Joham and Trolem were lost and felt they were beyond hope of any type of rescue; not that that surprised them as they were the first of their to species venture this far into space. Their ship was moving but not under any power of its own any longer, but rather under the gravity pull of the star system where they now were. The faster than light engine had worked ; past tense, it was now burned out beyond hope of repair and the oxygen in ‘The Maraster Yale’ was down to four units less than 6 hours ,as the tanks had been damaged in the small but dramatic ‘bang’ of two days ago ? They in this cramped ship had been their planets last line of hope, their mission should they succeed was to try to discover if a planet they had discovered in a ‘close by’ system was a suitable place where a small number of their population could start a new. It would be a very few too as the largest ship they could build would hold 500 and go at just below light speed, unlike the tiny ship they were now in that had managed a staggering 1.5 X light speed, but had burned out ˝ way to the target, it had been a gamble that had now failed. Their home world was about to be hit by a meteor of extinction level proportions and their leaders wished to make an attempt to save some of their civilisation. They were ordered to take a closer look and return with 20 days or one Luna cycle. They knew the chances were slim but both men had trained for this though neither had really believed it would be the suicide mission it seemed to turning out to be; much better die together than one man sacrifice him self in the vain hope that the other would be rescued in the remaining six hours. They had left messages that would be unlocked by mission control if they failed to make contact after a month, these they had recorded before leaving to be given to their families should the worst happen both felt comforted by this as it did give their families a final goodbye and an explanation of were they had gone, as the mission had been deemed highest level of security, so they had been unable to tell their loved ones where the mission was leading to. They only hoped that no official would ‘vet’ them before sending them on, as both men said some very personal things that they would not wish others to hear. The radio was now on automatic sending out a signal the contence of which; neither man was aware of nor for that matter were that bothered about at this stage, as they were both caught up in their own thoughts and indeed prayers. What they were unaware of was the planet too which they had been heading was Vulcan one of the founder members of the federation of planets and hence in a very well travelled area of space; so that meant that the signal reached people that it would other wise have taken decades to reach, as it was not on a subspace frequency. That fact was about to change the history of their species and cause a lot of what they would call alien creatures a lot of lost sleep, discomfort and other things too
Will Riker was, he had to admit a very contented person at this moment in time. He was married to his incredibly beautiful Imzadi, who was at this moment lying in his arms in that fuzzy mind set between sleep and wake. It was a little after 07:00 hours and neither he or Deanna were due on duty till 10:00, so he was anticipating an unhurried few hours, before taking over on the bridge. They were travelling through well known and friendly space heading towards Vulcan and a short shore leave for the crew, while he as captain of the Titan attend a event there to back up the prilamary peace talks between the Federation and the Romulans: that went very well considering the intense hostility of the past 200 years. Next to him Deanna moaned as she woke up and smiled at her lover with ‘that look’ in her eyes. Will was only too happy to oblige and began to caresses his wife’s face and mouth with his lips in a slow prelude to love making. He could still not believe his luck at marring this beautiful woman, after years of flirting with others right under her nose so to speak.
“Crusher to Captain Riker” Wesley Crusher’s voice came over the com’ badge on the unit by the bed
“Yes Mr Crusher what is it ? ---- You DO know I am off duty do you not ?” Will answered with barely discussed impatience “Can Commander Sutter not deal with what ever it is?”
“Sorry Sir” Wesley replied “ It’s Admiral Jayneway on Vulcan sir asked for YOU sir as Captain of the vessel. It’s priority one so I will have to patch it though”
He sounded embarrassed as though he knew he has interrupted an intimate moment
“Thank you Lt . Patch it though to here.” He sighed and looked at Deanna as he got out of bed.
Pulling on a top and shorts Will Riker made his way over to the desk in the living area, to see admeral Jayneway’s face looking most concerned
“Admiral” Will said making a conscious effort to smile “How can I help you?”
“Sorry to disturb you. Your lieutenant said you were off duty, but we have picked up a distress call from a ship claming to be from Melcor 3” Was the replay “The ship is some 90 light years from home, so we on Vulcan concur with Star Fleet Head quarters to whom we passed the message that the Melcorians launched a worp ship and are now in distress” Jayneway continued “I am ordering the Titan to rescue the crew then return to Melcor 3 after dropping all non essesial personnel on Bolia. You have 72 hours”
“Have the Melcorians requested our help in some manor ? The population was most hostile on my last visit”
“In a way. They have sent out a planetary distress signal via the ship, we have started sending ships already including the newly repaired Enterprise , Voyager and several large cargo ships in the hopes of saving some plant and animal life, along with the people, they are in grave danger from a Meteor of extinction level proportions, I feel is beyond our capabilities to move.
Deanna who had pulled a chair up to the desk during the conversation asked
“Have we sent a reply?”
“No it appears the message is from the ship and neither the ship nor planet has capability to receive, only the ship can send, my guess is that it was sent out in deep space to increase the chances of some one hearing the message, hopefully us, seeing as part of the message incorporates the name Picard and Enterprise!”
“So” Will commented “they have no idea help is on the way !”
“That would be correct—I expect you and your ship at Melcor3 in 72 hours or 84 hours at the most”
“The Titan will be there Admiral “Riker assured her “I presume the Enterprise with captain Picard will be in overall command seeing as she will be there?” ” Katharine Jayneway nodded in agreement before adding
“Until I can get there yes then I shall relieve Picard and take overall control leaving Jean-Luc free for direct contact with their leader an Avil Derkin” She then disconnected from her end after explaining she had many ships to coordinate, including most of the Klingon fleet and ships from Bolia, Delta, Baterzed and others the Romulans are even going to send what they can.
Will Riker strolled over to the sofa and pulled Deanna down with him as he sat down.
“Why Melcor 3, why Melcor 3” he repeted mainly to himself
“That planet has such bad memories for me, they almost killed me there, it was one of the most fear filled missions of my life “He said looking at his wife
“This time it will be different “ Deanna reassured him “The planet will be swarming with …… ‘off worlders’
AND you won’t be going under cover . In fact Deanna continued brightly “as captain your place will be on the bridge, so you won’t be going down at all !!”
At this Will smiled and kissed her, but the mood was now dissipate
“Sir I believe I had discovered the Melcorian ship on sensors” Ensign Bridget Low finally said after much fiddling with the controls. She was fresh out of the academy and did not want to make any mistakes., but this made her rather deliberate
It was some 5 hours later and the Titan had been searching for the ship since the message came in, but the problem had been complicated by the fact that they only had vague coordinates to go on.
“On screen Please enlarge x10” Com’ Sutter ordered and a tiny arrow like ship the size of a shuttle craft sprang into view
“Life signs” Sutter asked
“Two—Sir, possibly Melcorian as they don’t match any within the banks, but they are mammalian ” she answered after a few seconds
“Sutter to Captain Riker” the first officer tapped his com badge
“Riker here. News number one ?”
“I believe we have located the ship Sir it’s small enough to fit in our shuttle bay, and it has no power and a failing life support system, I shall tractor it in to shuttle bay 2 with your permission captain. There are two life forms so I think tractor would be less traumatic for them Sir”
“Thank you number one ,do just that please I shall make my way to the shuttle bay with Com’ Troi and Doctor Jackson. Will you inform our guest of the situation?”
“Count on it sir. Sutter out”
Joham and Trolem had eaten what they believed would be their last meal using up all the food stuff along with
most of the fluid, it had been a the most substantial meal they had eaten on board their little ship, both had elected to keep a beaker of water to take with the sleeping tablet they had decided to take, meaning that they were not committing suicide but would die in their sleep, thus easing their conscience as they prepared to pass into the realm of the sainted ones or afterlife. Neither man was there for prepared for the appearance of an alien ship that appeared some short distance from ‘The Maraster Yale’ or for their ship to be pulled into its belly. To say that the two Melcorians were frightened was an understatement; they had spoken to Chancellor Derkin in private in the week before the launch and he HAD said that he HAD met aliens some years before but to meet them here was a different thing altogether what if these were not the friendly federation people Derkin had spoken of ?
Joham Tromme popped the hatch as they felt that to stay inside would solve nothing, especially as the air was becoming very stale .They were greeted by a alien women with thick dark haired somewhat shorter than his 12 dens or as Deanna Troi would have said almost 2 meters height , for it was Deanna who spoke first before her captain or the dark almost black skinned male who were standing a few meters behind her.
“Hello my name is Deanna Troi and you are aboard the star ship Titan and this is Captain William Riker and this is Doctor Christopher Jackson. You are most welcome. Please do not be afraid” She also gave what she knew from experience to be a welcoming smile.
“Are you part of the Federation of planets and affiliated to the ship that we are told visited us some years ago?”
Captain Tromme questioned
“We are” Will assured them “Indeed I was one of those who visited your planet” he missed out the fact that he almost died there, due to their intolerance and fear of aliens. At this both Melcorians visibly relaxed and even began to hope that they might indeed see their home, wives and teen age children again, they were not even over worried as the doctor passed a hand held device over them to check out their physical state.
There is some one I feel it may be advantageous for you to meet Captain Riker went on with a smile as he lead the two men out of the shuttle bay and into the corridor leading to the living quarters “but first you may wish to wash and freshen up, there are clean clothing in your rooms, just press the intercom when you are finished”.
At this both men were shown to separate but close quarters were they took a much needed shower and changed from their bulky safety suits into normal if rather plain clothing provided for them
Mean while in another part of the ship Maraster Yale of Melcor 3 sat with tears falling down her cheeks and wept for the loss of her home world, even though she had believed she would never see it again.
Trolem Breane pushed the buzzer and waited at the door expecting to be collected by Deanna Troi, but he was instead greeted by a Melcorian whose face he was only too familure with. Maraster Yale smiled and simply said “The rumours of my death were greatly exaggerated ! I left with the Enterprise on its last visit to our world and have been working as an observer on this and other ships for the past few years, it was pure luck that I was on board here when the call came through. Captain Riker thought you might feel more at ease knowing I am here”
“That we are ! And where are we going” Trolem asked as his captain joined them from his room and the trio walked slowly down the corridor and the two men marvelled at wonders of the ship they were now on.
“To the forewould lounge for food and some
refreshment, but the ship is on it’s way to disembark most of the crew then we are heading for home to aid our
people as much as we are able” Maraster said in a calm voice that belayed her
under lieing nervousness.
Nether man wished to tell their host that they had eaten just a short while before so followed her and each decided to go for a dessert one thing they had not had on board the ship and the one thing they both missed.
Some 3 days later after disembarking some three quarters of her crew leaving only what Riker called a skeleton crew, this wording causing much confusion to the non human crew members who preferred the wording minimum crew ,the Titan came out of warp in the orbit of Melcor 3 joining the Enterprise that had arrived some few hours earlier also with a mere skeleton crew.
Captain Picard’s face was on the view screen as Will came onto the bridge and took the centre chair from Commander Paul Sutter his first officer, formally on the enterprise being the father of Clara who was now in star fleet academy on Earth.
“Hello Will” Jean - Luc greeted him “It’s great to see you even though it is so grave a mission”
“ The feeling is mutual “ Riker said grinning at his old C,O. “ Admiral Jayneway has given me no real instructions as to HOW we are to evacuate these people or indeed how much the general population know about either the situation with the Meteor or US. Do you have any further information?
Jean-luc looked grave “I have not sent any away teams down yet Will, many people still don’t know they are in danger! . I have beamed down to Chancellor Derkin – He was re-elected by the way after some time away from office some 3 years ago. I explained what our response to his call was. To tell the truth he was most surprised we got the message, he said that things should be easier now as they have made great strides re-educating the people, but he still for see’s problems with some sections of the community.
“The Meteor is less than 6 months away we need to work fast” Will said in a worried tone trying to hide his rising panic at how such a task would be achieved without anarchy braking out. Deanna sat in her chair on the bridge of the Titan as her husband and old captain tried to solve what seemed to be an impossible riddle , how to help a people who do not trust you when you are on a very limited time scale to add to the problem. This she pondered in her mind and came up with a solution that she thought just might work.
“Deanna…. Deanna” Will called , It was only then that she realised that he had been calling her name for several seconds and that the view screen now showed the planet and stars
“Sorry Will, I was thinking” she commented “and I think I have the germ of an idea .Can we discuss it in the ready room ?”
Captain Riker and Commander Troi as Deanna insisted on being called despite her earth married name being Riker and Wills married name on Baterzed being Troi. She kept the Troi in honour of her parents and Will kept Riker –because ‘That’s what men do’; made their way to the ready room off the bridge. Deanna sat down on the sofa that stood against one wall and Will followed her lead.” I have an idea Imzadi” The use of that intermit name put Will on his guard as it was obvious that he was not going to like the idea.
“We need to contact groups in the general population that will not fear us, I suggest we contact some well organised what would have been called on earth in the 20th and 21st century UFO watchers and allow them to discover us so as……..”
“No Deanna !! You are not going down to the surface any thing could happen. I mean just look what happened to ME, There has to be another way -NO WAY at all”
“WILL – You know and I know as does Picard and the admiral that we are up against time here and barring just ‘diving in’ and announcing our ‘ARRIVAL’ I can not think of a better solution. Can You?”
Will could not really fault the plan in principal, but the idea of sending his wife of only a few weeks down pained him to think on.
“I will put the idea for would before Jean-Luc beams down again to see Dearkin at 14:00 but I feel that small groups might be the best idea, rather than any one go alone”
Deanna shrugged gave her husband a reassuring ‘peck ‘ and left the room leaving Captain William Thomas Riker a rather worried man.
The same person who met and tried to help ‘for a price!’ a ‘Revas Jakara’ a true alien to that planet when she was a basic nurse some years before; Lanel Dru; was monitoring her incoming messages on her computer when the audiovisual message receiver or what was more commonly called an ‘AV’ beeped to be answered; she picked up the receiver to see her friend and right hand assistant, head of the Siclar alien watcher unit Jopel. His dark features looked excited and his normally calm manor was now replaced by an almost nervous twitch that went with his dishevelled appearance; this again was unusual for her friend.
“I have some exiting news Lanel” He gasped. “ In the last few hours we have picked up some very organised –to my self and Tarrin, alien communication signals AND more astonishingly still, they are coming from very close, some 20 light years and closing at an amazing rate” Jopel managed to tell her.
“Carry on monitoring them” Lanel said with a calmness she did not feel “and invite the members of the South continent watchers group in Tibit to check their receiver recording equipment too- wake them if needed, but lets try to keep a lid on it till we can verify this is not some kind of a hokes from ‘Born in the skies group’ Lanel answered .Putting the receiver down she immediately sent a message on her computer to her contacts in Tibit to back up Jopel. Lanel was now a medical information imparter and head of the alien watchers group world wide on Melcor 3. The’ Born in the skies’ group were a group of misfits many adopted at birth by their current parents but not all by any standards, who thought them selves to be aliens planted here awaiting their true parents, it was not unusual for them to plant messages to be ‘found’ in satellite and radio transmissions.
At the same moment Deanna Troi stood on the transporter pad after having had two interdermal transport receivers placed under her skin to back up the one she had as a broach on the native style outfit she was wearing to complete the disguise her face, hands and feet had started. She and Will Riker had just watched two crew people beam down to join people from the Enterprise.
“You may go now” the captain told the young crewmember who was working the transporter “I will finish here”
“Yes sir” Sarah Elmswood whispered; she was still in awe at working on the ship and was slightly embarrassed by knowing that the captain obviously wished to kiss his wife goodbye and was intending to take a while over it. As Lt Elmswood left the room Will took Deanna into his arms and kissed her tenderly as he felt his resolve to send her to the surface weakening.
“You will not take any chances” he ordered her as he held her
“No Imzadi, nothing that I can possibly help and still get the job done” she said standing back
“Now I believe I must go now unless the locals pass the chosen beam in point and notice my sudden appearance. Some 5 seconds later Deanna Troi now calling her self Deanna Jakara materialised in a small gully close to the local literary resource centre or what those from earth would call a library and began walking with a luggage container on wheels to the public transport terminal. close by to buy a ticket to the pretty suburb where her intended contact lived.
Lanel was still thinking about what Jopel had said as she was drinking her beverage and watching the news on the broadcaster in her main room when the door chimed, it was only then that she remembered that she had was to play host to a mature student for a few weeks while she did some research at the local higher learning establishment. She hurriedly put away the few plates and such from her snack and went to the door just as it chimed again. The dwelling was not large; a well planned single story building surrounded by low shrubs with pale blue and yellow flowers. It was in a very desirable part of the city of Siclar, it was surrounded at a discrete distance by other homes in the same basic style.
“Hello – you must be Kinta I’m sorry --- Forgive me I had misjudged the time and was just in the middle of some thing –do come in”
“No I am Deanna Jakara – Kinta got a last minute place closer to the building and seeing as she has mobility problems she accepted and I was allocated to you as you said you were happy to take research students at short notice”
Lucky we tapped into their phone lines after Picard and Jayneway had agreed to the plan Deanna thought to her self.
“Well you are welcome anyhow –Darnea”
“It’s D e a n n a ---- Deanna Jakara”
“Oh I have never known of that name before the Deanna I mean, I knew of a Revas Jakara once though, when I was a basic nurse at the Siclar Medical Facility”
“So what do you do now?” Deanna asked knowing full well she was now what humans would call a medical lecturer at the university or higher learning establishment as the Melcorians’ would say.
Lanel went on to talk about her role and her fast rise though the ranks, but was cut short by a call from Jopel requesting an emergency meeting the following evening and saying that the signals had got stronger and that they were about 98% sure they were NOT from the ‘Born in the skies group’ so we are seriously thinking of putting all groups on alert. Would you agree with that ?”
“ Jopel my friend ! do you not think that if we have detected them then our government would have done the same, they have a excellent if rather secretive scientific department” Lanel reminded him “We shall have a meeting here tomorrow; two of the members are flying in from the southern continent specially for this so we will discuss things then, until then I suggest you try to rest who knows what might happen !”
“ Or” Jopel cut in “ There might be cover up from our leaders”
“ NO no not this time I feel that if this turns out to be real WE will tell the world ourselves , if our leaders don’t this time we have hard evidence ---- You DID KEEP the tapes and recordings I presume”
“ Oh I forgot !” Joel said with his more natural smile – Yes I kept them AND made copies and hid them !!!!”
“ Good man, I knew when the time came you would do the right thing you have an analytical mind”
Rather like a Vulcan Deanna though as she sat in the seat offered on her arrival. Deanna for her part was surprised that, Lanel made no real effort to hide from her the fact that she was the head the world wide alien watcher group, a fact that was not lost on Deanna for indeed this was why she chose Lanel and why she was chosen to contact her, her task just might be slightly easier than she had hoped .
Lanel offered her guest some food and was on her way to the food preparation room when the news caster announced that Chancellor Derkin himself was about to make an important announcement, both Lanel and Deanna forgot the food but for different reasons, though only Deanna knew this.
During the wait for Derkin to appear in the broadcasting room of his official residence, a room covered with flags of the nations as they used to be before unification, and still used in sporting events to support teams. Lanel was in great anticipation though without her powers of empathy Deanna would not have known, as she was not really that good at reading Melcorian body language yet.
The newscaster seemed at a loss as to why the press had been called in was and filling in as best he could, but kept saying in many different ways that he had no idea what had prompted this and he hoped there was no danger of his stepping down.
Finally Derkin took the stand he looked haggard and as though he had not slept in days, (indeed he had not)
Lanel looked shocked at her leader “Oh by all the creators that man looks as though he should be in a medical facility; oh I hope he is not about to announce that he needs to stand down on medical grounds “ She whispered as she sat down. Deanna for her part just nodded to appease Lanel and watched as the great man began calmly to explain what was going on
“First I would like to thank you all for listening. I chose this time in the day because I know that this is the time with the highest viewing numbers. I shall come straight to the point .Some 10 months ago indeed this time last year our scientist confirmed that a asteroid with the mass though not the size of an small moon is on a collision coarse with this planet after some weeks we confirmed what we felt at the time there is no way to divert this monster” Lanel sat down slowly her face paling as she stared at the screen “However” Derkin continued “We did not give up all hope, we your government have already started making arrangements to save people, animals and seeds in underground wear houses that have been and are being built, these have been constructed under the guise of deep mining and scientific research according to the most plausible explanation. Most of these have been built on the southern continent because of its geographic suitability and because we have been advised that the ‘hit’ will be on the northern continent on the opposite side of the planet. I don’t want anyone to despair as we intend to save a cross section of age ability and gender so as to keep the community as stable as possible.
“Sensible man” Deanna commented “He knows the worth of family ties”
Lanel did not comment
“You may or may not have become aware over
the last few years” Derkin continued “many people have come up with the idea
that we are not alone in the universe and that aliens would be on the whole
friendly and even helpful so it was with this premise that we have sent out a
distress signal with our first occupied faster than light ship, we sent both a
verbal message and one based on maths. I have hopes even though they may be
slim of a reply and of help coming from the stars, so I would ask you to do
your best in your own way to prepare for great changes of any imagined nature. Whow this planet has come some good
way since our last contact, Troi
thought to her self. Dearkin has been working hard both behind the scenes in
the unelected years and on the front line when elected.
Derkin went on for some time after giving instructions not to panic and not to hoard food and such. but Lanel
had ‘switched off’ and was staring at the wall in disbelief.
“Do you believe help WILL come” Deanna probed
“Without a doubt, indeed I would even go so far as to say that they are in orbit this minute “
Deanna for her part mealy hoped they could be of real aid and that it would be accepted.
Jean-Luc was missing Data more than ever today, as he sat heading up the meeting of the captains of the 150
ships now in orbit ranging from Galaxy class ships to Voyager even with skeleton crews and people doubling and even tripling up on quarters and using the cargo bays and shuttle bays (leaving the shuttles in orbit ) they could not hope to transport more than 15% -17% of the population. He felt that Data would have found a way to add another 2% or even 3% to that number. Even though the Klingons had volunteered to take plants, seeds and
some food stuff to a new planet he felt helpless.
“My fellow Captains, it is my calculations that we shall be only able to save some 15-17 percent of the population of this planet ,with Derkens’ promise to his population that all have an equal chance of being chosen what ever their age or social standing I feel we are unlikely to save enough men and women of reproductive age to give this species a chance to of a broad stable genetic mix on a new planet.”
Checkoti now captain of Voyager spoke up “I was under the impression that they were constructing underground refuges on the southern and also opposite continent so some will be saved on this planet, at least long enough to be rescued later.”
“Have you Seen the size of these places,or should I say lack of size ?” Riker said “They are only large enough to save some 3000 people each and there are only some twenty and I feel some of these will not be good enough even if they are finished in time PLUS they are storing seeds and animals too. That’s only 60000 IN TOTAL still not enough”
At that moment a call came though from the planet it was Deanna on voice only ,Picard had her on an open channel .
“I am unsure as to whether you are aware of this but Derkin has now announced to the planet that the meteorite is on its was AND he has told them about sending the message we received, he said it was 10 of their months ago; though we know they were aware some time before this , so he has not explained the length of time they as government have been aware of the imminent danger. how ever I feel he might be giving us a way in to arrive in certain given locations with out need for discise.”
“ Thank You commander we were aware the chancellor was going to make a statement , but we were not privy
to its content before hand , that is most helpful.”
“I also think you should be aware that members of the ‘Alien watcher group’ are becoming more and more
convinced they have picked op our signal and I am sure it will not be too long before some one see’s
the ships so I feel we need to act soon.”
“We shall discuss it. Picard out” Picard shut off communication and stared at the gathered group of men and women.
Deanna Troi tapped the broach to cut communication with the Enterprise and carried on looking out over the park that was so soon to be swept out of existence; while sitting on the bed in the guest room of Lanel Dru’s home. She felt very homesick, sad and lonely.
The whole room was silent as Commander Troi was speaking and for a few seconds after, then Picard began
in a slow measured tone
“This ladies and Gentlemen as Commander Troi so precisely pointed out does give us a starting point but I still
feel we need to proceed with more caution than would be required on most other planets. BUT and it’s a big but
I feel we are in a position to help expand the subterranean shelters with our superior technology.”
“These are a new worp civilisation; we would be breaking the prime directive and contaminating their culture” Captain Sonia Bateman of the Arizona almost shouted in disgust.
“Sonia” Picard calmly replied “with all due respect we were
A, Invited here by the government
B, Invited to help
And not to mention
C, With out ‘intervention’ there will be NO culture, plus we are intending to take them aboard our ships !”.
“The Klingons have the technology to do such tasks and we can also take much of the seeds and plants that need transporting as our ships are little suited to taking such ‘delicate’ passengers, I shall with this councils permission contact the head persons undertaking the construction, since they have always been privy to the real
reasons these mining works are taking place.” Worf offered
The vote was taken and was carried with an overwhelming majority .Worf for his part returned to ‘The Defiant’ to begin orcastrating the undertaking and organising the incoming Klingon vessels.
Poraane ignored the broadcast from the Chancellor on his head set and continued to guide the huge cutting machine deep into the cliff, the news was no news to him until Derkin came to the announcement regarding the request for alien help, he then shut down he massive motor and listened, he simply could not believe what he was hearing. He had just as most people on his planet had heard stories of unidentified lights in the night sky and there was even one ridicules story of an alien who had been held in a medical facility in Siclar the planetary capital some years back that had caused a stink! and was the one story that refused to die. He listened as Derkin went on to out line how people were to keep up hope .Keep up hope!! They should be so lucky, they will be shocked when they discover how few these shelters will accommodate .The rock was much harder than any one had believed .He thought with some despair . He would gladly work with any being if it meant the work would go faster, even though he was a follower of Minister Krola , some things just over shadowed politics .However he was determined to save his daughter Litta her husband Garda, and their children Minta, Kisla and baby Crolla he and his wife would take their chance with the others but they would have every chance, he had already paid officials large amounts of currency to see to that .He turned the mighty machine back on and continued on the second half of the double shift that had become his normal routine.
Maraster Yale stared at the ship named in her honor and contiured to discuss with the two crew members the finer point of her design. Joham and Trolem had been surprised at meeting Maraster a short while after their arrival, but were pleased that rumours of her death in a lab accident and subsequent memorial service had been greatly exaggerated, though both men could now see the reason for the deception. They were discussing their planets dilemma when they received a call on Maraster’s com badge telling them to make their way to transporters room two were they would be transported to the Enterprise for a meeting with various high ranking
people. On arriving on the Enterprise they met none other than Chancellor Derkin himself who greeted the two men like old friends and heroes much to their embarrassment. The whole team including Captain Picard, Admiral Jayneway who was now based on the Enterprise, Derkin and Krola along with other high ranking Melcorians were led into a room with nothing but squares on the walls until Picard the said
“Computer show planet choice number one ‘Effian’. A blue green planet popped into the space in front of them and Picard began to explain about its orbit in relation to a local star temperature variations and rainfall before saying ‘to the air’ computer view two then all of a sudden they were standing in the city of some long dead culture.
“This is as you all can see a planet with structures already in place, so you could if you wished simply ‘move in’
as all your people will have some form of accommodation” Jean-Luc explained “The climate is quite temperate but with harsh weather on higher points in winter”
“It was one of the planets we were going to colonize as a ‘federation’ project-meaning it would be one of only a few planets-were none of the member species developed. However we feel it might be ideal for your people as it is not too far to bring your people and with the weather patterns it seems ideal.” Jayneway continued.
“So why did the original inhabitants leave?” Joham asked
We are unsure, but we feel that they may have been the victims of germ warfare some 500-700 years ago and no one survived –Metagenics” Picard answered. “Some life forms are still present insects, worms’ plants ,fish along with some small mammals so maybe the weapon was species specific, but something happened to the victors as they never inhabited the planet.”
“Or maybe the inhabitants sent their own weapon, so in the end no one won anything !” Jayneway added. with a sad sigh
They looked at several other planets within the general area, but the whole idea seemed too overwhelming even for such a high status group. It was Derkin, who after 10 hours mealy turned to Picard and the whole group and said
“My friends; We have walked the globe and are back at the start .If it were just up to me I would say Effian at the start, however we have has four votes and still no clear winner, so I will use my power as leader in a way legally allowed but not used by a chancellor in over 500 years. WE ARE TO SETTLE on Effian BUT we will call it Melcor Fi or New Melcor, my discussion is final and we now have a solid goal !! I am tired and though 10 hours is nothing and no way to choose a home I feel even after 10 weeks we would be no further for would. Let us all know we are indeed up against time in a way never before imagined, now go and rest,! Some things are just best left to chance, plus once we are on the new world we can if we wish continue to explore.”
With that he left the holodeck and the others left too feeling shocked but none the less relieved
Worf stood with four other Klingons in what seemed like a huge quarry and watched a late middle aged well built Melcorian climb down from a massive machine and make his way over to them. Worf had contacted this man after being told he was the head of all works. Poraane for his part tried not to look intimidated by the 5 ‘Klingons’ as he told they were called; Worf took a few steps to meet him and held out his hand and the big Melcorian took it and shook it, as per instruction from Minister Krola no less, who said it was some kind of greeting exchange between people when meeting and often on departing.
“Hello: I am Worf. I am here with my people to offer assistance in speeding up the work on the shelters .I was told you were informed about our arrival” Work spoke in his usual gruff but not unkind manor. He was in a hurry but was also acutely aware of how frightened on many levels this man must be, he had even gone to the length of speaking with Dr Crusher on the Marie -Curie about the matter; seeing as Deanna was unavailable.
“Yes, I am Poraane Head around here and by here I mean this planet ! any help would be of great value to my people, but we are using MAJOR tools here, I am wondering what else can be done to speed up the process.”
“Lasers and Phasers and beaming the rubble away” Worf replied without explanation. but a hint of a smile
”We’ll demonstrate immediately! With your permission” Poraane nodded, this Worf took correctly as agreement and Poraane watched in amazement as one of the other Klingons spoke to ‘the air’ and a modest size machine appeared in front of them and Worf began to explain how it worked and told him than some 50 were
working INSIDE the mines as of a few seconds ago and they would mine and dump the rubble some distance away. Poraane watched as a ton of rubble appeared on the pile some 20 meters from their current position, as he watched he felt a little glimmer of hope rise up in his heart, as he lead the Klingons to the small corrugated metal shelter that was the site office and relaxation area. and showed the Klingons a survey of the
types of rock as well as a map of the area. As he started to explain the difficulties one of the Klingons took a writing implement and drew a huge extension on to were the planned works were outlined
“You need much bigger shelters “The Giant Klingon growled “So we can shelter you till we can return and take you to the designated new world, we will help you, we can program these machines to excavate on
automatic once they have done their job we can discard them as we will need the space on the ship for what ever your leaders wish us to carry, but our ships are not soft they are built for warriors so no doubt we will carry plants and seeds” He said abruptly.
“Please I beg of you” Poraane suddenly said with a almost sob in his voice “save my daughter Litta her husband Garda, and their 3 children the baby is only 15 days old “Poraane was almost crying now “I had got them confirmed places in the shelter, but NOW if they can go with you even on a ship for troops they will be safe; My wife Buena and I will take our chances. Can you help them please”
Worf smiled at the man and mealy said he would discuss it later, he knew the Defiant was too small to take a compliment of booked passengers and the plan was to use it as a the ship the would take the first family to the new planet, as they were the only people at this moment to be already allotted a place, Worf felt sure he could smuggle 5 or even 7 extra people aboard his ship especially as he was captain. Plus he liked Poraane he had worked hard and with great honor and he had not requested help for himself but for his child and her children; what father would do less ? He vowed in his mind to help him.
Worf beamed back to the Defiant and had only been on the ship long enough to eat and begin formulating the germ of a plan to save the family, when he was summoned by Derkin and he beamed down to the government building in a state of confusion. He was met by his brother Kurn as captain of one of the newly arrived Klingon ships. Worf took a seat as Derkin came in.
“My gratitude for your swift arrival Mr Worf “He began “I have a further request to ask of your people, by that I mean the Klingons. The plan was at first for your ships to carry consumables in stasis as well as some works of art that are of great value to our culture.” He paused for a moment and took a sip from a vessel at his elbow.
“However, after some dissuasion with my government it seems ridicules to waste space filled with breathable air on artefacts. So we would like you to aid our engineers in creating ‘Space crates’ that can be launched into space in the direction of a the new planet to be tractored in after the crisis is over one way or another, we can then use the space on Klingon ships for convicts undergoing treatments before being integrated into normal society and those who care for them as well those in security and peace keeping”
“That will be no problem” Worf answered “Kurn. You will aid the people with this task and be respsable for launching them and ensuing they are pushed far enough away not to be recaptured by any gravitational force in this system”
“Where and when shall I start “ Kurn asked the Melcorian
“The Provas space facility on the north tip of the southern colony as soon as you are able,then the artefacts will be taken by air transport as soon as the crates are completed so they can be launched and pointed on their way. This should help the people keep up hope that their culture will not be forgotten”
“It will be a simple task, as we can use any material as the planet is to be destroyed any way” Kurn commented in a matter of fact way.
Derkin dismissed the Klingons before he could no longer hold in his grief, he was grateful to these people but they could not identify with the anguish he was under , nor identify with the grief his people were going through.
As soon as the Klingons were out of the door Worf turned to his brother and said coldly
“That was most thoughtless of you areas”
“In what way “
”These people are suffering enough without us………Aliens........ reminding them that there natural home is soon to be no more”
“You WORF are becoming too sentimental perhaps you have been away from Klingon company for too long. They MUST FACE the truth”
“They are, why else would they have called for help, but they are still getting used to us . Treat them with compassion . THAT is an ORDER from both your superior and older brother !” With that Worf beamed back to the ‘Defiant’ and Kurn to the ship ‘Korn’
Deanna spent much of the morning listening unobtrusively to Lanel’s messages as she talked to various members of her group,while she helped to prepare the snacks that would accompany the meeting that afternoon and into the evening.
Deanna had been worried that the news would have prevented the meeting from going ahead, but if anything
the group seemed more determined than ever to discover the ‘truth’ Deanna for her part had orders not to denigh her true roots but not to tell unless directly asked ‘How do I do that She thought as she stirred some sweet smelling sauce over a low heat.
“Do you want to return home ?” Deanna’s thoughts were interrupted
“No I shall stay and do what I can here if you don’t mind. Would you mind my joining you this afternoon at the meeting? I would be most interested”
“Not at all” her host said “Plus” Lanel said with a start of a small smile “I have a theory about you !” Where do they get their ideas from’ Deanna thought. Lanel grinned an odd smile and the Betazoid felt intrigue emanating from the other woman. I hope it’s the RIGHT one Deanna thought then went on to think of how much she missed Will, allowing the sauce to become really rather burned , but then she was not really much of a cook , never having had the need.
A mixed group of around thirty people sat around the living / dining area in Lanel’s home, they were all rather squashed, but that seemed to inconvenience them not at all.
“Thank you all for coming at such short notice especially those of you who have made the over night air trip from the southern continent “ Lanel broke into the chatter “ I am sure you are all aware of Chancellor Derkins’ announcement yesterday regarding the meteor AND more importantly for the mention of a message to alien beings. We here in Siclar feel that they; and by they I mean the government are ALREADY in contact with alien beings, and that indeed they may even be here now.—Jopel ? “
Jopel lent for would on his stool and picked up a wad of tracings and graphs. “Thank You Lanel. We here on the northern continent started picking up a signal; that we now believe to be of alien origin some 4 days ago and have been monitoring in person not on automatic for 29 hours a day since then and we have discovered the signal not only getting stronger BUT also we have discovered MORE as though alien beings are communicating with each other. These charts and tracings we have made here show you what I mean”
He and another man held the papers up to show a steady rising graph and tracings with the peaks getting closer and closer as well as the peaks getting higher. A woman from the southern continent brought an audio recording
of what they said was speech patterns recorded last evening, the whole room agreed it was strong evidence and that it was almost certainly speech and that they would use a computer to try to translate it.
Deanna for her part recognised Captain Picard ,Will Riker and Doctor Beverly Crusher who was on a medical ship discussing the most efficient way to organise ships to ensure that the up and coming evacuation went smoothly plus which groups should really not be taken, such as those with terminal sickness. Deanna only hoped that no one managed to translate that conversation ; at least not yet she also thanked the makers that you needed a com badge for the universal translator to work as that would NOT be the most ideal way for people to discover them.
It was decided after some; at times animated discussions that they would wait one calendar week from today and if the government was not forth coming to go to the people them selves with the evidence, using a broadcasting centre that Flixer a rather excitable single middle age woman, was a co-manager of.
Some two hours later Deanna was sat quietly on the porch drinking a cup of a rather vivid blue colour cold beverage, that tasted a little like mint chocolate and eating a piece of sweet cake during the brake for refreshments. She was also eves dropping on a conversation that her host and Flixer were having about herself, though she could not see them due to a bush.
“It’s just too much of a coincidence that she has the same family name as the alien who called himself Revas Jakara, AND that she should just ‘turn up’ as all this” Lanel gestured to the sky “is happening. I mean just what percentage of the population HAS that family name around here ?”
“Very low here in the north. BUT in the Marta community it’s higher though not common like Yale or even Phalli my family name”
“But she does not know much ‘detail’ about her home. For instance she had NO idea WHAT the Phyllis temple was! Let alone that it burned down last week and was THE main news story, yet she gives her address as 3 areas away, a quarter of a units walk away !!”
Flixer stared at her companion then said “So what are you saying Lanel ? Are you saying she is a being from another world and that the ‘born in the skies’ could be right”
“Yes to the first. No to the second” Lanel replied.
Deanna quietly left her seat and walked through the building to come out of a door into the garden close to the women.
“Hello- lovely evening. Lanel you make a wonderful sweet cake !” Deanna greeted them.
“Deanna where were you ? “ Flixer asked
“Eating” Deanna evaded the question.
“ What is you opinion on our being rescued ‘from above’” Flixer asked
“The evidence is most convincing. I am sure that if there is a ship in orbit then everyone will get a fair chance at rescue “
“Do YOU believe in creatures that evolved on other planets” Lanel asked
How do I answer this one? I took my first steps on a Vulcan ship Deanna thought as she remembered her mother telling her so often how the family were on their way to earth to see her fathers sister and her family when Deanna walked from one side of the quarters to the other and said ‘good girl !’
“I have always believed from as early as I can remember” she finally replied.
The meeting went for another 2 hours and it was over 3 before all the guests were gone. Deanna was very tired and it was well past her time to check in with the Titan, so she told Lanel that she was off to her sleeping room, but Lanel did not give the expected reply but rather said .
“Are you a Melcorian? , I mean you are very clever points above me, but you just seem different”
“No I am NOT a Melcorian I am a Human/ Baterzed.” She started and removed one of her hand disguises before continuing “My father was from a Planet called Earth and my mother was from Baterzed another planet, I was born on Baterzed but I have visited many planets and seen many- many species. I was sent down here to monitor and help facilitate the rescue of as many people as possible to another planet that your leaders and our people have, chosen today it is currently called Effian but I hear you will be calling it Melcor- fi “
“So Revas ?” Lanel asked touching Deanna’ fingers
“Yes he was a being from another world !! He is a human –Ohh and he lied to you by the way ! That is NOT how our people make Love !. But he is my husband; new husband I might add and his name is William Riker and I am Deanna Troi-Riker, but I still get called Deanna Troi. He is the Captain of a ship now, but when you met him he was first officer of the Flag ship”
“So how can we understand each other ?” Lanel asked not one bit phased by the fact.
“This “ Deanna held out her com’ badge “it contains a translator-but don’t ask me how it works I ‘do’ people not gadgets , now I must report in I guess I need not keep it a secret any longer so you may listen in “
Deanna quickly ran though what had happened that afternoon and evening and Will ran though what she had missed. One group from the ship had been discovered by their hosts and had showed their hand so to speak and another group were planning to tell some people later that day as it was only midday where they were. Deanna finally got to sleep at what would be around 03.00 ships time after answering many questions off Lanel and agreeing to tell the others in the group the following morning.
It was hard work without Data ! He would have taken him minutes to do what it takes a human hours and hours what takes a human days, but Lt Wesley Crusher was leading a team of Titan crew members along with some government representatives from the planet were working as fast as possible to settle on the best beam out points on the globe and how to decide how many of each citizen type should be represented in each of the four groups. The groups being
A, Brought to a ship now
B, Given a place on a ship on its second trip- this should be before the hit.
C, Placed in a shelter to be picked up after the hit
D, Left to take their chances in natural caves and caverns or underground artificial constructions and be picked up by a ship after group B and before group C.
A middle aged rather broad Melcorian female
was talking loudly and protesting about Derkin and his promises.
”Derkin promised that each age group would be represented BUT I feel we need a age cut off points for the first group at least” The diplomat said for the umpteenth time her voice shrill “ I say 75 years old and we can take more…………..”
“Jenka PLEASE.” Wesley interrupted “We have been through this we are NOT having a cut off we have already decided each group will represent some 7-10 % of the whole group in categories A-C unfortunately for the people in group D, that will I am sorry to say be the largest group there is little point in wasting time working out their % rate Also Jenka there is NO guarantee that YOU will be in the first group OR even not in group D as Derkin promised no one would get special treatment and that is the way it will be.”
“But WE as those RESPONSIBLE should be assured a place surely I mean we are working so hard”
“The ONLY people with a confirmed place NOW is Chancellor Derkin and his wife and children and THAT was because it was decided that the planet people needed continuity of leadership in such a time of great change” Professor Low from the Enterprise answered
She was going to protest further but a look from Wesley stopped her and she mealy walked out of the room with a distinctly upset and angry look. Wesley for his part could not help but feel for her as he knew she had a family and was hoping to get them at least a guaranteed place in one of the fist two groups or failing that the third. We must be careful that all the tickets are handled by Starfleet so there is no corruption and bribery Wesley thought and felt as though another brick had been placed on his shoulders.
“The areas chosen will need to be easy to guard and easy to access by any type of transport “a young ensign commented,”With a good size area for lining people up for transport, as we need this to go smoothly and without a hitch.”
After some heated debate it was decided that selected schools and military bases would serve best, as they had playing fields or a marching area and those chosen were well fenced and as easy to guard as one could hope for under the circumstances.
Wesley then left and beamed over to the Enterprise to consult with Geordie La Forge on the making and distributing of unforgeable tickets for those in the first three groups and possibly for every one ; not a over difficult task considering the technical advantage they had over terrestrial industry, but it would take a lot of power so it was eventually decided to split the task between the fleet. Getting them to each individual was a undertaking yet to be tackled..
Some three weeks later Deanna was comfortable with the group and had even taken some up to the Titan were she had recently returned to, so they could see the type of layout a federation ship had. They had been impressed by the comfort and space currently available, though it was explained that the areas where being divided up to fit more people in. Deanna on her return had been surprised at the changes in the cargo bays and shuttle bays, where dividers had been set up to provide primitive accommodation for the refugees from the planet, she was also surprised that members of the crew had already stared to double up until she visited some married quarters and realised that it had been reconverted to take a family of six, she had also been informed that other quarters had been configured to take bunks so they could take four people. The accommodation would be very cramped for the four days on board. The bar was now a buffet layout and the gym in the process of conversion though the set up of dividers were not yet completed. She had watched as crew members worked to erect more dividers and hollo / replicator technology as bath rooms and showers. She had never been more proud to be a part of this amazing effort and hoped the refugees soon to be taken on board appreciated the sacrifices being made for them. Indeed the only areas un touched were the holodecks and that was because the space seen inside them when in operation was always an illusion , but Deanna intended to put them to good use to provide some pre-set programs to introduce the people to the new planet, proved a play area for the children in the early afternoons as well as a more relaxed spot for adults in the evenings . The nights would be free for the crew to run tests and such.
While the group that included Lanel drank coffee in the buffet she had gone to find her husband and had been pleasantly surprised to find him in their quarters taking a short brake. She’d greeted him with a lingering loving kiss that he had not exactly objecting to ! Then asked him when their quarters were to be sabotaged only to be met with the answer that Jayneway had ordered that upper senior staff were to keep their rooms as they were having to make some pretty difficult decisions and needed a tranquil base, she felt that in the long run such a strategy would pay off. Deanna understood the psychology behind the order but felt somewhat unsure how many others would.
It had been 3 weeks since the government had told the people that aliens had heard and responded to the messages sent and it was as many people had suspected ,the aliens were involved in the struggle to save as many of the people as possible. There had been riots over the first few days and several Starfleet personnel had been injured and one indeed had died as a result of becoming trapped during a particularly hostile attack on a government building. However by and large such actions had finished and people had accepted that aliens do exist and this group of mixed species were here to aid them, on what ever terms they the people of Melcor wished. Another result of the presence of Starfleet was that certain members of the population said that they felt more fearful of a move of home than of dieing here on their home world; as such they were not placed in the lottery for a place in the first three groups though all children under fourteen years of age were in spite of any parental objection or indeed their own objection as they were seen as too young to make such a decision and the fairness of the lottery out ruled any lack of consent of parents.
Derkin sat in his quarters of The Defiant with his wife and three daughters discussing the best way to start
–‘A New;’ on the planet to which they were travelling to at some 7 times the speed of light . He had been told that he would be the first of his species to set foot on the new world though as of a few days ago some ‘Vulcans’ had started to plant crops redirect water supplies and fix things such as water pipes and power supplies that had detriated or become useless over time. He had hoped for a cabin for each of his daughters but had been told by captain Worf that the other cabins was no longer available and give no further justification
In the another cabin Poraane and his family sat quietly as instructed, watching over the three sleeping children who had been drugged by a human called Dr Bashier that Poraane took to be some kind of a medic. The Klingon had told them to gather in one room of the house were his daughter lived at dawn, he said they would be collected. Some few seconds after the sun came up he and his family were suddenly in this room after a slight dizzy spell and the waiting medic had pressed some item to the children’s arms and they had been asleep since. Food had appeared from thin air and the door was now locked, he was only grateful that there was a sanitation unit in the adjoining room to which they had access. Poraane knew that Worf had smuggled him self and his family off the planet and he now only hoped that Worf would not be in trouble with those who ran Star fleet, though he would be forever grateful to the gruff alien, an idea that would have appalled him only a few short weeks ago.
Worf sat on the bridge of the Defiant thinking about the millions who he could not save, but feeling good about saving one brave man and his family. Poraane had worked tirelessly to create safe areas for his people to the point that he had only seen his latest grandchild once since he was born 15 days ago, and then only for a few moments. No-- He did not feel guilty at saving this family, it was the honourable thing to do He had cornered Dr Bashier this morning and explain the situation and asked him to sedate the children as the oldest being a four year old girl, they were unlikely to remain silent for the two days the journey would take. The doctor had been reluctant at first until Worf had explained how honourably the grandfather had acted, only then had Julian had agreed to help though with some reluctance. Worf felt it best to hide the family from the first family, unless Derkin become angry that a family had been treated specially. Poraane’ family would blend in once others arrived in a few weeks or months until then he would beam the two families down at separate locations leaving the second family as he thought of them with ample supplies for months.
Picard watched as the Defiant went to worp taking Derkin who would see the planet and report back to his people to give first the hand evidence he felt his people needed, then turned to the assembled group of representatives from the planet and the ships. Lt Crusher and Com’ La Forge had created a set of five plastic looking tickets to be collected from town halls, and other public buildings by the population they were colour coded
Blue, Yellow, Red, Orange and Purple
Blue was for group A
Yellow was for group B
Red Was for group C
Leaving orange and Purple for the largest group, it was decided that two colours for group D was best so as to
disguise for the time being the fact that people with those colours were to be left unaided. There had been very torrid discussions about this and many people had argued that those most likely to die should be told so meaning they could prepare in their own way, others had said that to tell at this stage what each ticket meant could cause a riot and those with blue tickets especially would be at high risk of being murdered even though only they would be allowed in the departure area after a D.N.A. scan that matched records kept for the last 60 years of all the population; there would always still be some people willing to try to get through.
The population were now fully aware of the ships in orbit and many had already packed the small bag that they had been told those chosen for either transport to a ship or removal to a shelter were allowed to bring. They had been told only to bring items of great sentimental value, as food and clothing would be provided .Lanel now back in her home was packing her small bag with a well wrapped vase to go with the chain of love her father has given her mother on their bonding day when the AV bleeped for attention , she answered to see Deanna Troi and the unmistakeable face of her husband William Riker, now looking much fitter than when she had last seen his as Revas Jakara.
Lanel” Deanna smiled “I thought you might like
to know that the tickets are to be beamed down to the surface tomorrow morning,
and we have been as fair as possible and mainly looked at people’s occupations
ages and gender among a few other criteria to decide who is in which group. So
I have NO idea what group you and your friends are in. But as you are double
trained a nurse and a teacher you stand” Deanna glanced at Will to confirm
her words” a 20% chance of getting into
a group that stands a good chance”
Lanel went pale and felt sick she had not really ever brought her self to imagine she would NOT be on a ship especially after visiting the Titan, now her chances were as low as 20%
“That is a VERY high score” Will commented “Much higher than most you are in TWO much needed professions We need nursing staff and people to train US in the nursing of YOUR people”Lanel still felt scared
Even though she had a high score if 20% was high she dreaded to think what others would have say a retail outlet worker or an eating establishment worker most likely around 1: 1000 would get a place somewhere it was dreadful. Lanel thanked them and quickly shut off the link and spent the rest of the day in tears for her planet and its people.
The queues out side the government office were the worst the army had seen EVER, the aliens from Star Fleet had just beamed in with what they had been informed were modified replicators and the doors were about to be opened. When some 12 Klingons arrived and started to chant in loud voices and manover the crowd into some sort of order. They never touched the people but where intimidating enough even so, the army were grateful to see them !. Lanel stood close to the doors with Flixer and Jopel having as Deanna had guessed they would; arrived very early before the official announcement. A gigantic Klingon named Kurn opened the door and yelled
“First 30” and the first thirty walked though the doors to be met by a row of Starfleet officers sitting behind standard desks with some machines on them- no boxes of cards just the replicators . Lanel was one of the first . She placed her hand on a pad said her full name and her parents names and a normal envelope of a pale brown colour appeared she took it and walked out though the back of the building followed by Jopel and Flixer. It was all rather an anti climax as they had expected loads of questions to ascertain who they were, but it seemed the DNA reader dispensed with all that.
Together they walked to Jopel’ home as it was closet and opened their envelopes together, sitting in his plush if rather small seating area. Lanel’s card was a vivid blue with the number 778 while both Jopel and Flixer got red also with numbers on.
“So this is it” Flixer said with unusual sombreness “What ever the colours mean we are in different groups so will have different fortunes” They were all of the belief that they were to be split up and either only one would get to the new planet or one would be left, the thought at that moment never crossed anyone’s that though they were in different groups they might all be saved..Jopel crossed the room to the cupboard and nodded at his friends as he poured out 3 strong alcoholic drinks then handed one to Lanel and Flixer and began to move his glass in a circle and whispered “To the world we know and the one we hope to discover”. Just as he had finished the toast two people appeared. This beam in was not so shocking as it would have been just a few weeks ago.Will and Deanna Riker accepted the drinks offered by Jopel, despite the alcoholic content, as they asked who had got what in the lottery. They told them with some distress, only then did Will Riker tell them that though the card were different they were all categories allotted ship space though two would also have to wait in a shelter for rescue, the grief then turned into a mini party especially when Flixer and Jopel announced that they were to become bonded, that meaning married to the Starfleet couple and for the first time in weeks Deanna felt true joy as she had come to like these people and though she knew no one had rigged the out come she also knew ever useful scrap of information about her new friends had been fed in the computer that had allocated the places .Both Starfleet officers insisted on the three keeping the meaning of the card colours secret and left, feeling rather light headed !.
Derkin stood on the new planet and looked over the green landscape from the vantage point of a hill, the air was fresh and clean and behind him was a small town existing of some 2000 dwelling places of varying sizes, a building that would serve well as a adolescent education building as well as several smaller units that would be ideal as early years and pre-adolescent teaching units, he also noticed trading units and a grand building that he presumed was a place of worship. This last building he was told had held a much larger amount of organic material than any other single place in the town, so he had come to believe that people had gathered here when they knew their end was close. He vowed to discover what these people has looked like and build a tribute to them so they would never be forgotten or more to the point always remembered.
Meanwhile Poraane was some 500 km away with his family in the mountains, the weather there was not so
pleasant outside of the wooden building ,if fact the snow was several dens deep. However Buena and Litta had made the place comfortable and Garda and him self had lit fires in the huge grates, the children played and little Crolla slept with the innocence of the baby he was. When Worf had beamed down with them he said that he had chosen this place because it was remote and large. He had decided and Poraane had agreed it had most likely been a vacation hospitality building of the highest grade, as it was made of local stone double thick with treated grass products in the cavity to insulate the walls. If the building were fully occupied it would hold about 30 guests and six live in staff. So there was plenty of room for the family, despite some areas that had become uninhabitable due to erosion over time. The food Worf had provided was of good quality and he had also given them a food making machine called a replicator so the family would be fine and Worf had promised to transport them to a better place when it was safe to do so.
That same afternoon Derkin was standing in the centre of what had been a large metropolis, the area he was in was not the idyllic place he had been that morning, the dwellings were closer together and it was filled with towering building ,even so the original inhabitants has allowed plenty of green areas into their city and it would not have been a bad place to live if your employment was situated there. There were of cause areas where the plant and animal life had made deep inroads into the structures, but not enough to make the place impossible to colonise with immediate effect.
It had now been some three months since the ships had arrived and every member of the Melcorian people who had not registered stay on the planet by choice had been issued with cards that were to be kept safe under any and all circumstances,
Commander La Forge now sat in the broadcasting room with Chancellor Derkin who had arrived back some three days before and given his people his view of the new planet, Captains Picard and Riker along with the Captains of a Vulcan, a Bolian and a Deltan ship to represent the Federation to the people. Admeral Jayneway sat next to Avil Derkin at the large table. It was to be La Forges duty to explain to each group where they were to go, a duty he was not really relishing truth be told.
The light on the imager or what Geordie knew as a camera blinked from blue to white indicating that there was 30 seconds to transmission and Geordie sat up a little straighter and put on a smile as the light turned red.
“Good day to all the people of Melcor and all those off world friends watching in orbit” Derkin began with a reassuring smile “As I am sure you are aware time is closing in, so TODAY those to be evacuated will be told where to go and those not allocated places in shelters or ships will be given advice as to the best type of places to head for. These people here are representatives from Star Fleet and will answer questions from you as much as they are able, How ever please keep questions general as they can’t answer individual cases. Over to Mr La Forge from the flagship
.”To be 100% fair in the selection your government gave us the onerous task of selecting who will get taken to the Effian sorry Melcor-fi in the first group who will be in the second group and so on. We downloaded every file of every one on the planet into computers then each ship was given a different criteria to look for in their batch. For example on the Enterprise we where looking for cooking diplomas for 12%, biologists for12%,
builders for 14% aviation workers for 5% , Animal well fair staff 10% Farm workers for 15% single women under 35 20% office worker 3% and 19% single men . People who fit more than one category get a slightly better chance. However the majority of the population fit several categories and like I said every ship had a different search category , for example medical staff was one criteria on the Titan along with teaching .While we were looking as part of our search for under 35s other ships gave ‘points’ for being older and so on. On that basis the instructions for each person will be transmitted to your personal computers in the next 1 ˝ hours however for the time being I feel that I will say that those with BLUE that is B L U E cards will be leaving for your congregation places first. .
Lanel who had been watching the broad cast up until then shot to her computer and typed in the code to access her messages, Jopel and Flixer who had become more like residents in her home of late watched over her shoulder. The message came up
Lanel Candia Dru number 778
Report to Mellor education establishment at 02.00 on date 7/ 4 mark 88/100
BRING YOUR CARD and your luggage
“That tomorrow ! Lanel said 7th day of the fourth quarter 88 years out of this 100 at 02.00 this is IT !”
Deanna Troi was well past exhaustion she could not remember her last full nights sleep, she cat napped when she could, but they had to work out a way to fit in another 130 people, they had used all the rest areas, the gym and shuttle bays they had even set up sleeping areas in the school rooms and nursery areas.
“Lt Parker “ she yelled in a most unusual manor
“Sir” The young man stopped dead still
“My office we can house 4 there find a family unit to suit “
“Yes sir” he walked off
“ I said NOW “ The young man looked almost as shocked as his captain who had just stepped out of the turbo lift
“Deanna “Will soothed “they are doing their best “You need sleep go to Dr Jackson and get something that’s an order “
“How can I sleep when so many people depend on us? Tell ME that! And YOU ORDER me to sleep! Do you know the tension is killing me” Deanna hissed at her husband
Will for his part took his wife by the shoulders and guided her to their quarters, replicated a cup on hot milk as he summoned the doctor. He took the drink over to his wife and gave it her then removed her shoes and handed her, her night clothes. The door buzzed and Christopher Jackson came in looking flustered but concerned and that concern grew when he saw the state of the captains’ wife . He had never seen her so agitated and worn out
“Oh honey “said gently “You should have called me sooner, it’s bad enough for humans to live with the anguish of these people and our crew but for you as an empath it must be 100 time worse.”
“Doctor I WILL rest later, right now I must sort out where to put the extra people”
“You will harm yourself my dear “ he soothed in a lilting Caribbean twang
She began to replace her shoes, but Will stopped her and ordered firmly
“Com’ Troi as your captain I order you to drink your milk and then get some sleep.!!” With that he nodded to the doctor and contiured “Chris is a busy man- please hypo spray her now and leave doctor” He did just that though Deanna tried to resist . Will then helped his exhorted and rapidly disorientated wife into her night clothes kissed her and covered her over with the bed cover and left to face the turmoil but at least one problem was solved as he had been on his way to see Deanna when he heard the commotion any way.
He stepped outside and went to find Lt Parker only to find him arguing with others of his rank demanding they find a way to fit more people into areas already filled to capacity.
“Quiet” the captain said in a voice that emanated a calm he did not feel ,”Lets not forget here that many of those we rescue will be children and we can allow one bed space to two or even three small children.
“We have allowed for that sir” Parker answered
“Right then make every bed space a bunk and say all children under 7 years old must either share with a parent
or sibling. then get on the computer and recalculate the number we can take then inform the Enterprise and the government.”
“Yes sir “Parker nodded, then added “Sir. How is the counsellor ?”
“Sleeping . I had the doc sedate her . I had no choice she was burning her self out. It’s doubly tough on Empaths of that I am sure “
The family crept along the dark street heading for the transport waiting point. They were one of the poorest in the city, though they had managed alright up until this crisis , they had suffered much over the last few days as the water supply had been damaged in a riot ,so the only water was from a leaking pipe. They had managed to boil some for drinking but washing was impossible, they were acutely aware that they smelt of sweat and grime, but there was little they could do. The father had been born with a genetic disorder and though he had been in employment it had brought minimum income in addition to this the mother had given birth two days before, so had been unable to work outside the home. The two little girls where shivering in the cold air in their pre-owned clothing as they held little bags from food outlet store that were filled with soft toys and images of their grandparents. The father limped pulling a trolley of a type used for food collecting now filled with items of sentimental value to the family. Lana the mother carried her new born son in a blanket in her along with a bag filled with a few items for her new born .They were heading for a new life a new hope on the new planet the couple had been amazed when they had been selected for a chance on a new planet. The desperate man did not care about that he only knew that he needed to leave before the monster hit. He had never believed the government and he knew that the hit would come almost immediately, long before his yellow card would get him off the planet ,he felt he could bluff his was past the DNA checks if he had ,had his victims blood on his hands even though he intended to lightly wash then to remove visible blood. Then all he need do was force the woman to tell him where the pick up point was for this blue ticket and he would be able to ride the transport to freedom. He hit Ashy with a ball game hammer and the helpless man dropped to the floor, blood gushing from a massive head wound and his inner organs gave up from the kick to the stomach that followed. Lana screamed alerting a Bolian Starfleet officer who phazered the attacker and he fell down stunned, but the husband was dead by the time the crewman reached him. The young blue faced alien helped the family to the transport insisting that the father and husband would not wish his family to miss the chance at life. It was the 12th incident he had intervened in that morning but Ashy Rowber was the first to be killed. He would have to recommend that future evacuations would need the transport to go to the people and not the other way round.
Lanel stood somewhat in a daze in the hall of what had once been the education establishment for elite adolescence’ of Siclar in a queue. She felt sure though this was it and she would never see her home again ! The aliens had pricked her finger with an intravenous medication introducer and compared it to a setting on her blue card she had not known exisisted she had been a match. She had watched with horror those who were rejected and placed in a sealed teaching room guarded by huge Klingons. She had left her luggage in the indoor physical activity area and joined this line. Next to her was a family from the less well off area of the city and they were none too clean and to add to that the baby who was tiny had soiled his nappy and the befuddled mother did not have another, she was mumbling something about having left it in the street after the attack. What attack; Lanel was unsure of but it was obvious the woman was in great shock. The two small girls were wailing to taken home and beseeching for someone to find their father. The other persons in the queue where of a great mix including an old man who she felt sure had been in a medical facility a short time ago and she felt he would not survive for long here. He was wheezing that dreadful wheeze of the almost dead ! His family where tending to him as he slumped in a transport chair, but Lanel could not help but feel his was a wasted place. The line moved on slowly and by 10.00 she was front of the line along with the grubby mother and children. Close by were the family of the wheezing man who as she had guessed he would had died, they were arguing that his body be taken aboard . The Starfleet personnel were refusing , Lanel thought both parties looked very close to braking point, but agreed with the aliens. Though she felt for the family she could understand the urgency shown by those in charge; they were hurrying to get as many people off the planet off as possible and as fast as possible. She had heard those on the Titan say Riker was willing to risk many more than 4 journeys and would overfill his ship and she was sure other captains would do the same with their ships.
She discovered the grubby family were going alone as the father had been killed for his blue card that morning, thus explaining the mother’ extreme upset state. Lanel who had earlier managed to get a clean nappy and aided the mother changing it in a near by sanitation room, was now carrying the smallest girl and holding the older girls hand, she had befriended the mother and thanked the creators she had never bonded with any one, so she had no one miss.
“Next six” the Starfleet crewman waved and Lanel with the grubby family and two others walked up Lanel carrying the smallest child counted as ONE as did the mother and baby boy, a middle age doctor and a uniformed nurse carrying two tiny children a took the other places in one of six painted circles in the recreation area they watched as another group vanished then they felt the tingle and were on a ship. They were yanked rather roughly from the transporters pad by a enthusiastic young woman and hurried to a very cramped room where they handed in the blue card for the last time and were given a room location and pushed out to be grabbed by others who took them to cramped rooms, it was all very hurried and frightening, especially as both the mother and her three children were in great distress again, leaving Lanel to care for the party alone.
Lanel had volunteered to aid the mother as she had grown to care about her so she ended up sharing a four bedded unit with Lana and her children for the two day passage but a four days and nights on the Titan as they needed to load and un load at each end. She did however insist that the mother had the first shower followed closely by the children while she herself bathed the baby, this way the room was much less feted..
Andrew stood on the pedestrian walk area of a of a street that consisted of expensive homes, and fired his phazer at the crowd, the whole group feel to the floor.
“Now let’s look for the red cards and carry them on board” He ordered his people “This becoming something of a routine !”
This had been the third group he had to stun that morning, he could not blame the population really but he wished they would go to the unofficial shelters and leave them to do their work. He recalled minister Crolla’ words the previous day. “I am addressing those of you with purple and orange cards, WE have located natural caves and under ground structures that will offer you almost as much protection as the official shelters. They are on the system now and can be accessed by typing in the following code” He gave the code “I suggest you make your way to one of these as fast as possible taking supplies with you. Star fleet has assured me you will NOT get left behind and may well indeed you SHOULD be picked up before those in official shelters”
It seemed to Andrew and his team that no one had followed this advice, though he had been told millions HAD across the planet.
Regardless of the fact that the government had given the people the location of natural caves and man made structures in all parts of the planet that would be only marginally less safe than those quarried out some people still tried to gain access by force onto the transports taking people to official shelters
At the same time Joham and Trolem welcomed the people as they streamed into a shelter, they directed and guided them to areas where they would be provided with sanitation equipment and clothing they would also be directed to living areas that were adequate if rather cramped. The authorities had doubled the numbers allocated to the shelters when they had discovered that alien technology could recycle air much more efficiently and that food would not be as much of a problem due the provision of replicators. Even though both now famous men had been offered automatic places on the Enterprise with their wives and children they had refused and insisted on being part of the lottery. What neither knew was that Minister Crolla had insisted that both man and their families get tickets that would ensure they were guaranteed safety. Both men had got RED cards and places in shelters by order of Captain Riker who understood the tickle tackle that would go on if the men both got on ships first time round.
Derkin stood on the same hill that he had stood on several months ago and looked over the small town now filled with people; his people AND some Starfleet who had requested to be allowed to stay with their families as soon as they could be transported here and settle here. He felt very old though he was in fact only sixty seasons, though the event he had attended that afternoon had given him a much needed moral boost. Flixer and Jopel had been the first couple to be bonded on the new planet and he had been among those invited along with many star fleet personnel and the couples friends and family.
His people had, had to grow up fast and though there had been some insurrections, overall not as many as he had feared.. Starfleet’ approach had been very sensitive and they had only done what the government had requested of them. and no more just as they had promised. They had helped in the round up of people along with Melcorians, in deed he was now going to request that they join the federation as a junior member if there was such a thing. He turned to look at his friends Jean-Luc Picard, Kathryn Jayneway and William Riker.
“My people owe you a massive debt of gratitude, your ships and crews have worked harder than I could ever have imagined. We managed to save many, many; more people than anyone could possibly envisage.”
“I don’t know it for sure BUT I think some serious overcrowding took place on the ships and I would have hated it if an evacuation was needed as life boats would not have saved them all !” Jayneway commented with a mock stern face
“We might have miscounted by one or two “ Will said with a grin ”it’s very difficult without Data ! But
we saved 77% of the planets population allowing for the 10% that did not wish to be even in the lottery that’s
88 % rescued not bad at all”. Deanna who had just joined them smiled .and added
“I feel it best we leave your people now to sort out their own troubles. They are all housed and your own people have set up central areas for giving advice and problem sorting. The crops the Vulcan’ planted are starting to be harvested there are of cause a few space crates that contain vacuum packed treasures from your art galleries that I believe will be tractor towed and will arrive within the next few weeks .Besides that our job is over so I feel we should make a move”
“We shall make our Goodbyes then Avil” Picard said “With your permission we shall visit soon”
“You will be welcome Jean-luc, indeed all people of the federation will be”
In the mountains Poraane and his family had decided to settle there permanently they had renovated a transport
module that would carry them the few kilometres to a local town. They had decided to start up a hospitality unit for those who wished to sample mountain life. Any species would be welcome.
Lana and her children had settled into a small village that the new inhabitants had decided to call Ashy after her dead husband. It was also in this village that a under ground vault was discovered that contained some well packed artefacts and images of the original inhabitants. They by the look of the pictures were reptilian and had varying skin tones from green to brown to red. It even gave a picture gallery of their life cycle and family structure .alone with a scroll that Starfleet took to be translated that might contain a message or explanation for their demise. There were plans to build a new structure to house the artefacts that would be open airy and free to visit.
Lanel and many of her alien watchers group had decided to leave with the departing ships to either apply to star fleet academy or join other projects on other planets, as this was their dream.
Later that day back on the Titan, Riker set cause for a space crate about the size of a three story dwelling, then handed the bridge over to Lt Crusher and leaving instructions that he was well and truly off duty left the bridge.
He walked down the eerily quiet corridor yet to be filled with returning crew to his quarters and opened the door to find the lights dim and Deanna in a soft silk robe and nothing more, he smiled a warm smile and walked to his wife and taking her in his arms whispered
“Now where were we when we were so rudely interrupted by a life and death struggle ?”
“About here” she said as she stood on tip toes to kiss him and felt her self being carried to the bed. This time nothing interrupted their lovemaking.
The door to the office opened and Derkin was handed a pad , one he had been waiting for, for over a year. The translation division at Starfleet had finished work on the scroll and sent the Titan to bring it and the translation back.
It read thus
We call our selves the Selastines and we are peaceful race .We have been attacked by unknown bacteria that seems to spread without contact and is carried by the wind we cannot fight it and no one who has contracted it has lived. We feel sure it originated from a meteor that fell here some weeks ago Our scientist say it is not a natural object so we can only presume some one wants our planet and we believe them to be the Vortons with whom we have been at war with in the past. Their planet is polluted to the point of being poison to life.
We have there for sent out distracter beams to disable their ships so light speed will no longer be available to them and they will either turn back or die, the choice shall be there own as we are against killing as much as possible .It is our hope that someone at sometime will reinhabit this world and live in peace and harmony with it as we have tried to. We hope to be remembered by someone some time .
May nature be bountiful for you and may you never feel fear.
Signed Milonian the leader of the Selastines
In orbit Dr Beverly Crusher handed Deanna her new born Daughter and Will Riker beamed like his whole face would crack. Deanna felt love and pride emanating from her husband.
“ Do you have a name yet ?” Beverly asked
“Selestine Eleanor” Deanna whispered
Will nodded in agreement
“Yes we never knew them as a race but we will remember them as long as our child lives and longer.