Literary Challenge #13 : The Void
Hello and welcome to another edition of our writers' challenges! :cool:
Today we start the two-week run of the thirteenth Literary Challenge: The Void
While en route back to Deep Space Nine after a week-long survey mission of a star that recently went supernova, your Operations Bridge Officer informs you that a micro-wormhole has appeared several parsecs ahead of you. After letting DS9 know, you alter course to investigate. As you arrive and begin surveying the anomaly, something triggers and it instantly grows exponentially, pulling your ship in in the process. As the violent turbulence subsides, you turn on your viewscreen and notice that the region of space has no sign of any stars -- this is no wormhole. As you begin planning what do do next with your Senior Officers, you reflect back on your Academy days and remember learning about a time when the Voyager crew experienced a similar phenomenon. Who did you meet there? Were you able to get them to work with you? How did you escape the void? Write a Captain's Log entry letting us know.
This is the writer's thread -- only entries should be made here.
The Discussion Thread can be found HERE.
We also have an Index of previous challenges HERE.
The rules may change from one challenge to another, but I'd like to remind everyone what the base rules are. These may grow as we move on, so also feel free to give feedback!
Captains Log: Stardate 88141.5
It's been almost two weeks since we lost Deep Space 9 to the Jem'Hadar. I was there when it happened. Frankly they caught us with our pants down. The U.S.S. Geist had taken moderate damage while protecting the ships during evacuation. Luckily repairs only took a few days but I was issued orders straight from Vice Admiral Janeway herself. For the record I've never liked her. I honestly don't think she fully deserved to be promoted as high as she had been when she returned, and frankly she'd not been a fan of mine either considering my tactical history. Needless to say it rubbed me the wrong way when she hailed me before we relaunched. Babysitting. God forbid we have a crisis of possible war, and all she can think about is sending her prized science team to do a survey mission. She knows I hate it and she knows the Geist isn't a Science vessel, but during the briefing she made too good a point as to why they chose us.
There was a star going super nova and they wanted it studied but the system was closer to DS9 than StarFleet had been comfortable with. They worry that the Dominion fleet might be uncomfortable with a Federation ship that close or they might try to make a show of force, so they want a ship that can at least defend itself. It took about a week for the survey. Boring work and not a single hint of Jem'Hadar or Dominion, or even any word on what was happening on Bajor. The entire event seemed to be coming as per usual but there was a higher than normal reading of gravitons. A few of the members on the science team theorized that this was a possible explanation of why DS9 couldn't contact the Dominion on the other side of the wormhole. It was only a standing theory until we could get to Bajor and study the readings with proper equipment. It was as we were leaving the system that sensors detected a micro-wormhole. The wormhole itself seemed to be the cause of the high graviton readings, not the star. As we investigated further there was a graviton spike. The micro-wormhole expanded exponentially and the Geist was swallowed whole, like some giant monster from those stories my grandfather would tell me.
Pitch black. There was nothing there. Simply nothing. No matter of any sort. It had happened so fast I hadn't even given the command for red alert. A mistake I would regret. They came from no where. 3 Jem'Hadar ships. I'll give it to the Dominion, when they hit they hit HARD. Some kind of Phased Polaron beams and power was fluctuating all over the ship. Shields weren't responding as they started beaming in boarding parties. We held are own though. They were using old tactics, that meant that they must have been from the fleet that took Deep Space 9. This gave us a few advantages. One of which was a Genetically engineered person on my ship for the last year Wraith who handled most of the boarding parties. The other was the U.S.S. Geist is an escort. Specifically a heavily modified Prometheus class built with Borg incursions as well as various "Non-sanctioned" missions and her crew. Highly trained and heavily armed. We'd hit them back with Anti-Proton cannons. They hit us hard, but we hit them harder. They came swooping in for one more pass beaming out some supplies, mostly medical and biochemical, as well as the remaining soldiers on the ship. It wasn't until later that we'd figure out the some of the supplies taken could be used in making a make shift Ketracel-white.
We'd keep track of them for the next few days. They wouldn't risk attacking again as long as we held the advantage. This would give us time to figure out a plan. Once we had peace and quiet it wasn't long before some of my crew reported that the science crew was acting funny. They knew something and were panicking. Then it hit me. Janeway.... She had spoken on this once or twice at the academy while I there for some briefings when we first met. She didn't like me from the start being that i would be captaining a new "battleship" as she kept referring to it. Ha! If only she knew some of the scientific discoveries I've had to destroy to keep the Federation running safely. So when I started hitting the records I found of a series of logs she had made her self. The Void she called it. Even back then you could hear the Vice Admiral speaking. Science this, unprecedented that, although it was refreshing to see her without the air of superiority about her. I watched as much as I could stomach before turning it over to Mr. Sabin, my Vulcan Science Officer. As I readied a few tactical plans in case our friends decided to return, Sabin had contacted me that he'd reached the end of the logs as well as a solution.
I didn't like it but it made sense. First and foremost It would take modifications to the Deflector dish. Luckily this ship has one hell of a Warp Core. Power to the Deflector field wouldn't be an issue and once we're free the Geist has the speed to get us far enough to avoid being sucked in. The problem as it were, was the gravitons. No matter how hard it pushed or how fast it flew, the Geist wouldn't be able to pull free of the graviton field unless we had a polaron modulator. Since we're an escort we don't have the replication abilities for scientific equipment or heavy industrial parts, just what we need and can use for the ship itself as well as the problem of the ship being fit primarily for anti-proton relays and arrays, nothing compatible with polaron systems. This means that we needed the Jem'Hadar ships. I just hope that we wouldn't need to take the Jem'Hadar out of them first.
They tried to keep their distance at first, but the Geist over took them easily. I had My helmsman hail them. Nothing. Instead they turned taking an attack position. The Battle was short as they were decades behind in technology and tactics. Disabling their engines as well as shields, we hailed once more. This time they were more than willing to answer. There was only one Vorta, a young one at that. The boy look terrified but held his ground. He demanded that we leave them be or they would be forced to retaliate. The Jem'Hadar would rather die in combat than be Federation prisoners. At this point I had our supplies beamed back aboard along with any unused Ketracel-white. I reminded him of the effects of Ketracel withdrawal. He became a little more willing to listen. The terms: We help them repair their engines as well as return what little white they had left as well as enough of the materials they stole to synthesize enough to get them back to Deep Space 9, and in turn they help us by modifying their deflectors as well as building the Polaron Modulator that would help us all escape. "What would keep us from just betraying you as we try to escape?" the boy asked. Imagine the look on his face as the Geist initiated Multi Vector Assault Mode. Personally I don't trust the Vorta, but in a random bit I know I can trust the Jem'Hadar. They have a system on honor, albeit a bit warped, but if I played it just right, they would let us leave in peace.
Tensions ran high on both sides. Neither crew really seemed to like working side by side but they kept it civil. Minus a few after hour challenges to sparring. After a few days all the preparations were finalized. It took all six vessels, the three Jem'Hadar ships and the 3 separate sections of the Geist, to break free. We waited until the micro-worm hole was accumulating gravitons. As it enlarged we all hit warp 9, deflectors at maximum. As the graviton fields started hitting critical levels the Jem'Hadar ships engaged the polaron modulators to give us the final edge we needed, narrowly escaping before the field polarity reversed and things would be pulled back in. Apparently during the flight the Vorta tried to fire upon our ship when he was stopped by the eldest. He stood by his honor and once free we parted ways. The U.S.S. Geist rejoined and continued on to Bajor as the attack ships flew home. For once it's nice to end a mission with out the moral ambiguity. On a side note, I'll have to send a fruit basket or something to Vice Admiral Janeway's office, and just to get her goat, I won't ever explain why....
Computer: End Log
Captain Elysis Corbantez stood staring out window of her ready room portal looking at nothing. Not the normal nothing that defined the void of space, which normally was filled with pin size points of light, or the comforting lines of light created as stars slipping by her ship while in warp. This was a different, nothing.
She caught a glimpse of her expression in her reflection on the glass. It was an expression she'd learned to hide as a Captain in Star Fleet, but occasionally it surfaced. Someone who didn't know her wouldn't have even noticed, but to those who did it was her tell - she was worried.
"Stop it Elysis.", She muttered to herself turned quickly toward her desk and took her seat.
She tapped a button on her PADD and the computer chirped it was recording..
"Captain's Log: Stardate 86143.94."
"At approximately 0937 this morning LT. Mays detected what appeared to be a micro-wormwhole 4.3 parsecs from the ship. I immediately informed Deep Space Nine that our arrival was going to be delayed while we investigated this wormwhole. Upon our arrival on station to investigate the disturbance, several graviton fluxuations where detected which prompted a yellow alert condition. I ordered that the FireHawk remain at least 15Km from the disturbance."
"As we began to scan the anomaly it expanded dramatically outward towards the ship. The detected gravity fluxuations spiked and the ship lost station and was pulled towards the wormwhole. I immediately ordered reverse thrusters but the newly generated gravity well was too much for the ship to overcome."
"I sounded red-alert, and ordered the ship about at full impulse. The moment we engaged our impulse drive the wormwhole seemed to expand and open, like a large fish swallowing a smaller one. Inertial dampers were unable to compensate for the sudden acceleration, resulting in several injuries throughout the ship. Medical teams have had their hands full responding, a full report in pending."
"As quickly as the disturbance appeared it also vanished. The ship, for the most part, was unharmed by the event, but the crew has been shaken. We are holding station at what I believe is our last location, but telemetry is failing to return the true nature of our course, speed, or location. I have ordered a full report from all department heads."
"We do not know where "here" is. The region of space we now find ourselves is completely devoid of all identifiable stars, planets, or even particles. Science is currently scanning the surrounding area, but it's as if we have been removed from reality or known space. All communications with Star Fleet Command have been cut off. Beyond the hull plating of this ship there is.. nothing."
"I am holding an emergency staff meeting at 1600 to see if we can come up with some answers."
She pressed the button again pausing the recording. She took a fleeting glance at the window again, as if magically their situation would have changed. Still.. nothing. Elysis stood up, grabbed the front of her jacket straightening it, and strode towards the doors of her ready-room. Even before the hiss of the parting doors ended she was barking orders to those on the bridge, "Science what have you got.. and don't tell me nothing.. "
Admiral's log, stardate 89749.73.
Despite the fears of certain Starfleet Intelligence officers, our survey of the remnants of the Zeta Andronicus supernova revealed no signs of foul play. Instead, the supernova seems to have been completely natural. The reason why we didn't predict this event seems to simply be a case of poor surveying in the past. We were on our way back to DS9 and Bajor when everything went to sh- [recording deleted]
The Harmony was on its way back to Deep Space Nine when we encounted an odd anomaly. It appeared to be some kind of micro wormhole and, as we have standing orders to investigate wormholes, we took a detour to investigate it. And as soon as we started scanning it, the micro wormhole decided to become a macro wormhole. And not a wormhole.
We're stuck in some sort of empty void and our systems are starting to degrade. Soon they'll fail and ... well, sensors have picked up dozens of ships in here. Federation, Klingon, Romulan, Tzenkethi ... all empty and cold and dead. If we don't find a way out of here, we'll end up the same way.
Admiral's log, stardate 89749.98
Good news, bad news and more good news.
The first bit of good news; we're not alone here. Unfortunately this leads right into the bad news. A Klingon carrier group is in here with us, and they're annoyed.
The other bit of good news is that this has happened before. Which doesn't sound too good until I add that the ship that got stuck in here before was the Voyager, and they got out.
Okay, more bad news. It seems that despite having far more power at our disposal than Voyager did, the Harmony isn't getting out of here alone. We need more power for Voyager's method to work, and we need it in more places.
So, I'm going to take a risk. This could easily go wrong and get us all killed, but ... the other choice is to die slowly. I'm going to have to try and get the Klingons to help.
Admiral's log, supplemental.
Why does everyone try going for my eyes? First Takerra, now Scoots.
Or, I suppose, Brigadier General Scoo Taroo of the IKS whatever. I guess that's a problem when you come from a neutral world - you might see people you know on the other side. And I know - knew her. She was quite young the last time I saw her and she's grown a lot since then. Not much physically, but in every other way ... a lot. I remember when she and her friends used to run around town getting in trouble. Now she's a KDF officer equal in rank to me.
And as cold as she's become, she still has some of her old self in her. Enough that she's willing to cooperate with me to get everyone ot of here. Unfortunately, some of her officers would prefer to kill us and they pushed her into a corner. Either she fought me or she'd face open mutiny from those troublemakers.
I think I know part of how she went up so many ranks so fast, too. She's quick and more than happy to use every unfair advantage she can get. And, judging by how she turned and dealt with the leader of the militant faction of her officers, more than willing to kill her crew if they get out of line. It saddens me that the little girl I used to know has turned into this cold young woman, but ... it worked. Her ships did exactly as she told them to - one of them was apparently a bit slow, but it hurried up when her ship locked weapons on it. With the help of the Klingons we managed to recreate the events that led us to this void and escape. Then she took her ships and left. I get the feeling that she'll need to replace several of her officers when she reaches the nearest Klingon port.
I feel old and depressed. Hopefully I'll be able to pick something strong up on DS9.
The Spider's Web - Part 1
Captain’s Log: This is Pii reporting.
We were returning to DS9 after spending a week studying a super nova remnant in a system near the Rolor Nebula. My science teams were happy to examine the stellar core fragment; an opportunity that did not come along often in the multi-front war that the Federation faces. With enemies all around us, chances for science or engineering projects that don’t have military applications have taken a back seat to the lines of research that could make a difference in these wars. As an Engineer, I have to admit that this particular mission didn’t provide me with anything of significant interest; I did find the stellar core fragment to be aesthetically pleasing when viewed through the spectral analyzer of my optical implant.
My science officer, Thule, roused me from my regeneration process. I stepped out of the Borg alcove in my ready room. Although my regeneration process was interrupted, I checked my power reserves and determined that it was adequate for the next 26 hours. I initiated the alcove’s low power mode and left the ready room.
When I entered the bridge, I looked around the mostly empty command center. Conferring with my internal chronometer, it was 0300. The crew was still in their bunks. It would be a couple more hours before they would relieve the night shift and begin their day. I spotted Lieutenant Commander Thule at the science station studying the console intently. I walked over to him and asked for a report.
“I’m sorry to rouse you so early, Captain,” the Andorian scientist replied, “but we’ve just found something interesting.”
“What is it?”
“Sensors detected a cocktail of particles that we know are commonly associated with recent wormhole activity.”
“A wormhole? Where is it?” I asked as I scanned the view screen for the tell-tale signs of the wormhole. My optical implant didn’t identify anything unusual.
“It’s a micro-wormhole,” Thule explained. “I’m magnifying it. It’s on screen now.”
I examined the anomaly again. It certainly looked like a wormhole, but there was something about it that wasn’t right. I turned to Thule and said, “Wake the bridge crew and the science teams. I want this wormhole analyzed before we return to Deep Space Nine.” Then, I turned to the ensign at the helm and ordered her to adjust our heading to move us closer to the micro-singularity.
While Thule and the helmsman followed my orders, I took my seat in the command chair and hailed Starfleet command to inform them of our discovery and the subsequent delay in our arrival. As I finished my conference call, the bridge crew trickled in with caffeinated mugs in hand, took their stations, and relieved the night shift. They were bleary-eyed and more than a little annoyed to have been roused from their much deserved sleep so early. However, no one said that life in Starfleet would be easy.
Our initial scans didn’t identify anything unusual about the micro-wormhole, so I ordered Engineering to prepare a micro-probe to take a closer look at it. As I waited for the announcement from Engineering that the probe was ready to launch, I perused the Starfleet database for data pertaining to wormholes, and more specifically, micro-singularities.
“Captain Pii, Commander Craxol announced over the intercom. “The micro-probe is ready.”
I watched the probe travel the distance between the ship and the micro-wormhole from the view screen. I calculated the distance to the wormhole. “Let’s see if we can crack it open. Initiate verteron particle burst in three, two, one.”
As Thule initiated the particle burst, the wormhole opened up and swallowed the micro-probe. However, it didn’t end there. It continued to gobble up the space between us at an alarming rate. Before I could order the ship to back off, the anomaly’s quickly growing maw swallowed the Copernicus whole.
The Spider's Web - Part 2
Explosions erupted all over the bridge as several EPS relays overloaded. The ship shook violently. According to my internal chronometer, the transit through the anomaly lasted for 33.6 seconds before we reached its opposite aperture. I picked myself off the ground and returned to my seat.
“Damage report,” I called out to my Operations officer, Jensen Marcombe. As he rambled through the list of damaged systems, I began to notice something disturbing on the view screen. “Where are the stars?” My question caused the bridge crew to pause in their duties as they looked to the view screen and marveled at the obvious lack of our celestial companions. “Where are we?” I demanded.
The order spurred them back into action. Thule checked and rechecked the sensors. “Confirmed, Captain. There are no stars in this region of space. However, I’m detecting several derelict ships nearby.”
As an analysis of the ships began, Thule announced that one of the dead ships powered up its systems and was approaching the Copernicus. I asked for a threat analysis, and my tactical officer announced that most of its weapons and defensive systems were offline and that it was operating in a reduced power mode. I ordered the comm officer to hail that ship.
A moment later, a strange alien appeared on the viewer. I asked him to identify himself. “There’s no time for that,” he replied quickly. “Power down your systems immediately before it detects you.”
His demands caught me off guard. As I stumbled for a reply, he continued. “Bah. Too late. It’s seen us. We’ve got to get as far away from here as we can.”
“What is it?” I demanded.
“The creature that calls this realm home, hungers for energy, and with your massive warp core, your ship can sustain it for quite some time. Beam me and my crew aboard, and I’ll sacrifice my ship to give yours an opportunity to escape.”
I glanced over to Thule who shrugged, indicating that he didn’t detect any creature. “It’s invisible to scanners, but I can show you how to configure them to see it. It’s nearly upon us. Beam us to your ship now!”
The transmission was cut off suddenly, as the alien vessel’s power systems began to fluctuate dramatically. When the first in a series of small explosions rocked the alien vessel, I ordered my crew to transport them aboard and warp away from their ship.
I took an armed security team to the transporter room to greet the five members of the alien crew. They all appeared emaciated and wore a long history of injuries on their frail frames. A pair of them carried a large piece of equipment and set it down once the transport was complete. I greeted them, introduced myself, and asked them to accompany me to sick bay.
“I am Georgio Hah’kano of the Chortorron freighter Pleiseid,” he replied. “We are glad you came along when you did; our power reserves were running dangerously low. We wouldn’t have survived another week let alone another encounter with the creature.”
“Our doctor is going to treat your injuries and make sure you’ve had a good meal,” I said. “When you’re ready, we have some questions.”
“There’s no time to waste. The only thing I require is your ship.”
The security team swung their rifles toward the alien crew. I indicated to them to hold their fire with a clenched fist raised to shoulder level. “My ship?”
“You have the power reserves necessary to get us all out of this place.” He reached slowly into his pocket, removed a small padd, and handed to me. I quickly studied the data displayed on the padd, as he continued, “As promised, here are the sensor specifications that will let you see the creature that’s hunting you. It can completely drain every watt of power from your systems in a matter of minutes. There are two ways to escape it: keep moving, or completely power down your systems, which I suspect is not an easy process for your ship.”
“That is an astute observation,” I said handing the padd to the officer closest to me. “Take this to Commander Craxol and have her configure our sensors to these specifications and notify me the moment it’s ready.” The officer took the padd and trotted down the hall to the turbo lift. Then, I urged Captain Hah’kano to tell me everything he knew about the situation that we found ourselves in.
Over the next hour in sick bay, he told us about himself, his crew and ship, their mission, the void, the creature, and what was required to escape. Essentially, they were part of a convoy carrying supplies from their homeworld to one of their outer colonies, when the void swallowed the convoy. The trip into the void damaged their ship severely and they had to shut down all systems to prevent disaster. It was their saving grace as it turned out, because the lifeform sensed their arrival and immediately fed on all of the ships in the convoy but theirs. Once they got their systems online, they turned and ran from the creature. Eventually, they discovered that they could escape the creature by shutting down power until it was at least six light years away. They’ve been playing a game of hide and seek with the creature ever since.
Amazingly, they survived in the void for four years seven months and twenty-one days. They rationed their supplies until they ran out and scavenged what they could from the new ships that entered the void that tried to either fight the creature or weren’t fast enough to run from it. Over the years, they cooperated with other survivors. But equipment malfunctions, slow shutdown and start up times ultimately led to their eventual destruction. The crew of the Pleiseid was stranded and alone in the void.
During their say, they searched every inch of the void for a way out. They provided a navigational chart of the void that described its shape as an ellipse that spanned more than 30 light years at its widest point. The only known aperture is the same one we used to enter the void. The creature stalks the area heavily knowing that a food source may arrive at any time. Over time, they came to discover that they could trigger the aperature to open. However, with their dwindling power reserves, they were unable to muster enough power to maintain the opening long enough for them to escape. That is until we arrived, when they sacrificed their own vessel to help all of us escape the void.
When Craxol reported in that the sensor array was ready, I pulled up a sensor display and saw the creature that pursued the Copernicus for the first time. It was massive and moved at surprising speeds. It was not going to be easy to stay away from it.
When the Chortorron Captain finally outlined the escape plan, I determined it to be sound and set my crew to interface their equipment with our deflector dish. We waited until we were out of range of the creature’s immediate view before we dropped out of warp, powered down all systems, and began the upgrades. Once the creature passed by the sleeping Copernicus and moved out of view, we powered up and traveled at maximum warp back to the aperture.
It wasn’t going to be easy. Based on the equations Georgio provided, I calculated that we had enough power to hold the aperture open for 38.8 seconds. It didn’t leave much room for error, but the level of risk was acceptable. We quickly took a position close to the exit, and triggered a deflector pulse to kick start the aperture into its expansion phase. With our shield configured to a matching frequency, we dumped warp power into them, which blew out relays across the entire ship. Traveling at full impulse, we entered the aperture, and immediately felt the resistance of the aperture against our shields. The ship began to shake violently as it attempted to squeeze us back into the void, but we fought valiantly for every kilometer that we traveled.
Our power reserves immediately began to dwindle. We diverted auxiliary power to the shields followed by emergency power. As our power levels spiked, the strain of the aperture on our shields decreased momentarily as it was shoved away from the ship. Reaching a crawl, we successfully exited the void. We rerouted power away from the shields and dumped it into engines. We jumped to warp for a few moments to get away from the strange anomaly. Once we were a safe distance away, we launched a warning beacon and resumed a course for Deep Space Nine.
The Unknown Possibilties
Personal Log: Stardate 89023.1
I know I have told the story before, but I have to hear myself say it again. My husband, our children and I had taken some early time off before the World Series so we could go visit my parents on Bajor. So, we stuffed ourselves into shuttlecraft 05, or the USS Spectre as Admiral Sharp had named it and started making our way from the Betreka nebula to my home planet. It was beyond beautiful, with the swirls of gas everywhere, and the spectrograph readings were just unbelievable. To Soral it was like he was touring the Bajoran Art Gallery. He had all of the sensor displays up, and just seemed to stare at them.
We detected what appeared to be a small wormhole nearby, one that didn't show up on current charts of the area, nor did it show up on sensors when the Stellar Drift passed through this area a few days earlier. Since it wasn't too far out of our way, Soral and I went to investigate. Out of nowhere, main power went offline, and the gas clouds we had been so enjoying just vanished. Next thing I know, all I see is dark space and these faint specks of light from nearby stars. The kids started crying, so Soral went to soothe them while I got main power back online. It didn't take long. I ran a quick navigational scan, but none of the star fields registered on Federation or Bajoran star charts.
Out of the corner of my eye, on one of Soral's sensor displays, a spectrograph monitor, I caught a peculiar reading. There were elements coming from these stars in quantities that weren't typical of stars we knew at all. Soral came back and noticed what I was looking at and ran a gamma radiation analysis. We couldn't believe it, so we did it again and came back with the same conclusion. Somehow, we had traveled not to another part of the galaxy, we had been transported outside it, and into the area of space between galaxies.
To our relief as well, our long range scans also detected an inbound ship. I had no idea that there were beings traveling between galaxies at all. We hailed them, but didn't get a response at first. After about 30 minutes they replied, explaining that they had had trouble finding the correct frequency to reach us.
Their ship is called the Vrensha, and it is the most impressive starship I have ever laid eyes on. I thought the Stellar Drift was fairly advanced, and a handful to maintain. The Vrensha is the length of 15 Galaxy class starships, and the depth of 20 Negh'vars. She is also faster than any other starship I have ever seen, and her energy weapons could obliterate the Stellar Drift in one shot at medium power setting. The Captain, a man named Vori explained to me that the Vrensha is actually old and out of date compared with other ships in service, and is due for retirement when they return to home port.
Despite how fast the Vrensha can travel, exploration missions, or even just milk runs between galaxies can take years and even decades. Due to this, crew members take family and/or valued friends with them on their journey. As the population increases, the crew has the ability to rearrange or expand the ship as needed. When the Vrensha left for its present journey it was 1/3 the size it is now, and in addition to just basic amenities it has a shopping center, a park, and education from primary school to graduate school.
Captain Vori is from a species called the Adarii, who are carbon-based humanoids that live in on a planet called Xetas in the Sunflower Galaxy. The Adarii are members of a galaxy-wide alliance called the Urduridan Star Republic, which is also a member of an intergalactic alliance called the League. The League was formed out of a desire for intergalactic travelers to explore as a peaceful collective. It is relatively new in forming, if you consider a millennium new, and is composed of 8 members from 5 different galaxies. He explained to me that while they have been to the Milky Way, the League does not have any members from our galaxy. They believe we aren't ready yet, but they do think the Federation shows the most promise. In fact, League explorers are specifically prohibited from entering our galaxy for fear of interfering in galactic affairs, and for their own personal safety.
According to the star charts that Soral and I have obtained from Captain Vori, we were transported approximately 105 million lightyears from the Milky Way. Even at this vessel's maximum speed, it would take them more than a lifetime to reach just the edge of the galaxy let alone Bajor or Vulcan. The League scientists aboard this ship tell me that they are hard at work studying our sensor readings, plus theirs to try and figure out how to get us back to where we were.
In the meantime, we have been invited to stay for as long as we like. Even if Captain Vori can find a way to replicate the anomaly that brought us here, Soral and I have been seriously discussing remaining aboard anyway. While we both would miss our family and friends dearly, the opportunity to explore the universe in such a way is almost too good to pass up.
After the incident in Orellius a few months ago, Soral and I were both thinking of leaving Starfleet. Commander Sevak is more than ready to take over as First Officer, and Lieutenant Olio is more than ready to take my spot as Chief Engineer. Captain Vori says he could always use another good engineer, and a good scientist, even if our knowledge is several hundreds of years out of date for them. I like the idea of our children growing up in a place free from all the wars, or the Borg, or anyone that wants to use or exploit them. Varek would also be the first Bajoran and the first Vulcan to be born outside the galaxy.
We will see if my feelings change as time progresses. My guess is we will have a lot of time to think.
-- End Log Entry
Lieutenant Commander Kala Lahal
USS Stellar Drift, NCC-92883
Captains Log SupplementalIt has been two hours since we were pulled into a void region of space by a massive graviton surge. The void space by its very name is devoid of anything and seems to be having a draining effect on the ships energy systems. Upon entering the Void we were engaged by three ships, one was from the Kazon the other two were unknown. We were able to fight off the ships sustaining minor damage in the process. It was evident that we discovered a grave yard where some of its residents aren’t yet rested.
My science officer is going over records in the Starfleet database to see if anything like this has been discovered before but I highly doubt it due to the nature of this place. I am hopeful however that Tal my chief engineer is able to find a way out.
Captains log SupplementalAfter study of the Voyager logs we have discovered how to escape the Void. Using a polaron modulator we should be able stabilise a funnel and avoid being pulled back in. However things like this are never simple the Magnificent was short on supplies when we went to the Alioris Supernova and we were to resupply on Deep Space Nine. We dont have the technology to build such a device and the new systems in the more recent Federation ships lack the components to cannibalise to make a poleron modulator. We have been searching derelict ships throughout this region and found nothing. We were able to get a few bits and pieces to use should we ever get desperate enough but nothing of major value.
Captains LogStardates are meaningless in this place. We have shut power down to most of the lower decks the crew are living on decks 14,15,16,17 and 18 and main bridge controls have been rerouted through engineering. Our food supplies are low and our energy reserves are almost depleted. We have managed to lessen the degree by which out power is being drained by shielding the core this has given us a few extra days however we need to escape soon.
Captains log SupplementalWe did battle with a Jem’Hadar cruiser earlier on today which was manned by less than a skeleton crew. it wasn’t hard to overcome but the damage was significant. We lost warp drive during the attack. The horrors of this place became evident upon transporting over from the logs obtained. The Vorta ordered almost all the crew be confined to the lowest decks of the ship and without their Ketracel White they died, which explains why were able to take the ship so easily. The Dominion ship would have been useful had they not butchered their own systems. Although useful it will take a lot of time and resources to utilise the technology from this ship.
We also discoverd one of the delights of this place today, the Nomadic species that live in the Void were present on the Dominion ship. We were able to quickly communicate with them. it would appear that the Doctors communication method has stayed with them all this time which made our communication with them a whole lot easier.
On another note crewman Achito is pregnant we have only just found out today all the more reason to escape this place.
Captains log SupplementalWe were intercepted by the U.S.S Venture early on today. The ship was reported missing almost four years ago. I have been able to talk with Commander Bates who also knew of the same way to escape however they were so badly damaged after being drawn into the void that they were unable to execute the plan. I haven’t asked how they managed to survive so long in the Void and to be honest I don’t want to ask. We informed them of our intentions and they have gone to explore the Void in search of a polaron modulator, I didn’t ask how they would acquire it. We will deal with that when they return.
Captains LogMy fears have been confirmed the U.S.S Venture, Akira class escort is nothing more than a pirate ship. We made contact with a group of alien ships within the Void who have survived by forming an alliance centred around a large Voth ship. It was nice to see a Voth again I seldom get much contact with people from my own quadrant who aren’t trying to assimilate me. Captain Pio of the Voth ship was able to help us in acquiring the polaron emitter. However he was also able to tell me about the U.S.S Venture, the ship that would attack new ships in the void and destroy them after raiding them of everything. I am wrestling with the idea of perusing them across the void and bringing them to justice however that would serve no purpose to escaping the void. We have started to assemble the fleet as to escape and we will be ready
Captains log SupplementalWe have escaped the void. We emerged some distance from where we were drawn in. Life is returning to normal on the ship now. We are limping back to Deep Space Nine at warp five the journey will take four hours. Our escape did not come without a price the U.S.S Venture had clearly discovered our plan to leave them behind and had attempted to intercept us. They destroyed one of the ships in our fleet before we destroyed them. I feel no pleasure from this and I would have rather brought Commander Bates and Crew back for trial however that was not possible given the circumstances.
The members of the fleet all went their separate ways Captain Pio will take word back to my home world informing them that I am safe. In total we spent 22 days in the Void that time is nothing compared to some other ships in there but it was interesting to see how we held our morality while within the Void
Ketan over and out
Meaning Of Life
Personal Log: Lieutenant Commander Ziri Olio: Stardate 89178.6:
After several more long hours singing in the Jeffries tube, we are free of the void and have completed the last of the repairs to the ship. Thank goodness. Who would have thought my singing would save the ship? Now, I guess the crew can't make fun of me, anymore. Besides, singing while on duty is an old human AND Bolian naval tradition, so they don't have room to complain anyway. I am also very happy to report that I wasn't electrocuted again.
The energy beings we encountered used the last few moments of their existence as energy beings to carry out the punishment Admiral Sharp gave them for kidnapping us, except they didn't just become humanoid life forms, they created an entire solar system for themselves. We have named it the Harmony System in honor of their love for music. Their planet is not unike Earth, and I have been told they have named their first city, Ziri. I must admit, their admiration of me is a little creepy, but I am flattered.
Admiral Sharp informs me that the Federation Council is formally considering their application for entrance, but the Science Council agrees with our assessment that it's best that we leave them be to develop on their own. Even if they don't become a member of the Federation, I have a feeling there will be more survey missions in this region in the future.
They have decided to call themselves the Xavarans, after a god in Alhalan mythology who came down from Heaven of his own free will to fight with the Idomites. This of course made Malela and Zoymu happy. I wish the Xavarans all of the luck and good fortune in the Universe. They received a lot of knowledge from us while they had us trapped, but survival won't come easy, even for a people who were used to doing or having everything they wanted with just a thought.
This was perhaps the most interesting experience of my Starfleet career. It isn't every day we get to witness the evolutionary transformation of an entire species. Especially, from pure energy to corporeal life. Normally, when I hear people talk about evolution, the progression is the opposite. Even for us Bolians, we believe that will be the eventual step in our evolution. I think it's one reason why some of my people are so superstitious about having babies so close to a warp core.
Their representative, Ahadren said, that life as their former selves had become unfulfilling. They found in pretending to be corporeal life forms, and having to experience the struggle of survival and have something to live for was so foreign and so meaningful to them, that it was worth changing their entire existence. These are ideas best left to bigger heads than mine, though I fear that they will fall on deaf ears. There are some people in the Federation that are so obsessed with what they believe to be the next step of evolution that perhaps they overlook the positive points to living the way we do.
--- Pause Recording
The Stellar Drift Chief Engineer sat back and exhaled slowly, glancing at the PADD to her right. She ran her hand along the bare blue skin of her head.
And while we're on the subject of existence, Doctor Zoymu has also uncovered the reason for my illness the past few weeks, and it's left us with more questions than it has answers.
"You're what?" Captain Liara Bain asked in astonishment. Her eyes widened as she looked at her wife through the monitor on her Ready Room desk aboard the USS Sparrow. The redhaired Malcorian woman felt her heart beginning to pound, and her head swim with a mixture of questions and excitement.
"I'm pregnant." Ziri said for a second time. "Read the report I sent you. Despite the events of the past few days, she's healthy, and to quote Doctor Z: 'Verified to be a combination Captain Liara Narom Bain, and Lieutenant Commander Ziri Damott Irunia Dalan Bromet Olio.'"
Liara chuckled nervously. "Does Doctor e'Hvalli know yet?"
Ziri shook her head. "I don't think so, unless Doctor Z has beaten me to it. Of course, I wanted the first person I told to be you."
Captain Bain exhaled again, and rested her head on her hands to stop them from shaking. She smiled softly at Commander Olio. "Well, if we name her after you, I guess picking a name might be a challenge."
Ziri giggled. "My name is rather long. There is one problem with all of this: Vaihuu hasn't given me anything yet. That wasn't going to happen until the next time I see her which will be the Liberation Day celebration on Betazed in a few days."
The smile on Liara's face slowly dissipated.
“The aft section of one yes, the neck extends into what looks to be an older Xindi vessel, which appears to be a central component of that part of the superstructure.” responded Alliance, her cybernetically enhanced fingers moving with precision over the Operations console.
“And see that there, it's the main section of an old J-class freighter. Wow. You know I scratch built a J-class warp core as a school project once when I was growing up.” The Captain continued, his eyes transfixed by the image on the viewscreen.
“You are mistaken, its configuration indicates it was a K-class.”
“I think I would be able to tell the difference between a J-class and a K-class Alli.”
“Of course Captain, clearly your 22nd century engineering knowledge is superior to that of the Federation historical database.” the former Borg responded.
Divvur ignored the sarcastic comment, for what he was looking at was more than just a collection of ships, it was a work of art, a masterpiece. There were hundreds of vessels, some modern, while others were centuries old, each one connected to the others to create a sprawling space station. Sensors indicated it was the home of several thousand people, a mix of over a hundred different species.
“Captain, we are being hailed,” said Lieutenant M'karr, the Bastion's new Security Chief.
“Hundreds of years ago,when the first few funnel's opened, our ancestors would fight amongst themselves, preying on new arrivals in order to survive. However, they learned to cooperate and set the first building blocks for the peaceful society we have created. We connected a couple of ships together and from there The Complex has grown. We have lost count of the number of vessels that now make up our home.” said Arbiter Kayron, before taking another bite of the meal.
Captain Divvur was about to respond, but Lieutenant M'karr finished his mouthful first and continued the conversation, “Surely not all of the ships that arrive are willing to give up thoughts of escape and join your society, some may even attack you in order to replenish their diminishing supplies.” he pointed out.
“They often do, but we do have some crafts that can detach to defend us, and by working together we always outnumber our new arrival. They soon realise that joining us is in their best interest.” Kayron responded. He continued: “Ssthalst here was the last ship to arrive, before yourselves of course.” indicating to the Gorn who was also sat at the table with them.
“Here we are all friends. Species that were once my enemies are now my allies and together we fight to keep The Complex operational and create a home for our children.” the Gorn said with his distinctive hissing voice.
“This food is delicious Arbiter,” Captain Divvur said, “it must be hard to maintain replicators here.”
“Replication technology was not even invented when we started to build The Complex, most of what you are eating we have grown ourselves. Are you sure you wouldn't like some of the meat Lieutenant?” Kayron asked, speaking to the Bastion's Caitian Security Chief.
“Thank you for the offer, but I am a strict vegetarian Arbiter.”
“It's very tasty, I assume that you also have livestock here?” the Captain enquired.
“Not quite, Ssthalst's brother was killed a couple of weeks ago in an accident.” Kayron said.
“He gave himself for The Complex, and although we miss him, even in death he continues to give to our society.” the Gorn hissed..
Captain Divvur stopped chewing on the meat in his mouth, M'karr resisted to urge the chuckle.
“Relax Captain, we recycle everything here. It is a necessity of living in the void.” Kayron continued. “I am sure you will come to realise that as you and your crew become a part of our society.”
Captain Divvur, who had replaced the meat on the plate and pushed it delicately away, replied: “While your hospitality is appreciated Arbiter, we won't be staying. My crew has already worked out a way to escape this void and we shall be leaving when the next funnel opens.”
“Then you shall be waiting a long time Captain, It has been eight years since Ssthalst's ship arrived here, and the frequency of the funnels has been steadily decreasing since the time of our ancestor's.” Kayron responded.
“Then I am sure we will find a way to create one of these funnels.” the Captain responded.
The Gorn suddenly stood up, pushing the entire hardwood table slightly as he did so. “These fools don't see what we have created here. Peace between enemies, a home built from nothing.” he hissed, before turning to Divvur. “Our society needs your crew, your technology, so we can continue to maintain The Complex. You may have arrived here peacefully Captain, but if you continue to waste your resources on trying to escape then we will take your ship by force.”
The Gorn strode out of the room, leaving the two Bastion officers and the Arbiter.
“I apologise for our Gorn friend Captain. I assure you that we have no desire for armed conflict. However, he does have a point, the sooner you realise that it is better for your ship and crew to join our society, the better off we will all be.” Kayron said.
“Perhaps we should return to the USS Bastion for now Arbiter, thank you for the meal.” Divvur diplomatically responded.
Continues in the next post
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