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Old 08-16-2006, 04:37 PM   #1
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Star Wars: Achaicus

Alright. I know I now have two fics going. But I've been meaning to do this for a while: a re-write of Dark Mirror.

But this isn't exactly like Dark Mirror. This isn't a mirror universe, it's merely alternate - the differences aren't that drastic. And it starts off in the normal universe. Don't worry, you'll get it once I've started.

I'll post the first part as soon as I get it written.

Last edited by The Doctor; 08-20-2006 at 11:51 AM.
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Old 08-16-2006, 05:09 PM   #2
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I'm looking foward to it. I don't like Alternate Universes, other than the one used in Doctor Who. I'm looking foward to it and I hope it is a better success than Dark Mirror.
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Old 08-20-2006, 12:14 AM   #3
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Well. Even though there doesn't seem to be much interest, I'm going to give it a shot. Here's the first chapter. Enjoy...


Star Wars
Achaicus


The Galaxy is a peaceful place. The Republic has not known war or threat for nearly 200 years, and the Galactic economy is thriving once more. The Senate has now turned its attention to other concerns - exploration.

The Galaxy, while a peaceful place, is also a mysterious one. Great parts of the Galaxy are unexplored, waiting to be explored and charted. Of particular interest is an incredible Star System completely cut off from the rest of the galaxy by a large nebula surrounding the system, radiation from which affecting hyperspace travel through the region.

In the interest of science, the Republic has dispatched three of its vessels to investigate the region - the Fortunas, the Stephanas, and the Achaicus - with orders to study the region, including the sole species inhabiting the fourth planet in the system...



Captain Valerius Tarn stood on the bridge of the Achaicus, his slightly graying hair and beard gleaming slightly in the bright orange light coming from the main view-screen.

“How close are we, Lieutenant?” he asked, turning to the science station.

“Approximately 20,000 kilometers,” answered Klara Rosch, sitting to his right and slightly behind him.

“Can we get any closer?” asked the captain, turning back to the view-screen.

“I wouldn’t recommend it, sir. The region is flooded with ebolic radiation. I wouldn’t recommend getting any closer than 15,000 kilometers.”

“Helm: take us within 16,000 - just to be on the safe side.”

“Aye sir, 16,000 kilometers.”

The nebula loomed in front of them, the orange gas slowly shifting to a deep gold, then gently fading to a light peach, then back to orange again. There were bits of rock floating along the edge, and a stray ion discharge shot across the screen at irregular intervals. The massive gas cloud swung around in a wide arch, leaving only a small fragment of it visible on the screen.

“It looks like it surrounds the entire system, captain,” said Rosch. “There are dozens of different types of radiation... ebolic, cocynic, electromagnetic...”

“And I’m reading hundreds of different types of ore in those rocks, sir,” said ensign D’Nalli from the helm.

“The Republic’s metallurgical staff would be busy for a long time in this region, that’s for sure...”

“Sir, Captain Harks is hailing from the Fortunas,” said the comm officer.

“Put him through.”

The view-screen flickered for a moment. A second later, the nebula was gone, replaced by the image of a man with the solid black hair of someone desperately trying to deny his age appeared on the screen, his face lit up with barely contained excitement.

“It’s remarkable, Val,” he said jovially. “We could send the entire fleet to survey this area and it would still take decades.”

Tarn smiled himself as his friend reverted to the mannerisms of a twelve year-old boy. “Indeed,” he said. “Have you heard from the Stephanas?”

Harks nodded. “I talked to Dominique a few minutes ago,” he said.

“She’s taking them around the edge of the nebula to check out the anomaly.”

“Then I guess we should get to work too, huh?”

“Might not be a bad idea. We’re not being paid to twiddle our thumbs.”

Tarn smiled again. “Alright. We’ll rendezvous in twelve hours.”

“Acknowledged. Fortunas out.”

The channel dropped, and the nebula once again filled the screen, just as another ion discharge flashed across the gas.

“Ensign, take us around the nebula. Let’s meet up with the Stephanas and check out that anomaly.”

“Yes sir,” said D’Nalli, tapping his controls.

“Commander Drayn, you have the conn,” he continued, standing from his chair. “I’ll be in the ready room.”

“Aye-aye, cap’n,” said Drayn, standing from his station at the engineering console as the captain headed for the ready room. The door sealed behind him, and the bridge resumed its routine.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Commander William Drayn sat in the command chair, staring out the main view-screen at the nebula flashing past them, seeming like an endless snake slithering past a window. His thoughts began to wander to the past. To Icarus. For the past few days, the catastrophic engine project had been the prime thing on his mind. He didn’t know why he was thinking about it so often - it was nearly fifteen years ago. He had come to terms with it long ago. Or so he had thought.

But lately, he had found himself brooding on it again. Survivor’s guilt, most likely - if it hadn’t been for his sister’s climbing accident, he would have been on board the ship when the engine coils ruptured, and the experimental hyperdrive unit went nova. The entire ship had been atomised. Space dust. There were no survivors. He had lost plenty of good friends on that project. Simms... Margel... The Professor.

Professor Marcus Hartol, the head scientist who designed the prototype engine the Icarus used. The cascading ion design engine. Will had hero-worshipped that man for three years. Hartol had hand picked him to work on the project - he was the youngest engineer on the team. He had taken him under his wing, and taught him more than he had ever learnt at the academy. What Hartol knew about engines blew him out of the water. He had never fully understood the cascading ion drive, even after multiple one-on-one explanations from the Professor himself. But he knew enough about it to notice a fatal flaw in its design...

“Commander?”

He jumped slightly when ensign D’Nalli addressed him. He had no idea how long he’d been staring off into space - literally - but it had to have been an hour at least. “What is it, Malcolm?” he asked.

“We’re approaching the anomaly, sir.” responded D’Nalli. “Entering visual range now.”

“Put it on the main viewer,” he ordered, jerking his thought back to the present. He tapped the comm button on the command panel on the armrest. “Bridge to Captain Tarn.”

“Go ahead,” said the captain’s voice over the comm.

“We’ve reached the anomaly, cap’n,” he said.

A few seconds later, the captain stepped out of the ready room, pulling his uniform tight across is chest to release the non-existent wrinkles that it held. “Open a channel to the Stephanas,” he said, as Drayn passed him on the way back to his station. He took his seat in the command chair and gazed out the view-screen.

“There’s too much interference, sir,” said ensign Tash, the communications officer. “We’ll have to get closer.”

“How long until we can get a signal through?” he asked her, turning to look at her.

“I’m not sure,” she answered. “Sensors are on the fritz, too. I’m not reading the Stephanas yet.”

Tarn nodded, leaning forward in his chair. “What are the readings on the anomaly?” he asked.

“I’m reading intense gravimetric disturbances. Wouldn’t recommend getting too close.”

“What about radiation? Anything we need to alert medical about?”

“Nothing the deflector shields can’t handle.”

He frowned thoughtfully. “Send the readings down anyway,” he said. “Tell the doctor to prepare a round of innoculations for the entire crew, just in case we have a problem with the shields.”

The anomaly grew larger as the approached it. “Any sign of the Stephanas yet?” asked the captain.

“Not yet, sir.”

“Open a channel,” he ordered.

Tash worked for a moment, then nodded to him. “Channel open, sir.”

He raised his voice slightly, even though he knew it was unnecessary - he always did when hailing another ship. Something to do with talking across space. He wasn’t sure why. “This is Captain Tarn, of the Achaicus,” he said. “Stephanas, are you receiving this transmission?”

After a moment of silence, he turned to Tash, giving her a questioning look. “Still no response, sir,” she said, in answer to his unspoken query. “Just static.”

He glanced at the chronometer and sighed. “Hold our position,” he said. “Keep trying to raise the Stephanas. Let me know if you get captain Graf.” He stood and turned to Drayn. “You have the bridge,” he said. “I’ll be in my quarters.”

“Aye sir,” said Drayn, nodding.

The captain returned the nod, then exited the bridge.

Last edited by The Doctor; 08-21-2006 at 02:37 PM.
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Old 08-20-2006, 12:21 AM   #4
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Sounds intersting, i liked it ... How far into the next chapter are you?

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Old 08-20-2006, 12:23 AM   #5
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Well, I just finished this one, so... might not be for a bit.

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Old 08-20-2006, 12:33 AM   #6
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Ahh ... okie dokie, well ... I'll be waiting ... Gotten me curious as to what happened to the
Stephanas

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Old 08-20-2006, 09:48 AM   #7
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Nice start Doc. I'm looking foward to seeing the rest of it.
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Old 08-20-2006, 12:10 PM   #8
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Not a bad start! I like the premise of the story so far. Nice to have a story where the Republic is doing something other than ‘hunting Sith’ or ‘foiling Hutts’ or ‘patrolling for pirates and other baddies.’

Ok, now for some ‘constructive criticism’…

“Might not be a bad idea. We’re not being paid to twiddle out thumbs.”

Twiddle ‘out’ or twiddle ‘our’? Minor, I know, but…*shrugs*

He frowned thoughtfully. “Send the readings down anyway,” he said. “Tell the doctor to prepare inoculations, just in case we have a problem with the shields.”

If there are inNoculations for ‘radiation’, wouldn’t the crew already have had them since they are there exploring something they know to be dangerous?

And are you planning on killing off Capt. Val Tarn soon? Just wondering because his character opens the story, but you describe Commander Drayn’s character in more detail than his in this first chapter.

Looking forward to reading the next chapter whenever you get it done.


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Old 08-20-2006, 12:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasraLantill
Not a bad start! I like the premise of the story so far. Nice to have a story where the Republic is doing something other than ‘hunting Sith’ or ‘foiling Hutts’ or ‘patrolling for pirates and other baddies.’

Ok, now for some ‘constructive criticism’…

“Might not be a bad idea. We’re not being paid to twiddle out thumbs.”

Twiddle ‘out’ or twiddle ‘our’? Minor, I know, but…*shrugs*
Minor typo. Fixed.

Quote:
He frowned thoughtfully. “Send the readings down anyway,” he said. “Tell the doctor to prepare inoculations, just in case we have a problem with the shields.”

If there are inNoculations for ‘radiation’, wouldn’t the crew already have had them since they are there exploring something they know to be dangerous?
Minor typo fixed. They did not yet know the nebula could be dangerous - they're the first three ships to study the nebula.

Quote:
And are you planning on killing off Capt. Val Tarn soon? Just wondering because his character opens the story, but you describe Commander Drayn’s character in more detail than his in this first chapter.
Drayn is the main character. He may undergo a name-change, actually. I opened with the captain so I could get the point of their mission across without actually laying it out in the intro. The captain will take on a more prominent role in the future, but for the first little bit, he's a background character to Drayn and... someone else.
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Old 08-20-2006, 09:39 PM   #10
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Cool start. Don't wait _too_ long to let us know what fate has fallen Stephanas. I don't know if I can stand the suspense.


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Old 08-21-2006, 12:55 PM   #11
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Hehe... sorry, that'll come in chapter 3 or 4. Here's chapter 2.



Chapter Two

“Professor, you got a minute?”

The Professor looked up from his work, and smiled when he saw who it was. “Of course, Will,” he said warmly. “What can I do for you?”

He took a deep breath, then plunged forward. “It’s about
Icarus, sir,” he said. “Specifically, about the cascading ion relays.”

“What about them?” asked the Professor, returning to his work, giving Will the impression that he was simply humouring him.

“Sir, I... I really think you should look over my notes. Isn’t even the remotest possibility of danger worth taking a few extra days to make the adjustment?”

“Will...” The Professor looked up from his work, stroking his grey beard in a fatherly manner. “I’ve looked over the relays three times since you first came to me. The margin of error is small enough that-”

“Professor, the relays aren’t-”

“The relays can handle the stress, Will,” he assured him.

“But sir, I’ve been-”

“Will,” he interrupted. “I don’t have time for this,” he said. “We’re falling behind, and the Republic Science Directorate is threatening to cut funding if we don’t show them some results soon. I can’t-”

Will forced the data-pad into his hand. “Sir, I’ve run three simulations. Each time, the relays burn out, and ionized particles leak power distribution system. They leak into all surrounding systems - including the shield matrix. When the shields collapse, the ship is torn apart by the dimensional stresses of hyperspace.”

“Let me see that,” he snapped, snatching the data-pad out of Will’s hands and glancing at it. After a moment, his face fell, and his expression grew dark. “My God... my God, you’re... you’re right.”

“The angulation ratio is too steep, professor. We’ll have to reduce it by at least 15%.”

“Do you realise how much velocity we’ll have to sacrifice?!”

“Isn’t it worth it?” he asked. “Isn’t a few more minutes in the hyperspace vortex worth it if it saves the lives of the entire crew?”

The Professor sighed. “Well of course it is!” he said indignantly. “But the Directorate won’t be pleased...”

He looked up at Will. “Is there anything else, Will?” he asked.
“No sir,” he answered.

“Then if you’ll excuse me, it’s getting late.” With that, he pushed past him and left the room, throwing the data-pad on the desk as he went.


=-=-=-=-=-=-=

“Ensign, hold out position here,” said the captain, stepping onto the bridge. It was silent but for the hum of the power relays and the click of consoles being operated. The anomaly loomed ahead of them, looking somewhat like a black hole - the edge of the nearby nebula was even being siphoned into the vortex.

“Any sign of Stephanas yet?” asked Drayn, for the third time in ten minutes.

“Not yet, sir,” reported Rosch. “Not even an ion trail...”

“Could they have passed through the nebula?" asked the captain. "Maybe they found a way to counteract the effects of the radiation?”

“It is possible...” she said skeptically. “But highly improbable, sir. Ebolic radiation is just one of the many types of dangerous radiation emitted by that cloud.”

“Maybe they found a weak point? A gap in the radiation field?”

“If they did, I don’t know where it is now. I’m not reading any dip in the radiation levels - at least none that a ship could get through safely.”

Tarn frowned darkly. He didn’t like this...

“I’m... Sure they’ll turn up,” he said slowly. “Relay a message to captain Harks. Tell him that Stephanas isn’t responding to hails. She must have gone around to the other side of the system. We’re going to take some scans of the fourth planet.”

“Aye sir.”

“What do we know about the planet already?” he asked.

“Not much, sir,” answered Rosch. “The atmosphere is similar to most life-bearing planets: 76% nitrogen, 20% oxygen, and trace amounts of carbon and hydrogen. It looks like there’s been some environmental damage... I’m reading dangerously low levels of ozone.”

“Could some kind of natural disaster be responsible?”

“Unlikely. It looks like environmental contamination.”

“Can we get an image on the view-screen?”

“One moment...”

A few seconds later, the image of the anomaly was replaced by the image of a brilliant blue and green orb, whisps of white shifting slowly across the atmosphere. Off to the side of the screen was a small object in orbit.
“What is that?” he asked, pointing to the object.

“Looks like an artificial satellite, sir. It’s receiving signals from the surface, then beaming it back down to the planet again. Looks like some kind of primitive communications system."

Will stared out the view-screen at the brilliant blue ball, his mind wandering. This planet - Denel, was what the Republic Science Directorate had labelled it - had been on Icarus’ flight path. Maybe that was why he hadn’t been able to get the doomed project out of his mind...

“I’m reading dozens more satellites in orbit, all of them broadcasting similar signals down to the planet.”

“Can we tap into those signals? Find out what they’re saying?”

“We could, but it wouldn’t do us any good,” said Tash. “I’m getting thousands of different frequencies, in fourteen different languages - none of which are even remotely similar to Basic.”

“Get on translating the dominant language,” he said. “I want to know if they’ve detected us at all. I don’t think we should reveal ourselves just yet.”

“Aye sir.”

He sighed. “What about the Stephanas?” he asked again.

Rosch shook her head. “Still nothing,” she said.

He rubbed his eyes, and stared out the view-screen for a moment. “Take us around the nebula, ensign,” he said. “Keep us at least 10,000 kilometres away from the anomaly, and a safe distance from the nebula itself.”

“Acknowledged.”

“Commander Drayn: head down to engineering, and try to find a way to get us into hyperspace. That would let us cross the nebula, and get better readings of the planet.”

“Aye-aye, sir.”

“Commander Rosch, work with him. See if you can’t counteract the radiation blocking us from the tunnel.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Lieutenant Tash, you have the conn. I’ll be in the ready room.”

“Aye-aye."

Last edited by The Doctor; 08-21-2006 at 03:14 PM.
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Old 08-21-2006, 02:36 PM   #12
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Good Chapter Doc. I'm looking foward to seeing the rest.
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Old 08-21-2006, 03:09 PM   #13
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So, a mysterious blue planet with ozone problems and satellite technology, eh? Hmm...now where have I heard of that before.... *rubs chin*

Ok, some CC (constructive criticism) now:

You start off with a memory flashback. That's fine. But when you start the story again, I was slightly confused as to who was speaking, mainly because the story left off with the Captain leaving the bridge, not Commander Drayn daydreaming/remembering, and the surname of 'Will' is never mentioned in the flashback.

Could I suggest something like this:
Commander Drayn shook off the memory of his last encounter with The Professor. He had a job to do. “Ensign, hold ouR position here.”

Also, I didn't think this exchange fit the character of Commander Drayn:
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Doctor
“Looks like an artificial satellite, sir. It’s receiving signals from the surface, then beaming it back down to the planet again.”

“Some kind of communications system?”

“That would be my guess.”
To me, this makes Drayn sound like an idiot. Of course it is some kind of communications system! The ensign just said it was receiving and tranmitting signals--which is the very definition of communication.

I would either delete that exchange, or change it to something like this:
"It's an artificial satellite, sir. It’s receiving signals from the surface, then beaming it back down to the planet again. There are dozens of them in orbit, all of them broadcasting similar signals on thousands of different frequencies, in fourteen different languages - none of which are even remotely similar to Basic.”

"Can we translate those signals? I want to know if they’ve detected us yet. It may not be wise to reveal ourselves until we find out more about them."

“Aye sir. I'll get right on it.”

Will stared out the view-screen at the brilliant blue ball, his mind wandering. This planet - Denel, was what the Republic Science Directorate had labelled it - had been on Icarus’ flight path. Maybe that was why he hadn’t been able to get the doomed project out of his mind...

“What about the Stephanas?” Will asked the ensign.


Other than that, I was hoping to find out more about the fate of the missing Stephanas in this chapter, but I guess you're intent on making us wait.

Good work so far. Keep it up!


Veni, Vidi, Velcro. (I came, I saw, I stuck around)
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Old 08-21-2006, 03:15 PM   #14
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Alright, I've made some changes then. Hopefully that works better for you, Jas.

Thanks for the feedback!
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Old 08-22-2006, 04:45 AM   #15
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Another good chapter Doc ... I'm interested as to what this planet is

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Old 08-27-2006, 06:02 PM   #16
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Alright. Despite Kira's constant ing for me to post in Darkness Falls, I've managed to my writer's block and finish a third chapter. Hope you enjoy!

Chapter Three

“What if we modified the engines to resist the radiations somehow?” asked Tash for the third time.

“The problem isn’t the engines,” explained Drayn, yet again. “They work fine. It’s the null quantum field generators we need to focus on. We can’t generate a stable field - the resonance frequency of the radiation field tears right through it, and without one, we drop out of hyperspace as soon as we enter it.”

Tash sighed, rubbing her eyes and yawning. She glanced at the chronometer - they had been at it for almost three hours straight. “Maybe we call it a night,” she said, stifling a yawn. “I know I’m getting tired...”

He sighed himself, and nodded. “Me too. We’ll pick it up tomorrow morning.”

“Aye sir,” she said, standing from her seat in the mess hall. “Goodnight Commander.”

“Goodnight.”

She headed of towards the door, leaving Drayn to gather up the data-pads and info-discs they had brought up with them from engineering. He moved to the comm panel on the far wall, the data-pads in hand, and opened a channel down to engineering. “Drayn to Commander Ipolica.”

There was a moment’s silence before a woman’s voice broke through the panel. “Ipolica here, sir. Go ahead.”

“Have you had any luck down there?”

The woman sighed heavily. “No sir,” she said. “Nothing down here. How about you?”

“We’re no closer to finding a solution than we are to inventing self-programming droids,” he said somewhat bitterly.

“You’ll be down here tomorrow morning then, sir?”

“I’m not sure,” he said. “Once we rendezvous with the Stephanas and pick up the new first officer, I’ll be free of those temp duties.”

“Understood.”

He sighed himself, then spoke again. “I’m turning in for the night,” he said. “We’ll pick it up again in the morning.”

“Aye sir,” she said. “Goodnight.”

=-=-=-=-=-=-=

“Are communications online yet?”

“Not yet captain. The power grid took a real beating - everything except minimal life support and artificial grav-plating is offline.”

The bridge of the Stephanas was a mess, with damaged and dark consoles, ventilation and coolant lines buckling, and bodies strewn across the floor here and there. Captain Dominique Graf stood at the helm, reading the data display over the helmsman’s shoulder, pushing out of her face a strand of hair that had escaped the tight bun at the back of her head. The left shoulder of her uniform was torn, and she was sporting a brilliant black eye. But even in her current condition, she still had an air of command and authority about her as she moved across the bridge to examine the communications console. “Forget the deflector shields,” she barked across the room to the tactical station. “Put all efforts towards contacting the Achaicus or the Fortunas.”

She reflexively looked up to the main view-screen, only to see the empty black screen staring back at her - sensors were offline, too. Just like everything other system on the ship.

They had been sitting in the nebula for six hours, systems dropping one by one. They had managed to inoculate themselves against the radiation, but they were running out of time - and every inoculation in the galaxy couldn’t protect them forever...

She turned to Commander Telani, the ship’s second officer, who was standing at the console beside her. “Commander: get down to sickbay, and tell Dr. Trolk to prepare another round of inoculations for the crew. Something tells me we’ll be stuck here for a while.”

He moved closer to her, the better to respond discretely saying, “Captain... you know it’s only a matter of time before-”

“Before our bodies build up a natural resistance to the inoculations, I know,” she finished for him, sighing. “But we don’t have much of a choice at the moment.”

“Aye-aye, captain,” he said. He made to leave the bridge, but she put a hand on his shoulder.

“I’m sorry you’re being delayed from taking your new post aboard the Achaicus, Commander,” she said. “I know how much you’re looking forward to being her first officer,” she added, smiling.

He returned the smile. “Hey, I’m not complaining - at least I get to have one last crisis before I leave.” With that, he turned to the lift and exited the bridge. The captain turned back to the view-screen, staring at the black void for a moment.

“Captain,” called the ops officer. “I think we...” The view-screen flickered on, the display filling with the hazy yellowish-gold clouds of the nebula, the image still fluctuating randomly. “... have senors back,” he finished, smiling.

“Good work, Ensign,” she said, moving towards the screen. “Where’s the Achaicus?”

“I can’t get an exact fix on her location,” said the ensign, working ferociously to maintain the sensors as he reported what they were telling him. “There’s still a lot of interference - we can’t see them, and they can’t see us.”

“Then they’re not even sure we’re out here... is there any way we can get them to notice us? Something strong enough to cut through the interference?”

He thought for a moment. “A high frequency dynacharge pulse might be able to punch through the background noise. But dynacharge activity isn’t uncommon in this region of space, from what we’ve seen so far. Any pulse we configure would have to operate on a frequency they would recognise as man-made.”

The corners of Graf’s mouth lifted in a small smile. She moved to his station and input a frequency herself. “Use that one.”

“Ma’am?”

Her smile grew. “Captain Tarn will understand,” she said. “How long will it take to make the necessary modifications to emit the pulse?”

“About thirty minutes.”

She nodded. “Do it.”

“Uh... Captain... we may have a small problem...”

“What is it lieutenant?” she asked, turning to the helm.

“We’re... moving, ma’am.”

“I thought engines were offline?”

“They.... they are, captain.”

“Then how...” she began, but she stopped. The anomaly. She looked out the view-screen, where she could barely make out the outline of the dark anomaly looming ahead of them - and they were falling into it’s gravity well.

“What about manoeuvring thrusters?” she asked. “Anything to help us maintain our position?”

“There’s nothing, captain,” he reported. We’re dead in the water.”
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Old 08-27-2006, 06:19 PM   #17
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Ah, so now we know what happened to the Stephanas! You've introduced a lot of new characters in this chapter, but I get a real feel for Captain Graf. Good work, Doctor!


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Old 08-28-2006, 03:08 PM   #18
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New chapter time already!

Chapter Four

Tash sat in the command chair, shifting uncomfortably every once in a while - she wasn’t used to sitting in the Chair. It was usually Captain Tarn or, since Commander Lesh’s death, Commander Drayn, who sat here. Not her.

She crossed her left leg over her right, decided that wasn’t right, and crossed the right over the left. That wasn’t right either. She shifted over to the right a little more, leaning to the left, resting her arm on the command console - which promptly made a dark buzzing sound when she touched it.

“Ma’am, I don’t know how, but our weapons systems just activated themselves,” said Tyrael, the officer stationed at tactical.

“Un... Understood,” responded Tash, trying her best to maintain composure. “Just, uhm... deactivate them, and... and run a diagnostic.”

“If we run a diagnostic, we’ll have to reroute power from nonessential systems. We’re experiencing a small energy drain - engineering’s on it.”

“Oh. Then, uhm... just... just take them offline, and...”

Tyrael arched an eyebrow curiously, then smiled knowingly. “Understood,” he said, shaking his head slightly.

She took a deep breath, and stood from the chair. Her hands joined behind her back, she paced the bridge, examining consoles and making small talk where she could.

She came up to the science station, manned by a young, nervous looking ensign with the circular pins on her collar indicating she was an engineering officer.

“What are the sensors telling us about the planet, Ensign...?”

“Yamata,” she said. “Not much, ma’am - there’s still a lot of interference...”

Tash came around to view the data readout, and nodded. “Try re-calibrating the sensor grid to scan at a wavelength of point two six,” she suggested.

The ensign did as she was told, and the sensor resolution cleared significantly. “Much better, ma’am. Thank you. I’m... not a science officer...”

“That’s alright,” said Tash, smiling in a friendly manner. “You just need practise, that’s all.”

“That’s... not it, ma’am,” she argued, a touch of frustration edging into her voice. “I graduated the academy with a degree in engine design and experimental propulsion. I’m an engineer, not a science officer.”

Tash nodded understandingly. “I know the feeling. My first bridge shift? Six hours at the helm, navigating an asteroid belt. Almost tore the ship apart.”

The ensign laughed, then stopped suddenly, a shocked expression on her face. “I’m so sorry, Lieutenant, I didn’t mean-”

Tash laughed herself, shaking her head. “No apology necessary, Ensign,” she said.

“No ma’am, really... I meant no disrespect. Gelum is always telling me how I’m-”

Tash smiled, putting a hand on the ensign’s shoulder. “At ease, Ensign,” she said. “It’s alright, really.”

Yamata nodded, but still looked uncomfortable.

“Who’s Gelum? If you don’t mind my asking.”

“Oh, sorry - he’s my fiancé.”

“Congratulations!” replied Tash, smiling again.

“Thank you ma’am,” she responded, smiling herself. The console beeped, indicating that readings were coming through the modified sensors.

“Right,” she said. “I’m reading two moons orbiting the planet, as well as a total of 36 unmanned satellites. I’m also reading a much larger structure in a geosynchronous orbit above the North-Easternmost of the three major continents.”

“Can we get the planet back on the view-screen?”

The screen at the front of the room flashed on, and the planet came into view - along with a large metal structure, gleaming in the light from the nearby star.

“What is that?” asked Tash, moving towards the screen. “Are you reading any life signs?”

“It’s an unarmed space station - I’m reading sixteen bio-signs onboard.”

“Can they detect us?”

“I doubt it. They’re using some sort of primitive radar signals. Our deflector shields are absorbing the signals.”

Tash nodded. The captain didn’t want to reveal their presence yet. Who was she to argue?

“I am, however, reading a fairly sophisticated engine system onboard,” said Yamata curiously.

Tash turned to her. “Engines? On a space station? You’re sure they’re not just correctional thrusters?”

“They’re similar, yes... but there’s more power going into them than one would expect...”

The helm console began chiming, and the helmsman spoke. “I may know why, Lieutenant,” he said. “The anomaly; it’s gravitational pull is strong enough to drag that station out of orbit.”

Tash nodded understandingly. “And they’ve put their efforts into designing an engine powerful enough to keep it-”

It was the science station’s turn to start beeping again. “Lieutenant, I’m reading a powerful energy signature coming from inside the nebula. It’s some kind of dynacharge pulse. More powerful than anything else we’ve seen so far. It’s heading right for us!”

The ship lurched slightly as the pulse impacted with the shields. A moment later, Captain Tarn walked out of the ready room, heading straight for the science station.

“Report,” he ordered, looking first at Tash, then out the view-screen to the planet outside.

“A dynacharge pulse, sir, from inside the nebula.”

“Must be a strong one, to affect us like that... damage report?”

“No damage. Deflector shields are holding.”

He nodded, then glanced down at the fata readout on the monitor in front of him. He frowned as he examined the readings he was getting. “This isn’t right... the frequency isn’t one you’d usually find occurring naturally.”

The ship lurched again. “Another pulse, Captain,” reported Yamata, before he could ask. “Weaker than before.”

Tarn’s frown deepened. “Same frequency. That’s not a natural...” He trailed off into silence. “That frequency...” he said. His frown vanished, replaced by a wide smile. “Dominique.”

“Sir?”

“It’s Captain Graf. That frequency - 22.05.12.6 - is something... familiar to us both.”

“Mind if I ask what, sir?”

He smiled again. “It’s quite simple, Lieutenant: it’s our birth date.”

He left the science station and headed for the command chair, barking orders as her went. “Lay in a course towards the origin point of those pulses, Ensign,” he said. “Maximum impulse.”

“Course laid in, sir.”

“Engage.”

Last edited by The Doctor; 08-28-2006 at 03:29 PM.
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Old 08-28-2006, 06:51 PM   #19
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The one time I can post before Jasra, and you don't have errors for me to point out? My luck sucks today.

Very good, but is Tash supposed to be nervous about being in command or is she distracted? Keep up the good work.


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Old 08-28-2006, 06:58 PM   #20
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Quote:
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The one time I can post before Jasra, and you don't have errors for me to point out? My luck sucks today.
Bad luck for you is good luck for me. Thanks!

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Very good, but is Tash supposed to be nervous about being in command or is she distracted? Keep up the good work.
Tash is the communications officer, not a command officer. She's not used to being in the command seat - hence her nervousness.

Thanks for the feedback!
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Old 08-30-2006, 03:45 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hallucination
The one time I can post before Jasra, and you don't have errors for me to point out? My luck sucks today.
Aw.... Sorry, Hal. Didn't know I was taking away all your fun. Anyway, nice work, Doc! Keep it up!


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Old 08-30-2006, 03:51 PM   #22
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Well, chapter five might not be for a while... School's starting soon, and I won't have a lot of time to spend writing once I start grade 12...
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Old 08-30-2006, 04:03 PM   #23
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Ah, so you're saying that you'll be in the same boat as those of us who have to work 40hrs+ per week? Still, I suppose homework counts as 'work' time, too. Although, I'd much prefer working a half-day and doing 35 algebra problems at home, than having to work overtime.

Just write when you can. I'm fairly patient.


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Old 08-31-2006, 10:15 PM   #24
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Chapter Five

“We’ve got communications back Captain, but I don’t know how long before we lose the system again.”

“Understood,” said Graf. “Well done, ensign. Open a channel to the Achaicus.”

The comm officer worked for a moment, then nodded.

“This is Captain Graf, of the Stephanas,” she said. “Val, are you there?”

Static broke over the speakers, and was cut short abruptly.

“Sorry ma’am, there’s a lot of interference. I’m trying to clear it up...”

“Val, we’ve sustained heavy damage to our systems. We only just got the communications back online. Please repeat your last transmission.”

There was silence for a moment, then Captain Tarn’s voice filled the room, heavily distorted. “Are you alright, Dominique?” he asked, a touch of concern still evident in his voice.

“We’re fine, Val - minimum casualties. But main power is offline, and our engines are dead. We’re being pulled into the anomaly, and we have no way of fighting back.”

“We’ll do what we can, but we’re not equipped with a tractor beam. Horun is bringing the Fortunas, but he’s on the far side of the sector, and without hyperspace, it will take him three hours to get here.”

“We’ve got maybe twenty minutes before that anomaly tears us apart, Val. We don’t have three hours.”

She heard Tarn sigh heavily before continuing. “I’ll see what I can do,” he said. “Standby.”

The channel closed with a burst of static, and Graf opened another - this time to engineering. “Bridge to engineering. What’s our status?”

“The hyperdrive generator is beyond repair, Captain,” answered the Rodian chief engineer, lieutenant Greeiv, in slightly accented basic. “The ionisation chamber has been destroyed. We cannot generate-”]

“I’m not interested in the hyperdrive, Greeiv,” said Graf. “What about the power grid? Can we get main power back online?”

“I will be able to bring emergency power back on within fifteen minutes. Main power will take significantly longer.”

“How much longer?” she asked, speaking in a slightly more clipped tone.

“Four - perhaps five hours, Captain.”

Graf sighed, her eyes closed, massaging her forehead. “And what about sub-light engines? Can you give us impulse power?”

“Not in time, Captain,” he answered, his voice grim. “It would take us nearly a day to restore power to the engine coils.”

Graf nodded, her eyes still closed. “See what you can do, Greeiv,” she said, barely able to keep the hopelessness out of her voice.

“Of course Captain. Engineering out.”

=-=-=-=-=-=-=

“What’s the status of their engines?” asked Tarn, turning to Drayn. “Can we help them with repairs?”

Drayn shook his head. “It’s no good, sir,” he said. “Their ionisation chamber is blown to hell, and their motivator cabling is burnt out. It would take three weeks at a fully equipped shipyard to get them space worthy again. Out here...”

The senior staff - namely Captain Tarn, Commanders Drayn and Tyrael, Lieutenants Rosch and Tash, and Ensign D’Nalli - were gathered around a small table at the back of the bridge. The table’s surface was completely covered with a large screen, which gathered relevant data from each station across the bridge in one place. The table was installed to make the area into a suitable situation room of sorts in times when the briefing room was inadequate.

“What about the cargo grapplers?” suggested Tash. “We could latch on to their hull and drag them out.”

D’Nalli shot that idea down immediately. “The grapplers aren’t meant to drag something this size. Its relative mass is too great. They’d snap like twigs.”

Rosch nodded in agreement. “If the cables didn’t snap, we’d still end up tearing a section of the Stephanas’ hull in the process.”

“Can we rig up a tractor beam?” asked D’Nalli. “Could we modify the particle emitter to create a stable enough force-field for the job?”

Drayn looked at him thoughtfully for a moment. “No...” he said slowly. “But we might be able to set up a gravity field powerful enough to at least slow them down a little. Give them time to repair their sub-light engines to maintain their position.”

“How long will it take?”

“Well, I’ll have to modify the particle emitter to generate a gravity field around us - and I’ll need to reroute power from other systems to create a powerful enough field... I’d say a little less than an hour.”

Tarn nodded. “Get started. Work with lieutenant Rosch. Once we’re holding them in place, we’ll only have about twelve hours to help them repair their engines so they can hold their own, or they’ll be torn apart by the anomaly.”

“Understood.”

Tarn looked around the table one last time. “Alright. Dismissed.”

=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Just over an hour later, Lieutenant Rosch and Commander Drayn performed one last scan of the particle emitter matrix. Drayn nodded. “Looks good,” he said. He walked to the comm panel on the wall and opened a channel to the bridge.

“Engineering to the bridge. We’re ready when you are, cap’n," he said.

“Understood,” replied the captain. “Activate the emitter.”


The Achaicus’ experimental particle emitter lit up as power was rerouted from the hyperdrive generator to the emitter. It began to glow a deep green as it synthesised the dense particles of matter needed to increase their gravity field enough to slow the Stephanas’ course towards the anomaly. The green light began to grow in intensity as the particles were released into space, a strange mist-like field building up around the ship.


On the bridge, Ensign Yamata was reporting the progress of the gravity field as it built up. “Our gravitational field density has increased by 56 percent,” she said.

D’Nalli reported next from the helm. “They’re slowing down, sir.”

“More,” said Tarn shortly, speaking through the comm system down to engineering.

After a moment, Yamata reported again. “Gravitational field density has now increased by 76 percent,” she said. “We can’t go much higher, sir.”

“What about the Stephanas?” asked Tarn.

“They’re still moving, Captain,” replied D’Nalli. “Still heading towards the anomaly at a speed equivalent to one quarter impulse.”

“Good enough,” said Tarn. “How long do we have?”

“They’ll be crushed by the anomaly in approximately thirteen hours.”

“Hold the field integrity where it is, and bring us closer. I want to give ourselves as much time as possible to complete repairs.” He stood from his chair. “Commander Drayn, meet me with an engineering team in the launch bay. Take Lieutenant Rosch with you. We’re going to the Stephanas to assist with repairs.”

“Aye Sir.”

“Commander Tyrael, you have the bridge. Contact me if there’s any change in-”

The ship rocked violently, and Tarn was thrown to the floor. Struggling to his feet, he looked over to the science station. “What the hell was that?” he barked.

“I don’t know, sir... some kind of plasma mines... they just came out of nowhere...”

“Our gravity field must have drawn them towards us,” said Tyrael. “It must have-”

“Sir, we’re being hailed by the Stephanas,” interrupted Tash. “Audio only.”

“Let’s hear it.”

There was a burst of static, then, “...to Captain Tarn. What’s... on? We’re being ...some kind... mines. Our hull integrity is at 12... failing! We have multiple hull breach-”

The channel fell dead. Tarn looked to Tash for an explanation, but got it as his eyes passed over the view-screen. The Stephanas’ hull integrity had failed. Tarn watched helplessly as the Stephanas exploded in a ball of flaming shrapnel.

Last edited by The Doctor; 09-02-2006 at 12:39 AM.
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Old 09-01-2006, 12:56 PM   #25
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Quote:
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“This is captain Graf, of the Stephanas,” she said.
Great justice has come at last! You forgot to capitalise 'captain'.
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Originally Posted by The Doctor
There was silence for a moment, then captain Tarn’s voice filled the room, heavily distorted.
Same here.
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Doctor
“We’ve got maybe twenty minutes before that anomaly tears apart, Val. We don’t have three hours.”
And who is receiving the action of being torn apart?
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Originally Posted by The Doctor
“Engineering to the bridge. We’re ready when you are, cap̀n,”
I believe you meant to use 'cap'n' there.

When you're talking about a person and they have a title attached to their name (like Commander Joe Jo-Jo Joey McJoe Jr.) you need to capitalise their title.

Aside from the many errors this chapter was good, it should be interesting to see how the captains deal with the loss of their friends.


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Old 09-01-2006, 01:25 PM   #26
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The cap'n thing is my bloody word processor's fault. It keeps replacing cap'n with cap̀n, for some reason. I thought I got them all, but I guess not.

Confession: I didn't proof this chapter myself. I just did a spelling/grammar check, then posted it. My bad.

EDIT: Should be all fixed now, Hall - including some stuff you didn't comment on.

Chapter six is in the works, but I've got a few job interviews lined up this week, so it might not be posted for a while - and if it is, it will be somewhat rushed.
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Old 09-01-2006, 06:21 PM   #27
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Aw, you're evil, Doc. Just when I was beginning to like Captain Graf, you implode the ship on her! (grrr....) Anyway, good chapter. Keep it up!


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Old 09-02-2006, 12:33 AM   #28
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Chapter Six

Captain Tarn stood rooted to the spot as he watched his friend’s ship torn to pieces as another plasma mine exploded in the midst of the debris, further worsening the shock. He fell backwards into his chair, and opened a comm channel from his chair. “Tarn to-”

“It’s no good sir. Communications systems are down.”

He gritted his teeth. “Then find some other way to get Will and Klara up here, now!” he snapped. “I want a senior staff meeting in-”

The ship lurched again as another mine tore into them. Tarn was thrown from his chair again, cracking his head on the floor. He shook the blurriness from his vision and tried to stand, but the ship was rocked again by yet another explosion.

“Deactivate the particle emitter!” he barked. The ship lurched again. “Disable our gravity field!”

“Hull breach on C Deck! Emergency bulkheads in that section are down! Captain, we’re venting atmosphere!”

“Sir, we’ve lost manoeuvring thrusters - we’re being pulled into the anomaly.”

Tarn’s head snapped up to look at the view-screen. The anomaly was indeed looming closer. “How long until we pass the event horizon?” he asked.

“Approximately 40 minutes,” replied D’Nalli.

“I thought we were still an hour away?” blurted Tyrael.

D’Nalli shook his head. “Our mass is significantly less than the Stephanas’, Commander,” he said. “We’re moving faster than they were - almost double their speed.”

“What about the gravity field? That should still be reducing our velocity by a little, at least,” said Tash.

D’Nalli looked at her darkly. “It is, ma’am,” he said gravely. “If it weren’t for the gravity field, we’d be dead in ten minutes.”

“What about escape pods?” asked the captain. “Can we abandon ship?”

“No sir,” said D’Nalli. “The anomaly’s gravitational pull is too strong. The escape pods don’t have enough power to fight it.”

Tarn looked around the bridge. “Options?” he barked.

Nobody said anything for a moment. Then Tyrael stood and walked around his station, still staring out the view-screen to the anomaly. “Captain... there is a course of action we could take,” he said.

“What?” demanded Tarn, after he was silent for a moment.

Tyrael looked to the captain. “We do nothing.”

The bridge was dead quiet. Tash glared at him. “Are you insane?” she blurted. “Are you suggesting we just let this thing crush the ship and kill us?”

He looked at her, his face oddly and maddeningly calm. “Need I remind you, Lieutenant, that there is absolutely no evidence that the ship will indeed be destroyed?”

Tarn shook his head. “She’s right,” he said. “It’s completely irrational, Commander.”

“On the contrary sir,” he persisted. “It makes sense that once all logical courses of action have failed, the only reasonable response is inaction.”

Tarn looked at him for a moment, the turned to face the view-screen. “Ensign, how long until we pass through the event horizon?”

“Our gravity field is decaying faster than I predicted,” he explained. “I’d give us about twenty minutes.”

Tarn looked back at Tyrael.

Tash spoke again. “Captain, we have to do something! We can’t just sit here and let this thing tear us apart!”

The captain shook his head. “Tyrael’s right,” he said, surprising even himself. “Everything we’ve done so far to try to prevent either the Achaicus or ourselves from being pulled into th anomaly has only made things worse.”

“But Captain-”

Enough, Lieutenant,” he barked. He turned away from her. “What about those mines? Are there any more of them out there?”

She shook her head. “But even if there were, we wouldn’t be able to detect them.”

“Why not?”

“Their power signature is... odd - out of phase, somehow. The only reason we know what they are is because of the damage they’ve inflicted.”

Tarn sighed. “Keep scanning the area anyway,” he said.

She nodded grudgingly. “Aye sir.”

The ship jolted yet again, a coolant line in the ceiling cracking and leaking gaseous vapour into the room.

“Sir, we’ve got a hull breach on E Deck - the launch bay, sir.”

=-=-=-=-=-=-=

“Drayn to the bridge. Please respond.”

There was no answer. “The comm system must be down,” said Rosch.

“What about the door? Did you have any luck getting it open?”

“No,” she said. “This whole section must be running on minimal emergency power.”

Drayn sighed, deactivated the comm panel, and began pacing along the wall of the launch bay, glancing out the small window each time he passed it. The fourth time he passed it, something caught his attention: a small metallic object, glinting in the light from the nearby nebula. A small, flat, circular object, heading straight for them.

“Sir? Is something wrong?”

“Get down!” he yelled. He jumped away from the window, dragging her to the floor with him as he went. He was just in time to avoid the explosion - but there was no way to avoid the vacuum created when the plasma mine blew a hole in the hull.

Drayn grabbed on to the control panel with one hand, and barely managed to grab Rosch by the arm as she flew past him towards the anomaly. Her mouth was open in a scream that was swallowed up by either the vacuum, or the roaring created by the atmosphere from the ship escaping into the cold of space. The roaring began to fade into nothingness, and the room became deathly silent as the room’s atmosphere was completely ripped out of the ship.

Rosch climbed up his arm and grabbed onto the console herself, struggling against the gravitational pull of the anomaly. Drayn pulled himself around the console, struggling to stay conscious as the pressure on his lungs grew. He reached the emergency command interface, and tapped the controls.

An emergency bulkhead began to move into place, but stopped about two feet short of sealing the breach. Emergency bulkheads must be down as well... he thought. He grabbed the edge of the console, and pulled himself over it, launching himself towards the bulkhead. He flew over Rosch, who was near unconsciousness, and was barely able to stop himself from flying out the gaping wound in the ship. He grabbed the handle on the edge of the bulkhead, and pulled as hard as his oxygen starved muscles would allow. The bulkhead sealed, and a sharp hissing sound filled the room immediately. The pressure on his lungs began to ease up. He sucked in deep breaths, collapsing to the floor.

“Klara, you alright?” he asked after a moment, still breathing deeply.

He heard her gasping for breath herself, and was barely able to her her wheeze out a feeble “Yes sir.” After a moment, she spoke again, her voice much stronger this time, saying, “What happened, sir?”

“Plasma mines,” he answered. “They must be attracted to the ship by the gravity field we created.”

“The gravity field should have decayed by now,” she said. “They should stop... hitting...”

She trailed off into silence, her eyes wide with shock, staring out the force-field at the far end of the launch bay. Drayn turned to face it himself, and the blood froze in his veins.

They had passed through the anomaly. He felt a wave of nausea wash over him, and his vision blurred. The last thing he saw was the floor rushing towards his as his knees gave out, then everything went black.
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Old 09-06-2006, 04:10 PM   #29
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Well, school's started, and I'm going into my final year of High School... Sufficed to say, the workload is fairly heavy. I have also recently become re-employed, so I won't have a lot of time to spend on writing. I'm still working on it, but... progress is slow.
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Old 09-09-2006, 11:12 PM   #30
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Alright, I've had a few hours on my my hands to write, so I'm ready to post the next chapter. Enjoy.

Chapter Seven

Captain Tarn heard the alarms blaring. He heard the soft hiss of the coolant lines leaking gas onto the bridge. He heard the occasional snaps and cracks of damaged and sparking consoles. He heard it all.

He raised his head slowly, and felt a searing pain shoot through his forehead as he opened his eyes. Forcing it down, he struggled to his feet, and finally registered the attempts of the bridge crew to do the same.

“Report,” he heard himself croak.

There was a moment’s silence as Yamata worked the console. “We’ve passed through the anomaly, sir. We’re on the other side”

“On screen,” he ordered.

The view-screen flickered on. The anomaly shone innocently at them from behind.

“What’s our status?”

“Damage reports coming in,” she said. “We’ve lost hull plating. Grav plating on D Deck is offline, and main power is fluctuating. We’ve lost weapons and engines. Hull integrity is holding at 32 percent.”

“Casualties?”

She was silent for a moment. “Three dead, twelve injured - two critically.”

The helm station began beeping, and D’Nalli studied the readout. “Sir, I’m reading multiple ships on an intercept course.”

“How many?”

“I can't be sure, Captain,” he responded. “Sensor resolution is too low to get a clear reading.”

“Can you identify them?” asked Tarn.

D’Nalli stared at the data for a moment. “I don’t understand, sir...” he said. “According to these readings, their hull composition matches that of the Denelan satellites.”

“I thought they didn’t have space-fairing vessels!” exclaimed the captain, turning suddenly to face the ops station.

“I don’t understand it, sir. Scans indicated that they were a low level industrialised people. They shouldn’t have vessels out this far.”

“Well obviously, they do!” he snapped.

“I’m reading energy buildups. Looks like weapons systems!”

The ship rocked, and the situation room table exploded in a shower of sparks. “They've opened fire!” barked Tyrael.

“Hail them!” ordered Tarn, standing from his chair.

“I can’t sir... something’s odd about their communications system.”

“Open a channel, all spacial frequencies.”

She nodded. “Channel open, sir.”

He raised his voice slightly. “This is captain Valerius Tarn, of the Republic vessel Achaicus,” he said. “We’re on a peaceful mission of exploration. We mean you no harm.”

The bridge was silent for a moment. Tarn turned to Tash, who shook her head. “No response, sir.”

“Confirm that they received our transmission.”

The ship rocked again, and another console exploded.

“I’m guessing they did,” said Tyrael under his breath.

Tarn turned to him. “Can we get weapons back online?” he asked.

“No sir. The cannon relays are burnt out. We’d have to replace them.”

The ship lurched again, and a dark clunking resounded throughout the ship.

“Captain, they’ve docked with us.”

“Seal the airlock!” snapped Tarn.

A dark alarm echoed throughout the ship. “It’s too late sir. We’ve got intruders on B Deck.”

“Get security down there.”

Sir, they’ve targeted the launch bay with some kind of resonance pulse. It’s disrupting the atmospheric force-field - they’re boarding us through the launch bay, as well.”

Tarn turned to Tyrael and nodded. Tyrael stood from his chair, activating a comm signal as he went. “Security teams C and F report to the launch bay.”

=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Drayn groaned as he awoke, struggling to open his eyes. When he did, he found that it didn’t help much - the lighting systems were down, and the only light in the room came from the nebula in the vacuum beyond the force-field - which must be running on minimal emergency power, he thought suddenly. It could give out any minute. Their position told him that the ship hadn’t moved much since he had collapsed - they’d been unconscious for a little under half an hour, by his estimation.

“Klara, you alright?” he asked for the second time in an hour.

She groaned an affirmative, struggling to her feet and moving up beside him to stare out the force-field. “That thing could die on us any second, sir...” she said.

He nodded. “I know. We need to get out of here before it does - I don’t trust the emergency bulkheads to-”

He trailed off as the ship jolted yet again, and three ships flew by the docking bay. One of the ships slowed, and adjusted course, heading right for the docking bay.

Drayn looked around helplessly for a moment, then grabbed Rosch’s arm and dragged her towards a nearby shuttle hatch, which remained open from earlier maintenance.

“Who are they?” she whispered, crouching behind him as he peered around the hatch.

He shook his head. “Damned if I know...” he answered. “I don’t recognise the configuration, and sensors didn’t pick up any ships in the area an hour ago...”

The small craft fired some sort of energy beam at the field, which flashed a dark blue and fizzled out, the atmosphere in the bay being sucked into the vacuum. Drayn threw Klara to the ground, and pulled the shuttle hatch closed, locking in the pressure and atmosphere.

Panting slightly, he moved towards the front of the craft, and looked out the main viewing port. The ship had landed in the bay, and had lowered its docking ramp. Three men in environmental suits marched down the ramp, all three of them armed, all three of their faces hidden from view by the reflective face visors. They looked roughly the same size and build as the average human, though with the bulky environmental suits, it was difficult to tell.

“If internal sensors are offline, they won’t know on the bridge that we’ve been boarded,” muttered Drayn. “Are the shuttle’s communications systems online?” he asked suddenly.

Klara sat in the copilot’s seat, and nodded. “Yes sir. We should be able to transmit some kind of message up to the bridge.”

He nodded. “Let’s assume that the ship’s communications are offline, andwe won’t be able to hail them,” he said. “But we can send a text message right to the captain’s command console.”

She worked for a moment, then sighed. “It’s no good, sir,” she said. “We’re being blocked - looks like whoever it is who’s boarded us has put up some kind of jamming signal.”

He punched the console.

“That’s not the worst of it, sir...” she said darkly. “Another one of those ships has docked at airlock two. I’m reading armed boarding parties heading towards engineering and the bridge.”

He stared out the window for a moment. There was nothing else they could do. “Get us out of here, Lieutenant,” he said flatly. She opened her mouth to argue, but he cut her off. “We can’t do anything for them right now, Klara,” he said. “The best we can do is save ourselves, and go find the Fortunas for help.” He patted her on the shoulder. “Don’t worry,” he added. We’ll come back for them.”

She nodded darkly, and began prepping the shuttle for launch.

Last edited by The Doctor; 09-10-2006 at 08:54 AM.
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Old 09-09-2006, 11:48 PM   #31
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Well, you have some punctuation issues here and there, and one spacing issue. What happened to you getting these things a once-over from me before you posted.

So, umm, yeah... good chapter, don't do drugs, blah blah blah.


Let's kill ourselves.
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Old 09-10-2006, 08:56 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hall
What happened to you getting these things a once-over from me before you posted.
I forgot I had asked you to do that, that's what happened to it. I'll forward you the next chapter before posting it, then.

I've fixed what I could find - including some redundant lines throughout the chapter. Should be much better now.
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Old 09-28-2006, 08:37 PM   #33
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Sorry for the wait here folks. I have a lot going on with school, and I haven't been able to find the headspace to write a great deal. I'm still working on it. Give me a few more days.
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Old 09-30-2006, 04:29 PM   #34
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Alright, here's a short chapter. Sorry it's been so long. Think of this as an add-on to the last chapter, not a full chapter itself. I'm quite busy this week, so the next whole chapter might be a while. Sorry again...

Chapter Seven and a Half

The shuttle shot out of the launch bay at maximum speed, weaving in and out of the alien ships as it went. As they zoomed away from Achaicus, they got a better view of the battle. There were dozens of ships swarming the Republic ship, attaching themselves to her hull like trill flies on a rotten piece of fruit. Assuming each of those ships had a compliment similar to that of the ship that had entered the launch bay, then they were dealing with literally hundreds of troops marching through their corridors. And with the armoury cut off from the rest of the ship, the crew would have no way to defend themselves or the ship.

“Commander, I’m reading three Denelan vessels on an intercept course. They’re weapons are charged.”

Will’s mind raced, scenarios playing through his head a mile a minute. From what he could tell, they had two viable options. They could try to outrun the Denelans and escape the sector, or they could stay and fight their way past these three ships and escape after the battle. “Let’s get us out of here. Lay in a course out of the system.”

“At maximum impulse, it’ll be a two week trip.”

He cursed under his breath. “Alright, scratch that,” he said suddenly. “Can you set up a resonating ion pulse along the shield grid?”

“Yes sir...” she said, perplexed.

“Do it,” he snapped, sitting at the ops station as the ship shook again. He activated it, and examined the readings. “I’m feeding you the modulation now,” he said.

She nodded as the information was fed into her console, and she modified her equations accordingly.

“Prepare to kill the engines,” he said.

“Sir, we can’t-”

“Just trust me, Klara,” he said.

She sighed, and nodded. “The resonance burst is ready,” she reported, looking up at him.

“Understood,” he said. “Cut the engines on my mark.” He held his finger over the button to activate the burst. “Now!” he barked, punching the switch a second later.

The ship lurched as Klara killed the engines, and the ship came to a halt. There was a flash of blue light as the resonance burst wrapped itself around the ship and clung to the hull.

The Denelan ships flew past them, slowing to a halt a few kilometres ahead. Will smiled.

Klara looked at him, amazed. “You’ve cloaked us!” she said incredulously.

He nodded, still smiling. “For the moment, yes,” he said. “But it won’t hold for long. Get us out of here, Mask our ion trail so they can’t follow us.”

She nodded. “Heading?”

He examined the sensor readings for a moment. “There’s an asteroid ring a few million kilometres away. I’m feeding you the coordinates now.”

She nodded and lay in a course. “Course laid in.”

“Alright. Engage. We’ll set down for a while and figure out what the hell we’re going to do to rescue the Achaicus.”
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Old 10-02-2006, 07:48 PM   #35
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Since my life has decided to take a massive **** all over me, I'm not going to be writing for a while. Maybe a long while, even. I'm not really sure. I promise I will finish this, but right now, I just don't give a rat's ass about writing. Personal stuff that I won't bring up here.
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