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Cmdr. Geoffrey Teller - Why did it have to be Klingons?

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The mix of humour, action and guiding the scene towards an open cliffhanger-like closure is spectacular. The mix of the Starfleet officer Teller at the end of the scene with Teller being.... well "Teller" at the beginning and the subtle transition from one to the other is magnificent.

Spectacular work @Geoffrey Teller!


((Volcanic grotto, planet surface))
Brodie: =/\= They’re going to find her... =/\=
Geoff risked a glance and cursed as he ducked back down.  
Teller:  =/\= Dar, draw a bead on the lead rider.  Alex, get the one on the right.  I've got the one on the left.  This goes sideways we lay down fire, get Peri and beam out. Standby. =/\=
While a targ as big as a workbee sniffed at Peri like a potential snack the poor Ensign was knocked to her back in surprise.  Geoff's hand tightened around the grip of his phaser as the lead Klingon shouted out in something which sounded more recognizably Klingon.  
Betlak: There are intruders!
Brodie: ::Quietly:: Oh hell…
Teller:  =/\= Everyone stay calm, no sudden movements.  Peri, you may want to apologize to the giant targ.  It looks grumpy. =/\=
Katsim:  Uh…um...sorry.  
Peri scrabbled away from the dripping jaws and flaring nostrils of the beast.  For the moment, the rider seemed more amused than alarmed.  Geoff wondered if that would be the case if these Klingons discovered they were Starfleet.  Geoff offered silent praise for Alex's choice of non-descript mission clothing, it might give them a chance to talk their way out of this.  More importantly, it might keep them from becoming targ chow.  
Betlak: I can’t help but wonder, little worm, what you are doing here.  Sent to spy on his? 
The language was a brutal collision of Klingon and some [...]ized shorthand.  Geoff managed to catch about every third word with confidence, but it was enough to get an idea.  It seems they'd run across some kind of patrol, or perhaps perimeter guards.  The question of what they might be guarding had rocketed to the top of Teller's mind.  
Teller: =/\= If there's something here worth spying on, we're in the right place. =/\=
Katsim: I’m sorry...I don’t...I don’t understand.  
Betlak: If there is one of so little size, she must not be alone.  Spread out and search.
The lead rider was clearly losing patience and drew a sturdy but roughhewn looking spear, leveling it at Peri's chest.  Geoff nearly gave the order to fire but Peri must've remembered some Academy Klingon.  
Katsim: jup jIH!  jup jIH!  Friend!  I’m a friend!
Everyone present froze as the troop leader evaluated Peri very closely, but he did not move to strike.  His expression became suspicious.  
Betlak: Who are you?
Brodie: ::Quietly:: =/\= So they do understand… =/\=
Teller:  =/\= Keep your head down, remember you're our plan B if this goes badly.  =/\=
Betlak: We will find your companions.  You certainly are not capable of getting here on your own.
Geoff shifted himself out of cover and used the totality of his skill in camouflage and stealth to effectively cover less than a meter before he was spotted.  As it turned out, even ash covered pale white skin tended to contrast against black volcanic stone.  
Betlak: As I thought.  Grenvor! Stoft!
Staring down the suddenly very upset looking Klingon, Geoff decided to shift tactics.  
Teller:  Hi There!  Lovely day for a ride in the lava flats, isn't it?
Geoff closed the distance to the lead rider voluntarily, walking forward slowly but casually.  Behind him he could hear rocks shifting and the bark of other klingon voices.  It seemed at least one of his teammates had been uncovered.  Geoff made a mental note that all of them were due for a refresher course in Starfleet survival and evasion when this mission was over.  
Brodie: ::Nodding to the spear:: DaHjaj jay' 'e' DaHar'a'? ((Do you really think that today is a good day to die?))
Geoff sighed to himself slightly, wondering if perhaps the Counselor could've used another notable Klingon expression that didn't summon to mind the image of glorious death.  Or quoted some Shakespeare, which some Klingons rather inexplicably loved.  Geoff trod as close to the giant targ as he dared and stared up at it's rider and his rather sharp looking spear as if he didn't have a care in the world.  As the expression went, bluff big.  
Teller:  Lovely creature, what this big fellas name?  Is it Fluffy?  Looks like a Fluffy to me. 
Fluffy snapped at Geoff's hand and very nearly took it off.  The Klingon rider roared in laughter.  The UT had finally hashed through enough of the updated Klingon dialect to start providing a serviceable, if not perfect, translation.  Geoff hoped that was true from the Klingon perspective as well.  
Teller:  It seems my companions and I have gotten lost here and we much appreciate your assistance.  Could you point us towards the nearest town or road, we should be on our way?  
The spearpoint waivered slightly, the rider becoming more and more uncertain of their quarry.  Geoff knew Klingon patience would not last and he pressed on with his most sincere expression.  
Teller:  Very fine spear you have there my friend...don't suppose you have any of those for trade?  As you can see, my companions and I do not carry weapons like this.  Peri, why don't you stand yourself up and come over here, check out the craftsmanship of this fine spear!  Fluffy here is very friendly.    
Geoff felt ever so slightly bad for stretching the truth as the weight of his phaser pressed against his hip, concealed under his ash covered poncho. They still had one other ace in the hole in the form of the still concealed Ensign Dar.  Geoff updated his mental note - she could skip the refresher class.  At this rate, she'd be the one teaching it.  
Katsim/Dar: Response
Behind him a few meters Alex stepped out of his ineffective concealment with open arms, slowly approaching him and Peri with the juvenile klingon following close behind.  To Geoff, the warrior looked jumpy and nervous, as if he'd never experienced anything like this before.
Brodie: There…now we can talk. Tell me, who do I have the honour of addressing?
The Klingons eyes narrowed, his suspicions deepening.  
Betlak: Response 
Brodie: 'ej qaStaHvIS ram, joHwI', batlhlIj. ((Honour to you, and to your house))
He switched things back to normal for the benefit of all.
Brodie: I am Alexander…of Clan Brodie.
Geoff smiled appreciatively at Brodie's discretion, which reenforced his bluff wonderfully.  
Teller:  And as long as we're making proper introductions I'm Geoff of the Clan Teller.  And we're...::Geoff very quickly considered his options::...scholars.  
Well, he'd said it.  Scholars.  He could make this work.  Maybe.  
Katsim/Dar: Responses
Betlak: Response
Brodie: We don't want a conflict, Betlak.
Geoff could feel the mood souring.  He only hoped Dar was paying attention.  Behind his back and out of the Klingons line of sight Geoff fanned his fingers out in a message to Dar and hopefully to Alex.  Five.  
Teller:  Indeed, in fact we were just about to head out.  We'll just collect our gear and...
A thrown spear landed at Teller's feet and dug into the ground several centimeters, a clear warning not to move.  Betlak himself dismounted and hit the ground with a pronounced thud.  Between the armor and the simply massive bulk of the klingon himself, Geoff suspected about one hundred and fifty kilos of angry were bearing down on him.  He curled another finger.  Four.
Brodie/Katsim/Dar: Responses
Betlak closed to within spitting distance, towering over Geoff and flexing heavily armored hands in menacing anticipation.  
Betlak: Response
Teller:  Well there's no need for that, I told you - we're simply scholars who got a bit lost!  
An armored fist clamped around Teller's neck and lifted him bodily into the air.  Geoff croaked for breath and curled another finger.  Two. 
The burning eyes and deep growl suggested he would not.  
Geoff curled his last finger and a moment later all hell broke loose.  The sound of a phaser piercing the air.  Guttural shouts in Klingon.  Geoff felt himself tumbling to the ground and rolled to avoid being devoured by a furious but spooked targ.
Brodie/Katsim/Dar: Responses
Geoff managed to wrestle his phaser out of its holster and rolled to his feet, firing repeatedly to discourage the onrushing targs.  The fact that all his shots hit had everything to do with the sheer size of the beasts.  Geoff shouted and hoped to be heard over the din. 
Teller:  Fall back to Dar's position, keep laying down covering fire.
Brodie/Katsim/Dar: Responses
Geoff ducked behind one of the odd hexagonal columns, barely dodging the business end of a whistling blade.  
Teller:  =/\= Teller to Thor, get us out of....
Betlak: Response
Something struck Geoff on the back of his head and he staggered, his vision going red and blurry.  Shapes became indistinct and he fell to the ground, only capable of dragging himself forward with his arms.  He didn't get far before something heavy landed on his back and began pressing down. Geoff could already feel his spine creaking but somehow it seemed far away.  
Brodie/Katsim/Dar: Responses
Under the crushing weight of Betlak's boot Geoff couldn't breath and his already blurry vision darkened to a point of light.  As he struggled vainly and slipped into unconsciousness Geoff's last lucid thought was the desperate hope his team had gotten away.  
Brodie/Katsim/Dar: Responses
Tags/End Act 1 for Teller!
Commander Geoffrey Teller
Executive Officer
USS Thor - NCC 82607
Commodore A. Kells, Commanding
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