Starship Voyager – The Alien Adventures — 8 The Trade

The present novel is merely Fan Fiction.

No commercial interest is pursued.

© Aliki Archimedes, 2019

The story of this book is based on science fiction concepts created by Gene Roddenberry, Rick Berman, Michael Piller, Jery Tailor, Bryan Fuller, Brannon Braga, Nick Sagan, Ken Biller, Michael Okuda, Rick Sternberg and many others.

Copyright for all humanoid characters and Star Trek technology at Paramount Pictures / CBS.

Multiplication and distribution for commercial purpose are not allowed.


8. The Trade

From the kitchen of the ship`s casino, Neelix hurries to the tables with a fully loaded tray. He maneuvers past chairs and guests to a place by the window.
“The aubergine soufflé, garnished with narcullic aromatic grasses. – I hope it meets your taste, Seven!”
“Thank you, Mr. Neelix,” Seven replies with cool appreciation. “My sense of taste has recovered far enough to appreciate manually prepared food.”
Neelix puts two plates in front of Torres.
“For B`Elanna a delicious satin-crumbed seitan, lentil soup larded with peppermint and potato salad.”
Torres snuffs at the potato salad with shining eyes.
“All of the crew have been missing you terribly, Neelix! They forced me twice to manipulate replicator protocols. But instead of making the food more enjoyable, I only managed to make it oversalted, or too sour, or too hot!”
“Presumably the preferences of taste can`t be so easily represented with algorithms, Lieutenant,” replies Neelix while he puts a deep soup bowl, a flat plate and a golden drink crowned with white foam in front of Carey. “And for you, Mr. Carey, the spicy and thick pea soup, with freshly baked plum cake … and a glass of cool beer.”
Carey`s mouth opens and his jaw moves aside.
“Where did you hide that, Neelix? Can you imagine how long Baxter and I were looking for the bottles?”
“The last bottles are resting in a safe place where no one would discover them even if I were away for a whole year.”
Neelix takes the tray back with a smile on his face. “I hope everything tastes well!”
“That`s what it does, Neelix. Finally, again!” confirms Torres with a mouthful of potato salad.
While Neelix goes back to the kitchen, the casino door opens and Ceph appears on the ceiling. He discovers the three officers at their table and hurries to them with wide swings. He sits down on the fourth chair. His eyes curiously spread towards the three dishes and the drink. The open ends of three tentacles also turn to the steaming plates and pulsating movements of their ring muscles reveal that he is testing the smell. The end of a tentacle stabs Torres`s elbow. The elbow nudges back.
“I`m sure Neelix has prepared something for you too, Mr. Ceph.”
Slowly the snorkel of an arm approaches Torres`s soup plate. An out-stretched finger confronts it. The arm retracts from the table surface and the other two arms follow it.
Torres raises her head and an eyebrow and sniffs with an audible breath-ing noise and a slight twitching of her nostrils. She looks in different directions. Then she turns back to her soup.
Suddenly dozens of suction cups that were pressed against each other and then rapidly separated, snap like a battalion of castanets, while almost all of Ceph`s eye stalks jerk towards the large window on the board of the ship. Involuntarily, the three humanoids turn around at the table and follow Ceph`s gaze. They stare into the warp stripes of the stars passing by. Soon thereafter, one by one, the stalks leave the solidified orientation and swivel back to the room of the casino. There only two eyes had remained, in the middle of the crowd, barely a hand`s width extended from the body.
“What did he see?” asks Carey.
“Nothing important, I guess,” Torres presumes.
The three officers turn back to the table, where Ceph`s crowd of eyes has relaxed again and sways like sea anemones in a slight torrent, oriented across the casino room. Carey reaches for his glass.
“Oh, now the foam has collapsed,” he notes disappointedly.
“Maybe the glass wasn`t clean,” says Torres.
“But the level isn`t the same as before too!”
Torres looks at her plate.
“My soup -?”
Ten of Ceph`s eyes continue swinging as if moved by an undersea current that changes direction in slow vortices. All are directed across the room; none of this swarm looks at one of the other three guests at the table. Only the two eyes that are almost completely retracted into the body, while looking for cover as they are trying to hide behind the other stems, are peering at Carey and Torres. Carey`s face turns to the table edge, where the end of a snorkel just dives down. It is surrounded by a hem of white bubbles. The gap between Carey`s eyelids shrinks and a wrinkle forms between his brows.
Neelix appears. He places a tall glass bowl in front of Ceph. Its content shimmers pale green. The liquid has a gravel-like consistency, with tiny and dispersed bright bubbles.
“A very sincere welcome to my newest guest! I took the liberty of culinarily revising the medical prescription that the doctor gave me, in order to create an emulsion of seventeen Bolean fruits and oils for Mr. Ceph.”
A group of eyes is directed at Neelix, another bends downwards over the large glass. Neelix reaches for the empty plate at Torres`s place.
“Would you like some more lentil soup? There`s still enough left.”
“Gladly, Neelix! But please in another plate.”
“As you like,” Neelix replies with a puzzled look and sets out to leave when suddenly two tentacle tips trip on both sides above his hips.
“Hey – what is it –?”
He turns around. Ceph slurps the juice out of his glass loudly, and the eyeballs dance in circles on their stems. Carey and Torres laugh.
“Somebody`s giving you a big compliment, Neelix,” explains Carey.
Neelix bows to Ceph with a smile on his face.
“That makes me happy! But I must ask you not to compliment me while balancing a full tablet!”
Neelix knocks on a tentacle and leaves. Torres looks after him. Suddenly her nostrils start to move again, and she sniffingly turns her head in dif-ferent directions.
“What is it?” inquires Carey.
“Don`t you smell this?”
Carey snuffles briefly and shakes his head with two short buzzing sounds.
Torres`s eyes narrow. “I know this smell … now I recollect: Jenny Dela-nay uses this perfume; it`s the only way to distinguish her from her twin sister!”
“Maybe she was sitting at this table before us,” Carey replies.
He swings his glass until new foam has formed and takes a deep gulp. Seven has finished her soufflé and puts her fork near the plate. With a change in the coolness of her gaze she declares, “According to my sensory perception, this slightly volatile, olfactorily irritant substance has been brought here but recently.”
Torres`s eyes roam away from Seven wonderingly; their glance passes Carey, who wipes beer residues from his lips and bites off the plum cake without a care in the world. Reaching Ceph, Torres`s gaze comes to a standstill. He is holding his glass with a tentacle-arm slung around it tightly, while another arm dipped into it empties it, sucking and slurping. Torres`s mouth opens a little and her eyes widen. She turns back to Seven, who looks through the opposite window into the stars passing by.


Warp stripes of stars are welling from the center of the viewscreen on the bridge. An image is faded in on the right side of the screen. It shows schematically the Voyager and another ship. Both move along dotted lines towards an intercept point.
“They`ve seen us and went under warp, Captain,” reports Carey.
“Then we`ll do the same, Ensign Lang!”
“Aye, Captain.”
Lang touches controls on a helm display. On the screen, the stripe pat-tern of stars collapses to dots.
The lift opens. Squeaking and laughing, Neelix jumps out and Ceph follows him. Janeway gets up and turns around.
“What`s the matter, Mr. Neelix?”
“Excuse me, Captain, Mr. Ceph is testing my ticklishness.”
“You may continue this in your spare time. Now I need the services of the both of you.”
Neelix straightens up. He tries with all his facial muscles to counteract the laughing distortion of the tissue around his mouth, eyes, and ears and to give his face a serious look. He goes forward to the Captain. Ceph swings to the helm, where Lang rises and hands him over the navigation.
E-Bug transfers a zoomed-in image of the other ship on the viewscreen.
“Do you know this type, Neelix?”
He pinches his eyes together. “I`m not certain, … I don`t think so. We`ve already come a long way from my home.”
Janeway turns to the OPS station. “Seven, send hailing frequencies!”
“They answer, Captain.”
“On screen!”
A male humanoid body appears. His face is broad and fleshy; the eyes are narrow and seem curious; the upper lip is slightly raised as if to express contempt.
“I am Kathryn Janeway, Captain of the Federation Starship Voyager. We are in search of missing persons and would be grateful for any information on that matter.”
“I am Krrog of the Akrrung. We transport goods. No one knows this part of space better than we do!”
“Maybe we could get from you some maps and information about the species living in this area?”
On its elongating neck Krrog`s head stretches forward. He turns his face a little sideways. His eyes become narrower and his pupils smaller. In a lurking tone he answers, “That depends; you have to understand, we live on trading goods.”
Neelix plucks Janeway`s sleeve from aside and whispers: “Careful, Cap-tain!”
Janeway looks at him for a brief moment, then she returns to the Akrrung.
“We are willing to barter. I invite you as our guests. Then we can discuss the details.”
Goooood … that you want to negotiate! However, we basically do that on our ship.”
“All right. I`ll confer with my people and then beam over to you with one companion. – Janeway out!”
Krrog disappears from the screen.
“Captain, I don`t know these people personally,” declares Neelix with a worried face, “but I`ve heard of them. They trade with all kind of things and they actually get around a lot. But they are feared everywhere. It is reported that they intimidate their trading partners. And everyone they`re not afraid of gets the short end of the stick.”
“So, we must be careful then. We surely don`t want to be taken for a ride by them! Will you accompany me, Mr. Neelix?”
“Certainly, Captain!”
“Seven, keep us locked with the transporter! As soon as I give the order, get us back!”
“Aye, Captain,” Seven replies.
Janeway turns to the rear. “Come on, Neelix!”
They go to the lift.

On the bridge of the Akrrung ship four long necks stretch on top of four massive upper bodies to put four fleshy heads close together. They mur-mur and laugh as Janeway and Neelix suddenly materialize beside them. The four Akrrung twitch apart in surprise and look at the arrivals with glowing pupils. Krrog bows.
“Welcome Captain Janeway!”
Janeway nods briefly and points her hand next to her.
“This is my advisor, Mr. Neelix.”
Krrog bends in front of him, too, and points to the other three Akrrung.
“These are my brothers. Follow me into the negotiation room!”
Krrog goes ahead, Janeway and Neelix step after him. Krrog`s brothers stay behind. Krrog leads his two guests into an adjoining room. In its cen-ter he directs them to their seats. They sit down. The side walls of the room are made of strips of fire-red fabric hanging close together.
Krrog inquires, “It is our custom to consult our pets during negotiations. That`s all right with you, isn`t it?”
Janeway raises her hand and answers politely though surprised, “You are the hosts. We respect your customs.”
Krrog disappears through a wall of rustling, hanging down ribbon fabric. Janeway and Neelix look around. Except for four elevated seats – in front of them, to their left, to their right and behind them – the room contains no other objects.
Neelix bends his head to Janeway. “I don`t like it here, Captain.”
“Neither do I. We won`t be staying any longer than necessary.”
Suddenly, the wall hangings rustle on all four sides. Krrog and his three brothers appear. On chains, each of them carries a boar-sized, hyena-like creature with yellow-brown fangs. The four Akrrung take their seats in the elevated chairs around Janeway and Neelix; their pets settle down next to the Akrrung in an uninterestedly seeming peaceful pose.
Krrog, who sits centrally in front of Janeway and Neelix, opens the negotiation.
“So, you are interested in information about this sector. What do you have to offer in return?”
“We may give something away from our energy reserves: deuterium, antimatter -”
“Why should we need more energy?” shouts harshly the Akrrung sitting to the right of Janeway. His pet shows its teeth.
“We`ve got enough fuel ourselves!” chimes in the Akrrung behind Jane-way. She hears his pet growl behind her back. Neelix restlessly turns his head after it. Resolutely Janeway looks into Krrog`s eyes.
She demands: “I want you to first inform us what exactly you have to offer!”
Krrog grins. “We have a map showing all trading species within 130 light-years.”
“We also need information on a particular ship we are looking for.”
“If we reach an agreement, you`ll get all of the information we have on every ship you name. But we only know those we trade with.”
Janeway nods. “All right. And now tell me what you want for it.”
“The technique that allows you to transfer yourself to another place.”
“I regret. We are not allowed to pass it on.”
“Bad!” roars Krrog.
From all four sides, the pets jump towards Janeway and Neelix with snarling hisses. Immediately before they reach biting distance, they are being pulled back on their chains. With a grim look, Janeway turns to Krrog.
“I`m gonna think about your demand. In one hour from now we`ll meet in this room again!”
The expression of Krrog`s face turns into a scornful grin.
Janeway raises her head. “Seven – two persons for beaming!”
She and Neelix dematerialize.

The two appear on the pads of Voyager`s transporter room. Janeway immediately hurries to the exit while tapping at her communicator.
“Janeway to Torres! – Did you make the adjustments we talked about recently?”
“I just started; only two pieces have been finished yet, Captain,” Torres`s voice reports with surprise.
“That`ll be sufficient!”
Janeway disappears in the corridor.

The negotiating room of the Akrrung is abandoned. Suddenly the hanging ribbons forming the walls rustle. The four brothers push through with their pets and take their seats. Motionless and silent they sit waiting.
After a while, the ribbons move again. Janeway and Seven of Nine enter the room from two different sides. They occupy the two seats in the center. Both women are wearing Hirogen hunting armour. The Akrrung eject calls with surprise; their pets show their teeth and growl.
Krrog shouts, “Where did you get these armours?”
With a cold voice, Janeway answers, “From our prey. These are hunting trophies.”
“That`s hard to believe!”
All of a sudden Krrog`s pupils are targeting the metallic implants at Sev-en`s face.
“Is that a — Borg?”
“The Borg had assimilated her. We got her back from them.”
Krrog`s neck extends, and his head stretches forward suspiciously. His gaze wanders at Seven`s face down and up again.
With a distrustful voice, he muses. “Hirogen`s armours are made for giants, not for slim women!” He points to Seven. “And how do we know that this thing on her temple isn`t an imitation as well?” He pulls his head back retracting his neck and raises his upper body. “We`ll test your strength!”
The Akrrung hit the ground with the ends of their chains. The hyena-like pets jump successively as far as they can towards Janeway and Seven. At every attempt to reach them, they get more aggressive.
“Let them off, brothers!” Krrog roars.
Janeway snatches at her communicator. “Now, B`Elanna!”
Krrog`s pet is the first to jump forward, head-on towards Janeway. Thereby it collides with a black mass that materializes in front of her. Stunned and without realizing what is happening, it stands still and looks into three glowing, sickle-shaped eyes. Then a throat opens directly in front of the pet that shows huge shark teeth staring in several rows. From its standing position, the pet jumps backwards, smashes Krrog from his seat to the ground and disappears through the wall hangings. The other three pets follow in the same panic, with their chains whirling behind. Emitting a roaring hiss, the black mass throws itself at Krrog.
“B`Elanna, back!” shouts Janeway.
Half of Krrog`s head sticks in the shark-toothed throat already, as it dematerializes. Krrog wipes saliva and blood from the slit skin of his cheek and stares at Janeway in horror.
“A black —- Pandar!”
“Can we negotiate now?” Janeway inquires in an objective, business-like tone.

The casino door opens, and Naomi jumps in with an empty food can in her hand. Behind her follow Neelix and Baxter, who are pushing the dining car together. They place it near the entrance.
“See you tomorrow, Neelix!” Baxter calls.
“Thank you for your help, Mr. Baxter!”
Naomi puts the can on the counter.
“They ate everything we cooked for them — and they wanted even more!”
“The doctor`s food compositions certainly contained all kind of nutrients those beings need,” Neelix states. “But the way the doctor prepared it — it was bitter medicine.”
Naomi turns to the exit. “I got to go now, Neelix.” She sets up a stern look of significance and duty. “My work is waiting!”
“Gee – what are you working on?”
“I`m making plans so that the quarters of the caged beings will meet their needs better!”
“That`s a very good idea, Naomi! If you some need help, let me know.”
“I already have somebody to help me. But if we need someone else, I`ll tell you, Neelix,” she shouts while she walks out into the corridor.
Amazed, Neelix looks after her.

On the pads of the transporter room, Janeway and Seven return from the Akrrung. Torres is standing at the control panel.
“Good timing, B`Elanna!” praises Janeway.
“Did you hear anything about our people, Captain?”
“Not as much as we wished. Beam a container of deuterium to the Ak-rrung and four of our Hirogen hunting armor. See you in twenty minutes in the briefing room!”
“Aye, Captain.”

Naomi passes a junction of corridors. She hesitates. With an adventurous look, she turns around and walks into a side niche. She presses her ear against the closure of a Jefferies tube. A muffled, smacking sound pene-trates the wall. Naomi slowly and quietly turns the unlocking mechanism and carefully opens the flap.
Immediately behind the entrance, there is a spherical being that is cov-ered with bristles all around. Below it the edge of a bowl can be seen on which the being has settled in order to incorporate food. Its spherical body performs pulsating movements. Naomi carefully feels the bristles with her finger. The bristles in the vicinity of the touch immediately align towards the finger. Fine, moist fibers emerge from tiny tubes of the bristle tips and slowly swivel gathering scent molecules. The smacking sound ceases, and the pulsating movement stops. The fibers disappear in a flash. The next moment, with a quick deformation of its body, the spherical being jumps against Naomi`s face. She bounces backwards. Her head hits hard the opposite wall; unconscious she sinks to the ground. Jumping and rolling the ball-shaped creature vanishes into the depth of the tube meanwhile.

Sea waves crash against the grey rocks of a coastline without a sound. In a small lagoon between the rocks, the turbulent water calms down. Gentle waves run out on a white beach, which is surrounded inland by a high wall of rocks. The dark entrance of a cave yawns under its overhang.
Immediately next to the semicircle of the rocky lined bay lies a completely different world. Grassland abuts on bushy steppe, which quickly merges into a zone of sparsely set trees. Majestic boulders are lying scattered over all three zones; they are overgrown with moss in the shade of the trees, lichen speckled in the steppe and protrude as bare rocks in the prairie, interlaced with ochre-brown minerals.
Suddenly, a third world emerges from the darkness beyond the edge of the forest and is flooded with light. High bushy tufts of grass rise from sandy ground. Their population is so dense that the unobstructed view can penetrate only a few meters between stems, leaves and seed stalks swaying in a wind that is not audible.
Peri is working at a console on the holodeck with his front body erected. He makes adjustments on the displays with the fingers of all four hands. For a moment he turns his head to the entrance, as if expecting someone, and then continues his work. Part of the newly created sea of grass turns into a lake with reeds protruding from its shore. Once again Peri looks at the entrance gate. He activates his holocom and pulls Naomi`s icon into the center. He waits. The image does not change. No voice can be heard from the communicator. Peri opens the picture of a cuboid, from which numerous flat isolinear chips protrude. He pushes it over Naomi`s portrait.
The voice of the computer reports, “Naomi Wildman is at the entrance of Jefferies tube 14.”
At the same time, a section of Voyager`s corridor plan appears in the hologram. A red dot blinks inside. Hastily, Peri closes his holocom. He lowers his front segments to the ground and leaves the holodeck through the sliding gate at a rapid pace. In flowing, undulating movement his pairs of legs carry him through the corridors. Several times humanoid crew members evade him. Finally, Peri arrives at the niche where Naomi unconsciously lies on the floor. Peri nudges her shoulder. She does not move. He quickly opens the holocom and pushes Naomi`s icon over a symbol showing an object that repeatedly alternates between transparency and visibility. Peri moves the two overlaid pictorial elements to a little house symbol with a large window out of which the doctor`s face broadly smiles.
The voice of a crewman reports, “Understood, Mr. Peri!”
A moment later Naomi dematerializes.
Peri turns his head to the open hatch of the Jefferies tube. He motionlessly looks at a bowl that contains relics of nourishment. Then he turns around and disappears into the corridor.

With her eyes closed, Naomi lies on a bed in sickbay. The doctor scans her face, which shows many fine scratches. Then he turns her sideways by the shoulder and treats a laceration on Naomi`s back of the head.
Mrs. Wildman hurries through the entrance of sickbay up to her daugh-ter`s bed. Immediately behind follows Janeway.
“What happened, Doctor?”
“I suspect something hit her in the face. As a result, her head hit either a wall or the floor.”
“Is it bad?” Mrs. Wildman inquires worriedly.
“I did not detect any fractures … just a slight concussion.”
Janeway frowns. “Doctor, is it possible that she was attacked?”
“I can`t tell at this stage of the examination.”
“Where was she found?”
He points to the sickbed in front of him. “Here at this point. I saw her being transported here.”
The door opens. Peri comes in. He goes to the sickbed and reaches up next to Naomi. Mrs. Wildman squeezes in between.
“Go away! Leave my daughter alone!”
Peri moves to the side. Janeway raises her head.
“Captain to transporter room! – When was Naomi Wildman`s transport activated?”
“Four minutes ago, Captain!” reports the voice of the officer on duty. “It was an internal site-to-site transport.”
“Who authorized it?”
“Mr. Peri, ma`am!”
Mrs. Wildman pushes Peri further away. “He attacked my daughter!”
Janeway doubtfully lifts a brow. “Doctor, could the injuries have been caused by Mr. Peri?”
“Certainly not in a direct way; nothing on his anatomy matches with the wounds.”
Janeway turns to Naomi`s mother. “Mrs. Wildman, we don`t know what happened to Naomi. All we know is that Mr. Peri brought her here as fast as he could.”
Peri lowers to the ground; he turns around and leaves sickbay. Janeway looks after him. Then she watches the doctor who makes an injection at Naomi`s neck.
“She should regain consciousness soon. Then everything will certainly clear up. Until then, strict rest is prescribed!”
Mrs. Wildman kneels beside the sickbed. Janeway puts her hand on her shoulder.
“Let`s wait until Naomi tells us what happened!”

In the conference room Torres, Carey, Seven, and Neelix are sitting in a cheerful mood around the meeting table.
Torres tells, “Immediately after I beamed over our trade equivalents, they went to warp!”
Laughing, Carey scratches his belly. “I`m sure they`ve rarely been so happy to finish a trade! I would have liked to see their faces!”
Neelix lifts his index finger with a smile. “But then you wouldn`t have been spared from looking into the slaver-drooling throats of their pets at first!”
Torres turns to Seven. “That pet that attacked the captain, … how did it react when the Pandar showed up?”
Seven responds with the usual humorless coolness of her gaze, but with a somewhat pointed sound: “It displayed … surprise.”
Carey`s jaws wander left and right laughing. The door opens and the laughter quickly subsides. Janeway comes in. She raises her eyebrow.
“I see you already know some of the details of our negotiations with the Akrrung.”
Seven informs her, “I merely described the effect of our transporter technology, Captain.”
“All right, Seven, so for me there is nothing left but to sum-marize the sober result of our trade.”
Janeway activates a star map on the room`s monitor.
“The Akrrung handed us this set of maps. It contains all planets and spe-cies within a radius of more than a hundred light-years, where the Ak-rrung have trading relations.”
Many dots of different colors light up on the map.
“As you can see, the population density in this area is amazingly high.”
Janeway touches one of the dots. A list appears next to it.
“There are also peculiarities noted concerning the civilizations living on the various planets, but mostly restricted to characteristics that are im-portant with respect to the special negotiation technique of the Akrrung.
Torres asks impatiently, “Did they know anything about our people?”
“They also trade with the Hirogen, but only when they meet them by chance, as the Hirogen live as nomads. Krrog gave a hint that the tribe that attacked us was selling prey they considered unworthy for hunting at a special place where living creatures were traded. However, he could not or would not reveal where that place is. Even when I offered him all the armour we had and part of our dilithium, he gave no information.”
Torres`s eyelids contract suspiciously. “Do the Akrrung also trade with living goods?”
“At least not the ones we met,” declares Seven. “Mr. E-Bug`s scan only found Akrrung life signs on their ship.”
The doctor`s voice calls, “Sickbay to Captain!”
“Go ahead, Doctor!” Janeway asks.

In sickbay, the doctor is standing next to Naomi`s bedside. She`s up on her elbows. The doctor`s face shows wrinkles of weariness.
“I`m afraid it was my mistake, Captain. I had allowed Naomi to accompany Mr. Baxter and me for the distribution of food to the alien beings. That`s why she knew the Jefferies tube where we put rations in. When she opened the tube, Naomi surprised and startled one of the beings while eating. It may have felt attacked and hit at her.”

Janeway`s gaze is directed to the star map of the Akrrung.
“Understood, Doctor. – Janeway out.”
“Captain, I distributed the food today,” confesses Neelix excitedly. “I had allowed her to accompany me -”
“She`s already better now, Mr. Neelix.” Janeway looks around. “We definitely have a problem in our tubes and tween-decks we should have solved long since!” Her eyes meet Torres. “But there was one thing of concrete value, though, that the Akrrung told us. We now know the coordinates of the home planet of the Black Pandar! With Warp 8 we`ll be there in two days.”

Like a wet strand of hair, the tuft of long shoots of a feathered plant hangs down from the overhang of a rock. A fine jet of water trickles out of the interwoven tuft. In free fall it fragments to individual drops that splash into the middle of a pond. Dead leaves floating in the water are lifted and lowered, sway and rotate on the circular rings of the waves triggered by the drops. Highly arched at their edges the leaves look like small boats. Around the bank, reeds rise knee-high from the water with bright blue seed stalks at the upper ends. The color of the pointed leaves begins dark green on the reed stem and turns orange towards the tips in continuous alternation.
There is a mound near the pond. It is overgrown by variably sized islands of luminescent turquoise moss. In a helical serpentine, a narrow path spirals upwards. Along its way, openings lead into the interior of the hol-lowed hill.
From the plant-covered ground a gneiss grey boulder stretches over the edge of the pond. On its top, Peri has settled all along. His two big dra-gonfly eyes are motionlessly looking down over the edge of the rock, where wilted leaves are wavering on water ripples.
The portal of the holodeck opens in the blue-green, luscious flora behind Peri. The silhouette of a humanoid stands against the bright background of the corridor. She hesitates to enter. Finally, she takes a few steps into the room. The portal closes behind her. As if in great tiredness, Peri turns his head a little sideways. His holocom pops up. Immediately afterwards the substance of the boulder dissolves from top to bottom and settles Peri on the ground. The holoworld disappears. Without moving, the two persons are standing in the bare room for a while.
“Computer, share holodeck. Left part: Activate program Janeway 2.”
The autumnal landscape of a park appears. Individually scattered, half-grown trees stand in front of a calm lake with a bench on the shore. The lawn around is thickly covered with autumn leaves of red, orange and yellow-brown colors.
“Lock holodeck access from outside.”
As Janeway moves into the park, her uniform transforms into a brown striped autumn dress. Wind comes up. Ankle-deep, her feet plough through the thick layer of leaves. From the other side a man enters the picture, also approaching the bench on the shore. Swirling, the wind lifts the leaves up into the air and plunges the two figures and the landscape into a colorful shimmer. A young dog following a whirling round-about of leaves abandons it and jumpingly rushes back and forth between the two humanoids. From two sides they settle on the bench, facing the lake. The dog sits next to them. While she strokes her hand through its ragged, brown fur, the man`s arm lies around her shoulder. She lowers her head sideways and loses her gaze in the vastness of the lake.
In the dark half of the holodeck, beyond this picture, the matt shine of two faceted eyes shimmers. A holocom lights up. Then, next to the au-tumnal park, the turquoise fauna, pond and boulder reappear, where Peri settles looking down to the leaves dancing on the water.


Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.