Literary Challenge #44 : Down the Rabbit Hole
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Relics in a Rabbit's Hole
06-13-2013, 09:51 PM
After leaving the Zemet System in a routine patrol through the system to check for Undine activity, the U.S.S. Oregon has found her self adrift after hitting an unexpected ion storm. Repairs are on their way and my Chief Engineer Chassidy tells me that they are going at spectacular rates to fix the damaged systems. Though my Chief Science officer Zinuzee has said an unusual subspace anomaly has opened on the starboard side of the ship. I have ordered her to meet me in my ready room to relay this new information.
Zinuzee seemed uncomfortable as I poured some Saurian Brandy into my glass of Earl Grey. "I'm sorry Commander, do you want a glass of Earl Grey tea?" I asked her, "I add the brandy for a kick to get the workday moving." She merely gave a stressed out smile, crooked at the fact I wasn't taking this seriously. She chose to move on after the awkward silence filled the room.
"Sir it seems that a wormhole has opened off of the starboard side of the ship" reported Zinuzee, "it appears that the ion storm has reacted with the unstable portals into Fluidic Space, to open this new wormhole." She grabbed her P.A.D.D. and brought up a probe telemetry to the view screen of the captains cabin. "We've sent multiple probes through since the wormholes opening, and each time we've got reports from across multiple sectors from other federation spacecraft, even from our Romulan allies in the Tau Dewa Sector" she continued, " I suggest we send a two manned shuttle to check out the properties within, as we have observed that a main cavern like hub is at the center of the anomaly, before the probe is spit out of subspace into real space."
'Ahh, Z, always one to get to the point quickly,' I thought to myself, before I swished my tea in its cup, 'I shall have to tell her to visit the counselor to make sure she relaxes enough.' I took a swig of my tea and brandy, and swung my chair to face my fish tank
I was wondering what she thought of my actions, so I decided to 'ham it up' by expressing a face of contemplation. I could see in the reflection of the glass I got what I wanted. She looked dejected, almost like she thought I was purposefully ignoring her, and when I couldn't take it anymore I cracked a smile. "Lighten up Z, I know your looking for recognition for your work, and you've done a fine job, but I need a little more Lexis in your attitude, not Zinuzee. Her face blanched in utter shock, before looking down and recomposing.
"Yes sir,' she said, her voice quivering a bit in tone at 'sir', showing something of exasperation. Her face took a more cheerful expression as she let a little more of her hosts emotions into play. She stood up and stretched for emphasis, like she hadn't had control over her actions. "Thanks a lot love-muffin, I forgot how demanding miss stick up her..." I would have let her finish that sentence but under the immediate circumstances I couldn't let her be in control.
"Now Lexis, I can't have you have complete control, just cause Z is sulking doesn't mean I'm letting a newbie have complete control over scientific data" I said absolutely serious at my personality deficient science officer/friend. She pouted but let control over the mind slip back into the control of Zinuzee, her bonded Trill symbiote.
"You wonder why I only let her out at parties..." she muttered towards me.
"Really? I thought that was because you have very little friendliness, being from a war driven universe and all that," I said nonchalantly, swirling my hand in the air for emphasis. She merely 'hurumphed', and pulled a stray hand of her brown hair behind her ear that had shaken loose from the perky girls earlier good-natured rant. "I'll think about your suggestion, but I can't let two officers be stranded in the Delta Quadrant because of my recklessness over this uncharted wormhole of wonder," I continued, "I also want you two to have a serious conversation with counselor as of 0700 hours, dismissed." I waved my hand and Zinuzee Lexis departed from my ready room.
"Down, down the rabbit hole we go..." I muttered at myself, looking down at the maw of the wormhole, its eerie, blue glow shining onto the dark deck of Ten Forward. I sat at a table sipping a fresh cup of Earl Grey, this time with honey instead of brandy, and drifting between sleep and the waking world. A child shrill laughter filled my ears, and I jerked around looking at the dark corners of the mess hall to search for the source. I knew no children would be awake at these hours, let alone be allowed here without permission from there parents, or me. I saw the glint of two eyes in that shadows, and rubbed my eyes to focus again, and all I saw was the lone bartender shining the glasses, with the glow of the wormhole reflecting off the glass. But I swore, before I looked away, the glint of wise, yellow eyes and the glint of purple cat-eyes staring back at me.
I had taken Z's request into consideration and the next day decided to send both Zinuzee and my third in command, Anitara, a New Romulus Commander I recruited from my Embassy, into the wormhole. That was over three hours ago, and I was officially flipping out after their two hour curfew passed. I had decided to take my personal shuttle, the U.S.S. Cordius into the vortex.
I was amazed at the colorful swirl of the vortex as I entered, reds, greens, blues, and purples divine all meshed together in a rainbow cascade of swirls. I was fooled by the pretty colors and swirling waves of energy and lured into a false sense of wonder, only to be horrified by what I saw next. Once I had gotten through the long tunnel in the blink of an eye, I found myself in the center chamber of the anomaly, a giant, cavernous, walled off space within the center of this unstable vortex. In this space sat the dead hulks of over twenty different ships of various and unknown design to the Federation and any other galactic power, as well as some not seen in centuries, but what drew the eye was the giant hulk of a twenty-second era Federation space station at the center. I had seen depictions of many space stations from various species across the Federation and could tell from my academy days it was an early terran design, one probably lost in the era of expansion in the early Federation days.
I breathed in at seeing the dead remains of these relics from across the known universe. Tholian, Trill, Saurian, Bolian, an early Suliban Cabal ship, one I could identify as Kobali, Deltan, and even a Borg Probe to name a few of the recognizable species. Then I saw one that intrigued me, for I hadn't noticed it at first docked with the Borg Probe, something reported to me from my allied contact within the Romulan Republic, Ace Chernok, as a mysterious and dangerous species. An Elachi Frigate, partially adapted from the Borg Probe's nanite probe system, but largely retaining its individuality. I had scanned it and stored data for further research and as proof of this reclusive enemy.
I had scanned the anomaly for the my officer's shuttle and found it docked to the old husk of a starbase, I set the shuttle to dock with the space station, hoping to find my missing crewman before I had an ulcer from all this stress.
The first thing I noticed was that it was dusty, and that it was dark. I hate the dark, more then a Orion Slavers guild, more than Nauscians, more then a Borg Cube, more than a battalion of Klingon Warbirds, I hate the freaking dark; the only thing I hate more then darkness, is when my weapons are in the hands of a nit-wit. I don my trusty headlamp, secure my Tsunkatse Falchion, and turn on my headlamp to light my way in this dark epitome to a lost era. I traced my way to the Z and Anni's shuttle, and followed the dust laden footprints they had made on their own journey in this station. I traced them to a children's containment facility, a children's playroom filled with books, something unique to a station of this era. I noticed two books taken off of their shelves, both open on the table, one facing down and one facing upwards towards the ceiling, though it was moved and put back down in a different spot. A little blonde girl was shown on the cover, and anthromorpic animals were shown as well, and for once I recognized the book before me. But in a flash of light so blindingly, I dropped the book, and was drawn into a black void on nothingness.
I woke up to a splitting headache as the sunlight shone onto my face through a dense amount of purple tree limbs. It took me three seconds to realize I said that the tree limbs were purple. 'What the heck?' I thought to myself as I sat up and got closer look at my surroundings. I saw that I was in a clearing of trees, the ground was covered with green and orange leaves from the purple trees, and blue shrubs I hadn't noticed at first.
"Good to see you are awake captain, I was afraid you had been affected more then we were by the transportation effect," said an unknown voice, one that I had fuzzily recognized. I tried to talk but a wave of dizziness overcame me, as I attempted locate the voice. "It's ok captain, you may be disoriented because of your telepathic abilities, being in-tune with reality and all that," said Anitara, "I know Zinuzee had trouble adjusting without Lexis with her." It took a second to comprehend that. "Don't worry captain, they're not dead....just not...normal." She looked at me and smiled at my clumsy attempt to stand that failed when fell back. "Though nothing in this place is normal, is it cap, since the trees are purple and blue, not to mention all the strange critters running around" She said smiling a beaming smile, before looking up the hill behind us at two approaching figures.
"Hello, silly~billy is awake now?" said one voice. I looked at the two bodies as they approached closer to the crude encampment I finally noticed built around me.
"Be quiet Lex, he may not know yet," said the second stranger. I thought both voices were familiar but couldn't place it. "Captain, it's us, Zinuzee and Lexis," said the second stranger. My eyes bugged out at the short, ginger colored haired lady in front of me. She was the same height as Lexis/Zinuzee, with a shorter hairstyle and the obvious change of clothes, favoring a classic and popular red and white robe over the Terran Empire clothes Lexis/Zinuzee wore. "Captain, umm, our best guess is that this anomaly, whatever it is can't distinguish between host and symbiotic organisms, and here I am in humanoid form," She blushed as she said this, obviously taking enjoyment in the freedom from a joint personality filled body.
"Wow," was all I could say, "Umm, is this permanent." She looked gloomy at this and shook her head and shrugged signaling she didn't know.
"Well she is enjoying it while she can *giggle* " said Lexis grabbing onto Zinuzee's arm in a friendly way.
"Sir, we believe you've seen the graveyard in the center?" this was Anitara who said this. "We believe that somehow the space station is at the center of this mystery." She looked to the other two and they both shook their heads in conformation of something I didn't know. "And we've found a settlement of some of the ships," she continued, "We've made contact with the survivors of the ships, as well of what's going on to some degree."
"Lead the way," I merely said and followed the party of girls over the hills and through the woods.
They led the way to a hap hazardously built circle of structures that were rummaged and refined in patches. Overall it reminded me of an old earth Shantytown where poor humans had once made towns for themselves to congregate in. We were met with a welcoming group of a Kobali female, Saurian male, and a Trill woman, though many other species milled about in an automated way like it had been a repetitive task for awhile. I was surprised to see that, though many of the people had a sunken and depressed look on themselves, they showed no signs of malnutrition or any damage to themselves. "Welcome to our house of cards that we call home Captain Son'aire, and we hope you feel it will soon be your home as well," she said, "We've had so few soldiers left after the last raid from the Black King and his Phantom, the only person who has stood a chance is the Ace of Hearts, a rogue warrior that escaped the Queen of Hearts and her Cards before she could turn him." I was puzzled at her terms of speech, but one look at Anitara told me not to mention it, and that she would tell me later.
"Ok, umm, I'll think about this, but I really need to catch up with my crew members," I continued, "Is there anywhere I can rest after this long day and take this all in?" The Kobali looked at me unsure, then quickly smiled and told the Saurian to show me to a guest quarters on the outer fringe of the establishment. What I heard before I left was familiar.
"Oh dear, oh dear I'll be late and the queen will have my head." she said, before the Kobali woman left in a rush. Once at our residence, I calmed down a bit, and asked my crew what the
was going on.
Zinuzee sat next to me, while Lexis sat in the chair next to the bed, backwards in her typical fashion, while Anni stood in the center of the 'room' ready to regal me with this new tale. "It all started with a girl, this little blond girl was the sole survivor of an early federation space station that was attacked by Romulan forces in the early days of the Romulan-Earth War, with one other survivor, the so called 'Queen of Hearts' who has recruited many of the survivors, Saurian, Trill, Klingon, even the Kobali woman we met, is on her side," she continued on, "The Kobali woman is a mediator, one who is protecting the interests of the Queen and keeping the settlement neutral in the conflict." She sat down contemplating how to continue.
"Oh, oh, me me!" said an excited Lexis, "I'll explain the plot hole to you Captain!" I merely raised my brow at her choice of words, while Zinuzee rolled her eye's at her other half. "So the space station fell into this wormhole, and the Queen was in a boarding party that had attacked the station, so she, like, survived and all that, though none of the other humans or Romulan, like, survived," she took a deep breath before continuing on, "So rumor has it she found the little, blond girl crying in the children's library, while the space station was being rocked and destabilized from open tearing and damage from the Romulan, and she was crying over an earth, book, 'Alice in Winter land', or something like that..."
"Wonderland, you dolt, a terran author named Lewis Carroll wrote it," said Z, annoyed at her lack of education in fine arts.
"I'm familiar with a poem of his, but the rest of his written work escapes me," I said. Lexis pouted at being interrupted, and began to be in a foul mood. Zinuzee chose to continue after Lexis started pouting.
"So this girl is crying at all the death, while the Romulan is left in confusion as she began to show compassion to this lone girl," she continued, "Then the shaking stopped and an unearthly glow occurred, and a celestial being, think Q, appeared in front of them, and took them into this place, modeled after the book." She looked around the room, no point of interest arousing her curiosity, and returned her gaze to me after sighing. "They think the being reacted on emotion, creating a world of joy for the girl to forget her sadness, and a new life for the Romulan officer, to watch over the girl and protect her. They never found the being again, it disappeared, but before it left, it told the woman and the girl that many would come from far and wide through the wormhole to this place of care-freeness, safe from the war beyond offering new life to those in its embrace. And many did come, lost ones who were welcomed under this woman's ruler ship, warriors and princes popped up, to keep peace in this new system. The creature didn't count on the Borg stumbling onto this place. There was a new war in this place and many died, some assimilated, and now the Borg threat is dead, though pockets of them show up form time to time. The most notable is under the ruler ship of the Black King, a madman who came to this world, said to rule a fearsome creature of the dark woods that came with the Borg."
"An Elachi,' I stated, and all turned to me confused at this. I chose to tell them my sighting of the Elachi Frigate that was partially assimilated, and said that this beast could be an assimilated piece of their technology. "We don't know much except from the occasional Romulan Republic reports of their forces, but even so we know very little." I said this and everyone agreed with me.
"One thing is for sure sir," aid a new voice form the doorway. I turned to see the a figure decked out in armor with an ace imprinted on his breastplate over a red heart. He went to remove his helmet and I was shocked to see a familiar face.
"Ace Chernok, you skittery Epohh, you!" was my reply, jumping up to hug the younger man, my friend, who has saved me on more then a few times.
"Good to see you, you old Federation Dog," he said laughing heartily, "It's good to see you are here to rescue these fair maidens and their fair protector, and slay the evil monster."
I laughed at him, and took his words in delight. "How did you end up here?" I asked, " It seems strange to find you here with us as well, it is just to coincidental, is it not?"
"I was checking Elachi subspace activity, and I stumbled upon this wormhole in my research shuttlecraft, and could not escape its pull when I tried to leave, for my shuttle was not meant for subspace travel," he continued, "I learned of these peoples plight, and offered to help, but was forced to work for the Queen. I chose to leave her rule and protect these innocent bystanders, and here you find me now." He looked around, looked outside the open doorway, and shut the door behind him. "I believe that this girl, the same blond girl, was put away because she threatened the King's rule, and disagreed with the Queen's choice for war instead of peace, and was put in this maze for her own protection," he said, "I believe she could be the key to ending his threat to this world, I believe she knows where the entity is and is in contact with it."
"Where is this maze?" I asked him, my interest piqued at this maze. He smiled at me and seemed to take delight at this.
"She resides at the center of this maze, the maze itself resides outside the castle, open to all to enjoy though very few that do have returned to their families and those that have, have suffered the Queen of Hearts wrath," he smiled, looking at me, and continued, "And I believe you could be the best chance we have at finding her." I was confused at what he meant, but when he pointed to my sword at my back, I was even more puzzled. "Your the only one whose weapon, energy based or not, has stayed with them and it might mean you've found special favor with the entity. You can find her Gregs Sharvan Son'aire, you are our hope to end this madness."
I stood before the maze and the dark sky, that loomed only over the maze and not the rest of this 'Wonderland'. 'Ah ha ha, are you so sure you wish to go in there my friend, I do believe not everyone wishes to end their lives on account of the Queen's wrath, especially by searching for the one she respects the most." said a voice I didn't recognize. I turned around, seeing nothing but empty air and a few wind blown leaves. "You won't find me that easily my friend, but *rumble* maybe I can trust you?" said voice, then a shimmer could be seen and the voice was revealed to be a Suliban, one that I assumed belonged to the Suliban Cabal cell ship outside the station. I knew that this one was dangerous, he still most likely had the genetic modification from Temporal Cold War incident of the 22nd Century, and as such had an array of deadly and illegal mutations that could kill me at any second. "Don't worry, I won't kill you, I'm no longer part of the Cabal, I've been thought dead longer then you've been alive child, I know my cabal failed, you're wariness is proof of that." he said smiling a crooked and deranged smile, a Cheshire grin, showing his time within this time-locked planet has affected his sanity.
"Why should I believe your word Suliban?" I bravely put forth, even with the insane sociopath inches from me. He merely smiled as a response, waved and disappeared with his camouflaging abilities. "Well, curiouser and curiouser this gets now." I said walking into the gloomy maze. The maze hedges miraculously parted to show me the way straight to the heart of the maze. "Well crud," I said sitting down on a nearby rock, "It's official, I've gone insane." I hung my head and propped it in my hands, looking at nothing I began to talk to myself, to straighten things out
"I understand the Kobali, Ace being here as well, Zinuzee getting a body and enjoying it, I could stand the weird planet, the mad Suliban, even that there are Borg on this planet, and a mysterious 'Beast' under the control of this Black King, heck even that Tholians, Xenophobes, were helping a Romulan woman who is the 'Queen of Hearts'," I continued, "But when a hedge, not even one that talks, but a plain old hedge, mysteriously and miraculously open up to show me the way, I
I must be a few Tribbles short of a Zoo." Wow, that had felt so much better once I got that out. I picked myself up, dusted off my trousers, picked up my sword, and headed straight to the center to meet the girl who could save us all.
It was a long and boring journey to the center of the maze, and I would not regale you with the tale of how long it was, but it was many hours of walking for how huge this maze was. 'Thank you magical maze, you were a great help once I got to the center,' I thought wryly, 'You lead me to the center, and I end up getting lost.' I finally rounded a corner when...*WHAM*... I had hit a moving object, preferably a bus or old style locomotive, and what I found was strange. I was lying on my back on the ground, dazed and confused by what hit me and the fact I wasn't dead yet, and found something, no
licking my face. I pushed them away and sat up, covering my eyes as the suns glare had blinded me, and once they adjusted, found myself looking at a Targ pup and Sehlat cub, barely to my knee, looking at me.
"T. D., D'om, where are you?" shouted a close sounding voice of a girl. Then further down the maze hedge, turning the corner was a blonde girl in her early teens, and she approached me and my two new companions. "There you are you silly things, I thought I lost you my friends," she exclaimed joyously, "Oh, who have you found in the maze?" She looked at me curiously and then turned to scold the two creatures. "You know the queen doesn't want me to see anyone!", she said in a scolding tone before turning to me in a sweeter tone, "I'm so sorry my friends have bothered you, but we must leave now, thank you and have a jolly good day!" She cheerfully turned around and started to skip down the maze, before turning around puzzled that her friends did not follow her. The Sehlat followed the girl and pawed at her harmlessly, while the Targ pup yipped at me at tugged at my pants to come to the girl. "D'om stop biting that man, and T.D. stop pawing me, you little rascals, stop it now." She started to walk away but stopped when both animals stood in her way. "Fine, I'll see how different he is then the rest, though I still don't know what I could do..." she trailed of in her sentence, biting her fingernail in thought, before turning to me. "I don't know what these two think about you, but they seem to think you are different then the others who have come searching for me, so what is your deal," she said impatiently, her hands on her hips, and her foot tapping on the ground.
I decided to tell my tale of how I ended up here, how I met my friends, that I had access to weapons to slay the 'Jabberwock', as the girl called the phantom beast, and that I had strong support from my friends, and experience on my side. "That is why I believe we could stop the fighting, capture the Black King, and save this world from misplaced tyranny," I told her to finish of my tall tale.
"Fine, the name's Alyiss by the way," was all she said, before gesturing to her pets to follow.
After a few hours of strategizing, making makeshift weaponry, and laying out a plan, we found ourselves on the edge of a dark forest, the so called lair of the Black King. I thought the forest fit him, an old decrepit castle was said to lay in the center of the dark forest of English oaks, black oaks, black cherry trees, and towering redwoods, though each were different colors than their earth counterparts, with leave colors hosting hues of oranges, reds, yellows, blacks, and blues. "Time to go in," said Lexis with a grin.
A lithe, pink form with yellow eyes darted quickly from the underbrush that they were hidden in, watching the retreating form of the ill-fated heroes slowly lose shape among the dark overhang of colorful and dark trees. If one was watching they could see it head straight for the castle of the Queen, to warn her of the loss of her citizens.
We began walking, when a mile in it began to be so thick, I swore I could see eyes reflecting red in the shadows, and when I turned to look back I swore I saw purple eyes and a Cheshire grin. 'No, no, your just getting paranoid, it's dark and your eyes are playing tricks with the color of the leaves. We kept on walking through the dense thicket, wary of the howls we heard.
2 Hours later...
We came upon a split in the road, where a hooded figure lay resting at the fork in the road, under a signpost showing 'Hard' and 'Easy', each respectively to the left and right roadway. The hooded figure's face was shrouded and useable by light or torch, and the figure wore a robe of tattered brown, though ribs were shown beneath his rags. "Beware the easy path that is chosen, take the hard path, for the riches it rewards are beyond a king's wealth," said the hooded figure, pointing to the easy path. We looked at each other, Lexis, Zinuzee, Ace, and Alyiss, then to me, unsure of which path to take.
"The left!" shouted Lexis with glee, "He said to take the Hard path, so why not?"
"But he gave it in a riddle, isn't that strange?" asked Zinuzee. She began to argue with Lexis as to the answer to this riddle. Ace meanwhile examined the signage after he politely asked the robed and hooded figure to move where he was being sniffed by both T. D. and D'om. I chose to look at the hooded figure, before turning to ask Alyiss' opinion on the matter. She was staring at a cracked teapot on the side of the road, bending over to examine it, picking it up, and looking inside of it, startled she dropped it, and a mouse scurried away, opposite the way she picked it up, into the forest. I chose to follow her as she went after the mouse, determined to see where the odd creature went. What I saw was a path, hidden by overgrown weeds and bushes, well walked by other's in the past. "Over here," I called out to the other's, but no response was given.
"I'm sorry Gregs, but no one may follow you now, it is merely you and young Alyiss that may go beyond the gatekeeper's watchful eye, for you chose the hard path, not traveled by others, instead of being led astray by the easy way, following a signpost designed to trick others into winding back to the edge of the forest," said a voice I didn't recognize. It was figure in a black robe, black pauldrons on each side, and a face obscured by a metallic mask covering it's entire face. The ears were Vulcan, or Romulan, though it was an impossibility, as the last Romulan was the Queen, while there were no Vulcan ships outside the space station. "Don't worry, I'm not the Black King, but I can say you've met him already, and he has it out for you my friend," he chuckled at 'friend', "Friend, such an amusing word, I hope we are friends Son'aire, you may be the last chance for my freedom." And with those cryptic words he stepped into the shadows, and disappeared from sight. "She's just beyond the hill Son'aire, she needs you" were the haunting words that ringed in the air as he left.
"Gregs!" shouted Alyiss, and I was aware she was over the next hill. I ran to meet her, afraid of what I might find.
Standing seven feet 5 inches, over the small, teenage 5 foot 2 inches of Alyiss, stood the towering form of a partially assimilated Elachi Commander. It made guttural sounds as it reached for Alyiss, it's assimilated hand looking sickly, pale, white tinted green by the Borg nanoprobes running through it's veins, before not being there after a quick slice from my blade. The monster roared in pain, it's one eye closing, the other frozen open by the drone eye piece emitting the classic, ever-present, green laser guidance system they used. Metallic plates covered they body of the Elachi as Borg replicative nanites had began to eat away and replace organs for efficiency, I saw this happen as it replaced it's severed hand. The Elachi was sickly looking even from the reports given by the Romulan Republic, seeming a gray-ish, white in totality, and from what I could guess, it's system kept rejecting the nanites, while the nanites kept repairing these rejected components.
"Run Alyiss," I told the scared girl, frantically, "Run far away, go over the hill!" She complied and I saw her form disappear over the hill. "So your the Jaberwock ehh?" I said, "Well, let's see how you fare against me beast!" I began to parry the beast's swift attacks, and then it's eyes closed and energy swirls began to occur. I swung my sword into the ground, trying not to get swallowed by the vortices. "You know, I read about the Jabberwock once," I told the hulking Elachi, "How the Jabberwock was a terrifying creature, who's claws could kill, and jaw tear you apart." I began to hack at the beast's body, doing no damage to the metal plates. "And the one thing I remember?" I asked the beast. The beast tilted it's head, studying me as to my next move, while I myself was desperate, huffing trying to return breath to my lungs. "It was killed pretty easily by a knight," I said delivering my last blow to the Assimilated Elachi, " 'The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!/He left it dead, and with its head/He went galumphing back....' Maybe it's something you can tell your King" The body finally went still, and the head rolled away, before the whole of the beast turned to dust and was blown away. I turned away and went to follow after Alyiss, who went to rejoin the rest of the group.
"Where did you go sir?" asked Z, always curious as to my doings, "We went looking for you for a hour, but couldn't find you?" I smiled reassuringly, and went to comfort the shaking form of Alyiss, being cradled by the sympathetic and motherly form of Lexis. I stood over her, leaned down and hugged her, before righting my stance and leaving the dark, crowded forest for the light open sky.
Just outside the edge of the dark forest.....
Alyiss stood behind us wary of the shadowy forest, as our group set up a camp for the night, it was twilight, and a roaring fire was needed to beat the cold. "Ahhh!!" a scream was shouted outside or warm circle. We all stood alert, my friends makeshift weapons drawn, my sword in hand, looking towards where the cream was heard. A limp form was seen outside the crackling light thrown towards the shadowy forest, and whimpers were heard from the Targ pup and mews from the Sehlat cub surrounding the form. We drew close and saw it was Alyiss, limp from fright, from an unknown terror.
"I warned you against finding the girl, you've undone all I've worked for..." said a whisper in the shadows. Suddenly a flash of gigantic teeth and sharp, long nails were in front of my face and I jumped back but did not scream, though my heart beat incredibly fast. "I warned you, and you fought the beast, you are my enemy now, Gregs Son'aire, you have not seen the fear I've given this girl over the years," the voice of the Suliban was now clear, "She must stay here! I have nothing left, if she leaves, this all goes away!" The Suliban revealed itself, gesturing towards me, purple eyes gleaming in the fire light. "She will end this world, kill it, if she awakens the entity, it will find us in here, it will see the damage the Borg caused, it will cleanse this world for her," his rant continued, "I cannot leave, this is my home! She must stay, or she must die!" He began to rush towards Alyiss, arms and nails extended to kill, before a shadowy blur blocked him from killing Alyiss. The flash of silver from the firelight revealed the masked man I met in the forest, any harm from the Suliban gone in his one sacrifice. "What! You ...you.." the Suliban trailed off on fear, his murderous rage quenched by the fear at seeing the masked man. The mask dropped from his face, revealing the form of a Romulan officer, though changed drastically, for half the face was that of a Borg Drone, the eye piece shining red in the night. The Romulan smiled, before knocking the Suliban unconscious.
"Halt in the name of the Queen!" shouted a voice far off away from the fire. We all looked to see a pink Kobali, the same one from earlier, surrounded by the alien clicks of Tholian guards, standing near the fire. "Do not harm the Suliban...my Lord!" the Kobali said, before she knelt before the Assimilated Romulan man. The man walked across the length of the fire, dragging the Suliban, tossing him to the Tholians, and tapped the Kobali's shoulder.
"Rise my loyal assistant, the Black King must be taken to the palace, he is merely confused and lost," he said gently, "I have returned from my self-exile, and I have Gregs Son'aire to thank for it." He turned to face the crowd of soldiers to address them. "He slayed the 'Jabberwock', he freed me from having to forever guard the beast in fear of the Borg's return, and he and his friends our new heroes," he said, "Let us return, now, to our palace, and celebrate."
We learned the story of the King of Hearts, a tragic one indeed. He came long ago to this land, a spy among many ships, who once trapped in this land changed his life around. He wooed the Queen, married her, and ruled this land for a while before the Borg came, and when they came with the Elachi, they could not escape from this pocket world with all their technological prowess. Locked away from the collective they splintered, some freed themselves, while others adapted and destroyed, assimilating others. The King tried to end this war, was assimilated in return, but before he became one with the Borg, the last of the collective died. Those Liberated Borg that remained, freed him before he was killed, some chose to leave to parts unknown, while he chose to remain in the forest, learning of the Assimilated Elachi and becoming eternal guardian to protect the world from this deadly creature. Now he could return to his people.
We eventually dealt with the Black King the Suliban, named Skar'Tar, ex-advisor to the King and Queen, and had a great party and celebration, then we tried to find a way home. We talked it over, wanting to figure out a way to contact the Entity, we decided to travel around the land trying to find any mysterious object or unknown corner we could utilize. We eventually stumbled upon a cavern, the very cavern the Elachi guarded, and found a book, a small, dusty, worn book on top of a stone table. We knew this was the portal to the subspace anomaly, a tether between worlds as it were. We left all we could in knowledge of our world, departed with tearful farewells. And then we went home.
We retrieved our shuttles, combined the tractor beams of our shuttles and towed the Borg and Elachi ships outside the wormhole. We were greeted with three vessels, the
U.S.S. Oregon, I.R.W. Nausci'lint, and U.S.S. Gea
. After returning to the Oregon, we all fired on the two ships, decimating them so no trace of the technology remained.
After aligning our reports, Ace and I parted ways, we had things to go do, and new planets to explore.
Last edited by aten66; 06-21-2013 at
. Reason: *6/21 Final Draft*