: “You are also not to attempt to contact with the Inj themselves. If one thing has been made clear, it is that talking with them only evokes more deadly aggression. As soon as you find one of the Behemoths, contact Starfleet immediately.”


LT: “Understood.”


Mullins: “So, explore and map anything you come across out there, captain. It’s uncharted territory for the Federation. But your main goal is to locate the Inj and find out what they want. Ask around, sniff around, anything you have to do to accomplish your mission.”


LT: “Yes, sir.”


Mullins: “And you’ll be reporting to Admiral Grant from now on. I’d love to keep the Greate Pier under my command, exploration is in many ways much more appealing to me than security, but hey, what can you do?”


LT: “Maybe it’s time for a career change then, hahaha…”


Mullins: “Well, if only it was that easy, captain. I’m afraid even admirals can’t usually pick their jobs…”


LT: “Well, anyway, it’s been great working with you, sir.”


Mullins: “The sentiment is mutual, captain… I wish some other captains under my command were as prolific as you are. The only thing I can say is keep up the good work; Admiral Grant is a toughie.”


LT: “I’m sure I can handle him…”


Mullins: “Good. Now, the Inj database revealed that the closest Behemoth was last reported near a planet called Opus IV. It’s home to a humanoid species called the Bram and it’s some 33.6 light-years from your position. That’s about as much as we know. You’ll start your mission there.”


LT: “Yes, sir.”


Mullins: “Well, the only thing left to say is good luck, captain…”


LT: “Thank you, sir.”


Mullins: “Oh, yes, before I forget, one more thing… You added someone to the crew, a Crewman Cole?”


LT: “Yes, that’s right. She’s an assistant in sickbay. She’s doing quite well.”


Mullins: “Yes, I read that in Doctor Shelley’s report on the Inj attack on Behlamun. But she’s also registered as being an ‘animal caretaker’?”


LT: “Oh, yes, ehm… I believe there are 2 cats onboard, admiral…”


The admiral looks unsure.


Mullins: “Ah…”


LT: “When a cat owner pulls a double shift or is on an extensive away mission, someone needs to take care of the cats. Anyway, ehm, we’ll depart immediately, sir.”


Mullins: “Yes, please do. Have fun out there, captain.”


LT: “We will, sir. Thank you.”


Mullins: “Mullins out.”


The transmission is closed. Eisinga does his best imitation of the captain.


Eisinga: “Did I say ‘cats’? I meant ‘horses’, sir.”


LT: “Well, technically, there are 2 cats onboard…”


LT stands up and walks back to Eisinga and shakes his hand.


LT: “I’d say this qualifies as good news, commander…”


Eisinga: “Couldn’t agree more, captain…”


The captain parks himself on the couch and Eisinga claims the chair again. Both showing a huge smile…


LT: “Imagine what the 3 month return journey would have been like if we were recalled to Earth…”


Eisinga: “Let’s not think of that, shall we?”


LT: “Hmm, you’re right…”


Eisinga leans back in his chair, and after a short pause he quotes the admiral.


Eisinga: “’You will be informed when the time comes. With your experience, you’ll be the first to know.’ What do you suppose the admiral meant with that? It must be something to do with the Inj… But what?”


LT: “Hmm, yes… It’s about the only thing this crew as a whole has any experience with…”


Eisinga: “Could it be that the Inj are planning something? Are we perhaps missing the bigger picture?”


LT: “Well, they’re up to something, that’s for sure… All the more reason to get to work as soon as we can. Those 2 Behemoths need to be found.”


Eisinga: “And it seems kind of odd that we aren’t allowed to speak with the Behlamun…”


LT: “I can’t imagine what kind of harm could come from speaking with the Behlamun. If you ask me, I’d say they’re perfect candidates for joining the Federation, even though they’re just a small independent colony…”


Eisinga: “Odd…”


LT: “Well, Starfleet probably has its reasons… Anyway, we’ll speculate and celebrate later, Eldert. But first let’s get this mission underway. Instruct the helm to bring us to Opus IV at warp 8 and inform the crew of our new mission.”


Eisinga stands up from his chair.


Eisinga: “I’m on it…”


LT: “I’ll go tell Crewman Cole that if the need arises, she’s taking care of cats as well…”



SCENE 4: A mini party


Amini is at work in the astrometrics lab. Eisinga walks in.


Eisinga: “And how are things in here, ensign?”


Amini: “Very well, commander.”


Eisinga: “Good… Tell me, ensign, so far, did this mission turn out to be a bit more interesting than you anticipated when we left Earth?”


Amini: “Honestly? We haven’t been traveling a lot, only through the Pershard, MTRP, Utis and Behlamun systems…”


Eisinga: “That’s not enough diversity for you?”


Amini: “Not really… Sensors are giving us information on other systems close by, but we’ve already mapped and catalogued them.”


Eisinga: “I see… So, not a lot to do around here?”


Amini: “Well, we always have things to do here, sir. I’m currently researching nebulae that are already in the database.”


Eisinga: “Wasn’t the imminent collision of the Behlamun and Alsk systems interesting to study?”


Amini: “Interesting? Yes… But we’ve learned as much as we could. We’d have to wait 400.000 years to see how it plays out. Not imminent enough for my taste.”


Eisinga: “Hmm, maybe I’ve given you false hope when we last talked about this.”


A moment of silence.


Eisinga: “I distinctly remember that you said you wanted to travel to ‘unknown territories’, isn’t that right?”


Amini: “Yes, that’s right. I mean, I’m already lucky enough to be here on this ship doing such good work for the colonies in keeping them safe and all, but…”


Eisinga: “…but you’d like to explore, map unknown regions of space, be a pioneer…”


Amini: “Exactly.”


Eisinga leans forward slightly…


Eisinga: “Then this is your lucky day, ensign…”


Amini: “I’m not sure I understand, sir…”


Eisinga: “We’re leaving the colonies and we’re going on an exploration mission.”


Amini puts up big eyes…


Amini: “Really?”


Eisinga: “Really. We’re already on the way.”


Amini: “But, that’s great!”


Eisinga laughs.


Eisinga: “I fully agree, hahaha… I’ve seen enough of those colonies for a while, personally…”


Amini: “Where are we going?”


Eisinga: “Our orders are to start at Opus IV. But do understand that this is only partly a mission of exploration. The main goal of this mission is to locate the remaining Inj vessels…”


Amini: “I understand. Finally some real work.”


Eisinga: “This time I’m more confident to ensure you you’ll have loads of interesting things to study in this lab…”


Amini: “Can’t wait!”


Eisinga: “But keep in mind, we can’t make a detour to study some phenomenon if it interferes with the main objective of our mission…”


Amini: “Do you really think I’d have the guts to complain after this good news, sir? Hahaha…”


Both smile.



SCENE 5: Abduction


Pattison: “Dropping out of warp. Assuming a standard orbit.”


LT: “Ops?”


Holcraft: “Pre warp civilization, approximately 1.8 billion lifesigns.”


LT: “Any technology that can detect us?”


Holcraft: “I doubt it, sir. Their level of development is comparable to the mid to late 19th century on Earth. Even no signs of vehicles with internal combustion engines yet…”


LT: “So no way for the Inj to have contacted them using technology?”


Holcraft: “Unlikely, sir.”


LT: “Hmm, well, I’d like to make sure whether or not the Inj made contact with them, it’s our only lead. Commander, assemble an away team and find out.”


Eisinga: “I suggest we send 2 teams, sir. One to dig in the archives and one to ask around in the streets.”


LT: “Alright. Find out anything and everything to do with aliens and report back here in 8 hours. Let Amato keep a lock on you in case of an emergency.”


Eisinga: “Of course. Commander Spalding, report to transporter room 1. Maresca, Pattison, you’re with me…”


LT: “You’re stealing the women from the bridge, commander?”


Eisinga: “Yes… I don’t know about this species, but usually, if women ask questions, people are more likely to answer…”


Everyone smiles and the commander leaves with the 2 women.



SCENE 6: From far away team


The away teams materialize in an alley, properly clothed to blend in. They’re all wearing a shirt with long, wide sleeves, a cloak and simple pants and shoes. All in various dull colors. No one else is around.


Eisinga: “Alright. Beam out only in absolute emergencies and be careful with the use of your tricorders, phasers and combadges. We can’t allow ourselves to be found out. Spalding, Pattison, hit the streets and talk with some locals, find out anything, rumors included.”


Spalding: “Yes, sir.”


Eisinga: “Maresca and I will try to find clues in the archives and libraries… We’ll meet back here in 7 hours. Good luck.”


Eisinga and Maresca walk off in the opposite direction of the Spalding / Pattison team. They exit the alley and move into a relatively busy square.


Spalding: “I suggest we find some place where people meet socially.”


Pattison: “Like that bar over there? At least it looks like a bar…”


Spalding: “It does. Come on, let’s find out.”


They walk towards the establishment. Spalding grabs something out of his pocket.


Spalding: “I hope they didn’t mess up with the Bram’s currency… I’d hate to do the dishes for a week…”


The duo enters the bar and after looking around for a few seconds, they sit down at the bar. There are several other customers sitting at the bar and at the tables. The bartender approaches them.


Urvan: “Good morning, good morning, people… I’m Urvan, what can I get you?”


The duo looks uncertain, not knowing what to order. Not even knowing what they can order.


Spalding: “Ehm… Well, what do you recommend?”


Urvan: “Well, it’s still early, maybe you should start with something easy on the tongue. Perhaps some owin blue?”


Spalding: “Owin blue? Sure, we’ll have 2 of those, thank you.”


Urvan: “Coming right up.”


Urvan grabs a bottle and 2 glasses from under the counter and pours the new customers a drink.


Urvan: “You don’t seem like you’re from around here… Travelers?”


Spalding: “Of sorts, yes… We’re ehm, we’re from the north…”


Urvan: “Really? What city?”


The 2 are starting to feel uncomfortable as they don’t know what to answer. Pattison opens her tricorder, hiding it well behind her wide sleeves. Urvan puts the drinks on the bar.


Spalding: “Thank you, that looks great.”


Spalding immediately takes a sip from his drink.


Spalding: “Hmmm, that’s quite a special taste…”


Pattison found a suitable answer.


Pattison: “We’re from Maynor city…”


Urvan: “Maynor? Wow, that’s quite far from here. What is your reason for coming here, if I may ask?”


Pattison: “We wanted to see this city… We’re ehm, we’re actually researchers, cultural anthropologists…”


Urvan: “I see… And you’re here to find out what people of Angor city are like?”


Spalding: “Yes, and what the differences are between the people up north and here.”


Urvan: “What are your findings then, so far?”


Spalding: “Well, we’ve only just arrived here; we haven’t really started to talk to anyone just yet.”


Urvan: “I see. Well, you’ve got a bar full of people here, hahaha… Feel free to talk to them. Most of them are locals…”


Spalding: “Thank you, I think we will…”


All 3 smile… The Federation duo mainly because they managed to struggle their way through the conversation.



SCENE 7: Undercover


Not far away, Eisinga and Maresca are standing in front of a building.


Eisinga: “This looks like the place. Can you translate what it says on the sign?”


Maresca: “I’ll try…”


She opens her tricorder and hides it, much like Pattison did, behind her wide sleeve.


Maresca: “It says ‘Angor public library’.”


Eisinga: “They might not have anything on the Inj, but at least we can find out how popular alien stories are here on this planet. Come on, let’s go.”


They enter the building and pass the front desk. A friendly looking man greets them.


Xanzo: “Good day… Feel free to snoop around; there are books here for everyone.”


The first officer and the communications officer try to look as friendly as they can and smile back at the man.


Eisinga: “Thank you.”


They walk on through the large building… They find an index…


Maresca: “Look, an index here on the wall…”


Eisinga: “Alright, translate it…”


While Eisinga looks around to see if anyone is coming, Maresca uses her tricorder again and translates the words on the wall…


Maresca: “What category are we looking for? Science fiction?...”


While the two are browsing the list on the tricorder, as if he beamed down, Xanzo suddenly appears and asks them:


Xanzo: “Can I help you find what you are looking for?”


Maresca quickly folds her sleeve over the tricorder.


Maresca: “No, thank you, we eh…”


Eisinga interrupts.


Eisinga: “Actually… I think you could… What’s your name, sir?”


Xanzo: “Xanzo, at your service, I’m always glad to help… What kind of book would you like to read?”


Eisinga lowers his voice, to make sure no one else in the library can hear them…


Eisinga: “Well Xanzo, perhaps you can tell us if you have any books about ehm… about aliens?”


Xanzo: “Aliens? As in creatures from outer space? That sort of alien?”


Eisinga: “Yes…”


Xanzo: “Well, we do have some…”


Eisinga: “Just out of curiosity… Has there been an increased interest in this subject lately? Let’s say the last couple of weeks?”


Xanzo: “Not really… It’s not a very popular topic. Some writers of fictional works wrote books involving aliens, but none of them are bestsellers…”


Then after a short silence, Xanzo also lowers his voice…


Xanzo: “Wait a minute… Are you from the police?”


Eisinga deliberately looks around suspiciously and answers:


Eisinga: “Yes, we are.”


He briefly shows Xanzo his combadge to identify himself as a policeman.


Eisinga: “But keep it quiet, we need to conduct our investigation without being discovered. It’s a highly sensitive matter…”


Xanzo now also looks around in a similar suspicious way.


Xanzo: “No problem, officers…  I’ll see to it you have full access to the library and can investigate in peace.”


Eisinga: “Thank you. Much appreciated.”


Xanzo: “Listen. Some people say there are already aliens among us…”


Maresca: “Really?”


Xanzo: “Oh, haha… Silly of me, you of all people would know about that… So eh, are there?”


Maresca: “I’m sure you understand we can’t give you that kind of information. We can’t confirm or deny it…”


Xanzo: “Ah yes, of course, of course, I understand. But if there are… I hope you find them…”


Eisinga: “And why is that?”


Xanzo: “Well, you probably know better than I do, they’re all evil.”


Maresca: “Evil? What makes you say that?”


Xanzo: “It almost sounds like you disagree…”


Eisinga: “We can’t confirm…”


Xanzo interrupts…


Xanzo: “…if you agree or disagree, I get it… But, it’s very simple. If the aliens can visit our planet with their ships, they must be thousands of years ahead of our technology. What would they want from us then? We have nothing they need; everything they have is much more sophisticated. They only need us as slaves, don’t you see? To work in their mines or factories or something…”


Eisinga: “Your opinion is valued. We’ll put it in our report, anonymously of course.”


Xanzo: “Of course, glad to help… Ehm, shall I take you to a reading room? I’ll bring you all the books we have on the subject.”


Eisinga: “Please, lead the way.”


The 2 follow the gullible alien…



SCENE 8: Rule of acquisition #285


Spalding and Pattison are asking a couple in the bar some questions.


Spalding: “Tell me, Omont, have you ever heard of such a thing?”


Omont: “Aliens? Sure… But I don’t believe they exist…”


Pattison: “Are there a lot of people here in the south that do believe in them?”


Omont: “Well, I’m not sure… There are always people with overactive imaginations, trying to stir things up with lies… Like that kid from down the street, you remember, Yis?”


Yis, the female half of the elderly couple, always in for a nice lengthy conversation about nothing.


Yis: “He started to talk about all kinds of nonsense after his mother was killed by his older brother… He was only 10… A very confused young man. Haven’t seen him in years, I wonder what became of him… Anyway, I’m drifting here… He also told about aliens with bizarrely shaped faces and such…”


Omont: “Total nonsense, of course… There’s no such thing as aliens.”


Yis: “We here in Angor have both feet firmly on the ground, that sort of thing isn’t very welcome here.”


Pattison: “That’s certainly interesting for our report…”


Spalding: “Thank you very much for your time, sir, madam.”


Omont: “Glad to help, have a good day.”


Yis: “Bye.”


Pattison: “Bye.”


The away team moves away from the table, looking around for others to interview.


Spalding: “That man over there, let’s ask him.”


Pattison: “Alright.”


They walk along the bar and try to pass Urvan who is carrying a drink to a customer, but he blocks the path.


Urvan: “I think not. I’ve received some complaints about you…”


Spalding: “Complaints? Well, some people didn’t want to talk, but we left them alone.”


Urvan: “You only seem to be talking about aliens and such… What kind of ‘cultural anthropology’ is that?”


Pattison: “Well, we’re trying to cover as many topics as we can while we’re here… We know it’s a controversial topic, but the opinions of the people of Angor are important to us.”


Urvan: “That may be, but you’re scaring my customers away. I think you’ve harassed them enough, time to leave.”


Spalding: “I’m sorry, we didn’t want any trouble.”


Urvan: “The economy is pretty bad at the moment and I don’t want to lose any of my regulars…”


Spalding addresses Pattison, but he’s sure that Urvan hears his words clearly.


Spalding: “Come on, let’s go. It seems we won’t be regulars here either for the duration of our stay…”


They exit the bar and walk across the square…


Spalding: “Let’s find some other part of the city… Just in case Urvan calls the authorities on us.”


Pattison: “Alright…”


They walk into an alley leading away from the square.


Pattison: “Isn’t it odd that Urvan changed his mind all of a sudden?”


Spalding: “I guess it’s true what Yis said… They have both feet firmly on the ground here… They don’t like stories about aliens and such…”


Pattison: “Hmmm…”


Spalding: “I also haven’t seen much proof of religion here on the planet, seems to fit the profile.”


A man’s scream is heard, coming from a house in the alley.


Pattison: “What was that?”


Spalding: “It sounds like someone’s hurt… Come on.”


They run in the direction of the sound they heard.


Spalding: “Damn… Which house?”


Pattison raises her hand to gently signal her superior to be quiet…


Pattison: “Shhh…”


A soft moaning can be heard…


Pattison: “This one…”


She walks over to a door, followed by the counselor…


Spalding: “Sounds like he’s in pain…”


Pattison: “The door is locked. Ah, yuck, there’s blood on the door… Hello? Can anyone hear me? We’re here to help you… Can anyone open the door?”


No response, and the moaning is getting weaker…


Spalding: “Stand back…”


Spalding takes a short run and rams the door open with his shoulder... Both Starfleet officers go inside and find a man on the floor in the hallway. He’s lying face down in a pool of his own blood and is motionless…


Spalding: “Scan him…”


Pattison scans the man but she doesn’t have good news.


Pattison: “He’s dead. And there’s nothing we can do, he lost way too much blood. It seems he was killed with a rather large knife…”


Spalding: “The killer must still be in the house. Phasers on stun.”


Pattison: “Sir, I’m not sure we should interfere…”


Spalding: “Are you suggesting we let a killer go? If he’s still here, we can stun him and leave before the authorities arrive.”


Pattison: “Let’s at least hide our phasers under our cloaks…”


Spalding: “Alright. Let’s go…”


The two search the house with drawn, yet hidden phasers. The ground floor is quickly searched, with no luck.


Spalding: “Upstairs…”


They walk up the stairs and enter the first room on the left. There they encounter a young man, 13 years old, with a big knife and a lady who is tied up.


Spalding: “What are you doing, kid?”


Taumos: “Who are you? Why did you break into my house? Get out! Get out before I call the police!”


Spalding: “I think the police would like having a talk with you, young man…”


Finca: “Taumos, what are they talking about? What do they want?”


Taumos: “It’s alright, Finca… I’ll deal with this.”


Pattison: “Did you kill the man downstairs?”


Taumos: “Of course I did! Didn’t you see the sign of Ulker on the door?”


Spalding: “The sign of what? Hey, all I know is you killed that man… You need to drop that knife, kid. You don’t want to try and kill me…”


Taumos: “Of course I don’t want to kill you, I’m not a criminal! Unlike you. You broke into my house!”


Spalding and Pattison briefly exchange a puzzled look…


Spalding: “It seems to me that you’re already a criminal. You killed that man!”


Taumos: “Yes, of course! He was my father, and this is my mother… Now get out of here!”


Finca: “Call for help, Taumos! Why are you people interfering with the ritual of Ulker? Get out!”


Taumos walks over to the window and start shouting.


Taumos: “Help! Police! Police!”


Pattison: “Are you sure you won’t need any help, ma’am?”


Finca: “Go away, criminals!”


Finca joins her son in screaming for help. The counselor mumbles to his colleague:


Spalding: “Let’s go, quickly… We can’t allow the police to catch us.”


The 2 leave quickly, run down the stairs and into the alley… Then, in the distance, they hear a loud whistle. A policeman. Two of his colleagues follow shortly behind.


Policeman: “Police! Stop right there!”


Spalding: “Don’t look back, run!”


They run as fast as they can back into the square… Whistles of the police can be heard now and then… Trying to find out what the commotion is all about, Urvan steps outside his bar followed by Omont and Yis. They see Spalding and Pattison run across the square followed by the police…


Urvan: “See? I told you they were trouble!”


He throws his towel over his shoulder and crosses his arms. An annoyed look on his face.


Pattison: “I think this qualifies as an ‘absolute emergency’.”


Spalding: “Agreed! Look for a suitable place to beam up. Spalding to Greate Pier. Two to beam up on my signal!”


Amato: “Standing by, commander, just give me the word, I’ll keep the comline open.”


After a while the duo is panting like dogs, but still running…


Pattison: “Alley… left…”


Spalding: “…’kay…”


They run into the narrow alley and don’t see anyone else…


Spalding: “Now, Amato!”


They dematerialize and almost immediately after they’re gone, the policemen come running around the corner... The door to the captain’s ready room opens and the beamed up away team enters.


LT: “Report.”


Pattison: “We had to beam out, sir. We were chased by the police…”


LT: “The police?!”


Spalding sounds angry.


Spalding: “I very seriously doubt the Inj threatened the Bram, sir, but maybe they don’t have to.”


LT: “Huh? Explain.”


Spalding: “They’re perfectly capable of killing themselves. In some kind of rite called the ritual of eh…”


Pattison: “Ulker, sir. The ritual of Ulker…”



SCENE 9: Bragging rites


Eisinga sits behind a reading table sorting some books, Maresca sits next to him and puts down the last book.


Eisinga: “You scanned the last book?”


Maresca: “Yes, this was the last one…”


Eisinga: “Alright, I suggest we go to the city archives next, maybe we can find some interesting documents there…”


Maresca: “And let’s also pick up today’s newspaper. If the Inj were here it must be a hot item…”


Eisinga: “Good idea…”


LT: “LT to Eisinga.”


Eisinga: “Go ahead captain.”


LT: “I have a little update for you, commander. The other away team returned to the ship after a little run-in with the law. Please be careful.”


Eisinga: “No worries, we are the law, sir.”


LT: “Ah, well, you’ll have to explain that later, commander. For now I have an additional task for you. Find out what the ‘ritual of Ulker’ is…”


Eisinga: “The ritual of Ulker… Should be no problem, help is on the way. Have to go. Away team out.”


Xanzo: “I’ve got 2 more books for you, officers. I think that’s about all we have on the subject.”


Eisinga: “Thank you, Xanzo. You’ve been very helpful. But there’s another thing you might be able to help us with.”


Eisinga acts like he knows what he’s talking about…


Eisinga: “Do you have any books on the ritual of Ulker?”


Xanzo: “Haha, of course we do! Dozens of them, obviously. I’ll bring…”


Eisinga interrupts Xanzo’s sentence…


Eisinga: “Just bring us the best book on the ritual, in your opinion… One with a clear description of how the ritual is performed…”


Xanzo: “I know just the book… I’ll bring it to you immediately… But, if I may ask… What does this have to do with…”


He looks around first and with a soft voice he completes his question.


Xanzo: “…aliens?”


The 2 Starfleet slash ‘police’ officers just look at Xanzo and say nothing.


Xanzo: “I know, I know… You can’t disclose that…”


He walks away and mumbles to himself.


Xanzo: “And I can’t even brag about this to my friends…”


Eisinga and Pattison smile.



SCENE 10: Continuing mission


The captain and his first officer are in the conference room.


LT: “I think Starfleet found something in the Inj database…”


Eisinga: “Yeah, I bet they have. And that’s why we aren’t allowed to contact the Behlamun; they have a copy of the database as well… Too bad we don’t have the database in the computer anymore…”


LT: “Shame… I’m kind of curious.”


The door opens and Pattison and Maresca walk in.


Eisinga: “Did you translate all the data we gathered, Maresca?”


Maresca: “Yes, sir.”


Eisinga: “Anything interesting?”


LT: “Commander, let’s wait for Commander Spalding to join us…”


Promptly the door opens and Spalding walks in.


LT: “Ah, welcome, commander. Maresca, go ahead.”


Maresca: “Well, the books we found in the library were mainly fiction. According to the librarian an unpopular genre.”


Eisinga: “Yes, and he also confirmed there was no increased interest in the subject of aliens recently.”


LT: “Alright. Anything else?”


Maresca: “The city archives hardly revealed any eye witness reports of unexplained phenomenon or suspected aliens. None of which were recent. We bought a newspaper, but nothing in there to confirm an alien visit.”


Spalding: “We read the bulletin board in the bar, but no news of that kind either…”


LT stares at the conference table.


LT: “Hmm, I see…”


Spalding: “It almost sounds like you’re disappointed that the Inj probably didn’t threaten these people…”


LT: “Oh, I didn’t mean it like that, commander… It’s just that this is the only lead we have regarding this Behemoth.”


Eisinga: “We’ll find them…”


LT: “What about the locals?”


Pattison: “Well, before we were asked to leave the bar, we interviewed a fair number of people. But none of them reported anything out of the ordinary.”


Eisinga: “’Asked to leave?’


Spalding: “Initially, the bartender gave his permission for us to ask his customers some questions. But apparently, some of them weren’t too happy about the topic. They’re quite conservative and don’t like weird stories about aliens visiting their world. In their own words they have ‘both feet firmly on the ground’…”


Eisinga: “Is that why you were chased by the police?”


Spalding: “No. After we left the bar we walked into an alley where we heard a scream, like someone was hurt… We entered the house the scream came from and saw a dead man in a pool of blood. He was killed with a knife. We searched the house to see if the killer was still there and found him in a room upstairs. He was about to kill a woman who was tied up…”


Pattison: “They both objected to our intervention, for some reason…”


Maresca: “The woman too? Why?”


Eisinga: “Ah, now I see… The ritual of Ulker, right?”


LT: “Can you explain the ritual to us, Maresca?”


Maresca: “Well, in a nutshell, the elder child kills its parents when it thinks it’s time. Usually between the age of 13 and 17.”


Spalding: “What?!”


Maresca: “It is said that this custom came in to being when food was scarce, many centuries ago… To ensure there was enough food the parents had to be killed. The bloodline could continue like this.”


Spalding: “But there is no shortage of food on the planet anymore!”


LT: “As with many traditions on many worlds, the ritual remains even when it’s not a necessity anymore.”


Maresca: “The child first cuts himself with a ritual knife and draws the sign of Ulker on the door, so passersby will know what is going to happen in that house.”


Pattison: “Yes, we saw blood on the door… But why would they continue to kill their parents when it’s not necessary anymore? Have they no respect for their parents?”


Maresca: “In the book it said that killing your parents is actually a form of respect towards them.”


Pattison looks at Spalding.


Pattison: “There’s some work for you to do on this backward planet, commander. If you’re interested.”


Spalding shows a little smile.


Eisinga: “What happened next, Spalding? After you ran into the young killer and his second victim.”


Spalding: “Well, we wanted to help the victim, obviously. But, as said, she objected to our interference and they both called for the police.”


Pattison: “Three police officers gave us chase but we managed to beam up…”


LT: “Thrown out of a bar and chased by the cops… Sounds like Eisinga’s teenage years…”


Smiles all around… Only Eisinga sighs.


LT: “Conclusions?”


Eisinga: “There’s no proof of any contact between the Inj and the Bram. If they were on the surface, they didn’t make contact.”


LT: “Agreed. What we’re going to do is systematically search all close by solar systems for evidence of Inj presence.”


A brief silence.


LT: “I think the Bram are a perfect example of what we can find out there… We’re at the beginning of a mission of exploration. We won’t always like what we’ll find out there, but as long as there is something to be found, I am interested to find it. The Bram have a ritual of which we do not approve. But then again, we might have rituals and customs that may be objectionable or outright revolting in their eyes.”


Another short pause.


LT: “Pattison, take the helm and set a course for the nearest solar system, warp 8. Strange new worlds await.”



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