Posted on Wed Feb 14th, 2018 @ 2:11pm by Captain Cassandra Quinn & Commander Sean "Shack" Byrnes & Commander L'Mina & Lieutenant Commander Lori Coffee & Lieutenant Taavis & Lieutenant Junior Grade Kira Shiryankin & Lieutenant Junior Grade Cabhan "Kevan" Doolin & Lieutenant Junior Grade Oraxea Zoss & Lieutenant Molk & Lieutenant Oliver & Lieutenant Junior Grade Sahr Th'kaviq
Location: USS Eclipse
It had been 6 days since the Eclipse had returned from the Imperial Universe but it was still the topic of several conversations among the crew. Cassandra had seen the Admiral and Billi off 2 days ago and felt a twinge of jealousy that they were getting the opportunity to spend some time together. She had had no time to spend with Shack. She was hoping they could steal a few hours once they got to the Double Nickle and the ship was in the hands of the base's maintenance crews. A quiet day on a sailboat in a lake would be nice. She used the last piece of her bread to sop up the gravy on her plate when her combadge tweeted.
=^=Captain Quinn to the Bridge.=^=
Cassandra popped the gravy soaked piece of bread in her mouth, grabbed her plate.
"I'll take it for you, Captain," a passing Ensign said.
"Thanks," Cassandra smiled as she left the plate on the table and headed to the Bridge. She stepped on the bridge and, immediately saw the image of a Centaur Class ship, obviously adrift. "Report," she said, walking over to look over LtCDR Coffee's shoulder at the security/tactical console.
"Sir, its a Centuar Class starship, that is adrift, there is no life aboard. She is the USS Randall NCC-1227-A she has massive battle damage, she was reported lost 5 years ago she was under the command of Commander Mark Ramis at that time."
"The Randall," Oraxea asked from her position at the helm, looking closer at the screen, "my uncle was on that ship. Assistant chief ops."
Cassandra moved to the secondary tactical station and made a few entries on the console. "USS Randall. A diplomatic transport ship," she read from the small monitor on the console. "Dispatched on 60926.64 to the Raeyan Transit Corridor to retrieve Ambassadors Mayzon and Brennya, who it appears were there conducting peace talks between the C'Hakilian Empire and the Krazzle Republic in the Delta Quadrant whose skirmish over borders had bled into the Alpha Quadrant side of the Transit Corridor. The Randal was tasked to return the Ambassadors, along with some important security information to the UFoP HQ on Earth but it went missing. Last contact was 2 months later on 61159.36 and the message was all was well and that they were on schedule." She looked over at Oraxea and said, "calculate the distance they would have traveled in those 2 months, please."
Oraxea was a bit distracted. She had gotten a message from her parents that her uncle was missing and here he was... or might be. Or at least now she might know what happened. She found it strange that a ship this close to several high traveled locations could stay hidden, but that was also something she would find out hopefully.
She did three sets of calculations. First was based on the ship's current speed at impulse. That was the slowest they would move and therefore the least distance. The second was based upon the premise that they were at normal cruise warp speed and the ship slowly lost it's speed until it dropped out of warp. As the speed loss ratio was known for Centaurs, she could calculate the speed and distance. The last one was the same, but with the ship going at maximum warp when the problem - whatever it was - occured.
"I have the numbers," she said after a few minutes, sending them to the XO and to science, "the first is the slowest, the last is the fastest they could have gone."
Cassandra looked at the numbers and used the figures based on the Randall traveling at Warp 5 then called up an image of that section of the Quadrant. "That's nearly 10 light years away," she said with a frown. "How the hell did it get here and where has it been all this time?" she asked, thinking out loud. Looking at Lori she said, "you're absolutely sure there are no signs of life anywhere on that ship?"
Lori ran another scan and this time a deeper more through one, and again came back negative. Lori said,"Sorry, Captain absolutely no life aboard.
Cassandra tapped the comlink on the console. "Dr. Beckett to the Bridge," she said then rubbed her chin as she stared at the Randall. Without looking behind her she asked the communication's officer, "can you link to the Randall's computer?"
The ensign tried but shook her head. "I'm getting a security lock," she said.
Lori then said, "Let me try." Lori punched in some code and after 5 minutes of intense coding was able to gain access to the USS Randall's computer."
Lori said, "I'm in XO."
"See if you can get us their logs," Cassandra said walking over to stand behind the helm. She examed the image of the ship. "Oraxea...move us around the ship....slowly," she said, softly. "Computer....zoom in on image."
"Working on it, XO. It may take a while. I have been able to establish that at least life support is online, but all other major systems need to be repaired." Lieutenant Commander Coffee said
Oraxea steered the big ship slowly around the much smaller Centaur, mostly using trusters. She also brought the ship up and down a bit so they could also look at the top and bottom.
"That's it, sir," she said after some time, "we've done a complete circle."
"I didn't see any signs of damage....did you?" Cassandra asked.
"Not really," Oraxea said, "just something small on the port nacelle, but that's probably a meteorite hitting after they dropped out of warp. It certainly wasn't the cause of this."
Nikki stepped out of the turbolift and looked at the image on the screen. "You rang, Captain?" she said, walking over to the railing.
Cassandra turned and nodded. "We've come across the USS Randall which appears to be abandoned," she explained, then tapped the comlink on the arm of the command chair and said, "CDR Byrnes to the Bridge." She went to the secondary tactical console and, quickly, ran scans of the area. As she did she asked, "you up for a little trip, Doc?"
Nikki looked from the XO to the adrift ship. "I can be," she said. "Give me about 10 minutes?"
"You got it," Cassandra nodded.
Nikki turned and left the bridge to go get ready.
Cassandra said, "this I a high traffic area. Lots of movement but nothing close enough to be concerned with at the moment. Oraxea....back off a bit. Lori...get what you can from their computer and keep an eye out for any one showing any undue interest." She tapped the console's comlink and said, "Lt. Doolin...report to transporter room 1. Bring you away kit." She looked at Lori and said, "you have the con until Byrnes gets up here."
Lori then said, "Captain, you can't leave with Admiral Barks gone, you are in command of the Eclipse. Someone else has to lead the away team, sir."
Cassandra stopped in her tracks. How many times had she said the same things to Barks? With reluctance, she turned and smiled. "You're right, Lori. Thank you. Looks like CDR Byrnes gets to have all the fun," she said.
Arriving on the Bridge Byrnes stepped over to tactical, giving a nod to Coffee in passing, his eyes looking at the screen while he spoke. "Tough little ships, the Centaurs." He then looked at Cassie. "What's up, Exec?"
Cassandra gave Shack a quick rundown of the situation and said, "I need you to lead the Away Team who are already standing by in Transporter Room 1. See if you can determine what happened here."
"Will do, Captain." Shack looked back at Coffee. "Have Lt. Taavis join the away team and meet us in transporter room 1." He noted something in Quinn's eyes. "If you prefer, Captain, I can hold down the fort while you take a jaunt over and do a walk-about. As for no one aboard alive I will insist on EVAC suits to protect ourselves from any contagions."
"As CDR Coffee pointed out...I need to stay here," Cassandra said. "The Away Team is yours." As Shack stepped into the turbolift and turned around, she mouthed the words, "be careful".
Before the doors shut Shack mouthed "I will", then that image was replaced by the doors. Arriving on the transporter deck Byrnes went to the EV suit locker room and began to change. Fifteen minutes later he stepped into the corridor and went down to TR-1. Seeing Taavis and Doolin inside.
Lori then punched in some commands into the tactical counsole and said, "Captain, I have a tractor beam lock on the USS Randall, if you like."
"Yes. We don't want it drifting off," Cassandra said. "Any more luck on those logs? Something has to tell us what happened. Have the escape pods been launched?"
On that command Lori locked a tractor beam and then did a scan and said, "I'm sending the logs to OPS to get them worked on. All of the escape pods have been launched so there may be survivors from the attack." Lori responded.
Oraxea immediately checked her sensors. Escape pods had an emergency beacon that activated as soon as the pod launched.
"Nothing on my sensors," she said, "but if we search along the path the ship took, we might get close enough to pick up their distress signal."
Lori then said, "Sir, we could have a repair team on the USS Randall and either the Eclipse or a shuttle could go after the escape pods. If a big enough shuttle is taken they would be able to retrieve all of the crew that is still alive."
"I want to see if we can find anything in those logs before we go anywhere," Cassandra said. "I also want to see what we find on the ship. Just because they jettisoned their escape pods doesn't mean they were in them. She looked at the communications officer and said, "send off a message to Starfleet that we found their missing ship and that we are investigating." She hit the yellow alert on the arm of the command chair and said, "stay sharp, people. I'll be in Ops. Lori....you have the con." With that Cassandra headed to Operations to see if they were having any luck with the logs.
"Aye, sir. Lori said She then sat down at the command chair for the first time ever!
Lieutenant Oliver got up and followed the Captain. He said, "Captain, I can help decifer the logs, meow."
Kitsuno Akane came on the bridge....having sensed the tension - somehow - from her office. She had, herself, felt strange..as if she were regressing and didn't know why.
She looked around and found a quiet spot to stand and wait, watching over the ships crew like a shepherd would watch over her flock.
Cassandra stood behind Lt. Oliver while he worked on the Randall's logs.
Oliver worked as fast as he could. It was important that they find out what happened to the crew of the Randall. He managed to access the logs, but they were badly damaged and degraded, he managed to boost power to the logs and played them on the screen in the lab.
=^=Captain's Log....(static)....two days we have been shadowed by an....(static).....ship. It never gets close enough for our sensors to identify it. So far it is remaining in our wake but I am concerned....(static).....=^=
=^=.....(static)....under attack. Forward shields are holding at.....(static).....aft shields have failed. Propulsion......(static).....environmental systems are offline. Warp core leak....(static)....dead in water...(static).....being boarded....(static)....sending distress beac.....(static)....=^=
"Can you clean any of that up?" Cassandra asked Oliver.
"Working on it, Captain, give me a minute, meow." He worked on the issue and after two minutes said, "Try it now, Captain."
Unfortunately the cleaned up version didn't lend much more knowledge than what they gleaned from the original. At least not until they played the XO's log....which....from the date....was the last log entered from any member of the crew.
=^=....(static).....encrypted....(static)....break (pronounced brek)...menu....(static).... find....=^=
"What the hell was that?" Cassandra asked, leaning closer to the console as if that would make the transmission clearer.
"That was an explosion on the bridge, Captain, meow." Oliver said.
"Play it again," Cassandra said and listened intently. "Something about deep incryption. Maybe they buried the Intel they were carrying in their database or logs."
"Aye, Captain." Oliver worked to get systems online as quick as possible. He again looked over the logs and said, "It seems that the USS Randall was attacked at some point. I can't how or when exactly."
====Trans. Room 1====
Doolin, in an EVA suit, stepped into Transporter Room 1, seeing Taavis decked out in her own suit checking her helmet and air system. He began to do the same.
Nikki came in, dressed in her Away jump suit and carrying her Field bag and stepped up on the transporter pad. "Taavis, Kevan...where's our fearless leader?" she asked, lightheartedly.
Byrnes came in wearing his own EV suit. "Right here, Doctor." He stepped up onto his pad. "Put us in a transporter room over there, Operator." He sealed up his suit and turned on the mic as Taavis and Doolin sealed up, as well.
==== Deck 8 ====
"What the ...," L'Mina growled as the yellow alert claxon woke her up. Quickly putting on a uniform, she rushed out and headed to the Bridge.
==== Bridge ====
Arriving on the Bridge, L'Mina noted that commander Coffee was in the big chair, instead of Quinn. Nodding to her, she went to the Oraxea.
"What's going on that I can't even get some sleep around here," she asked, still not entirely happy.
"We found a drifting ship," Oraxea said, pointing at the screen.
"Okay," L'Mina replied, "you stay here, I'll head to the shuttlebay and prep some shuttles. Send everything we found to the office."
With another nod to Coffee, she left the bridge again and went to the main shuttlebay to get the shuttles ready in case they were needed. She was sure that Zoss could handle anything they would encounter right now, and hopefully she could do some fancy flying in a runabout or type 11.
Lori was glad that she didn't have to get out of the command chair with the arrival of Commander L'Mina.
=====Transporter Room 1=====
Once the entire Away Team was in position the Transporter Officer energized and they disappeared from the pad.
The Away Team materialized in the Randall's Transporter Room and Nikki, immediately, began scanning for any signs of life. Even though the ship's scanners hadn't detected any she preferred to rely on her tricorder. But there were none. She switched her scanner to environmental and said, "we have breathable air...but the temperature is -6 Celcius."
Sahr scanned the room and said, "I'll see about getting heat back online, Commander. I'm surprised that we do have air to breath." She then went to the engineering station to see what she could do.
Hafrap then went to the science station and said,"I'll do what I can to get the last records of the science officer of the ship."
Nikki was glad to be in the suit over her jump suit. Her visit began to fog from her warm breath and she lifted it and took a breath. The air was cold but breathable. She moved out of the Transporter Room and scanned the corridor. The silence was eerie.
Byrnes watched them move around. Convenient that the Randall had engineering and Science stations in their transporter rooms. Something he would have to bring up to the Admiral at another date. Taavis, Washburn and Doolin all stood with him, letting the others meander around. Shack made a mental note to give the away team a demerit on performance. They had beamed onto an abandoned vessel, life support askew, but these officers just chose to walk around as if there wasn't a problem, that nothing was amiss. Had he not demanded EV suits the three who were shuffling about would have been suffering hypothermia within minutes. "Washburn, accompany Lt. Taavis to the bridge. Stay frosty." They both nodded and left the transporter room. "The rest of you. Away team procedures need to be obeyed or I will have your pips. Let's head for Engineering."
The first door in the corridor they came to after exiting the transporter room had a VIP placard on it and the door was partially open. Nikki peered inside, using the light from her tricorder to illuminate the dimly lit suite. Drawers had been opened and their contents strewn on the floor. "Commander....hold up a minute," she called out and stepped into the suite, glancing quickly around. The closet had been opened and clothes that had once been hung neatly were now askew on hangers or laying on the floor. The mattress had been tossed off of the pedestal and the linens ripped off. It was obvious that someone had been looking for something. She scanned the area for signs of blood, indicating an act of violence had taken place but the scanner found none. Just as she was about to step back into the corridor her eye caught a leather bound book....the kind used for personal diaries...jammed between the wall and the credenza in the living room area. She squatted down and pulled it out...opened it and saw that it was a hand written journal.
"What," asked Byrnes. "A diary or something else?" He looked up and down the corridors. "We need to get to Engineering, Doc. I have yet to see any bodies and that makes me nervous."
Nikki glanced at the last page of the journal. "Looks like they were being shadowed by an unknown ship. Shack," she grabbed Byrnes' sleeve, "look. It says that they were in fear of the other ship over taking them and since they were out gunned by the other ship the captain ordered them to take cover in the escape pods. They hid the information they were carrying in the engineering database program coding."
Shack gave a sigh, pinching the bridge of his nose a moment. He looked up. "Great. I'm not an engineer, Doc. Sure, I can activate basic systems, and learned a bit more in my years, but that's it."
Doolin, not meaning to, overheard. "Aye, Commander. That's why ya have me, Sir."
==== Shuttlebay 1 ====
Arriving at the shuttlebay, L'Mina immediately prepped two runabouts. Then she headed to the battle bridge and activated everything there. She took the command chair and as soon as the rest of the staff arrived, she told the bridge that they were ready. The way she saw it, Quinn would return to the main bridge and with Shack on away team, she would be in command of the battle bridge.
==== Main Engineering ====
Although not a part of any of the away teams, Kira knew that her section of the ship would still be essential to determining what had gone on aboard the USS Randall. She had a couple stations monitoring the other sections, and listening in on reports. If something happened, or if Engineering could contribute in some way, she wanted to be on it.
"Look sharp people," she said. "There have been some reports of explosions or something ..."
The controls and lights on one of the console began to fade in and out....grew brighter then went out all together with the smell of over heated conduits coming from underneath. Another...than another followed suit and within minutes systems began to fluctuate and shut down.
Kira used the still-shimmering glow of the warp core to find her way to a locker. Opening it, she pulled out several kits and handed them to the technicians, reserving one for herself.
"Start with shields, and check emergency power systems, but let's see what we can do to get these going."
Everything went dark and Operations was bathed in darkness. Not even the consoles, terminals or monitors glowed.
"What the hell?" Cassandra exclaimed, tapping her combadge. "Quinn to Engineering. Ops just lost power."
"Acknowldged," came the reply. "Systems are going down across the ship. We're looking for the problem now."
Cassandra was already on her way to the bridge as she listened to Kira's explanation. She walked up to the turbolift and the door didn't open. "Focus on getting power to doors and turbolifts," she said to Kira. "Do we have a functioning Transporter?"
"Transporters ar offline in and of themselves, and with the power systems in the shape they are in, I would not trust a transporter in these conditions."
"Then get us one. I don't want to leave our Away Team stranded," Cassandra snapped. "Quinn to Bridge....CDR Coffee....report," she said as she sprinted to the nearest Jeffries tube.
"Yes ma'am, on it now," Kira replied.
Commander Coffee said, "Nothing unsuall, at this point, sir.
"Then why isn't anything working?" Cassandra asked as she began her climb.
The communication console suddenly lit up with reports of failing systems and power outages all over the ship. The ensign was just about to announce it when the Bridge went dark.
"Okay, that's annoying," Oraxea said, while trying to get her console to work again, "we're drifting, just like the Randall. Normally we shouldn't hit it, as we were flying in formation. Too bad we don't have a manual control like on the Sovvies."
Lori was getting nervous she stood up and went to the ops station.
"Commander Coffee, I can't determine what was happening, there was a surge of power and then nothing. I cant do anything here. Wait! There is a surge of power building on the bridge!" Ensign Suder stated.
Lori said, "Everyone, get away from your panels and to the center of the bridge! NOW!"
What the hell was going on, Oraxea thought as she moved away from her console.
L'Mina cursed as the power fluctuated and went down.
"Well, I guess we better close this thing down," she said, "without power, there's not going to be a seperation. Get back to your emergency posts."
Molk as at the battle bridge helm control and said, "Commander L'Mina, I'm getting unusall readings from the main bridge. Some sort of overload going on!"
"Hold that," L'Mina said, "what overload? And are our systems here affected?"
"No, Commander, we are clear. An sensor optic relay overloaded and found its way to the sensor optics on the main bridge and is about to explode on a panel."
L'Mina tapped her commbadge.
"L'Mina to bridge," she said, "what's going on?"
"Commander L'Mina, there is build up in the panels. They could blow at any time. I'm going to transfer control to you, Commander. Computer, transfer all control to the battle bridge!"
"L'Mina to Quinn," she said next, happy that the comm system was still working, "I'm at the battle bridge. Anything we can do from here?"
"Stay where you are,L," Cassandra said as she reached a junction of the jeffries tube she was in. "I'm on my way to the Bridge to see what is going on."
"Sir, I just thought of something," L'Mina said, "if the runabouts are unaffected by this, we can use their transporters to get the away team back quickly."
"Transporters are down," Cassandra said, crawling out of one tube and heading along another. "What systems are operational down there?"
"We have navigation and helm," L'Mina said, "Lori already transferred control to us. Weapons and sensors are down and I'm not sure about warp power. What do we do now? Stay with the Randal or high tail it out of here before we get caught as well. We best also have someone look into what the main bridge was doing when the surge happened. I'd rather not do it here in case it triggers something."
"We're not leaving our people behind," Cassandra said, reversing her direction. "I'm on my way to you now. Engineering....get transporter functions back NOW." She was huffing and puffing as she made her way along the tubes to the Battle Bridge.
"Ok," L'Mina said, but the comms had already closed. She turned to the staff.
"Let's try to get at least passive sensors back," she said, "we need to know what's going on outside."
PO2 Nedrix Thorgh went over to the power allocation panel and said, "Captain Quinn, I have routed all of the power that I can to the stardrive section. One of the power relays were blown as the current ran through to the engineering station on the main bridge. The main bridge's primary and secondary main relays are blown. I'm having Cadets Moon and Long go to saucer engineering deck to inspect the main power couplings on the saucer to see if the problem can be fixed there."
Cloaked by a holographic netting that took on the surrounding scape and impenetrable by any standard sensors, the C'Hakilian Warship approached the two Starfleet vessels.
"Looks like the Federation beat us to it, Captain," the first officer said.
"They are still here so they are probably still looking for it. That ambassador said something about Engineering. We'll start there. Keep a weapons lock on the larger ship, just in case. Take a team over and deal with whoever is on the wreck," the C'Hakilian captain said.
"Yes, sir," the first officer stated and motioned to a few of the Bridge officers to follow him and they left the Bridge. A few minutes later they materialized in the corridor not far from the Randall's Main Engineering. They rounded a corner and stopped in their tracks when they saw the beams of light coming from the Eclipse's Away Team's head lamps. Taking cover back around the corner the first officer pulled his sidearm and fired at the Eclipse team.
Byrnes could have sworn he had heard an electronic signal of some kind, turning his head this way and that as he walked. Nope, it was gone. Up ahead, in the gloom of low power, Shack thought he saw a glint, as if a piece of reflective plastic or metal had caught the light a moment. Dropping his pace half a step, getting the Doctor next to himself, Byrnes remained alert. When the first bolt fired and barely missed him, Shack grabbed the Doc's arm and put her behind him and side-stepped, taking her with him. Several more bolts careened off structural braces and walls with a rain-of-sparks light show. "Weapons free, people."
The C'Hakilian first officer fire from around the corner and gestured for his men to advance which they did, firing a barrage as they moved into the corridor.
Nikki stumbled as Shack pushed her behind him and she grabbed at the wall to keep from falling. "How about giving me one of those things?" she asked...more as a sarcastic statement than a question. "I can shoot, too."
The C'Hakilian first officer fired at a ceiling panel above the retreating Starfleet team. His particle pistol managed to loosen the panel on one side and it fell from its place in the ceiling, hitting Nikki in the side of her shoulder, throwing her off balance and she staggered into the wall, falling to one knee . The first officer rushed over and grabbed the woman and drug her back several places, placing the muzzle of his sidearm against her head. "Back off!" he shouted. "Call the ship. Get us out," he ordered the C'Hakilian standing next to him and a few seconds later the intruders and their hostage disappeared in a beam of light.
(To be continued)