By George “chooch99” Silsby
Captain’s log, stardate 48876.43, Starfinder has answered a distress signal from an alien starship while exploring an uncharted sector of the Outback.
“Report Commander Vai.” The captain looked to his first officer as the female Romulan scrolled through a data pad.
“The ship is cataloged in the Mayon database as belonging to a race called the “Morasti”. she reported. “They are humanoids and part of a theocratic government called the “Divinity of Truth”.
Captain A.N.N. D raised a holographic brow as he looked at the view screen and the Morasti ship came in sight. It was sleek and about the size of an Intrepid class starship.
“Scanning the ship.” Tactical officer JJ reported. “She’s been damaged in what appears to be combat with another ship. her engines are heavily damaged, she has shields raised and weapons are powered down.”
“Hail them.” The captain ordered. JJ nodded and the screen soon showed an alien humanoid, reddish skin with horns almost like an Earth goat. He had yellow eyes and wore a black uniform that was adorned with various symbols.
“This is Captain ANN D of the Federation starship Starfinder”.
The alien gave a sort of sitting bow with his head. “I am Seeker Captain Leemor, commander of the Truth Bringer.”
The bridge crew began giving each other looks as they all had the unspoken feelings of these aliens being very much part of a very zealous religion. Though they are trained not to pre judge, it was hard not to draw this early conclusion.
“We intercepted your distress call. We offer assistance if it is still needed.”
The alien nodded. “We were attacked by Vorlords. They boarded our ship and dismantled key engine components for salvage before we repelled them.”
ANN D nodded as he knew all too well what the Vorlords do. “I am familiar with them. I can have a team of my engineers beam over and see what we can do to get your engines online again.”
The alien looked at one other officer on his bridge and back before replying.
“Our ships are sacred to us Captain. They are moving temples. In order to allow outsiders to come aboard, we need you to agree to allow us to indoctrinate them to our “truth”.
ANN D looked at Commander Vai who looked concerned. “What would this…”indoctrination” involve? He asked.
“Merely a formality that involves taking an oath that the “truth” will be their salvation.”
ANN D was an A.I. that had the combined memories and experiences of several captains incorporated into his matrix. He drew upon his instincts. If a mere formality of respecting these alien’s religious customs would suffice, he saw no harm.
“We will respect and recognize your customs. I will have Commander Stark and his engineering team ready to beam over within the hour.”
Starfinder was parked a few hundred kilometers from the alien ship for the next several hours, waiting for Stark and his men to finish helping the aliens.
Commander Vaihuu walked onto the bridge looking very distraught. “Something wrong Commander?” the captain inquired. “Stark’s team failed to update us on two scheduled check ins. When I tried to communicate with them, there was no response.”
ANN D stood up. “Open a channel with the Morasti commander JJ.” “Aye sir”. JJ replied as he tapped buttons. The screen soon had the commander in view.
“Is there a problem Captain ANN D?” he asked. “Communications with our people seem to have been cut off.” ANN D stated. “You mind explaining why?”
The Morasti commander folded his fingers together calmly with his two hands as he spoke. “You agreed to allow indoctrination. It…can take time. And they are in no position to communicate until it is complete.”
ANN D and Vaihuu shot looks at one another. “I want to speak to Commander Stark. This is not a request.”
The alien commander looked offended. “My people are servants of the TRUTH, Captain ANN D. We live and die for the truth. We never lie. In fact, we are implanted with bio organic devices in our brains that make it impossible to tell anything but the absolute truth, and answer any questions asked with truth.”
ANN D looked back at JJ and mouthed quietly “have weapons on standby.” JJ nodded.
ANN D turned back and calmly looked at the Morasti commander. “If you are compelled to answer truthfully, then answer this: what exactly is happening to my people?”
The alien sighed and nodded and his face clearly showed he was trying to censor himself but failing.
“Our mission is to convert and enlighten all life across the universe to the truth.” he said.
“They are being prepped for surgery that will gift them with bio compliance devices like ours. The truth will become all they are, all they seek. Then we will encourage them to spread the truth to you and your crew.”
Vaihuu glared at him. She could not sit quietly, she had little patience for fanatics.
“Your actions are considered unwelcome and hostile. You risk starting a war with both the Federation and our allies in this region of space, the Klingon Empire.”
Seeker captain Leemor seemed to be surprised at her words. “From our point of view, we are not taking hostile actions, we are fulfilling a holy mission and spreading truth to all beings who have yet to discover it.”
“Using force.” ANN D interjected. “Where we come from, history has shown on every world whenever any belief is forced upon others, it only causes war and chaos. You cannot expect any other race to simply agree and comply to your radical behavior.”
Leemor shook his head. “Of course not. We have been forced to build a strong military fleet to enforce our mission when resistance is encountered. But we never desire conflict. It is written the path to the truth starts in blood, but ends in harmony.”
ANN D shook his head now. “I don’t have time for debating with a lunatic people. Tell me the shield modulation you are using right now. The Truth.”
Vaihuu looked back at JJ and JJ smiled and winked; the captain was good. Very very good. He knew where this was going.
Leemor nodded as he looked at a screen. “The modulation is 65432 point 577214.”
ANN D looked over his shoulder to JJ. JJ smiled as he tapped buttons on his tactical station. “matching shield frequency and locking transporter on the away team. They’re beaming home now.”
“And please disable their weapons and engines for me JJ, just because i’m really pissed off right now.”
JJ nodded and fired Starfinder’s phaser banks rapidly, penetrating the Morasti ship’s shields with the modulation frequency and taking out the alien ship’s tetryon weapon banks and engines (well, more disabling them than they already were).
Leemor was visibly furious. ‘YOU DARE? You have brought the wrath of the divine church upon your people!”
ANN D, JJ, and Vaihuu all laughed.
“You laugh at us now?” Leemor yelled. ANN D nodded. “Take this message back to your superiors, Captain Leemor.
“There’s an old saying on the planet Earth. “The truth shall set you free. “If you manage to get your ship moving again, pass that along for me.”
“Oh and add this: If you value your lives, don’t mess with us or the Klingons. We have our own version of truth, and it doesn’t need modifying. “
Leemor was raging as the screen shut off.
“Lt. Penn, set course for…well…anywhere that isn’t here.”
Lt. Penn chuckled as he began entering coordinates into the helm. “Aye Captain, setting course for “anywhere but here.”
“Let’s light the fires and turn the tires people. “ ANN D said as he sat in his chair.
Starfinder warped off into the unknown, yet again. It was what they do.