Xenomorph - 1993
Star Trek: TNG - Lost and Gorn - L Alderson
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Star Trek: The Next Generation - Lost and Gorn

A New Novella by Humphreyetta Henderson

AUTHOR'S INIRODUCTION (Or all the things about my school days and other useless pieces of information you didn't want to know - like why I wrote this story and all the people who contributed.)

I have read many Star Trek novels and they have never done any justice to the intercrew relationships: Riker never gets it together with Troi and what of Captain Kirk and Mister Spock? (well perhaps if it had been somewhere else or some time else but...) So I decided to right this wrong myself. It was only when I was halfway through that I realised my quest was pointless, so I rewrote and ended up with the story you see below. My very first story. If you treat it like my very first story, then perhaps you will be able to forgive the fact that it's crap!

Thanks to Humphrey for all his love and Gav the man for the Gorn idea.

love Humphreyetta

Lost and Gorn

Captains log Stardate 024.36.1: The Enterprise has been called away from its routine exploratory mission and is now en route to the system bordering Gorn space. The Gorn, a warlike species, have not entered Federation space for two centuries until now. Our mission is to investigate reports of new activity along the border.

Picard stood gazing out of his ready room window at the steady stream of the passing stars.

Well No I,' he turned to face his first officer, 'any comments ?'

William T. Riker, first officer of the Galaxy class starship Enterprise, glanced at the android Data sat next to him and then returned his grim gaze to the Captain. The Gorn have not been heard from in 100 years, not since we made a tentative peace treaty with them in the 23rd century! The Federation has been monitoring this system ever since. There has been no contact of any sort since then. It was reported that they were otherwise engaged in a battle along their border with the neighbouring star system of the Hive. Why would there be any trouble now?'

'I don't know Will, but I do know that we cannot allow an outbreak of war in this sector. The Federation is in a difficult enough position with the Klingon high council. It would not profit from new border scuffles. This is a delicate situation we find ourselves in, indeed we are here to prevent anything potentially damaging to the Federation from occurring.'

'If I may, sir,' Data ventured.

'Go ahead Lieutenant.'

The Gorn are known to have been on a technological par with the Federation. If we assume that they have continued to advance their culture as we have, then we will he confronting an enemy with weapons capability almost equal to our own. Doe caution is necessary.'

'So noted. However, until we know more about the incursion may I suggest that we abandon further speculation until such time as we have more information? No 1, you and Counsellor Troi will be responsible for finding out about the Gorn culture. Data, I want you to talk to Geordi about your theories on Gorn technological advances. If we are walking into a battle I want to be prepared!'

The wind howled across the wasteland. She stood, her dark hair flying from her serene face. The planet was barren, almost dead. But not quite. She knew it was out there, somewhere, she could sense it, another entity, in pain, needing her help, but not knowing she was there, not able to guide her. A familiar essence, almost too familiar......

'Imzadi?' she thought..... Not It had been a long time since ... and yet...

'Yes?'

The reply startled her, echoing in her mind. For the first time in an hour she spoke. 'End simulation'

The familiar grid of the holodeck materialised around Counsellor Troi. The entity wasn't supposed to be conscious, she thought, the whole point of the program was to enhance and practice her skills, attempting to improve her telepathy, something her human half wasn't good at. She would have to get Geordi to reprogram the scene for her. Then she started as the voice in her mind spoke again.

'Deanna?'

'Will,' she whispered. She turned as the door to the holodeck slid open. Riker stood in the doorway, the light pouring in from behind him, framing his powerful shoulders. He had become stouter, she thought amusedly as she moved to meet him in the arch, more burdened than when she had first known him, when they had ...

'Still reaching for your lost entity?' he inquired jovially.

'Hmm! The only entity I appear to have found was not lost l' she retorted.

They strolled briskly to the turbo lift and got in.

'Bridge,' Riker told the lift and then tuned to Deanna. 'What do you know about the Gorn?'

Very little; when last encountered they were considered a dangerous and warlike species, similar in nature to the Klingons of a century ago. They are not as proud as the Klingons and are often very sly. They like to bend the rules. Why do you ask?'

'A Gorn ship has entered Federation space. The Captain wants us to determine possible motives for their sudden appearance.'

'Perhaps Worf could be of some help. His warrior instinct may help in our investigations.'

You're right, of course,' Riker agreed.

'I'm always right!' she laughed.

Riker missed that laugh. If only they had been somewhere different. But still, ship's life wasn't too bad, it had its moments. He certainly recalled the perks of the job !!

'Riker to Worf,' he reached for his communicator.

'Worf here, sir,' came the gruff reply.

'Worf, can you meet us on the bridge, we'd like your input on a little problem we have.'

'Certainly Commander. Worf out.'

'Always one for pleasantries,' said Deanna smiling and of course - she was right.

Picard paced the bridge. He did not like being thrown into situations without knowing just what that situation was, although he was the first to admit that he liked a good challenge. His encounters with the entity Q had, however, curbed some of his enthusiasm!

'Nearing the border now Captain,' announced Data.

'Any sign of activity Lieutenant?'

'None sir. It would seem as if they left of their own accord.'

'Could they have achieved cloaking technology?'

'It is possible; if their development is parallel to our own then it is quite likely.'

'What do we know of this system? Could a cloaked ship be hiding beyond one of its planets?' asked Picard.

'This system only has one planet, although it is a binary star system,' said Data. 'However, because of the binary star, the planet has gravitational anomalies. It is possible for an uncloaked ship to escape our detection by hiding in orbit.'

'Humph! Lieutenant La Forge,' he tuned to the chief engineer, 'can you trace their direction of travel in any way?'

'Well, our sensors are detecting what could be their ion trail leading towards that planet, Captain. Data could be right about their hiding around the planet, though. I can't get a fix on their last position, that field is playing havoc with those readings.'

'Why would the Gorn be interested in that planet? They've never been known to show interest in an uninhabited planet before,' said Picard, then thought to himself, 'Only the occupied ones! I wonder if Will has come up with anything?' He slapped his communicator. 'Picard to Commander Riker.'

'Riker here, Captain.'

'No. 1, have you or counsellor Troi been able to determine a reason for the Gorn presence?'

'Not as yet sir. There isn't much to go on.'

'It would seem that they have an interest in the planet below, does this have any significance on your research?'

'Colonisation? I didn't think that was the Gorns' style.'

'It's only a possibility. Keep me posted on your progress, Picard out.'

The Enterprise hung majestically above the planet's surface, a surface of turbulent weather and vast bodies of water. Picard viewed the scene before him.

'Can we detect anything from here?'

'Not yet sir... wait, I've got a reading... yes, a ship in orbit around the planet,' said Geordi.

'Open hailing frequencies,' Picard barked to his security officer.

'Hailing frequencies open Captain,' Worf replied. He had not had a good day. Counsellor Troi had been questioning him on battle tactics. He had meant no offence by his replies, but they had been rather terse. Any warrior would have laughed at his simplified explanations - 'layman's terms'. And to be compared to a race of people who had no pride!! Still, he was a Starfleet officer and proud to do his duty to the full.

'This is Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Federation starship Enterprise,' began the Captain. 'Please identify yourself and state your reasons for entering Federation territory.'

'No reply Captain, it is possible that the universal translator cannot translate to their language. The aliens are receiving this message however.'

'Thank you Worf.' The Captain frowned, not for the first time that day. 'Are there any life signs on the ship?'

'I can't detect anyone on board Captain,' said Geordi, 'but the interference is probably not helping. The ship does have its shield up, it doesn't make sense.'

Picard thought for a moment. 'Picard to Riker.' He hit the communications device on his breast.

'Riker here.'

'I want to meet you and Counsellor Troi in the briefing room in ten minutes. Picard out,' then he turned to me rest of his bridge crew, 'Lieutenant La Forge, Data, you're with me. Worf you have the bridge.'

'Sir! ' replied Worf, glad not to bc included in the discussions concerning the honourless race.

Riker and Troi were the last to enter the room, the others already sat in their places around the briefing room table.

'No. 1, have you found anything of use yet?'

'No, all we know is that the Gorn have no respect for other species and that they haven't been seen in a long time. In other words, little more than we knew before!'

'Data, can you briefly summarise our situation?'

'Yes, Sir, I can. Without whittering, babbling or general superfluosity I will make a short statement concerning our position. I have noticed that humans are irritated by -'

Data, you're babbling!'

'I am Sir?' The point, Data, get to the point,' said Riker, who as usual was amused by his friend's constant striving towards humanity. At any other time it would be funny, but now...

'The point? Yes sir. A heavily armed, but damaged ship has entered orbit around the planet below us, but it seems empty of life. We cannot beam over to the ship since it has full shields raised. But as far as we can tell there is no-one on board.'

'Could this be a drone ship?' asked Riker.

'Unlikely Commander,' replied La Forge. 'Although technologically more advanced than its predecessor, this ship is undoubtedly designed to carry a large number of its owners. It's possible that the ship has an auto pilot of some form, but it's unlikely.'

'Could the crew have transported to the planet?'

'Sensor arrays detect what could be a single life form down there, but I can't pinpoint it. If it's real then it probably came from that ship.'

'In that case I want an away team sent down to the planet. No. 1, beam down with a security detail and see if you can find out just why the Gorn chose this particular planet to appear on.'

'Yes sir. Counsellor, Data you're with me. Well take Worf and his team with us. We can do a much better search from the planets surface.'

'Good luck No. l.'

'Thank you sir.' He motioned to Troi, ' Deanna?'

She rose to follow his already departing form.

The away team materialised in a howling gale, the wind sweeping dust into their eyes. Deanna screamed and collapsed. Worf rushed to her side. Counsellor are you well?' he inquired, concern replacing his normally stem features.

'Pain, ' she murmured, 'such pain.'

'Control,' shouted Riker above the raging winds. He knew what she was going through and that if she had the strength to put her mental barriers up, she could shield herself from the onslaught of sudden strong emotions.

Gradually, she raised her head and stood. The security team were scanning the horizons under Worf's competent direction.

'Alright?' asked Riker.

She nodded, 'The Gorn: he's here, but he's badly hurt, dying, so alone.'

'Can you find him? Worf says their detectors are no good down here.'

'I'll try.' She stood, eyes closed, giving a concentrated effort as she slowly dropped her barriers.

'I can sense him, he's in such pain, he's so faint, fading all the time.'

'Keep trying, be patient,' Riker gently encouraged her, he knew that the half Betazoid had difficulty using her mother's native skills, her human half causing her what would be blindness to a true Betazoid. Despite her patience with others, for herself she had none. He watched her, concerned as the wind buffeted her slight frame, her face twisting first in concentration, then in pain.

'I've found him,' she whispered, raising her arm, 'over there.' She sagged.

'Worf,' Riker shouted, 'Try over there.'

The team marched against the wind, Deanna recovering and picking up speed as she felt his presence nearing. The security team spread out in a search pattern ahead. One shouted; they had found the Gorn. The lizard like alien didn't attack, it was in no state to. Although humanoid, the creature had a long spiked tad, which was obviously badly damaged and a large gash glared from its bald head.

'We have to get him to sickbay,' said Riker.

'Worf to transporter room, standby to beam up away team plus 1. Have sickbay standby.'

'Enterprise here. Energising.' The away team shimmered into nothingness.

Doctor Crusher ran her scanner over the alien's body once more frowning, unable to make sense of its readings. There was something wrong. There were superfcial wounds, painful but not dangerous, and one very bad wound, loosing a lot of blood, but what sort of blood? She could only wait for the computer diagnosis to come through and then match some from the cellular preparations she had banked in sickbay. She was more worried about the swelling on the creature's arm. It was large but had no apparent structure. She could only hope it wasn't malignant.

'I don't know if I can help him. I can heal the wounds and, provided the computer can give me the correct structure, I can replace the blood he'd lost. It's the swelling that worries me, it doesn't seem related to be rest of his injuries.'

Picard looked disgruntled.

'Doctor, I need him alive if at all possible,' he said quietly. The doctor turned to frown at him, she didn't let her patients die without a fight. The computer signalled that its analysis was complete and she turned back to the screen.

'Silicon II' she exclaimed.

'Bad news?' inquired Picard.

'No, it's just that instead of iron, he has a silicon base to his haemoglobin!'

'He will recover?'

'Yes, he will now. Hell be disorientated when he wakes, I think Troi should be here. I believe the universal translator can't handle his dialect?'

'No, it can't, but I believe Lieutenant Data may be able to help,' he reached for his communicator, 'Picard to Counsellor Troi'

'Troi here Captain,' the reply was swift.

'Could you join us in sickbay please.'

'Is the alien recovering?'

'Yes, we require your assistance in calming him when he regains consciousness.'

'On my way sir, Troi out.'

'Picard to Data'

Yes sir, Data here.'

'Data, I need you in sickbay. You have some experience in transitional work I believe'?

'Indeed sir. I have extensive knowledge of the structure of languages and can speak many dialects without the aid of a universal translator.'

'Good, we can't use the translator to talk to the Gorn and I need some questions answered before it can be adapted.'

'I will join you immediately, Data out.'

Picard looked at the patient, who appeared to be visibly better. Beverley had been busily going about her business while Picard had been summoning his officers.

'Doctor, how long before your patient wakes up?', he inquired.

'He should be stirring quite soon', she turned to him, 'and he will need plenty of rest, and lots of space!'

'Message understood Doctor.' Picard often bore the brunt of her teasing and the more he reacted, the more she enjoyed it. Of course he found it difficult not to react to her anyway. He left, greeting Deanna who was just entering and calling back, 'Let me know of any developments Doctor.'

Beverley smiled at the Counsellor who returned it with a twinkle in her eye.

'Deanna, I need to keep him calm. He will regain consciousness very soon and will be quite disorientated.'

As she spoke, the alien began to stir, then thrashed wildly at the restraints in which the Doctor had placed him, hissing loudly. Data entered sickbay and camer immediately to the table on which the alien struggled. Deanna tried to soothe him as best she could, but without the language, she had little success. Data stood listening to the hissing being and then himself began to hiss.

Deanna looked worried. 'He's extremely frightened and lonely, but there's something else. He's worried about a child. I don't know what he means, there was no one else on the planet and the ship is empty. Geordi managed to switch on the shields, they were somehow remote controlled!'

The alien had become quieter, staring at Data.

'What did you say to him Data?' asked the Doctor.

'I have not heard enough to be able to converse with the alien. However, I believe I have managed to convey to him that we mean him no harm. I must hear mom of his langauge before I am able to speak with him further.'

'That's a start. He is calmer now, almost at peace as if he were at home, where he wanted to be. It is very strange. He doesn't worry about the child now. Data, talk to him some more, see if you can piece enough together so that the Captain can ask him why he is here.' Deanna turned to Beverley, 'Is it safe to let him free of his restraints?'

'I believe so, they were there more for his own protection than for ours.'

'I'll let the Captain know he's woken up.'

The Captain glanced around at the officers around the table.

'Data tells me that the Gorn language is similar to that of another race known to the Federation, is it possible that they are from the same genetic stock?' He aimed his question at the Doctor.

'Yes, from what Data tells me, the other species is also Lizard-like and is based on silicon. I have no accurate records since the planet, although within Federation territory, is not a member of the Federation; it's out of bounds!' she shrugged.

Troi looked unhappy. 'Does that mean that we are facing another Vulcan/Romulan split?' She didn't like the implications of her question, but it had to be asked. Although the Vulcans were known for their peaceful ways and ability to use pure logic, their co-descendants were the Romulans, inconsiderate and warlike, whose presence caused nothing but pain and misery. If the Gorn were another race in the same vein as the Romulans, then the Federation would soon have another enemy to protect themselves from.

'I suggest that we ask the Gorn himself. Apparently, Data has widened his vocabulary and is now achieving a more fluent conversation. The Gorn calls himself Shresshil: Data is bringing him here from sickbay now,' stated the Captain.

It was not long before Data entered, ushering the Gorn before him. When both were seated, Picard turned to the Gorn and said, Welcome Shresshil, I am Captain Picard.' He allowed Data to translate for him and awaited the reply.

'Thank you for extending your courtesy,' Data repeated in Federation Standard for the benefit of all. 'Can you tell us your reasons for entering Federation space ? The last time our races met was in battle. How did you come to the planet below?'

The next wait was rather longer. Data translated the Captain's message and the Gorn burst forth with a long series of hissing and muttering. The officers around the table glanced at one another. It was very rare for the universal translator not to pick up a language. Geordi had a team looking into it now. None of them could get used to the incomprehensible noise issuing from the alien. After a while the hissing stopped and Data turned away form the Gorn and back to the others.

'Shresshil is an ambassador to the Federation from the Gorn home planet.'

Startled looks flashed around the table. Picard leaned forward. 'Explain please.'

'It seems that after their last contact with the Federation, the Gorn suffered a terrible plague, for which there seemed no cure. It destroyed a large part of their Empire's population. In truth there was a cure, but the Gorn had invested little in medicine and a great deal in war. By the time the cure was found, they had suffered great losses. Of necessity, the Gorn then forged a peace agreement with the Hive, ending the war they had fought for three centuries. The Gorn have lived in peace for the last century, rebuilding their homeworld. They now wish to join the Federation and have sent Ambassador Shresshil as a token of their good will.'

'Can we be certain that he is not lying?' asked Riker who was sceptical about these bad-race-made-good stories.

Troi looked to him and nodded, 'As far as I can tell, he has spoken only the truth, although whether the words change meaning with translation I don't know.'

'Ambassador Shresshil is still recovering from a terrible ordeal, we have to ask ourselves whether he is competent,' said Picard looking at the Doctor.

'He had no head injuries and we arrived in time to prevent a severe loss of blood. I can't see any reason for him not to be. I still don't know what to do about that swelling on his arm. Data has been concentrating on 'embassy' translations so I won't be able to question him about it until later. Why was he injured in the first place?'

'Apparently, his ship was caught in a storm. It is quite likely, there are severe ion storms reported in this sector regularly. He landed on the planet to refuel. Unfortunately, he had not realised how injured he was and the storm prevented him lowering the shield so he could return to his ship. The shields are 'remote' controlled.'

'Well, I think we need to discuss this further. Data, would you escort the Ambassador to quarters on Deck 9. I believe we may take his word for now.'

As the door closed behind the two, the others burst into surprised exclamations.

Captains log Stardate #24.38.3: Lieutenant La Forge has resolved the difficulties experienced with the universal translator, enabling communication with the Gorn ambassador to run more smoothly. Since the Ambassadors ship is badly damaged, the Enterprise has been given the duly of accompanying him to Earth, there to meet with the Federation. I hope to take this opportunity to discuss matters further with the ambassador, who is it seems one of the lower sects of his society. Why he was chosen to represent his homeworld I have yet to discover.

Beverley couldn't understand it. Now she was able to talk to the Ambassador, she was able to ensure that his wounds were healing adequately, but that arm still bothered her. She continued to keep Shresshil under observation while Picard quizzed him further.

'Why were you chosen as Ambassador?' he inquired.

'Is it not obvious?' said the alien, a little surprised. 'My people knew that you would never attack one of our race who was with child! '

'You're pregnant ?!' Picard exclaimed. Beverley raised her head with astonishment, she hadn't detected a child as far as she could tell.

Shiesshil raised his swollen arm, 'Do you not spore in this manner?'

'I understand,' the Doctor felt enlightened. 'You grow another of your form in a place we would never have thought of,' she told the Ambassador.

'Ahh! I see I have confused you. Indeed, we support our children until they are ready to sever from the parent.'

'The child grows on the arm, and then drops off, rather like the tail of some lizards native to earth! These people fission to reproduce !' explained Beverley, excited by this revelation.

Picard felt just a little foolish. He was sure that he would suffer for it at the hands of the Doctor, who was sure to find it helpful when she next chose to tease him. In the nicest possible way, of course!

L Alderson