The High Fish Wizard

ON: FESSARIUS BRIDGE

Three days had passed since the discovery of the Endeavor crew trapped in the Aenar stasis device. As yet there was no word from Vaanaras and her pursuit of Balok. Repairs on the Endeavor were nearing completion and McCree had found a few free hours to transport over to the Fessarius to help Bolak get his new ship in order.

"It's a big ship to fly solo." McCree commented as he scanned the helm display trying to lock down a local power surge.

"It is Linnik tradition." Bolak explained, "Space travel has never been a group activity for my people. We tend to irritate each other."

"I noticed." McCree replied. "Sounds lonely though."

"Oh not at all." Bolak countered, "The entire ship is fitted with holographic emitters much like the Endeavor I simply flick a switch and..."

Bolak tapped his console and all around the room towering blue skinned creatures appeared out of nowhere. McCree squealed in surprise and half ran, half skipped behind Bolaks chair. The creatures watched them impassively with huge cat-like eyes, waiting for a command.

"W..what are they?" McCree managed.

"Dassik. They are mostly extinct now but we find them useful to intimidate strangers when we encounter them out and about. My brother tells a rather amusing story about meeting Kirk way back. McCoy almost wet himself when he saw one of these chaps up on the view screen. Of course we used puppets back then, much less convincing..."

Bolak was interrupted by an alarm from the navigation panel. One of the Dassik crewmen moved to check it and reported in a gruff voice,

"Captain a vessel has dropped out of warp and is hailing us."

"What kind of vessel?" McCree asked.

The Dassik was silent for a moment but after a nod from Bolak it responded, "The vessel appears to be Antedian."

"Fish people?" McCree mouthed as Bolak called out, "Open channel."

The face that appeared on the view screen was indeed fish-like in appearance. The alien had pale purple scales and eyes set slightly to the side of its bulbous head. It gave a shallow bow showing the spiny fin like structure running down from its head to the back of its neck.

"This is Captain Bolak of the FFS Fessarius, how may we assists you?"

"Captian?" McCree questioned under his breath.

"I promoted myself." Bolak shrugged, "I had a ceremony, there was cake... you missed it all."

The Antedian spoke then in a series of click and pops that the translator took some time to process.

"I am Mellik the High Plicklack of the holy order of Sarnus. Blessed be the hour of our greeting."

"Plicklack?" Bolak hissed to his holographic communications expert and the Dassik began to work on the translation.

"Closest I can get is fish wizard or fish priest." it reported.

"The High Fish Wizard?" McCree hissed, trying not to laugh.

"Let's just go with High Priest shall we?" Bolak snapped punching the acting Chief Engineer in the arm.

"Ouch!" McCree complained.

"Well behave yourself." Bolak snapped as he himself smothered a grin. In the meantime the Antedian watched the exchange in confusion.

"We are pleased to make your acquaintance." Bolak went on, "Forgive us we are not familiar with Antedian customs."

"There are few that are." sighed the high priest with another small bow. He hesitated then as others spoke to him in the background and he waved them to silence. "We have travelled far to find you, and we bring gifts to honour your holy vessel."

"There is no need I am sure." Bolak replied carefully starting to wonder where this might all be going.

Again someone tried to interrupt the Antedian and this time he was forced to turn to silence them. He bobbed his head towards Bolak, "My apologies we have followed the sign of the Nebula for many days now and my acolytes grow impatient."

Bolak groaned inwardly at the mention of the Nebula, "There must be some mistake." he replied, "There is nothing holy about the Fessarius, quite the opposite in fact."

The fish creature seemed taken aback, his eyes widening and fin bristling. "Is this not the first ship of an ancient line? Are you not the forgotten brother of a hidden feud? Do you not hide within the belly of your ship our promised saviour and lord?"

"You are correct on two counts but I do not think any of the crew held in stasis here would quite qualify for saviour status." even as he spoke the words he cringed. Of course... by the hairy balls of Kahless of course...

"Ah! Blessed be the hour!" the Antedian cried, "Can it be that you are ignorant of the holy one that lies in your midst! It is as it was written, So the shark will sleep amongst the minnows and they will know him not. We come to worship the man of many fathers and we will await his awakening!"

"What? No!" Bolak cried out as a purple haze filled the screen and the high priest disappeared.

INTRUDER ALERT Came the sudden warning from the ships computer.

"Where are they?" Bolak asked.

FIVE ANTEDIANS HAVE TRANSPORTED DIRECTLY INTO THE AENAR LAB

"Good lord." McCree gasped, "The crew!"

They both ran for the door.

THE AENAR LAB

Bolak and McCree stood agog as they watched the Antedian priests kneeling around the sleeping form of Avakhon. Each held prayer beads high above their heads as they rocked back and forth in prayer.

"Stop this at once!" Bolak called out but they paid him no heed.

McCree was red faced, his eyes bulging. He spat and put his hands over his mouth.

"Do not laugh," Bolak warned, "Don't you dare. This is not funny."

"Oh lord Avakhon awake now and show us your power!" one of the priests cried.

"Oh master of all Plicklacks!" toned the high priest, "Come forth now and show us the holy amulet of Blort so that our gills may grow dry beneath its warmth."

"M...master Fish W...izard." McCree cried as he turned and ran from the room narrowly missing a sharp kick to the shins from Bolak.

Two of the priests had lit up incense burners and another was reading aloud from some sort of holy book. Bolak shook his head as he looked on at the surreal scene. He considered ordering the computer to transport them all back, but then things might get nasty. He had always been wary of religious types. Probably best just to let things run their course. Vaana would be back soon and then Avakhon would be awake and they could clear up the whole mess together. Until then, what harm would it do to have a school of fish priests hanging out on his ship...they began to sing...

"All hail Lord Avakhon,
All praise the Khinsharri,
King of Kings,
Lord of Lords,
From the Nebula..."

"Oh bloody hell." Bolak cursed as he shut the door behind him and went to find a fresh bottle of Tranya.

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