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Douglas quickly got the Doctor to call up a base map, which he then copied into his jotter notepad. Douglas decided not to tell the hologram his crude plan, in case the Chilo had indeed tamped with his program.

Then Douglas hurried to the armory. Thankfully for him all the security systems had been left off by the Chilo. He quickly found an MACO rifle, some grenades and body amour that he knew how to use.

Then Douglas hit the prison cells on level 100. The grenades let him take out the two Chilo guards. He quickly opened all the cells.

=/=

Captain Douglas Gorrim leveled the MACO rifle; it bothered him that no one had emerged from the holding cells when he had deactivated the force fields.

Slowly he began to advance to check inside the cells, but he stopped as he had a gut feeling something wasn’t quite right. He tried to see what about the scene before him was not as it seemed at first glance. He looked around again and then he looked at the two Chilo he had just killed with a grenade.

The two Chilo lay very still and yet it seemed to Douglas as if it had been almost too easy.

‘Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth Douglas,’ he chimed himself.

Then his conscious mind caught up with his gut feeling and he realized what the trap was.

One of the Chilo had a sash on, the tail end of which was hanging parallel to the deck indicating there was no gravity in that passageway deck section. Though both of the Chilo clearly had scars on their exo- amour the only way either of them was lying on that deck was they were holding themselves down to the deck.

Clearly they had hoped Douglas would step over them and between the two gravity plates and the sudden loss of gravity would leave him vulnerable for a few seconds at which point the two Chilo, using their multiple arms and mandibles, would make short work of him.

Douglas tried to act naturally and not give away that he had seen through their trap. He stepped forward as if he was going to head to the cells and then without warning he tossed another grenade at the pair of Chilo. The less wounded one immediately disappeared, while the clearly more injured Chilo tried to scamper away but it was hampered by the lack of gravity. Douglas put a shot in its general direction as he dived back behind the security console bench for cover from the grenade.

The second grenade clearly was more powerful than the first one and the whole room seemed to shake as it went off. Douglas cautiously looked out from behind the console, however the rank smell had already told him that one of the Chilo was indeed dead before he even saw the various bits of it floating in zero gee.

‘Now where did that other one go?’ he thought.

Douglas looked around but he still couldn’t see the other Chilo or any other obvious ambush locations. He quickly found the gravity controls and restored the normal one gee gravity to the cells and the access corridor, which should now allow any other prisoners to escape.

Then suddenly Douglas recalled seeing the sash that the other Chilo had been wearing before. It was from the very first time he had ever met a Chilo. Then his mind’s eye suddenly took him back to his final summer at home before he joined the Starfleet science program.

He had spent that summer at home alone. His brothers and sister had gone with their parents on a summer holiday to New Berlin. The reason he had been left alone was to work on his science submission for consideration to Starfleet Academy and also to mind the family house.

One night during a late session working on his submission paper, Douglas had sat alone in his room, while trying not to think about his latest attempt at a relationship with a girl that had gone so wrong. That was when he heard a large bang from nearby. He remembered looking at the clock to check the time, in case it was just the neighbors kids again but it was past eleven pm, so for once it was not likely to be the neighbors.

He could recall that smelt that very odd foul smell. So full of the swagger of youth he had grabbed his cricket bat from the cupboard and crept downstairs to investigate.

As Douglas went down the stairs he heard yet more crashing sounds; it was as if a large animal or the world’s worst burglar was in the house. The foul smell just got more rancid as he reached the bottom of the stairs.

That was when he saw the source of the noise; it was a large monstrous caterpillar with transparent skin and its inside looked to be full of rainbows. The thing was much larger than an average man with mandibles to cower even a Xindi - Insectoid.

Douglas didn’t know what to make of this beast but he decided that his cricket bat wasn’t likely to be of much use against its thick exo-amour, even if it did look scared. Then he had seen the sash that the creature had been wearing.

‘Maybe it’s an alien burglar or perhaps it’s an escaped zoo exhibit. Anyway this is a job for the cops not me,’ Douglas had thought.

So Douglas as quickly and silently as he could, made his way over to the main video-telephone and then he tapped the emergency services contact button but strangely nothing happened.

‘Vermin, I’m smarter than you and no aid will come to your assistance. You shall die now and the Chilo will succeed,’ he had heard in his head via what he guessed was a telepathic message.

“What are you? Why do I need to die now?” Douglas had asked.

“I shall stop you now, while you are smaller and weaker,” was the only reply that came from the creature.

Then the Chilo had lunged forward at Douglas. In the nick of time Douglas dived under the table and out of the way. The Chilo had smacked head first into the wall and while it was semi stunned Douglas took a chance and smashed his prized cricket bat over the creature’s head. The hard wood had split into multiple pieces and one of the larger pieces went into the creature’s compound eye. It roared in pain and it pulled the splinter out, but a dark liquid started to ooze out of the wound.

“Now you’ll suffer a long drawn out painful death for that,” it screamed telepathically at Douglas.

“You started the fight, thus don’t blame me if you’ve injured yourself,” Douglas cried over his shoulder as he ran for the front door.

“No, you started it by existing,” replied the Chilo.

Douglas heard the scraping of the creature‘s many legs as it chased after him. Douglas quickly reached the front door and hit the unlock mechanism. The computer beeped as it acknowledged the order to unlock the door.

“Hurry up, hurry up! Unlock,” Douglas shouted at the computer.

“Working,” was all the computer replied.

Douglas turned in time to see the Chilo arriving at full speed, so once again he dove out of the creature’s way. The Chilo’s own weight and bulk took it straight through the front door, which sent shards of plastic flying through in the air in all directions. A few of the shards nicked Douglas as they flew past him.

Douglas looked out though the hole as the computer reported “A type 404 error has occurred while un-locking the door.”

“What Computer? You say it’s an unknown error if a monster bug’s destroying the door while you are unlocking it. Fancy that,” Douglas had quibbled at it.

The Chilo was picking itself up and Douglas didn’t fancy trying to get past that monster, which was currently on his parents’ front lawn. So Douglas ran back into the house and towards the back door.

Douglas got to the kitchen where he spotted the old fire extinguisher that lived there. It was big and heavy and so Douglas grabbed it as a makeshift weapon. Then he resumed running towards the back door. Just as he was about to reach it the Chilo appeared out of thin air in front of him.

“Jobs to do,” it thought at Douglas.

Then as the Chilo reared up to its full height in front of him, Douglas felt the blood drain from his face. As the monster swung for him, Douglas by some instinct tried to use the fire extinguisher to block the attack. However the Chilo was much stronger than Douglas and so the Chilo knocked it aside. As Douglas started to retain his balance, the Chilo seized the opportunity and dug its mandibles into his left shoulder.

Douglas swore at the creature and smashed it with the fire extinguisher, but the creature still held on.

“Out of time Vermin. Time to die,” it thought aloud at Douglas.

In sheer desperation Douglas sprayed the creature with the contents of the fire extinguisher, like he had seen done a thousand times in his eldest brother’s old action movies.

“Cold!” screamed the creature telepathically, clearly in pain.

The Chilo released it grip on Douglas’s shoulder as it tried to escape the cold, but Douglas wasn’t going to let up now. He used the extinguisher to drive the creature back. That’s when a male and a female police officer ran in and the lead officer said, “What the…? Police. Put your object manipulators in the air and get on the floor or we will shoot.”

“You will die also, vermin. The Chilo shall destroy you all,” the Chilo had replied.

“Okay that is clearly hostile, stun it,” called the male cop.

Douglas watched as the two police officers open fired, but all three were shocked as the cops stun rifles seem not to affect the creature.

“Laura, get the kid out of here and get the MACO marines down here ASAP,” called the older male cop.

“With me kid,” the female cop had said. Then she had virtually manhandled him out while she was calling coded messages into her communicator.

Then just as they got outside, the first cop came flying through the front window in a shower of glass. He was battered, beaten and bleeding heavily. Then the Chilo suddenly appeared out of thin air in front of Douglas and Laura and now it looked even angrier.

“No escape, you will die today vermin,” it thought at them.

Laura the female cop opened fire but her weapon hits seem to have no effect. The Chilo then used its legs to knock her flying into a nearby tree and out of its way. As it knocked her aside the weapon broke and Douglas caught a bit of it. Then the Chilo advanced towards Douglas.

Douglas looked at the broken weapon part in his hand-- it was the weapon coolant component--and suddenly Douglas had inspiration from an old school experiment. Douglas now had a plan and so he ran towards the neighbors’ koi pond.

Douglas was nearly at the pond when the Chilo phased in front of him, but the Chilo appeared on top of water rather than on the ground as it had expected. With a splash the Chilo fell into the pond and Douglas quickly threw the coolant component into the pond with it. There was a large popping sound, with the result that the water and the soaked Chilo were flash-frozen.

Douglas sunk down to his knees and tried to catch his breath. Once Douglas had finally caught his breath, then he went to check on Laura the cop. Douglas was pleased that despite some bruising she was still okay. The male cop wasn’t in a good condition but Douglas did some basic first aid on him as he tried to stem the blood loss till the armed Police and MACO reserves arrived on the scene with proper medics. Once they had stabilized everybody they got them all shipped off to the nearest hospital.

A few days later the local Chief of Police had visited Douglas in hospital and had said, “I believe your story kid. No-one, not even the Vulcans, seem to know what that creature was. So we’ve got no idea why it attacked you but don’t worry about killing it, as far as we’re all concerned it was an open and shut case of self defense for yourself and the other cops, if not the whole city.”

After a moment’s break to let Douglas take his words in, the chief of police had added, “Also the MACO Major said he will be stopping by, as he reckons if you hadn’t flash-frozen the bug it could have taken the whole English division of MACOs to stop that creature with our normal weapons, most likely with some horrific casualty levels. So he wants to shake your hand for saving his team from having to fire fight with Mister Bug.”

“Thank you, sir. I guess if I want any further answers on this creature, I need to get into the Starfleet science division and go look for them myself,” said Douglas.

“I guess so, kid. Good luck with that,” said the chief of police.

That had been Douglas’s first true milestone. It had motivated Douglas to get into Starfleet science division and so he did the extra training to try and get a science officer post on an NX cruiser.

“Captain Gorrim?” asked a red-haired woman.

Douglas snapped out of his memory and back to the current moment in the T.I.C. building.

“Sorry I’m not sure what happened there,” he said to the red-haired woman in the blue uniform who was now standing in front of him.

“Temporal adjustment,” said a gentlemen in an all black and silver jumpsuit uniform who stepped into his field of vision from another cell before adding, “I’m Daniels of the T.I.C., cheers for the rescue.”

“I’m Captain Lily Fitzroy of Starfleet, and cheers for zapping the guard bugs,” said the woman.

“You’re both welcome but I’m sorry, what’s a Temporal Adjustment when it’s at home?” asked Douglas.

“Well to use the example of what I think just happened, it is when a Chilo goes back in time to bump you off in the past when you’re weaker, rather than fight you right now; however the forces of history sometimes just adjust events to counter the incursion, but while the attempt to alter the past is going on the person from the relative present involved gets stuck for a moment in the new event memory as it forms,” answered Daniels.

Suddenly a large Klingon male stepped from another cell.

“Well done, Captain, you’re clearly an expert bug hunter. Let us avenge ourselves together upon these Chilo,” said the Klingon.


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