Star Trek

The Adventures Of Kes



Kes's Vacation


Kes goes on a vacation and ends up on a planet with a deadly secret


© J.R.Olson 2009

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Star Trek Voyager and it's characters are registered trademarks of Paramount Pictures.



He ran around the corner, clutching the bag with the goods as hard as he could. If he dropped it, the whole action would have been meaningless. Just a few meters now! A shot from a phaser hit a wall over his head which sent small stones and fragments from the wall raining over him. “There he is”, he heard a voice screaming. “Shoot that little thief!” Another shot from a phaser, this time even closer passed him but now he had reached the door to the old abandoned house. He ran in and headed for the basement.

 “Radi’s coming!” he heard a voice from the basement. He ran into the door which lead to the stairs down to the basement, carefully closing the door behind him. It would take times for the guards to find out which door he had passed through. He ran down the stairs and the old man was waiting there, just as expected. “Hurry”, the old man said. “The others are already down there!” That was good. It meant that the others had gotten away as well.

The old man opened a hatch on the floor and he jumped down in the hole, down to the relative safe below. He knew that the old man would close the hatch and place some furniture on it. Then the old man would sneak out, who knows how and where before the guards would find out that he was involved with the action. Further up in the tunnel, his friends were waiting. “What took you so long?”, one of them asked. “You were risking the whole operation. If they find out about this tunnel too, then we are in trouble.”

Just wait until you see what I have.” Radi thought, clutching the bag with the goods.

  “We must hurry now, if they strengthen the forcefield” the other kid said. “We may have problems to pass through otherwise.”

 But this time, there were no problems to pass through the small breach in the barrier to the relative safety in the caverns. They knew that enforcers would be sent down to investigate. But the caverns were big and there were many of them. A man was waiting for them at the end of the tunnel. “You did make it!” he said with a sigh of joy. “What did you get?”

 The kids showed up different items which they had managed to get hold of. There were foodstuffs, clothes but also medicines and tools. Radi deliberately placed himself at the end of the queue. When it was his turn, he gave the parcel to the man who opened it and stared at Radi as if looking at some miracle. “How did you get that?” he asked. “I stole it from a drunken soldier”, Radi said with pride in his voice. The other kids stared at the thing in the man’s hand. It was a phaser.

“It was crazy and irresponsible of you to risk the operation by taking such risks and normally you should have some punishment for doing so. But….this is simply too important for us now, it can make a change.”

Chapter 1

  “Now, are you enjoying you vacation, Kes?”

Kes looked at Admiral Kathryn Janeway who were standing beside her on the bridge at the starship Voyager. They were both staring at the screen which showed the dark space and a lot of stars. Just like the old days, Kes thought. It was like it had been when they were lost in the Delta Quadrant heading for Federation space, not knowing when or if they would return. But this time it was different. They were in the Alpha Quadrant, slightly outside Federation space in a rather uncharted area of space where the old Tkon Empire once had been. They were on a combined exploring and diplomatic mission and where now heading for a newly discovered world called Henia which was said to have a small but developed civilization, the result of colonization from a far away planet which had been destroyed by the Borg more then ten years ago.

Since arriving to the Alpha Quadrant with the former Maquis starship Lynx over a year ago, Kes had spent most of her time on a world called New Carlisle where some of her friends had settled. There she did almost the same things as she used to do when she was a crewmember on Voyager, gardening, helping out as a nurse and where she could use her knowledge to help. She enjoyed that peaceful life. But often, when her more adventurous side took over, she did join some expeditions which her friends organized in order to see, learn and explore. One such mission had recently been when she helped Admiral Janeway to escape from some kidnappers who were trying to use her in a political powerplay. (See the “Strange Dreams” story). So when Janeway offered Kes to follow Voyager on this mission, she didn’t hesitate a second.

The more than a month long journey had been more interesting and fascinating than Kes ever had expected. She had been more than delighted to meet her old friends Tuvok, B’Elanna Torres, Tom Paris, The Doctor ans Seven Of Nine who were all back on Voyager now. She had visited the Federation Headquartes, the government buildings on Earth and also the Starship Academy. She had also got the chance to finally visit Vulcan, something she had dreamed of during her time on voyager and she had had the opportunity to visit some of the most scenic and interesting places on the planet and finally had the chance to meet Tuvok’s family too. She had also met people from many of the more prominent species of the Quadrant, such as Ferengi, Klingons, Andorians and many other species she’d only read about.

Not to mention being back on Voyager again. However, initially she did have some mixed emotions about that. There were too many changes which she found a bit disturbing. But she had managed to put those feelings aside and really enjoy the trip. However, Henia was the last stop on the more than a month long journey. Then Voyager would go to Deep Space Nine where Kes would be picked up by the Lynx ship or go to New Carlisle with some Bajoran freighter and Voyager would return to the Federation Headquarters to await new missions. Kes had mixed emotions about that, as it was, she would rather continue the journey and see more of the quadrant. But she didn’t want to pursue that matter with Janeway. It was nice of her to bring me along for this journey, she thought. Besides that, she could easily persuade her friends at New Carlisle to follow them on some missions too, whatever it might be. I have to get out more and see the universe, she thought.

 A couple of hours later, the planet Henia became visible on the screen. An Earth-like planet but with a very small population concentrated in one city in the planet’s tempered zone. Most of the planet did seem to be forests, mountains and oceans.

“The planet is hailing us” Ensign Harry Kim reported. The picture on the screen changed and an alien became visible. It was a squat humanoid who reminded of a Bolian, round face with little hair, face almost the same color as humans but with a more orange hue and wine red lips. He also had two knobs on the forehead, almost like small, stubby horns.

“Aa-haa, WELCOME to HENIA, alien spaceship!”. The alien did speak in an almost singing, wailing tone which sounded a bit funny and Kes had to bite her lip not to start giggling. “What are your BUSINESS here!”

Janeway stepped forward and introduced herself in the same way as she had done so many times in the Delta Quadrant. “I’m Admiral Janeway of the Federation Starship Voyager. We are on an exploring mission and would like to visit your planet in order to establish a first contact with your planet which could lead to peaceful relations, trade and further exchange with your world.

 “I’m Hinig TELE, vice Prime Minister of the government of HENIA!”, the alien said in his singing voice while giving them a welcoming smile. “We would be DELIGHTED to WELCOME you to our world since our ultimate goal is peaceful relations with the Federation and a possible MEMBERSHIP. I will inform the Prime Minister and the GOVERNMENT and we will arrange a WELCOMING for you in a couple of hours”, the alien said. “We’ll accept tour invitation and we’re delighted to visit your world”, Janeway said.

 “Friendly fellow”, Tom Paris said at his place at the conn.

 “Well, they seem to be friendly enough” Captain Chakotay said. He had been Janeway’s First Officer during the years in the Delta Quadrant when Voyager got lost, transported there by an entity called the Caretaker. It had taken Voyager seven long years to return to Federation space. After those events, Janeway had been promoted to Admiral and Chakotay had been promoted to Captain of the ship. However, Janeway’s different missions often got her in touch with her old ship since she took the liberty to take command over Voyager when necessary. Besides that, she had always had a good working relationship with Chakotay, they were good friends, maybe more than friends and it was convenient to work with Chakotay and the crew of which she did know most of the crewmembers.

“Now, tell me, what do we know about this planet?” Janeway asked Tuvok, the calm and reliable Vulcan who had been Janeway’s Chief of Security during the long journey through the Delta Quadrant and recently returned to Voyager after a stint with another ship.

“The information we got is that this world was inhabited until about 10 years ago. Unconfirmed reports says that refugees from a world far away which was destroyed by the Borg has settled here and it seems to be the truth.”

“The population seems to be concentrated to one city. Are there no other civilisations to be found?”, Janeway asked.

 “Not what I can see”, Tuvok replied. There is an abandoned city about 100 kilometres north-west of the capital, or what to call this inhabited city but no lifesigns there, at least not from humanoids. There is a rich animal life in the forests but that’s all when it comes to lifesigns. However, the whole city, the in habited city of course, is shielded by an unusual and very strong forcefield which seems almost impossible to penetrate. They also have an energy source which is totally unknown which must be located underground and is also protected by a strong forcefield.”

“Now, that’s a bit peculiar”, Chakotay said.

 “Let’s not make any assumptions here”, Janeway said with a smile. “There might be some reasons for that forcefield. I will ask our hosts about it when we meet them. I would like to suggest that you Chakotay as Captain of the ship and Kes as Envoy for another non-Federeation world will follow me down to meet the Henian leaders.”

“Thanks”, Kes smiled. Of course she did know that the “envoy” thing wasn’t anything more than a way for Janeway to let her visit the planet but still she felt honoured by the request.  


Chapter 2

  They materialized in a great hall and were met by three men, all the same squat, thin-haired aliens as the one who they had spoken to some hours earlier. The tallest of them bowed to Janeway and the others and started to introduce himself and his followers.

 “Aaa-haaa, WELCOME to HINIBERG, the capital of HENIA. I’m Melin TUBORK, Prime Minister, this is Vice Prime Minister TELE and my chief of security, BADGER. It’s a great HONOR to have you HERE.”

 Janeway saluted the Henian ministers and introduced herself. “I’m Admiral Kathryn Janeway from the United Federation of Planets. This is Captain Chakotay, Captain of the Starship Voyager and this is Kes, an envoy from the non-Federation world New Carlisle who is on this journey with us to establish contacts between her planet and the Federation worlds.” Kes almost felt for laughing when Janeway made her look more important than she was

“ASTONISHING”, Prime Minister Tubork interrupted, “FEMALES in such high positions. That’s not so common among us.” “It’s very common among us”, Janeway answered dryly.

“Now, let us enjoy a meal and continue the exchange of views”, the Prime Minister suggested.

Shortly thereafter they were sitting at a long table together with several Henian dignities, two of them actually female, Janeway noted with satisfaction. She had found the thought of a society totally dominated by men a bit discomforting. Obviously it wasn’t really like that, despite the Prime Minister’s comment earlier.

“We are actually not from this part of space”, Prime Minister Tubork told Janeway. “Our planet was destroyed by a species called the BORG and we couldn’t defend ourselves against them. Thanks to our great and wise king LUCIFAN who had encouraged the DEVELOPMENT of space ships, some of us managed to get away in time before the PLANET was destroyed.” He continued to describe the journey and how they found this planet. Janeway got the impression that the destroyed homeworld must have been situated more in the direction of the center of the galaxy and that the escaping Henians must have travelled across or around Ferengi, Cardassian or Federation space. The information the Prime Minister gave her was so vague that Janeway started to wonder about the truth in the story. They seem to have very little knowledge about this part of the galaxy, she thought. She also found it strange that they hadn’t been wiped out by the Cardassians or noted by some Federation ship or outpost. She saw Chakotay looking at the Prime Minister and then at her and understood that he had noted it as well. Prime Minister Tubork continued to tell his story:

“Fortunately we managed to bring our TECHNOLOGY with us. Thanks to that and thanks to king Lucifan’s splendid knowledge and great visions we could build our city and establish this COLONY.”

“What about that other city?”, Chakotay asked. “The abandoned one in the north-west.”

“Aaa-haaa, THAT one.” Tubork replied, smiling. “THAT was a settlement which didn’t turn OUT so good so we abandoned it and the citizens moved to HINIBERG instead where the life is much better.”

What about your forcefield?”, Janeway asked.

“Meteorites”, the security chief Badger replied in his somewhat raspy voice. Both his voice and manners were somewhat different from the almost over-jovialic attitude from Tubork and the other ministers. “It protect us from meteorites, we have problems with that.”

 “Not to mention that it will also PROTECT us from the BORG if they should return.” Tubork beamed to Janeway. “We also have a forcefield to shield our energy source which is located underground. We also have our heavy industry located underground in order not to destroy the ENVIRONMENT of the planet and the factories are manned with ROBOTS, all in order to give our people a GOOD LIFE”

  “What kind of energy source is that?”, Janeway asked. As a scientist she was interested in that.

 “That is classified”, Badger replied.

“You must UNDERSTAND that we can’t give you too much INFORMATION about that at this early stage of contacts with your Federation”, Tubork said. “It’s a matter of SECURITY. Maybe later on when firm diplomatic contacts had been established.” Janeway had to agree that it was logical. Still, she would have wanted to learn more about the forcefield, the energy source and the strange Henian technology.

Kes had listened to the exchange and felt a bit annoyed that their hosts were telling them so little about themselves. She had a dozen of questions which she would like to ask them but she didn’t wan to interfere with the diplomatic protocol, after all, she was just a guest on the ship and not as important as Janeway had pretended. Besides that, she had also got tired of trying to withstand the obvious advances from one of the other ministers, the Foreign Minister Heinen who made no secret of his intentions to show her, and only her, the wonders of the magnificent city. First she had found the whole thing almost amusing but after a while she had began to feel annoyed over the constant staring and obvious suggestions, not to mention Heinen’s outspoken interest in visiting her homeworld, which in this case was New Carlisle, the colony where hse was currently living. She could imagine the reaction from Commander Novak and his people. They would probably roll him in tar and feathers, she thought, remembering one of Novak’s constant comments which originated from some ancient way of treating cheaters and non-reliable scoundrels. She tried to dismiss the Foreign Minister from her mind and concentrated on Janeway’s discussion with the Prime Minister, eagerly waiting for a chance to sneak in some question while she looked around the dining room. She noticed the great portrait of a typical Henian dignitary in uniform and medals and realized that it must be the great king Lucifan himself and she wondered if they would have the opportunity to meet the king.

“We would like to SHOW you our wonderful CITY”, Tubork announced, “and you will also have the opportunity to pay a tribute to our great king LUCIFAN before the day is over. Then I hope that we can CONTINUE with our negotiations which hopefully will lead to establishing of diplomatic relations in the near future.”

 Two hours later, they were standing outside a great building in the middle of the city, a building which looked like a cross between a palace and a temple. Janeway noted that the area around the building was sealed off with ropes and armed guards in black uniforms. However, Prime Minister Tubork ensured her that this was only temporarily, to keep the order when the place was visited by foreign dignitaries. “Normally, the people are allowed to come here and pay tribute to the King”, Tubork stated.

 They had made a sightseeing tour by foot around the central parts of the city which did seem to be a flourishing city with a lot of people shopping, walking and enjoying themselves. Nothing disturbing or unusual at all, thought Janeway when she looked around to see what was going on at the different places they passed. The city itself was actually very drab, all houses looked the same and did seem to have been built after the same exact parameters and there was nothing of the ancient beauty which often could be seen in the main cities of alien worlds, like the Klingon or Romulan homeworlds.

This GLORIOUS city has been built under the direct guidance of our great KING”, Tubork told them. “HE knew EXACTLY what we wanted and what the people needed so with his firm GUIDANCE, the city was built in record time and a new, glorious chapter in the history of the Henian people started”

 They had passed a great market where Tubork had given hem permission to buy some food and artefacts which would most obviously be paid by the Henian government. After two hours of walking, chatting and visiting some places which their hosts thought were places worth to see, they arrived to what obviously was King Lucifan’s palace, the only outstanding building in the city together with the Parliament where they had beamed in earlier.

“Enter with dignity and respect”, Prime Minister Tubork said to Janeway and the others. Kes felt really excited that they would have the opportunity to visit the mysterious but obviously powerful king himself. They entered the entrance and followed a long corridor which was decorated with portraits of the King in different poses. Then two huge doors in front of them opened and they stepped into a great hall, heavy with chandeliers, heavy drapes and tapestries. And there in the middle of the hall was a large sarcophagus of glass and inside that was the mummified corpse of King Lucifan.

“Let us bow for the fantastic man who saved us” said Tubork solemnly.

“Is king Lucifan…….dead?” Kes blurted out without really  thinking first. The whole thing was so surrealistic. All the day their hosts had spoken about the king as if he was still alive and now this.

“Yes”, Tubork sighed and looked at Kes, Janeway and Chakotay, all joviality gone and replaced by a look of true sadness. “That was the worst day in our history, much worse than the day the Borg devastated our previous HOMEWORLD. We didn’t know how we could be able to survive without his GUIDANCE. But we don’t WANT him to be dead! Therefore we still regard him as our KING. His spirit and his ideas still gives us GUIDANCE and we will continue to fulfil what he once started, a prosperous and powerful HENIA!”

They bowed in front of the sarcophagus, out of duty and in order not to annoy or insult their hosts. Then they were led out of the mausoleum to continue their walk back to the parliament. When they arrived there, Tubork declared that he would like to continue the talks with Janeway the next day. Janeway agreed on that and on her request, the forcefield was shut off so that Janeway, Chakotay and Kes could beam back to Voyager.


Chapter 3

Kes ran through the corridors. It was the Voyager corridors but they were darkened, lit up only by the flashlights which the people who chased her carried.

 “There she is!, one voice screamed. “Shoot her!”, “Kill her!”, she heard voices screaming and a red phaser beam blasted a piece of the wall above her head.

 She continued to run but when she turned round a corner, she saw a shimmering light in front of her. No, the forcefield, she thought. And out of the forcefield came King Lucifan himself, pointing a finger against her, eyes filled with rage. “You KNOW too much!” he screamed with the same voice as Prime Minister Tubork.

And then she woke up. She was in her quarters on Voyager, the quarters which Janeway had provided for her during this vacation or whatever it was. Everything was normal, no black-clad guards with phaser rifles, no spirit of the dead king, no forcefield. Everything was normal. It had only been a nightmare. But what a strange nightmare, she thought.

 She looked at the watch, it was only six o’clock in the morning but she decided to get up anyway. She ordered a glass of Spinach Juice with a touch of pear from the replicator and sat down to drink it but she still felt shaken by the all too realistic nightmare. She didn’t like it, it was some premonition, she thought. Just like when Janeway was kidnapped and she was dreaming nightmares about it, something which had led her and her friends to search for Janeway and rescue her from the kidnappers. Could this be something similar?, she thougt. Was there something going on on the planet which could be dangerous for Voyager, for herself?

She got dressed and walked out in the corridor, which now was the same old Voyager corridor as it had always been. She entered the mess hall and ordered something to eat and drink from the replicators. For some reason, she found the mess hall somewhat uncomfortable. It was the place in which the changes since their days in the Delta Quadrant were most noticeable, mostly because the absence of Neelix. In a way, I miss him and his food, she thought. Neelix, the Talaxian trader was the one who had saved her from the Kazon once upon a time, with the help of the Voyager crew. They had had a relationship for some time after that but Neelix’s jealousy and over-protection had become too much for her. They had broken up during a traumatic event when her body and mind had been possessed by an alien entity but remained friends. Then she had left Voyager because of other dramatic events, made a short return (see the “Coming Home” story) before deciding to remain with her new friends, a Maquis crew she had encountered in the Delta Quadrant after being separated from Voyager and also met the famous Q. Janeway had told her that Neelix had settled on an asteroid with some other Talaxians. I hope that he’s living a happy life there, she thought and wondered if it would be possible to go there one day, just to visit him. Anyway, the mess hall wasn’t the same without the always cheerful and jolly Talaxian. There’s nothing for us here anymore, her friend Novak had said when they visited Voyager after rescuing Janeway and every time she did visit the mess hall, she felt the same. But at the same time, it was so exciting to be back anyway and there was always something exciting coming up when they arrived to another planet.

That brought back her thoughts to Henia. There is something going on down there, she thought. I must go back and see what I can find.


Chapter 4

Janeway was sitting in what used to be her ready room. Now it was Chakotay’s and he was sitting behind what used to be her desk and she was sitting on a chair in front of him. But during this mission, she was still in command. However, that was a formality which didn’t bother any of them. They were good friends and had no problem when it came to chain of command. Right now, they were discussing Henia.

 “Starfleet Command has given me authority to continue the negotiations with the Henians, Janeway said. “According to Admiral Nechayev, both Starfleet Command and the Federation Government are interested in developing contacts with this world.”

“I understand that” said Chakotay. He looked at Janeway and she could see that he was troubled by something. “You have objections?”, she asked.

 Not exactly” he answered. “They seem to be friendly and very eager to have good relations with the Federation. Their Prime Minister actually mentioned joining the Federation as an option.” He stopped and Janeway waited for him to continue.

  “But there’s something sinister with that planet, Chakotay continued. Some things that doesn’t make sense and I’m not referring to the cult of the king. They were more and less licking our faces when it came to show friendliness but it felt…..over-done in some way, like they were pretending.”

“Not to mention that they weren’t telling the truth either”, Janeway continued. “They did mention something about the forcefield being a shield against meteorites. I’ve checked with Kim and the risk for meteorite impacts are low in this system. Besides that, if there were such a problem, the rest of the planet should show up some craters but there is nothing of that. They were also very vague in their description of their history, the whole thing with the Borg destroying their planet and where that planet was located.”

 “Yes, I did notice that”, Chakotay said.

 “It's also revealed that their technology is very alien and that their source of energy seem to be located underground. They might use the core of the planet as an energy source and according to them, they have underground factories manned with robots which provides for their needs. But there is more than that, I guess. However, it’s not of our concern if they want to keep secrets or not as long as it doesn’t threat Federation interests. Besides that, it's always been Starfleet's policy to deal with new species on a basis of openness and trust until proved otherwise.”

 “I guess that you’re right about that” Chakotay said. “But I still have a bad feeling about that planet”

  So do I, thought Janeway and was about to discuss some possible scenarios with Chakotay. But she was interrupted by a chime on the door. “Come in”, she said and Kes entered.

  “Am I disturbing?”, Kes asked in her somewhat shy way. “Not at all”, Janeway replied. “I was just discussing the situation with Chakotay and I’m going down to the planet to continue our talks with Prime Minister Tubork.

 “I want to come along too!” Kes said. Janeway noticed the look in Kes’s eyes. There was something which had made her curious and determined to find out.

“Why?” Janeway asked.

  “Because….”, Kes hesitated. “Because there is something which doesn’t make sense, something strange. They are hiding something and…….and I also had a very strange dream”

Janeway listened with interest when Kes told her about the nightmare. Of course, she could have dismissed it as just another nightmare from someone with a lively fantasy. But Kes’s dreams did often be some premonition, after all such a nightmare had proved to be of great help when Janeway herself had been abducted by some criminals some months earlier. Still, she was reluctant to bring Kes along, not only because she wasn’t supposed to be apart of the negotiations but because there could be some possible dangers as well.

“Wouldn’t it be better if you stayed here?”, Janeway said. Maybe there’s a way to monitor the planet from here and to find something unusual, if there is any.”

“No”, Kes said. “I want to go down with you, just to look around a little, maybe going to the market in order to pretend that I want to buy some stuff. I want to see ordinary people, not dignitaries and guards.”

 “Well, I hope that you’re not going to have a meeting with that Foreign Minister”, Janeway joked. “He did seem to be interested in you.”

 “Eeek!” Kes said and looked as if she had taken a bite of a Leola Root. “He was actually creepy. No, I will avoid that person at all costs.”

“I would like to go along with you as well”, Chakotay said. For some reason he had a bad feeling about this. “I might find out something too.”

“No”, Janeway replied. I need someone up here to monitor the events down there if something turns out to be not as pleasant as expected. However, I will give Kes the opportunity to sneak around a little. But be very careful and  contact me directly if you need assistance.”

  Kes gave her a nod and a smile. She was going to see the planet after all.

 “Most likely, this is just a false alarm”, Janeway said when she saw Chakotay’s worried look. But she wasn’t entirely sure of that.


Chapter 5

Kes was strolling through the streets to the marketplace, followed by two Henian bodyguards. She had beamed down outside the Parliament together with Janeway and been met by some Henian dignitaries, among them the Prime Minister. The Henians had looked surprised and not too pleased when Kes arrived with Janeway but Janeway quickly explained that Kes wanted to take a further look at the city and buy some artefacts from the marketplace. The Prime Minister had acknowledged that and, to Kes’s chagrin sent to bodyguards to follow her to the marketplace. A good chance to discover anything sensational when I have those two watching every step I take, Kes thought. But she had accepted that since it would be the only way to move around in the city.

 When they approached the marketplace, Kes suddenly saw someone trailing with a heavy wagon over-loaded with different goods. The person didn’t look like a Henian, more like a Vulcan or Romulan with pointed ears but still different from those species. He was followed by a Henian who looked as if he was some superior to the other alien. It surprised Kes because she hadn’t been aware of that there were other species on the planet as well. She was going to ask her bodyguards about that other species but then they had entered the marketplace and Kes started to look around to see if there was anything there which was interesting. She was set on going to a place where they did sell some statues and similar things just to buy some souvenir, which was the official reason for going to the marketplace when she noted some commotion nearby. A pompous Henian was yelling and screaming at another example of the species she had seen before, this time a small woman. The translator translated words like “scum” and “lazy creature” and then  the Henian did slap the face of the woman. Kes felt angry and annoyed over the whole scene and turned to her guards. 

“Why don’t you stop him?”, she asked. “Why is he beating that poor woman.”

But the guards didn’t react. In fact, they did seem to enjoy it. “Not OUR business”, one of them said. “Besides that, that lousy servant DESERVED that”.

 “But beating someone like that….”, Kes replied with anger in her voice but she  didn’t get the time to finish the sentence. Angry voices started to scream and suddenly she saw yet another example of the same alien species, this time a little girl about 10-11 years old with human standards, come running with a basket full of bread and other foodstuffs.

 “Stop the thief!”, someone screamed and Kes saw how one of her bodyguards pulled up a phaser-like weapon and aimed at the little girl. Kes immediately pushed the guard so he missed the shot. The guard turned to Kes with anger in his eyes.

 “What are you doing, you alien bastard!” he screamed. “It’s a thief! We’ve got to stop her!”.

 “Maybe” Kes replied “But that doesn’t give you the right to shoot her in cold blood.”

  The other guard had also pulled up a phaser and fired but missed the shot and now there were simply too many people running around which made it impossible for the guards to use their weapons. The little girl was heading for an alley with three black-clad guards running after her and Kes’s two bodyguards did seem to have forgotten Kes completely. They also started to run after the fugitive and Kes decided to follow. There was something going on which she wanted to find out more about. She ran into the alley but it was empty. The little girl had disappeared. The guards were searching the apartments in the houses. She could hear them yelling and cursing from different locations in the houses.

But Kes herself had a tricorder and she used that to track the lifesigns from the unknown alien. She walked down some stairs which led to a basement. The guards had been there but they hadn’t searched very good because Kes found a stone in the wall which was possible to move. She removed the stone and saw that it had a handle on the back, as if someone could let someone in and then close the entrance from the inside.

The hole was just as big for her to crawl into. Behind it was a tunnel. She followed the traces which showed up on her tricorder and continued down the tunnel, a tunnel which did seem to be endless. Finally she turned down a corner and saw it. A forcefield, just like the one in her nightmare, shimmering with an almost sinister light. But she could also see a breach in the forcefield, almost down on the ground. It would be insane of me to continue, she thought. It would be better to contact Janeway and get out of here. But on the other hand she did know that this was her one and only chance to solve the mystery on the planet. She went down on the ground and crawled under the forcefield. It was just as big so that she could pass under it, just as if someone had discovered a possible breach and thenhad been digging to make the breach just as big as a not to big person could pas under it.

 Behind the forcefield the tunnel continued. She turned around another corner and suddenly she heard voices and saw lights and then she heard a typical Henian voice bellow “It’s that alien woman. Shoot her! She must not escape to tell her captain about this.” And then a phaser shot blasted through the darkness and blasted some stones over her head. Kes turned around at stared to run down another tunnel. This is like it was in the nightmare, she thought. They are trying to kill me! Suddenly she heard a voice and saw someone in a nook in the tunnel. “Come here! Quick!” It was the little girl who the guards had been chasing on the marketplace. She was still carrying the basket with bread. The little girl grabbed Kes’s arm and pulled her into the darkness. “Follow me”, she said.

 This tunnel was very narrow and did seem to be a shortcut between two bigger tunnels but obviously didn’t the guards know about it because Kes could here them running through the tunnel she’d just left, screaming and cursing. The little girl pulled up a small light beacon and continued down the other tunnel. “I’ll take you to my people” she said. “They will protect you from the Henian’s, our evil masters.”

“Evil masters?, Kes asked. “Who are you and what’s going on here?”

 “My name is Moria” the little girl said. “I’ll take you to Varic, he’ll explain everything and he will loook after you and arrange for your protection as well.They continued down the tunnel, turned around a corner into another tunnel. At the end of that Kes could see another light beacon and some movements which she suspected to be people moving in the background.

 A voice called out from the darkness: “Moria, where have you been? We were worried. And who is with you?”

 “An alien”, Moria replied. “Another alien who have found the way down here and needs protection”. Suddenly Kes and Moria were surrounded by people. Most of them were young kids but there were also some older people among them. The one with the flashlight let the light shine into Kes’s face. “Who are you and what are you doing here?” he asked.

  “My name is Kes and I’m an Ocampa” Kes replied, realzing that words like Ocampa, human or whatever probably didn’t mean a thing down here among these mysterious aliens. “I saw this little girl stealing bread on the market place, the guards tried to shoot her and I tried to prevent them from doing that”, Kes continued realizing that it was best to tell the truth. “I became curious and followed after her and found those caverns.”

 “My name is Varic, I’m a Batarian and this is the World Of Despair. We live down here in those caverns and you will have to remain here as well for the rest of your life, now when you know the secret of our planet.”

Chapter 6

Janeway had finished the negotiations with Prime Minister Tubork. They had agreed on further contacts between the Federation and Henia and that the Federation shoud send an emissary to the planet for further discussions. But not so much more had been achieved. Prime Minister Tubork had expressed his interest in Federation technology, especially the transporter technology and that wasn’t a surprise for Janeway. But the Prime Minister’s attempts to persuade Janeway to give or sell them that technology right now had been somewhat annoying. However, she had finally been successful in telling the Prime Minister that it wasn’t possible before Henia became a member of the Federation. Then the Prime Minister had become very eager to discuss membership and it had taken more than an hour to sort out the terms for membership in the Federation. However, after some hours of discussing all that, the most important issues had been settled and the Prime Minister had invited Janeway and the senior staff plus “that lovely envoy from that other planet” for a dinner later in the evening. Janeway had accepted that and was now about to return to Voyager. So she decided to contact Kes and inform her that they were going back to Voyager. If there’s something peculiar on this planet, she has had a lot of time to investigate that, she thought.

She tapped her combadge. “Janeway to Kes” she said. No reply.

 She tried again. No reply. The Prime Minister interrupted: “Maybe your lovely COMPANION got tired of WAITING and went back to VOYAGER”, he said. “Wait HERE, I will CONTROL if that’s correct”.

He went into another room and came back after some minutes. “YEEES” he said with a smile, “your friend has RETURNED to your ship.”

  Great, Janeway thought. She tapped her combadge again. “Janeway to Chakotay”. But no reply, only statics.

  “Unfortunately our FORCEFIELD disturbs the ability for the crew on the ship to RESPOND”, Tubork said. “Things like that HAPPEN. But it will be possible to TRANSPORT to your ship.” “Thanks” Janeway said and tried again. “Janeway to Voyager. One to transport.”

 The transporter beam shimmered and then Janeway was back on the ship. However, she did have a feeling that something was wrong. “Computer, locate Kes”, she said.

 “Kes is not on the ship”, the computer replied.

 She asked the Transporter Chief. “Hasn’t Kes transported back?” “No, the Transporter Chief replied.

 She tapped her combadge. “Janeway to Chakotay! Have you’ve been in contact with Kes since we beamed down?”

 “No”, came Chakotay’s surprised reply. “Isn’t she with you?” Janeway clenched her fists. Damn, she thought.

 “Ill be on the bridge in about a minute. I’ll think we have a situation here.”


Chapter 7

Kes stared surprised at Varic. “What are you talking about? Why are you living underground? Why are you talking about a world of despair and why are the Henian soldiers trying to kill us? What’s so dangerous with all this and what’s going on.” But Varic pulled her arm and said. “We will explain everything to you but not now. We must go to a safer place, it’s dangerous here.”

 She followed the mysterious aliens down some more tunnels. Finally they saw a light at the end of a tunnel and heard different noises, like from machines and such. They arrived to the end of the tunnel and entered a huge cavern. In a way it reminded her about the Ocampa underground city in a way. But while the Ocampa underground city had been tidy, peaceful and well-organized, this place was the opposite of it. It resembled some sort of underground industrial hell, factories everywhere, something that looked like fires from furnaces and people toiling and working. They went into the city and passed some buildings which obviously were “houses” in which the enslaved people lived. During their way through the city or what it could be called, they had to hide several times when vehicles with black-clad Henian guards approached. Varic had given Kes a coat which with she covered her blonde hair, so easy to distinguish from her dark-haired followers.

“They are looking for you.” Varic said.

 Finally they arrived to a building. “In there” Varic said. They went through the entrance, through a small corridor, then out through something which resembled a yard, down in a basement, down some stairs, into a tunnel and after some turns they arrived to what was obviously more caverns where people lived. They entered one of those caverns and came finally to a sparsely lighted room where some more aliens were. One of them raised to his feet and looked at Varic, Kes and the others.

 “What’s this? Who is she?”

  Varic explained what had happened to this man who obviously was some sort of leader. Kes explained who she was and how she had ended up in the caverns and then she started to ask questions. “What is going on here? What’s this for a place and why are you living down here?”

 “It’s a long story” the other man said.

 One of the other aliens offered Kes something to drink. It looked like coffee but tasted horrible, however Kes pretended to like it in order not to offend her hosts.

  “I’m Tortella, one of the former ministers of the Batarian government”, the man said. “We live down here because we’ve been conquered and enslaved by the Henians who use us as slaves and servants. We are not Vulcans or Romulans but we are related to them. Once upon a time we lived on a planet not so far from the Romulan Empire but we were never a part of that empire. But then our planet was attacked by the Borg. They destroyed it and assimilated many of us. We used what was left of our space fleet to run away from them. We actually were granted to settle down in the Federation territory but we wanted to remain independent and finally found this planet where we settled down.”

 “What happened then?” Kes asked.

“Then the Henians arrived. They told us that they also had escaped from the Borg and asked if they also could settle on the planet. We allowed them to do that because we are a friendly people and we thought that the planet would be big enough for both our people. We became a little worried when they decided to build a city so close to the place where we had settled but they told us that it was of mutual interest, to make communication and cooperation easier. They were oh so friendly for a while. But then all of a sudden they attacked our city, destroyed our city and brought us here to work for them as slaves. We have to work very hard and many of us have died.”

 “The abandoned city”, Kes said. “It was your home.” “Yes” Tortella answered.

  Kes felt a sudden sadness. She could imagine how it felt for a people to lose what they had got and be enslaved. Not to mention that they were forced to live in this underground hellhole.

  “So you have to live here and work in their factories?”, she asked. “But there are some of you who works on the surface?”

  “Some of our people are allowed to work as servants above. They are the people they think they can trust, those who are cooperating to have some privileges from the masters. But they aren’t that much better treated than us who have to work down here.”

 “Are you providing them with energy too?” Kes asked.

 “Yes, they use the core of the planet to produce energy and we are maintaining the facilities which makes them use that. There are also other factories down here which provides for their needs so they can live their happy life above on the surface. Of course they supervise us all the time, therefore they have their enforcers down here. The slightest offence is severely punished.”

 “Why was Moria stealing bread from the marketplace?” Kes asked. “They almost shot her!”

 “Our masters don’t give us enough with food, clothes or anything. What we get is barely enough to survive. So we have to steal and everyone has to participate in order to find what we need. Since most of the adults are occupied with work most of the time and adults are shot if they are caught stealing, it’s easier to let children and youngsters do that. The Henians are somewhat more tolerant if they catch a child. Besides that, it’s easier for children to pass through the breaches in the forcefield and to avoid Henian patrols over and under ground. But we only let children and young people steal food. When it comes to more important things, we have more experienced groups who are doing the job.”

 “Important things?” Kes asked.

 “Tools and scientific things which can be necessary. Medicines, this place isn’t healthy as you can see. But we do dream about escaping or about a possible uprising to and if we can get weapons, we’ll do that. But it’s difficult.”

“And the focefield is there to keep you trapped down here?” Kes asked.

 “Yes, there is only one entrance. It’s heavily guarded by Henian guards and you must have certain identity cards to be allowed to pass through. Those who are allowed to work above have such cards. We do have some agents among them who gives us information about the situation above. As for the forcefield, there are breaches in it, they haven’t managed to make it all that effective yet and we use that to send out people the illegal way.”

 “What about trying to escape to the forests outside the Henian city?” Kes asked.

 “We have thought of that” Tortella answered. “But the forests are dangerous. There are fierce creatures there, giant lizards and flying predators. Besides that, the Henian aircrafts would detect us. Some of us did try to escape to the forests when the Henians attacked and conquered us. They were attacked by their aircrafts and soldiers who surrounded them and annihilated them. The few who might have got away probably perished in the forests.”

 “And no one outside knows anything?” Kes asked.

  “No”, Tortella replied. There have been outsiders who have discovered what’s been going on but they have never been able to tell anyone the truth about this world. The Henians have killed them and the few who have survived…..”

  “…….Are stuck here without hope”, a voice behind Kes said. “No hope, no honor, no worthy life, only disgrace and death.”

  She turned around and looked at the man who had spoken. He was much taller than the Batoris. He had long hair and a very distinctive, ridged forehead. Kes had seen the species before, she had met some of them on Deep Space Nine. “You’re Klingon!”, she said a bit surprised.

 “Yes, I’m Korg and once I was a Klingon warrior. But now I’m only a slave and a coward who don’t have the guts to end this pitiful life.

 Kes looked at him. She knew about Klingons, her old friend B’Elanna Torres was half-Klingon, she had read about them in the Federation databases and she had met some Klingons on Deep Space Nine during a vsiit there, among them the dignified Mr.Worf from the Enterprise. They had all looked powerful and dignified. But this Klingon was different. She could clearly see that he was a broken man, a shadow of what he once might have been.

“But how……how did you end up here?” Kes asked.

“It  was two years ago. I was a crewmember on a Klingon scout ship. We discovered this planet and were allowed to land. The Henians welcomed us and wanted to establish diplomatic relations with the Klingon Empire, so they told us. I don’t know what happened then, I think that one of our officers felt insulted by a Henian, it was a fight and suddenly we were arrested. However, since we were Klingon warriors, we broke out of jail. One Batori servant discovered us when we escaped and led us here. But we made an attempt to reach our ship which failed. The others were killed and captured. They were executed later because the Henians kill everyone who discover the secret with this planet. I was the only one they couldn’t catch. I ran back to the caves and have lived here like a coward since then.

  “You’re not a coward” Kes said. She felt sorry for the once so proud Klingon. She turned to Tortella. “Haven’t you tried to rise against them? Make resistance? You must be as many as them?”

  “We tried two years ago, just after Korg arrived here. We were able to seize the entrance and some of us managed to come up to the surface. But they had armed vehicles and weapons and drove us back. They killed everyone they could catch which they believed had been involved in the uprising, among them many members of our former government. We haven’t dared to do anything since then. But recently whe have obtained some weapons and when we have more of that…..”

 “What about King Lucifan, their dead leader?” Kes asked.

“That butcher and hypocrite”, Tortella spat. “He was responsible for the invasion and everything which has happened to us. When he died, Tubork took over and he’s the same kind of oppressor and their Chief Of Security, the one called Badger is the worst of them. Not to mention their Foreign Minister, Heinen. Many of our women are forced to work as servants in his palace and you can clearly imagine what that means.”  

I can imagine that, Kes thought. “What happens now?”

  “You have to hide from the Henian enforcers”, Tortella replied. “If they catch you, they will kill you because they won’t allow you to tell anyone about what’s going on here. We will do the best to help you.”

  “Listen”, Kes said. ”There is a Federation starship in orbit around the planet. They will search for me and ask questions.”

  “They can’t find you because of the forcefield”, Korg said. “And they will lie to your people just like they did with the Klingons who came to investigate. They claimed that the scout ship had left the world. They will lie to your captain too, saying that you have been killed or got lost in the forests or something like that”.

  “You don’t know Admiral Janeway”, Kes said. “She will tear up the whole planet to find me!”


Chapter 8

Janeway stormed out of the turbolift and on to the bridge. “Get me that Tubork” she ordered Kim. “On screen”, Kim replied.

  Prime Minister Tubork’s face became visible on the screen. “Aaa-haaaa, Admiral JANEWAY. What can I DO for you?”

 “My friend, the envoy from New Carlisle never beamed on board this ship. She must be down on the planet. Can you locate her and see that we can beam her on board?”

 “But she MUST be on your ship because she isn’t HERE”, Tubork replied, showing up a concerned face.

 “No, she isn’t”, Janeway replied “and our transport shows no record that she has beamed back. She’s still on the planet and I want to know where she is and what has happened to her.”

  “I ASSURE you that we will do EVERYTHING to find her and bring her back to your ship”, Tubork replied.

  “With your permission, I would like to send down an away team to the planet”, Janeway said. “We have equipment which can locate her in no time.”

  “Noooooooo!”, Tubork replied with that wailing Henian accent which was starting to get on Janeway’s nerves. “We can’t PERMIT that!”

  “Why not?” Janeway asked, politely smiling despite a growing anger. “It would be to great help for your search teams. Besides that, it would be an excellent start for the cooperation between our people. I’m sure that the Federation government regard that as a beginning of a great friendship.”

  “No!”, Tubork replied. “That is out of the question. No alien military units on our planet. WE will search for your envoy and WE will find her!” Suddenly the Prime Minister didn’t look so friendly anymore.

  “I’m sorry that you aren’t cooperative in this case”, Janeway said. “However, I hope that you will find her soon.”

  “What are we doing now?”, Kim asked.

 “We’ll wait” Janeway said. “I want all senior officers in the ready room immediately. We have to discuss this. I also want you to scan the area outside the forcefield if anything shows up there

  They gathered in the ready room. “Opinions?”, Janeway asked.

  “I suggest that we send down an away team immediately” Chakotay said. “There is something weird going on. Kes wouldn’t disappear just like that if nothing hasn’t happened to her or if she’s hiding somewhere. We might not be able to transport to the city because of the forcefield but maybe we could transport to some place outside and try to penetrate the forcefield in some way.”

 “Permission to lead the away team”, Tom Paris said.

 “Wait a minute”, Janeway replied. “I’ve been thinking about an away team.But it’s not an option right now. First of all, we do know that the forests can be dangerous and I’m also ready to give the Henians some time if this happen to be just a misunderstanding.”

 “I must also point out that we might face a diplomatic problem here”, Tuvok added. “Kes is not a Federation citizen and trying to put pressure on the Henians in this matter might cause a diplomatic conflict between the Henians and the Federation.

 “I’m aware of that”, Janeway said. “I might have to discuss this with the Federation authorities if the Henians turns this into some diplomatic conflict.”

  “But we can’t just abandon her!”, Tom Paris said.

  “No, and I have no plans to do that either”, Janeway replied. Therefore I want you B’Elanna and you Mr. Kim to start analysing that forcefield, if there’s any breaches in it and if we can penetrate it in some way.”

 “We’ll start with that immediately”, Torres replied.

 “Now, what could have happened down there?” Janeway said. “Has she simply got lost or what has happened?”

 “I looked at the Prime Minister when you were talking to him”, Tuvok said. “I got the impression that first he was surprised over Kes’s disappearance, then he became very defensive over the situation. My assumption is that he didn’t know anything about what had happened to Kes but that he also could imagine some scenarios or possibilities which he wouldn’t tell us about.”

  “Can that Foreign Minister be involved?” Chakotay asked with a worried look. “He did show a lot of interest for Kes during that first visit.”

  “Well, that can be a possibility”, sighed Janeway. “Who knows what a powerful person in such a recluse society as this one can come up with. But for some reason, I don’t think that either. My guess is that Kes has stumbled over something she shouldn’t have seen and now she’s hiding down there and I’m gonna get her out while solving the mystery with this planet at the same time.” She turned to the her senior staff. “OK, you know what to do. Keep scanning the area outside the forcefield, analyze the forcefield itself and  try to find out as much as possible about the planet. I will get in touch with the Federation headquarters and discuss the situation. Dismissed!”

The other officers left the room, even Chakotay even if he actually was the Captain on the ship. I guess we have to sort this out for future missions, Janeway thought. But she couldn’t help feeling a certain optimism, thanks to her colleagues. If there are any people who can help me to solve this situation, then there are these people, she thought. Because they are simply the best!


Chapter 9

Meanwhile, Kes was discussing the options with the Batarian leaders. “We must take you to a safer place because the Henians are looking for you to kill you”, a Batarian named Kasel told her. “You know too much about this place and the slavery and they are afraid that the people on the Federation ship will find out what’s happening here. They will kill you and come up with some story about you being burned to death in the forcefield or that you got out by mistake and was attacked by the lizards or flying predators in the forest.”

  “Admiral Janeway won’t be fooled by that”, Kes replied. “Besides that, I’m sure that she will find a way to break through the forcefield and find me and then this whole ghastly story will be revealed.”

 “You seem to have great faith in that Admiral Janeway”, Tortella said.

 “Yes I have”, Kes said with pride in her voice. “We were together in a mission to the other side of the galaxy and she managed to get the ship home through all dangers and difficulties. She won’t abandon me and she will find a solution.”

“Are you sure that the Federation ship will remain in orbit and continue to look for you, no matter what the Henians are coming up with?”, Tortella asked.

“Yes!”, said Kes.

 “Maybe…….maybe this is our chance”, Tortella said.

  “What do you mean?”, Varic asked.

  “If they are up there looking for Kes and are trying to disable the forcefield, then the Henians will have their hands full. It could be our chance to break out from this hell.”

  “You mean that we should try with a new revolt?”, Kasel asked. “It’s too early, we don’t have much weapons and we aren’t prepared to take up a fight with them. Besides that, the forcefield is impossible to penetrate.”

  “But there are breaches in it”, Kes said. That’s how I came here and that’s how your people manage to steal from them.”

 “Yes”, Kasel said. “But we’re talking of small groups here, two-three kids or so. If we want to take over the city and overthrow the government, then we need more people on the surface and the only way up is the main entrance and that one is heavily guarded. Besides that, I don’t think that your people will be able to penetrate the forcefield.”

  “If the forcefield could be turned off”, Tortella said, “then the Henians would be very confused. We could use that to our advantage, attack the forces at the main entrance and come up to the surface. Maybe the Henians won’t start to kill us if a Federation ship is observing them.”

  Kes listened to the debate without saying anything. She didn’t want to tell them that the Federation had laws which forbid them to interfere in conflicts on non-Federation worlds. If I tell them that, they would simply give up all plans for an uprising, she thought. Besides that, she hoped that the Henians would avoid unnecessary killing if they knew that a Federation ship was observing their actions.

 “It’s too dangerous”, Kasel said. “It could lead to the annihilation of our people.”

  “Everything must be better than to die like slaves in those caves”, Korg the Klingon suddenly interrupted. “I’ve had enough of this! Now I’m gonna do what I’ve should have done years ago. I’ve lost my Klingon honor by hiding here like a coward. I will try to reclaim some of it by helping you fight the Henian opressors and if I die, then it is a good day to die!”

  Kes looked surprised at the Klingon who all of a sudden did seem to have regained some of his pride and honor. “Do you know where the forcefield can be turned on and off?”, Kes asked.

  “Yes”, Tortella replied. “But that building is guarded.”

  “So there’s got to be someone with some influence who can get access to it?”, Kes continued. “I think I have an idea…”


Chapter 10

“Admiral, the Henians are hailing us!” Kim’s voice over the combadge interrupted Janeway in her thoughts over if she should contact Starfleet Headquarters or not considering the situation they were in, not to mention her blaming herself for letting Kes go down to the planet. If I had sat my foot down and prevented her from going to the planet, we wouldn’t have been in this situation now, she thought.

“I’m on my way!”, Janeway replied. She raised from her desk and hurried out of the room on to the bridge.

“Prime Minister Tubork”, she said to the man visible on the screen. “Do you have any news about Kes?”

“YEEES!”, the man on the screen wailed, “and I’m afraid that it’s BAD news.”

“What do you mean?”, Janeway asked.

“Oh, it’ so TERRIBLE!, Your friend happened to go outside the FORCEFIELD and was attacked by one of the LIZARDS in the forests. She didn’t have a CHANCE.”

“I thought that your forcefield was impossible to penetrate”, Janeway said, feeling a sudden chill. She knew that she would never forgive herself if Kes had been killed..

 “YEES! But there ARE breaches. I don’t know HOW she got out but she DID and was attacked.”

 For some reason, Janeway started to feel a disbelief in what the man was telling her. It didn’t make sense. However, she decided to play along to see where it would end up.

“That’s terrible news, I don’t know what to say. Is it possible to have her remains transported up here? We would like to give her a proper funeral.

  “You don’t UNDERSTAND!. There’s nothing left”, Tubork continued.

  “In that case I would be happy if you could point out exactly where she was attacked. We might find the lizard who killed her and also retrieve some remains. I would like to send down an away team to investigate the place, it’s common procedure.”

“I can’t ALLOW that!”, Tubork said with some irritation in his voice. “It’s against our laws.

“But it’s outside your city. It won’t interfere or violate with your society in any way.”

“No!”, Tubork said. It’s out of the question!”

“What if I come down alone”, Janeway continued. “and you could send some guards with me?”

“No”, Tubork replied and all the joviality did seem to have disappeared. “I don’t have time for this. I can’t send out guards looking for someone who has ended up as food for the lizards, you must understand that! I have more important things to do. Why can’t you accept the truth in this matter?”

“Because the truth you present me is not convincing at all”, Janeway replied.

“Are you accusing me of LYING!”, Tubork screamed. “It’s an insult to the Henian government and to me, King Lucifan’s representative. I will not tolerate such insults!”

“Then please be more cooperative when it comes to investigate this thing.”

“I’m as COOPERATIVE as I can BE”, Tubork replied. “But you’re rude and provocative and you’re insulting the Henian government. I don’t want anything to do with you. I want you to leave our space immediately and I will take this up with your authorities.”

  “Do that if you wish”, Janeway said calmly. “I’m not leaving orbit until I get some answers. Janeway out!”

She turned to Chakotay and Tuvok. “I’ve had enough of this! He’s lying and I think that Kes is still alive.” She turned to Kim. “Have you seen any indications which shows any activities outside the forcefield?”

“No”, Kim replied. “We’ve been monitoring the area outside the city. If Kes had showed up outside the forcefield, we would have detected it.”

Janeway nodded, then turned to Paris. “I guess you will have your request for leading an away team granted. Assemble an away team, go down, try to find some breach in that forcefield, find Kes and get her out of there no matter what! That’s the only way to solve this problem.”

  “Yes Ma’m”, Paris said with a smile.

  “May I remind you that we are risking a diplomatic conflict with such an action”, Tuvok said. “Sending down an away team could be regarded as an act of war, especially since the Henians have proved to be easily annoyed.”

Paris whistled and looked up at the screen. “Oh, come on, Tuvok…!”

  “You can’t suggest that we should just leave her there?” Chakotay interrupted. “It doesn’t matter if she’s not a Federation citizen, she’s one of us, one of those who were on this ship in the Delta Quadrant. Don’t forget all she did for us, she did actually save the ship on at least two occasions. That matters to me.”

“I’m not questioning Kes’s importance and yes, I agree about her being one of us in terms of camaraderie. I’m just stating the obvious facts, that sending down an away team could cause diplomatic problems”, Tuvok replied.

“Permisson to lead the away team”, Chakotay asked. “I hope that Mr. Paris don’t mind too much, it’s not that I question his capability. But I’ve been down there and I might find some way to get inside the forcefield.”

“Captain, I admire your desire to help Kes”, Tuvok interrupted, but if anyone should lead the away team, I would be the logical choice. I’m Chief Of Security and besides that, I might be able to find some telepathic conection with Kes if anything else fails.”

Janeway couldn’t help smiling. “I admire the will that all of you shows up in this matter. As for you Chakotay, I think that you’re better needed here on the ship as the Captain of this vessel. If necessary, you can lead another away team if we can penetrate the forcefield and the first away team is facing any obstacles. Tuvok and Paris, assembly an away team of 4-5 persons and include Mr. Kim into that team. He can find a way to penetrate or shut down the forcefield.” She tapped her combadge. “Janeway to Torres!

“Torres here!” came the reply.

“I want you and Seven to work on that forcefield. I want to know everything about it, if it’s possible to penetrate or shut down and most of all, I want the possibility to beam people in or out of the city.”

“We’ll get on it right now!” Torres replied.


Chapter 11

Kes, Varic and two other Batarians entered the empty street from a house which contained a basement which was one of the ways down to the caves where the Batarians were forced to work as slaves in the underground factories. It was late in the evening and the streets were dark and empty. They had to be careful because no Batarian servants were allowed to be out on the streets after sundown. If they catch us we’re in deep trouble, Kes thought. Fortunately the building they were going to wasn’t far away. They could already see it, a luxury house surrounded by fences and guarded.

Foreign Minister Heinen had just finished a delicious evening meal and now he was enjoying a glass of a strong but delicious beverage, something resembling a strong wine. Nothing wrong with enjoying life after a hard days work, he thought. And the evening could be even more delightful. He had two Batarian maids waiting in another room. They had been brought there the same evening for what Heinen regarded as “overtime work”. He did actually prefer Henian women but they weren’t always so easy to handle so he had to settle with Batarians. They could be forced to do everything he wanted and of course he could give them some extra rations as reward for their work.

But he couldn’t help thinking of the women from the Federation starship which was in orbit over their planet. The Admiral wold have been a real trophy, not to mention that little blond envoy or what she was. He felt a sudden sadness. Why should she get lost in the caves and discover the secret behind their prosperous society?, he thought. Not to mention those stubborn Federation people who continued to watch every move on the planet. If they had been smart enough to leave, they could simply have left  that blond girl down in the caves to rotten among the Batarians. There would also have been a chance that she had gotten tired of leaving like a rat underground and then he could have offered a helping hand, at least until he got tired of her. But maybe he would have a chance to enjoy her company if he could persuade Tubork and Badger not to execute her immediately when they found her.

He was so deep in his thoughts that he almost jumped when there was a chime on the door. “Excuse me, Your HIGHNESS”, the guard at the gate called from the speakers “but we have three BATARIANS here with that girl they are looking for. They want to make some DEAL with you which can clear up the SITUATION.”

Heinen was surprised that his dreams suddenly were becoming realized. “Let the GIRL come in” he said, “but only HER, not those dirty Batarians. Keep an EYE on them until I give you further ORDERS!” “Yes, Your Highness”, the guard replied.

Heinen went out of his living room and waited in the hall. Soon enough there was a chime on the front door. Heinen opened and Kes entered. “Come IN, my dear”, Heinen said in his most friendly voice.   Kes entered, slightly hesitating. “Your Highness, I’m sorry to disturb you but you are my only hope.”

“Of COURSE, I’ll do all I can to HELP you”, Heinen cooed. “Please come in and join me for a drink in my living room and we’ll discuss this and find a solution.”

  Kes followed Heinen into the room. He poured up some of the strong wine in a large glass and offered her. Kes sat down in one of the luxury chairs.

  “It wasn’t my intention to cause any trouble and I won’t tell anyone about the caves”, I promise”,  Kes said. I only want to go back to the ship and go home, I don’t want to cause any trouble and since you seem to be a good man, I’m sure that you can help me. I do anything, I mean anything to get out of this situation.

  “Yes, I’m SURE you will”, Heinen said. “You know that everything has a PRICE and if I should help me, then you have to do something for ME first.”

  He stretched out a fat hand, “Come with me, my dear”, he said. “We have the whole night to discuss this situation. Oh you are so beautiful”.

Kes raised from her seat and stretched out her left hand, as to take the mans hand but instead she stepped away from the man and pulled up a phaser, the same phaser which the young Batarian named Radi had stolen some days earlier during a raid to the surface.

  “Changed plans” she said, somewhat surprised that she could be so calm in a situation like this. She had been terrible nervous, almost frightened during the whole mission especially when she entered into this disgusting man’s house but no she felt very calm and determined. “You and I are going for a little journey and then you gonna do us all a favor.”

  Heinen looked at her as if he didn’t believe what was happening. “A-are you totally out of your m-mind! Don’t you know who I am? I’m Foreign Minister of the Henian government and I….”

  “I don’t care who you are”, Kes replied. “Just do as I said if you want to stay alive”. She pointed at him with the phaser. “Let’s go” Fortuately, Heinen obeyed, He did seem totally shocked, obviously terrified that Kes would shoot him. She sent some thoughts of gratefulness to her friends back at New Carlisle, the former Maquis Novak and his crew. She had learned by them how to bluff, which was exactly what she was doing now, pretending to be more ruthless and dangerous than she really was. They walked out, through the park-like landscape outside the building and up to the gate where two guards were pointing with some sort of phaser-rifles against the three Bataranis. They looked up when Kes and Heinen arrived.

  “Put down your weapons”, Kes said. “If you don’t , he dies.” She pointed with the phaser at Heinen.

  “D-do it!”, Heinen squealed. “That’s an ORDER!”

  The guards obeyed immediately. “Tie them up”, Varic ordered and one of the other Batarians took a rope and started to tie the two guards after ordering them to enter the small building near the gate where the guards normally were doing their duties. “There are more weapons here”, one of the Batarians said.

  “Take them all”, Varic replied. We’ll need them.”

  Kes had ordered Heinen to call for his driver and soon enough a vehicle arrived to the gate. The driver stepped out of the vehicle to open the door for his master and immediately had a phaser rifle pointed at him. He was shocked and surprised as well and realized that the best he could do was to obey. Varic and one Batarian took place in the front seat with the driver while Kes, Heinen and the other Batarian were seated in the back. “Where are we going? “ the driver asked nervously.

“To the place where they control the forcefield”, Varic said.

 Heinen started to protest. “I CAN’T take you THERE! Badger will EXECUTE me!”, he wailed.

  “If you want to survive this night, you better do as we tell you”, Varic replied.


Chapter 12

They materialized in a clearing not too far away from the forcefield and immediately spread out, using their tricorders to see if there were some lifesigns nearby.

“Spooky place”, Tom Paris said.

“That is somewhat exaggerating”, Tuvok replied. “In your imagination, the place may look spooky because of the darkness, for being unknown territory and because of our secret mission. Otherwise it would look like an ordinary forest on an alien planet.

“That’s a way to put it”, Kim said.

“There’s something coming our way”, the Bajoran Tal Celes said while looking at her tricorder. She was a Bajoran crewmember who had been on Voyager in the Delta Quadrant.

  Ken Dalby, the fifth member of the away team pulled up his phaser. He was an ex-Maquis who also had been in the Delta Quadrant with Voyager. He had had difficulties to adapt to the Starfleet life at first but thanks to Tuvok, he had adjusted and had choose to stay on Voyager after the return to the Alpha Quadrant.

 “Watch out!” Paris warned.

 A creature approached them. It reminded of a Komodo Dragon on Earth but this one was bigger and faster. “It’s attacking!” Kim exclaimed.

 “Stun it!” Paris said.

 Paris and Tuvok fired and the beast fell to the ground. “We better look out for those” Tuvok said calmly. “They are very fast and seem to be eager to attack.

Now, that’s an understatement”, Paris replied.

 They entered the forest and walked on for some minutes. They could hear different sounds from the animal life all around them but fortunately the different creatures didn’t show up or attack. Finally they came to an open area and now they could clearly see the forcefield in front of them. They were approaching the forcefield when the animal life on the strange planet struck again. All of a sudden they heard a whoosh-whoosh-whoosh above their heads and Tal Celes suddenly felt sharp claws lifting her up in the air. The other s turned around and saw a giant flying creature with some resemblance to a pre-historic Pterodactyl with a fast grip of Tal Celes in it’s claws.

  “Help!”, Tal Celes cried. Dalby fired immediately. The beast shuddered and dropped Tal Celes who fell hard to the ground. Instead it took aim at Dalby and swept down towards him. But now Tuvok and Paris were ready too and their beams stunned the creature which fell to the ground.

  They ran away to the place where Tal Celes was lying. When they arrived, she slowly tried to stand up. “Are you OK?”, Paris asked.

  “I don’t know”, Tal Celes replied. “My arm…it’s broken or sprained. I can hardly move it.” She also had some nasty wounds where the predator’s claws had gripped her.

  “We’ll beam you back to the ship and ask them for someone who can replace you”, Tuvok said.

  “I’ll think that we’ll better get inside that forcefield before the charming wildlife on this planet kills us”, Paris said

  “I’ve been analysing the forcefield”, Kim said. “It’s very alien, to say the least. I’ve never seen something similar. But I think that we can create a breach in it by simply blasting a hole in the ground and sneak in under it.”

  “I’ll arrange for a transport of Crewman Tal Celes while you continue to analyze the forcefield, Tuvok said. “Then we’l see if we can get trough without alarming the Henian guards.

  “Too late for that!” a voice suddenly said. A stroblight shone up and behind it they could see several armed Henian guards. “Drop your weapons or we will kill you immediately!”, the voice said.

“We better do as they say”, Tuvok said. “They are outnumbering us. Resistance now would only get us killed.”

 They dropped their weapons and were lined up by the Henian guards. One of them used a device which did deactivate a small part of the forcefield.

“Inside!”, the commanding Henian ordered. They walked through the deactivated area and entered something which resembled a demilitarised zone. In the distant they could see the lights from the city.

“At least we will find out what has happened to Kes.”, Paris said.


Chapter 13

The vehicle arrived to a dark building near the part of the city where the Parliament and other important buildings were to be found. It approached the gates which were guarded by two soldiers. “Now you better start talking and you better do it good, otherwise you’ll never see the light of day again”, Varic said to Heinen.

One guard approached. “Foreign Minister HEINEN, what can we DO for you?”, the guard asked politely.

“I-I must get INSIDE”, Heinen stuttered. “It’s of great IMPORTANCE for our security.”

 “I can’t let anyone INSIDE without PERMISSION from our security Chief Badger and he has been called away for an urgent MEETING with the Prime Minister”, the guard said.

 “I KNOW, that’s why I’m HERE”, Heinen squealed.

  “Who are with you?”, the guard asked.

  “T-the missing alien REPRESENTATIVE and three of her colleagues. We’re about to RETURN them to the ship. That’s an ORDER from the Prime Minister.

  It looked like the guard was about to obey. But then he turned around and said “SORRY, but I must check with the PRIME MINISTER or the SECURITY CHIEF before letting you in

 Varic reacted immediately. He fired and the guard fell to the ground. The other guard raised his weapon but hesitated for a second. The Batarian who had been sitting in the back seat together with Kes and Heinen had jumped out of the vehicle and fired. The guard fell to the ground. Heinen made a clumsy attempt to get out of the vehicle but Kes pointed the phaser at him.

“You won’t dare to SHOOT me” he said but didn’t make any more attempts to move.

“I won’t hesitate” said Kes and tried to sound as confident as she tried to be but deep inside she knew that she couldn’t shoot the man in cold blood if she had to. She wasn’t even sure if there were a “stun” function on those phasers. She had her doubts about that. But now one of the Batarians had opened the gates and Varic pointed his phaser at the driver. “Drive on” he said.

The vehicle drove through the gates and up to the main building. Varic ordered everyone to go out. Then he pointed his rifle at Heinen. “Lead us to the central where they control the forcefield”, he ordered.

When they entered the building, a security guard approached them. When he saw the Batarians and Kes, he tried to push an alarm button but Varic pointed at him with his phaser. “Do it and you’re dead”, he said. The guard slowly raised his hands in the air.

“Take us to the central where the forcefield is controlled”, Varic ordered.

The Henian started to stutter about Security Chief Badger but Varic told him to shut up. The man obeywed and showed them to the central. When they entered the room, two Henian operators were there. They looked up, obviously surprised. The Batarians pointed their weapons at them. “How and where do you turn off the forcefield?”, Varic asked.

“T-Turn OFF?”, the Henian operator asked as if the procedure itself was totally impossible.

“Yes, turn off”, Varic said. “All of it, the forcefield who shelters the city from above and the one which prevents those who are slaves underground to come out.”

The operator just stared at Varic as if he thought that this was a bad dream and that Varic and his followers were a part of it. Varic lost his temper and ordered: “You have five seconds to turn it off. If you don’t, then we’ll simply blow this building to pieces, including you. That will surely close off everything, including the forcefield.”

The operator looked at Varic with panic in his eyes. Then he grabbed a red handle and switched it. All of a sudden everything went black. Two seconds later, the emergency lights went on which made the whole room look eerie in a way.

 But at the same time an alarm started to chime.


Chapter 14

“Admiral, the planet is hailing us”, Ensign Lyssa Campbell who was at Kim’s station at Ops reported.

 “On screen”, Janeway said. The screen changed and Prime Minister Tuborg’s face showed up on it. Now all joviality was gone and he looked angry and upset.

 “We have captured saboteurs who have tried to sneak into our city. They are YOUR people. This is an act of war against Henia!” he screamed.

  Janeway was starting to reply but the Prime Minister interrupted her, the usual Henian wailing now changed into something that resembled a bellow,  something the universal translation had problems with.

“Don’t try to come up with any EXCUSES or pathetic LIES. We HAV them. They are five of them, one dark with pointed ears, three of the same species as you, Admiral and one female with ridges on her nose. They tried to SABOTAGE the forcefield but our guards captured them. In the name of our great king LUCIFAN, they will be executed when the sun rises. We also regard this as a declaration of WAR from your Federation and we’ll strike back. If you don’t get out of our space in ONE MINUTE, we will ATTACK!”

“Admiral, six Henian fighters have taken off and are on a course against us”, Campbell warned.

The screen changed and showed six dots coming out of a hole in the forcefield. Janeway’s first impulse was to order the transporter room to try to beam out possible missing crew members inside the area but the forcefield closed almost immediately and the ships approached. They were much smaller than Voyager, sleak sliver-coloured rocket-shaped objects.

  “What’s the status of those ships?” Janeway asked Mariah Henley who was filling in for Tuvok while silently cursing her own underestimation of the enemy. I didn’t even thought they had spaceships, she thought.

 “They aren’t that heavy armed and I don’t think they can do us any damage. But they have powerful shields, of the same strange technology as the forcefield. I guess it takes more than one torpedo to damage each of them.”, Henely replied.

The ships slowed and spread out. Their actions were clearly defensive and Janeway suspected that they weren’t about to attack immediately. But their presence were an obvious problem for Voyager when it came to the possibility to penetrate the forcefield above the city and beam out the crewmembers down there.

“Back off a bit, slowly”, Janeway said to Chakotay who had taken Paris’s place at the conn. Chakotay did so. The Henian ships stayed in position.

  “What are we doing now?” Chakotay asked.

That’s a good question, Janeway thought. The situation was dangerous. Of course, they could try to wipe out the Henian spaceships but that would mean an act of war and how would that be regarded by the Federation authorities. Janeway’s actions by taking Kes along for the journey, losing her on the planet and then risking her own people in a futile rescue operation and at the same time provoke a conflict with an unknown species with who they had negotiated over peaceful relations the same day wouldn’t be unnoticed by the Starfleet authorities.

This might be the end of my career, Janeway thought. But I’m not leaving my crewmembers to be executed by an alien government and I’m not leaving until I have found out what has happened to Kes. She shrugged, painfully aware of the fact that Chakotay had seen the gesture and looked at her with eyes full of compassion. Never mind, if Kes is still alive and I’ll get her out of there, her friend Novak will probably accept me as some sort of lower-ranked crewmember on his ship. I could probably become assistant to his somewhat obnoxious engineer, she thought and slapped her commbadge.

“Janeway to Torres. Any progress with the forcefield?”

It was Seven Of Nine who replied. “Sorry Admiral, we’re working on it but their technology is really weird. I haven’t seen anything similar, not even compared with Borg standard.”

Then Torres interrupted: “Their bloody technology is driving me crazy. It’s like nothing I’ve encountered, like it originates from another galaxy”, she complained. “Every time I think I’m on to something, it ends up in nothing. There are breaches in it but where it works, it works almost too perfect. The only thing which I think we could try is to blast some holes in the ground where the upper forcefield meets the ground but I’m not sure if that would be enough to beam out our people.”

Another action which would be seen as an attack, Janeway thought. “Continue with your work. I’m sure that you will find out something.”, she said.

But she was far from sure of that.


Chapter 15

Tom Paris sat on a bunk in the cell and stared into the wall. Around him sat or stood his fellow crewmates. Tal Celes were clutching her injured left arm. She looked a bit pale but otherwise did seem to be all right. Dalby and Tuvok were looking at Kim who examined the cell door in order to find a way to deactivate the electronic lock at the door. Is this how it will end, Paris thought. Did we fight our back from the Delta Quadrant only to be executed by some crazy regime on a isolated planet while on a simple routine mission? It’s insane!

He looked at Kim who were busy to examine the lock. If someone can get us out of here, then it will be Kim or Tuvok, he thought. They got the knowledge.

“We are a cheerful bunch, are we? Just sitting here like sheep, waiting to be executed” Paris finally said with a wry grin and turned to Tal Celes. “How’s your arm?”

“Not good but I can manage with it” she answered. “Fortunately it was the left arm so I can use a phaser if necessary.”

Which wasn’t that interesting in the current situation since the Henians had taken their phasers and commbadges. Fortunately they had the B&B device, a microchip which were used to replace the commbadges if they were lost so they could at least communicate with each other. Tuvok could probably speak Standard Federation English but he wasn’t so sure about the Bajoran Tal Celes’s abilities in that language, not to mention their Henian guards. He turned to Kim. “How’s it going?”

I don’t know”, Kim replied. “I wish I had some tool of some sort. In that case it could be possible to do some damage to this lock which could give us a chance to break out.”

“What kind of tool would that be?”, Tuvok asked.

“I don’t know. Just something which I could try to penetrate the loch with and cause something which could short circuit or damage this lock.”

  “Maybe we have what you’re looking for” Tuvok replied. He walked up to Tal Celes and took a hairpin from her hair. “I remember a situation where I, Admiral Janeway and Neelix used something like this to break out from a prison”, he said (see the book “The Final Fury” by Dafydd Ab Hugh). He gave the pin to Kim.

 “We’d better be ready. If there will be a short circuit or some damage to the lock, the Henians may come running” Dalby said.

 “Crewman Dalby is correct”, Tuvok said. “This might also be our only chance to get out if our colleagues on Voyager won’t find a way to beam us out.

  Well, they have been very successful so far, Paris thought.

Kim tried to push the pin into the lock Suddenly there was a sharp click and all the lights were gone. But the most important thing was that the door suddenly was possible to open.

“Let’s get out of here quick” Paris said. “Good job Harry! How did you do it?”

 “It wasn’t me!” Kim replied with a voice that revealed how surprised he was. “I hardly touched anything in that lock.”

 “But how did that happen?” Paris asked.

 “How it happened is irrelevant in the current situation”, Tuvok interrupted. “Now the most important is to get out of here.” 

 They rushed out in the corridor and ran right into two Henian guards. But the corridor was totally dark and the guards were as surprised as the prisoners. Paris took out one of them with some hits on the aliens head while Tuvok took out the other guard with a Vulcan Neck pinch.

 “You got to learn me that.”, Paris said smiling.

At the same time the emergency lights were switched on. They dragged the two unconscious guards into the cell and took their weapons. Then they rushed down the corridor. They could hear excited Henian voices at the end of the corridor. It’s a power break! The forcefield, the forcefield is gone!”

“Did you hear that?” Paris said.

At the same time another Henian came running into the corridor. When he saw the prisoners, he turned around and fled, screaming. “The prisoners are getting out!”

They followed the fleeing guard down some stairs and suddenly heard phase fire from another corridor. Tuvok looked into the corridor and saw some aliens he hadn’t seen before come running with weapons in their hands. They looked a bit similar to  Romulans but where somewhat smaller. One of them saw Tuvok, raised his weapon but then lowered it and screamed. “Come on and join us, alien compatriots. Let’s wipe out the Henian scum!”

The aliens ran down the corridor but the Voyager crewmembers didn’t follow. Instead they were looking for the office to which they had been taken when they arrived to the prison where they probably would find their combadges and weapons.

“I think it is in this direction”, Tuvok said.

They went down another stair and were at the bottom floor and then they saw the main office. They ran into it. It was empty. Paris noticed that several lockers and cupboards had been broken up, probably by those aliens who they encountered in the corridor which explained where they had got the weapons they had. Fortunately Kim did find their own phasers and combadges which he gave to the other crewmembers.

Suddenly Paris noticed a movement behind his back. He turned around and saw a Henian guard entering the room with a phase rifle in his hand. But before Paris had a chance to take him out, Tal Celes stunned the Henian with a shot from her phaser. “I can still use my right arm!” , she said, smiling.

Paris gave her a smile back, then slapped his combadge. “Paris to Janeway!” Outside on the street, they could hear phase fire, high voices and a lot of commotion.


Chapter 16

Down in the caves, the situation had become very tense. All of a sudden, several Henian vehicles, loaded with guards had entered the caves and started to round up people. They were searching thorough the area, obviously looking for something. Tortella, Kasel, the Klingon Korg and their friends who had been on the move to organize what could become an uprising were caught in the middle of all and shepherded to a large area between two big factories. They were standing there with the Henian guards watching them, pointing their rifles against them.

Suddenly there was a movement among the Henians and Security Chief Badger entered. He walked up in front of the slaves and said in his uncharacteristic raspy voice: “This is the way it is. We can do it the EASY way or the hard way. You will choose what is CONVENIENT for you.

We are looking for an alien intruder, a blonde girl who is HIDING in those caves. We suspect that some of YOU are hiding her. Now, turn her over to US and your benevolent masters will reward all of you with extra RATIONS for the coming 20 days period.”

No one moved and no one said a word.

“So you don’t want to COOPERATE?”, Badger asked. “Then we’ll do it the HARD WAY. Every tenth minute I will EXECUTE one of you as long as you don’t hand over the alien. We’ll start with YOU!” He pointed at a small child standing in the crowd.

“No!” The parents standing next to the child cried out in panic and there were some outcries of anger and despair among the people in the crowd as well.

  “It’s just a CHILD”, one of the guards said, obviously uneasy over the situation. “We can’t……” “Do as I say, you fool!” Badger replied.

Korg, the Klingon warrior who had been stranded on the planet for a long time stepped forward. “They don’t know where the alien is!” he said. “They can’t answer even if you start murdering people. Besides that, I’m an alien too. Why don’t you come for me.”

 “Shut UP, you ugly Klingon!” Badger replied. Then he looked at Korg again.

  “But maybe YOU know where she is? I will actually FOLLOW your advice and spare the life of these creatures, they are more valuable as slaves. But YOU are coming with us and after a while with us, you will be HAPPY to tell us where the female alien is.”

  He turned to his guards. “Get him!”

  Korg didn’t move. “Why don’t you come and get me yourself, you ugly coward?” he replied.

 Five guards approached Korg who suddenly gave up a Klingon war cry and attacked them. He delivered a hard blow to the head of the first guard and managed to kick the next so that he fell to the ground. Then all of a sudden there was as if the whole crowd standing around reacted. Rocks, stones and debris went flying to the air and against the Henian guards who hesitated for a moment as if they were surprised and shocked by the reaction. Then they raised their weapons against the crowd. “Shoot them!”, Badger ordered.

But it was too late. Some of the guards were already on the ground surrounded by and attacked by angry Batarians and all of a sudden the Batarians who had grabbed the phaser rifles from the Henian guards started to fire. The whole place was erupting, panicking people running all over the place while the Henians and some of the Batarians were involved in a firefight. Korg had managed to get a phaser-rifle too and started firing at the retreating Henians.

“Fight them, you COWARDS!”, they could hear Badger yell.

Then all of a sudden there was a sharp crack. The lights went out and it became almost dark, only the fires from furnaces in the industrial chambers lit up the eerie scene. Then the emergency lights went on and they could hear someone screaming: “The forcefield is GONE!”

 It was followed by an angry outcry from the Batarians who once again turned against their captors. Two Henian guards disappeared under fists and kicking legs and their weapons were taken from them and turned against the remaining Henian guards who obviously were shocked by the sudden violence from a people they thought they had under control.

 Badger was the one who first lost his nerves. “Let’s get out of here! NOW!”, he ordered.

  His words had an immediate effect on the Henians. They abandoned their vehicles, except for one who did control himself that much that he turned the vehicle and drove to the entrance. Badger jumped up on the vehicle and the other Henians followed, some of them tried to delay the chasing Batarians with phaser fire. But now some of the Batarians were armed as well. The escaping Henians passed the entrance where there was no forcefield any longer, they fled up to the surface, followed by Batarians who now started to spread out on the streets, armed with phasers or just anything which could be used as a weapon. They were out for revenge!


Chapter 17

Janeway was staring at the screen, thinking about possible options. She knew that any attempt to approach the planet would be met by fire from the Henian ships but she also knew that the only way to get her people back was to disable the forcefield and beam them up as soon as possible.

Suddenly she was interrupted by a beep from the combadge. “Torres to Janeway. The forcefield is down!”

  Janeway could clearly hear the excitement in Torres’s voice. Or was it surprise?

 “Good job, Torres and Seven”, she replied.

 “I wish that we could take credit for this”, Torres replied. “But we didn’t do it. Someone has shut down both forcefields and the electricity in the whole town as well. The only thing which is illuminated is the king’s mausoleum!”

 Then another voice broke in. “Paris to Janeway!”

 She felt a sudden gratefulness. Her away team had escaped and managed to shut down the forcefield. Despite that, her voice was calm and business-like when she replied: “What’s the status of your situation? How did you manage to shut down the forcefield?”

 “We didn’t do that!”, Paris replied. “And we’re still in the prison building, trying to avoid to get involved in the fighting outside.”

Then Tuvok’s voice came in over the combadge. “It looks like we’ve been caught up in some internal conflict. There are some alien people with some resemblance to the Romulans who suddenly have showed up and started to fight the Henians. We encountered some of them after the forcefield and all electricity was shut down and when we had escaped from our cell. They seem to have been imprisoned as well. But what I can detect, there are even more of them showing up on the streets now. Has there been some invasion from another spaceship?”

Janeway looked around at Chakotay, Henley and Campbell, utterly surprised. “No”, she said. “We have six Henian ships who have threatened to attack us if we approach the planet but no other invaders.”

“Admiral”, Lyssa Campbell exclaimed. “The other aliens, they are coming up from the underground and it looks as if they are fighting the Henians. There are thousands of them, they must have been underground all the time!”

“What is going on down there?”, Janeway said.

Then another voice broke in. “Kes to Janeway!”

Janeway and Chakotay looked at each other and Janeway felt another wave of relief. Kes was alive and well!

“Kes!”, she replied. “What has happened? What is going on down there?”

“It’s a long story and I’ll tell it to you later. But you must send down an away team! It’s important, we must stop the fighting or it will be a bloodbath!”

“I already have had an away team down there which was captured by the Henians and I’m not gonna take any risks with anyone until I find out what is going on down there.”, Janeway replied. “I will beam all of you back to Voyager and then we’ll analyze the situation. Janeway out!”

“But you must….”, Kes continued but Janeway had already cut off the connection. “Transporter room” she ordered. “Beam up the away team and Kes as soon as we are in range for transport!”

She turned to Chakotay. “I’m going down to the transporter room.” Take us down and tell the Henian fighter ships that we have no intention to get involved in this, we only want our crew back.” She went up to the turbolift and entered it. Chakotay steered the ship closer to the planet while he ordered Campbell at Ops. “Hail the Henian fighters.”

Seconds later, a Henian commander showed up. “If you approach our planet, we’ll fire.”

“If I were you, I would be more concerned about what’s going on in your city right now”, Chakotay replied. “It looks like there are those down there who don’t like you and your leaders.”

 “It’s the Batarian scum!” replied the commander. “It’s your fault! You have staged their revolt but we will drive them back to the caves and then we’ll chase you out of our space!”

  “It’s your choice”, Chakotay replied. “But if you’re smart, then you’ll avoid attacking us. We will only bring back our own people, nothing more. Then we’ll leave. But if you attack us, then we will strike back which also includes an attack against your forces in the city, the same city which is no longer protected by the forcefield. Not to mention that more Federation ships are on their way. They can do a lot of damage. So think it over before you do something really stupid.”

  The Henian commander stared at Chakotay, then he broke the connection and all they could see was the planet approaching.

“They are still in position and they don’t seem to want to attack us”, Henley commented. “I guess their commander is discussing the events with who might be in charge down there.”

  Chakotay smiled at his old Maquis colleague. “Well, let’s go down and pick up our people before they have made up their minds”, he said.


Chapter 18

Kes tried to explain for Janeway how necessary it was to interfere and prevent further bloodshed but the connection was cut off and then she felt how a transporter beam was starting to transport her away. “Ill be back!”, she tried to tell the Batarians before the beam took her away.

She materialized in the transporter room where Janeway, Tuvok, Paris, Kim, Dalby, Tal Celes and the transporter chief, a Human female named Hoffman were gathered.

“Mr Dalby, escort Tal Celes to sickbay”, Janeway ordered. “I want the rest of you in the briefing room.” She turned to Kes. “You will have the chance to tell your story about what’s going on down there but I want all the senior officers there too because this is a very complicated situation.”

A couple of minutes later they were gathered in the briefing room. All the senior officers were there, including Chakotay who had left his place at the conn to Chell while Rollins were in command on the bridge. Kes told them her story, about the dream she had which led her to investigate the situation on the planet and how she had found the underground world in which the Batarians were living. Kes’s eyes were filled with tears when she described the living conditions for the Batarians, the polluted air, the darkness, the noise from the underground factories and the small rations on which they had to live. Tuvok, Kim and Paris completed the picture of the world below by telling their stories about  their adventures down on the planet.

“We got to do something for these people”, Kes said. I’ve seen how they are living and now when they has got the opportunity, they will fight to be free but they aren’t as well armed as the Henians and there’s the risk that they will be annihilated.” She turned to Janeway, her beautiful blue eyes filled with tears. “We got to help them!”

“Even if I truly understand Kes’s concern in this case”, Tuvok broke in “I must still state that an interference from our side may be a violation of the Prime Directive. We are not allowed to interfere in conflicts on other planets.”

Kes turned to Tuvok in order to say something but Chakotay beat her to it. “We are already involved, Tuvok”, he said. “The Henians arrested our away team and were planning to execute them, they were planning to kill off  Kes as well just to hide their crimes against those they have enslaved. They have lied to us and have threatened us with war as well. Besides that, I won’t be able to sleep the coming nights if we just run away and let them annihilate the Batarians.” He got nods of acknowledge from Paris, Kim and Torres.

“Unfortunately, your sleep is irrelevant in this case”, Tuvok replied. “I’m just stating the obvious facts here regarding the Prime Directive.”

“What about if the Batarians win?”, Paris asked. “What will they do with the Henians? I got the impression that they will take revenge.”

“There will be a bloodbath whoever wins”, Kes muttered, staring down at the table. Tortella, the Batarian leader seems reasonable but I’ve seen the anger in the eyes of the people. They will take revenge.”

Janeway turned and stared out of the window where she could see the planet but also the six Henian fighters. They were an uncertain factor in this game. Would they attack Voyager or would they start to fire on the Batarians on the streets if the Batarians got the upper hand in the fighting?

Then she turned around. “Mr Tuvok is right when it comes to the Prime Directive”, she said and raised a hand before Chakotay and Kes could start to come up with objections. “However, there are some other things we also have to consider. What will happen if the Henians kill a majority of the Batarians? Who will run their underground factories and who will be their servants? Isn’t it a risk that the Henians may be tempted to find new slaves somewhere else?”

 “There’s a possibility that they might do so”, Tuvok said. “ But there is also a possibility that they learn from their mistakes, that they change their way of living and start doing things themselves”, Tuvok said. “However, I get the impression that they aren’t the kind of people who change their habits that fast. I agree, Admiral. There is a potential risk there.”

 “Not to mention that another task for the Federation and for Starfleet is to intermediate and make peace in order to create stability and peaceful relations between different species”, Janeway said. She turned to Kes. “You said that their leader…” “Tortella”, Kes said. “Yes, Tortella”, Janeway continued “is reasonable. Do you think he would agree to peace talks?”

“I guess so”, Kes replied. “But I can’t speak for the others.”

“Would he listen to you if you suggested a peace conference with the Federation as intermediators?” Janeway asked.

“Yes I think so”, Kes replied, feeling a new hope. Janeway had some plans, she did know that.

“Then we only have to convince the other side too!”, Janeway said.

She turned to Chakotay. “Keep us in the current position and watch out for those Henian fighters. If they attack Voyager or start firing at the surface, then we have to scare them off. Mr. Tuvok, Kes, you’re with me!”

“Where are we going?”, Kes asked.

“We’re going to have a little talk with their Prime Minister.” She turned to Chakotay. “Keep a lock on us, just in case and if you detect that the Henians are about to take back the central where they control the forcefield, then beam us out. I don’t want to be trapped inside that forcefield.”

Chakotay nodded and gave her a worried look. He doesn’t like that I take such a risk, Janeway thought. But it’s the only way if we want to prevent a massacre.

“I also want you to contact Starfleet Headquarters and tell them to send the Enterprise on a diplomatic mission to Henia.”, she added. “By the way, how’s Tal Celes?”

“The Doctor says it was a broken arm but he has healed it and she’s OK.”, Chakotay replied..

“Good”, Janeway said before leaving the room.


Chapter 19

Prime Minister Tubork was furious.

The whole Parliament was in chaos. There were people running around and people shouting orders but everything did seem to be in a total chaos. Outside they could here phaser fire and sounds of fighting. They night sky was also lit up by fires.

They had managed to get the lights back via a backup system. But the forcefield which could only be controlled from the central which was held by Varic and his to colleagues were still shut down. The Henian forces had gathered around the Parliament, the government buildings and King Lucifan’s mausoleum, the most important buildings in the town. Due to their better equipment and fighting skills, the advantage had slowly began turning over to the Henians. Not to mention that the Henians had another ace to play, the fighters in orbit around the planet. But the Batarians controlled the central where the forcefield could be managed, they also controlled the entrance to the underground caves and some other streets and buildings as well.

“Why haven’t we been able to take back the CENTRAL where the FORCEFIELD is controlled?” Tubork bellowed.

“Because they are keeping Foreign Minister HEINEN as HOSTAGE”, the Military Commander Hiniomp wailed.

“And we haven’t been able to take any Batarian HOSTAGES for EXCHANGE, said Badger who had managed to escape the revolting Batarians and now tried to organize some resistance. “Besides that”, he continued “they are holding the underground facilities as well and are systematically destroying all FACTORIES down there. They have also threatened to blow up the CENTRAL which controls the core of the planet which gives us the ENERGY.”

“They can’t DO that!” exclaimed Tubork. “They would risk to blow up the whole PLANET.”

“They don’t CARE. They are DESPERATE”, Badger replied.

“There must be a way….”, Tubork started but was interrupted by a wheezing sound and when he turned around he saw Janeway, Kes and Tuvok materialize in front of him.

“YOU!”, Tubork bellowed with a voice full of anger, pointing at Janeway. The Military Commander and the Security Chief started to pull their weapons and two guards who also were in the room pulled their weapons as well.

“It’s YOUR fault!”, Tubork continued. “YOU have started this revolt in order to create a SITUATION in which your FEDERATION can take over our world and ENSLAVE us!”, he wailed. Then he waved to his guards. “ARREST them!”

Tuvok pulled up his phaser and aimed it at the guards. Janeway held up her hands and said calmly: “Don’t do anything stupid now Prime Minister, you’ll need our help to solve this situation.”

“HELP?” Tubork bellowed. “You have HELPED us already by turning out lovely city to a battlefield and DESTROYED our lives, do you….”

Janeway interrupted him. “What we may have done by coming here and interfering in your business is nothing compared to the crimes you have done to those people you have enslaved. You have forced them to live in caves and slave in your underground factories while you have lived a pleasant life on the surface. That’s barbaric!”

  “I’ve seen how they are living down there” Kes said with his normally soft voice almost trembling with anger. “You invaded their planet, destroyed their city, turned them into slaves and forced them to live underground under the most humiliating circumstances.”

“It isn’t their homeworld!”, Tubork shouted. “They came here as invaders, just like we did….”

“But they never attacked or enslaved anyone”, Janeway said. “You did!”

 “Not to mention that you have killed innocent people from other worlds to hide your crimes against the Batarians!” Kes said. “There was a Klingon ship which was destroyed and the crew was murdered when they discovered what was going on here. Then you lied to the Klingon government about the ship being destroyed in an accident. But there is a Klingon still alive among the Batarians and he will tell them the truth.”

 “I would like to inform you that the Klingons are feared warriors”, Tuvok said. “They will see your deception in this matter as an insult and there is a risk that they will attack your planet to seek revenge. In that case, you may need the Federation to protect you.”

 “It looks like you have painted yourself into a corner, Tubork”, Janeway said. “You can arrest us, kill us and annihilate the Batarians, the truth is already out. I’ve sent a message to the Federation headquarters about what is going on here. The Federation flag ship Enterprise is on its way to investigate this matter further but also to help negotiate a solution which will prevent a full scale war on this planet. If you harm us in any way, the Federation will declare war. If you harm Kes here”, Janeway said while pointing at Kes, “her people will definitely attack the planet, not to mention what the Klingons will do when they find out about what you did to their scout ship. You are also faced with the possibility that some Batarian will push the wrong button down there which will affect the planet’s core and this whole world will go up in smoke. Whatever desperate action you’ll do will make you lose in a big way. It’s up to you to choose.”

For the first time, Tubork looked beaten. It was like all the anger, all his stubborn attitude was gone. “What can I DO?”, he wailed.

“Proclaim a cease-fire”, Janeway said. “We will convince the Batarian leaders that this is not a trick and we will supervise everything from Voyager. When the Enterprise arrives, we will try to find a solution which will be acceptable for all involved parts in this conflict.”

The three Henians, the Prime Minister, the Military Commander and the Security Chief looked at each other. Then Tubork said. “I guess that’s the only OPTION right now.”


Chapter 20

A week later, Janeway and Captain Picard of the Enterprise was sitting in Picard’s ready room, discussing the situation and the possibilities to solve all the problems on the planet. After the intervention from the Voyager crew and the cease-fire proclaimed by the Henian leaders, there had been no problem to end the hostilities. Janeway, with some assistance from Kes had convinced the Batarian leader Tortella to accept a cease-fire too. Then Tuvok had organized a security force which was beamed down to prevent any hostilities to flare up again. There had been some Batarians who had wanted to continue the fighting and get even with the Henians but Janeway and the Batarian leader Tortella had convinced them how futile such actions would have been. Now with the Enterprise in orbit and with other ships on its way to help out with different tasks, the danger for further conflicts were over. Now the most important thing was to solve all the problems.

“The Batarians have made it clear that they want to  be re-located to their old home planet, the one near the Romulan border which was destroyed by the Borg 10 years ago or to some other planet in that area or nearby”, Picard said. “We are investigating the possibilities to rebuild their old home planet or find another world which will be suitable for them.”

“I don’t blame them”, Janeway said. “I can understand if they don’t want to stay here with the Henians and all bad memories. But that leaves us with the Henians. Who are hey actually and what can we do to prevent them from re-building a society based on slavery and oppression?”

“The Henians are a tricky question”, Picard said. “They are actually immigrants from another galaxy.”

“What?”, Janeway exclaimed. She had expected much but not that.

“Obviously they arrived with some colony ship which was destroyed in some way. They settled on a planet near Tholian space but the Tholians did all they could for many years to get rid of them and those who survived the Tholian attacks ended up here.

“And then they found this world with it’s small Batarian colony and decided to take it over”, Janeway said. It was really tragic, she thought. Two races running away from powerful enemies happen to end up on the same planet and one of them conquer the other and enslave them. How tragic when they could have cooperated instead.

  “The Henians were afraid that the Tholians would continue to attack them and chase them away. So they decided to build something like a fortress on this world, using the forcefield technology which they had from whatever they came from. But they needed energy, they needed factories and they needed people who worked for them to build up their fortress fast and swift. So they decided to use the Batarians as slaves, the Henians seem to have had that tradition from their original world or worlds, wherever they are.”, Picard continued. “Their written records are very vague on that point, they seem to have re-written their history from the day King Lucifan took over as their leader many years ago.”

“So what will happen with them now?”, Janeway asked.

“It looks like they will remain here.” Picard said. “I know that they should have had to pay more for the crimes they have done to the Batarians and that their leaders should have been put to trial for those crimes. But as it is, I guess there is enough punishment for them to have to rebuild their colony from scratch. We have already decided to give the Batarians some compensation for their sufferings when it comes to valuable goods from this world and items stolen from the Batarians will also be returned. We have agreed to give the Henians some basic help with reorganizing everything in exchange for knowledge about heir forcefield, which unfortunately isn’t as remarkable as we thought it was, there are some real bugs in the system and we’ll see that they don’t starve. But their underground factories are destroyed and they will have to rebuild them, not to mention that they will have to work in them as well. So they are in need of our help and I guess that we will have no problems with them for the coming years.”

 “Well, I’m happy that it didn’t get worse, it has been bad enough as it was with the way the Batarians have suffered for many years. Besides that, I hope that I won’t be put in the brig for violating Starfleet rules considering this whole affair.”, Janeway said.

“There will probably be some questions”, Picard replied. “But I don’t think there will be any consequences. After all, you did handle the whole thing rather good.

  Janeway nodded. Despite having a higher rank than Picard those days, she still felt a lot of respect for the legendary Captain.

“I’ll guess that I have to go back to my ship and start preparations for the trip to Earth via Deep Space Nine. We have actually been slightly delayed.”

“Have a nice journey”, Picard replied.

Meanwhile Kes was down on the surface, saying goodbye to her Batarian friends and the Klingon Korg.

“We will send a message to you when we have relocated”, Tortella said. “Then I really hope that you will come and visit us. We are very grateful for your help. Without you, we wouldn’t have been free today.

Kes blushed. “Ah, I didn’t do that much”, she said. “It was you who liberated yourself.”

“But your help was important”, Tortella replied. “You and the Federation. We will always be grateful.”

“The one you really should be grateful to is Moria”, said Kes, smiling to the young child who was standing beside Tortella. “If it hadn’t been for you, I would never have discovered what was going on here. Besides that, you saved me when the Henians were chasing me.

Moria gave Kes a smile back. “Come and visit us soon”, she said.

“I promise to visit you as soon as I can”, Kes said. Then she turned to Korg. “What about you? Will you go back to the Klingon Empire?”

“No”, Korg said and there was a sadness in his eyes. “I was a coward and let my crewmates down when the Henians arrested them and executed them, therefore I’m dishonored and can’t go back.”

 “No, you didn’t.”, Kes said. “There was nothing you could do. Besides that, you have showed true honor and a true warrior spirit by staying with the Batarians during their long struggle and you contributed a lot to their liberation.”

“No one on the Klingon homeworld have to know about what happened when you escaped the Henians”, Tortella said. “We will tell them about the brave warrior who helped us  and give him all the credit he deserves.”

“No”, Korg said. “A Klingon doesn’t lie or come up with deceptions. That would be an even greater dishonor.”

“You could follow me to New Carlisle”, Kes suggested. “There are a lot of different people there, ex-Maquis, Bajorans and other people as well. They are good, friendly people and thery would welcome you.”

“A friendly and honorable offer”, Korg said. “But I think I stay here with my friends, the Batarians and follow them to their new homeworld. They might need some Klingon help if they have to defend their new home.”

“In that case, I’ll see you there when I come and visit you.”, Kes said. “Take care, allof you. She waved at them and walked away while tapping her combadge. “Kes to Voyager. One to beam up!”



“I must say that it’s such a great pleasure to have three such wonderful ladies as guests in this simple establishment. May I offer you some speciality of the house?” Quark looked at Kes, Janeway and Deep Space Nine's Security Chief Ro Laren who were sitting around a table, enjoying some of the drinks Quark had offered them.

“Thanks Quark”, Ro Laren said. “But we know that the more specialities you have to offer, the more we have to pay for them.”

 “Oh, why must you always be so suspicious”, Quark said, pretending to be slightly annoyed. “I would be ready to offer you many specialities  from the house for a fair price, just for the joy to have you here. Just tell me if you need anything!” He hurried back to the bar where some Andorians had entered, eagerly waiting for Quark to serve them.

Voyager had arrived at Deep Space Nine some hours earlier and Kes and Janeway had told Ro Laren everything about their latest adventure. “You have a certain habit to stumble over secrets and dangerous things”, Ro Laren said to Kes. “I hope that it won’t be a habit.”

“Neither do I”, Kes said. “After this vacation I really need a vacation!” Both Janeway and Ro Laren laughed. Then Janeway looked at the entrance.

“I guess that your escort has arrived.”, she said.

Kes turned around and saw two familiar persons enter the establishment. Former Maquis Commander Bohumil Novak and his colleague Mike Cortez. Kes had encountered them in the Delta Quadrant after being restored to normal by Q (the story “Coming Home”) and after some adventures decided to remain with the crew on their ship and finally settle down at a planet called New Carlisle which was located between Bajoran space and the Tzenketi Alliance. They had also helped Kes to find Janeway after Janeway had been abducted by some criminals (see story “Strange Dreams”). Kes smiled and waved at them and they set course for the table where Kes, Janeway and Ro Laren were sitting. 

They sat down and Novak said: “Nice to see you all! How was your vacation, Kes? Did you see anything interesting?”

Kes smiled. “Yes, a lot of interesting things. I visited Starfleet Headquarters, Starfleet Academy, Admiral Janeway’s home, the Jupiter Station and..”

“You didn’t go to Prague?”, Novak asked.

“No, I didn't have time for that.”  Kes replied.

“Ah what a shame”, Novak said, pretending to be annoyed. “Then you really missed the best part of Earth. I’ll show you the town on some other occasion, it’s a place you really must see.”

“Ah, come on!”, Mike Cortez laughed. “Let her tell us more about the trip.”

“Sorry”, Novak said. “Please go on. What other planets did you visit?”

“I met Tuvok’s family on Vulcan and I visited Andoria, Betazed and Cait. I also met a lot of interesting people, Klingons, Ferengis, Tellarites, Benzites, Bolians and many others.”

“Sounds like an interesting trip”, Mike Cortez said.

“Do you want something to drink?, Kes asked and raised from her chair. “Quark seem to be busy but I’ll tell him to get you something.”

“That would be reeeealy nice!”, Novak said.

Kes started to walk away to the bar, then she turned around, smiled and said: “Oh, by the way, I also visited a planet called Henia where I participated in a revolt to liberate a people called the Batarians who were kept as slaves.”

She turned and walked up to the bar with an impish smile on her lips. Behind her, she could hear Novak saying: “What? She participated in what?"