The Previous Generation: Part One

Below the jump, I’ve collated the three different segments of my crew’s origin story into one long post. If you’ve read the whole thing, feel free to ignore it.

I plan for this to be the first part of a several part story, focusing on how the crew of a TOS-era starship deals with the Star Trek universe circa-2409. The next part, whenever it gets written, will be more character driven. I’ve also rewritten the last few paragraphs of the ending – in rereading, it came across as a bit too rushed.

I want to thank you all for the nice comments that have been left in support of my writing. I wouldn’t consider myself a Trekkie, or particularly knowledge about Star Trek. But I do like to write – especially pieces set in someone else’s universe – so it’s a fun and creative exercise. Thanks for reading.

— — —     — — —     — — —

2270 – Ker’rat System

Captain Acknal Sym adjusted in his chair, putting on his best “I completely understand what you just said” face. “Fascinating, Commander. And what are the implications of this… uh… temporal-spatial distortion we’ve detected?”

By some unknown feat of Vulcan physiology, Science Officer Delvok – always stern – was able to make himself look even more grim. “Beyond this rift lies a completely different time and place. We could send a probe through to investigate, but I believe that it is in our best interests to not. Given the danger of temporal contamination, it would not be logical to threaten the timeline merely to satisfy our curiosity.”

Now that was something Captain Sym could understand. “Right as always, Mr. Delvok. Ensign Sozen, let’s drop a warning buoy.” The Andorian ops officer nodded, and Captain Sym looked back to his science officer. “What could cause something like this? We haven’t seen anything else like it in the Ker’rat system.”

Commander Delvok refrained from showing the exasperation he felt with his superior officer. “You have answered your question already, Captain. Logically, the rift was caused by something not in this system at this moment. Either it-”

The Vulcan was interrupted by a sudden, violent shake. The U.S.S. Samarkand was under attack.

“Lieutenant Kaghan, shields up! And what the hell just hit us?”

“A decloaking D-7, sir. Klingon markings… it looks like it’s the I.K.S. Kahless,” Helmsman Nezi Kaghan responded.

“Damn that Klink, he just doesn’t give up! Damage report, Ensign Sozen.”

“Heavy casualties being reported in Engineering, Captain. Our warp drive is offline.”

Delvok turned to Sym. “Captain, it would seem that Captain Koll has specifically targeted our engines. I should not have to remind you that the last time you crossed Koll, he promised he would rip out y…”

“We’re being hailed, Captain,” Lieutenant Kaghan inserted.

Captain Sym glanced at his Science Officer. “I’m quite aware of his promise, Mr. Delvok. On screen.”

A Klingon captain leered at the bridge crew. “Captain Sym, what a pleasant surprise. I didn’t anticipate us meeting again so soon.”

Sym stood, straightening his green-yellow uniform as he advanced. “Cut the crap, Koll. What the do you want with me and my ship?”

“Why, Captain, I’m surprised you should ask. I want to see you dead, and the Samarkand a burning hulk in space. But… my weapons officer tells me you are testing some sort of new weapon, one with unusual temporal properties. Were you to hand over the specification for such a device, I might be inclined to let you – or at least your crew – live for another day.”

Captain Sym smiled back. “Then your weapons expert is as stupid as you are. That’s a naturally occurring phenomenon! My ship has-”

“What a shame. And here I thought I was being generous. Good bye, Captain.”

“Wait! Alright, alright you’re correct. Give me some time to recall the data on our computers.”

The Klingon smiled back. “You’re a pathetic liar. And even if you are telling the truth – I’ll just take the information from your cold, dead hands.” The transmission went dead.

“The Klingons are coming around for another attack run, Captain,” Helmsman Kaghan reported.

Captain Sym sat back in his command chair. “All power to shields. Phasers on standby. Let’s pray we get through this.”

— — —

The ship rocked from another disruptor strike. “Forward shields down to 20%, Captain,” the Trill helmsman reported.

Captain Sym grimly nodded. “Emergency maneuvers, Lieutenant. Let’s try to get a good shield facing…”

“No good,” Ensign Sozen interrupted. “Auxiliary power is down, and our thrusters are offline. We’re turning like a…”

An exploding bridge console and its accompanying cascade of sparks drowned out the Andorian’s simile.

The ship shook again, and then again – the disruptor strikes were growing more frequent. Captain Koll had immediately recognized the cripplingly slow turn rate of the Samarkand and had forgone defensive attack runs. Now the Kahless was trailing the Miranda-class vessel, every forward-facing weapon pouring fire into the Samarkand‘s flagging rear shields.

But Captain Sym wouldn’t accept defeat. As he calculated it, his ship had two minutes of life still in her – and that was baring any foolish attempt by Koll to negotiate or board. More than enough time to shake the Klinks, activate the warp drive, and get home. He pressed on a button on his command chair. “Mr. Delvok, are you in position?”

“Almost, Captain,” the reply came back over the comm. “Ensign Trelk and I are on Deck 3, three point four meters from the plasma manifold juncture. I expect us to have the bypass ready in thirty second; after that, we can jettison plasma on your command.”

“Excellent. Update us as soon as you’re finished.” If that damn Klingon wanted to stay glued to Sym’s rear firing arc, he’d have to fly his way through a destructive cloud of ejected warp plasma to do it.

But it was too soon to relax. “Rear shields have failed,” Lieutenant Kaghan yelled. “Torpedo volley inbound.”

Sym clutched the handles of his chair. “All hands, brace for-”

—  —  —

Lieutenant Nezi Kaghan coughed herself awake, then immediately wished she hadn’t: the pain of a cracked rib wrenched the Trill out of the blissful peace of unconsciousness and back into the painful world of the living.

Acrid smoke filled the bridge and stung Nezi’s eyes, but she could just make out the ops station to her left. Its chair had been shorn off and crushed against the bulkhead, but the Andorian ops officer, Ensign Sozen, was pulling herself up from the deck. She looked to be in one piece.

Wincing in pain, Kaghan turned around to see the rest of the bridge. Main power had failed, but in the dim twilight of emergency lighting and sparking electronics, Nezi saw crew members stumbling back to their stations. The turbolift door was being forced open, and an emergency science team was being helped out. All in all, it looked like Nezi had been out for only a few seconds.

It took a moment for the Trill to work out what was wrong with the scene, and when she finally did, the shock of it took her little remaining breath away. The command chair was gone. A support beam had ripped loose and crushed it – and the Captain – beneath it.

Lieutenant Kaghan moved without thinking about it, ignoring the pain in her body. Even as she stumbled toward the prone form of the captain, Nezi was realizing that, with Sym down and Lieutenant Commander Devlok off the bridge, command of the Samarkand had devolved to her. “Report!” she bellowed out.

While Kaghan kneeled beside the Captain, Sozen was able to get her station back online. “External sensors are down. Shields are offline, hull integrity is at forty percent. Mutliple hull breaches on Decks Two through Six, aft.” Where Mr. Devlok had been. The Andorian glanced back at Nezi. “No one made it out.”

Beside Nezi, Captain Sym stirred. That he was alive at all was a miracle, but with a sinking feeling the Trill realized this was Sym’s last gasp of strength. The human looked around, delirious. “Devlok… he’s coming back?”

Nezi squeezed Sym’s hand. “He’s one his way right now, Captain,” she lied. “The plasma jettison worked… we’re going to make it out of this.”

“Good… good,” Sym coughed back. Suddenly, he gripped Nezi’s hand tightly, staring at her intently. “Until Devlok gets back… get these people home, Nezi. Get them… home…” Captain Sym breathed his last, and was still.

Acting-Captain Kaghan pushed off the floor and wobbled to her feet. She was in immense pain, her captain was dead, and her ship was moments away from being destroyed.

Like hell she was going to fail Sym’s last request.

“Get those external sensors back online now! Ensign Sozen, reroute power to the shields – give us as much as possible. Take power from life support if necessary. Ensign Arlon, take the helm.”

Sozen nodded in affirmation, and Ensign Arlon took a seat at the helm station. With no chairs, Nezi and Sozen continued to stand. “Ensign Arlon, status on the sensors? We needed them five minutes…”

The Trill trailed off. The new Bolian helmsman remained stock-still, frozen in panic. This, regretfully, appeared to be his first combat experience.

Before Kaghan could respond, one of the members of the emergency science team – a young female Vulcan – had vaulted over handrails separating the conn from rest of the bridge, shoved Arlon out of the way, and started furiously working the console. “They’re online… now.” The Vulcan narrowed her eyes, quickly scanning through the data pouring in. “The plasma jettison worked. From the looks of it, the plasma has also disrupted the Klingon’s external sensors. The Kahless has broken off its attack run and is maintaining its distance.”

“Well done, Ensign…”

“T’Paar.”

“… T’Paar.” Captain Kaghan smiled to herself. If they lived through this, someone was getting a demerit – and someone else, a field promotion.

But that was still a big if. The plasma trick had bought the Samarkand more time, but not enough to successfully disengage. If they were going to survive, the Kahless had to be destroyed.

Easier said than done.

“Ensign T’Paar, turn about for an attack run on the Kahless. Sozen, hold your fire – and ready the warp core for ejection.”

Ensign Sozen gaped. “Without a warp core, we’ll be forced to travel on impulse power to…”

“I am aware of the risks. Let’s live through one problem at a time.”

Without looking up, the Vulcan voiced a second concern. “Without their sensors, the Kahless has drifted dangerously close to the temporal anomoly.”

Nezi shrugged. “Hail Captain Koll.”

A moment later, the Klingon captain appeared on the viewscreen. “So Sym left the women in charge of this fight. Leave it to that cowardly dog…”

“You have one chance,” the Trill interrupted. “Surrender now, and I’ll spare your crew.”

The Klingon commander was speechless for a moment, then broke out laughing. “Well done, Trill! When I enter Sto’Vo’Kor, I’ll drink to your gall. But I must remind you – we’re not dead in the water, only temporarily blind. We’ll have our sensors back up any moment.”

“I hope you get your sensors back up for this. T’Paar, pass as close as you can to the D-7. Sozen, overload the warp core.”

An edge of panic entered the Klingon’s eyes. “You can’t be serious! Your ship will be caught…”

“Well then, Captain Koll,” Kaghan drawled out, “perhaps today is a good day to die.”

The comm went dead. Immediately thereafter, the Kahless started taking evasive maneuvers, but it was useless without knowing the approach vector of the Samarkand.

“Keep her steady, T’Paar. Hold your fire, Sozen.”

There was an agonizing few seconds, as the Kahless slowly filled the Samarkand‘s view screen. And then-“Fire, fire everything!” It all happened too quick: the Kahless‘ starboard shields rippled with phaser blasts, the Samarkand passed under its prey, and the overloading warp core ejected.

The warp core hung for a moment, a little bauble against the black backdrop of space. But the moment passed, and the bauble disappeared in a bright flash of light. An instant later, and the Kahless‘ weakened shields were collapsing under the weight of the anti-matter explosion. Another instant, and whole chunks of the D-7’s hull plating were being torn away and flung into space. And then the entire Klingon ship disappeared, engulfed in pure white light.

The Samarkand had fled as best it could, and the Kahless‘ hull had blocked some of the blast. But that wasn’t enough to preserve the ship from harm. The blast rocked the poor Miranda-class, scouring its hull and carrying it forward. The ship erratically rocked, dangerously buffeted by the shockwave; the movement only got worse as inertial dampeners throughout the ship began to overload. Sozen hung onto her console for dear life, while for her part, Nezi hoped the support beam she was holding onto – the very beam that had crushed Captain Sym – would not take this moment to shift.

T’Paar clung to the helm, training to maintain some semblance of control. “The temporal anomaly,” she called out over the din. “We’re going-”

The experience of passing through the event horizon of a temporal anomaly is different for each individual, or so Nezi had heard. To the Trill, it seemed as if time suddenly slowed, then stopped. Every bead of sweat froze in place and each spark suspended in the air. The Khan symbiote would, for as long as it lived, never forget that strange, passing sensation.

“-to cross through it.”

The rocking ebbed, and then stopped. Silence, absent for so long, settled over the battle-scarred bridge.

Finally, Kaghan spoke up. “Ensign T’Paar, report.”

The Vulcan allowed herself a smile. “No sign of the Klingons, sir. No sign of the temporal anomaly, either. It appears as if warp core detonation might have sealed the rift.”

Everyone on the bridge let out a sigh of relief. Someone even cheered.

But Nezi didn’t particularly feel like a hero. At her feet was the body of Captain Sym. Throughout the ship, untold numbers of her crew had burned, frozen, or asphyxiated to death. The Samarkand could be anywhere in space – or time – with critical damage and no warp core. In a sudden macabre thought, Nezi realized she had replaced her crew’s quick death with a slow one.

As the Trill clambered back up, her body began to unkindly remind her of the damage it had taken. The adrenaline of battle had let her forget the broken rib and assorted scrapes, but now she was paying for the borrowed time. Nezi was mentally and physically exhausted, but so was everyone else on the ship. She had to keep it together, just for a little longer. “Report,” she ground out through clenched teeth. “Where are we?”

“I don’t know,” Sozen admitted, exasperated. “Astrometrics is completely down – we’ll have to manually compare this star’s spectrum with our records.”

If we even have it on record, Nezi thought darkly.

“I’m detecting what appears to be wreckage,” the Andorian continued. “It looks like we’ve entered some sort of debris field.”

“Klingons?” Kaghan asked.

“No… it looks like Federation vessels, though of makes I have never seen before.”

T’Paar turned around. “We’re receiving a priority one hail… from the U.S.S. Seacole? Their transponder codes verify they are Starfleet.”

“The Seacole? Never heard of it. On screen.”

“This is Captain Alcott of the U.S.S. Seacole. It looks like your warp drive is offline, but you’ve still got impulse – that’s good. Our transporters are down. I’m sending along coordinates to several damaged vessels; I need you to beam away their surviving crew.”

“This is Acting Captain Nezi Kaghan of the U.S.S. Samarkand. We’re willing to help, but I don’t recognize your vessel type, nor do we have any record of a U.S.S. Seacole. For that matter, where the hell are we?”

“Weren’t you part of the batt… wait, the Samarkand…?” There was a momentary pause. “By Charon, where did you come from? You’ve been missing for a 130 years!”

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7 thoughts on “The Previous Generation: Part One

  1. Once again, good job. I like the new ending though the surprise time displacement from the original was interesting , too. I looke forward to reading more.

    • I felt really bad for Sym and Devlok – I felt I made two really interesting and fun characters right from the get-go, only to kill them off immediately.

      Don’t worry though, I’ll make it up to you. Science Officer T’Paar is way awesome. Probably the coolest of my three main characters.

  2. I’ve enjoyed what you’ve written so far. I’m curious to see how you may go about writing about how this crew handles one particular STO mission that’s in their future.

  3. Friggin ROCKED man! I can’t wait to read the next installment. It took me a while to get around to this one since it’s a little long (being three smaller posts combined) but it was worth it. I enjoyed the character introductions, the fact that it started in an action moment was nice, and the time traveling in order to meet the Seacole and meet up with the rest of our timelines, it just works.

    Keep up the great work!

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