Part of USS Cardiff: Thagomizer // Lost Fleet and Bravo Fleet: The Lost Fleet

Tallos

Planet of Paxtar
0 likes 324 views

“Captain, do you really think there’s something here?” Kaalir asked. The group had safely landed on Paxtar, no storm eddies catching them. Now they were carefully making their way up a scree-filled slope, Sarrik doggedly focused on the path ahead. 

     “I know we will, Lieutenant.” Sarrik stopped. “Let’s take a break and run scans.”

     Sighs of relief surrounded Sarrik as her team took the opportunity to hydrate and rest on rocks. She knew she was pushing them hard but felt driven and laser-focused, drawn up the mountain like a salmon coursing home. 

     Something like that. 

     Reva smiled, thinking Gareth would approve. The salmon was important to his spirituality. 

     “Nothing on scans, Captain.” Kaalir came up beside Reva. “It doesn’t seem like ships ever crashed in this location.” 

     Less than an hour later, high up the mountain, Reva stopped at a deep, short crevasse. Darkness yawned back at the group, despite the sunlight beating down on them. Jakka and Melshiffar cracked mag torches and tossed them down. The darkness swallowed the lights. After a moment, they heard a dull metallic clang. 

     “Okay, folks, here we are. Let’s set up the climbing gear and make our way down. Ensign Melshiffar, you are with us. Jakka, you and Breckin guard the top. Hopefully, we won’t be too long. Koban, once down, you’ll take double duty as security.”

     There was a chorus of ‘aye, sir’ before Mel, Tessen, and Koban, the spelunkers of the group, began setting up the climbing gear. Reva joined them, helping the novices get in harness. 

     “You will descend in pairs. Kaalir, you’re with Tessen. Murr, with Koban, Wynright with Melshiffar.”

     “What about you, Captain?” Kaalir asked. 

     “I will solo it, going down with the second group. Wynright and Melshiffar will go first, then Kaalir, Tessen, and I, followed by Murr and Koban.”

 

                                     *********************************

 

     Reva slid the rest of the way down the crevasse and unclipped the climbing harness. Kaalir and Tessen were just above her. Melshiffar had secured the area, and now her three arms held different tools for Wynright. 

     “It seems to be an exterior ship wall, Captain, though how the bloody hells it ended up in a mountain is beyond me, begging your pardon for the language,” Wynright said. The engineer stepped back so Reva could see. “And we still can’t pick it up on the scanners, even though it’s right here.”

     “It’s not a wall, Ensign. It’s a door,” Reva said. She ran light hands over the wall, then pressed one flat. There was a rumble of abandoned machinery, and a hatch hissed open. Stale air puffed out into the alcove. The captain stepped back, letting Lt. Melshiffar go first to secure the area. 

     “Captain? How did you know?” Wynright asked. 

     “I… am not quite sure, Ensign. It’s a pull, like a lodestone.”

     A brief clatter of small stones heralded Murr and Koban.  

     “You found something, Captain!” Murr broke off as Reva drew a sharp breath, and her hand flew to her head. He was at her side in a flash, medical tricorder whirring. Reva waved the medic off.

     “It’s nothing, Ensign.”

     “I beg to differ, Captain. Your blood pressure is dangerously high, and your serotonin levels are elevated.” Murr pressed a hypo against her neck, then pressed a canteen in her hands. “Drink, sir.”

     A deep rumble came from within the shadowed doorway, and pale purple light broke apart the darkness, revealing a corridor. 

     “Let’s go,” Reva said. 

                                      **************************** 

     “This place is amazing!” Wynright said. Reva knew the engineers would love to spend time exploring, but she’d resumed her dogged single-minded pursuit.

     “It’s creepy,” Koban growled. “Where are the people? Why isn’t this ship as damaged as the others? And how is it inside the mountain?”

     The Bajoran/Cardassian engineer wasn’t wrong. Reva had seen the other wrecks, most mangled ruins. While there was some damage, the buried ship was in far more pristine condition. She slowed as they approached a set of broad doors. They hissed sluggishly open, revealing what could only be the ship’s engineering bay. A gigantic, dormant crucible dominated the massive room. Deep cracks rent the sides, and weak light flickered from it. 

     Workstations lined the walls, with a few islands scattered in the middle. Reva made a beeline for a console in the middle and pressed her palm against it. A skittering and fluttering noise made Melshiffar and Koban raise phasers, ushering the others back. 

     “Dialln dekka, Urzas?” A voice called out.

     “Stand down,” Reva said, pushing between the pair as a form came flitting from around the monstrous crucible. “I’m not Ursaz. I’m looking for him, though.”

     A white-furred creature the size of a housecat, with feathery wings stopped before the group. It cocked its head at them. 

     “Urzas ko abbit. Depsi Sikkari meru. Descha mere?” 

     “I’m sorry. We don’t understand you. My name is Reva Sarrik. Captain Reva Sarrik.” Reva pointed to herself, then pointed to the winged being. “Who are you?”

     The creature’s language wasn’t in the universal translator banks, so she’d have to keep it talking as it was parsed out. It cocked its head.

     “You, Reva Sarrik. You name Reva Sarrik. Reva Sarrik mere nolas.” It paused, head tilting in the other direction. “Your name is Reva Sarrik.”

     Reva was impressed. Clearly, both sides were using a UT that had made even quicker work of communication. 

     “Aye. My name is Reva. What is your name?” 

     “I am Tallos, al’raj’li of the ASF Planeswalker.” A plaintive look creased the creature’s face. “Where is Urzas’shinraal?”

     “We’ve seen no one else. I… Urzas…shinraal saved my life here some time ago. But I did not see him then; I was blinded, then unconscious. No one was around when my crew rescued me, save a mummified corpse missing a leg.”

     ” What did the body look like?:” Tallos asked. Reva described it. 

     “I need to see the body to verify, but Urzas cannot die.” Tallos’ focus sharpened. “How did you get here? Why are you here, Captain?”

     “I can’t explain how I found this place. It’s well concealed. The ship doesn’t even register on our sensors while we are standing in it. I was drawn here, though. We’re looking for anything we might use in a war effort. An old and implacable enemy has returned. This ship itself would be a great asset.”

     “The depth well is cracked. She will not fly, not unless Mishros and the sik’setov can find us. Techomancers are required to do the repairs. And many would be required to refill the depth wells that drive the ship. Only the smaller ones are still intact.”

     “Depth well?” Wynright asked, then blushed. “Begging your pardon, Captain.”

     “It’s a valid question, Ensign,” Reva said. To Tallos, “What is a depth well? Your engine?”

     Tallos trilled a melodious yet mournful sound. “You fly very different. We have seen the other wrecks. The wells hold energy donated by the Technomancers. Ours were full on our maiden jump. But this went so very wrong. We did two successful jumps. The next brought us here but drained the primary well. Then the plasma storms caught us and left us unwilling residents of this rock.”

     “How long have you been here, Tallos? Where is your crew?” 

     “The Planeswalker has been here for two thousand years. Our maiden crew was minimal. Most lost their lives in the crash. The rest have long since crossed the threshold.”

      “If you’ve been here that long, how are you and Urzas still alive?” Reva asked. 

      “I am al’raj’li of the Planeswalker. I am the voice of the ship when Urzas is gone.” Tallos sank towards the ground before fluttering back to eye level. “It has been so long… I guess I am the al’raj of the ship now If Urzas is gone. And I am… alone.

     “You said you are at war, Captain?”

     “Yes,” Reva replied. 

     “Why should I allow you our technology?” Tallos’ gaze sharpened.

     “If the Dominion win, they will enslave the Alpha Quadrant. Neither you nor Urzas seems like the type to support such behaviour.”

     “What are you hoping to find here?”

     “Anything to help!” Kaalir burst out. She subsided at Reva’s sharp look. 

     “You have something that can disguise a ship completely. Can make it look like another type of ship altogether, that is nearly foolproof. Appearance, sensor readings, and crew numbers. You have shield technology that could be the difference between life and death for many of my compatriots and personal shields that can protect individuals. Technology with which they would be unfamiliar unless you… jumped… from the Gamma Quadrant.”

     ‘Now, how the hells did I know that?’ Reva wondered.

     “My dear Captain, the Planeswalker is not only not from your galaxy but not even from this universe. We are from a parallel plane, from the Andromeda galaxy of that plane.”

     “A different plane,” Wynright breathed, and at the same time, Kaalir exclaimed “Andromeda!” Reva didn’t chastise their outbursts. She was just as floored. 

     “Then no doubt they will not expect such tech,” Reva said with a wry grin. “Will you help us, Tallos?”

 

Comments

  • This is a cool premise for a mission, a mission of discovery that nonetheless is angled around the goal of defeating the Lost Fleet. The way you described the difficulties in communication was very believable. When two drastically different cultures meet, even if the universal translator can resolve the words, they don’t always make sense. Cool idea with the wells and jumps making a very alien form of tech here.

    June 27, 2023