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Chapter 1.1

Posted on Sat Aug 13th, 2022 @ 12:48pm by Captain Willian Targaryen & Commander Galatea & Lieutenant Jardok & Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Aiden Crowe & Commander Ash Randall & Commander Nathan Hawkins & Lieutenant Cyrus Marner & Lieutenant R'relle & Chief Petty Officer Harris Zim

Mission: Wrong Side of Heaven
Location: Main Bridge, USS Enterprise
Timeline: 3189-03-16, 07:55

Captain Willian Targaryen entered the Bridge of the Starship Enterprise not very surprised to see it nearly deserted. Ever since they were pulled to this forsaken timeline there had been barely enough crew aboard the ship to say it had a skeleton crew. Even with their recent first contact with the remnants of the Federation and Starfleet there had been barely any improvement. Not that it was to be expected. Battle Group Omega was on strung out shape itself and barely operating with a skeleton crew themselves. Enterprise wasn't a priority to them.

Even with the classic ship being their last best hope. Infiltrators, believed to be from the Emerald Chain, had been able to recover the prefix codes for the entire Battle Group from the Stargazer's computers. With them the last remnants of the Federation in this region could be quickly wiped out by the Chain by simple voice command. With the changes in how computers worked in this century only a few could access and complete a reset and no one in Omega's grasp had the know how.

"Captain on the Bridge," their Australian Helmsman announced from the forward workstation.

"As you were," he signaled as he debated admonishing for newcomer for the announcement. Willian had always hated when people announced him on the Bridge, pretending he was someone special when so many of them were more so. "Anything I should be aware of?"

Galatea walked away from the wall mounted Mission Operations Console and to her normal workstation behind the Captain's Chair, "We have been traveling at high warp since early this morning, Captain, following the presumed course of the bandit's shuttle."

"Bandits?" Willian asked with a chuckle.

"Is that not a suitable designation?" The Android asked, the golden irises of her eyes shimmering through momentarily.

The Captain shrugged, "I suppose they meet the definition of a Western bad guy. We happen to come across them though?"

"Not yet, Sir," she typed on her panel as the Captain took his seat, but he didn't look back at her as she continued. "It is possible that we may have overtaken them due to our speed, they may have altered course, any number of possibilities."

"Not exactly filling me with confidence, Galatea," Willian sighed as he watched the holographic displays that hovered near his chair. "My Senior Staff on their way?"

She nodded, "Affirmative."

"Isn't it enough that I'm already here, Sir?" The youngster at the Helm's thick brogue interrupting.

Willian chuckled, "If you think you can man every station on the Bridge, Lieutenant, then it certainly is enough. If not then I may need the rest of the crew."

Aiden nodded, "Duly noted."

Commander Randall emerged from Lift One with, what could only be described as, a bounce to her step and in high spirits. It was odd to see the Tuansee in a cheery state after months and months of being sullen and, down right, irascible at times. The chief engineer went to her engineering station and hummed to herself, quietly, while she took up her duties.

Zim stepped onto the bridge via turbolift two at the same time as Commander Randall. He took his station and brought up the Security control systems. Harris thought that he would keep in eye on them in keeping with the mission he had been given until Commander O'Sullivan arrived. The stoic Chief of the Boat still had nothing to report about his investigation. However, he strongly believed that someone within Starfleet was involved.

Councilor R'elle emerged from Turbolift 1. She too was in High spirits. "Good morning everyone." she said in a pleasant voice. "Hello Ash!" she said in a somewhat sultry voice. The councilor was usually pleasant. She liked people and saw the crew as her responsibility. At least as far as mental health went.

The lift opened once more and Cyrus arrived, a glint of excitement in his eyes, "I am looking forward to this. And the ship looks absolutely stunning." looking about the bridge and moving to a place to be out of the way.

Willian lifted his hand away from the Captain's Chair and a trail of programmable matter went with it, "I don't know if I'll ever get used to this though, Doc."

"Once you see all the benefits of the programmable matter you'll love it," Galatea interrupted.

"I guess all is possible," the Captain responded with a sigh as more arrived.

"Anything is possible, Captain, but is it a good idea?" The Chief Engineer chimed in with, in rhetorical fashion.

As Zim attempted to log on his console, the programable matter reacted. He could not get used to this, and longed for his old console. A simple sigh of disdain left his lips and he began to work with programable matter. The thought now crossed his mind of whether or not he could get the matter to take the form of his old console.

Rising from his Command Chair, the Captain walked toward the forward Helm and Ops consoles and stood behind them watching the holographic viewer. "Display the presumed getaway vehicle on the monitor."

Having already been present when Targaryen arrived Commander Hawkins acknowledged his request with a soft nod and answer: Of course."

A second later the replica of the Bandit's craft appeared on the viewscreen. The ovoid shuttle was Federation in origin, about 12 meters in length, and capable of transporting a crew of up to 6 people. It had a top Warp speed of Warp 7, but was outfitted with a Cloaking Device and a Deployable Ablative Hull Armor. The shuttle would have rations for three days, which did give them an advantage.

"So here's a question for the group. You've just become Starfleet's public enemy number one and you're fleeing in a shuttle. Where do you go?"

"Assuming I'm working for the Emerald Chain and am on the short end of a long op? By this point I would already have hit a resupply point, switched vessels, and be gone forever." Ash stated, quietly.

"I would go to ground... I would know that Starfleet has limited resources to make chase and a thorough investigation. So that said I would find the smallest hole in the galaxy and climb into it. There to remain for an undetermined amount of time. With a stolen Federation shuttle I would have a replicator and access to a supply of food. Mark my words this is not the Emerald Chain. That is entirely too obvious..." Zim spoke softly and carefully. There was a very ominous tone to his voice. This was a definite dark side to the Capellan that his crewmates have rarely seen.

Galatea tilted her head at the announcement from the Chief of the Boat, somewhat taken aback by the suggestion, "Chief, are you saying that you believe Starfleet orchestrated this theft of its own property?"

Zim looked up from his console slowly and deliberately. He made sure to make eye contact with Galatea as he spoke the words "Yes ma'am! That is precisely what I am suggesting." Zim paused to allow that to sink in, then he hesitated a moment before continuing. He was appointed to investigate so why shouldn't he speak up. Rank be damned... "It fits the facts. Who else could waltz onto a Starfleet vessel and orchestrate this? They would need command codes, to pass secure checkpoints. The short story is yes a Starfleet Officer orchestrated this. Now I need to figure out who and why. I said before the Emerald Chain is too obvious and it is what they want us to believe."

"I hate to believe a starfleet officer could be behind this. However it would seem the evidence is pointing that way!"R'elle said

The Android became defensive, "As a representative of Federation Security I find it very hard to believe that any Federation or Starfleet member could be responsible for such a heinous action. With the limited resources that are available any action that threatens our forces is reprehensible."

"Reprehensible, yes. However that does not make it untrue!" R'elle said.

Before it could go any further a series of rapid beeps came from a nearby workstation. Willian turned, "Report?"

And as a representative of Federation Security you know exactly who is capable of committing this act. In fact you could look up what code did this. Suspect Number 1... Zim was about to give voice to his thoughts when his train of thought was interrupted by the signal coming from one of the bridge consoles.

"We're receiving a distress signal, Captain." Hawkins announced mildly surprised having been chewing over Zim's explanation. He hated to admit it, but the Chief of the Boat's theory certain sounded very plausible - normally the notion would have sent a shiver down Nathan's spine but here, in this strange time frame you couldn't afford to trust your own shadow left alone anyone else.

A distress signal that isn't something that Cyrus couldn't ignore. He went to the console and brought it up. "Sir can't ignore this, shall we see what this is about or even who is calling for help it is now activated." and Cyrus waited to hear the message.

"It's on a wide band, attempting to locate it," Hawkins continued as the message began to play through the bridge.

"Interesting!" R'elle said. Somehow she had a feeling that the distress call could be linked to the bandits. She waited to hear what the signal said.

Throughout the Bridge the sounds of terror filled the room as the highly distorted message filtered through. Coming from Svian II, the last planet Starfleet One had visited before finding the Stargazer, the voice on the other end was chilled with fear. "Repeat, this ... Cajoll of Sivian ... help," the dread was evident as the sound of explosions filled the background - the automated noise reduction software having difficulty filtering the deafening boom out. "... attack ... heavy damage to our float ... dead. ... help us! We can't hold out much longer!"

"Mister Jardok can we get a scan of Svian II?" The Captain asked as he turned toward the Vulcan Science Officer.

He was already at work pressing controls on his wall mounted workstation, reading the readouts carefully. "I am not detecting a vessel, Captain, but there is evidence of recent energy discharge in their upper atmosphere." He looked away from the console, "I can't rule out that they are under attack."

Willian almost made a snide comment based on the message, but ruled out such a blatantly inappropriate action from the ship's Captain, "Thank you, Lieutenant. Maintain scans." He turned his attention to Lieutenant Crowe as he considered the galactic weight of what he was about to do, "Helm, alter course to take us to Svian II. Maximum Warp."

The Australian from Titan typed on his control panel, "Laying in a course, Sir."

Zim did not believe in coincidences and these events screamed that they were more than coincidence. This event was definitely caused by the stolen craft Zim would bet his life on it.

Cyrus was frozen in place, listening to the sounds of human agony and fright. It was bringing to his mind what was going on with that other race he had helped, "We've got to go help if we don't you can be finding a shuttle missing."

"I do believe that is what we are doing." R'elle said. "We will do our best to save them!"

The Captain stood, "Engage."

As the engines engaged the Enterprise jumped to warp, heading toward the source of the distress call.


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