Star Trek: Phoenix-X
"For the World is Worldly and Such, Part II"
The Prometheus-class U.S.S. Phoenix-X sped through warp at incredible warp-like warp speeds (warp, to be specific) in pursuit of the giant technologically-fitted asteroid.
"Fabrini rock-thing," opened Commander Seifer from the main chair. "You are ordered to pull over and engage your four-way blinkers."
But there was no response.
"Perhaps they do not see the error in their ways?" Red questioned from Helm.
Kayl shook her head at Operations. "According to our scans, they robbed that solar orbital space station of its manufactured warp cores and then half destroyed it— How could you not be aware of those kinds of actions??"
"I don't know," Red responded defensively. "Sleep walking, perhaps. There's a lot of ways."
The asteroid expelled a disruption field, which dropped both it and the Phoenix-X out of warp. It then continued on, at impulse toward a derelict asteroid field.
"Mr. Red, pursue course. We must repair whatever damage they've done," Seifer ordered.
Ensign Dan turned around from Science. "Why? We're literally outside our jurisdiction here."
"You're relieved!" Seifer countered. "Now, Lieutenant Commander Armond. You take over here while Kugo and I transport over."
Armond got up, excited. "Yes, Commander!"
"It's Captain. I should be called Captain," Seifer corrected.
The Tactical officer scratched his head, confused. "Capppp.... tehhh? What? Is that a kind of burrito?"
"You know what ranks are! From now on, no more Oxygen Deprivation Competitions in the Cargo bay."
Minutes later, Seifer and Kugo transported over to the Fabrini asteroid, only to find themselves inside the simulated environment of a barren and rocky planetary surface.
"Welcome, welcome to Yonada!" came a voice from behind, the pale man that hailed them earlier. "Hello. My name is Yelg. I'm the big man in charge around here."
Confused, Seifer looked at him. "You're not angry we beamed over, thus furthering our nosey-ness?"
"Oh, what's done is done. A man can no more avoid the rain, when he doesn't have the correct access codes to the rain's weather modification network."
Kugo nodded. "An apt analogy."
"What is the point of this simulation? Aren't you afraid of using up all your power?? You need to take some conservation tips from Chakotay's recently released Biography-slash-Survival Tips book: The Voyager Home: Being Nothing More Than Native American To Everyone."
Yelg clasped his hands together. "I've read it. It goes fine until the awkward Seven of Nine chapters. —No, you see, this simulation is run off our advanced power generators, enough to run for eight lifetimes, and kept going as a reminder of what we were before— Mindless automatons, worshiping some computer thing."
"You should be more like us and worship organizations. But, continue," Seifer said.
An elevator pod popped out of the ground, and Yelg began for it. "Allow me to show you around. Do you like 3D chess? We have that here, but have do not have all the pieces. We need help finding the pieces."
Exiting the elevator, the three stepped into an open market-like place, where people were shopping, socializing, and eating at shops.
"Ah. I forgot my latinum card," Seifer started feeling around his uniform, forgetting that they did not have pockets.
Kugo looked on in shock. "By the made up gods of Vulcan! You still have people living here? And they like it??"
"What I've developed is a world of perfection. The years after we colonized led to divisions of religion and science, in our culture, driving a knife of separation between our peoples— It was the dissolution that plagued us," Yelg explained. "But here, we live anew. This is a paradise!"
They stop in front of a franchised coffee shop, named Paradise.
"There are five on this floor alone," Yelg said. "Here, have a jumja stack— It's a stack of jumja sticks, stacked together."
Seifer took the stack and tasted it. "Very anti-Bajoran, but still good— Not validating-good, mind you."
"And here is a school for orphaned children." They approached a section with friendly décor. "These are children we come across, in our travels throughout the galaxy. We've got Caitian kids to Kzinti kids, all who are being returned to their worlds, no fuss, no muss."
One of the Caitians ran up to Seifer and purred at his legs. "I wuv you, Mr. Captain."
"Huh! Did you hear what he called me, Kugo?? Can we keep him?" Seifer turned to her.
Kugo looked at him, plainly. "You hate children, remember?"
"Oh yeah," Seifer relaxed. "That Picard-strict thing. Well, still, good job with the kids, Yelg."
He then led them in to another room, where tubes of green liquid lead out of vats and in to 24th century buckets.
"And here is where we manufacture green drink: The most alcoholic beverage in the galaxy; approved by eighteen Scotsmen!"
At this, Seifer's jaw dropped. "Yelg. You're a genius! You're single handedly saving the Alpha Quadrant! How can we repay you?? Anything. Name it."
"You can put your hands up!" Yelg's tone changed to something more threatening and four Fabrini security officers stepped out from the shadows, aiming rifles at them. "You think you can get away with meddling with us? You don't even know what you've gotten yourself in to!"
Caught completely off guard, now raising his arms, Seifer looked at Yelg. "But— those kids?"
"Slave labor, and an export for hairballs. Those jumja stacks? Highly addictive. It's the highest ordered product by Cardassian refugees."
Losing track, Seifer asked, "Got any more?"
"Commander!" Kugo turned to him. "Besides your sudden failings, I've deduced who Yelg really is, using my memory of known Yelgs. In fact, Yelg was a Captain in Starfleet not too long ago."
Snapping, Yelg cursed. "Damn! I was hoping you weren't going to figure that out."
"Wait. What???" Seifer spat.
Yelg crossed his arms. "That was a long time ago, Seifer. I was in ship reconstruction. In fact, when I left, my working partner left with me. You might recall his species: Traveler."
"Oh, is this my queue?" Wayfar, a Traveler, from Tau Ceti, stepped out in to the open. "You know, I like to pride myself on my timing— Unfortunately, I stepped out and made that claim three times before you guys entered here."
Meanwhile, the Phoenix-X attempted a high-intensity scan of the asteroid Yonada, but to no avail.
"Well, is anyone up for lunch? I'm thinking burritos. I don't know why," Armond offered, giving up.
The ship suddenly shook and Kayl checked its status. "Armond, they've locked a tractor beam on us. It's highly pressurized."
"Attempting to break free," Red reported, tapping at the helm. "Attempt failing. Attempting to suggest gagh for lunch?"
Armond snapped. "Denied! Unless— gagh burritos?"
"Now that we're stuck in tow, any speculations on what the warp capable asteroid wielding Fabrini want to do with several stolen warp cores?" Kayl changed the subject.
At that, several smaller asteroids began moving out from the asteroid field, seemingly all on their own, using impulse power. "Those?" Armond postulated. "Those," he settled.
TO BE CONCLUDED