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Ponk Vonsydow
Copyright © Ponk Vonsydow 2021
Ponk Vonsydow asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work.
This is a work of fiction. The names, characters, and incidents portrayed are based solely on the author's imagination.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopied, recorded or otherwise, without the prior permission of the author.


The Vulcan science vessel T'prong was in the midst of a crisis. Engineer Stoval reported to Captain S'vren:

"Captain, the mysterious problem we have been experiencing concerning our dilithium intermix chamber has resulted in the burnout of what was out last pairs of crystals. We just lost warp drive and are now running on impulse engines."
Captain S'vren addressed science officer S'bot:

"Mr. S'bot. Run a long range scan of the nearest solar systems and report if you can find any planets where we might mine some dilithium crystals. I know that's improbable in this sector but run the scans anyway."

S'bot did as instructed:

"Running scans now captain. Yes, fortunately for us we are in the vicinity of Delta Vega, an automated Federation lithium cracking station. There we should find ample supplies of dilthium crystals. Running only on impulse engines at standard cruising speeds we will arrive at Delta Vega in two-weeks."

Captain S'vren replied:

"Very well, helm, set course for Delta Vega at standard impulse cruising speed."

The T'prong reached Delta Vega in the expected two weeks. Captain S'vren was ready with his next round of orders.

“Mr. S'bot. Run a scan on the planet's surface.”

S'bot did as he was ordered.

"Running scans now, Captain. The planet is a vast desert environment and it has a breathable oxygen/nitrogen atmosphere with a median temperature of 40.55 Celsius. It's a comfortable temperature not unlike our home world, Sir. There is a vast automated mining station complex. However, two kilometers from the mining complex scanners are showing an inexplicable two square mile area containing lush vegetation and a fresh water lake, neither of which should be possible on Delta Vega which is a drought ridden desert planet with little to no precipitation. Sensors also show a somewhat large manmade structure in the direct center of this area. Scanning for life-forms now, Sir. Yes, Captain, I am picking up life-signs of what appears to be one male human being in the vicinity of the structure. Other than him, the planet is totally devoid of animal or insect life."
Captain S'vren was ready:

“Communications Officer T'jon, contact the following four crewmen, Officers Srong, Sten, S'wan and geologist, T'pon, and instruct them they will form a landing party and to assemble themselves in the transporter room ready to transport down to the planet's surface. I will meet them in the transporter room."

Captain S'ven reached the transporter room shortly and met with the landing party:

"If everyone is ready with their equipment and instruments here are your orders: the mission is to locate and extract a supply of dilthium crystals. Before you commence your search, you shall investigate the one male human being we have scanned living there. He may be the survivor of a crashed space vessel in need or rescue, unless you discover he is a hermit intentionally living in total isolation on a planet devoid of human or alien life. Science officer S'rong, I am instructing you to investigate how it is possible for the lush jungle and fresh water lake to be possible on an otherwise totally arid, desert world. Maybe this human can explain that. As soon as you have conducted your investigations, report back to me. That is all."

Captain S'ven watched as the four officers dematerialized from the transport platform.

The four Vulcan officers rematerialized at the foot of what appeared to be a jungle like garden. They could see the manmade structure in the distance, but it was too far away to offer any detail. As the officers strode through the garden in the direction of the structure, they came across areas that were obviously cultivated with various trees and plants already in full bloom bearing fruits and vegetables. Next they passed the fresh water lake, which evidently was fed by an underground spring. Science Officer S'rong made note of that. Twenty minutes later they had walked far enough to be close to the structure to make out what it looked like in better detail. Surprisingly it was a large earthlike medieval castle made of stone, complete with moat and drawbridge. Once the landing party was standing before the castle, as if on cue the draw bridge lowered, but there was no one standing at the entrance that could have lowered the drawbridge. S'rong who was in charge of the landing party spoke:

"It looks like we are being invited to enter the castle. Let us enter and look for the human we may find inside."

The four Vulcans walked across the drawbridge and entered the mouth of the entrance. There was a vast hall with flying buttress arches. Inside they could hear classical music playing. S'rong instructed his people to use their sensitive Vulcan ears to follow the music to find the man who might be listening to the music. Doing this led the landing party to a large pair of wooden doors that opened by themselves. Yet again when the doors fully opened there was nobody there to have opened them. After stepping past the door's threshold, the Vulcans finally saw the man they were searching for. His hair was grey and as long as his shoulders and he had a groomed grey beard. He was dressed in a type of purple kimono with simple sandals on his feet. Now they could see the man using his hand to beckon them further inside. The Vulcans had no reason to fear this one man so they did not draw their weapons as they approached him. It was once they got nearer to the man that all four Vulcans noticed his peculiar looking eyes. The man's eyes were solid silver with no visible pupils. Other than that one oddity about him, he looked normal. Then the man spoke:
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