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They Came from Beyond Space

((This story involves characters I play in STO, even though these characters are not in the RP. I'm posting this here because I love writing little stories like this, and this seems the only area of the forums where one can post things like this.))

Stardate 95007.37. Starfleet command, Earth.

Admiral Nine sat at her desk looking over some reports. Two starships requesting maintenance, eight offers requesting transfer and an entire class of cadets that require field training assignments. Pretty routine stuff really. Her facial expression never changed as she looked it all over, then started working on the assignments. As one of the many Liberated Borg in Starfleet she had become quite known for her efficiency even in the most mundane of tasks, allocating every micro second of her day for her tasks. Sadly, this also has garnered her a reputation among her fellow officers as having zero sense of humor.

She also didn't tolerate interruptions. There was an allocated time for people to contact her and if you tired outside of that time it would.. Really annoy her. So it irked her a bit when her communications system beeped trying to get her attention. Enough that it even broke her focused calm and caused her to actually frown.

"Nine here, what do you want."

Her voice was calm and even, but still managing to convey the direct bluntness she had also become known for. A voice came over the communication system, that of a male. Young by the sound of it.

"Commander Jenson here. Sorry to bother you Admiral, but we've picked up a rather odd signal."

Given her reputation for not tolerating interruptions unless it was absolutely necessary, the very nature of the call told her this was important. She reached forward and flicked off the screen she was working on and stood from her seat.

"I will be there shortly."

With that she closed the comms channel and started out of her office. At a brisk walk it didn't take her long to reach the monitoring station where the Commander was. She wasted no time upon entering.

"What do you have?"

The Commander had worked with Nine for a couple of years now and thus knew that she expected prompt answers. His fingers moved over the controls with deft practice and started bringing up different displays.

"I'm sorry to have bothered you Admiral, but we detected this strange signal coming from deep space. Everything we have says that it appears to be a homing request signal. But it's of a type never before encountered in all the years of Starfleet."

Nine walked over to the console and input a few commands.

"Anything from before Starfleet?"

The Commander shook his head.

"Records from that time are fragmented, at best. And we can only access records from the time after First Contact. Anything before that was all but destroyed by the Eugenics War."

Nine just nodded as her fingers moved over the control surface, instructing the computer to run the signal through different filters and triangulate the signal's origin. As she did that she spoke again.

"Why two signal diagnostics?"

Commander Jenson picked up a PADD and looked it over.

"Well, that's the strange part Sir. At roughly the same time we detected this signal, we also detected another signal on the same carrier wave in a sort of response."

"Source?"

"Here on earth."

This caused Nine to pause. She turned to the Commander and he simply handed her the PADD.

"And these coordinates haven't changed since you first detected the signal?"

"No Sir."

Nine nodded and turned back to the main display, examining it a bit further and letting her Borg enhancements work them over. After a moment though she comes to one very inescapable conclusion.

"It's not just a homing locater. Something is trying to get our attention as well. This signal is being sent uncoded, in human terms they just leaned out the window and waved a bright pink flag at us."

Not a human term Jenson had heard before, but by his reaction the Admiral has gotten many human things wrong before.

"What do you suggest then, Sir?"

Nine took another look at the monitor then turned towards the door.

"We investigate."

"Could be a trap."

"Could also be a first contact situation with a race never before encountered by the Federation."

Jenson couldn't help but shrug and accept that. Nine didn't wait for any more responses and headed out of the room and back to her office. Once she was there she opened a line to Earth Spacedock, Admiral Quinn's office. The conversation was short, just the way Nine liked it, and ended with Nine recommending an investigation of the signal source on Earth. To which Quinn agreed.

Re: They Came from Beyond Space

Reply #1
Stardate 95007.37. Deep Space 451, Alpha Quadrant. Aboard the I.R.W. Keterix

Dorina sat in her office just off the bridge. Her ship was diverted to this ass end of space on the edge of the galaxy near the galactic barrier. Some scientific experiment that they needed her ship for. Everyone around her being ultra secretive was something she had gotten used to in her many years of being on loan to the Romulan Republic. They claim that they are different than their Tal Shiar brethren, but as far as Dorina is concerned nothing has changed.

Without warning however, the yellow alert claxons started to sound. Grumbling, Dorina stood from her seat and stalked onto the bridge.

"Honestly, this better be important."

"I'm sorry Guardian, the alert appears to have originated from the science bay."

With a bit of a growl Dorina turned towards the lift and entered. As soon as the doors were closed she barked a very gruff command for the lift to take her to the science deck. As the lift deposited her to her destination she very forcefully makes her way to the science bay, pushing her way past her own crew and Starfleet crew from the station alike.

As she came upon the doors though, she slowed to a stop. Straightening out her uniform she calms herself and puts on the best smile she can before entering. She looked around the room at all the Starfleet crew and quickly located the head of this menagerie, a Lieutenant Commander in blue. Very blue as he's a Bolian. She very calmly walks over to him and in an even, diplomatic voice speaks.

"Would you like to tell me, the commander of this ship, why you initiated a yellow alert?"

The Bolian practically jumped out of his skin at this and turned around in a hurry.

"Oh dear, I'm sorry. It's just, well, I mean, you see.."

"Spit it out. Are you breaking my ship."

".. No. Honestly, no. It's just that the experiment we are running.. Well, it tripped the alert. I'm very sorry about that."

There was a small growl from Dorina as she turned and walked out of the bay without another word. However she hadn't made it half way down the hall when suddenly the red alert started sounding off. She turned on her heels and stalked back to the science bay about to give that officer a sound piece of her mind, but upon entering she was greeted with his voice saying,

"It wasn't us this time, I swear!"

Breaking into a dead run she hurried back to the lift and commanded it to take her to the bridge. As soon as it deposited her on the bridge she entered and looked to her first officer for a report.

"Sir, we've detected an unknown ship entering this sector. Traveling at sub-light speed. The station commander is hailing."

"Put them through."

The image of the station that is near the ship was replaced by the image of a Human Starfleet Commander.

"I.R.W. Keterix, we have detected an unknown ship on our sensors, are you seeing this as well?"

"Confirmed four five one, we just picked it up as well."

"As you are the only ship in this sector at present, we are issuing a formal request for you to aid us in checking this out."

"That is a roger four five one. We are heading out to investigate."

With that the comm channel was closed. She turned her head slightly and simply nodded. Her and her crew had worked together for quite some time, so she knew that the first officer understood his duty and would carry it out without her having to tell him. Dorina then moved over to take a seat in the command chair and watched the station fall away and the stars transform as the ship entered warp.

Traveling at sub-light speed, why would a ship this far out be traveling at sub-light speeds. They were no where near any trade lanes, and station 451 was not a tourist hub. Any supply ships that come drop out of warp much closer to the station, and are detected much further away as they are broadcasting their identity several sectors away.

Who or whatever it was, it wouldn't be long before they got a look at this intruder.

Re: They Came from Beyond Space

Reply #2
Stardate 95008.05. Sector 451, Alpha Quadrant. Aboard the I.R.W. Keterix

Dorina sat and stared at the view screen. It really was only moments before the ship dropped from warp, just a quick hop to the edge of the sector, but it felt like days to her. Just watching those stars rush by was actually starting to give her a headache when they changed and were replaced by the static starfield.

"Sir, the ship is dead ahead. Just coming into visual range now."

"On screen, maximum magnification."

A few beeps and the image shifted to show a ship, a very strange looking ship like nothing any of them had seen before.



"What do you make of it, Defender?"

Dorina stood from her seat and turned to move over to the console her first officer was at.

"It's massive Sir. I'm reading 73,500 meters long."

Dorina blinked and looked over the readouts to confirm that the sensors indeed read that. She then looks up to the screen again to examine the ship.

"Weapons? Shields? Propulsion? Anything?"

The Defender hit a few buttons, then moved over to another console to continue. The image on the view-screen changed to show a wire-frame overlay of the ship they were looking at from different angles. She could tell the Defender was performing a sensor sweep, though nothing seemed to be coming up on the monitors.

"I'm sorry Sir, they seem to be using some form of masking technology that makes it impossible to scan beyond the hull. Right now, I couldn't even tell you what the hull was made of."

There was a growl from Dorina as she stepped around the console to move closer to the screen.

"Alright, we are in Federation space on an official mission from Starfleet. Let's do this all friendly like. Open a channel, all frequencies. Transmit friendship greetings in all languages. Let's see if they want to talk."

There was a quiet moment on the bridge as everyone waited to see what sort of response might be coming. But after a few minutes, there was nothing. Dorina turned to face her first officer, just in time for one of the panels to start beeping.

"Sir, I'm detecting a transmission. It's.. Not aimed at us."

"Well, what is it, a message? Where is it aimed at?"

"Not a message that I can see. And according to these readings, it's aimed straight at earth."

"Okay. These whatevers don't want to talk, and they have invaded inhabited space. Fire a warning shot. Let's see if that gets their attention."

When the captain tells you to do something on this ship, no matter how stupid you might think it is, you do it. Or you go outside for some fresh air. So with that command, bright green bolts of energy lanced out from the ship, streaking across the view and passing within meters of the alien ship.

There was a pause, then out of the alien ship bright yellow energy beams lanced out and struck the Keterix square on. Sparks shot everywhere, panels exploded, the ship rocked violently and the bridge lights went out. Everything was appearing offline, except the emergency lighting. Even the main view screen was blank.

"Status report!"

Dorina's voice boomed across the bridge, she didn't know what just happened and that's not a feeling she likes.

"Everything is offline! No computer access, I can't even tell you if the coffee was done at this point."

"Alright, I want damage control teams working on getting the main systems online. We need life support and communications back up pronto."

"Yes Sir."

Everyone on the bridge spoke in unison, then as though they were part of a hive mind started to their duties of trying to get the ship back up, or getting into other areas of the ship to help with repairs.

For the time being though, the Keterix was adrift as this alien ship just quietly sailed on by.

Re: They Came from Beyond Space

Reply #3
Stardate 95008.22. Giza, Egypt. Earth.

"You're kidding right? At four in the morning?"

Jackson leaned up on his cot and looked at Marisa. The two of them, as well as the rest of their team of twelve had been stationed in Egypt doing further studies on the pyramids, and also tasked with minor restoration in areas.

"Come on, get up lazy bones. This is directly from Starfleet."

Marisa was already up and dressed. In truth she had not been to bed yet. There was something about the desert that seemed to energize her and make it hard for her to sleep.

"Yes, but we're not Starfleet. They can wait till morning."

Jackson slumped back onto his cot and closed his eyes as if that was the end of it. Marisa however moved over with a huff and yanked the covers off him with such force that they flew to the other side of the room and knocked a few things off his makeshift dresser.

"They say it's important. Let's go."

Marisa then gave him that look that said this was serious, and that's all Jackson needed. He climbed off his cot and began to get dressed. Minutes later he was in the communications tent staring at a monitor with the image of an Admiral on it. This was no Admiral he had met before, though admittedly as a civilian he didn't meet many Admirals. This one had flowing brown hair, very pale skin and cybernetic implants on her face. Her voice as she spoke was so calm and even he almost thought she might be an android.

"I am uploading some coordinates to your terminal. I want you to go and check them out."

"Honestly Admiral, this is a waste of time. We were just over there yesterday with tricorders and we found nothing. Just sand, more sand, and a statue that has riddled scientists over the ages."

The Admiral's expression didn't change one nanometer.

"There is something there now. And I want you to find out what it is."

With that the image went blank, replaced by the standard Earth Communications symbol. Jackson huffed lightly, clearly upset by what just transpired.

"Who does Starfleet think they are. Ordering us around like that."

"I suppose she thinks she's some Borg drone who needs you to do something and is used to getting her way."

Jackson huffed again and moved over to a table that had various equipment scattered across it. He picked up a tricorder and a re-breather. Not that he needed the re-breather, but sandstorms could be a nightmare and it's better to be prepared.

"Alright, let's go get these scans so I can get back, nany-nany-boo-boo in her face that I was right and I can go back to bed."

Marisa let out a small chuckle at that and grabbed her own equipment from the table. After which the two of them left the tent and got into a hover jeep to head over to the great spynx statue. The entire ride the two of them traded back and forth exactly what they thought they would find. Things like, sand, stone, air, a drop of water that looked at the Admiral funny through the sensor read out, or perhaps they would find a Starfleet officer playing hide and seek just to waste their time.

As they came to a stop, the two of them casually got out of the vehicle, still conversing with each other in a jovial tone.

"Okay, it's a deal. If we find something I owe you a bottle of Dom Pérignon."

"The '65."

Jackson grumbled lightly, then nodded.

"But if there's nothing but sand, sand and more sand. You owe me dinner. And you actually cook it, no replicator."

Marisa let out a laugh as she opened her tricorder.

"You're on!"

The two of them set their tricorders for scanning and began to walk in the direction of the monument. The devices beeping ever so slightly with each sensor pass.

"I hope your cooking has improved. Last time you cooked for me, I think I almost died."

"Hey! I told you, the burner unit malfunctioned and incinerated half the roast."

Jackson chuckled slightly.

"Uh-huh. I believe you, I really do. Just remember, we don't have a convenient medical station out here. Just some med-kits."

Marisa looked at Jackson and was about to say something in her defense when her tricorder started beeping. She looked back to it and started using the controls. The noise prompted Jackson to look over in her direction. He was about to ask when she spoke up.

"You may not have to worry about my cooking. I think I have something here. Subspace range, strange frequency modulation. Tune your tricorder to frequency three-nine."

Jackson started moving in Marisa's direction, working the controls of his tricorder to tune into whatever it was that she was detecting.

"Okay, I got it. Damn, and I was really hoping to save that bottle for my proposal."

That comment prompted Marisa to look at Jackson, but again before she could say anything both of their tricorders started picking up something new. With this she started moving closer to the monument trying to track down the new signal. Both of their tricorders lead them to an area on the north side of the Spynx, in the shade of the monument.

"I'm picking up a.. Holographic signature? No, it's different. Solid, with a holographic matrix. Like a forcefield."

Jackson moved closer to Marisa and checked his tricorder to confirm the results.

"Hmm, must have been masked by a cloaking field or something. In all these years we never found this. Try to find a control panel or something."

The two of them then began moving around the area in opposite directions, sweeping through scanning frequencies trying to find anything that might work to control this new field they found. However after a couple of hours of searching they found nothing and met up back at the strange anomaly.

"Nothing. This was obviously put here to protect something. But how would one open it to get at that protected something?"

Marisa placed her hands on her hips and huffed lightly. Jackson however was busy running something through his tricorder on a hunch. Marisa moved a bit closer to try and see what he was doing before speaking again.

"How about we report this, huh? Get a full Starfleet team out here with their fancy gizmo's to crack this nut."

"No way. They come out here and this whole area is sealed off, we get shut out, and we'll never know what's down there."

Marisa was about to protest when Jackson hit the last control on his tricorder. All of the sudden there was the sound of a forcefield shutting off. And then, there was no ground under them. A gaping hole had appeared under them and dropped them into the dark earth like a giant maw looking to swallow them up. No one even heard their screams as they dropped.

Re: They Came from Beyond Space

Reply #4
Stardate 95026.86. Sector 268, Alpha Quadrant. Aboard the S.S. House Cat

"Custodian, based on current trajectory, plot a course back to the most likely star system."

Eve stood there before the navigational control system of the House Cat, a ship named for the fact that Eve really liked the earth house cat. She was staring at the main view screen, on which was a ship of alien design and massive proportions. She had brought her ship in behind this alien ship several hours ago and had been trying everything she knew to figure out who this ship belonged to. The Custodian was the name of the on-board computer system that had been installed by Eve to aid in the operation of the vessel.

"Confirmed."

The voice was deep and male, as well as monotone. One of the monitors off to the side of the bridge changed and started running through calculations, showing a slowly expanding star chart with a course plot line as the computer attempted to trace back the route. The line passed through sector 451, really near the station located there. The course up to that point was known, but the Custodian continued it's calculations, expanding the line to continue outwards towards the edge of the galaxy, then beyond. The monotone voice piped up again.

"I was unable to determine the origin of the alien ship. It's projected course does not pass near enough to any listed star system to count as an originating point."

"Wait, you said 'listed' star system. Why?"

"Conjecture, there is still the possibility of an unlisted system being the point of origin. However, this area of space has been thoroughly mapped by the Federation, the Romulans and the Klingons. As well as fragmented mapping data from the Cardasian Union. So the possibility of an unlisted star system containing sapient life capable of building a ship of this magnitude is one quadrillion quadrillion to one."

Eve nodded, even though the computer didn't understand such gestures. She moved away from the navigational console over to the one displaying the projected course, then traced her finger along the line.

"Where do you come from..."

She then turned around and started for the aft quarters section.

"Custodian, plot a course following the projected alien craft course. Monitor local space, if we pass within a light-year of a star I want to be notified."

"Eve, you have a message from Starfleet. Labeled as transmitted by an Admiral Nine."

Eve stopped. The damn Admiral. Been a thorn in Eve's side ever since she joined Starfleet. Sending her all over the universe like Eve was the Admiral's personal errand girl. Eve sighed and turned towards the main view screen.

"Play the message."

The image of the alien ship was replaced by the all too familiar face of the Borg Admiral. The Borg Queen herself as Eve thought of her.

"Lieutenant Commander. You are being assigned to sector 268 to investigate a strange alien ship that is currently traveling through that sector. The ship is reported to have attacked one ship already, so your orders are to investigate, but do not engage. Starfleet Command out."

"Huh, that was... Easy? Custodian, continue with my previous request."

"Confirmed."

The main view screen changed again to show the space outside the ship just as the computer engaged the new course. The stars shifting as the ship turned, plotting a course in the opposite direction as the alien ship. Once the stars stopped moving, the unmistakable effect of entering warp could be seen, shortly after replaced by stars warping by. The Custodian's voice was heard once more.

"Course engaged. Stellar proximity alert set to one light year."

If Starfleet asks, it's part of her investigation, she's looking for the origin of this ship that won't talk. She lets out a bit of a sigh and heads towards her quarters. In truth, all the quarters on this ship were hers since she operated this ship alone, but she mainly used cabin A-4 as she liked the view from the windows. Once there, she began to get undressed to take a shower. It was going to be a long trip at warp five, but she had time.

 
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