Star Trek PBEM Sim / Star Trek RPG


Title: Remembrances Past, Part Seven
Location: Pandora's Box, CO's Stateroom
Flashback Setting (Saldar/Kamranov): Takharesh X

--------------- The Forest of Narenradahr, Tescahdehn ---------------

Hours later, Saldar reached his destination, the Darashevi Caverns. These caves had an important strategic location for the Starfleet Intelligence Sector Chief trying to get all of his people out and complete the mission of rescuing the crown prince. The caves bordered the Taharin and Jadesch mountain ranges. If he could get through in time, he could get the boy to the shuttles waiting on the other side.

Still disguised as Saldar, he scanned carefully to make sure there weren't any people or monitoring devices around. His exit plan out of Tunnai controlled territory was very dangerous.

Satisfied that they were safe for now, Saldar ran some equipment and other checks for the next difficult part. The immediate interior of the caves had toxic fumes from the guano of the very large, bat-like population that resided there in colonies on the stalactites and ceilings. Below them was rife with poisonous reptiles and insects crawling and slithering on the ground among the stalagmites. Saldar was hoping that all of these and the caverns' legendary curses would help prevent any random contact with other people and deter any pursuers.

Fortunately, he had used these caves several times before and not only knew his way around, but had a few of the chiropterans that would perch on him and eat the fruit and insects that he brought for them.

The extraction specialist checked the air tank that he and the boy would be sharing again. ~Good,~ he thought making sure that they had enough air as he scanned the prince once more. The child's health was too poor to risk sedating him. He hoped the boy would sleep a long time and not wake up in the beginning.

Saldar took his last breath of the sweet forest air, put on a full mask for himself, reactivated the sharing feature on the tank and tucked the little prince back under his robes and entered the cave. He watched where he was putting his feet very carefully. He didn't want to slip in all the droppings and the squirming, heaving, pulsating, swarm of maggots and vermin living off the bat droppings. Most of all not upset any poisonous vipers or lizards.

While bats were regarded as "evil" creatures in many cultures and this planet was filled with such stories similar to Earth's, Saldar knew that they were really very nice, intelligent, friendly animals and very curious creatures. If you were near them for a while, they would come and check you out and get to know you. As he had been through the caves many, many times, the bats had gotten used to him and would either ignore him or greet him. This time was no different and the "three ambassadors" as Saldar jokingly called them came to him, got a few scratches and a big piece of fruit. One of them perched on the top of his uncomfortable head covering as was the native custom to wear for men of his chosen caste.

Thirty minutes later, worn and exhausted, but in much better air having cleared the guano from the large colonies near the entrance, Saldar took a short break and sat down. The bat that he had named Edgar left his roost and went to chase and play with the others.

The lack of movement seemed to wake the prince. Saldar felt him wriggle and quickly activated a dim light. He opened his overcoat like exterior robe and picked the prince up and set him on a nearby rock.

"Don't take the mask off yet, please. I have to check the air to make sure it is safe for you, your highness. Please just shake your head to reply. Water?" he said still speaking the Rahndii language

The little prince shook his head yes.

Saldar checked the scanner. All the colors were in the safe range. The air was good and free of ammonia and other toxic fumes. He took off his mask first and tested the air with his own lungs. It seemed fine, so he told the boy to remove the mask and gave him the water. The boy drank it up quickly, as if it was the last drop he'd ever have and as if it were to suddenly evaporate from the cup.

Noticing how thirsty Prince Rahdemi was, Saldar removed the stopper from the bag of water again. "Carrying the water is very heavy," he said. "Would you like to help me by drinking some more?" he asked hoping the boy was too young to know that wouldn't change the weight of the load for him. Saldar was trying to be careful of the delicate cultural situation in which he placed himself. The prince would have every expectation that he should be stomping around giving orders to the beggar from the unclean caste before him. While the disguise of Saldar the beggar was great for going unnoticed and being avoided, it was not so good for situations like this.

The little prince shook his head yes again. Saldar poured some more and put he stopper back and the sling like bag of water back over his shoulder.

"I have some pahnen (bread) and legasfrei (dried fruit and nuts)," he said, taking them out carefully.

Having sensed the food, the bats returned, landed and bobbed expectantly awaiting some more fruit from Saldar.

The little prince shook his head affirmatively for some food. Saldar set the food out for him on the rock. The young heir to the throne stared at him with big, dark, emotion laden eyes.

Saldar tried to reassure him as he tossed pieces of fruit to the bats. "They don't look pretty by our standards, but they are very nice and won't hurt you. You just have to look past what is said about them and take the time to find out what they are really like," he said motioning to the bats.

"Like you. You look like a beggar, but yet.." the Prince started to say. He was very wise and observant for such a young boy.

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Character Biographies:

CO, Captain Nikolai Kamranov
CMO, Commander Vilotanzia Bounlutay
ACEO,Lieutenant Commander Piper Chayton
COMMO, Lieutenant Llewellyn Moreau
AIO, Lieutenant Peel
VLO, Sublieutenant Yunarra
AIO, Ensign Molly Ferweiler


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