Trek Among The Derelicts (Session 3)

That’s when things go from bad to worse. Out of the frying pan, out of the fire even, only to find myself face to face with the sharp, hungry mouth of whatever just came through the one door out of here.

“What the hell is that thing?” the helmsman shrieks behind me. Without a tricorder, all I can do is guess, and my guess is that it’s more interested in eating us than making friends with us. Instantly, my hand is on my phaser. The thing snarls as I raise my weapon, and I fire, hoping a high stun setting will be enough to bring it down.

Roll: 1 Black die (Shooting) + 1 Red die (Health): 5, 4
The Horror: 3 Yellow, 2 Green, 3 Red. Roll Reds: 5, 3, 3
Tie goes to defender. No counter attack possible.

The shot goes wide. Shaky hands, gotta be. Sweaty, terrified. My heart is pounding. I can scarcely breathe. I push the firing button again, but the phaser doesn’t respond. Depleted, or fused, or something. Damn thing was unreliable anyway.

And now this thing is bearing down on me with malice in its hungry eyes.

“Lieutenant!” I shout at the helmsman without even looking at him. “Run!”

The horror roars as I turn to sprint back for the cargo bay. I can hear it right on our heels, its huge, grotesquely-nailed feet pounding against the deck.

Roll: 2 Green dice (Agility) + 1 Red die (Health): 6,6,3
The Horror: Roll Greens (2): 3,2

For the first time in my life, I’m grateful for Starfleet fitness regs. The horror is big enough and slow enough that I’m able to sprint out of there at full speed with time enough left over to turn and yank the bypass on the maglocks for the door to the cargo bay’s command station. The door closes just as Reed goes flying through the gap, and the horror hits the whole thing a second later with enough force to dent it, but the door doesn’t give.

I’m panting. I’m terrified, but the door holds. Somehow, even as the horror rears back and slams against it, the door holds. 

Shaking my head, I clip the non-functional phaser back to my belt and collapse against the wall. 

“What the hell was that thing?” Lieutenant Reed asks, sitting opposite me in the cargo bay’s command station. He flinches when the horror throws itself against the door again, snapping its teeth and claws against the threshold, trying to find a way in.

At first, I shake my head, and then I remember the PADD I found, the stolen file from Starfleet Intelligence about a threat in this region, a threat kept a secret from the Federation at large. Pulling the PADD, I page through it while Reed watches me, and then I find it– exactly what I’m looking for. Exactly what I wish I wasn’t reading. 

information about the threat we're facing.

(from prompting ChatGPT - Art from Bing)

The first vessel that encountered the Nalaraan Parasites was the USS Delacroix, A Steamrunner Class, registry number NCC-52138. It was a reconnaissance mission, and when the Delacroix went silent, it was assumed all hands were lost. Commander Vickers is listed as the Section 31 officer tasked with recovering the Delacroix, along with any additional data she can gather on the nature of the threat. Apparently, someone at Starfleet Intelligence was very interested in this species and what they’re capable of. Turns out the whole Pathfinder Project thing was just a cover story. The geodesic fold mods to the warp drive were actually part of a new type of cloaking device, one that would allow the Hippogriff to use a modified warp field bubble to sneak up on the Delacroix if needed.

But something went wrong. Something went very wrong.

Reed goes pale as I tell him everything I’m reading in the file.

“If these things used to be members of the crew, then–” he gestures at his combadge, but I’m already snapping mine off, sticking it to the wall beside me.

“Yeah,” I respond flatly. “Just because no one answers doesn’t mean we aren’t being heard.”

“What do we do?” Reed asks me, looking at his combadge. He hesitates for a moment before he tosses it away. In the silence, I look around, uncertain. The only door out of the cargo bay is the only thing between us and the parasite-infected crewman. Only two other options come to mind. EVA with a vacc suit, if there are any, or a long climb up a jefferies tube, assuming there’s an access to one here.

(These were provided by using the One Page Solo Engine Online)

“This bay should be stocked with vacc suits,” I say, picking my way along the lockers. “Someone took the time to remove them before the operation.” I look back at Reed, and he watches me with a confused look on his face. “This whole thing stinks. We’ll have to take the jefferies tube if we want to get out of here.”

“Where would we go?” Reed asks, standing.

“The Bridge, or maybe Engineering. Anyone not infected would try to regroup at the bridge, or maybe the Mess, but Vickers and Fiefield– they were in Engineering.”

“You’re the ranking officer,” Reed says nervously.

“Engineering is two decks directly below us, and we’d have to cross half the ship to get to the Bridge,” I say, picturing the ship’s deckplan in my mind, thinking out loud. “I say we head to Engineering and hope Vickers is there. Finding her is the only way I see us getting any answers about where that thing came from and what happened to the ship.”

Reed pulls in a deep breath and nods. Myself, I turn and take the panel off the entrance to the jefferies tube, mentally preparing myself for my inevitable confrontation with the woman who screwed up my ship.

Our Officer:

Lt. Commander Elara Wulfe
Red (Health): 2
Blue (Bio-Science): 3
White (Technical): 2
Green (Agility): 2
Black (Shooting): 1

PADD with Starfleet Intelligence File on it.
PADD with First Contact Protocol on it.
Box of isolinear chips
Phaser (non-functional).
A standard issue tool kit
Fusion capacitor


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