Previous Next

Unsettling News

Posted on Wed May 29th, 2019 @ 8:14pm by Captain Liarra Von

Mission: Starbase 332, Where Are You?
Location: Commanding Officer's Office
Timeline: After "The Elder Statesman"

Yeoman Talelle skimmed over her PADD as she read through Von’s schedule, her antennae drooping to either side as she read. “At thirteen hundred hours is your review of the dock manifest with the dockmaster, and at fourteen hundred hours you have a security briefing with Commander Travis.”

Liarra rubbed her eyes. The daily briefings and meetings were the part of the job that she hated. “Why do I have a meeting to review the dock manifest? We’ve had a grand total of six ships that have left the dock, and they are all still out on a mission. No one else has left, and we’ve certainly not had any one new come in. So please tell me why we need another review.”

Talelle studied her captain for a moment. “Because it’s on your schedule, sir.”

“Don’t you make the schedule?” Liarra asked with only a hint of sincerity.

The yeoman started to stammer as she tried to think of an excuse, but a chime from the office door distracted her. Talelle’s antennae popped straight up as she turned to see who it could be. Through the glass doors she could see a man in a Starfleet uniform, looking dirty and disheveled. He rang the chime again. Talelle looked back to Von, who gestured towards the door. “Come in,” called out Talelle, releasing the door’s latch.

The twin doors to Ops slid open, fully revealing the man standing on the other side. He was wearing a Starfleet uniform, command red. The outer jacket was unzipped, and both the outer layer and undershirt bore burn marks. His brown hair was uncombed, and streaks of soot covered both his hair and his face. The rank pips denoted a captain, and had she not recognized him from an earlier conversation, she would not have guessed that he was a commanding officer. He limped into the room, favoring his right leg, as the doors slid shut behind him.

Talelle stepped aside and let the man approach Liarra’s desk. The latter sat up straighter in her chair and gestured to one of the chairs across from her. The man staggered into the closest one and collapsed into it.

“Captain Robertson,” Von replied, still in shock over his appearance. “What happened out there?” Liarra had met Robertson just a few days before when she had asked the docked Starfleet ships for volunteers to assist her garrison in conducting scans to help astrometrics determine the station’s current location. Captain Xander Robertson, who a few days ago was in much better shape, was in command of the USS Yucatan. It was his ship that was paired with the USS Carthage.

Robertson’s gaze seemed to be fixated on something past Von’s shoulder, though neither of the woman in the room were quite sure on what. “They came so fast. Out of nowhere. We were getting our scans, and then, there they were.”

“There who were?” Liarra asked.

Robertson’s gaze shifted back over to meet Von’s. “Some kind of insect… things. Thousands of them. They ripped through our hull like it was made of tin foil.”

Von’s concern grew tremendously. “Where?”

“Out there,” he replied, gesturing out her windows. “They were spacefaring, whatever they were. I’ve never seen anything like them. They attacked us. Tore right through the hull. Weapons hardly slowed them down. We were barely able to escape.”

Liarra didn’t like where any of this conversation was going. “And the Carthage?”

Robertson shook his head and pondered his navel. A single tear rolled down his cheek. “They didn’t make it. They stepped in after that swarm attacked us, and those things tore them to shreds in retaliation. There were no survivors. If they hadn’t opened fire…”

Liarra’s hand raised to her mouth as her eyes shut. Subconsciously her other hand clenched into a fist. She had sent those ships out there despite not knowing what they might find. She sent those people to their deaths.

Robertson shook his head again. “They gave us a chance to survive, Captain. If the Carthage hadn’t defended us when they did, my crew would be gone too. And I wouldn’t be here right now to warn the rest of us.” Von’s eyes opened and she met Robertson’s gaze. He rested his arm on the surface of the desk as he leaned in close to her. “They’re coming, Captain. I don’t know why or how, but our long range sensors detected that they were following our warp trail. We were faster, and eventually we left them out of sensor range. We tried to vary our course to lose them, but they followed every turn we made.”

The seriousness in his voice sent a chill up Liarra’s spine. “Please tell me you have scan data on them.”

Robertson nodded. “My people are on standby to send it wherever it needs to go.”

Liarra swallowed. She was taking the loss of the Carthage hard, but now was not the time to mourn. “Get them to Commander Drusus, my chief science officer. He’ll have someone who can analyze them. Meanwhile, we need to form a plan.” Von looked up at Talelle, who was staring at her feet. Her antennae were similarly arced towards the floor. “ Yeoman, assemble the senior staff for a briefing to go over the data on these organisms. Command Briefing Room, thirteen hundred hours. And recall the other ships, best possible speed.”

The yeoman started to protest. “But, Captain. You have your dock manifest review meeting scheduled for thirteen hundred hours.”

“There’s a swarm of angry insects that already destroyed one ship and nearly destroyed another, and they’re coming right for us. I think this is a little more important. Wouldn’t you agree?” There was less sarcasm and more disappointment in her voice.

The andorian looked dejected to be admonished. But her captain was right. There was a threat growing on the horizon, and it was on its way.


Previous Next