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Prologue - Limping Home

Posted on Thu Feb 22nd, 2018 @ 8:44pm by Captain Sun Mei Xiang

Mission: Of Persephone
Location: Shanghai - Ready Room
Timeline: A few hours after Minus Two

Mei sat in her ready room, perched upon the couch sitting on her legs with a cover wrapped around her shoulders. She sat watching space flow past them a bit slower than normal. She held a PaDD in one hand, with everything set up to record her log entry. She took a breath and stared out at the stars for a moment, in thought for what this all meant. She was in a position that so many others were on this voyage, and she didn't know how she would handle it.

Finally, she tapped her log, "Captain's Log... stardate 67450.09," She said, shaking her head, "Or rather 647... something." She sighed and finally just said, "The computer will record the date. For the record, when I woke up this morning it was 2391 for myself and my crew. We set out to investigate a distress signal from the USS Togo, who had fallen into some sort of trap that shut down the ships systems."

"Upon reaching the vessel we met with the Orion Vessel Tira'Dashir, and the USS Hippogriff. We detected another ship coming in from a distant system. All signs pointed to the ship being a Borg vessel - but it was not. It was a species, or alliance perhaps, that calls itself the Protectorate. They were set on destroying us. They used the term erase. With a mixture of chroniton weapons and a pulse wave generator, they had the upper hand quickly. Or would have if we didn't recognize the readings fast enough. I say we. Really it was fast thinking of my science officers."

She took a breath. "Commander Lylyl-Llytherraias was able to use a remote shuttle to warp into the craft as it recharged its pulse wave generator. They didn't seem to think we would be able to fight back. When we survived their barrage and retaliated, they seemed to need to rush to try to get another shot off. I think that panic led in part to the cascade that followed. Our type nine shuttle was able to pierce their systems and strike the generator. From there, the ship was destroyed, and the wave that followed seems to have caused a shift in the timeline."

"From our best estimates, we are now two years earlier. About 2388 or 2389. We don't know for sure." Sun adjusted on the couch as the ship slowed drastically and entered normal space again.

"Khall to Sun. We've reentered the Golovin system. Hippgriff and Tira'Dashir are still being tugged along. Togo reports some power distribution problems in keeping their tractor beam up during the transit. The two ships should be able to travel under their own power now." The tellarite operation officer's voice came through clearly.

Mei nodded to no one in particular. "Thank you, Ensign. Have the ships return to their own power and move to Seppala. Instruct Lieutenant Descharmes to dock with the station first. I'd like to get crews back on their proper ships as soon as possible to get repairs underway. Have Shanghai move to high orbit around Golovin."

"Aye, Ma'am." The channel cut off.

"Resuming my log," She said as she twisted to look out the window. "We have suffered heavy damage, and every Initiative ship has as well. Hippogriff is limited to sublight speeds. Shune has crashed. Euclid may as well have been destroyed. Togo, Vauban, and Shanghai are the only three still standing, and we have a lot of repairs to handle." She took a deep breath. "Casualties are light, thankfully. But there are a number of injuries, including much of my Senior Staff."

"I'm unsure of where we will go next, or what we will do. We cannot risk the integrity of whatever timeline we have found ourselves in." She said as Seppala station began to take view. From under the Shanghai, she saw the little Sabre class Togo overtake them, and twist towards the station. "I feel like we are going to need to settle into our lives here in Auriga-Perseus for a while. At least until we can find a way home. I'll speak to the other commanders and draft a plan. If we're going to survive, we need to come up with a plan to get in contact with Starfleet safely."

"Without knowing what that means for us, I can only plan on trying to fortify Seppala and Golovin, in hopes that they will be able to provide a safe haven for our crew - a home for us, really - for the next few years." Sun took a breath. "Before I sign off, I'd like to put in my notes another commendation for my crew. We might have a few veterans on the ship, but much of our team is green still. Barely adults. But they didn't hesitate or panic. I'm confident we can stay safe out here, but I know this is not what they signed up for. And a special mention for Lieutenant Descharmes who hasn't-"

"Pater to Sun." The comms interrupted the log.

Mei sighed. She should have expected interruptions. "Pause recording. Sun here, Doctor."

"Sorry to interrupt, Ma'am. Ops has gotten our EMH up and running again, and we have all medical stations running. Most of the injuries were minor and we're getting through triage on the more minor cases now. It'll be a few days, but I think for the most part we'll be okay." Pater said softly.

"And the outliers?" Mei asked quietly.

"A few crew didn't make it. A few more will likely need prosthetics or surgery after we get them stable. Not everyone is responding to chronitons the same way either. We've got the Colonel under care, and there are actually a couple of similar cases and odd reports coming from various stations. I'll get them all collected for you."

"Thank you." Mei nodded.

"And ma'am, we've moved Karsel'lyn to a private recovery room." The doctor said a bit quietly, "Medical staff, and you and Cai only. There's a small bed for you as well in the room if you'd like to stay with her. We'll hold on to her until we're sure she's recovered. As for the Colonel, we're keeping patients exhibiting reactions to the chronitons away from general population has well, just to be safe."

"Thank you, Doctor. I'll be down to check on everyone soon. Let me know if there is anything you need."

"Yes, ma'am. Pater out."

Sun paused for a moment and took a breath. She was getting to used to sleeping in sickbay. It had been a while though, she supposed. "Computer... read back the last bit of the log for me..."

"And a special mention for Lieutenant Descharmes who hasn't-" Her voice played back through the speakers.

"Resume log," The computer chimed, and Sun jumped back to the message without missing a beat, "- faltered at all. She wanted more bridge time, and I fear I may have given her too much. But without more experienced crew, I need to rely on officers I trust. Descharmes is one. Additional notes to follow in a written addendum." Sun spoke tapping something on the padd she held. "Computer, save log. Encrypt files - restrict access." She adjusted, and swung off of the seat she had taken. She took a moment to fold the quilt she had and set it aside, and then moved over to her desk. She stared at the book case for a moment, looking over the texts she had compiled there. Finally, she leaned over her corner desk, stretching up to grab one of the pieces and pulling it down. She flipped through the books pages quickly and then smirked to herself. "This will work, I suppose."

She tucked the book and a padd under her arm and stepped out of her ready room and into the darkened main bridge - where only a few operations and engineering officers worked to repair essential systems. Then she headed off, still having to use the jeffries tubes to travel on outer decks, at least for the time being. As worried as she was about what the future might hold, there was a bit of calm in the fact that there was so little they could do right now. Their objectives were clear, their options limited and time consuming, but at least they still had options.


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