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Test Time IV

Posted on Wed Nov 15th, 2023 @ 2:31pm by Lieutenant Kevin Lance

Mission: The Q Effect
Location: S’Tokkr Alpha Three
Timeline: Three Days Ago

{S’Tokkr Alpha Three}

Kevin and Faline approached to within five meters of the Romulans before one of them called out, “Halt!”

Faline stopped. Kevin did likewise.

The Romulans held their weapons aim at the two. “You aren’t permitted here, Fawuine,” one of them shouted.

“Fawuine?” Kevin asked.

“The name of my species,” Faline explained, then louder to the Romulans, “We are not here by choice.”

“It is death for you to be on this planet,” the Romulan pronounced.

“It would have been death to remain in space,” Faline countered.

“You shall be taken into custody pending your eventual execution,” the Romulan continued.

“Without a trial?”

“Romulan Law is clear as is your violation of our sovereign territory,”

Faline spread her fore hooves in a gesture of being unarmed. “Do as you will.”

The Romulans took closer aim on Faline as their leader advanced on her.

“What if she is under the protection of the Federation?” Kevin asked in a tone more urgent than he had intended.

The Romulan leader stopped and lowered his weapon slightly. “What?” he asked incredulously.

Kevin turned to Faline. “As a duly appointed representative of the United Federation of Planets, I offer you and your family sanctuary. Do you accept?” He was certain that he lacked the authority to do so but it was the only way he could protect Faline and her family from five armed Romulans.

Faline cocked her head to one side as she considered Kevin’s offer. “You are granting the protection of your herd? Why?”

Kevin shrugged, “Violence is not our way, either.”

“Then, I accept.”

“What by all that his holy is Starfleet doing out here in Romulan territory?” the Romulan leader asked and training his weapon on Kevin and Faline.

“Protecting the innocent,” Kevin bluffed, “and you would be well advised to consider how much damage a diplomatic incident would do to the Federation aid that your people are now so dependent on.

Before the Romulan could respond another tremor struck knocking the entire party from their feet. A large crack opened beneath the Romulans, swallowing all five, and continued to rend the ground in the direction of Kevin. He desperately rolled away from the crack only to see Faline fall into the spreading crevice.

As the tremor subsided, Kevin scrambled to the edge of the opening in the ground, searching for Faline. She had been able to wedge her lower hooves and back against opposite sides of the crevice. Kevin reached out a hand but she was too far away.

Buckner thunder up beside Kevin screaming Faline’s name. He too was unable to reach her but even if he could, his hooves lacked the ability to grasp his mate. The opening in the ground was not large enough for Buckner to get his antlers in but was plenty wide for Kevin.

“Get a rope or cable,” Kevin ordered, “I will climb down to Faline and we can lift her out.”

Buckner shouted orders back to the ship as Kevin lowered himself into the crevice. The space was tight but he was able to quickly reach Faline. Another tremor stuck and the ground shifted again. Faline lost her footing and started to fall but Kevin was able to grab her by the arm before she disappeared in to the darkness below.

“I’ve got you!” Kevin shouted as he pulled Faline up. It took every ounce of strength that he could muster, even with Faline using her lower hooves to climb with, to pull her up but they were still both two meters down in the fissure. And the shifting ground from the continuing tremors made the attempt that much more difficult.

It seemed an eternity of effort before Buckner returned and began lowering a rope. Faline was now almost even with Kevin and he was able to brace himself enough to get the rope around her without either of them falling deeper into the precipice. He was finally able to secure a knot with one hand and shouted for Buckner to being hauling.

The rope went taunt and Faline began to rise. Kevin assisted the effort by pushing from beneath as Faline was pulled up the last couple of meters and out of the fissure.

Then Kevin began climbing himself but before he could make much progress, a strong tremor began to close the opening in the ground and Kevin could feel the pressure from the dirt and rocks as the sides pressed in on him. He desperately pulled upwards, every muscle in his body screaming in pain from both the effort and the pressure, but was only able to just touch the edge of the crevice with his outstretched arm before the ground completely closed in on him.

He closed his eyes and screamed in pain as the world went dark around him.

Then the pressure was gone.

He was still screaming when he opened his eyes. He was back aboard the Bird of Prey.

Kevin Lance
Chief Flight Control Officer
USS Chuck Norris


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