24 Rogue Star 1
Perseus keened out of control in the violent gravimetric forces of the quantum slipstream.
“Captain!” Vexa shouted over the sonic strains of the power systems and overloading consoles. “Coronal plasma from the prominence has entered the slipstream! Temperature differentials surpassing ten million Kelvins and increasing!” She held to her station as the ship convulsed. “Reading supervelocity accelerations of protons, electrons and heavy ions. The star's coronal mass ejection is continuing to feed into the slipstream! The prominence is not abating! It's spreading
Warning! Radiation levels at critical. Fatal exposure is imminent.
Tom hammered his malfunctioning console. “Grif! Divert maximum power to shields and thrusters! Mr. Shir stabilize our vector!”
“I'm trying sir! It's not enough! We're out of control!”
The ship heaved against the current differentials of the quantum vortex, tossing the crew and overloading the stations.
The helmsman clung to his station. “Speeds passing safety limits! Gravimetric forces are destabilizing the quantum matrix! Perseus is being thrown from the stream!”
“Sir!” said Vexa. “The high energy particle storm of the coronal mass ejection is rupturing subspace! It's cascading into a chain-reaction!”
Tom righted himself in his chair and rode the quakes. “On screen!”
The red star's coronal mass ejection flooded into the gravity well of the quantum vortex, and exploded in a blinding gravimetric wave of superheated radiation.
Suddenly the viewer shifted to the quantum vortex wall giving away to a warping blackness as the ship careened out of the slipstream. Then the blackness erupted with an approaching wall of roiling electromagnetic fire.
“Sir! Proton storm plasma wave approaching! Three seconds to impact!
“Mr Shir! Maximum warp!”
The Perseus swerved into a forward vector and stretched into a warp speed escape.
On the darkened bridge, Ensign Shir hammered his helm panel. “We did it!”
“Report!” Tom ordered.
“We've cleared the event radius, sir,” Ensign Shir replied, checking his readings. “Long range scans ahead are...vast and desolate, sir.”
“Ship's reports coming in now,” Grif added. “Several crew injuries, no fatalities. Reading system malfunctions across the board, sir. Shields and weapons are shot, propulsion systems all offline, hull breach on deck fourteen, repair crews dispatched. Voyager...nowhere to be found, sir.” He faced his commander. “She's gone, Captain.”
Tom absorbed the information as he stepped to the viewscreen for answers, his burning soul reaching out through the empty space, grasping nothing.
“Lieutenant Vexa;” Tom checked her station readings. “Did that system have any planets?”
“Affirmative sir. Three nickel-iron core planetoids, two class L's and a class M; three gas giants, two gas plutoids and numerous atmospheric and nonatmospheric moons throughout the entire system. Prior readings didn't indicate any signs of life. Now EM radiation is overloading sensors across the entire spectrum. Communications, sensors, warp fields...even life potentials – have been effectively destroyed in this solar system for the duration of its solar life.”
From the birth of a star to the death of a star system
, Commander Munich said quietly. What are we, but a fleeting vanity?
In the dark of the bridge, they silently watched the subspace gravimetric rupture burn with coronal mass ions across the ecliptic of the entire system. The planets boiled in flames of total atmospheric implosion. The Stellar Rogue raged in the ignition point of that burning disc of fire, a misshapen, bleeding wound in space.