“Accretion Disk”

Stardate 73425.6; June 04, 2396


Episode 34


Written by Chris Adamek












Two pages.


In the entire Tome of Na’zar, the Phobians were allotted a meager two pages.  To make matters worse, they weren’t even full pages.  An in depth analysis of a neutron star in the Cursailan Sector spilled over onto one of the pages, and an encounter with an Iconian Raider was at the end of the other. 


Still, those two pages served as the only known documentation of the Phobian Republic, and Bator wasn’t about to complain about its existence.  It answered a lot of questions, cleared up a lot of mysteries, but in the end, it failed to address the real issues, much as his visions had several weeks prior…  Why were the aliens known as Species 8472 attacking the Phobians?  Why were the Phobians attempting to fight back from the Alpha Quadrant?  What did they intend to do with the bioships they had acquired?


No, Na’zar chose not to answer such questions.  Instead, his entries focused primarily on his direct observations of the Phobians.  What they looked like, how they interacted, religious customs he gleaned from his short stay on Aurillac VII…  Most of which Bator was already familiar with—hence his disappointment with the revered tome.


Still, there was a wealth of data in the sacred text, and though some four months had passed since it was passed on to him from Talyere, Bator had only begun to look at that supplemental data.  Up until now, his primary concern had been the Phobians.  But since it was clear that the Phobians were given no more than two lousy pages, Bator decided that on this night, he would look for some of the other answers held inside the book.  Perhaps he could find a weakness in the Elorg ships… something Talyere decided not to include in his report to Starfleet.


But as he turned through the thick, yellowed pages of the tome, Bator slowly realized how thorough Talyere had been in his efforts a year ago.  The Elorg had included almost everything in his report to Starfleet.  The chances of Bator finding something new in that particular front was remote—and even if he did find something, it would most likely be of little use.


And so, Bator simply decided to browse. 


Not that browsing through the archaic Elorg text was an easy task.  Not in the slightest.  Bator found himself looking more at the picture than the words, simply because they were easier to understand.  Not until he found something interesting did he bother to translate the text into something a bit more readable.  Perhaps next time, Talyere would provide a translated version…


Still, the pictures were tantalizing indeed.  Na’zar was quite the artist.  Throughout the text, Bator found himself enthralled by highly detailed diagrams on a plethora of items, ranging from alien landscapes and starships to spatial anomalies and other interstellar phenomenon.


But as he flipped through the pages, one particular diagram caught his attention.  At first, he wasn’t sure what it was.  A plant?  An insect?  Whatever it was, it was dark in color, looking something like a giant spider.  Unfortunately, the captions around the diagram were faded, and most of the article was written with words Bator could not easily translate.


Even so, it looked like an entry that could prove most interesting, but only drawback being, much like the Phobians, Na’zar was brief in his descriptions of the shady wraith.  In fact, Na’zar provided only a little more than a page of information, and from what Bator could glean, most of it was sketchy at best.  Apparently, Na’zar had a knack for leaving out the good stuff…


Not wanting to tackle such a translation task so late at night, Bator removed his bookmark from the back of the tome, where the Phobian encounters took place, and placed the marker in its new spot up in front by the strange diagram.  He would simply have to get the entire story after tomorrow’s duty shift.  For now, bed was his primary concern…




If Kendall Johnson had been allowed one word to describe his day, without a doubt, he would choose the word “long.”  And if he were allotted two words, they would be “dreadfully long,” for it seemed as if he were on the duty shift that would not die.  For each minute that passed, Kendall could have sworn that five or more minutes should have been logged.  To make matters worse, it seemed that for each sensor analysis he completed, two more would appear on his desk within the next five minutes, effectively lengthening his stay in the science lab until every last report was finished.


Indeed, dreadfully long would not even do this day justice.  Kendall just wanted it to end, so he could get away from the science lab and back to his quarters in his cozy, warm bed.  Even from the science lab, he could hear it calling his name… Dreamland was just minutes away…


The only thing standing before it was a report on the solar mass ejection in the Delta Adru System.  When he picked up the PADD with the report on it, Kendall was glad to see it was a very brief report, outlining the ejection with simple, yet eloquent detail.  Just enough for Starfleet, but not enough to put Kendall to sleep.  He read through the report with ease, put his seal of approval on it, and sent it on its way to Starfleet Command for them to look at. 


And then, Kendall expelled a long sigh of relief.  His desk was free of any new reports to look at…he was free to go.


And he did so without any hesitation, out of fear that some young ensign could pop into his office with another one at any moment.  Quickly, Kendall barged through his office doors and into the main science lab.  The illumination was low to indicate the night shift had begun, but there were still three or four people in there hard at work on one project or another.  Kendall was certain he would see the report soon enough.


But not tonight.  He turned on his heel and made his way for the doors—but he got no further than that.


A sensor alert.


“Now what!?” he demanded.


An ensign at the nearest station pointed to a small, anomalous blip on her screen.  Kendall approached and gazed at her data.  The flashing red triangle indicated something was out there, but as Kendall placed it under a bit of scrutiny, he wasn’t so sure.  “It’s just high concentrations of background radiation,” he assured the Ensign.  “I’ll make a report of it before I go to bed.”


With that said, Kendall cleared the alert from sensors, and did just that—retreated to his quarters, made a brief report on the blip, and went straight to bed.


Sleep…glorious sleep overcame him immediately…




Proceed to Chapter One

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