USS Elysion

MarkMark Member
edited June 29 in Task Force 38


The first of her class, USS Elysion is assigned to the Gradin Belt of the Delta Quadrant as the lead vessel of Explorer Group 381 within Task Force 38. Under the command of Captain Jack Ransom, Elysion’s mission is to travel 45,000 light-years through the Barzan wormhole, exploring the Gradin Belt and establishing strong diplomatic relations with the native species of the Delta Quadrant whilst keeping a watchful eye on the known major threats to Federation security… This is her story

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  • MarkMark Member
    edited May 15

    Chapter 1.1 “Departure”
    Mission Day 01
    14:00 Hours
    USS Elysion - Main Bridge

    Captain Jack Ransom sat comfortably, his right leg casually crossed over the left, in the centre seat of the three in the command area of Elysion’s main bridge as he watched the icons move around the holographic image projected from the low free-standing pedestal before him.

    Each holographic icon represented a vessel assigned to Task Force 38 – and those that were gold in colour represented those starships attached to Explorer Group 381. His explorer group. Ransom watched as the Atlantia-class USS Sheffield took up position off Elysion’s starboard quarter. Elysion was to be the first vessel into the wormhole and Ransom had reasoned that if there was anything… unwelcoming waiting for them at the other end, then he wanted something like Commander Jonas Flanigan’s cruiser – and her significant tactical resources – close by to support.

    “Five minutes to wormhole opening,” Lieutenant Commander Tarabella Borden announced to the bridge crew as she moved from the port-side communications station to the curved conn & ops console situated ahead of the command area. Borden was continuing her circuit of the bridge stations, checking on the status of each and providing calming words and reassuring smiles to those who needed them. At just 27 years old, Bella Borden was a first-time executive officer – but Ransom had seen maturity, ambition and intelligence in the young woman when they had first met. Another major factor in his decision to appoint her as Elysion’s new executive officer was her sociable and naturally friendly nature – a characteristic which Ransom himself lacked.

    On the holographic command screen, the golden Starfleet delta representing Commander Jhamal P’Trell’s USS Aurora moved into her assigned place astern of Elysion. P’Trell was a newly promoted, newly appointed commanding officer and Ransom had promised Commodore Cody that he would keep an eye on her and provide support throughout their time in Delta Quadrant. Keeping Aurora in the middle of the pack – at least for the duration of their transit through the wormhole – seemed to be the most sensible precaution.

    The voice of Elysion’s second officer Lieutenant Commander Layla Thorne, sounded from her position at the tactical console directly behind the command area, her tone as usual clear and business-like. “All Explorer Group vessels now in position, Captain.”

    “Thank you, Commander,” Ransom acknowledged without turning. He remained motionless for several moments, savouring the anticipation of the journey they were about to begin. Ransom looked around at his bridge crew as they worked, with a feeling of immense pride mixed with the natural anxiety that he always experienced at the start of a mission. He let the sights and sounds of starship bridge operations wash over him as he forced himself to relax and enjoy the moment.

    “All stations ready for departure sir,” Borden announced as she took the vacant seat to Ransom’s right.

    “Thank you, XO,” he responded. “Ensign Molani, open a channel to the Explorer Group.”

    The Zakdorn communications officer nodded, his fingers responding to Ransom’s order. “Channel open, sir.”

    “Explorer Group 381, this is Captain Ransom of Elysion. The wormhole will be opening in a few moments. All vessels please confirm readiness.”

    He listened as the confirmation from each commanding officer came over the comm in the order that they were assembled. Beside him, Borden checked her screen.

    “All vessels standing by,” she reported.

    “When the wormhole opens,” Ransom continued, “Seleya and Ganymede will come through from the Delta Quadrant first after completing their tour, followed by a handful of Ocanti ships headed for the starbase. Then it’ll be our turn. Elysion will enter the wormhole first, with the rest of the Group following in order. Any questions?”

    Silence greeted his question. Ransom glanced at Borden and raised his eyebrows as if to say ‘so far, so good’.

    “Very well. Then I’ll see you in the Delta Quadrant. Ransom out.”

    “Captain,” called out Science Officer Talak from his position behind and to the right of the command area. “I am detecting increased verteron and neutrino emissions. I estimate one minute until wormhole opening.”

    “Keep me appraised,” Ransom replied to the Vulcan officer. “Mr Molani, on the 1-MC.”

    The communications officer opened the ship-wide channel and nodded to the captain in confirmation.

    “Now hear this, now hear this. This is the captain. The wormhole is about to open and we will shortly be commencing our journey to the Delta Quadrant. I wanted to take this opportunity before we departed to say thank you for all that you – that we all – have already achieved as a crew to get our vessel ready in such a short period of time.” Ransom paused before continuing. “I can’t tell you what we will see and experience in the Delta Quadrant – but what I can tell you is that as always, I continue to be so incredibly proud to be leading this crew, wherever we are in the galaxy. This is the captain.”

    “Thirty seconds,” reported Borden, glancing up from her screen.

    “XO’s calculations are confirmed,” intoned the Vulcan science officer.

    On the main screen showing the view ahead of Elysion, a shimmering effect was now noticeable as the area of space where the mouth of the wormhole would soon materialise began to rotate slowly in a clockwise direction.

    “Chief of the Watch,” said Ransom. “Set Condition 2 throughout the ship. Blue Alert.”

    A warning klaxon sounded once and the standard bridge lighting was replaced instantly by the subdued, cool glow of the blue alert lights.

    Ahead, the main viewer showed the clockwise rotation of space accelerate momentarily, then with a flash the wormhole was open. Elysion’s bridge crew fell silent, the only background sounds being those of a Starfleet vessel in operation.

    The wormhole opening pulsed slightly like a huge maw, but nothing came through.

    Ransom frowned and opened his mouth to speak just as Operations Officer S’laski called out, the Caitian officer’s excitement and relief evident in her voice.

    “I’m detecting a Starfleet transponder, Captain. It’s Seleya!”

    The recognisable profile of a Sovereign-class explorer came into view as the big vessel emerged into Alpha Quadrant space, closely followed by the smaller Luna-class Ganymede.

    “Sir, we’ve received a data packet from Seleya,” Molani reported. “And Fleet Captain V’Sal sends his compliments and best wishes for our tour.”

    “Captain, I am detecting thirteen additional vessels coming through the wormhole behind Ganymede,” reported Talak, looking up from the science console.

    “Thirteen?” frowned Borden. “I thought the Ocanti were only sending three?”

    “What if they aren’t Ocanti?” Thorne suggested ominously. “Shall I raise our shields, Captain?”

    Ransom considered the suggestion for a moment. “No, I don’t think so.” He craned his neck to look behind and up at the tactical officer. “But be ready, Commander. Just in case…” He turned back to the screen to see the first of the following vessels emerge from the wormhole. With relief he realised that it was an Ocanti ship.

    “All thirteen vessels are Ocanti in origin,” reported Talak. He glanced at Thorne. “You may relax your trigger finger, Commander.”

    Ransom and Borden exchanged a surprised look. Was that Talak’s attempt at humour?

    “Thank you, Commander Talak,” turning his attention to the viewer once more, Ransom leaned forward in his seat and addressed the conn officer. “Lieutenant Colia – ahead one-half impulse. Take us in.”

    At her position at the flight control station, the Deltan officer had been waiting for the order. A smile crossed her face as her hands played across conn panel. “Aye sir. Ahead one-half impulse.”

    Elysion moved slowly forwards towards the wormhole, accelerating as she went. Behind her, the rest of Explorer Group 381 began to follow.

    “Captain,” Talak spoke up as he peered into the scope which extended up from the science console. “We will cross the horizon of the wormhole in twelve seconds.”

    Ransom nodded in response as he watched the wormhole approach on the viewer. The seconds ticked away in silence. A small judder passed through the ship and Colia adjusted a control on the conn station to compensate.

    Suddenly phosphorescent ribbons of bright blue light flecked through with white began to stream towards the viewer and then Elysion was travelling through the wormhole to the opposite side of the galaxy.

    “We are inside the wormhole,” reported Colia unnecessarily. She glanced at a display. “Exiting in one minute, thirty-two seconds.”

    Ransom exhaled slowly, suddenly aware that he had been holding his breath. He smiled. Everything was going to plan so far. To his right, Borden was checking the status of the ship, deck by deck and system by system. She looked at him with a grin. “All systems and sub-systems are functioning within operating parameters,” she reported with satisfaction.

    “All Explorer Group vessels have successfully entered the wormhole,” Science Officer Talak reported.

    “Ok,” responded Ransom quietly. He unconsciously chewed at the thumbnail of his right hand as he watched the wormhole ribbons streaming by.

    And then they were gone. Normal space filled the viewscreen once more – a view which looked no different to the one that they had just left, less than two minutes but 45,000 light years behind them.

    “We’re in the Gradin Belt,” S’laski reported as she looked up from her navigational sensors.

    “Exactly as we’re supposed to be,” noted Ransom. “Chief of the Watch, secure from Blue Alert. Mister Molani – please confirm each ship’s status with the commanding officers as they exit the wormhole.” The bridge lighting returned to normal as he spoke, and on the viewscreen there was a flash as USS Sheffield arrived in the Delta Quadrant. Ransom stood.

    “Alright. Mister Talak, perform a long-range scan if you please. Let’s find out if there’s anybody close by. Miss S’laski – how long will the wormhole remain open for?”

    “Another eleven minutes, forty-two seconds sir,” replied the Caitian officer, checking her panel.

    “Good. Once all of our ships have arrived, upload the transit log to Delta-One and send it back to Starbase 38 before the wormhole closes. I’d like them to know we all arrived safely.”

    “There are no contacts on long-range sensors,” reported Talak.
    “Captain,” said Ensign Molani. “All vessels have responded. No problems reported.”

    “Thank you, Ensign that’s good news,” replied Ransom. “Please open a channel to the Group.”

    “Aye sir. Channel open.”

    Ransom stood in the centre of the bridge; his hands clasped firmly together behind his back.

    “Explorer Group 381 this is Ransom. The good news is that we all got here safely and without any problems. Our work starts from now. You all have your pre-agreed mission objectives – all that remains for me to say is do not forget that while we’re here in the Delta Quadrant, all we have is each other. Remember to talk to each other regularly – the Gradin Belt isn’t too big to prevent subspace communication. And any of you are welcome to contact me at any time – and for any reason.” Ransom paused, his face grave. “I know you are all eager to start your missions… so I’ll leave it there. Good luck. Ransom out.”

    One by one, the vessels of Explorer Group 381 began to disappear in flashes of white light as one by one they each jumped to warp speed.

    “Molani, open a channel to Aurora please,” Ransom ordered.

    “On screen, Captain.” The viewscreen changed to show Aurora’s Andorian commander.

    “Commander P’Trell, this is Captain Jack Ransom aboard Elysion. I’m sorry we didn’t get chance to talk before we left the Alpha Quadrant… but welcome to Explorer Group 381. Commodore Cody tells me things have been a little bit of a blur for you over the last couple of days?”
    =/\= Indeed, they have Captain, but it’s nothing I can’t handle, =/\= P’Trell said with a smile.

    “I just wanted to check in with you now that we’re in the Gradin Belt, and make sure everything’s in hand and you’re settled aboard Aurora."

    =/\= I am pretty much all settled, my crew worked really hard to get her at hundred percent. =/\= P’Trell stated with a smile. =/\= Now we’re ready to explore the unknown, so to speak. =/\= she added.

    Ransom nodded to the Andorian officer. “That’s good to hear. Remember what I said - if you need any support while we’re all over here, Elysion is only at the end of a comm signal. Remind me again where is Aurora heading first?”
    =/\= There is a star system near - but not too near - Hirogen space that hasn’t been fully charted yet. =/\= P’Trell stated as she looked at him.
    =/\= It’s about time someone went to investigate it properly. While still staying safe of course. =/\= she added with a smile.

    “Alright Commander,” said Ransom, his face becoming more serious. “Be careful though – Aurora isn’t equipped to go toe-to-toe with a Hirogen ship. And remember, holler loudly if you need back up - and stay in regular contact. Good luck. Ransom out.”
    He turned and returned to his seat, his face grave. A number of the commanding officers assigned to Explorer Group 381 were sitting in the centre seat for the first time. Sending someone to the far side of the galaxy for their first mission as a commanding officer was a hell of a risk… He hoped Knox and Cody knew what they were doing. He tugged his uniform tunic straight as he sat down and crossed his legs.

    “Everything alright, Captain?” Borden asked, the concern evident on her face.

    “Everything’s fine, XO, thank you.” Ransom smiled, brushing the question away easily. “Lieutenant Colia – you have the co-ordinates that Commodore Cody provided?”

    The Deltan conn officer turned in her seat to face him. “I do sir. They appear to be on the edge of Hirogen space…”

    “They are indeed, Lieutenant,” Ransom agreed. “Set a course to those co-ordinates, if you please. Warp five.”

    “Aye sir,” Colia responded, turning back to her console.

    Ransom looked at Borden. “You ready for this, XO?” he asked with a grin. Borden grinned back at him.

    “I am, Captain,” she replied.

    “Course laid in, sir,” Colia confirmed from the conn. “Ready to engage on your mark.”

    Ransom settled comfortably back in his seat to face the viewscreen and the expanse of the Delta Quadrant that lay enticingly ahead of them.

    “Alright Lieutenant. Punch it.”

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