July Fiction Vignettes
In the first of a series, I’m pleased to announce the July Fiction Vignettes Contest. The rules of this contest are quite simple: write a piece of flash fiction (a vignette) about the image provided in these materials. This month, we will be inspired by an amazing render done by JetFreak-7. The assignment is to create a small piece of fiction inspired by this image. It doesn’t have to be a description of the image, per se, but could be the events that led up to it, the thoughts of someone related to it, or anything else, as long as it ties back to the image!
- Entries must be submitted directly into the submission box.
- Entries may be no more than 300 words long.
- Entries should reference the image being used for the contest.
- Entries will be assessed based primarily on style, relation to the image, and creativity, with spelling and grammar being used for tie-breaking purposes.
Please read through and view each competition submission before making your decisions. As a general rule of thumb, the earliest person who submitted a fully correct entry should earn first place, although this may vary depending on the competition you hosted. Don't forget to compare each entry with your criteria as a rubric for grading! Feel free to contact the Chief of Staff if you have any questions about the judging process.
|Khaled al Rashid||1732||“Systemwide power failure and malfunction of saucer separation system? What are the odds?” Captain Jack Conrad stepped off the transporter platform to see his chief engineer, Lieutenant Commander T’Prana, there to greet him. She fell into pace behind him as he set out into the corridors of the Aquarius, a starship attached to the Starfleet Corps of Engineers. “Three-hundred-forty-two-thousand-two-hundred-seventeen to one, sir.” Conrad had not known the Vulcan engineer for long, but he had a distinct suspicion that beneath that stoic exterior she actually had a sense of humor. This situation was serious though. While on a survey mission of a star system in Sector 581, the Galaxy-class starship U.S.S. Horizon suffered a spontaneous catastrophic power shutdown, including the structural integrity subsystem that helped keep the saucer and stardrive sections held together. When that happened, the saucer, still held physically to the stardrive section by a series of docking latches, ripped away from the stardrive doing significant damage to the saucer’s ventral hull where the latches were once mated home. Both sections of the Horizon were now listing in space. “What more do we know, T’Prana?” “Explosive decompression in two of the cargo bays. And because saucer sep had not been declared, the automatic systems did not have time to engage.” “Meaning what, Commander?” “Three turbolifts shot out of the stardrive out into space, and the ship is venting gas and liquid from the connecting conduits.” They arrived at the turbolift, and T’Prana absented herself, branching off toward engineering as Conrad stepped into the lift. “Bridge.” When the lift arrived and the doors snapped open, someone shouted, “Captain on the bridge.” Unceremoniously Conrad settled in the captain’s chair. “Signal yardmaster we’re ready to depart. Conn, clear all moorings and take us out,” he said. “Let’s go save the day.”||2020-07-22 20:32:43|
|Makayla Adams||10||Everything seemed to be quiet on the bridge of the USS Aurora, nothing seemed out of the ordinary happening on sensors during their exploration. Commander Mirel got up from the center chair and started walking around the bridge. Looking at her tactical officer who just shook her head indicating there was still nothing from the last few moments. Just then the console started to beep, “sir we are picking up something on long-range sensors. It seems to be a Starfleet Ship requesting assistance from anyone in the area.” Lieutenant Reziar replied looking at the Commander. She turned to Lieutenant Kuzan, “lay in a course for those coordinates.” Mirel replied as she walked back over to the center seat but walked up a bit farther to watch the viewscreen. The Aurora began to move towards its destination. After a while, they arrived, “on screen.” Mirel ordered and was shocked by what they saw. It was a Galaxy-class ship with its saucer section detached from the rest of the ship. She looked to her tactical officer. “There doesn’t seem to be any damage, from a visual standpoint,” Reziar replied while tapping some buttons. Turning to the operations officer, “open a channel.” Mirel ordered as Morgan nodded in reply to it was open. “USS Aurora to the USS Horizon, we have reived your request for help what’s going on?” Mirel asked waiting for a response. The view screen came to life with a Starfleet Captain, “our warp core is unstable, we are unable to correct the problem.” The captain replied before continuing, “the warp core is going to breach any minute.” He replied looking at Mirel, “can you help us?” The Captain asked, Mirel nodded and the Aurora attached a tractor beam onto the Horizon and moved the saucer section away in time.||2020-07-21 13:54:02|
|Rob Mackenzie||2041||The docking clamps released with a loud thud as the saucer started to separate. The beads of sweat on the young crewman’s face, the stress of the situation very apparent as he stared out the viewport. The gas cloud of the nebula started to glow, trailing out of the stardrive section as the saucer’s impulse drive fired up to get them away from the danger. A rumble came about the deck. “Warning: radiation now at dangerous levels,” the computer warned. The gas was starting to glow everywhere; it would be beautiful if not for the deadliness. The ensign stood silently, admiring the view and silently wondering if it would be his last. A single fusion generator. That’s all it took to cause the Horizon to be in the same boat it was in now, huddling for survival on the saucer section. A failure in the secondary containment module started a slow degradation of the shielding, exposing six engineers to delta radiation before the problem was isolated. With the containment field failing and all backups not functioning, all they could do was huddle in the saucer before any of them received a lethal dose, using the main shields of the saucer as a barrier from the deadly mutating radiation. All he could hear were the screams. All he could see was the gassy glow in beauty. Snapping out of it, the ensign took a look at the seal controls and ensured that they were to live for now. As he reached over, the skin on his hand started to shift unnaturally. He barely had time to register the movement before his head started spinning. The last thing he remembered before hitting the deck was how odd that was, before the darkness enveloped him.||2020-07-14 04:39:40|
|Jackson Porter||2115||Lieutenant Kryze was at an all-out sprint. The Horizon, the fleet’s newest Galaxy-glass starship, was a few weeks away from delivery to the new Captain and was undergoing a final saucer separation test. Unfortunately, he wasn’t in place when the call came for the test, and as the Assistant Engineering Chief, he needed to be down with Lieutenant Commander Ozar in Main Engineering. =/\= “Saucer separation in thirty seconds.” =/\= “Dammit!” Kryze rounded a corner and knocked over a Tellerite crewman that was carrying medical canisters. “Sorry!” he yelled back as he headed for the nearest turbolift, which was still way at the end of the corridor. As he rounded another corner, he saw someone get into the turbolift at the end. “WAIT!” He put everything into getting to the lift. “HOLD THE LIFT!” “I…I can’t…reach…” The voice of a young man came from the lift, sounding muffled like someone who was carrying a lot of things and struggling to find the ‘door hold’ button. “NOOOOOO!” “Sorry!” The voice vanished as the doors slid shut just as Kryze got to it. He bounced himself off the doors and fell to the floor. =/\= “Separation in ten…nine…eight…” =/\= As the computer counted down, Kryze got up. Knowing that he was at the back of the ship, he ran to an aft window. =/\= “…two…one…separation commencing.” =/\= With a series of shudders, Kryze braced himself against the window frame and nervously watched as the saucer section slowly drifted away from the engineering section. Kryze slumped against the wall and sat down on the floor. “Well…so much for my promotion.”||2020-07-11 15:34:47|
|Alexandus Rex||2142||"We're losing containment of the warp core!" Shouted the Horizon's Chief Engineer. The lumbering Galaxy Class ship hadn't been able to move for hours now, and radiation from within the nebula was leaking into the hull. Shields were doing little to stop the flow of toxins and casualty reports were streaming into sickbay. "Chief, we've tried everything you suggested. Can we depressurize the shuttle bay to give us a boost?" Captain DeGrange asked. His forehead was beaded with sweat. Uncharacteristically, the man was anxious. This nebula was last reported to be part of an ion storm and had no magnetic properties, but this was proving to not only have an ionized charge but a magnetic one, and the ship's hulking mass was now working against it; add to that the toxins present in the nebula and you had a recipe for a derelict ship. The Chief, busy with his work in trying to contain the warp core, barked his response, "If we open the shuttle bay we may as well kiss the aft of the ship goodbye! We'll flood the entire deck there with toxins within minutes!" It was then that it hit him. There WAS something that they hadn't tried yet. "Prepare for saucer separation." DeGrange said over the comm." "Aye Captain!" Echoed the bridge crew. Acknowledgements were received throughout the ship as everyone quickly extricated themselves from the aft section of the Horizon. They gave themselves a minute to make it happen. "Ten seconds to emergency saucer separation." Calmly chimed the computer. Securing everyone aboard the saucer section, the bridge crew of the Horizon used maneuvering thrusters to make initial detachment from the aft of the vessel. "Punch it! Full Impulse!" Shouted DeGrange as the saucer sped away from the Nebula at last.||2020-07-10 00:31:44|
|Charles Scotto||1679||“What was the final count? How many people did we leave over there?” Commander Gilroy was hesitant to even sit in the captain’s chair, let alone be piloting the saucer section away from their very own stardrive. “We have accounted for 688 souls on board the saucer section, sir. Leaving 566 aboard the stardrive, alive.” The Andorian manning the ops station turned his chair around to face Gilroy. “We also account for 65 dead on the stardrive... including Captain Kell” His antenne slumped slightly to indicate his discomfort at delivering the news. Gilroy rubbed his hands across his face before responding. “Continue to monitor the situation, I want updates every thirty minutes. Ensure containment fields continue to operate over there.” He sat back up in his chair. “Are we certain that the pathogen did not enter the saucer life support systems?” He said affirmatively. The officer manning the bridge science station perked up. “We have found no traces in any section of the saucer. We continue to monitor air samples and Dr. S’van is setting up regular monitoring procedures.” She said. Gilroy nodded. “Good. Now, let’s get to work on finding a cure before we lose anymore people. Time is of the essence people. Move it.” He crossed his legs and slumped back in his chair as the crew started to buzz around working to do the impossible.||2020-07-09 23:59:03|
|Cailus Griffin||114||As a rule, starships didn't sleep, even if organics did. Nevertheless, most sensible captains held to the wisdom that the senior officers, few in number, could not man the Bridge all the time. As a result, inexperienced junior officers grew to have mixed feelings when called to man the Bridge during the night shift, while the majority of the crew slept comfortably. On the one hand, actually being in charge of a vast Galaxy-class starship was an awe-inspiring experience. On the other hand, if that starship happened to be sitting in space undergoing repairs, particularly to the computer... "What is it with you humans and tea?" young Ensign Zonal, sitting at Ops, asked the woman in the center chair. The Cardassian man looked rather perplexed as he watched the prim and proper human woman quite elegantly (and rather smugly) lift her teacup from its ornate saucer as she lounged in the chair, treating the thing rather like a throne. "It is a fine art and a national tradition, I'll have you know," Lieutenant Rutherford replied with a grin. At a message beep from the inset controls in the armrest, she glanced down briefly. "Engineering is moving on to the voice recognition software, recalibrate for manual input to the computer. Now, this is a precise maneuver, Ensign, watch closely. You see, you set the teacup on the saucer just so, then separate from the saucer like this and-" "Auto-separation sequence commencing." The calm feminine voice of the computer drained all the colour from Rutherford's face, her eyes widening as alarms blared and the deck shook beneath their feet. Then, at the irate voice that erupted from the comm, Rutherford's teacup fell from her numb fingers. "Captain to Bridge. Rutherford, what the hell are you doing to my ship?"||2020-07-09 23:24:13|
|Nathaniel Warren||113||Q invisibly walked through Main Engineering, attempting to end his decade-long boredom. But approached the warp core, an engineer walked through him. Stunned, Q stumbled and came in contact with their Warp Core. Captain Elizabeth Harrington looked forward to a relaxing day. The CMO had her ordered to take R&R, which she hadn't done in about a year. As she was settling into the next chapter of her book, she heard the alarm and headed towards the bridge. Walking off the turbolift, status reports were coming towards her from all directions. She listened, then looked towards her Executive Officer, "What could have caused this?" Q was drifting alongside the saucer section traversed this part of space as fast as it could. "How typical," Q thought to himself as he saw yet another Galaxy Class starship separate reminding him of Picard "whenever there is a potential for a, uh ... oh yes warp core breech, they evacuate to that punny saucer in hopes of finding safety." "You know Q, that wasn't the best thing to do." Another Q had joined Q and their disdain for his lack of care was obvious. He obviously needed to fix this! "Ma capitaine!" Q yelled as the burst of light dissipated. "I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely apologize for this little squabble. You see, Lieutenant .... the one that looks like a cat, startled me and by happenstance, my hand came in contact with your warp core." Q noticed their engineering section explode with a large shockwave moving closer - time to hurry. "For that, I'm sorry." Once Q returned everything to normal, the crew continued about their normal routine, except for Captain Harrington, who finally got to enjoy a long bubble bath and her original copy of To Kill a Mockingbird.||2020-07-09 23:05:04|