Iota Crucis IV, 2267
Robert Wesley gasped for air like a man who had been submerged underneath water for far longer than anyone would ever volunteer.
His memories were in shambles.
He recalled a force gripping him, hitting him like lightning and pushing him across what felt like time and space.
He recalled the dreaded molecules escaping their containment field and putting an end to the universe as he knew it.
He remembered a bright flash, blinding him and robbing him of most of his sense all at once.
And yet here he stood, seemingly unharmed, hardly a scratch on him and the world around him still in one piece.
He couldn’t explain why he felt that something was very much amiss for nothing appeared to be so.
On the contrary, as he looked up to find the containment field, he saw it dark and dead, without any sign of those powerful molecules which until very recently had threatened to destroy them all.
“They’re gone. They’re all gone. It can’t be,” mumbled a clearly dazed Bendes Ketteract from where he half-sat on the floor.
Wesley couldn’t remember it in detail but he was certain he had deposited the scientist there. The pain in his right hand gave further proof that it had recently connected rather violently to his face.
Then another terrible thought crossed his mind and he whirled around trying to find his science officer. “Telana!”
She too appeared unharmed and seemed somewhat startled by the concern and emotion in his voice when she looked back at him. “Sir?”
“Are you … are you alright?”
The puzzlement didn’t immediately vanish from her soft features. Then she nodded curtly. “I’m fine, sir. The shutdown sequence has been successful. No signs of the molecules remains.”
Doctor Vincent stepped up next to the clearly somewhat perplexed commodore, worry in his tone. “Are you
He considered the doctor for a moment before he spoke. “I’m fine. I think. A little dizzy to tell you the truth. And with the oddest feeling of déjà vu,” he said and then reached out for the other man’s upper arm before he could respond. New developments were already taking place among the Xenarth. “But this can wait until later.”
The Warrior Queen had moved quickly to keep Ergia who had inexplicably stumbled during an attempt to attack Zha’Thara, pinned to the floor by wielding a spear weapon close to her throat. “Your reign is over, My Queen,” she hissed just before she impaled Ergia with one forceful thrust and then watched with apparent satisfaction as her large black eyes flickered and her mandibles and antennae twitched desperately in the throes of death.
The room fell into silence as the Xenarth watched with disbelieve a Supreme being slain by a fellow Queen. An act unheard of in the history of the Aggregate.
“The Supreme is dead,” the Warrior Queen announced and then aimed a sharp look at Selphi who managed stay stoic in the light of what had transpired here.
The young Chelra on the other hand appeared frightened by what fate may befall her as a loyal servant to the now deceased Supreme.
“But there is no need for more killing if you are willing to embrace me as your new leader,” she said. “The Worker Queen has already joined me and if you are willing I shall forgive your previously misplaced loyalties and together we will form a new Aggregate to lead the Colony into prosperity right here on New Xenarth. Our new home.”
Chelra immediately lowered her head. “You have my allegiance.”
The Warrior Queen jerked her head in acknowledgment and then sought out Selphi.
“What will happen with Commodore Wesley and his people?” she said.
Quelphi considered this for a moment. “I cannot condone or forgive their inference in our affairs.”
“If not for their actions, the Xenarth race would certainly have been annihilated,” the Artisan Queen said.
“With out their interference this crisis would never have come to pass in the first instance.”
Wesley took a small step forward, it was all he was allowed by the Xenarth soldiers who had once more surrounded him and his officers. “I understand that there is no way that I can prove this to you, but our intentions were never to interfere with your affairs but to ensure that this molecule would not come to destroy your people and threaten mine. I freely admit that we have made mistakes. I should never have agreed to assist Queen Ergia to try and stabilize the molecules to use them for her purposes. I should have insisted on their destruction from the very beginning but I cannot undo what has been done. But this doesn’t mean we cannot try and start over.
You have decided to make this world your new home and I applaud this decision. Let me and my people help you establish yourselves in this part of the galaxy. Let us be your guides to your new neighborhood. We could discuss an alliance of mutual benefit and friendship and someday you may even wish to join our Federation as an equal partner.”
It had been a good speech and Wesley had given it earnestly and with enough tact to convince many of the assembled Xenarth of his sincerity.
But it wasn’t enough for the new Supreme. “I reject your offer, Commodore. The Xenarth Colony has no interest in your Federation or this galactic neighborhood you speak of. Nor do we seek friendship with your people or others. I decree that from this day forward, New Xenarth will ban all technology deemed dangerous to our people. Further we will reject any contact with foreign aliens who seek to introduce such technology. We were a simple and happy people once and before we invited doom on ourselves by meddling in unfamiliar powers and inviting alien races among us. No longer. I will give you and your people exactly one opportunity to leave this world and never to return or you may choose to stay and be executed for your actions against the Colony.”
It was not a difficult decision to make. “I’m disappointed about your decision but I will respect it with the hope that someday you may change your mind and seek out our friendship. And when that day comes we will gladly reciprocate it,” said Wesley and indicate for his people to get ready to leave.
Kutznetsov picked up a clearly broken Ketteract who struggled to collect his equipment before being dragged along by the first officer.
The Xenarth soldiers returned the away teams weapons at their Queen’s command, clearly not interested in holding on to anything belonging to the now banned aliens.
Wesley hesitated for a moment before reaching the now blown-out doors of the lab and turned around much to the annoyance of the new Supreme.
“I have one final request to make,” he said.
Quelphi looked at him, her antennae flinching with impatience.
Wesley looked towards the now dark containment chamber and then down and to the adjacent wall where he found a similar but closed blast door. “Beyond that door your people stored a material called boronite. From my understanding it is what made the Omega particle possible in the first place. For your own safety and my peace of mind, I would ask that you destroy it.”
Ketteract grasped his tricorder tightly. “No, we can still salvage—“
“That’s about enough out of you,” barked the Bear, shutting up the scientist.
The Warrior Queen gestured for her people to open the blast door and true to Wesley’s word it revealed a dozen heavy cargo crates. She aimed an urgent look at the young Scholar Queen.
“He speaks the truth,” she said in a tiny voice.
“If you allow me, we have the means to destroy it with little effort,” Wesley said.
Quelphi didn’t need long to consider the offer. “Make it quick. I wish you and these accursed things gone from my world.”
Wesley nodded and indicated to Mtolo to follow him. “Phasers, maximum setting.”
The two men unclipped their pistol-shaped weapons, dialed them up to full power and then opened fire, carefully aiming at each individual crate until they completely disintegrated. It took less than a minute until the chamber was cleared and the last pieces of boronite had been destroyed.
Wesley replaced his phaser and pulled out his communicator, flipping it open with a snap of his wrist. “Landing party to Lexington
. We’re done down here. Beam us up.”