“Mayday! Mayday! We’re going in, we have struck an asteroid and have entered the atmosphere of Tarsus 2” The Communications officer shouted, and frowned, there was nothing but static.
“Starship 335 to Earth Control, We have struck an asteroid, and we are going in onto Tarsus 2!”
“No response skipper!”
“Hang on! It’s going to be a rough ride!” The Captain shouted, as everyone was thrown to the deck.
Outside the ship spun uncontrollably in a circle as it barrel-rolled, and the skin of the ship turned red hot as it skipped on the atmosphere twice before it entered fully the atmosphere of the jungle planet Tarsus 2.
Before that, the ship was cruising through the stars of space, on course between Antaries and Earth, loping along about Warp two when there was an explosion, and the ship began to dive, spin, and loop as it was thrown off course. On the bridge, the Captain, John Arman, sat in the Captain’s chair, and was thrown to the deck as he looked up stunned from the deck of the bridge. Everyone had been thrown from their station and as they all struggled to regain their positions, that the ship was off course and heading for the jungle planet of Tarsus 2, an uncharted planet in which was rather large, in the quadrant of two planets that orbited the bright dwarf star of this solar system located here. The ship shuddered as it smoked, a gaping hole sparked in the side of the fuselage. The ship skipping on the atmosphere as it finally entered nose first, turning red as the friction rubbed the skin of the ship.
“Science Officer, where are we?” Captain Arman shouted, and he glanced at the science officer, a willowy man named and known as Kaman, a humanoid that joined the Federation from the Orion cluster, who had his face in the sensor module.
“Shield up! Helm, hold us steady.”
“Shields are activated, but failing!” Hiraku Soolin shouted, glancing at the Navigator, a young woman next to human named Jamie Andrews, who feverishly worked over the console.
“We are out of control and in sector twelve, fifty two parsecs near Arum Cluster.” She said, “This is an uncharted planet and system!”
“Captain, there is nothing but static on the Com Channels.” Drendra Baker, the communications console shouted, “Unable to transmit!”
The ship continued to plummet into the atmosphere, and as it spun, it threw everyone to the deck again, as it appeared as a point of light in the blue sky of the jungle planet, and spun, and dipped as it continued to accelerate as it continued downward.
“Helm, keep the nose up, thrusters to assist, give us landing cushion if possible.”
“Trying sir!” Hiraku shouted, touching the buttons as the blue jets near the nose were clearly visible, as the ship sped faster and faster. There were ‘thunk’ sounds on the hull as it hit the trees of the jungle, a wrenching sound, and the ship shuddered and shook as it came to a rest on the surface of Tarsus 2. Debris from the ship was scattered for two miles in a straight line, and a deep groove lined the ground to show where the ship had struck, and skidded to a stop. There was a splash as the ship came to rest in a lake, partially submerged. The wings were gone, and water washed inside the fuselage, as screams echoed the interior of the ship. The limited crew of fifty and the command crew had been on board when the asteroid has struck the ship. Now there was darkness, and confusion as people lay dazed in the darkness. No-one knew how many were alive, dead or unknown as confusion echoed the ship.
On the bridge, everyone lay on the deck, dazed, unconscious, or otherwise disoriented as the ship lay partially submerged in the mud and water. There was a hum as systems and power faded away and backup systems activated. Emergency lights on the bridge flickered to dimly light the bridge.
Screams of pain echoed the bridge as the Captain staggered to his feet. There was a growl somewhere, as screams could be heard below.
Captain Arman touched the intercom switch. “Attention all personnel! Abandon ship!”
“No power sir!” A voice said, and he recognized it as Kaman who has sprung to his feet, holding his arm as he tried to touch the buttons for a readout on the dead displays.
He ran to the doors, and there was no response.
“Help me get these doors open!” He said as Hiraku and Kaman ran to his side, “Explosive override!”
They touched the button and there was a brief blast as the doors parted partially. The rest of the way, they forced aside, revealing the dark corridor beyond. It is twisted and mangled with wires, and structural beams that have been crushed and shattered, falling in to bar the way to proceed. The Captain and the command crew have exited the craft, one using a hand-held light, and a communicator they slowly make their way down the shattered remains of the ship. Each doorway, they force open, revealing some with empty rooms or some with trapped or dead crewmembers that died during the rough landing of the ship.
“There’s another over here.” Kaman shouted, as he forced his way into the room and knelt over the crewman, who whimpered, and yelped as they tried to free her of the damage that surrounds her body. As they lift her out, and carry her, they manage to make it to the turbo-lift and open the emergency hatch. Fire and smoke fills the passage here, as shorts and sparks blink from the live wires. They continued to search the bridge level and cleared everyone possible. Moving to level one they went down and they searched for wounded members of the crew, passing the dead ones that were crushed or electrocuted by the sparks of electricity that flashed all over the ship. Each level the picked up wounded personnel, and finally reaching the sick bay level where the doctor started a triage center where the crew was taken from each level to be examined by the on-board surgeon.
Only out of fifty of the crew, including the few remaining bridge personnel that only twenty-eight managed to survive the crash. A few of them drown as the bottom of the ship flooded, and the wild animals of the planet, decimated the crew. Outside the blanket of night is in full effect on the planet, making it dangerous to go outside. By morning, most of the crew who were alive was recovered, and teams recovered vital equipment to be used for a survivor’s camp. A survey of the ship was made and a gaping hole made up the port side level about mid-way across the fuselage. When morning finally encroached everyone left moved outside and they began surveying the surrounding area. The ship lay in a swamp, partially buried in the mud, the wings partially broken off and littering the greenery and scrap metal hung from the trees.
“Alright, it looks like we have our work cut out for us.” Captain Arman announced, “We need to survey the area, and start work building raised tents and quarters for the men and women. A large central tent should be built for temporary medical triage and for general mess. Also storage for supplies should be held inside the fuselage. When all iis secure in there, we will also hold medical within the confines of the ship. Did the engineer make it?”
“Here, Captain.” Franklin Wright spoke up, the chief engineering officer with a half dozen of the engine crew managed to make it through the crash. They had bailed out when the reactor ruptured, and had to be shut down. Thankfully the radiation had been contained in the main engineering level, nearest to the flooded decks, cooling the core and distributing the radioactivity into the bottom of the ship.
“There still is radioactivity from the core even after it was secure and shut down, Captain.” Chief Engineer Wright spoke up, “It’s safe at higher decks, the radioactivity is below the water line, sealed and buried in the mud.”
“Alright.” Captain Arman said, “Can we rig a few solar panels to possible gain some power to restore a few systems for charging batteries for medical department?”
“Yes, I can set them up on top of the fuselage.” Engineer Wright said, “It will take time to rig the lines, block and tackle to move the panels in place.”
“Let’s get on with it.” The Captain suggested, and he nodded to the few uninjured men and women out of the twenty-eight who had survived the crash.
“The ones who are injured should stay inside, until we know what kind of environment we got on Tarsus 2.” He said, and there was agreement. A few of the young women, at least a dozen had survived the ship crash, and they were elected for the menial tasks. A few of them had volunteered to be the climbers and gatherers for the supply of bamboo and vines that predominately made up this planet’s undergrowth. The crews set out to work, working in two shifts and they had their world cut out for them. No-one knew if their distress signal had been heard by the Federation, or any ship in the area. They were cut off and alone on Tarsus two, the most inhospitable planet to humans that was ever discovered.
As months progressed, slowly but surely the encampment began to take shape, as bamboo poles and plates were laid to float on the water, and multiple levels were made, tied in the gnarled trees from which made up of jungle in this area. A large central hut was made up on the upper level with a bamboo walkway leading into the hatchway to deck three below the bridge deck. A hut was made on the lower section outside, near a large tent, a bamboo slab entering the gaping hole of the port side of the fuselage that made up the downed space ship. Security platforms were built around and on the fuselage, and access ramps to the solar panels that provided limited power to the batteries that kept key internal power systems operational on the ship itself, usually for the medical department, mess, and it also proving shelter against the unbearable humid heat found on this world.
The world was taking shape, most of the crew had kept the uniforms and salvaged what they could, some had taken to the native look using what they could to look presentable, and unhindered of their arms and legs. As they started to exist as a crew, they continued to build the settlement in the jungle, keeping wary of the animals and natural perils they have already found here.
“Sir, our hunting party returns.”
The Captain turned as he gazed off across the short expanse to the jungle where several of his bridge crew, and his crew returned, a pole between them. On the pole hanging was that of what appeared to be a wild pig. The animal had six legs, smooth pink and black skin and a snout with long tusks that protruded from its mouth.
“What a weird animal.” A crewwoman commented, as the bridge officers stared at the large wild beast.
“What do you make of that, Kaman?” Arman asked, and the humanoid turned his head, raising his eyebrow, pulling out what appeared to be a scanning device.
“It looks like a strange type of animal, rather unusual that it has six legs and the large tusks.” He reported, “It looks like it can be edible.”
The pig squealed, as they all jumped, there was a laser strike to the head, and a splatter of blood.
“The animal has two hearts, four stomachs, and double organs.” Kaman said, “In order to kill this beast you should shoot in the head.
“I’ll try to remember that.” Chief Jones said, holding onto the pole, covered in the strange purple blood from the animal.
“Are there any signs of parasites, or anything unusual?”
“Negative, Captain.” Kaman said, “The recorder does detect this blood is a mix between iron and copper. I’d not recommend eating the organs, and limiting what we harvest from it for meat till we are sure.”
“Put the carcass over there by the pit.” Franklin instructed, and they complied.
“Security!” Arman whispered, hearing the hoots and sounds of the wild animals below them, also around them in the jungle.
“Is there any way we can get other systems, or get auxiliary power going to maybe run the radio?” Captain Arman said, “Someone should have heard us before we crashed.”
“It is hard to say, Captain.” The science officer said, “It might have damaged the antennas when we got hit initially, there is no way to know if a message was received.”
“Best yet, gather the crew, except the sentries to the upper deck.” The Captain instructed, “Keep watch, its going to be dark soon.”
Here, the young officer looked to the horizon as the sun began to sink in the sky, the incandescent bright white light of the sun radiated on the horizon, but dimmed slightly to a yellowish tinge and then deep reddish-orange as the sun fell further into the horizon. The light deemed to darken rapidly.
“What is the orbit of this planet anyway, Kaman?” Franklin asked, “I have never seen a system quite like this, or a planet like this.”
“I scanned it before we crashed, the planet is the second orbit of around the sun, and is a little warmer than Earth conditions, average planetary conditions are about ninety degrees at this marker on the planet, but can range a lot hotter near the equator. It is tropical to searing in heat index.” He said, “The far off planet that we can see is a gas planet, made up of Hydrogen, Argon, C02, with traces of helium. This planet is nitrogen oxygen, and a little thicker atmosphere than Earth, with heavy elements in it. We can’t be sure the temperature will remain in the ninety degree mark at this longitude/latitude. There are mountains nearby that range well over into the forty thousand foot mark. Planet has two moons, both rocky, with unremarkable ores, approximately class D in rating.”
“That’s very high.” Katherine said, as she pushed back her hair, as she stood next to Captain Arman. She is the young yeoman who was assigned to the Captain for the logs. She is only five foot five, a trim athletic build, and has long brown hair, and green eyes. She is clad in a fabric over her bosoms and what appears to be a modified skirt. A large scar runs down her forearm.
“We should explore this place more when we get the base camp set.” The Science Officer said, “The high mountains are only thirty five miles away from our landing point. I’d not recommend we do it without Laser-rifles and heavy duty weapons. Scanners also showed animals larger than the pig-like creature that we captured.”
“Are there any life signs on planet that are humanoid standard?”
“It is undetermined, with the recorder’s capabilities.” Kaman replied, “I read ape-like creatures in vicinity of our landing point, but they don’t know we are here yet.”
“Pass the word to the sentries, if anything comes within the encampment, use force four, to kill.”
“We’re stranded here, Captain?” Jamie Mears asked, walking toward the small group as they were making reports?”
“For now, we don’t know if a message was even received by anyone.” Captain Arman replied, “I’d not fret about it, as long as we have power from the sun, and stay indoors during the heat of the day, we should be alright.”
“All we have so far is batteries.” The Chief Engineer reported, the core is buried about ten feet in the mud and under water, and we can’t get to it. There are some mean beasties down there, we sealed the doors and welded them shut.”
“If that’s all we got, that’s all we got.” The Captain said absently, “By having four panels can it last us through the night until morning if we conserve power?”
“Batteries are slow charging, and it takes time between charges.” The Engineer reported, “We don’t know the orbit of the planet really, or rotation to know what and how many hours we have in a day.”
Darkness fell upon them and a large fire was made, as the crew huddled around it, keeping within the light, and torches posted on poles, throughout the whole encampment to light it.
As the night rolled on, the temperature dropped quickly, as a cool breeze whipped through the trees. Many of the scantily clad crew stayed near the fire, and the wounded remained in the hulk of the space craft, being seen to, with limited power to the medical facilities on board ship. Much of the ship had been cannibalized and the plates from the fuselage, and the doors were welded to form a wall against the jungle. The howl of the wild woods sounded through the trees, and many of the female crew whimpered, as they huddled near the fire. Sentries, using night vision equipment kept a vigilant watch into the jungle as the crack of branches and the wild of the night could be heard around them. A low growl sounded very close to them and spinning around a sentry fired his weapon, hitting an animal to vaporize it instantly.
Another howl and a woop sounded nearby as large black creatures appeared, and the men shot their bows. There were screams as two of the women were taken into the woods and their screams of fear could be heard, as their fate was undetermined as their cries were cut off abruptly.
“We’d better go after them.” Kaman said, and he motioned to several of men, “Let’s go!”
He and four others ran into the jungle, using night vision goggles and held their laser weapons as they charged in the direction of the fleeing brutes. They found the remains of their clothes, covered in splatters of blood. They continued to charge anyway, running after the brutes. They heard more grunts and commotion ahead as they saw more of the brutes and firing their weapons on force four obliterated them instantly. The men ran toward the brute’s encampment, and they crouched low as the women were screaming as they were violated on the jungle floor. The brutes were on top of them, engaged in their violation. Kaman fired, obliterating the brute, and disappearing in a flash, He charged into the camp. He fired striking the massive brutes, as the women lay there weeping, bloody and violated painfully. Scooping them up, they retreated, firing at the brutes as they howled and challenged in the jungle behind them. They continued to shoot and killed many, rushing out of their encampment in a heroic rescue.
When they returned to the camp, they deposited the rescued females to the infirmary where they were treated for the beginnings of violence to their bodies. They lay in the bed, heavily sedated and guards were posted in the hull of the ship, the females billeting send back into the hull instead of outside where they were more protected.
The engineer walked up to the Captain after they finished in the infirmary, and saluted.
“We got them back, skipper.” He said, “We wiped out about twelve. With our show of force and superior weapons, I do believe they won’t bother us for a time, till we can get off their bloody hell hole.”
“Captain, we have company.” A shout said, as growls, shrieks, hoots and screams echoed the jungle.
“Condition alert!” The Captain said, “Kill them all.”
“What about the Prime Directive?”
“It’s non-existent, being down here on planet.” Arman replied, “Its jungle law. We fight fire with fire.”
“Some of the lasers are not charged up to full, sir!” A voice said.
“Use your bows and warn them back, and use lasers if they get too close.”
“Acknowledged.” As the guard turned, drawing the bow and with a swish and a thunk sound, an arrow struck the black ape-like creature. It screamed as it pulled the arrow, but not until another struck it again. It fell into the jungle floor. They continued shooting, and withholding lasers unless they broke the perimeter, in which they were instantly killed.
The apes howled and spat as they continued to challenge, and hoot, their shrieks and howls echoing the woods. They stayed near the edge of the jungle, hiding semi-camouflaged in the undergrowth.
“Everyone hold the perimeter!” The engineer shouted, “Here they come again!”
A laser burst, on wide field eliminated six of them in a flash, yet they kept coming. The apes struck some of the men, who screamed, as their bones were shattered, and blood pooled on the ground. Captain Arman and his men shot their lasers as they retreated toward the ship, disintegrating everything black that was running toward them. Yet they still came.
The few female crew members huddled in the medical section of the ship they held a couple of laser rifles at the door and they heard the shouts and screams of the creatures as the few remaining men who were living retreated into the ship, closing the hatch and sealing adjoining decks of the ship. They fell back to medical, hauling the wounded and preparing for the possibility of being overran as the screams and strikes on the hatch resonated throughout the ship. There was a crash as the hatch was dented, but thankfully held. The crew anxiously held their breath, as the few remaining men out of twenty-eight held out against over one hundred ape-like creatures. The women, cowered in the darkened interior of the medical ward, the lights low to save energy and they panned a look around the chamber.
“What now, Skipper?” Carolyn asked, a young tall, Texan Lieutenant asked, “I don’t like this.”
“Yea we’re going to be pillaged and violated like Nikki and Barb.” Jamie exclaimed.
“Relax, you females will be protected, they’ll have to go through us first.”
The light flickered as there was a spark. The Engineer frowned.
“They’re tearing up the solar panels.” He said, “We can’t survive without laser weapons.”
“Charge what you can, until they go out and we should make a stand and just go for broke, kill them or kill us.” Kaman said firmly, “Or is there an alternative.”
“We have one thing that will help us.” Captain Arman said, “We can explode a thermo-nuclear missile and it will obliterate at least three hundred square miles, if not totally destroy this planet. It looks like if we can’t negotiate, we have little choice.”
“If we go in force, and leave the wounded here, secure, it won’t matter to get clear.” The Engineer said, “With the explosion it will vaporize ground zero and not matter one damn bit.”
“Okay, so let’s do it.” Arman suggested, and motioned to three others.
“The rest of you stay here, and if we succeed, you won’t be touched by those brutes.” He said, “Leave that to us.”
“You all should pray and prepare.” Doctor Frakes suggested, and he turned to pull out a space bible, the orange catholic bible that is the equivalent of the King James Bible.
The females gathered around, as he began reading, and the Captain, Engineer and Science officer cocked the laser weapons; as they slid open the door, to quickly close it. The charged through the dark corridors, running and shooting anything that moves that lurked in the hallway. As they charged the forward missile room, they secured the door, as they placed a detonator.
“Stand by,” Chief Engineer Wright said, using a tool from a chest and he welded the unit to the side.
“Set it to Four minutes.” Captain Arman instructed, and he turned.
“Let’s get back with the others.”
They charged down the corridor toward the medical section, and soon secured the hatch and clustering with the others in the room.
“We have three and a half minutes until detonation.” The Captain said, as the howls and hoots sounded in the corridor, as thumps sounded on the metal hatch of the medical section and on the walls.
The men put down a table and they all clustered behind it across the hatch, a heavy table in which it took five of them to move. They put the barrels through the small openings and there was a crash as the hatch was compromised and screams echoed through the room.
“Fire!” Captain Arman yelled, as they fired, shooting at the ape-like creatures, making them fall, in the corridor beyond. They pounded on the surface that was wedged at the door, arms trying to grab at the men who kept firing at them. Meanwhile the minutes continued to click down.
Unknown to any of them, a ship has assumed orbit, a large ship belonging to the Federation, Cruiser Class Starship that has come from Earth at the mayday of the ship that has crashed on the planet.
On the bridge, a young woman sits on the bridge, C.S. Lange, the captain of the military starship. As she sits in her chair she is patiently staring at the Science Officer who has his face in the viewer, as they scan the planet for life signs.
“Report!” The Captain instructed, and the Science officer, a young Humanoid named Vijay K’Thylan managed to click the switches on the consoles.
“Massive life forms down there skipper.” He said, “I am not sure if there are human life signs there.”
“Keep scanning!” He said, “Helm hold us steady.” The ship shook slightly.
“We have them, Captain. I found the ship. The reflection on the planet is from bits of metal from the crash it seems.”
“Beam up all life signs.” She ordered.
On the surface, the people shooting, the wounded, and everyone who had been fighting shimmered, as the beam enveloped and the ship’s personnel. They materialized on the platform.
“The rest are in transit captain, bringing them in.”
More personnel appeared on the platform, and they stepped off. A few of the wounded were looked at by the medical team that had come to the transporter room. Another set appeared.
“We have a timer on the thermonuclear bomb!” Captain Arman shouted, stepping off the platform, as he nodded to the young first officer.
“Sir, we have to get out of orbit!” The Science officer/First officer shouted, “The Thermonukes they had on board is rigged to blow!”
On the bridge, the captain gasped, “Helm get us out of here!”
The helmsman hit the controls as the ship slowly exited the orbit, and there was an explosion on the planets’ surface.
“Explosion shock waves in two minutes!”
The ship shuddered as it was rattled and shook. The captain stared at the screen in astonishment.
“Transporter room! Explosion on planet surface! Report, have you got them all?”
Only silence replied, as the ship shuddered and threw a few of them to the deck.
“Captain, we have them on board!”
“Helm execute warp!”
The ship shuddered again as it disappeared into warp space, but behind them the planet began to glow brightly. The whole perimeter of the planet affected by the thermo-nuclear explosion imploded the planet and it exploded, turning into a flash of debris, molten rock and debris.
“Captain we have more shock waves sir!” The helmsman shouted, as the ship continued to plow rapidly through the stars and the planet behind them turned into a dark hole of a black hole, the explosion ripping the fabric of space. Behind it, the sun merged with the hole and there was more explosions as the sun supernova, throwing energy into space. The other planet began to break up as the star that once held the two planets threw energy outward, the ship speeding up faster, to avoid the pull of the black star and the supernova energy.
“We are clear of the sector sir!” The helm said.
“How many did we recover after that?”
“We got them all, Captain.” The transporter chief reported, “If there were any more, they were destroyed with the planet.
“Damn.” Captain Lange said sharply as she rose from the chair, heading the lift on the bridge that snapped open for her.
“I’m going to the transporter room, and talk to our guests.” Lange said, “Maintain speed and plot course to Earth!”
“Acknowledged.” The navigator, a rather burly rotund man said, touching the buttons on the console before him.
Stepping off the bridge Captain Lange disappeared off the bridge, the doors of the lift closed behind her. A few minutes later, she entered the transporter room and here she nodded a greeting to Captain Arman.
“Captain…” She said, “Are you and our crew alright?”
“For what we’ve been through… Yes.” He replied, “I am thankful you arrived, we were being overran by the indigenous creatures on the planet.”
“Was there anyone left on the planet before it blew?”
“There was at least five who were possibly killed by the indigenous personnel before we had to fall back to the interior of our downed ship.”
“We saw them fall, but were not sure if they were alive or not.” Arman told her, “It doesn’t matter now anyway.”
“We are on course to Earth.” Lange said, “Report to Sick Bay for examination. We’ll get you home very soon. We are fortunate to have been nearby to pick up your mayday.”
“We are glad you did.” Captain Arman agreed, nodding and he sighed.
“Get to Sick Bay and rest.” Captain Lange said and he nodded.
Lange walked to the corridor and turned with him. She touched the communications badge on her uniform.
“Captain to Bridge.”
“Bridge, Farragut here.” A voice said.
“Have Communications send a message to Federation Headquarters.” She said, “We managed to recover twenty-five of the downed crew, who destroyed planet Tarsus 2, and report a black hole in the region.”
“Acknowledged.” The reply said, “Anything else?”
“Maintain course and speed, home.”
“Right, I’ll have Helm increase speed as well.” The First Officer said, “Vijay is scanning the black hole and recording studies of the effect of the planet’s destruction. It is very fascinating data.”
“Good, keep scanning, those finds will be good to include in our report to Earth.” Lange replied, “Captain out.” The channel abruptly closed. She walked with Captain Arman down the corridor, followed by a medical technician. As they walked together, they exchanged pleasantries. But there was a lot on the mind of the Captain who had been with his crew. Two of them had been violated and he was not sure of the repercussions that would affect Earth, if anything came of these violations.
But in meantime, the large military warship of the Federation continued on its way, heading to Earth and would arrive in a few days. It would be bringing the crew of the ship that had crashed home, but behind them the black hole grew larger and larger, as it glowed brightly, taking on the material of the super-nova that had had been blasted into space. A lot was happening, and it was beginning to show, as another problem plagued them. The Black hole began moving slightly, shifting as it continued to spin in the stars of space, heading for Earth and the Milky Way Galaxy body that loomed and hovered in the far off realm of space, many light years from its position. The danger was evident, clear and real, and the human race would have to face the challenge of their very lives. It would be a challenge that would risk their extinction, or their fate that was now very undermined at this time.