(OOC: Clearly, the prior log was Part One of this series. This is
Part Two. Nimue Andraste's bio is up at
http://www.usscharon.com/index.php?title=Nimue_Andraste. Go take a
look see! She is now my current PC. Hey, that sorta rhymes.
"A Coin For Passage – Part Two"
by Lieutenants Nimue Andraste
and Waqas Jilani
= Shuttlecraft William Hurst =
Waqas Jilani was bored.
It seemed like an unlikely prospect, being bored during a first
contact. However, the Hurst and her fighter escort had made very slow
progress at the request of Ensign Dodd. As the shuttle had gotten
closer, the sensors had apparently picked up some new data that Dodd
classified as "strange." He wanted to process it before the away team
got any closer, which had meant that they were hanging out in space
now, as they had been doing for the better part of an hour.
There had been some excitement initially. Carefully worded messages
were once again sent out to the serpent-like creature that was so
focused on the supernova. None of those, however, had gotten a
response. It was pretty clear that the creature was either incapable
of responding or unwilling to do so.
Nimue Andraste had changed her reading material, though to what Jilani
did not know. She had also let down her hair, stripped off her
uniform jacket and unzipped her red shirt just enough for Waqas to
spend a bit of time speculating what, if anything, she was wearing
underneath. No one else seemed surprised, so apparently this was not
unusual for the slender woman. Every once in a while, she kicked
Ensign Dodd's chair lightly and was informed that "we aren't there
Resisting the urge to kick Dodd himself, since he doubted that the
ensign would respond to such an action on his part quite as casually,
Jilani sighed and sat back, looking at Andraste. Feeling his dark
gaze, she met his hard black eyes with her own gentle brown ones.
"What are you reading?"
"I'm reading about Kung Fu. And once I'm done, I'm going to kick your
ass for calling me short."
"You should know," Jilani told her helpfully, "You are not as funny as
you think you are."
"Yeah. But I'm cute though, right?"
Waqas chuckled. "Yes."
"So people laugh anyway and I don't have to care." Then louder, she
said, "Oi, Dodd, come on."
"You cannot rush the scientific process, Nimue."
"No, I can't. Bet I could get you to rush it though if I shoved a
test tube up your…."
"Thank you, Lieutenant," Jilani broke in. With a sigh he got to his
feet. "Ensign, what are we waiting for?"
"It is not exactly clear, Sir," Dodd replied, "The sensors picked up
some unusual movement as we began to move closer, so I stopped us.
However, that seems to have ceased the unusual activity as well. We
are having trouble determining what, if anything, was responsible."
Jorge Castas, who as assigned as the security detail, yawned and
finally broke his silence. "We are also having trouble determining
what, if anything, this away team is accomplishing."
The Tellarite pilot, Beyla, made a sound somewhere between a snort and
"Everyone's a critic," Jilani muttered under his breath. "Anything
from the fighter escort?"
"No," Dodd replied, "They seem to have the patience of grown adults."
Jilani signed. "Are we actually going to find anything by waiting for
you data, Mr. Dodd?"
"That…isn't exactly clear, Sir."
"Fine. Mr. Beyla, take us in." Turning to Andraste, Jilani grinned.
"How great is it that I get to say that."
"I dunno. It always sounded a little pervy to me. For a bridge
command, I mean. It makes me think I'm with two guys and they…."
"Lieutenant. You are doing that thing where you mouth moves again."
"Right. Like that comment makes the image in my head less dirty."
Jilani sighed and turned his attention back to the screen. As they
moved closer, something was definitely happening. For a moment it
looked like appendages were sprouting from the glowing snake, like the
arms on an octopus. Then, suddenly, the arms broke away from the main
body and began rushing towards the shuttle.
"Those look like…."
"Glowing sperm," Nimue provided helpfully, apparently still stuck on
her prior mental image. "Evasive action."
Jilani cleared his throat.
Nimue rolled her eyes. "Fine. Go ahead."
"Evasive action, Mr. Beyla. Science, report?"
"This is the same phenomena we were picking up earlier. The smaller
vessels are…well, they are actually similar to the serpent itself.
Just smaller and less complex. Like…tadpoles."
"Baby snakes?" Beyla asked. "Is that thing multiplying?"
"Or fighters," Ensign Castas noted in rather typical security officer fashion.
"Whatever they are," Jim noted looking up from his science station,
"They are coming right at us."
"Fighters moving to intercept. Commander Sakarra is reminding us to
hold fire until ordered."
Jilani nodded. "Any sign that the…tadpoles are gearing up to fire?"
"No weapon activity, Eltee."
Beside Waqas, Nimue rose to her feet and moved towards the viewscreen,
leaning forward. "Something is wrong."
"We are being attacked by serpent seed? I am aware, Lieutenant."
"No," she insisted, pointing to the screen. "The flight pattern of
the tadpoles. They are all essentially identical in the way they
Dodd looked at her with a frown. "So?"
"The snake's isn't. It wasn't just moving before…it was writhing upon
itself. Like something is wrong. Unless, you know, it had a
different maneuvering system than the tadpoles."
"No." Dodd confirmed. "Looks the same. That is odd."
"Convey that to the Charon," Waqas ordered, "And continue with evasives."
"Surprise them." The Counselor ordered.
"You don't say," Beyla snorted, tapping furiously at the controls.
"They are closing in quickly."
Silence descended upon the shuttle as two of the tadpoles rushed
towards them, circling past the fighters that were nearly surrounded
by the glowing worms.
"No, Beyla. It doesn't move in a straight line. Not Pattern Gamma
C." Nimue snapped, jumping to her feet, "Watch out starboard.
Whatever Nimue was yelling now was drowned out as one of the tadpoles
collided with the Hurst, sending the shuttle into an uncontrolled
spin. Sirens blared, warning of an impact entirely too late. For a
moment there was shouting and smoke and explosions and shock. Then
silence once again, except for the screaming klaxon.
Someone was crying out in pain. It took Waqas a long moment to
realize that Beyla lying on the ground next to him, hold his face in
agony. Nimue had taken the helm. He noticed her previously discarded
jacket had floated onto his leg and was scorched. His suddenly slow
mind then understood that he too was on the ground and that it there
was pain and so much pain and in that pain the world was blending into
smoke and darkness and sounds were fading and Dodd and Castas were
kneeling over him and he could feel as Castas checking his pulse and
as the light finally succumbed to darkness, he heard Castas say to the
"He's dead, Jim."
= End Log =