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The Hunt - Part 1

Posted on Mon Jul 23rd, 2018 @ 5:53pm by Lieutenant Commander Yara Blackwater & Captain Alexander Kurtz & Lieutenant Rafan Kel & Lieutenant JG Cey'aaren & Ensign Marwa (Kincaid)

Mission: Leviathan
Location: Bridge, USS Valkyrie, Inside the Asteroid Field
Timeline: MD01 - 19:54hrs

The Centaur class may not have been the most prestigious line of ships in Starfleet, but they were maneuverable and small enough that the Valkyrie had been able to pick it's way through the asteroid field fairly efficiently. They'd used the phasers to clear a couple of the larger rocks but Lieutenant Blackwater had done a good job following the alien’s path so far. Whilst Alex was satisfied that they were tracking the alien, there was still a cloaked ship out there, under the command of a war criminal, which was another concern and threw an unstable element into an already unpredictable situation.

They had constant sensor scans in place in an attempt to detect the telltale tachyon emissions that could give them a heads up that the Komari was out there. Their focus though, was still on finding the alien.

Lieutenant Cey'aaren continued to monitor subspace signals in the area as the Valkyrie glided gracefully into the asteroid field under Yara's expert manipulation. Through the earpiece he had focused in on the frequencies he and the counselor believed to be the various bands the creature used to communicate. Relayed directly into his ear it was like a low hum refracted through crystal. "Captain, I think we're getting closer. The subspace songs from the creature are getting... louder."

“Good work Lieutenant.” Alex glanced down at the sensor display on his console. “Have you got anything that could give us a location?”

"Nothing conclusive as far as a direction," Cey answered. "When it appeared and attacked the Tower Bridge, there was a signal directed straight at the ship just two seconds before they were hit with the energy dampening beam. Other than that, it seems to be broadcasting omni-directionally."

This was boring. So terribly boring. Yara took a deep breath and let it out slowly as she continued to guide the ship through the field with care. She had to be creative at times to follow the path that the creature had left, but she had been able to manage well enough and hadn't even scratched the paint yet. The apparent pirate ship that had shown up had given a momentary flash of excitement but then they had run off and cloaked and it was gone just as suddenly as it had appeared. Depressing really. Still, at least for once she felt like she was doing something at least half useful. She piloted the ship through the field with an ease that came from what amounted to a couple of decades of flight experience. It was one of the positives she saw from her early upbringing and her father's obsessive need to make sure his children were good little soldiers. She followed the alien's signal, tracking it on her display and using the intensity as a guide for her. It was difficult in some areas knowing that she couldn't stray too far from the path laid before her or it would disappear into nothingness.

The Valkyrie wove its way through a patch of smaller rocks and into something of a clearing under Blackwater's steady hand. It was an area an area of much lower density, like an oasis in a desert of asteroids. Before them lay a large half spheroid rock, pockmarked with craters, seemingly the origin of the rest of the objects in the field. It may have been a rogue planet, a moon or some other celestial body that had broken free of a star system eons ago, colliding with another interstellar wanderer to form the chaotic debris cloud. There were a number of larger asteroids hanging close to the central one, but the density of the asteroids was much lighter than it had been on their approach. Alex studied the sensor data on the viewscreen, which confirmed that the central planetoid had been hit by another fairly large object. Most of the asteroid field seemed to be debris from that collision, the smaller rocks having been thrown further.

“We're getting some energy readings from one of the large objects.” Ensign Marwa reported from ops. “It looks like there might be a cave large enough for the creature to hide inside.”

“All right, take us closer Lieutenant Blackwater. Nice and slow, we don't want to startle it.” Alex found himself leaning forwards slightly, anticipating an encounter which had the potential to leave them in a very tough spot if it didn't go well.

Yara looked ahead, then down to her console, then turned her head to look at Kurtz. “I can get us close, but there's not that much cover out there if our friends decide to pop out and pay us a visit."

“Get us as close as you can Lieutenant.” Kurtz replied. She was right, but they didn't really have many options at this point.

“The readings are getting stronger Captain.” Marwa said. “If it's not there now, it definitely has been recently.”

“All right, Cey'aaren, Kel, it's now or never.” The Captain said. “Let it know we're here. I don't want to sneak up on this thing, we won't survive if it sees us as a threat. Start things off calm and quiet, let's not spook it, just announce ourselves.”

Rafan nodded and looked down to his console, focusing on the readings there. There was a nervous excitement in him at the prospect of making contact with this creature and all they could possibly learn from it if it was amenable to the idea and they could establish effective two way communication. If this creature truly lived between dimensions, it could open up a whole new branch of sciences and studies. Perhaps he himself would even begin to do research into it and- Rafan stopped his mental process there and couldn't help but smirk a little, looking over toward Yara for a moment as if he could already feel her just leering at him for his science-y thoughts. Truthfully he wasn't so sure that she didn't enjoy it to a point.

Cey'aaren began working his fingers over the communications console. "Recommend we enter silent running mode, captain," he advised as he worked. "We don't know how sensitive the creature might be to even our routine subspace emissions." Through the earpiece he was listening to the Valkyrie's comms as they played a facsimile of what he and the counselor thought to be the creature's normal tones.

“Do it.” Alex agreed. “Passive scans only for now, let's not risk making it angry.”

Yara utilized the maneuvering thrusters to ease the ship closer to the asteroid, trying to cause as little disturbance as possible. Given what had happened to the Tower Bridge, she didn't want to risk angering the creature and have them end up stranded in the middle of the asteroid field unable to escape. She positioned the ship at the mouth of the massive cavern where the creature seemed to have disappeared into. She made sure that the ship wasn't blocking the way but they were "visible" should the creature be looking.

“We're picking up some movement within sir, looks like it's coming out.” Marwa said. The Bridge was almost silent, the crew waiting in anticipation as the alien emerged slowly from the cavern. It held within the entrance, seemingly regarding the Valkyrie, perhaps judging whether they were a threat or perhaps how much of a threat. The heads up display on the viewscreen tracked the energy levels, steady at first, they began to rise a little, then increased faster.

“Shields?” Asked the tactical officer, an insistent time in his voice, seemingly assuming the Captain would agree.

“No, wait!” Alex replied quickly, raising his right hand towards the tactical station, his eyes not leaving the screen. If the subject of their search wanted to attack them, then it was more than capable of overwhelming their defenses as they had done to the Tower Bridge.

[To be continued]


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