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What Might've Been

Posted on Sun Mar 24th, 2024 @ 11:17pm by Captain Shran dh'Klar

Mission: Man & Machine
Location: USS Washington

The Washington continued its journey into the unexplored vastness of the Beta Quadrant. While the sciences were happy with all the new data they had collected over the last three weeks, for many of the crew things were becoming routine, and a bit too quiet for comfort. Three weeks since they had encountered a single species, known or otherwise. They were far away from any of the usual bad actors, no Romulans, Cardassians, Breen or any other potential threats. Just the vast unknown, and perhaps that scared people a little bit.

It was with a bit of delight when Shran had been summoned to the bridge by Deanna. He had been finishing his dinner in his quarters when the call came in. Whatever it was, it was far more exciting than his planned review of the power consumption logs.

Shran exited the turbolift with eager anticipation, "What do you have Deanna?" he queried. Then he stopped in his tracks when he saw the visual on the viewscreen. The planet was M-class, and perhaps in what might be the strange part, it had a remarkable similarity in appearance to Earth. "I know we didn't magically warp to Earth, so explain what it is I am seeing."

"Your eyes aren't deceiving you captain" Deanna said simply. "The planet looks remarkably similar to that of Earth. Definite differences, but quite close when looking with just your eyes. Sensors can't tell us to much due to massive amounts of radiation in the atmosphere. I am detecting what appears to be cities though, quite large in fact. The planet was certainly inhabited at one point."

"What caused the radiation? War or orbital bombardment?" Shran questioned.

"The planet is most definitely dealing with the aftermath of a nuclear war. Based on preliminary sensor data, I estimate that they had this war within the last 5-7 years" Deanna replied. "Curious, I am detecting intermittent energy signatures, very low level, as if the use of laser weapons were being used."

"Any chance we can transport down there?" Shran queried as he sat down in his command chair.

"Definitely not sir. And even if we sent an away team by shuttle, I doubt Dr. Howard could inoculate them for protective purposes for any longer than an hour on the surface before radiation levels began to have serious deleterious effects" Deanna replied once more.

"Get Jon up here, Sam too. I want to speak with them both immediately" Shran ordered. "And keep scanning the planet, Deanna. Maybe with a bit of luck you might find something."

Shran remained sitting at command, pondering what it was that they had stumbled upon. Might this have been a planet that didn't survive the scientific breakthrough of splitting the atom? Or perhaps it had a tragic ending another way, a battle between warring city states. Shran didn't think they would find anything still alive down there, but he still wanted his XO and CMO to give opinions before he would authorize an away mission. Something about this made his antennae twitchy, and he was determined to get to the bottom of this.


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