Check out our latest Fleet Action!

 

Part of USS Helios: Echoes in the Weeds and Bravo Fleet: Labyrinth

Wet and Whining (pt 6)

The crashed ship, unknown planetoid, AKA Helike
09.2401
0 likes 65 views

“I know you said it was wet.” Ole lifted his foot, revealing a deep footprint in the green sludge. As he watched a sickly coloured liquid raced into the newly formed divot, quickly turning the water-logged ground into a goopy mess that flattened swiftly, leaving no remains of Ole’s presence. “But this is a lot.”

“Is Bolarus not an oceanic planet? I thought you might be at home.” Khal offered a raised eyebrow, the Romulan officer’s face mysterious as ever. 

“Yeah, but crystal blue oceans and brilliant topaz seas.” Ole put his boot down again, a disquieting gurgle and popping of air bubbles slinking from the ground as his boot sank almost to the ankle. “Either way, I had enough of Bolarus and went out working on asteroids, no damp there.”

“Ice miners would beg to differ.” Khal joked cooly, returning his attention to scanning the reed-filled horizon, his eyes narrowing as he attempted to discern any movement in the perpetual twilight. 

Ole eyed the tall bulk of the man, the exchange officer had been aboard a few months and had been slow to integrate himself with the crew. The two giants had found common ground in the practice ring, a lonely Romulan and an abandoned Bolian. Who knew a friendship was in the cards? “Was that your attempt at a joke?”

“Perhaps.”

Ole shook his head, “That was bad and you should feel bad about it.” He placed a large hand on the man’s shoulder, “The ice is frozen.”

“Not if it sticks to your boots.” Khal looked downward at the security officer’s gigantic feet, submerged in the dark mud of the marsh’s river banks. “Chief Ranulka will not be happy if you leave footprints on his transporter pad.”

“Well she’ll be mad at the both of us won’t she?” Ole clapped the man’s back as he waded slowly across the small clearing before the crashed ship’s airlock door. 

“I don’t foresee any situation where Chief Ranulka would be angry at me,” Khal said confidently. “She…” He turned his focus back to the jagged line of reeds several hundred yards away, purposely avoiding Ole’s face, “…likes me.”

A wide smile spread across Ole’s face. “I knew I felt something when we beamed down!” He giggled like a schoolboy. “Did the date go well?”

“Very.”

As Ole began his line of questioning, a puppy smile creeping into the corner of the hulking Romulan’s face, both men missed the slight shudder of the nearby reeds as a figure padded silently through the undergrowth and into a slight crack in the crashed ship’s hull. 


Bahir wiped away the newly fallen dust from the console he worked at as the launch of another torpedo shuddered the rickety frame of the crashed vessel. Moments later a distant explosion in low orbit caused the wreck to shake again, sprinkling another snowfall of grey onto the man’s console. “How many torpedoes does this thing have?”

“1 less.” Anyok joked, her beak clacking happily at her own joke as she rubbed her ears with her long fingers. 

“The noise is problematic?” Bahir asked, his voice tinged with concern.

“The noise is.. frustrating, the mechanism emits a particularly high-pitched tone I am sensitive too.” Anyok motioned to the console, returning the conversation to the mission at hand, she would not let a screeching piece of machinery distract her. “This coding interface is unfamiliar, I’m running it through Helios’ database but things are organised very oddly.”

“It is the same here, I think I’ve found the weapons systems but controls at every stage are heavily restricted by passcodes and ranks.” Bahir jabbed blindly at the screen once more, eliciting a message that he had come to learn meant failure.

“A particularly authoritarian species most likely, rigid and militaristic.” A ping sprung from the tricorder that sat above the console. “A match, we can start translating.” She lifted the small grey computer from the shelf and hovered it over the panel, familiar letters appearing on the holographic overlay as the orbiting ship began translating the geometric columns of the interface. “The Devore Imperium, not a race I am familiar with.”

“Nor I.” Bahir mused, his own tricorder now churning out translations of the weapons console. 

She pressed a few buttons on the tricorder, summoning contextual information from the database. “Voyager encountered them about mid-way through their journey. Totalitarian, Xenophobic, an almost pathological fear of telepaths.” 

Bahir’s scaley eyebrows furrowed as he mentally connected two dots, he quickly submitted an enquiry to the database as the next set of unfamiliar glyphs were being processed. The tricorder answered with a ping. “Vidiian wreckage at the anomaly, Devore wreckage on this planet. These species are not particularly close to each other, nor do we have any information they were ever familiar with the underspace system, yet we have found evidence of both in this system.”

“We have no idea how far the underspace network reaches, they could have stumbled here just like us.” Anyok entered a series of commands into the translated panel, a pulsar map unfurling on the screen. “I believe I have located their navigational logs, I am uploading them to Helios.

Bahir conceded with a sigh. “Hopefully How can follow it back.” Helios’ resident astrometric scientist had been in self imposed lockdown in the stellar cartography lab since their arrival in the unknown system, attempting to piece together the long-range sensor data collated from shuttles and runabouts. 

“They will have a better chance if Nikashri and Mitchell can get the sensor arrays back online.” Anyok felt for her colleagues high in orbit, last reports before they departed for the planet’s surface suggested the work was slow going, the damage being more significant than expected. A low whine from the nearby torpedo systems flooded the darkly lit compartment. “Another torpedo is being primed,” Anyok announced.

“I believe I have…” Bahir entered a final set of commands “…solved it.” the whining ceased abruptly, the corridors turning dark and lifeless save for the two security officers and their small worklights. “I have disconnected the loading system. The launch bays continue to try and fire but the armoury believes it has expended its ammunition.”

“Well done Commander, my ears are grateful.” Anyok’s beak clattered happily again as the two officers enjoyed a refreshing moment of silence. 

Then the gangly figure of Najaal fell through the ceiling with a crash. 

Comments

  • You have a great skill to describe the surrounding area of where they are. Additionally the lovely character interaction between Ole and Khal was a great read as you can see their developing friendship grow even more. The Helios is at a complex crossroad of questions and answers, great read! Keep up the work

    July 7, 2024
  • The mental image of a Romulan with a boyish smile was not one I was really prepared for but dangit, now I'm smiling too. Just such a fun little mental image. Your character descriptions are just fantastic as always. Ole and Khal give the good old buddy feeling easily. Viidian and Devore wrecks around a Kazon colony - this place is a Delta Quadrant Best Hits album! Anyok's '1 less' joke was so deadpan perfect by the way. Tell us the truth - did you have the joke first, or the story and found a place for it?

    July 14, 2024
  • Your wonderful description of the planets surface reminds me of a camping trip I had in Wales! The field was just as wet and made squelchy sort of noises when you walked, so I very much sympathise with Ole and Khal. It's an odd place the Helios has found itself in Viidian and Devore wreckage and a Kazon colony. Who else could possible turn up! A lot of questions still to be answered, but this is a very good story.

    July 15, 2024
  • Bahir

    Tactical Officer / Chief of Security

  • Anyok

    Theta Squad Commanding Officer

  • Ole

    Theta Squad - Engineer

  • Tulil Khal

    Theta Squad - Intelligence Officer