A Child's Toy
by Robert Scorpio
The Planet Mehjah'Loh
Inside the ancient sacrificial caves…
Vormarl, who clutched the amulet in his right hand, as it hung from a gold necklace around his neck, looked about the cave at the various carvings, no doubt carvings of ancient sacrifices, perhaps one of which was the very first ritual. He stared at the carvings, knowing that at the heart of them there had to be a science at work. But he didn't care if it was science or magic, as long as it served his purpose; to provide the Praetor options in case war with the Klingons, the Gorn or the even the Federation, or all of them at the same time, ever came.
"No more delay, Pavant," Vormarl stated coolly, "this decrepit old woman says you have the ancient mark." Vormarl looked at the ancient carvings, and saw crude drawings of the Buk'amah in those times, and a crude mark was seen in the art work. "Now that you have taken the child's life with the ancient daggers, place the body into the fire pit, and release the ultimate power; the coil of spirits!."
"You are a fool!" L'faneka cried out. The old blind woman reached out with her hands, and finding nothing to support her weight on; stumbled forward as she lost her balance, and fell to the ground. "Look at the walls and the stories that are told upon them!"
"I have been staring at images of these drawings for nearly a year, female," Vormarl came back with, "Just as in those carvings, a sacrifice has been made, and when the body of the child burns in the fire," he looked at the cave walls and saw what he was talking about depicted upon them, " and the blood mixes with the fire, the coil of spirits will rise from the flames , surround me, laud me with their worship, and then they will enter the amulet; and then I will control the coil of spirits."
"When that happens, L'faneka," Pavant said to her, "this out-worlder, as you call him, will vanquish the invading Klingons and grant our world peace for the next ten-thousand years."
L'faneka began to laugh at first, and then she began to cry with pity.
"You are both fools; especially you out worlder," L'faneka spat back with through her tears. "Look closer at the story; the coil of sprits are not going to envelope you, they are meant to possess the Ka'nah'j; the doorway."
"You foolish woman; these old carvings depict the coil of spirits entering a man; the Ka'nah'j as you put it a moment ago. I will be the Ka'nah'j in the here and now; I WILL BE the doorway." Vormarl came back with.
"No," L'faneka said, with a cry in her voice. "You will only release its evil! The Ka'nah'j is literally a figuring, no bigger than the size of your hand. It is sacred, it is holy, and it acts as the passageway from the amulet and into the soul. The coil of spirits must first pass through the crest of the figurine, be cleansed, and then passed to the holder of the amulet. Without the Ka'nah'j to cleanse the evil, the coil of spirits will destroy everything, including our world, and then wage war with the heavens if they must; until the spirits can find and destroy the Ka'nah'j; the doorway to the soul. THEY DO NOT want to be controlled by a mortal."
"You lie," Pavant said with a laugh, as he looked over at L'faneka. "I have never heard of such a tale. There is no such thing as a Ka'nah'j figurine!"
L'faneka began to laugh, though her laugh was flavored with dread.
"Pavant; you were never the Buk'amah, that is why you do not know of this tale," L'faneka pleaded. "Only the Buk'amah, and a chosen elder who is bind, in this case me, knows the secret story hidden in the myths of our people. It has been done this way to prevent what you're trying to do from even happening. Long ago the Buk'amah realized the evil that was kept alive in these caves, and they decided that the coil of spirits must never be released, and for that reason, the story was omitted from our spoken history, and the ancient evil has ever since been contained here; in the bowels of the cave."
"You lie!" Pavant yelled back. "Child sacrifices have happened in recent times."
"Very recently in fact," Vormarl added.
"It was made sure that the children who were sacrificed in the recent times did not contain the blood line of the Buk'amah," L'faneka told the other two, "for the very reason I am telling you; so that the evil inside of the coil of spirits would not be release!"
Vormarl had an innate ability to know when someone was speaking the truth, and he could tell that the old woman was not lying. Vormarl walked over to the old woman, who was still on the ground. He kneeled down next to her and picked up a boulder, the size of his hand, and after grabbing the back of her head with one hand, with one powerful stroke, he pummeled her left hand, her bones cracking at the sound. The woman screamed.
"Where is the figurine you speak of?" Vormarl demanded in a calm and cool voice, as the woman cried in agony.
Vormarl slammed the rock down on the old woman's same hand again, this time dislocating every knuckle in her hand. Even Pavant stared at what was happening with disgust in his eyes, but did nothing to help her.
"I do not believe her," Pavant finally said, as the woman refused to say anything more. And without any thought given to it, Pavant suddenly picked up Lymet's lifeless body and took it over to the fire pit, and raised the body over his head.
"I demand of you," Vormarl said, as he stood back up, "do not put the body of that child into the fire pit; this old woman is telling the truth."
Pavant looked back at Vormarl, and shook his head.
"This is my world, off worlder," Pavant said, "and I do not consider her tale remotely true!"
And then, in one fluid downward motion, Pavant threw the child's body into the fire pit. The flames flared for a moment, as they ate through the dead skin; the flames becoming wilder due to the unique acid inside the sacred blood.
"He did it," L'faneka said with remorse in her eyes.
Vormarl bent back down, picked up boulder he had used moments ago, which now had a blood, her blood, dripping from it and then slammed it down on her other hand, again and again.
"Where is the Ka'nah'j ? Where is the figurine?" Vormarl demanded in a soft voice.
"We will all die," the old woman said, through her cries of agony.
"Then you have nothing to lose by telling me," Vormarl said. "The next time I strike you with this boulder, old woman, I will drive it through your face, and you will know only agony before you know death, whether the coils of spirits rise or not."
L'faneka knew it didn't matter, and she wanted her death to be like that of her people, as it would surely now come for all of them; through the power of the coil of spirits. She did not want to find death at the hands of an off-worlder. So; she decided to reveal the truth, knowing, that in the end, it didn't matter.
"Another off worlder visited Mehjah'Loh three suns ago," she told Vormral. "This being,and his friends, were traders of goods, and came in peace to our world, which you and the Klingons have desecrated in a matter of hours." She explained. "I knew the Klingons would be coming because Pavant, the fool that he is, was betrayed by a woman whom he had taken to his bed. He told her this outlandish plan, and she in turn told me. So," L'faneka said, "I gave the Ka'nah'j figurine to the trader on the chance she was telling me the truth; the human's name was…Kardokk,(Craddock)" she said, trying to pronounce the name of the human correctly, "He believes the Ka'nah'j figure is but a child's toy."
Vormarl had heard enough, and despite what he had promised the old woman, he slammed the rock at her forehead, with such a force, it drove her head to the ground, and then the boulder crushed through her skull; killing her instantly.
And then, suddenly it started; the ground began to shake. Before another second could pass, Vormarl, without saying one word to Pavant, pressed a button and shimmered away into nothingness. Pavant stood back from the fire pit, and could only watch in awe as the flames came together, wrapping themselves around each other; coiling together. And then…
Mehjah'Loh, the entire planet that it was, exploded!
But even though all life on the planet seemed to be destroyed; they had survived; the coil of the spirits. The coil remained motionless,its energy swirling about, as the planetary debris rippled outward, and then, the coil began to streak through the planetary debris seeking but one thing; the Ka'nah'j figureine. Once the figure was destroyed; the coil of spirits would never be a possession again. The coil of energy streaked into open space!
Safe aboard his scout class vessel, Vormarl had removed the necklace and amulet, and had placed them before him on the consol. He scanned the amulet, and detected a power source being emitted. He correctly deduced that the amulet could be used to track the coil of spirits. He knew that he had to find the figurine, no matter where it was. He we was convinced now more than ever that such power, including the ability to destroy an entire world in but a wink of an eye, had to belong to the Romulan empire.
On the Draco, there were flames everywhere. Craddock motioned to Ensign Chambers – she'd been the one who'd saved him from falling before. She came close. "Get everyone to the Enterprise, any way you can," he told her.
"And you, sir?"
"I'm staying here."
Chambers reached down, against Craddock's orders and tried to force him out of his command seat in order to safe his life.
"That's foolish sir; you're coming with me," she tried to force him up, but he pushed her away.
"I can't leave the Draco," he told Ens. Chambers, with hysteria in his eyes. "This was our ship," he said, as he reached into his pocket and took out an old item of jewelry; a locket. He stared at it and the image of the woman contained inside of it. "Oh my Elizabeth," Craddock nearly sobbed as he looked at the image, "She died, right there, right where you are standing. I can feel her presence here on the bridge, in my quarters, in the bed we shared. I will NEVER leave her!" He composed himself, and put the locket back into his pocket. "Now go, Chambers, and leave me here to die with my wife."
Ensign Chambers felt sorry for the man, who had usually been a strong figure. But now that he faced death, she could tell that his inner demons of his past were coming back. Chambers bowed her head, and made her way off of the bridge.
Finally alone, Craddock looked about the bridge. The instruments were sparking, a thin vale of smoke was gathering. There was nothing more he could do but die; his wife was only a breath away now.
Unaware to Craddok, in the cargo hold of the Draco, among the scattering of items that he and his crew had traded for on their latest run, there was an ancient figurine, which he had only seen once and had discarded as a worthless child's toy. The two eyes of the figuring began to glow…the coil of spirits was getting closer!