Part of USS Jaxartes: Deep Six

Part 2: Atragon

Obit Planet Y’ Teck V 15:30
13th February 2401
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It was just over nine hours later when the Jaxartes reached the planet marked on Federation star charts as, Y’Teck V. An ‘O’ class planet with a diameter measuring 13,491 km; some 97% of which was covered in water or ice.  The planets Northern axis pointed roughly towards its star resulting in there being only one polar region covering 20% of the southern hemisphere an area of the planet which had not seen day light in millions of years.  Likewise parts of the north had never witnessed a sunset in all that time.  The only land masses on Y’Teck V; consisted of a series of volcanic islands forming a ring along three quarters of the equator.

As the corvette banked around to establish a stable orbit the MRT Atragon appeared on the ships long range scanners.  It would be a couple more hours before the other vessel was within visual.  All they could really do for now was wait.

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To say the MRT Atragon was an unusual craft would be an understatement.  Its hull was basically one large rectangular slab; measuring 70m long, by 24m wide and 9m high.  On either side there were what appeared to be two pairs of booster rockets you’d expect to find on a pre-warp vessel.  Above and running the front half of the ship, two decks, which consisted of the bridge, engineering and accommodation facilities.  At the mid-point anchored by a single flat pylon, two warp nacelles each roughly three quarters the length of the entire vessel and looking like they’d been stripped from a decommissioned starship rather than been designed for the ship they now sat on.

“Atragon hailing use captain.” Announced Ensign Cho.

“On screen.”

The image of a tall Japanese man in his late 40’s appeared on the main viewer.  He was wearing what looked like a cream colour cable knit jumper you might expect to find a 20th century fisherman wearing, but the white cap with gold braiding that sat on his head spoke more Japanese Imperial Navy.

The man, who was standing, bowed slightly in formal respect, as had always been traditional in his culture. “Comm-ander.” There was a slight pause between the two halves of the word. “I am Cap-tain Hachiro Jinguji.  Requesting permission to board your vessel and discuss the orders your people have passed on to me.”

“Permission granted captain, I look forward to it.”  As the image of Jinguji faded from the screen, the Vulcan turned to his Bajoran first officer. “Number one escort our guest from the transporter room to the observation lounge. Ensign Devron, you’re with me.”

“Aye captain” They both answered in unison.

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17:20

A short while later the four of them where around the large wooden table in the observation lounge at the rear of the Jaxartes.  The Japanese officer bowed before taking the seat he’d been offered.  “I know this may seem like unusual circumstances,” he begun. “But what I am about to inform you of is no ordinary situation.”

He pulled out a small data card from his pants pocket and passed it to Lieutenant Bolka, who placed it in a slot at one side of the monitor sat on the table.

“What your about to hear, is the last message received from a Danube class Runabout the USS Alberga.   Which was carrying a Vashra Diplomate and he’s aid.”  He signaled for the Lieutenant to hit the play button.

“Thi…this is High Ch…chanc…ellor  Kreen…they are…..they’re all gone!”  There was a moment of silence and heavy breathing. “My….my aid and the crew jus…t vanished.”

Hachiro got her to stop the recording there. “The rest of the message is partly garbled, and the Chancellor in rather a state of panic. Which is reasonable given the apparent situation” Continued Jinguji.

“So what do we believe happened?”  Asked the Vulcan

“As to what happened to the crew, Starfleet is at a loss.”  The Japanese man announced.  “However we do know Chancellor Kreen managed to bring the Runabout through this planets’ out atmosphere but crashed somewhere north of the central island chain.”

“Who are these Vashra?” Devron asked.

“Annexed by the Romulans over a hundred and fifty years ago, then due to the whole upheaval abandoned to fend for themselves.”  Interjected Bolka.

“Yes indeed.” Added Jinguji. “Which is why I believe a small craft like a Runabout was sent.  Their people have had enough of huge warships casting shadows over their planet.”

“And where do you come into all this, Captain?” Salan asked their guest.

“The Atragon carries on board her a rescue sub, the ‘Sea Quest’.  Your people want use to take a look at that ship and ascertain what actually happened”

“So it sunk?” Asked Jason.

The Bajoran nodded.  “Chances of it staying afloat would have been rather slim. But all dependent on the speed and angle it hit the water.”

The group continued to disguise the situation for a while longer, before Captain Jinguji left to rejoin his ship.

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Bridge MRT Artragon 18:05

It was roughly an hour later when the MRT Atragon made preparations to enter Y’Teck V’s outer atmosphere. Lyanna Stuart was so intrigued as to how this odd looking vessel was going to manage this feat, that she’d asked permission to go on board and witness the process first hand.  And that’s why the young Orion now found herself sat on the bridge of the ungainly looking starship.

In space the size, shape and mass of a vessel didn’t really matter; as long as you had some means of propulsion you could move it.  Whether it took you a few minutes or a few years, at some point you’d reach you destination.  But planets had atmospheres and gravity, two things that not all space going vessels got along with at the best of times.  So the fact the crew of the Atragon where now flying what basically had all the flight characteristics of a house-brick having left the warp-drive in orbit; was even amazing her.

“Height 9,000Km, speed 26,000Km, shields 87%” Announced the ships pilot.

“Deploy Air Foils.” Replied the Captain.

“Aye captain.  Air Foils deployed.”

The Atragon still seemed to be hurtling to the planet below, but the Ensign did note a change in the speed. Lyanna continued to watch as the male human pilot went about the task of flying the ship with practiced ease.

“Height 8,000Km, speed 24,000Km, shields 86%.”  The pilot continued to read off the three figures as each of them reduced until. “Height 1,000Km, speed 6,300Km, shields 82%.”

“Fire Plasma Jets, full power!”  Jinguji ordered.

The craft shuddered and groaned as the four huge engines came to life, decelerating the ship to an almost complete stop, a mere 300Km above the ocean surface and just over twice that distance due east of one of the larger of the islands that rang the planets equator. With a final set of instructions and careful input on the controls, the large craft maneuvered over towards the island then came to rest on the beach with a slight thud, her bow pointing out to sea, and her powerful engines once more fell silent.