Presents: The Dancer Prince
The Story That Started It All
The Dancer Prince
"CONN, Science," Captain Desmond shouted through the intercom, "We've got a ping on a low-band frequency of three hundred gigahertz coming in, have the crew get ready to break communications silence."
"Science, CONN," Captain Desmond's executive officer replied, looking over the communications officer's, "Affirmative, is the ping worth anything?"
"CONN, Science, You could say that, XO," Captain Desmond replied, nodding to his Chief Operations Manager and Chief Science Officer, "The Chief OPS and Chief SCI are on their way up with me, we'll brief you the moment we're on the CONN."
"Affirmative, XO Out," The Executive Officer answered, turning his head back to the tasks at hand.
Captain Desmond stood from one of the workstations' chair in the Science lab and awaited while the two other officers rose as well. The science lab was located on the same deck as Stellar Cartography. Deck 2 was primarily allocated to Stellar Cartography, the science lab was so small it seemed as thought it had been there just to serve the purpose of filling up an odd-shaped space that couldn't be used by anything else. The S.R.D. Bastion was a warship, after all, a heavy destroyer belonging to the Clarel Class. She had 15 decks, and didn't have any of the bells and whistles of most explorer type vessels. What she did have, was a completely new hull design which allowed for greater flexibility coupled with additional maneuvering capabilities, and enough space to pack a diverse suite of advanced weapons. She was a small vessel in comparison to the previous generation of Segan destroyers, but she easily matched their fighting capabilities. They just required a much more skilled hand to drive them.
Captain Desmond and his two best senior officers for these types of missions walked down the hallway that led directly to the turbolift. They walked with a sense of purpose as they headed towards the CONN. Captain Desmond entered first, calling for the CONN to the turbolift, as his two senior officers joined him on either side. With its orders recognized, the turbolift doors whooshed closed as the turbolift motor activated to send them one deck up. Captain Desmond kept calm, though he was quite excited at the prospect that he may just find the fleet which he had been searching for so arduously. They had combed since they had arrived a month ago, day after day, hunting for a fleet which could be anywhere at any place. What the ping had given him, was a sense of hope that maybe this entire search wasn't for nothing. A silly ping had arrived to do that, he thought, as the turbolift grinded to a stop.
The turbolift doors opened as the Captain stepped out, "Captain on Deck," The Executive officer shouted as the crew stood from their seats and saluted Captain Desmond.
"At ease," Captain Desmond replied, stepping off from the turbolift and walking straight towards his Executive Officer, as the Chief Science Officer followed.
The Chief Operations Manager assumed his seat on the CONN, "Reading no enemy vessels anywhere in the area, Captain."
"Affirmative, nothing on either the passive combat sensors or the active combat sensors," The Chief Tactical Officer added, staring at the sensors. "The nearest enemy vessels were the two Mary-Rosbourg class destroyers back several light years back, and they didn't detect us."
"Understood," Captain Desmond glanced over to his Executive Officer, "The ping we're getting might be a sign that we activated a Clarel Class Heavy Destroyer computer module, and that the ping is its attempt to get networked with other active Clarel Class Heavy Destroyer computer modules."
"I see," The Executive Officer realized the importance of the ping as he reanalyzed his reading of the Clarel Class Heavy Destroyer technical readouts, "Yes, I understand it."
"Right," Captain Desmond looked at his XO, "So it's agreed, we'll go find what this ping is?"
"Agreed," The Executive Officer turned to the Chief Science Officer, "Trace the ping, and get us some coordinates to follow. Helm, stand by to engage at warp speeds."
"Sound General Quarters, #1, we better be ready for this possibly being a trap," Captain Desmond turned to his Chief of Ops, "Activate Damage Control Ops just in case."
The Executive Officer tapped the intercom link opened, "General Quarters! General Quarters! All hands man your battlestations! General Quarters! General Quarters! All hands man your battlestations!"
"Location identified, Commander," The Chief Science Officer glanced over his readout, "Confirmed, bearing 132 mark 04."
"At maximum warp, we'll be there in about thirty minutes, Captain," The navigations officer replied, plotting in the best course using warp.
"Confirmed, maximum warp," Captain Desmond replied, engage at your will."
The warp engines of the S.R.D. Bastion engaged easily as the vessel was propelled forward at faster than light speeds. The ship now crossed easily stars after stars, as the crew of the S.R.D. Bastion prepared themselves either for an awaited discovery of the Ghost Fleet, or a trap. They were steering, and heading at light speeds towards coordinates one-three-two mark zero-four. The coordinates led directly to the second planet of the Froidian star system, a system which was reputable for its fairly weak star. Only three planets orbited this star system, and because of their relative distance from the star, the Froidian star system was always passed as a potential location for Segan colonization. The Froidian star system, however, was strategically located near the Segan star system, former capital star system of the Segan Monarchy before it was ravaged by the Styx. It would take thirty minutes for the vessel to reach its destination. Thirty minutes to determine whether what they were hoping to be a friendly ping, indeed was.
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