Chapter 2 - Graveyard

Traveling at warp 4 was not fun, it even felt slow. But needs must. And Phoenix refused to risk a warp core breach on top of everything by pushing the engines.
She sat quietly in the Command seat watching the star lines blur past.

Sindari Toylen was standing at the Engineering Console. She frowned. She tapped into her wrist device and [[“Lieutenant Whavi-Tonelly?”]] she called out to the Operations Officer, [[“My console is showing high concentration of metals coming up. Can you confirm please?”]]

The operations officer reviewed her screens quickly before responding, “Confirmed. There are a mass concentrations of metals…it looks like they could be starships?” Her confused expression changed to one of assurance the more she read the readings before her.

Lia Taylor was still working on her console, she looked up and called over. “Toylen, Whavi-Tonelly. I suggest you talk to Legate Imik S’Niohun, her people were once nomads. She did comment to me at one time, that some of her kind got out this far. She might be able to assist you, if the contacts aren’t her people she might know who or what they are.”

Phoenix looked towards operations. “Any signals being out put?” She asked curiously.

Baeryn have a quick nod towards Lias suggestion before hearing Phoenix. “Negative Commodore.” Baeryn checked another reading before adding, “There’s some background radiation but other than that…. It’s quiet. I’m not picking up any life signs either.”

Kyle sat at his console, quietly working his targeting sensors as he listened to what was going on around him. At the mention of possibly starships, he instantly moved to start warming up his weapon system computers. Though he kept them offline for now. In the Ely’s current state, he was not taking any chances.

“Drop us out of warp” Phoenix said to the helm.

The Andorian at the helm nodded “Aye, dropping out of warp.”

“Focus our scanners.”

Baeryn took a second to read the screen before informing the bridge of the scanners readings, “It’s a system with an L class planet in the goldilocks zone…im not reading any life signs on the planet. “Baeryns voiced turned somber as she continued, “In orbit around the planet is a massive starship graveyard. Several ships are being dragged into decaying orbits, but its massive.” The operations officer turned to the Commodore when she finished.

Sitting in his chair, Gary listened to the bridge chatter around him. He kept quiet for now as his opinion hadn’t been asked. However listening to Baeryns statement he voiced an opinion. “Recommend we keep a safe distance from the graveyard especially with the Elysium in the shape she’s in. We get caught, we may not get out.”

“Bring us to safe distance Lieutenant.” Phoenix ordered the helm. “Everyone else, i want those ships scanned and the planet scanned as well. We may be able to find stuff to help us with our repairs.”

Out of habit, Kyle had already been scanning the field, looking for any sign of threats. Thus far, he found none. However, that fact didn’t aswage his caution. He had been through far too many battles to believe that they were in a completely safe situation here. “So far, no sign of any aggressive vessels or Orbital installations, Ma’am.” His deep baritone was clearly filled with caution and doubt.

“Thank you Mr Reece” Came the commodore’s reply.

Lia fired up her console, the damn thing still wasn’t working right but it was better than nothing. “It might be this console, but I’m not picking anything up either Commodore. But I echo the comment about standing off, I can’t say I’m to happy at being this close to all these dead ships.”

“On screen please” Phoenix said to operations.

The viewer cleared and showed the image of the planet with the massive ship graveyard. As the images changed, and showed different angles, it showed that there were ships on the surface as well.

From the Engineering console came [[“Commodore, these ships, they have a lot of the same elements we use. We can salvage parts.”]]

Phoenix turned and nodded at the young engineering crewman who used her wrist device to communicate and hear. “Good idea.” She looked at Neri at helm. “Place us close enough for shuttle yet not too close.”

“Aye Aye” Nerinath replied. “20 minutes to station keeping.”

“Mr Reece, launch a bouy for long range sensors. Let’s not be caught unawares.”

“Aye, Ma’am,” Kyle replied respectfully. He then worked his controls and, a few beats later reported, “I’ve actually launched three probes, Commodore. No one will get close enough to us to see us as a bright dot of light without us knowing first.” He then looked over at Phoenix as he added, “Unless of course, they are operating with tech that is completely alien to our sciences.”

Which, she admitted was very possible. She merely nodded.

“Mr. Taylor, contact department heads, I want lists of needed and required supplies in your hand in 30 minutes.”

“You will have it Commodore.” Gary replied simply and to the point.

“Thank you Captain.”

Hearing what the XO was going to be asking for, Kyle reached over and pressed a control on his console, sending over the list of supplies he knew that Tactical needed. Actually, he sent two lists. The first one was the bare minimum needed, and the other was everything else.

Phoenix paused and turned to the engineering crewman. “Crewman Toylen, i want schematics for a cloaking device within the next 2 hours.”

[[Aye aye]] came the reply.

Lia glanced at her console and quickly put together a list for both the console and Security, she pressed the send button and waited for Gary to give her the thumbs up.

A few seconds later, Lia’s wish came true as Gary looked over at her, a smile on his face. He gave her a wink which was followed by a thumbs up gesture.

Rin acknowledged Gary’s request with a curt “yes, sir,” and, uncharacteristically, handed the task off to one of her subordinates. Her gaze flickered across the multiple displays in front of her, analyzing the data coming from the probes. The graveyard was a tangle of wreckage. Many of the “ships” were really just pieces, and plenty of it was unfamiliar.

Except one. At least to her. She couldn’t be sure. It wasn’t like she had a database to run her theory against.

Rin tapped her badge. “Captain, I’m sending a scan to your console. Between the general design of that ship and analysis of alloys of the outer hull, it *might* be what the Borg identified as Species 7034. Very little known about them. No homeworld identified. But *if* this was designed by the same people… at some point in their history they travelled between galaxies. Maybe simply a fluke like our journey, but maybe something more deliberate.”

“Very good Rin.” Gary replied as the scan began to come through. “You said very little is known about this species. Tell me what you do know. Enlighten me please.”

Rin closed her eyes for a moment as she dug up the memory. “Encountered in the Delta Quadrant. Several ships. Species was aquatic and invertebrate, unsuitable for assimilation. Think large, intelligent jellyfish.”

She paused a moment while she pushed down her emotions concerning the disposal of the creatures. It didn’t matter if she had physically been there or not: the memory had a 1st person point of view.

“Several of their ships were encountered,” she continued. Her voice was particularly flat as she provided the data. “Advanced technology. Difficult to navigate their computer systems. It appeared there had been additional modules to their ships, removed before their encounter. I have no data suggesting the modules were ever found. Contact was… more than a century ago.”

Gary listened intently as Rin provided him with what information she had. He heard the change in her speech as she spoke. Flat, level detached. “Thank you Rin. Large, intelligent jellyfish. Interesting. I never knew that there was a species the Borg couldn’t assimilate.”

“Imagine trying to plug a jellyfish into a power socket,” Rin quipped with a big more color to her tone. “There’s a variety of species, but that’s for another time.”

Gary chuckled at Rin’s comment. Also he was relieved to hear the change in her voice. “Yes, quite a mess. But if you like fried calamari, you’re in luck.”