Author: Brendan Chris
Captain’s Log, Stardate: 56256.8
“After completing our repairs at Waystation, we are again on course for unknown space. We haven’t really seen much of anything yet, so we’ve been taking advantage of the relatively quiet time to work on some of the many problems with this ship.”
Captain Chris Stafford paced as the operation continued.
“Laser scalpel,” demanded one man. Stafford quickly found the tool.
“Will the patient recover?” Stafford asked, worried.
“Too soon to tell, Captain. We’re going to do the best we can!”
Chief Engineer Simon Jeffery and Ship’s Plumber Rookes hunched over the toilet in Stafford’s ready room.
“Everything checks out on my end,” reported Rookes.
“Ah’ve found it!” announced Jeffery.
“Finally!” said Stafford.
“Ah guess Ah owe ye an apology, Rookes,” Jeffery said, “it was the computer control. The computer was flushing the toilet all this time.”
“Computer,” said Stafford, “what’s up with that?”
“What’s up with what, honey?” replied the computer. The computer had somehow been programmed with the personality of Stafford’s mother. He wasn’t sure how that had happened, except that Jall was involved.
“Why were you flushing my toilet?”
“You know I’d never touch any of your stuff without asking, dear,” replied the computer, “Now, how about something to eat? I just downloaded a wonderful cheesecake recipe!”
“Mmmm…that sounds good!” said Jeffery.
“Fix my toilet first, dammit!”
“OK,” there was a click, “all done!”
“What did you do?”
“I just disconnected it from the computer. No more flushing unless you flush it manually.”
“Oh. Great!” Stafford scratched his head, “Thanks Rookes, carry on.”
“Aye sir,” Rookes left the ready room, bound for whatever plumbing adventure was next in store.
“Ah’ll be in Engineering,’ said Jeffery as he turned to leave.”
“Um…how as I supposed to flush this thing without the computer??”
“Yer kidding, right?”
“Oh boy,” Jeffery muttered, “advanced species my ass!”
T’Parief was seated at the bar in Unbalanced Equations, sipping on a Gorn Gutwrencher. Steven, the bartender, was a pretty good guy in T’Parief’s opinion, so he kept the fact that the drink was mixed wrong to himself. Steven had probably changed the mix for the humans on the ship. If a human drank a real Gorn Gutwrencher, the unfortunate human would find his insides turning to liquid goo.
Across the lounge, Ensign Yanick sat with Lieutenant Jall and Ensign Dar’ugal at one of the tables. T’Parief respected Ensign Dar’ugal. The seven foot tall Barudan was an excellent security officer. On the other hand, he really didn’t like Jall. Really. Everybody else on the ship disliked Jall to some degree, except for Yanick. Yanick didn’t dislike anybody. Even if somebody did piss her off, she always forgave him or her a few days later. Which was part of why T’Parief found her so charming. It was one thing when Jall kept to himself, but he had been in a strangely good mood lately and had actually started socializing with the crew, especially Yanick. And it was starting to annoy him.
“Are you going to sit here and stare all night?” Steven asked.
“What’s it to you?” rumbled T’Parief.
“Well, I would say from the sigh and the way you’ve been moping at the bar that you’re trying to work up the nerve to ask somebody on a date,” Steven said, “and judging from the direction you’re staring, it’s either Yanick, Dar’ugal or Jall. Now I really doubt that Dar’ugal or Jall are really your type, which leaves Yanick. Go for it.”
“Is this the part where you work to build my ego so I can go over there and embarrass the hell out of myself?”
“Yes,” Steven said, “another drink first?”
“He’ll be over here sooner or later,” Jall said to Yanick, “he can’t just sit there all night!”
Dar’ugal nodded his agreement and grinned reassuringly.
“What’s taking him so long?’ Yanick complained, “It’s been over two weeks since we left Waystation! He’s known for all that time that I’m NOT dating the captain, but he STILL hasn’t asked me out! Maybe he’s not even interested.”
“Oh,” Jall said, “he’s interested. He’s been sneaking glances at you all night!”
“So why doesn’t he come talk to us?”
“Because underneath that big, bold, brave façade, he’s a big softy and he’s terrified that you’ll reject him.”
Yanick looked at him, “Y’know, if you put as much effort into your job as you did into analyzing and pestering T’Parief, the captain wouldn’t be nearly as pissed off at you all the time!”
“I know,” Jall said, “but that wouldn’t be any fun!”
Yanick watched as T’Parief ordered yet another drink.
“Oh, f**k this!” she snapped. She stood up and marched over to T’Parief.
“Are you going to ask me out or not?” she demanded.
T’Parief panicked, looking anywhere but at Yanick, “Ummm….yes?”
“Well good!” Yanick waited, “Well???”
“Oh! Hmmm,” T’Parief wasn’t sure what to ask her to do. Most of the ship’s old recreational facilities had been gutted to make room for the holodecks, which were still offline. Not that T’Parief was mourning the loss of the basket-weaving lounge or the hopscotch pad. But for a date…dinner didn’t feel right. That left…. “Would you like to go to Cartoon Night with me tomorrow?’
“Yes! My quarters, 1900h, sharp!” Yanick turned and walked back to her table.
“I really wish I’d brought a camera!” chuckled Jall.
Stafford sat alone in his private dining room on Deck 3. The small room was set on the front of saucer, just below and ahead of the bridge. He’d never used it before, preferring to take his meals in Unbalanced Equations, the dining hall or his own quarters. Really, when you got down to it, what the hell was the point of a Captain’s Private Dining Room anyway? If he wanted to eat by himself, he had a replicator in his quarters! Granted that if he ate up here he could have somebody serve him and clean up his mess, but that just made him feel…lazy. He had dismissed the steward when the young man had asked him for his drink order. He felt incredibly foolish making one of his crew serve him dinner. He stared out the window as the stars passed by. He really should convert this room into something worthwhile. Captain’s Private Holovision Theater? Naw…he had a vidscreen in his quarters. Captain’s Private Gym? Don’t think so. Captain’s Private Orion Slave-Girl Massage Parlour? Hah! Keep dreaming buddy!
Stafford’s train of thought paused as he heard a soft creaking sound. He listened carefully, but didn’t hear it again.
“Next time, I’m eating in the mess hall!” he muttered to himself.
The next morning, Ensign Yanick bounced jubilantly into Noel Wowryk’s office.
“It’s finally happened!” she said excitedly.
“The second coming of Jesus?” Wowryk asked, excited.
“No! T’Parief asked me out!”
“Oh,” disappointed, Wowryk looked back at her padd, “Yippee.”
“Well, technically I had to ask him to ask me out, but he did ask me, so it’s all good!”
“Well, I’m happy for you,” Wowryk said.
Yanick stared, “Really? But you hate him!”
Wowryk was shocked, “I don’t hate him! I don’t hate anybody! Hate is wrong. I don’t like several people, but I don’t hate them either. If T’Parief is going to date you and be a good, Christian boy about it, then by all means, have fun!”
“I’m a little shocked,” said Yanick, “I thought you hated men and thought that men were evil?”
“Don’t be ridiculous!”
“So you don’t hate men? Sorry. So you don’t not like men?”
“No. I don’t like men. Most of them anyway. But God created man to be with woman. If people never dated and got married, there would be no children and the human race would die out.”
“I’m confused…I’m dating T’Parief, but you’re not mad. Even though you read him the riot act at the party,” Yanick said.
“Oh come on, that was like a month ago!” Wowryk objected.
“So what would make you mad?”
“If you have sex with him,” Wowryk shuddered delicately.
“Oh. OK. So are you going to Cartoon Night tonight?” Yanick asked.
“I don’t know. I’m not really into that kind of thing.”
“C’mon! It’ll be fun! You can play chaperone if you want.”
“I don’t want to be the third wheel.”
“So bring a date!” Yanick giggled.
Wowryk thought for a moment, “Hmmm…great idea.”
“I know, it’s…what??”
“Wowryk to Jeffery,”
“Aye Doctor, how can I help ye?”
“You’re taking me to Cartoon Night tonight,” Wowryk stated.
“Yes. I need a date.”
Yanick stared at Wowryk.
“You’re going on a date?”
“With a man?”
“Simon is too harmless to be a man,”
“He’s got the parts though, doesn’t he?”
“OK,” Wowryk sighed, “technically, he’s a man. But I rather like him. He’s very obedient and well behaved. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a lot of work to do.”
“Right,” Yanick walked out, muttering to herself.
“Simon, that woman is going to chew you up and spit you out!”
Down in Engineering, Jeffery was breaking into a sweat as he fell into the nearest chair. A date! With Noel! He’d been trying to work up the nerve to ask her out for weeks, and then BAM! Right out of the blue. What would he wear? What would he say? Would she make him wear the spiked dog collar again? Woah! Where did that come from? Oh yeah…the dream reality where he was forced to be Queen Wowryk’s loyal slave-boy.
“Sir? Are you OK?” It was one of Jeffery’s Nicondii engineers, Frat Naketh. Frat was about three feet tall with orangish skin and six brothers and sisters. Together they made up the Nicondii sibling group that served as Silverado’s Alpha shift engineering team.
“Ah just got a date with Dr.Wowryk,” Jeffery said in a shocked voice.
“Wow,” said Frat, “I don’t know whether to congratulate you or offer my sympathies!”
“Ah think ‘good luck’ would be best,” Jeffery said, still sweating.
“Oh. Good luck, sir!”
Pressure was building in the ship’s water system. An automatic system came online, designed to divert excess pressure through a relief valve. Unfortunately, somebody had mixed up the connections between the relief valve and the ready room toilet. What was even more unfortunate, that connection had been severed.
Pressure continued to build.
T’Parief waited at the door of Trish’s quarters. He had dressed in Gorn-style civilian clothing; loose fitting leather pants with a leather vest and a heavy silver chain around his neck. He rang the door chime. He had a set of artificial head spikes that he usually wore Mohawk-style when he went out, but he figured those would be a bit too much on ship. The door opened and the computer voice spoke up.
“Trish is currently in the shower,” the computer said, “but she wanted me to let you in if you arrived before she finished. Have a seat and make yourself comfortable. Would you like a drink?”
“No, thank you.”
“OK. Well, make sure you have Trish home at a decent hour! Or at least make sure she calls if she’s going to be out late.”
T’Parief looked around Trish’s quarters. In one corner was a shelf with several pictures of the Yanick family. A huge painting of a herd of horses covered most of one wall. He could hear the sonic shower running.
There was also a fish tank in one corner where several bright-colored fish were swimming. How thoughtful! Trish had known enough to set out some traditional Gorn appetizers! What a girl!
Yanick wrapped herself in a towel and stepped out of the bathroom. She quickly dressed. She had spent over an hour trying to decide on an outfit. At least she had done it BEFORE T’Parief came to pick her up! After applying her make-up, she entered the main room.
T’Parief was standing by the fish tank, his head tilted back and a small orange fish wriggling between his fingers. He held the fish over his open mouth.
“WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” screamed Yanick.
“Huh? Having a snack?” said T’Parief.
“PUT HIM BACK!”
T’Parief dropped the fish back in the tank. Trish knelt by the glass and counted. She turned to T’Parief.
“How many did you eat?” she asked darkly.
“Five or six. I thought you left them out for me…”
“LEFT THEM OUT?!? YOU ATE MY PETS!”
“Pets? You mean they weren’t appetizers?”
“No, they were not f**king appetizers! Why the hell would you think that?”
“Tropical fish are a traditional snack food on the Gorn homeworld. I thought you were being thoughtful.”
“Well, these ones aren’t for eating!”
Yanick sniffed back tears.
“I’m really, really sorry,” T’Parief said, giving her a hug.
“You’re buying me new fish the next chance we get, and you’re helping me hold a mass funeral for the ones you murdered! Then we’ll be even.”
“Fair enough. Shall we go?”
Meanwhile, Simon was having a very different experience. Wowryk had taken one look at Jeffery’s cloths and dragged him right back to his own quarters to change.
“What were you thinking???” Wowryk asked as she went through Simon’s closet, “You don’t wear formal wear to watch cartoons!”
Jeffery sat on the bed in a slick black tuxedo.
“Ah was ‘dressing to impress’,” he mumbled, “like Deanna Troi’s new book said to!”
“OK,” Wowryk said, “Rule Number One: don’t read that junk, it took her over ten years to establish a stable relationship!”
“Here,” Wowryk held out a casual shirt and a pair of pants, “get changed. I’ll wait outside.”
T’Parief and Yanick arrived at Unbalanced Equations shortly after Wowryk and Jeffery. Several crewmembers had already filed in and were grabbing munchies from the snack bar Steven had set up. Jeffery already had a bowl of popcorn and a glass of root beer for himself and carrot sticks with iced tea for Wowryk. Jeffery did a double take when T’Parief walked by.
“Good lord man!” he said, “did ye go and join a biker gang?”
“A what?” asked T’Parief.
While Yanick and Wowryk compared outfits, T’Parief hunted through the snack bar until he found a bowl of pickled zlargitz hearts and a mug of blood wine. Steven had been very diligent in providing a variety of non-Terran cuisines after T’Parief had firmly (and loudly) complained that his Munchie Menu didn’t include any Andorian or Klingon foods.
“Ladies, gentlemen, beings of all genders and, of course, Lieutenant Jall!” Steven announced. There was a ripple of laughter from the group along with a raised finger from Jall. “If you would take your seats, we’re ready to start!” Tables and chairs had been cleared from one end of the lounge so the holoprojector could project a ‘screen’.
“For your enjoyment, we’re going to start off the first U.S.S. Silverado Cartoon Night with an old classic from the mid-20th century! I give you Bugs Bunny in ‘Rabbit Seasoning’ from Warner Brothers Studios!”
T’Parief watched as a black cartoon duck nailed ‘Rabbit Season’ signs on trees, while announcing that it was really duck season.
“I don’t understand,” T’Parief whispered to Yanick.
“The duck is trying to trick the hunters into going after the rabbit,” Yanick whispered back.
“The duck is a coward. Where is the rabbit?”
“He’ll be on in a minute,”
T’Parief watched as a rather dopey looking hunter came on screen and found the rabbit. An argument ensued between the duck and the rabbit, resulting in the duck getting shot by the hunter.
Blood wine sprayed from T’Parief’s nose as he laughed hysterically.
“The cowardly duck got shot! Yes!”
“SHHH!!!” whispered Wowryk.
Rabbit: Do you want to shoot me now, or wait ‘til you get home?
Duck: Shoot him now! Shoot him now!
Rabbit: You stay out of this! He doesn’t have to shoot you now!”
Duck: Ah-ha! Pronoun trouble! It’s not ‘he doesn’t have to shoot YOU now’, it’s ‘he doesn’t have to shoot ME now!’ Well I say he does have to shoot me now! SO SHOOT ME NOW!
T’Parief howled with laughter again as the duck’s bill spun around his head.
“Hey keep it down up there!” somebody shouted from the back.
“Yeah, we’re trying to hear the damned movie!” came another voice.
Abashed, T’Parief quieted down.
“Wow,” Stafford whispered to Noonan, “I had no idea T’Parief liked cartoons that much. Popcorn?”
“First time for everything,” Noonan whispered back, “and no, thank you.”
In the row ahead, a pair of eight-year-old kids had started chucking popcorn at each other, giggling loudly. Stafford glared in annoyance.
“Pipe down you two!” he snapped.
“Screw you!” snapped one of the kids, “you’re not the boss of me!”
“I’m captain of the ship, now sit quietly before I have you tossed out an airlock!”
“Shhh!” Fifebee hissed, “I want to see the duck get shot again!”
Noonan was sitting between Stafford and Fifebee. The two were still behaving coldly to each other after the time Stafford had tried (and failed) to introduce Fifebee to some Earth culture.
“I had no idea you found this so interesting,” Noonan said.
“I find it fascinating. From a psychological point of view,” Fifebee said, “Why is the duck trying to trick the hunter into shooting the rabbit? Why is the rabbit now wearing a dress? How is it possible for the duck to be shot repeatedly with no permanent injury?”
“God help us,” muttered Stafford, “she’s psycho-analyzing Bugs Bunny!”
“I vill thank you to leave zee psychological analysis to me!” whispered Eva Yvonnokoff, the ship’s counselor, from behind Noonan.
“I will perform whatever type of analysis I want!” Fifebee said coldly.
“Vat does a machine know about human psychology? Clearly zee duck is wracked by feelings of self-loathing and eez purposefully allowing zee hunter to shoot him as an outlet for zeese emotions.”
“I am no mere machine, you frigid b**ch!”
“How DARE you!”
“Catfight!” Noonan said with a chuckle.
“Shut up, both of you!” Stafford hissed.
Jeffery sat next to Wowryk, sweating bullets. At least he didn’t have to say anything; it was a movie. He tried to laugh at the cartoon in all the right places, but he sounded fake even to himself. Should he look at her? Dare he touch her? Hesitantly he reached out to take her hand.
“Move it or lose it,” Wowryk said, her eyes never leaving the screen.
Jeffery dropped his hand and squirmed in his seat.
After another ninety minutes of cartoons, Steven brought the lights back up and shut down the projector.
“Thank you all for coming!” he said loudly, “If you would all be so good as to help move the chairs back,” there was a general groan, “I’ll restock the bar and get more snacks,” the groan changed to a cheer.
A few minutes later, Unbalanced Equations had been converted from Movie Theater back to lounge. Somebody had ordered up some music, mid 23rd century multi-rock. Multi-rock music had a great beat, but with 7 different singers you really couldn’t make out any of the words.
Yanick and T’Parief sat at a table. Yanick brought over a strawberry daiquiri for herself and another blood wine for T’Parief. T’Parief came back from the snack bar with a tray full of food. Stumbling slightly he sat down.
“You’ve been drinking too much again!” Yanick giggled,
“I have not!” T’Parief said, indignant, “I have drank the exact right amount!” he took a chug of his blood wine.
“So if you already drank the exact right amount and you’re drinking more now, then now you’ve drank to much,” Yanick giggled again.
T’Parief frowned as he tried to twist his sluggish mind around Yanick’s logic. He shrugged and took another drink.
Yanick snagged some strawberries and devanger cream off the tray. She figured T’Parief had brought those for her. The raw chicken livers on the next plate looked more his style.
“So, are you having fun?” Yanick asked.
“I am. I had no idea Earth had such great entertainment!”
Yanick shrugged, “They’re just cartoons. They’re cute though!”
“But the violence!” T’Parief said, “that coyote was practically butchered! Even the great works of Zegarnxnx the Volatile are hard pressed to compete against such acts! Of course, he used live actors rather than animations.”
Yanick pictured a live coyote being crushed by an Acme catapult and vowed to never watch Andorian or Gorn television.
“I, uh, really enjoyed spending time with you,” T’Parief said.
Yanick smiled, “I’m having….an OK time,” she admitted, “but can we talk about something that doesn’t involve blood and guts?”
“Oh!” T’Parief started, “of course. I’m sorry. Gorn women find blood and gore to be very romantic.”
“I’m not a Gorn!” Yanick pointed out, “I like nice things!”
T’Parief took her hand, “Which is why I like you so much!”
Yanick blushed. OK, so it was a cheesy line. But it was still a complimentary cheesy line.
Stafford fell back against his table as a teenager stalked past, arms full of food. The young man pushed his way through the lounge and out the door.
“Isn’t there some kind of rule about kids in lounges?” he asked.
“Steven has adopted a ‘Family Friendly’ policy since we started having children on the ship,” Noonan said.
“Whose bright idea was that?” grumbled Stafford.
“Really? Well it was a really STUPID idea!” Stafford grinned widely, “It’s nice to know you’re not perfect. I was really getting worried there for a minute.”
“Don’t like children?”
“No. I don’t.”
Jeffery and Wowryk sat a few tables down. Jeffery was nervous as hell. Not only was he on a date with the gorgeous Noel Wowryk…now he had to talk to her! He started sweating.
They sat in silence for a few moments.
“Well?” Wowryk asked.
“Oh,” Simon started, “um, funny cartoon. Yeah. It was cute. Ah mean, if ye liked it. Some of them were kinda violent, and Ah know ye don’t like violence. Except when ye throw stuff at Chris. But that’s none of my business! Unless ye want it to be. And Ah’m babbling now, aren’t Ah?”
Wowryk nodded, “You are. Why don’t you get us some drinks and some food?”
“Oh, sure, what do ye want? Fruit juice? Tonic water? Tea?”
“Oh. We have a class V8 sensor probe in one of the cargo bays. Ah guess Ah can get it if ye want.”
“It’s a drink! Just ask Steven. He’ll know”
Jeffery hit the snack bar first. He snagged a cheeseburger and some onion rings for his own plate. But what to get Wowryk? Was she vegetarian? He didn’t know. He grabbed every non-meat item he could find and stacked it on her plate. He wandered over to the bar.
“So how’s the date going?” Steven asked,
“Bad,” Jeffery said.
“Figured. She is a frigid one-“
“No! She’s…wonderful. Ah just can’t figure out what to say!”
“I see. What does the lady want to drink?”
Steven started rummaging through his refrigerator.
“Aren’t ye going to ask what Ah want?” Jeffery asked.
“No. I know what you need. Something really, really strong.”
“Aye. Ye hit the nail on the head, there.”
“Look, just relax,” Steven said, “she agreed to go out with you, right?’
“No. She ordered me to go out with her.”
“Even better! So, just be you. Of course, knowing her, you might want a combination of being yourself and doing whatever she says. Oh, and get her to talk about herself. Women LOVE talking about themselves. The problem is getting them to shut up afterward.”
“Yer still single, aren’t ye?” Jeffery stated.
“Never mind. Thanks for the advice,”
Jeffery sat down and handed Wowryk her drink. She looked at the plate on the tray.
“What is this, a salad bar?”
“Ah didn’t know if you were vegetarian or not.”
“Oh. I’m not. But it’s nice of you to think of that,” Wowryk smiled at Jeffery, “of course, it would have been even nicer if you had come back to ask me what I wanted!”
Jeffery blushed, “Ah can get you something else if you like!”
“Naw, forget it,” Wowryk started nibbling at her plate.
“So, how did you get posted to this ship?”
“Ugh,” Wowryk exclaimed, “what a nightmare! I finished medical school and did my little Academy course. Aced my tests. I was in the top 10% of my class!”
“Sounds like ye did pretty good,” Jeffery said, taking a sip of his drink and coughing. What was Steven trying to do, poison him?
“So why Silverado? Don’t ye get to pick your assignment with marks like that?”
“Normally, yes. But my assignment officer was a man.”
“So? He wouldn’t give you a s**t assignment just because of that, would he? That’s against regulations!”
“He was going to post me to the Repulse,” Wowryk said, “but he gave me a pinch on the cheek, so I gave him a black eye. So here I am.”
“Pinch on the cheek? That doesn’t sound so bad.” Jeffery noticed that Yanick and T’Parief were holding hands.
“It was the lower cheek,” Wowryk said.
“Oh,” Jeffery searched for an empathetic statement, “He was a pig!”
“I would never touch you like that without asking,” he said as he reached across the table and took her hands.”
“You just did!” Wowryk exclaimed.
“Sorry!” Jeffery squeaked as he pulled his hands back.
Lieutenant Stern was assigned to man the tactical station during the night shift. Feeling the call of nature, he snuck off the bridge for a washroom break. He settled down and pulled up the AWN daily news snippets on his padd.
He heard a slight creaking sound. He listened again. Nothing.
In the captain’s ready room, the automated plumbing control program was trying desperately to flush the toilet. Since the toilet refused to flush, pressure continued to build up in the plumbing system, heading for a catastrophic failure…
In the lounge, Noonan became aware of a strong vibration. As it built, bottles began skittering off the bar, several smashing to the floor.
“Warning,” announced the computer, “imminent hydro transport system failure.”
As the pressure in the system reached the breaking point, toilets exploded all over Silverado as torrents of water were released from the overcharged plumbing system. Lieutenant Stern was pasted to the bathroom ceiling as the toilet beneath him detonated. (He was also the recipient of an enema he would not soon forget!)
Water surged though Deck 11 as the ship’s main water processing facility ruptured. Water rushed through the empty corridors, shorting out several minor systems along the way. As it reached the rear of the saucer, the water began to pour through a jefferies tube hatch somebody had been careless enough to leave open, down through the ship’s neck, all the way to the engineering section. Pooling briefly at the bottom of the shaft, it quickly rose until it reached the first open hatch it could find.
The hatch for the Deflector Control room.
For those of you who aren’t Trek savvy, Navigational Deflectors are REALLY important. Primarily, they deflect interstellar dust, asteroids, space junk and anything else that could damage the hull of a ship. For a ship traveling at even a fraction of the speed of light, a pebble could hit like a bullet. The system could also be used to generate tachyon pulses, resonance bursts and pretty much any kind of energy beam the crew might need. Now imagine the power that takes. Then imagine mixing that kind of power with water. Let’s put it this way: dropping a hair dryer in a bathtub would be a tiny spark in comparison.
Huge amounts of power surged though the entire Deflector Control room, shorting out delicate circuitry and sturdy power conduits alike. Power surges ran across Silverado’s entire power grid before the computer initiated an emergency reactor shutdown. Emergency power kicked in, then failed.
The lights in Unbalanced Equations flickered, came up, then died all together. The ship lurched as the warp drive shut down, sending bottles and butts smashing onto the floor. Jeffery found himself buried under Dr.Wowryk and Ensign Dar’ugal. Yanick stumbled into Captain Stafford while Noonan somehow managed to skirt out of the way and keep his balance. Exclamations and curses rang out in a variety of languages, but the basic sentiment was the same:
“What the f**k?”
“Stafford to bridge!” Stafford called, “Ensign Pye, Lieutenant Stern, respond!” Nothing. He looked out the windows. The ship was spinning slowly through space and the warp nacelles were dark.
“Jeffery, what’s going on?”
“Ah dunno!” Jeffery hiccupped, then giggled.
“Are you hammered?”
“Maaaybe…maybe not!” Jeffery giggled again.
“Well SNAP OUT OF IT!”
Jeffery shook his head, shrugging off the effects of the synthehol.
There was a loud CRASH!
“What was that?” somebody asked.
“Mr.T’Parief just tripped over a table. He is presently unconscious,” Noonan stated.
“How can you tell that? It’s pitch black in here!”
“I have excellent night vision.”
“Well lucky you!”
“Enough!” barked Stafford, “OK, this is obviously an engineering problem. Let’s just sit back for a bit and wait for whoever’s on duty down there to get the lights back on.”
“Who is on duty right now anyway?” Jeffery asked.
“You’re the engineer,” Wowryk snapped, “shouldn’t you know?”
“I’m sorry, ma’am, they all look alike to me!”
“I suggest,” Noonan said calmly,” that you all find a spot and make yourselves comfortable. Before somebody else-“
“-becomes injured,” Noonan finished.
There were a few moments of relative silence as everybody settled down.
“Is life support still running?” Wowryk asked.
“Uh-oh,” said Stafford, “I never thought about that. Fifebee?”
“Crud,” Jeffery said, “holographic systems are offline. She’s down for the count.”
“Will she be OK?”
“Probably. They put pretty good crash protection on her program.”
“Um, excuse me,” piped up a voice, “but how about worrying about those of us that have to BREATHE!”
“Right,” Stafford said, “Simon?”
There were several crashed as Jeffery worked his way to the air vent.
“Nothing,” he reported.
“Crap,” Stafford said, “now what?”
“Can we panic now?” Yanick asked.
“Ah need to get to Engineering,” Jeffery said.
“I can get him to Main Engineering,” Noonan said.
“Look buddy,” Stafford said, “I don’t care how good your night vision is, there will be even less light in the corridors!”
“If we can find an emergency station we can get some flashlights.”
“And what are we supposed to do? Sit here and wait until we run out of air?”
“Do you have any other suggestions?”
Jeffery held on to Noonan’s belt as the first officer glided down the corridor. He couldn’t see a damned thing.
Noonan, on the other hand, was in his element. He felt completely at home in the dark. Granted, he couldn’t see very well without a moon or stars to provide lighting, but he still felt better. Poets could talk all about the ‘eternal night of space’, but they didn’t realize that nobody ever turned off the lights on a starship. At least not on purpose. But as he glided through the dark corridors, he felt strangely….comfortable.
“Are we there yet?” Jeffery asked.
They walked for a few more minutes.
“Are we there yet, now?”
“When will we get there?”
“Soon, I hope,” Noonan said.
“Well good, cuz if anybody sees us, it’s gonna look like Ah’m grabbing yer ass!”
“The lights are off. Nobody can see us.”
They located an emergency station. Noonan pulled out a flashlight. Jeffery tried tapping at a wall panel.
“Completely dead!” Jeffery exclaimed, “not even emergency power!”
“That’s not supposed to happen, is it?” Noonan asked.
“Never! There are so many fail-safes and backups that this should never happen!”
They opened a jefferies tube and started to descend.
“Do you hear running water?” Noonan asked.
“Yeah, I do.”
Noonan had just passed Deck 10. He stepped down the ladder to Deck 11. The ladder itself was non-conductive, but as his foot made contact with the water running through the tube, he received an impressive shock.
“AHHH!!!” Noonan screamed in pain as a massive jolt of electricity ran through his leg. He jumped up the ladder, flying past Jeffery and up two more decks in an instant. A bright spark flared through the darkness.
“HOLY F**K!” Jeffery shouted.
“Don’t go any further!” Noonan shouted, “the water’s electrified!” He directed the light to his damaged leg. The flesh was blistered and charred, but was already healing itself rapidly.
“Are ye OK?”
“Yes, I’m fine.”
“You’re one lucky son of a b**ch!”
“F**k,” Jeffery thought for a moment, “if there is some kind of mega short circuit from the water that would explain why we have no emergency power. But there really shouldn’t be a short like this! Everything is supposed to be sealed! And even if it did happen, the safety cutoffs should kick in, shutting down this deck while keeping the juice flowing everywhere else.”
“Obviously, they didn’t. Where are the cutoffs? If we cut power manually, will that help?”
“Aye. They’re in Impulse Engineering, on Deck 16.”
“We’ll have to take the turboshafts to get there,” Noonan said, “since the jefferies tube is flooded,”
“Ohhhh…” Jeffery whimpered.
Stafford, Yanick, Wowryk, T’Parief and the remainder of the crew in Unbalanced Equations sat huddled on the floor.
“How long can we last without life-support?” Yanick asked, panicked.
“In this room? About thirty minutes,” Wowryk replied.
“But,” Wowryk added, “if we open the doors and move people into the corridors we can extend that time considerably.”
“Let’s do it,” Stafford said.
“How?” asked Yanick, “we can’t see a thing!”
“We’ll just have to stumble along,” Stafford said.
“Be careful!” Steven piped in, “there’s broken glass!”
People started to carefully walk towards where they thought the doors were, feeling their way in the dark.
“OW! I found the wall!”
“GET YOUR HAND OFF MY ASS, GODLESS PERVERT!” <SMACK!>
“Three guesses who that was,”
“I’m sorry! I thought it was the wall padding!”
“I found a bottle of…glug glug…Saurian Brandy, I think,”
“How can I share it, I don’t know where you are!”
“People, focus! Proceed calmly towards the exits…”
“Focus on my ass, bitch!” shouted somebody.
“Watch it!” came a hissed whisper, “that’s the captain speaking.”
“He can’t see me! Hey, Captain! You suck!”
“Hey, yeah! Hey, Captain! You’re momma’s a nasty b**ch!”
“Listen you c**kbiting f**tards!” snapped Stafford, “I can’t see you, but I can recognize your voices! Simmons! You’re cleaning up after Ensign Dar’ugal for the next month! It’s shedding season for the Baruda. And Griffin, you little a**wipe, T’Parief will be using YOU as the victim in his security training classes for the next YEAR! NOBODY INSULTS MY MOTHER!!!”
“Captain, please, you’re wasting valuable air! Calm down!”
“I AM CALM!”
“Keptain, perhaps ve can take ziz opportunity to get to ze root of your psychological discontent. Did you hate your mozer?”
“MY MOTHER IS A SAINT!”
“Vell, if they don’t get her personality out of the computer soon, I vill hate her!”
“I am SOO going to pretend I didn’t hear that!”
“Hmmm…how very interesting…” There was the sound of Yvonnokoff tapping on her padd, “And your fazer, did you hate him, too?”
Stafford took several deep breaths,
“No. I do NOT hate my father!”
“Zen your sister perhaps?”
“I’m ignoring you now.”
“Hostile responses to family inquiries,” Yvonnokoff muttered as she tapped at her padd.
“CUT IT OUT!”
Jeffery and Noonan arrived in Impulse Engineering after a nerve-wracking trip through the turboshaft. A single night shift technician occupied a large manual switching panel. One of the breakers popped open. The tech pressed the breaker closed. There was a sizzle of sparks for a few seconds, then the breaker popped open. The tech immediately pressed it shut.
“WHAT ARE YE DOING??” roared Jeffery.
“D-uh, this button keeps popping open. I’m trying to keep it shut,” the tech said.
“Stop it ye idiot! There’s a major short on Deck 11! You’re bringing down the entire emergency power system!”
“Oh. I guess that makes sense.”
This time the breaker remained open. A single emergency light came on. Jeffery took a closer look at the panel.
“F**K!” swore Jeffery.
“What?” Noonan asked.
“This idiot has fried the emergency power auto-switching system!”
“I see. How does that impact us?” Noonan asked.
“I can get emergency power back, but I have to switch it manually.”
“And since you don’t know what sections are damaged, if you restore power to a damaged or flooded section-“
“-the whole grid goes down again. But ye must realize, we could have people in those sections.”
Noonan thought for a moment.
“If they were in the water, they’re probably already dead. Restoring power is essential. We can only hope everybody escaped. I shall report to the captain.”
Crewman Shwaluk sat next to Nurse Kerry on the top bunk of the enlisted crewman’s quarters. Water filled the lower half of the room.
“Think it’s safe to climb down?” he asked.
“You wanna risk getting zapped?” she pointed to where Shwaluk’s new pet hamster (recently acquired on their last visit to Earth) floated, blackened and charred.
“Good point. Let’s stay here.”
Jeffery began restoring emergency power circuits.
Emergency life-support came to life.
Lights came on in the Impulse Engineering room.
Bridge emergency power was restored.
Stafford and crew looked up as emergency lighting came up. The ventilators had already kicked in, prompting a sigh of relief all around.
Jeffery worked away.
Deck 4 emergency power.
Yanick shivered as the lights cut out again.
“I’m really not liking this,” she said. Her voice trembled slightly.
T’Parief put his arm around her. She leaned against him.
“Not exactly a perfect first date,” Yanick said.
“I think it’s progressing fairly well,” T’Parief rumbled.
“I wound up with a wonderful woman in my arms,”
“Oh, come on!”
“What?” T’Parief said, “I thought I was being charming!”
“That was more cheesy than charming. But it’s still sweet of you to try.” Yanick reached up to give him a peck on the cheek.
Dr.Wowryk sat on the floor. She could hear Yanick and T’Parief talking. At least they were behaving. Most heathens would be taking advantage of the dark to engage in evil, carnal acts. She felt a bit lonely. Jeffery was off fixing stuff. She hadn’t realized how comforting it was to have somebody at her side, even if it was for a short date.
“Are you feeling OK, Captain?” she asked.
“Oh, fine. I should really get to the bridge though. The captain should not be sitting on his ass during a crisis!”
“You might have some trouble in the dark.”
“Yeah, I’ll wait until Noonan gets back.”
The lights came up, just as Noonan walked in.
“Commander!” Stafford exclaimed, “what’s going on?”
“There has been severe flooding on Deck 11, which shorted out the emergency power system. Mr.Jeffery is trying to manually route emergency power as we speak.”
The lights cut out.
“We don’t know the extent of the damage, or what caused this situation in the first place,” Noonan went on, “we cannot contact Main Engineering or any other crewmen.”
“Get me to the bridge,” Stafford ordered.
The lights came back up.
“There’s really nothing we can do until power is restored.”
“I know, but if the other captains hear that I was hiding in the lounge during an emergency, I’ll never live it down!”
“Jeffery to Stafford,”
“Ah have internal communications up. For now. Ah’ll wait for you to make an announcement before Ah get back to work and risk knocking it out again.”
“Excellent! Stafford to all hands: the ship has suffered a catastrophic systems failure. Mr. Jeffery is working to restore emergency power so we can undertake repairs. Please stay calm and remain where you are, unless you’re injured or dying. In which case, please comm Dr. Wowryk within the next minute. She can administer medical care or Last Rites as appropriate.”
“Well, that’s reassuring,” muttered Simmons.
“Watch it, you’re already on my s**tlist!”
Fifebee shimmered to life.
“I am Jane 5-B, sentient hologram. Did I miss something?” she said.
The lights and the holographic officer cut out again.
“F**KING C**KBITING F**KTARDED PIECE OF OUTDATED S**T! I’M GOING TO THROW THIS WHOLE F**KING THING OUT THE F**KING WINDOW!”
Jeffery was in a less than cheerful mood.
Emergency life support.
Emergency bridge power.
Less than a thousand kilometers away, a small vessel dropped out of warp. It was a very fashionable shade of blue with deep grey highlights. Basically cylindrical, it had dozens of antennas and arrays sticking out the back end in several directions, giving it an odd, almost broom-like appearance.
On board were several muscular men wearing jet-black combat armor. They were watching a large viewscreen, where the image of a dark haired woman was displayed. Her eyes were a piercing green, her skin was perfect. And any one of the men would die for her in an instant.
“You will attack the Federation ship and knock them out of warp. You are to then board them and locate the subject. Expect resistance. Return the subject to Base 17. This is a high-priority assignment, so your lives are forfeit.”
“They have stopped on their own, Mistress,” replied the commander of the male force.
“Excellent. Proceed with the plan then.”
“As you command, Mistress.”
The alien ship maneuvered alongside the derelict Silverado. A docking port extended and latched itself to Silverado’s starboard saucer airlock.
“I’m picking up sporadic power surges,” reported the science officer.
“They appear to have suffered a severe systems failure,” replied another.
Their leader contemplated for a moment.
“They will be ripe for the picking.”
Wowryk looked up at the ceiling of Unbalanced Equations as a shudder ran through the ship. She and Nurse Kerry had set up shop in the lounge, since they couldn’t get to sickbay. She felt a sudden spell of dizziness as voices whispered at the edge of her consciousness. She shook her head.
“Doctor?” asked the nurse, “are you OK?”
“Yeah, fine. Just stress, I think.”
“What was that?” Stafford asked .
“Dunno,” replied Lieutenant Stern, the night shift security officer.
“Can’t you tell anything?”
“Yeah. Right. I’m going to use my magical psychic abilities, since all the ship’s sensors are down.”
“Shut up! Ensign Burke?”
Jeffery was still clicking switches in Impulse Engineering.
Tertiary antimatter storage field power backups.
Lateral sensor array emergency power.
Internal security sensors.
“INTRUDER ALERT! INTRUDER ALERT!”
“S**T!!” shouted Stern and Burke together.
“We’ve got a vessel of unknown configuration docked at our starboard airlock!” said Burke, panicked.
“And intruders in the airlock!” added Stern.
“F**K!” Stafford swore, “Stafford to T’Parief! Intruders in the starboard airlock! Find out who they are. If they’re not friendly, blast them!”
“Stafford to Jeffery, stop flipping switches! Now would be a very bad time to lose power!”
T’Parief, Dar’ugal and several other security officers met on Deck 12, then proceeded towards the airlock, armed with phaser rifles.
“We talk first,” rumbled T’Parief, “then we shoot them, if and when necessary.”
T’Parief had reached the T-junction near the airlock. He looked carefully around the corner and saw several black-suited figures stalking down the corridor.
“Halt! Identify yourselves!” he shouted.
“I said STOP!” snarled T’Parief.
One of the figures lifted his weapon and sent a shot towards the security chief, who ducked back behind the corner.
“OK, we attack!” he said, baring his teeth.
He swung his rifle around the corner and started firing stun shots at the lead figure. The black body armor absorbed several shots before the figure finally collapsed.
“Go up to setting 6!” T’Parief ordered.
Dar’ugal and the other security guards lay down covering fire as T’Parief skirted to the other side of the junction. He turned and added his fire to theirs. Two more figures fell, but the rest continued to advance. One figure fired at Ensign Marsden, sending the young man slamming back against the wall.
“We’re being pushed back!” came T’Parief’s rushed voice over Stafford’s comm-badge, “I’ve been cut off from the security team! The invaders have split up. One group is pressing towards Unbalanced Equations, the other one is after me.”
“Hold out as long as you can,” Stafford said, “we’re trying to get reinforcements to you.”
T’Parief ducked and dodged down the corridor, pursued by three of the black figures. He kept firing back, but was outnumbered. He needed to even the numbers…
He dodged into a jefferies tube heading for Deck 11, leaving the hatch open behind him.
Ensign Dar’ugal and his team had fallen back to the last intersection between the invaders and Unbalanced Equations before being joined by reinforcements led by Lieutenant Stern. Crouching behind corners and supports, they blasted at the invaders.
T’Parief waded through the flooded corridors of Deck 11, looking for an escape. Two of the invaders had followed him down, but he had no clue where the other one was.
Coming to the door to one of one of the enlisted men’s quarters, he pried open the door and slipped inside. Working his way to one of the bunk beds, he pulled himself out of the water. He could here the invaders coming up to the door.
“T’Parief to Jeffery,” he said, “now would be a good time for Deck 11 to get power!”
“Are ye daft?” Jeffery asked as one figure starting squeezing through the door.”
“Trust me! Hit it NOW!”
Sparks flew as power flowed through the water, through most of Deck 11, and through the two invading aliens. The two figures jerked and writhed before collapsing beneath the water. After a few seconds, the sparks stopped.
T’Parief waited a few moments for Jeffery to start restoring power.
“T’Parief to Jeffery,”
“Whatever you do, do NOT restore power to Deck 11!”
“Power up Deck 11, don’t power up Deck 11, make up your mind!”
“T’Parief out.” He jumped down, ready to hunt down the remaining alien.
Up on the bridge, Ensign Burke was tapping away at the internal sensors.
“Most of the invaders are concentrating their attack on Unbalanced Equations. T’Parief fried the two after him. That leaves one heading for Impulse Engineering,”
“Engineering is ALWAYS a target,” Stafford mused, “but what the hell is so special about the officer’s lounge?”
A single alien soldier climbed down the turboshaft towards what his scanner indicated was the emergency power and sublight engineering section. Hi name was Epsilon 246. His life had been a short one, and he knew it wasn’t likely to last much longer. But if it meant the success of his mission in the name of his Mistress, he would give it up in a second.
Climbing out of the shaft and onto Deck 16 he checked his scanner again, then headed towards his goal. He took a quick moment to wonder why these aliens had completely different décor on different levels of their ship, then carried on.
Following directions from the bridge, T’Parief skirted down the turboshaft ladder and onto Deck 16. He quickly picked up the trail of his quarry. Yup. Straight to Impulse Engineering.
Trying to be as quiet as possible, T’Parief ran down the corridor. He promptly snagged a talon in a loose carpet thread and stumbled, biting back a curse. He regained his footing and hurried on.
As he turned the last corner to Impulse Engineering, he spotted the alien creeping up on an unsuspecting Jeffery. He rushed towards him and leapt, claws outstretched. T’Parief’s bulky frame knocked the alien to the ground, slamming his forehead against his helmet, cracking his skull.
“AHA!!!” T’Parief roared, “GOT YOU!” He ripped the alien’s faceplate off, revealing a pale but handsome face beneath.
“Why are you here!” demanded the security chief, “what gives you the right to glarnk around on MY ship!”
Blood leaked from the alien’s mouth as he mumbled his last words.
“For my Mistress…”
“Oh,” moaned T’Parief, “son of a blartch!”
“Captain,” Burke said, ‘I’m getting some funny readings from that ship,”
“What kind of ‘funny readings’?”
“I don’t know…primary sensors are offline. It would really help if Fifebee were here.”
“Well, she’s not!”
“T’Parief to Stafford,”
“I’ve taken out the alien headed for Engineering,”
“Great. Learn anything?”
“Not really. But he mentioned a Mistress,”
Stafford’s blood went cold.
“Burke?” Stafford said as he bit his lip, “do those energy reading resemble the cortical induction field we encountered during the launch?”
“Um, kinda. A bit.”
“So they’re very likely the same aliens who planted that spatial interphase generator on the ship and trapped us in a woman-controlled dreamland?
Stern and Dar’ugal continued firing at the attacking aliens.
T’Parief had joined them, adding his firepower. The aliens were no longer advancing, but they weren’t going back either.
“Stafford to Stern. They’re after Dr.Wowryk! Keep them away from the lounge AT ALL COSTS!”
“Sure,” snapped Stern, “that’s completely different from what we were doing before!”
“I’ve sent Simmons down to the Armory to get heavier ordinance,” yelled T’Parief.
“And I’m back!” said Simmons brightly, “Who wants the photon grenades and who wants the plasma bombs?”
“Plasma bombs?? Are you trying to blow up the ship?”
“Stern: toss out a grenade. After it goes off you, me and Dar’ugal will finish them!”
Stern chucked a grenade down the corridor. It bounced right between the armored figures and detonated, filling the corridor with a blinding flash. The three security officers were instantly on their feet, rushing down the corridor, weapons at the ready.
Turned out to be pretty pointless. There was nothing left of the attackers except for scorch marks on what was left of the corridor walls.
“T’Parief to Stafford, The attackers have been repelled.”
Captain’s Log, Stardate: 56258.4
“Once their boarding party was defeated, the alien ship took off for parts unknown. Don’t know why they didn’t fire on us, but I’m not going to look a gift horse in the mouth.”
“The important thing is that they didn’t get Dr. Wowryk. Who knows why they want her. Seriously, if you’re going to go to all this trouble to catch a woman, go for one that won’t beat the crap out of you! Seriously though, Wowryk is OK and nobody was killed.”
“Mr. Jeffery and his team have drained all the flooded sections and emergency power has been restored. Unfortunately, our other repairs won’t be as easy.”
“There was heavy damage to most of Deck 11 and the navigational deflector,” Jeffery was saying, “It’s going to take days just to replace all the burnt out conduits and circuits, never mind getting the mildew out of the carpets!”
“So we’re stuck dead in the water for a few days,” said Jall, “we’ve been in that situation before. It’s no big deal.”
“Right, this from the guys who slept through all the fun!”
“I was sleepy!”
“Jeffery, continue please,” Stafford said tiredly, leaning against the conference lounge table.
“Transporters, replicators and holographic systems are going to be offline for at least four days. Warp drive will be up in two. Weapons and shields are fine, except that the conduits for the ventral saucer phaser arrays go through Deck 11 and are a bit fried. Same story for the pulse cannon.”
“But the big problem is the navigational deflector. The main particle emitter is burned right out. So are the magnetic field generators. We can’t even use impulse power without it!”
“Can we replicate replacements?”
“Aye, for most of what we need. But we’re going to need a quantum flux oscillator to rebuild the deflector. Ye can’t replicate those.”
“S**t,” commented Jall.
“We’re only two weeks from Waystation,” said Yanick, “can’t they send us one?”
“Probably,” said Noonan, “but that will leave us here for nearly two weeks.”
“We don’t have much of a choice,” T’Parief said, “we shouldn’t send out a general distress call. We cannot risk attracting the aliens back here until we’re back to full strength. And we cannot go very far.”
“Jall, contact Waystation and request the parts we need. I guess we’ll just sit tight and do what we can until then.”
Yanick caught up to T’Parief as everybody crowded out of the conference lounge.
“This really sucks, doesn’t it,” she said.
“Yes. It does.”
“We’re stuck, alone, weeks from any help.”
“The ship’s damaged and drifting.”
“That’s what the meeting was about.”
“Don’t be so calm!” Yanick cried.
T’Parief looked over at Yanick and saw that she had tears on her face.
“I’m scared,” she said in a small voice.
T’Parief pulled her into a hug. She buried her head in his shoulder.
“Don’t worry,” he said, “The Captain and Jeffery have everything figured out. Ships are usually far from help. We’ll be OK.”
“Thanks,” Yanick sniffed.
Jall swung by on his way out and wrapped an arm around Yanick’s shoulder.
“You two make such a cute couple!” he teased.
Stafford sat in his ready room with Jeffery and Wowryk.
“You understand why I’m worried,” he said to Wowryk.
“You’re worried I’m going to become a power-hungry tyrant again.” Wowryk said.
“No. Well, yes. But I’m more worried about you being kidnapped and dragged away so these aliens can do who-knows-what to you.”
“Maybe they want me to be their new leader?”
“Yeah,” Jeffery chuckled, “or they might be in desperate need of a good priest!”
Wowryk glared at Jeffery, who immediately stopped laughing.
“We’re keeping round the clock security on you, Doctor,” Stafford said, “they’re not going to get you. And I’m sure Mr. Jeffery will be helping to keep an eye on you too, since you two are getting to be so close.”
“Aye, that Ah can do,”
Noonan walked in as Wowryk and Jeffery departed.
“Is it me, or does she already have him completely whipped?” Stafford asked.
“Yes. And they’ve only been on one date. Impressive.”
“Why do you think they want her?” Stafford asked.
“We’ve been through this before. I don’t know.”
“C’mon! You have opinions and ideas, smart ones too, about everything.”
“From what we’ve been able to deduce, we’re dealing with a society run by women. What would a society like that need Dr.Wowryk for? Granted she’s aggressive, beautiful and can make any man-“
Stafford cleared his throat.
“-any man,” Noonan continued, “jump through whatever hoops she pleases. But a race led by women would presumably have plenty of women like that.”
“Hmm. Well, whatever they want, I hope they don’t come back for awhile.”
On board the alien ship, the surviving crew sat before the viewscreen as their Mistress addressed them.
“You’ve all failed,” she said coldly, “you’ve failed to defeat the Federation ship, even though it was damaged. You failed to retrieve the subject. You lost the entire boarding party, with NOTHING to show for it! And we have now lost the element of surprise!”
“We’re sorry, Mistress,”
“SORRY ISN”T GOOD ENOUGH!” she snapped, “You’re all worthless! WORTHLESS! You should be confined to the torture chamber for weeks for what you’ve done!”
“But I have no time for the likes of you! Rest assured, we WILL get what we want! But you will not live to see it!”
She tapped a single button. The ship exploded, sending debris flying in all directions.
Back at her base, the Mistress watched the remains of Scout 283B spread across her screen. She had other ships. Other plans. Other tactics. She would get what she wanted. One way or another.
Well, that’s it! The end of Silverado? Hardly! But it’s the halfway point of Silverado’s first run. So I’m taking a break. But rest assured, once the beautiful weather passes I will be back to finish off the rest of the season! When I return: Botched deliveries, video game spoofs and the final showdown with the mystery women!