EPISODE 5.47 - “The Boolran Eye” - Part Two
written by Travis Cannon
Captain Benjamin Kelsoe stood in the waiting area next to the terminal aboard the Deep Space Five docking port. The U.S.S. Crazy House had just docked and crew were just about to disembark. Along side Kelsoe was his first officer, Commander Robert Tuff. In addition to Tuff, both Admiral Kawamura and Admiral Truman were there. They were huddled next to the bay window showing the interior of the docking bay chatting with Commander Peter Bradford. Bradford glanced over at them for a second and then continued his conversation with the Admirals.
“He's sure chatting it up with the brass.”
Kelsoe narrowed his eyes, glaring over at Bradford.
“Let him,” he said, confidently. “He has nothing that can help them.” He paused. “We know Calok better than he ever will.”
Tuff nodded. “I'd drink to that if we weren't on duty, sir.”
“I hear you,” Kelsoe agreed, stretching his stiff neck. He yawned.
The disembarkation ramp doors opened with a hiss and the crew of the Crazy House began to pour out. After the main body of the crew came the people they were waiting for.
Captain Patrick Savoy, along with his tactical officer Lt. Commander Bronson Thames. Savoy's bald cranium singled him out in an instant. His Bijani tactical officer was accompanied by a strange hairless alien. The alien was as bald as Captain Savoy, but their appeared to be now evidence that he had ever had hair. His eyes were deep blue, with no eyebrows (again, no evidence he ever had any). The alien had not ears, in their place were simple ear holes. The other striking feature was the lack of any lips. Though his mouth was closed, his teeth were visible. He had big yellow sickly looking teeth, some looked beyond medical repair. As he approved, Kelsoe could seem his breath. It smelt of decay.
“Captain Kelsoe,” Savoy said, they shook hands. “It's been a long time.”
“That it has,” Kelsoe replied. “I see you've made a new friend.”
“Indeed,” Savoy said, glancing over at the alien. “This is Brue,” he introduced the pale skinned alien. “He claims to be a special envoy of a race known as the Boolran.”
“Hello,” Kelsoe extended his hand.
Brue reached out and gripped his hand, and shook it vigoriously.
“Still strange this custom of your people,” he barked, his word flowing out of his mouth as drool oozing out its sides. After greeting Tuff and shaking hands, he took a grimy cloth out of his breast pocket and wiped his mouth.
Kelsoe and Tuff exchanged looks.
“Pardoned,” the Boolran spoke with glee. “You're language was a hard one to learn...”
Tuff gave a quizzical looked to Bronson Thames. The Bijani shrugged.
“The universal translator would not translate his native language,” Thames said.
“I've never heard anything like it,” added Savoy.
By this time, the Admirals and Commander Bradford had joined them. Again introductions were made, after which Brue spoke, slobbering all over his chin.
“I presume you wish to know why we have suddenly revealed ourselves to you at this time?” chirped their new friend. “The Boolran have kept silent for many years, but the galaxy is at a crossroad... deciding which path to take is going to be difficult. That is why we have sought you out, Federation. You stand for all that the old order, before these dark times, stood for. You are the new Alliance!”
Chancellor Ar'kon stood in his dusty office. Sitting on the plush cushioned chair against the wall was First Legate Hasz'fos of the So'jan Senate. Hasz'fos was nothing but a puppet to Ar'kon. Frankly he hated the man, but he need to him to make everything he did legal. He was indeed going to become the next king of the So'jan people he need legitimacy. And, as of right now, Hasz'fos, despite being an incompetent slug worm, was exactly that, legitimacy.
Ar'kon growled. “What news from the Senate, Hasz'fos?” he sneered at his companion.
Hasz'fos flicked his blue tongue between his teeth and grinned. “All is well on my front,” the political pig primmed. “How is everything doing with you, Chancellor? How's your front?” The fat slob chuckled gleefully.
Ar'kon's brow furrowed. The First Legate's sloven attitude was sickening to see. Hasz'fos was supposed to be the leader of the Senate of the So'jan People. Instead he looked like a hapless drunk sprawled out on a street corner. Ar'kon hissed and flicked his tongue in disgust.
In response Hasz'fos clicked his tongue annoyingly.
“Stop!” roared Ar'kon, beyond his limit.
“What,” grinned the sloth. “Is that bothering you, Chancellor?”
Ar'kon was about to erupt on a tirade when the door opened and in strode Supreme Admiral Da'note in his splendid military uniform, his white sash decorated with an array medals.
“Chancellor,” he nodded reverently.
Ar'kon straighten his back and smiled, approvingly.
“See, Hasz'fos,” he said. “Admiral Da'note knows how to respect my office. You should learn from his example.”
Hasz'fos puffed, like a drunk gasping for air. “Only because he has a vested interesting in keeping you in power... sir.”
Ar'kon glared over at Hasz'fos and then returned his attention to the Supreme Admiral. “So what brings you hear, Da'note?” Ar'kon asked, ignoring a revolting belch from Hasz'fos, the man was indeed drunk.
Da'note was holding a scroll in his hands. He gripped it tight and snarled.
“This scroll contains the record of all the data that Calok requested of the Breen,” Da'note explained. “One of the data containers mentioned on the list seems to involve artifact known as the Eye.”
“The Eye?” queried Ar'kon.
“Yes!” Da'note said. “Don't you see! The La'Joki!”
Ar'kon nodded, attempting to look sagely. “I see, Supreme Admiral.” He scratched his chin with his clawed finger and thought. He looked up. “Then it would appear that Tyson Calok has deceived us for the last time, Supreme Admiral.”
Da'note shook his head. “You are premature, Chancellor.” He paused, deep in thought. “It may be true that Calok is seeking the La'Joki, or knowledge of it.” Da'note suddenly smiled. “Then that is what it is!”
“His agenda, sir,” Da'note explained. “For months we have pondered, hypothesized, speculated what his agenda has been. We have known since the beginning that Calok had his own agenda. The dur'jak is seeking the power of the ancient gods, the ones who used to watch over us long ago, before the Oppressors came.”
The Chancellor narrowed his eyes. “If I remember my theology classes from my time in university,” Ar'kon replied. “We shunned them and they left, allowing the Oppressors to come.” He paused. “It was because of our own arrogance that the ancient gods punished us with the Oppressors.”
“Yes! But then came Ba'gee with his infinite wisdom and kindness,” Da'note exclaimed, clutching the scroll in his scaly fingers. “Ba'gee brought with him a device that cleansed our people back in the time of old. We were cleansed and purified.”
“Ah, I see,” Ar'kon said, arching a leathery brow. “Now we make the universe pure by cleansing it of all which is not.”
“If that is your will, Chancellor,” Da'note said.
“At what if it is?” challenged the Chancellor.
“I am here to serve,” Da'note answered. “I serve the Chancellor of the true So'jan People.”
Ar'kon grinned wickedly. “Yes. I am the body and soul of our people, and I have allowed an outsider, a sinner and heretic, to influence and manipulate me into making decisions. He treats me like ick'ta. It is I who should rule.”
Da'note smiled. This was the reaction he wanted. Ar'kon was a daft old fool, who was easy to manipulate. Allowing him to think he had realized Calok's plans, now gave Da'note the leverage he needed, and wanted. He gave Ar'kon some time to bask in his “success,” before speaking.
“The Breen are demanding more concessions,” he lied.
“What!” Ar'kon ragged. “How dare those dur'jak'n demand anything from us! We are not their servants!” Ar'kon suddenly paused, a worried look came across his face. In the plush cushioned chair, Hasz'fos laughed at his indecision. “Supreme Admiral Da'note...,” he pleaded. “What should we do?”
Da'note grinned, exactly what he wanted.
“I'll tell you what the So'jan need, Chancellor,” he said deliberately softly, forcing the Chancellor to strain his ears to hear. “We need to recruit our own allies, ones who won't be in Calok's pocket.”
Ar'kon nodded with a grinned. “Yes, yes, I like this plan.” He hesitated, then continued. “Who shall we approach?”
“I have just the right one in mind,” Da'note's smile widen from ear to ear. It was a disturbing image that only Hasz'fos noticed, for immediately after Da'note had left the room to make preparations, he perked up and pleaded with the Chancellor to reconsider and insisting that this was not the will of the Senate.
Ar'kon merely stood there in his royal yellow robe ignoring the prostrations of First Legate Hasz'fos of the So'jan Senate.
The alien wiped the drool of his chin and spoke again.
“We are the Boolran,” he said.
“Yes, you've told us that already,” Truman said.
Admiral Truman and Admiral Kawamura sat at the head of the oval shaped table in the conference room aboard Deep Space 5. Captain Kelsoe and Commander Tuff sat on the right elongated side, while Commander Bradford and Ensign Qupec, Kawamura's Vulcan assistant sat on the left. Brue, the pale alien, stood the foot of table.
“Ah yes, my apologies,” Brue said, saliva dripping down onto the table. “We of Boolrillia do not usually speak alien tongues. When we speak in our own language... uh, or do you say... so much easier. And,” he chuckled. “Not as much drool!” He wiped his mouth, again.
“Can't the universal translator work?” Kawamura inquired of his assistant.
“Negative, sir,” Qupec responded. “The language his too different from any we have encountered.”
“Our language would sound like clicks and whistles to your ears,” drooled Brue. “I could communicate telepathically, if you like.”
“Excuse me?” it was Bradford who spoke.
“I would not be reading your minds, if that's what you are afraid of,” Brue explained, wiping. “I merely project my words to all minds in present sight. It is our we usually communicate on my world. But when we must, we use our tongues.”
“Indeed,” Qupec raised an eyebrow.
Truman and Kawamura conferred. Then Kawamura leaned forward.
“I'll allow it,” he said.
Brue smiled, which for a Boolran seemed to be what they did all the time. He took his cloth and produced metallic grip from his pockets. He connected the edges of the wiping cloth to the grip and secured it over his mouth. His glacier blue eyes gleamed with delight.
Your decision will make this conversation less messy, all in the room felt as if these words had been spoken aloud. Brue moved as if was speaking, his eyes narrowing and widening with each word as he had done when he spoke with his voice.
“Right,” Truman said, leaning forward. “What is it you want? Why have your ship's been scanning ours? What is all this about?”
You have many questions, Brue projected. I have many answers. First, let me say this. We now about what is going on beyond our borders. We know of the So'jan's expansion and wars. We know of their acquisition of Oppressor technology, which was given to them by the ones that came before and still are.
Kelsoe shifted uneasily. “Are the First Ones still here?”
Some of them, Brue responded.
Kelsoe opened his mouth, but before he could speak, Brue continued.
You are about to ask where is the here which I responded to, Brue explained. There are some who have returned in forms we would recognize.
“Like Helios?” Tuff inquired.
Brue's eyes sparkled. Yes, like Helios, Brue replied. However, at the moment only his servants have returned. It is rumored, though, that he will return... but at what time, we know not. Nor do we care.
“Care?” Kawamura was surprised. He looked toward Tuff. “I thought you told me that this servant...”
“Pyrois, sir,” Tuff filled in.
“Didn't this Pyrois say that Helios was a benevolent.. god?” Kawamura asked.
“In the short of it, yes,” Tuff said, turning his gaze to Brue.
“Explain,” Truman demanded of Brue.
Helios is not our god, Brue responded. The Boolran worship he who is greatest of all the gods, Marduk, bringer of the heavens and world!
Bradford groaned. “Come on,” Bradford spoke up. “Do we really care about some supposed gods!?”
Everyone remained silent.
“I for one want to hear this aliens reasons for his people scanning and downloading Federation database aboard Starfleet ships,” Bradford said. “Does anyone disagree.”
There was silence. Brue looked as if he had been offended. Truman shifted and glanced at Kawamura.
“Continue, Commander,” Truman said to Bradford.
Bradford grinned. He reeled in his chair on Brue.
“I'll ask the question everyone was asking before you tried to divert the questioning,” Bradford said. “What do you want?”
Very well, Brue's telepathically projected voice sounded defeated. The Federation has something in their possession which is rightfully the property of the Boolran Order.
“Oh really?” Bradford asked sardonically. “And what is that?”
The Eye, Brue stated. The Eye was forged under the founder of our species, Boolgith. It was stolen by Gelgith and taken to Andres Rae to hide under the protection of Andresia. We heard rumors that some artifact was discovered though our contact with Alkanden merchants. They told us that a race of fleshy bipeds had unearthed an ancient artifact which the officials in their government then classified. I have been sent as my government to request the return of that artifact.
Every Starfleet officer exchanged glances. Truman then glared across the table at Brue.
“I'm afraid that's impossible,” Truman said.
You must return it to us, it is ours! Brue demanded.
Truman and Kawamura stood up.
“This meeting is over,” Truman said, he looked towards the security personnel standing behind Brue. “Take him to the brig.”
Brue let out a mental scream. Everyone in the room dropped to their knees, clutching their heads with in-between their hands. Brue continued his mental scream, keeping everyone on the floor. He leaned over one of the security guards and removed his phaser. Brue looked down at the phaser and punched the command buttons on it rapidly. He then raised it and fired.
A red beam shot out and dispersed throughout the room knocking everyone out. And with that done, Brue ended his mental scream and dashed out of the room.
Tyson Calok's leg tensed up as he maneuvered his vessel through the Venka Nebula. Beside him, in the co-pilot chair, was the Romulan L'mar, who express was that of a man worried for his life.
“Tyson, do you need to go so fast?” L'mar inquired.
Calok grinned the wide grin of a madman.
“If we are to reach our destination before the others... then yes! Fast we shall go!” was his response.
“But the unstable energy particles,” protested L'mar, his brow sweating.
“Irrelevant, my friend,” Calok replied passively.
Calok abruptly altered his heading and a cloud of vaporous gases ignited causing a mini-shockwave which they then surfed. L'mar cringed and gripped the arms of his chair.
“Is it necessary to pilot so recklessly?” L'mar questioned.
“You're spoiling my fun, L'mar,” Calok said. “Please do calm yourself. Everything is quite perfectly safe.”
L'mar inclined his head, but did not believe it.
“What about your meeting with Dr. Eyota?” he asked.
Tyson Calok's eye flickered for a moment, the red glow increased.
“Do not worry, friend,” Calok said calmly. “Our friend Xojo will handle that.”
Brue dashed out of the door and down the hallway. His mouth was drooling like crazy with all the excitement. He turned a corner, thinking that he would make his escape from this station and locate the Eye. Instead he was meet with the stolid gaze of Lieutenant Gervasio Valdez.
“Drop the phaser!” Valdez demanded.
“No!” he barked, saliva gushed all over the place.
“Then you leave me with no choice,” Valdez said, raising his phaser.
Brue let out his mental scream. Valdez stumbled backwards, losing his balance. Brue grinned, believing he had won. As a result he let go of some of the focus it took to generate the mental scream. Valdez was able to regain control and without hesitation fired at Brue. The alien was caught off again, stroking his ego at his brilliance in combat had dulled his senses. Brue cringed and jerked, surprised by the phaser shot. He felt, stunned.
Valdez, in complete control of his faculties, stepped forward, keeping his phaser locked on Brue. He looked down at the ugly boney face and tapped his commbadge.
“Valdez to security, I've got him.”
“How the hell did you do that!?” Admiral Truman demanded, he was rubbing his chin. Dr. Ernie Coddle stood next to the Admiral, scanning him with a medical tricorder.
Captain Kelsoe and Commander Tuff stood on the other side. Bradford, who had taken Admiral Kawamura empty chair was the one who answered.
“It would appear that his mental powers were far supreme to what he had led us to believe, sir,” Bradford said in attempt to gain favor.
“I have no doubt of that!” growled Truman. “Doctor, please?”
“You hit your head pretty hard, sir,” croaked Coddle, the civilian doctor, turned Starfleet medical officer during the Dominion Wars. His voice sounded as if he had smoked three packed of cigarettes for every day of his life, which of course he hadn't. An injury to his neck, during the war, gave him his distinctive voice.
“What of the alien?” Truman asked.
Kelsoe stepped forward. “My security officer stunned him before he could escape,” Kelsoe explained.
“Kawamura?” Truman inquired, looking around for his comrade.
“In the MC,” Kelsoe replied. “We transferred Brue there and Dr. Braga is administering a neural suppressant we believe will inhibit his mental abilities.”
“And where'd you get that idea from?” Truman inquired.
“I volunteered it, sir,” Bradford said, sounding defeated.
“He didn't like it though,” Tuff added.
Truman laughed at that. Coddle groaned, annoyed.
“Sir, please hold still,” he said. “I'm not finished examining you.”
“Well hurry it up, man!” barked Truman. He turned his attention Kelsoe. “Captain, I want you and your team to met with the Ares crewmembers. I want you to familiarize yourself with that ship.”
“Sir?” questioned Kelsoe.
“You might be taking a little jaunt,” was Truman's answered.
Brue opened his eyes slowly. All he could see was bright lights. Softly, the background, he heard voice mumbling. As his eyes came more into focus, he could see figures standing over him.
“He's coming to,” Braga said, turning and stepping back over to Admiral Kawamura.
“And what of the suppressant?” inquired the Admiral.
“We'll know in a moment if it's working,” Braga said, placing the hypospray down on the medical table. Braga looked up at Gervasio Valdez. “Be ready, just in case, Lieutenant.”
Valdez nodded. “Admiral?”
“I'm staying here, Lieutenant,” Kawamura said, looking down at Brue, who was strapped down to the bio-bed.
Brue struggled. His eyes closed and then he let out a loud cry.
“What!?” he muttered. “Impossible! My... my...!”
“It seems the suppressant is working, Dr. Braga,” Admiral Kawamura said, arching his back to look over at the doctor.
Braga stepped forward with a medical tricorder and scanned Brue. His eyes were stolid, unfeeling. “I'm not too fond of this, Admiral,” he said.
“Your objections were noted, doctor,” Kawamura said. “Be reminded of what he did. He is a security threat and we cannot allow him to use those powers against us.”
Braga nodded. He understood, but that did not make it right or make it feel any better doing it. He raised his hand for a hypospray and the nurse handed it to him. After fixing the appropriate dosage, he lowered the head to Brue neck.
“What are you doing to me!?” demanded the angry Boolran.
“We've given you a neuralgic suppressant,” Braga explained professionally. “It should inhibit your mental abilities.”
“Why have you done this?” Brue demanded, his eyes darting towards Kawamura.
“You attacked us,” Kawamura said. “You showed yourself to be hostile, and a security threat. How else would you have us proceed.”
Brue's mouth watered endlessly. “I would have given me what I wanted.”
“Why?” retorted Kawamura. “Why should we hand you an ancient artifact we know nothing about.” Brue fumed. “You claim that your people are the owners of this artifact. Yet we found it on Andres Rae, in ancient Raecian ruins. Why should I believe you.”
Brue contemplated the question for a while before he answered.
“You have spoken with Pyrois, Horsemen of Helios,” Brue said. “You know what he has told you.”
“Yes,” a new voice said. A ginger haired man stepped into view.
“Who is this?” Brue queried.
“This is Captain Timothy Franco,” Kawamura said. “He is the one who spoke to Pyrois.”
“You have spoke to the Horseman?” inquired Brue.
“Yes,” Franco replied.
“Ahh,” Brue seemed to lighten up. “You have spoken to a servant of the gods, then.” He paused for a beat, examining Franco with his eyes. “You must see then that the Eye must be turned over to the Boolran.”
“No,” Franco shook his head. “We were told that the Eye was not needed yet, and certainly not by us. Pyrois called us children.”
“Then give it to us,” Brue drooled. “The Boolran are far from children. We were alive when it was first created.”
“What exactly was it created to do?” Kawamura inquired.
“Pyrois did not tell you?” Brue questioned, staring harder at Franco now.
“No,” Franco shook his head.
Braga looked back and forth between Kawamura and Franco.
“Is all this questioning really necessary?” he asked.
“Yes!” barked Kawamura. “Doctor, please, we are trying to find out why in God's name is this Eye thing so important! Now remove yourself, before I have Mr. Valdez escort you out.”
Braga inclined his head and ducked back behind Valdez and the security guards, however he did remain in the room. Kawamura ignored that last bit, and took a deep breath. He returned his attention to Brue.
“Please, Mr. Brue,” he continued. “Please tell us why the Eye is so important.”
Brue struggled, not against the restraints, but against the various decisions he was making.
“To do so I would be a curse upon myself!” he blurted out, saliva spattering everywhere.
“Nurse,” Kawamura inclined his head and stepped back.
A nurse stepped forward and wiped Brue face dry. Kawamura rubbed his forehead, and looked to Captain Franco.
“Tim,” he said softly. “You talk to him.”
Franco inclined his head and stepped forward.
“Tell me, Brue,” his calm smooth voice flowing through the room. “Why would you be cursed?”
“Our law forbids us to tell outsiders and non-believers anything that would offend the gods,” Brue stated, terrified.
“Tell us of the Eye, Brue,” Franco said, leaning forward in a friendly way.
Brue eyes locked with Franco's. “The Eye is a tool of the gods,” Brue began. “It was entrusted to Boolgith, Keeper of the Eye, brother to Gelgith, the evil one. Gelgith betrayed his brother and took the Eye. Then Tiamat came and brought with her the High Lord of the Heavens and Earth. He now demands that the Eye be brought back.”
Everyone exchanged glances.
“Please,” pleaded Brue. “Release me and end this. I will take you peacefully to Boolrillia. The Eye must be returned to the Temple on the Mount.”
“Temple on the Mount?” Franco questioned, looking up at the Admiral and Dr. Braga confused.
“Explain,” Kawamura demanded.
“The holy temple where The High One comes the blesses us with his presence,” Brue explained. He was quite terrified. “If I do not return within the three days to offer the Eye to him, I will be cursed to a long and painful life.” Brue began sobbing, adding tears to the drool that spilled from his mouth.
Franco stepped back and looked over at Kawamura.
“Admiral?” he inquired, confused and worried.
“Doctor?” Kawamura called.
Braga stepped back into the operating area.
“What does his neural reading say?” inquired the Admiral.
The medical console beeped as the display of the alien brain was showed. It scanned and chirped. Braga looked up from the console. “According to this he is telling us the truth.”
“Okay,” Kawamura stepped forward and glared down at Brue. “Brue!”
Brue opened his eyes and looked up at the Admiral.
“Do you swear upon the bones of your people and on the spirit of this Boolgith that you will not try and harm us in anyway or to attempt to steal the Eye from us?” Kawamura demanded.
Brue nodded profusely. “I swear!”
Kawamura turned to Valdez. “Release him. Then have him washed and feed. I want him present at a meeting at fifteen hundred.”
Valdez nodded. “Yes, Admiral.”
As Kawamura and Franco left, Dr Braga jumped in along side.
“Sir?” Braga questioned. “Why did you make him swear?”
Both Admiral Kawamura and Franco stopped. Kawamura looked between Franco and Braga.
“A religious man knows, Dr. Braga,” he explained. “The Boolran are obviously very religious as a people and take their gods very seriously. After listening to him rant and rave I was able to determine which god and oath would make his previous statement, which he lit slip his orders. He needs to be back to meet this High One in three days. And I have decided that we shall take it to them.”
“Sir, I'd hate to question your orders, but...,” Franco began.
“I want to find out who this High One is,” Kawamura said. “Maybe he is one of these First Ones, like this Helios fellow. And if so, perhaps we can seek an alliance and help in defending the Oralian sector from the So'jan advance.”
Philip J. Eyota sat patiently in a reception room awaiting his meeting. He looked around him and frowned. So'jan architecture had much to be desired. They lacked passion and structure.
A door hissed opened and in walked Senator Ru'kon with his retinue. Eyota stood up.
“Please, remaining sitting, Professor Eyota,” Ru'kon sneered.
Eyota squinted at the Senator, but did as he was told. Ru'kon flowed into the room and seated himself in a leather chair opposite Eyota. The Senator's staff placed themselves behind him.
“Professor, do you know why you are here?” inquired the Senator.
Eyota cocked his head. “I believe you already know the answer to that question, Senator.”
Ru'kon inclined his head. “You are correct,” he hissed. “But I'd like to here you tell me.”
“Very well,” huffed Eyota. “Tyson Calok summoned me. He told me that he had an important offer to make.”
“Indeed,” Ru'kon said with a smirk. “Would it interest you to know that Tyson Calok is no longer on Ka'al?”
Eyota brow furrowed. “Why? Is he?”
“Yes,” affirmed Ru'kon. “Tyson Calok has left me in my good graces. To be honest, it might have been a mistake on his part.”
The human pulled at his collar around his neck, feeling nervous. Eyota blinked rapidly before a spoke.
“What do you intend to do with me?”
“Answer the questions I put to you, Dr. Eyota,” Ru'kon said.
With a moments hesitation Eyota agreed with a nod. Ru'kon smiled, baring his sharp razor teeth.
“Good,” he hissed. He adjusted himself in his chair and then continued. “Tell me, Professor, why are you here?”
“You already know that,” repeated Eyota.
“No, you faar'kon, not that! Here on Ka'al in So'jan space!? Why are you not with your beloved Federation?” demanded Ru'kon, sneering down at Eyota.
“The Federation is nothing to me,” Eyota responded, after a brief pause. “We parted ways a long time ago. They refused to fund my research, and when I continued, they took that right away from me.”
“Ah, I believe I understand,” Ru'kon snickered. “Why did the mighty Federation refuse to fund your research?”
Eyota let out a soft chuckle. “They claimed it was too dangerous.”
Ru'kon left brow raised. “Really?” he was intrigued. “Tell me more of this research which you were working on.”
“Sub-space technology has always been something we have tried to improve upon,” Eyota explained. “Some even tried to be sub-space weapons, which were banned because of the inherent instability of such devices. They created a rift in space that destroyed everything in their path. But I believe that such technology could be put other uses.”
“Such as?” urged Ru'kon, listening intently.
“Such as power for colonies,” Eyota continued excitedly. “Defense screens, holographic technology, medical research centers. It had limitless potential. But...”
“But the Federation believed it was too dangerous, yes,” Ru'kon inclined his head. “Then perhaps that is why you are here.”
“Senator?” questioned Eyota, confused.
“Perhaps that is what Calok wants,” Ru'kon stated. “An unlimited source of raw energy...” he trailed off. “He would not have shared this with us,” the Senator muttered softly.
Suddenly the doors opened and the tall four-legged Tealuian Xojo Manjala stepped in. He paused, seeing the Senator and his retinue there in the room.
“Why are you here?” he inquired slowly, suspicious.
Ru'kon stood up and smiled over at Eyota.
“Just keeping the guest entertained,” he said and added, “As Calok instructed me to do.”
Xojo Manjala squinted and glared down at Ru'kon. He did not trust the so'jan and was suspicious of everything they did. The Senator was the most puzzling to him. He could sense that Ru'kon hated Ar'kon, yet almost felt some strange ambiguous loyalty to the Chancellor whom he loathed so most. Such contradictions confused Xojo, and was part of the reason why he distrusted So'jan so much. Their logical was irrational, as were their actions.
He arched his neck down and peered into Ru'kon yellow reptilian eyes.
“You may go, Senator,” Xojo ordered. “I have Tyson Calok's offer for Dr. Eyota and we must discuss it in private.”
Ru'kon grinned, and bowed his head. “Of course, I shall make my leave.” He turned and nodded to Eyota. “Think about what I said, Professor.”
Xojo stepped back and watched Senator Ru'kon and his retinue leave the room. Then he stepped completely inside and sealed the door shut. He turned on Eyota and grinned.
“Before we continue I feel a most warn you,” he said. “I am a telepath, Dr. Eyota. I will be able to tell when you are lying, so please, for your own sake, do not.”
Captain Log's - Stardate 59229.24:
After many more talks with Brue and the remain crew of the Ares. Admiral Truman and Admiral Kawamura, after long decisions with Starfleet Command, have decided to send me, along with key members of my senior staff... as well as Commander Bradford, will use the Ares to deep behind enemy lines to good to Boolrillia, the home planet of Brue. Despite his pleas that we bring the Eye, Starfleet Command believed that it would be prudent to leave it behind to be studied. Yet, Commander Bradford insists that we do not tell Brue of this fact. He wishes that we allow the Boolran to believe that we are helping him. This deception does not please me, but I do see the logic in it.
The turbolift doors opened and Captain Kelsoe and Commander Tuff stepped out onto the bridge of the Ares. Behind them came Commander Bradford and Lieutenant Gervasio Valdez.
Dillon Hellon stood up from the command chair.
“Captain on the bridge,” he said.
“At ease, Lieutenant,” Kelsoe said, stepping into the center of the bridge. “And take you station.” He looked over his shoulder at Valdez. “Please take the tactical station, Mr. Valdez.”
“Aye, sir.” The crewmen stepped aside for Valdez, who manned the station.
Kelsoe and Tuff took their sets. Bradford stood behind Valdez, looking over his shoulder at the tactical station.
“These Covert class ships have much larger bridge than I thought,” Bradford said, looking around. “Reminds of the Galaxy class.”
Kelsoe nodded. “Yes, please, take a seat, Lieutenant,” Kelsoe said gesturing towards the thrid chair. Bradford narrowed his eyes, always suspicious. He stepped down from the tactical station, and sat down.
Hellon looked back from the operations station. “We have permission to disembark, sir.”
“Has Mr. Brue beamed aboard, yet?” Kelsoe inquired.
Valdez looked down at the tactical console in front of him. “Yes, sir,” he reported. “Security is escorting him to his quarters.”
“Good,” Tuff said. “Keep them on him.”
“I've already made the preparations, sir,” Valdez responded.
Kelsoe and Tuff exchanged a look.
“Ensign McCormick,” Tuff called out.
“Set a course for Boolrillia,” Tuff ordered.
“Course plotted, sir,” McCormick said as she tapped the CONN panel.
Tuff turned to Kelsoe.
“Engage,” Kelsoe gave the command.
“Sir,” it was Ensign McCormick from the CONN station. “We're approaching Coalition space.”
Kelsoe looked up from his chat with Commander Tuff.
“Mr. Valdez, engage Deflective Hull Plating,” Kelsoe ordered.
“Aye, sir,” Valdez said, and turned his attention to the tactical station. “DHP engaging.
The bridge shuddered and the grating sound of the metal pieces rubbing together began. Within moments it was over.
“DHP functioning at optimal efficiency, sir,” Valdez reported.
“What about the holo-projector?” Bradford inquired.
Both Kelsoe and Tuff shot a glare at Bradford, who remained defiant.
“Lieutenant Hellon?” Tuff asked.
“Negative, sir,” came Hellon's response after he checked the system on his panel.
Bradford leaned closer to Kelsoe.
“Captain,” he began. “I believe we should work on that.”
“Commander,” interjected Tuff. “May I remind you that we're operating with a skeleton crew.”
“I know that Commander!” hissed Bradford. “But the Deflective Hull Plating has never been fully tested under these sort of circumstances. Sure they've worked for this ship... twice, but failed the first time. The holo-projector units should be repaired.”
“Commander Bradford,” Kelsoe spoke up. “You are an observer on this mission, nothing more and nothing less. I'll make the decisions.” After a moments thought, Kelsoe found that he hated to admit that Bradford was right. “Lieutenant Hellon?” he called.
“Sir?” Hellon answered, turning to face the captain.
“How much do you know about the operating systems of the holo-projectors?” Kelsoe asked. “Enough to fix thing?”
After a brief moments hesitation, Hellon replied, “I can give you ten or fifteen minutes if I have twenty-four hours.”
Kelsoe gave Bradford a look and then returned his attention to the Lieutenant.
“Get to it then, Lieutenant,” Kelsoe said.
Hellon nodded and stood, preparing to depart for main engineering. Tuff stood up and infuriated. In response Kelsoe jumped up.
Tuff took a deep breath and turned to Bradford.
“I believe you have some expertise in holo-technology, Commander,” Tuff asserted.
Bradford gave a nod. “Yes, I do,” he admitted, smiling a little.
“Then I suggest you help the Lieutenant,” Tuff suggested. “Perhaps working together you two can bring the units online earlier.”
Bradford stood up, enraged. “I am not an engineer, Commander!”
Kelsoe turned and stood between the two commanders.
“Please, calm yourselves,” Kelsoe said, patting Tuff on the shoulder. Tuff back off.
“I see your dog obeys you, Captain,” Bradford retorted.
Kelsoe turned on Bradford and almost punched him in the nose. “Listen to me, Commander,” Kelsoe said sternly. “I am in command of this mission and you are merely an observer. You will do as I command, as my officer's command. If you have such an invested interest in this mission, then I suggest you do something to assist in it becoming a successful one.” He paused for a beat. “Do I make myself clear, Commander?”
Bradford inclined his head. “Yes, Captain,” he said, put in his place. “I understand.”
“Now go with Lieutenant Hellon to main engineering and see if you can get the holo-projectors working,” Kelsoe commanded.
The Starfleet Intelligence officer stepped back and up to the turbolift where Hellon was waiting. He entered it and the doors closed. Kelsoe took a deep breath and turned on Tuff.
“Commander, conference room, now!”
“What the hell was that all about, Robert?!” Kelsoe demanded after the door closed behind them.
Tuff exhaled deeply.
“Sir,” he began.
“I'm not done,” Kelsoe huffed. He paused. “You're acting like Commander Burt. You're letting your temper through. I want to know why?”
Commander Tuff inhaled through his nostrils. “It's Bradford, sir,” Tuff volunteered. “I don't trust him.”
Kelsoe raised an eyebrow.
“Is that is, Robert?” he questioned.
Captain Kelsoe leaned against the table. “I thought we agreed to be truthful with one another. What exactly is your problem with Bradford... I admit, I myself don't trust the man, but I believe he means right by Starfleet and the Federation.”
“I've never trusted Starfleet Intelligence,” Tuff asserted.
“SI as always been apart of your work, Rob,” Kelsoe pointed out. “You worked closely with Ensign Tolorev, he was SI. I doubt very much that it is Starfleet Intelligence that you have a problem with, but rather Commander Bradford himself.”
Tuff adjusted his stance.
“May I speak freely, Captain?” Tuff inquired.
“Of course,” Kelsoe inclined his head.
“Peter Bradford is not telling us the whole truth,” Tuff continued. “He calms he cares about the mission, but he is hiding something. Something that I believe could be crucial to the mission.”
Kelsoe sighed. “Rob, all SI operatives carry secrets and hide them,” Kelsoe explained. “That does not mean he is trying to sabotage the mission.”
“He wouldn't have helped in fixing the holo-projectors unless he was ordered,” Tuff asserted. “He would not have even volunteered his services unless I spoke up, sir.”
Kelsoe looked up at the ceiling and inhaled. “Just control yourself then, Commander,” Kelsoe said. “I don't want another outburst like that.” He stood up and stepped towards the door. “And the next time you feel like speaking up, don't announce it to the rest of the bridge. Tell me softly.” He paused. “Understood?”
“Understood, Captain,” Tuff said. “And, Ben... I'm sorry. I want let it happen again.”
Kelsoe nodded. “I'm not saying that I don't want you to keep your eyes open, Rob,” Kelsoe let drop. “Because I do. But just be more discreet about your reports.”
“Aye, sir,” Tuff said, following Kelsoe out of the conference room.
Commander L'mar looked out the window at the planet below. He turned and looked over at his comrade.
“Is this is, Tyson?” he inquired.
Calok's red eyes glowed more fiercely.
“Yes, L'mar,” Calok smirked. “This is it.” He paused, slowing the entry thrusters. His eyes darted towards a specific region in space. “Engage cloak.”
L'mar nodded and did as he was ordered.
Above the planet Boolrillia a small craft vanished.
The CONN panel chirped. Captain Kelsoe and Commander Tuff stepped out into the bridge from the conference room.
“Report?” Kelsoe said as he stepped down into the center of the bridge. Tuff took his seat.
“Arriving at planet Boolrillia, Captain,” McCormick reported. Kelsoe turned around and looked up at Valdez.
“Mr. Valdez, have Brue report to the bridge,” Kelsoe commanded.
Kelsoe returned his attention to the main view screen. He stepped forward slightly. “Amazing,” he said. “Look at all that stellar traffic.”
Tuff stood, with a gasp. “It's like the rings around Saturn.”
Kelsoe nodded in agreement.
The turbolift doors hissed opened and Brue, accompanied by Commander Bradford and Lieutenant Hellon stepped onto the bridge.
“My God,” muttered Bradford.
Kelsoe turned and looked up at the SI agent.
“How we did not know about this, I don't know,” Kelsoe said. “But from sensor scans, it appearance this is quite normal.”
“It is, Captain,” Brue spoke up, stepping down into the center of the bridge, where he stopped next to Captain Kelsoe.
“Well, should we disengage the DHP?” Tuff inquired.
Kelsoe looked towards Brue. Brue nodded.
“It would be appropriate, Captain Kelsoe,” Brue said. “We should then contact Minister Tegdac, the Grand Minister.”
“Is he your ruler?” Tuff asked.
“No,” drooled Brue, wiping his mouth. “The Grand Minister is the chief advisor to King Boolgith the Thirteenth.”
“Then we should speak with King Boolgith,” Tuff suggested to Kelsoe.
“No!” blurted Brue, turning and glaring at Tuff. “No one but the Grand Minister, the priestly college, a select few amongst the nobility, and the royal family may see the King! It would not be proper!”
Tuff back off. “Sorry, I didn't know.”
“Then I guess will have to talk with this Grand Minister,” Kelsoe said with a nod. “Mr. Valdez, disengage the DHP.”
“Deflective Hull Plating disengaging, sir,” Valdez said.
The ship shuttered and the metallic grating sound reverberated throughout the entire ship and then stopped.
“We're visible now, sir,” Hellon said from the operations station.
“Mr. Brue, would you be kind enough to give us the...” Kelsoe stopped in mid-sentence.
Brue stood there with his eye closed.
“The mental sedative most of worn off!” Tuff said reaching for a phaser.
With a start Brue opened his eyes. Tuff froze. Brue turned to face him. His eyes narrowing.
“No need, Commander Tuff,” Brue said. “I made an agreement with you, and Boolran do not break there promises.”
“Neither do we,” Kelsoe responded. “Please, release my first officer.”
“Very well,” Brue turned, moving his eyes away from Tuff. Tuff jolted and then straighten himself. He looked angrily over at Brue, but Kelsoe stopped with him a look.
“My, my,” Bradford said, rubbing his hands together. “This sure is interesting. Mr. Brue, I assume you were contacting the High Priest, like I told you.”
“Yes, Commander Bradford,” Brue said, submissively.
“Commander?” Kelsoe questioned.
“After Starfleet decided to go along with this farce,” Bradford answered. “I decided that we needed some extra insurance. So I approach Brue and offered him a deal, which I am pleased to say he has agreed to.”
“And I keep my agreements,” Brue drooled.
“What exactly did you offer, Commander?” Kelsoe demanded.
“That's classified, Captain,” Bradford said, grinning.
Kelsoe began to speak, but Bradford held up a hand.
“I'm sorry, but your clearance does not allow it, sir,” the smug SI agent said. He turned to the CONN. “Ensign, set a course for these coordinates,” he said as he tapped the top of the panel.
McCormick looked at the coordinates and then back at the captain.
“Do it, Ensign!” Bradford ordered.
“I'm in command here, Bradford,” Kelsoe said. “I give the orders.”
“Not anymore!” Bradford retorted. “Computer activate Bradford program Beta one.”
“Acknowledged,” chirped the computer voice.
A sudden transport beam engulf both Bradford and Brue. Kelsoe arched around to the tactical station.
“I can't, I'm looked out, sir!” Valdez responded.
Kelsoe look to Hellon, who had the same response. Within moments, both Brue and Bradford were no long aboard the ship. All the terminals and consoles began to shut off, and the lights began to dim.
“All systems shutting down, sir,” Hellon reported.
“Phasers and shields inoperative,” Valdez said.
Tuff jumped up to the tactical station to assist Valdez.
“Engineering's reporting a complete shut-down,” Tuff read out from the screen.
Kelsoe stepped up next to Hellon and looked down at the operations console.
“What about the DHP, Lieutenant?” Kelsoe asked. “It's separate from the ship's systems.”
Hellon examined the read out from the LCARS panel.
“It's still operating, sir,” Hellon confirmed Kelsoe's hunch.
“Activate it,” Kelsoe said. “If we cannot defend ourselves, or get out of here, we might as well hide.”
“Aye,” Hellon said, tapping the operations panel. “Activating Deflective Hull Plating.”
From the cockpit of his cloak vessel Tyson Calok watched as the U.S.S. Ares appeared in orbit of the planet. His sensors them registered the transport, now he was picking up the activation of the new system he had never seen before.
“Commander L'mar,” Calok called back to his companion. “You might want to get a look at this.” L'mar looked up from the back compartment. “The Federation have developed a cloaking device.”
L'mar watched through the window as the Federation starship seemed to shimmer for a while then vanish. He looked over at the smiling Calok.
“Things are about the get interesting, L'mar,” Calok said, beaming. “A lot more interesting!”
Commander Peter Bradford and Brue materialized in the center of a large ancient chamber. Bradford, snug and overconfident, as usual, sauntered off towards the main hall. Brue followed, and if he could grin, he would. They entered a soft lighted room with torches along the side walls, burning with strange green flames, plasma flames. At the end of the main hall was an altar with a large Babylonian-like statue of an vengeful war-god. At the base of the altar stood this old men, all Boolran, veiled in priestly robes.
Bradford boldly approached the prostrating priests. As he approached his footsteps were heard and the priests stood erect to face him. The eldest one a gold ring around the top of his head. To a human from a European back ground their priestly veil, on top of their heads, resembled a veil worn by a bride. Bradford stifled a chuckle.
The eldest leaned forward and his brow furrowed.
“You are Commander Peter Bradford,” he spoke aloud, spittle dripping down his chin.
“Yes,” Bradford said confidently. “And do you have the Eye?”
Bradford held up a flat gray Starfleet issued case that had been transported down with him and Brue.
The eldest's eyes glimmered happily.
“Well done, Brue,” he said, drooling all over his mouth.
Brue came up behind Bradford and bowed. “I serve Marduk!”
“And you are Relec, right?” Bradford asked the eldest priest.
“Yes,” snapped the High Priest. “Now!” Give us the Eye! he shouted in Bradford's mind.
Bradford's grin faded and he stumbled back slightly, shocked by the force of the mental connection. He looked over at Brue, confused.
“You said...,” he began.
I told you what you wanted to here, human, projected Brue, now give us the Eye! Now! Brue and the pries then initiated their mental scream that caused Bradford to cringe and his knees to weaken. He fell forward, the case falling from his hands. As he lay on the ground, clutching his head in his hands, and rolling with pain, Brue stepped forward and picked up the case.
Take it to Minister Tegdac, Relec said. Inform him of our success.
Brue bowed his head deeply and left the sanctuary. The priest, continuing their mental scream hovered over the cringing Bradford.
“Now, Commander Bradford of the Federation,” spoke Relec aloud. “You will reveal your secrets to us!”