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First Footsteps In The Sand

Posted on Monday 1 May 2023 @ 18:53 by Lieutenant Nir’anyar & Captain Melody Jones

Mission: Where no one has gone before
Location: USS Merlin - Bridge
1372 words - 2.7 OF Standard Post Measure


It had only been a short journey for the Merlin to traverse, a small haul of only forty five minutes, but the Captain and First Officer had other duties to see to before the main investigation commenced, Caroline had waddled away with the Captain with Anya making a note to make sure she made time to see the ships Counsellor before long for a prenatal check up. This left Anya occupying the big chair, her first time since her failed attempt not so long ago that had shaken her at a very fundamental level, not to mention the previous fiasco which she had caused nearly ending an entire civilisation yet somehow Captain Jones has chosen to develop the Benzite. As robust as she appeared though she was like glass, sitting in the captains chair feeling it was eight sizes to big and as though she was poised to shatter with seemingly all eyes on her.

"Lieutenant Mitchell whats our ETA?" She asked, already having lost track of time, sitting up that little bit straighter and putting on an air of confidence she really didn't feel at her core.

Pete took a quick reference on the instruments. "Our eta is thirty minutes at current speed. It seems we are in the great wide unknown. Nothing of note around."

"Lieutenant Teague... what can you see out there?" her own curiosity just as engaged as everyone else's despite her misgivings at the new slipstream drive.

Hamish had been scanning the surrounding areas, taking a look at the system they were near. "Sir, I am picking up two class M planets, an asteroid field which is surrounding a class D planet, long range scans are also picking up an ice planet on the edge of the system." Hamish looked up from his console. "I also see an object adrift in space, I am having a slight difficulty in getting a lock on it there seems to be a slight shifting of the readings." he looked over towards Lieutenant Morgan. "Lieutenant Morgan, do you think you can get another look?"

Gregor worked the controls for a few minutes and was barely able to get a reading at this range. "It appears that we have ship adrift at seven hundred fifty thousand kilometres from our location. I am unable to determine if there are any lifeforms aboard due to residual radiation from either the ship itself or the surrounding area. The ship matches nothing that we have in our databanks at this time Lieutenant, Shall I have medical standby in case we are needed to render aid?"

"Helm adjust course for a flyby, Lieutenant Teague if you could grab a full sensor scan and yes please Mr Gregor if you could inform sickbay just in case". Anya caught herself a little by surprise at how smoothly she found the string of orders that seemed to roll from her tongue. Yes she knew they were pretty standard but still, it was making her feel like she was at least making her way towards belonging in the role. "All eyes focused. If this was a recent event or something or someone nearby we need to know about it",

Gregor worked the comms. Attention Medical and Security. We are approaching an unknown ship that may require assistance. When the captain authorizes you will gather at transporter room four for search and rescue detail, gather your gear and standby. That is all.

Gregor got in another scan as they were approaching. "Lieutenant Nir'anyar I can not tell if this is a warship or a heavily armed freighter. There is no sign of weapons or shields being activated, and I can still detect no life signs as of yet. " He looked at the ship on the viewer and pondered. "And Lieutenant, I would like to suggest that we go to yellow alert and raise shields only at this time. Permission to do so?" He asked.

"Yes, Lieutenant." Hamish responded, looking towards Anya, and giving a nod of acknowledgement to the 2nd Officer. He glanced over towards Gregor who seemed to be rather efficient. He will need to get better acquainted with the man who married his cousin.

Pete adjusted course. His usual lax demeanour changed in an instant to all business. He knew as just about everyone on the Bridge knew that approaching an unknown derelict ship was dangerous. "Course adjusted. Ma'am I recommend approaching at half impulse. If it is a trap that will give us enough time to respond accordingly." Pete already had the ship and half impulse. If the Doctor ordered he would hit the gas.

"By your leave Lieutenant" directing her comment to Mitchell before turning slightly in the command chair. "Lieutenant Gregor, let's standby on yellow alert until we know more".
The Captain was in the ready room and Anya debated calling her to the bridge but at the same time was it worth it? At the moment they were only investigating a blip on the sensors which could be nothing. She decided to hold off... at least for now.
"Mr Teague, it falls to you. What have we got?"

Gregor nodded. " Aye Sir!! Standing by. " He responded as he scanned the screen for any lurking dangers.

"I am detecting evidence that a class four Ion storm that passed through here forty-eight hours ago, accompanying it was a gravimetric distortion. I am also detecting structural damage and hull damage, and high levels of gamma radiation. As what Lieutenant Morgan had said, I do not detect any lifesigns. There is evidence that life pods had been ejected, there maybe some unknown survivors." Hamish reported he looked back down at his sensors.

"No evidence of life on the craft?" she asked as her legs operated on their own accord. She was on her feet and moving to look over Mitchell's shoulder at the sensor readouts herself.

"There is none, unless perhaps some survivors are near someplace I am unable to pick up their life signs due to interference. I remember reading of a ship where some of the crew had gone in a place near engineering, being protected there, from the anomaly.'

"Mr Mitchell, can you make the location for a follow up investigation at a later stage but let's all keep our eyes sharp for signs of any escape pods!" she raised her voice for the latter part of the statement so everyone on the bridge could hear her clearly.

"Aye. Making a notation in the ship's navigational computer." Pete pressed a few commands into his console and he saw the marker appear on the screen that showed the navigational charts.

Gregor spoke up. " If the crew did abandon ship and use the life pods, the Ion storm from a few days ago would have wiped out any sign of their passage. There is a planet and a desert moon at a nearby gas giant that could sustain life. "
Hamish was quiet for a moment or two as he adjusted the scanning perimeters, then he looked up with great excitement. "I have found something! It is faint but there is some indications of life energy, its a bit scanty but still if they are near another energy source could mean there maybe survivors after all."

"Lieutenant Mitchell, change course to intercept that ship" Anya was tense now with the prospect of a new discovery. "Lieutenant Anya to Captain Jones, I've altered course to intercept a derelict vessel. We've picked up some unusual energy readings!"

"I'm on my way." came the reply over the comm system.

"Course laid in at full impulse." Pete replied to the Doc's order.


●●●● Captain Melody Jones
Commanding Officer
USS Merlin

●● Lieutenant Nir’anyar
Chief Medical Officer
USS Merlin

●● Lieutenant Gregor Morgan
Chief Security/Tactical Officer
USS Merlin

●● Lieutenant Hamish Teague
Chief Science Officer
USS Merlin

●● Lieutenant Pete "Maverick" Mitchell
Chief Flight Control Officer
Commander Air Group
USS Merlin


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