Part of Starbase Bravo: Q2 2400

Engaging the Unknown (Late 2399)

The Triangle - aboard the USS Dawnbringer
Late 2399
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This is the second story which flushed out Cynndle’s backstory up to his current posting on Starbase Bravo as an Operations Officer.

Engaging the Unknown (Late 2399)

As the USS Dawnbringer, a sabre class escort, coasted through the emptiness of interstellar space Ensign Cynndle Oin’sun leaned back on the chair in his room drinking a cup of tea watching the starscape side by outside his window lost in thought.

After almost two years on the USS Dawnbringer, he had to admit he was pretty happy and hoped that with the new century on the horizon he could bring it in as a Lieutenant. After multiple successful away missions, combat and research and rescue operations he was pretty sure it had it in the bag – at least that is what she had hinted at when he approached Captain Nimitz about his career aspirations. ‘Two years isn’t that long to be fair; I have gotten great experience here, better than most officers get’ he thought to himself…

His train of thought was interrupted when his alarm chirped reminding him that he had only 10 minutes until the start of his shift. He took one final sip of the tea and stood up placing it back in the replicator before rolling his shoulders and stretching. Walking to his closet he opened it and quickly dressed into his uniform. With a quick glance in the mirror, he ran a hand through his hair and walked into the corridor towards the lift.

“Aren’t you cutting it a bit close today Ensign?” a voice said from behind Cynndle causing him to roll his eyes before he turned around and shrugged. “Well LT, close but on time is still on time last time I checked.” Lieutenant Rebecca Thompson, the ship’s main pilot, stared up at him from her height of 154cm; well below his towering 201cm. “Such energy you bring to the roll Cyn,” she said before laughing “Though I guess you could have said the exact same thing to me.”

“Bridge,” said Cynndle as the turbo lift doors closed. Looking over at Rebecca “You hear anything from the night shift to add some spice to today or is it another day another patrol eh?” 

“You know you love this old bird Cyn. I have seen the way you smile whenever you she her in spacedock – pretty sure you would love whatever assignment you had if you were on her; she has a history to her.” Without pause, Cynndle smiled “You got me there LT; she is a great ship.” 

The lift came to a stop and opened onto the bridge and they both entered. Captain Nimitz and Commander Flagstaff, the XO, turned to look at them.

“Right on time as usual I see” Nimits commented. 

“Ma’am, here when I am needed,” Cynndle comments as he took the sensors station at the side of the bridge. The next few hours passed without notice as the Dawnbringer jumped to warp heading towards its next patrol point within the Triangle. Cynndle got up and went to the replication and grabbed a coffee before turning to his station and taking a sip while recalibrating the long-range sensors adjusting for the higher levels of radiation within the system. As he was doing that Crewman Trioni spoke up.

“Ma’am, we have an incoming message – appears to be a distress call from the SS Silverdart, out of Archanis. They are under attack by an unknown vessel and requesting immediate assistance. They are reporting engine failure and something about their shields but that last bit is garbled. I will try to get it back.”

The captain looked at her and nodded, turning to Cynndle she ask “Do you have them on sensors Ensign Oin’sun?”

“Yes Ma’am, they are 10 minutes 23 seconds out at maximum warp”

“Get us there Lieutenant Thompson on the double. Red Alert”

As the klaxons started the USS Dawnbringer jumped to warp to face the unknown.

—-

The USS Dawnbringer dropped out of warp with a flash 40Km from the SS Silverdart. The long cylindrical vessel was adrift with clear carbon scoring and breaches along its hull.

“What is their status Ensign?” the Captain asked. Cynndle had the answer already on hand. “They have multiple breaches but do not appear to be leaking O2, their engines are down. I don’t have the other…no wait…coming out of the asteroid field is the unknown vessel, bearing 329-mark-10 distance 30Km to the Silverdart and closing.”

The dark silver vessel was shaped like two delta wings stacked on top of each other

Get us between us and the Silverdart Lieutenant the captain ordered and the Dawnbringer jumped forward at full impulse.

“Open hailing frequencies crewman Trioni – get me that Ship. This is Captain Nimits of the Federation starship USS Dawnbringer. Cease your attacks on the SS Silverdart and withdraw, or you will be fired one”

“No Response Ca..” Crewman Trioni called. Her voice trails off as the vessel opened fire on the Silverdart – a purple bean lancing forth from the tip of the delta wing piercing the shields of the freighter and cutting through one of its large storage containers.

“Send a warning shot across their bow Commander” the Captain ordered as 2 quantum torpedoes streaked forward passing within meters of the attacking craft causing it to veer off and rapidly disappear into the asteroid field.

“Captain, we have lost contact with the attacking vessel. They may be hiding just inside the asteroid belt” Cynndle remarked. “The Silverdart though is in rough shape. That last hit didn’t seem to hit anything critical but they are now leaking the atmosphere.”

Nodding Captain Nimitz looked to comms and Ensign Trioni. “Any word from them Ensign?” “Yes, Ma’am, they have just sent a hailed us asking for support and repair teams”.

Over the next two hours, the USS Dawnbringer coasted alongside the SS Silverdart as the Chief Engineer and his team worked to repair their engines and seal the ship.

“Chief, how much longer do you need?” Nimitz asked over the comms. “At least another hour or two; whatever hit these engines really messed them up Ma’am.”

As the Captain paced the bridge Cynndle stayed glued to the sensors trying to pierce through the radiation within the field which was limiting their effectiveness. “Ma’am, I think I may have something – there seems to be an energy ready just inside the field at bea..”

Before Cynndle could finish the sentence the vessel emerged from behind a large asteroid flying towards the Dawnbringer.

“RED ALERT, SHEILDS UP!” Nimitz shouted as the vessel fired the odd purple beam hitting the shields causing them to flare before it cut through them impacting just starboard of the bridge causing the ship to shudder and power conduits to blow throughout the ship. Before anyone could react, consoles shorted out across the bridge for a few sounds and the tactical console exploded sending Commander Flagstaff flying backwards into the bulkhead.

“Rerouting Tactical to my console” Cynndle called out as crewman Hall ran to the XO with a medkit. “Shall we return fire Captain?” Nimitz looked around as she regained her feet. “What the hell was that? Yes, Fire at will Ensign.” Turning to Crewman Hall “How is he?”. Crewman Hall looked up and shook his head, “Dead Ma’am, the blast…” he trailed off.

“Damn. Clear my sky, Ensign. Take the ship OUT!” Nimitz shouted. Before Cynndle could respond the vessel vanished back into the field.

“We make the mistake of waiting for it last time. Let’s go get them, Lieutenant Thompson, take us in after them” Nimitz ordered.

The Dawnbringer gained speed and entered the asteroid field seconds after the vessel. Over the next hour, the two vessels dodged asteroids trying to get the upper hand over the other. 

“Ma’am, we are getting sensor echoes from their asteroids. I cannot confirm the exact location for a targeting lock. Thankfully they seem to have the same issue; hopefully, the demodulated shields will be more effective after that first hit.” Cynndle reported as the vessel fired at them missing wildly before dodging behind another rock.

“A hail from the Silverdart Ma’am, their engines are repaired and ready to should be ready to jump to warp in a couple of minutes” Trioni reported. Almost on queue the unknown vessel flipped direction and shot towards the edge of the field and the Silverdart.

“Don’t let them get away, put us between us and the Freighter Thompson!” Nimitz ordered.

The Dawnbringer closed on the unknown vessel as they emerged from the asteroid field and cut it off from the freighter. Doing so the Dawnbringer was racked by fire causing the ship to shake and screech as the energy weapons hit it. 

Cynndle manning the new tactical station returned fire, phasers and torpedoes shot fourth smashing into the vessel causing its shields to flare with the hits opening a gap as the torpedo passed through detonating against the hull causing it to spin erratically for a moment as their shields flickered.

“The remodulations to the shield have helped; their weapons are not passing through to the same degree” Hall reported manning damage control. “Incoming fire, swarm torpedoes on an intercept course, they are getting through. BRACE!” Cynndle yelled just as they were hit again with fire from the vessel making the Dawnbrigner screech and shake as power dimmed, support beams and conduits to explodes and Cynndle’s world went dark.

Cynndle regained consciousness seconds later as smoke filled the bridge, he looked around seeing Hall on one knee calling out damage reports.  “Hull breaches on decks 3, 5 and 6. Casualty reports coming in Ma’am. The shield are down to 20%, they are helping but not much – we can’t take another hit like that!” Hall yelled.

Thompson had the foresight and had strapped in and shook her head to refocus. Nimitz though was pinned under a fallen support beam trapping her legs as she blinked slowly clearly in a daze.

Cynndle pulled himself back to his console after being thrown sever meters away. “We have to close with them, there is an erratic power build-up. Get us behind them Thompson and I think I can finish this.” 

Thompson nodded and the Dawnbringer gained speed dodging enemy fire and rolled up and over the enemy vessel. “Closer….Closer….NOW!” Cynndle muttered before hitting the trigger and the dual dorsal phaser arrays fired in unison hitting just between the two delta wingers just beside their engines causing them to flash before cutting out sending the vessel into a rapid flat spin.

“That’s them dead in the water” Cynndle sighed as he looked at the view screen seeing the ship spin slowly under them. “Wait…SHIT. Thompson get us out of here, their CORE IS GOING CRITICAL!” No sooner had Cynndle said this than the Dawnbringer began to accelerate away… too late.

The vessel detonated 20km off their port side the explosion hit the ship and sent the Dawnbringer spinning wildly as it lost power. Its port nacelle was sheared off by the force as alarms blared and the warp core shut down to prevent a breach.

The Silverdart and the Chief Engineer having watched the final engagement were able to move into position and stabilize the Dawnbringer bringing her to a stop. With their assistance, emergency treatment and repairs were provided. By the end of it a total of 8 crew were lost during the battle and a further 20 were injured but recovering.

A not so short 12 hours following the battle a repair tug from Starbase Bravo arrived to render aid as the Dawnbringer was no longer able to achieve warp and was in need of a tow.

On route, Cynndle was called by Captain Nimitz to her ready room. She sat in her chair with a bandage around her head. “Well, Ensign. Thank you for coming.” She said while gesturing to a seat. “You did well, you really stepped up when needed. The loss of the XO and others is a blow to everyone as you no doubt feel yourself. But your quick thinking saved the ship. Even if it did catch us in a core breach.”

“Thank you, Ma’am. May I ask what it is you wanted to speak about?”

“To the point, ok. The Dawnbringer will be in drydock for a while following this. As such I think it is time for you to receive these” she said and pushed a small box across the table.

Cynndle took it and opened it revealing a single black pip.

“Congratulations Lieutenant, you earned this.”