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Old August 11 2012, 11:30 PM   #41
Rear Admiral
Re: UT: Refugee Crisis/Dark Territory-"Stealing Fire"

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Alien Vessel

Lt. Shashlik nearly pounded a hole through her EV suit as she slapped the compin attached to it again. “Ensign Fryer? Fryer!” she shouted. But static was the only reply.

“What happened?” Ramlo pure green eyes were alit with fright. “What’s going on up there?”

“I don’t know,” the Kaylar honestly answered. That’s what she wanted to know herself, though she had a good suspicion. She activated her communicator again. “Shashlik to Oyekan come in. Oyekan?” She didn’t even get static this time.

She turned to the perturbed Arkenite and made sure to look him straight in the eye. Shashlik had never been one to sugarcoat things. “I think both shuttles have been destroyed.”

“What?” The science officer gasped, taking a step back. “By who?”

“My guess is the same people who attacked this ship the first time,” Shashlik spoke calmly, but inside she raged.

“Why?” Ram asked, shaking his head sadly. He was thinking now not only of the ship of corpses surrounding them but of the sense loss of both Ensigns Kittles and Fryer, two very promising young officers whose lives had been snuffed out as quickly as one blew out candles.

“I think they might have discovered what you did, about the polaric ion regulator,” the Kaylar determined, “and they’ve come to claim the prize.”

“But it-it’s not here,” Ramlo was aghast. “And if it were, I would die rather to see those monsters claim it!”

“That’s the spirit,” Shashlik said as shafts of light emerged around them. She pulled the light mace she carried in the right leg of her EV suit. Though it weighted her down, it always made her feel more comfortable about away missions. And besides she always liked to carry something from home with her, so that no matter where she died, it would be like she had died there, among her clan. Ramlo gripped his phaser.

The beams resolved into a menagerie of masked aliens with an assortment of wicked weapons. Despite herself, Shashlik smiled. She raised the mace aloft and barreled ahead.
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Shuttlecraft Oyekan

As Kittles guided the shuttle out of the muck, she already knew what she was going to say to Fryer. Her finger hovered over the communications button, ready to beat him to the punch. She smiled, imagining them sharing a laugh…and maybe more after they were both back on Erickson.

She could, and had, done a lot worse than Roland. And she had been cooped up in her quarters too long, studying regulations when she wasn’t on duty, the gym, or the holodeck. She deserved to let her hair down once in a while, Karen reasoned.

And letting her hair down wasn’t the only thing she planned to drop in front of Roland. Unable to stop herself, she hit the communicator. “I know, I know Roland…” she began, her voice catching in her throat, as she took in the wreckage on the main viewer before her. Silvery-white shards and debris were floating around the alien ship. “Oh God, Roland?” she whispered, trying to hail Greenaugh. “Roland!” She cried.

She hurried scanned the area, turning to the ship. “Maybe he’s onboard,” she muttered, “Maybe he beamed aboard, and they’re all safe.” There were no life signs on the alien vessel.” They were all gone. “Oh God,” she closed her eyes and fell back into her chair.

What happened? She asked the silent stars. It’s my fault this happened, the idea slithered into her brain and took hold, its icy tendrils bundling up her grief and guilt and keeping them at the forefront of her mind.

Something, someone had to have done this, someone I allowed to do this, she knew, because I wasn’t smart or quick enough to find them. She ordered the ship to stop scanning for life signs. Instead, she began looking for warp trails. This time, the pathway screamed at her on the small screen. And this time the ship did not go slink back into the expanse. She could find the bastards who had destroyed Greenaugh and killed or kidnapped her friends, and she could set right what she had done.

Unbidden, her finger returned to her communicator. She knew she should contact Erickson, that she should tell the captain what had happened, what she had done, but Karen couldn’t. Guilt, fear, selfishness, and shame all swirled within her. All she had ever wanted was to be a captain and now that dream was over. But if she somehow found a way to stop whoever did this, it could turn a court martial into a promotion.

She hated the calculation, Karen wished her intentions were more pure, but at the moment she didn’t have time to beat herself up about it. Every second she spent hand wringing, the bastards were getting farther away.

She angled the Oyekan in the direction of the warp trail. Karen glanced back over the debris and mouthed a silent prayer for Roland and the lieutenants, hoping she would find them soon. And then, she activated warp engines.
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