Jacen's Personal Log - Episode 6
Commerce 01 was a great place, if you like hanging around scum and villainy. Problem is, I think I might. We hung around for a few days after trading in the Fearless for the Heart o’ Gold. She needed some repairs before we took her out, and I took the opportunity to spend some of our ill-gotten booty on some personal effects as well as some things for the ship, like the gourmet food replicators. As much as I miss home, I gotta say that this galaxy has some really cool dren, when all is said and done.
After leaving Commerce 01, we headed for Ferenginar on a more sober mission. I never haid much time with my own parents, yet I still remember them. I don’t miss them, though; not nearly as much as I miss my masters and the others from the Dantooine and Yavin Enclaves. I think that helps me understand Tarak’s loss, but it can only really be a pale shadow of his feelings.
The journey to his home took us through the Alteran Expanse; we could have gone around it, but it was faster to fly through. The stories, foreboding as they were, did more to draw me in than they did to warn me away. Luckily we didn’t lose anyone during our adventure. Karr’s friend Rexar, who we met on Commerce 01 and hired on, did a fine job of piloting theough the Expanse. About half way through, we chanced upon a derelict Starfleet vessel, the Vanguard. Karr apparently served on the ship and we decided to investigate. Truth be told, we were also hoping to salvage what we could to aid in the repairs of the Heart o’ Gold, but helping any survivors was the priority mission of the day.
We decided not to trust the transporters, and instead initiated a hard dock. Karr, YunDarr, Rexar, Tarak, Kylie, and myself went aboard and immediately set out for the Bridge, which required climbing up fourteen decks through the ‘Jeffries Tubes’, which are maintenance tunnels that honeycomb Starfleet vessels. Not a bad idea, I suppose, but as we proved over the next several hours, a place that can be used to hide quite handily.
The first thing that hit us when we went aboard was a wave of heat. The Vanguard’s internal temperature must have been well over 40-degrees; humidity was high as well. That made climbing all the more fun, but we made it. The scene on the Bridge matched some of the scenes I’d witnessed fighting the Mandalorians – it was a killing field; bodies strewn about, many missing limbs and heads.
Karr got the computers running, so we accessed the ship’s log. Captain Archer’s last words were sobering: you can hear them here. After listening, we accessed the ship’s internal cameras and witnessed more savagery about the ship. We even witnessed a man dragging the body of another through the halls. Internal sensors showed that there was a large nuumber of life signs in Engineering; cameras showed them engaged in some sort of ritualistic orgy. We didn’t know how to process what we were seeing.
After that we started scavenging what we could while trying to stay out of the way of whatever survivors remained aboard. We had one encounter that led to Rexar and Kylie being injured. Since we were close to the shuttle bay, we headed there and loaded two Starfleet runabouts with the materiel we had taken to that point and let the two injured fly them to our vessel. We still needed more to help our repairs, though, so the four of us headed back into the Vanguard.
At some point, the idea of taking the Captain’s Yacht had been brought up – it would have most of the parts we were looking for, without requiring us to sneak throughout the larger vessel. We decided that Tarak and YunDarr should make their way there, while Karr and I would head to Main Engineering to maybe determine what might have happened. Hey, nobody ever said I was the brightest student – my master even said on multiple occassions that I often acted without thinking through the full consequences.
Karr and I made our way through the tubes to Engineering. When we arrived, the orgy had finished, and the heap of bodies were laying there, resting. While Karr checked on the engines and the warp core, I decided to get closer to the mound and checked one girl’s pulse to see if she yet lived. This had the result of waking her, so she screamed and woke the rest of the mound. What resulted was a harrowing chase through the corridors and tubeways of the Vanguard, all the while being hunted down by the survivors while the warp core was getting ready to blow – something I learned from Karr during the chase. At first we tried to return to the hard dock, but there were too many decks to climb, and too many people trying to cut us off. In the end, we made our way back to the shuttle bay and stole another Runabout while telling Rexar and Alyr to disengage the Heart o’ Gold from the Vanguard. We landed in our shuttle bay and got out of there in time to avoid final moments of the Starfleet vessel.
The remainder of the trip to Ferenginar was a quiet one; I think we were all trying to process what we had encountered. My personal thoughts are that some sort of alien intellect had overcome the crew – the look in that girl’s eyes when she awoke was not Human, nor was the scream that emanated from her throat. We may never know the truth though, and that might not be a bad thing.
After paying our respects to Tarak’s mother, we left Ferenginar and headed to Deep Space 9, a former Starfleet space station that had been turned over to the Bajoran Defense Force. Rexar knew some people there that might be able to help us out, plus Alyr and Tarak had contacts of their own. En route, Alyr contacted someone he knew via the comm system, and learned that it was safe for the most part for us to go there. I tried to reach Satele through the Force, and think I reached her. I told her to contact me on DS9, but since there was no response, I’ll have to wait here for a few days before leaving. Trouble with that is, the FTL travel here is so slow compared to home that I might wind up leaving before she can arrive – I’ll have to hope she comms me before that can happen.
One good thing that happened after we arrived on the station was meeting Mina. She’s a Twi’lek from Ryloth, and a free trader. I met her when she showed up at Quark’s looking to get her money back for bad goods he’d sold her. Quark’s a friend, so I’d stepped in to see if I could smooth things over. Of course, he’d sold her some bad equipment – my guess is he expected her to be well and away from the system when the drenn he’d sold her broke down. I was able to talk her out of taking immediate action, and she gave Quark a few days to either pay her back or to get her working replacements. I also hooked up with her and spent a few hours talking about some of the old neighborhoods, before things took a decided more personal turn. I hope for his sake that Quark doesn’t try to screw her over again; I have a strong feeling that he wouldn’t come out too well from making that same mistake twice.
We’ll be sticking around for a few more days, then we’ll head out. To where, we don’t know yet. Probably Betazed, unless I hear otherwise from Satele. Then it’ll probably to Citadel Station; Alyr seems particularly anxious to get there. For now though, things seem to be looking shiny – I hope that lasts a little while.