<USS Banshee> "Searching for Shadows"
- From: "Brad Ruder" <GroundZero@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- To: ussbanshee@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Sun, 20 Oct 2002 17:45:20 -0700
?Searching for Shadows?
Both FIB-3 Compact
Subatomic Unified Energy Impulse Units were brought on-line as Josh?s
eyes danced over the cockpit, which was infested with a number of
consoles and keyboards, gauges and readouts, and the primary sensor
screen that was housed directly in front of him and operated as his
The engines hummed to life like someone
had awakened a beast or animal from a long slumber. Feeling the
immense power at his fingertips, Josh slowly jabbed at the keyboard
and brought the engines through their startup cycles. Josh lowered
the visor on his flight helmet, which contained it?s own smaller
?Asper to Bridge.?
?Andros here, go
?I?m ready to go, permission to launch.?
Josh read again through his preflight checklist that always stood
ready and handy in his right flight jacket pocket. After all, you
never know what looking at it twice could do for
?Permission granted.? Andros? voice echoed throughout
the tiny cockpit. Josh waved back the people that ran frantically
around the small Shogun Fighter. The ladders and things of that
nature were pulled back. Josh gazed across the bay to Ensign Kaiden
tol?Cemmen who had just started out of the bay. He had felt bad
about dismissing her so quickly, but he was so enthusiastic about
flying solo that he had hurried her along in her required inspection
of the spacecraft.
?Computer, being flight log on Shogun
Fighter Six. Pilot is Lieutenant Joshua
?Acknowledged.? The computer?s ever-dull voice
responded as it clicked and beeped in acceptance of his order.
?Flight log in progress.?
?Activating anti-grav hovering
pylons.? Tapping the buttons, Josh felt the fighter slowly rise off
the ground and the feeling of freedom overwhelmed him for a blink of
an eye before he could pull himself back to reality. The fighter sat
there, motionless, just meters above the metallic flooring of the
?Activating emergency launching forcefield.?
The blue haze transcended upon the fighterbay door that loomed in
front of the less-formidable vessel. The door was a pure
tritanium-duratanium alloy and couldn?t be destroyed unless you blew
it up with a quantum torpedo. He did have quantum torpedo box
launchers on board, but found it to be a waste of ammunition.
?Opening fighterbay doors.?
As the doors rose to reveal the
emptiness of space, Josh suddenly felt his freedom dwindle into a
feeling of being inferior and small compared to the abyss that lay
before him. Josh smiled as he tapped the impulse engines into their
lowest setting, ?Setting speed, one-sixteenth impulse.? The craft
slowly glided from the fighterbay of the Banshee and into the open
space. Josh turned the craft up and away, veering slightly starboard
to move around the Banshee so that he would be as far away from the
Cardassian freighter as possible.
?Increasing speed, one-half
impulse. Heading, 154 point 7 mark 6.?
His gaze drifting to
the Banshee, Josh realized what a marvelous ship he served upon.
It?s outer hull shined brightly as the rays of sunshine impacted it?s
metal exterior. The glare almost blinded him, but the visor provided
the necessary blockage and Josh turned his head to focus on the task
Cardassia loomed in his port window. The Class-M
planet was just as blue and green as Earth was, but lacked that vital
feeling of home and security. The continents were shaped and
positioned in disarray and littered the surface like finger-paints on
a single sheet of paper. The planet seemed to be so peaceful and
calm for such a violent and savage raced that occupied its surface.
Josh?s thoughts drifted to those that still lingered in the
corridors and the rooms of the Banshee. They were all alone out here
in the middle of Cardassian space, and to top it all off they had
little chance of aid if anything were to happen. Josh thought of the
immense responsibility that ever sole onboard the ship was
undertaking. They risked their lives on a daily basis, and rarely
did you hear anyone complain. Well, all except for Ibu Profen, but
that was another story.
The homeworld of the Cardassians
slowly seceded from view and disappeared into a simple blip in his
aft scanner. The sensors focused in on his next goal, the Class-H
moon that orbited Cardassia. The atmosphere was harsh, but still was
able to support life. ?Slowing speed to one-fourth impulse,
activating full sensor sweep of the northeastern
The readouts buzzed with activity as useless
information ? useless for it wasn?t anything that dealt with the
location of the elusive Peregrine ? filtered in and instantly
downloaded into his data banks for later deciphering. The
northeastern hemisphere wasn?t populated, was mostly rocky
outcroppings on the side of a mountain that rose higher than any
mountain on Earth. There weren?t any sources of water and there were
a couple of volcanic vents. Needless to say, the population
consisted of rock, more rock, and then some volcanic
?Changing sensor parameters to the southeastern
hemisphere.? Josh was sure that he?d find something somewhere on
such a large mass of matter that orbited the planet. The Peregrine?s
extrapolated trajectory was someone on this rock, and he intended on
finding it. ?Computer, have sensors picked up anything that may
resemble a Peregrine-class fighter??
inorganic has been picked up on sensors.?
parameters, again, to encompass the northwestern hemisphere.? Again
Josh tapped his console and activated his long-range sensors. The
sweeps whipped over the surface of the moon several times, all
returning the same lack of location that Josh had feared. It wasn?t
aggravating him; he was just hoping that something would come up. As
missile silo, an ammunitions dump, a secret Tal Shiar facility,
anything that would allow him to power up his weapons
Laughing to himself Josh called up the weapons
inventory. Four Type-VIII Collimated Phaser Arrays, 9 MK-120 Quantum
Torpedo Box Launchers, and 4 MK-25 Direct-Fire Photon/Quantum
Microtorpedo Tubes with 12 Microtorpedo cartridges per tube ? it was
enough to wipe out a small planet. Josh sure that no one would miss
this moon that proved to be about as interesting as a Vulcan funeral
dirge. The oceans may flood the planet?s surface, but who would miss
a couple million Cardassians? Josh was sure that the Federation
would conveniently ?overlook? the infraction.
Shaking off his
violent thoughts against the spoonheads, Josh turned his attention to
the never-ending supply of useless information that poured from every
console in his cockpit. Josh adjusted his course to move him into
range for his final sensor sweep. ?Initiating final scan of the
moon?s surface, southwestern hemisphere.?
?Scan of the moon is
?Computer, analyze the results and compare them to
the materials used to construct a normal Peregrine-class fighters.
Is a Peregrine-class fighter located on the moon?s
The computer?s dry voice engaged in response;
?Computer, increase analyzing program
of sensor results to class four. Now is there a Peregrine-class
fighter on the surface?? Josh was growing tired of arguing with the
computer; he always lost because it would never get tired of dealing
with him and would always offer the heartless and monotone voice to
any question he?d ask.
?No Peregrine-class fighter was
detected on the surface of the moon.?
Just deactivated his
long-range sensors and retracted the array into the belly of the
craft. Josh maneuvered the craft in a circle and set course back the
ship. ?Computer, run a multi-layered subspace scan and monitor all
frequencies for any unidentified warp signatures.? Josh was hoping
that his last scan would allow him to open a door to where the
Peregrine fighter went. Something was suspicious about the sudden
disappearance of the vessel, something that just didn?t seem to make
sense. ?Computer, are there any warp signatures detectable on
?Negative, no warp signatures have been
?Are you saying that the Peregrine fighter remained
?Unable to comprehend, please restate inquiry.?
Josh hung his head and then smiled, sometimes he thought that the
computer knew physically who he was and made sure that everything he
asked wasn?t exact enough. He figured that the computer would mock
him out of spite.
Josh increased the speed of the shogun
fighter as it zipped through space towards home. His first solo
mission in the fighter proved uneventful and, as he saw it, a
complete waste of time. Then again it still troubled him about the
location of the ghost ship. Josh realized, and faced the
superstition that it may have been just that, a ghost ship.
the other hand, Josh knew that it really was a ship. He was going to
found out who it was and what they were after, not to mention the
fact that he?d track down every last location that the Peregrine
could have gone. Josh refused to accept the fact that it was all a
witch-hunt; something was wrong ? really wrong.
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