Matt's Personal Log - Episode 31

We were on Citadel for a coupla weeks – not much really happened. Arnold got busted by the cops over using Borg tech in his ship repairs which, in my opinion, was total bantha-shit. He’d been using that stuff in his work for years – even I’d helped install it in some ships when I’d worked with him; hell, it’d been in the Starlight for over a year. I’m guessin’ there’s some new politics in the works on the Station – guess that means Salma’d be a good ally to have in the comin’ months, if we haven’t totally frelled ourselves with whatever it was we did during that darkened bit of time.

We’d even thought about running a mission to rescue Arnie, but since Citadel’s one of the few places we have left that we can run to, it just didn’t seem like a worthwhile effort. Some of his guys got away, so I hope he’s alright; still, if things die down a little and he’s still in the shitcan, I’m gonna rethink my thoughts about helpin’ him out – after all, he’d helped me out when I really needed it.

In other news, Alyr gor word that Galaxina had been taken and tortured to death by the Syndicate. That’d suck if I thought it was true, but it doesn’t make any sense. We haven’t been back to DS9 in forever, really, so why would they think she’d even know. For frak’s sake, we’d just been at a Syndicate-run shadow depository! They coulda passed on the information about our whereabouts by subspace comms – no, the more I think about this, the more I think someone’s out there putting out bait and laying out snares to capture Alyr, and maybe the rest of us as well. We need to put out our own lines and see if we can catch a bite, maybe catch the bastard out there lookin’ for us. I might just see if I can talk HoloLeeta into helpin’ us out – and hope the sumbich out there hasn’t thought of doin’ the same.

Meanwhile, we’ve finally gotten around to traveling to the Rog system to check out the Temple of Light stories. We’d taken the long way – warp drive – and I gotta say I enjoyed the leisurely pace for once. (Pretty sure I made some headway with R’shee during the trip too!). We got to the system with no real scares – yeah, a couple Garidian patrols stopped us, but they didn’t want to frak with a D’kora-class ship; good thing, too, ‘cause they’da really been surprised when the the Starlight and Glory made an appearance as well. Karr showed up along the way – no one has an explanation for it either. Seems he appeared on Alyr’s bridge, all on his lonesome and with no memories or knowledge of how he’d happened to get there. There was no sign of the Knife, so it’s a genuine mystery – too bad my plate’s full or I might take a more active interest. For now, I’m just gonna roll with the punch and get on with my own life and interests for a while.

Rog was as interesting from orbit as it was in the reports – which is to say pretty. Basically, it’s a planet populated by Humans in an area of space that’s been dominated by the Ferengi and other alien species forever. That leads to the question of just how they’d gotten here in the first place? Since reading about the Iconians during my research, I wasn’t too keen on the idea of convergent evolution – no, this seemed to be more a matter of species transplantation, as evidenced by the Ghost’s relocation of game animals, or more distantly, my own arrival in this time and place some two years ago.

The research said that Rog was at a pre-industrial technology level, and the scans seemed to verify that. Other research had indicated that the Temple of Light had been submerged in a cataclysmic event some time in the distant past (shades of Atlantis, anyone?), so we decided to look to the coastal cities to find our answers and to seek out clues. In retrospect as I write this, we should have taken scans of the shallower parts of the oceans along the coasts to see if we could have detected anything from orbit, but I guess that oversight is a product of my time and training.

Quickly we’d decided to try out the largest city in the northern hemisphere of the planet. We transported down roughly half a mile away and started walking, though we were soon afforded a wagon ride by a passing merchant. The culture of the planet was what I’d call oriental, like those wushu movies I used to enjoy – Chinese, in other words. The wagon driver (Chin, I think he said his name was) referred to the non-Humans among the team as ‘spirits’, but was otherwise undistrubed to see them – that’d work for us (good thing too, since me and Alyr were the only Humans there, and Alyr’s race is really only a distant cousin). As it was, having all these ‘spirits’ around made the two of us something of celebrities, as were were apparently ‘blessed’ to have so many spirits as company.

By the time we arrived at the city (never did learn its name), we had discovered that the knowledge we were seeking could probably be found among three people – the King, the Queen, and someone known as ‘The Fletcher’ (who happily enough seemed to work at the great big purple palace looking down over the city, which also hapily enough was the home of the King and the Queen). While we figured out how to approach the palace (since one doesn’t usually just walk up and knock on the door of a palace), we decided to hit what looked like a local pub and work on some strategies.

The pub turned out to be a drinking establishment as well as a noodle shop, so we decided to partake – and as usual, things got a little out of hand. When we discovered the slips of gold-pressed latinum we had with us was extremely well accepted as currency, we started partying – a little too much. When the two companies of soldiers arrived, we invited them to join us only to discover they had been sent to escort us to King Kong, the ruler of the city and of the lands surrounding it. (I may have been the only one there that was laughing for the next hour at the king’s name, but come on! King Kong! Really? It didn’t help matters that in our band of merrymakers was R’wishi, who thereafter I could only think of as Godzilla!)

We brought the party to the palace with us and met the King. The guys made me talk, but that’s really just a blurry memory at this point. What sticks out was when he asked if we had any ‘benders’ among us. I gotta admit my mind went to a different place than he apparently ment, ‘cause next thing I know, Alyr’s in some kinda duel with the King’s own daughter, a twelve-year old girl by the name of Minmei. She did some kind of martial arts move and then ice and water was just appearing outta thin air! To make matters better, Alyr was makin’ the same kinda dance moves and started walking on air – guess that explains the whole jungle hut thing. Alyr won the duel, and looked rather pleased at himself for beating up a little girl – her father took the whole affair matter-of-factly and gave us the knowledge we were looking for, by way of his vizier, who turned out to be the court wizard and none other than the Fletcher.

The Temple of Light had been sunk during a war of benders some time in the past – benders is the local name for wizards. Seems the Earth benders had sunk the island the Temple stood upon. The island where it had once stood on had been in the oceans far to the south. Now, normally we’d just transport back up to the ship and then back down to the site, but during the trip to the city, we’d been contacted by the ship and told they were under fire and retreating – they’d be back later after they’d dealt with the attackers. (‘Course, the Starlight was supposed to be cloaked in geosynchronous orbit over the city, but since Alyr hasn’t contacted them, I’m guessing that somehow they’d been detected as well, and also retreated with the Nyarlarthotep.)

The King offered us a ship to get us to where we were going, as well as the services of Fletcher (an air bender) and his daughter Minmei (a water bender). The journey would take some time but honestly I was looking forward to it. It’s been some time since I could feel actual wind on my face, smell something other than canned air, and feel a planet beneath my feet (and for those of you who’ve spent most of your lives onboard space vessels, yes, it is something that’s been lost in this ‘modern’ era).

About halfway there we ran into a small flotilla of three vessels and were stopped and boarded. These new fellows (from the fire nation) were seeking air benders and demanded to take Fletcher into custody. Again I was made spokesman but at some point Alyr cut in and started bargaining with the Fire Prince Whosiwatsit (or whatever). I honestly don’t recall what they were talking about, mostly because by that point I couldn’t give a damn anymore. They’d struck a bargain, which apparently required us to go with the Prince to his ship, but I’d had enough. I asked Mister Flambe what he intended to do if we didn’t agree – he smiled and made some remark before waving his hand and blowing a hole in the side of our ship. Mr. Smug and Mighty then turned his back on me like he expected me to heel him like a well-trained dog.

I think I was gonna shoot him anyway, but before I could even finish my thought, Alyr had started blasting at the Prince’s ships. I drew my gun and killed the Prince (yeah I shot him in the back – check my prior logs for my thoughts on ‘honor’). I think that’s when the full scope of what was happening occured to all of us – especially when two of the three warships started firing their cannons at us! I managed to tackle Jocasta and Becky, saving them from being killed in the barrage. They were injured however, so I activated my PSG and covered them while the combat continued around us – I saw R’wishi blasted to nothing as a cannonball caught him in the chest. In the end though, Karr, Alyr and Thanos managed to win the day with their phasers and disruptors – we’d lost our crew, but managed to live the day. And to think, we’d only killed or wounded roughly 900 souls. (‘Wounded’ is only a word though – we didn’t take on any survivors, since by that time I was unconscious by Thanos’s hand after an untimely argument we had just after the battle and an argument I had with Minmei that caused her to leap overboard and leave our company.)

When I did come to, the rest were looking to me for guidance (probably the only reason I did survive my fight with Thanos – I was the only one on board that could steer this vessel). After putting them to work, we managed to make it to the Isle of Three Smokes – the first of our stops to the sunken Temple. South of here was the Temple, but we’d need a crew to man the ship if we were going to make it. We went to a lively bar near the docks in the hopes of gaining crew – there was plenty of men there, but they were members of two crews already. While I considered killing one of the captains to free up the crew we needed, an extremely attractive woman entered the bar and approached one of the two men I was considering. She was evidently a fire bender, as evidenced by her setting the man ablaze over some missing funds.

Well, I try not to let opportunities go by so I immediately shouted out that we were seeking crew. Most of the dead man’s crew immediately joined us, and Alyr even mentioned something about taking their ship. I liked the ship we were on, but we did set out to see if it’d be worth it. When we arrived, the officer in charge started strutting like a peacock and ordered us off the ship – I explained to him that his captain was dead and that we were here to see if the rest of the crew would like to join us in a quest for treasure. Someone shouted the question of how much, to which my response was equal shares for every man – pretty sure that pissed of Alyr and the guys but they forgot that we were seeking for clues and knowledge to the true treasure that was waiting for us in the Gamma Quadrant, and that any treasure we found on this planet would be incidental to the final prize.

The officer said he needed to confer with his superior and went below deck while we waited. Twenty minutes or so passed before my patience was lost and I went below. I arrived in time to hear the officer talking with someone – I knocked on the door and entered in time to see him transported off the ship, along with almost a dozen others of the crew. Damning our luck, a quick search revealed a few PADDs and other items of modern technology. Karr immediately begain attempting to decrypt the cypher on the PADD, and Alyr started scanning comm bands with my communicator. Alyr soon discovered the comm bands being used were ones that are used most often by Starfleet personnel.

We’ve made contact with the ship in orbit – the Nelson. Apparently, their captain was the man we’d seen torched in the bar in port, and their command structure was in some slight disarray. This is all an assumption on my part, though, as I only spoke with them for a short while. We’ve arranged a meeting on or vessel in the harbor – they intend to transport down an away team to talk with us – I’ve thrown caution to the wind and mentioned that we’re here in search of a treasure. The fact that they’re even talking to us might be an indication that this crew isn’t a spit-and-polish example of the Starfleet Navy – hopefully we can arrive at some common ground and work together, if only for a little while.

To avoid some possible unfriendliness at the coming meeting, Alyr has done his face-dancing trick to hide his identity. Hopefully, luck will give us her smile and some of the crew meeting us will have served with Thanos or Karr (and be old friends instead of rivals). With enough luck we may be able to use their sensors to find the treasure and clues we’re seeking.

I’ve got this nagging feeling though – when does anything go that easy for us?

Matt's Personal Log - Episode 31

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