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Part of USS Jaxartes: Children Of A Lesser God

Part 6: Farewell My People

Vasileio / USS Jaxartes
Date: 30th July 2401 15:00
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By taking it in turns to scrap away at the mortar around one of the stone blocks making up the walls of their prison cell using the handle of a metal spoon, Lieutenant Stuart along with Ensigns Tholakath and Cho; had finally managed to dislodge it.  The young Cardassian who’d done a large percentage of the work, carefully and as quietly as possible dragged the heavy stone out of the way.  Behind it was what he’d originally hoped to find when he’d begun the arduous task; one of the iron bolts locking the door which ran through a small channel carved half into the stone he’d removed and the other one behind it.

He was about to see if there was any way of pushing the bolt back into the door and therefore releasing the lock; when the Tactical Officer heard footsteps approaching. He barely managed to push the stone back in place and hastily step away; when the small hatch in the door was opened.  The voice of a Vasilian shouted through the gap; instructions that Cho knew meant stand against the far wall.  The three officers wasted no time in following those orders and the door was opened.

Under escort of several guards they made their way up the stairs and eventually out of the building.  Several locals stopped and stared in amazement as they were paraded past.  Vasilian’s gasped in shock, some backing away, mothers drew their children close to them and a few brave souls jeered and heckled the Starfleet Officers.  One male even raised his arm as if to through the partly eaten fruit in his hand, but the closest guard to him turned and made it clear with a simple stare that behaviour like that would not be tolerated.  The individual backed down, and the prisoners moved on.

“Calm yourselves my people.” Came the voice of the Ferengi, but in their own language. “You are quite safe in my presence. I will not allow these creatures to harm you.”

Lieutenant Stuart looking in Cho’s direction looking for clarification regarding what the DiaMon had just said. “He’s telling them to be calm.” Was the answer the Korean gave her.

They were eventually led to a large wooden cage, just to the right of a small platform on which the Ferengi was standing.  There must have been at least 30 guards including those that had escorted them outside; with somewhere in the region of 600 onlookers. 

“I have been to a zoo, when I was much younger.” Grumbled Tholakath. “Never thought I’d experience what it felt like to be on the other side of the bars.” 

“My family were slaves for generations until my grandmother was offered her freedom.” Lyanna intoned.  “I do not intend being part of that kind of life.” 

Talr stepped closer to them, and bent down slightly to bring his face more in line with theirs. “Oh why the glum faces?” He asked. “This will all be over soon.”

“What are you intentions?”  Stuart questioned.

“Nothing horrible I assure you.” He smiled at her. “I just needed you to be on view so your ship is able to tell you’ve not been harmed.”

“You could just let us go.” Cho piped up.

“You Hu mons can be so funny at times.” He laughed, but there was seriousness to the eyes the Communications Officer didn’t like one bit. “Enjoy the celebrations.  I have a speech to make.”  The Ferengi made his way back to the centre of the platform.  When he raised his arms above his head, the crowd slowly feel silent.  “My people…..”

            ********** 

On the bridge of the USS Jaxartes, everything was being closely monitored.  They’d watched the gathering crowds of Vasilian; there was probably nearly everyone from the town there, along with others from nearby farms and villages.  The region had ground to a halt for what looked to be a rather special occasion.   

“The away team have been escorted over to a cage of some sort.” The Caitian Science Officer informed the Captain. “They appear unharmed, but it’s difficult getting a clear line of sight from orbit and with the broken cloud.” 

Devron contacted Crewman Lightwood stationed in the Transporter room, and was informed it was still impossible to beam the three officers up. Frustrated he sat in his chair and asked C’Rren to put the image up on the main viewer.   As the Ensign had said the image wasn’t that good.  The ‘Jax’ didn’t carry any drones or surveillance equipment they could drop below cloud level and get an uninterrupted view.

For now though the sky was relatively clear above the châteaux and Jason could tell that DaiMon Talr was standing on a wooden platform set before the massed crowds.  It was impossible to know what the Ferengi was saying, though from the visible reaction of those present, they appeared happy enough.  He was still wondering what the object under the large sheeting might be, when out of the corner of his eye Devron notice that a pair of the Llama like creatures had been attached to the ropes on one side.  Then with the encouragement of their owners the two animals moved forward and started pulling; slowly revealing the object underneath.

“Please tell me that’s not a 20 metre tall Bronze statue of a Ferengi?” Enquired the Captain.

“Just under 22, in fact.” Commented C’Rren. “But visual analysis does point towards it being Bronze.” 

“I can always hit it with phaser fire and claim it as an act of God?” Offered Chief Petty Officer Lose; standing in at Tactical as he had done on a couple of occasions.

“Do not tempt me Chief, do not tempt me.” Replied Devron with a half-smile.  Regardless of how hideous Jason felt the larger than life statue of DaiMon Talr now standing within the grounds of the châteaux was; he had to marvel at the skill and craftsmanship that had gone into its construction.  He’d seen the Ferengi’s face close up and this statue looked a near perfect representation of it.  When it came to construction the Vasileian or at least those in this area, they were true masters of their art. 

When Devron looked back at the platform a moment or two later Talr was gone, and a group of a half dozen female Vasileian had taken his place and were performing some kind of dance.  He wondered were the DaiMon had got to, but didn’t have long to wait for an answer.

“Incoming communication from the planet’s surface.”  Ensign Harris announced.

“On screen.”

There he was again in all his glory and far too close to the camera again. “Ah, Mister Denbar.” Talr smiled very much like a shark would before taking a sizeable chunk out of an arm or leg. “As I’m sure you’ve been able to verify, your crew are unharmed.”

“It’s Captain to you.” Devron shot back. Captain Devron, D E V R O N.” He spelt it out in the hope it would finally sink in.

“There is no need for that kind of attitude!” Retorted the Ferengi. “We both have something the other needs.  So now is the time to trade.” 

The Captain begrudgingly allowed the DaiMon to outline his request.  It was simple enough, if not a little theatrical.  But it was clear that Talr wanted to leave a lasting impression of these people that somehow saw him as a God.  It was difficult to tell how big an impact he’d had on their lives or how much the future of this planet had changed because of his arrival.  Jason hope for their sake that it wouldn’t doom them to destruction.  

            ********** 

The dancers had just finished as the DaiMon came back onto the platform.  He clapped and thanked them for a wonderful performance in his honour and also expressed gratitude towards all those present.  They cheered and chanted in response. “Talr, Talr, Talr.”  The noise was almost deafening; and it took him a while to calm them down again.

“It has been my pleasure to walk amongst you and see how far you have come.” The Ferengi’s voice rang out.  With the aid of a hidden microphone and speaker he could make his voice heard by the massed crowd before him. “I only wish I could stay longer.  But I must return to my place in the stars.”  It was an honest enough statement, even if the Vasileian would understand it differently.  Many of them pleaded for him not to go, sighting the improvements he’d made to their simple lives.  Talr could have been reckless and irresponsible; but making huge sweeping changes would do more damage than good.  So he’d done little things to just nudge them in the right direction.  Thanks to him, they could plough a field up to 10% faster, grind corn a little more efficiently and down at the harbour they were currently re-rigging a sailing ship with sails of his design; a ship that would be faster than anything else afloat. All these would help increase resources and trade.  Could the Federation really condemn him for the work he’d done here?  After all money makes the world go round, regardless of what that world might be.     

The DaiMon smiled at that thought and marvelled at the stupidity of anyone that believed power and wealth were not important; when in fact they were everything.

“Fare well my people.” Were the last words from his lips as seconds later the transporter beam bathed him in light.  Their God had performed one last miracle for his people; he had turned himself into a star and ascended once more.

            **********

A moment later DaiMon Talr found himself in the Transporter room of the USS Jaxartes, two crewmen looked at him; one stood by the controls another in the centre of the room phaser pointed at the new arrival. “Just passing through.” The Ferengi smiled.  But Lightwood and Appleby; the one holding the weapon had no intention of letting the DaiMon go anywhere until their captain gave them the all clear. 

In the end it was a few minutes before Devron arrived. “You may think you’re getting away. But I will catch you.” He warned the Ferengi.  “Mark my words.” 

“Do not make bets with Latinum you haven’t got!” Replied Talr. 

“Get him out of my sight!” Jason Yelled; and crewman Lightwood was only too happy to oblige.

            ********** 

Back on the Bridge; Harris, C’Rren and Lose were all ready to monitor and track the Ferengi shuttle with the aim of taking up the pursuit no sooner their fellow crewmembers were back aboard. 

What they couldn’t have banked on was the sudden intense flash of white light, which left them all temporally blinded and the accompanying pulse that knock out all of the corvettes external sensors.