Charybdis (Veritas)

With a class of schoolchildren aboard on a field trip during a regional starship race, Veritas falls through a hidden wormhole into a pocket of seemingly empty subspace only to discover that they may not be alone.

Veritas Mission History
Year 1 (2393-2394)
The Forgotten Land · Rag and Bone · Aftershock · The Mother Road
Year 2 (2395)
The Irresistible Prize · Kallo Ver & The Hunt for the Lost Romulan Treasure Fleet · The Omega Paradox · Hope Lost · Flashpoint
Year 3 (2396)
Limbo · Dawn · Home · Sentinel · Play the Part · The First Colony · Tour de Ketar V · Charybdis · Lost and Found
Year 4 (2397)
E Pluribus Unum · Nadira · Free Flight · Pirates of the Quantum Realms · Forever and Always · Heartbeat · Home Is Where the Heart Is · Wandering Star
Year 5 (2398)
Here Kitty Kitty · Reunion · Chasing Shadows · Endeavour · Loopy · Fissure
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  • Stardate 239609-10

Plot Summary

Fresh off the events of 'The First Colony,' The Veritas hopes to improve Starfleet and Shoals relations by participating in the yearly running of the Sandhurst Cup, a Shoals tradition going back to the early colonial days. The course, filled with a mix of warp sprints and impulse chicanes, passes a variety of Shoals landmarks and, to Captain Rahman, this is perfect time to host a class of enthusiastic colonial school children & their teacher, Ms. Bella Martin. Ms. Martin's class of fifth graders, full of questions and, in one case, an overabundance of apple juice, quickly begin causing minor havoc aboard as the ship is prepared for the upcoming race. Filling in for Chief Engineering Geoffrey Teller who, along with Commander Evan Delano, are on a special assignment, Acting Chief Wil Ukinix works tirelessly to modify the ships systems so they conform to the rigorous standards demanded by the race officiants.

Elsewhere aboard the USS Diligent, an experimental ship in the final stages of construction at the nearby Livernois shipyards, Delano & Teller welcome aboard a skeleton crew of officers chosen to help them repair the deeply problematic vessel. Once aboard, Doctor Addison MacKenzie, Lt. Jayla Petras, Lt. Jg. Charlena Vanlith and Ens. Andy Monroe quickly find out how troublesome the vessel is when the shuttlebay they arrived in catastrophically decompresses, stranding them along with Teller in the bay's small observation booth. It's but one of the challenges this small crew will be faced with as they try to mend the vessel.

Back aboard the Veritas, the class trip has gotten slightly sidetracked as one student has wandered away from the group, leading Engineers Mate Taz Shandres on a tour of the starboard jefferies tubes and maintenance spaces. As this is going on, the Veritas, along with a dozen other racers, eagerly await the races start. An instant after the flag is dropped, one of the racers makes a dangerously close pass to the larger ship, clearly sending the message that not all the rules of racing are evenly applied. As the Veritas dashed into the first sprint, the course lay ahead of them, full of challenges both known and unexpected.

Back aboard the USS Diligent, still moored at the Livernois shipyards in orbit of Ketar V, calamity has struck. A once in a century solar flare is gaining intensity in the nearby star, and all ships that can be moved are ordered out of the system or into shielded facilities. With neither option viable for the partially completed vessel, the difficult decision is made to have the crew abandon ship rather than risk their lives on a prototype. Having spent weeks aboard and investing no shortage of blood, sweat and tears, Lt. Cmdr. Geoffrey Teller, serving as the ships acting First Officer, prevails on his C/O Acting Captain Evan Delano to try saving the ship, and after some quick thinking, clutch repair work and deft piloting, the ship narrowly avoids destruction by hiding in one of the systems larger asteroids in a maneuver referred to as 'Teller's Turtle.' Hunkering down to wait out the storm, the Diligent crew loses contact with the Veritas and the larger race just as the ships are moving towards the highly dangerous region of space known as the Scylla Pass. Spirits are high aboard the Diligent as the crew speculates about the outcome of the race.

Aboard the Veritas the business of the day is racing, and business is good. The ship moves up several positions before entering the pass, but disaster strikes as a subspace funnel opens almost directly in the path of the racers, swallowing several unfortunate ships, including the Veritas, and depositing them within the heart of an unknown region of subspace that the crew being referring to as 'The Void.' Within moments of entering, the ships systems begin to fail, leaving the racers, the crew, and a terrified group of fifth graders stranded in the dark. Outside the ships, within a graveyard of shattered hulls, creatures begin to move towards the crippled Veritas as they cast a piercing blue light. Several crew members aboard the Veritas are killed as these 'Vipers' tear through the hull with the greatest of ease, reaching deep within the ship in desperate hunger.

With the solar storm clearing, communications are restored to the USS Diligent, still hiding in its asteroid shell. As they learn of the disappearance of the Veritas, the crew begins to formulate a plan to help with the only semi-functional Starfleet vessel left in the area. While the plan is being compiled, Acting Captain Delano, realizing the Diligent alone is unlikely to be successful, decides to return to Ketar V to rally what reinforcements he can while handing command of the Diligent to his Acting First Officer, Geoffrey Teller. Determined not to let either of his commanding officers down, Lt. Cmdr. Teller assumes command and names Doctor Addison MacKenzie, their acting Chief Medical Officer, to be his new XO. As the ship is readied for its first warp flight to the race course, the tiny crew of the Diligent rush to mend damage and complete vital construction tasks.

Now trapped in the void for several hours, teams of crew men have began working through the powerless ship with hand torches and tricorders, trying to make sense of what has happened to them. Stranded in a turbolift below decks with their traumatized student passengers, Lt. JG. Nabihah El Sayid attempts to calm and reassure them and herself that the situation cannot possibly be as bad as it seems. AS El Sayid and the classes teacher, Ms. Martin, struggle with increasingly panic stricken children, Lt. Solak, recently transferred Vulcan Stellar Cartographer, joins the group and offers whatever assistance he feels to be suitably logical. Closer to the now decompressed bridge, the surviving command crew struggle to bypass a series of emergency bulkheads that shut automatically while in Main Engineering, there are more questions than answers as the injured and disorientated crew takes stock of the damage and tries to bring any of the ships systems back online. Soon realizing the full scope of the problem, the Engineering team begins coordinating the crew and moving towards one of the ships cargo bays in an attempt to gain safety in numbers and consolidate their quickly diminishing energy reserves. With the assistance of BAXTER, a robotic assistant in the form of a small dog, the Engineering team leaves a 'message in a bottle' for Captain Rahman,

Arriving at the site of the Veritas's disappearance, the Diligent quickly locates the maw of the subspace funnel and, after making a few last minute modifications to smooth the ride, heads inside. Once pulled into the Void, the still functional Diligent is able to locate the Veritas and begins moving towards it, but is driven off by a small group of the Vipers. Battering the ships shields and seemingly immune to its weapons, the vipers repeatedly collide with the small ship, forcing them to temporarily abandon their rescue in favor of retreat. Using the Diligent's small size and agility, and an adroitly aimed torpedo spread from newly arrived (and/or freed from a danger closet) tactical officer Lt. Jonathan Cumar, the ship slips away and attaches itself to one of the numerous wrecks stranded in the graveyard of ships found in the Void. To Geoff Teller's immense shock, the ship in question is the S.S. Iberia, a civilian liner lost six years prior while carrying fifty six people, including Teller's parents Franz and June. Quickly realizing they cannot detach from the Iberia without drawing the unwanted attention of the vipers, half the Diligent crew begin to don EVA suits for a journey to the wrecked vessel while an away team lead by XO Addison MacKenzie takes the Diligent's one remaining runabout and heads back towards the last known position of the Veritas, hopeful they aren't too late.

Aboard the Veritas, the crew has largely reassembled in one of the ship's main cargo bays, now converted to be a disaster shelter. With the ship still powerless, the Captain decides to organize teams to tackle the most immediate tasks; she'll take a shuttle and try to get an idea of what's going on outside the ship, the team of Jansen Orrey and Wil Ukinix, accompanied by Tristam Core, will head to the nearby Star Of Corinth, a stranded racer, and try to render aid and salvage what parts they can, and lastly, El Sayid and Solak, still accompanying the exhausted schoolchildren, head back below to the recently completed Stargazer lounge, where food that had been previously prepared for the children was still waiting for them.

With the Diligent's crew split, Doctor Addison MacKenzie, aboard the runabout Yenisei, proceeds back to the Veritas, hopeful that her small team can slip by the vipers unnoticed. As they come upon the crippled Veritas, they discover that one of the creatures has attached itself to the ship's hull and seems to be draining power. Before they can investigate further, one of the shuttlebay doors explodes outwards, allowing Captain Rahman's shuttlecraft to exit and simultaneously attracting the attention of the vipers towards the two small craft. At the helm of the runabout, Lt. Jg. Charlena Vanlith is forced to think fast as she pushes the throttles to the max, desperate to stay ahead of the onrushing creatures.

Meanwhile, on the Iberia, Teller's team finds a ship in surprisingly good condition as they work their way inwards and prepare to cut the Diligent free. Shortly after they begin their work, both teams are set upon by EVA suited figures wielding improvised weapons, injuring Lt. Maravosh and Lt. Cumar. Barely fighting clear of the ambush themselves, Teller and Petras make a stunning discovery - their attackers are some of the original Iberia passengers, survivors who have managed to hold on for six years, unable to escape the void. Following them deeper into the bowels of the ship, the Diligent team is reunited as Geoffrey Teller is rocked by the discovery that his father, Franz, is still alive.

On the Star of Corinth, Jansen Orrey, Wil Ukninix and Tristam Core attempt, with limited success, to prevail upon the crew to let them salvage parts from the stricken racer before abandoning it to the void. While the trio attempts to make repairs, tensions flare and a dangerous standoff between Lt. Cmdr. Orrey & one of the racers is put to a definitive end by a swiftly delivered right cross, courtesy of the ship's counselor. Afterwards, the racer crew is significantly more agreeable.

On the Veritas, the fifth grade class made the long trek back to the Stargazer lounge, thankful to find a large stockpile of food waiting, prepared before the disaster struck. As the famished children tear into their meal, haunting blue lights outside the ship allow Lt. Solak and Lt. Jg. El Sayid to study the behavior of the Vipers. Their investigation almost turns deadly as a tendril from one creature tears through the deck below their feet, scattering children and officers and forcing them to abandon their meal. Lt. Solak decides to take this rare opportunity to further his investigation by initiating a mind meld with the creature, learning that the Vipers are not native to the Void and are, like the Veritas, trapped there & desperate for energy. As the creature recoils from Lt. Solak, the Stargazer lounge begins to explosively decompress, dragging Lt. Solak towards a terrible demise. Fortunately, Commander Kelrod, head of ships security, fights his way into the room and pulls the Vulcan to safety before the entire group reenters the jefferies tubes, desperate for shelter and safety.

Back aboard the runabout Yenisei, Lt. Jg. Charlena Vanlith, coached via comm by Lt. Tiria Hamasaki aboard the Captain's shuttle, is fighting a losing battle to avoid the viper close behind. As the systems aboard the runabout begin to fail, Doctor MacKenzie makes a timely discovery, realizing that the creatures themselves are what's disrupting their technology. Ordering the runabout to turn, she puts them on a collision course with the Veritas with their pursuer close behind. Aiming directly for the creature embedded in the ship's hull, the runabout deftly maneuvers out of the way with little space to spare. Behind them, the viper is not quite as quick and collides with its brethren, dislodging it from the Veritas as the two snap at each other, the runabout and shuttle forgotten. As the shuttle and runabout dock back aboard the Veritas, ships systems begin coming back online, revealing a terrifying reality. A large group of the vipers is closing on the ship from all directions and, even with the ship beginning to respond, there's little chance the crippled Veritas can fight them off alone.

With no time for a family reunion, the survivors aboard the Iberia are given a simple choice - abandon the vessel and transfer to the Diligent, or stay behind and face certain death. While skeptical, the survivors choose to give the Diligent a chance and quickly transfer themselves aboard. As the ship powers itself back up and tears free of the Iberia, Franz Teller is struck by the changes he sees in his son and wonders why, among other things, his son hasn't yet provided a grandchild for him. As the hulk of the Iberia drifts away, the Diligent realizes a massive viper attack is imminent and heads back towards the Veritas, determined to rescue their friends, no matter the cost.

Finally back in their EVA suits, Lt. Cmdr. Orrey, Lt. Cmdr. Core & Lt. Ukinix are standing on the precipice of the airlock as they realize the Veritas, still tumbling out of control, is on a collision course with the small ship. Dragging the Corinth crew to safety, the small team leaped into the void moments before the prow of the Veritas tore through the smaller racer, demolishing the vessel entirely. Left to drift in the Void, the salvage team can see the vipers closing in moments before they're transported back to the now functional Veritas.

With the ship beginning to respond, Captain Rahman's team, supplemented by Doctor MacKenzie & Lt. Jg. Vanlith, head to the auxiliary control room, desperate to get the ship back under control. As they do, the ship's science team of Lt. Cmdr. Raissa Moonsong, Lt. Solak and Lt JG. El Sayid, makes a breakthrough that could enable the ship to leave, but they need time to charge the ship's deflector. As the vipers close in from all sides, time is in short supply.

Finally reconnecting with the Veritas, the Diligent served as the ship's protector, wrapping the Veritas in their shields, attempting to buy time at any cost. The full force of the viper attack is terrifyingly awesome, and both ships are battered by their frantic attacks. On both ships, hope is in short supply as power levels fall and shields begin to fail. Firing their final volley of torpedoes, the Diligent prepares to move away in the hope of distracting the vipers but as they do, a blinding light surrounds both ships, hurtling them back into normal space. Damaged and disorientated, the celebration of their escape is short lived as both crews realize they're tumbling out of control in the dangerous Syclla Pass, still pursued by the surviving swarm of vipers. Bracing for the end, both ships are suddenly grabbed by tractor beams from a squadron of rescue ships, lead by Commander Evan Delano, making good on his promise to rally support from Ketar V. Now back under control, both ships watch in wonder as the Vipers rush pass them and begin joyfully basking in the radiation of the Syclla Pass, equally thankful to be free of the Void.

As both ships set a course to return to Ketar V, the crews are left to reflect on all that has happened, all they've discovered, and on the people they've reunited with.

Log Entries

Jonathan Cumar

Tactical Officer’s Log Entry, 239611.23

Starship Tribble Trouble. Consumed in a debris field by blue meanies inside a…...void. We’ve managed to rescue some survivors from the S.S. Iberia and are fending off some sort of creature that seems to get super-territorial and might feed off energy, but I don't know if we'll be able to replicate it exactly. If we goof, they might eat us.

Roshanara Rahman

Captain's Log, Stardate 239611.26

Having returned to Ketar, Veritas remains in orbit for repairs. The Diligent class vessels proved themselves in our rescue, and I have no doubt Starfleet Command will be pleased with their performance. Meanwhile, our scans show that the creatures from the void have not left Scylla Pass, evidently making it their new home. It will take some time, I'm sure, but I'm recommending to the colonial government that the area be designated a wildlife refuge protected from traffic and future space races.

The unexpected survivors we found from the Iberia are remaining aboard for now until we can help get them back to their families and update their loved ones. And finally, after quite the eventful field trip, it's time to say goodbye to our special guests.