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Part of USS Edison: Voyage Through the Aperture and Bravo Fleet: Labyrinth

Rescue in the Void

Runabout Tyson
Mission Day 3: 2100
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Krev and Thalen sat cross-legged on the cockpit floor, the emergency lights casting shadows across their faces. The container on the opposite side of the room was half-filled with broken pieces of metal, pieces of their failed repair attempts.

Krev picked up a small piece of metal and tossed it, hitting the container with a dull thud. “That’s another point for me,” he said, allowing a smile to form.

Thalen rolled his eyes and tossed his own piece, missing the container by mere inches. “You’re cheating,” he said, pouting. “I swear you’ve magnetized your side or something. Must you win at everything?”

“Just skill,” Krev replied. His usual bravado lacked punch. “You lost, so what are you going to mesmerize me with next?”

Thalen leaned back, staring at the ceiling for a moment. “Alright, how about this,” he began to chuckle. As a hint of a grin appeared, he spoke, “Remember that time we were on Drava Prime?”

Krev started to laugh, and the memory formed; he leaned on Thalen’s shoulder.

“And Jal accidentally walked into the Ambassador’s quarters wearing nothing but a towel,” Thalen wrapped an arm around Krev. “Poor Jal,” he chuckled, shaking his head. “Our poor sh’za didn’t live that down for weeks.”

Thalen laughed; however brief, the small bit of humor seemed to lift the tension. “She turned a shade of red. I didn’t think it was possible. I had to pull some serious strings to smooth that one over.”

Krev laughed harder, a genuine sound of amusement. “You were so smooth, real smooth.”

As their laughter faded, the silence returned, more apparent than before. The small moment of humor did little to hide the underlying despair. The runabout was still in shambles, and the chances of rescue seemed slim. Krev’s voice broke the silence. “We can’t keep doing this, th’se.” He rested his head on his bondmate’s shoulder. “We need a miracle.”

Thalen’s expression darkened; his earlier humor had faded. “We’ll get through this. We have to. For Jal.” He ran his free hand through Krev’s hair.

Krev nodded, though he didn’t seem convinced. “Yeah, for Jal.” But the words lacked the confidence they previously had.

The two fell silent again, their eyes drifting to the empty space outside the cockpit window. Time seemed to stretch on forever, each second a reminder of their uncertain future. From the rear of the room, Tal walked in, wedging herself between the two. Her presence, usually so commanding, was subdued in the dim light. She sighed and glanced at the container filled with the reminders of their failed repairs. “You two still at it?”

Krev shrugged. “Keeps our minds busy.”

Tal nodded, appreciating their effort to maintain some form of normalcy. “Anything new on the scans?”

Thalen shook his head. “All we’ve managed to pick up is debris and more debris. Nothing. It’s like we’re the only ones out here.”

Silence settled over the group; it was heavy and almost suffocating. The hum of the runabout’s failing systems was the only sound. Tal leaned back, closing her eyes for a moment. She needed to think of a plan, something to fix this mess. But every plan she came up with seemed to lead to the same terrible conclusion.

Minutes passed. Krev and Thalen resumed their game of tossing metal pieces, the clanging sounds echoing through the cockpit. Tal watched them, the reality of their situation gnawing at her. She felt responsible for their predicament, for Jal’s fate. She had to find a way to make things right.

“Tal,” Thalen said suddenly, breaking the silence. “Got any stories to share?”

Tal opened her eyes, “Alright, how about this one? Remember our first mission together on New Corvax? The one where Krev tried to impress that local trader by juggling thermal detonators?”

Krev groaned, burying his face in his hands. “Don’t remind me.”

Thalen laughed, the sound a welcome change from the depressing atmosphere. “Oh, I remember. You nearly blew us all to pieces.”

Krev lifted his head, a sheepish grin spreading across his face. “In my defense, I had it under control.”

“Sure you did,” Tal replied, her smile widening. “Right up until the detonators started beeping.”

They all laughed. For a few moments, they were taken back to a time when their biggest worry was an awkward juggling act, not survival in the cold void of space. It was a needed break from the increasing tension, but it wouldn’t last.

However, reality quickly asserted itself again. The laughter faded, leaving behind the same gnawing fear. Tal stood up, pacing the small space. “It’s getting cold,” she said, more to herself than anyone else. “There’s got to be something we can do, right?” As if in response to her request, Krev’s console beeped. 

Krev found himself holding his breath as he scrambled to check the readout. “Thalen,” he said, his voice tight with barely contained hope. “I’m picking up a signal. It’s weak, but it’s there.”

Thalen was at his side instantly, his eyes scanning the console. “Is it a ship?” A surge of adrenaline shot through Thalen, “Open a channel. Now.”

Krev looked at Thalen, “Are you kidding? We have no communications.  We hardly have sensors.”

There was a crackle of static; the group had hoped for a signal, for something.  But, their hopes were dashed as the only thing that came through was silence. Tal ran to the viewport, waving her arms frantically, hoping somehow that someone could see her.

Relief washed over Thalen as the ship seemed to be heading directly towards them.  “We’re saved,” he whispered, the words almost too good to be true.

Krev slumped back against the wall, his eyes closing in sheer relief. “About time,” he muttered.

Tal sat down, the weight of their ordeal finally lifting. She had hope for the first time in what felt like a long time. Jal was going to be fine, and more importantly, their family would be fine. The ship was their lifeline, and they were not about to let go.

Minutes stretched into what seemed like hours as they waited, the anticipation almost unbearable. They watched the console, eyes glued to the blinking signal representing their salvation. Finally, the sleek form of the civilian freighter, the Aventuras, appeared in the viewport, its lights cutting through the void like a beacon. Thalen let out a long breath; he hadn’t realized he was holding. “There they are,” he said.

The Aventuras docked with the runabout; the sound of the airlock hissing was music to their ears. Krev smiled. “We made it,” he said, a tear running down his cheek. “We actually made it.” He embraced Thalen.

As the crew of the Aventuras stepped into the runabout, gratitude overflowed. Captain Santiago, a stoic figure, looked over the weary Andorians. “Glad to see you all in one piece,” he said. He motioned for his crew to check the rest of the runabout. “Let’s get you out of here.”

Comments

  • I love the fact that the Andorians banded together believing they would be rescued and you did not disappoint, which I really liked. Now that the crew has been saved I am interested to see what you are going to do next. Great post I just enjoyed the fact that the crew was rescued and none of them were lost! Great job!

    June 21, 2024
  • The final moments that the blue team stick together uncertain of what was awaiting them, what was their future going to be. Yet stories, the lovely old stories that kept their spirits up and running to give a shimmer of distraction until that bleep came through of their salvation. This has been a teeth biting story that I have been loving to follow since the first moment. Great work!

    June 21, 2024