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Part of USS Thyanis: The Raven of the Fourth and Bravo Fleet: The Lost Fleet

Act 2 – Part 4 – ‘The Core’

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Mission Day 14 - 1 hour after 'Away Mission'
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Oppenheimer Station


The true mass of the engineering blast door became suddenly evident as Harris assisted the ensign from the security detail in lifting its dead weight. The door had failed to open under its own power and although the manual release may have disengaged the actuators and interlocks, it still required old-fashioned elbow grease to open.

“Grab a wedge, Now!” Harris strained himself to say as he felt himself fatigue. 

Molly grabbed a piece of debris at her feet and wedged it into the gap created by the two officers, effectively holding the door open just enough for the away team to slip through.

Harris took a moment to catch his breath, their progress moving through the station had been slow. Many of the internal systems had been shut down to divert power to the equipment operating the singularity. The most concerning thing so far was that they had yet to encounter a single scientist or crew member from the station. Not even a body.

Molly began scanning the area, trying to pinpoint the gravimetric distortions. “Looks like there’s another chamber on the far side of engineering, It appears to be the source of the distortions and it’s also where all power is currently being routed,” she said, closing her tricorder and taking a glance at Harris who appeared to be struggling with some discomfort.

“Want me to take a look?” 

Harris stretched his back and felt it decompress with a satisfying crunch, “Nah, ill be fine. Just overexerted myself, that’s all,” he said before clutching his lower back again and crying briefly in pain.

Without hesitation, Molly waved her medical tricorder and took a look at the problem, “Looks like you’ve pulled a muscle, take a seat before you make it worse…doctors orders!” Molly opened her medicine bag, selected an analgesic, and loaded it into a hypospray. 

“Take five everyone,” Harris said as he gingerly lowered himself onto a chair.

The rest of the away team began to fan out and inspect their surroundings, leaving Harris and Molly almost alone for a moment. “You can drop the tough guy act yer know,” Molly said, as she administered the hypospray.

“What do you mean?” Harris asked curiously.

“Your back, I read your file… how come you never got treatment for it?” Molly asked, taking another scan.

“You read my file?”

“Doctor’s prerogative, now c’mon, why did you never get this treated?”

“You know why… six months in rehab, I’d have been grounded for nearly a year before Starfleet medical signed me off to fly again,” Harris began rubbing the base of his spine, he felt the drugs kicking in and soothing his pain.

“So what’s stopping you now? Medicine has come a long way in the last few years, you could be up and walking again in half the time.” Molly suggested as she took over and began to massage Harris’s spine.

“I don’t know, I guess I’ve lived with it for so long I’m used to the pain… Besides it hasn’t bothered me that much until today.” Harris jumped again as he felt Molly decompress his lower back a second time, a sharp pain ran up his spine and into his shoulder, and then all of a sudden he felt a great relief from his discomfort.

“Living with a broken back is no joke unless you get treatment for it, eventually it’s going to get worse,” Molly said, packing away her med kit. “Promise me you’ll think about it?” she added putting a hand on Harris’s shoulder and showing him a look of concern.

“Sure thing… but after the mission!” Harris replied with a smile.

“Commander, Doctor. You need to see this!” one of the ensigns yelled from the opposite side of the compartment. 

Harris made his way across the room with Molly following close behind, as their colleagues came into view, a gruesome discovery became apparent.

Leant against the wall were the remains of a corpse. It appeared ancient and skeletonised, though its uniform was Starfleet and of a lineage not more than a year old. Molly got to work taking some scans of the deceased. “Carbon dating suggests he died more than one hundred years ago… but the uniform…”

“The uniform is brand new, how can that happen?” Harris asked, looking concerned.

“We could be looking at some extremely localised time dilation effect,” Molly theorised, it was the only conclusion that made any sense in the circumstances.

“I thought you said the dilation was only twelve to one here?” Harris asked.

“I did, and it is, my best guess is that at some point, that ratio must have been much higher,” Molly replied.

“We need to get that door open, Ensigns!” Harris commanded the two security officers to start prising the door to the next room open, on this occasion he decided to give his back a rest and observe.

As the ensigns put all their effort into sliding the double doors, a small corridor was revealed with 5 further corpses, all skeletonised just as the Starfleet officer was, though these corpses were not human. They were Jem’Hedar. 

Meanwhile – USS Thyanis main bridge: 12 hours after the away team departure.


 

“Sir!, Proximity alarm, Im detecting an incoming vessel at the edge of the Lagrange cloud, but I’m struggling to get an I.D. due to the interference!” Lt Garcia alerted Commander Jones, suddenly breaking the monotony of their patient wait for updates from the away team.

“Red Alert, Shields up, Standby weapons!” Wallace instructed as he took the centre chair. 

The lights on the bridge dimmed and were replaced by a pulsing red glow accompanied by the piercing klaxon that signified a call to arms.

Garcia began configuring her console for battle, charging the phaser arrays and loading a torpedo into the tube. “Sheilds up, weapons ready sir!” She yelled over the deafening noise.

Wallace considered his options for a moment, he knew the incoming vessel could not be particularly large or else they wouldn’t be having much trouble identifying it, at the same time he knew that Thyanis only had a limited armament, and their battle with the Breen told him not to underestimate how easily they could be overpowered.

Reviewing his tactical display he noticed a number of pockets where the cloud density was much higher, and many were large enough to park the Thyanis inside.

“Ensign, take us into one of those dense particle pockets!” He ordered the helm.

As the ship glided into a nearby pocket, the dense cloud parted just long enough for the approaching vessel to be identified on the viewscreen, before once again being obscured by the dense debris and dust. 

“That’s a Ferengi D’kora class!” Garcia reported as she began a passive scan, “The warp signature matches Daimon Tal’s ship!” She added.

Wallace breathed a sigh of relief but did not permit himself to completely relax, ‘At least it’s a somewhat friendly face,’ he thought to himself. For the past few minutes he was terrified by the prospect that they were about to engage the Dominion for the first time, although not great news; he would take a Ferengi marauder any day over a Jem’Hedar cruiser. “Open a channel!” he said, deciding that ultimately, hiding away was unnecessary. After all – the Ferengi, despite their questionable ethics, were unlikely in his opinion; to open fire on a Federation vessel.

A chirp of the comm system signaled to Wallace that communication had been established, “Ferengi Vessel, you are approaching an installation under the jurisdiction of the United Federation of Planets, state your intentions!” Wallace said with a tone of authority.

“No response sir, the time dilation from the singularity might be causing the same communications blackout that we experienced!” said Garcia, her attention was then quickly captured by an alert on her console. “Sir the Ferengi are closing to transporter range with the station!”

Wallace spoke his thoughts out loud, “We need to warn them.” 

“I have an Idea sir,” Chief Catterick announced, “I might be able to re-establish two-way communications by using a phase compensation algorithm to align our carrier signal with theirs, it will take me some time to set up and it won’t be perfect.” 

“How long do you need, Chief?” Wallace asked.

“About three minutes!” Martin replied.

“Helm lay in an intercept course, put us between the Ferengi ship and the station, Garcia standby to fire a warning shot across their bow, lowest setting… I just want to get their attention and maybe get them to raise their shields!” Wallace gave his orders which the other officers wasted no time following.

“You’ve got about one minute, chief, work fast!” Wallace insisted.

Meanwhile – Onboard the Ferengi vessel 


 

“Approaching transporter range with the Hew-mon station Daimon!” Said the sharp-toothed helm officer as he gracefully maneuvered their ship’s hulk into position.

“Standby to energise!” Tal instructed, massaging his lower left lobe to soothe his anxiety.

“Daimon! I’m detecting another Vessel, closing fast!” Screamed the tactical officer.

There was no time to even react, a moment later Tal was shocked to see a phaser blast shoot across the view screen immediately followed by the Thyanis taking up a defensive position close to the station.

“Abort transport! Raise shields… I thought you said the Hew-mons had left…where in the name of the Nagus did they come from!” Tal barked in anger, his prize was within reach and the Federation ship was now standing directly in his way.

Before the embarrassed tactical officer could respond, an audio channel opened up over the Emergency frequency

Ferengi vessel, This…Federation….Thyanis, do not….to….-ansport….station, repeat….attempt…..transport!”

The transmission ended abruptly as Tal gestured for his communications officer to close the channel.

Tal began rubbing his lobes again, he knew his instructions were to eliminate the vessel, but he was still uncomfortable with actually engaging them. While his ship was superior in every aspect, he was consumed with worry for his fortune if the FCA ever found out what he was about to do.

Meanwhile – Oppenheimer station


 

Molly took a scan of one of the deceased Jem’Hedar and compared the readings to the dead Starfleet officer. The carbon dating was identical and she established that all the bodies had expired at roughly the same time. 

“What are we looking at?” Harris asked, carefully stepping around the corpses to kneel down next to the doctor.

“Same readings as the other one, whatever happened though, it was quick, they’re all still holding their weapons.” Molly pointed out, it wasn’t initially apparent but it did appear that all the Jem’Hedar had died simultaneously and they were in the process of assaulting the next room

“We need to get in the next room before something like this happens to us!” Harris stated, as he approached and inspected the final door. 

Strangely this door had power, but it was locked from the other side. The control panel in the corridor had already been ripped from the wall and it appeared as if one of the Jem’Hedar was in the process of hot wiring it before they met their end.

“Ensign, give me a hand!” Harris ordered as he drew his phaser and used it to disable the door mechanism before forcing the door open.

The first thing that everyone noticed from the next room was the blinding light, more than a thousand stars combined; it was painful to look at. The next thing was the sound, a deafening mechanical roar that stunned the senses. 

The team pushed their way through into the chamber, trying to focus on their tricorders for guidance as their physical senses became overwhelmed.

Molly grabbed the arm of the engineer and dragged him toward the source of her readings. As she approached the console she felt almost as if she was being physically pulled towards the core of the room, though she could not see beyond the maelstrom of blinding light.

She felt her way along a guard rail to the engineering console and got to work along with her colleague to stabilise the device.

She was so overwhelmed she could barely think, the readings were off the charts but she managed to ascertain that the device in front of her was some sort of containment matrix for the quantum singularity.

Working mainly off instinct and a limited understanding of the technology she initiated what she believed was a shutdown sequence and watched as the display signaled the singularity was dissipating. Seconds later it evaporated completely and the team was left dazed and disoriented but with nothing more serious than a mild tinnitus.

The device itself was a large circular console that enclosed a metallic sphere mounted on a jumbled mess of pipes and conduits coming from the floor and the ceiling.

The room itself was almost bare apart from a couple of wall consoles and one other occupant.

Molly caught sight of a figure, sitting up against one of the walls much like the Starfleet skeleton in the other room. She rushed over to render aid. It was a human male dressed in a lab coat, though he was extremely elderly, wrinkled, and with flowing white hair. 

“He’s unconscious but alive!” She reported as her medical tricorder began alerting her to his advanced age and age-related health issues. “A few minutes more, he’d have probably ended up like the others.” She added as she administered some medication.

“And the singularity?” Harris asked as he shook off his stupor.

“I think I shut it down…” Molly took a glance over at the engineer who was still at the console, verifying. 

“Confirmed, once the system was shut down, the singularity quickly evaporated due to hawking radiation.” The engineer reported.

“We should contact the ship and get this man to sickbay.” Molly insisted.

“Agreed and I’m sure the old man will want to know about our Jem’Hadar friends…” Harris tapped to activate his comm badge. 

“Harris to Thyanis…”

There was no response.

“Away team to Thyanis, come in.” He tried again, but still no response.

“Molly?” Harris queried, wondering if the effects of the singularity had actually dissipated.

Molly was about to run a scan, but the moment she opened her tricorder she was distracted by the sudden appearance of three golden transporter beams, quickly coalescing into the forms of three short, ugly looking, yet well dressed; Ferengi officers.

There was a brief standoff as both parties were surprised to see one another, however as the Ferengi already had their phasers drawn, they seized the advantage.

“Drop your weapons Hew-mons!”

Harris Immediately recognised their leader as he begrudgingly surrendered, “Daimon Tal!”

Comments

  • At least they were able to shut it down but now my question is what does the Ferengi want with whatever that device is? Will there be a firefight? So many questions that I have yet to figure out the answers to though I am sure will come as I read. Was there an exchange between the Thyanis and the Ferengi before they beamed to the station? Great job at setting this up with so many things going on with so few answers. Can't wait to read what happens next.

    May 30, 2023