Quote! I'm actually going out tonight, so nothing really new, so I thought as a change I would utterly embarass myself and post some incomplete fiction I wrote a few years ago. It was an attempt to put some Star Trek characters in a very Channel 4 like British movie. Speak to you soon ....

James looked out across the field with the binoculars. It was still early in the morning, but he had been awakened by birds crowing loudly, being startled by something. This didn’t happen often, so here he stood, in his pyjamas, the cold air sweeping through his body, staring desperately through the dirt of the kitchen window with blurred binoculars. In the middle of the percievably dirtiest window pane, he could make out a figure jumping and spinning in a strange dance. He used the cuff of his pyjama top to wipe a clean circle in the glass, through which he could now see what seemed to be quite a tall woman in some kind of uniform looking crazily in all kinds of directions, being startled by all she could see. James tried to adjust the lenses of the binoculars for a third, unsuccessful time. At that moment, he realised that he wasn’t going back to bed.
The Wellington Boots were not comfortable in bare feet. The top edges cut into the side of his leg. As he took his first step outside, he had to place his hand over his face to shield a sun which was unusually bright this morning, as it shone across the fields of corn which stretched as far as the eye could see. He cursed his choice of footware as they slowed down his walking speed. The figure had already begun to walk towards the farm house. She appeared to be holding forward some kind of instrument, which she waved from side to side. He could hear beeps and shrills from it which became increaingly annoying as she neared. The sun beat directly behind her, so James could only see fragments of her appearance at first. The uniform she wore was almost completely black, as though it were its own shadow. Black apart from a golden strip which covered her shoulders which also reflected the sunlight shielding her face.
The figure had finally seen him and was approaching. It was only now he saw her. In a moment when other’s might have winced, he looked on intrigued. Above a perfect face lay a dome like bone structure jutting from her forehead, ridged almost like a tortoise shell, only covered with skin - it was certainly part of her face. Long, ebony hair flowed from the back of this, complementing her dark eyes. There was no denying that despite her ‘appliance’, she was beautiful. He wondered at that moment how she might think of him, this strange monster with rubber feet.
Eventually, they were within yards of each other. She put the intrument she’d been waving away. They stood for moments simply looking at each other. To him it felt like being at a party, and they were the only guests who had arrived. Although he knew that ‘Do you know the host?’ simply wasn’t going to work.
‘Where am I?’ she asked. Good ice-breaker.
‘You’re on my farm,’ he said holding out his hand, ‘I’m James Perry.’
The hand startled her, seemingly to attention.
‘Lieutenant B’Elanna-Torres. Starfleet. Registration - 22925283542.’
That was the introductions over and done with. They continued to regard each other. Most of what she had said sounded like a jumble, no matter how clipped, military and practiced they probably where.
‘Pleased to meet you Lieutenant. Do you need a doctor?’ Her head was beginning to worry him - if it was an injury or disease, she might need help. ‘Your head looks in need of attention.’
‘No. I was born that way. You are human?’ B’Elanna jumped from subject to subject furtively. It startled James to be asked that kind of question. He’d never really thought of himself as Human before. He stopped himself from answering ‘There’s something else?’
‘I guess so.’ James said instead. ‘Where did you come from? We are miles from anywhere.’
‘I appeared here. I don’t know how.’ That answer was too quick, she was hiding something. She had calmed slightly. ‘Where is your farm?’
‘This is Hale near Cheshire. England, if you want something even more general. That accent of yours sounds vaguely American.’ It was an important observation.
‘England.’ Belana said quietly, ‘I’m on Earth. But when?’ She grabbed James shoulders, quite violently. Her eyes looked deeply into his. ‘What year is this?’
‘Nineteen-ninety Nine.’ He blurted out, quite startled.
‘The past?’ She said drawing away, realising instantly that she had said too much. ‘I must go.’ She went to leave.
‘Leave?’ James said, ‘But we’ve just met. And besides, I wouldn’t walk anywhere - its miles.’
‘Do you have transportation?’
‘I’ve got a landrover in the yard. And I’ll take you anywhere you want to go. But first - let me cook you breakfast.’

The kitchen was filled with smoke. James had never been terribly good at making cooked breakfast cleanly and today was no exception. He was amazed at how calm B’Elanna was now, but she was still on her guard. He had been really surprised at how easy it was to actually get her into the house, he’d simply put out his hand and she’d headed that way. He knew that accepting her appearance, there was something strange, alien even about her, but he wasn’t going to ask her straight out. For one thing he didn’t want particularly to look like an idiot, but it was nice to have some company, and he didn’t want to scare her away.
He poured two big mugs of tea (which had been brewing for a good ten minutes and was by now extra strong), and placed one in front of his vsitor. She lifted it by the handle and sniffed it susitiously.
‘What is this?’ She asked.
‘I don’t know - some cheap brand ... I got it from the garage up the road.’
B’Elanna gave him a look which reaked of misunderstanding, but he guessed that something in his voice re-assured her. She placed it subtly to her lips and took a sip. Her eyes closed with relief as though she had suddenly found something familar.
‘Tea?’ She said.
‘Tea.’ He nodded. Understanding now what her original question had meant. ‘There is really nothing to be afraid of, you know.’ He added.
B’Elanna glanced around the room, her eyes momentarily attracted to features such as the faded poster of two kangeroos in the Austrlian outback, the washing - drying slowly on the clothes horse and the cluster of empty glass Coke bottles on the floor near the door. ‘You live here?’ She asked.
‘After a fashion,’ he said cracking an egg into a frying pan. He’d only planned toast this morning and didn’t have anything meaty to hand - not dead, anyway. So egg on toast would have to do. ‘I’m looking after the place for an uncle for a few months while he’s off skiing.’
B’Elanna took another sip of tea. Again, her eyes closed with comfort as the liquid ran down her throut. James smiled. He had attempted to do everything he could to relax his guest, and he appeared to have succeeded. She was still on her guard, of course. But he couldn’t blame her. Wherever she was from, this whole environment was strange, and anything could happen. For the moment, she seemed content to sit and drink her tea, so continued to work his magic on the eggs.

A light ripped through the sky above the farmhouse. It was noticed by a hill walker, but was gone before he could put on his glasses.

B’Elanna proded the egg with her fork. James smiled broadly.
‘Pepper?’ He asked..
‘No, thankyou.’ She began eating - and wherever she was from, they taught good manners. Her knife and fork worked at the meal with great precision. It was lucky that this was his most successful attempt at them.
‘So,’ James cut into his bread. ‘The question arises. Where did you appear from?’
‘I can’t tell you.’ She said, with in a tone which suggested that she really did want to.
‘And the answer I was expecting. Do you like the egg?’
‘You’ve been very kind.’ She continued. ‘But I am in a very dangerous position.’ At that moment, for the first time James saw in her eyes something else - was she scared?
He put down his knife and fork. ‘Are you being chased by someone? Are you at risk, somehow?’
She shook her head. ‘Its more serious than that.’ Her voice trailed off. For a moment, she looked through him, deep in thought. ‘Look - I really can’t say any more.’ B’Elanna looked down and continued eating. Neither of them spoke for the rest of the meal - which irritated James - but he knew he would simply have to be patient. She might tell him eventually. As she collected together her knife and fork on the plate, she looked him in the eye. She was ready to speak.
‘Can I use your H.R.E. ?’
“Excuse me?’ He answered.
‘Human Refuse Extractor.’
He ran the words through his mind, almost like a crossword clue.
‘Toilet.’ He blurted, then blushed slightly. ‘Yes - its outside I’m afraid - at the side of the house.’
As B’Elanna left, James turned on the small portable TV on the side board and clashed the plates into the sink. A woman in a bright pink suite was giving a report about the homeless in London. He never paid attention to reports such as this. He never believed such a person would be able to give any truth about a subject like that. It was nearly half past seven and the headlines began. The signal disrupted, which always happened when someone flushed the toilet. At least they had that in common. Moments later, the screen cleared. When he saw the image, he almost jumped out of his skin.
‘B’ELANNA!’ He shouted.
‘Here.’ She said as she ran through the door way.
On the tiny screen was a grainy photograph of a tall dark man standing in London’s Trafalger Square amongst the pigeons, wearing the same black and gold uniform as B’Elanna, his hand outstretched, using the same instrument that she had when she arrived. The picture lost even more defintition as the camera moved to make a closeup of his head. They were not human ears - they were pointy.
‘Tuvok!’ B’Elanna shouted, with surprise and relief.
‘A friend of yours?’ James deadpanned.
Apparently, he had appeared in the square much as B’Elanna had in the field, and a tourist had snapped the photograph a moment later, before he ran off. The police had apparently pursued him and placed him into custody. There would be more news when it was announced.
‘Do you recognise that place?’ She asked.
‘Yes,’ he replied, already seeing the motorway in front of him, ‘I’ve been there many times.’
‘We have to go.’ B’Elanna said firmly. James began to search for his car keys, and deciding how to hide her forehead.

Detective Clare Hogan stubbed her fifteenth cigarette into a huge marble ashtray and stared at what had become her hardest interviewee. He simply sat there, opposite her in the interview room, staring at the wall behind her, evading every question she could muster about him. What was his name? He could not say. Where had he come from? He was not at liberty to answer. What was he doing there? He did not know. This was the third time they had sat opposite each other and the third time she had asked all of these questions. She knew that the frustration must have been show, and so she resorted to the one question which had played on her mind from the beginning.
‘OK - so what is it with those ears?’ The question was more aggressive than she had hoped - but she’d argued with herself about asking so much, that when it finally came out, it had become a triumph.
‘They allow me to hear.’ He answered, still complety stony-faced.
Clare felt like exploding. But that would have been unprofessional. She reached for another cigarette. As she lit it, and shook the flame from the end of the match, she noticed a flicker in the eyes of her interviewee.
‘You don’t like me smoking?’ She smiled as she took a long, calming drag.
‘It is an unhealthy habit, responsible for a great number of agressive bodily traumas.’ he said effortlessly working through the verbosity of his speech, ‘Further, it has been proven that the pollutants affect the health of those in contact with the gaseous substances produced by the tobacco combustion.’ The detective stared at him. The guy doesn’t say anything for hours and suddenly he gives a government health warning. What was it with ...
Her trail of thought was broken by a tap at the door.
‘Yes?’ She said, turning her head towards it.
Her colleague, Kline, put his head around the door. He looked vaguely nervous.
‘Clare - Robert’s here - and he isn’t happy.’ Robert Martin was their department head, and if he wasn’t happy, there had to be something wrong.
She turned to the uniform in the corner, and asked him to keep an eye on their ‘guest’. She nodded and Clare made her way for the door.

‘So what is he in here for?’ Robert trusted Clare - she still handled her job well - but this was slowly becoming a circus and wondered if she could handle the pressure.
‘I took him in for obstruction. But to be honest it was for his own good. The press were all over him.’ Clare’s whispering voice was dwarfed by the hallway.
‘I know.’ He answer. ‘I’ve just been with them. They won’t leave this alone for a while. That video is everywhere.’
‘We seem to be the only people who can’t get a copy. I’ve got Kline trying to contact Sky TV, but the lines are jammed.’ She looked away. The frustration was showing. The tiredness was showing. Robert attempted his sympathetic voice as best he could.
‘Maybe you should have another break. Let me have a go at him.’ He placed his hand gently on her shoulder. She would have shrinked away from that months ago - but they’d become friends these past few weeks and built up a raport that transcended the chain of command. It was nice to have a friend in the force he could let his wife invite to dinner parties.
‘No,’ she answered, ‘that’s alright. I think I’m making some progress.’
At that moment, the bottom doors in the corridor burst open. It was Kline.
‘Sir - Clare - we have another one.’ he shouted. Through the doors they could see a bald man in the same uniform as their first guest - this time blue - somewhat irritated by the entire booking-in process.
‘I’m a doctor,’ he said, ‘not a criminal.’

And it ends there. I suppose the idea was to dump the characters in very un-Trek settings and see how they react -- whenever sci-fi tv characters time-travel or visit new world necessity dictates they end up somewhere not unlike the place they were the previous week. Here was have something completely alien to them but very local to us. I do quite like some of the writing but (a) it's hardly going to sell (b) I sometimes find fiction writing a real chore. And isn't this block of writing going to snare up the front page?

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