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Cptn Swain


The Excalibur dropped out of warp outside of what was otherwise a rather unassuming class-P moon circling a large, ringed gas giant. Asher Swain glanced casually over to Miranda Hawthorne, who’d taken up residence in the engineering console before standing.


“An ice cube,” he said with a curled lip. “Who would have thought that.”


Behind him, Ah-Windu Corizon frowned. “I am assuming their base is underground,” he said pushing off the railing. “They like to burrow you know.”


“What do we have on sensors?”


From the tactical console, Lee Thomas perked up. “I am detecting what appears to be an Al-Ucard cruiser and an Eratian vessel on the opposite side of the moon. The radiation from the moon’s ice field and the planet above are making scanning difficult.”


“That should make transporting tricky,” Miranda said, her own frown matching Corizon’s. She didn’t like when environmental factors affected her equipment.


Asher nodded. “I suppose they don’t want people beaming into the meeting...”


“Captain we’re being hailed... it’s from the moon’s surface.” the junior lieutenant working the switchboard interrupted before correcting himself. “Well, below it.”


“Audio or...”




“Put it on.”


Asher looked briefly to Miranda again, then to Corizon who’d joined him in the central ‘ring’ of the bridge for a better view. It was strange, Corizon considered, to be back on the bridge of his ship wearing the uniform again. He imagined it was even more uncomfortable for Swain.


A few moments later the viewer blinked and the picturesque scene of the blue-white moon was replaced with the unnerving image of a Scorpiad.


“Grrreetings,” it clicked out, the universal translator taking a half-millisecond longer to translate the utterly alien language of the giant arachnids into something that humanoid ears could process. “Wwelkoome to G’zeetten.


“We’re honored,” Asher said in his Captain Voice. “I am Captain Asher Swain, commanding officer of the USS Excalibur and this is...”


“Captain Kooor-ah-zhan,” the Scorpiad said, at least three or four of its eyes flickering towards the silver haired Dameon. “We are most pleased you have came.”


At least the translator was adapting, Swain thought, pushing a mental sigh away.


“Thank you,” Corizon said with a respectful head tip. “And you are?”


“I am Adjutant General N’Yc’kk’aaa’Zttt, general administator of G’zetten Research Facility. Viceroy T’Keeek has yet to arrive, and we apologize for his delay. Your vessel may enter into orbit along with the others in the interim. We will contact you again once the Viceroy has arrived.”


“Of course,” Corizon said, a sidelong glance to Swain. “I anticipate our next meeting.”


The screen abruptly returned to the planetoid.


“They hung up?” Asher said with a blink.


“Yes sir.”


“How rude.”


“At least they didn’t shoot at us,” Corizon said with a grin.


“Why would they do that?” Asher said before remembering himself. “I mean... they asked for this meeting.”


Corizon lifted an ear, but let it go. “I’d like a secure link with the Al-Ucard and Eratian ships. May I...”


“My ready room is always available to you, Captain.”


Corizon nodded and headed that way. “Ensign, if you could take care of that for the Captain; helm put us into standard orbit. Miranda, can you see about cleaning up the sensors?”

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