Professor Quarty hadn't sent a message in days to John-Luc.
"Chief?" Ensign Shuttey said.
John-Luc was drawn out of his thoughts.
"Right," John-Luc said. "We go that way to find the landing party."
They went pass a passage made by a mountain pass. The landing party hadn't replied to the bridge in a hour. So, with Chief Engineer Scotty still there, it was decided to beam a security team to the surface. John-Luc, however, had his worried thoughts on Quarty. Why hadn't he sent a message? Something had to be wrong. The team held their phasers being wary of the current scenery.
A purple floating mass appeared in the security teams path.
"Go now," The purple mass said.
"We are here to find our captain,his science officer, chief medical specialist, and a couple of our own," John-Luc said, taking a step forward. "You may know them as Kirk, Spock, Caren, Jenise,McCoy, and Christine."
"The red men," The purple mass repeated in a monotonic tone.
John-Luc's eyes widened.
"Yes, the red men!" John-Luc said.
In a purple light appeared three bodies.
"They are dead!" Shuttey loudly declared.
"Hold your position, Ensign Shuttey," John-Luc warned.
I'll have to tell their families, John-Luc thought, When I can. I am responsible for these men.
"You will leave," The purple mass said.
"We will not leave until we have our senior officers back,"
"You are awaiting for a call,"
"Did you hear I said?" John-Luc said. "We are not leaving without our senior officers."
The communicator beeped.
"Answer it," The purple mass ordained.
John-Luc took his communicator out.
"Yes?" John-Luc said.
"We just got the logs from remainments of a stolen space craft we got in yesterday," Scotty's voice came over. "Yer not gonna like it."
"What is it, Mr Scott?" John-Luc asked.
"The last occupant was Professor Quarty," Scotty said. "I am so sorry."
"Pocirld out," John-Luc said, shutting the communicator.
"Will you leave now?" The purple mass asked.
The purple mass had a loud intimidating voice.
"No," John-Luc said. "This is not logical how he conveniently made the assumption a lost man died aboard a shuttle."
"Then you prefer if your captain dies," The purple mass asked.
"No," John-Luc said.
"But your logic...Is illogical," The purple mass said.
"My logic states that you are holding my commanding officers in whatever hell you have them in," John-Luc said. "And you know more what you are saying." He sent a look toward Shuttey. "I intend to take them back."
Ensign Shuttey and Ensign Kurter came over to the dead red shirts.
"Five to beam up," Ensign Kurter said.
The five were beamed up leaving only John-Luc.
"That is a noble cause," The purple mass said. "But you will not."
"They were here to find a established scientific colony," John-Luc said. "Whatever harm they have done is-"
"MAD!" The purple mass finished. "THEY HURT ME AND THEN INUSLTED ME!"
"They were scientists," John-Luc calmly said. "And you are new to us."
"I am a being of massive proportions," The purple mass said.
"Did you tell Kirk the same thing?" John-Luc said.
"Why...Yes, I did!" The purple mass said.
"Then you are very well aware what I may ask," John-Luc said.
"Yes," The purple mass said.
John-Luc put his communicator away stepping forward.
"I do not know who you are speaking of,"
John-luc stared at the purple mass for exactly 2 minutes before replying.
"Professor Quarty," John-Luc said.
"Oh, that man," John-Luc's eyes were glowing with hope. "I fixed his shuttle and sent him off."
"And?" John-Luc asked.
"He died on a planet couple light years away," The purple mass said.
John-Luc stared at the purple mass absorbing the information.
"No!" screamed John-Luc's stomach.
"No!" screamed John-Luc's mind.
"NO!" screamed John-Luc's somehow and unusual strong emphatic bond with Quarty.
John-Luc took a deep breath then exhaled.
"Not acceptable," John-Luc said. "I will find my commanding officers and you will attempt to stop me...But rest assured,there is more where I come from." John-Luc pointed up toward the sky. "We will never leave you in peace until we have everyone in safety range."
There was an eerie silence.
"I..." The purple mass said. "Sent that wreckage in space just to make someone mourn for him and this is what I get? He is dead! ACCEPT THAT!" John-Luc did not flinch. "There was nothing I could do for him! He was on his way to a planet called Colo, very stubborn, refused any hospitality from me. He has a very bad ego about his pride."
John-Luc made a rare smile.
"I will never accept it," John-Luc said. "Until I see his body. I will wait, until then, to grieve."
"And I do not have your commanding officers," The purple mass said.
"We'll see about that," John-Luc said.
"You might want to check out a space ship called the USS Constapol," The purple mass said, as it faded.
"I will not," John-Luc said, calmly. "I have officers to search for."
The purple mass faded into oblivion.
Beeping came from the communicator so John-Luc opened it up.
"Have you found the captain yet, Mr Pocirld?" Scotty asked.
"Not yet," John-Luc said. "I will contact you when I have found them. Don't send any more officers here. They won't be needed...I have a ticking feeling in my gut about it."
"Good luck, Mr Pocirld," Scotty said. "Check in as regular."
"Will do," John-Luc said. "Pocirld out."