Part of USS Sovereign: The Alternative

Why did I start there?

Qeo Six - Ice World
September 2412
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The Alternative - Why did I start there?

July 2412 - 2 months ago…

Multiple large fleets have collided into an intense battle in the Qeo Star System.

The sector in which the Qeo system is in, is located within the Independent Romulan Factions, right next to the Federation border. Now one would think that the powers that were in conflict with each other would be the Romulan Free State and the Romulan Republic. That is fortunately not the case. What else is fortunate is that these powers have banded together against one common enemy, an enemy that does not originate from this universe. The enemy in which these two powers are fighting, are called the Confederation. But the two Romulan Empires were not alone, as several Starfleet vessels were also involved in the battle.

The battle took place in orbit of Qeo Six, where the allied fleets were able to halt the Confederation fleets advancement towards the Qeo Colony on Qeo Three. Only several Starfleet vessels were in this fight, as they were the closest ones to assist in the defense of the colony, while the rest, led by the USS Verity, are building up to launch a full strike on the anomaly in which the Confederation armada is coming through. There were a couple Excelsior II-class ships, a couple Raven-class, a Saber-class, a California-class and a Sovereign-class; the USS Sovereign. As for the two Romulan factions, there were roughly eight to twelve of their vessels from each side, ranging from cruisers to warbirds. As for the Confederation, their class ships were nearly identical except for the CSS Sovereign that was finally identified from an intercepted data stream to be a ‘Intimidator-class’. It was much like the Sovereign-class but similar style to the Galaxy-class Dreadnought refit. A third nacelle and a phaser cannon but not spinal mounted, more imbedded into the front of the saucer.

Being that the Confederation fleet is larger; that was designated to destroy the colony, something that the Captain of the Sovereign believed to be a distraction to a real threat; it was planned to use every arsenal that the allied fleet had to throw at them, which consisted of fighters, runabouts and other small craft. When the Confederation began to invade their galaxy from whatever universe or reality that they came from, many of senior staff throughout Starfleet were briefed on what was known about the Confederation. Starfleet Intelligence then worked diligently to gather as much information as they could on them and what they found was disturbing. This Confederation was indeed from a reality in which the Europa Mission failed, the alien microorganism that was crucial for Earth and humanity was never found and Dr. Adam Soong was able to shape humanity to what it is now for the Confederation. But more so has happened. This Confederation was far more successful than the one that they were briefed on, that has expanded or conquered far much more in their galaxy and they were far more aggressive.

To prove such aggression, the CSS Sovereign had just launched a devastating strike on one of the Excelsior II-class ships that essentially took over half the saucer out, bridge included, destroyed the primary navigational deflector dish, ruptured a nacelle and essentially a cascade of internal explosions led to a full warp core overload that took over half the engineering section with it. Any pieces that remained fell victim to the planet's gravity and went crashing into the thick ice covered in several layers of snow. All that in one single salvo of its forward cannon and a large volley of torpedoes. Fortunately for the allied fleet, it takes roughly five minutes or more to recharge, depending on just how much power was pushed to fire that cannon, and considering the intensity and devastation that cannon had done, the fleet believed that it was time to lay everything they got on an attempt to destroy the CSS Sovereign.

Serenity, you're closer to the target. What readings are you getting?” The voice came from the intercom system of the Arrow-class runabout in a Interceptor configuration. The voice was the Captain of the USS Sovereign, Captain James Ryker.

Provisional Lieutenant Commander Ruben Ortiz looked over his shoulder just for a brief moment to look at the crewmember before he returned his gaze back to his flying. “We're just completing the sensor scans now, Captain.” Ruby covered for the crewmember, knowing that they were struggling with all that was going on. This was their first space battle and they were doing their best concentrate on their work rather than lose their shit. Ruby the looked over his other shoulder at the one at the tactical station for yet another brief moment before he returned his gaze back to his flying. “Full power to the forward phaser banks!” He ordered as they approached a Reliant-class vessel of the Confederation.

Ruby then accessed the primary link he had with his ‘wingmen’ of two other Arrow-class runabouts, one to his starboard and other to his port in a small V-formation. “Target that Reliant in front of us, maximum power!” Ruby ordered the group and in that split second, they unleashed a barrage of phaser fire on the enemy vessel before them. The concentration of their firepower, followed by the salvo that the vessel received, had drained their shields and scorched the hull in several places. With the enemy vessel damaged and no shields to protect it, a Romulan Republic Dhelan Warbird fired a volley of torpedoes that made contact with the hull and destroyed the ship completely.

“Sir!” The crewmember at the science station spoke up. “Transferring the data to your console now!”

Ruby took a look at it and cursed under his breath. He switched the primary link back to the Sovereign. “Captain. The enemy flagship has diverted a lot of power to their shields.”

“So they're protected from our attacks, but they won't be protected for long. What does that mean for their weapon though?” Ryker's voice came through the intercom again.

“It means it will take more than five minutes for them to charge their weapon but the sensor readings are also incomplete. Their strengthened shields prevented us from getting a full sweep of the ship.” Ruby explained.

“Captain. Starfleet Intelligence warned that the enemy Sovereign may have secondary reactors to help power that weapon of theirs. With primary and secondary shielding, it could take too long to get through to stop them from firing again.” Commander Ward's voice was next to come through.

“We don't have a choice. We need to destroy that ship, we have no idea how many of these vessels that this Confederation has. One less ship of that class that Starfleet has to deal with, the better. I want all forces to concentrate fire!" Ryker ordered.

“Oh hell! There's a Defiant coming up the rear!” Said the tactical officer.

Ruby checked his sensor readout and they were right. Ruby switched the primary link again. “Group, evasive maneuvers!” With that, all three runabouts began to swerve around in formation to avoid weapons fire from the enemy vessel. But it only worked for so long until the enemy Defiant got a solid hit on one of Ruby's wingmen, destroying the runabout.

“Damnit! Break formation!” Ruby ordered, so he directed his runabout one direction, and the remaining wingman went the other direction. When Ruby saw on his sensor readout that the Defiant was going after his wingman, he pulled a full one-eighty and chased after the enemy vessel. “I need full concentrated power on the phaser banks!”

“What?” The tactical officer was unsure what he was being told to do.

Ruby cursed under his breath. “Max out the phaser banks, crank them into overload, and fire a concentrated…sustained beam into the rear of the enemy. Focus on those nacelles!”

“We do that and we burn out the banks!”

“I don't care, just do it!” Ruby ordered.

“Provisional Commander or not, I'm not doing it! I am not going to burn out our only weapons!”

Ruby cursed under his breath again as he watched the Defiant destroy his wingman's runabout. “Fine, then I'll do it!” He used his codes to overwrite control over the tactical station and cranked the power readout past safeties, targeted the nacelles, pressed and held the fire button. The long, sustained assault from their phaser banks bled the aft shields dry and cut right through the enemy Defiant's nacelles. Ruby then veered the runabout away as the enemy vessel was covered by internal explosions before one final large explosion sent chunks of it down towards the planet's surface.

“Great! The phaser banks are completely fried now!” Said the tactical officer. His station may have been overwritten by Ruby, but the displays were all still there and the condition of the forward banks were true. They were toast.

“They're not our only ones by the way.” Ruby told them. But before he could point it out any further, everything started to violently shake around them. He checked his sensor readouts and saw that a Galaxy-class took interest in them and was smacking their shields hard with their phasers. Ruby tried to evade as best as he could but with the ventral array of phasers that the Galaxy had locked onto them, it was very difficult.

“Dorsal shields are failing!” Said the tactical officer.

“Divert po-” Ruby was interrupted by an explosion. He turned his head to see that the science console had exploded and was showering the dead crewmember in sparks. Ruby then quickly shut down power to that station, only to take a look at the damage display, indicating that they completely lost their port engine and were losing altitude. “Damnit!” Ruby's fingers went all over his board to try and find some way to keep power flowing to the remaining engine but the damage they sustained was severe and the runabout was bleeding out.

“We need to contact the Sove-" The tactical officer was interrupted when the runabout took another hit from the enemy and his station exploded as well. The man now on the floor, dead, with shards of the console in his face.

Ruby didn't even have to shut down power to that station as the computer's safeties kicked in, the computer desperately trying to keep main power online. Ruby brought the Sovereign back onto the primary link. "Sovereign! We've been disabled, losing main power and altitude. She's bleeding out, Captain! Need an emergency transport!" But Ruby didn't get a response. “Sovereign!!”

Ruby looked out the forward viewport as the runabout had begun to spin out of control and the moment that the Sovereign came into view, he saw the enemy Sovereign launched one more devastating assault, the beam from its cannon or massive array now that Ruby thought about it…just slice through the engineering section of the Sovereign. Fortunately for him, the view of his ship disappeared due to the runabout's spin. Unfortunately, the moment it came back to where his ship was, he couldn't see it anymore except for a saucer, or what's left of it, floated away. Then the warning alarms started blaring at him, which told him one thing. The runabout had hit atmosphere and was losing altitude fast. As he tried to work the thrusters, he watched as the surface of the planet was coming quick.

September 9th, 2412 - Present…

Based after USS Sovereign: Hollowed Planet - Chapter Two…

Ruby tossed the padd onto the bunk across from him and started to scratch the top of his head with both hands, resting his cheeks into the palms as he growled in frustration. “Why the hell am I starting my log back when the Sovereign left space dock?” He said out loud. Something he had started doing a couple weeks after he had crashed landed onto the surface of this planet. It had breathable atmosphere, lucky for him, but it was freezing cold. Also lucky for him, he had what he needed to stay warm and to stay alive. Rations for a crew of twelve, to which he had extend to the point that he had lost a bit of muscle mass.

Ruby grabbed the padd and went right back to recording. “Who is going to care about that? About the Sovereign receiving its crew…leaving space dock…I should just start right where it really…really all began. The hollowed planet.” He sighed. “First off, I have been stuck on this miserable planet for two months, since the Battle of Qeo. Suppose that is what history would call it. No rescue ship has come, which leaves me to believe that the Confederation won the battle and are likely winning other battles and what I thought I saw…is exactly what I saw…but." He paused for a moment, then sighed heavily as he got up and left his bedroom. “I still cannot accept that she is lost. I refuse to. She had a great crew, even when I left that crew after…after what happened to Mizu…” He sighed once again. “I'm getting ahead of myself but I suppose that happens when you're trying to think on an empty stomach. I am running out of food rations, I have maybe a couple weeks left. I had tried to extend them for as long as I could but it was difficult. I still have my water ration, which I can maybe survive a few more days on after the food runs out. But I need to get food and soon.”

Ruby went to the Conn station and turned it on to read the sensor display. “I have managed to repair as much of the runabout as I could. Auxiliary power is questionable. As for the food replicator. I'm not an engineer and it's completely garbage. There had been a couple overloads that ended up killing my only two crew members, and so one of those overloads must of took out the food replicator system. You would think the redundancies that Starfleet has put into these things would prevent something like that but I had spent over seven weeks trying to get them working.” Ruby plopped down into the Conn chair and set the padd down on top of the console before he turned it off. “Like I said, I am no engineer.”

Ruby rubbed his face with his gloved hands with yet another heavy sigh. “I have been dreading this day for a long time but I knew I would have to do it eventually. I should have done it sooner…when I had a little more muscle…but I just.” He looked up at the ceiling and then licked his dry lips. “Sensors indicated that there are large masses about twenty…maybe thirty kilometers from here, to the north west. If they are what I think they are, then I have a chance of survival and perhaps a chance of getting off this rock and prevent all of this from happening. But I have no way of determining anything on those masses, as the electromagnetic storm that plagues this planet daily has rendered sensors almost completely useless.” Ruby then chuckled. “Maybe I should count myself lucky. If I can't use the sensors to check anything in orbit of this planet then, if there is a ship in orbit, they wouldn't be able to detect me either. Though I am not sure if that is good luck or bad luck. If the ship in orbit is friendly, what are the odds that they'll send a rescue party? If the ship is non-friendly, then I'm better off down here, undetected.”

Ruby then got up from the chair, grabbed the padd and headed towards the back where he began suit up for the trek. He then put on an arm band that was essentially a tricorder and a padd in one and powered it up. Here, he transferred his log recording over and then headed for the starboard hatch. “I suppose I should explain what my plan is and explain why I think this all began at the hollowed planet. Well, from what Captain Ryker told me, that is where it began anyway…when Captain Vakai was still alive.” He pressed the button and the hatch opened. He stood there for a moment before he pressed the button again and the hatch closed. He then removed the gear he had put on and plopped back down in the Conn seat with the padd in hand. He was afraid, afraid to admit that he is afraid of going out there. Afraid that he will get lost and never find his way back to the only shelter he has come to call home.

“I have life support on minimum, enough to keep me a little warm but not too warm. I just afraid that if I heat up the runabout too much, it'll melt the snow around me and the ice beneath me. I just can't risk it.” He said, which was more of a general term at this point. He had lost all confidence in himself. He didn't want to risk being comfortable for the fear of melting through the ice, even if that was unlikely with this planet. He didn't want to risk eating too much of his rations. He didn't want to risk sending out a general distress call, especially when the storms clear up at some point that sensors and communications are able to break through the interference. And he didn't want to risk going out there to save his own skin, and potentially prevent this disaster from ever happening.

Ruby licked his lips. “So it started at the hollowed planet that we found…”

To Be Continued at

USS Sovereign: Hollowed Planet - Chapter 3