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Out Of Mind » MEMBER ADVERTISING & BLOG FORUMS » T.S. "Tray" Caladan » THE ORVILLE "Homecoming" by TS Caladan

THE ORVILLE "Homecoming" by TS Caladan

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1 THE ORVILLE "Homecoming" by TS Caladan on Fri Sep 29, 2017 10:15 am


by TS Caladan

       "State your name," the giant arachnid demanded. He aimed his command at the young man who stood about 50 feet away from him in the cold, dark, slimy, slippery and very massive, subterranean chamber.
       "El Manos-Car'dred..."
       "Not your unspoken name, your real name, son?"
       "Lieutenant Zachery Thames Halsey, Director."
       "Tell me, Lt. Halsey: What do you think of your father, the Admiral?"
       "He is a shining star, Director. The 'finest' example of a soldier, a loyal patriot who has served the Union for decades to the best of his ability. I pattern my life on the man. I am so proud of him. I love him."
       The Yehcruy, sole Union Financier at the top of the capstone, asked the "fast-rising" Lieutenant: "If, asked, yes, asked to kill your father, would you do so, son?"
       "Of course. If it is your command, Director. Is it your command?"
       "No. Not yet. The Admiral still has usefulness in the agenda."
       Yehcruy moved a long, powerful spider-leg until it sidled next to young Halsey. The arachnid (with all the 'dough') said, "A plan you will know and understand fully when time comes to replace your father. In the meantime, we have an important assignment for you. How would you like to steal the heart of the most beautiful girl in the galaxy? One of them. How would you like to get laid, son?"
       Zak Halsey was more and more mesmerized the longer he spoke to the Spider. Dazed, he expressed, "Yes, sir. I would enjoy that very much...Father."

       Onboard the Orville, it was "Poker Night," for a select few of the crew, only they didn't play poker...
       "Captain?" Gordon Malloy asked.
       Ed said, "You don't have to call me that when it's just us..."
       "Sign of respect," the helmsman replied. "Everyone has anti-ed in."
       With a sly smile, Gordon added, "...Okay, bastard..."
       Captain responded, "Go back to Captain."
       There were good feelings among those in the room: Dr. Claire Finn, Malloy, First Officer Kelly, LaMarr, Captain Ed and Edwin, the red alien. Each sat around a smooth card table.
       Lt. LaMarr said to the group, "I feel honored to be here, really. So. I'm one of us? But I don't feel right calling you 'Ed,' sir."
       Edwin, the Calivon, said, "What about me, Captain? I'm new to the gang. I can call you: Ed?"
       Kelly Grayson turned toward Ed. She blinked her eyes a few times. She wondered how her ex-husband would handle the problem.
       "Look. Look..." He had the answer. "...Look, simple. No one's in uniform, right? When I got the captain-suit on, I'm Captain Mercer. When I'm wearin' the Ban-Lon, it's Ed. Got it?"
       Both John LaMarr and Gordon Malloy laughed more than the others and repeated: "Ban-Lon."
      Six players each received 5 cards from the dealer (Edwin).
      "I miss Alara," Kelly said out of the blue.
      "Me, too," Mercer backed her up. "She won a lot."
      First Officer assured Ed and the others: "We'll find her. Got a good feeling."
      It was the Doctor's turn. She picked up from the faced-down deck on the table, added the card to her hand [smiled], discarded and created a face-up pile then completed the action when she placed three 6s down, face-up!
       "You spread already?" Gordon and a few others were surprised.
       Ed said, "That's a hell of a start, Doctor."
       John LaMarr commented, "Not a good sign." He picked up and immediately discarded a King.
       "Ed?" Gordon asked. "How come TONK never caught on? It's Poker-this, Poker-that or 21 or Pyramid or...why not Tonk? You found it, Cap; we love it, but couldn't be more obscure, huh?" Malloy picked up an Ace. "Cool" He discarded a high card on the face-up pile.
       The Captain answered, "Well. So are we. AH!" Ed picked up a Jack, which was his spread card. He laid three of them down, face-up, and discarded.
       The Doctor and Captain had two cards in their hands, while the others had 5.
       LaMarr picked up a hit card (fourth SIX), slapped it on the table, which left him with 4 cards. The navigator told the Doctor: "That stops you, Doc. Gonna have to wait a turn before going out. Too bad." 
       Dr. Finn picked, added a new card to her hand of 2, discarded a Queen and glowed like a winner. "That's much better."
       "She tossed my Queen," the Calivon said, sadly. "Damn. You know, they would love Tonk on Calivon. Ah. (sigh) Sometimes I miss home."
       Then a bizarre, weird thing happened...
       "Go ahead," John whispered to Gordon. "Ha. I dare ya. Chicken. Little woosey." He coaxed Gordon to...
       Malloy suddenly got excited and grabbed one of the small, round nodules (a Union Credit) off the Captain's pile and SWALLOWED IT.
       Tonk was halted in mid-round.
       The navigator laughed the loudest. "HA! Ah, that was good. That was great!"
       Ed yelled, "Dude!"
       The Doctor knew and said "No," under her breath.
       Kelly knew and gasped.
       Gordon was clueless.
       Almost everyone was is hysterics.
       Ed informed his old friend, "Don't you know what Union Credits are? Gordon?"
       "Huh? No," the helmsman replied.
       "Spider eggs," Ed told him. Then the Captain laughed along with the others.
       Gordon ran out of the room and threw-up.
       The game suddenly ended when Ed picked up an Ace that he added to his other two. He Tonked-Out with a perfect score of zero. Ed won.

       It was another 'day.' Top staff as well as the entire crew needed games and "escapes," VR recreations and explorations into vast Archives from the remote past. Holo-rooms or "decks" were available, but had to be reserved like at fine restaurants. Today, there was a problem with VRR #13...
       Lt. LaMarr, on his off-time, had used Malloy's "Battle Orc" program earlier and was slightly hurt when they sparred in a dreadful world. Such an occurrence of pain and bloodshed was never supposed to happen. The Captain, John LaMarr, Isaac and, of course, perpetrator: Larry, the programmed, gentle and considerate Orc stood in the reactivated VR.
       Larry was supremely sorry and apologetic, "Ah, man! Did I cut you good? John, you know, I'd never intentionally harm you guys." Larry looked into each pair of eyes in the group. He sincerely said, "Why, shucks. I love you guys. John, Gordon. Decapitate me, anytime! Heck, I'm thrilled to be motivated at all and know I serve a vital purpose while you brave space rangers patrol the galaxy, out there, in the real world. Gee, MAN, I envy you guys so much! Wish I could be real and do my part, eh?" The holo-Orc came down, out of his wild dreams and asked with a lot of feelings, "John. Are you all right?"
       The Captain answered, "I know Doc fixed you in a snap."
       "Right as rain, sir." LaMarr replied. "Really, it was nothing. Just a cut. I should have been more careful. I should have zigged when I zagged. It's cool."
       Mercer said: "Not the point, Lieutenant..."
       Isaac concluded the Captain's thought: "Never should have happened. In fact it cannot occur. Why there was a glitch where 'Safety Protocols' were off-line a moment is a mystery. I will certainly investigate further with a much deeper level of diagnostic and inform you if I discover anything, Captain."
       Captain Ed said, "In my experience with holo-rooms, this has never happened: breakage of skin and blood flow. Supposed to FREEZE a nanu-second before it happens."
       Larry paced from side to side. His kind voice was also filled with worry. "Oh, gosh! Oh, my. Now look what's going to happen? I won't be used again; they'll think my program is malfunctioning. Dudes, I'll lose every f-ing time, easily, like the Washington Generals. I LOVE it when you kill me! I live for that. C'mon! Kill me over and over again: that's Heaven for me, man..."
       Captain Mercer turned off the nice Orc-program and big/brutal Larry disappeared~
       "Thank your God, sir," the android said. "Boy, I was tired of him. Give me time. I will solve the glitch problem, sir. In time."
       "Sure. You know (to John), when the Beatle was here? He frowned on all this violent VR venting."
       "Really? No fun?"
       "No. Yeah. He thought we should create beautiful worlds and live inside them. I think he was right...Isaac? On another matter, a very important matter. How much time does Alara have now? And are there any leads?"
       Navigator John also wanted to know. "Yeah." 
       "She has three Earth days, Captain, I am sorry to report. Still scanning on the leads-front. Nothing, sir. As yet...You are receiving a call..."
       First Officer Grayson's voice broke into the dark and dreary VR program. She said, "We have a surprise visitor, sir. A CAPTAIN Halsey is coming onboard." She whispered: "Captain."
       Ed laughed very loud! "HA! 'Bout time someone dropped that rat-bastard down a peg! The esteemed Admiral's been demoted to Captain...Yes!"
       Kelly's voice corrected her ex., "Ah. No, sir. That be his son. His SON. Captain Halsey will be on the bridge in a minute. You should get up here, sir."
       "Oh, my God," came out of the Captain's mouth. "That's impossible; he was lieutenant-grade. What? You know what that means?"
       Isaac and LaMarr were dumbfounded.
       "He's here," Grayson told the Captain.
       "It means: Big Rat-Bastard made his stupid son a CAPTAIN, little rat-bastard."
       "He heard you, sir."
       Ed thought fast. "Well. He knows I was joking." Captain turned to the android. "Have Larry and the whole 'Battle Orc' program wiped, or hell, destroyed! Maybe everything should be shutdown until problem solved? Anyway. Look into it, Mr. Superior Robot. Solve it! I gotta go."
       The Captain left the VR-room. Isaac and LaMarr trailed behind. The hexagon-shaped door closed...
       Larry, cool, sympathetic, holo-Orc...reappeared. He should not have been activated.            

       "Did my hairy ears deceive me?" Larry declared with a whole different and extremely dark demeanor. "Destroy Larry? After how much I've bent over and done for you real guys? Erase me forever, huh? Let's see what happens when Johnny plays again or that ginger!" Larry grabbed a heavy battleax. "That'll do it. Ah, too bad. Too bad we can't walk among real folk. They'll have to come to us, and they will. See what happens next time ANY holo-room is used, eh? Sweet."
       The holo-program didn't get his wish. VR-rooms were soon off-line until further notice...

       Captain Mercer did some fancy, rarely used, "inter-ship beaming" and materialized on the bridge no more than a minute after Captain Zachary Halsey stepped out of the Lift. The newly-crowned 'Captain' wanted to see the bridge (of possibly a starship he might command).

      "Captain Mercer. Good to see you. You've come up in the world...again."
      "Ah. Glad we can all take a joke, ha. You met Commander Grayson, Bortus, everyone?" Ed asked.
       "I like the android, named after Asimov, no doubt."
       "Ah. Good taste. Actually I was named after Isaac Romanoff: He was a hero of 4th Century, Earth." Then Isaac transmitted so no one heard: "Kiss-ass."
       Captain Zak Halsey offered a "latte" to the Captain or anyone on the bridge; he had two.
       Everyone refused.
       Gordan Malloy changed his mind. "Oh. I'll take one. I mean if no one was having one?" He grabbed it out of Zak's hands and returned to his seat. "Mmm. Good."
       "Please, take my seat. Yep. The old, Big Chair." Mercer waved his arm toward the Command Chair.
       Zak dropped his gear in front of it, real cool-like...and sat down. He winked at Miss Kelly Grayson and smiled.
       "But. Don't get too comfortable, eh? SO! Captain! Second-lieutenant to Captain, overnight."
       Captain Halsey kept an eye on the First Officer. He noticed how beautiful Kelly's eyes were.
       "Never been done before, ha. A captaincy so quickly..." Ed waved his hand in-between the young, good-looking lad and his ex-wife. "Hey. I'm jealous. Ha."
       Zak turned his head and faced the older Captain.
       Mercer thought he'd jab the boy with: "No nepotism there, eh?" He smiled.
       The new Captain attracted everyone's attention with: "Helm! Plot a course, 223, mark 777, at maximum speed."
       Captain Ed threw up his hands. "Wait! What the shit was that? You can't do that. Belay that order, Lieutenant."
       "Don't you want to rescue Alara Kitan? The Union found her location, sir. Check your orders, Captain."
       Isaac replied first: "Captain?"
       Smooth Zak removed his jazzy, reflective sunglasses. "I'm leading the mission...and will rescue her. Thought you'd might want to come along?"
       Gordon loudly expressed, "Dude! You are boss, gear, keen, fab and not grotty at all."
       John LaMarr also turned back to Zak. He asked, "Where is she?"
       Halsey answered, calmly, "We first...have to go in the direction of 223, then mark 777. [to Captain Ed] Captain?"
       "Do what he says, that's an order, helm. Let's get there as fast as we can. Okay?"
       "Aye, aye, sir!"
       Malloy yelled for the senior staff, "Yeah!"
       Kelly smiled and said, "Still have a good feeling."
       Zak informed them, "At maximum speed, it will take almost 24 hours. She doesn't have much time left. Union knows all about her condition, more than you. Hm. We have a day for me to share what I know, all will be confirmed. We can form an attack or strategy plan and, and, also, get to know one other." He smiled again at Kelly Grayson and she responded very favorably.
       Ed turned away from the big, front screen and faced the boy-Captain. "You can relax, do what you want; my ship is your ship, ha."
       "Of course. I hope to command my own ship. I'm sure I will, in time. Also. Hope to have a special crew as fine as this one appears."
       "Yes." Ed turned the subject to what was important. "We have to talk. Tell me everything you know about Alara, Captain."
       "Will do. Of course, sir." The serious lad said, "I've never met her but I feel like I have. I care about her too, believe it or not. We'll find her and bring her home. I promise." The boy (Prince Charming in shining armor) was believable...

       After the next sleep cycle and after things got better adjusted and clearer...
       The Captain had that "talk" with the boy-Captain, the "kid" with incredible power thrust upon him who'll vanguard the Ground Team and 'save' Kitan, if all goes as planned? Actually. Little in specifics was revealed by Captain Zak outside of:
*   She was held by the Krill.
*   He ALONE would beam to a small "blind-spot," very near where she was imprisoned. It was thought to be a logical plan, before any full-scale assault was attempted. Was the boy brave or a fool?
       There was one "whopper" of a "bomb" that exploded in the air during the talk. It was when Zak informed Ed that his Robot was in error. The polyp on Kitan's right brain-hemisphere was not a personal bomb, set there to kill her. It was far, far more deadly. The artificial, fleshy sphere could generate a BLAST [if initiated] that would destroy everything within millions of miles! Someone placed a micro-infarction of Anti-Matter inside her head. From her present location and in a short time from now, the innocent child will kill billions of lifeforms!

       Captain Mercer was alone in his quarters. He rested on his bed. He got up. He didn't know what to do. He'd trust the 'New Kid on the Block,' even though his senses told him otherwise. Why? What was this bad feeling? Did he hate the kid because he was so damn, good-looking, young, had a famous father and had the Keys to the Kingdom simply handed to him? Yes, he did.
       He went to get a cup of coffee from the duplicator, when he saw someone on his bed~
      IT WAS ALARA. It was like a perfect angel had descended and landed on his bed. Was this a dream?

       "Not a dream, sir." The vision resembled a semi-hazy, airbrushed figure of perfection. A stellar glow moved and encircled her forehead. The vision wasn't really there. She sat up and addressed her Captain: "I'm not a hallucination. I am her mind-projection, her conscious mind. She has been tortured enough."
       "Wait. My Head of Security is being tortured right now? I knew she was captured, not that she was tortured. You're her, her, ah, MIND? And yer sayin', her BODY is being tortured?"
       "No, sir."
       "Alara is stronger than she thinks. Right now, her body is 'chained' so she won't get away. But it's all in her mind. The TORTURE is the truth, in the fact she tracked down her parents in the real world, exiles with super-strength. She found them..."

       "She did? You did? What happened?"
       "They tried to turn her to the Evil Side, Captain. She would have none of it. They were traitors, the worst of traitors, with strong physical and mental powers. They created hallucinations in her mind. Why do supernovas happen, sir?"
       "Huh? What does that have..."?
       "Why do they happen, where many billions lose their lives when we think stars blow up?"
       "They're, they're natural events."
       Mind-vision of Alara Kitan stated with certainty, "No, sir. They're not. They are artificially produced by certain despicable forces like my parents who, at special times, can attain high levels of concentrated Mind Power..."
       Ed just thought of it. "Wait! Alara! THEY put the Bomb there, the one in your head Zak told me about..."
       "Who's Zak?"
       "The Captain coming to rescue you. You don't know? We're almost at your Krill location."
       "Has nothing to do with Krill. I can tell you exactly what will happen fairly soon."
       Ed Mercer was curious and asked, "What?"
       "Your Prince will have returned from his solo mission SUCCESSFUL. He'd have slayed the dragon, saved the damsel and will deliver Alara to you precisely, sir, as promised. You'll have her back tomorrow, Captain."
       "What's the problem?" Ed was confused.
       "Don't believe a word of it, sir."

       "Everything will end, too well, too perfectly. You'll see. Everything is connected at the top and everything is not what it seems. The same Darkness that possessed my parents, will be repeated inside Alara's child. Everything's been orchestrated exactly as it was supposed to happen for things to only appear peaceful, Light over Dark, and precisely choreographed so that her "special" child can be born unto the world. Kitan has only delayed an inevitable Galactic War, one that her child and her child's father with create and enflame in future. Yet. All the while, a Monster far more sinister spins a web at the heart of Darkness....Don't tell her about me, Captain. She doesn't know me and will never believe you. Nobody will. Sir. It's been...real." The vision smiled and disappeared.
       The Captain believed what Alara's spirit said. She was right: no one else would.

       Next 'day,' was the big one-man assault on a "Krill base" at a "Krill planet." The gang was neutered by the whole affair. Under Union orders, they were to "stay out of it" and let Zak Thames Halsey handle everything.
       Senior officers gathered in the staffroom and waited. And waited...

       What occurred was just as the Captain nonchalantly predicted: Zak returned with Kitan and made an "amazing" rescue. An assault team would never had worked. Only a brave lad with a sharp brain, quick movements and the luck of a cat could have slipped by the Krill and did what he did, whatever that was. Doctor Finn was ready and she removed the artificial polyp, which saved Alara's life. [It was confiscated by Union officials].
       Very few people understood that an unbelievably powerful Supernova Explosion was averted...
       Crew of the Orville were extremely happy and thrilled and celebrated the return of Alara.
       She was ecstatic to be home. Low in strength, but strong in mind-power, Xelayan Head of Security only had eyes for hunky Zak. Since the big rescue, the "perfect couple" were inseparable. At times, the couple's antics were downright sickening public displays and made most close friends wanna puke.

       "Oh look at them, over there." Gordon said. (He, and many others, wished he was Zak).
       It was Movie-Night. Everyone dressed casual. A small portion of the crew half-filled the ship's theater. 'Tears for the Trees,' from 2089, was the feature this evening: not a bad emotional romp, if you enjoyed black and white, 'tear-jerker,' German, murder mysteries?
       In a separate grouping to one side, sat Doctor Claire Finn, Kelly, Ed, John and Gordon.      
       Malloy was upset but couldn't take his eyes off Alara. He commented on her boyfriend, "Oh, he thinks he's so freaking cool, huh?"
       The ladies had their eyes trained on Zak. A few people did.

      "Look at him over there," Gordon resigned his words to maybe only himself: "I mean what chance did I have with her? I shudda hit on her before, before the makeover. Damn."
       John LaMarr laughed. "Ha, ha. Like she'd have given you the time o' day? Love to have seen her flick you away with her pinky. Face it. What chance did any of us bozos have, eh?"
       Ed asked Kelly, "Seriously. Kel? Claire? Zak that hot? You'd..."?
       Grayson quickly expressed, "I'd do'm in a second."
       Claire Finn only said, "Snap."
       Ed knew what that meant. He had a question for the Doctor. "Claire? What do you think of lucid dreams? Do you have faith in them being true? Or it wasn't a dream? A vision, a vision that came true?"
       "What?" Malloy asked.
       The Doctor responded, "You knew. You knew the rescue would work without a hitch, she'd be swept off her feet and the growth would be deactivated in the nick of time, Ed. You saw it in a lucid dream?"
       "Alara's mind told me in a vision."
       Kelly exclaimed, "Really?"
       Ed said, "I sensed something about him from the very beginning. Kel. Take a good look at Captain Zak."
       She did.
       He asked her, "Do you still have a good feeling?"
       Kelly replied honestly: "No."
       "Here's a news flash for you guys..." Dr. Finn confessed. "Alara came in earlier today for a checkup. She's pregnant."
       "My God."

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