Star Trek: Thine Own Self
S1 E08 Theatre of the Mind
Stardate: 57669.9 – Tue Sep 02 2380 0435 UTC
Starfleet Dramatis Personae
- Lt. Kodar Tamat, Cardassian engineering officer and mission commander
- Lt. Cmdr. Jora Mungar, Trill conn officer
- Lt. Leahman Barclay, Human conn officer (Semi-temporary NPC)
- Lt. J.G. Simon Cañete, Human security officer (Temporary NPC)
- Lt. Miral, Denobulan science officer (Temporary NPC)
- Ensign Sparik, Vulcan conn officer – shuttle pilot
- Lt. Shathir Yunus, Andorian bridge conn officer – A shift
- Ensign Khalid Coufax, Human bridge operations officer – A shift
- Lt. Annete Metaxis, Human bridge conn officer – B shift
- Lt. Aaditri Fuentes, Human bridge operations officer – B shift
- Ensign Chirapa Ortega, Human engineering officer – warp theory specialist
- Lt. Gavin Nakano, Human engineering officer – EPS specialist
- En. Serafina Dell, Human engineering officer – impulse engine specialist
- En. Humairah Sufian, Human engineering officer – life support specialist
- Lt. T’meq, Vulcan science officer – xenobiologist
- Dr. Marjukka Suuronen, Human chief medical officer
- Captain Vosgal Toor, Zaranite commanding officer of the Sienkiewicz
- Captain Umberto Wong, Human commanding officer of the Nairobi
While looking for the missing New Orleans-class USS Nairobi in the Melpomene Sector near the Typhon Expanse, the Sabre-class USS Sienkiewicz (NCC-88034) dispatched an away team on the Danube-class runabout USS Moonstar. During their away mission on Delta Melpomene V, Lt. Kodar Tamat, Lt. J.G. Simon Cañete and Ensign Sparik encountered time crystals. The crystals showed them a possible future where the Sienkiewicz was in flames, the captain appeared dead and an old Einstein-class starship was attacking them.
Soon they rescued Lt. Cmdr. Jora Mungar whose repair crew & runabout USS Segura was wiped out by a gargantuan invisible tentacle of metreon radiation and exotic matter that reached out from the Great Mugato Nebula. Meanwhile, the Sienkiewicz had also vanished and gone incommunicado.
The Moonstar crew entered the starcave with an internal diameter of five light years where their pilot Ensign Sparik was incapacitated by an external psionic attack. They had to create anti-psi helmets to prevent the telepathic attacks. Meanwhile, there were dozens of derelict starship clustered together within the cave. They recovered Lt. Leahman Barclay suspended in the USS Adriatic‘s transport buffer for over a century. After escaping the destruction of the Adriatic, the Moonstar motley crew finally approached the USS Sienkiewicz…
Lt. J.G. Cañete reported from his tactical station, “There is no answer, sir. There are sporadic signs of life aboard. Difficult to make out details because of the metreon radiation interference. Power looks to be up, and stable, sir.”
Lt. Cmdr. Mungar was about to scan the Sienkiewicz when his board beeps frenetically. A secondary explosion of the First Foundation globe ship sent a shockwave of particles toward them. (Two player characters, so 4 Threat points for the GM, thus I spent 2 Threats here.) Most were small and could be absorbed by the Moonstar‘s hull and shields, but there were larger debris the size of a bridge console headed their way at high velocity.
“Let’s be safe,” Mungar yelled. “Brace yourselves!” Mungar’s skilfully piloted the Moonstar in an extreme dive and spin through the debris (with a Helm Operations focus). Tamat attempted to mitigate the wave’s impact by regulating their shields (with a Hazard Awareness Focus). They succeeded. (With an assist – and success – by the Moonstar herself, they both received 4 Successes including 2 Momentum in the Momentum Pool.)
“Shields optimised,” the Cardassian Kodar Tamat said in relief. “We have some leeway.” He noticed that the sensors registered some of the tiny debris that zipped past them to be fragments of time crystals. Like the one that gave them their vision on Delta Melpomene V.
“Thanks, Lieutenant,” the Trill pilot said. There had been no damaging debris strikes, but the sensors indicated some minor impacts upon the hull of the Sienkiewicz and the Nairobi, which was fifty kilometres further away.
“Great job, Jora,” Tamat said. “Let’s get closer to the Sienkiewicz and see what we can find.”
Mungar piloted the Moonstar gradually and carefully towards the two forward-facing hangar bays on the dorsal surface of the Sienkiewicz‘s saucer section. One of the bay doors was open, its semi-permeable forcefield which kept the atmosphere in was active.
Tamat scanned the bay and announced, “We’ve got gravity and atmosphere. Let’s land., but let’s keep our helmets on when we disembark.”
“Right. Good to be safe.”
Behind them, Lt. Cañete was breaking out the phasers from their storage compartment.
There were no issues with their approach. There was no Landing Signal Officer on comms for guidance, but they easily coasted into the open hangar bay door 2 and landed on her designated berth. The recently rebuilt runabout Da Costa stood proudly in an adjacent pad. A pair of Type-9 shuttecrafts – the Rasputin and the Guthrie – and a pair of Type-6s – the Sinclair and the Aquilla – were also parked in the bay. It seemed like the lights were all on, but no one was home.
Barclay was feeling the 24th century culture shock now. “Uhhh, wow. I’ve never seen anything like this before in my life. This… this is Starfleet, you say?”
Mungar smiled and said, “Yes, nice designs, aren’t they?”
Cañete returned from the rear living compartment and announced, “Ensign Sparik appears stable. We can safely leave him here and retrieve him once we get out of this nebula.”
“Good,” Tamat said. “Let’s go see if we can find the rest of the crew.”
Cañete reminded them, “If our helmets work, we should get to the bridge, sir.”
The green and orange illumination from the nebula outside filled the hangar bay through the open bay door. Tamat led Canete, Mungar and Barclay out of the Moonstar and towards a turbolift, his tricorder and phaser ready for action. He said, “Everything seems clear, guys.”
Lt. Barclay fiddled curiously with his tricorder and phaser. He asked, “Wait, where’s the trigger? Is this a weapon or a scanner or something?”
Tamat showed him. “Trigger here. Point there. It’s a phaser.”
The main doors that led to the corridors suddenly slid open. A Vulcan rushed into the hangar bay. She appeared to be in pain, her hands holding the sides of her head as she ran. Tamat and Cañete recognised her as science officer Lt. T’meq, the xenobiology specialist. She screamed at them, “The Klingons are behind us. They’ve killed the Captain! I couldn’t save him. I couldn’t save him!”
Mungar lowered his phaser and tried to calm her down, “I’m sorry.”
“They’re coming!” she said and did not stop, rushing past the group. “They’ve killed everyone!”
Tamat remembered what Ensign Sparik experienced and said, “She’s suffering from the effects of the radiation. Stop her!”
She appeared to be dashing for the open bay door, and the near-vacuum of space outside. T’meq continued somewhat uncharacteristically emotionally, “I’ve failed Starfleet! I’ve failed Vulcan!”
Tamat yelled, “Stop her!”
Mungar tried his best to talk her down. “The Klingons are gone, calm down. You are in no danger now!” But she was now 30 metres away and about to reach the open bay door. Tamat fired his phaser. (Control+Security=13. Raw result 2,2. Two successes!.) The stun beam struck T’meq’s back. She dropped.
Barclay too had his phaser up, but nothing was fired (because the GM spent 2 Threats) as he pressed on the wrong buttons and was only making his weapon setting go up and down.
Cañete was first to reach the unconscious Vulcan. He asked, “What is going on here?” Tamat said, “It’s the nebula’s radiation. It’s making them see things, like we did without our helmets.” Mungar scanned T’Meq with his tricorder and found that she was fine physically though a bit dehydrated, but her brain activity was a chaos of spikes.
The Trill pilot tried to implement a Betazoid method of relaxing cranial pressure on T’meq. He grew up on Betazed where his parents used to be ambassadors there. (Because he was neither Vulcan nor Betazoid, the Difficulty was 3. His Insight+Medicine was 13. Rolling 2d20, Mungar only achieved 2 Successes.) After the cranial massage, Lt. Mungar checked T’Meq with a tricorder and found that her brainwave pattern was still chaotic. They would have to leave her knocked out.
Tamat came to a decision while he found the controls to shut the open bay door, “If we get to Engineering, we might be able to replicate the helmets’ effect by remodulating the shields.” The bay doors slid close and the eerie green and orange lighting ceased to be in the hangar bay.
Cañete peered out into the corridor where T’meq had appeared. He said, “It’s clear to the turbolift doors. But there’s something weird out there.”
Tamat said, “To Main Engineering. Let’s go.”
On the way to the turbolift, the motley Starfleet crew noticed something. There were something peculiar growing from the seams and corners of the floor and walls of the corridor. They look crystalline. There were two potted agave plants flanking the turbolift door. Some of the crystalline matter had formed between one pot and the floor and wall behind it.
Mungar had his tricorder scanning the crystal, but both Tamat and Cañete recognised its colour and texture. The Cardassian gasped, “Uh oh. Not good.” They were time crystals, like the shard they found on Delta Melpomene V. Mungar’s scans confirmed its quantum signature.
Suddenly, the shipwide comms blared loudly through the Sienkiewicz‘s corridors, “This is Ensign Ortega! We’ve hit the reef! Water is flooding in. All hands get above deck! Repeat! All hands – ” Suddenly, Ortega is cut off.
Tamat ensured that his phaser was set on stun and said, “I think it’s the time crystals that are causing these visions. Or making them worse.”
The turbolift arrived. The doors parted. Inside is your CMO Dr. Marjukka Suuronen, an elderly crochety lady who was hunched on her knee, alone on the floor. She seemed to be ignoring them and was yelling to empty space on the floor, “Hold on. We are not going to lose your baby, ensign. Just a bit more and we’ll be able to move you to Sickbay.”
Tamat planned to send a pulse via his tricorder to disrupt the psionic signal, but realise that the signal emitter would not be strong enough to pull it off. Dr. Suuronen continued. “Now push! PUSH! DAMN! I wish I had my medical bag! Ensign. STAY WITH ME! STAY WITH ME!” Her hand reached out to touch and comfort an invisible face.
Tamat muttered. “We’ll help her soon, along with the rest of the crew.” Everyone got into the turbolift as Dr. Suuronen continued to yell at the empty floor beside them. Cañete barked, “Main Engineering,” and the lift cab began travelling aft. Thirty seconds later, it stopped and the door opened.
Tamat stepped out and headed for the bulkead doors marked MAIN ENGINEERING. “Let’s be careful, there could be affected crew. I need to get to the shield main console behind the reactor.”
There were three Starfleet engineers at work there. Lt. Gavin Nakano was in charge here as Tamat was on bridge duty or away team missions. With him were Ensigns Serafina Dell and Humairah Sufian. They were all armed with phasers. Lt. Nakano spotted the Cardassina and exclaimed, “Mr. Tamat! I’m glad you’re here. They are trying to break into the bank and steal the gold-pressed latinum. We have to stop them. I think they killed Lt. Slusarski.” Anna Slusarski was the ship’s resident astrophysics expert.
Cañete rushed to a panel and called up his customised security LCARS screen as Tamat told his fellow engineer, “Don’t worry, Nakano. We’ve got everything under control. Stand down?” He tried to call up the ship’s status and sensor displays.
Nakano said with belligerence, “Sir, the Breen are ruthless. They’ll kill us all.”
Somewhere in the back, Barclay asked no one in particular, “What a Breen?”
As Mungar looked for a wall replicator to make more anti-psi helmets, Tamat tried a new tactic. “We’ve already dealt with the Breen. We brought reinforcements.”
Nakano was becoming more livid. “They killed the captain on the bridge!”
“Lt. Nakano!” Ensign Sufian was pointing towards the warp core! The harangued lieutenant’s eyes went wide, peering at the warp core, and yelled, “BREEN WARRIOR!”. Nakano raised his phaser to shoot the invisible Breen and, at the same time, the USS Sienkiewicz‘s warp core.
Mungar – now at the far end of Main Engineering – was about to shoot Nakano when Tamat ordered, “Take his weapon! Don’t shoot here!” However, Mungar was too far away to engage Nakano. Tamat, instead, lunged to disarm Nakano.
Tamat jumped him and he tumbled as he thumbed the trigger. (Fitness+Security=10, Difficulty 2. A Momentum was used to purchase an extra d20. The 3d20 roll displayed 4, 8, 4. Three Successes!) The phaser beam, which was set to kill, left a jagged, glowing trail of molten composites and metal across the ceiling. Thankfully, nothing exploded. A thump on the deck and Nakano was out cold.
The door beside the Trill had slid open to reveal a machine shop with an industrial-level replicator. But then he turned back to help Tamat. That was when Dell accosted him, both lunging forward with her phaser as if it was a sword. Dell yelled, “Have at thee!”
Both Tamat and Mungar engaged with Dell, hoping she would not fire her phaser. Though Mungar was unable to, Tamat (with 2 Successes) snatched the weapon out of her hands. Dell had a crazed look in her eye as she screamed at Mungar. “You’re a Breen agent, aren’t you, Trill? Come to think of it: I don’t remember you at all aboard the Sienkiewicz!”
Tamat fired and (with three Successes and removing two of her Stress Points) the psychically exhausted Dell crumpled immobilised to the floor, but she was still conscious. Tamat and Mungar looked around to see Cañete at an engineering station. Also, Ensign Sufian was still parrying, thrusting and keeping en guard against an imaginary Breen on her own.
Tamat was about to take Sufian down for her own good when Cañete suddenly yelled, “Proximity alert! Oh crap! Everyone brace!”
(At this point, Leahman Barclay’s player showed up and took control of his character.)
The Sienkiewicz rocked – and not in a good way. (Everyone rolled Fitness+Security, Difficulty 3. Difficulty 2 if braced or seated.) Cañete, seated, held on tight, but Barclay, Tamat and Mungar tumbled onto the deck. Mungar’s right palm came into contact with a patch of time crystal growing where a deck panel met a wall panel.
A jolt of otherworldly sensation speared through both the humanoid Jora and the symbiont Mungar. Tamat yelled, “Jora!”
Barclay rushed forward, saying, “Commander, no!”
In their mind, someone spoke to Jora and Mungar. There was no voice, but there were words.
I AM ALONE. THIS IS ALL I AM. I AM GIVING THESE CREATURES WHAT THEY WANT IN THEIR MINDS… AN EXCITING LIFE. THEY WILL HAVE AN EXCITING LIFE WITH ME FOREVER. I WILL PROVIDE FOR THEM.
Jora and Mungar felt – not heard – a lonely voice, almost immature and inexperienced. The words emanated from the very fabric of the starcave and much of the Great Mugato Nebula. The voice came from something vast and living. It was both greatly excited and immensely sad. The conjoined Trill knew it wanted – required – company. It only knew one way to make people stay…
“Stop it, please,” pleaded Lt. Cmdr. Mungar wordlessly. You are hurting them. Their brains are overexcited.”
Then he was back in Main Engineering. Tamat asked, “Mungar, are you okay?” The Trill explained everything he felt to the Cardassian.
Meanwhile, the klaxons began blaring. Cañete reported, “Sir. An old Einstein-class starship 120 kilometres off our starboard bow. It was the one who fired on us.”
Barclay muttered under his breath, “It’s not that old.”
More data flowed onscreen. “It’s the USS Dirac, sir. Lost 2230, three decades before Lt. Barclay’s ship was lost. Some sort of beam pierced Deck 3. Minor damage. Forcefields and emergency bulkheads have activated.”
“Can we raise shields from engineering?” Tamat asked. Cañete nodded. “Okay, let’s get the shields on!” As Tamat headed for the shield controls, Dell jumped him. The Cardassian grunted, “Get her off me!”
The exhausted engineer tried to jump him again, but Tamat easily evaded the crude manouevre. She tumbled with a loud thump upon the railing around the warp core. Barclay, who finally learned how to use a 23rd century phaser, pointed the weapon at Dell and yelled, “Don’t make me do this.”
But Dell was unconscious.
Cañete announced, “The Dirac is approaching. Range ninety kilometres.” From his engineering station, Tamat noted that the shields were still down.
As Tamat adjusted the shield modulation on a subspace frequency that would disrupt the psionic attack on the Sienkiewicz, Mungar headed for the turbolift where Dr. Suuronen was still trying to deliver a baby that was not there. “I’m going to take the helm,” he said before heading for the bridge.
Beside him the good doctor was still yelling to her imaginary patient, “PUSH! Come on, you can do it! PUSH!”
Holstering his phaser, Barclay asked, “Are there any life signs on the Dirac?”
Cañete reported, “I am unable to detect any life forms on the Dirac. But there are some strange life support readings there.” According to his panel, humidity levels had risen seventy-three percent and the temperature had jumped ten degrees recently.”
Tamat (with only one Success on a Difficulty 2) was able to raise shields, but was not able to modulate it quick enough. This time, the white beam was visible on screen. It struck the Sienkiewicz, and everything rocked violently.
“Shields up,” Tamat said.
Barclay told him, “Can I access the tactical systems from engineering… just in case diplomacy fails.”
“You should be able to. Check that console.” The Cardassian pointed at a console on the other end of the room.
Taking the station, Barclay muttered at the LCARS display, “Damned new-fangled technology, back in my day we’d never-” (As he was from the 22nd century, Barclay’s Difficulty was raised by one to use the panel untrained.)
Tamat was then able to determine the correct shield frequency modulation (while using Momentum to get 4 Successes on a Difficulty 2.) On screen, the beam from the Dirac almost pierced the shield. Sensors showed that the beam vapourised some hull plating near Deck 3, starboard sid, but the shield held.
Tamat hit the comms button and said, “Attention crew of the USS Sienkiewicz. This is Lt. Kodar Tamat, you have been affected by radiations in the nebula, but you should be able to think clearly now. Please activate triage protocols for wounded crewmembers.”
In main engineering, En. Sufian stopped fighting the air and dropped her phaser. She adjusted her hijab and peered at Tamat, flustered and confused. “Sir?”
“Sufian, good to have you back. How are you feeling?”
“Where did the Breen go, sir?”
“There were no Breen, Sufian,” said Tamat. “We were being affected by the nebula radiation.”
Barclay asked, “What’s a Breen?”
Meanwhile, Jora Mungar stepped onto the bridge. He caught sight of a Zaranite with captain’s pips on lying the floor, his fluorine breather mask detached from his face. On Conn was an unconscious woman slumped back on her chair with a deep phaser burn on her chest. On Ops was a man, smiling and talking to his console, “Yes. I know. I do love you. That’s why I left Starfleet all those years ago. For you. I will see you soon.”
On the main viewscreen, Mungar saw the ancient Einstein-class ship barrelling towards the Sienkiewicz and he saw something chilling. There were dark patches of panels on the hull, with seemingly chaotic tubes and hoses and circuitry and light assembly. Was the ship infiltrated by Borg?
The Trill attended to the captain who was gasping for breath, and reattached his mask.
There was another beam strike upon the shields. Mungar almost fell.
Back in Engineering, Cañete called, “Sir, the signal that is affecting the shields? I think it’s some sort of communication medium.”
“Communication?” asked Tamat. “Can we decipher it?”
Cañete spoke grimly, “I think you have to turn off your helmet, Lieutenant.”
“We should be safe,” Tamat tells Cañete and then turned off his anti-psi helmet. But he did not take it off, because he thought it looked cool.
His mind was overwhelmed immediately…
The comms chirped, “This is Lt. Cmdr. Mungar on the bridge. The Dirac has been assimilated by the Borg.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Suuronen stumbled into the bridge. She looked around, saw the captain recovering in the centre seat, the injured helm & the oncoming ship about to collide with them. “What the hell is going on?” She glared at Mungar who rushed for the Conn station. The doctor yelled, “Who the hell are you?”
“I’m Lt. Cmdr. Jora Mungar, sir.” Mungar (rolling his Control+Conn, his Helm Operations Focus and spending a Determination for his “A ship could be an extension of your mind and body” Value successfully) implemented evasive manoeuvres skilfully and wove out of the path of another cutting beam from the Dirac.
Barclay’s voice from Main Engineering came through the bridge speakers, “Permission to return fire!”
But there was no reply from Tamat…
NO PLEASE DON’T LEAVE. STAY HERE. I AM ALL THERE IS. I WILL PROVIDE! I WILL GIVE YOU EXCITING LIVES!
The voice was loud in his mind. Tamat said, broadcasting his thoughts, “We can’t stay here! We can’t live in fantasy!”
WHAT IS THIS FANTASY? I GIVE YOU WHAT YOU WANT!
“No, we can’t live getting what we want at all times! We need uncertainty, challenges! We need our minds to be free! That is what makes us… sentient.”
The Cardassian was enveloped with the thought of an ancient creature of exotic particles. It was ancient but still a juvenile. It spent aeons alone and lonely in the nebula waiting for… something. As it learnt about the surrounding stars and nebulae, it wondered if it was all there was. Why was it alone? Then one day, thousands of years ago a starship chanced upon the Great Mugato Nebula. Individual beings! Looking for adventure. Excitement. Communication seemed impossible then, it knew not of language and many concepts in the travellers’ minds. But it did what it had to do prevent the ship from leaving. It gave them adventure upon adventure upon adventure in their minds. As the centuries passed, more ships came. More beings to play with.
“If you are lonely,” Tamat sent, “we will try to communicate with you, and make sure you are listened to. But we can’t be forced.” (Tamat rolled Reason+Command invoking his “Cosmopolitan” Value to define that he is familiar with dozens of species including telepathic ones, and got 4 Successes upon Difficulty 3!)
Tamat broadcasted focused thought which the entity received. It was difficult but he managed to shoot like a laser beam the idea of…
The galaxies. The Milky Way. Supergiants. Black holes. Quasars. Federation Space. Star systems. M-class planets. L-class moons. Space stations. Starships. Cities. Societies. Cultures. Life forms…
Tamat sent with pride, “We will come voluntarily, meeting new life forms is our calling.”
I DID NOT IMAGINE THAT THERE IS MORE TO EVERYTHING….
Meanwhile Barclay fired back at the Dirac but missed. (He rolled Control+Security, with a Diifficulty of 4 as he is unfamiliar with the 24th century interface. Even with a Momentum purchase, he failed the roll.)
“Captain Toor will be alright,” Dr. Suuronen said and then moved to tend to the fallen Conn officer next.
Mungar was able to roll the ship and evade another cutting beam.
In Tamat’s mind, a huge feeling of uncertainty and hope and despair washed over him.
YOUR LIVES ARE EXCITING IN A WAY I DO NOT KNOW! WHAT ARE YOU? WHY ARE YOU?
Then Tamat continued sending thoughts. All the planets Tamat visited. The dozens of species Tamat met. Hundreds of starships exploring strange new worlds, finding new life forms and new civilisations, and boldly going where no individual entity has gone before… “We are STARFLEET.”
ALL I WANT IS FOR YOU TO BE HAPPY HERE AS I THOUGHT NOTHING OTHER THAN HERE/EVERYTHING EXISTS…
Was it working? Am I getting through to this celestial entity? thought Tamat anxiously.
YOU MINDS ARE THE SAME. YOU SHINE THE SAME. EXCEPT FOR THE MINDS THAT GLOW GREEN. I HAVE DONE YOU WRONG.
THE GREEN MINDS THAT DO NOT DREAM AND NEEDS NO EXCITEMENT
“Minds… or mind, single?”
I AM UNABLE TO DISCERN THAT. THE GREEN MINDS ARE UNLIKE YOURS.
Tamat froze at the thought of the “green minds”.
WHY ARE YOU SILENT?
From the entity’s telepathic imprint of the “green minds”, Tamat knew it was talking about the Borg. They had assimilated the Dirac at some point in the past before it was pulled into the Great Mugato Nebula. Tamat said, “We need your help now. We’re under attack. The Borg killed my good friend ambassador Duncan Ballis. He thought he could avoid violence. He did what was right but the Borg is very dangerous. We will need to do our best, I trust you will too.”
On the bridge of the USS Sienkiewicz, Mungar called on comms, “Lieutenant Cañete, come to the bridge and use ship sensors to scan any energy incoming causing the psychic attacks.”
“Acknowledged. Heading to bridge.” He nodded to the still-mesmerised Tamat and the confused Sufian before rushing for the tubolift.
More people were entering the bridge now, including another Conn officer. The Andorian sat beside Mungar and said, “I am Lt. Shathir Yunus. What is our status, Commander?”
Mungar said, “We are under Borg attack, Lieutenant.”
Lt. Yunus looked at the Dirac on the viewscreen and muttered, “I-I never thought I would meet the Borg in this mission.”
“Put in your position and start defensive protocols,” ordered Mungar.
Then Cañete entered the bridge, saying, “Sorry, I was busy working on something else.” He converted a Science station to another Tactical station. A display popped up of the Saber-class and the Einstein-class starships stalking each other in the nebula.
Another swish of the door and a Denobulan science officer entered. She announced, “Lt. Miral, reporting for bridge duty, sir.”
“Lieutenant Miral, try to block any energy incoming causing psychic attacks. while Cañete scans for them.”
“Aye, sir,” muttered Miral. “Uh… whoever you are, sir.” She was looking at Mungar’s different Starfleet uniform style.
“I’m Lt. Cmdr. Jora Mungar, nice to have your help, all of you, ladies and gentlemen.”
Barclay exclaimed, “Locking torpedoes and firing!”A single photon torpedo streaked out to the Dirac. hitting its secondary hull above and aft of its saucer section. There was a burst of light and energy from its shields, but the Dirac kept on sailing. It was poised to fire again at the Sienkiewicz.
That was when the thrumming began. It was like an ethereal vibration that everyone felt; as if something was changing the local fabric of spacetime. Cañete set the viewscreen’s filter to give false colour to metreon radiation.
That’s when everyone saw it onscreen. Mungar, being VERY familiar with the view, shivered He said, “Not again!”
A gargantuan invisible tentacle – which was glowing in the viewscreen’s false colour filter, reached into the starcave from its gaseous wall. It reached in. The tentacle reached in and down from the edge-wall of the cave many light years away. It reached past the Klingon ships, the First Federation ships and the ancient Promellian battle cruiser. The tendril far eclipsed both the Nairobi and the Sienkiewicz in size.
The Dirac‘s cutting beam flashed, but then the enormous field of exotic particles enveloped the ship, neutralising its energy.
The tentacle-structure absorbed the cutting beam. Then it engulfed and swallowed the entire USS Dirac as if it was made of jello. One moment the Dirac was manoeuvring in space. The next, it was dormant, consumed and locked within the exotic matter structure of the tentacle.
Barclay, at his station, whispered, “Mother of God.”
Tamat heard in his mind:
IS THIS THE HELP YOU NEED?
Tamat was taken aback for a moment. “Uhm, yes. Thank you. Do you think you can reach their minds, free them?”
WE HAVE FREED THEM. THEIR MINDS ARE NO LONGER SICKLY GREEN. THEY ARE NOW RED AND BLUE AND YELLOW AND PURPLE AS I UNDERSTAND IT FROM YOUR LANGUAGE.
“Thank you, thank you so much.”
I WISH TO JOIN YOUR FEDERATION. THERE IS MUCH TO LEARN. MUCH TO EXPERIENCE.
“We would be honoured,” said Tamat. He felt a strong wave of regret and the desire to do better, and to explore. “I will let my people know, so they can come and talk to you. What should we call you?”
YOU MAY CALL ME DREAMER
“Welcome to the wider galaxy, Dreamer.”
On the bridge of the Sienkiewicz, the inter-ship comms began chattering on speakers, “Mayday. Mayday. This is the USS Nairobi to any ship in range. We have lost power and are adrift in space. We need assistance. Repeat, mayday…”
Lt. Yunus made contact with Captain Umberto Wong of the Nairobi. He confirmed that they were brought here by the same trail of clues that led the Sienkiewicz to the cave as well.
“How may we help you with the warp drive, Captain Wong?” said Mungar.
A medical team arrived to take the injured Lt. Annette Metaxis, the Conn officer with severe phaser burns, to sickbay. Captan Vosgal Toor stood up at the center seat held by Dr. Suuronen. He groaned in pain, but took it in stride. Mungar greeted him, “Nice to see you back, Captain.”
“Thanks,” said the Zaranite. “Er… who are you?”
“I’m Lt. Cmdr. Jora Mungar, flight officer and diplomat. Nice to meet you, Captain.”
Captain Toor gasped for breath and said, “I suppose there is a lot I missed?” He chuckled in Zaranite.
Behind them at the science station, a crowd had formed around Lt. Barclay asking him about his antique uniform and where he came from. Barclay eagerly said, “Lt. Leahman Barclay, late of the USS Adriatic.”
Tamat mind returned. Before he sprinted for the turbolift, he said, “Sufian, you have engineering.”
When Tamat arrived, Toor requested a debriefing by Tamat, Cañete, Mungar and Barclay. Then, he congratulated and thanked them. “Thank you for your purposeful and noble actions. You saved the ship. You saved our lives. And you managed to execute a First Contact with an unknown alien entity. Well done. I will see that you will officially be my executive officer, Mr. Tamat.”
Tamat was humbled. “Thank you, sir. I am proud to have helped.”
Then, Toor turned to the others, “Mr. Mungar, welcome aboard the Sienkiewicz. Mr. Barclay, welcome to the 24th century.”
“Thank you, sir,” said Mungar.
“Thank you. I’m sure I have a lot to learn,” said Barclay.
And then the crew of the Sienkiewicz led by Cañete proceeded to aid the Nairobi. Barclay led the operation to safely evacuate the xBs from the Dirac. In the meantime, Tamat and Mungar spearheaded follow-up First Contact procedures with Dreamer, awaiting a Second Contact starship to arrive from Deep Space 5.
- The longest write-up ever because I wanted to have almost everything written in the text chat here.
- Barring corrected typo, the characters’ speech should be 98% accurate also because of text chat records.
- By this time, Seven of Nine should be back in Federation space, so xBs should be well known and studied.
- Deep Space 4 and 5 are two Federation starbases nearest to the Typhon Expanse.
- We have not determine which starbase Jora Mungar and the ill-fated USS Segura are from prior to this mission.
- Yes, the chapter titles are Decepticon names that makes sense in context early on, then slowly becomes nonsensical.