Star Trek: Isoroku
Beyond the Veil, Pt. 7
“The coordinates they’ve sent have us meeting them in the Rangalor system,” The tactical officer threw up a holographic overview of the system and its installations, “It’s home to a Federation colony, sort of an amalgamation of all the powers in the region. Heavily urbanised.” he then looked over in the direction of the captain, “Trill make up a large portion of the population.”
Captain Kinsho stood at the other end of the conference room table, quietly looking at the readouts for the system, “Let’s make sure to appraise the Starbase commander of the situation, have them upgrade their systems to be in line with the upgrades we’ve made to the phaser arrays,” he then turned to his doctor, “doc.”
“We’ve been able to stabilise the creatures, it seems that they come from another universe where the laws of physics are quite different from our own. The phasing effect is caused by their tech to come to this realm, it’s a nice side effect that helps them avoid incoming phaser fire. If we take them out of flux they start deteriorating.” The doctor made a holographic interface show the creatures in the brig, “my current hypothesis is that they require the Trill to anchor themselves in this universe, somehow.” He looked over at the Chief of Science.
StCroix nodded a bit slowly, it might make sense, “I ain’t no biologist, but it rings true. Trill are definitely more compatible with foreign bodies fusing with their physiology.” His twang ringing through his words.
Captain Kinsho nodded and then looked at Shairo, “Lieutenant, once they breach in the Rangalor system, we need options. Please tell me we have some.”
“Our little stunt with the shield emitters worked, I doubt if it’ll hold up under fire though,” She looked over at Nicholas, the chief of science, and gave a single nod, “We’ve been working with the science department to outfit some of the probes on board with emitters of their own. With the right frequency we could create a net.”
“But we have the right frequency now, right?” Kinsho looked between the two senior officers.
“Well, sure…” StCroix confirmed, but there was a clear hesitance.
“Spit it out, Nick,” Kinsho didn’t have time for this beating around the bush.
“Well, since it’s a side effect of their gris-gris when breaching our space, we can’t be sure they’re still on the same frequency if they’re breachin’ in another sector of space.” StCroix voiced his concerns.
The tactical officer, Wang, concurred, “If it were me, I would definitely rotate frequencies.”
“That’s assuming it’s a conscious decision to do so,” Shairo mentioned, looking over to StCroix again, it wasn’t fully in her ballpark but she did understand that to breach the fabric between universes a tremendous amount of effort would be involved.
“Alright, so the fighters take point, we rotate their frequencies, like before, can we give them some help?” the Captain interrupted the back and forth, it was moot anyway. They had to check to make sure.
“Well if-” Shairo and Nicholas started at the same time.
“If the-” StCroix made a small bow with his head, “ladies first”
“The doctor said it was a result from the breach into our universe, we could scan the anomaly to determine the frequency, or at the very least the band.” Shairo looked over at StCroix.
“We can calibrate the sensors to pick ’em up. The probes are designed to take remote input so should be adjusted easily enough.” StCroix added to Shairo’s explanation.
“Alright then, make it happen,” The Captain looked at them expectantly.
“Oh. You mean. Right now?” Shairo immediately started to collect her PADDs and looked at StCroix anxiously, they were going to be working together on this and it was putting a strain on both departments. They were responsible for a successful engagement with these species.
Before they exited the room the Captain was already moving forward with the other topics at hand, “Doctor, can we apply what we’ve learned on a larger scale? Something to stabilise their existence here without the need to trade Trill civilians?”
[Cargobay one, thirty minutes prior to rendezvous.]
“You know, Commander,” Shairo looked up from the final probe they closed, “no matter what happens, I think we’ve done a good job.”
“Weh, that we most certainly did, Zirondelle,” He held up his hand to give her a high five. When she didn’t respond he reached over and lifted her hand with his other so that he could slap it, “and I told ya, call me Nick.”
“I’m sorry, sir, commander, Nick,” Shairo felt her cheeks flush with warmth. She quickly looked over at the chronometer at the far end of the bay, “less than thirty minutes left. Let’s get back to the Captain, and get ready for this.”
Nicholas nodded, “Let’s,” he motioned for one of the crewmen nearby to take the final probe to the launchers, “ain’t nothin’ more precious than this here cargo, son, so don’t you dare drop it, compris?”
There was a quick salute from the crewman and he enlisted the help from another colleague before carrying off the device in the direction of the probe launchers.
Shairo and Nicholas headed for the turbolift and waited for it to arrive on their deck when the Orion engineer turned to face the science officer, “Why do you keep calling me Zirondelle?” She had wondered this for as long as she had joined the senior staff, which to be fair hadn’t been all that long but still was something that bugged her enough to raise the question.
The doors to the turbolifts opened and both of them stepped inside, “Bridge,” Nicholas ordered before turning to face Shairo, “because you are one,” he gave a wink.
“But what is a Zirondelle?” Shairo insisted, wanting to know what she was being called and whether it was a term of endearment or of mockery.
“A Zirondelle is a Zirondelle, sha,” Nicholas shrugged, he clearly enjoyed the fact that she didn’t know and that she was curious a bit too much, “ain’t nothin’ to wreck your brain over. It’s all compliments.”
“Still…” Shairo wanted to pull it out of him when the doors opened to the bridge and there was a clear hustle and bustle already going on.
“Captain,” Nicholas called for attention from the command pit, “we’ve finished work on the probe net, ready for deployment at your command, sir.”
“Thank you, Commander, please man your station,” Kinsho then turned to Shairo, “glad to have you with us on the bridge, Lieutenant.”
Shairo shot Nicholas another look to remind him that this wasn’t over, and with that took up her position behind the console, “aye sir.”
The Captain turned back in his seat, looking at the viewer, which was aimed at an empty spot in space, just outside of close sensor range of the colony, there were already signs of the anomaly showing up but to the naked eye it was just a stretch of black like any other, “Now all we have left to do is wait.”
[Thirty-five minutes later]
The part of space broke open, fairly similar in visual to the Bajoran wormhole, some otherworldly colours mixed in. The sensors on the ship were immediately overwhelmed with data and information.
“Kraven, Yellow alert,” the Captain ordered, looking over at the tactical officer. Immediately the claxons went off and the shields were raised, “let’s give them the benefit of the doubt.”
There was a clear displeasure in the First officer that was next to him, she kept quiet though. It was a sign that they weren’t on the same page on how to approach this interaction, but in the end the Captain decided and the XO could do nothing but file an official comment on his actions and then proceed to follow orders.
A single ship emerged from the bridge between universes. It was clearly in flux as the others had been, but also it was very clearly a larger vessel than the shuttle or fighter type vessels they had encountered in previous occasions. It was difficult to focus on the vessel’s form or the hull material it was made from, it was about the size of a Defiant class vessel, but the wide open engine configuration seemed more suited for underwater travel than it did for space travel. They had salvaged some of the materials from the fighters they had taken out in their last encounter but it had deteriorated pretty quickly.
“We’re receiving a hail, Captain, it would appear that Commander Galin is on the other end.” The communications officer spoke up from the front of the bridge.
The Bajoran captain got up from his seat, touched his ear where the traditional D’ja pagh would normally hang. He took in a deep breath and straightened his uniform before stepping forward towards the viewscreen, “On screen.”
The screen flickered, a bit of an incompatibility between the technologies, but in the end did show the Trill flight commander, “greetings, Captain Kinsho, of the USS Isoroku, representing the United Federation of Planets. We are glad to see you have chosen to engage in peaceful negotiations.”
Kinsho put his hands behind his back and wondered for a moment how to respond to that, “We have taken precautions to make sure things stay civil,” his head leaned to the right a bit as he tried to determine how much of his commander was still in there, “Are they treating you well, Commander?”
Liliah gave a slight frown at the question, “We are well, Captain, do not worry about us,” it seemed a bit strained, and the woman in front of the viewer definitely didn’t seem like the Liliah they knew, “The Liev’at are seeking asylum within the United Federation of Planets. Our civilisation is being persecuted.”
“By the entity known as the Shadow?” the Captain remarked, they had been trying to get information from their three prisoners ever since they captured them, but it was clear that they had been ordered or compelled not to share too much information, “your associates have conveyed as much.”
“We know what they have conveyed, Captain.”
The XO stepped forward and presented Captain Kinsho with a PADD, it was showing the security feed from the brig, it was clear that the three entities in their brig were also broadcasting the conversation that they were having, “So you are some sort of collective consciousness?”
“We are Liev’at,” Liliah remarked.
StCroix looked over at Shairo and shook his head a bit at the unhelpful nature of that response.
“If we are to negotiate, there is one request that is non-negotiable,”
“The return of those that have been displaced,” Liliah immediately said exactly what the Captain was referring to.
Kinsho nodded, “exactly.”
There was a moment where the Liev’at seemed to contemplate the situation, “Lower your shields and we shall return them to you,” The viewer shut off and the screen returned to the view of the vessel before they could respond.
Kinsho looked over at the tactical station, “Lieutenant.”
Kraven looked back, “I would advise against it, Captain. It will leave us exposed. We don’t know their weaponry.”
“I have to strongly object to this course of action, Captain,” The Executive officer jumped up from her seat.
“Your objection has been noted, number one,” Kinsho motioned for the XO to sit back down, “it provides an opportunity to get Commander Galin back,” Kinsho looked over at the Ops officer in front of him, “be ready.” He took a beat to allow the operations officer to be prepared, “lower the anterior shields.”
The moment the shields lowered there was an alert. The vessel on screen solidified. A clear black hull with a purple sheen. Outside of their purview a great number of people suddenly appeared in the mess hall, the widest open space available on the vessel that was hospitable to the people that were taken by the Liev’at. The vision of the vessel in front of them almost immediately flickered back to its out of flux state.
“Did we get her?” Kinsho looked at the ops officer, who simply shook their head, “hail them.”
The screen flickered back on and a connection between the two was established once more, “It disappoints us that you were attempting to reclaim this vessel.” Liliah spoke without too much emotion in her voice, “that does not bode well in regards to establishing trust between our two people.”
“Abducting hundreds of people from civilised worlds has already damaged aforementioned trust.” Kinsho retorted.
“We apologise for any discomfort they have endured, our research was paramount to the survival of our species.” The creature, or creatures, inhabiting Liliah did not seem at all remorseful for the decision made to abduct hundreds of Federation citizens, “The Liev’at are being hunted to extinction by the entity you referred to as the Shadow. In our reality the shadow encompasses almost everything. This has led the Liev’at to seek refuge outside of our own reality. We have endeavoured to do so with as little intrusion into the new reality as possible, but our physiologies are not compatible with the constraints of your universe, Captain.”
“So that’s why you were surveying the colonies, to find a way to exist in this universe without deteriorating.”
Liliah nodded, “and when we encountered the Trill we found a species that is geared towards compatibility with others. An entire society and species aimed at unification between two wholly separate creatures to create a greater whole. The Liev’at can be that and more.”
“The United Federation of Planets has always stood of justice and freedom, and we’re more than willing to help where we can,” Captain Kinsho was sure to measure his words carefully, he didn’t want to commit to handing over the Trill, if they were to do that there was going to be a mad scramble to stop them from taking the Trill on the planet below and he didn’t want to put any of them in that situation, “We can’t simply allow the Liev’at to inhabit the Trill.”
“You speak for the United Federation of Planets, is this not correct?” Liliah posited.
“I do.” Kinsho wondered where this was going.
“And the Trill are a subunit of the United Federation of Planets, is this not correct?” Liliah added to her earlier statement.
“They are a member of our collective Federation. There are more than 170 planets in the Federation, I would be wrong if I were to claim I spoke for all of them.”
“Do you not speak for the Trill?” There was a clear confusion in the entity’s voice.
“Not in the way that the Liev’at seem to speak,” Kinsho was aware that there was some cultural misunderstandings going on, “if you have access to Commander Galin’s consciousness you might want to double check her experiences and knowledge on the matter. The Liev’at seem to speak in one voice.” He took a step back and motioned for the rest of the crew present on the bridge, “we all have our individual voices.”
“We do not understand,” Liliah seemed to be confused, she was looking around the vessel she was standing in as if it was new to her, “Captain?”
“Commander, are you okay?” Kinsho stepped closer again, wanting to reach out to his flight commander.
Liliah nodded, “Yes, sir,” She grabbed her head, in pain, “their society, they’re one. It’s…” She shook her head, “they can’t comprehend the structure of our society.” She then looked straight at the viewer, “we need to help them, the Shadow is coming for all of them.” With a large exhale her body seemed to tense up, then her head lifted and looked at Kinsho, “we believe we understand.”
Kinsho nodded, “Our medical officer has worked hard and tirelessly to find an alternative and we believe that we can provide you with a space on one of the uninhabited moons here in the Rangalor system. It will take some time to make comfortable living arrangements, but we can set up an area that your species can survive.”
“We do not understand, your space is not compatible with our physiology, a satellite would not be sufficient.” Liliah remarked.
“Allow us to send over the specifications and your scientists can confirm that this would work, we would set you up in one of the Starbase’s cargo bays first, it wouldn’t be ideal but you would be safe,” Kinsho wanted to take care of their most urgent concerns first, they appeared to need to get out of their own space first, “there should be enough room for your 23.728 units to reside there. We’ll also inform the Trill communities around the Federation of the offer to join with your consciousness. Starfleet and the Federation will endeavour to create a habitable planet for you in your original form.”
“What will the United Federation of Planets seek in return?” The Liev’at seemed hesitant to take this offer, it seemed too good to be true after all.
Kinsho spread his arms, in a gesture that was meant to say that he had no idea, “what the United Federation of Planets always seeks, to meet new life in all it’s beautiful forms, to coexist peacefully together, to learn and to grow,” He looked around the officers on his bridge, “together.”
authors note I do not own Star Trek or any of its characters. This is a fictional story that I wrote. I do not make profit from it and It’s not authorized by CBS or Viacom.
When Star Trek: The Next Generation first came out I was very young, but my mother would always watch it with me. Watching TNG, DS9 and VOY throughout the 90s kept me going, but when the new millenium hit I needed more. So I started writing my own Star Trek stories. I hope that through expanding on those stories we can add to that, and keep Roddenberry’s vision alive.
Each month you can find a new story in the category “John’s story logs”.
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