“Sodom and Gomorrah”
Stardate 74677.8; September 05, 2397
Written by Chris Adamek
The definition of ‘home’ was a curious one. It varied from culture to culture—and in many cases, from person to person. The Vulcans defined ‘home’ as a simple structure erected for the sole purpose of habitation. Humans, on the other hand, tended to believe “home is where the heart is”—be it a simple structure erected for habitation, or another location filled with sentimental value. But for Overseer Xi'Yor, home was the interrogation chamber—and as he stood in the dimly lit fringes of the room, he knew it had been far too long since his last voyage home.
His pulse quickened at the very prospect of an interrogation, and as he approached the circle of light in the center of the room, the Overseer’s ashen lips slowly curved upward. A grayish-brown skinned alien was seated in the brazen metallic chair—and he was ripe for conquest.
Xi'Yor slowly approached the periphery of the luminous spotlight and flashed his subject a devious grin. The alien’s beady black eyes wavered for only a moment before assuming an almost uncanny sense of calm. Words attempted to escape the alien’s beak-like snout, but as he began to speak, the lexis immediately trailed off. His scaly head bobbled on his long neck for a moment before he raised a clawed fist to brush aside the perspiration beaded on his feathered brow.
“What is your designation?” Xi'Yor inquired, still looming at the threshold of the light.
The alien’s eyes focused on Xi'Yor’s position. “Tzudan,” he whispered in a throaty voice. “Tracker Tzudan.”
Considering the alien’s appearance, Xi'Yor had not expected cooperation—but he was not about to complain. It would simply allow him to proceed to the more interesting phase of the interrogation with due haste. “Where are you from?”
“The Zukara Segment.” Tzudan’s gaze lingered on Xi'Yor for only a moment longer before wandering a few meters to the Overseer’s left. As he peered into the shady darkness, he said, “Identify yourself—and your friend.”
It was rare occasion for any overseer to interrogate such a boisterous prisoner—and in the aftermath of Xi'Yor’s splendid sessions with Alan Christopher several months ago, the last thing the Overseer expected to find in his coveted chair was another miscreant. Fortune appeared to be on his side.
Grinning, Xi'Yor slowly stepped into the sultry ring of light and lowered himself to Tzudan’s eye-level. “I am the one making demands tonight, Tracker Tzudan. If you value your pathetic life, I suggest you keep that in mind.”
Tzudan slowly turned his head away from Xi'Yor and sighed wearily, as if the interrogation were a waste of the pitiable Tracker’s mind—or something similar. But whatever the case, it was of little concern to Xi'Yor. The Overseer stared at the alien’s pointy ear for only a moment before striking it with his fist.
The blow immediately sent Tzudan’s head on an intercept course with the back of the chair, causing a satisfying CLANK upon impact—the crack of a skull, perhaps? Xi'Yor could only hope… Tzudan held his head still for a long moment before turning back to Xi'Yor. Pasty white blood trickled from a small gash on his temple (only a small gash), and anger welled in his deep obsidian eyes—but he made no further attempt to defy Xi'Yor—and the Overseer nodded approvingly. The damage would suffice.
“Now,” said Xi'Yor softly, “I am interested in hearing about this… Zukara Segment. Perhaps you would like to share some of your thoughts?”
Tzudan clenched his jaw. “I would not,” he hissed.
And with that act of defiance, Xi'Yor suddenly found himself wondering exactly how much force it would take to crack Tzudan’s skull. He immediately moved to strike the alien again, but as he pulled his arm back into position, he felt a hand firmly grab his wrist. “That is enough, Xi'Yor.”
It was Administrator Zalsar—Xi'Yor’s “friend.” In reality, Xi'Yor had little affinity for Zalsar. The pedantic fool served as an aide to the deplorable Cerebrate Z’danorax during the war, and in its aftermath, was granted permission to construct and direct the first new Elorg colony in the former Breen territories. Perhaps most distressing, Zalsar was favored by the Federation. In Xi'Yor’s opinion, Zalsar was a disgrace to the entire Bloc…
Zalsar held his hand firmly around Xi'Yor’s wrist for only a moment longer before letting go. The moment he was free, Xi'Yor considered following through with his assault on Tzudan, but better judgment quickly prevailed. Zalsar might have been a fool, but he was also an ally, and in these times of uncertainty, Overseer Xi'Yor needed all the allies he could get.
Slowly, he turned to Zalsar and feigned a pleasant smile. “Such violence is premature,” he lied.
Suddenly, the door chimed, and a distant sliver of light immediately sliced through the prevailing sea of darkness. The doors steadily widened amidst a mechanical cacophony, and when they finally grinded to a halt, a shady figure stood in the doorway. “The Starlight and the Endeavor are in orbit,” came the voice of Talyere Rosat a scant moment later.
Though he was still adjusting to his newfound alliance with Talyere, Xi'Yor grinned at the very mention of the Starlight. His mind raced with horrific visions of the garbage scow’s destruction—and of its Captain, Alan Christopher—for he knew that when the day of reckoning was at hand, the Elorg Bloc would finally prevail.
“Is Captain Landsberg ready for our meeting?” asked Zalsar a moment later.
Talyere nodded agreeably. “Indeed. Gul Rinak is also present. There is much to discuss.”
Xi'Yor scoffed at the sentiment. Discussion. With the Federation. Pathetic. “There is only one possible outcome,” he seethed, “the destruction of the Federation and—Na’zar willing—it will fall.”
Zalsar turned to him. “Yes,” he said forcefully, “but before we can take any action, we must reassert ourselves as a galactic power. And that requires cooperation with the Federation.”
Of course it did. Xi'Yor knew that better than anyone else—he was simply eager to fulfill his destiny as supreme leader of the true Elorg Bloc. “We will continue the interrogation… this afternoon,” he said to Tzudan before making his way toward the exit.
Administrator Zalsar stood in observation of the prisoner for a moment, and then retraced Xi'Yor’s path to the exit. The doors clamored shut behind Zalsar as the trio entered the corridor. They negotiated a few nondescript gray corridors in silence before Talyere fell into step alongside Zalsar.
“I have never seen an alien like that before,” he admitted to the Administrator. “Where did you find him?”
“He says he’s from the Zukara Segment,” Xi'Yor proffered.
Zalsar nodded. “But an Elorg scout ship intercepted his vessel in the Zhargosia Sector. It is currently being examined at our clandestine base on Barona Prime.”
Talyere paused, and cast a curious gaze upon Zalsar. “The Zhargosia Sector?” he repeated, the words rolling from his tongue like poison. “I have heard many rumors about Zhargosia…”
Both Xi'Yor and Zalsar looked on with interest.
“Over the past several months, several starships have been lost in the Zhargosia Sector: Klingon, Federation, Elorg… And nobody knows why. Though I do not wish to make a hasty generalization, the sudden appearance of this alien from the… Zukara Segment has me unsettled to say the least.”
Zalsar nodded knowingly. “A statement recently issued by Overseer Val’tarr indicated the alien vessel possessed highly advanced technology. Though we do not believe them superior to the Elorg Bloc, your unsettled temperament is certainly warranted. One of our long-range probes has detected three additional alien vessels in the past week.”
“All of them near the Zhargosia Sector,” Xi'Yor added. He led the group around through an intersection and then down a few nondescript corridors before slowing to halt very near a large set of guarded doors.
Zalsar immediately turned to the bulky Protector on the right. “Has Administrator Fel’duin arrived yet?”
The Protector nodded. “Yes. She is inside with our… guests.”
“Very good,” Zalsar replied.
Xi'Yor very much wanted to enter the meeting with Zalsar, but he knew that would be impossible. If Christopher or Landsberg… or even Gul Rinak spotted him, Xi'Yor knew he would be apprehended with due haste—an action that would effectively bring any hopes of a new Elorg Bloc to an end. Thus, the Overseer cast an indolent nod in Zalsar’s direction. “I will expect a complete analysis upon the meeting’s conclusion.”
“And you shall have one,” Zalsar assured him. And on that note, he turned on his heel and strode into the conference lounge to begin plotting the resurrection of the Elorg Bloc…