Part of USS Altai: Spectres in the Dust

Scattered to the Wind

USS Altai, Bridge
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Streth’s unblinking eyes were laser focused on the away team’s status readings. Jones and Vogler stood by, a feeling of helplessness draining the colour from their skin. All three life signs on the screen displayed elevated heart rates. Adrenaline and cortisol blood concentrations spiked high, too. A red blinking flash. The name in the top corner of the LCARS lit up as if to shine a spotlight on Streth’s worst fears. 


“Too many damn spiders,” Streth muttered, “Ensign Jackson, standby for beam out. Have we got a clear transporter lock?”

Jackson checked the transporter lock. “Lock is fading in and out sir. Trying to stabilize it.” Alton continued to work on the transporter lock.

Ambient particle energy sensors recorded more surges as the Valkyrie’s Type-IX phasers cut another swathe through the growing swarm of seething metal. On the bridge’s main viewer, the phased energy pulses spat from the dreadnought’s ripped-open cargo bay as it fired from the hulking Breen warship itself. 

Streth’s jaw clenched, “Vogler, what’s the tactical-”

“Does ‘rode the 600’ mean anything?” Astrid said ghost white.  Determination crossing her face, “Captain, send us in.  We’re expendable, not half your senior staff.”

“No. They’ll get it done,” Streth said.

“Joran to Altai, get them out of here NOW! CORE IS PRIMED, I cannot risk them disarming it,” Tel’s distorted voice rang out.

Astrid slammed a fist onto the console trying to widen the confinement beam to destroy as many bugs as possible.  It wasn’t enough. “The away team is being overwhelmed!  We have to get them out of there!”

“Now, Jackson! Get Maec and Oka back,” Streth gave the word.

Maec listened to the comms and shook his head. Oka getting back was important, but he could not let one of the crew die. He opened comms directly to the Captain “Sir, do not beam me out I am going to go and cover Joran while he preps the core for detonation.” Maec watched as Oka’s pained face disappeared before him before he made sure his gun was set before starting to furiously fire at the huge number of enemies coming towards him.

Hearing what Maec said to the captain, Jackson turned to the captain to get orders. His hand hovered over the transporter button. “Captain?”

Streth’s mind raced. He feared for Maec. As more and more signals populated the display, thoughts of Cratek Pass flashed by. Their tactical training had been limited at best, but they’d got the job done. They’d done it because it was their duty, because there was no one else, and above all they’d done it for their friends. 

“Beam back Oka only,” Streth said, “come on Maec, take care of Tel,” he added quietly.

“Aye sir.” Jackson activated the transporter and brought Oka back to the Altari. 

==Hangar Bay, Breen Dreadnought== 

With Oka beamed away, the spiders scurried and darted erratically, refocusing themselves. It was as if the hangar bay deck was alive with the heaving, sprawling mass of artificial insectoids. They moved in a swarm now. From behind, out of the shadows came lumbering six Breen corpses, a spider clamped to each of their heads. Reanimated neurons firing erratically, they lurched forward towards the Valkyrie .

Joran looked around at the spiders and reanimated zombies as the spiders dropped down and threw themselves at the Valkyrie and caused the shield to flare. A warming flashed before him.

– Shield Strength at 56% – 

“Damit,” he said through gritted teeth as he pulled the trigger a couple more times and sent blasts of energy forth killing scores of the robotic creepy crawlers. “Tel to Atlai, did you get them out?! Shields are failing…”

– Shield Strength at 32% – 

“…I need to detonate! Are they clear?!” he said alarms began to sound in the cockpit notifying him of low shields and multiple impacts. He looked around and smiled sadly, ‘Always figured I would eventually die in one of these…’ he thought before a small panel off to his right caught his eye.

Maec climbed the shuttle and opened the door “Activate the detonation sequence and get the hell out of there.” He said as he lended the man a hand to get out of the shuttle. As they got out of the shuttle they were absolutely surrounded and Maec began firing on the enemies just to make a path to the hanger bay entrance. He knew time was of the essence and pulled out his pistol shooting it and the rifle with precision as he cleared the path to the hanger bay entrance the darkness of space looming. He looked at Joran “If this is goodbye it was nice meeting you.” He said as he jumped from the dreadnought.

As he jumped he saw Joran follow and just in the nick of time as the dreadnought exploded through the cascade of the shuttle core. The shockwave knocked him unconscious his last thought was wondering if he was to die in the darkness of space. 

Joran launched himself through the gaping hole in the shuttle bay and turned just in time to see his Valkyrie one final time before his vision went white and then black.

A tongue of flame leapt from the dreadnought’s hangar bay doors. Eruptions rippled out, as if the green-plated Breen hull were a still pond into which had been thrown a pebble. Fire shot across the ship’s spine, and the ripples intensified into giant waves. Giant structural pinions tore from their roots, colliding with each other as more explosions disfigured the mighty vessel beyond recognition. Deftly piloted, the Altai swooped by in a low arc, sensors frantically searching for the tiny fighter containing Tel and Maec. The Steamrunner-class cruiser’s dull grey refracted orange as the huge ship above sank further into the all consuming pit of combustion. A final crippling shower of molten metal, and the beast was no more. Scattered to the wind like a million brightly glowing celestial spores.


Jackson kept watching the sensors, watching for Maec and Joran to leave the Dreadnought via the shuttle. When the Dreadnought exploded, he detected two humanoid lifesigns, adrift in space. Jackson locked the transporters on them, and beamed them back to the ship, depositing them in sickbay.

“Sickbay to bridge,”  Randall’s voice announced over the intercom, “We have them and they are alive.  They appear to be in stable condition,  but I’ll keep you posted.”

Jackson turned to the captain. “Captain……the away team….their in sickbay. Sickbay reports that they are in stable condition, sir.”

“Helm,” Streth called, “get us clear of the shockwave and back to 1-SZ. Full impulse.”

“Aye captain.” He pressed a couple of buttons. “Course and speed laid in. Engaging impulse engines.”

Astrid let out a sigh of relief.  She shook her head, “That was more stressful than being in the middle of it all. Let’s not do it again.”

Streth exhaled too, “I couldn’t agree more, Ensign.”