[USS Vanguard] Re: Terror of the Night

  • From: Kieran Darkwater <kierandarkwater@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ncv80221@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 14 Sep 2004 22:49:55 +0100 (BST)

Temple, initially, conjured up a series of strange images for Kieran. From the 
ancient stone henges of pre-Roman Western Europe, his mind took a swift mental 
journey through the funerary complexes of Karnak in Egypt, the wonders of St 
Peter's and the Vatican in Rome, the pantheistic Temple of the Order of Stars 
at Zhe-Xing in China. Beyond that he considered the hexagonal hive-like 
structures of Andorian places of worship and blocky, stout walled havens on 
What he found, however, was a fort. Thick walled and surrounded by a spike 
filled ditch it sat on a small - artificial - rise in the midst of a clearing 
of trees.
A drawbridge was let down to the faint hiss of hydraulics, and he and his guide 
strode calmly across to the central courtyard. In the middle, much as he'd 
expected, a square battle-ground was laid out before a single, thick-walled 
building, and sat on a small, wooden bench in the midst of the bailey was a 
shrivelled, wizened figure of a man.
"Me, I presume?" he said, turning to the guide, but she was gone.
"You made it then." The voice was tremulous with age, some of the power 
stripped by time and a soft wheeze that spoke of a respiratory complaint, but 
it was recognisable as his own - as much as anyone recognises their own voice 
when they hear it from somewhere else.
"I did." Kieran responded, and was directed to the bench by a vaguely waved 
"Come closer... our eyesight isn't what it used to be." he wheezed, and after 
moment's thought Kieran strode slowly across the cobbles to take a seat.
"Are you going to tell me what this is all about?"
"Blunt and to the point... I like that." The older Kieran wheezed out a laugh, 
and dabbed blood away from the corners of his mouth with a piece of cloth. "By 
now some of your comrades will be being wooed by the locals. They want to show 
the nature of the world they have built for themselves here, how happy they are.
There are others, though, in the surroundings, perhaps even some within the 
colony itself, who will try to convince you to change this history, to make it 
so that this never happened."
"You think there will be trouble?" Kieran asked, struggling in his own mind to 
reconcile the idea that this individual was him, and yet not him.
"Perhaps. Some of the others think so."
"Which way do you fly? Do you want us to alter this?" Kieran knew he was 
skirting close to violations of the Temporal Directives they worked under, but 
it was an unusual situation.
"We both know it doesn't make a difference - and for more than one reason."
"Divergent realities." Kieran confirmed, with a sad expression. It was a 
concept with which he'd been struggling recently.
"That, yes. Plus, of course, your survival when you came through the distortion 
means you are already past the point at which our fate was sealed. We didn't 
manage to exit the conduit safely, that's how we crashed."
"And yet, you've still gone to all the effort of bringing me here?" The old man 
nodded, his face grave. "Because there's something here that could make a 
"I've had a century to study it, thanks to our grandfather's green Vulcan 
blood... it stands outside of the stream of time."
"Outside of time? And... and that's what this 'Temple' is built to defend?"
"The Ark. It's here, and it can change history beyond recognition, if we let 
"Does everyone know?"

"I don't think so. They think of me as an eccentric - " - Kieran's face 
betrayed no disbelief at that idea whatsoever, which drew a smirk - " - and the 
few I've trained here to guard the place would not betray me, I think. There 
are no guarantees, but I don't think so."
"Then why tell me?"
"I'm dying. It's been slow, and it's lasted a few years, but I am. I trust them 
to follow me, but... I can't trust that sort of power in anyone else's hands, 
so I'm placing it back in my own. I want you to take it away with you when you 
A little something to keep the ball rolling...

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