written by Travis Cannon

Captain Kelsoe sat on the bridge of the U.S.S. Pioneer feeling a little strange. After their last encounter, with a species known as the Veesem, Captain Kelsoe and the rest of the crew, minus Lieutenant Norman Craig and Ensign Tracy Carson, had been transported to an alternate dimension where one’s most deepest desires we given to them. Each person had a different world that they saw. Kelsoe’s was that his wife, Ann, was still alive. This experience opened old wounds for Kelsoe.

There was a sudden beep that jolted Kelsoe out of his trance. Kelsoe turned up and look toward Tracy, for the sound was coming from his station.

“Picking up a distress call,” Tracy said.

“On screen,” Kelsoe said.

The screen blinked at they saw the face of a Velosian.

“I am Nas Di, captain of the cargo ship Tachus,” said the Velosian. “We are under attack from an unknown lifeform and requesting assistance. Please help!” The transmission ended. Kelsoe looked at Tracy.

“That’s it,” Tracy said.

“Captain?” Burt said. “Velosians!”

“I know, Connor,” Kelsoe said standing up. “How old was that message?”

“Twelve hours old, sir,” Tracy said. “We were lucky to stumble upon it.”

“Luck!?” Burt said. “I doubt. Captain, I don’t trust those Velosians.”

Kelsoe ignored Burt and turned towards Craig.

“How far away is the ship?” Kelsoe inquired.

“At our present course and speed,” Craig said looking down at his console, “three hours away, sir.”

“Mr. Zimmer,” Kelsoe said turning towards the helm. “Set course for the Velosian ship.”

“Aye, Captain,” Zimmer said. “Plotting in course, continuing at warp five.”

Kelsoe turned to Braxis.

“Braxis, can you scan this ship for life signs from here?” Kelsoe inquired.

“I’d have to boost sensors a bit, but I believe I can,” Braxis said.

“Do it,” Kelsoe ordered.

Braxis nodded and turned to his console and began to work. Kelsoe turned to Tuff.

“Tuff, I want you to prepare a security team,” Kelsoe said. “We don’t know what or who these attackers are. Plus we are not on good relation with Velosians.”

“Yes, Captain,” Tuff said and left.

Kelsoe turned to Burt, who’s mouth was gapping open.

“Connor,” Kelsoe said. “Go down to sickbay and tell Chase to prepare for injured.”

“Yes, Captain,” Burt said clenching his teeth.

He did not like one bit of this. He will never trust Velosians, not after what they pulled. Burt went to the turbo-lift.

Braxis turned around from his station.

“I’m picking three faint Velosian lifesigns, and more than I can count of the attacking lifeforms,” Braxis reported.

Kelsoe nodded.

“Mr. Zimmer,” Kelsoe said. “Increase to maximum warp. Braxis, you have the bridge, I’ll be in my ready room.”

Kelsoe turned and went to his ready room.

“Captain, we’ve reached the Velosian cargo ship,” Zimmer announced over the comm.

Kelsoe came out onto the bridge. Braga stood next to Burt, who was siting in his chair. Tuff and Craig were standing behind their stations. Tracy stood next to Craig. Braxis was standing at his station, monitoring the Velosian ship.

“On screen,” he commanded as he walked down into the center of the bridge.

The view screen flashed to a picture of the Velosian cargo ship. It was dark, dim, and basically dead.

“I’m picking up one faint lifesign,” Craig said.

“Beam him aboard,” Kelsoe said. “Chase, you better get to sickbay.”

Braga nodded and headed towards the turbo-lift. Kelsoe turned to Commander Tuff.

“Commander,” Kelsoe said, “you and your team may go over. I want to know what happened.”

“Yes, sir,” Tuff said.

Tuff tapped his commbadge.

“Tuff to Lt. Commander Withrome,” Tuff said.

“Withrome, here,” said Joanna.

“Meet me in transporter room two,” Tuff said.

Tuff went to the turbo-lift. As the doors closed Kelsoe turned towards Craig.

“Are the sensor’s picking up another ship?” Kelsoe inquired.

“Negative, sir,” Craig said. “Whoever attack them is now gone.”

Kelsoe nodded and turned back to the view screen, which showed the lifeless Velosian ship.

Blue light illuminated the dark room as the away team transported onto the Velosian cargo ship. Tuff stood at the head of the team. Once transport was complete, Tuff took his phaser out of its holster. Ensign Rick Soto and Ensign Jeri Manon, also companied him. Lieutenant Commander Joanna Withrome, Lieutenant Harrison Gregg and Ensign Kavoc unbuckled their tricorders and began scanning.

“Soto, you’re with Gregg,” Tuff said. “Manon, you’re with Kavoc, and Joanna, you’re with me.”

“Got it,” Joanna said with a quick smile.

They split up and went in different directions. Tuff and Joanna walked down a dimly lit hallway. The lights kept flickering on and off. Tuff turned on his wriest flashlight and pointed it down the hall. He scanned the end of the hallway with his flashlight. Suddenly something scurried away once the light got close it to.

“Joanna?” Tuff inquired.

“It moved too quickly to get an accurate scan,” Joanna said.

They continued to walk down the dark hallway. Soon they reached the end and turned the corner. Tuff almost dropped his phaser at what he saw. On the floor in front of them were two, what appeared to be, dead Velosians. Joanna put her free hand over her mouth. Her eyes were wide with terror. There was a soft beep and they both jumped.

They calmed down when they realized that it was Tuff’s commbadge. Tuff tapped it.

“Tuff here,” Tuff said.

“Sir,” came Soto’s voice. “We’ve found three Velosians. They appear to be in some sort of sleep. They almost look dead.”

“We’ve found two,” Tuff said. “Continue, but extremely cautious.”

“Yes, Commander,” Soto said.

Tuff turned to Joanna, who had her tricorder out and was scanning the two Velosians.

“Well, they’re not dead,” Joanna said. “According to these readings, they’re halfway between life and death. They appear to have been injected with some sort of... ouch!”

“What?” Tuff said. “Are you okay?”

“Yeah,” Joanna said. “But I think something just bit me on...”

Her words tried off. Tuff watched in horror as her eyes rolled back into her head and she collapsed towards the ground. Tuff caught her before she completely fell. He tapped his badge.

“Tuff to Pioneer,” Tuff said. “Two to beam directly to sickbay.”

Blue light highlighted Tuff and Joanna as they were transported off of the Velosian transport.

Both Tuff and Joanna materialize in sickbay. A medical assistant helped Tuff place Joanna on one of the bio-beds. Tuff turned to Braga.

“Dr. Braga,” Tuff said. “Something bit her.”

“Bit her?” Braga said, stepping over.

He took out his medical tricorder and scanned it over Joanna. He frowned.

“Odd,” Braga said.

“What?” Tuff asked.

“She caught in a continual loop of life and death,” Braga said. “She’s not dead, but she’s not alive.”

“What?” Tuff said, very impatiently.

“She’s unconscious,” Braga said.

Kelsoe came marching into the sickbay, followed by Braxis.

“Report!?” Kelsoe said. “What the hell happened over there!?”

“She was bit by something, sir,” Tuff said. “I couldn’t see it but...”


They all turned and looked at the Velosian laying on the bio-bed. It was the captain of the cargo ship, Nas Di. Kelsoe walked up to the bio-bed and looked down at Nas Di.

“Do you know what bit her?” Kelsoe inquired.

“Yes,” said a trembling Nas Di. “It was the same thing that attack our ship.”

“That is impossible,” Braxis said. “The vessel that held your attackers are gone.”

“The Tealuians weren’t our attackers!” Nas Di said. “We were making an exchange of technology!”

“Please, calm down,” Braga said. “You’ve been under a lot of stress.”

Braga tied to push Nas Di back down, but he wouldn’t lie down.

“Please, rest!” Braga said.

“No!” Nas Di said. “I must tell you, before they infest your ship, too!”

“What happened after the Tealuians left?” Kelsoe inquired.

“You know how the Tealuians collect strange life?” Nas Di inquired

Kelsoe nodded.

“Well, whatever they had on their ship somehow escaped and attached itself to ours,” Nas Di said. “It began to multiply rapidly! There was no way to prevent it! It kept spreading!”

“What was this intruder?” Braxis inquired.

“A pest!” Nas Di snapped. “It was a pest that preys on humanoid blood. We call it a Kadii.”

“How about in English,” Tuff said.

“I guess the best translation would be...,” Nas Di thought. “Spider.”

“A spider?” Tuff said.

“Something like that,” Nas Di said. “It was the closest thing I could think of that Kadii translated into, I have not have enough time to study animal life on your planet, yet. Our two planet only came into contact last year.”

“I am amazed that you have been able to learn our language quite well in that time,” Braxis said.

Nas Di looked at Braxis with a shocked look.

“Don’t worry,” Kelsoe said. “From him, that’s a compliment.”

Nas Di looked at the other crew members.

“It is an easy language,” Nas Di said.

“That seems to be the case,” Kelsoe said, nodding.

Braga bunted in.

“Please, Captain you must stop,” Braga said. “This man has been under a great deal of stress, he needs to rest.”

“If those things get aboard,” Nas Di said softly as he allowed Braga to push him down, “Now of us will be able to rest.”

Kelsoe and his group walked away from the bio-bed and over to Joanna.

“Well, Chase?” Kelsoe inquired. “What do you think?”

“I’ve had time to analyze one of the dead bodies,” Braga said. “And the bite is similar to that on the other people. Don’t worry, she’s alive, but unconscious. We need to find whatever bit her. If I knew the substance that the fangs send into the body I could come up with a vaccination quicker.”

“Well work on it,” Kelsoe said, and turned to headed out of the room followed by Braxis and Tuff.

Kelsoe, Braxis and Tuff walked single file down the hallway, towards the turbo-left. Ensign Soto came jugging up from behind Captain Kelsoe, and continued forward at Kelsoe’s pace.

“Report,” Kelsoe said.

“All members of the away team made it back safely,” Soto reported.

“Did anyone see anything that look remotely like a spider?” Kelsoe asked.

“No, sir,” Soto said. “Why?”

They reached the turbo-lift.

“Bridge,” Kelsoe said.

The doors closed with a hiss and the turbo-lift hummed.

“According to the captain of the cargo ship the attackers were a spider like creature that apparently came over while they were trading with the Tealuians,” Braxis explained.

The doors hissed opened and they all walked out onto the bridge.

“Report,” Kelsoe demanded.

“Lt. Gregg is filling in for Joanna down in engineering,” Burt said. “He’s been reporting some power failures. He’s sent a team to investigate.”

Ensign Kavoc shifted his body as he crawled through the dimly lit Jefferies tubes. Behind him was Crewman Second-Class Phillips. Phillips was really nervous.

“Kavoc,” Phillips said in a shaky voice. “Are you sure I have to come?”

“Lt. Gregg assigned both you and me to investigate the plasma packs in sector five,” Kavoc said.

Phillips’ looked down the Jefferies tubes. In the distance was a dim blue light coming from the plasma pack. In a few seconds the reached that station room and we able to stand up and stretch their legs. Kavoc took his tricorder out and scanned the console that held the plasma pack.

“Curious,” Kavoc said.

Phillips was looking down the other Jefferies tube. It looked like a dark tunnel with to end in sight. He turned back to look at the console.

“What’s curious?” Phillips asked.

“There appears to be nothing wrong with his plasma pack,” Kavoc said.

He tapped his commbadge.

“Kavoc to Lt. Gregg,” Kavoc said.

“Gregg here,” came Gregg’s voice.

“Sir, their appears to be nothing wrong with this plasma pack,” Kavoc reported, and then glanced at Phillips. “However crewman Phillips as the shakes.”

Suddenly Phillips yelped out in pain, jumping into the air and almost knocking Kavoc over.

“What happened!?” Gregg’s voice said via the comm.

Kavoc steadied himself and looked down at Phillips. Kavoc watched as Phillips face became pale anc cold.

“I appears that he has been bitten,” Kavoc said. “But by what?” Kavoc raised his eyebrow in curiosity. “One moment.”

His ears perked up when he heard a faint clawing in the corner of the station room. He slowly reached down to his belt and unholstered the phaser strapped there. Kavoc slowly turned, using his ears to direct his phaser. Pointing straight into pure blackness Kavoc fired. The red light generated by the phaser blast illuminated a small creature in the corner of the room. The phaser beam hit the creature right on his back, well what look like its back. Kavoc holstered his phaser and turned his wriest light on. He positioned it above the creature and looked down at it.

His eyes narrowed and thoughts were bubbling in his mind. From what he had been told by Commander Burt - Kavoc quickly tapped his commbadge.

“Kavoc to the bridge,” Kavoc said.

“Captain Kelsoe here, go ahead Ensign,” Kelsoe said.

“Sir, I believe that the creatures have infested Pioneer,” Kavoc said.

Braga carefully placed the dead specimen on the bio-bed. He looked up at Captain Kelsoe and Burt. Burt was nervously looking down at it.

“Is it dead?” Burt inquired.

“No,” Braga said. “Ensign Kavoc merely stunned it.”

“I suggest we erect a force field are the specimen,” Braxis advised.

“Make it so,” Kelsoe nodded.

Braxis stepped over to the station in front of the bio-bed and waited for Braga to clear the area before erecting the force field. Braga stood next to Braxis at the station and activated the medical bio-bed’s new scanning feature that was just installed. A holographic duplicate of the spider-like creature appeared above the bio-bed. Braga squinted at the hologram.

“Enlarge,” Braga commanded.

There was an electronic hum and the hologram increased in size, where now the frisbee size creature was two times bigger.

“Rotate ninety degrees,” Braga said.

The computer replied with a quick beep, beep and the image of the large spider rotated.

“Well?” Kelsoe inquired, watching.

“Beginning scan, Captain,” Braga said, punching in the command.

Yellow light highlight around the holographic image, and the creatures skin dissolved away. The holographic image now showed the muscles of the spider creature. The image continued to dissolve until the creatures internal organs were showing.

“Freeze,” Braga said.

The computer complied.

“Magnify venom sack,” Braga commanded.

A beep, and the image of the a reddish bulge was removed from the spider and placed in the foreground. Braga typed some commands in on the station console and the sack was scanned. A blue holographic glow told the viewers that it was scanning.

“Scan complete,” chirped the computer.

“What’s the word?” Kelsoe asked.

Braga looked up from the console screen.

“It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen,” Braga admitted. “It will take sometime for me come up with a serum that can prevent its zombie bite.”

Suddenly the holographic image turned red and dissolved away. They looked down at the bio-bed. The spider had disappeared. The was a long buzz and blue light lit up the space were the force field had been erected. They looked down and saw the five feet high spider bouncing against the force field. The spider backed up from the force field and spread its both open. A row of razor sharp teeth could be seen. It rammed the force field and - it made it pass!

Braxis hit his commbadge.

“Security team to sickbay,” Braxis said.

“Connor, duck!” Kelsoe said.

Burt turned and saw the spider preparing to pounce. It leaped into the air and Burt jumped for safety. Kelsoe turned to dodge the spider when he tripped and fell.

“Captain!” Braxis said as the spider bit into Kelsoe’s leg.

Kelsoe let out a faint cry and then fell silent. Kelsoe’s face slowly dissolved into a pale death color. Braxis took his phaser out quickly and fired at full power. There was a blast of brilliant red light and a high tortured scream. When the light subsided the spider had been vaporized.

“No!” Braga said.

“I am sorry, Doctor,” Braxis said, holstering the phaser, “However it was the only logical course of action.”

“Good work, Braxis,” Burt said standing up. “Now lets...”

The red alert lights flashed and screams were heard from outside the sickbay. Both Burt and Braxis jumped on their toes to the sickbay doors. In the hallway crew members were running away from more than a dozen spiders. Burt ran out into the all way and fumbled to get his phaser out, but it was too late. One spider bite his shoe, and the razors fangs touched Burt’s skin. Burt fell instantly. Braxis fired his phaser and the spider vaporized. He tapped his commbadge.

“This is Commander Braxis to everyone onboard,” Braxis said. “Set you’re phasers to vaporize, we have been infested by the spiders.”

Braxis turned and looked down the hall to see the crewmen that had run by falling to their knees and collapsing onto the floor unconscious. Braxis ran down the hallways, avoid the spiders at all cost. And whenever he could, he vaporized a few. As Braxis dashed towards the turbo-lift, he tapped his commbadge.

“All senior officers still conscious report to the bridge,” Braxis said.

He reached the turbo-lift doors, which opened when he reached them. Upon their opening Braxis saw two unconscious crewmen in the turbo-lift and two spiders “feeding” on them. Braxis vaporized both spiders and stepped into the turbo-lift. As the doors began to close a spider pounced through the air, but was cut in half by the doors closing.

“Bridge,” Braxis commanded.

The computer acknowledged with a chirping sound. After a couple of seconds the turbo-lift stopped, however the doors did not open. Braxis tried the manual release but it did not work. He shook his head. His nostrils scrunched up. He smelled something that was not pleasant. Sudden he discovered what it was. The turbo-lift door began to melt away and fizz. The spiders must have a gland in their mouths that produces sulfuric acid. Braxis prepared his phaser. When the hole reach a large enough size, a spider’s crawly leg appear. Braxis fired. However since the whole of the spider was not hit, it only lost a lime, which to a spider was not much.

It crawled in almost unaware of it missing one appendage. This time Braxis made sure he hit the center of the spider, vaporizing it. Braxis tried the manual override again, but it was useless. Braxis heard the rustling of the spiders on the other side. They must have already overwhelmed the bridge. Braxis gave the turbo-lift doors a cursory glance and saw two new acid bubbles forming. Through one came a spider’s “head”. Braxis fired the phaser and the spider exploded. Braxis looked down at the phaser’s commands. It has gone down to intermediate setting. Braxis examined the phaser more closely.

He did the only thing a Vulcan could do, logically conclude what had happened. Firing the phaser several times on maximum setting had depleted it’s central power. He must wait a couple seconds until the phaser was at full capability. But that did not change the fact that the spiders were still coming. Braxis aimed the phaser at the third hole appearing on the turbo-lift door and waited for the spider to come, hoping that the phaser would have enough power to kill the spider with one shot. However there was a torture screaming with high screeching sound.

The turbo-lift doors opened slowly and Braxis was relived, if he showed emotion, to see Tuff on the other side. Tuff’s face was grave.

“I’m the only one left on the bridge,” Tuff said. “Those damn spiders penetrated the force fields.”

“I know,” Braxis said as he walked out onto the bridge and surveyed that damage.

The entire bridge crew had been bitten. All lay on the floor with pale and dead faces. Braxis walked over to the tactical station, and had to move the unconscious Craig out of the way.

“We must find the Tealuians who had these creatures,” Braxis said. “Perhaps they may know a way of stopping them.”

Tuff nodded.

“Good plan,” Tuff said. “Where’s the Captain?”

Braxis did not paused in his work.

“The Captain has been bitten by one of the spiders,” Braxis said. “I have located the Tealuians vessel. It is baring three mark two.”

Tuff nodded and jogged down to the helm control station.

“Setting course,” Tuff said.

A spider crawled out from underneath the helm station. Tuff looked down just in time to see it almost bite him. Tuff jumped up and fired his phaser. The spider vaporized in a blast of red light. Tuff looked back up at Braxis.

“We’ve got to increase speed,” Tuff said.

He tapped his commbadge.

“Tuff to Gregg.”

No reply.

“It would appear that the spiders have gotten to engineering,” Braxis said. “If I am correct, that is were the first person was attacked by a spider.”

Tuff nodded. He looked down at a console on the helm station.

“According to sensors, we won’t reach the Tealuians until six hours,” Tuff said.

Braxis shook his head.

“That is not enough time,” Braxis said. “We must find a way to get down to engineering to boast warp power.”

Tuff stood up and start to walk over to the turbo-lift.

“The turbo-lift is down, Commander,” Braxis said. “We must use the Jefferies tubes.”

Tuff nodded. He hated the Jefferies tubes, but it was the only way to get down to engineering. They walked over to the Jefferies tube hatch and Tuff pressed the command console that opened the door. The door hissed open and Tuff looked in to see the dim tube that he’d have to crawl through.

Tuff was in the lead as they crawled to through the inures of the Jefferies tubes. From behind him, he could hear Braxis speaking.

“The main Jefferies tubes hub should just be beyond that hatch,” Braxis said.

They slowed as they reached the hatch. Tuff reach up to press the opening console when the hatch began to bubble. Tuff’s immediate reaction was to just back but he could not. The bubble began to hiss.

“What is it, Commander?” Braxis inquired.

“The spiders are already in the central hub,” Tuff said.

“Then I recommend we set our phasers for vaporize,” Braxis said.

Tuff nodded. He reached down to his belt and unbuckled his phaser. He brought it up and set it to maximum. He looked up in time to see the spider’s “head” emerging from the whole the bubble created. Tuff fired at the spider just as it opened its mouth. The spider vaporized from the inside out. After the remains of the spider were gone, Tuff leaned forward and peeked down into the Jefferies tube central hub. He as a lot of spider in there. He looked over his shoulder at Braxis.

“We’re going to need something more than just a phaser,” Tuff said.

“Move over and we can fire both our phasers on wide spread,” Braxis said. “That should cover the entire interior of the central hub.”

“All right,” Tuff said. “This had better work.”

Tuff moved over to the right the best he could so that Braxis could come up alongside him.

“Set phasers are wide spread,” Braxis repeated. “Are you ready, Commander?”

“As ready as I’ll ever be,” Tuff said gripping his phaser. “Fire!”

They both fired and phaser beam shot out, covering the entire central hub. A vast supply of spider bodies vaporized, giving off and extremely bright red light that filled the entire room. When the light subsided Tuff and Braxis were able to climb down the ladder to the floor of the central hub. From here they will be able to take a Jefferies tube straight to engineering. Braxis and Tuff looked at all the labels above the tubes’ hatches.

“Here,” Braxis said. “Jefferies tube A-5. This one lead directly to engineering.”

“Let’s hope we don’t bump into any more spiders,” Tuff said.

Of course he should not have said that. Less than half way to engineering they encountered more than six spiders. As the climbed down each deck, and got closer to engineering, Braxis noted that the concentration of spiders had become larger.

“No..., really?” Tuff said sarcastically.

“The less intelligent feel it necessary to use sarcastic remarks,” Braxis said.

“The Captain uses them too, are you calling him stupid?” Tuff asked.

“I was merely stating the most commonly held belief of the Vulcan people,” Braxis said.

They stopped next to a hatch.

“Beyond this hatchway should be engineering,” Braxis said.

Tuff reached up and pressed the command console to open the hatch. The hatch hissed open and they climbed out onto the upper deck of engineering. Something did not seem quite right, though. The light from the warp core was not beam illuminated throughout the room. Soon they discovered way. As they looked down at the warp core they saw that the spider creatures were attached to it. Tuff raised his phaser to fire.

“No,” Braxis said calmly stopping Tuff’s arm. “You might risk the chance of hitting the warp core.”

Tuff hesitated, but lowered his phaser.

“They don’t appear to notice our presence,” Tuff said as they climbed down a ladder to the main floor of engineering.

“Perhaps the warp core produces the amount of energy they require for relaxation,” Braxis hypothesized.

They walked over the warp core control station, and had to lay Lt. Harrison Gregg down onto the floor. Braxis began typing on the console.

“I am increasing engine power,” Braxis said. “Accessing helm control, increasing speed from warp five to warp nine.”

“Good,” Tuff said. “That should even the odds.”

“The odds of surviving this are well in favor of the spider creatures,” Braxis said. “According to sensors they control more than half of the ship.”

“What’s keeping them going?” Tuff said.

“I’m afraid I do not know,” Braxis said. “However I believe that we should try to subdue one of these creatures and take it back to sickbay so Dr. Braga can come up with an injection to render the spider’s venom useless.”

“Venom?!” Tuff said.

“It is how they subdue us,” Braxis said. “Then eventually drain us of our life fluid.”

“You mean blood?” Tuff asked.

“Yes, our blood,” Braxis said. “If this console is not malfunctioning, it appears that the ships emergency internal energizers are still functional. Subdue a spider, and then we can transport to sickbay. Hopefully Dr. Braga has been successful in thwarting the spiders’ incapacitating bite.”

“Yes, that would be nice,” Tuff said sarcastically. He turned and saw a spider on the floor.

He took his phaser, set it to stun and fired. The spider fell down unconscious. Tuff picked it up.

“It’s cold,” Tuff said.

“I believe it is a space dwelling life form,” Braxis said. “I do not believe that it needs oxygen to survive. I’m beginning the emergency transport to sickbay.”

Blue light highlighted them and the incapacitated spider as they transported out of engineering.

The pale blue light illuminated sickbay for a few second and Braxis, Tuff and the spider materialized. Tuff took the spider to a bio-bed and snapped off its multiple legs.

“How’s that for incapacitating?” Tuff asked.

“Crude, but effective,” Braxis said, as he turned to enter the doctor’s office. But before he could enter the door hissed open and Dr. Braga came out with a phaser raised. He quickly lowered it when he saw it was Braxis.

“You made it to the bridge?” Braga inquired.

“Yes,” Braxis said. “We must hurry.”

Braxis ushered Braga over to the bio-bed. Braga looked down and saw that the spider’s limbs had been ripped off.

“No doubt this was the work of you, Commander Tuff,” Braga said.

Tuff nodded. “I had to find a way to keep the damn them from running off the bio-bed when it wakes up,” Tuff said.

“It was the logical thing to do,” Braxis chimed in.

Braga smiled.

“While I’ve locked myself in my office,” Braga said. “I’ve devised a way to prevent the spiders from spreading.”

Braga walked over to a station console and pressed a button. A silent humming noise engulfed the entire ship.

“What just happened?” Tuff inquired.

“I’ve set the force fields on modulating frequencies,” Braga said. “While in my office it was able to keep the spiders from getting to me. I had enough, well a lot of time, to locate everybody on the ship that as been incapacitated by the spider bites and have erected force field around them to protect them from the spiders’ blood sucking.”

“It is a good plan, doctor,” Braxis said. “However you did not consider that some people may have the spiders’ attached to them.”

“But watch this,” Braga said as he went back into his officer and brought out a container.

Instead of glass it was a force field container. Braga stepped out into the hallway and shot a spider that was scurrying by, and placed it in the force field container.

“Now watch,” Braga said. “I erect the force field and watch the spider.”

Braga activated the container’s force fields. The spider woke up from being stun and immediately rushed the force field and stayed rubbed up against it. Braxis’ eyebrow rose.

“It appears my theory on the spiders being attracted to energy that give off heat was correct,” Braxis said to Tuff.

Tuff nodded.

“Okay,” Tuff said. “So our people are safe. Now our about an serum.”

“I’ve had time to work on that too,” Braga said. “The acid released by the spider’s to melt through walls can be added or mixed, very carefully, with the spider’s own blood and venom. What this does it create an antibody to the venom of the spider.”

“Is there anyway to release it in a gaseous state?” Braxis said. “There are to many people onboard to do a person by person injection of the serum.”

“It is possible, plus I believe that may kill all the spiders,” Braga said.

“Good!” Tuff said. “Let’s get started.”

Braxis and Tuff worked, beside Dr. Braga as he concocted the serum. Using the replicator they were able to create a large enough amount of the serum to create a gas take would engulf the entire ship.

Presently Braga had just finished putting the commands into the medical station. He looked up at Tuff and Braxis.

“Ready?” he inquired.

They nodded.

“All right,” Braga said. “Computer, release gas-five-one-two into the ship’s atmosphere.”

Within minutes they were surrounded by a purplish haze of gas. Tuff covered his noise.

“It smells bad,” Tuff said.

“It may smell bad, Commander,” Braxis said. “However this gas is curing the crew and destroying the spider creatures.”

Braga stood at the console.

“It’s complete,” Braga said. “According to ship sensors, all the spiders are dead and the crew should have had enough dose of the gas to be cured.”

“Good,” Tuff said. “Now can you clear the ship of this gas.”

Two hours later, a very grateful and angry Captain Kelsoe stood on the bridge with the Velosian cargo ship captain, Nas Di, with the Tealuian battle cruiser Limenitis on the view screen. Kelsoe rubbed is next.

“Hail them,” Kelsoe said.

Tracy hesitated, worried that the Tealuian who answered would be Xojo, the Tealuian who communicated with Tracy when she had been trapped on the caverns of the Tealuians home world.

“Tracy?” Kelsoe said.

“Sorry, Captain,” Tracy said, and pressed the appropriate commands.

The screen flashed to the bridge of the Tealuian ship.

“I am Banbo, commanding officer of the Limenitis,” Banbo said. “If I am correct our governments agreed that we would stay away from each other.”

“Well, I’m sorry,” Kelsoe said, “But my friend, here,” Kelsoe pointed to Nas Di, “and myself have some words for you.”

“You lied to me when we traded cargo,” Nas Di broke in. “You did not say that you had placed deadly animal within the boxes.”

Banbo sighed.

“This is a set back,” Banbo said.

“Excuse me?” Kelsoe said. “A set back for what?”

The Velosians narrowed his eyes.

“The Tealuians want Velos,” Nas Di said.

Banbo nodded.

“I had hoped that you would have left the Kadii dormant until you had reached your home world,” Banbo said. “Then the planet would have been ripe for the pickings. Many new species for us.”

“You disgust me,” Nas Di said.

Burt stood up and held Nas Di back.

“Calm down,” Burt said. “Let the Captain deal with this.”

Nas Di hesitated but agreed. He stepped aside, and stood next to Braxis in front of the science station. Kelsoe turned to face Banbo.

“I am afraid that I’ll have to report this to my government,” Kelsoe said.

“As will I,” Banbo said.

“Look, you must understand, I do not wish hostilities between our people,” Kelsoe said.

“I’m afraid that is out of your hands now, Captain,” Banbo said and terminated the transmission.

Kelsoe turned to Tracy.

“Contact Starfleet Command,” Kelsoe said and turned to Nas Di. “Don’t worry, Captain Nas Di, the Tealuians will pay for this.”

And with that Kelsoe went into his ready room to inform Admiral Anton about the infestation and the result of the conversation with the Tealuian vessel.