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Out of Nowhere

Posted on Sat Apr 20th, 2019 @ 4:27pm by Commander Temerant Bast & Captain James McCullen

Mission: Route to Raeya
Location: SS Second Star, somewhere in the Raeyan Transit Corridor
Timeline: MD -1, 1800 Hrs

Captain Trass Hakkan was having a good day. His aging Antares class freighter was holding up, managing warp 4.2 and for once, his engineer wasn't whining about pushing the engines too hard. They were in the middle of a run from Curtiss to Faltan, a route they had plied many times, loaded to the beams with a plethora of supplies for the new Federation presence in the Raeya Sector. It was proving to be a lucrative trade route, thus far, despite the dangers.

The old chair creaked as he shifted from one side to the other, and turned his head to look at the navigational display, "How're we gettin' on?"

Yareena looked at the board in front of her and punched a few controls. "We're on schedule," replied the Malkorian navigator.

She stretched the muscles of her right shoulder. She and Joral, the ship's engineer, had overdone it a bit the previous night, and tested their bed's steel frame to its limit. She had been grateful for his status as engineer - they'd been able to fix the thing while avoiding anyone asking too many personal questions.

"We should arrive at Faltan in thirty-six hours," she reported.

"Hrn," was the captain's guttural reply, "you musta don' something right with that lazy-ass engineer last night, engine's runnin' better'n'usual." He gave Yareena a wide grin, there was very little that happened on the small ship with a crew of only twelve that escaped his notice. Crew shacking up together was common and while some captains frowned on it, he saw no problem as long as it didn't cause drama. The fact was, eight times out of ten it improved morale.

"I did sum'n a'ight," she said. "He ain't walkin straight this morn'n."

A belly laugh, rough and wheezing roiled up out of the captain, "as long as you're flyin' straight we'll be..." His sentence was cut short as without any warning he was thrown sideways, his head smashed against the edge of a console and a bright-white light blinded him. A sheet of flame shot up behind him as automatically, alarms began to blare.

"What the hell?" He roared over the noise and the pain, "Yareena?!"

Yareena had been similarly thrown against her console. Blood poured from her forehead as she tried to reorient her eyes in the proper direction in their sockets. The alarms blaring would have registered in her mind, if not for the entire horns section of the Malkorian Symphony playing very loudly inside her head.

She turned to her panel and pressed the manual buttons that brought up a status report. "Somebody's frakking shooting at us," she said. "Ship at starboard aft."

"Shit!" The captain had experienced his share of hold-ups and pirates, he had lost his cargo more than once and been held at the end of a disruptor twice, but never had a ship simply started shooting without asking for anything. He scrambled back to his chair, hitting the comm button on the small panel there. "This is the SS Second Star, we surrender, ya hear? We surrender! Stop shooting!"

The response was a torpedo that slammed into the side of the ship, tearing a hole in her hull big enough to fit a shuttle through. Debris mingled with cargo and two bodies that floated outwards. On the bridge, the comm panel behind the captain exploded, showering him with shrapnel and sparks. He felt the sting of something in his neck and the heat of fire on his skin. "Abandon ship! Get the hell out! Abandon ship!" He roared into the now dead comm unit, a last desperate act.

Yareena stared at the charred remains of the viewscreen. The last image the thing had shown them were two bodies being blown out into the cold of space. Out of a crew of twelve, with two people here on the bridge, there weren't that many possibilities - they'd just lost twenty percent of their crew. One of those bodies had been wearing an orange vest with purple pants.

"Gods dammit, I told him not to wear that vest with those pants," she said.

Sparks flew as the lights behind her control panel winked out of existence. "The helm is dead."

Not that it mattered - they had no engines left to speak of.

"Bastards, bastards! Bastards!" The captain cursed, launching himself at the nearby cargo management console and began the process of ejecting all the cargo pods, hoping that the cargo would placate the attackers if that's what they were after. Another volley of fire smashed into the rapidly disintegrating vessel, the panel went dark a moment before the lights flickered off and the gravity plating died.

They were left in the darkness, floating hopelessly.

Yareena felt her weight suddenly disappear. Her thighs still registered contact with the fabric of the chair beneath her (or what her brain told her was beneath - in the absence of gravity, "beneath" lost its meaning). She grabbed her console with both hands, and reached into a side panel for a palm beacon. She flicked on the device and looked around.

Hakkan was floating above his chair, his arms flailing about as he tried to gain a handhold somewhere. His long blonde locks floated about his face, his eyes wide as saucers.

"I'll try to reach the ops station," said Yareena. She knew there was an independently-powered emergency beacon in there. It would at least allow them to send out a distress signal.

The captain pushed off from his now-dead console towards the rear hatch, he had spent long enough in zero-g cargo holds to be effective in navigating his way around without the friendly force of gravity. There, he popped open a small panel and pulled out a small power-pack, an old Cardassian disruptor pistol, and his own palm beacon. Hakkan had been in some scrapes, but none as dire as they found themselves in this time. He found himself oddly calm, furious to be certain, but calm. "If we're lucky, they'll leave us adrift, whoever the hell they are. If we're not... well... how's that beacon coming?"

Yareena pulled the aging cylindrical device out from behind the Operations console and felt her way around the thing, looking for the activation switch. She flipped it on, and watched the various diodes scattered along the cylinder come to life.

She tapped the control panel and ran a diagnostic. Gods knew how long the emergency distress beacon had been inactive in that cabinet, she wanted to make sure someone would get their distress signal.

"It's activated," she said after twenty seconds. "We're broadcasting on -"

She never got to finish her sentence. The attacking vessel, having secured the cargo containers that Hakkan had jettisoned, swooped around, and with one final torpedo, blew the Second Star out of the sky.


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