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Part of USS Centaur: Episode Two Phase Two: Decay and Bravo Fleet: Phase 2: Horizon

Chapter Seven

Fero Psi Sector
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“So what do you think we are going to find?” Maya asked her lover, as they brought in their duffel bags of extra equipment and standard gear, trying to be as prepared as possible.

Koyda shrugged his shoulders as he was inspecting his rifle before storing it in the locker. “No idea, except whatever an abandoned space station is supposed to look like.”

As the two chatted, Gomo was helping Gomez put a couple portable energy packs into the small storage space. “You think we will need these?”

Gomez looked at him before opening one of the packs up, checking connector ports, making sure they were clean before closing it up and shutting the storage compartment door. “We don’t know if it’s running on its own power. Don didn’t get us much detail on their scans but of course they were in a hurry so, no big deal really. But the point is, best be prepared for any contingency.”

Gomo nodded his head, “Fair enough.”

Vakai, Sivol and Ryker were in the front main compartment, going through systems and flight checks. “Injectors are in the green. Matter and antimatter flow is looking good.” Said Ryker. 

“I am serious, the Captain was curious about us. He cares.” Vakai spoke to Sivol as she was running her own checks on the sensor systems.

“He’s like a father to you, isn’t he? Always concerned about what you’re doing and about our love life.” Sivol said as she ran a quick diagnostic on the Comms. 

“Wait. You two actually have a love life?” Ryker asked. 

Vakai looked at him then back at his controls. “All systems are a go. And we haven’t finished discussing that part yet, Ryker. Sivol knows how much I care about her, but we’re still cautious.”

Sivol sighed, “We are only cautious because we don’t know what our real kids will look like. And the kids we had…I miss them.”

Ryker sighed, “At least you two are talking about having kids. Ashley won’t say a damn word to me unless it’s work related. I miss our kids too, but I just don’t understand what the problem is.”

Sivol turned in her seat and placed her hand on his shoulder. “She will come through eventually, just give her some time.”

Ryker looked at his hands, “I just want to know what I did wrong so that I know how to make it to her.”

Gomez then walked in from the rear compartment. “Are we going or not?”

Vakai turned to look at her then went back to his controls, “Everything checks out.” Vakai entered some commands, forcefield to the outer doors came online and the doors finally began to open up.

“Oh good. I will be in the back checking up on the suits.” Said Gomez before she left. All three of them looked at each other.

“Okay, she is definitely mad about something.” Said Sivol.

“Told you she was. But I just don’t know what!!” Ryker sighed.

“If I have to sit you two down, I swear, so help me.” Vakai stared at Ryker before focusing on his controls.

Sivol shook her head with a smirk before contacting the Bridge. “Bridge, we are now departing for the Oro System.”

“Good luck team. We will try to get over there to assist as soon as possible. Carter out.”

Vakai gave the controls to Ryker, who piloted the runabout out of the shuttlebay and plotted the course to the Oro System before taking them to warp.

Oro System
Third Planet

The runabout warp speed had been reduced once they reached the edge of the system until they were close enough at a safe distance to the third planet to drop out of warp. Upon doing so, they could see a rather large moon orbiting the planet and navigated around it as they looked at it in awe while running scans.

Vakai looked at his displays, “This is as close as you can get?”

“Yup. Sensors were detecting a debris field between this moon and the planet. I don’t know how old the debris field is, or how it’s even still there but sensors couldn’t make heads or tails of it.” Said Ryker.

Vakai frowned, “What do you mean?”

Ryker then pointed at the viewport. “We’re coming up on it now.”

Vakai looked through his side and saw the scattered bits and pieces of what looked like metal, pipes, grates and all sorts of things that would have belonged to a ship. Vakai then looked back down at his display and frowned even more, as his scans were inconclusive. “Odd. What does the sensor say on your end, Sivol?”

Sivol shook her head, “Just the same as yours. Can’t get anything through. Cycled through all the bands, something is definitely odd in there.”

Vakai sighed, “Can we go around it?”

Ryker was about to say something but Sivol spoke first, “I suggest we go through it, carefully. It’s definitely a debris field of a vessel, maybe two, and a lot of the pieces are intact. Sensors may not be able to get through but once we are in there, we may be able to gather some really interesting data for Centaur or even Starfleet Command to analyze.”

Ryker sighed and shrugged his shoulders. “The heck. Least we ain’t violating the Prime Directive, right? And we finally get to do something scientific, rather than escorting freighters or living in some fantasy world for thirty years.”

Vakai smirked, “Give or take.”

Ryker grinned, “Yeah…”

Vakai looked at the debris field before them. “All right. Take us in, but please be careful and don’t get us killed. We still have a station to investigate.”

“Copy that.” Ryker pressed the intercom button. “Hang on everyone.” He then began to navigate the runabout through the field.

USS Centaur

Carter entered Main Engineering to find more than just one shift of engineers running around, trying to get their warp field stabilized. Carter had never really thought that such damage to a warp nacelle would cause this much chaos, but maybe it was also the damage they sustained to the torpedo pod, causing EPS grids to overload and other systems to stop functioning properly. All he did know was that they can’t go to warp, which leaves them stranded in the Ioleuth System.

Carter caught the Chief entering commands on a console, so he approached the man, where he could finally get some answers. “Chief.”

The Chief jumped a little, having been buried into his work. “Captain. What brings you down here?”

Carter shrugged, “Just curious as to what you figured out the problem is.”

The Chief sighed, rubbing his face before he answered. “Both.”

Carter raised a brow. “Both?”

“The plasma injectors are all misaligned, for some damn reason. Assuming the last hit just threw them out, I don’t know. I called in the next shift to get their hands dirty, try and get those injectors realigned.” The Chief explained.

“And the other?”

Chief pressed some commands and brought up the port nacelle. “They did a really decent patch up job on the coil but for some reason, the coil isn’t doing its job. Either some connections got knocked out or something wrong with the plasma conduit, or maybe they’re just misaligned as well. But I figured that the boys from Starfleet Corps of Engineers would have done that before high tailing it out of here.” The Chief shrugged his shoulders.

Carter nodded his head some, “All right. What happens if you get the injectors aligned?”

The Chief thought about it for a moment. “I can get you at best Warp Two. Any starship can operate with one working warp nacelle, but that’s only if they were designed to operate with only one warp nacelle, like the Freedom class for example. If starships were designed with two nacelles, and one is not functioning, you’re looking at severe speed reduction. I might be able to squeeze maybe Warp Three, but that’s it. Back then, before the Federation, when they had those…warp five engines…when they lost one nacelle, the best they could do was warp one point seven. So a ship with two nacelles loses one, which is not always the best thing.”

Carter nodded his head some more, “It never is, Chief. Just let me know when we can go to warp, I’d like to get over there and help the away team.”

The Chief sighed heavily, “The injectors could take a couple hours, they were knocked around pretty good. But we were damn lucky. Normally serious damage to a nacelle can cause a nasty power surge, probably would have blown out every EPS grid on the ship, if not blown us to bits.”

Carter smiled, “It’s because we’ve been taking good care of her, Chief. She wouldn’t give up on us that easily. Over a hundred years old, and she’s still kicking ass.”

The Chief laughed, “I’ll make sure she gets a wax and a shine when we get back to the Devron system. Least we can do for keeping us alive.”

Carter chuckled, “Amen. I’ll leave you be to your work, Chief. Thank you.” And so Carter left Main Engineering, deciding to go take a little lunch break in his quarters.

Oro System

The Runabout was shaking all around them as they flew through the debris field, getting hit with all sorts of distortions and gravity wakes, along with some interesting electrical fields that’ll latch onto the nacelles for only a brief while the runabout flew by them. Suddenly a much larger bolt did more than latching onto them, causing the interior to jolt violently.

“Okay, that was a big one!” Said Ryker, as he had all sorts of alarms going off, even when he tried to acknowledge and mute them, the ones he muted would just return so he tried to ignore them.

Gomez came waltzing in from the rear compartment. “What the hell are you guys doing up here?!”

“Flying through a debris field that apparently is quite active with distortions and all sorts of chaos.” Vakai explained to her as he tried his best to assist Ryker in navigation.

Gomez groaned in frustration before she sat down at an empty station and started checking systems. “We got damage to the starboard hull. Looks like long range communications are offline. Sensors are now operating at only thirty percent efficiency and…. Life support is down to fifty percent?! You got to get us out of here, now!”

Ryker looked to Sivol, “What about your data on the debris?”

Sivol looked at him. “I have everything we need, let’s not waste any more time in here.”

“Copy that!” Ryker looked at his controls and entered some commands before pumping all the power he had into the engines, rushing through the debris field in a matter of seconds until finally, they were in the clear. Quite a few ‘sighing’ of relief was heard, as Ryker eased down on the speed and restored power to normal. He then looked up from his controls and saw something floating in orbit of the planet. “There it is.”

Sivol and Gomez got up to stand behind Ryker and Vakai’s seats to get a closer look, all now staring at the orbital station. Vakai then looked to Ryker, “Bring us in, Lieutenant.”

Ryker smiled and wasted no time to enter the commands that would adjust the runabout onto an intercept course.

Orbital Station

The interior of the station was a unique design, nothing like anyone has seen before. But that wasn’t at all that would peak someone’s interest when stepping aboard this station. Station was only running on minimum power, the main reactor was cold, lights were flickering in the corridor, and a very old looking stain ran along the deck and walls. One in particular led to someone’s quarters, where the door had been forced open, brutally, and the interior lights were completely destroyed.

For a moment, you couldn’t see anything inside the room, none of the corridor lights on the other side of the doorway were on to illuminate, even just a little bit. At first it seemed like there was nothing wrong, it was just a dark room that had no real meaning. But then, a pair of small lights came on, separated not too far apart from each other, and high off the floor, which would make one think…that it is some sort of being. There were noises, somewhat whining noises, as if parts were moving, as if the thing had been asleep for a long…long time.

“Sensor detecting a warp capable vessel approaching.” A robotic, mellow pitch voice illuminated from where the pair of glowing yellow dots came from. But suddenly, those yellow dots narrowed, became much smaller, and began to glow red. “They are coming.” The voice had changed into a deeper, more sinister voice. Something in this very room, knew a ship was approaching and apparently…may not like it at all. Let’s just hope the away team is prepared for whatever it is, and if it will be friendly or not.