Previous Next

Echoes of a Shattered Time (Part One)

Posted on Tue Jan 12th, 2021 @ 1:27pm by Captain Mei Xiang Sun

Mission: Neither Past nor Future
Location: Unknown

[Unknown World, Unknown Time]

Wind beat against the edge of the crashed ship, shattered pieces of hull scattered about the edge of the long gash formed from the impact. Part of the hull was still lit, flickering lights and forcefields holding back wave after wave of snow and sleet that repeatedly fell against them. Inside the hull, there was a flash of light, the rustling of and movement of a frightened crew rushing to tend to the wounded. Those remaining standing or working were worse for wear, wounded by the impact of their ship to the cold ground of this world and hurriedly working to try to restore whatever they could.

The gray uniforms barely stood out against the interior of the ship, but a man with a red stripe down the right side of his jacket seemed to be taking control of the situation as another man in a similar uniform was pulled aside by white-uniformed medics. There was a small chime from one working console, where an officer glanced back towards the center of the bridge, where the man with the red stripe sat and nodded.

A holographic individual appeared on their bridge a second later. A human, flanked by a couple of other crew members standing at consoles behind him in the image. "Cap... ah, commander. Congratulations on your sudden promotion."

"You openly attacked a Federation vessel -"

"No, I asked for information and your captain refused. How about we put an end to this?" The holographic man spoke to the commander. "Give me access to Federation databases and my crew is prepared to offer support to your crew and make sure you are safely dropped off at the nearest exchange."

"Never."

"Commander. I don't care about your secrets. I'm not working for your enemies..." The man opened his arms and shook his head. "I'm looking for a single bit of information."

"We don't negotiate with pirates,"

"I'm not a," The holographic man barked, growing angry for a second and then shaking his head and returning to a state of calm with an open hand. "I'm not a pirate. I don't care about your dilithium, I can hunt actual pirates for that. I want... access to your archives."

"I will repeat it again,"

"Don't waste your breath, commander," The holographic man spoke quietly. "I'm done talking... If I have to cut your library core out of your crippled ship I will - but I would rather you just give me the information I want and save your crew."

"You fired on us,"

The holographic man shook his head and sighed. "You fired on us, and we retaliated -"

"Because you sent,"

"Commander! I don't have time for this," The man seemed in pain for a moment, gripping his stomach and twisting his head around towards the others aboard his ship. "I need that damn answer. Are you willing to give me access to find a single icon? Or are you too stupid to listen to reason?"

"I'm too stupid to listen to reason," The commander barked back. A grimace crossed the holographic man's face and the hologram disappeared with a flash of light. The bridge crew caught their collective breath for a moment as the commander looked about. It was clear that they had to stop this opponent of theirs. He turned towards an officer with a gold stripe, "Lieutenant, we need to get to the core and..."

The ship rocked and the lights flickered as the sound of a sustained phaser echoed through the rooms of the damaged ship. The Lieutenant looked at the edge of the console they stood beside and then to their commander, "Sir, they've fired on us with a low powered beam - they're cutting into the hull."

"Stop them!"

"Shields are still down, we're not going to be able to get..." The officer was barely able to respond before the situation was changed. "Commander, they're through. Multiple lifeforms just appeared on the hull itself."

"Lieutenant, get everyone you can spare to the library core, now," The commander said quickly, "We have to stop them."

The Lieutenant nodded and waved a couple of officers to follow her. She and her team tapped their badges and disappeared in a shower of sparks. The commander took a breath and tapped his command console, bringing up a small display of the lifeforms on his ship's hull. The map icons of his crew and the others flashed from time to time - indicating weapons fire. His security teams rushed to hold the position, flashing icons slowly moving closer and closer to the surrounded dots that were intent on stealing his ship's library core. One of the attackers icon's disappeared, to a cheer from the bridge crew and then another.

He let out a long sigh of relief as they started to push them back. There was a moment of confusion though, as the icons all blinked at once, and then icons began to appear all over the screen. "What is happening?" He tapped his side panel, "Lieutenant, report?"

Nothing.

"Lieutenant!"

"I don't think the Lieutenant is going to respond, Commander." The voice of the man from the hologram earlier spoke up.

"Where is she? What did you do?"

"We defended ourselves... Was that all of your available security forces or do you plan on sending more?" The man said quietly. The commander hesitated, not able to come up with a response. "Turns out the Needs of the Many leave the few to suffer, don't they. Funny how that works."

"What do you want?"

"If I told you, you would never believe me... and your duty would bind you to attempt to stop us to the last man. And I have no desire to fight you anymore, Commander." There was another voice that said something in an old language the commander didn't understand, "I have what I've come for, looks like. We've already sent a distress call for you - and your next away team will find a crate of rations and medicine with your security team. It's dangerous out here, Commander. Maybe think about prioritizing your crew..."

The channel cut out and the screen went dark. After a moment it flickered back on. The enemy lifeforms were all gone but his crew remained, life signs stable but the computer reading them as struck by stun weapons. The commander swallowed. "Get me a visual and a few officers to clear the area and then we'll get a med team up there. Find out what he took."

Officers chimed in with an affirmative. Work began again. It was barely half an hour passed when an officer with a blue stripe gave a report. The pirates had downloaded only a bit of historical data and a starmap. That was it. They had the computer find data on a single icon, exactly as the man had said they would. The symbol was simple;

A stylized and winged eastern dragon.


-----
To be continued...
-----

 

Previous Next

labels_subscribe