The Presland Gambit (In Progress)


A Note From MeOne of my biggest failures as a Star Trek Fan, Star Trek Roleplayer, 38th Fleet Member and general person is I get these ideas- My brain explodes and I have to start writing, or design, just generally create whatever is in my head. With graphics I can comfortably sit down and finish something, with writing I get started… then sometimes carry on… then I stop. I forget, lose interest, get a new idea. Moreover they’re all super generic ideas but I like that, I don’t get time to RP much these days and I miss building my characters.

I’m not a writer, so often I find myself unimaginative and repeating lines, which adds to me losing interest in continuing. Basically writing still evades me. My favourite thing for example, is to wrongly use punctuation and put commas, everywhere. Anyway. All my half started (can’t even say half finished) stories, ideas, have been pushed together into this.

I’ve tried hard not to cross any OOC fleet boundaries or any IC rules, but apologies if perhaps you’ll disagree. I like my Trek lore and “realism” within this world, so try to stick to it within the realms of fun and the sometimes far-out episodes of Trek.

I’ve tried my best to keep upto date with fleet story lines and involve myself offscreen without interference or credit-stealing, so please forgive me if any Fleet elements referenced aren’t 100% accurate, or any other issues, please just let me know so I can edit and re-educate myself, thankyou.


The U.S.S. Shrewsbury floated effortlessly beside the derelict freighter, though dwarfed by it, the ‘Shrewsbury stood firm in the same way a youthful energetic pup would be beside their mother. The freighter itself looked rough, lifeless. She’d taken a beating that was obvious, the scorched burns surrounding a small hull breach as well as the sporadic patterns across the port side hull plating suggested a predator.

Deep inside, a shower of sparks flew from the overhead bulkhead, peppering the Ensign engineering officer’s heavy duty overalls with charring spots. The beads of sweat flowing from her forehead onto the tops of her welding goggles were the least of the uncomfortable results of her environment. Her grip tightened on the hypo-welding rod as she shifted her weight against the sling that held the Ensign against the freighter’s ceiling.

It’s been a long shift, she thought. Almost out loud, actually, with a drawn in breath as the spark-producing-machine in her hand took a brief pause. Almost there, as the storm of molten metal resumed. The corridor was itself in a similar state of metal shards and flickering red beacons, though through the thick welding smoke cruised the two senior officers passing under the engineer.

“-so we’re pretty close to restoring main grid power, once we had life support apparently it was pretty straight forward.” Lieutenant Commander Talercio spoke from behind a raised hand, shielding her eyes from any spark rain. The rather short operations officer glanced at Henry, the Second Officer of the U.S.S. October and assignment lead, then back ahead to the long, straight smog-filled corridor. “Once we’ve established communications, it should piggyback us straight into the system files, which means we’ll be able to see exactly where this freighter was heading.”

Lieutenant Commander Henry Presland dipped his head into a little nod, likewise glancing to the shorter Ops officer then back to their destination, the flickering open doors of the end turbolift. “Great, once we can get at their charter, and if they were kind enough to leave us some personal logs, we might get a better idea of who attacked them. Well, hopefully a ‘why’ too. So far our cargo dossier looks pretty plain, the lads in the cargo hold haven’t found anything that’d be worth taking.”

“That’s probably because they’ve taken it.” Talercio snorted out, smirking faintly.

The pair reached the ominously glowing turbolift, sharing a glance between each other as a very clear display neither one of them wanted to particularly enter.

Presland stepped into the turbolift, turning to face the corridor and offering a grinned wink “Good work ‘commander, I’ll head to the bridge and see if I can make sense of that transponder box, it must be getting some form of power. We’ll reconvene with the engineering teams in an hour. Check in with the ‘Shrewsbury and tell them to let ‘October know we’re making a little progress, … sugar coat it a little.”

“Aye sir, …” The turbolift doors were off to a false start, closing part way to instantly slide back open “… See you in a few Henry.” as the doors successfully clasped to a shut.

To Presland’s surprise the turbolift arrived at the bridge smoothly, considering, and the doors opened faultlessly to the rather vase aerodrome that was the freighters bridge. Lit primarily by starfleet work lamps, the bright white aura flooded select consoles, but left the corners and ceiling in utter blackness. The room was rectangular by nature and with what little light did bleed over, revealed a subtle curvature of some form presumably leading to some sort of domed roof structure. Four Pillars stood in a square, with six or so consoles littered messily with their circuitry and cables spread rusticly across the metal grated floor, disappearing into the bowels of the vessel.

The air was thick, metallic tasting, which as the starfleet officer took a step forward was uncomfortably obvious. The thick ribbed cables definitely fell under the category of trip-hazzard, but it turns out that the Second Officer of the U.S.S. October is a seasoned pro at stepping over such things. As he reached the centre of the four columns one of the consoles revealed an already pried open panel, which after he adjusted himself so the light could get to it, Presland knelt down and began typing on the flitzing hidden console display.

He was a tactical officer, he loved a puzzle. The transponder box was very typical for a freighter of this age, not quite antique but a while before sophisticated automated systems were retrofit onto vessels of this type. Afterall for small independant traders financials were a big concern, meaning if it wasn’t vital, why spend the latinum on the upgrade. A few further bleeps of the electronic keypad and another error code met him, causing a brief gasp out of frustration. He should have just left it to the engineering team who’d offered to take point, but he couldn’t just sit back and watch from the ‘Shrewsbury.

The chirp of his combade made the human jump. The officer of the watch, Lieutenant Welsh, spoke through his chest “Shrewsbury to ‘commander Presland.” to which he tapped it in response, naturally.

“Presland here, go ahead ‘Shrewsbury.”

“Sir, we just picked up something on sensors, some sort of energy fluctuation. Picked it up just off the starboard bow, grid mark 87.23a, soon disappeared. We’re running an analysis now as to what it could, or could have been.”

“Any cause for alarm, Lieutenant?” his hand coming up to rest on his knee.

“None yet sir, it hardly went off of any scales. But there was a small plasma spike aboard your end, we assumed engineering had reactivated the main power grid.”

The human glanced upwards at the black ceiling, “… no, nothing our end yet. Get back to me with your analysis, it’s likely nothing but space dust, but better safe than sorry. It’ll give you something to do while we’re actually getting our hands dirty.”

“That’s what we thought sir, we’ll keep you posted- in between moisturising our clean hands. ‘Shrewsbury out.” which with a chirp brought an end to the call.

The Lieutenant Commander chuckled softly to himself, shaking his head and getting stuck back into unlocking the transponder. Moisturising our clean hands. Funny woman.

While his gaze was on the console, a bright flicker of blue sparkled the pitch black shadows of the remainder of the bridge from behind, the perimeter sensor for the turbolift activating the opening of the doors. Presuming someone from engineering had come up, to which he was grateful for the momentary extra light, Presland called over his shoulder, “I’m still struggling to get into this thing, the encryption is exceptional, which is bizarre considering this is meant for responders to find.”

There was a metallic clanking, Presland didn’t pay it any attention, though it should have been a sound he’s heard unfortunately enough times before. It was a plasma cartridge being racked.

“I think that’s the least of your worries, Starfleet.” grasped a voice behind.

That got Presland’s attention. Quickly shooting up and around 180, he was just a little too slow on the draw of the standard issue phaser on his hip, leaving his hand hovering just shy of it as he faced what he could just about make out to be several rifles aimed at him. The light from the turbolift, accompanied with the full force of the starfleet work lamps in his direction, made making out the black silhouettes impossible.

A new voice came forward, there was a raspy hiss with it, “You’re going to do us a favour, Starfleet, we think it’s been rather rude for you not to share. Afterall, it’s the least you could do for us.”

Presland straightened, foregoing the shock, confusion and awareness factor jumped straight into protocol, “Lieutenant Commander Henry Presland, Starfleet Officer, service number TR-198-4892-WRW.” pausing, with no response from the silhouettes. Let’s try a half bluff, “… there’s an entire roster of Starfleet officers aboard this ship, as well as a well-armed corvette locked onto this position, you can’t seriously thi-”

At that point another voice interrupted, softer in tone and somewhat familiar. “… funnily enough Lieutenant Commander Henry Presland, that’s the favour you could do for us.” The group of shaded bridge occupants shuffled somewhat, not that it did anything to shine a light on their identities. “Henry? That’s a rather bold name. Dashing, even. Are you a dashing man, Henry?”

“Lieutenant Commander Henry Presland, Starfleet Officer, service number TR-198-4892-WRW.” he replied once again falling to his failsafe, he’d have a plan in a minute. They can’t have just been caught this off guard.

An audible sigh breathed through the shaded group, “… and we were off to such a good start, I thought. We’d hate to have to do things the hard way, Henry.”

At the other end of the system, the U.S.S. October loitered in the wide berth she was assigned, as usual her grace lacking, but her curves were atleast in all the right places. Following the Terran occupation of the sector she scraped by with only minor repairs needed, but now she and her Captain were assigned to repair diplomatic relations with those suffering most from the invasion. With each flicker of her running lights the bustle aboard ship was light, with a considerable complement of officers aboard the station attending an ice-breaking diplomatic conference, made up of a small number of delegates from the Doza sector with Captain Morton and his available senior staff. Those that accepted, anyway.

The explosion was quick, merciless to everyone’s ears and didn’t hold back with the overflow. As the champagne cork hit the table everyone had raised to attention as the waiter circled the table to top up each of the delegates’ glasses. As the joyful tavern-ish music was faded out, Coby straightened his dress tunic, lifting his newly filled champagne flute into the air.

“To conclude this session, on what I think and hope should be the first of many to come, I’d like to thank each of you for offering your time and patience with us today. While we may be parting ways for now, it will only be a short stay away until we return to these chambers to discuss further repairs and rebuilding. The progress we’ve made here not only stands as character for the worlds we live for, but for the unity of the galaxy itself.” Coby paused, inclining his head a fraction to the left “… but I think you’ve all heard enough of my voice throughout today, so I’ll just say this, if I may.” raising his glass a little higher. “To new beginnings, and things to come.”

“To new beginnings.” a few in the room returned solemnly. Then fell the natural murmur of conversation as everyone went to take back their seat for the rather broad spread of food and condiments on the table before them.

Commander Saer approached Coby’s side, “… Well I thought it could have gone worse.” taking a short sip from her champagne.

“You could cut the tension with that cake fork. These people have all been through a lot, that’s not even including Terran siege. If I were them I’d have thought twice, considering if you squint our ships look…” Morton returned, trailing off quietly.

The Orion took another small mouthful, “It’s good to see those in attendance have made real efforts. Have you heard of any progress with the rest of the sector?”

“Considering the major devastation to infrastructure, there’s efforts spread right across, I’d imagine some form of relief is headed to Echomet in Kelterre, but I’ve been a little too focused on our end to keep tabs on everything. I’d call today somewhat of a success though.”

“I don’t know what you’re worried about, you did pretty acceptable today.” Morton’s Orion executive officer bouted towards him, “Once we’ve received some further support we’ll be able to get back to it.”

The human smiled faintly, “… acceptable? Sounds like a compliment to me, Commander, I’d be careful you have a reputation to keep up.”

“You did alright, sir.” taking his glass unceremoniously from his hand and into her own, mirroring the one already in her other “October messaged, they said to get you on the line, Ambassador Palmer has set you up a comm’ link in his office.”

Coby looked to the table of food, all the delegates already tucking in, then a stare at a tall glass with pink fluffy liquid inside. Pursing his lips, he nodded. “Thankyou Commander, … enjoy, I suppose.”

The Orion nodded, her eyes immediately heading to the Captain’s now vacant seat as she made way to get comfy in the man’s grave.

As the doors to the Palmer’s diplomatic suite opened Morton was immediately taken back by the lavish nature of the room, grand paintings filled each possible spot on the walls, golden goblets and artefacts on plinths along its perimeter with an impressive array of tapestries. At the far end was an ornate oak desk, upon it a small computer display that was likely the only visible outcast in comparison to the rest of the suite.

Captain Morton unclipped the strap from his right shoulder, letting his dress tunic unloosen just a fraction before he took to the chair. A quick tap on the display brought up the incoming channel. “Morton here.”

On the small screen appeared the Andorian Captain of Engineering, Thy’s th’Allegro. “Adoo skipper,” 12 years of space faring together, not that it’d matter anyway, afforded the engineer some natural informality with his commanding officer. “… sorry to interrupt your scoffing, but I just wanted to run something by you, Presland’s jumped to warp.”

Coby arched his brow, “What do you mean, jumped to warp?”

The Andorian engineer was clever enough to spot a rhetorical question when he saw one, “About five minutes ago. We’ve still got them on sensors, but they’re not answering hails. Has he relayed anything to you? Thought maybe he was following up on a lead.”

“No.” was Coby’s short response. The human stared off to the side of the screen for a moment, “… not answering hails?” he said, somewhat confused and disbelieving.

“Nada skipper. We’re going to send a runabout over to the freighter, see what’s going on over there. We scanned local communications, no distress calls or anything of the like, our last automated uplink to the Shrewsbury showed all systems nominal, with engineering teams looking to restore power to the freighter.”

“Belay that Thys…” Morton nibbled his lower lip, “Lay in an intercept course. We’ll have to make our goodbyes, we’ll be with you in 5 minutes.”

“Copy that sir, on standby for your return. October out.” with a chirp, the screen cut to its natural screensaver. A Bolian man in some form of tight-fitting swimsuit, the ambassador’s holiday photo didn’t leave much to the imagination. Fair enough, Coby thought as he stood and quickly moved away from the image floating corner-to-corner on the screen.