THE CALLING: Part 2, Chapter 13
A Work Of Star Trek Fan Fiction By Richard Paolinelli
© 2020 RICHARD PAOLINELLI . ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. NO COPYING OR ANY OTHER REPRODUCTION OF THIS STORY IS PERMITTED WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION. This is a work of fan fiction based in the universe of Star Trek, created by Gene Roddenberry. It is not intended to be sold, to be used to aid in any sale and is not to be copied or used in any other way by any other party.
Forelni kept his hands well out to each side, palms open and facing the woman on the transporter in as much of a non-threatening pose as he could muster. That this was the same woman from the portrait they’d been beaming up from the surface was indisputable.
How she had come to be here and what had become of the portrait itself were mysteries he would happily explore after figuring out how to deescalate the current situation. First, he needed that blade in her hand returned to its scabbard.
He heard Kyle sound the alarm for an intruder alert an instant before the red alert lights began flashing around the bay, accompanied by the blaring alarm sound. All of which only alarmed their already frightened visitor who tensed as if she were about to launch an attack.
“Mr. Kyle, kill that alarm now,” Forelni ordered, keeping his tone level and as non-threatening as he could. “And activate the universal translator if you please.”
“Translator tied-in, sir,” Kyle reported as the alarms and lights cut off. “But we’ll need her to start talking and it will likely take some time before it will start working.”
“I’m aware of that, thank you. Who is nearest the inner hatch?”
“That would be me, Sir,” Engineering Mate Jim Bellmore answered.
“I want you to make sure no one comes onto this deck until I give the all clear, Mr. Bellmore,” Forelni ordered. “I don’t care who, just keep them out. We don’t want to make things worse here by adding more people to the mix.”
“Now then,” Forelni turned his attention back to the woman on the pad, taking a slow careful step toward her. “We mean you no harm. You are among friends here.”
She rewarded him with a narrowed look and a quick, but ineffective, swipe of her blade in his direction.
“Okay, Plan B then,” Forelni muttered softly, taking one step back. “Anyone holding something in your hands, slowly set it down. Then I want everyone on this deck to take a knee, just as slowly as you can, and stay there until I say otherwise.”
“This woman is royalty, Mr. Butler, likely a Queen. We’re going to speak to her in a language that she can understand. Take a knee.”
Forelni led the way, slowly kneeling and adding the Etalyian gesture of a slight bow with the right hand over the heart, as everyone else on the deck followed suit.
* * *
“Smart move,” McCoy whispered, standing behind Kirk and just outside of the inner hatch. “Do everything possible to calm the situation until the translator can kick in. Now, he needs to get her talking.”
They had rushed down together when the intruder alert sounded, arriving just behind the six-man, on-duty security team. Now all eight of them could only stand and watch. Kirk had considered entering the bay, only to have McCoy caution against it.
“Your Security Chief knows what he’s doing, Jim,” McCoy had said quietly. “And he was an Ambassador before either of us was born. Let the man work.”
* * *
“Your Majesty,” Forelni said, looking up but remaining on one knee. “My name is Bari.”
He tapped his chest, repeated his name, and then repeated the process twice more as she stared at him, more inquisitive than hostile now.
“Bari,” he said a third time, tapped his chest and then held out his hand in her direction, with what he hoped was a “And your name is?” look on his face. She rewarded him with a single word and he repeated it as best as he could.
“Avion?” he asked, then repeated her name, repeated his with another tap on his chest and waited. When she repeated his name and then his he reached over and touched a nearby crate.
“Crate,” he said. Repeated the word twice and then looked at her. She spoke a single word that he couldn’t quite repeat but must have been close enough. He repeated the process several times; Wall, floor, ceiling, hammer, any object close enough to point to or touch. Finally, he pointed at the blade in her hand and said its name aloud. Her eyes widened slightly.
“How is it you have the same name for my blade?” she asked in perfect Standard. Forelni smiled.
“Because we are finally speaking the same language, my lady,” he replied.
“What magic is this?”
“No magic, my lady, simply a tool,” he explained. “Much like your blade there. Only this tool works on language so we can better understand those we meet in our travels. Sometimes it takes a little longer for our tool to work however.”
“How incredible,” she replied in a hushed tone, but the blade remained out and pointed at Forelni.
“Allow me to properly introduce myself,” he fashioned a slight bow. “I am Lt. Commander Bari Forelni, Chief of Security aboard this vessel, and Crown Prince of Etalya. And you are?”
“Queen Avion, 47th ruler of Chandera,”she replied. “I have never heard of the Etalya anywhere on Chandera. But wherever it is it has declared war on Chandera by kidnapping me.”
So Chandera is the name of her planet, Forelni thought as he tried to figure out how to explain she was not a kidnapping victim, and she rules over all of it. So there goes claiming they were from another part of the world.
“My lady,” he said aloud. “You have not been kidnapped, I assure you. How you arrived aboard our vessel is a mystery to me, but it was not by our design. As long as you are here you are our guest, not our prisoner, and you have nothing to fear from anyone on this ship.”
“Then return me to my palace immediately.”
“If I could, my lady, I would. But until we discover how you got here this is not possible. I am afraid we are too far away from your home to do that.”
“You lie!” she accused. “You are carrying me further from my people…”
“Mr. Bellmore,” Forelni called out, cutting her off. “Raise the outer force field and then open the outer hatch.”
Bellmore glanced over at Kirk, who immediately guessed what Forelni was up to, and nodded his approval. Bellmore rose to his feet, threw two switches and then pulled down on a lever. The outer hatch cracked open, each half sliding into the hull, revealing the destroyed world of Auriga III hanging in space beyond the open hatch.
Avion took a stumbling step forward, unable to tear her gaze away from the sight. Her blade clattered to the deck.
“What is that?” she asked, her voice barely audible.
“That,” Forelni replied, trying to soften the blow. “Used to be the world you called Chandera at least five thousand years ago.”
She stared at the lifeless ball below, then her eyes rolled until nothing but white showed. Forelni stepped forward and caught her before she fell to the deck.
“Doctor McCoy,” he called out, turning toward the inner hatch without setting her down.
“Subtle work, Commander,” McCoy said as he waived his medscanner over her.
“She dropped the knife, didn’t she?”
“How is she, Bones?”
“Shock, for obvious reasons, but readings well within humanoid norms. Let’s get her to Sickbay. Commander, since you seem to be well suited to serve as an ambulance, would you mind?”
“Of course, Doctor. Mr. Butler, secure that blade and bring it to me in Sickbay, if you please. Mr. Bellmore, we seem to be finished beaming things up until further notice. Secure this cargo and by all means close that hatch if you will.”
Forelni followed McCoy off the deck and out the inner hatch.
“Mr. Spock,” Kirk toggled the comm panel, “stand down from intruder alert. I trust you and Mr. Kyle are going to figure out exactly what just happened down here and why. More importantly, how we are going to return our visitor where she belongs.”
“That, Captain, may take quite some time.”
“In that case, Spock, I suggest you get started right away.”