[USS Vanguard] The Nature of the Beast

  • From: Kieran Darkwater <kierandarkwater@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ncv80221@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 3 Aug 2003 09:04:39 +0100 (BST)

<<Archaeology and Anthropology Office>>
The intruder alert meant all stations needed to be secured, and with Zena tied 
to the bridge by her position as ship's second officer, it fell to Kieran to 
arrange Science.
In truth, it was a relatively quick process as the science labs had virtually 
nothing that might be considered dangerous - even the metal transporter 
test-cylinders weren't really suitable as weapons - so he was quickly out and 
on his way to his own office.
Even as he stepped in the door, though, there was something amiss.
"Ah, right on time." Hissed a sibillant voice from beside him, and he felt the 
Romulan's breath on his ear as he turned slowly to face the intruder. Riajj was 
unarmed, and not immediately threatening, but there was about his eyes a danger 
and malice that spoke of potential. Peripherally Kieran caught sight of blood, 
though whose and from where was unclear.
"Good morning." he offered, after a long pause in which they both merely 
stared. He felt good that his own stare hadn't shifted in the slightest, even 
if it was simply because he thought a demonstration of weakness might lose him 
his neck.
"It has been so far." Riajj confirmed, nodding his head slightly in the 
direction of the work-stations, indicating Kieran should move further into the 
room. Forcing his glance away, Kieran walked as calmly as he could to the 
centre of the room, heading towards his desk and the comm-panel, but was 
stopped short.
"That's far enough. Now turn around." For a moment he considered ignoring the 
instruction, but he had no idea how far away Riajj was, nor the capabilities of 
his enhanced physique.
"So, what can I do for you, here in Anthropology?"
"You know very well what I'm here for."
"Well, yes, a weapon, but I can assure we have none here."
"And you would admit it if you had, wouldn't you?"
"Of course, honesty is one of my trademarks."
"Let us say, for the sake of argument, you understand, that I do not believe 
"For the sake of argument, you understand, that I do not believe you." Kieran 
quipped straight back.
"Ah yes, humour. Human males typically tend to fall back on that when they 
realise their end is approaching."
"You've takent the opportunity for scientific study of the situation, no doubt?"
"No, actually. I keep up to date with the scientific journals."
"Ah, the mark of the true professional."
"This is a classic case of denial, you understand. You fear death, so you deny 
"Death is not be feared. Death simply is - it comes to us all. Without it, life 
wouldn't be the same. It would be crowded, for one."
"An interesting perspective. I shall make sure to include you in my next 
"To the journals or to sickbay?"
"That's a little better, you almost approached humour, there."
"Romulan humour, at least."
"Is there better?"
"There it is again... I'm curious, why do the genetically and socially superior 
Romulan people need to genetically modify themselves, if they are already the 
epitome of perfection?" That, apparently, touched a nerve.
"My condition is none of your concern."
"I see - well, in a similar vein, my artifacts are none of yours. Perhaps you 
should just leave now?"
"I'll make this very simple for you, Lieutenant-Commander. If you give me a 
weapon I shall let you live. If you do not, I shall tear you limb from limb and 
use the remains to destroy this office until I find one."
"Let's say," Kieran offered, with a smile that started and finished at his 
cheeks, "for the sake of argument, you understand, that I don't beleive you?"
"You are testing my patience, human."
"That's alright, you're of Vulcan stock - your patience should be virtually 
limitless." When he moved, it was like a snake - lithe, low and deceptively 
quick, wrapping long, thin fingers around Kieran's neck and squeezing ever so 
"Vulcans are an abomination, a genetic throwback. To compare us is to compare 
humans and chimpanzees."
"Aren't they cute, though." Kieran forced out, passed the slight obstruction 
his own larynx made in his throat.
"No, Chimpanzees." He flew across the flat expanse of the desk, barely brushing 
the surface, but managing to get a hold of the edge solidly enough to slow his 
impact with the wall.
"Perhaps, Lieutenant-Commander Death-is-not-to-be-feared, you will be more 
co-operative if I begin to break your bones for you. Say start with your 
fingers, then work up your arms... you understand my point. You will die, but 
then you are about to die anyway. First, though, you will know an eternity of 
screaming agony." Kieran thought quickly as he dragged himself to his feet 
behind the desk, keeping his head low and out of sight.
He was good, he knew, but if Riajj had even a basic idea of how to fight, given 
his strength and speed he'd lose. That was irritating. However, he forced 
himself to think strategically. He had allies, though he needed to find a way 
to communicate with them. He knew the territory, which Riajj didn't. And the 
Romulan had a definite goal, making Kieran's objective a far more simple one - 
deny him the weapon.
"Alright... alright. I can get you a weapon."
"Much better. See, you little creatures can be co-operative if given the right 
"I'll need to use the console." he pointed. "The artifacts are stored elsewhere 
and transported here." he pointed to the large examination table he had been 
thrown over. You can watch over my shoulder, of course..."
"Of course. Go on, then."
"What were you looking for... I have a Trill spear, a Bajoran ritual knife and 
an Andorian T'chokal sword on board."
"They will be perfectly adequate. Work slowly now, so that I can see." Kieran 
activated his console, then leant in and began to select information, calling 
up the information on the three weapons which were displayed on the screen. 
"Now, bring them here."
Kieran activated the system, and the three weapons appeared in a shimmer atop 
the table. Eyeing them carefully, he leaned slightly past Riajj, who chuckled 
to himself.
"You can try to beat me to them if you wish... I don't recommend it." Kieran 
looked a few moments more, then stood upright again. "Remarkably intelligent, 
for a human. Your people are so typically full of mock bravado when the 
situation is hopeless." Walking backward, carefully, Riajj reached out and 
grasped the hilt of the sword, lifting the heavy, cumbersome weapon with ease 
and swinging it through the air with a satisfying swish.
"I suppose, really, the least I can do is make your death swift."
"Gracious unto the end." Kieran spat back at him.
"Your end, not mine." Riajj sneered, and swung. Kieran raised an arm as the 
blade swung in... and disappeared. The raised arm continued forward, unfolding, 
stiff fingers lunging into Riajj's shoulder just beside the ball of the joint, 
jolting the nerve bundle that controlled his arm.
Smiling, Kieran returned to his defensive fighting stance with a grin.
"WHAT HAVE YOU DONE!!!" Riajj roared, his face flushing slightly green as his 
blood-pressure followed his anger.
"Well, you see," Kieran explained, rationally, keeping his smile fixed in 
place, "we use holographic representations of artifacts for study to save 
damaging the real thing. Once you attempted to actually use it, the 
holo-emitter safety protocol cut in, and made the situation safe."
"I can still kill you with one arm, human."
"Ah, you people are so full of arrogance and self-important when you think 
someone else's situation is hopeless."
"I'll bite your legs off, human and leave you to bleed to death from the 
"I find that unlikely, given that the holo-emitter safety protocols, given that 
we're under an intruder alert, will have informed Security of an attempted 
assault. They'll be on their way here now."
Riajj leapt, anger, frustration and sheer psychopathic nature hurling him 
across the six foot gap in an instant, but Kieran was ready. Dropping back, he 
grasped Riajj's one good arm in his own, planted a foot into his armpit to 
separate the shoulder, and spun him over his head and into the console behind 
him head first.
To his surprise, Riajj pulled out of the broken panel, dazed and bloodied, but 
with neither arm working properly, his attempted attack failed miserably, and 
Kieran's grin grew positively vicious as his palm slammed forcibly into the 
already broken Romulan nose, driving him to the floor, where a judicious 
application of a regulation issue boot sent the intruder into unconsciousness.
"Darkwater to security. Intruder apprehended in the A&A office, if you could 
send someone to collect him it would be appreciated."
Lieutenant-Commander Kieran Darkwater
Archaeology and Anthropology Officer
Science Department, USS Vanguard

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