by TS Caladan
[author's note: I've already tried my hand at writing a parody of Star Trek with online episodes called "Starwalkers" and also how I would have written the "Orville." This time, I wanted to write within the ST universe and set up a scenario for a television series more interesting than DISCOVERY, the CBS All-Access new show. The assignment was not difficult since Discovery is a "nightmare-disaster" for anyone who ever loved Star Trek. Contractually, Paramount/Bad Robot cannot have anything that resembles the Kirk/Spock universe. We're left with a LOOK that resembles J.J. Abrams movie-universe and design rather than anything close to the original Enterprise [least of their problems]. But 'Discovery' is set just prior to Kirk/Spock and should resemble that world and does not! Fans are incredibly disappointed, again. My concept for a Trek series would begin something like this...].
Captain Jano of the Sovereign-class starship, the Shrike, told his bridge crew, "It's true. It's true, then. Look at it. Hard to believe, huh?" The Captain was on his feet and stared into the large forward-screen.
His First Officer and Commander was a Ghinn (Ghinns are psychic-scientists, humans with four arms). He sidled next to the Captain and said, "Completely unexpected, sir. It is only the second known case: Hesselburg's theorem of 'parallel planets.' The other one was a long time ago, Captain. Extraordinary."
The galaxy's old 'United Federation of Planets,' a cosmic consortium of 59 systems, had grown to vast proportions and altered to such great lengths that the 'union' had a new name in the 25th Century. The conglomerate was now known officially as the "United Systems" or "U.S." or commonly called the: "System."
Captain Jano waved his hand slightly and asked his First Officer: "Do we know the time period? Can we decipher the language? Languages? What have your monitors revealed, Clay?"
Clay, the Ghinn with white hair, hardly moved his four arms. He answered. "I have scanned their radio, TV and various signals, generally, since discovery, sir. It's English, mainly, and other familiar Earth languages. Time period, according to their current records, is the year '501,' which of course, makes little sense to us. The period we're dealing with on the new Earth, I would estimate, approximately early part of the 21st Century, Captain. Simulation should know precisely."
Captain Jano commented, "Remarkable."
Lieutenant Lee, the blonde/Asian helmsmen and communications officer, the only one stationed in front of the Captain's chair, said to the top two in charge: "Sirs. I've checked some databanks in a few countries..."
Commander Clay interrupted, "Lt. Lee was about to say..."
The Captain also interrupted, "Bad habit, Clay..."
The Ghinn apologized, "Ah. Oh. I am sorry, sir. And to the Lieutenant. I will curb that in future. Sir." He took a few steps toward his science station.
Jano replied, "Must be a curse to know what will happen a few seconds before it happens, eh?"
Clay responded with a hand on his hip, three arms that scanned more information and eyes glued on the screen: "Hm. You don't know, sir."
(to the helmsman) "Go on, Lieutenant. You were saying?"
Lt. Lee said, "Yes, Captain. I've been viewing and checking passed records for this time period in history files?"
Captain Jano said, "Yes?"
"Well, sir. First scans showed faces of leaders are the same, but names are different. What we're familiar with: countries, organizations in Earth history is like...exactly the same, as far as events go, but names of everything are different. Huh. Sir. For instance, the planet. It's not called: Earth. It's called..."
"Mineer," First Officer, Commander Clay answered for her, then realized what he did. He looked up from his screen. "I do apologize. That won't happen again, sir. Well. Well, it might." The Ghinn was an attractive, 4-armed man with white hair and well-liked by the crew.
The Captain got a chuckle and also the other 2-armed people. The 5-person bridge of the new Sovereign-class starship consisted of a Captain, a First Officer, a helmsman, an alternate psychic, physicist and astro-gator: Samantha Smith (brunette) and also Charles Wall, 66-year old "Company-man" for the cosmic corporation known as the System.
[Untitled, not part of the Academy] Sam Smith said, "I don't think Captain is aware of the reverse world. It's a reverse planet, sir."
The psychic was right again.
Dazed Jano asked, rhetorically: "Are you ever wrong, Sam?"
"You knew I didn't notice. I'm blind!" Captain said and shook his head a bit. "Continents are indeed reversed, look at that. How'd I not see it? Must be out here too long, eh? I did notice: no Moon. Anyway. Oh. Here's a question for anyone with a scanner: Are the people reversed? Do they have hearts on the right side?"
Clay already had the answer. "Same as us. Left side."
Charles Wall (also never went to the Academy) finally spoke up and asked the Commander a question that was part joke: "Commander? I didn't know you had a heart. Ha." Wall was not well-liked by the crew.
"I do. It's on the left."
Captain Jano responded to the man from the System: "Thought it was you that was heartless, Charles?"
The old man smiled and replied, "You got me pegged, Captain."
"Ha, ah. What are your thoughts on the discovery?" Jano stared at Wall and softly ordered.
The business man in blue, not dressed in a uniform, said: "I was trying to calculate the worth of Earth II in mega-credits, that is, if we still used credits?"
"Yeah. Too bad there's no more money. Again," Jano said, sarcastically. "You're going to have to live with a System that barters and trades a lot and other old-fashioned things, you know?" Captain Blaine David Jano was a handsome, fair-haired, man of Italian descent, 32 years in age. He'd been Captain of the Shrike for the last two years. He was one of the youngest "members" who'd made 'captain' in the System or old Federation. His previous assignment was a 4-year stint as First Officer onboard the starship: Nove (NOH-veh), under the command of Captain Carr April.
Jano and the others on the bridge as well as the crew observed, outside electric windows, an unknown/uncharted planet, 8000 miles in diameter, that orbited a yellow sun at a distance of 92 million miles in a solar system with 14 evenly [like ripples on a pond] spaced planets.
The Captain sat down heavily upon the Command Chair and sighed. Like his crew, he remained amazed at the reverse-Earth that stood through the windows. Now what? The System will be informed in detailed reports and will respond appropriately. He asked, "Let me hear from the psychics. Clay?"
The Commander with extra arms walked in front of the Captain. He answered, "I am struck by the fact they have no nuclear capabilities, haven't explored space, yet it is a modern world. (to Lt. Lee) If you check monitors with a closer scan, there are vast differences. Sorry to counter your initial conclusions, Lieutenant: Not the same with only names and mirrored land masses the differences. There are no wars. They have moderate defenses with no evidence that they'd ever used their weaponry. Any country. Or placed anything into orbit."
"What? Huh? That's not what I...I saw a number of video-films, Commander." The Lieutenant was dumbfounded. She turned to the Captain. "Captain, I swear. I picked up a televised, er, transmission of like an army recruitment ad...and, on news networks, violent wars and epidemics in Africa, or whatever the country is called on Mineer?"
Commander Clay responded with, "I do not doubt what you saw, Lieutenant. It could have been other signals entirely, from other sources. Echoes? We don't know. Through mini-wormholes, diffractions? There are strong solar flares. Check deeper, Lt. Lee." The Ghinn did not like mysteries. He telepathically contacted Sam Smith...
She turned to him and added, "I sense no armies, navies, air forces or organizations that could produce such things. I sense: clean power...huh, almost a rarity in the universe: a peaceful planet. Music. Dance. Joy. Wow." She was thoroughly impressed by what she received.
Helmsman Lee offered, "Maybe I picked up a temporal anomaly? Sure isn't there now. Now I scan what amounts to a, a utopian Earth with clean cities, oceans and rivers. Ah. On all network news-channels: the news is GOOD."
Captain Jano wanted more out of Miss Smith. "Sam? Feelings?"
A powerful urge suddenly overwhelmed the sensitive psychic, clairvoyant and astro-gater. She was compelled. Sam gave an order: "Get us over New York City, quick!"
Lt. Lee replied, "It's not called New York, it's New Lancaster."
The Captain immediately nodded for helm to do so. "Go." He asked, "What is it, Sam?" Jano looked at Clay then back to the brunette.
The cloaked, invisible Shrike hovered a mile over the city in seven seconds!
Smith jumped to her feet, asked the time, then had to clarify: "No. I mean the time in New York? Lancaster, in the simulation?"
Lee replied, "On our global model, after parallax, we can gauge the period down to year, month, date, ah, and even hours..."
Smith pointed at the Asian and was excited. "Yes! Lee. What would be their time, today? Date? Right now?" Samantha was sure she was onto something, like why the Shrike arrived at New Earth at this particular time?
Jano stood on his feet again. He and Clay were intrigued.
From his station, the Commander saw and related to them the recalibrated time index (first): "It is a Tuesday morning in the Big City of New Lancaster, clear day, on the date of September, the eleventh, 2001."
Captain Jano, with a relative grasp of ancient history, gasped, "Really?"
A few mouths dropped.
There was a moment of silence.
The Ghinn was a bit puzzled and scratched the side of his head. He asked them, sincerely, "Was there significance to the year, location and date?"
The bridge crew waited for a long while and hardly talked. Those on the Shrike bridge quietly watched, scanned and recorded a particular section of Lower Manhattan (Montauk) and the East River (Hudson) for hours...
Nothing out of the ordinary happened. It was a nice day in New Lancaster City.
Two months passed...
The appropriate response was the quick conversion of a Deep Space Station (34) into a massive science station. The cloaked base was moved into low orbit around the planet without a hitch. A United System's Science Station or 'USSS' was slapped together to study a planet that was (almost) unanimously named "Tera," but officially recorded as MH-130 and natives called it Mineer. The "promenade" or circular corridor of the secret "34" installation was (mostly) filled with various System outlook posts, test-centers, super-sensitive scanners, dishes, arrays, drone ports, alien tech facilities and about everything you imagined in shapes of the latest, non-evasive, remote-viewing techniques.
Peaceful Terans from a 21st Century we were vaguely familiar with were completely oblivious that a satellite orbited their world and that they were watched~
Could anyone on a "modern," 21st Century Earth that had not ventured into space, conceive of who now watched and closely examined them? Prime Directive was in full play. Every precaution was taken. Terans, in many ways, were technically retarded when compared to their counterparts and even to their own time-period equivalent on Earth. [But who was better off?] Natives would never discover the existence of the 'spy-platform' established in low orbit and referred to as a "science station."
Hidden bases upon possible 'First Contact' planets were often utilized in the past and presently. 34 was by far the largest, most elaborate, cloaked base of its kind. The reason was because of the fantastic subject studied: a parallel Earth, almost suspended in time.
Apparently. Life on the surface was idyllic, a dream come true and a Heaven on 'Earth.' This was the big question or mystery examined most intensely. System officials thought that it was a very important question to study and answer. Star Fleet's counterparts lived and thrived without wars, weapons, conflict and mega High-Tech. How were Terans diverted from the violent history experienced on Earth? Here was a different timeline, under glass, ripe for sharp inspection.
The discovery made big news on the original/futuristic planet or other Earth, the semi-parallel one and home world to Earthlings. People were excited about the news: a duplicate or reverse-planet existed in the Alpha Quadrant. Did they each have a doppelganger? Citizens were anxious to learn anything they could over Media about billions of people on a "mirror planet" called Tera.
~The following was learned (told to Earthlings back home) in the first two month's since the discovery...
* The single, yellow sun which centered Tera's system was finally [after long debate by System officials] called "Radon."
* Unlike the other 13 planets in Earth's System, filled with ultra ancient structures and pockets of intelligent life here and there, Radon's family of planets (outside of Tera) and moons was totally lifeless. The cosmic bodies were pristine, in fact. All of them! Without even the smallest trace of bacteria or any kind of life, whatsoever. Each planet was identical in size and composition to their counterparts in our System, only they were utterly and strangely: LIFELESS! The number of satellites and their positions matched precisely, except for our Moon. Planet #5 (legendary "Mann") in the gap was intact and not pulverized into the Asteroid Belt. There were no comets that whipped around the Radon sun or random asteroids in space or "shooting stars" in night skies of Tera. Inner planets were unscarred, especially the Mars equivalent, and fortunately spared the devastating cataclysm that shattered Planet #5 and extremely damaged our Solar System.
* Those still a part of Star Fleet or the United System were invited to come to 34, under strict guard never to make contact, and examine the parallel planet and odd twist to Hesselburg's famous theorem. Simple idea was: If you encountered a certain high number of inhabited planets (7,656,533,386), you'd discover a parallel planet or close to one. The phenomenon was known to have happened twice in the Milky Way galaxy.
* No one had or ever will disturb the natural flow of evolution or normal occurrences upon the surface of Tera. Although. Rumors persisted that some alien forces had already influenced the pure planet. Rumors were not substantiated at present time.
* Terans were less of a mystery. A basic understanding of their universe was eventually gleaned and the conclusions of the studies were only partially revealed to citizens on multiple planets. [Because few would have believed the reality or variant of Earth's counterpart].
* In some cases, parallels were exact: same people, same identities, same faces that did the same things. The difference was: Terans as well as the planet they walked on were positively-charged. Terans were naturally good, kind, gentle and in touch with sweet, lovely nature. They had what they needed to keep the planet clean and unspoiled. Knowledge and techniques were utilized the right and positive way. Everyone benefited. But it was the Teran heart and spirit and deep compassion that seemed to have been programmed out of many lifeforms on advanced planets. The world of 2.3 billion Terans was a world of PLENTY! Abundance, more than enough. And also peace, love and happiness.
* The man placed in charge of base 34 was a woman: Doctor Grace Whitehead. She possessed credentials that glowed. She was the System's majority-choice for the operation.
The Doctor was also a part of the recent trend or Psychic Movement where telepaths had amazing abilities: They transferred undetected data to certain psychics, anywhere, at any distance. More and more telepaths were on the scene and yet invisible. An entire and very bizarre universe operated for powerful psychics, but was totally unknown to "yahoos" or non-telepaths.
The U.S.S. Shrike, the vessel that made the big discovery and brought back news of a 'quarantined Tera,' was dispatched to the planet under orders from higher in the chain of System command. Their man, Charles Wall, was promoted. He couldn't wait for the 34 position and be Dr. Whitehead's top advisor and GO. It was thought the pair would fight or conflict because of wide political differences and personality differences. In truth, public clashes between the two were staged PR. Whitehead and Wall were on the very same side of issues and everything else. The public feuds were nothing more than a game or 'show' for the cameras.
In the staffroom of the Shrike, Jano's senior staff was assembled: Clay, Wall, Smith and dark-haired, middle-aged, ship's physician and Captain's Russian friend: Doctor Lev Bennov.
Star trails were seen in the background as they traveled at Warp 8.
The Captain said to Charles, "Still not clear what your job was on the bridge, Mr. Wall?"
Charles confessed, "You know damn well what it was, Blaine. I'm a spy, the snitch. I told on all your asses! Wait till shit hits the fan, people. Even your ass, four-arms. Reprimands for you all! On your permanent records, maybe demotions, when I get through with you."
The Ghinn was worried and seriously expressed, "What did I do?"
Dr. Bennov got the joke, laughed and told the First Officer: "Ha. He's joking. Chuck's way of saying good-bye. Ha."
"Not really. Ha. We will miss you, old man," Captain Jano stated words he only half meant. He shook hands with the once Tax Man, now fund-allocator: same as what he'll do on 34, spend resources, energies and direct personnel, most efficiently. "We'll miss your wrinkled face on the bridge."
Charles Wall replied and smiled, "Not even close, but it's nice of you to say, Captain."
Sam was amused. She and Clay had no clue of the real reason for Charles' departure or the creature that lived and breathed and controlled the planet inside the very heart of Tera! Smith spoke final words to Wall. "Charles. I could say you've been like a father to me. But that isn't true. You've only been a dirty old man to me, Chuckie." She laughed and the others did also. There were no real hard feelings.
Even Commander Clay had a giggle.
Stars whizzed by the large windows and the mood changed to a darker tone.
The Captain brought the group to business after a moment. "The report that the Prime Directive has been broken sure is a vicious rumor..."
Clay finished Jano's thought without an apology: "...Especially over the course of only 62 days of examination, sir. The test subject has already been contaminated?"
Dr. Bennov added with some emotions, "How can the experiment continue? It can't last! 34 was supposed to be a permanent station in orbit around a perpetual dish to study basically a stagnant society..."
Samantha Smith stated, "Could you have put your finger on it, Doctor?"
The Captain asked the attractive girl, "Explain."
Smith elaborated, "Someone. I don't think the psychics know or know of the entity that deemed Mineer a stationary, stagnant planet and decided to do something drastic about it."
Clay asked her out loud, when normally small conversations between them were done telepathically: "Entity? You believe that was the case, Samantha?"
It was also the Captain's immediate question.
"Of course, Prime has been broken before and interference permitted when the result was positive. And even allowed when effects were disastrous, as they turned out. First order of business, after we drop off Charles..." the Captain declared. "We have to discover IF Tera is contaminated, and if so: Who's the person, alien, thing or group that's the guilty party, eh?"
Commander Clay expressed a psychic feeling that he knew Sam agreed with: "Captain. You said 'alien.' I am quite convinced, there is a powerful being at work here the System had never encountered previously. I can tell you...the creature is located in the hollow center of the planet."
Smith shook her head in an affirmative. She commented on Clay's assessment. "He usually senses darker images and evil people before I do. Clay's right. There's an alien entity here."
Jano spoke from experience. "Well. You two have convinced me."
~ One of two "entities," the one outside of Mineer, gazed down upon the pure planet of physical perfection with infinite love and from an invisible, far point in space. It saw a protected planet with fields and shields that encircled it and guarded it from harm or negative, outside interferences. The great entity placed the rings there with a lot of care and love. Mineer was not backwards or reversed in any way, shape or form. The planet was a true, blue dream. The good Guardian watched over and protected its beautiful children as it had done since the very beginning...
"That's odd. How strange," a low ranked, Ensign Carter who'd not been onboard the Shrike for very long, stumbled upon data that appeared to contradict. "Am I losing my mind? How?"
His computer screens displayed a read-out or re-check of weaponry and defenses of various, Teran countries. Monitors suddenly showed a completely different Tera. The planet's surface was not covered with clean industries, cities, metropolises that utilized clean methods of power generation. Modern cities no longer existed, according to latest scans! Where'd they go?
Ensign Carter approached a few other crew members with what he'd found.
They thought he was daft and certainly didn't believe the young man. They were positive that Terans lived simple, peaceful lives in communities or villages and had no technology whatsoever. It had always been that way, according to monitors.
It was a mystery. More mysteries occurred as slowly...
Senior staff and a few crew members of the Shrike realized: Test subject or Tera/Mineer...
HAD CHANGED. Or were their perceptions changed? Why did some monitor-scans or some people see the changes and others did not? Were alterations due to outside influences, the tests themselves and examinations from orbit, alien influences or other factors? Had examiners altered the subject? Were the changes real or only in the minds of individuals?
"What do you make of it, Doctor?" the Captain asked his good friend as they both sat in Jano's quarters after the main shift for the 'day' ended. Each had blue drinks.
"Thanks for asking an old-fashioned doctor and not a member of the Psychic Movement, huh? (big smile) It's appreciated. Maybe psychics are the problem?"
"That's interesting, Ben," the Captain replied and often used a nickname. "You're saying, you think none of the changes are actually happening on the planet? Only in our minds, yes?"
The Doctor finished the stiff drink that was in his hands and set the cup down. "Yes. Possibly? Maybe sharp psychics see one Tera and dull doctors, like myself, see another?"
"Don't sell yourself short, my friend. That was insightful. You remember your history, Doctor? What happened at Farpoint and the new Enterprise-D under Picard?"
"Refresh my memory, sir?"
Jano answered, "Powerful aliens were hidden inside that planet as well, or under the city. They altered perceptions: If you dreamed of mink or silken textures, that's what materials turned into. Then there's those Amusement Park planets that do the same thing. And don't forget about the Qs..."
"That's what you suspect's happening here? Aliens, like the Jesserettes, Barnardi or Talosians, screwin' with our heads, huh? Thought the Q were completely verboten from doing a damned thing in this timeline...after, you know?"
The Captain responded, "That's true. Who knows what we're really dealing with? What is Mineer to the Mineerans? Good question, eh? Maybe its time we found out?"
"My God, Blaine. I must be psychic because I think you plan on paying the Mineerans a personal visit?"
"Ha, ha. How would you like to join me, Sam and Clay in a Ground Team?"
"I was right. Wait. You want to be inconspicuous and you're taking a 4-armed guy? Okay. But what about Whitehead and Charles? They'll approve?" Dr. Lev Bennov asked.
"Never. I have to meet with them tomorrow. Clay and Sam assured me: We can go around them; they'll never know. You in?"
"Oh, boy, am I in! Ugh. Ha. Fantastic, ah, that is...if I don't live to regret it?"
The Captain smiled and agreed. "Right."
Station 34, just above the Teran atmosphere and only visible if you were phased and vibrated at a specific frequency, was fully operational. Retrieved information of every type test and observation record and invisible drone-record, etc. was filtered through the System and then dispensed to its affiliate networks, numerous associates and countless citizens.
Earth II changes and its many mysteries were known to the highest official in the System.
Tomorrow came and Captain Blaine Jano beamed to 34 and entered the humungous medical office of Dr. Grace Whitehead, who was a redhead. She wore a white med-gown. She was a tall, leggy, white-skinned, mature woman with an air of elegance and a slight British accent. She warmly welcomed the Captain.
So did Charles Wall, who sat in front of the big desk, smiled and waved at his former captain.
When pleasantries were over...
She sat down in the Big Chair behind the impressive desk while they sat before her. Soon the conversation became serious. Dr. Whitehead floored the Captain when she calmly stated with a question: "Captain Jano. What did you mean, Charles and I would never approve of your masked Ground Team upon Tera's surface? Go around us, indeed. HA. We think it's a marvelous idea! We wholeheartedly approve," Whitehead said with conviction.
"You do?" He looked at Wall.
The older man in black (instead of the usual blues) shook his head for YES. "Well. How else can we get the goods? Find out? Maybe a bird placed the idea in your head in the first place, Captain? In any event, it's an excellent idea. Adventure! Exploration! That's why you boys are out here, right? Right?"
Jano's immediate reaction was: "You're different, Charles. Exploration? You're a bean-counter! Since when are you a pioneer for scientific exploration? If anything: You were promoted to insure the exploitation of Tera by the System. Right? Right? Something's very wrong with this picture. Wish I knew the real story; what truly's going on?" The Captain was upset.
Dr. Whitehead said, "Easy, Captain. I assure you: We have not broken the Directive. We want to maintain your cover to insure your Team of 4 does not break it, at all costs. Grand Experiment of 34 and Mineer is vitally important to us. We have to know. We should work together. Simply record everything you experience on Mineer: the people, the environment, what happens? Let us know. As you're aware, we cannot trust our instruments to show reality. We want your data first. And please. Be safe, Captain." Whitehead presented sincerity and compassion and believability.
He was not convinced, but went along with the 'game.' One of his last comments was: "You knew it'd be a team of four. Huh. Interesting. Yes, indeedy. We will report back to you, for sure."
When the Ground Team of Doctor Lev Bennov, Commander Clay, Samantha Smith and the Captain, beamed down to the surface of Tera/Mineer...
It was an extraordinary experience, to say the least~ The bright beauty, clarity and overwhelming perfection were staggering. Mineer was a pure Paradise, like a few reports claimed.
The time was accurate: early evening, before twilight. The foursome was near a fabulous shoreline with twisted trees. An incredible light was felt on themselves and within everything around them. Everything glistened.
Each had a holo-emitter on their person which camouflaged their true selves in Fleet bio-suits. The visual illusion natives saw was supposed to be 'Mineerans in appropriate dress.' Universal transponders under their skin unified communications, if they encountered a Teran. The plan was to do just that and receive answers.
The Captain's first words were a great compliment to the planet's mega beauty: "Who wants cities when you have natural panoramas like this?" Then he oddly asked, "Y'all do see sunset on perfect, blue waters, trees and a strange satellite that should not be there? Yes?"
"Sure do, Captain."
"Well. Keep holo-recording," Jano urged and led the group toward the tranquil shore that seemed to be...Paradise. The air was ultra refreshing and exhilarating. Magical. "We need to talk to Mineerans, wouldn't you say?"
From behind them, a duplicate, twin, clone, doppelganger or your good ol' DOUBLE of each of the Team suddenly appeared as if out of nowhere and startled the officers. Even the psychics.
The Mineeran that had Jano's face was the leader of the foursome clothed in colorful, native costumes and told the Ground Team in a very relaxed manner: "Hello Blaine, Clay, Lev and, of course, Sam." The man smiled and glowed with more wonderful energy. He casually said, "This is a realm of the mind. Your Tera is not what you think it is." The leader turned and faced Clay.
Clay looked back and then looked into the eyes of his double, the Ghinn who did not have 4 arms. The Commander questioned, "Tera is not a parallel planet?"
"It is not," the leader answered.
"What is it?" crewman Samantha Smith asked.
The leader replied, "Something else."
The Mineeran, in full dress and Clay's face, asked the officers, "Would you be so kind..."? The rest of the request was telepathic~
Commander Clay immediately complied and 'dropped the mask.' His cloak or illusion disappeared and everyone saw him in his bio-suit as a 4-armed man, unlike his counterpart.
"What?" the ship's Doctor asked.
Sam replied, "He wants us to turn off the emitter." She did.
Then Lev realized: "Oh! The emitter." He turned it off like the others in his team.
Now there were eight people: 4 in native costumes and 4 identical twins in tight bio-suits.
The setting was slightly darker. Night would soon be upon them.
The leader smiled again. He said, "Ah. That's better. It's less disturbing for us, eh?" The other Mineerans laughed a little, the foursome from the Shrike, not so much. Leader said to the Captain, ever so calmly: "There's nothing to fear, Captain. Come. We have a few things to show you, eh? Before it gets dark." His last remark was a bit ominous: "...Before it gets...very dark."
No one on the Ground Team felt threatened and the scenery was still incredible.
Jano smiled. He felt comfortable. His friends did as well. Captain said, "Lead the way."
As they traveled away from the water, inland, Mineeran-Clay was slightly agitated and was insistent at one point. He told his counterpart: "Make sure everything we show you is well recorded. You show your Overlords all we show you. Is that clear, Commander?"
Clay looked into his own eyes. He said, "Crystal."
Mineeran-Sam was a warm soul. She hugged herself, Sam Smith, in a bio-suit, affectionately.
The officer was surprised and embraced herself back - smiles all around.
Mineeran-Sam was thrilled that she spoke with her double. They walked arm and arm and attracted the attention of her friends. M-Sam informed her 'twin' with excitement in her voice: "Just you wait until you hear our music. You really haven't heard music until you've heard Mineeran Music, Sam. Can't wait!" She glowed. Her eyes sparkled.
The eyes of the other one did the same. "Wow. I like music...Sam. Ha." The psychic was in Wonderland. Or was it through the Looking Glass?
The System attempted its own 'jump' or beam down onto Tera/Mineer, after it viewed the fantastic environment recorded by four members of the Ground Team. An assault team of a dozen men, fully clad in the latest of black armor and extremely powerful, offensive weapons, materialized on the surface of Tera. Stormtroopers were ordered to establish a large perimeter and kill the natives, exactly as had been done by Black Ops/Stargate programs on many worlds. Only. Something very weird and completely unexpected happened to 12 killer-troopers upon arrival...
They were beamed onto the surface of HELL! The dozen, minion, trained assassins created their own reality around them. They were consumed and destroyed by the demons and fires of evil from their own fears and torment inside themselves. There was no hell; they only imagined it.
Galactic News flooded all Media networks on Earth and on other planets aware of the covert USSS 34. It was big news! The 1/8 of a mile in diameter, 17 billion ton, facility, science station, labeled "34," Spy Platform, only a relative few in the galaxy knew about...
Phased men, women and aliens on the phased Station were gone without a trace.
END OF PART ONE~
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