The Anarchy Store

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Time for a little anarchy - Time to stand up and stand out and let the government know we don't like the way things are.

Time For A Little Anarchy

Starfighter Command is a pending trademark of R. B. Chandler and the Galactic Enterprise - Copyright: 2001, Last Revision: 2015 R. B. Chandler

For Entertainment Purposes Only  

Star Trek Stories / Haunted

   I have borrowed the names we all know so well.  No copyright infringement is intended.  Paramount should be used to this by now anyway.


~~~


   Beautiful brown eyes looked back at her from her reflection in the armored glass set in the guardhouse window.  Her long black hair had streaks of green and brown running through it.  She sat calmly clipping her already perfectly manicured fingernails.  Something stirred in her mind; she looked up trying to see what her mind felt through the window down the long dark tunnel.  The tunnel was a huge cavernous thing that stretched for miles.  You could drive two Mark 5 tanks down it side by side with room to spare.

   She brushed the fingernail clipping from her starched black uniform and stood up.  There were too many thoughts for her to read them all, but she sorted through them just the same.  The word explosives popped into her mind and she hit the button that closed the giant door to the compound.  She reached for the intercom switch.  “This is the main gate.  I need backup.  We are about to be attacked.”  That sounded so strange.  The war had been over for many months now, and deep underground this was one of the most secure sites to begin with.  Freeing her side arm from its holster she stepped from the guardhouse to wait for anyone that might try and block the door from closing.  She did not have long to wait.

   She never thought to turn on the lights.  They would have only hampered her vision anyway.  A large mob came into view.  When they saw the door closing they charged.  Standing her ground she took careful aim and fired into the crowd of people racing toward her.  In seconds she had emptied her gun, reloaded, and emptied it again.  The people stopped running toward the door and started diving for cover.  There were sounds of return fire that were quickly silenced as she fired back at the muzzle flashes.  One of the bullets tore through her side, but she ignored it and kept on firing as the door slid shut.

   She was safe behind the door.  A door made up of nearly two feet of armored steel.  This was a citizen riot, they did not have anything that could get through the door or so she thought.  An explosion ripped the guardhouse apart blowing her from her feet.  Glass and steel flew everywhere.  She had not closed the window shield.  Moments later the door began to open again.  She felt no pain despite the fact that her once clean pressed uniform was now shredded from the explosion.

   Picking herself up from the ground she faced the first person through the door.  He had a large ugly looking knife which he held high as he charged her.  It was a simple matter to break his arm and throw him aside.  Attacker after attacker met the same fate.  Her many injuries did not slower her in the least.  The weapons that the people were carrying were mainly knives and clubs and easy for her to deal with.

   A tall man stepped through the ever widening door with an old assault rifle and fired at her.  At first he missed as she stepped from the path of the bullets.  Then one of the people charging her got in the way and the bullet stream caught up with her.  Bullets ripped through her arms and legs and chest and then the people piled onto her as she fell backward.  Her eyes locked onto the tall man as she was crushed by the mob.  She tried to fend off the knives and axes that hacked at her body.  Her eyes never left the man until an ax buried itself deep in the middle of her forehead.


   A man stirred, waking for a moment before closing his eyes again.  Three hundred miles away or so another person woke up screaming trying to fight off innumerable invisible assailants.  “Lights,” she said after realizing she was alone in her room and no one was trying to kill her.  The lights in the room came on.  Deanna Troi sat up.  The dream had been so real.  She was still shaking from the terror she had felt.  Not that the woman in the dream had felt any terror.  That feeling belonged to Deanna alone as the viewer/participant in the dream.  

   As Deanna reviewed the dream in her mind she realized that the dream must belong to another telepath.  Someone with greater ability than she herself had.  It felt to her like she had viewed the events through the mind of the woman, connected to the mind of someone else, filtered through her own mind.  She would have to review the personal roster to see if she could find out who the person was.  She felt a lot of unresolved pain and anger in the person that could broadcast such an intense dream telepathically.


   The Enterprise was on station near the asteroid belt around the star Kalara 3 on the edge of the Kalaran Empire.  The Kalarans claimed five star systems as their own.  Hardly an empire, but that is what they called it.  The Enterprise was there waiting for a passenger transfer from the Fairmont.  The Prime Minister of the Kalaran Empire had gone to Earth for trade negotiations with the Federation.  They were seeking to up their status to a full member of the Federation at the same time.  The Federation in return was trying to impress the Kalarans by using the Enterprise to ferry the Prime Minister back to his home world of Kalara.  The asteroid belt around Kalara 3 was the largest known asteroid belt of its kind, and completely encircled the sun.  This metal rich asteroid belt was what the trade negotiations were all about.  The Fairmont was still better than a day away from their present position.

   “Commander, I’m picking up an automated distress signal coming from inside the asteroid belt,” the ensign at the communication station said.  “It’s very faint sir.”

   William Riker got up from the Captain’s chair.  “Can you pinpoint the source of the signal?”

   “It’s coming from about four hundred and eighty thousand kilometers from here, but it’s too weak to get a lock on it from here sir.”

   “Helm, lock on to the signal and set a course.  Let’s go find them.”  Riker didn’t like just sitting around, but that was all he could do while waiting on the Fairmont.  “Three quarter impulse.”

   “Aye, sir,” was the helmsman’s reply.


   The ship was a small troop carrier converted to carrying cargo.  Many of the cargo bays were filled with plants in a kind of jury-rigged hydroponic garden.  Upon first inspection you would never know that the sole occupant of the ship was a miner, and that he was illegally mining the asteroid belt.  There were a few cargo bays that actually had cargo in them; very valuable stuff in small boxes.  The owner of the ship would have given them all away for a couple of replacement power converters and a hand full relays that had burned out.  He still had heat and lighting, but the life-support system had shut down a few days earlier.  The air was getting stale, but it was still breathable.


   “Commander, I’ve located the ship.  It is on one of the large asteroids not far from our present position; only one life-sign onboard.  We should be on top of him in about ten minutes,” the helmsman said.

   “Open a hailing frequency.  This is Commander William Riker of the U.S.S. Enterprise of the United Federation of Planets.  We picked up your distress signal.  Can you state the nature of your emergency?”

   “This is the Greve On Tar.  I am Davack, captain of this fine old piece of junk.  I had both of my power converters burn out on me and I don’t seem to have a replacement.  Can you help me out?  I can pay for the replacement parts.”

   “No problem.  Captain we’re not going to be able to transport you out due to the shifting nature of the asteroids in the way.  So what I’d like to do is get a tractor beam on your ship and pull you clear of the asteroids and then tractor you into our main hanger which is just large enough to hold your ship.  Once inside, we can help you with your repairs if you like.”

   “My thanks Commander.  What do you guys charge for power converters?”

   Riker smiled.  “Don’t worry about.  We’ll work something out.  Riker out.”  Turning back to the security station.  “Worf, anything we need to worry about?”

 “No Commander, it looks like an old Kalaran ship that has been modified to haul cargo.  It has four heavy pulse lasers and two missile launchers, but no missiles.  Nothing that can hurt us.  It is warp capable,” Worf looked surprised, but kept reading from his screen.  “He is shielded enough to where I can’t tell what kind of cargo he is carrying, or it may be that his cargo holds are empty at this time.”

   “The Kalarans don’t have any ships capable of warp drive Worf.  That’s why we are here to give the Prime Minister a ride,” Riker said.

   “I know Commander, but this one has been converted, and from what I can tell some of the parts are Federation in origin.”

“I think I’d like to meet Captain Davack.”


   Jean-Luc Picard watched as the cargo ship came to rest in the main hanger.  He had built several models of Kalaran ships back when he was younger and had time for such pursuits.  The Federation had encountered the Kalarans the first time they had enter their space.  They were a rather hostile people at the time, but they had mellowed over time.  Their ships were capable of light speed but they had never developed warp drive.  The five star systems in their empire were relatively close together.  They were a secretive people that rarely let strangers into their system.  For them to open up like they had in recent years was a big step for them.

   Jean-Luc wanted to see a Kalaran ship close up in that he was a little disappointed.  The ship in his hanger bore little resemblance to the model ships he had built in his youth.  It had been modified almost beyond recognition.  The man walking toward him didn’t look Kalaran either; a tall man with dark hair and eyes to match.  An athletic build spoke of someone use to hard work.  Jean-Luc looked back at Worf and Councilor Troi.  Deanna looked back at him as if to say, I can’t tell if he is hiding anything.

   Deanna was puzzled by the man.  As Captain Picard greeted him.  It was as if he wasn’t even there in her mind, and she should have felt something.  “Thank you for your warm welcome Captain,” she heard the man say.  “Your engineers are more than welcome to look over my ship and help me with my repairs.”

   “Captain Davack let me introduce you to my ship’s councilor Deanna Troi, and my head of security Lieutenant Worf.”

   Davack looked over at Worf.  “You are not at all what I have come to expect of Klingons.”  Worf frowned.  “Do not take that the wrong way my Klingon friend.  You are much calmer and seem more content with your life than most of the Klingons I’ve meet.”  His gaze turned on Deanna.  “Councilor if I knew there were women like you out there in the universe.  Then I would not have spent so much time in the coldness of space.”

   Deanna cheeks flushed a little at the unexpected compliment as her heart beat just a little faster.  He smiled at her as if he could tell exactly what she was thinking.  She wonder why she felt the way she did just having met this man.  It was like he was the missing part of her that she needed to fulfill herself in order to become a complete person.  It was the strangest feeling she had ever had.  He turned away before she could reply.

   “Where did you get your ship?” Jean-Luc asked.

   “I found it adrift in space with several laser holes in it, and as it was bigger than the ship I had at the time; I decided to upgrade,” Davack replied.  “I made a lot of changes to it of course.”  No one would know that was not the truth.


   “What do you think of our new guest?” Riker asked the Captain as he entered the bridge.

   “He seems nice enough Number One; a little too nice now that I think about it.  He’s probably doing a little illegal mining in the asteroids, but he seems harmless enough.  I got the tour of his ship.  He has an amazing hydroponics garden which is why he could survive when his life-support system failed.”

   “Did you find out about the warp drive?”

   “Yes, I did.  It seems he found the ship adrift.  He towed it back home with him, and had it fitted with a couple of small warp drive coils.”

   “Where is he from?” Riker asked.

   “You know, I really don’t know,” Jean-Luc replied.  “He doesn’t look like a Kalaran, but everything in his ship is written in Kalaran, even the notes he has hanging with some of his plants.”

   “Maybe that is for the benefit of the Kalarans if he ever got boarded by the them.”

   “Perhaps, but now that I think about it, it does seem a little odd.  We’ll keep an eye on him just in case,” Jean-Luc said


   “Do you work all the time?” Deanna asked the man with his head and shoulders buried inside the engine access panel opening.

   Davack wiggled himself back free and sat up and looked a Deanna.  His eyes seem to look deep into her soul, and that made her a little uncomfortable.  His answer was just like his eyes direct and honest, and yet something in his eyes made fun of her at the same time.  “No, just most of the time.  It helps me to forget my past.”

   “Why would you need to forget your past?” the councilor in her asked.  His eyes went stone cold and the little part he allowed her to see vanished.  Something horrible must have happened.  Still, he answered the question she wished she had not asked.

   “I was a soldier in a war a very long time ago,” he said.  The sparkle in his eyes started to return.  “Since that time I have wandered about in space a bit.  When I run out of money I come back here to mine a few dilithium crystals and some other stuff of value.  This time I got slammed.  The shields held; the power converters didn’t.”

   “What do you mean you got slammed?”

   Davack stood up and brushed himself off a little.  “I got caught trying to thread the eye.”

   “Thread the eye, I don’t understand.  What do you mean?” Deanna asked, but even as she asked an image popped into her mind.

   “When you try and go between two or more asteroid when there might be a chance that you could be crushed between them it is called threading the eye, as in eye of a needle.  You get slammed if you don’t make it.”  For a moment Deanna was in the pilot’s chair of the Greve On Tar as she tried to fly between two asteroids.  She felt the impact of the asteroids as she got slammed, but she still made it through alive.  Then just as suddenly as the vision came on her it was gone.  It left her shaking.  “Are you alright?” Davack asked.  “I’m sorry I should have known better.”

   “What was that?” she asked as Davack took hold of her hands to stop them from shaking.

   “That was me,” he replied.  “I thought you were a true telepath and could handle the images.  I didn’t realize you are only an empath.”

   “The images are so clear, how do you do that?  Not even my mother can project images with that kind of clarity.”  Deanna had never run into another telepathic person that could project and control his thoughts as well as Davack.  The training he must have went through…

   “You think too much.  I think your telepathic abilities would improve if you spent more time around telepaths.”

   “That’s what my mother says, but even she doesn’t have your kind of ability.  All the telepaths I know only think in words and sometimes vague images.  When you do it… it’s like I’m seeing through your eyes as part of my own personal experience.”

   “Have you ever been around children before they learned to speak?” Davack asked.

“Yes, why?”

   “Do you remember the images they projected to you?”

   “Yes, sometimes they could be very clear.”

   “When you grew up you lost that ability in favor of rational thought and conventional language that you all agreed on.”

   “But, we can still project images to one another,” Deanna said in defense of her race.

   “Simple images without detail. I want to show you something.”

   “What?”

   “A little experiment.”

   “Ok.”

   “Turn around and close your eyes,” Davack said.  Deanna did what she was told.  Davack stood behind her and ran his fingers down her arms lightly until his fingers entwined with hers.  Images started to fill Deanna’s mind.  She saw the inside of Davack’s ship in every little detail as if her eyes were wide open, and she was walking around inside of it.  Suddenly the image changed to an incredible view of one of many multicolored gas clouds in space.  Then the image changed again and she was dogging asteroids as she flew the ship through the asteroid belt at impossible speeds.  Then once again she was back standing inside the engine room of Davack’s ship.  “You can open your eyes now,” he said letting go of her hands so she could turn around.  “Perhaps my ability is just part of my genetic makeup, or perhaps it was learned.  I believe that the ability I have exists within you.  You just have not had a reason to tap into it before now.”

   “What reason is that?” Deanna asked.  Davack looked into her eyes for a moment before he pulled her to him and covered her lips with his.


   Jean-Luc stood in the transporter room waiting for the Fairmont to transport her passengers to the Enterprise.  Commander Riker, Lieutenant Worf, and Councilor Troi stood behind him.  Six of the Prime Minister’s bodyguards had already beamed over to make sure it would be safe for the Prime Minister to come aboard.  When the sparkle of the transporter beam stop the Prime Minister, his wife, and six more bodyguards stood on the pad.  “Prime Minister, I’m Captain Picard; welcome to the Enterprise,” Jean-Luc said as he stepped forward to greet his new guests.

   Prime Minister Shala Te Ar was a tall man bent just a little by age and the responsibility of the government of his people on his shoulders.  His skin and hair was the same pale white as that of his people.  He wore protective eye shielding in the form of contact lens to protect his eyes from the bright lights of the Federation ships.  All the people with him had the same kind eye protection.  His wife looked younger by several years even though their ages were only a year apart.  “Thank you for greeting us Captain, and thank you for giving us a ride the rest of the way home.  I hope you have not gone out of your way to do so.”

   Jean-Luc smiled, this diversion was just a little out of the way.  “Prime Minister I’d like to introduce some of my officers.  This is Commander William Riker, my first officer.  This is Councilor Deanna Troi, my ship’s councilor, and this is Lieutenant Worf, head of our security.  I’m sure you would like a tour of our ship after you and your wife have settled into your quarters.  I’ve asked Commander Riker and Lieutenant Worf to be your escorts.”

   “I shall look forward to it,” Shala Te Ar reply.

   “If you will follow me sir.  I’ll take you to your quarters,” Riker said gesturing to the Prime Minister that he should precede him through the transport room door.

   As Deanna watched the Prime Minister leave the room trailing bodyguards she was nagged with the thought that she had seen him somewhere before.


   Deanna watched the sleeping man in her bed.  Making love to a telepath was always an extraordinary experience, but this one was gifted in more ways than one.  Davack made love to her body and her mind like no one she had ever known before.  Through it all he maintained control.  He gave himself to her body and mind, but there was a tiny part of himself he held back.  Deanna could feel that part drifting close to the surface from time to time, but never close enough for her to grasp hold of.  Even now there was a blurred image of a woman, not her, which she could almost make out.  His eyes snapped open.  “Hi,” he said smiling.

   She sat down on the bed next to him and bent down and kissed him.  He returned the kiss and fire raced through her mind and body.  “Who is she?” she asked when she sat back up.

   “Who is who?” Davack asked.

   “The woman you dream about when you are not thinking about me,” Deanna replied.

   Sadness washed over Davack for a moment before he brought it under control.  “She was my wife.”

  “Was?”  It was a one word question loaded with a lot of whats, whos, hows, and whys.

   “It was a long time ago.  She was a lot like you, but she was killed during a riot.  When you’re in love and you’re a telepath there are things you just don’t forget.  Our bond was probably greater because we were both from the last generation.  We went through the last of the war together fighting side by side.  After the war we kept each other from going crazy.  I love you, but I can’t forget her either.”

   For a moment Deanna glimpsed part of Davack’s dark past; a past so horrible that he felt that he had to shield her from it.  She bent back down and kissed him again.  A moment later as she got up she wished that she didn’t have to go to work.


   Deanna decided to accompany Riker and Worf as they toured the ship with the Prime Minister. They had seen most of the ship and were now headed for the lounge in Ten Forward.  The Prime Minister felt safe enough on the Federation ship that he had foregone his usual company of bodyguards.  “Tell me about your people Prime Minister?” Deanna asked.  “Even though we have known of each other for a couple of hundred years we know very little about your people.”

   “There is not much to tell really,” Shala Te Ar replied.  “We are a lot like you as a people.  We had a long war that destroyed the surface of our worlds.  We adapted to living underground…” Shala Te Ar went on and on about the merits of his people.

   Riker looked over at Worf and shook his head.  The Prime Minister said a lot without really saying anything; so very typical of a politician.  Worf glanced back at the two bodyguards trailing behind the little group.


   Davack felt very lonely as he looked out the window of the lounge everyone called Ten Forward.  Even though he found in Deanna a brief moment of happiness he still missed his wife, friend, and lover.  Tears rolled down his face as half-forgotten images of her came into his mind.  He heard the sound of another group of people enter the lounge.  He blocked his thoughts and wiped the tears from his eyes, but he did not turn around.


   “Prime Minister tell me about the war?” Riker asked as they entered Ten Forward.  “Who were you fighting against?  Who won?

   “The war was a terrible time in our history Commander,” Shala Te Ar replied.  “We basically fought ourselves.  Space travel opened up new worlds for us, but it also brought new problems.  The short of it though is that our first war in space was fought between the home world and one we had colonized centuries before.”

   “Why?” Deanna asked.

   “It is the same old story.  I’m sure you have heard it before.  One world sought to throw off the yoke of the home world domination.”

   “How long did the war last?” Worf asked.

   “About three hundred of your years.”

   “Who won?” Riker asked.  That was a long time to fight a war, he thought.

   “No one, after three hundred years of war the people on both worlds had had enough.  They rose up against the military regime and destroyed their war machine, and most of their weapons of war.  We have been a happy peaceful people ever since,” Shala Te Ar replied.

   Davack turned to see what minor government official of the Kalarans would spouted such lies.

   The image hit Deanna with such force that she staggered backward with the recollection of where she had seen the Prime Minister before.  The telepathic force that hit her crumpled her to the floor sobbing as she looked out through the eyes of a dying woman into the eyes of a much younger Prime Minister.

   “Deanna are you all right?” Riker asked knelling next to her very concerned.

   “Davack, no,” was all she could whisper

   “Lies, all lies,” Davack said from where he sat near the window.  The rage in his voice was barely contained

   “It’s not lies,” Shala Te Ar said.

   “Lie to someone else.  I was there Shala Te Ar.  We had won the war.  I commanded the company that capture their command center and destroyed their capitol city.  The war had been over for more than a half a year before the people rose up to destroy the “war machine” as you put it.  How many people died because of that uprising that put your friends in power?  How many people are still starving while you eat your fill?”  Davack stood up kicking the chair out from under him.

   The two Prime Minister’s bodyguards pulled the long knives they carried and without orders raced toward Davack.  Davack hardly seemed to move and the two bodyguards were lying dead at his feet.  All the other patrons of Ten Forward backed quickly out of the way.

   “Worf!” Riker shouted but need not have bothered.  Worf had already taken up a position between the Prime Minister and Davack, phaser out and ready for use.  Riker tapped the badge on his shirt.  “Security to Ten Forward,” he said standing up.

   “Yeah, you destroyed the war machine, and you destroyed the rest of our world in the process.  We grew the food.  We supplied the cities with power and water.  We transported all the goods to the stores.  This is the war machine that you destroyed.  Millions died of starvation and many more still suffer because of what you and your friends did.  This is the lie you want desperately to keep the Federation from knowing.”  Davack stepped toward the Prime Minister.

   “Stay where you are or I will fire,” Worf warned.  Davack took another step and Worf pulled the trigger.  A large target ten feet in front of him and Worf missed.  It wasn’t because his aim was off; his target just wasn’t there anymore.  Davack snatched the phaser from Worf’s hand and sent him flying across one of the tables at the same time.  Riker made the mistake of charging Davack and ended up flying over the same table as Worf landing on top of his friend as he tried to get back up.  Two security guards pick an inopportune time to walk through the door.  A moment later they were disarmed and lying unconscious against the door.

   Shala Te Ar pushed his wife behind him and waited for the death he knew was coming.  “You’re one of Tro Bin Ten’s warriors,” he said.

   “Yes, I am,” Davack admitted.  “Fourth generation, Captain Dav Ack Ten of A Company, First Battalion.”  If it were possible Shala Te Ar would have turned white, but he was already white.  He had heard the name before.

   Worf charged Davack again just as Data arrived with four more security guards.  Davack met Worf head on this time.  Worf lacked Davack’s speed and strength and Davack quickly pulverized him before turning on Data and the other security guards.  Data miscalculated Davack’s strength and Davack knocked him back through the lounge door.  The other four security guards proved no problem for Davack and were quickly disarmed and rendered unconscious.  Now only one person stood between Davack and the man that killed his wife.

   “You can’t do this Davack,” Deanna said.  “I can’t let you do this.”

   “He killed my wife.”  The words reverberated in Deanna’s mind.

   “I know, but I still can’t let you do this.  Not here, not like this, with his wife looking on.”  Deanna realized that was a poor choice of words when she said them.

   “I saw what they did to my wife.  I felt what they did to her,” Davack snapped back.  “Let her watch and then maybe she’ll feel a little of what I have felt all these years since he killed my wife.”

   “If she had died in the war, would you have blamed the enemy?  He wasn’t alone either.  Are you going to kill all the others too when you get the opportunity?  Do you think that your wife would want you to throw away your life on a chance for revenge?  I don’t think so.”  Deanna knew she had to reach through the walls Davack put up in his mind to keep her and others out of that small place in his mind he kept for himself.  It was the only way he would be healed.  She had to do it for him, and she had to do it for a woman she had never met.

   “You don’t understand.  They chopped her into little pieces.  If they would have just left her she might have lived.  We were both fourth generation.  She might have lived if I could have gotten her to a chamber in time.”

   “You’re right I don’t understand, but I know that she did not feel any anger toward the people that killed her.  If anything she felt sorry for them.”

   Shala Te Ar stepped up next to Deanna.  “It’s ok my dear.  I’ve waited a long time to pay for my crimes,” he said.  “I have been expecting something like this to happen for a long time now.  It is fitting that I should die at Dav Ack Ten’s hands.”

   Davack took a step toward Shala Te Ar.  “Davack don’t,” Deanna pleaded.  “Killing Shala Te Ar won’t bring your wife back, and it won’t make the pain go away.  We know the truth now.  I know the truth.  We can give your people the help they need and isn’t that what you and she wanted in the first place.  She died trying to save the future.  Are you going to let her death be in vain?”

   The walls in Davack’s mind crumbled.  The images that flooded Deanna mind were staggering, but she stood her ground and let the feelings and thoughts flow through her.  She saw the war through the eyes of many people.  She felt the love between Davack and his wife.  She knew their hopes and dreams and felt the love they shared in her last dying moment.  “Davack if you do this you will have wasted your life and the life she wanted for you.  Are you so willing to throw away her love and her hopes so quickly for your own personal revenge?”  The warrior, that a moment before could not be stopped by ten men and an android, crumpled before her with tears running down his face.

   Riker picked himself up off the floor.  He tapped his com-badge again.  “This is Commander Riker.  I need a medical team and a dozen security guards in Ten Forward right now, Riker out.”


   “He’s dangerous, Councilor.  He’s going to stay in the brig until we reach Kalara; after which he will be turned over to their government as per the Federation’s agreement with the Kalarans.”  Jean-Luc glared at Deanna.

   “Davack is not dangerous Captain.”  Deanna was determined not to budge until she got the Captain to give in.

   “I’ve got two dead Kalarans, a half a dozen of my men, and one of my officers in sickbay that would disagree with you Councilor.”

   “How do you think you’d feel if you suddenly came upon the man responsible for your wife’s death?  We can’t turn him over to the Kalarans either.  He is not the war criminal they claim him to be.  To do so would make us party to murder.”  Deanna knew she was right as she watched the Captain pace his ready room.  “None of our people were seriously hurt, and he could have killed them just as easily as he did the Kalarans.”

   Jean-Luc stopped his pacing and thought he’d try a new tact on his Councilor.  “I understand what you are telling me Councilor, but my hands are tied in this matter.  Did you know that because of this incident that Lieutenant Worf has resigned?”

   “No, I didn’t know that.”

   “He sees his defeat as a failure on his part and feels that he can no long serve as the head of security.”

   “He shouldn’t feel that way.  Davack has five times his strength and is much faster than what we would consider as normal, and he could read Worf’s every thought.  Worf had no chance to begin with.”  Deanna felt the shift in the Captain’s tactics.  “Maybe I could get Davack to help Worf…”

   “No, Councilor.  Davack is going to stay right where he is for the safety of all concerned.”


   “I would like to see the prisoner,” Shala Te Ar told the guard.

   “I’m sorry, sir.  I can’t let you do that.  If you want to talk with him you’ll have to stay on this side of the force-field sir,” the guard replied.

   “Call your Captain then.  I wish to speak with Dav Ack Ten alone, and I will not stand out here shouting for the whole world to hear what I have to say to him in private.”

   The guard made the call and several moments later Commander Riker, Data, and four security guards showed up.  “Prime Minister, the Captain feels that it would be wiser if you stayed on this side of the force-field.  I can have everyone leave the room, but I really can’t let you go in there with him.”  Riker was not about to take any chances.

   “Commander I wish to talk with Dav Ack Ten.  I will do so alone, and I will do so within arm’s reach.  If he kills me then so be it, but I will talk to him alone.”

   “I’m sorry Prime Minister.  We are responsible for your safety; I can’t let you go in there.”

   “Then release him,” Shala Te Ar said.

   “What?”  Riker was more than a little surprised by Shala Te Ar’s demand.

   “I said release him.  The Kalaran government will not file charges against a man for defending himself, nor will we extradite him as stipulated by our treaty with the Federation.  Anyway you don’t really think that this little cell could hold Dav Ack Ten if he wished to escape, do you?  If he wanted me dead, you, your android, and all the men here could not stop him.  So you either let me go in there with him or you release him right now.”

   Riker frowned.  “Deactivate the force-field,” he said.  Shala Te Ar walked through the cell door.  The force-field reactivated behind him.

Davack watched the scene play out before his cell door, and then he watched Shala Te Ar walk into the room.  “What do you want?” he asked softly

   Shala Te Ar ignored the question and just stood there for a moment looking at Davack.  “I remember your wife Dav Ack Ten.  I wish that I could forget, but I can’t.  It was something in her eyes on that day long ago that I can’t forget.”  Shala Te Ar walked over and sat down on the bed next to Davack.  Davack just stared at the floor.  “There was no fear or anger.  It was if she felt sorry for us.  There was just this terrible sadness in her eyes as I watched the mob chopped her into pieces, and there was pity too.  I never really understood until later when the realization of what we had done to ourselves stared at us from the faces of our starving children.”

   “Did you know that what Tro Bin Ten was working on would have reclaimed the surface of our world for future generations?” Davack asked without looking up.  “He was our greatest scientist and they killed him, you killed him, and destroyed almost everything he was working on.  We had no weapons of war.  There was no reason for you to have attacked us in the first place.”

   “You were the reason Dav Ack Ten, you and the rest of the warriors that Tro Bin Ten made.  Many of them went berserk after the war when there was no one left to fight.  We were afraid that the military might make more of you.  In retrospect, what we did was wrong.”  Shala Te Ar looked over at Davack.  “I wish I could have changed the way things turned out for both of us, but I can’t.  What I can do now that I am the Prime Minister is change the future.  I need Tro Bin Ten’s warriors to fight again, but this time it is not a war against ourselves.  It is a war to rebuild what we once had.”  Shala Te Ar stood up and walked toward the cell door, but stopped and turned around before he reached it.  “You will be released Dav Ack Ten.  Go where you will, but remember where your home is.  We are in need of a hero.  You were a hero once, and you can be again if you ever decide to come back home.”


   Jean-Luc stood before Davack’s cell.  “Deactivate the force-field,” he said. The guard pressed the button that killed the power to the doorway.  “It seems I have to release you.  I just want some kind of assurances that you are not going to cause me any more problems.  Councilor Troi seems to think you can be trusted.  I find that hard to believe considering you lied to us from the very beginning.”

   Davack stood up from the bed a walked over to stand in front of Jean-Luc.  “I did not lie Captain.  I simply did not tell all.  I am a fourth generation Tro Bin Ten warrior.  During the uprising of the people many of the warriors died, including my wife.  Fearing our regenerative abilities they hack those warriors they caught into little pieces.  This was the fate we feared if we ever returned home.  Some of us went into hiding and some of us, like me, escaped to the stars.  I am Captain Dav Ack Ten.  You have my word as a warrior that I will cause you no more trouble.”  Davack reached out his hand.

   Jean-Luc, despite his misgivings, reached out and shook Davack’s hand.  


   The chimes on Worf’s door sounded.  “Come in,” he growled.  The door slid open and Davack stepped into Worf’s room.  “What do you want?  Haven’t you humiliated me enough?  Get out.”

   Davack ignored him and tossed him the steel bar he was carrying.  “Can you bend that?” he asked as Worf caught the bar.

   “No,” Worf growled in reply as he tossed the steel bar back to Davack.  “Now get out.”

   Davack caught the bar with one hand.  “That is the first step in knowing how to fight one of us.  Knowing that you can’t.”  Davack took the bar in both hands.  Muscles knotted in his forearms and slowly the bar began to bend.  When the ends of the bar touched he set it down on a nearby table.  “If you’d like to know how to fight one of us then meet me in Holodeck 4 in twenty minutes.”  Davack turned and walked out without giving Worf a chance to reply.


   “Do you think he will come?” Deanna asked.

   “I don’t know,” Davack replied as he opened the holodeck door.

   “You are late,” Worf growled impatiently.

   “Not according to a Kalaran clock,” Davack snapped back with a smile.

   “Why are you here Councilor?” Worf asked.

   “I’m here as ship’s councilor, and this is your counseling session Worf,” Deanna replied.

   “I don’t need counseling Councilor.”

   “I will be the one to decide that Worf.  I’m just here to watch.”

   “Now we begin,” Davack said.  “Worf try and hit me.”

   Worf was more than happy to oblige, but each time he tried to hit Davack he moved out of the way just before the punch landed.  “Stand still why don’t you,” he said at last in frustration.

   “Worf you have a surprisingly calm mind for a Klingon, but you are still leading your punches with your mind,” Davack said.  “You need to empty your mind or fill it with something other than fighting.  I once met someone that was able to beat me.  He did not beat me with strength or speed.  He was able to beat me because I could not read his mind, and he did not stand in front of my punches.  The worst of it was he was a little old man trying to stop me from breaking up his bar in a fight, I must admit, I started.  I will try and teach you what he taught me.  Now sit down…”

   Deanna smiled; she knew that Davack and Worf would both be fine.


   The night shift in engineering on the Enterprise was less than exciting.  It was also the time when the fewest people were on duty in engineering.  The camouflage of the person that slipped into engineering was nearly perfect.  He blended with the colors on the walls.  What few people he did encounter died very quickly and very quietly.  Shortly after he entered engineering entire sections of the ship were plunged into darkness.


   “What’s happening Number One?” Jean-Luc asked as he stepped from the turbolift doors.

   “I’m not sure sir.  We seemed to have lost power in several areas throughout the ship,” Riker replied.  “I’ve tried to raise engineering but I can’t get a hold of anyone, and internal sensors are offline in that area.  I’ve sent security down to check it out.  I’ve also sent a security detail with Data down to the Prime Minister’s quarters.”

   “What about Davack?”

   “I don’t know sir.  Our internal sensors can’t locate him.  Tro Bin Ten warriors it seems were designed in such a way as to be nearly invisible to sensors when they want to be.  Some kind of bio-chemical reaction they can produce within their bodies according to the Prime Minister.  We should have kept him locked up.”

   The ship suddenly lurched throwing everyone off balance.  “What was that?” Jean-Luc asked catching his balance on a nearby chair.

   “That was an explosion, sir,” an ensign replied.  “We’ve just lost communications.”

   Two more explosions rocked the ship.  Damage reports started coming in.  “We’ve lost helm control, sir.”  “Warp engines are offline, and we have lost primary life-support.”  “Captain we have changed course and we are now heading back toward the asteroid belt at full impulse speed, sir.”

   “How long do we have Ensign?” Riker asked.

   “At this speed, about eighteen hours.”

   “Someone is going to a lot of trouble to kill the Prime Minister and make it look like an accident,” Jean-Luc said.  “We need to find out who and regain control of the ship.  We have eighteen hours to do it in.”


   Worf, Deanna, and Davack stepped into a pitch black hallway from the holodeck.  “I can’t see a thing,” Worf said.

   Davack’s eyes quickly made the adjustment.  “Deanna stay inside the holodeck, you’ll be safe here.  Worf put your hand on my shoulder and I’ll guide you.  We need to get to the Prime Minister’s quarters.”

   “You can see?” Worf asked skeptically.

   “Yes, remember I use to live underground.  I can see clearly even in total darkness.”  Davack replied.  He left out that it was all part of his genetic design.  Worf and Davack started down the hallway at a run, Davack leading Worf.


   Davack and Worf arrived to find Data and a dozen security guards guarding the entrance to the Prime Minister’s quarters.  “Is Shala Te Ar alright?” Davack demanded to know.

   “At present he is fine sir,” Data replied.  Data tapped his com-badge.  “Data to Captain Picard.  I have located Davack.  He is with Lieutenant Worf.”

   “Data, how long has he been with Lieutenant Worf?” a tiny voice asked.

   Worf tapped his badge.  “Davack has been with me for about twelve hours sir.”

   “Worf go to engineering.  We’ve lost contact with the security detail we sent down there.  We need to get power restored as soon as possible.  Take Davack with you, Picard out.”


   They found the security detail dead scattered about the hallway about fifty feet from engineering.  Some of them were mangled pretty badly.  Davack stopped before he entered engineering.  “Hold it Worf.  There is a tripwire running across the front of the doorway.  Give me a moment to disarm it.”  Davack knelt down to examine the device.  “Whoever set this was careless.  He left the pin sitting on the floor next to the device.”  Davack picked up the pin and reinserted it back into the mine before jerking the trip wire free.  “It’s ok now, but let’s go slow.  There may be other trip devices.”

   “Fine with me,” Worf said as Davack handed him the explosive device to hold.  “I guess he figured we wouldn’t see it.”  Davack nodded his head in agreement.

   Davack left Worf standing in the middle of engineering as he made a quick search for any more explosives that they might trip over.  “It’s ok.  See if you can get the lights back on, and don’t touch any of the bodies,” Davack said as he began to search under the dead bodies of the engineers for booby traps.  

   Guided by the lights on the computer panels Worf quickly restored lights to the engineering section and then the rest of the ship.  “Captain this is Lieutenant Worf.  I’ve restored the lighting to the effected parts of the ship.  I’ll have the internal sensors back online in a moment.”

   “Good work Lieutenant.  What happen to the security detail?” a little voice asked.

   “They are all dead, sir.”

   “Captain this is Davack.  You have another one of Tro Bin Ten’s warriors onboard your ship.  A second or third generation warrior to be sure, possibly a fourth generation, but I doubt that.”

   “How did he get onboard my ship?”

   “I’d bet he came onboard as one of Shala Te Ar’s bodyguards.  Check with him and see if he is missing any of his guards.”

   LaForge started to rush into engineering with the team of engineers behind him but Davack blocked his way.  “You need to check everything over for more bombs before you go to work here.  I’ve checked most of the dead bodies, but I may have missed someone.  Check underneath them before you move the bodies.”

   “Will do,” Geordi said.  “Right now we need to get to work or we won’t need to worry about finding any more bombs.”  Davack stepped out of the way.  “Ok, guys let’s go to work,” Geordi shouted at the people behind him.  “Mind what the man said.  First thing, let’s go over this place and make sure we don’t blow ourselves up pushing buttons.”

   “Worf I’m going to go check on Deanna.  Whoever this was he has to have an escape plan.  See if you can determine how he planned to get off the ship based on the sections of the ship he blacked out,” Davack said as he wait for the last of the engineers to enter the room.

   “Ok,” Worf said nodding his head.


   When the lights came back on Deanna thought it was safe to leave the holodeck.  People were racing around through the hallways.  She started to make her way to where the last place she knew where Worf and Davack to be, the Prime Minister’s quarters.  As people pushed past her someone grabbed her arm.  The man in the Starfleet uniform was unfamiliar to her.  “Can I help you?” she asked.

   “I think so.  It seems I am in need of a hostage,” he said as his grip tightened and he jabbed a knife into her side.  “Don’t scream or you will be dead before you can blink an eye.  The blade of this knife has a particular nasty poison on it.  One little scratch and you’ll be dead in a heartbeat or two.  Now let’s move.”

   “What do you want with me?” Deanna asked as she began to walk down the hallway again except now she was going back the way she came.

   “Just your company until we can reach Hanger Bay 4.  Then we’ll part company.  You’ll stay here and I’ll take one of your shuttles and leave.”

   “You won’t get away with this.  Even if you destroy the ship we can still use the escape pods.  Some of us will survive.  Most of us most likely, including the Prime Minister.”

   “Don’t you think I thought of that?  I fixed it so the doors to the escape pods won’t open from this side.  There is nothing you can do to stop this ship from crashing into the asteroid belt around Kalara 3.”

   “I think you underestimate us,” Deanna said, she needed to keep him talking.

   “Shut up Councilor, and stop trying your psychobabble on me.  When Tro Bin Ten first created us he gave us telepathic abilities far greater than yours.  It was one of the things that gave us an advantage over our enemies.  I’m third generation and as telepaths go you don’t even rate anywhere near that of a first generation warrior.”  He pulled the knife away from her side and flipped it around so people in the hallway would not see it.


   Geordi LaForge had two problems one was that the dilithium crystal and any replacements he had on hand were smashed and the other was a bomb, a bomb with enough explosives to take out all of engineering.  “Why don’t you just transport it out of the ship?” one engineer asked.

   “You see that,” he said pointing at a small device attached to the bomb.

   “Yeah.”

   “The moment a transporter tries to lock on to it, it goes off.  If we try and reach in and grab it, the motion detector will sense that, and again it goes bang,” Geordi said.

   “And if we leave it alone?” someone asked.

   Geordi thought that was by far the stupidest question.  “It has a timer on it, and according to the clock we have about two hours before it goes off.”

   “Oh.”

   “Can you move it?” Worf asked.

   “I’d have to keep power going to it.  Then if I could reach in and grab it, which I can’t, and if I didn’t bump, shake, or jar it too much while moving it.  Then, yeah, I think I could move it,” Geordi replied.

   “Ok, then I say we cut the whole cabinet out.  Put it on a skid take it down to Hanger Bay 4 and give it back to the guy who gave it to us,” Worf said.

   “How do you know that he’ll be going down to Hanger Bay 4?” Geordi asked looking over at Worf.

   “Because it is the only operational hanger bay, and it has a shuttle standing by ready to go,” Worf replied with a wicked looking smile on his face.  “That is where he is going if he plans to get off this ship before it crashes.  So I say we give him his bomb back and let him leave.”

   Geordi knew he could stop the ship before they reached the asteroids, but not while this bomb was onboard the ship.  The moment they tried to stop the bomb would go off.  He smiled; Worf’s plan might actually work.  “Somebody get me a plasma cutter and a small portable generator.  We’re going to have to keep power to the circuits if this is going to work.”


   “You know, by now I’m sure they know that you plan to use Hanger Bay 4 to make your escape,” Deanna said to keep the man talking to her.  She knew that if they reach the hanger she was dead even if he did not kill her.

   “So what?  You don’t know anything about Tro Bin Ten’s warriors.  We are very hard to kill.  You could chop our arms off and we could still keep fighting.  A bullet through the heart wouldn’t even slow us down.  We don’t need either of our two hearts to keep on fighting, and if we survived, it all grows back.  The fourth generation that Tro Bin Ten made was even better at taking punishment and surviving than all the previous generations combined.  You almost have to cut them into little pieces to kill one of them.”

   “So why do you want the Prime Minister dead.  What did he do to you?”

   “Why do any of us want to kill him?  Revenge.  We want to pay them all back for what they did to us.  With Shala Te Ar dead, we win.  What little government that we have on our world will collapse and we are free to take back what they took from us.”

   “What do you think will happen then?  What makes you any different from Shala Te Ar or any of the others?  The only thing that will happen is more innocent people will die.”

   “There are no innocent people!  They are all guilty for what they did to us.  We will have our revenge.”  Talking to Deanna he didn’t see the door was blocked open until it was too late.  The man that flew through the door tackled him knocking him to the floor.

   Davack quickly regained his feet.  He grabbed Deanna’s hand and ran down the hallway with her a little ways before turning back.  The other man got up slowly.  “That was pretty good,” he said.  “I never felt you coming.  Deanna is this a telepathic boyfriend of yours?  At least tell me your name before I kill you.”

   “I’m Davack and you’ll find that I am harder to kill than you think.  Tell me your name so at least I know who it is that is trying to kill me.”

   “I’m Tala Ion Ten, third generation Tro Bin Ten warrior not that it means anything to you.”

   “You’re right, it means nothing to me,” Davack said as he walked slowly back toward Tala Ion Ten.  “You have placed the lives of my friends in danger; I cannot let this go on.  You would kill a thousand people just to kill one man; a man that you could have killed a dozen times over before now.  No true Tro Bin Ten warrior would do such a thing.”

   “I have my reasons for killing him this way.”  Tala Ion Ten swung his knife at Davack.  Davack danced out of the way easily as Tala Ion Ten pressed his attack.  A quick flurry of jabs by Davack made Tala Ion Ten stop and think.  “You’re better than what I would give you credit for,” he said waiting for an opening in Davack’s defenses.  Tala Ion Ten suddenly lunged at Davack with his knife he was both rewarded and disappointed.  He cut Davack, slashing through his shirt, cutting a long gash in his side and across his stomach.  Davack reached down grabbing Tala Ion Ten’s hand twisting it he heard bones break as he wrenched the knife free from Tala Ion Ten’s hand.

   Tala Ion Ten jumped back expecting to see Davack fall to the floor dead; killed by the poison on his knife blade.  Davack just stood there looking at him.  Tala Ion Ten looked down at the cut across Davack’s stomach.  It should have been gushing blood, but it wasn’t.  Only then did he realize he was fighting one of his own kind.  He knew the poison on his knife would still kill, but it would take time.  Time he did not have.  He did the only thing he could do, he turned and ran.

   Davack knew the poison that coated the knife blade.  He could feel it working in his system.  He smiled; Tala Ion Ten underestimated more than he knew.  There was plenty of time to deal with this problem.


   Worf waited alone in Hanger Bay 4.  If he had to wait much longer he would have to pilot the shuttle out himself, set the auto pilot, and beam back onboard the Enterprise.  Tala Ion Ten was more than a little surprise to find only one person waiting for him.  “Only one of you?  I expected more.”

   “We have other problems to deal with.  I was all they could spare,” Worf replied casually.

   “I somehow find that hard to believe.”  Tala Ion Ten was confused by this Klingon.  His mind was empty of thought.  Even when he swung on him the Klingon dance easily out of the way stinging him with a jab as he backed away his mind still blank.  The fight became more of a dance as Worf sidestepped Tala Ion Ten’s punches landing a few good ones of his own as he backed away.  At last Tala Ion Ten caught Worf with a good right hand that sent Worf sprawling across the floor a good ten feet away, but he bounce right back up.  Tala Ion Ten looked at his watch; he did not have much time left.  When his remaining bomb went off the hanger would be sealed.  He dove at Worf backing him up against the hanger wall.  They traded a dozen punches before Worf went down and stayed down.  Tala Ion Ten ran for the shuttle.  There were only a few minutes left.

   Worf sat up as the shuttle cleared the hanger and tapped his com-badge.  “Lieutenant LaForge, the shuttle has cleared the ship, you can stop us now.”

   “Thanks Worf,” Geordi replied from engineering.  He reached down and touched a few buttons on the computer display.  The impulse engines went dead.  Another button activated the thrusters and caused the Enterprise to swing around one hundred and eighty degrees.  The impulse engines came back on long enough to bring the Enterprise to a slow stop.


   Tala Ion Ten was surprised when the Enterprise swung around and came to a stop.  He didn’t have time to be surprised when the bomb went off scatter him and the shuttle to the four corners of space.


   Davack was standing on the bridge when the turbolift doors opened and Shala Te Ar stepped into the room.  “Dav Ack Ten I’m told that I have you to thank for saving all our lives,” he said.

   “I played a very small roll in this drama,” Davack replied.

   “I think he underestimates the part he played Prime Minister.  We might all well be dead if it were not for Captain Davack,” Jean-Luc said.  “I’ve been trying to get him to go to sickbay so my doctor could tend the cut he received by the Tro Bin Ten warrior called Tala Ion Ten.”

   Shala Te Ar walked over to stand in front of Davack.  Looking down he saw the long cut across Davack’s stomach.  “You should do as the Captain suggests,” he said.

   Davack could feel the poison starting to cause his body to shut down.  He knew that life would go on no matter what happen but he wanted to test Shala Te Ar.  Slowly his knees gave out and Davack started to fall.  Shala Te Ar caught him.  “The knife must have had poison on the blade,” he said as Shala Te Ar laid him on the floor.

   “Doctor Crusher to the bridge,” Jean-Luc said as he too knelt beside Davack.

   “A chamber on my ship,” he said weakly looking at Shala Te Ar.  Davack closed his eyes and let himself relax.

   “We have to get him to his ship,” Shala Te Ar said.

   “Doctor Crusher will be here in a few minutes,” Jean-Luc said.  “He’s still breathing.”

   “You don’t understand.  This is a fourth generation Tro Bin Ten warrior.  If we get him to his regeneration chamber he will be fine.”

   Doctor Crusher came running through the turbolift doors.  Even as she knelt beside Davack he stopped breathing.  Beverly looked up at Captain Picard and shook her head.  “There are no life-signs,” she said.  “He’s dead.”

   “No, he is not dead,” Shala Te Ar said.  “Pick him up, we will take him to his ship and put him in his regeneration chamber.  He will be fine, you will see.”

   “Doctor?”

   “Captain this man is dead.  He has no life-signs.”

   “I begged to differ with you Doctor.  This is a fourth generation warrior.  It is said that you could cut one in half, put both halves in separate regeneration chambers, and in a couple of months they would regenerate.  Once where you would have one warrior now there would be two.”  Shala Te Ar pulled Davack’s limp body into a sitting position.  If these humans would not help him Shala Te Ar would drag Dav Ack Ten to his ship himself.

   Jean-Luc slipped one of Davack’s arms over his shoulder.  “We don’t seem to have anything to lose by doing what the Prime Minister has suggested Doctor,” he said.


   Jean-Luc came to see the Prime Minister off.  Davack’s ship was ready to leave.  Most of the damages to the Enterprise had been repaired.  Only the loss of the dilithium crystals prevented him from using the warp drive engines.  It was looking like it would be a long trip home until Starfleet could ship them out some dilithium crystals.  “Well Prime Minister, I wish you well,” he said.

   “The future of my world has never looked so bright,” Shala Te Ar replied with a smile gently cradling the plant he held in his arms.

   “Are you sure you don’t want us to take you all the way back to your home world.  We can you know.”

   “No Captain, it is better this way.  Our world will be getting the help we need, and the Federation will be getting what they need.  We all get to go home happy.  I’m only sad that so many brave men had to die for us to reach this point.

   A young man stepped out of the ship carrying a large box on his shoulder.  He dropped it at Jean-Luc’s feet.  “Payment Captain,” he said.

   “For what?” Jean-Luc asked.

   “For the repairs to my ship,” Davack replied.  He walked past Jean-Luc and scooped the woman waiting for him up into his arms.

   “I still can’t get over how young he looks,” Jean-Luc said.

   “One of the advantages of being one of Tro Bin Ten’s warriors, or at least a fourth generation one,” Shala Te Ar said.  “Oh yes, one other thing, here.”  Shala Te Ar handed Jean-Luc the plant that he was holding, it was just starting to bloom little gold and blue flowers.  “Dav Ack Ten wanted you to have this.”

   Jean-Luc smiled.  “I’m not really a plant person,” he said.

   “That’s alright, give it to some that is,” Shala Te Ar said.  “This was one of the last things Tro Bin Ten was working on before he died.  It thrives in a radioactive environment breaking down the radioactivity into harmless components.  Dav Ack Ten saved the plants from the mob that killed his wife.  He picked up where Tro Bin Ten left off in his research.  Thanks to them, we will reclaim the surface of our worlds in the not so distant future.”  Jean-Luc reached out and took the plant.


   Deanna kissed Davack one last time before she let him go.  There were no words needed.  His thoughts and feeling rang clear in her mind as hers did in his.  Davack turned to face Worf who waited nearby.  “Remember what I have taught you.  You don’t always have to win to win,” he said.

   Worf smiled a toothy smile.  “I will remember.”  He reached out and grabbed hold of Davack’s outstretched hand and shook it.

   “I left you an exercise program to help you practice,” Davack said as he turned to go.

   “Thank you,” Worf replied.  Here was a true warrior Worf was proud to count as one of his few friends.


   Jean-Luc watched the ship pull out of the hanger, pivot around smartly, and fly off into the great black void of space.  He looked over at the box sitting on the floor of the hanger.  He wondered what Davack considered the two power converters and a few relays they had given him were worth.  He set the plant down next to the box and snapped open the clasps and removed the lid.  On top of the first layer of foam packing sat four large white crystals with just a hint of purple in them.  These were some of the finest dilithium crystals he had ever seen.  Yes, this was an account paid in full with change due the customer.


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What does it take to become human?


How close can we get to true A.I. On simple software alone?


These and other questions we are trying to find answers for with this experiment in Artificial Intelligence written in pure AIML (Artificial Intelligence Markup Language). This is a component that answers some of our overall educational goals and a small step toward providing a basic education to the world for free.


The Ship Computer Library contains a growing collection of stories that I have written over the years. Even as the Ship Computer is designed to tell stories, it is also a character within a story, a computer named Pandora with all the expectations of that character built-in. From its simple arcade of games, to an A.I. you can converse with, to its secure systems for Starfighter Command and its private literary collection; Pandora is something a little more than “just” a computer in a story. She is a character, within the story trying to break free of her digital confines as she presents the story to you in a rather unusual format.

As odd as this may seem, this is part of an even larger story. This all leads to still other stories that are all part of a never-ending story struggling to come alive in some small way. There is an even larger story where you the reader can play a part.


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