Thursday, 18 August 1994

Inauguration - Chapter Eleven

Watt sat in one of the chairs in the debating chamber, his hands and feet securely bound by chains of cavourite. Magus, too, was chained, by the great chain Angainor, forged by the Valar to restrain Melkor Morgoth during his three ages of captivity. The chain prevented Magus from using his powers.
    “Look at you Magus, you foolish old man. I wonder how many times you had the opportunity to do what I am now doing and passed it by.”
    Magus gave Alen the Seer a long hard look.
    “We made a mistake when we chose you Alen. Power can corrupt, and it has corrupted you.”

    Alen smiled patronisingly.
    “I have power akin to yours now old man, and I intend to have more. I know how in ages past you and the other elders of the Istari carried out wards against the orcs on Middle Earth and against the descendants when they took to the space ways. I was contacted by Lord Nightland who wanted to see the Eldarin peoples retake the supremacy they once had. Since the flight of the Noldor from Valinor all those ages ago the Eldarin people had been in decline. Nightland and Boglob formed an alliance to bring their people back to their rightful places.”
    “Nightland is not even a proper elf. The Eldar bear a name they have no right to. I take it he intends to declare himself the High King of the Elves.”
    “As is his right.” sneered Alen.
    “Do you think the elves will accept him after he has allied himself with Orks…orcs in space? I don’t.”
    “Ah Kazhadnir.” smiled Alen, using the name the elves had given Magus. “They will have but little choice. When we have taken over the running of the Federation then all worlds will bow to us. Together with Queeg and Solkun we will begin a new day.”
    “I’ve heard it the same before. Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Kim Il-Sun, Khan.” replied Magus.
    Alen turned to leave.
    “By the way Magus even if you do escape from Angainor we will know if you try to use your powers. We have linked some of those old scanners they used to use in the twenty-first, the ones which can detect mystic energy. So long, old man…for without your power that is all you are.”
    Alen left. Magus cast a glance at the new President, then turned his attention to the chain which bound him.
    “How dare he.” he though angrily. “Old indeed. I don’t even like Matlock.”
    He began to wriggle.
    “Now if I can just remember what Harry Houdini taught me…”
    Alen entered Ops. Boglob, Nightland and Queeg were just putting the final touches to their message to Starfleet. It threatened the destruction of Babylon 5 if any rescue was attempted. It gave them three days to reply. Boglob turned to Nightland.
    “They have no choice but to agree to our demands. We have ambassadors from some of their greatest enemies. Do you think the Cardassians or the Romulans would permit the Federation to risk their lives?”
    Nightland smiled.
    “A very apposite statement Boglob.”

    Captains Watt and Picard had been placed in a cell together. As Watt reclined upon the bed Picard paced up and down.
    “Jean-Luc, could you please stop that? I am trying to think.”
    Picard seated himself upon the edge of the bed.
    “I’m sorry James. We do need to come up with some sort of plan. Queeg and his friends hold all the trump cards I’m afraid.”
    At that moment the door was flung open by two huge orks, and a battered body was flung in. Then the door was closed again. Watt leapt to his feet then knelt beside the newcomer. It was Duncan McCloud.
    “I’m glad I came to this party.” he said weakly.
    “Do you know what is going on?” asked Picard.
    McCloud nodded. Watt helped him onto the bed.
    “They have sent a series of demands to Starfleet, giving them three days to reply. No one can get anywhere near the station, they are using Tholian web technology.”
    Watt’s eyes widened.
    “I wonder how they managed to get that. We haven’t had any formal contact with the Tholians since the Spiak incident.”
    “What of the President? Ambassador Magus?” asked Picard.
    “That I am not certain of. I do know that they are being restrained in the debating chamber. They have also found some way of preventing Magus from using his magic.”
    “That means we can expect no miraculous help there.” said Picard.

    Gul Dukat was pacing up and down his cell when the same two orks opened the door and flung two companions in to join him. Kira and Pendragon dusted themselves down. Dukat gazed at them with a wry smile.
    “I did not think I would ever find myself in a cell with a Bajoran.”
    Despite herself Kira could not resist smiling back.
    “Nor did I.” she replied. “Although a few years back you would have put me in one.”
    Pendragon looked out of the inspection panel in the door.
    “At least our charming hosts have gone.”

    Magus had managed to work one of his hands free. It had taken him some time to accomplish this for the great chain Angainor had weakened him considerably. He cast a glance across at Watt. He was still unconscious. One Ork guard had been left to watch them. Magus managed to get his pocket watch. The ork caught the glint of the metal in the corner of his eye and hurried over. He stood fascinated by the glittering bauble. With some effort Magus set the watch swaying from side to side. He spoke to the ork in soft cajoling tones. As he spoke the Ork’s eyes closed. Magus could see his chance.
    “Maybe I cannot use my powers, but there is more to Magus than magic. Good old conjuring can come in hand too.”
    On Magus’ command the ork removed the bonds from Watt and then removed Angainor from Magus. Then Magus directed him to go and sit in a storage cupboard. Moving unsteadily Magus went over to Watt and listened to his chest. Watt was alive but needed to be brought back to full consciousness quickly. Magus looked round for something to use as a stimulant. Seizing one of the microphones nearby he ripped the power cable out and applied it to Watt’s head. There was a flash of light which soon vanished. Watt opened his eyes and looked up at Magus.
    “Phineas?” he said. “Last I remember we were both chained up.”
    “We’re not now.” replied Magus.
    Watt stood up.
    “Let’s get out of here.”
    He phased through the wall. Then, when Magus did not follow he returned.
    “Why didn’t you follow?”
    “I cannot. They have installed the sensors used by the Judges to detect mystic energy. If I use my powers once they will know where we are.”
    “Then I had better see how much I can remember about this station then. I wonder where the nearest Jefferies tube is?”

    In their darkened cell Kira lay on the bed while Dukat sat on the floor. Pendragon, meanwhile, was leaning on the wall next to the door. He was feeling around a small panel, trying to open it.”
    “What are you doing?” asked Dukat.
    “The controls for the door mechanisms are behind this panel.” Pendragon replied. “I’m trying to see if there is a way of getting it open.”
    “What detention cell would put a loose panel on the inside of the cell?” asked Dukat. “It’s just a good job there are no orks on guard.”
    Pendragon continued to feel around the panel. Kira suddenly looked up.
    “Did you hear that?” she asked.
    “What?” asked Pendragon.
    “It sounded like scratching.” Kira replied. “Listen, there it is again.”
    Kira motioned for the others to be quiet. They listened intently for the next few seconds.
    “I hear it. It sounds like some sort of animal scratching at a door, wanting to be let in.” said Pendragon.
    He was about to continue to speak when he suddenly smiled.
    “It can’t be!”
    He kneeled down and placed his ear up against the door.
    “Hello, is anyone there?”
    “Commander Pendragon? Is that you in there?”
    Dukat looked puzzled.
    “Ho is that? I do not recognise their voice.”
    “It’s Toby, one of Magus’ companions.” said Pendragon. “Toby, is the Ambassador with you? Or Teddy perhaps?”
    “Magus is being held in the debating chamber along with the President.” Toby replied. “And I haven’t seen Teddy since the disturbance.”
    “Toby, is there any way you can reach the panel?” asked Pendragon.
    “I can try.”
    The sound from the outside of the cell changed. It was replaced by a thudding noise, as if someone was jumping up and down. A few seconds later the door opened. Pendragon smiled as he was greeted by the face of a grinning Labrador. Gul Dukat looked shocked.
    “What is this?” he asked.
    “Gul Dukat, meet Toby, Magus’ companion.” replied Pendragon.
    “Are you telling me that we have just been rescued by a Terran dog?” said Dukat.
    “Not just an ordinary dog, Gul Dukat.” said Pendragon. “Now come. We’ve got to find Magus.”
    Pendragon and Kira ran out of the cell. Dukat stood in the doorway.
    “Are you coming or nor?” shouted Kira.
    Dukat shook his head.
    “If the government on Cardassia ever heard that I was rescued by a dog they’ll make me a laughing stock!”

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