Chapter 3 <cont’d>
Hello again, friend of a friend
I knew you when
Our common goal was waiting for the world to end
Now that the truth is just a rule that you can bend
You crack the whip, shape shift and trick the past again
- Black Sheep, by Metric
The Talarian dirge created a cacophonous background to Sandhurst’s inspiration, flooding the compartment with discordant wailing, clashing percussion, and abused string instruments that sounded on the verge of structural collapse.
It was the closest thing in the Federation database that he had found to the more evocative Amon martial musical forms. If his fevered creativity these past days was any measure, Sandhurst’s subconscious appeared to revel in the dissonance of the atonal lament.
He had been awake for some fifty-two hours, and his quarters were now a shambles. Strewn with data padds, the table tops hosted a collection of portable holo-projectors and hardcopy flimsies upon which were transcribed the arcane hieroglyphics of advanced warp theory.
Sandhurst had asked T’Ser for absolute privacy during this process, and thus far she had kept her word. Even Lar’ragos had been barred from visiting him, and he was a man not easily given to restraint.
It was nearly finished, his translation of Xin Ra-Havreii’s esoteric genius into physical reality, or at the very least the schematics with which to do so. Soon, he would have the capacity to rebuild Europa’s
warp core into what it should have been, the device Ra-Havreii had imagined but had proven unable to fully realize.
His fingers traced through the air with manic intensity as he directed the holographic design of a new kind of dilithium articulation frame. His movements were like those of a frenzied painter, scoring his canvas with equal measures of pigment and zeal.
The Baron’s arrival was utterly soundless as he stepped through a doorway that was, and yet was not there. He opened his mouth to speak, knowing full well the reaction his words would prompt from Sandhurst and relishing the experience to come.
Sandhurst was on him before the first syllable had escaped the Baron’s lips. The unexpectedly violent collision triggered the Baron’s personal defense field, but Sandhurst paid the agonizing discharge no heed whatsoever as he slammed his tormentor against the bulkhead with a strength the Baron couldn’t account for.
“What… do… you… WANT?”
Sandhurst seethed as the greenish energy field scorched both his tunic and the flesh beneath.
“I… I’ve come to—“ the Baron stammered.
“Not now!” Sandhurst shouted, hefting the Baron by the folds of his cloak and throwing him the length of the compartment to crash bodily into the far bulkhead. “I’m busy,” he added distractedly as he moved across the cluttered cabin towards the collapsed figure.
The impact with the wall had dislodged the device crowning the Baron’s head, and as a result the man sat dazedly on the floor next to a couch, seemingly lost. Sandhurst reached down and took hold of him by the throat with one hand while grasping the neural buffer with the other.
Though terribly confused and utterly disoriented, the Baron was cogent enough to recognize an attack on his person. He struck wildly at Sandhurst with savagely desperate blows that while breaking ribs and bruising organs did nothing else to impede Sandhurst’s actions.
The captain dissuaded further violence by driving the Baron’s head against the bulkhead repeatedly until consciousness had abandoned his limp form. As he dutifully inspected his attacker's intriguing headpiece, Sandhurst murmured, “I’m trying to create something here. Why is that so hard for you to see?” He sighed. “All you know how to do is destroy.”
With that he released his grip on the Baron, who thudded gracelessly to the deck. Sandhurst tossed the neural buffer aside and returned to examine his holographic etchings hovering in midair.
Ignoring the smoldering burns on his forearms and chest, Sandhust called out, “Bridge, Sandhurst. I have an intruder in my quarters. Come collect him,” as he returned to the task at hand.