Part of USS Mackenzie: Mission 3 – Island of the Damned (IOTD)

IOTD 010 – The Outside Edge

USS Mackenzie
12.27.2400 @ 0630
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“So they told us not to approach or go to the surface, but they cannot tell us why.”  Harris stood beside the communications station.  Presley Atega had finished her report on the message that had come from Vulcan.  It had been short on details and long on warnings.

She glanced at the message as it scrolled on her monitor, “Vulcans aren’t known to lie.  The truth is probably that they don’t know what’s down there, or why…but that it’s probably nothing good.”  She shrugged, “They could also be working to find someone who knows or at least has heard of the place.  It’s an ancient place.”

Ambrose groused, “The message came a little late.  Would they send someone to check on us?”

Presley thought about it.  Discoveries were made across the universe that altered historical records for many alien races.  Vulcans were known to be fastidious about researching newly discovered historical ruins.  Whatever lay below was something larger and unknown.  She glanced at the scrolling message and then to her captain, “I think there’s a pretty good chance, even out here.  With as little as we have to go on, there’s still plenty of unknowns with the Jade Dilithium and whatever’s happening with the Palasa.”

Harris sighed, “Keep an eye out for whoever they send us.  How’s our sensor sweep going?”

She tapped at her console, “That’s the interesting part, sir.  We’ve been refining our scans for the sector, and several items of interest have popped up.”  She pointed them out as she worked through the growing list, “One is a transport shipwreck just over here.  Ship records identify here as a Miranda Class variant – pretty beat up.  Another is this,” she oriented the screen to show a similar aging ship with a familiar profile.

The CO leaned in, “Is that a Constitution-class starship?”

“It is.  Sensors are unable to determine her registry, and she’s pretty much in the same condition as the Miranda.  Other wrecks are starting to resolve in this sector – most of which transport ships and the like.  Those two are interesting.”

Ambrose wondered, “This is starting to feel like a graveyard of some kind.  Whatever happened recently didn’t have anything to do with what you’re finding.  What if this has happened before?  Or something similar?”

She tapped at the console, “We’d have to get closer to the wrecks to get a better picture, but whatever it was was catastrophic.  Those ships didn’t stand a chance – and it probably happened quickly and without much warning.”

The CO turned to look at the screen and the planetoid that filled it.  “What if these were victims of the planet’s defense system?  We approached and had no issue.  Whoever came here before us and started all this must have either faced it or found a way to stop it.  None of those ships are remotely close to any orbit position…they’re scattered all around.”  He returned to the console, “Plot out what you can on where they are.”

Atega went to work, and soon the screen revealed an updated map.  “If we extrapolate their positions and estimate their previous course with some guesswork….”  The computer trilled a few minutes later, and she gave her CO a nod, “This is heavy on guesswork, sir, but their positions suggest that they had just arrived in the system and made it just far enough to be targeted by…whatever it was that took them all out.  They wouldn’t have had time to scan for other wrecks or even put two and two together….they would have been attacked quickly.”

Ambrose shook his head, “They would have died…and died fast.  The other transport ships make sense.  They lost enough of them just to stop coming this way, probably.  Or they didn’t care about whoever ended up out this far from anyone. The Constitution and Miranda classes are outliers.  Someone would have come looking for them…at least the Constitution.”  He turned to the helm officer, “Get us a gentle intercept course on the Constitution class ship.  Shields up.”  He pointed at the screen, “Let’s see what we can find.”

The Mackenzie slid away from orbit and thundered closer to the wrecked ship that evoked an earlier time in Starfleet.  Harris watched carefully as they drew closer.  Atega tapped at her console for a moment and drew in her breath, “Sir. I think I know why these two ships were out here.”  She keyed in the camera controls, and the saucer of the Constitution-class ship appeared on the screen, zoomed.

Harris gasped as the rest of the bridge crew made the connection.  He read out the name, “ISS Montana.”  He turned to Atega, who worked the camera to the Miranda-class ship.  “ISS Billings.”

Presley turned, her face stricken.  “Those are…mirror universe ships?”

Ambrose nodded quietly, “This situation just gets better and better.  Get us back to orbit.  Have another away team prepped for launch, just in case.”  The Mackenzie angled back to the planetoid as the bridge crew began to wonder what they had stumbled onto in the far reaches of the expanse.