Trek Among The Derelicts (Session 6)

G-5726-II. That's the name the computer automatically assigns to the planet we're about to crash land on. 
In a system of ice planets caught in the orbit of a red dwarf star, G-5726-II is the only world we might be able to survive on. It's rocky, reads as arid, probably because of the thin atmosphere and near zero gravity, but the air is breathable, barely, and the temperature range is near enough to Earthlike that we won't freeze or boil. It's not ideal, but it is all we've got, especially when the only other alternative is going back to the Delacroix, or the Hippogriff, or whatever you want to call the starship amalgam we were caught in until a moment ago.

The sabotage of our engines pisses me off, but I understand it. Whatever the Nalaraan parasites are, they’re dangerous, corrupting, infectious. If I was a hero, if I was noble, if I was command track even, eager to prove myself and try to snatch a commendation from the jaws of disaster, I might have stayed to try to get into engineering and blow the warp core, but I’m not that. I’m none of those things. I’m just a science officer stuck in the backseat of a peregrine starfighter. At least I managed to get Reed out alive. At least neither of us is infected.

I hope neither of us is infected.

Descent to G-5726-II is about as easy as one could hope for a crash to be. Even with our failing nacelles trailing plasma, Reed manages to bring us in with hardly any chop. Anti-grav systems kick in at the last minute, and then the peregrine drops into the dust like a leaf, settling for an instant before all systems on board shudder and die. Oxygen masks, flashlights and phasers come out of the storage units under the seats. There’s even a tricorder, a week’s worth of emergency rations, a distress beacon and a trio of short range transporter buffers. Joy of joys. We might actually have a shot at surviving this rock. A quick scan of the peregrine with the tricorder tells me exactly what I already know. It’s done. Nothing short of a drydock repair is going to get her flying again.

“We better set up the beacon,” Reed says, but I only nod and leave him to it. I scan the area around us instead, looking for any sign of liquid water, any sign of life, edible or otherwise. 

And then the tricorder picks up just about the last thing I expect to find on this tiny ball of sand and rock. 

(from prompting ChatGPT)

An artificial structure. Ruins, or a building, or something. A colony, maybe? It's active, whatever it is. There are energy readings, but they don't make sense to me.

"Reed," I reach out, touching his shoulder, pushing the tricorder at him when he turns toward me. "Look at these readings. What does that look like to you?"

I don't know, ma'am," he shakes his head, squinting at the readings. "I just fly the ship. I'm not a scientist." 

"It looks like a borehole,” I stare at the readings again, scrolling through them. “Metallic. It’s massive. It goes down into the planet quite a ways.”

“I think I saw it on our way in,” Reed admits, busying himself with the beacon again. “I thought it was just a big crater.”

“This thing is no crater,” I tell him, mesmerized by the readings as they paint a more and more detailed picture of the structure. “We have to go look at it, Jon. I have to see it up close.”

“Wait! Wulfe!” He turns quickly, scattering sand the instant he realizes I’m already walking away. “It’s just a big hole in the ground, right? Right? Shouldn’t we focus on doing whatever we can to be seen? To survive!? Don’t you want to be rescued?”

“We’ve got the beacon,” I shrug. “This planet is dead. Nothing evolved here. If there are metallic alien ruins on this planet, it’s because someone came here from somewhere else. Someone settled here, and judging from the readings I got of the other planets in this system, they probably weren’t from this sector.”

I look at him, but Reed only blinks at me. He doesn’t get it.

“Warp drive, Jon!” I try to drive the point home. “Whoever built this big hole in the ground probably had warp drive. Given the readings I’m getting, that could mean a way off this planet. It could mean a way home!”

That’s all it takes. Jon hurries through the set-up for the distress beacon, takes a big bite out of a bar ration, and then he’s running to catch up with me.

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
Oxygen mask,
Distress beacon
Three transporter buffers
Type II phaser


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