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Part of USS Neptune: An Ethical Dilemma and Bravo Fleet: Labyrinth

We Will Never Conform

Unknown Nebula
September, 2401
1 likes 119 views

The ominous color of the aperture was apparent throughout the ship that looked stranded, but this was not the case. The trip through the unknown had caused for the occupants to be knocked out. The consoles on the ship flickered from the lower power state in which they were currently at. The lights were dim even though the ship seemed to have power for lighting. The occupants appeared to like the darkness, but who were they? 

One of the beings seemed to stir from the unexpected causes that brought them to be unconscious. As the light began to adjust back into their eyes they could feel the pain that was so apparent everyday. This man known as Zodot was confused by what happened and shook his head trying to make the throbbing go away. As he stood he saw the others of his group still knocked out, while trying to ascertain the damage he could only determine the ability for backup power after assessing the damage of the ship. Zodot was what the group would consider a Captain, but he hated that term. He headed to the nearest console to make a log. 

Zodots Log. Time Unknown. Date Unknown. During our travel to ascertain information regarding the…subjects the ship was suddenly cast into the unknown. While on route an unknown phenomenon occurred, which we did not discover until it was too late. I am not proficient to figure out our current location, but from what I can see we aren’t anywhere that we recognize. I am unable to contact the other ships in our group. I can only guess they are ok. All communications have been disabled and it seems as if we are dead in the water. If we do not discover where we are it could be the end of us.”

The man closed the log and sighed, not sure on what he could do but wait. The pain in his body was excruciating yet somehow everyday it seemed he continued to grit and bear it. He stood up and went to look out of the nearby window. When he reached the window he was speechless at the scene before him. He didn’t know where he was but he had never in his time seen such an incredible view. The colors were more vibrant than any he had witnessed, but the thing that really got to him was the giant hole that was behind him. He had wondered what the weird color was in the ship. After seeing the darkness of the opening and its angry churning of debris he was aware that something was definitely not right.

After further observation he saw a ship in the distance just sitting there; it was bigger than any he had seen in a while, but he could not make out what exactly it was. The issue was if they asked for help the truth of who they were would be discovered, something they had tried so hard to hide over the past few years. If they were discovered it could cause the jeopardy of their independence in which they had worked to keep even though the rest of their race now saw them as outcast. The anger swelled up within Zodot, as he remembered what had been said ‘We can make it all go away.’ The truth was it didn’t matter about being saved, it was the fact that they wanted to fix something that had been an issue for decades. Zodok and his outcast decided to refuse the help of the Think Tank. They instead wanted to fix their problem without the help of others, as such they still followed the savage ways in which they had been raised making sure to harvest organs to keep themselves alive. They had been heading for a mission to harvest the needed organs when this event occurred. The truth was that if this continued the whole group would die from lack of help.

Zodot had led the group to not conform to the help of the Think Tank, while some would think this was crazy due to their constant pain and challenging life they would rather be this way than have the help of others. They were the true version of what Vidiians had been for decades and they would continue to stay that way. Zodot’s thoughts were interrupted by the stirring of someone in the corridor.

“Zodot?” came the soft voice outside.

Zodot walked that way and smiled through his pain. “Hena, I am relieved to see you are ok.” 

Hena smiled, but the pain she felt currently was excruciating. If she didn’t receive help soon it would more than likely be the end for her. She had been living this way for so long and at times she still questioned why she followed Zodot instead of letting the Think Tank cure her. If she had it would probably be different than how it is now, though she loved Zodot his zealot-like ways still confused her. She understood his pride and not wanting others to fix the problem, but if it was going to save their lives then why wouldn’t he have decided better than this. This life was torture and it was starting to get to her. She had almost left multiple times to go back to her home, but stayed because of Zodot.

“I am ok minus the normal issues. What happened? Where are we, Zodot?” she asked, still trying to wait for her head to stop throbbing. She walked through the door to see Zodot still at the window looking out and wondered what was going on. She walked up next to him and looked out seeing the ship that was stationed out beyond them. She had heard of these ships or ones similar to it. It seemed as if they had been in the Delta Quadrant in the past or even recently. She had been looking at anything she could find about the universe beyond what Zodot showed them.

She recognized this ship from the Alpha Quadrant, but how did they get here? There were many questions she had but she didn’t want to even let Zodot know. The truth was she was starting to believe it was time to leave Zodot. The pain that she had endured for so long had started to really take a toll on her, but how would she be able to get away from him? All she could do for now was to bide her time and see if the chance opened for her.

“I am not aware of where we are nor does it look like anyplace we have ever been before. I am not sure what we should do. That ship in the distance could render aid, but it could also cause issues for us given the way we have continued to live for so long. I think this might be something the group needs to decide.”

Hena shook her head, “I think we lost half of them because after some initial observation most of them seem gone. The truth is I think this journey was the end for many of them as it could be for us as well if we choose not to try and contact that ship. I don’t want to die, Zodot at least not in this manner.”

Zodot looked at her for a moment, “It looks as though comms have been disabled plus what about all the other ships? We have more than just us to think about Hena,”

Hena shook her head “We have one thing to think about and that is the life of all of us not just you and I. We need to do what’s best for the group even if that means revealing who we are.”

Zodot didn’t agree with the sentiment of Hena, though he knew where she was coming from it didn’t change his mind. If they contacted that ship it could mean the beginning of the end, but also this could be their tomb and that was an unsettling thought as well. As much as Zodot didn’t like the idea he didn’t want to die such a needless death especially when the fact that help was so close was apparent. More than anything he didn’t want to see Hena die.

“We will try to make contact” He said looking at Hena.

To Be Continued…



  • I've yet to read any stories told from the perspective of other ships and crews stranded in the Labyrinth - so for me, this story was unexpected and was initially a cipher. However, sometimes it is a powerful narrative tool to start the reader in a tableau bereft of context. as it really makes you focus on (and sometimes re-read, to confirm suppositions) the content of the story and descriptive narrative. It's a convention that works well in both film and literature and I must say - this had me intrigued and then hooked by the fifth paragraph. It's a wonderful way to convey the "Otherness" of Zodot and Hena and another great example of the sheer breadth of invention and originality that this Fleet Action is showcasing!!! "To Be Continued…" - I will be there when it does !

    June 19, 2024
  • Writing as the foil you've never written before can be tough, but the little factoids you laid in here made it feel like you'd been writing Zodot and Hena for years. They also helped orient us to the characters: these are Vidiians, but they did not accept the offer (and price) of the Think Tank, they still live with the Phage, and they were out harvesting when they fell into the Underspace. Your choice to make them this way means that, to the reader, we're going to see them the way we know the Vidiians from Voyager, and frankly, that excites me more than if you'd taken the other path. Additionally, from a writing style perspective, I liked how little dialogue there was here. I think it pushed you to spend more time on descriptive prose, which served this story well.

    June 19, 2024
  • It's a very interesting idea, taking the aspect of what's going on from the view point of another race, and the way you've done it works very well. The idea though that they feel they'd no-longer be true Vidiians if they'd accepted help of the cure, is an odd one; after all with all the swapping of body parts, how much of any of them is really left? If I change the handle of a broom one year and the brush head a couple of years later, is it still the same broom? Great writing all round.

    June 19, 2024
  • As others have mentioned, I enjoyed the Neptune being presented as a strange and mysterious figure in the distance. Your use of perspective was effective in dragging the reader along through the disorientation and confusion of Zodot, finding himself in a new context and place. Without the CGI of Underspace at our disposal, being that deep in Zodot's experience had the same effect. His zealot ways are certainly concerning? If he was willing to extend the suffering of his own crew, what might he be willing to let happen to Neptune and co?

    June 22, 2024
  • Michael Ryder

    Division Executive Officer and Commanding Officer