United Trek: Refugee Crisis
Star Trek: Border Cutter Silverfin
Bright New Day
Landing Pad, Kazon-Degra Mining Camp
Ocampa V, Delta Quadrant
Day of Kraad, 31st Year of Liberation (July 17th, 2377)
By Brydon Sinclair
Jal Mekhad wiped the sweat from his brow. He loading up one of the shuttles with several tons of cormaline, with loaders that were well past being useful, so it was tiring work—especially with the relentless sun beating down on him. It was still early, but the heat was already well past comfort levels, whilst the coarse dust whipped across his sunburnt skin. The barren rock was a miserable place to be but over the last ten years, eighteen different Sects had laid claim to the planet, each one wanting the mineral wealth the planet held. They fought and killed for that wealth, but as far as Mekhad was concerned it wasn’t worth it.
When another Sect came to claim it, he wouldn’t lay down his life for the ball of dust. He saw little in the way of money for all the work he had to do, whilst there were no women to take his pleasure in, or worthy enemies to fight. It was barren and coarse.
As he loaded the shuttle, he couldn’t help but think about how his life would be if he simply got in the ship and took off. He could fetch a good price for the cormaline, which he could use to buy a supple woman, then see if any other Sect would be willing to give him a better cut—especially if he gave them the Degra defences of the camp, with the understanding that he would never set foot on the rock again.
It was more than a little tempting. But he thought about it every time he loaded up the shuttles by himself, though had yet to take any action. If he even attempted to take off without the permission of the Maje, one of their ships in orbit would shoot him down before he even had a chance of powering up the warp core. Until there was some kind of distraction or he found some way to slip around their orbital ships, it would remain a fantasy more than anything tangible.
There was a grinding whine from behind him, so he turned to look at the old loader. The planetary conditions and the sheer volume of work it was expected to accomplish had taken their toll on it. Mekhad crouched down to try and see what the problem was, but couldn’t see anything, so gave it a short, sharp kick. The loader died, groaning under the weight it had suspended halfway to the shuttle’s cargo hatch.
He let loose a torrid of curses as he kicked it again, and then a third time. None of it had any affect. Rising to his full height, he had to finish off what the loader couldn’t and lug the case of cormaline inside. Before he moved he noticed a solitary figure walking towards him for the dune sea. It was not a Kazon, their size and build was all wrong, besides he knew no one in the camp crazy enough to venture away from the settlement, to do so was to invite a long and painful death.
As the figure got closer he saw it was an old woman, with short grey hair and large, pointed ears. He knew of the Ocampa, the weakling species who lived beneath the surface, where the only source of water was located, but it had been a long time since he had seen one. When the Degra first seized the planet from the Kazon-Vakk, they had a couple of Ocampa slaves, a male and a female. The Degra had put them to work, that was if having them retrained in the barracks could be considered work. A smile spread across his chapped lips as he remembered hearing their whimpers and screams at every hour of the day and night. They had only lasted two weeks.
He drew his disruptor and moved away from the shuttle. It would have been strange enough seeing a Kazon coming from the desert, but an Ocampa made even less sense; they were weak and feeble.
“What are you doing here?” he challenged, squaring his shoulders and puffing up his chest. He was already an imposing man, especially compared to the frail looking woman, but he wanted to put her in her proper place from the beginning. If he brought her into the camp, he would earn some more respect from the others—after all he was providing them with a new means of entertainment.
Her pace was steady, unhurried and she showed no sign of being intimated by him, which riled him up. Who was she to disrespect him? But as she neared he noted that her skin was pale—too pale for someone who’d spent any time under the scorching sun—with a tinge that made her look sick. She probably won’t even last two days in the camp,
he determined, smirking.
Raising his disruptor he aimed in at her head. “I said; what are you doing here?”
She stopped not fifteen meters from him. Her big blue eyes glanced over him as though he were little more than one of the sun-bleached rocks; her manner remained relaxed, even with his weapon pointed at her.
He thumbed the power level up. “I won’t ask again!”
“I’m here to help my people,” she said, her soft voice almost lost in the hot winds.
“Yeah?” he sneered. “Just how are you gonna—”
She just waved her hand towards him and Mekhad found himself flying backwards through the air. His mind could barely comprehend what was happening before he crashed into the shuttle, the air knocked from his lungs as the back of his head cracked against the metal hull. There was a bolt of pain through his body as he dropped to the dusty ground, and for the briefest of moments he blacked out.
When he came to, he could barely focus but did find the woman crouching right in front of him, looking at back of his bloody head then fixed her eyes onto his.
“After you leave this place, never return,” she told him, a cold and hard edge to her voice. “If you, or any other Sect, attempt to claim this world as their own again, you will bring the consequences upon yourself.”
“Whaaat...?” he slurred.
The Ocampa merely stood up and walked towards the camp. He tried to focus on her, feeling around for his weapon—he wasn’t about to let her just walk away. But as he watched her move away, he must’ve been feeling the effects of the blow to his head, as he could swear that she began to glow, brighter than the unrelenting sun that beat down on him. He had to shut his eyes as it became too much for him to look at.
When he opened them once again, it was cold. The sudden drop in temperature made him shiver and huddle his body in a tight ball on the smooth metal floor. Confused, his head aching, Mekhad looked around and found himself on the deck of a cargo hold. All around him were prone bodies, only a few of which were starting to stir. He saw a few faces, enough for him to know that they were all from the camp.
“How...?” he asked the quiet room, his voice echoing.
the Ocampan woman’s voice rang in his head.
* * * * *
Ocampa V, Delta Quadrant
Nothing had changed. The place was just as she remembered it to be. Her heart ached at the memories she held of the camp, the abuse she had suffered at the hands of the Ogla, the pain and torment she had endured.
I saw the sunlight
, a small voice whispered in the back of her mind.
She looked up at the sky and felt the familiar sun on her skin, but it no longer felt warm to her. It was cold, as cold as the blackness of space. She remembered the first time she had emerged onto the surface and seen the dazzling brightness; it had moved her to tears. The awe and joy that had filled her at the moment had been short-lived, as to see the sun was to invite pain and misery into her life—until she’d been saved; whisked away to a new life, a new place, and new friends who she had cared for deeply.
She had been lucky. All those beneath her feet wouldn’t be. There were no heroes to come to their aid, no courageous individuals who would risk all for a stranger. If no one would be their saviour, then she would need to be.
Even from far away she had felt their anxiety and worry. None of them were ready for what was inevitable, most still clung to the old ways, thinking the Caretaker would return and guide them once again—they couldn’t accept the idea that he was gone. She didn’t want to fill that role, they needed to learn not be led, determine their own future not have it dictated to them.
They would need others to help her, to teach them. She couldn’t do it alone.
* * * * *
Sanctuary, Ocama City Station
Dynae System, Delta Quadrant
Tanis had woken up that morning with a feeling he couldn’t quite describe. It was a sensation of anticipation, as though even the molecules around him were paused, waiting for something to happen. However, he couldn’t place his finger on exactly what the impending event might be. He had tried to shake it off and carry on with his day as normal, but as he went about his routine, he couldn’t help that notice everyone else seemed a little bit off. Worried, he had started to look into it, asking those around him if they felt it too. Each and every single one of them said they did, but like him they didn’t know why. It was as if an event of great significance had burrowed its way into the collective subconscious of the people.
As their leader, Tanis was determined to find out what had gotten to his people, so he had started going around the City Station, talked with all those he found and discovered that all of them, from younglings to elderly, all felt the same thing: something is coming. From the market place to the hospital to the reactor chamber, they all shared the feeling.
With nothing showing on their scans and the City Station’s doctors unable to offer an explanation, Tanis had retreated to his private Sanctuary—a room shielded from all the sensors and minds onboard, he was offered total solitude, which was what he needed to reach out and make contact with Her. The Sanctuary was a perfectly spherical room, the curved walls smooth and polished to a gleaming finish. He had entered and stepped onto the dais, then sat down, cross-legged, and held his hands out before him upturned. As the dais rose up into the centre of the room, supported by an intricate system of anti-gravs, he took deep breaths, quietening his mind and opening himself.
*Susperia,* he sent out telepathically. *Susperia, please help me. Something is happening. We all feel it, but no one knows what it is!*
There was silence for a long moment. The pause made him worry, as She always responded quickly to him whenever he needed Her.
was the raspy response, as though She was winded and couldn’t draw a breath.
*Who? Who is returning?* he asked, his worry building towards panic.
*The girl...such power, such strength...more than I could ever have imagined...*
Tanis paused and racked his brain, trying to think who She could have meant. There were lots of females, of all ages, on the City Station, his wife and daughters among them. A memory flashed before his mind’s eye, the image of a young Ocampa, with short blonde hair, large innocent eyes and a smile that brightened her entire face.
The voice was soft, but he could feel the strength deep within it. He knew it to be the young woman he had met four years ago, but it was also so different; haunted. Tanis could feel her presence, as though she were standing all around him, as her mind probed his own. She was so strong that he could no longer feel Susperia—something he had never thought possible.
*What are you doing here?* he asked, his voice sounding weak even to himself.
“I’ve come for you.”
His eyes shot open and he found himself staring into a face that was both familiar and different. The hair was the same style, but all the colour had long since drained away, her eyes were still large, but they were now cold and hard, her lips no longer smiled, and her face was heavily-lined—far more than it should have been for a woman of six.
“What do you want with me?” he asked. He wanted nothing more than to turn and run away, but the fall from the dais would definitely break a bone—if not his neck—so he was trapped.
Kes’ eyes never left his. In them he could see anger, despair, loneliness, but there was also the faintest hint of hope as well.
“I’m here for all of you,” she told him.
Suddenly, she raised her arms parallel to the dais and her head snapped back, as a brilliant light emerged from within her. Tanis could only look at it for a second, before it became too bright and he had to shut and shield his eyes. But even through closed lids, he could see the brilliant warm light that emanated from her.
*What’s happening?* he cried out to her.
*It is a new day,*
she told him.
* * * * *