Star Trek Endeavor: Ender's Cage

Chapter 7

The Keeper reappeared from the elevator and saw Ender, Petra and Vena were fast asleep and walked quickly but quietly around the glass barriers and behind them. The hidden door then started to slide open and Ender opened his eyes but remained where he was as The Keeper reached out for the phaser and communicator. Ender leapt forward, grabbed the Keeper and dragged him out and put both hands around his neck and Ender said, “If you ever try anything I’ll...” Vena said, “Stop it! They don’t mean to be cruel!” Petra held Vena’s shoulders to keep her from pulling Ender away. The Talotian the changed into a human size warthog and growled in anger as it tried to pull Ender’s hands away and both Petra and Vena looked shocked and Ender said, “You stop this hallucination or I’ll twist your head off!” The creature ceased resisting and changed back to the Keeper and Ender said, “Okay, now if you try again on any form then I will ice you.” Keeper said (as he struggled), “Your ship. Release me. Or we will destroy it.” Ender pulled the Keeper up in a headlock and Vena said, “He’s not bluffing. They can form any illusions to have your crew push any buttons or do anything to destroy your ship.” Ender looked at her and then the Keeper and said, “I’m going to gamble you can’t kill for no reason.” He then handed the Keeper over to Petra and as she held him Ender picked up the phaser and communicator and pointed the phaser at the glass barrier facing the elevator and pulled the trigger. When nothing happened he set the phaser on full power and tried again but was the same and he turned and aimed the phaser at the Keeper’s head and said, “On the other hand I have a good reason. I bet you created an illusion that this phaser is empty and did not blast a hole through that glass wall. Do you want me to test my theory on your head?” All of a sudden a blasted hole appeared on the glass wall and Petra said, “Captain!” He turned and saw the hole and smiled before grabbing the Keeper’s arm and walked out with him pointing the phaser to his head as Petra and Vena followed as they boarded the elevator and saw a control panel with four buttons forming a pyramid and Ender said, “Up.” The Keeper pressed the top button and the elevator moved up.

Once they reached the surface they looked around and noticed the mountain was blasted apart leaving only the elevator shaft intact. They walked down the naturally formed path of rocks to the ground below and Ender said, “Contact the ship commander.” Petra took the communicator from Ender and operated the controls but nothing happened and Petra said, “I’m still not reading them captain.” Ender let the Keeper go but kept the phaser pointed at him and he pressed the operating buttons but it was still the same and the Keeper said, “As you see you all have accomplished nothing.” Ender glared at the Keeper and said, “I want to contact my ship.” Keeper said, “We have now reached the surface, as what we expected you to be with a female of your choice. You will now begin carefully guided lives.” Ender said, “Start by making you crawl back to your hole?” Keeper said, “If that is your choice. To help you reclaim the surface we will provide you with our zoological gardens.” Ender said, “I’m sorry, but I’m going to pass on that offer.”

On the Endeavor the main power on the bridge went out and the computers around the sides of the bridge started buzzing, blinking and clicking with activity and Joachim yelled, “What’s going on?” He noticed the monitors at Petra’s station showed quick flashes of images and he ran over and the crewman that is stationed there temporarily said, “Sir the computers are going over Earth and Zhargosia’s history!” Joachim and nearby crewmen watched on the monitor’s as star charts and past images flashed across the screens.

On the surface Ender and Petra saw the elevator coming back up and two Talotians stepped out. A Talotian said (mentally), “Their method of storing data and knowledge is crude. Are you prepared to assimilate?” The Keeper nodded and after a few moments the Keeper looked back at Ender and the others with confusion and fear. The Keeper said, “We did not believe this is possible. Your species endeavors and history consist a great hatred of captivity and a long history of violence. Even when life is pleasant and peaceful you prefer death and destruction.” The Keeper then looked grim and calm and said, “You are too violent and dangerous for our needs.” Ender looked at Vena and she said, “He means they can’t use you, you are free to go back to your ship.” Ender then looked at the Keeper with disappointment and said, “That’s it then, no apologies or forgiveness. You captured one of us and threaten to destroy us.” A Talotian said, “Your unsuitability has condemned our race to eventual destruction. Is that sufficient enough?” Keeper said, “No other specimen have shown any adaptability. You were our last hope.” Ender said, “How about we can agree on a trade or mutual cooperation? The Federation will most certainly help as they have done with many other people like the Vulcans.” Keeper said, “No, your power of evolution will learn our ways and destroy themselves too.” Petra’s communicator beeped and she said, “Captain, we have transporters available.” Ender looked back at Vena but she shook her head and said, “I can’t.” Both Ender and Petra looked at her confused.

In the transporter room in the Endeavor, the doors opened and Nikolai ran in and looked at the controls in bewilderment. The transporter chief said, “Sir it just came on, we can’t shut the power off!” Joachim’s voice came through the console’s comms and said, “Delphiki all power is restored and helm is now responding!” Nikolai then looked in confusion and said, “Whoever is doing this is doing me a big favor.” At that time the doctor appeared and a nurse appeared and waited next to the transporter pads.

On the surface Petra continued to look on in confusion while Ender looked upset and looked both at the Keeper and Vena. The Keeper nodded at Vena and she began to change as Petra looked on in trying to mask her shock while Ender gave a sorrowful expression till Vena’s metamorphosis ended. Vena looked like an old lady with a hunched back, two scars on her face with a large hump where her left shoulder should be and she said, “You see why I can’t go with you.” Keeper said, “This is the female’s true appearance.” Ender continued to look on in sadness and Vena said, “They found me in the wreckage, dying. They rebuilt me as best they could. They have never seen a human, no guide.” Keeper said, “It was the only way we can persuade you to stay and not judge her by her appearance.” Ender said, “You will give her back her beauty?” The Keeper smiled and said, “And more.” As he looked at her again she regained her beauty and he noticed there was another Ender but he ran up the steps with Vena and they both went into the elevator all happy as she did not look back to see Ender watching her and he smiled as she disappeared in the elevator with the illusion of himself in her arms.

In the transporter room Joachim, Nikolai and the others waited when Ender and Petra rematerialized on the transporter pad and they both stepped down as the others approached. Ender saw the doctor and waved him off and said, “We are fine doctor.” Joachim looked behind them and said, “Where is this Vena? Is she coming with us?” Ender said, “No, she has a good reason to stay.” They all exited the transporter room and Ender, Petra and Joachim headed towards the turbo lift.

The turbo lift doors opened on the bridge and Ender, Petra and Joachim stepped out and went to their stations. Ender said, “All decks prepare for Trans-warp drive.” A male voice in the intercom said, “All power full.” Petra said, “All stations report ready sir.” Joachim pressed a few buttons and said, “Trans-warp at your command sir.” Ender closed his arm rests as did the rest of the bridge crew and he said, “Execute.” The Endeavor left the orbit of Talos IV and then engaged Trans-warp drive and the Endeavor flew away in a blue and red streak across space.

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