Sunday, January 5, 2020

Star Trek: Federation Installation Nine, Episode 26 Inscrutable




                                                                 INSCRUTABLE

When I took this assignment, I made a promise to myself that I would try and form a close personal as well as working relationship with my crew. Of course that was when I thought FI-9 would be a quiet, back water type base, with maybe a few curious Kzinti visitors from time to time. The discovery of Dilithium Crystals on two of the planets in the system changed that! The discovery turned FI-9 into the outer space equivalent of the 'Bang Towns' that appeared in the western part of Earth's North American Continent in the 19th century after precious metals were discovered near them. The number of personnel under my command has grown from just enough to handle the operation of the Station and the Bastet to many times that number. Many concerned with areas of operation I or for that mater, any Line Officer, have little to do with such as Mine Inspection and Safety or Civilian Worker's Health and Welfare. Further complicating the mater, many of the new personnel come and go relatively quickly, their tour of duty so short, it seems I would read a report about their arrival one day and their departure the next. In spite of all that I have tried to keep my promise and, for the most part I have been at least marginally successful, ignoring the one human suffering from ailurophobia, why he accepted an assignment to the Kzinti border I will never know, but cats! I am glad he did! I am happy to say I am able to address most of my command not only by their rank but by their Family if not their given name, no small feat considering I am descended from creatures who's names did and to some degree still do take a backward facing seat to a personal scent. Such attention has surprised, pleased and in some cases perplexed new crew members use to 'normal' as in Human Starfleet Officers.

For one crew member in particular it was considerably more.

If not for the Starfleet Academy, Starfleet and probably the Federation would not exists. For unlike the Klingon or Romulan Empires or even the Dominion, the Federation is made up of a perplexing mix of races and their sub-races. All with their own way of seeing and dealing with the universe. One of the first things a fresh cadet is forced to do is to identify all the things that make him or her a 'whatever' and discard or suppress those items that might be at odds with those of another race. I guess I should explain my 'sub-race' comment. Using Caitians as an example, we do not have a 'sub-race' as such. For the most part we look, as a human would put it Leonine or 'Lion-like'. In other words, the hair on our heads tend to grow to a length that forms a 'mane', usually dark brown in color and, the fur on our bodies tend to be shorter and usually tan. All our other physical features conform to feline norms, such as a triangular shaped head/nose and triangular shaped ears. Of course there are variations, the head hair can naturally be most any length, (and some do get hair cuts) and can range in color from tan to black. Body fur can also vary in length and have the same range of color as the head. Occasionally if all the factors are just right, you get one like me looking more like a creature called a black panther than a lion (I was told that in ancient times great things were expected from one looking like me but, NO pressure!) or what humans would call an albino with white mane and body fur. Any of these features can be found on any Caitian regardless of where on the planet they came from as I heard one human put it, "we do look all alike". Caitians do have an advantage over humans in recognizing one another though, smell. Because one's scent is a function of body chemistry and body chemistry is a function of genetics, I can tell someone is related to me even if I have never met them. Also because what you usually eat affects body chemistry, you can sometimes tell where someone lives. Those that live near the ocean usually smell fishier that ones that live far inland. Humans on the other hand claim a myriad of sub-races, hair texture, hair color, skin color, face shape, eye color, eye shape, nose shape all are marks of difference. These differences extend to 'mind sets' as well. From what human history I have studied, these 'mind sets' have been at the base of most of the problems and conflicts humans have been involved in.

When is comes to a mind set, I have been told Caitians are much like felines others are use to, we tend to be solitary and dislike depending heavily on anyone. If we want a project done, we much prefer to do it ourselves instead of delegating it to others. For me that was one if not the hardest thing to overcome at the Academy where 'team work' is almost a religion.

"The human unnerves me!", Security-Chief complains about a newly arrived Starfleet Officer that has joined the station's security force.

"In what ssspecific way", I question, as I bring up the human in question's service record, "Isss he disrespectful orrr argumentative."

"No. . .", Security-Chief begins and after a long silence, "He just does not act like the other humans I am use to!" As Security-Chief again falls silent, I study the data on my display.

NAME: Go, Isamu (brave, courageous)

RANK: Lieutenant (JG)

SERIAL NUMBER: BZ1271941

DATE of BIRTH: August 6,2364

PLACE of BIRTH: Osaka, Japan

SERVICE HISTORY: None

I have not had time to have my 'Welcome to FI-9' meeting with him so I inform, "He fresh from Ssstarfleet Academy. Perhapsss he just trying to make good impression on his first assignment."

"I know when someone is trying to lick my tail.", Security-Chief grumbles, "This is different."

I do not understand the problem but an up coming assignment could give me a chance to observe Lieutenant Go's interaction with Security-Chief so I suggest he accompany us on a mission to check out reports of Kzinti activity in a neighboring Federation star system. Although not thrilled at my suggestion, Security-Chief agrees to it.

I do not anticipate much of a mission, the system is uninhabited. It consists of a Red Giant Star in the last stages of its life with 4 remaining planets, all Class J, gas giants except the innermost one, a Class C , frozen world like Psi 2000.

As Jacobs said at the mission briefing, "To damm cold for men OR cats!".

Remembering a mission she and Security-Chief were on a short time ago, she IS probably right. The Gas Giants have a few surviving moons but none suitable for habitation. I have contacted the Patriarchy about the reports and they have responded that they do not have any operations going on in or near the system. About the only notable feature of this mission will be that it will mark the first time Sarrah will go on a mission as an official doctor.

After we are underway, Security-Chief brings Lieutenant Go to the Bridge for an introduction. The first thing that strikes me is his size. I am an averaged size Caitian, about 2 meters (6 feet) in height. Lieutenant Go is considerably shorter! About a foot by my estimate! Not much taller than Jacobs! Standing next to my over 3 meters (9 foot) tall Security Chief he looks tiny! His uniform is immaculate! With creases in his pants so sharp you could cut yourself on them as an instructor of mine at the academy use to say. He looks like he is going to the Parade Grounds and not on a mission!

As Security-Chief introduces him, he comes to attention, bows deeply from the waist and straightening up says, "It is a great honor to meet you Commander D'Sefet! I have been looking forward to this moment!"

I expect him to relax but he does not! Seeing how his rigid, what some (Kzinti) could read as aggressive posture is affecting Security-Chief, I quickly order, "At ease Lieutenant!"

He relaxes a little BUT still remains very stiff. Such posture however that is not a bad thing for someone involved with security.

"I have reviewed the tactical location of the star system sir and I wonder, do you think the Patriarchy are using it as a forward base of operations?", the Lieutenant asks very respectfully yet apologetically.

I doubt it Lieutenant.", I begin as he comes back to attention, making Security-Chief nervous again! "There are no good locationsss for base and with inhabitable ssstar system in Kzinti space and only 4 light years away, there would be to much rrrisk for very little advantage. AT EASE Lieutenant!"

"I had not considered that fact sir!", Lieutenant Go says, sounding very impressed, "I look forward to learning much from you!"

"Monitor the Science Station for me as they scan the system Lieutenant.", Security-Chief says. Looking to me for confirmation I think, I nod.

Bowing, Lieutenant Go replies, in his native tongue, "Hai!" and quickly leaves us.

"See what I mean?", Security-Chief questions.

I do, "Yesss but there something else is there not?"

"You feel it too?", Security-Chief replies.

"Yesss but I can not put claw on it!", I answer.

We make our way past the gas giants as the Science Station reports nothing unusual. We draw near the remaining rocky planet, the Science Station again reports nothing. There is an asteroid field between the rocky planet and the star, the remains of the other rocky worlds the star destroyed as it morphed from a medium sized, yellow star to a red giant.

As we approach it I order, "Ssslow to 1/4 Impulse, helm plot course to orbit field. I do not want to take Bastet into that messs unless absolutely necessary!"

"At 1/4 Impulse it will take quite a while to orbit the asteroid field Commander!", the Human at the Science Station comments as I see a look of disbelief appear on Lieutenant Go's face.

"What isss problem, Williams.", I ask, "Have you got hot date on ssstation tonight?"

"No SIR!', Williams responds, adding "A hot poker game with some rich Kzinti Miners ready for skinning!"

All on the Bridge including my tail laughs except Security-Chief and Lieutenant Go.

"I will try and get you back for yourrr game Lieutenant. Just be careful who ssskins who! To accommodate Lieutenant Williams, Helm increase ssspeed to ½ impulse.", I command.

"Thank you Commander.", Williams says jokingly.

"If you win I will expect ssshare of your profits!", I respond.

All the time I have been watching Lieutenant Go's expression change from mild to utter disbelief.

I walk over to the Science Station and address Lieutenant Go who comes to attention AGAIN!, "Lieutenant Williams is lousy poker player! I am probably doing him and hisss skin service by keeping him out here!"

After a few minutes I see Williams react to something in his screen and order,

"All Stop! What isss it Lieutenant?"

"Not sure Commander.", he reports as he adjusts his equipment, "It scans like space junk impacted on an asteroid but . . ."

"But?", I question.

"I seem to be getting an intermittent power reading.", Williams answers adjusting his scanners again.

"Still functioning generator orrr photo-voltaic in wreckage?", I ask.

"No, to regular and steady Commander.", he says, "More like a . . . Homing Beacon!"

"Anything else?", I question even though I do not have to.

Punching a few more buttons and a closer look at his display Williams reports, "Could be a Cloaking Device in operation but if it is it is either defective or a cheap Ferangi copy!"

"Any sssign of life or other shipsss in area?", I ask.

"Not that I can see.", Williams reports.

As a precaution I order, Yellow Alert! Shieldsss up!"

"WELL Commander! It looks like we found more than you expected!", Security-Chief says, "What is our next move, destroy the base?"

"No, not yet anyway.", I counter.

"There maybe no one home now, but if the lights are still on then it is a safe bet they will be coming back.", Williams comments, as Lieutenant Go looks at him questioningly.

"That isss true Lieutenant.", I begin, "But how to keep Bastet from alerting our friendsss to our presence?"

"I might have an answer Commander." Lieutenant Williams begins as all of us listen, "There are two fairly large asteroids within Transporter range of the base that are rich in Ridinum ore. They are close together, about ½ the distance the moon is to the Earth. They are Tidally Locked in a Barycenter type orbit like Pluto and Charon. If our friend's sensors are as cheap as their cloak , the Bastet could hide between them."

"But wouldn't the Ridinum make it hard to keep a Transporter Lock on the Away Team?", Lieutenant Go questions an he FINALLY feels secure enough to join in our conservation, "Not to mention the interference with the Bastet's Scanners."

"A problem but I think we could manage it if you want to take the risk Commander.", Williams answers.

"Do it Helm.", I command, "Lieutenant Go you are with me! Security-Chief get team together and meet usss in Transporter Room, Full Battle Gear!"

"Excuse Me Commander D'Sefet, forgive me but should you lead this Away Mission?", Lieutenant Go questions, "There are many risks!"

"Noted Lieutenant.", I answer, as I start for the Turbo Lift, "Jacobsss you have Bridge! I take comfort that if any of you let something happen to me, you WILL have to answerrr to Sarrah! Security-Chief will tell you he would rather face thousand Klingons with Pain Sticks than one of her!" Sarrah and Security-Chief both nod.

We materlize in a dimly lit, large room, cluttered with equipment and other things. Even before we have a look around, the smell tells me there were Kzinti here. Security-Chief and his 6 person Security Team as well as Lieutenant Go and I begin searching the area.

As we do, Lieutenant Go says, "Forgive me Commander, I mean no disrespect but, may I ask you about your unusual command style. Where did you developed it?"

"I first ssserved Federation aboard U.S.S. Enterprise underrr command of James Tiberous Kirk.", I answer.

"But President Kirk has not commanded a Star Ship in . . . ", Lieutenant Go begins.

"I am older than I look Lieutenant!", I say, cutting him off, "But define 'Unusual'?"

"My honorable Grandfather was second officer on the Nipon Space Shipping Corporation's flag ship the Nakashima Maru. I think his stories of his time in space influenced me to join Starfleet. He told me about how the captain commanded with an iron hand and expected his crew to follow his orders without question!"

"So do I Lieutenant!", I answer.

"I understand Commander but, forgive me, my Grandfather said the captain never even knew his name! And yet you take the time to get to know your crew and even engage in idle conversation with them about their off duty activities when on duty! Is that wise? Shouldn't a captain remain separate from his underlings to maintain their respect?", Lieutenant Go Questions.

"You are new here Go-Lieutenant otherwise you would know all on FI-9, the Bastet and even the Kzinti Miners hold D'Sefet-Commander in the highest regard!", Security-Chief informs, "AND would face the Great Fanged One himself if he asked!"

"Lieutenant, everyone in command must develop hisss own style of working with those in hisss command. Considering all rrraces and ideologies that make up Federation and Starfleet, I have found that remaining flexible getsss the results I need.", I inform.

"I must beg your forgiveness Commander for my ignorance!", Lieutenant Go says with a slight bow.

"You are here to learn Lieutenant.", I answer.

"Look at this!", Security-Chief says. Holding up what looks like a star chart.

As we study the chart I comment, "It looks like they have marked Federation's Commercial Shipping Lanes."

"THIS IS A PIRATE BASE!", Security-Chief growls.

"That isss what it appears.", I agree, "We need to rrreturn to Bastet!"

But before we have a chance to do anything.

"Cat Lady to Goldie Locks!" I hear Jacobs voice call, "It looks like the three bears are on their way home! Look sharp eh! There was a delay in detecting them!"

"Understood.", I say.

"What is that Female yowlling about Commander?", Security-Chief asks.

"Who IS the 'Cat Lady' Commander?", Lieutenant Go questions, "And why speak in such a manor?"

"Being fresh out of Academy I would have thought you ssshould know Lieutenant. 'Cat Lady' isss Bastet! Named for cat headed goddesss of Earth, we are Goldie Locksss and three bears are ownersss of this place. Reference is nursery rrrhyme of Goldie Locks and the Three Bears.", I explain, "Get ready! Company isss on its way!"

"Forgive me Commander but why use such a story in a communication?", Lieutenant Go questions.

"Regulation 46A Lieutenant.", I say, "If . . ."

"If transmissions are being monitored during battle, no uncoded messages on a open channel. Fascinating!", He comments as he begins to make the connection about me taking the time to get to know my crew and the benefits gained in our working together.

As we do our best to take cover, draw our weapons and wait for the 'Bears' to arrive, I remember something, "I WANT prisonersss Security-Chief!" Lieutenant Go and I see Security-Chief sigh and readjust his Phaser.

We crouch in the glume and wait for the Pirates to reach us, with luck they will not detect us until it is to late. Presently I hear the sound of a Transporter and Kzinti voices. I am sure Security-Chief hears them too. I raise a claw to my lips and make, sort of, the sound humans make to indicate silence is needed just before a large group of Kzintosh enter the room. They seem nervous, I can not tell if they smell us or not.

Security-Chief makes our presence known and official by standing up and declaring, "I am Security-Chief from Federation Installation Nine! You are in the United Federation of Planets illegally and will immediately surrender!"

One of the Kzinti answers him by firing his weapon at him. Security-Chief dodges out of the way and fires back, dropping the Kzinti where he stands. Each of the rest of us quickly take out a Kzinti Pirate as well. Two Kzinti that were behind the main group flee, Security-Chief and two of his people follow them.

They return in a few moments and Security-Chief reports, somewhat disappointedly, "They transported back to their ship Commander."

"Do not worry Security-Chief.",I comfort, "Jacobsss will catch them! D'Sefet to Bastet. We have most of them but two escaped back to their ssship!"

"We got them Sef!", Jacobs reports a few moments later, "Knocked out their engines and took all the roar out of them!"

I go over to where the Kzinti Pirates have fallen and order,

"Let usss get our 'guests' back to Bastet!"

"Look out Commander!", Lieutenant Go yells as one of the stunned Kzinti begins to move.

I turn just as the Kzinti raises one of his large, claw equipped paws and prepares to take a swipe at me. I start to take a step back as Lieutenant Go reaches me and positions himself between the Kzinti and me. The Kzinti's blow hits him squarely in the belly, sending him flying. Before the Kzinti can do anything else, Security-Chief adjusting his Phaser to a more powerful setting, fires at the Kzinti, dropping him back to the deck.

"Get him to Bastet!", I order the crewman that has gone to help Lieutenant Go.

She responds by tapping her Com Badge, "Medical Emergency! Two to beam directly to Sick Bay!"

Security-Chief orders the Bastet to send down Kzinti sized wrist and ankle restraints and all of us make sure the Kzinti Pirates are unable to move a whisker!

We beam ourselves and our Kzinti "guests" to the Bastet and sensing Security-Chief has the situation well in paw, I head to Sick Bay to check on Lieutenant Go. A odd sight greets me as I enter Sick Bay. My beloved, Sarrah is standing a short distance from the bed where Lieutenant Go is lying, watching as Jacobs tends to him.

Wondering what is going on I ask, "Sarrah, why are you letting Jacobsss treat Lieutenant Go?"

"It appeared that treating his injuries were more suited to her skills than mine Commander.", she answers, sounding a bit confused.

I draw nearer the bed and find out why. The Kzinti's claws have torn open Lieutenant Go's abdomen but what is inside him are NOT guts and organs, he is filled with tubes, wires and circuits!

Seeing me Jacobs says, "He's an Android Sef!"

A short time later Sarrah, Jacobs and I are sitting in her office in Sick Bay trying to make sense of things.

Looking at Lieutenant Go, still lying unmoving on the Bio Bed and noting that it is registering it's occupant as "Human" I ask, "If he isss android then why does he not scan asss one?"

"Not sure Sef.", Jacobs responds, "Some sort of Cloaking Device I think. Who ever built him went to a great deal of trouble to ensure he would not be found out! They even engineered it so he would bleed if his skin was punctured! I guess they didn't consider him sustaining that much damage!"

"Speaking of that.", I continue, "How bad isss damage and can you rrrepair him?"

"Its fortunate that polymers and fiber optics are a lot tougher than living tissue. I repaired the major damage and he seems to have an army of Nanites that are programed to do the rest! I think, with time he will be fully operational again.", Jacobs answers.

"Just like if he were Human.", Sarrah adds, wonder coloring her words, "But why has he not regained consciousness? If he WERE Human he would be awake by now!"

"He needs to be rebooted Sarrah.", Jacobs says.

"You mean like a computer?", Sarrah questions unbelievingly.

"Yep! He has an on/off/reset button recessed into the small of his back eh. I didn't want to reboot him until you gave the word Sef.", Jacobs explains.

WOW! I think. AN ANDROID! Like Data! But who built him and why did they make the fact that he is an android undetectable? Is he some sort of spy? Is he programed to, at the right time, take over FI-9 and for what reason?

I have read about Captain Picard's successful efforts to get the Federation to recognize Data and his Daughter Lal as sentient life-forms and I owe my life to him so, "Reboot him Commander." Seeing the disbelief on both Jacob's and Sarrah's faces I continue, "He may have answersss to some of our questionsss!"

I consider whether Security-Chief should be here for Lieutenant Go's reactivation but decide the less that know what is going on the better. The three of us go to Lieutenant Go's bed. I help Jacobs sit him up and hold him as she pushes her fingers into his back and switches him on. His body twitches as his central processor activates the servos in his body and preforms diagnostics. Jacobs and I lie him back down on the bed and wait for him to boot up.

"COMMANDER!", Lieutenant Go yells as his eyes open.

Jacobs and I struggle to hold him down as I say, "Easy Lieutenant, lie ssstill!"

I see his eyes dart around the room gathering data and transmitting it to his Positronic Brain. After a few nano seconds he relaxes and asks, "Are you ok Commander? I saw that Kzinti about to attack you!"

"I am fine Lieutenant, thanksss to you.", I answer.

"How are you feeling Lieutenant Go?", Jacobs asks.

"Not bad Co . . . mander Jacobs?", he answers as his eyes go from her to Sarrah, to me and back to Jacobs, "What's going on?"

"I need to contact Starfleet and inform them what isss happening.", I say, "I will let Sarrah and Jacobs try and explain Lieutenant. We will talk later."

I rise and head for the door as Jacobs begins to explain. Funny, for an android, his anguished, unbelieving scream when she broke the news to him sounded all to Human!

"As far as I find out NO ONE in the Federation has ANY authorization to do what you said has been done.", President Kirk tells me.

I have contacted him and T'Sarine his mate and my former commanding officer about my unique crewman.

"Can he, will he give you any more information Sef?", T'Sarine asks.

"He has NONE to give eh!", Jacobs answers as unannounced, she enters my Ready Room uninvited, as usual and casually sits down.

"What do you mean Commander?", President Kirk asks.

"I mean as far as Lieutenant Go is concerned he IS HUMAN! If it weren't for the vid of me repairing him, he would think we are all crazy!", Jacobs replies, "He even says he 'feels' Human! He has memories of life with his parents and grand parents and their deaths in a Tsunami! Even one about his first crush, and the girl he had it on!"

"SO someone has gone to a great deal of trouble to make it seem Lieutenant Go IS Human then, even to him.", President Kirk sums up.

"A GREAT DEAL OF TROUBLE!", Jacobs says, adding, "I don't know if this means anything but I found it inside the Lieutenant's belly, wrapped around some fiber optic cable." She holds out her hand, in it is a torn, stained scrap of paper with the words 'Nakashima Mark IV' printed on it.

"You have some very irritating ways Lieutenant Commander Jacobs!", T'Sarine sternly comments, and then as her Romulan side conquers her Vulcan side adds with a slight smile, "But I take solace in the fact that another Lieutenant Commander, a Caitian that was under MY command was JUST as irritating! And from all accounts he turned out well! Right Sef?"

"I like to think ssso Sarine.", I answer as my tail twitches, sharing in her joke.

"What is the status of your current mission Commander?", President Kirk inquires. "Security-Chief hasss almost completed his investigation. When he isss finished we will deactivate their vessel and base and take ourrr pirates back to FI-9.", I report.

"And Lieutenant Go's condition?", T'Sarine asks.

"Scans show he is healing as a Human would. Sarrah has ordered bed rest for a week, then restricted duty until she is happy with his progress.", Jacobs answers, "Funny thing, he is even complaining about and the scans register he's in pain! Sarrah is treating him for it just like she would a real Human!"

"So you are saying he is even more advanced than Data or Lore were?", T'Sarine asks.

"From all the data I have seen on other Soong type Androids, as far as simulating Humans, I would say FAR MORE ADVANCED!", Jacobs says.

"Well Sef, it would seem that you have a week to decide what you want to do with Lieutenant Go. We'll continue to investigate from this end.", T'Sarine says, then to Jacobs, "Your piece of paper not withstanding Commander, did you find any indication the android was built by possibly hostile powers?"

"If you mean Kzinti, Klingons or Romulans, (You should have seen Sarine's face when Jacobs said this! It turned every shade of green in the book!) none. All materials seemed to be of Federation origin as far as I could tell.", Jacobs reports.

"I think the fewer that know about this the better Commander.", President Kirk says.

"I agree sssir!", I begin, "Otherrr than you two only othersss that know Lieutenant Go isss android are Sarrah and Jacobsss and I have already cautioned them on talking not only forrr security BUT for Lieutenant Go's feelings asss well."

"Good, keep us informed Commander.", President Kirk says as he and T'Sarine sign off.

"I don't think Admiral T'Sarine appreciated my humor much Sef!", Jacobs comments as she rises to leave, "Oh and by the way, Security-Chief told me to tell you he is ready to head home as soon as you are, Williams is anxious to get home too!"

With all the troubles of getting the Kzinti Pirates back to FI-9 and secured as well as a million other little things, it is late the next afternoon before I get back to the Lieutenant Go problem. He has been transferred from the Bastet's to FI-9's Sick Bay. He is sitting up in one of the Bio Beds in the far corner as I enter.

I go to him and as I am joined by Doctor Selar I ask, "How are you feeling today Lieutenant?"

Not looking up he replies in a tone now drained of all his former military sprit, "Closed for repairs."

"Lieutenant!", Selar begins sternly, "Commander D'Sefet is addressing you! At least do him the honor of looking at him!"

Lieutenant Go violently raises his head and with a look of anger on his reddening face responds, "WHY! Does Commander D'Sefet require the computer to look at him? Does he insist on the Tricorders come to attention when in his presence?"

His rant is stopped by what appears to be a sudden pain in his abdomen.

As Selar administers a hypo for it I try to excuse Lieutenant Go's odd behavior but she holds up a hand stopping me, "Sarrah has informed me of the lieutenant's unique circumstance Commander."

"UNIQUE CIRCUMSTANCE!", Lieutenant Go cries as he pounds the bed with his fists, "EVERYTHING IS A LIE! My life, my memories! I have a steady girl friend and I'm not even a man! I'm a DAMM MACHINE!"

If it were not so tragic it would be comical as I remember a doctor I once served with, one that was fond of saying, "I'm a Doctor! Not a -" the blank to be filled in with any number of things!

Sarrah rushes over to where we are and says with her new found authority, "If you are going to upset my patient I will have to insist you leave Commander!"

"Don't bother.", Lieutenant Go responds adding to Sarrah, "What's the matter Doctor? Afraid I'll blow a fuse!"

Sarrah in a mood I have never seen her in answers with a hiss, "Yes and IF I have to replace it, I WILL do so with Ice Tongs up your RECTUM Lieutenant!"

Most believe Vulcans are NOT funny however Selar adds in a mater-of-fact tone, "I believe this Kzinti could do just that Lieutenant and all things considered, I would happily help her!"

Maybe it was the absurd threat OR the doubt that Sarrah and Selar might be joking but, Lieutenant Go recovering some of his Starfleet training says, "I'm sorry Commander, Doctors, forgive me . . . It's just . . ."

Holding up my paw I stop him, "We understand Lieutenant." Adding as I see doubt in his eyes and knowing the stories of Selar and Sarrah, "Better than you know!"

"Who could have done this Commander?", Lieutenant Go questions, "And why? Why make me think I was real? Why give me a life of memories! Did I even attend the Academy?"

"I can help you with yourrr last question which may also partly answer two of othersss.", I say, "According to official Starfleet rrrecords and confirmed by otherrr Starfleet Officers, teachers and classmatesss, you did attend and graduate from Academy. As to yourrr memories, those would be needed for you to behave like Human during the many mind testsss you go through at Academy. It is yourrr first and second questionsss we really need to find an answer to!"

"Does President Kirk really think I'm a spy?", Lieutenant Go surprises me, then adding, "Commander Jacobs was in earlier. She told me about your communication with him."

"As formerrr Starfleet Captain, President Kirk isss trained NOT to jump to conclusions! He like us is ssstill hunting for answers.", I inform, "Why wasss Jacobs here?"

"She thought she had found a way to negate my Human Cloak and use a Tricorder to scan my insides but found the idea needed more work Commander. So when do you box me up and ship me to some secret Federation lab?"

"If D'Sefet-Commander is as intelligent as I think and I have any say in the mater, THAT ANSWER IS NEVER!", Security-Chief growls as he steps into view. He had been listening unseen, I keep forgetting the Caitian proverb that probably came to us from our Kzinti brothers, "Even a big cat must move as silently as a mouse!". "I have seen these monkey-men do many brave things since I was assigned here but none braver or more foolish than to attack a Kzintosh! If you are a machine as they say, the Humans would do well to build a billion of you!", He continues.

"Thank you Security-Chief forrr your faith in me.", I say adding, "I wish you had sssame Lieutenant."

"What do you mean Commander?", Lieutenant Go questions.

"Apparently you were absent day they ssstudied Sentient Being Rights at academy. Otherwise you would have learned about Captain Picard's ssstruggle for rightsss of Commander Data.", I answer continuing, "Basically decision was although Data wasss machine, he wasss not property of Starfleet. I think you are entitled to same rightsss."

"So no one way trip to a secret lab?", Lieutenant Go says with sarcasm.

"NO!", Security-Chief growls, and adds with all sincerity, "AND if they try, I will get the Patriarch to declare YOU a Kzintosh!"

"He might look great with tiger stripes and a tail!", Jacobs says as she joins our group, "BUT I don't think this station is big enough for TWO male, walking orange hair balls assigned to security! I think I fixed the problem with the Tricorder." Picking up on our conversations on rights, she asks, "Do you mind Lieutenant?"

"No Commander.", Lieutenant Go replies and seeing the look of surprise on the faces around him adds, "I need to know what is going on too!"

Pointing the Tricorder at Lieutenant Go she begins scanning. She makes some adjustments to the unit and begins, "24.6 kilograms tripolymer . . . Ok. 11.8 kilograms molybdenum-cobalt . . . Check. 1.3 kilograms bioplast . . . Right. Spine, polyalloy. Skull, cortenide and duranium. OK!" We all wait, and wait, and wait as Jacobs studies the readings.

Finally Security-Chief roars, "WELL?"

A bit irritated at Security-Chief's inpatients, Jacobs reports, "Well you are certainly a Soong type android like Data eh. There are what look like a few fiberoptic access jacks built in but I don't find any external access panels to get at them. It looks like minor surgery would be needed."

"Maybe AFTER the Lieutenant has recovered fully from his injuries!", Sarrah declares like the good doctor she has become, "AND NOW, I think MY patient has had enough visitors and excitement for one day so . . . If you will all be so kind."

As Sarrah ushers the group out, I think back. It seems like yesterday a little, lost, frightened Kzinrret was given to me as a mate by a powerful Kzinti leader visiting the station. I remember how I worried that she would never adjust to the life of freedom that had been thrust on her. Now I realize my cute, cuddly kitten has become the beautiful, graceful, powerful, tigress The Great Fanged One created her to be!

"Commander D'Sefet!", Lieutenant Go calls, "Could you stay a minute?"

Noting the look in Sarrah's eyes and the set of her ears, I reply, "Get some rrrest Lieutenant, I will be back tomorrow." Reaching to door, I take Sarrah into my arms, touch lips with her and whisper, "And I will sssee you later kitten!"

Things have improved greatly by the time I make it back to Sick Bay the next day. I enter and draw near Lieutenant Go's bed.

He sits up, comes to attention and with a slight bow begins, "I must humbly apologize for my conduct yesterday Commander. It was less than honorable and I beg your forgiveness."

Seeing that he will not relax until I respond properly, I order, "At ease Lieutenant."

A little less rigid but still very formal he continues, "May I be allowed to inquire as to any new developments in my case sir?"

"Well . . .", I begin, "Jacobsss has finished analyzing Tricorderrr readings she took and hasss sent them to President Kirk for furtherrr investigation. He wondersss if you have any information that might help." Lieutenant Go opens his mouth, probably to protest but I hold up my hand and continue, "I understand you have been given memoriesss but are there any that do not fit? Maybe piece of ssstrange dream that seems to rrreal or reoccurs? Anything, even something that seems unimportant to you might help."

"Believe me Commander, I understand what you are looking for and I have spent all the quiet time I have had since this began looking but so far I have found nothing.", he answers bowing his head.

"Well keep sssearching! It seems that many times what we are looking for appears when we least expect it.", I comfort.

Lieutenant Go raises his head and stares at me for a moment and then says with respect, "I never thought I would hear proverbs from a felinoid!"

"We have our momentsss Lieutenant.", I say.

"May I be permitted to inquire as to what is to be done with me?", he questions.

"Until Doctor Sarrah isss satisfied with your healing progress, you will be assigned to that bed!", I begin as Sarrah, hearing her name, looks out from the office, her ears signaling agreement, "Then I am sure Security-Chief can find some rrroutine jobs for you to do until you regain your strength."

"Then I'm to be permitted to continue with my career in Starfleet? On FI-9?" he asks unbelieving and with some relief.

"Unlesss you want to take Security-Chief up on his offer to become Kzinti.", I say, as Lieutenant Go looks at me questioningly I inform, "I rrreceived notice from Patriarchy this morning that they would be happy to welcome you as one of their brothers. With or without tiger striped fur."

"You are most kind Commander but . . .", he begins.

Anticipating what he is going to ask I add, "But what about yourrr origins and your creator's motivationsss, will that be security concern."

He bows slightly and answers, "Hai!"

"President Kirk, Security-Chief and I have discussed thisss and decided it might look bad to transferrr or demote Federation's newest recipient of the Starfleet Decoration for Gallantry , I inform as Lieutenant Go looks at me unbelievingly, "Congratulations Lieutenant! When Doctor Sarrah allows it there will be formal presentation."

"I . . . I was just doing my duty Commander!", He stammers, "I'm unworthy of such an honor!"

"I disagree Lieutenant!", Sarrah comments as she joins us, "You protected Commander D'Sefet with your life and I am forever grateful! If you are a good Human and rest I think a quiet, short ceremony here in Sick Bay would be permissible in a few days. Maybe after your friend arrives."

"Friend?", Lieutenant Go questions and then in panic, "You don't mean Susanna do you?"

"I am not sure, you listed a Lieutenant Golfinos in your contact information in case of serious injury or death. The notification was automatic after the report of your injury was filed with Starfleet. I received notice this morning that the Lieutenant had requested a leave of duties from Star Base 99 and received permission to travel to FI-9. Expected arrival time was in a few days."

"NO, NO, NO!", Lieutenant Go yells, "This is a disaster! Lieutenant Golfinos is my girlfriend! Commander, please, I respectfully request you do something!"

"Such asss?", I ask.

"I don't know! Revoke her orders, declare an emergency, start a war, ANYTHING!" he begs, as the Bio Bed indicates his heart rate rising along with his blood pressure, just like a Human, "I can't let her see me like this!"

"Like what?", I ask, "You look fine to me."

"You know what I'm referring to Commander!", Lieutenant Go says.

"Do you love this female, Lieutenant?", Sarrah interrupts trying to get the Lieutenant to calm down.

"YES! Of course!", Lieutenant Go answers.

"Does she love you?", Sarrah questions.

"I like to think so.", he replies, "But she'll never understand! Not this! We were even talking about getting married! Having a family! She's an orphan like me, having a family . . . Kids is very important to her!"

"I have to admit you being an android will complicate mattersss but remember Commander Data had daughter, Lal.", I remind him.

"I can see Susanna and me now! Sitting around the kitchen table assembling our children from boxes received from Kids-R-Us! Putting tab "A" into slot "B" and installing the batteries! Why we might even need Commander Jacobs help hooking up their thumbs so they can be sucked correctly!", Lieutenant Go says sarcastically.

"That might be one option. However my studies do suggest to me there are other biological ones as well.", Sarrah states, continuing, sounding almost like a Councilor, "If she loves you as you think then the fact you are an android will NOT make any difference. If it does then she does NOT love you as you think. It is as simple as that correct!"

Lieutenant Go bows slightly and respectfully answers, "Hai. But how can I tell her I'm NOT a man?"

"Who saysss you are not?", I question.

"WELL, Commander Jacobs vid and Tricorder readings seem to confirm that statement.", he answers.

"Humansss have book that is said to be word of one of their deities.", I begin, "In it one claiming to be son of thisss deity teaches, "Greaterrr love hath no MAN than this, that he lay down his life for another."

"First proverbs and now Biblical Teachings! You amaze me Commander! On the basis of me protecting you, you judge me to be a man? Or could it be I was just following one of Doctor Asimov's Robotic Laws? I believe the first law says, "A Robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.". I guess Caitians are covered under that law!", Lieutenant Go counters.

"Commander Jacobsss has a questionable theory that deep down EVERYBODY is Human, that even extends to Bastet and FI-9. Man or Machine, in either case Isamu, I owe you my life!", I say, as Lieutenant Go reacts in disbelief as I address him by his first name, "You ARE my brotherrr! Never forget that, I will not!"

He bows as deeply as his sitting position and injury will permit him and says, "I will forever strive to be worthy of this great honor Commander!"

"Off duty it Sef! Get some rrrest, we will deal with whatever disasterrr comes, together.", I say as with a twitch of my tail, I turn and leave Sarrah and him.

I had Security-Chief run a background check on Lieutenant (JG) Susanna Golfinos and her relationship with Lieutenant Go to see it might have been arraigned by his makers as a way of keeping an eye on him but, all indications were that their meeting and falling in love was a random occurrence. She arrived on the vessel Starfleet sent to transport our Kzinti Pirates to trial two days later. I was not there when Lieutenant Go told her he was an android, Jacobs and Sarrah were. Sarrah reported she did not believe him until Jacobs showed her the vid of her repairing Lieutenant Go and the Tricorder reading. Sarrah said after looking at the evidence, Lieutenant Golfinos stood for a moment, then asked Lieutenant Go if he was ok. He nodded, as she sat down on the edge of his bed and swiped him across the face with her fingers, asking how he could have thought his being an android would effect how she felt toward him. Then she grabbed him, kissed him and began to cry. After a moment she tried to lighten the mood by joking that her training would be a plus in their relationship. She had to explain to Jacobs and Sarrah that she was a Starfleet Engineer. Then Lieutenant Go had to explain when Sarrah said Jacobs help would not be needed then for them to assemble their kits from Kids-R-Us. All things considered the meeting went well. Jacobs, always in search of good engineers, suggested I get her reassigned here so she could be close to Lieutenant Go and IF Security-Chief had missed something, she would be where we might catch it. I will breach the subject with the lieutenants. I did caution her about the on going investigation and the fact that Lieutenant Go was an android was considered classified for the moment.

I was impressed by Sarrah's skill at being a Councilor, Both Lieutenants Go and Golfinos thanked her for her helping them through this ordeal. Although it would mean more work and study I think I will mention this to Doctor Selar and have her see if Sarrah would like to hunt, formally for such skills and while NOT a requirement she could apply to the Academy and become a Starfleet officer! Becoming the first Kzinti not to mention Kzinrret to do so!

Finally as to the on going investigation, thanks to the scrap of paper Jacobs found inside Lieutenant Go, President Kirk is looking into the activities and records of a Japanese multi-planet consortium. At one time they had approached Starfleet about producing inexpensive copies of Soong type androids designed to replace living beings in dangerous space exploration. Starfleet turned down their plan but it is possible Lieutenant Go was built and gotten his assignment to FI-9 as a test to see if he could pass undetected as a human appearing android.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Episode Guide for Federation Installation Nine as of 12-01-2019

FI-9 EPISODE GUIDE

Sef1-1f -Sef Intro
Sefhistf - Sef History
Selarinto - Selar History
Southern Cross - Fleet Yard where the Shadow Hawk was born.
Message 58-61 - 4 of 5 Intro
4 of 5 - 4 of 5 History
Bastspeck - U.S.S. Bastet History
Kzntilang1 - Kzinti language overview from a web site.
Xmax2 - A non-FI-9 ‘Christmas’ Sci-Fi story told, as he heard it, by Sef. 

Oldmis - Prolog - An anthology of Shadow Hawk Logs revealing Sef’s service background.
FI9F - Pilot - The basics of D’Sefet’s Cat House!
Boldy - Episode 1 - We are on our way!
Goboldy - Episode 2 - Problems along the way.
Settlepub - Episode 3 - The Lion awakes!
Kzinrret 1 - Episode 4 - Guess who is coming for dinner!
Kzinrret 2 - Episode 5 - Guess who is coming for dinner!
Goldrush - Episode 6 - Boomtown, FI-9 style.
Sgrush - Episode 6a - Last collaboration with Shadow Hawk writers.  Has Goldrush text in it.
Catsaway - Episode 7 - Old Slaver Problems.
Renfair2 - Episode 8 - A journey to the past.
Persis - Episode 9 - Purrsistance is futile!
Campm - Episode 10 - Summer camp from hell!
Bump - Episode 11 - Looking for things that go bump in the night.
Onetwo - Episode 12 - One, Two many Doctor Selars!
Orph - Episode 13 - Orphans
Bros-sis - Episode 14 - A haunted FI-9!
Brother - Episode 15 - Brother’s Keeper.
Cat Person - Episode 16 - A lover of felines is transferred to FI-9!
Strange Bedfellows - Episode 17 - Security-Chief and Jacobs have an adventure!
Lights - Episode 18 - Christmas on FI-9!
Here Kitty - Episode 19 - Sef becomes someone’s pet!
Cloakdagger - Episode 20 - The BUGS are back and FI-9 has them!!
Newagain - Episode 21 - Sef goes to Ferasa for a funeral!
SKI trip - Episode 22 - WHEN PIGS SKI!!!
Phobos - Episode 23 - WHY would a person suffering from Ailurophobia, irrational fear of cats, come to FI-9.
The Claw - Episode 24 - It WAS their war!
Tunamoon - Episode 25 - Life with Kitties.

[These Episodes are not finished yet or are finished but waiting on another Episode to be finished.]

Cain and Able - Security-Chief’s hunts a renegade Kzinti!
Inscrutable - Japanese Star Trek!
Revenge - Humans are NOT wimps!
Somewhere Over the Rainbow - What IS it like to wake up after a 90 year nap!

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Star Trek: Federation Installation Nine, Episode 25 Tunamoon

TUNAMOON

Personal Journal: Lieutenant Commander Reginald Katz recording.

Boy has it been a tough day!  In regards to my Ailurophobia, I’ve been keeping it under control to the extent that I don’t jump out of my skin every time Karie touches me!  My resolve was REALLY tested today however when Commander Jacobs and I went down to the mines for the yearly maintenance check on the Oxygen Recyclers.  Being confined in dusty, narrow, dimly lit, underground tunnels, filled with Kzinti Miners, NOT happy that they have had to shut down their mining operations and stop earning Credits, so two Humans can work on some equipment was REALLY tough on my nerves!  Thankfully, we got the job done quickly and beamed back to FI-9!

Speaking of Karie, I don’t know if the Kzinti have saints, but if they do, she would be at the head of the list!  She takes care of my Little Terrenkrret (Terrenk - A rather strong, fast animal that fights ferociously when cornered and Rett - Female.) Kleio all day, keeps our quarters spotless, and still has time to cater my needs as well!

SO what PROBLEMS could a man with a hard working, loving wife and beautiful, intelligent  child have???  MANY!!!!!!!!!

I uncovered one of the problems the first night Karie and I spent together.  Now this problem was not caused by the fact she’s a Kzinti or even a feline for that matter.  It was just I have been sleeping alone, for the most part, all of my life, and you naturally spread out over the entire bed  while you sleep.  I remember waking up more than once that night, panicked by the fact SOMEONE was in bed with me!  Cuddling with her proved to have its own set of problems, beginning with the fact she is covered in fur from head to foot.  I kind of liked the feel of her silky, soft, warm fur against my skin but, having fur in my face, mouth and nose was another matter!  Needless to say neither of us got much rest that night!  Since then we have made some adjustments and those problems have subsided.

Another reason we did NOT get much rest was because as soon as we dozed off, Kleio would wake up mewing in panic.  It took a while but Karie found the reason.  Apparently I snore, I never thought I did but, the sound of my snores and the roar of a Kzintosh sound the same to Kleio!  I got Doctor Selar to give me something to take care of my snoring the next day.

I guess one of the biggest problems I have is Karie’s over whelming gratitude toward me.  I didn’t quite understand what Commander D’Sefet was trying to tell me in Sick Bay after the Shuttle accident about the Kzinti and their attitude toward “Intelligent” Kzinrrets but after doing a little research on the Black Priests and Kzinti Law, I can see why Lord Gurr-Riit, the grand father of Kleio was  frightened for Karie and her.  I was and am happy to keep them from harm but like I tried to tell Karie, I’m NOT a hero, lord or savior!  Just a ordinary, every day Human!  However that has not dampened her unbridled adoration for me.

I wonder if her adoration is also effecting her views on what I have been trying to enlighten her on the subject of her newly acquired freedom.  Like most males, I could get use to being catered to, hand and foot but, I’m not looking for and uncomfortable with a slave!  I realize Karie has been raised in a civilization  where females are considered only good for one thing but now as the wife of a Federation Citizen and by that, a Federation citizen herself, I want her to feel free to explore all the privileges that position affords her!  Commander Jacobs has told me Commander D’Sefet had a similar problem with Sarrah when she first came to FI-9 so I will see if it is ok to question him on how he dealt with it.  Sarrah seems to be very confident, well adjusted female now and after perusing her dream, is on the verge of becoming a doctor! 

“TIME TO EAT NOW!”, Karie informs as she tugs on my sleeve.

“Ok PURR . . .  End Personal Journal for now.”, I command, “So what’s for dinner?”

“Meat you call chicken.”, Karie replies.

“And?”, I question as I sit down at the table.

“AND for Grass Eaters, something called corn.”, she says as she places the food on the table.

The food illustrates another difference between Humans and Kzinti that we have had to navigate.  There are two plates of chicken on the table, one, mine is Kentucky Fried and steaming hot.  The other, Karie’s is room temperature and BLOOD RAW!  I try and not look as she takes a piece, lifts it to her mouth and with her sharp teeth, rips the meat from the bone, remembering the stories of how Kzinti once considered  Humans  food!   I try and keep from imaging what the meat must taste and feel like as she eats it!  I keep telling myself she IS a true carnivore and THAT IS the way carnivores eat!

Our first meal together was even more traumatic for me!  It was the night after the accident.  My hands were still almost useless and Karie was wanting to help as much as she could so I instructed her on the operation of the Replicator.  When meal time came, she asked me what I wanted to eat.  Not thinking, I answered “Liver”.  For the record I love fried beef liver and onions.  RAW liver IS another thing all together!  AND that is what she proudly served me!  I could see the hurt in her eyes as I took my liver back to the Replicator, got it cooked and added onions.  I tried to soothe her feelings by explaining that because Human jaw muscles were not as strong as Kzinti’s we needed our meat softened by heat before we could eat it.  She seemed to understand.  However explaining the onions took a bit of doing!

Personal Journal: Continuing.

Another Day has come and gone.  A fairly easy day, I spent it sitting in the Control Room monitoring the orbit of a derelict Kzinti vessel.  I did manage to talk to Commander D’Sefet about the problem I was having getting Karie to embrace her new found freedom but, he was of little help.  He did caution me on pushing the subject though.  Apparently when he first tried talking to Sarrah about it, she thought she had displeased him somehow and was being thrown to the wolves, so to speak.  I wonder if I should try and see what if any ideas Sarrah has on the subject?

I guess if I was honest with myself the real issue is my feelings toward Karie and her true feelings toward me.  I have never been “IN LOVE” so to speak, oh there have been a few times I have been “IN LUST” though.  But those feelings are very shaky ground for two people to try and build a life on!  In fact when you get right down to it, I’m not even sure what “LOVE” is to a Human!  Let alone what a Kzinrret’s definition is!  About all I’m sure of is it has to be more than just the relationship between a pet and its master!  I tried to question Capt’n Don about his ideas on the subject.  When he first bought the Hanford, his future mate and mother of his kit, I’Aisha came with it!  She was the “Ship’s Cat”!  Her job, like the Ship’s Cats of the old sailing ships  was to keep the Hanford’s holds free of rodent infestations.  He wasn’t even sure at what point his perception of I’Aisha changed from animal to felinoid or from felinoid to potential mate!  He said that he thought his attitudes took a radical turn during a dangerous mission the Hanford was commandeered for the Federation, I’Aisha got into a situation where she was almost killed.  He said soon after he found himself thinking of I’Aisha in a “different” way.

“Bed time!”, Karie says as she plops down beside me on the couch.

She has just finished giving Kleio her late meal and one of her large, shapely, fur covered breasts is exposed.  One thing I do know, none of my problems stem from a lack of physical attraction to Karie!  Even covered from head to foot with fur, she has the body and figure that would be the envy of any Human female!

“Ok PURR.”, I answer putting my arm around her and pulling her close, “Let me finish this last word.” 

Kzinrrets or felinoids in general do not need to wear clothes.  They seem to be a lot less prudish about nudity than humans.  Of course they ARE covered with fur!  However clothes serve other uses, one of which Karie found useful.  In everyday life a person is exposed to many forms of contaminates.  Dust, dirt, pollen, etc. and most of it settles what you are wearing.  To rid your self of this stuff all you need do is remove the clothes and put them in the Recycler.  If however this stuff settles on your skin or worse in your hair or fur getting rid of it becomes a lot harder!  Like all babies, Kleio is prone to tummy upsets and like all babies when something upsets the tummy it needs to be gotten rid of and like all babies to do that they SPEW like a volcano!  Bringing up toxic waste the likes of which I, as a Starfleet Engineer have never seen!  The difference between disposing of clothes or taking a Sonic Shower wasn’t lost on Karie!  She does like to sleep naked though.  Not that I’m complaining!

I crawl into bed and Karie joins me.  She cuddles close but I guess my mind, still pondering problems doesn’t notice.

"What is wrong Reg?”, Karie begins, worry sounding in her voice,  “Have I displeased you?  Has Kleio angered you in some way?  I know how stressful being around a kit can be to a Kzintosh!  Please tell me what I have done wrong!”

Realizing she has been talking and picking up on only the last of it I answer, “Kleio?  No, she hasn’t angered me!  I love my little Terrenkrret (Terrenk - A rather strong, fast animal that fights ferociously when cornered and Rett - Female.)!”

“Then it is me you are displeased with!”, Karie says, her fur flattening with worry, “Please tell me what I have done!  I will not do it again I swear!”  Karie’s body begins to shake.

I reach out and pull her to me.  As I hold her tight to me, she buries her nose against my chest and begins to breath heavy and softly mew, a sound I understand is the Kzinti equivalent of human crying.

As I stroke the fur on the back of her head, I say, “No, you haven’t done anything to displease me PURR!”

She lifts her head and looks into my eyes with her tear fulled ones and asks, “Then what IS wrong?  Am I not desirable enough?”

“Desirable?”, I respond growing more confused.

She continues, “I know I am not Human . . .”.

“I NEVER want to hear those words from you again!”, I say, angrily cutting her off, “You are as Human as I am!”

“Then why do you not wish to ch’rowl (have sex/mate) with me?”, Karie asks, “If you are worried about another kit, I have spoken with Sarrah and she does not think Humans and Kzinti are compatible and even if we are I was always told no Kzinrret could have another kit as long as she was nursing.”

I’m speechless!  As I said, like Commander Jacobs said Commander D’Sefet did with Sarrah, I have been giving Karie as much time and room to adjust to her new surroundings and conditions as I could.  On top of that knowing how much energy she spends caring for Kleio, as well as the other things she does for both of us, I thought she would be thankful to go to bed just to rest for a few hours!  Also I had read in the limited information the Federation had on the Kzinti that Kzinrrets were only, well lets say amorous when fertile!  Of course that information was based on the genetically altered Kzinrret not those like Karie.

Stunned, I sputter, “Ch’rowl (have sex/mate)!  Well its not that . . .  I mean . . .  Uh!”

“I sort of understand your Ailurophobia sickness, but I thought you were doing better with it.  I know you like what you see when you look at me, I can see it in your eyes.”, she says, “Tell me what I need to do to please you?”

“Nothing PURR.”, I begin as I hold her body even tighter to mine and stroke the fur on the scruff of her neck, ”You are the MOST beautiful, the MOST sexy, the MOST perfect female in the galaxy!” 

I made a miscalculation!  But I’m not to blame!  As far back as the mid 20th century Human  females were screaming that they didn’t want to become what were called “Housewives”!  They wanted to be known for more than raising children and as some of that time put it, “Standing by their man”.  Any female who’s dream WAS to be a “Housewife” found herself being called a traitor to her gender or worse!  Of course many of these “Liberated” females found themselves bitter and alone later in life looking at those females they once criticized with envy.  Many males of the time and to this day even, to protect themselves from these wild eyed feminists gave in, keeping away from females and quiet lest be labeled chauvinists.  Of course the damage done to male-female relations almost drove the Human Race to extinction!  In less than 50 years the birth rate had dropped so low that many so called “first world” nations found their population was almost all elderly!  It never occurred to me that just being a good wife and mother might be the ultimate dream of any female!

I wonder how to begin Ch’rowling (have sex/mate) with a Kzinti.  I remember, referring to Earth felines, the males usually begins by grabbing the female by the neck to keep her still but he does that with his  teeth!  There is little of what you would call fore play, the male, while keeping hold of the female’s neck, just positions himself and goes at it!  Once finished he gets away from the female as fast as possible so as not to be attacked by her.  I’m also VERY mindful of Karie’s VERY long and VERY sharp claws, not to mention her teeth!  And the fact I have no fur to protect me from them!

Like most caring Human males I want my wife to enjoy the experience as much as I do!  I recall something I once read about erogenous zones but having no idea if Kzinti even have them!  With nothing to lose, I decide to stop over thinking this and just “go with the flow” so to speak.  I can feel Karie is just as unsure of what we are doing as I am.

I begin by running my fingers through her silky soft fur and needing her lower back.  Karie responds by “love” biting the tip of my nose and wiggling her body hard against mine.  I respond to her by attempting to kiss her.  Not easy when the female’s lips are attached to her nose as in a muzzle and her long whiskers tickle your face!  We continue, me doing what comes naturally to a human and Karie doing what comes naturally to a Kzinti until . . .  Well, DO I HAVE TO DRAW YOU A PICTURE?!?!?!?!?  All I can say is if a Kzintosh mates like a male Earth cat, he is missing out on 9/10s of the entire experience!

Judging from Karie’s final reaction, I was somewhat successful in my efforts!  Oh and as to the subject of erogenous zones, I can DEFINITELY say Kzinti have at least one!  I found it by accident and almost paid for the discovery with an ear!  Karie was “love” biting my right ear when my fingers found their way down to where her tail attaches to her pelvis.  There is a sort of depression on top there and when my fingers explored it . . .  Well, the puncture wounds in my ear are healing nicely thank you.  Finally, as to the question of a Human/Kzinti Kit, I remember Capt’n Don telling me how surprised he was when he discovered Humans and Pa’UR were “compatible”.  Of course I like all Starfleet personnel I’m using Birth Control at the moment but, someday, if Karie is willing . . .  Well . . .  Who knows!

Star Trek: Federation Installation Nine, Episode 24 ME U"Q"?


ME U “Q”?

Captain’s Log:

Routine patrol along Kzinti/Federation Frontier.  Commander D’Sefet Commanding U.S.S. Bastet NCC-61456.

It has been another non-eventful patrol for us, and while that is NOT a bad thing, I DO remember, one of the reasons most people, me included joined Starfleet was adventure.  I have nothing unusual to report.  There has been no contact with other vessels, Federation or otherwise, no discovery of uncharted star systems, black holes or even a stray asteroid.

Con reports we have reached the limits of our patrol area so, “Verrry well!  Prepare to commme about! Time to go hommme!”

With luck I think we will be home in time for Sarrah and I to have Late-Meal (dinner) together.  We have not had many chances recently, she has been working long, hard hours preparing to take the Federation Tests that will allow her to call herself a doctor.  Everyone on FI-9 is proud of her, even her brother, Security-Chief.

Helm reports, “Course plotted and laid in Commander.”

“Good Do i . . .”, I begin and am interrupted by.

“Sensors are picking up a vessel ahead Commander.”, the crewman catting the Science Station reports, “She appears to be dead in space and drifting.”

“Red Alert!  Shieldsss up, arm weaponsss!”, I command, “Scan forrr otherrr vessels!”

We approach cautiously, the crewman at the Science Station reporting, “Power output . . .  Zero, life signs . . .  Negative.  No other vessels in our vicinity Commander.”

“Go to Yellow Alert!”, I command.  We are still a ways off and all on the Bridge are straining to see the vessel.  “Maximum magnification on Viewerrr.”, I order.

As the image enlarges, a few things become clear.  First the vessel is NOT of Federation, Klingon or Romulan design.  Further more it has been “DEAD” for a long time as evidenced by a cluster of Gas Exhaust Cones mounted on the stern.  There is a massive hole in the port side, a mid ships.  I am looking to see if I can make out any United Earth markings when I hear the Bridge Doors open and

Security-Chief say, “It IS the CLAW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  We need to leave here immediately Commander!  ANYONE seeing the CLAW is doomed!!!”

Stories about the legendary Kzinti Battle Ship the “CLAW” are well known!  Told and retold through the centuries since the Man-Kzinti Wars by both sides!  She was the finest ship in the Patriarch’s Fleet.  Boasting the most modern and powerful equipment, engines and weapons of that time.  The captain had been paw picked by the Patriarch himself and in turn the captain had paw picked his officers and crew.  Most historians agree that if the Kzinti could have built, equipped and crewed just two more ships like the CLAW, the Alpha Quadrant anyway really would have been their dinner table!  According to history, it was only luck that allowed United Earth to find and destroy this threat to their very existence.  Earth was sending the biggest fleet it could assemble toward the Kzinti Border to try and end the wars once and for all.  The Kzinti found out about the armada and was preparing to meet it and destroy Human interference forever.  The CLAW was assigned to lead the attack.  Somehow, the details are not clear, a smaller Kzinti vessel collided with the CLAW, destroying the smaller ship and damaging the CLAW’s Drive Section enough that it could not lead the attack.  The remainder of the Kzinti fleet left to attack the Earth fleet while the CLAW made ready to return to the Home World for repairs.  The battle went badly for the Kzinti and their fleet retreated back to the CLAW’s position.  The CLAW’s Captain joined the battle with his damaged ship.  Even though it was not operating at full capacity the CLAW managed to destroy a number of the Earth’s Capital Ships and might have won the battle except one of the smaller Earth ships managed to get close enough to the Bridge of the CLAW and self-destruct.  Killing all of  the CLAW’s Bridge Crew with a fatal dose of radiation.  The Kzinti fleet continued their retreat to the Home World but the Humans, their fleet all but decimated, did not follow.  Instead they decided to return with the CLAW to Earth to learn its secrets.  There was speculation that the Kzinti might have even used some secret Slaver Technology.  Earth’s last remaining Capital Ship was detailed to tow the CLAW back to Earth While the rest of the fleet stayed and defended against anticipated Kzinti resistance against having their Greatest Ship claimed by the Monkey Men.  A Prize Crew was put aboard the CLAW and it and the Earth ship departed for Earth.  It is here history begins to get a bit muddy.  All that is known for sure is that the Earth Ship, the CLAW in tow never made it back to Earth.  There was speculation that the CLAW was not as “DEAD” as the Humans thought and its surviving crew destroyed their captors before dying themselves or taking over the Earth Ship.  The Earth Ship was never seen again but the CLAW was, in a few reported sightings like this one.

As with other unsolved mysteries, soon the stories and legends began to pop up!  Most begin with the Captain of the CLAW ordering his damaged ship into battle and one of his Junior Officers expressing doubt that they will be victorious.  The Captain, angered by his crew’s lack of faith, then Swears to the Great Fanged One himself that he and his ship will never see the stars of home again until he has blasted EVERY Earth ship to wreckage and he has personally eaten the hearts and livers of all their Monkey Men Crew.  He was unsuccessful so now, along with his crew of skeletons or undead, is doomed to sail the stars forever.

“Starfleet does NOT believe in Flying Dutchmansss!”, I reply.

All of a sudden there is a bright flash of light and a human in a Starfleet Uniform appears in front of the View Screen.

“The Kzinti’s right!  Arm Photon Torpedoes!  Target that ship!”, this intruder orders.

“Ignore those ordersss!”, I command, then ask “Who are . . .”

I stop myself, I remember!  A long time ago, when I was First Officer aboard the U.S.S./R.S.E Shadow Hawk!  An away mission to Earth of the past!  A Romulan Saboteur disguised as a Human Starfleet Admiral!  A mythical Vulcan artifact called the Medallion of Deception that enabled its wearer to appear as anyone!  AND THE IMAGE CARVED ON ITS FACE!  THE IMAGE OF THE VULCAN GOD OF FALSEHOOD!  THE IMAGE OF . . .

“Q?”, I ask.

“At your service Commander D’Sefet!”, “Q” answers with a smile and slight bow.

“Q!”, Security-Chief echos with a low, guttural, growl as he recalls the Starfleet briefings on this subject.

“Q” turns toward Security-Chief and says wistfully,  “For a moment you sounded just like Mr. Worf, Kzinti!”

“What do you want?”, I question.

“We need to talk Sef.”, “Q” says and with a snap of his fingers he and I are standing in my Ready Room, “Privately!”

One of the things all Starfleet Officers that have had dealings with “Q” agree on is their strong negative emotional reaction to this self-righteous, egotistical, omnipotent being.  I may have an advantage over them, except for the omnipotent part, I deal with ones like “Q” on a daily basis.  They are known on FI-9 as KZINTI!!!!!!!!

I sit down at my desk and begin, “Very well “Q”, WHAT do you want to talk about?”

“What are you planning to do with the CLAW Sef?”, he asks.

“Tow it to FI-9 ssso it can be ssstudied.”, I answer.

“That might be a VERY bad move on your part.”, “Q” cautions, “Remember what your Kzinti, Security-Chief advised!  That ship might contain a lot of bad memories for both Humans and Kzinti!  Do them both a service and destroy it.” 

“DESTROY IT!?!?!”, I say, “That vessel ISss HISTORY!!!!!!!!  Destroying it would be crime against . . .  Against . . .  Well Humanity, ssso to ssspeak!”

“A cat speaking of HUMANITY?”, “Q” muses with a snort.  Not all mysteries need to be or should be solved Sef.”, “Q” cautions as he snaps his fingers and disappear on a flash of light. 

Reentering the Bridge I begin, “Jacobsss, take Engineering Away Teammm and sssee if that hulk can ssstand being towed back to FI-9.”

“Right Sef.”, she answers. 

“BUT”, I continue, “Do NOT board herrr!  I do not want anything in that ssship disturbed!”

“A bit harder job Sef but, whatever you say!”, Jacobs answers as she gets her team organized.

“Communicationsss, get me Starfleet Command!”, I finish.

Jacobs used a Force Field Generator to seal the large hole in the CLAW’s hull and after an inspection found that although the hull had been comprised in many places it was stable enough to be towed.  So I ordered the Bastet’s Shields extended around the CLAW’s Hull and a Tractor Beam to lock onto the area of the hull that Jacobs thought the most stable and we began to, SLOWLY tow our prize back to FI-9.


One thing did puzzle her though.  During the Man-Kzinti Wars the main weapons were Lasers and “dirty” Tac-Nukes.  Even though the CLAW has been drifting in space for over 200 years, that would not have been enough time for the radiation that killed the Bridge Crew to decay away but, when she checked, radiation levels through out the vessel were within safe limits.  Another mystery to be solved!

Both the Federation and the Patriarchy were excited about our find and immediately began putting together a team of experts to come to FI-9 to study the CLAW.

As we arrive at FI-9 the problems start!  First, where to put the CLAW?  He, Kzinti call their ships “HE” instead of “SHE”, is to big to fit into FI-9's Hanger Bay and trying to land him on one of the planets would probably destroy him so we will have to keep him in space.  However there is no fuel on the CLAW to power his Thrusters so we will have to put him where the gravity pull from the various bodies in the solar system will not effect him.  After a few readings and calculations, it is found placing him fairly close to FI-9 is the best solution.  There we can use the station’s Tractor Beam on him if he begins to fall.  Because a constant Tractor Beam puts immense stress on a Space Frame, someone from Engineering will be assigned to monitor the CLAW from FI-9's Control Room 24 hours a day and use it only when and if the situation warrants it.

To protect against someone getting into the CLAW to collect souvenirs or damaging him in any way I ordered  Jacobs to extend the Force Shield completely around the CLAW’s hull sealing it.  With that I think we have everything under control and all we have to do is wait for the experts to arrive.  WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!

As I have said, Kzinti are VERY superstitious for a advanced, space fairing civilization!  One of those superstitions is that a weapon can be cursed or possessed by its dead owner.  The belief is so strong, that in battle, if a T’kzintar (warrior) looses his weapon he will not pick up one from the hands of a dead enemy!  Now there is the greatest weapon the Kzinti ever built floating in space near FI-9, his hull probably filled with the bodies of its dead owners!  Security-Chief is NOT happy about that!  Neither are the Kzinti Miners that use the station for recreation!  Many refuse to come to the station unless ordered to do so.

I find even some non-Kzinti have similar feelings when, Jacobs asks, “When are the teams of experts going to arrive eh?”

“I am not sssure.  A week orrr more I would estimate.”, then wondering if there is something I should know about, “Why?  Isss there  problem?”

“No, it is just that he looks so spooky hanging, dead out there!”, she replies. 

“I am sssurprised at you!”, I say, ”You sssound just like Security-Chief!”

“Occasionally that walking orange hairball has a valid point!”, she answers adding, “AND if you ever tell him I said that I WILL deny it eh!”

A few days after we get the CLAW settled in, I enter the Control Room and . . .  “Reg!  It good to sssee you! How are Karie and Kleio?”

“Hi Commander.  They’re doing great.”, he answers, “But I was wondering if I could talk to you about something personal.”

“Of course Reg, sssee me after yourrr shift!”, I answer as I enter my office and Reg goes back to monitoring the CLAW’s orbit.     

Two weeks almost to the minute after our discovery was made, the experts arrive.  The Federation has sent a team of academics headed by a Doctor Pedersen.  It is my understanding he is an expert on the ancient wars between Humans and Kzinti and has written numerous papers on the subject.  However, to my knowledge he has never visited FI-9 OR the Patriarchy.  I wonder if he has ever even met a Kzinti?  The Kzinti’s team includes a senior Jotoki Handler that has studied “old” technology and what the Kzinti call a “Rememberer”, sort of a historian that specializes in the Man-Kzinti War era. 

Their first task is to spend days reviewing and analyzing the Bastet’s recordings and Sensor readings of the second we made contact with the CLAW.  Then they spend even MORE days questioning all of Bastet’s Crew, even the ones that were not on duty at the time of our discovery!  Finally using the Bastet’s and FI-9's Sensors, they scan the CLAW from every possible angle, level and distance! 

The vessel is small by modern standards, with only four decks.  The hull is rounded giving it what Humans call a cigar shape although it is not perfectly round but flattened as well.  The front has a feline-like, triangular look and there are large oval viewports on the  port and starboard sides where I assume the Bridge is located.  They look like larger versions of the ones on my Kzinti Fighter.  The stern is dominated by six large rocket exhaust cones clustered around the main hull.  From internal scans it appears Engineering (engines, fuel tanks and control equipment) takes up about a third of the ship.  Weapons Systems take up much of the remaining space leaving the room for the crew (bridge, quarters, mess hall, sick bay, and life support) very cramped. 

Finally after two weeks of interviews, scanning, meetings, consolations and debate, the experts are ready to board the CLAW!

Security-Chief, Jacobs, and I will accompany the experts to the CLAW.  Even though we are going to a “dead” hulk, I order Security-Chief to issue Phasers to Jacobs, Himself and I.  Because there is no atmosphere or gravity in the CLAW, we will have to wear Space Suits.  I am concerned, while Security-Chief, Jacobs and I are use to working in Space Suits, not that we like to, the experts are not!  After we make sure they know how to operate their suits life support equipment and are comfortable in them, we beam over to the CLAW.

We materialize on the CLAW inside the massive hole in the port side, a mid ships.

“Everybody ssstay togetherrr!  Jacobsss, scan forrr any ssstructural problems!  Security-Chief keep eye out forrr traps!”, I order. 

Jacobs wants to check out Engineering to see if anything can be done to make working in the CLAW easier so the group heads aft.  We pick our way over warped or missing deck plates and through hanging conduit and wires.  We pass through a number of ruptured bulkheads.  Anything that was not attached to the CLAW and some things that were are long gone.  Sucked into space by the explosive decompression caused by whatever made the hole in the hull.  Looking at the devastation, I wonder if we will find anything in the ship.

Finally we reach an intact bulkhead.  Jacobs scans the compartment behind it for air and pressure before we try and open the hatch.  She finds the compartment is as airless as the rest of the ship so one of the Kzinti experts operates the Manual Locking Mechanism and opens the hatch.  We enter what appears to be a Mess Hall.  There are rows of long tables down one side of the room and what look like lockers behind a food preparation area on the other side.  Doctor Pedersen goes to one of the lockers and opens it.  Immediately he falls to his knees and his body begins to spasm!  The rest of us look to see what has caused his reaction.  In the locker is the headless, handless, footless, gutted body of a Human male hanging there like a side of meat!

Now knowing what has caused the doctor’s problem and also knowing what he is getting ready to do, I order, “Security-Chief!  Get that human back to Station NOW!  Do not let him cough up in hisss helmet!”

Security-Chief grabs the doctor and says, “Two for Emergency Beam Out!”

A few seconds later Security-Chief, back on FI-9 reports, “Pedersen-Doctor is well but I am NOT going to clean the Transporter Pad!”

“Oh Great!”, I hear Jacobs reply.

I thought the experts would have known enough history to have been prepared for this but I guess I was incorrect so I order everyone back to the station for a rethink!

Cats!  What a day!  I decide to go off duty a little early and since Sarrah is busy in Sickbay, I decide to stop into the Long Branch for a drink before continuing to our quarters.  Entering the bar, I see I am not the only one of my staff that has had this idea.  Security-Chief is standing at the bar having a Sour Milk and Jacobs is sitting at a table.

Seeing me she waves and calls, “Sef!  Over here!”

I join her and order a Squeak Ale from the waiter and ask her if she wants another of whatever she is drinking.  She says she does not.  The bar is relatively deserted.  Other than Security-Chief, Jacobs, Miss Kitty, the bar’s staff and I, there are two civilians, one is Doctor Pedersen, also standing at the Bar.  I do not recognize the other.

“What a day, huh Sef?”, Jacobs says between sips of her drink.

I have been around humans long enough to know one of the correct responses is, “I have had betterrr!”

Jacobs continues, “Like everyone, I have heard the stories about the Kzinti but I always thought they were mostly Boogy Man exaggerations!  But now, to think they were cannibals!”

“They were Not cannibalsss Jacobsss.”, I correct, “No more than were yourrr ancestorsss when they rrroasted creaturesss that looked like Gerve with fruit ssstuffed in their mouthsss.”

“Yea but that was different Sef!”, Jacobs protests.

“Oh, how?”, I question.

She does not answer, in words, but by the look that forms on her furless face I receive my reply.

All of a sudden Doctor Pedersen speaks up, “NO THEY WERE MANIMALSSSSSSSS . . .  MONSHURS!!!!!!!!!”, and drunkenly staggers toward Security-Chief.

Jacobs sizes up the situation quickly and rushes to stand defensively in front of Security-Chief.  For a second the scene is very curious!  A nine foot tall Kzinti Kzintosh being shielded by a barely five foot tall Human female against a threat from a over six foot tall Human male.  Things go bad quickly! 

“Back off!”, is all Jacobs can say before a blow from Doctor Pedersen’s big right hand sends her flying.

She crashes onto and through a near by table and lies motionless on the sawdust covered floor.  Then I witness something I hope to never witness again.  Security-Chief glances at Jacobs on the floor, turning back to Doctor Pedersen, emits a terrifying sound the likes of which I have never heard and with one back pawed blow sends Doctor Pedersen sailing over the bar and into the wall, smashing the large mirror that hangs there before his body crumples to the floor.  Security-Chief is getting ready to jump over the bar and finish the job as I reach and restrain him.

Holding him back as best I can, I tap my Com Badge, “Medical Emergency at Long Branch!  Doctor Selarrr respond!”

Seconds later Doctor Selar and Sarrah arrive. 

They both go to Jacobs first as I say, “Doctor Pedersen is on floorrr behind bar.

Selar stays with Jacobs and Sarrah hurries to examine Doctor Pedersen.

“We need to get her to Sick Bay!”, Doctor Selar says, urgency and worry sounding in her voice.

Both of us are stunned as Security-Chief goes to and kneels down beside Jacobs.  Gently, gingerly, almost lovingly gathers her body in his arms, rises and without a sound carries her out of the bar. 

For a second I see indecision in Selar’s eyes until Sarrah says, ”Pedersen-Doctor is regaining consciousness.”

“Go care forrr Jacobsss!”, I tell Selar, “Sarrah and I will get Doctorrr Pedersen to Sick Bay.”

“How bad are Lieutenant Commander Jacob’s injuries Sef?”, Admiral Ball inquires as I make a report on the incident to him the next morning.

“Fourrr broken ribsss, punctured left lung, broken nose, jaw and rrright arm, concussion, as well as numerous cutsss and bruisesss.  Mostly from smashing through table top.  Doctor Selarrr has relived  her of duty forrr week.  She saysss then she will reevaluate her rrrecovery and determine when she can rrreturn to duty.”, I inform.

“And Doctor Pedersen’s injuries?”, Admiral Ball questions.

“He wasss lucky.  Being intoxicated he was lesss rigid when he hit wall and floorrr.  A few minorrr cutsss and bruisesss as well as broken left wrist was all he suffered.”, I report, “As farrr as charges against Doctor Pedersen forrr assault and battery on Starfleet personnel, both Lieutenant Commander Jacobsss and Security-Chief want to forget incident.  All Miss Kitty isss concerned with isss damage to herrr business.  If Doctorrr pays for it she will not preferrr charges of public drunkennesss.  Finally as to charge of Racial Prejudice and Profiling, like my officers, I preferrr to let it passs, THIS time.”

"How was Doctor Pedersen allowed to get so intoxicated?”, Admiral Ball inquires, “Wasn’t he being monitored by the Bar Tender?”

“Recordingsss show he was served only one alcoholic drink.  Bar Tender seeing level of his intoxication rrrising made sure other two he was served were synthehol.  Apparently Doctorrr Pedersen was adding his own alcohol to drinksss.”, I inform.

“What about the body?”, Admarial Ball questions, changing the subject.

“I sent Doctorrr Selassr to CLAW and she took DNA sssample for Experts.”, I report, “Are there any Starfleet expertsss that can be assigned to this mission?  I am not sure about Kzinti but these Human civilian expertsss seem ill-prepared forrr this type of mission!”

“I’m sorry Sef but the Federation Archaeology Council picked the experts, Starfleet has not been consulted on this one at all.”, Admiral Ball explains, “I know you will do the best you can.  Ball out.”

“I tried to warn you Sef.”, A disembodied voice says and then with a flash of light, “Q” appears and finishes, “BUT you would not listen!”

“Q” snaps his fingers and we are instantly transported to the surface of a planet, which one I can not tell.  I can tell that a mammoth battle took place here!  Sometimes I envy the Humans with their less acute senses, for ones like me, the place stinks of blood, charred and decaying flesh and DEATH! 

“Where are we “Q”?”, I question looking around.

“We are where your decision took you, the Federation and the Kzinti Sef.”, “Q” answers.

It is dark, night it seems but it could just as easily be day with the sky darkened by the clouds of thick black smoke coming from the many fires that are burning.  With their light contribution, my “cat’s” eyes can make out a few things.  There are the blackened walls of large buildings, blasted to rubble by Phaser fire I assume so the planet is . . . was  inhabited.  Between the buildings are wrecks of machines, they look like Fighters both Federation and . . .  KZINTI!  I wonder if there are any survivors of the battle trapped in the ruins or the wrecks.  My duty as a Starfleet officer dictates I should look for and assist them.  I approach a Federation Fighter that looks like it is relatively intact.  I can see the pilot through the transparent canopy of the cockpit, a female Andorian.  She is still strapped in her seat and is not moving.  Using the Manual Eject Lever, I raise the canopy and check the pilot’s condition.  The stench that assaults my nose tells me she is dead.  It appears that after it was hit, the fighter lost power and nosed in.  The force of the impact dislodged some wreckage that in turn impaled her through the lower body.  From the expression frozen on her face by death, she lived for sometime after the crash and experienced the horror of knowing no one could help her as the battle raged on around her.  In the distance I see the wreck of a much larger vessel, it’s profile looks familiar so I pick my way through the rubble toward it.

Just before I reach the larger wreck I stumble over an unburied, decomposing body.  It has a tail, I believe it is Felinoid but it is to small to be a Kzinti and the fur is not tiger striped but a solid, dark color.  It lays face down in the dirt.  By the light I can see there are hundreds of other bloated, rotting bodies scattered around me.  I kneel beside the body, the scent tells me it has been here for some time.  I turn the body over and look into it’s face, MY FACE!  The body is MINE!  Then I know why the wreck’s profile looked familiar, the larger vessel IS the Bastet!

“They are all dead Sef.”, “Q” says as he walks up behind me.

I gently lower my body back to the ground, spring to my feet and whirl around to face him, “Who isss “Q”?"

“ANYONE seeing the CLAW is doomed!”, is the answer I receive in Security-Chief’s voice.  “You should have listened to him!”, “Q” chides.

A sickening thought invades my mind, “Sarrah!” is all I get out before “Q” snaps his fingers and we are standing in the Bazaar on FI-9 or what is left of it!  It is dark, only the Emergency Lighting is operating and they are flickering.  I can tell the Gravity Generators are down because there is wreckage, equipment and bodies floating in the air but I seem not to be affected by the lack of gravity.  I sprint to Sick Bay, dodging more lifeless bodies and floating wreckage along the way.

The doors to Sick Bay are closed and with no power to open them, I will have to pry them apart with my bare claws to gain entrance.  I insert my claws in the crack between the doors and pull!  It takes all my strength but they begin to move.  As the doors part, a terrible sight greets my eyes!

The Sick Bay was filled with wounded.  I do not see Doctor Selar, it is possible she was out somewhere treating the injured.  However I do see Sarrah!  She, wearing a uniform, is sprawled face down across one of the Bio Beds, trying to protect a injured patient, a Kzinti T'kzintar (warrior) from falling wreckage, like the dedicated healer she hoped to become.  The wreckage ended both the life of the Kzintosh and Kzinrret!  I race to her, push the now weightless wreckage off and I pick her limp, battered, lifeless body up and hold it tight to mine.  I had not considered this!  It is then I notice the insignia on her uniform!  She is a doctor!

Is the CLAW worth the price Sef?”, “Q” asks as he strolls into Sick Bay. 

I have always prided myself on my even temperament but, everyone has their breaking point!  I have reached mine!  I drop Sarrah’s body back on the bed, hiss and leap at “Q”, not caring what happens!  All I want is one swipe of my claws across his face!  To see the pain in his eyes.  To see if the “Q” have blood and if so, what color!  The look on his face seems to indicate he did not expect me to attack.  I draw back my arm, claws extended and . . . 
   
With a flash of light. we are back on the Bridge of the Bastet!

As I stumble to a halt, Jacobs reports from the CLAW, “I think we can haul this wreck home in one piece Sef.”

“Q” looks at me as asks, “Well Sef what’s it going to be?”

“Lock Tractorrr Beam on that ssship!”, I Command. 

“For “HUMANITY” Sef?”, “Q” questions.

“IT WASss THEIR WARrr, NOT OURSss!  AND IT IS OVERrr, OVERrr LONG TIME AGO!”, I reply, “And Humanity, whatever colorrr or length of their furrr, if any, MUST acknowledge THAT if we are to move on! ”

“Very good Sef!”, “Q” says, quietly clapping his hands, “Out of all the Starfleet Captains I have met, I expected you to have the most trouble with THAT!”

“I know you have tormented Captainsss Pickard and Janeway as well as Commanderr Sisco so why did you think I would have problem?”, I question.

“Well lets just say it was because you are SO . . .  Furry Sef, even more so than Riker with his beard and leave it at that!”, “Q” answers. 

Then turning to Security-Chief, “There were other cats involved!  What do you say Kzinti?”

“The Night Ends and with its Death, Brings a New Day!  All T'kzintar (warrior) know this and agree, the Dead Should be Honored BUT Remain Buried!”, Security-Chief answers.

“Not bad Orange Fur Ball!”, “Q” says, “For a start!  I will be keeping an eye on you too!”  As Security-Chief growls, with a snap of his fingers and a flash of light “Q” is gone, for now.

Like most night horses (mares SEF!) the memory(?) of the past few weeks fade quickly.  I am still trying to sort out what exactly happened from what did not or did it?  It seems no one except Security-Chief and I were treated by “Q” to the glimpse of a possible future and I have not had time to compare my experience with his.  All I am sure of is the teams of experts DID arrive.  We DID board the CLAW and explore him, from stern to  bow.  We DID find some disturbing things in him including “Human” meat but the experts were  professionals and treated the finds in a clinical, dispassionate fashion.  Now they are making plans to move the CLAW to a more convenient location to continue studying and preserving him.  From what I hear, EVERYONE on FI-9 will be relieved when that happens.

With things settling down, Sarrah and I get a rare chance to relax in our quarters together.

“I am worried about these tests.”, Sarrah says.

“Do NOT!”, I answer, “I have it on good authority that you will do well and you will look ssso beautiful in yourrr Medical Uniform!”

Sarrah looks at me, her body indicating her puzzlement, “How do you know that?”

“I have my waysss kitten.”, I say as I pull her close. 

Suddenly I feel strange, Sarrah senses my reaction and asks, “What is wrong my love?”

“I do not know kitten, an odd feeling.  I have heard Jacobsss describe it as feeling as if sssomeone was walking on herrr grave!”, I answer.  Then as quickly as it had came it is gone.  I look into Sarrah’s worried eyes, and continue, “Not to worry, feeling isss gone now!” and I pray it never returns!