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A Beacon in the Dark

Posted on Thu Apr 23rd, 2020 @ 9:32pm by Captain Keziah Nazir & Lieutenant Commander Garen Romaes & Lieutenant Commander Sebastian Farrell & Lieutenant JG Marcia Byers & First Lieutenant Ariella Arnold
Edited on on Mon Apr 27th, 2020 @ 4:53pm

Mission: Episode 1: Armageddon - The End of All Things
Location: Runabouts Axiom and Tycho, Hetaxia System
Timeline: Day 4 at 2145

A brilliant flash of light preceded the appearance of a Starfleet Runabout as it dropped out of warp on the far edge of the Hetaxia system. The small craft seemed to steady itself before using its engines to thrust towards the location that the crew had travelled there to visit. The Gas Giant known as Hetax, on the edge of the system, was orbited by two moons; Euboea and Iris, and it was Iris the Starfleet survivors had come to see, or at least the Shipyard a few thousand kilometres away.

“According to this, DS4 should be on the far side of the asteroid field. About three thousand kilometres from Iris,” Lieutenant Commander Garen Romaes spoke from the forward controls of the Runabout the small team occupied.

Captain Keziah Nazir had remained seated behind the pilot and co-pilot, watching their every move and monitoring the ongoing situation. She was not used to running missions from a Runabout, much more at home on the bridge of her much larger Polaris-class starship, the Ulysses. Or at least, she had been until now. Everything had changed of course.

Suddenly the ship's computer console began to beep wildly and that drew everyone's attention towards the Lieutenant at the back.

“Sensors are picking up a ship… Starfleet signal,” Lieutenant Marcia Byers confirmed, looking at the Captain for guidance.

“Where?”

“It’s about two thousand kilometres away Commander, other side of Iris to us,” the Lieutenant informed, having looked over the readings himself. “We should order them to transmit their identification code,” she added.

Keziah nodded in the direction of Byers and then looked forward at Garen. “Are you picking up any other signatures, Commander? Starfleet or otherwise?” she queried, more in hope than expectation. The shake of his head and the accompanying frown told her all she needed to know for now.

They were practically alone.

“Captain…”

Nazir turned in her chair and looked at the owner of the voice that had called out. “What is it?” she asked.

“We’ve received and confirmed their I.D. ma’am. Starfleet Runabout Axiom. Survivors from Fleet Headquarters on Bolarus,” the Lieutenant revealed with a smile.

“Are they within communications range?” she asked, some relief in her voice at the thought of there being some more survivors out there. A nod and smile from Byers gave her confirmation. “Open hailing frequencies,” the Captain ordered.

“Channel open,” the Lieutenant responded.

“=/\=Runabout Axiom, this is Runabout Tycho, come in please,” the Captain spoke. There was nothing at first, no response of any kind and as Commander Garen turned in his chair to look at the Captain. She repeated her message. “=/\=Runabout Axiom, this is Runabout Tycho, come in please.”

Eventually, the silence turned to static and then a lone voice. “=/\=Runabout Tycho, this is Axiom. Lieutenant Commander Sebastian Farrell commanding, I guess. Damn glad to find you,” the male voice remarked, an audible smirk heard in the cockpit as the fleet officers relaxed a little and exchanged smiles.

With a new sense of determination, the Captain rose to her feet as she addressed the other craft. “=/\=Commander Farrell, this is Captain Nazir. I’m ordering you to meet us aboard DS4, is that understood?”

There was a moments silence and then the response. “=/\=Affirmative, Captain. See you there. Axiom out.”

With the termination of the communication between the two Starfleet vessels, Nazir looked briefly at Lieutenant Byersand smiled. “Okay Ensign, take us in. Find us a landing pad that won’t draw any attention to us if the Borg come calling,” she ordered with a pat on the Pilots shoulder before retreating to the aft cabin. An “Aye Captain” signalled the Pilots confirmation of his orders as the Captain took her original seat and shared a glance or two with Commander Garen. “Survivors…” she whispered.

“Survivors,” he echoed with a nod and a smile Survivors, and hope.


[Runabout Eight-Six-Three, Approaching Nogura Fleet Depot]


The euphoria aboard the Runabout had yet to subside at the news that they had successfully located Captain Nazir of the Ulysses and her team. Whilst it was clear that they were so far the only survivors to arrive, unless some had already made it to the station, the crew of the Axiom couldn’t help but feel a little more optimistic than before. They were no longer alone!

For Lieutenant Commander Sebastian Farrell, the man who had conversed with the Captain, it was a privilege to be able to lead this small group to the safety of the station and then hand over command to the woman from the Ulysses. He had loved commanding his own away teams at various points, but commanding what could have been the last group of survivors of the Federation? No, that was too big of a responsibility for a mere Lieutenant Commander.

“Commander?”

A voice distracted Sebastian from his daydream and his thoughts and pulled him back to reality. He looked over at the Pilot with a raised eyebrow. “Hmmm?”

“We’ve received a set of landing coordinates from Captain Nazir’s runabout. Want me to take us down?” Arnold spoke quietly, the others now in the back rejoicing privately.

Nodding, the Commander gave his seal of approval. “Lucky we found them at the first attempt, huh?” he grinned as he made conversation with the Pilot, who so far had been the least animated of the group.

“Never in doubt,” she eventually smiled. She sure was a confident little thing.

The Runabout adjusted course and began hurtling towards the starbase when the communications array chimed in.

“=/\=Runabout Axiom, this is Byers. Course correction. Turn to vector four-one-mark-one-eight-zero,” a voice suddenly called out over the communications grid.

Lieutenant Arnold and Commander Farrell exchanged confused glances until the computer indicated their new heading. “We’ve received a new set of coordinates, but they aren’t down at the station. They are for an area of the asteroid field…” Lieutenant Arnold informed with a look of confusion on her face.

“=/\=Runabout Axiom, this is Runabout Tycho. Confirm receipt of message, over.”

“=/\=Runabout Tycho, this is Axiom. Message received and adjusting course,” Farrell confirmed, indicating his orders to the Lieutenant beside him with a nod.

Sure enough, manoeuvring thrusters soon kicked in and the small Runabout adjusted its course. It soon became clear that the craft would be doing a manoeuvre around the back of the large asteroid, but nothing could prepare them for what awaited.

Once they had cleared enough of the asteroid, the Commander’s eyes widened, as did those of Lieutenant Arnold beside him. They again exchanged glances and then Arnold called out to the people at the aft of the craft.

“You two are going to want to get up here!” she called.

Mel and Maxie, who had been exchanging pleasantries in the aft compartment swiftly made their way to a position where they could see what the commotion was about.

“Holy crap…” Maxie Schneider exclaimed as it quickly began to become more apparent.

There, laying motionless in front of their very eyes, two dull nacelles, a huge secondary hull and a massive saucer section. It was beautiful, a sight that none of the occupants of the Runabout Axiom had expected to see at the mothballed fleet yards. Mirandas, Constitutions, even Excelsiors and the odd Ambassador, but not this.

A Galaxy-class starship in all her, admittedly old, glory, sitting stationary among the asteroids, seemingly in hiding. The mighty vessel would have been a sight to behold at the best of times, but today? Today she was like a beacon shining a path through the darkness.

 

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