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by Lord Thanatos


16/14/10 09/05/10







1. Third contact

2. High praise

3. The shrubber

4. Run from the hills

5. Caveman assembly

6. The eagle has landed

7. Boulder dash

8. Run away

9. Bring out your dead

10. The origin of species

11. Doctor dilemma

12. Sick humor

13. Just add DNA

14. Blood trail

15. Not very Shelley

16. Broken home

17. Goonies

18. Do the math

19. A pile of the other white meat

20. Something fishy

21. A leg up






SCENE 1: Third contact


Eisinga: “Thank you for receiving me, Your Highness… It is very generous of you to invite an envoy to your world… And to offer the rest of the crew the enjoyment of your beautiful world as well…”


The 2 men are sitting at a picnic table in the large village square… All the houses in the village are the same light earth color as the sand and dust on the ground.


Ogavvi: “Please, don’t be so formal with the Highness stuff… It could only serve to keep a distance between 2 peoples…”


Eisinga smiles…


Eisinga: “It sounds like your people have experience dealing with first contact situations…”


Ogavvi: “The first time was over 600 years ago… And because it wasn’t a pleasant experience, it was also the last…”


Ogavvi smiles as well…


Eisinga: “Really? Well, until now that is…”


Ogavvi: “Indeed…”


Eisinga: “All the more special to allow us on your planet…”


Ogavvi smile too.


Ogavvi: “I like to think I’m a good judge of character… Come to think of it, I do think we had first contact a few weeks ago…”


Eisinga: “You think you had?”


Ogavvi: “Well, I’m pretty sure… But we never got to see their faces… It was rather intimidating…”


Eisinga is immediately alerted…


Eisinga: “What did they say? Did they ask you to leave your planet?”


Ogavvi: “Well, they didn’t exactly ask… But how did you know?”


Eisinga: “If they are who I think they are, we’ve had the ‘pleasure’ ourselves… They are the Inj and I sincerely hope for you they don’t come back… They destroyed a complete Federation colony over 6 months ago, killing all 136 people on the surface…”


Ogavvi: “I’m sorry to hear that, commander… But what do they want? They told us to leave this planet… What would they want with it?”


Eisinga: “I don’t know… They also wanted Utis VIII for unclear reasons. All the resources that can be found on Utis VIII can easily be found elsewhere…”


Ogavvi: “I can’t possibly evacuate 5.8 million people…”


Eisinga: “No, of course not…”


Ogavvi: “They landed just beyond that hill over there…”


Eisinga: “They landed?”


Ogavvi: “Yes…”


Eisinga: “They never landed on Utis VIII or on any other world we know they visited… They only sent threats and weapons fire from orbit…”


Ogavvi: “Maybe they landed to make repairs…”


Eisinga: “Possible… Would you mind if we examined the landing site? For obvious reasons we’d like to find the Inj… Any information we can gather on them could be most useful…”


Ogavvi: “Of course… If you share your findings with our science department…”


Eisinga: “Gladly…”


A little distance away Just Amato is accompanied by a male local, Nuseddim, in a walk…


Amato: “So that’s the leader of your world over there with the commander?”


Nuseddim: “Yes…”


Amato: “Just walking around like he’s just the guy next-door?”


Nuseddim: “Actually, I live 2 houses over… That’s his house over there…”


He points at a house, exactly like all other houses in the street…


Amato: “That’s the house of your world leader?”


Nuseddim: “Like he himself says: ‘You can’t be a leader if you don’t know what life is about…’. You can’t see what life is about if you’re hidden away in some huge palace given orders from a golden chair…”


Amato’s reaction tells his new friend there’s some logic to it…



SCENE 2: High praise


Grant: “I don’t want you to break the prime directive captain, but as an additional order you are to make friends wherever you can… You never know when you need a good friend when you’re far from home…”


LT: “For when the Inj decide to attack again…”


Grant: “For instance…”


LT: “Well, then you’ll be delighted to know making friends here on Rismap is not going to be a problem…”


Grant: “Good. Well, that’s all for now captain.”


LT: “Hold on admiral, I have some more news from Rismap. Commander Eisinga just informed me that the Inj have most likely been here.”


Grant: “Really? Well, finally some result then… Very good.”


LT: “It even seems they have landed on the planet. Eisinga is checking out the landing site as we speak; we hope to find some interesting data.”


Grant: “Keep me posted.”


LT: “Of course sir.”


Grant: “Grant out.”



SCENE 3: The shrubber


Eisinga with his small team of science officers and Ogavvi with his small security complement arrive at the landing site. The same light earth color adorns the plain that lies between some hills… The plain is lined with the occasional boulder and several different types of shrubbery…


Eisinga: “So what did your people find here, Ogavvi?”


Ogavvi: “Just some discarded hull plating, nuts and bolts… It’s all still here…”


Eisinga walks up to a piece of buckled hull plating of about 1 by 1.5 meters… He crouches down next to it and moves his hand over it…


Eisinga: “They indeed must have done some repairs here… How long were they here?”


Ogavvi: “All reports indicate somewhere between 15 and 20 minutes…”


Eisinga: “Hmmm, a quick pitstop then…”


Ogavvi: “No one saw them here; they were only observed from a distance when they landed and later took off again…”


Stilson walks up to the commander.


Stilson: “Sir, all these fragments are definitely Inj.”


Eisinga: “I was afraid of that, crewman. Continue gathering any data you can.”


Stilson: “Yes sir.”


Ogavvi: “The last war we were involved in ended well over half a millennium ago. I can’t say I’m too keen on being involved in another one.”


Eisinga: “Was that war the result of your first first contact?”


Ogavvi: “Indeed… We were actually near extinction, just 160.000 of us remained. But we kicked their butts… We killed each and every one of them… We wouldn’t have been able to fight off another armada of their ships, but not even a single enemy ship was ever sighted again…”


Ogavvi pauses shortly whilst continuing to stare into nothingness.


Ogavvi: “But even if they came back today, the 5.8 million people on this planet today couldn’t do much against an attack of the same magnitude our people faced 6 centuries ago…”


He now turns his face to Eisinga.


Ogavvi: “Before the war there were 4.1 billion of us…”


Eisinga: “4.1 billion? And there were just 160.000 left after the attack?”


While the 2 men converse some more, they are unaware of someone spying on them in the shrubbery near the edge of the plain. The skin of the scout is considerably paler than that of anyone else present. When he has seen enough, he discretely disappears…Moments later, wearing nothing more than a loin cloth, he climbs up on the side of a rocky hill and enters a hidden entrance to a cave system. Several others, equally pale and similarly dressed, are waiting there.


Scout: “I’ve seen them, Emat… The darkskins… I don’t know which is which, but I’ve seen 2 different species of alien, sir. It’s worse than we thought…”


Emat: “Damn! I knew it. We’ve waited far too long… The Tiaz are still here, apparently with some more alien friends… What can you say about their numbers?”


Scout: “Hard to tell… I’ve seen their village, there are about 500, 600 houses… But there could be millions of them all over the planet…”


Emat: “I doubt that… But anyway, let’s get down to the council pit… We need to discuss what to do next with the entire council…”


The paleskins disappear deeper into the dark caves…



SCENE 4: Run from the hills


Amato and Nuseddim are now walking outside the village…


Nuseddim: “We’re almost there…”


Amato throws in a joke.


Amato: “I’ve had grand tours on a few beautiful planets before, this better be good…”


They pass over the summit of a hill… A valley is revealed in front of them… A stream cuts through the landscape… On the other side of the stream is the highest hill in the area. The steep slope, with only rocks and boulders, reaches from high in the sky all the way down to the stream. All kinds of plants and small trees can be seen on both sides of the water, except for on the rocky slope. Amato is just amazed…


Amato: “Holy shit…”


Nuseddim: “’Holy shit’? What does that mean?”


Amato: “Oh, ehm… On Earth that’s an expression of surprise; best forget it… But what a stunning place…”


Nuseddim: “I told you…”


Amato: “Come on, let’s get down there… Is that water safe to drink?”


Amato starts walking down towards the stream… Nuseddim semi-reluctantly follows…


Nuseddim: “Well, yes it is… But we can’t stay too long; we should be getting back soon…”


Amato: “Sure, let’s just get a drink of water, look around for a second and we’ll go back…”


Nuseddim: “Well, ok then… Perhaps I could use a drink of water too…”


They arrive at the stream… Amato looks around in wonder…


Amato: “Absolutely beautiful…”


Amato kneels at the waterline and uses his cupped hands to drink from the clear water in the stream… Nuseddim also drinks some water and washes his face… In that process he suddenly freezes, shortly later removes his hands from his face and asks Amato something…


Nuseddim: “Do you hear that?”


Amato: “Hear what?”


Nuseddim: “That rumble…”


Amato: “I don’t hear…”


The ensign is stopped in the middle of his reply when the rumble suddenly becomes louder than his voice… Rocks cascade down the slope on the other side of the stream... A dust cloud reaches them just a second after they both start running away from the stream… Boulders the size of obese Klingons are flying around… Visibility is near zero and they lose sight of each other. A short while later the thunderous roar seizes and the dust starts to settle slowly… Amato wipes the dirt from his face and spits out even more… He gets back on his feet… With his hand above his squinting eyes he starts to look for Nuseddim.


Amato: “Nuseddim!”


No reply from the alien... He walks around at random trying to find him. The low visibility doesn’t help Amato... Suddenly he remembers the ship in orbit. He feels for his badge, but it’s not on his chest anymore…


Amato: “Dammit…”


He continues to call out his friend’s name and carefully navigates across the freshly deposited rocks and boulders…


Amato: “Nuseddim! Nuseddim!”


Still nothing. Suddenly he sees a foot. The downside is it seems to be sticking out from under a large boulder… Amato quickly makes his way to the boulder… He discovers that the boulder is only covering Nuseddim’s leg…


Amato: “Nuseddim, can you hear me?”


No reply… Amato checks if he is still breathing, which is the case… He then tries to roll the boulder from Nuseddim’s leg, but it’s way too heavy... It becomes clear he cannot do anything for Nuseddim.


Amato: “If you can somehow hear me, I’m going to get help. I’ll be back as soon as I can…”


With a worried look on his face he heads back to the village as quick as he can…



SCENE 5: Caveman assembly


The council pit, located in a spacious natural chamber in the rock, has a large table with 20 seats, all carved from the rock like all 3 staircases leading down into the pit. All seats are occupied. One of them sits half a meter higher than the rest. In front of that elevated chair, occupied by Emat, the leader of these people, is a stone lectern, hewn out of the rock as part of the table.


Emat: “We do not know how many of them there are…”


Council member #1: “I say we attack… We can easily take that one village at least, if we surprise them.”


Scout: “I agree… I’ve seen them; we can take them. We have a formidable army; they only have a few guards to defend a few hundred peasants. No match.”


Council member #2: “Why such aggressive measures? Why not try a diplomatic solution first?”


Council member #1: “And lose the element of surprise? No!”


Council member #3: “How can you speak of diplomacy when you know that these darkskins invaded our planet?!”


Scout: “The planet belongs to us; both the underground cities and the surface…”


Council member #1: “Especially the surface; they stole it from us…”


Council member #2: “Why attack now? Can’t we wait a little longer to let it all sink in first?”


Council member #4: “Let’s not waste any more time. We need to attack!”


The council members all start talking and yelling at the same time… After a few seconds, the leader beats his cylindrical stone gavel on the lectern. The sound it generates is loud and echoes through the council pit… And after a few hits on the lectern it is the only sound heard.


Emat: “I think it’s time to vote… All those in favor of attacking?”


16 out of 20 raise their hand.


Emat: “All those opposed?”


The remaining 3 raise their hand. Emat himself doesn’t appear to have a vote.


Emat: “Ready the army; we attack tonight.”



SCENE 6: The eagle has landed


Eisinga has joined the captain in his ready room. With his best imitation skills, LT quotes the admiral…


LT: “And then he said ‘Very good’. I mean, is that meant as a compliment?”


Eisinga: “Hard to say… The admiral isn’t the kind of guy to give compliments…”


LT: “No, not really huh?... Well, let’s see what he has to say about it…”


The man with the goatee hails the admiral whom appears on his screen moments later.


Grant: “Captain.”


LT: “Admiral, about the supposed Inj landing site… Commander Eisinga and his team have confirmed it is indeed the Inj who landed on Rismap.”


Grant: “Very good… Let astrometrics create a map of all known Inj sightings, perhaps we can extrapolate a route or a pattern from it now.”


Eisinga: “This is Commander Eisinga sir. Astrometrics is already on it.”


Grant: “Good. Adjust your heading accordingly as soon as astrometrics is done captain.”


LT: “Understood sir.”


During the captain’s reply, he admiral broke contact.


Eisinga: “Hmmm… I hope he was in a hurry…”


LT: “No, he’s just a thoroughly unpleasant man, but at least he’s always brief.”



SCENE 7: Boulder dash


Amato is panting like a dog when he dashes into the village… He finds the nearest colleague and rips the badge from his uniform and taps it…


Colleague: “Hey!”


Amato: “Greate Pier, this is Ensign Amato. This is an emergency. Holcraft, can you locate my badge? I lost it…”


Holcraft: “Yes, ensign… I located it nearly a mile from your present location…”


Amato: “Send a medical team to that location immediately. Also bring a portable tractorbeam.”


Maresca: “I’m on it…”


Holcraft: “A portable tractorbeam?”


Amato: “Yes, someone is stuck under a boulder… Just hurry…”


Amato hands the badge back to his colleague whom has a puzzled look on his face…


Amato: “Thanks.”


And he runs off again, heading back towards the accident site. A short while later Doctor Shelley and Nurse Halstead beam down to the surface together with an engineer carrying a portable tractorbeam. The dust has nearly completely settled by now so the team can quickly locate the victim. The doctor kneels beside the victim and scans him with her medical tricorder.


Shelley: “He’s stable; he hasn’t even lost much blood… But both will probably change as soon as the boulder is lifted from his leg… Shelley to transporter room 1. Prepare to beam us directly to sickbay on my command.”


Bynes: “Understood doctor, standing by.”


Shelley: “Please try to lift the boulder as gently as possible. Halstead, keep scanning him.”


Shelley hands the medical tricorder to the nurse.


Halstead: “Yes doctor.”


Engineer: “Please remember that the tractorbeam needs to be deactivated before we beam up. The 2 systems might interfere with each other.”


The engineer activates the tractorbeam and slowly starts to lift the boulder up… Amato comes running down the hillside... As soon as he reaches the team he asks the doctor a question with a worried look on his face still…


Amato: “How is he, doctor?”


Shelley: “I think he’ll live, ensign… But that’s as much as I can tell you right now…”


The engineer has lifted the boulder from the alien and now needs to get it out of the way.


Engineer: “Please stand aside, ensign. You don’t want to get crushed by this thing as well…”


Amato moves out of the away.


Amato: “I’d deserve it… This is all my fault… If I didn’t insist on coming here, the rock slide would never have hurt anyone…”


Shelley: “Status?”


Halstead: “He’s starting to bleed heavily doctor…”


The engineer quickly dumps the boulder.


Shelley: “Transporter room, now!”


All present are beamed to sickbay. The doctor and the nurse start working on repairing all the damage they can.


Amato: “Is he going to be alright doctor? It’s all my fault…”


The doctor is too busy to answer. The engineer meanwhile picks up the portable tractorbeam and just before he walks out of sickbay he replies to Amato’s worries.


Engineer: “You didn’t create the rock slide, ensign. Don’t be too hard on yourself.”


Amato: “Well, the rock was hard on him…”


The worried ensign walks up to the biobed.


Amato: “Doctor?”


Shelley: “He’s going to live, ensign; I’ve stopped the bleeding. But he’s going to lose his leg…”


Amato: “He’s going to lose his leg? Oh no, you can’t be serious… There must be something you can do to save it…”


Shelley: “Do you want to do something for me, ensign?”


Amato: “Of course doctor, anything to help…”


Shelley: “Get out. Report to Crewman Cole in the lounge. Let her take a look at your cuts.”


Amato sighs…


Amato: “Do everything you can doctor… All off this is because…”


The doctor doesn’t allow Just to complete his sentence.


Shelley: “Out!”


He complies.



SCENE 8: Run away


Night has fallen over the village. Most of the few people still out on the streets are guards. One of those guards is in the square, on the edge of the village. He suddenly hears something. His eyes turn to the wooded area just outside the village… He walks a bit closer and shines a flashlight in the direction of the noise… He then sees the light of his torch reflect in a pair of eyes, which immediately squint.


Guard #1: “Who’s there? This is no time to be roaming outside the village…”


No answer.


Guard #1: “Come on… I won’t tell your mother, just come with me and I’ll bring you home kid…”


More eyes start reflecting the guard’s light. A few become many pretty quickly and when the guard moves the beam of light to the left it lights up a few pale creatures holding rocks and pointed sticks…


Guard #1: “What the…?”


Then a stone is thrown at the guard, more soon follow. But the guard isn’t going to wait around for one to actually hit him… While he runs away, he taps a button on his wristband.


Guard #1: “Trouble at the north entrance! Activate the force fields and get inside!”


Shortly after an alarm is sounded and force fields are activated around all windows and doors of all buildings in the town. An army of thousands of paleskins quickly fills up the square and all the streets in town. They try to enter the homes of the people, but when they reach for doors or windows, the force fields give off a shock. The sound of the shocks is heard all over. The people inside are rudely awoken and are terrified. Not able to use doors or windows, the invaders start damaging walls with their spears. The guard reaches the guard station safely but out of breath. There are 4 of his colleagues there… The sound of yelling and spears jabbing into the walls is loud; the guards must speak up to make themselves heard.


Guard #1: “There must be thousands of them!”


Guard #2: “Thousands? Who are they?”


Guard #1: “I don’t know, I’ve never seen them before… They must be the Inj the Greate Pier crew were talking about…”


Guard #3 looks out of the window…


Guard #3: “I thought those Inj creatures were black… These things are just about white…”


Guard #1: “Whatever they are, they’re angry…”


Guard #2: “Yes, but there’s nothing we can do from in here… If we lower the force fields and open the door we’ll get butchered…”


Guard #3: “Well, we have to do something; the people depend on us… We’re supposed to keep them safe!”


Guard #1: “We couldn’t have seen this coming…”


Guard #2: “No. But we do have to deal with it… I suggest we contact the Greate Pier. Perhaps they’re willing to send some help down. We could let them beam us and their security staff to a location outside the village… They might have greater numbers, but they can’t win from our phasers.”


Guard #1: “Alright, let’s do it…”


Guard #2: “Great Pier, this is Guard Station 143. We have a slight situation on our hands…”


A while later the 5 guards are beamed to a woody location outside the village. Shortly after several teams of armed Greate Pier crew beam down to the surface.


Reinard: “Good morning, gentlemen. You needed some help?”


Guard #2: “Well, a lot of help really… There are probably thousands of them. They’ll tear the village apart if we don’t hurry…”


Reinard: “We’ll see what we can do…”


More and more armed crew beam down in groups of 5.


Reinard: “How many men do you have?”


Guard #2: “Well, just the 5 of us…”


Reinard: “Just you 5?”


Guard #2: “It’s a small village…”


Guard #3: “With a big problem…”


Guard #1: “We need to get moving, before it’s too late…”


The last team appears on the surface. The guards are amazed by the great number of Greate Pier crew.


Guard #2: “How many people fit on that ship of yours?”


Reinard: “5 times more than you see here… I thought 100 would be enough…”


The commander increases the volume of his voice in order to reach all the people.


Reinard: “Listen up people. You all know what to do; use those phasers! Let’s go…”


The 105 man strong counterstrike team heads towards the village. Once they reach the border, some paleskins spot them and attack. A few phaser hits take care of them. The phaser fire draws the attention of a lot more of the pale skinned undergrounders. The pressure is really on when hundreds of them start to attack the good guys… Stones and spears rain down from the sky, but most of them don’t reach. The phasers of the Rismapeans and the Greate Pier crew fire continuously to keep the enemy at bay. And it seems to be working… The projectiles seize to fly through the air. Reinard screams from the top of his lungs.


Reinard: “Seize fire! Seize fire!”


Shortly thereafter no more shots are fired.


Reinard: “Move in slowly, but fire your weapons only when necessary…”


The whole team complies. They slowly move in with their weapons pointed at the dissipating crowd of undergrounders. Wounded cavemen are carried or dragged with them. While Reinard and his team slowly flush the invaders out it becomes apparent there’s a lot of damage to the houses in the village. A few dead bodies of undergrounders can be seen here and there. No further shots are necessary to clear the village. When they reach the north entrance they halt and make sure the attackers keep on running.



SCENE 9: Bring out your dead


Early the next morning dozens of armed men and women are present in the square, both Rismapeans and Greate Pier crew. 2 Rismapean men, carrying the dead body of an undergrounder, approach Crewman Cole.


Rismapean #1: “Where do you want the bodies, crewman?”


Cole: “Over by the wall, please…”


She points in the direction of the low wall surrounding the village, some 50 meters away, near the northern entrance, where the attackers entered the village the night before.


Rismapean #2: “They sure are ugly…”


Rismapean #1: “Definitely not from around here…”


And they carry the body to the wall…



SCENE 10: The origin of species


Ogavvi: “Sorry we had to call on our friendship already, commander… Thank you for sending down security and medical staff to help out.”


Eisinga: “No problem at all… Glad we could help…”


Ogavvi: “And thank you also for taking care of Nuseddim after the accident yesterday…”


Eisinga: “I heard his leg regrettably could not be saved…”


Ogavvi: “Quite unfortunate… But are you sure the attackers are not those Inj fellows you were talking about?”


Eisinga: “The difference in height is nearly a meter and the Inj are black, not white… I’m very sure… Besides, the Inj may be relatively primitive compared to you or me, but the creatures that attacked us last night where armed with no more than sticks and stones… None the less they still are able to break your bones when they come in those great numbers…”


Ogavvi: “Indeed… 2 of our villagers were killed… The attackers managed to break down the wall of a house and killed the man inside… Another man who was outside when they came was also murdered. Next to that we have just a few wounded…”


Eisinga: “Serious enough anyway… And you are sure they are not the Tiaz, whom attacked you 600 years ago?”


Ogavvi: “Yes, I’m very sure as well… I’ve read many books detailing the attacks on our world. Many of them accurately describe their physical features and some even have sketches or photographs in them. The Tiaz have a much darker skin than we have…”


Eisinga: “It wouldn’t have made sense anyway… You don’t come to a planet in a something as sophisticated as an interstellar spaceship and attack the inhabitants with rocks… They’re probably from this planet or at least have been here a long while…”


Ogavvi: “I don’t know if that makes any more sense to be honest… If there was another intelligent species on this planet, I think we would have known about it…”


Eisinga: “Hmmm, I can’t explain it either…”



SCENE 11: Doctor dilemma


Doctor Shelley is outside the northern entrance of the village. Her medical tricorder is flipped open and she’s apparently scanning the ground…


Shelley: “A blood trail…”


She looks ahead to where the trail is leading, but returns to the village… At that very moment the captain beams down to the surface, in the middle of the square. The doctor immediately spots him and calls out for him.


Shelley: “Captain…”


The 2 start walking towards each other.


LT: “What’s up doc?”


Shelley: “I need permission to go and help the victims…”


LT: “You don’t need permission for that, doctor… I was assuming you’d already be on it…”


Shelley: “All the Rismapeans have been treated already, sir… I need to help the…”


The captain isn’t happy and interrupts the doctor…


LT: “…the attackers? Absolutely not. Are you out of your mind? They’d kill you on sight! Besides, they were using sticks and stones as weapons, they’re obviously pre-warp…”


Shelley: “Then you agree that if they still hurl rocks at their enemies they don’t have osteogenic stimulators or dermal regenerators.”


LT: “I agree… But the prime directive states…”


The doctor now interrupts the captain.


Shelley: “I don’t consider myself bound by the prime directive if it conflicts with my Hippocratic Oath…”


LT: “You are hereby under direct orders to adhere to the prime directive. Listen doctor, I’d love to help them. But first of all, they’ll try to crack your skull open with a rock and probably eat the contents. And second, we don’t even know where they are…”


Shelley: “I’m sure I can find them sir, I…”


LT interrupts back.


LT: “The answer is no, doctor…”


The doctor sighs…


LT: “Are we clear on that?”


Shelley: “ Crystal …”


LT: “Now, let’s see if I can find Eisinga…”


The captain walks off… Doctor Shelley walks in a different direction, towards Cole, who is examining the dead bodies of the attackers.


Cole: “Ah, doctor… I’ve established the cause of death in all of them… 2 of them were trampled by their pale friends and all of the 22 others were killed with phaser blasts.”


Shelley: “Phaser blasts? I thought Reinard told his crew to set the phasers to heavy stun…”


Cole: “He apparently did… But the phasers of the Rismapean guards were not on stun, so it seems…”


Shelley: “I see…”


Cole: “But I’ve found something else doctor… Something big…”


Shelley: “Something big? Like what?”


Cole: “Like they’re not alien… They’re the same race as the Rismapeans… Their DNA is virtually the same…”


Shelley: “Really? But they look so different… The skin, their eyes…”


Cole: “I think it’s because they live underground, doctor… They suffer from hypocalcaemia among other things… They have unusually low levels of vitamin D, magnesium… And I’ve also seen some other things consistent with decreased dietary intake and decreased sun exposure… Or non existent sun exposure…”


Shelley puts her thinking cap on and after a few seconds she softly utters some words…


Shelley: “They’re the same species…”


She then looks at Cole and her PADD…


Shelley: “Is that the PADD with the DNA comparison?”


Cole: “Yes…”


Shelley: “Can I borrow that from you for a while?”


Cole: “Of course…”


She hands her superior the PADD. Shelley then grabs another PADD from her medical bag and pushes as series of buttons…


Shelley: “Give this to any superior who asks where I am…”


Shelley hands Cole the PADD.


Cole: “Doctor?”


Shelley: “Can I trust you not to read it?”


Cole: “Of course doctor… But where are you going?”


Shelley: “I’m taking these medkits if you don’t mind…”


Cole: “No problem, all my patients are dead… But where are you going?”


Shelley doesn’t answer and leaves the village via the nearby northern entrance.



SCENE 12: Sick humor


Amato is in sickbay visiting his friend.


Nuseddim: “Don’t worry about it… I needed the rest anyway… I’ve been working way too hard…”


Amato: “I just had to go and see the stream, and now you’re suffering the horrible consequences…”


Nuseddim: “Don’t beat yourself up… It was an accident… Or at least I hope so… If not, you could have just asked me to leave you alone if you didn’t like me, hahaha…”


Amato manages to show a smile…


Amato: “Of course it was an accident…”


Nuseddim: “Good, then we finally agree on that… Stop whining, it’s just a leg… I have another one.”


Amato keeps smiling but shakes his head slightly…



SCENE 13: Just add DNA


LT has joined Eisinga and Ogavvi.


LT: “Have you found out who they were?”


Eisinga: “Not really…”


Ogavvi: “We established they are not the Inj and not our old enemy, the Tiaz…”


LT: “Our ship’s scanners haven’t picked up any species other than your own on the entire surface… It seems to be a real mystery…”


Ogavvi: “Maybe they did leave in space ships…”


Eisinga: “Well, I still submit that people who have space ships don’t throw rocks at their enemy…”


Ogavvi: “How else do you explain their disappearance then? There were thousands of them… They didn’t just disappear into thin air…”


LT: “My crew would’ve known about any ships entering or leaving this system… But didn’t they leave any footprints?”


Eisinga: “The area to the north is rocky…”


LT: “Well, there must be an explanation… And whatever that may be, we’ll find it Ogavvi… I’m going to ask our doctor for DNA scans on the dead aliens and enter that data into the computer together with their physical parameters; maybe that’ll give us an idea who they are…”


Ogavvi: “Any help you can give us is welcome, captain…”


LT: “We’ll get to the bottom of this…”



SCENE 14: Blood trail


Shelley is following the trail of blood she found earlier… She moved well into the rocky area described by Eisinga earlier. She scans the ground with her medical tricorder to find the next drops of blood… The tricorder suddenly points her in the upward direction, up a steep rock wall… As soon as she looks up she sees one of the undergrounders. She gasps, startled. She immediately ducks to avoid a stone being hurled at her cranium. She then raises her hand.


Shelley: “I’m here to help, I’m a doctor! I won’t hurt you… Would be nice if you didn’t try to hurt me as well…”


The doctor can just see the eyes of the hiding undergrounder behind a ledge. She raises her other hand with the medkits.


Shelley: “I’ve got medical supplies… I want to help you treat your wounded…”


The undergrounder is joined by a few more…


Shelley: “You can check my medical equipment if you like…”


She puts down her medkits and backs up a few meters…


Shelley: “And look, I’m not armed…”


She shows the inside of her doctor’s coat and turns around... The leader sends down 4 undergrounders. One of them checks out the medkits and takes them up to the ledge and disappears. The other 3 approach the doctor.


Scout: “Come with us…”


She’s pushed into the direction of the wall and is forced to climb up…


Shelley: “No need to push…”


Scout: “Just hurry…”


The doctor climbs up on the ledge and sees a hole… An entrance to the cave system. She disappears into the hole with her captors…



SCENE 15: Not very Shelley


The captain approaches Crewman Cole.


LT: “Crewman, where is Doctor Shelley? I have new orders for her…”


Cole: “She isn’t here sir; I have no idea where she went… But she told me to give you this…”


Yasmine hands the captain the PADD.


LT: “What’s this?”


Cole: “I don’t know sir… I haven’t read it.”


The captain reads the message on the PADD.


LT: “Dammit!”


Cole: “What is it sir?”


The captain breathes a deep sigh…


LT: “She’s helping the wounded…”


Cole: “And that’s wrong, how?”


LT: “LT to Greate Pier… Scan the surface for Doctor Shelley and beam her onboard immediately…”


Holcraft: “Just a second sir…”


Holcraft scans the surface as requested. No prize.


Holcraft: “She’s not on the surface captain.”


LT: “Is she onboard then?”


Holcraft: “No, internal sensors don’t pick her up… And there’s no transporter log of her return either…”


LT: “Keep scanning and inform me as soon as you find her…”


Holcraft: “Understood…”


LT: “And have Reinard assemble a fully armed search team to locate her.”


Holcraft: “I’m on it sir…”



SCENE 16: Broken home


Amato and Nuseddim, using crutches, are walking through the streets of the village… They see the damage inflicted by the attackers.


Amato: “What an unbelievable mess…”


Nuseddim: “Indeed… It gives me little hope for my own house…”


Amato: “Let’s hope for the best…”


The 2 men turn around the corner and Nuseddim’s house appears in sight. It seems to have suffered the same fate as most other houses…


Nuseddim: “It seems my house wasn’t spared either…”


Amato: “Well, at least the damage is to the outside only. And don’t worry; I’ll help you patch up your home… Even if I have to stay behind when the ship leaves orbit. I can take up some leave.”


Nuseddim: “Please Just, it’s really not necessary…”


Amato: “You’re disabled now…”


Nuseddim: “I’ll manage…”


Amato: “You disabled and it’s because of me.”


The alien smiles…


Nuseddim: “You give yourself far too much credit…”


Amato: “Helping to fix up your place is the least I can do…”


Nuseddim: “Will it shut you up if I say I’ll think about it?”


Amato laughs…


Amato: “Maybe…”



SCENE 17: Goonies


Doctor Shelley is tending to the wounded undergrounders. She set up a small light right next to her patient to be able to see in the dark room… There are 2 guards with spears closely monitoring her every move… There are at least 2 dozen wounded in the room. Doctor Shelley stands up, picks up the light and tries to move to the next patient. One of the guards is in her way…


Shelley: “Do you mind?”


Reluctantly, the guard moves out of the way. The leader of the undergrounders walks in. While he approaches the doctor and the guards he can overhear the doctor’s monologue.


Shelley: “There’s more than enough room to host a horse race here; why do you need to stand so close all the time? There’s only one entrance to this room, go stand at the door if you think I’ll escape... Just get out of my way; I’m here to help these people…”


Emat is noticed by the 2 guards. He nods to signify to them to do as the doctor told. Both the guards move to the door and stand guard. The doctor continues to treat her patients.


Emat: “Thank you for coming doctor… Your medical knowledge surpasses ours. Please excuse the presence of the guards, but we didn’t know what to think of your coming.”


Without looking up at Emat she replies.


Shelley: “I understand.”


Emat: “Is there anything you need doctor?”


Shelley: “Just keep the guards off my back. I’m here to help and I don’t need those goons standing in the way… Other than that, I have everything I need so far. Although, I could use some light in here…”


Emat: “Our eyes are very sensitive to light, doctor… We’re used to being down here…”


Shelley: “Perhaps, but there’s one thing that puzzles me…”


Emat: “And that is?”


Shelley: “Why are you here? Why don’t you live on the surface with the others?”


Emat: “The others? There aren’t any of our kind on the surface…”


Shelley: “Yes, there are. And you attacked them!”


Emat: “We attacked the darkskins! The Tiaz! They conquered our world… Our world!”


Shelley: “You attacked the Rismapeans…”


Emat: “You’re nuts, lady… And if I hadn’t seen you perform your medical skills I would have decided you weren’t mentally capable of doing it…”


Shelley: “Flattery will get you nowhere. Stop being so quick to judge and just take a look at this…”


Shelley hands him a PADD with the DNA comparison as proof…


Emat: “What’s this?”


Shelley: “Proof.”


She points out some things on the PADD…


Shelley: “This is the DNA of your people… And here is the DNA of the people you’ve attacked… Aside from some very minute differences, they’re a match. You are the same species.”


She continues with the understatement of the year.


Shelley: “You just look a little paler than them because you’re never exposed to any sunlight.”


Emat: “I don’t know what any of this means…”


He hands the PADD back; he’s not convinced at all…


Emat: “You’re talking nonsense, woman…”


He walks off into the direction of the guarded doorway.


Emat: “If you do need anything, just ask one of… the goons…”


The leader exits and the doctor continues her work.



SCENE 18: Do the math


Meanwhile, LT is in his ready room. He’s standing in the middle of the room with his arms crossed, staring out of the window high above his desk. The door chime is heard. Without moving, the captain gives permission to enter.


LT: “Come in…”


Commander Eisinga steps in…


Eisinga: “Ogavvi should be here within a few minutes.”


LT: “Good, good… Gives me some time to ask you for your opinion…”


Eisinga: “On what?”


LT finally stops staring outside… The men both take their normal places… The captain puts his feet up on the couch and the commander occupies the chair…


LT: “On when you regard a people as a new race… What if a group of people separates from society for some reason? They completely go their own way; they live under different circumstances, they reproduce, they evolve in their own way… When do you consider them a separate race, a different species…?”


Eisinga: “Well, it’s hard to tell… Just take the example of the Romulans and the Vulcans; they share a common ancestry… There are some slight physiological differences, but that took hundreds and hundreds of years…”


LT: “I have a little dilemma on my hands…”


Eisinga: “Which is?”


LT: “The doctor asked me if she could medically assist the attackers…”


Eisinga: “What? She can’t be serious…”


LT: “My thoughts exactly… So I made clear to her that because of their choice of weapons we could assume they are pre-warp and therefore cannot not help them, according to the prime directive.”


Eisinga: “Let me guess; she went anyway?”


LT: “After Crewman Cole discovered they are the same race…”


Eisinga: “Who? The Rismapeans and the attackers?”


LT: “Indeed…”


Eisinga: “No way…”


LT: “It’s true though… Which would mean that the cave dwellers are effectively warp capable because the surface dwellers are… Unless they should be considered to be a race of their own; that’s why I asked your opinion.”


Eisinga: “But it’s still hard to believe; they look totally different… Then again, they might look different, but if you put an African, an Asian and a European guy next to each other, they all look considerably different as well, but they’re all regarded as human.”


LT: “True. The attackers apparently evolved slightly different and all evidence indicates they might be living in caves or something…”


Eisinga: “Well, they came from the north… There are caves to the north…”


LT: “Exactly…”


Eisinga: “But… if they are the same race, why did they attack the village?”


LT: “Neither people know they are the same race yet… That’s why I needed you to invite Ogavvi…”


The door chime is heard again…


Eisinga: “Speak of the devil…”


LT: “Come in…”


A crew member shows Ogavvi in and leaves. LT takes his feet off the couch and offers a seat to the Rismapean world leader.


LT: “Please, sit down.”


Ogavvi: “Thank you…”


LT: “If you don’t mind, I’d like to come straight to the point.”


While he parks himself on the hide, Ogavvi answers.


Ogavvi: “Of course, please do…”


LT: “We know who the attackers are…”


Ogavvi: “Really? Who are they?”


LT: “They are… Rismapean…”


Ogavvi: “What?… What do you mean?”


LT: “Your people and the attackers share the same DNA…”


The captain picks up a PADD from the desk and hands it to Ogavvi… While the captain continues his explanation, the Rismapean leader reads the PADD.


LT: “According to Crewman Cole, the attackers show all the signs of a lack of exposure to sunlight…”


Eisinga: “Just north of your village is an extensive cave system. Is it possible they live in there?”


Ogavvi: “The caves? I don’t see how… They’ve been sealed since the war with the Tiaz.”


LT: “Why were they sealed?”


Ogavvi: “When the Tiaz attacked, many people fled into the caves… The Tiaz found out about it and blew up all entrances to the entire cave system…”


Eisinga: “Isn’t it possible they survived somehow?”


Ogavvi: “For 600 years? I don’t see how… The history books tell us that over 40.000 people went in hiding in those caves… Even if they resorted to cannibalism they could never have sustained themselves for very long… With the entrances sealed they had no fresh air, no light, no food and too little water… After the war the caves became a war monument and were forbidden to enter.”


Reinard: “Search team to captain LT.”


LT: “Yes Reinard, report.”


Reinard: “We think we know where she might be sir; we found an entrance…”


Ogavvi: “She? Who is she? An entrance to what?”


LT: “Our chief medical officer decided on her own to offer medical assistance to the attackers. I assume you found an entrance to a cave of some sort, commander?”


Reinard: “Correct sir… Can we proceed sir?”


LT: “Apparently commander, those caves are regarded as a war monument.”


Ogavvi: “If you promise not to go in with guns blazing, you may enter… I also want your doctor returned safely, but with as little violence as possible…”


LT: “Did you get that, Reinard?”


Reinard: “Understood. Reinard out. Alright people… We’re moving in…”


As soon as the last man, Lieutenant Kerr, is in the cave and the team moves forward they immediately spot undergrounders further down the tunnel…


Reinard: “Hold your positions… Let’s see if I can open up some negotiations. Don’t point your weapons at them…”


All men point their weapons to the floor. Reinard puts a few steps ahead… More and more undergrounders gather in the tunnel ahead.


Reinard: “I am Commander Reinard of the USS Greate Pier. We just want to negotiate for the release of our doctor… There’s no need for further violence…”


A few spears are thrown in the direction of the search party…


Kerr: “I don’t think they agree sir…”


Reinard: “A tactical retreat seems in order… Out!”


The attackers march forward… By firing only a few warning shots the team keeps them at bay long enough to exit the cave unharmed… Soon after, the subterranean people pour out of the same small hole and give chase to Reinard’s team. The attackers are not gaining on them, but they’re not backing off either… While hastily making for the village Reinard decides to request some much needed assistance.


Reinard: “Reinard to Greate Pier. They might live in caves, but they don’t fear the daylight… We’re under attack. They’re on our heels…”


Maresca: “Do you need a beam out commander?”


Reinard: “Negative. Inform the guard station and send down the troops from the ship again… Arrange a welcoming party at the northern village wall…


Maresca: “Understood.”


The search party keeps running… A short while later the square in the village is empty until a large number of guards storms around the corner towards the wall… When they take up their positions the first armed crew beam down from the ship and join the Rismapean guards. Meanwhile, the search team is still working out…

Kerr: “I can’t believe we’re running from them… We’re not cowards!”


Reinard: “No, we’re not cowards… But we can do math… 6 versus a few 1,000 equals ‘run’!”


The team reaches the village and joins the forces behind the wall. When the undergrounders approach some warning shots are fired to the ground in front of them… The paleskins back off a little… Their leader starts pacing back and forth in front of his troops like a good army general, addressing them with words the men and women in the village can’t make out. Ogavvi, LT and Eisinga beam down to the surface as well…


Ogavvi: “Status?”


Reinard: “They’re holding ground over there…”


Ogavvi takes few steps beyond the wall and shouts at the enemy.


Ogavvi: “We need to talk! Who represents you?”


No reply. Emat ignores him.


Ogavvi: “I am the leader of my people. I need to speak with your leader.”


No answer from the undergrounders… Ogavvi walks back to behind the wall.


Eisinga: “I think that might be the leader… The one addressing the army… Why don’t we beam him to Ogavvi’s home so we can talk?”


LT: “It’s risky… Without a leader they’re likely to do anything ranging from fleeing to attacking…”


Ogavvi: “If they flee it’s no problem. Then again, if they attack it’s no problem either. These men and women chased them off before. With the added advantage that the enemy already knows what our phasers can do.”


LT nods…


LT: “Alright…”


Emat is still addressing his army…


Emat: “They might have those guns of theirs, but there is no way they can kill us all… They took the surface hundreds of years ago, but now they’ve set foot in our caves as well… This is…”


During his sentence, he dematerializes in front of his men. He appears again in Ogavvi’s home. At the door there are 2 guards holding phaser rifles. LT, Eisinga and Ogavvi are sitting around a table with a vacant chair pulled out. The alien is startled at first, but soon realizes there is no escape…


Ogavvi: “Please, don’t be frightened… We’re not going to hurt you; we just want to talk. Are you the leader of the attacking forces?”


After a short pause the paleskin answers…


Emat: “Yes, I am… I am Emat.”


Ogavvi: “Please, sit down Emat…”


He clearly still is a little uncomfortable but does sit down.


Emat: “How did you…?”


Eisinga wants to get to the point quickly…


Eisinga: “That’s a long story, but not important right now… First there’s another matter that needs to be addressed…”


Emat: “You’ve stolen our planet from us! Why should I even listen to you?”


LT: “Because neither of us is Tiaz. Commander Eisinga here and I are human; Ogavvi is the leader of the Rismapeans…”


Emat: “Rismapeans? Oh please, how thick do you think I am? WE are the Rismapeans…”


Ogavvi: “You’re right; you are… As unlikely as it seems, you and I are the same species…”



SCENE 19: A pile of the other white meat


Meanwhile, the worst case scenario unfolds outside; the undergrounders attack. But as predicted, the surface folk, aided by the Greate Pier crew, manage to keep them at a distance. Rocks and spears mostly fall short of their target and more and more stunned cave dwellers pile up on the ground.



SCENE 20: Something fishy


The noise of the fighting outside can be continuously heard in Ogavvi’s house.


Emat: “You’re the darkskins; the Tiaz! Look, this is ridiculous!”


Ogavvi: “’Ridiculous’; that’s what I thought at first… We don’t look alike very much. But our people hid in the caves after the war with the Tiaz. All of us living on the surface today are descendants of the 160.000 survivors that remained on the surface after the Tiaz were defeated…”


Emat: “Defeated?”


Ogavvi: “Yes, believe it or not, but they were defeated... Your people, the descendants of the original 40,000 people who hid in the caves, have adapted to life in there. Your skin color is different because of a lack of sunlight, your eyes adapted to dark conditions…”


Emat: “40,000? 18,402 to be exact.”


LT: “Clearly there are many things that need to be adjusted in the history books… But let’s focus on the problem at hand… We can give you proof of our claim that the surface and the cave people are one and the same race. We can at least prove nobody is a threat to you… But your people are attacking the village as we speak. Let’s at least stop the fighting while we talk.”


The undergrounder thinks for a few seconds and then nods…

Emat: “Alright…”


Ogavvi: “As a sign of good faith, we’re going to let you go so you can order your men to stop the attack. As a sign of good faith in return you could first of all bring the doctor back to us and then return here yourself to continue our talks…”


He simply nods. Ogavvi then nods to the 2 guards who immediately stand aside. One of them opens the door… All present exit the house and walk towards the battleground. While holding up his hand, the underground leader walks out of the village and approaches his army. The attack seizes immediately. The phasers stop as well after a command from Ogavvi. Emat talks with his men in the distance and soon thereafter the doctor appears from the pale crowd. Both the doctor and Emat return to the village…


LT: “Are you ok doctor?”


Shelley: “Of course…”


LT: “What were you thinking doctor? You could have…”


The doctor rudely interrupts.


Shelley: “Not now captain. You can nail me to the wall later… Right now I need to get back to my patients… One is still in critical condition.”


LT rolls his eyes and gestures the doctor to get out of here, which she does. The commander protests, but keeps his voice down so Emat doesn’t hear it.


Eisinga: “Sir, now they have every chance of using her as a hostage at any time if the talks go sour…”


LT: “Perhaps. But I don’t think I can convince Shelley to stay… Besides, from the attacker’s point of view, we could hold the supreme caveman over there hostage just as well… It seems balanced enough to me.”


Ogavvi: “Shall we continue, gentlemen?”


The four of them walk towards the picnic table where Eisinga and Ogavvi talked the day before.


Ogavvi: “You mentioned some 18,000 people went into hiding in the caves? How many of you are there now?”


Emat: “Just over 61,000… Most of them are trained soldiers… We might not have those guns you have…”


Ogavvi wants to change subjects to something a bit less negative…


Ogavvi: “You’re most welcome of course, but why did you come out of the caves? And why now?”


Emat: “There have always been people who wanted to go back to the surface, despite having been born in the caves themselves… Recently, the number of people who wanted to return to the surface formed the majority… We decided to send scouts first to see what the situation was like… We assumed that you were the Tiaz… When our ancestors fled into the caves they brought very little else than the bare necessities… We only have a few books and diaries from those days… They did not have any photos in them, but some did have descriptions of the Tiaz. According to those descriptions they had dark skin. And compared to our skin, your skins are dark…”


LT: “Your skepticism towards our story seems to have faded a bit…”


Emat: “Well, let’s just say I still would like to see the evidence you claim to have, but this is too elaborate a scheme for the Tiaz… They only know violence… The Tiaz would not have sent a small search team to retrieve your doctor, but they would have sent an army in to eradicate us all…”


Eisinga: “How did so many people survive and apparently thrive down there?”


Emat: “We’re lucky there’s fish in the underground river… It doesn’t just carry water from the mountain, but also comes from a nearby lake that has fish in it… It runs through the area, rather than under it… Other sources of nutrition besides fish are fungi, spiders, bats, …”


Eisinga expresses his revulsion.


Eisinga: “Oh disgusting!”


Serrag suddenly appears out of nowhere.


Serrag: “I agree; I don’t like fish either…”


All present look at the Vulcan as he walks off…



SCENE 21: A leg up


Amato and Nuseddim are in the latter’s home.


Amato: “The attack seems to have stopped…”


Nuseddim: “Good… I need rest to heal up, hahaha…”


Amato: “’Heal up’, right…”


Nuseddim: “Well, it’ll take about a year…”


Amato: “A year? What will take a year?”


Nuseddim: “Well, for me to heal… I just told you, hahaha…”


Amato: “I don’t think there’s much to heal, I’m afraid… I’m sure the doctor took care of any infection you might have had…”


Nuseddim: “That’s not what I meant… What I mean is that my leg needs about a year to grow back…”


Amato looks puzzled while he almost completely repeats the sentence…


Amato: “It takes about a year… for your leg to grow back… Right, are you pulling mine now?”


Nuseddim looks puzzled now…


Nuseddim: “Ehm… No? It will take about a year…”


Amato: “So… what you’re saying is… your leg will grow back?”


Nuseddim: “Of course it will…”


Amato starts laughing loudly…


Amato: “Hahahaha, your leg will grow back!”


Nuseddim: “Doesn’t it work the same for your species then?”


Amato just keeps on laughing but does find the time to answer somewhere…


Amato: “No! Hahaha!”


Nuseddim: “Holy shit!”


Nuseddim joins in the laughter…


Amato: “If you lose a leg, you lose a leg…”


Nuseddim: “I understand now why you were so upset about it, hahaha…”


Amato puts on a serious face again…


Amato: “Our species might be biologically different in that respect, but I’m sure the pain involved must have been comparable…”


Nuseddim: “I don’t know, I was out cold, remember? Now shut up, before I knock you out cold…”


Both men laugh again…


LT: “Captain’s log, stardate 63679.68… Time heals all wounds is what they say… Luckily for Nuseddim, and also Amato, that seems to be the fortunate truth… The surface and cave-dwelling Rismapeans both accepted they are one and the same race, thus removing any doubt whether or not the prime directive was broken. We agreed to stay in contact with the Rismapeans regarding the Inj… They did ask us to stay and help them fight off the Inj if they return… We can’t, unfortunately… We need to continue our mission; there are probably dozens if not hundreds of races being threatened by the Inj. The Rismapeans, well, at least those from the surface, are not a warlike race, but do have formidable security forces; especially since the cave dwellers rejoined their society… I’m sure they’ll break a leg…”


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