From her Ready Room… Captain Janeway is recording:
Captain’s log, Stardate 50421.3. We have discovered a rather unusual planet.
Apparently…it’s composed mostly of metallic crystalline compounds. No sign of water. No sign of artificial growth. And, no lifesigns. But, there seems to be enough Dilithium deposits on the surface to last for 500 years.
Kes though is not convinced there’s no one there. So, I decided to let her go down to the surface to check for herself with Chakotay and Tuvok.
With any luck…we’ll never have to look for Dilthium again.
Down on the surface…
The planet is jagged all around: Almost like a broken apart and hurriedly reassembled globe out of clay. Dark red and pinkish crystalline minerals come in and out of the red iron based ground like moon crescent shaped canyons. Signs of caves and sparkling crystalline deposits are everywhere.
The stars pass over the airless surroundings.
Voyager is up there among them: Almost like a museum piece over a chapter of a carefully preserved Delta Quadrant history book.
Kes, Chakotay, and Tuvok are in mostly bright white pressure suits: Taking a bit to take in their surroundings. They all carry tricorders.
Chakotay faintly smiles to himself as he notices Voyager up above. Then, he keeps moving.
Chakotay comments, “hmm. Reminds me too much of Cardassians, if you ask me.” Tuvok turns to him. He suggests, “is there a point to this speculation, Commander? Or, should we continue our scan?”
Chakotay points out, “I haven’t stopped, Tuvok. It’s just…we’ve already encountered a Cardassian missile, dinosaurs that left Earth to discover space travel, and abducted people from the 1930’s that formed their own colony: All from the Alpha Quadrant. Do you really think we should be surprised if Cardassians showed up from behind these rocks?”
Tuvok firmly says, “perhaps not. But, idle speculation is wasteful.”
While they were talking… Kes has detected a grove of Dilithium under a chunk of dark red deposits.
She turns to face Tuvok. Kes figures, “maybe to you, it is. To us less logical individuals…it’s how we…”
Suddenly… Kes clutches her helmet in throbbing pain: Dropping the tricorder.
Chakotay and Tuvok rush over to her. Chakotay calls out worriedly, “Kes!”
He catches Kes before she hits the ground. But, she’s still conscious.
Chakotay checks, “are you ok?”
With a mixed sense of feelings... Kes says, “I sense several…”
In her head…
Flashes of her vision cycle on and on: Like a merciless drum of pain and cold wintery chills. Echoes of arguing Crysals shake the crystalline stalactites to rubble at their very core…adding to the dust clouds of thousands of years.
Kes groans, “no: Thousands of presences! So…many voices.”
She though very soon after says, “but, I’m fine now. You can let me go.”
She gets up on her own two feet as Chakotay lets her stand.
Tuvok wonders, “do they mean us harm?”
Kes points out, “why don’t you just ask them?”
Tuvok and Chakotay turn around to see that most of the iron based ground…is not the ground anymore. It’s moved.
More specifically, with iron crystalline dark red rock like aliens as big as blimps. They look like mostly completed mannequins: With hollow chest like shelves filled with beating radioactive dark red metal hearts and sparkling crystalline structures resembling human like anatomy.
Tuvok comments, “fascinating and perplexing.”
One of the beings booms, “carbon based life. You dare try to harvest our food for yourselves?!”
Chakotay tries to explain, “we didn’t know there was life down here. We just wanted supplies for our…”
The being mutters with contempt, “your ship. These carbon based lives are just like all the others.”
Booms of war cries start shaking the surface.
Crystalline formations at the center break and shatter into dust all too easily: Like this has happened many generations before.
Tuvok, Kes, and Chakotay are trying to cover their ears as best they can from the thundering voices. But, their ears are still ringing.
The beings are closing in them…and on Voyager: With scoops of mineral deposits in their bare hands.
In the midst of dust clouds… Chakotay and Tuvok run for the nearest open caves.
The beings off to the side though are climbing on top of each other like a giant multi-dimensional human ladder. The ones meant to go on the top are getting ready to jump at Voyager…with their bare hands.
And, Kes suddenly realizes that this is it: The one chance to save Voyager.
She run charges for the first being’s legs and grabs it. For, the crystalline structures are actually sparkling with neurons…and neurological functions to telepathically reach out to.
Her voice rings through his aching head, “please don’t hurt us. He’s telling the truth!” The leader clutches his head with his rocky arms.
Over Combadge, Captain Janeway checks, “Commander?”
Chakotay and Tuvok manage to catch their breaths.
Alone for the time being… Chakotay answers, “go ahead.”
Captain Janeway checks, “we detected what seem to resemble alien life forms on the surface. Are you all right?”
Chakotay peers through the cave opening. Outside, smaller murmurs of arguing and uncertainness go around the confused beings. With their leader suddenly having a massive headache… It seems to be going on for quite a while.
Chakotay figures, “I don’t know. But, I think we’re about to find out. At the next sign of trouble though…beam us out.”
Captain Janeway agrees, “understood. Janeway out.”
On the Bridge…
Harry Kim figures, “I’ve got locks on the away team.”
With a grim look on her face… Captain Janeway adds, “good. We may need it. B’Elanna…are the engines ready to hit Warp 9.5?”
With some uncertainty… B’Elanna reports, “yes. Why do you ask?”
Captain Janeway grimly reasons, “because if the aliens down there decide to play baseball with our ship...we will only get one chance.”
B’Elanna mutters under her breath, “now there’s a image I really could’ve done without.”
From the Bridge…
Captain Janeway faintly chuckles, “I hope we can do without it myself.”