Thursday, May 17, 2012

Phluvoighan Aggression - Episode Two

Amidst coughing and wheezing Crewman Inertia opened her eyes to a stream of dust particles that were illuminated by the track light of a Biogeometer. It took a moment to gather the strength to move her body – first her toes and legs and then progressing to her arms. They weren’t broken but her abdomen hurt and she suspected she may have a few fractured ribs. She felt a body next to her. It was obvious that this was the person whose Biogeometer provided the only light in the darkened cave. Slowly she turned her head and even though the person was turned away from her, she could recognize her Captain. Clearly, the captain tried to rescue her and had now been injured in the process. She needed to contact the ship for help immediately. Turning on her side was excruciatingly painful but slowly she managed to sit up.

Her own communicator had been damaged in the attack so she tapped her Captain’s communicator. “Crewman Inertia to Bridge” The hoarse whisper of the Crewman was barely audible through the distortion, but Drokkan’s heightened sense of hearing detected it. “Crewman report!” he braced the Comm. Station as if willing it to transmit clearly. She kept her face close to the floor trying to inhale what little air she could, amidst the coughing fits that drained her strength. “Crewman Inertia, I repeat, report!” It took a few breaths to be able to respond to Lieutenant Commander Drokkan. “Trapped in a cave - Situation: W.U.D.I.” She could taste the blood every time she coughed and knew she was bleeding internally; her hold on consciousness slipping.

Back on the bridge Drokkan paced back and forth from one control panel to another looking over the shoulders of the Bridge’s crew as if he could find answers they couldn’t. Spiky tufts of blue hair strayed from their military regulation coif and his usual nerves of titanium were stretched taut. The circumstances were worse than he thought as he heard Crewman Inertia report W.U.D.I. – Wounded, Unconscious and Death Imminent. He tried to get more information but the only response was static. With the storm in full force, transport was impossible. He would have to send a manned shuttle-craft to rescue them, but would he have enough time to get them out alive? Should he risk additional crew to save them?

Captain Faasha’s orders had been clear: assume command in 20 kelms. During their earlier briefing Faasha had planned to leave orbit, but he couldn’t bring himself to leave them behind. His decision made, he headed towards the lift doors “Loecus and Veudan, you’re with me!” Two crewmen immediately relinquished their posts and entered the lift with Drokkan.

As soon as the shuttle-craft bay doors opened, the shuttle-craft darted forward at full speed with Drokkan at the helm. Loecus manned the Science station while Veudan monitored the Tactical controls for hostile forces. The electromagnetic waves of the Red Dwarf Sun’s flares bombarded the shuttle-craft’s shields causing the shuttle-craft to buckle and shake. “Commander, the storm is concentrated at 64.4885 degrees North by 52.2327 degrees East. Based on the coordinates that the Captain was transported to, the cave would be somewhere in the eastern region of the planet.”

“What are your recommendations?” Drokkan asked never taking his eyes off the view screen.

“Sir, according to my calculations we have to veer further southeast to avoid the worst of the storm. I recommend a heading of 12.3552 degrees South by 45.2614 degrees East. That will bring us close enough to the caves without too much damage to the shuttle-craft.”

“Agreed - enter the new heading” said Drokkan turning to Veudan “Anything to report?”

“No sir. Besides the storm, all seems quiet on the planet. The Phluvoighans must have gone underground to the mines.”

“How are the shields holding?”

“We are at 87% and holding, sir.”

“Loecus, how long before we can land?”

“At the current velocity, we should be over the caves in 11 kelms, sir.”

“Good, I’m activating the auto pilot. Loecus put your suit on first I’ll cover your station, then Veudan will go next.”

“Yes, sir.” The young Crewman got up immediately to don the RBC (Radioactive, Biological, & Chemical Agents) suit.

Within 5 kelms all three men were back at their stations wearing the RBC suits ready to enter the planet’s atmosphere.

“Veudan, concentrate main shields to the shuttle-craft’s bow!” Drokkan worked the controls trying to steady the shuttle-craft.

“Maximum shields on forward bow, aye sir!”

The shuttle-craft entered the planet’s atmosphere engulfed in a maroon corona; its trajectory heading east towards the mining caves. As the shuttle-craft circumvented the mining camp, metal doors opened on the ground, phaser cannons lifted into position, aimed and targeted the shuttle-craft.

“Commander, phaser cannons have locked on us!” Veudan shouted

“Disable the cannons!” Drokkan shouted as he implemented evasive maneuvers. Phaser cannon shots disturbed the air around the shuttle-craft as it navigated closer to the mines. Crewman Veudan’s phaser shots damaging the cannon but not disabling it. The cannon repeatedly targeted the shuttle-craft, shooting along its trajectory.

“More power to aft shields!” Drokkan commanded as he maneuvered the shuttle-craft west.

“Aye, more power to Aft shields!” Veudan confirmed

“Commander!” Crewman Loecus called out “2.2125 degrees East! Life signs, sir!”

“Confirmed!” said Drokkan as he piloted the shuttle-craft in that direction. Crewman Veudan continued phaser fire on the cannon disabling it.

Drokkan looked for a safe place to land the shuttle-craft while Crewman Loecus kept monitoring for Captain Faasha and Crewman Inertia’s life signs.

“Veudan, are the Phluvoighans in pursuit?” Drokkan asked

“No signs of Phluvoighans within 30 meters sir. Being underground their life signs can be camouflaged until they’re upon us. We must hurry!” Veudan responded

“Acknowledged.” Drokkan left the helm and moved towards the back of the shuttle-craft getting the equipment ready. “Loecus, you will stay with the shuttle-craft and scan for the Phluvoigh. Keep the shields up until we contact you.”

“Aye sir.” Crewman Loecus moved from the navigational controls to the Tactical station while Drokkan and Veudan armed themselves with phasers and gathered the medi-beds. Loecus deactivated the shields to the shuttle-craft’s aft and Veudan opened the hatch. The incandescent heat of the winds bombarded them as they exited the shuttle-craft. Crewman Loecus immediately closed the hatch and reactivated shields to the shuttle-craft’s aft; monitoring all life signs as Drokkan and Veudan went in search.



    Just saying ;-)

  2. Your comment is duly noted, but I've already boarded this train and I must go where it takes me. ;o)

  3. A great read! I thoroughly enjoyed this.

  4. Thanks. There's about 7-8 episodes altogether on this story line, but hopefully The Adventures of Captain Faasha will continue.

  5. I really want to know why the Phluvoighan are so pissed off... I know you'll tell me later, I'm just impatient lol.

    I'm also interested in learning the configurations of the ship. I'm almost imagining a steampunkish kind of look. All the technology, but they still have cannons. I would expect torpedoes or any kind of projectile with more range, but now I want to know what the cannons do and how the rounds move in space.


    1. I don’t readily have an answer as to why the Phluvoighans are pissed off. The Phluvoigh tend to be a very nasty, militant, oppositional race that doesn’t get on well with other races. Basically, they’re always angry over something real or imagined. They’re opportunists with no sense of honor or integrity.

      Captain Faasha’s ship is basically horseshoe shaped but I haven’t thought out specific layouts for the internal structure. The cannons aren’t the old fashioned cannons which fired iron balls at Pirate ships. They are phase cannons which are high powered energy weapons often used to target the hulls of other ships. Photon torpedoes are standard issue so the ship is equipped with them as well as phasers. Since my influence comes from Star Trek, the setting for this story includes some of the same technology. My justification for that is that there is an accepted and legal standard for weapons, tools and devices which are used by multiple races.

      One of these days, I may work on a Steampunk novel but although I’ve read one here and there, it’s not my strongest area of writing. I would have to do more research into steam air ships, automatons, cyborg prosthetics and futuristic settings imbued with Victorian décor, fashion and sensibilities.