lørdag 20. april 2013

Star Trek - a short story

The forcefield around the cell made escape impossible. I was trapped.
All the other cells, it must have been six of them, were empty. So I waited. Whoever had brought me here would reveal themself in their own time.

The cave had decent air supply. Life support systems seemed to be working. Most of the prison had an old look, almost a feeling of long absence before used again. The original creators must have moved on, left this place behind untill rediscovered by my captivitors.
Then, suddenly, a voice. The door opens. The forcefield is party redirected to embrace my cell, but to form a corridor futher in as well. I walk out of the cell and continue down the corridor. I come to an armory filled with melee weapons: Swords, Bat'leths and Lirpas, mostly. Probably not the Klingons, then. Posible Orions.
I am told to pick up a weapon. I choose a sword before I proceed to the gate at the end of the corridor. It's closed. I prepare myself for whatever unknown on the other side.
The gate opens with a shrieking noice. I step through it...

...and find myself in an old fashioned arena. Huge and with massive weaponry among key points in the seating area. Walls to high for any humanoid to climb. Two other gates, one similar to the on I just passed through, the other older, rusted, like in an oversized fence. Remains of what I can only assume are fallen along the walls. Too many for my taste.
The voice over the speaker system tells me the tests are now begining. It sounds programed, detached.

They beam in several creatures. I'm lost in battle for a while.
Finaly the voice orders me to return to the cell. I have no other choice but to obey.
They allow me to keep the sword. I find it careless of them. Unusable on the metal bars or the forcefield, perhaps, but theoretical a way out. I can't do it. My ship needs me. My crew needs me. Anthi, Sila, Skan and the cute Bajorian I never can remember the name of needs me. Starfleet expects me to return. And I shall do so.

There is movement in the cell to my left. I spin around instantly, holding the sword out in front of me. The forcefield between the two cells are gone. A large shape rises in the dark, towering over me.
Then it speaks.

- Hello, Human.

- My name is Aso'gsah. I am Gorn.
The Gorn takes a step towards me. I raise the sword, almost on instinct.
- I mean you no harm, warmblood.

The Gorn spreads its hands and takes a step back. I do not lower the sword.
- How did you get here?

- I don't know.

- You do not trust me.
- You're Gorn.

- And you are Human. A Starfleet Officer. Why should I trust you?
More silence. I refuse to be provoked into an argument with the overgrown reptilian. I can see it clearer now, my eyes have gotten used to the dark again. It's skin, or scales, have a yellow and greenish hue. Claws on both hands and feet. Barefooted. Almost twice my own hight. Fangs. A foridable foe. A fighter.
- I thought Gorns didn't used clothes.
The reptile smiled. Or did something with it's mouth to express what I hoped was a smile.
- We do. Sometimes. And please, call me Aso'gsah.

The smile widened into a grin. Most unsettling.

- You have not given your own name.
I didn't ansor, unsure if I should or not, then if I should use the cover name or my own. I decided to stay in character.

- Call me Mira. Everyone else does.
The Gorn made a slow nod. I finaly lower my sword. Let it think I belive it.
- All right, Aso...
- Aso'gsah.
- What?
- Aso is not Aso'gsah. In my tounge, it is not... polite... to shorten the name of another.
- Do you prefer to be called Gorn?
- Commander Mira, please. There is no reason not to be civil, even in this cage.
Bloody Gorn. How did it know I was wearing Commander-stripes? First the assumption I was with Starfleet, now my rank as well? Quickly I tried to remember if there was any connection about Gorn and telepathy. I come up empty.
- If you are ready to stop wondering if I can read your mind or not, I suggest we...
The voice over the speaker system interupted. The cell door opened. The Gorn's cell door, not mine.
The force field had changed. The Gorn stepped through.
- Do not worry, Commander Mira. I will return.

I was not worried. Not for him, anyway. I scanned the memory banks of my portable tricorder to little use: The Gorns had been absorbed into the Klingon Empire in 2404, but they were still allowed to rule their own home world. Rumors of rebels, nothing conclusive. First contact on Cestus III where James T. Kirk fought one and won. Known to have long racial memories, being very territorial and to carry grudges over several generations. Age spawn currently unknown.  Highly intelligent. Reproduction unknown, but with multiple theories on the subject. Death rate by Gorn bite 47,63% unless treated within two hours, 62,85% within three. 21,79% chance of survival if attached.
Darn! I shut it down and hid the tricorder in a buttoned pocket. Aso’gsah was toying with me. One way or the other, I had to trust him. For now.
The door to the arena opened with the same shriek as before. It gives me a few seconds warning. The Gorn is returning to his cell. I see that he too is permitted to keep his weapon – a bat’leth. A Klingon weapon. But did that mean that he fought Klingons with it to “uphold the Klingon honor” or that he had been trained by Klingons to use it on the Empire’s enemies? Like Aso’gsah needed an additional deadly item in his already impressive, natural arsenal: Fangs, claws, poisonous bite, superior strength to most humanoids, long reach, sharp instincts, a coldblooded conscious – why not give him a spikey tail and the ability to breath fire during the next “upgrade”? No, wait, that would probably not work with his already racial trait of underwater breathing and surviving skills.
- You were quick.
- It was not difficult.
Bloody Gorn.
Aso’gsah placed the bat’leth careful in a corner and sat down, well within easy reach of it.
- So what do we do now?
- We rest.
Aso’gsah closed his eyes. His breathing slowed down. Did Gorns sleep or did they shut down, much like a Vulcan trance? Well, I wasn’t going to ask him.
- Be prepared, Commander Mira.
- For what?
- Our escape.
Almost on cue the lights dimmed. It was enough to give anyone goose bumps. And I was already having a bad day.

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