Previous Next


Posted on Jun 24, 2017 @ 6:16pm by Lieutenant Tomas' Vukovic

Mission: The Romulan Way


(follows Ran's "Walking on Eggshells ...")


Stardate: [2.17]0624.0606
Scene: The Vulgar Tribble


"And how are you finding the ship?" Yu asked him.

"Large," was his cryptic response.

He leaned back over the bar, nodded at Iphie, and plucked a gaily wrapped package from underneath.

"Are you ready?" he asked the Bolian barkeep.

She grinned. "It's show time!"

"Excuse me, Ms. Yu. We can finish this conversation another time. Now ... the curtain's going up. Best find your seat."

Tomas' strode over to his seat at the table, placed the box in front of his place, picked up one of the utensils and tapped lightly on the gluted glass he hadn't used yet. Everyone's conversation drifted to a halt.

"Meine Dame un Herren," Tomas' began with a smile, knowing that the translators would render German just as they did English. "A tradition on the wide seas of TERRA when sailing ships plied the oceans there, was for junior officers to entertain their Captains from time to time."

Kane looked at him askance. Tomas' knew he hadn't cleared this, but the Captain seemed willing to "go with the flow." For awhile anyway.

"I myself, am from LUNA, TERRA's only moon. Gagarin City, to be exact. But my parents were originally from Russia, the Slavic culture. It's rich with stories and tales for telling about the camp fire."

He raised a hand and signaled to Iphie. The lights in the Vulgar Tribble dropped slowly until everything was dim except for the table and those around it. A holo projection of fire erupted into a cheery blaze where the centerpiece sat, creating a sort of "burning bush."

"Terrans have stories they tell about those campfires. Some of them are funny. Some sad. Some," he waved a hand, "are frightening."

A distant wolf howl added to the ambiance, thanks again to Iphie and her special effects acumen.

The Romulans looked at each other, a bit unsure, but gamely refusing to show any outright concern. Ratal, he noticed, had shown particular interest when she'd heard the wolf howl.

"As I said. There are stories. And LUNA figures in some of those stories. Apparently LUNA had a certain effect on a small portion of TERRA's inhabitants. It's where we get the old pejorative "lunatic," for instance. It made them ... crazy. Or in some cases ... much worse."

He quietly opened the box on the table. In it was an antique weapon, a revolver ... six shot. Colt, to be more specific. And one silver bullet. Tomas' picked up the weapon.

"It is said that the only way to protect oneself from those 'turned' by the moon's effect, was a silver bullet."

He placed the cartridge in the chamber, spun it, twirled the weapon in one hand and laid it carefully back on the table, sweeping the box away and leaving the Colt sitting alone at his place. Iphie appeared at his side.

"It's ready for you, Ms Bonviva," he nodded to her.

"But, how will I know?" she seemed querulous. She was a good actor, Tomas' thought.

"Believe me," he replied. "You'll know."

Tomas' turned and paced away on the edge of the gloom around the table, his voice now coming from speakers overhead.

"On nights when the moon is full, a terrible transformation occurs to certain Terrans. They ... morph."

A glowing moon about a foot in diameter appeared near the overhead, its light shining on Tomas' who raised an arm to block its light. He hunched suddenly, as if in pain.


There was a sound, a wet sound, a sharp sound of bone cracking. And a low growl.

Tomas' came back into the fire light, leaning against the table, both hands on the white cloth. The backs of his hands were furred, his fingernails changed to claws. Long hair seemed to drip from his once bald scalp, and his eyes ... glowed in the dark. He opened his mouth and his teeth, gleamed in the firelight. Long, sharp canines evident. He glanced at Iphie.

"Now!" he gasped. "Before it's too late!"

Iphie snatched up the Colt, aimed and fired in one smooth motion. The crack of gunfire slapped the room. There was immediate pandemonium. Tomas' reeled back into the darkness and fell to the floor.

His voice continued to spool out of the speakers, recorded, it seemed.

"Lycans," it said softly. "A curse? Another step in evolution? Or just a story to frighten children in the night, to keep them safely at home and in their beds instead of prowling the streets at night. A little known aspect of the story," it went on, "is that a loving kiss might save such a one. But perhaps that's just a story."

The lights came up suddenly. The moon, the campfire, the darkness all banished.

Tomas' lay twisted where he'd fallen. But Ratal knelt over him, her lips pressed to his. When she finished, she rose, straightened her uniform and walked back to her seat, once again the cold, silent Romulan she'd been all night. Tomas' got to his feet, tossed the gloves, the wig and the false teeth on the table and touched his lips with a finger.

"Well," he said, "that was unexpected."

He nodded to Ratal, who nodded back.

"We also have heard of Terran stories about Romulus and Remus," she said matter-of-factly. "How twin brothers were nursed by a she-wolf."

She sat and took a sip from her champagne flute as everyone else stared at her.

"I have a fondness for wolves," she said.


NRPG: Well, that was out there.


Kenneth Field
writing for

Lt. Tomas' Alexei Vukovic


Previous Next