Monday, 31 December 1990

The Valkyrie Chronicles - The Theophilus War Chapter 5

The bridge crew stood, looking around.
    “This is obviously some sort of starship.” said Tompkins, who was sitting at the helm. “And I am obviously the pilot.”
    Tompkins turned to face the control panel. He began punching in a few things, but nothing happened.
    “You know how to operate this thing?” asked Watt.
    “Strangely, yes.” replied Tompkins. “I don’t know how, but I seem to know how this panel works. But that’s no use to us because everything is off line.”
    “Computer.” said Watt. “Computer?”
    Nothing happened.
    “It’s not the only thing that isn’t working.” said Pendragon.
    Sutek sat at the science station.
    “I’m getting noting from the computer.” he said. “It’s working, but I can’t get to any files.”
    Watt began to feel his collar. He felt the four buttons, which indicated he was a Starfleet captain.
    “I’m obviously an officer of some rank.” he said. “Four buttons, and this badge.”
    “I have those too.” said Amarus. “But also this sash.”
    Amarus indicated to his Traxxon Academy sash.
    “Maybe I am in command.” he said.
    “This is no time to appoint leaders.” said Pendragon. “We have to find out who were are.”
    Then, Sutek made a breakthrough.
    “I’ve managed to patch into the internal communications system.” he said.
    The officers rushed over to the panel.
    “But what do we say?” said Watt. “This entire ship may have been affected.”
    There was a slight pause. Then Amarus spoke.
    “To all areas of the ship. Stay where you are. Select a representative for your group, and then report to the bridge.”
    Watt was right in thinking that the entire ship had been affected. In the Gresley, Trospheo stood, gazing around. Everyone there was disorientated. Then, Magus got up from behind the bar. He, too, was affected.
    “May I help you?” he said. “Would you like a drink?”
    “You don’t look like a normal member of this crew.” said Trospheo.
    In sick bay, Dr. Singh had been treating Lt. Lom, who had suffered a knee injury on the holodeck.
    “Zzo what do we do now?” asked Lom.
    “We do as they said.” said Singh. “We select someone.”
    Lom went to get off the bed. He let out a cry of pain as he stood on his leg.
    “Are you injured?” asked Singh.
    “Itzz my knee.” said Lom. “It feelzz like someone juzzt pulled it off!”
    Lom sat back on the bed. Without thinking, Singh picked up a small instrument. He switched it on, and ran it over Lom’s injured knee. A minute later, and the pain was gone.
    “The pain izz gone.” said Lom. “How did you do it?”
    “I don’t know.” said Singh. “It just seemed like the right thing to do.”
    Back on the bridge, Addams and Tompkins stood at the tactical station. What was odd about this was that Addams was now wearing the uniform of a Starfleet commander instead of his Monstron uniform, but the rest of the crew were hardly in a position to notice this.
    “I’ve accessed the weapons system.” said Addams. “We have ten phaser banks and two hundred photo torpedoes.”
    “We’re obviously a war ship then.” said Amarus.
    Sutek continued to access the computer.
    “We a have a crew of one thousand and thirty two.” he said. “But I still can’t find a trace of any personal files or logs.”
    “This is certainly strange form of memory loss.” said Watt. “All of our memories are gone, yet we have retained our skills.”
    Amarus, because of his Traxxon sash, now seemed to take command.
    “Have you found out how many rooms there are on this ship?” he asked.
    “There are many.” said Sutek. “That is the one thing I can tell.”
    Amarus pointed to Pendragon and Tompkins.
    “I want you two to carry out a search of this ship.” he said. “Speak to as many of the crew as you can.”
    Pendragon and Tompkins left the bridge.

    The next couple of hours were spent surveying the ship, trying to find out how many people were affected. Pendragon and Tompkins were now at the top deck of the ship.
    “This ship is very interesting.” said Tompkins. “Especially that holodeck back there.”
    “I could certainly think of a few programs for that thing.” smiled Pendragon.
    “So what’s our next stop?” asked Tompkins.
    “The room up ahead.” Pendragon replied. “A room known as the Gresley.”
    A minute or so later, Pendragon and Tompkins entered the Gresley. The many people who were in there were still greatly confused. Pendragon walked over to Trospheo.
    “Are you the representative for this group?” he asked.
    “Yes.” Trospheo replied. “But there’s something strange about me. I seem to be able to read people’s thoughts. And that’s not the only thing. The bartender is very strange. It seems he doesn’t belong here.”
    Magus walked over to them.
    “Can I get you a beverage, sir?” he asked. “A malt whisky, perhaps?”
    Back on the bridge, Sutek had found more success.
    “We seem to have been in a battle.” he said.
    Amarus, who was seated in the captain’s chair, approached Sutek.
    “So where is this ship now?” he asked.
    “They attacked us with some form of photon beam.” said Sutek. “This seems to have wiped out our memories. We obviously destroyed this ship soon afterwards.”
    “Is there any debris?” asked Amarus.
    “None.” replied Sutek. “We must have hit their weapons banks.”
    Later, Amarus sat in the captain’s ready room. He, too, was trying to access the computer, but was having no luck. Then, Watt and Addams entered.
    “The whole ship has been affected by that weapon.” said Watt. “And each in the same way. Everyone has lost their memories, but not their skills.”
    “Has the ship’s doctor assessed the situation?” asked Amarus.
    “All of the medical files seem to have been wiped.” said Addams. “And the Vulcan is still trying to access the computer.”
    Several minutes later, Amarus entered the bridge. Watt and Tompkins sat at the helm. As Amarus sat in the captain’s chair Lom entered.
    “All enginezz are operable.” he reported. “We sustained minor damage in the attack. The zzhieldzz are zztill off line.”
    “We must restore the shield.” said Amarus. “That is our first priority.”
    Watt turned around from his helm position.
    “Surely our first priority would be to repair the computer.” he said. “We must retrieve our files, to find out who we are.”
    Then, Sutek called over.
    “I believe I have just done that.” he called.
    They all raced over to his position.
    “I have just found the crew files.” he said, pressing the button.
    The screen came on. The computer spoke.
    “Officers of the U.S.S. Valkyrie, Wagner class starship.
    Commanding officer Captain James Watt.
    First officer Commander Wesley Addams.
    Executive officer Commander Arthur Pendragon.
    Operations officer Lt. Commander Simon Winthorn.
    Tactical officer Lt. Tamar Amarus.
    Navigational officer Lt. Mark Tompkins.
    Security chief Ensign Archer Greenleaf.
    Chief engineer Lt. Lom.
    Science officer Lt. Sutek.
    Ship’s counsellor Lt. Commander Trospheo.
    Chief medical officer Dr. Gourlak Singh.
    Special envoy Ambassador Phineas Magus.”
    “It appears that Ambassador Magus is a wizard.” said Sutek.
    “A wizard?” said Watt. “Where is he now?”
    “He’s in the Gresley.” Tompkins replied. “Waiting tables.”
    “You’d better get him here.” said Watt. “Have you found out what our mission is yet?”
    “I will be able to give a full briefing in ten minutes.” replied Sutek.
    Ten minutes later they gathered in the conference room. All were seated at the table except Sutek. He switched on the computer screen.
    “We are currently at war with a race known as the Istari, who reside on this planet, which is known only as the Time. We have been at war with them for the past seven years. Our mission is to travel to the Time, and destroy their headquarters here, in Istarix.”
    “What are the Istari?” asked Addams.
    “The Istari are a group of wizards.” Sutek replied. “They have attacked several of our outposts over the past few years. They command an army of mighty warriors and starships.”
    “Wizards?” queried Magus. “Like myself?”
    “According to the files, you recently worked undercover on Istarix. That is why you are on this mission, Ambassador.”
    “Something doesn’t seem right here.” said Trospheo. “Maybe we should contact Starfleet Headquarters.”
    “We have been ordered to maintain radio silence.” said Sutek. “At this time, four other starships are moving toward the Time, readying themselves to attack. Ours is the main objective of this mission.”
    “Is there anything else you can tell us?” asked Watt.
    “The computer is still giving us some trouble.” said Sutek. “Some files have gone completely. All I can say is that we are at war.”
    “And how about you, Doctor?” asked Watt. “Have you completed your medical assessment?”
    “I’ve examined many of the crew.” Singh replied. “Our short term memories have been completely erased. Our long term memories are still in our minds, but something is blocking them. It is most puzzling that only our skills are intact.”
    “Is there any cure?” asked Watt.
    “There is.” said Singh. “I can correct the fault using a sophisticated brain cell scan, but without medical records it would be very dangerous.”
    “Do all you can to try and retrieve those files.” said Watt. “Now we have to decide on our next move.”
    “There is only one decision to make, Captain.” said Addams. “We must continue our mission. Our forces are depending on us.”
    “I think we should contact Starfleet.” said Magus. “This situation does seem rather odd.”
    “It seems, though, that we have our orders.” said Watt. “I think we should continue with our mission. How long until we reach the Time?”
    “Twenty seven hours.” said Sutek. “Our warp engines are still undergoing repair.”
    “Then I think we should continue with our mission.” said Watt.
    “There is one more thing.” said Sutek. “The mission file mentioned something about a crystal on Istarix. It said that a small away team was to try and retrieve the crystal.”
    “A crystal?” queried Watt.
    “A valuable power source for the Istari.” said Sutek. “It is known as the Eye of the Serpent.”
    “Then we shall retrieve it.” said Watt. “We shall put an end to this war. Set a course for the Time, Mr. Tompkins. Meeting adjourned.”
    As they broke up, Amarus approached Watt.
    “I would like to apologize, sir.” he said. “I assumed authority that was not mine to assume.”
    “No apologies needed, Lieutenant.” said Watt. “We are all in the same boat. The Istari must have a pretty powerful weapon to do this!”
   
    Several hours passed. The repairs to the warp engines and the shields went well. Sutek and Singh continued to search through the computers, but they could find no medical files or personal logs.
    “I may have found something, Captain.” said Sutek at the science station.
    Watt and Addams walked over to him.
    “Our sensor readings showed that we were under attack from a Valhalla class Istarian vessel. We were attacked by a photo-like beam. It was not designed to do any damage to the ship. It was aimed specifically at the crew’s memories and computer banks.”
    “It obviously wasn’t a complete success.” remarked Addams.
    “On the contrary.” said Sutek. “All logs, both ships and personal, have been erased. I can find no history for any of the crew. I can also find very little history about our war with the Istari.”
    “It is odd.” said Watt. “It was as if they knew what to attack.”
    “But we destroyed their ship, didn’t we?” asked Addams.
    “Our phasers were fired.” replied Sutek. “There was no ship when we regained our senses, so logic dictates that it must have been destroyed.”
    Then, Amarus discovered something.
    “A ship is approaching us, Captain.” he said. “Thirty thousand kilometres away.”
    “On screen.” Watt ordered, as he took his seat.
    The image appeared on the viewer. It looked small compared to the Valkyrie.
    “Computer confirms it to be a Valhalla class vessel, crew compliment fifty two.”
    “Go to read alert.” ordered Addams. “Arm phasers and photon torpedoes.”
    “We are being hailed, Captain.” said Amarus.
    “We must fire on them, Captain.” said Addams. “Our forces are depending on us.”
    Watt paused as he considered his options.
    “They continue to hail us, Captain.” said Amarus.
    “We must fire, Captain!” said Addams. “Now!”
    Watt continued to stay silent.
    “They are no longer hailing us.” said Amarus. “They are charging their photon beam!”
    “Lower shield.” ordered Addams. “Fire!”
    Amarus lowered the shields, and fired the phasers. The ship was easily destroyed.
    “Ship destroyed.” said Amarus. “No survivors.”
    “Your indecision could have cost us, Captain.” said Addams. “We could have been destroyed!”
    “Unlikely, Commander.” said Sutek. “Our sensors revealed that the photon beam would not have penetrated our shields. The vessel had a maximum speed of warp two. It was no match for us.”
     Watt was deep in though.
    “There is certainly something odd about this war.” he said.
    He paused again for another moment.
    “I’d like to see the senior officers in the conference room in ten minutes.” he said. “I’ll be in my ready room until then.”