Star Trek: Defiant

Pilot Episode 6A

Written by Takila "Mak" Shuriik

Ensign Takila Mak sat in the Lotus Position on an old reed mat that had been a gift from his venerable martial arts teacher. The holodeck program was set for dusk in a remote Korean fishing village, specifically atop the high, rocky, mountain peaks known by some as "The Horns of Welcome." Gulls flapped and called out from the horizon, their cries audible, but not disturbing due to their distance.

A gentle breeze came off the West Korea Bay and refreshed Mak's shirtless body. The rocky crag where he meditated was a steep climb, but basically insured that he would not be disturbed. It had been a long time since his training for "covert work" by the old pre-Federation American Government of the 21st Century.

Mak's thoughts shifted to the recent anbo-jytsu tournament. He was certain he confused some people, especially the Captain, by his shoddy performance. Loathe as he was to admit it, he simply couldn't allow himself to "go all out" against female crewmembers. Granted, it was the 24th Century and women could kick butt every bit as well as men, if not better, and he knew it--but even after over a millennium he was still kind of old fashioned. His "Master," however, were he still alive, would have berated him unceasingly for months beacause of his performance, calling him "A sloppy, undisciplined monster from space!" Mak grinned, remembering the tales his teacher told of the abuse *he* was put through, simply because he was the first non-Korean to ever have received such unique training. True, Mak hadn't followed his old dietary or exercise regimen for a long time, but he also tried to take life a lot less seriously these days. Despite his ageless appearence, he still wasn't getting any younger--and the Defiant had no practical need for the skills of the sole living member of the greatest House of assassins history had ever known.

Joining Starfleet Academy was the first step Mak had taken away from his old life of privateering, espionage and outright killing. If someone had told him a century ago that he would abandon his freedom for the bureaucracy of Starfleet life he'd have pushed their face in--literally! Mak had lived and fought hard over the centuries. Legends still remained on many worlds of the "Eternal Soldier" that fought for generations and never aged, never could be killed. Now, for all his experience, he willfully maintained the subordinate position of a low-ranking Intelligence Officer aboard one of Starfleet's finest Flagships: The U.S.S. Defiant. It was an ironic delight for him to be in such a position. Over the years he had commanded his fair share of troops, captained several vessels of his own and was once even worshipped by a primitive tribe as a god!

Now he sat simply, recalling his memories, his back perfectly straight against one of the gigantic rocky "Horns." His life had indeed been long by most standards, except, perhaps for El-Aurians. Mak was pleased there was one, Lt. Commander Liz Shinika, aboard the Defiant. Knowing there was someone close to his age category made him feel better: like he was no longer some bizarre living relic anymore.

Legends back on his homeworld, Novachron, held that "In the beginning, there were Three Tribes..." Two of the Tribes, not content to remain on their solitary planet, took flight to the stars. The First Tribe found a new world where they believed they could "listen" to the growth of the universe and, if need be, assist to restore order. The Second Tribe was pulled through a giant wormhole and believed to have found a new home outside time itself where they now "watched" the universe's progress--never interfering except in times of potential cataclysm at which they would send peacekeepers in time travelling machines to restore order. The Tribe that remained, sent its best agents, called Sentinels, to the populated worlds to live among the natives, to learn their ways and report on their evolution that the Novachrons could determine any potential cosmic threats.

Takila, since he had not yet been Trill-bonded at the time, volunteered and was accepted for the mission as Earth's Sentinel. He knew he'd probably never see Novachron again due not only to its distance away but to the protective camouflage of the uncharted planet's unusual camouflaging atmosphere. But duty-bound, Takila made his weekly reports to the Novachron Council of Ancients about the development of the Earth people. Periodically he received specific orders about different facets of Terran development they wanted explored, but in time the reports ceased. He continued his mission but eventually began to dread something happened to his homeworld.

Over the years, Takila's feelings of abandonment increased, which led to his eventual departure from Earth when the Terrans finally mastered space travel. If his reports no longer mattered, if he no longer mattered, then why even bother coming home? He always believed one day he'd be recalled to a Hero's Welcome, but the call never came. His first act of rebellion was to allow the Trill vermiform, called Mak, to symbiotically attach itself to him. Together, Takila/Mak roamed the galaxies seeking adventure, glory and profit wherever they could find them. Known largely by the symbiont's name, having essentially foresaken his own, Mak lived precariously: never truly afraid of being harmed because of his near-invulnerable Novachron physiognomy. But there were times he still missed his family--and Laurana.

To be chosen as a Novachron Sentinel was his people's highest honor. Takila's family was overjoyed, as was Laurana. He had planned to ask her to marry him, but decided to put his plans on hold until he returned. What would be the point, he reasoned, to marry and then be seperated from one's wife for who knew how long? Secretly, he planned to propose as soon as he returned home from the mission. As a Novachron Hero and his wife, they would have the best of everything from then on . . . .

That was over 1500 years ago. Takila was never told how long his mission would last, just that it would continue until The Ancients were ready to call him back. By the time Mak went off-planet he believed Fate had decreed a different destiny for him: one that he could do little about--even if he wanted to. Having no recollection of the coordinates to his homeworld--a precaution taken with all Sentinels--Mak was essentially helpless even if he could obtain transport. Certainly, Federation technology still wasn't capable, and with the allowance for cosmic changes: planets forming and breaking apart, new asteroid fields, gravitational shifts and who knew what else . . . the list of factors against him would have been endless. Maybe one day he'd simply find another of his kind who hadn't been exposed to the selective mindwipe and all would be well.

Another of his kind. He thought again of Laurana: her soft brown hair and bluish-grey eyes, her tiny cupid's bow mouth . . . Takila's throat constricted. He knew Novachrons could only successfully mate with their own and being an only child, his family would either continue or die by him. It seemed his own decision had sealed his fate. He sighed.

Now, so many years later, Mak regretted his decision. What did he really have to look forward to for his efforts? A Hero's Welcome? A beautiful wife and children? Mak's breathing increased, sweat formed all over his body. Pressure built up inside his skull as his mind scrolled through all the graphically horrendous things that could have happened to his homeworld: alien infections to which even they had no immunity? Wars? An overwhelming invasion---the Borg?

Mak opened his eyes. He no longer sat on the rocky crags of The Horns of Welcome. He rested atop a translucent plane surrounded by stars and the all-encompassing blackness of space. He stood up, his equilibrium thrown off from the dark soundlessness of his surroundings. The stars twinkled all around him, but he could see no planets to indicate where he might be. A deep voice echoed from all around him.

"Takila, last of the Novachrons, welcome to oblivion!"

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