Chapter 6 - Season 5: Episode 6 - Distress from the Past

Season 5: Episode 6 TBR071 – Distress from the Past

As the Potemkin and her crew emerged from the void their communications array picked up a very old and badly degraded UHF message. The crew were able to discern from the degradation of the light speed message that it had been sent around 80 years ago. Scans indicated that there could only be one location that the message could have come from, a massive O type star. A hot and bright star with a hyper gas giant, tidally locked with the star with an atmosphere of hot gasses! To warp into a system such as this the Potemkin would need to enter the system almost 500 million miles from the star.

In close orbit of the Gas Giant is a Federation starship. A constitution class starship, the USS Potemkin, which went missing some 90 years before, just 10 years before their incarnation of the Potemkin was commissioned. In a geostationary orbit of the planet the other Potemkin staves off the worst of the heat and radiation from the star. Boarding the ship, even in EVA suits will be time limited.

As the Potemkin matices the orbit of her predecessor the sensors show that the ship is without power, that means no life support and no gravity plating either. Closer inspection does show a weak but steady energy signal in the transporter room.


Three teams would beam aboard, one to the Bridge, one to Engineering to bring power back online and the away team to beam to the transporter room. The Away team beams aboard in EVA suits to an adjacent room to the transporter. It seems to be a staging area, along one wall are lockers with 23rd century EVA suits and other era appropriate away team equipment. In the transporter room they find a heavily augmented battery plugged into one of the pattern buffers. The battery is using technological principles that wouldn’t become mainstream for another 20 years. Whoever had created it had to have been gifted.

Scans of the buffer show a pattern. The buffer has been repeating a level 1 diagnostic, at least 51 have been completed but it’s likely many many more have been run as only the last 51 are shown. Surprisingly the pattern inside is still viable, it hasn’t degraded beyond viability yet. Even though the probability is that whoever is inside has been for 80 odd years!

Using the ‘jumpstart’ battery they are able to pressurize the transporter room and retrieve an EVA from the other room. They then prepare the transporter systems so that they could bring the trapped pattern  back into the world. As the figure materializes on the pad they first see they are human in operations red. A woman of dark complexion looks around at them all before crumbling to the floor. Caught by Basin she is examined by the doctor who says that she is experiencing transporter sickness, and… well he shows them all. A bone-like spike is sticking in her back. A good few inches long and around an inch in diameter, the spike hadn’t been a mortal wound but it would clearly be very painful. The Doctor doesn’t want to remove it there and so making sure it was stable they put her into the EVA suit.

With a cocktail of meds they bring the officer around. She is surprised to hear she had been in the buffer for so long but quickly takes it all in. She identifies herself as Vera Jannessen. The lights come online as the team in Engineering uses the communications to report back up power is now online. They see Vera go rigid and stare at them, she mutters “They only come out in the light” the comms channel with engineering is suddenly filled with growls and screams before it is cut.

Elli quickly pulls the power in the transporter room, Vera explains what she knows, they evacuated the ship after a series of impacts breached the hull. The already skeleton crew was to join the colony that the ship’s 400 odd crew had formed after they decided they didn’t want to spend the rest of their lives in deep space. They had no idea what these creatures were but they were deadly and resistant enough that they plotted a course for the local sun, planning on just destroying the ship and the creatures. Something went wrong!

Not likely the sound of any of that one bit, they decided the best course of action was to head up to deck 1 and use the emergency docking airlock and get off the ship. The journey up to the bridge was uneventful as the turbolifts were working and scans showed no life forms in range, which should have been a clue on its own!

On the bridge they used the ships communications array to contact their Potemkin and explain what had happened, Pax reports that a shuttle is on its way, but that they were the only survivors. The airlock was located at the back of the deck, through the right hand turbolift. Eli heard something beyond the door, they prepared to engage whatever was on the other side and Basin opened the door.

The creature on the other side was a thing of nightmares! It was a very pale quadruped with two tentacle-like ‘arms’ which arc forward. It wasted no time as it attacked, first swiping at Basin and knocking him to the ground, then firing one of the bone-like spikes which impacted a console. The Away Team fired at the creature, crimson beams of phaser energy struck it but its skin seemed resistant to the high energy weapons. The battle raged for no more than a few minutes but it seemed to those involved like an hour! In the end the creature was overwhelmed and it succumbed to its wounds. The Doctor took samples but they were not willing to wait any longer. There could be more on board, there were more aboard and they could arrive at any moment.

The moment the shuttle docked and the airlock doors opened they left, not looking back.

Back aboard the Potemkin Pax took their advice and fired several torpedoes into the older Potemkin, the anti-matter explosives cooked off the munitions aboard before breaching its anti-matter bottles. The resulting annihilation destroyed the constitution class starship and the debris quickly fell from orbit. Pax didn’t like it, it was history and the ships database could have been historically valuable but they would have needed to directly interface and that wasn’t a choice.

Vera decided that although she knew where the crew and settled she was 89 years out of date, everyone she knew was likely gone so she opted to remain with the Potemkin and continue back with them!