Check out our latest Fleet Action!

 

Part of USS Jaxartes: These Are The Days Of Our Lives

Part 4: The Show Must Go On.

USS Jaxartes
29th July 2401 15:30
0 likes 210 views

Acting Captains log:

It is with a heavy heart and great sadness that I have had to report to Fleet Command that despite our best efforts and those of the New Alberta colonists no trace of Lieutenant Jason Devron can be found anywhere on the planet’s surface.  Nor has there been any indication that a cloaked or hidden vessel of some sort may have been responsible for his disappearance.  Therefore after six days of searching the decision to halt any further efforts has been taken.  I only hope the anger and frustration everyone feels, and the sense we are giving up too soon will pass.  Much of that anger is directed at me and I can well understand why.  I myself must keep those feeling in check, even if it makes me look uncaring right now.

It is now my responsibility to get this crew home.  Our fate and that of the ship is yet to be decided.  But we are not all returning.  Before we depart this hated planet, I must bid farewell to one more person.

<End Log>

            **********

Lyanna Stuart took one long look around the Aft Observation Lounge.  The balloons still hung from the ceiling, though a few of them had deflated a little in the six days since they’d been put up.  The silver and red banner proclaiming ‘Happy Birthday Captain’ hung on the wall just above the painting of the USS Jaxartes.  Plates and napkins sat staked at the far end of the large conference table.  The food had long since been removed though whether anyone had eaten any or simply tipped it in the waste shoot on the replicator, she wasn’t sure.  Only the cake remained protected by a Perspex dome, a near perfect miniature copy of a Raven class corvette in sponge, cream and icing.

The emergency call from New Alberta had side-lined the crews plans for a surprise party; a party in the end that never took place, for the Captain had never returned.

The young Orion wiped a tear from her cheek.  It would never do for the crew to see their commanding officer had been crying, no matter how dire and bleak the situation.  Then she stood and headed to deal with the next unavoidable issue. 

            **********

Doctor Phoebe Andrianakis had spent more time on the planet’s surface than any other member of the crew.  Now she was back in Sickbay, but this would only be a brief visit, her last visit in fact.  The USS Jaxartes was breaking orbit within the next few hours, and she wouldn’t be going with it.

She knew Lyanna would be on her way, possibly right now in fact. Ready to make one last plea for her to reconsider the decision she’d made.  But for better or worse Phoebe’s mind was made up, she was staying on New Alberta.

She’d never really realised the feeling that had built up towards Jason.  He’d just been a great friend and companion or so she thought.  But with his lose had come a vast emptiness; like her whole life had come to an abrupt grinding halt.  She would stay here, down on that planet and scour every millimetre of that mountains surface, alone and crawling on her hands and knees if she had to.  She’d keep on searching until she found answers or the wilderness claimed her lifeless body.  After all she felt dead inside already, so nothing else really mattered. 

When she’d lost the crew of the MRT Atragon in February she’d felt devastated.   Hachiro, Max, Lei, Joshua and Hoydock, had all been close friends.  They’d made a fantastic team in the short time they’d worked together.  But the crew of the Jaxartes had lost four of their own to that day, and it had been that shared lose that had brought them together.  Helped her and them cope with the strange circumstances that six months on had still not been resolved.

“I can’t convince you to change your mind can I?” Came the voice of the ships First Officer and now acting Captain, as she entered the room. Andrianakis turned towards the new arrival and shook her head solemnly.  “You know you’ll always be part of the family.” Lyanna continued trying to put on a brave face.

“I know. I just feel he’s still out there, hoping someone will find him.” Phoebe proclaimed.  “I can’t abandon him.”

“I know how you feel, but I have my marching orders.” The Orion looked down at her hands. “You’re a civilian so you have the right to do as you see fit.  In that way I envy you.” 

“Has the rest of my stuff been taken to the Transporter room?” The Greek woman asked.

“Yes, C’Rren actually saw to it for you.” Answered Stuart.  The Caitian Science officer was another one who’d formed a close bond with the doctor.  If truth be told they all had.  As Lyanna had said; they were a family. Diverse and complex, but a family never the less.

The EMH who had been conspicuous by his absence up until this point materialised at the foot of the nearest Bio-bed.  If a computer generated holographic program could ever show genuine signs of sadness, then right now would be a perfect example of it. “It has been my privilege to have worked alongside you doctor Andrianakis.” The EMH spoke softly, far removed from the harsh even brash manner with which he’d used during their first encounters.  There may only have been a half dozen or so physical forms the EMH’s had been programmed to take and each model type had started out with the same basic design and operational parameters.  But each one had become an individual; moulded by the environment they worked in, the needs of their patients and the crew in general.  You could line ten up in a row, all seemingly identical; yet Andrianakis knew she could pick this one out of the line with little difficulty.

“The privilege has been as much mine.” She half smiled back. “I leave Sickbay in your capable hands.” 

The EMH nodded respectfully, there wasn’t really much else it could say at that point.

“May I walk you to the Transporter room?” Lyanna asked the doctor.

“Certainly; that would be lovely.” The doctor replied picking a small backpack off the floor and grabbing her coat from the hook.

            ********** 

Roughly ten minutes later Phoebe was standing on one of the six circles that made up the transporter pad; her luggage such as it was occupied two additional circles to her right.  “Stay safe.” Lyanna said to her giving the doctor one last long huge. 

“May the wind always be at your back.” The Greek woman said softly.

“I will return, of that much I promise you.  This isn’t over, not by a long shot.” The Lieutenant promised.  Then she turned her head towards crewman Lightwood at the controls. “Energise.”

Barely had the doctor departed from the ship when Stuart received an urgent message from Engineering.

            **********

A few short minutes later the Orion was in the middle of Main Engineering arms folding across her chest.  “What do you mean; some of our Antimatter has gone missing?”

“Precisely what I’m saying.” Replied the Betazoid. “The computer constantly monitors the flow of how much enters the reaction chamber.  So it knows the levels remaining in the storage tanks.  The figures don’t match.”

“I guess a leak is totally out of the question?” Stuart enquired.

“We and this ship would be spread over a rather wide area of space by now, if that was the case.” Torf confirmed.

“Computer error?” She offered as a solution. “What about those anomalies you reported?”

“Myself and crewman Tyson both scanned the storage tanks and came up with the exact same answer the computer does.” 

“That answer being?”

“Twelve micro-grams of Antimatter are unaccounted for.  And despite that sounding like such a tiny amount.  It could have the same explosive potential as one of our photon torpedoes.”

“Oh crap!  We’re not going anywhere are we?” 

The Betazoid engineer simply shook his head in reply.