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“Cook around the clock”

by Lord Thanatos


31/10/09 03/11/09







1. No green

2. One day fry

3. Tender bar man

4. Mentally challenged

5. Cookspiracy

6. Road signs

7. Food for thought

8. If you go out in the woods today

9. Weapon and off

10. Not out of the woods yet

11. Halloween






SCENE 1: No green


LT: “Captain’s log, stardate 63438.64. This planet is the… well, actually I lost count… In just 5 weeks, we’ve visited all solar systems within 10 light-years of Opus IV, where we were initially sent. Unfortunately, in none of those solar systems we found any proof of Inj activity. On an equally sad note, Lieutenant Commander Faulkner will return to duty again tonight, after a 10 day confinement to quarters. Let’s hope he did some serious thinking in that time. How all of that reflects in his work… We’ll have to wait and see…”


Holcraft: “Remarkable, captain… This planet is red hot on one side, but temperate, lush and green on the other…”


LT: “How can that be?”


Holcraft: “Its rate of rotation is extremely slow. A full day and night lasts approximately 940 times longer than on Earth. There’s a difference between day and night of about 500 degrees, give or take. But I just read that that’s not the oddest thing about this planet, sir.”


LT: “What is then?”


Holcraft: “This place is inhabited.”


Eisinga is surprised, like all others who heard it.


Eisinga: “Inhabited?”


Holcraft: “Yes, sir. I read thousands of lifesigns, all belonging to one humanoid species. They’re all clustered together in one big settlement. Stage of development is roughly iron age.”


LT: “Amazing that a species can evolve in such a place… Half the planet is slowly cooking…”


Eisinga: “I imagine they evolve a bit slower than the average civilization. They have to keep moving continuously… They can’t settle down, can’t build permanent structures…”


LT: “This planet is probably not interesting to the Inj, but let’s take a look anyway. Some genuine exploring.”


Eisinga: “Would be interesting to see how they live.”


LT: “Well, I don’t want anyone to get too close to them.”


Eisinga: “We can examine the last place where they settled before they moved on; perhaps they’ve left interesting clues behind… I’ll assemble a team.”


LT: “Too bad it’s a little dark for shore leave on the temperate side of the planet, but I wouldn’t recommend the sunny side for a tan.”


Eisinga: “Well, most of us had a day of shore leave just last week…”


LT: “Yes, and I’m glad I didn’t join you all on the surface… I’m not a big fan of leeches. But I think I’ll claim some shore leave right here on this planet.”


Eisinga: “Are you sure? Doesn’t look very inviting…”


LT: “Quite sure… Nice temperatures, especially since it’s dark, lots of green…”


Holcraft: “Not quite, sir.”


LT: “Explain.”


Holcraft: “Since plants and trees don’t photosynthesize here, they’re probably not all green…”


LT: “Makes sense. Well, all the more reason to have a look around… Eisinga, go assemble that team of yours. And I don’t want the word ‘Inj’ in your report; we’re having a break from those creatures. Holcraft, you have the bridge. I’m going to arrange my shore leave.”


Holcraft takes the big chair and his 2 superiors disappear into the turbo lift.



SCENE 2: One day fry


On the planet’s surface a team of 6 appears out of thin air. All the team members have night vision goggles on which allow them to see in the dark.


Eisinga: “Alright, everyone. This is their previous settlement. It’s pretty big, so let’s fan out and see what we can find.”


Doctor Shelley is crouched down and scans some small plants. While the other team members move off in various directions, the commander asks the doctor a question.


Eisinga: “Anything interesting?”


Shelley: “Well, I don’t know a lot about plants, but I can tell these have adapted to the harsh conditions on this planet. When the sun comes up, the plants will all perish, obviously, but the ground is littered with seeds. These seeds can easily withstand the high temperatures.”


Eisinga: “Interesting. But I think that’s just a backup survival strategy.”


Shelley: “How so?”


Eisinga: “The seeds spread across the dark side a lot faster than the sun can burn everything away.”


Shelley: “I’m sure you’re right. My best guess is that as soon as the sun sets and the ground cools off again, it’s just a matter of one or two weeks before the first seedlings rear their heads above ground.”


Eisinga: “Fascinating planet…”


Then Halbert Marks yells from a distance.


Marks: “Commander!”


Eisinga walks towards the security officer and Shelley follows, as her curiosity is triggered. When they reach Marks’ location, they see 4 surfaces made of small boulders, rocks and pebbles. Each surface is about a meter wide and 2 meters long, all tilted in the same direction at about 15 degrees. One of the surfaces is occupied by what appears to be a humanoid body, wrapped in linen. The doctor immediately takes out her medical tricorder and starts scanning…


Shelley: “He’s been dead for about 4 days…”


Eisinga: “Yes, I can smell that…”


Marks: “The surfaces seem to be facing the direction of where the sun will come up… I bet this is how they dispose of their dead.”


Eisinga: “If the animals don’t get to him first…”


Marks: “Scans show no sign of any carnivores...”


Eisinga: “What’s the cause of death?”


Shelley: “Natural causes, I think…”


Eisinga: “How old was he?”


Marks: “1 day, tops…”


Eisinga smiles a bit…


Eisinga: “’Haha’, very funny Marks…”


Shelley: “Well, technically, he’s right. But I’d say he’s about 35, 40…”


Marks: “Hmm, still a bit too young…”


Shelley: “Quite natural for these people, I’m sure…”


Eisinga: “Four of these surfaces and just one body… They must be taking the same route around the planet every time. These were clearly not built for the occasion.”


A short pause.


Eisinga: “Doctor, take detailed scans of this body, but don’t disturb it in any way.”


Shelley: “Understood.”



SCENE 3: Tender bar man


Margon is behind the bar in the lounge. A gas ring, that previously wasn’t there, is heating a large pan of cut potatoes. K’Ehlen and Kerr are sitting at the table closest to the bar. The captain walks into the lounge and spots the 2 Klingons sitting at the table. He heads towards them. But when he gets close and is about to greet them, he spots something else in the corner of his eye. With a curious look on his face, he changes course towards Margon. When he reaches the bar, he rests his arms on it and smiles. Margon is too busy with the food to notice the captain.


LT: “Is that real food or do I smell the planet below?”


Margon is startled and it seems as if he feels like he’s caught red-handed.


Margon: “Captain!”


LT: “I see you made an addition to the bar, lieutenant.”


Margon: “Yes, ehm… I wanted to share one of your culinary favorites with K’Ehlen and Kerr; fried potatoes…”


LT: “I see…”


Margon: “At the last feast, if you can remember, they couldn’t eat another bite when you introduced this food to us…”


LT: “Yes, I remember… Lieutenant, …I see everyone has to replicate their own drinks here today… Where’s Bart?”


Margon: “Ehm, I took him offline…”


LT: “Why?”


Margon: “Well, he didn’t allow me to install the gas ring and…”


LT interrupts the Klingon.


LT: “Of course… Computer, activate holographic bartender.”


Bart looks around as if he has just seen his family being butchered. After a second or 2 he speaks.


Endersby: “What have you done to my bar?!”


Bart sniffs the air…


Endersby: “And what’s this awful stench? Didn’t I tell you that you couldn’t put that cooking gear in my lounge?”


LT: “Bart… Maybe you should serve some customers…”


He reluctantly walks over to the other end of the bar where Ensign Bynes is waiting to order. Meanwhile, K’Ehlen joins the captain and Margon at the bar.


K’Ehlen: “Are you about done, Margon? We’re hungry.”


Margon: “Almost done.”


K’Ehlen: “I still don’t see the appeal of these… ‘potatoes’.”


Margon: “I was apprehensive at first as well, especially since it’s not meat, but I appreciated its taste, despite the lack of seasoning.”


LT: “’Lack of seasoning’?! I added a lot of salt! More than the average human would like…”


Margon looks straight into LT’s eyes.


Margon: “It was bland…”


Ensign Bynes gets up and takes a seat at the bar close to K’Ehlen and LT.


Bynes: “How about we instate a cook, captain?”


LT: “A cook?”


Bynes: “Yes, why not? Apparently there’s a demand for it. And with all that food in the airponics bay… I mean we could make pizza, with fresh tomatoes, mushrooms…”


LT: “Sounds like a good idea when you put it like that, ensign… We could install a few more gas rings…”


Endersby: “A fire hazard like that in my lounge? I don’t think so… Why don’t you take this infernal cooking equipment and stuff it in your quarters, Klingon?”


Margon laughs a bit…


Margon: “Because of the fire hazard.”


Bart now really loses his cool.


Endersby: “Alright, that’s itThis is where I draw the line. There will be no cooking equipment in my lounge! I mean I’ve already tolerated…”


The captain interrupts Bart’s tirade.


LT: “Computer, turn holographic bartender off.”


Bart disappears again.


LT: “I’ll send a message to everyone aboard the ship to ask if there are a few volunteers to do some old style cooking…Unless you’re volunteering, Manco?”


Bynes: “Absolutely not, sir, hahaha…”


Bynes finishes his drink in one big gulp and leaves the lounge.


LT: “Margon, oversee the upgrades to the bar.”


Margon: “Yes sir.”


LT: “And don’t make the changes too… radical…”


Margon: “Understood.”


LT: “Computer, activate holographic bartender.”


Bart reappears and has a grumpy look on his face.


LT: “Will you stay calm now?”


The bartender throws a despising look at the captain, before turning his face away.


Endersby: “Yeah, sure…”


Bart then looks at Margon’s culinary skills again…


Endersby: “Will you look at that?! First you convert my bar into something that looks like a Targ’s trough and now you let the food burn to coal as well?”


LT rolls his eyes…


Margon: “Just the way I like it. If you do cook something, cook it good.”


K’Ehlen: “Can’t we just eat it raw?”


Margon: “I keep an open mind when it comes to food… Alright, they’re about done. Will you join us, captain?”


LT: “No thank you, I’m trying to work up an appetite. I hope you would like to join me tonight; I’d like to bring the monthly feast a week forward. We can install some lights and set up on the planet below…”


Margon: “Sounds good…”


K’Ehlen: “Of course…”


LT: “2000 hours in transporter room 1.”


LT heads for the door but sees Bart behind the bar replicating an empty glass… He grabs the towel from his shoulder and proceeds to polish the glass… The captain stops and looks unsure…


LT: “Why are you cleaning that glass? You just replicated it...”


Endersby, charming as ever, responds quite bluntly.


Endersby: “Because that’s what bartenders do… You can find that sort of thing in the database!”


LT: “Sorry I asked…”


The captain leaves.



SCENE 4: Mentally challenged


In the shuttle bay, Elpek and Serrag are pushing the new weapon into place.


Elpek: “A little further… Stop!”


Serrag: “I’ll switch off the anti grav units… Watch your toes.”


Elpek: “Make sure to switch all 4 of them off at the same time… We don’t want to topple this thing over…”


Serrag: “Of course.”


The anti gravs are turned off.


Serrag: “Count your toes… All 10 still accounted for?”


Elpek: “Very amusing, commander… But may I remind you that although I appear to be missing a number of fingers and toes on each limb from your perspective, from my perspective you seem to be missing an arm and a leg. You’re clearly at a disadvantage.”


Serrag: “Am I really? I don’t think so. Your brain has to control 2 extra limbs.”


Elpek: ”Are you saying you have a mental advantage?”


Serrag: “Unless you claim to have 3 brain halves…”


The 2 engineers never saw the captain enter.


LT: “Gentlemen, are we ready for the test?”


Elpek: “Not quite, sir. As Serrag was just telling me, he is now going to hook up the plasma line to the weapon.”


Serrag raises an eyebrow in longstanding Vulcan tradition, but does proceed to do as Elpek said.


Elpek: “After that we need to do a little more calibration before we can test the weapon for the first time…”


LT: “Did you have any specific target in mind to shoot at?”


Elpek: “No, I think the first test will not require a target… Getting it to fire will be good enough.”


LT: “As soon as you’re ready to fire, let me know… I’d like to see it.”


Elpek: “Of course, sir.”



SCENE 5: Cookspiracy


Bart has worked up enough courage to confront the Klingons and walks over to the table where they’re enjoying the scorched potatoes.


Endersby: “Is my food not good enough?”


Kerr: “What do you want, hologram?”


Endersby: “My food… Isn’t it good enough for you? You need to start cooking in my lounge?”


K’Ehlen: “Don’t you have some holographic imaginary friend to play with?”


Margon: “’Your’ food is no more than replicator food. The only difference being that you are the one who operates the replicator.”


Endersby: “Something suspicious is going on… I’ve got my eye on you 3, you’re nothing but trouble, I tell you.”


Kerr: “What are you talking about, Barty? Just get us some more drinks.”


Endersby: “Well, I’m telling you, something weird is going on, but I can’t quite put my finger on it… And if I find out, you’ll pay for it.”


Kerr is getting annoyed.


Kerr: “Our drinks, Bart!”


As if he snaps out of some train of thought, he quickly answers.


Endersby: “Oh, yes, yes, of course… Drinks…”


He walks off to the bar where he meets Reinard.


Reinard: “Hey Bart…”


Endersby: “Hello commander…”


Reinard: “You don’t look too happy, everything alright?”


Endersby picks up a bottle and pours a drink while he looks at the Klingons.


Endersby: “It’s those Klingons… Always causing a stir... Loud and obnoxious breed.”


Reinard: “Oh, I see…”


Endersby: “They managed to get the captain to agree to convert part of my bar into a kitchen! Can you believe it? And I bet that Margon character is going to do a lot more of that horrible cooking once he finishes destroying my beautiful lounge. The smell of those potatoes will linger for at least another week! And what can those Klingons add to the menu that would be popular? Klingon cuisine is limited, they only eat meat! And if it isn’t meat, it’s something made out of blood. And if it’s neither, it’s probably an intoxicating liquid. Well, that probably contains blood too…”


Reinard: “We’ll see how it turns out…”


Endersby: “Anyway, what’ll it be, commander?”


Reinard now smiles…


Reinard: “Bring me a large German beer, Bart…”


Endersby: “Aren’t you on duty?”


Reinard: “Not today. It’s my birthday, I took the day off…”


Bart replicates a beer while the conversation continues.


Endersby: “Congratulations then!”


Reinard: “Thank you.”


Endersby: “Hmm, then I guess you won’t be arresting those Klingons for me today.”


Reinard: “Keep my birthday quiet, will you? I don’t want the whole ship to know.”


Endersby: “Oh, of course. A little ashamed of your age, are you?”


Reinard: “No, not really…”


Endersby: “I understand, you know…”


Reinard: “How would you understand?”


Endersby: “Well eh…”


Reinard: “How old are you?”


Endersby: “7 months… Almost...”



SCENE 6: Road signs


Commander Eisinga joins the doctor who is scanning a big tree…


Eisinga: “What did you want to show me, doctor?”


Shelley: “This tree here, commander… It’s now in bloom as you can see… But it shows definite signs of being scorched.”


She puts down her tricorder and looks at the commander.


Shelley: “This tree is at least 200 years old, in Earth years that is…”


Eisinga: “How is that possible? A normal tree would burn to the ground in the daytime conditions of this planet…”


Shelley: “I’m not sure… I think it might have something to do with the saps in the tree… Come, I have something else to show you as well…”


She walks past the tree and works her way through some bushes… When the 2 reach a small clearing some 10 meters beyond the tree a white pyramid made of round, white stones towers 4 meters into the air in front of them. The base is about 2 by 2 meters…


Shelley: “Tada…”


Eisinga: “That’s beautiful… Any idea what it is for?”


Shelley: “I didn’t have any idea at first. It seemed to be just what it is, a stack of rocks…”


Eisinga: “But?”


Shelley: “But then I scanned for similar structures. The tricorder shows that there are lots more. Each about 1.2 kilometers apart.”


Eisinga puts 2 and 2 together.


Eisinga: “A way to mark their route… I bet these pyramids are in one endless string around the globe…”


Shelley: “The white color makes them easy to spot from a distance.”


Eisinga: “Well, we didn’t see it from a distance…”


Shelley: “No, but I bet the humanoids on this planet have eyes that are more adapted to the dark than ours. They never see the light of day.”


Eisinga: “Hard to imagine…”



SCENE 7: Food for thought


The first applicant for the new job in the lounge reports to the captain’s ready room.


LT: “Are you sure you want to do this? I mean, you have 2 jobs onboard already.”


Cole: “Very sure. I didn’t come aboard to sit still…”


LT: “Sickbay assistant, taking care of horses, taking care of cats, medical studies and now ship’s cook? Won’t it interfere with your duties in sickbay?”


Cole: “Usually there’s not enough to do to fill a whole shift, sir. Doctor Shelley approved of my application…”


LT: “And the horses?”


Cole: “Taking care of them doesn’t take up a lot of time. Besides, the horses are visited by a number of people every day, they won’t get lonely, sir.”


LT: “And your medical studies?”


Cole: “Between lunches and diners there’s a number of hours to spend elsewhere.”


LT: “It seems you have an answer for everything…”


Cole: “I’m sure I can manage, sir. I’ve done most of the cooking at home for the past 10 years…”


LT “10 years? You’re only 22…”


Cole: “I know, sir. If I didn’t cook, most of the days we wouldn’t eat at all…”


LT: “I knew your situation at home used to be bad… I didn’t know it was this bad.”


Cole: “That situation taught me how to cook, sir.”


LT: “You do realize that, so far, you’re the only applicant, crewman?”


Cole: “Yes sir.”


LT: “If no one else volunteers, it will mean that you have to prepare breakfast, lunch and diner for both the early shift and the late shift.”


Cole: “Yes sir.”


LT: “There are over 300 people in those 2 shifts, crewman.”


Cole: “Yes, sir. However, most of them never go to the lounge for more then a drink. Besides, I was hoping to have Bart help me out.”


LT: “Of course. Well, I’ve done everything to scare you away from this job, but I take it your mind is set.”


Cole: “It is sir.”


LT: “Just promise me one thing. If it ever gets too much, let me know. I don’t want any of my crew to get overworked or stressed out.”


Cole: “I promise, sir.”


LT: “Alright, you got the job.”


Cole smiles.


Cole: “Thank you, sir.”


LT: “Lieutenant Margon is currently converting the bar in the lounge. I suggest you work with him to make sure everything is put into the right place.”


Cole: “Straight away, sir.”


The door chime is heard.


LT: “Speaking of jobs... Please excuse me, my next appointment is here… Dismissed, crewman.”


The crewman leaves and while the door is still open, the captain yells:


LT: “Come in, Faulkner.”


The lieutenant commander enters.


LT: “So, last night was your first day on the bridge again…”


Faulkner: “Yes, sir.”


LT: “From what I’ve been told, none of your command decisions were out of the ordinary or in violation of any regulation. I commend you on your improvement, lieutenant commander.”


Faulkner: “Thank you, sir. I had the necessary time to think during my confinement, sir, and…”


LT: “Oh cut the crap, Faulkner… You already know you screwed up. You threatened Lieutenant Hinsdale.”


Faulkner rolls his eyes and sighs deeply…


LT: “Apparently you didn’t like it much that Hinsdale told me about the away mission you led on the tower planet. What did you expect? To keep that secret somehow? While the whole bridge crew of the night shift knew about it?”


LT stares into the distance…


LT: “Breaking orders is one thing… But threatening ‘to come for’ a shipmate if he ‘crosses your path again’? I don’t even known what to say anymore, Faulkner. Nothing I say will sink in anyway. No more words.”


The captain stands up from his chair and walks around the desk to face Faulkner.


LT: “So, as promised, you are hereby demoted to the rank of lieutenant.”


Faulkner clearly has to keep himself from swinging out at the captain while one of his 3 pips is removed from his collar.


LT: “You will continue to serve on the night shift. But rather than giving the orders, you will now take orders. You’ll be taking over Hinsdale ’s science station. The most senior officer on the bridge in the night shift is now that same Lieutenant Hinsdale . Subsequently, he’ll be in charge from now on.”


The captain walks back behind his desk. Faulkner can’t contain himself anymore.


Faulkner: “I’m not going to take orders from him! He ratted me out twice now! He probably planned this whole thing so he could be in command!”


LT doesn’t try to contain himself either.


LT: “You were not allowed to speak freely, lieutenant! And Hinsdale did not ‘rat you out’, he reported that he was threatened by a fellow officer. Something we do not take lightly around here!”


A few seconds of silence pass while LT sits down…


LT: “I understand you’re angry and quite rightly so. But be sure to direct all that anger towards yourself, lieutenant. No one else is at fault here but yourself.”


Faulkner: “I’ve been set up, this is ridiculous!”


The captain speaks in a soft, comforting voice:


LT: “Faulkner, I swear, if you speak again without permission, I’ll strip you of rank and throw you in the brig.”


The captain shakes his head…


LT:  “By now, you must know that I mean business… I don’t deal in hollow threats. And take my word for it, if you as much as show up for a duty shift 1 second late, the same thing will happen. You’ll be stripped of rank and thrown in the brig. Is that clear, lieutenant?”


Faulkner answers in a loud voice.


Faulkner: “Yes sir!”


LT: “Dismissed! Out of my office…”


The lieutenant leaves.



SCENE 8: If you go out in the woods today


The commander is checking some pottery shards on the ground. His combadge beeps and he answers.


Eisinga: “Eisinga here.”


Shelley: “I’m in a bit of trouble, sir.”


Eisinga: “What sort of trouble, doctor?”


Shelley: “I’m kind of stuck. My leg’s caught up in some tree roots.”


Eisinga: “Don’t worry, doctor, it’ll be at least 300 Earth days before the sun will burn you to a crisp…”


Shelley: “That’s not all, sir. I picked one of the humanoids up on my tricorder. He’s headed my way. I was just trying to get away, but that’s when I got stuck.”


Eisinga: “Then it seems your goose might be cooked a little earlier. Stay put and stay quiet, doctor. We’ll be there as quickly as we can. Are you injured?”


Marks open his tricorder and starts looking for the doctor.


Shelley: “No, I don’t think so. But, isn’t it a better idea to let the Greate Pier beam me up?”


Eisinga: “The Greate Pier is currently dropping the captain and some other crew off somewhere else on the planet. The ship won’t be able to be here for another 10 minutes or so.”


Marks: “Doctor, Marks here. We’ll hurry and be there in 5 minutes, the commander and I are less than a kilometer away.”


Shelley: “Alright. Shelley out.”


She rests her head against the tree and breaths a deep sigh.



SCENE 9: Weapon and off


The captain walks into the shuttle bay once again and meets up with Serrag and Elpek.


LT: “Gentlemen.”


Serrag: “Sir.”


LT: “Are you ready to give me a show?”


Elpek: “Yes sir. We’re just about set.”


LT: “Alright, go ahead.”


Elpek: “I’ll charge the weapon.”


Serrag and LT enter the control booth. Elpek fiddles with some of the buttons and charges the canon. He then joins the other officers in the control booth and locks the door.


Serrag: “Decompressing shuttle bay.”


An alarm sounds.


Computer: “Warning! Shuttle bay decompression in 10 seconds.”


LT: “Have you got it pointed the right way?”


Elpek: “I’m fairly sure…”


Serrag: “It better be, otherwise it would wreak havoc on my hair-do. Shuttle bay is decompressed, sir.”


LT: “Fire at will.”


Elpek: “Firing in 3, 2, 1…”


Elpek pushes a button on the control panel. However, the weapon doesn’t fire. Instead, all the lights on the machine go off.


LT: “Am I supposed to be patient, or should it already have fired?”


Serrag: “It seems something went wrong, sir.”


Elpek: “Compress the bay again, please. I’ll try to find out what caused it…”


Serrag: “Compressing…”


As soon as the process is done, the men step out of the booth and walk up to the weapon. Elpek scans it with a tricorder and pushes some buttons on the machine…


Elpek: “It might have been due to a possible overload that the weapon shut down. It’s programmed to shut itself off when damage is imminent.”


Serrag: “I doubt there was an actual overload in progress. Perhaps we should review the safety limits. Maybe we underestimated the power output.”


LT: “Any educated guess on when the next test could be scheduled?”


Serrag: “Hard to tell, sir. We’ll have to find the problem before we can say how long it will take to fix it.”


LT: “Alright. By the way, gentlemen. I was a little disappointed… The test failed, but that’s not really the problem. I think I just expected more from this failure… I saw no flashing lights, no alarms, no explosions, nothing… “


Elpek: “Ehm… We’ll work on that too, sir.”


LT: “See to it. Keep me informed.”


The captain turns around to walk away. Only then a smile appeared on his face…



SCENE 10: Not out of the woods yet


Doctor Shelley holds very still, but the biosign is getting ever closer on her tricorder. Apparently, the eyes of the native are indeed better suited for dark environments, as he’s walking around without a torch and he is able to spot the doctor… The man hides behind a tree some 10 meters away, but Shelley is well aware of his presence. After a while, the man emerges from the trees and slowly approaches the unknown person. The man appears to be a hunter. He carries a bow and quiver on his back and is holding a 2 meter tall spear with an iron tip. A dead animal is hanging around his neck, some kind of large rodent. When the hunter is at a distance of about 3 meters from the doctor he starts to shout.


Hunter: “Hem! Jomen weil diod seen!”


He looks aggressive and holds his spear with both hands, pointing it at the immobile doctor. The tip of the spear just centimeters away from her face.


Hunter: “Hem!”


The doctor puts her hands up as a, hopefully, universal sign. The universal translator however isn’t picking up on the words of the hunter…


Shelley: “I’m sorry, I can’t understand you…”


Hunter: “Hem! Hem!”


Shelley: “I hope my calm voice tells you I do not intend to harm you… I’m kind of hoping you’re not so bad either…”


The hunter also doesn’t understand a word the doctor is saying, and it seems to scare him a little… None of his people have ever even considered the existence of other people, let alone aliens. He backs of a little…


Hunter: “HEM!”


Shelley: “No need to worry, stay calm... I’m not part of the food chain, ok?”


He backs of some more and after a second or two runs off into the distance… While running, he shouts the same word over and over again…


Hunter: “Callo! Callo!”


Shelley: “Shelley to Commander Eisinga.”


Eisinga: “Eisinga here. Are you ok? I saw that biosign very close to you.”


Shelley: “I’m afraid we made contact, sir… The universal translator couldn’t figure out what he was shouting, but if I may hazard a guess, I think he’s coming back soon with some of his friends…”


Eisinga: “Alright. Hold on, we’re almost there, Eisinga out.”


Seconds later the 2 men arrive at the doctor’s location.


Eisinga: “Doctor…”


Shelley: “Gentlemen…”


Eisinga: “Now, let’s see if I can get you out of here…”


Marks: “Sir, there are six of them approaching. Range: 500 meters and closing fast.”


Eisinga: “Contact Greate Pier.”


The commander continues to try to free the doctor.


Marks: “Ensign Marks to Greate Pier.”


Maresca: “Greate Pier, go ahead, ensign.”


Marks: “Requesting emergency beam out for 3 as soon as possible, we’re in a bit of trouble.”


Maresca: “We’ll arrive in approximately 4 minutes, ensign. Can you manage that long?”


Marks: “I hope so. Marks out.”


The foot is released from the grip of the tree.


Shelley: “Thank you, commander…”


Eisinga: “Well, we’re not out of the woods yet, doctor… Can you walk?”


Shelley: “My foot is asleep… It’ll just take a minute…”


Marks: “A minute is something what we don’t have… 210 meters…”


Eisinga: “Let’s move…”


The doctor leans on Eisinga’s shoulder for support and she limps along with the men.


Eisinga: “Switch off your flashlight, Marks. It lights us up like a christmas tree…”


He switches it off. A short while later, 6 natives, all hunters, arrive at the tree which didn’t want to let go of the doctor. The apparent leader of the pack presumably asks where that being is.


Leader: “Dormen get hunn pla?”


The hunter is sure she was right here…


Hunter: “Jimmen…”


The leader isn’t convinced that some weird creature had actually been here…


Leader: “Yor plun get herren noman…”


The hunter is adamant she was there, he seems upset.


Hunter: “Dormen jimmen get sovar!”


After a deep sigh and rolling his eyes, the leader reluctantly orders the men to scatter and search the area…


Leader: “Nod plavar…”


The men each walk in a different direction… Meanwhile the doctor is able to walk on her own again, but still shows a minor Gestapo limp.


Shelley: “He was some kind of hunter… He had weapons and some kind of dead rat over his shoulders…”


Eisinga: “I didn’t expect a hunting party so far away from their current encampment.”


Marks: “One member of that hunting party is a 100 meters behind us, sir. Moving faster than we do…”


Eisinga: “Can you up the tempo, doctor?”


Shelley: “I’ll try…”


The team picks up the tempo, but to no avail.


Marks: “60 meters… He’s really moving, sir…”


Eisinga: “Dammit…”


Amato: “Amato to away team, are you ready for beam out?”


The team halts.


Eisinga: “Energize, Amato.”


All three officers disappear…



SCENE 11: Halloween


Somewhere else on the planet the captain and the 3 Klingons are setting up a mini camp for their feast. Large lights illuminate the table, mobile replicator and the surrounding area.


Holcraft: “Holcraft to Captain LT. They’re safely onboard, sir.”


LT: “Good, good… What happened?”


Holcraft: “Apparently they encountered a hunting party, sir.”


LT: “A hunting party? I see… Are there any hunting parties or other biosigns close to our location, Holcraft?”


Holcraft: “Not within 4,500 kilometers, sir.”


LT: “Good enough. Thank you. LT out.”


LT sits down at the large table which is filled with mostly meat and pours lemon drink from a large jug into his replica medieval tankard. K’Ehlen brings 2 large jugs of bloodwine from the replicator to the table and then sits down as well…


Kerr: “Good idea to bring the monthly feast a week forward, this is the ideal setting for a good meal.”


Margon: “Indeed…”


LT: “Also a good place for telling ghost stories. Especially since it also happens to be Halloween today. And I hope all of you have some room to spare after all those potatoes earlier today.”


K’Ehlen: “What’s that?”


LT: “This? This is called herring, an Earth fish. Most people back on Earth declare us insane, but where I come from, we eat it raw, served with some chopped, raw onions. A real delicacy and a very longstanding cultural tradition…”


K’Ehlen: “It has quite a strong stench.”


LT: “Lovely isn’t it?”


Margon: “I’ll try some of that…”


Margon grabs the big plate from under the captain’s nose, sits back down and puts it in front of him on the table.


LT: “You eat it by holding it by its tail...”


The captain demonstrates. He holds the fish by the tail, drags it through some chopped onions and lifts it up. He lowers the fish into his mouth and bites a large chunk from the bottom and clearly enjoys it… The Klingons observe this demonstration, though not everyone seems to want to learn the traditional way of eating herring. Margon looks at the big pile of fish in front of him. After a second or two he grabs a fistful of fish and starts tearing them apart with his sharp teeth. Needless to say he made a big mess on the table… LT laughs.


LT: “Well, that’s another way of eating herring, of course… Klingons are one of the most stubborn species I’ve ever met, hahaha…”


Kerr: “You make it sound like it’s a bad thing, HAHAHAHA!”


All laugh…


LT: “No, no, not at all… In fact, we Frisians are known in the Netherlands for being a very, very pigheaded, cocky and proud people. Being stubborn is one of our better qualities I think.”


Margon: “Better than being a meek sheep…”


LT: “Well, we can all be sure you’re not meek, Margon, by the way you dig through those fish, hahahaha!”


All present laugh loudly again.


Kerr: “You said something about ghost stories, LT?”


LT: “Well, this seems like a place for scary campfire tales… I’m not much for silly ghost stories, I’d much rather watch a good horror movie instead.”


K’Ehlen: “Those ghost stories, are they historical texts told by parents to their children?”


LT: “Well, some stories are very old indeed, but if you’re asking whether the stories are true, most aren’t. Just made up tales… Besides, I don’t believe in ghosts or other nonsense…”


Margon: “I’m sure as a kid you checked under your bed every night, HAHAHA!”


The laughter was so loud it probably reached the native settlement.


LT: “Well, if there are ghosts of the dead sticking around, refusing to accept death and move on, I’m sure they’re mostly stubborn Frisians. Or Klingons that missed the boat.”


More roaring sounds of laughter filled the dark sky.


Kerr: “’…missed the boat’, good one, HAHAHA!”


K’Ehlen: “Hand me some of that meat!”


Margon puts all the fish in his hand in his mouth, takes a large bone with meat on it from the table and rudely tosses it on K’Ehlen’s plate…



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