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“The dark matters”

by Lord Thanatos


30/08/10 – 07/09/10







1. Snails in the dark

2. Fresh meat in the kitchen

3. Bothers in arms

4. Who counsels the counselor?

5. Forced afield

6. Berry the past

7. Arm wrestling

8. Outlive and let die

9. Headiness

10. Incomprehensible alien moaning

11. Discharged

12. Two cooks and a cook

13. Lazy pirates

14. Boo!

15. The list

16. Boo two!

17. A new course for the pirates

18. Munch time

19. Victims

20. Shiny slums






SCENE 1: Snails in the dark


Commander Eisinga is walking down the corridor while his previously recorded log is heard.


Eisinga: “First officer’s personal log, stardate 63767.1. It’s been 3 weeks since the unfortunate events on Kelrah-Eyn and we could use a little more excitement around here… I just checked sensors; the temperature in astrometrics is set to normal. Let’s hope I can stand the heat when I visit the kitchen…”


The commander enters astrometrics and he advances towards Amini…


Eisinga: “Good morning.”


Amini: “Good morning, sir.”


Eisinga: “Any new calculations regarding possible Inj movement?”


Amini: “Well, assuming they did visit Kelrah-Eyn…”


Eldert breaks off her sentence.


Eisinga: “I’m pretty sure they did…”


Amini: “Well, then that fact combined with the knowledge and assumptions we already had, we can extrapolate not so much a route but an area where they are most likely to be…”


She pushes a few buttons and a highlighted area is overlaid on the already displayed map.


Eisinga: “That’s… kind of a large area…”


Amini: “I know, but it’s the best I can give you at the moment…”


The captain’s voice is heard over the com system.


LT: “Captain LT to Commander Eisinga. Please join me on the bridge.”


Eisinga: “On my way.”


Moments later he enters the bridge and takes his seat.


Stuckman: “Sensors are just about useless sir. I just read some highly elevated radiation from the phenomenon, not much else registers…”


Eisinga: “Interesting.”


LT: “If you think that’s interesting, look up…”


Eisinga looks out through the window but sees nothing. Everything is black.


LT: “We just flew into some phenomenon… Everything faded to black in a matter of seconds. We lost warp drive, impulse, weapons, shields, you name it…”


Eisinga: “Any ideas on what this phenomenon is?”


LT: “Well, sensors are hardly working… But whatever is absorbing the light and emitting this heat and radiation, it’s a spherical object about 1.5 million kilometers in diameter…”


Eisinga: “What absorbs light? Other than a black hole I mean…”


LT: “Well, this thing does... The surface temperature, if sensor readings are to be trusted, is some 6000 degrees Celsius. Together with the emission of radiation, it makes me think of a star… But no star I ever heard of absorbs light, quite the opposite of course…”


Eisinga: “Well, whatever it is, we’re in a very vulnerable position with all of those main systems out.”


LT: “We’re on yellow alert and on our way out… Thrusters only I’m afraid… E.T.A. helm?”


Pattison: “18 hours and 20 minutes until we reach the point where we lost warp drive sir.”


Eisinga: “Oh well, at least we’re moving…”


Maresca: “Sir, I’m receiving a distress call. It’s from a space station within the affected area around… whatever this thing is… They’re requesting our immediate assistance.”


Eisinga: “Must be some kind on research station. I bet there are more species interested in this phenomenon.”


LT: “Any specifics, Maresca?”


Maresca: “No sir, it’s a simple recorded message on repeat. It does mention a set of coordinates.”


LT: “Alright, send them to the helm. Pattison, take us there at best possible speed.”


Pattison: “Coordinates received. Engaging at zero point snail's pace.”


Eisinga: “Our new E.T.A.?”


Pattison: “20 minutes sir.”



SCENE 2: Fresh meat in the kitchen


A woman in her quarters hears the door chime.


Woman: “Come in.”


The doors slide open and the captain steps into the room. The woman is the one who was raped on Kelrah-Eyn, Mediza Sharbino.


LT: “What can I do for you, Mediza?”


Sharbino: “Please, call me Diza. All my close friends used to call me that. And since you saved my life, I consider you among them.”


The captain smiles.


LT: “Diza it is…”


Sharbino: “Sorry to occupy more of your precious time captain…”


LT: “No problem at all… I told you to contact me if you needed anything, didn’t I?”


Mediza’s gesture invites the captain to sit down, which he does. The woman sits down as well and starts explaining her issue.


Sharbino: “I started seeing counselor Spalding and we talked about what happened that day on Kelrah-Eyn…”


She sighs and stares at the empty table in front of her…


Sharbino: “It’s still very difficult for me to accept what happened…”


LT: “You were viciously abused, Diza… It’s not something you’re likely to forget.”


Sharbino: “Of course, I know that.”


LT: “Next to that, you must miss your friends and family a lot…”


Sharbino: “My best friend died some 2 years ago and since then I alienated myself from my family, whom I wasn’t very close to to begin with.”


LT: “I’m sorry to hear…”


Sharbino: “She was raped and murdered by the rebels that held you and me captive.”


LT doesn’t know what to say to that…


Sharbino: “I know, what are the odds huh?”


A short moment of silence before she continues.


Sharbino: “I dedicated myself to my job and lost contact with most people I knew… So, I have no regrets having requested asylum on your ship, it was a good choice… You said that what happened to me is not something I’m likely to forget… And that’s exactly my point… It will be on my mind for a long time… It will always be a fact… But I could use some distraction.”


LT: “What would you like to do?”


Sharbino: “Well, I’m a certified attorney, but I don’t think there’s much use for one onboard a starship…”


LT: “I hope you’re right…”


Sharbino: “Other than that I’m a decent cook, I’m good with paperwork and ehm…”


While Sharbino tries to list her resumé, LT thinks for a moment and comes up with a solution…


LT: “A decent cook you say?... You’re hired.”


Mediza looks semi shocked…


Sharbino: “Hired?”


LT: “Yes, you can share cooking duties with Crewman Cole… I’ve been looking for an excuse to lighten her workload, despite the fact she seems to do well…”


Mediza now looks happy.


Sharbino: “I’d like that…”


LT: “Good good… Crewman Cole also came onboard to sort a few things out for herself and proved to be a valuable addition to the crew. She assists Doctor Shelley in sickbay, takes care of the horses and does the cooking…”


Sharbino: “Horses?!”


LT: “Ehm, long story… I’m sure Crewman Cole will explain… I’ll inform her you’re coming by sometime today…”



SCENE 3: Bothers in arms


Maresca: “No response sir. I’m not even sure our hail was received.”


Eisinga: “Maybe our signal has trouble getting through… Get us to within 50 meters ensign.”


Pattison: “Aye sir.”


The ship carefully moves closer to the station.


Pattison: “Holding at 50 meters sir.”


Eisinga: “Well done. Hail them again…”


Maresca: “Hailing…”


Eisinga: “Let’s hope there’s still someone out there to help …”


Maresca: “Still nothing sir.”


A jolt is felt throughout the entire ship.


Holcraft: “I’d call that a response…”


Eisinga: “Science?”


Stuckman: “An arm just attached to the ship…”


Eisinga: “Hopefully they’re just docking the ship for us… They might be desperate or nearly out of time, whatever’s going on there… Let’s go to red alert to be safe.”


Red alert is sounded. At that very moment, the captain returns to his bridge.


LT: “Report, Eldert.”


Eisinga: “An arm attached to the hull sir.”


Stuckman: “But they haven’t attached an air sluice to a docking port, it’s a giant and rather jagged gripper arm grabbing onto the disc section…”


Stilson: “Hull breach on deck 8. The area was unoccupied and has been sealed off by emergency bulkheads.”


LT: “No response from the station?”


Eisinga: “Nothing…”


LT: “Could we engage thrusters to get us free if necessary?”


Serrag: “Full thruster power would not be enough to break us free sir. Even if we had enough power, it would rip open a considerable length of hull.”


The ship is shaken up for a second time.


Stuckman: “Another arm just attached to the port nacelle; no hull breach, just minor damage.”


LT: “Hmm, it’s starting to look like a hostile act to me. Captain LT to all hands. All non essential personnel to quarters. Security, provide sidearms to all crew and patrol the ship.


For a third time the ship gets a bump, but not as hard as the 2 previous ones.


Stuckman: “Another arm, this time it did attach to a docking port…”


LT: “Captain to security. Send a large security force to the air lock at the 3rd arm. Let no one or nothing on my ship! Captain to engineering. Send an engineering team with explosive charges to the 3rd arm; I want to be able to detach that arm from the hull, the hard way if necessary.”



SCENE 4: Who counsels the counselor?


Mediza, in session with Spalding, heeds the words of the captain.


Sharbino: “I better get back to my quarters…”


Spalding: “I’ll contact you later to reschedule.”


Sharbino: “Ok.”


They both leave the counselor’s office only to be stopped by a security team of 2, Lieutenant Kerr and Ensign Marks.


Kerr: “It may be better if the 2 of you would stay in the office sir, ma’am… There might be intruders coming onboard as we speak.”


Marks hands Spalding a phaser.


Spalding: “Alright, if that’s best… Thank you gentlemen.”


The 2 security officers continue on their patrol as Spalding and his patient return inside.


Sharbino: “Aren’t you supposed to be on the bridge or something? I mean, you’re a commander…”


Spalding: “I’m regarded ‘non essential’, having been assigned as a counselor… Rather strange for the officer whom is 4th in command of this ship to be regarded as ‘non essential’… Anyway, since I am the counselor, I’ll try to cope with that by talking to myself.”


Mediza looks surprised but wears a smile at the same time.


Spalding: “I’ll make an appointment right away… Spalding to the counselor…”


Sharbino laughs.



SCENE 5: Forced afield


Holcraft: “I scanned the docked arm with the limited sensors that we have… It doesn’t have a corridor to speak of; it’s hardly a crawl space… They’re probably not going to storm through there by the hundreds.”


LT: “Unless they’re about Inj sized…”


Holcraft: “Hmm, nearly forgot about those critters… From what I can tell the arm mostly contains cables, power systems, some mechanical components and other technology, the nature of which I cannot determine at this time…”


LT: “I don’t like it. Open a channel to the station, Maresca.”


Maresca: “Go ahead.”


The captain stands up from his chair and walks around a little.


LT: “This is Captain LT of the Federation starship Greate Pier. You have attached 3 arms to our ship and caused the necessary damage. Please respond and/or release my ship. If you do not respond we are forced to take measures against you.”


LT continues to walk around the bridge, waiting for a reply. He looks up to the ceiling as if he expects the answer to come from there… After a short while, the captain instructs his communications officer again.


LT: “Close channel. Either they’re not hearing us or they’re not listening. Captain LT to the engineering team. Put charges around the docking port and blow it up. I’ll gladly cause another minor hull breach to get that thing off of my ship…”


Margon, accompanied by a few engineering colleagues and the security team, replies to the captain’s orders.


Margon: “Captain, that won’t be possible. We can’t get any closer. It’s not really a force field, but more of a force… area… It’s not just a screen to keep us out, but something similar that fills the entire docking port area. Equally harmless but more effective.”


LT: “I see…”


Margon: “Also, we have observed a few robotic arms. They seem to be attaching leads from the docked arm to the ship’s systems.”


LT: “I want that arm removed. I want options. Captain out.”



SCENE 6: Berry the past


The counselor and his patient continue their session. Spalding is still standing up and clutching the phaser.


Spalding: “We’ve talked about your recent past in the past few weeks… Why not use this unscheduled extension to our session to talk about your future? What are your plans? If you made any in this short a period that is…”


Sharbino: “Well…”


Spalding continues talking as if Mediza wasn’t there…


Spalding: “Hopefully nothing related to more violence…”


He throws the phaser in a nearby chair…


Sharbino: “I haven’t thought about it… I was planning on a change in my life… I guess I got what I wanted… I didn’t have rape and subsequently fleeing my home world in mind to initiate that turning point in my life, but fate decided that for me I guess…”


Spalding: “Is there nothing you will miss on your home world?”


Sharbino: “Of course! I wasn’t close to my family, but I do miss them in a way… And despite the fact that I’m going to assist Crewman Cole in the kitchen, the food is never going to be the same as on Kelrah-Eyn. God I’ll miss poached rink berries…”


A moment of silence before she continues.


Sharbino: “But, all in all, I still stand behind my decision to leave. I don’t know where I’m going, where I will end up… But I’ve got the change I wanted. I’m not sure what this change entails, but all I know is that for now the change is that I’m on a starship, flying away from the planet I haven’t felt at home at for a few years and that I’m assuming the position of kitchen assistant…”


Spalding: “I’m sure you realize we most likely will never go back to Kelrah-Eyn?”


Sharbino: “I’m counting in it…”


Spalding: “Well, at least you’re sure of yourself… No work for me to be done in that department…”



SCENE 7: Arm wrestling


Pattison: “Commander, we’re moving… But it’s nothing I did…”

Holcraft: “The arms are moving us sir… We’re being pulled towards the station…”


Eisinga: “Where are we going?”


Holcraft: “I still can’t see anything on sensors… Wait… A large access gate of some kind is opening. My guess is we’re gonna be dumped in there…”


Eisinga: “We’re getting closer to the station, take as many scans as you can… We can use all the information on this thing as we can get…”


Holcraft: “Already on it sir… From what I can tell there are a total of 9 of these access gates all around the station.”


Eisinga: “I’m still hoping they have peaceful intentions and just have a poor docking system…”


K’Ehlen: “I hope not… I’m in for some hand-to-hand combat…”


Eisinga: “We’re not looking for a fight…”


K’Ehlen: “But we might get one regardless… And it’s better than sitting around doing nothing… And as the ship’s weapons are inoperative…”


The commander completes the sentence for her.


Eisinga: “…your hands are itching? Well, even more than usual I mean…”


K’Ehlen: “What’s that supposed to mean?… Sir.”


Eisinga: “It’s supposed to mean Klingons like a good fight. You can’t possibly be offended by that fact…”


K’Ehlen: “No, it’s just… that my hands are itching…”


Eisinga: “Just be patient, you might get a chance to punch someone other than your superior officer…”


Holcraft: “We’re entering the station…”


Eisinga: “All the arms still attached?”


Stuckman: “Yes sir, they originate from within the bay.”


Eisinga: “Hmmm, great.”


Stuckman: “The gate is closing…”


Eisinga: “Anyone have some good news around here?”


K’Ehlen: “We might be fighting the enemy soon…”


The commander hurls some sarcasm back at the Klingon.


Eisinga: “Great! Can’t wait…”


Stuckman: “The gate is closed…”


Maresca: “Somehow it feels even darker now…”


Pattison: “And more silent…”


Eisinga: “Well, not if K’Ehlen is right…”


K’Ehlen: “I have a feeling I’ll be proven right very soon…”



SCENE 8: Outlive and let die


The captain walks into engineering, looking for someone.


LT: “Captain’s log, stardate 63778.24… It’s been 4 days since we entered the belly of the beast… Any effort to keep them out of ship’s systems or to break free has failed. Whatever they want from us, they’re in no hurry to get it… I have respect for people with a lot of patience, but I feel mine is wearing thin… Normally I’m a patient guy, but I have more than myself to worry about; I have nearly 500 men and women under my command and a ship to care for. “


The captain finds Serrag.


LT: “Lieutenant commander, you wanted to inform me about something?”


Serrag: “Yes sir. They managed to tap into the EPS grid and are now leeching power. Probably due to compatibility issues it’s not going at a particular fast rate…”


LT: “But it seems time is on their side…”


Serrag: “So it seems indeed. Also, attempts to connect to the main computers and its database are continuing. So far they are unsuccessful but I think it’s just a matter of time before they… Hold on…”


A gentle auditory alarm informs the chief engineer of a problem.


Serrag: “Speak of the proverbial devil sir. They’ve managed to hack into the ship’s computer.”


LT: “Kick them out.”


Serrag: “Attempting to do so sir.”


The Vulcan presses a series of buttons on his console in rapid succession.


Serrag: “I got rid of them, for now… They might be back in soon though. Like you said; time is on their side.”


LT: “Can you check which files they accessed?”


Serrag: “Certainly.”


He messes with a few controls and a list pops up on screen.


LT: “Hmm, environmental controls, life support, …”


Serrag: “Indeed, they were able to download all information on that...”


LT: “What would they need that information for? Unless they’re trying to learn how to shut it down…”


Serrag: “Possibly, yes. They could use it to force us to surrender…”


LT: “We’ve heard nothing from them except for the distress call… No cry for help, no demand for our surrender, nothing… We don’t even know if there are people on this station to begin with... It might all be an automatic process. No, I don’t think they’re going to use control over life support systems as leverage in negotiations for surrender. It might be possible they simply want to let us die…”



SCENE 9: Headiness


Margon and Bynes arrive at the docking port where the 3rd arm attached. Two security officers are already present.


Margon: “I want to try something else now…”


He kneels down on 1 knee and puts a small case on the floor. He opens it and 4 round devices about 15 cm in diameter and 6 cm thick are revealed. He takes one out and handles it.


Margon: “You see those robotic arms working there? They can move freely, which probably means they’re not contained within the… force area. Still haven’t found a better term for that… I’m simply going to beam these charges over there and once they’re in place and the captain gives the order, we detonate them.”


Bynes: “I see… Are you sure that’s wise?”


Margon: “Look…”


He shows off the 2 pips on his collar.


Margon: “Lieutenant.”


The Klingon then taps his index finger on the single pip on Bynes’ outfit.


Margon: “Ensign.”


Bynes: “Alright alright, sorry sir.”


While explaining how they are going to proceed, Margon kneels down on 1 knee again and puts a charge on the floor. He picks up the case with the remaining 3 charges and stands up.


Margon: “We will however proceed with caution. First we beam only one charge into position and arm it. Stand back everybody, I’m going to transport the charge.”


The engineering and security crew all back up a little. Margon stands in front of his 3 shipmates and gives the order.


Margon: “Computer, initiate beaming program Margon 1.”


The charge is beamed away from the floor and appears on the wall next to the docking port door. But as soon as transport is completed the charge shoots off through what Margon calls the force area. With lightning speed it bounces off a bulkhead and hits Margon on his forehead. With a loud scream the Klingon hits the deck while the others dive out of harms way. The charge lands somewhere down the corridor… A big gaping wound adorns the unconscious Klingon’s head.


Bynes: “Bynes to sickbay, medical emergency…”



SCENE 10: Incomprehensible alien moaning


Serrag enters the bridge and approaches the captain.


LT: “Serrag, what can I do for you?”


Serrag: “Sir, could you come with me to the engineering stations? I’d like to speak with you about my shift times. They are unacceptable.”


LT: “Unacceptable? At the engineering stations?”


Serrag: “Yes sir, I’d like to discuss this in private.”


Before the captain can respond to this weird request, the lieutenant commander already walks towards the engineering stations. The captain looks a little confused but after a second or so gets up from his chair and follows the Vulcan. Once they both have arrived at the engineering stations Serrag sits down and pushes a single button.


LT: “Unacceptable shift times? What is this all about all of a sudden, Serrag?”


Serrag: “Please excuse me for the deception captain… I’ve just temporarily switched off the universal translator for the bridge.”


LT: “Explain.”


Serrag: “They are listening in on us captain. They managed to hack into the universal translator and can listen to any conversation they tune into.”


LT: “Not good… Isn’t it about time we pulled the plug on the main computer? We’ll miss a lot of functionality, but at least they won’t be able to use it in their advantage either, might slow them down.”


Serrag: “I don’t think that would be wise just yet; they still have time on their side.”


LT: “Maybe, but I don’t think it’s…”


The captain is interrupted by the voice of the computer.


Computer: “Warning. Life support systems have been deactivated.”


LT: “What the…?”


Serrag pushes a number of buttons.


Serrag: “Hmm, that’s funny…”


LT: “Funny? I’d like to see you laugh once our air supply runs out…”


Serrag: “That’s a rather morbid fantasy sir.”


LT: “Thank you.”


Serrag: “But what I was referring to as funny is their method of switching life support off. They simply sent a command to the computer to switch it off. We still have computer access ourselves; I can simply switch it on again.”


LT: “That might trigger an on/off battle that could last for ages… Let’s leave it off for the time being… Can you fool the computer into thinking life support is still offline after you switch it back on?”


Serrag: “Hmmm, I need some time for that…”


LT: “Computer, how long until oxygen levels get critical?”


Computer: “At current rate of consumption 6 hours, 24 minutes and 16 seconds.”


Serrag:  “That’s more than enough time, but it seems I do have to skip my afternoon beauty sleep…”



SCENE 11: Discharged


Commander Eisinga walks into sickbay and finds Doctor Shelley treating Margon’s injuries. The Klingon is lying down on a biobed and doesn’t look very happy.


Shelley: “Hold still, Lieutenant. It could have been a lot worse, but if you don’t hold still it still might get worse.”


An annoyed Klingon replies.


Margon: “I’m alright doctor, it’s just a little cut.”


Shelley: “You were unconscious Margon! And it’s not just a cut, you have a concussion. Now lie still!”


Margon moans and sighs but holds still while the doctor continues treatment…


Eisinga: “And worse it will get indeed… Don’t worry, I’m not gonna hit you in the head, it seems you did that to yourself already… It was a stupid thing to try lieutenant, especially without Lieutenant Commander Serrag’s permission. Try getting that through that thick skull of yours. That charge didn’t even make it through, so I doubt it. But just be glad that thing didn’t go off when it hit you; I would’ve seen to it they court martialed your remains…”


Margon: “I appreciate your candor, commander. I just did…”


The commander isn’t about to listen to the Klingon and interrupts him.


Eisinga: “Just bring your report to Lieutenant Commander Serrag as soon as you’re released from sickbay.


Shelley: “Which is now; go write that report… And light duty for the next 3 days.”


Margon gives an annoyed grunt and leaves. As soon as the door closes behind the Klingon, Eisinga starts to smile.


Eisinga: “Well, glad that’s over…”


Shelley: “I’ll say, most difficult patient in about a year…”


Eisinga: “I have an assignment for you doctor…”



SCENE 12: Two cooks and a cook


Cole is busy cleaning up in the lounge, putting pots and pans away behind the bar. Bart is serving drinks and taking orders. Mediza walks up to the bar.


Sharbino: “Excuse me, are you Crewman Cole?”


Cole: “Yes, I am…”


Sharbino: “Nice to meet you, I’m Mediza Sharbino.”


They shake hands.


Cole: “Yes, I’ve seen you in here a couple of times over the past few weeks. I understand you requested asylum? You’re from that big planet we visited, right?”


Sharbino: “That’s right.”


Cole: “Bit late, but welcome onboard anyway, haha.”


Sharbino: “Thank you.”


Cole: “That also means you’re my new cooking buddy…”


Sharbino: “Yes, I guess so… I’ve been looking for something to do around here, occupy my mind.”


Cole makes an inviting gesture with her hand.


Cole: “In that case, you’re on the wrong side of the bar…”


They both smile and Mediza starts to walk to the opening in the bar. At that same time, Bart also attempts to get behind the bar, carrying a tray with empty glasses. They nearly crash into each other.


Endersby: “Pardon madam.”


Sharbino: “Oh sorry…”


She let’s Bart pass first and then follows him behind the bar. Bart didn’t expect that and figured it out on the spot.


Endersby: “Ah, you must be Ms. Sharbino then; the new cook.”


Sharbino: “That’s right…”


Bart puts the tray down and shakes Mediza’s hand.


Endersby: “Pleasure to meet you. My name is Bart. Bart Endersby.”


Sharbino: “Nice to meet you too Bart.”


Obviously within the range of Cole’s hearing, Bart continues.


Endersby: “Crewman Cole had my lounge turned into a back alley fast food joint, but we get along really well…”


Behind Bart’s back, Cole roles her eyes and breathes a deep sigh… Mediza can’t help but smile.


Endersby: “I hope we can get along the same.”


Sharbino: “I hope so too.”


Cole: “How about I show you around behind the bar here…”


Endersby pours a drink and smiles.


Endersby: “Oh, the grand tour. How exciting… Just don’t install any more gas rings; you 2 will share the ones we have.”


He goes to serve the drink, leaving 2 laughing cooks behind.



SCENE 13: Lazy pirates


The chief engineer is working at an engineering station on the bridge again. The formerly wounded Klingon approaches him with a PADD in his hand.


Margon: “The report sir.”


Serrag: “I will read it only because I’m required to as I’ve already heard the story from several different people.”


The Klingon puts his annoyed face back on and mutters something.


Margon: “Gossip… I will never understand the human need for small talk and the spreading of lies.”


Serrag: “Lies? So the stories on you passing out were greatly exaggerated?”


Margon yells…


Margon: “I DID NOT PASS …”


…but halfway decides to try again at a lower volume as some heads start to turn in his direction.


Margon: “I did not pass out…”


Serrag: “Oh, the active perception of time and matter was merely temporarily absent?”


Margon looks away and generates a double annoyed look. After a second or 2 he turns his head back in the direction of the Vulcan and rapidly fires some words at him.


Margon: “I apologize for what happened. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but I should’ve gotten your permission first…”


Serrag: “Well… At least it hit like a bomb… Dismissed, lieutenant.”


LT walks up to the duo.


LT: “Doesn’t matter Margon. It was a good attempt, but it’s too late anyway… Our oxygen is running out and we don’t have long… I’m making the call gentlemen…”


Margon is puzzled.


Margon: “What?”


LT: “Captain to all hands, the time has come. Report to cargo bay 3 immediately for a formal address from your captain. And I mean everyone, no exceptions. All hands report to cargo bay 3 immediately.”


Margon: “Are you going to give up? What is all this about?”


Serrag grabs the Klingon by the arm, whispers some words and drags him off towards the turbo lift.


Serrag: “Shut up… Just walk with me.”


Soon after all crew members slowly start to stream into the cargo bay. Two aliens onboard the station are listening to conversations on the ship.


Alien #1: “Did you hear that? They’re abandoning their stations and assembling in the cargo bay…”


Alien #2: “Good. These aliens might be giving up sooner than I thought…”


Alien #1: “Would be nice for a change… We might be able to get enough tritanium before the end of next week for the Alurian transport.”


Alien #2: “Let’s not get ahead of things… Switch to the cargo bay.”


Alien #1: “Yes sir.”


The first alien complies and presses a single button on his console. The noise of the crowd in the cargo bay is heard in the command center of the alien station. Soon after the captain’s voice is heard topping the crowd’s racket.


LT: “Ladies and gentlemen…”


The chatter slowly dies.


LT: “Ladies and gentlemen, thank you.”


Once it’s completely silent, the captain nods towards Serrag who subsequently fiddles with his PADD a bit and nods back.


LT: “I only have a few moments to inform you, so listen carefully.”


Alien #2: “What’s happening? Why don’t we hear anything?”


Alien #1: “I don’t know. I can’t find anything wrong with the universal translator tap…”


Alien #2: “Well there must be something wrong… Look harder…”


Alien #1: “Maybe they’re praying or something or are just simply quiet for a moment…”


Alien #2: “Oh come on…”


Alien #1: “Just a thought sir… We’ve seen it many times before…”


Alien #2: “Whatever. Just get the tap going again… I’ll inform our leader.”


As the second alien start to walk away the captain’s voice is heard again.


LT: “Alright people….”


With a smug look on his face, the first alien looks at his superior who returned to the console upon hearing the captain’s words.


Alien #1: “See?...”


While the captain continues, alien number 2 puts an annoyed look on his face.


LT: “Thank you all for coming here so quickly.”


Alien #2: “Be quiet, I want to hear what he has to say…”


LT: “As you all will know, we are between a rock and a hard place. The black sun, for the lack of a better term, prevents us from using the ship’s weapons, sensors tell us next to nothing and we can’t communicate with Starfleet Command or any ship. In addition to that, we have been captured by an unknown force which has deactivated our life support systems. We are running out of air to breathe…”


Alien #2: “How much time do they have?”


Alien #1: “Roughly 5 more minutes… But they’re all concentrated in 1 room; I’m surprised none of them have passed out already.”


LT: “As you might have noticed, it’s already hard to breathe and I’m afraid it won’t get any better… Let the records show that I, Captain LT of the Federation starship Greate Pier, am proud to the core to have served with each and everyone of you.”


Alien #2: “This sentimental dribble is getting old… Same words every single time… Inform me when they’re dead.”


The second alien leaves the command center.


LT: “If another Starfleet vessel ever finds us and retrieves the logs, they will also know we did everything we could and we died with our heads held up high and with honor and dignity.”


The alien now talks to himself.


Alien #1: “Don’t count on it; your ship will be disassembled as soon as the last one of you hits the deck plates.”



SCENE 14: Boo!


The 2 aliens, now equipped with breathing apparati, walk down a corridor on the Greate Pier, accompanied by 3 more aliens. All are carrying a tool case in one hand and a weapon in the other.


Alien #1: “It took another 12 minutes for the last one to pass out, but they’re gone. Another 30 minutes have passed since then.”


Alien #2: “Good. As soon as we’ve confirmed their deaths, we can bring in the rest of the teams and start tearing this thing apart. I bet a ship like this could do warp 8 or 9…”


They arrive at the door to the cargo bay where the entire Greate Pier crew decorates the floor. The double doors open and a second or 2 later the head of Alien #2 slowly looks around the corner…


Alien #2: “Come on…”


Hesitatingly, the 5 aliens enter the cargo bay with their phasers extended forward.


Alien #1: “Oh! What a horrible smell!”


Alien #2: “I didn’t expect a dumah flower scent, but this is indeed extremely unpleasant… The masks don’t protect against this level of pungency…”


Alien #1: “This species must decompose quickly…”


Alien #2: “Or it’s their natural smell…”


The 2 aliens look at each other…


Aliens #1: “Then I hope their sense of smell wasn’t half of what mine is…”


Suddenly a fairly high-pitched alarm is heard and within 2 seconds all Greate Pier crew jump to their feet and point their phasers at the stunned aliens who instantly drop everything they have in their hands and proceed to scream and make pleas for their lives, except for the one whom immediately faints.


Alien #2: “Please! Don’t shoot! Please!”


LT: “I’m LT, captain of this ship. I’d welcome you onboard, but quite frankly, you’re not welcome. Reinard, take this scum to brig…”


The captain puts his phaser away while Reinard and his men deal with the partly unconscious invasion team.


LT: “Everyone, back to your stations immediately.”


The large crowd starts following the security team out of the cargo bay while the captain walks towards the doctor who is tending to the horses.


LT: “How are Aleste and Flora?”


Shelley: “Just fine captain, I just administered the counter agent to the sedative. They should be coming around any minute now.”


LT: “Good good…”


Eisinga joins the 2…


Eisinga: “Good work on the ‘eau de death’, doctor… But perhaps the stench was a little too strong… I counted 7 distinct puddles of puke so far. However some of them might actually be classified as piles of puke.”


LT is amused. The doctor remains emotionless as she’s concentrating on the horses.


Shelley: “If anything, it added to the credibility of our little ruse, commander.”


LT: “She has a point there, Eldert.”


Eisinga: “Maybe, but as one of the seven people who spilt their breakfast all over the deck plates, I wouldn’t have minded a little less credibility in our act.”


LT: “You were one of them? Hahaha…”


Semi irritated:


Eisinga: “Yes, yes, yes…”


Shelley, without looking away from her work:


Shelley: “Puddle or pile?”


The captain laughs out loud.



SCENE 15: The list


Margon and his engineering team are in the space station’s control center.


Bynes: “I’ve found something sir.”


Margon, who is fiddling with another console, walks over to Manco.


Margon: “What is it?”


Bynes: “I found the Greate Pier’s name here at the bottom of this list. It’s a complete overview of all ships they have apparently captured.”


Margon: “How many on the list?”


Bynes: “Including our ship 42.”


Margon: “Honorless killers! Leaving their prey to die in agony without giving them a good fight and a chance to die well…”


Bynes: “There’s 1 half disassembled ship in another one of those bays, but according to this list, the crew is already dead for over 3 months.”


Margon: “Spineless pirates! I wish I was the one to interrogate their leader…”


Bynes: “Well, Klingons do have a reputation of being persuasive.”



SCENE 16: Boo two!


While we hear the captain’s log, Kerr comes walking down the corridor and meets up with LT just outside the brig.


LT: “Captain’s log, supplemental. We had to move the horses out of cargo bay 3 to facilitate our 189 guests, as the brig would never hold that many. There they can enjoy the remaining smell of ‘eau de death’, as Commander Eisinga dubbed it, and the occasional puke deposits. The brig is however home to one of them; their leader.”


Kerr: “Lieutenant Kerr reporting sir.”


LT: “Kerr, I’ve got a task for you. I want you to interrogate the pirate leader.”


Kerr: “Me sir?”


LT: “Yes. I need a Klingon for this job. I was going to ask Commander Reinard to be stern but gentle with him. I almost felt compassion when I spoke to him a few minutes ago; they’re easily scared and physically inferior to a tube grub. But I’ve just received some horrifying statistics from Margon.”


The captain hands Margon a PADD showing the stats.


Margon: “They let the crews of 41 other ships die?”


LT: “Yes and after that dismantled the ships. They discard the bodies of their victims and trade off the salvaged components. So, you have my permission to go Klingon on his hiney.”


Kerr: “No problem sir.”


LT: “Just don’t injure him… I even think if you breathe too hard he might fall apart…”


Kerr: “I’ll try.”


LT: “Although I think we’re already seeing the big picture, try to find out whatever you can.”


Kerr nods to the captain and goes inside. Without a shred of hesitation he walks straight up to the cell holding the pirate leader. The small man sits on the far end of the bed staring at the floor. With a loudly roaring Klingon voice Kerr opens conversation.


Kerr: “Prisoner! State your name for the record!”


The little man is startled by the suddenly appearing, large statured alien with his thundering voice. He utters a short scream, topples off the edge of the bed and crawls backwards into the corner with fear in his eyes. Kerr softly mutters to himself.


Kerr: “You’ve got to be kidding me…”


In his normal, yet still roaring voice he continues addressing the alien.


Kerr: “Did I startle you?”


While still showing a lot of fear, the alien spastically nods.


Kerr: “Good! Now, let’s try this again. State your name.”


Alien leader: “I am Bortonoma”


Kerr: “Bortonoma… That’s a long name. In honor of one of my bloodwine serving friends I think I will call you Borty. Any objections?”


Bortonoma shakes his head.


Kerr: “Well then Borty… I am Lieutenant Kerr and I will be asking you some questions. First off, why are you here on this station? What’s its purpose?”


Bortonoma: “Purpose? Ehm, it’s an ehm…”


Kerr: “Come on, stand up and come a little closer. Softly stuttering in a corner isn’t very nice is it?”


Hesitatingly, the alien stands up and moves a few feet closer.


Kerr: “Closer…”


Another foot…


Kerr: “Come on already! Move! The sooner we get this over with, the sooner I can get back to the lounge for my drink. And the sooner you can crawl back in your corner…”


The alien is now within acceptable distance.


Kerr: “Good. Now answer the question. Why is this station here?”


Bortonoma: “We found it 5 and a half years ago.”


He goes silent. The Klingon isn’t impressed.


Kerr: “And?”


Bortonoma: “And we colonized and adapted it… We were on the run from our government when we came across this station.”


Kerr: “You found it abandoned?”


Bortonoma: “Yes.”


Kerr: “Or did you kill the people who lived here?”


Bortonoma: “No… No, honestly; it was abandoned. It used to be a research station, researching the black sun it orbits.“


The alien immediately continues with a plea for mercy after his answer.


Bortonoma: “What are you going to do to us? Please, just let us go, we can’t…”


Kerr: “Silence!”


The alien is startled once again by Kerr’s loud voice.


Kerr: “What will happen to you is up to the captain. I couldn’t care less what’s going to happen to you. All I need from you is answers to my questions. You are now using this station to capture vessels?”


Bortonoma simply nods while shaking like a leaf.


Kerr: “And then let the crew die and dismantle the ship? What cowardly ways are those?”


Bortonoma: “Please sir, do understand; we’re physically too weak to fight. We don’t enjoy combat…”


Kerr: “Gutless cowards… You never saw the enemy in the eye before today. And now you have faced your enemy you either faint like human females or sit in corners and soil yourselves.”


Bortonoma: “It’s our way to survive. We need energy to keep the station up and running, parts to trade and…”


Kerr isn’t about to let the pirate leader, who almost continuously stares at the floor, finish his excuses.


Kerr: “You killed the crews of 41 ships to sustain your population of 189 cowards!”


Bortonoma: “We didn’t kill anyone…”


Kerr is now truly enraged and smashes the PADD on the floor, which startles the alien whom is now looking up at the lieutenant with wide open eyes. Kerr screams from the top of his lungs:




Bortonoma faints and hits his head on the floor. Kerr sighs deeply and starts walking towards the door to leave. While heading for the door he opens a com channel.


Kerr: “Kerr to sickbay. The coward in the brig knocked himself unconscious. Have his head checked.”


Shelley: “Nurse Halstead is on her way.”


The aggravated Klingon disappears into the corridor.



SCENE 17: A new course for the pirates


The captain, Eisinga, Kerr, Margon, Spalding, Shelley, Reinard, Amini and Serrag have gathered in the conference room.


Spalding: “We cannot put them back on the station; they’d almost certainly go back to killing and looting…”


Kerr: “They don’t kill, counselor… At least that’s what their so-called ‘leader’ said to me… They let die.”


Spalding: “Regardless of how they call it, it can’t continue.”


Eisinga: “How would you suggest we proceed then?”


Spalding doesn’t know the answer.


Spalding: “Well…”


Shelley: “Isn’t it possible to just take away the technology they use to capture ships?”


Serrag: “Possible? Yes. But for them that would only be a minor setback. What they lack in social and combat skills they make up for in technological ingenuity. Besides, without new vessels to plunder they would most likely run out of fuel to create energy.”


Reinard: “Don’t they have ships to import fuel?”


Margon: “Well, they do have a vessel, which is warp capable…”


Amini: “But there is no fuel for their energy source anywhere within range…”


LT: “Well, regardless of the energy issue, I think everyone is agreed that returning them to the station is not an option. The only other alternative is to relocate them. Ensign Amini?”


Amini: “There is a small class M planet 2 days from here. That might be a suitable location to bring them.”


Shelley looks concerned…


Shelley: “Captain, if I may… I don’t feel very comfortable uprooting these people… Regardless of what they have done to us and all the other crews…”


LT: “But you probably can imagine it’s not a good idea to letting them keep doing this?”


Shelley: “Well yes, but isn’t there some other way?”


LT: “If you or anyone else has a better alternative, I’d love to hear it.”


Nobody responds. Shelley doesn’t look very happy…


LT: “I guess that’s settled then. Commander Eisinga, instruct the helmsman to set a course for the M class planet, warp 8.”


Eisinga: “Aye sir.”


LT: “Dismissed.”


The men and women get up and leave.



SCENE 18: Munch time


While stirring in pots and pans, the 2 cooks are talking.


Cole: “That must have been a terrible experience… I can’t even imagine what it must be like.”


Sharbino: “I hope you never can.”


Cole: “Is counseling helping you? I never liked counselors…”


Sharbino: “Well, nobody likes to go to a counselor, but it’s actually helping me. Commander Spalding helps me put the whole thing in its place. It happened less than a month ago but I already feel a bit better.”


Cole: “Being far away from the place where it happened must help.”


Sharbino: “I guess so…”


Cole: “Oh I’m sorry Mediza; it’s none of my business anyway… Counseling sessions are private business… I didn’t mean to pry.”


Sharbino: “Oh no, don’t worry about it. I feel comfortable talking to you about it… And call me Diza.”


Both smile.


Cole: “Well, this is about done, wouldn’t you think?…”


She shouts out to the people in the lounge.


Cole: “Come and get it!”


A few people spring into action.



SCENE 19: Victims


LT is working in his ready room. The door chime breaks his concentration.


LT: “Come in.”


Doctor Shelley walks in…


Shelley: “Captain, there are women and children onboard that station who did not in any way participate in the killing and plundering… We can’t just take away all they have, all they know.”


LT: “I thought we settled this doctor?”


The doctor sighs and soon after the captain yields and puts down the PADD he was working on.


LT: “Please, sit down…”


Shelley: “Look, I’m not saying the means by which they get fed is honorable, but they get fed…”


LT: “And you think I’d put them on some planet without any means to feed themselves?”


Shelley: “It might be a class M planet, but they don’t know the first thing about providing for themselves…”


LT shows a little smile.


LT: “I should think less of you than you wrongly do of me… I will personally make sure they can feed themselves. Look, I’m equally unhappy about moving these people from their home of over 5 years…”


Silence falls and Shelley contemplates the captain’s words.


LT: “They’d go back to killing as soon as the next ship flies into this spider’s web. I have the means to stop that from happening ever again and I’d need a damn good reason not to. After beaming them down to their new home they’ll be able to feed themselves, but there will be no more death surrounding them, unless they decide to kill each other… If anything, I think relocation is an improvement. They might just see that themselves after a while… Your concern for the innocent women and children of these pirates is truly touching, but I can see no other alternative. I’d rather inconvenience a few dozen innocent people than be responsible for all the subsequent deaths that will no doubt ensue. Over 18,000 deaths in 5 odd years isn’t some boring office stat you can sweep under the galactic carpet…”


After another short silence, the doctor replies…


Shelley: “I guess you’re right…”


She stares at the wall.



SCENE 20: Shiny slums


While another captain’s log is heard, LT, his first officer, the pirate leader Bortonoma and security men Reinard and Kerr beam down to the surface of the planet.


LT: “Captain’s log, stardate 63787.55. Since we arrived at the M class planet yesterday, engineering teams have worked feverishly to construct primitive shelters for all 189 people. Ironically, the shelters have been built with materials stored on the pirate’s space station; more than likely ripped from one of the ships that fell victim to them.”


The 5 men are in a wooded landscape contrasted by the shiny metallic shelters which stretch for 100 meters in a straight double row. Bortonoma franticly looks around.


LT: “Yes, take a good look around…”


Bortonoma: “This is it?”


The captain hands the alien something.


LT: “These are maps of the area and a list of edible fruits, plants and animals. Near the other end of your new village is a river with safe to drink water.”


The alien looks surprised.


Bortonoma: “Paper?”


LT: “Yes, paper. You can’t be trusted with any form of technology Bortonoma… No PADDs.”


Not far from the 5 men, more of the pirates start beaming down to the surface, kept in check by security personnel.


Bortonoma: “You built this in 1 day?”


LT: “Yes, there are also good things you can do with technology…”


Bortonoma: “Our technology kept us alive and safe!”


LT: “Sure it did, next to killing people… I’m hardly in a position to lecture you on killing people, but taking someone’s life is pretty much always wrong. Deliberately creating the circumstances to let 18,000 people die?… Almost inconceivable… It’s nothing short of murder; I think we can all agree on that.”


Bortonoma: “Are we supposed to be thankful for dumping us here?”


Eisinga: “We don’t expect any gratitude. But the time for discussion is over. Your fate has been determined like you determined the fate of 41 crews. Maybe, in time, you will be thankful for the fact your fate isn’t half as harsh as theirs.”


Amato’s voice is heard.


Amato: “Ensign Amato to the captain.”


LT: “Go ahead Just.”


Amato: “The last of them have been beamed down sir.”


LT: “Thank you. LT out.”


The captain addresses the cowardly leader again.


LT: “Now then. We have helped you to find food and water on this planet and built you shelters. And we are allowed to do so because you are warp capable. So now is the time to end that. I hereby confiscate your death station, your warp vessel and everything in them.”


Bortonoma finally shows some real anger.


Bortonoma: “You can’t do that! You’ve thrown us back into the dark ages!”


LT: “The dark seemed to work fine for you, until recently… And besides, we can’t help you. You’re not warp capable. Our prime directive forbids it.”


Bortonoma: “You sick people! That station was our home!”


LT: “Personally, I think throwing people back into the dark ages doesn’t seem as sick as killing off the crews of over 40 ships.”


Bortonoma: “What if our government finds us here? We’ll be defenseless!”


LT: “Then you just have to hope their way of dealing with you is as civil as throwing you back into the dark ages.”


The alien now really gets enraged.


Bortonoma: “This is ridiculous! You cannot do this to us! Bring us back to our station immediately!”


The GP crew members walk a few meters away from Bortonoma, except Kerr.


Kerr: “Good! You’re already showing some more aggression and assertiveness. That will help you stay alive. Fear won’t guide you.”


LT: “Let’s go Kerr; we have a death station to destroy.”


Kerr joins his colleagues.


LT: “LT to Greate Pier, 5 to beam up.”


The team beams up leaving the pirates behind in their new makeshift village. While we get a good view of the entire village yet another log entry is heard.


LT: “Captain’s log, supplemental. It’s hard not to feel sorry for these people. Small in stature, cowardly in nature and no threat to anyone without their technology. But I must not forget the atrocities they committed over the past 5 and a half years… Next stop: the death station. After facilitating thousands of killings, it will soon meet its own demise…”


The Greate Pier shoots off towards the stars.



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