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ST:PRE100 | "Precipice Preamble"

Updated: Mar 18, 2023

"We stand upon the precipice of change. The galaxy fears the inevitable plummet into the abyss. Watch for that moment… and when it comes, do not hesitate to leap. It is only when you fall that you learn whether you can fly."

Personal Log, stardate 315724.7. Lieutenant Emma Ralde recording...

We stand upon the precipice of change. The galaxy fears the inevitable plummet into the abyss. Watch for that moment… and when it comes, do not hesitate to leap. It is only when you fall that you learn whether you can fly. And oh how far I feel like I've fallen today, as for the flying... only time will tell.

It started when Ops announced some kind of incoming radiation storm at the systems edge. Most of us thought nothing of it, having seen such things before. But as this one drew in, strange things began to happen to the station systems. Power fluctuations across the board, and we went to red alert when the shields failed. I was at my station at the time, manning the main transporter pad in the central core. I tried to communicate with ops but everything went crazy so quickly! The comm channels got flooded with horrific screaming from people in the outer pods, Goddess the screaming...

I panicked in that moment - not knowing what was happening, only that something was rapidly killing everyone on board as it swept across the station. I had only moments to act, and knowing I had no means of escape I did the only thing I could think of - a crazy long shot that just about paid off. I powered the transporter but didn't set a destination, instead setting up a maintenance cycle and time delayed initiation that (thankfully!) worked as intended to lock me away safely in the pattern buffer until help arrived.

I don't know how long I was in there, but when I materialized again I felt just... horrible. So note to self: DON'T DO THAT AGAIN! But I digress... I was rematerialized by a group of unfamiliar officers from a responding starship - the Valley Forge. I told them all I could, but before we could dig into any detail they were contacted by their ship reporting energy readings building at the system's edge and randomly experiencing intermittent power failures on board. Their Captain stated that he was taking the ship out to a safe distance and we would be on our own to weather the storm as they had already lost transporter capability. Of course, my little stunt earlier had also drained our own power reserves meaning we could not beam so many out, nor preserve more than one person in the same fashion again.

We headed up to Ops and checked the sensor logs, it was indeed the same set of readings that had hit us earlier and as they drew nearer we got a clearer picture of the source. It was no naturally occurring storm, but an artificial construct of immense scale. Long and cigar shaped with a pointed tail end and a giant fiery maw at the front, the likes of which may very well haunt even me to the day I die! The Valley Forge's science officer - a friendly fellow Orion (can you believe it, a fellow Orion in the same sector?!) *ahems* the science officer... Lendaria, she said she detected Thalaron radiation emitting from the construct on an unprecedented scale, and quickly surmised that to be the reason for the whole station crew being dead, but no bodies being present (I don't want to know how a Starfleet officer could be familiar with such horrific things as this, but won't judge until I know more of her).

With only ourselves and the heavily damaged station to work with, we went around the board checking systems to formulate a plan; all the while knowing that the station crew must have done the same previously and failed. Seeing that the phaser arrays had already been drained and the station was suffering heavy damage to structural integrity in the outer pods, we moved to closer inspect the power systems and found that the secondary reactor in pod 3 was also going critical. This however, turned out to present a previously unforeseen option. Using the asteroid mining rigs on board, they had me transport all the remote thrusters I could from storage to outside pod 3. Then the tattooed one - Silver... something, I think his name was? - well, he remote piloted the thrusters to mount them on pod 3's exterior before releasing it's docking clamps and setting it adrift. They aimed the pod right into the maw of the construct and launched it like a galactic dart right down that things throat.... and it worked!

Though sensors were blinded by the initial flashpoint, short range returned quickly enough for us to see that the construct was dead in space, and now caught in the gravity of the local star. We watched as it crashed and burned into the corona, producing the most brilliant green swirls of energy, beautiful like nothing I had ever seen even in my lifetime! As we began to breath easy with the crisis being averted, our elation was short lived following the arrival of a Klingon battlecruiser. Their Commander declared us citizens of the Empire and arrogantly presumed a preemptive victory. That was before the Valley Forge returned to chase them off, Goddess bless the sight of those royal blue twin phaser banks, never before had I seen them as such a welcome sight as in that moment!

But that was shockingly not where today's excitement ended, oh no... their Captain - Jameson - beamed over to debrief with us all and eventually returned to report that Command had issued new orders for the crew to split and staff K6, while the Valley Forge would return to the Federation core to bring reinforcements and resupply. The Captain advised that 100 of his crew would remain behind to man the station, with the standing order of restoring the outpost to operational capacity whilst maintaining a vigilant defense of the border. Given the Klingon's eagerness to annex this system, I can't say I disagree with the decision. And so now, as I mourn the passing of yet another group of officers I also find myself welcoming a new group; and suddenly in the less familiar role of 'centre of attention', as I'm now the local expert on, well... everything local. Tomorrow will be an interesting day!

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