This is a snippet of a novel I am writing, centering on Jase Galleger, a Starfleet Officer. The novel will go from his childhood, to academy days, into his first adventure, to his first years of Command. Whether it will be 1 novel or more is yet to be determined.
The fight was not going well.
Jonas Galleger deftly caught a wildly thrown punch between his arms that had been meant for his face, twisting the arm in his grip skillfully. The Naussican boy’s arm gave an audible *snap* as it broke cleanly. The man then pulled his attacker downward, slamming the boy’s head into Jonas’ raising knee, knocking the Naussican unconscious immediately. For these young Naussican thugs, the fight was not going well at all. Two more Naussicans came rushing at the aging human from the shadows, thinking that they would be able to catch the older man off-guard.
Typical youthful arrogance the older human thought to himself, smirking as his years of Starfleet combat training continued to flow instinctively; he ducked down low on his haunches, catching them in mid-charge, then lifted them on his shoulders as he stood, using their own momentum to throw them both across the alleyway to slam headfirst into the wall. They were unconscious immediately. The man looked quickly in all directions to be sure no further attacks were coming, then slowly knelt to catch his breath. The crisp, dry, slightly chilled air of this planet felt good in his lungs, though he was always glad it never got too cold to snow. Some days he wished he hadn’t resigned his commission, but he had his reasons to stay on this rock. As he relaxed, he took count; all seven Naussicans were out cold, and most had broken bones of some kind.
He looked up into the dwindling evening light, calling to someone he knew was there, hiding in the evening shadows. “Jase, you can come out now; it’s safe…” The boy did as his father bade, crawling free of a small air duct about halfway up a wall, a few feet from where the fight had taken place. His father stood, dusting the dirt & alien blood from his clothes, taking stock of his own situation. Some bruises, his clothes had a few cuts, and one on his left shoulder had drawn a bit of blood, but nothing major. His neck was a bit sore, but he brushed it off. As Jase reached him, he checked his sons condition; not a mark on him, just a bit of dirt from the dusty vent. He nodded in satisfaction. “We’d best continue on home; they won’t stay out for long, and your mother will wonder why we aren’t back for dinner yet.. Come on, double-time.” They quickly made their way quietly through the settlement’s streets, the young boy keeping pace with his father’s military jog well, though with a bit of effort. After they were several blocks away, Jonas slowed them to a more comfortable, but still steady, pace.
Finally, young Jase broke the silence. “Father,” Jase asked, “I still don’t understand why those men keep attacking you…”
His father smiled that knowing smile he always did when he was about to impart his particular brand of wisdom to his son. Jase loved learning about life and the universe from his father. “Not necessarily men, Jase; males, for sure, but I don’t know what the Naussican word for their males is. Some species may be offended when we try to put human sentiments on their species or its members; remember that a good Starfleet Officer takes the time to learn how different species think & talk. In any language, though, they’re definitely petty thugs…” Jase nodded that he understood that much. Jonas stopped, looking at his son for a moment, as if searching for something. Finally, he harrumphed slightly. “I guess you’re old enough now to understand; you’re eighth birthday is in three weeks…” He took off his hat, wiping some sweat off his brow, “Let’s rest a minute, then. Do you remember Karvatt, the one with the tattoo over his left eye? The scary one with the smooth voice?”
Jase nodded. “Yes, father, I remember…” He shuddered slightly at the memory.
Jonas smirked slightly at his son’s obvious discomfort at the memory. “Well, he’s considered to be a powerful man, ever since Starfleet lost this system and was forced to fall back.” He sat on a nearby garbage recycler. “See, he’s a man with brains, but he doesn’t have morals. He knows how to bully & convince the others that work with him into doing what he wants, either with promises of power or through making them too afraid to say no. If all the men he lead suddenly decided to turn against him, he’d have nothing; but they won’t, because he uses his skills of persuasion & bullying to keep his promises to them, in one form or another. The skills of deception of the mind can be even more powerful, and more destructive, than any photon torpedo. Remember that, son.”
Jase nodded as he sat down beside his father on a crate. Jonas continued. “Karvatt has basically got his own little army of followers, and they make their money by extorting money from us miners.” Jase tilted his head, confused by the new word he had not heard. Jonas saw his sons confusion. “Sorry; he tells people that they need to pay him and his men money to be protected; what he doesn’t tell them is that the money pays to protect the people from him and his gang. He implies it, very well; but he never comes right out and say it. They do a lot of other things, too, like selling illegal drugs or…” He grimaced slightly, not wanting to say the words. “Well, or worse things that I hope you never have to know of…”
Jase nodded his understanding. He knew his father wished that he could take all of them away, and he knew what his father did not want to say. The young boy often stayed up late in his bed, reading news articles from the planetary network on his P.A.D.D. There were many things his father didn’t want him to know; the rampant prostitution, murders, rapes, smuggling… His father wanted to think Jase was still more innocent than he was, and Jase was not about to spoil his father’s fantasy. One of his best friends had often been beaten and sexually abused by some of the older Naussican boys at school; Jase had even rescued the girl from it more than once; his distant betazoid heritage had been a blessing and a curse those times.
Jonas continued, “Karvatt has been sending his men t collect ‘protection payments’ from me for months. Those men that attacked us were just the most recent attempt.” Jonas sighed, rubbing at his shoulder near his neck, sighing at the pain. “Time to get moving home again, I think I might have pulled something in that fight…” Jase nodded, and the two continued on.
As they turned the corner, they did not hear the faint *click* of the observation probe half a block away. The captured still image was swiftly radioed at subspace speeds back to its master.
His teeth grinding angrily, Karvatt pounded his fist on the desk in frustration as he gazed at the image his probe had sent back. This damned Hew-Mon had bested another of his collection teams. Jonas Galleger was very quickly becoming a detriment to his operation; the local miners were beginning to follow his example, refusing to pay the protection fees, and they had even begun to disrupt his drug trafficking and prostitution activities. The drought hadn’t brought him the profit he’d expected from the well tolls he’d initiated; the stubborn human had organized other miners & taken two of the six wells that Karvatt had controlled. The Ferengi owners of the planet were getting irate that Karvatt was starting to have trouble paying them the bribes they demanded to look the other way. Something needed to be done. An example had to be made.
Jonas Galleger would pay for his insolence.