Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,296
# 11
09-23-2012, 07:56 AM
Personal Log: Stardate 88726.5 Crewman Wraith

I'd never been camping before. Up until two weeks ago I'd never even heard of it. Captain Donovan was a little surprised by this but from what I hear it's a pretty common thing among humans. From the best estimate Dr.E'Saul can figure I'm about six years old so the Captain said it was "passed due". Every one knew that wasn't exactly true though. A day earlier there had been a fight in the mess hall involving Me, Commander Keating, and Lieutenant Morden. They'd been eating lunch and talking "guy talk" as Keating put it when they'd said a few things that didn't sit well with me.

Lieutenant Morden was a new addition to the crew so the Commander was filling him in on certain things around the ship until they came to me. It's no secret that the Commander didn't really seem to like me. I've heard him calling me an "augie" every now and then, he forgets Vulcans have great hearing. I've learned to ignore it because he still treats me as crew, but it wasn't until they began talking about crew when Morden said something rude about Chief Fine being a former Borg. It was about that time the Commander turned and saw the face I was making.

I didn't think so at the time but thinking back on it the look on his face was priceless. Needless to say that they both learned that pulling rank on an "augie" doesn't work since I'm not "officially" Starfleet. Captain Donovan thought it would be fitting punishment to leave us planet side for a week or so while they escorted a science vessel charting the Felczer Nebula and with that we were off in a Delta Class Shuttle. We'd be completely cut off from the ship for the entire time they were in the nebula.

About ten hours into a long and quiet trip when suddenly we were hit. Several consoles exploded hitting the Commander and I. When I came to, the Commander was bleeding pretty bad. I put out the fires and dragged him back to the living area to treat the wounds as best I could, field dressings at best. The only thing i could really do was put him into full stasis and hope Morden could help. Regrettably that would be hard to do as he'd been in the rear of the ship and was hit hardest by the blast. I felt almost sickly over our first meeting and sorry that I would never be able to apologize.

I was dumbstruck for a few moments when I realized that he'd been in back adjusting a few environmental systems when they exploded as well. It took me the better part of a day to get the system as functional as I could, but I'm only an assistant in engineering, so I couldn't do much. Most of the power I had to route to the stasis pod to keep the Commander alive, atmospheric controls were barely registering so it's possible that I would either freeze to death, or suffocate, but being what I am I suppose it was luckier for Commander Keating to be in stasis. I would be able to last much longer than he would although according to the computer it would still be cutting it close.

For the most part it was quite since most power was needed for the pod so that meant no entertainment, no audio or video, most of the screens had blown along with a few conduits which meant i couldn't read either. I left the computer on silent which meant no other voice but my own. It took a while for people aboard the ship to get used to me, so it's not like I couldn't handle the quiet. It was the boredom that was bugging me the most. Since I had minimal air I couldn't do too much physical activity so I did what I could to keep things running as well as see what else could be repaired.

Comms were shot as well as sensor and propulsion so it meant that I was going no where. The only replicator on board was gone as well although I doubt there would be enough power to run it. The shuttle's emergency rations were awful so I didn't eat much and sleep wasn't happening so creativity was called for. What I didn't eat I used to draw on the pod. Each meal I would do something different and take pictures using the holoimager T'Pal let me borrow for the trip to take photos of plant life. With mashed potatoes I gave Commander Keating white hair and a beard like some of the older crew members, an weird brownish paste of something called "meatloaf" made him a Klingon, it made him smell a little like one as well....

At about day five as far as I could tell, a weakened bulk head blew taking most of what little air I had before the area sealed itself. At this point the cold was starting to get to me and it would only be getting worse. I'd keep watch on the stasis pod as best I could but even wrapped in the thermal blankets I'd find that I was having a hard time staying awake. I'd drift here and there, once waking myself with a bad shock while taking power from any other systems I could spare. This meant taking the computers fully offline as well as lights and even shields.

At some point I'd given up on trying to count how much time had passed. I could go for a few weeks with out sleep but the cold was making it happen which meant I wouldn't last much longer. I decided to route the rest of the life support and available power to keeping that pod running. As far as I could figure, the Commander was a good man and far more valuable to the Geist than I was. Dr. E'Saul would be say I made a very "logical" decision, which made sense but I figure I would get one last laugh of him. Once we're found I might be long gone, but they'll hopefully find Commander Keating in tube with a food paste bikini on the glass. I took a photo then went and shut down the rest of the shuttle before finally passing out.

When I woke up in sick bay I was surrounded by the senior staff, kind of like when they first found me. According to Dr. E'Saul I'd been dead for over an hour when they found me. Apparently I'd scared poor nurse Pruz when my body suddenly gasped for air. Sometimes being different from every one else on board has it's advantages. The Commander was fresh out of surgery and sleeping but would be just fine. After telling the story Dr. E'Saul and Captain Donovan had me sit down and do a few personal logs as well as a session or two of counseling just to make sure I was okay. Scans of the shuttle showed that it had been hit by an old cloaked mine from some long forgotten war, a complete freak accident. I regret that I couldn't save Lieutenant Morden, but after the whole ordeal I was still alive and had saved the Commander, something he would hate.... At least until I showed the photos from our "camping trip".
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 19
Personal Log, supplemental:

Admiral Quinn was na' ... delighted, let's say, 'bout my bein' marooned nor the events wha' transpired on that lovely wee planetoid. Th' words 'Conduct Unbecoming' were used.

In my defense, let me back up a bit, though... First, Ensign Cabana Boy did'na care for me choice of music while workin' on th' runabout's engines an' such. Me, I'm a fan o'late Twentieth an' early Twenty-First classical music, but even if he did'na like Iron Maiden, Queensryche, Rammstein, Led Zeppelin, th' Grateful Dead, or Bob Seger, he could'a just asked an' I would'a stuck it in me earbug.

But nooooooo, Ensign Smartypants 'ad t'steal me music player. This, o'course, was mutiny. I did'na 'ave a plank handy, but I 'ad plenty o'rope, so I tied 'im to a tree. Serves 'im right, the wanker broke me runabout an' tossed me music player int'a th' ocean. Left 'im there overnight.

So the next mornin', the tosser's got a phaser on me an' is tryin' t'relieve me from duty! Somethin' about bein' a disgrace t'the uniform, a drunken pirate, an' a mental case. This, dear diary, was th' last ****in' straw: I be neither a disgrace to th' uniform nor do I 'ave toys in me attic. He wanted a pirate? I'd give 'im a pirate queen!

Picture this, diary: A stout Welsh lass, lean and muscular but still shapely at about two meters' height, wi' raven-black hair an' cold blue eyes, her uniform cut into a halter-top an' beach shorts, pilotin' a makeshift sailboat across a bay for a fishin' trip wi' a phaser-saw for a cutlass, a plasma pistol for a flintlock, a strip of red uniform for a bandana, an' a disobedient ensign tied t'th' mast.

Good times. What got creepier was when Ensign Scurvy Dog started gettin' into it, like some sort o' fancy dress roleplay thing where people end up all sweaty and tired afterward. Thankfully, after trussin' Ensign Sharkbait up an' makin' me pirate costume, I 'ad enough spare time t' cobble together a power source, a warp coil, an' a jackleg engine enough t'get said coil into low orbit, where th'power source started it oscillatin'. Sure, we did'na 'ave subspace comms, but a 'flare' works just as well as a distress call. The Paragon was there within th' next few days, we salvaged th' Miskatonic, marked the place for th' crew barbecue beach party next month, an' went on our merry way.

Th' Admiral wasn'a 'appy, at all, an' has slapped the entire thing into sealed records. No court-martial, not even captains' mast. He feels that if word got out, it could harm Starfleet's reputation in a time o'war on multiple fronts. I can see the logic in that...

...But I still look stonking good in a pirate outfit. Now if I can just get Ensign Creeper to stop droolin' every time he sees me, we'll be tip-top.

-Commander Moira Stern
USS Paragon, NCC-946478-A

Last edited by evilbenfranklin; 09-24-2012 at 08:33 AM. Reason: Correction to last paragraph
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 145
# 13
09-25-2012, 11:49 PM
Captain?s Log

Drem ordered me off my own ship because I raised my voice at my helmsman. I tried to explain to the well-intentioned, but overzealous doctor that I was getting status reports from the Tobarri colonies across the t?O network, but she wouldn?t buy it. Sometimes, I think she?s the one in need of a vacation. That damn woman, I never should have asked her to join my crew. She even had the unmitigated gall to order my security team to escort me to the shuttle bay. But apparently, I?m just the captain, and for some reason Starfleet chose to make Chief Medical Officers outrank captains ? for the life of me, I?ll never understand that decision.

So, there I was, in my shuttle, in the middle of the Felczer Nebula, a dozen light years from the Orellius Sector Block and known civilization. At least they dropped me off in a system near an idyllic M-class planet. And, as much as I hate to admit it, it was nice to get out and stretch my wings for a bit. I picked a campsite along the southern edge of the largest continent with some spectacular sea-side cliffs. The thermals rising up from there was perfect for soaring. The only thing that would have made it better was having Audria to share them with me.

Three days went by much too quickly for my tastes. Did I just say that out loud? I?ve got to put up the pretense that it was inconvenient. I can?t let Drem think that she could do this whenever she felt like it.

When it was time to go, I packed up the campsite, boarded the shuttle and took off to rendezvous with the Tobarrus. I had barely left orbit, when something bad happened.
The shuttle?s deflector stopped functioning and the shuttle began being struck by micrometeorites. I tried to raise the shields, but the forward emitter array took a hit. Without shields and without a deflector, I was stuck in orbit. I transmitted a distress call, knowing full well that the nebula?s interference would prevent the Tobarrus from detecting the signal until they were practically on top of me. It was not looking good, but I had to do something.

Next, I crawled under the forward console, removed the panel, and stared at the isolinear chips in utter confusion. I should have paid more attention to that engineering course at the Academy. I was tempted to start pulling chips, but decided against it. I didn?t want to make the situation any worse. I replaced the panel and crawled out from beneath the forward station. I climbed into my chair and thought for a minute as I looked around the shuttle. My gaze fell upon the transporter. If worse came to worse, I could always beam back down to the planet and extend my shoreleave for a while longer. The Tobarrus would come looking for him once they realized that he wasn?t at their rendezvous coordinates.

I sat back and thought for a moment. Suddenly, it occurred to me that the very thing that had sent me on this little excursion could be my saving grace. I tapped into the t?O?s telepathic network and sent a message across space in a blink of an eye to the Tobarri colony. There was a Starfleet Intelligence officer there that could relay my distress call to command and relay it to the Tobarrus for my rescue. It would take some time for my message to make its way up the chain of command, but at this point, it was my only choice.

I closed my eyes and focused on Marlos.

Marlos, are you there?

Behind my eyelids, I saw the node aboard the Tobarrus before the universe started to blur as I instantaneously transverse a hundred light years to the colony?s t?O node. Marlos came into focus. He was standing at a chalkboard with a complex equation scribbled across it. He stared thoughtfully at it. I materialized behind him. I cleared my throat to get his attention, but he didn?t acknowledge me. Marlos was lost in concentration. As he reachde to solve the equation, it changed. The numbers, letters, and symbols began to dance across the slate board. He scribbled answers frantically, but each one joined its companions in its waltz. Marlos was dreaming.

I reached for him and tapped his shoulder, which startled him awake. The environment that we stood in transformed into his bedroom at the colony. It was dark, but the moonlight from the pair of asteroids that orbited the tiny m-class world shone through the open window as a cool breeze blew made the curtains wafted back and forth.
Marlos was wrapped up a light sheet. He sat up from his bed and looked over at me in disbelief. He rubbed his eyes. When he focused on me again, he slumped his shoulders in disappointment.

Soriedem, is that you? He asked as he looked at the clock on his bedside. Do you know what time it is?

Marlos was the lead Tobarri researcher for the Borg nanite code problem. His role kept him in contact with Richard Stevenson, the Starfleet Intelligence liaison officer stationed on the Tobarri colony overseeing their work for the Federation against the Borg threat.

I?m sorry to disturb your sleep, I replied, but I have a bit of a problem and I need your help to get me out of it.

Marlos grew concerned as his brow furrowed and the expression on his face had shed its annoyance at being disturbed in the middle of the night. He shook the last vestiges of sleep and swung his legs from the bed. A problem? What happened? Is the Borg?
I sent him my memories in a series of telepathic flashes. He blinked quickly as he received and comprehended everything that I had sent him.

Why are you sending this to me? I don?t know a thing about Starfleet shuttles, and even less about their deflectors or shield arrays, he replied.

Next, I sent him details pertaining to my plan for being rescued by the Tobarrus and what I need him to do.

Rich won?t like being roused so early, but I?ll take care of it right now, Marlos replied as he got up from bed, slipped on his robe and slippers, and made his way to the door.

My final message to Marlos before disengaging our link was a simple, Thank you. In a blink of an eye, I crossed the galaxy and found myself alone in the shuttle, orbiting a small m-class world somewhere deep inside the Felczer Nebula.

All I could do now was wait for help to arrive. To occupy my time and stave off boredom, I played games with the computer, listened to music, cleaned up the shuttle, reorganized the compartments, took inventory of supplies, retuned the hand phasers, ran diagnostics on the remaining shuttle systems, and just about went out of my mind in boredom. You couldn?t imagine my disappointment when I discovered that only an hour had passed since contacting Marlos.

I checked in Marlos to find out what the status of the rescue was coming along. He was on the verge of sleep, when I roused him once again. When I asked for a status update, he seemed annoyed as he sat up in bed and began to describe going to Rich?s room, waking him up, and the message he transmitted to Starfleet Command. Marlos had done all he could to help me. It was now in Starfleet?s hands.

Instead of going back to bed, Marlos agreed to keep me company. I brought him back to my shuttle. As his consciousness settled into a chair across from my own, I went to the replicator and produced a three-dimensional chest board and set it up between us. I allowed him to make the first move. As nothing more than a figment of my imagination, he couldn?t influence anything on the shuttle. He would indicate his next move, and I would place the piece in its intended place. We played half dozen games in this manner before the sun rose on the Tobarri colony world. It was time for him to go to work. Reluctantly, I agreed to let him go if he would keep me updated on the status of the rescue. In an instance, he was gone and I was alone in the shuttle again.

I realized that I was hungry and prepared the last ration pack. If the Tobarrus didn?t arrive soon, I?d have to use the transporter to head back down to the planet for supplies. It was uninhabited and didn?t offer much in terms of animal life. However, it did have plenty of insects and plant life that would allow me to survive indefinitely down there. I just hoped that it didn?t come to that. After dinner, I stretched out on the bunk in the rear compartment and tried to get some sleep.

I?m not sure how long I was asleep when my communicator chirped indicating that the Tobarrus had finally come within range. I jumped from the bunk, and took a seat at the center console just as the Tobarrus came within view. I opened a channel and demanded to know what had taken them so long.

?We weren?t in a hurry to interrupt your vacation,? my first officer, Ceathoo replied. ?We?re extending our shields around the shuttle, and then, we?ll secure with our tractor beam. You?ll be back onboard in a few minutes.?

When the blue beam of the tractor beam grabbed hold of my shuttle, the small shuttle shook momentarily before it was pulled towards the Tobarrus. I closed the channel and sighed heavily with relief. It was almost over, and a few minutes later I was back on the bridge of my ship ready to get underway.

Later, after the engineering crews took the shuttle?s deflector apart, they discovered what had happened to it. They discovered a small colony of insects had crawled inside the shuttle?s deflector and made their new home in its warm interior spaces. The bugs had even eaten through the patch cables. Even if I had paid attention in the engineering course, there was little I could have done to repair the shuttle without an EV suit. Hearing that bit of news didn?t make me feel any better though. It just made me wish that Audria was here with me. She was always better with engineering and scientific principles than I was. Me, I was a soldier. I was more comfortable with a gun in my hands than a spanner or whatever they?re called.
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,018
# 14
09-27-2012, 01:08 PM
Personal log: Tylha Shohl, officer commanding, USS Sita NCC-92871

The floor is at an angle. That's never a good sign.

I cough a bit and try to stand up. Floor sloping means two things; internal gravity is off, but there's a local grav field somewhere. Not much of one, though, as when I try to stand, I bounce off the shuttle's ceiling hard enough to put a crimp in my antennae.

Once I get over that, I start trying to piece together what happened.

Flying solo in the Felczer Nebula... a break from the normal routine aboard the Sita. I spotted a comet, went in for a quick sensor sweep... there was an unusual subspace rift nearby... I decided, what the heck, turn on the visual recorders, and get a picture of the anomaly framed against the comet's tail... I was just turning onto a new heading when something in the rift flared, sending a shower of exotic particles right in my face.

On the plus side, the snapshots should be spectacular.

On the down side - well, the shuttle is nose down on something big and solid, most likely that comet. That shouldn't normally be a problem, but I can smell the air, and it has that familiar and unmistakable scent of burned-out transtators. Systems damage. So: how bad?

I massage my antennae and set to work on the console.

The answer, it turns out, is plenty bad enough. Comms blown, not that they would be much help in the nebula anyway. EV controls mostly working, except for artificial gravity. Worst of all, thrusters are out. I have impulse, I can even re-establish a warp field... but before I do either of those things, I have to get the shuttle off the ground. And RCS thrusters are offline, and staying that way.

Think, Tylha, I tell myself. Thrusters are out; why?

The shuttle has ploughed into the surface of the comet, nose first, pointing down at an angle of about twenty degrees. Activating impulse or warp in this position will work... about as well as you'd expect, with a rocket motor behind you and a solid wall in front. I need to back myself out, and that means firing the forward RCS thrusters, and they won't fire. Safeties are cutting in. The tubes are mechanically obstructed, says the computer, which is a fancy way of saying they have comet-dirt wedged tight up them.

I think about this for a moment. I could override the safeties, and hope there's enough pressure to blow the dirt right out of the tubes... problem is, I don't know what the comet's surface material is, or how tight it's wedged. If it's too solidly packed, the pressure will come out another way - most likely taking the nose off the shuttle in the process. That falls into the category of Not Helping.

I could find out what the comet dirt is made of... except, there are those burned-out transtators again; sensors are minimal. I amuse myself with some environmental scans anyway. Surprisingly, this comet has a half-decent atmosphere, either from outgassing within itself, or collected from the body of the nebula. There's even an oxygen content; very low, though, and it's bitterly cold out there. Humans would complain, damn whiny pinkskins. Still, I doubt I'll be going outside for a stroll yet.

I take stock of my own personal resources. Fabrication kit... handy, if I need a quantum mortar or a phaser turret, which I don't, much. Perhaps I could adapt a seeker drone to do mining work? It's a thought, and I file that one for future consideration. I have my standard weapons, of course; sonic antiproton rifle and phased-tetryon assault gun. Fat lot of use those are going to be. I can't shoot my way out of a comet. I can't even drain their power cells to recharge the systems, like they did that time on the old Galileo; sonic AP and phased-tet both have incompatible cycles, without a dedicated adapter there's no way to charge or discharge them without a heck of a lot of waste heat.

I spin the command chair around, so I can lean back in it and think.

Establish a reverse warp field? From a standing start to moving backwards at a bit over lightspeed... It's not advised in atmosphere, let alone when partly embedded in the ground, and especially not with amber lights over most of my consoles. I decide to explore alternatives that are less likely to make me explode suddenly.

Tricorder is still working... I could go outside and get a sample of the comet material. Then I could scan it and work out just what my chances are, either firing the thrusters or getting a drone to dig me out. That's a good idea, and at least it would keep me busy. I make for my EV suit...

Damn. I knew that last Tholian back on Nukara got too close for comfort. There must have been a stress fracture in the visor, and when the shuttle crashed, my helmet got bounced around hard enough for it to fail. I look at the broken faceplate and reflect that, after all, I'm lucky; it could have happened on Nukara.

Still, going outside, into 3% oxygen atmosphere and a surface temperature of 197 Kelvin? File that one under desperation measures, I think.

The Sita will find me eventually, of course... I think. The ship will come hot-foot once I miss my scheduled rendezvous. Problem is, space is very big, and my shuttle is very, very small. They will find me - they won't ever stop looking. But how long will it take?

Besides, it's... embarrassing. Being picked up like some kind of cosmic hobo? It's enough to make me do a slow burn....

Something clicks with that phrase. Slow burn.

I need something to push the shuttle out of the comet. I need something that will deliver a sustained thrust - maybe not for long, but something that will be a shove, not a blow. Like the old firearms they used to have on Andoria or Earth, the ones with chemical explosive propellants - compounds that deflagrated, rather than exploded; burning, not blasting.

I start to rummage under the shuttle's helm console. There is a floor panel, which comes out; it gives me access to the subspace radio antenna, which was broken anyway, so no good to me. I set to work. By the time I'm finished, the subspace radio antenna is a lot more broken, and somehow I feel better. There is now an empty space in the front of the shuttle, with just the skin of the ship between it and the comet's dirt.

I wedge the phased-tet assault gun in there, tight. The replicators are offline, but the emergency kit has firefighting gear; I fill the space around it with a couple of spray cans' worth of insulating foam.

Now, I need to seal it in. I reach for the fabrication kit; drone time. I always fancy these support drones quiver when they see me coming at them with a screwdriver in one hand and a purposeful glint in my eye. Some time later, the drone's energy weapon is a fairly serviceable welder. Shortly afterwards, the inside of the shuttle is very hot and smelly, and the phased-tet gun is welded very firmly inside the space where the antenna used to be. And I have comprehensively voided that drone's warranty. Never mind.

I kick bits of antenna out of the way, and they spin lazily in the weak gravity.

Now for the next fun part. The induction charger for the weapon will still work, even through the makeshift box it's sealed up in - but inefficiently, so very, very inefficiently. Normally, that would grate on me, but this time I want inefficiency. Because inefficiency, in engineering terms, always means heat.

I set the charger for a fast discharge - normally, draining the gun's powercells back into the shuttle's system. But, the way I've set things up, I'll be lucky to get a hundred kilojoules out of that gun. All the rest of the charge in its cells will turn into waste heat; lovely, lovely waste heat, right up close against the surface of that comet with only a highly conductive metal plate in the way.

Of course, despite the foam, a fair amount of that waste heat is bleeding back into the shuttle's cabin, too. I can hear the life support system complaining; I feel like complaining myself. The little ship's interior is turning into something only a Vulcan could love. I have to take my uniform jacket off. Damn it.

But that comet dirt - whatever it's made of, it is ice cold, or worse than ice cold. Under the influence of that hot spot, it melts, bubbles, expands -

Pressure always seeks the easiest way out, and the easiest way out for this pressure... is pushing my shuttle out of the hole it's dug for itself.

There are lots of ugly grating sounds, and jolts and jerks that the inertial dampers don't quite catch in time, and the structural integrity system flashes more amber lights at me. But the shuttle is moving, now, in a cloud of exotic steam, and all of a sudden it is free, flying even; the pressure is enough to overcome the weak gravity.

I switch off the charger, but a little too late; there is a bright flash from beneath the shuttle's nose as the overheating assault gun finally melts its way through the skin. Oops. My welds hold, though, so I'm not breathing space.

And - after overriding a few dozen nagging safeties - I have first impulse, then warp power at my disposal.

I set a course, out of the nebula, towards the rendezvous point. So I'll be a little early... but I'll make it there all by myself. And all I have to worry about now is - a large hole in the front of the shuttle, a few burned-out systems, and the paperwork to replace that phased-tet assault gun.

All in all, it could have been worse. I turn off one last safety alarm, and settle down for a sleep. I've earned it.
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 20
# 15
10-01-2012, 12:01 PM
Captain's log, stardate 90323.11. U.S.S. Supernova, Andrew Trent commanding.

Starfleet Command has finally pulled the
Supernova out of the Donatu sector, and temporarily reassigned us to star charting duties. It will be a welcome respite, to say the least, after three long weeks of wrestling with the Klingons. We were lucky enough to escape in one piece, but we lost four good ships in the Ker'rat and Zibal systems: the Raven, the Brunswick, the Crusader, and the Heartland.

There were two thousand men and women aboard those four vessels, and their captains were competent officers and personal friends of mine.

But this is war, and all we can do is move on.

Starfleet has ordered us to proceed to the Orellius Sector Block and collect samples and data from the Felczer Nebula. To a tactical-oriented ship and crew that spends most of its time on the front lines, this mission could be defined as monotonous?however, monotony is a luxury that is in far too short supply at the moment.

As a result, I have left the
Supernova in Commander Calar's capable hands and taken the Captain's Yacht to have a little time to myself. There have been some exotic spatial phenomenon reported in this region of space, so I intend to take a sightseeing trip and clear my head. It'll be a pleasant change to go more than six hours without hearing the Red Alert klaxon.

"Computer, increase the resolution of the lateral sensor array and initiate another scan."

The computer signaled an acknowledgement, and I sat back to watch the analysis flow in. Technically, I was only here to observe with my eyes, but three full-size comets traveling in a group was too rare for me to pass up an opportunity to take some scans.

"Analysis complete," the computer reported. "Parsing sensor data."

Resetting the sensor array, I took a last glimpse at the comet trio and began warming up the warp drive. I was about to set my course, when the sensors beeped an alert. "Warning: Breen warship approaching from sector space," the computer informed me in an impeccably calm tone of voice.

I raised shields, right as a hulking Sarr Theln warship dropped out of warp, almost completely filling the forward viewport. I gazed at the sight, forgetting to breathe for a moment.

"Starfleet shuttlecraft, this is Thot Kek of the Breen Confederacy," a cruel metallic Breen voice announced over the comm channel. "Lower your shields and prepare to be detained. If you do not comply, you will be destroyed."

"Computer, generate a feedback loop and transmit it over the comm," I instructed. No doubt there were more ingenious tricks I could have used rather than trying to assault Thot Kek's ears, but I can't say I was fully prepared to be attacked by the Breen on my vacation. My brain would need at least several more seconds to kick into combat mode.

Swinging the yacht away from the warship, I engaged the impulse drive and headed for the comets. They were my best and only chance of escape.

It took the Breen a moment to react to my maneuver, but their response was a volley of transphasic torpedoes to my aft shields. Upon regaining my posture, I rerouted power to the damaged shield face.

The warship opened up on me with its full array of weaponry, and a shower of sparks exploded from a panel behind me. I knew the yacht couldn't take much more pounding?whatever I was going to do, I needed to do it fast.

After a seeming eternity, my ship finally overtook the comet trio. I waited as long as I dared to gain a safe distance, then reached over to the tactical controls and sent a photon torpedo spread out the aft tube.

It was a shame to have to destroy such a beautiful natural wonder?but in the long run, I valued myself more than a stellar phenomenon. The comets exploded in spectacular fashion, sending fragments in all directions and obscuring the Sarr Theln warship in a thick cloud of dust. I sent the yacht into a dive and fed all power that wasn't supporting the shields or life support into the impulse engines.

For a few hopeful seconds, I thought I had lost them completely. An impact against my stressed shields quickly destroyed that fantasy, but the move did gain me a great deal of valuable breathing room. I was now outside tractor beam range, and I had a better chance of dodging torpedoes at this distance.

On the downside, now that I had proven to be slipperier than they originally anticipated, the Breen were likely to be a little more determined to turn me into space dust. And I didn't have a hope of outrunning that warship.

Searching for inspiration, I checked the sensors. To my surprise, by either pure luck or divine intervention, my new course was taking me near a small planet?Class L, by the looks of it, and it wasn't that far away.

I didn't need a Vulcan to tell me that the odds of reaching the planet intact were stacked against me, but Starfleet officers never say die.

I used every trick in the book to stimulate my shields, and invented a few more on the spot. But the yacht's defensive systems were not designed to withstand a sustained assault by a warship, and the shields finally collapsed as I entered the planet's atmosphere. I diverted my attention from piloting and tried to reassemble the shields, but it was to no avail.

I was nearly knocked out of my chair as a shot from the Breen ship's polaron array struck the yacht's unshielded hull. An emergency siren went off, followed by a dire alert from the computer: "Warning. Structural integrity compromised."

I braced myself against another weapon impact, and then another. My ship bucked and did its best to spin out and roll over. Fighting to maintain control, I continued my reckless dive through the upper cloud layer.

Dodging another polaron blast, I broke through the lower cloud layer and got my first look at the planet's surface. The terrain was mainly forest and mountains, with a temperate climate that looked to be just a little on the cool side. More importantly, the presence of common trees indicated an oxygen atmosphere.

My new and improved plan was to take cover among the mountains and dense foliage. If I could confuse my attackers' sensors long enough to put the planet's mass between myself and them, I would be free to escape to warp.

The tactical console began beeping frantically, drawing my attention to the aft sensors. I glanced at the screen, just in time to witness the Breen warship fire a transphasic torpedo?a fatal proposition for my unprotected yacht.

It took me three seconds to determine that my shields were fried and weren't coming back up anytime soon. It took me another three seconds to determine that there was nowhere to hide; the mountain range I was heading for was still half a minute away. At my current position, there was nothing but forest and hills.

It was over.

The torpedo barreled towards me. At the very last second, I threw the yacht's nose down and to the right, so the impact would occur as far away from the cockpit as possible.

The projectile struck my ship with bone-jarring force. The lights immediately blacked out, and the aft section was filled with the screeching sounds of the hull being annihilated. A chain of explosions resounded against my ears like a thunderclap.

The yacht spiraled downward and slammed nose-first into the ground, crashing violently through the forest end over end. I was thrown clear of my chair, and blacked out upon hitting the floor.

I don't know how long I was unconscious. Not very long, obviously, since I woke up on the floor of my ship and not on the floor of a Breen holding cell.

Light was streaming in through the shattered forward viewport, and a deep silence had seemed to settle over what was left of the yacht. Thick smoke curled lazily through the air, and a handful of still-functional emergency lights pulsated on and off.

I lifted my head and immediately wished I hadn't as pain shot through my temples. I fought through the agony and forced myself to get up until I was in a kneeling position. From there, I took stock of my situation. Aside from a concussion and several intensely sore locations along my ribcage and lower back, I did not appear to have any serious injuries?which meant I still had a decent chance of getting out of this mess, if I moved fast.

I rose to my feet and shakily made my way to the cockpit's stash of emergency supplies. I opened the locker and withdrew a survival backpack, medical kit, tricorder, and a hand phaser.

Loading myself down with equipment probably wasn't the best thing I could have done for my body in its delicate condition, but it was better than being improperly equipped to face the ecosystem of this alien world and the Breen forces that were sure to come looking for me.

I situated everything so it was more or less comfortable to carry, then opened up the yacht's hatch and surveyed my surroundings. The air was cool and comfortably breathable, and the surrounding terrain appeared to be easily traversable. Which was good, because if the engine whine I could hear steadily approaching my location belonged to a squadron of Breen fighters, I would need to beat a very hasty retreat.

I picked a direction at random and began running. After about a hundred and twenty meters, I figured I was at a safe enough distance and stopped to catch my breath.

The engine whines continued growing louder, and I turned around in time to see a trio of Bleth Chaos fighters do a flyby over the crash site. They fanned out and proceeded in different directions, sensors trained on the forest below. The metal content of the trees would protect me from detection unless one of them flew right over me, but I still needed to keep moving. Before I did so, however, I had to ensure that what was left of my ship would not fall into enemy hands.

Opening up my tricorder, I pointed it at the wreckage and tuned it to a wavelength I could use to transmit a self-destruct code to the yacht. I input the code with my personal authorization, and reached for the transmit button.

My finger froze as my eyes locked on the three Breen fighters. They had rejoined formation and were returning to the crash site, probably to use it as a central location to run a thorough scan of the area. They were moving slowly, at a tantalizingly low altitude. If they got close enough to the wrecked yacht?

I watched the fighters intently as they crept closer, estimating the distance in my head. Three hundred meters ? two hundred meters ? one hundred meters?

I triggered the signal, and my ship blew up in a spectacular explosion.

It was all I could have hoped for. One of the fighters was caught directly above the blast and incinerated on the spot. The second one spun out of control and crashed into the forest, detonating on impact. The third one survived the initial explosion and began to fall to the ground, but the pilot regained control at the last second and executed an impressive emergency landing.

As the fighter came to rest, it suddenly occurred to me that my ticket out of here may have just been placed within my grasp.

There was no time to spare. Putting away my tricorder, I sprinted for the downed vessel as fast as my legs would take me. How fortunate that I had not retreated too far from my crashed yacht.

In no time at all, I was approaching the downed Breen fighter. Taking care to stay out of sight of the cockpit viewports, I found a way to climb onto the vessel and did so quickly and quietly. Once I was on, I dropped to my belly and began crawling along the fuselage towards the cockpit.

I could see the Breen pilot now. He appeared to be running a diagnostic on his ship's systems, and was thoroughly engaged in his work. Drawing my phaser, I rapped my knuckles on the cockpit canopy to get his attention and crawled backwards out of sight.

I heard the whirr of hydraulics, and the hiss of pressurized air escaping the cockpit as the pilot, motivated by curiosity, opened the canopy. Within moments, a helmeted head popped up and peered in my direction.

I stunned the Breen with a single shot. The helmet receded, followed by a thud as his limp form tumbled out of the cockpit and onto the ground.

Holstering my weapon, I scampered forward and dropped into the cockpit.

The controls were all labeled in the Breen language, but I was familiar with the basics of their symbols and was able to identify everything with some difficulty. Canopy toggle?there. Cockpit pressurization?there. Engine startup?there.

The diagnostic the pilot had so thoughtfully performed for me indicated minor to moderate damage on most systems, but impulse engines were intact and the fighter's tiny condensed warp drive was still functioning. That was all I needed.

I engaged thrusters and brought the vessel above the treetops. Orienting myself away from the orbiting Sarr Theln warship, I throttled up to full impulse and jetted away.

Predictably, the warship contacted me. "Bleth Chaos 47, what is your status?" Thot Kek inquired. I had no intention of responding.

Angling the fighter up into the sky, I blasted through the clouds and into orbit.

"Bleth Chaos 47, return to the ship. Pilot, do you copy?"

"You lose, Thot Kek," I muttered triumphantly to myself. I set a course for the Felczer Nebula and, with a final look at the clueless Breen warship, I engaged the warp drive.

Last edited by generalgarm; 10-01-2012 at 12:04 PM.
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 9,041
# 16
10-02-2012, 04:14 PM
WHOOT! Some great, great entries! Thanks for participating

If you would still like to participate in this challenge, feel free to do so. I'll be unsticking this as I prepare to post up #29.


Brandon =/\=

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