brief scenes were written mainly to keep the gears greased between
writing bouts on bigger projects. The funny thing about writing, but
the more you do it, the easier it is to do. I decided that if I could
put little efforts into one to one to three page stand alone pieces
would keep the creative juices flowing for the longer stories. So far
it is working.
are the shorts that don't really fit into anywhere else, or I don't
have enough to make a "series" out of them
is not one of them."
you are sure of this Carlos?"
as certain as one can get. Bardo didn't even twitch in his presence.
His hatred of other immortals is well established."
one of the most superstitious, and destructive."
However, the question remains, what is Jerold LaSaille? His ability to
withstand extraordinary damage has been noted."
is at his farm?"
And we are certain he is the same man as the American soldier wounded
at Hue, and the "Ghost that Walks" from the Eugenic wars."
he is not one of them?"
They are unaware of him, and unable to notice him as different, or like
bounced lightly on the ball his feet. "A mystery man then. Something
frowned. "Yes, something new."
Carlos", chided Tamerlain, "Something new invigorates the blood. It
amuses the mind. New things keep us alive."
don't like it."
are you going to do old friend. Tell this LaSaille that he cannot
exist? 'I am sorry senor, but as you cannot be, you must cease living
shot his mentor a sour look. "I do not possess your elan. I am bothered
by this man."
you have been the dark one. Why does one immortal bother you more than
I say he bothered me more? I am troubled by all of them Master
Tamerlain. They are neither people of good character nor superior
virtue. They have among them more blackguards than is average for
humanity. Many, on learning of this special state treat their fellow
man as a higher animal, suitable only for servants, or cattle. No, they
all trouble me. Why are these men gifted with eternal life, and
greater, kinder, folk must die?"
are assuming that this is a gift, Carlos. Search the records and you
will find many that have come to see their particular state as a curse
is a particular curse indeed in that case. That God would grant the
wish of every man to those that least deserve it."
is a reason we do not judge Carlos."
sighed deeply. "Why do we watch if we refuse to place tools in our
Charter is but to watch."
Carlos spun around. "Why are we watching and for whom? For what purpose
are we even so engaged?"
the time comes we will know."
we gather knowledge, and sit on it. Knowledge without action is
without knowledge is foolish."
and that is why we do not act. One cannot become involved, and be
uninvolved. You have been taught this."
do not wish to be uninvolved."
who have tried have failed."
we come to the fork in the road Master Tamerlain. I bid you adieu."
Carlos bowed briefly and left.
stood motionless as the heavy oak door closed behind Carlos.
-- Jackson County, Michigan, USA -- Local authorities have
reported finding the body of a middle aged man beheaded on a rural road
five miles from Jackson City. The body of Carsen Bardo, late of New
York, was found in a ditch beside his vandalized auto. Police are
seeking anyone that might have information leading to the arrest....
Geureva sat hyperventilating in his cheap hotel room. Tears stained his
cheeks and he shook with fear and rage. Once again he slashed his wrist
with the knife. Once again he watched the wound close before his eyes.
At the Forks --Garry Stahl, January 2006
is based on Jay P. Hailey's description of the
Immortals and the Watchers. It is somewhat a Highlander crossover
Trekized for your enjoyment. Timing would be somewhere in the 2020s.
Return to Navigation
Tamerlain laughed. He laughed loud and long until tears rolled down his
cheeks and he sat weak in his chair. At long last he pulled himself
together before his startled agent. "Telepathic... Sentient and
telepathic. Oh Donald it is so rich. Right under our noses the whole
time. We the vaunted Watchers, and they have been watching us."
Tamerlain, how would they be watching us?"
man sit, but first get us both some of the brandy. Are we assuming that
they have remained within the cloister of the Savanna?"
have taught Master than we should not assume our own motivations are
those of others."
you are right. We should not assume. What were you able to learn?"
rumors are true, at the most basic level. The natives called Ansisi are
telepaths. And the antelopes they call 'The Watchers of the Gods are as
were you able to learn this?"
of them saved my life Master. He lead the leopard away as if it was on
how did you come to be threated by a leopard?"
rubbed his leg. "I was leaving the village, and I hit a warthog borrow.
I flipped the jeep and was injured rather badly. It all in my report."
The Ane, they call them, one Talban by name led the stalking leopard
away and approached my jeep. I think I startled him with my mind touch.
He told me help was on the way and stayed with me until the Ansisi
thought we had lost you, Donald."
are not well connected with the outside world. One phone for the whole
village, a few solar panels. But yes, I was healed by the Ane. If not
for their intervention I would still be there, healing at best, dead
shook his head and chuckled. "All this time we have sought the aliens
among the stars and they are right here."
you find this disquieting Master Tamerlain?**
What?" Tamerlain looked about for the voice.
dropped his illusion. **Me, of course.**
jumped in quickly. "I brought him with me Master. They have a flair for
sat back. "I, see."
could hardly walk through the streets of Geneva with an antelope.**
so how prevalent are you?"
Donald has said. We haven't gotten around as much as we would like. The
more technology has prevailed, the more limited our movements have
become. We were pretty much everywhere except the Americas and the far
north in ancient times.**
cameras are our great downfall. An eye with no mind behind it cannot be
if I review the records, I should see you walk in here with Donald?"
was checked through the front door Master Tamerlain."
was about to question out security."
could not have passed unnoticed. You are well defended against
much has Donald told you of our Charter?"
to understand your basic purpose. Unless you have some dark secret it
is nothing we object to.**
what is your Charter?"
we have one of a sort. We are placed here to get everyone's story
personally, that of your culture, and of your race. As long as you are
remembered, you will never vanish. For this the Creator made Us.**
The All. Our body corporate and discorporate.**
think we both have much to learn."
ears went straight up. **Indeed Master Tamerlain, we do.**
Who Watches? Garry Stahl, February 2006
like a word with you." McCoy made a motion towards his office.
"Watchers" fic. Master Tamerlain seems to have crawled into my head to
stay. If I assume a Watcher organization in Epiphany Trek I cannot
assume they are blind or stupid. Eventually they will encounter the Ane
on Earth. Of what shape will that encounter be? Here I have defined it.
Ane wishing to keep their presence unknown to the general public will
be pushed back to the Savanna by increasing surveillance technology. As
late as the 20th century they could wander most of the Earth passing
themselves off as cattle or a pony to the casual eye, or simply not
being seen. Security cameras have no minds. The men behind them are not
line of sight and cannot be fooled by mind tricks, Jedi or Ane.
Antelopes walking the streets of New York will not go unnoticed. (Okay,
maybe not in New York. New Yorkers assume that everything is trying to
get them to geek, and steadfastly refuse to geek. "What, you never seen
a antelope in the street before? What kind of hick are you? What's it
doing? Trying to get a cab like everyone else. Waddaya think an
antelope in New York is doing?)
assume that this conversation happened after the events in the previous
Return to Navigation
is it Bones, we are kind of busy here."
nodded towards his office again. "In here."
locked eyes with McCoy. He nodded and entered the office. McCoy
followed and locked the door.
what the Hell are you doing!"
do you mean, I'm trying to get to the bottom..."
the mission. The mission be damned. What the Hell are you doing?"
not reading you Bones."
have stepped all over everyone on this ship I used to see you thinking
of as friends. You've treated Matt Decker like dirt, shamed Scotty,
bullied me. What in Heaven's name has gotten into you?"
there something they put into Admiral uniforms that makes a man into a
tin plated bastard? Jim, you have been acting the part of a first rate
ass. Right now you are working on trust and good will left from your
last tour here. You are rapidly burning through that trust and if you
keep on in the direction you are going you will lose them right about
the time we desperately need that trust to survive."
frowned. "How do you mean?"
how you are treating Matt Decker. That young man has been as close to a
son as I've seen you have since the Constellation incident. After his
Father sacrificed himself you took him in hand, guided, groomed.
Dammit, you were proud when he was assigned to command Enterprise. Now
you've taken his command without a by-your-leave and treated him like
incidental hardware since you came on board."
eyes blazed. "How dare you read me out like this."
dare because it's my job. You demanded, pulled
strings, and moved mountains to get me back on this ship and in this
uniform. Well, you get the whole package Jim. Like it or not this is
what you asked for. I dare because I thought I was the one man that
could tell you to your face when you were wrong. Because I'm your
friend, this is what friends do."
stepped back and looked down, then back at McCoy.
continued. I don't know what is driving you, or why you are this way,
it's not the Jim Kirk I know, and trust. The future is your call. Right
now you are standing on the brink of destroying everything you built
over those long five years. I've had my say, the rest is up to you."
nodded, tight lipped. He walked out of McCoy's office. McCoy watched
the door close behind his retreating back.
Insert this Scene -- Garry Stahl, 2001
of the problems I have had with Star Trek the Motion Picture is in the
first part of the film, Kirk really needs a rectal craniectmy. That is
his head pulled from his ass. McCoy is the only person who can
reasonably pull this off. Had I been the director, this scene would
have gotten put in the film. However, once again the have failed to ask
Return to Navigation
clock ticked time away in its usual fashion, the fashion in which it
had done so for over three hundred years. Around the old man his life
was gathered. Mementos from far places, models of ships, the
instruments of his life and profession cluttered the room. One model,
the special one, he held in his hand.
old man lay in his bed, the comforter his Mother made close against his
body. A few others stood, or sat by the old man Friends, good friends
some that had come a long way to be here. One sat closer than the rest.
He held the old man's hand, firm in his warm, strong grip.
old man looked out of bright unseeing eyes. An old, unsure hand
caressed the lines of the special ship within his grasp. His other
hand, the hand held by his true friend griped tighter.
am here Captain."
old man smiled softly. "Spock, let's do it all again."
a moment, Spock reached up, and lovingly closed the eyes of James Kirk
for the last time.
The Last Unknown -- Garry Stahl, October 1999
think my opinion is known by now, "Star Trek: Generations" sucked.
While that film contains many good scenes, while the actors did their
level best and the technical crew performed well, the whole is a pile
of suckage such as I have seldom seen. The death of James T. Kirk is
one of the worst handled things in the whole film. It is a Second Order
Idiot Plot if I have ever seen one. Buuuut in keeping with a 40 year
tradition, they did not ask me.
I have been accused of being emotional, maudlin even, well guilty as
changed. "ST: Generations" is not Epiphany Trek canon, it did not
happen. Therefore I present the death of James T. Kirk as it really
Return to Navigation
Kafilan addressed the core. **I'm sorry Uniban, it didn't work. Your
testes were as irradiated as the rest of your body.**
was only to be expected Healer. Thank you for trying.** The later
"voice" came from the smoky-gray pillar that dominated the small
chamber. Light softly played though the interior.
sighed. **I don't like to disappoint people. You have had more than
your share disappointments lately.**
am here, I am still sensate. I have opportunities.**
are adapting to this this remarkably well.**
must make the adjustment or die Healer. I took this drastic plan
because I am not ready to die.**
luck with your further training.**
walked away from the computer core of the USS Seeker.
They had made medical history in transferring a biological to a
computer core, but what had they really done?
checked the ship's functions for the fifth time that second. He would
have liked to join the others in the sleeping room, but there was no
male Ane bio in the ship. He was not ready to try out a female, even to
get a cuddle, and he could really use a cuddle.
the Questing's Computer Officer "moved" into his space. **Do we have to
get physical about it?**
hi Fiealan. Isn't physical the whole idea?**
are levels of physical Uniban. Here we make our own environment.**
why the bios?**
while we can make an environment here, it doesn't translate 'out there'
and yes cuddles are nice. Bios are for physical interact with the other
members of our culture. We will get you one as soon as possible.**
you own question, do you feel alive?**
feel little right now. I am aware of the ship yes, but the things I
expect to feel, nothing, an emptiness. It hurts.**
moved closer, she constructed an environment about them natural to
their kind. Uniban remained amorphous. **Uniban, we didn't expect it to
be easy for you. You have done the hard part, transition is
accomplished. Pull your icon together, reclaim your aspect. Is self the
didn't now know how much it was the body, until I didn't have one.**
oh yes. This absence of pain is nearly unbearable. Pain tells us we are
alive as equally as does pleasure. I have nothingness and it fails to
a somethingness. Remember yourself and live it.**
me...I don't know how.**
joined with Uniban and helped him remember himself. Slowly he came
together in the reality she had made.
twitched an ear, stretched his neck. **It feels, but how real is it?**
real as it needs to be in this space.**
lifted his front leg. He bit it. **Ow!**
later, enjoy now.**
questions do we live.**
flipped an ear at him. **You choose your moments to get axiomatic at
me. The space we exist in is defined by ourselves alone. What we will
in the space that engineers call cyberspace, is to the RI as real as
meatspace. This is the natural world, meatspace is someplace you visit.
Is this so different than the All? Do we not build such places in our
but I miss meatspace. I've never known this.**
is where you grew up. What Elathlan has chosen scares me, giving up
cyberspace to live in meatspace all the time? Having to go through
childhood again. It is the great unknown. Death I understand, but
taking the Birth?** She shuddered from nose to tail.
ears popped up. **The Birth! I could go back.**
nibbled lightly at his neck. **Yes, we could arrange that option, but
like Elathlan, you would have to wait until we get home.**
know.** He shuddered. **I can go back, if it is unbearable, I can go
looked deep into his eyes. **Does that help you endure?**
yes it does. An anchor I can grasp. Choices are better than no choices.
Even if one never takes the choice.**
rubbed against him twining necks. **I would choose to have a male mate
cocked his head and leaned into her advance. **I can make that
Choices -- Garry Stahl, December 2004
minor event in The Word of the Builders looked at
in a bit more detail. Uniban goes on to be the Computer Officer of the USS
Hadrian. Which is featured in A Journey of lessons
and Inic. Both by my Wife Susan.
Return to Navigation
There was something I needed to say.
Somewhere between the spinning, the passing out, the blood loss, I
forgot it. I don't know any more if it was even important. It nags
at me. I needed to say it. 28 days on this forsaken rock. It's
class M enough if you like. I can breathe, the tricorder says the
matter is good to eat. Nothing disease like has killed me yet. I
haven't discovered any big predators. I got the deuterium scoop
stuck in a body of water, the runabout's fusion reactor is ticking
away without flaw. It sucks up fuel and makes power. Power runs the
replicator that makes food I like out of the stuff that tastes like
shit. There is no danger I will starve. Those reactors are built to
Speaking of Humans there are
graves. The rest of the crew didn't make it. Ensign Burroughs took
a chunk of control panel right in the chest. She didn't even make it
to the surface. Lt. S'torn was made of sterner stuff as Vulcans
usually are. Some bug got him a week ago. Open wounds will do that. He
swelled up like a balloon, and died. I'm alone now. Food and
water aplenty, the air is fresh and clear. Either some bug I don't
have a chance against, or madness. I'd place bets with myself, but
how would I collect when I won, or pay if I didn't?
I don't know what got us.
those insidious gravidic mines that litter space from some forgotten
war. That would be my guess, but I'll never be sure. The space
sensors were one of the machines that didn't make it. I'm lucky that
the fusion reactor did and the replicator. And most of all the
database. Without that I'd be dead too, and no one left to bury me.
Machine wise I have those and the subspace transmitter. The receiver
didn't make it. So if my distress messages are getting out I don't
know, and can't reply to any replies. It says it is working. I'll
have to trust that.
I read the tech manuals and
the ship. Sadly Burroughs was the engineer. Me? I'm just a
diplomat. Minimal engineering. If I survive this I'll be a freaking
engineering genius. I'm just getting down on myself again. 28 days
is nothing in terms of space travel. So I read the do it yourself
manual and try and fix the ship. It gives me some occupation at
least. Boredom is a bigger killer in shipwrecks than disease I
understand. I do have one goal in life. Find Captain Hershel Byrd,
and punch him in the snout. "Warp Drives for Dummies"
is an awful name for a book. At least the life support
intact. I have no idea about the weather on this rock. Or how long
I'll be here.
water, air; the only thing I lack is people. I'm a people person
too. Diplomat, it runs with the job. Raging introverts don't become
diplomats. I'll have to deal. Keep my mind on working toward self
rescue. The runabout doesn't think it is fatally injured. Machines
have an uncanny trust in people to fix them. Qualified people. I'm
not that kind of people. So I work on it.
I should look on the
positive side. I'm
catching up on my reading. No distractions. I am not wandering
off in the alien woods to explore. No back up and more injuries are
not something I can afford. I think I am over the worst of the
injuries from the wreck. I've nothing but a rudimentary knowledge of
medicine and a tricorder to confirm that. S'torn patched me up, I
patched him up. I guess he was better at it than I was. Cold
comfort. I shouldn't blame myself. It was some bug down here. It
could as well have been me and still might be. If i get sick now
there isn't anyone to sooth my brow.
There is a strange beast out
makes a sound so like a Chinese gong it is uncanny. I've never
seen it though. I've seen some beautiful fliers. Skin not
feathers. Colors to shame a bird of paradise. Across the lake I see
herding beasts. The macroglasses reveal then well. About two
meters, scaled, bright blues and greens. They don't seem afraid of
anything. The world has life. No sentient life that I've seen or
seen evidence of.
I don't know if I should
leave a final
message. I'll keep recording the log until I can't. They can take
that as my final message. I suppose my rambling will make sense to
someone. I'll eventually say everything that is needed. Except,
there was something I needed to say....
Castaway -- Garry
Stahl, November 2010
More writing to write. I thought
about some catchy O'Henry ending, but decided that this was better.
How can one be lonely in a room
full of people? Belinda looked around at the celebrating
deck, and felt utterly detached from the same.
As her ship mates celebrated
nail in the coffin of the Romulan conflict she found she couldn't
join in. She couldn't let go of the war, the loss. Her brother was
on the Churchill when it was blasted to bits in
named the Battle of the Boulders. The Grant was
beyond their ability to recover. Somehow Captain Nelson got them out
of it. Harry was down in the engineering room when they were hit,
she had that to remember as well. Her brother and her lover all in
the same day. War was like that, fuck war. While
the rest of
the universe lived two hundred years she and the remaining crew of
the Grant slept the little death of hibernation.
Everyone else had made peace
Romulans. In her heart there were still bitter, bleeding wounds for
people not that long gone from her, even if their graves were two
She had stayed in Starfleet.
to her mind, was little choice. Go home to what? Everyone she knew
was dead. Nor did she wait for the new Grant they
promised. Familiar faces made things worse. Reassignment, six
months at a radically changed Academy getting her education upgraded. A
new ship, a new crew, and hopefully new friends to help her
rebuild a life shattered beyond recovery.
Belinda moved down the hall
toward her cabin. She loved this Galaxy class ship. Bigger even
than the Kongo that had rescued them. At the time
wondered how a ship could get better than that. Now she knew. She
took a short cut through the avocational lounge. She was a bit
startled to see Commander Data painting. Surely he would be
celebrating with the rest. For a moment she was caught in the
hypnotic dance of the brush on canvas. Data didn't seem to be
copying anything, but painting from imagination.
He stopped, and turned around
her. "Lieutenant Meijers, can I assist you?"
"No, I was just watching.
something about the creative process it
is beautiful to watch."
Data put down his brush and
palette. "I would think that you would
be at the celebration."
She smiled wanly. "I could
the same thing. Why do you stay away?"
"What is the expression, show
yours and I will show you mine?"
"Something like that. I am
comfortable with the idea of Romulans as 'friends'. the pain of the
war is still too close for me, the losses to fresh in my mind. My
desire to celebrate thusly damped to the point I am irritated by
those that can celebrate."
"Do you disapprove of the
"No, peace is good. But I'm
in a happy space right now. What about you?"
"I am not in an emotional
Lieutenant. While I have learned something of emotion, even learned
to feel, I cannot connect with the emotion of this remote event. I
have contested against the Romulans even, but there is no feeling
there. I considered it better to have my sip and sup, then leave the
party to those with feeling for it."
"So; I have too much of the
wrong emotions and you have no emotion at all. I guess we are kill
"Yet, you like myself have
left. Was it not to avoid 'killing the
joy' of others?"
"Yes. Just because I'm a wet
blanket doesn't mean I have to throw myself over everyone."
"Then compassion ruled your
"That and the selfish desire
be away from the celebrating. What are you painting?"
Data turned back to his
do not yet know. Counselor Tori suggested I should explore the pure
compositional values of abstract art. That seeking a balance when
there was a lack of objects was indeed a challenge. I am finding
this to be the truth. When you have no idea what you are painting,
it is difficult to paint at all. Once you have started, it is more
difficult still to stop."
Belinda looked at the canvas.
pleasing in composition and color. Almost suggestive of a T'gar
school mobile. "It reminds me of a mathematical formula."
Data looked a bit worried.
I have failed at abstraction."
"Why do you say that?"
"Is not abstraction suppose
not look like anything?"
"Not as I see it. It is to
suggest, but never verify. Like the old game of finding pictures in
the clouds. I had one teacher that defined it as what is left
composition when you take the object out."
"I should like to meet him."
"That would be difficult, he
would be dead. Like everyone in my old life."
"Then I have blundered in
bringing it up. Forgive me."
"Data, I can't live my whole
on the edge of being reminded. It would be pointless to take offense
in what would be a perfectly natural assumption, that my teachers
should still be alive. I'm not an old woman."
"Yet tonight these things are
very much on your mind."
"Yes, very much. I'm not
away twice in one night."
"I am at a deep failure of
understanding Lt. Meijers. I have a difficult time understanding
your position. I have little understanding of personal loss."
"That implies a little."
"Yes, I have lost a friend in
service. I do not even fully understand what I have lost."
Belinda looked at the floor.
wonder which of us is worse off? Me, knowing what I have lost, so at
least knowing what I had, or you, that doesn't even know."
"In neither case can we get
back however. In that we are equal."
Belinda sat for a moment, not
anything. Data was not inclined to add anything. At last she spoke.
"Maybe we should go back to the party. We can help each other
learn to be happy."
"I would like to do that with
Old Wounds -- Garry Stahl, November
More writing to write. Data is a
favorite character. Lots of references to my own work in here.
Big Red Reset
Robert Heinlein said that the less
have to lose, the tighter we hold on to it. Not his exact words, but
something to that effect. I felt like a Ferengi down to his last
slip of latinum. The main promenade on Builder station was not
exactly the worst place to go broke. I could find a living cubical
and live here for years without a credit to my name, no one would
bother me. If only money was what I lacked.
There are worse things than
broke, don't let anyone fool you otherwise. Lack of a good name on
this station was like being covered in a bad smelling substance. Ane
avoided you, and as a result, so did everyone else. Starfleet had my
ship and pulled my ticket. I was in the worst place in the
Federation to be to have a bad reputation with the natives. My name
was mud and every one of the four legged bastards knew it. I might
as well find that cubical and lay low for a year or five.
I could try the Orion
frankly I liked having a soul, and Heinlein was right; when that is
all you have left you hang onto it.
The small lifter would take
off my feet and no one was guarding the thing. The station was lousy
"Location please." said the
I didn't know they talked.
radial arm between box 20 and box 21, random living module with a
The lifter moved forward. The
same view after same view passed by. Literal miles deep into the
heart of the massive station. If i didn't know the general area I
specified I wouldn't have a clue as to where I was.
The sudden stop started me, I
had drifted off into a fugue. I got off the lifter and picked one of
several doors. It opened to my palm. "Key door, my
"Door Keyed" chimed the
"Give me my location."
"Residence 4,493,540 Deck
233, Ring 6."
Damn, big place. Well no one
likely to find me here for a while. The window view as spectacular,
even if a good deal of it was more station. I was looking back at
the central spire and between 20 and 21. The room itself was large
if a bit spartan. Builders were larger critters, that meant that
even small quarters for them were decent for me. I checked the head,
about as expected, a few touches and I had facilities fit for a king.
If I sipped lightly at the replicator I could stay under notice for
years. A quick pass through the whole room had the place looking and
feeling just like I wanted.
A week later I was ready to spit
nails. I was looking at yet another day of endless hours when a
thought hit me hard enough to stand me on my feet. Yea! That
Andorian. He was still looking for test monkey last I heard.
could not only test his time machine, but lift it. Now, how to I get
a hold of him without tipping off people that rather I didn't?
The gorgeous ship in the
my eye. To say I lusted after her was a gross understatement, she
was like everything I could desire. She came closer to the ring
wall. The hell? What was a ship doing here. He was either lost or
hiding. I decides that a gun would be a good thing to have. My door
snapped open to show an old man with a big assed blaster, pointed
right at me.
"Billy, you don't need a gun,
get over here where I can see you."
"Who are you?" I got.
"I'm your best friend right now. Even
if you don't believe me."
"I'm certainly friends with
ever is pointing a gun at me."
The guy tossed an object on
my couch. "Transporter key for the ship
outside. You can use my papers no
problem. Just keep your nose clean from now on."
Dude, now you're weirding me
out. Just hand me a ship at gun point
and tell me to be a good boy?"
"Yea, I knew you wouldn't buy
so easily. The Andorian is a nut in several ways. His crazy device
will work, but not in any way you can fathom. You'll get what you
want. But you will regret the price the rest of your unspeakable
life, in ways you cannot possibly understand right now."
"Now I'm totally weirded out.
You're reading my mind."
"No you ass. I'm reading my
mind. How do you think I got the door open? Andorian is dead,
it's better for the Galaxy that way. I'm you, you ass."
"Yea, me." The guy was
"Get the key and get out of
"What about you?" I edged
my way casually to the couch, don't startle the madman with the gun.
He had a look on his face I
to see again, a man so happy he was mad. "Don't worry, I've
I dove in the couch at the
of something wrong, the thud hit as my face was milliseconds from the
cushions. I heard the splatter and the soft thud. I grabbed the key
and scrambled to my feet. The old guy's neck was bleeding out on the
rug. His head decorated the walls and furnishings. Eeew. My back
was likely covered in gore I better get a shower...I hit the
My ship was at warp before I
the shower. Everything checked out, New Portsmouth papers, my
biometrics. The hold was full of legit cargo, and I had a fat bank
account and a new name. Mana from Heaven, or was it from Hell? What
kind of thing is so terrible that a man goes to this trouble to see
it never happens. It's going to take a lot of whiskey to erase the
sight of his head starting to bloat from my mind. I don't think I
can ever forget the look on his face, my face at
that made him.
The Big Red Reset --
Hey, you write
what comes off the
keyboard. I have mention that I don't like time travel.
This might be why.
The preacher in Hyde park was giving
it his best. "What profit a man to gain the whole world and
lose his own soul?" he cried out among the dozen or so
street speakers there that day.
Jai the Ferengi stuffed his
his pockets and grumbled. "Get me the world and I'll consider
the issue." Earth was suppose to be the center of the Hoo-man
universe. The place was a sterile foam padded park! Profit was
chief on Jai's mind today; not that this was remarkable. Profit was
usually on Jai's mind.
A young Human woman wearing
little, as is typical for London in high summer, crossed his path. Jai
watched her go past hungrily. Okay, not always on his mind.
Jai stopped at a park bench
around in his pocket for a slip of latinum before sheepishly
remembering that they didn't change to sit in the park. He hoisted
himself on the bench to rest his feet and think. A cargo of fruit
wasn't going to last forever he had to find someone on this lousy
planet that liked yorna berries. It was going to cost him a fortune
to fumigate his ship as it was. If he ever saw that Hoo-man West
again he was got to shoot him!
**You have yorna berries?**
Jai whipped around to face a
defiantly fe-male critter with deep black skin a nice pair of tat-tas
in the bare and a some what bovine head. It reminded him of
something. "I didn't know I was talking aloud."
**You weren't, but I can
smell them on
"My clothing, my ship, my
my thoughts! Those things stink up everything."
**Yes they do. How much to
"20 standard tons lady."
**That should be about
perfect for my needs.**
"So let's talk latinum."
Two days later Jai was relaxing on his
ship just off Aquarius station. Free orbit didn't change docking
fees. The yorna berries moved for latinum, no credits to exchange.
Better yet he got the price he asked for, a glorious profit. He was
idly flipping through the news channels and thinking about a decent
cargo. He sipped his coffee, and he was enjoying his freshly cleaned
ship. He needed to have that done more often, even if it did cut
into his profit. He inhaled another nose full of fresh ship and damn
hear inhaled his beverage.
Jai slammed the comm: "Ah
Earth control, I gotta get home, my Momma needs the doctor bill paid
or the surgeon will repossess her heart!"
The controller shook his
Ferengi. "Take heading 221/5 you are free to maneuver Jai's
"Than -- Jai out." He
quickly got his ship on the course indicated and slammed the impulse
throttles to the stops. The millisecond he was out of the gravity
shadow he hit the warp drive. "Why, why, why is it
always me?" He turned the monitor to face him again. "Earth
President and Party Bathed in Yorna Juice: Secret Service Seeks
Supplier." Said the headline. The accompanying picture showed
the politicians in question dyed head to foot in yorna juice and
looking totally disgusted. Only their eyes shown white in the
middle of the dark burgundy stain. The article went further into the
particulars of the incident and it hit Jai where that nose came from.
"Ane, lousy, nosy, joke playing ANE." Well, he didn't
have to worry about Earth being a sterile park, he wasn't going back
any time soon.
Profit -- Garry Stahl, December 2010
I borrow Jay's
Jai the Ferengi in
his usual role and a mention of
Richard Merk's Absalom West and his nemesis
of a cargo. My answer to the challenge of "What profit a man to
gain the world and lose his own soul." Well profit usually
suggests Ferengi, Ferengi suggests my favorite Daffy act-alike
contender, to wit:
two sat on the stage of the old club, a single light shared between the
two as shadows chased each other around the empty room.
Pea was old. His face lined with care, his hair white and thinning. His
ancient hands with their over-sized knuckles caressed the smooth
darkened brass of the cornet. He lifted the instrument to his lips and
low, and aching the notes were squeezed from the horn. He hunched
around the instrument eyes squeezed shut, each note pushed from the
bell as if it cost him blood.
sat beside him, soft mahogany fur with his black mane cascading down
the arched neck. He filled his throat and sang sweet pain, a
counterpoint to the horn in tenor flute cascaded in triplets around the
heavier notes, and filled the spaces between them. Together the sound
slithered 'round the old chairs and under the empty tables. It crouched
between the brick walls and tapped at the old tin ceiling.
played and sang to an empty room, audience and musicians in one. Old
ghosts gathered 'round the tables and jostled for space at the bar.
They stared out from the gloom and smiled.
latter Sweet Pea gently wiped down the horn as he packed it away.
Taraban watched the careful habits of the old Master.
has been called out Sweet Pea.**
Old man sighed. "I suppose you will be going."
is my chosen place.**
will be missed my friend. We lost a great artist when you decided to be
a starship captain, and not a blues singer."
Am I all that now?**
are to me. Most of all, you are a good friend." Sweet Pea hugged
Taraban, ending with Taraban's head in his hands. "You take care of
yourself out there."
will give it my best. I am rather fond of me.**
are you heading?"
new, the underside of the Klingon Empire. Vice Admiral Hailey wants an
experienced manta crew at STB-600 to aid in training his new crews.
Starfleet picked us.**
am going to miss you."
don't you get a group together and tour with Fuzzy?**
it wouldn't be my buddy Taraban, but that is an idea I do need to look
put in a good word for you. We are also putting together another group
to work out of Oz, and one to work the frontier as well.**
Where is Oz?"
I am going.**
shut my mouth. I'll just see if I can dig up a couple of friends that
want to shake the dust of this old world from their heels and see the
got a week. I'll take you with me.**
ol' buddy, you have a deal."
Travelin' Blues -- Garry Stahl, February 2005.
needs a hobby and Taraban hasn't been sitting idle waiting for the next
story. It seems he has been traveling Earth looking for the real music.
Return to Navigation
"My most logical course
action at this time is to shoot you."
Jai the Ferengi's eyes
bugged out, "Nonononnono! No you, you
don't want to do that!" Jai squealed looking down the emitter
phaser that was suddenly in the Vulcan's hand. "I can fix it,
I can, I
T'sark's phaser did not
waver a degree. "Your reputation for
failure is only exceeded by your reputation for being untrustworthy
when out of sight. I have no logical means of trusting you,
reasonable means of retrieving my losses, caused by your
double-dealing." Her grip tightened on the phaser.
Jai was on the deck
sobbing. "Please, I'll pay you! I'll pay you
now, out of my own pocket!" Traffic at the High
Crystal dock flowed
around the confrontation.
T'sark nodded to her
companion who opened the datalink on his
PADD. She gestured with the phaser. "Your
opportunity for honesty is
Jai scrabbled for his PADD
and made the transfer with shaking
fingers. The tall male nodded to his companion as the
The phaser disappeared back
into T'sark's sleeve. "It has been
agreeable doing business with you."
Jai sat on the deck as the
Vulcans departed. "Yea, agreeable."
T'sark folded her hands into
her sleeves as she departed with her
companion. As they walked he spoke.
"I do not claim to understand your logic T'sark, however I cannot fault
it's effectiveness. From what philosophy does it stem?"
"The words of a famous
"A Human? Indeed."
"I find Human philosophy
useful when dealing with Frerngi, Stenn."
"Yes, I can see a certain logic in that. What are
get a lot more with a kind word and a gun than
you do with a kind word alone."
Logic -- Garry Stahl, October 2006
This is the result of one
of Jame Jones' photo manips and a
conversation I had with Jay the other night. Jai Ferengi
usual role in these things, and is © Jay
"I don't follow the news much. I
never considered that a failing until now. Not being aware of
current events has a good chance of being the death of me.
"I suppose I should explain.
am a beast, a killer, an Angosian super soldier. I was a weapon in a
long ended war, a weapon that those that made me could neither
destroy, nor easily cast aside. They tried to bottle us up, deny
that we existed. I got away, one of the many that did. But, what is
a monster to do?
"I found a profession in
what monsters do best. But not like you might think. Yes, I do take
contracts, and I kill people. It hasn't gotten me a single slip of
latinum. I never kill the target, I kill the targeter. Those that
wish others to die, and are unwilling to do the job themselves are
monsters too. The best employ for an out of work monster is putting
"Back to current events. My
monster was a head of state it seems. One would think such people
would have their own monsters on call, and not need independent ones.
Deniable force I suppose. In any case governments do have
resources. I had a hunter on my tail, a good one. I have been
trying to shake him for over a week, and I still had a hunter on my
tail. I still have one trick left, time to use it."
Magwar dropped down behind
and he spun to face him at the same time. Neither shot, weapons
Magwar's eyes went wide.
"Magwar. I was starting to
suspect something, you are hard to catch." He did not drop the
aim of his weapon.
"Why are you doing the
"They asked me to, nicely.
Killing the Senior Councilman wasn't exactly something they could let
"He needed to die Argon. He
hired me to kill someone else."
"I heard your morals had
some funny way."
"He was a monster, just like
"I never considered it my
to decide even if living in peace seems impossible to do."
"So, why haven't you shot
"I can ask the same question
Magwar looked down the
barrel of the
phaser. "At least some good will come of this Argon."
"How so old friend?"
"No mater what happens, one
will be free."
Freedom -- Garry Stahl, February 2009
arrowhead. The Lieutenant picked it up out of the dirt. She rubbed it
off on her sleeve and turned it over in her hands. The ruins were lousy
with the things. She looked at said ruins as they faded off up into the
hills. Down here at the base of the hill is where all the arrowheads
where, right next to the crumbling tower of artificial stone.
A dark night
and dark thoughts. Right after I told Jay Hailey my head was empty.
For those that do not recall
background this is from the List
of Star Trek Races, in Wilkapedia. The episode was
from TNG "The Hunted". What does an out of work monster
non-violent, 'Angosian authorities were responsible for genetically
fight in their
Tarsian Wars. But the process was irreversible, and the 'super
soldiers' were considered outcasts and criminals that could not
function or co-exist alongside the normal population of Angosian
society, and as such were forced to be permanently confined to a
penal settlement on an Angosian moon."
Chief came up beside her. "Lieutenant, the base camp is finished. What
do we start on next?"
turned to the Chief. "Start the survey crews. Lets get the basic
geophysics done before nightfall." She flipped the arrowhead to the
Chief. "Chief, what do you think they were for?"
turned the object over in his hands. "Well, I would say a primitive
weapon, but they are not primitive and clearly not balanced as weapons."
we will find some solid records in the ruins. What is left of the
computers in orbit is worthless. This city does appear to be the ground
control center for the space bore activity."
the motifs in the largest remaining stations and the motifs here do
match. As well as matching ruins all over this sector of the Galaxy. If
any spot is it, this is it."
Chief tossed the arrowhead back into the dirt. "So, we're finally going
to get some answers as to what 'Starfleet' was."
Archeology -- Garry Stahl, July 2005
suppose this is a postscript to Star Trek at large. "And this too shall
Comments or questtons
on this file?
A zipped Rich Text Format version of this story.
Return to -- Epiphany
Trek: The Stories
The Above is a work of fiction. All
characters are fictional, any resemblance to persons living or dead is
Stories Copyright © Garry Stahl:
1999-2006. All rights reserved, re-print only with permission.