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Dark Nebula: Into the Belly of the Beast

Posted on Friday, 17 April 2020 - 8:44pm by Lieutenant JG Yolen * & Lieutenant Ryan Rose MD & Lieutenant T'Lanna Vali & Lieutenant Raith Kolani & Lieutenant Alex Kingsley
Edited on on Friday, 24 April 2020 - 12:20pm

Mission: Operation: Overdrive
Location: Shuttle One | Dark Nebula
Timeline: 2393


Sailing through the ebony ocean of space had always amazed him. It was the velvety feel of the darkness, the glitter of the diamond stars as they blinked and sparkled reaching out as if saying, find me. Whenever he flew the sight left him breathless and now was no different. Far removed from its name the Dark Nebula was nothing of the sort yet there was an eeriness to it. Dense green swirls of gas danced a circle dance twisting and turning around a pitch black circle with blood red center. Yolen stared at it in wonder. "Wow. It's beautiful."

“I bet you say that to all the pretty nebulae you meet,” Lieutenant Kingsley grinned as she peered over his shoulder to admire the view while the sensors catalogued every possible facet of the nebula. Yet a breakdown of radiation levels for example failed to capture just how amazing it appeared to the naked eye. Returning to her seat she studied the sensor data, making finite adjustments to counter the natural interference.

Raith monitored the shuttle's systems as the craft made its way towards the Dark Nebula. Whilst he agreed with Yolen's description of the Nebula, he was also wary of what dangers and wonders out held for them to come across. He felt drawn towards it in some way, wanting to find out its secrets, what it held in store for them and for a moment, only a moment, he felt unbridled joy about being near it.

T’Lanna had spent the journey reading, at least until she’d fallen asleep! She’d been feeling a little off and tired too, which had culminated in her napping until she awoke with a start. A sudden inexplicable voice in her head had woken her but she couldn’t put it down to anything more than another nightmare. She stretched and moved to look at the view. “Wow! Looks like I missed part of the ride, but that view makes it all the more interesting."

Sam had taken a quick look, and yes it was beautiful, but all she could think of was that the only thing between her and the death of space, was the thin walls of this shuttle. She knew it wasn't any different on the ship, but somehow the shuttle put it into sharper focus. She'd taken to just staring at her PaDD and trying to will this mission to be over. She didn't want to be here, had no idea what was actually expected of her, and though her mother had been dead ten years, she just really wanted her mommy.

“Okay, sensor readings are clearing up,” Kingsley reported, “but not perfect... tracking some subspace distortions Flyboy. I’d recommend staying at a very safe distance. I’m transferring the data to your console in case you need to change our path.”

T’Lanna returned to her seat, she was still bugged by the voice she’d heard in her dream. It seemed familiar but she couldn’t quite recall it clear enough, not that it mattered it was just a dream after all. She was settling back into reading her PADD when the same voice called out again. “Did anyone hear that?”

“No...” Kingsley said as she glanced over her shoulder. “What did you hear?”

T’Lanna looked at Kingsley. “It was a voice, a faint voice. I heard it earlier but I thought I dreamt it.” She shook her head. “Are sensors picking up any life forms?”

Kingsley turned back to her sensors, studying the readings. “Range is limited,” she sighed, “but nothing yet... what did this voice say?”

T’Lanna gave Alex a concerned look. “She err....called my name!”

In the seconds that followed you could have heard a pin drop. Fingertips poised over the controls, Kingsley slowly turned to face the other woman. “Sorry. But I thought you just said she called your name?”

T’Lanna was acutely aware that all eyes had suddenly turned to look at her, she simply nodded as she looked at Alex. “I don’t understand it, but that’s what I heard.”

Raith ran a sensor scan on the area of spaces before them, making sure he put them into a deep cycle to see what elements or spatial bodies he could pick up out there, however, the results came back with information and elements he quite simply didn't understand.

"I've run a deep scan of the local area and apart from the Nebula itself, I'm not picking up anything nearby that would constitute as a planet, moon or a special vessel of any kind," he reported. "We are alone out here, apart from Big, Dark and Beautiful out there and even she is putting out information I haven't seen before when dealing with a Nebula."

Raith also looked back at T’Lanna, feeling worry for her. He hadn't admitted it at the time, but he was sure that he felt something for her as if a spark had ignited when the two of them were in the room together. He re-focused as he asked if she was ok. His attention was suddenly taken by an alert from the Co-Pilots console as the second sweep of the deep sensor scan gave up some results.

"Wait...hold that thought... we're not alone out here, I'm picking up a life form, floating out there near to our position," Raith reported. He worked to get a tighter reading on the sensor grid and the results caught him off guard. "Bloody hell... we're not alone. There's a Borg Drone out there..."

“Adjusting sensors... the drone is alive,” Kingsley added. “How did it end up out here? There was no indication of Borg activity. Can we establish a force field and beam it aboard? There is no way it can survive...”

Yolen looked at Kingsley, "Excuse me? You want to beam a Borg here, nannies, assimilation....that kind of stuff?"

“Put her behind a force field!” T’Lanna looked almost pleadingly at the others. “I to disable her if needs be! I won’t risk anyone getting hurt. Please! She knows me, I have to know why!!”

“Agreed, we can’t just let it die,” Kingsley chimed in.

Yolen sighed. "Fine but we should have a backup. If this....Borg does get loose or adapt to the field I have my finger on the button. If it starts assimilating I will vent us all into space."

“It won’t...” T’Lanna gave Yolen a serious look. “I was Borg, I know how to shut her down if she tries anything.”

Sam sat huddled in the corner. These crazy people had just talked about venting them all into space! She was too shocked and scared to say anything.

He wasn't convinced. He brought the shuttle about and positioned it for transport. He left Alex to create the field but just in case he set a one touch button that would ensure they had a defense.

Without a word, Kingsley moved to the back of the shuttle, working quickly. Time was essential but so was accuracy. “Alright, good to go.”

A few moments later the rear of the cabin was filled with the arrival of an almost frozen and barely alive Borg. T’Lanna stood for a moment before taking a few cautious steps towards it, she needed answers. “How did you contact me?” The question hung in the air before a faint voice answered in her mind. ~Beautiful...rose!~

“What?...What did you call me?!” She watched as the monitors flat lined. “No!...don’t! Please!!” She knew there wasn’t anything she could do but she was left with a million questions. She looked to Rose, “I...need a DNA sample.”

“We can get a DNA sample when we are back on the ship,” Kingsley pointed out.

T’Lanna nodded. “Okay...look I owe you all an explanation. I think...this is my mother!”

Kingsley frowned. “I’m sorry. But lowering the force field? We can get answers back at the ship. Like why she is here - in the middle of nowhere. Where are the others? Where is the ship?”

T’Lanna nodded. “You’re right.” She gazed back at the Borg. “I’ll wait for answers until we get back. We have a job to do here.” She took a deep breath and recalled her meditation with Soral to try and calm her mixed feelings. “I’m not sensing anything else out there, there’s no more voices.” She moved upfront closer to Raith taking a spare seat. Right now she needed the distance from their deceased passenger.

Raith could tell that T’Lanna was unsettled by having the Borg Drone onboard, however he also knew that there must have been a reason as to why it had turned up here and now. As he turned back to face the view screen of the shuttle, he heard a proximity alert sensor start to go off.

"Ok, what have we got this time," he muttered as he accessed the information feed to see what the external sensors had picked up. As he ran the numbers to check once more, Raith made sure that he was sure of what he was seeing.

"Ok... so things are about to get even more interesting," he said as he started working at the controls. "Sensors are picking up unusually high proton counts, All external wave intensities are increasing rapidly... If I didn't know better..."

As he went to finish his sentence, what looked like an explosion of colour and light suddenly lit up the sky around them. Raith instinctively put up his arm at the flash of light and when he took it back down to see what had happened, he didn't expect the result.

"I'll be damned. A Wormhole..."

"Is it possible..." T'Lanna looked back at the Borg. "Did she arrive here through that?" She felt glad for the distraction as she focussed on readings coming in from the sensors as they displayed across the console she was sat by. "To coin a Vulcan phrase...Fascinating."

Raith kept his focus on his console as he worked away on recording the sensor readings that the shuttle was taking of the newly arrived Wormhole before them. "Right now, if seeing is believing, then it's very possible," he replied.

“The readings are fluctuating,” Alex warned, “she’s beautiful but she is not stable...” As if to emphasise her words, alarms began to sound. Frowning she studied the readings, “Yolen back us off, another wormhole is beginning to form dead ahead...”

Yolen did as asked. He pulled back slightly. More alarms went off. "Damn another to port!" He turned to Alex. "Can you plot them for me." He brought up a map to the right of the view port small enough not to obscure the view but large enough to be seen. "I hope this isn't a Heminal Helix." He said using the Denobulan Term.

“Hold on, I should be able to...” T’Lanna tapped away at the computer. “I’ve boosted the sensors by about as much as I can given we’re on a shuttle, should give you more chance of avoiding these wormholes.” She smiled at the odd looks she got. “Ex-B remember, I have some knowledge left from my time as a drone.”

Deep breath, Alex reminded herself as she again recalibrated the sensors, this time to take advantage of the boost. A few more seconds and she was done with an algorithm to allow the helm to respond to alerts of new wormholes. “Okay, Yolen...” she began, cut off when another blinding flash signalled another wormhole has now fully formed. This was not good. “Yolen, we need to get to some clear space. Feeding you projected flight plan now.”

He sighed as the screen lit up. "Damn," he said. "This is a Heminal Helix. Hold on." He began to weave through the field of unstable wormholes. He hoped he was wrong. "Alex, scan your projections. Look for Flyson particles, natural forming ones."

"That is incredibly specific flyboy," the science officer quipped as she worked, "scanning now... in the meantime, what exactly is a Heminal Helix?"

Just as he was about to respond a large deep green wave rose above them. Lightening quick it bounced off the shuttle sending it hurtling wildly. A brilliant flash of light erupted and then...darkness and silence.

If he answered her, Kingsley did not hear it. The blinding light giving way to a sudden and complete darkness.

Before Sam could even properly panic as the wave rose, she was slumped in her seat.

T’Lanna stepped back and covered her face as the lightning struck, it wasn’t long before she slumped to the deck.

Trying desperately to work to make sure that the Shuttles Shields were able to withstand not only the shockwaves of the various wormholes opening around them but also the lightning that was arcing around them, Raith lost his battle as the lightning hit the shuttle. The feedback that came through the co-pilots panel caught him off guard and he slumped forward from the shock.

Yolen had just managed to plot an auto course out of the Nebula before the darkness took him. Forget science this was about survival. Just as he hit the button his body slumped forward on the console.

With the crew rendered unconscious a green mist penetrated the shuttle walls and wound its way into the breaths of those assembled, taking them to the deep darkness of their mind....


Lt T’Lanna Vali

Samantha Rose

Lt. jg Raith Kolani
Operations Officer

Lt. Alex Kingsley
Chief Science Officer

Lt. JG Yolen
Helms Officer


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