Posted by Lieutenant Celina Creed (Chief Tactical Officer) in Changing Times - Bridge Main Sim
Posted by Fleet Captain Alexander Cochrane (Commanding Officer) in Changing Times - Bridge Main Sim
Posted by Commander Shedda Mal’athar (Executive Officer) in Changing Times - Bridge Main Sim
Posted by… suppressed (6) by the Post Ghost! 👻
Something was bothering Shedda. Being a trained archeologist she was used to encountering different cultures ways of marking the calendar, but something that Zerul said bothered her. “He said that this was the 3,603rd year of the Emperor Marakis, and then said ‘Great Emperor Marakis, may he live forever’ destroyed the Yeleth home world a century ago. Are we looking at some really old El-Aurian or Q or something that has extreme longevity? Or…perhaps it is similar to the ancient Egyptians of Earth, that believed their pharaohs were the direct descendent of their gods on Earth.”
“Clones perhaps?” Walker threw out. It could be just as likely of an idea.
A blip came up on sensors. Two large vessels, similar in size to a Mythology class ship had appeared on short range sensors. Tactical might suggest a cloaking device was employed. They were solid looking ships, almost tank like, beetle-like in appearance, the front of the vessels having four mandible like projections jutting out around an insectoid like maw. Their hulls were shaped like overlapping plates, or scales, their rear ‘legs’ were nacelles tucked in against the lower hull.
Zerul noted it too and gasped. =^= Marauders of Marakis. Gods protect us! =^= he said, then closed the channel. His small freighter could be seen turning away and going to warp.
Shedda stood where she had been but her brows raised. That didn’t sound like anything that might herald good luck on their part. “Helm track his course in case we need to follow. Also plot course to Harelem-Jamar, the hub Zerul mentioned. Have both courses on stand by.”
“Yes ma’am.” Aevin replied, and he set the courses indicated, but held off taking a direction just yet.
The course was confusing for Aevin. Unless Zerul adjusted course somewhere he was heading nowhere. There was no destination system that Aevin could see that was within a dozen light years of them – or more. Unless there was a station out in the middle of nowhere or rendezvous, Zerul was heading to empty space.
The Manhattan could be seen to be a) scanned and b) hailed.
“I have a feeling that we are about to find out what exactly we are up against. As they are scanning us…
“And that’s them hailing us Captain.”
Looking up from the console, Walker looked over at Cochrane, waiting to see what he wanted to do.
CWO Darach - COO
While Cochrane decided how he wanted to proceed, Shedda turned to tactical and engineering, “Lt Creed, Cmdr Wynter what can you tell us about those ships? Let’s hear the hail, Mr Darach, without opening frequencies.”
The ships showed to have a hull that had a duranium component but the alloy contained a metallic structure that was non standard for any of the known races in Federation database. Principally they had forward weapons on each ‘mandible’ that sensors suggested a plasma style of weapon. The ‘maw’ may be a shuttle bay or it may be a larger weapon. It was somewhat more difficult to penetrate far into the ship. Propulsion was keyed to being warp-like, possibly trans-warp in nature. Impulse drives suggested with the mass of their ships to not being as quick as the Manhattan on sublight. Crew complements were uncertain but could house upwards to over a thousand.
The hail opened. =^= Unidentified intruding ship. You are within the third buoy line of Hegemony Space and are unregistered and have not responded with a transit pass or patronship. Identify your patronship or present your transit pass or be destroyed. =^=
Aggressive. Zerul had asked if they were there at the behest of the Hegemony and was rather paranoid acting. Oh well, hindsight and all that. Before answering she turned to the rest of the bridge crew. “Suggestions?” They were experts in their respective positions and had been out here in the Delta a lot longer than she had. She valued their experience and know-how.
Shedda stepped toward the helm. “Mr Aevin, keep an eye on them. Let’s avoid getting hit if they get aggressive. Lt Dean let’s give a silent alert status to the ship. We don’t want them to think we’re nervous, but get the crew ready. Argimeau, any where close by we can hide if needs be? Cmdr Wynter what’s the ship’s status? Lt Creed tell me you’ve spotted a weakness” Now normally they would have Calloway hack the ship. Shedda didn’t know Haygen’s particular skill set, time to find out. She turned to one of the extra stations, “Lt Haygen, anything you can do to give us an advantage here?”
Apart from the ship still flagging those thousands of overdue maintenance checks, the Manhattan was sound and all systems were good to fair, though the latter could very well be a sulky computer system feeling ignored.
Locally there was that system that they could maneuver about in. Their vessels tactically had less maneuverability which in close quarters could be an advantage. They had yet not shown shields to discern their strength. Scans suggested their hulls to be resistant to energy weapons inasmuch, perhaps greater than their duranium hull. That, too, would need to be tested.
The Manhattan’s advantage right now was their speed. Everything else was up in the air as their hull, weapons, shields and such were mostly a mystery.
Cochrane was the tactical expert, but Shedda took a breath deciding to give this ship the same response Cochrane had given Zerul, “Mr Darach, open the channel.”
“Channel open Commander,” Walker said keying the command.
=/\=Hegemony ship. I am Cmdr Shedda Mal’athar of the Manhattan. We are explorers, and we have seemed to have lost our way. We were pulled through some kind of anomaly and wound up here. Please, can you tell us where we are… and what the current stardate is?=/\=
The reply came back quickly. =^= Manhattan. What Empire are you of? Surely you must be aware of the Hegemony. Have you brought tribute to the Great Emperor Marakis? Or is ‘explorer’ another name for spy? =^=
Walker suppressed a chuckle. He was going to have to remember that line of ‘explorer another name for spy’.
CWO Darach - COO
Cochrane pulled himself from the ship scan data and damage reports and listened as the XO dealt with the new arrivals. At the mention of ‘spy’, however, Cochrane cleared his throat and said =/\= We do not come from any Empire, but an organization of planets with mutual interests. As my First Officer said, we are explorers in this sector of the galaxy. We encountered a sub-space anomaly that has moved us to this location. We have no intention of trespassing in your territory… we are simply lost. Any help you could give us would be greatly appreciated… even if that is simply a heading out of your space. =/\= He motioned for the comms to be muted and said “Tactical, keep an eye on those weapons. If they start to power-up, raise shields and go to red alert.”
Muting the channel, Walker wondered how they were going to get out of this mess. Because if it wasn’t one thing, they were surely about to jump right into another fire pretty soon.
“System checks are coming back okay Captain. Engineering is going to be up to their necks in these maintenance checks for days, but otherwise the ship seems to be operating normally after the anomaly.”
CWO Darach - COO
“We’re fine, Cap,” Max said turning around. “Their hulls have a portion of an unknown alloy and may be able to take some heat from our energy weapons and, they haven’t shown any sign of shields. But we have torpedo’s that might loosen that plate if needed. We’re faster, especially at sub light speeds and can maneuver better in a tight space,” Max paused meaningfully. “They might have Warp, maybe Trans-Warp, hard to tell. Their weapons are principally pointing forward and look to be Plasma based,” again he paused. “Their nacelles are at the back, close to the hull.”
Looking at Celina, he grinned. “They want Tribute? Lets send em all those Creepy Dolls Celina has stashed in the cargo bay. Their Great Emperor Marakis might appreciate them judging by the design of those ships.” He shuddered.
Lt Cmdr Wynter, CE
“Wynter you just made the table with my crazy uncle Jose. Have fun explaining that to Jasmine,” she tapped her console pretending not to care until she let her gaze drift to the side and saw the lopsided grin. It made Max appear roguish but also signaled to those that knew him, Maxwell Wynter was particularly proud of himself at that moment. It was the latter fact of the smile that made Celina turn from her console and look at the engineering chief.
“Ugh those dolls aren’t creepy and they are not dolls. They are La Muneca.” Her voice suddenly took on the thick, melodic quality usually only used when fighting with Jack or when she became fiesty. “Las muñecas… Es una tradición, así que no te pongas tan caliente conmigo, Maxwell Wynter, o mencionaré tu loca tradición de completar un cuestionario durante seis semanas antes de poder casarte con mi mejor amigo,” she began to rattle off in Spanish at her console.
“It’s like she’s trying to talk to me, I just know it,” Max muttered and glanced sideways and Celina. “Probably about those Creepy La Muneca Dolls.”
Cochrane stopped for a moment and then looked back at the two of them. “Can we focus more on the time travel and less on the dolls and the wedding… a wedding that won’t happen, might I add, unless we get back to our own timeline.” and he shook his head and turned back to the view screen witha small smile tugging at the corner of his mouth.
“He raises a good point,” Max was completely straight faced as he turned to look at Celina the same way she was looking at him. “I mean, if we are in the future, right, and you get married here,” Max waved his hands around him, “does that mean when we go back in time, that you won’t be married? I mean, how would that work? You gonna put Stardate 40K on your cert?”
Max Wynter, CE
“The only way I am not walking down that aisle is if Jack shows up in that coat which I know you have stored in your office,” Celina said eyeing Cochrane. “And you,” she looked at Max, “don’t you take classes to deal with this. Isn’t there a Time Travel 101 class that you engineering people love to take and excel at?”
Celina Creed CTO
“That was the Time Travel for Dummies 101 Class, Celina, and I ain’t a dummy so I didn’t take it.” Max explained slowly. He despised time travel. If he couldn’t hit it with a hyperspanner and listen to it purr, he didn’t trust it. The thought of listening to something purr made him think of Jasmine, though, and he wondered how she was doing in Sickbay as he turned back to his console.
Shedda watched the view screen, waiting. It didn’t bode well to her that the alien ship had suddenly gone quiet. Really she supposed it hadn’t been that long it just seemed like it. “Wynter’s idea isn’t without merit. Offering to pay tribute might go a long way to ease relations. Though that would depend on what their culture deems valuable enough for tribute.”
“Anything that can’t be tracked back to us or be deemed an timeline-altering presence is on the table. Any ideas, Commander?”
At her console, Celina would receive a message from the Engineering station, reading How about that Jacket, or would it start a Temporal Cold War?
Max Wynter, CE
“As much as I would like to get rid of those creepy dolls,” Walker said speaking up, “I doubt that they would be seen as an appropriate tribute. We do have a few things left that go boom from the last CRIT restock. Or we could rig up a protein resequencer that will fuse into a solid block of metal when they try to crack it open.”
CWO Darach - COO
“Are you suggesting you make my wedding dolls into projectile bombs,” she looked at Darach. “That is it you are now sitting with my Aunt Ofelia. She wears a lot of feathers.” Celina’s was not about to tell Darach what that actually meant. He would find out at the wedding. Ofelia Rodrigeuz was known to wear so many outfits with feather accessories she was once mistaken for a huge yellow chicken at easter due to the fringe on her dress, her purse, and her boa that wrapped around her neck. The feathers more often than not caused everyone around her too long to sneeze uncontrollably. It would be payback, Celina thought with a grin.
“Would be an honor ma’am,” Walker said with a grin. “You know that on Venta 4, they have this ritual that involves feathers. I’ll have to look up a simulation to show you sometime.”
“Or they could just be local pirates trying to extort payment for us rather than work for it.” Max shrugged. “We could offer photon torpedoes, delivered direct.”
Max Wynter, CE
“A little direct, but I like the way you are thinking. It would be a demonstration of the gift we are providing.”
The pause seemed interminable and dragged on. Sensors could tell there was some comms going on between the two ships as though their response had been one they had not expected. In the end, there was no response, at least verbal. Communications suddenly ended between the ships.
There was a pause, perhaps upwards to 30 seconds where there was nothing, then there was a distinct powering up of their ship systems. All tactical spider senses, and sensors, showed it was some kind of internal weapons power build up, accompanied by a slightly blue-green glow in the maw of the bug like vessels.
That build up lasted for another ten seconds before it appeared they were going to fire without provocation …
“Sir sensors are picking up a possible power build it. I think they are gonna take a swing at us,” she called out the Cochrane and the XO as the same time.
Celina Creed. CTO
” Red alert! Shields up! Helm, prepare evasive maneuvers!” Cochrane said firmly but calmly
Off the science station, sensors, somewhat more attuned from the recent searches, would bleep on the science station console. Something possibly similar like what had happened before was detected at the edge of sensors and approaching incredibly fast.
Walker grabbed onto his console as the Captain called out. The last thing he needed was to be thrown across the bridge again. There was only so many times a guy could take that.
CWO Darach - COO
The next moments moved both slowly and far too quickly. The power on the ships increased steadily and tactical was able to note that there were force fields activated about the mandibles about the maw that were capturing, reflecting and focusing the energies collecting there. Just at the point that it appeared that it was coming to some kind of crescendo and the ships were preparing to fire or shoot or whatever was going to happen with this tentacular mass of energy plasma that was building and growing …
“Brace for impact!” Cochrane yelled and grabbed the arms of the Command chair.
.. the energy wave overtook them ..
.. In one moment this stormy plasma mass was beginning to be ejected out toward the Manhattan ..
.. The next moment the wave passed. A moment of vertigo and then nothing more for the effect of the wave. The ships were gone. The star that was not far away, blazing in its red giant state was again a red orange star of medium intensity. Several planets orbited, one with an atmosphere that hinted at an ocean and greenish blue foliage. There were no life signs or hints of civilization there.
However, ops noted a confirmation of the source of the wave. Before they had supposition from traces. Now they had the confirmation that it was indeed where they had thought – a system on the far side of the sector.
“Sir there is some sort of force field being created around the mandible section of the ship and concentrating energy there. I think they are targeting us. Prepare for evasive maneuvers,” Celina called out. As fast as her fingers moved it was not fast enough to avoid the mass of plasma energy that suddenly engulfed them.
Celina Rodriguez CTO
Shedda had been headed towards the science station to see what was going on, when everything seemed to be coming to a head everything went off kilter and dizzy a moment and then righted itself. Shedda looked around, “Status?”
“I’m getting really tired of that wave. Thats my status.” Cochrane said with a clenched jaw as he began looking at incoming reports.
“Darach, did we jump time again? When did we land?”
“Working on it,” Walker said as he shook away the vertigo. As his head finally stopped spinning, he could finally look at his console. He started the computer to analyzing the known stars to see where they were in relation to where they had been before the wave hit. As he did so he noticed a blinking light on another screen.
Turning he looked over at the sensor readings of the wave, he hadn’t even realized he had left the analysis running when the wave hit. “Captain, Commander, some good news at least. Sensors were recording everything when the wave hit us this time, and we have confirmation of the source of the wave. But it will be a bit of a hike to get there.”
CWO Darach - COO
“Plot a course and try to see if we can get a spatial fix on our current position. Science, tag that planet for further exploration.
After the wave hit and the realization of what had happened spread around the room, Max lifted his hands and looked at them closely. Weird things happened the last time they met the wave, and now it had happened again.
Looking at his console, he quickly began a report on damage and systems after the last wave. “Running a report on the ship, Captain. I’m still clearing all the old messages about the ships extended warranty though.”
Lt Cmdr Wynter, CE
“Just see where we are at and what we need, Commander. XO, get me an injury report, please.” Cochrane said.
Shedda turned to the console panel of her chair scanning the status reports for each deck and department looking for the injury reports.
Spatially they looked to be in precisely the same place as before in relation to the star they were near, even though the system ‘properties’ appear to have changed again. There was no sign of the cargo vessel whom you were communicating with prior.
The ship status, engineering wise was perhaps surprising, but many of those messages were cleared in the system. Only ones with more recent needs flashed outstanding.
Medically there was no immediate reply. No injuries and no deaths and, if there were any aging elements happening they were subtle and not immediately obvious, and, more importantly, nothing fatal.
“No injuries, fatalities, or signs of strange aging reported, Captain.”
“Alright… enough is enough. Helm, plot a course for the source of the wave and engage, Warp 4. Science, I want full spectrum scans of everything in front of us as we get closer. And everyone keep an eye on the scan readings. If we see that wave coming again, full stop and brace for impact.” Cochrane said.
“Understood,” Celina said setting tactical scanners on long-range just to make sure they had enough time to react.
Celina Creed CTO
Over the next days there were no further anomalies, boogie beings, or anything threatening as they made their way toward the lone system.
Science was able to gather information related to the system as they approached.
The star was an orange red star that by all indications had been unstable for millennia. There were seven planets orbiting. The make up was:
Inner three worlds had been destroyed and were now expanding debris asteroid fields - high probability from the star’s instability of gravity and flares that caused this.
Fourth world was class M with an atmosphere and able to sustain life. Current life scans showed the world mostly barren under an ice age of sorts with sheets covering much of the world from the poles up, a band around the equator being ice free.
The three outer worlds were gas giants, unaffected by the star’s instabilities.
The fourth world had no space stations, satellites or any other technology in orbit. However, there was indications of a single city in the ice free belt. Power readings showed advanced power generation, probably geothermal, and life signs in the city itself. Focusing upon the city it was apparent that this was the source of the energy waves that had affected the ship and region twice now.
© 1991-2022 STF. Terms of Service