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Part of USS Galileo: Home Sweet Home and Bravo Fleet: Blood Dilithium

Chapter 4

The Planet Kimuramin XII
Nov. 2400
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Vasik Mining Operations 

To call the Malon Collector ruthless would have been an understatement. Since arriving on the planet, Vasik had become a changed man. What started as a simple salvage operation had morphed into much more. They had only been on the planet for a few years and had already amassed a large mining operation. Long gone was the goal of salvaging a downed Malon freighter; their goal was replaced by simple greed.

They had arrived here on the Aloc charged with salvaging useful material from the Geric. However, as Vasik began his first scans of the planet Kimurmin XII, his goals took a back seat to profit. While many in the Malon Cooperative saw the Controller job as an admirable goal, some civic duty, Vasik only saw it as something lesser. He was talented, innovative, and driven. He wanted to open his own business, but the corporations controlling Malon Prime never saw the potential in Vasik.

They did now. 

Using whatever resources he could, Vasik had been mining the planet out of all of its resources, selling them to the highest bidder. Nothing was safe; Vasik would have sold his own mother if offered enough. The only drawback was that his more significant customers were also his cheapest. He hated dealing with the lobed race, but they didn’t ask questions. Questions came with other problems. Vasik didn’t need any good-for-nothing group looking into his business practices. Vasik looked out from his office to the plant below. Profits have soared since the formation of these red crystals. Ferengi vessels were leaving his orbital lunar complex on a daily basis.  

His only concern now was how to mine those crystals faster. The locals were now basically free labor, but they were also useless. Their lack of understanding of modern equipment made things more difficult. In the last month, his people had rounded up anyone able to work and forced them into camps guarded by several highly paid Orions.  

Orions, like his own people, didn’t ask questions if they were paid enough. It wasn’t that he didn’t trust his own people, but some of the Malons were still loyal to the Cooperative. He couldn’t afford that type of behavior. Perhaps his lack of trust was the reason why he’d long ago disabled the communication devices from all areas except his office. That coupled with the travel restrictions on each of his shuttles, Vasik kept all of his operations under lock and key. He ruled with an iron fist, and things like disloyalty and betrayal were not tolerated. 

From behind him, the large doors opened as Controller 3rd Class Merrk entered the office. “Sir, we’ve detected a Federation vessel in long-range sensors coming this way. There’s been an increase in Federation communications recently, and sensors have picked up a lot of Federation vessels in neighboring sectors.   No doubt they are responding to….”

“I don’t pay you to think Controller 3rd Class,” Vasik replied, “monitor their communications,” he gestured to a nearby terminal. “I want to know where every Federation vessel is at all times.” 

“Sir?”

‘You have your orders.”

Main Bridge, USS Galileo

Naris looked out at the viewscreen,  “on screen,” she ordered.   The entire bridge was busy monitoring fleet traffic and communications. From all over the sector, the Federation was engaging various entities hoping to figure out where these crystals came from. 

From the Helm Control station, Rivers took a second look at the panel, then turned to face the Captain, “Ma’am, we’re picking up an increase in antimatter waste. It’s fairly insignificant at the moment but still rather large for a pre-warp civilization.”

Naris thought about her research as she just sat there looking at the viewscreen, “scan for Malon vessels.”

Before she finished her sentence, the following words filled the bridge,  “Captain, incoming message from Controller Vasik.”

“Let’s hear it,” she ordered.

“This sector is under the control of the Malon Cooperative and Vasik Mining Operations.. leave immediately.”

“Controller Vasik,” Naris stood up,  “we are here investigating the appearance of….”

As she spoke, the channel closed. Naris turned and looked at her XO, “I guess conversation is out of the question.”  She thought for a moment, “maintain orbit over the planet for now,  Mister Rivers. Someone figure out where the communication came from.   I want some answers.”

Vasik Mining Operations 

“Are we really going to take on the Federation?” Merrk asked. “That may be a small ship, but larger ones will follow.” 

Vasik hissed, “I know that,  you fool. The Federation has a history of sticking its nose where it doesn’t belong. Contact the Orions, and tell them to meet our guests.

Vasik punched the terminal, sending orders to all his people. He couldn’t afford Starfleet’s interference. They had to lock down all production and mining operations along with current waste being dumped into the mine shafts. He’d built up this operation, and if this turned south, he already had a backup plan,  dump as much waste into the operation as possible. The planet would be a loss, but no one else would be able to take over. For now, he would put up the best fight he could muster.

Main Bridge, USS Galileo

From the bridge of the Galileo, the crew had been hard at work.   They’d be able to track Vasik’s operation to one of the northern continents, but that is where the trail ended. The closer they got, the more the antimatter waste affected their sensors.  

“One thing is clear, Captain,” T’lol looked over the most recent report, “Vasik had been here for some time.   My guess is working under the radar and sight of any locals. Sensors have picked up subterranean mining shafts all over the planet, along with increased pockets of waste. If I was to guess, it appears that he’s mining out whatever he can get his hands on and dumping the waste into the planet as he leaves that area.”

“And what is this doing to the planet,” Naris looked to the Science Officer. 

“Exactly what you would expect, Captain,” Ensign Ireland replied. “Strip mining the planet’s resources is bad enough, but dumping the waste has shifted the planet’s ecosystem. The planet has a larger-than-normal temperature for a planet like this.   The planet appears to be largely desert terrain, but I guess Vasik’s operation has changed this planet immensely.”

“At the rate things are changing,” Ireland added,  “I would speculate that this planet will be a wasteland in another decade, maybe sooner. Whatever we do,  the native population needs help.”

“I suppose this is why the Federation sent us here,” Naris shrugged, “ok, they probably didn’t expect this but still.”  Looking around the room, “ok, I want options, people. There are a lot of factors here that need to be taken into account. The locals are pre-warp, so the Prime Directive applies.   The Malon waste is a serious problem, and we don’t want to make it worse. This could affect the entire sector if we are not careful. The Galileo…” 

“Captain, we have two Malon battlecruisers on a direct course for our location.”

“Red Alert,” Naris ordered, “all hands to battle stations.” The Galileo didn’t need this; they were not ready for this. Naris followed the crew to the bridge,  “report.”

“The battlecruisers have powered weapons and no target locks yet, but they are coming at us fast.”

T’lol, having taken over Tactical, punched a few buttons on her terminal, “I’m detecting Orion weapons signatures. Our friend Vasik has acquired some extra help.”

Naris looked at the Vulcan for a moment, “target their ships; let them know we are not leaving.”

T’lol nodded, “firing warning shots now.”  T’lol looked up, “I don’t think they got our warning.”

“Why?” Naris asked as the ship shook violently.

“Because they are firing at us,” T’lol replied with a bit of sarcasm. “Just we should have targeted something more vital.” 

Naris gave the XO a nod as Sam stood up, rounding the bridge to the Tactical station. “Stand down, Lieutenant,” the XO stated as he moved to fire the ship’s weapons.

T’lol looked at the XO; he thought she was affected. She could feel it. There was no way she could have been affected. T’lol looked down at her wrist; she took the monitoring device off her person. The Vulcan turned to leave the bridge, “The doctor is behind this..”

“Let her go,” Naris ordered the bridge staff. Tapping her combadge, “Doctor, locate Lieutenant T’lol and confine her to sickbay.”

“Commander Malik, target their shields; let them know we mean business.”

The battle lasted only a short time, each side putting up as much of a fight as they could. While the Steamrunner could hold her own, she had taken significant damage. Naris had managed to take out one of the Malon vessels, but at a high cost. The second ship had also taken damage but surprised everyone when she suddenly retreated. “No doubt they are looking for reinforcements,” Rivers commented.

“Send out a general message,  inform Starfleet of our situation, and request backup,” Naris ordered. The Captain took a deep breath; this mission had to be a success. She wouldn’t let this Galileo fall into the same pattern as the previous ships bearing the name.   

“Commander, prep an Away Team. We are not going to get answers here,” Naris ordered, “we need some first-hand information. Commander,” she paused, “no telepaths.” She didn’t like splitting the ship up, not while there were battlecruisers out there.  However she knew they needed more information and they were not going to get that sitting here.

“The rest of you, I want every inch of that planet scanned. Vasik has a weakness, and I want to know what it is.”

 

Comments

  • I had a sample of what it was before it was sent and I all I can say is that I love it. The arrogance of the Malon to claim their rights to the planet without thinking about what they do to it. Then there is combat scene what flew into each other, it is quite difficult to nail that one, but you did a great job!

    November 8, 2022