Star Trek: Defiant
"Queued" - Part Three
Written by Laine Rael
Rael, Emeras, Catrin, Mak, Jeffrey, and Dan appeared in a wooded glade.
Mak was wearing brown leather pants with a matching jerkin and the skin of what appeared to be a large wolf draped around his shoulders, his head protruding from what had been the creature's mouth. In his hands he held a warhammer, etched deeply with runes that sparkled with diamond dust. He turned it over in his hands, feeling the weight of the fine weapon.
Catrin wore leather leggings with a loose blue top that appeared to be made of natural, dyed fibers. In her hands was a silver bow; on her back was a quiver of 20 arrows.
Emeras wore light, woven clothing under a studded leather vest. Over her shoulders was a fine, midnight-blue cape that almost reached the ground. Several pouches hung from a low-slung belt, and many rings were upon her fingers as well.
Rael wore an outfit similar to Catrin's. A leather pack was slung over one shoulder, and she wore soft leather boots. Reaching into the left, she pulled out a crystalline dagger, its pommel shaped in the likeness of a tiger. The right boot housed a similar dagger, except its pommel was silver and in the shape of a dragon. "They are enchanted," Rael said, not knowing how she knew that.
Jeffrey was standing standing!. His crew looked at him, as Jeffrey looked down at himself, in wonder. He was wearing a helmet decorated with one horn -- the other had been broken off. In one hand was a large shield bearing a foaming mug standard and in the other was a large two-headed axe. He swung it through the air experimentally -- the balance was perfect. He took a few steps as if to assure himself he was really walking.
No one appeared more surprising than Dan. He wore what appeared to be a large cooking pot on his head, and he had a long green beard that was split down the middle and braided to hang back over each shoulder. In his hands was an enormous club that looked more like a tree than a weapon -- it was over a meter long. "Oo oi," he said, then clapped his hand to his mouth in shock.
"Q?" Jeffrey said. Rael nodded.
"He had just paid me a visit before all of this happened. He said we needed a diversion," she said.
"Well, this would qualify," Jeffrey said. "It appears that I'll be walking for the duration of Q's little game ... I guess he figured a crippled captain just wouldn’t be as interesting. Is everyone all right?"
The crew nodded in the affirmative. Catrin looked troubled. "Sir ... this bow ... it has a name." She turned it over in her hands. "Taulmaril -- the HeartSeeker," she said. Catrin drew an arrow and fired at a nearby oak tree. The arrow sizzled through the air and right through the stout trunk in a fiery shower of sparks. She counted the arrows in her quiver. There were still 20.
"We are not as we would normally appear," Emeras said. "I'm sure of it." She chanted a few words of an unknown language, and threw what appeared to be a handful of fine sand into the air. A large mirror hung in the air, its gilt edges glistening in the half-light of the glade. Without bothering to wonder exactly how Emeras had just done that, the crew peered into the mirror at each other.
Rael was short, small and light on her feet. Her long blonde hair was braided down her back. Emeras was slightly taller with long, dark hair and fine, dextrous hands -- for spellcasting, she knew. Jeffrey was short, and stout, looking as tough and strong as mountain stone. Catrin was tall with a large, strong frame and long, thick hair. Mak was very tall and large, his frame packed with dense, corded muscle. Loose, wavy blond hair cascaded around his massive neck and shoulders. Dan was also short and stout, much like Jeffrey, except his clothing and dress were more natural, reflecting a heavy belief in nature.
"Where are we?" Rael said. Emeras and Catrin pulled out tricorders -- why they had them, no one knew.
"It’s hard to say," Emeras said. "From what I've read of Q, we could be anywhere, but this might be a place of his own creation."
"Wait," Catrin said. She studied the tricorder. "If I'm reading this thing correctly, there is a massive civilization beneath us. Energy readings are off the scale here, and I believe that the concentration is probably a few miles to the west."
The crew pondered this. "Are we in any danger?" Jeffrey said calmly.
"There are several thousand life forms within 50 kilometers -- including the 50 kilometers below us," said Catrin, "but none of them appear to be heading this way ..."
A slight trembling of the ground began, and distant shouts and screams were heard. "Then again, I could be mistaken ..." she said.
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