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RP: YSS Aeon [YSS Aeon] - The Beginning

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[YSS Aeon] - Sairen System

Hoshi, Ruri and Tso made their way through the wrecked ship. They navigated a twisted corridor and found themselves in a large hold. Many of the containers were broken open and lying against the wall. They eventually found what looked like a control center. There were no bodies in the control chairs. Hoshi examined a room off to the side and found what looked like an office with a stateroom on the other side. There was a journal lying on the desk. Looking at the entry he could make out part of what it said. “Tso, I found a log or journal in here. If I’m reading it correctly they came here after detecting the radio emissions. They were going to leave the system. The entry stops in mid-sentence.” Hoshi transmitted.

“Tso-Chui, I have detected what look like graves outside of the ship.” Ruri they are close to a compartment that looks like survivors may have tried to live in. What a nightmare of a world to try to survive, with their ship this badly damaged it was a living death sentence. Tso thought. “Okay, let’s wrap this up, I’ve found what looks like the ship’s computer. I’m going to see about pulling the databanks. Gather up what you think is pertinent and we will head back to the Aeon.”

A few hours later the Katae took the Aeon back into space. She maneuvered the ship into the same orbit as the OGS and Shina. When they were close enough together, Shina maneuvered the OGS into the towing position. Once Eternity signaled that the towing clamp was secure, she disconnected and flew the shuttle back to the bay. The crew spent a few hours examining the items brought back from the doomed colony ship. Ise thought about how to identify this system, and searched for references to tales of things that lured people to their doom. She found several from ancient times, in which creatures called Sirens would lure sailors to their doom. It was from that tale that she designated the system Sairen.

Content that their work here was done, and wanting to get the Aeon back for repairs she set a course back for Yamataian space and engaged the CDD.
[YSS Aeon] - Sairen System - Epilogue

As the Aeon approached the edge of the system, Katae brought the ship to a stop. She thought about the colony ship, and the fate of those people lured her. We need to make sure people coming into this system are warned. she thought. Ise picked up the phone and punched in the Engineering section code. “Ruri, Usaga, meet Tso and I in the fabrication area.” She said into the receiver. Hanging up she turned to her first officer, “Tso-Chui please join me in the fabrication area.” She then walked out the bridge doors and floated down the passageway to the fabrication area. The engineers entered the room moments after her and bowed. On their heels Tso came in. “I don’t want to leave this system without warning others who may come here.” Ise started, “I want the three of you to come up with a series of beacons that we can deploy around the periphery of the system. I want any other vessel entering the system to be forewarned.”

Tso turned to the engineering Nekos, “We’ll get right on it Taii, shouldn’t take us more than a couple of hours to fabricate enough beacons.” He watched the Captain walk out and turned to the engineers. “Okay, let’s see what we can modify.” They started with a Ke-M2-W3000 General Equipment pack. Using its Durandium casing they worked to fit a power cell, a transmitter, a sensor module to detect vessels, and lastly solar cells. Once they had the first one operational it was relatively simple to reproduce several more. “Eternity where is Ise-Taii?” he asked. “The Taii is in her quarters.” She replied. Tso picked up the phone and punched in the Captain’s Suite. When Ise answered the phone, “Ise-Taii, we have completed the manufacturing of several beacons per your orders.” “Excellent, I am returning to the bridge. Once there we will start a circuit to deploy them.” She responded.

An hour later the Aeon streaked away from the Sairen system, on a course back to Fourth Dock. Ise set the course and speed so that they would return to Yamatai space in thirty-six hours. It was the night shift and Keiko was flying the ship. Eternity interrupted the quiet serenity of the bridge, “Keiko-Juni, I have detected a distress signal. It appears to be a civilian freighter; they are reporting that raiders are attacking.” Keiko checked the readings, as she called the captain. “Ma’am we are receiving a distress call, vessel is approximately 1 light year away.” “On my way, sound battle stations, CFS to configuration alpha.” Ise responded.
[YSS Aeon] - Sairen System - Epilogue

As Katae got out of bed she did the mental calculations, use the CDD the freighter was more than 24 minutes away. That would mean they would arrive in time to see the raiders looting the dead ship. Dispensing with dressing at the moment she used her holographic ability to make her uniform appear. Eternity spin up the hyperdrive. She thought to the AI. A minute later she entered the bridge. She quickly took her chair, and engaged her SPINE interface. She relished the flood of data as she and the Aeon’s systems merged. She felt rather than heard the crew arriving at their various stations. Hoshi and Nami were in the Medbay, the engineers were at there stations, and the bridge crew was at their locations.

Ise working with Eternity made the necessary calculations for hyperfold. Her destination was one light second away from the freighter. Enough space for them to target and engage the enemy. She thought. She stopped the ship and detached the OGS, dragging it into battle would only impede their efficiency. Then using the ship’s speakers announced. “All hands brace for hyperspace fold in 3… 2… 1… Engage.” She felt the engine surge and form the bubble of space time that would travel with them. Then the ship sped towards the stricken freight. Once the Aeon was in fold Ise disengaged her SPINE and picked up her station phone. “All hands we have approximately 20 minutes ship time, make the most of it.” She turned to Tso, “You have the bridge, and I’m going to get my uniform.”

Ten minutes later Ise was back in her chair and connected to the Aeon. She was determining weapon configuration. She started charging the Main Weapon Array, and the Positron cannons, she settled on using 12 Weapon pods and configured them into four batters of three pods. That would allow her to concentrate the power of the pods. Satisfied with the configuration she turned towards Tso. “Chui, I want you to lead the rescue and assessment once we have defeated the raiders. I’ll leave choosing your away team to you.” She said and turned back towards the main screen. She could feel the engine getting ready to drop them out. “Stations people, we are preparing to return to normal space.”

Ise felt her pulse quicken as the pre-battle adrenaline coursed through her veins. Normal space appeared around them. A scan of the sensors showed her two large ships and 8 fighters were attacking the freighter. The Aeon’s sensors showed that civilian ship’s power systems were fluctuating. This is going to be interesting, May as well introduce ourselves. Katae thought. “We’re going in people.”
[YSS Aeon] - Sairen System - Epilogue

With two ships of unknown origin close to the Aeon’s size, Ise adjusted the CFS to increase shielding and weapons and lower the drive. She brought the secondary engines online. With a thought she brought the ship streaking towards the freighter. At one quarter light speed it took them four seconds to close, during which she targeted the first group of fighters. The freighter was a blur under the ship as they streaked past it towards the first of the larger vessels. The damage to the fighters was minor but Katae expected that. She just wanted to pull them away from the other vessel.

As she cleared the freighter Ise brought the Aeon up to a higher trajectory and brought the weapons to bear. She fired the Main Weapon Array and Positron Accelerator Cannons at the ship that was looming on the view screen. Then she brought the Weapon pods to bear and fired at any target of opportunity she could find. She banked hard left and accelerated, sensors confirming that the large ship even though damaged was turning towards her. Even the fighters were streaking towards them.

With a thought Ise flipped the Aeon, and while still traveling in the same direction concentrated the Weapon pods onto the closest fighter. A one second salvo reduced the fighter to an expanding ball of flame and gas. She targeted the next fighter and repeated the destruction. Then engaging the Secondary engine started moving back towards the other gunship. She ignored the fighters using the agility for with the Plumeria-class was known for.

Katae brought the Aeon to effective range and fired the Main Array in pulse mode and locked the accelerator cannons on the same spot. She watched the shields of the other ship fail as their barrage slammed into her shields. She executed an evasive pattern, while she scanned the other ship. The other vessel’s hull was scored by the last blast but it continued undeterred. She dove once more and let go another salvo while doing her best to dodge the incoming fire. Katae kept track of shield status as they absorbed the impacts she could not avoid.
Ruiko growled as he looked at the data on his screens. The tactical analysis was not making any sense. Weapon signatures come from at least 3 different factions that Eternity could identify. But none of them have any trade relations with each other. he thought as he adjusted the scanner. “Redundant power generators, double layers of armor, these ships were built for one purpose.” He said. “What was that… “Ruiko changed the data display to show the shield configurations. After two minutes of careful scrutiny he found what he was looking for. “Captain, I have completed my tactical analysis. The gunships have at least four completely self contained shield generators covering the front of the vessel. They appear to be designed for to face their opponents in combat. They have only a single shield in the aft. With our greater agility and speed we should be able to outmaneuver them and attack at their weak point.”

“Good job Ruiko,” Ise replied. Well that explains why each pass was not as effective as I thought they would be. Now I just have to get around to the rear of the first gunship and hit it hard. I’m sure the other gunship and the fighters will be more than glad to let us. she thought. With a thought, the Aeon altered course and accelerated. “Ruiko, see if you can figure out what is with those fighters, I know I damaged the weapons on two of them, and yet they continue to charge at us.”

“I’m on it Taii,” Tso replied. Damn, I should have noticed that. I let myself get distracted by the gunships. berating himself. He did a couple of sensor sweeps to compare a damaged and unscathed fighter. The readings were confusing as there were more differences than similarities. He tightened the scan on one of the damaged ones that rushed towards them. The sensors detected a dense shielded object in the nose of the fighter.

Ise charged at the gunship’s aft section and firing all twelve of the active weapon pods continuously. Then when she saw the shield fail she fired the main array and the positron cannons. She watched with satisfaction as the energy from the weapons tore deep into the gunship triggering secondary explosions. “You were spot on with your analysis Ruiko.” She said banking the Aeon. “Ma’am I suspect the fighters may have some sort of warhead built into them.” The Chui replied. “Great, any idea who the heck these guys are?” she asked. “Negative Taii” Tso answered.

As Katae dodged a pair of fighters the other gunship hit them on the port side, she watched the shield strength drop, and as she rolled the Aeon to keep that side away from the gunship, two of the fighters rammed the weak spot and exploded. Katae felt the ship react to the impact, and ship systems registered damage. “Damage control to the port pylon, they just took out the cannon.” Ise said through the ship’s speakers. She routed the power that would have been used by the cannon back into the shields. Now that she knew what the full threat of the fighters was, she changed her tactic. Katae accelerated away from the gunship with the fighters in dogged pursuit. Once out of range of the gunship, she systematically blasted each fighter to exploding bits of debris by using all the active weapon pods at them one fighter at a time.

Ise scanned back where the gunship was and found it had not left. She kicked the secondary engines into overboost. With the Aeon rushing towards the enemy at .5c because Katae didn’t want to overstress the pylon until they had a full assessment, she easily brought the ship up behind the gunship and as she prepared to fire, it exploded. She banked hard starboard and kicked the engines to .75 while praying the pylon held. Once clear of the blast she slowed the Aeon to a more reasonable speed.

Disengaging from the SPINE interface, she turned to Tso, “Status report.” Ruiko turned to the captain, “As you already know the port cannon was damaged. Ruri reports it will have to be replaced. Dai-Shoi reports no serious crew injuries.” Katae thought for a moment, “That’s good to hear. Let’s get back to the freighter, as you lead the rescue and recovery. I will stay aboard the Aeon and coordinate your effort with salvage operations. I want to know more about whoever they were, and I’m sure command will expect details when we report this. Eternity take us back to the freighter, notify them we are coming along side to assess their status.”
[YSS Aeon] - Sairen System - Epilogue

Ruiko floated above the freighter’s engines in his Mindy, which allowed him the opportunity to watch the transfer of the crew to the Aeon by the shuttles. “Tso to Eternity, last of the non-essential freighter crew are in transit to you with Dai-Shoi, they will be going to medical for treatment.” Crew, ha, most of them were young family members of the other members, he thought. Ruri and Usaga were inside making an evaluation of the ship’s condition. “Ruri, I’m going to do a visual check on the engines, I’ll let you know what I find.” He said, moving closer looking for obvious damage. After a few minutes of observing, Strange overall the engines are in good shape. I expected to see a lot more damage. he thought. As he passed over an area he saw a burn mark. He moved down closer to examine it better. He shined the light from his Mindy into the damage. He replayed in his mind the positions of the ships when they arrived. That hit is far to precise for a normal pirate attack. he thought.

Hoshi was in a dark place in his mind. “Nami, prepare the medbay for casualties, we have three in serious condition.” He radioed to the Aeon’s nurse. Damn pirates punctured the hull in enough areas to cause the ship to seal off each section. We barely got to these ones in time. I’m glad that Katae blasted them to pieces. He went from patient to patient checking on their status. “Shina, how long until we dock.” He called out to the pilot. “Just under three minutes until we touch down in the bay Shoi.” Shina replied. Those three minutes seemed to stretch into hours for Hoshi. When he felt the shuttle touch down he opened the hatch and started moving the first patient. Mariko and Gi helped him get the other two into the medbay quickly. Once in there, he and Nami started treating them.

Now that the last of the crew that had to be evacuated was on the Aeon, Katae maneuvered the ship to gather some of the debris from the pirates. Eternity had scanned the region and identified what were the most likely to have value. Katae paced the around the bridge. She was still keyed up from the battle, and the way it ended had her puzzled. She refused to leave the bridge out of concern that more of the pirates may arrive. Eternity did you detect any communications between those ships during the battle?” Ise asked. “No Ise-Taii, there was no radio chatter that I could detect.” “That does not make any sense. You can not effectively coordinate a group of ships in a battle situation without some form of communication.”

Tso-Chui entered the freighter, and once the hatches were dogged, the pressure equalized. He opened his helmet and stepped through the inner door. He saw Usaga waiting for him partway down the hallway. “So what do you have for me Usaga?” Usaga bowed and replied, “The freighter is structurally sound, but most of the primary systems are inoperative. Life-support and gravitics are operating at ten percent. The main reactor is undamaged; along with the FTL and STL drives. The damage to them was confined to the control systems.” Tso thought for a moment, “That fits with what I observed externally. The shots that disabled the system were precise, one could almost say surgical. There was minimal damage to the actual components. Can we get her operational?” Ruiko watched the Neko engineers face look crestfallen. “Unfortunately Chui, this vessel is old and the parts damaged are not ones they have spares. Nor do I have sufficient specifications to try and fabricate replacements.” Ruiko put a hand on the Neko’s shoulder, “Usaga, that’s okay no one expects you to be a miracle worker. Let’s get this ship ready for towing.”
[YSS Aeon] - Sairen System - Epilogue

Katae sat at her desk in her quarters. She was putting the finishing touches on her report to headquarters. The Aeon was back on course for 4th Dock for repairs and some personnel changes. The two days with the crew from the freighter had been interesting. The incongruous site of children aboard the Aeon gave her insight into the expression of ‘herding cats’. The night before they transferred the freighter crew to the vessel from Forward Logistics, their captain gave her crew a small token of his appreciation. It was a large crate of Yamataian steaks which Nami promptly used several of to make a farewell feast for both crews.

The Aeon was about one hour out from the Ikoi station when Ise was going over her personnel reports. She started by authorizing Keiko Gi’s body transfer. Eternity chimed in “Ise Taii, there is a transfer request in your inbox.” “Transfer request, who wants to leave?” Katae asked as she pulled up the request. “No one Ise-Taii, the request is to be posted onboard the Aeon.” Katae scanned the request; it seemed fairly straightforward until she got to the name. Nitô Juni Kahen Yani that was Keiko Gi’s supposedly deceased lover. “Eternity schedule an interview with Kahen-Juni for 1 hour after we dock. There is a story there I want to hear.” “Shall I notify Keiko-Juni?” The MEGAMI inquired. “No, but I think I’ll arrange for her to be near the cargo bay when Kahen arrives. Schedule an appointment for Keiko thirty minutes before Kahen is due to arrive. I can see no reason to not approve Kahen’s transfer, but I want to surprise Keiko.”

Eternity communicated with the MEGAMI of 4th Dock. She checked on where the Aeon was in the queue for repairs. Ise will be disappointed. It will be at least forty-eight hours before the repair dock would be ready for them. she thought. She uploaded the Taii’s reports via standard encryption, and made arrangements for the transfer of the salvaged material. There were a few things that would please the Ise she noted. The medical equipment Dai-Shoi had ordered was delivered, as well as the replacement OGS platform. Also there was a shipment that Ise had ordered that would arrive in twenty-four hours.

On the bridge Keiko manned her station bringing the Aeon into the Ikoi.. The next time I do this, I will be a Valkyrja. I will be starting a new life. I will still look pretty much the same, except for the ears, but I think I can get used to them. she thought. “Keiko-Juni you have an appointment with the Taii prior to your departure for body transfer. You are scheduled to be in her cabin in thirty minutes.” Eternity said.
[YSS Aeon] - Sairen System - Epilogue

Ise looked over the information supplied by Eternity regarding the Aeon’s repairs and resupply. It could have been a lot worse. Being assigned to Exploration means we are not high priority. Just gives me an opportunity to give everyone a little shore leave. Besides some of them are going to have some catching up to do. She felt the subtle change in the Aeon that came with her switching to external power and the power systems shutting down. Katae wanted to see the damage to the Aeon herself, so she picked up her phone and punched in the ship wide code. “Attention all hands, since we are going to have a bit of wait before the ship goes into the repair dock, I am authorizing all hands seventy-two hours of shore leave. Once you have secured your stations and completed any tasks you are currently working on, you may leave the ship.” Hanging up the phone she headed down to the vehicle storage bay.

By the time Ise made it down the bay ramp she saw Ruri and Usaga standing surveying the damage. The melted and blacked Yamataium on the cannon was a mute testimony to the destructive forces unleashed upon the Aeon. The two engineers were talking about the damage making note of what panels failed and such. Ise put a hand on their shoulders, “Okay you two, the repair dock will take care of her. Unless you have some inspection you failed to do, you should be packing and heading for a nice room in the visitors section.” They turned and bowed to Ise, and scampered back into the Aeon. If I know engineers, they will probably be packing technical manuals to review while they relax. she thought with a chuckle.

Gi floated down the passageway, a small bag slung over her shoulder. It was nice of the Taii to share with me her experience of transitioning to a Valkyrja. I’m sure it will help me make my transition smoother. she thought entering the vehicle bay. She walked across the bay and noticed a person walking up the ramp. She stopped in her tracks; her heart feeling like someone was squeezing it. It was a Valkyrja, her hair was the same color as Yani, and she even wore it in the same style. It was cut in an asymmetrical sweep from left to right with the hair color going from dark to light green. Then she looked up and Gi was staring into a face that she thought she would never see again. “Hi Gi you’re looking good.” the Valkyrja said. “They told me you were dead...., lost with the rest of the crew of the Bright Fury.” she stammered out. “I’m not dead Gi, I’m not a shade from the past. I’m flesh and blood, and so glad to be here with you.” Yani replied and closed the gap between the two. Gi allowed herself to be pulled into Yani’s embrace. If this is a dream I never want to wake up she thought. Then smelling the familiar fragrance of Yani’s perfume, “Still wearing the Star Dust I bought you.” She said. Yani smiled at her, and the universe seemed a brighter place by several magnitudes. “Told you I would, though I must admit I’m getting a little low.” Tears of joy that she didn’t even realize were flowing streamed down her cheeks, and she leaned into Yani and kissed the lips that waited for her.

“Screen off Eternity” Katae instructed the MEGAMI. The image of the two Valkyrja in the vehicle bay vanished. “Inform personnel management that I approve Kahen-Juni’s transfer request.” “Shall I cancel Kahen-Juni’s interview and notify her of your approval.” Eternity asked. “No, leave them be, she’ll find out soon enough. After seeing that, there is no way I could rip Gi’s heart out by refusing.” Besides, when the universe decides to fix something that special, why interfere. she thought.

End Of Mission One.
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