Part of USS Horizon: Episode 1.2 – Remnants and Bravo Fleet: Phase 2: Horizon

A Curious Find

Gradin Belt, Delta Quadrant
August, 2399
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“Tekris, wake up! Your father is waiting for you in the field!” a distant voice yelled.

Rubbing his eyes and giving a long stretch, Tekris, a young boy in his early teenage years kicked off his covers and slowly got up, perching himself on the edge of his bed. He looked out the eastward facing window of his bedroom. The sun was just cresting over the horizon. He was not a fan of waking up so early, but he made a promise to his father that he would help out on the farm.

“Another shout came from beyond the bedroom, “Tekris are you up?”

“I’m awake mother,” he replied.

Not wanting to hear his mother yell for him again, he peered around his room and eyed a small pile of clothes on the floor at the end of his bed. He reached over and grabbed a pair of oil-stained coveralls that were sitting on the top. His mother had not had the chance to do the laundry. He gave them a sniff. They only hinted at the smell of livestock. Nothing that was unbearable, and given that he was going to be working in the field anyway, he threw them on. He then ran his hand through his greasy black hair, attempting to straighten it as best he could from the mess his pillow made before heading downstairs to the kitchen.

When he reached the kitchen, a steaming plate of fresh cooked eggs from the local fowl and some pan fried vegetables that resembled potatoes that had been cubed sat atop the table in the spot where he usually liked to eat his meals. He stared at it for a minute. He wasn’t particularly hungry that morning.

“Hurry up and eat. You don’t want to keep your father waiting.” said his mother, sensing his presence with her motherly intuition.

“I’m not really that hungry.”

“Nonsense. You’re going to be out there all day. You need to eat something.” his mother replied as she placed a couple slices of toast onto his plate to go with the rest of his meal.

Tekris sat down in his seat and ate his food while enjoying some casual conversation with his mother ranging from the weather to his studies. The topics were irrelevant. He simply knew that his mother enjoyed the company. When he finished, he got up, gave his mother a kiss on the cheek and scurried out the door so he wouldn’t be later than he already was.

Some twenty minutes later he found himself standing at the entrance to the family barn. He’d proceeded there on his way to the field when he began hearing the clanking of tools and fierce grunting coming from the structure as he got closer. Poking his head inside, he could see his father lifting a medium sized metal contraption from a piece of farming equipment and putting it onto a wooden cart that they typically used for delivering food to the animals.

“Everything alright dad?”

“Oh?! There you are.” began his father, pointing at the machine on the cart while wiping the oily grime off his hands, “This? Varan down at the blacksmith shop said this thing would make our lives a lot easier. Said it would revolutionize farming as we know it. Since he’s given it to me it’s been nothing but trouble. I want you to take it into town and either find out what’s wrong with it, figure out how to get it to work the way it’s supposed to or get our money back for it.”

Tekris sighed dejectedly. It was bad enough that he was going to be working on the farm all day, but now he had to run an errand for his father that was even less exciting. Even if he would be pulling the cart by hand for several kilometers into town, he was going to try and make the most of it. “Fine,” he replied, and grabbed the cart by it’s handles and started pulling.

Drenched in sweat from the heat, he finally made it to town. It took him nearly three hours to pull the cart into town, a walk he could have completed in two if he had not been hauling that extra weight. Setting the cart down and using the sleeve of his coveralls, he wiped the sweat off his forehead to prevent it from getting in his eyes so that he could get his bearings and locate his destination.

From his current position, the blacksmith shop was several more buildings down the street on the right, but before he could pick the cart back up and continue his journey, he was interrupted by the hollers of a couple of teenage boys running in his direction calling his name.

“Tekris! Tekris!” they continued to shout until they were nearly on top of him.

“Look what we found!” said the eldest of the two boys, Dotan.

Tekris took the item from Dotan and examined it at every angle. It had some strange markings all over it. Markings that were not common amongst the citizens in the town. “Where did you find it?” he asked.

“We found it in a cave on the outskirts of the west side of town. The cave looked to be a lot deeper, but we didn’t want to go exploring any further without the proper gear. We also didn’t want anyone to know we were in there. You should come with us later! We were going to head out when the sun went down. What do you say?”

“I don’t know. I’m already going to be out most of the day getting this contraption fixed. I don’t think my parents would be fond of me spending the rest of it out with my friends, especially after dark.”

“C’mon! We want you to be there with us. We might find more stuff like that piece.”

“Listen. I’ll see what I can do, but I’m not making any promises.”

Tekris didn’t want to get the boys’ hopes up, but in their mind all they heard was that he was going to be there. Elated, the younger of the boys exclaimed as they started parting ways again, “You won’t regret this Tekris! Meet us by the town well. Bring a lantern. We’ll see you tonight.”

Feeling as though he was already committed before he could even confirm anything, he wondered how he was going to tell his parents, let alone get away with it. Something he could think about on his way home. For now he needed to get to the blacksmith.