WOLVES OF ARCANUS

(Arc Two - Beginnings)

CHAPTER 28: World Ship Rescue 1

While Ulysses, Chance, and Jake enjoyed their first visit to the Alliance home world, Commander Shegar was looking into why the Jentaroo Prime had returned to this area of space so early. Something had to be seriously wrong and only two choices came to mind ... either they had discovered a threat to the Galactic Alliance or, just as worrisome, they had developed problems within their own world.

Though there were plenty of willing hands, minds, and technology here to solve whatever the problem was he couldn't help but be curious, that was the nature of wolves. So he sent out feelers trying to find out what might be the problem but, despite discreet inquiries made to all his contacts, they either didn't know anything or they were being incredibly closed mouth about the Jentaroo. Either way, he wasn't going to get the information he wanted this way but he wasn't entirely without other resources.

Knowing Commander Taglar wouldn't have gone planet side yet ... no way would that wolf allow his pride and joy, the Wotan, to go off to the shipyard without his personal guidance, so Taglar would still be on the ship most likely in the engine room. Shegar knew it was a matter of pride and proprietary ownership that Taglar would insist on ensuring the Wotan was docked safely and that all problems needing addressed were handed over to those fellow engineers and ship builders he trusted explicitly.

This wasn't a surprise as engineers, as a whole, were very protective of their ships and among themselves, a very clannish lot. They were also very secretive about their tricks of the trade and the things they did to obtain repairs, and parts. No one outside the engineering circle could pry anything from them but within the circle they were like a gossiping gaggle of grannies.

If anyone could find out what was going on aboard Jentaroo Prime, Taglar would be the one. Shegar checked to see if Taglar was indeed in Engineering but discovered the wolf had already departed for the shipyard offices. Sighing, he went to the launch bay and utilized the special docking tunnel that connected the ship with the ship yard and went on a search for his engineer. It proved a fruitless search as after more than an hour, he still had not located his engineer.

It appeared, after ensuring the Wotan was in good paws, Taglar had gone sniffing around into the reason for the Jentaroo's presence. Shegar had to smile. The two were good friends as well as crew mates and had served together for more than ten years now. It wasn't unusual for the two of them to have the same ideas so he should have realized Taglar would have done what needed doing before Shegar, himself, had thought of it.

Smirking, he returned to the docking tunnel and walked back to the Wotan. All he could do now was wait until his friend returned. Well, he did have some reports to do and with the ship quiet and empty now was a good time to do it and to enjoy a soothing cup of Kava, a favorite caffeine beverage

About two hours later Taglar returned, a very troubled expression on his face when he went to look up the First Officer. He knew Shegar would still be aboard because that was what he'd do with a mystery around to be solved. But this one was something big and it worried him so he was glad Shegar was in the first place he looked.

"That look does not bode well for someone and I fear it's the Jentaroo, yes?" Shegar asked, eyeing his friend in concern.

"You would be right, old friend. My closest engineering buddies were pretty close mouthed even with me, but I finally managed to get old Bostanco to drop a little information on me and, no, it's definitely not good news." Taglar dropped into the chair before Shegar's desk and leaned back.

Shegar grimaced. "I feared so. Did they spot an threat to the Alliance or are they suffering some kind of dire problem of their own?"

"No threats. Unfortunately, it seems the Jentaroo have developed some unknown energy problem with their Transwarp Drive. Nothing they have been able to do has been able to correct the problem."

"And the problem would be?"

"They were able to get their ship to warp once after mucking around with it for a month to fix it and that was, luckily, to get them here. But once here, it cut out completely. Dead as can be and not be alive in the first place. What doesn't make sense is their Trans Warp Drive had just been overhauled when they were here last and no one touched it but themselves. You know how they are."

Shegar nodded. Being such a closed society, they relied only on themselves, seeking help only when everything else failed which was damn rare. "Trans Warp Drives do not just go out, especially ones as well maintained as the Jentaroo's."

"Damn right they don't. I wish I could talk to them, perhaps bat around information like where they have been, if they passed through any unusual anomalies, meteor showers, or radiation belts that we don't know about but they already have all the engineers from the shipyard and that is already making the population upset having all those outsiders inside their precious home but they have no choice. So, everyone that can be spared are crawling all over the drive as we speak. Hopefully they will find some answers. And before you ask, I did volunteer but they said they had enough people for now."

Shegar shook his head in dismay. He had a feeling something big and bad was going to happen shortly before they arrived in the solar system. Just once he wished he had been wrong. He rubbed his face and sighed.

"It's a real puzzle alright. I cannot fathom what could cause their Transwarp Drive to up and quit like that," Taglar frowned and scratched his head.

"I had a premonition when we were coming into dock," he said plainly.

His friend stopped scratching and stared in apprehension at Shegar. "And...?"

Shegar shrugged helplessly. "You know how it is ... I just get a feeling that something is not right but not what. Since we have had no other issues in the last twelve hours I have to assume this is what I sensed. I also have the unpleasant feeling our two newest recruits will be the answer all will seek with a few days."

Taglar blinked in surprise. "Eh? Begging your pardon Shegar, but what two new recruits would you be referring to? We have had about six new crew," he said, reasonably.

"Your pardon. The two I mean are our newest wizards."

The Chief Engineer's eyebrows shot up. "What? You mean Ulysses and Jake?"

Shegar nodded.

"How certain are you about this?" Taglar asked, warily.

"It got stronger the moment I thought of them and the Jentaroo together," his friend said grimly.

"Ah, so this may be a magical ailment for their Transwarp and don't that sound weird when I say it aloud."

"I know," Shegar grimaced. "If it was magic that did this then the question is was it something they passed through or ..."

"Were they attacked. Aye that be a very important question needing answered," Taglar agreed. "You going to contact the Captain?"

Shegar signed. "Yes. Though I really hate interfering with his well deserved break."

"But you will. However, I suggest you do something else first."

"What?"

"Contact Star and have him do a reading. There be a lot of people that will be demanding proof before we allow more people to intrude on the Jentaroo even if it solves their problem quicker. You know how they are about magic."

The First Officer rubbed his face in exasperation. He had forgotten that little bit of information. The Jentaroo, though accepting that magic was used and believed in throughout the Alliance, did not themselves, believe in it, and did not want it around them much less mucking with their Trans Warp Drive. Even with a premonition factor of nearly ninety-nine percent accuracy which he was rated at, would make them any happier about accepting magic aboard their ship. And if they should learn a pair of still in training wizards were the only ones who could fix their problem, they would be up in arms and refusing the help they desperately needed.

"Don't worry, Shegar. If anyone can convince the Jentaroo that Ulysses and Jake have been fated to help them, it will be you." Taglar tried to offer encouragement. He too understood very well how hard it was to get non-believers to trust in something they could neither see nor feel for themselves.

"Thanks for the vote of confidence, but I already know it will be days if not weeks before they will finally give in. We are in for a long wait my friend."

"Then we should let the Captain make the decision of what we should do. I for one opt to go on vacation but will be on call if I'm needed and you should do the same."

"Perhaps I will after I get ahold of Star then the Captain," Shegar said, reaching for the comm unit to sent out a call for the Chief Wizard.

"I'll just wait with you in case the Captain or Star has questions for me." Shegar just nodded at him and smiled a thank you. Taglar got up and went to the replicator on the wall near the door and ordered a cup of Kava. It would be a long wait as he knew Star was on planet right now.

o*O*o

Captain Ing was not happy about being summoned back to the Wotan but then that was par for the course for ship captains. Sighing he stepped out of his shuttle in the launching bay to be met by his First Officer, Chief Wizard, and Chief Engineer. His gut tightened.

Oh this can't be good. "What is the emergency?" He asked of the three, taking a relaxed listening stance.

In quick, clipped words, Shegar told him what was happening aboard the Jentaroo and his premonition that the Wotan was required to play a part in fixing whatever the problem was on the world ship.

Ing opened his mouth then snapped it shut again. Okay, this was definitely an emergency thought perhaps not yet an urgent...need to do this second...kind of one. But then there was no way to tell if that was true until they got aboard and that was where the real difficulty was going to occur. He felt the same concern the crew of the world ship having their Trans Warp engines totally off line and not knowing why. For the Jentaroo, it was not a minor issue but a catastrophic one. But what got him even more concerned was the premonition that more was going on here than engine troubles. Though he was just as used to premonitions as the rest of the crew, that didn't mean he liked them any better because it meant serious trouble for the Wotan or for a member of his crew. In this case, for two new members of his crew.

This was not what he wanted Ulysses and Jake to be involved with so early in their training program. They were simply not ready for something on so large a scale but fate obviously had other plans for the pair. The only saving grace here were Ulysses and Jake werenot green when it came to emergencies only that this emergency dealt with magic something they definitely were not totally ready to handle completely on their own yet. Especially since both still harbored deep seated dislike of it as a weapon. They just were not used to firing something with their minds rather than something in their paws. However, no choice existed here ... they were the only ones that could do this.

Shaking his head, he eyed the three. His three top officers were no happier about this situation than he was.

"Definitely something I would have preferred didn't occur this early in Ulysses and Jake's training," He said, unhappily.

"I totally agree on that point, sir." Star said an edge of real concern in his voice. "However, fate will not be denied so we must take the steps necessary to see this event solved as expeditiously as possible. You know as well as I do that delay only makes the powers that be throw something more dangerous our way until we take care of the original issue."

Ing rolled his eyes. He didn't need the remember of how they had done that just once. It was a lesson none of them needed a repeat of.

"Agreed. Then I'm supposing I have to take this up with the Director of Operations if I want anyone to pay attention to us?"

"I think that would be the proper course, sir." His First Officer nodded. "And I recommend we all go as we'll have to back up everything we say with as much proof as we can. Unfortunately, it also means taking Ulysses and Jake along too."

"If I might add something here ..." Star interjected, eyeing his captain.

"Go ahead."

"I suspect it will be Ulysses and Jake who will win over the Jentaroo. Both are not happy to be magic users so they will be very sympathetic to the Jentaroo's prejudice against it. They may very well succeed in getting them to accept the pair's aid though it will be a stretch to get them to accept me along with them. But I can't stress enough the need that I be there. The two simply aren't trained enough to make them safe on their own."

Ing grimaced. "You are right. Letting them go alone is not an option. Very well, your suggestions and advice are noted. Please recall Ulysses and Jake while I push for an immediate appointment with the Director of Operations."

Shegar saluted and pulled out his comm unit while Ing did the same, walking away for privacy.