The Star Eagle Adventures: EVS3 - Homecoming

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by CeJay, Jan 8, 2017.

  1. Galen4

    Galen4 Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Location:
    Sol III, within the universe of United Trek
    I'm starting to worry about that little ship the good doctor was in. It could be trouble when the crew gets to their destination.
    I'm liking the interactions between the characters as this all progresses. You get a sense that they all know each other pretty well.
    And kudos for Donners being referred to as "ma'am" BTW. I can't stand this outmoded "sir" BS for addressing female officers that would have gone out long before Starfleet's birth! :)
     
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  2. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    She hadn’t liked to admit it but as it turned out, the power plant in Frobisher small vessel went completely over her head, even after her extensive training and experience as a Starfleet engineer. She had been able to determine that it utilized some sort of dark matter as a power source, very similar to the accelerator Frobisher and Matthew Owens had designed ten years earlier. But even then, when she had been one of the very few Starfleet officers who had been granted any kind of access, she and the rest of her team had been kept on a very short leash, and certainly not been allowed to study the device in detail.

    In fact, after the disastrous outcome of the experiment, and Starfleet’s cover-up, the entire project had been sealed and presumably mothballed in some sort of high-security facility where Starfleet’s failures were hidden away from prying eyes, never to be seen again.

    She had stopped short to order Daystrom and his people to actually take apart the dark matter power core, fully cognizant of its immense power and volatile nature, which had after all led to the annihilation of half a continent.

    Unfortunately, nothing else on the ship had been noteworthy in any way, and the onboard computer had refused to give up much of anything without Frobisher's authorization.

    So after toiling on that vessel for nearly six hours, studying every square-inch, taking innumerable amounts of scans, taking apart and putting back together pretty much everything save for the main power core, Amaya Donners and a full science and engineering team had remarkably little to show for themselves.

    Tired but mostly frustrated with their lack of process, Amaya returned to the bridge, with Daystrom in tow, the moment she was told that they were approaching their destination.

    Donners found that the bridge had rotated to the alpha-shift in her absence, with Bobby DeSoto at the helm, Tess Allenby at operations and the tall avian Aurelian Lure Mer’iab occupying the tactical station.

    Her first officer, Gene Edison, greeted her by relinquishing the center chair upon her arrival. “Morning, Cap.”

    She merely grunted in response.

    “You’ve been up all night?” Edison asked with his crisp British accent.

    She kept her replies wordless, offering just a nod as she took her chair.

    Edison took a moment to look her over and then glanced towards the science officer who had taken his seat in an equally quiet manner. He exchanged a quick look with Vej who was back on the bridge as well, but judging by the way he appeared, he had managed at least to return to his quarters at some point. “Maybe we should get some rest before we tackle whatever this is,” he said softly.

    “I want to get this over with, Gene.”

    He indicated towards Daystrom and when she followed his gesture she realized how haggard he looked. “Some of us are on our third-straight watch. I think a bit of rest would do us all well.”

    “He’s right, Amaya,” said Vej.

    She frowned but was hardly surprised. Edison had made a great first officer, having been at her side ever since she had taken command of Agamemnon but sometimes she felt that he was too temperate for her liking. Vej, on the other hand, had expressed on numerous occasions that he thought that he made a great balance to her oftentimes more tempestuous command style.

    In truth, she couldn’t imagine a better team of consultants by her side. Today, however, she had already decided, she was not going to heed their advice. "Wayne, how're you doin' over there? Are you holding up alright?"

    He looked up at her and then nodded eagerly. “Absolutely, eager to find out what we have here. I’m running a detailed scan of the area now, should have something for you momentarily.”

    “Good man,” she said and then shot Edison and instant look to communicate her resolve, even if it was obvious that he didn’t feel she had necessarily made the most appropriate decision.

    He did, however, know when a battle was worth fighting, this one not being one of those. "I understand that you have history with our prisoner."

    She nodded. “You could say that.”

    “And you believe that there might be some truth to what he’s telling you?”

    “Not for a moment.”

    That left the first officer momentarily speechless.

    "That man can't be trusted. He is responsible for the death of tens of thousands of innocent people and his ship sitting in our shuttle bay shouldn't even exist. Certainly can't make heads or tails of it. But the boy cries wolf the first time, you have to at least make sure the sheep are alright, no?”

    “I suppose so.”

    She nodded firmly. “Yes. So the quicker we can check this out, the quicker we can all get the rest we need and most importantly the quicker we can drop him off with the authorities and get him on his way to spend the rest of his days behind a high-powered force field,” she said and then turned back towards the science station. “Wayne?”

    “Scan almost complete, sir.”

    That was not good enough for her. “We must be close to those coordinates already,” she said and focused on Allenby, the operations manager. “Tess, what do we have at those coordinates?

    The blonde woman shook her head. “Nothing, ma’am. Reads as empty space all the way.”

    “Put it on screen.”

    The main viewer shifted noticeably to show the familiar backdrop of the Amargosa Diaspora, its dense formation of a number of differently sized and powerful stars, including a few very noticeable red ones, creating a whole array of overlapping lens flare effects which the screen was apparently unable to compensate for and which was threatening to give Amaya a serious headache.

    “How close are we to the coordinates?”

    DeSoto answered that one. “Just over two million kilometers, at our present speed we’ll be right on top of them in a few minutes.”

    “Doesn’t matter,” said Amaya. “There’s nothing here.”

    "Scan complete, Captain, "said Daystrom. "I am registering regular levels of dust, cosmic rays, and solar winds as well as expected levels of electromagnetic radiation for a stellar cluster of this magnitude.”

    “In other words, nothing but empty space.”

    “Correct.”

    Donners let herself fall back in her chair, uttering a little sigh and staring at the dense starscape reflected on the screen. She had to admit that there was a certain beauty to the sight and the way in which the colors played off each other. She was also decidedly not in the mood for beauty.

    "Alright, I think we have humored this madman for long enough. Bobby, set a course for Arkaria, I think it's more than time to drop off the trash."

    “Setting course now,” the helmsman confirmed.

    Daystrom looked up from his console. “Sir, we are now exactly on top of the —“

    The ship lurched violently and without warning, throwing every last person off their feet, including those who had been firmly planted in their chairs.

    Donners was flung out of the captain’s seat and just about had the presence of mind to tug and roll before landing forcefully on the deck. The impact still hurt. Lights and consoles all around her went dark, flickered a few times and then went dark again. A number of aft stations, lining the rear bulkhead, shorted out with a shower of sparks, filling the bridge with a smell burned plastics and alloy.

    Then there was silence.

    The red alert had come on, the red strobes flashing across the bridge, but even the usually ubiquitous klaxons were silent.

    It lasted at least five, agonizingly long seconds during which clearly nobody on the bridge had been able to find enough air again which had been forcefully ejected out of their lungs.

    Donners entire body ached from the unexpected landing and her head was still spinning. She knew her ship well enough that something truly extraordinary had happened and she also knew that it was going to be bad.

    She slowly pushed herself back onto her feet, ignoring her bruised limbs and spinning head. “Report? What … hit us?”

    The crew was only very slowly getting back to their stations as some but not all computer consoles came back to life. The main lighting remained offline.

    Vej and Edison were helping out crewmember strewn all over the bridge while Bobby DeSoto crawled back into his chair at the helm. “I’m not certain.”

    “Medical emergency, medical team report to the bridge at once.”

    Donners turned to see Daystrom who had made the call. He was hovering over the prone and unmoving form of Tess Allenby who had been catapulted out of her seat at operations.

    Edison joined him a moment later, his fingers reaching to her neck to search for a pulse. He was shaking his head slowly as he made eye contact with the captain. Then he turned back to the lifeless body of the young woman and with the palm of his hand, closed her wide-open eyes.

    Donners didn't feel sorrow about losing a crewman. Instead, it was anger which was beginning to assert itself. Furious indignation at having lost a valued officer because of Westren Frobisher. She would make him pay for adding yet another victim to a long list of people who had been unfortunate enough to cross path with the mad scientist.

    The view screen which had blinked out with most of the other bridge systems flickered back on and then off again revealing nothing.

    “I want to know what happened and I want to know now. What the devil hit us?”

    Daystrom had very reluctantly left Allenby's dead body behind and moved back to his science station, clearly hoping that work would distract himself from just having lost a friend. "According to sensors, we struck some sort of subspace boundary which we appear to have penetrated."

    Donners needed a moment to think that one through. “Damage report?”

    Mer’iab had returned to his tactical board. “Shields have come on and are holding steady but we have taken serious damage to the forward hull and a number of systems have been knocked off-line. Sickbay is reporting multiple medical emergencies throughout the ship. They don’t have a final count yet.”

    Donners’ eyes drifted to Allenby. Edison had removed his uniform jacket and mercifully covered her head with it. Considering the force of the impact, it seemed almost lucky that so far Allenby was the only casualty. She hoped that this would still be the case when the final tally came in but she already suspected that her prayers would go unanswered.

    “Lure, I need you to liaise with engineering and sickbay. I want a full damage report, ship and crew, as soon as possible.”

    The Aurelian nodded sharply.

    “Wayne, get all your people together if you have to. But tell me exactly what happened.”

    Edison walked up to the captain after finishing his round of the bridge. “Looks like mostly bruised bones and minor cuts up here. Ensign Toledo broke his lower arm when he hit a console. That’s not counting Allenby,” he said.

    Donners noticed only then that he was one of the officers with those cuts he had mentioned. A trickle of blood was dripping down into his eyes from a cut on his forehead and onto his red uniform shirt.

    She nodded to acknowledge the report and they watched silently as a medical team arrived on the bridge, quickly realized that all help for Tess Allenby would come too late and then had her body beamed straight to the ship’s morgue.

    “There is somebody on this ship who could probably provide us with some answers as to what has happened here.”

    Her eyes drilled themselves into Edison’s. “Frobisher. Get him up here. I want him in chains and under heavy guard.”

    The first officer nodded and left the bridge to see to her order personally.

    Donners uttered a heavy sigh and glanced back towards the screen, even if there was nothing there to see. “Wayne, make your first priority fixing the view screen, I want to see what’s going on out there.”
    The science officer acknowledged wordlessly, clearly somewhat flustered by everything that had happened over the last few minutes, and trying desperately to focus on the most urgent priorities. “I don’t think the view screen is malfunctioning, Captain.”

    Donners frowned and stepped closer to the screen and as she focused in on the high-resolution, holographic display, she began to realize that he was right. The image wasn’t blank. Something was there but it was very dark and it filled out the entire screen as if they were looking at a blown-up picture of a black wall. “Alright, then kindly tell me what I’m looking at and what happened to all the stars.”

    “I am not certain. But sensors are detecting some sort of object in front of us,” the science officer said.

    Donners was shaking her head. “Not good enough, Wayne.”

    “Sensors are having a hard time making sense of this.”

    She whipped around to face him. “I’m getting really tired of hearing this. People are dead. I want to know why.”

    The intensity of her outburst caused the young science officer to swallow, his dark skin blushing ever so slightly. "I'm working on it," he said and quickly focused back on his instruments once more.

    She felt Vej’s gentle hand on her shoulder. “Take it easy, Maya, we’re all feeling the pressure.”

    But Donners had neither the time nor the inclination to worry about her people’s feeling. “I’ll take it easy when this is over.” She pointed him towards Mer’iab, where the avian tactical officer was working hard on collating the damage report. “Now, make yourself useful and help Lure with casualty reports.”

    The Ullian hesitated for a moment, clearly disappointed that she was not heeding his advice, certainly not for the first time, and then gave her a little nod. He may have been a civilian, but he understood that on this ship, she was the ultimate authority and so he followed the order with no further comment.

    “Working with visual sensors, I have been able to determine the shape and … approximate size of the object in front of us,” Daystrom said without so much as glancing up from his console.

    “Let’s have a look.”

    The screen changed and yet still more than three quarters were made up of the dark object. Instead of a star-filled background, she saw a very light-red, almost pink mass, seemingly interspersed with streaks of white. “I have no idea what I’m looking at here.”
    The science officer made a few more alterations and the image shifted again, this time to reveal much more of the pinkish background which had entirely replaced the usual black void of outer space. The object appeared massive, multiple times larger than Agamemnon and possessed a distinctly curved shape. Only a small part of the odd object seemed to be visible from this angle.

    “Where are we?” said Donners who had never seen anything like this before.

    “According to sensors we are still in the Amargosa Diaspora at the exact coordinates we have been provided. However, sensors are no longer reading our surrounding as normal space.”

    That caught her attention and she walked over to him. “What do you mean? If this isn’t normal space, what is it?”

    He looked up with a mixture of excitement over this unexpected find, and anxiety playing over his features. “The best I can describe it without further study would be that we are in a realm of space that sits beyond our own.”

    “Subspace?”

    “Yes and no,” he said. “We would have to run additional scans but I think we might be in a layer between regular space and subspace.”

    Donners began to massage her forehead. As a Starfleet officer, she shared the same innate curiosity about the universe as many of her fellow explorers, but the fact that she had already lost people and that this was all related to the madman criminal Westren Frobisher somehow had robbed her of any sense of wonder. She turned back towards the screen to get a better look. "This object, what is it?"

    She couldn’t see but Daystrom was shaking his head. “I cannot tell yet. It seems to be composed of a neutronium derivative which is impervious to sensors. And Captain, it is massive in scale.”

    “What are we talking about here?”

    “I am using the data I have collected so far to give us a more accurate representation,” he said and within moments the image began to zoom out. And it kept zooming out, and yet the object refused to give away its true shape. It was indeed curved but the remaining edges didn’t come into view, even as the image kept pulling back.

    “Accelerating visual adjustment,” said Daystrom to allow the zoom to step out in larger steps to reveal more and more of the object which seemed to be uniformly black with no apparent or distinctive marks anywhere to be seen.

    The entire thing was only helping to make Donners’ already painful headache worse.

    Daystrom had activated an inset screen to show the scale of the object compared to Agamemnon and as the main image zoomed out, so did the inset, showing the shape of the Starfleet ship and the dark, rounded object growing next to it and continue to grow until Agamemnon became nothing more than a dot, almost impossible to make out with the naked eye while the object grew the size of a small moon, then of a planet, then of a star.

    Finally, after nearly a full minute the shape became recognizable as a massive, dark ring, sitting within a pink and white background. Donners couldn’t even guess the size of that object.

    Daystrom seemed to know exactly what she was wondering. “The estimated diameter of the object is five-hundred million kilometers.”

    Silence greeted that announcement.

    Donners' headache was quickly turning into full-blown vertigo, just looking at the immense structure, more than twice the size of the largest artificial superstructure ever recorded and over three hundred times the size of Earth’s sun. It was quite simply staggering, even more so to the engineer in her who knew of no race within the known galaxy who had ever achieved constructing a megastructure of this scope.

    The silence was finally interrupted by the sound of the turbolift doors hissing open.

    Donners tore herself away from the seemingly impossible sight on the screen to find Westren Frobisher, his hands shackled in front of him, and flanked by two armed security officers and Commander Edison.

    The scientist immediately focused on what had mesmerized the entire bridge, taking a couple of steps forward.

    Donners couldn't be certain but she thought that the expression on his face did not reflect awe exactly. Instead, the structure seemed to have inspired fear.

    She didn’t care how that thing made him feel one-way or the other. “What the hell is that thing, Frobisher? Talk.”

    It took him a moment to answer as he took in the sight in front of him. “That,” he said and swallowed. “That is the end.”
     
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  3. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Edison, who had been as stunned as the others at discovering the structure, looked over at the man. “The end of what?”

    “Of everything.”

    Donners fought to keep her anger in check and succeeded barely, taking a few threatening steps towards Frobisher. “I don’t have time for your dramatics. I have already lost people over this and I’d be damned if I lose anyone else because of you. I want to know that thing is and I want to know why it is here. And while you are at it, I want to know where exactly here is.”

    “Sir,” Daystrom said with apparent urgency and before Frobisher could answer. “I am getting new readings from the object.” His face seemed to be draining of color. “Sir, it’s—“

    All computer screens on the bridge switched off to display a single symbol, the meaning of which this crew had come to learn intimately. A single, blue Greek letter had appeared on the screens all around the bridge.

    “Not this again,” Donners moaned, painfully remembering her very first mission on Agamemnon when she had first come across the Omega Directive and which had directly led to the destruction of an entire civilization when they had decided to meddle with powers far beyond their understanding.

    Fully cognizant that all bridge systems would remain on lockdown until she took action, she quickly headed for the nearest computer station and entered her authorization code which promptly restored standard functionality to all systems.

    Daystrom who had his own personal history with the powerful Omega molecule which had just tripped the ship’s sensors, didn’t need to elaborate much on what had just happened. “It’s coming from the structure, sir,” he said. “Sensors are detective a massive build-up of the molecule.”

    “Is it … moving?” said Vej, who stared at the object on the screen.

    Donners followed his gaze and could see it too. The massive structure was in motion. Very slowly but seemingly speeding up by the second.

    “Confirmed,” said Daystrom. “It has begun to spin on its own axis. Moving at about 500 meters per second and accelerating at an increasing rate.”

    She ship began to tremble. Nowhere as dangerously as when it had first entered this realm but enough to make Donners nervous.

    “The movement is causing increased gravimetric interference. Shields are holding for now but this is will only become worse as the structure’s momentum increases,” the science officer said as he studied his panels.

    The captain glanced towards the tactical officer. “Keep shields and inertial dampeners as maximum.”

    The Aurelian nodded and followed her instructions.

    But Frobisher simply shook his head.

    “Damn it, I want some answer now,” she fumed.

    “I’m sorry, Captain.”

    That was not what she had wanted to hear. “It’s too late to be sorry.”

    He nodded. “Yes, you are absolutely correct. It is. But when we spoke earlier, when I asked you, begged you to come here, I hoped that we wouldn’t find this here. And even if we did, I prayed we would be in time to stop it,” he said and looked back at the screen, shaking his head. “I’m sorry, Captain, but it cannot be stopped. Not anymore. Not here.”

    “What does that mean?” Edison said.

    Frobisher ignored the first officer and stepped even closer to the captain but was held back by Mer’iab after only a couple of more steps. “You have to take me back. I’m not sure yet what all this means, and I know you have no reason to trust me, but our only chance, the only chance for the rest of us, is if you take me back to where you found me. But you have to do it now.”

    Donners shook her head as if she was entertaining a madman. "You'll go nowhere but back to the brig."

    The bridge shook again, stronger this time and more suddenly as if something powerful had gripped it. Donners and everyone else standing were forced to grab something for support in order not to lose their balance. She turned back to her science officer. "That wasn't gravimetric interference."

    “No, sir. The structure is beginning to emit massive amounts of radiation and we were just hit with a first wave.”

    “That radiation,” said Frobisher, “is deadly to everything. We need to get out of here now.”

    Donners did her best to ignore the scientist. “Wayne?”
    “Difficult to say. It's not something I've ever come across, and there are no matches in our database. However, the wave has caused a reduction in our shields by point four percent and the radiation is increasing exponentially.”

    Donners understood what this meant, the longer they stayed in the place, the quicker their shields would be drained. They had to move. “Alright, let’s get some distance to this thing. Helm, reverse course, back us off.”

    “If we reverse course we will run into the same barrier we struck when we first entered this space,” said Daystrom urgently. “We might experience the same effects.”

    “Adjust your shields to sixteen point two kilo-electronvolts, and keep your speed to under one-quarter impulse, that should allow us to cross back into normal space without taking damage to the ship."

    Donners shot daggers at the scientist for a moment. But then she nodded. They couldn’t stay in place and returning to normal space seemed to be their best option for now. It seemed unlikely to her that Frobisher, no matter how crazy he was, would give them a frequency that would harm the ship he was traveling on himself. “Do it. Alter our shield modulation and keep your speed below one-quarter sublight.”

    Moments later Agamemnon trembled slightly once more, as if encountering resistance in her path, but it was nothing compared to their first crossing. The main screen displayed the bountiful Amargosa Diaspora again, set against a suddenly quite soothing black void of space.

    “Give me an aft view,” Donners said as she took her chair again.

    But there was nothing there. The oddly rosy and white space, as well as the superstructure, had completely disappeared as if it had never been there in the first place, instead replaced once more with the more familiar look of the dense star cluster.

    “I am still reading the radiation waves,” said Daystrom. “They have increased at an even higher rate.” He paused for a moment, his face scrunching up in a frown as he studied his readouts. “Space immediately around the coordinates of the barrier seems to be disintegrating.”

    Donners shot him a puzzled look. “Disintegrating? How?”

    “I’m not sure, it seems as if the radiation is somehow breaking down matter on a molecular level and an astonishing rate. At the current speed of expansion, the outer crest of the wave will overtake us in two minutes and twenty seconds.”

    The captain stood back up, unable to remain in her chair considering what she had just learned. “How do we stop it?”

    Frobisher beat Daystrom to an answer. “You can’t, Captain. It cannot be stopped.”

    “I refuse to accept that.” She headed towards the helm station and where Bobby DeSoto sat. “Keep us away ahead of that wave, Mister. Adjust your speed as required.”

    “Aye, sir,” the young helmsman said before entering the required prompts into his console.

    From her position at the front of the bridge, she turned to face her crew. “I want solutions. There must be a way to counteract this wave.”

    "We could try to bombard it with graviton particles but at this point, that would be like using a bucket to hold back the tide. The wave is expanding in all direction at speeds that will shortly exceed our own," said Daystrom, sounding entirely deflated at realizing their inability to prevent what was happening.

    “I am so sorry, Captain,” said Frobisher, “there is no way to stop what is happening. That annihilation wave will not stop. There is nothing anyone can do about this. But there might be a chance to stop this from happening somewhere else. You have to let me go. You have to take me back.”

    But Donners was not ready to hear this.

    “We are no longer able to keep ahead of the wave,” said DeSoto while his fingers danced frantically over his console. “We are already at warp nine point nine.”

    And judging by the way the deck plates rattled under her feet, Donners knew that her ship had reached its upper limit. It wouldn’t be able to sustain this speed for much longer.

    “Donners to engineering. Geordi, I need everything you can put into the engines and then some.”

    But her chief engineer’s answer was not encouraging. “You’ve already got everything we have, Captain. And she won’t hold together for much longer like this,” La Forge said, the strain on his voice mirroring what they were putting on their warp engine.

    “Do what you can. Bridge out.”

    The lights and a number of computer consoles on the bridge began to flicker. She knew it wasn’t related to their high speed. Agamemnon should have been able to sustain it for at least a little while longer.

    “We are being exposed to a high level of the radiation, ship systems are starting to fail,” said Daystrom.

    And then she felt it too. It started with a tingling sensation on her skin but it quickly went much deeper. She was getting dizzy and suddenly felt weak in her knees. She thought that she wouldn't be able to stand up much longer. "What's happening?"

    “Massive molecular decay,” said Daystrom who sounded much more strained all of a sudden, as if he was beginning to experience difficulties in forming the words. “It’s affecting everything around us, including biological matter.”

    Donners watched crewmembers all around her starting to collapse, unable to stand on their own feet anymore. And just before she thought she was losing her balance as well, she felt somebody grabbing hold of her. She looked to her right to see that Frobisher had stepped up next to her and was slowly helping her back into her chair.

    “This is your doing.”

    He shook his head. “No. I am—I was, trying to stop it. Please, we don’t have much time left.”

    She looked up at him even as her vision was becoming increasingly more foggy and distorted. But it seemed obvious that whatever was affecting her and her crew had no effect whatsoever on him. She reached up to wipe away the blood that was beginning to trickle down her nose. Then she saw Vej, climbing into the chair next to hers. "Read him."

    “Not without his—“

    “We don’t have time for ethics anymore,” she hissed. “Read him.”

    Frobisher nodded. “Do it,” he said and took a knee in front of the Ullian counselor.

    Vej focused on the scientist and Donners could see his eyes opening wide as he started to nod. But a sudden coughing fit seemed to interrupt his telepathic link and prevented him from speaking.

    “Goddamnit,” Donners swore. She wanted to help her friend but decided her priorities lay elsewhere. “Bobby, change our course … get us back to where we picked up—“

    But DeSoto was no longer sitting in his chair, instead, he was lying motionless on the floor next to his seat, leaving the ship without a pilot.

    “Help me up, help me get to the helm,” she said to Frobisher.

    He didn't hesitate and pulled her back to her feet and led her to the CONN, where she fell into the chair. Operating the controls were a struggle but she somehow managed to alter their course, Agamemnon responding more sluggishly than she had ever before. At least her warp engines were still running, and at their present high warp speed, they would reach the location of the anomaly where they had found Frobisher's ship within only a couple of minutes.

    She also checked the internal sensors and she found that his vessel was still in the shuttle bay, and just like him, it showed no signs of any damage at all while the ship around them was falling apart.

    Donners found a small phaser attached underneath the console and brought it up with a shaky hand, aiming it at the scientist.

    Frobisher’s eyes widened in shock and he took a step back.

    “Restraints,” she said.

    Understanding dawned on his face and he presented her his shackled wrists.

    Donners fired the phaser, keeping it on the lowest setting to avoid hurting him, and after a couple of seconds, the restraints fell to the deck. She then reached out for him, grabbing hold of his arm and pulling him closer until she was able to take hold of his neck to pull his head near hers. Her eyes piercing him like icicles. “Go and fix this.”

    He nodded as much as he could with her hand tightly on his neck.

    It slipped away and he headed for the exit.

    “I’ll try to get you … as close as I can. Shuttle bay doors … already open.”

    “Thank you, Captain. And for what’s worth. I am truly sorry.”

    She uttered a little laugh. “Sure you are.”

    She heard the turbolift doors opening and closing behind her but couldn’t find the strength to turn and look. Not that it mattered much. She had done everything she could. Whatever happened next was up to Frobisher. And she didn't even know what it was he could do. All she knew for certain was that it was over for her. For her ship and her crew and maybe even for everything else.

    She forced herself to stay conscious for two more minutes during which Agamemnon shot passed the initial anomaly they had detected. Sensors had failed by that time and she couldn’t tell if Frobisher had gotten to his ship and managed to depart or not.

    When she looked back up at the screen, all she could see was a washed out emptiness.

    The galaxy war tearing itself apart.

    “And this could have been such a beautiful day.”


    The story continues in
    Quantum Divergence
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2017
    admiralelm11 and Galen4 like this.
  4. Galen4

    Galen4 Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Location:
    Sol III, within the universe of United Trek
    Now see... this is the type of solid science fiction that's been missing in ST since JJ Abrams dumbed it down back in 2009. From what I know, it's still absent in Discovery. Here we have a terrible space anomaly that's sitting in a dimensional plain that lies between subspace and normal space, dark matter reactors, captains with a shared history to mad doctors, etc. That's the type of intriguing stuff that used to elevate Trek above B-Level productions.

    Oh well, at least we can enjoy it here.

    And if I'm right, maybe a twist ending. I get the feeling that this version of Agamemnon is an AU. I could be wrong but with LaForge as the chief and the crew's apparent deaths, I'm thinking this was an alternate version.

    Can't wait for QD!
     
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  5. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Epilogue: Where Do the Children Play, Part 2


    May 2376

    It had been two weeks since Eagle had first arrived at Earth and both shore leave and crucial system overhauls necessitated by continuous battle duty during the last two war years were slowly coming to an end.

    It had been almost as long since his father had passed and the funeral and Michael Owens still felt the emptiness within him that he had not thought possible considering his troubled relationship with the man who had, at best, been an absentee father to him for most of his life. He wasn’t sure if he was more shocked by his sudden death or by the way it had affected him.

    DeMara Deen who had experienced her own personal losses over the last few months—even so she claimed that they were not comparable to his own—had possibly framed it best. While she wasn't a trained counselor and nearly half his age, her wisdom and insight never failed to surprise him—as they had when she had pointed out that no matter how much he had disagreed with his late father over the years, and no matter how much he had blamed him for his failings, he had always held out a grain of hope that one day he would fully reconcile with him, and that they would move past the feelings of bitterness and guilt both of them seemed to have harbored.

    And there had certainly been evidence of this over the years as it looked more and more likely that real conciliation was indeed a real possibility and that all it truly required was time. Time, of course, had run out

    It was impossible to think that his decision to turn down his unexpected offer had somehow brought on Jonathan Owens sudden demise. After all, the doctors had assured him that his father had been unwell for some time now.

    And yet Michael couldn’t entirely free himself of the notion that he had been in part responsible for what had happened to his father—that if he had just said yes to his request that he might still be alive.

    He understood the inherently dangerous road that kind of thinking would lead him down on and he had tried very hard to keep his mind preoccupied with other matters such as Eagle’s next mission which he would no doubt receive very shortly, as well as other routine ship duties which would require his attention.

    One of those duties had brought him and DeMara Deen down to deck six.

    Michael had not missed that the usually bubbly and outspoken Deen had been more introvert as of late. He knew that her own tragedy of seeing her close Academy friend, turned Starfleet Marine, practically die in her arms had greatly affected her but it also seemed to him that her recent reunion with her uncle on Earth had not turned out to be the joyful experience he had hoped it be. She had come back from that encounter much more pensive than he would have expected and she had yet to open up to him about why it had left her so shaken.

    He had been determined not to push her on this and give her whatever time she needed before she felt comfortable sharing her thoughts with him.

    She did, however, wear a little smile while they were walking down the corridor, looking much more like her usual self, even if he knew that there was more brewing under the surface.

    “I’m really looking forward to this,” she said and Michael was glad that her spirits were lifted even if just for the short term.

    He nodded. “I think it will do as all some good,” he said. “It wasn’t an easy decision to tell you the truth. I can certainly see both arguments but at the end of the day, I think this is what this crew wanted the most.”

    “What we need as well,” she said in quick agreement. “A little spark of light after the long spell of darkness we have been drowning in over the last couple of years.”

    “And I understand that they couldn’t wait to come back which is very heartening, considering all the terrible news they must have been exposed to over that time.”

    “I think it makes us all better, more complete,” she said and then stopped when she saw a set of doors parting up ahead.

    A throng of people was emerging from the transporter room, many of which were wearing civilian clothing and among the men and women were also quite a few children of all ages which were quickly filling the corridor with the sounds of laughter and joy.

    Deen’s smile widened and it was infectious. It had been a long time since he heard the sound of children filling Eagle’s corridors.

    "Dee!" A human girl of perhaps seven or eight years had spotted the Tenarian and was racing down the corridor towards her. Another child, a boy who was noticeably shorter, and a few years younger, was close on her heels, clearly as excited about seeing Deen again.

    “Cora, Chase,” she said, taking a knee to brace herself for their stormy approach, her smile once again as big and as brilliant as Michael remembered it from their pre-war days.

    The girl won the impromptu race down the corridor, beating her brother by a few seconds and hugging Deen tightly before Chase joined her a moment later.

    “We missed you,” Cora said.

    “I missed you too,” she said as she slowly freed herself from their embrace and then looked them both over. "It's not been the same without you two around. And look at how much you have both grown." She considered Chase for a moment. "You must be at least twenty-six by now.”

    The boy gave her a sheepish grin. “No, I’m six,” he said and stuck out both hands indicating the years with his fingers.

    “Not possible,” said Deen and then looked at Michael. “Can’t be right, can it?”

    The captain shrugged. “We may need to get Commander Xylion down here to verify this.”

    Chase's eyes lit up to that, demonstrating an ongoing fascination with Vulcans and all things science which even two years away from Eagle had clearly not diminished.

    “He will need to wait until I get my lessons,” said Cora determinedly as the looked at Deen. "I studied everything I could on operations, I even took extra classes in computer science at school. I’ve got an A last week.”

    “A minus,” her brother teased her.

    Cora shoved her brother dismissively. “Whatever,” she said and turned back to Deen. “My teacher said I would make a great operations officer. Everyone in my class was really impressed with what you taught me.” The pride in her body language was impossible to miss, as was the way she clearly adored Deen.

    “Looks like there’ll be somebody gunning for your job soon,” said Michael with a smirk.

    But before either Deen or Cora could respond a commotion down the corridor up ahead caught everyone’s attention. A few of the civilians and regular crewmembers, including no doubt the children’s parents had still been mingling around just outside the transporter room when the doors had parted again and another group of new arrivals emerged.

    And they couldn’t have been any more different. The first person to come through was a tall, muscular human with a perfectly bald head and full, almost shaggy red beard which was a rare sight these days and likely not exactly in line with grooming regulations for Starfleet officers. He didn’t wear a standard uniform but was most assuredly not a civilian either, judging by the intense look in his eyes. He wore a large backpack which Michael thought was shaped very much like it contained a number of big weapons.

    And even though it was clear this man had never set foot on Eagle before, the newcomer required all but a second to find his bearings and then move on down the corridor, pushing himself passed the small crowd and continuing with a purposeful pace.

    He was followed almost immediately by a woman who stood nearly as tall as he had, and thanks to her sleeveless vest was showing of muscles which must have rivaled his. She had a severe buzz-cut, dark skin and the same intense look in her eyes, as well as a similar bag strapped to her back.

    Behind her, a fierce looking Nausicaan who was even taller than both of the humans stepped out of the transporter room. Then came a short and yet somehow no less dangerous and gruff looking Tellarite as well as a procession of five more men and women of various races, some of which wore either parts of Starfleet uniforms or were others clad in strictly civilian attire. All would have looked more at home on a mercenary vessel than on a ship of the line. Carrying heavy weapons cases, every single one of them seemed like the kind of man or woman who could not only stand their own in a fight, they’d more than likely be the ones who’d finish one.

    They paid little attention to the startled looks they received from the crewmembers and children they passed who understandingly gave them a wide berth as they strode down the corridor in a single file.

    Their leader gave Michael a very curt nod as he walked by hardly even slowing down. “Sir.”

    Cora had moved closer to Deen as she watched the procession pass them by but her little brother had been less brave and had moved to try and partially hide behind her legs.

    No other words were exchanged until the entire nine-man team had disappeared down the corner. Michael thought he could almost sense a collective sense of relief once they were gone.

    “So I guess you’ve decided on a compromise,” Deen finally said, still looking down the corridor and referring to the options he had mulled over of either bringing back the civilians which had left Eagle once the war had broken out, or keeping the Marine detachment onboard which had come to replace them.

    He nodded. “Laas made some good points and was very persuasive. She believes that a Special Missions Team will be a perfect addition to her security team and just the kind of specialist unit to continue to ensure the safety of this ship and crew considering the challenges we’re likely to face in this post-war galaxy.”

    “I’m not sure if I should be relieved or worried,” she said.

    Michael had no response to offer. The truth was he wasn't entirely sure himself. It wasn't commonplace for Starfleet ships to carry an SMT unit, which as the name suggested was usually only deployed in specific circumstances and when a certain level of decisive or clandestine force was required. It didn't exactly align with his vision of what Starfleet should be but then again he'd had similar reservations when he had signed off on the taking on the Marines detachment two years earlier and now he was certain that his crew would most likely not have survived the war without them.

    He couldn’t help but hope that this changed galaxy they lived in now would not force him to rely in the same way on a team of people which for all intense and purposes appeared to be made up of natural born killers.

    He also knew that after all they had been through, he couldn’t afford not having them around at all.

    “Times are changing, Dee, and we’ll have to change with them,” he said but didn’t say to her what was truly on his mind. After his father’s dire warnings, he was worried about what the future might bring.

    And he wasn’t so sure if this latest move was going to be enough to prepare them for it.



    _ _ _ _​

    This concludes Homecoming as well as the Road to Quantum Divergence.

    Took a bit longer than I expected, almost exactly 11 months. I'd like to thank all my readers, particularly those who offered feedback and comments throughout this journey.

    Special thanks to Galen4 for his contributions as a story editor.

    The Star Eagle Adventures continues next week with the first book of Quantum Divergence. Stay tuned.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017
  6. admiralelm11

    admiralelm11 Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2009
    Location:
    Vancouver, WA
    Amazing work as always, CeJay! Keep up the great work for I say this, you and your fellows at United Trek are great writers! Merry Christmas to all.
     
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  7. Galen4

    Galen4 Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Location:
    Sol III, within the universe of United Trek
    Great capper on the first part of en epic story. Well done. I think you've set the stage nicely for QD.
    Although, ahem...I think those civilians may want to reconsider their lodgings, given the threat that's been promised.

    As always, looking forward to more!
     
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  8. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Thanks for the comments guys, I'm glad you enjoyed the stories. Not long now until QD and hopefully you'll be along for that ride as well and enjoy it as much.
     
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