written by Travis Cannon

Ensign Eric Zimmer opened his eyes slowly. He moaned and placed his right hand upon his head, feeling a bump there. He slowly sat up and saw Captain Benjamin Kelsoe in the other corner of the room, out cold. Zimmer slowly stood up and dusted the dirt off his uniform and looked around. They were in some sort of cell. The entrance was covered by a dim glowing force field. Zimmer stepped forward and peered through the force field. He saw a dirt hallway, with metallic walls on either side. Zimmer turned around and looked back at Kelsoe.

Then Zimmer heard the marching of feet. Zimmer quickly hide himself against the rock wall. Dirt and pebbles trickled down. Zimmer kept his eyes on the hallway. Soon two guards appeared. They looked exactly like humans, except they had a v-shaped ridge between their eyebrows. They turned and walked past the entrance of the cell, glancing quickly inside to check on their prisoners. Zimmer slide down against the rock wall and placed his head in his hands.

“Something has happened,” Zimmer said.

“I can tell that Mr. Zimmer,” Kelsoe said leaning against the rock wall. He had awaken five minutes ago.

“Why are we here?” Zimmer inquired.

“I don't know,” Kelsoe said, “but I have a feeling that we will find out.”

At the entrance a guard appeared holding a tray. Another guard was with him, holding some sort of weapon. The guard holding the weapon pressed a button that deactivated the force field and the one holding the tray stepped in and lowered the tray to the ground. Meanwhile the one with the weapon carefully watched Kelsoe and Zimmer. The other stepped out after depositing the tray and the force field went back up. Both guards then left.

Kelsoe stood up and stepped over to the tray. He picked up the bowl of mush and an object that looked similar to a spoon. Zimmer followed and picked up the other bowl of mush and the spoon like object. Kelsoe was about to taste it when Zimmer grabbed Kelsoe arm.

“Wait!” Zimmer said. “I'll try it first, it may be poisoned.”

“Why would they want to poison us?” Kelsoe inquired.

Zimmer ignored Kelsoe's question and dunked the spoon into the bowl, withdrawing it with some mush. He raised it to his mouth and slowly put the mush in his mouth. Zimmer held the mush for a while in his mouth until swallowing it. Kelsoe watched Zimmer. Zimmer took a deep breath and waited for about a minute.

“Its okay,” Zimmer coughed.

Kelsoe nodded and began eating the mush.

“Hmm,” Kelsoe observed. “Interesting taste. What does that taste like to you?”

Zimmer shrugged. “It kind of reminds me of oatmeal.”

“Yeah,” Kelsoe said. “It kind of does.”

They ate in silence. Kelsoe kept his eyes on the entrance of the cell during the entire meal.

After they had finished the meal the guard entered, again, and took the tray with the empty bowls on it. Kelsoe kept his eyes complete fixed on the entrance. The force field hummed to life. Kelsoe shook his head and looked over at Zimmer.

“How are you doing?” Kelsoe inquired.

“Fine,” Zimmer shrugged.

Zimmer slide across the ground to sit next to Kelsoe.

“What's the last thing you remember?” Zimmer asked.

“Last thing I remember,” Kelsoe said, “is flying in the shuttle craft to met with the ambassador on Volair. Then suddenly, puff, I woke up in here.”

Zimmer rubbed the bum on his head, and looked at Kelsoe, confused.

“That's all I remember, too,” Zimmer said. “I've got a bump on my head and I don't remember how I got it.”

“Odd,” Kelsoe pondered.

“When I woke up,” Zimmer explained, “you were out cold, like you had been fighting with some one.”

“Interesting,” Kelsoe said. “There must of been some sort of struggle.”

Kelsoe reached up with his right had and ran his fingers through his hair. He stopped and felt a bump.

“I have a bump on the head, too,” Kelsoe said. “Some one must have hit us over the head.”

“Yeah,” Zimmer agreed, “but why?”

“That's the question,” Kelsoe said.

Kelsoe chuckled.


“Ah, nothing,” Kelsoe explained. “Just thinking about what I said to Connor. He asked me if I had any bad luck, and I said 'no'. Now I guess I do.”

“I don't think that's funny,” Zimmer said. “This could be serious.”

“Look,” Kelsoe said. “You can't act serious all the time, you've got to realize that not all things have to be thought about negatively. Try and think positively and you'll have a lot better adapting to our problem.”

Kelsoe then continued to watch the entrance.

“Try and get some sleep, Mr. Zimmer,” Kelsoe said.

“Aye, sir,” Zimmer said and leaned against the rock wall.

Kelsoe had given up and had fallen asleep.

Kelsoe awoke in the dead of night. Their was not much like in the cell. He stood up and leaned against the entrance. He looked out and saw the shadows of two vigilant guards watching. Kelsoe turned around to see Zimmer sitting up looking over at him.

“What did we do to be put in here, sir?” Zimmer inquired, he looked very frightened. “We haven't even been told what we did.”

“We'll find out sometime I suspect,” Kelsoe said. Kelsoe turned back and looked out at the shadows of the guards, but they were gone. Kelsoe looked left and right. He could find no sign of the guards. “Where'd they good,” he said to himself.

Suddenly there was a loud shrilling sound that sounded like an alarm. Kelsoe back away from the entrance as it gleamed bright red. Kelsoe turned quickly to see Zimmer collapse into a seizure. He rushed over to Zimmer. Not knowing what to do, he attempted to restrain Zimmer. Suddenly a good icy voice came from over his shoulder.

“That wouldn't help,” said the voice.

Kelsoe slowly stood up.

“Good,” said the voice. “Now turn around.”

Kelsoe slowly turned around and saw a man with a medium built and an olive complexion. The man had curly black hair and hand a V-shaped crest between his eyes.

“Don't worry about him,” he said. “Just a minor security control device.”

The man chuckled. His icy voice did not liven up with his laugh. The man wiped a tear from his check and looked at Kelsoe.

“You have a uniform,” he said. “None like I have seen before, what species are you?”

“I'm a human,” Kelsoe told him.

“Rank?” inquired the man in his icy tone.

“Captain,” Kelsoe had hesitated before he spoke.

“Ah, a military captain,” said the man. “Why are you here?”

“Look,” Kelsoe said raising his hands. “I think there has been a misunderstanding. You see we are from the United Federation of Planets, and we've come on the behalf of our government to meet with the Ambassador on Volair.”

The man laughed again.

“I am Captain Benjamin Kelsoe, of the Federation Starship Pioneer, and this,” Kelsoe said gesturing towards Zimmer, “is my helmsman, Ensign Zimmer.”

The man blinked. The guards behind him shook there heads.

“Look,” said Kelsoe, “You can check with you Ambassador Koraan, he should be expecting us.”

“Look,” said the man, “Captain Kelsoe, I'm the warden of this facility and I will be giving the orders here.”

“I'm not giving you an order,” Kelsoe said trying to keep the warden calm. “I'm saying that there has been a mistake in our arrest and confinement here.”

“We shall see, Captain,” the warden said. And with that the warden left with his guards following him. The blue haze of the force field reappeared as soon as they had exited the cell.

Kelsoe dropped back down to Zimmer to check on him. Zimmer had stop shaking sporadically. Kelsoe then slumped against the rocky walls of the cell and took a deep breath. This is a very complication problem, he thought.

Commander Connor Burt sat in the captain's chair with the glare of the red alert light flashing off and on in his face. Burt looked over at Braxis, who was computing something.

“Braxis,” Burt said. “I need it know.”

“Just one minute, Commander,” Braxis said.

“Braxis...,” Burt said. “We haven't got a minute.”

“Got it,” Braxis said.

“Now!” Burt said waving his hand in the air.

“Yes, sir,” Braxis said calmly.

There was a low hum and the lights on the bridge dimmed for a moment and then came back on strong.

“Report,” Burt said.

“Negative,” said Craig from behind him.

“Damn!” Burt said.

“Commander Tuff?” Braxis said.

“Uh, yes Mr. Braxis?” Tuff said, surprised to be spoken, too.

“May I use your station for a moment?” Braxis inquired.

“Uh, sure,” Tuff said and stepped aside.

Braxis stepped behind Tuff's station and began typing.

“Attempting to use the security sensors to get a look on their position,” Braxis said.

“Tuff, come here,” Burt said.

Tuff stepped down into the center of the bridge and sat down next to Commander Burt.

“Yes, Commander,” Tuff said.

“The way how I view this so far is a misunderstanding,” Burt said.

“Let's just hope those bloody Velos see it the same way,” Tuff said, nodding.

“Commander,” Tracy said from the communication station. “We're being hailed by the lead battle ship.”

Burt straighten his uniform and stood up.

“On screen,” he said.

Tuff stood up behind Burt as the screen blinked from the starry expanse of space with four Velosian Battleship to the bridge of the lead ship. The Velos' captain, had the usual v-shaped crest in-between his eyes, which were yellow.

“My government we to inform you that your Captain and pilot have turned up in one of our prisons on the outskirts of Ron City,” said the Velosian captain.

Burt smiled.

“Well, that's good,” Burt said. “Can you give us their coordinates so that we can beam them up?”

“I'm afraid that I am not permitted,” the Velosian captain said. “You have thirty minutes to leave.”

“But...,” Burt said, but before he could finish the Velosian captain had terminated the transmission.

Kelsoe stood beside the entrance way of the cell, staring, almost entranced at the glowing blue force field. He bent down and picked up some small rocks the threw them against the force field. The blue haze lit up brighter. The hum became temporally louder. Then he heard something, something soft under the buzzing hum of the force field. Footsteps! Kelsoe quickly stepped away from the entrance and into the shadows of the cell.

Through the soft blue glow of the force field Kelsoe sees four Velosian guards with the warden in the center. The force field was deactivated as two of the guards stepped into the cell. The warden remained outside of the cell, staring into the darkness at Kelsoe.

“Would you care to have a little chat, Captain Kelsoe?” the warden inquired.

“What about my crewman?” Kelsoe said as one of the guards grabbed his arm.

“He'll be okay,” the warden said. “Just come with us.”

The guards lead Kelsoe out of the cell. As they exited the cell the force field were reactivated. Kelsoe turned back and looked at Zimmer.

“Please, Captain,” said the warden. “This way.”

The warden lead the way down the cavernous halls of the prison. Kelsoe passed out cells in which he saw other Velosians. All of them did not appear to be fed as well as Zimmer and himself. In a few cells Kelsoe could have sworn that he saw children. Then the came to a nexus in the caves were shinny metallic doors were. The doors parted open to reveal a turbo-lift. Kelsoe looked at the guards, who were talking him. The one on his right pushed him forward. Kelsoe step into the turbo lift, followed by the armed guards and the warden.

“Administration,” barked the warden and the turbolift's door shut and it hummed.

When the doors opened they were facing a metallic hallway with dim lights. The warden turned back and looked at Kelsoe.

“Come with me, Captain,” the warden said.

Being lead by the guards, Kelsoe followed the warden down the hallways to a wall with double doors on them. The warden walked over to the right side of the doors and pushed a little button. A small flap opened revealing a piece of glass that glowed red. The warden pressed in thumb against the glass. There was momentary pause and then came a computer voice.

“Voice identification, please,” said the calm computer voice.

“Tallot, Belan - Warden,” said the warden.

“Access approved,” said the calm computer voice and the double doors slide opened. The warden stepped into the dim room, which was only lit by a two lamps on either other side of the big black desk made out of some sort of marble. Captain Kelsoe looked around and saw a solitary black marble chair with a low back sitting in front of the desk.

“Please have a sit,” Warden Tallot said.

The guards pushed Kelsoe down into the chair and then went back and stood by the door.

“That will be all,” Tallot said. “You may leave us.”

The guards nodded and left the room. Tallot slowly walked behind his desk and turned as the door closed behind them. He looked down at Kelsoe.

“Captain Kelsoe,” Tallot said, “Our government has confirmed you statement. The Ambassador was most upset over your arrest, however I have been instructed to keep you and your crewman here, under protection.”

“Protection?” Kelsoe blurted out. “From what?”

“Captain Kelsoe,” Tallot said. “We are in a civil war, here.”

“Civil War?” Kelsoe said. “We were not told about this.”

“Well, actually it is not a civil war,” Tallot said. “There are just certain member of our people, whom we prefer to call terrorist are on the march towards Volair. Ron City was their first stop. And you and your crewman just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

“Look,” Kelsoe said and then stopped.

He looked at the two lights and then back at Tallot, puzzled.

“Ah?” Tallot said and slowly sat down. “You are wondering why the room is so dimly lit, yes?”

“Yeah,” Kelsoe said.

“You see, were are people of the dark, Captain,” Tallot said. “When the sun raises we go to our beds.”

“This will make some interaction between our two peoples difficult,” Kelsoe said. “You see we sleep when it is dark.”

“Curious,” Tallot said rubbing his chin. “Very curious indeed.”

Kelsoe shook his head.

“Look, can I at least contact my crew to let them know that everything is alright?” Kelsoe inquired.

“By all means,” Tallot said, pushing a button.

Two panels on the right wall opened and a view screen appeared.

“We are hailing your ship right now,” Tallot said.

Within seconds after he said that Kelsoe say Burt's face on the screen. The short tempered Texan was literally red.

“Captain!” Burt said standing up. “How are you? Their not treating you badly?”

Kelsoe raised a hand.

“I'm fine, Connor,” Kelsoe said.

“And Mr. Zimmer?” Burt inquired.

“He's fine, too, Connor,” Kelsoe said. “The warden, here, has been good enough to explain a few things to me.”

“Well that's better than what we've been getting from the Velosian warship in front of us,” Burt said, cooling down.

“It's all just a big mistake,” Kelsoe said. “We were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. You see the Velosian government is trying to deal with a group of terrorist that had converged on Ron City. Mr. Zimmer and I were just unfortunately flying over Ron City when the terrorist had marched into the city.”

“Captain,” Burt said. “I'm not sure if we should trust these people.”

“Look, Connor,” Kelsoe said. “These people are trying to join the Federation. They have a right to have us trust them.”

“I'm sorry, Captain,” Burt said. “So when can we pick you up?”

“The Captain and your pilot must remain in your protection for the time being, Commander Burt,” Tallot said.


“It's okay, Connor,” Kelsoe said. “I understand the situation, and I, frankly, have to agree with the warden on this.”

“But Captain!?” Burt exclaimed.

“No butts, Commander,” Kelsoe said. “Don't interfere with the Velosians unless they request assistance in anyway. Is that understood, Connor?”

Burt shifted in his chair, looking very much unease by this.

“Uh, yes, Captain,” Burt said.

“Very good,” Kelsoe said. “Kelsoe out.”

The screen went black. Kelsoe turned back to Warden Tallot.

“Everything fine now, Captain?” Tallot inquired.

“For the time being, warden,” Kelsoe said. “But you after to assure me that Mr. Zimmer will not be zapped again.”

“I give you my word, Captain,” Warden Tallot said.

The doors opened and two guards stepped in. Tallot gestured towards the guards.

“My guards will take you back to your cell now,” Tallot said. “If you need anything just call for me.”

Kelsoe got up and the guards lead him out of the warden's office.

Ensign Eric Zimmer sat on the floor leaning against the rock wall. The only light in the cell came from the glowing force field, which went down, temporally as Captain Kelsoe was let back into the cell. Zimmer stood up as Kelsoe entered.

“So?” Zimmer inquired. “What did they have to say to you?”

“It is all a big misunderstanding, but they are going to keep us here,” Kelsoe said.

“For how long?” Zimmer asked.

“I don't know,” Kelsoe admitted. He had never really thought about that. He had let that point slide.

Zimmer stepped away from the wall.

“I've never been confined in a space like this before,” he said.

Kelsoe sighed and stepped away from the force field.

“I have,” Kelsoe said. “It was during the Dominion War. The ship in which I was on was captured by a Cardassian ship. Myself and some of the crew members were taken to an underground prison, similar to this on..., I can't even remember the planet. That was back when I was a commander. It was on my first mission, as a commander, too.”

“Yeah, but this time we're not in a war,” Zimmer said.

“The Velosian are,” Kelsoe said. “They're fighting a faction of fellow Velosians that the government calls terrorist.”

Zimmer leaned against the wall.

“I wonder what they're doing back on the Pioneer,” Zimmer muttered.

“The Velos battleship is hailing us,” Tracy informed Commander Burt.

Burt shifted his weight in the chair.

“On screen,” Burt said.

The face of a Velosian captain appeared.

“I am Captain Carrlio of the Velos Battleship Bakent,” the deep voice captain said.

“Thanks for introducing yourself this time,” Burt said.

“Uh, I apologize for my conduct earlier,” Captain Carrlio said reluctantly.

“No problem,” Burt said. “Have you any information to give us?”

“The Velos government would like to invite you to Volair to met with Ambassador Koraan,” Captain Carrlio said stiffed lip. “Bakent out!”

The view screen went back to the view of the planet Velos with the battleship in the foreground. Burt shook his head and looked over to Braxis.

“Care to join me, Mr. Braxis?” Burt inquired.

“If I must, Commander,” Braxis said raising his right eyebrow.

“Very well,” Burt said standing up. “Braxis, your with me.”

“Commander,” Tracy said. “I've received beaming coordinates.”

“Good,” Burt said, “Transmit them to transporter room one.”

“Aye, sir,” Tracy said and punched some buttons.

“Commander Tuff,” Burt said. “You have the comm.”

“Yes, Commander,” Tuff said stepping away from his station and into the center of the bridge. As he left his station and bridge crewman quickly filled in.

Burt left the bridge followed by Braxis.

The blue glow of the energizers illuminated the dim lighted room as Burt and Braxis transported into the waiting room of the Velosian Ambassador's officer in Volair. Two Velosian soldiers are standing there to meet them. The squint in the bright glow and watched as the two Starfleet officers appeared before them. When the transportation was complete Burt turned to Braxis.

“Do they speak English?” Burt inquired.

“We do,” the thick Velosian soldier said. “We have learned if from the So'ja.”

“Ah, good,” Burt said turning his head towards the soldiers. Burt squinted in the dim light to see their faces but could not.

“Come with us,” the soldier said. “Ambassador Koraan is waiting for you.”

Burt and Braxis followed the soldiers through two double doors and into another dim room. There was a monstrous desk standing in front of them. Behind the desk was a huge seal of the Velosian government. The high arch chair, which had it's back to them ended in high horn like points. In the right and left corners of the wall behind the desk were two columns which gave the room lighting. Dim lighting to be more precise. The soldiers motioned for Burt and Braxis to sit down. There was a long silver metallic bench, without any backing in front of them. Burt nodded to Braxis and they sat down.

“You may leave us now,” said a voice from behind the high arched chair.

Braxis noticed that the two soldiers seemed surprised.

“Leave!” snorted the voice.

The two soldiers quickly back up and closed the double doors.

“Welcome,” said the cool voice.

“I'm sorry Ambassador, but could you turn around?” Burt asked as politely as he could.

The chair slowly turned around, and sitting in it was an old Velosian with a long white beard. His eyes were large and black. The V-crest on his head was more pronounced than those of the guards, and his skin was very pale.

“Ambassador Koraan I presume,” Braxis said.

“Yes,” said the old Velosian. “And you are?”

“I'm Commander Connor Burt of the Federation Starship Pioneer,” Burt said. “And this is our science officer, Commander Braxis.”

“Welcome commanders,” Koraan said. “I assume you are here hoping to help get your Captain and pilot out of our secure facility.”

Secure facility, Burt thought, why don't you just call it a prison? Burt shifted his weight on the bench and nodded.

“Yes,” Burt said. “I believe we understand the whole situation....”

“You do not,” interrupted Koraan. “Far from it.”

Is voice was becoming more powerful.

“Your Captain and Pilot may be in league with the terrorist,” Koraan said.

“Sir,” Burt said. “That's impossible...”

“Ambassador,” Braxis said. “I do not believe that the Captain would ever ally himself with terrorist. It is against Starfleet regulations to interfere with other civilizations.”

“It is, is it?” Koraan said. “Then why was your Captain and Pilot flying over Ron City at the same time that the terrorist began their invasion of the city?”

“That's just a coincidence,” Burt argued.

“I cannot just take your word for it,” Koraan said. “The fate of an entire city lies in the hands of your Captain. If he does know something, it will be very useful to us.”

“I swear to you that he knows nothing,” Burt said.

“We shall see,” Koraan said. Now is voice really sounded almost deafening.

“Can you at least let us speak with our Captain?” Burt inquired.

“We shall transport you to a meeting room in the secure facility in questioned,” Koraan said.

He pressed a button on his desk and the doors opened immediately with the two soldiers standing there.

“Take these two representatives of the Federation to the transporter room,” Koraan said. “I've already sent the transportation information to the officer on duty.”

Kelsoe and Zimmer sat in a small dim lighted room with no decorations. The walls were flat and metallic. Warden Belan Tallot had brought them up from their cell to met with two “Federation representatives”, as Tallot called them. Kelsoe suspected that the representatives would be Burt and Braxis. There was a hum from the door, and slight pause and then the door hissed opened. Burt and Braxis entered the room and the door hissed closed behind them.

“Captain,” Burt said, “are you alright?”

“We're fine, Connor,” Kelsoe said.

Braxis walked over with a medical tricorder and scanned Kelsoe, then Zimmer.

“Ensign?” Braxis said. “My readings indicate that you have been under great stress. You need rest.”

“Thanks,” Zimmer said.

“What happened?” Burt inquired.

“The Velosian guards hit me with this thing that made me go into a seizure,” Zimmer said.

“According to Warden Tallot, Mr. Zimmer should be fine,” Kelsoe said.

“In my opinion, he needs to be taken to sickbay,” Braxis said. “The Velosian have never dealt with humans before. There may be an after effect.”

“Thanks really great to know,” Zimmer said in a low tone so that Braxis couldn't hear him. It failed, however.

Braxis raised his eyebrow.

“Mr. Zimmer,” Braxis said, “I would assume that you would like to get out of here?”

“Yes,” Zimmer said.

“Ah,” Braxis said and turned away.

“I know you're amused,” Zimmer said. “Even Vulcan's show some emotion.”

“Look,” Kelsoe said, stepping in-between Zimmer and Braxis. “We need to know what's going on at the Velos Embassy.”

“We've just come from there,” Braxis said.

“The Ambassador wants you be strapped to a Velosian version of a lie-detector,” Burt said. “He thinks that you're involved with these terrorist.”

“Is that all I have to do?” Kelsoe inquired.

“I think so,” Burt said. “They just need to know if you are useful or not.”

“What's so bad about that?” Kelsoe asked.

“I think...,” Burt tried to explain, “They'll be using some sort of device that could really hurt you, Captain. I don't want that to happen.”

“Don't worry,” Kelsoe said with a determined expression. “If I have to prove to them that I know nothing, then I'll just have to do that.”

“You've made a wise decision, Captain Kelsoe,” said Warden Tallot as he stood in the shadows of the dim lighted interrogation room.

Two guards stood in the room, looking at Kelsoe. Kelsoe was seated in a metallic chair. The two guards were in the process of trapping him in.

“Don't worry,” Tallot said. “This doesn't hurt...”

One guard lowered a bowl shaped object over Kelsoe's head.

“...It merely tells us whether you are telling us the truth or not.”

“So it's a lie detector machine?” Kelsoe inquired.

“You can say it that way,” Tallot said, rolling is hands in circles.

“The machine is hooked in, sir,” one of the guards said.

“Ah, good,” Tallot said, clapping his hands together. “Let's begin. If you please, turn it on.”

“Yes, sir.”

Kelsoe noticed out of the corner of his eye he saw someone dressed in a dark rob slip into the room.

And with a switch of a knob and a low hum, yellow light turned on the bowl shaped thing over Kelsoe's head.

“The color of the lights is key,” Tallot said. “When the lights turn red, you are lying, when the lights turn green...”

“Let me guess,” Kelsoe said. “I'm telling the truth.”

“Yes,” Tallot said. “Let's start with an easy question.”

“Okay,” Kelsoe said.

Tallot pulled up a metallic chair which, to Kelsoe, looked much more comfortable than the chair he was currently strapped in. Tallot slide down in the chair and stared over at Kelsoe in the darkness. The two guards positioned themselves on either side of Tallot.

“You're name is Kelsoe, right?” Tallot asked.


The lights turned green.

“What is the name of the ship that you command?”


Green light.

“Your first officer's first name?”


Green light.

“What's your mother's maiden name?”

“I don't know.”

Green light.


“What?” Kelsoe asked.

“You don't know you're mother's maiden name,” Tallot sounded surprised.

“I'm an orphan,” Kelsoe said.

The light turned green. Tallot was momentarily distracted, shook his head and then continued.

“Who is your superior?”

“Admiral John Hayes.”

Green light.

“Do you know anything about the Tealuians?”


“Answer that question!” Tallot snapped.


Green light.

“Do you know how to get into their caverns?”

This has nothing to do with the terrorist, Kelsoe thought.

“No,” Kelsoe said.

Red light.

“Ah, Captain,” Tallot said. “You've told us a fib. Tell us the truth, or you'll receive a shock. How to we get into the Tealuian's caverns?”

“You have to find the opening on the exterior first,” Kelsoe said.

Green light.

“Damn,” Tallot said softly. “Not good enough.”

“Do you know how to kill them?”

“Look?” Kelsoe said. “Why do you need to know this?”

“Shut up!” Tallot snapped. “Answer!”

“I will not answer until you tell me why you want me to answer that question,” Kelsoe said and the lights turned green.

“We have certain reasons, Captain,” Tallot said. “We've heard about your encounter with them, surely you can see what I mean.”

“They have some of your people?” Kelsoe asked.

“Yes,” Tallot said, he stopped for a moment. “Including my wife...”

“Sorry,” Kelsoe said, “I know how it is to loss a wife. You see my wife was..., assimilated by the Borg.”

Green light.

“The Borg!” Tallot said. “How awful! I sympathize with you, but I must know how to get my wife back.”

“You've made this personal, Tallot,” Kelsoe said.

“Of course I have!” Tallot said. “You are my only link to knowing how to save my wife.”

“He is right, you know,” said a cold voice from the shadows, and the figure in the hooded robe Kelsoe had seen slip into the room stepped out from the darkness.

“Ambassador?” Tallot said as he stood up, knocking over the chair he was sitting in.

Ambassador Koraan nodded.

“I've heard everything, Warden Tallot,” Koraan said. “I can see why you were so instant on telling us that the Federation was inline with the terrorist.”

“Ambassador...,” Tallot said. “They've taken my wife!”

“Guards, unlock Captain Kelsoe,” Koraan ordered.

The guards pushed passed Tallot and removed the straps from Kelsoe. Kelsoe stood up and straightened his uniform.

“Captain,” Ambassador Koraan said. “I'd like to apologize on the behalf of my government for Warden Tallot. He's been acting out of personal interest and not with the interests of the people of Velos.”

“I can understand some of his interest in the matter of losing his wife,” Kelsoe said.

“That does not excuse his actions,” Koraan said. “Guards, take Warden Tallot into custody.”

The guards grabbed Tallot and dragged him out of the room screaming.

“No!” Tallot screamed. “I must save my wife.”

Koraan stepped forward and Kelsoe could finally see his face, and the long white beard.

“You may go, Captain,” Koraan said. “Tallot will be dealt with. I recommend that you avoid Velos for a while. A least until Tallot has been quieted.”

“Thank you, Ambassador,” Kelsoe said.

Benjamin Kelsoe sat in his ready room making his daily log.

Captain's Log: We have successfully made a charter with the Velosians. Ambassador Koraan has been very kind to us. He has assured us that he will deal with Warden Belan Tallot. Somehow I don't think that I'll be able to forget those night in that cell, and the lost that both Tallot and I had to endure.

“End log,” Kelsoe said.

The door chimed sounded.

“Come in.”

The door hissed opened and Burt stepped in.

“How are you, Captain?” Burt inquired.

“Fine, Connor,” Kelsoe said.

Burt smiled and laughed.

“What's so funny?” Kelsoe inquired.

“You finally got bad luck,” Burt said laughing.