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One of Ours

Posted on Thu Oct 26th, 2017 @ 11:31pm by Captain Sun Mei Xiang & Lieutenant Commander Tejan Aune

Mission: Shakedown Mark II
Location: USS Togo, On Patrol
Timeline: Roughly the Same Time as "First Views..."

...On...

Tejan Aune sat quietly in his quarters. They were cluttered, almost beyond reason. Stacks of canvases found their home in almost every free space. A small table was covered with jars of paints and liquids, and brushes. Three different easels lined the wall next to the view port in the room, each with paintings of the new worlds they had found in some different stage of completion. None were complete though. The trill sat on the floor of his quarters and stared. His eyes had long since glossed over. He rested his cheek on his fits, his elbow on a knee, and was clearly frustrated. He took a deep breath, almost as if expecting something. Then his commbadge chimed.

"Commander Aune," The badge, which was buried among the paints and jars on the table, chimed lightly. Aune didn't move though, at first. "Commander."

"Go ahead." Aune's voice was quiet, barely audible in response. But the commbadge picked it up.

"Sorry to bother you, sir. We're approaching the next drop point." The badge's muted tone pushed through the clutter to him.
"
Aune nodded. "Thank you. Go ahead and launch a probe..."

"Sir. that's the thing." The voice said. "We're picking up a probe on scans."

What? Aune thought, catching a memory that wasn't his for a moment. He took a breath, "IFF signal?" Tejan rocked forward to his knees, before rolling to his feet. He began to move to his clutter, putting caps and lids on bottles as he went.

"It appears to be offline, sir." The voice spoke, being a bit clearer as bottles were set aside and the commbadge was finally revealed on the table. "Science says it may be one of our early long ranges. May have been damaged."

"Probably..." Aune spoke as he stacked the items on his table quickly. He reached to a nearby chair and pulled his uniform jacket from a small pile of clothes. "Set a course, I'm on my way." He said as he tossed the jacket onto one of his arms, and pulled it across his form. He zipped up the red uniform as he reached his door. "Computer, cycle the air in my quarters. I don't want it to smell like a studio in here when I get back..." He spoke with a little chime of acknowledgement from the computer.

Soon, Aune was on the bridge of the little vessel. As soon as he stepped through the doors, the crew working diligently as the viewscreen showed them heading towards some dot in the distance, a little nearer a star than he would have liked. Still, it looked like a lost probe. He didn't have too much time to think about about it, though, "Captain on the bridge," The voice from the commbadge called out.

"As you were," Aune spoke as he moved to the central chair. "What do we know?"

"Scans are consistent with a damaged Federation probe. We're moving in to recover it but it is closer to the sun than we would like. It may be too close to save, though." The chief petty officer standing next to the Captain's chair said quickly, standing at a hard attention still.

"Thank you, Chief," He said as he reached his chair and sat down. His eyes glanced over to the young Risan to make sure she had relaxed a bit once he sat. She did, but it still made him a bit anxious to have her standing there. "You can take a seat or station Chief Nalani..." He said softly.

"Of course, Captain. Right away." She said with another snap to attention, before moving off to her station at the helm, relieving another enlisted helmsman.

"Commander," A voice from behind Aune spoke up - the science officer. Another young fleet member, this time another Trill.

"Ensign Rygal?" Aune said looking back to him.

"We're having trouble getting a good scan. The proximity to the star is wreaking havoc on our readings." The Ensign said with a shake in his voice. "We'll need to get much closer to get any data worth having..."

"Okay. Chief, take us in slow..." Aune said with a wave of his hand.

"Aye sir," Nalani replied with her usual by the book tone. She read off every heading adjustment, every change in velocity as they moved. It was a few minutes of silence after that. Just slowly approaching the tiny metallic dot in space.

The silence was almost deafening. Until Rygal made a noise, a nervous little clearing of his throat.

"Ensign?" Aune said, looking back to him. "What is it?"

"N...nothing sir. I thought I read a power signature... near the star. It isn't there now though..." Rygal had barely finished when Aune stood.

"Chief, full stop, full reverse." Aune barked at the Risian pilot.

She was confused, but didn't hesitate - but it was too little too late. There was a shimmer on the view screen, and the Saber class vessel lurched forward. Most of the bridge crew was able to stay seated but a few fell forward or out of their seats. Aune was able to stand. The lights flickered, power struggled to stay on, and then went out completely. The view of space disappeared, the lights dimmed and faded to black. Then emergency power slowly began to come on - but even then, it was barely enough to keep the lights on.

Aune tapped his commbadge, but nothing. It was just his fingers tapping against the cold metal on his chest.

"What was that?" Nalani asked quickly.

"A trap." Aune said looking down at her from his seat, as he moved to the panel on the side of the Captain's chair. He tapped it, but it wouldn't open.

"How... how do you know that?" Rygal's voice shook as he pulled himself back to his feet.

"Aune has seen it before... Jem'hadar in the Dominion Wars... Syndicate before that." Commander Aune said, speaking of his Symbiote. "Two variations on the trap... we're either the target, in which case boarders or captors will be here in minutes." He moved around to the security console, where a crewman was trying to pry open another panel. Still, they weren't able to do anything. "Or, we're the bait..." He glanced up when that was fruitless. "Chief, when was our last update to Seppala?"

"Ten hours..." She worked on her console, but paused, "I don't know how many minutes, sir, sorry."

"That's fine... fourteen hours until we're overdue then." Aune said quickly. "Hour fifteen, Lieutenant Adams tries to hail us. Then, probably..." He and the security officer found a wall panel, and had began to pull it open. Finally some progress. After some interrupting grunts, they pulled off the panel cover, revealing the four side arms there for emergencies. The security crewman and Aune both took one, before one was taken to Chief Nalani and the ops officer as Aune continued, "Probably Lieutenant Adams calls Captain Sun, and Shanghai comes looking for us."

"So... a-almost a full day?" Rygal whimpered at the idea.

"Yes, ensign." Aune said quickly. "If we can't fix this. We need to get to Engineering and get a full report. First, though," Aune paused as the security and ops crewmen pulled open one of the jeffries tubes. "Be calm. Collect yourself. Take a deep breath and don't panic." He sort of spoke to the entire crew. "We trained for things like this. You might not be sure of yourself, but I am. We stay calm, stay in groups, we'll be fine. I'm leaving most of you here. We need a team on the bridge. Rygal, Nalani - you're with me."

"Aye, sir." Nalani spoke and hopped over to the commander's side.

"Me? Sir?" Rygal asked quickly.

"Yes, Rygal. You're my science officer. We're going to need you to figure out what went wrong once we get some information." Aune spoke, waving Nalani into the jeffries tube, then holding a hand out towards Rygal while waiting.

"Yes sir." It wasn't a convincing affirmative, but then Rygal moved to the tube.

"Stay here." Aune spoke to the rest. "We'll see what we can find. First Security, then Engineering - then the Shuttlebay if we can't get things running here. If the comms come up, send a burst to Seppala, let them know its a trap, understood?" The bridge team gave affirmatives, and commander Aune nodded. He didn't say anything else, he just tucked the phaser into his belt and slipped into the tube.

...OFF...

To be continued.

 

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