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“Towering intellect”

by Lord Thanatos


21/10/09 28/10/09







1. Aspiring nation

2. Stay away team

3. Secondary priority

4. Dismissal

5. Wandering bartender

6. Voracious contempt

7. Clueless

8. Overstepping the final frontier

9. The forgiven

10. Constricted

11. The unforgiven

12. Ulterior alternative

13. What little admirals are made of

14. Forgery





SCENE 1: Aspiring nation


On a planet a huge tower is being built. A humanoid construction worker walks into the office of his boss with a smile on his face…


Folmar: “Our tower is almost done! Hahaha…”


Heth: “Well... Not quite…”


Folmar’s laugh fades…


Folmar: “What do you mean, Heth?... We just need to put in the walls on the top floor and then the roof goes on.”


Heth: “That’s right… But the president ordered a change to the roof.”


Folmar now sounds a bit angry…


Folmar: “Change? What change? A roof is a roof…”


Heth: “Settle down, Folmar. Let me finish…”


Folmar: “The blueprints have been made long ago and the president approved of those… What does he want now? A statue in his image on top of the tower or something?”


Heth: “Folmar, sit down and shut up!”


Folmar looks annoyed and reluctantly sits down…


Heth: “The president doesn’t want a flat roof. The tower will get a spire…”


Folmar: “A spire? Really? How big?”


Heth: “It has to add 30 meters to the tower’s length.”


Folmar stands up again and is now truly enraged…


Folmar: “30 meters?! Did the president lose his mind? The tower isn’t designed to hold that extra weight!”


Heth: “I understand your concerns, Folmar… But this tower needs to be a powerful symbol. It’s has to impress all other nations around the world! And make no mistake; if the president wants it, he’s going to get it.”


Folmar: “Maybe because he’s got you in his pocket…”


Heth: “That’s quite enough… Sit back down.”


Again reluctantly, he sits down…


Heth: “The design of the tower includes the necessary margins.”


Folmar: “Yes, and those margins are gone as soon as you add the spire to the tower.”


Heth: “If there is any risk, which there is not, it is mine to take…”


Folmar: “Oh, rest assured, boss, I’ll build that damn spire if the damn president wants it… But I’m going to write a registered letter to him explaining that I will not be held responsible if the tower fails.”


He walks out…


Heth: “Folmar… Come on…”


The door slams shut. Heth sighs deeply and is clearly not happy.



SCENE 2: Stay away team


LT: “Holcraft, what can you tell me about this planet?”


Holcraft: “I’m reading humanoid lifesigns, approximately 800 million of them. Pre-warp…”


LT: “Any chance of them being contacted by the Inj?”


Holcraft: “I’m picking up lots of radio signals, so it’s possible…”


LT: “Maresca, start monitoring the radio signals.”


Maresca: “Aye, sir.”


Holcraft: “I’m also reading something unusual, captain.”


LT: “What’s that, lieutenant?”


Holcraft: “Well, in most parts of this world, the tallest buildings aren’t higher than about 80 to 100 meters.”


LT: “And?”


Holcraft: “Well, in the northern hemisphere I’m reading one particular building that is 820 meters high…”


LT is amazed.


LT: “820 meters? What kind of building is it?”


Holcraft: “Purpose is unknown, but it’s a tower of some kind…”


LT: “On screen.”


An image of the tower appears on screen. A beautiful bright white, sleek tower…


LT: “Niiice…”


Serrag: “Do you wish to scan the tower, sir?”


LT: “Let’s indulge our curiosity. Make a detailed scan.”


Serrag scans the tower and speculates as to what the purpose of the building could be.


Serrag: “The tower has many rooms. They could be intended as living quarters or offices.”


LT: “’Could be intended?’


Serrag: “Yes, sir. The scan shows that the tower is still being constructed.”


LT: “It’s going to get even taller?”


Serrag: “I hope not… The tower is already a safety hazard as it is.”


LT: “Explain.”


Serrag: “The method of construction is sound, but they’re simply building it too high. According to my calculations, a serious storm could cause the tower’s structural integrity to fail.”


LT: “Hmmm…”


Serrag: “The structure would have been safe if it was no taller than 610 meters. They would need to build support struts to ensure the tower’s survival in a storm.”


LT: “I see…”


Stuckman: “What do you want to do, captain? A lot of people will surely die if they continue building…”


Eisinga answers for the captain.


Eisinga: “We have to stick to the prime directive, ensign. We cannot interfere.”


Stuckman: “But this could be a real disaster, sir.”


Eisinga: “I know, ensign. I don’t like it either…”


Stuckman: “I thought you were the one that spoke up to the admiral when he refused to let you help the victims on Alsk after the Inj attack…”


LT: “That’s enough, ensign.”


Stuckman: “Yes, sir. Sorry, sir.”


LT: “We can’t intervene, even if it costs the lives of thousands. Death is a part of life. Mistakes make people learn. And like in this case, the hard way. That’s the way we learned it as well on Earth. And I’m even sure on Vulcan the odd tower collapsed once in a while.”


Serrag: “Of course. But they collapsed more logically.”


Eisinga: “Serrag, if you’re not actually going to say anything, don’t open your mouth.”


LT: “Commander, you know the drill by now. Assemble your away teams and find out if the Inj were here bla bla bla…”


Eisinga: “Yes, sir.”


LT: “And I don’t want any away team near that tower.”


Eisinga: “Understood.”



SCENE 3: Secondary priority


The captain walks into the primary machine shop on deck 11 and finds Elpek.


LT: “Lieutenant Elpek.”


Elpek: “Sir.”


LT: “How are things coming along with adapting the Inj’s secondary weapons for the Greate Pier?”


Elpek: “It’s my top priority sir, but unfortunately it’s more difficult than I anticipated.”


LT: “How so?”


Elpek: “The systems the Inj use to power this weapon are substantially different from our power systems.”


LT: “This is the original one?”


LT checks out one of the two weapons in front of him. Large and bulky machines.


Elpek: “Yes, luckily it was not on the shuttle when we sent it back to the rightful owners. This is the one I’m building from scratch.”


Elpek shows the captain the other weapon.


LT: “When will you have it working?”


Elpek: “Sorting out the power feed is the main obstacle. It would help if Starfleet would send us all the data regarding this weapon from the Inj database, but my attempts to request that information were less than successful.”


LT: “I’ll ask the admiral for the data myself, maybe that’ll help.”


Elpek: “I hope so, sir.”


LT: “If you need any help, ask Lieutenant Commander Serrag if he can spare the necessary personnel. I’d like this weapon to be functional the next time we come across the Inj…”


Elpek: “Yes, sir.”



SCENE 4: Dismissal


In transporter room 1 Amato operates the machinery and the members of the away teams beam onto the platform. They all leave the transporter room, except for the first officer as he’s being asked a question.


Amato: “Any luck, sir?”


Eisinga: “It depends on what you prefer. We didn’t find any proof of Inj activity. Good news for the people below on the surface. Bad news for the people who are trying to find them…”


Amato: “Hmm, this is the 7th inhabited planet we’ve visited… I hope we find a clue soon…”


Eisinga: “Well, we’ll find them eventually, Amato. But I hope it’s sooner rather than later. It’ll save a lot of lives. But hey, look on the bright side. At least we’re exploring, getting to see other civilizations up close…”


Amato: “I must say, there are more intelligent species in this part of space than I expected.”


Eisinga: “We might be relatively close to the edge of the galaxy and solar systems may be a bit further apart here, but I guess that doesn’t say much. There’s life everywhere in space. Anyway, we’ll go back to the surface tomorrow again. There are some more things I’d like to check out before we leave, just to make sure. I better go report to the captain…”


Amato: “You’re dismissed, commander.”


They both smile.


Eisinga: “Thank you, ensign.”


He leaves.



SCENE 5: Wandering bartender


In the lounge, Bart serves a customer his drink and has a laugh with him. He then sees the doctor walk over to her usual table. He ends the conversation and walks up to the doctor with a big smile.


Endersby: “Ah doctor, welcome. Is it break time again? How are you doing today?”


Shelley: “I’m doing fine Bart, thank you. And yourself?”


Endersby: “Well, my skin feels a bit stretchy today, but other than that I’m fine.”


Shelley: “Good, hahaha…”


Endersby: “Say, doctor… Someone just told me that this planet also didn’t reveal any new clues about the Inj so far…”


Shelley: “Yes, that’s right.”


Endersby: “Odd, very odd…”


Shelley: “Why is that, Bart?”


Endersby: “Don’t you think it’s weird? First they’re everywhere, and now all of a sudden they’re nowhere to be found!”


Shelley: “Well, it’s a big universe out there…”


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


His mind seems to wander for a few seconds.


Shelley: “Bart?”


Endersby: “Hm? What? Oh, yes, yes… Your usual eh…, doctor?”


Shelley: “Yes please…”


Bart nearly seems stressed out and hastily walks to the bar to fix the doctor’s drink.



SCENE 6: Voracious contempt


Night shift on the Greate Pier. Faulkner sips his coffee and sits down in the big chair. James Blackwell, a crewman at the ops station, apprises the officer in charge of a situation developing on the surface.


Blackwell: “Sir, a storm is gathering on the surface.”


Faulkner: “On screen, crewman.”


An image of the storm appears on screen.


Blackwell: “It’s now near the equator, but it’s moving north. When it reaches the tower the storm will probably have increased to gale force 9.”


Faulkner: “Gale force 9?... Hinsdale, will the tower survive that?”


Robert Hinsdale, a science officer, answers.


Hinsdale: “Just a second, let me make a quick computer model, sir.”


Faulkner: “How long ‘til the storm reaches the tower, Blackwell?”


Blackwell: “Current projections predict it will arrive there in approximately 2 hours.”


Faulkner: “Hmm, it’s moving fast, but there’s enough time…”


Blackwell: “Do you intend to help the people in the tower, sir?”


Faulkner: “I do. Hinsdale?”


Hinsdale: “It’s hard to tell if the tower will survive the storm. The top might sway 3.2 meters in either direction in the predicted winds. The tower might not hold under that kind of stress.”


Faulkner stands up.


Faulkner: “Alright. Moon, Longworth, you’re with me.”


Hinsdale: “Are you going down there, sir?””


Faulkner: “Yes.”


Hinsdale: “May I remind you that the captain didn’t want any away team near that tower?”


Faulkner: “People could die, Hinsdale.”


Hinsdale: “What about the prime directive, sir? This is a pre-warp…”


Faulkner interrupts him with a loud voice.


Faulkner: “Don’t lecture me about the prime directive, kid… At this moment I’m in charge of the ship and I say we go. I don’t want to sit around looking at a tower on the screen while people inside may be dying.”


Hinsdale: “I just don’t think it’s a smart decision to ignore the captain’s…”


Faulkner interrupts again.


Faulkner: “You don’t think it’s smart? Maybe you’ll understand when and if you reach the rank of lieutenant commander, lieutenant. If you’re smart enough. Your opinion has been noted and summarily rejected.”


There’s a short silence before he continues.


Faulkner: “And look on the bright side, you’ll get some command time now. I suggest you use that time more wisely than you use your mouth.”


Hinsdale doesn’t answer and just stares at his console. His eyes reveal that he disagrees with Faulkner, but he wouldn’t mind being in command.


Blackwell: “What do you intend to do, sir? Evacuate the construction workers?”


Faulkner: “If I can… I’ll try to find the person in charge…”


Blackwell: “Then I volunteer to join the away team, sir. I’d like to help these people…”


Some of the bridge crew who agree with Hinsdale throw a contemptuous look at both Faulkner and Blackwell, unnoticed by either.


Faulkner: “Alright. Moon, you’re with us. Hinsdale, the bridge is yours. Don’t mess up.”


Hinsdale again says nothing and takes a seat in the captain’s chair while the away team walks into the turbo lift. Moments later they materialize on the surface, near the tower. Their clothing matches that of the average construction worker.


Faulkner: “Alright, let’s go… That seems like a good place to start.”


They walk over to a set of buildings that look to be temporary buildings and for the construction crews and other personnel. The area is well lit by large lights.


Moon: “This place looks deserted this time of day…”


Blackwell: “And still there are at least 110 construction workers in and around the tower at this very moment… This tower is apparently being built around the clock…”


Faulkner: “This place is big… We better split up. We’ll meet back here in 30 minutes.”


The other 2 bridge officers nod and each proceed in a different direction. Ensign Moon wanders around the buildings, trying to translate the words on the doors in an attempt to find the man in charge. She carefully uses her tricorder.


Moon: “Mess hall…”


She walks over to the building next to it and scans again.


Moon: “Doctor’s office…”


Next building.


Moon: “Meeting room…”


She sighs…


Moon: “This could take a while…”


Somewhere else on the construction site, Blackwell is doing pretty much the same… He enters a large building and is walking through a hallway with many doors. In the distance he’s scanning the text on a door and moves on the next one and scans again.


Blackwell: “Bingo… Site supervisor.”


He knocks on the door, but hears no answer. He turns the doorknob and to his surprise, it’s unlocked. He sticks his head through the door and apprehensively looks around.


Blackwell: “Hello?”


It appears he’s alone and he enters the office. He noses around the office for a while. After a while he finds a letter on the desk. It looks important and he can’t resist opening it. Blackwell takes out his tricorder, looks around to make sure no one is watching and scans the top of the letter... A very distinct logo can be seen. His back is to the door and it obviously scares him for a second when a voice is suddenly heard behind him.


Faulkner: “What’s that?”


Blackwell: “Sir, you startled me… This? This is a letter from eh…”


He has to check his tricorder again.


Blackwell: “…the Building Commission. A department of the government that issues building codes…”


Faulkner: “What does it say?”


Blackwell: “The subject line reveals that they need to improve a floor support or something… Anyway, this is the office of the site supervisor, sir. But it seems he’s not in at the moment…”


Faulkner: “Alright. We’ll find Moon and head into the tower. Maybe we can find him there…”


Hinsdale: “ Hinsdale to Lieutenant Commander Faulkner.”


Faulkner: “Yes, what is it?”


Hinsdale: “Sir, the storm is bending off to the west. It looks like it’s not headed for the tower anymore…”


Faulkner: “Acknowledged. Faulkner out. Well, it seems like we have a change of plan. Come on, let’s get out of here.”


Faulkner walks out the door. Blackwell scans the front and back of the letter while looking over his shoulder to make sure his superior isn’t coming back. He then puts the letter back and quickly follows Faulkner.



SCENE 7: Clueless


Much like a car mechanic, Elpek lies on his back on the ground, partly obscured by the colossal weapon he’s working under…


Serrag: “You requested my presence, Elpek?”


Elpek moves from underneath the canon.


Elpek: “Yes. The captain told me to ask you and your crew for help if I needed any. And I do need some help…”


Serrag: “I see… What can I do for you?”


Elpek: “I could use a hand in figuring out how to power this weapon. I just can’t get it to work with power from the plasma grid. I could use a fresh pair of eyes; I’ve been looking at this issue too long…”


Serrag: “You have a pair of eyes?”


Elpek sighs…


Elpek: “Yes, sir… Just 2 eyes…”


Serrag: “Alright, let’s see…”


Serrag flips open his tricorder and scans the weapon.


Serrag: “Hmmm…”


He walks over to the original Inj weapon and scans again…


Serrag: “I see…”


Elpek: “What is it?”


The chief engineer walks back to the brand new canon and does some more scanning…


Serrag: “Ah…”


Elpek: “Well what’s wrong, sir?”


Serrag: “I have no idea…”


Elpek looks surprised…


Serrag: “…but we’ll find out, lieutenant.”


The 2 engineers continue to fiddle with the machine.



SCENE 8: Overstepping the final frontier


Eisinga: “He’s ceaselessly trying to push the limits around here…”


LT: “More frequently than not crossing them, if you ask me…”


Eisinga: “Personally, I’m getting a bit tired of it.”


LT: “I agree…”


Eisinga: “Then what are we going to do about Faulkner? I mean, how did this guy get the rank of lieutenant commander? He’s proven time and again that he can’t handle the responsibilities that come with the rank… He’s in charge of the whole ship for a third of the day!”


LT sort of continues Eisinga’s sentence.


LT: “And he should set an example for the rest of the crew, yes, I know. When Admiral Mullins told me some of the crew may need some extra attention, I assumed he was talking about enlisted crew and lower ranked officers. Continuously having to put a lieutenant commander over my knee wasn’t what I expected.”


Eisinga: “I’ll go talk to him…”


The first officer stands up.


LT: “Let me handle Faulkner, Eldert… I want you to talk to Ensign Moon and Crewman Blackwell. Go easy on them, they’re just kids. But do make sure they understand that they’ve made a mistake joining Faulkner on his away mission.”


Eisinga: “Alright… But don’t you want me to address the entire night shift bridge crew?”


LT: “No. They will surely notice something is wrong tonight. They’ll do the math themselves.”



SCENE 9: The forgiven


Ensign Moon walks through a corridor and enters the turbo lift. The doors are about to close when Crewman Blackwell sprints towards the lift.


Blackwell: “Computer, hold the doors.”


Computer: “Bleep.”


Moon: “Hey James…”


Blackwell: “Hey… Deck 1.”


Moon: “You’ve been summoned to Eisinga’s ready room as well I take it?”


Blackwell: “Yes…”


Moon: “I wonder what’s in store for us… I’m sure it’s about the away mission of last night… We never should have gone down to the surface.”


Blackwell: “In the end it wasn’t necessary to go down there, but I think we did the right thing…”


Moon: “Technically, we didn’t break the prime directive. We didn’t interfere with anything. But we would have broken the prime directive if the storm had kept course towards the tower.”


Blackwell: “No unnecessary deaths in either case; sounds good to me.”


Moon: “Hmmm…”


The doors open and the duo walks onto the bridge and head in the direction of Eisinga’s ready room. The commander hears the door chime and answers.


Eisinga: “Come in…”


Both Moon and Blackwell enter.


Eisinga: “Oh, Ensign Moon, could you wait outside for a minute?”


Moon: “Of course, sir.”


She leaves and the door shuts behind her. The commander looks at Blackwell.


Eisinga: “I’ve been informed that there was an away mission last night, crewman.”


Blackwell: “Yes sir.”


Eisinga: “Explain.”


Blackwell: “There was a storm heading for the tower, sir. The tower could have collapsed.”


Eisinga: “But the storm changed course.”


Blackwell: “Affirmative, sir.”


Eisinga: “Who ordered the away mission?”


Blackwell: “Lieutenant Commander Faulkner, sir.”


Eisinga: “I see… And tell me… Did everyone agree with this decision?”


Blackwell: “No sir. Lieutenant Hinsdale protested. But I agreed with Commander Faulkner, sir.”


Eisinga: “Why?”


Blackwell: “Because I don’t want anyone to die if something can be done to prevent it.”


Eisinga: “I understand.”


A short moment of silence. The commander stands up and starts walking around a bit.


Eisinga: “Are you familiar with the prime directive, crewman?”


Blackwell: “Yes sir.”


As if he didn’t hear the answer, Eisinga continues.


Eisinga: “You didn’t go through the academy, but I’m sure the basic training you received explained that directive to you.”


Blackwell: “Yes sir.”


Eisinga: “One simple question then. Why didn’t you protest?”


Blackwell: “I agreed with the decision, sir.”


Eisinga: “Even though it was a breach of Starfleet General Order number 1?”


Blackwell: “Yes sir, and also because I have to follow the orders of my superior.”


Eisinga: “Doesn’t that strike you as odd, crewman?”


Blackwell: “Sir?”


Eisinga: “You break the rules by obeying your superior?”


Blackwell: “Well…”


Eisinga: “Listen, crewman.”


Eisinga sits down on the edge of his desk.


Eisinga: “I perfectly understand how you would feel if those people were in danger. A little while back, when the Inj left some 100 injured after their attack on Alsk, I had a very hard time coping with the fact that the admiral didn’t allow us to help them. I commend you for executing orders given to you by your superiors, but in this case it was clearly not a very good thing… Can you understand that?”


Blackwell: “Yes sir.”


Eisinga: “I’m not suggesting you should question every single order you get, but in this case…”


Blackwell: “I understand, sir. It won’t happen again.”


Eisinga: “Alright, that’s good enough for me.”


Blackwell: “Thank you, sir.”


Eisinga: “Believe me, Faulkner won’t get off as easy as you and Ensign Moon will.”


Again a short silence.


Eisinga: “Send in Ensign Moon on your way out, crewman. Dismissed.”


The crewman nods and heads for the door.



SCENE 10: Constricted


Serrag: “I think this is it, Elpek.”


Elpek: “The EPS tap?”


Serrag: “Yes.”


Elpek: “What’s wrong with it? It’s properly configured for as far as I can tell…”


Serrag: “It is… That’s not the problem. The problem is that the power is constricted too much.”


Elpek: “I had no idea how much power the canon required, so I put it on a low setting so it wouldn’t overload upon the first activation.”


Serrag pushes a series of buttons on a control panel and the weapon comes online.


Serrag: “Your tentative approach was what prevented the weapon from coming online.”


Elpek: “So you can be too careful…”


Serrag: “If this canon gets 90% of the power that it needs to operate, it doesn’t operate at 90%, it won’t operate at all.”


Elpek: “Who designed this thing? Hahaha…”


Serrag: “I’ll advise the captain to demote him.”


Elpek: “Thank you for your help, commander. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’d like to complete this project as fast as I can. I better start working on the computer interface for the canon.”


Serrag: “Are you going to reconfigure a standard phaser interface?”


Elpek: “I’m afraid I have to reprogram it completely. It’s too alien for a simple reconfiguration.”


Serrag: “That might take you 12 hours to do…”


Elpek: “12 hours? I allocated 2 to 3 days for it. You may try to do it in 12 hours, sir.”


Serrag: “That’s very kind, but no thank you. I have to be going now. Good luck.”


He leaves in a hurry…



SCENE 11: The unforgiven


In LT’s ready room it’s pandemonium.


LT: “You’ve been on this ship for 6 months. And this is what? The 3rd time you had to explain questionable behavior or decisions?”


Faulkner: “I thought it was necessary, there was an immediate danger.”


LT: “What part of the prime directive should I explain to you again? I thought it was pretty clear that I didn’t want any away team near that damn tower…”


Faulkner gets upset.


Faulkner: “There were over 100 construction workers in that tower, sir! You wanted me to just let them die?”


LT raises his voice.


LT: “That exactly what I wanted you to do! We cannot interfere!


Faulkner: “We would’ve informed them of the storm without contaminating their culture with anything. We wore clothing to blend in with the rest of the construction crew.”


LT: “You can try to justify your actions in any way you like, Mr. Faulkner, but the fact remains that you ignored standing orders. And you were well aware of those orders as Lieutenant Hinsdale reminded you of them. And not only did you ignore standing orders, but also the prime directive.”


Faulkner: “I’m sick of that word… ‘the prime directive’… In my opinion, another fact that remains is that we had the ability to help these people! So I did what was morally right!”


LT: “Lieutenant Commander Faulkner. If you cannot adhere to the rules on this ship, you should offer me your resignation and find a transport back home. You spent 4 years in the academy and since made it to lieutenant commander. I thought by now you would’ve learned to play by the rules.”


Faulkner: “And you always play by the rules, captain?”


LT: “No. No, of course not. I don’t always stick to the rules. And I’ve been in trouble myself once or twice. But judging from your permanent record, you seem to simply ignore all the rules altogether in stead of breaching the odd protocol left or right once in a while.”


A few seconds of eerie silence.


LT: “Your record also shows that, so far, you got away easy each and every time. Not this time. Not anymore. I’m putting a reprimand on your permanent record. Not that anyone would notice, since it will only be one extra line in the long list that’s already there. But on top of that, you’re confined to quarters for 10 days.”


Faulkner shortly snickers… In response to that disrespectful gesture, LT stands up and leans forward over his desk.


LT: “Make no mistake, lieutenant commander. The next time you cause a stir, you lose a rank. And believe me; I’ll personally scrutinize your every move from now on. Dismissed.”


Faulkner makes for the door while he shakes his head.



SCENE 12: Ulterior alternative


Ensign Moon and Commander Eisinga both leave the commander’s ready room and find crewman Blackwell is waiting there.


Eisinga: “Crewman, what are you still doing here?”


Blackwell: “I have a request to make, sir.”


Eisinga: “A request?... Alright, go ahead.”


Blackwell: “I’d like to join the away team, sir.”


Eisinga looks more seriously than he is.


Eisinga: “Why? You’re not sucking up, are you?”


Blackwell: “No, sir. No. Not at all… I just thought that if I can’t help them by breaking the prime directive, I’d like to help them in another way. If we find out the Inj have threatened them, we might do something if they return.”


The commander thinks for a few seconds.


Eisinga: “Report to transporter room 1 in 1 hour.”


Blackwell: “Yes sir, thank you sir.”


The crewman heads for the turbo lift. Eisinga shows a little smile.



SCENE 13: What little admirals are made of


The captain and his first officer are walking through a corridor.


LT: “Somehow, Faulkner doesn’t strike me as the humanitarian type.”


Eisinga: “My impression of him is that he wants to impress others, show them who’s in command…”


LT: “Oh yes… He was adamant to let me know that he would have saved many lives if the storm hadn’t bent off…”


Eisinga: “And the sad fact is, he is in command at night.”


LT: “Not for a week and a half…”


Eisinga: “Oh?”


LT: “I confined him to quarters for 10 days. Hopefully he’ll use some of that time to contemplate his dubious command decisions.”


Eisinga: “Did you put a reprimand on his permanent record?”


LT: “Yes. For the good it’ll do.”


Eisinga: “I doubt it’ll do anything.”


LT: “That’s why I made something very clear to him. If he screws up again, I’ll demote him.”


Eisinga: “I imagine he was overjoyed.”


The 2 enter the primary machine shop.


LT: “Elpek, status.”


Elpek: “We’ve made significant progress, sir. Serrag and I sorted out the power feed problem.”


LT: “Good, good.”


Elpek: “I’m currently reprogramming the computer interface.”


Eisinga: “And once that’s done?”


Elpek: “Then we’ll be ready for the first test, sir.”


LT: “Excellent. Good work, lieutenant.”


Eisinga: “How long will this reprogramming take?”


Elpek: “At least 2 more days, sir. It’s an extremely complex piece of technology.”


LT: “And how much time will it cost to install this beast?”


Elpek: “By my estimates it will take approximately 2 weeks.”


Eisinga: “Two weeks?!”


Elpek: “Indeed. During which time warp is not available and impulse is discouraged.”


LT: “So we’ll be dead in space for 2 weeks? The admiral isn’t going to like that…”


Eisinga: “Well, I’m sure he understands the benefits of such a weapon in a battle against the Inj. It evens up the odds a little bit.”


LT: “Then I take it you haven’t spoken with Admiral Grant yourself just yet?”


Eisinga: “Ehm, no?”


LT: “Let me describe Admiral Grant. Take Admiral Mullins on a bad day, multiply that by two and then take away all the sugar and spice and everything nice.”


Eisinga: “How cute.”



SCENE 14: Forgery


Blackwell is in his quarters, already in appropriate clothing for his away mission. He sits behind his desk working on a PADD. After a while he stands up and walks up to the replicator.


Blackwell: “Computer, replicate the letter on PADD BC gamma.”


Computer: “Please define parameters.”


Blackwell: “Access scan results TWR alpha and beta on my tricorder for parameters.”


Computer: “Bleep.”


The replicator produces a letter. Blackwell picks it up and takes a good look at it. The same logo from the original Building Commission letter can clearly be seen.


Blackwell: “Excellent.”


Eisinga’s voice can suddenly be heard over the com system.


Eisinga: “Commander Eisinga to crewman Blackwell.”


Blackwell: “Go ahead sir.”


Eisinga: “If you still want to join the away mission, you better get over here on the double.”


Blackwell: “Damn, I lost track of time. I’m on my way, sir. Blackwell out.”


Blackwell looks annoyed with himself.


Blackwell: “Computer, produce an envelope with a stamp to go with the letter.”


Luckily, this time the computer doesn’t need any further information and replicates the perfect envelope for the letter. Blackwell smiles broadly.


Blackwell: “Thank you, computer.”


He folds the letter and quickly puts it in the fresh envelope. He then rushes out the door. Moments later he arrives in the transporter room.


Blackwell: “Sorry to keep everyone waiting.”


He joins the rest of the away team members on the transporter platform.


Eisinga: “Amato, energize.”


Soon after they disappear all of them rematerialize on the planet in a quiet park just outside a small city.


Eisinga: “Alright, most of you know what to do. Blackwell, Reinard will inform you.”


Blackwell nods. Eisinga and three crew members move off into the direction of the city, leaving Reinard and Blackwell behind.


Reinard: “Blackwell, here are your instructions. I want you to translate newspapers, notice boards, bulletin boards… Anything that might reveal information on alien activity.”


Blackwell: “Yes sir.”


Reinard: “Be back here in 4 hours. The captain wants to leave for the next solar system as soon a possible.”


Blackwell: “Understood.”


Reinard hands him some local currency.


Reinard: “Use this to purchase newspapers and whatever you need to get the job done.”


Blackwell nods once.


Reinard: “Alright, go.”


They also walk towards the city, in different directions. Blackwell reaches the city and walks into a busy area with lots of shops and moments later finds a news stand. He picks up one of the many different newspapers and ‘reads’ it as if he masters the language. He picks a few more newspapers at random and puts them on the counter.


Salesman: “Oh, I can see you like to stay informed, sir.”


Blackwell shows a little smile.


Blackwell: “Yes, I do…”


Salesman: “Did you hear about the great storm last night?”


Blackwell: “As a matter of fact, I did…”


Blackwell pays the man.


Salesman: “Then you probably also know we were lucky that we were spared… I can remember the big storm we had some 10 years ago… I had to rebuild half my house.”


Blackwell: “That’s a shame… The weather can be quite unforgiving from time to time.”


Salesman: “You said it, sir.”


Blackwell: “Say, can you point me to the nearest mailbox?”


Salesman: “Of course I can… Right across the street.”


He points straight ahead to a big green mailbox.


Blackwell: “Thank you.”


Blackwell makes for the mailbox.


Salesman: “Have a nice day, sir.”


Blackwell: “Yeah, you too.”


He arrives at the green box, puts the newspapers under his arm and takes out the letter. He looks at it for a moment and then at the mailbox. Blackwell throws the letter in and walks away.



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