market place was busy in the small town of Quinton. All the stalls were
doing a roaring trade, all except Darla’s. She had sold nothing for the
past two days and today her boss was returning from a business trip.
Darla watched as the people walked by, there were a few people that
stopped and had a look at her stall but they soon moved on. The trinkets
that her stall sold were of no interest. Although the prices were very
high. Darla sat down with a sigh and then something caught her eye. A
movement behind one of the other stalls. She saw someone hiding and they
were watching the people going by. Darla also noticed that further down
the alley two Pakleds came puffing along toward her stall. The two odd
looking creatures looked as though they had been running and their faces
were covered with sheen of perspiration. They both wore very heavy
looking uniforms despite the considerable heat, and they were both
armed. One of the Pakleds looked at Darla and said,
“We are looking for him”
“Who?” Darla asked
“He said that he would makes us strong”
“Who are you talking about?”
“We knew him before and he lied to us and he said he would make us
gave another sigh and decided to ignore the two oafs. Just as she was
going to sit back down she felt something touch her right leg. She
looked down and at her feet was a human male but he looked different
from the humans she was used to seeing. Darla crouched down and looked
at the man and said,
are you doing?”
“Help Me,” the man said in a low voice.
“Help me get away from these two”
Darla looked up at the counter and then she felt a tug on her sleeve.
She looked back at the man who gave her a pleading look.
“Please. I can’t let them find me”
looked at the man’s features. Although he looked human, there was
something a little different about him. His skin was very pale and his
eyes were yellow. He was dressed in a black jumpsuit and he had black
hair slicked back from a high forehead. He was rather striking and Darla
thought for a moment. Then she stood up,
she said to the Pakleds. “You know, I did see something a human came
through here and was hiding over there behind that food stall.” Darla
pointed a little over to her left. The Pakleds looked to where she was
pointing and headed off in that direction.
“Thank you” came a voice behind Darla. She looked round and the man had
stood up and watched as the two bumbling Pakleds waddled away.
“What did they want you for?” asked Darla
“I had business with them sometime ago. I didn’t realise they would have
a good memory”
“MMM” Darla sighed, “It is not wise to double cross Pakleds. The are
somewhat slow but they can be dangerous if provoked.”
“Thanks for the advice.” The man sighed. He then looked to see if the
Pakleds were coming back. When he saw that it was safe to move on he
started to go back toward the gates of the town.
“Hey” Darla called after him, “Who are you?”
The man turned back to her and said with a grin,
“You can call me Lore”
watched as Lore walked away. He was the most unusual man she had ever
seen. For the rest of the day she couldn’t help but think of him. Her
thoughts though were soon shattered when her boss finally got back from
have sold nothing!” he shouted. Her boss was a Falcoron and his pale
green skin seemed to take on a brighter tone when he was angry.
“What have you been doing all this time? You are the most lazy assistant
I have known” his voice was getting louder and Darla just sighed and
then said, in just a loud voice as his,
“What is wrong with you? Your trip not the success you hoped for? Didn’t
Selene do you any favours!” Darla then looked over at the opposite stall
and a very embarrassed looking Orion woman quickly disappeared behind
“What do you mean?” Darla’s boss demanded
“Oh come off it Tarkin, everyone here knows about you and Selene. Anyway
no one is interested in these pathetic things you are trying to sell.”
Darla shouted and then she picked up something from the counter and held
it up to Tarkin.
“Who would want to buy a Klingon forehead cleaner. A Klingon has never
been to Corbin 4 in a hundred years. It is all expensive rubbish.”
Tarkin’s mouth dropped open.
“You are fired” Tarkin said, pointing a shaky finger down the alley.
“Get out! Now and give me back that uniform!”
“Now?” Darla asked a little teasingly. She then pulled a sleeve down
from her shoulder exposing a tanned upper arm.
“NO!” Tarkin said holding up both hands to stop her.
“Your welcome to your dress back” Darla said and then nodded her head
toward Selene’s stall, “Is it one of her cast offs, besides it is not my
Tarkin gave a exasperated sigh and said,
“I knew that I shouldn’t have hired a Ulonion for an assistant
especially a female. They told me you could never trust the females!
They said you would be trouble!”
Darla grinned as she walked away,
“Then go and tell them (she paused) there are completely right!” and she
gave a laugh and headed for the town gates.
As Darla walked through the busy streets and headed for the town square,
she saw a commotion going on. It seemed to as though a fight was going
got closer to the fight she saw Lore hoisting high over his head one of
the Pakleds that had been chasing him. The other one Darla noticed was
lying on the ground unconscious. From the other side of the square,
Darla saw a woman and she was running and pointing to the fight that had
attracted quite a few onlookers by now, and behind the woman two law
enforcers followed. They pushed their way through the crowd. Lore
looked and saw them heading toward him. He dropped the Pakled down and
with a heavy thump and ran toward one of the side streets.
saw where Lore had ran to and decided to follow him. Darla walked down
the side street and it narrowed as it went on. She seemed to be walking
for a long time, when suddenly as she rounded a turn a hand came across
her face and she was dragged round and pushed against the wall.
are you following me?” Lore demanded
Darla managed to pull Lore’s hand from her mouth,
“I was wondering where you were going,” she said.
Lore straightened up when he saw who it was.
“Well, well, well if it isn’t my saviour from the market stall”
“I saw you fighting the Pakleds” Darla said, “You must be strong to lift
a fully grown male Pakled. Who are you?”
“You are curious” Lore grinned and he was about to say something else
when Lore saw the two enforcers making their way up the side street.
Darla looked to where Lore had seen them. She thought for a moment.
“They won’t stop until they find you,” she said to him. “I have a room
at The Unicorn Inn, you can rest there.”
Lore looked at Darla for a moment and nodded,
“Take me there”
Darla then took Lore by the hand,
“This way” and they headed back the way they had come.
Darla’s room was only small just enough for one. It had only a couple of
chairs, a table, and a small bed. Darla lit the only candle in the room
and set it down on the table. Lore went to the window and looked out. It
was getting dark. He then turned and walked across the room to the
“I don’t understand.” He said looking at Darla, “Why are you trying to
Darla shrugged, “I don’t like Pakleds. They smell”
Lore gave a little smile. “I do appreciate your helping me.”
Darla smiled, “Don’t mention it.”
“I could show you how much I appreciate your help” Lore said walking
over to Darla and backed her up against the wall. “ I have never seen a
woman like you before” he said getting closer to her. “Lovely red hair
and lilac coloured eyes. You are an Ulonion aren’t you?”
Darla seemed unperturbed by Lore’s advances.
“Your powers of observation do you credit Lore but please back off.”
“I know why you helped me” Lore gave a smug look, “You couldn’t bear to
let a gorgeous guy like me out of your sight.”
“I’m warning you Lore. Back off now” Darla’s voice remained calm and as
Lore leaned toward her as though to kiss her, Darla placed her hand on
Lore’s chest and with a strong shove she sent the surprised Lore across
the room and he landed in one of the chairs. He looked at her opened
“Feisty” he said as he got out of the chair. He kept his distance from
her as he saw that Darla was ready if he tried again.
“I am sorry Lore, but I did warn you. I want to change out of this dress
so if you wouldn’t mind turning round.”
“Do I have to?” Lore said
“Yes” Darla stated and she turned her back to him and fiddled with the
buttons on the back of the dress.
“Need a hand?” came a voice behind her. Darla glanced over her shoulder
and saw even though Lore did indeed have his back to her he was looking
at her reflection in the window. Darla gave a grunt of disapproval and
Lore put up his hands.
“Alright” he said “I will go and wait in the hallway” and with that he
went to leave the room, Stopping at the door as he opened it, he glanced
back and saw that Darla had removed the dress and she had on a short
white slip. Lore smiled at the view.
“Nice legs” he said.
Darla looked up,
“Out!” she said pointing out into the hallway.
walked out of Darla’s room and went into the hallway. He smiled to
himself and thought of what had just occurred. He was beginning to like
Darla. He went to a small window nearby and gazed out into the street.
He saw lights coming on in some of the houses and quite a few people
were either heading home or making their way to the inn. A door closed
behind him, he looked round and Darla came out of her room. She was
dressed in a tight fitting pale blue jumpsuit over which she wore a long
black coat and she also wore black boots. Her titan red hair was tied
back at the nape of her neck with a small leather thong and around her
waist was what looked like a small knife. She walked up to Lore and he
looked her over appreciatively.
nice” he said.
Darla looked at him for a moment and then she said,
“I’m going down to the tavern to get something to eat and give this
back.” She held up a bundle of clothes. It was the dress she had been
wearing. “No need for this as I no longer have a job” and they headed
for the stairs.
Unicorn Inn was a very small but busy place. Down through the middle
were long tables at which many people sat. Lining the sidewalls on both
sides were small booths some of which had heavy drapes for people who
wished to have some privacy. Lore and Darla sat down at one of the
booths and a blue skinned woman walked up to take their order.
ales” Darla said. The blue woman nodded with a little smile, pulled out
a little electronic pad and tapped the order into the panel.
Lore was about to say something to Darla when she got out of her chair.
“Won’t be long” she said and walked over to a man and woman sat on the
far side of the tavern. Lore watched to where she was going and saw her
take a small bag from the man. They exchanged words and then he saw
Darla throw the dress back at him. She turned round and came back to the
table and sat down.
“What was that all about?” Lore asked
“That was my boss” Darla said, a little angry
“I was fired today. At least he has paid me” Darla then opened the
little bag and counted the coins that slid out onto the table.
“Enough to get a meal. (She looked at Lore) Are you hungry?”
Lore shook his head.
“Tell me” Lore said and looked at Darla, “Why did you help me today? And
don’t say it is because you hate Pakleds.”
Darla seemed a little hesitant.
“You intrigue me Lore.” She said, “Who are you? You don’t seem to be
Lore gave her a slow smile,
“Do you really want to know?” he asked and he shifted a little closer to
Darla nodded a little. Then as Lore was about to answer her, Darla sat
closer to him and whispered to him,
“Two enforcers have just walked in.”
Lore was about to look round and Darla put her hand up to his cheek, her
thumb rested on his chin.
“Don’t look round they will see you. Say what you were going to say”
Darla glanced up as the enforcers walked by and then she looked back at
Lore. She pulled back from him a little and took her hand from his
cheek. They looked at each other for a moment and for a spilt second he
wondered what her reaction would be if he told her what he was. He
decided to tell her.
“If you must know” he began, “I’m an android” and he waited to see what
she would do. Darla sat back from him and looked at him opened mouthed.
“So that answers the question of your strength” she sat forward again
just as the blue woman brought over their drinks. She placed two foaming
tankards down on the table and Darla gave her one of the coins she had
“Think a little differently of me now” Lore said a little coarsely.
shook her head
“Should I?” she said, “ I have seen androids before, but they hardly
were like you.” She looked at Lore closely as though she was studying
his features. The slope of his forehead, his long nose and set of his
She came to the conclusion that for an android he was rather handsome.
“You have seen others?” Lore asked
Darla was about to answer him when they heard a voice say,
“You were the one causing the disturbance in the square today. Two
Pakleds told us you attacked them. Please come with me. We would like to
ask you a few questions.” Both Lore and Darla looked up and saw one of
the enforcers stood at their table. He was very tall and thin. He was
dressed in a black uniform. He also wore a helmet on which Darla could
just see a small display on the visor and she could make out Lore’s
image on the display.
“But you must be mistaken officer,” Darla said standing up. The enforcer
looked at the woman, “This man has been with me all day”
“We need to talk to you as well. You and this man were seen in an alley
just off the main square. You will also come with me.”
“I don’t think so” Lore stood up. The officer looked round,
“Do not offer any resistance. I am authorised to use physical force.”
Lore gave a little laugh. “What are you?” he asked,
“Enforcement droid 216 and you are under arrest.”
“That is what I was going to say” Darla said to Lore across the table,
“The enforcers here are automatons.”
“A lost relative?” Lore said looking at the officer.
“Are you going to come with me?” the officer asked
“What if I say no” Lore walked around the officer and stood behind him.
Darla watched Lore with interest as to what he was going to do. Behind
her she heard a noise. Darla looked round and saw several more officers
coming into the tavern. A circle of onlookers had formed around Lore and
the officer. They were shouting and egging Lore on. Darla knew that the
people who frequented the Unicorn Inn were properly lawbreakers
themselves. She even saw some of them taking bets and saw a great deal
of money being passed around. When the two other officers came in, Darla
walked back into the crowd. She made her way through them and stood near
to a man who was fishing around in his pockets,
“This looks like a good fight” and he got out several coins.
“4 Credits on the pale guy!” he shouted.
take that bet,” Darla said and the man, not even bothering to look
round, put 4 coins into her hand. Darla looked into her hand and thought
for a moment and then made her way around the crowd taking bets from
whoever wanted to place them. Then a yell from the other side of the
room made Darla turn round. One of the enforcers had pushed a woman over
and Darla recognised her as being the blue skinned waitress that had
served her earlier on. The waitress had spilt a couple of drinks over a
huge Droll miner. He was about 8ft tall with long shaggy red hair. They
worked in the Droll mines in the hills just outside Quinton. Droll
miners did not like being pushed around and even worse to have a drink
thrown over him!
the giant shouted, “You have spilt my drink! Enforcer or not you are
going to pay for that!” and he took hold of the enforcer in a headlock
and pulled the officer down to the floor and started to kick him. The
enforcer that Lore had been speaking to went over to help his colleague;
Lore took hold of the officer as he walked past him and pulled back on
the helmet and to Lore’s surprise it lifted back with a sharp snap! The
helmet came away in Lore’s hand. He looked at the officer and where
there should be eyes there where nothing but empty sockets from which
wiring, circuitry and other components came spilling out. The officer
gave out with what seemed like a high-pitched squeak and fell to the
floor smoke too was beginning to pour from the empty sockets. The third
officer ran up to Lore and tried to take hold of Lore’s arm. Lore turned
round on the ball of his left foot and took hold of the officer by the
neck and flung him over the heads of the crowd and the officer landed
against the bar with a heavy crunch and slid to the floor in a heap.
the other side of the tavern, two men were taking an interest in what
was going on. They both glanced at each other and nodded. They got up
and headed for the door. Meanwhile in the tavern a fight had broken out
in the crowd, Darla made her way through the scuffle and found Lore; he
had lifted up a dwarf over his head,
“Bite my ankles would you, you little…” Whatever Lore said next was
drowned out by the shouting of the crowd. He laughed at the wriggling
little being in his grasp and then he noticed Darla making her way
through the throng. Lore threw the dwarf to one side not really caring
where the thing ended up.
fun?” Darla asked him.
Lore gave her a look and then said,
“Where were you during all this?”
Darla said nothing but showed Lore the now full bag of coins in her
“I have been busy doing a little collection,” she said. Lore was about
to say something when he looked behind Darla, he put his hand on her
head and pushed her down toward the floor and punched the enforcer who
had somehow managed to get through the crowd to them. The droid stumbled
backwards and then dropped to the floor and remained still.
With a sigh Darla straightened back up again and said,
“I think we should get out of here”
Lore nodded in agreement and they both headed for the back door of the
Once outside Lore and Darla found themselves in a back alley. Just as
they were going to move on a chair came hurtling through one of the
windows. Darla looked at Lore,
“WOW Lore, you certainly know how to show a girl a good time” she said,
a little out of breath. Lore gave her a smile,
“You are quite something yourself.”
both laughed and started to run down the alley and headed for the town
square. From behind two shadows followed them. It was the two men who
had been watching Lore and Darla from the other side of the tavern. As
the two men walked on both Lore and Darla leapt out on them as they
neared the town’s square. Lore wrestled one to the ground and Darla held
her knife to the throat of the other.
are you following us?” Darla asked calmly and she looked over at Lore
and the man struggling under Lore’s grip.
“Keep still” Lore demanded and held him down.
“Do not hurt my son,” the other one said.
“Let him up” Darla said and Lore put one hand on the man’s shoulder and
pulled him up to his feet. Darla lowered her knife.
“We mean you no harm” the older man said, “We only wish to speak with
Lore had let go of the young man who turned round and glared at him,
“Don’t you touch me again!” he said, taking a stance.
Lore gave the man a sneer and took a step toward him.
“Let it go Lore” Darla said. Lore glanced behind him at Darla and then
at the man and stood in front of him and folded his arms.
“Who are you” Darla asked, she still held the knife to the man.
“I am Drax and this is my son Kaleb. We are from Corbin 3” Darla glanced
at the other man.
“We saw you in the tavern. I want to ask you both, (He looked at Lore)
if you can help us.”
“To do what?” Lore asked.
“We need help on our moon. The dragon heart has been stolen from us. We
thought that maybe you could get it back for us.”
Just then the first few drops of rain started to fall.
“Is there anywhere we can talk” Drax said and he pulled his cloak around
“We can try to get back to my room over the tavern” Darla said and as
they turned to make their way back to the Unicorn Inn, the rain became
heavier. They managed to find the back entrance to the tavern and made
their way up the back stairs. Once in Darla’s room they sat down at the
table and Drax told them of the Dragon heart.
Drax spoke in a low voice and said,
“The Dragon heart is a special stone that has been the source of light,
heat and helped to grow our food. It is made of Masonite a rare stone
that contains the suns rays. It is very old and two days ago it was
stolen from us. My people are dying. We are not strong enough to find it
and bring it back.”
“Do you know who took the dragon heart?” Darla asked.
“We believe it was Crivets.” Kaleb answered her.
“Crivets?” Lore asked, “ I have never heard of such a creature.”
Kaleb seemed to ignore Lore and spoke directly to Darla.
“Crivets are small creatures who live deep within the caves of the lower
city on Corbin 3. They are only seen at night. It is believed that they
had once lived in the main city before the earthquake.”
“Why would they take the dragon heart?”
“We are unsure” Drax said, “But we need help. We have transport in the
space dock.” The old man got up and Kaleb did too.
“We are leaving in the morning. Will you come back to Corbin 3 with us?”
“Why should we believe any of this?” lore asked
“I agree that you only have our word on this. We just need help and by
the display of your strength (he looked at Lore) and bravery I feel that
you are the ones that can help us. If you do decide, meet us at space
dock 9 early tomorrow.”
With that they said their goodbyes and left.
“What do you think Lore?” Darla asked sitting on the bed.
Lore thought for a moment.
“I don’t know. But we need to leave Corbin 4”
“What is this “We” business? Drax was really talking to you more than
“Then stay here. No job and the enforcers will be after you now.” Lore
said walking over to her. He sat down next to her on the bed and looked
into her eyes.
“Besides it may be fun”
They looked at each other for what seemed a long time.
“Ok” Darla said “I was looking for a way to leave this boring planet
anyway” and as she swung her legs up on the bed Lore sat a little
further down the bed.
“Shall I tuck you in?” he asked a hopeful look on his face.
“We have a long day tomorrow I want to get some rest. Good night Lore.”
And she turned her back to him.
got up from the bed and walked to the window and saw Drax and Kaleb
walking toward the other side of town. Lore looked back at the bed and
Darla was asleep. He walked to the door and left the room.
walked down to the tavern, which by now had quietened down and only a
handful of people were still sat a few of the tables. Lore found an
empty table and sat down. He thought of Drax and Kaleb and he was still
wondering about the story of the Dragon Heart. He hoped that Darla would
go with him to Corbin 3. He did like her, but a cold feeling came over
him when he remembered Omicron Theta, his father Dr Soong, Data and the
Borg. How would Darla react if she found out what really had happened in
his life. Maybe he would tell her one-day, if she was still around.
After a short while the tavern closed up and the last few had left to go
home. Lore went back upstairs to Darla’s room. Darla was still asleep.
Lore walked over to the bed and knelt down and looked at her. Darla was
facing him and Lore leant close to her and watched as she slept for a
moment. He thought of what she might do if she awoke and found him near
to her. He smiled at one thought and then he remembered her pushing him
across the room and he smiled at that thought too. Lore then
straightened up and went to sit by the window and waited for Darla to
Lore and Darla had left the Unicorn Inn, it did not take them long to
get to the space dock. Once there, they found Drax and Kaleb waiting by
their ship. It was small, white in colour and it reflected the rays of
the early morning sun. Drax’s face broke into a smile when he saw both
Lore and Darla walking up to the launch pad.
glad you have decided to help us. I know I have chosen well.”
Lore looked at Drax’s son Kaleb.
“Hello” Lore smiled.
The sullen youth did not reply but turned and walked up the little ramp
and into the ship. Lore glanced at Darla,
“This will be an interesting trip”
Once inside the ship, Darla said to Lore,
“Don’t make trouble Lore. I don’t like the kid much myself, but behave
yourself” and they noticed that Kaleb was sat in the pilots seat.
Lore sat in the seat directly behind Kaleb.
“You can fly this thing?” he asked.
Kaleb spun round at Lore.
“You bet I can! I ‘m a good pilot” the young man flared, “I could fly
rings around you!”
Lore opened his mouth to say something but a dig in his ribs from Darla
“Come now” Drax said looking at his son, and he sat in the co-pilots
seat. “No arguing, Mr Lore is only joking. We have a long journey ahead
As they took off, Darla looked out her window beside her and gave a
little sigh. Lore leaned over to her,
“Happy to be leaving?”
She looked round at him and gave a little smile,
“In a way” she sighed, “Corbin 4 had been my home for a long time. But I
have no fond memories. I am glad to see the back of it.” And she turned
and looked out the window again, and then she leant back in her seat.
She looked round, Lore was still looking at her. He did not say
anything, but after a moment he sat back in his seat.
After a while, Drax took over the piloting from Kaleb. Darla was a sleep
as was Kaleb.
Drax glanced at Lore
“Do you dislike my son, Mr Lore?” he asked
Lore looked up,
“A little” he said
“Kaleb can be arrogant I will admit” the man gave a little sigh, “and he
will not back down from a fight. He is the youngest of my four sons.”
Lore sat up in his seat. He accessed a memory file of Omicron Theta and
how some of the young men there had reacted to him when he first was
allowed out from Dr Soong’s laboratory. He had gotten into a fight with
one of a gang of farmer’s sons.
“I have met the likes of your son before. I have learned not to trust
The old man looked up,
“You seem to have a lot of anger in you, Mr Lore, but my son has done
you no harm.”
“I have suffered at the hands of humanoids.”
“You are not human?” Drax asked
Lore was about to answer him when behind him he heard a noise, turning,
he saw Darla getting up from a bunk at the rear of the ship.
“Are we nearly there” she asked still a little sleepy,
“Not long” Drax answered her.
moon of Corbin 3 was covered in a dense jungle. The air was hot and
humid. Although the weather did not affect Lore, he noticed that Darla
slow in walking. The walk from the landing pad to the small town was
only a short distance. Once in the main square, Darla noticed that in
the middle of the square was a tall obelisk and at the top she also
noticed that there was a hole and it was though something was missing.
is were the Dragon heart must be kept” she sighed.
“Are you alright” Drax asked her as he walked by.
Darla nodded “Yes”
“The air on Corbin 3 does take a little while to get used to. But you
should be alright in a short while when you have something to eat”
Lore stood next to her and slipped his arm around her waist.
She gave him an odd look,
“Just for support” he said, with a little smile. “But please if you are
to hurl me across the square, please not when anyone else is looking”
As they walked to the obelisk some of the townspeople came out from the
small buildings that surrounded the square. The people of Corbin 3 were
small and slender. Many of them had fair hair and nearly black eyes.
One man walked to Darla and Lore,
“Are you here to help us?” his voice was dry and his skin was like
parchment it was almost transparent.
One man stood up on a platform just under the obelisk.
He said in a loud clear voice,
“Drax and Kaleb has returned to us with help. The two strangers have
agreed to help. We honour you and make you welcome. Please tell us your
Lore and Darla walked forward and it was Lore, who spoke,
“I am Lore and this is my friend Darla.” There was a hum of conversation
around the crowd that had gathered. Some walked up and greeted the two
strangers. Darla straightened up and Lore saw that she was a little
“We will prepare a feast,” said one of the men standing near to the
and Lore were led away to a room in what appeared to be a temple. The
main chamber was filled with images of the sun and moon and high on one
mural was a drawing of a bright red stone and it looked like the stone
was being handed down to a man from the sky.
are we doing here!” Lore said and he began to pace up and down the small
sit down Lore.”
ignored her and still carried on pacing,
is nothing here but dust” he looked angry. “I think they just got us
here for nothing
stood up and walked to the window. The sky was black and not even a hint
of stars or moon could she see.
are right Lore, it is empty here. There seems to be a sadness in these
don’t they just leave?” Lore said and he had stopped pacing the room and
sat down on a bunk on the far side of the room. “They have a vessel! It
could take them away from here to somewhere better!”
gave a big sigh, walked over to Lore, removed her long coat and dropped
it down on the bunk beside him.
people here need our help. We made a promise.”
stay if you like. I am going to take that little ship and go. Do you
want to go with me?” Lore said standing up.
think we should wait and see what these people have to say. I mean we
have come all this way,” Darla told him sitting down on the bunk.
don’t intend on staying here too long.” Lore said going over to the
door. “There is nothing to gain from this! We have to tell them we are
that the reason why you came here to get something out of this?”
not yours?” Lore sneered at her.
moment the two of them held each other’s look and Lore saw that Darla
was slightly blushing.
need us Lore” Darla said softly. Lore walked over to her and knelt down
need?” he asked and with a smug grin, “How about you need?”
made Darla blush even more. The colour of her face was nearly matching
the colour of her hair. Darla sighed a little and looked down. Then
after a moment she looked back at Lore.
only a short time ago that, that I too thought like you. I would of come
here and taken what ever I could from these people. I properly would of
even taken their precious Dragon Heart as well”
raised a quizzical left eyebrow, as he didn’t believe what Darla was
saying. He straightened up and sat down on the bunk beside her.
was younger” she turned to look at him. “ I rode with a gang of raiders.
We were all arrogant and boastful. We raided villages and towns, taking
anything we could get our hands on and not caring who we hurt or
anything as long as we got what we wanted.” She looked deeply into
raid, we had gone into a remote village in the mountains. I had broken
into a small house and was ransacking the kitchen. I picked up some food
and a few pieces of clothing, when I heard a sound coming from the rear
of the kitchen. I ran down to the where the sound came from and I saw a
sheet covering something. I pulled it back and there I saw two children,
a boy and a girl. The girl was crying and saying, “Please don’t kill us”
both clung to each other, terrified out of their minds that I was going
to kill them. But it was the boy who frightened me. He looked at me with
such fear. Big black coloured eyes and he was so thin that you could see
the bones under his skin. He said nothing but I couldn’t keep my eyes
off of him. I dropped everything that I was carrying, turned and ran. I
jumped into my transport and drove away, not knowing where I was going.
I vowed then that I would never do that again. The look on the boys face
will haunt me forever. I managed to leave Ulonia not very long after
that. I soon found myself on Corbin 4. I drifted around for a while and
then I came to Quinton and got the job at the stall.” Darla shuddered a
little as she told the story. After she had finished talking she got up
from the bunk and walked over to the window, folding her arms across her
chest. She gazed out of the window for a moment and turned back to Lore.
did you come to be on Corbin 4?” She asked, leaning against the wall.
really want to know!” he seemed to a little uneasy.
were you?…” she thought for a moment as though she was trying to think
of an appropriate word? Then she looked up at him, “ made” she
created” Lore said as though he was correcting her. He walked over to
Darla and leaned close to her. “Did you ever hear of a world called
looking at her straight in the eyes. Gold into Lilac.
shook her head as to say “No”
figures!” Lore sniggered
you the only one?” Darla asked and she went and sat down at the table.
There where five of the Soong family of androids. The first two would
not function. So they were disassembled another by the name of B-4 was
the next one but his programming had an error but I don’t know what
happened to that one. Then I came along and I was perfect (At this Darla
raised an eyebrow) I was functional in every way.” Lore paused for a
moment and went and sat back down on the bunk. “ I was my father’s pride
and joy” at this Darla cut in,
I had a father. Good old “often wrong” as he was known”
was he called that?”
“Because although my father was very clever, by human standards, he could
never tell us apart. He made us all in his own image.”
guess it must been a little confusing” Darla sighed.
lifted his legs and leaned back on the bunk against the wall.
remember my grand unveiling” Lore said and he made himself comfortable.
like his little performing pet!” he spat out the words like they had a
nasty taste in his mouth.
this iron bar for the people Lore* he would say. Recite this poem, do
this, do that!! I soon became tired of it all.” Lore shifted a little
uneasily, “ He promised
me that I was the one who was successful and
that there would be no more! NO MORE!” Lore sat forward, elbows resting
on his knees.
never gave me a chance” he said looking up, Darla frowned a little and
watched Lore as he told her this story. He was very angry and upset by
what had happened to him.
them pay for what they had done,” he said
wiped out the entire lot.”
whole planet?” Darla frowned.
“Everything!” Lore now stared at her awaiting her reaction.
just blinked her lilac eyes in disbelieve, and then asked,
hesitated before he answered her and even smiled a little, Darla was
still in the room. She had not run screaming from there. There was
something about this woman that intrigued him. He thought for a moment,
pausing before he spoke,
took her away from me” his voice was almost a whisper and Darla saw
something in his canary yellow eyes a misty look and even a tear maybe.
But he continued,
one person that I had cared for on that paltry planet and they took her
away. I didn’t even get the chance to say goodbye.”
name was Jana. She was a lab assistant of my father’s. I liked her
company. She treated me no differently than anyone else.” Lore looked
over at Darla for a moment and then he said,
remind me of her a little”
gave a little smile and listened as Lore continued.
father and I had an argument. I had gotten into a fight with one of the
farmer’s sons. And as a punishment I was confined to the laboratories.
It was there that I had found that my father had been commissioned to
create another android. I saw the beginnings of his body in the lab.
of the incident I had become an embarrassment to my father. He had
promised me that he would never create another but he was doing so. He
said that the new android was to be called Data and he would be my
brother. I was so angry I left the lab and found my way through to one
of my father’s workshop. Jana was working in there that day. I walked
straight through and found myself in a storage room. As I tried to
consol myself, Jana had followed me. She asked me what was wrong, and
when I told her, she comforted me. Before we knew what happened, we
ended up kissing each other. (Darla smiled at this) We made love in that
storage room. Following that we saw each other whenever we could. Before
long I could be let out of the laboratories and into the colony. Jana
volunteered to be my escort and most times we ended up at her apartment.
Just to be with her was everything to me. After we would make love, I
would lie with her, my head resting against her breasts and I would
think of how she made me feel complete. But it was all found out and she
was sent away to one of the Omicron moon colonies. My father argued that
although indeed I do have a sexual program installed but it was wrong of
me to use it in the way I had.” At this Darla stood up and walked over
and knelt down in front of Lore. He looked down at her and Darla saw
that Lore eyes were lined with a yellowish liquid as he continued,
maybe just an android, but I know what love is. I know the difference
between accessing a program and making love. But my father didn’t
believe it. Before long I found out that I was to be deactivated and
then you took your revenge out on the people there.”
Lore said with a little grin but it soon faded and the yellowish liquid
came back to his eyes.
straightened up onto her knees, lifted and held Lore’s head in her
hands, looked at him for a moment and then kissed him softly on the
mouth. Lore looked back at her, paused and kissed her back. They’re arms
slid around each other as the kiss intensified. A moment passed and
Darla sat back on her heels, looking at him she said with a sigh,
was a little taken back with her request and then leant forward,
his fingertips against her lips,
here” he whispered, “ I can hear someone walking to this room”
kissed his fingers and then stood up just as someone knocked on the
in” Lore said.
door opened and in walked Drax and two other men.
have prepared a feast in your honour. We do not have much but we will
and Darla were led out of their room and into the small square. In the
centre, just in front of the obelisk was a long table dressed with a
small amount of food
don’t eat” Lore whispered to Darla.
looked at him and smiled,
pretend” she said, “ These people do not have much and you don’t want to
sat down at the table, Drax poured out a drink for Lore and Darla,
glad you are here. When I saw you in tavern fighting with the enforcers,
I knew that you were the ones that could help us.” Drax then looked over
at a group of four young men. Darla saw that one of them was Kaleb and
she guessed that the other three was Drax’s sons.
was not keen I will admit on my choice. Both of you stood up to the
enforcers. They once tried to spread their authority to here but they
soon found out that they were not welcome.”
noticed that Lore had been given a plate of food and he was looking at
what looked like a vegetable, he picked it up, sniffed it, made a face
and then was about to put it down when he felt Darla tap his foot, he
looked at her and she gestured for him to taste the item. He took a
little nibble and put the vegetable back down on the plate. Darla tried
not to laugh as she watched him.
then looked up at the obelisk,
this where the Dragon Heart was kept?” she asked putting a little piece
of bread into her mouth.
Drax answered her.
did you get the Dragon Heart” Lore asked remembering the mural on the
said” one of the other men answered, “ That a Dragon once roamed the
land of Corbin 3. It became our protector and when it died it gave the
people of Corbin 3 its heart. But that is a story that is told to our
real story is that it came here from the skies and fell as a meteorite.
The stone was unlike anything that was known. It had a rare quality of
being able to contain the rays and heat of our sun. Even after the sun
has set. The stone gives light and heat.”
why did you think the Crivets took the stone?” Darla asked
unsure” Drax answered her, “We think it is for the generators that help
them work in the mines.” He then turned round and looked behind him and
pointed of way into the distance.” The Crivets live in the mountains to
north of here. We will guide you there tomorrow. It will take a day to
get to the mountains. The old city is buried there and we believe that
is where the Crivets took the Dragon Heart.” He then looked at Lore and
Darla, “ I hope that you will be successful. We sent a search party up
to the mountains not long after the heart was taken, but they never
returned. Only Kaleb made his way back safely”
spoke, Lore noticed Kaleb was looking a little agitated about something.
He was looking at his father and one of his brothers was trying to talk
to him. Lore watched what was going on and then he smiled as he
overheard some of the conversation.
must not tell father” Kaleb whispered to his brother, “ I will be
guiding our rescuers and they will not be successful. I will make sure
of that.” With that he got up from the table, made his excuses and left.
their meal, Lore and Darla walked back to their room at the temple. Once
inside, Lore closed the door.
noticed Kaleb talking with his brothers during the meal” he said making
his way over to the window. “I think he knows more about the theft of
the Dragon Heart then he would let us believe. He is to be one of the
guides that will take us to the mountain tomorrow.”
you know all this?” Darla asked sitting down on the bunk.
grinned and tapped his left ear, “Good hearing,” he said
don’t trust him” Darla sighed as she let her long red hair down from the
ponytail, and she yawned and then stretched out on the bunk.
smiled as she did this.
for one more?” he asked a little hopeful.
course” and she slid back against the wall. Lore walked over and
accepted her invitation and lay down next to her. Darla lifted the sheet
up over both of them and then snuggled in against Lore’s side. They
looked at each other for a moment, Darla lifted her head up slightly and
Lore kissed her. After a moment they broke away from each other, Lore
sat up and swung his legs out from the bed and stood up. Darla looked up
at him a little confused,
there something wrong?” she asked and sat up herself, she reached out
and took hold of Lore’s left hand, and he turned back to her.
not you” he sighed, “It is me”
do you mean?” Darla said and she got Lore to sit back down next to her.
because of what happened to that girl, Jana is it? Well it won’t happen
with me. No one will send me away Lore” Darla said still holding his
hand. Lore shook his head. He then kissed Darla’s hand and looked deep
into her eyes.
eventually said and then his face took on a more serious tone,
you ever killed?” he asked her in a very straightforward way.
blinked her eyes.
you ask?” she looked a little taken back by his words. Lore took his
hand away from her and said,
“Because I have killed” his voice sounded cold and then he told her
everything. He held nothing back. He told her of the Crystalline Entity.
How he manipulated Data, stealing the emotion chip that their father had
made so Data could have feelings how he had wanted it for himself. The
blinding rage that made him throw his own father across the room not
knowing if he survived or not, and about the group of lone Borg that he
had discovered and how he tried to change them, and how he nearly got
Data to join him. How he felt after Data had fired on him and when Data
deactivated him. He also said about the Borg when they reactivated him
and turned him into a slave, their harsh treatment of him and how he
managed to escape from them when the group started to break down and
they started to fight amongst themselves.
sat and listened to it all not saying a word until he was finished
telling her everything.
said a little harshly, “ Still want me?”
was still reeling a little, his words still in her head. Lore stood up
and walked to the table, he didn’t see Darla’s tears.
moment of silence existed and then Darla spoke,
have led a very troubled life Lore. And it seems that we both have pasts
that we are not proud of.” Lore still stood with his back to her. But he
still listened to her as she spoke.
some ways you have every right to be bitter. I know from experience,
that humans can be suspicious about something they don’t understand, but
it was wrong of them to treat you the way they did. But I know that deep
down there is good in you, it was never given a chance to come out.
the things you have said about are a little wrong. Were you jealous of
shrugged his shoulders and then turned round to face her,
he said quietly “Data was given a chance to live and he has made
something of himself. I was left in pieces to gather dust on the shelf.”
His eyes were looking down at the floor and then he glanced up as Darla
stood up from the bunk and walked over to him.
regret any of the things you have told me about?”
looked at her for a moment and reached out and touched her mouth with
his fingers again he gave a little sigh.
leaned in against his touch, turned her head slightly and kissed his
fingertips. She took hold of his hand again and held it against her. She
was still waiting for his answer.
some of them” he finally said, “The way things turned out. I didn’t mean
for it that way. I do regret what happened to Data and my father.”
you can’t go back and change anything Lore. It is no good living in the
past. But you can make amends by what we do here and now. We will help
these people to get their stone back. Maybe it is fate that we are both
here together. Perhaps it is the chance we have been looking for.” Darla
told him and they both walked back to the bunk and sat back down.
still do want you” Darla said, “But I do agree this is not the place for
that she lay back down on the bunk, beckoned for Lore to join her and he
did so. Darla once again snuggled up to him, nuzzled against his neck
and settled herself down and soon she was asleep. As they both lay on
the bunk in the darkness, Lore thought about what he had told her. Darla
had proved that she was not afraid of him. She trusted him. A time ago
he would of delighted in betraying that trust, but with Darla, there was
something about her that he could trust and that had not happened in a
long time. He listened to her breathing as she slept. She shifted a
couple of times in the night but she still stayed close to him. He
decided that he did want her and he would wait until a more appropriate
time and place.
next morning was gloomy and the sky looked full of rain as Lore and
Darla with three guides, which included Kaleb left the town. As they
made their way to the mountain, Lore kept a close eye on Kaleb and came
to the conclusion that if Kaleb in anyway hurt Darla or even cause her
death, he would make sure that Kaleb would pay.
got to a high ridge one of the guides pointed to a large mountain in the
is the home of the Crivets” the man said, “ We will turn back soon.
Normally it is unsafe to venture any further. The Crivets hunt at
alright Elan if you and Tam wish to return home, I will make sure that
Lore and Darla reach the foot of the mountain.”
Lore and Darla looked at each other.
sharp” Lore whispered to Darla
nodded and they both followed Kaleb as they continued along the trail.
They all walked in silence, but Lore knew that Kaleb was up to
something. They found a clearing near to the foot of the mountain and
decided to stop for the night. After a light meal, which consisted of
mainly vegetables and bread, Kaleb said that he would take the first
“Crivets hunt at night” Kaleb said, “and they are not fussy what they
attack. They can get very hungry.”
you seen them?” asked Darla
have.” Kaleb seemed to be talking as though he was telling a story. It
was as though all of this had been rehearsed in some way.
I was with the search party that followed the Crivets back to the
mountain after they had stolen the Dragon Heart. They must have turned
back and they attacked us. They are vile creatures and they will eat you
alive if they can.”
then a noise came from the undergrowth around them. Darla jumped to her
feet and she thought she heard a slight growl coming from behind her and
she drew her knife.
close” Lore told her and he turned round to say something to Kaleb and
he saw that he was gone.
also looked round,
little coward has gone,” she said angrily.
then there was a quiet swoosh sound and Darla saw embedded in Lore’s
neck was a small dart. He reached up and pulled the dart from him and
threw it to the ground. Darla was about to say something Lore turned and
took hold of her. Her world seemed to spin for a moment she was dizzy.
The next thing she knew, she was lying on the ground under the bushes
and Lore was next to her.
did you” she started to say, when Lore clamped a hand over her mouth.
he said very quietly and removing his hand, pointed to his left. Darla
looked to where he was pointing and gave a little gasp and her eyes
widened. There just a few inches from they lay were, which she guessed,
Crivets. They were small, round and covered in what looked like spines
like that of a porcupine. They had wide mouths, which were filled with
very sharp looking teeth. But it was their eyes that seemed to make
Darla shudder for they were blood red and very small. She turned back to
Lore was about to say something when she was once again grabbed. This
time she looked round and one of the Crivets had found her and was
pulling her by the hair out from under the bushes. Lore then stood up
and kicked the creature. It seemed to shoot up into the air as though
Lore had kicked a spiky black football. The thing landed against the
side of a tree with a loud snap and dropped to the ground. Darla felt
something on her foot and she looked down and saw a very tiny Crivet and
it was trying to take a bit out of her. She turned her knife downward
and skewered the creature through the top of the head and lifted it up.
It was wriggling on the blade for a brief moment and then it stopped.
She lowered her knife and the little body slid to the ground.
looked up and saw Lore had one of the creatures on his back. Darla was
about to go and help get rid if the thing when she saw him reach round
and grip the Crivet by the neck, lift it from his back, took hold of it
in both of his hands and gave a it a sharp twist and he threw it to the
ground. Lore pulled a few of the small, black spines from his hands and
then saw that there was more coming through the trees and even seem to
come out of the ground at them.
will have to go,” he said to Darla, “There are too many of them”
looked round at Lore and was about to say something, she raised her
knife and threw it toward Lore, he managed to duck out of the way as the
blade swished by him, he turned to see one of the Crivets, skewered to a
tree just behind him. Darla and Lore ran from the campsite, Darla paused
to get her knife from the Crivet stuck against the tree. As she pulled
the blade free, the Crivet slid down the tree trunk and down to ground,
a line of a reddish brown fluid flowed behind the body.
and Darla ran through the trees, Darla glanced behind her and saw the
Crivets chasing them. All she could hear where the Crivets making
strange gurgling noises as they ran. She looked in front of her and saw
that Lore was nowhere in sight. She stopped running and called out for
him. There was no answer and she was about to continue when she felt
something grip her by the back of the neck and she was pulled down. She
started fighting with whatever had grabbed her and then she heard a
Darla it’s alright! It is I, Lore”
slowed her actions when she saw who it was. She flung her arms around
him and he could feel that she was shaking.
you alright?” he asked,
found a cave.” Lore told her and after a moment both Darla and Lore
found their way inside, found a safe hiding place and watched as the
Crivets ran past the cave.
was close” Darla sighed, “Where are we?”
think we may have found an entrance to the mountain,” Lore told her.
we stay here? It is too dark to see,” she said straining her eyes a
little trying to see in the darkness of the cave.
will be alright,” said Lore. He then tapped his left temple. “ I have
good eyesight” he then took her by the hand and they walked on.
seemed to walking for a very long time and even in the darkness, Darla
could just make out shapes in the rocks. As she was looking around, Lore
stopped in front of her. Darla nearly walked into him.
What is it?”
have a problem,” he told her and Darla looked in front of her and Lore.
She saw in front of them was a large chasm. She looked up and saw far
across was the other side.
are we to do?”
jump.” Lore said, “Its not to far”
gave Lore a double take.
are kidding!” she almost choked “I can’t jump that.”
Lore said and with that he took a couple of steps back and took a short
run and launched himself across the chasm. He landed nimbly on the other
and called back to Darla.
on!” he called, “Aim for about here” and he pointed down to his feet. “I
will catch you”
Darla shouted across to him, “ Its alright for you. You’re an android
but I can’t do this! There must be another way round!”
isn’t” Lore shouted back, “Now come on you can do this!”
can’t” Darla said and she took a step backward. She was about to turn
round when behind her she could see something scurrying along the
ground. She looked back and swore that she saw the blood red eyes of a
Crivet looking at her from the passageway.
I can do this,” she said to herself and she swallowed hard. She then
heard Lore calling out again for her to jump.
took a few strides back,
ready” she called out and she ran forward and as she got to the edge of
the chasm, she lifted herself off from the ground just as she closed her
eyes she saw Lore waiting for her on the other side. As she sailed
across the nothingness, she thought that she really was going to do this
but a hard slam into the rock face of the other side, brought her back
to reality. She had opened her eyes and she tried to get a foothold but
the surface was loose and she slid down even more. She started to panic
a little when she felt something grip her coat by the collar and she was
lifted up. One moment she was against the rock face, the next thing she
knew she was looking into Lore’s yellow eyes. He had managed to reach
her, pick her up, but lost his footing on the loose ground and stumbled
back and Darla ended up on top of him. Lore was looking up at her and
said with a grin,
“Anything to get me on my back”
moment Darla couldn’t say anything, then she got her breath back and
Lore” she gasped, “ At least you can’t blame me for not trying”
quite an athletic jump,” Lore told her. Darla then put her head down on
you liked it”
then got to their feet and carried on walking.
had not been walking for long when the passageway opened out into a
large cavern. There all around them was what appeared to be ruins of
sunken city” Lore said looking around them. “Do you remember Drax said
something about an earthquake that had swallowed the old city?”
nodded, “I also remember him saying that this is where the Crivets live
too.” And she started to look nervously around her. They walked on some
more, down through what once were streets. There were fallen columns,
which they had to step over. Darla looked up and high above them was the
ceiling of the cavern completely covered in. Then as Darla looked at the
ceiling she saw something.
what’s that?” Lore walked back to her and saw her pointing up to
something above. Lore looked up and then at Darla and they both said,
a way out” Lore said still looking up.
you see a way up there?” Darla asked.
looked around him and a little further on he could make out a path
could try there” and they headed for the path. They found the path easy
enough and it did lead up to the light. But going the other way, they
heard something. They followed the sound and they found themselves in
another cavern, even larger than the one they had just left. As they
found a hiding place, Darla started to cough and she noticed that her
eyes were beginning to water.
you alright?” asked Lore.
don’t feel to good” and she sat down and she started to cough again this
time she put her hand over her mouth.
don’t believe it” she was almost gagging a little, “ I think this is a
“Droll?” Lore asked
is Droll?” Lore said sitting down next to Darla.
coughed again and Lore could see that it was getting worse.
Darla managed to say, is a powder that when refined it is a very strong
medicine mainly for painkillers. But in it’s raw state like this it can
be used as a narcotic.” Darla was beginning to find it difficult
talking. She took a few deep breaths.
Corbin 4” she started again “Quinton was a mining town. Droll was being
mined in the hills outside of the town.” She again took a few more deep
breaths. Lore told her to stay where she was and rest while he took a
little further on Lore came upon a high ridge. Down below him he saw
hundreds of Crivets and they were working machines. Some were drilling
others where packing blocks of Droll into small cases. Lore also saw
walking among the working Crivets was Kaleb. Lore than saw high above
the workers was a tall tower and at the top was a strange red glow. It
seemed to be coming from a stone set deep in a harness and he guessed
that this must be the Dragon heart. His eyes then followed what appeared
to be a shaft of metal and at the base of the tower was a grinding stone
from which Lore could see clouds of a grey dust billowing up. That is
what they wanted the Dragon heart for so they could drive the grinding
machine even at night. Lore then heard a scream and he looked round and
saw one of the Crivets had got caught in a part of one of the drilling
machines. Kaleb walked over and looked down at the little creature and
the Crivet looked up at Kaleb and it looked like it was asking Kaleb for
help and Lore could see that the Crivet was very badly injured. Kaleb
shook his head, raised his foot and kicked the Crivet into a dark
coloured liquid that was running alongside the working Crivets. Then
from the other side of the tower came another man, Lore looked carefully
at the newcomer and then recognised him as the Droll miner he had seen
in the Unicorn Inn in Quinton. He had the been the one who had started
the fight. Now he knew that Kaleb had met with him at the Inn to talk
business properly used the excuse to come with his father to Corbin 4 to
find help to meet with this miner. Lore made his way back to Darla she
was still sat on the ground and she had her hands over her mouth.
you alright? Lore asked.
nodded taking her hands from her mouth,
you find anything?”
Lore told her, “I have found the Dragon Heart. And, I saw Kaleb and the
Droll miner from Quinton”
gave Lore a puzzled look and then said,
one who started the fight at the Inn!”
are using the Crivets as slave labour to mine Droll. I am going to go
back and get the Dragon Heart.” As he stood up to go, Darla slowly got
to her feet,
he said to her, “Find the path that leads to the outside and wait for me
Darla started to say, “You can’t do this alone.”
lifted his hand and placed it under Darla’s chin,
worry” he smiled “ I won’t be long” and with that he leant forward and
kissed Darla’s cheek, turned and headed back the way he had come.
Darla made her back to the path, she glanced behind her and just saw
Lore go out of sight. She paused for a moment and then carried on.
soon found the path and in a short time found herself outside. She was
on a path halfway up the side on the mountain. Below she could see a
village and she guessed that it was the village where they had started.
also noticed that her eyes, nose and throat was beginning to clear up
and that she found that she could breathe more easily. She found a place
to sit and waited for Lore. She promised herself that she would give him
a certain amount of time then she would go in after him. Droll dust or
made his way down to the mine, he saw the stream of dirty water that had
run past the working Crivets. At the waters edge he could see something.
He walked closer and saw a tiny body lying in the water. It was the
Crivet that had been injured and Kaleb and kicked it away.
lifted the little body out of the water and the Crivet raised its head
and gave a snarl at Lore. Ignoring the Crivet, Lore put it down on the
ground and he could see that the creature’s left arm had come out of its
socket. As Lore touched the arm, the Crivet again snarled and this time
made a pathetic attempt to bite Lore’s hand. With a sharp twist, Lore
managed to push the arm back into the Crivet’s shoulder. The little
creature squealed in pain and was about to launch itself and attack,
then it paused, waved its repaired arm up and down and even Lore was
surprised to see a little smile come over the Crivet’s face. The Crivet
stood up on its stumpy legs and then hopped up and over the rocks,
turned and looked back at Lore and then it jumped out of sight.
welcome” Lore said to himself.
came a voice; “ Taken a liking to the little things” Lore looked up and
saw Kaleb standing nearby.
stood up and made his way over to Kaleb.
survived the attack. I didn’t think you would.”
to disappoint you” Lore gave Kaleb a sneer.
happened to that friend of yours? I was thinking if you had died then
perhaps she would favour my attentions.”
ignored the last remark,
as you have made it this far I will show what I am doing here”
then led the way down to the mine and Lore could see all of the Crivets
“Strange creatures” Kaleb said watching the Crivets. “They were
difficult to start with but with the Dragon Heart I got them to work for
me. You see the stone emits a powerful glow and the light can cause the
Crivets blindness. The Dragon Heart keeps the machines going and the
Crivets working. You see they are not used to any kind of light.
Kaleb was talking, Lore looked around him. The little creatures looked
tried and weary.
are you doing this?” Lore asked,
thought for a moment,
“Anything to get away from this place. Production is nearly finished and
we have a buyer who is interested in the Droll. Very valuable in
that is it. For personal gain?”
each word Lore said, he was slowly getting angry. He knew what it meant
to be a slave and he briefly remembered being a slave to the Borg.
reached out and grabbed Kaleb by the throat and pushed him down to his
knees. Kaleb was unprepared for the Lore’s sudden movement and as Lore
was choking him he tried to pull Lore’s hand s from him but the android
was much stronger but just as he thought he was going to blackout,
Lore’s grip was released. Kaleb looked up and behind Lore was the huge
Droll miner. He picked up Lore by the scruff of the neck and lifted him
up and threw him to the ground. Lore seemed to fly through the air and
as he landed back down, he slid along the ground and into a group of
Crivets. The Droll miner smiled to himself and then looked at the
Crivets surrounding Lore, clicked his fingers and pointed to the Crivets
to attack. Nothing happened. Kaleb and the miner glanced at each other.
They both looked down at the group of Crivets and standing in front of
them was the Crivet that Lore had helped. The little creature looked
back at the crowd and then at Lore, then the Crivet gave a little, sharp
bark and the Crivets that were around Lore, jumped up and ran forward,
Lore jumped too and punched the miner, he went down and the Crivets
leapt on him and somewhere in the frenzy, Lore could see the Crivets
pulling at the miner’s hair, scratching his face and then one of the
bigger Crivets took a bite out of the huge man’s arm and then the rest
of the Crivets joined in and started to tear him limb from limb. His
screams were mixture pleas for help and Kaleb at first was rooted to the
spot as his friend was practically devoured in front of him, he then
noticed Lore walking over to him so he turned and ran toward the tower
of the grinding stone. Lore gave chase. Kaleb climbed the tower, making
his way to the top. As he turned to look to see where Lore was, he was
surprised to see Lore directly behind him. Lore punched Kaleb and as he
hit the ground, Lore bent down, picked up Kaleb by his left ankle and
held him over the grinding machine.
let go of me!” he said panicking
tell me it was you who stole the Dragon Heart” Lore said calmly “and I
will pull you up.”
started to struggle,
struggle” Lore told him “I may not be able to keep a hold of you. I
could drop you.” And Lore lowered Kaleb down a little,
Kaleb shouted, “Just pull me up!”
“Confess to the theft” Lore then shook Kaleb a little
“Alright. It was me who stole the Dragon Heart.” Kaleb gasped, “Now let
no, no”Lore said, “Not quite yet” and he thought for a moment and then
said to the wriggling thief.
you kill the search party that came up here after you stole the Dragon
couldn’t let anyone find out about this mine, not even my father.”
killed them” Lore said and again lowered Kaleb a little more.
gave a shudder,
get out of this” He seemed to be getting brave, “ I will get you for
to see you try!” Lore glared at him and with that Lore pulled Kaleb up
and dropped him on the ground.
Lore said and pointed up to the top of tower at the Dragon Heart. “Climb
up there and get that stone. You are coming back with Darla and I and
you are going to tell your father everything.”
if I don’t?”
bent down and hauled Kaleb up to his feet and then still keeping his
hold on Kaleb Lore lifted him up off of his feet and held him by the
will” Lore told him as he watched Kaleb for the second time start to
choke. “Now go up there and fetch that stone down” and Lore threw Kaleb
up to a high ledge.
Kaleb climbed up he didn’t see a Crivet scurrying up the other side of
the tower. Kaleb reached the top and loosened the harness in which the
stone sat and the Crivet shot out its hand and sliced Kaleb’s hand as he
lifted out the stone. With a yell he dropped the stone and lost his
balance and fell, the Crivet along with him. Lore looked up at the sound
and held his hands out and in one hand he caught the stone, the other he
caught the Crivet. Kaleb flew past him and straight into the grinding
machine. He disappeared under the huge stone and as it came round, Lore
could see a thick red smear of blood.
Crivet in Lore’s other hand made a little squeak and as Lore sat the
Crivet down the little creature snuggled against Lore’s right foot and
then scurried down the tower. Lore watched the Crivet go and then he
looked at the Dragon Heart it was flat and the colour was a dull red but
it was warm to the touch. He made his way down the tower and passed what
was left of the Droll miner. Lore bent down and picked up a piece of
clothing and wrapped it around the stone. He started to walk away to
find his way up to the path that led to the outside, when he heard a
sound behind him. He stopped and looked round to see all of the Crivets
Lore said, “Go back” and he pointed back into the mine. All the Crivets
looked to where Lore was pointing and back at Lore.
can’t come with me. This is your home”
Crivets turned and looked at each other and it seemed to Lore that they
were talking with each other. Then one walked forward and it was the one
who Lore had helped with his arm. It raised it arm and then gave a
little smile. It was like it was thanking Lore for helping them. Then
they all gave out with a loud snarl and they were looking at something
in front of Lore, he looked round and saw Darla making her over to him.
she shouted, “Look out” and she drew her knife. Lore held his hand up to
her, as she got closer.
alright Darla” and he glanced back at the Crivets.
is my friend,” he told them. Darla stopped running and looked at Lore in
you just talk to them?” she sounded confused.
Lore told her. The Crivets still were snarling and then the leader of
them gave a little bark to the others and they soon fell silent. Lore
then bent down and picked up one of them and held it to Darla.
take hold of it”
shook her head,
alright” Lore gave the Crivet to Darla. She slowly took the little
Crivet and the creature started to purr slightly. Darla smiled,
purring or something”
are quite affectionate.” Lore smiled.
have to go now,” Darla told the Crivet and she put it back down and it
ran back to join the others.
and Darla walked to the entrance of the cavern, the Crivets followed
them but turned back when they got to the daylight. All expect one. It
was the one who Lore had helped. It stood at the mouth of the cave and
watched as Lore and Darla walked back down the path that would take them
back to the village. When they were out of sight, it turned and walked
made their way back, they noticed that the skies were clearer and
everything seemed to have a fresh look. It seemed that life had returned
to the valley.
stopped and unravelled the stone.
Darla said “So that is the Dragon Heart”
when we give this stone back to Drax, we will have to tell him about
a right to know Lore. But they have their stone back and you can see
everything is looking better now. I think that Drax has an idea what
Kaleb was like.”
Darla walked on, Lore stopped and called her back.
we leave here,” he began, “ Will you leave with me? You wont be tempted
smiled; she knew what Lore meant, she thought for a moment, walked back
go any where if I can be with you” she said, “My feelings have not
slid his arm around Darla’s waist,
have mine.” He gave her a little squeeze and pulled Darla in against
looked into his eyes.
don’t know about you, but it felt good to do something like this. To
help someone. I think I could get used to it somehow”
that deep down inside of you there was good. I know that in some way you
did regret some of the things that had had happened to you in the past
as I do with myself. Maybe it is time to change. What do you think?”
give it a try. It could be more rewarding.”
kissed and then carried on arm in arm.
was waiting for Lore and Darla by the entrance to his village.
saw them he sent word back that Lore and Darla had returned.
village people ran out to greet them and Drax led them back to the
square. Lore handed back the Dragon Heart and one of Drax’s sons climbed
up the obelisk and replaced the stone in its harness and as if by magic
the whole village became brighter.
knew that you had been successful when the light had returned to our
glanced at Darla and said to Drax,
we talk to you?”
nodded and they walked to the room at the temple.
inside, Lore told Drax about had happened to Kaleb.
hung his head for a moment and then said,
knew Kaleb was involved with Droll production. One of my other sons,
Lomax told me the day after you had left. Kaleb had been addicted to
droll for a while. I remember him telling me that he had to go to Corbin
4 for a meeting. I saw an opportunity to find help when the Dragon Heart
had been stolen. I knew that in some ways, that the Crivets did not
steal the stone. We never had any trouble from them before.”
looked up Lore and Darla could see tears in the man’s eyes.
will happen to you?” Drax looked at both Darla and Lore.
certainly wish for you both to stay here with us.”
and Lore looked at each other.
thank you for the invitation” Lore said, “but I think we both would like
to move on.”
is not much here on Corbin 3, and I don’t think you can go back to
Corbin 4.” Drax looked a little sad,”But you can take the ship that
brought you here.”
you want to keep it?” Darla asked.
could only take us from here. This is our home. I was born here, I wish
to die here. My people are not the adventurous type. Take the ship as a
thank you for what you have done.”
you” Lore said and the two men shook hands.
the next morning Lore and Darla left Corbin 3. Once out of orbit, Lore
set a random course into the ship’s computer.
are we going?” asked Darla.
“Anywhere the ship will take us.”
stretched in her seat and got then stood up.
could take a while then for us to find a destination”
nodded and then he reached up and took hold of Darla’s hand and pulled
her to him, sitting her down in his lap.
think we owe each other something,” he said and he slid his arm around
her waist and then onto the hump of her hip. Darla followed the movement
of his hand and then looked at Lore.
don’t know about that,” she said teasing him a little. “They only have a
few bunks at the back.”
then slid from Lore’s lap, leant forward and kissed him fully on the
she said still close to Lore. “ I did notice on the journey to Corbin 3,
that there is a Captain’s cabin at the rear of the ship, which I think
would be more accommodating. She then walked away and started down
toward the rear of the ship.
watched her go, sat forward in his chair, activated the autopilot and
followed Darla to the rear of the ship.