Part of USS Centaur: Episode Two Phase Three: Enlightment and Bravo Fleet: Phase 3: Vanishing Point

Chapter Eleven

Orbiting the Oro Planet
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The Centaur held a synchronized orbit with the ancient space station above the planet Oro, which they decided to name it since it was the one with life. Plus it just seemed fitting than coming up with something like P3X-295 or whatever in that combination. Or at least until the civilization manages to work through the ages and develop warp drive, and tell Starfleet what their home planet is really called.

While an engineering and science team worked around the clock to gather more information on the space station, the technology, the language, their operating system, the writing of the Tkon race…it is an archeologist’s dream. Of course from what Captain Carter can tell from what he was able to read on, it appears others have found plenty of Tkon facilities, ships, ruins…there were so much more of them than Carter ever thought there would be. But the more Carter thought about it, the more it made sense, since the Tkon Empire used to be vast. He wasn’t much of an archeologist, or the kind of person to delve into ancient empires. He just knew from what his teams had told him, that they were having a blast.

Vakai stepped up to his side on the bridge, looking at the view screen that was showing the station that Carter had been staring at for the last hour. “Penny for your thoughts?”

Carter took a deep breath and looked at Vakai from the corner of his eye. “It is truly amazing that a space station this old could still be here, in orbit of this planet.”

Vakai smirked, “I can only hope we build stations as magnificent as this one. But the Chief is installing various equipment right now, equipment that will act as redundancies in case the reactor goes offline again. And I believe that Starfleet Command will probably send someone to dismantle the station.”

Carter frowned, “I don’t know much about ancient empires but this station…why would anyone want to dismantle it?”

“Well for starters, it is old. Very old. Starfleet probably wants to analyze the hull composition some more. Get an idea of what it is made out of. As well as figure out what kind of reactor they used back then. Basically reverse engineer whatever technology is still intact on board.” Vakai licked his lips, “Then there is the fact that its reactor went offline once before. We don’t know if that was because of that robot we encountered, or because it went out on its own. It seems to be holding up fine but…what if it happens again? The auxiliary generators are gone, the batteries are drained dry…if the reactor goes offline again, nothing will stop it from plummeting into the planet and killing all those people.”

Carter nodded his head, “Of course. To preserve a civilization, we must dismantle another.”

“I hardly see dismantling a space station as dismantling an entire civilization, especially when they’re already gone.”

Carter shrugged his shoulders, “It’s nothing, Number One. I’m just thinking out loud.”

Vakai was about to say something when the Comms Officer interrupted. “Apologies, sirs. Captain, the Task Group Commander is on the line, he wishes to speak to you. Both of you.”

Carter and Vakai looked at each other before Carter acknowledged, “Just put it on screen.”

With a small brief moment, the view screen blinked to show a young looking officer with what Vakai could think of as a baby face. “Gentlemen. I wish to congratulate you on a job well done.”

Carter nodded his head, “Couldn’t have done it without my First Officer and his team, Commander.”

Maxwell smiled, “Of course, why I wanted to speak to you both. Many vessels have pooled in all their data of their findings, including yours, and discovered the source of the outbreak.”

“The outbreak being these molecules, sir?” Vakai asked.

Maxwell looked at Vakai then squinted at Carter before looking back at Vakai. “How much do you know about it?”

Vakai shook his head, “Nothing except what the Captain could tell. Just that this outbreak could mean the end of all life in the Galaxy.”

Maxwell sighed, either relieved or annoyed. “I hope you use a better discretion technique to your crew once you become Captain of your own vessel, Vakai.” He then looked at Carter.

Carter raised his hands, “I reviewed the orders, I did not say anything of consequences.”

“We shall see, as I will have to have your entire crew interviewed after this. But right now we need to resolve this outbreak as quickly as possible.” Maxwell pressed a button and the screen blinked, reviewing what Command had extrapolated. “These are beacons, supposed to be part of a large network like…cogs in a machine.” Suddenly the screen blinked back to his face. “Many of those cogs…beacons…are malfunctioning and Command wants every vessel to locate and fix them as soon as possible. Now that we know what we are looking for, our sensors detected that there is a beacon in your area. We can’t pinpoint it, but it is there.”

Carter nodded his head, “Understood, Commander. We locate the beacon, we repair it, and this outbreak could go away?”

“That is exactly what Command is believing. The numbers, they all add up, Captain. Fix these beacons, and we stop the spread. Everyone in the Fleet has their part, so I expect the Centaur to do theirs.”

Carter nodded his head again, “Understood, Commander. We will get it done. Centaur out.”

“Just one more thing, Captain.” Maxwell looked at Vakai. “Commander. You and your team did a magnificent job finding that database. It may have been among a lot of data that everyone else has pooled in, but it absolutely did help. And what your team had to go through was incredible. Keep up the good work.” And with one press of a button on his end, the transmission was terminated.

Vakai raised his brows, “Well. That was something.”

Carter smirked, “We may be higher in rank than him, but he has the higher position and when anyone in his position says things like that, take it as they are.”

Vakai shrugged his shoulders, “It’s not that, Captain. I am just simply doing my job that I signed up for. I don’t think anyone else would have done anything different. It’s our job, as Starfleet, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Carter chuckled, “All right. Let’s get the teams back on board the Centaur. We’re going to start a full sensor sweep of the sector and if we don’t find it here, we’re going to move on until we do find it.”

“Well…speaking of that, Captain.” Gomo’s voice trickled in.

Carter turned, both him and Vakai looking at Gomo. “Yes, Gomo?”

“Well, the moment that the Commander mentioned a beacon in our area, I already started sweeping the system and you might not believe this.” Gomo pressed a few commands and the view screen blinked once more.

Carter and Vakai looked at the view screen. Carter frowned where Vakai raised his brows. “Interesting.” Vakai said, Carter looking at him before looking back at the screen. “Is that what I think it is?” Carter asked.

Gomo entered a few more commands to angle the image as best as the sensors would allow but it was enough to make the object more prominent. “I believe your Earth has a few of these, don’t they?”

“That is very interesting. It’s a-”

“A Pyramid.” Carter finished Vakai’s sentence. Carter looked at Vakai, “Assemble the staff, we-”

—–

“-need to talk, Ruby.” said Ensign Mizu.

Ruby sighed as he set his tricorder down. He had been trying to help out the engineering team on gathering technical data on some of the systems here on this ancient space station. “What is it, Mizu?” He turned to look at her and then saw her covered in shaving cream. He smirked and did his best not to laugh but couldn’t help chuckle a bit.

“Oh you think this is funny, do you?” She squinted at him. “Second I go to order a cup of coffee from the replicator, I get this squirting in my face.” The engineering teams brought over portable replicators to ‘help’ productivity and Ruby decided to have a little fun with it.

“How was I supposed to know you were going to be the next person up?” He swallowed his laughter to give her that response. “It was meant for K’Roll, really.”

Mizu rolled her eyes, “You know K’Roll only eats and drinks when it’s break time, never on duty.”

Ruby shrugged his shoulders, “Could change you know. He is a cat after all, and might have wanted to try a new kind of milk.” He smirked.

Mizu groaned in frustration but then saw his jacket on a crate next to the power grid he was scanning. She smirked and grabbed his jacket, using the inside of it to clean herself of that shaving cream.

“Hey! Come on! Don’t do that…” Ruby groaned.

Mizu smiled and dropped his jacket back onto the crate. “Don’t leave things wide open for me then.”

“Come on, Mizu. The Environmental controls are acting up, it’s hot over here.” Ruby complained.

Mizu shrugged her shoulders, “Seems fine to me. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have my own task to complete.”

While those two were bickering, K’Roll was patrolling through the habitable sections of the station with his phaser rifle at the ready. Just as he turned the corner, he suddenly bumped into Eli, with her screaming seconds later and landing on her rear on the floor.

“Holy crap! Where the hecking hay did you come from?” Eli asked.

K’Roll sighed and extended his hand out to her to help her up to her feet. “I’m just making sure that there are no more surprises for us that the away team had encountered. Besides, what are you doing, Elidia?”

Eli took his hand and then brushed herself off once she was on her feet. “I was trying to find the sensor systems on this station. It’s like a maze, and it’s driving me nuts. And I’m pretty sure that the away team gave the all clear, you know.”

“Does not mean I cannot be thorough, or cautious.” K’Roll told her.

Eli sighed, “I suppose, better safe than sorry. Well if you’re just walking about, mind helping me find the sensor equipment? I want to see if I can get some technical data off of it, see if we could possibly improve the Centaur’s sensors.”

K’Roll tilted his head, “Trying to earn yourself a promotion, Ensign?” He asked as he started to walk.

Eli laughed, walking beside him down the corridor. “No, of course not! I wouldn’t leave you guys behind. No, it’s not that. I just want to do my part, you know? Centaur may be old but wouldn’t hurt to tweak her some more, you know?”

K’Roll shook his head, “I am certain that Starfleet Engineers have done their best to make the Centaur as efficient as she can be with her current systems.”

Eli sighed, “Yeah I know but still, wouldn’t hurt to try, right? I mean, think about it. If this station had weapons, wouldn’t you want to take a peak at them? See what makes them tick? Maybe make some improvements?”

K’Roll shrugged his shoulders. “I’m just security, Elidia. I don’t mess with starship weapon systems, just hand pistols and rifles.”

Eli frowned, “Boy that sounds boring. Then well…what if we found Tkon hand weapons then?”

“I doubt there are any here. If they had hand weapons, you think they would have been sufficient enough to deal with that robot that the away team had to destroy with a runabout.”

Eli sighed, “Yeah you’re right…. Boy, how could they have made such things so durable?”

“It’s efficient, especially if they’re designed to be construction robots. Wouldn’t want some accident destroying them so easily or anything.”

“True, but it just seemed like a dumb idea when the thing went rogue.”

K’Roll tilted his head. “I don’t think they had planned for it to go rogue.”

“Well no, of course not but still. Ugh…. Nevermind, I don’t know where I am going with this. Oh hey! We’re close by now! Wanna help?” She asked, smiling up at him.

K’Roll let out a guttural groan. “Fine. I have nothing else better to do.”

“Yay! So I wonder if we-”

“-have any idea what that is doing there?” Ryker asked, pointing at the Pyramid on the view screen.

Gomez stood straight after leaning over one of the stations. “A full analysis and deep scans indicate that there is a structure inside the pyramid and continues underground. It’s quite large and well hidden but no, Lieutenant, it’s nothing like the Pyramids back on Earth.”

Ryker frowned, “Really? Because that’s exactly what it looks like.”

Sivol stepped over to Gomez’s side. “It isn’t. Sensors indicate that the structure was built thousands of years ago, maybe more so if we go in for a closer look. But underneath the Pyramid, the structure is made of the same composition as this ancient space station.”

Ryker, Vakai and Carter looked at each other before returning their gaze to Sivol and Gomez. “So this pyramid is Tkon?” Carter asked.

The two women looked at each other and then Gomez shrugged her shoulders after she looked back at Carter. “Unclear. The Pyramid could have been there much longer than the Tkon when they arrived here. What we do know is, if what you’re saying is true, Captain, then I think we just found our beacon.”

Vakai frowned, “On a planet? If beacons are that important, how would this one be able to do it’s function on a planet?”

Gomez once again shrugged her shoulders. “I don’t know. Maybe the Tkon developed some sort of signal that doesn’t require line of sight. Maybe the Tkon space station acts as a relay. I won’t know until I get down there and investigate it myself.”

Gomo let out a huge sigh, which got everyone’s attention. “Oh. Sorry. Did I do that? Well I suppose I might as well tell you, since it is relevant anyways.” Gomo pressed a few commands and the view screen magnified to what looked like a camp. “I don’t think we can go down there without encountering the civilization that happens to be in the Steam age.”

Carter shook his head. “We don’t have much of a choice. Command said that these beacons must be repaired. We’re already getting a data burst from Command with possible ideas of how to repair the beacons, from what data they were able to extrapolate from all the data they’ve obtained from all the other starships out there. This is a fleet wide team effort, guys. We must do our part.”

Vakai stroked his chin for a moment, in thought, before looking at Gomo. “Can you start scanning the cities? Get as much information as you can about this civilization. I will take Ryker, Sivol, and Gomez with me to investigate the pyramid and see if we can get inside and find what is wrong with the beacon so that we can get it fixed.”

Gomo sighed, “I will try but I’m not much of an expert with this whole…blending in.”

Sivol walked over to him, “May I assist?”

Gomo looked at her. “Of course, by all means.”

Carter smiled, “Good. Take your time, this is something that I rather not rush, especially if we really want to avoid violating the Prime Directive. But if it comes down to it, the Omega Directive is still active and still supersedes the Prime. All right?”