Song of the Valdore
‘Song of the Valdore’ by Ryuuzaki Kusakurin
DISCLAIMER: The universe of the USS Valdore belongs to me, and me alone. It has its roots in Star Trek, obviously, so I’ll also give some credit to Gene Roddenberry and categorize this under ‘Star Trek’ as well as ‘Original Fiction’.
Warnings: Violence, death, AU/AR, etc.
Characters: Read and see. 😛
Theme Songs: Love Like Winter [AFI], Sky High [Initial D], Danzai no Hana [Kosaka Riyu]
Pairings: Again, read and see. Read carefully though, even if it is fairly obvious.
If you see this elsewhere, please notify me immediately. I don’t take kindly to people stealing my work.
The starship floated through space, bathed in the soft light of the pink and blue streaks of the nebula. The streaks seemed to hesitate for a moment, then rushed up to embrace the hull, lighting up the ship’s name on the hull plating for just an instant. It read: USS Valdore, commissioned stardate 3889.4, NX-49387. With grace, the smooth starship moved on, easily cruising at one-fourth the speed of light, slow in this period of time, but just as graceful as the others before her. Then, surprising whoever may have been watching, its distress signals blared and all power shut down, lights flickered off, engines slowed and finally stopped. Within a half-minute, one of the ships in the outlying area flew forward to engage them in battle. Then, as the power, once flickering, came on in full, the cobbled-together Malledonian ship attempted an escape, but was no match for the Valdore. A strafing run with phasers did them in nicely, and then the sleek ship moved off, back into the nebula, away from the debris of the ship, a ghastly reminder of the hate that divided, set them apart from the universe.
“No survivors, Captain,” came the voice of one of the fresh-faced ensigns.
“Good. We’re going to play dead for a few more minutes. Move us out twenty thousand kilometers, ensign, if you will…” the voice drawled. If one looked over to where the voice was from, one would have seen a female human teenager, perfect to the very last detail, save the scar angled down her cheek. In contrast, the teen’s bright red hair stood out against her black uniform, a single stripe of blue across the chest. This was the commander of the ship, Jayvin Belar, only seventeen, having commandeered the ship with only a few people aside from herself. One of them, her favourite, was Enaren Tapel, her second officer. The others were senior officers-the ones still alive. She ran her fingers through her unevenly cut hair, some pieces dangling away from the others, each piece only a small bit of hair, somehow adding to the apparent beauty of the commander. The ensign she had spoken to was a blue-skinned Bolastre, and he worked the tactical panel. In the emergency lighting, she continued to study her crew. A silver shimmer near the viewscreen alerted her to the presence of the away team, just beamed in. Looking at them, Jayvin met the lavender eyes of Commander Enaren Tapel, the half-human, half-Kelbonite hybrid whose telepathic powers allowed him a glimpse into her troubled mind, a crease of worry appearing along his all-too-human face. Nearby, a Deltan female lieutenant carefully watched the bridge from communications, pale skin and blue eyes sharply contrasting with her black hair, giving her a haunting beauty. Looking to her first officer, she surveyed her, a Tarrabel. More than half of her crew were from Tarrabella Prime, mostly because Tarrabels were efficient and smart. Unlike half the races in this galaxy, she mused. Watching her first officer, passive and calm as always, she decided that Mara’s long, slender fingers gave her that sense of finesse, and her light chestnut hair, coupled with golden eyes, gave her that sense of regalness that was coupled with intelligence. That alone made her valuable. Not her beauty, but her genius. Several other male Tarrabels worked in the background, their soft footsteps making a rhythmic sound as another vessel came into view, soaring through the pink and blue sunset-like colours of the Thearus Nebula. She waited to be attacked, the suspense hanging onto each of them. But it wasn’t Malledonian, as she had expected. It was aligned with the Federative Republic of Planets, the major peacekeeping force in the galaxy, and the Cravic-Pralor Assembly’s nemesis, and since Jayvin was aligned with them… Things got interesting. As the vessel responded to their distress call, the captain of the vessel grabbed the hard metal armrests of the command chair, waiting for what was to come, hoping her crew would be fast enough for this new prey, mutual hate sealing the silent pact, one that would lead one of them to her final fate.
On the USS Yorktown, the newest of the Republic ships off the line, Captain Christine Marian ordered shields down.
“Ready a tractor beam, Clay,” she called, addressing both the crew at large and the gruff Tellarite that worked as engineer. As he complied, a young lieutenant cried out a warning, alarm colouring his tone.
“Sir! All their systems have turned on, weapons are hot!” Time seemed to slow down. She knew that she couldn’t call for shields in time, nor could her crew raise them in time. Her body was cold, so cold. She opened up her mouth to call for shields when severe phaser fire titled the deck from under them. The hiss of escaping air alerted her to their fate. As she whipped her head around to face death, the other ship swooped in one more time for a staffing run with phasers, a barrage of crackling red beams. Mesmerized, Marian watched her fate unroll before her as her corporeal existence ended in a blaze of pain.
Captain Jayvin Belar of the USS Valdore allowed a small smile to creep its way over her lips as the ship opposite them exploded. It was a wreck, bits and pieces scattered throughout the dark, cold vacuum. The saucer section of the ship was still in one piece, though, for the most part.
“Is any of her salvageable?” she asked in little more than a whisper. Commander Tapel turned his face to the tactical officer, waiting for an answer, not pleasuring him with a question that had been asked already.
“Yes, sir,” said the Bolastre from Engineering. “The USS Yorktown had hull breaches deck seven through twelve, but, as you can see, the saucer section of the Yorktown is mostly intact, as is the computer core.”
“Excellent. Download all the contents. Away team, assemble in Transporter room six.” As Commanders Calsha and Tapel left the room, Jayvin yelled after them, “I’ll send Sub-Commander deBoer.” Calsha nodded, and the turbolift doors clanged shut. Jayvin tapped her three-pronged combadge and said, “Captain to Engineering. Send Engineer Chalmed deBoer up to Transporter room six. It’s an away team mission, and make sure you bring zero-G materials along. You’re going to be downloading a computer database in zero-G.”
The husky male voice responded, “Engineering here, deBoer is leaving. Out.” That being done, Jayvin laid back in the hard chair with a groan. Today had been a long day, albeit not hard. Her chief of engineering was yet another species, a Triannon. She was soft-spoken, wore her hair in the short and practical way her people wore it, and had prominent nose ridges. Turning to her third officer, also her helmsman, she saw he had taken Calsha’s chair. Then, spur-of-the-moment as always, she decided to enlighten him on what would happen in the next two to three hours.
“We will assume a rotating guard stance around the derelict vessel, on the aggressive. Do you concur with this?” Her eyes seemed to bore holes in the smaller human’s skull. She had given up on doing this with her first officer long ago, because it took her so long to choose the most logical answer… So she forced it out of him.
“Yes, that is to say…” he started off arrogantly, but now his voice faded to nothing under a withering glare. “Yes, I concur,” he stammered out. She turned her intense gaze to the viewscreen.
“Lay in rotational course around the derelict. Communications! Tie me into the away team.”
“Yes, sir. Link established.” With that, the proud captain of the Valiant tapped her pronged combadge yet again, and said, “Belar to away team, I want that data by 21 hundred hours.” Glancing at the chronometer, she sullenly added, “its 19 hundred hours right now.”
A tone of annoyance emitted from her combadge as Enaren Tapel responded, “We’re working, we’re working.” The nineteen-year-old’s voice betrayed not only annoyance, but also the fact that he was working hard enough to not really care. “We’re going to need until 22 hundred hours at least!” With a sigh, she granted him just that.
“All right. 22 hundred hours, but not a minute more. Valdore out.” She quietly excused herself from the bridge, hoping that she hadn’t spoken to Enaren too harshly. She got on the turbolift, and bumped into a young Melacroni security guard. A second later, he got off, and at the next floor, she did. Stepping into her sparsely decorated quarters, she fell into bed and was asleep before she hit the pillows, laid underneath the stars of space and the shining wreckage of the USS Yorktown.
“Tactical! Report!” Jayvin actually walked up to the panel when no report came, feeling the eyes of all the people of the bridge on her. The officer working the board was actually gaping at it. She tapped a command into the console, and when she saw the readings, it was all she could do not to gasp in shock and surprise. The man seemed to shake himself out of his stupor, and went back to work as she slowly walked back to the command chair. She sat there, lost in her thoughts for a few moments, unable to muster up a voice-or a will to fight.
“Captain, another ship is entering the area.” Well, she had to have her voice for that, didn’t she?
“On screen,” she said brusquely. When she saw the warship entering the sector, she wasn’t surprised. She had already known it was coming. But she had to make a choice. The right choice. And it had to be made now. “Conn, take us out of here, full reverse. When we get to one hundred thousand kilometers, lay in course for sector 5689.4. Engage,” was all she had to say to lay her elaborate trap for the pursuing vessel. All they had to do was be dumb enough to fly right to them… As her orders were put in, the turbolift doors smoothly opened with a hiss of air. Out stepped Mara Calsha, Enaren Tapel, and Chalmed deBoer. The tall Triannon stepped out, rushing to a console.
“Sir, the Republic ship is gaining on us.” So it was a Republic ship. She had thought so…
“Red Alert. Sub-Commander, ready all weapons. Ensign Mayer, raise shields. Lieutenant Reeves, alert decks five through seven that we are in a battle situation, Code Red.” Everyone hastened to comply. A Code Yellow, which was what they had been in for the past few days, picking off ships, was a battle situation where they knew they would win, a Code Orange where they were unsure, and a Code Red where there was a serious threat and the ship could possibly be compromised. She shuddered inwardly at the thought. Her second officer, Enaren came up and sat down at the second officer’s chair.
“Are you sure you know what you’re doing?” he asked in his low voice.
“No,” she sighed as if the enormity of the universe rested on her decision. “No, I’m not. But I have to be.” Grinning at her, Enaren moved off, looking at the viewscreen with his curious but still intense gaze that had pulled her in so quickly, making them create a life around each other, at least for now. Duty came first with her, and that kept them in a position of difficulties, including finding a time for personal life. With a sigh, she promised herself that she would give it time. Later.
Behind them, the Republic cruiser elongated and flashed into warp, its studying done. The derelict had been shot down, quite recently, by the fleeing ship. Where the other one might look like an elongated, smoothly shapen piece of molten silver, this one was crudely made, created to serve one purpose: that of a warship. That was its sole purpose, its one design. It would live and die as a warship, if necessary, dying in a blaze of glory. As the other ship quietly pursued, powering up weapons, all its occupants realized that they might be facing the battle that ended their lives, because both ships were so evenly tied in their standards, if one realized that they could end the coming battle, they would do it, now. As the ocean of space pulsated around the ship, it flew into infinity.
The Valdore turned to face the imminent battle with the pursuer, weapons hot and ready for action.
“Ready, all stations?” Captain Belar asked with false confidence, her reddish-orange hair gleaming in the alert lights.
“Ready, sir” they all chimed back, letting her know that they would do battle with this ship for her.
“General Quarters, Red Alert. All hands to battle stations.” Good. They were capable of it now. A weapons officer handed her a hand phaser, and Jayvin nervously gripped the sharp metal handhold. As it sliced into her palm, she barely even noticed, because the enemy vessel dropped out of warp.
“Sir, they’re hailing us,” the Deltan lieutenant said. Half smiling, Jayvin refused to answer the hail. Her crew knew what was expected. She was even proud of them to some extent.
“Fire at will. Helmsman, move us around so that they can’t hit us-” her voice was cut off as the deck lurched from phaser fire. Behind her, someone hit the floor from the severe rocking of the ship. The foreign ship fired more than twelve torpedoes at them, all but one hitting. Her ship took the brunt bravely, ready to take even more, lashing out with strong weapons fire. The USS Excalibur, the opposite ship, fired torpedoes again. As they exploded against the smooth white hull, a panel exploded, sending Jayvin running for cover underneath her command chair as the deck lurched again, sending her flying against the bulkhead. The last thing she remembered was the smoke, hanging heavy in the air, suffocating her, seeming to wrap her in a blanket.
She groaned. The world was blurry. As Jayvin regained consciousness, she was suddenly aware of the doctor in the surrounding area, right above her face. Waving him off, she staggered to her feet, just to fall again as the deck tilted. She felt hot blood running down her face and her arm, but instead of assessing her wounds, she took a moment to assess the predicament her ship was in. The emergency lights were on, none other, and her people, or at least who was left, were working the boards, tinkering with the ship. Racing over to a console, she ran into a wire hanging down and tripped over a body. To her horror, it was her engineer, Sub-Commander Chalmed deBoer. She wasn’t breathing. Her blood ran cold. If Chalmed deBoer wasn’t alive, their ship was doomed to the fate that they had doomed so many others to. But they had to keep going, for the sake of their planets, for their pride, even for the sake of an unforeseen victory, if at all possible. She left the body there as perhaps an afterthought, immediately assigning someone else the position of chief engineer. The smoke hung thicker in the air, and chaos seemed to reign here, in the brain of the ship, spreading like an infectious disease throughout the rest. Tugging the helmsman to a spare console, she took control on her own. She heard shouts behind her, but they seemed barely audible. Her life was at a standstill, a haze seemingly blurring her vision. How, she didn’t know. She wasn’t sure. As the viewscreen shattered, taking some of the crew with it into space, she grabbed onto the handholds provided and hoped her crew would do the same. As the emergency force fields winked into existence, she breathed again, and paused to look. All her crew but the unconscious and some of the wounded ones had managed to stay onboard. As the deck rocked, she began to grow frantic, thinking that this was death. As her panel exploded, burning her, she cried out, almost certain of her death. As she hit the floor, she was powerfully aware of her body and all the damage it had sustained. As she tried to push up off the floor, her left arm wouldn’t move. Forcing herself to slow down and stay calm, Jayvin looked over at her arm, the left one. The shoulder had been so badly burned that it wasn’t even bleeding, though it should have. Her uniform had fused to the shoulder, leaving it smouldering. As she quickly wiped off all the flakes of what was left of her uniform on that shoulder, she realized she would never use the arm again. If they survived, that was… Somebody noticed and pulled her to her feet. Staggering unevenly over to the command chair, she nearly dropped to her feet as another phaser blast hit them.
“Shields?” she said, barely above a whisper, not wanting to use her strength to simply speak, and knowing that she probably didn’t have the energy anyway.
“Ten percent, Captain.” answered one of the stunned crewmembers. As another hit rocked the deck, the man suddenly said, “Shields are at zero percent, sir.”
Mustering up a brave tone, she cried out, “Fire all power! Photon torpedoes, phasers, everything!” She felt the whoosh of the torpedoes as they flew through the ship, ready to strike the Excalibur.
Then: “Sir! They’ve lost all gravity!” This could be the chance they were waiting for… With a reckless sort of grin, she pushed her ship to the limits.
“Ramming speed!” Jayvin said hoarsely, an edge to her voice nevertheless. They needed at least impulse power to cause damage of any sort. One word sealed the fate of the other ship. But the Excalibur still had shields. “Engage.” With a soft noise, the engines came on-line, and then, with a shrieking of metal, the two ships were conjoined, entwined by crossbeams and such. “All hands, ready your weapons.” Biting her lip, she grabbed the hand phaser in her good hand and set it to the one setting she would ever use. Setting it to the highest setting, she prepared for any type pf invasion. It wasn’t long in the coming. The invasion team had sent ten people over to the bridge alone, and Jayvin knew she would need all the skill she had. To her relief, Lieutenant Razka was with her. He was a Sataaran, and his thick skin allowed for a few phaser hits before he was subdued. With a finger motion, they all began firing at the attackers. Behind her, Mara Calsha fell, hit by a stun beam. It was two against seven now. Vaulting over a console and aiming, Jayvin managed to vaporize two of them. That evened out her odds. As she moved around, she saw Razka get one of the invaders. The other four rapidly were transported to the Excalibur. Looking around, she grabbed a med kit and began to revive her fallen comrades, and Razka did the same. Just then, after she had revived her third person, she heard a sound. It started out as a soft scraping sound, then it grew steadily louder and, just then, she perceived what it was. The other ship was getting away, dragging itself away from the cold husk of the Valdore. Running over to the weapons console, she pounded the button that would allow her to fire phasers. She did, but no significant damage was caused. As Razka finished reviving people, they rushed to their stations, aware of how grave the situation was turning. She found herself wondering what the other captain was thinking…
…Captain Calhoun of the USS Excalibur wanted to retreat, but found he couldn’t. His first and second officers had been killed in this battle, and he wanted nothing more to do with it. Coughing in the smoke-filled air, he realized why he couldn’t give the orders, when they were really so simple. He wanted revenge. His son had been killed in a battle with a ship such as this, the same class at least. His son! Balling a fist, he swore that he would get them for all they had done wrong in this galaxy. Putting a hand to his cut wrist, he thought of a feasible course of action. Surrender wasn’t one of them. He would rather die. As the ship’s deck flew from under him, and as he got up, he had an epiphany. It was so simple. So they like torpedoes, send over four of the best. Quantum torpedoes would do them in…
Jayvin, held on the brink of death by her attackers, gripped her chair and waited for it. Death was coming, it was inevitable, but their lives no longer mattered. She locked eyes with Enaren, wanting him to be the last thing she saw, but somehow, her eyes were drawn back to the hole in the wall. The Excalibur fired two torpedoes, and, as they rushed to claim their prey, breathing was the only audible sound, the only real thing her senses seemed to be drawn to. At impact, she flew out of her seat, dazed and doomed to die without time to revive. As the air began to seep out of her proud vessel, Jayvin cried out in fury, able to articulate nothing more. As the bridge brightened and finally exploded, her cry was cut off, in the end trapping the Valdore in the same fate she had doomed others to, mere sparks in the void as the illustrious song of the Valdore finally came to a close.