Literary Challenge #12 : Intruder Alert
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Intruder Alert - Part 2
02-16-2012, 12:53 PM
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When I entered the brig, the first thing I noticed was the on-duty security officer, the pair of MACO guards that had accompanied the prisoner from the shuttle bay, and Lieutenant Anaar standing outside one of the forcefield protected cells. Approaching Anaar, the tall Andorian squad leader, stooped down to whisper into my ear, “Careful Captain. He’s talking crazy.”
That’s when I turned towards the prisoner and got my first good look at the tiny alien in the cell. It was about a meter tall, thin as a rail with smooth grey skin. Although it was naked from the waste up with a brightly colored kilt that covered its lower half, patches of white hair sprouted from various locations except on its head. Its large, reflective, deep-set eyes peered out from a ridged brow that rippled up its forehead to a point. Its vestigial nostrils had never experienced the sweet scent of an orchid in bloom or any flower for that matter. However, its massive mouth more than compensated as the miniscule alien took a deep breath and began to speak, “Audria, I need your help.”
“Do we know each other?” was my only response.
“It’s me,” it replied desparately. It took another big gasping breath before it continued, “Don’t you recognize your lifemate? I’m Soriedem.”
“You’re not Soriedem. You’re not even Tobarri. I don’t know what you are,” I spat out at the ludicrous notion that this person could somehow convince me that it was my husband.
I turned to walk away, when he took another labored gasp before speaking quickly. “Audriaris fibriatum. That was the name we gave the orchid we discovered on that planet in the Pelia Sector Block.”
Another labored gasp from the tiny alien. “I wanted to name that flower after you. But, you wouldn’t have it unless we named every single plant species we discovered after a member of the crew.” I turned to face the creature as it took another deep breath. “We had to name 314 species of plants and had to spend hours getting that report ready for Starfleet.”
“Anyone that’s seen that report would know that,” I replied. “That’s not much of a secret.”
The alien took another massive inhalation. “After we sent out the report, I took you into my arms. We bowed our heads, and allowed our t’Os to intermingle. Then, I whispered that I would gladly do it again to make you smile.” Sighing heavily, the mouth-breather took another deep breath and finally said, “That’s when I began calling you my beautiful orchid.”
It was something Sori called me whenever we were alone in our quarters. I glanced at the other officers in the room, hoping they didn’t hear his last few words. The last thing that I needed was for my crew to start calling me an orchid behind my back, or even worse yet while in my presence. “Sori?” I replied as I stepped towards him.
“Audria, it’s me,” he reassured with a large toothy grin that ran shivers down my spine.
Without taking my eyes off the strange little creature that possessed something that had been my husband, I ordered the on-duty security officer to lower the forcefield.
“Captain?” Anaar interrupted. “Surely you’re not—“
I repeated my order and explained, “I know you’re doing your due diligence. But, I know my lifemate, and believe it or not, that is Soriedem.”
Unhappy with the order, Anaar nodded to the officer at the controls as his hand instinctively reached for the phaser strapped to his hip. The forcefield dropped and we rushed towards each other. Because of the difference in our heights, he wrapped his arms around my waist, while I embraced him as a mother would her child. It was a surreal experience.
After a few moments, I asked Sori what had happened. He recited the events as he remembered them, starting with his mission, the supply stop at DS7, the Bolian Quartermaster, the unexpected attack, his ultimate escape from the station, and our little reunion onboard my ship. Sori is in sickbay right now getting checked out. He will provide his own report once everything has settled down, but in the mean time I will include what I know in this log.
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Sori had been explaining to the Bolian Quartermaster the intricacies of stowing cargo onboard his ship. Although Starfleet regulations allowed for cargo containers to be stacked three crates high, onboard the highly maneuverable Tobarrus, anything loaded higher than two presented a safety hazard. Sori was demanding that the cargo be removed from the ship and arranged as per his orders. Finally, getting a moment to respond, the Quartermaster had said that he will consult with the Quartermaster General’s Office for confirmation to his request. Soriedem had no idea that it was only an excuse to get away from the demanding captain trying to tell him how to do his job.
One moment he was watching the station’s crew load the final crate onto his ship; the next, he was on the ground looking up at a pair of angry security officers with rifles in their hands. He ordered them to stand down, but instead of following his orders, they brought their rifles closer to him. He brought up his hands to ward off their advances. They weren’t his hands. When he asked what happened, he noticed that his voice wasn’t his own. Finally, he realized that there was an eerie silence from his t’O. Something was seriously wrong.
The guards grabbed him and lifted him to his feet. Sori looked down and saw grey padded bare feet under a bright multi-colored kilt that ended at his waist. A guard jabbed a phaser rifle barrel into his back. He stumbled forward and landed hard on the ground. He wasn’t used to his new body. They asked if something was wrong as they pulled him to his feet. “My legs don’t seem to want to work,” he said as he leaned heavily against a guard. The security officer put his weapon away and used his free hand to help steady Sori.
Walking slowly, they made their way out of the cargo bay towards the turbo lift at the far end of the hall. As they walked, Sori tested his body with short quick movements that resembled a series of petite mal seizures to their untrained eye. “He’s having a seizure,” the guard that steadied Sori announced. “We need to take him to Sick Bay.” The other guard nodded and relaxed his grip on his rifle.
Just before reaching the turbo lift, Sori had a better idea of what this new body can do. He took advantage of the opportunity. Using the guard that steadied him as a pivot point, he kicked the rifle out the hands of his companion. With the security team caught off guard, he turned on his aid and knocked him against the wall with a mighty push. The guard must have hit his head, because he slumped into a heap, unconscious. Sori turned his attention to the other guard.
Within moments both guards were unconscious. Sori took their combadges, a tricorder, and one of their phaser rifles. He turned and ran back down the hallway to the cargo bay. After entering the massive warehouse, he clung to the wall and followed it around toward the cargo bay’s transporter control station. It was being manned by an ensign that was filing his report regarding the Tobarrus’ recent visit.
Sori found sneaking up behind the ensign to be easy with his diminutive size. With the rifle butt, he knocked the ensign out and dropped the weapon beside him. Grabbing the ensign’s combadge, he approached the transporter station. From the terminal, he accessed the combadges and set up a simultaneous transport to beam them to three different shuttle bays. After picking up one of the combadges, he initiated the transport. It would take the security teams some time to search each shuttle bay. It would buy him time to escape.
Once in the cargo bay, he climbed to the top of some crates for a better view of the area. As he struggled to reach the top, he longed for his old body and its ability to hover silently. Finally, at the top, he saw a Lieutenant at the flight control station. He seemed bored. It was time to unleash a little excitement. With the combadge still in hand, he tossed it hard against a nearby shuttle. It banged off of it and bounced to the ground with a clatter. The lieutenant heard the sound and left his station to investigate. Sori waited for the lieutenant to pass by his position and leaped at him.
With the flight controller unconscious, Sori realized that this must be the same manner his attacker had used on him only a short while ago. He scanned the nearby shuttle with the tricorder before dragging the unconscious human back to the console. Sori struggled with the sleeping man’s weight as he used the lieutenant’s hand to bypass the terminal’s biometric sensor. He interfaced the tricorder with the flight control station and used his command protocols to access the station’s sensor telemetry. He uploaded the shuttle’s id to the flight control station. Working the console fervently, he recalled the little trick his science officer once showed him. A moment later, every ship within sensor range displayed the same shuttle identifier. It was time to go.
After boarding the shuttle, he set a course away from the station at a casual pace until he was out of sensor range; after that it was full speed ahead. If he was going to have any chance of returning to his body, he needed to find me. He set a course to my last known location at maximum warp. A few hours later, when my ship appeared on sensors, he adjusted his flight plan and came about with weapons and shields offline. He wanted us to know that he was no threat.