June 18th 2275
Personal Log, Stardate 7546.2
Commander Pavel Andreivich Chekov recording.
We had a nasty run-in with the Orions today, and I saw something that disturbed me deeply.
Lieutenant Thela Kazanga and I were in the mess hall finishing breakfast when the red
alert klaxons went off. Thela is my lady friend. Shes a beautiful
Andorian girl, and shes a little nuts - well, maybe a lot nuts - but in a good
way! Shes been given two field commendations in the last four months for bravery
above and beyond the call of duty. I took one last swallow of orange juice before we ran
to the nearest turbolift for the bridge.
The Reliant had cornered an Orion
blockade runner--a pirate ship--hauling contraband arms to a rebel group inside the
Federation. Captain Terrell ordered them to come about for an inspection, and, of course,
the Orion captain fired on us. Then he tried to make a run for it, still blasting away at
us. We quickly disabled them and ordered them to surrender and prepare to be boarded.
But there were complications.
With Orions, there are always complications.
The Orions had a dozen or so young girls they had kidnapped from various Federation
planets who were to be sold in the slave pens of Xantharus IV. The Orion captain had them
spread through different areas of the ship, and warned us that any attempt to board would
mean their deaths. There was a young Vulcan girl on the bridge with him. If she had been
Human, I would have guessed her to be no more than twenty years old. She was naked and had
been savagely beaten; the captain was literally holding her up by her hair, or she would
have collapsed to the deck. In order to show he meant business, the Orion whipped out this
huge dagger and slashed the poor girls throat from ear to ear. I heard someone throw
up behind me on the bridge, and I almost joined them.
Captain Terrell issued some swift orders under his breath to Commander Steve Kelowitz, our
security chief, who had just returned to duty from medical rehab. Steve quickly moved to
Commander Beach at the science station. The captain began to negotiate with the pirate
commander to distract him (I know that the official Federation stance is that we
dont negotiate with terrorists, but I havent met a captain yet who follows
that directive). In the meantime, Commander Beach had isolated all the non-Orion life form
readings on the pirate vessel and pinpointed their locations. There were twelve of them
who had survived.
I offered to help out on one the security details because we were short-handed. We
assembled into two-person teams. Thela and I beamed over to one of the decks that housed
their crew quarters, homing in on a non-Orion life sign. We found her in the grip of an
Orion pirate. He was a young man; he was two heads taller than me, and his biceps looked
as big as my thighs. He had gold body piercings all over his face and forehead which made
him very scary-looking.
But he was the one who looked scared.
He had a young Human girl in a choke hold with a blaster pistol jammed up under her chin.
Like the Vulcan, she was naked and had been worked over pretty badly, and a viscous pink
mixture of blood and semen glazed the insides of her legs. She was terrified, and bleeding
heavily from the mouth. She was in a bad way.
Let her go! Thela ordered. She pointed her phaser carbine at him, and I saw
her adjust it for a fine beam disrupt. I think she was going to try to vaporize his pistol
and his gun hand before he could shoot the girl; Ive seen her do it before. Scares
me to death.
Dont make me kill her! the Orion begged. Please--I dont want
Then let her go, I said. Stop this now, and nothing will happen to
His eyes were wide and terrified. For a moment, I thought he was going to drop his pistol.
Then the girl decided to take matters into her own hands. She bit him on the arm with all
of her failing strength, and he dropped her with a cry of pain. She passed out as she slid
to the floor.
And then all hell broke loose.
Thela and I both shot him in the chest, although she was still set on fine beam and only
punched a little hole in him. As he pitched backward, his pistol went off and shot Thela
in her left shoulder. She screamed in agony and slammed back against a bulkhead, and she
left a wide smear of cobalt blue blood on the wall as she slid down to sit on the deck.
The Orion lost his pistol as he hit the floor. He started crawling painfully down the
I remember screaming Thelas name as I ran toward her.
She was cursing up a blue streak. Shit, shit, shit! she sobbed.
They'll...put me in
rehab. I...hate rehab...
The wound looked awful. She was bleeding heavily, and the open flesh was burning and
sizzling. If she didnt get medical attention, the burn would spread and incinerate
her entire body from the inside out. She was pale; normally, her skin color is a very
beautiful blue, like the sky in October on a perfect day. It was almost white now.
Fortunately the medics came right away; they had heard the phasers shrieking.
They laid her down on an antigrav litter and started working on her.
She gazed up at me; her beautiful violet eyes were black with pupil dilation, and they
were full of pain. G-go kill that
green skinned bastard before he
a-another little girl
Ill be all r-right
There were medics working on the injured girl as well, so I went after the Orion.
He wasnt going to be hard to find. He left a trail of green-black blood on the deck.
I was hell-bent for vengeance. I remembered what happened when the Orions captured the
shuttlecraft Hawking eight months ago. I think everybody in the Federation
remembers that bloody atrocity...
The Hawking had not been on a spy mission. She had been damaged by a fierce ion
storm and forced down on Xantharus IV. The Director of the Barrier Alliance Consortium,
Gareth Brok, holovised the torture and execution of her crew: two men and five women. They
were crucified in the amphitheater in the city of Gracchos against a backdrop of slave
auctions and bloodsports, in front of a jeering crowd of 150,000, with holocams hovering
around their naked, mangled bodies as they hung, slowly dying, nailed to crude wooden
One unfortunate young girl, a fresh-faced ensign, had taken three days to die under the
blazing red sun...
I hated Orions for what they did to their captives on Xantharus IV, and this Orion had
tried to kill my Thela. I slid the dial on my carbine to full disrupt.
I was going to blast him into atoms when I caught up to him.
The trail of blood wound its way into a small crew cabin. It was dimly lit; I could see
the Orion stretched out on the blood-soaked bed, reaching for something on his nightstand.
One look at him told me he only had minutes to live. I lost some of my steam then and
moved closer, lowering my rifle.
His trembling fingers were reaching for a holocube. Pplease
? he gasped.
I picked it up. Five of the six holopics featured a beautiful young Orion girl and an
adorable little baby. She didnt look old enough to have given birth, but there it
was. They were smiling happily in all of them.
The last one depicted the dying Orion, smiling, with his arm around the girl as she
cradled the infant. I handed the perspex cube to him.
you... he croaked.
He unsuccessfully tried to raise the cube to his blood flecked lips. I steadied his
shaking hands, and he kissed the cube.
Then he clutched it to his chest and died.
For some reason, I reached down and closed his staring eyes.
I stood there frozen for several minutes. Inexplicably, I had tears in my own eyes.
We only managed to save ten of the thirteen hostages. The girl Thela and I had rescued
died on the operating table from massive internal injuries. I suppose under the
circumstances, that wasnt too bad, but one lost life is one too many. The Orion
captain took a suicide pill when faced with capture, as did many of his men.
Captain Terrell was kind enough to have my relief finish my shift so I could be in Sickbay
with Thela. She was in surgery for five hours, and I wasnt allowed to go in. I
almost lost my mind.
Finally, Doctor Cynda Callison, our CMO, came out. She looked exhausted, but she was
She told me Thela was going to be fine, but it had been a close call. She would be off the
track again for about five days, which would drive her crazy, but she should be able to
resume her normal duties after that.
I went in to sit by her and hold her hand. Doctor Callison told me shed be out for
about another twelve hours. Her beautiful sky-blue color is back. The plastiskin and
syntheflesh on her wounded shoulder are darker right now, but theyre smooth as a
babys butt - no scarring. Theyll become the same color as the rest of
her skin after theyre absorbed. She looks like an innocent little blue angel
sleeping there - although most people dont think of angels as having antennae!
Its a comfort for me to be with her, but it gives me too much time to think.
I almost lost my beloved little ladybug today. My stomach gets tied up in knots every time
she goes out on a mission. Its bad enough when I go out on one with her, but
its even worse when I have to stay behind on the ship. Weve talked about this.
Thelas philosophical about it. She says shes a redshirt, and theres a
better than even chance shell be killed in the line of duty at some point, so why
dont we just enjoy the time we have together if something does happen? And if
nothing ever does happen, so much the better.
But as much as almost losing Thela bothered me, what happened with the Orion disturbed me
Ive killed before. Ive killed from a distance, pressing a button at the
weapons console of a starship. Ive looked another being in the eye and killed him
- or, sometimes, her.
But its always been a kill-or-be-killed situation.
Its easy to demonize your enemy. Captain Kirk reviles the Klingons - says they
could never be trusted. I felt the same way about the Orions, after what they did to the Hawking's
crew. After all, these were the monsters who crucified those people in their amphitheater.
The same monsters who programmed their hovering holocams to obscenely zoom in on the
surviving young ensign's tortured, naked body as it hung on the cross, so her horrified
family back on Earth could watch as, days later, that body turned blue as she suffocated,
and so they could hear her death rattle.
I cant reconcile those images with that mortally-wounded young man who only wanted
to see a picture of his wife and baby son one last time before he died. In many ways,
hes no different from any of us. He was just doing his job--although his job was
twisted and evil to our way of thinking. But I would hardly call him a monster.
I wish now that we hadnt had to kill him.
Anyway, its been an eventful day. Thela and I will have a lot to talk about--and
think about--when she wakes up.
Hopefully, tomorrow will be a normal day--whatever that is...
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