The HCS Ahriman, a Hellcat Squadran training vessel, was struck by a temporal-spatial disturbance that catapulted them into the IgR's galaxy. How will the wayward ship find its way home?
Chapter 1: Emergency Code Young LambEdit
The HCS Ahriman was a Hellcat Squadran Iluvenia class Battlecarrier that was retired from active service 37 years ago. The vessel has since served as a training vessel for new Hellcat Squadran recruits. Around 5 years prior, the ship was selected for usage in the new "Orphan Training Program", a program where orphaned volunteers try and train for working with Hellcat Squadran when they become older. The goal of the program was to allow the trainees to bond, hopefully becoming a cohesive group, while living and training together.
Certainly, signs of success have appeared: a group of 4 cadets had formed a tightly-nit group, each from a different section: Ariadne Spiros, a member of the Engineering Branch; Silas Megalos, a cadet ace from the Fighter Pilot Branch; Loria Tuhrove, a Vehexa Tactical Cadet; and the Science Branch Nord Lars Falk. This group would usually hang out with each other during their shared off hours.
They'd arrived on the ship 5 years prior, when their parents' were killed by various causes. Also among the new arrivals was the AI ANS-56-209 'Wraith', an AI designed to help the orphans grow close, as well as defend them from harm. Wraith soon became more than this: he also became a good friend for them, someone who they could talk to when they're down.
However, he was also the ship's AI, and was therefore the first to detect the unknown signatures detected near the ship.
"Captain. Unknown Temporal-Spatial Signatures detected."
"Rift Storm?" the captain, asked, tapping her fingers nervously.
"Negative. Signatures are not consistent with Rift Storm signatures. This is different...Warning! Impact with distortion in 15 seconds."
"Then evade!" the captain ordered.
"There isn't enough time!" Wraith responded.
Moments later, the distortion struck the ship, warping it through space and time, catapulting it lightyears from its original position. When they arrived at their destination, they scanned the area. They were nowhere near their starting point, but at least Temporal Scanners confirmed that only a couple seconds passed, since they originally left: they didn't travel forward or backward in time at all.
"Report..." the captain said, picking herself up off the floor.
"We're still in our time, but we're no where near where we started. Location: Unknown."
"Damn." The captain went to her comm officer, before saying, "Send a distress call. See if there's any ships in the area that can help-"
"Ma'am. We have new contacts, unknown transponder signals!" Wraith reported.
"On-screen," the captain commanded. The ships that appeared on the screen were Covenant Vessels, a whole mess of them. "Damn...Covenant...PLEASE don't tell me we're in AoUD territory..."
"If we were, we'd have noticed by now..." Wraith said, "Besides, their weapons are not consistent with AoUD Covenant Ships. They're different, but more than powerful enough to take us down."
"Damn! Activate the Energized Particle Field...and begin transmitting Emergency Code "Young Lamb"."
"Captain, four Covenant Loyalist cruisers have opened fire upon an unidentified vessel. Transmitting distress beacon. Orders, sir?" the ensign asked the ship's captian. They were aboard an InterGalactic Republic Tartan-class Star Destroyer, one of two in the patrol force. The two star destroyers were flanked by four Arcane-class Destroyers, new ships right off the line.
"Engage all Covenant forces and prepare a boarding party. I want that unknown vessel intact," the captain ordered. At his command, the six ships moved out to take on the Covenant vessels. The ships moved into range, watching as the unknown vessel, surrounded by a pulsating blue energy field, ate up shots from the Covenant ships.
"Fire at will. Make sure not to hit that ship," the captain ordered as the six ship fleet opened fire.
"Sir, we have an ID on the vessel. Coalition, sir," one of the crewman called out. The captain was puzzled at the thought. A Coalition ship this far away from home was nearly unheard of. Their military vessels have not been seen in Republic territory for nearly a century.
"Save it anyway. We'll escort it back to base after this is all over."
However, as the order was given, the blue energy field seemed to shatter like glass around the starship. Without the protective energy field, the ship deployed its weapons and opened fire on its Covenant attackers. Furthermore, the ship launched 3 flights of fighters: one flight consisting of 5 high-end interceptors, the next consisting of 2 state-of-the-art fighter-bombers, and the last one...a wing of obsolete fighter craft, keeping close to the other interceptors.
However, the Covenant also seemed interested in taking the ship intact.
"Sir, Covenant Phantoms approaching the Coalition ship!" another crewman yelled.
"As soon as it is safe, send in our own landing party. We'll find out why they're here and finish off the Covenant similtaneously," the captain ordered, watching a Covenant vessel tear into two pieces.
Then, the unknown ship's main weapon: a cannon sitting on the ship's dorsal structure, targeted one of the enemy cruisers and opened fire. A powerful beam of positrons lanced out, skewering one cruiser and shattering it into millions of pieces. However, as the weapon fired, power fluxuations struck the Coalition vessel, causing it to shut down the weapon, and just fight back with its mass drivers.
As a third Covenant cruiser was torn to shreds, two dropships flew from the star destroyer's hangar bay. One was laden with both Geth Troopers and Quarian Marines, two species that were inseperable since the Reaper War. The other contained Turian Heavy Infantry and a pair of Krogan shocktroopers. As the dropships dodged the diminished Covenant fire, they began transmitting to the Coalition ship, asking for them to not fire upon the pair of dropships. As they did, they watched as the Ahriman's mass drivers downed many Covenant Phantoms. As galliant as their defense was, a few slipped through, docking with the ship, undoubtably releasing merciless Kig-Yar and Yanme'e forces onto the vessel.
As the dropships docked, the force of obsolete fighters moved back towards their ship.
As damage from the attacks piled up, the regular engineers became overwhelmed with the damage they needed to repair. Therefore, the cadets were then being pulled out in order to help repair the damage. Among them was Ariadne Spiros, who was helping try to restore the main power conduits to a semi-operational state.
Ariadne was somewhat ditzy sometimes, but also a master mechanic, capable of easily putting together, taking apart, and putting back together various kinds of field equipment. In fact, her skill with machines was why she was assigned to where she was.
As she tried to repair her part of the power conduits, however, a loud screeching was heard, and a few Kig-Yar entered her hall. Shocked by their appearance, Ariadne didn't have time to reach for the Phaser Sidearm she was assigned, before they fired. Her shields took the brunt of the assault, but the force of the attack still knocked her backwards. She tried to get up, but one Kig-Yar pinned her down. Before it could fire, however, a figure came in, tackling the Kig-Yar before burying a knife in its neck.
Recognizing the figure, Ariadne exclaimed, joyously, "Silas!"
Silas Megalos was one of the ship's best Fighter Pilot Cadets. He was among the pilots that launched when the field dropped, but returned to the ship, realizing his friends were in danger when the boarders managed to reach it. "Hey, Ari, you alright?"
Ariadne pushed herself up and hugged him. "Yeah, I'm alright now..." she said, before realizing what she was doing and backed off a little, blushing.
Before Silas could respond, he remembered the other Kig-Yar, now joined by another squad of them. Silas drew his Phaser Pistol, Ariadne taking out her Phaser Sidearm as well...
Before either had a chance to fire, they heard shots fired behind them. They turned around to see a squad of robots and exo-suit wearing soldiers firing at the Kig-Yar. The pair ducked down, letting the squad draw closer and engage the Covenant infantry. The robots passed the pair, with only one of them giving even a glance at the pair. The robot had a huge hole in it's chest, put still went on firing it's sniper rifle. It stopped firing long enough to speak to them.
"Coalition. Uniforms indicate Cadet status. We are Geth. We are friendly," the Geth said to them. Before it continued talking, a shot entered it's shoulder, causing it to stumble. The Geth pointed to the two cadets before moving on, returning to firing at the Jackals. Quickly after he left, though, one of the Exo-suit wearing soldiers crouched down next to them, telling them to fall back with him until the Kig-Yar were taken care of. They decided to agree with him and moved back towards another hall. There they waited for another minute or two until the shooting died down. The exo-suit soldier, who called himself a Quarian, looked around the corner to investigate. He gave them the all clear and walked out, seeing the damaged Geth from before waiting for them.
"Hello. I am Legion. We recieved Emergency Code Young Lamb transmitting from Coalition vessel HSC Ahriman and moved to assist," Legion's robotic voice echoed in the now silent hall.
"Ariadne Spiros, Engineering," Ariadne replied.
"Silas Megalos, Ace Cadet from Starviper wing," Silas added.
Both seemed relatively nervous about the turn in events, but seemed grateful for the save.
The trio watched as commotion ensued behind them, with both the Geth and Quarians running down different halls of the ship.
"You going with them?" Silas asked, watching the two new species run around and disappear.
"Unneeded. Covenant forces diminishing, threat level dropping. I ask to be escorted to the bridge, as your ship will be taken to the closest Republic Naval base for repairs," Legion sounded as if he was demanding instead of asking.
"Uhm...alright..." Ariadne said, sounding uncertain, before heading down a hall. Silas followed shortly after.
Unnoticed in the fight, a pair of small craft shot through the battle, eventually reaching the Ahriman. Once onboard, the inhabitants, a group of rogue Sith, began to spread out, to take the ship.
Loria Tuhrove, Vehexa Tactical Cadet, was leading a force of other tactical cadets through the ship, retreating from the Yanme'e swarms. While the other cadets fought back with Phasers, Loria utilized her Vehexa Pulse Blaster, taking down a Yanme'e per shot. Most of the cadets there were unarmored, but Loria herself was equipped with a Vehexa encounter suit. While mostly designed for keeping the Vehexa from facing the heat or pathogens of the outside world, it also doubles fairly well as a combat suit.
As they reached the quarters, Loria held the oncoming horde back as the other cadets got to the quarters, before sealing off the hallway with a forcefield, and making her way towards her quarters, already a heavily-secure location.
However, after departing the turbolift and rounding a corner...a red energy blade swung out, cutting into her leg, breaching her encounter suit. She reached down and covered the breach with her hands, trying to keep the blood in, and the pathogenated air out. Out of the shadows came a Sith Acolyte. Loria tried to reach for her pulse blaster with her free hand, but the Sith slammed his foot down on her arm, resulting in a *snap*. Loria released a shout of pain, as the Sith pointed his lightsaber at Loria.
Just then, another figure, this one brandishing a sword, came out. It took Loria a short time to make the figure out, her vision becoming distorted due to the pain and weakness of being exposed to the pathogens of the outside air, but she eventually made out Lars Falk, one of her friends.
Legion followed the two Cadets down the hall, letting them show him the way to the bridge. Soon, they rounded a corner, seeing two crewman fighting what looked to be a Sith.
"Down, now!" Legion called out to Ariadne and Silas, aiming his rifle at the Sith. Before he could engage, though, an explosion rocked the ship, causing ceiling panels to fall to the floor, just barely missing the trio. Although it missed them, they were cut off from the Sith and other two crewman.
Lars saw his friends, with the unknown synthetic, and then looked back at the Sith, who attacked. Lars brought out his sword, and blocked, and was caught on the defensive, blocking and parrying attacks, being pushed back towards Loria.
The Sith smiled, as he readied to push Lars aside to strike down Loria, but Lars persisted. "I won't let you get any closer to her!"
"Oh, really? And who are you to stop me?! I am a Sith Acolyte, soon to be a master of the Dark Side. And who are you to oppose me?!" As he said that, the Sith struck.
However, Lars brought up his sword, and blocked the blow, despite the strength behind it. Lars then responded, in a Nordic accent, "I'm a Nord...A Son of Skyrim..."
Before the Sith could react, Lars then shouted, "Fus Ro Dah!" Having spent his free-time contemplating the Dovah words Fus, Ro, and Dah, when not spending it with friends or brushing up on his swordsmanship, Lars had finally become able to use the most basic, but most useful, shout: Unrelenting Force.
"Wow...didn't know Lars could do THAT!" Ariadne said.
"Yeah...who knew?" Silas rhetorically asked.
"That occurance was very...improbable," Legion said, as suprised as a synthetic could be.
The Shout lived up to its name, as it threw the Sith backwards, and he slammed against the wall. By the time the Sith recovered, Lars was charging. The Sith was now in the position Lars was earlier, defensively fighting, trying to find an opening...and failing. Finally, Lars unleashed a Flames spell, burning the Sith's left; Frostbite, freezing the Sith's right; and Sparks, right in the Sith's face. The Sith covered his face and screamed, and by the time he could look again...Lars had buried his Ebony Sword in the Sith's gut. He held it there, before pulling it back, causing the Sith to fall to the ground, dead.
By then, Legion, Ariadne, and Silas managed to dig through the debris, as Lars returned to Loria. "Loria, you alright..."
"No..." Loria said, painfully, "My...encounter suit's...been breached..."
Shocked and frightened, Lars searched for the breach. "Ah, shit!"
"Containment suit breach for Quarian makers very similar. Suggest moving her to sterile enviroment," Legion announced, putting away his rifle.
"Her room, if we can get her there, she'll be fine," Lars explained. Legion acknowledged his answer and the cadets helped their fellow crewman up, with Legion drawing his weapon to protect them. They made their way to Loria's room, encountering mainly other crewmen on the way. Legion was, however, forced to eliminate two Kig-Yar straglers. They arrived at Loria's room quickly, though, with Lars helping her in.
Then, Legion, Ariadne, and Silas continued their trek to the bridge.
Lars helped Loria in, and, after getting himself bundled up, took her into the -50°C room, the natural temperature for Vehexa. Lars took her to her chair in the room, and helped her remove the damaged encounter suit, the lightsaber wound having cut through the suit, her pants underneath, and into her leg. Her skin was sickly in color, her blood vessels, leading from the exposure point, turning a tainted brownish grey.
Once he got Loria to her seat, Lars found a case of vials and syringes. Taking one vial and syringe, Lars quickly injected the contents into the infected site. For a moment, nothing...then, to Lars's relief, Loria's infected tissue began to be cleansed, the offending pathogens being destroyed by the Vehexa medicine.
Loria quickly seemed to regain her strength. When her vision cleared, and she saw Lars, she said, "Thank...you..."
Lars sat down next to her, and hugged her. "Don't mention it..."
Finally, Ariadne, Silas, and Legion arrived on the bridge...only to find a Sith there. Most of the bridge crew was either wounded or dead, while the ship commander was dueling the Sith...until the Sith stunned her and impaled her on his lightsaber. When he pulled the blade out, the commander fell limp to the ground.
"Cadet Silas, please refrain from engaging opposing Sith. Cadet Ariadne, please do the same," Legion said, firing two quick shots at the Sith.
The Sith easily evaded the shots, moving towards Legion quickly. Although he tried his best, Legion couldn't dodge the Sith's attack, and his rifle was cut in two. Legion did everything he could to block the Sith's attacks, and did a decent job at it for a while, managing to land a few punches in as well. Soon, though, the Sith landed a hit. The blade tore through some of the wiring in Legion's arm before he was kicked backwards into the wall of the bridge, various sparks shooting from his damaged body.
Suddenly, a device on the far side of the room sparked to life: a pedestal-shaped structure next to the captain's seat. The device began emitting a holographic whirlwind, the bridge filling with holographic mist, and, out of the device, a spectral form emerged.
"Unexpected," Legion said.
"That's Wraith, the ship's AI..." Silas said to Legion.
In a slightly fearful voice, Ariadne added, "And he looks mad..." As she said this, the specter's wispy tail and fingers turned from pale purple to pitch black. Then...the fingers extended, grabbing onto the Sith like boa constrictors.
Legion responded. "This AI, this 'Wraith'. Impressive."
As Wraith stared at the Sith with his single eye, he said to the Sith, his voice coming from every corner of the room. "You have dared harm those I have come to see as my companions. You slaughter my commander and my friend in front of me...Crimes like that..." He threw the Sith in the air, surrounding him in a holographic wire-frame orb. "Are Unforgivable!" Then, taking over the ship's defense systems, he used the ship's security phasers to fire into the orb, vaporizing the Sith. "Your judgment has been dealt."
"Thank you, Wraith AI. Your help was very much appreciated," Legion said, holding his arm together.
"You are welcome. Is there anything I can do for you?" Wraith said, his voice still eminating from all over.
"Please contact the SSV Nar'Ryya. A situation update is due," Legion said coldly. A screen popped up, connecting him to his ship.
"Johnson Commander. Hostiles eliminated, minimal casualties. Ship is ready for escort," Legion spoke into the console, letting the captain of the star destroyer know what has happened. Silas and Ariadne heard mumbling from the console, obviously he response.
"Two hostile Sith eliminated. Origins unknown," Legion added in after the captain halted speaking. More mumbling was heard, and then Legion turned to the cadets. "Your ship will be escorted to the nearest naval base for repairs and crewmen debriefing. You may go about your normal activities." Legion spoke coldly and efficiently, picking up his broken rifle as he walked away from the console.
Ariadne and Silas nodded. "Maybe you should head back with the other Engineer cadets," Silas suggested, "They'll probably need your help restoring power to the ship..."
Ariadne smacked her forehead, remembering why she was not in her quarters, waiting out the fight, in the first place. "That's right! Don't worry, will have power back soon!" she said, leaving the bridge.
Silas sighed, watching her leave. Then, Wraith approached him. "You should probably return to your duties, make sure your wing's alright."
"Good thinking," Silas said, departing. Then, Wraith returned his attention to the ship, and keeping with the IgR fleet.
Chapter 2: DisplacementEdit
The battered fleet brought the Ahriman to a small colonial world, protected from more Covenant attacks. Tugs helped the Coalition ship limp into a dock before letting want remained of the Republic personal off the ship. As a precaution, a few Quarian marines, as well as Legion, stayed on the Ahriman to help out, either with emergency repairs or with medical help.
Meanwhile, the cadets Ariadne, Silas, Lars, and Loria were in Loria's quarters, the former 3 bundled in up in winter garb, due to the room's -50°C environment. The 3 were discussing the circumstances of what happened, while Ariadne tinkered with a piece of machinery in one corner of the room.
"We saw the commander killed in front of us," Silas mentioned, "Some of the bridge crew survived, but the commander is gone."
"With the commander gone, who's in charge of the ship?" Lars asked.
Loria pointed out, rubbing her bandaged leg, "Likely the highest-ranked survivor in the bridge crew."
"But what about us?" Ariadne asked, "How're we gonna get back?"
"I don't know," Silas responded, "But at least we have help...and at least relations between Hellcat Squadran and the Intergalactic Republic have been...peaceful...for the past century..."
"Alright...let's just hope they have a means for us to get home," Ariadne said.
Loria pointed out, "They had to have means to get to the Milky Way galaxy...who knows whether it's still up or not."
"Well, I hope it is," Ariadne said, before raising up from her work. "There, should be connected to the other transporter now."
"The holodeck been sanitized?" Loria asked.
"And environmental controls set to Vehexa norms," Ariadne replied, "Just gotta seal off the holodeck, so no one walks in on you, without going through your room and decontamination chamber, but we'll be able to easily unseal it once your encounter suit is repaired-"
"If it's repaired," Loria pointed out. The Lightsaber wound to Loria's leg was shallow, and would heal soon. Her encounter suit, however, would require a fully-stocked Vehexan repair facility to repair, something unlikely to be this far away from Coalition space. Therefore, until either the suit is repaired, or she's provided with a suitable substitute, Loria was trapped in her quarters for the time being.
"Don't worry, we'll find a means for you to leave soon," Lars said, putting a hand on Loria's shoulder. Loria put her hand on top of Lars's, and looked at him, smiling a little.
Then, Silas got up, "I should get back to the other Starviper Wing Cadets."
Then, Lars stood up as well, "I'll tell your superior about what happened to you, before returning to my duties."
"I should get to work sealing off that holodeck," Ariadne said, "Shouldn't be more than 5 minutes. The holodeck's already usable, if you want to get started." With that, all 3 individuals left the quarters, leaving Loria alone in her room, before she looked at the portable transporter, deciding to go ahead to the holodeck.
Legion strode down the hall, ready to return for repairs. As he went on, a door opened and three cadets walked out, nearly crashing into him. He quickly stopped, but scared the trio.
"My apologies, Cadet younglings. Question, how is your comrade?" Legion asked.
"She'll be fine, but she's stuck in that room until we get her suit repaired. But that'll take forever, because we have no facilities near us with the proper equipment," Lars answered, studying the robot.
"Vehexan suit breaches possibly similar to Creators dilema. Possibility of suit creation. Interesting," Legion said to himself and walked away, ignoring any response from the group.