written by Travis Cannon

Captain Benjamin Kelsoe sat in his ready room, reading over reports of the anomalies that Mr. Braxis had observed. Commander Burt had the com and was recovering well from his episode with the quantum creature. Kelsoe set the data pad down and looked out the window at the stars streaming by. He remembered why he wanted to be a starship captain and smiled. Then he turned his thoughts to something that the crew have been very anxious about; discovering a new planet. Kelsoe did not deny the fact that he wanted to discover a new planet, too.

Kelsoe raised the data pad off his desk and continues to go over the information on it. Then the door chime beeped. Kelsoe set the data pad down and looked up.

“Come in,” he said.

The doors slide open and Commander Connor Burt walked in. He had a big grin on his face. Kelsoe studied his blue eyed friend.

“What's up, Connor?” Kelsoe inquired.

“We've found ourselves a planet,” Burt said. “All new.”

“Did you check the So'ja database?” Kelsoe inquired.

“Yes,” Burt nodded slowly. “Nothing in their database as well. It's a new planet, Ben. It's what we've always dreamed about.”

“A new planet, ay,” Kelsoe said, rubbing his chin.

The shuttle craft came down through the clouds and hovered over a field of overgrown green grass. The shuttle landed softly, making an indentation in the grass. The hatch opened up and Kelsoe emerged from inside, wearing his away uniform, which is basically a gray jacket that is worn over the regular Star Fleet uniform. He stepped out on to the grass field and looked around. He saw waves of green grass flowing the soft wind. Behind Kelsoe, Braxis stepped onto the grass, followed by Zimmer. Zimmer placed his hand over his eyes and looked up at the sky.

“It's sure nice to see the sky, again,” Zimmer said. “We were sure lucky that the air on this planet was breathable.”

Kelsoe turned towards Zimmer.

“Funny,” Kelsoe remarked. “You never realize our much you miss it.”

Braxis immediately had his tricorder out and was scanning the environment.

Kelsoe and Zimmer walked around some bushes near by and entered a small forest. Kelsoe breathed in deeply, inhaling the fresh air of an uninhabited planet. Kelsoe walked up to a tree and placed his hands on the trunk.

“There's a place up in Montana that is almost like this,” Kelsoe said.

Zimmer kneeled down and examined the flora.

“These flowers are extraordinary,” Zimmer said.

Kelsoe turned and kneeled down next to Zimmer and looked at the flowers. They were yellow, with tiny red dots on the peddles.

“They almost look like dandelions,” Kelsoe observed, “Except for the red dots.”

Braxis entered from behind with his tricorder opened, making long wide scans of the planet's surface. Kelsoe saw Braxis and stood. He looked at Braxis questioningly.

“Well?” Kelsoe inquired.

“The planet's main life form is flora, Captain,” Braxis said. “There is no sign of any civilized cultures, or any predators.”

“It's almost paradise,” Zimmer said.

Kelsoe nodded.

“Captain?” Braxis asked, “May I make a suggestion.”

“By all means, Mr. Braxis,” Kelsoe said.

“I feel that it would be good for the crew to be given shore leave,” Braxis said. “It's been quite an eventful first three weeks.”

“That is true,” Kelsoe said. “But first I would have to discuss it with Dr. McRoye.”

Dr. Walter McRoye stood in sickbay looking over the data that the bridge just sent him on the planet. McRoye leaned back in his chair, scrolling down on the data pad. The sickbay doors hissed opened and Kelsoe walked in. Kelsoe looked over towards McRoye and walked over.

“What's the call, Walt?” Kelsoe inquired raising his arms into the arm.

McRoye stood up out of his chair, still holding the data pad. He dropped it down on his desk.

“I don't see anything wrong with it,” McRoye said. “I concur with your proposal to let the crew have a bit of shore leave.”

Kelsoe smiled.

“I knew you'd agree,” Kelsoe said with a wink.

“It's just my way, Ben,” McRoye said. “Unless you really piss me off, however you haven't pissed me off today, so the chief medical officer approves of shore leave.” McRoye paused, watching Kelsoe. “You planning on using it?”

“We I don't know,” Kelsoe said. “Connor's been trying to talk me into camping.”

“I'd say that would do you well, Ben,” McRoye said. “Hell, as chief medical officer I can order you to do it. You know ease the stress.”

“Look, Walt,” Kelsoe said. “I don't need to 'ease the stress'.”

“Hey,” McRoye said raising his hands defensively. “I'm just your doctor.”

Kelsoe stepped out of sickbay and into the halls with a smile on his face. He walked briskly down the hall, passing crewmen. He tapped his communicator.

“Kelsoe to the bridge,” Kelsoe said.

“Yes, Captain,” Burt said.

“Shore leave is on,” Kelsoe said.

“Great!” Burt said.

“I'll be up there in a couple minutes,” Kelsoe said.

The turbolift doors opened and Kelsoe walked out onto the bridge.

“How's everything, Commander,” Kelsoe inquired.

“Fine,” Burt said, smiling. “Just fine.”

Kelsoe slide down into his chair. Burt leaned over and spoke softly.

“You and I should go camping,” Burt said. “Just think of it. The first members of the Federation to sleep outdoors on a new planet. It will be great.”

“Captain,” Craig said, punching at his counsel. “I'm reading an So'ja ship.”

“Ah god,” Kelsoe said, “not them again.”

“They're hailing,” Tracy said.

Kelsoe stood up.

“On screen,” Kelsoe ordered.

The screen changed from the picture of the planet to the interior of the So'ja ships bridge.

“This is the Federation ship Pioneer, Captain Benjamin Kelsoe commanding,” Kelsoe said.

“I am Captain Saz'ga of the So'ja Republic starship Jak'siy,” the So'ja Captain said. “My government wishes to apologize for the incident with Hasz'l and the rebellion.”

“Rebellion?” Burt said.

“This little insurrection will be crushed soon enough,” Saz'ga said. “Meanwhile, Captain Kelsoe, you and your ship will be guest of the So'ja Republic.”

“Apology accepted,” Kelsoe said.

Saz'ga nodded.

“I would warn you of the rebellion,” Saz'ga said. “Most ships hardly escape, such as you have.”

“I'm well aware of that,” Kelsoe said.

“How long has this civil war been going on?” Burt inquired.

“This is not a civil war!” Saz'ga said looking at Burt. He turned back to Kelsoe. “I would advise you to tell your first officer not to speak like that to the So'ja people, Captain! Jak'siy out.”

The view screen went back to the planet. Kelsoe sat down.

“Damn it, Connor,” Kelsoe said. “Don't talk to any So'ja.”

“I'm sorry, Captain,” Burt said. “I just can't stop hating them.”

“The Federation use to feel the same way about Klingons, and look what has happened,” Kelsoe said.

“Klingons are different,” Burt said. “I mean, you can talk to a Klingon, and not have to be worried about their government sending out a price on your head. The So'ja government would do that.”

“So'ja ship leaving orbit,” Craig informed Kelsoe.

Kelsoe nodded.

“They're going to warp,” Craig said.

Kelsoe turned back to Burt.

“Well, now they're gone,” Kelsoe said.

The shuttle craft carrying Commander Connor Burt, Lieutenant Norman Craig and Ensign Tracy Carson (the first group to go on shore leave) floated down to the field of strange flowers. The shuttle touched down and Burt stepped out into the sun, smiling. Craig and Tracy followed.

“It'll be nice to sleep under the stars,” Craig said.

“Last time I did this was eight month ago,” Burt said. “On my uncle's ranch in Texas.”

Tracy stood on the grass field, realizing that she was going camping with two guys. She, being the less experience in camping, made things seem more difficult. Tracy picked up her backpack and sleep bag. She slung them over her shoulder, trying to act causal. She noticed Craig starring at her. He realized that she noticed and he quickly looked away. Tracy smiled. They started on their way to the nearby forest. Behind them the shuttle took off to return to the ship.

Burt lead the way through the forest, until they reached a nice clearing in the trees. The circular clearing was free of grass. Burt sit to work making a camp fire of rocks laying around the place, while Craig went into the woods to get fire wood. Tracy had decided to join Craig.

Craig and Tracy walked through the woods picking up sticks and small branches. Tracy watched Craig, noticing him glancing at her. She had begun to count the number of “looks” he gave her. Finally the silence was broken.

“You've ever been camping before?” Craig inquired.

“No, never,” Tracy admitted. “I've always wanted, too, though.”

“Yeah,” Craig said. He paused and took a deep breath. “There's something about camping that a holodeck could never duplicate.”

Tracy picked up a yellow flower with red dots on the peddle. She sniffed it. The smell was more pleasing than any perfume that she had ever used, then again, she didn't use that much perfume. She noticed Craig looking at her again.

“Lieutenant Craig,” she said.

“Call me Norm,” Craig said.

“Okay, Norm,” she said with a giggle.

Craig turned around and faced her.

“Tracy,” he said with a smiled.

“Norm,” she said, smiling back.

They started to inch closer and closer to each other. Presently their lips were close to each other, when the rustling of the bushes distracted them. They backed away from each other as Burt came through the foliage.

“What's taking you two so long?” Burt said.

He stopped dead in his tracks and observed the scene. He could sense something between Craig and Tracy. Tracy was trying to suppress a smile and Craig was pretending to be looking at the trees.

“Is this about me?” Burt inquired.

“No,” Tracy said.

“Of course not,” Craig said.

They glanced at each other and smiled. Burt noticed this.

“Hey...,” Burt started to ponder.

“Uh, let's get back to camp,” Tracy said.

“Good idea,” Craig agreed.

Tracy and Craig headed off back for came. Burt watched them walk together. He thought.

“Could...,” Burt pondered. “Nah!”

He shook his head and then followed them back to camp.

Kelsoe sat in his chair, looking over a data pad in his hand. Braxis was at his station. A beeping sounded from the communication counsel. Braxis stood up and answered it.

“Captain,” Braxis said.

“Yes, Braxis,” Kelsoe said, putting his data pad down.

“We're receiving a message from Star Fleet,” Braxis said.

Kelsoe stood.

“Patch it through to my ready room,” Kelsoe said.

Kelsoe marched into his ready room. Upon entering his ready room Kelsoe stepped up next to the small view screen across from his desk. He sat down and looked at it.

“Computer, on screen,” Kelsoe said seating down in his seat.

The screen hummed to life and Kelsoe saw Admiral Hayes on the screen.

“Admiral Hayes?” Kelsoe said.

“No need to get worried Kelsoe,” Hayes said. “I'm just checking up on you.”

“We're doing fine,” Kelsoe said. “Actually we have discovered a planet that is not in the Star Fleet database.”

“Where are you?” Admiral Hayes inquired.

“Why?” Kelsoe replied curiously.

“While you have been gone the So'ja government has released more information about So'ja space,” Hayes explained. “They have admitted to leaving a few things out of the database they gave us.”

A moment later Kelsoe came rushing out of his ready room.

“Contact the landing party!” Kelsoe said. “Tell them to report back to the ship now!”

“Aye, Captain,” Braxis said.

Burt, Craig and Tracy sat around the campfire. Burt took out a little silver machine and pressed a button, within two second a marshmallow was produced. He made two more. He handed one to each Craig and Tracy.

“What are we supposed to do?” Tracy inquired.

“Bajorian's don't eat marshmallows?” Burt asked.

“Marshmallows?” Tracy repeated questioningly.

“Yeah,” Craig said holding his up. “You take a stick, burn the end in the fire, like so,” Craig was showed her, “and then stick the marshmallow on the burnt end. And roast the marshmallow over the fire.”

Tracy mimicked what Craig showed her perfectly. Now each of them were roasting a marshmallow over the fire. The orange blue flames shooting upwards towards the starry sky of this alien world. The marshmallows started to burn. Craig helped Tracy remove the hot sweet confection made of corn syrup, gelatin, sugar, and starch dusted with powdered sugar off the stick until Tracy held the burning white cylinder shaped marshmallow in her hand.

“Now what?” Tracy inquired.

“You eat it!” Burt said.

Burt took a bite out of his. Tracy watched as Burt devoured his and produced another, only to begin the ritual all over again. She was confused by this. She had grown up on a space station on the borders of Federation space. She had never experienced this before. She turned and looked at Craig. He had eaten half of his. He moved the marshmallow towards his mouth, gesturing the eating motion.

“Go ahead,” he said. “Try it.”

She turned and saw Commander Burt on his second marshmallow.

“They're sweet and...,” he paused to think. “Sugary.”

He smiled and he continued to eat the marshmallow.

Tracy brought the spongy object up to her nose and sniffed it. It had a sweet smell. She rubbed it against her lips and took a small nibble of it. Burt and Craig waited to she her reaction. She parted her lips and took a small bite. She chewed in and swallowed.

“Well?” Craig inquired. “What do you think?”

“Sweet,” she said smiling.

Craig smiled back at her.

Suddenly there came a collapse of light, and ten seconds later they heard thunder. Tracy looked up startled.

“Lighting!” she exclaimed.

“Looks like we're going to get wet,” Burt said.

He got up and picked up his stuff, gesturing for the others to do the same. They did.

“Should we call the ship for transport?” Tracy inquired.

“No,” Burt said smiling. “This is part of camping. Let's find shelter.”

There was a collapse of lightning again. Five second later the crackled was heard. Burt's communicator hummed. Burt tapped it.

“Burt here,” he said.

“Burt its Ben... we need yo... now...,” Kelsoe's voice came through the static. “Do y... ead?”

Burt could hear Kelsoe's voice through the static and thought he understood the message.

“Read that, Captain,” Burt said. “Don't worry, Ben, we're looking for shelter.”

“Braxis!?” Kelsoe exclaimed. “What's happened.”

Braxis sat at his station punching buttons.

“It appears that the storm is interfering with our communication systems,” Braxis said, he spun around in his chair to face Kelsoe. “Perhaps if we temporary increase the magnitude of the deflector dish we could get a clear line through.”

Kelsoe nodded, “Get working on it.”

Braxis nodded and stood up. He tapped his communicator.

“Lieutenant Commander Withrome,” Braxis said, as he made his way for the turbolift, “I'd appreciate it if you join me at deflector control.”

“I'll be there,” Withrome said.

Braxis stepped into the turbolift and looked towards Kelsoe.

“As fast as you can, Braxis, please,” Kelsoe said.

“I'll,” Braxis hesitated, “try.”

“Level?” the computer questioned.

“Deflector control,” Braxis answered the computer.

The turbolift doors closed. Kelsoe turned around and sat down in his chair. He rubbed his hand through his hair and grunted softly. Then he looked up.

“Mr. Zimmer?” he said.

Zimmer spun around in his chair.

“Yes, sir?” Zimmer inquired.

“Can a shuttle make it down?” Kelsoe asked.

“Not in that kind of weather, Captain,” Zimmer said.

Kelsoe nodded, “Okay, just a thought.”

Commander Connor Burt, Lieutenant Norman Craig and Ensign Tracy Carson made their way through the vegetation of the strange world. Burt had his tricorder out, scanning for any caves. The tricorder beep excitedly. Burt turned back and looked at Craig and Tracy.

“I think we've got shelter,” Burt said through the howling wind. “A cave around thirty paces ahead of us.”

“Anything's better than this storm!” Craig shouted over the wind.

They walked on until they came to the small opening in the rocks. Water had started to fall from the sky. Burt turned back towards Craig and Tracy.

“Go on, get inside!” he shouted over the pouring rain.

Craig and Tracy squeeze through the small opening of the cave. Burt took his equipment off his back and shoved them through the hole behind Tracy. Then he knelt down onto his knees and crawled on all fours through the small cave opening. It was a tight fit and for a moment Burt thought that he would get stuck. Tracy and Craig helped him up when he cleared the small opening. Burt stood up and wiped the mud from his face. He looked around at the cave in which they had entered. The roof of the cavern was about twenty yard up and was covered with stalactites. On the floor three stalagmites stood. Dips of water plopped onto Burt head. He looked around curious.

“Do you hear that?” Burt inquired.

“Hear what?” Tracy asked, she looked at Craig questioningly.

“I didn't hear anything,” Craig said.

“Never mind,” Burt said, “must have been a figment of my imagination.” He strolled around the craven.

“Let's set up camp here,” Burt said.

Tracy took out a glow stick, crack it and placed in on the floor. Pale white light spread throughout the cavern. She looked up at the walls and thought she saw shadows of other people, but then they were gone. She looked back at Craig and Burt, who had not seen it. She shook here head, nudging it aside as a figment of her imagination. Burt and Craig had finished laying out their sleeping bags. They all sat down on their sleeping bags and looked at each other through the pale light of the glow stick. That's when Tracy saw the shadows again. This time behind Burt. She let out a yelp.

“There's something behind you, Commander,” Tracy said to Burt.

Burt slowly moved his hand down to his waist and removed his phaser from his belt. He stood up slowly and turned around. Holding the phaser in front of him, Burt moved forward into the darkness. When he reached the spot were Tracy had seen the shadows, nothing was to be found, but as Burt examined the ground he saw what appeared to be footprints of some type. Suddenly Burt heard a whisper in his hear. It was soft and he could swear he felt the breath of the speaker.

It said, “You are Adam, the other male must leave.”

Burt shook his head and slowly stepped backwards until he reached their camp. He turned around, placing his phaser back in his holster, and sat down, crossing his legs.

“Well?” Tracy inquired.

“Nothing,” Burt said. “But I could have sworn I heard... no, that's impossible.”

“What?” Craig asked leaning over.

Burt stared at Craig with a menacing look. Craig was taken back by Burt's glare.

“What?!” Craig repeated.

Burt shook his head, Craig noticed the look vanishing, and took a deep breath.

“Never mind,” Burt said. “It's impossible. The tricorder doesn't read any life signs.”

“Want me to take a look, Commander?” Craig inquired.

“Sure,” Burt nodded.

Craig removed his phaser and held it out in front of him as he marched out into the blackness. Craig reached the spot were Burt had been a couple moments ago and saw what appeared to be animal tracks of some sort. He examined them a bit and concluded that they could in fact be from a new alien life form. Then suddenly something seemed to grab his arm and he heard a whisper in his ear. He swore he could feel the breath of this unknown speaker.

“You are Adam,” it said, “the other male must leave.”

And then the presence was gone. Craig stood there for a moment or two, shock beyond belief and lowered his phaser as he made his way back to camp.

As Craig slide down onto his sleeping bag, he glared at Burt.

“Is there something the matter, Lieutenant?” Burt inquired angrily.

“Yeah,” Craig responded with hatred in his voice.

“What's the matter?” Tracy inquired.

“Nothing,” Burt said, looking back towards Tracy. “I'm Adam.”

“What!” Craig said standing up. “I'm Adam!”

Burt stood up and raised his phaser.

“Watch what you say, Lieutenant!” Burt snapped. “I'm the commanding officer here, and I say that I'm Adam.”

“Adam?” Tracy pondered.

“Yes, Eve,” Burt said. “I'm Adam. Don't worry about this... impostor.”

“Impostor!” Craig cried. “How dare you, Commander! I'm Adam!”

“Oh yeah, prove it!”

“I don't have to prove anything to you!”

Craig jumped forward and Burt fired his phaser. Craig dodged the laser blast, which created a rock slide that covered the opening of the cave. Dust exploded into the air as Burt and Craig wrestled. Tracy sat there stunned thinking Adam and Eve over and over in her mind tying to connect it with something. Then it hit her. Back when she was at home on Deep Space Nine her dad, Roger Carson (who is a human) had read her this book called... she thought harder... the Bible. It was the book of her father's religion. But she was half and half. She was neither human nor Bajorian, so she had reject both races' religions. Adam and Eve were supposed to be the two humans that God created in his divine image that started the human race. She looked at Burt and Craig wrestling. Burt had pinned Craig to the ground and was holding him down with his legs. Burt used one hand to hold Craig's arms behind his back. With his free hand Burt lifted his phaser and placed it next to Craig's temple were it touched his moist flesh.

“Now you will die, impostor!” Burt said softly into Craig's ear.

Burt leaned back and was about to fire.

“No!” Tracy screamed. “Stop it, both of you!”

Burt jerked his head up towards Tracy. Craig took this opportunity of Burt's being distracted and lashed out. Craig hit Burt's lower jaw with his elbow sending the phaser flying into the air. Burt fell back onto the ground and Craig stumbled to his feet. The phaser landed in front of Tracy's feet. Burt avoided Craig's first fist, but received the second. Tracy watched in shock as the two continued to fight. She kneeled down and picked up the phaser. She got back to her feet and lowered the weapon to stun. She looked up and pointed it at them. Craig was about to come down on Craig when a blue stun blast hit him. Burt rolled over as Craig plopped down. Burt jumped to his feet and was hit by the blue stun blast and toppled over, landing next to Craig. Tracy stood there breathing heavily with the phaser held outstretch in her trembling hands.

Captain Benjamin Kelsoe stood by the window in the conference room, looking down at the turbulent storm on the planet below. The door opened and Commander Tuff stepped into the room. Kelsoe turned and tried to smile.

“Commander Tuff,” Kelsoe nodded.

“Captain,” Tuff replied and walked up to the window.

Kelsoe returned his gaze at the planet.

“They're somewhere down there, Rob,” Kelsoe said.

“Its not your fault, Captain,” Tuff said. “It's those bloody So'ja's fault. They left holes in their maps so that we would not survive out here.”

Kelsoe nodded and pondered this. The more he thought, the more one idea kept showing up in his mind.

“Or maybe,” Kelsoe responded. “They did not want us to stubble upon any areas of great danger.”

“That's very trusting,” Tuff said.

“Yes, it is,” Kelsoe agreed. “It is.”

The doors hissed opened and Braxis stepped in.

“Captain, we have communications, now,” he said.

“Good job, Braxis,” Kelsoe said as he and Tuff followed Braxis out of the conference room.

Tracy stood still next to Burt and Craig. Suddenly Craig started to move. She pointed the phaser at him and stopped. She suddenly felt this presence in the room. As Craig got to his feet he felt the presence as will. Tracy looked into his eyes and saw that he was not wild anymore.

Craig felt the presence come along side of him. He could feel that icy breath.

“The other is out,” it whispered. “Seize the moment. Be Adam!”

Tracy notice Craig suddenly become more intense. She raised the phaser at him as he stepped closer to her. He whacked it out of her hand.

“Come, come, Eve,” Craig said.

She was terrified by the sound of his voice. It sounded like him, but somehow did not. She backed away. She kept on stepping backwards until she hit the wall. Craig moved his two arms along side her body, on both sides, pinning her against the wall. He moved his body closer to hers. He rubbed his mouth over her quivering lips.

“Eve,” he muttered. “Oh, Eve.”

Tracy's eyes were wide with terror. Then suddenly come the sound of her communicator. Craig glanced down and looked at her communicator. He glared back up at her.

“Give me that!” he snarled as he ripped it off her uniform.

Tracy moved way from him as he back off. Craig tapped the communicator.

“Hello?” he said.

“Lieutenant Craig?” Kelsoe said.

“Yes, who's this?” Craig said.

On the bridge of the Pioneer Kelsoe, Braxis and Tuff were taken aback by that question. Lieutenant Commander Joanna Withrome stood beside Tuff, and also look confused by Lieutenant Craig's question.

“Is that Craig?” Kelsoe asked Braxis.

“According to the scanners, yes,” Braxis said.

“Captain,” Tuff said sitting at the communications station. “I'm getting some kind of interference.”

“What!” Withrome said. “But Braxis and I modified the deflector dish to get communications through.”

“It is not being caused by the deflector dish,” Tuff said.

“Then what?” Withrome inquired.

“Something down there,” Kelsoe said, looking at Braxis for approval.

Braxis nodded. “It is the only logical conclusion,” Braxis said. “That is assuming that nothing is wrong with the ship.”

“Run a check,” Kelsoe ordered.

Braxis pressed a few buttons. Withrome and Tuff looked at each other.

“The ship is not malfunctioning,” Braxis said. “Indeed, the problem lies within the planet.”

“Why within?” Kelsoe inquired.

“It is only logical, Captain,” Braxis said. “We have not detected any life forms, or any technological advancement on the surface, thus they, if they exist, must exist within the planet's underground.”

“Below the surface, huh?” Kelsoe said. “Not bad.”

Kelsoe turned towards the rest of the officers.

“If there are any suggestions, please bring them forward,” Kelsoe said.

Commander Tuff cleared his throat.

“Sir,” Tuff said, “if in fact we can identify a technological species living under the surface of the planet, I suggest we send down a security team to get them out.”

“Let's hope it doesn't come to that,” Kelsoe said raising one hand.

“Captain!” Zimmer said from the helm.

Kelsoe turned around.

“What is it, Mr. Zimmer?” Kelsoe inquired.

“I'm reading two battle cruisers at mark five,” Zimmer said.

“So'ja?” Kelsoe inquired as he stepped into the center of the ship.

“No,” Zimmer said. “Unknown.”

“Braxis, scan them,” Kelsoe ordered.

Braxis pressed a few buttons on the counsel.

“The database has no record of the technology,” Braxis said.

Tuff walked up behind Kelsoe.

“We must raise our shields, Captain,” Tuff said.

Kelsoe nodded.

Tuff turned to face the tactical station.

“Raise shields,” he said to the ensign at the station.

“Shields raised,” the ensign reported after pressing a button on the counsel.

“They are hailing us, Captain,” Braxis informed Kelsoe.

Kelsoe looked over.

“On screen.”

Kelsoe turned his head as an alien face appeared on the screen. The alien had a balloon shaped head, with two big watery black eyes. Its skin was pale blue and almost appeared to reflect the light. It's oval shaped body was relatively small compared with it's head. It had long thin appendages, two arms and four legs. It stared at Kelsoe with it's big black eyes. It's little mouth opening, breathing slightly. Almost like a sigh. Kelsoe noticed it had no nostrils, the only way for this creature to breath was through it's mouth. Kelsoe cleared his throat.

“This is the starship Pioneer of the United Federation of Planets,” Kelsoe said clearly. “Captain Benjamin Kelsoe commanding.”

The alien brought it's arm up in a friendly gesture.

“Federation starship,” the creature said, “This is the battle cruiser Limenitis. I, Banbo of the Tealuian people, welcome you to our space.”

“Thank you,” Kelsoe nodded in response.

“Now I must ask you to leave,” Banbo said.

“Wait,” Kelsoe implored, “some of my crew is down on your planet! You must allow us to retrieve them.”

“Not plausible,” Banbo said. “The So'ja must have informed you of our planet, Tealu. No interstellar contact must be made. Anybody who lands on the planet must remain. If you do not leave in two minutes we'll be forced to fire. Banbo out.”

The alien disappeared from the screen.

“What's this about?” Kelsoe inquired, looking at Braxis for advise. “Braxis?”

“The most logical thing to do is obey the Tealuian's wishes,” Braxis said.

“What about Connor, Lieutenant Craig, and Ensign Carson?” Kelsoe inquired.

Tuff stepped forward.

“I'm afraid Braxis is correct, Captain,” Tuff said. “If we do not leave we will be unable to helping them.”

Kelsoe sighed and sat down in his chair.

“I don't like doing this,” he said softly to himself. He straightened his uniform. “Mr. Zimmer, warp five.”

“Yes, Captain,” Zimmer said hesitantly pressing the thrust button.

The Pioneer went into warp. The two egg shaped ships remained hovering over the planet.

Craig stood there clutching the communicator in his hands.

“Hello... hello?” he inquired.

He then frowned and through the communicator to the ground, crushing it with his foot. He looked up at Tracy.

“Don't worry, Eve,” he said. “Everything will be alright.”

To be continued...