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Part of USS Thyanis: Children of the stars

Part 4 – Uncovering the past

USS Thyanis
Late April 2401
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At the foot of the ladder Garcia waited patiently for her Captain to descend the rungs and accompany her down the hall.

“From what they were saying, the crash site must be nearby,” Garcia explained as she followed a step behind the Commander.

“So they’re most likely the source of our distress signal?” Wallace asked.

“It’s possible sir, but one of them saw the Thyanis crash. He was trying to convince the others to come search for our location so they could call for help.” Garcia’s timbre lowered, “Although, He didn’t seem to recognise Thyanis as a starship, and he was talking about trying to get a message out on the radio.”

Wallace couldn’t contain a subtle chuckle in response to the Lieutenant’s naivety. “The term ‘Radio’ was once used broadly to describe many forms of communication, he was probably expanding the definition to subspace communication.”

“Respectfully sir, I don’t think so.” Garcia objected, suddenly overtaking and stepping before the Commander to gain his attention.

“He described the Radio like an object as if he thought the Thyanis would be equipped with one, and his companions seemed to understand exactly what he was talking about!” 

“What are you suggesting, Lieutenant?” Wallace asked, curious as to the nature of his security officer’s hypothesis.

Garcia paused for a moment, trying to process her thoughts. She wasn’t a scientist, but as an investigator, she understood human behaviour like an expert. There was something about the man she mentioned, the way he spoke and described what he saw. She couldn’t quite put her finger on it and explain it simply for the commander, but she knew that he wasn’t using a metaphor when he talked about the radio.

“I’m not sure yet sir, all I know is that everything I know about human behaviour is telling me that he genuinely didn’t recognise Thyanis… he called us an Aircraft, not a spaceship or starship…That’s a pretty unusual way to describe the ship don’t you think?” Said Garcia.

Wallace pondered for a moment, looking at the floor and stroking his goatee. “You have a point… Let’s see what the team searching for the crash site finds…maybe it will shed some more light on who these people are.”

 

Meanwhile – 6 Kilometres East of Thyanis

“I can’t remember the last time I went on an away mission that didn’t involve an engine room or a warp nacelle, being an engineer doesn’t exactly get you interesting assignments all the time commander.” Said Chief Catterick, passing the time as he and Harris made progress through the dense forest.

“It’s kinda lucky Thyanis wasn’t too badly damaged, or the captain might have recommended you send a crewman to accompany me!” Harris replied, gingerly stepping over a fallen branch in his path; the crunch of dried leaves under his feet.

“Can I ask why you picked me sir?” asked Martin, his tone oozing a curious disposition.

“I know a starship when I see one, and you’re the best engineer on the ship, I might need your skills,” Harris responded earnestly.

“I understand this ship is supposed to have crashed, are we planning on getting it flying again?” Martin pressed.

Harris stood his ground, turned back, and looked his companion in the eye, “Martin… for the love of God, just enjoy the fresh air.”

With Harris’s next step, the crunch under his foot suddenly turned hollow and metallic. Both men looked at each other in surprise as they both drew their Tricorders and began their scans.

“I’m reading components of Titanium, Silica glass, copper, gold, and magnesium,” Harris reported.

“I’m also picking up a chemical propulsion system, hypergolic propellants… I don’t know anyone in the federation who still uses this kind of technology.” Martin pointed out.

Harris had scanned enough, he put his tricorder away and knelt down where he stood. He began sweeping away the debris on the forest floor; twigs, dead leaves, and a layer of topsoil.

Slowly, his efforts began to reveal an emblem imprinted upon the hull of the vessel that was apparently now buried beneath them.

“ARCHIMEDES 1”

“UNITED STATES OF AMERICA”

Sandwiched between the two lines of text, the unmistakable star-spangled banner of the land of the free and home of the brave.

Harris tapped his communicator, “Tan to Thyanis, we’ve found the crash site, and I think we have a pretty good idea who our townspeople are!”

Sunrise – USS Thyanis Transporter room.

 

Commander Jones and Lieutenant Commander Tan stormed into the Transporter room with purpose, Wallace led whilst listening to his first officer’s report. “You’re sure it was the Archimedes one? It couldn’t have been a probe or some other space debris?” Wallace asked as he unlocked the Transporter console.

“Sir, I know my historical ship’s, I’m absolutely sure. I ran a geological scan, the wreckage is almost completely buried in bedrock, but it’s dimensions and specifications match…sir, it’s the Archimedes alright!” Harris responded, locking eyes with his commanding officer in order to transmit his sincerity.

Wallace procrastinated, tapping the console nervously. “Well, we’ll know for sure in a moment either way… or I’m about to get us into a lot of trouble!”

Wallace’s hands glided over the console. His fingers,  delicately calibrating the targeting scanners into alignment. “I’ve got one individual separate from the others, hopefully if we work fast he won’t be missed.” Wallace confirmed his selection and locked the Transporter onto his target, he then hovered his hand over the initiation control and hesitated; shooting a final glance to his first officer, “last chance to back out.” He said with a grave look of doubt and concern on his face.

“Wallace, trust me… it’s the Archimedes!” Harris responded, his voice strained with anticipation.

“Very well, energising!” Wallace engaged the Transporter sequence, and the machinery began to hum and growl as it came to life. 

Shower of blue light coalesced into the crude form of a human being, steadily becoming more and more recognisable as a man now stood on the pad. “Setting the pattern buffer to hold him in stasis.” Wallace announced, effectively freezing the man where he stood. The technique was quite safe, and if his pattern was returned before fully materialising then Wallace knew he should only feel a little light headed, and have no memory of having been beamed onto the Thyanis

“Computer, run a DNA analysis on the individual currently held in the pattern buffer, cross reference with available records for all known 21st century records for the Archimedes one mission.” Harris requested as he typed away on his PADD, searching for a matching personnel profile.

“DNA ANALYSIS COMPLETE. TRANSPORTER PATTERN IS A MATCH FOR ONE COLONEL MICHAEL HANNON. MISSION COMMANDER & COMMAND MODULE PILOT. ARCHIMEDES ONE” 

The computer had spoken, both Harris and Commander Jones couldn’t help but express their amazement in the expression on their faces. “Believe me now sir?” Harris jested.

Wallace was still sceptical, “This doesn’t make any sense, the Archimedes went missing over 300 years ago, how is he still alive after all this time, and as youthful as the day they left?” Wallace questioned rhetorically, pondering several possibilities before he was abruptly interrupted by an alarm from the Transporter console. “The pattern is losing cohesion, we need to send him back!”

“Sir, if I may?” Harris stepped behind the console and Indicated he wanted to take over the controls. With limited time left he began a scan of the Colonel’s pattern for abnormalities.

“Hurry it up Harris! We don’t want the fail-safes to kick in and materialise him here on the deck…send him back! Now Commander!” Wallace ordered, watching the computer count down on the console in front of him.

“Just a sec, we might not get another chance to…” All of a sudden, the background hum of the energised Transporter pad began to fade, the absence of its electro mechanical buzz struck a sharp pain of anxiety into Harris’s heart. Sheepishly he began to look up to see the Colonel stood looking confused, amazed and terrified all at the same time. He cursed under his breath, realising his time had run out.

“What the… where am I!… who the hell are you?…and how’d I get here!” The colonel began to yell as consciousness found him in his state of confusion.

Quick to try and calm the situation, Wallace approached the pad, arms outstretched and palms showing, trying to look as non-threatening as possible. “Colonel, please…try to remain calm, we mean you no harm…”

Wallace’s words seldom appeared to soothe the Colonel who was now entering a fight or flight response, “You’re with ECON!” 

“NO!..no, we’re not your enemy Colonel! We’re here to help, if you’ll just let me explain!” Wallace desperately tried to negotiate, the then noticed the Colonel’s eyes fixate on something behind Harris. Wallace took a brief glance and noticed the Master Situation Display on the back wall of the Transporter room.

“U.S.S?…you guys US Navy?” The Colonel asked, his voice somewhat calmer.

“Well, not exactly.” Wallace replied, hesitant to reveal the whole truth as he tried to think of how best to handle the situation. He took a deep sigh and swallowed his pride, approaching the situation head on. “I am Commander Wallace Jones, you are aboard the Federation Starship Thyanis. I’m happy to answer all your questions in good time, but you should know, some of the answers to those questions might be a little difficult to digest.” 

Wallace and the Colonel exchanged eye contact, both men trying to read the other’s expressions. This was far from an ideal situation, and one that Wallace had hoped to avoid at all costs. Alas there was no turning back now, he would just have to make the best out of an undesirable situation and try to salvage something of a rapport with their guest.