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From History's Shadow (Star Trek: The Original Series) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 30. Juli 2013

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Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Dayton Ward is the New York Times bestselling author of the science fiction novels The Last World War, Counterstrike: The Last World War—Book II, and The Genesis Protocol, and the Star Trek novels Legacies: Purgatory’s Key, Elusive Salvation, Armageddon’s Arrow, The Fall: Peaceable Kingdom, Seekers: Point of Divergence (with Kevin Dilmore), From History’s Shadow, That Which Divides, In the Name of Honor, Open Secrets, and Paths of Disharmony. He lives in Kansas City, Missouri, with his wife and daughters. Visit him on the web at DaytonWard.com.

Leseprobe. Abdruck erfolgt mit freundlicher Genehmigung der Rechteinhaber. Alle Rechte vorbehalten.

Star Trek: The Original Series: From History’s Shadow

ONE


U.S.S. Enterprise

Earth Year 2268 (ACE)

“General quarters! Intruder alert, Deck 8!”

James Kirk emerged from the turbolift to find Spock waiting for him. Standing behind the first officer was a four-person security team—three junior officers led by the Enterprise’s veteran chief of security, Lieutenant Commander Barry Giotto. Beyond the small group, two more security officers with phasers drawn stood outside the doors at the end of the short corridor.

“They’re still in there?” Kirk asked, nodding toward the doors leading to the cargo bay on this deck.

Spock nodded. “Affirmative. Two life-forms. Our internal sensors detected an attempt to access our communications systems.”

“We’ve secured all access points, sir,” Giotto added, offering a formal nod that was fitting for his stern expression, which in turn seemed to complement his gray hair, itself a rarity among security officers. “Nobody’s getting in or out of there without our knowing about it.”

“They managed to sneak in there, well enough,” Kirk said. “Any idea how they got aboard in the first place? Have they been here since we left Starbase 9?” The Enterprise had been on course for its next assignment since departing the starbase nearly a week earlier. There had been no stops or contacts with other vessels during that time, and—to the best of Kirk’s knowledge—the only incoming or outgoing communications were of the usual authorized and expected variety.

Though his expression remained fixed, Spock’s eyes narrowed. “Lieutenant Uhura has already dispatched a message to Starbase 9 with a request to inquire into that possibility. A reply should be forthcoming.”

“Then I guess we’re on our own for the time being.” Any discussion about a possible security breach, and whether the intruders hiding within the cargo bay were the only results of that infringement, would have to wait until their uninvited guests were in custody. “What do we know about them?” Kirk asked, gesturing toward the door.

Spock held up his tricorder. “According to my scans, one of the life-forms appears to be female; a native of Certoss Ajahlan.”

His brow furrowing, Kirk asked, “That name rings a bell. The Taurus Reach?”

“Correct, sir,” replied the first officer. “According to our data banks, the U.S.S. Endeavour visited the system during their surveys of the region last year. Prior to that, contact was limited to unmanned probes and a first-contact team when Federation colonization and exploration efforts moved into the Taurus Reach. By all accounts, the Certoss people are peaceful, bordering on pacifistic, and their culture revolves around an ardent devotion to the arts.”

“So how does a peaceful Certoss native turn up uninvited in one of our cargo bays?” the captain asked.

Spock’s right eyebrow rose. “I am at a loss to answer that, just as I cannot explain why the other intruder is a Vulcan.”

That caught Kirk by surprise. “You’re sure? Any chance it could be a Romulan?”

“A thorough examination by Doctor McCoy should remove any doubts,” Spock said, “but my tricorder readings indicate Vulcan physiology.” As though anticipating Kirk’s next remark, he added, “The fact that both intruders represent pacifist civilizations is not lost on me, Captain.”

“I never thought it was,” Kirk said, suppressing a smile before returning his full attention to the very serious matter at hand. “What about their trying to get into the comm system? Do we know who they might be trying to contact?”

Shaking his head, Spock replied, “No, sir. I submit that such questions might best be answered by our guests.”

“Agreed. Did you scan any weapons in there?”

“Affirmative.” Spock looked at his tricorder again before adding, “It appears to be a rudimentary particle beam weapon.”

Pointing to one of Giotto’s junior security officers, Kirk indicated for the young crewman to hand over his weapon. He took the Type II phaser and verified its power setting. “Phasers on stun, Mister Giotto. I’ll lead the way.”

To his credit, the security chief maintained his professional bearing. “Captain, with all due respect, my team and I can secure the room first.”

With a small grin, Kirk reached out and clapped the older man on his left shoulder. “You never stop trying to keep me out of trouble, do you, Barry?”

“Mister Spock keeps telling me it’s a lost cause, sir,” Giotto replied, his expression never wavering.

“Probably true,” Kirk said as he began moving toward the cargo bay. He nodded to the pair of security guards still standing watch near the door. Ensigns Nick Minecci and Pasqua Hawthorne both nodded at his approach. Eyeing both junior officers with what he hoped was a look of confidence, Kirk said, “Ready to say hello?”

Minecci nodded, holding up his phaser. “Yes, sir.”

“Right behind you, Captain,” Hawthorne added.

To Kirk’s right, Spock stepped to the nearby comm panel and pressed its activation control. “Spock to bridge. Deactivate the security lock on Cargo Bay 1.”

A moment later, Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu’s voice replied, “Aye, aye, Mister Spock. Lock deactivated.”

Kirk moved to stand to the left of the door, with Giotto mimicking him on the entrance’s opposite side. “Alternate entry,” he said to the security team. “If you detect a threat, don’t hesitate to fire.”

The doors parted with their characteristic high-pitched pneumatic hiss, and Kirk got his first look at the chamber beyond. Containers of varying size and shape occupied the space along the far bulkhead, either stacked atop one another on the deck or else stored on shelving units rising three stories to the ceiling. A large expanse of floor right inside the entrance was empty. He scanned the shelves, seeing nothing out of the ordinary, and nothing appeared to be moving among the crates. Once past the doorway, he sidestepped to his left and saw Giotto mirroring his movements as the security chief stepped to his right. At the door, Spock activated his tricorder, and the device’s warbling tone echoed through the cavernous bay as the science officer conducted his scans.

“Ten meters in front of us,” the Vulcan said, pointing toward the center of the room. “Both life-forms are stationary.”

“Whoever you are,” Kirk called out, raising his voice, “there’s nowhere for you to go. I’m Captain James Kirk, in command of this vessel. If you surrender peacefully, I promise you will not be harmed.” When no answer came, Kirk frowned. “Okay,” he said, looking to Giotto, “let’s go.”

Following Spock’s direction, Kirk moved toward the center of the room, his phaser leading the way. As he approached the set of stacked cargo containers separating him from their still-unidentified guests, he motioned for Giotto to make his way around the far side of the storage units. Even without Spock’s tricorder, Kirk now was able to sense the intruder’s presence. He heard breathing and the rustling of clothing. Muscles tensing in anticipation of a confrontation...


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