Canopus Station
Previous Next

The Odds Are Not In Your Favour

Posted on Wed Jun 10th, 2020 @ 8:43pm by The Narrator & Lieutenant Commander Amie Cerys

Mission: S2:2: Best Laid Plans
Location: Beacon Star Inner System, Debris Cloud
Timeline: MD 2 18.15

Something had aroused the fickle interest of the Bone Shard Crown's Den.

From their hollowed-out asteroid nests, the jagged carrier craft of the Reka departed. They fell into formations based on tribal hierarchy instead of sound military doctrine, with jostling and light weapons fire fine-tuning who got to the supposed pray first. Who would eat well. And who would crow with pride and just evidence of their deeds in the Myriads name. For the clade of Reka who could claim the kill would gain the Myriads favour, perhaps enough to allow them a successful clutch of fledgelings to be born? Such were the desires of the Bone Shard Crowns matriarch, a wizened and ancient Reka many hundreds of years old.

The thing in the outer system had glittered, reflecting light and with it the spectral secrets of manufactured materials and shipbuilding. Wreckage perhaps of the interloper to the system, or the small starship that had raided them a month earlier and destroyed a dozen of their carriers. Either way, the matriarch of the Bone Shard Crowns bayed her brood to bloody frenzy. Be it a scrap, a morsel, or a feast...they would find it in the sunset clouds of Beacon.

"Multiple active sensor pings have struck the Sensor Pod. Masker is still operational, I don't think they've seen us," Bree said from the station he'd plugged himself into. "From the vectors on those pings, we have a dozen large vessels burning up out of the Beacon gravity well to meet us, and the same scattered around the system heading in on lateral vectors from asteroid fragments. Just shy of thirty confirmed Reka Carrier Craft. Not to mention the drive signatures of the Shard's they carry, which sufficed to say, is a lot."

The insectile alien had skittered into the bridge, hunkering down...well. Hunkering down upside down in the corner of the ceiling.

"Hey can someone tell me if its here? Because, and I'm only saying this as the mechanoid in the room, it's unnerving when the flesh and bloods see ghosts," Bree commented. "Also, for the record, I vote on calling it Bob. It'll save me processing cycling trying not to figure out if you're all insane by joining in and naming the figment."

Amie had followed the alien to the bridge and watched it for a moment. "It is up in the corner, on the ceiling...upside down." She tilted her head and then looked around. "I don't like the fact that the sensors are reading that much. We might not want to stick around."

"Bob's up in the corner and upside down...ah...huh..." Bree commented dryly. "I for one agree with you there Commander, having that many ships heading towards us is not a way to fight. Bucky and I grabbed the black box recorder from the Flight Pod, so I'm all for going if you two are?"

Knowing of the Reka's innate telepathy, Jinn did his best to turn his mind inward. He was still a bit shaken up by the contact he had made with... well it seemed like Bob was sticking as a name, so Bob. He didn't want to have to deal with any mental incursions from the Reka too. His hands flew over the controls as he powered up the drive.

"In this case, discretion is very clearly the better part of valour," the Betazoid stated in agreement. "Let's, at least get out of the system, then we can re-assess our situation. We're going to keep the flight pod between us and them as we go. With any luck, with the Masker active, they'll never even notice we're here."

He engaged the impulse engines as he spoke, pulling them away from the flight pod, away from the approaching Reka.

"Multiple small craft detected launching from the Carriers, energy and mass signatures suggest they are Reka shard fighters. They are moving considerably faster than the carriers, and will be upon us before we've reached the edge of the gravity well and are able to make a QSD jump," Bree commented. "Commander Cerys, I'll need to focus on the jump calculations or we'll end up flying into the heart of the Carpathia sun when we return. I'm setting both turrets to your control."

Warning highlights began to illuminate the controls on Jinn's board.

"Seems there was a nest of them out near the edge of the system. They must have caught the backwash off of our impulse drives. I'm not detecting a carrier, but 24 Shard fighters are on intercept vectors. Estimate contact is 2 minutes at current bearing. The Masker will make us hard to hit, but unless we go stationary our impulse wake is leaving a trail." Bree responded. In the distance, small flickering mots of light could be seen sparkly in the autumnal glare of the Beacon's stars death shroud. A cloud of Reka fighters they'd have to barrel through to get clear.

"Oh, gee, thanks Jinn," Amie said with a small smirk before taking over the control of the turrets. "I'll keep us as far away from the Carpathia sun that I can but still getting there safely. Just need to know where we're jumping from and the rest will be ready." She eyed Bree. "We'll have to deal with them, because we can't afford to stand still."

"1 minute and change people, powering the turrets now," Bree commented as the screen before Amie began to light up with targeting pips. "Once we begin firing I'll divert power from the Masker to Shields, no offence but if a hole in space starts spitting out phaser fire, reckon we'll be seen whether we want them to or not."

"Bree, what if we cut impulse?" Jinn asked. "Just until you can make the QSD calculations. We're in space. We have momentum already and there's no friction. No impulse, no wake, no seeing us as we float along. Once your calculations are done, THEN we move back to impulse power and get clear for the jump."

"Running calculations. The odd's are slightly better than a shoot out, but only just. Might I suggest a full impulse burn of five seconds, and then a thirty-second port side RSC thruster burst. It should divert us off course enough that any tracking data will be corrupted," Bree said.

"A skipping stone that jumps around carries a frog on its back!" Bob commented, adding his two alien bits to the discussion.

"Yes, exactly, Bob," Jinn replied, eyes still locked on the screens in front of him. "I'll take slightly better odds any day of the week, Bree. Implementing full burn... Now."

He increased speed and the Black Bird shot ahead even faster than they'd already been travelling. Jinn mentally counted down in his head, hand poised over the thrust controls. 3... 2... 1 He cut impulse engines entirely, and followed it up by igniting the port side thrusters, pushing their little ship off its original course. Only then did he look up at the rest of their motley little crew.

"And now we wait," he stated with a grin.

The count down timer clicked down to zero, the first wave of Reka fighters flew past them. Of course in the silence of the void, the howl of their screaming engines and the whooping jeers of the avian pilots could not be heard. But Jinn's mind, still raw from the telepathic sucker punch from Bob, was treated the cackling bray of a murder of crows all the same.

And they fell upon the Sensor Pod like mad tackles, firing bubbling plasma bolts that scored the hull and blasted chunks of plating into atoms. But not the strange seed like pod that had docked with it. Plasma darts rained against it and did little more than slightly raise the temperature of its material.

In moments the Sensor Pod was reduced to ash on the stellar breeze, leaving behind the bone-white pod and its filigree of root-like tendrils stretching out like the tunnels and chambers of an ant hive. It was like imagining the Sensor Pod having a nervous system and seeing it writ large in a textbook.

"QSD drive is programmed for jump, on your command," Bree commented.

"Oh, lovely. All the things destroyed." Amie shook her head, "Jinn, you ready for this? At least they shouldn't be able to follow us where we're going. I'm still ready in case they try to interfere with the jump on weapons."

"Engaging impulse," Jinn stated. "Bree, hit the QSD the instant we're free. Don't want to be here any longer than we need to."

In a motion, Jinn engaged the Black Bird's impulse engines and the little ship burst forward. They would soon be clear for the jump, with any luck well before the Reka realized what was happening.

Amie looked out the window just to be sure everything was working as planned. "Come on...I'd rather get out of this in one piece."

"Hitting it," Bree said.

And then they were gone.



Previous Next