Episode 68

Star Trek: Phoenix-X
A Tholian Encounter

The Phoenix-X remains docked at Teketekon Station, located in the far outreaches of Cardassian Space. Captain Cell enters the Meeting Room, on the Station.
Durane: “Everything seems to be going along fine.”
Cell: “Yes, but I couldn’t help notice that you’ve extended production on Vector 2 and 3.”
Durane: “You dare blame me!?!?! It was him!!”
He points to a shadowed corner of the room, where a Section 31 Agent steps out.
Nelkast: “Greetings, Captain.”
Cell: “Nelkast??”
Nelkast: “Yes, that’s right. I’m here, and without my partner, Elena.”
Cell: “I really thought she had the whip on you.”
Nelkast: “You will never speak of that again.”
Cell: “What’s going on?”
Nelkast: “There are a few last minute upgrades we need to complete. I’m afraid the bottom two-thirds of the Phoenix-X will be in construction for a little longer.”
Cell: “But---but-- my ship??”
Nelkast: “Section 31’s ship! Don’t forget that without us, you have no chance in even existing in Starfleet.”
Cell: “You guys also give good gift-baskets on holidays.”
Nelkast: “Yes, well, I just wanted to drop another mission on you. We received an odd distress signal and need you to investigate in the Phoenix-X’s top-third.”
Cell: “You mean, Vector 1?”
Nelkast: “Yes, that’s the name. Oh, they’re so hard to remember.”
Cell: “Meh. I guess there’s nothing else to do. I’ll get right on it... I mean, I guess.”
Nelkast: “Perfect! Nelkast out.”
They just stand there.
Cell: “Uhh, you’re not on the view-screen this time.”
Nelkast: “Oh.......Then I’ll just descend back into these shadows.”
He backs his way into the shadowed corner.

Later, the top-third of the Phoenix-X, a.k.a. Vector 1, detaches from the docked other two halves, and drifts out into space. Walking through the Decks are Seifer, Amp, and RaeLuna.
Seifer: “This is going to be one interesting mission.”
Amp: “Why do you say that, Commander?”
Seifer: “Huh? Oh, they pay me to say that at the beginning of every mission.”
RaeLuna: “I don’t know why I’ve agreed to this. I’m not even in Starfleet.”
Amp: “It was your mother’s request, remember?”
Seifer: “Yeah, she used to be on the crew but was sent back in time to give birth to you.”
RaeLuna: “That’s always happening to me!”

They enter the Bridge, where Captain Cell is.

Cell: “Take your station’s people.”
Seifer: “Sir, we’ve only got a third of our crew.”
Cell: “I know. We’re going to have to make the best of it.”
Seifer: “Out of a third of our crew?”
The Captain raises his backhand in anger.
Cell: “Don’t start with me...”

Vector 1 impulses away from Teketekon Station and jumps to Warp. Before they know it, they begin picking up signs of Tholian Signatures.

RaeLuna: “Captain, these readings are almost Borg!”
Cell: “What the??”
RaeLuna: “--But they’re Tholian.”
Cell: “Phew... Lieutenant Amp, drop Warp at the distress signal.”
Vector 1 drops Warp and approaches a Tholian Pod. They are immediately hailed.
Cell: “Y-ello?”
>Teloren: “My name is Teloren, and I request an encounter... a Tholian Encounter!”
Cell: “I’ll pass.”
>Teloren: “But my Pod is in need of repair. I’m multi-atmospheric capable, so you don’t have to worry about turning your corridors into the fire’s of hell!”
Cell: “Wait a second. Did you just say you were multi-atmospheric capable?”
>Teloren: “Yes I did.”
The Captain and the crew glance at each other in surprise and curiosity.
Cell: “Umm, hey. Why don’t you board? My technicians can take a look at your Pod and see what they can do.”
>Teloren: “Oh that’s delightful! Why, you’re more generous than those pesky Talosians.”

The screen cuts out and the Senior Staff meets in the Briefing Room.

Seifer: “So what’s the plan, Captain? We skin the newbie and sell the shavings to the Ferengi?”
Cell: “No! Didn’t you hear what he said? He’s multi-atmospheric! …That is just- so- interesting.”
Amp: “Interesting?? Captain Cell, you’ve gone soft.”
Cell: “Well then; I know who I’m not inviting to the next ship barbeque.”
RaeLuna: “Perhaps the Captain has a point. This creature is mostly existent within a 450 Kelvin environment. There must be some reason he is different.”
Seifer: “Each of us can spend time with him. Maybe even find out how their species procreate... I’m picturing crystal on crystal action.”
Cell: “That’s it-- You’re not to be involved with these meetings any longer!!”

Later, RaeLuna sits in a Research Room, looking over padds of information. Ensign Gewdeque enters.

Gewdeque: “Hey. What’s going on?”
RaeLuna: “I’m just looking over all of Armond’s work-- before he left the ship.”
Gewdeque: “Ah, Armond was a genius... and I think he slept around a bit.”
RaeLuna: “He had come up with all these brilliant tech theories. How can I possibly compete?”
Gewdeque: “You’re not expected to compete, just because you have his position now. Just hold an air of jealousy.”
RaeLuna: “Is that customary Human behavior?”
Gewdeque: “Um... yeah.”
RaeLuna: “I suppose he deserved his promotion into an X-Team Techie.”
Gewdeque: “He could have at least said goodbye. As soon as he got the promotion, he was immediately off the ship somehow.”
RaeLuna: “I think he beamed off.”
Gewdeque: “Ah, I see; ...probably another one of his ‘Inventions’.”

The Tholian finds himself walking down the corridors of the Vector with the Captain. Teloren, a crystalline creature of multiple spiked legs and two arms, enjoys the stroll.
Teloren: “Now this is truly freedom.”
Cell: “Here are your Guest Quarters. If you need anything, just let us know.”
Teloren: “Can I have sanctuary in the possible event my people come looking for me?”
Cell: “Huh?”
Teloren: “Oh! Heh, heh. I see you don’t get ‘Tholian humour’.”

Back at Teketekon Station, the Chief Engineer Kugo attempts to gain access to the bottom two halves of the ship.
Kugo: “Um, excuse me? I’d like to know what you guys are doing to my Engines??”
The guard at the door refuses to budge.
Lornuku: “If I don’t get in here; you don’t get in here!”
Kugo: “You know, people like you will always be petty!”
Lornuku: “Hey. Let’s not get personal here. I have feelings too, you know.”
Kugo: “Ohh, the security officer has ‘feelings’. Since when have Security Officer’s helped me? Never! That’s when.”
Lornuku: “Us Security brand are the working man. We deliver your mail, clean your garbage, we even purify the air you breathe!”
Kugo: “That was you?”

Lieutenant Amp meets the Tholian in 10-Forward. They sit a table with drinks.
Amp: “I can’t drink because I’m a hologram.”
Teloren: “Neither can I, and it’s because I’m Tholian!”
Amp: “Wow. You are just one interesting fellow. Do tell me more!”
Teloren: “What would you like to know?”
Amp: “Hmm... How about... your environmental abilities?”
Teloren: “That’s not interesting. Why don’t I tell you of the time I saved the Dominion from perishing in the Wormhole just before the war? ...You see it was a tumultuous time in our galaxy................”
He continues on with his story, disappointing Amp in any possibility of explanation.

Next, the Tholian meets with Commander Seifer in the Battle Arena.
Seifer: “Hey.”
Teloren: “You actually use this room to fight?”
Seifer: “Yeah, it’s kind of a thing on this ship. A lot of us are into different styles.”
Teloren, smiles: “Then perhaps you’d appreciate this--!!!”
He leaps into the air and comes down with his multiple pointed legs, his front-right extended forward. Seifer jumps back, dodging the incoming pointed-leg as it pierces into the deck floor.

The Tholian then jabs his crystalline arms out at Seifer in close range, as Seifer blocks and re-directs them. The Commander then jumps a round-house kick into the Tholian’s side, sending the Tholian back a few feet.
Teloren: “Ugh!!! ...Nicely done, Commander.”
Seifer: “Thank you.”
Teloren: “But during that fight, you somehow communicated to me that you wanted to know how I got my environmental abilities. Let me avoid the subject entirely, as I attack again with greater interest!!!!”
He runs for Seifer, and Seifer just rolls his eyes in disappointment. They carry on fighting.

Next, the Tholian meets up with Captain Cell in a room that appears to be assimilated with Borg technology.
Cell: “Welcome. This is where we keep our Borg stuff.”
Teloren: “Fascinating. But I’ve seen many ships with Borg technology... the least of them actually being Borg ships.”
Cell: “Well we thought we’d jump the band-wagon. Besides, this place gives us a little hull regeneration help.”
Teloren: “Ah. We Tholian’s have attempted such technology, but never as good as the Borg have perfected it. Sometimes we wish we were Borg...”
Cell: “Captivating. But what about your environmental abilities? Tell us about that?”
Teloren: “Oh I don’t think I’ll be steering this delightful conversation in that direction.”
He continues on topic, unwavering.

Later, the Tholian runs into RaeLuna in the Turbolift. He has a tough time trying to fit his large ant-like crystalline body in the lift.
RaeLuna: “Oops, that’s my arm in the way.”
Teloren: “Errrg--- Arrrg-- Errrh-”
RaeLuna: “--You’re almost... Okay... Almost.... Okay, you’re in.”
Teloren: “Phew! That was tough.”
RaeLuna: “Not as tough as my native alien people who are evil incarnate.”
Teloren: “Your people are evil too? I thought I was the only one.”
RaeLuna: “Nah. Mine are a race of hard-structured reptile-like people called the Klokian. They travel through time and try to exterminate omnipotent beings.”
Teloren: “Yeah the Tholian’s are pretty much the same, except for the reptile, time-travelling, and exterminating parts. I can’t stand my people!”
RaeLuna: “I never thought I’d meet someone who would relate on such a deep level. Would you like to go for a drink?”
Teloren: “Why yes. Yes I would.”
The doors open and he takes another six minutes to untangle out.

Commander Seifer steps onto the Bridge, going over to the Tactical Console. On it, he begins to check on the status of the Pod.
Seifer: “That’s some fine work if I do say so myself.”
Just then, the control panel beeps, and a Tholian Ship approaches the Vector.
Seifer: “Y-el......lo?”
>Leskine: “We are the Tholian Assembly! We also demand the return of Teloren!”
Seifer: “Please. Teloren is quite busy at the moment, socializing and having a good time.”
>Leskine: “Who cares!? He belongs to us, and your kind has no reason for meddling in our business!”
Seifer: “Hmm. I will need an hour or so to deal with this issue.”
>Leskine: “Very well. Return him to our crystalline hands, or we will begin spinning our web of DOOM!!!”

The screen clicks off, and Commander Seifer heads for the Captain’s Ready Room.
#Computer: “You’ve got visitor.”
Cell: “Come in.”
Seifer: “...Sir, you’re not going to believe this.”

Later, the Senior Staff meets in the Briefing Room with the Tholian visitor.
Amp: “So why do you have those special powers again?”
Cell: “Yes, please explain.”
Teloren, sighs: “Hhh. I knew it would come down to this. You see, I am not a normal Tholian. A few decades back, the Assembly started doing some testing... strange testing. They began learning more of science and bio-engineering. It was their goal to spread their wings in the proverbial scientific community. I was one of their first test subjects. They altered my bio-cells. My entire being... gave me the ability to tolerate almost anything.”
Seifer: “So what happened?”
Teloren: “I escaped the clutches of their Experimentalistic Labs! ...They began restricting my freedom; doing more and more tests I wanted to refuse. I tried fighting back, but it was no use. But luckily one day an experiment exploded in their faces, allowing me the chance to escape. That’s what finally lead me to you.”
RaeLuna: “That’s horrible!”
Cell: “You couldn’t tell us that earlier??”
Teloren: “I would have, but you guys never brought it up.”
Cell: “Argghh!!!”
Seifer: “Wait a second. We can’t just let the Tholian’s take him back. That would be wrong!”
Amp: “Umm. There’s a little thing called The Prime Directive?”
Cell, tries comprehending: “The Ppprrrrriii.... huh? The wha?”

Meanwhile, the Tholian’s sit waiting in their blazing hot Ship; tapping their fingers impatiently upon their chair’s arm-rests.

Leskine: “--Where the heck?? Alright, begin the Web Procedure of Doom!”
Suddenly, his crew get to some serious work twisting nobs and tapping at control panels. The message is relayed throughout the ship from one person yelling to another.
Korune: “Beginning web procedure of doom!”
Noleid: “Start web procedure!”
Siaken: “Wwwwweeeeebbbbbb procedure! Get your wwwwweeeebbbbbbbb procedure of dooms here, $19.95!”
Lukane: “I’ll take five.”
Siaken: “There you go, and you just have yourself a great day.”

Just then, the Tholian Ship begins moving downwards in space. A web-like material is dropped behind them, lining their path as they intend on slowly trapping the Vector in an energy barrier.

The crew of the Phoenix-X just watch in horror.
Amp: “Oh no! They’ve already started their signature weapon!”
Seifer: “I totally forgot! We agreed on that hour.”
RaeLuna, at tactical: “Their first strand is already... 12 meters! ...Now 16 ...now 19!”
Cell: “Damn! They’re slowly stopping us from escaping--!”

Back on the Tholian Ship, the Commander loses his patience.
Leskine: “Oh for the love of---? This is taking too long! ...Cut the web thing and just attack!”
Suddenly, his crew gets to some serious work ending it.
Korune: “Stopping web procedure!”
Noleid: “Web procedure coming to a halt!”
Siaken: “Wwwwwwweeebbbbbbbbbb cutters! Get your wwwweeebbbbb cutters here, only 19.95!”

His crew then man the tactical controls and speed the Ship towards the Vector. They open fire, blasting clumps of web-energy at them. Amp mans the Helm onboard the Vector and backs away. Both vessels begin racing away in space, the Tholian chasing the Federation one. Large blasts of energy pass over and onto the Vector.

Amp: “Ugh! They really are fast!”
Seifer: “Hold your course! We can use this speed to force their positioning. Damn their 540-movements!”
As the Vector maintains velocity, it drops Quantum Torpedoes in its wake--- some hitting the Tholian Ship and damaging their structure as they chase.

Meanwhile, back in Cardassian Space on Teketekon Station, Kugo attempts to bring reinforcements to her mission of trying to get past the Guard.
Omega: “Greetings. I am Omega, the ultimate combat Android of the 24th Century!”
Kugo: “As you can see, I’ve brought a friend. Now allow us entrance into those two-thirds of the Phoenix-X. Damn it’s Prometheus-like design!”
Lornuku: “Nice try, but combat Androids don’t scare me.”
Omega: “But I could kill you with a mere firing of my on-body disrupter weaponry.”
Lornuku: “Yeah probably. But that still doesn’t scare me.”
Kugo: “That impossible! Everyone’s afraid of Omega!”
Lornuku: “Well not me. I guess I’m just different.”
Omega: “Then are your afraid of this!!?”
The Omega Android suddenly takes a fighting stance, appearing to be ready for combat.
Lornuku: “Nope. Not scary.”
Kugo and Omega look at each other in shock.
Omega: “Oh well. I must return to my solitaire card game.”
He stands straight up and shuts his eyes, going inside into his onboard computer system. Kugo grits her teeth in anger and stomps away.
Kugo: “I’ll be back!!”

The Vector then dodges a quick energy blast that passes above them. But the Tholian Ship moves up close and tacks on two to three strands of their web material. Both ships find themselves attached to each other, inconveniencing the Phoenix-X crew.
Amp: “Aaahh!! Make them stop!”
Teloren: “There is one trick to removing the web material.”
Cell: “Tell us! Hurry!”
Teloren: “Alright. But you really must learn to learn more of your enemy before you get into a fight with them. You see, the consequences can be quite sporadic.”
Cell: “Argghhh!”

Both starships begin spinning in Warp, at Lieutenant Amp’s desperate attempt to pull them loose. Suddenly, an energy pulse is sent up the web-connectors until hitting the Tholian Ship. The disruption to the ship snaps the web-connectors apart, dissipating them into the Warp Field. The two starships begin to lose direction and are knocked out of Warp, back into normal space.

Seifer: “Aaaahhhhhhhhhhhh!”
Amp: “Sir, we’ve come to a complete stop.”
Seifer: “I know, but I’m still remembering the twirling.”
Teloren: “Hah! So what did you think of that secret? A disruption to a Tholian Ship always cancels their Web.”
Cell: “Thanks, Teloren.”
Teloren: “Next time I’ll tell you of how we Tholian’s create our fine silk. Let’s just say it isn’t from one of our animals or machines...”
He winks mischievously.
Cell: “Uck! Maybe there are some things you should keep to yourself.”

Meanwhile, the Commander on the Tholian Ship throws a tantrum.
Leskine: “Curses!!!!!”
Nolied: “Sir, the weapons and engines are offline!”
Leskine: “We needed that Experiment! Now he’s lost forever, and our advantage back into the Temporal Cold War is gone.”
Nolied: “Yeah but that War eventually ended.”
Leskine: “Still, it’s good to be a little involved....... uhh, for the children’s sake.”

Vector 1 turns around and enters Warp again. RaeLuna meets Teloren in 10-Forward.
RaeLuna: “I just wanted to let you know that your Pod is working again. Your technology seems to be very... frail.”
Teloren: “Perfect. Yes, we know. It’s not something we’re proud of.”
RaeLuna: “I didn’t realize you were an outcast of your people... Just as I am. ---If you were successful in fighting your people back, then perhaps I may have some luck deflecting mine?”
Teloren: “I wouldn’t put it past you.”
RaeLuna, smiles: “Hey... thanks.”
She then looks at him curiously.
RaeLuna: “Wait. Are you male or female?”
Teloren: “We Tholian’s have both gender organs, so distinguishing us is a futile attempt!”
RaeLuna: “Meh. Could be worse. Besides, looking for a mate must be 50-percent easier for your kind.”

Elsewhere on the Vector, Ensign Dan accompanies Captain Cell walking down in the corridors.
Ensign Dan: “Captain. I just wanted to voice my opinion on this Tholian Encounter, that it was completely unnecessary and pointless.”
Cell: “Your opinion has been duly noted.”
Ensign Dan: “Now that that’s out of the way, I wanted to tell you that I took pictures of you shape-shifting and sold them to Shape-Shifter’s Magazine!”
Cell: “What??? That’s embarrassing!”
Ensign Dan: “You’ll get 5-percent of the cut.”
Cell: “That’s even worse!! You’re relieved of duty!!”
Ensign Dan: “But I’m not on duty.”
Cell: “Then when you get on duty, you’ll be relieved four seconds later!!”
Ensign Dan: “Uh! That’s not fair. I get dressed up for nothing.”
Cell: “Go!!!”
Ensign Dan just walks away grumbling.

The Captain enters the Mini-Shuttle Bay where Seifer and Amp are meeting with Teloren for the last time.
Teloren: “Surly as I have stolen this Pod, I must agree that you’ve all stolen my heart.”
Amp: “Aww. That’s so sweet.”
Seifer: “Wait a second... Why were the Tholian’s trying so hard to get a leg-up in the scientific community?”
Teloren: “It’s not an easy explanation, but generally speaking the Tholian’s are trying to create a secret Government beneath the Assembly. I was to be their first big experiment outside their time-travel endeavors.”
Cell: “Puh. Time-travel, is there any species not endeavoring it?”
Teloren: “Needless to say such technology could theoretically be developed as early as the 25th Century. As for this Government... they hoped it would be something like the Obsidian Order, or your Section 31.”
Seifer: “Wow. Possibilities.”
The Tholian begins climbing into his ship, ready to go.
Teloren: “It was a stupid idea. They wanted to call it the Everything You Learned Of Tholians Were From an Encounter in the Mirror Universe Two Centuries Ago ...Section.”
Amp: “What kind of a name is that??”
Teloren: “I don’t know, but it is long and doesn’t tie to anything relevant.”
He gets into his Pod.
Teloren: “Anyway. I bid you adieu!”

The Pod hovers off the floor and flies out through the shielding of the Doors to space. Back at Teketekon Station, Kugo works out a way to beam past the Security Protection Systems. She then transports herself into the Phoenix-X’s Engineering, inside the second Vector. There she finds people all over, working on modifying the Transwarp Engine.

Kugo: “What the hell????”
She looks around catches a glimpse of Doctor Lox, who is even also working on the Engine.
Kugo: “Lox? But you’re a Doctor!”
Lox, turns around: “Oh hey, Kugo.”
Kugo: “How did you get in here??”
Lox: “Duh, through the back door. They have that front entrance completely guarded.”
Kugo: “There’s a back door!?!?!”
Lox: “Yeah, just ask my friend Lornuku here. He was guarding the front one.”
Lornuku: “Hi. I’ve now transferred to Engineering patrol.”
Kugo: “UUGGHHH!!!!!!!”

Meanwhile, out in space, the first Vector finally approaches the Station. It begins the process of Reintegration. As that is going on, Captain Cell gets a transmission from Elena in his Ready Room.
#Computer: “You’ve got transmission.”
Cell: “On the small screen.”
>Elena, blinks on: “Greetings Captain.”
Cell: “Elena. I noticed you let your lap-dog loose.”
>Elena: “Rest assured, Nelkast is on his way back to Starbase 55.”
Cell: “Let me guess. You’re calling in regards to the Tholian distress signal? I assume you knew it was Tholian?”
>Elena: “You’re good. I certainly hope you sent him back to his people.”
Cell: “Sent him back? We saved him from a dismal fate of experimentation.”
>Elena: “Fools! We needed the Tholian’s to start that undercover government. With their power proxy’d, Section 31 would have gained a critical ally. A powerful one! --You’ve messed up again Phoenix-X! Next time there won’t be a redemption!”
She cuts the screen out in anger.
Cell: “Man. Who spit in her Section 31 Rations?”

He makes his way onto the Station where Seifer has met with the Cardassian in charge.
Durane: “You may trust that the Phoenix-X has been fully reintegrated.”
Seifer: “Wow. For the Obsidian Order, you know a lot about our ship.”
Durane: “Well we put it together all those years ago... and we could take it apart if we wanted to!!”
He clenches his fist and shakes it.
Durane: “Oh sorry. That just slipped out.”
Seifer: “Could you do us one more favour? How about transferring the command over to me? Hey?”
Cell: “I heard that!!!”
Seifer: “Oh, Captain. I was uhh, just making friends with the Obsids. That’s their short form name.”
Cell: “Hmm. Perhaps it has a nice ring to it... Obsids.”
Durane: “What?? We would never call ourselves that. That’s stupid!”
He stomps away in anger.
Cell: “Uhh, anyway. Shall we get back to this starship of doom?”
Seifer: “Might as well. And I’ve heard there have been some interesting technologies added to it.”
Cell: “Agghh!! Like we weren’t overloaded enough?”
Seifer: “Nope. But I wonder what they are.”
Cell: “Yeah they never tell us anything; expecting us to find out on our own.”
Seifer: “Meh. I figure they like surprising us. There are festive bows around each new techs on the ship.”
Cell: “Uhhhh...... have Omega remove those.”
Seifer: “Aye sir.”
Cell: “Now come on. Let’s get back to the ship.”

The Commander nods and the both walk off to the front door. There they’re met with a new Security Guard.
Lurnoko: “You shall not PPPPPPAAASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!”