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Danger Zone

Posted on Mon Oct 30th, 2023 @ 10:39am by Lieutenant Samaire MacBride-Reece [Lalor] & Commodore Phoenix Lalor-Richardson & Captain Gary Taylor & Commander Kyle Reece & Commander Sthilg & Lieutenant Colonel Azhul Naxea & Lieutenant Commander Alicia Kelea-Salik & Lieutenant Baeryn Whavi-Tonelly & Lieutenant Thor Magnus & Lieutenant Commander Rin & Consul Andrinn Orin & Lieutenant N'vok Holv & Lieutenant Kurt "Berlin" Vogel & Lieutenant JG Miraj Derani & Teevs Dosivi
Edited on on Mon Oct 30th, 2023 @ 11:39am

Mission: Season 6: Episode 4: Memory Lane
Location: Main Bridge
Timeline: MD3 - 10h00
4504 words - 9 OF Standard Post Measure

The USS Elysium, cruising at warp 4, dropped out of warp when the sensors picked up a transmission. A rather strange transmission but one that was being broadcast across all bands. And in all different languages that the UT was struggling to translate.

The transmission was garbled as the universal translator struggled with the language. Eventually though it came through.

[[Warning to all. Now entering Thaih'ean space. Slavers. All non-Thaih'ean ships are subject to inspection and mandatory tithing of 5% of the crew to the Thaih'ean slave market]] it even broadcasted a map showing the area of space owned by the Thaih'ea.

Well that was clear enough.

"Helm, keep us outside their borders." The Commodore ordered. " And summon the senior staff to the bridge." She would be damned if she was going to allow this to happen. "Oh and our guest, Mr Dosivi, Invite him as well"

She had just finished speaking when the viewer changed to a Starfleet insignia and the words [[Commodore’s Command code Required]] appeared.

She stood sighing. "It's probably a glitch. I will take it in my ready room" so saying she left the bridge.

As Phoenix went to check, look at whatever message had popped up on her command channel, Gary got to the task at hand. "All senior staff to the bridge and Mr.Dosivi, your attendance is required as well."

=Ready Room=

Phoenix sat down at her desk and calmly transferred the signal to her console and entered her command code.

She frowned as a message scrolled across the screen.

[[Captain Jon Michael Gideon recording. Press play]]

She pressed play and the screen changed to show a man, looking very haggard.

"I am Captain Jon Michael Gideon, Captain of the USS Archeron. I am recording this to protect other ships of the fleet. If this message is playing, then my worst fears have come true." He swallowed. "I am from the year 2260, my crew and I faced a race called the Thaih'ea in late 2260. They caused an incursion into our galaxy and attacked and overwhelmed my crew. They took us millions of light years from home. To another galaxy. The Thaih'ea are slavers. They are highly advanced and from our 2260 perspective they could have destroyed us without hesitation but they wanted something from us. They experimented on our crew. But I managed to get them to let us go. It cost me and I do not regret it."

" I, with the help of certain crewmembers, who will never remember it, destroyed their main genetics vault and I had to give up my ability to ever have children but as my wife died because of their experiments, it is not something I regret. I managed to convince them to send us home, and they did so. But with a twist. The agreement was that they would never come to our galaxy ever again. They agreed and sent us home, only they sent us home in suspended Animation and it was centuries before we were found and woken. I believe they have broken their agreement in the decades past but I cannot prove it. But my crew... they don't remember but I do as does my XO."

"After we sealed the agreement, we woke in the Archeron's cargo bay. Covered in slime. Naked. All around me the rest of the crew and families were in the same state. Hanging from the ceiling were gelatinous pods, where we had all slept in for nearly 140 years. Around us were Starfleet Officers of the USS Patriot. They had found the Archeron in a nebular and they revived us. All the crew, civilians, we all have the same issues. Nightmares, sleep walking, nausea around certain foods, fear of invasive medical procedures. Some have... succumbed to despair in the past few months. If you are hearing this message then they have broken their agreement and you have come face to face with them or their realm of space. Do not engage with them unless you have superior fire-power. They only understand force. And they want more slaves to do their bidding. If they have taken you to their home planet I suggest you create a weapon of great destructive power and unleash it on them, Prime Directive be damned. They are evil. And only understand brute force. May whatever gods you follow have mercy on your souls because the Thaih'ea will not." He took a breath. "I have done all I can. Good luck" and he signed off the message.

"Avalon, Starfleet officer search Captain Jon Michael Gideon"

Avalon appeared. "Captain Jon Michael Gideon, deceased. Captain of the USS Archeron until 2396. He committed suicide in December 2396."

Phoenix cursed. “Detail USS Archeron. They are saying they had families aboard?”

“The USS Archeron had a few officers with family exemptions, it was a trial and considered a failure due to the loss of the ship.” The AI replied.

"Search crew files. Anyone on board from that crew?." She doubted it highly but it was worth a shot. “How many of the Archeron Crew are still alive?”

"Out of the nearly 200 serving, 25 so far have been reported deceased since their return. All others are closely watched by counsellors. The Elysium has one former Archeron crew member serving on her, and one family member. Lieutenant JG Samaire McBride-Reece and her niece Skylah McBride."

Phoenix nodded. "Summon the Lieutenant to the bridge."

"Yes Commodore." The AI replied.

Phoenix stood and exited her ready room to the bridge.

On the viewer the message from Starfleet command had changed to the starfield and a lone weirdly shaped beacon in the distance.

The turbolift doors slid open as Sthilg exited the lift and headed for the turbolift. " Captain everyone." He said as he took his seat giving everyone a nod as he did so.

Andrinn was down in the Intelligence Blister on Deck 1A, adding some information about this area of space that he was able to get from the Science Department. He had to bribe some of the members of Stellar Cartography and Astrometrics to get some of the scans before they were completely done. But, Andrinn knew that they would be helpful. He heard Captain Taylor's voice call for all senior staff to the bridge, so Andrinn grabbed a PADD and downloaded the starcharts to it, carrying it up to the Main Bridge. Once there, Andrinn smiled politely and waited for the rest of the senior staff to join them.

Naxea had made her way up to the bridge. It wasn't too often she set foot on the bridge being perfectly happy in her own office. Yet she knew the layout by heart from CQB training drills her department had conducted on several occasions to help Security if needed. She nodded at the assembled officers present already.

N'vok made his way in, he was still using a cane but for stabilization rather than support. He nodded politely and took his seat.

As Baeryn made her way to the bridge from her department she started shifting through all the possible reasons she would be needed. She tried to remind herself the request had been for all senior officers, not just her. There was no reason to assume a member of her department had fallen ill, or failed in their duty so badly the head of the department was needed. The ships system appeared to be functioning properly, so there was hope yet. She could finish the diagnostic of holodeck 4 later. Baeryn entered behind N'vok carful to keep a bit of distance as to not make him feel rushed. She gave a gentle smile to those already present and stood off to the side, immediately eyeing the operations officer already on the bridge to ease her worry.

Teevs was rather surprised when he was summoned, both by a call on the communicator provided by Mister Kyle and by a security officer appearing at the door to his quarters a moment later. He usually wasn't called, so there was a hint of uncertainty in his expression as the turbolift doors opened and the security escort accompanied him onto the bridge. It was one thing to see this space through a viewscreen, and it was another entirely to see it in person, so for a moment he was completely distracted and, frankly, impressed, by the bridge. Eventually, he realized that there were a lot of other people present as well, and he tried to contain his curiosity to more subtle glances as he and his escort shifted to the side and out of the way.

As the turbolift doors opened again, Commander Kyle Reece strode onto the bridge, his eyes quickly taking in everything around him. He had just come from the Security Department, after going over and issuing his daily work orders to the security officers under his command. While there wasn't much going on, he still wanted to keep them as sharp as possible. So, he had broken the department in two. One half would perform their regular, day-to-day patrols and duties, while the other half would be in training, honing their various skills. Investigative procedures, hand-to-hand combat, weapons training and studying the laws that the Federation was built upon, amongst others.

Looking over at the viewscreen, he saw the alien buoy. It instantly put him on alert and he made his way over to the Tactical station, relieving his junior officer there. He then quickly ran scans of the surrounding space. "Commodore, I am not detecting any other vessels or structures within range." Once he finished speaking, he sent a command down to the security department to disregard the earlier orders and standby for possible alien contact. "Both Tactical and Security departments stand ready for orders, Ma'am."

The turbolift doors opened to reveal Alicia, she nodded and smiled to all those present as she made her way across to her seat. Sitting down she resisted the temptation to yawn, her disturbed night’s sleep making it difficult not to yawn.

Rin travelled up the stairs from the blister with her usual quick, precise gait. Her head was a little fuzzy. She hadn't been sleeping right... again. But it was nothing that couldn't be masked by her usual neutral demeanor.

The doors parted with a soft hiss as Lieutenant Kurt Vogel walked with fast pace onto the bridge. He patted Rin on the shoulder in greeting as he strode by, the sleeves of his flight jacket making pleasant sounds of rubbing leather.

Samaire McBride came onto the bridge last, looking very tired.
Once the Senior Staff were gathered, Phoenix moved to the centre of the bridge and said “Avalon, replay the warning message please.”

“Affirmative Commodore”

[[Warning to all. Now entering Thaih'ean space. Slavers. All non-Thaih'ean ships are subject to inspection and mandatory tithing of 5% of the crew to the Thaih'ean slave market]]

“This message was followed by a Starfleet Alert. “ Phoenix said “It is pretty graphic but I feel the crew needs to hear it, so I will be authorising its broadcast to the entire crew. But before that, Mr Dosivi, have you meet this race called the Thaih’ea?”

The warning message made Teevs freeze, momentarily forgetting to breathe as the words filled the bridge. It was obvious that he recognized the species, but the tense, and slightly fearful, look in his eyes indicated that it was not in a good way. "I've been fortunate enough to never meet them, only their... indentured," he answered, eyeing the viewscreen cautiously. "But they are well known. I haven't personally seen what they do to their slaves, but nothing I have heard is good."

Samaire was silent her mind racing wondering why this information was making her gut churn.

Andrinn just stood there in shock, much as the rest of the assembled crew on the bridge at that moment. He wasn't sure how he was going to process the mix of emotions that he was feeling, but he knew that he'd be one of the first people to help make contact. Andrinn was the Chief Diplomatic Officer onboard and he wanted to learn more about these people. The first thing that came to mind was whether or not the ship had crossed into their space. Andrinn asked, "We haven't crossed into their space, have we? Also, we haven't received any messages from anyone or anywhere else since we've gotten the first message, have we?"

“Only from the Ships Computer” the Ensign at Operations announced.

A chill ran down Alicia’s spine at the thought of slavers, as if the ship and crew hadn’t been through enough already.

Phoenix took a breath. "Avalon, is the recording ready?"


"Transmit this throughout the ship. This was stored in the Ships Computer core, from Starfleet Command."

"Affirmative Commodore"

And the recording of a haggard man began to play on the viewer. And the recording repeated itself as it had in the Commodore’s Office.

Silence filled the bridge.

And Samaire McBride sagged to the floor as she listened to her former Co's voice.

Kyle could feel his anger rising as he watched the message. Slavers were some of the worst Lifeforms still in existence. The fact that they had captured and tortured his Starfleet brethren only made him want to settle the score that much more.

As the message ended, he saw his sister-in-law crumple to the deck. Kyle was at her side in three long strides, holding her protectively. "You okay, Sam?" He asked, concern filling his voice.

She nodded mutely as she stared almost blankly into space. “Captain Gideon…”

If it was one thing Naxea despised, it was slavers. First, the Cardassians, then the Orions, then the Mirror Universe,and now these Thaih'ea. The message painted a grim picture of these Thaih'ea. She looked at their guest. "Mr. Dosivi, can you tell us what level of technology these Thaih'ea have?"

"They are powerful," was the immediate reply. Still looking at the viewscreen with caution, Teevs continued, "powerful enough that ships crossing the border prepare to be boarded before their vessels even arrive. I've heard that if a vessel resists, the Thaih'ea will disable the ship so it can't escape, take their 5% of the crew and kill the rest, then salvage technology and leave what's left of the ship at the border, to show their strength."

"What is the source of this broadcast?" Rin asked.

The viewer cleared and showed the beacon in space with its warning light.

Phoenix looked at Teevs. “This is concerning. Tell me, do they have technology to fool a ships sensors?”

Teevs finally turned his attention away from the viewscreen, almost afraid to in case the Thaih'ea suddenly appeared, to give the Commodore a shake of his head. "No, not to my knowledge. They see such things as a coward's weapon, they want you to know they are there."

Alicia had sat quiet until now, one word ringing in her ears ‘nightmares’ “Nightmares...the Captain mentioned nightmares.” She paused. “May I ask if anyone here has been having nightmares?” She looked around those present. “I haven’t had nightmares in a long time, until recently...”

Kyle looked over at Alicia and replied. "I've had nightmares the last few nights." The dark rings under his eyes showed that he had been sleeping poorly for several days.

Thor clinched his fist a bit because he was on a ship one time where crew members were taken and it cost the ship a few good marines to get them all back of the ones who had survived. “I suggest everyone be prepare for the worst including more than a comm badge to track and carry your weapons at all times. If anyone needs Engineering to help them with Emergency Preparedness, come to either my office or just come down to Engineering.”

Alicia looked around, “Anyone else had nightmares?” She looked to Phoenix. “I've had a spate of requests for appointments over the last few days, I’m guessing it’s all linked.” She hung her head. “I’m beginning to wish I didn’t have to sleep.”

N'vok raised his hand. "I have, which is rare, Vulcans usually have tight control of their dreaming. I think we must look into the possibility that these effects are externally caused. It may be a result of some Thaih'ean technology."

Gary had been silent as he listened to the entire exchange. He stood strong and silent the only indication he was tired were his eyes which were tired and the patches under them. Finally he spoke, "I don't know if I had nightmares, I do know I've had several nights of restless, troubled sleep. Remembering things, I thought I would never have to remember again."

Andrinn just shivered when he heard the part about the nightmares. The first set of them happened a few nights prior, but continued for the next few nights and were always revolving around the same theme. Shuttle accidents and either previous hots or lovers. Andrinn spoke up and replied, "Yeah, I've had a few myself. They've been revolving around shuttle accidents and some previous hots. My first host was the creepiest though. I didn't think much of it until now. He said that me and our species would come to know them and their power pretty much, which was unusual because if it was truly my first host, he would say our species. I don't know if it means anything, since it was a nightmare and my mind playing on me. But, with everything going on, it could mean something."

Miraj shrugged off the talk about nightmares. She'd been having them since she'd Woken Up (the event having gained capital letters in her mind), it was nothing new for her. It was the comment, One Hundred Forty Years that made her sit up. "These Thaih'ea have transwarp technology. Or access to someone else's."

She looked around the bridge, wondering if others had spotted it. "A typical ship from 2260, even if it went top speed all the way would still have taken something like forty five thousand years to get from here, to home, and back to here. At modern top warp its closer to 30 thousand. The Archerons crew said it took 140 years, So however the Archeron crew got transported, it wasn't with their own warp drives. Ergo the Thaih'ea have transwarp. Which means they may be slavers, but they also have a quick way home."

"Correction, they have some sort of travel that matches or exceeds transwarp in speed," said N'vok, "the exact mechanism to their travel remains to be discovered." He steepled his fingers. "They seem unlikely to be willing to share such technology. Any group that engages in slavery is objectively evil and thus, untrustworthy in the extreme."

Miraj shrugged. "I didn't say we should ask nicely. Stealing is an option."

"I recommend we set a trap in case we're attacked. We can set up transport inhibitors in various areas of the ship while leaving other sections uncovered. If they break our shields, they'll beam in right where we want them," Naxea suggested. The Elysium still wasn't in the best shape and they needed every edge that could.

“Like a way a spider taps her prey or maybe how we set up mouse traps,” Thor commented on Naxea’s suggested, “We need a good enough bait.”

"The bait are people for slaves. So we use photon Grenades attached to tricorders to emit a bio signature and rig the tricorders to detonate with a three second delay if it detects any transporter activity in the vincinity. That way it doesn't matter if they beam in or try to transport the biosignatures, the grenades will explode," Naxea explained. It was a old Bajpran Resistance trick used against Cardassians. Neither she nor Sle'anna had gotten much sleep because of nightmares.

"Nightmares are what they gave us" Came the soft voice of the Lt JG operations officer. "They made it hard for my niece to sleep for me to sleep. For the crew to live. He knew it. So many... And there are those who were missing..."

Sthilg said nothing though anyone could see his artificial arm seemed to be morphing between a closed fist and a sharp blade. Anyone knew the lizard hated slavers with a passion. " I've been having trouble sssleeping for the lassst few nightsss but no nightmaresss. Maybe a reptilian brain can resist their abilitiesss?" he pondred to the room.

Gary looked around the room. His eyes settling on Phoenix. "Few things, do we want to broach their borders knowing it will in all likelihood bring a response at not from a single ship and two the Elysium is not up to her usual fighting snuff. Our top warp is 4, which would have us easily overtaken. Even with traps and holoemitters, we have to assume our defences will be overwhelmed and the ship boarded. Next the nightmares we're all having, is their way of softening us up. Make us easy to subdue."

Phoenix held up her hand. “ok, everyone take a breath. Lieutenant McBride-Reece?”

“Y-Yes Commodore?” Samaire let Kyle help her to her feet.

“Tell me about the Archeron’s last mission.”

Samaire took a shaky breath. “It… it was a normal mission. Scans of a nebular. Ship Sensors went down. Everything went black." She paused. "Next thing I know, is being woken on the hull plates of the Archeron's cargo bay. Covered in slime. Naked. All around me the rest of the crew and families were in the same state. Around us were Starfleet Officers of the USS Patriot. They had found the Archeron in a nebular, the same one we were meant to be scanning all those years ago, ironically, and they revived us. As far as I know, all the crew, civilians, we all have the same issues. Nightmares, sleep walking, nausea around certain foods, fear of invasive medical procedures. Jon Michael… the captain, he killed himself 6 months after we were revived. They found him hanging from his apartment balcony in San Francisco. Others have since killed themselves…” Samaire was all but clinging to her Brother in law as she spoke.

“Skylah has nightmares every few nights, they were getting less but now are back full force, mine as well. If… it is what he said… we had several crewmembers unaccounted for. 3 medical officers, 2 security officers, some engineers, a couple of science officers, the captains wife, I think there was about 10 of them.”

“Thank you Lieutenant, You can return to your duties.” Phoenix said softly.

Samaire nodded and all but bolted to the turbolift, looking very green around the gills.

“Lieutenant Derani, pull us back 5000 Km from that beacon and well away from their boarder.”

Miraj winced at the new title, loathing the sound of it, but kept her face on the con and voice even as she acknowledged the command, and moved the back from the beacon that small amount.

“Mr Dosivi, please, I would like you to work with Lieutenant Rin, Commander Reece and Colonel Naxea, give them whatever information you have so they can plan our defences.”

Reece nodded to the individuals of his group. "Let's use the observation lounge to discuss things easier." He then indicated the direction for Teevs and walked with the nervous Civilian. As they walked, he stole a single glance at the turbolift that Samaire had entered to leave the bridge. He hoped she would be okay. Just thinking about how his family was hurt by those aliens ratcheted his anger up several notches.

"Of course..." Teevs followed Kyle, not hiding how unsettled he was by being this close to a terrible part of space. He nearly spoke up to mention that the safest option was to turn the ship around and leave the area, but the shift in the room hinted that the crew wouldn't easily leave. There was a mix of feelings he could pick out from people's expressions... they didn't want revenge, did they?

Rin gave a curt nod and a "yes, sir," in Lalor's direction before looking back at Reece and Naxea for next steps.

“Doctor Sthilg, I want transport inhibitors implants in every crew member and Civilian.”

" I'll get started assss sssoon asss posssssible." the doctor replied.

“Commander Kelea-Salik, Your department can assist Medical and I want every one monitored for exhaustion and other significant signs.”

Alicia nodded. “I’ll get everyone on it Commodore.” She had to admit she wasn’t in great shape herself thanks to how tired she was feeling.

“Lieutenant Magnus. I want our Cloaking device prepared. I know it has immense power requirements and that it is going to need recharging often, but we will need it. I am fine with being called a coward if it keeps us all safe.”

“I totally agree,” Thor replied.

“Lieutenant Holv” Phoenix looked at the Chief of Science. “You, and Lieutenant Whavi-Tonelly’s tasks are to get as many Transport Inhibitors set up around the Ship. As much overlap as possible.”

"As you wish," said N'vok. "With Operations help we may be able to analyze and screen against whatever is causing the nightmares. I have some ideas there."

“Lieutenant Vogel, get our CAP out and going please.”

“Aye Skipper. A flight is already preparing as we speak.” The German replied.

“Captain Taylor, work with Lieutenant Derani and prep that craft you found in the graveyard. We may need it for scouting purposes, then I want the senior staff in Astrometrics at 15h00 to plot a course.”

Gary nodded to Phoenix, "Yes Commodore." Then to Miraj. "Alright Miraj, let's go so you can get a good look at our new toy. Be nice and I'll let you be the first to fly it, with the proviso, I'm the co-pilot."

The hybrid pushed away from the con, setting it to auto until the auxiliary could slide into her seat, and gave a little snort. As if anyone was going to fly an unknown ship but her. That little cutie was hers.

While his name wasn't called for anything, Orin wanted to feel useful and put his mind towards something beneficial. Orin walked over to Commodore Lalor and said, "If you don't have anything in mind for me, I'd like to do some more research about these nightmares. We have a baseline of how and why these people might be doing the nightmares. But, I'd like to see if other cultures have any recorded History about something similar and potentially how to beat it. Maybe there have been others before the crew of the Archeron encountered them and figured out how to stop them. If that's okay with you, Commodore."

Phoenix nodded. "Do it." She ordered.

Orin nodded gently and replied, "On it. If you need me, I'll be down in the diplomatic offices and working on that." Orin nodded once more before he headed towards the nearest turbolift. He ordered it down to the Diplomatic Offices on Deck Two.

Gary smiled at Myne, "Let's see what we can learn about our new toy."


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