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Part of USS Jaxartes: Mesakh wuh kim-shah krup

Part 2: Krus dahkuh

USS Kinshasa - Harpers Rift and beyond
21st March 2401 (Estimated)
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A week had passed with very little change to the routine the Vulcan Commander had settled into; wherever this ship was taking him, it was certainly a long journey.  On the fifth day the vessel had shock violently for close to three hours; it hadn’t been an attack; that he was sure of.  It was more likely a cosmic storm or anomaly which they’d been unable to avoid.   To Salan the near solitude and occasional interactions with the guards, did not affect him.  He could take or leave the company of others; it was something he did not crave, though he did have to admit to himself, it was missed to a degree.

The Vulcan was slowly managing to grasp a few words of his captures language, and was interested in the reaction of his captors when he’d attempted to use them.  He was no linguistic expect, but it didn’t fit in with any known language or dialect that he was familiar with.  ‘Mufanza’ was breakfast ‘Mufenza’ referred to the afternoon meal, and it was ‘Mufolza’ late evening.  ‘Testijy’ possible meant good or tasty, at least in relationship to the meals he was providing with.  ‘Talap’ was stand ‘Roro’ was something like follow, ‘Ena’ was stop, halt, and end.  The guards referred to him as ‘Ugfaza’ and themselves a ‘Pelcaza’; but the exact context of the two words still eluded him. 

So far he’d counted eight of the Pelcaza; they all wore the same basic outfit consisting of the robe and headscarf, which to the casual observer made them all appear near identical and indistinguishable from one another, but during his week of confinement Salan had studied them and picked up minor details and mannerisms unique to certain individuals.   It was also clear that these Pelcaza where just servants, the real controlling force behind all this; still remained hidden.

The Pelcaza with the half missing middle finger on his right hand brought the Vulcan his Mufanza as normal.  Salan had studied the injury without drawing attention to the fact. It was something that may have happened years ago, it certainly wasn’t recent, judging from the look of it.  But whenever this had taken place, this looked to have been inflicted as a punishment.  The blade that had severed the finger had clearly gone straight through the bone; slicing rather than breaking, it was also seemed too low down to have been an accident, having left no marks on the fingers either side.  Had this individual, possibly in his late 30’s at some point committed a crime or offended his leaders.  May be that was why he usual brought the first two meals in the day and never carried a weapon; was he considered to be of lower standing.  Other Pelcaza rarely spoke to him, and when they did it sounded terser and abrupt in nature. 

Salan had tried asking this individual question, far from easy with the two differing languages; but this man seemed to have an understanding which suggested contact with others speaking English, which is what the Vulcan had stuck with from day one.  However interactions like this were brief, the guards did not like the two of them conversing for any length of time, and would usually shout at him, if he took too long.

Mufanza was followed by ‘Waro clalla’ which had something to do with the gym or exercise in general;  Salan had developed a routine, using what equipment the Pelcaza had made available to him; usually around 10 or 15 minutes on each.  He would leave the meditation for the privacy of his quarters at the end of each day.  When the Commander went to grab one of the towels just after sweating away on the treadmill, a small fleck of white caught his attention;  tucked carefully between the folds in one of the towels was a piece of paper.  He looked to see if any of the guards were watching his actions; only the one with the missing finger appeared to be taking any notice.  He clearly knew the paper was there, may have even be responsible for it being where it was.  With a gesture of the hand he quickly emphasised that Salan should stuff the paper in his pants pocket and read it later.  The Commanders uniform was starting to look a little worse for wear, certainly well below the immaculately presented attire the Vulcan was more used to.  A weeks’ worth of beard growth was also a novel experience for him.

Back in the solitude of his own quarters Salan retrieved the now partly crumpled piece of paper from his pocket; once unfolded he read what was written on it.

[Glad you’re alive Com Salan, L B]

Those two initials would point towards Laira Bolka; his Bajoran First Office aboard the Jaxartes.  She hadn’t been with him on the sub during his own capture.  Did that mean the whole of the crew had been taken or just selected members?  It was yet another item to add to the list of unknowns.  Salan had to commend his First Office on her resourcefulness in this difficult situation.

            **********

Lieutenant Laira Bolka had been fairly close to Hoydock the Benzite engineer of the MRT Atragon when it happened; she was sure the two of them had been snatched by transporter simultaneously, but had found herself alone in what appeared to be crew living quarters on board a rather old Federation starship.   The Bajoran officer had banged her fists hard on the door for a good ten minutes; demanding answers and to be let out.  Frustrated and with sore hands she’d eventual laid down to sleep.  Not that sleep seemed to come easy for her.  The pain and her mind on edge kept Bolka awake for most of the night.  At least she assumed it was night; like her Captain the room she was in had no windows or devices to measure the passage of time. 

Breakfast came curtesy of the same individual who was bringing food to the Vulcan.  It consisted of Groatcakes, but sadly without the syrup of squill.  They weren’t the best Bolka had ever tasted, nor the worst.  The water, just like Salan’s was lukewarm.  The Lieutenant had thought about jumping on this guy and beating some answers out of him, regardless of the guards outside.  But figured that cause of action would yield nothing as she wouldn’t be able to understand a word he spoke.  Her comm-badge had either been left behind or removed mid-transport.

What followed over the next four days was a sort of guesting game involving the two of them communicating mainly through the use of gestures.  In that time the Lieutenant established that there was someone with spots on their neck; Lei Rahs the Trill no doubt.  Two men with cold faces, one of which had things coming out of the top of his head; so that possibly meant Hoydock the Benzite and an Andorian.  The Runabout they’d gone searching for; had an Andorian aboard.  There was also someone with pointed ears, which she hoped and later confirmed was the Jaxartes’s Vulcan Commander.  Bolka had to assume if anyone else was alive and been held, they had someone else bringing them there meals. 

The piece of paper and a pen to write on it with had taken a bit of persuading.  This individual was clearly worried about the consequences, even showing her his missing finger to emphasise the danger.  He still pulled through though; she only hoped Salan would be the one who found it.

The question she wanted to know; and was sure would be on everyone else’s mind, was.  Who had taken them prisoner, why and where were they being taken?  Ok, technically that was three questions, but they were all linked. 

            **********

Had any of those captured by the Pelcaza been able to see outside of the USS Kinshasa, they would have realised the ship had firstly entered Harpers Rift and then passed through it; but not simply to another part of the sector which it occupied, for the rift was more than just a mass of cloud and gases; this was a gateway to another universe.

Here space was far from empty; a gaseous mist tinged with purple and crimson seemed to fill the void between stars and their accompanying planets, casting an eerie veil across everything it touched.  Even the brightest stars in this universe had difficultly penetrating it; and there were less than a thousand in total.  Only the closest of planets could ever hope to sustain any kind of life; the rest were mere cold barren wastelands.  This was a seemingly inhospitable unliveable place, but it was where the Pelcaza called home, and it was all they’d ever know until their Lord and Master had shown them what lay beyond.

His powers had brought them this vessel and her crew; it was like nothing the Pelcaza had ever imagined and way beyond their simple abilities to construct.  Yet through his guidance and the help of those crew who had accepted him as their divine ruler, the Pelcaza had learned to not only how to fly and operate the ship, but also modify and enhance it with technology they had acquired on their many journeys through the rift.  The original single warp nacelle of the Saladin class ship and been replaced by those of a K’t’inga-class cruiser found damaged and drifting, the aft third of mighty Klingon warship now having been grafted on to the rear of the Kinshasa’s saucer section; creating a bizarre highbred.  Parts and equipment had been stolen or salvage from other races including the ‘Chameleonic Cloaking Device’ with created the illusion the ship was something else.  It had been a storm cloud over Y’Tech V and a comet heading for the rift, amongst other thing; in an effort to stay hidden.  Her weapons systems were outmoded and antiquated at best, so engaging in combat was to be availed at all cost.

No one would ever call this vessel a thing of beauty, but it did the job it had been tasked with, and that job was collected individuals from the various races that inhabited the main universe.  The Pelcaza did not know the reason for this; all they knew was, that it was the will of their master, and his will would be done.