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Part of USS Jaxartes: Children Of A Lesser God

Part 7: Sign From Above

Vasileio / USS Jaxartes / Ferengi Shuttle
Date: 30th July 2401 17:00
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Even in the bright sunlight of a near cloudless sky the Vasileian had seen the flash of light.  A sign from above; a sign from their God and they knew what they must do.  He had commanded them, and they would obey.  His will would be carried out.

The first indication that something was amiss for the three Starfleet Officers in the cage was when the crowd turned towards them and started chanting. “I’m not going to like what their saying, am I?” Asked Lieutenant Stuart; turning to her Korean companion.  The Communications Officer merely shook her head.  Sometimes it was probably better to remain ignorant, for Ensign Cho though, it wasn’t an option, she knew exactly what the people were shouting and it wasn’t good.

One of the guards started to unlock the door to the cage, whilst others used the points of their pikes to force the three of them towards it.  Tholakath tried to grab one of the pikes before its point prodded him in the left thigh; only to feel another jab more forcefully into the small of his back.  It wasn’t enough to pierce the skin, but the Cardassian felt it enough to realise resistance was still out of the question; at least whilst in such a confined space.

They were taken up on to the stage, where a large block of wood had been placed at the centre.  A block of wood with a curved top and could possibly only serve one purpose; as emphasized by the Vasileian male who approached from the other side.  Naked from the waste up, he carried with him a huge axe, the size of which would have made any Klingon sing for joy.  This was a weapon designed to kill and do it very well.   

            **********

Ensign C’Rren was the first of those on the bridge to regain any form of useable sight; quickly swapping the imagine on the main view screen from that of the now empty star-scape to one showing the grounds of the châteaux.  Green and purple dots danced before his eyes as the Caitian tried to piece together any details of what was happening on the planet’s surface.

Then he saw them; the difference in height between the three individuals and the much shorter stoat like locals was evident, even with less than perfect vision.  The away team were being forcefully escorted to the platform were Talr had made his speech; and from the movement of the crowds, something was about to happen. Whatever was going on down there; the indication was that they were in imminent danger. 

C’Rren moved towards the Captain’s chair and the Comm-Link mounted in the arm. “Bridge to Transporter room, you need to get the away team out of there fast!” 

            ********** 

Crewman Lightwood didn’t even acknowledge the message or look up to see the reaction of the Captain; he knew things must be desperate and he would have to act fast.  The transporter system was still being blocked by the Ionic Disruption Field, though when the DiaMon had brief disengaged it to allow himself to be beamed up, Lightwood had been able to get a partial lock on the three members of the way team. He hoped now he could use that to break through the field.

His fingers danced across the controls in a frantic bid to break though the interference, being created by the device.  He quickly asked Torf in engineering for additional power, silently praying that this was going to work.  Lightwood realised he could only bring them back individually and precious seconds would be lost whilst he reset everything after each operation of the transporter.  This might only work once, or perfectly each time, then again he could wreak the entire system leaving them all trapped waiting whatever fate the locals had in store or anyone of them could die mid-transport.  There was so much that could go wrong, so much riding on his shoulders.   Who would he pick first; he couldn’t hesitate for a split second longer!

Lieutenant Lyanna Stuart appeared on the pad a few seconds later; she staggered and stumbled off the transporter into Jason’s arm. “They’re about to execute Tholakath.” She blurted out.

Lightwood knew who his second target for retrieval would have to be; but the whole system had to resent first.

            **********

The sudden disappearance of one of their prisoners in much the same way as their God had bid farewell; had been a dramatic shock for the guard and crowd alike.  The Cardassian saw his chance and swung an elbow forcefully into the chest of the executioner; who almost doubled over.  The axe narrowly missed Tholakath as it came crashing down; imbedding itself into the wood of the platform.  Turning quickly he saw the closest guard rush forward, pike pointing level with his chest.  Tholakath dodged at the last possible moment grabbed the shaft of the pike in both hand and swung the guard round.  The guard lost his grip and went flying backwards into the crowd; landing on a handful of locals that’d been unable to move out the way.  Pike in hand but pointing in the wrong direction the young Ensign smashed a second guard in the side of the neck; who instantly dropped to his knees in pain clutching the point of impact.  Behind him the executioner was just managing to lever the axe out of platform when the Cardassian felt the familiar tingle of a transporter whisking him to safety.

During that brief fight for survival Ensign Cho had remained almost motionless, her arms held tightly by two of the other guards.  She’s watched her two companions disappear and kept a careful count; 27 seconds, 27 precious seconds between life and death, because that’s how long she’d have to wait before it would activate again. 

The young Korean pretended to faint, lolling her head forward and making her entire body limp and lifeless. One of the guards let the go, the other turned towards her and lowered Cho down, not entirely sure what to make of her sudden collapse.  The guard would let her go shouted something, as the other one leaned over her.  Cho half opened an eye, just enough to assess where everyone was.  The Koreans right boot made contact right between the males legs and he would have fell right on top of her had she not rolled out of the way.  The roll took her off the edge of the platform but she never hit the hard ground below.  The transporter had successfully worked a third and final time; the away team were safe. 

Crewman Lightwood required another twenty minutes to locate and beam up the rest of the technology the Ferengi had left behind; they could afford to leave any of it behind.

            **********

DiaMon Talr sat at the controls of his shuttle.  Whilst he was happy to be off that planet after so long trapped there; he was rather annoyed he’d had to rely on Starfleet to rescue him.  It made any return or future exploitation of its inhabitants that much more tricky.  No doubt this system would be more closely monitored in the future.

It was sad that his escape had most likely cost the lives of the three officers who’d come looking for him; but he couldn’t be held accountable for the actions of the people once he’d left.  Even if he may have dropped a subtle hint regarding their ultimate fate.  The two females had looked rather charming and under more favourable circumstances he would have loved to have got to know them a little better.  They’d both fetch a good price; that Talr could be sure of.  Though they’d both need some taming and be brought into line first.  As for the Cardassian, well no one was going to care much about one less of those in the universe, now were they?    

Talr hadn’t operated the controls of any sort of ship in years; that’s what he paid others to do.  He made a mental note to get a replacement for Norr at the nearest convenient space port.  He’d also have to fine his pilots family over breach of contract.  Norr had left his service without permission; that was completely unacceptable.   

The DaiMon set navigation to auto, whilst he got up and headed for the replicator to get a glass of Snail Juice with ice.  The device took a little longer to activate than it should; which would usually indicate a large amount of the ships power being diverted for other tasks.  But other than the engines running at 110% and life support; almost everything else was powered down.  A noise caught his attention, well two to be exact, both more or less simultaneous.  Spinning round on the spot he was confronted by a force field; most likely erected by the human male now sat in the pilot seat.

“How did you get aboard?” Talr yelled in surprise. “I scanned this entire vessel.”

The man in question turned his head slightly in acknowledgement.  “Not a bad little ship considering its age.” 

The Ferengi thought for a moment. “I’ll give you Latinum.  How many bars to let me go and just forget all this happened; five, ten?”  When the human failed to reply Talr added more to the deal. “How about I let you keep the ship?  Just drop me off at the next space port.”  Talr still couldn’t figure out how anyone could have been on board.

“How about I give you access to a holo-girl.  You’ll love Sasha or maybe you’d prefer Zelina?” He asked. “Both are very pretty and are always happy to fulfil your every wish and desire.  Plus you haven’t got all the fuss of feeding them.”  Surely even a Starfleet Office could be tempted by an offer like that?

A thought struck the DaiMon.  Why was this guy wearing a doctor’s uniform and not red or gold?  The Jaxartes’s EMH and self-trained pilot turned to face the Ferengi, gave his best reassuring smile and clicked his fingers.  The twenty something blonde that appeared on his lap; Sasha to be exact; was almost wearing a red dress.  It covered were it touched and not much else. “That’s very kind of you to offer, but I have complete access and control over all ships systems.  The women giggled gave him a kiss on the left cheek, complementing the doctor on how brave, handsome and charming he was

Talr was furious.  Outsmarted by a stupid Emergency Medical Hologram; and when did one of those ever learn to fly?  He felt the vessel turn and knew it was heading for a rendezvous with the corvette.  Altogether this had turned out to be a rather bad day.  He was sure there was a rule somewhere regarding all this, but right now he wasn’t all that bothered.  Something would crop up, he was sure of it.