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Thread: UNITI TALES : First Responder

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    SFM Obsessed Dannage's Avatar
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    May 06
    Essex, UK

    UNITI TALES : First Responder

    Hi, this is a very short story which is part of a world building project I'm doing, the modelling part of which is months or years behind the writing of bits. I don't know that you'll enjoy it but as this section seems empty, it can't be worse than any of the other stories here.

    For more details on the UNITI Project, you can check out:



    The door slid open as the Captain bustled onto the bridge, her jacket hanging open as she did so. "Report" she barked.

    Her first Officer, Lieutenant Commander Richards, stood over the operations console, looking as if someone had just shot him. "Information still coming in, but from what we can see something happened with the C Gate. Half the scopes got fried in a huge EM burst, we're resetting and recalibrating now. It will be another ten minutes before we get our eyes open properly."

    "Are we under attack?"

    Richards shook his head. "I don't think we're under direct threat, but someone could have attacked the gate and that could be a prelude to something bigger. I say we keep Red Alert status for now Captain."

    She nodded her head and looked at the information on the console. "Have security issue sidearms, just in case." She took a moment to button the jacket up and regain some composure. "Nirelli," she looked over at a Dovak sitting at another console, "could we be looking at a malfunction in the C tunnel?"

    The Dovak looked momentarily offended, as if she had just suggested this was his fault, but quickly composed himself. "There have not been any reports of malfunctions in over two hundred and fifty years of use Captain. Even lacklustre engineering shouldn't be able to cause that large an energy discharge." She could almost feel his biting back the urge to label it lacklustre human engineering.

    She paced over to the command chair and sat down. She set her chair panel to show times needed to reach the gate. They were still a good forty minutes away and there was nothing to do but wait.

    Two alerts sounded almost simultaneously. "Commander?"

    "Sensors just picked up a large object heading toward us at nearly two C. We've also received a ... an emergency planetwide distress call from Nova 2!"

    "Divert power to forward shields, and ready beam weapons. No chance of missile strikes at that speed. Is the object on a direct course?"

    "Almost but not quite, it looks like it's moving directly away from the gate. Data incoming.... It's a ship. But... It's a civilian ship... Its engines are hot, it's... it's trying to slow down."

    "Open a comm channel."

    An officer waved his finger, indicating the channel was open.

    "Unidentified ship, this is Captain Melanie Uhmposa of the Commonwealth Starship Axiom. State condition and intent immediately."

    A few seconds later, a strained voice sounded through the bridge, over the sound of engines, metal stresses and what sounded like fires. "Help us, we have to slow down!"

    Captain Uhmposa waited another second to see if any more came through. She looked at Richards, "Get me my eyes back," she said softly. "Civilian ship, I repeat state condition and intent."

    A shorter pause this time as the two ships hurled toward each other. "You have to help us, something went wrong in the gate." The voice oozed desperation.

    Uhmposa's brow furrowed. She called up the Gate schedule on her terminal and tapped in a few calculations. In the meantime, more talk. "Get it together Captain, if you require assistance we need a status report in good order. The Gate was due to deploy around about now, you are to far from it and going too fast."

    The voice came back almost immediately "I'm not the Captain, Captain's dead or injured. I'm the watch officer. Something happened with the gate, the field... Collapsed... We got ejected early or something, I don't know. All I know is we're burning up all our fuel trying to slow down before we fly out of the system. You have to help us!"

    She looked at the Dovak officer. "Never mind thinking about your tunnels, is there anything we can do to slow that thing down?"

    "If they pass close enough I can try a burst of the tractor beam, but if they're lucky that will just give them the slightest nudge before they are past us. I recommend sending some drones to follow them and report their position when they come to a rest, so they can get rescued."

    Uhmposa nodded. "Do both, launch the drones immediately."

    "Watch Officer, this is Axiom. We won't be able to do much before you pass us, we will send drones to track you and keep your position reported. Keep on your thrusters and transmit your ship logs and sensor data."

    There was no response, but the crew felt a little tug as the ships passed and briefly snagged each other. Not much more they could do there. Now onto the second order of business. She looked at Richards, who had turned even whiter. He seemed lost for words, which was unlike him.

    The Captain got up and walked over to the console to read the distress transcript and then understood why her first officer looked mortified.

    "Helm. Change course, set for the Planet, best speed."

    "Where are my sensors?" she said loudly to the bridge.

    An officer tapped a board furiously, "Short range sensors online. Medium range about 30 seconds."

    Uhmposa walked over to the communications station and muttered "ship-wide" at the officer.

    "All hands, this is the Captain. Though details are as yet unknown, it is apparent that some incident has befallen the inhabitants of Nova 2. We are en route to lend assistance. Please prepare for evacuation procedures and rescue operations. This is not a drill."

    She indicated to cut the announcement and put a reassuring hand on her first officers shoulder. "What other military ships are in the area?" she asked.

    Richards tapped a request into the board. "The Carpathia and the Tamzine are in system and the Nineveh is due to arrive here in four days, but if they pick up the distress call, they could get here tomorrow. Between us we can probably evacuate about 4000 at a time."

    Uhmposa returned to her command chair. "Send a message to Nova 2, advise CSS Axiom making best speed to lend assistance, ETA in orbit 25 minutes. Richards, go down to the shuttle bay and co-ordinate preparations. I want all the shuttles emptied of non essential gear, make as much room for passengers as possible. We may find civilian traffic attempting to leave the system, make sure the pilots are ready for close manoeuvres."

    Richards nodded and left the bridge, as the operations officer reported. "Medium range sensors on line."

    Uhmposa beckoned towards the main screen. "Let's see what we're dealing with."

    A silence descended over the bridge as the main viewer turned from a nightscape to almost filled with a planet. People who looked at it didn't look away. Where there was supposed to be a verdant planet with silvery blue oceans and rolling green hills, the planet appeared black, occasional arcs of lightning arcing through what eventually became clearer as clouds, filling the atmosphere.

    "What in the name of god are we looking at?" Uhmposa breathed.

    The operations officer stammered.

    Nirelli spoke up, checking back at his console. "The atmosphere has been partially ignited. Sensor readings are hard to correlate, but there does look to be a trail leading into the surrounding space, aimed back toward the gate... Or at least... Where the gate is supposed to be."

    "Clarify" Uhmposa insisted.

    "The Gate no longer appears to be intact. From what I can tell, it's in three pieces, which add up to around fourteen percent of the mass that the gate should be, meaning the rest has been completely obliterated into dust. It would appear that something came from the gate and hit the planet."

    "A weapon?"

    There was a short pause. "Captain, given the evidence these scans are bringing in, and the ship that recently passed us, I have a hypothesis. It would appear that something unprecedented caused the gate to shatter. I would surmise that the ships in the tunnel were thrown from the gate, in a relatively narrow ejection cone. However, the ships were ejected without having been properly decelerated through the tunnel exit process."

    "Explaining why a ship was hurtling past us at twice the speed of light?" Uhmposa offered.

    "Yes. I believe, however, that some other ships were not nearly as fortuitous and instead were thrown into the path of the planet. With no means to decelerate effectively, they would have plunged into the atmosphere at a variety of speeds depending on their mass and ejection point. Suffice to say, any object let alone a number of Starships, even grazing the atmosphere of a planet would not only implode but as you can see, a good quarter of the planet's atmosphere is on fire."

    Uhmposa sank back into her chair, her mind trying to grasp the magnitude of the event. Nova 2 was a relatively newly founded colony and had a small population spread across the planet, but even so, the potential death toll was almost incalculable.

    "Notify Nova 3, we're going to need all the ships."
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