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First Contact Day Entries!

ambassadorkael#6946 ambassadorkael Member, Administrator Posts: 1,712 Administrator
Did you enter the FCD Writing Contest but didn't win? Go ahead and post your entry here, if you like.

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  • duncanidaho11duncanidaho11 Member Posts: 7,266 Arc User
    Here's mine. :)
    Career Change
    It was dirty.  It was dusty.  It was Mars in 2376.  Alphonse A. Ross brought the tiller around and slumped over the controls with a weary sigh.  Another day, another grind.  He flicked at the controls and the machine sputtered to a halt.  He climbed out of the cab, trying hard not to breath the settling dust.
    Ross was just a kid, trying to do find himself half-a-planet away from the homestead he once called home.  He wouldn’t go back.  He couldn’t go forward.  Ross was stuck here, churning dust for a bottom-level replicator grade.  He’d settle for less right now.  One hundred meters to go to the work station hatchway.  Shower, food, bunk, done.  Eyes fixed down, watching the dust fly at every footstep.  He was four paces onto deck-plating when he finally noticed that something had changed
    “Greetings,” came a young voice.
    “Um…” said Ross.
    “I am Miati Peshan.”
    “Um…”
    “You are in no danger.  I wanted greatly to speak to someone of your species.”
    Ross turned to her, “Huh?”
    “Is…is the universal translator malfunctioning?”
    “Uh…”
    “I call this a circle,” said Miati as she held up a dish.
    “Um…circle.”
    “We make progress!” she clapped.  “Now, we can subdivide the circle at regular intervals.  Together, these…”
    “What…are you?” Ross’s brain finally kicked in.
    “I am a being from another planet.”
    “I can see that…”
    Ross considered the work crew.  He considered the people back home.  Humans, every one of them.  He tried to recall patient teachers and bored newscasters, incidental small talk and emphatic politics.  He failed to place the ghost-white Miati and silently cursed himself.
    “My species is called Utanipatli’Noshoria.”
    “I’m…not familiar with your species.”
    “I should say not!” she said sweetly.  “I am from another region in the galaxy.  You…know about the galaxy?”
    “Yeah, my species is human.”
    “Hew-man?”
    “That’s right.”
    “It is such a simple name.”
    “Um…we helped found the Federation.”
    “Fascinating, is the Federation a political unit of some kind?”
    “It’s all over the quadrant now,” Ross sighed.  He was beginning to feel at ease.  Miati stepped close to him, ash-grey hair waving gently in ship’s low gravity.
    “I would like to ask you a few questions.”
    “Alright.”
    “What are your defensive capabilities?”
    There went his ease.  Ross took a stammering stepped back.  His hand brushed a control panel.  In a flash, he was back on Martian dust.  Miati fell in front of him.  She coughed.  Ross looked quickly about.  The station was a hundred meters away.  He could run it.  But Miati was still on the ground, coughing and struggling to remain upright.  Ross cursed himself again and held out a hand.
    “What happened?” he asked.
    “I’m…not sure,” Miati said between deep breaths.  She looked at his hand.  “Is this a gesture?”
    “I’m trying to help you up.”
    “Without making contact?  That is strange.”
    “Take my hand and I’ll pull you up.”
    “I will fall down again.”
    “Let’s just try it, okay?”
    Ross pulled her up and Miati fell down again.  She said softly, “I am not adapted to planetary surfaces.  The low gravity on my ship is all I have experienced in years.”
    “You live in space?”
    “On ships in space, yes.”
    “Okay…” Ross pondered.  He looked about the yard again.  They were alone.  He asked, “Can you contact your ship?”
    “With a subspace relay but we left mine behind...”
    “Um…how many ships does your species have in system?”
    “Just one and…it is presently unoccupied.”
    “You came here by yourself?”
    “It was most expedient.”
    “To do what?”
    “To learn.”
    Ross thought for a moment.  To hell with suspicion, if the Utanipa…Unti…Estatri’s people were really here to conquer Mars then they were welcome to take all the dust they could stow.
    “Alright,” he said.  “I know where we can find a comm unit.”  He pointed at the station and saw her worried expression.  “Don’t worry I’ll carry you.”
    “Do other Hew-mans occupy that place?”
    He smiled, “We’ll manage.”

    As they stepped through the hatchway, Ross realized that he hadn’t the faintest idea of what to tell his foreman.  “Hi there,” “that’s busted,” and “dammit Ross we discharge the core first!” had been the extent of their conversations.  Maybe he should have tried to think of something before stepping past his desk with Miati riding piggy-back.
    “What the…” he heard.
    “Sorry boss, first contact protocols.  Going to see Starfleet.” Ross said without turning.
    “Did you bring a girl into your rig?”
    “No sir, she just landed here.”
    “I’ll check the holos, kid.”
    “Go for it,” said Ross as he rounded the corner.
    “Was that man a family relation?” Miati asked.
    “Nah, he’s just my boss.”
    “Boss…” she chewed the word.
    “One who gives directions.  Humans…uh, make ad hoc social groups to perform tasks.”
    “That is like my crèche.”
    “Crèche?”
    “The group who raised me and my sibs.”
    “You mean parents?”
    “Parents?  No, they were…”
    She stopped.  Two other workers were milling about the turboblift foyer.  Ross noted the button already pressed and moved to stand in a far corner.  Miati peered over his shoulder.
    “Who are they?” she whispered.
    “A couple people who work here.”
    “One is female.”
    “Yeah?”
    “I will have to make a note of this.”
    “Note of what?”
    “That humans comingle.  It is a positive sign for your society!” she said encouragingly.
    “Don’t ask me for details.”  
    The others were looking at Ross now.  He smiled vaguely, playing the part of reckless idiot.  It felt right.
    The turbolift arrived.  The woman took a hold of the man’s arm.  They stayed back.  Ross nodded and stepped inside the lift.  Starfleet’s medical detachment was on the top floor.  They’d have an open comm terminal there.  Ross had used it once before, just after an accident.  He’d burnt bridges then.  He realized he was doing that now; figures.
    Miati fidgeted.  It brought Ross back to the present.  He said, “We’re almost there, Starfleet has the comms we need.”
    “I understand.”
    “Miati…”
    “Yeah?”
    “On your ship, what did you mean about defenses?”
    “I…I thought it could informative…about society, that is.  I did not know it would startle you.  I’m…I’m sorry.”
    “Don’t be, I was the one who lost it.”
    “Have…your people been attacked recently?”
    “We’ve had our scuffles.”
    “And?”
    “And we’re still striving.”
    “But the people here seem…settled.”
    “Mars is a backwater.  The air’s only just become breathable.  You should see the next planet on.  Earth’s a paradise.”  Ross looked to the turbolift display.  “Just got to get you to your ship; next floor.”
    The lift shuddered to a stop.  The foreman’s voice piped through, “All personnel, we have an unidentified alien in the facility.  Detain her and crewman Ross immediately.”
    “TRIBBLE…” Ross muttered as he examined the door.  He worked his fingers through the air seal.  He forced the door open.  Their floor was at shoulder height.  Miati held Ross’s shoulders tight.  He pulled them out of the lift.  She slid off his back as Ross tried to push himself up from the tiled floor.  He turned quickly.
    “Are you okay?”
    “I’m…holding.”  She tried to smile but Ross saw that gravity was taking its toll.
    “We’re here, Miati.”
    She nodded and climbed back on.  There was one medical officer on station.  Ross read his nameplate.
    “Lieutenant Itrex?”
    The deeply wrinkled alien looked up from a datapad.  
    “Yes?”
    “We need to use the comms.”
    “Crewman Ross?”
    “Yeah and this is the alien.”  He bowed, bringing Miati into view.  She waved.
    “Security’s issued a lockdown,” said Itrex.
    “So?”
    “So I can’t let you use the comms.”
    “She needs to get back to her ship.”
    “I’m sure…”
    “She can’t tolerate our gravity!  Coming planet-side was an accident.  I’m responsible.  Miati just wants to know more about our people.”
    “If so, security won’t keep her long.”
    “You ever dream of making first contact?”  Itrex looked up.  Ross said earnestly, “It’s first contact.  It’s our job to make this go right.”
    “Our job?”
    “Yeah, I guess mine too.”
    Itrex sighed, “I suppose we can sort out the paperwork later.  Comms are over on the right.”
    “Thanks Itrex.”
    Itrex waved them on.  Ross stepped over to the terminal.  Miati began to work.  The turoblift sounded.  He heard heavy footsteps.  It was security.  Ross heard Itrex say, “Hold on boys, there’s work in progress; squishy stuff you can’t unsee.”
    Good man, thought Ross.
    “I’m in contact with my ship.  I can transport us there now,” said Miati.
    “Us?” he asked.  She turned sharply.  He said, “Earth’s a nice place.  You won’t need me there.”
    “But I want you there.”
    “Miati…”
    “You have been a very good friend to me, Ross.  I do not wish you trouble.”
    “Don’t you worry; I’ve been in trouble before.”
    “Am I not your friend?”
    “You are, but…I just don’t know what’ll happen if I leave.”
    “That is how I felt when I left home.  Do not worry, Ross.”
    Ross looked to the window, flecked with Martian dust.  He looked to Miati.  She smiled.  After a moment he said, “Alright Miati, let’s go see Earth.”
    Google doc link for those who like formatting with their text. :tongue:
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwyGn-YYxuDHa0R0ejNXRnk5djQ/view

    The character at the center of my FCD story is a young Alphonse A. Ross. Those who've played the Starfleet Security Files may recognize him.
    Bipedal mammal and senior Foundry author.
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  • danquellerdanqueller Member Posts: 481 Arc User
    I'll add mine as well...
    There But For A Cat's Tail

    Excerpt from Starfleet entry examination interview of Vice Admiral Finity Westland (under assumed name ‘Kelro Verne’ at time of inteview):


    My first meeting with beings from another world wasn't the planned event of a typical First Contact mission, but one of those all too frequent incidents that happen by a combination of random chance and a mistake by the spacefarer. I'm sure Starfleet has plenty of case studies to compare mine to, so I don't feel special in that regard. I do think some explaining would help you understand how I ended up here, though.

    Prior to contact, I had no idea the Preservation Alliance had been in the process of selecting and inviting Terrans from the late twentieth century with the skills they considered important into their galactic civilization. It was a very covert effort, not unlike the methods Starfleet uses when investigating Prime Directive species, though the goals were recruitment instead of exploration. In particular, they watched potential military candidates, and had been going through the records at the training academies on Earth to find those who might have what they were looking for, but who wouldn't be missed. Somehow, my name ended up on one of those lists, almost certainly the 'investigate only as a backup choice' list as I had left the Service earlier that year for medical reasons.



    I was living in a two-story rental apartment at the time, and I admit the place was a bit unkempt. I hadn't taken my rejection from the Military very well, and had not found a new vocation yet. The Navy had been my only real interest and with that taken from me, I was rudderless. So, when my cat screamed his head off in the middle of the night, I pulled on a bathrobe and ran downstairs.

    The room was undisturbed and I found my feline companion under a table, his fur standing out like he'd just seen the biggest tomcat in the world. No amount of coaxing would get him out, so I made a quick check of the apartment, failing see anyone or anything out of place. I was about to head back to bed when I noticed something laying just under a chair. It was a coin-sized object, made of some material I couldn't place, and with a blue light flashing on one end. Not knowing what a transporter beacon was, I of course triggered it in the course of my examination. In a flash of light I found myself in a brightly-lit area that was all flowing curves and white material, and which was not my apartment.

    And also containing three obviously-stunned blue-skinned humanoids who looked at me with the same open-mouthed expression I'm sure I had.



    As I said, they were humanoid, and more similar to Terrans than I've come to know can be the case. The Kay'van were one of the Preserver's attempts to 'improve' Humans, so that isn't a big surprise to me now, but you have to understand that I'd never seen a person with gills before. And, I just thought their white hair some kind of additional strangeness on top of the single-form clothing they were all wearing.

    We just stood there for at least five seconds, I in my bedclothes and they in their ship uniforms, each frozen in what they had been doing. In retrospect, I guess I'd been given enough introduction to the concept of aliens in popular media that their familiar form and reactions let me relate to them as I would any other person instead of panicking, and I did the only thing that came to my mind.

    I offered them the beacon and said "I think you dropped this."


    What followed was a series of interviews, and the Captain of the ship explaining that the crewbeing assigned to investigate my house had been tasked with gathering information about me, but had stepped on my cat's tail in the darkness. Startled, the investigator had transported out before realizing that they had dropped the beacon. The Captain had been debriefing the crewperson when I'd made all of that moot by appearing on their ship without warning. For my part, I quickly overcame my shock and realized that these really -were- people, not aliens. That, for all their physical differences, we were more alike than I'd ever expected from beings who had their own homeworld to love and to worry about. I got into conversations with some of the crew, learning some of the places on their world they thought of as beautiful, and how an amphibious race lived when it was based in a solar system featuring binary stars. It didn't take long for me to start thinking of them as people I could like, unlike some other Officers I've met who think we're the only ones who matter in the universe.

    “I will be blunt and tell you that we did not intend to bring you up here.” Captain Sess’numi told me after about a day aboard the ship, using the accented English all the Kay’van aboard spoke “But, you are handling all of this with impressive calm for one of your particular vrenki…that is, your culture. That makes me think there might be a place for you after all. I am prepared to offer you a chance to help your planet and learn things very few of your species will ever have a chance to experience. Not safe, mind you…we would not be here if the entire galaxy were not at war…but your efforts would matter.”

    By then, my mind was already pretty much made up that I wasn’t going back to Earth without figuring out what was going on, so I didn’t take long to think about it. I just answered “What kind of job would you have in mind for me up here?”

    “A very difficult role. One requiring long hours of tedious work in the most dangerous environments known to sentient life, with few if any material benefits. You would have to work with members of at least twenty species without causing undue friction, some of whom will consider you inferior and have no reservations letting you know that. You will also encounter those who wish to end your existence without hesitation, and face hardships knowing that anything you accomplish will likely never be known to your homeworld until well after you have passed into the Great Beyond.” The Captain replied, the grin on his face letting me see his sharp teeth in full view. “And, you will have to wear more than sleeping garments.”

    I couldn’t keep myself from matching his own expression. “Where do I sign up?”

    So, I met my first aliens and ended up recruited despite not being actually sought by the Alliance. I learned how to fight in the war the Preservers had gotten themselves into, commanded a starship crewed by people like none I had ever imagined existed, found comradery and sorrow across a hundred stars, and eventually returned to Earth after they drummed me out of their Alliance for opposing a policy I felt was immoral and wrong. Then I got picked up when that Alliance cruiser came calling to Earth on an automated emergency recall mission a year or so later, the incident that put the entire planet on edge against aliens and set the path for the formation of the Empire when the Vulcans showed up over half a century later.

    That, as they say, is another story.

  • antonine3258antonine3258 Member Posts: 2,376 Arc User
    Good stuff in this thread already!
    “First Contact – variations on a theme”

    By antonine3258

    It was a brisk 42 on the centigrade scale, on a beautiful fall day at thislatitude on Sivka. It was the day the aliens came, long promised by thegovernment. They came in peace, or so they said.

    They had been in the larger cities, and the coasts, and in endless talkswith the government, after the Farstrider on its first voyage hadbeen hailed by a wondrous ship, far larger and faster and stranger thananyone had ever dreamed. The U.S.S. Hood, named for a ship of theoceans that had existed centuries ago in time and further in light-years.

    It had talked of politics, both on Sivka, and the strange nearby Unions andFederations. That it had waited until they were ready to face the universe,in the tiny Farstrider, to come and meet them.

    That was before Antonine Revka had been born, sixteen years before. But asan ancient-feeling twelve-year-old, she and her classmates had beenreleased from school on the day the aliens came to their town. They hadbeen on-planet for several months, with technical transfers, but this wasone of the first times they had left the orbital works and fusion plants togo among, well, normal people.

    The school group stood off to the side, behind barriers, as a small shuttle(so quiet and with tiny engines for an orbital craft!) landed in the centersquare, in a meticulously marked out square of reflective tape. The ancientcobblestones had been pulled back, revealing the glowing morass offiber-optics and piping of a city’s circulation system.

    After a minute, where the whole world seemed to hush, the shuttle’s backhatch… opened. No rush of steam, or screech of hydraulics, barely a whispermore than a normal door even as the hatch settled into the ramp. Now thecity came back to life, for the aliens were about to walk among them.

    They had been seen in the media of course, with celebrities, but never inthe real world. There were two of them, dressed in more colorful and ruggedclothing than the explorers that had first come. With them, they escorted asilver crate; hovering over the ground.

    “Which ones are these?” someone asked.

    “Humans? They’ve got that creepy smooth skin,” murmured out of the crowd.There was some nodding at that. They were completely lacking in keratinridges, it looked diseased, but they seemed to be the Federation mascots.

    “No,” Antoine’s biology teacher said, “They can’t take the UV – wait, I seeear points. That’s probably Vulcans.”

    “With the fish blood?” Antonine blurted.

    “Good for you, but here – yes, in the deep-sea vents, but on theirhomeworld, copper-based structures are the usual oxygen transport,” herteacher replied.

    Antonine studied a while longer as the crate was moved into the center ofthe courtyard, and undogged. The Vulcans, if that’s what they were, werenot making large speeches, just shifting packing material out of the way.As they failed to mutate, explode, or try to steal the Sivkans’ preciousiron blood, Antonine’s schoolmates started to disperse when nothing moreexciting happened.

    Antonine, meanwhile, sat down on a bench, feeling disappointed, vaguely.After a few more minutes, with normal foot traffic resuming, finally herteenage patience ran out.

    “Do something!” she called, then covered her mouth in shock. The two showedno emotion, or at least nothing that counted as emotion on this planet.

    The two conferred briefly, and then one of them came over. “Is somethingthe matter?” the male(?) asked. He spoke the local language, and his accentwas perfect, if the diction was flat. Antonine would pass the pepper tothat voice in a restaurant without even a glance.

    “You’re boring!” she said accusingly, “You came out of the skyand are putting in machine that can make anything, and it’s, it’scommon!

    “The replicator,” the Vulcan said with perfect patience, “has stronglimitations on what can be fabricated, not including the additionalsoftware locks installed by your government as the planetary economy ismodernized.”

    “But it can still make anything and faster than we can,” Antonine said,“And my parents said the Federation turned our asteroid mining from anexperiment into a business with the reactor upgrades. We don’thave to worry about power, or tools wearing out. And all the new tools itcan make.”

    “You are well informed,” the Vulcan said, “Given the strains on newlycontacted world’s education systems.”

    “My parents aren’t cowards – I’m at the Federation school,”Antonine bragged, “Calculus at six. It was easy. Could write my parentstests and they’d fail.”

    “Your parents are wise,” the alien said, “The education patterns aredesigned to promote strong cognitive development, always a useful skill, aswell as the body of knowledge galactic civilization requires.”

    “Right,” Antonine said, “So do something. You’ve got a ship betterthan anything we can make for years right there, and areinstalling a magic box that, if we wanted to, could make anythingwe could make on the planet, except probably better. And if we stuck someplaster on your face and maybe some blush, you could go get some mixedgrill. You’re an alien! Where are the extra limbs! Or leave a slime trail!It’s boring.”

    “Unlikely, Vulcans are culturally vegetarian.” Antonine looked up at that,suspicious. The Vulcan continued, “The prevalence of the bipedal form inintelligent species is a long story,” the Vulcan said, “But there arespecies that match those parameters. Some are Federation members.”

    Antonine put her face in her hands. “Of course,” she said, muffled. “Soinstead of welding down at the harbor, just do it up around a gas giantinstead, get a union card punched. Not going to need anyone to buildFarstrider II when you have those.”

    “I am sorry if I offended you,” the alien said in similar flat tones. “Butmy people have encountered many species, and this is my fourth technicalmission. Parity is often achieved quickly.”

    “You just meet aliens like us and help then? You leave, then we get used tothe magic boxes? What is there to do?” Antonine said, bringing her handsback. The aliens were here, they came in peace, and then they… went on itseemed.

    “There are known technologies beyond the Federation,” the Vulcan said, “Andbeings of great power, who can change reality the way you or I could ordera glass of water from the replicator. And there is much to do inpost-scarcity, as your people adjust to plenty.”

    “Going to be a while before we can go after those,” Antonine said.

    “Perhaps,” the Vulcan said, “I have been on five missions. All wereoxygen-breathing, carbon-based, bipedal species. But each was unique, witha different culture, art, and forms of expression, with differentintonations and shading of emotion and emphasis. The exploration of those,along with the ethics of materially helping a people, is intellectuallysatisfying.”

    “But we can’t build magic boxes,” Antonine said, “Probably notuntil I’m old and thirty.”

    “Your species average life expectancy, given Federation medicalimprovements, is one hundred and eight,” the Vulcan said. Antonine wavedthat way.

    “You are interested in ships?” the Vulcan continued. “There are paths opento Federation associate member species, though your estimate it will beseveral decades until this planet achieves parity as an industrial hub.”

    “Who’d hire me to work? We don’t’ have any freighters yet and myparents aren’t in the trade cartels,” Antonine said.

    “Starfleet Academy,” the Vulcan said. Antonine fell off the bench she wason.

    “Not that it would be easy. You are a product of Federation education, andhave the same cognitive training as anyone on Earth” the alien said.“Starfleet seeks those who excel, and the technical training imparted therefar exceeds any benefit gained from familiarity. They produce more shipdesigns than any other agency in known space, and even failing atacceptance, being noticed at that level often carries opportunities, eventhe potential of still succeeding as enlisted crew.”

    “Oh,” Antonine said quietly, “I guess we can submit candidates now, huh?You suggest this a lot?” She picked herself up, starting to dust herselfoff.

    “Often on assignments, new associate worlds populations often don’tconsider it, and so is overlooked,” the Vulcan said with blunt honesty.

    “Do you get a commission?” Antonine asked. The Vulcan shook his head. “Whyme?”

    “You showed several traits valued by that agency. You met the unknown,analyzed it, and you did not stop when the answers were not those you werehoping for. Instead, you sought why, and were willing to confront theunknown to get them. To Starfleet, the rest can be taught, but initiativecan only be encouraged.”

    Antonine, sat, thoughtful. The Vulcan went back to making miracles common.It was years, her last at the Academy in fact and many Vulcans later,before she realized she’d never gotten a name.
    Fate - protects fools, small children, and ships named Enterprise Will Riker

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  • designationxr377designationxr377 Member Posts: 541 Arc User
    "Explorer"
    “All children explore, it's part of being a kid. But the day we knew that Gid was an explorer, that had to be the Nausicaan,” the salt and pepper haired man turned to nod at his wife while she poured tea for the Commander. It was dark, a hair too hot, and smelled lightly of lavender.

    “The Nausicaan?” Commander Kai asked, cradling her porcelain cup.

    “He never mentioned it to you before?” Mrs Treys set down the teapot and finally took a seat, convinced against all reason that there was nothing left for her to doddle over while they waited for her son upstairs. “It's one of his favorites, although I'm not sure really how much of it he remembers himself. He was only four.”

    The Commander merely arched a brow, edged on by incredulity.

    “It was the first time Gid had ever been face to face with an alien,” his father explained, “and boy, did he know how to pick 'em.”

    “Don't leave the poor girl waiting, Don. Tell her, tell her,” Mrs. Treys got up again, determined to prove herself wrong. Stationary was just not her natural state of being.

    “I'm sure the Commander isn't interested in us telling potentially embarrassing stories about her superior officer.” In case his undulating sarcastic tone wasn't observed he gave a wink to make sure the point got across.

    Kai tried to hide her smile in her cup, nodding for him to go on.

    “Well, we're farmers. I'm not sure how much you know about that line of work on Earth, Gid said your whole race is spaceborn? Live on starships most your life?”

    “Many of us do,” she set down the cup and stared at the table, trying desperately to ignore how the endless rows of golden tufted corn outside were giving her agoraphobia. “But I am aware of the concepts involved.”

    “I'll spare you the talk about why we do it in a world where replicators make sure no one goes hungry.”

    She smirked, “Much appreciated.”

    “But, details aside, time to time we need to stop by an Elevator.”

    “Mill, Dear,” Mrs Treys quickly spotted the poor woman's confusion in between re-stacking plates in the china cabinet.

    “Someplace to process grains, get more seed, that kind of thing. Always tend to smell like stale millet.”

    Kai nodded in a way she hoped looked sagely and knowledgeable.

    “Well, the elevator in town at the time was run by Ed Mansly. Aged gentleman, bit old fashioned. Didn't really mind who you were or where you were from as long as you did what you were asked and worked hard. So, you'd get all types working there. Eventually there's this Nausicaan; big guy, bald.”

    “I know the type,” the Commander said dourly. She usually encountered them leading raiding parties and captaining destroyers.

    “The guy never caused trouble and kept to himself, but everybody gave him his space all the same.”

    “You're getting sidetracked, Don.” The china cabinet had been defeated by Mrs. Treys and was fully reorganized, she was now eying for tarnish on the defenseless silverware.

    “I'm setting the stage. Anyways, one of the days I went to the elevator I took Gideon with me. And sure enough, like any good four year old, as soon as I've let him out of my sight he's already gone. Wandered off.”

    The Commander chuckled, “Oh, don't worry. I still have that problem on away missions.”

    “Heh, glad to see its not just me anymore.” He took a slow sip of tea, preparing himself for the long haul. “Well, Gid went exploring, and sure enough look at what he finds. Tucked away in some lonely corner of the elevator is the Nausicaan, trying to eat his sack lunch.

    “Still to this day I have no idea what Gid said to him. But the next time I see Gid, there he is; this four year old saying 'Okay, come on!' over and over again with the Nausicaan being lead behind him by one hand. And I mean you've got to imagine. This is the biggest, scariest, and downright frightening alien I had ever seen looking at me with the most confused, pleading eyes!” Mr Treys was roaring with laughter now, trying fruitlessly to wipe the corners of his eyes clear. “Oh man, that image alone. As great as it is though, you know I probably would have forgotten it all if it hadn't been for what happened three months after.”

    By this time, Mrs. Treys had returned with a dry hanky for her husband and more tea for the Commander. He wrapped his arm around her waist and held her there for the remainder.

    “What happened three months later?”

    “I'm in town, walking down the street alone, when that very same Nausicaan recognizes me from across the way and just comes charging over. I'm so scared my heart jumps up into my throat and practically throttles me! This guy is huge, has near a third of a meter on me.

    “He leans down, looks me dead in the eyes and barks, 'Hey! You're Gid's dad aren't you?' and gives me this big ol' smile!

    “I just about lost it. He goes on asking how Gid is doing and when I think the next time I'll be bringing him back by the elevator is. I finally get enough sense in me to ask him what it was that Gid actually did.

    “And the Nausicaan goes, 'He asked me to play with him. No one had ever asked to play with me before.'

    “Now tell me, what kind of kid looks at the largest, tuskiest, monster he'd ever seen and goes, 'I wonder if it will play with me?' An explorer, that's who.”

    ***

    Later, after Gideon had returned from upstairs with his effects and said his goodbyes, he and his First Officer were traveling at speed down an old road that coughed dust as they made their way to a transporter facility. With the windows down the only noise was from what the hover car spit up behind them. Gideon was enjoying the wind.

    “Your father told me the Nausicaan story.”

    “Oh, did he?” there was a delighted chuckle.

    “He was rather proud of it. They said it was one of your favorites as well.”

    “It is. Believe it or not, I remember it fondly.”

    “What was it you said to him? The Nausicaan.”

    “Heh,” Gideon Treys just looked up at his memory, floating in the sky with the clouds, “I just asked him if he wanted to come play explorer with me.”

    Commander Kai smiled as she watched her Captain weave his fingers through the breeze. “Well, Sir,” she looked back ahead and down the road, “thank you for asking me to come play explorer with you too.”
  • mcscarypantsmcscarypants Member Posts: 70 Arc User
    First Contacts, Lasting Impressions
    The dimness of the viewing lounge suddenly erupted into bright light as the door swished quietly open. Stevaan blinked momentarily as he turned from the windows to face the now open door. Once his eyes adjusted, he noted a young woman standing at the threshold looking somewhat apprehensive. She was human, he noted as the glare lessened further, with short cropped honey blonde hair and almond colored skin. He recognized her as a Lieutenant with the operations department, noting that she had been on bridge duty on several occasions.

    “Captain Daar. I’m sorry. I should have chimed first. I can leave if you’re busy.”

    Stevaan grinned as held up a hand to stop her from leaving.

    “I would hardly call staring into the depths of space ‘busy’ Lieutenant. And it’s an open lounge; you’re welcome to make use of it as well. Do you need the lights up?”

    The young woman stepped into the room gingerly, the door sliding shut once she had cleared the threshold, returning the room to its previous dim conditions.

    “Thank you, sir. And no, sir, the light is fine. I was just bringing reports that Lieutenant Commander Cimmo said required your approval first.”

    The young Lieutenant produced a small PADD from behind her back, holding it out for his inspection. Stevaan took the PADD and leaned against a nearby table as he glanced over the operations reports. After a few moments he glanced up to see the young woman standing as still as she could, while still managing to shift from one foot to the other.

    “What was your name again, Lieutenant?”

    The woman suddenly looked surprised, as if her Captain had suddenly ambushed her with a pop quiz, but she recovered quickly.

    “Lombard, sir. Tanecia Lombard. Sir.”

    “Well, be at ease Lombard, this is neither my ready room nor a court martial. Relax.”

    Lieutenant Lombard eased slightly, but when Stevaan flashed a quick grin, he could practically feel most of her stress slip away. He went back to reviewing the reports as quickly as he could, so as to let Ms. Lombard return to her duties. Tanecia rocked back and forth on her heels a few times, looking around the room, then suddenly straightened a bit.

    “I hear the senior staff is arranging something special on the holodecks today, for First Contact Day.”

    Stevaan nodded as he signed off on one report and moved on to the next.

    “So I have heard. Something about a recreation of the evening the Vulcans first landing on Earth, as I recall.”

    A pause stretched out, and once again Lieutenant Lombard stepped in to fill it.

    “Does Bajor have anything like a First Contact Day?”

    Stevaan lowered the PADD and thought for a moment.

    “Not to my knowledge. At least, not one that is marked or celebrated any more. Maybe some time in the distant past. Do you have a particular interest in First Contact Day, or perhaps first contact situations in general?”

    Tanecia blushed slightly and bit her lip as she glanced out of the windows, not having meant to capture her Captain’s direct attention. Stevaan just got comfortable as he saw her building up her confidence.

    “A little bit, yes sir. I find all the variety of lifeforms out here just, so, intriguing. I can still remember the first time I actually met someone that wasn’t human. He was a Bolian engineering contractor that was helping out with my Dad’s business startup. His name was Drohn. I think. Or maybe it was Droht?”

    Tanecia took on a faraway look, then flashed a smile and gave a slight laugh, as she continued.

    “Anyway, I was only about eight or nine years old at the time, but I can still remember being fascinated with just how blue he was. I’m pretty sure I also asked him if he lived in an ocean, since in my little kid brain, the blue skin must have been from the water, right?”

    Stevaan smiled as Tanecia giggled this time. While the oceans on Bajor were not quite the same hue, there were a few fish that bore striking similarities to many Bolain skin colors he had encountered. Stripes and all. Tenecia let her giggles die away a bit before finishing.

    “At any rate, I’m dead certain that it was that day that I knew what I wanted to do when I grew up. I wanted to come out here, and meet all these strange and different species. To learn about them, and maybe even make new friends of some of them.”

    It was Stevaan’s turn to turn and gaze out of the windows, though with notably less enthusiasm than Lieutenant Lombard had displayed. The young woman did not miss the mood either.

    “What about you, Captain? What was your first run in with a non-Bajoran like?”

    Stevaan’s gaze darkened slightly, as he cast back into his memory. Before he realized it, he was recounting the fateful day.

    “It was on Bajor. Lonar Province. I was about six years old at the time. The family had gone into town to try and sell what little of our katterpod harvest we had been able to keep. I was filled with such wide eyed excitement. I had never been off the farm before. Of course my sister and I had been taught and warned about Cardassians, but I had never seen one before.”

    All humor and nostalgia bled from Tanecia’s face as sudden realization hit regarding her question, and her Bajoran Captain’s age. She tried to speak up, but couldn’t find the words. She tried to gesture weakly, but looking out of the windows, Stevaan could not see her.

    “There were a few soldiers at the gates, checking cargos and documentation. It all felt so otherworldly. I suspect the soldiers must have found my shocked stares amusing, since they started laughing as we passed on. But it was in the market when the realizations hit home. My father was haggling with a merchant when a scuffle broke out on the other side of the square. A Cardassian was dragging a young woman away. An older man ran up to stop them, but two soldiers stepped up and pushed him to the ground. The man got back up and charged at them again. One of the soldiers discharged his weapon, and then it was all over. The man did not move again.”

    Finally turning back to the room, Stevaan suddenly felt guilty, as he saw the mortified look on the Lieutenant’s face. Her eyes showed signs of wetness, as if she were only just able to keep the tears from falling. Stevaan slid the PADD onto the table and stepped over to the woman, placing a hand on her shoulder.

    “My apologies, Lieutenant. I spoke without thinking. I did not mean to upset you.”

    Tanecia managed to quickly get her emotions in check, even wiping quickly at her eyes. She straightened her uniform as she came to attention.

    “No, Captain. I should apologize. I shouldn’t have asked. I should have realized. I mean, I should have…”

    Stevaan let his hand drop and folding both hands behind his back.

    “No, Lieutenant Lombard. You had every right to ask, and a good thing you did too.”

    Tanecia looked up in mild confusion, which caused Stevaan to grin slightly.

    “Because I also remember that it was that day that I decided what my future would be. Like many of my contemporaries, I didn’t just want our world back. I wanted the Occupation to never have happened at all. Of course, I knew that couldn’t be, and there was nothing I could do about it. But, what I could do was to come out here, and do my damnedest to make sure it did not happen to someone else. We’ll make friends with everyone that will have us. And to those that do not want to be friendly? Well, we will make sure they at least do not hurt anyone.”

    Lieutenant Lombard wiped once more at an eye, before giving a weak smile and a nod. Stevaan stepped back and took up the PADD from the table, and moved to hand it to Tanecia.

    “Well, everything seems to be in order, Lieutenant.”

    She took the PADD, the smile strengthening as she did.

    “Thank you sir. For all of it.”

    Stevaan nodded, and Tanecia made for the door, as he watched her go. As the door swished open, once again filling the room with light, she turned back.

    “Happy First Contact Day, Captain Daar.”

    “And to you, Lieutenant Lombard,” Stevaan replied with a smile.

    After she was gone, Stevaan mused to himself. It struck him that Ms. Lombard would make a fine addition to the first contact response team. It took all sorts after all. Those to hold up open arms, and those to raise up their shields when needed. After a few minutes, Stevaan turned and left the lounge, headed for the holodeck.

    Doesn't look as pretty as on a properly formatted doc, but then, it's the contents that matter.
  • isthisscienceisthisscience Member Posts: 861 Arc User
    Encounter on the Road to Kiruna
    The sports bag dropped via the bathroom window like a lead weight, closely followed by a pair of cracked leather boots caked in dirt; laces snapped and re-knotted a dozen times. Alex crouched as they sank into the sodden mud, attempting to ascertain whether she had been heard.

    The windows remained in darkness. He was too inebriated to hear and, with luck, it would be some time before he checked the lock on her door. Slinging the bag over her shoulder, she crept behind the large red hovercar and out of the shallow light of the house. Her footsteps were well covered by the wind rushing between the wet foliage that encircled the house for the next few kilometers, but she took pains to keep her steps soft and her head cowed.

    Never going back.

    An unyielding wind buffeted her along the road through the forest. Her woolen hat, pulled tight over her ears, offered little protection as the gale stung the swollen bruise around her left eye. She tugged the hat a little lower. Every gust made the road to Kiruna a step longer. Her school bus took 15 minutes. It can't be that long to walk? A sudden hiss and a rustle in the trees startled her. She gave them a penetrating glare; just the wind.

    Despite the rain spitting in her face, she could make out some of the night sky. Polaris hung high and proud as a streak of light shot up past it from the town ahead. Each day, looking out of the classroom window at the launch site, she imagined herself in one of those ships. Heading for the stars; an explorer. Polaris shone so bright each night, above her bolted window. She reached up to the star, blew it a kiss and promised to be there soon. He wouldn't find her out there. Someone up there would help her. Someone wouldn't feel threatened by the braids on his cuff.

    A sudden gale stopped her dead. Her knees bent into the wind just to hold her position. Her boots slid in the wet. She wrapped her arms around her shivering frame, waiting for the icy air to pass. As the gale let up, her knees remained bent then collapsed into the road. Glancing back, the sign pointing to the house was still visible. Less than 300 meters, give or take a shadow.

    Never going back.

    Brushing the damp from her cheeks, she forced herself to her feet and made pace. If she could just hold out until a passerby could pick her up.... but who would be out in this storm?

    Charcoal gray clouds engulfed Polaris, the moon, and much of the road's illumination. Her eyes had adjusted to the night but the lack of street lamps made every rock and branch jump out at her feet. Shadows scuttled around her amid the rustling leaves. Pitch dark was all the better to hide in if he came looking, but she was missing the company of Polaris. A branch broke to her left and she immediately spun round. There was another hiss, then a crash of something rolling downhill.

    Deep breaths.

    Calm.

    Deep.

    Breaths.


    Her focus was pierced by high pitched whine.

    Lights.

    A vehicle from behind.

    A ride; perhaps?

    What if it's him?

    Never going back.


    Alex darted to the side of the road, into the bushes, hoping for a better look. What color? If only the cloud cover would pull back. It helps for hiding if it is him, but she can’t let help pass by. The headlamps filled her vision, blinding her against the dark of the night.

    It's not red!

    It’s not him!


    Heart racing, Alex leapt out waving. The car swerved, its bonnet crumpled against a tree. The headlights; dead.

    She stood there, frozen, in the middle of the road.

    Are they alright?

    The question broke her shock. She darted over to the driver's side she prized the door open.

    Empty, a driverless cargo run.

    She got in and closed the door. It was warm. The controls were out; radio too. They may know it has crashed, but they won’t send rescue out in a storm for a simple cargo run.

    If I could find a way of telling them someone I’m here...

    Alex scavenged around the compartment and uncovered several boxes of Starfleet communicators. Darting for the first one like a life preserver had been thrown to her. She ripped the wrapping and flipped up the golden antenna grid. She got no response and snapped up another, and another. Her hopes faded to frantic, yet futile tuning as the empty batteries of each became evident.

    A real explorer would know how to charge this.

    She thought, and threw the device back into the box. As much as she wanted to remain in the warm, if he was searching he was bound to see this crash. She had to move on. Looking across to the road, it was so much darker out there now she was sitting in the glow of the car lights. The clouds withdrew to allow the moon's glow to wash across the road. Her heart staggered at the sight of a silhouette.

    Someone is out there.

    Someone has found me.

    Is it him?

    No, he wouldn't be waiting.


    Whoever they were, they remained unmoved by neither rain nor wind; waiting.

    Waiting for what?

    Her courage met an impasse with the stranger, neither budging nor blinking.

    Does a silhouette blink?

    She fumbled with the door handle through her gloves. Could it be the driver? Maybe it wasn't on automatic after all.

    "Who's there?" she called out as she edged towards them. "Who's is it!? Vem är där?" Maybe it’s was one of those stone-faced Vulcans from the spaceport. She had never met one, but had learnt some Vulcan at school. She tried to recall some but could only conjure a request for a glass of water. Lacking a better idea, she tried it. It seemed to be listening, but unsure.

    "I'm Alex, I'm..." She paused, wondering what to say. "I'm an explorer" she added with a self-satisfied grin; rolling proudly on the balls of her feet. The lack of a reply pierced her brief veneer of friendliness. It made just a quiet hissing, a familiar hiss, just like before the crash.

    While she had adjusted to the dark, she had trouble focusing on the outline of the figure.

    Strange.

    Everything about it seemed a blur. It was defying perception. Always just out of the corner of her eye no matter how hard she stared. A heavy gale blew and the forest relented to its force. The figure was engulfed in the shadow of the trees. As they relaxed, their darkness washed back like a tide. All they left was empty, wet tarmac. They were gone.

    Every shadow, every movement hid a million nightmares. Shaking, she ran. Her legs collapsed to the side and she smashed to the tarmac. Something knocked her down. No, wait; on her boot, just a sodden leaf. The air shifted around her fast, something was circling her.

    The wind?

    Or the figure?


    It appeared, coalesced, in front of her. It reached toward her.

    She pulled herself up and started running against the rain and wind. Her shadow began to stretch out in front of her across the dark, cold tarmac.

    Light.

    A car from behind!


    She turned and saw the large, red hovercar bearing down on her. Not slowing. Still running while looking over her shoulder, her legs twisted against each other and brought her falling. An arctic chill ran through her spine as the car passed through her.

    She didn't hit the car, or the ground. Her eyes darted across her hands. Their edges were indistinct. Behind her, the car was gone. The blur around her withdrew into the mysterious silhouette. An outstretched hand was offered, and pulled her to her feet.

    "Thanks" she said, though she didn’t truly understand how it had saved her. It seemed to nod, and with it she got a sense that it too was alone. "You came through the space port?" she asked, waving a hand towards Kiruna. "They don't know you're here, do they?" It was traveling too, she felt, running perhaps. It was trying to tell her something through the cold and the dark. Without it sharing a word, she felt they had an affinity.

    A gust of wind prompted a sudden shiver as her adrenaline started to wear off. The creature seemed concerned.

    "I'm cold. It's a long walk to Kiruna in the rain. Are you going that way?" The figure glanced up the road and gave a shrug. It grew larger and moved towards her. Despite moving away, it encircled her. It was warm; like standing on a hot air vent. She didn't pretend to understand, but she did know that was never going back. She walked the road to Kiruna amid its mist. "Do you know the way to Polaris?"
  • shevetshevet Member Posts: 1,633 Arc User
    I'm sure mine wasn't in the spirit of the thing... but you can't expect all first contacts to be peaceful ones. Especially where some people are involved....
    Personal log: Cadet Veronika "Ronnie" Grau, assigned USS Chloe NX-76

    Red alert. Klaxons blare, deck plates shiver under running feet. I can tell it will never be my favourite way to wake up.

    I roll out of my bunk and grab my coveralls. Across the room, my bunkmate Louise is blinking and peering at things. "Ronnie," she says, "what's going on?"

    "Trouble." I zip the coveralls shut and think. My assigned emergency station is gun room two. "Sounds like there's shooting."

    I head for the door while Louise gets into gear. Outside, the corridor is lit up ominously by flashing alert lights. I move -

    I get about halfway there when the lights go out and something picks me up and throws me down on my skinny backside. Red emergency lights come on, and a low rumble echoes down the corridors. The Chloe just got hit. Hard. I hear the hiss of doors sealing, and the eerie wail of escaping atmosphere.

    I get to my feet. Still got to reach my station -

    More light. Orange, flickering, moving towards me, and screaming. The image comes clear in my shaken head. A man, and he's on fire.

    Fire suppression gear, always in arms' reach. I find an extinguisher, blast him with it. He drops to the deck, smoking, choking. I kneel down beside him. I recognize one side of his face - Lieutenant Cheng, armory officer. He grabs at my sleeve.

    "Romulans -" He coughs and chokes. "Ambush - homing torps -" His left eye is closed, surrounded by swollen burned tissue. His right is desperate. "Bridge is gone - get to aux con -" His eye closes and his head falls back.

    Noises behind me: I turn. Baz Jankowski, one of the engineering cadets, is coming up the corridor. He stops, stares, swallows. "Need to get to the bridge," he says. "Hull breach in main engineering -"

    "Bridge is gone," I tell him. He looks scared. Bet I do, too. Cheng seems to have had the only sensible idea. "Help me get him to auxiliary control!"

    Somehow, the two of us drag the unconscious - or dead, I don't know - lieutenant down the passages, towards aux con. Which might be all that's left, now. And the senior staff, the actual crew, will have been at their stations -

    Join Starfleet, they said, meet strange new species. I might have met friendly Denobulans. Or snooty but friendly Vulcans. Or mildly psychotic but sometimes friendly Andorians, even. Instead, I get the faceless killers in the elegant ships, and my own first contact looks like it's going to be my last.

    "Like hell," I mutter under my breath.

    The route to aux con is still open, though the ship echoes to the wail of air, escaping through hull breaches. We drag Cheng through the door. About a dozen people have had the same idea as us - all cadets. No senior officers. Dammit.

    I let go of Cheng and head for the control consoles. I slide back the safety covers and start hitting the override switches that cadets aren't supposed to touch. I need to get a scan, figure out the situation. We're hurt, bad. Maybe the Roms think they've killed us -

    A repeater screen lights up with a visual. Wisps of gas, the nebula we've been surveying - a nice safe assignment for a ship full of trainees. Beyond them, the stars... and three stars that move, that aren't stars, but Rom hulls gleaming in the light of nearby Phi Centauri. Gleaming steadily brighter, as they close in. For the kill.

    There's got to be a way out of this. I fumble with the weapons console. Two phase cannons respond, and one torpedo tube still has a working auto-loader. Not enough. Got to think of something else -

    "Baz. Can you access the nacelles?"

    Everyone is looking at me. They must think I know what I'm doing. Baz gulps. "We can't go to warp without main engineering -"

    "Not what I asked. Can you vent the nacelles?"

    He blinks at me. "What?"

    "Cheng said they were using homing torps. If we flood the nebula with our warp plasma -"

    Hope lights up in his eyes. "On it."

    "Wait till I give the word." The Roms are closing, bright pitiless stars. I check what's left of the systems. We are hurt, bad, really bad.

    And there are more bright stars on the screen, as each Rom ship fires a volley of plasma torps. Overkill, really. "Now!"

    Blue filaments reach out from the sides of the screen - lightning, shooting through space as charged particles flood out of our nacelles to ionize the tenuous gas of the nebula. The dots of the plasma torps, heading towards us in stately procession, suddenly begin to drift and wander as the random blasts of energy confuse their homing sensors. My breathing stops as I watch. If those things get confused enough -

    Two dots collide, releasing a white-hot maelstrom of energy. The screen flickers, fills itself with static. I curse, and look for some way to clear it. Everything in aux con seems to be in the wrong place -

    I find the controls for the filters, cut them into the circuit. The image stabilizes and clears. I curse again. So close, damn it, so close.

    The torpedoes are gone, but they found targets - the wrong targets. Or the right ones, if you're in my shoes. Two of the Rom ships are gone. There is only one more hostile star left on the screen.

    Trouble is, one's enough. I rack my brains. Standard Rom tactical doctrine: come in for a strafing run, engage their sensor spoofing to turn invisible, change vectors fast and come strafing again from a different angle.

    "One Rom left, and he's gonna be cross. Polarize the hull plating." Whatever's left of it. "We gotta ride out the first pass -"

    The Romulan streaks in, a ship now and not a star, so close I can see the raptor painted on the hull. Sun-hot darts streak out from his plasma cannons. The Chloe bucks and jolts, and there's a smell of burning insulation from somewhere. I lunge for another console as the deck judders beneath me.

    The enemy ship swoops over us, spitting fire. I find the switches I need, pray the system's still online.

    The Romulan is past us. He will vanish and turn, in another second. My finger finds the button -

    The grappler shoots out, the claw grasping and making contact, just, with the Rom as he fades out of sight. I turn around and jump back to the weapons console. The Romulan may be invisible, but I can see the end of the grappler just fine, thank you.

    The phase cannons stutter into life. I find the targeting controls, aim my one torpedo, and fire. Flames are already blossoming in empty space as our bolts slam into something invisible.

    The torpedo streaks out of the tube. It dwindles to a dazzling point of light on the screen - and then the screen whites out.

    Chloe rocks, and sparks and smoke shoot from some of the consoles. Someone jumps for the fire suppression gear. But we are beyond - just beyond - the minimum safe distance from the blast. There are some dull booms as bits of debris hit our battered hull, and that's that.

    The screen clears. There is nothing left of the Romulan but a dull red cloud of slowly cooling vapours. And we lost the claw of the grappler. Well, TRIBBLE it, it's insured.

    There is a stunned silence all through the room, as we dare to believe that we're all still alive.

    I break it. "The next aliens I run into," I announce, "better be the kind that buy me a drink."
    8b6YIel.png?1
  • jiralinriajiralinria Member Posts: 94 Arc User
    edited May 2017
    Here's my story :)
    Commander L'iel ir'Fethraie t'Ralaa stared at the turquoise orb her ship, the R.R.W. Inyadar, was still orbiting after helping the Rigelians complete an astrometric survey of their home planet, Rigel V. The bar, 'Bird's Beak', was quiet tonight, so her thoughts started to wander. It seemed like a curious coincidence to her, that 40 years ago the first contact she ever had with an alien was with a Rigelian. On her lost home world. A time before the opening of Romulan society through the now established Republic, where changes were only slowly worked on in shadows.

    Romulus, in the year 2368... A girl was running recklessly through the dense, mountainous forest framing the great river Fethraie. She was furious, her father had once again forbidden her to trail along the river on her beloved steed, T'Virix, in favor of learning for her upcoming school exams. She stopped at some point, leaning against a tree to catch her breath, a single tear running down her cheek. She was angry at her father for always interfering with her ideas of spending her time.
    L'iel looked around finally, finding the wild river quite mesmerizing. Until something caught her attention, something shimmering in a ditch nestled beneath a small fold. She raised her eyebrows and decided to take a look.
    Climbing down to the spot wasn't particularly hard since she had spent many hours roaming these forests behind her family's house. When she reached the ditch she was almost shocked. It looked like a small space craft.
    'Curious...' she thought to herself and moved carefully closer. Nobody seemed to be around, so she snuck around the craft to the other side of it. What she found there made her gasp. Someone was leaning against the ship. She took all her courage and moved up to the person. He seemed dead. She started to shake his shoulder a bit to confirm her fear when the man suddenly grasped her throat. She wanted to yell but her voice didn't want to work.
    After what felt like an eternity, the person removed his hand from her throat. She rubbed her neck and coughed.
    'I'm sorry, I'm sorry...' she heard him say in broken Romulan like she had never heard it. When she was feeling less dazed she finally looked at him. She immediately moved backwards. He was no Romulan. 'What...?' She moved back further until she hit the lining of the ditch. 'Please... please don't kill me...' Fresh tears started rolling down her cheeks.
    The alien shook his head almost in panic. 'Kill you... no, no, I don't... I want home...' He scrambled to his feet and staggered towards L'iel until he stopped in front of her to grab her shoulders. 'Viri... the village Viri...' His head fell almost on his chest. 'Viri is where I am supposed to meet.. erm, meet Kerek... but this forest... I was never good at finding places...'
    L'iel exhaled, almost feeling sorry for the pitiful appearance of the man. 'Viri i'Fethraie?' He nodded.
    'That is a 2 hours hike from here...' He almost smiled at that. 'It is?' L'iel nodded. She silently asked after a moment. 'Where... where are you from? You speak Romulan in a weird way and you don't look like anyone who should be here...' She trailed off and looked to her feet.
    The alien let go of her shoulders. 'That is true... I am from Rigel V... and I want to be back there once I deliver this last shipment...'
    'Shipment of what?' L'iel asked, moving away from the ditch lining. The Rigelian turned around to face his ship. 'Vulcan toys...' L'iel's eyebrows rose in surprise.
    'Vulcan... toys...?'
    The Rigelian nodded, his brows knitting together at the ridge on his forehead. 'Can you please show me how to get to Viri? I can't be found here...'
    L'iel sighed, but she did have sympathy for him. And she knew what most Romulans would do with him. 'Yes, but we need to make sure we go into the village during the night. You can't be seen there either...'
    The Rigelian seemed genuinely surprised. 'You are not like many Romulans...' She shrugged and gestured him to follow her.

    In the Bird's Beak 2411, L'iel suddenly woke up to the present again. The hike with the Rigelian went uneventful and they had just made it to the village after nightfall. She had never heard of him again directly, but of a later friend that he had made it back home rather safely.
    She smiled slightly and sipped a bit from her Kali-Fal. Her dad had been extremely angry that she had returned home very late that day so long ago. Much had happened since that time, not all good, not all bad. But with 16 you see the Universe quite different. One thing was certain for her though, Romulan or not, she never wanted to be unsympathetic to people in need, no matter which species.
  • clcopelandclcopeland Member Posts: 34 Arc User
    Mine, which cannot even compare to the winners.
    It was the smell. Something about that bouquet in the air caused 41 years to pass by in an instant. Standing in the botany lab, Sterling could see it all again clearly and vividly. Before command, before the academy, before any of this, it all came back to him. His mother closing the doors smiling; the rising horizon in the window of the shuttle, the hum of engines came flooding back. It was his first trip to Jupiter Station, or anywhere for that matter; a new life, new quarters, and new people. He remembered hating everything about that notion. He was scared and uncertain of both the trip and life “off Earth”. The fear of the unknown had deep roots.

    Gathering his bags in the shuttle bay, he stood as his mother checked in with the deck officer. Bored, scared, not knowing what was next; the complex was the biggest thing he had ever seen. It seemed like hours just to find their new quarters and unpack. She took him to the side, “I know things are different now, and I think you are so brave for doing this with me. Things are going to be good here, you’ll see”. She was right, things were different. The air was, well…recycled, but he remembers using other, less kind, words to describe it. At least the replicators were better than the ones in the old quarters back in Houston.

    His mother was a young, smart, beautiful Starfleet officer, near perfect in his memory. In an uplifting voice, she placed her hand on his shoulder. “Do you want to see where I will be working? I bet we can go sneak-a-peek”. He said yes, just so he would not be left alone in this place. It was not “home” yet in any sense of the word. Twenty minutes later, he stood in a room full of plants. Everywhere he looked there was vegetation. It was as if someone had grown a small forest of green in hundreds of containers. “Stay here, and please don’t touch anything, I’ll be right back”. The door slid shut and Sterling immediately disregarded his instructions and began to touch the plants, instruments, vials; everything. No 8-year-old could resist what he saw in front of him. He picked up a cellular scanner and soaked in every detail with glee.

    “You break it, you owe me another one”, said a strange female voice. Startled, Sterling dropped the scanner almost immediately, bouncing off the lab table and striking the floor. His mouth open and eyes wide, caught red handed doing the one thing he was not supposed to do, touch things. Spinning his head around was even more a surprise. Before him stood a blue skinned female with centerline and no hair. “Guess you owe me a new one huh…”. Sterling’s stomach sank and adrenaline began to pump. “Relax kid, I take it you’re not my new Lieutenant?”. He managed to push his heart back down from his throat. “No Ma’am” he replied. He was going to die, he knew it, his mother would come back, find out, and he would be jettisoned into space. It was the only inevitable outcome in his mind.

    “You must be Sterling, Lt. Sullivan’s child. I’m Commander Newana Borenin” the Bolian said, picking up the scanner off the floor and straightening her blue topped uniform. Sterling had never seen any non-human before. He had seen pictures and holograms of course, but it was unsettling yet exciting to see the commander; blue skin, blue scalp rings, and blue lips in person. He mustered the courage to speak again, “Commander, I’m really sorry”. “About what? The scanner’s fine kid, you didn’t break it, but ask next time ok?”.

    "Come look at this", she motioned for him to join her at a station. Sterling walked over and looked at a germination pod. “I believe these are known to grow naturally in your homeland.” He recognized them immediately by their small petals; bluebonnets. “I grew them from seed-pods just for you and your mother, to welcome you. I know leaving home can be difficult”. Commander Borenin grinned, and “go ahead, smell them…”. Sterling leaned over and took in the fragrance. It smelled like home just a little and began to calm his nerves.

    “Did you leave home too?”, Sterling asked, not nearly as afraid now. The commander smiled, “yes, a long time ago, I’ve lived in many places, but you can always make new friends and see new things, the universe can be a beautiful place”. She transplanted the bright indigo flowers to a container. “These are for you, to remind you of home and that you have new friends here”. Sterling ran to his mother as she walked in the room, “Mom, look what the Commander gave me”. She smiled at her son and at Commander Borelin, soundlessly mouthing a ‘thank you’.

    In the next many years, Commander Borenin eventually became ‘Aunt’ Borenin and family to Sterling. She wrote his letter of recommendation to the Academy and was present at his graduation after his mother had passed his freshman year. She was there to see him take command, to lead and encourage others in exploration and discovery. Even after her death, Newana was forever a mentor; always inspiring him to reach his potential. All this from a scent. Forty-one years of nostalgia and a lifetime of friendship with just with a smell.

    “Admiral? Admiral can I help you with something?” Sterling snapped out of it. “Yes Lieutenant, sorry. Are you growing Lupinus flowers?”, Sterling was looking around the botany lab to find the source of the scent. “Yes sir over here”, the young Betazoid science officer walked over to a hydroponic pod. “I had heard they were your favorite; I thought you might like them”. “Where did you get these Lieutenant?”. Sterling inhaled the scent directly from the tiny blue and violet petals. “I visited your ‘Texas’ the last shore leave on Earth sir, I thought they were pretty and decided the lab needed some”. She placed them in a container for him. “plus it’s always a good thing to keep the CO happy”. She smiled as she handed the square pot with bristling purple and blue hues to him.

    “Lieutenant, let me tell you a story about this flower…”
  • falcorusticolisfalcorusticolis Member Posts: 2 Arc User
    edited May 2017
    I'm having some issues with the forum, but you can check out my entry under stories and more at my website. Magewood.com See new post below.
    Post edited by falcorusticolis on
  • hawku001xhawku001x Member Posts: 9,989 Arc User
    Here's mine!
    The Pathfinder-class with Discovery-class pylons U.S.S. Ragnarok sat out in deep space as Captain Oroku Seifer, a Trill and Starfleet officer, took a seat on the Bridge of his ship.

    "Space, the final frontier," he started. "These are the voyages of the Starship Ragnarok. It's never-ending mission, to seek out new twirls and new synchronizations— Hm. I think we need to rewrite that. We sound like a dance ship."

    Lieutenant Commander Moggs, a Caitian and his science officer, suddenly spoke up. "Uh, sir, you don't have to recite the opening every morning. You do realize that, by repetition, you're just feeding into the very diagnosis of insanity, right?"

    "What I realize is that you're interrupting an essential Starfleet prerequisite to encountering new alien species," countered Seifer. "Without innocuous affirmations, we're a Federation of wanderers and rogues with no sense to dream, or look up at the stars, and a preoccupation with Klingon coffee taste-augmented by metal cups."

    Then he smiled to himself and looked back upon his first encounter with an alien life form.

    "Ah, my first contact, I remember it like it was yesterday. It was a teenage Star-jelly with attitude at the Academy, and we were to share a room before our first day. Except he wanted the top bunk, and I wanted a date with the indomitable Mary Sue."

    Lieutenant Aramaki, human and tactical officer, turned from his station. "Sir, did that even really happen? Those two things both sound impossible, especially that last one?"

    "I think?" Seifer said, suddenly doubting himself and searching his memories. "Did we fight Tribble-Tzenkethi hybrids last week, or is my recollection somehow being modified by the targ soup I'm eating right now?"

    Just then, the entire Bridge went dark and his whole crew and soup disappeared. The Trill found himself in a cave somewhere, latched to a metal bed with neural interfaces connected to his temples. He was now several years younger, and wearing civilian clothing.

    "Well, well," said another man, who stepped out of the shadows to reveal he as a look-alike. This Oroku was years older and wore the Odyssey-type Starfleet Commanding Officer Service Uniform the younger one was just wearing seconds before. "You figured out that you were in a simulation. Excellent work, past-me."

    The younger man squinted. "What? I'm you?"

    "In two days from now, you're going into your final test for the Symbiosis Commission to receive your Trill symbiont and then join Starfleet. I wanted to run my own test, temporarily modifying your memories, to see how you would fare within life aboard a starship; mine, in the future, to be exact."

    Oroku shook his head. "So, I haven't even left Trill? I've never actually met another alien before in my life?"

    "Not yet," replied the Captain. "You see, I remember this exact encounter when I was your age, and speaking to an older version of myself, and I knew if somehow I got here again that I had to fulfill my own destiny. That, and I really did fight a Tribble-Tzenkethi hybrid last week, and I needed not to think about that anymore, however possible." He shuddered at the thought of it.

    The young man squirmed, trying to get free. "This is crazy! The Klingon Targ War, the Lukari Pink Spray Tans, judging the Borg Cooperative Beauty Contest? Why test me with these fake events if I'm just going to end up like you?"

    "Oh, all those really happened, but to me in the future," the Captain said. "You see, the galaxy is full of crazy, over-the-top, mind-altering insanity and, due in-part to that, I was accidentally thrown too far into the past by a time-travel mechanic named Marhs. It's nonessential madness like his that you need to be prepared for."

    Oroku scoffed. "Or, I could, you know, discover all that on my own? What is this obsession people have with coddling their younger selves? Maybe who you are today is due to how you dealt with the challenges and the people you weren't prepared for!"

    "Well, I wasn't prepared for that," the older Oroku blinked, thrown-off. "Never-the-less, I know the aliens you're about to encounter, and, trust me, some of them are irrational, centuries-long, grudge-holding Iconians. Oh, and there's this Ferengi named Madran who had a horrible Son'a face-stretching accident, and—"

    Having been secretly breaking loose, young-Oroku pulled himself off the bed and stood up. "Enough! I don't want to hear any more from you! All a man ever needs is a perfect, seamless series of encounters with what's out there and here you are providing me with this pre-processed, half-Kirk'd Trill-symbiont-manure."

    Then, young-Oroku sighed.

    "Though, I suppose even meeting you is its own unexpected contact. So, it's all the same by that logic? I just wish my first encounter with 'what's out-there' was an alien, and not 'me'."

    Older-Oroku thought about his argument for a second before recalling his pointy-eared space-companion. "Oh, right. I can help you with that. As part of randomized time travel choices, Marhs sent my Caitian science officer with me—" And then, "Mr. Moggs, will you reveal yourself and proceed with formal, awkward social interactions against this youthful, handsome fellow?"

    "Yes, Captain," Moggs, a tall and grey-fur-colored man, said as he stepped out from beneath the shadows and extended his hand. "Hi, I'm an alien and such. Do you like... stuff?"

    Younger-Oroku's jaw dropped at the sudden, unexpected encounter. "Do I—?? Stuff is why I've been hoarding unrefined dilithium under my pillow all my life! Wow, and you must have so many ticks?"

    "I only have five," argued a suddenly annoyed and itchy Moggs. "Anyway, I think embracing your encounters as you go is a good ideology. I ate five Star-jellies yesterday. Good luck, time-spoiled-Oroku."

    Oroku nodded. "Thanks." But then he noticed his older self and Moggs begin the slow-happening, dramatic process of dematerialization. "What's going on? You haven't even told me how to get out of here?"

    "Looks like Marhs is reintegrating us with another temporal version of ourselves," the Captain said, looking around at his faltering molecular structure. "It's the Voyager version of a temporal paradox. You'll get used it! Oh, and to leave this cave-section, you'll need to solve an ancient, definitely fatal pre-Trill civilization stone-puzzle that focuses on Bronze Age symboliz—"

    But before he could finish, he and the Caitian had disappeared, leaving young-Oroku to his own devices.

    "Dammit, me!" he cursed. "Well, at least I met a giant cat-man as my 'first contact'. Maybe the crazy, over-the-top mind-altering insanity isn't as bad as I future-put it."

    Then he noticed the fur on his palm, from the hand-shake, prompting the young Trill to shake it off as furiously as possible.

    "Ugh! He was shedding! So disgusting! Ew! —Forget this. Future-me is going to pay for that! I'm taking up anbo-jyutsu and seeing how he likes losing a few brain cells to slow and clunky 'martial arts'. That'll show him and his weird, lanky tall-cat."

    And, with that, and a first alien encounter under his belt, Oroku exited the chamber to embark on a future of wild fascination and pure science-driven, serviceable revenge. What lie beyond space and time were now his to dream and his to explore.
    uss_ragnarok4.jpg
  • falcorusticolisfalcorusticolis Member Posts: 2 Arc User
    edited May 2017
    Lets try this again. My story can be seen here or with my other works on my website. Magewood.com
    Contact: an Ending and a Beginning
    By IA Mullin
    [email protected]

    Aziza Rusticolis sat nervously on a bench at the edge of the city square. She tried to be patient as she waited for Grandfather to finish speaking with the strangers from space. She had seen them as they had entered the Department of Diplomacy building. They had seemed strange with red skin, pointed ears, and black hair. However, she suspected that the red appearance of their skin had been a product of the red supergiant that blessed her world with light, just as it made her violet skin appear black. In the bright white light of the lab, they would probably prove to have pale colored skin.
    Aziza’s world was running out of time. In the near future their sun would die and destroy their planet. These strangers were the first to respond to the diplomats’ pleas for help. Before they would help however, they required a number of volunteers to leave with them. Much to Grandfather’s dismay, Aziza had submitted an application.
    Aziza snapped to attention as the doors of the Diplomat building opened. Diplomats walked across the square to various applicants. Grandfather stopped in the middle of the square with the strangers. He caught her gaze and motioned for her to approach.
    Aziza strode confidently to them and bowed. “Eldest. Honored Guests.”
    “This is the young woman you spoke so highly of?” the short male stranger spoke coldly.
    “This is Aziza Rusticolis, newly chosen scientist of my house,” Grandfather said proudly.
    Aziza stood straight and met the male’s strong gaze. She ignored the irritation building in her facial glands from the scented smoke of the incense burning in the sculpture to her right. Instead she focused on the stranger’s pale eyes with colored irises. She wondered what he thought of her own blue eyes with pale irises, as well as the green glands that radiated out around her eyes.
    “Your grandfather says you have shown an aptitude for learning science. Have you also been trained to fight?” the male stranger asked.
    “I have passed the exams and have been inoculated with the biochemical enhancements of a scientist. Like all youths, I have been cross trained in the other professions in order to learn where my aptitudes lie,” Aziza answered succinctly.
    “They do not quite understand about our facial glands,” Grandfather said quietly when the strangers did not offer a response.
    “My apologies,” Aziza offered briskly. “I shall endeavor to help you understand about my species as well as learn all you offer to teach.”
    “Indeed,” the male replied as the silent female turned away. “We will be leaving shortly, say your goodbyes now.”
    “When will you return,” Grandfather asked quickly.
    “The Tal Shiar will return as needed,” the male said before walking away.
    “Grandfather, I will miss you,” Aziza said quietly, looking up into his dark face haloed by the red light of their sun.
    “I will miss you also, but be careful. These strangers are not very forthcoming; they do not answer questions unless they wish to.” Aziza’s gaze flicked to the blue glands surrounding his eyes and wondered what empathy indicators they had given him. Her own green glands would not help in that regard; hers were attuned to chemicals and logic as befitted a scientist. “Remember Aziza, no matter what they teach you, strength, honor, and patience will guide you to your fate.”
    “I will return to help our people, I promise.”
    “It is time,” called the male stranger.
    Aziza quickly hugged Grandfather then strode to join the other dozen volunteers selected by the strangers. She tried to feel pride at being chosen, but Grandfather’s warning still rang in her ears.
    Suddenly the world around her shimmered, faded out, and was replaced by a bright room. The strong scent of antiseptic assaulted her nose and glands. She assumed it was some kind of lab or medical ward onboard the Tal Shiar spaceship. She wanted to know how they had been moved across the distance, but had other more pressing questions.
    Several short, pale-skinned strangers moved around Aziza and her tall, violet-skinned fellows, directing them toward examination beds.
    “What is going on?” Aziza asked the technician closest to her.
    “Sit here.”
    “I am a scientist. May I see the procedure on one of my fellows first, to learn about what you are looking for or help you understand our anatomy?” she tried again.
    “Lay down.”
    Aziza frowned, feeling displeased and worried, but lay down as directed. Something pricked her neck. Anger flooded her thoughts just as her vision faded to black.
    Aziza became aware of a blue skinned stranger attacking her. Reflexively she blocked the attack, spun and elbowed him in the face. The attacker faded away. A simulation?
    “What is going on? You promised to help my people? You promised to teach me your science,” she demanded of the training room.
    “She is aware, restart indoctrination,” a voice spoke from a speaker.
    Aziza’s vision faded to black.
    Voices came from a long distance. Her facial glands were irritated.
    “...tests failing...red-marked soldier turned aggressive...terminated.”
    “...autopsy inconclusive.”
    “...indoctrination complete...blue-marked diplomat over-stimulated...self terminated.”
    Aziza looked around a lab with ongoing experiments. A flask bubbled in front of her. Her glands tingled with warning. Toxic fumes. She quickly closed the hood and turned on the vent.
    “Why are you doing this? When will you help us?” she shouted angrily.
    Something hit her from behind, and her world went black again.
    Aziza felt herself half waking as if in illness.
    “...green-marked scientist, indoctrination begins then fails...inconclusive source of failure.”
    “...erase memory, inoculate with nano-surveillance, and insert into a colony.”
    Aziza awoke suddenly. Monitors flashed around her, but there were no wires or restraints on her. She sat up quickly not knowing where she was, but she felt it was wrong. Her facial glands retracted violently and she fell forward retching. Some kind of toxic metallic chemical oozed from her facial glands and she wiped it away, relieving the irritation. Quietly she walked out into the hallway. She cautiously moved along the dim corridors until she found the escape pods. Feeling that this escape was much too easy, she climbed in and pressed the emergency release. The pod rocketed away from the ship toward a cloudy, green and brown world.
    The pod crashed to the ground in a tremendous jolt accompanied by a cacophony of screaming and twisting metal. Acrid fumes of smoke and electrical fire filled the small metal capsule enclosing her. She unclasped the safety harness, pulled her knees to her chest and kicked out hard several times to force the canopy open enough to crawl out. Rage and despair gripped her as she knelt alone on a strange planet. She could not remember why she was so filled with anger or why she had been on that ship. She could not remember where she had come from. She threw her head back and screamed.
    The sudden clacking of stones sliding down hill made her look to the edge of the small crater created by her crash landing. A group of pale-skinned, pointy eared people stood holding shovels and looking down at her. Instantly Aziza grabbed several jagged pieces of debris and took up a fighting stance. One of the watchers detached himself from the others and descended down toward her. He held his empty hands out in front.
    “Easy, friend,” he said quietly. “We saw your escape pod crash. We’re just here to help.”
    “Stay back, Tal Shiar filth!” Aziza hissed.
    “You’ve got the wrong idea. We’re not Tal Shiar,” he said. “We are Romulans, like the Tal Shiar, but we are an independent colony. We do not submit to Tal Shiar oversight. Many of us have strong reasons to hate the Tal Shiar.”
    Aziza slowly lowered her impromptu weapons and studied these Romulans.
    “Where are you from? How did you come to be here?” he asked staying back a ways.
    “I...” Aziza blinked trying to remember. “I don’t remember. I can only recall snippets, pieces of memory. A dark figure surrounded by red light, accompanied by a feeling of love and urgency. The name Tal Shiar with an image of a pale male with dark hair and pointed ears, accompanied by a feeling of hatred.” Aziza put her hands to her head as pain erupted behind her eyes.
    “It’s going to be alright,” the male said. “It sounds like the Tal Shiar erased your memory. Your memory may never return, but we can try to get it back and, if not successful, we can help you move on.”
    “You would help me?” she asked looking at him seriously.
    “I promise. I will personally make sure we do everything we can with our limited medical facilities. Do you remember your name?” he asked extending his hand to her.
    “Aziza...” she shook her head, “just Aziza.” She placed her violet hand in his pale one.
    “My name is Tovan Khev,” he said with a smile. “Welcome to Virinat, Aziza.”
    Post edited by falcorusticolis on
  • commanderkassycommanderkassy Member Posts: 967 Arc User
    I posted mine, then it disappeared 2 minutes later. Trying this again.
    Captain Dissy Lilypetal turned her eyes to the main viewscreen, smiling a bit at the wondrous spectacle—prismatic bands of light which cascaded past the bow of the USS Riverside amidst the infinite darkness.
    Arguably, there wasn't much to do, as their destination was still hours away and she had read and reread the briefings three times over. It wasn't even technically her shift, but she somehow thought it right to be on the bridge for this.
    First contact missions always scared her a little, a tinge of fear creeping through her heart, warning of the unknown. But the unknown was the point in Starfleet, it was the goal, the end game, and despite the fear, she was excited too.
    Starfleet had already done extensive pre-contact studies on the Hasharans, the people they sped through the cosmos to meet, but making first formal contact, that was her job. She was a first contact specialist, and overall, she was excited for the opportunity. Such missions had become more and more rare in recent years, what with all the war and terror.
    The briefings on the world they approached reminded her so much of her own—there was so much that could go wrong, but at least as much that could go right. She couldn't help but think back to that crazy day, the day when she first made contact.
    “You okay, sir?” her first officer asked in a quiet tone, the tall human leaning in so she could hear.
    “Oh,” she blinked several times as she was broken from her reverie, “yes um.. thanks.. I should take care of some things. You have the bridge.”
    Without another word, she pushed herself from the command chair and stepped into her ready room, where she lowered herself into her chair with a heavy sigh. She picked up a PADD, thinking perhaps she should read the briefings again, but decided against it. Leaning back, her mind wandered to that wild day seventy years prior, a long time for some species, but not so much for hers.
    She was both a linguist and an ambassador, and leader in both her fields. She was often called upon to mediate discussions between the disparate cultures of her fractured world. She was good at it, and she knew it. She loved her work, she loved seeing people with so little in common find agreement and solidarity.
    No, she wasn't always successful, some people refused to listen to reason, but she always gave it her all.
    She was just starting her day, working at her desk, when the door to her office burst open. She jumped and let out a small scream, a hand to her heart as three military officers marched in. Two stood aside, weapons slung over their shoulders, while the third approached her. She wore a colonel's rank badge.
    “Ambassador Lilypetal,” the woman stated sternly, “you're coming with us.”
    “F-for what!?” a mix of fear and anger flooded through her as she stood, “this is an outrage, I'm a civilian! You know the new laws, you can't push me around like you used to!”
    “In this case,” the woman narrowed her eyes, “we can, and we are.”
    “What's this about?” Dissy crossed her arms.
    “Briefing you isn't my job,” the woman gestured to each side, “now come with us, or I have these guys make you come with us.”
    “Fine,” she angrily shoved her chair under the desk with a crash, “but my senator will be hearing about this.”
    She was angry, frustrated, and more than a little frightened, but she followed them nonetheless, as it was clear that she had no choice.
    Upon leaving the building, she was ushered into the back of a dark van. After everyone strapped in, the driver pulled away from the curb and into traffic. It wasn't long, however, before they left the confines of the towering city, and she remembered watching as it retreated behind them.
    Hours passed in silence, and she grew less and less comfortable with her circumstances.
    “What's happening?” Dissy demanded, “this is kidnapping, why are you doing this?”
    “I told you,” the colonel replied, averting her eyes, “that's not my job. Someone else will brief you.”
    “You...” it dawned on her, “you don't know any more than I do, do you?”
    The woman simply shrugged, and said nothing more as the van turned off the road and roughly made its way across the open plain.
    Her heart pounded as they finally came to a stop and she was let outside. She found herself on a dusty plain in the middle of nowhere, a few patches of grass and several large tents being the only real features. One tent in particular, she remembered noting to herself, was larger than the others.
    An older man approached her, wearing a formal uniform and the rank badge of a general.
    “You kidnapped me,” she cut in before he could speak, “taken me Elders know where.. what's this about?”
    “We need your expertise,” he stated flatly, “we need you to talk to someone.”
    “You could have asked.”
    “No, we really couldn’t,” he shook his head and turned, “come with me.”
    “I don't have much of a choice, do I?” she crossed her arms as she followed, “so you want me to talk to someone? That's it? What language do they speak?”
    “We don’t know,” he replied, “that's why you're here. We want you to communicate with it.”
    “That's all?” she was confused, “That's all you have for me after all this?”
    “Sorry,” he spoke curtly, “but it's better to show you.”
    Approaching one of the tents, the fabric was pulled back so that she could enter.
    Stepping inside, she jumped in fright, letting out a high pitched squeak. Tied to a chair was a grotesque creature, shaped like a person, but with stretched out limbs and strange eyes—piercing and green.
    It smiled hideously. She stepped back.
    “Elders..” her jaw dropped, “what is it?”
    “We think it's from another world,” the general answered, “it crashed here a day ago.”
    “The big tent outside,” she managed to say, “its craft?”
    “Yes, now I'll leave you alone to do your job.”
    “Not while it's tied up!” she made a show of putting her foot down.
    “For your safety.”
    “No,” she demanded, “untie it.”
    “Your funeral ambassador,” the general replied, nodding to a subordinate, who quickly went about freeing the strange creature.
    “Now leave me alone with it..” she was surprised at her courage, as her heart was cold with fear.
    The others left, and for a small moment, she couldn't help but stare, looking it up and down.
    Before she could say anything, it put its hands up, an aggressive gesture. She recoiled in terror, and its expression changed, quickly lowering them.
    It spoke then, in a tongue she'd never before heard. It shared nothing in common with anything she knew of.
    “I won't hurt you,” she said, taking a step forward, “we are peaceful.”
    It replied, but again, it was gibberish.
    After a couple more failed attempts, it pointed at a piece of silver and gold jewelry that sat upon a nearby table. It gestured towards its mouth and made talking motions, and then pointed at her.
    Her curiosity overtook her fright as she gingerly picked it from the table and handed it over.
    It quickly affixed the thing to its chest, and then uttered more nonsense before again gesturing to her.
    “I don't understand,” she said in a soft tone, “I wish I did, but I don't. I want to help you, I want to understand you.”
    “I would like that very much..” it replied, sending a chill through her spine, “I bet there's a lot we could learn from each other.”
    “How do you know my language!?”
    “I don't,” its eyes were so gentle suddenly, “this is a translator.”
    “Elders above..” she shook her head in disbelief, “you have such technology?”
    “Sure do,” its tone was cheerful, disarming, “didn’t mean to scare anyone.. or you.”
    “What are- no..” she knew she was asking the wrong question, a rude one at that, “who are you? Are you.. from another world?”
    “My name is Jack,” the creature spoke softly, “I'm a human.”
    “Well.. hello Jack...” she managed a smile, excitement slowly taking center stage within her, “I'm Dissy.”
    “Dissy,” it smiled, “a nice name,” but then its expression fell away, replaced by worry and vulnerability, “what's gonna happen to me?”
    “I don't know...” she replied, her heart twisting about inside her.
    Setting the PADD down, the captain rose from her chair and stepped across the ready room, but stopped just before the door that would take her back out onto the bridge. She remembered feeling so much uncertainty back then, uncertainty about all but one thing:
    That her world was about to change forever.
    And for the world they approached? She would do everything she could to make sure that when theirs changed, it would be for the better, like hers.
    ♪ I'm going around not in circles but in spirographs.
    It's pretty much this hard to keep just one timeline intact. ♪
  • lazarxlazarx Member Posts: 110 Arc User
    danqueller wrote: »
    I'll add mine as well...
    There But For A Cat's Tail

    Excerpt from Starfleet entry examination interview of Vice Admiral Finity Westland (under assumed name ‘Kelro Verne’ at time of inteview):


    My first meeting with beings from another world wasn't the planned event of a typical First Contact mission, but one of those all too frequent incidents that happen by a combination of random chance and a mistake by the spacefarer. I'm sure Starfleet has plenty of case studies to compare mine to, so I don't feel special in that regard. I do think some explaining would help you understand how I ended up here, though.

    Prior to contact, I had no idea the Preservation Alliance had been in the process of selecting and inviting Terrans from the late twentieth century with the skills they considered important into their galactic civilization. It was a very covert effort, not unlike the methods Starfleet uses when investigating Prime Directive species, though the goals were recruitment instead of exploration. In particular, they watched potential military candidates, and had been going through the records at the training academies on Earth to find those who might have what they were looking for, but who wouldn't be missed. Somehow, my name ended up on one of those lists, almost certainly the 'investigate only as a backup choice' list as I had left the Service earlier that year for medical reasons.



    I was living in a two-story rental apartment at the time, and I admit the place was a bit unkempt. I hadn't taken my rejection from the Military very well, and had not found a new vocation yet. The Navy had been my only real interest and with that taken from me, I was rudderless. So, when my cat screamed his head off in the middle of the night, I pulled on a bathrobe and ran downstairs.

    The room was undisturbed and I found my feline companion under a table, his fur standing out like he'd just seen the biggest tomcat in the world. No amount of coaxing would get him out, so I made a quick check of the apartment, failing see anyone or anything out of place. I was about to head back to bed when I noticed something laying just under a chair. It was a coin-sized object, made of some material I couldn't place, and with a blue light flashing on one end. Not knowing what a transporter beacon was, I of course triggered it in the course of my examination. In a flash of light I found myself in a brightly-lit area that was all flowing curves and white material, and which was not my apartment.

    And also containing three obviously-stunned blue-skinned humanoids who looked at me with the same open-mouthed expression I'm sure I had.



    As I said, they were humanoid, and more similar to Terrans than I've come to know can be the case. The Kay'van were one of the Preserver's attempts to 'improve' Humans, so that isn't a big surprise to me now, but you have to understand that I'd never seen a person with gills before. And, I just thought their white hair some kind of additional strangeness on top of the single-form clothing they were all wearing.

    We just stood there for at least five seconds, I in my bedclothes and they in their ship uniforms, each frozen in what they had been doing. In retrospect, I guess I'd been given enough introduction to the concept of aliens in popular media that their familiar form and reactions let me relate to them as I would any other person instead of panicking, and I did the only thing that came to my mind.

    I offered them the beacon and said "I think you dropped this."


    What followed was a series of interviews, and the Captain of the ship explaining that the crewbeing assigned to investigate my house had been tasked with gathering information about me, but had stepped on my cat's tail in the darkness. Startled, the investigator had transported out before realizing that they had dropped the beacon. The Captain had been debriefing the crewperson when I'd made all of that moot by appearing on their ship without warning. For my part, I quickly overcame my shock and realized that these really -were- people, not aliens. That, for all their physical differences, we were more alike than I'd ever expected from beings who had their own homeworld to love and to worry about. I got into conversations with some of the crew, learning some of the places on their world they thought of as beautiful, and how an amphibious race lived when it was based in a solar system featuring binary stars. It didn't take long for me to start thinking of them as people I could like, unlike some other Officers I've met who think we're the only ones who matter in the universe.

    “I will be blunt and tell you that we did not intend to bring you up here.” Captain Sess’numi told me after about a day aboard the ship, using the accented English all the Kay’van aboard spoke “But, you are handling all of this with impressive calm for one of your particular vrenki…that is, your culture. That makes me think there might be a place for you after all. I am prepared to offer you a chance to help your planet and learn things very few of your species will ever have a chance to experience. Not safe, mind you…we would not be here if the entire galaxy were not at war…but your efforts would matter.”

    By then, my mind was already pretty much made up that I wasn’t going back to Earth without figuring out what was going on, so I didn’t take long to think about it. I just answered “What kind of job would you have in mind for me up here?”

    “A very difficult role. One requiring long hours of tedious work in the most dangerous environments known to sentient life, with few if any material benefits. You would have to work with members of at least twenty species without causing undue friction, some of whom will consider you inferior and have no reservations letting you know that. You will also encounter those who wish to end your existence without hesitation, and face hardships knowing that anything you accomplish will likely never be known to your homeworld until well after you have passed into the Great Beyond.” The Captain replied, the grin on his face letting me see his sharp teeth in full view. “And, you will have to wear more than sleeping garments.”

    I couldn’t keep myself from matching his own expression. “Where do I sign up?”

    So, I met my first aliens and ended up recruited despite not being actually sought by the Alliance. I learned how to fight in the war the Preservers had gotten themselves into, commanded a starship crewed by people like none I had ever imagined existed, found comradery and sorrow across a hundred stars, and eventually returned to Earth after they drummed me out of their Alliance for opposing a policy I felt was immoral and wrong. Then I got picked up when that Alliance cruiser came calling to Earth on an automated emergency recall mission a year or so later, the incident that put the entire planet on edge against aliens and set the path for the formation of the Empire when the Vulcans showed up over half a century later.

    That, as they say, is another story.

    But.... what happened to the cat?

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