<FWG> <Patronus> Issue 1, Article 4: "Will of Harm"

  • From: Jason Ziredac <ziredac@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: fwgalaxy@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 1 Jan 2007 19:50:53 -0800 (PST)

  Will of Harm
  by the Crew
   
  
  When he could no longer take a good, unadulterated gander at the rear end of 
one of his girls, when he couldn?t fully enter a fantasy that involved two of 
them at the same time (perhaps Claire Eyensworth and Aylyn Cta), when his 
libido was unable to feel its full swing to which point he was out of control, 
that?s when Captain Hayes McQuarrie knew he was worried, and that it was 
something really worth worrying about. He remembered a time on the Exeter, a 
real ship, one that went headfirst into peril to save the day. 
   
  A science officer went missing on the ship while orbiting a planet in the 
Traffic system, and no one could find her. There was evidence of kidnapping, 
perhaps from people on the planet?s surface, and there were all these security 
measures being taken. Hayes was sleeping with this fiery little Irish-raised 
half-Klingon girl who couldn?t find anything better to do than tend to people?s 
wounds in sickbay, and he tried to steal her away into his quarters 
but?distraction?took?over?
   
  She got insecure, thought it was her fault, and merely just moved up in rank, 
started screwing the Captain. Then-Commander McQuarrie?s pride took a kick in 
the privates. 
  Gladly he reflected that he was not currently trying to carry on with Narin 
or Aylyn or Claire. He couldn?t afford to lose one of these lovely ladies; he 
respected them all a bit too much for them to deny him his masculine needs. 
Narin came over to him, though, as he was gazing out from under the stone 
awning in front of the new city hall. His fingers stroked his chin, and his 
stare was fixed on the southeast, where the canyon wall disappeared into the 
trees, where those birds had been flying.
   
  No birds in sight.
   
  ?Captain,? she said. ?Are you okay, sir??
   
  ?Yes, Commander. I?m just worried about the missing team, that?s all.?
   
  ?Have you tried reaching them?? Narin turned her gaze from his profile to the 
southeast forest.
   
  ?Yes, there?s no response,? and he turned a worried look to her, but she 
didn?t see it before he turned back. ?But I?m less worried about that than I am 
about the security team?s lack of response. I think there?s something out there 
that?s turning off electronic devices. If something terrible happened to the 
security team, it could have been a surprise right when they beamed down. 
Benson and Trekar, well, they?re out looking for them and expecting a surprise. 
If I know them, we would have gotten something, if even just a distress beep 
across the channel, or a cut-off demand for backup. Something. Not nothing.?
   
  Narin looked back at Hayes, but he kept looking out. ?Wow, Captain. You?re 
smarter than you look.?
   
  ?Life on the Coldstream doesn?t exactly allow me to exercise my Starfleet 
training, does it??
  ?I?m just impressed.? Silence blew like the oncoming wind that carried the 
rain in torrents. The first of the tiny drops began to darken the cemented 
gravel streets one stone at a time. By this time, he thought, the rain would be 
pouring steadily on Markstrom and Trilo and the security team. 
   
  Narin, after stating her amazement at Hayes?s thinking skills, crossed her 
arms and watched the dying, graying light of Metriaga city grow just a little 
darker with the precipitation. Her eyes followed the pressing puffs of fog 
hanging low over the rooftops. The heart in her chest matched the heart of 
nature for just a fleeting moment, and Hayes watched her profile?her jaw-line 
to be specific?turn from side to side as she observed how the Metriaga citizens 
didn?t rush out of the rain, didn?t find something to cover their heads. 
Instead they kept working, kept about their business, only retreating to 
dryness when it was time to be dry. 
   
  ?Is there something on my face, Captain?? she asked sweetly, knowingly. Her 
turn to him was delayed, but it came. ?Because,? she continued softly, ?I think 
longing stares might breach the pact, as it were. ?Captains? don?t stare at 
their ?commanders.??
   
  ?Spacing,? Hayes justified, covering up with a smirking composure. ?Happened 
to be looking your way.?
   
  ?Okay,? she almost inaudibly said. Looking to her left her stare was snagged 
on something, and Hayes tried to figure out what it was. The place to which she 
gazed was that apartment building they passed on their way to City Hall. 
Nothing was out of the ordinary at first glance, the first glance of 
perfection. Then there was the woman, the older one, maybe around his age. A 
long, billowy dress covered her, flapping in the wind that was invading her 
open room. Her hands gripped the rail before her as the rain grew steadier and 
bolder, and she leaned peacefully out into the downpour, just enough for her 
head to be anointed and for others to not think she was about to take a leap.
   
  The woman kept her eyes open, so the rain could be her tears.
   
  She looked fresh out of her own.
   
  Hayes was gripped with a gall to call to her, ask her what was wrong, buy her 
a drink and let her spill it all out for him. Just an inkling, though, and he 
allowed it dissipate in his heart. ?I wonder what she?s thinking,? he said.
   
  ?I do too,? Narin concurred, and she turned and glanced at Hayes with a 
mutually knowledgeable glance, as if they had both been empathic, as if they 
both had absorbed the woman?s sadness and were now letting it dwell and grow 
within themselves. 
   
  ?Come on,? Hayes finally spoke, lightly touching Narin?s elbow. ?Let?s get 
inside so we can work on searching for our people.?
   
  --
   
  
  Nothing was a popular word and notion for Trilo and Markstrom, for it 
described what they were finding out in the forest, what their electronic 
devices were capable of doing, and what they were expecting at the end of both 
of these paths. 
   
  They were solidly drenched, so much that the prevailing thought in Trilo?s 
mind was that ambiguously plotted span of time where he could peel his clinging 
clothes from his body and dry himself completely, only to relax into his 
off-duty garb and secularly meditate over a glass of blood wine or coffee. 
Either sounded spectacular to evaporate the invading rain and cold. It snuck 
into his mind that the security officers were either dead or back on the ship. 
He never allowed it, but it was his mind side, sensing the lack of life out in 
this forest and bypassing the heart side?s attempts to neutralize the opposing 
internal force.
   
  The final clearing grew out of the thickest bank of trees they?d come to yet, 
and Trilo stopped and looked upward, scanning the treeline, scanning the 
horizons, scanning his thoughts.
   
  Markstrom cried over the lapping din of the rain, ?How much further??
   
  Disdainfully, Trilo flapped his arms once in aggravation, drops of water 
flying from him like a shaking dog. His anger seemed natural, but ill-directed. 
?We?re already here,? he seethed. A grunt erupted from him and he paced, 
looking for signs of life. Doubt of the security officers? lives was now firmly 
planted in Trilo?s heart, and he began to search the ground for scraps of 
clothing, for combadges, for any evidence that they were once here. 
   
  ?Trilo,? Markstrom called, trying to follow him, to calm him down. ?We can?t 
be sure of anything yet, man. Get yourself together. There?s a lot of forest 
here to cover. Hell, with our communicators down, they might already be back; 
we might have missed them and they might be back waiting for us.?
   
  His words were muted, deadened, the consonants being filtered out like rocks 
in a gold-diggers pan. Trilo?s heart was racing, his adrenaline was coursing, 
his blood felt thick and hot. Not now, he said. Not now. His resolve?s pleas 
were futile, but his mind side was taking over again, this time in full. Fear 
became prevalent in his surroundings, a feeling of confusion, then curiosity, 
then fear. Saline began to well in his eyes, and his hand went to his heart. 
   
  ?I can?t feel this,? he murmured, too quiet for Markstrom to hear.
   
  But he could, it haunted him, the ghosts riding through his rooms and stairs, 
shining in his windows. The confusion, curiosity, and ultimate fear began to 
seem real to him. He was feeling them, and he couldn?t have wanted it less. 
Right as the very thought came to him with utmost certainty, Markstrom was 
behind him, with a hand on his shoulder, pulling him around.
   
  Markstrom asked, ?What? What did you say??
   
  ?Lives were lost here,? Trilo uttered, pained, looking intensely into 
Markstrom?s eyes.
   
  ?How the hell do you even know that??
   
  ?I?I can??
   
  ?What??
   
  ?I can feel it.?
   
  Markstrom realized what he?d forgotten about Trilo: the other half of his 
heritage. Suddenly, the fear began to take him over as well. ?Are you positive??
   
  As much as his resolve urged him not to, Trilo nodded, and he was trying to 
regain his breath. 
   
  A thumb was pitched over Markstrom?s shoulder. ?Then we should get the hell 
back, don?t you think? Come on.? With his boots squishing and sticking in the 
mud, Markstrom came at Trilo with an intent to urge him on, but his outreaching 
hand was batted away, and all of a sudden he felt as if his friend and cohort 
was viewing him as an enemy. ?Trilo, if they died here, then there?s a chance 
we might as well. And I don?t know about you, buddy, but I don?t want to.?
   
  ?You said it yourself, Markstrom,? Trilo shouted fiercely. His heart side was 
now recuperating. ?We don?t know anything yet for sure. If we find once piece 
of evidence that they are dead, then we leave. But I will not be responsible 
for mistaking their lives.?
   
  ?Our phasers don?t work, Trilo,? Markstrom yelled deliberately. ?What are we 
gonna do?? His frantic eyes searched below him and found him some visual aid to 
his point. A balding rock was now sticking out of the mud, wet and smooth, so 
he plucked it from the earth. ?Throw rocks at something if it tries to eat us? 
No, Trilo. I?m sorry, but I?m going to give your Betazoid functions the benefit 
of the doubt. I?m not willing to risk dying searching for dead people.?
   
  ?Then go,? Trilo said, turning away to continue his fruitless search. Again, 
he felt that hand on his shoulder. When he turned, he not only batted the hand 
away, but he pushed Markstrom squarely in the chest, and he watched his friend 
falter and fly into the mud. Markstrom rose and charged at Trilo, but did not 
challenge him. He dropped his rock with a dirty splash and just tried to calm 
Trilo down, trying to get him to stop trying to knock his head off. 
   
  Markstrom knew he wasn?t going to win fighting a half-Klingon security 
officer, but he might as well try. Trilo was his friend, and though Markstrom 
was purely looking out for his own neck, he couldn?t bear to see that of his 
friend get so much as a scratch. He wrapped his arms around Trilo?s body, 
trapping his arms against it. One arm slipped through, and somehow Markstrom 
felt that he had successfully calmed Trilo down; he wasn?t fighting, wasn?t 
struggling. He looked at Trilo?s eyes, almost expecting to see sorrow and 
apology, but Trilo wasn?t even looking at him.
   
  He was looking over his shoulder. And he looked overcome with certain horror.
   
  Markstrom turned to see what Trilo was staring at. In the direction of the 
ending mountains, the southeast, there stood a person. It was flush with the 
tree trunks, as if they were trying to blend in. Long, wavy black hair clung to 
its wet shoulders. It was a man, that much they could tell. Stone features 
underlain with blue shadows sported a thick, protruding bone structure, stoic 
in the face. The mouth was small between the two hardened cheeks, and nothing 
about him moved. 
   
  Not even his purely black eyes. As black as a horse?s set.
   
  Over his body was draped a gray-blue robe that may have been just as dark 
when dry. It looked woolen, or at least something similar. Drops of water were 
accumulating on its surface rather than seeping towards its pallid skin. And it 
stared right back at Markstrom and Trilo, unmoving.
   
  Markstrom began to back away, but Trilo stopped him. Damn dichotomy of a man 
couldn?t keep his emotions from his head. ?We?re looking for a group of our 
people!? he cried, and the exclamation point was a clap of thunder. ?They wear 
uniforms like us! Have you seen them??
  The person didn?t move.
   
  ?Trilo,? Markstrom whispered. ?I?m getting the impression that this might be 
the cause of death.? But it fell on deaf ears.
   
  ?Please, we just need to find them, and if this is your forest, then we?ll be 
on our way. Have you seen anyone wearing these uniforms?? Trilo tugged at his 
shirt with both hands to indicate the design he wore. He pointed to the 
Starfleet emblem on his left breast. 
  The person didn?t move. But it spoke. It was a language beyond understanding, 
and it was seemingly unending vernacular, a quick, rhythmic spilling of yiks 
and tons and varying vowels in between. He spoke for nearly twenty seconds in 
one continuous breath, and when he was done, he didn?t seem to draw in any more 
air. One thing could have been universally translated from the frightening 
tongue: he meant harm.
   
  Trilo went to speak to it again, probably to repeat himself, but he didn?t 
have a chance. The long-haired individual in the shadows of the trees stretched 
its mouth wide in a silent scream, and its two bare hands flew from under the 
cloak. He was completely humanoid, but with super-humanoid abilities; his hands 
were surrounded by white-blue circles of?of light?of energy, like a naked warp 
core or reactor or something. Like a bat, the long-haired man raised his hands 
in claw form and the white-blue circles formulated into two beams of obviously 
pernicious power.
   
  Markstrom tackled Trilo before the beams could vaporize him, and that?s just 
what Markstrom knew would happen, as the trees on the other side of the 
clearing were now burning trunks with the remainder falling all around them. He 
didn?t know what came over him next, but as Trilo was still paralyzed facedown 
in the mud, covering his head with his palms, Markstrom scrambled backwards and 
found the one thing he knew he could use in defense.
   
  The rock.
   
  His hand wrapped around it as close to the grip of a baseball he could get. 
Hoping the mud wouldn?t cause him to fail at this task, he hopped to his feet, 
and the long-haired man was raising his hands again, up to the level of his 
eyes for another burning attack. How the hell is he doing that? Markstrom 
didn?t have time to think. Just like he?d seen the old sportsmen do on archive 
footage, he wound up and pitched the rock. And as luck would have it, as 
fortune would smile, the rock pelted the mysterious attacker square in the 
forehead, and its two burning white-blue rays went straight upward instead of 
at them.
   
  The attacker flew onto his back, and didn?t move for at least a second, for 
that was all Markstrom needed to lean down and hurl Trilo to his feet. ?Run, 
go!? Markstrom shouted. Trilo obliged, but seemed distant, frightened, numb. 
They ran northwest, and looked over their shoulders, just in time to see the 
attacker amble to his feet and begin to chase them.
   
  --
   
  
  ?I saw it too,? said Varia, agreeing with his captain who was describing to 
those who weren?t so fortunate to witness it what had just shot out of the 
distant forest. ?And I think that?s our cue to go out there ourselves.?
   
  ?That?s out of the question, Lieutenant,? came Admiral Ramirez?s voice from 
behind. 
  ?Admiral,? asked the captain, ?did you see it? Did you see those lights? 
There were two of them, bluish white, down southeast where Benson and Trekar??
   
  ?I saw it, Captain McQuarrie, and my orders are to immediately get to the 
ship and leave those missing as presumed dead.? Firm in his ideals, Ramirez 
tapped his combadge, calling, ?Ramirez to Coldstream, please beam-up from my 
location?I?Lieutenant! Stop! You are ordered to stop!?
   
  But it was too late for his voice to have any hold. Varia was sprinting away, 
into the thick body of trees to the southeast.
   
  --
   
  
  They thought they?d lost him. Thought. 
   
  But in the meantime, they had just sprinted for their lives for over half a 
mile, and they were collapsing and heaving on the other side of the little 
boulder-shaped hill with the sharpened tree roots. This time, they?d gone 
around. They lay, in the mud, laboriously trying to catch their breath. All the 
while they exchanged frightened, silent glances, questioning each other with 
only their eyes: what was it?
   
  Waiting and keeping vigilant watch on all sides for ten minutes, Markstrom 
and Trilo decided to begin carefully walking back toward Metriaga City. They 
took turns with one of them walking backwards under the direct guidance of the 
person in front of them. And this time they had their rhetorical questions 
verbalized.
   
  ?What in hell was that, Trilo? What in hell??
   
  ?It has?it has quite the natural weapon??
   
  ?If it?s natural, I mean?come on. What kind of being can shoot death rays out 
of their hands??
   
  Trilo grunted, and taciturnly said, ?I don?t know. But there?s definitely 
going to be an urge for the evacuation of this planet.?
   
  ?You sure?? Markstrom mused, now taking his turn on backwards-duty. ?I mean, 
it would seem right that whatever that was is very protective of territory, 
given the weird clearings in the forest, the huge carved spears on that hill 
back there?I think they?re leaving the Metriaga people alone as long as they 
don?t come into the forest.?
   
  ?But by law we can?t colonize on a planet that already has beings on it. They 
scan for those things. I think the Metriaga people were here first. And now I 
think they have to leave.? 
   
  By recognizing the fauna around them and the stretches in the land, they 
gauged that they were halfway back. The rain was finally beginning to thin, but 
it was still torrentially punishing the earth. ?Watch for this rock,? Markstrom 
heard Trilo say, and he took a brief glance downward to make sure he didn?t 
trip over the jutting piece of hardened ground, and he guided his feet over it. 
Kind of like a dream, when he looked back up, there it was. The long-haired 
person, staring as blankly as before.
   
  Though its hands were not raised, it looked ready to kill.
   
  ?Trilo, go!? Markstrom never knew if Trilo had just taken his word or if he 
turned over his shoulder to make affirmation. He only ever knew that they were 
running, and that the devil was chasing them, and that he was breathing on 
their heels. Whatever they had angered, they had angered it enough to be 
followed. 
   
  The tongue of the man behind them began again to flap in its rhythmic, 
consonant-heavy chant. Rapid words that could have been anything between a 
threat and words of hatred were nearly being whispered in their ears. They were 
not entirely certain that when they finally reached Metriaga city, they would 
find safety. By the look of things in the colony, this single being could wipe 
everyone out.
   
  And if it couldn?t, it would call for help.
   
  ?Benson, check the phasers!? Trilo shouted. They were now running in a zigzag 
motion; the being had not yet fired its white fire, but just in case they 
wanted to be, understandably, hard to hit. Markstrom reached down and plucked 
the phaser from his belt, checking its power as he avoided branches and 
bramble. 
   
  ?Got it! We?re out of the field; we?re good to fire!? And he and Trilo 
charged their weapons and fired over their shoulder, keeping up their 
frightened pace. The body of the man was of greater stature than any average 
Terran or Klingon, but somehow its agility also outmatched them; an otherwise 
direct hit from Trilo Trekar went untouched as the being leapt into the air, 
taking the form of a spearhead, and landing adeptly on his feet again, assuming 
his sprint as if it had never been altered. 
   
  But for their lives? sake, Trilo and Markstrom kept firing. So far it seemed 
that their pursuer lacked the ability to run and shoot, as it also seemed that 
gathering the energy around its hands took a great deal of concentration and 
force that was now being spent on its legs? forward motion. Somehow, though, 
Trilo and Markstrom found this to be an imminent doom, as they were slowing 
with fatigue, and it was not.
   
  ?Markstrom,? Trilo managed to say with his limited breath, ?we can?t?we can?t 
keep going without it cutting us down from behind. When I say, turn and fire, 
and we?ll either kill it or die facing it.?
   
  ?Yeah, good plan, sure,? Markstrom said. 
   
  ?Okay, ready. One, two, three!? They turned, pivoted, and knelt, firing with 
both hands locked in the firing position. The long-haired man dodged both 
initial shots, and the following two, and then it was upon them. Darkness that 
originated from its eyes wallowed and spilled forth, beginning to enrapture 
them, confiscate their bravery, their heartbeats and breaths, their souls. 
Midair, in a dive, the long-haired man spread its arms and the white glows 
about its claw-like fingers began to blind their peripheries. 
   
  Without even a blink?s time, there was a flash of yellow and black from the 
left side, and the long-haired man in his dark gray-blue robe was tackled, 
billowing to the ground like an arrowed bird tumbling from the clouds. Out of 
breath, disoriented, coming back from the pearly gates, Trilo and Markstrom 
stumbled to their feet, aiming their phasers at a wrestling match on the 
ground, between the long-haired man, and Lieutenant Varia.
   
  ?Go get help!? Varia shouted, trying to keep the horse-eyed man?s arms to the 
ground, with struggle. ?Go, I got him!?
   
  ?Markstrom, stay here,? Trilo said, regaining calm, as it seemed Varia had 
the thing in a pin. ?I?ll go, you keep your phaser on them.?
   
  Before Trilo could turn and leave, they heard an oof! and they caught an 
image of Varia flying back-first into a massive treetrunk. The long-haired man 
thrust his legs into the air to gain momentum with which to land squarely on 
his feet. Markstrom shot first and the beam singed the night-sky colored cloak 
and nothing else. Like in a car?s mirror, the being was suddenly closer than it 
had been a second before, and it knocked their weapons strongly from their 
hands, a hit that left their palms and knuckles throbbing terribly. 
   
  And with unseen hands did it take them and throw them to the ground.
   
  Varia was on his feet again, and charged, almost managing to catch the man 
unsuspecting a second time, but at the last second it turned and seized him. 
Trilo and Markstrom watched from the ground as the being easily raised Varia 
off the ground, holding him by his uniform shirt. It looked like Varia couldn?t 
breathe, and he was grasping the wrists of the thing that clung to him, trying 
to pry himself out of the hold. And with the still face, like a clandestine 
pond, and the still eyes, like space without stars, the being watched his prey 
suffer.
   
  In a last ditch effort, Varia began to kick, and at one point he hit what 
would be the being?s crotch, but it did not flinch; it only got angry. The 
stoic face washed to visceral anger, maybe even hate, as if he had known Varia 
all his life and had hunted him with thoughts of revenge from the day he could 
walk. Though this was not true, even Varia himself began to believe it. 
   
  Instead of burning him with its white energy, instead of tearing him apart, 
the angered man turned around with Varia still in his clutches and thrust him 
into something and Markstrom and Trilo were struck with terror. It was another 
of the sharpened roots, and upon it, the being impaled Varia, through the lower 
back and out his abdomen. Green blood stained the spear-like root, his clothes, 
and the horse-eyed man?s hands.
   
  Varia?s face was first wrought with pale shock, and then with suffering. He 
was still alive, and very much so, as Markstrom and Trilo now believed the 
being had intended. The being left Varia hanging there like a spent restaurant 
ticket on a spike, and turned on them, planning to do the very same thing. 
Trilo jumped to his feet with the last of his energy and, bleating a war cry, 
leapt at the man. 
   
  ?Daelratung,? the being said. It was the only discernable fragment they had 
heard out of the rhythmic chants of its vernacular. This utterance was, in 
turn, arrhythmic, seething, whispered, lined with revulsion. ?Daelratung,? it 
repeated. ?Daelratung. Daelratung, Daelratung. Daelratung.? It persisted with 
this word as it persisted with Trilo and Markstrom, the Klingon grappling with 
the thing, and the Terran leaping on its back. 
   
  The looped word crescendo-ed steadily, rising from whisper, to speech, to 
growl, to shout, and then to a brazen call that must have been heard for miles. 
When it reached the crux of its vocal capacity, Markstrom was somehow thrown 
from the man?s back and Trilo?s strength was gone. His arms buckled under the 
long-haired man?s overbearing hold, and he could almost feel the spike through 
his own back. 
   
  It?s over, Trilo thought to himself in those instinctual last thoughts. I?m 
dead. This sky that he?s forcing me to look at by gripping my neck and holding 
me up is the last sky I?m going to see. This rain touching my face is the last 
peaceful sensation I?m going to feel. This natural smell the forest is 
breathing is the last one I?m going to inhale. This man is the last thing I?m 
going to see.
   
  He heard Markstrom shout something; it all seemed inconsequential now. This 
thing had beaten them: it had found them, chased them, and was now killing 
them. And for what? Trilo knew he would never know. 
   
  There came another voice then, another more familiar voice, chiming in 
with?with the same language as the powerful pursuer. Trilo looked, only giving 
a care because the being that held his neck stopped and looked as well, as if 
suddenly it had a care to stop its merciless killing. There, he saw, holding 
open an antique wooden box, holding out like a cross to a vampire, holding open 
a box to reveal a small blue orb made of glimmering glass, was Admiral Ramirez.
   
  ?Rikativilakate,? Ramirez said. He?d run the entire way, sweat gathering at 
his hair?s beginning. He repeated, ?Rikativilakate,? coaxing with a wavering 
hand to put Trilo down. Finally, Trilo?s feet felt the earth beneath them, but 
did not manage to hold up the rest of the body; he fell to his rear and lay 
there prone, massaging his neck, looking up at his would-be killer.
   
  The admiral was adding more, almost fluent in the impossible language of the 
thing, and Trilo noticed that behind Ramirez came running the captain, the 
doctor, the entire rest of the Coldstream?s command. Doctor Cta went 
immediately to Varia, who was now unconscious upon the spike and to Trilo, he 
looked dead. But he felt alive.
   
  Aylyn went to tap her combadge, but the admiral held out a halting hand. 
?Doctor, not yet.? His eyes remained fixed on the long-haired man, and he 
didn?t leave her time to argue. ?Not until we?re at an understanding.?
   
  Claire clung to Hayes?s arm, half-hiding behind the rest of him.
   
  ?Don?t draw your weapons, any of you!? the admiral grunted, drunk on urgency. 
Outward he held that blue orb and the wooden box. ?Rikativilakate, maritiniti 
gutikitina. Gutikitina,? he seemed to plead. 
   
  ?Admiral,? Hayes began.
   
  ?Quiet! Don?t speak until we?re at an understanding!?
   
  The long-haired horse-eyed man gazed at the Admiral, with its reborn facial 
composure. Admiral Ramirez repeated the words one more time, making great use 
of rikativilakate and gutikitina, pleading, rasping. His other hand was held 
peacefully open beside the box, and the thinning downpour was wetting his palm. 
Black eyes stared back at him, a scale within them, weighing, tilting, but none 
could see it. 
   
  Finally, the being?s hands emerged from the cloak once more, sending an array 
of rain droplets in all directions. Trilo scattered backward, which made Hayes 
and Claire start. Narin reached for her phaser, and luckily the being failed to 
notice it, because there was a brilliant but not blinding flash, and amidst the 
flood of color, the man in the night-sky cloak vanished. 
   
  Ramirez let loose a hefty sigh and said, ?Go ahead.?
   
  Aylyn ordered a beam for four directly to sickbay: Varia, Markstrom, Trilo, 
and herself. They too disappeared, leaving only the admiral, the captain, the 
commander, and Claire Eyensworth. After gathering their wits and breaths, the 
admiral ordered another beam, and soon, the planet was left to its original 
citizens, under the lurking clouds which now cried no rain, but held the land 
at rain-point.
   
  Before they transported, no one noticed the disbanding cyclone of what would 
otherwise be seen as crows above the last known location of the long-haired man.
   
  ==

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  • » <FWG> <Patronus> Issue 1, Article 4: "Will of Harm"