Part of USS Chicago: Gradin Belt

Ghost

Gradin Belt
November 2400
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Captain Kohlir glasch Pef, the Tellarite captain of the USS Chicago, a new Orleans class cruiser, wandered the corridors, inspecting departments and checking equipment as he went

After the mining colony incident in the Mellstoxx system, Kohlir had come very conscious about security and ensuring equipment was where it needs to be

The Chicago, however, was running smoothly. Engines performing as normal, medical facilities fully stocked and staff at the ready.

Deep into the Gradin Belt, the Chicago was a part of the fleet tasked with investigating the appearance of “Blood Dilithium” and the spatial anomalies that have appeared alongside 

Kohlir stepped onto the bridge, spacious but still close enough that one crew member can operate 2 stations if needed in an emergency. “How’s the Belt looking today?” Kohlir asked to officer in particular but he knew all his bridge staff would have their reports ready anyway. 

“Sensors have reported a ghost signal coming from all around but I cannot determine if it is a ship under a poor cloaking device or a spatial anomaly causing phantom readings” The tactical officer replied in her typical deadpan fashion, but as a Vulcan this was expected “The signal moves around us but is always at the very edge of our sensors, never any closer. I find it difficult to believe that a spatial anomaly would know exactly how far our sensors can detect Captain”

“I have to agree Sir, it’s too perfectly placed at the edge of the sensors to be a random anomaly. And I’ve already checked the sensor array for any issues” The Bolian chief engineer concurred 

Kohlir looked at his senior staff and rubbed his chin, his well known gesture of frustrated thinking “Hmm then we have a problem it seems. All senior staff to meet in 2 hours with a plan to either deter our Ghost or how to shake them from our tail” And with that, Kohlir left the bridge, leaving his officers to figure a solution to their haunting

Kohlir continued walking the ship, speaking to various officers as he did, all the while mulling over what the sensor Ghost could be and how they would be able to shake them. As he passed the Holodeck, the door opened and a slightly wobbly Cadet staggered out. “Captain Kohlir, Sir!” Cadet Thyn Th’ezokroq saluted, his damaged antennae still affecting his balance as it healed. “At ease Cadet” Kohlir chuckled, even though he still feels guilty about Thyn getting injured in the Mellstoxx incident. “Carry on Cadet” he waved Thyn on as Kohlir continued his walk through the ship

2 hours passed and the doors to the conference room opened, the senior staff were already there ready with their suggestions to shake their Ghost. “Right lets here them” Kohlir started, his coffee in hand

“We could modify the deflector to create a tachyon pulse that would disrupt the cloak of our friend without damaging them, reveal who they are and if we can be civil or not” The Bolian smiled as he made his suggestion, he was a constantly cheery souls, no matter how bad things get he always has a smile and a joke ready. “Downside is that the pulse would leave us without deflectors for a while but given how far away the ghost is, we’ll be able to have them back online before any danger would be close enough to worry us”

“That would not be a logical option Captain, we don’t know if their cloak would be effected by a Tachyon pulse or if it is a spatial anomaly, how the tachyons would effect it and if that could become dangerous to us. I suggest we release warp plasma from the nacelles to cover our path and move out of the area until we can link up with other Federation ships in case they are hostile” the Vulcan officer intoned softly, her eyebrow arching as her Bolian compatriot chuckled at her suggestion. “And where, my dear, would we be able to replenish the warp plasma if needed? We’re a long way from a resupply station and we don’t have many friends this deep into the Delta quadrant” he retorted, still smiling the whole time.

“Easy you two, behave yourselves” Kohlir shook his head as he smiled, knowing that those two loved to bounce off each other. “Tofer Rann, prep the deflector array for the pulse, we’ll take the risk to reveal what the ghost is” Kohlir nodded to the Bolian who set off to deflector control “T’rail, go to yellow alert to be safe and stand by all weapons in case our ghost isn’t so friendly” Kohlir ordered his Vulcan tactical officer. “To your stations everyone, and prepare for just in case” Kohlir ordered and headed to the bridge, the lights dimming slightly as the yellow alert was sounded around the ship

The Chicago was ready to go, her deflector modified to release a tachyon pulse, slowed to almost a complete stop, her shields down but weapons at the ready. “Fire the pulse when ready Rann, we need to get this sorted before we can investigate this Dilithium appearing all over the place” Kohlir spoke steadily, hiding the nerves from his voice, wary of what could happen if this pulse didn’t work. “All hands brace for this, we don’t know how they’ll react to this” Kohlir announced over the intercom

The deflector dish on the Chicago glowed as the tachyon pulse reached it’s critical mass, unleashing a pulse of faster than light particles across the area.

Without warning, a Hirogen ship appeared off the port side of the Chicago, the cloak disrupted by the tachyons release. The Hirogen opened fire, its weapons raking the port nacelle. 

“Return fire! Disable those damned weapons!” Kohlir bellowed and the bridge was rocked by repeated shots from the Hirogen. T’rail’s hands danced over the controls, the starboard phaser banks punishing the Hirogen as they came back around for another attack run against the Chicago. “Rann get the shields back before we’re crippled!” Kohlir barked to the Chief Engineer, “Working on it Captain, should be back online in a few minutes if we can keep from taking too many more hits” Rann responded, his voice still happy despite the situation

The Hirogen ship banked around, still firing but more cautiously now that the Chicago was returning fire, clearly more than willing to fight back despite the lack of shields. More shots raked across the nacelles, blowing out relays and disrupting main power, lights flickering across the hull of the New Orleans class. Phasers flared as the Chicago returned fire, an explosion rocking the Hirogen vessel as it’s primary systems were damaged. Not wanting to go down without a fight, the Hirogen managed to maneuver behind the Chicago, targeting the already damaged Port nacelle. With one last volley before the hull completely collapsed, the Hirogen fired everything they could muster into the port nacelle. A large explosion rocked the Chicago, throwing her into a spin as the nacelle was shattered, hull parts scattered to the cosmic winds and directly into the Hirogen vessel as it’s hull finally failed, imploding.

The bridge was dark, main power was down only the red emergency lights revealing anything. “All stations, Damage report!” Kohlir coughed through the smoke, reaching for the fire controls to clear the bridge of smoke. “Main power is offline, helm is offline, tactical systems are scrambled, sensors are dark Sir” T’rail replied through laboured breaths, each word hurting her. Kohlir turned as he activated the fire controls, the bridge slowly starting to clear of smoke to reveal how bad the bridge had been hit. May of the consoles were dark and powerless, others had burned out with the surges through the EPS grid. The crew weren’t in a much better state, several had minor cuts and bruises, a few with more serious breaks. T’rail was the most badly injured, a piece of the tactical console had been blown clear in the attack and impaled T’rail through the thigh, pinning her against the console behind her station!

“Medical teams to the bridge, Rann get your self up here!” Kohlir barked as he ran over to help T’rail, his medical training allowing him to help without waiting for the medical teams. “Hold still T’rail, we need to cut the bar to get you free of the console before we can look at getting this bar out” Kohlir’s voice was low, wanting to avoid unnerving the junior officers that were moving onto the bridge to help. “I will be okay Sir” T’rail spoke, her voice fading in and out as the pain threatened to overwhelm her Vulcan constitution.

The door to the bridge opened with a sea of teal and yellow uniforms moving in, the medics taking over T’rail’s care as Kohlir walked over to Rann, his normal cheery disposition replaced by worry. “We’re hurt badly Sir. The knew exactly where to hit us to do maximum damage. The first volley knocked the plasma injectors offline, luckily the Warp core is intact and the antimatter storage is undamaged, that’s about all the good news I have through. The Port nacelle is basically gone, the whole thing is wrecked. No way we can fix that out here, we have to make for a repair facility or space dock and soon because we have no warp capability and we can’t go any faster than half impulse, unless you want to snap the nacelle off totally and take half of engineering with it” Rann’s voice was low, deliberately to avoid anyone else hearing how badly crippled the ship was. Kohlir nodded and breathed out deeply, reaching up to his combadge  “All senior staff, report to the conference room in 1 hour”

Limping into the conference room, Kohlir headed in, copies of damage reports and casualties in hand “We’re not in a good way” he announced throwing down the data pad “Tofer, how long till we can have main power back?” Kohlir faced his Chief engineer. “It’s going to be days yet Captain, the core is fine but the EPS grid is a mess, half the Port relays are gone and the other half are damaged or misfiring. The Starboard side is in better shape so I’d advise moving as many people over to the Starboard side to be safe” Rann spoke very matter of factly, his usual cheer gone, replaced with fear and worry. “Power is mainly routed to structural integrity fields and Sick bay for the moment, it’s slowing repairs down but makes sure we don’t fall apart faster than we can put her back together. I have to ask Sir, how is T’rail?” Tofer wasn’t able to hide the worry in his voice this time, Kohlir knew that Tofer adored T’rail but she was oblivious to this in her usual Vulcan way. “She’s hurt but she’ll recover Tofer, don’t worry. You’ll be back to bickering in no time” Doctor Moleku replied “So long as we don’t get shot at any time soon that is. Sick bay is at capacity Captain, we’re having to use the Holodeck as an emergency overflow” The Benzite doctor was very matter of factly spoken

“Set a course for the closest starbase, see if we have any friends close by that could at least run escort for a little while. We’re easy pickings till we get main power back” Kohlir ordered, his features downcast as he gave the order “Doctor Moleku, head back to Sick bay, we’re going to need all hands to keep ourselves together so we can get home. Rann, get main power back as soon as you can, at least so we can get shields back up. What about the nacelle, is there anything we can do with it so we can go full impulse?” Kohlir asked. “Hmm, we could cut the nacelle loose completely, leaving the strut but the nacelle going but that won’t be easy to do with all the damage. We can’t get up to the nacelle to trigger the release clamps and the worker bees are gone, we lost them in the opening salvo. We’ll need to work a different way to cut it free”

Kohlir slumped in his chair “We don’t have a choice, it’ll take us months to get to a repair station or starbase at half impulse, plus it leaves us open to attack as the shield won’t cover the rear of the ship properly with all the hull panels out of line”

“Do it, cut it free”

 

Comments

  • Stop breaking your ship! Certainly an interesting way to introduce a new ship and story. I look forward to seeing how you not only develop the story, but also the characters and their relationships. Can't wait to read some more character bios for them. Always nice to see a fellow New Orleans enthusiast.

    January 25, 2023