[USS Vanguard] And So It Begins

  • From: "Mel" <uniquemel@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "Vanguard" <ncv80221@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 11 Aug 2005 23:31:52 +0100

Lt. Commander Zena Quetan

After a short ride they approached the settlement that Sam had detected with 
the tricorder, A sign saying "Welcome to Saddlebrush" stood proudly on the 

They remained on horseback as they trotted gently nearer towards the town.

People could be seen pottering around, women with baskets of shopping, an 
elderly man sat in a rocking chair on the porch of his home napping. young 
children ran chasing each other in fits of giggles.

They continued to ride into the heart of the town, the local folk stared at the 
new faces , some with curiosity, some with uncertainty, some had fear in their 
eyes and others who looked ready to shoot them down if they so much as sneezed.

Zena noticed a water trough and a large sturdy wooden beam a few yards up, she 
nodded towards it and the group headed for it.

A house stood close by and a small boy of about the age of 5 sat on the porch 
playing with a wooden spinning top, he sported a black hat, a brown suede waist 
coat, a red and white checkered shirt underneath it and dark blue denim jeans, 
small tufts of golden blonde hair could be seen from under his hat.

Zena de-mounted and began to tie the rope onto the wooden stock securely

The small boy marched over to her, stood as tall as he could with his chest out 
and tipped his hat at her "Howdy Ma'am"

"Why hello there...Sheriff" Zena replied after catching sight of his little 
gold star badge on his waist coat

"That's a mighty fine horse ya got there" he smiled

"Why thank you. My name's Zena, what's yours?" She crouched down so she was 
level with him

"Name's Billy Ray Patterson, but you can call me Ray" He placed his hands 
behind his back and rocked on his feet as his sparkling blue eyes gazed at Zena

Zena laughed and turned her head to the direction of the others "He's going to 
break some hearts when he's older"

"Billy Ray!" his mother came racing out from the house, sped down the porch 
steps and grabbed his little arm, he stood on tip toes struggling to get loose

"What have I told you 'bout talkin to strangers!"  His mother scolded

"But Momma, this here's no stranger, it's Zena, people can't be strange if you 
know their names"  He replied ever so matter of factly

Zena stood upright and smiled at his mother who now had her arm protectively 
around her son, Zena could understand the mothers concern and admired her. She 
looked at Ray "Well it was nice meeting you Ray, you be good for ya Momma now 
ya hear?"

"Oh I will Miss Zena" he assured her

Zena turned back to Sam, Leah and Luke "Well I don't know about you guys but I 
could do with a drink"

"Sounds good to me" Luke replied "Uh uh" came from Sam, "I think I saw a bar 
back that way as we came in" Leah commented

As they entered the saloon it went deadly silent, the four walked straight up 
to the bar and whispers could be heard

"Gimme what ever's yer strongest" Sam commanded to the Bar tender

He laughed and slammed a small glass onto the counter then proceeded to pour a 
thick black liquid which looked like hot tar into it. He pushed it into Sam's 
hand "Drink up Sonny"

Sam took the glass and without hesitation sunk the lot then slammed the glass 
back on the counter "I've had stronger" he said his voice quivering as the 
liquid burnt the back of this throat

The Bar tender clapped "You did good Sonny, most don't even stay on their feet 
after drinkin' that"

The rest of the saloon relaxed and conversations soon resumed.

Luke, Leah and Sam stood chatting amongst themselves, Zena was about to join in 
when she over heard a conversation that was taking place between two men sat at 
the bar next to them

"You hear 'bout those raiders that are attackin the towns?" said one of the men

"Yeah, they hit Bowerstone just the other day, I hear that not many survived 
and the town..a mess" the other man replied

"Won't be long before they try here" an older man joined in

"We'll be ready for em'" the first man came back

"I dunno John, these ain't no ordinary raiders, people's been sayin' they got 
all this fancy armor and a strange helmet that looked like a vultures skull or 
somethin..and their faces..their faces.." the second man replied his eyes wide

Zena grew concerned at what she was hearing and the description that the man 
gave of the raiders sounded an awful lot like the breen

She tapped Leah on the shoulder "I think we have a problem" 

Zena walked to the door and Leah got Sam and Luke to follow

Zena led them down an alley in between two buildings, it was a more private 
location and shaded from the sun

"Raiders have been attacking towns here and from the descriptions the people 
are giving it sounds like the breen" Zena informed them

"We should inform the ship and team two" Luke stated logically

Sam tapped his comm badge, a strange noise spat back at them

"Great..now what" Leah exclaimed

Zena took a deep breath "We go find team two, with the possibility that the 
breen are here and we have no contact with either the ship or them it changes 
our mission a little" 

They walked back onto the street and started towards the horses when a scream 
froze them in their tracks, Zena turned to the direction of the scream and saw 
that Molly McGee's Down Home Cafe had just taken fire.

The people on the street panicked and ran hysterically as more shots were being 
fired, several of them were hit when fleeing and fell to the floor instantly 
with a mighty thud

The breen appeared into sight, some were on horse back, others on foot, they 
callously shot at the innocent towns folk and were enjoying every minute of it.

More and more bodies fell to the floor and there was nothing any of them could 
do to stop it, they were simply out numbered and the breen had superior 
weapons, it would of been suicide to even attempt to tackle them.

"Come on!" Zena shouted

They ran to their horses and quickly un-tied them

Ray and his mother came running out of the house, he was sobbing.

"Please... you have to take him with you" his mother pleaded desperately, her 
eyes filled with tears

"What about you?" Zena asked as she grabbed hold of Ray gently and placed him 
on her horse

"I have to stay here..my husband, he's very sick, he needs me..." She looked 
back towards her house "I know you'll take good care of him, you have kind 
eyes, he has a better chance with you" 

Zena nodded "Stay inside, barricade the entrances, and if you can stay out of 
sight and hide"

She leapt up on to her horse and held Ray tightly in front of her "Yah!" she 
dug her heal softly into the horse and he burst into a strong gallop

Leah, Sam and Luke followed

They weaved in and out of the fleeing people, Zena felt guilty that she 
couldn't help them.

Suddenly a breen solider stood directly in front of Leah's horse, startled the 
horse bucked and sent Leah hurtling to the ground, the horse ran off in the 
opposite direction

The breen grabbed her wrist tightly and pulled her viciously up from the floor, 
the silver charm bracelet that sat elegantly on her wrist snapped and fell to 
the ground

Luke quickly dove from his horse onto the breen's back knocking it to the 
floor, Zena grabbed the reins of his horse to prevent it running away

Sam pulled Leah up onto his horse as Luke continued to wrestle with the breen 
on the floor

The breen lashed out and gashed Luke on his forehead, enraged he took a firm 
grip of the breen's throat and squeezed, it struggled for a moment then 
gradually got weaker and fell unconscious

Luke pushed himself up from the floor grabbing the breen's gun and placing it 
over his head so it rested on his back, he jumped onto his horse and they rode 
as fast as they could out of there.

Once they felt they were a safe distance away from the town they came to a halt.

"Sam, try locate team two, use Shar as a target, he'll be easy to track" Zena 

Sam pulled out the tricorder and sure enough Shar's romulan signature was 
detected  "That way" Sam pointed

"Let's hope they haven't ran into the breen yet" Zena commented


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