Literary Challenge #28 : Stranded
Hello and welcome to another edition of our writers' challenges! :cool:
Today we start the two-week run of the twenty-eighth Literary Challenge: Stranded
Needing some time to yourself, you decide to take one of the shuttles out on a space camp-out for a couple of days. Your ship's current assignment is to chart the Felczer Nebula in the Orellius Sector Block, so they would be able to rendezvous with you as soon as they're done -- it's also important to note that the nebula blocks long-range transmissions while inside it.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!
Captain's Log, Stardate 90322.16...
I find myself bored out of my my mind and once again in the dark... at least I'm no longer convinced that there's spiders around me. I ALSO find that I'm pretending to talk to a personal log so that I quit arguing with myself about whether there's spiders all around me.
From guided meditation to banging my knee on that strangely placed console, I've managed to work out that the only system still functioning is life support, as breathing is no problem. I'd try weapons, but the holo interface is still not working, and none of the screens light up. Yes. It's dark. VerAH@#H$TH!#HG% WHAT WAS THAT!??!? *flails*
.... *stays tense for a few moments*
.... ... . .. . .. .. . . . . . .a-a-aaaa..... and.. this.... is now the THIRD time.... that my hair.. *swallows hard* . . . .. .has convinced me there's a spider on my shoulder.
...I swear, if the crew has locked me in a holodeck and set this up to mess with me, I'm gonna use the self destruct sequence right after I shave my head... *puts it up and holds it there* . ... .. .. *looks around* . ......... . . .... ... *imagines them coming through the door*
....Meh. "You shouldn't go out alone."
But I wanna be alone!
"...but.. stuff can happen when you're alone"
...but I need some time to myself!
"well... you're the boss. Well. You used to be."
Computer, End Log. =/
......I said, COMPUTER, EN.. oh. Right. No power.. *stands up*
*feels the console she was previously leaning against*
*moves toward the back of the ship, inch by inch, trying to match the physical surroundings to the memory in her head*
*gets to the replicator*
Computer... Chateau Picard, 2047 please.
~the sound for something replicating ~
...I hate you guys. >=|
Professor Bonthalas Stranded
Captain's Log, Stardate 83752.26
The U.S.S. Triton is on a scientific mission to discover the Felczer Nebula. However, I feel it's not logical to send our vessel to map a nebula, this work is more fitting for a deep science vessel, as our vessel is equipped with tactical equipment than sensors and labs for this kind of job. I've decided to leave the ship in the capable hands of my second-in-command, Two of Eight. As a scientist he is more than capable to do this job, but I would like to analize how much 'humanity' he regained since we rescued him from the collective. I've instructed the rest of my commanding officers to take command if a critical situation arises.
I have turned my attention to a nearby system which has an M-class planet in it. It's still uncharted because there is an asteroid belt around the planet which is known to stop ships and leave them stranded. Not much is known of this phenomenon, but some scientist theorize it's not a netural creation, more like an ancient planetary defense mechanism. My engineers modified the U.S.S. Budapest's deflector and installed a minor hull polarization system as I requested. Commander Saziv and Commander Yls and a pair junior officers going to accompany me on this misson.
Captain's Log, supplemental
We have arrived safely to planet Orellius Beta 2H38, or as the scientist named it 'the place of no return'. There is indeed a strange energy in the belt, a tractor field like phenomena surrounds some of the asteroids. Several Federation science vessels were lost near this planet, sadly we couldn't found any of this. According to my calculations the force of the tractor field is so great it could break any ship to pieces, especially if the ship is in the zone of more than one field. Thanks to the shuttle's modifications, we were able to pass the area without diffculty and we are heading for the planet. We will analyze our findings after we returned to the Triton.
Captain's Log, supplemental
The Budapest safely landed on the planet surface and we started to scan the planet. Our surrounding is mostly desert, but not like Vulcan more like Earth's Savannah areas, there is more flora and fauna here. We already registered a few houndred new species and we take a few samples with us, but the shuttle's space is limited. We've also found ruined cities in the vicinity and visited a few. We made thorough scan of the surface and we couldn't find any trace of intelligent life. Cause of extinction unknown. We theorize judging by the state of the ruins that the extinction occured somewhere from five hundred to two thousand years ago. However, the technology found here are match the current technology level of Starfleet, some are even surpass it. Fascinating. We will soon finish categorize our findings and pack up camp and heading back to the ship.
Captain's Log, supplemental
Upon exit of the atmosphere, the shuttle conn station blown up, critically injuring Ensign Darda. I was able to stabilize his condition, but he needs the facilities of the Triton to make a full recovery. Commander Yls will look after her untill we arrive. We also lost most of our power, we got barely enough power to maintain orbit. We've made a thorough scan of the shuttle and found out that the destruction of the conn station cannot cause the power loss. We've also found the shuttle doors warning system has been completly crippled. There is only one logical conclusion. Sabotage.
Captain's Log, supplemental
I have questioned everyone aboard the shuttle but I knew from the start it's unnecessary. Everyone of them are trusterd Starfleet personnel and served with me for years. There is no point in question their loyalty. We haven't got enough information who the saboteur was. Maybe there WAS somebody on the planet surface. We must find out how do we get back to the ship. That's our top priority.
Captain's Log, supplemental
While me and Commander Saziv were discussing our options I heard some noises from outside the ship. Scanners shows nothing, so it's not a ship. Someone or something is outside. 74,3% chance it's a someone. Quite interesting. We did brought EV suits with ourselves in case we have to free the shuttle from the asteriods grasp. But none of them is missing. So the saboteur must have his own suit, but why take the trouble to bring one with himself? My theory is his suit must be a unique one with special capabilities. Also must have means to attach himself to the shuttle. I must think and talk this through with the crew and gather information from the shuttle's computer.
Captain's Log supplemental
I'm sure that our visitor's EV suit is cloaked, there is no other explonation how he could have done this operation without detection. According to our databanks the Tal Shiar were experimenting with personal cloak but as far as we know, they have failed. Maybe they were successful with the bigger power supply of the EV suit? Terrifying idea. Also according to database, there were never been incidents like this or similar in the recent past, so my theory is that we are facing a prototype equipment here. As for the attachment, a simple magnetic clamp and boots would do the job, which is used by any mechanic doing exterior repair work. This leads me to the conclusion that the saboteur entered to the Triton while our visit on Starbase 39 during a diplomatic mission - which wasn't a usual mission profile for the ship also. There is 97.2% chance the Romulans are hunting me for our involvment in the Reman-Romulan civil war.
Captain's Log supplemental
Commander Saziv found the cause of power loss. There is a transmitter inside the power core, which keeps the power level at minimum. My conclusion was right. This operation couldn't have been done while we were on the planet's surface. He or she must have been on the ship since we left Starbase 39. The infiltrator is also a skilled engineer. We are searching for the frequency that disables the transmitter.
Captain's Log supplemental
We've found the frequency, but there is an other problem. The shuttle is gone to proximity alert showing mines in very close to the vessel. The saboteur must be attaching and activating mines on the exterior. So he is not just on any mission, he is on a suicide mission. If we disable the transmitter now he can activate the mines and blow up the shuttle. He also knew we couldn't communicate with the Triton because of the Nebula's interference. Clever. Also he had to do it before we reach the asteroids, or our first action would have been to leave the shuttle and find him/her on the process. The saboteur mustn't be skilled in personal combat. We must find a solution fast. We theorize the timer of the mines set to 4 minutes or less. Judging by the size of the mines we can't escape the blast radius in time on impulse power.
Captain's Log supplemental
We agreed on our plan. We will use the shuttle's computer to activate a series of timed events we've calculated. We have made modifications to the hull polarization device so it will detach the magnetic locks of both the saboteur and the mines. We hope that the surprise effect will give us the few seconds we need. The shuttle is already locked to full impulse power to keep us from falling to the planet. After 4 seconds the computer disengages the hull polarization and the asteroids tractor effect will speed us even further. After an additional 6 seconds we should reach the middle of the asteroid belt where the tractor effect become negative for us. That's when the computer engage the polrization again to be able to pass the belt, but we don't want to give the blast radius any chance.
Coordinates of the Triton's theoretical position already locked in and will automaticly engage after we left the belt, set to 3 seconds. 80% power rerouted to engines, 20% set to auxiliary for the polarization. We don't have much time. Activating the computer sequence in 10...
Captain's Log Stardate 83755.49
Our plan worked perfectly. We have arrived to the Felczer Nebula and the saboteur is dead, blow up by his own devices. We have the Triton on the viewscreen, and we are heading for the shuttle bay. We have completed an important scientific discovery, and found a clear evidence that the ship is being watched and wanted dead by an unknown enemy. Ensign Darda will make a full recovery in a few days.
'Stranded' by; Garry Kellogg
Our Character 'Robert Klein' awakens and starts to recall what had happened in the last few minutes. "ugh...My Shoulder." He uses his Left hand to feel what was wrong with it. "Disconnected." He muttered to himself as the Pain shot through to his Neck. Cringing, He straightened himself as best he could. He slowly worked his way down to the Medical Compartment for bandages. The Slope was steep. "This has to be as near Forty-Five Degrees as one can imagine."
He Secured his Dislocated arm in a makeshift sling, just enough to relieve some of the pain, then he used a Hypo-spray to inject Hydrocortilene and then take a Numanol capsule. "That should hold me for a while why I figure out what my situation is." Robert started the Standard Systems Check to determine the reason for his sudden planetfall. Pulling the Front Panel-Plate from the Control surfaces allowed easy access to the circuits and their connections. Holding a Flashlight in his mouth while he worked with his Left hand to search around, he found nothing that would have caused the sudden loss of control of the small craft.
"This ol' girl has had her last flight. Far too much damage to attempt repairs on my own, even if I had Two hands, Arms to do the work. I shall put you to rest Galileo Seven." As Robert Pulled the Battery packs and let them drop to the ground with a solid thud. "It's time for me to start taking recordings of my time here." Robert pulled out a PADD from a wall compartment and activated it. "Stardate. Eleven, Fourty-Seven, Fourteen point Eight, One Three. Captain Klein. I find myself almost as damaged as the Small utility craft, but I am not going to put myself out of comission as I did her. I am without communication or Transportation. It is currently dark and cold. I still have my Personal gear for outdoor survival."
Robert Awoke then looked outside a side port into a sunny, Black, and forbidding scenery. He repacked his gear and slipped the rucksack over his good shoulder before pulling the manual release to the access, which made a 'wihshing' noise before it was pushed out of the way. "Good as time as any to get going. Stardate, Supplimental. I am making my way to find a place to set up for a couple of nights, or until my time of Rescue. My ship the 'Badger' is enroute to the Orellius Sector Block for Charting of the Felczer Nebula and should pass by in less than a week. For now...I guess that I have to do what I can. So I will Map this Planet. Well, Mass of Rubble."
It was a few hours before Robert took a break. He found a high spot to get an overall look of the area. "Stardate, Supplimental. I am looking South, and I can see a Sparse Green Area, and according to the Field Glasses, it is Nineteen-Thousand Meters away. I will rest for Half an hour before beginning." Robert's arm needed a rest and he needed to numb the pain once again. After self administering the medicines he started off again, this time with a purpose and hope to be in a place that was several degrees cooler and softer to lay on.
Walking at 4.75 km/h he was only able to make it in a little more than four hours. It was considerably cooler and more comfortable than where he had started out from. It did not take him long at all to set up a campsite and to become comfortable. Suddenly a Large Bird (Hlai-Romulan Bird) came running at full speed through Robert's camp, destroying all in it's path and upending Robert. "Damn!" was all that he could get out before landing on his injured arm. The pain sent him writhing. It had been so intense that he found himself waking in the chill of the Night.
After injecting another Dose and ingesting the pill he struggled to start a fire. Finally resorting to using his phaser to get the fire immediately started. He was tired due to the pain more than anything else. It had become very difficult to move around and seemed to take forever to get himself into the shelter of his tent. A light rain aided in his sleep and all too soon the light of the sun was shining through the side of his tent. He made his way out to the warmth of the Sun.
Upon standing and after a good stretch he witnessed the destruction that the Large Bird had created so swiftly. Sitting on a nearby rock he decided to start the day off with some Field-Rations. Soon he realized that the 'Rock' was shifting. He soon realized that upon his arrival there was no rocks protruding from the Green and Grassy area. Robert was suddenly alarmed because now he understood that he was sitting on a large animal (Veruul) of some form. Looking around he discovered the thing to be about 5 meters in length and to have scaled skin and webbed claws.
Robert watched as the Beasts Head turned towards him slowly. It was definately a Dangerous Animal and with the evidence of Feathers strewn about, it just fed. This Robert hoped would mean that it would be slow now. He slowly lifted one leg at a time to the other side of the beast, and then stood slowly. Making his way to what he thought would be a safe range from the percieved dangerous part, the Gaping Jaws. As soon as he though he was safe, the Beast made a sudden movement, switching it's posture in Robert's Direction. Unfortunately, that meant the Tail as well.
Robert Struggled to right himself before the Beast's Head became too close. He then backed off a meter more to allow room to run if the need arose. The Beast soon turned, and as if was in no hurry, Lumbered towards an opening between two boulders. Robert grew interrested where the beast was going, and for that matter. where the Large Bird came from. So he Followed. Upon breaching the opening he was amazed at the sights. It was a Large an Luscious landscape with a river and a small lake, where he witnessed the beast slip into.
When he regained himself from the amazement he started to hear murmur's in the distance. It was a Conversation, but definately not Human, English or any Common tounge. It was Familiar though. Was there other's here as well? Stranded as he was? He activated his PADD and physically imputed his situation. 'Stardate, Supplimental: Have found a Lake, River and a place of extreem beauty, but also hearing a conversation in a language other than common. I am going to Investigate, leaving my items here in the case they might be hostile.' He soon crept over to where the conversation was taking place, keeping in mind of the Beast that just slipped into the Lake.
He soon discovered several Individuals using instruments, but they were still too far to see by eyes, but one thing that was painfull obvious was a small craft, and it was in shades of Green. The Form of the Small craft was all too familiar. It was Romulan. He soon took out his Field Glasses to get a better assesment of his situation. Whispering to himself, he counted...'Two, Four, Five...Where is the Sixth?' Suddenly a Rock breaks loose from above him. He had his answer. Before him was a Romulan looking down upon him.
The Romulan started down in his direction. Robert quickly started back to his camp, where he left his weapon due to his curiosity. Soon, his pain slowed him, allowing the Romulan to catch up. Robert knew he was now a Prisoner to the Romulans. Struggling only made his Pain grow, and now he was unable to get the Medications to help alievate any further pain. He was already too tired to fight and as the Romulan officer walked behind him, guiding him to the small craft. Soon, the rest of the Romulans gathered and started discussing about Robert.
"Great, No Universal Translator. What are they discussing?" Robert would soon have his answer. Two of the Romulans went into the craft and soon returned with a large light-green box with two handles. "Now what? Are they going to Torture me here? Now?" Another Romulan approached. He seemed different, but still Romulan. "I am Robert Fredrick Klein. Captain. Starfleet. Serial Number Five-Sixty-One-Thirteen-Four-Four-Seven." This had no effect in the Behavior of the Romulans. Soon the Case was opened, but the lid was in Robert's Direction and he did not know if it was a Disruptor Rifle or some Romulan Torturing Devices.
The Romulan soon pulled a device from the crate and scanned him. After some evaluation and some discussion, another set of tools were extracted from the crate. "Here we go. Torture time. Right Fellas?" The Romulan started at Robert with something similar to a Spray-Hypo. "You are not going to inject me with any truth syrum!" Robert started to Struggle, only for Two others, who Remained looking very seriouse through the whole event to come over and restrain him. Robert's Arm once again reminded him of his injuries. Soon the Injection was made, and before too long, the Pain had left. 'What are they doing? Are they trying to make me forget this pain before giving me more?' Soon Robert was feeling relaxed, and very sleepy. "What are you doi...." Soon he was sleeping.
Upon opening his eyes, he Witnessed two Romulans standing over him. The pain in his Dislocated Shoulder was gone, and he felt as though he could move it, but as soon as he tried the Romulan that Administered the Drugs earlier placed his hand on Robert's Shoulder. "Slow down. You will tear the Seutures. I had to Physically go in and repair the Damage because it was so bad."
"Who are you?" Robert enquired.
"I am Doctor E'Lue'a." Was his response.
"You helped me? Why?"
"We are not here on any important mission. There was no need for aggression on our behalf."
"Doctor Lua..." Robert had Difficulties speaking the Romulan Names. "...Then what are you doing here?"
"Tending to the Fauna here. It's a Private little get away, A Zoo. We have to come in to ensure that everything is in order, and you are not a part of this. We have to get you out of here."
"My Shuttle is a wreck. I cannot go anywhere."
The Romulan, E'Lue'a pointed in the direction of the Romulan shuttle, and Robert looked over to see his Shuttle sitting beside it. "How did you get it to operate again?"
"From my understanding, it was easy. There had to be a few adjustments made so your craft could opperate within the properties of this system, mainly this planet. The Technical team is almost done with all of the repairs. After which, you need to leave."
"What of my things?"
"We have collected everything and returned it to your Shuttle." E'Lue'a looked once again at Robert, then his Shuttle. "Seems everything is ready and your Shuttle ready for Departure. We used your Medical Equipment to repair your Shoulder, and your tools to Repair your Shuttle, so it will look as though you have made the repairs yourself. Can I ask why you were here?"
"I was taking a Vacation. Some Personal time to Relax."
"A Great choice, but you cannot come here ever again. Can you guarantee me this?"
"After what you have done to help me, I can Honestly tell you that I will not tell another living soul about this place. But how do I describe my Vacation?"
"Relaxing." was all that E'Lue'a had to offer.
Soon, Robert was off planet and heading for the Rendevous point. He hailed the BADGER and received a welcoming voice of Lieutenant Snnazerrstash, A Kzinti Communications officer. "Well Rrrroberrr, Back sooo sooon?"
"Hello Tasha. I need Doctor Colinger ready to look over my Injuries."
"I will alerrrt him. Did you encounterrr a wild animal?"
"Yes. But that's not how I received the Injuries. I will need to be Tractored in. The Shuttle took some serious Damage as well."
"I will alerrrt Lieutenant Jay-Gee Burtle."
Suddenly the voice changed. "Captain Klein. This is Admiral Earheart. I want a full report of why one of my favorite shuttles was damaged! An what happened to you as well."
"Yes Admiral. I will log it on my PADD for your review."
The PADD...Robert scrambled to find it. Nothing. He rifled through his Equipment, and his Ruck-Sack. Nothing. So he decided to Call it. Nothing.
Meanwhile, on a Small rock in space, a Chirping was signaling it's location.
"Now I have to Explain why I had lost Starfleet Equipment as well."
The Shuttle was placed gently on the deck and Robert exited, dragging his Equipment. The Shuttle bay crew were hustling around and Robert witnessed the 'Red-Alert' lights blinking. He threw his things on an Anti-Grav cart and hustled to his assigned station on the Bridge.
"Mr. Klein. You are Dismissed from this Exercise. Go get that Injury looked at and put your things away." Came from Commander Freelan.
Only a Drill. Robert was relieved, but not for long. "Captain Klein. I am awaiting for the Reports." Came over the Comm.
Robert switched on the panel. "I am finishing it right now Admiral."
"Just get in my Office in Fifteen minutes. We will take it then."
"Fifteen Minutes. Yes Admiral!"
Robert refreshed himself and then made his way to the Admiral's Office.
"Captain Robert Kle..."
"Get in here Captain!"
Robert abliged. "Sir, I have seemed to misplace my PADD. It had my Information on it."
Again, Robert Complied.
"I have already looked ove rthe Damage Report compiled by the Shuttle Bay crew, and I have to say that it was quite extensive. Extensive enough for you to pull the Power Packs."
"But Alone, you were able to correct the Damage and return it to flight capabilities."
"That was quite a task, Had to take up the entire time you were there."
"Yes, It did Admiral."
"So you are telling me that you are Soley responsible for the Repairs to the Shuttle?"
"Yes Admiral. There was no-one els..."
"Now. About your personal Injuries. What a feat i must say. Even sealing the Injuries after the self administered Surgery. I have never seen such work by a self-taught medical professional."
Robert knew this was going to be tricky. How could be explain this? To repair a Shuttle was a possibility within Four Days, but to perform a surgery as well. Not possible. "I did what I had to Sir. There was no-one else to help me." Could this pass? Would she accept this?
"The Medical case suggests that you did all of that, and the Scans from the Shuttle-Bay of the Shuttle say that onlt Starfleet equipment was used for the repairs. I want you to go to the Medical Bay and get checked out. From there I will tell you if I believe your story. You are Dismissed."
Robert left Nervously. He knew the possibilities of being discharged for lying to a superior officer loomed near. 'She knows. I know she knows.' He thought to himself.
"So Mister Klein. You seem to be in good Health regardless of the Injury. I am Impressed with the work. Maybe I should pull you from Captaining this ship and have you work with me. I can always use another set of good hands."
"Thanks Doc, but I have a greater love for Command and want to remain there."
"Well, you seem fit for duty. Just take it lightly on that shoulder. I will send a Report to all departments to Advise them of your work requirements until the next check-up."
"I have a message from the Admiral here. You are to return immediately to her Office with this PADD of your Medical evaluation."
Robert felt the Dread come over him upon accepting the PADD.
Robert was immediately allowed into the Admiral's Office, where once again he was asked to be seated. The Admiral looked over the Medical report then sat the PADD on her Desk. "Seems that you are Multi-Talented Captain."
"Your level of Expertise in knowing what exactly to do to repair your Badly Dislocated Shoulder is Amazing. Is there anything that you wish to tell me?"
"Are you sure? This is your last chance."
"Nothing Admiral." Those words hurt more than his Shoulder ever did.
Suddenly a Different PADD slid across the Admiral's Desk. Robert quickly realized who's it was after a quick glance. "Are you sure Captain?"
"Admiral...I can Explai..."
"You need to check the Navigational Charts for 'Areas that are Off-Limits' to the Federation before going on any Solo trips ever again. You could have been held as a Spy against the Romulan Government. It's a good thing that you only met with the landing party and not the Captain."
"I promised them that I would not say anything about them since they had helped me."
"Did they help you? Or did they use you as a way to track our position?" At that point the Admiral placed a Twenty Millimeter, Dark Grey Cube on the desk that was pulsing green. She then stood and drew her Phaser and shot it.
Robert knew that he was in Trouble for misleading the Admiral. "Sir. Admiral. I am Sorry for Misleading you. It will never happen again."
"I know it won't. You are here by to be removed from Service..."
"...For One day in the Brig and the Following as House Arrest where you will be in charge of yourself and allowed to only leave for Meals and when summoned. And also for any Red-Alert Status. Understood?"
"I gave you the Second one for interrupting me. You are Dismissed!"
Robert stood and was surprised when Two Guards cam in to Escort him to the Cell where he was to stay a night.
(Meanwhile back in Admiral Earheart's Office) "Thank-You Commander E'Lue'a."
"That should keep him from trespassing into this area again."
"I sure as hell hope so. Thank-You for sending his PADD back and the Prop. He bought it fully."
"How are the projects going to keep an eye on the Dominion?"
"With your Project on course, Very well. Get that Relay on-line and we can start seeing far into their area of space to get an better estimate on their strengths."
"And what of the Breen?"
"They are once again concealing themselves from everyone and we predict that they will be that way for some time."
"That's good to know Admiral. E'Lue'a, out." The Comm link went dark once again.
Love and lost
Cruising through the Beta Ursae sector block en route to Orellius for some scientific experiments while accompanied by the U.S.S. Alteisen Riese and the U.S.S. Ra Cailum, Amuro Ray is feeling tense aboard his newest vessel, the U.S.S. Aussenseiter.
"GAH! I do so loathe nebulae" I growled to myself, absentmindedly punching the bulkhead.
"AAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!" I howled, my knuckles starting to feel numb from an adrenaline surge.
There was a knock at the door, it was Zazhid."You ok, Amuro?"
"Aye... aye. It's just these damned nebulae studying assignments, they grind my gears" I growled, clearly agitated.
"Y'know, there's a quiet little spot on an uninhabited planet not too far off course, we could take a shuttle for a little rendez-vous" Zazhid smiled, stroking my arm a little.
"Can't." I said, shaking my head, "Shuttle won't be delivered til Tuesday. Cagalli had some trouble getting the variable geometry to work in the confines of our vertical hatch." I said, slightly ruining the moment.
"We could take the twins..." Zazhid said slyly, with a glint in her eyes.
How could I say no to those deep, ocean blue eyes...
I caved; "Computer! record message to be sent in 5 minutes to Commander Jelun and tight beamcast to Ra Cailum." I called out.
"RECORDING" buzzed the metallic tones of the computer interface.
"Have taken Alt and Weiss for side trip, Char is to take Pegasus order 69. See you in 3 days. End recording." I spoke to thin air.
"Message encoded, sending in 4 minutes 55 seconds." The computer interface chirped back at me."
"C'mon!" I said, holding Zazhid's hand tightly as I moved with a fervor I hadn't experience in months.
A brief time later, while descending to the surface of the planet...
"GAH! EMP!" I cried out as the Alt lost all power. "This is gonna hurt..."
The atmosphere echoed with the thunderous boom of both machines crashing onto the surface at over 100 miles an hour.
I placed my hand to my head, and felt the warm oozing of blood from just above my temporal lobe, "Aww cra..."
I blacked out...
Amazingly I wasn't dead, as I awoke, I looked around and saw it was dark, and a svelte figure looked over, came limping towards me...
How could I have been so blind! It was Zazhid!
"Amuro!" She blurted out from behind a wall of tears "you're awake." She let out a beaming smile, which brought me to full alert.
"How long..." I began to speak, but Zazhid interrupted me.
"Hours more than me, as far as I can tell. We're pretty stuck here though. Thrusters on both Alt and Weiss are offline, along with just about all the other useful systems. Good news is the beacon on Alt is still working, but at half range, and we still have replicator function for the moment."
"Ah well, guess we'll be here a little longer than intended. Now, where were we..." I said, taking hold of Zazhid and pulling her close
"Oh, Amuro..." Zazhid said, coyly...
WHOA! Let's leave these two lovebirds to it, k? Gotta give them some privacy :)
Captain's Log, Stardate... eh, who bloody cares? Runabout Miskatonic, on detachment from the USS Paragon, Commander Moira Stern commandin', etc, etc.
Cor, it's nice 'ere. No bleedin' idea where we are, though, but at least it's 'abitable. Reminds me o'th' beaches back 'ome in South Wales.
I didn't think I'd ever enjoy peace an' quiet - usually, I'm na' 'appy 'less I'm up t'me elbows in engine grease. Not that engines use grease any more. Bloody modern technology.
So, I should d'scribe wha' 'appened. Ensign Bowker... Tha's wha' 'appened. How that man ever got out o' th' Academy alive is beyond me, 'cos 'e isna' worth th' energy rations 'is uniform. Nice lad, but 'e's got bad luck an' less sense than God gave a turnip.
Let me tell you abou' Ensign Marcell Bowker. 'E's new to th' ship, assigned just last fortnight. He was impressed, intimidated, an' awed by the Paragon's reputation as a home for mav'ricks, ne'er-do-wells, an' nutters who manage t'pull victory from th' saucy seductive bosom o'defeat time an' again.
So, ye might say tha' when 'e got th' rotation t'chauffeur me on my wee 'oliday, 'e was a bit beside 'imself. So much so tha' 'e forgot t' pack th' provisions for me campin' trip, an' then when I told 'im 'e 'ad t'fix 'is error, he went at it bald-headed an' hailed a passin' snake of a fishwife's whor--- *ahem* --a passin' merchant vessel takin' foodstuffs an' survival gear for sale someplace or'nother. That's all well an' good, but 'e traded a couple o'spare EPS reg'lators for it, an' wouldn't y'just know it, ran us smack-dab in'ta an ion storm, fried ev'ry last reg'lator on th' runabout.
I managed t'keep th'engines goin' long enough for us t'crashland on this lovely stretch o'beach. No serious damage, she's nigh-spaceworthy, but wi'out th' parts there's na' a peep outta any o' th' main power systems. Auxiliary's still go, but tha's na' near enough t' put us back in'ta' orbit t'say less o'goin' t'warp before I'm grey an' saggy.
Let me say, once again, tha's there's na' any challenge an engineer can overcome if she 'as two workin' 'ands an' a will t'fix what's broken. I managed t'salvage parts enough to cobble together a few items: Phaser charger, space heater, th' ship's loo, an' get 'alf of comms back online. I canna' call anyone, but at least I c'n listen t'football.
I was also able t'take one of th' warp coils an' make it into a still, so tha' should give me all th' comforts of home.
I'd better put this away now, I think I hear Ensign Cabana Boy returnin' wi' th' materials t'build a proper shelter. There's also no challenge an engineer canna overcome if she's watched old "Gilligan's Island" reruns from th' Twentieth. I just wish I could make power reg'lators out o' coconuts.
Captain's Personal Log, Stardate...3 days after power failure:
The shuttlecraft Oboe and runabout Affirm, both on separate detachments from the U.S.S. Unyielding in the Felczer Nebula, have both been hit by a high-energy surge from one of the asteroids in System Rho-Zeta-2547, after which emergency power was also drained.
The crews of each vessel have had to resort to eating field rations dry, as there is no running water, however, we of the Affirm DID manage to deploy a distress beacon before complete power failure. As all power, including emergency lighting, has failed, we will only be detected by the Unyielding if they scan for life-signs, which will only happen if they are expecting all power to have failed.
Executive Officer's Log, Stardate: today:
The Unyielding has initiated Saucer Separation in order to conduct short-range reconnaissance missions deep in the nebula, and we have managed to absorb some of the energy by channeling it into reserve deuterium fuel tanks, and the rest into the shields, making us more able to withstand the damage that the Affirm and Oboe are supposed to have taken, if they survived.
Executive Officer's Log, Supplemental:
We have detected life-signs aboard the runaboutOboe, and all have beamed to sickbay for emergency treatment for dehydration and undernourishment. However, the configuration of the Affirm has been detected at the very edge of our sensor range, the Chief Engineer has estimated that we will reach it's location in approximately 6 hours at full impulse.
Captain's Log, Supplemental:
A vessel matching the configuration of the Unyielding has been spotted 20 kilometers from our current position, however the helmsman and engineer have fallen ill, and their condition is deteriorating fast. our emergency transmitter was knocked out, but I have managed to patch it up and get it online, just in time to receive a transmission from the Unyielding, saying that they are ready to beam us directly to sickbay for emergency treatment. After almost 4 days, we have been found. True to her name, the Unyielding and her crew never gave up.
Captain George Aubrey, signing off.
Captain's Log: Supplemental.
Having returned safely to the Endeavour, I can properly detail the events of the last twenty four hours, while I await Commander VanDoren's report on what caused the systems outage aboard the Equinox. Having built most of the Delta-Class shuttle myself, I know every bolt and every weld, and want to know how and why it was disabled, so I can prevent it from happening again. I had been in flight from the conference for a little over twelve hours when there was what I can only describe as an intense brightness outside the shuttle. At first, I thought I'd come under attack, but it was a single one-off burst. Possibly a pulsar, so fortunate that the shields were raised. Almost all primary systems failed, leaving only emergency life-support online, I was just fortunate that there were some spare parts in emergency storage. In a way, I was glad to have been by myself. I didn't have to give orders, or tell anyone what to do. I simply decided on a plan, and made it happen. I know they say the more the merrier, but in this case, I welcomed the solitude and the opportunity to utilize my survival skills. It was clear that whatever the phenomenon was which had caused the systems outages, it had fried the gel packs of the main computer core. Fortunately, I had brought a dozen PADDs with me to the conference, and I networked them together to form an auxiliary computer core. Time consuming, and fiddly work, re-configuring each of the PADDs STAs into a collective unit, but, when I linked the network to the shuttle's systems, it worked, and I was able to discover that both warp and impulse were offline. With limited resources, I considered it illogical and inefficient to try and effect repairs to them. I chose instead, to repair the forward tractor beam emitters. This meant donning an EVA suit to perform the component swap over, but needs must... Once this was done, I launched the shuttle's escape pods on drift mode, before snaring them with tractor beams. I networked my tricorder into the pods on board systems, using them to provider my navigational references and propulsion. To ensure maximum strength for the tractor beams, I remained in my EVA suit and diverted all power from life-support and internal gravity to the tractor beams. It must have looked quite amusing to any observers, witnessing a shuttle being pulled along by two coffin-like escape pods. I imagine it looked somewhat like the pod-racers on Malastare, but it got the job done... I wonder how Admiral Paris would grade my work this time... My plan to use the pods as external engines worked efficiently, although using the tricorder interface to control the two pods was something of a challenge. When I reached the Endeavour, I used my suits comms system to appraise them of my situation, and the main shuttle bay was cleared for an emergency landing... I was glad that my flight instructor, Commander Avon, wasn't present to witness the landing, as to say it was messy would be polite, but I was, as the Commander always said, "Down and safe..."
Stardate 83779.82, my birthday.
I hope to avoid my senior officers the entire day, lest they throw another large celebration in the mess hall. It took a month to refurbish 7th Heaven after Commander Taylor's birthday party, and Lieutenant Orlos and Chief S'rria still aren't allowed back in by Miss Mazan. Once the Felczer Nebula mission is over, we can have a lesser celebration on Defera proper.
The Lord English is being tasked to explore the Felczer Nebula on behalf of the Deferi government. I decided that it would be a good opportunity for Commander Taylor to gain command experience and relinquished the bridge to her. My original plan was to return to Defera and assist in their Borg suppression campaign, but I have just picked up an emergency signal from a Deferi patrol and am changing course to investigate the matter.
Admiral's Log: Supplemental. 1607 Defera Time.
In retrospect, I should have been more careful in responding to emergencies without examining the situation, as the emergency the Deferi patrol required help with was a Breen raiding party. The last thing I remember was being caught in a Breen energy dissipator before a doomed Deferi Cruiser rammed the Breen flagship, causing a tremendous explosion which had apparently knocked me out. When I came to, it seemed as if only the sturdiness of the Becquerel's frame had kept me alive, and that I was the only survivor of the skirmish. I seem to be stuck within a dark matter nebula. Will continue to investigate after a preliminary diagnostic.
After a preliminary diagnostic, I have ascertained the Bec's status. Power systems across the board are at 0. Emergency batteries are stable, but will only last for around 8 hours. I can't raise Lord English on comms, but I can send a message on Starfleet encrypted frequencies. I just hope it'll reach the right people in time.
The waiting game sucks! I have decided to see what I can do to pass the time.
None of the computer systems on the Bec are functional, so that's out of the question. I'm draining the batteries on the PADDs to extend life support. It should add 30 or so minutes to its functionality, but I guess three minutes is a small sacrifice to pay to stay awake long enough to return a message. I guess I can write that fan fiction for Federation Novel Writing Month that I keep putting off.
Curse the non-functionality of the computers! I was unable to look up a reference to another story to add to mine, and so I put off writing the novel again. I should look into the dry provisions on board the Bec.
Finally able to break into the dry provisions store. The Breen attack had caused some surges in the EPS conduits to fuse the panels together, but I was able to pry it open with my karambit. There's only a box with a note on it though. The emergency ration packs are missing.
Wait, there's some more to this note.
I have used up two hours of life support and still no Federation ships have responded to my message. The only chance for my message to get through now is if it reaches Defera. I have kept one of the Licorice Scotty Dogs to keep me company. Counselor Scotty has suggested that we keep our minds active using brain-training games, but Ensign TaB is in bad shape. He has been exsanguinating for the past hour and I don't think he'll stay alive long enough for rescue. *sip*
Despite the best efforts of Counselor Scotty, Ensign TaB has passed away due to fluid loss. Although his career in Starfleet was short, he never lost his bubbly personality or his rose-colored outlook on life. I had planned to keep his body to return to his family once we were rescued, but I just thought of an idea.
After half an hour of tinkering, I was able to make a makeshift subspace antenna from Ensign TaB and parts of the Bec's sensor probe system. It should allow me to receive subspace communications on my PADD. However, I should run a low-powered application in order to conserve battery life.
Well, whatever is preventing Starfleet from finding me is also preventing the Klingons from finding me. I guess it's time for some end-of-life decision-making. Can't let ol' Bec fall into Breen hands. I'll transfer this log to Bec's black box and shoot it in Defera's direction, and then blow the warp core with plasma grenades. Whatever isn't annihilated will probably be fried by the tetryon-plasma cloud. I think I'll start the process when life support's down to 1 hour.
It took much longer than I had hoped, but I finally was able to stuff all my plasma grenades in Bec's engine. Now to transfer the log into the the black box and launch it into the
Oh cra- *fwoosh*
Admiral's Log: 83781.51
It turned out that my premature launch of the black box saved me 15 minutes from death, as its exit from the dark matter nebula caused it to intercept the Lord English as it was scanning the vicinity. And by intercept, I mean it accidentally left a hole in one of the shuttles coming to rescue me. Chief Medical Officer Four of Thirteen assures me that Lieutenants Raastz and Sur will survive their bout with vacuum exposure and will be ready for duty in twenty hours.
As for me, the doctor has cleared me for duty and has prescribed for me a shot of Tranya to be redeemed at 7th Heaven. Although his Borg implants prevent him from showing overt signs of emotions, it is apparent by subtleties in his body language and Lieutenants Raastz and Sur's soft snickering that there's something much more than tranya waiting for me in the mess hall. Oh well.
End Admiral's log.
Admiral Sam Davis Personal Log, supplemental:
I figured charting this nebula would be a nice escape from the daily drab paperwork of my job. True to life as it is, this assignment has been an escape. Something happened, some debris or something hit the shuttle and now I'm stuck out here. I mean, I've got life support working, the food replicator is still functioning, and I've got the mater/anti-mater chamber going, but I cant get a stable warp field to form. Top that off, my impulse engine intakes are clogged, so, until I can get into open space, I'm on thrusters.
I wanted an escape, I got it. At least two weeks till I am in open space. Plenty of time to read. You know, I thought having been assimilated by the Borg was bad. I hated voices, and crowds. They just... they bothered me, all the voices... all the noise. However, I suspect, in a few days I will sorely miss voices. I will be happy to be back on Deep Space Nine, having a drink with Shull in Quarks.
Despite my best effort, I will never be the Engineer Roger Teradid is. Despite all my work, I can't for the life of me figure out how to get the intakes clear or how to get a stable warp field to form. It does bother me. I mean, I can figure out how to maneuver a Sovereign class star ship between a cube and a planet with only inches to the atmosphere. I can figure out how many torpedoes it will take to destroy the shields on a Klingon Neigh'Var class battle ship, but I cant figure out how to get moving faster than thrusters.
If Shull were here he'd likely tell me to relax and use the time wisely, to better my self. That is excellent advice, but its hard to relax when you have to limp home and report the job not done due to 'engine failure of an unknown origin'. That looks good on a report. Can't wait to see Admiral Quinns response to that. He'll have my back side tanned for sure for that. I'll be stuck behind my desk forever after this ordeal. Life's not looking so rosy today.
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