STAR TREK: INTO THE FINAL FRONTIER - "Falling Skies"

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by TREKISODES, Jun 6, 2020.

  1. TREKISODES

    TREKISODES Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2018
    AUTHOR'S NOTE:
    The TNG episode “Parallels” and the 2009 movie “Star Trek” introduced us to the world of quantum realities.

    STAR TREK: INTO THE FINAL FRONTIER takes us into one of those many other realities as we explore the alternate life of Balthazar Edison and his bold crew of explorers.

    It’s the 22nd century… But not as you know it!

    (for those of you who want to download the story: follow the link)

    April 16th, 2151
    Location: at the outer edge of the Alpha Centauri system.


    Captain Balthazar Edison is running through a corridor. Sweat is dripping down his forehead. His breathing sounds heavy and deep. This clearly isn’t one of his usual early morning jogging runs through the ship. Not this time no. Right now he is running for his life. His ship - the U.S.S. Invincible - is on red alert status.

    A phaser blast hits a wall panel just next to him. That one came pretty damn close. Too close to his liking. It nearly blew his head off his shoulders. He quickly glances over his right shoulder and sees two Orion assailants trying to catch up on him. Luckily that last blast gave his body another adrenaline shot. Just what he needed to push him far enough ahead, keeping himself safe out of firing range.

    As he finally arrives at the ship’s shuttle bay, he slams the door key and slips through the opening doors.

    ***
    Inside the shuttle bay Edison leans against the doors and closes his eyes, trying to take a moment for himself to recuperate and gather his thoughts. As he opens them up again, he sees dozens of his crewmen hurrying towards the various shuttlepods that are parked inside the shuttle bay.

    An officer runs by and shouts “Captain!”, throwing Edison a phase rifle.

    Holding the phase rifle in his hands Edison immediately realizes he has to seal off the doors to keep the Orions out, buying them a few precious minutes more to safely evacuate the ship.

    He takes a few steps forward, turns around and aims the phase rifle at the narrow seam between the doors. As he pulls the trigger on his rifle, a yellow beam emerges from the rifle’s beam emitter and starts welding the doors together in a red hot glow.

    ***
    On the other side of the door, one of the two Orion assailants tries to force the doors open by firing a narrow beam at the door’s locking mechanism. A small explosion follows but the doors - to their frustration - stay locked.

    Having no other option but to resort to brute force, they both start firing directly at the steel doors in the hope they can burn their way through.

    ***
    Meanwhile the last shuttlepod with Edison on board, exits the shuttle bay.

    “Did everyone make it safely onto the shuttlepods?” he asks a young redhaired ensign sitting right across him.

    The ensign still looks in shock. This was clearly not how she imagined her day would start. From the moment she woke up to the sound of red alert until the moment she boarded the last shuttlepod, it all seems to be racing through her mind again.

    Just as Edison realizes he won’t be getting an answer out of the ensign, the Asian lieutenant piloting the shuttlepod shouts “Yes captain. Everyone’s accounted for sir” before turning back to his pilot controls.

    A look of relief on Edison’s face. Maybe he failed at keeping his ship out of those green bastard’s hands, but he’d be damned if he left any of his crew behind.

    ***
    As Edison’s shuttlepod tries to outmaneuver the glowing beams coming from the Orion Interceptor’s particle cannon, we see the U.S.S. Invincible - a forty year old heavy cruiser, one of the first built for the United Earth Stellar Navy - lying motionless in space.

    Spread across her steel plated hull, several small two-person attack pods attached to its surface like leeches.

    ***
    On the Invincible, green fingers worm their way through the narrow crack of the turbolift doors that give out to the bridge.

    As they finally find enough room to push the doors open, revealing three heavily armed Orion pirates standing inside of the turbolift.

    To their surprise, the bridge is abandoned. As they go from station to station, checking the ships systems, they finally gather around the captain’s chair.

    Suddenly one of the Orions notices the small display on the arm rest of the captain’s chair reading: auto destruct - silent countdown - 10 seconds.

    As the digits keep counting down, the Orions realize something’s terribly wrong. One of the Orions tries to reach for his communicator, but before his hand can even reach his belt we hear several massive explosions throughout the ship.

    ***
    The U.S.S. Invincible explodes into thousands of pieces, many of them smashing right into the Orion Interceptor, crippling the pirate ship.

    Meanwhile a dozen shuttlepods are racing out of harm’s way at impulse speed, heading towards open space, into the deep unknown.

    ***
    3 MONTHS LATER

    A small arrow shaped transport ship belonging to Earth’s Colonial Transport Service suddenly jumps out of warp and sets course at impulse speed towards to the planet of:

    TERRA NOVA

    Dubbed the Great Experiment by the Earth Space Program Agency - the organization in charge of humanity’s exploration of the stars - almost seventy five years ago, it was the Agency’s first real attempt to establish a colony outside of its solar system on a planet with environmental conditions similar to Earth.

    Located less than twenty lightyears from the Sol system, the lush green planet is now home to over four hundred thousand colonists.

    ***
    Baltazar Edison in full hiker outfit, carrying a big rucksack on his back, makes his way through an open field. With every step he takes, his boots seem to sink deeper and deeper into the muddy ground.

    Having spent most of his adult life onboard starships, confined between bulkheads in an environment controlled by artificial gravity, the experience of walking out here in the open air very much feels like a battle against all of nature’s forces. The ground pulling at his boots. The strong winds cutting through his face.

    “Thank the Gods it’s not raining”, he mumbles to himself as he tries to wiggle his right foot out of the mud. Finally succeeding after attempt number three, he lets out a heavy sigh.

    Fatigue is slowly crawling up on him, having walked for twelve hours straight since he left the city. Of course he just could have ordered a taxipod to bring him to his sister’s house. It would have made his trip down here a whole lot easier not to mention comfortable. But he needed some time alone. Ever since he was forced to blow up his own ship, the Invincible, the whole incident kept on playing over and over again in his mind like a broken record. The inquiry board of the United Earth Stellar Navy had acquitted him from any possible wrongdoings. But the fact remained that captains weren’t supposed to blow up their own ships. And that just kept on bugging him.

    “Dammit”, he cursed. Spending the past few hours hiking through the woods and fields of Terra Nova had given him some sense of serenity. But just when the train of guilt is about to hit him hard again, he notices a plume of smoke in the distance.

    A smile appears on his lips, realizing he’s almost there - his sister’s farm. He picks himself up again and with new found confidence he continues his way.

    ***
    Evening has already fallen when Edison puts his first step on the porch of his sister’s farm.

    Suddenly the front door swings open and before he even realizes it, he’s staring down the barrel of a plasma rifle.

    Aiming the rifle at the stranger standing on her porch is Sarah Edison. Not recognizing the tall black man underneath the fedora hat as her brother Baltazar: “Who are you and what the hell are you doing on my doorstep at this time of day?”

    Edison slowly raises both hands before raising his head as he replies: “Talking about a warm welcome.”

    Sarah slightly tilts her head, confused to hear a familiar voice. “Balthazar?”, sounding more like a question she’s asking herself than Edison.

    As he takes off his hat, giving her a clearer look at his face: “Yes, it’s me. Now could you please lower the rifle before you accidently blow my face off in all the excitement?”

    Shocked, Sarah stares at the plasma rifle as if wondering how the thing ended up in her hands in the first place. She immediately throws it to the side and runs up to her older brother, throwing her arms around him. “I’m so glad you finally made it out here Zar.”

    Suddenly a young male voice echoes from behind them. As Sarah releases Balthazar from her warm embrace and turns round to see her 18-year-old son David standing in the doorway.

    “Mom? What’s going on? Who’s out there?”, he asks her.

    As Sarah takes Balthazar by the hand, tears of joy running down her cheek: “It’s your uncle. Balthazar.”

    David’s mood darkens, obviously he doesn’t share his mother’s enthusiasm at his uncle’s unexpected visit to their home. “Don’t call him that, mom. I told you, he is not my uncle anymore.” He turns round and walks back into the house, slamming the front door shut behind him.

    Edison eyes widen in disbelief. What the hell just happened? As far as he knows he’d always been a hero to his nephew. The big and strong space marine fighting the bad guys up in space. He stares into Sarah’s eyes, trying to find answers. But Sarah looks away. Tears continue to run down her face, but these are not tears of joy - they are tears of sorrow. As she wipes them off her face: “Come. Let’s get you inside. It must have been a long journey. You must be tired.”

    As he realizes Sarah is not ready to talk yet, he just nods his head and follows her into the house.

    ***
    Balthazar, freshly showered and wearing a sweatpants and t-shirt, is leaning against the fireplace in the living room. With the back of his right hand he tries to reach for the golden flames. Not feeling any heat coming from the fireplace, he starts waving his hand back and forth through the flames.

    Sarah enters the room with a steaming plate of food. As she watches her brother playing with the fire place: “Pretty amazing isn’t it?”

    He turns round and smiles at her: “These holographic projections are becoming more and more real every day.”

    “It cost us a small fortune, but Thomas always wanted a fireplace. He could stare in those flames for hours, just dreaming away.” She looks down at the plate of food in her hands, suddenly stricken by sadness at the remembrance of her late husband.

    A beat of silence.

    “That smells delicious.” Balthazar smiles at her, trying to move her away from the darker thoughts that seem to be haunting her.

    She smiles again: “Yes. Baked potatoes and steak with brown sauce. Your favorite.” As she puts the dinner plate on the dinner table: “Dive in before it gets cold.”

    As they both sit down at the dinner table, Balthazar immediately dives into his plate and starts cutting the steak. As he puts a piece of steak in his mouth, his eyes widen in surprise. “Hmmm.”. While still chewing on the meat: “It not only smells delicious, it even tastes delicious. Haven’t had a steak like this in quite some time.”

    Sarah lets out a happy chuckle. “I’m glad you like it.”

    Balthazar takes another few bites. As he dips a small potato in the brown sauce: “So. What’s up with David? He’s definitely angry with me. That much I can tell. But why?”

    Sarah shuffles around a bit in her chair, her eyes suddenly focusing on the tablecloth. Whatever it is, she seems to be hesitant to talk about it.

    Noticing her sudden apprehension: “You know, sis, whatever it is: we can talk about it.” He reaches out his arm across the table and places his hand on hers, trying to give her the trust she needs to come forward with her story.

    She makes eye contact with him again and nods. “I know”, she says softly as she pulls away her hand from underneath his, “It’s just not easy to talk about, y’know.”

    “Is it something I did?” he wonders.

    “No”, she replies, “Actually, it’s something you didn’t do.”

    Confused Balthazar raises his eyebrows: “Something I didn’t do? What do you mean?”

    “Well. After Thomas died last year, I guess David believed you’d come here for the funeral. And after that: stay here for a while, to help us out the first few months.” She looks aside, trying to hide the anger that’s bubbling deep inside of her: “Life out here isn’t paradise, contrary to what Earth propaganda would want you to believe.”

    “I know it isn’t. But you know why I couldn’t be here.”

    She looks him back in the eye, her anger subsided: “Of course I do. You were out there, on patrol, a dozen lightyears away from us.” Now she places her hand on his: “Look, I’m not angry with you. And I think deep down inside David isn’t either. He just needs some time.”

    Edison just nods as he replies: “Maybe I wasn’t here when you needed me most, but I’m here for you guys now.”

    They both smile, happy to be reunited after all this time. Their brother-sister bond as strong as ever.

    ***
    THE NEXT MORNING

    Edison looks across the green fields of Terra Nova. Unlike yesterday there is not a cloud to be seen in the sky above. He smiles as he hears the twittering of birds in trees nearby. Truly an entirely different sensation than waking up to the pulsating sound of a warp drive engine on a starship.

    He looks to his left and sees his nephew David holding a padd in his hands, giving him control over the automated tractor that’s plowing the field. It was his sister Sarah’s idea to join David today. She said she wanted him to get a little taste of life on a farm. But that was just a ruse and an obvious one at that. Her real goal was of course to bring the two of them together, to give her son the chance to clear up things between him and his uncle. But other than a few words about the tractor and its mechanics it appeared David was giving him the silent treatment. It hurts him to see his nephew like this. He is suffering. Edison can see it in his eyes. He lets out a heavy sigh, releasing some of the pressure that’s boiling deep down. He realizes he just has to accept the fact that as long as David keeps silent there’s nothing he can do about the situation.

    Suddenly the tractor comes to a stop. “Dammit,” David curses as he shakes the padd up and down.

    Edison walks up to him: “What’s wrong?”

    David pushes the padd in Edison’s hands: “Here, hold this for me, I think there’s something blocking the engine.” As he starts walking towards the tractor, Edison quickly follows in his trail.

    As they arrive at the tractor with wheels almost twice their size, David starts inspecting the engine. After a couple of minutes of tinkering: “Can’t find anything wrong here. Must be a computer bug or something. Let’s try a system reboot.” He reaches out his hand to Edison, asking for the padd. As Edison hands it back over to him, he leans against one of the wheels and starts browsing on his padd.

    Not a minute later, to their surprise, the engine suddenly kicks back on again. The tractor shoots off, causing David to fall face down into the mud.

    Edison can’t help but start laughing. David just lies there in the mud, cursing to himself as he spits out mud.

    As the fun of the situation finally wears off, Edison reaches out his hand to pull David up from the mud. David looks up at Edison and for a split second the thought of refusing his help seems to race through his mind. But suddenly he smiles. The smile Edison remembers from when David was just a little boy. Any anger or resentment seems to have disappeared completely. His white teeth shine through his muddy face as he grabs Edison’s hand and pulls his uncle down with him into the mud.

    Their laughter echoes across the field as they try to get back up on their feet, occasionally slipping back down. As they finally manage to stand steady on both feet, they fall into each other’s arms, reconnecting with each other as family.

    MOMENTS LATER

    We find Edison and David sitting at the tree line, overlooking the field as the tractor does its job. They haven’t spoken a word since they came down here from the field.

    As Edison stares into the distance: “Your mother told me why you’re mad at me. I’m sorry I couldn’t be here for you. But I also want you to know that I’m proud of you. I know things haven’t been easy around here. You helping your mother run the farm and all. The sacrifices you made …”

    David drops his head into his hands and starts crying. Sounding angry with himself: “Proud of me? You wouldn’t be if you’d know what I did.”

    Edison places his hands on David’s shoulder, trying to comfort him: “There’s nothing you could’ve said or done that would make me any less proud of you. Hey, listen up: whatever it is, we can talk about it.”

    David looks back up at Edison, wiping away his tears: “It’s my fault dad died.”

    Edison frowns, clearly not expecting such a revelation from his nephew. “Orion pirates killed your dad. How could that’ve been your fault?”

    “I was with dad when the Orions raided the village.” His voice trembles as he tries to recount the story: “It was market day. The sun was shining. Not a cloud in the sky, much like today. So lots of people there, you can imagine. Then, suddenly, we hear three loud bangs coming from above us. The sun was blocked and for a moment we thought it could be a thunder storm suddenly sweeping in. But then we saw them. Three Orion shuttles. They landed in the middle of the market place, crushing several market stalls. People started panicking, running in every direction. Some even pushing children and elderly out of their way. And as we saw those Orion pirates jumping out of their shuttles, trying to grab those who were fit enough to sell as slave while killing everyone else, dad ordered me to take the motorcycle and head back home. To safety. To mom.”

    Edison just nods his head, both understanding his brother-in-law’s decision to send his son out of harm’s way as well as David’s pain for being forced to leave his father behind. “Look, your dad did what any father would do: he tried to keep his son out of harm’s way. You shouldn’t be chastising yourself over a decision he made.”

    “He stayed at the village to help the lawmen fend of the Orion raid.” As he wipes another stream of tears from his face: “I often wonder if I could’ve saved him if I had only waited a little while longer.”

    “I’ll tell you what would’ve happened”, Edison says, “The Orions would’ve captured you and sold you off on the slave market.” As he puts it blunt: “Your dad died a hero. And by saving your own life, you spared your mother a whole lot more suffering.”

    And for the first time since the death of his father, it feels like the weight of guilt has been lifted of his shoulders. David smiles as he says: “Thank you.”

    Edison smiles back at him as he places his arm around his nephew’s shoulders.

    ***
    THE SUN IS SETTING LOW

    Sarah sits on the porch of her farm, peeling potatoes. She looks up as she hears Edison and David laughing and talking as they are walking up to the farm. It puts a smile on her face and a warmth inside her heart, a feeling she had long thought to have lost forever.

    As they finally stop in front of her, she inspects them from tip to toe: “Oh no. You’re not setting one foot in the house looking like that.”

    The two look at each other and playfully smile as if saying ‘What is she talking about?’.

    “You can wash yourself in the shower down at the stable.” As she gets up on her feet: “I’ll get you guys some clean underwear and clothes.”

    ***
    NIGHT HAS FALLEN

    Edison is sitting on the porch with a glass of whiskey in his hand, dreaming away as he looks up at the stars above.

    Suddenly the front door swings open. Sarah walks outside, having just finished doing the dishes. She carries an empty glass and a bottle of whiskey: “Care if I join you?”

    Edison looks up at her and smiles: “Of course. It’s your porch, remember?”

    She sits down next to him, pouring herself a shot of whiskey: “I’m glad you and David worked things out.” As she heaves a toast: “To family.”

    Edison smiles as their classes clink: “And mud fights.” They both chuckle, remembering what happened earlier that day in the fields.

    As Edison looks back up at the star spangled sky, Sarah starts wondering: “Guess you miss your life up there, don’t you?”

    Suddenly a sense of sadness seems to take a hold of him. Should he confide his truest feelings to his sister or should he put on his brave face like he’d done so many times over the past three months. He looks his sister in the eyes and for a fraction of a second, recognizes those of their loving mother’s. And for the first time for as long as he can remember, a feeling of comfort descends upon him as he tells her: “To be honest with you, I’m starting to wonder if we should be out there at all.”

    His statement takes Sarah by surprise. Even as a child her brother could only talk about travelling through the stars, searching for new worlds, for greater adventures.

    “We’ve both learned the hard way that the universe can be a dangerous place,” he continues, “Earth’s forces are spread thinly and the farther we reach out for the next star, the further we are away from home, leaving you - the colonists out here - vulnerable.”

    Sarah puts down her glass of whiskey and places her hand on his shoulder: “We all knew the risks when we decided to settle down her on Terra Nova. Yes, there are dangers and yes, life can be hard out here. But it can also be very rewarding.” With a great sense of pride in her voice she continues: “We are the first seeds of humanity, spreading across the galaxy. I’m not afraid to face the consequences that come with fulfilling our destiny. And neither should you.”

    Suddenly their conversation is interrupted by a series of loud explosions. They both look up to the sky and see a dozen fireballs shooting down from space.

    The front door swings open. David runs out of the house in panic, the Orion attack that got his father killed fresh in mind: “What’s happening? The Orions? Did they return?” With wide eyes he looks at Edison for answers.

    As Edison gets back up on his feet: “I don’t know. But it definitely looks like it’s debris from a starship.”

    Sarah gets up now too. Sounding worried: “You’re not thinking about going out there, are you?”

    David realizes his uncle has already made up his mind: something bad happened and the navy captain inside of him screams to be out there. As he runs past Edison and Sarah, shouting: “Come on. Let’s take dad’s motorcycle.”

    Edison looks at Sarah: “I won’t let anything happen to him. Trust me.”

    Realizing her son is a grown man now, old enough to make his own decisions, she just nods and says: “Just be careful out there. The both of you.”

    Edison runs off, following David to the stables.

    ***
    MOMENTS LATER

    Edison rides the motorcycle. David sits behind him, his arms firmly wrapped around his uncle’s waist. In the distance, we see fires burning in the woods.

    ***
    THE CRASH SCENE

    Debris scattered everywhere. The earth is scorched. Trees are on fire.

    Edison and David arrive at the scene. They both get off the motorcycle and start inspecting the impact zone, trying to get a clearer picture of what happened here.

    David halts at a piece of - what looks like a hull plating - and calls out for his uncle.

    As Edison joins him, David points at the alien symbols on the hull plating: “Orion?”

    Edison tries to get a closer look. With frowned eyebrows: “No. No, those aren’t Orion. I haven’t seen this writing before.”

    Suddenly we hear someone moaning and coughing. They both turn around and start searching for this probably heavily wounded person.

    Amid the debris field, Edison notices something that looks a lot like an escape pod. As he walks towards it, he notices that the hatch of the pod is half open. “David!”, he shouts, “Over here.” He takes off his jacket and uses it to cover his hands from the hot burning metal as he tries to force the hatch further open.

    David finally arrives and helps his uncle to pull the alien safely out of the pod.

    As they put the alien carefully back down on the ground, they get a better look now at her features.

    The alien is definitely female. Looking more human than alien. The only difference are her eyebrows, which are pointed upwards - and her ears! Those are pointed too, making her look more like an elf form ancient fairy tales than an alien from outer space.

    David and Edison look each other in the eyes, both surprised and worried at the same time, realizing they just made first contact with a species previously unknown to humans. The universe just got a little bit bigger.



    TO BE CONTINUED …






     
    CeJay likes this.
  2. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Okay, didn't see that twist coming. I guess there's no Bozeman, MT first contact in this universe.

    Curious to see what this alternative and seemingly accidental first contact between humans and Vulcans will mean for Earth and humanity in general and Edison in particular.
     
    TREKISODES likes this.
  3. TREKISODES

    TREKISODES Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2018
    Glad you enjoyed the first episode :).
    I'm going to try to do something entirely different with the Vulcans (while still honouring their legacy), but I can't tell you more without spoiling things :hugegrin:.