Part of SS Vondem Rose: Tequila Mockingchair

I’m not that crazy

SS Martian Thorn
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“Providence Fleet Yards.”

Sidda stood at the front of the Martian Thorn’s bridge, a near duplicate of her old bridge aboard the now-gone Vondem Thorn. Nostalgia pulled at her only faintly as the luxurious space, increased functionality and much better lighting of the Rose’s bridge triumphed over such feelings for the past. Behind her on the viewscreen, inferior to what she had grown used to in just mere months, was an image of an old Federation K-class starbase.

“Resting place for ships old and new,” she announced and clicked the device in her hand, bringing up the last decent visual that the Rose’s computers had of the USS Endeavour. “A veritable smorgasbord of spare parts and salvage as far as the eye can see and we’re going to help ourselves to just a handful of bits and pieces from the Endeavour here.”

“Starfleet will have already stripped her of the sensitive equipment before putting her in a scrapyard,” T’Ael spoke up from the back.

“No doubt, but even the less critical components, at least in their eyes, will be a league above anything we have on the Thorn or Rose. After all, the Manticore-class was Starfleet’s fastest class at one point, so even the basics would have to have been of a higher quality than most.” She clicked once more, progressing the image on.

“Providence Decommissioning Fleet Yards and Surplus Depot is no longer the mothball yard it used to be, but it’s still a decommissioning yard, slowly filling up with relics like Miranda-class ships, but also houses ships bound for the scrappers, which is how our dear friend arrived there.” She pointed to the system schematic that had taken over the system, focused on the K-class station and surrounds.

“Ships are clustered into one of three scrap fleets, for logistical reasons likely. All of this is watched over by the station itself and from last records an ageing ship bound for the yard itself eventually, the USS Sumner Bay. This is again wrapped by a series of sensor platforms designed to stop people from doing just what we’re planning on doing.”

Gaeda chuckled from the captain’s chair. “Alright Boss, if it’s meant to stop us, what’s the clever plan for slipping in? The cloak isn’t going to cut it by itself. That intel is also a decade old and Starfleet has ways of seeing through cloaking devices, so they’ve likely got one of those tachyon detection grids lined up as well.”

“Now this,” Lewis spoke from the helm, directed to the rest of the Thorn’s motley bridge crew and those selected for the salvage operation itself, “is where the fun begins.”

“Meet the merchant vessel Denali, a bulk carrier out of Beta Antares and the largest ship in the Merrick Shipping Consortium’s fleet.” An absolutely staggering vessel appeared on screen and its design immediately screamed utilitarian civilian design. This wasn’t a vessel for speed or agility, but a ponderous, consistent and reliable pace. “She’s currently bound for Providence to collect materials to return to foundries and shipyards ravenous for them and we’re going to ride along as she gets waved through the security perimeter.”

“Okay, now it’s my turn,” Lewis said as he turned to face her with an incredulous look. “Tell me you’re joking. Ride along? Sensors will make us out as some anomaly hovering off their hull and we’ll have that ship you mentioned on us in a hot minute.”

She simply smiled and perhaps the single worst computer animation ever rendered for a serious briefing sprung to life on the viewscreen. The artistic skill was on par with a child or a drunk person, or persons, doing work late at night. It showed a crudely drawn Denali and Thorn with the Thorn becoming somewhat transparent before landing on top of the Denali, the scales way off in the animation and not helped by a very bad cowboy hat descending from the top of the screen to rest on the front of the Thorn. The animation continued with the Denali approaching a line across the screen that the larger ship simply crossed, with its parasitic passenger crossing on its back, before both ships went their separate ways.

“Oh god, we did actually draw that,” Gaeda said before cracking into a light laugh, which spread to the bridge crew, including T’Ael and Lewis, the two who so far had expressed reservations with the grand plan. “Fuck that’s funny.”

“Okay, the hat sold me. We’re going to latch onto the hull directly then?” Lewis asked, though his tone hinted he hadn’t quite bought into the idea. “Where are we catching this whale then? Because I’m not trying some crazy-ass shenanigans to land this bird on a ship at warp speed.”

“I’m not that crazy Lewis. Yet,” she followed up with a wink to the helmsman. “We’ll catch them in the outer system when they drop to impulse. A big ship like this drops out of warp way earlier than others might so as not to risk their drives with system gravitational anomalies. They’ll take a day at impulse to close so plenty of time for us to sneak up on them and hitch a ride.”

“Okay, that gets us past the sensor net. Then we just have to find the Endeavour, beam aboard, steal what we want, beam out and get away without getting caught.” T’Ael stepped forward, uncrossing her arms. “But let me guess, complications?”

“Last people to manage to slip inside a decom yard like this that got caught was because they used transporters. So, they’re off the list,” Gaeda said as he indicated to Sidda to move to the next animation. Against crude in style. It showed the Endeavour, then the Thorn arriving and setting down on the hull before figures in EV suits appeared and started to scuttle around the hull, one of them triumphantly dancing around the top of the Endeavour after having produced a throne. “Find the Endeavour, land on her, take what we want, then we bug out. Keep comms to a minimum, no transporters unless we’re bugging out in the hurry.”

“And the security grid?” Lewish chimed in.

“Fuck it, we’re leaving at warp under cloak. They’ll know they had visitors, but not be able to determine who. We pick a direction, run for a bit, then reduce speed to mask our new warp trail and choose a new direction.” Sidda spoke up, a confident smile on her face. “Nice and easy.”

Faces turned to face others, heads nodded, the general tone in the air told her the plan was being accepted.

“I for one am proud to be part of this plan,” Gaeda said, tapping a button on his chair to bring the lights back up a touch and return the viewscreen to its forward-facing view. “Any objections?”

“Just one,” T’Ael said as she took another step forward to be easily seen by Gaeda and Sidda herself. “Never, ever, ever subject anyone ever again to your horrible drunk drawings. You both suck at it.”

“Never!” both captains announced in unison.

Not five minutes later, however, she found herself cornered in a corridor by Revin, her arms crossed and looking more concerned than anything, which naturally made herself concerned. “What’s up love?”

“EV?” the romulan woman asked.

“Well yes, we’ll need to in order to get what we want. The ship’s a hulk.”

Revin stepped forward, hands coming to rest on Sidda’s own upper arms. “You know you talk in your sleep.” It was said as a statement that brooked no rebuttal. “You’re terrified of spacewalks.”

She leaned forward to rest her forehead against her better-half’s own. “I’m afraid of floating in space. I’ll be walking on the hull of a ship the whole time. It’ll be fine.”

“Love,” Revin pleaded, trying to drag more out of her, she could tell.

“I’ll be fine sweetie. And besides, I’ll have you with me. I can face anything with you.”

They stood there for a moment, silent, before Revin collected her hands, then started walking backwards with a grin on her face. “In that case, you can come and face the galley with me.”

“Well, maybe not that…”