AOH :: TREK-061.TXT|
TNG: Grey Stars 4
From: email@example.com (Sergey Shimkevich)
Subject: Grey Stars 4
Date: 22 May 92 23:50:30 GMT
Organization: Boston University Chemistry Department
Here's Part 4, sorry it took so long. I'll post the epilogue (plus parts 1-4)
Bridge of the USS Resilient. Vildan is sitting in her chair, looking at the
dial on the right armrest. Janosz and Amu are working at their consoles. Amu
is casting quick glances at Vildan and Janosz now and then.
Vildan (takes a deep breath and looks up): It's about time.
Janosz: Yes, Captain.
Computer voice: Attention all decks! The ship is now on yellow alert. All
personnel report to stations. Repeat, the ship is on yellow alert. All
personnel report to stations.
Vildan: Cevelek to Bekele.
Dwight's voice: Bekele here.
Vildan: Ready, Dwight?
Dwight's voice: We're all set to go, Captain.
Vildan: Very well. I'll be down in a couple of minutes.
Dwight's voice: Yes, ma'am.
Vildan: I will be in the hangar bay. You have the con, Mr. Illy.
Janosz (looks up): Yes, Captain.
Cut to the hangar bay. Several people in engineering overalls are doing final
checks on the engines of the dropship which is now fully assembled with a
strange-looking module attached to the underside of the assault craft. SWAT
troopers are making final adjustments to their orc suits and weapons, assisted
by more Engineering people.
Rena and Kiyoshi are sitting on the left wing of the assault craft, both in
flight suits, their helmets beside them. Rena's helmet is heavily ornamented,
Kiyoshi's is plain white and blue with his name in large letters. Rena is
Rena: Say, Yoshi, are you nervous?
Kiyoshi: Me? No, not really.
Rena: I am, a little bit. This whole thing is so sensitive.
Rena: I mean, everyone has been so worried lately. We seem like the only ones
who don't have to worry about anything.
Kiyoshi: Not this time, I guess. Just drop the SWAT guys off and wait.
Rena: Being a pilot is quite a manic-depressive job, don't you think?
Rena: Really, you fly a short mission, then you vegetate for a month.
Kiyoshi: But we have our training in between the drops.
Rena: Yeah, but it's in the holodeck. Somehow I can never take it for
real. Guess that's because we didn't use those things on our world.
Kiyoshi: Is it for religious reasons? (to himself: Hmm, she never seemed
to like holodeck parties. No dates in the 'deck, either...)
Rena: Not really, they are not forbidden or anything. It is just that people
tend to treat them as illusions and nothing more. There were a couple of
holo-rooms in the city where I lived, and they weren't that expensive, either.
It is just that everybody would think of you as a loser if you go there too
Kiyoshi: Well, they would think the same here, if you do it by yourself. If
you go with other people, it is fine.
Rena: But if you go out with other people, it is for the company, right?
Why need an illusion if you've got company?
Kiyoshi: Why not?
Rena: I don't know. I just think that what you do for fun should be natural.
When it is for training and stuff, it is fine with me, but if I go out with
someone, I don't feel comfortable with an illusion around me.
Kiyoshi: What if you were on a Galaxy-class starship? One of those five-year
Rena: Oh, I wouldn't be on a Galaxy. Not with my background.
Kiyoshi (embarrassed): I am sorry.
Rena: That's OK. (a sly look) Actually...how come YOU are here and not on a
Kiyoshi: Me? I'm not into politics. I was on the flying team in the Academy
and then I got assigned to Environmental Engineering, so I applied for a
(One of the doors opens and Vildan comes in)
Rena (sees Vildan): Briefing time! Let's get down.
Kiyoshi (to himself): How come she's always here and never on the bridge?
(Rena finishes her coffee in one gulp. She and Kiyoshi grab their helmets and
quickly climb down).
The SWAT troopers, Kiyoshi and Rena assemble in a semicircle near the
dropship. Dwight and Vildan approach them.
Dwight: We've put additional reactive armor plates on the orc suits.
Vildan: That would decrease the mobility, wouldn't it?
Dwight: We are more concerned with aiming than with moving. Besides, the whole
thing should be over in twenty seconds. Additional weight or not, doesn't
Vildan: What about the gravity generators?
Dwight: We've ran the calculations, it's within the permissible loads.
Vildan: How permissible?
Dwight: After we eject, we should use up about eighty percent of the suit's
power pack for descent. The remaining twenty percent should be enough for us
to move inside.
Vildan: Too damn small.
Dwight: Working in those suits is always penny-pinching for energy. Especially
when you use a passive storage power unit.
Vildan: We should be getting the specs for the new model any time now. We'll
see how it fares.
Dwight: I wouldn't hold my breath for it, Captain.
Vildan: Me neither.
(Both smile, rather sadly)
Dwight: All right, listen up!
(The team snaps to attention)
Vildan (paces): I will be very short...This is our ninth and most important
assignment. Our record so far has been unblemished. I expect nothing less from
you on this mission. Good luck.
(The team nods in agreement)
Dwight: You heard the captain. Now move!
Rena and Kiyoshi put on their helmets and climb into the cockpit. Then a
strange thing happens - the module opens up, revealing multiple "loading
sites" that resemble missile silos. A trooper in an orc suit gets into the
"silo" which then closes. Dwight is the last one to get in. The module then
Computer voice: All personnel clear the hangar bay. Repeat, all personnel
clear the hangar bay.
The engines of the dropship start emitting a low hum. The lights on the wings
and the belly start to flash. In the cockpit the large instrument panels come
Rena: Storm Flower to bridge. Packed and ready to go.
Janosz' voice: Bridge to Storm Flower. Entering orbit around Gilchres 1 in
five minutes, twenty seconds. Initiating countdown - now.
The main hangar bay doors open, revealing a shining globe of a planet outside.
Cut to the bridge. Vildan is back in her chair.
Navigator: Entering orbit, now.
Vildan: Launch the dropship.
Janosz: Launching the dropship, now.
(Show the dropship clearing the hangar bay doors)
Janosz: Bridge to Storm Flower, do you copy?
Rena's voice: Stormflower to bridge, loud and clear. Proceeding with
Janosz: Go ahead, Storm Flower. Bridge out.
(Inside the cockpit)
Kiyoshi: I always wanted to ask, what is a storm flower?
Rena: Oh, it grows in the mountains on my planet.
Kiyoshi: I see. It must be a symbol of strength among your people.
Rena (laughs): Not really. It smells really nice, that's all.
(Bridge. Amu's console gives out a series of loud beeps)
Amu: Captain! Two vessels approaching at intercept course.
Vildan: What?! (looks down at her console).
Amu (reads from her display): Transponder signal verification coming in
now...the first vessel is a long-range warp-capable shuttlecraft, identified
as Starlight Warrior 2, registry number CV-281063, the second is a
medium-range warp sled, identified as Raindrop, registry number
Janosz: StellarPeace...How on earth did they find out?
Vildan (curses under her breath): Hail them.
Janosz: Hailing frequencies open.
Vildan: This is captain Vildan Cevelek of the Federation starship Resilient.
You have entered a restricted area. Reverse course immediately.
Janosz: They are responding.
Vildan: Let's take a look (to Amu) What's the status of the dropship?
Amu: Should be entering the atmosphere in seven minutes.
(A human male in his early forties appears on the screen.)
Man: I am Hott Sorne of StellarPeace, presently in charge of the goodwill
mission to Gilchres.
Vildan: Mr. Sorne, you must be well aware of the fact that the vessels under
your command have entered a restricted area. To avoid further complications I
suggest that you withdraw immediately.
Sorne: Starfleet having jurisdiction over Gilchresian space? This is news to
me. We have got our permit from the government two months ago which is still
valid. As such, we have the same right to be in this region of space as you
Vildan (smiles): I have this feeling, Mr. Sorne, that your permission is now
being revoked as we speak.
Sorne: Oh, but not yet, Captain, not yet.
Vildan (to Janosz): Proceed with the operation as planned.
Sorne: I don't think so, Captain... We cannot just sit idle while
you assist the repressive Gilchresian government, which has been responsible
for countless sentient rights violations.
Vildan: I am afraid that you will have to do just that, Mr. Sorne.
Sorne: We shall see, Captain.
Amu: Captain! Both vessels accelerating rapidly and changing
course...Raindrop is now on a collision course with the dropship!
Vildan: Change course to intercept. Prepare the tractor beam.
Janosz: Yes, ma'am. (to Rena) Bridge to Storm Flower, bogie on a collision
course, do you copy?
Rena's voice: Storm Flower to bridge, we copy. Doing evasive...now.
(A shot of Raindrop passing dangerously close to the dropship.)
Kiyoshi: He's crazy!
(Rena is cursing in her native language.)
Voices of SWAT troopers on the intercom, all of "what the hell is going on"
kind. Only Dwight is silent (he has a link to subspace communications
between the dropship and the Resilient).
Bridge of the USS Resilient.
Vildan: Cuff them as soon as we reach ETR (Effective Tractor (beam) Range).
Janosz: Yes, ma'am.
Amu: Captain! Starlight Warrior is on collision course!
(The ship's computer executes an evasive maneuver which is not too gentle on
the bridge personnel.)
Vildan (holding on to her chair): How the hell did they get here without being
Amu (doing the same): Probably hiding in some hangars on Gilchres 2. (to
herself) Somebody's head is gonna roll...
Vildan: How much time have we got?
Janosz: Seventeen minutes until they start executing the hostages.
Vildan: Continue on our present course. As soon as they make a second pass,
Janosz: Yes, ma'am.
(View of Starlight Warrior turning around for another pass.)
Vildan: Here they come.
Janosz: Ready...got them.
(A view of Starlight Warrior enveloped in a tractor beam from the USS
Further away, the dropship continues to evade the Raindrop. The SWAT team is
heard cursing loudly in the intercom (Frey is heard the most).
Another close pass.
Kiyoshi: Damn! They are really good. There's no way we can make a descent!
Rena (looks at the panel and gasps): Only fourteen minutes left! (loud) Storm
Flower to bridge. Permission to use weapons.
Janosz's voice: Permission denied! Decelerate and stop, we'll assist you
Rena: It better be fast!!! Storm Flower out.
(On the bridge)
Amu: Captain! Starlight Warrior is trying to break out!
Vildan: There is no way they can (looks at her display) Ohhh!
Amu: They are changing thrust to make the ship oscillate. The structural
integrity of their hull is decreasing rapidly. Estimate collapse in two
Vildan: And we'll get the blame, no doubt...Amu, try to disable their
computers, Mr. Illy, beam in a boarding team.
Amu: It's no use. There is a jamming field around the ship.
Vildan (bites her lip in frustration): Release the tractor beam. Get me
Janosz: Yes, ma'am. Releasing the tractor beam.
Amu: The StellarPeace ships have stopped. The Raindrop is covering the
dropship, the Starlight Warrior is still with us.
Janosz: Incoming message from Gilchres 1.
Vildan: Go ahead.
(President Jhehal appears on the screen.)
Jhehal: Don't worry, Captain. We have foreseen the possibility of such an
eh, incident. Be assured that we have a way of dealing with unwanted
disruptions. Stand by to resume the operation.
Amu: Sensors show two more craft approaching. Both are single ion-engine
fighters, armed with particle beam cannons. No warp, sublight only.
Vildan: Hail the StellarPeace ships.
(Janosz opens hailing frequencies. Hott Sorne appears on the screen.)
Vildan: Well, Mr. Sorne, it appears that your permit to stay in Gilchresian
space is now revoked. These fighters should be enough proof.
Sorne: So you, Captain, are going to observe the murder of Federation citizens
and do nothing? Quite an erosion of your holy Starfleet principles.
Vildan: I just might do that, Mr. Scorne.
Scorne (laughs): Allow me to doubt your words, Captain. You will do exactly
what the regulations require.
(Vildan closes the channel, fuming.)
Janosz: I am afraid he is right, Captain.
Vildan: You don't have to tell me that. Hail the President.
Janosz: Hailing...no response.
Amu: The fighters are now in weapons range from the Starlight Warrior.
Vildan: Move to intercept.
Amu: They are firing.
(We see the first fighter fire its cannon. The shields of the Starlight Warrior
glow, trying to absorb the energy. The second fighter fires. The
Starlight Warrior explodes in a blinding flash.)
Amu: The fighters are changing course for the Raindrop.
Janosz: We have seven minutes left, Captain.
Vildan: Change course to intercept the Raindrop. Ready the tractor beam.
We'll hold them long enough for the dropship to enter the atmosphere.
Amu: The Raindrop is a warp sled. May blow up if we 'cuff them.
Vildan (snaps): I am aware of that, Leutenant. (to Janosz) Contact the fighter
Janosz: They are ignoring our messages.
Vildan: Fire a warning shot.
Janosz: Firing phaser three.
(A bright beam passes across the bow of the first Gilchresian fighter.)
Amu: They are ignoring it, Captain. Still on the same course.
Janosz: It seems that our choices are rather limited, Captain.
Vildan:.....Mr. Illy....target the drive system of the Raindrop. Make it as
low power as you can. Fire when the fighters enter the weapons range... I take
Janosz (takes a deep breath): As you say, Captain.
(In the cockpit Rena is working feverishly on the console. A small screen is
showing the silhouette of the Raindrop. The picture then goes out, replaced by
the usual status readout. Rena re-activates the engines. The dropship starts
to move - away from the planet and towards the Raindrop.)
Rena: Storm Flower to Gilchresian fighters. Leave the StellarPeace ship to us.
(Closeup of Rena's hand activating the main disruptor guns)
Kiyoshi (to himself): She's freaked out...must be the stress...shit...have to
be calm...don't do anything rash...(to Rena) It's OK, Rena. Just calm down.
Rena: Shut up and disengage the module!
Kiyoshi: A-a-all right, wh-whatever you say.
(several warning lights begin flashing)
Janosz's voice: Bridge to Storm Flower! Abort immediately! I repeat, abort
("WHAT THE BLOODY HELL" howls from the SWAT team in the module.)
(On the bridge)
Vildan: Leutenant, ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND?!
Amu: The dropship is energizing main disruptors...they are disengaging the
Vildan (completely wide-eyed): This doesn't make sense...Unless...
(A twinkle in Amu's left eye.)
(A view of the two Gilchresian fighters closing on the Raindrop.)
Rena: I TOLD YOU, THIS IS MY KILL!!! OUT OF THE WAY!!! GET LOST!!!
Gilchresian pilot 1 (irritated): Crazy humans. Zero-one-seven, disengage.
(He and his wingman veer off.
A view of the assault craft, sleek and deadly, closing on the Raindrop.)
Rena: Yoshi, activate the docking grapplers!
Kiyoshi: What?? You don't mean to...
Rena: YES, I DO! NOW!
(Inside the Raindrop)
Young woman at the helm: Hott, the dropship is locking disruptors!
Sorne (with a smirk): Looks like one of their colonial pilots has freaked out.
(He looks triumphant and not afraid in the slightest.)
Woman at the helm (terrified): They are firing! (Closes her eyes and screams)
(The assault craft is almost on top of the StellarPeace ship, when its
disruptors release two bolts of green energy...which pass right above the hull
of the Raindrop. The assault craft then brakes rapidly and connects with the
warp sled. A close-up of the grapplers adjusting to the ports on the hull of
the StellarPeace ship.
Inside, the crew is shaken around as the gravity compensators are trying to
dissipate the energy of the impact.)
Rena: Yoshi, scramble their computers! Only five minutes left!
Kiyoshi: I am trying!
(Inside the Raindrop, Hott Sorne is furious at having his martyrdom taken away
Somebody from the back of the ship: Hott, what's going on?
Sorne (shouting at the woman at the helm): Engage the anti-boarding programs!
Woman at the helm (her hands are visibly shaking): Ah, ah, me...
Scorne: Get out! (pushes her away and starts working himself) Damn!!!
(Rena's face appears on the screen.)
Rena (makes a face at Sorne): Guess you boys and girls are gonna stay here for
a while...Oh, and you'll LOVE the new brig on our ship...See you there!
(Bridge of the USS Resilient.)
Vildan (not sure whether she should be angry or happy): Fwooh!
Janosz (he regained his composure rather quickly): Bridge to Storm Flower.
Re-attach the module and proceed with the operation as planned.
Rena's voice: Roger!
(Cut to Amu - she is beaming.
View of the dropship reconnecting with the module.)
Rena: OH, NO! THREE MINUTES LEFT!
Kiyoshi: We'll have to do a high-speed descent.
Rena: High-speed descent...now! YAAAAA!!!!!
(The dropship plummets down into the atmosphere.)
SWAT Team: AAAAAA!!!!
(Inside the building where the terrorists are holding hostages. Five of them
are covering the group of people in the middle of the room with their guns,
two are standing in front of a large viewscreen on the wall, their guns
pointed at two hostages - one male, one female.)
Gilchresian official on the screen: We are working on your demands. We need
Terrorist 1: You've had sufficient time. I need the answer in sixty seconds.
(The conversation is being monitored both on the bridge of the Resilient and
the (rather lavish) office of President Jhehal. Important-looking Gilchresians
in suits and military-style uniforms are in the office as well. Vildan's face
is on the screen on top of Jhehal's desk.)
Vildan: Mr. President, the assault team will be down there in three minutes.
Jhehal: We don't have three minutes, Captain.
Vildan: Agree to their demands. That should buy us time.
(Several Gilchresians in the room nod in agreement.)
Jhehal: With all due respect, Captain, I cannot do that. As a member of the
ruling family, I cannot break a promise made in public, even when dealing with
this kind of scum.
(A view of the dropship cutting through the clouds like a red meteor. The
instrument panels are ablaze with warning lights.)
Kiyoshi: Surface temperature 2000 degrees! All systems in the red!
Rena: Hold on, please, hold on...
(The clouds part, revealing a sprawling megalopolis below.)
Rena: Release in ten seconds and counting.
Dwight: We're ready.
Frey: Don't worry. Can't wait to get out of here.
(Lightning begins to dance over the left engine of the dropship.)
Kiyoshi: Damn! We're losing the starboard engine!
Rena: Release, NOW!
(The module opens up. Then twelve cylindrical packets shoot out in all
directions. Viewed from above, they look like lines spreading radially from
the center that is the dropship. After reaching a certain distance the
cylinders open up, releasing a SWAT trooper in an orc suit. A closeup of
Dwight's orc suit - the anti-grav unit on the back is activated, slowing down
his fall. The troopers fall down and disappear from view.
The left engine of the dropship begins trailing smoke (or is it plasma - hard
(Cut to the room where the hostages are held.)
Terrorist 1: Your time is up. Let it be known that we hold you and the
government that you represent responsible for harm that will befall the
Official on the screen (sneers): ...His Excellency President Jhehal will now
inform you of his decision.
Terrorist 2 (jubilant): We've won, Ash'hen! (raises his gun)
Terrorist 1 (not impressed): Very well. I shall give him thirty seconds to
hear what he has to say.
(President Jhehal appears on the screen.)
Jhehal: We have reviewed your demands, Ash'hen.
Terrorist 1: I am glad to hear that, Mr. President.
Jhehal: It appears that indeed, there are some grievances expressed by our
citizens on Gilchres Minor, that have to be addressed.
(A jubilant look on the faces of all terrorists except Ash'hen.)
(Cut to the dropship above the city, trailing smoke. Rena is struggling with
the controls, trying to get more altitude.)
Kiyoshi: It is no use! The engine's gonna blow up!
Rena: We have to get it away from the city!
Kiyoshi: No time! I'll get it as far up as it can and self-destruct! You
Rena: No, you eject!
Kiyoshi: It's enough heroics for you in one day!
Rena: Envious, aren't we?
(The dropship begins to shake violently.)
Kiyoshi: We've lost both engines! Setting the self-destruct!
Rena: Let's get out of here!
(They both eject. Moments later there is a blinding flash as the ship
(Back to the room where the hostages are held.)
Jhehal: ...and to increase the understanding taking into consideration the
cultural differences that have developed since the establishment of Gilchres
Terrorist 1 (raises his gun): It has been highly entertaining, Mr. President.
However, if we wanted to listen to your speeches, we would have stayed home
and watched TV. I need an answer - yes or no.
Jhehal's wife (hartred in her eyes): How can you even talk to this scum! You
must not agree to what they have the insolence to demand!
Jhehal: I do not intend to, Jhiria. I...am...sorry.
Terrorist 1: I guess this is a "no".
(A loud explosion shakes the entire building [this is the dropship], knocking
everyone but three of the terrorists down. The next instant the SWAT troopers
come crashing through the walls and the windows. The terrorists try to get up
- rather stupid on their part.)
Dwight (through the universal translator in his suit): Everybody keep, er,
(The room is criss-crossed by phaser beams. Several shots are heard. Two of
the three cyborg terrorists go down. One of the troopers shoots at the third.
The phaser beam hits the terrorist - then sizzles harmlessly against a
transparent screen that suddenly appears around the cyborg's body. The
terrorist shoots back. The beam hits the trooper, sending discharges across
the surface of the suit. The reactive armor plates glow red and then
disintegrate with a bright flash.)
Trooper (Mesa): AAARGH!
(Dwight whirls around and fires his projectile gun manually. The bullets hit
the cyborg, which staggers and drops to the floor.)
Dwight (looks around, sees that all terrorists have been stunned): You OK,
Mesa: The goddamn suit is sizzlin'! Shit! Owww! F***ing piece of shit!
(Two of the troopers rush over and are trying to get Mesa out of his suit.)
Dwight: Bekele to Resilient. All hostages are safe.
Vildan's voice (rather tense): Losses?
Vildan (show the bridge): Excelent, Mr. Bekele. (to Janosz) Cancel red alert.
(to Jhehal) It is over, Mr. President.
Jhehal (bows): The people of Gilchres are indebted to you, Captain Cevelek.
We'll contact you as soon as we are ready to bestow the appropriate honors
upon the valiant crew under your command. My Secretary of State will be
beaming on board your ship to make all necessary arrangements.
Vildan: Very well, Mr. President.
Dwight's voice: That explosion...was it the dropship?
Dwight: Did they make it?
Vildan: According to our sensors they ejected five seconds before it blew up.
It's a city down there, we can't single out any life-signs.
Dwight: Their transponders?
Dwight (unsure): Could be shorted out by the blast.
Amu (she is slumped in her seat): Y-yes, that's what probably happened.
Vildan: The President has promised to mobilize everybody to look for them.
Dwight: Let's hope for them. Bekele out.
Amu: Captain! Permission to beam down and assist in the search!
Vildan (looks at her): I guess we'll manage here. Granted.
Amu: THANK YOU, CAPTAIN! (Rushes off the bridge into the turbolift).
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