Part of USS Ulysses: Wings of Salvation and Bravo Fleet: Sundered Wings

CH9 – In All Her Splendour…

Bridge, Deck 1
May, 2400
2 likes 287 views

Chief Engineer’s log, supplemental.

 

It’s taken a little longer than we anticipated, but with the combined efforts of the Temeraire and Neptune, I am happy to report that the tachyon detection net is on the verge of completion. With just a handful of sensor platforms left to be placed, attention will now turn to the activation phase of our mission. Whilst it will, hopefully, take mere seconds for the vessels of our task group to connect to the defence net, the trickiest part will be to get the system working with the antiquated technology on the surface. Mister Kasik has assured us that we will have any support we need when it comes to this part of the project, and has already linked us into the system on numerous occasions during the early stages of our endeavour.

 

If it works, we will have constructed the most complex cloak detection technology ever recorded.

 

If it works…

A cacophony of noise filled the bridge of the starship Temeraire as her personnel applauded the final fade away of the translucent blue transporter beam, signalling that the deployment of sensor platforms had been completed at last. Two days behind schedule (in part due to technical issues, and in part due to diplomatic issues), the hardware for the initial construction stage of the Kunhri defence net was in place and ready to be connected to the defence grid on the surface.

Lieutenant Prida, the ship’s Bajassian engineer, lowered her head and let out an enormous sigh of relief, before feeling a pat on the back.

“Congratulations Lieutenant, that was no mean feat you have accomplished,” Commander Vasoch Gor nodded approvingly to the younger woman, and offered her his brown, wrinkled hand in celebration of their efforts.

Prida, although slightly taken aback by his public show of appreciation, smiled and shook the Tellarite’s hand. “Thank you sir,” she smiled. Once they had let go of each other’s hands, the Bajassian shared a look of utter shock and confusion with her Andorian captain, before the two let out giant, all knowing grins. As always, the two were on the same wavelength with their thoughts.

For Kasik, the moment was one filled with great excitement, but also tinged with more than a hint of sorrow. To think that the freedom they so craved had come at such a price that they would be frightened for their lives, and have to rely on the Federation to help secure their world, was tough for even the most ardent of his anti-Romulan people. The price of peace had come at a high price yet again. Many felt they had traded the Romulans for the Federation. Whilst Kasik had his own opinions on his planet’s quest for freedom and self-determination, the success they were enjoying today was thanks to that peaceful alliance with the Federation.

He was already stood at the tactical station, alongside the ‘Blonde Bombshell’ he had come to realise was Lieutenant Noli Auru, liaising with the tactician on linking up the network with the planetary grid; not only would the sensor network draw power from the planet’s systems, but it would all link up and ensure the planet would remain secure.

“Establishing link up with the planet’s central computer,” Noli called out over the applause, drawing the attention of those in the room back to the task at hand. Yes, it was a momentous occasion, yes, they had helped the people of Kunhri further along their path to freedom, but there was still much to be done.

Tharia watched closely as the people around her returned to their stations. “Prida,” she addressed the engineer, “if I’m right, should the connection be established successfully, we should physically see these platforms turn on, right?” the Andorian queried as she took her seat at the heart of the bridge again.

“That’s correct ma’am,” the grey, mottle-skinned woman nodded in confirmation, stepping back towards the MSD at the back of the bridge. “Providing all goes well, we should see the actual connection process take place and the platforms become live, so to speak,” she told.

“Lieutenant Mora,” Vasoch called out from his station, anticipating where the captain was going with her line of questioning, “lock on to the nearest platform and put it on the main viewscreen.”

“On it,” the Bolian confirmed, smooth, blue-skinned hands darting across the Operations console until the view screen changed. “Sensor Platform alpha-four-three on main viewer,” he called out.

At present, the platform looked like nothing more than a piece of derelict debris just a few hundred meters from the Temeraire’s hull.  Nothing special, nothing unique about it. In fact, it looked like the kind of technology one of Starfleet’s famed engineers (you know, the ones that can turn rocks into replicators) would show up and work miracles on. Only this one was floating freely in the vacuum of space, with no engineer in sight.

Looking away from her console for the first time, a smiling Noli focused on the screen at the forefront of the bridge. “Link established.”

A buzz of anticipation filled the air as every single officer there present turned their attention towards the viewscreen. Henry Mitchell sat back in his chair at the CONN and folded his arms across his chest. A bead of sweat dripped from the brow of the ever-nervous Linn Mora. Prida stepped forward and placed her hands on the Strategic Operations console, gripping it so tightly her grey-coloured knuckles threatened to turn white. Even the captain, unflappable as she tried to present herself, perched on the edge of her seat, her own hands glued to the armrests of her chair.

Then it happened; the first signs of life. Lights flickered across the sensor platform until they remained steady. Next, four relatively small sensor palettes on arms unfurled from each side of the device, their arms becoming rigid once locked into place. Seconds later, the palettes turned forty-five degrees to give each a slight tilt away from the others. Finally, at the tip of each sensor arm, a steady, emerald light began to pulse. All the way down the network, the same process took place as each satellite powered up and connected with the defence grid on the surface. Kunhri’s tachyon detection grid had been successfully activated.

An emotional looking Kasik, unusual to look at by most people’s standards, wiped a tear from his reptilian-like cheek and wandered over to the Andorian at the heart of the bridge. “Captain,” he spoke quietly among the cheers and congratulations around the room, “I thank you on behalf of my people. You have helped us on our path to freedom that we could have only dreamed of. With this network in place, our planet is safe from Romulan attack and we are free to pursue other avenues of interest in these early stages of development,” he smiled, a heart-warming smile of thanks that left the Captain with no doubt as to his sincerity.

Rising to her feet, anyone looking at the Andorian would have been forgiven to think she may have been blushing for a slight moment, a definite reddening of her blue cheeks quite visible for the briefest of moments. “When we started on this journey together a few days ago, I promised you we would do our utmost to help your people travel this path,” Tharia relaxed her body and opened herself up as a friend to the Reman for the first time, “I follow through with my promises, Kasik. I’m thrilled to have been able to help you this far, and I’m certain there is more we can do moving forward,” and then she offered her hand to him.

Grasping it tight, and enclosing it within another, Kasik could feel the warmth in the woman’s hand and her heart, finally safe in the knowledge that she meant exactly what she said. Further proof, to him at least, that the provisional government on Psi Velorum were right to enlist the help of the Federation. Many would still think not, but that was a ‘them’ problem. His problem had been resolved, for now. “I will admit, Captain, that I thought this task impossible when you first proposed it,” the Reman told his host, “but I am delighted to be proven wrong.”

Smiling, Tharia turned back to the holographic viewscreen and gestured towards their achievement with a nod. As she moved, the collective gaze of those there present seemed to follow, as if they had collectively sensed some great piece of wisdom was to come. They were right, of course. “They call it impossible until it is done, then see it as obvious and simple. You did the impossible, child. That there is no earthly applause is expected. The heavens, however, are in raptures at the strength of your heart,” whilst the others looked at the screen, Tharia’s attention fell upon an ethereal figure stood just in front of the viewer. A ghostly apparition of sorts, but with no malice intended – it’s knowing smile proof of that. “Something my great grandfather used to say,” her smile far less of a grin now, and much more one of love and respect as the figure faded from existence and a wave of satisfaction flooded over her.

As a hushed, but content reverie took hold of the bridge, it was as if everyone had forgotten to go about their duties. A shrill beeping drew all of their attention towards the tactical station, where Noli was the first to respond. “Sensors are detecting a vessel closing in. They’ll be dropping out of warp in a matter of moments,” the Bajoran revealed, “but I’m unable to get any sort of transponder code.”

The look of worry on the woman’s face caused the Captain to slide into her command chair and signal for yellow alert.

Watching the Temeraire crew shift gears at the sounding of yellow alert, Kasik was impressed by their ability to adapt to a new, developing situation, but couldn’t shake a feeling of dread. What was the approaching vessel? Friend, or foe?

”Whatever it is, it’s big…” Lieutenant Mora frowned, his blue face wrinkling as he beavered away.

”Bring us about,“ Vasoch barked, grasping the edge of his console whilst glaring at the screen.

”Aye,” Henry retorted, fingers dancing, sending Temeraire into a near three-sixty spin on its x-axis.

”Easy everyone…“ Tharia urged, “we’re all friends out here.” She was right, of course, but that didn’t mean she had to believe it even if the words had come out of her mouth.

”Here it comes…” Mitchell exclaimed from the CONN.

Out among the stars, mere kilometers from the hull of the mighty Temeraire, a dazzling flash of light preceded the closure of the warp drive vortex and the emergence of a vessel. Large by any normal standards, the ship was a behemoth compared to the ‘pocket battleship’, dwarfing her by some eighteen decks and nearly sixty meters in height, not to mention the near one hundred and fifty extra meters in diameter she had over the Inquiry-class starship. But the most significant difference of all? She was a thing of beauty.

A symbol of elegance from an age of peaceful exploration and scientific endeavour, a presence never to be scoffed at or underestimated, and a vessel of legend. Wherever she went, stories were sure to follow. Her kin had made first contact with hundreds, if not thousands of species. Treaties had been forged between countless implacable enemies on her decks. And in the bloodiest of conflicts for many a century, with the fate of the entire Alpha Quadrant on their shoulders, she had fought without loss. Whilst age now limited her to less than forty of her kind travelling the stars, her space frame no longer under construction and the final of her scheduled major refits having concluded, she remained a posting of prestige, of desire. Captains and crew members alike would plead for a chance to serve in her hallowed halls and to sit at the heart of her bridge.

She would glide through the heavens with the poise of a princess, a symbol of all that was good in the universe, flying the flag of peace, as the former flagship of the fleet. Klingon warriors would sing songs in her honor; Cardassian cruisers would flee at the very mention of her name; Dominion attack ships had to pay the ultimate sacrifice to eliminate one of her brethren; and even the very best ships the Romulans could once call upon were no match for her prowess, even at half the size of their own famed warship.

And here she was, in all her splendour, bearing down on the protectors of Kunhri. A sight these days rarer than a Ferengi donating latinum to the Bajoran war orphans fund. A sight to behold.

A guardian of the galaxy, an angel of mercy.

A Galaxy-class starship in all of her glory.

Comments

  • I really enjoyed reading this story for its celebratory atmosphere, and its prism of differing celebratory tones. Obviously, it’s most satisfying to read about the Temeraire succeeding in its mission to improve the system’s defence systems. Even so, I like how even that was undercut by Kasik’s observation of Reman bitterness over Federation support, because it’s such a natural reaction for a people who just fought for their independence. The appearance of a Force ghost was unexpected, but really sweet! I’m also really appreciating the ongoing touches to recognize the fusion of two crews. I was genuinely excited by Gor warming up to Prida, let alone any of the Santa Fe crew. But of course, the most exciting part was your love letter to the arrival of a Galaxy-class starship. I mean, come on, your description of that starship was practically erotic. Great work!

    June 15, 2022