Literary Challenge #19 : Perplexing Complexities
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Join Date: Dec 2007
05-23-2012, 02:12 PM
Captain's Log: Stardate 88390.22
It's been about a week and a half. We're late for our next assignment but the fact of the matter is that I still can't explain what happened. We'd been on assignment in the Badlands, our mission was a simple search and arrest for an Orion Pirate/slaver named Soki of the I.K.S. Borig, a stolen Klingon Bird of Prey. She'd been hitting local systems and causing a bit of a ruckus near Bajor these last few months, so much so that my resupply at DS-9 hadn't even been finished when the orders came through. It didn't take long before we'd picked up her trail. Three days in we managed to make contact and a small skirmish ensued. It's not the most advanced ship, but she gave us a good shaking by disabling our warp drive. Luckily we were able to take out their engines all together.
No casualties, and very little damage had been sustained by either ships. Once we'd had her locked in a tractor beam the Geist began disabling systems like shields, weapons, and transport systems. I didn't want to risk any further combat until we'd beamed aboard all hostages and stolen goods, and I wasn't willing to beam aboard any strike teams not knowing what kind of arms they had. It was during this process that a blip had come up on long range sensors. Being the Badlands it was initially passed off as a false readout due to the interference, but it wasn't until we were beaming the orions into the brig that we'd made visual confirmation. It was an older Bajoran ship and looked heavily damaged. Shields were down and it seemed to be leaking plasma from the front section. Even if this were a trap by the Orion Captain our Antiproton defenses would easily ignite the greenish plasma cloud destroying the ship.
Once with in the shortened communications range we were able to establish a face to face. The man on the other end was Captain Ramhout Vander of the Bajoran freighter Decken. His ship was ambushed by a klingon vessel though he said it wasn't the Borig. I decided to offer a team or two to help with repairs, at least enough to get his crew back to Federation space. I'd beamed aboard with the initial survey team to meet the man Himself. He was an older Gentleman, his face sullen and pale. This was a man who had seen too much. It was cold from the moment we'd arrived, the air was dead and stale, environmental systems were just one of the many systems that had been operating at minimal levels to conserve power. Ship Morale had been quite low and you could see it on the faces of every man and woman you passed.
It was the look of defeat. Each crew member was sickly looking and malnourished. A look any seasoned captain knows when your ship is dangerously low on supplies and you're rationing your rations. I'd asked how long they'd been out here and what happened since the Klingon ambush. Vander began slowly, like recalling a bad dream, one that fades quickly after you awaken. After the ambush they'd managed to escape with only minor damage, mostly to the nacelles. A majority of the ships current state was due to a plasma storm that had happened shortly after. It was a sudden maelstrom, the first energy burst hitting the deflector as if drawn by a magnate causing a huge feedback pulse to overload a majority of the computer systems. The only option they'd had was to shut down the warp core and wait it out. They couldn't run and any auxiliary and back up power would be required to keep the shields functioning.
For three full days they were stranded as one by one systems would flicker or fail. Tensions had become high and there were a few issues on board, one of which blew out the remaining plasma relays which knocked the remaining shields off line. I looked over just in time to see Vanders eyes gloss over as he stared off down the dim corridor. "It was at this point" he'd trailed off a moment "that we'd lost everything..." I'd nearly jumped when my com chirped. Chief Fine had finished her preliminary diagnostic and had made a full list of repairs that the Geist would be able to help with to get them back on their way. I'd made the comment about him being lucky that the storm didn't ignite the plasma leak and he seemed a bit confused. "Plasma leak?" The Captain and I returned to our conversation and he added that if it hadn't been for a shield modification and rerouting a few conduits and relays to disperse the additional feedback through the weapons array they'd have never made it this far.
It wasn't until the Geist had beamed us back aboard that I began thinking. Some thing about his story didn't sit right. I decided to ask Lij, our on board android, to check into it. My com chirped again, it was Devon Fine, the ship's chief engineer. Just as Lij brought up the data on his console Chief Fine told me that her team couldn't transport to the Decken, it simply wasn't there. According to records the Decken was lost almost 200 years earlier and his ship never found. It was assumed destroyed in the previous Klingon Federation war. That's when the ship was shaken by a massive explosion. The Borig had been hit by a heavy energy discharge straight to it's deflector dish. We were just able to get our shields to maximum when the Borig exploded. The Maelstrom had begun. I ordered the warp core to be shut down as well as several odd modifications to be made. The storm lasted almost four days.
After it was done we began repairs. I ordered every possible scan to be made, but there was no evidence to be found. No temporal anomalies, no detectable cloak activity, not even a trace of Q activity from local logs. Nothing. Even Mr. Sabin, my Vulcan science officer, was unable to comprehend what had happened. I couldn't help but be haunted by his words when it occurred to me that losing everything didn't mean ship systems, yet if it hadn't been for a bit of otherworldly advice my ship... my crew... might have suffered the same fate. I can't explain what happened, but if not for this "Flying Dutchman" than the U.S.S. Geist might be more than just a moniker.
Computer: End log.