Previous episode

 “Utopia consumed”

by Lord Thanatos

 

26/10/2023 - 31/10/1023

 

 

 

 

 Scenes:

 

1. Balls!

2. Cheesy

3. Trouble in paradise

4. Bags o' fun

5. Shelley shocked

6. Medical intervention

7. Beaming with excitement

8. Hm

9. Rebel with a claustrophobia

10. Richard measuring contest

11. Re-rebel

12. Flight risk

13. Phase her

14. Tall beauty

15. Bordering on the line

16. End of the line

 

 

 

 

 

SCENE 1: Balls!

 

The double sliding doors open and reveal Security officer Kerr who looks into the holodeck in front of him. He scans the room with a puzzled look on his face until he sees who he is looking for and walks up to him.

 

Kerr: "Captain, there you are..."

 

The captain looks down at himself without cracking a smile.

 

LT: "Yes, I know..."

 

The Klingon nods at the commander stood next to the captain.

 

Kerr: "Commander."

 

Eisinga: "Hello Kerr, how are things?"

 

Kerr: "In terms of security they are fine, sir. However, the bridge reported having difficulty contacting you."

 

Eisinga: "Yes, we blocked the com system in here to have a quiet and relaxing time."

 

Kerr: "Quiet and relaxing? In a loud and busy public drinking establishment?..."

 

The men are indeed standing in the middle of a fairly crowded place next to a very large table.

 

Kerr: "And what is this game you are playing?"

 

LT: "Oh, this is called snooker. You use these sort of Klingon pain stick looking... well... sticks."


The captain shows the cue in his hand.

 

Kerr: "Ah, I see! We have a very similar game back on Q'onos!"

 

LT: "Really? Doesn't seem like a thing Klingons would like...."

 

Kerr: "Can I give it a go?"

 

Eisinga: "By all means."

 

The number 1 hands his cue to the Klingon and proceeds to explain the game. Kerr meanwhile studiously looks at the stick in his hand.

 

Eisinga: "See, what you do is you strike the white cue ball with the cue..."

 

Kerr turns the stick upside down and now holds it with both hands near the end of the thin side... LT's face throws a puzzled look at this sight. Uninterrupted, the commander continues.

 

Eisinga: "And you then try to hit a red ball towards..."

 

Then Kerr assumes a posture similar to a baseball batter about to hit the ball out of the park.

 

LT: "NO!!"

 

But it's too late. Kerr uses all his might and smashes the crap out of the cue ball, surprisingly actually hitting it. The cue splinters into many pieces, the cue ball as well. Every single ball is set in motion and are randomly racing a colliding all over the table's surface, except for the ones that were sent flying off the table and into, fortunately holographic people and bottles and glassware on and behind the bar. They may not be real, but the two simulated people that were hit with balls and debris still responded like real people, hitting the deck and crying out in pain. The rest of the photonic crowd fell silent after the Klingon's violent actions. LT performed a classic Picard facepalm. The commander's calmly spoken single word was the first thing to be heard.

 

Eisinga: "Wow."

 

LT added a sigh to the facepalm, after which Kerr himself spoke.

 

Kerr: "Sorry, I think I broke that white ball... Klingon balls are a little sturdier I guess... Other than that I think it was a pretty good shot. I thought for sure I was rusty..."

 

The captain lifts his face out of his hand, but keeps the hand close as if he is keeping ready to re-palm his face again.

 

LT: "Wait... This would be a good shot in your version of this game?"

 

Kerr: "Well... Yes! Is this not how it is played?"

 

Eisinga: "The cue ball died, so did 2 people nearly as well..."

 

The commander looks over to the 2 victims who are being tended to by other guests, holds his hand up in apology and mouths "Sorry" to them. None of the involved holograms look pleased. Kerr does and lets out some hearty laughter after his joke.

 

Kerr: "I would have gotten bonus points for that, hahaha!"

 

The captain looks at the damage done to the table, now with an amused look on his face.

 

LT: "That hole in the baize could hide a Klingon battle cruiser inside..."

 

Eisinga: "Well, anyway, I'll explain the game to you at some later date when you're feeling a little less destructive."

 

Kerr: "Something tells me it's going to be too passive and placid for my taste..."

 

LT: "Anyway, why did you come looking for me, lieutenant?"

 

Kerr: "Oh, yes. It was to inform you we have arrived at that one planet, eh... Horseback."

 

Eisinga: "Haesbec."

 

Kerr: "That."

 

LT: "Splendid. Inform the bridge shore leave can commence as soon as proper outfits have been replicated. "

 

Kerr: "Of course, sir."


LT: "We will finish this last frame before heading back to the bridge."

 

Kerr nods and leaves.

 

Eisinga: "Computer, reset scene to before Lieutenant Kerr destroyed half this grease joint."

 

Kerr speaks loudly from around the corner, just before the doors fully closed.

 

Kerr: "I heard that..."

 

While the 2 men smile broadly the table in front of them resets to the pre-destruction state.

 

LT: "My turn, I believe?"

 

 

 

 

SCENE 2: Cheesy

 

A bunch of the Greate Pier crew are enjoying their shore leave on the planet below. Walking in the park, browsing at a local market, eating and drinking, watching street performers, all the good stuff... While all this is going on, Lieutenant Holcraft, in charge of the bridge, makes a log entry that paints a much less nice picture of this place. Or rather this place's future.

 

Holcraft: "Operations Officer's log while in charge of the bridge, stardate 64082.39. We have arrived at Haesbec, not too far from the border colonies. We have been sent here to observe this planet; see if there has been any Inj activity here. No ships of any kind have been spotted on long range scanners and there appear to be no weapon signatures nor signs of any significant damage anywhere on the surface. This civilization is a pre-warp and the only thing we need to be worried about is dodging a few primitive orbital satellites. The Spelope below are a humanoid race, where we humans blend into without issue. Even other races, with some creative outfits, can walk among them."

 

Serrag, a Vulcan, can be seen conversing with a few shipmates. He's wearing some creative headwear that makes him look like an unconvincing pirate.

 

Holcraft: "Despite the pre-warp status of these people, the captain has granted shore leave to anyone not on duty. It may feel like indulging in a guilty pleasure considering the circumstances, however, this beautiful planet is a welcome change of scenery, compared to the desert planet we were stranded on for 2 months until just a week ago. From what I hear the weather is a lot more bearable here."

 

Serrag now holds up a hand and notices a bit of light rain. His face shows an almost cartoonish annoyed look.

 

Holcraft: "Not everyone thinks it is right to take shore leave on this planet. And maybe it isn’t."

 

Medical Officer Nicole Marie Halstead Bühler slowly walks past Serrag and is in a conversation with a local.

 

Halstead: "Oh, just for a short while. We're just passing through town on our way to our next destination. This seemed like such a nice place and of course we couldn't resist a lovely market like this."

 

The lady smiles upon hearing this compliment regarding her hometown.

 

Jepak: "And on such a nice day I can't blame you."

 

She points at a small cheese stand on wheels in the middle of the big market square.

 

Jepak: "Here, come, try this."

 

As best as she can, she hurriedly walks over to the stand.

 

Jepak: "Hey Grem."

 

Grem: "Jepak, good morning! What can I get you today?"

 

Jepak: "Just stealing a sample for my friend here."


She grabs a little chunk of cheese from the sample tray. The seller jokingly mumbles a response.

Grem: "Thief."

 

Halstead: "Good morning."

 

She is handed the cheese.

 

Grem: "Good morning, madam. Hope you enjoy, it's one on my best."

 

Jepak: "No, it is your best."

 

Halstead tries the yellow substance and likes it a lot.

 

Halstead: "I wouldn't be surprised if that was true; this is great!"

 

Grem: "Thank you, madam, made it myself."

 

Halstead: "I'm now gonna have to buy a big hunk of this, also to compensate for Jepak's theft."

 

The folks laugh about it while Nicole picks up a packaged up quarter wheel of the same cheese and waves it in the air.

 

Halstead: "I'll take this one, please."

 

 

 

 

SCENE 3: Trouble in paradise

 

Back on the bridge, the captain and his second in command walk out of the turbo lift.

 

LT: "Holcraft, you are relieved. Thank you for holding the fort."

 

Holcraft: "Aye, sir."

 

LT takes the big seat again, Eisinga his usual one next to the big one and Holcraft parks his butt at Ops. The captain addresses the science guys.

 

LT: "Stuckman, Stilson, any updates?"

 

Outranking Crewman Stilson, Ensign Stuckman replies.

 

Stuckman: "Still as bad as ever, captain. There has been no change in the fact we cannot prevent it from happening."

 

Eisinga: "I'm not surprised. It was idle hope to suspect otherwise..."

 

LT: "Indeed, but it makes it no less frustrating. There's nothing we can do to prevent it, and the prime directive forbids us to take action."

 

Eisinga: "How long before effects become dangerous?"

 

Stuckman: "The computer predicts gravitational effects will reach dangerous levels in approximately 26 hours. Radiation and heat won't be the things that kill anyone before the gravitational pull starts breaking the planet apart."

 

LT: "Alright."

 

The communication's officer swivels her chair around.

 

Maresca: "If I may, sir. I've been getting quite a few communications from shore leave crew. They find it increasingly difficult not to feel sorry for the people that inhabit this planet and that we should do something."

 

LT: "Thank you, crewman. I very much sympathize, but I don't know what we could do within the confines of Federation law."

 

Maresca: "I understand, sir."


The second science officer chimes in as well.

 

Stilson: "I was down there earlier, captain. It’s a veritable paradise. Nice weather all year round, thousands of miles of golden white beaches, friendly people, and all of that will be erased from existence save for the interesting new drinks and foods we will certainly add to our replicators. It's a shame that that will be all that is left of this civilization. Some Spelopean coffee and a chunk of now very rare cheese sitting on a table in the lounge."

 

LT: "A shame indeed, Stilson... I am all too aware."

 

 

 

 

SCENE 4: Bags o' fun

 

Jepak and Halstead just finished browsing a stand on the market.

 

Jepak: "Well, that was it. That's the whole market."

 

Both are carrying a bag of various scores they obtained during their raid. The nurse quickly rummages through her bag, seemingly in an effort to remember exactly what she bought today.

 

Halstead: "Alright, well, I think I found enough awesome stuff as well."

 

Jepak laughs and sees Halstead taking the chees out of the bag.

 

Halstead: "And thank you for the tip. I'm very sure I won't be able to resist incorporating this in tonight's dinner somehow."

 

Jepak: "My pleasure. I hope you enjoy our little town today."

 

Halstead: "I sure did, thanks for the tour."

 

Jepak: "Well, I better be getting back to my husband now and take some rest for the sake of the little one."

 

Jepak gently places her hand on her belly. Nicole only then realizes.

 

Halstead: "Oh! You're pregnant! I hadn't realized! I'm so sorry..."

 

Jepak: "Well, don't be sorry. And in all fairness, it's hardly noticeable despite the fact the term is almost up."

 

Halstead looks a little down realizing the baby won't ever be born... Jepak continues after quickly winks with a gentle smile on her face.

 

Jepak: "I've been dressing to hide it a bit. Not that I'm ashamed of it..."

 

Nicole's face returns to a little better than neutral.

 

Halstead: "No, of course not. How wonderful, congratulations! When exactly is he or she due?"

 

Jepak: "Theoretically in 2 days, but I feel like the baby might postpone their arrival a little bit..."

 

Halstead: "2 days?... Should you even be out here? Shouldn't you be resting instead of wandering the market for hours?"

 

Jepak: "What are you? A nurse?"

 

Halstead: "Well, actually, yes!"

 

The both of them laugh, but Jepak laughs harder and longer, causing her to suspect something.

 

Jepak: "Really? You are actually a nurse?"

 

Halstead: "Yes, I am. No joke. Do you live far away?"

 

Jepak: "Yes, I think at least 2 minutes if I crawl. Our house quite literally around the corner."

 

Jepak points at the narrow street they're directly adjacent to.

 

Halstead: "Well, I won't let you crawl. Not in your condition. Let me walk you home."

 

Jepak: "I'd be delighted."

 

The ladies walk off, chatting the entire short distance.

 

 

 

 

 

SCENE 5: Shelley shocked

 

Doctor Shelley exits the turbo lift. The captain looks over his shoulders to see who it is.

 

LT: "Doctor, welcome to the bridge. Haven't seen too much of you lately..."

 

Shelley: "Hello captain, commander... And that's why I'm here. Just reporting on my work while stretching my legs a little... I've been focusing on studying Inj anatomy through scans, autopsies and poking and prodding..."

 

Eisinga: "And how is that going?"

 

Shelley: "Slowly. They're quite different from anything I've poked and prodded before. And they're even more disgusting on the inside than on the outside."

 

Eisinga: "And that's saying something..."

 

LT: "Indeed. So, how about some shore leave, doctor? There are many dozens of crew down there already."

 

Shelley: "Yes, I heard we were in orbit of some planet, but I've been too busy to inquire. Why are we here?"

 

LT: "Well, it's another mission to check for Inj activity."

 

Eisinga: "We haven't found any of that, though. But we have found something else. A star."

 

LT: "A companionless, runaway star."

 

Shelley looks at the screen which depicts an animated representation of the local solar system.

 

Shelley: "A runaway star? It doesn't seem to be running away very fast..."

 

Eisinga: "It's not that star. Science?"

 

Stuckman at one of the science consoles replies.

 

Stuckman: "On it."

 

Shortly after the runaway star appears on screen.

 

Eisinga: "This one. And it's travelling towards this very planet down below at a rate of some 6 million kilometers an hour."

 

Stuckman: "Indeed. And that's 6 million kilometers an hour pretty much exactly in the opposite direction of the galaxy's spin. Given enough time, this star will leave the galaxy. It might have been given a slingshot boost by some black hole turning it into a hypervelocity star which is now going well faster than the galactic escape velocity."

 

Shelley: "Oh my goodness. Will they collide?"

 

LT: "No, but that won't matter. The star won't get closer than half a million kilometers, unfortunately, the civilization below will not survive that due to gravitational effects."

 

Shelley is shell shocked.

 

Shelley: "Civilization? There's people down there?"

 

LT: "Unfortunately, yes. Undocumented, pre-warp."

 

Shelley: "Is there nothing we can do?..."

 

LT: "I wouldn't know what. And besides, we've got about 1 day left."

 

The doctor looks worried and annoyed at the same time.

 

Shelley: "You know, I think I will take that shore leave, captain."

 

LT: "By all means, doctor."

 

Shelley: "But it will be a short work-vacation. I'll be gathering data on these people. Trying to document the undocumented before there is nothing left to document."

 

Eisinga: "There are some science teams down there doing similar work, but nothing medical, since.. well, it won't be necessary. But by all means, doctor, I think..."

 

The commander's words seize after he realizes the doctor has already disappeared behind the closing turbo lift doors behind him.

 

Eisinga: "Well, no time like the present."

 

LT: "Especially since there won't be a future for some."

 

 

 

 

 

SCENE 6: Medical intervention

 

The doctor appears on the surface and looks around to get her bearings. She's walks around a corner and the very same market appears in front of her. She can't help but crack a little smile when seeing all this activity. The smile, however, disappears again quite quickly as she realizes all these people are doomed. Shelley walks around a little and tries to hide her medical tricorder as well as she can while making scans of the people around her. She's scanning in the direction of a family that's walking past slowly while looking at the wares for sale. She couldn't help but to overhear the dad talk to his young son who didn't appear to have a good time at the 'boring' market.

 

Dad: "I know you hate the market, but mom needs a few things."

 

Son: "I know, I know..."

 

Dad: "But cheer up. The day after tomorrow we'll go somewhere nice. I promise..."

 

Son: "What? Where?!..."

 

Their daughter, not much older than the son, all of a sudden seems to wake up and breaks in.

 

Daughter: "Are we going to Dalmer Land?"

 

Dad replies in a calm voice and with a smile on his face.

 

Dad: "We are going to Dalmer Land."

 

Both the kids are screaming and literally jumping for joy.

 

Mom: "But only if you behave. Both today and when we're at Dalmer."

 

The kid almost at the same time reply with the same word.

 

Son: "Ok!"

 

Daughter: "Ok!"

 

Doctor Eve can't help but smile again. Shortly after her tricorder beeps and Shelley looks up into a certain direction. The chief medical officer starts walking in that direction and quickly finds the reason for the beeps. Nurse Halstead is sat on a bench mounted on the wall at the edge of the market. She seems very distraught. She doesn't see her superior coming as she is staring at the ground.

 

Shelley: "Hey you."

 

Halstead looks up.

 

Halstead: "Doctor. I'm sorry, I didn't see you."

 

Shelley: "Well, actually, I didn't see you either. My tricorder told me someone familiar was among the crowd here while I was scanning the locals. Is everything alright, Nicole? You seem quite upset."

 

She pauses for a moment and reads the doctor's face. She knows she couldn't possibly fool the doctor by lying and sighs.

 

Halstead: "No, I'm not alright and yes, I am upset."

 

She gestures at the market in front of her.

 

Halstead: "All of this will be gone tomorrow, doctor."

 

The doctor sits down next to her and looks at the commercial scene as well.

 

Halstead: "All of it."

 

Shelley: "Yes, I heard. It's beyond tragic."

 

As if she needed to clarify further, she clarifies further.

 

Halstead: "This market won't ever happen again, this square and the surrounding houses will be gone, like the rest of this planet and... the people..."

 

A moment of silence is broken by Eve.

 

Shelley: "I overheard a family visiting the market. They were making plans for the day after tomorrow. They were planning of visiting something called Dalmer Land. Must be some theme park or something similar. Whatever it is, it won't exist the day after tomorrow."

 

Halstead: "Neither will any of the families that were planning on going... And neither will the lady I met this morning."

 

She sighs deeply and returns to looking at the ground.

 

Halstead: "We spent hours together perusing the goods on the market stands. She was lovely. Her house is right around the corner from here... She was so friendly and welcoming..."

 

She abruptly looks up as she realizes something.

 

Halstead: "Oh listen to me speaking of her in the past tense! How horrible!"

 

Shelley: "Hey, calm down. You're alright."

 

Halstead: "No, I don't think I am... She is pregnant, Eve! Pregnant! And even though she is due to give birth very soon, this poor baby won't ever see the light of day, nor will her mother even have the joy of holding her baby. It's just too much for me to handle... I just can't!"

 

Another moment of silence, this time broken by Halstead.

 

Halstead: "It's not just your family and my pregnant friend. Millions and millions and millions of people..."

 

There seems to have been a discount sale for moments of silence, because here's another one, again broken by the very same nurse.

 

Halstead: "Less than 23 hours to go before the gravitational pull of that runaway star will start to wreak havoc on this planet."

 

She suddenly raises her voice a little and looks straight at her superior, as if she might have the answer.

 

Halstead: "Is there nothing we can do?!"

 

Shelley: "Well, even with the advanced technologies we have, we can't redirect a runaway star. I sincerely think the destruction of this planet is inevitable. And even if we were to evacuate a few thousand people, we'd still be leaving behind the rest of those millions and millions and millions. And where would we bring the evacuated people to? The border colonies are definitely not capable of supporting more people than they already have."

 

Halstead sighs...

 

Halstead: "I don't know, Eve... I am not going to pretend I have any suggestions or answers myself. But it's just so frustrating..."

 

Shelley: "I know... It is."

 

Another quiet moment. Shelley then makes a suggestion.

 

Shelley: "We need to go and speak with the captain..."

 

Halstead: "And ask or tell him what? I don't think he knows anything either that would help these people..."

 

Shelley: "Maybe not. At the very least it'll make us feel slightly less bad knowing we at least tried something. Come on, get up!"

 

Nicole reluctantly gets up and walks into an alley with the doctor whom then touches her com badge.

 

Shelley: "Two to beam up."

 

They dematerialize from the surface. Soon after they walk across the bridge towards the captain's ready room. But there's already someone waiting in front of the door.

 

Crew member: "Hello doctor, nurse. Here to see the captain too? There's someone in there talking with the captain already, so..."

 

At that moment the door whooshes open and someone walks out.

 

Crew member: "Ah, there we go."

 

The captain also walks through the door and is almost surprised to see people waiting there and stops in his tracks.

 

LT: "Oh, hello..."

 

Crew member: "Hello captain. I was wondering if I could have a word with you, captain. Won't take more than a minute of your time."

 

The captain sighs but quickly gestures the crew member to go ahead into the ready room.

 

LT: "Of course. Be right with you, ladies."

 

The medical females both nod simultaneously.

 

Shelley: "Alright."

 

The door closes after which the nurse speaks.

 

Halstead: "Seems to be a busy man today."

 

Shelley: "Shouldn't have become a captain then."

 

The ladies smile. They both now look at the main view screen on the bridge which shows the local solar system again with a timer displayed at the bottom. It's at 22 hours, 39 minutes and a few seconds, ever counting down.

 

Shelley: "I hate time. There's never enough of it and what little we have goes by far too quickly most of the time."

 

Halstead: "And then we spend too much of the present lamenting the past..."

 

Shelley: "We should give poetic philosophy lectures, haha..."

 

Halstead: "And waste other people's time too?"

 

A little laugh from both lightens the mode slightly followed by the door opening in front of them. The crew member walks out.

 

Shelley: "Oh, that was quick."

 

LT than shouts from behind his desk.

 

Captain: "Next!"

 

Both ladies walk in and approach the desk the captain is seated behind as the door closes again.

 

LT: "Ah, both at the same time, that'll speed things up."

 

Shelley: "Thank you for seeing us, captain. We'd like to talk to you about the situation this planet is in, sir."

 

LT: "I know."

 

Shelley: "You do?"

 

LT: "That's what everyone wants to talk to me about today, doctor. I'd figure you'd be no exception, especially since you already seemed so concerned when we told you about the runaway star before."

 

Halstead: "And what have you been telling everyone about that? Is there anything you can do, sir? We've met some wonderful people down there..."

 

Before she can continue with more questions the captain interjects.

 

LT: "Nicole, I know, I know... I made a mistake by allowing shore leave here. It would have been a little easier if we just had done our scans and left. Now crew members have started forming bonds with the locals, knowing those locals aren't going to make it through the next 24 hours. And I'm sorry. But here we are. The situation is now as it is..."

 

LT now addresses an inanimate object.

 

LT: "Computer, are there people waiting at my door?"

 

Computer: "Yes, two individuals are at the door. Shall I re-engage the door chime?"

 

LT: "No."

 

Computer: "You also have 9 messages waiting to be opened."

 

LT: "Ok, that's about all I can take."

 

The captain again addresses someone else, or rather the whole crew.

 

LT: "Captain LT to all crew onboard or down on the planet. We are all aware of the future of this planet. If you have any questions or suggestions regarding this situation, please come to the conference room right away so we may address the issue. All senior staff please also attend. I will be joining you there in 10 minutes. LT out."

 

Shelley: "Thank you, captain."

 

LT: "Don't thank me yet, Doctor. I haven't done anything yet and I'm not sure if I can do anything. Now, please, head to the conference room, I'll be there after I do some thinking on my own."

 

Halstead: "Of course, sir."

 

Computer: "You have 11 messages waiting to be opened."

 

LT: "Computer, shut up for 10 minutes".

 

The computer sounds an annoyed beep, but doesn't say anything while the ladies leave and the captain slowly swivels his chair back and forth while staring into infinity. After said 10 minutes the doors to the conference room open and the captain appears. He wants to enter the room, but it's packed... The many conversations in the room soon slowly die down as the crew makes way for the captain. LT then jokes:

 

LT: "Thank you for saving me a seat."

 

He walks to a corner of the long, crescent table. All 11 seats are occupied, as well as every square meter of floor space. All those dozens of people see both doors leading into the conference room from the bridge open at almost exactly the same time. More people squeeze into the room.

 

LT: "Well, it seems I made a mistake in choosing the conference room. Sorry, everybody. Suffice to say, there are a lot of people with concerns regarding this planet. As we've experienced recently, the Deicra thought their world was going to end. Most of them died not knowing that it didn't. Doom was the end result nonetheless. The Spelope people down here on Haesbec have a slightly different situation going on. Their world is definitely going to end, but they don't even know it. Doom seems inevitable for this civilization as well."

 

The crew starts talking and muttering to each other.

 

Random crew member: "You need to do something, captain!"

 

LT: "I don't know if I can do a lot, people."

 

The unrest in the conference room increases and people get louder. The captain quickly cuts this off by continuing.

 

LT: "However! However!"

 

The room dies down.

 

LT: "However, I don't think I have a choice. Pressure from the crew as well as my prediction I wouldn't be able to sleep or live with myself if I did nothing I have decided to do what I can. Which is not a lot, but, I just spoke with astrometrics and they have located a suitable class M planet 2 days away at warp 6. Now, we obviously can't save everyone and there's time for only one single trip. Still, some people can be saved. Enough to slowly populate their new home planet with a healthy and genetically diverse group of people."

 

Eisinga: "We'll bring some basic things for them to start a new life, save the contents of their libraries and with it their history, so they can start to build their future. It is far from a complete solution and they are likely facing a very difficult number of years or decades. But they, as a species, as a civilization, will live on."

 

LT: "In a little over 22 hours the effects of the approaching star will become noticeable on the surface, then it will go from a mild gravitational influence to deadly earthquakes and then all the way up to the eventual breaking up of the entire planet in a mere 9 hours. But I'm sure they will be 9 very long and excruciating hours for all those on the surface of the planet. I want to evacuate the entire population, but first of all, it's impossible to get everyone out of here due to the limited space on board and the limited time we have until disaster strikes. Secondly, I am very afraid of what the already permanently ill-tempered admiral will do to me when he finds out. We are breaking the prime directive by doing this. And by we I mean me, since it appears I am in charge of this space tub. So, the admiral will not be happy. Then again, I cannot just decide the doom an entire civilization because of the angry look from one person that isn't even here. Consequences be damned. The consequences for these people are far more direct. So, I don't care much for what the admiral thinks or does. I care a great deal more for what you think. You, my crew. If I didn't at least try to relocate some of the people down below all the eyes present here would look at me in anger forever. And there are quite a few eyes here..."

 

Halstead: "Captain, thank you for this decision, it means a lot to me, the crew and I'm sure the rescued people as well. However, who are we going to rescue? I mean, if we save one family with hundreds of members, loved ones will stay together, but that won't be a good mix in terms of genetic diversity for the future expansion of their kind. But if we pick and choose individuals at random from all over the globe, it will be good for gene pool options, but we'd be tearing apart families."

 

LT: "You are correct indeed, Halstead. And I'm afraid you already gave the answer yourself. We will have to go mostly random in our choices on who to pick. We cannot handpick thousands of people and we cannot bring complete extended families onboard either. We can take a plenty of complete households with moms, dads and their kids, but they will be missing their aunts and uncles, grandparents, friends and acquaintances..."

 

Eisinga: "Sounds like a job for the science crew to come up with a good mix of people to beam onboard, taking into consideration genetics, health, proper age mix, etcetera. So, Ensign Stuckman, please work with the medical staff on this."

 

Stuckman: "Certainly."

 

Halstead: "Sir, can I make a suggestion? I met a local woman today. She's pregnant and..."

 

The captain cuts here off.

 

LT: "Pregnant?"

 

Halstead: "Yes, sir. And because..."

 

LT does it a second time.

 

LT: "Ok, Nicole, ok, ok... She can be on the list with her whole household..."

 

A bunch of hands are raised in the conference room.

 

Eisinga: "Alright, alright, I see there are a whole bunch of people who are apparently emotionally invested in some locals. Crewman Stilson, can you make a list of all the specific people the crew want saved and where they can be found?"

 

Stilson: "Of course, sir."

 

Halstead: "Thank you, captain, commander..."

 

LT: "That's quite alright, Halstead. However. All this evac stuff comes under two conditions."

 

Everyone looks at the captain in suspense...

 

LT: "One; you will agree I am the best captain in the universe. And two; shore leave end in exactly one hour from now. I don't want more people to get attached to locals or locales down there anymore..."

 

Counselor Spalding nods in agreement.

 

LT: "Dismissed."

 

The conference room slowly empties out with people awkwardly shuffling out of the doors and into equally packed turbo lifts around the corner.

  

 

 

 

SCENE 7: Beaming with excitement

 

All 12 transporters are working overtime to beam the selected citizens onboard. A new batch materializes out of thin air on the transporter platforms. A family of 4 looks around in shock and amazement.

 

Mom: "What on Haesbec?!..."

 

Dad: "What is going on?"

 

He looks at his children.

 

Dad: "Are you guys ok?"

 

Son #1: "Yes, fine."

 

The other son is instantly intrigued and after looking around the room with open mouth:

 

Son #2:"Awesome!"

 

Dad: "What is this place?"

 

Son #2: "It must be a movie set. I think I've seen this movie!"

 

The dad almost mumbles his response with a dull look on his face.

 

Dad: "Must be a cheap B-movie."

 

Police man #1: "Please step down off the platform and follow my colleague. All will be explained very shortly, please be patient. Thank you!"

 

They step down off the platform, still in disbelief.

 

Mom: "I don't understand..."

 

Police man #1: "You will soon enough, I promise, ma'am."

 

They follow another police man into the corridor. Number 1 and Chief of Security are overseeing things.

 

Eisinga: "It was a very good suggestion to employ the local police force to help out. It gives the Spelope familiar and respected faces to interact with and be calmed down by. Hopefully."

 

Reinard: "Yes, it seems to be helping a bit... I'm not sure all the police units on board fully comprehend the situation they're in."

 

Eisinga: "Well, it's a lot to take in... Their world isn't just turned upside down, it's going to be completely obliterated."

 

In the meantime another batch of people beam onto the platforms. The police man, like a robot, repeats his previous words perfectly.

 

Police man #1: "Please step down off the platform and follow my colleague. All will be explained very shortly, please be patient. Thank you!"

 

These people are ushered through a few corridors, followed by the 2 commanders.

 

Reinard: "I just hope everyone will understand and everyone will remain as calm as they can... If you ask me, beaming thousands of people onboard under these stressful circumstances is a major, major security risk."

 

Eisinga: "We'll just have to convince them this is the only way and that staying behind would mean certain death."

 

The corridors have a two person security team on every bend or intersection.

 

Reinard: "But they will then also understand that the people that are left behind will indeed face certain death..."

 

Eisinga: "It's far from ideal, commander, but it is what it is..."

 

The newcomers ahead of them are ushered into an empty cargo bay where long benches have been placed with a few Greate Pier security folks and some Spelope police personnel. They will seat about 100 people at one time.

 

Police man: "Please take a seat, people. All will be explained shortly."

 

Reinard: "Here they will be informed in detail regarding the situation in batches of 100. After which they will be brought over to their assigned cargo bays, spare quarters, empty corridors, storage closets, anywhere we can stow them basically."

 

Eisinga: "I don't envy the people who have to tell these folks what is going to happen to their old home."

 

Reinard: "I get that."

 

Another group of people are brought in. Commander Eisinga nods at them in a friendly fashion.

 

 

 

 

 

SCENE 8: Hm

 

Spalding: "I just don't think it's a good example to the crew, captain."

 

The counselor looks semi-sternly at the captain, seated opposite him in Spalding’s office. LT looks neutrally as he replies.

 

LT: "I'm sure."

 

Spalding: "Just imagine them following your example and thus not your orders."

 

LT: "If they refuse to execute my orders because I did that once as well, they are too childish to be part of my crew. There would be disciplinary action, as I expect Starfleet to give to me as well."

 

Spalding taps a few things on his PADD without looking up.

 

Spalding: "Mhm..."

 

LT: "If I gave someone the order to stay right here..."

 

He leans forward and points at the floor in front of the chair.

 

LT: "...while I didn't know a freight train was going to roll through here right where he or she is standing, I wouldn't expect them to keep following that order as soon as they see or hear hundreds of tons of heavy metal coming their way."

 

Spalding: "Hm..."

 

LT: "Directives are like training wheels... If you need them, you don't know what you're doing... Like I didn't before; I was more concerned with what the admiral would think than I was thinking about taking action. And now I'm ashamed for my blind way of thinking. But now I weighed the options carefully I obviously cannot idly stand by while a complete race of people is wiped from existence. Not while I have a ship with an evacuation limit of 4,500 and a class M planet within 2 days from here. If I piss off one admiral by saving 4,500 people, so be it.."

 

The counselor now raises both eyebrows, wrinkling his forehead and showing hardly noticeable nods. But his speech skills seem not to have improved a lot.

 

Spalding: "Hmmm, yea."

 

LT: "Are you even listening?"

 

Spalding looks up from his PADD.

 

LT: "Or are you playing solitaire on that thing?..."

 

Spalding: "No, no, I'm listening... Go on."

 

LT: "Go on? I've said all I wanted to say. I have work to do."

 

LT gets up.

 

LT: "I have thousands of guests onboard who have more questions than you do. And understandable ones as well. Less annoying and certainly more pressing."

 

The captain walks out the door.

 

 

 

 

SCENE 9: Rebel with a claustrophobia

 

Many hours later the transport of the selected Spelope people onto the ship is drawing to a close. We can see the last batch of people being beamed onboard while we hear the first officer's log being recorded on the bridge.

 

Eisinga: "First officer's log, stardate 64085.47. The gravitational effects of the approaching runaway star are becoming noticeable on the surface and it also affects the Greate Pier's orbit. We have stayed past the time we allowed ourselves previously in an effort to maximize the amount of people we can save. But the time has come to leave this planet behind and head for the class M planet that will be these folks' new home. We went past the evacuation limit of 4.500 people and are now at just over 5.500... The planet will be uninhabitable in mere hours but we cannot take on more people. And we don't intend to stay behind to see the planet get destroyed."

 

The ship is seen leaving orbit. In the background we can see the approaching star in the distance. It looks deceptively far away.

 

Eisinga: "Many people will suffer, most will get hurt badly, but all will die. Despite our best efforts to make everyone as comfortable as we can and having the situation explained to them by members of their own police force, there are unfortunately some incidents here and there, but most worryingly there also seems to be an outright rebellion going on."

 

A man is in the process of being arrested. There are 2 female Spelope police units present who take the lead. Also in attendance are 4 Starfleet security officers.

 

Rebel: "What do you mean I'm under arrest? I have already been taken by you against my will!"

 

Ensign Halbert Marks answers him, as the police try to cuff the rebel.

 

Marks: "You have been explained why you have been brought onboard."

 

While resisting his arrest, he manages to continue his verbal interaction.

 

Rebel: "And you expect me to believe that crap?! This isn't over yet."

 

Marks: "Well, whether or not you believe the situation is real doesn't matter. It definitely is over for you."

 

The cuffs are finally successfully put on the rebellious man.

 

Marks: "Alright, feel free to take him to the brig, officers."

 

The ladies walk off with the baddie when a voice is heard over the com system.

 

Reinard: "Commander Reinard to Ensign Marks."

 

Marks: "Marks here. The rebellious person has been detained and is being delivered to the brig. Situation under control, commander."

 

Reinard: "Ok, well done. But that's not why I hailed you. There is another situation."

 

Marks: "Alright, what is going on?"

 

Reinard: "Take your team to deck 7, corridor 26 and assist Ensign Philips' team on the double. There are more teams en route."

 

Marks: "Understood, we're on our way."

 

A short while later, the team are standing in front of a close corridor door with phasers drawn. Ensign Marks hits the button to open the door. The scene appearing in front of them looks like a classic bar brawl. People giving out free knuckle sandwiches. Furniture, cargo containers and various other items are flying through the air. The corridor has a big, open door to the left leading into a cargo hold where there is more fighting. The fighting looks like it's fairly indiscriminate. Spelopeans are fighting Starfleet personnel, but are also targeting other Spelopeans that apparently have a different opinion on things. Phaser shots are few and far between.

 

Philips: "Thank goodness you're here. We are just about out of phaser juice."

 

Marks: "Let your team fall back, we'll take the front."

 

The two teams switch places and phaser fire increases dramatically. Unconscious bodies are starting to litter the floor and the Spelopeans are slowly starting to retreat into the cargo bay.

 

Marks: "Move back! Get back in the cargo bay."

 

Philips: "Ensign Philips to sickbay."

 

Shelley: "Go ahead."

 

Philips: "Can you send over a small team to deck 7, please? There are some minor fist fight injuries to perhaps several dozen people."

 

Shelley: "We're coming..."

 

Philips: "Thank you, Philips out."

 

Marks and his team have walked into the cargo bay still pointing phasers, but there is no more shooting. One of the rebels now looks at the many Spelope people in the cargo bay.

 

Spentrig: "You see now? They're killing us! They lied about our people dying! We are the ones that are going to die!"

 

Random Spelopean: "Calm down, Spentrig..."

 

Spentrig: "No! I will not calm down! Look at our people!"

 

He gestures at the unconscious people on the floor.

 

Marks: "They are not dead, Spentrig. These phasers are set to stun. Which reminds me. Philips! Don't forget to cuff them before they wake up..."

 

The medical team arrives and starts scanning the floored frondeurs and treating them accordingly.

 

Spentrig: "Magic space lasers? Sure! Speaking of space; you actually want to make us believe we're in a space ship?! Who do you take us for?"

 

Spentrig gets some support from people yelling out. Marks walks towards Spentrig, whom takes an aggressive posture.

 

Spentrig: "Stay away!"

 

Marks is not impressed and stays calm.

 

Marks: "Calm yourself. If I wanted to hurt you I could've done that with this already."

 

He shows the phaser in-between his thumb and index finger and wobbles it around, before holstering it. He now defiantly walks right past Spentrig through the crowd of people, who make room for him. He walks to a closed shutter on the wall. He pushes a beepy button and the shutter reveals a window. People crowd around even more and start pushing each other out of the way to get a look. Marks pushes his way through the crowd to Spentrig.

 

Marks: "You don't have to believe anyone. Believe your eyes."

 

Spentrig shortly looks at the stars outside and scoffs.

 

Spentrig: "I've seen more believable graphics at the science fair at my son's school. Fake! Why don't you tell us what you're really going to do with or to us?"

 

Marks: "Like you'd believe us this time when we tell you the same story. Your world is going to end and we're actually doing you a favor by rescuing you..."

 

Another random Spelopean: "Listen to him, Spentrig. They could have killed us already if they wanted to... Far-fetched as this whole thing might seem, I don't think they mean us harm."

 

Spentrig: "Shut up you! They are liars!"

 

The first random Spelopean speaks up again with similar words to before.

 

Random Spelopean: "Hey, calm down now. You're making things worse."

 

A Spentrig sympathizer jumps out of the crowd and grabs a security lady's phaser. They wrestle for possession of the item while Spentrig and a few like-minded individuals also attack the security team. The battle is short, however. The fight over the phaser is won by the security officer and repays the rebel with a stun shot to the gut . After some short fights, elbows and fists are largely received by the rebels in addition to phaser fire. More security and police arrive on the scene.

 

Marks: "Anyone else? Please, remain calm. Do not let these unruly few misguide you. Look out the window if you haven't already. We are here to help you."

 

A bunch of people are talking amongst themselves, two are apparently crying, but there is no more panic or fighting.

 

Shelley: "Are there any more wounded people here? We will gladly fix you up."

 

A handful of people step forward to be treated. Security retreats into the corridor, leaving only the standard complement of officers behind to keep the peace. Also Marks stays to guard the medical team as they perform their duty.

 

Remaining rebel: "You're still not getting away with this! We will fight back."

 

Marks: "Calm down now. And you can't fight back when we're not fighting you."

 

Marks gesticulates in the direction of the security personnel to take that one rebel into custody as well. The guards approach the man.

 

Remaining rebel: "Leave me alone!"

 

The man heavily resists being arrested and yells unknown swear words at the security crew.

 

Marks: "Calm down! Or I will transport you back to your planet. You'd be the only Spelope on this ship that would actually perish if you're interested."

 

The rebellious man is eventually cuffed and taken away.

 

Marks: "You can join your buddies in the brig."

 

 

 

 

 

SCENE 10: Richard measuring contest

 

Maresca: "Captain, we're being hailed."

 

LT: "Really? Didn't know anyone was out here."

 

K'Ehlen: "One small, yet heavily armed vessel just coming into range."

 

LT: "Alright, answer them, Nora. On screen."

 

An alien appears on the main viewer.

 

LT: "This is Captain LT onboard the Federation Starship USS Greate Pier. Whom do I have the pleasure of speaking to?"

 

Alien: "Tendesirs border security. Stop your vessel. You are about to cross into restricted space."

 

LT: "Helm, bring us to a stop."

 

The ship comes to a stop as ordered after Ensign Pattison does her bleepy-bloopy stuff.

 

Alien: "Please turn back, captain."

 

LT: "I was unaware of there being any restricted space in this region, good sir."

 

Alien: "Now you do. What is your destination and your business here."

 

LT: "We are en route an M class planet..."

 

The alien rudely interrupts.

 

Alien: "Yes, we have your predicted route here and it intersects roughly with Phantic III. This is a solar system currently not within the border of our empire. And your business there?"

 

LT: "Well, since it is not in your territory, our business is our own."

 

Alien: "I see. Well, it doesn't matter. We cannot give you access to our space."

 

LT: "We are just on our way through, we have no interest in your space, planets or resources."

 

Alien: "You are a heavily armed ship of considerable size. We do not take risks like that, captain, as I'm sure you will understand. I'm sending you a route right now with the quickest way of getting to the Phantic system that avoids our space."

 

LT: "Helm?"

 

Pattison: "Receiving the data now, captain."

 

She studies the map for a few seconds...

 

Pattison: "Sir, the suggested route will take us 17 days instead of just 2."

 

LT: "Seventeen days? Our mission requires a certain measure of haste, my friend."

 

Alien: "Ah yes, the secret mission. Sorry, captain, I can't help you beyond that. We are a race wary of outsiders. So please, I ask you now, change your course. Entering our space would trigger violence this we deem to be unwanted."

 

The captain sighs and after a pause, he yields.

 

LT: "Alright. Alright. It seems we have no choice. We agree not to cross your border here. Pattison, plot the course given to us."

 

Pattison: "Course laid in, sir."

 

LT: "We're on our way, Tendesirs security."

 

Alien: "Thank you, cap..."

 

LT gestures to Maresca to kill the channel even before the alien finishes his sentence, to return the favor.

 

LT: "Pattison, warp 5, engage."

 

Pattison: "We're moving, captain."

 

K'Ehlen: "Captain, they're following suit. They are close behind but on their side of the supposed border, also at warp 5."

 

LT: "Warp 6."

 

Pattison: "Warp 6, aye."

 

K'Ehlen: "They've matched us again, sir."

 

LT: "Warp 7."

 

Pattison: "Warp 7, sir."

 

K'Ehlen: "They're lagging behind now. Approximately warp 6.7."

 

LT: "Ok, enough toying around. Warp 9, helm."

 

Pattison: "We're at warp 9 now."

 

LT: "Good, good... Maintain until further notice. Science? Opinion on the alien vessel?"

 

Stuckman: "Heavy weaponry for a small ship, but no match for the Greate Pier, sir. They wouldn't knock the shields out if they got a whole hour of free potshots."

 

LT: "Ok, jolly, thanks. Pattison, does the route they sent us have a complete map of their claimed space?"

 

Pattison: "Yes, sir."

 

LT: "Ok, work with the science boys to plot a route through their space, avoiding ships, solar systems, rogue objects, space stations, sensor buoys or anything else."

 

Pattison: "Ok, we're on it, sir."

 

 

 

 

 

SCENE 11: Re-rebel

 

In a different cargo bay than before, there seems to be something brewing as well.

 

Tall rebel: "I heard that elsewhere on this 'ship', or whatever this place is, there has been resistance as well. People were shot, people were thrown in a cell. But we can do this, people!"

 

Short Spelopean: "Listen, tall man... Most of us just don't want any trouble. No violence, no nothing. We don't like being taken like this any more than you do, but they have not been violent to us."

 

Tall rebel: "That's not what I hear, shorty."

 

Short Spelopean: "They feed us, give us clothes and blankets, places to rest or sleep... They don't mean us any harm. Shooting us with this laser you spoke of would be easier than taking care of us like they do and sending doctors and what not."

 

Tall rebel: "Wouldn't you rather be back home? I do!"

 

The rebel receives some agreeing cheers from a select few.

 

Tall rebel: "We have to take action. By our estimation there are 4 of us for just one of them. They don't stand a chance when we try to take control. But we need everyone."

 

Short Spelopean: "Well, you don't have me. Don't ruin things for all of us. We can go and talk to them instead of busting out their teeth for no good reason. And I for one don't want to be on the receiving end of some laser weapon pistol thing."

 

Tall rebel: "Ok, so we don't have you. Who is with me?"

 

The tall man is already in the presence of 7 people in his corner of the cargo bay. Another 4 people walk out of the crowd and start making their way to the rebel leader.

 

 

 

 

 

SCENE 12: Flight risk

 

LT: "Alright, we have put enough distance between us and the patrol ship. Do we have a safe route through their space?"

 

Pattison: "Yes, sir. We can take a hard to port right now if you wish."

 

Stuckman: "We have detected several sensor buoys, settlements, ships and other things. We believe we have a fairly safe route through their space, provided we keep a very close eye on sensors. Last time we were hailed before we even noticed the ship."

 

LT: "Alright. Pattison, steer us unto your safe route."

 

Pattison: "Changing our heading to 136 mark 4. Maintain warp 9, sir?"

 

LT: "Yes, I want to get there as soon as we can. The non-natives are getting restless. And the longer we are in Tendesirs space, the bigger the chance of being detected."

 

Pattison: "Aye, sir."

 

LT: "K'Ehlen, keep a very close eye on sensors. If anything at all shows up, report it immediately."

 

K'Ehlen: "You can trust me to do so, sir."

 

 

 

 

 

SCENE 13: Phase her

 

Meanwhile, the rebels aren't wasting any time. A door opens and a two person security team casually walks in, engaged in conversation. The tall rebel leader guy says something to his fellow rebels in a soft tone.

 

Tall rebel: "Here we go."

 

The whole group of 12 starts heading towards the security folks. The 2 Starfleet personnel start feeling uneasy, feeling something is about to happen.

 

Security person: "What's the idea here, people?"

 

The rebels increase their pace and clearly are up to no good.

 

Security person: "Stay back!"

 

It's no use, they keep coming. Both security units grab their phasers. However, before they can point and shoot they are jumped and overpowered. Their weapons are taken away from them.

 

Security person: "Computer, security alert!"

 

An alarm starts blaring accompanied by red flashing lights high up on the walls. Back on the bridge the incident is noticed.

 

K'Ehlen: "Captain! Security alert in one of the cargo bays. Phaser fire has been detected!"

 

LT: "Not again... LT to security."

 

Reinard: "Yes, captain, if this is regarding the security alert, we're on it!"

 

LT: "Good, good. I'll be joining you."

 

Reinard: "Alright, Reinard out."

 

The captain rushes to the turbo lift. Moments later a large security crew burst into the cargo bay followed by the captain. And another security team comes in at the same time from another door on the opposite side. The rebels are startled by this and one of them fires their phaser at the Starfleet crew. A miss. From the opposite side an officer shoots at the rebel's weapon and it's dropped on the floor. The tall rebel, in possession of the second phaser, now quickly grabs one of their hostage security personnel, grabs him around the neck with one arm and points the phaser at him with the other. The captain makes a decision.

 

LT: "Holster your phasers, everyone!"

 

Tall rebel: "No, drop 'em!"

 

LT: "No, that won't happen."

 

Tall rebel: "I'll shoot him!"

 

LT: "I'd rather you'd not, but you also know what would happen after you did."

 

The rebel doesn't have a response ready, so the captain breaks the short silence.

 

LT: "So, what is it that you want?"

 

Tall rebel: "I want to go back home."

 

LT: "I don't think that will be possible..."

 

Tall rebel: "Well, I call the shots now..."

 

LT: "Don't you see we are trying to help you?"

 

Tall rebel: "Well, even if you were... You see that guy over there, in the green rags?"

 

He shortly points the phaser at him, before apparently quickly realizing he needs to keep the thing pointed at the hostage he's holding.

 

Tall rebel: "He's homeless. Even if this whole doom story you're spinning would be true, why does he deserve to live and not my grandfather?"

 

One of his rebellious mates chimes in.

 

Other rebel: " I agree. I don't know your gramps, but a presumably respected elder should take precedence over a bum.

 

He now addresses the tall rebel.

 

Other rebel: "But you actually believe this end of the world doom scenario? It kinda sounds like you do.... No, there's something else going on here."

 

Tall rebel: "Yeah, I guess, maybe, I don't know. Whatever the case is, all I know is this: You will take us back to our planet, captain."

 

LT: "Well... It seems we have no choice. Just do not harm my officer. Come with me to the bridge."

 

Tall rebel: "Hey, I decide what happens, ok?"

 

LT: "And what is going to happen then?"

 

The man has to think for a second, apparently, but comes to a brilliant conclusion.

 

Tall rebel: "We go to the bridge..."

 

LT: "Good, good."

 

Tall rebel: "Your security team stays here. Only you and I go, together with my insurance here. But not before you get rid of your weapon."

 

LT takes his phaser and drops it on the floor.

 

LT: "Ok, let's go. Time is actually of the essence."

 

The 3 leave the cargo bay and soon after enter the bridge. Before anyone realizes the situation, the captain exclaims loudly:

 

LT: "Remain calm everyone, it's ok. Continue your work."

 

Some worried and shocked faces observe the alien and his phaser pointing at their colleague. K'Ehlen in particular doesn't like this situation and starts growling.

 

LT: "Stand down, Ensign! Do not interfere!"

 

Tall rebel: "Now then, take us back to our planet!"

 

LT: "Pattison, do as he says. Take us back to Haesbec. Warp 9."

 

Pattison: "Ok, sir. Changing course."

 

LT: "It's going to take a few hours, mister..."

 

Tall rebel: "My name is unimportant."

 

LT: "Well then, Mr. Unimportant, it'll take a while. I would suggest you sit down and relax, but that might be a little awkward with your hostage and all..."

 

The captain does sit down himself. A few hours later Maresca wakes everyone up.

 

Maresca: "We are being hailed again, sir."

 

LT: "On screen."

 

Alien: "Tendesirs border security. Stop your vessel. You are violating our space. It seems you didn't heed our warnings, captain."

 

LT: "Pattison, halt."

 

Pattison: "Full stop."

 

Alien: "Prepare to be boarded. Your ship will be ceased."

 

LT: "Shields up."

 

K'Ehlen: "Alright, ...and they're up, sir."

 

LT: "Well, as you might be able to see here..."

 

The captain gestures at the rebel with his phaser pointed at a member of the crew.

 

LT: "...the ship is actually already ceased."

 

Alien: "Ah... Well... As interesting as that seems, we will take control regardless and take your ship back to security base 12."

 

LT: "With all due respect, dear sir, but your inferior weapons are no match for ours. We do not want a fight. Also..."

 

The captain messes around with a small console integrated into the arm of his chair.

 

LT: "Your 15 personnel against some 6.000 people onboard this vessel seems like a fun afternoon when if decide to board our ship."

 

Alien: "Is that a threat, captain?"

 

LT: "I'm not threatening to invade my ship, you are."

 

The executive officer now addresses the guy still holding a phaser to his security man.

 

LT: "I hope you're happy, by the way. We're now on their naughty list."

 

The captain's attention is returned to the view screen.

 

LT: "Listen, we don't really want to infringe on your rights to this space. But all this is for the greater good. It is not your space we are interested in."

 

Alien: "Ah, the greater good you do not wish to elaborate on."

 

LT: "For time reasons as well as it not having to do with you at all..."

 

Alien: "Except for the fact you are trespassing in our space."

 

LT: "We're just passing through."

 

Alien: "In the wrong direction."

 

LT: "Plan's changed."

 

The captain gestures in the direction of the phaser-wielding rebel as an explanation.

 

Alien: "Be that as it may, you are still subject to local law. Lower your shields and prepare to be boarded."

 

LT: "We don't have time for this crap..."

 

Alien: "What's that, captain?"

 

LT: "Maresca, kill the channel. Pattison, resume course, warp 9."

 

Both ladies reply at the exact same time.

 

Maresca: "Yes, sir."

 

Pattison: "Yes, sir."

 

LT now speaks to the rebel again.

 

LT: "I wasn't kidding about being put on their naughty list. Patrols will probably increase making the journeys to your new home world a lot more difficult and dangerous, if not impossible."

 

Tall rebel: "Well, we're not going to any new home world, we're going back home."

 

LT: "For now..."

 

Tall rebel: "What's that supposed to mean?"

 

LT: "Listen, we are obviously already on our way back to Haesbec. But just be prepared to see it destroyed..."

 

A few hours later the crew is made aware of their location.

 

Pattison: "Sir, we will be arriving at Haesbec shortly."

 

Stuckman: "Helm, I suggest we keep a healthy distance from the planet. Gravitational forces are very extreme."

 

LT: "Shields up, yellow alert. Helm, keep your distance. Put the planet on the main viewer."

 

Tall rebel: "Looks just fine to me, captain."

 

Stuckman: "All due respect, sir, it may look peaceful from this altitude, but the planet is actually suffering from global earthquakes that are off the scale, volcanic activity, major climactic upheaval..."

 

LT: "Can we get a closer look, ensign?"

 

A short moment later successive bird's-eye view scenes of broken buildings, rock slides, lava flows and other proofs of destruction appear on screen.

 

Tall rebel: "No..."

 

The man is utterly shocked.

 

Tall rebel: "It can't be..."

 

With a calm voice LT replies.

 

LT: "You see, we were not joking, my friend."

 

The tall guy doesn't reply and appears to be quite emotional, while still holding a phaser to the poor security guy. The captain looks at the science I station.

 

LT: "Prognosis for the planet?"

 

Stuckman: "Computations predict the total collapse of the planet from right now to no later than 2 hours from now. But probably sooner rather than later if you ask me."

 

Tall rebel: "Grandpa..."

 

LT: "I'm sorry, mister."

 

Eisinga: "There is no way to locate any individual anymore. Besides, we cannot get into transporter range without risking everyone onboard."

 

LT: "The people we saved from your planet were selected based on suitability for rebuilding a society on the new planet."

 

No reply from the rebel who seems too emotional to talk.

 

LT: "Ops, show the footage on all screens in all locations designated for evacuees. They probably don't want to see this, but I think it will help them to believe it's not a joke. Maybe it will help to prevent further rebellion..."

 

Holcraft: "Ok, I'm on it."

 

The thousands of Spelope people onboard can now see the destruction happening below... Some choose to avert their eyes. Many people are seen crying. Security, both Spelopean and Starfleet are keeping an eye of everyone.

 

Stuckman: "Sir, it's happening..."

 

No reply from the captain. Or anyone else for that matter... Total silence while thousands of eyes observe the hundreds of screens. Then it indeed happens. The planet almost instantly spawns a massive crack spanning a few thousand kilometers across. Not soon after, colossal chunks violently break off and start floating away. Many gasps, screams, yells, cries and lamentations can be heard in any room containing people. More and more eyes are turning away from view screens. Much like a snooker ball at the nonexistent mercy of a Klingon with a big stick the entire planet disintegrates over the course of mere minutes.

 

Tall rebel: "NO! NO!! Why?!"

 

The captain stands up and calmly walks over to the rebel man.

 

LT: "I am sorry for your loss. But we now need to..."

 

The alien interjects bluntly, yelling at the approaching captain.

 

Tall rebel: "Stay away!"

 

LT: "Calm down. But, we really do need..."

 

LT is cut off again. This time not by words. The stolen phaser is pointed at the captain is the trigger is pulled. LT goes down and K'Ehlen quickly responds by stunning the attacker, rendering him unconscious as well.

 

 

 

 

 

SCENE 14: Tall beauty

 

The tall rebel dude wakes up in the brig. There are a few other cells with rebels in them, some 3 dozen in total, but they big fella has a cell to himself. After getting up and groggily looking around, the on duty guard notices the movement.

 

Kerr: "Ah, good morning, sleeping beauty."

 

The lieutenant pushes a few buttons, the computer bleeps and the Klingon then walks up to the force field holding the prisoner in.

 

Tall rebel: "What is this place?"

 

He touches the force field and jolts back.

 

Tall rebel: "Why am I in here?"

 

Kerr: "Well, attacking the captain of this ship might have something to do with it."

 

The prisoner closes his eyes momentarily as he sighs deeply.

 

Tall rebel: "Ah yes, I remember now. I am truly so very sorry for your loss."

 

Kerr: "Loss? What loss?..."

 

Tall rebel: "I didn't mean to cause any harm, I was just..."

 

At that moment the door slides open and the captain and first officer walk in.

 

LT: "Hello. I just got the message from Kerr you were awake."

 

An amazed look appears on the rebel's face followed by a brief smile.

 

Tall rebel: "You're not dead!"

 

LT: "Not even wounded... Our weapons have a stun setting as the default."

 

Tall rebel: "You knew, captain. You knew the weapon I pointed at your crew member was not going to kill him... So you could've continued on your heading towards the new planet if you wanted to... Why didn't you?

 

LT: "As soon as you 'forced' me to go back to Haesbec, I suddenly realized it was indeed a good idea.. You had to see it to believe it."

 

Tall rebel: "I genuinely apologize for shooting you, captain. I was not in my right mind. Anger, grief and disbelief were..."

 

LT cut him off while holding up his hand.

 

LT: "I know, I know, no need for apologies, it's quite alright, I assure you. You've been through more than a lot. But if you hadn't seen the destruction of your home world, you would never have believed us nor had any peace. And I hope you now realize also that some people actually do want to help others. I wouldn't be exactly happy to be 'abducted by aliens' myself, I mean, I've heard stories. But if we hadn't beamed you onboard you would have been dead."

 

Eisinga: "And also, something I feel should be mentioned also, the captain went against what we call the prime directive by evacuating a species technologically not ready for deep space exploration. The anger of an already volatile admiral on the best of days will now find its way to the captain's ears and might have far reaching consequences for his career, if it's not the outright end of it."

 

Tall rebel: "I sincerely apologize, captain. I had no idea of this."

 

LT: "That's quite alright. It was my decision to help you, clearly not yours. What happens to me should not be on your conscience."

 

Tall rebel: "And we in our ignorance made it even harder for you."

 

LT: "Kerr, release the force field. All of them. They are free to go, provided they do not cause any further trouble."

 

Tall rebel: "Thank you, captain. I will see to it they won't."

 

 

 

 

 

SCENE 15: Bordering on the line

 

In one of the alien-ridden corridors, Spalding can be seen kneeling down in front of a lady whom is clearly in distress, crying without pause. Spalding holds her hand and at some point during their conversation hugs the woman to console her. Aside from the occasional emotional outburst from various people on the ship, it is a lot quieter. No more fighting or rebelling. Only a few words can be heard.

 

Hysterical woman: "It all seems too unreal. It's like a dream I can't seem to wake up from. Well, a nightmare really"

 

Starfleet personnel can be seen handing out food, drinks and other things to the people who need it. Back on the bridge a familiar sentence is heard.

 

Maresca: "Captain, we're being hailed again."

 

LT: "Yeah, no surprise there. On screen, please."

 

An equally familiar face pops up on screen again. This time the captain beats him to it.

 

LT: "Tendesirs security, lovely to meet you again!"

 

Alien: "Don't get cute with me, captain. We still need you to surrender your vessel. That hasn't changed."

 

LT: "Well, actually, we're not in your space right now. We're just shy of the border."

 

Alien: "It seems clear you wish to cross into our space again, judging by your trajectory."

 

LT: "Yes, our original plan has been reinstated."

 

Alien: "Ok, I'll make a deal with you, captain."

 

LT: "Now I'm curious."

 

Alien: "Turn around and we'll forgive the previous transgression. You seem more trouble than you're worth."

 

LT: "You won't pursue legal action if we were to do a turnaround?"

 

Alien: "That's right. Seems reasonable enough from my perspective. More reasonable than you deserve I'd say, so take it."

 

LT: "Wow, thank you for your kindness, good sir."

 

Without skipping a beat, he continues with an order.

 

LT: "Pattison, perform a 360 degree turnaround and then hit warp 9 on our original course."

 

The ship can be seen doing a full spin around its axis and then zooming off past the patrol ship. A single phaser blast can be seen aimed roughly at where the GP was, but misses by the length of a few solar systems and nearly a second and a half.

 

Tall rebel: "It seems once again I made you break some rules... I'm sorry, captain..."

 

LT: "A popular response would be 'so am I', but I still believe we're doing the right thing... And we just cannot support 5,500 people for 17 days on this ship. Besides, being stuck in cargo bays and corridors for that long might cause claustrophobia, boredom and/or another rebellion..."

 

The ship continues shooting through space towards its destination.

 

 

 

 

 

SCENE 16: End of the line

 

The captain records a little log while we look at the Greate Pier being in orbit .

 

LT: "Captain's log, stardate 64180.24. We have arrived at the future home world of the Spelope people, currently called Phantic III though they might change this name. The journey took about twice as long as originally planned, due to us having to dodge an increasing number of patrol ships. They did, however, not pursue us beyond their own borders."

 

Starfleet and Spelope people can be seen moving crates of tool, supplies and other items around and unpacking stuff. At the center of these busy bees, the tall rebel uses both hands to shake one of  the captain's hands in the presence of Tactical Officer K'Ehlen.

 

Tall rebel: "Thank you again, captain."

 

LT: "It is my pleasure."

 

Tall rebel: "Though I think some people will still resent you for what you did to help us, I assure you most of us are grateful, even though it took a little while to get there. It's difficult to deal with; the whole abduction thing, or the fact you left some or all of their loved ones behind... Some feel like they should have died with their friends and family and everyone else back on Haesbec."

 

K'Ehlen:: "Honorable."

 

LT: "Well, I truly hope the people will adjust to this new life soon enough."

 

Doctor Shelley approaches.

 

Tall rebel :"It will back to basics for decades, but it is better than death."

 

Shelley: "Well, speaking of death, or rather the opposite of it: Nurse Halstead's friend just gave birth to a little girl. Delivered by Nurse Halstead."

 

We see the newborn being handed from mother Jepak to the father for the first time. Both are overjoyed, as is Nicole Halstead of course.

 

Father: "Hello there, my boy... Welcome..."

 

Halstead: "So, have you thought of a name yet?"

 

Jepak: "Actually we have. Two actually."

 

Halstead: "Well, I have 2 first names and 2 last names, so that is approved by me."

 

Father: "Well, you won't be the only Nicole with 2 names then."

 

The smile instantly fades from her face followed by a quick reply.

 

Halstead: "What did you just say?"

 

Jepak: "We're naming her Nicole. Nicole Tersinn."

 

The nurse stands with her mouth agape and is seemingly unable to utter a single word.

 

Father: "Tersinn means 'three suns' in our language."

 

Nicole's eyes start to get a little shiny.

 

Halstead: "I don't know what to say..."

 

Jepak grabs Halstead's hand.

 

Jepak: "Without you she would not have been born at all."

 

Again no words from big Nicole.

 

Jepak: "I hope you don't mind we named her after you..."

 

Halstead: "No. No! Of course not, I am so honored!"

 

Father: "Conceived under one sun, fled from another and born under a third."

 

 

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