Colors Of Justice
By: TE Lawrence
Artwork created by Linda Olsen

From the Ship’s Log of USS EXCALIBUR (NCC-2005)

It has been several days now with still no word of the disappearance of Ambassador Hayes and Kate Travis. Hayes was sent to the planet Avogaj, in the Zarta Sector, to review the Avogajians and Gajians, bird like aliens, for possible entrance into the United Federation of Planets. There had been rumors that the two factions were not getting along.

Kate Travis, Diplomatic Officer aboard the USS EXCALIBUR, had been beamed down with Hayes to start the talks with the Avogaj council. One day later they were missing from their quarters.

Captain Lawrence, Soen Mon’Teith with a security team, and Colonel TJ Morrison went planetside to investigate what could have happened.

The Avogajians pointed their fingers to the Gajians. The Gajians threw blame on the Avogajians. Lawrence was getting nowhere until an informant gave her information on where the two prisoners were being kept.

Colonel Morrison ordered his Marines planetside and the EXCALIBUR group began a search.

It was pitch black out and you could barely see anything in front of you. "I think this is the place they are suppose to be, Captain," Michele whispered.

"I thought I heard some movement over to the right, sir," Shrev spoke up. "It’s hard to tell in this darkness."

Captain Lawrence moved closer to the dirt path. They couldn’t go any further or they would be without the cover of the brushes. "Mary had a little lamb." Lawrence called out softly.

"He followed her to school," came a reply.

There was a noise that sounded like someone being hit.

"His fleece was white as snow."

She recognized Morrison’s voice. Morrison made a dash across the path and into the bushes.

"What the hell was that all about?" TE asked.

"Never mind." He undid the strap around his chin and took his helmet off. "We haven’t seen anything yet, Captain."

"Shhhhhh! I hear something, sir," Michele warned.

Everyone crouched down. The pathway filled with activity. Ten Avogajians, led by one Gajian, passed by very quietly. All were carrying some type of weapon. When they had passed out of ear shot, Morrison replaced his helmet and turned to face Lawrence. "Looks like we are going to finally get some answers. I think you should stay here, Captain. We have no idea what’s ahead."

"Thank you for your concern, Colonel, but I’ll be tagging a long."

There was an edge to Morrison’s voice when he spoke this time. "It’s not safe enough to take that chance, Sir. I’d prefer you stay behind and let us do what we are trained to do best."

"With all due respect Colonel, I am coming along. Now don’t you think we better get moving before we lose them?"

"May I speak freely, Captain?"

"Yes, of course, Colonel."

"I don’t want to see any of my people hurt trying to protect you, sir. That’s what they will be trying to do if you go along. I wouldn’t expect any less from them. But, you could be putting their lives in danger."

TE tried to see his face in the darkness, but to no avail. "Point taken Colonel, I’ll wait for you here."

TJ Morrison turned around to face the dirt path. He gave a whistle and his team came dashing across the path to meet him. "Now listen up, we are following these guys and I want you to watch your six. There is something going on here that we know nothing about. Our objective is to find Ambassador Hayes and Commander Kate Travis. Spread out… let’s move."

"Be careful, Tyler," TE whispered to herself.

Not much time had passed when Lawrence’s group heard phaser fire from the direction the Marines had taken. "The hell with this!" TE said out loud to no one in particular.

TE took off running in the direction of the ruckus. She came upon a cave where all of the noise was coming from. When she entered she stopped dead in her tracks at the sight before her. Marines, Birds and her Security Team were in full battle. Feathers were flying everywhere. It would have been funny if she hadn’t noticed Kate lying injured on the cave floor.

TE reached for her phaser, but was stopped by someone grabbing her from behind. A hand clamped over her mouth and her assailant started to drag her out of the cave entrance. She saw Morrison look her way, but he could do nothing but fight the two Avogajians trying to kill him. There was more than the ten they had observed earlier. They must have been here all along.

TE struggled to free herself, but he was too strong. She decided to use a different means and let her body go limp. As soon as he loosened his hand from her mouth she bit it hard. In the split second that he loosened his grip on her, she jammed her elbow into his ribcage. That seemed to stun him a bit. TE whirled around and caught him with a quick kick to the legs that sent him to the ground. He jumped to his feet and came at her. TE jumped in the air and landed a kick to his middle knocking the air from his lungs. She quickly slammed her fist into his face rendering him unconscious. He was human and looked like the security man who had accompanied Ambassador Hayes.

After Hayes and Kate Travis were transferred aboard the EXCALIBUR there was a meeting with the council of Avogai and a few of the Gajians. It was decided that until there was a settlement in the unrest on their planet, there would be no admittance to the Federation.

Colonel Morrison made his way through the shuttle and sat down by the Captain. He was a mess with dirt, blood and ripped clothing. He leaned close to TE and whispered, "The way you handled that attack makes me think I better watch my six around you."

TE returned his smile.