Ships of the class currently In-Service
- USS Yamato
- USS Bismark
- USS Yorktown
Slowly the console lights began to flash....
Jerrod who was nodding off at his post took notice, wiping the sleep from his eyes sat up in his chair and watched as the video screen came alive.
Data started appearing and changing formats as the powerful I-74 processor started crunching numbers. Then just as quickly as it started it fell
silent followed by a blank screen with only a data line command prompt.
He quickly typed in his command code to retrieve the data. Instantly a warning popped up on his screen and began flashing.
Command personnel eyes only!
Captain Braddock was below deck near engineering reviewing the latest ships status updates and projections which were presented to him by the Chief
Engineer over breakfast that morning. He walked along reading the various graphs while simultaneously dictating a recorded message for his daughter
back on Tabogo station.
I'll be sending your mother my schedule for the next trip. Hopefully she'll allow us to spend more time together than last the next break I get
which will be in about 5 months.
Rolling his eyes shrugging then exhaling deeply he then added
Tell her...... I said....Hi"
It was hard for him not to spit while trying to sound nice on the recording. He walked out of earshot from a passing crewman.
Oh and don't forget to send me some pictures. You said you grew your hair out over this past summer. I'd like to see how it looks
Let's see here...encode, check private message and send Captain's priority.....there we go
Just then Jerrod's voice crackled over the comms.
Captain needed to the bridge, Captain needed to the bridge.
Your eyes only Sir
Braddock walked over to the nearest console and palmed the comm. I'm on my way. Any idea what its about?
No Sir, Just that it's a large message and has priority one Command personnel eyes only status.
Braddock rubbed his chin feeling the whiskers from his five o clock shadow. Glancing at this watch he realized he had been on duty now going past 12
hours. He felt tired and told Jerrod he would take the message in his quarters and for him to transfer the message there.
He left the data pad with follow up instructions for the Chief on his desk then walked down the corridor on his way to the lift. The ship always
seemed a bit eerie to him when the Marine detachment were in stasis. Most of the ships functions were automated and only required a minimal skeleton
crew. The only sounds were the throbbing hum of the engine and the occasional hiss of various venting compressors.
He pushed the call button for the lift and hung his head and started rubbing the back of his neck while he waited. The lift opened. He half expected
to see someone getting off but there was no one there. He boarded then spoke the command for which deck he wanted. The computer acknowledged the
command then closed the door and the lift began to move.
He wondered whether his daughter would write back soon. She was a teenager now and had discovered the boys her age were full of hormones. Apparently
she was becoming more and more of a handful for her mother. He grinned at the thought of his Ex-wife pulling her hair out in frustration. That mental
image he admitted to himself did give him a small measure of guilty pleasure.
He entered his quarters and gave the computer the command to dim lights to 40% luminous and made his way to the small bar he kept. He grabbed a glass
and added a token ice cube from the nearby freezer. It made a lonely sharp clink as it dropped into the glass. Anymore ice cubes than that he had
often reasoned would take up too much space and leave less room for Scotch.
He took a long sip then made his way down towards his desk. Sat the drink down and flopped into the chair. He punched in his private command codes and
waited patiently as various programs began to display the information in their proper formats.
Hmmm. That's interesting.
He said to himself as he took another but much longer sip finishing it off. He got up and poured himself a second and as customary for his second of
the evening left out the lonely ice cube. He then walked over to a secured cabinet. Unlocked it and pulled out a file searched for and found a page
within it with a picture clipped to the page. He lowered his glasses that were up on his forehead and reviewed the information then over the top of
his glasses as the hair on the back of his neck stood up looked back towards the display screen...
They have to be kidding?
Checking his watch then the screen again he made a quick calculation in his head then thumbed the comm.
Bridge, this is Braddock, Prepare for FTL jump. We will be heading to the Casper system. Jump when ready.
That is all
Even traveling at Light speed it would still take them more than 6 hours to traverse the expanse. He finished his second drink, disrobed and put on
some music. Lying there slowly closing his eyes his thoughts drifted off softly as images of his first wife and son swirled in his head. How he missed
”Have any clue why the Capt had us jump all the way to the edge of known space?"
"Nah, but ensign Jerrod said we received classified orders before his shift change last night and...”
Just then the comm crackled and the Captains voice came over with a ship wide announcement. Informing the crew that they would be putting down a small
landing party and assignments would be given.
"Okay, you heard the man, lets get moving...
On the dimly lit bridge the crew were at their colorfully lit stations monitoring ships functions. The Captain sat reviewing the latest data reports.
He hardly noticed the crew scurrying about while they prepped for the launching of the landing party's runabout. He flipped through several pages in
the file he retrieved last night from the cabinet. Stopping at the clip picture. His thoughts drifted back to his younger years as a young Marine
before he joined fleet command. It had a better retirement plan he thought to himself at the time.
The emotions came flooding back. He was just 27 at the time and had already seen many engagements. Mostly as a Battle Walker pilot. The image was from
the Tyco mining station massacre. He had all but forgotten about it until the priority message from fleet.
He thought he had put it all behind him. He was already a combat vet at the time and seen and experienced many horrific events but for some reason
this got under his skin. Maybe it was because there was nothing they could do after the fact, no battles to fight nobody to rescue and eventually
nobody to blame. The Tyco mining station massacre bugged him deeply at the time. The case was never solved which to this day was still classified.
He remembered the carnage being unimaginable. 64 Station personnel butchered and slaughtered in the most heinously grotesque manners. He was part of a
Marine point recovery unit sent in to secure and investigate the cause. No signs of a virus but there were indications of Xenomorphic type activity.
However no concrete proof was ever found. The mission became a cleanup mop job and body collection.
The entire station was sterilized of any evidence and the bodies were disposed of. All data regarding the mission was classified and all involved
personnel we sworn to secrecy. It wasn't soon after that the rebellion of the outlying colonies began and the Tyco incident as it briefly became to be
known among the outlying territories drifted into obscurity as the minor rebellion quickly escalated into an all out conflict.
He could never completely push it out of his mind. The Tyco mining station has since been completely automated.
He wanted answers....
Braddock taking off his glasses as he closed the file then setting it and his glasses aside titled his head back and squeezed the bridge of his nose
briefly then straitened up in his chair. Sitting there he made the decision that he would find those answer. Maybe there had been something they had
missed or possibly overlooked all those years ago.
He thumbed the comm. Requested runabout prep status from the hanger bay. Young ensign Chang informed him it would be another 10 minutes before it was
completely fueled and ready for launch.
Standing up he stretched then informed the bridge crew he would be leading the team down to the planet. He walked over to the lift. The ride to his
quarter's deck was a brief ride. He exited heading to his quarters to change into the proper attire when he realized how long it had been since he
last participated in such an endeavor. He started doubting himself and questioning whether or not he should lead this investigation.
He pushed the doubts aside as he suited up and grabbed a few items he might need and then made his way to the hanger bay
Meanwhile down at the hanger...
Crewmen Davis and Chang were attempting to fix a troublesome flow regulator when the Bridge notified them that the Captain would be leading the team
down to the surface.
The Captains going to lead the team down on this mission?
Chang asked then sipped his coffee.
Isn't it against fleet protocol for the Captain to leave the ship not to mention a potentially dangerous mission? What happens if it becomes a
hairy fur ball and they have a fight on their hands?
Davis not bothering to look up from his task answered.
I'd cut the Captain some slack he wasn't always in fleet you know. He was a Battle Walker pilot just like those frozen pop cycles we have down
in Cryo before he joined fleet. He saw action many times and was highly decorated.
He saw Action at
Captain fought at Tannhauser Gate?
Chang asked in disbelief.
Davis finished, stood up and pulled a rag from his pocket and while cleaning his palms looked at Chang and grinned...
I should know. I was part of the recovery and rescue team aboard the Ticonderoga at the time.
Davis then walked over and sat down at a nearby table and stretched out his left leg and winced as his old knee injury started acting up from standing
in one place too long. It made a dull popping sound.
Yup, he and his wing-man from the 5th Donovan were the last two survivors. 12 Marine Walkers of the 5th went in, 6 days later he and his wing
man came out leaving over 130 enemy walkers as smoldering piles of scrap metal
When the Calvary arrived they found the situation already secured and those two deeply into several bottles of Scotch.
Just then the conversation was cut short as a three man team stepped out of a nearby lift and made their way to the runabout and boarded quickly
beginning flight prep procedures. The engines begin to make an ever increasing high pitched whine as it warmed up. Crewmen were quickly closing and
sealing various small outer access panels and pulling the fuel lines away from the craft.
The Captain walked on board and took a seat behind one of the two young pilots. He buckled himself in and watched as they requested permission to
launch which was quickly granted. The deck crew had left the hanger and the out hanger door opened as the warning alarm blared...
The young pilot brought up the landing gear and skillfully nudged the craft out and nosed it down towards the planet. the trip down to the surface
went quickly. They found and circled the station briefly and found the main entrance.
Braddock unbuckled himself leaned forward in his chair reaching over the pilots right shoulder and pointed out to him where to land. The craft came
down gently blowing sand and small amounts of debris as the landing thrusters cut off. The faint light of the later afternoon sun was dimming rapidly
as they made their way to the main entrance.
Braddock found the control box and entered the security code he was given in the mission file from fleet. Nothing happened. He quickly had one of the
men run a bypass of the hydraulic line to gain access. Thinking it would release the door.
The main door hissed as it cracked open from the releasing of the line pressure. They forced the door further making their way in and used the manual
door lever to seal it behind them.
They made their way out of the main airlock and proceeded down the long barley lit corridor towards main engineering. The plan was to engage full
environmental status so as they could carry out their task in normal working conditions.
The hair on the back of Braddock's neck stood on end. He didn't realize just how foreboding the station would be after all these years. The station
was fairly large and was originally design to house up to over 1200 personnel. The 64 that were massacred were the last of the initial construction
and prep crew. The station was then quickly automated after the massacre and never fully manned.
They went down a few flights of steps reaching one of the main automated ore processing plants.
The sound of the machines drowned out the sound of their footsteps on the metal grating. Braddock checked his watch and directed the men with hand
signals towards a side corridor. The sound of the ore processing unit slowly faded as they kept moving forward.
They soon passed the vacant station personal locker room
They reached the main engineering station and turned up the environmental status set temperature and increased air flow to their proper levels.
Braddock switched on his communicator then contacted the ship informed them they had reached their first objective.
Slowly the station came alive as the power levels increased. One by one the indicators were turning from red to green as each part of the complex
reached the proper settings. Even at full power the station wasn't well lit. Lighting and creature comforts were not a major factor in it's design or
purpose. Braddock and the other men changed out of their bulky suits and unpacked their gear.
The temperature outside plummeted as the planet's small sun set over the horizon.
Braddock gave the other men their tasks before he headed to the stations command center. He was instructed that he would contact fleet from there for
further instructions. He hated all this cloak and dagger crap but he followed orders and procedures. The station even though warm and now better lit
was still giving him the creeps.
His footsteps echoed as condensation dripped from the large capacity environmental units he passed on the way to the command center.
He found the station and quickly powered up the long range communications link. The large dish on top of the facility groaned from lack of use over
the years as it slowly moved itself into position for communication. The wind was now howling and a heavy fog had blanketed the area.
He sat down and proceeded to input his codes and waited. It took a few minutes for the link to be made. He received a warning flash for command
personnel eyes only then the screen blinked then a official fleet logo followed by a video link with Fleet Admiral Holsters wrinkled old weathered
face appeared, he was apparently talking but there was no sound.
Braddock played with some of the settings then the Admiral's voice crackled as it came through.
.... in stasis at Medical, there you'll recover the sample. bring it back and not inform anyone about this. Here are the access codes you'll
need. Once retrieved you'll take the sample to science lab outpost Omega and there turn it over to Dr Kelso. All other priorities rescinded!.
Braddock leaned back in his chair as the screen flashed the fleet logo once again then went blank.
All other priorities rescinded..
He knew full well what that meant. He and the crew were expendable. A cold chill went down his spine as he stood up and made his way to the science
Apparently they had found something he wasn't aware of all those years ago but at the time they thought it best to store it here in stasis until after
they figured out what to do about it. He entered the lab and made his way to the stasis unit and brought the interface up and checked the status of
the specimen being held in the containment unit.
The screen showed a small module floating suspended in the chamber.
He received a message from the men. They informed him that the environmental setting were collapsing and that soon whole sections of the station would
not be habitable without environmental suits and for him to hurry back because they could not guarantee which section would stay habitable.
Braddock acknowledge then ordered them to take proper precautions and recommended they put on their re-breathers just in case and quickly had the
computer transfer the module to a transportation vessel once that was completed to opened the sample retrieval door and grabbed the small container
and made his way back to where he had told the other men to meet after they had finished their assignment.
Down on the lower levels where most of the bodies were found all those years ago the Captain had ordered them to use the new improved scanning devices
to go over the area with a fine toothed comb to see if they could find anything that may have been over looked previously.
Wait... I think I just saw something move over on the left there.
You're nuts. Nothing is alive here this planet is dead. Besides there hasn't been anything living here to eat for years. What could possibly have
survived all this time without food? Now if you don't mind I'd like to get these scans done so we can get out of here and back on ship so I can get
edit on 1-1-2013 by SLAYER69 because: (no reason given)
You've set yourself up for a lot of work here buddy, I hope you continue, and share the rest of the story. You're going to have a lot of folks
pressuring you to complete it. I really enjoyed it and the illustrations were great. Good work.
Awesome story my friend, really enjoyed the part of the ex-wife. Same image I have of my ex.
She was a teenager now and had discovered the boys her age were full of hormones. Apparently she was becoming more and more of a handful for her
mother. He grinned at the thought of his Ex-wife pulling her hair out in frustration. That mental image he admitted to himself did give him a small
measure of guilty pleasure.
This content community relies on user-generated content from our member contributors. The opinions of our members are not those of site ownership who maintains strict editorial agnosticism and simply provides a collaborative venue for free expression.