Chapter 2 - A Walk Among Giants

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Be careful what you wish for.

Pretty much every species K’Naut knew of had expressed a similar thought. The Caitian had plenty of time to think about it as he walked with the rest of the away team. They were surrounded by the tall natives who herded them toward the nearby village.

“They offered me a position at the Fleet Museum,” he grumbled. “But no, I had to pick a starship assignment.”

Edra Crow, who walked next to him, glanced at him and raised her eyebrows but said nothing.

“Quiet!” growled the nearest native.

K’Naut scowled at the giant humanoid. They had taken their weapons and communicators, the former, because their purpose was obvious and the latter, probably for the gold. But the natives hadn’t taken his vest or belt pouches. He had several weapons tucked away among his tools. And not just for emergencies, he’d found, for example, that nothing cleaned up stubborn trilithium residue like a Romulan disruptor set to power level 4.

As they continued toward the village, the Caitian’s curiosity and his Starfleet training kicked in, and he began to evaluate the situation. As a student of history, he knew that this sort of thing happened quite often on away missions to uncharted worlds. Fortunately, it didn’t usually end up with a pot of Starfleet officer stew. They’d have to use diplomacy or come up with a clever plan of escape.

He glanced over at the native walking next to him. He had a hunch about these people and decided to test it.

“Between sketchy AIs, tense politics, baby-snatching lowlifes, and now this,” he said loudly. “The Fleet Museum is looking pretty good. At least there, I’d be able to tinker with the NX-01.”

“I told you to be quiet!” the native rumbled as he reached toward K’Naut.

Lightning fast, the Caitian lashed out. The native snatched his hand back with a yelp. He stared down at it. Four parallel scratches began to ooze blood. The other natives laughed and started deprecating their fellow. The native pulled a cloth from among his robes and wound it around his hand. He grinned at K’Naut.

“That was a bold move, little one,” he said.

K’Naut nodded to himself. It was just as he thought. A warrior culture that might not be too different from his own.