"Unexpected Twists"
Previous post "Shattered Tranquility"

"To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting."
- Sun Tzu

Setting: Moon of PI ALPHA III, Underground cave system
Stardate: 30148.1720

With a gentle nod of her head Eeru dismissed the more imposing Akitashiinu who had accompanied them thus far.  The Jackal featured Ruhek acknowledged his superior before glancing back at the Human with tangible disappointment.  The fact that the alien Commanding Officer to them had not reacted in the least at the sight of the tortured Yxidii had robed the Enforcer of one of his greatest joys.

"Please forgive Ruhek," the reddish furred Akitashiinu politely offered in nearly perfect English.  "Diplomacy is not his clan's highest strength, but in this war against the Yxidii, his skills have come in handy on more than one occasion."

"No apologies required, and if I may be so bold," the Native American ever so gently grinned back, "I suspect that your skills in diplomacy come in second only to your ability to test another without them actually being aware of it and your ability to learn my language."

"You are a most wise man Captain Morningstar," the Intelligence and Tactical trained creature said with a toothy smile.  "That is why I thought it best to bring you here and explain the situation that you and your crew have been drawn into."  With a movement of her hand, the Akitashiinu invited the Native American to sit in one of the rock-made chairs surrounding a table which had also been formed from the available and abundant material found in the underground of the moon.  "I will not waste your time with pointless explanations and will go straight to the point.  We are at war with the Yxidii because we are trying to stop them from gaining control of a technology that would grant them the power to conquer not only their dimension but yours and mine as well."

"That is quite a claim," the Native American offered having long ago learned not to take anything or anyone at face value without some level of proof.

"A claim that is not made lightly I assure you," Eeru continued.  "As for my skills in having learned your language, I must give credit to one of your own, and the person responsible for having opened our minds to the possibilities of countless other dimensions."

With another movement of her hand Eeru instructed Ruhek to return, an order that the agile and swift Akitashiinu promptly obeyed as he escorted someone else into the room.  In the dim light the Native American could not make out who the new arrival had been, but there had been one thing certain: whoever it was had not been Akitashiinu or Yxidii, but Human.

Slowly the frail figure moved forward before coming to a complete stop upon having noticed the seated Starfleet Officer.  "Commander Morningstar?" the weak looking Human male offered as he gazed onto the face of the Native American with distant recognition.

"Actually, it's Captain now," Erik cautiously corrected as he tried his best to match the man with one of countless memories that had suddenly come rushing into the CO's mind.  Morningstar knew him, that much had been sure, but from where?  Having served on board the USS DISCOVERY, USS PROPHECY, the GATEWAY space station, the USS AVALON and USS PARADOX had insured that the Native American had come to know a great deal of people. "Jackson?  Thomas Jackson?"

"Glad you remember me Commander, I mean Captain," the man offered with genuine smile as he moved closer to the Native American only to collapse into his arms further hinting to the man's weakened condition.  "You have no idea how happy I am to see you."

"The last reports concerning the PROPHECY said that it had been lost with all hands," Captain Morningstar stated as he helped his former Assistant Chief Engineering Officer onto the chair that he had been sitting in seconds before.

"We were *lost* but not that way," Jackson confirmed with a laboured chuckle, "we were adrift in the endless sea of dimensions after we suffered a massive computer breakdown.  Captain McTavish never gave up hope despite our running into countless problems and obstacles the last one having been a race bent on using the PROPHECY's D-Drive to gain a tactical advantage over the entire multi-verse."

"I'm guessing you are speaking about the Yxidii," Erik sighed as he studied the features of the man who appeared much older than he should have been.  Granted it had been nine years since the Native American had last seen the Engineering Officer, but the then Lieutenant appeared as if he had ventured to hell and back several times over.

Jackson tightly closed his eyes for a moment at the sound of the alien race`s name, as if that single word had actually caused him physical pain. Erik could only imagine the horrors that Thomas and the rest of the PROPHECY crew had endured to cause such a reaction.  The Native American had wished that he could have said or done something to ease the man's apparent pain, but all he could do was to gaze upon the Officer with sadness and sorrow.

"We found him in a shuttle along with three other members of your Starfleet," Eeru explained.  "Unfortunately he was the only one who had survived, the others having perished from their wounds.  As our healers restored him to health as best they could, we learned his language and of the ship that he had been separated from.  Unfortunately we were unable to return him before the Yxidii attacked once again and forced the ship into another dimension stranding this one in our domain.  Our healers did their best but our knowledge of carbon-based life forms was and unfortunately still is very limited."

"It's a long story," Thomas admitted in a tired voice having forced himself to regain some level of composure, "but it is one that you need to be made aware of."

Eeru watched and listened with undivided interest as the weakened Human male told his kinsman of the tale on how his ship and crew had travelled into a never before visited dimension to come across a vicious, bloodthirsty race.  The gruesome details of the story kept the Native American riveted to each and every word spoken for the next hour, time having literally lost all meaning for the two men.  The story covered how this savage race would use the D-Drive in combination with a powerful living machine to achieve its goal of universal conquest, a machine that itself could travel between dimensions and possibly even time itself.

During that time the two Akitashiinu present in the room remained perfectly still, the only indication of their attentiveness having been an occasional twitching of one of their ears.

"They have to be stopped," Thomas pleaded as he held his former superior's shoulders in his weakened grasp.  "They cannot be permitted to get control of that device or we are *all* lost."

"We will make sure that the Yxidii never get their hands on that device," Erik reassured, the name of the race having caused Thomas to once again close his eyes to ward off the wave of pain that had been sent coursing through his weakened body and mind.

The sound of a strange alarm drew everyone's attention away from man who had been at the centre of the attention for the past hour.

"Parameter has been breached," Eeru stated with urgency.  "It might be best for you to return to your people," the fox featured Akitashiinu added, aiming her comment to the now standing Starfleet Captain.  "Ruhek will take care of your friend," the reddish furred being stated with a delicate smile as she motioned with a movement of her head to the Enforcer to follow the orders that he had already been given.

Although reluctant to leave Thomas behind, Erik knew that he had no choice.  The story told by the Engineer had been clear on many points including the importance of addressing this situation with the utmost haste to insure that the savage race would never be permitted to control this unique device.

"Go," Jackson said with a nod of his head as Ruhek came to stand next to the frail Human.  "I have done all that I can here, the rest is up to you and your crew, Captain Morningstar."

The Native American nodded his understanding before slipping behind Ereru as she rushed back to the room where the rest of the ANUBIS crew had been told to wait for their CO's return.

Now alone with Ruhek, Thomas rose to his feet with some difficulty and slowly turned to face the Akitashiinu guardian before the Human took in a long, deep breath.  "Time for you to take care of me," Jackson hissed, his words laced with a hatred that he had been unable to voice in any outward manner while Morningstar had been in front of him.  "Mark my words though, Erik Morningstar will be a name that you and your cursed race will learn to hate and fear very soon."

The jackal featured Akitashiinu growled as he leaned in over the shorter Human and took a firm hold of the man's throat and neck with a single powerful hand.  For far too long Ruhek had been forced to endure this worm's presence and now he would be rid of him once and for all.  The toothy evil grin grew to its largest when the frail man was lifted clean off the floor and his neck snapped with sadistic ease.

Setting: Moon of PI ALPHA III, Underground cave system
Stardate: 30148.1830

As the Native American returned to the large room where the rest of the crew had remained, he was met by the redheaded Chief Engineering Officer and Ship's Counsellor.

"Good or bad or ugly first?" Lieutenant Pauqette asked, not giving the Captain the chance to say anything.

"Bad news first," Erik sighed, his thoughts still on the man he had just left behind to a likely less than pleasant fate.

"Seska is missing," Sonja reported in a half whispered voice.

"The good news is that we received a message from the ANUBIS saying that Maya, Jayson and Lillie are safe and sound on board," Eve added in an even softer, whispered voice as she handed the last cookie to her Captain.

The Native American took the sweet offering with a distinct perplexed expression engraved onto his brow.  A quick study of the item revealed a single clue that Erik wasted no time to confirm.  "Purple chocolate chips? I'm guessing ANI is involved in this somehow?"

The Chief Engineering Officer replied with nothing more than a huge grin of satisfaction and pride.

"What about the ugly?" Erik inquired not entirely certain that he wanted to know.

The redhead grinned as she shrugged a shoulder and half pointed to the giant Zaldan FCO who just rolled his eyes at the Engineer again, causing the ILO to actually chuckle, if only for a second.

"You can explain this later, right now I need to fill you all in," Morningstar stated as he took a bite of the sweet offering, ignoring the last exchange between the CEO and himself with a roll of his eyes which matched that of the FCO.  "Our first priority is to find Ensign Mizore, after that we'll need to put an end to this war."



Awesome posting from everyone, and the story has once again taken a massive twist.  At least now we have a better idea of who the good guys / bad guys are.

I have a few ideas as to how to tie everything together but that can wait until the very end.  I can easily adapt this to whatever else is added by you all, so no worries.

As always, should you have any questions, comments or complaints, you know where to send (grin).


Francois Charette

Captain Erik Morningstar
Commanding Officer


Lt. Commander Elan Fairborn
Robotics Engineering Officer