Chapter 7 - Season 5: Episode 7 - Homeward bound

Season 5: Episode 7 TBR072 – Homeward bound

After weeks of travel the Potemkin arrives at the coordinates they had been given by Admiral Carter. A G-Type star at the center of a still forming star system. Other than several proto planets in the process of creation there was a Gas Giant with a dense disk of materials which would one day form into the planet’s moons.

Billions of miles from the young star is something that interests the Potemkin, surely the reason they had been directed here. An artificial Temporal anomaly, one that leads through time, forward in time. Readings suggest it leads to a Klingon system and to 2413, a full 15 years into the Potemkin original time. It could be taken to get home but 15 years is a long time to be missing.

A second point of interest was only now registering on sensors. A second, smaller temporal signature was now displayed within the atmosphere of the sole planet in the system, a Gas Giant several times the size of Jupiter. A more detailed scan is conducted as the Potemkin sets course shows that the signature is coming from a Klingon Bird of Prey, a very badly damaged one! Both wings were missing and both the upper and lowest decks had been crushed, leaving only a heavily reinforced middle deck intact.

Contact with the Klingon vessel is met with no success, and life scans of the ship are indeterminate. The vessel is too far down to lock on with a tractor beam and there is just too much interference to get a transporter lock, taking the Delta Flyer is the best choice. The away team boards and heads on down into the depths of one of the most hostile environments a planet can produce.

Diving down  through several layers of atmosphere the small shuttle bounced around in heavy winds, blowing them off course before the talented pilot could adjust and continue the descent. Just as they crossed the layer barrier out of the high winds several squid-like creatures flash across before them, an interesting sight and one they would surely like to explore, but they have another mission and  those creatures are not going anywhere.

The next layer is defined as a rocky layer, debris ranging in size from pebble to house swim through a dense layer of atmosphere, almost liquid like consistency. Again, with deft piloting skills and the shuttle’s weapons they are able to avoid becoming a bug on a rock.

Approaching the klingon ship they get their first good look at the damage inflicted upon it by the crushing atmosphere. It’s a wonder anything remains. There are still no life signs but engineering scans do show a still functioning transporter pad although life support is offline.

Once aboard the klingon vessel it is clear that the ships internal design is a ‘modern’ version of the ship, the away team surmise that the vessel is kind of a vanity project. An old design updated to current standards and technology, essentially a new class in all ways but external shape.

Heading to the bridge directly Commander Alli-Navine plonks herself down in the captain’s chair and announces herself as the Pirate Captain. Sighs, rolled eyes and raised eyebrows follow but Elli has already moved to a working console to try and access the database. For several reasons much of the data has been corrupted, deleted or just lost but a few words were retrieved. Time Crystal being the one that stuck out the most. Finding this prompted a tricorder scan, the temporal readings are coming from the back of the ship in the engine space.

In the space where one would normally find the intermix matrix of the warp core was a glowing blue crystal. Locked into an assembly and the source of the readings. After some more scans and searches of the local computers and engineering spaces Commander Koolie unlocked the assembly and pulled it out of the housing.  Countdown in Klingon starts, the computer voice harsh and insistent. Unable to find what the countdown is… well counting down to and not having much time to find out they make a rush back to the transporter pad and beams back to the Potemkin.

Back on the Flyer the bird of prey pivots away as the small runabout pulls away from stricken ship and speeds away, sensors warn of a shock front as the klingon ship explodes, clearly it was a self district count down. They ascend through the deep atmosphere of the gas giant and dock with the Potemkin without further incident.

The Potemkin remained in the system for several hours while they continued to study the temporal rift and to allow the computers to piece back together all the data that had been recovered. Much of it was useless but they were able to find that for the time crystal to be used they needed to feed it with power on precise frequencies and flow rates and phase. Their computers, however, were unable to make such calculations, the processing power needed to get them home was several times greater than they could manage… They did have a way though, the small device that Elli had been given by Admiral Carter could do it, it wouldn’t matter how long it took the FTL computer to brute force the answer it would arrive the instant the problem was posed.

They had their way home, and even better they had discovered that when they opened a rift home the one that had persisted here for so many years would close. Seems only one rift per crystal at a time. An elegant solution to the problem. A few modifications had to be made to the Potemkin but it would only take a few hours, it was time consuming rather than complicated.

From the Bridge they watched as a beam of blue energy shot from the deflector dish and ‘struck’ space a few dozen miles ahead of the ship. A new rift opened, a tear in the fabric of spacetime that the sensors confirmed led back to their own time and back to their last location. The order is given and the ship flies through the rift and back home, their computers immediately reconnect with the vast subspace network the fleet uses and they find they have been gone for just 3 weeks… Their months of time in the DQ being just 3 weeks.

They received a call from SFHQ and after Pax was briefed they were ordered back to Earth, there was much to discuss and it was best to do it face to face. They were also to expect a visit from The Department of Temporal Investigations and were to cooperate fully. They knew the drill, this wasn’t their first rodeo after all.