Previous episodeNext episode

 “Penance”

by Lord Thanatos

 

19/12/12 – 31/10/13

 

 

 

 

Scenes:

 

1. Serrag Ventura

2. The cube

3. Gold store

4. MIA

5. Busy bees

6. Lowbrow

7. Door-to-door sales

8. Meanwhile, in the toolshed

9. Mechanic movement

10. Oh, one more thing...

11. Pinching the pinchers

12. Geheime tunnel

13. Nearly nothing (left)

14. Not a dead boring party at all

15. Future body count predictions - place your bets!

 

 

 

 

 

SCENE 1: Serrag Ventura

 

The bridge of the Greate Pier is once again buzzing with activity. The crew appears to be happy to finally be back on the ship. The chief engineer informs the captain of the latest news.

 

Serrag: “Warp drive has been fully restored, sir.”

 

LT: “Good, good…”

 

Serrag: “We have to keep an eye on the warp core to make sure everything is as it should be. But I must stress, sir, we are in need of certain supplies to ensure continued operation of the engines. Either the Inj or the Rew ran off with most supplies.”

 

LT: “No worries, lieutenant commander, I just had the course changed; we’re heading for the Behemoth’s debris field. We’re picking up the rest of the gold and will then proceed to Fowen for supplies. Just keep her running until then.”

 

Serrag: “Splendid.”

 

Yasmine Cole walks out of the turbo lift and joins the Vulcan at the captain’s chair.

 

LT: “Crewman Cole, good morning.”

 

Cole: “Good morning, sir. Ehm… I’m not sure you can help me, probably not, but I’ve been getting a lot of questions from the crew since we returned to the ship.”

 

LT: “Questions regarding?”

 

Cole: “Their pets, sir.”

 

LT: “Ah, yes, the pets… It really is heart wrenching, isn’t it, Yasmine?...”

 

Cole: “Yes, it is… No one seems to be able to find their pets, or… well, the remains of them anywhere.”

 

Serrag: “I can imagine that the Inj assigned equal value to both the animals and the humanoids onboard when they boarded this vessel.”

 

LT: “It truly saddens me very much, but I think there is little hope of finding any of them alive. Maybe Serrag can help you, Yasmine…”

 

The captain now looks directly at the chief engineer.

 

LT: “Maybe you could do a thorough sweep of the ship and see what comes up…”

 

Serrag gently nods and answers.

 

Serrag: “Of course. Will you join me in engineering, Ms. Cole? We’ll get to it immediately.”

 

Cole: “Thank you, captain.”

 

LT: “Good luck.”

 

The animal caretaker / sickbay assistant / ship's cook follows the chief engineer / pet detective to the turbo lift.

 

 

SCENE 2: The cube

 

Commander Eisinga is knelt down on just his left knee with his left hand resting on the edge of a strange dark brown and black, square device with sides of about 60 centimeters. He is giving it a good look.

 

Eisinga: “Doesn’t look like much, does it?”

 

Margon: “No, it does not. And it smells bad.”

 

Bynes: “But it may contain something valuable…”

 

Eisinga: “I sure hope so…”

 

Bynes: “It’s a miracle it survived after the asteroid hit the Behemoth…”

 

Eisinga: “We’ll need another miracle, though… The admiral cannot know about this device. So keep this project absolutely secret. Only you 2, Serrag, the captain and myself are in the know about this thing and it’s supposed to stay that way for now.”

 

Margon: “No problem, sir.”

 

Bynes: “No one will know.”

 

Eisinga stands up.

 

Eisinga: “Alright, guys… Start working on getting the data out of the database… Maybe we’ll get some answers.”

 

Bynes: “We’re on it, sir…”

 

The first officer heads for the doors as the engineers get to work immediately.

 

 

SCENE 3: Gold store

 

Trader: “Welcome to Fowen, the biggest trading planet in the known universe. My name is Zjewmink.”

 

LT: “Captain LT, USS Greate Pier, good day again.”

 

Zjewmink: “Ah, Captain LT! Nice to have you back so soon… Let me guess, you need some more Liqium.”

 

LT: “Wrong again, Zjewmink. We’re in need of some components again this time. Maresca, can you forward the list?”

 

Maresca: “Sending the list now, sir.”

 

Zjewmink: “Ah, yes, there we go… Let me see…”

 

The Fowen trader semi mumbles the list…

 

Zjewmink: “48 centimeter magnet clamps, inverter this, coil that… Yes, I think I can get you most of this stuff, captain…”

 

LT: “Good, good…”

 

Zjewmink: “But not the injector valves I’m afraid…”

 

LT: “Oh, that is most unfortunate… The last ones we have are currently in use. All our spare ones were kind of ‘salvaged’ from our ship.”

 

Zjewmink: “We don’t have them, but I’m very sure that the Deicra have compatible ones.”

 

LT: “I see… And where could we find the Deicra?”

 

Zjewmink: “Come to think of it, I haven’t seen a Deicra ship in months… Anyway, they can be found on their home planet Fiiot Deicra. Here, I’ll send you the coordinates. It’s not too far away actually.”

 

Maresca: “Coordinates received, sir.”

 

LT: “Thank you kindly, Zjewmink. We’ll head over there as soon as we conclude our business here. So, what about the components you can provide for us?”

 

Zjewmink: “Let’s see what it totals up to…”

 

The trader makes a quick calculation by tapping 2 dozen keys on his console in very rapid succession.

 

Zjewmink: “That would be about 1,900 kilo’s of gold, captain.”

 

LT: “Oh dear…”

 

Zjewmink: “Ah, that sounds like a problem…”

 

LT: “Yes, indeed…”

 

The captain continues after a short pause.

 

LT: “We’ve got too much gold…”

 

Zjewmink: “Haha, I’m sure I could come up with a solution for you, kind sir.”

 

 

SCENE 4: MIA

 

Meanwhile in engineering…

 

Serrag: “I’m sorry, Crewman Cole. I’ve tried all conceivable types of scan of the entire ship to find any organic matter, of any biological being other than humanoids, alive or otherwise.”

 

A sad and disillusioned grimace can be seen on Yasmine’s face. She replies to the Vulcan in a quiet mumble.

 

Cole: “Nothing…”

 

Serrag: “I’m afraid so. Except for the horses and Suder of course.”

 

She realizes there is no hope of finding the animals and doesn’t even smile at Serrag’s attempt at a little well-meant joke. Cole then stands up and replies again, this time with an unexpected loud voice.

 

Cole: “Alright then. Thank you, lieutenant commander.”

 

Serrag: “No problem, crewman. And I’m sorry.”

 

Cole doesn’t reply as she leaves engineering.

 

 

SCENE 5: Busy bees

 

A quartet appears on the surface of Fiiot Deicra; Commander Reinard, Ensign Marks, Ensign K’Ehlen and Captain LT himself.

 

Marks: “Shouldn’t we be slightly more patient, captain? We’ve only waited for an hour in orbit.”

 

LT: “I know, ensign, but we’ve wasted enough time in the past 2 months down on that desert planet. Besides, we need those parts. If the ones we have break down, we’re stuck up the galactic creek without a warp-paddle.”

 

Reinard: “It’s rather strange that a civilization of this level does not respond within 1 hour. You’d expect them to reply immediately.”

 

Marks: “Well, it’s not like they’re not home; there are plenty of people about…”

 

The Klingon ensign seems annoyed and eager to get this thing done.

 

K’Ehlen: “Let’s go.”

 

LT: “Yes, sir! Come on guys, you heard the mission leader.”

 

They start following the Klingon who’s studying information on a tricorder as they go. The team is walking down a wide street in a city. Like Marks mentioned, there are plenty of people walking in all possible directions minding their own business. No one seems to take notice of the aliens, as there are plenty of other races to be seen next to the most abundant species there, the Deicra themselves. Most people are carrying large bags or boxes of supplies around.

 

Reinard: “Must be a discount sale somewhere…”

 

K’Ehlen: “The government building is right here.”

 

She looks up from her tricorder at the large building in front of the team.

 

LT: “Alright. Let’s head in.”

 

The 4 shipmates walk inside and find themselves in a very large reception area. Many luxury seats and beautiful ornamental elements like statues and paintings can be seen. None of the seats are occupied. None of the half a dozen desks are manned. There is no one there…

 

Marks: “No one here…”

 

Reinard: “Rather strange for a government building…”

 

LT: “The government building. It’s the only one on the planet.”

 

The 4 look around some more. Apart from the entrance all other doors are locked. After a while, with a sarcastic tone of voice, the Klingon speaks.

 

K’Ehlen: “Maybe they all left to go to the discount sale as well…”

 

Then suddenly someone rushes in through the entrance, which is now some distance away from the away team. The lady rushes towards one of the locked doors. The team notices this person. LT calls out to the lady while he rushes towards her.

 

LT: “Madam? Could I speak to you for a moment?”

 

The lady shortly looks over her shoulder but doesn’t respond otherwise. She continues towards the door.

 

LT: “Madam?”

 

By the time she reaches it, the captain is just a few meters behind her.

 

LT: “Madam? Just a quick word…”

 

Madam #1: “Sorry, no time, sir.”

 

She enters the door and quickly closes it once she’s through. The captain pushes against the door when he gets there about half a second later. It won’t open.

 

LT: “Damn…”

 

The rest of the team catches up with the captain.

 

Marks: “This just keeps getting weirder and weirder.”

 

K’Ehlen: “Are you going to wait another hour for her to come out or someone else to show up?”

 

LT: “Let’s go outside again and ask around where we can get some answers. At least there are people there.”

 

Once outside they spread out. We’ll follow Reinard.

 

Reinard: “Excuse me, sir. Can I ask…”

 

Man: “Sorry.”

 

The man walks on without even looking at Reinard. He doesn’t even hear Reinard’s insincere, mumbled words of appreciation.

 

Reinard: “Yeah, thanks anyway…”

 

Marks has little more luck.

 

Marks: “Good morning. Can I ask you a question, madam?”

 

Madam #2: “Of course, young man…”

 

Marks: “Do you perhaps know where I can find a government representative to speak to?”

 

Madam #2: “Oh, well it just so happens you’re standing right in front of the government building.”

 

Marks: “Yes, I just came from there; there was no one inside. Well, at least no one who wanted to talk.”

 

Madam #2: “Ah, I see. I imagine government employees are also preparing. There’s little time left of course. And for that same reason I trust you won’t mind if I hurry along as well. Good luck!”

 

Marks: “Eh… thanks. Little time left for what?”

 

The lady is not taking notice of the question Marks asks, possibly deliberately.

 

 

SCENE 6: Lowbrow

 

Margon: “Damn it!”

 

The Klingon, kneeling next to the Inj database device, stand up and throws down some tool which shatters into half a dozen pieces.

 

Bynes: “Damn it indeed; my micro-resonator!”

 

Margon: “Sorry… I’ll replicate you a new one…”

 

He goes on in a rude sounding voice.

 

Margon: “Unless you have one of those emotional attachments to...”

 

Margon looks at the debris on the floor and continues his sentence with a softer voice as he understands Bynes isn’t too happy.

 

Margon: “…these… parts… I have glue.”

 

Bynes sounds even more angry than his colleague did before.

 

Bynes: “Never mind that now… Just tell me what the problem is.”

 

Margon: “The interface is busted.”

 

Bynes: “Oh, great! You’re just brilliant at breaking stuff, aren’t you?”

 

Margon: “It was already broken, you piece of baktag!”

 

Bynes: “You are so damn lucky that I…”

 

After thinking for a short second, he continues in a lower voice…

 

Bynes: “…don’t know what that means…”

 

His tone of voice now hints at a mild annoyance rather than anger.

 

Bynes: “How about we try and solve this problem rather than shout at each other…”

 

The actual reply comes after a grunt.

 

Margon: “Aghh… I guess…”

 

The Klingon violently kicks against one of the parts of Bynes’ micro-resonator, sending it down most of the length of the engineering section. Upon smashing into a wall it disintegrates even further with a sound similar to shattering glass. Bynes’ eyebrows lower as far as they could go followed by a very short sigh. All this goes unnoticed by Margon, whom has already reached the doors. Moments later he walks into a deserted lounge. At that very same moment, Barty is activated.

 

Margon: “Oh, I don’t need you Barty. Just here to grab a quick drink. Oh, nice dress..."

 

Bart is still in female mode after all these weeks.

 

Endersby: “Shut up, you second-class engineering hobbyist! As it happens I did not activate to help you. I thought I'd be happy to see people back on this ship; I guess I was wrong... And when are you going to change me back to... myself?”

 

Margon ignores the question and is already rummaging on the shelves below the counter, making lots of noise.

 

Endersby: “Be careful, you uncivil oaf! Everything here is neatly ordered. You’re not even supposed to be behind the bar.”

 

The lieutenant emerges from below the counter triumphantly brandishing a bottle of some description, pops the cork loudly, sending it somewhere to the other side of the lounge and heads to the doors again while drinking like a dehydrated targ.

 

Endersby: “I say, who’s going to pick up that cork, Mr. Klingon?”

 

Margon halts.

 

Margon: “Are you still here? I thought I said I didn’t need you… Computer, turn that damn hologram thing off…”

 

Endersby: “No wait! Please, I need…”

 

But it’s too late, the bartender disappears. The engineer soon disappears through the doors as well.

 

 

SCENE 7: Door-to-door sales

 

All 4 team members congregate near the corner of the government building.

 

K’Ehlen: “This is a planet of morons…”

 

LT: “I’d have used different words to describe my experience, but I guess that description isn’t far off.”

 

Marks: “It seems they have little time left.”

 

Reinard: “Little time left for what?”

 

K’Ehlen: “Hmpf, the end of the discount sale.”

 

Marks ignores the grumpy Klingon.

 

Marks: “I don’t know, commander.”

 

LT: “Whatever it is, they’re not willing to talk.”

 

Then a man walks up to the entrance of the government building and hastily goes inside. Without hesitation all 4 team members instantly follow the man in.

 

LT: “Sir? Could we talk for just a second?”

 

But, as before, they fail to stop the government employee before he enters one of the doors. K’Ehlen franticly bangs her fist on the door and even bangs her shoulder into it. The door won.

 

Reinard: “What the hell is going on?”

 

The team heads back towards the entrance. When they’re about halfway, a man leaves one of the apparently many doors and also heads for the entrance. K’Ehlen, being fed up with it, speeds to the entrance and slams the large door. The hasty man arrives 2 seconds later and finds the Klingon leaning against the door with crossed arms.

 

Hasty man: “Please, may I pass? There’s little time left.”

 

The other 3 Greate Pier crew members soon arrive at the door.

 

LT: “Little time for what? We’ve come to your planet to do some mutually beneficial trading but no one seems to have any time. What’s going on?”

 

Hasty man: “Please, I need to get my family ready on time.”

 

K’Ehlen, sporting an angry look with a voice to match, intimidates the man.

 

K’Ehlen: “The sooner you answer, the sooner I move out of your way.”

 

LT: “Are you with the government?”

 

Hasty man: “Yes, I am. I'm Pinufratur; I'm with the department of agriculture.”

 

LT: “Why doesn’t the government respond to hails from a visiting ship?”

 

Pinufratur: “We’re terribly sorry… Contact with off-worlders has been reduced to almost zero…"

 

The angry lady blocking the door is fed up with not getting a clear answer.

 

K'Ehlen: "Why?!"

 

Pinufratur: "Well, surely you must know everything ends soon..."

 

LT: "Ends? Can you be a little more clear before my colleague here loses her patience completely?"

 

Pinufratur: "Well, ehm... You see... Existence as we know it will come to an end. Soon. Very soon. So, if you would be so kind as to let me go; I need to be with my family..."

 

Reinard: "And what will be the means of the destruction of existence if I may ask?"

 

Pinufratur: "Well, there are plenty of theories, but all I know it's prophesized."

 

LT: "It's something to do with religion perhaps?"

 

Pinufratur: "Well, no... Our civilization has had practically no history of any kind of deity worship, but I must say, since the prophesized date came closer and closer some have indeed actually resorted to religion to explain everything. A bit silly if you ask me…"

 

LT: "Indeed, there goes the planet…"

 

Pinufratur: "It’s gonna go anyway..."

 

LT: "Right…"

 

Reinard: "Perhaps we should concentrate on our mission, captain."

 

LT: "Right..."

 

Pinufratur: "Well, the sooner you can complete ehm... the part of the mission that has to do with me, the sooner I can go back to the shelter..."

 

Still with a stern look and a similarly sounding voice, K'Ehlen makes something not unlike a compliment.

 

K'Ehlen: "I like the change in your attitude, kind sir..."

 

LT: "We're looking for some parts for our ship. We've been told by the Fowen you may be able to help us."

 

Pinufratur: "Parts? I'm not a mechanic type person, I'm afraid. What are you looking for?"

 

Reinard: "Injector valves."

 

Pinufratur: "I'll tell you what I'll do; I'll take you with me to the shelter. My personal shuttle mechanic has also been assigned to this same shelter. I'm sure he can arrange those injecting... things for you."

 

The Klingon lady still sounds angry.

 

K'Ehlen: "Good!"

 

 

SCENE 8: Meanwhile, in the toolshed

 

Bynes: "Hey, I think I got it, lieutenant!"

 

Bynes is looking at a screen on a console. Margon is still scanning and probing the database device.

 

Margon: "What? Please don't disturb my concentration; I'm still trying to figure out this damn device. And you should be doing the same..."

 

Bynes: "Well, that's what I mean, sir. I think I have a way to get it to work."

 

Margon: "Don't be stupid, Bynes."

 

Bynes looks at Margon for a few short seconds.

 

Bynes: "Alright, then I'll proceed in silence."

 

Margon, however, does take notice of the approaching ensign.

 

Margon: "What is that wire-thing you have there? You're not thinking of attaching that to the database, are you? You have no idea what that will do."

 

Bynes looks at his superiors' face for a split second but doesn't answer. This clearly annoys the Klingon.

 

Margon: "Bynes! What is that thing?!"

 

Bynes: "Oh, I thought you weren't interested, sir..."

 

Margon: "Tell me, or I'll string you up with it."

 

Bynes: "Opti-cable."

 

Margon: "Opti-cable... Like they used a million years ago?"

 

Bynes: "Not a million years ago... There are still ships in use today which have opti-cable."

 

Margon: "Yes, and all 3 of them are breaking apart as we speak..."

 

Bynes: "Anyway, while I ignore your cheerful mood, I'll tell you that I've replicated this with a connector at the end which should fit on the port of the database device. The computer is reasonably sure we will be able to read the database once they are connected."

 

Margon: "'Reasonably sure'?"

 

Bynes: "I'm reasonably sure it's more than you came up with, sir. Shall we try this thing out or do you wish to destroy another one of my tools first?"

 

Bynes hooks up the opti-cable to the Inj machine.

 

Bynes: "Computer, please confirm link up with the Inj database device."

 

Computer: "Confirmed."

 

Bynes now looks at the lieutenant with a smirk.

 

Margon: "Yeah... Computer, can you actually read this damn database or are you happy enough with the link up alone?"

 

Computer: "Access confirmed. Database is available."

 

Bynes walks back to the console, Margon follows. Upon arrival he crosses his arms and pretends to not be interested while inspecting the opposite wall. Manco taps a few buttons and the big screen shows all kinds of data from the database.

 

Bynes: "Bynes to Commander Eisinga. Your presence is requested in engineering..."

 

Eisinga: "I'm on my way."

 

Bynes turns around and throws a faked smile at the irritated Klingon. He holds up a spanner of some description.

 

Bynes: "Tool?"

 

 

SCENE 9: Mechanic movement

 

The away team arrives at a huge, concrete shelter. Pinufratur leads them to the main entrance. Dozens of people are walking in and out. Some are hauling supplies around.

 

Pinufratur: "I've asked my mechanic to meet us inside, near this entrance."

 

LT: "Just one moment before we go inside, Pinufratur... Captain LT to Greate Pier."

 

Eisinga: "This is Commander Eisinga, go ahead, sir."

 

LT: "Any news?"

 

Eisinga: "Well, I'm on my way to engineering as we speak. I suppose there is some news there, but I don't know what yet."

 

LT: "Alright."

 

Eisinga: "But concerning the research into possible threats to this planet... I think it's safe to say there is no reason for us to believe anything bad is going to happen to Fiiot Deicra or its people... We've done every conceivable test, probe and scan."

 

LT: "Thank you, commander. LT out."

 

Pinufratur: "I didn't expect any results either, captain. So, I'm afraid those scans mean very little to our people."

 

LT: "Let's go inside, shall we?"

 

The 5 people head inside. Pinufratur quickly locates his mechanic and signals him to come over.

 

Pinufratur: "Captain LT, this is Kertko. He took care of our family's shuttle."

 

They shake hands. Two other people approach.

 

Kertko: "Ah, you're off-worlders. Welcome."

 

LT: "Thank you. Nice to meet you."

 

Pinufratur: "And this is my wife Risdujek and our daughter Moya."

 

Risdujek: "Hi."

 

LT: "Nice to meet you too.”

 

Kertko: "I understand you were in need of some parts?"

 

LT: "Yes, we're looking for some injector valves. Commander Reinard has the specifics."

 

Reinard taps away on his PADD, but is shortly after interrupted by the mechanic.

 

Kertko: "Oh, that won't be necessary. I have already promised my family I won't leave the shelter anymore."

 

LT and Reinard look at each other with confused looks. LT then redirects his gaze to Pinufratur.

 

LT: "I was under the impression you could help us..."

 

Pinufratur doesn't answer. Kertko does.

 

Kertko: "Captain, no worries, we will help you. Well, we'll let you help yourself. I'll give you the location of our parts storage. You will find all kinds of injector valves there. I'm sure the right kind must be there, I've serviced every kind of space worthy ship that I can think of."

 

Pinufratur: "At no charge, of course. We won't have a need for shuttles in the new universe, of course, haha... But if you believe nothing will happen, you are free to take everything you find there."

 

LT: "That's very kind of you, but we are not here to rob you. We'll only take what we need and are prepared to compensate you in any way you wish, if it lies within our ability."

 

Kertko: "That's very considerate of you, captain, but I assure you, we do not need anything."

 

LT: "Well... In that case, thank you very much."

 

Kertko: "Pardon my insolence, captain, but I assume you do not believe the universe will be recreated soon? You seem to go about your business as if nothing is going to change."

 

Pinufratur interrupts before the captain can answer.

 

Pinufratur: "The captain just received word from his space ship that scans have revealed no threat to this planet..."

 

Kertko laughs shortly.

 

Kertko: "Sorry, I did not mean to laugh. But nobody expects anything to show up on scans just before the rebirth of the universe, haha... Captain, your scan results mean nothing I'm afraid. I suggest you prepare for the event. Those who prepare will be saved. That's what this shelter and the many other ones are for."

 

LT: "So, the universe will be remade... and you're going to be part of it because you're in these shelters? As we personally understand it, the process that instigated the universe was a rather violent one. Are you sure these buildings will protect you from such a process?"

 

Pinufratur: "Of course... We've built these structures in compliance with the building plans which are part of the prophecies."

 

LT: "Ah. Well, my people have a rich history in predicting the end of times… And we suck at it. We're still here. How many times was the end of the world prophesized in the past on this planet?"

 

The government employee now seems slightly annoyed.

 

Pinufratur: "Many times, but this time most of the people believe this is the real thing, that this is the end. And the new beginning... "

 

LT: "Well, you should not mistake the opinion of 'most of the people' with the truth."

 

Kertko shares Pinufratur's irritation.

 

Kertko: "What? You come to our planet, we welcome you as our guests and now you dictate to us what is true and what is not?"

 

Reinard: "I'm sorry, Kertko, but first of all, we were not welcomed."

 

Before the commander can make his second point, the captain speaks again.

 

LT: "And secondly... I'm not dictating anything; I’m just telling you I could be right."

 

Pinufratur: "Are you telling me millions of people are wrong?"

 

Reinard: "They could be."

 

Kertko is fed up with it. He doesn't seem to be addressing anyone in particular. He's walking around in short circles looking up at the ceiling apparently.

 

Kertko: "But of course! These people have been on our planet for 1 or 2 hours and they know everything about the event… And in their expert opinion nothing is going to happen... Of course!"

 

He shakes his head.

 

Kertko: "Unbelievable!"

 

In a soft voice his friend replies.

 

Pinufratur: "Take it easy, Kertko... They just don't know what we know."

 

Then the girl, Moya, walks towards the Greate Pier crew. In Earth years she must be like 7 or 8 years old.

 

Moya: "Nothing is going to happen?"

 

Risdujek: "Moya!"

 

Moya: "Because I don't want anything to happen... I like where I live. I don’t want it to change."

 

Risdujek catches up with her daughter and doesn't seem very happy.

 

Risdujek: "Moya, we've talked about his before."

 

She picks up Moya and walks away from the away team before anyone can reply.

 

Kertko: "Next to speaking untruths they're now misleading the children... Is that what you wanted, Pinu?"

 

Kertko walks away in anger as well.

 

Pinufratur: "Kertko..."

 

The captain steps closer to the Deicra.

 

LT: "I'm sorry, Pinufratur, I hope you believe me when I say I did not want to upset anyone."

 

Pinu seems to have calmed down and even sounds a little sad now.

 

Pinufratur: "That's alright, captain. As you may understand, some of us are a little on edge. Nervous about the event and even a little scared."

 

LT: "I understand."

 

Pinufratur: "And little Moya is scared as well. She has a friend whose family also doesn't believe in the event. That family is not going to join us here in the shelter, so she'll lose her best friend."

 

LT: "I see..."

 

Pinufratur: "These unbelievers are rare; most people do trust things will happen as they have been foretold, others may be in doubt but will join us here anyway. The unbelievers and the radicals will not, however, and they will therefore be lost."

 

Reinard: "Radicals? Who are the radicals?"

 

Pinufratur: "Ah, well, they are the part of the unbelievers who not just disbelieve the prophecy, but actively work against us. There have been a few bloody encounters with them in the past. But fortunately, in the last decade most violence has stopped and also their numbers have never been that great. It's estimated that for every shelter, which can hold up to 10,000 people, there are 1 or 2 radicals... A minor problem."

 

LT: "Tell me, Pinufratur... What would have been the next celebration or feast on your calendar had this rebirth not taken place?"

 

Not expecting such a question, Pinu shows a surprised look on his face and needs a moment to think...

 

Pinufratur: "Ehm, well ehm... I eh... I think that would be Creovansk 3 or 4 days after the rebirth. It's the celebration of spring. Why do you ask?"

 

LT: "I do not wish to mislead Moya or anyone else, but I personally suspect Moya will be able to celebrate Creovansk with her friend in a few days..."

 

 

SCENE 10: Oh, one more thing...

 

The turbo lift doors on the bridge whoosh open and the captain walks in. He finds Holcraft in the captain's chair.

 

LT: "Holcraft, where's Commander Eisinga?"

 

As he asks this question, the same doors open again to reveal the commander in question.

 

Holcraft: "Don't look now, sir, but he's behind you..."

 

Eisinga: "I take it you were looking for me, sir?"

 

LT: "Yes, indeed."

 

Eisinga: "I was checking up on Lieutenant Margon and Ensign Bynes."

 

Eldert approaches the captain while Holcraft leaves for his own chair at the ops console. He continues in a very low voice which no one else can hear.

 

Eisinga: "They've managed to gain access to the database."

 

In an equally soft voice the captain replies and gives his first order.

 

LT: "Excellent. Have them go through the database; see what comes up."

 

Eisinga: "They're already on it."

 

LT: "Good, good..."

 

Their voices now increase in volume to normal levels. LT hands his first officer a PADD.

 

LT: "Second order; send some engineers to these coordinates and have them pick up enough injector valves to last us a lifetime."

 

Eisinga: "Consider it done."

 

LT: "And a third order, commander..."

 

Eisinga: "Name it."

 

The captain's voice lowers to a medium level now...

 

LT: "Find out anything and everything about this silly doom prophecy. What is the exact prophecy, who made it and why do so many people believe it? Access any database that is available from here, send out teams to talk to people, dig in libraries on the planet, do whatever is necessary and use any available crew for the job. I want some answers."

 

Eisinga: "Right away, sir."

 

LT: "I'll be down there with a team myself as well."

 

The commander wants to walk away to starts on his tasks, but the captain has one more thing to say.

 

LT: "Oh, and Eldert... Check out the government building. Governments have the nasty tendency to hide tons of knowledge from their citizens. If there's any information to be had there, it'll probably be more elaborate than other sources."

 

Eisinga: "Do you suspect a government conspiracy?"

 

LT: "No, not really... I suspect these Deicra are a misguided people with silly beliefs."

 

Eisinga: "Probably... I'll get right on it."

 

Again he wants to walk away...

 

LT: "One very last thing, commander..."

 

Eisinga: "Yes?"

 

LT: "There might not be any people to ehm... let you into whatever building you need to be in..."

 

A smile appears on the commander's face before he finally successfully walks off.

 

Eisinga: "I'll try not to do too much damage..."

 

 

SCENE 11: Pinching the pinchers

 

Reinard, K'Ehlen and Marks are near the entrance of the shelter. A continuous siren and flashing lights above the doors signal that the doors are slowly shutting. When the doors a nearly closed the captain materializes on the surface, close to his crew.

 

Marks: "Captain, over here."

 

The attention of the captain is turned to Marks' voice and he heads over to him. The siren and flashing lights switch off and about 2 seconds later the doors shut with a loud metallic clang.

 

Marks: "We won't be able to ask anyone anything anymore... The doors just shut."

 

LT: "Yes, and I suspect it's the same for every other shelter."

 

K'Ehlen: "Now what?"

 

LT: "We'll head into town and see if we can find some place to find more on this prophecy thing. There are a few places we might be able to find some information."

 

Reinard: "How about the government building?"

 

Marks is distracted by something happening in the distance.

 

LT: "Commander Eisinga has sent a team there."

 

Marks: "What's going on over there?"

 

The sound of breaking glass and other loud, unsubtle noises are heard in the distance.

 

K'Ehlen: "I thought everyone was in the shelter..."

 

Reinard: "Must be some of the unbelievers..."

 

Marks: "Or even radicals..."

 

LT: "Or looters..."

 

K'Ehlen: "Probably looting radicals..."

 

LT: "Let's go..."

 

The team heads in the direction of the noise and finds a duo rummaging around in a shop. Broken glass is everywhere. The team of 4 steps into the shop via the broken window.

 

LT: "Hi guys..."

 

Looter 1: "What the?... What are you doing here?"

 

LT: "We were about to ask you the very same thing..."

 

Looter 2: "This is our turf, buddy... Take the next street or something."

 

LT: "We're not looters like you, 'buddy'."

 

Reinard: "You're stealing this stuff mere seconds after the shelters have closed?"

 

Looter 1: "Of course; the good stuff will be gone very quickly, haha..."

 

Looter 2: "Why don't you leave us alone? It's not like they'll be needing this stuff back. They won't be back themselves."

 

LT: "What do you mean 'they won't be back themselves'? The fact you are not hiding away in a shelter seems to suggest you are unbelievers... You probably know as well as I do there isn't going to be any remade universe..."

 

Looter number 1 looks at number 2 with an angry look.

 

K'Ehlen: "Speak!"

 

Looter 1: "Why should we talk to you? You're off-worlders. Who the hell are you anyway?"

 

Looter 2: "Ah who cares, man? There's nothing they can do about it anyway..."

 

Reinard: "So you do believe something is going to happen..."

 

Looter 2: "Something like that, yes, hahaha..."

 

K'Ehlen: "I've had it with these stupid people on this stupid planet!"

 

K'Ehlen storms towards the looters. Reinard wants to stop her.

 

Reinard: "K'Ehlen, no!"

 

When Reinard physically wants to block the Klingon's path, LT, in his turn, stops Reinard.

 

K'Ehlen: "Someone is going to talk!"

 

She reaches the looters and grabs number 1 by his shirt. Both looters tremble with fear. Looter 2 scurries into a corner; no way out but the front of the store, which is blocked by the Greate Pier crew. The looter acts like he isn't afraid and tries to reply in a calm voice.

 

Looter 1: "Like he already said, you won't be able to stop it... Now, let me go."

 

K'Ehlen: "We won't be able to stop what?"

 

The looter says nothing and puts on a fake smile to come across as not being impressed. K'Ehlen tightens her grip.

 

LT: "I don't know if you are familiar with the Klingon race, but if I were you..."

 

Looter 1: "I'm not going to tell you anything..."

 

LT: "Try the other one, K'Ehlen..."

 

K'Ehlen utters a loud scream as she throws the looter though the air towards his partner in crime. The Klingon 'lady' follows the flying body and on arrival grabs the other one by his shirt.

 

Looter 2: "Wait! No! Stop! Let me go and I'll tell you!"

 

Her grip is extremely tight. The man can barely get enough oxygen.

 

K'Ehlen: "Tell me now!"

 

LT: "Ensign, let him go. He'll talk..."

 

Slowly and reluctantly, she lets the guy go. The looter drops to the floor, coughs violently for a short while and gasps for air. The other criminal didn't take the risk of getting up.

 

LT: "Now talk, or I'll leave you alone with her."

 

Looter 2: "The radicals... The radicals are going to attack the shelters..."

 

LT: "Attack? Which ones?"

 

None of the 2 guys respond fast enough for the still furious Klingon female.

 

K'Ehlen: "Which ones?!"

 

Looter 2: "All of them..."

 

LT: "All of them?... I thought there were only 1 or 2 radicals for each shelter?"

 

Looter 1: "That sounds about right..."

 

Reinard: "And how are 2 people going to attack 10,000?"

 

Again they refuse to answer quickly enough...

 

K'Ehlen: "I'm losing my patience! Answer!"

 

Looter 2: "They have implosion devices..."

 

Marks is infuriated to Klingon levels and storms forward.

 

Marks: "When are they going to attack?"

 

Looter 2: "You're too late... By the time you reach the shelter it'll be too late."

 

Marks: "And how would you know all of this anyway?"

 

Reinard: "Because they're radicals..."

 

Looter 2: "Maybe, but not the kind that wants to deploy implosion devices... We didn't want to kill anyone."

 

Reinard: "Yet you let them be killed by others. Your hands are equally dirty, you scumbags..."

 

Marks: "Instead of killing you went on the more honorable mission of looting stuff... Pathetic."

 

LT: "Let's go, guys... We need to hurry to the shelter. You guys better be wrong about us being too late."

 

K'Ehlen: "What about these bastards?"

 

LT: "Let them go, there's no time."

 

K'Ehlen: "But, sir..."

 

The rest of the team is already outside...

 

LT: "K'Ehlen, let them go..."

 

She growls loudly before pushing looter number 2 over so he lands right next to his fellow criminal. She then leaves the shop as well.

 

 

SCENE 12: Geheime tunnel

 

Once again, Commander Eisinga walks into engineering where Margon and Bynes are now peacefully working together at a console.

 

Eisinga: "Ah, gentlemen... You wanted me to look at something?"

 

Bynes: "Yes, sir..."

 

Neither Bynes nor Margon look particularly happy. Before the commander reaches the console, he notices that fact.

 

Eisinga: "Boy, you 2 are all smiles today, aren't you? Have you 2 been arguing again?"

 

Margon: "No, sir. I think you should just check out this data."

 

The Klingon engineer pushes a single button on the control panel and some data and indiscernible schematics pop up on screen. After reading the information for a number of seconds, which seem to last an age or 2, the first officer's facial expression morphs from neutral to concerned.

 

Eisinga: "Shit."

 

An awkward silence fills the entire engineering section while the commander continues to stare at the screen.

 

Eisinga: "Oh god... If this is a joke, guys, I will personally execute you..."

 

Bynes: "I'm sorry, sir, it's definitely no joke."

 

Eisinga: "I wonder who is doomed, gentlemen... The Deicra or us."

 

Bynes: "My guess is all of us here in the Milky Way galaxy..."

 

After another silence Bynes speaks again...

 

Bynes: "Why are the admiral and the rest of Starfleet keeping this from us? We should be preparing..."

 

Eisinga: "I think Starfleet is: the border colonies..."

 

Margon: "That perhaps explains all the transports to the border colonies we have seen..."

 

Bynes: "They may be preparing, but why did they not inform us?"

 

Eisinga: "Probably in order not to spread panic..."

 

Eisinga alternately looks his 2 colleagues in the eyes with a stern look.

 

Eisinga: "And that's why we need to continue to keep this absolutely secret."

 

Bynes: "Understood, sir."

 

Margon: "Understood."

 

 

SCENE 13: Nearly nothing (left)

 

LT and his followers run around the corner and the shelter is revealed to them.

 

LT: "Good, we're not too late..."

 

Reinard: "Maybe we are..."

 

Two individuals can be seen running away from the shelter. The team halts to assess the situation. The doors are still closed, so they couldn't have come from inside.

 

Marks: "The doors are still closed, so they couldn't have come from inside.”

 

That's what I said...

 

Marks: "And look at that, sir!"

 

A cylindrical, metallic device with a diameter of about 1 meter can be seen lodged in the wall. It sticks out about a meter and a half and has one of those annoying flashing lights on it.

 

Reinard: "What on Earth is that?"

 

Marks: "The implosion device, no doubt... Can we disarm it?"

 

K'Ehlen, who is scanning the device with a tricorder, has the answer.

 

K'Ehlen: "Yes and no..."

 

LT: "Explain."

 

K'Ehlen: "It's a relatively simple device..."

 

LT: "But?"

 

K'Ehlen: "But the 2 radicals were running away quickly for a good reason..."

 

At that moment the device begins to start up. Smoke rises up from the end and a hissing sound can be heard. K'Ehlen drops her tricorder, grabs her combadge and starts sprinting towards the device.

 

LT: "K'Ehlen, no! Come back here!"

 

Reinard: "I'll get her, sir."

 

LT: "No, commander. Stay here."

 

The hissing sound becomes louder and louder. The smoke is no longer rising up from the end, but is spouted out horizontally, soon accompanied by flames. The tactical officer soon arrives near the device and has to walk alongside the wall to get close to it without being roasted. She slaps the combadge on the device and taps it.

 

K'Ehlen: "Ensign K'Ehlen to Greate Pier. Lock on to my combadge and beam it into space immediately!"

 

Holcraft: "Ensign? What is going..."

 

K'Ehlen is in no mood and doesn't have the time to explain. She cuts short Holcraft inquiry.

 

K'Ehlen: "NOW, HOLCRAFT!"

 

She runs away from the device back to her crew mates. Soon after she takes off the device dematerializes and reappears in space.

 

Holcraft: "Holcraft to Captain LT. What's happening?... What was that device we beamed into space?"

 

LT: "An implosion device, Holcraft. And well done, K'Ehlen..."

 

K'Ehlen simply nods once to the captain.

 

Holcraft: "It didn't do anything, sir..."

 

Reinard: "It's probably hard to implode space, ensign. Back here it would have done devastating damage."

 

K’Ehlen: “It needs oxygen to function, Ensign Holcraft.”

 

Marks: “How ironic…”

 

Holcraft: "Sir! Something's happening on the planet!"

 

LT: "Where, Holcraft?"

 

Holcraft: "Everywhere!"

 

After a short silence...

 

Holcraft: "Sir, I think it's more of those implosion devices... Thousands have gone off across the planet and thousands more are starting up..."

 

LT: "Lock on to those damn things and beam them into space!"

 

Holcraft: "Did you get that, Amato?"

 

Amato: "I'm trying, captain, but I can't get a lock on them from here... They'd need to have a combadge to get a positive lock. I'm sorry, sir..."

 

LT: "So am I, Amato..."

 

At one of the shelters which still are in one piece the device is about to go off... The smoke and flames are already spouting out the back... After a few seconds of this, the power increases many times over... A nauseatingly loud, shrill, metal on metal like sound can be heard while a jet of flames violently blasts from the device incinerating anything within 150 meters in a direct line with the machine. Several buildings in its path are reduced to rubble... The shelter itself fairs no better... The vacuum the device created made the roof collapse. Nothing discernible is left.

 

Some time later, the away team approaches the hole in the shelter wall. A perfectly round hole. They look inside and find there are people staring back at them.

 

LT: "Hello..."

 

A familiar voice is heard from inside...

 

Kertko: "Captain LT? Is that you? What have you done to the wall? I bet this is all your fault! Why can't you stay out of our business?! How can we be safe with a giant, gaping hole in the wall, man? What is wrong with you?!"

 

The captain raises his voice.

 

LT: "If you care to shut the hell up for one freaking second I can explain to you that this shelter is the only one on the planet that is safe! And yes, that is my fault. Or rather K'Ehlen's fault. That is if you consider saving your ignorant behinds as being at fault. You can thank her later, but first..."

 

The mechanic has calmed down, but he wants to know exactly what is going on...

 

Kertko: "Wait, wait... What do you mean? Why are the other shelters not safe and what's this about having saved us?"

 

Another familiar voice can be distinguished.

 

Pinufratur: "Captain? Is it the radicals?"

 

The captain has calmed down as well...

 

LT: "Yes, I'm afraid so, Pinufratur... The radicals have made sure doom has indeed come to your planet. I'm sorry to say all the other shelters have been destroyed."

 

Everyone not in the know within the range of the captain's voice is in shock. Lamentations, screaming and shouting all over the place. The siren and flashing lights above the doors switch back on and the doors slowly open again... People stream out of the building with Kertko and Pinufratur being among the first. They join the captain and his crew mates.

 

LT: "This hole contained an implosion device. K'Ehlen attached her combadge to the device as it was starting up and had it beamed away."

 

Kertko turns to K'Ehlen.

 

Kertko: "Thank you, dear lady. You have saved 10,000 lives including those of my family... And captain... I'm sorry for my previous behavior."

 

LT: "That's perfectly alright, Kertko... And I'm sorry we weren't able to save more shelters... I don’t know what else to say… So many lives are lost…"

 

Eisinga: "Commander Eisinga to Captain LT."

 

LT: "Go ahead."

 

Eisinga: "We just found a record deep in the vaults of the government building. I think this piece of dusty paper hasn't been read in about 2 centuries... But it shines a bright light on this doom business..."

 

Pinufratur: "Government building?"

 

LT: "Yes, the one you abandoned, remember? What does it say, commander?"

 

Eisinga: "In a nutshell it's a story that started some 200 years ago. It was the government that created this myth in a time of war and poverty to create jobs and unite people from all over the world."

 

Kertko: "I refuse to believe that... It sounds like some silly film script."

 

Eisinga: "Believe it or not, sir, it at least worked. You have had plenty of work and very little conflict in the past 200 years, except for the radicals and their violent acts. People were too occupied with building the shelters, making sure food production and supplies were sufficient and all that kind of thing..."

 

Pinufratur: "Still, it’s hard to believe, commander... How come none of today's government employees know about it?"

 

Eisinga: "Well, obviously it was a secret plan... And some 7 years after the doom prophecy had been published the entire army of government officials was fired because of bad policy implementation. Something unrelated."

 

Pinufratur: "The trade tax crisis of 1124..."

 

Eisinga: "The new officials knew nothing about the fake prophecy their predecessors had thought up as they put nothing on paper about their scheme... Well, nearly nothing..."

 

 

SCENE 14: Not a dead boring party at all

 

The holographic bartender Bart Endersby reappears in the lounge again. He looks around, but sees no one... The look on his face then reveals mild annoyance.

 

Endersby: "That damn Margon... He deactivated me and I missed feeding time. Better get to it right away before they start to complain..."

 

He exits the lounge and walks down the corridor towards the turbo lift. A crew member approaches. He looks at Bart as he walks by. A smile appears on his face. Barty is less amused. Especially when he turns around and sees the crewmember look over his shoulder with an even bigger smile on his face... As he continues down the corridor he shortly shakes his head without losing his smirk. Barty walks on as well... He steps into the turbo lift and orders it to the correct floor.

 

Endersby: "Deck 4..."

 

The lift starts moving. After a short silence he mutters something to himself.

 

Endersby: "I'm going to kill Margon... Just as soon as there is room in the morgue."

 

After just moving 1 deck down, the doors open. Bart wants to exit, but Crewman Cole walks into the turbo lift without paying attention and bumps into the holographic bartender.

 

Cole: "Oh, I'm so sorry, Bart."

 

Endersby: "That's quite alright, crewman."

 

Cole: "It seems I'm a little too preoccupied today..."

 

Endersby: "Are you trying to put together a menu for today's dinner? I may have a few ideas for that. Now that the crew appears to be back onboard I have..."

 

Cole interrupts...

 

Cole: "Oh, dinner... I hadn't thought of that, to be honest, Bart..."

 

Endersby: "And shouldn't you make some unsympathetic remark about my attire? At least give me a funny look. It seems to be the hip thing to do today..."

 

She takes a real look at Bart for the first time since the doors opened.

 

Cole: "Oh, I see... It's... different, Bart."

 

Endersby: "Oh dear... If even my appearance cannot evoke any serious emotional response it must be really bad, Yasmine... Why don't you tell me what's going on?"

 

Cole: "Well, like you said, the crew appears to be back onboard... But the crew's pets aren't, you see?"

 

Endersby: "Ah, indeed... And you were wondering where they were, I take it?"

 

Cole: "Lieutenant Commander Serrag scanned the entire ship and came up with nothing..."

 

Endersby: "I see..."

 

Bart now looks Cole directly in her eyes.

 

Endersby: "Follow me."

 

Bart walks out of the turbo lift.

 

Cole: "Bart? Where are you going?"

 

She soon follows the hologram down the corridor. Bart doesn't answer. Soon they reach sickbay and head to one of the doors in there. Cole reads the label on the door...

 

Cole: "The morgue? Oh my god... Bart, I don't know if I really..."

 

This time Bart interrupts Yasmine's words while the door slides open.

 

Endersby: "Come on in, it's quite alright..."

 

With the necessary reluctance Cole walks in with the bartender.

 

Cole: "I really don't need to see any of this, Bart... It's already enough for me to know..."

 

She now cuts her own sentence short...

 

Cole: "Hey... Why is this room empty? I thought this was the morgue..."

 

Endersby: "Computer, disable holographic wall."

 

The wall opposite the door dissolves, revealing the previously hidden mortuary cabinets. Bart walks over to one of the cabinets and unlocks the door. As soon as the door opens a light can be seen shining from within the cabinet... A cat comes walking up to the door with his or her tail raised up. Cole stands amazed at this sight and as soon as the cat starts to meow loudly, she starts laughing out loud.

 

Cole: "That's fantastic!"

 

She walks up to the cat and pets it.

 

Cole: "This is Ensign Moon's cat!"

 

Bart smiles.

 

Endersby: "Indeed..."

 

Cole now looks at the other cabinet doors and decides to open the one next door. A pair of birds can be seen in the back of the cabinet...

 

Cole: "You are amazing, Bart!"

 

Endersby: "Well, you better close that door, Yasmine, before Ensign Moon's cat catches the scent of Crewman Watford's birds..."

 

Cole: "Of course, haha..."

 

She closes the 'bird cage'.

 

Cole: "But why didn't Lieutenant Commander Serrag's scans pick up anything?"

 

Endersby: "I've put up a shield around this room that tricks the sensors. Before the crew was forced to abandon the ship I got a crash course in engineering... I'm glad I did. All of the cabinets have heating units and lighting with a proper day and night cycle."

 

Bart closes the cat's door as well. Then we shift some time into the future. An extremely happy Ensign Moon has her cat in her arms. Next to Bart, Yasmine and Joss Moon there are at least a dozen more people crammed into the morgue with half a dozen loud conversations going on in addition to random animal noises.

 

Serrag: "Curious, sir..."

 

LT: "What is, lieutenant commander?"

 

Serrag: "Well, sir... I think this is the most cheerful social occasion in a mortuary in the history of the universe..."

 

The captain snickers... Barty walks by but stops as soon as the captain compliments him.

 

LT: "Well done, Bart. You've made a lot of people very happy..."

 

Endersby: "Well, seeing as I was the only person left onboard... It's the first thing I did actually... I beamed all living, non-Inj creatures here..."

 

LT: "Yes, I'm really ashamed, Bart. There should have been a procedure for this sort of eventuality... In case we’re forced to leave the ship in a hostile takeover the animals should of course be saved as well..."

 

Serrag: "If they can be beamed off of the ship together with us that would be preferable. But if that isn't possible, like in this case, there should be a brilliant solution like this one."

 

Endersby: "Yes, goldfish wouldn't have fared well on that desert planet I can imagine... They should be automatically beamed to a facility such as this. Not suggesting it should be the morgue again, but..."

 

Serrag: "But a dedicated room with automatic food replicators, climate control, ..."

 

Endersby: "...a separate inertial damper system in case the pirates aren’t too careful with the ship..."

 

Serrag: "Exactly! And..."

 

The captain stops the brainstorming session.

 

LT: "Guys, guys! Whatever you come up with, discuss it with Commander Reinard and then pour it into a proper procedure... And I don't plan on ever being bullied off of my ship again, but you can actually make this your top priority."

 

Serrag: "Aye, sir."

 

A delighted Crewman Watford walks up to the hero of the day with his 2 birds in a cage.

 

Watford: "Bart, you're a marvel... How can I ever thank you for this?"

 

Endersby: "Well, your expression of gratitude just now is more than enough already. However, there is one thing I'd like very much..."

 

Watford: "Well, name it..."

 

Endersby: "No, it's not something you can give me. It's something engineering needs to do..."

 

A smirk appears on the chief engineer’s face.

 

Serrag: "What would that be, madam?"

 

Bart tilts his head sideways a little while putting his arms in his sides... He stares at the Vulcan without saying anything further...

 

Serrag: "Alright, Bart, I'll change you back as soon as I can..."

 

A smiling captain breaks in...

 

LT: "New top priority... Change him back now, then get started on the emergency pet procedure thingy."

 

Serrag: "Yes, sir."

 

Endersby: "Thank you."

 

 

SCENE 15: Future body count predictions - place your bets!

 

The conference room hosts 5 people; Reinard, Serrag, Shelley, LT and Eisinga.

 

Shelley: "So it was the believers who were actually doomed..."

 

LT: "Yes, it appears so... As is so often the case."

 

Reinard: "And the relatively few believers that survived have what they expected: a completely different world in which to live."

 

Eisinga: "Only not the recreated paradise they were expecting, but the same old planet... but now filled with people who see things differently from them."

 

Serrag: "A twisted form of self-fulfilling prophecy."

 

Shelley: "Well, maybe they see things differently now as well... I mean, their planet and indeed the rest of the universe was not destroyed and remade as they believed it would..."

 

LT: "Commander Eisinga's research showed it was a fabricated, false prophecy... But some may still refuse to believe that."

 

Eisinga: "Ignorance isn't always bliss..."

 

Reinard: "It will be interesting to see where this species is going to go from here... I'm sure that, despite the fact all the government employees have survived the ordeal, not many people would choose to have them back as their government. The unbelievers, whom are now the majority, will never accept them as such, whether they see things their way now or not."

 

A short silence is followed by some gruesome statistics...

 

LT: "43,202 out of 43,203 shelters were destroyed... 10,000 innocent yet misguided people in each of those shelters... All dead."

 

Eisinga: "And there might be lots and lots and lots more dead, sir..."

 

LT: "Yes..."

 

Shelley: "What do you mean, commander?"

 

The captain alternately looks at Shelley and Reinard.

 

LT: "Doctor Shelley, Commander Reinard, you should be informed as well as to the nature of our most recent discovery..."

 

Eisinga: "Only those here present plus Lieutenant Margon and Ensign Bynes are to be in the know about this."

 

Shelley: "Sounds serious..."

 

Eisinga: "It is..."

 

LT: "First let me redundantly repeat what Commander Eisinga said... No one outside of the mentioned group of 7 individuals can know about this. Don't even tell your other colleagues, your partner, your grandma or your teddy bear that you even have a secret. Do not mention this in any logs, personal or otherwise. And especially don't mention anything of this to the freaking admiral!"

 

Silence fills the room. That in combination with the serious looks on everyone's faces tells the captain he's being taken very seriously.

 

LT: "The Inj Behemoths, all 3 of them, have been destroyed. All 33,000-ish Inj have perished. They have caused death and suffering everywhere they went. But, unfortunately..."

 

The captain takes a deep breath while the others await the rest of the story breathlessly.

 

LT: "They appear to have been only a small scouting party."

 

Shelley is clearly surprised and briefly looks at Reinard whom sports a similar expression on his face.

 

Shelley: "'Small'?"

 

Eisinga: "Yes, doctor... There are going to be a bunch more of them around..."

 

Reinard: "I bet those guys will want to make us pay for blowing up their 3 Behemoths."

 

LT: "The Behemoths were sent to scout ahead and prepare a number of planets to be fortresses and central bases."

 

Eisinga: "Because of their limited traveling speed, they won't arrive in this galaxy for a few years... But don't let that comfort you... As soon as they arrive, we have to deal with... many billions of them..."

 

 

Previous episodeNext episode