Heart of Ice, Scene VI

Prev: Scene V


INT. NIGHTINGALE BRIDGE. Yellow running lights; the crew remains on alert.

MARTINEZ presides over the CREW from the BIG CHAIR, as they dash between CONSOLES. A MASSIVE recovery effort is underway to beam all SCIENCE TEAMS and BIOMATERIALS aboard. Martinez CONVERSES with an AARA SCIENTIST. She is Dr. MALLEO TOLLOR.

BISLAN enters. MARTINEZ RISES to meet him.

BISLAN: How goes?
MARTINEZ: Five of the teams have been beamed aboard, and Jetara reports the expanded buffers worked as expected.
TOLLOR: (ecstatic) The biomaterials have been successfully transplanted to the hydroponics lab. My people thank you, captain. (adding) And so do I.
BISLAN: Don’t thank me yet, Doctor. We’re not finished. (sitting; realization) Martinez, You said five. Who are we missing?
MARTINEZ: Iota team has yet to reestablish communications with us. Nihoholi is scanning for any comm signals, but the interference isn’t making it easy. (beat) There’s another problem, Captain… (looking at Tollor)
TOLLOR: Captain… we’re unable to remotely trigger the biomaterial transport Commander Fang set up – Iota Station’s beacon is down. Without the sixth materials sample, we’ll be working without a safety net when we begin the gene treatment. (earnestly) I don’t feel comfortable with that.
BISLAN: (beat of consideration) Commander, keep working at it. Find a way (interrupted)
NIHOHOLI: Captain! We’re being hailed… it’s not the science team. (surprise) It’s coming from an Orion vessel in orbit.
BISLAN: On screen.

The VIEWSCREEN, looking out on the DESOLATE ash-swept VALLEY OF ICE, is eclipsed by a LARGE video message. The image occasionally CRACKLES or JUMPS from static. A ROBUST man, wearing JEWELS and a FUSION of PIRATE-CHIC/THRIFT-CORE is onscreen. He is ORION, and he lounges in his CAPTAIN’S CHAIR. We will come to know him as SYZIAK.

SYZIAK: (insincere) Which Starfleet captain do I have the honor of addressing?
BISLAN: I am Captain Trolzosaw Bislan, of the Federation Starship Nightingale. We are on a humanitarian mission (interrupted)
SYZIAK: (with relish) Captain Bislan? Well, that is fantastic… (beat) (laughing) I am Syziak, Captain. Allow me to welcome you to Caj Bislan. Will you be staying with us?
BISLAN: (barely restrained) …would I be correct in assuming that you are responsible for the attacks on our science camps, Syziak?
SYZIAK: Are you so surprised, Captain? (wryly) I would expect you of all Starfleet officers to know the dangers of entering Syndicate territory.
BISLAN: (annoyed) The Syndicate is an organization of criminals; they have access to a wealth of resources, yes, but they have no claim to this territory…

RISING from the BIG CHAIR, Captain BISLAN approaches the SCREEN

BISLAN: (simmering) We are preparing to get underweigh. I am only going to say this once: I am not here for Clan Bislan, but I will not be intimidated. Unless you want to test that, you will break orbit immediately
SYZIAK: (all teeth, sitting up now) Captain, I assure you that I have every intention of breaking orbit… (pointedly) once my newest batch of slaves are brought aboard.
MARTINEZ: (dawning concern) What—?
SYZIAK: No need to concern yourself, Commander. We’re triangulating their comm signal now… its encrypted, of course, but I don’t need to actually hear the panic in their voices to recognize a Federation distress beacon. (looking off screen) Ah, there we are. It looks like my men have caught up to them. (sick pride) We didn’t even need to track your vessel’s communications this time.

MARTINEZ gets CLOSE to BISLAN; turns his BACK to the VIEWSCREEN

MARTINEZ: (whispering) The order for radio silence, Captain. They must have traced (interrupted)
BISLAN: (whispering) Find our people, Commander, and find them now.

MARTINEZ crosses to COMMS. BISLAN, the weight of his CREW’S LIVES on his shoulders, returns to the BIG CHAIR.

(beat.)

BISLAN: (contained anger) Those are Starfleet officers, Syziak.
SYZIAK: (gloating) I am well aware of that, Captain; were you aware that Starfleet officer fetch a good price on the Syndicate slave market? I have to say: it looks like today’s my lucky day.
BISLAN: Consider your luck “run out.” (pause) Return my crew, before you do something that I will make you regret.
SYZIAK: Make me regret what, Captain? (genuinely insulted) I have your crew in my hands. Your ship is grounded. My vessel is moving into position over your landing zone and bringing its weapons online as we speak — you are in no position to make threats. But I am not unreasonable. If you are ready to deal…

SYZIAK throws his legs over the arm of his chair, RECLINING LAZILY; his face painted with TRIUMPH

SYZIAK: …I will hear your first offer for one “Starfleet Science Team” … and their experiment.

MARTINEZ looks from SYZIAK on the SCREEN to BISLAN’s barely constrained RAGE. TOLLOR looks from Syziak to Bislan and back at the mention of their EXPERIMENT


Next: Scene VII

Heart of Ice, Scene VI

Star Trek: Fate of the Federation AlfredR