Prelude to Disaster

Commander Tam Quinn tried to stand. His knees were weak, and it felt like every muscle was tight and sore. He put a hand on the captain’s chair and pushed himself to his feet. Sparks burst from a panel above his head, and there were small fires at some of the computer desks.

‘Damage report?’ shouted Tam, as he looked around the damaged bridge of the Ouroboros.

‘It’s bad, Commander,’ said one voice from the one end of the bridge. It was Lieutenant Gerhard Kohler, a member of the Science Department. He had crawled from his position at the science desk to one of the operations consoles, gently pushing the body of a dead crewman to read the display. ‘We’ve got fires on all decks, the lifts are down, engines are offline, the list goes on.’

‘Can someone patch us through to Command?’ Tam ordered as he began to check on the crewmen scattered across the floor of the bridge.

‘Command isn’t in range, sir,’ said Gerhard.

‘Then how far away are we? If we are in Rogue space we’ll be sitting ducks for those bloody poachers.’

‘We aren’t in Rogue space, sir,’ said Gerhard slowly.

‘Then where the hell are we?’

‘I have no idea, sir.’

‘What do you mean, no idea?’ said Tam angrily and he marched across debris to the scanner’s readout. The anger quickly faded from his face when he saw just how far away from Rogue space they were – how far away from any space they were.

‘We’re on the other side of the galaxy, Commander,’ explained Gerhard, although Tam already knew it. ‘We’ve dropped out of the wormhole halfway between the Gate and Earth.’

‘We’re in the middle of nowhere.’

***

Earlier that day…

‘Ah, Commander,’ said Captain Henriette Leon, ‘It is good to see that you have arrived safely. I trust the trip wasn’t too taxing?’

‘Aye, it wasn’t too bad,’ said Tam as he entered the captain’s ready room on board the Ouroboros, ‘A bit tricky crossing the Ice Barrier at Brittany - but got here in the end.’

‘Ah yes,’ said Henriette with a smile, ‘I know that barrier well. I was stationed there myself, you might know the ship? F.S. Loire?’

‘The name sounds familiar,’ said Tam, thinking, ‘I’m sure you took down an Anglian dreadnought.’

‘Ah, yes, the Leon Move, they call it now,’ laughed Henriette, ‘But times have changed, non? We wear the same uniform now.’

She indicated to the heavy black trousers and shirt that the two of them wore. The uniform had been designed to bear as little resemblance to any existing national uniform and colour as possible. The Ouroboros uniform was only in two colours, the black and soft grey of highlights. Except, of course, from the golden symbols on the collar denoting rank.

‘Will you find it difficult to go back to being a commander, Mr. Quinn?’ asked Henriette, catching him looking at the glint of the rank badge.

‘No, I don’t think so,’ said Tam.

‘You have some impressive reports from your commanding officer,’ the captain said, picking up a pad and swiping through the text, ‘So I do hope you don’t let me down, Commander.’

‘Of course not, ma’am,’ Tam said, and he gave a half-hearted salute.

‘Good, good, I’m sure you’ll find your quarters. The rest of the crew are still boarding and arriving.’

‘How many different nations are being represented here?’ Tam asked.

‘Enough to cause trouble,’ admitted Henriette, ‘But this is the price of peace. One big happy family?’

‘I’m sure,’ said Tam, although he was entirely unconvinced.

<<OOC – The Ouroboros will be docked for a little while before it leaves for its maiden voyage, where I’m sure nothing disastrous at all will happen. Use this space to introduce your character and have them interact with the crew a little before we set off. >>

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