Hello there fellow Trekkies :)
I hope you guys liked the chapters so far. If yes and especially if not, leave a comment or review. Tell me what you liked or what you would like to have improved. Thanks already for reading this far ;)
Live long and prosper
Sarah was already gone in the morning when I left my room and had a short breakfast. Then I headed for the bridge to relieve my comrade of his duties. As I entered the bridge, Commander Rios was still sitting in his chair, his head stabilized by his left hand. He looked worn out and tired, still he put on a smile when he saw me.
„We had some turbulences in the night, Ensign, but we couldn't trace them to their origin. Probably you might also take a look at the problem", he said with a friendly but tired voice.
„Will do, Sir", I answered and sat down at my console. Everything seemed to be in order, at least it looked the part on the first glance. We were still on warp 7, the engine sounded like a purring cat, no indication for the slightest misalignment or a malfunction at all. The data of the core was ship shape and all in all I could not spot anything out of the ordinary.
„Everything does look in order, Sir", I said and turned around to give him a puzzled glance, „I can't spot anything suspicious."
„Neither could we", the Commander said with a sigh. When Captain Vandermeer entered the bridge, Rios stood up in relieve. Rios did look extremely tired to me. He gave the Captain a short heads up and then left the bridge to us.
„Very well. We will keep the course to Camija as it is, crew", Vandermeer said and sat down with an enthusiastic smile on his face.
Then everything was the same way it had been on all the previous days. I checked the engine, the course, that I sometimes adjusted, and most of the time I scanned the area ahead and around us for anomalies, which I couldn't find. So, everything was the same, up until I recognised a small vibration.
„There is a misalignment in the Warp core, Sir", I instantly said, „Do you feel the vibration?"
„I don't", he answered, „We will check it nevertheless. Bridge to engineering, this is the Captain."
„Engineering here, yes Captain?", it was Wallis speaking, the Chief Engineer.
„Is there a misalignment in the Warp core?", he asked straight forward.
„A tiny one, Sir. We don't yet know where it came from, but we're already on it, Sir."
„Good, get it fixed", he said, „I want a full report on what caused it. Bridge out." Then he again turned towards me. „You have good senses, Ensign. Very good."
„Thank you, Sir", I answered and even though I should have been honoured, I was still worried. Only when the vibration stopped, my pulse would go down again. „The vibration is gone, Sir." Only a split second later engineering informed the Captain.
„Ensign Scott here at the helm was faster than you", he said amused.
I felt the heat creep up into my cheeks and was quite happy that nobody cared to look at me. Only Brody smiled at me before he looked at his console again.
„Sir", he suddenly said, „I have some strange readings here. We seem to approach an energy field."
„Analysis?", the Captain requested, but before he could get an answer, I saw a faint shimmer on the screen before me.
„The data isn't coherent. I can't say what we are approaching, Sir, but we are. The signal is getting stronger", Brody said while his hands flew over the console in a desperate attempt to understand the bigger picture.
„Do you see that?", I asked, my hands already placed on the warp drive handle, ready to bring us to a full stop in only a few moments.
„What do you mean?", Brody asked.
„That shimmering there", I answered and narrowed my eyes to take a closer look, „It looks like ... I don't know ... Like somethings in our way."
„I can't see anything, Ensign", the Captain said, taking a step forward towards the screen, „What about the proximity sensors?"
„Nothing, Sir", I answered, „But the course we are taking brings us close to the Gargamud region. That could also explain, why the warp core is misaligning again!" Now the vibrations were so heavy that the Captain noticed them. He fell back on his seat and grabbed his arm rest.
„Enlighten me, Ensign", he requested, but a bulk, hot knot formed in my stomach and a very bad feeling creeped up my spine.
„I won't have to", I said, grabbing the warp handle tighter, „Everyone buckle up! Brace for impact, Sir! I'm going full stop!"
„What? Are you mad, Ensign!", the Captain shouted, but he was interrupted by the proximity alert. The „brace for impact" alert sprang to power a second after I pulled the handle back. The ship immediately jumped into action. I was torn out of my seat over my console, but as soon as I could see the space before us, I was back in my seat trying to avoid a crash with the object right in front of us.
„What the hell are you doing, Ensign!", the Captain shouted.
I didn't answer. I simply acted. After a few fast adjustments I accelerated the Ibn Majid downwards. I let her spin around her axis and pulled to the side, when I saw what was truly coming for us. Again, I let her jump forward and span to the other side while I gave her an upwards drift.
„What's going on?", Commander Rios fell out of the Turbolift and only barely managed to get to his seat safely. He still didn't look much healthier than in the morning but now a shocked and nervous expression lay in his eyes.
„Ensign Scott probably just saved our lives by disobeying my orders", the Captain answered, „Why am I looking at my ship? Lt. Brody report!"
„I don't know Sir!", he answered in a shock, „My readings aren't clear! It's as if the objects would reflect everything we try to scan them with."
„It's because they do!", I said louder as I intended while I made the ship go swiftly around the next object.
„Explain yourself Ensign!", the Captain demanded, „Right now!"
„This seems to be the outer rim of the Gargamud sector which is dominated by rocky material that survived a crash between two planets, Sir. The material is highly reflective and can even affect a ship at warp. I spent a few days there with my uncle. The Camijan high command sent him to study the area. Navigations is offline, Communications is offline, anything we could use for positioning or communicating is useless here! I never thought this would be still this strong in the outer rim! I would strongly advise to ramp down the Warp core, Sir! The objects reflect everything and can thereby lead to massive interferences in the core and even destabilize it!", I said trying to bring the ship finally to a halt. After I cruised around another large planetary fragment, I managed to stop the Ibn Majid in a free space between the objects. „Uff... Shit", I exhaled in a short relieve, „That was close."
„That was a bumpy ride, Ensign", the Commander said.
„That's true, Sir. I apologize", I took another deep breath and then turned around. I looked into shocked and disturbed faces, and I couldn't say whether they were relieved that nothing much happened or if they truly despised me for my actions.
„Damage report!", the Commander demanded.
„We have a few injured crew members that are being transferred to sick bay, but only light injuries. Apart from that, the ship is fully functional, no serious damage taken. Engineering though is reporting difficulties with the warp core", the chief of security Lt. Commander Soeren said in a cold voice.
„Tell them to shut it down immediately", said the Captain and stood up, „And you Ensign should also report to sickbay. Afterwards you report directly at my ready room, do you understand?"
„I understand, Sir. But...", I must have looked quite confused, because now the Commander stepped forward.
„Your forehead, Ensign.", he said.
I touched my skin looking for an injury and actually found one. In astonishment I looked at my bloody fingertips, then again up to the Captain and the Commander. They did not at all seem happy in this situation.
„Permission to leave the bridge, Sir", I asked with an uneasy feeling in my guts.
„Granted", he answered in a very serious tone, then - before he could say anything else - I left. When I stepped into the Turbo lift, I saw how Commander Rios took my seat at the helm.
All the way to the sickbay I waited for the moment that I would wake up and realize this was all just a dream, but I didn't because it was real. As I left the Turbo lift, I came across wrecked panels and hanging ceilings. Half of a cupboard, that once belonged to one of the personal quarters, lay now broken in the hallway. I had to climb over it to reach the sick bay. A huge stream of people flooded the infirmary and at least five doctors were at work running around and taking care of the people in need.
„What can I help you with?", said one of the highest ranking medical officers, his name was Barrows, „Ah I see it. Sit down. It won't take long. Your name?"
„Ensign Maria Scott", I answered and obeyed his orders.
„Yes, the helmsman", he nodded in a judging manor, „The one who got us into this trouble."
„I don't know about you, Sir, but I favour a head wound above a completely wrecked ship", I answered snappish.
„We all would have preferred neither of all this", he said sarcastically.
I didn't answer him. Instead I lay down and allowed him to do his work.
„You are half Camijan?", he then asked.
„Yes, I am", I answered unnerved.
„Then I will have to stitch you up like in the old days", he said shaking his head. After the nurse brought him the necessary equipment, he began. It still only took five minutes. Then he released me and I trotted back through the wrecked hallway towards the Turbo lift, to face the Captain. My mind already played games on me and once I was on the bridge, my heart sank even lower. Rios looked at me with a glance as hard as iron and only pointed me towards the Captains ready room. I swallowed, took a deep breath and then I entered.
„Do sit down, Ensign.", the Captain said, „Why do you have stitches? Is the sick bay compromised?"
„No, Sir. I'm half Camijan and for me the molecular regenerators used by Starfleet do not work. So the Doc stitched me up the old fashioned way", I answered and sat down.
„I see", he folded his hands and gave me an intense look, „Ensign. For the record I do not doubt your intentions at all and I'm happy you followed them, because otherwise we would have a very different situation here. But I must still remind you, that this is a Starfleet vessel on which Starfleet regulations apply. Next time just ask permission before you do this kind of thing, alright? I trust the judgement of every member of my bridge staff including you, but everyone has to be in line, everyone has to obey the same rules, including you. I'm the Captain of this starship and I command this ship. Your decisions have to go through me and not unfiltered only through you. Do you understand?"
„Yes, Sir", I lowered my eyes, „I apologize."
„Don't do that", he now started to smile, „Your decision was right, only the execution was a bit off course."
The door chimed.
„Come in, Commander", Vandermeer stood up and smiled at his number one.
„Feathers already gone?", Commander Rios asked jokingly.
„Not all of them I hope", the Captain replied, „Alright Ensign, at ease. What I also wanted to talk to you about is this place we're in right now. You said, you have already been here. Any idea, how we can get out, without using navigations or communications?"
„Camijan ships have adapted sensors for this region, I guess they use the reflective surfaces as mirror planes and send a signal out in to space like that. For us, after all, that is useless, our sensor technology is different. Could you open the map, Sir? ... Thank you.", I swiped through the map of this system and tried to imaging our position in the rim, then I overlaid the map with our course, „It's rather likely that we are here in the outer rim. There should be a M-class planet nearby where the Camijans build a research facility to study the sector. Probably we can find a way to navigate out of this mess there."
„This is probably a stupid question, but can't we just fly in one direction long enough until we reach normal space?", Commander Rios asked.
„We could try, but you must remember that these objects are like mirrors. We will never know in which direction we flew a few minutes ago once we had to go around an object. It's like a three dimensional cabinet of mirrors only one way could be the right one but all look the same", I said, „Probably I'm just playing save and we simply have to turn around and go back, but right now we at least know what course we were on. If we fly randomly we could get lost."
„She has a point", the Captain said, „But how the hell did we get in this situation at all? I never heard about the Gargamud sector before?"
„Probably because it's not stationary", Rios said pointing on the map, „Seems like these fragments are still in motion around each other. If they revolve around the planet, then we have a fixed point in it and again if we can find anything in this research facility that could help us, I don't see why we shouldn't go there."
„Who long will this take us?", the Captain now asked.
„Probably a day", I answered.
„We can still try to send a message to the Camijan high command, by sending it around in all frequencies. It doesn't take long and we can only profit if at least a bit of the message makes its way into space", Commander Rios suggested.
„Then make it so", Captain Vandermeer said, „The bridge is yours Commander."
„Aye Sir", he said and let me leave the room first. He was only a step behind me but I could feel his smile in my back. „So, your first attendance in the ready room. Didn't take you long, Ensign."
„Well, it will probably not be the last one", I answered, „I am quite confident that my impulsive Camijan side will cause problems once in a while."
„We will see about that", he said and sat down in his chair, „Alright then. Lt. Brody, send out an SOS on all frequencies in a radial manor, but time delayed for every direction. I don't want them to cancel themselves out. Use the main deflector to increase the signal power. Probably the Camijans receive us. Ensign Scott, calculate a course to this M-class planet."
„Already at it, Sir", I answered.
„Very good. Mr. Soeren put together a team that we will beam down on the surface. Bear in mind that either me or the Captain will join. It would also be advisory to bring a crew member who is familiar with the Camijan language. What are our choices concerning this matter?", he asked and turned around to look at his chief of security.
„Ensign Scott is the only one with these abilities, Sir", he answered.
„Alright Ensign, how about your fighting skills?", Commander Rios wanted to know.
„4 years of Klingon combat training and in total fifteen of Kaira sa'vah, Sir", I responded and turned around, „Course is prepared, Sir."
„Kaira sa'vah?", the Commander asked puzzled.
„A traditional Camijan fighting style, Sir", Soeren said before I had the chance, „Highly effective."
„Wonderful. Then we take Ensign Scott with us", Rios concluded, „Set the course, Ensign. Lt. Brody how about our message in a bottle?"
„Sent, Sir", Brody answered.
„Good. Then let's go find this planet of yours."
„Aye Sir", I carefully brought the Ibn Majid to sub-light speed and manoeuvred around the fragments. Even though I had a course that I could follow, all the dodging and going around mirror like objects, that easily had the size of my ship was challenging. After a few hours my eyes hurt, I lost all sense for direction and I grew enormously tired.
„I have a question, Sir", I asked the Commander who like me looked like he could use a few hours of sleep.
„Is it allowed to drink coffee on the bridge, Sir?", I turned around and looked into his reddened eyes.
„I guess you need a break, Ensign. You've been manoeuvring us through this mess for five hours already", he said and sighed, „Bridge to Lt. Edwin."
„Report to the bridge immediately, I need you to relieve Ensign Scott of her duties at the helm", he said.
„Are you sure, Sir?", I asked the Commander, „I just need a coffee, then I can go on."
„Ensign. I'd rather have a fresh helmsman without your brilliant eyes, than you tired", he said, „You're relieved for today and I'm fairly certain that we can make it to the planet safely without you."
I nodded. „Yes, Sir."
„You too, Commander", the Captain stepped out of the ready room, a holo-tablet in his hands. He obviously had been studying the sector while he was gone.
„Aye, Sir", Commander Rios stood up and since Edwin was just stepping out of the Turbolift, I followed the Commander.
„Good work, Ensign", the Captain said as I passed by him.
„Thank you, Sir", I replied and stepped into the lift.
„About that coffee", Commander Rios said once the doors were closed, „I probably have the right thing to trade for the beans."
„I'm all ears, Sir", I answered and couldn't help but smile at the thought.
„Books", he answered, „I do have quite a large collection and I'd be willing to part with one or two in exchange for beans and a lesson in coffee making."
„Sounds reasonable, Sir", I answered, „But first, I will sleep a couple of hours."
„Very well. We have a deal then", he smiled as we came out of the lift and went down the hallway, „Take a good rest. You have earned it."
I nodded and then disappeared in my quarters. Alone.