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Alucard Vess

NOV/DEC Lazarus

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((Bridge, USS Indomitable NCC-2394, Stardate 238705.20, T-minus 40 hours))

The deck panel popped open and Andrew Savage and his repair team climbed onto the ships bridge. All was dark, lit only by their flashlights. The former Starfleet Commander directed his team to get all of the bridge consoles up and running. Deep in the bowels of the old Furious class cruiser other teams were working feverishly to get the engines refueled and restarted. They had less than 2 days before the subspace shockwave from the supernova destroyed Earth.

Earth was in chaos. Most available ships were already gone, leaving billions behind. Savage and several of the citizens of North Judson, Indiana took it in their own hands to save their families. They had hijacked a transporter and beamed aboard one of the few ships still in orbit, a ship on display in the Fleet Museum, one that had last seen service in 2319. It was old, outdated, and slow. But it had only seen 23 years of service before it had been decommissioned early, so it was their best bet at escape.

The lights flickered on. Savage reached for his civilian issue communicator. “Good job on the lights, Mikaela.” The voice coming back carried the slight southern accent common of Judsonites, a holdover from their common Tennessee ancestors. “Yeah, it wasn’t too hard. Starfleet maintains these ships for just-in-case situations. The impulse generators are fueled up and ready to go, we just had to hack their control interfaces. We should have the computer up in an hour or so” replied Mikaela Jones, a former engineer Savage knew from his days in the fleet.

“What about the warp drive?”

There was a pause on the channel. “That’s going to be trickier. It’s an old design, one I’m not familiar with. It’ll take us the better part of the day to get it ready to restart…”

Savage didn’t like the way her voice trailed off. “And?”

“We don’t have any antimatter” was Jones reply. A few curses escaped Savages lips. They wouldn’t be fast enough to outrun the wavefront without warp speed. “If you’ve got any suggestions I’m open.”

Jones’ answer was not one he liked. “We have impulse, and I can get some of this hulks phasers back online pretty quick… There’s a small antimatter storage station orbiting the moon.” All of the people on the bridge looked up at this. “We can raid it” Jones finished.

The weight of this suggestion weighed heavily on Savage. He was the most experienced person involved in the escape plan, so they all looked to him to take the lead. It was a horrible thought, to turn pirate like that, but without antimatter they, and all of their families, were dead. And it wasn’t like they’d face opposition. Starfleet had already left the planet, taking as many civilians as they could carry…

“Do it. We’ll have the bridge up and running by the time you’re ready. Savage out.” And with that declaration, Andrew Savage rolled up his sleeves and pitched in to make repairs.

((Later, T-minus 32 hours))

“Fire! Take out their shields but do nothing else!”

The Indomitable was standing off the antimatter station. The battle was soon over. Even with ancient phasers the ship was still more than a match for the station with minor shielding. A small party beamed over to subdue the stations two man crew, and the refueling process could now take place. It was a slow process, taking a full two hours to refuel the ship. The crew kept working at repairs. They essentially had to reassemble the structural integrity generator; without that critical component the ship would be ripped apart by warp flight.

The bridges lift door opened with a loud K-THUNK. Savage turns the command chair to see some of the boarding party step on the bridge with two others, the stations crew. Jellison, a short, squat man with a huge beard, spoke directly to Savage. “These two want to join us.”

The taller of the two strangers spoke up. “I’m Steven McEllison, this is Lisa Tillison, and we don’t wanna die when that wave hits. We’re both engineers by trade, we can be a big help.”

“You’re right,” Savage replied, “And we’re not going to leave you behind to die. Mikaela Jones is our chief engineer, go down and see how you can lend a hand.” As the two leave the bridge, Savage turns to the teenager at the helm. “Mikey, take us back to Earth orbit, we need to start beaming up our families and supplies. We’ve got just over 30 hours to bail out of this place.”

((The next day, T-minus 10 hours))

The Indomitable was nearly full. The ship had been designed to carry 350 people, but in his desire to save as many as possible, Savage had managed to squeeze an extra 25 people onboard. The original teams were exhausted, which was understandable after 30 hours straight making repairs. Now all that hard work was about to come to fruition. Savage sat in the center chair.

“Mikey, break orbit and set the best course out of here.”

Mike Jones, Mikaelas son, didn’t look up from his controls as he pressed the outdated buttons. “We’re out of orbit, course is laid in, warp 6.5” Mikey replied.

“Is that the old scale?” Savage inquired.

Now Mikey turned around “Yep, it’s the best we can do. But we’ve got a 10 hour lead, we’ll make it.”

((T-minus 5 minutes))

The bridge was silent, in fact the entire ship was devoid of any speech. Everyone stared at whatever viewscreen they could find. In a few minutes, everything they knew would be gone. The human race would be dwindled to a few million scattered on colonies and in ships across the quadrants. Word had come in a few hours ago that a mission to stop the wave was on its way, but it would still be too late for Earth and the dozens of other worlds already destroyed. Soon, the Federations core worlds would be gone, and without those worlds, anarchy would reign.

It was time.

A flash of light tore through the image of Earth on the forward viewscreen, scattering debris though space. A shocked silence permeated the ship, followed by a primal scream. It started deep in the ship as one after another of the crew and children released their inner anguish. It seemed to last forever before it became quiet again. A voice at the back of the bridge broke the new silence.

“What do we do now?”

Savage rises from his seat and takes a few steps forward. “We survive,” he said.

The man at the science station turned and looked at Savage. “How?” he asked “Look at this ship! It’s almost 100 years old! The engines are slow, the weapons are underpowered, it doesn’t even have replicators installed!” He slams his fist on his workstation. “This heap doesn’t even have decent sensors or computer! The dang thing runs on duotronic circuitry!”

Savage took a deep breath. “I know.” He puts a hand on Mikeys shoulder. “Set a course for Wolf 359.” There were gasps from the observing people. A young woman near the turbolift spoke up timidly. “We can’t do what your suggesting. People died there, protecting us from the Borg.” Savage looked around him. “I know, I know. But we need to salvage parts. Face it folks, we’re going to be in space for a while. With Earth gone, our government is fractured. Starfleet is spread thin enough as it is. That means we’re on our own. We need to salvage as much as we can to bolster our offensive and defensive capabilities. We know there are parts at Wolf 359. And, let’s face it, the dead won’t need them. Mikey, set the course.”

((Interstellar Space, T-plus 5 days))

They were now near the halfway point in their journey to Wolf 359. The Indomitable was now the lead of a small convoy, mostly large transports with a smattering of small privateers. The ships crew had spent the time trying not to think about their loss. Many worked on improving the ships systems to keep their minds occupied. It was this particular pursuit that drew Savage to the ships computer core at Mikaela Jones’ request.

“What’s up, Mikaela?”

Jones looks up from her project, which appeared to involve several desktop computer consoles. Andrew recognized them; they came from North Judsons high school, where he had spent his retirement teaching math.

“Hey Andrew. I’ve got a request for when we go grave robbing. Get me a new computer core.” She points to the hulking computer behind her. “This will never be enough, especially if we salvage better sensors. A new one will also be smaller, so we could squeeze in some more living space.”

Savage strokes his beard. “Consider it done. But to replace this one don’t you need to shut it down? We’ll be adrift.”

“Yeah, that would be obvious,” Jones smirks, then points to her project “That’s why I’m jury-rigging these into an auxiliary core. It won’t be able to do much, just run life support and impulse speed navigation, but it’ll be enough while we replace the core... I’ve also got plans for upgrading our warp drive.”

Savage was taken aback. “That’s ambitious,” he replied “It’ll take us weeks to do that without a shipyard. We’d need to take out the old core and build a whole new mounting structure, and upgrade the entire structural integrity field.”

Jones didn’t look up from soldering a wire to one of the computers “We need the speed. Right now it takes us twice as long as it should to get to Wolf 359. We’re sitting ducks for faster ships. Hell, our convoy could out run us; they only stay because we have more guns.”

Savage sighed. “You’re right. If you think you can pull it off, you have my support.” With that, he turns and leaves the room. He had a lot of plans to make.

((Wolf 359, T-plus 30 days))

Space suited crew crawled across the hull. Indomitables outdated warp core had been ripped out and replaced with a newer, more compact replacement. Her nacelles and pylons had also been torn off and replaced with parts from the Cheyenne class Ahwahnee, along with the Ahwahnees plasma conduits. Several of the Indomitables phaser turrets had been replaced, and the 6 torpedo tubes had been cut out and replaced with 3 larger, and newer, models. Shuttles had been salvaged, and the ships galley now boasted several fine replicators. Most important had been the upgrades made to Sickbay and to the sensor platforms. The ship now looked odd with her extra long nacelles, but she was faster and stronger than ever before.

Savage swiveled in his command chair. He was now wearing his old uniform, and most of the former Starfleet officers were doing the same. Even the ones who had never been in the fleet were being allowed to wear a uniform. It was Savages attempt at re-establishing some level of decorum and familiarity with what they once had.

“How far off are they?”

Alex, the newly anointed science officer, checked his console, a cobbling together of new and old elements, again. “1 lightyear. It’s a Klingon frigate raiding a small convoy. Five ships, all civilian transports”

“Can we go to warp?” Savage asked.

Mikey, at the conn, turned his head. “We haven’t shaken it down yet, but we’ve powered it up and gotten stable warp fields out of the new coils. I think we can do it.”

“Good,” Savage opened a channel to the transporter rooms “Beam our teams back on board.” He closes the channel. “Mikey, when they’re back, get us to the convoy. We’ll leave the privateers to cover the transports.”

The minutes dragged, as first the engineering teams were brought back on board, then as Mikey engaged the new warp engines on an intercept course for the convoy and their attackers. The ride was rough. They clearly needed to re-adjust the inertial dampeners, but the ship held together, and for now it was enough. “Raise shields and power up the weapons,” Savage ordered “Let’s see how these new guns work.

The ship dropped out of warp just out of weapons range of the Klingon frigate, which promptly changed their target to the Indomitable. Savage was amazed at how quickly their former allies had turned on what was left of the Federation. The first volley hit the Indomitable and glanced off the new shields. “Fire!” shouted Savage. Phasers lanced outward, followed by a volley of torpedoes. The phasers found their target, but only a few torpedoes did. Clearly, the tubes needed to be re-aligned, but that would have to wait. The battle was fierce. Indomitable took heavy damage, but in the end a lucky phaser beam found a gap in the Klingons shields. The frigate broke in half and tumbled away.

“Open a channel,” Savage commanded.

A bloody and bruised man appeared on the screen. “Who are you?” the man asked. Savage stood from his command chair. “I’m Andrew Savage, leader of the USS Indomitable. We’re leading a convoy of ships from Earth.” A name popped into his head, a name reflecting the convoys desire to rebuild from the ashes of human civilization. “You can call us the Lazarus Fleet. You’re welcome to join us. I strongly suggest you do, as there’s strength in numbers.”

The transport captain regarded Savage with curiosity. “I’m Captain Carpes of the transport Parnell. What’s the plan?”

“The short term plan is just to survive. After that… we’ll look for a new home. A new Earth, someplace we can rebuild,” Savage replied.

“We’ll accept your offer then,” Carpes replied. With that statement, the Lazarus Fleet grew to 15 ships. Roughly 2100 people were now banded together in the hope of overcoming their loss and rebuilding the human civilization. They didn’t know what tomorrow would bring, but each day they would make theirs, and move forward.

((Captains Quarters, USS Indomitable, Stardate 248705.22))

“This was my grandfathers story, told to me just before he died. I’ve retold it here, so that anyone who comes across this memorial will understand why it is here. The fleet wandered for a few years, before they found a suitable planet to colonize. By that time the fleet had grown to nearly 100 ships, carrying thousands of survivors. They named our new homeworld Lazarus, because we also rose from the dead, and we thrived. Exactly 100 years have passed since that terrible day, and for the first time we’ve come back to honor the dead. We continue on in their memory, and we will NEVER forget. Computer, end recording and load it to the memorial.”

Andrew Savage III, a dead ringer for his namesake, stood up from his desk and moved out into the corridor. The Indomitable barely resembled her former self, having been upgraded numerous times. Savage made his way up to the bridge, where he took his seat in the command chair, the only thing on the bridge that hadn’t been replaced.

“Is the memorial ready?”

The tactical officer turned from her station. “Ready, Sir.”

Savages voice was calm as he said “Launch it.” A gleaming golden torpedo slipped slowly from one of the forward tubes and drifted toward one of the largest remaining chunks of Earth. It carried many messages from the citizens of Lazarus, including Savages retelling of the last days of Earth. The memorial soft-landed on its target, to stand sentinel for the ghosts of the dead.

END

Ensign Alucard Vess

ACMO

Embassy Duronis II

USS Thunder NCC-70605

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