Part of USS Atlantis: Mission 1 : Let’s go be explorers…

Warning! Situation is outside of programmed responses.

USS Atlantis, Delta Quadrant
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Mission Day 93
1637 HRS
Main Bridge

“System outer orbit in fifteen seconds,” T’Val announced from the helm with her normal stoicism, especially in light of entering a star system from which someone had just recently lobbed an antimatter missile at the Atlantis at warp speeds. “Disengaging warp drives,” she further announced as the streaking stars gave way to pinpricks of light on the main viewscreen, one dot in the middle slightly brighter than the others at this distance.

“Carmargo, get me a spread of probes out there, will you? I want eyes on those distant gas giants and their moons just in case,” Tikva said as she turned her chair to look towards the tactical station. “Maintain yellow alert, but standby phasers. If someone or something fires on us and you can shoot down whatever they launch, you have permission to fire straight away.”

“Aye ma’am,” Adelinde said as she turned her attention from her fellows on the bridge to her instruments, teasing the tactical sensors to tell her everything they could possible about what surrounded the Atlantis.

“Right T’Val, take us in half impulse. Let’s be nice and slow about this.”

Korvan System Defence Station Zeta-3
Timestamp 5214.25.07 11:69

Anomalous superluminal signature #14214 has ceased superluminal travel and violated Korvan Outer Perimeter…

Communications attempt #52145135 with Command…Failed…

Communications attempt #52145135 with Zeta-1…Failed…

Communications attempt #52145135 with Logistics…Failed…

CIWS platforms fully charged and operational in zones 1, 3 & 4. Zone 2 at 60% due to platform damage.

Warning! Unknown energy field detected around target #14214. Purpose unknown.

Target currently outside optimal firing range. Awaiting optimal targeting solution.

“Well, it does look like planet number three was once habitable,” Carmargo offered from her station, speaking loudly enough for all to hear. “I’m seeing signs of civilization on the surface, but the atmosphere is rather badly irradiated and the planet has snowballed. Geez…it’s a nuclear winter.”

Tikva shook her head at that assessment. Disappointment and sorrow drove that physical display as she considered the ramifications. Earth, in fact a good number of Federation members had barely survived their own nuclear adolescence, with Vulcan and Earth both having toyed with nuclear obliteration in their own pasts. But here before them was a monument to some race that had failed to survive that particular Great Filter.

“Okay, so if that’s a nuclear graveyard down there, then who’s shooting at us?” Mac asked as he looked to Tikva, puzzlement on his face. “Ah dammit, we’re looking at runaway computers again, aren’t we?”

“Bingo,” said Rrr’mmm’bal’rrr with a chuckle.

Tikva narrowed her eyes as she glared at the back of her Ops Chief’s head, trying intently to burn a hole through their head with sheer will power at their ‘Bingo’ statement before turning to Mac. “No evidence one way or another, but we’ll…”

Her sentence was interrupted by a rocking of the Atlantis and the blare of klaxons as yellow gave way to red on all the alert panels. The rocking wasn’t severe, no one was thrown to their feet but Tikva could hear one of Adelinde’s feet moving on the carpet in order to remain standing.

“We’re under fire from an asteroid bearign 285 mark 036, distance eight hundred fifty thousand kilometers. Shields…stable. No damage,” came the report directly from Adelinde. “I have targeting solutions on the emitters.”

“Fire to disable only please Guns,” Tikva dictated.

As the faint blue curve of the Atlantis’ shields faded, orange beams burst forth across the void, sent forth from one tiny speck in the infinite vastness to another spec. Precision instruments and impeccable skill combined as four beams found their marks, burning out ancient and worn emitter heads before they could be retracted into their housings.

Circuits overloaded, sympathetic detonations followed and the entirety of the asteroid mounted weapon platform’s power system exploded, gouts of plasma bursting out through the weapon mounts, through structural weak points and in some cases through the rock where pressure finally overwhelmed the iron-nickel crust.

Just as this was happening blue-white beams lashed out from another asteroid, covering the same incredibly vast distances and impacting across the shields of the Atlantis, the particle beam energy washing harmlessly over the advanced shields of the Argonaut class starship. And again, a targeted and restrained response followed suit, gutting the second weapons platform of its teeth and soon enough its entire armament.

A third platform would have fired, but instead of doing so something critical failed at just the wrong moment. As emitters drew power from their capacitors to lash out a coupling failed. Power was dumped back into the main power systems, not designed for such a situation. Fail safes thousands of years past their last maintenance inspection failed. The overload quickly overwhelmed the degraded platform’s power grid and the entire asteroid went up in a fusion flare as the containment grid of ancient fusion reactors failed and the artificial star at the heart of the weapon’s platform unleashed its short-lived fury.

“Carmargo, eyes on that last platform,” Mac said, standing from his seat to go over to the science station, hovering over the young woman’s shoulder.

Tikva took note of that, filing it away as something to speak to her XO about.

Give the order, then let them do their job.

Yah, but you know you want to just throw T’Val out of her chair and fly the ship yourself.

But I don’t, I trust her to do her job.

Fine, fine!

“No more active weapons signatures ma’am,” Adelinde said. “However, I am detecting five active sensor platforms in the system, all watching us intently. I’d say whatever is here is no longer trying to be subtle but is either toothless or realised their weapons can’t do us much harm.”

“Unless one of those warp missiles jumps on us at short range,” Tikva commented back as she thought for a moment more, trying to come up with a plan.

“We’d be less worried about the antimatter charge and more the warp kinetic impact math,” Rrr’mmm’bal’rrr said. “That first missile was more deadly as a kinetic strike weapon. Antimatter is just an icing if it had hit us head on at warp.”

Raising a hand to quieten everyone, Tikva thought for a moment more then slowly stood. “Launch a probe towards the nearest sensor platform Rrr. Full decoy emitters and everything. Let’s see if we can’t parse out what type of automated systems we’re looking at. Adelinde, prepare two shuttles with security personnel and talk with Ra about engineers looking for a puzzle. And yes, he can go if he wants. Transporters are our first bet, but let’s get some shuttles standing by. Carmargo, anything?”

“Looks like from the sensors that were watching at the time that their fusion bottle failed. Let go and must have detonated weapons reserves onboard. Then it went up from there.”

“Okay. More detailed scans of the other platforms as well. Let’s see what we’re looking at. T’Val, maintain position but keep the engines hot. Staff meeting in thirty minutes and we’ll go from there.”

Korvan System Defence Station Zeta-3
Timestamp 5214.25.07 11:83

Target #14214 appears undamaged from particle beam attacks.

CIWS platforms in Zone 1 completely destroyed. Platform #3 suffered unspecified power failure.

Zone 3 & 4 platforms are still outside optimal firing solutions. Zone 2 platform #2 has suffered unspecified power failure and shut down. Repair drones dispatched.

Communications attempt #52145136 with Command…Failed…

Communications attempt #52145136 with Zeta-1…Failed…

Communications attempt #52145136 with Logistics…Failed…

Warning! Anomalous superluminal signature detected. Signature #14215. Matches previously known signatures matching #14213, #14212, #14211.

Halting firing sequence of interceptor SL-53. Likelihood of mission success is 0% while target #14214 is in sensor range.

Warning! Situation is outside of programmed responses.

Communications attempt #52145137 with Command…Failed…

Communications attempt #52145137 with Zeta-1…Failed…

Communications attempt #52145137 with Logistics…Failed…

Warning! Situation is outside of programmed responses.