“Chief Science Officer’s log, stardate seven-seven-eight-three-five point seven. Telemachus has successfully sent a hyper-subspace message to Starfleet, informing them of the Odyssey’s current whereabouts and our mapping exercise of the Gaharey Sanctum. In exchange, they are sending us back with a briefing package for the captain’s eyes only.”
Sipping on a mug of raktajino while sitting at the science station, Commander Corella Banfield was enjoying reviewing the current sensor readings. “There’s a lot of interesting graviton fluctuations coming not so far from here, bearing two-one-three mark four-seven.”
“Can you be more specific, ma’am?” T’Rani asked from the helm.
Spinning around in her chair, Banfield then stood up as she answered. “Not at this distance, prepare to alter course-” She was interrupted by the ship starting to shake. Banfield quickly returned to the captain’s chair in the centre of the room and stuck her mug into the cupholder. “Report?”
“Those graviton fluctuations have increased exponentially, commander,” T’Rani answered. The ship started to shudder a lot more. “Sensors are detecting a massive energy wave heading in our direction!”
“Shields up, red alert, onscreen!” Banfield commanded in a calm but crisp manner.
Everything she ordered happened one after the after. The Aquarius-class ship shields were raised, and the red alert klaxon was sounded, followed by the dimming of its main lights. The main screen changed to show the energy wave that T’Rani reported. It was a shockwave pushing through space and subspace; straight away, Banfield recognised what it was. There was no way they would outrun it.
“T’Rani, cut our engines, and all hands brace for impact!” She gripped her chair’s arm after activating the bridge seatbelts for everyone. The shockwave hit the ship, throwing the small vessel over on its axis and starting to spin out of control.
“Lieutenant Commander T’Rani,” Banfield shouted over the commotion as panels exploded from the outside pressure. “Fire full starboard thrusters and turn us into the wave!”
“Aye, commander,” T’Rani replied as she attempted to regain control of the ship. Her actions were slowly making a difference for the small vessel.
“Go to one-quarter impulse; push us through the wave nice and easily,” Banfield instructed, once things seemed
The Telemachus turned around, faced the shockwaves, and rode over the ripples before hitting the tail end. A powerful crimson flash hit the ship, knocking it back on itself. Spinning out of control, the Telemachus drifted out of control. More explosions erupted on the bridge, and bulkheads fell around the crew.
Finding herself forced against the left arm of her chair, holding on to dear life even with her being buckled into it, Banfield held by the urge to swear aloud. Her inner half Klingon was crying out, but she was shielding it from the rest of the crew. The pain that had gone through her abdomen was excruciating; rather than focus on it, she tried to concentrate on taking back command of her vessel. She needed to stabilise them, so she undid her buckle and attempted to get herself to the helm. With the ship spinning out of control, the internal dampeners were not compensating enough to keep her from falling all around. Using what strength she knew she had, she pulled herself over to the helm, finding T’Rani had been knocked out cold (most likely when that last wave had hit them). Gazing around her bridge, she noticed the other crew members were unconscious.
“Computer, is the Emergency Holographic Systems operational?” Banfield asked, wincing with pain.
“Activate all of them, authorisation Banfield-two-two-beta-charlie,” She ordered while attempting to bring the ship to a gradual halt while holding onto her side.
Holograms then appeared around the command chair; in the centre was a version of Odyssey’s Emergency Command Hologram, Penelope.
“Please state the nature of the command request,” Penelope said before she looked around and soon updated herself with what the ship’s sensors were telling us. “Nevermind, Commander Banfield, are you okay?”
Nodding, she ordered Penelope and her fellow photonic officers to secure the ship and help the injured crew. “Bridge to sickbay,” Banfield called out after tapping her combadge.
“Doctor Forbes, here, commander. Are you okay?” Forbes responded.
Glad to hear the Senior Assistant Chief Medical Officer was still with them, Banfield smiled before she answered him, “Doctor, we’ve got injured up here.”
“I’ve got injured down here too, commander; I’m assuming that’s why the EMH just came online?” Forbes inquired.
“Indeed, do we have any fatalities?” Banfield asked next, dreading his answers.
Forbes answered her silent prayers. “No, just bruises and cuts, a few headaches but nothing too serious.”
“Keep me posted, Banfield out,” She tapped her combadge and looked over to where the holographic bridge crew had taken over. “Penelope, what’s our status?”
Though she was the ECH, with Banfield still fit for command, the ship’s command codes had yet to be transferred over to Penelope, so instead, the ECH took on the role of the acting first officer while T’Rani was taken to sickbay with the injured. “The ship has sustained massive damage; we are dead in the water.”
Strolling over to the science station, Banfield attempted to get the sensors working. “That shockwave that hit us looked very much like something I remember from one of my history classes at the academy.”
“Which class, commander?” Penelope asked as she joined Banfield by her side to see the chief science officer running a comparative scan. The hologram was surprised to see what Banfield had loaded up. “Praxis?”
“Praxis,” Banfield confirmed, “The early days of the Klingon-Federation alliance was a module I excelled in; I remember staying up one night reading the logs of the USS Excelsior after they were hit by the Praxis shockwave.”
“You think there’s a correlation?” Penelope asked.
Banfield nodded just as the answer she was searching for was confirmed. “That shockwave that just hit us was an explosion from a small planetoid on the edge of this sector filled with dilithium.”
“Correct me if I am wrong, commander, but I didn’t think Odyssey detected any sources of dilithium when we entered this sector of space? Also, there weren’t any other life signs besides those from the rescued refugee ship.” Penelope raised.
“You’re right, Penelope; either we missed something when we entered, or something happened while we’ve been in the Gaharey Sanctum,” Banfield said as she leaned back in her chair, perplexed by the mystery before them.
The intercom went off, and the ship’s Emergency Engineering Hologram voice followed. “Troy to the bridge.”
Tapping her combadge, Penelope answered him, “Go ahead, Troy, what’s our status?”
“The plasma injectors are badly damaged, we don’t have warp drive, and the impulse reactors are in a similar state. We are not going anywhere soon, ma’am.” He reported.
Banfield sighed heavily at hearing that news. Without warp or impulse, they were stuck here until Odyssey came looking for them. Considering her options, she wasn’t prepared to send an away team on board their only shuttlecraft to get help; if another shockwave hit, they would be in no state to survive. “Is the emergency distress beacon still operational?”
“Yes, ma’am,” Troy responded.
“Then launch it and send it in the direction of the subspace amplifier we left at the edge of the Gaharey Sanctum. We can only hope the Odyssey picks it up when they see we are late in returning. Then get to work on repairing our shields and other damaged systems.”
“Understood, ma’am, Troy out.” The intercom closed from his end.
Standing up, Banfield told Penelope she was heading down to sickbay and left her in command of the bridge.
Stepping into sickbay, Banfield had already encountered members of her crew sitting on stretchers outside in the corridor. She could see what Forbes meant when he was dealing with a good number of the crew that were injured. Seeing him treating T’Rani on one of the biobeds, she made her way over.
“How is she, doctor?” Banfield asked, stopping just at the foot of the bed.
Forbes looked over, as did T’Rani, who was now conscious. “She has a severe concussion and an unusual chemical imbalance in her prefrontal cortex.”
Banfield looked at the Vulcan pilot, “How do you feel, T’Rani?”
“Besides the headache, I will be well.” T’Rani insisted.
Forbes rolled his eyes. “Commander T’Rani, you’ve endured severe trauma. You’re not leaving sickbay for the next twenty-four hours while we treat and observe you. Doctor’s orders.”
T’Rani hesitated initially before bowing her head in surrender to the doctor. “Very well, doctor.” She turned to Banfield, “Do we know what hit us?”
“A shockwave from a planetoid on the edge of the sector filled with dilithium,” Banfield answered.
“Fascinating,” T’Rani responded.
“Well, that planetoid isn’t there anymore, as the explosion blew it up into thousands of pieces. We have no idea what caused the explosion, but from what we recall before entering this sector, we didn’t pick up on seeing the dilithium on our sensors.” Banfield shared.
“Our sensors have been known to miss such material, depending on the quantity of it,” T’Rani suggested.
Banfield shook her head, “No, we should have seen it, T’Rani. For that explosion to occur, it would require the entire planetoid to be filled with extremely high levels of dilithium. Unfortunately, we cannot investigate.”
“I assume our engines were damaged by the shockwave,” T’Rani said.
“Both warp and impulse are offline; we’re not going anywhere until Odyssey rescues us,” Banfield answered before returning to Forbes, “Doctor, I’m going to need every-”
“-able-bodied crewman at their post,” Forbes said, finishing her sentence. “I promise I won’t keep anybody here a second longer than I have to, commander.”
“Thank you,” Banfield said as she rubbed her forehead.
Taking out his tricorder, Forbes approached her. “Here, stand still for a second; it looks like you’ve got a nice bump coming through.”
“Along with the other bumps up there?” Banfield asked, referring to her forehead ridges.
Forbes quietly snickered at her casual remarks about her Klingon heritage, “It’s nothing too serious, thankfully.” He then injected her with a hypospray. “A bit of pain relief.”
“Thank you, doctor,” Banfield said before excusing herself from his company and T’Rani’s to head back to the bridge.
Returning to the bridge, Banfield stopped by the replicator near the entrance and ordered another mug of raktajino. Taking the drink out of the replicator, the aroma was a warm welcome; just as her lips touched the mug, she took a long sip. “Report,” She asked after she swallowed the warm Klingon coffee.
“Troy has sent out the distress beacon; it should get in range of the subspace amplifier within six hours; however, we’ve got something else to show you,” Penelope answered as she activated a set of floating holographic displays. “We’ve just conducted another sensor sweep of the sector and are detecting more dilithium crystal signatures.”
“How is that possible?” Banfield questioned Penelope as she looked at the readings and was in an utter state of disbelief. “We should have picked them up ages ago.”
“Yes, we should, but that shockwave has somehow lit them all up on our sensors like a Christmas tree, but that’s not the only thing sensors have shown us,” Penelope remarked before pointing to the other display. “Long-range sensors have detected another Brenari refugee ship nearby and on the far edge of the sector, two Devore warships.”
“Seriously?” Banfield couldn’t believe their luck.
“We’re only detecting them as we adjusted our sensors to see Brenari ships, based on that last refugee ship we rescued on the Odyssey,” Penelope explained. “The refugee ship is using the same modified refractive shielding system just like the one we rescued. The Devore, though, appear to be in a more problematic situation than we are.”
“Clarify,” Banfield insisted.
Penelope tapped on the holographic display, “They were closer to the shockwave when it hit them. They’ve sustained heavy damage and are fully disabled; we’re reading minimal power from them.”
“So, for now, they can’t move?” Banfield checked, already knowing the answer.
“For now, yes,” Penelope confirmed, “but they may have got a distress call out. The Brenari and we could be visited by an inspection team if the Odyssey does not pick up our distress call in time.”
“Can we contact the Brenari ship?” Banfield asked.
“We can, but I advise against it,” Penelope replied, “if the Devore do turn up to help their ships, then they may detect our call. I recommend we maintain radio silence.”
Lifting her mug up, Banfield sighed massively before gulping down a large amount of her drink. “Then we need to get creative in preparing ourselves in case the Devore do turn up.”
“Agreed, ma’am; I’ll start handing out weapons and begin working on tactical strategies to prepare for the worse,” Penelope stated.
Banfield returned to the centre seat and dropped into it. She regretted agreeing to this mission, wishing she was back on the Odyssey attending the diplomatic function with the others.