Following the MacAlpines departure from Starbase 84 and it's reentry into Sector Alpha-7200, the MacAlpine drops out of warp within the HD 17926 system to survey it.
While conducting scans of the system the MacAlpine dectects an ancient ship drifting through the asteroid belt, upon sending an away team over to the ship, not all is as it seemed.
[10:05] Calypso@hawkecosse#4702: --Previously on Star Trek MacAlpine--
[10:05] Calypso@hawkecosse#4702: -- After detecting an unknown ship in the asteroid belt of the system, an away team was sent over to the ship. However, once they arrived on the ship they appeared to be in a VR simulation being run by something or someone on the ship, now they must find a way out--
[10:07] Calypso@hawkecosse#4702 <FX> The entire away team would be gathered, after being reunited by the one running the simulation, they would still be seeing flashes of a garden-like place, but they would be less frequent now.
[10:09] Septah@annpc#5570: "That figure mentioned having charges. I suspect this simulation is some kind of engineered paradise meant to sustain the sanity of those on the ship."
[10:10] Septah@annpc#5570: "Maybe to hide the true extent of damage from them. Perhaps it was always like this, with the simulation functioning for many years as the ship deteriorated."
[10:11] Calypso@hawkecosse#4702 looks at Septah after checking on the away team to make sure they are ok, "That would make sense sir. I've read about the idea in fiction, and that could be the case."
[10:11] Calypso@hawkecosse#4702: "But would it not be better for whatever or whoever is running the simulation to work with the passengers to fix the damage instead?"
[10:13] Septah@annpc#5570: "They might not know-how. Or they might not possess the resources for repairs."
[10:16] Calypso@hawkecosse#4702 That is a possibility." pauses for breath while she rubs the bridge of her nose "This was easier from behind a desk...what do you recommend for our next course of action, sir?
[10:18] Septah@annpc#5570: "Talk whoever is running this simulation into releasing us. Or at least get more information. Suspect, we can't break out by force."
[10:18] Septah@annpc#5570: "Not without possibly endangering the residents of the ship, at least."
[10:21] Septah@annpc#5570: "I wonder if it can hear us right now..."
[10:22] Calypso@hawkecosse#4702 nods slightly "That is a good idea and a good point..."
[10:24] Keeper@falconecoose | A voice could be heard coming from around them "No, I can't don't worry about it!"
[10:25] Septah@annpc#5570 shouts back, "We understand what you are trying to do! Or suspect it at least..."
[10:25] Septah@annpc#5570: "We mean no harm."
[10:27] Keeper@falconecoose: "Oh really, then why did you invade my ship!"
[10:27] Septah@annpc#5570: "We came to help! We saw it was damaged on the outside and we thought you could use a hand!"
[10:28] Septah@annpc#5570: "Yes, we probably should've knocked, but we had no way to contact you."
[10:30] Keeper@falconecoose: "There is no damage we were perfectly fine before you stuck your nose in where it was not welcome and probably revealed us to...them..."
[10:31] Calypso@hawkecosse#4702 glances at Septah with a raised eyebrow "Them?"
[10:32] Septah@annpc#5570 shrugs, "Not sure who that refers do. Who exactly is them?"
[10:33] Keeper@falconecoose: "What do you mean, everyone knows who they are but to say their name is to invite destruction on yourself."
[10:35] Fiona@falconecoose <FX> The away team can hear whispers around them when the wind suddenly stops "The great dark...always waiting, always hunting."
[10:37] Septah@annpc#5570: "Still...not quite sure who they are. But we apologise for bringing danger to you. That was never our intention."
[10:37] Calypso@hawkecosse#4702 mutters under her breath while tapping away on her wrist comp "Well, that is not concerning at all..."
[10:39] Septah@annpc#5570: "These charges you mentioned. Can you talk about them?"
[10:40] Keeper@falconecoose: "You did not...everyone else we have met until now has served them...they are the remnants of our peoples' alliance, the last of the free people."
[10:41] Septah@annpc#5570: "And you are protecting them? In this simulation?"
[10:42] Keeper@falconecoose: "It is how I was programmed to keep them safe and to let them sleep until the foe had gone..."
[10:43] Septah@annpc#5570: "And this foe is what damaged you?"
[10:44] Keeper@falconecoose: "Them and the years have taken their toll on us...every year more pods are turned off..."
[10:46] Septah@annpc#5570: "I don't suppose you have weapons, anything to defend yourself with?"
[10:47] Keeper@falconecoose: "We did but to charge them I would have to turn off the final pods...and my charges inside them."
[10:49] Septah@annpc#5570: "How...far are you willing to go for these charges?"
[10:50] Keeper@falconecoose: "Without them, I have no purpose, but I am authorised to keep them from our foe by all means..."
[10:52] Septah@annpc#5570: "I have a proposal. Revive your charges. We can protect them. We will take them onboard our ship, and if your enemy returns again, use your remaining power to power weapons and keep them occupied -
[10:53] Septah@annpc#5570: - so we can escape. We have ships that can defend our territory. They will be safe with us."
[10:56] Keeper@falconecoose: "That...that could work...the foe is great though, they must still be out there are you sure you can protect them?"
[10:58] Septah@annpc#5570: "Our ship is one of the latest and most capable designs we have produced. We can protect them."
[11:03] Septah@annpc#5570: "This is the best chance for your charges. If you continue to hide, you'll lose more pods as time passes."
[11:04] Keeper@falconecoose: "Good...good...Ok, I will release you, but I can't release my passengers, they have been in the pods for so long they are dependant on them...what I will do is release them from their clamps."
[11:05] Septah@annpc#5570 nods, "We can take the pods with us and find a way to revive them slowly. If anyone can do it safely, it's our doctors."
[11:07] Fiona@falconecoose <FX> A moment later the away teams vision would go black for a moment before coming back with the vision of a garden with rows of pods lining in it, the would be able to pull them self out of the pods with the last of the attached equipment falling away.
[11:08] Septah@annpc#5570: "Well, let's hope this isn't another layer of simulation..."
[11:08] Septah@annpc#5570 taps his combadge once he has completely broken free.
[11:11] Luna@falconecoose <C> "Away team, do you copy..."
[11:13] Septah@annpc#5570: <C> "This is Lieutenant Septah, we read you."
[11:15] Luna@falconecoose: <C> "Copy that Lt. How is looking over there? What do you see?"
[11:16] Septah@annpc#5570: <C> "It's a complicated situation. Apparently, the survivors were being kept in a simulated reality, and we were put inside as well."
[11:17] Septah@annpc#5570: <C> "They can't sustain the power for these simulation stasis pods indefinitely and have already deactivated many of them. We'll have to beam the remaining ones out if they're going to have a chance."
[11:17] Calypso@hawkecosse#4702 raises her eyebrow slightly while she coughs before she looks her wrist comp before she shows it Septah, the clock on it would show it was only a couple minutes since they had transported despite them having been in the simulation for what felt like longer
[11:19] Septah@annpc#5570: "Interesting. Seems time must be perceived differently inside the simulation."
[11:19] Luna@falconecoose <C> "Copy that...mark the pods for transport we will have security and medical teams ready to receive them in the cargo bay."
[11:19] Calypso@hawkecosse#4702 nods slightly "You are the scientist, sir. So if that makes sense to you."
[11:20] Septah@annpc#5570 nods, "It is more than a holodeck, I suspect it was direct manipulation of the brain. Which means they can make us perceive time slower or faster."
[11:20] Septah@annpc#5570: "Anyways, get the team to start tagging the pods."
[11:22] Septah@annpc#5570: <C> "And one more thing, Commander. They mentioned some unspeakable enemy responsible for some of the damage. The ship will power weapons once power is no longer needed for the pods but advise we stand ready as well. Just in case."
[11:22] Calypso@hawkecosse#4702 nods to Septah before turning to the away team and motioning to start tagging the pods.
[11:22] Septah@annpc#5570 helps with the tagging as well.
[11:24] Luna@falconecoose <C> "Copy that...I can already tell this is going to be a lot of paperwork...MacAlpine, out."
[11:25] Calypso@hawkecosse#4702 | After a short while, Calypso looks up from the final pod "Sir, that is them all tagged for transport."
[11:26] Septah@annpc#5570 nods and taps his combadge again, "Septah to MacAlpine, we have all the pods tagged. Ready for transport now."
[11:28] Luna@falconecoose <C> "Copy that, transporting...now."
[11:28] Fiona@falconecoose <FX> The away team and the pods are transported up the MacAlpine
[11:35] Septah@annpc#5570 steps onto the bridge, "Any sign of the enemy they mentioned, Commander?"
[11:36] Luna@falconecoose glances over at the members of the away team the moment the ship is taken to yellow alert with shields up just in case "Not yet, but that ship has powered up its weapons."
[11:39] Septah@annpc#5570 nods, "And the pods and their inhabitants are all on board?"
[11:40] Luna@falconecoose: "Transporter just reported that they had them all just before you got here. You will need to debrief me on..."
[11:41] Luna@falconecoose is cut off by Lt Alves turning in the seat she is totally in, in front of her "Commander! Multiple ships dropping out of warp almost on top of the other ship. Got 4 contacts on sensors, all about cruiser size."
[11:42] Luna@falconecoose "Copy that, red alert. Helm get us out of here. Return fire only, we are not here to start or be dragged into another war."
[11:43] Septah@annpc#5570 steps over to his station, seeing what the sensors have on the ships.
[11:45] Septah@annpc#5570: "They're reading as similar to the ship we returned from. Significantly less damaged, however."
[11:45] Fiona@falconecoose <FX> The arc ship opens fire on the attackers, but even from a distance, it was clear it was a one-sided battle with the damage the arc ship had already taken. One of the ships breaks off the attack to pursue the MacAlpine.
[11:47] Luna@falconecoose: "Copy that Lt, get as many sensor readings as you can before we jump. We are not hanging around. Helm, when you are ready."
[11:47] Septah@annpc#5570 nods, "I'll collect all the data we can."
[11:48] Septah@annpc#5570 scans the ship for information on its systems as well as any life signs inside.
[11:51] Luna@falconecoose Olivia | Lt. Calder looks over from the helm station "Commander, ready to jump to warp."
[11:51] Luna@falconecoose: "Calder, Make it so."
[11:53] Fiona@falconecoose <FX> With that the MacAlpine jumps to warp leaving the ship moving after them behind.
[11:53] Septah@annpc#5570: "The life signs on the attacking ships had similarities to those in the pods, but not identical."
[11:54] Septah@annpc#5570: "Perhaps an offshoot species evolved from the ones we rescued. Or could be the result of genetic engineering."
[11:55] Luna@falconecoose: "Ok, work with the medical team see if you can find anything out about their biology, you will have a few days to see what you can find out. Going to put in a request for transport to pick them when I submit my report. Helm, set course for the Lacertae system."
[11:57] Septah@annpc#5570: "Understood. I was also warned that reviving them may be difficult after so long in stasis."
[11:59] Luna@falconecoose: "Right, make sure that medical teams are aware to be on the safe side."
[11:59] Septah@annpc#5570: "Of course, Commander."