Part of USS Centaur: Episode Two Phase Two: Decay and Bravo Fleet: Phase 2: Horizon

Chapter Ten

Ancient Tkon Space Station
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The deck rocked violently under their magnetic boots as the station’s orbit was starting to deteriorate. Commander Vakai’s team, consisting of Gomez, Sivol, Gomo, Maya and Koyda, with Ryker piloting the Runabout, had been on this unknown, yet long abandoned space station that was orbiting this planet in the very sector that they just had eradicated a lot of strange molecules with the Don S. Davis’ help. Now they were alone, just the six of them on the station, while the Centaur was only a warp away from helping but even with the Don fixing the Centaur’s nacelle that was damaged, the Centaur was still struggling to establish a stable warp field. Now, Ryker was doing everything he could to keep the station’s orbit from deteriorating any faster with the runabout’s tractor beam latched onto it.

“Guys, I don’t know if the runabout can keep this up! What’s the word on restoring main power?” Ryker asked over the EV suit comms.

Gomez growled, “I’m trying damnit! These bulky gloves are in the way and I can barely understand a fraction of this language!!” She was trying to connect their external power pack into a console that seemed like one of the most important consoles in the reactor room.

“Take a deep breath, Gomez. More stressed out you are, the more mistakes you make.” Vakai told her. “Sivol, how are we doing on the translation?” His suit had been patched up by Sivol earlier, thanks to Ryker delivering the supplies that were needed.

Sivol shook her head in her helmet. “The tricorder can’t make much sense of it. I’m trying everything that we have.”

“Then just find something close to it and use that.” Vakai told her.

She looked up in her helmet at him. “I don’t want to make a mistake, Commander.”

“Just do your best, that’s all I am asking for, all we can hope for.” Vakai then looked around. “Maya, Koyda, Gomo. How is the rest of the exploration of the station going?”

“We haven’t been able to find anything that resembles back up generators or auxiliary power or even batteries.” Gomo’s voice came over the comms.

“They should be somewhere in the lower center of the station.” Said Gomez with a strained voice as she struggled to move wires and conduits around. “Because I don’t know if anything I am doing is going to work or not.” Suddenly, after she inserted the connectors of the pack into the tenth different slot that she had freed up, she heard the console coming to life. “Oh sweet jesus.” She hurried herself to her feet as quickly as she could in the bulky suit and started looking over at the buttons, the language. “Sivol!” Her voice wavered as sweat trickled down her face. Sivol came over to Gomez and started speaking to her while pointing at several displays and categories that several buttons were in.

“Commander. Koyda here. I believe me and Maya have found what appears to be batteries of some sort.”

Vakai sighed lightly and smiled lightly. “Very good, very good indeed. See if you can find a way to get them working. Because if we can’t stabilize this station, thousands upon thousands of people on the planet below us are going to die.” Suddenly they heard Gomez screaming, Vakai looking to see that she was screaming in frustration followed by a ‘damn it!’. “Gomez?”

She turned in her suit to look at Vakai. “The reactor is too bloody cold. It would take hours to jump start it.”

“I don’t have hours, guys!” Ryker’s voice came over the comms.

“Well we got batteries.” Vakai said.

“We had batteries.” Maya’s voice came over the comms. “They’re dry. All of them.”

“Well, we had batteries.” Vakai sighed. “There has to be a trick, Gomez. Something. Anything.”

“If these reactors had injector ports of some kind, then yeah, I could probably get it going in five minutes. But it’s a station reactor!! Attempting something like that could cause it to blow up in our faces.” Explained Gomez.

“Then what can we do, Gomez?!” Vakai pushed her, trying to see if she could come up with something, a miracle, or an insane idea.

Then a light bulb went off in her head. “We can do what the Enterprise did.”

“Which Enterprise?” Vakai asked.

“No time. Ryker, how much matter and anti-matter storage do you have on the runabout? No forget that, I already know. I am going to tell you just how much that needs to be transported directly into the reactor. Too much and we’ll probably blow up the entire system, or rip a hole in subspace…I don’t know, but definitely nothing good.” Everyone started to think she was making these things up now while she explained to Ryker exactly how much. “Then I need a photon grenade transported in with the mix and to detonate precisely as it enters the chamber. Station has no warp engines to activate, like the first Enterprise did to do a cold start on their warp reactor, but this…this might just do it.”

“And if it doesn’t?” Vakai asked.

“Then we won’t feel a thing and the Centaur will have the biggest light show ever seen in the history of light shows. I think. Look, I am really winging it here, so could you please stop asking before I start doubting myself and back out on this!!”

“Ready!” Said Ryker. “I’m starting to lose the tractor beam!!”

Vakai growled, “Aww hell, you only live once, right? Do it!”

But then something went through Gomez’s mind and she shouted, “STOP!!”

“What the hell is it then?!” Ryker’s voice rang into their helmets.

Gomez shook her head, “Forget the grenade, that was a dumb idea. I’m going to send you a few locations to transport a single molecule of matter and antimatter to those exact locations. We’re going to try a controlled explosion in sequence, hopefully causing a chain reaction that will not just warm the reactor back up but jump start it as well.” Gomez pulled out her padd and quickly wrote up the transporter coordinates before sending them straight to Ryker. “Okay, do it!”

It was all like a split second, not enough time to even see the transporter beams or the reaction, but somehow…it worked. The reactor was coming online, systems were powering up, and the station’s computer detected that its orbit was deteriorating, and began to correct itself, bringing itself right back into stable orbit. They could all hear Ryker laughing and applauding that it worked.

Vakai let out a huge sigh of relief. “Gomez. I don’t know what we’d do without you.”

“Yeah well, don’t be thanking me too much now. I realized the whole grenade thing was just a McGyver crazy shit that I was pulling out of my ass so I had to rethink it and realized that the second idea was waaaay better and much safer. I am super surprised it worked though.” And that’s where the laughing from Ryker stopped, and the good ‘vibe’ went away. Gomez looked at them all, especially as Gomo, Maya and Koyda finally returned to the Main Reactor room with the rest of them. “What? You told me to do something!! So I came up with the most insane idea ever, I didn’t say it was going to work…” Then she noticed that Sivol was glued to a different console. “Sivol, lady…yo…what are you staring at?”

Everyone got closer to her and they could see lines upon lines of text, paragraphs, reflecting off of her helmet shield, scrolling. Vakai frowned as he placed his hand on her shoulder. “Sivol?”

She stood up, turned and looked at Vakai dead in the eyes. “We need to get this information back to Starfleet Command. Now!”

“What is it, Sivol?” Gomo asked.

But her stare into Vakai’s eyes never left, as her seriousness grew. “This data…this…information…it all speaks about a race, a race that had a vast empire long, long ago. A race that the Enterprise, Captain Picard’s ship, encountered many years ago. Commander. This is a Tkon space station, and this data could explain everything! I’m not talking about what was happening in this system, but what happened to them! The Tkon Empire, the biggest mystery ever, and we may have stepped into a potential gold mine!” She then turned back to the console and entered some commands. “The computer core appears to be intact, some data has been corrupted and lost, but most of it is still intact!” She stood back up and returned her gaze to Vakai. “Commander…Vakai…please. We need to inform Centaur. We need to inform the Captain. He needs to inform Starfleet!!”

Vakai checked his oxygen gauge display on his left arm before looking at everyone else. “How are your oxygen levels, everyone?”

But Sivol spoke for them. “We already replenished our oxygen supply an hour ago, on the runabout, before Ryker went to use its tractor beam to try to slow the station’s orbit decay. We have enough, Commander.”

Vakai looked into her eyes, he had never once seen her be so serious before, not as serious as she was now. He then looked at everyone else, who all nodded their heads, telling him that they were going to be fine. Vakai then looked up inside his helmet, “Ryker. You better get back to the Centaur and inform the Captain of what we found here. He will understand, and without a doubt, he will inform Starfleet Command. We may have found a Tkon Station.”

Sivol grabbed his arms. “No. Not may. We did!”

The Centaur had finally arrived in orbit of the planet and had assisted in making sure that the station was in a safe orbit around the planet. Centaur had dispatched a few teams over to the station to establish a few safe areas and now officers are roaming around in the Main Reactor Control Room, and other sections of the station without EV suits.

“I literally cannot believe that this is a Tkon Space Station. It really does look ancient.” Carter said as he looked around.

Vakai nodded his head, his arms folded across his chest as he watched the Chief going around, mostly in awe at everything he got to get his hands on. “Any word from Starfleet?”

Carter chuckled and shook his head, “It’s only been an hour since we transmitted all that data Sivol obtained from the station’s database, Number One. I doubt Starfleet will get back to us in a day or in a week from now.”

Vakai frowned, “But this is ancient technology, from a race that had a vast empire so long ago. You would think Starfleet would get in touch with us right away.”

Carter sighed and shrugged his shoulders. “You would think so, but the first thing that they will probably want to do is have their specialists go through the data and see if any of it has anything to do with what’s going on out there in the Galaxy. These…molecules…they’re not supposed to pop up naturally, especially this quantity. Point is…if any of them were to destabilize, we risk a chain reaction that would…” He paused and sighed. “It’s a galactic crisis, Number One. That’s all I can say.”

Vakai nodded his head and placed his hand on Carter’s shoulder. “I know. How is Gomez?”

Carter smiled, “One tough little cookie. I don’t know how she did it but she nearly tore her arm off, the Doc said. But she will be fine, she is recovering as we speak. But I think that her near death experience has finally got her to talk to someone.”

Vakai smirked and shook his head, “It’s about damn time.”

Meanwhile, on board the Centaur in Sickbay, Ryker sat there on a stool beside Gomez’s bed. “I swear to god, it was only dislocated, why am I stuck in here for like a whole day?” She complained.

Ryker shook his head, “Doc said you did a lot more than dislocate it. Just do what they say, they know these things, okay?”

She sighed and relaxed before looking directly into his eyes. “James…I’m really sorry about the other day.”

Ryker shook his head again, “Don’t worry about it.”

She then sat up. “No! I have to tell you why. I was mad at you.”

Ryker made a face of ‘No, really?’, “And here I thought I had bad breath or something.”

She smiled weakly and shook her head. “When he…it…said that it was your fantasy, the world that he created for our…trial… I thought…well…I thought our love and our children were also your fantasy too.”

Ryker frowned and leaned back, feeling a bit insulted. “You thought…that I would go that far…into manipulating you into something that you didn’t want?”

“No, that’s not what I mean! James, please lis-”

Ryker held his hands up and stood up from the stool and walked away a few steps before turning back around and looked directly into her eyes. “Yes. I have had fantasies…dreams…hopes…of us being together, having a family together. But I would never, ever, EVER, go to such … ridiculous lengths to force you into my life. I loved those kids, Ashley!”

“So did I, James! That’s why I was so upset with you! But I am not now, not anymore. Because you’re right. I should have never thought that you would think of something so cruel. I just…I don’t know, okay? I was just upset. Upset that it wasn’t real. Upset that our beautiful children didn’t exist. Family means so much to me, to my entire family, family is the most important thing of all. I just want those years back, James.” She wiped away the tears that started to trickle down her face.

Ryker sighed heavily and came back to sitting on the stool before pulling her into a hug, holding her in his arms. “Those years didn’t exist, Ashley. But our love was real, and to us, our children were real.” He held her away so he could look into her eyes. “Vakai and Sivol are thinking of making their relationship real because that was real to them too, not a fantasy. We can do it too, if you’d still have me.”

Gomez smiled and hugged him tightly. “Yes.”

Doctor Summer Pearce came up to them. “As much as I love you two making my other patients weep in joy over your embrace and confession…I really need you, Mr. Ryker, to leave so that Ms. Gomez here can get some rest.”

Ryker looked at her, “But I-”

“Now, Mr. Ryker. Before I give you a reason to stay in sickbay.” She stared at him, hard.

Ryker gulped and then kissed Gomez on the cheek. “I’ll see you later.” He said before he hurried out of Sickbay.

Gomez sighed with a smile. “Did you really have to kick him out?”

“Yes, I did. Now get some rest, missy, before I put you to sleep.” Pearce glared at her too and then walked away.

Back on the Ancient Tkon Space Station, the Chief came over to Vakai and Carter with a huge smile on his face. “It’s like being a five year old in a candy store and you were told to pick anything you want. A lot of the tech is amazing, old but amazing. I would love to take some of it apart, and get to know how it ticks.”

Carter shook his head, “Not until we hear more from Starfleet, Chief. What about the Centaur’s engines? We got here using only one engine, since it was all we really needed to get from the adjacent system to this one.”

Chief nodded his head and chuckled, “Ah yes yes, the Centaur’s engines. Not a problem, sir. My team are almost finished. She’ll be ready to fly your pants off in a couple of hours.”

“Just the way I like it, Chief. Now you go on back into your candy store. But no touching!” Carter squinted at him.

The Chief frowned and pouted, “Aww but sir!”

Carter held up a finger. “No. Touching.”

The Chief sighed, “Dangit. You always ruin my fun.” He walked away with his pout still on his face.

Vakai chuckled, “Is he always like that?”

Carter shrugged his shoulders. “Sometimes. It is not often that you get to visit something as amazing as this.”

Vakai smiled and nodded his head. “Yeah…I just wish the crew had been treated better.”

Carter frowned, “Are you certain that robot is dead?”

Vakai nodded his head again, “Yes sir. Runabout’s sensors may have been damaged, but they confirmed that the robot was indeed vaporized by the runabout’s phasers. I don’t think we will ever see him again.”

Carter sighed, “Better not. We have enough problems as it is in this galaxy, we really don’t need to add some psycho killer robot with a prototype artificial intelligence that went coo-coo and went all coa-coa puff on the crew.”

Vakai frowned, “Sir?”

Carter shook his head. “Just some old saying. Come on. Let’s get back to the Centaur. I still got some of the real stuff in my quarters. We’ll toast until Starfleet gets back to us about this station or about that data.”