Literary Challenge #39 : Lone Drone
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Join Date: Jun 2012
03-02-2013, 02:02 PM
"Admiral on the bridge."
Amber bars pulsed warningly around the ring of
command center, an underrepresented color amid all the stark white, steel grey, and shades of blue on black. Through all its years of service and multiple refits, the
-class escort carrier had retained its original bridge module, in a style that hearkened back to an even earlier age of starships: cool, clean, and dangerous. No one setting foot on this deck would mistake it for the posh, soft-lit luxury of a
The thaav who'd just emerged from one of the rear turbolifts was also a product of another era. Fresh out of the Academy, he'd been thrust into the fire of the Dominion War, a war the Federation had come far too close to losing. Those flames had burned all the callowness out of a young ensign eager for battle and glory, forging him into a disciplined officer. He'd seen the true face and cost of war, lost good friends and comrades to it, and come to appreciate both peace and those who remained. Now the fire had come again, engulfing the whole quadrant - another war born of deception and misdirection, paranoia and old grudges, former allies set against each other in a burning house while the true enemies went unchallenged. The kind of war that one old soldier had hoped to never see again.
Fortunately, along with an admiral's bars came the authority to write your own orders. Which was why
was here, in Gamma Orionis, holding the line against a force that threatened to consume Federation and Empire alike while they were distracted.
Salroshan th'Gaav strode to the railing that separated the sunken center of the bridge from the rim and surveyed his officers. "Report."
"Debris field ahead, sir." Korrath had risen from the center seat at Roshan's arrival and now stood beside it. Decades of serving (and fighting and carousing and sometimes mourning) together had erased any strangeness from seeing the XO in a Starfleet uniform rather than a warrior's leathers, or doubts about his loyalty. "From mass and composition, a Borg sphere or a couple of probes. Also reading traces of Undine plasma and weapons fire, and a warp signature - all about twenty hours old."
Roshan nodded, lips and antennae quirking briefly. "I doubt they even slowed down." He circled the bridge but did not take his seat, instead facing the science station. "Full scan of the field, Mr. Curtis. If it's dead, we'll mark it on the charts and resume our patrol."
"Aye, sir." The science officer bent to his task. In moments, a false-color image of the smashed remains of the Borg vessel (or vessels) spread across the bank of displays. Roshan glanced at the main viewscreen, which showed none of this detail; most of the field was tiny fragments of dark Borg alloy, reflecting little or no light from the system's primary star, visible only when they drifted in front of the nearby gas giant. "No movement... no power sources... wait a second..." Brackets appeared on one of the monitors and expanded, zooming in on part of the field. A brighter dot appeared, with a few lines of text in thin tiny letters. "One lifesign, faint but steady."
"A survivor?" Roshan asked, moving to stand beside the lieutenant at his console. The two men were a study in contrasts, even more so as one was not technically a man at all; Command red and Science blue under their grey uniform yokes, cornflower blue and mahogany brown above their collars, feathery white bangs and tight black buzz-cut. The intensity in their eyes and expressions was the same, however, as Curtis narrowed the scan focus further. "What's it doing?"
"Just drifting. Looks like it - he - was blown clear." A few more passes and the pixelated blur became a recognizable humanoid figure. Curtis' dark eyes flicked to another set of readouts before making his report. "Klingon, sir."
Roshan straightened and half-turned to catch his exec's eye. Korrath was already looking at him expectantly. The admiral had only to nod.
"Phasers locked on target. Firing." A warning tone sounded as Korrath's finger touched a key. Outside, orange light speared out into the floating debris. Flesh and metal alike puffed into vapor at its touch, freeing a warrior's spirit to find its eternal reward. No one on the bridge said anything for a moment, each making their own silent observance.
"Thank you, Mr. Korrath, Mr. Curtis," Roshan acknowledged, nodding to each. "Helm, get us clear of the field and back on course." Now he finally did sit down, feeling every bit of his age, as the stars wheeled to port on the viewscreen. "Steady as she goes."
's nacelles flared as the starship leapt back into warp, leaving one more war grave in its wake.
Join Date: January 2011
Last edited by hfmudd; 03-02-2013 at