Star Trek DS9: Malruk

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edgaguirus
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Star Trek DS9: Malruk

Post by edgaguirus »

It was a quiet night, and the fire in the hearth was the epitome of comfort, but Kal Fenis felt no comfort. He watched the fire and looked at the window. They were still out there, and he was growing worried. He already had one man missing, and he didn't need two others. The crew was already near panic.

Kal looked at the window again, and then heard the sound. It was a high pitched rasp, somewhat birdlike, but unlike any bird he knew. A moment later, Greder broke through the tree line. He rushed for the house and nearly knocked down the door coming in. " Where's Talik," asked Kal.

" We saw it," Greder answered. There was a look of fear and terror in his eyes, and Greder shivered despite being near the warm flames. " We found Navin, or what was left of him. We were taking his body here when we heard the call. We looked up and saw it, and it saw us. We ran, but Talik didn't make it."

" I don't hear the sound anymore." Kal placed a hand on his foreman's shoulder, trying to comfort the frightened man. " I'll help you find Talik."

" You think I'm going back out there? I'm staying here until light, and I assure you that neither me or my men will continue with this project."

" My friend, we're already behind schedule. I'll find some way of stopping this."

" You don't understand," Greder said. " It saw me. You know what that means. I'm next."


Odo turned his head, gazing about the promenade. He noted the children running past him to get some Jumja on a stick. A woman walked into Garek's shop, and two Bajorans strode into Quark's bar. So far it had been a peaceful day, and Odo preferred it that way. He made his way over to a Yridian, suspicious of the way he looked behind him. The Yridian went into Quark's bar, and Odo followed. The Yridian sat down at the bar and ordered a drink. Odo leaned against the side of the doorway.

Quark served drinks, and then noticed Odo watching the bar like a hawk. He went over the constable. " If you're going to linger, at least get a drink."

" I don't drink."

" I know, but you just standing there can make some of my customers nervous."

A shout errupted from above. Two Klingons emerged from a holosuite, and they were not happy. Their eyes looked below, and Quark did his best to hide from view. " Where's that ylntagh Ferengi?" They marched down to the bar and saw Quark trying to hide behind the counter. " You! You will give us our money back."

" If you look at the terms of agreement, you will see there's no money back," Quark said. " I'm sorry, gentlemen."

" You promised us a thrilling hunt. And what did you give us?" One Klingon grabbed Quark by the collar. " We demand satisfaction."

" Ferengi rules of acquisition. Satisfaction is not guaranteed."

" I don't care about your silly rules. Either you give me my money, or I'll...."

Odo stepped in quickly. " May I inquire to the problem here."

The second Klingon looked Odo over, and his face showed he was not impressed. " What's it to you?"

" I'm the chief of security. Now, is there a problem?"

The first Klingon lowered Quark to the floor. " Chief of security, tell this cowardly Baktag that we will be back in three days. If he doesn't have a thrilling hunt for us then, we will hunt him." The first Klingon left, but the second glared at Quark for a moment. He spit on the Ferengi, and went after his friend.

" You're slipping, Quark. Rule of acquisitions. Never cheat a Klingon unless you can get away with it."

" I didn't cheat them," Quark replied, whipping the saliva off his suit. " They asked for a thrilling hunt and I gave them one. Have you ever seen an Iqnagh? Seven feet high, with five inch claws and saber teeth. If that's not a thrill, I don't know what is."

" Well, you better think of something better, or they will be using you a prey."

" Or you could arrest them for making a threat or assaulting me."

" I have no grounds for arrest. They haven't done anything. Yet."

Quark sighed. " There are times I wonder why I bother talking to you." He returned to serving his customers.

" Sometimes I wonder that same thing."


The turbo lift arrived at Ops. Commander Benjamin Sisko, Raktajino in hand, looked over the men and women at work. He walked over to Major Kira. " Anything to report?

" You have a visitor in your office. Director Kal Fenis."

Sisko and Kira entered the commander's office. Kal was a tall man, had a thin build, but a face marked with intelligence. Sisko sat at his desk and smiled at his guest. " How can I help you Kal Fenis?"

" I'm in desperate need of you Emissary. I don't know who else to go to, and I hope you will help me."

Sisko knew this was going to be a big request. He wasn't always comfortable as the Emissary, but Star Fleet required sensitivity to the beliefs of their allies, even if it meant he was revered as the man who spoke with the Prophets. " I'll do what I can. What is your problem?"

" I'm in charge of a project to create new farmlands. To do with, I need to clear a section of forest. There was some protest, of course, but the project was given the go ahead. Shortly after we started work, my crew started hearing strange noises. Later, a man claimed to have seen the Malruk," Kal explained.

" The Malruk," Kira asked in surprise.

" Yes, major. I don't believe it either."

" Excuse me," Sisko interrupted. " I'm not familiar with the Malruk."

" It's a legend my mother used to scare me into behaving," Kira replied.

" According to folklore, the Malruk is an evil spirit that takes the form of a huge black bird," Kal said. " They say it has massive wings and terrible eyes. Legend states that if the Malruk looks at you, it means you will soon be dead."

" Sounds like the Banshee of Earth. If you heard it wail, someone close to you was going to die," Sisko said.

Kal gave Sisko a look half smile and half worry. " We tell such horrible tales, don't we? However, two of my men are dead, and another is convinced the Malruk will come for him. My workers are refusing to continue with the project unless something is done to protect them. "

" You mean me?"

" Yes, Emissary. The Prophets are with you. If some animal is killing my men, the Prophets will protect you. Your presence alone would bring my men a measure of encouragement. All I ask is that you help me figure out what killed my men and stop it."

Sisko turned to Kira. " Do we have any important matters for the next few days?"

" A Haliien freighter is docking tomorrow, but nothing I can't handle."

Sisko rose and looked at Kal. " I'll be glad to help you."

Kal shook Sisko's hand excitedly. " Thank you so much."

" These two dead men of yours," Sisko asked, " do you know what did kill them?"

" I brought the bodies to your doctor for examination."

Sisko tapped hos comm badge. " Sisko to Bashir."

" Bashir here, commander."

" Have you finished the autopsies on the men Kal Fenis brought you?"

" I have."

" We're on our way to the infirmary."


Sisko and Kal entered the infirmary and noticed two beds covered by sheets. Sisko went over to one, and began to lift the sheet. Bashir raised a hand to tell him to stop. " I wouldn't do that. It's not very pretty." Sisko looked anyway, and it was a grisly sight. The man was half eaten and gnawed. His right arm was gone, and his left leg was torn off at the knee. The flesh was ripped and torn.

" Doctor," Sisko asked, " what would you say killed the two men?"

" It's hard to tell with the first man. The animals did a good job of scavenging him, and it's impossible to give an exact cause of death. I'd say he was mauled to death by some large animal. The second man is another matter." Bashir uncovered the second body, and Sisko saw his upper body had been neatly severed from the lower half.

" An animal did this," asked Kal.

" No. This cut is too precise and clean to be made by any animal or blade. Some sort of laser was used to do this."

" Then it's murder?"

" That's my opinion," Bashir said.

" Thank you, doctor. This news should help all those superstitious rumors my men are spreading," Kal said.

" Yes, but we still need to figure out sort of animal killed the other man. I'll beam down to the planet with a security team and we'll find out what it is," Sisko tapped his comm badge. " Sisko to Odo."

" Odo here."

" I need six security men to meet me at transporter room 3."

" Yes, commander."

to be continued....
Last edited by edgaguirus on Tue Apr 23, 2024 10:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.

An invisible man can rule the world. Nobody will see him come; Nobody will see him go. He can hear every secret. He can rob, wreck and kill.

edgaguirus
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Re: Star Trek DS9: Malruk

Post by edgaguirus »

It didn't take long for people to hear what had happened on the planet, and that Sisko was going after the beast. Some of the Bajorans thanked the Prophets, while other made prayers for the Emissary's safety. At the transporter pad, Sisko and his team were given a warm farewell. More than a few " May the Prophets be with you," were heard from them. Sisko politely smiled, and then gave the order to beam them down.

On the surfaced, Greder and other workers eagerly waited outside their barracks. Kal had told them the Emissary was coming, and while some doubted even he could stop the Malruk, it was a comfort to know he'd be down there protecting them. As they waited, some of the men watched the skies. There was no telling when it might return. They were greatly relieved when 7 shimmering forms appeared, and then solidified into Sisko and his security team, each armed with a phaser rifle. Greder was the first to greet Sisko. " Emissary, we're so glad to see you."

" Thank you. I promise I'll do everything I can to deal with this monster," Sisko replied.

" I've got some news on Talik," Kal said. " He wasn't killed by a beast, but a laser. He was murdered."

" You suspect one of us," a man asked.

" I didn't say that," Kal answered.

" If he was killed, we all know who it was," another said.

" Gentlemen," Sisko said. " please calm down. We'll find and stop the Malruk, and find out who killed Talik, but for now we need what information you can give us on where this creature has been seen."

Greder stepped forward. " Last night, Talik and I found Navin's corpse east of here. If you come with me, I'll show you."

Sisko nodded. " I'll go with Greder. The rest of you fan out and keep your eyes open."


Quark was having a busy afternoon at the bar. Waiters were going back and forth with drinks, and the Dabo tables were full. It was a good day, but Rom was lagging behind in his work. " Rom, get over here," Quark ordered. Good help was so hard to find, even in your own family.

Rom came over to him. " You called?'

" How long does it take you to pull out an order of Andorian Ale? The customers are thirsty."

" Sorry brother, but I have a bit of a side hustle."

" You? A side hustle?"

" People all over the station have heard about the Malruk, and everyone is worried about it. I'm selling lucky charms that will protect them from it. Pretty good, huh?"

" For once Rom, you have a good idea. If you've sold any in here, I get half."

" It's my business!"

" It's also my bar. Now get back to work."

Quark turned for a moment, and then an idea popped in his little greedy mind. " Rom, get over here." Rom sighed and went back to the bar. " This Malruk is supposed to be a deadly animal, right?"

" The legends say it is."

" I don't care about legends, but I do have a big Klingon problem. This bird monster may be just what I need. Are those camera drones of ours in working order?"

" I think so. I can check them over."

" You do that. And then we have some bird watching to do." A smile crawled up Quark's face. Those Klingons would be very satisfied with their program.


Sisko and Greber walked through the forest with a quick pace. Greber kept one eye forward, and another towards the sky. It was clear the man was frightened, but Sisko was certain his presence helped to encourage him. Greber stopped, looked around him for a moment, and then turned to Sisko. " This is where we found the body."

" What direction did it go after that?"

" East, I think. I was too scared to really know."

" It's allright." Sisko looked around him at the beautiful green forest. It didn't look like the kind of place you'd find a monster. The air was filled with the sound of birds, and the trees were in the full bloom of summer. It was the kind of spot for a picnic or leisurely hike. The sound of a snapping branch startled Greber. From the tree line came a man and woman. She was a Bajoran of average height, a slim build, and shoulder length hair. Her companion was tall, dark haired, and had a slightly bent nose.

" Emissary, said the woman. " I'm glad to see you. I hope you can help us."

" I'll do whatever I can to stop this monster."

" You misunderstand," the man interrupted. " My name is Taro Van. My sister is Maris. We hope to stop this project."

" Stop it," Sisko asked.

" They filed a protest against it when it was proposed," Greder explained. " It lost, but they're still trying to keep us from cutting down the trees."

" Emissary, my brother and I are botanist. We've found rare plants here, plants that may be destroyed if they are allowed to butcher the forest," Maris pleaded.

" You use the word butcher? I'll bet you killed Talik," Greder said. " You'll do anything, won't you?"

" Don't you dare accuse us," Taro replied. " You're the reason the Malruk is loose. It was never flying here until you tried to destroy the forest. It's a punishment sent down on you and your men."

" Taro, remember when I bent that nose of yours," Greder asked. " Maybe you'd like me to bend it the other way."

Sisko stepped between the men. " That's enough. Greder, we'll go back to the barracks."

" Emissary," Taro said. " I hope you will help us. The land and the people are one. If we destroy the land, we destroy ourselves."

Back at the barracks, Sisko told Kal about his meeting. " Last week, Greder and Taro got into a fight. Greder is good man, but he doesn't know his own strength. I was lucky they didn't press charges against him," Kal said. " I'm not surprised my men suspect them. They've been fighting our project from the beginning, and now they might even accuse them of conjuring up this monster to stop us. I'll tell them to stay away until this situation has been solved. I don't know what my men might do if it gets any worse."

" Let's hope it doesn't." Sisko tapped his com badge. " All guards check in." The security team reported nothing. " Maintain patrols until further orders."

The silence was broken by a terrible screech. The men stopped in their tracks and froze. Greber seemed like a statue, pale and too horrified to move. " It's come back. It's come back for me." Greber took off running.

" Come back here," Sisko ordered. Kal and Sisko went off after him.

A voice came from Sisko's comm badge. " Target sighted to the west of the barracks. I'm in pursuit."

Sisko tapped his badge. " All guards converge on the west side." Greder was gone from view, but there was thick brush to all sides. Another screech came from above, and the two men followed its direction. They ran through bushes and over tree roots, and then heard a scream. They quickened their pace, and then came to a stream. Laying on the bank of the stream was Greder. His body had been neatly sliced from the shoulder to the hip.

" He was right," Kal said. " He was next."

Sisko craned his head to look upwards, and he saw it. It flew by quickly, and he ran after it. Sisko was soon joined by two guards, and they watched as the Malruk flew back towards them. He now got a good look at it. The creature had no feathers, but skin like black leather. The wings were large, and the tail was a stub. The creature had two legs ending in lethal looking talons, but the strangest detail was the shape of its head. It was a triangle. The three men fired on the Malruk. Their beams connected with the target but seemed to have no effect. One of the guards fired again. The Malruk returned fire, shooting a laser from its mouth. The guard had little time to scream as he was hit. The Malruk then flew away quickly as it had appeared.

Sisko ran over to his man. It was no longer a question of murder. This was the beast that had cut these men as easily as scissors cut paper. Sisko had been skeptical about this Malruk, but now he knew it was no legend. And now his own crew had become a casualty.

Back at the barracks, Kal's men prepared a grave for Greder. Sisko's own man had been beamed to the station. Sisko tapped his badge. " Sisko to Dax."

" I'm here, Benjamin."

" We've lost track of the animal. Can the station sensors detect it?'

" I'm afraid not. The only life signs we've detected in your area are you and the other men."

" You have to have detected something, old man. I saw this thing myself."

" We had no life signs from this bird you saw, but we did pick up an unusual energy signature from the area."

" What kind of energy signature?"

" I don't recognize it. I've given to the computer for analysis. When I get anything, I'll let you know."

" I'll continue down here. Let me know the moment you have anything."

" I will. Happy hunting, Benjamin."

Kal stepped over to Sisko. " My men have informed me they're going home. They will not return until you have killed the beast."

" We will. Kal, how quickly could you get some force field generators here?"

" I know someone who owes me a favor, so he could get them here in half an hour or so. Why do you ask?"

" I have an idea."

to be continued....
Last edited by edgaguirus on Fri May 03, 2024 10:50 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.

An invisible man can rule the world. Nobody will see him come; Nobody will see him go. He can hear every secret. He can rob, wreck and kill.

edgaguirus
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Re: Star Trek DS9: Malruk

Post by edgaguirus »

It was actually an hour before the force field generators arrived. Sisko assembled his men. " You all know this creature is highly dangerous, so when you hear or see the animal, seek cover immediately. Phaser fire seems to have no effect, so we'll have to use something stronger." Sisko opened a cargo container and pulled out a round object. " This is a photon grenade. This is what we'll use to kill the animal."

" Sir," a guard said," I thought they were only effective for a limited range."

" You're correct. The plan is to place the forcefield generators into a diamond pattern so we can trap the animal. It will be led towards the designated area, and the forcefields activated. We can then narrow the forcefields into a small space and set off the photon grenades remotely. At full setting, they should work. Any questions?"

" How do we lead it into the area?"

Sisko was silent for a moment. " I'll be the bait. The Malruk looked at me, so I should be the next on its list."

Sisko and a security guard were rigging up the generator at the north end of the diamond. The generators were being placed ten yards from each other; a distance that would allow the Malruk some flying space, but not enough to escape. Sisko had no idea how bright this Malruk was, and he wasn't going to let it get away again. It had to die.

" Emissary," said a voice. It was Maris. She held a specimen jar in one hand, and a walking stick in the other. " I've heard that the workers have left. Does this mean the project is cancelled?"

" Only for the moment. Once we kill this animal, they will return."

" Kill the Malruk? Emissary, I'm sure you are a clever man, but I doubt a forcefield will stop it. The Malruk is an elemental force."

" Perhaps, but we must try something to save their lives."

" Their lives can be saved by stopping the project. Your word on that matter would certainly convince the ministers."

Sisko finished calibrating the generator. " If this animal can't be stopped, that may be necessary, but as long as the possibility exist, I will try to stop it. It's not only killed the workers, but also one of my men."

" Your man?" Maris was speechless, and her expression seemed odd. Sisko would have understood an expression of sadness or sympathy, but this was something different. " And how will you propose to handle the Malruk? Trap it? How will you lead it into your trap?"

" According to story, if it looks at you, you are the next to die. It looked at me. I am the perfect lure."

Maris dropped her specimen jar. Her face was a mix of shock and horror. " You mustn't do that. What if it...."

Sisko stopped her. " Have faith in the prophets," he answered. Sisko and the guard walked off into the forest.

Maris rushed home. She didn't even bother picking up the jar. She found her brother watering some ferns outside the house. Maris went straight to her brother. " In the house. We have to talk."

Van followed Maris inside. " What's wrong?"

" We have to stop this. We have to stop using the Malruk."

Van shook his head. " No. We've frightened away the workers. If we send the Malruk after Kal Fen, it will scare him away as well. Without him, the project ends."

" I want to stop them as much as you do, but your animal is getting out of control."

" I can control it. I know it's gone wild a few times, but I can keep it in line this time."

" You should know that your monster has killed one of the Emissary's men. It's also looked at the Emissary, and now he's going to use himself as bait to capture it."

Van was shocked, but it quickly passed. " I'm sorry for his loss, but we can't stop now. If we do, they will cut down our forest. Do you want that?"

" No. But is it worth the 4 lives? No one was supposed to die."

" It was the animal, not me, that killed them. I lost control, but I'm certain I can keep it under control from now on. Once Kal Fen abandons the project, we'll no longer need my monster. No one else will die."

" Van, I'm not sure you can."

Van turned away from his sister. " The Malruk will fly again." Maris knew it was no good arguing further. She left the house.

Sisko stood alone in the forest. There was no need to risk anyone else but him. Kal Fen had tried to go with him, but Sisko didn't want anymore casualties. Now it was a question of where the Malruk was. It had to have a nest somewhere, or maybe a lair in one of the caves beyond the edge of the forest. He made his way further into the brush and trees, flicking away a branch that hung low. It was quiet, and that disturbed him. The birds should be singing, but they were silent. There was a predator about, and Sisko could only wait for it to come to him.

The wait was broken by the familiar screech of his target, but it was coming from the south. From the barracks. Sisko ran as fast as he could towards the barracks. His face was whipped by a vine, but he went on. He reached the barracks and went inside. Kal Fin was not there. Sisko went outside, but the man seemed to have gone. " Kal Fen! Kal Fen!"

" Here," Kal Fin called back. He ran towards Sisko. " It's chasing me."

Sisko heard the screech again, and the black winged monster soared overheard. Sisko grabbed Kal Fen and took him into the thickest part of the forest. " Stay here." Sisko emerged and stood where he could be seen. The Malruk flew overhead again, and Sisko fired on it. He hit the creature's wing, and it passed on. However, it quickly circled back. Sisko fired again, and the Malruk went into a dive towards him. " Come and get me." Sisko ran, using what greenery he could as cover, but he wondered how effective the cover would be if the Malruk used that laser. He just kept going. Sisko finally approached the first generator.

" Generator one, activate."A forcefield sprouted from the machine, stopping the Malruk. The monster made a quick turn as it encountered the energy barrier. Sisko smiled. This monster could be stopped by a forcefield. " Generator 3 activate." The next forcefield came up and cut off the Malruk. Generator 2 came on, and the Malruk was blocked on three sides. Sisko had the monster where he wanted it.

Two objects whizzed through the sky. They darted and danced in the air, hovering and moving all around the Malruk. The monster flew straight up to get away from the annoying drones. Sisko fired at the Malruk again. It had to come back down. The Malruk ignored Sisko and went for the drones. A laser knocked one out of the sky, but the other zipped away quickly. The Malruk followed.

Sisko lowered his phaser rifle. He'd been so close. " Sisko to security team. Turn off the generators and meet me at the barracks." Sisko headed back, but he was determined to stop this monster. There had to be a way. As Sisko made his way along the trail, he heard someone coming. It was Maris.

" Emissary, I need a word with you."

" We can talk at the barracks."

" It's about the Malruk." Sisko stopped and looked at her. Maris continued. " I can lead you to it."

to be continued....
Last edited by edgaguirus on Tue May 14, 2024 9:40 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.

An invisible man can rule the world. Nobody will see him come; Nobody will see him go. He can hear every secret. He can rob, wreck and kill.

edgaguirus
Keizer
Posts: 8737
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 1:25 pm

Re: Star Trek DS9: Malruk

Post by edgaguirus »

Quark held the drone in his hand. They'd lost one, but they still had all the data they needed to create the dreaded Malruk. " Rom, pull the image file off this immediately and then program it into the holosuites."

" You think the Klingons will like it this time," Rom asked.

" I hope so. Looking over my shoulder wrinkles my suit."

" That suit will be the least of your problems if they're not happy," Rom replied. He went off and up towards the holosuites.


Sisko and Maris arrived at the barracks. He had tried to get her to talk, but she insisted that Kal Fen hear what she had to say as well. He then heard his com badge. " Dax to Sisko."

" Give me a moment," Sisko told Maris. "Sisko here. What have you got for me?"

" I still can't identify the signal I detected earlier, but I had a hunch about it. I checked with Julian, and he confirmed it. The signal is very similar to brain waves."

" Brain waves? From where?"

" A short distance from your location."

" Thanks, old man. That's what I needed." Sisko entered the barracks and found everyone gathered around Maris. " Tell us about the Malruk."

Maris nodded. " The monster's real name is Gyaos. But I should start from the beginning. When we heard about the plan to create more farmland, we were determined to save this forest. Van and I tried every legal and official method to get attention and support for our cause. When it failed, Van couldn't bear it. He wouldn't allow our home to be destroyed, and so he decided to take drastic steps. A year ago, my brother went to Rigel 4 to study the native ferns, and while he was there, he met a scientist. That scientist had created a machine that turn thoughts into matter. My brother remembered the machine and returned to Rigel 4. He stole the machine and used it to create the monster.

" He has a fascination with old Earth cinema, and one of the films he's collected shows these two giant creatures fighting to the death. Van felt that the Gyaos looked like the Malruk and brought it into existence with the machine. His plan was to scare Kal Fen and the workers away. It worked at first, but then the monster began to escape his control."

" It started killing people," Sisko said.

" Yes. He feels certain he can control it, but I doubt that. Emissary, if he continues to send it after Kal Fen, more people are going to die."

Kal came closer to the woman. " After me?"

" Yes. I don't want any more deaths."

" There won't be," Sisko told her.


Van looked over the machine. It was the size of a typewriter, but light weight. It had two buttons, a power dial, a frequency adjuster, and a cord that ran to a headband. Van put the headband on. He activated the machine and pressed a button. Van closed his eyes and pictured the movie scene in his mind. He envisioned Gyaos flying over the city. The body, wings, head, and eyes were clear in his vision, and he concentrated on the horrible monster. " Kal Fen. Chase Kal Fen," he told the monster.

The door opened. Maris, Sisko, Kal Fen, and the security team all walked in. Van was surprised to see them here, especially Kal Fen. " What are you doing in our home? You must leave."

" I'm staying right here," Kal Fen said. " If it's coming for me, you should be here to see it."

" Turn that machine off," Sisko ordered. " We know what this Malruk really is, and it's going to stop now."

" How do you know?"

" Your sister has told us everything."

" Maris?!"

" You should know two other things," Sisko continued. " The station has contacted Prof. Ollis on Rigel 4. There's a warrant for your arrest for the theft of the device on the planet. The other is that the machine you've taken was never meant for creating living creatures. Prof. Ollis feels that what you're doing is very dangerous."

" I'll admit the Malruk has become harder to control, but I can control it."

Kal Fen raised his phaser. " We're wasting time," he said. " I can destroy that machine right now."

" You destroy the machine while I'm connected to it, you kill me," Van answered.

" I can accept that loss." Kal Fen aimed at the machine, but Sisko stopped him.

" Enough people have died," Sisko said. " Van, do you really think the Malruk will stop at Kal Fen? After it kills him, someone else is next. Your sister."

Van was about to speak but was interrupted by the screech of the Malruk. " I didn't tell it to come here."

Sisko stepped towards Van. " It's not going to obey you. Your sister has betrayed you. I remember the way Grebber threatened you earlier, and then he was killed. Don't think that her betrayal will go unpunished by your monster."

" No. She won't be killed. I won't let it. It's just a matter of the controls, or the power setting, or the..."

There was another screech. " It's coming for her," Sisko said. As if he was a fortune teller, a laser came through the roof. It streaked towards Maris, and Sisko tackled her out of the way. The laser went on and cut through the wall as it departed. " You still think she's safe? No one is safe while you keep conjuring up your monster and sending it after anyone you see as a threat to your personal paradise." Sisko raised his phaser rifle at the machine. " Turn it off, or I do it for you."

Van was shaking, but it wasn't the Malruk that frightened him. Sisko's face was like granite, still and firm. His eyes seemed to bore right into Van's soul, and it chilled Van to his core. Van managed to move his gaze to his sister. Her face and eyes silently pleaded with him as tears fell down her cheeks. The Malruk screeched again, and Van quickly pushed the button and lowered the power dial. He turned off the machine. Van removed the headband, and then he ran into his sister's arms. " I would never let it hurt you. Never."

" I know," Maris said, stroking his head. She continued to repeat " I know" as Van wept into her shoulder.


Van was led away by the security team. " What will happen to him now," Maris asked Sisko.

" I don't think Rigel 4 has an extradition treaty with Bajor, so he'll have to answer to a Bajoran court."

" He never meant for anyone to die. This place is his home. He just wanted to protect it."

" On Earth, there use to be people who would tie themselves to trees to keep them from being cut down. They were willing to risk their lives to save what they valued."

" Did it work?"

" Not always. " Sisko paused for a moment, a look of reflection in his eyes. " My father once told me something. There are people who believe the end justifies the means, but those people never see how much it costs."


Odo prowled about the promenade. Nothing aroused his suspicions, so he made his way to Quark's bar. Quark was wiping down the bar. " You look well."

" Thanks. I'd offer you a drink, but you don't drink."

" I was just checking to see if any Klingons were after you. They were quite upset."

" I wish they were here. I go to all the trouble of reprogramming the holosuite, and then I learn that their ship has been called back to the Homeworld."

" I wanted to talk to you about that." Odo placed the damaged drone on the bar. " The commander told me to tell you that if you ever interfere with an official operation again, there will be consequences." Odo got up and left.

" Like I haven't heard that before," Quark yelled back. He continued cleaning.

" Brother," Rom said excitedly. He was almost bouncing off the walls. " I have an idea on how we can use the footage of the Malruk."

" I can't wait to hear this," Quark answered sarcastically.

" We could create a special program where people can watch giant monsters and animals fight. We have an arena, a list of various beasts, and they can even make wagers on who will win. What do you think?"

" Rom, that has to be dumbest idea you've ever had. Get to work." Rom's head lowered, and he skulked off to his duties. Quark sighed and shook his head. " Who'd pay money to watch giant monsters fight to the death?"

The End
Last edited by edgaguirus on Fri May 31, 2024 11:04 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.

An invisible man can rule the world. Nobody will see him come; Nobody will see him go. He can hear every secret. He can rob, wreck and kill.

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