Monday, 31 December 1990

The Valkyrie Chronicles - The Jurassic Incident Chapter 1

    Magus sat in his study at Craigmillar. The room was exactly as it had been for the past five hundred years. When they were not on the Valkyrie Teddy and the others all slept in the chairs which they had slept in for the past half millennium. The only thing that had changed was his butler, for long lived as Monstrons were, Igor had passed away at the end of the twenty first century. Magus was now equipped with a robotic butler, known as Belvedere. Belvedere entered the study.
    “Pardon the intrusion, sir, but there is a Mr. Hammond who wishes to see you.”
    A puzzled look passed over Magus’ face.
    “I don’t know any Hammond, Belvedere. Show him in.”
    Soon, Hammond was seated at the opposite side of the fire from Magus. Pleasantries were exchanged and soon Hammond came to the point.
    “Do you remember Jurassic Park?” he asked.
    Magus nodded.
    “I considered it rather pointless at the time. Mankind is rather arrogant in his assumptions about extinct life.”
    “I intend to bring that idea back.”
    “Of course.” smiled Magus. “Hammond, I should have realised. But how do you intend to proceed? The Federation has outlawed the manipulation of genetic material for profit.”
    “That is where you come in, Doctor.” smiled Hammond. “You have access to the Time. I’m told that dinosaurs roam there as they did here on Earth millions of years ago.”
    Magus stood up and rang for Belvedere.
    “I’m afraid, Mr. Hammond, I cannot help you. The prehistoric creatures of the Time will live in peace, studied only by scientists from the Burns Institute.”
    “I cannot convince you otherwise?” said Hammond.
    “There is nothing you can offer me, sir.” said Magus coldly. “I have eternal life already, and as for riches, I could buy this solar system twice over and not notice the expense. These creatures live a natural life on the Time. That is why the inhabitants of Ogasawa Island were transferred there.”
    Belvedere entered.
    “Show Mr. Hammond out.” said Magus.
    Hammond left the castle and made his way to London by the first shuttle. There he was met be a pilot, who took him out of Federation space. They met a Ferengi vessel. Hammond beamed across.
    “It is good to see you again, Hammond.” said Damon Trok. “Did Magus co-operate?”
    Hammond shook his head.
    “How goes your side of the bargain?”
    “We have the Genesis data.”

    A special ceremony was taking place at Starfleet Command in San Francisco. The ceremony was being conducted by Admiral Alberto Calevicchi. An officer was being promoted. Many of Starfleet’s most respected officers were present, most notably the main officers of the Valkyrie. They were saying goodbye to one of their own, while another was being promoted within their ranks. The goodbye was for the now Commander Simon Winthorn, who was being made first officer on the Pinafore, and Lom, the chief engineer, was being promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander.
    A small party was held afterwards.
    “I’ll be sorry to see you go, Simon.” said Watt. “But we all have to go our separate ways sometimes.”
    “I’ll sure miss the Valkyrie, Captain.” said Winthorn. “The Pinafore may be a fine ship, but she’s no match for the Valkyrie.”
    As they spoke, the Admiral approached them.
    “You’re losing a fine young officer.” he said. “Starfleet has high hopes for you, Commander. Your own command is not that far off.”
    The party began to break up an hour or so later. The Admiral and Watt sat talking.
    “How go the repairs to the Valkyrie?” asked the Admiral.
    “Slowly.” Watt replied. “We were in two heavy battles in a matter of two months. She definitely needs a refit!”
    “And you definitely need that shore leave.” said the Admiral. “Have you decided where you are going yet?”
    “I was hoping to spend some time with my grandfather.” said Watt. “But he’s on the Time of Legends, helping organise Valhalla’s reconstruction. But there was one thing he wanted me to do, in Moscow.”
    “May I suggest something though, James.” said the Admiral. “Leave your communicator at home.”

    Two days later, Watt walked through the freezing streets of Moscow. He walked for about ten minutes until he came to the place he was looking for. Although you couldn’t tell it from the thick covering of snow, this place was a cemetery. Slowly, Watt managed to open the rusty iron gates of the cemetery. He soon managed to find the grave he was looking for. He brushed the snow off the headstone, revealing the name of the person who was buried there, when they were born, and when they died. It read;
    Katarina Velichev-Watt, 1962 - 2027.
    Today was her birthday, and on every day since her death, Ambassador Watt, his grandfather, had placed one red rose on her grave. But his Starfleet duties did not permit him to do this, and that is why he asked his grandson to do the favour for him. Watt placed the rose on the ground, and then stood back.
    “He still misses you.” he said. “Why do you think he never re-married?”

    A special conference was taking place on Divinia 7. This conference, on the subject of genetic engineering, was held on Divinia 7 every two years. Renowned scientists from all over the universe attended this event. This year’s keynote address was to be given by Dr. Alexander Burns, descendant of the respected twentieth century zoologist, Dr. Francis Burns. But what was different about this conference was that for the first time, a Ferengi delegation was in attendance.
    It was the night before Dr. Burns’ speech, and a small reception was being held at the conference site. It was a veritable who’s who of renowned genetic engineers, Vulcans, Socratians, even a Klingon was present. All were wary of the Ferengi presence. Dr. Burns stood talking to the head of the Ferengi delegation, Damon Targ.
    “I was very surprised to learn that your government was sending a delegation, Damon.” said Burns. “There is no profit to be made in genetic engineering these days. Apart from terra-forming, most work is now on the prevention of disease.”
    “The Ferengi government is to implement a terra-forming program.” said Targ. “We are hoping to gain much knowledge from this conference. We’re hoping to work along the lines of the Federation’s Genesis Project.”
    “You can’t be serious.” said Burns. “The Genesis Project was condemned by the entire Federation. Even Dr. Carol Marcus, the scientist in charge, vowed never to continue her work on the project. The only what it could be done was with proto-matter, a highly unstable substance.”
    “But that was nearly eighty years ago, Doctor.” said Targ. “Our way of producing proto-matter ensures that it is safe. All we need now is the data.”
    “Much of the data was destroyed along with Khan.” said Burns. “And I am sure that the Federation would not be willing to open their files for your government.”
    “We will see.” Targ smiled. “The Ferengi government has ways of doing things.”
    Burns went in to make his speech. Then when he left the lecture hall he was met by Lethbridge-Stewart.
    “What do you know of Project Genesis, Doctor?”
    Burns looked puzzled.
    “Strange you should ask me that. The Ferengi are interested in Genesis as well.”
    “We know. All data on Genesis has been removed from our computers.”

    Hammond sat in his officer in the centre of London. Before him was laid out a population survey of the creatures of the creatures living in the land of Hyperborea, on the Time. With him was his right hand man, Allen Kenneth.
    “If only they had known about this planet when they built the first Jurassic Park. Just think of it, a land populated by dinosaurs. Waiting to be taken.”
    Kenneth smiled.
    “Have you ever thought how your plans would be affected if the Istari were to allow tourism on the Time?”
    “They won’t.” laughed Hammond. “Don’t you ever read the pronouncements of Ambassador Magus?”
    “I do.” replied his friend. “The Time is a place unique in the universe, not a pleasure garden for the crass.”
    “Senility is settling in.” laughed Hammond. “How are our plans going?”
    “Tark’s spies have located the main herd of woolly mammoths in the north. We’re selecting our specimens from those. We already have two T-Rex’s and a dozen allosaurs, in addition to quite a few hadrosaurs and various others.”
    Hammond nodded.
    “And the planet?”
    “Almost ready. Once we move the creatures there won’t be any trouble, they are travelling as medical supplies!”

    Ambassador James Watt stood, watching the reconstruction of the Halls of Asgard. Beside him stood Odin.
    “It was foolish of Theophilus to choose Asgard as a target. He could only destroy property, not life here.”
    Odin nodded.
    “Aye, friend Watt.”
    Then, as the two spoke, a Federation shuttle landed. Out stepped a tall, thin, grey haired figure, clad in a dark grey suit, of the style popular in the late twentieth century. The new arrival held in his hand a slim, black cane, topped with a cavourite jewel.
    “Thomas.” smiled Watt. “What brings you here?”
    Leacock smiled a thin lipped smile.
    “I was hoping to find Magus here. I have grave news. Creatures have been taken from the land of Hyperborea.”
    “Can’t you use your powers to find out who?” asked Watt. “After all, they were enhanced when the Council of the Five appointed you Sorcerer Supreme.”
    “I know why by, James.” replied Leacock. “They are being transferred to a planet now called Jurassica by a man called Hammond.”
    “But surely it was agreed that the Time would be left as a haven?”
    Leacock nodded.
    “So it was, but the animals were taken by the Ferengi to an unknown destination. As they were not signatories to the agreement legally we cannot touch them.”
    “What of this planet?”
    “It is in Ferengi space. It is being set up as a hunting preserve.”
    Watt looked grim.
    “Phineas will hit the roof when he finds out.” he mused.
    “I already have.” said a voice.
    They turned to see Magus standing behind them, with a fax in his hand.
    “Mr. Hammond has invited us to stay on his preserve!”
    “Do we accept?” asked Watt. “And do you transport all of the animals back to the Time?”
    Magus shook his head.
    “I cannot. There are just too many of them. We cannot use transmat either. That is only effective over short distances.”
    “Then why don’t we use the Valkyrie?” said Watt. “I mean, two Federation ambassadors ought to carry a bit of weight with them.”
    “What is your plan?” asked Leacock.
    “I’m thinking of the case of Montgomery Scott. Do you recall, about a year ago they found his pattern in the transporter of an old ship?”
    Magus nodded.
    “Well what we do is hold the patterns of all these animals in our computer.”
    “It could work, James.” smiled Magus. “But will you tell your grandson his holiday is over, or should I?”

    Two days later, Watt’s assumption was right. They were granted full use of the Valkyrie to transport them to Jurassica. Captain Watt agreed to accompany them, under the guise of a Federation inspection prior to issuing travel permits to the planet. Magus selected the team very carefully. Alex Burns was an obvious choice, as was Sutek. Leacock declined the invitation, but Amarus was very keen to see what was happening. They made arrangements with Hammond to visit the planet the next week.

    Upon their arrival they were greeted by one of the Ferengi.
    “It is indeed a privilege to meet such a distinguished ambassador as yourself, Dr. Magus.” he crept.
    Magus gave the Ferengi a stern look.
    “Do not displease me, slimy one. I once turned the leader of the Klingon High Council into a slug for speaking out of turn. I have never been entirely welcome on the Klingon homeworld since.”
    They were shown into their quarters.

    A short time later, Sutek stood on the balcony of his quarters. The balcony overlooked the vast landscape. He had in his hand a pair of binoculars. He looked through them, and the first thing he saw was the might T-Rex. For a Vulcan, this was indeed a remarkable sight. Then, he noticed something odd. He looked at the T-Rex’s “hands”. Instead of the usual three digits, there were four. As he had not studied dinosaurs that closely before, he did not think twice about it. Perhaps if he had, he would have known that something was going on.

    Hammond stood in the control room. At the main monitor sat Hugo Ross, a computer expert.
    “Everything okay?” asked Hammond.
    Ross shook his head.
    “I can only locate one T-Rex. The screens show that there are two creatures out that which could be T-Rex but only verify one.”
    “Meaning?”
    “Meaning that we are one T-Rex short of our quota.”
    “Check the others.”
    “I have. We have less of everything than we started with.”
    “I don’t believe this. When my distant ancestor started Jurassic Park he wound up with too many dinosaurs. Now I have too few?”
    “What are you going to do?” asked Ross.
    “Take them on that tour tomorrow.” replied Hammond. “What else can I do?”

    They set out the next day. Hammond decided to show them the T-Rex first before they could spot any problems.
    The tour began promptly at dawn the next day. Soon they stood on the viewing gallery which overlooked the valley housing the T-Rexes.
    “I can see one there.” said Hammond.
    “Are you sure that is a T-Rex, Mr. Hammond?” asked Burns.
    “I know it is.” came the icy reply.
    “Does it look like a Tyrannosaur to you?” asked Burns of Magus.
    Magus adjusted his spectacles and looked down at the creature below them.
    “It is far too small.” he said thoughtfully. “About thirty feet where it should be nearer fifty.”
    Ambassador Watt looked bemused, as did his grandson.
    “You are saying that this is not a T-Rex?”
    Burns nodded.
    “I think it’s an Allosaur.” said Hammond. “We have several of those.”
    “Allosaurs came before T-Rexes. This creature seems to be more advanced. See how the frontal area of it’s head is more developed.”
    “Tell me, Mr. Hammond.” asked Sutek. “How did you discover this planet?”
    Hammond looked uneasy.
    “The Ferengi found it for me.”
    “Was it inhabited?” asked Magus. “Or was it, as I suspect, a barren lump of rock hurtling through space?”
    “What are you getting at, Magus?” asked Amarus.
    “These creatures were brought here from the Time, where they have remained unchanged for millions of years. That is why, in the whole universe, the Time is unique. None of the laws which affect the rest of the universe apply. Hence, although dinosaurs died out on Earth sixty five million years ago, on the Time they did not. The penalty for their survival was that they would not advance beyond the stage they were at then. They did not need to. Mr. Hammond, however, has brought them to a planet in which he has done his best to duplicate the land of Hyperborea. He has almost succeeded but for one thing. In the short time they have been here the creatures have evolved.”
    “Rubbish.” snorted Hammond. “Evolution takes millions of years. These animals have only been here six months.”
    “It would tie in neatly with the data we have.” said the younger Watt. “The Genesis data was stolen. I believe it was used to create this planet. Somehow the Genesis Wave, rather than destroy the planet, is affecting the dinosaurs, accelerating their development.”
    “Exactly.” cried Magus. “Mr. Hammond, do you realise what you have done? You have created a thirty foot carnivorous monster with the brains of a primitive man. We are going to have to handle this very carefully indeed.”