Dec. 19/Jan. 20 Challenge Entry "Where Everybody Knows Your Name"

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Cobalt Frost, Jan 28, 2020.

  1. Cobalt Frost

    Cobalt Frost Captain Captain

    Joined:
    May 22, 2004
    Location:
    Cobalt Frost in Phineas & Ferb's backyard
    “…the ship was a wreck. After the surprise attack by an overwhelming force of Calikron swarmships, only my last-ditch – and very nearly suicidal – gambit of combining a quantum torpedo, nova torpedo, and void torpedo into one Frankenstein’s monster of a weapon saved Challenger from utter destruction. As it was, she was virtually derelict, barely able to move and completely unable to defend herself. And the remaining Calikron were still nearby, cybernetically licking their wounds. The attack would resume, and soon…”

    Gabriel paused to take a swig of his Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster. “Not to mention, even though the remaining Calikron swarmships had been driven off, as a parting gift they'd managed to beam several squads of their Darkfire combat droids aboard Challenger. Our survival depended on two things: fighting off the Darkfire droids, and getting Challenger mobile. Calikron swarmships are impulse-capable only, so since we’d destroyed their carrier, even a minute or two burst of warp would get us out of harm’s way.”

    The others at the table looked at Gabriel expectantly, awaiting the continuation of his tale. Based on the attention coming from them and others at nearby tables, drinks tonight at the Captain’s Table would be well paid for.

    “I must admit to a growing interest in how your story ends, Captain,” said a voice from behind him. “Though, if I was not so familiar with a certain captain of our mutual acquaintance* I would suspect a healthy level of exaggeration in your telling, as starship captains are often wont to do.” Gabriel turned at the unmistakable sound of…

    “Captain Spock!” Gabriel stared for a long moment, then remembered his manners. “Please, join us.”

    “I am content to remain standing, thank you. Perhaps my companion would appreciate a seat, however.” Spock turned his head slightly, and from behind him appeared the legendary Montgomery Scott. Their appearance suggested they’d come to the Table from a period shortly after the so-called “Whalesong” crisis. Gabriel decided not to think about it too long; the trans-temporal nature of the Captain’s Table could easily drive one rather crazy.

    “Aye, that I will,” Scotty said as room at the table was quickly made. He motioned to Cap, the Table’s proprietor and barkeep. “Aldebaran whiskey, as you please. The young lad here’ll be payin’.”

    The appearance of two Starfleet legends had Gabriel speechless. Spock merely arched an eyebrow, but Scotty took a slug of the whiskey and looked at Gabriel with a smile. “Well, finish your tale, laddie. The drinks here don’t pay for themselves.”

    “Sorry, where was I? Oh, warp drive.” There were chuckles from around the table. “The warp core was functional – barely – and the nacelles were bleeding drive plasma. If we could get just enough drive plasma back into the nacelles to fire them, we’d be home and dry, but the interlocks between the core and the nacelles were misaligned…”

    “And if the interlocks can’t connect to the dynotherms,” Scott chimed in, “the injectors won’t fire.” He shook his head. "They still havna found an alternative?"

    “Not yet," laughed Gabriel before continuing. "We had to at least get that first injector to fire,” said Gabriel. “There’s a reason we call it the ‘pilot light’.

    “The interlock control systems are in main engineering, of course, which at the time was more like the OK Corral with the engineering teams locked in a shootout with some Darkfire droids. My chief engineer, Tar Levan, was about two meters from the control console, which was cracked open. S/he could see the connectors were melted. It takes a lot to melt dikryllium.”

    “Tar Levan,” Spock commented. “A Nalim?”

    “Yes,” Gabriel replied.

    “A most admirable race. I am pleased to hear they will join the Federation. Apologies for the interruption, Captain Frost. Please continue.”

    “I was monitoring the situation in engineering from the bridge as best I could; there was a lot going on shipwide, as you can imagine. Commander Levan had apparently had enough, as the droids paused to recalibrate their weapons, s/he jumped up and charged one of them. It deployed blades, but wasn’t fast enough. Levan slammed it into the console, and one of the blades jammed into the space left by the melted connectors.

    “And that did it. The interlocks realigned, the dynotherms connected, and the injectors fired. There was just enough drive plasma left in the nacelles to combine with what came from the warp core, and we warped about three parsecs away before it all quit. After that, we were able to clear the Darkfire droids from the ship without too many losses…” Gabriel paused and his gaze went distant at an obviously painful memory, “…and though the warp drive was shot, we had time enough to repair Challenger's impulse engines and set steerage for home.”

    “But how did the blade replace the connectors?” someone asked. "Nothing but dikryllium would work."

    Gabriel took a long pull from his drink. “Funny that. As fate would have it, the droids blades were... dikryllium. The Darkfire droids sent to kill us ended up saving us. Commander Levan has that blade framed over hir desk.”

    A round of applause sounded through the Table, and Cap nodded approvingly. The price was paid, and the drinks would continue to flow.

    “A fascinating tale, Captain Frost,” Spock remarked, sipping a Vulcan tea.

    “Aye, that it was, laddie,” Scotty agreed. “But ye have ta tell, how did ye manage to get those beastie torpedoes to work together?”

    Gabriel laughed deeply. “Believe it or not, Captain Scott, I couldn’t have done it without half a dozen frozen hot dogs. But that’s a tale for a later telling…”

    * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    *Captain Frost briefly met then-Admiral Kirk in my challenge entry for April/May 2013, "A Tall Ship and Fair" https://www.trekbbs.com/threads/april-may-challenge-entry-a-tall-ship-and-fair.213997/
     
    Count Zero, CeJay and SLWatson like this.
  2. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    A neat little Captain's Table tale with a couple of greats we lost too soon.

    Good stuff which makes me wonder if we ever get to see a full-length Challenger story. I'd certainly be up for it.
     
  3. Cobalt Frost

    Cobalt Frost Captain Captain

    Joined:
    May 22, 2004
    Location:
    Cobalt Frost in Phineas & Ferb's backyard
    Thank you! As far as "full-length", I've had a couple hefty (length wise) challenge entries over the years, but nothing other than what I've done for the challenges.