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Part of USS Corax: Caduceus Pt. 1

Chapter 1 – U Turn

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As the event horizon of the Barzan Wormhole sealed behind them upon their return to the Alpha Quadrant, the sense of relief aboard the Corax was palpable. Aris almost wanted to cry as the space around them became more familiar.

“T’Keterk, status report.” Aris requested as the impulse drive kicked in.

“All systems showing green across the board, Captain. T’Keterk responded.

“Emma lay in a course for Devron Fleet Yards, take us home Ensign.” Aris directed to Ensign Swain. “Best possible speed.”

“Roger, Captain.” Emma replied with a small smile as she took the Corax to its maximum cruising speed.

Mentally running through his checklists, Aris was quick to realize he had a multitude of jobs to be completed before arriving home and he intended on making a dent in as many of them as possible. First being checking on their passenger, then filing and submission of status reports and the fiasco with the Telepathic Pitcher Plant. Silently praying to any deity that might be listening to ask the admiralty to not rake him over the coals.

“T’Keterk, what is the status of our passenger?”

“He appears to be resting comfortably in his quarters and vital signs are within acceptable parameters.” Replied T’Keterk

“Thank you, Lieutenant.” Aris nodded. “I’m going to have a chat with our guest, contact me if anything requires my attention enroute.”

“Acknowledged.”

“Yes, sir.”


Exiting the turbolift on the crew level, Aris made his way to the quarters he had set their passenger up in.

Pressing a finger to the chime, he waited patiently to be called in.

The door chime jolted Damian back to present day. He had spent the last couple of hours trying to unjumble his thoughts and catch up on the latest Federation News bulletins.

Everything had happened so quickly. The Barzan Wormhole had opened. Starfleet dispatched survey teams and scientists when the presence of Blood Dilithium had been detected. It was the find of a lifetime in his eyes, but nothing could have prepared him for the threats and wild west state of affairs in the Gardin Belt. He and his team had been researching a crystal formation when the mercenary groups arrived and annexed the planet they were on.

In the chaos of the mass evacuation, Damian had gotten separated from the rest of the team and was quickly absorbed into the refugee exodus. He had no way to contact Starfleet or his team lead. He wasn’t even sure the team had made their way to safety.

“Come in.” Damian called to the person patiently waiting on the other side of the door.

After getting the go ahead, Aris entered the quarters. Seeing the Captain, Damian stood bolt upright.

“As you were.” Aris smiled.

“Did you want anything to drink?” Aris asked as he stood in front of the replicator ordering a strong raktajino.

“A hot tea would hit the spot if you’re offering.” Damian replied as he retook his seat.

“Do you mind if I sit?” Aris motioned to an empty chair.

“Make yourself comfortable.” Damian responded as Aris slid a steaming mug across the table.

“How are you holding up?” Aris queried. “Is there anyone we can contact for you?”

Damian shook his head at the captains second question but knew the question was out of both genuine concern and respect.

“I’d be lying if I said everything was sunshine and butterflies. ” Damian responded. “Everything happened so quickly.”

“Why don’t you tell me from the beginning if you are willing?” Aris prompted.

Taking another sip of the mug of tea in front of him, Damian took a breath and explained how after Blood Dilithium had first been encountered he had been dispatched with a contingent of survey and research vessels expecting to study the find of a lifetime. What they weren’t prepared for however was the many factions at play jostling for and advantage.

When the mercenary fleet appeared in orbit and began hostile takeovers of the main towns and settlements, Damian  had gotten caught up in the crowds as the indigenous people evacuated. He had no idea if the rest of his team had made it off world or if they had survived at all.

Reaching his hand out, Aris placed it gently on Damian’s forearm. “It’s all going to be OK, we will get you home.”

“I can’t thank you enough, Captain.” Damian replied eyes glistening.

“No thanks are necessary.” Aris replied with a smile. “Now you aren’t confined to quarters so do feel free to make use of any of the common areas and if you need anything, don’t hesitate to call on either myself or the rest of the crew.”

Damian nodded as he sifted through his own thoughts. Clapping him once more on the shoulder, Aris go to his feet and excused himself.

Back in the corridor, Aris ran a hand over his face thinking over the conversation he had just had when a message from the bridge interrupted him.

“Bridge to Captain Suin.”

Recognizing Emma’s voice he replied. “This is the Captain. Go ahead, Ensign.”

“A priority message from Starfleet is awaiting your attention.”

“Thank you, Emma. Please divert the message to the conference room terminal and I will pick it up from there.” Aris requested as the communication was cut.


Taking a seat at the conference table with a refreshed mug of coffee, Aris accessed the waiting priority message. As he read Aris’ concern grew. Many of these worlds were not equipped to deal with a disease outbreak. Copying the message contents to the ship’s computer, Aris got to his feet and began to pace. The orders were clear. Report to Starbase 93 for resupply and receipt of additional cargo and equipment before departing for the Federation border with the old Romulan Neutral Zone.

“Captain Suin to bridge, Ensign Swain please divert course to Starbase 93 maximum warp.”

“Acknowledged, Captain.” Emma replied. “Course has been laid in and executed.”

Casting a last look at the terminal, Aris ended his session and downed the last dregs of coffee in his mug and departed for the bridge.

Comments

  • Oh yay, the Corax is getting in on the action, can't wait to see how the Corax handles this new situation within Romulan space. Hopefully, they will be able to assist in whatever world you're going to and can assist in curing those individuals. Can't wait to see what is next!

    January 8, 2023