Patrol, Deck 6, Alien Ship
Position Alpha, Andromeda Galaxy
After the ship had ‘jumped’ from one galaxy to another, the security patrols were stepped up, so as to ensure there were no other surprises left onboard. Chief Petty Officer Warren Stone’s four-man team had been assigned to sweep the forward point of the ship, which meant dozens of meters of corridors, crawlspaces, and rooms across three decks. In order to do so in a quick and effective pattern, he had divided his team into two; he and Crewman sh’Sene took the starboard side, whilst Petty Officer Analish and Crewman Ollin were at port. With sh’Sene being the rookie on the team, he wanted to keep an eye on the lithe Andorian.
As with when they’d first arrived, all the security guard carried their type-III phaser rifle, training it down every corridor, alcove, room and cupboard they checked. Part of Stone’s duties, since they’d arrived in Andromeda, had included a full inventory of their weaponry, so he knew the four rifles he and his team carried were a sixth of their total arsenal—which was in addition to the twenty-five type-one and seventy-nine type-two phasers each member of the crew had come aboard with. It was a decent number of personal weapons, but he would’ve been happier if they had more—and a few grenades wouldn’t have hurt.
“Analish to Stone,”
his combadge chirped.
“Stone here,” he replied stepping into another set of empty quarters.
“We’re just about to finish our last two rooms on this side, then we’ll head into the forward room,”
the Saurian non-com informed him.
“Understood. Anything to report?”
“Nothing of consequence, just a lot of cabins.”
Stone could hear the hint of tedium in her raspy voice. Though the sweeps were important to ensure that the ship was secured and safe for its new crew, days of empty rooms and endless corridors were beginning to take their toll.
“Same here. Stay sharp though.”
she promptly replied before the channel closed.
The room he stood in was like any of a dozen others he’d been in that day alone; the main space was a conjoined sleeping and living area, with a bed in one corner, a padded seat and coffee table in between them, a small desk and high-backed chair, plenty of cupboard space and shelves, whilst the other set of doors led into a small bathroom. No personnel effects or signs that anyone had ever slept there, whilst the head was spotlessly clean.
He stepped back into the corridor and waited a moment for sh’Sene, who was in the opposite room. She seemed to take just as long as he did checking the rooms, but after fifteen seconds had passed without her emerging from the room, he scowled and stepped up to the door. It opened quietly and he found her sitting on the bed, her elbows resting on her knees, head hanging down and antennae bowed. Her rifle lay beside her on the bed. Giving the room a quick once over, he approached.
“Crewman?” he asked his voice level. She didn’t seem to register his presence. He moved to stand before her and got down on his haunches, his eyes searching out hers, but found that she was light-years (if not galaxies) away. He took her shoulder and gave her a gentle shake. “Ethalatahra, are you alright?”
The sound of her formal name seemed to get through and her eyes focused on him, her brow furled as she saw him. “Chief?”
“You okay? You seemed a little out of it there.”
She gave a nod but he noticed her eyes moisten. He kept his eyes locked on her, searching out the truth from the young Andorian. It wasn’t the pointed look he used to get criminals to confess, or the steely one he used when going into battle, it was the fatherly one—the one that conveyed understanding and forgiveness, whilst at the same time telling the recipient that they couldn’t lie to him. It was a look normally only reserved for Elise or Jerome, but in this instance it was what was needed for one of his team.
“What do we do, Chief?” she finally admitted. “We are millions of light-years from home with no chance of getting back! No one even knows where we are or what happened to us, so they won’t even be looking for a way to get us back.”
“Have you heard of the U.S.S. Voyager
?” She thought for a moment and nodded. “I remember when she first vanished; there was a lot of hype and press about the missing ship and the search that they were conducting. They found nothing and the ship was reported as lost with all hands. Then we get word that the ship was swept out to the Delta Quadrant. When I heard what had happened to them, I remember thinking, ‘those poor bastards’. But despite tremendous odds against them, they’ve made it over halfway home. Yes we’re a helluva lot further, but this ship brought us here, maybe it can send us back—and if not that then the people who built it obviously have the technology needed.
“Until then however,” he continued, his voice taking on a harder edge, “we do our job. It’s up to you, me and every other security guard onboard to keep the rest of the crew safe—they are the experts and eggheads who’ll figure this out and get us home, we have to do all we can to make sure they stay in one piece. Alright?”
Sh’Sene looked up and gave him a nod. “Yes Chief.”
With a soft smile he gestured back towards the door. “Let’s get to it then.”
Stone had just led them back into the corridor when his combadge chirped again. “Stone here.”
it was Analish, sounding perplexed, “we’ve got something in the forward chamber you might want to take a look at.”
He was already sprinting when he heard her tone, sh’Sene keeping pace behind him. “On my way.”
It took only a few seconds for them to reach the three storey room at the forward point of the ship. He stepped into it with his rifle raised and immediately trained it on the first thing that moved, which happened to be Crewman Ollin so he lowered the weapon but quickly looked around for a threat. Finding now he turned to Analish, who was facing the bulkhead, her scaled fuchsia head tilted to the side. He moved closer and was about to ask what the problem was, when he saw what she was looking at. Engraved into the metallic wall, using what looked to be a directed energy weapon, were a series of shapes and patterns. It didn’t take a genius to work out it was some kind of language, however even his untrained eye could tell that it didn’t match the alien text used in the ship’s computer banks, it was something totally new.
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