Part of the unit-wide mission Task Force 72: Headquarters

The Hold of the Past

River's Family quarters
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—USS Rome—

The USS Rome dropped out of warp in the Tellun system. T.j stood behind the tactical station looking out around the bridge. Captain Shadix stood and looked around at the crew before speaking.

He took in a deep breath. “All hands stay aware we have reports of a raid by the House of Mo’kai, ensign Ka’tel set course for the planet Elas” his voice was stoic and his body language was tight. T.j watched as the planet slowly came into view.

“Lieutenant Rivers scan the planet,” Captain Shadix ordered as he stood there on the bridge surveying the situation before him.

T.j’s fingers flowed across the console. “Sir we are detecting signs of disrupter fire,” he said stoically.

“Shields up yellow alert. Ensign Risito hail the planet,” the captain ordered after hearing what T.j had stated.

Ensign Risito responded, “No response sir.”

“Commander Keene, prepare an away team,” the captain said as he looked at his executive officer.

The Commander stood and headed for the turbo lift. The two looked calm and collected. Keene was tall with long brown hair, and she was slim but even with her back turned she demanded respect.

“Lieutenant keep an eye out and let me know at the slightest sign of trouble,” Shadix said in a calming tone.

“Yes,” T.j confirmed, he could feel himself sweating but he tried to remain focused on the work before him.

There was a tense feeling in the air as the away team beamed to the planet. Right as they felt they could take a breath a ship decloaked in front of them on the viewscreen.

“Captain Klingon warbird just appeared,” T.j stated as he looked up from his console at the viewscreen to confirm what he had seen on the console.

“On-screen.” Replied the captain.

“Sir we are being hailed,” said ensign Risito.

“On-screen” replied Shadix as he looked at the screen and took his chair his eyes were focused.

A Klingon appeared on the screen he had dark skin and long white hair.

“This is Captain Shadix of the United Federation of Planets,” the captain stated boldly as he looked at the Klingon before continuing, “Why are you in federation space?”

“I am Marvok captain of the ship Nej’pu of the house of Mo’kia leave now or be destroyed,” the Klingon Captain stated in a deep guttural tone.

Before the captain could reply the signal was cut. “Tactical stand by for my orders,” Shadix said, “contact the away team and prepare for emergency transport,” he ordered, “You all know what to do you have trained for this,” relaxing back into the chair and let a deep breath.

T.j felt confident he knew what to do and in a 1on1 the bird of prey didn’t stand a chance against the USS Rome, an Elysion class starship.

On command, T.j dropped the shields of the ship and then raised them again once the away team was aboard. All of a sudden his confidence failed and he felt fear, real disturbing fear. “Sir three more ships decloaking, and one of them is a battleship. Sir, they have opened fire,” he said trying to keep his voice calm.

“Evasive patterns, fire at will,” said the captain as seconds later the ship shook and trembled.

T.j let his fingers move and the ship responded. He let out a volley of torpedos and a phaser blast. The ship shook again and he returned fire. It was a quick exchange before the first ship exploded.

“Sir shields down to 60%,” came a response from tactical, behind the captain.

“Rivers this is your job,” he informed T.j as he tapped on the console that was on the armrest of his command chair, “Engineering we need more power to the shields,” he informed his Chief Engineer, “T.j, get us a way to fall back,” he stated as he closed the intercom to engineering.

T.j let his hands do their job as he tried to anticipate the next moves. The ship shook again; this time there was a loud bang as the lights dimmed, and crew members, including T.j, were tossed from where they stood and/or sat. The ship lurched as consoles sparked and exploded.

T.j slowly made his way back to his feet, his head was aching and he felt the soft drip of liquid down his face. He looked at the captain as he made his way back to the station.

‘We’re in bad shape sir” no sooner had the word’s left his mouth when a mother of all explosion happened on the bridge than the ceiling groaned the gave out; a support beam came down taking out part of the tactical console and cutting T.J’s hand.

“Abandon ship, transfer all controls to my chair,” said Shadix as he stood up off the floor his head cut his face battered and his body screaming in pain a dark stain on his uniform. Shadix staggered towards his chair.

“Sir you need to go. I’ll try and buy you some time” said T.j.

“No Lieutenant, go to an escape pod” the captain ordered weakly his voice was ragged.

“Sir the crew need’s you. You inspire them and at this moment hope is what we need most” T.j’s voice was soft as he spoke, yet seeded with doubt.

The ship shook again as the Captian nodded and a crew member helped him away. T.j. took the seat. He’d fight as long as he could then he would make the last escape pod. He watched as the pods started leaving as he tried to maneuver the ship but at this point, it was more like a flopping fish.

T.j locked on to the closet ship and let loose with everything he had. As the screen erupted in bright light as the enemy ship exploded before him on the viewscreen. Then the ship shook and the light went out. He felt the ship starting to drift. This was it, the end of the USS Rome and maybe his life.

Standing he trying to keep his balance as he walked and stumbled his way to the only active and useable escape pod. The air was thick with smoke, as it filled the halls. He fell into the pod and rolled onto his back, he felt it detach from the ship as he coughed and gagged trying to breathe. Once he got his breathing under control he let out a deep breath and tried to sit up he was dizzy and his body ached.

Vibrations of another explosion were felt and looked at the pod’s display screen to see what was the source of the explosion; it was the ship, now in two pieces, drifting through space.

An alert chirped, and on the display was a Klingon. “Surrender or die”

He shook his head then spoke. “This is acting captain Rivers I’m lowing shields” he gasped and wheezed out.

Maybe this would buy the other’s time. All of a sudden he heard the sound of a transporter and turned to see in time the fist of the Klingon smashing into his face…

—Starbase 72—

T.j awoke from his sleep screaming he sat straight up in bed. He was pale and sweating profusely. His half of the bed was drenched in sweat. He gasped for breath as his wife sat up in bed next to him. He put his knees up and his elbows on his knees as his hands went to his now greying hair.

“Are you?” His wife’s soft voice came next to him as she put a hand on his back. “I thought you said these were getting better that’s 3 nights in a row now,” she stated in a concerned tone.

“They…they were,” he barely muttered.

He leaned into her and took a deep breath.

“You need to talk to someone again Thomas. This isn’t something you can battle alone.”

“I know, I’ll go see a counselor this afternoon” T.j replied looking into her light blue eyes.

“Ok now go get cleaned up, let’s go get something to eat,” his wife said as she slipped from their bed.

He nodded as he stood up and walked to the room’s bathroom. He looked into the mirror and took a deep breath but he didn’t see himself he saw the ghosts of the past. He ran a hand along the side of his head feeling the scars he got from the attack and his time in captivity. He shook his head and closed his eyes. “You need to hold it together you’re getting a ship one day and you need to be focused and mentally ready. It’s ok to talk to someone.” He told himself before getting ready for the day.