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Part of USS Jaxartes: Deep Six

Part 1: Silent Hunter

Second moon of Vasíleio
13th February 2401
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The USS Jaxartes was currently sat hidden behind the second moon of the planet Vasileio.  All her systems where powered down or running at their lowest possible setting to help avoid detection. Not from the inhabitants of the planet itself, but a certain Ferengi by the name of DaiMon Talr. In the cause of investigating his movements they’d discovered he’d made a number of trips here to acquire valuable gems and other items.

Vasileio was a class M planet, very similar to Earth in both size, climate and general orbit.  Its inhabitants of which there were around 67 million could be best described as being Stoat like in appearance and measured just over one meter in height. They were spread out across the four main continents and numerous other islands.

The Federation had dropped a couple of probes some 30 years ago to pick up data and take long range photos.  Each of the Continents had their own established kingdoms and rulers in power, with separate languages and cultures evident.  Though it did appear at the time a thriving trade between the four kingdoms was well established and no signs of recent conflict had been monitored by the probes.  But as the inhabitants where clearly somewhere equivalent to the 16th or 17th century as regards development no direct contact had ever been made.

As for whether the DiaMon was making direct contact or simple just stealing the items was their main reason for waiting in ambush for him.

_____

USS Jaxartes: Bridge 05:40

It was 05:40 ship time and as it was his turn to take the night shift Ensign Jason Devron, was sat in the captains’ chair.  Currently he had a PADD in his right hand containing most of the data that had been collected on the planet by the mission that had sent the probes.  The Jaxartes had stayed too far away to be able to add any more up to date information.

He was amazed at the quality and detail of the images and short videos that had been taken during the probes half dozen orbits.  Images that had captured the Vasileian as the academics were referring to them.  At both work and play.  Their architecture to, some of which had symbols carved in stone or painted on wood, which had given the clues to the different languages.  The animals they used for both riding and pulling of carts looked a lot like horses but with a more anteater style head.  They also had something like a Llama which provided the wool for much of their clothing.  The Llama’s and a warthog looking creature almost as big as the average adult Vasileian appeared to make part of the diet along with other food stuffs grown in fields or berries picked from bushes.

At that moment the doors behind him made their usual ‘shush’ noise as they opened.  Jason turned his head slightly to see Ensign Chad Harris the young golden haired New Zealander walk on to the Bridge.

“Eger.”  He said with a smile. “It’s not 6 yet.”

“Yeah, raring to go me.” Replied the New Zealander, dropping his stocky frame into the navigation chair.  He’d played Rugby still regarded as their national sport as a teenager, but had opted for Starfleet rather than try to make a career in the game. He’s size and build had also helped in get into the Academies’ Wrestling Team, so the two of them had trained and spared together numerous times.

They chatted as the helmsman adjusted the angle of the ships flight path by point 7 of a degree to allow for the change in orbit caused by gravitational shift over the last few hours; before running a level 2 diagnostics check on the systems.  Whilst it was possible to leave the Jaxartes on Auto-Pilot the ships computer would only make adjustments if it detected that the vessel would be in any sort of danger; and despite the changes experienced it would have been several days before any intervention would be required.  Whereas any human at the controls would tend to make more minor corrects bringing the ship back to its original orbital path long before any major alteration was required.

By now Devron had finished looking at the information on the PADD and realized there was actually nowhere to place it without getting up.  All the workstations behind him appeared to have at least one spot to rest the device and there was even a hidden compartment just below and to the left of the science station which had two Tricorders inside.  For now however he just slipped it between his right leg and the armrest.

At exactly 0600 hours Lieutenant-Commander Salan, the Vulcan ship’s captain entered the bridge.  Almost as if someone lightyears away could calculate his arrive down to the second the communication system bleeped to indicate an incoming message.  With no one usually manning that station over night; the Vulcan scanned the code on the message himself.  “Mr Devron if you can hold the fort just a while longer whilst I read this in my ready room I’d be most grateful.”

“Aye sir.”  The young ensign responded as his commanding officer exited the bridge once more.

“Wonder what’s going on now?” The New Zealander mused.

“Beats me!” Jason replied with a shrug.

_____

In his ready room the Vulcan called up the text message which had been sent as a short data burst to avoid detection by any other vessels that may have been in the area.  It was short and to the point, and consisted of just three sentences.

< Confirmed your brother amongst 27 rescued from slave camp >

< Promotion to Commander.  Reassignment pending >

< Brake surveillance – Urgent rendezvous MRT Atragon – Y’Teck V  –  Instruction from Captain    Jinguji >

He sat back for a moment in his chair hands clasped in his lap reading through each message for a second time.  It was pleasing to know that his brother Mazhiv had been found alive and if circumstances had favoured him, well.   He also understood the reason behind the promotion, even though he’d always sort to avoid such a thing.  Someone clearly understood his motives for being out here and had given him the only option to relinquish command of the Jaxartes without causing any ‘hassle’ as he believed the humans would say.  As for the last part, that puzzled him, but he was sure things would become clearer in due course.  Evidently it was a high priority and tracking down the Ferengi would have to wait for another time.

_____

Back on the Bridge he sat down in the captains’ chair, almost on a PADD. “Yours I believe?”  He pasted the device to Jason.  “Mr Harris, plot a cause for Y’Teck V, warp 6.”

“Aye captain.  Course laid in, warp 6 on your command.” Announced the New Zealander

The Vulcan gave the order “Engage.”

_____

As the USS Jaxartes raced away on its new assignment a small object detached itself from one of the myriad of rocks that formed the outer ring surrounding this particular star systems only gas giant.  The Ferengi shuttle eased away slowly, rotated and then made directly for the planet Vasileio at sub-light speed.

Comments

  • A great start that had me asking questions right away! Why are they hiding, and who is DaiMon Talr? The bridge scene was good, with hints of backstory, and I particularly liked Devron’s predicament with the padd, and then the captain nearly sitting on it. Great bit of detail there, and a good start. Looking forward to finding out more about Devron and the rest of the crew!

    March 27, 2023