2256: Escape from Ren’ai

Ren'ai Colony

The woman didn’t move from her position when her husband rose quietly from their bed and walked out of the room. It was the middle of the night and she could tell that something was bothering him. Before closing her eyes again she glanced toward the cradle and sensed that their son was the only one getting any sleep that night.


Out on the back patio, the human male walked a few feet away from the house and lit his cigar. It was a clear night, warm, with a slight breeze coming across the nearby lake. He took in a long drag and closed his eyes focusing on the flavor and aroma of the stogie. The night was calm and quiet but he was uneasy. He paced around a bit and surveyed his surroundings. He couldn’t put his finger on it but he knew that something was amiss.

From the side yard came a tall brawny alien male carrying a long rifle in his arms. He walked casually up to his master. “Is everything alright sir?”

The human lied. “Yes. I just can’t sleep.” He had no reason to withhold the truth from the security team that protected him and his family, but Anton always preferred to keep most things to himself. This lack of trust created an awkward relationship between him and the security team.

“Can I get something for you sir?”

“No, that won’t be necessary. I’ll just finish my cigar and go back inside. Don’t let me keep you.” He replied and took another long drag while gazing out over the lake.

“Sleep well, sir.” The alien male walked away and proceeded with his patrol of the rural compound. There were many nights when the human was not able to sleep, he was an odd one to figure out. But despite the seemingly routine nature of the situation the guard increased his alert level.

After several minutes the human’s attention was focused on the dense treeline on the far end of the compound. He thought he saw movement but it was dark. It was very dark. Which was unusual for Ren’ai Colony, a planet with 3 moons, but tonight none of them were lording overhead. Extinguishing the last remnants of his smoker he pulled his weapon from it’s holster, turned on it’s crimson light and moved forward toward the trees.


A veteran Starfleet Officer with numerous commendations and as many reprimands, Anton Wolfe instinctively called upon his extensive training. He remained calm and cautious as he entered the treeline, weapon lifted high and ready for action. Surveying the immediate area quickly he found nothing, but his gut was screaming red alert.

“Come out, come out, wherever you are.” He whispered to himself, remembering a childhood game he used to play on Earth with his sister.

Suddenly from seemingly out of nowhere a figure appeared before him. The stranger was standing motionless and his alien face was like stone.

“Who are you? What are you doing here?” Anton insisted, his weapon pointed firmly at the alien humanoid.

“They are coming. You must leave.” The alien replied with growing fear.

Anton could tell that the other man was not afraid of him but of something else. Glancing carefully around them he asked for more. “Who’s coming?”

“Take your family and go. Now!”

“Why?” The human didn’t like being told what to do especially when he didn’t know all the facts of the situation. And how did this stranger know he had a family.

There was an eerie sound that seemed to resonate throughout the whole forest. It caught the attention of both men. They were not alone.

Pahder…?” came the small cry of the tiny alien girl child who had wrapped her arms around the alien man’s leg. She was terrified and looked to her father for reassurance.

Anton stepped back and extended his blood red light around the man and child. As his human eyes adjusted to the darkness he was finally able to see them all. Standing behind the alien humanoid was a petite adult female and several small children. Off in the distance his light also caught a glimpse of other families moving quietly thru the forest with earnest. But why? and where were they going? “What is it? What’s coming?”

The man picked up his small daughter and pulled her tightly into his chest. “They come for the children. You must go now. They will be here soon.” With that the alien father turned to his wife and children and indicated for them to start walking away.

Anton lowered his weapon and noted the direction that they were all traveling. “Where can I go? Where should I…?”

“Anyplace. But not here. Quickly, but quietly.” With those final words the family moved on, traveling swiftly like all the others.


Anton didn’t waste anytime. He ran back to the house as fast as his long legs would carry him. His heart was pounding in his chest as he opened the back door and stepped into the house calling for his alien wife. “Soreya…” He was surprised to see her standing before him ready to go. She had dressed and prepared a satchel of baby supplies. Next to her on the floor was another bag of essentials for what could be a long trip. In her arms, fast asleep was their son, wrapped up tight and secured to her chest by a cloth harness. The look of concern on her face told him all he needed to know. “You know?”

She nodded as she fought back her fear. “I sensed their distress. Do you know what it is?”

“No, no idea. But I don’t think we should stay and find out.” The human moved quickly to an old wooden armoire and unlocked it with a fingerprint scan. Despite having the services of the security team he always preferred to have his own weapons handy for self defense. He pulled out another phaser and strapped the holster to his left leg. After grabbing a few extra power packs and other assorted devices he turned back to his wife and son. He flung her bags over his shoulder and took her by the hand, leading her out of the house quietly. He wasn’t interested in drawing the attention of the security team.

“Anton, what of…?” She asked hesitantly.

The man stopped and looked into his wife’s beautiful dark eyes. “I’m sorry … but I don’t trust her.”

Tears welled up in Soreya’s eyes and she looked back toward the house. She knew that one day she would have to chose between her husband and her mother.

Anton gently pulled her chin around until she faced him again. “Security can look after her. She’s probably in no danger. Come … we have to go.”

She nodded nervously, knowing he was right and took his hand again.

The family made their way to the stables at the far end of the property. After saddling up an eqwison Anton carefully lifted his wife and son up onto it’s back, before he climbed up behind them. Back on Earth Anton had learned how to ride horses on his parent’s ranch and enjoyed it so much that he domesticated a few eqwisons on this planet. They were similar enough to horses – four legged, stocky, about the same height and weight. But they had a smaller head with a pair of pointy horns at the top, stripped body like a zebra, and it’s dark mane completely covered its thick neck. The locals thought he was crazy to attempt to domesticate them since they were well known for their bad temperament and sharp teeth, something that didn’t seem to bother Anton.equison

After leaving the stables, Anton brought the eqwison to a full gallop and rode across the dark open fields that bordered the forest. He headed straight toward the mountain pass, hoping he could get to the other side without being spotted. Always one for being prepared, he had practiced this evacuation route numerous times shortly after relocating to this colony. He had other routes available as well, in case this one didn’t work, but he preferred his “Plan A”.

They rode in silence and Soreya could sense her husband’s concentration and anxiety. During times like this she marveled at how he could focus so intently on the task at hand. She didn’t disturb him with silly questions like, ‘Where are we going?’ or ‘what do you know?’…. he had a job to do. Instead she looked down at her sleeping son and tried to remain calm. “I love you Anton.”

“I know.” He squeezed her tightly with one arm and kissed the top of her head. “We’re almost there. I don’t detect any …” Before he could say it, his attention was drawn up to the dark skies overhead. Patrol ships! He could not see them but he could hear them. They were concentrating their search on the forest area. There was still time to get to the mountain pass. Anton spurred the eqwison to go faster. The animal was not happy and protested slightly but Anton insisted with a little more pressure.

In less than an hour they had reached the pass and Anton guided the eqwison carefully through the rocky opening. Once on the other side he began the steep descent down the mountain side to his destination, an old abandoned quarry.

Early settlers quarried stone from this location for use in construction of large concrete structures. But the quarry began to experience drainage problems when they excavated to more than 20 meters below sea level. Over the decades the bottom of the abandoned quarry had filled with water, turning it into a large lake. One day when Anton had come to this area exploring, he had discovered that near the quarry was an automated concrete batching plant. The plant was also abandoned after many decades, but the structure still existed, buried partially into the side of the mountain. That was his “Plan A” and he made sure that no one knew about it.

The eqwison was a sure footed animal but it disliked the terrain. After Anton had guided it to the entrance of the batching plant he removed the saddle from the eqwison and it took off for friendly lands. Soreya looked at her husband with bewilderment at the sight of the old structure. “Is it safe?”

“It’s safer than staying out here in the open, waiting to get picked up.”

She nodded. “Good point.”

Pulling a light from his utility belt he led the way through the dark cavernous opening cut into the side of the mountain. “The structure should provide sufficient protection from their scans. And the mountains contain kelbonite ore…”

“… a refractory mineral that interferes with sensors and transporters.” She added, finally understanding why he chose such a filthy and dusty hideout.

“Exactly.” He smiled at her… an oasis of beauty amidst a sea of metal and stone. He brushed her long black hair away from her face and then waved his hand out to the old structure before them. “My lady … your castle awaits you.”

Soreya smiled.