Monday, 31 December 1990

The Valkyrie Chronicles - The Theophilus War Chapter 1

The Gamma-Omacron system. On the fourth and final planet of this system, originally named Gamma-Omacron IV, was the farthest out of the Federation’s colonies. Orbiting the planet was the last starbase before Sontaran territory, King’s Cross 7. On this day, two mighty starships approached King’s Cross, the U.S.S. Valkyrie, and her sister ship, the U.S.S. Lohengrin.
    On the main bridge of the Valkyrie, all of the main bridge crew were present. In the captain’s chair sat the commanding officer, Captain James Watt.
    “Ten thousand kilometres away from the starbase.” reported Lt. Amarus at tactical.
    “Hold her steady, Mr. Tompkins.” said Watt. “She’s been through quite a lot in the past couple of months.”
    Several more minutes passed, before the Valkyrie was safely docked at King’s Cross. Not long afterwards, the Lohengrin joined them.
    “Everything is complete, sir.” said Amarus. “We are being hailed.”
    “On screen.” said Watt.
    An image appeared on the main viewer, an image of a mature gentleman, aged about sixty.
    “Admiral Lethbridge-Stewart!” smiled Watt. “It’s good to see you again, sir.”
    “Likewise, James.” replied the Admiral. “With your permission, Captain, I would like to beam aboard, along with a guest.”
    “A guest, sir?” queried Watt.
    “All will become clear.” said the Admiral. “See you in a couple of minutes.”
    The screen then went blank.
    “You have the bridge, Mr. Winthorn.” said Watt. “Number one, would you join me in the transporter room?”
    A few minutes later, Watt and Pendragon arrived in one of the transporter rooms.
    “The Admiral and his guest are ready to beam over.” said the transporter chief.
    “Energize.” said Watt.
    The transporter was energized. Seconds later, two men stood on the transporter pad. One was Admiral Lethbridge-Stewart, the other, was a rather familiar looking old gentleman carrying a silver-topped cane.
    “This will be interesting.” smiled Pendragon.
    “Captain.” said the Admiral. “Of course, you know Ambassador Phineas Magus.”
    Ambassador Magus stepped off the pad.
    “A pleasure, Ambassador.” said Watt, shaking the Ambassador’s hand.
    “I would like to dispense with the pleasantries, Captain.” said the Admiral. “I would like to meet with all of your senior officers in your observation lounge, as well as your passenger. Captain McCloud, Commander Willoughby and Ambassador Watt will be joining us from the Lohengrin momentarily.”
    “Are you sure that’s wise, sir?” asked Watt. “Especially in light of who our passenger is?”
    “Everything will be fine, Captain.” said Ambassador Magus. “You must remember, to me, this meeting has happened before.”

    About ten minutes later, the observation lounge of the Valkyrie began to fill up. Captain McCloud and Commander Willoughby were soon beamed over from the Lohengrin. Ambassador Watt was not far behind. Then, the senior Valkyrie officers, Lt. Tompkins, Lt. Lom, Lt. Amarus, Lt. Commander Winthorn, Lt. Sutek and Commander Pendragon arrived. The Admiral and Ambassador Magus took up their seats. Then, Captain Watt and Dr. Magus arrived. That was when it happened, the meeting of wizards, the same wizard.
    The twentieth century Magus gazed at the twenty fourth century Magus.
    “You know, I haven’t changed a bit.” said the first.
    “How kind of me to say so.” replied the second. “I am afraid, however, that you are needed back in your own time. It seems that our friends in Anglo-Force really do need some guidance. At the same time you are needed her.”
    “I see.” replied the first. “Then perhaps I should return to a point say six months after I left.”
    “As I recall, I did.”
    Magus smiled at Magus. Then he shook hands with all of the officers, and lastly with Captain Watt.
    “It has been a pleasure meeting you.” he said. “But as I said, I must return to my own time.”
    Then he turned to himself.
    “We must stop breaking the first law of time.”
    “Don’t you remember? It doesn’t apply to me.”
    With that the twentieth century Magus vanished. The remaining Magus turned to Ambassador Watt.
    “Well, James, where do we go from here?”
    The meeting lasted for about an hour. Many things were discussed, most notably the recent encounters with the Imperials and the Sontarans.
    “Your report is most interesting.” said the Admiral. “I am sure that Commander Maddix would find the droid, R4, most interesting.”
    “I hope he does not disassemble him.” said Watt. “He was most useful on our missions.”
    “Well.” said the Admiral. “That’s just about everything covered. The starbase engineers will consult on your engineers as to the repairs. Until those repairs are complete, you and your crew can consider yourselves on leave.”
    The meeting broke up. As the crew dispersed, Captain McCloud took Commander Pendragon to one side.
    “I hope your sword skills are as good as your ancestors.” he said. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a good workout.”
    “Haven’t you got to go to Galorndan Core?” Pendragon asked.
    “Not for a day.” said McCloud. “You may choose the battle ground.”
    “The Valkyrie.” smiled Pendragon. “Fourteen hundred hours. I hope you’re as good as they say you were, old man!”
    McCloud laughed.
    “I may be old.” he said. “But I can still run rings round you!”

    An hour or so later, Watt was in his quarters, packing a small case. Then, he received a knock at the door, and Admiral Lethbridge-Stewart entered.
    “Going on holiday, Captain?” he asked.
    “Just going to visit a friend on the colony for a day or so.” Watt replied. “And I hear the Northern Province is quite nice this time of year.”
    Before the Admiral could reply, he received a message.
    “King’s Cross 7 to Admiral Lethbridge-Stewart.”
    “Lethbridge-Stewart here. Go ahead Ensign.”
    “Transmission coming in from Starfleet Command sir, priority one. Shall I relay it to the Valkyrie?”
    “I’ll return to the Starbase. If you’ll excuse me, Captain.”
    The Admiral left Watt’s quarters. A few minutes later, he arrived in his office on the Starbase. He operated a view screen.
    “Greetings, Admiral Benton.”
    “There is a grave situation, Admiral.” said Benton. “Our sources on the Monstron homeworld say that there has been a major disturbance in the capital city, involving an old Federation ship.”
    “Old Federation ship?” queried the Admiral.
    “A small party beamed down to the Temple of Orlok.” said Benton. “The old casket containing the Frankenstein creature and the body of Lawrence Talbot were stolen from their resting places.”
    “Isn’t the Temple of Orlok the home of Count Dracula?” asked the Admiral.
    “It was.” said Benton. “He hasn’t been seen for over a week, not since the attack.”
    “Could it be a Wose terrorist attack?”
    “Unlikely. But a small shuttle craft was seen in your sector, two days ago. I want the best starship you have in dock. I want the Valkyrie on this one.”
    “Impossible.” said the Admiral. “She’s just about to undergo major repairs. She won’t be ready for at least two weeks.”
    “I’m afraid we don’t have two weeks.” said Benton. “You have three days. I want the best officers on this one, and the Valkyrie is the best.”
    The screen went blank.

    Watt rematerialized outside the house of Bob Dones, He knocked on the door, pausing to gaze at the twin suns of Gamma-Omacron setting.
    “Jim. It’s good to see you.” cried Dones. “I’m glad you’re here. I’m expecting another guest shortly, Anthony Alucard. Do you know of him?”
    “I’m afraid not.” replied Watt smiling.
    They seated themselves. Dones poured both a tumbler full of scotch.
    “Border Collie brand.” smiled Watt. “I remember when it was invented.”
    “You can’t. It was first distilled in the twentieth century.”
    Once more Watt smiled.
    “It’s a long story. I’ll tell it to you sometime.”
    At that moment the doorbell rang. Dones went to answer it, returning with a tall, thin man, incredibly pale of face. His eyes were bloodshot, and he spoke with an accent that Watt could not place.
    “I am Alucard.”
    Watt shook his hand, and was struck by the coldness of the flesh. Despite his strange demeanour Watt found Alucard good company, and was saddened when he left at midnight. As he rose to leave Watt could not believe his eyes. He could see the entire room in the mirror, but he could not see Alucard. Watt left shortly after and made his way back to his quarters.
    The next day he awoke to see Magus seated beside his bed.
    “Don’t you ever knock?” he asked.
    Magus shook his head.
    “A waste of time. James, do you remember when you were serving aboard the Traviata there was an outbreak of a strange malady on Mantra 4?”
    “I do. It ended as quickly as it began.”
    “It has started here.”

    Half an hour later, Watt and Magus beamed down to the surface. The first thing they saw was a medical team from the Valkyrie making their examinations. Watt and Magus approached Dr. Singh, the chief medical officer.
    “Report, please, Doctor.” said Watt.
    “There have been two deaths.” said Singh. “Both young women, aged eighteen and nineteen. Both completely drained of blood, and both with two puncture marks in their necks.”
    “Where are the bodies?” asked Magus.
    Singh indicated where the bodies were. Magus walked over to one of them and removed the cover. He turned the girl’s head to one side, and saw the two puncture marks. He then moved his hand to just above the girl’s chest. His hand began to glow, and he moved it toward her stomach.
    “Thank God she has been spared.” Magus whispered.
    “Spared?” said Singh. “She’s dead, man!”
    “Her soul has been spared, Doctor.” said Magus.
    Magus walked over to the other body, and did the same.
    “You may inform their families that they can bury them.” said Magus. “I thank God that I do not have to perform a task which I detest.”
    Seconds later, Admiral Lethbridge-Stewart beamed down. Magus approached him.
    “Is Commander Van Helsing still serving with Starfleet?” Magus asked.
    “He retired four years ago.” said the Admiral. “Why do you ask?”
    “Because we may need his expertise here, Admiral.” said Magus.
    “We can’t go jaunting off around the galaxy looking for retired officers!” said the Admiral.
    Watt then joined them.
    “I served with Commander Van Helsing on the Traviata.” he said. “I do think you should try to locate him.”
    “This is none of your concern, Captain.” said the Admiral. “You have an appointment at Starfleet Command.”
    “In two days, sir.” said Watt. “I’ve seen something like this on Mantra 4. I believe my experience in this situation…”
    “Very well.” said the Admiral. “I’ll contact Starfleet, but I can’t guarantee anything.”
    The investigation continued. An hour or so later, Magus and Watt returned to the Valkyrie. Watt sat in his ready room when a message came in from the Starbase.
    “Lethbridge-Stewart here. We’ve found Commander Van Helsing, Captain.”
    “Good.” said Watt. “How soon can he get here?”
    “Commander Van Helsing was found murdered in his lab on Dargonia, two days ago.” said the Admiral. “He was burned to a crisp.”
    Watt was shocked.
    “Any suspects?” he asked.
    “No.” replied the Admiral. “But that old Federation starship was seen in the sector about the same time.”
    “Have you managed to find out which starship it is?” asked Watt.
    “Only that it is about eighty years old.” said the Admiral. “I will keep you informed if anything else comes up, Watt. But remember, this isn’t your problem.”
    The screen went blank.