Vong War Annals – “Unexpected beacons” 03.13.2011

            Dorrin Drake stepped onto the bridge of the Legacy just as Davil Bullian shut down the holocomm.  He arched a brow at the engineer as he took a sip from his mug of caf.  “Who was that, Dav?”
            “Ari,” Davil answered, heading back over to the console he’d taken over a few days ago, when the group headed out on maneuvers on the edge of the Xenea system.  “She’s…I think she’s starting to break, Dorrin.”
            The Legacy’s XO’s brow arched higher.  “Your sister?  Not a chance.  I’m sure she’s all right.  Probably still feeling echoes of a few weeks ago.  Serpindal, Ion, all of that.”
            “Maybe,” Davil said, frowning slightly.
            Something started beeping on one of the sensor boards, followed by proximity alarms a moment later.  The crewman manning the board, maybe two or three years older than either of his superiors, looked sharply toward the two men.  “New contact, broadcasting emergency distress beacon, range four thousand klicks starboard.”
            “The hell?”  Dorrin started to move toward the crewman even as Molly Losoda began cursing at the helm, starting to put distance between the Legacy and whatever had just jumped in-system on top of it.
            “Get it on-screen,” Dorrin snapped.
            An image of the drift, all but derelict Seraph’s Wake came to life on the Legacy’s main screen, tiny fires still burning somewhere inside.  About a third of it looked like it was coated in molten rock.
            “What is that?”  Dorrin asked, brow furrowing.
            Davil squinted a little at the image.  “Looks like it used to be an old 290.”
            Dorrin glanced toward Davil, brow arching again. “How can you tell?”
            “Uncle Ulic has one on Corellia that he’s been restoring for about the last twenty years, if Aunt Infinity’s to be believed.”  Davil moved closer to the screen, frowning.  “Yeah.  That’s a Corellian ship.  If it’s not a 290, it’s something closely resembling one.”
            “Uh-huh,” Dorrin said, then looked toward the crewman on the communications board.  “Connie, IFF?”
            “Broadcasting New Republic, but faint.  Looks like his comm system’s going down.”
            “He’s going to lose everything in a few minutes.”  Davil pointed to the screen.  “He’s got about half an engine left.  Whoever’s aboard that mess doesn’t have much time.”
            “…right.”  Dorrin frowned.  “Mr. Christie, are you picking up any lifesigns?”
            “Too much interference.  I’m not sure if it’s the radiation or the rock bath that thing took, sir, but I can’t punch through.”
            Dorrin nodded.  “Tractor it in, then.”
            Davil turned toward Dorrin, blinking.  “Just like that?”
            “You said those systems aboard are going to fail.”
            “Well, yeah,” Davil admitted.  “But we don’t know if anyone’s still alive aboard her.  Hell, for all we know, this could be some kind of Vong trap.”
            “What’s the range on your senses?”
            “If I’m not related to someone?”
            “Am I to assume that the great Davil Bullian can’t extend his senses a few thousand klicks to see if there’s anything alive on that ship out there?”
            Davil frowned.  “That depends.  Do you want me to function for the next three days, or not?”
            “That settles it.  Tractor it in now, Mr. Christie.”
            “On it, Commander.”
            “Should I get a security team down there, Commander?’
            Dorrin nodded to the communications tech, Connie Wilburforce.  “Please do, Connie, and wake up Lieutenant Greenburg to take the conn.”
            “Yessir,” the communications tech said, turning back to her board.
            Davil frowned, half turning away from the viewscreen.  “Why’re you waking Taki?”
            “Because I’m going down there, and you two are coming with me.”
            Davil blinked again and looked at Molly.  She looked back at her cousin, then at Dorrin.  “…we’re doing, what?”
            “All three of us are going down there.  If there’s someone aboard that’s alive, you’ll need to talk to them, Agent Losoda.”
            Davil frowned.  “Are you sure this is a good idea, Dorrin?  What if it’s some kind of Vong trap?”
            Dorrin shrugged.  “Then I’ve got a Jedi and a half at my back in case this goes sideways.”
            Molly and Davil exchanged another look.  Davil sighed and nodded.  “Right.  Let’s go.”

             The Seraph’s Wake sat in the middle of the Legacy’s hangar deck, ringed by a security team with blaster rifles drawn and ready.  Dorrin led the way toward the ship, Davil and Molly trailing in his wake until they breached the circle of security officers.  Davil touched Dorrin’s arm as he brought his lightsaber to hand.  “You’d better let me go first, Dorrin.  Cay’ll kill me if I let his XO get himself stabbed by the Vong or something.”
            Dorrin nodded wordlessly as Molly eased up beside him, blaster drawn and ready to cover Davil, who crept closer to the ship.  It took the Jedi engineer a few moments to locate the ship’s hatch.  He laid his bare hand against the hull for a moment and closed his eyes, casting his senses inward.
            “One still breathing that I can sense,” he called after a moment, then blew the hatch.  Smoke drifted out into the hangar as Davil slowly entered the ship.  Dorrin started to follow, Molly with him.
            “Stay sharp,” he told the intelligence officer.  She nodded, smiling grimly.
            Together, with no small measure of trepidation, the three teenage officers made their way to the ship’s cockpit.  Davil had to use telekinesis to pry the hatch open from their side.
            The air beyond was surprisingly clear and breathable, if starting to get slightly stale.  Sprawled in the pilot’s seat was a man, unconscious and maybe ten years older than any of the three.  Dorrin glanced at Davil and Molly for a moment.
            “Doesn’t look like a Vong trap to me.”
            Davil scowled at his friend.  “Let’s get him to sickbay and wake him up.  Then we’ll know for sure.”  He clipped his saber back to his belt and scooped up Logan’s unconscious body, throwing him over his shoulder like a sack of grain before heading down and out of the ship’s wreckage and toward the lift to sickbay.

 ~ Erin

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