OK, I had a little time today and decided to rewrite Chapter 13. I didn't really like where the story was going and decided to adjust and make the plot changes necessary to continue the story forward. You all know how much I despise plot holes.
Please overlook writing errors. This is being written directly as it pours out the brain with little time for revisions and corrections. My goal is just to get the basic story written. It can be polished later.
Also, If you haven't read the first 12 chapters, or need to reread Ch. 12 so you can remember what's happening in the story then here are the links to all the Chapters in the Story.
The Index to "The Enemy From the Dark". A New Space Center Story. The Continuation of "The Children of Perikoi".
Ch. 1 Ch. 2 Ch. 3 Ch. 4 Ch. 5 Ch. 6 Ch. 7 Ch. 8 Ch. 9 Ch. 10 Ch. 11 Ch. 12
The alien continued to struggle for several more seconds until Carick's choke hold robbed him of consciousness. Carick cautiously loosened his grip. The alien began breathing. Carick's heart rate slowed; his fight or flight reflex abated. He had time to think. "Perokoi?" Carick repeated the word the alien muttered just before passing out. "Are you a Perikoi?" he muttered into the alien's ear. Their faces were pressed firmly against each other. The question was asked without the expectation of an answer. Carick examined his captive's face. He knew the Perikoi had strong nordic features from his studies at the CTA. The looks of the young man in his arms perfectly matched the pictures he had seen. Then he noticed the smell. Perikoi perspiration had a slight sandalwood scent. That would explain the musty, somewhat spicy smell. Carick's arms grew tired from holding the dead weight of the Perikoi boy in his arms while positioned somewhat precariously on the ladder. Pushing forward, he repositioned the young man squarely between his body and the ladder. One mistake and they both would find themselves in free fall - meeting certain death at the bottom of the turboshaft. The Perikoi looked to be Carick's age. He had thick blond hair which fell in curls around his face. His fair skin and narrow nose gave him that typical northern European appearance. He was wearing a black form fitting shirt with what appeared to be yellow rank markings on both shoulders. Yellow stripes ran down the outside legs of his blue pants. He wore a gray belt with a utility attachment. Carick thought the attachment might contain a weapon. What appeared to b a communication device was attached in his left ear.
Carick was in a predicament. He couldn't continue down the turboshaft while holding the Perikoi. It was too dangerous. His only remaining option was to open the lift door the Perikoi had come out of and take his chances on deck 12. Common sense told him the hallway had to be clear. Anyone with the Perikoi would have followed him into the shaft.
Carick thought for a moment before speaking, “Hey,” his voice was barely audible. There was no response. The teen’s chest moved up and down in rhythmic breathing. Carick was relieved. He leaned over as far as he could to push the button to open the turbolift doors. His reach was two inches too short. He tried again. His foot slipped. He lost his balance. Both hands instinctively grabbed for the ladder. The Perikoi slipped from his grasp and started to fall. Carick reached out - taking his arm at the last possible second. Carick was in a situation. He had one hand on the ladder and the other holding someone his size's dead weight. The Perikoi's shirt was too slippery. Carick was loosing his grip. He had idea left. With every ounce of muscle he could muster, Carick kicked at the button with his free foot. The door opened. He swung the teen back and forth a few time to build momentum before releasing the Perikoi into the doorway. The teen's body landed half in the door and half out, his legs hanging periously out into the shaft. Carick jumped into the hallway and pulled the boy after him The doors closed. The Perikoi was slowing coming around. Looking around at his surroundings, Carick recognized where he was - Deck 12, Officer's Quarters. He opened the nearest door by entering his override command code and pulled the Perikoi in. There was nothing in site to use as a rope so he took off his shirt. Using it as a rope, he tied the teen's hands behind his back and layed him flat, stomach down, on the floor. He knew the knot wouldn't hold. Thinking that talking might be his best recourse, Carick searched the nearby desk for a PAD. Finding one in the top drawer, he activated the device just as the teen regained full consciouness and started to struggle with the knot while shouted in the Perokoi Temple Language. Carick scanned the PAD's applications. Finding what he was looking for, his pushed the load button and began speaking.
"My name is Carick. We are not enemies. We are friends with the Perikoi." Realizing what he would do if put in a similar situation, Carick hesitated to get close to let the young man. “We are friends with the Perikoi,” Carick repeated himself. The teen stopped struggling against the loosening knot and laid motionless.
Carick needed to tighten the knot. He moved one foot into the boy’s strike zone. He readied his other foot to kick at the boy’s head if needed. There was no response. Carick was convinced the teen was unconscious, besides he had a ship to retake and couldn’t spare the delay. He crouched next to the teen. and tighten the knot. Remembering the utility pouch the teen wore on his waist and the comm device in the teen's left ear, Carick reached into the pouch and took what appeared to be a scanning device. The teen was unarmed. The comm device wouldn't budge. It seemed to be surgically attached to the Perikoi's head. Carick thought that was odd. Carick quickly moved away.
The PAD stood at the ready, the universal translator was active and waited for someone to speak. "Your assistant speaks the common tongue," The Perikoi spoke, the PAD translated, first in a computer voice, then in the teen's own voice once the app mastered his vocal tract. "You look Perikoi but too dark. What language are you speaking?"
Carick worried about the communication device on his captive's ear. "Is that a communication device on your ear? How do I disable it if it is?"
"You can not. It is attached to my skull with wires of power running into my brain. The Gods use it to control and punish us."
"Can the Gods hear us speak?"
"If they wish it. My task was not of great importance so I do not think they listen." The PAD struggled for a few of the words, but overall was doing a good job." The Perikoi cleared his throat. "Who are you and how do you know the common tongue?"
Carick told the Perikoi about the USS Copernicus and the science teams that lived on the planet. The teen remembered the strangers who taught the forbidden subject of science. Carick explained the Federation's Prime Directive of non interference in developing civilizations and why the Copernicus called for help as the Choosing approached. He told the story of the Voyager's arrival and the battle with the Gods to stop them from taking Perikoi children. He told the teen about the Anouway surprise attack on Earth for revenge and the story of how his cadets got into the starship and escaped, only to find themselves in enemy territory. "We need to go home and help defend our planet," Carick finished. Neither of the young men spoke. The silence was broken by a beep from the Perikoi's earpiece. Carick jumped to his feet just as the teen responded.
"28947 continuing the search. No results. Will continue on your orders." The PAD spoke in English. The teen was speaking a different language. Carick looked at the screen. 'Perikoi Temple Language' was flashing in the 'Translate From' box. The Perikoi didn't report him.
"I will help you go home," the young man spoke in the common tongue. "Untie me."
December 23, 2321
Thousands of fires, and an atmosphere filling with smoke, was visible to everyone in the McAuliffe Station’s Sick Bay as they gazed out the transparent aluminum windows onto the planet below. Each light was a burning city, the result from the surprise attach launched on Earth the day before by the Gods of Perikoi. The station survived but was completely inoperable. The planet’s defenses, with the help of several starships, successfully repelled the alien attack.
An alien voice was heard on all frequencies as the enemy ships retreated, “We are the Anouway. You trespassed into our space. You interfered in our affairs and destroyed one of our ships. What happened here is only the beginning.”
The Anouway ships retreated in normal space, not using the artificial wormholes used to reach Earth the day before. Starfleet Command sent scout vessels to track them. The USS Lexington attack group was recalled to Earth. All other fleets were ordered to stay on high alert and return to their nearest Starbases. If the Anouway’s parting words were to be believed, the Federation needed to be ready to defend its military installations.
Every bed and all available floor space in the McAuliffe Station’s Sick Bay was occupied. Anyone with medical training tended to the wounded. Sending them planet side was out of the question. Earth’s hospitals were overrun with casualties; besides, the station’s transporters were off line and located in an unreachable section of the station.
There was a small gathering of CTA instructors in one corner of the large room huddled around two of their own. Lt. Perry and Captain Young sat on the floor with their backs against the wall. They were triaged to the far end of the room. Their injuries weren’t life threatening. The pair could wait until those with more serious injuries could be attended to.
“I thought I’d never get out of that turbolift,” Lt. Perry said. “The smoke about did me in.”
“I was pinned down in a hall. I couldn't even move,” Captain Young replied. “Let's go over again what happened to the cadets and my ship," the captain said, wanting to change the subject to things more pertinent to their situation.
Lt. Stacy Carrol looked into the faces of her fellow instructors. Each seemed lost in the memory of the Voyager, disappearing through a wormhole, in a barrage of torpedo fire, taking with it the lives of their cadets. Stacy cleared her throat. “Sir, the cadets made it to the ship. The boarding platform was unstable, we were out of time and a decision had to be made, we couldn't wait for you. We had to get the ship and the cadets out of the station. They got into the ship as the torque on the loading platform went critical. It automatically disconnected. We couldn’t follow so we ordered them to launch and get away as far as possible." The Lieutenant looked around to see if anyone else wanted to finish the story for her. There was silence. She continued. "They got away and did a great job using the ship's maneuverability and weapon. There were too many enemy ships. Carick did what he had to do. He saw the wormhole open and made his move. Its obvious he wanted to use the wormhole to escape. There was a large explosion just as the ship crossed the even horizon. So, they either died as they entered, or they escaped into enemy space. Meaning they could either be dead, captured, or alive and trying to find their way home. That’s what we know.”
Commander Daymont spoke next, having quietly joined the group as the Lieutenant told the Voyager's story.
“I’ve got news. I just came back from Emergency Command. They're sure the Anouway are preparing for another attack.”
“Where?” Captain Young asked.
“We don't know. They're off our sensors. Their last course was toward Jupiter. Command is trying to get the monitoring network up as soon as possible."
“Our nearest fleet is five days away. That leaves us with four surviving Starships. Command wants to find their fleet and attack before they can finish repairs or get reinforcements. They're looking for crews to man the starships.
Lt. Perry struggled to her feet. “Well, what are we waiting for? Let's go."
The Ordinary, made Extraordinary