Star Trek: Wings of the Renaissance
A Star Trek fanfiction by Andrew Joshua Talon
DISCLAIMER: This is a non-profit fan-based work of prose. Star Trek is the property of CBS and Paramount. Please support the official release.
Federation Starbase Deep Space Nine, Bajoran Sector
The planet was 'habitable' in the way a hot coffin might be considered a home. Underneath the burning yellow sun and its smaller, red companion, the desert winds of Valo II were kicked up to spread massive sandstorms. Even here in the northern reaches, where the world's small oceans with their bounty of algae kept the air breathable, it felt like a furnace.
Ther'in Shran, commander in Starfleet, bore the heat better than an Andorian should-His world was defined by the cold and the ice, kept warm partly by its sun and more by the gas giant it orbited tugging on the core. The heat of a sun was almost novel to them. Yet the tundra too was a desert, just of a different sort. And Andorians could deal with the harshest environments. It is why they became dominant on their world.
Yet rather than aspects of evolution and biology, Shran was considering the shapes in the oncoming storm-How the wind and air pressure pitched the dust and dirt into strange patterns across its front. He found his eyes tracing them, a faint smile on his lips as he almost leaned against the open hanger door to admire nature's fury. His helmet was snug and secure in his right arm, cradled like a newborn child, as he watched the outdoors.
He didn't turn from his view. "Yes Ensign Yuy?"
He heard the young man shuffle his feet, nervous. "The Flight Plan has been processed, we're good to go."
Shran nodded. He turned his eyes away from the storm-He would see it again, soon enough. "Good. Let's see how you did on the visual inspection."
He strode across the hanger bay, long legs making Yuy struggle to keep up. He was a young human, out of the Martian colonies, ruddy faced with jet black hair and narrow, almond shaped eyes. A new recruit, still nervous around anyone outranking him or indeed, almost anyone else.
The hanger bay contained a number of fighters-Several lined up on the opposing wall were being tended by maintenance crews and checked out by their pilots. The great chamber echoed faintly from their activity, beeps and soft conversation and a bang from a tool forming a modest background. Their fighter was out, resting on power carts and struts. Shran walked around the vessel, experienced eyes sweeping the craft.
"Tell me the technical specifications," he ordered his ensign. Yuy looked about as enthused as anyone else would be at this, but got on with it quickly.
"AC-104 Peregrine-class courier-er, attack fighter," he recited. "14 meters long, mass 27 metric tons, armed with 3 type IV phaser banks, two microphoton torpedo tubes with 10 rounds each, cruise speed warp factor 4, maximum speed warp factor 6-"
"Enough," Shran ordered, and the ensign stopped in a verbal stumble. He nodded. "The basics, yes. Always decent to have if you're a ten year old boy muttering trivia. What do you know about flying her?"
"Uh... I did simulator training and the Academy training craft, sir," Yuy replied. Shran nodded, smiling. Yuy didn't return the smile. Good. It meant he had some inclination of what was to come.
"Then let's call that lesson one."
The Peregrine usually had its crew compartments arranged laterally-The pilot and co-pilot sat next to one another. The option to arrange them linearly, with the pilots in a line towards the nose, was an option but rarely used by Starfleet pilots used to shuttlecraft and larger vessels. Shran preferred the linear mode-It prevented bumping your elbow against your co-pilot and gave you a better view. So he sat in the backseat, running through the pre-flight checks while Yuy acknowledged each one on the checklist. The little fighter began to warm up and rumble as the warpcore was brought online, and the antigravs hummed underneath them.
"And plasma injectors are green," Yuy finished, his voice muffled by his helmet over the comms, tapping the last few buttons to confirm. His hands rested on the console, and Shran could tell the ensign was glancing at the manual controls with more than a little trepidation.
"Something wrong, Ensign?" Shran asked.
"W-Well, sir... Uh... I've never used... The ships I had before didn't have... Joysticks," Yuy explained. "I know it was an option, but everyone else-"
"Everyone else in Starfleet handles ships that practically fly themselves," Shran stated simply. "This one is little different, but," and here he activated the thrusters, gently lifting the Peregrine off the gurneys and onto its antigravs, "our job requires us to feel the ship more organically."
The Peregrine taxied out of the hanger, onto the thermacrete runway. Large markings in paints were drawn all over it, indicating parking and landing areas. The holographic heads up display turned green, and offered arrows to point in the proper direction of travel. Shran maneuvered the fighter towards the proper runway, obeying the directions. Yuy shook his head again.
"It seems so... Er..."
"Old fashioned?" Shran asked. Yuy nodded.
"Sir," he replied. Shran chuckled.
"It's still Starfleet, Ensign," he emphasized. "We just do things a bit differently."
The HUD turned all green, and the comms channel beeped. Yuy checked it, and nodded.
"We are clear for take off... Uh, sir? One other thing?"
"Yes?" Shran asked, spooling up the thrusters to full power.
"Is there a reason the inertial dampeners are set to..." He nearly choked. "M-Minimum levels?!"
"Yes. Two very good ones, actually," Shran stated. "First, inertial dampeners lower the maneuverability of small starships. Keeping them on the minimum allows us to operate the ships to get every bit of performance we can out of them."
The ensign audibly gulped. "And... The second?"
Shran pushed the throttle to full. The thrusters roared behind them and the Peregrine lifted off-Very nearly straight up like the ancient rockets did. They ascended, screaming through the sandstorm and into the bright blue skies overhead, which soon parted for the vast darkness of space. And through it all, Shran had the ensign's screams filling his helmet.
"If you're hollering that loudly over the thrusters, you're never going to last when I hit impulse," Shran laughed.
It was always fun to break in the rooks.
More to come.