Star Trek: Defiant

"The Planet of Professor Migalito" - Part Three

Written by Takila "Mak" Shuriik


Back aboard the Defiant, Captain Bridges paced the floor of his ready room. He left word that he should be contacted should there be any incoming transmissions from the away team. It had been nearly an hour and there was still no word. He hovered out briefly and spoke to Lebin.

"Any word from the away team?"

"No Sir," Lebin told him. Geez, didn't he trust them to remember to carry out his initial orders? Blasted officers!

Bridges went back to his ready room and waited. He knew the team were all top-notch crewmembers and could handle themselves in any situation, but he still got nervous when his beloved Rael was incommunicado. If he didn't hear something within the next hour he was going down there himself -- Captain's guidebook or not. Suddenly, he was hailed by Lebin.

"Bridges here."

"Captain, we're receiving some static, but we make out four life forms with stable readings on the planet's surface. We believe them to be the away team."

"Excellent!" If there's one thing that could eventually prevent him from sitting in one of the ridiculously enormous chairs of Starfleet Admiralty, it would be the deaths of several of his crew.

"Except they are not together. They have been apparently beamed to the four corners of the planet." Captain Bridges smacked his forehead with his hand. At least he had some idea why there had been no incoming transmissions. Another hail came over his comm badge. It was Lt. Ry.

"Sir, I have detected an apparent malfunction in the transporter conduits. I think it might have resulted in a faulty transmission. My sensors show that they arrived safely, but were dispersed to alternate landing sites -- one in each climate."

"So I've been told. Any way to get them back?"

"Not for awhile, Captain, the conduits have to be gone over with a detoxifier."

"How long are we talking, Emeras?"

"Three hours, maybe more if any of the conduits have to be replaced." What she really meant to say was an hour tops, but a lecturer at the Academy once advised always giving the Captain a figure at least 3 times larger than necessary to gain the reputation of being a miracle worker. But the Captain needn't know that.

* * *

Jen Matute began walking, if for nothing else than to keep from having her feet cooked by the heat of the desert sands. She moved quickly, cursing on occasion and desperately hoping she'd encounter something hostile just to share with it what a genuinely foul mood she was in.

Coming over a dune she spied a clearing. Her throat had become dry and she wondered if it were real or merely a mirage. She activated her tricorder and scanned the area. Unless tricorders were capable of seeing mirages, it was indeed an oasis. She picked up her pace for the ensuing 400 meters and partially slid down a tall dune, but she made it.

Scanning a small pool she declared it fresh and knelt down to drink. To her surprise, she noticed something odd about her reflection: it had gills and a fin where her forehead ridge should be. She squinted, slowly reaching for the tricorder again. Her image, oddly, was reaching forward. Moments later, Matute was gone and all that remained was a concentric ripple on the pond's surface.


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