Part of USS Arcturus: Icarus

Relics

Aldari System
Stardate 2401.1.30
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Arcturus dropped out of warp on the edge of the Aldari system. Commodore Logan was sitting in the advisor’s seat next to Captain Lancaster, and the captain had been quietly seething about his presence since their meeting. The appeal of being a starship captain diminished significantly when an embodiment of Starfleet Command was nearly literally breathing down his neck.

“Secure from warp, Captain,” Lieutenant Commander Marshall reported.

“Commence deep system scanning,” Lancaster ordered.

“There are ion trails and other evidence of recent impulse activity, but I am not detecting any vessels in the system,” Bowens said from the operations station. “Scratch that. We’ve picked up a Daedalus-class starship orbiting the second moon of Aldari V. It’s still transmitting a distress call.”

Lancaster glanced at his first officer and got a nod. “Lay in a parabolic course to intercept. I want as much time as possible to get as much data as we can before we’re on top of the Icarus,” he ordered. He turned to Logan. “With the commodore’s permission, of course.”

“Don’t get smart, Captain,” Logan replied as he looked at the readings on the small console attached to his seat.

“Course plotted,” Marshall replied.

“Execute.”

Keeping his eyes fixed on the viewscreen, Lancaster watched for any signs of trouble or a trap as the ship began its arc through the system to intercept the Icarus. More and more data began to come in, and it was clear that the ship was intact.

“They’re in a perfectly circular orbit of the moon, with no evidence of orbital decay,” Bowens noted.

“That suggests that it’s able to maintain its own attitude after all this time,” Alesser said.

“I’m not picking up life signs,” the operations officer added.

“Not from the ship, but I am seeing substantial evidence of colonization on the moon. And nearly 6,000 humanoids,” Armstrong said from the science station. “Without closer observation, it’s difficult to say, but this appears to be a peri-warp civilization. There’s no subspace activity of any kind or antimatter reactions, but there are signs of fusion-based technology.”

“Are there any indications they can see us, Commander?” Commodore Logan asked.

“No, sir. I’m not seeing anything in the way of orbital telescopes,” the science officer said.

As they got closer, a visual came in on the Icarus, and Lancaster was surprised to see that a large section of the ship’s spherical primary hull appeared to have been repaired with a different alloy than the rest of the ship—it didn’t look space-worthy, but someone had patched the ancient vessel up with local materials.

“What’s the radiation reading on the hull? We are deep enough inside the gas giant’s gravity well that I wouldn’t expect that ship to be habitable even if it weren’t full of holes,” Alesser asked.

“It’s significant, sir. Lethal exposure within a few hours,” Bowens said. “I’m seeing active power signatures on that ship. Not original to its design. There are areas of the ship that remain pressurized. I’m also seeing significant amounts of organic matter onboard.”

“So, life signs?” Alesser asked.

“No. It’s not reading that way,” Bowens said.

The operations officer tapped a button on his station to display his readings on the main viewer. In several areas of the ship, there were dozens or maybe hundreds of green rectangles indicating organic material arranged in tightly-packed clusters.

“Stasis tubes?” Lancaster wondered aloud.

“That technology was available in the 22nd century, but it’s not clear whether the Icarus had any tubes aboard,” Alesser reminded him. “We should investigate.”

“Agreed,” the captain said. “Extend our deflector screens around the Icarus, so we can safely beam a team over.”

“Aye,” the operations officer replied.

Lancaster was about to order Alesser to prepare an away team, but before he could speak, the proximity alert began to sound. He looked up to see the tell-tale shimmer of a vessel decloaking on the main viewscreen.

“Sir, Romulan vessel decloaking dead ahead,” Lieutenant Commander Izumo reported from tactical. “Old-style. Heavily modified.”

“Shields up. Yellow alert. Hail them,” Lancaster ordered.

“No response,” Rivera at communications said.

The vessel loomed on the viewscreen, clearly Romulan but from an era Lancaster had not studied well. There were discolored sections, and it didn’t appear to be fully functional. It was at least armed, though, as moments after decloaking, it unleashed a torrent of plasma energy from several different mounts. It was barely enough to light up Arcturus’s shields.

“Report,” Lancaster called.

“Shields remain at 100%,” Bowens said.

“They’re firing again,” Izumo warned.

Again the shields barely lit up.

“Are you just going to sit there while we’re being fired upon, Captain?” Logan asked.

“They’re not a threat to us,” Lancaster replied, drumming his fingers on the armrest as he thought about his next course of action. He reluctantly tapped the red alert control on his chair. “Tactical, set forward phasers to minimal power and fire a warning shot,” he ordered.

“Aye, firing,” Izumo said. “They’re returning fire, targeting our weapons.”

“Captain, I’m losing my patience with this,” Logan warned.

“Target their weapons array. Minimal power,” the captain ordered. “Fire.”

A low-power blast from the phaser array was more than enough to knock out the weapons on the ancient Romulan ship. On the viewer, it was clear that it had done much more, though. The warbird began to drift, as plasma fires erupted all over the hull.

“Their weapons systems seem to be interconnected with the engines,” Bowens reported. “They’re going to lose hull integrity within the next thirty seconds.”

“Any response to our hails yet?” Lancaster asked.

“No, sir, but they are transmitting to the surface,” Rivera reported.

“They don’t have escape pods,” Alesser noted. “Recommend beaming the crew aboard to get some answers.”

“Do it. Beam the crew to one of the cargo bays and have medical and security standing by,” the captain ordered.

“Transport complete,” Bowens said moments before the Romulan ship exploded.