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In the Eye of The Storm...

Posted on Mon Oct 9th, 2017 @ 2:38pm by Lieutenant Mindo & Lieutenant Commander Owen Nash

Mission: Into The Wild
Location: Somewhere in space
Timeline: who knows?

"Commander, are you alright?" Lt. Mindo stood over the fallen officer's body which had been flung from his seat in the runabout to the floor. Outside, the neutron storm raged on.

Owen managed to come to his senses and looked around for a moment to find his bearings. As he re-focused, he saw Mindo standing over him. "I've been through worse, but lets just say it will take a while for the headache to go," he answered. Looking around the Runabout cockpit, Owen could see that they'd taken a hit.

"How are we looking? how bad is it?" he asked.

Mindo reported, "One of our nacelles was hit by the blast, our sensors have gone haywire, and we have about two hours of air left, as life support has taken critical damage. We're sitting ducks out here, and we have no way of telling where the Pandora is. I can't find the stranded ship, either. You were right, though. There is a distortion of some sort at the center of the storm."

Owen moved over to the pilots console and ran a quick check of the systems as Mindo explained what had happened to them. He swore under his breath after realising that the distress call may have been a genuine one or even worse a fake one set by the Ravagers to call them out and show the location of the Pandora.

"Ok, so things have looked better," he started as he looked to gather what information he could. "If we've got a nacelle offline, then that's warp power out of the equation...however that still leaves impulse and the RCS thrusters if we need to find our way out of here..." he finished as he ran more systems checks on the console.

"What was the last reported position of that distress call?" Owen asked as he collated what data he could about the distortion they came across. "My theory is that it may not have been a distress call after all...but its a theory I don't like..."

"What, like a phantom signal? That would explain the absence of another ship here. We've been at this for twelve hours now and I'm beginning to think... hold on," said Mindo. "What's that?"

Just then the roundabout was hit by disruptor fire and the cockpit shook.

Mindo scrambled on the controls. "Sir, a small ship just fired on us! The sensors aren't giving me an exact look at the signature, but you can bet it's Ravagers!"

"Oh, just when things were started to look boring," Owen commented as he took his place at the console next to Mindo. "Ok, we've got Shields and we've got propulsion...thats a better start than I thought we'd have...now if only I can clear up these bloody sensors..." He said as he worked through an idea.

Looking through the various systems data, Owen surmised an idea. "Lieutenant, we under two of life support left with an imminent attack potentially from a Ravager vessel... What would you like for us to get out of here and back to Pandora?" He asked as he worked away.

Noticing that there was a small silence after his question, Owen looked over to see the exact questioning look from Mindo. "I feel that a miracle is in needed to get us out of this and with you being a fellow Starfleet Engineer, I didn't know if you had any ideas as to how you would like said miracle to be performed?" he offered.

Mindo looked down at his console and sighed at what he saw. "Well, for starters we should probably start by rescuing the people in that pod," he said. On his monitor, there were intermittent blips of a small craft floating dangerously close to the singularity. "Apparently we're not the only ones the Ravagers are trying to shoot."

Mindo moved from his place in the co-pilot's seat and over to the transporter console, removing the panel and working on the innards. "I'm going to amplify sensors and increase the buffer system on the transporter, but I need you to get in very close to that pod. The Ravager won't fire into the singularity..." The runabout shook again. "At least, I hope they aren't that stupid."

"Lets find out how stupid they are, hang on..." Owen answered as he turned the Runabout towards the pod and squeezed as much power out of the engines as they would give.

The Runabout started bucking around as it closed on the pod and its distance to the singularity. Once they were in range, Owen looked back at Mindo.

"Thats as close as I can get Lieutenant, its your turn now for a miracle..." He reported, working to hold the ship steady.

"Energizing," said Mindo. The blue beams of the transporter swirled to life and within seconds, they had beamed up two survivors of the stranded pod just mere moments before the pod was sucked into the singularity and lost forever.

"We have two survivors," said Mindo. "Recommend we get the hell out of here."

"I hear you there!" Owen nodded as he pushed as much power to the thrusters as he could and began to steer away the Runabout from the Nebula and headed plotted the fastest course possible back to the Pandora. "Right, we're on our way," he reported, turning around to see that Mindo had been successful in his mission.

"So, who do we have here...?" Owen asked.

The survivors appeared to be two Talarians, a male and a female. Mindo noticed they were not dressed like the other Talarians they had encountered in this sector. Their clothes were disheveled and ripped in places. The male had a wound on his head and blood trickled down his face, but he looked conscious enough. Nonetheless, Mindo helped him sit down.

"How bad are you hurt?" asked Mindo as the female sat down next to him.

"I'll be fine," said the male. "Thank goodness you were here. I thought we were goners for sure."

"Ma'am?" said Mindo. "Are you injured."

The woman shook her head. "I'm unharmed. Just a few bruises."

"My name is Lieutenant Mindo, I'm an officer from the USS Pandora of the United Federation of Planets. The man in the cockpit is my superior, Lieutenant Commander Owen Nash."

"I'm Rapal," said the man. "This is my daughter Belaia. We're Talarian traders operating in this sector."

"Would you mind telling me what you were doing out here?" asked Mindo, opening the shuttle's first aid kit and applying some tissue to his wound. Mindo looked at Belaia, who looked to be about Mindo's age, and she nodded and took the tissue, addressing his wound.

"We were attacked," said Rapal. "By those fiends. We barely made it to our escape pod in time. They destroyed our ship, along with our cargo."

"How many ships?" asked Mindo.

"There were two," Rapal replied. "We were defenseless. We are only in the business of trade. We did not have any weapons, and our shields were too weak to handle their phasers."

Belaia spoke up. "We were trying to escape to Salvaxe. We knew the Ravagers couldn't reach us past the dark matter."

"Given your pod's design I'm impressed you made it through," said Mindo.

"We've used this route before," Belaia replied. "We understand the danger. We thought we were free, but our engines gave out and we drifted into the nebula."

Rapal nodded. "It's a good thing the Ravagers can't get past the dark matter."

"I'm afraid they already have," said Mindo.

"What?!"

Mindo sighed, hating to give them the news. "The Ravagers followed our ship through the matter. It's a safe bet they're headed to Salvaxe too."

Owen checked that the autopilot was in good working order before leaving the helm to come over and explain to the two Talarians what the situation was.

"I'm afraid our ship, the Pandora, got stuck in the Dark Matter field without warning once we'd entered the area...so we had to find a way of freeing ourselves out of there," he began before pausing to take a seat. "Once we were free and our sensors had cleared up, that's when we noticed a sensor reading and a distress call that was another ship...yours."

"However, now that we've picked you up, we're headed back to the Pandora with all speed...as you can tell, we've taken a beating ourselves." Owen checked the course plotted and speed as well. "We should be back with them inside of the hour...which works out quite well considering..."

"Well," said Rapal, putting a comforting arm around his daughter. "We are grateful to you. Thank you for saving us."

Mindo had gone back to the front to check on the Ravagers. "They're not following," he reported. "I think they're too close to the singularity. They've got other things to worry about."

"How far away is your ship?" asked Rapal.

"Once we're out of the nebula, it's going to be about twenty minutes ETA," said Mindo. "The Pandora won't have gone far without us."

"Once we rendezvous with the Pandora, we can either return you back to your people or beam you down to Salvaxe, whichever helps you more," Owen offered as he pushed the engines as best as they could manage.

"It is imperative we get to Salvaxe as soon as possible," said Rapal. "We have people waiting for us there."

Belaia jumped in. "Family and friends." Rapal looked at his daughter and gave her a little nod.

"We'll get you there as fast as we can," said Mindo. He turned back to Nash and said quietly, "How fast is that, exactly?"

After checking the readings from the Impulse Generator and the Impulse engines Owen smiled. "Not long at all, we're just under full impulse as it is," he confirmed. "Have no fear we'll be home soon."

 

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