Prologue : Part 2

The first sensation that the Captain of the Kovali, Darnel Soren felt as she clawed her way towards consciousness was that she was floating alone in the void of space. The primitive part of her brain rebelled at this and lashed out, desperate to feel something. The Cryo chamber's release mechanism activated and she was dumped unceremoniously onto the decking, awash in cryo-fluid which she coughed and hacked up as her body struggled to suddenly deal with an oxygen environment again.

As the fog cleared from her mind that earlier sense of wrongness returned, where was her Executive Officer, the Doctor and her Chief Engineer spitting up fluid on the deck beside her? She waited for her eyes to refocus and the disorientation to pass.

As she gained her feet she finally realized that she was steady and alert, and that her vision was not the problem. Her anxiety she pushed down, compressed to a knot in the pit of her stomach as she relocated the cryopod and then turned around and slowly, haltingly followed the drill that she had practiced almost every day before launch. She stumbled her way to what was an auxiliary junction and called out to the ship's governing intelligence.

"Computer, report status and readiness." Silence however was to be her only answer. Now a measure of fear crept in, and sought to warm that cold knot of anxiety she had buried in the pit of her stomach. For if the computer was offline, then so too was main power. Auxiliary power was also out of the question, being used as it was to sustain the lives of her crew. Beyond that concern however was the blind fear, without main power they were drifting through the emptiness of space.

Darnel stumbled back to her Cryo-pod and pulled the Captain's panic switch. The external lighting circuits on the pod activated. Good Darnel thought, at least the emergency revival system still has power. As she adjusted to the sudden illumination, the blind choking panic that would have engulfed her retreated. Now that she had light, she was able to find and activate the external emergency reactivation circuits on the three pods next to hers.

The pods downloaded each persons consciousness and awakened them from metabolic stasis, the doors recessed downwards into the decking and it's occupants were released onto the decking. Darnel ignored the Doctor and her Executive Officer and immediately focused on the Chief Engineer, catching Commander Joran Deras as he fell.

It didn't take long before Joran and the others to notice something was wrong as their minds cleared and readjusted to the physical sensations of a body. Joran looked up and into the Captain's hard set face. “Captain, what's happening?” Joran asked in a confused tone, “And why do I feel so sluggish, a five year cryo journey doesn't cause this much synaptic lag?”. Darnel hesitated a moment, he had just vocalized what she'd been afraid to think.

“I don't know," said the Captain to her subordinate. "But whatever has happened, both Main and Reserve power are out. The Intelligence isn't responding, so he's not just in sleep mode, but completely powered down. Get dressed, and while you're doing that I'll grab some of the reserve stores.”

Captain Soren got up and left her senior staff to dress themselves in their duty uniforms, while she went and found some of the emergency portable lighting devices, some food and water to help restore synaptic cohesion. After a quick meal, and shrugging into her own uniform, they each set out to the station where they could be most efficient. Darnel to the bridge, her XO to damage control, the Doctor to Life Support, and Deras to Engineering.

Two hours later, Darnel had managed to restore AI control after Deras had activated reserve power, several of the crew had been resuscitated to aid in that endeavour. Now that the computer control had been mostly restored things seemed like they were getting back to normal until her Senior Staff met her on the bridge.

She was almost finished breaking through the software encryption that was preventing the AI from accessing the deep space sensor array. By utilizing a power distribution algorithm she managed to selectively short out the security control panel and then the console next to her that controlled the array lit up.

Darnel turned sharply, bringing the beam rifle to bear on the hatchway. Since awakening to this dark and cold ship she had developed a jumpiness to her movements. Any noise now was enough to set it off, and it wasn't until she heard regular footfalls, and then the voices of her officers that she re-slung her weapon and watched them walk through the hatch.

By the looks on their faces, the situation was dire indeed. They moved to her office to conduct the initial briefing which was short, and painted a bleak outlook. Most of the primary systems were either offline or had suffered unexplainable damage, as the outer hull was still intact.

The End

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