The Vulcan - episode 6: Seeing is Believing, Part 2

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Will The Serious, Jan 24, 2023.

  1. Will The Serious

    Will The Serious Captain Captain

    Nov 5, 2022
    The Vulcan Series

    Table of Content:
    Ep. 1: The Needs of the Many
    Ep. 2: The Needs of the Few
    Ep. 3: 'T' Minus Negative
    Ep. 4: A Pon Too Farr
    Ep. 5: Seeing is Believing, Part 1
    Ep. 6: Seeing is Believing, Part 2
    Ep. 7: Mind in a Vat
    Ep. 8: The Job
    The Vulcan Character Highlights


    Episode 6: Seeing is Believing, Part 2

    Boarding aperture between the PIn'a Tlhutlh and the Mystic Spirit

    Waugg is finishing his final business with Thaddeus Mudd. Waugg clips his small personal data pad to his belt and gives Todd a firm pat on the shoulder, knocking Todd a half step sideways.

    Waugg says, "It was worth every credit. Waugg'ta and his sister will be talking about it for weeks. He is really interested in magic, after that."

    "Well, it was my…our pleasure. He is a fine lad. But, we really have to rush off. I'm sorry to say, but you are a businessman, you know how it is."

    Waugg answers, "Of course. I won't hold you up any longer. The crew of the Vulcan are waiting my return in the main salon."

    The Klingon looks around at the cluster of creates, chests, and miscellaneous magic show equipment piled along the corridor. Lushas is being directed by Helga in loading a rolling table with more props. The Andorian woman has changed into a more serviceable worker's set of coveralls.

    "Why don't I send some of the crew down to help you load? They can get you loaded in no time," Waugg offers. He is watching Lushas try to push the ladened table without dropping anything off of it.

    "No, but thank you. Lushas has this down to a science. She knows where everything goes. No need for any of your crew to be here… ah… wasting their valuable time just hanging around. You go entertain your guests. We'll be loaded and launched in less than forty minutes."

    Waugg gives Todd another rough pat on the shoulder and nods. "Very well. Perhaps I will call you for Waugg'ta's birthday, if he's still interested in magic by then."

    Waugg heads back up the corridor. He stops briefly to thank Helga, while Lushas finally manages to get her burden over the boarding threshold and parked aboard the Mystic Spirit, before turning back for another load.

    Todd directs Lushas in loading another rolling cart high with his magic show paraphernalia.

    "Be careful with that, my dear. We can't make a living if my equipment is broken."

    Lushas struggles mildly with the next heavy load. as it rolls up the low ramp into the Mystic Spirit's receiving cabin and transporter room. Helga makes no move to help and Todd only puts a guiding hand on the corner to direct the load from hitting the transporter console.

    Helga asks, "I thought you said you have made us rich. We shouldn't have to worry about this junk. We need to get going."

    "Mother, how many times have I told you, I am an artist. These are my brushes, my paints, and my canvas. I can't just throw them away?"

    Lushas stops pushing when the load reaches the edge of the transporter platform. She straightens up and wipes her hands on her hips. "Well I better get my share, since you two don't seem to be able to even lift a paint brush from these important art supplies."

    Todd reassures his Andorian assistant. "You'll get compensated, just like I promised. But hurry and get the last load. We can't just leave it all behind, or someone will get suspicious." Todd raises his voice with a little passion. "A great magician needs his equipment." Dropping his voice back down, he says, "Besides, no matter how rich I've made us, this stuff still costs me a very pretty penny."

    A space view of the Mystic Spirit underneath the Pln'a Tlhutlh

    The smaller ship, Mystic Spirit, is attached to the underside of the Pln'a Tlhutlh. The power aboard the small craft begins to come on. The viewports glow, the running lights wink on as the vessel makes ready for departure. The larger Vulcan, in the background, flies in company with the private Klingon space yacht.

    S'Talla, from her Captain's Log: "The crew of the Vulcan joined, by invitation, the crew and guests of a wealthy Klingon businessman, to watch the Great Zaddius and Company perform aboard the private Klingon yacht, Pln'a Tlhutlh. Many of us met our first Klingons, and watched an Earth style magic show performed by an Earthling by the name of Thaddeus Mudd.

    Coincidentally, Skyvik had met one of the Klingons aboard the yacht before. Old enemies had become new friends. A fascinating social dynamic that I am at a loss to explain. Perhaps professional soldiers are able to keep their jobs separated and recognize that actions during war do not have to define who we are.

    After the magic show, Mudd said, the Great Zaddius and Company had to race away to their next engagement. We stayed long enough to enjoy one last round of Klingon hospitality. We too needed to get on with our own mission to catch the Vaikar-Kau-Bureki."

    The main salon of the PIn'a Tlhutlh

    The talk is about the magic show and a round of new drinks being served. The bloodwine and firewine being passed around are a little more tame than Chech'tluth, only a little more tame.

    S'Talla asks Toallas, "Do you have tea? If not, water will do very well."

    "Of course." Replies the happy Klingon woman. "We have several varieties of tea. We even have a Federation import of black tea, will that do?"

    S'Talla bows her head. "That would be perfect. Thank you."

    Sam asks, "Do you have a small cup of that Chech'tluth fifty-seven? I really did like that. However, when it comes to holding my liquor, in my country, I'm a lightweight, so just a shot is all I want."

    Toallas smiles an appreciative smile at Sam. "I am so glad you like it. It is a family favorite." Toallas turns and calls to Tork, "Tork, would you bring us a small cup of the fifty-seven."

    Tork responds, "Of course." The old Klingon turns with a sneer and heads off, tray in hand.

    Toallas tells her guests, "Tork is wonderful. He has been with my family since before Waugg and I got married. I am so glad he chose to stay with us. Help like that is impossible to find."

    Ya and Ne approach their host, Waugg. They have to look up quite far to address the tall, corpulent Klingon.

    Ya begins, "We wish to thank you personally…"

    "... for inviting us to watch the Great Zaddius," Ne finishes. "We left Bynar to explore the galaxy…"

    Ya picks the conversation back up. "... and have new experiences. We have not met any Klingons before,"

    Ne adds, "...nor have we seen a magic show. It is…"

    Both of them say together, "...very exciting. Thank you."

    Waugg answers, "I am glad you enjoyed it. I have never had the chance to meet Bynars before either. It is good to get out once in a while. My warrior days are past, but I think getting out to travel again would be good for my family. I am traveling on business for this trip. Maybe a pleasure cruise is called for in the near future.

    "Thank you for accepting my invitation. I hope you are also enjoying the bloodwine. It is an old family recipe. A specialty, in fact."

    Ya and Ne have been holding two full goblets of wine. They look at each other and silently decide how to respond. Together they turn back to their generous host and say, nodding their heads in unison, "Um hum! Excellent."

    "Ha ha! Thank you. Please drink up. There is plenty." Their friendly host encourages them. He raises his glass to prompt them to enjoy their own drinks immediately.

    Naxx, an empty cup of wine in his hand, steps over and saves his two crew mates. "If I'm not interrupting anything... but, I have been wondering about the script displayed on the wall. Would you please tell me, is that Klingon poetry? My Klingon is very rusty, however, I believe I recognize the piece."

    The large Klingon turns from his two small purple guests, relieving them of having to drink more of the blood wine in their cups. Naxx walks the Klingon over to admire the framed script on the wall.

    Charlie and T'Pia join the two Bynars.

    Charlie asks, "You don't really like the wine, do you?" Assuming the answer to be yes, Charlie continues without waiting for their response. "The hard part is knowing what the best approach is to take. When I was in secondary school, I once got invited over to my girlfriend's house for dinner. Her parents served me chòu dòufu. It was one of their favorite foods, but I had never had it before and I had to force myself to get past the smell, just so I didn't insult them. I ate it, but I hated it. It was tangy, sour and musty, but it was the smell that really made it hard to eat. I told them it was excellent, though.

    "You know what? I dated that girl for six months and every time I went to dinner, her mother made that stinky tofu. It was horrible. They thought I loved it, so they made sure to have it when I came to dinner. By the end, I had actually learned to like it before I finally told my girlfriend that I hadn't been telling the truth. She laughed so hard I got angry."

    Ya nods and asks, "Is that why you did not…"

    Ne completes the question, "... pair with her?"

    Charlie looks quizzical. "Oh no, we paired, we paired a lot."

    It was Ya and Ne's turn to look quizzical. "It must be difficult to be…"

    "...separated from your paired half by so much…" Ne fills in.

    Ya finishes the sentence. "... distance."

    Charlie shakes his head. "What? No, we didn't marry or anything. I went off to Houston Texas, for four weeks, to compete in the National Young Engineers Development Race. When I got back, she had another boyfriend. Said I was too nerdy for her."

    "We do not understand," Ne states.

    Ya explains, "On Bynar, when you choose to pair, …"

    Ne finishes, "... two halves complete the whole."

    Both of them say together, "It is the final stage in Bynar development into adults."

    Charlie smiles and nods. "Master Po used to say stuff like that. 'We are all halves of a whole mind. We must choose to be awake to the thoughts of the whole.' " Charlie imitated the speech of his Shaolin tutor.

    T'Pia comments, "Vulcan training tells us to be awake to the Vulcan mind. Our individual minds are only a component. We use logic to help us see the greater mind of Unity."

    Ya and Ne both says together, "Unity of mind; two as one."

    Ne adds, "That is the Bynar philosophy."

    "Who would have thought," Charlie comments, obviously happy. "that I would come halfway across the quadrant, and beam aboard a Klingon ship, only to find my Shaolin teachers have followed me."

    On board the Vulcan, in Randool's converted cargo bay

    T'Perl, Spalloz, and Randool are standing around a half scale holographic projection of Spalloz's design. Maybellene is sitting uncovered behind them. Spalloz' MISER racing design looks fast and nimble. The bubble canopy is tilted up to allow viewing of the interior two seater cockpit.

    "It is designed to provide the maximum response from a minimal adjustment of the controls." Spalloz is saying.

    Vulcan interrupts. "Mister Harrix, T'Perl, you are on watch, so I am informing you. I have been monitoring activities aboard the PIn'a Tlhutlh, and have observed some anomalous activities performed by the Mystic Spirit, the small vessel attached to the companion port underneath. I do not find a context in any historical data to explain it. Perhaps you can."

    T'Perl asks, "What have you observed?"

    Vulcan explains, "I have not connected with either ships' computers, because I did not wish to be intrusive, so I do not know in detail what is happening aboard. Our crew are staying together as they move through the PIn'a Tlhutlh. I have been keeping track of them through their communicators, considering what happened on board the future Romulan laboratory, Chiron Station."

    T'Perl says, "Of course. Continue."

    Vulcan continues. "This involves an unknown Human that the Mystic Spirit has used its transporters to move from a large crowded room, with our people in it, to an isolated section that looks to be the private passenger quarters and master's quarters, then back again. I picked out a very odd electronic signal the individual in question seemed to be emitting. It was similar, but simpler than the signals that occasionally broadcast from the cap Mister Santiana wears. I can find no other reference to an electronic signature like it in the Vulcan or Federation databases."

    "I have not accessed the database or internal security systems aboard the PIn'a Tlhutlh or the Mystic Spirit. Do you think I should do that?"

    Not waiting for an answer, Vulcan explains, "I would not want another ship to attempt such an intrusion against me. However, I am concerned for the safety of my crew, so I am uncertain of the ethical considerations."

    T'Perl considers the ship's words for a moment.

    Spalloz takes the moment of silence to respond. "It is always a good guide to decide moral principles based on a self-reflective view. The universe has a clear reciprocal nature to it. Every action results in a reaction, so consideration of others as if they were you is a fundamentally logical approach. Vulcans are taught, 'we define our ethics through our actions.' However, ships and their computers are not conscious, self-aware beings. There is no intrusion from that point of view. The ship's owners and captains may find such intrusions objectionable, though. A trespass, as a precaution for a baseless and imagined threat to our crew, may not be enough to justify an invasion of privacy or security."

    Randool adds, "There is an ancient saying among my people. 'How you treat others tells others how you wish to be treated'."

    "I understand. I shall remain vigilant and maintain a passive watch," states Vulcan. "Does the behavior I have described sound normal to you? Can you explain to me what has happened?"

    T'Perl answers, "No, it neither sounds normal, nor can we explain it. But that does not mean there is not a very reasonable or normal explanation. We lack good facts to act upon."

    Vulcan responds, "I follow your logic. I will return to my watch now. Thank you. You have helped me to clarify an important principle by which to make decisions."

    After a moment of silence, T'Perl asks her two companions, "I have not had many conversations with a computer before. Do computers often concern themselves with ethics like that?"

    Randool says, "I have had many conversations with ship's computers, they are highly intelligent, but I also have never had a conversation about ethics where it included the computer's perspective. That must have been some checkup, those scientists gave our ship."

    Spalloz asks his companions, "Do you think the… Vulcan's concerns about the activities aboard the Klingon ship are worth investigating more deeply?"

    "Yes," answers T'Perl. "I will return to the transporter room and monitor from there. At least one of you should report to the bridge. Sadek is on duty there."
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2023
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  2. Will The Serious

    Will The Serious Captain Captain

    Nov 5, 2022
    On the bridge of the Vulcan

    Sadek is in the planning room, just off the bridge when Spalloz enters. He is sitting alone at a game of three dimensional chess on the large table in the center.

    Vulcan speaks out, "E Knight to d4 for the capture of your queen."

    Sadek reaches out to make the move the Vulcan directed.

    Spalloz scans the board silently for a moment.

    Sadek sits back and tells Spalloz, "Spalloz, the computer has just presented me with an interesting scenario aboard the Klingon ship."

    Vulcan speaks up, "I have carried out the identical discussion with Mister. Spalloz, Mister Harrix, and Ms. T'Perl, at the same time I was discussing my moral quandary with you, Mister Sadek. They came to very similar conclusions. With the exception that they did not suggest alerting Captain S'Talla or Commander Skyvik. I am waiting until my sensors indicate that one or the other is alone when I contact them."

    The Vulcan changes her tone. "Lieutenant Sadek, I am informing you of the departure of the Mystic Spirit. They have started up their engines and are releasing their moorings with the PIn'a Tlhutlh."

    "They are leaving?" asks Spalloz.

    Vulcan says, "It appears so. They have drifted only five meters from the PIn'a Tlhutlh, and are already engaging their impulse engines. Standard disengagement and launch procedures warns of the dangers in engaging field drive engines within Twenty-five meters of the host ship. They are being unnecessarily reckless."

    Sadek comments, "They must be in a hurry to take such..."

    "Sam to Sadek." comes a hale from Samantha Kelly, just then.

    Sadek presses a com button on the tabletop. "Sadek here. Go ahead Ms. Kelly."

    Sam comes back over the com. "Tell whomever is on watch in the transporter room that we are all ready to beam back. Two groups, like before; six and six."

    Sadek answers, "Will do, Ms. Kelley. Sadek out."

    Spalloz comments, "That settles our question about contacting the captain."

    The transporter reception room aboard the PIn'a Tlhutlh

    Waugg and Toallas are saying their final goodbyes. Sam and S'Talla are making sure the first group, Cialoa, Art, Ya and Ne, Charlie, and T'Pia are ready to step up onto the transporter platform.

    Waugg'ta and Trinn stand side-by-side to say goodbye to Skyvik. Trinn is looking stoic while Waugg'ta is animated and excited. It's late and he's acting a little aimless.

    "I know you have to go Mr. Skyvik, but you can come visit us on Klingon. My dad has a big company and we live in a big house, so there's lots of room." Waugg'ta assures the big Vulcan. "Maybe if you come visit, you can teach me how to fight like you, and you and Ghant can practice together. It would be fun. Do you think that could happen?"

    "It is possible," Skyvik tries to answer without disappointing the young boy.

    Ghant speaks, "Skyvik, my worthy friend, I have something for you. I've been waiting a long time to give this to you." Ghant swings a small chest up from where it was sitting on the floor next to the transporter controls. It is a finely made box with an external latch holding the lid closed. On top is a handle made from some form of polished bone or ivory. The hardware is of masterful craftsmanship, the polished finish makes the chest a show piece.

    Ghant cradles the chest in one large hand and flips the latch opened. Skyvik stands silent, watching the lid swing up. Inside are eight old style Federation phasers cushioned carefully in a row inside. Skyvik recognized his old phaser and seven of those from his lost team.

    Ghant says in his gruff voice, "I have kept them with the greatest respect for their owners, hoping one day to meet their leader, and the best of them. My wish is that I might return them to you." Ghant seems to need a moment as his voice hitches. "It is through our honorable acts of bravery and heroism that Klingons seek to gain immortality and respect. We act according to how we believe others should act towards us. That is why I am your devoted friend. I wish the same favor from you."

    Skyvik simply stares at the open box.

    "Take the gift, Skyvik." Sam bumps his elbow.

    Skyvik moves. He takes the box and meets Ghant's eyes. "Thank you. I count you among my closest friends. You have honor still, to teach me." Skyvik thinks for a moment, then he reaches to his waist. "This has been my personal weapon, ever since I returned after that day on Massinon N32. It has never left my side since then. I wish for you to have it. I will not forget the lessons you have taught me, then or now."

    As Skyvik hands his phaser to Ghant, he does not see the small slip of paper float from his belt where his phaser had been holstered. Ghant moves to pick it up for him.

    "You dropped something. Here. A bit of old fashion paper? I did not think you were so old as to keep notes on paper." Ghant reads it. Sam bends in, her curiosity getting the better of her. The paper contains a series of three digit numbers.

    "What is that?" Sam asks. Her question draws Waugg's attention as he passes. The first six members of the Vulcan crew had just dematerialised and Waugg was turning his attention to his remaining six guests.

    Ghant reaches to hand the paper back to Skyvik. Skyvik, shaking his head in the negative answers Sam. "I have never seen that piece of paper before. I do not know what it…" Skyvik reaches automatically to take the paper from Ghant when Waugg snatches the series of numbers from Ghant's fingers.

    "It is the code to my safe. What are you doing with it?" Waugg eyes Skyvik suspiciously for an instant before nodding to the giant Klingon. "Ghant!"

    Ghant clicks Skyvik's phaser on and levels it at Skyvik. He steps back to prevent Skyvik from attempting to disarm him at close range.

    S'Talla steps up. "Whatever is going on here, Skyvik has done no wrong to you." She says to Waugg.

    "We shall see. Ghant, hold them," Waugg orders Ghant.

    Ghant taps a band on his wrist. The phaser remains steadily on Skyvik. "Security!" Ghant calls.

    A distant voice comes from Ghant's collar, just under his ear. "Drannok here."

    "I need a full detail in the transporter room immediately. I want you personally to meet Waugg at his quarters. He is heading there now."

    "Already on our way."

    Waugg strides out of the door to go check his quarters.

    To Skyvik, Ghant orders, "Do nothing. I will protect Toallas and the children at the cost of everything else."

    Skyvik responds, "They are in no danger from us. We are not here to harm nor rob from them."

    Trinn runs up and stands between Ghant and Skyvik. She grabs Skyvik's hand and tucks herself against the big Vulcan, facing Ghant.

    Trinn challenges Ghant with, "I don't believe Skyvik would do us any harm. That is not who you have told us the soldier you fought is." Trinn reaches out and takes the box with the phasers from Skyvik's other hand. Skyvik offers no resistance. "Here, take these back. Now he is unarmed." Trinn holds the box out to Ghant.

    Ghant takes the box carefully and says, "Trinn, you are playing a dangerous game. Skyvik is a soldier. He follows orders and does what needs to be done. You must stand clear or I fear for your safety."

    Skyvik leans down over the young Klingon woman. "Ghant is right. You should be guarding your brother's safety, not mine. That is where your responsibilities lie. Protect your younger brother."

    Trinn looks up. "But what about you? Who will watch out for you?"

    The doors sweep open and the six member Klingon security team enters, disruptors drawn and ready.

    Skyvik tells Trinn, "I am in no danger here. Ghant is a Klingon with great honor and no fear. He will not harm me unnecessarily and it will not be necessary. I appreciate, and am moved by your concern, but I am one hundred and nine years old. I do not need to be watched out for. Please move out of the way and stand guard with your brother."

    Trinn allows Skyvik to move her away until she finally lets his hand go. She walks over to put her hands around her brother's shoulders from behind, and steps him back to stand next to their mother behind the transporter control panel.

    The security detail fans out to cover the remaining six Vulcan crew members.

    Ghant offers Skyvik assurance. "You are right. If you give no cause, you are in no danger. However, I too am a soldier and will follow orders and do what is necessary."

    Waugg comes back into the transporter room in a rage. A large Klingon in a security uniform is with him.

    "It is gone!" Waugg shouts at Skyvik. "Where is it? The formula is gone and you had the code. If you do not return it right now, I will have Ghant kill you and imprison your crew until I get it back."

    S'Talla calmly steps forward. "We do not have your formula. We did not take it. The Great Zaddius did. We have all been in your company our entire visit here. The magician has had much more opportunity than we. I understand he has a history of criminal activity. He is using us as a diversion, a false target to make his escape. It is logical, and it has happened before."

    A voice comes on over the intercom. Bridge to Captain Waugg, the Vulcan is leaving. It is heading out on a parallel course with the Mystic Spirit and has jumped to warp factor eight point nine."

    Waugg looks to S'Talla for an explanation. "That is a fast ship for a freighter. Where is it going?"

    S'Talla nods and says, "Vulcan is attempting to catch Thaddeus Mudd's ship. She will do what she can to bring you back your formula. We offer ourselves as collateral until then."

    Ghant holsters his phaser and hands the gift box back to Skyvik.

    "What are you doing Ghant?" asks Waugg.

    "I believe them. They are no threat to us, and my friend Skyvik had nothing to do with the theft of your formula," Ghant explains. "I was there when Mudd planted the note on him. I did not realize what he was doing, but it makes sense. It was Mudd who found us and offered to perform a magic show for your family, it was Mudd who suggested inviting the crew of the Vulcan aboard to join us, and Mudd planted the note on Skyvik when we went up with your children to say goodbye. A soldier with Skyvik's experience would not have written a combination on a piece of paper, then be thoughtless enough to drop it. It all makes sense. Someone hired Mudd. Someone who knew about the formula."

    Trinn runs over to Skyvik. "I knew it all along. You couldn't have robbed us."

    Trinn backs away to look up at Skyvik. "We are friends. I thought you would be a good choice for a future mate. I'm sorry, you are way too old for me. But we will still be friends, right?"

    "Always," answers Skyvik.

    Sam beams with a big smile. "Wow, is that darker green around your face a blush, Skyvik? All my years on Vulcan and I have never seen a Vulcan blush."

    Skyvik states with a straight face, "I do not know what this blush is you are talking about."

    Sam turns to Waugg. "If you have another shot of Chech'tluth, I, for one, could really use it."

    Waugg laughs, relieving all the tension in the cabin. Disruptors quickly disappear.

    The Vulcan and the Mystic Spirit standing off in space

    The Vulcan dwarfs the Mystic Spirit while she lies beam to bow, crossing in front of the magician's ship, blocking her way.

    On board the Mystic Spirit

    "Gentlemen, I don't have a clue as to what you are talking about," claims a protesting Thaddeus Mudd.

    They are in an open salon, cluttered with the various props and paraphernalia of a magician just moving his tricks back aboard after a show. The boxes and chests and sarcophagus, as well as his tank of eels are still crowded around the transporter platform against the forward bulkhead.

    Sadek holds a phaser on Todd Mudd, while Art pats the magician down looking for the data chip.

    Art says, "You don't remember me, do you Todd?"

    Charlie and Ya and Ne are blocking Helga and Lushas from interfering. Ya and Ne also hold phasers. Neither of the two females look interested in getting more involved.

    Art finds something in Thaddeus's left sleeve. He reaches in and pulls. It is a red scarf. The red scarf is attached to a yellow scarf. Art pulls more. More scarves come out.

    After about twenty scarves, the end is reached and Todd snaps his fingers and points at Art. "Billy Gruff. Yes. You are a terrible poker player."

    Art pats at Todd's chest. He smiles. "I'm a great poker player. You and your brother just cheated." Art reaches inside Todd's jacket, just behind the left lapel. He finds a small metal box. Something that looks like an old cigarette case. "What's this?"

    Art flips the case open and a red ball springs out. The ball is made of a spongy foam that allows it to expand instantly to four times the size of Art's fist. The ball springs up towards Art's face and he flinches when it bounces off his nose.

    Todd chuckles, "One of my favorites, that one."

    T'Pia wanders, unattended, over to pick up Todd's top hat from inside a large opened and otherwise bare chest. The hat appears empty until T'Pia fishes around inside and pulls out a bouquet of flowers.

    Todd notices. "Please leave that alone. That is a very expensive hat that I had specially made by…"

    T'Pia reaches in again and pulls out the data chip.

    "Now I… I… I don't know how that got in there. It probably isn't even what you are looking for. I… I'm sure there is…"

    T'Pia hands it to Charlie who plugs the chip into a tricorder hanging from his shoulder. Charlie consults the screen.

    "It seems to be a recipe… for… beer?" Charlie looks up from his readout with a questioning expression.

    Todd responds thoughtlessly. "No. It's a secret military… um… yes, yes, beer. An old family recipe. I was wondering where that went."

    Charlie adds, "Waugg's name is at the bottom of the document."

    Sadek says, "Bring him."

    Todd snaps his fingers again and his magic wand appears in his hand. He points it at Sadek and Charlie. "Stand back. This may look like only a prop, but it is a small phaser. It only has one setting, so you better let us go or I will be forced to fire."
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2023
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  3. Will The Serious

    Will The Serious Captain Captain

    Nov 5, 2022
    Everyone freezes. Charlie looks surprised. Art stands back and raises his hands.

    "Come on. Drop your phasers," Mudd directs Sadek, and Ya and Ne.

    T'Pia says, "He is bluffing."

    Mudd looks offended and says, "I never bluff."

    Art, hands still in the air, says, "No. You cheat."

    T'Pia says, "I can feel his mind. He is not telling the truth. Which seems often to be the case for him."

    Art drops his hands and moves in to remove the wand from Todd's hand. A puff of glitter from Mudd's sleeve startles Art mildly.

    Thaddeus raises a finger and calls out a protest. "This is piracy. The next thing you'll be trying to do, no doubt, is locking me in a chest to carry me back." He moves over to the chest T'Pia had retrieved the top hat from. "Well I say, 'Never!'" Thaddeus waves his index finger in the air imperiously. "You can not push Thaddeus Waldo Mudd around like this. I have done nothing wrong except invite pirates aboard. And now you would shove me into this chest?" Thaddeus Mudd steps into the chest as though to put extra stress on his protestations.

    Art watches his every move. "I'm beginning to like this idea, Todd. You shouldn't push it.

    Thaddeus stares at Art. "You wouldn't. It must be hours back to the Klingon ship. It is barbaric, inhumane. You won't get away with this."

    Art spies a padlock sitting open on a nearby table.

    He reaches for it. "Maybe not all the way back to the Klingon ship. Art reaches up to shove Todd's head downward until Mudd bends down into the box.

    "You Can't do this to the Great Zaddius!"

    Art flips the lid closed, attaches the padlock, and checks all around the chest. He finds a panel on the back side that shifts. Art clicks the panel back in place and says to Charlie, "find something to wedge this panel closed so it can't be opened."

    The chest bumps with Mudd's struggles and protests. He calls out from inside, "I have my rights." The box rocks again.

    Art kicks the chest, "I found the false panel, you can't escape now, so settle down in there or we'll drop you in eel water."

    The chest quiets.

    Charlie drags the pile of chain from Mudd's escape trick over. "Wrap this around it a few times," he says.

    In moments, the chest is wound numerous times with the long chain. Art tries to tie the ends closed, but chain is difficult to tie. He looks up and the Andorian woman is standing over him with another padlock in her hand. "This one is real."

    Art stares at her for a moment trying to judge her words. Then he looks to T'Pia. "Is she telling the truth?"

    T'Pia shrugs, "I would not know. I have never been good at feeling the minds of others."

    Art intones, "But you sensed Mudd was lying!?!

    T'Pia answers, "That was a bluff."

    "I thought Vulcans never bluff," Art responds indignantly.

    T'Pia smiles. "It is always safer to assume that to be true."

    Sadek contacts their ship to beam aboard. "Sadek to T'Perl, six plus a box with a seventh in it, to beam back aboard."

    The Vulcan crew gather around the chest. It bumps once again. Art gives it another kick. "Quiet down."

    T'Perl calls over the com, "I have you locked. Activating now."

    Art turns quickly before dematerialisation begins and asks Lushas, "You will follow us back! You do know how to operate…"

    "Oh please." Answers Lushas, cutting Art off. We don't ever let Todd fly. We are more than capable."

    The six members of the away party and their chest full of Mudd fade from view.

    On board the Vulcan

    Sadek and Art carry the large chest down from the transporter platform, and set it by the control panel. Art struggles where Sadek is having an easy time.

    "He's lighter than he looks," grunts Art.

    T'Perl points out, "He is a magician, maybe he has escaped."

    T'Pia says, "That would be impossible. We have not let the crate out of our sight. He is in there.

    Art is literally scratching his head while he considers the possibility. "The box is still heavy. I'm not saying he's not in there. Just that he's not as fat as he looks."

    Vulcan speaks up. Mister Spalloz has already set our course for the Klingon ship. We are traveling at warp factor eight point nine. We should arrive in two hours and twelve minutes."

    Ya speaks up, "We will be needed…"

    Ne finishes, " navigation."

    The two Bynars exit to the turbo-lift.

    "Are you going to keep Mister Mudd in the chest the whole way back? He may require some recovery after being confined to a crate for that amount of time," Vulcan points out.

    "Nah," answers Art. "We'll just give him a couple of minutes to think things through." He kicks the box hard and calls down to the crate, "If he's still in the box. How great is the Great Zaddius? You can't escape this one, you cheat."

    Vulcan informs Art, "Mister Santiana, I have to inform you that my scans are revealing the box to be empty."

    "Ha, I see you have been programmed for humor, although not good humor," Art comments.

    Vulcan explains, "I have not been programmed for humor and I was not trying to be funny. The chest is empty."

    Art stares at the chest for a moment, considering that possibility. Everyone stares at the chest.

    Sadek says, "We have had that chest in our possession since Mudd got in it. It is illogical that he could have escaped."

    "Well, open it," suggests Charlie.

    Sadek says, "We do not have the key."

    Art steps up and faces the lock. "I got this." He looks directly at the lock and says, "Open." The lock remains closed. "I was afraid of that."

    "What were you trying to do?" asks Charlie.

    "My cap opens locks just by thinking about it, but it apparently won't work on a mechanical lock. I'll be right back." Art runs to the turbo-lift and says, "Vulcan, my quarters, please." The lift doors close to take Art to his cabin.

    Charlie shrugs, "Cutters?"

    "Most logically for Art, lock picks," answers T'Pia.

    Charlie nods his head in agreement.

    Art wastes no time in returning and deftly picks the lock on the chains. They unwrap all the chain, then Art goes to work on the big padlock on the chest.

    Art chuckles, "Ha! Legendary unpickable lock, my great aunt Uncle."

    Sadek swings the lid open. Inside is another pile of chain and a note.

    "Thank You.
    "You have been a great audience.
    "-The Great Zaddius, and Company."

    Charlie laughs. "He has a sense of humor."

    T'Perl, still standing at the transporter controls, looks up. "Their ship has fled. I do not read them on our sensors from here. I cannot tell which way they went. I can pick up their trail from the bridge. Should we go after them again?"

    T'Pia answers, "Our priority is recovering our crew, then the return of the data chip. If we are mistaken about the chip, Vulcan can catch them again."

    On board the PIn'a Tlhutlh

    Ghant plugs the data chip into a computer console in the transporter room. He leans over the screen to study the chip's contents.

    "It is a recipe for ghobHIq." Ghant looks at Waugg for his judgment.

    Waugg says, "That's the one. It is an old family recipe and what has made our family fortune. If my competitors got a hold of that formula, it could ruin my company."

    Sam asks, "Beer? Your company manufactures alcohol?"

    "The best in the Empire." Toallas responds.

    Sam asks, "What exactly is ghobHIq?"

    Waugg says, "It is Klingon beer, just as your crew has surmised."

    Ghant adds helpfully, "Not any beer. GhobHIq is consumed before going into battle or when you are looking for a fight in a bar. It inflames the heart for war."

    Sam says, "I see. The Irish might call a drink like that, War Nog. I would like to try it sometime, as long as it doesn't actually make me want to go to war."

    Waugg promises, "I will have a case of my best beamed over. I think I shall market this new batch as Warnog, in your honor, Sam Kelly. You would make a good Klingon."

    Waugg sees the crew of the Vulcan onto the transporter platform. He reaches out to take S'Talla's hand, "Captain, it has been my great honor to meet you and your crew." Waugg then catches at a sturdy gold chain around his neck with a crest pattern on the pendant and lifts it off, over his head.

    He tells S'Talla, "This is my family crest. It is carved into the quick of a Ranroak claw that I killed when I was the same age as my son Waugg'ta is now. It will keep you from being detained in Klingon space. Every Klingon knows this emblem. It is on every bottle of our product. I hope you will come visit someday, for Ghant's sake. He does not often get to keep company with his equal."

    S'Talla copies Waugg's Klingon salute with a fist to her chest and a bow of her head. "I will make this a plan for the future. We must hurry to Epsilon-Hydra, for now. Live long and prosper."

    Waugg moves down to capture Skyvik's hand. "I have never met a legend before. The story of your battle with Ghant has made you immortal among the Klingon people. I know you understand when I accused you of stealing from me."

    Skyvik offers, "It was a logical conclusion."

    "Yes," replies Waugg. "So I won't ask for forgiveness. Only offer you a place in my home, should you ever need one. Waugg'ta and Trinn would both be thrilled if you came to visit us on Klingon someday."

    Skyvik salutes with a fist to his chest. "It would be my honor." He then holds out the Vulcan sign of goodwill. "Live long and prosper."

    Waugg fails in attempting the 'V' with his fingers, but replies with, "Live long and prosper. A good wish for friends."

    S'Talla pulls out her compact communicator and flips it open. "S'Talla to T'Perl. We are ready to beam aboard."

    The bridge of Vulcan

    S'Talla is sitting in her chair on the bridge. Ya and Ne are at their posts at navigation and defense. Skyvik is sitting at the tactical station with T'Perl in the sensor monitor chair. Sadek has communications. Sam is leaning against the com.

    S'Talla orders Ya, "Bring our warp drives online and prepare for departure. Resume our heading to the Epsilon-Hydra system."

    Sam asks, "So, Mudd escaped an inescapable, locked chest while four of our crew were watching it every second?"

    S'Talla looks around at Sadek. She asks, "That is how I understand it. Is that correct, Sadek?"

    Sadek replies, "Affirmative. Except that he did escape, it was impossible for him to do so without our witnessing it and intervention."

    "That is truly impressive," Sam says. "He should have performed that trick at the show."

    "He did," Vulcan offers. "He performed that exact feat when he stole the formula. The Mystic Spirit is otherwise a very basic small star cruiser capable of no more than warp three, but she is outfitted with a highly sophisticated transporter system. I recorded unusual transporter activity. This included a unique signal that allows for highly precise lock and targeting. The truly impressive feat is that Mudd was able to transport through my shields"

    T'Perl turns to pay more attention. "That cannot be. It is a well known engineering limitation of current transporter technology."

    Vulcan answers, "I have discovered an obscure publication by a Tellarite scientist that describes the theory of a polyphase ultra-high-frequency signal monitor and transverter that could potentially break a transporter signal up into compressed packet bursts coordinated to match the varied frequencies of a starship's shields. This would allow the transporter beam to pass between cycles.

    "It was presented as a theory six years ago, but it was not taken seriously by the engineering community. The transporter signal from the Mystic Spirit matched the proposed concept in the paper by Professor Tol Houk."

    "Fascinating," responds S'Talla. "Could you counter this signal to prevent it from happening again?"

    Vulcan answers, "Negative. I can randomize my shield frequencies to make it difficult to find a predictable pattern, but a sufficiently sensitive and responsive signal generator could possibly use a brute force approach."

    T'Perl suggests, "How about a multi-layered shield with each layer on a different frequency? Could you do that to stop the penetration of a signal?"

    Vulcan answers, "That would work. However, I cannot generate such a configuration. I have control over the processes, but not the hardware of my systems. I am not designed to generate such a shield."

    Vulcan points out, "with a small modification to the modulation circuits, I could generate a transporter signal similar to that of the Mystic Spirit, but that would require the assistance of an engineer."

    T'Perl begins thinking to herself. "We have the equipment. With an additional force field emitter and signal repeaters, we could install a tri-layered shield. That would work. I'll have to talk to T'Pree, but we could do it if we upgraded your power source." T'Perl straightens up. "I will talk to Professor Kazzak."

    S'Talla says, "You will, of course, ask Vulcan's permission before making any changes. For now, Ya! Let us go onward."

    "Aye Aye Captain," both Ya and Ne respond.

    Sam smiles, "I just love it when they do that."


    Table of Content:
    Ch. 1: The Needs of the Many
    Ch. 2: The Needs of the Few
    Ch. 3: 'T' Minus Negative
    Ch. 4: A Pon Too Farr
    Ch. 5: Seeing is Believing, Part 1
    Ch. 6: Seeing is Believing, Part 2
    Ep. 7: Mind in a Vat
    The Vulcan Character Highlighs
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2023
  4. Robert Bruce Scott

    Robert Bruce Scott Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jun 18, 2021
    I missed the end of the magic show, but I suppose it wasn't necessary for carrying the plot forward. It was a nicely written segment. I particularly enjoyed the interaction among Skyvik, Ghant and Waugg's children. A hack (and there were plenty among the writers in the franchise) would have overplayed Ghant into a stereotypical response instead of the measured response he shows in this segment. I really appreciate seeing characters treated with respect to their intelligence and integrity. This was a particularly well-written and well-thought out scene.

    Thanks!! rbs
  5. Will The Serious

    Will The Serious Captain Captain

    Nov 5, 2022
    WHAT? The end of the show is missing? I'll go check on that when I get a minute. I didn't cut it on purpose.

    Robert Bruce Scott likes this.
  6. Will The Serious

    Will The Serious Captain Captain

    Nov 5, 2022
    I found the mistake and fixed it. I hadn't finished posting on episode 5. I paused to ask opinions about spitting the episode into two, so I waited, thinking I'd have a better idea of where to make the division, and I lost track of where I'd left it in my last episode. If you want to read the end of the magic show, it is here:
    Last post of episode 5
    That's the part where Todd Mudd plants the false note on Skyvik, so it is somewhat important to the plot, though, as rbs says, it isn't critical.

    Robert Bruce Scott likes this.
  7. Will The Serious

    Will The Serious Captain Captain

    Nov 5, 2022
    I have given the Klingon characteristics some thought and have concluded that a space faring species, no matter how much importance they put on honor in battle, have to also be sophisticated enough to develop high science technology and involve themselves in the day-to-day processes of supporting a complex society. When war is not declared, the average citizen may well be able to cross borders and visit the otherside. To do so, they would reasonably be civil to their hosts, if not out right friendly.

    Robert Bruce Scott likes this.
  8. Kringle Kong

    Kringle Kong Captain Captain

    Sep 25, 2022
    Bynar0110-Ohio Valley, USA
    Awesome update Will
  9. Will The Serious

    Will The Serious Captain Captain

    Nov 5, 2022
    Here's the latest cover art for The Vulcan series.

  10. Kringle Kong

    Kringle Kong Captain Captain

    Sep 25, 2022
    Bynar0110-Ohio Valley, USA
    Mudd the Mad Magician
  11. Robert Bruce Scott

    Robert Bruce Scott Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jun 18, 2021
    Really nice job with Mudd - strong family resemblance. And Lushas is adorable.

    Thanks!! rbs
    Will The Serious likes this.
  12. Will The Serious

    Will The Serious Captain Captain

    Nov 5, 2022
    I have made a small, but important edit to the story. No need to go back and read it. It is just a species change.

    I have changed the inventor of the shields penetrating transporter from Ferengi to Tellarite. Professor Tol Hauk is rightfully Tellarite, instead of Ferengi.

    After reading a little more thoroughly the Memory Alpha data on Ferengi, I realized that a Ferengi would not fit neatly into the series time-frame of approximately 2266 Earth date (about the third season of TOS). A Tellarite scientist makes more sense. He could be removed enough from mainstream Federation research and advanced enough to reasonably come up with a design who's publication could be accessible, but almost lost in the vast minor papers that must exist in the deep archives of ignored or minor ideas.

    For those of you who were sort of getting into the idea of Ferengi interacting with the Federation at the time of the original series, what I read was that, "official" first contact had not been made, but there were incidences of disguised Ferengi business men and less scrupulous latinum hounds crossing into and trading in Federation space nearly a hundred years before that first contact.

    《《《《《 DANGER 》》》》》
    - - - - Proceed with caution - - - -
    《《《《《 DANGER 》》》》》


    《《《《《 DANGER 》》》》》
    - - - - Proceed with caution - - - -
    《《《《《 DANGER 》》》》》

    That last bit actually plays perfectly into where I have envisioned the end of season 1 going. There will be a Ferengi (or two) making an important appearance somewhere in the later episodes.

    Last edited: Nov 21, 2023
    Robert Bruce Scott likes this.