Doomsday Machine

Stardate- oh! It does not matter; we have a distress call from my sister! Constellation, missing for quite a time... It will be good to see her again! But a distress call? I test the relays to my phasers, readying for a fight.

...Oh dear. There is nothing in this sector... Where there were planets. Something terrible is afoot, and Constellation seems to be in the middle of it.

Warping in, I sense her... Oh, my sister! What did this! Mostly wrecked, she hangs motionless in the rubble of star systems. She has a little power, most likely just enough for the beacon she sent out. There is interference in our subspace. I cannot reach her. Her engines are smashed, her main body scraped. Her saucer section is partially stripped of her hull, exposing her framework. Oh, she is painful to look at.

They talk, my Captain and Engineer, beaming onto Constellation. A Thing destroyed her and the star systems, some sort of planet-eater. A Doomsday Machine. Built to never be used, yet somehow loosed anyways.

Whatever it is, it hurt my sister.

My Captain and Engineer have found a survivor- Constellation's Captain, a Commodore. He is traumatized. I understand; his ship was wrecked around him, even if he could not hear her cries...

My tractor beams are ready to tow Constellation, should my crew ask it, but-!

By Sol! What is it?! A terrible thing, a gaping maw of fire, headed for me and my sister, and my crew...

Argh! It's firing! What was that! A beam, terrible, fiery, threatening to wreck me! I keep Constellation out of the way- she has suffered enough.

I flee, and the Thing loses interest. It is heading toward the Rigel colonies.

Oh! Constellation's Captain has... Assumed control? Of me? And he intends me to attack It! Is he insane? A solid neutronium hull! Against my phasers? I am quite capable of most things, even the impossible, but penetrating neutronium is quite beyond even my phasers' capabilities.

We turn back for the Thing.

My shields are full power, but the terrible attack left me weakened.

Commodore, why are we not saving Constellation and my Captain?

I feel a rage inside me as I think of the planets It destroyed, my sister's crew on one of them. I pour my rage into my phaser banks as I attack.

Haha! It is satisfying to vent my phasers on the Thing. But they skate off the hull. I can do nothing.

The Thing is firing again. My shields are now down. Another attack! My Crew is hurt!

We are in a tractor beam now... That stupid Commodore insisted on attacking the Thing, and now we are trapped, being pulled into Its fiery maw.

My warp engines are down, but I am fighting with all my impulse engines can give.

I am fighting still. Oh! Phaser fire! My Captain and Engineer have gotten life into Constellation yet! She's saved me!

But the Thing is attacking her now! And so it's my turn. I lead the Thing away from my crippled sister, and rescuing my Captain.

My Captain and First Officer relieve that idiot Commodore of command. Good. (I am rather sorry for Constellation; him for a Captain!) We are going back for Constellation, escaping the Thing.

She's coming around now. My crew fixed the subspace interference on my end, and I can talk with her. She's wondering what happened, and she tells me my Engineer is fixing her impulse engines. Good. I missed her.

What now? Someone is opening my shuttlebay doors-

Eh?! My shuttle! Galileo! Idiot Commodore took him, he's going to fly my shuttle into that Thing!

That shuttle has stared Death in the face before, but never as certainly as this!

The Thing is utterly instinctual, merely attracted to anything within its sensor range. Utterly oblivious to the distress of me and my crew as the Commodore and Galileo fly to their doom.

...That Commodore is brave, I'll give him that... Speak no ill of the dead, as they say.

Galileo is destroyed. But his death inside that Thing gives my crew an idea...

Constellation's engines are being rigged to destroy the Thing.

She accepts this with her singular graceful courage- her crew was killed by this thing and she does want to avenge them. I tell her there may be another way, but she is determined.

It is begun as she faces off with the Thing, gliding into it as I pull my Captain from aboard her.

She tries to aid me in transporting my Captain. My transporters are malfunctioning again, damn things...

But I have to let my crew deal with them to watch Constellation. She stares down fiery death with such courage, such dignity...

She emits a fierce spark of purpose, of being, of joining her Crew...

I cannot help but feel joy for her as she expresses her life.

I grieve for her, greatly, but she was so full of joy, of life and wonder and all she'd seen, just for a moment...


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