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Yo ho, yo ho! A Pirate's Life for Me

Posted on 17 Mar 2024 @ 1:13pm by Commodore (Brevet) Harvey Geisler & Commander John Reynolds & Lieutenant Commander Camila Di Pasquale & Ensign Shay Mitchell

1,418 words; about a 7 minute read

Mission: Return to Razmena
Location: USS Gaittithe
Timeline: June 17, 2390 || 0700 hours

When the Kwando dropped out of warp, the scene could have been described as surreal. The Akira-class USS Gaittithe, normally unmistakable in its form, confirmed Captain Geisler's suspicions upon the first visual glance. Both nacelles were gone, and little evidence of them remained. There was not a field coil to be seen, though one of the Bussards appeared to be floating mostly intact. The weapons pod had been ripped away, leaving the mighty ship mostly defenseless. A couple of escape pods floated in the distance; the lifeforms aboard barely registering on sensors.

The Gaittithe's hull was scorched, handy reminders of weapons fire. Lights still flickered from some of the windows, even though power levels registered as failing. The ship slowly listed, and her rear doors to the launch deck were open. The ship, some ten years of age, had her flight deck converted years ago into additional cargo space when it was assigned to Starbase Unity. Her orders had been to keep the base resupplied, and act as a runner for Belvedere.

Amazingly, the cargo space had not been breached or damaged during the ordeal. Several other ships, all civilian and mostly small haulers, had gathered at the rear doors where salvage operations were underway. That was where the Kwando needed to be. It was clear, however, that these haulers hadn't been the ones to disable the Gaittithe. That mystery would have to be solved by the Black Hawk when it arrived.

The runabout, once it had transmitted the data the purple-haired woman had given the Away Team, had been cleared to land in the flight deck and meet the person in charge.

The scene of devastation made Camila wish that she had a drink, but she needed steady nerves and her wits about her. "We're going in blind an odds are good that pirate bastard isn't even here," she said as she felt the hatred rising in her for the scavengers gathered around the Gaittithe'. "We have an hour to find out as much as we can. Does anyone have any suggestions they'd like to offer before the Black Hawk arrives?"
"Just so long as we can put a dent in their operations and maybe pick somebody up along the way," said John. "Other than that, I'm good."

"None," Shay replied. They just needed to keep their heads down and do whatever they needed to without compromising themselves for the cause. Could that be accomplished? She honestly didn't know.

With the plan to find out who was in charge of the pirates or Kelinor, the three Starfleet officers prepared to land on the quiet ghost of their sister ship.

John shook his head, his thoughts his own. Of all the things he'd been through in his years in Starfleet, nothing came close to this. The galaxy truly was changing. And he wondered if he'd be forced to change with it.

It wasn't long before the runabout landed in a familiar setting, even though it was illuminated only by dim emergency lights and the occasional spotlight. Other smaller vessels had landed in the bay, each one with an open hatch and loading as much cargo as they could. Not a single person was wearing a pressure suit, a clear indication that life support, in some fashion, was still online.

Camila stepped out of the Kwando and looked around at the flurry of activity. She took the chip that the Dosi had given her and looked for a center of activity where no physical work was being done, then headed that way. "I'm looking for Kelinor," she said.

In front of all of the landed vessels was a trio of pirates, the lead of which was a blue-haired Chalbonan. Her nasal apparatus clung tightly to her nose, keeping a steady stream of vaporized pollen to flow directly into her nostrils. She looked up from a master display board to survey the new arrivals. "You just cost me ten strips of latinum. I had bet Agelque that the new human trio would not show."

Before anyone could respond, the woman waved her hand as if she was nonverbally dismissing the question. "New blood reports to me. Kelinor's around, but he won't want to talk to you until you start hauling some of this cargo back to Razmena."

"What do we got?" Camila asked as she got stonewalled by the other woman. "Other than you not being smart enough to place your bets where they'll earn you a profit?"

"They left a full one for us this time," the woman replied. "Replicators, raw material, medial supplies. Portable shelters. We've got a few markets where this will be handy." She looked for a moment at the three new arrivals. Right now, we've got people everywhere. Cargo bays, medical ward. And we just sent a group down to the machine shops. Probably be best to split you all up and it'll make it all go fast. Starfleet will be here before too long and we'll all want to be gone by then."

"Absolutely," said John. "Don't want to get caught up with them at all. So where do you have left that you haven't sent anyone to collect? Anyone picked clean the treasure troves of the upper levels yet?"

"The crew's contained in the forward sections. Most were conscious when we arrived, so we used some portable forcefields to corral them in rec centers and such. The more we use transporters, the more radiation seems to collect. Therefore, we are saving those for extremely large objects and rescues."

The woman checked her tablet and inhaled a generous dose of pollen. "I can send one of you to the medical ward. Seems there's a fresh batch of supplies from their starbase. One of you can head down to the machine shops and see about wrestling out one of those large replicators. And we have a team that just burst into torpedo storage. As nice as it would be to have some photons for the black market, we're more concerned about getting the probes. A lot of those can be turned into weather satellites."

"I'll take the armory," Camila said. "I have some experience with bypassing their security measures."

"I'll head down to the machine shops then," said John. "One large replicator coming up." Medical supplies, replicators, probes for weather satellites...and passing on the weapons. And portable shelters? Something didn't fit. Like having a piece from one puzzle and trying to put it into a completely different one.

"Looks like I'm heading to the medical ward," Shay stated, casting a glance towards the others from the corner of her eye. They were being split up. She didn't want to be pessimistic, but there was a big chance this wasn't going to end well.

The coordinator picked up three padds and handed them to the newcomers. "These will take you to where you need to go. Turbolifts are behind me and they'll only take you to your destinations. Oh, and don't get caught by Starfleet."

John nodded and accepted the padd, studying it briefly. "Okay, sure. Uh, hang on...'don't get caught by Starfleet' you say? I thought you said you had them contained in the forward sections? They're still some running free?"

She gave the male human a quizzical look. "Don't you know? You can't trust Starfleet. We might have them contained, but some gung-ho ensign always finds a creative escape and tries to disrupt things. Besides, rumor has it that the demon ship of the Gamma Quadrant is on its way. You don't want to be here when they arrive."

"How long do we have before another Starfleet ship shows up?" Camila asked.

"One, two hours?" supposed the coordinator. "Moving quickly is ideal. Speaking of, chop chop."

Camila looked at the others. "Be back no sooner than forty-five," she said before she took the PADD and headed for the turbolift.

John nodded, "Yeah, the demon ship. Heard about them. Thanks for the warning." He took the padd and left.

"So have I," Shay said as she took her PADD. "Seems like the kind of ship we want to avoid." And with that, she was on her way.

The coordinator remained behind, shaking her head, and turned back to her device. Like the rest, she was worried they'd get these supplies out in time. After all, that demon ship was known for showing up when it was least expected.


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