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Part of USS Galahad: Mission 1 – Voyage to the Living Ship

Act One: Mysterious Distress Call

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Commander Orila Karai stood at the center of the bridge, her gaze fixed on the main viewscreen. The planet below was a tapestry of blues and greens. “Status report,” she ordered, her voice steady yet imbued with concern.

Lieutenant Commander T’Ren looked up from her console. “The distress signal originates from the only settlement on the planet. Preliminary scans suggest it’s a rehabilitation colony. There are no immediate threats detected from orbit, but the signal is fragmented, indicative of significant infrastructure damage.”

Orila nodded, “Prepare an away team. I want medical and engineering on standby. We’re going down there.”

T’Ren raised an eyebrow, a silent question about the captain’s decision to join the away team. Yet, she knew better than to question Orila’s command. “Understood, Captain.”

As she made her way to the shuttle bay, the Galahad shuddered slightly and the lights around her flickered “Report,” she called out, tapping her badge once more as she continued her stride.

The response from T’Ren was almost immediate “We’re experiencing minor power fluctuations throughout the ship. Engineering is investigating, but it doesn’t appear to pose any immediate risk to our operations.”

In Orila’s experience, such anomalies were rarely benign. “Keep me updated, Commander. I’ll proceed with the away mission but alert me at the first sign of trouble.”

T’Ren acknowledged the order as Orila stepped into the shuttle bay. The vast room buzzed with activity, a mixture of routine work and prepping for the mission ahead.

Gathering her away team, a mix of security, medical, and engineering personnel, Orila briefed them on the situation. “We’re heading into an unknown situation. Our priority is to assist the colony with whatever they need but stay alert. We don’t know what caused the distress signal, nor the state of the colony.”

Orila led the way into the shuttle and once everyone was onboard the shuttle doors closed behind them, sealing the team within. The power fluctuations, though a concern, were pushed to the back of her mind as the shuttle shuddered, launching from the Galahad and beginning its descent toward the planet below.

Orila peered through the viewport, her eyes tracing the scars of destruction that marred the colony. The shuttle’s engines whined softly as they adjusted for landing, the pilot navigating the damaged landscape with precision.

With a gentle thud, the shuttle made contact with the planet’s surface. Orila was the first to rise, “Let’s move out”.

With a gentle hiss, the shuttle doors opened, revealing the battered colony in full view. The air was thick with the scent of charred metal and natural decay. Orila led her team out, their boots crunching on the debris-strewn ground as they made their way towards the heart of the colony.

The settlement was eerily silent, save for the distant cries of unseen wildlife. The team moved cautiously, their tricorders sweeping the area for signs of life or any indication of what had transpired. The once-bustling colony now lay in desolation, its buildings gutted by fire and its streets littered with the detritus of everyday life.

As they approached what appeared to be the central square, the tricorders began to beep and Orila spotted movement. A group of figures emerged from the shadows, their weary faces etched with relief and despair. The colonists looked upon the Starfleet officers with a glimmer of hope in their eyes.

“We’re here to help,” Orila announced, stepping forward to address the survivors. Her team fanned out, ready to provide medical assistance and begin repairs on the critical infrastructure.

Among the weary survivors, a figure stepped forward, her demeanor commanding yet marked by the same weariness that afflicted her people. She introduced herself as Dr. Elara Varen, a leader among the colonists.

Dr. Varen, her face marked by the recent strife, shared a more detailed account of the harrowing attack. “They came without warning,” she began, her voice steady despite the evident strain. “One moment, the colony was as it always was—busy, alive—and the next, we were under siege. The attackers, they… they just appeared inside the colony. It was as if they had materialised out of thin air.”

Orila listened intently, her mind analysing every word. “Did you recognise them? Could they be from the living ship?” she inquired, trying to piece together the attackers’ origins and motives.

Dr. Varen shook her head, the confusion apparent. “No, they were unlike any species we’ve encountered. And their technology, it’s beyond anything we’ve seen. They were methodical, moving through the colony as if searching for something specific. But what it was, we don’t know.”

“Just as quickly as they came, they left, continuing their search elsewhere on the planet,” Varen added, her gaze distant. “We’ve been left to pick up the pieces, unsure if or when they might return.”

Orila processed the information, a plan formulating in her mind. “Thank you, Dr. Varen. Your insight is invaluable. We’ll do everything we can to assist you and ensure your safety,” she assured her.

Turning to her team, Orila began issuing her orders. “Let’s get to work. Medical, continue treating the injured. Engineering, prioritise repairs on the colony’s power grid. Security, I want a perimeter set up around the settlement. Use tricorders to scan for any anomalies or signs of the attackers’ technology. We need to be prepared for anything.”

As the Starfleet officers sprang into action, Orila pondered the mystery at hand. The attackers’ ability to appear within the colony suggested a form of technology that could have dire implications. The mention of them searching for something piqued her curiosity further. What were they looking for on this planet? And how did it relate to their original mission to make contact with the living ship?