Here I post articles from my Star Trek Fanzine: Sehlat's Roar. I hope to place all of the work online for fan's enjoyment. This Fanzine was first published in the late 1970's by a band of most unlikely friends located in Flat Rock, in the southeastern quadrant of Michigan. The material is clearly born of the time, and some of it is quite dated; yet, for those who enjoy this sort of thing, I trust, at the least, interesting.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Chapter TWO, part four

Next morning, when Commodore Wesley and Cmdr. Branfield walked onto the bridge, Ling and Leblanc glanced at each other, then the assistant science officer rose and handed his scan log over to the captain without comment. Wesley, a distinguished looking man in his middle fifties, scanned the report then looked again, a frown touching his face, before he turned back to ling.

“I want to see the tapes,” he said, passing the pad to Branfield and stepping over to the computer station. The lieutenant obediently called up the requested information as the senior officer looked into the scope. “You've checked your circuitry thoroughly?”

“Yessir,” never mind that it was mentioned in the report.

“You know how easy it is for the computer to mistake it's own signals for some external stimulus--”

“Yessir,” Ling repressed a sigh with difficulty. Here it came.

Branfield, who had been reading the report, looked up and said, “Bob, please, I think we've heard that story often enough.”

Wesley turned in surprise, but Branfield was again examining the pad, his moustache twitching suspiciously. “Besides, he's run a self-check on the computer three times already. . . Also, it's common knowledge that the Romulans at least have cloaking devices.”

“But we're right in the heart of the Federation--” started the commodore, then stopped as Branfield looked up, one eyebrow cocked sardonically, as if to ask what difference that made.

Wesley ran a hand over his greying hair, then rubbed his chin. If the Romulans, or worse, the Klingons, wanted some objective badly enough, he doubted even the Organian Treaty could restrain them. Oh, they'd no longer use frontal attack to gain their ends, but that left more than enough room for undercover trouble making -- and this pageant would make a lovely target for sabotage. . . That was the problem with the Peace Treaty: In forbidding outright, face to face, war, the Organians had unwittingly given the advantage to the Klingons and Romulans, because they had no scruples against taking advantage of the Federation's weak points -- not to mention the fact that it was much easier for them to infiltrate than visa versa. It was much harder to fight an enemy you couldn't see.

“You think it is a ship, Jer?” he asked after a moment.

“The possibility can't be discounted, sir,” answered Branfield quietly.

“Very well,” shrugged Wesley, taking the pad back. Again he scanned it, shook his head slightly, then signed it and said, “You're excused, Lieutenant. Thank you.”

“Yessir,” said Ling crisply, bracing and heading for the lift, glad he'd gotten out of it alive.

“Ling,” called the commodore after him.

“Yessir?” he asked, turning back.

“Why didn't you call me?”

For a moment there was silence as the two senior officers waited for his answer. Finally, taking a deep breath, the young man said, “In my judgment, sir, there was not enough evidence to warrant it.”

The Lieutenant noticed how Branfield's moustache twitched briefly in an expression that was not a smile, but more than a sigh, almost of resignation. He wondered why as the commodore growled, “Oh, very well. Dismissed.”

Half-expecting to be called back yet again, Ling stepped into the lift and disappeared.


(Author's note: This is the first installment of what is projected as a full-length, two part novel. Keep your eyes open for the rest of the story in future issues of SR. Ms. H.)


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