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Part of USS Cantabras: Family Reunion

Enemy Mine

Siterian Mine, Sitera
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“Well this is fabulous,” Alex said, his breath catching.

“Are you all right?”

“I’m trapped behind several meters of rubble in a dark hole so, you know, not my best day.” Alex attempted to calm his breathing. “Oh, and I’m not a fan of enclosed spaces.”

“According to this,” Tani said, sweeping her tricorder over the cave-in, “the rock pile is only five meters thick. It should be easy to-“

“Shh,” Alex interrupted her, putting a finger to his lips. He dropped his voice to a whisper. “Do you hear that?”

Through the wall came the sound of voices, “…Starfleet officers… too easy… trapped… ….behind wall… …live Shining Hope!!!” And then silence.

“It sounds like the transport driver and the guard by the entrance,” Alex said. “You said you had a way out?”

“Possibly. We could use the phasers to strategically melt away the rocks. It’ll take a while and we’ll get sweaty, but it should work.”

“I’m already sweating, so I’m covered there,” Alex said, fanning his shirt.

Tani set her phaser to high power. “Is that what I’m smelling?”

“Shut up and strategically melt rocks,” Alex replied, firing his phaser.

After what felt like forever, the rocks began to slide enough to form a hole for Alex and Tani. Alex emerged first, phaser drawn. “Well… it looks like they’ve left,” he said, crawling the rest of the way through the hole. The two of them made their way to the entrance, cautiously sweeping with their phasers.

“So much for getting back before dark,” Tani said, motioning toward the setting sun.

“Getting to the entrance was the hard part. Alex tapped his commbadge, ”Benson to the Cantabras.”

“Carter here, how’s it going down there Chief?

“Buckets of fun. Listen, we need site-to-site transport to the outskirts of the city.”

That good, huh? One moment…” 

The two of them disappeared in a transporter swirl and reappeared at the city gates. 

The guards at the gate quickly came to attention. Alex put up his hands in defense, “I apologize for the abruptness, but it’s an urgent matter. We need to speak with Governor Lifaeal. You have a spy in your government.”

Alex and Tani were quickly ushered to the Governor’s office. A drowsy Lifaeal waited for them. “What is the meaning of this?” He said, blinking his eyes several times.

“There is a traitor in your administration.”

Lifaeal let out a burble, “I figured as much. Some of the situations didn’t add up. The Shining Hope knew exactly where our guard rotations would be, and attacked our blind spot. Do you know who it is?”

“We know two,” Alex replied. “The man you had transport us to the felmite mines and the man you had guarding it. When Commander Tani and I were exploring the mines, we discovered a decoy explosive. When we attempted to escape, there was a cave-in. We heard voices, their voices, commenting on how successful the trap was. And praised the Shining Hope.”

Lifaeal stroked his barbels in thought, “But Tinal is one of my most trusted soldiers. And Dezomall would give his life for Sitera!” He burbled, “Are you absolutely certain?”

“Honestly, it’s the most certain I’ve been of anything since this mission started.”

“Very well,” Lifaeal ordered his guards to search for the two men and bring them to his chambers.

 In short order, both Tinal and Dezomall arrived in chains. “What is the meaning of thi- You!” Tinal lunged at Alex but was quickly restrained by Lifaeal’s guard.

“Didn’t expect to see me so alive?” Alex asked.

A shrill laugh emerged from Tinal. “It matters little. Once you witness the glory of reckoning the Shining Hope has planned, nothing else will matter.”

“You’ve answered my question,” Lifaeal said in a defeated tone. “Take them to be interrogated,” he waved the men away with his hand. “What do you suppose that meant?”

Alex was about to answer when his commbadge chirped, “Carter to Benson.” Benson tapped his badge, “Go ahead, Ensign.”

“Pri found something on the planet’s surface you’ll want to see. Sooner rather than later.”

“Understood, standby to transport,” Alex said, closing the channel. He turned to Lifaeal, “We may have found the Shining Hope’s glorious reckoning.”


  • First of all, a round of applause for the punderful title. Also 'shut up and strategically melt rocks' is a line that has lived rent-free in my head since someone else mentioned it on Discord, so I did a little dance of joy when I encountered it here in its natural, original state! Ah, nothing like having the pleasure of waking the high-ranking official in the middle of the night to let him know that shit's gone sideways.

    May 28, 2023