Memories of Connor's Adventures

Orlando the Adventurer pulled a Scimitar from beneath his Robes and smiled...

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Short fiction: boldly lost

Boldly Lost
A Short Story

Ensign Curtis stared at the two Suns that seemed to orbit the very edge of the Star system. Somewhere between those engines of raw power, Hondo Curtis came to realize that the star patterns he should be seeing were not there. He flipped them in his mind with precision, and then again. No, he now was well beyond the limits of the Alpha Quadrant. Hondo looked about before thinking to pull his Starfleet Issue Tricorder. A lifeless desert in all directions and the Suns would never go down.
“That’s not good.” The Tricorder indicated water about five meters down from the surface of this perpetually lit desert. He would need water before he got there.
They had lost one. The Captain grimaced at the loss of the young crewman.
“Any idea what happened to him?” The Engineer the Ensign was working under shook his head.
“He was simply sweeping the targeting matrix with his Tricorder while I scanned the buffer for signal reflection error. When the power surge hit the ship, he was standing on the pad…”
“…And the surge activated random quantum eddies floating in the targeting matrix.” The Engineer nodded at the Captain’s assessment of the events.
“And you have no Idea where he was sent?” The Engineer shook his head.
“It would be limited the quantum eddies induced by the Tricorder. We will need to run experiments.”
The Captain nodded.
“Keep me apprised of the situation.” The engineer looked up.
“Yes Captain.” Captain Riker turned and began the long walk back to the bridge. He had lost one.
Ensign Hondo Curtis looked up from the bottom of the hole he wad digging for himself. Four feet down and he was tired already.
I won’t make it. Hondo struck at the compacted dirt with a stone tool he had made from the Obsidian he has found two feet up with less effort than he should have. First day out from his appointment to the Ship and he is Lost in a Transporter mishap. Hondo sat down in the hole. Damn It. The dirt was cool against his back at this depth. It felt good.
Stuff that. It could be worse. He could be dead and reduced to a puddle on the Transporter pad with that cute medic who checked his vitals crying over it.
He resumed digging. No way was he going to have her cry over a biological sample of his remains.
Had it been days? It seemed like it. The obsidian hammer dug slowly into the sandstone. A phaser would be good about now. It would have been good ten minutes ago when he hit the sandstone layer.
Wait a minute. Ensign Curtis shook the sand from his brain and smiled.
Dear Tricorder, I barely knew you. Hondo made the modifications and dropped it to the dirt.
Ensign Curtis climbed out of the pit and rolled out across the warm sand. The low frequency pulse cracked the sandstone and churned Hondo’s bowels. Ensign Curtis looked back into the hole. The Tricorder was cooked and there was substantial cracking in the Sandstone.
It took what seemed like hours for the water to bubble from the crack in the stone but he would live. There was the first trickle of water and it just seemed to pour from the stone with increasing force.
The well filled and the Tricorder that had sacrificed its life that he might live, floated near the surface. Ensign Curtis fished it out along with the shirt that had served as his dirt removal sack.
Hondo drank from Hondo’s Well.
Captain Riker struggled to compose the message to Ensign Hondo Curtis’s parents.
Dear James and Elizabeth Curtis, I must inform you that you son was lost in the line of duty. Though I did not have the chance to know him, His senior officers inform me that he was diligent in the carrying out of his duties…
Riker stared at the report.
Hondo collapsed near the Well edge, weakened by the lack of food. No Tricorder. No Phaser. No way to find food, signal for help, or get home. He had gone a week without food and it was coming to an end just like that.
The smell of the young medic washed over him as he focused on the memory of her face.
“Beautiful…” The delirious Ensign Hondo Curtis struggled to reach out to the beautiful face. The two individuals who stood over Ensign Curtis were rather confused by the images coming from his mind. The shorter of the two tasted the water of Hondo’s Well and nodded while the taller blur kneeled to force regurgitated fungus into his mouth.
Hondo choked on the sugary substance. There was something horrid in the taste but his brain told him to swallow.
Hondo floated in light. There was nothing there but a bright, all-encompassing whiteness. Then they came to him. Their necks were long and flexible and at the end of that appendage were small hairless heads with nothing familiar about them beyond the idea of a humanoid form. They had no eyes that Hondo could spot but they seemed to look straight at him. They sensed his confusion and the one leaning over him reached out to touch its forehead and then the forehead of Hondo as if imparting some meaning in the gesture.
They saw with their minds. They saw what Hondo saw and gained from the experience. Ensign Hondo Curtis stared at the alien’s two fingers and thumb that defined what could be a hand and the Alien touched the hand, feeling the images that Hondo’s mind broadcasted so loudly. He though momentarily of his own people, his family and his world and the alien minds devoured the images that he offered up.
Hondo hungered, and understanding, the alien regurgitated the chewed fungus that it had fed him before. His feelings of concern at having to ingest the alien substance confused his motherly companion. The alien being stroked the side of his head and encouraged him to ingest. Hondo Swallowed and the one who had fed him withdrew.
Then they were gone again leaving Ensign Hondo Curtis to drift in the white light.
Hondo seemed to drift for along time before they returned to him. This time the other led him from the light to a chamber that had a distinct floor. Here the being that was his guide showed him artefacts that seemed to be a diverse collection of confusing and abandoned rubbish. His uniform was there, torn and ripped and he realized for the first time that he was without clothing. His Phaser, his Tricorder, and a million other things they had apparently collected through contact.
He saw an Isolinear rod. The markings seemed aged a millennia but it was a Federation datastore. He looked around to see what else he could find. A Federation Portable Tablet Display sat revealed amongst the junk. He slotted the Isolinear rod in and hoped for the best.
The datastore bought up a historical record of the history of the Federation advancing far beyond the era he had left behind. It showed everything that he would never experience. The fall of the old Federation he had left behind, the Dark times that would have come in the years ahead, and the rise of a Second.
He advanced the timeline down the hallway of eternity all the while watching as Humanity blurred to become something no longer human. The stress of his discoveries crushed him. The Calender referenced something different to what he was used to. The symbolic AK seemed to say it all. Humanity had ceased a mere thirty six thousand years after the birth of Kirk. Hondo despised the reckless Kirk that so many venerated. He burst into laughter at the irony of it. Humanity had faded out venerating an egomaniac.
History advanced through eternity as alien blended with alien, attempts at cloning only seemed to add to the tidal wave of inevitable change. The Romulans, Vulcans, Klingons, even the Cardassians seemed to absorb into the genetic pool of the Federation and vanish. All was gone. Humanity was lost to the past. Hondo kept looking at his alien companion with growing suspicion and concern. It seemed to respond to his gaze.
The aliens gathered in increasing numbers, first his two and then others he had not seen before. They crowded into the chamber to see want he saw. To experience the emotions he felt. To experience a history that none of them knew. From Hondo they learned of the Federation, the merging of many peoples through an eternity of change until one final image showed them the birth of a single child who was so like them it all fell into place. Ensign Hondo Curtis struggled to his feet and pushed slowly and gently through the gathered horde of hungry aliens. There he found the mother who had kept him alive and gently held her in an embrace.
Hondo was home.

No comments:

Post a Comment