Sunday, December 22, 2013
An Enemy From the Dark. Ch. 14.
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 Ch. 13
"You believe what I told you?" Carick asked the Perokoi. He doubted his captive's honesty.
"You say things that make sense," the PAD translated the teen's common tongue,"things I remember from my home. I remember the strangers who taught science. I spoke to them many times before the Choosing. I always wondered where they came from. What you say seems right which is why I believe you."
Carick felt it was time to build some trust with his prisoner. "My name is Carick. What's yours?"
"My Perikoi name is Oofala. In the God's service I am 31, a Pathfinder."
"A Pathfinder? What does that mean?"
"I find the pathways for the Gods to travel."
Carick thought for a moment to try to find a correlation in English. "We call them navigators," he replied. "So what do you want me to call you?"
"Call me 31."
Carick frowned. "I'm not calling you 31, and I'll probably butcher your Perokoi name. Alright if I just call you Max for now?"
Max nodded. "If you wish." There was a pause in the conversation, just long enough for a feeling of trust to plant itself in the room. "Carick, you say your navigators open the rivers through space."
Carick nodded. "We do, if you mean they're able to plot a course from star to star."
"Do you have the gift?"
"I've had the basic training for navigation. I can plot a course as long as I've got a computer to help with the calculations."
Max closed his eyes. The room went quiet. The lights dimmed. Papers rustled on the desk. Carick jumped up. "What was that?" he said as he drew his weapon. Max opened his eyes. The room brightened.
"My Commander will be calling soon." Max changed the subject to divert attention from the test he'd just given to determine Carick's skills.
"Did you notice that power drop?" Carick wanted a confirmation that Max had seen it too.
"Carick, my commander will be calling If I don't check in right now."
"Is that thing attached to your ear a communication device?"
Carick took a stop closer to the Peroikoi. His weapon still drawn and set to stun. He examined the communication device attached to the young man's ear. "I'm going to take it, just as a precaution. I'm not going to let you call your commander until I know for sure I can trust you."
"Removing the Controller will kill me." The teen's expression was serious. "It can't be removed without medical devices."
Carick stopped. "What do you mean?"
"All Perikoi have a Controller wired into their brain. The Gods use them to monitor and control our abilities. They can use the Controller to talk to us, punish us or kill us. They'll know if someone is tampering with the device."
Carick was curious. "So this Controller would have to be surgically removed?"
"The electrodes are wired into the brain. If someone tampers with it without permission, the electrodes will fire. I've seen it before. You drop to the floor shaking - you pass out, and could die." The teen paused to consider the time. "I've been in this room too long. They will call soon and want to know why I've not completed my task. I'll be punished if they think I'm lying."
Carick wondered if the Voyager's sick bay was properly equipped to remove something as embedded as a Controller.
"One shock and I'm disabled for a period of time. They'll come for me." Max laid motionless and watched Carick. "It is your choice. Let me go and I'll help you."
Carick considered his options. A wrong choice could cost Carick his ship and crew. On the other hand, things couldn't get much worse. He wasn't in control of his ship or crew. His ship was overrun by aliens and too damaged to escape without repairs. He desperately needed an ally.
"I'll be back," Carick turned to leave the room. "We have med scanners that will let me see inside your head. You go free if your story checks out." Carick knew he was taking a calculated risk by leaving the Perikoi unattended. Would the teen be there when he got back? Would he return and find he'd been turned in? Carick decided to take his chances and trust the Perikoi. He walked out of the room.
The hallway leading to the turbolift and MedKit was on emergency lighting. Carick moved cautiously down one hallway, then a left turn and down another before taking a sharp right to the Turbolift. Next to the lift was a one foot by one foot wall compartment marked with a bright red cross. He opened it, reached in and removed a hand held medical scanner. Carick tested the scanner to see if it worked before turning back. He cautiously advanced down the hallway, looking and listening for any sign of intruders. Turning the last corner, he looked down the hallway toward the room where his prisoner was held. There was nothing but quiet. As far as he could tell, Max hadn't escaped, or if he had, he hadn't called for back up. Carick approached the door, crouched down, drew his weapon, and waited for the Perikoi to make a move. The weapon was set to stun. Minutes passed. "He's gotta be free by now," Carick thought. The knot holding the Perokoi wasn't his best and was tied in a hurry. Another minute passed - still no movement. Carick stood, readied his weapon and reached for the door's control panel. He pushed 'open'. The door opened.
A dark constricting force immediately paralyzed Carick's body, freezing him still in the doorway. Max had escaped his knot and was sitting on the bed in the corner of the room. He had one hand resting in his lap and the other stretched out in Carick's direction. An electronic device bridged Max's outstretched hand, stretching from the palm to the back of Max's hand near the thumb. The teen's eyes were closed as if he were asleep.
Carick's fight or flight response strained against the mysterious force holding him in place. He struggled for a minute, then calmed once he realized his struggling was pointless. "Max, what are you doing?" he thought, unable to move his lips.
"You were going to kill me," Carick heard him speak. The Perikoi opened his eyes and moved his hand ever so slightly. Carick regained control of his mouth and tongue.
"I went to get a medical scanner to look at the Controller. I waited outside the door to see if you'd try to escape. I had to know whether or not I could trust you."
"Your weapon is pointing at me. You were going to kill me." Max's voice was soft and unemotional.
"Only if you were waiting to kill me." Carick confessed. Something invisible to Carick took his phaser out of his hand. The weapon moved effortless through the air, coming to rest on the bed beside the teen.
"How did you do that?" Carick gasped, running short on breath.
"Captain, I want to help you if you will help me."
"How can I help you?"
"Can you removed the Controller?"
"I don't know, but I'm willing to try if that's what you want, but you've got to let me go."
"Free me from the Controller and I'll find a way to free your crew and send you home."
"It's a deal." Carick felt he could trust this young man with an unusual and frightening power.
"Then it is so." The teen lowered his hand. Carick felt the paralysis leave his body. He rubbed his arms to restore normal circulation.
"Did you do all of this with that thing on your hand?" Carick asked as he stepped far enough into the room to let the automatic doors slide closed behind him."
Max jumped to his feet and walked toward the door. "We don't have time right now. Is that the medical device?" he said pointing to the med scanner.
"Can you remove the Controller?"
"Let's see it first." Carick turned the scanner on and held it near the Controller. The screen captured every detail of Max's brain in false color to highlight foreign objects. Several very small wire filaments stretched from the Controller, through Max's ear and into his brain. "It'll take surgery to remove this," Carick replied. "I'm sure our sick bay could do the job, but I'm not a doctor and you're not a human."
"Is your doctor being held with the rest of your crew?"
"No, we left without a doctor. I have a medic in the shuttlebay who might be able to help.
"That may be impossible."
"Our only other option is to use the medbots and let them do the surgery."
"Robotic medics." Carick stopped his explanation. He thought he heard a faint beeping sound coming from the Controller.
"31," Max responded, stepping away. Carick watched the teen's face for any sign of betrayal. "Understood, "Max answered. "I neglected my check in. I'm prepared for punishment." Max sat down and braced himself. There was fear in his eyes. "Proceed." A second later he grabbed his ear and rolled to his side shaking in pain. Carick felt a sadness for his new friend. It was his fault Max was being punished. Carick sat down and put his arm around him. A tear dripped from Max's chin as they rocked back and forth together.
"They're coming for me," Max struggled to form the words around the pain.
"I'm sorry," Carick whispered. Max squeezed his arm tightly before passing out.