Jan 20, 2021 3:16 PM
A Starfleet vessel stumbles across an unintentional visitor.
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"Fine, we'll play it your way" I think to myself. Releasing the floor I cross my arms and allow myself to be launched out. Once clear I open my air intakes, bring my thrusters online and open my bat-like wings.

Looping back around towards the others I see Wells shooting some kind of "head-on-a-tentacle" with his phaser and doing little to no damage in the process. Calling out through his communicator I yell "Wells, cease fire. With how much kelbonite is in that thing you're probably doing nothing but feeding it energy. Get everyone clear, I'll try to keep it's attention until the shuttle arrives." With that, I spin up my battle-screen and bring my railguns to full power.


As I'm making my attack run on the thing's face though an idea occurs to me. I quickly search through the universal translation database and load the oldest Vulcan dialect I can find as my language output. As I slam to a stop, hovering between the thing's face and the others, I flip my speakers to their loudest setting. "WE ARE PEACEFUL EXPLORERS. WE MEAN YOU NO HARM."

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The... giant robot? does not seem very impressed by Drake's efforts at diplomacy. It responds with lasers.

That's what the face is for, apparently. The building fires some sort of plasma blasts out of its "eyes", as Drake dodges out of the way. The laser carves a slice of fire across the landscape, and Wells and Va'reth rush the civilians towards the group of Starfleet personnel on shore leave. After pushing the group towards relative safety, the away team turns back around to deal with the robot. Wells pull on a pair of bulky gloves as she runs towards it, directing the crewmen away in a different direction.

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"Fine, screw you then you overgrown excuse for a Titan!" I pull back and begin unloading a blistering stream of APHE railgun fire into the thing's face, reducing it to rubble. Within moments though it begins reforming.

Cursing, I focus my fire into the root of the face's arm and load two micro-q missiles into my shoulder launchers. The tiny quantum bombs inside the missiles are extremely unstable, set to overload on impact. Glancing towards the ground though I see Wells running towards it. Switching back to normal comm settings I yell through his communicator "Wells get clear! I'm about to unload the big guns on this thing and you're not wearing armor."

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"I'll be fine!" Wells shouts, waving one of her gloved hands, but she does dive into a ditch as the missiles strike.

The missiles are drastically more effective than the phaser fire. The construct shatters open, revealing the interior rooms. It releases a shockwave, completely cutting off communications for a moment and scrambling Drake's senses, before flailing chaotically with its arms. It tears up the ground in an effort to smack Drake, but even dazzled he's much faster than it.

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"Well that certainly pissed it off. Alright Wells, I'll bite. What's your plan? I've got enough ordinance to reduce this thing to rubble or one of us can go in to try and find a computer or power core or something. If you've got another idea though I'm all ears." I ask as I keep dodging, weaving, shooting, and generally being as annoying as possible.

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"We might be able to drain its charge! See if you can anchor a cable to it, when the shuttle gets here we might be able to drain it into the shield buffer!"

The giant begins firing more arrays of lasers into the air, turning the clouds of dust to plasma.

"Or you could just blow it up! Don't let me stop you, if you don't need to conserve!"

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"Unless you've got a cable hiding up your sleeve or one in the shuttle then we'll have to go for the "kill it with fire" approach." Dodging another laser array and letting the plasma roll off my battle screen, I keep pumping railgun fire into the thing's faces. "Your call Wells, but if I go full bore you might want to get under something."

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"The shuttle will have a cable!"

A series of spacial distortion blasts narrowly miss Drake, curving down to cut a chasm into the ground beneath him.

"But this is getting a bit excessive! Just go for it!"

She dives out of the way of another plasma ray and drops behind a piece of rubble.

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"Right, let's see how you like this." As I dive toward the ground I call out to every communication device I can sense, yelling to hit the dirt and look away, before I unleash a barrage of twelve micro-q missiles from my shoulder launchers; all aimed at the roots of the Titan's arms. With an explosion that is more felt than heard all twelve detonate at once, obliterating the arms and a large chunk of the Titan besides. As it reels from the blow I land and dig my talons into the dirt. Bringing my arms straight forward and parallel to each other I open the armor panels on my chest and inner arms. As I yell out in fury I bring my quantum reactor to redline and unleash my most powerful weapon, a directed beam of pure quantum energy.

The blinding, pearlescent beam shoots forth with a scream of unholy rage. In the scant moments it is active I slice it along the tower, cutting it down like a mighty redwood tree. All matter that the beam touches is obliterated, the atoms themselves ripped asunder into their constitute particles.

As the Titan falls, I fire another twelve micro-q missiles, the launchers having reloaded an instant before, into the stump of the Titan; obliterating it, and burying the remainder in rubble. And as I collapse to the ground, I see the remains of the Titan, a ruin once more.

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Several hours later, the captain and Lt. Commander Wells are speaking.

"In any case, you suspect the technology was the 'quantum bombs' that he mentioned earlier?"

"Yes, sir. The particle readouts in the aftermath were highly irregular. We don't have an equivalent."

"Well, worth suggesting for research, in any case. Starfleet has been looking for some heavier duty options for torpedoes, and at that level of energy density they could be a good choice. I can't imagine what threats were worth designing them at that size."

"Presumably targets with good shielding, sir. We should ask about that, as well."

"Of course, please do. But you still can't get any affect read?"

"A dim presence, now. No relevant detail. I am continuing to practice."

"Keep me updated. And let me know when he's charged back up. No need to be pushy when everything's worked out fine, but it seems urgent to ask our visiting soldier what he was fighting for."

"Except those poor archeologists, of course. Plenty of good scans, but I guess they'll never find out what was actually worth defending like that."

"A shame, but better than lost lives. Thank you, Wells."

"Of course, sir."

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---quantum reactor fully repaired---

---feedback test initiated---

---feedback test results nominal---

---initiating primary system startup---

 

With a start Drake's eyes snapped open. "Ugh. I hate doing that." Slowly sitting up and glancing around he realized he was in a lab on the Palmer's engineering deck, on top of one of the heavy duty lab tables. Getting to his feet he pings the ship's computer, nodding to himself when he sees that the archeologists and away team were recovered unharmed with the exception of some hearing damage which, according to the medical logs, were simple to repair and scorched retinas from one of the archeologists who hadn't looked away. According to the computer he was still in the infirmary recovering from what was apparently a relatively minor surgery and was slated to make a full recovery.

That done, Drake goes to the lab's replicator and prints a block of titanium carbide. Picking it up he lets it sit on his hand as his nanite system goes to work, breaking the block down to it's atoms and carrying the resources to the creation forge in his chest to begin the process of rearming his weapons, making it appear as if the solid block of metal was softening and melting into his hand.

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As Drake is dissolving a block of metal into his hand, the chief engineer walks in and waves at him.

"Ah, welcome back to wakefulness! You haven't missed too much, just a little predatory memetic construct incident. Do you need anything?"

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"A what now? Does weird slash dangerous stuff happen around here all the time? Or is it just one of those weeks? And, to answer your question no, not at the moment. Though, if you happen to have some spare time if you could check whether the replicators can make some specialized materials in decent quantities and quality that'd be helpful. I can send the list to your terminal if that'd be alright with you."

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"Sure, I can check the specs. I guess weird things do happen pretty often, but it's an exploration mission, you know? Lot of weird shit in space. It's why we've got to explore it before the civilians get there. The Palmer's just filling in the gaps, not as glamorous as a flagship, but it's important work. There's a lot of gaps!"

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"Yeah space is big, I'll give you that." Drake says as the block of metal finishes melting into his hand and he turns to leave. "Thanks for looking the stuff over for me. Just shoot me a direct comm once you've got the results." Throwing a wave Drake leaves the lab and starts heading to the bridge, where the Palmer's computer says the Captain and Wells currently are.

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"Good to see you up and about! I hope there was no serious harm done to you? We were just about to get underway, there's a research lab nearby that needs some samples transported with more care than the locals can provide."

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"No permanent damage at any rate. It's the price of using that weapon unfortunately." Walking out of the turbolift Drake leans on the railing beside the Captain's chair. "So long as your replicators can make the materials I need I'll be able to repair myself no problem. I've actually got your Chief Engineer checking on that for me."

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"Ah, good. They do have limitations, but they really are convenient devices. Will you be able to restock the missiles you used?"

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"Yeah, I should be able to. Depends on whether the replicators can make all the resources. The only real exotic component is something I can make myself with my reactor. Everything else is relatively common as far as elements go."

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"Would you mind if we examined one of those missiles? The practical instance might give us a hint at the underlying physics even if you don't know so much of the theory yourself."

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"Well, technically the exact design is classified. Considering the circumstances though I'd be willing to make one for you guys to look at. I can't exactly be court martialed when I'm stuck in a different dimension." He laughs. "That reminds me, we should discuss how I might become a member of Starfleet. If I'm going to keep doing this long term, then I should actually be in your rank structure rather than just being a random Army Captain from another dimension floating around." Oh, and about the missile. I do insist that I'm there at all times when it's being examined, at least until Toasty and your Chief Engineer understand how exactly it works so they don't accidentally blow up the ship."

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"Of course, we will take all due care. It's a good point, though. It seems a waste if you can't help on away missions, but it would certainly be inappropriate to knowingly deploy you into dangerous environments if you are not a part of our command structure. At the very least, I could declare you an Acting Ensign with minimal paperwork, if you would be comfortable with that? I'd also be happy to write a letter of recommendation for the academy, of course, but that doesn't solve our current situation."

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"It'll be annoying being a butterbar again, but that will work. Which situation  are you referring to though?"

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"You operating here, outside of our command structure."

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"Huh, yeah I guess since you guys don't have different branches of the military anymore this is kinda a novel experience for you. Well, up till now I've been playing this similarly to how it would work if one of our Star Navy ships were carrying a detachment of infantry or marines. Basically, as the highest ranking Army officer onboard I report directly to the CO of the ship I'm on, that being you." He nods to the Captain. "Though in the case of some larger ships the CO might delegate their XO as the primary point of contact. Basically Captain, from my point of view this situation is relatively normal. The biggest problem is that it's a short term solution. Long term, being the only member of a branch of the military that doesn't exist in this dimension simply isn't feasible."

"I am not fully familiar with the inner workings of Starfleet. If my continuing operations as an army officer attached to the Palmer would cause unnecessary confusion or legal problems then I would be willing to accept joining Starfleet as an acting Ensign pending entrance to the Academy. If it would not though, I would personally prefer to retain my rank as a UHS Army Captain until I enter the academy. It is ultimately your decision Captain, and I will accept your judgment on this matter."

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