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[2010: MAR-APR] Myth-Adventure

Tal Tel-ar

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Captain Adams turned to gaze towards his first officer. A slight smile on his face as he asked the question.

“Let me guess George. Local folklore says this system is taboo, right?”

His friend and first officer turned to face him. He had a tall slim angular face, slightly pale with very short dark brown hair frosted with gray at the temples.

“Not taboo. Just off limits to those who want to survive,” he replied in a soft drawl.

“Of coarse.” Adams replied as he shook his head. “Why am I not surprised.”

“Maybe because you know me so well.”

“Better than I care to admit.” The Captain said jokingly. “So tell me more.”

“Not much to tell really. System 628 is empty except for a huge asteroid field circling a red dwarf star. According to our records it’s never been examined except by long range sensors.”

“Standard Federation protocol.”

“True. However while I was on Felona IV, I found out that a number of vessels have been lost in this system never to be seen again.”

“So your curiosity sparked you into talking me into taking the time to do a proper survey of the system.”

“Basically.” Replied George in the same soft drawl that was so distinctive.

“I hope we find something more than the last half dozen times.”

“They have not all been a total waste of time. What about Sigma Corvin II?”

“Sigma Corvin II! I got shot, stabbed, punched…” the Captain exclaimed.

“And found the origin of the space eel legend.” His friend interrupted him to say.

Just then the USS Bobcat, a defiant class vessel slipped out of warp speed to slow to a complete halt. The interruption serving to halt the current line of conversation as they both turned to look forward.

“Edwin, run a complete set of scans.”

“All ready on it sir.”

“Good man.” Replied the Captain. “Sandra take us closer to the asteroid field.”

“As you wish, sirhh,” responded the delightful blonde bombshell. As always the sound of her soft, sexy voice was startling and stimulating to the males on the bridge. Especially as they all knew that her voice was just a small part of what made her the most enticing female on the ship.

And while her looks and voice were what kept the men looking and wishing, it was her skill as a pilot that had made her so valuable to the Captain.

Slowly the image on the view screen changed as the asteroid field in the distance slowly came into view.

“Sir. System is clean except for the asteroid field.”

“Nothing?” asked the Captain as he turned a cynical eye towards his first officer.

“Well nothing in the system. However there seems to be something weird regarding the scans of the asteroid field.”

“What do you mean weird?” asked the Captain as he spotted the sudden “I told you” grin on his friends face.

“None of the readings make any sense. I can’t get any reliable data from within the field.”

“All stop.” Snapped the Captain as he stood and stalked forward to glare at the view screen. He stood like that for a few moments then turned to look at his science officer. “Any ideas or thoughts as to why or how our scans are being blocked?”

“Honestly sir. I can’t even confirm they are being blocked. Just that the readings don’t seem to make any sense.”

“Care to explain that?”

“My scans show multiple asteroids with the same exact readings. Right down to the weight and content.”

“How mysterious,” replied the first officer in a pleased tone. “What would you say the odds were against that. 100 to 1 “ he asked.

“No sir you don’t understand. It’s not just a few asteroids. It’s hundreds, maybe thousands of them.” Exclaimed the science officer.

“Hundreds! Thousands! Are you sure?” asked the first officer.

“Yes. I double checked my findings 3 times.”

“Edwin, launch a class 3 probe.” Ordered the Captain. “Hopefully that will give us some answers.”

“I hope so sir.” The young man replied as he got busy with his sensors and readouts.

The Captain turned towards where his first officer was still sitting. A concerned look on his face as he asked, “Ok. So maybe there is something to this local tall tale. Just what do we know?”

“Well. According to what I could find out this system has long been considered as a kind of Bermuda Triangle. Ships come in and vanish with out a trace. So far I found records for over 60 ships over a 100 year period.”

“Anything else?”

“Well the last missing ship was over 10 years ago but that is because the locals all avoid this system and there is really no reason for anyone else to come any where close to it.”

“There’s got to be more to it than that,” replied the Captain.

“True. According to some very old documents I found while on leave this system use to be the home to a race called the As’akani. A very old space faring race that suddenly vanished. An investigation by the few species close enough that had space worthy vessels showed that the planet was gone. Replaced by this asteroid field. That would be about 180 to 185 years ago. After that it’s all speculation.”

“Great. That means we could be dealing with some kind of alien defensive system that survived the destruction of their homeworld.”

“SIR! The probe. It’s gone,” exclaimed Edwin.

“The Captain spun to confront the young man. What do you mean gone?”

“Just that sir. One second it was there and then it was gone.”

“A probe just can’t vanish. Something had to happen to it.”

“I know Captain. But the only readings I have don’t make much sense.”

“Explain Lt.”

“Well. If I didn’t know better I would swear that the drone passed into some kind of cloaking field. Just before it vanished it recorded an increase in tachyon emissions and accelerated particles.”

“So there may be something out there?”

“Maybe sir, but I can’t be positive.”

For the next few minutes the Captain paced back and forth. He claimed that it helped him think but it was also a good way to work off some nervous energy. And right now he was nervous. Something had been eliminating ships in this system for a very long time.

“George. Just what kinds of ships have vanished in this system?”

“Mostly freighters. However there have been a few warships. The most famous would be the heavy cruiser B’Ran. It was lost about 60 years ago and belonged to the Tovin Confederacy. It would be about equivalent to one of our older light cruisers.”

“Great. Just great. So what ever is out there would easily out class us.”

“Probably,” responded the first officer.

Again the Captain paced back and forth. As he did he occasionally glanced at the main view screen. Finally he stopped pacing and faced front. “All right. Ensign Ravig open a comms channel to Starbase 111.”

“Yes sir,” replied the eager young Bolian. “Channel open.”

“This is Captain Marcus Adams of the USS Bobcat. We are currently in system 628 investigating unusual energy readings located inside the asteroid field. There have also been numerous reports of missing vessels within….”

Just then the comms officer interrupted the Captain.“ Sir our comms signal has been jammed. I’m trying to bypass the interference but it’s just to powerful.”

“Did any of the message get out? Asked the Captain urgently.

“Maybe half.” He replied in an agitated manner.

“Right. Sandra move us away from the asteroid field. Maximum impulse power.”

“Yes sirhh!”

As the ship started to move away Sandra suddenly exclaimed, “Sir. 4 ships just appeared. High levels of tachyon emissions and particle acceleration detected as they decloaked .”

“All stop. Open a hailing frequency.” Snapped the Captain.

“Channel open.”

“This is Captain Marcus Adams of the Federation vessel USS Bobcat. This is unclaimed space. What are your intentions?”

For a few moments nothing happened. Then the image on the view screen changed. It was replaced by the image of a cloaked individual with a hood over their head that completely hid their appearance. They were seated and behind them was a strange emblem of gold on red.

“We are the As’akani. This is our space. You will follow us or be destroyed.”

“No. I don’t think so,.” replied the Captain. “We are a peaceful ship conducting a routine survey of this system. If you detain us it may be considered an act of war and while the Federation is a peaceful coalition of species and planets they can and will defend themselves.”

“We are the As’akani. This is our space. You have no right being here.”

“According to our records this is an empty system. Half of the sentient species with in 20 light years of here are members of the Federation and they have no record of this being an inhabited system.”

“We will defend our world. All trespassers are to be detained or destroyed.”

“Before you do something you may regret. Let me remind you that part of our message got out. Also the Federation has a record or where we are and why we are here. But even more importantly the Federation is made up of more than 100 species and over a thousand worlds. I would suggest you contact your superiors before you do any thing.”

Just then the view screen went blank.

“I guess that means we wait,” quipped his first officer.

“I hope so,” responded the Captain. “I sure hope so.”

Now they waited. Time seemed to drag by slowly until a new image appeared on the main view screen. This time is was an individual wearing a gold robe and hood.”

“The As’akani have heard of the Federation. We do not wish to engage in any hostile actions but we do not want our presence known.”

“I understand. However I cannot make any promises. That’s for my superiors to decide.”

“We understand. We will wait for their decision.” Again the view screen suddenly went blank followed a few moments later by the 4 ships slowly fading from view.

“Interesting. Who would have guessed this would turn into a first contact situation,” said the first officer.

“Yeah, well the next time you discovery another myth you want to investigate. Save it for your own command,” replied the Captain. “I’m getting to old for this.”

"What ever you say old bean," replied George with a shake of his head.

Edited by Tal Tel-ar
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  • 1 month later...

An interesting story with a fun Bermuda Triangle plot. Your *ahem* attractive navigator was a nice touch.

Humbly I offer the following tips:

You might watch some of your wording. For example, cynical is probably not the best word to use here:

“Sir. System is clean except for the asteroid field.”

“Nothing?” asked the Captain as he turned a cynical eye towards his first officer.

You might try skeptical.

I thought the dispute at the end was a tad rushed and that the captain was a little too harsh. He emphasized the Federation's military capabilities more than he did its mission of exploration and seeking out new life and new civilizations.

You might try adding a bit more description. For example, I could visualize the navigator but it would have been that much more engaging a hook (for the male readers at least) if you'd added a bit more description. Cliche (blonde bombshell) is probably not the best route to take.

And what about George? He has a drawl. What else can you tell us about him? Is he a muscular man? Does he have attractive or inviting eyes? That might have helped to attract some of your female readers perhaps.

Finally, a bit of the action lacked force in places. Um... I'm not really a professional writer or anything so I don't really know what else to call it. So I'll give an example:

“And found the origin of the space eel legend.” His friend interrupted him to say.

This is very weak-sounding. Bolster it by chopping out some words, or even changing them. Consider this for example:

“Sigma Corvin II!" the captain exclaimed, "I got shot, stabbed, punched--”

“And found the origin of the space eel legend,” His friend interrupted.

All in all, I enjoyed the read and the suspense you created with the tachyon fields (I found myself wondering if there might be Romulans hiding in the system) and the disappearing probe. The carbon-copy asteroids also added more mystery to your story, and the funny allusions to past adventures added depth to the characters.

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