Post by ER Of Clan Sci-Fi on Jun 16, 2017 10:39:17 GMT -5
USS Leander (Pronounced Lee-an-der)
Captain Boiler calmly paced the floor of the USS Leander inside his Captain’s Cabin. He had been looking forward to his opportunity since the first shift had begun. Inside his Captain’s Cabin, his “personal” space… he spent a few minutes every cycle taking in his surroundings, taking it “all" in.
He knelt down, palms stopping just above the floor deck.
“There it is” he said proudly.
The "it" Captain Boiler was referring to the almost undetectable hum the ship gave off when the ship’s GPD (Gravimetric Pull Drive) was engaged.
The USS Leander was mankind’s greatest technical achievement. Ten years ago the nation's best minds collaborated together, thus creating the most powerful engine mankind had ever developed. Up until this creation, NASA was using ion-based engines as its primary mode of transportation. But after this break-thru, the ion engine would be thought of in the same way folks thought of the crank engine of the ancient automobiles.
Astrophysicists had pulled their collective intellect, theorizing that multiple tetryons focusing in at a single point could create a micro singularity, or “black hole.” The first time theory was tested and ultimately failed, the entire project was almost scrapped. Said failure resulted in black hole the size of a pin- head, which subsequently destroyed 2 square miles, and creating a crater one eighth of a mile in depth.
The next test, in a much more controlled environment was done outside the pull of earth’s orbit. Once the singularity was created and controlled, the Leander was basically build around it’s gravimetric core. Once the drive was engaged, four tetryon emitters would deploy from the outer hull, focusing in on a point one hundred feet from the bow of the ship. Once the singularity was established, it would pull the ship along, which effect would push the singularity forward, and so forth and so on. The Leander was built with an expandable, vibrainium hull, which allowed the ship to stand the tremendous tidal forces from the pull of the singularity. It’s maiden voyage took it out of the solar system in ten minutes.
At its maximum velocity, the ship was able to reach speeds slightly exceeding two times the speed of light.
After a dozen successful ventures outside the solar system, it was time for mankind to spread its wings. So it was decided that if we had the means of speed, it was time to explore. Man’s fascination with the Alpha Centauri “The North Star” probably predates written language, so the powers that be issued the command for that destination would be the real test for the Leander.
With its GDP engaged, the Leander should be able to reach the star in two years. In 2042, the ship embarked on its greatest voyage yet, with Captain Boiler, a combat veteran of WWIII, at the chair.
“Captain Boiler to the bridge” the call came over the ship’s internal comm.
Grimacing as he stood, still favoring his sore knee that was never fully repaired after the war, Captain Boiler sighs, “A man can’t even get a little peace to himself.”
He walked through the only entrance / exit of his Captain’s Cabin, that lead directly to the ship’s bridge.
As soon as he entered the bridge…
“CAPTAIN ON THE BRIDGE!” his first officer, his XO, his number “1” Commander Midgar called out.
Immediately everyone on the bridge stood to attention out of respect for the Captain.
Captain Boiler was all about protocol and tradition, so he didn’t mind this… most of the time, but sometimes he’d wish a skipping of the formalities and get quickly to the point. This time was one of those time.
“As you were…” he said to his crew. Turning to Commander Midgar, “REPORT!”
“Sir … “ Midgar paused, looking over to his Science Officer Lt. Richie, excitingly fidget in his seat. “Sir, Lt. Richie has something to report.”
Wheeling in his chair in his science officer’s direction, “Lt?”
“Sir, we are still a quarter of a life year away from Alpha Centuri, but we’re detecting a wobble in the star sir.”
His hand raised in the air, borderline dismissively, “Lt, .. we’ve known about Alpha Centuri’s wobble since we were in elementary school… it’s a binary star system. The wobble is caused by Alpha Centauri A, gravity pull on its sister star, Alpha Centauri B. “
“Sir, I’ve already taken that into consideration, and the wobble we are detecting in coming from its axis plane. Its sister star create’s a pull at about a thirty degree angle. This pull can only be from an exoplanet sir.”
Captain Boiler turns back in direction of his first officer.
“Looks like our mission just got more intriguing sir.” Commander Midgar adds.
“Can we see the planet… we have to be close enough to see it, right?” the Captain asks.
“Not yet sir, not until we disengage the drive just inside the Centuri’s solar system in four hours.”
Captain Boiler pop’s up from his chair, “Commander, alert the crew of the change of status.”
“Aye, aye sir” replies Midgar
Captain Boiler, turning back towards Lt. Richie, “Good job Lt!”
As Captain Boiler makes his way back towards his Captain’s Cabin, he issues one last command before the door shut behind him, “Commander.. the bridge is yours!”
Hours later, to Captain Boiler, he had felt like he had barely shut his eyes before suddenly being awaken by the ship’s emergency klaxon.
Through a fatigued induced haze, Captain Boiler barely makes out the words coming through the internal comm, “... to the bridge. Captain Boiler please report to the bridge immediately!”
Captain Boiler leaps to his feet immediately, ignoring the pain in his bum knee and instantly ascertains something is amiss. His ship is clearly in distress, it shaking so badly he can barely stand up straight. Red lights flash almost hypnotically at his lighting fixtures, clueing him in that his first officer found it necessary to issue a red alert.
“Captain Boiler to - “
“ON MY WAY!” Captain Boiler yells as he mashes his personal comm collar, that everyone on the ship carries around their neck to communicate.”
Seconds later, Captain Boiler emerges on the bridge and he immediately feels as though his eyes are betraying him. The bridge… looks like someone had tossed a handful of grenades onto it. Half the panels at the science section and life sciences were out. The view screen tied into the optical systems was shattered. Helmsman Sting lay slumped at the floor of the helm, Lt, Richie had taken his his place at the controls of the ship. Lt. Commander Viva took Lt. Richie's place at the science terminal. Lighting fixtures dangled loosely from the ceiling like wild, overgrown vines in a jungle.
“Captain on the Bridge!”
“As you were!” Captain Boiler barked out just in case anyway paused in the midst of this crisis to undergo formalities.
“Commander Midgar… WHAT DID YOU TO DO MY SHIP???”
Before Midgar could respond, a series of explosions rocked the ship. The internal security station blew up right in from of Lt. Ducks’ face… killing him instantly.
“We dropped out of the GPD an hour ago sir. I wanted to wake you as soon as we were right on top of the planet. As we entered the system, we realized not only was it in the Goldilocks's zone, but it was also earth like. Life sciences even detected Oxygen on its surface at lower elevations. Then all of a sudden… Communications Officer xJokerz got hit with a data burst that overloaded his system.”
“Data burst?” Captain Boiler said incredulously.
“Yes, something or someone down there tried to communicate with us by sending us a massive amount of data all at once. Only problem … our systems couldn't handle it, causing a cascading series of failures around the entire ship.”
“Sh|t!” Captain Boiler, yells, slamming his palms on the information panel before Ops. “What’s our status now?”
Wiping away at the blood that trickled down the center of his forehead, Commander Midgar took a deep sigh before continuing, “Inertial dampeners are down to 27%. We’ve also lost communication with Engineering, Medical, Security and to make matters worst… “
“Great… there’s a worst!” Captain Boiler woefully interjected.
Commander Midgar continuing where he left off, “Secondary propulsion is down, meaning we only have steering thrusters. Unfortunately sir we are already caught in the planet’s gravity well, so we are making a slow descent towards the surface. Undoubtedly we will begin to pick up speed in less than an hour. When Security came to the bridge, I sent Officers Eyeland and Meagl down to help re-establish communication with engineering.”
“Can the ship survive re-entry in its current state?” Captain Boiler asks.
“If the hull isn't’ compromised, no reason why we shouldn’t.”
“How about a landing?”
“Our vibrainium hull… again, as long as it isn’t already compromised, should be able to withstand an even slightly- controlled descent.”
“Just lost the helm!” Lt Richie yells out.
Captain Boiler and Commander Midgar looked at one one another in dismay.
“It can’t end like this! We've come too far!” Captain Boiler called out. “Midgar… activate the ER… have it personal go around the ship, and assist in the evacuation of the crew to life pods. The Leander … I’m afraid is toast.”
Commander Midgar rushed over to what was left of the security panel.. squinting at its damaged readouts. “It looks like the ER is already online sir.”
The ER, or “Emergency Robot” was an artificial humanoid officer whose job was to only assist the crew in times of extreme crisis, or if for whatever reason the communications collars everyone wore registered that everyone had been compromised one way on the other.
A sudden, massive jolt took everyone off their feet on the bridge, as the ship began an even quickened descent to the planet’s surface.
“That didn’t take long!” Midgar called over to the Captain.
Captain Boiler tapped the comm device on his collar, “THIS IS THE CAPTAIN… IF YOU CAN HEAR THIS, BRACE YOURSELVES FOR IMPACT… I REPEAT… BRACE YOURSELVES FOR IMPACT!”
With that, the USS Leander rapidly streaked downward to the planet below.
Post by ER Of Clan Sci-Fi on Jun 21, 2017 7:22:00 GMT -5
Chapter 1 Captain’s Quarters 2053
“Ship’s Log… Earth Time March 2053, 1800 hours. Captain Morkim reporting.”
(Captain Morkim pauses for a heavy sigh)
“I know I don’t enter in logs as much as I should, but one has to realize, there's not that much going on in this ship. So since it’s been a few weeks … (cough) months since my last log, allow me to try to give an update.
Since our initial mishap, the power surge during launch, we’ve never been been able to fully re-integrate the ship’s computer AI. Jerry’s still in there, she’s just not herself. I’ve had Science Officer Modo, and my XO Commander Juggs working on it. While they were able to bring her back from the ship’s main CPU core… she’s just not fully networked through the rest of the ship. This literally makes everything slower, from analysis, to engine engagement… you name it.
The ship itself… The Theseus, what can I say… it continues to be a masterpiece of engineering perfection. I read that this ship was already being built, halfway into the Leander’s main mission. They’ve managed to make significant improvements to the original design. Even though we are are regarded as the “sister” ship of the Leander, but The Theseus should be regarded as the Leander’s Big Brother, despite being younger. It’s 33% bigger, faster… as she deploys a fifth tetryon emitter, creating a more powerful micro-singularity when engaging the Gravimetric Pull Drive. And the drive itself… is so smooth… its engagement is so seamless, He||, I’ve got to look out the window just to see if we are in pull stream or not.
The crew? Finest crew I’ve ever served with… also the largest. Because of the uncertainty of what happened to the Leander, we added a small squad of Marines… the Bulldogs. They seen combat in hot zones all over the world. It’s a shame that we still have hot zones, after the last big war, but I guess 100 million people dying isn’t enough for people to put aside their differences. Juggs is a good first officer, scratch that, he’s an EXCELLENT first officer. He doesn’t pull any punches when delivering his opinion. Even going as far as reminding me of my sudden weight gain. We also have a Counselor on this ship… wasn’t a big deal at first. It’s become a big deal with him pestering me about how I feel about being the next ship out after my brother’s ship disappearance. Not to mention, bringing two of my brother’s kids along with me. Also his heavy british accent makes me feel like I’m being interrogated by Scotland Yard.
The Mission? It’s why I took the job. Retrace the steps of the Leander and reach Alpha Centauri.And if possible -”
A dual tone chime, alerted Captain Morkim has a visitor, break’s Captain Morkim out of the diatribe that was his ship’s log.
“Computer… save personal log”
[Feminine voice of computer - Jerry] Yes Captain Morkim, personal log saved. Will there be anything else?
The dual tone chime rings again.
Captain Morkim straightens his position in the chair, “Enter!”
The door slides on twin blades of air, Captain Morkim is not surprised by who steps into his room.
“Speak of the dev…” Captain Morkim says, letting the end of his conversation trail off.
“Excuse me sir” The Mate says as he stands before him at his table.
“Not important son… what can I do for you?”
“May I sit sir?”
“Do I really have a choice?”
Taking a seat at Captain Morkim’s table, The Mate smiles, “It is YOUR quarters Captain.”
“Don’t remind me, I may just remove the bell. Can I offer you a mint?”
Captain Morkim looks about his table, realizing with disappointment that his mints have disappeared.
“@#^@$^$@# Juggs! Sucker tossed my candy.” Captain Morkim relents, before returning his attention back to The Mate.
"How did I find myself today to be honored with this 1-on-1?”
The Mate leans back in his seat, crossing one leg over the knee, before resting his folded hands on top of them, “I just wanted to see how you were doing sir. We are only a few days away from our objective.”
The Mate makes sure to put the word “objective” in air quotes with his fingers.
Captain Morkim looks around the room, giving himself precious moments to stifle his impatience.
“A. Don’t get too comfortable in that chair… you won’t be staying long.“
“B. I will continue to ensure you that I am doing well.”
The Mate sits forward in his chair, hands on his thighs, “And I ensure you Captain… I’m just doing what I was asked to do here. Now if you’d like, I can -”
[Jerry] Captain Morkim, you are wanted on the bridge.
For the first time today, a smile comes across Captain Morkim’s face.
“Saved by the bell!” he says just under earshot of The Mate.
Rising to his feet swiftly, as you can see… or just heard, “I’ve been summoned… perhaps we can finish this at another time?”
“The door to MY office is always open Captain. Tomorrow? First thing?”
“I’ll check my schedule with the XO and get back to your Counselor.”
With that, the two exit the Captain’s Quarters together and enter the bridge.
“CAPTAIN ON THE BRIDGE!” Ship’s Security Officer Ron Borges says aloud.
Everyone stands to attention.
Captain Morkim stares back at his security officer, one eyebrow raised, “As you were were!”
As everyone returns to their duty The Mate take his time to making his way to elevator lifts, trying to eavesdrop on what was so pertinent occurring that the captain would be suddenly pulled away.
“Captain!” Lt. Commander Modo called. “I had Ron summon you, we’ve had some erroneous readings on our long range sensors.”
As Captain Morkim makes his way over to the science station, The Mate’s hesitancy is not overlooked by others.
“Something wrong with your step?” A voice mentions behind The Mate.
The Mate immediately turns around, ready to defend his action angrily to whomever… then instantly his rough bravado is shattered upon his finding. The individual inquiring about his gate in the ship’s Helmsman, Becks. Upon the realization of her presence, The Mate hastily continues his original path, almost stumbling his way into the elevator lift, departing the bridge altogether.
Laughter comes the Ops station, Lt. Commander Jester barely able to keep his composure, “He literally falls apart, the second you say anything to him.”
“I do seem to have that effect on him.” Becks replies as she makes her way back to her console.
“Little does he know that he doesn’t have a chance with you” Jester replies.
“Is that a fact?” she replies.
Jester’s face immediately straightens. “You can’t be serious, right? Seriously? The Mate? He’s a FREAKIN Counselor???”
“He’s also the second smartest person on this ship.” she pleasantly adds.
"Who's the smartest? Is it me? It's me right?" Jester digs.
As the two continue to go back and forth, Captain Morkim stands over Modo at the science station. Scanning over the Lt. Commander Modo’s station, his face frowns with confusion.
“Lt… I don’t see any erroneous readings here.”
“I know sir.. But when I saw The Mate enter your quarters, we knew you’d need bailing out.”
Captian Morkim gives Modo a fist pound, before turning to Ron Borges, “So that’s why I got OFFICIAL greeting when entering the bridge. I did away with that on our first week, so I guess it was all for The Mate’s benefit. Great save guys… I appreciate it. Btw, where’s the XO?"
One deck below, Juggs pulls himself off the padded floor of the Theseus’ makeshift gym / storage room. Sweat pours freely down his forehead, like he has an open faucet over top of him. Inside his mouth his tongue registers the bitter, metallic taste of blood mixed with saliva. The side of his right cheek is bruised, and his left arm is numb from the shoulder down. Besides that, he’s not having a bad day.
“Again Staff Sergeant!” he barks, readying himself into a defensive position.
Enigmar looked over to her squadmates, the ‘Bulldogs, for how she should proceed. She was clearly better than Commander Juggs, and didn’t want to harm him any further.
Master Sergeant Kimber locks eyes onto Enigmar, “You were given an order Staff Sergeant.”
Sgt. Enigmar shrugs her shoulder, quickly begins her approach to Commander Jugs on the palms of her feet.
Commander Juggs locks in on Sgt Enigmar’s feet, he knows if his vision is good enough, her footwork will … should betray her pending attack. Juggs bases all of this on how effective Enigmar is on her attack strategy. If she portrays her move, he should be able to successfully counter.
Part of Commander Juggs marvels at how graceful Sgt Enigmar closes the distance to him in three magnificent bounds… and that’s when he sees it.
“Gotcha! You arrogant, cocky, little - “
Indeed Commander sees what he thinks is the flaw in Enigmar’s attack. She switches the weight from the palms of back of her left foot, to the ball that same back foot. She launches herself skyward… left foot extended. Commander Juggs smirks as he seizes Sgt Enigmar’s foot out of the air. But his celebration is short lived, because it is at that moment when Juggs realizes… he saw exactly what Enigmar wanted him to see.
In an astonishing display of unbelievable athleticism, Sgt Enigmar does the unthinkable. Before the other half of her body can make its descent downward, Sgt. Enigmar brings her right foot around, catching Commander Juggs in the side of the head.
Commander Juggs’ face hits the mat for the tenth time, while Sgt. Enigmar somehow is able to land in a three point stance.
The rest of the Bulldogs clap in amazement.
“I taught her that move!” Pvt Jindred says to his Master Sergeant who just ignores him.
Sgt. Enigmar walks over to the prone Commander Juggs, her hand extended downward.
Out the corner of his eyes, Commander Juggs can see the gesture, but can’t will his arm upwards to accept it. Eventually, the others approach the commander from the side and assist him to his feet.
Still trying to shake himself free from the fog Enigmar’s kick placed him in, Commander Juggs finally gives in. “I’ve had enough today guys… trust me.”
Bringing a towel to his face, Commander Juggs inquires, “ And Sgt Enigmar is the team’s most junior member, I would hate to have had to deal with the best.”
“You’d be dead quick……... Sir.” added Sgt. Enigmar.
Sgt Kimber steps forward, “She’s the most junior in age… not in ranking sir. That privilege belongs to Pvt First Class Jindred. He’s been busted back so many times to Private he’s lucky to even have a rank at all.”
On cue Pvt. Jindred takes a bow.
Commander Juggs faces the team. “Nevertheless… I’m impressed. I’m going to have the rest of the ship practice with you guys cause you never know when having such an incredible skillset will come in handy. You guys are dismissed… I think I’ll be heading down the hall to see the good doctor. No doubt he will be happy to see what I’ve had done to myself.”
Post by ER Of Clan Sci-Fi on Jul 5, 2017 6:59:38 GMT -5
Chapter 2 Medical Bay 0700
Awaking on a medical bed, Commander Juggs desperately fights his way back into the land of the conscious, just to wakes up to Captain Morkim’s face standing over top of him.
“Sh@#$#@^%t Captain, you almost scared the life out of me!” Commander Juggs says as he scans the medical bay, grimacing when he sees Doc Eddie make his quick approach.
“Hurry up… play sleep!” Captain Morkim whispers to his Commander, but as Juggs try it… he’s already too late.
“I saw you move Commander, so faking sleep won’t help you.” Doc Eddie states.
Doc Eddie hovers over Commander Juggs, waiving a medical scanner of his head and chest.
“What’s going on Doc? I was on my way here, but I don’t recall… actually walking through the door.”
Shaking his head in disappointment, Doc Eddie chews into the Commander, sighing, “that’s because you didn’t walk through the door of the Medical Bay… you were carried through by me and Pvt. Lo. That’s right… you let that little girl give you a grade 3 concussion, which lead to your delayed loss of consciousness.”
“Doc… that little girl could come into this room and beat us all to death,” the Captain added.
Ignoring Captain Morkim’s addendum, Doc Eddie presses on, “She essentially knocked you out. You’ve been this way for the last thirty hours.”
Realizing he’s been out of it longer than he initially thought, Juggs sits straight up in his bed, “Why didn’t you revive me sooner, my duties to the ship - “
Waving his hand dismissively, “... and my first duty is the welfare of this ship’s personnel! Whatever healing your brain had to do, I figured it would go faster as long as you were under.”
Mildly defeated, Commander Juggs slinks horizontally back into the bed.
“What happens now?” Commander Juggs asks.
“Now?” Doc Eddie asks with a raised eyebrow. “It looks like you’ve fully healed, but there is someone I’d like to see.”
As Doc Eddie stares at a fixed point behind Commander Juggs. The Commander turns around, knowing who will be standing there.
“Commander!” The Mate says as joyously as a greeter of the new mall.”It;s so glad to see you up and around.”
Commander Juggs cuts a deep glance in the direction of the Captain. “You have your hand in this somehow!”
Barely keeping a straight look on his face, with a voice as innocent as a five-year-old, Captain Morkim replies, “Commander… I’m just want to make sure my first officer is -”
Captain Morkim has to break from his explanation, as the white light of the Med Bay, suddenly flickers with yellow brilliance.
Tapping his ship’s communicator, “Computer...who activated the Yellow Alert?”
[Computer] Sorry Captain, I cannot answer that at this time. Is there anything else?”
Ignoring the Ship’s inquiry, Captain Morkim seeks further results, “Bridge?”
“The yellow alert was triggered from Engineering sir.” Lt. Commander Modo replies, anticipating what Captain Morkim could be asking about.
Captain Morkim was almost out the door when he realized his first officer was already gathering his things.
“XO?” Captain Morkim was already about to give Commander Juggs an earful, then he skillfully pleaded his case.
“Let’s figure out what’s going on Captain first, then I’ll report back right away, scout’s honor sir.”
Captain Morking knew his first officer well enough that this wasn’t going to end swifty, so he just let it go, allowing him to tag along.
It took them less than a minute to reach Engineering. Once they entered, the look on Chief Engineer Pruss told him that something was amiss.
“Captain.” Chief Engineer Pruss says as he gives the Captain a head nod. He does the same thing for Commander Juggs, “Commander.”
“Why are we here Chief?“ inquires Captain Morkim
Chief Pruss looks down at the floor before returning his gaze to the Captain. “I wish I could say for certainty, but about fifteen minutes ago, Jerry went offline in engineering. I had no choice but to immediately bring the ship out of GPD sir.”
“Was this the same when it happened upon launch?” Captain Morkim inquired.
Before the Chief could answer, Commander Juggs was already shaking his head.
“No sir, during launch, Engineering was not heavily affected by Jerry’s initial loss. As you can imagine sir, to complete the Gravimetric Pull Drive full effectiveness, millions of calculations per second have to be computed. If Jerry was fully compromised in here on launch, we would undoubtedly been “spaghetti'd by the uncontrolled tidal forces of the micro-singularity.”
Looking over the controls, Commander Juggs places his hand to his chin. “Keep the drive offline until we can figure out what’s wrong with Jerry.”
“When we get back to the bridge, I will free up Modo so he can join you.” Commander Juggs says.
“Thank you sir.”
Captain Morkim and Commander Juggs leave Engineering, slowly making their way back to the bridge
“What do you think is going on?” Captain Morkim asks his first officer.
Commander Juggs rubs the back of his neck in frustration. “The optimistic part of me wants to believe that this isn’t the beginning of things going wrong now that we are in the Alpha Centauri system”
[Over Theseus’ Internal Comm] Captain Morkim… RETURN TO THE BRIDGE IMMEDIATELY!”
Captain Morkim looks over at his first officer, “How’s that optimism holding out?” Chapter 3 Theseus Bridge 0745
Captain Morkim and Commander Juggs emerged onto the Theseus bridge 00:32 seconds after they received the hail. A single bead of sweat rolled down the side of Captain Morkim’s temple, he quickly wiped it away before silently cursing Juggs for not being equally spent.
“REPORT!” Ordered Captain Morkim.
“Sir…” Lt. Commander Jester at Ops called out, “We are picking up a distress called sir… on Sol Channel 1 frequency.
“Distress call?” Captain Morkim inquires with an eagerness of a man who just discovered the news his wife is expecting.
His exuberance is not missed by his first officer. Commander Juggs watches as Captain Morkim seemingly floats his way over to the Ops console.
“Give me some good news Lieutenant!” Captain Morkim says, hovering over top of Jester anxiously like a cat awaiting a mouse to emerge from under the sofa.
“There’s no doubt about it Captain… it is definitely Sol channel, which means it has to be…”
“The Leander!” Captain Morkim finishes… as he stands fully straight up. “So it's true, my brother ship did indeed make it out here.
“Can we get an actual message in the transmission Jester?” Commander Juggas inquires.
“Negative sir … just a generic distress beacon, no message.” Lt. Commander Jester responds.
“Science?” Captain Morkim shouts out enthusiastically. “Anything on long range scans?”
When a reply isn’t quickly given, Commander Juggs looks over at Modo, puzzled at the face that his Lt. Commander is giving.
“Modo?” Commander Juggs and Captain Morkim call out in stereo.
“I’m getting strange readings … sir(s). At first, nothing was there. And just like that… when I re-initialize the scan… a planetary body appeared.”
“A planet?” Captain Morkim said incredulously. “There were no early reports of the Alpha Centauri system having any planetary bodies at all.”
“I agree Captain.” Lt. Commander Modo states, “Nevertheless sir, there it is.”
Captain Morkim circles the bridge before finally resting in his Captain’s chair. “Helm?”
“Yes sir?” Lt. Becks responds.
“Plot a course.”
“Course already laid in Captain.”
“Excellent. Engage at ¾ thrusters.”
“Engaged Captain, we should be in orbit of the planet in 30 minutes sir.”
Captain Morkim looks over to his first officer, “This is it Juggs… this is where we make history.”
“Let’s hope sir, because remember that optimism I early had?”
“I don’t have it anymore. Something isn’t right about this.”
“Well, it's’ not like - “
Captain Morkim’s retort is interrupted by Ops.
“Captain… we are receiving a data burst sir… it’s from the Leander!”
Captain Morkim rises to his feet as if catapulted. “Burst? Download and decode.”
“Captain?’ Commander Juggs shouts, gripping the arms of his chair tightly. “We should isolate the data into a backup server before we dump it.”
“I’m sorry sir… “ Jester reports, “I’ve already downloaded it. It wasn’t that huge of a file, just enough to…. enough to…wait… sir, Ops has just become unresponsive.”
Captain Morkim looks over at his first officer. Commander Juggs takes that as his cue to investigate the Ops station.
[Chief Pruss over the Theseus Comm] Engineering to the bridge, I’m getting a power surge coming to one of your stations.
Commander Juggs surges over with a speed he no longer knew he possessed, shoving Jester out of the way seconds before the Ops terminal explodes.
“What the @%#^ was that?” Captain Morkim yells out.
“CAPTAIN!” Becks yells out, banging her hands on the controls.. “Helm is not responding either… we’ve just engaged full thrusters.
Time seemed to slow for Captain Morkim, too many things were happening at once. He had just gone through a roller coaster of emotions, as he was on the brink of finding out what maybe happened to his brother vs actually living through what his brother went through.
“Captain?” Commander Juggs screams.
Tapping his communication relay, “Jerry?”
[Computer] Yes Captain.
“Transfer ALL bridge functions to Engineering!”
[Computer] I have no direct connection to that department sir, I’m sorry. Is there anything else?
“We were never able to reconnect the stations via Jerry.” Commander Juggs reminds the Captain.
“Bridge to Engineering.” Captain Morkim yells.
[Chief Pruss over the comm] Go ahead Bridge.
“Emergency transfer of ALL Bridge controls, starting with the Helm!”
[Comm] Aye sir
One by one, panels of each station fade out.
Captain Morkim looks around to his crew, “Everyone, evacuate to Engineering.”
00:30 seconds later, the Bridge crew emerges into Engineering. In the corner, a frustrated Pruss repeatedly slams his the palm of his right fist on a panel..
“SITREP!” Orders Captain Morkim orders right inside of the department.
“I’ve regained control of the helm, but it was already too late. We were already in descent to the planet’s surface at full thrusters when I went online.”
“Can’t you bring us back up?” Commander Juggs asked.
“Not at this speed, even with a vibranium hull, she’ll tear in two. Accept it…. we are going down, the best I can do is prevent us from going in like a missile.
Tapping his communicator, Captain Morkim makes a ship-wide announcement. “This is the Captain, brace yourself for impact!”
In the back of Captain Morkim’s mind, all he can think of is that this is what happened to his brother ship. While this might bring despair to some, part of him had a feeling that maybe, just maybe … he will see his brother again.
Post by ER Of Clan Sci-Fi on Jul 10, 2017 7:18:58 GMT -5
*Minor mess-up with Lo’s character, he’s supposed to be Jindred and vice-versa. I changed it up above, so it was Jindred being sill with Kimber watching Enigmar fight. You haven't met Lo .... yet. Sorry
Chapter 4 The Planet 0930 hours
For the second time in as many hours, Commander Juggs found himself waking up from the loss of unconsciousness. This time...he wasn’t alone. Half the crew was knocked out by the ship’s impact.
When Commander Juggs opened his eyes fully, he wasn’t surprised at whom he saw above him.
“Welcome back to the land of the living.” Captain Morkim greeted him with an open hand.
“You sure Doc Eddie will allow me to hop back up like this?”
“The good doctor’s got his hands full with the rest of the crew. There are minor injuries throughout. There are some severe scrapes here, minor contusions here, but nothing critical.”
Standing to his feet with the assistance of the Captain, Commander Juggs did his best to shake off his rust, staggering just a little after he stood fully erect.
“You okay?” Captain Morkim asked.
Placing his palms against his forehead, Commander Juggs relented, “Pretty sure I wasn’t fully recovered from Enigmar’s whupping… this crash surely isn’t helping matters.”
“I’d love to tell you to rest up, but -”
“But we are pretty much up a creek, without a paddle, and you need everybody up no matter their condition.”
“Where’s Chief Pruss?” Commander Juggs scanned engineering, which has now been half converted to a makeshift Med Bay. “I want to kiss him for the superb landing.”
“Then you will be getting me all worked up for nothing because the landing wasn’t me.” a voice boomed behind him shouted. Going over the ship’s systems with a diagnostic scanner, Chief Engineer Pruss face scowls over the results. “Earlier, while you were two were securing the rest of the stations, Becks ran over and shoved me out of the way. No doubt her advanced piloting skills is why we are on this side of the living.”
“Good work Becks… wherever you are!” Shouted Commander Juggs.
“Thanks, sir!” a voice came from the back, where Becks was being tended to by The Mate.
“She was thrown pretty hard against a bulkhead when we crashed. She’s got a knot on the side of her head the size of a golf ball… but she’ll live.” Captain Morkim states. “We all will live, that’s the most important part.”
“This planet… anyone know anything about this planet we are on?” Captain Morkim speaks aloud.
“I can’t give you much Captain,” Modo responds. “External life science is still not fully up, but I can tell you it's an earth-like environment, slightly lesser O2 count. But there are structures not too far from here?”
“Structures?” Commander Juggs perks up.
“Can’t get anything more than that sir. On our descent, it showed up on the scans. Even Becks was able to see them on our controlled crash.”
“Let me know if you find out more Lieutenant.” Commander Juggs says before turning back to Chief Pruss. “How’s the ship Chief?”
“Like I told the Captain a few minutes ago… not good.” Chief Pruss replies, rubbing the gray stubbing that is starting to come through his usually well-manicured face. “According to the sensors, that are actually working, we have multiple hull breaches throughout deck 1. Two of our solid fuel ignitors for the thrusters are damaged, and one of the tetryon emitters for the GPD is down. So even if we can get back into orbit… we have no way of traveling faster than light. At maximum thrust, which is 1/1,000,000,000th the speed of light, it would take us 10,000 years to reach home.”
“Chief… I want off this planet in less than a fortnight!” Commander Juggs says.
Chief Pruss eyes narrow into slits, “Commander, did you not hear what I just said?”
“I did… but I also know what you and this crew are capable of. I am counting on you… the Captain is counting on you… your crewmates are counting on you. I’ll make sure you get whatever help you need.”
Commander Juggs walks up to the control panel of Ops. “Jerry?”
[Computer] Yes Commander, how can I be of service?
“Activate the ER!”
[Computer] Yes Commander, the ER is in route to engineering.
Turning back to the Chief, “Have the ER start working on the hull breaches. I’ll have some of the Bulldogs meet it there, even it means releasing Pvt. Lo out of the brig.”
“You might one to belay those orders to the Bulldogs sir!” Security Chief Ron shouts out, staring intently into his monitor, his face scowled of disbelief.”
“Chief?” Commander Juggs turns to ask.
“I just got internal sensors back online… and if these's aren’t sensor ghosts, we’ve got multiple intruders on Deck 1!”
“Jerry!” Captain Morkim yells.
[Computer] Yes Captain, how can -
Interrupting the rest of the computer’s message, Captain Morkim cuts right to the chase, “Issue a RED ALERT, inform the rest of the ship we have intruders!”
Deck 1 was not a very fun place to be. That’s where the ship’s engine core was stored, taking up literally ⅔ of the deck. The remaining ⅓ was storage, a lifeboat… and the brig. The brig was not fully climate controlled. So to say it wasn’t kept an ideal temperature was being too kind. Nevertheless, that’s where Lo found himself.
Private First Class Lo was the best of the best. No one could deny him that. As skillful as he was with a pistol, his hand to hand combat skills was some of the best out of the Academy. And if you put a blade in his hand… he could cut you three times before you even knew it.
After World War III, there were decades of border skirmishes, as smaller countries tried to seize power from the remnants of the larger countries that lost. As the One World Government was trying to form, there were factions in Estonia who refused to fall in line. At first patients and negations was the rule… until they took hostages. So Lo’s team… Team Panther 6 were brought in. An hour later they were successful in extracting 6 out of the 7 hostages. The last hostage, a college student no older than her late teens… was executed right in front of Lo.
But that’s not what changed him. What changed him was that when he went to plant a bullet in the head of the militant who shot her, the guy pleaded for his life. It didn’t matter to Lo if he was sorry… he was going to die. Before Lo could take him out, he was stopped by one of his own… Explosives Specialist Petey. Petey went on and on about the rights of the prisoner, all the while disobeying a direct order to get out of the way. This distraction allowed the militant time to reach for his weapon. Lo saw this… but it was too late, well too late for Petey anyway. Lo went to shove Petey out of the way, the bullet caught him in the left sternum.
The militant himself died two seconds after that, but what of Petey? They were 5,000 miles from home, 200 miles from the carrier they launched from. Sure the med kit in the chopper helped with the bleeding, but by the time they got to the carrier Petey was gone.
Then came the blame game … and it fell on Lo’s lap. So when he got wind of this flight to Alpha Centauri… Lo jumped at it, seeing it as an opportunity to do something different. Two months on the ship, he found himself knocking Modo to the floor over a disagreement in the mess hall. A few months after that, he punched Juggs in the face for referencing what happened in Estonia. Lo saw it as a cheap shot. The Commander felt the same way about Lo’s punch.
So when the Red Alert sounded off, his dimly lit cell, became a kaleidoscope of red and white light. When he sat up on his bunk, he heard the lock’s to his cell disengage. In the doorway stood Master Sergeant Kimber, a pulse rifle slung over each shoulder.
“You ready to do what you do best?” she asked him.
A smile came over Lo’s face, the first smile he’s had in a long time. “Yes Ma’am!”
Post by ER Of Clan Sci-Fi on Jul 10, 2017 7:25:46 GMT -5
Chapter 5 Deck 1 1010 hours.
The hole near the lifeboats emergency exit doors was initially less than 2 meters high. Whatever had entered through that section pried opened up the vibranium hull to 3 meters.
“What could have done this?” Enigmar asked.
“More importantly…” Jindred began. “Whatever did this, where is at now?”
He would have to wait long to get his answer. Vertically… Deck 1 was the tallest deck, as it contained the lifeboats as well as the engine core. It was 10 meters high, the last meter being dark closest to the ceiling. That’s where “they” dropped down from.
The first figure fell from the ceiling amongst the debris it clung to almost between Jindred and Enigmar on one knee, it’s landing being so thunderous… both soldiers felt it throughout their entire body. As it stood, it towered over them both by a full meter. The being was humanoid-like, all white skin, with what appeared to be some sort of flesh colored body armor. With its height and girth, this being easily weighed close to 400 lbs.
Jindred went to take fire his weapon, only to have the being slap Jindred’s weapon out of his hand like he was a disobedient child being disciplined. The being then withdrew its own pistol-like device and blasted in Jindred’s direction. Jindred thanked the heavens he still possessed some of his incredible speed from his early years, as he sidestepped the blast just enough to feel the heat from its discharge sizzle his body vest. The errant blast struck cargo containers behind him, causing them to immediately erupt.
Even as Enigmar heard the heavy thuds behind her, signaling even more intruders, all she could focus on was the first giant being who was trying to get a bead on Jindred. Two shots to the giant’s back got his attention. Her blasts didn’t penetrate his armor, but it did cause him to turn around. These giant beings were heavily armored toe to the chest, but forever reason their heads were totally unprotected. Enigmar’s next shot… was not aimed at center mass. The giant’s head snapped back as if it someone was yanked from behind as Enigmar’s blast went through the being’s eye and out the back of its skull. The giant fell to the ground with the sound of bowling balls being tossed down stairs.
“D%#@$n you one bad lady!” Jindred said. ‘But you might want to turn around.”
Rapidly approaching from the rear were the other two giants, who thundered in their direction like rampaging buffalo. They fired their blasters repeatedly as they approached, denying Lo and Enigmar the opportunity to return fire.
As Enigmar backtracked, Jindred did the unthinkable.
“Are you insane?” Enigmar asked as she finally ducked behind the lifeboat.
“That’s what they tell me!” Jindred barely gets out on bated breath.
He’s within 2 meters, when the first giant tosses down his weapon, drawing back his fist for an assault. Jindred see’s the giant’s wind up, stamps down hard on a disk-shaped piece of metal from a the ceiling, which causes it to rise of in the air. Jindred plucks the metal out of the air just in time to use it as a shield against the punch of the giant. Even shielded, the punch sends Jindred 10 meters backward across the floor. Jindred is sure he felt something give in his left wrist upon impact, but that is a small sacrifice to the multiple snapping of bones he heard from his attacker’s side of the shield.
Jindred looked up, trying to shake himself from the daze of his impact and saw the giant down one knee, cuddling his disfigured right hand with his left like a lost puppy. The giant let out a bellow of pain, that reverberated throughout the entire compartment. It then gave Jindred a sinister stare that he felt all the way down into his very soul.
As the giant rose to its feet, the third marched past him. It too had put away its gun, it was going to make its attack on the two… personal. It withdrew from its back harness, a melee weapon that appeared to be between a hammer and a morningstar.
Enigmar tried to go for a headshot, but the giant wisely wielded the weapon it a way to absorb its blasts. Even when Enigmar narrowed the beam to tight focus’ of light, she could not get past his weapon. Any shots to his armor, did not signficant damage.
“Go make a break for it!” Jindred called out to Enigmar. “I’ll try to distract them.”
“Don’t get sentimental now … “ Enigmar says. “Besides, it doesn’t look like they will be letting you distract them. “
Enigmar was right, the one with the smashed hand was heading for Jindred, while the last broke off towards Enigmar.
When her giant’s methodical gate, turned into an all-out spring, Enigmar depressed a small button on the left breastplate of her body vest. “You’ve seen enough Ma’am?”
“I have indeed Sergeant, give me room,” a voice answered her back through her vest’s comm.
The doors that lead to the lifeboat area to the main hallway opened. When the two giants whirled around, they saw two figures standing the doorway, their features not fully apparent because of the dim-lit hallway at their back.
“KIMBER’S BULLDOGS!” Master Sergeant Kimber yells as she enters the room, rifle already in the ready and lays into a giant that was coming at Enigmar.
The giant allowed her body armor to absorb Kimber’s weapon’s fire. He was under the misguided belief that her weapon was a “rapid- repeater” version of Enigmar’s. He couldn’t have been more incorrect. Kimber was firing a Kinetic Neutrino Displacer, or K.N.D. Based partly off of their singularity drive engine, this weapon saturates an object with neutrinos, that after they reach critical mass create a micro black hole the size of a grain of sand. It only lasts for a few nanoseconds, but its effects are…
Before “it” happened, the giant felt himself become very heavy, before he felt nothing at all. A micro singularity appeared in the place of his armor, sucking him and part of the floorboard into it, before quickly vanishing.
That just left the last, one handed giant, who knew at this point, he was as good as dead, continued to close in on Jindred for his revenge kill.
Jindred backed his way against the far bulkhead until he finally stood erect, he withdrew his 8-inch blade, making a come hither gesture with his right hand, “Come get this!”
The giant closed the difference, now towering over Jindred, its’ one good hand raised high in the air…
A smoke grenade landed right between the two. When the powerful fist hit came doward, it struct the metallic floor where Jindred was standing. The giant spun around, squinting through the smoke, just in time to bare its final witness to a mastery of swordplay. When Kimber had begun her attack, Lo had already dropped his K.N.D. and was on the move stealthily towards Jindred. When he saw the giant make its final move, he knew the only way he’d save Jindred is to give him more time. His smoke grenade toss was perfection.
When the giant whirled to meet him, he was already on him… katana in hand.
Every half second the giant registered a new spark of pain to his exposed areas. Lo and Kimber both saw what Jindred and Enigmar had broadcast through their body cams. The giant’s armor wasn't going to give into Lo’s blade. His exposed skin at his head, neck, elbow-down areas? That was going to be different. In seconds, the giant was standing in a pool of its own blue blood, and it tried in failed desperation to block Lo’s attacks. But Lo was like a man possessed, moving like a precisioned blur, cutting … slashing… stabbing. Lo wasn’t hitting any vital organs, at least he assumed he wasn’t, but with every swipe, the blood pressure to those vital organs would lesson… and lesson even more over time.
The giant was on its knees in less than ten seconds. Blue bloodlines crisscrossed his exposed areas like a thousand miniature “x’s”
“Who are you?” Lo demanded, looking the knelt giant eye to eye.
If Lo was awaiting a response… he was going to be sadly disappointed. The giant just started blankly into his face.
Lo turned to face the approaching Kimber, “Ask the Captain if he wants to keep one of the things alive, I don’t think we will -”
Lo’s words are cut short, chills run down his spine as he’s seized by his neck, and the feeling of weightlessness fills his being as his feet leave the ground. The giant, who he had thought he had taken to the brink of death’s doorstep still had plenty of fight left in him. The rest of the Bulldogs made their move at once, but he was already feeling the sides of his neck being squeezed to beyond safe levels. As his world began to darken, he noticed the very same doors he had just entered, open again. Before the doors open all the way, he saw a muzzle flash come from the entrance. He felt its impact through the choking hand of the giant.
Immediately the pressure eased and he slowly was beginning to become himself again. As he looked upon the figure, this would be savior, it was none other than the ship’s ER. The ER… this Emergency Robot had fired a rivet gun, whose force was powerful enough to penetrate vibranium hulls in order to conduct repair. The giant’s armor might as well be paper mache.
The ER walked up to Lo, assisting him as stood. In a mechanical voice, devoid of all emotion, “Now that the fun is over… looks like we’ve got work to do, shall we?”
Post by ER Of Clan Sci-Fi on Jul 24, 2017 7:20:03 GMT -5
Chapter 6 Theseus Bridge 1300 hours
“Okay… so let’s hear the good news.” Captain Morkim asks both Chief Pruss and Lt. Jester.
“The good news Captain is… we have a chance.” Chief Pruss says optimistically.
“He’s right Captain,” a visibly optimistic Lt. Jester states to Captain Morkim.
In attendance to this meeting, is the entire ship’s accompaniment.
Earlier, as Jindred was receiving a steel rod inserted into his wrist, the rest of the Bulldogs helped the ER secure the hull breaches.
Captain Morkim, Lt. Modo, Helmsman Becks and Security Chief Ron got the Bridge back up and running.
Commander Juggs, Chief Pruss and Lt. Jester assisted with the repairs to engineering as well got an assessment of their needs in regards to the engine.
Doc Eddie and The Mate… they just continued doing all they could to secure the well being of the ship's crew physically, as well as mentally. It was The Mate of all people, who felt overrun. With the ship’s current predicament, he sees signs of severe stress amongst the entire crew, so much that under normal circumstances, he would order said individual...even the Captain to seek down time. “What they really needed was time off.” he thought.
It was like he was sitting around people dying of thirst and he had water… but couldn’t give it to them. But The Mate knew that there’s no way he could do anything to help the crew now, besides give moral support.
“Long range scans…” Jester pointed out a section of his Ops panel, which then illuminated into a 3D rendering before everyone. “... have determined there are at least a half dozen wrecked ships within a 3-kilometer radius of ours. One of those ships has been confirmed to be the Leander. “
A muffled gasp goes throughout the entire bridge. Up until now, even with the early broadcast that was deemed from the Leander, it was uncertain if the ship was actually present in the system, yet alone the planet. This confirmation brings that them much closer to solving a mystery, as well as perhaps what has happened to them.
“She looks pretty banged up,” Becks says. “What are we hoping to find?”
“Survivors? Ship’s logs? But what we really need from the Leander are its Carbon Dioxide scrubbers and one of its tetryon emitters… assumedly they survived the crash.
“What about the beings who attacked us? What if there are more of them out there? If they came across the survivors of The Leander, without any sort of soldiers.…
“My brother is soldier Chief!” Captain Morkim immediately protests, standing proudly from his seat. “Don’t forget he fought in WWIII. If those pale-skin baztards came at his crew, I have no doubt he sent them scurrying back the way they came.”
“I briefly studied the corpses of those giants who attacked us earlier.” Doc Eddie interjected. “From what I was able to discern was that they had an elevated O2 count in their blood, vs what they lungs were able to produce naturally.”
“What are you saying Doc?” Commander Juggs asks.
“I’m saying that they’ve been engineered … altered to combat this planet’s atmosphere. Which means they probably not from this planet, but been here long enough to have had to make these alterations.”
“We need these parts folks.” Chief Pruss adds back in. “The scrubbers are easy.. Cause they only weigh about 50 kgs each. The tetryon emitter...
Chief Pruss takes a moment to sigh, clearing the lump out of his throat.
“Those tetryon emitters weigh about 350 kilograms.”
“ Chief?” Modo interrupts. “We are expected to carry something that almost weighs 400 kilograms pounds… a couple kilometers with potentials hostiles running around?”
“No Lieutenant. After disassembly from the ship, you will only have to carry it about 100 meters. The Bulldogs have a small Rover, that holds 6 people. It will be stripped down of its armaments…
“Where have the Bulldogs been hiding a Rover at?” asks Becks.
“It’s been broken down into three parts in the storage compartment. It takes no time at all to re-assemble.”
“Excuse me Chief?” Kimber speaks up, shaking her head in disgust. “Wait a minute, there’s a reason why those Rovers are armed they way they are. Fully stocked, that thing is a mobile disaster awaiting any threat that we could come across. I would think it’s obvious we’ve got a problem on this planet.”
“Me and Jester studied the schematics of your Rover. We get it. When behind the wheel you are moving platform of bad azzery. But only way that emitter is fitting… is if you gut that bad boy of its primary weapons.”
“You heard the Chief, Master Sergeant.” Captain Morkim says. “We are going to do this by the book. We are going to split you guys into two teams..”
“Team 1 will be you Kimber, Jindred, Becks and the ER. You will go after the emitter”
“Team 2 will be Lo, The Mate, Enigmar and Chief Ron. They will separate from you once you get to the ship to get the scrubbers. “
“The rest of us will remain on the ship, finishing up on the remainder of the repairs. Gear up ladies and gents, you disembark in 30!”
Post by ER Of Clan Sci-Fi on Jul 24, 2017 7:22:52 GMT -5
Chapter 7 1400 hours Planet’s surface
“Everything was fine...till it was not.”
Eventually, that would be the opening entity to a future entry of Captain Morkim's ship’s log.
Team 2 followed closely behind Team 1 who drove the Bulldog’s Rover. The Rover may not have had its original armaments, but it was still an amazing piece of machinery. It was a compact version based roughly off of the US Army’s Armored Personnel Carrier from the early 20th’s century One-third of the way in the Rover, was a swiveled junction, which allowed the Rover to take turns at high speed. Its wheels were 75 cm in diameter, sitting on a futuristic, studded polymer tire, which made them virtually indestructible.
Sgt Kimber drove the Rover, with the ER riding shotgun. The ER’s visual acuity made it the perfect early-warning system. Behind them, sat Jindred and Becks. Becks was armed with an energy pistol, while Jindred was armed with a sniper rifle that he had anchored onto the passenger-side door exterior. Missing was the Rover’s primary weapon. It was a large gun bolted right in the center of vehicle’s passenger bay, which rose right above the roof line. It was a high capacity rail launcher, which fired depleted uranium shells at twice the speed of sound. Very few things of equal size could stand in its way.
Behind them, walking at a very fast pace to keep up with the Rover, was Team 2. Lt. Lo, Lt Enigmar, The Mate and Chief Ron.
The two non-military members of the team carried pistols, while Lt.’s Enigmar and Lo sported standard issue assault rifles. Everybody was equipped with a light vest armor, with a matching helmet that could withstand moderate damage.
After almost an hour of driving, they reached the top of a large hill. Giving their initial survey, they knew that on the bottom of said hill, the Leander should be waiting for them.
“There she is!” Becks called out, pointing at the glistening, white remnant of the Leander.
Blocking out the sun with his right hand, The Mate still has to squint his eyes to clearly distinguish the Leander from the bright landscape.
“She looks almost perfectly intact!” The Mate says.
“Can’t really tell from this far out,” says Chief Ron. “We are a better, newer ship, and under a controlled descent… we ended up with multiple hull breaches. I’ve got a feeling we are going to find on closer inspection that the Leander will have some serious concerns.
Sgt. Kimber, who had been having a conversation with the ER noticed when the robot suddenly quiet.
“ER?” Kimber, with a slight tad of apprehension asked.
“One moment please Sgt,” the ER responds before ocular housing zoomed in on objects coming their way from a couple hundred meters away.
Lo picked up on the same thing, without the aid of his scope, it appeared as though a shadow was sweeping across the valley in their direction. When he looked through his scope…. Lo almost gasped.
“That shadow coming… it isn’t a shadow, it’s actually –“
“- quad-pedal beings, just under two meters high, they are moving at about 40 km/s an hour, from a 45-degree angle adjacent to our own.” the ER interrupts, finishing up Lo’s assessment. We need to make a break for the Leander… now!”
Sgt. Kimber taps her comm, opening up a channel to Team Two. “Guys… we have incoming approaching at a high rate of speed. Initiate defensive pattern Charlie”
In moments, Jindred hops out of the Rover, while the rest of the noncombatants squeeze in. Chief Ron man’s the scope that was occupied by Jindred, while the rest of the Bulldogs secure themselves to the outside of the Rover by foot pegs and handrails. The initial terrain getting here would have been too bumpy while traveling at a high rate of speed to attempt this, but with incoming…
“100 meters!” the ER updated.
“This is going to be close,” Becks nervously adds.
“At 50…” Kimber yells, “Engage!”
Chief Ron looks out from the back passenger side of the Rover, his hand squeezing tight on the sniper rifle situated in the ready. As the horde swiftly approaches, he feels the slightest sense of what best could be anxiety. He has not seen combat since the latter months of WWIII.
What the Chief does see is the determined grit of the Bulldogs before him. Each soldier appears totally unfazed by what stands before them.
Becks and The Mate share the rest of the rear passenger compartment of the Rover. When Becks eventually pulls the trigger of her pistol, it will be the first time she’s fired a weapon since the Academy. To say she was looking forward to this… was an understatement. Her skill set as a pilot made her a natural at the helm. But what Becks often yearned for was to throw aside the ship’s controls and take on Sgt Kimber herself in a training session.
The Mate on the other hand...has never fired a weapon before… ever. He lacks Beck's desire for combat.
“If I wanted to fight, I wouldn’t of studied psychology!” the Mate told Jindred earlier as he assisted Doc Eddie repair his wrist.
The Mate rubbed his palms repeatedly against the pants of his uniform to combat their wetness. The Mate did this, not out of fear, but out of pure uncertainty. He had no desire to die today, or anytime soon. But as The Mate looked over his comrades, he knew if this is his last day… he would die amongst good company.
“Now!” Sgt. Kimber yells.
A combination of single shot and repeated weapons fire makes the valley scream to life. Scores of the approaching horde fall by the dozens, before the overwhelming onslaught of the Theseus crew. Only problem is… the creatures continue to come forth.
When they got to be 25 meters out, Lo’s stomach tightened as he was the first non-android of his crew to put together a solid look at their rapidly approaching foe.
Unlike the giants from an hour ago that were all white, these beasts that ran along all fours were all black from head to toe. Their heads looked like elongated footballs, while their phalanges were tipped with 5 centimeters claws that could rip a man asunder in seconds. The things had a sspinytail, that waved side-to-side on its approach.
“10 meters…” the ER alerted.
“Bulldogs...!” Sgt Kimber yelled out. “Engage the threat!”
A small dust cloud arose around the Bulldogs, as on Kimber’s command, Lo, Jindred and Enigmar leapt from their sides of the Rover,c oming to a tucked, rolling stop one knee. Kimber was the last to jump out, before nodding to Becks to take the wheel. The ER disembarked as well, leaving The Mate to ride shotgun.
Kimber joined the others, mowing down as many of the creatures as possible. But despite their numbers rapidly decreasing, they were still rolling down the hill in packs of dozens.
When the creatures got within 5 meters, the Bulldogs in the front threw down their pistols in unison. They each withdrew their custom melee weapons before Kimber gave the next order.
“Attack pattern Omega!” Sgt. Kimber yells.
With the order given, each member of the Bulldogs got into a wide-hip fighting stance
Sgt Kimber looks back to the Rover, “Becks, proceed to the Leander… at maximum speed. With them drawn in so tightly, they won’t be able to cut you off.”
Becks leans out of the passenger side window, “But you’ll be killed, there are too many of those things.”
“Don’t write us off so easily Becks, we’ve been in tight jams before.”
“I could just run them over and - “
“With this many, all it takes is for a few to get lodged up in the transaxle… and you guys would be gonners. We’ll continue to draw these creatures attention.”
“Knowing this wasn’t a fight she was going to win, Becks slams the Rover into full speed, sending its occupants careening into the backs of their seats. About 1/10 of the approaching wave make a move for the Rover, but the aren’t fast enough to head it off.
Sgt Kimber then looks over to Sgt Enigmar, “Now Sergeant!””
Enigmar quickly retrieves a black sphere from her vest, which was no bigger than golf ball. Immediately she slams it into the ground, which blankets the entire area into a smoke filled-darkness. Sight is cut off from everyone in the area ... everyone except the Bulldogs. They knew the drill and they knew what was coming next. So when Enigmar dropped the ball, they had already switched to night vision ocular piece, that flipped down from their helmets.
The creatures all slowed up as they met the front black gas, as if it was something tangible that could harm them. The gas was not, but what the gas contained something that could and did.
The first creature that pierced the dark cloud was itself pierced by one of Lo’s Katana’s, that he drove hilt deep into it breastbone. The creature died before it had a chance to scream, it’s body falling to the ground with a dull thud, which goes unheard amongst the surrounding mayhem.
Two creatures had entered the cloud wildly, allowing Enigmar to lop off their heads effortlessly. Her longsword gets stuck in the side of a third creature. Before she can fully withdraw her sword, Enigmar is surrounded. The next closest creature had managed to approach her from behind, still not being able to fully see her, but knowing that something is there that doesn’t smell the same. It opens up its hideous maw, exposing several rows rows of dagger-like teeth.
Just before the creature is about to potentially finish off an unsuspecting Enigmar, the broadsword of Jester pierces through the back of the creature’s skull, stopping mere centimeters from Enigmar’s helmet.
While the rest of her team were getting knee deep in creature gore, Sgt Kimber unshouldered her K.N. D., while scanning through the rapidly clearly smoke for her perfect target.
“There you are!” Sgt Kimber says with a smile as she squints through the scope at her target.
With a volley of a dozen quick shots, Kimber concentrates fire at a huge bolder 25 meters inside the creature’s attack wave. In seconds the boulder begins to glow, before it collapses in on itself, but not before taking every creature with it within a ten meter radius.
“Follow up the Rover!” Kimber yells, as the creatures attempt to flank the Bulldogs.
As the creatures have to adjust their angle, they no longer have the ability to attack in a wide arc, instead they have to come at a more narrow approach. This allows the Bulldogs to keep them at bay. Every time Enigmar or Lo stumbles, Jindred or Kimber steps in just before the creatures can finish them.
As for the ER, the creatures don’t know what to make of him, as his dense, poly-alloy frame methodically tears through the vitals of every creature he lays his hands on. Ten creatures in, the ER is so covered in guts and blue gore, he’s almost unrecognizable.
Back at the Rover, Becks’ eyes become wide as saucers, as side of the Leander becomes to take up the entire view of the Rover’s windshield.
“Does anyone know how we get in here?” she asks.
“I think the ER does.” Chief Ron states optimistically. “I think!”
The last part he adds less optimistically.
As they pull along side of the ship, it is apparent that the Leander has indeed suffered tremendous damage to its outer hull. There is a small door hatch, that looks intact a few meters away.
“C’MON!” The Mate yells at the retreating Bulldogs.”
“Get inside!” Sgt. Kimber yells.
“We wouldn’t be standing out there is we could!” Chief Ron barks back.
A blue streak runs past the Bulldogs, arriving at the door next to Chief Ron.
A gore covered ER, looks up and down at the door, before applying his palms against its right side. The machine tries with all his might, but as much as the door creaks under the robot’s pressure, it does not bulge.
If The Mate listened intently enough, he would swear he could hear the ER lightly repeat profanities to itself.
The Bulldogs continued to back their way towards them, only 25 meters now. It was clear to everyone that they were starting to slow down. One failed surge defense, and the creatures would be on top of them.
Jindred looked over his shoulder, pained desperation on his face. “We can’t keep this up forever…”
The Bulldogs had retreated as far back as they could, bringing them almost on top of the rest of the crew at the door hatch.
Sweat running down her forehead in streams, Kimber said to the Bulldogs, “Cover me while I jump back in the Rover. I’m going to ram 4 metric tons of steel down those beasts throats. And when I do… you guys try to find another entrance on the other side of the Leader. I bet there has to be -”
A loud “pop” goes off from above them on the dorsal side of the Leander, causing everyone, including the creatures to look up. This object, which appears to be some sort of flare arcs skyward in the direction of the creatures.
Lo studies the object as it makes its arc, until he finally recalls what it is.
“COVER YOU EYES!” he shouts before the flare bursts into a magnificent array of magnesium showers that are so bright, they would of easily burned the retinas of anyone who made the mistake of locking in on a stare.
The creatures, for obvious reasons did not heed Lo’s warning. When the burst when off they all squealed horifically in unison, as whatever they use as eyes were equally damaged by the flare’s brilliance.
The ER, who was still pressing at the door, began to hear mechanisms engaging on the other side of the door. Before he could stand back, a cloaked - hoodied figure appeared, brushing past as if he wasn’t even there. Despite the hood, the ER was able to see the man sporting a thick, grey beard that took up almost ⅔ of the man’s face.
Continuing to ignore all those around them, the man withdrew a gun that couldn’t of looked more alien, than if it can out of the pages of a comic book. It was metallic blue, with an over-sized grip, which made it appear as though the hands needed to wield it were at least twice that of a normal man. The further from the trigger the gun went, the larger it got, leading to a firing aperture the size of a watermelon. The cloaked figure seemed to stiffen his posture, before pointing and firing the weapon, who’s kickback nearly took him off his feet.
Every creature within 50 meters of the guns blastwave were incinerated. Those who were just outside the blast wave, wish they weren’t. There were so burned and distorted that death would of been a better gift to them. The remaining creatures took that as their sign to be somewhere else and ran off.
The figure stood there for a moment, studying his handywork, before tossing the weapon to the ground. He quickly turned back towards the open door hatch to the ship, without ever acknowledging the presence of anyone from the Theseus.
When the figure retreated back inside, the crew of the Theseus looked about one another before following him inside.
As bright as it was outside, the ship inside was dark. Every few seconds, grounds of pain could be heard, as someone would walk into a wall, a door frame or into one another. Eventually there quickly remembered about their night vision optics, as they followed the figure further into the bowels of the ship. Finally from down the hall, they saw the figure duck into a room that was moderately lit.
As everyone piled into the room, which only had one light jury-rigged to hang from the ceiling, Chief Ron asked the figure what was on everyone else’s mind.
“We appreciate the rescue… but who are you?”
As the figure slowly walked into the pathway of the light, he began to disrobe his layers of attire, until only his hoodie remained. Finally, he pulled back the hoodie, letting a dry, rattled voice, that reverberated from vocal cords that sounded like they haven’t been used in months… if not years, “ FIGMENTS… I KNOW YOU TO BE FIGMENTS OF MY IMAGINATION! FIGMENTS… I …. ask the question on MY GOT-@$%@% ship!”
“YOUR ship?” Enigmar gasped shockingly, as she immediately goes to close in on the figure.
That’s when the ER, which had finally removing the rest of the creature’s gore from his face… stepped into the light. Upon seeing the ER’s face, the grey-bearded man’s face began ashen, as he seemingly pulled a pistol out of nowhere and fired it directly towards the ER’s face.
Post by ER Of Clan Sci-Fi on Jul 31, 2017 6:37:10 GMT -5
Chapter 8 Planet’s surface 1600 hours
“Mosnter….MMMMMMMMMMMMOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNSSSSSSSSSSTTTTTTTTTTEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRRRR!” the man yells as it took The Mate, Chief Ron and Lo to hold him still.
The man’s blast was aimed perfectly, it was just that the reflexes of the ER were better. It dodged the shot, just before it took off its head.
“CAPTAIN EDWARD BOILER!” yells Kimber at the top of her lungs.
This phrase… this name finally got the man to settle down, slightly.
“Figments… NONE of you are really here. You are just in my head,” the man said as continuously slammed the palms of hands against the sides of his skull.
As Kimber went to grab the man, Enigmar stepped in front of her, removing her helmet.
“Look into my eyes… look in her eyes [referring to Sergeant Kimber] … look into our eyes...what do you see sir?”
Enigmar’s words triggered something inside the man, almost like a switch went off and the world he knew was all of a sudden more clear. He looked at Enigmar, touching the right side of her wet cheek, before doing the same to Kimber.
“Girls… MY girls… it can’t be… you are here? My girls are all grown, and you’ve come all this way to find me?”
Kimber rushes over alongside Enigmar and they both hug their father with an affectionate tightness that only can be displayed between a daughter and father.
“Whoa!” Becks said shockingly, turning to Chief Ron. “Did you know that they were his daughters?”
“Of course I did!” Chief Ron lies.
“I knew.” The Mate said. “It was one of those things that was hiding right in plain sight. Once I went over the bio’s of the Bulldogs, it was right out there in the open. After their Leander’s disappearance, Sgt Kimber went right into the armed services. Her sister Enigmar did the same thing. They both stated openly their reason to do was to one day get the chance to look for them. Once Captain Morkim was awarded the command of the Theseus, he made sure his nieces were going to be on this flight.”
“How about this…” Chief Ron points out. “While they have their family reunion, how about you two go and dismantle the CO2 scrubbers. According to the ER, they will be exactly where the Theseus stores ours. I’ll go get the ER and the rest of the Bulldogs to get the emitter.”
When Captain Boiler breaks hugs, from his daughter he immediately cuts a prolonged stare at the ER.
“Have I done something to offend you, sir?”
Ignoring his question directly, Captain Boiler turns back towards the Bulldogs.
“When we arrived on the planet, we were pretty banged up… but alive. That’s when this thing, the Leander’s E-R turned on us!”
“Turned on you?” Private Lo asked.
“There was nothing in your distress call about the ER.” Jindred added.
“WE NEVER SENT OUT A DISTRESS CALL!!!” Captain Morkim barks out, slamming his fists on the table before him.
“At first, ALL sections of the ship were reporting in. We had all survived. Our ER was supposed to go around and help the survivors. But when the order was given to bring it online, it was discovered someone or thing… had already done so. That’s when the screams started. Commander Midgar found the bodies of xJokers and Ducks. It was like they had been bludgeoned with a blunt object. Minute by minute, I was losing members of my crew. You want to know how it feels to survive a horrific crash, only to die by the hands of your own? By the time we got some weapons in our hands, we saw as the ER dragged XJ over the top of the hill.”
“What about Commander Midgar?” Asked Enigmar. “Did he or any of the others survive?”
“I….” Captain Boiler starts, before taking his palm to his temple. “They… every few months, one by one they’d start disappearing. One day I awoke, and it was only me and Midgar left. The next day… he was gone.”
Chief Ron places a hand on Captain Morkin, “Sir… we’ll get you back to your brother’s ship -”
“Brother’s ship?” Captain Boiler responds surprised. “That son of a…. he rose through the ranks to become a Captain? I guess my disappearance motivated a lot of folks back home.”
“Indeed sir, but before we go to the Theseus… we need some parts from your ship to get off this rock. We need to remove one of your tetryon emitters. With your help, we should be able to get it uninstalled in no time.”
********** In what remained of the bowels of the ship, Lt. Becks and The Mate walked hesitantly among the debris piled about the floor of the section. Without a light, they had both switched back to their night-vision optic, which allowed them to safely navigate their way to this part of this ship.
“There is it.” Becks states, as they approach a vertical support, extending two meters from the bulkhead. “Let’s hope they are still intact.”
“Great!” The Mate responds. “Let’s get them and get out of here. This place gives me the creeps.”
“Wait… what?” Becks replies curiously.
“You see anyone else alive? More than likely his crew died on impact… meaning they died in here!”
“We don’t know how or where they died. For all we know, they could've made it, only for the white giants to grab them.”
“Well, that doesn’t make me feel any better.”
A loud, metallic chime comes from down the hall as if someone has taken a wrench to the side of walls to the corridor.
“What was that?” asks the Mate.
“Probably one of the others… to see if we need any help.”
Becks turns towards down the hall, “Hello? Lo? Enigmar? Chief?”
When no one responds, The Mate withdraws his pistol. When they hear the sound again… Becks does the same.
From their vantage point, they can see a beam of light approach their corridor from the adjacent hallway. When the light turns in their direction, being held by someone - “
“Stop right there!” Becks yells, her pistol aimed at the ready. “Who are you?”
“Whoa… there you guys are! I was wondering where you went to.” the unidentified figure responds.
“Are you one of the Leander’s crew?” Becks asks, as she disengages her night vision optic.
“Leander crew?” the figure responds skeptically. “Yes… yes… of course. I’m Lt. Commander XJ. Captain sent me here to give you a hand.”
Just as Becks and the Mate start to let their guard down, the figure calling itself XJ shown the light in The Mate’s eyes. The one optic, with night-vision, still enabled went all white, causing The Mate to bring both hands to his eyes. When Becks instinctively turned to The Mate, the figure made its move.
With a punch to the side of the face, followed by an elbow to the temple with the same punch, Becks was knocked unconscious. When The Mate whirled to meet their attacker, two wild swings met little resistance… their foe was too fast. It would take The Mate 30 minutes to regain consciousness from the rain of blows that followed. It only took the first 5 blows to lose consciousness, the other dozen... seemed to be out of plain contempt.
When The Mate would awaken to the sound of Chief Ron calling out to him… the Becks was gone.