Ghost Ship (Challenger-A)
Mission Report submitted by Lieutenant Commander Tallis Rhul, Stardate 2387.06.14
While at Earth, undergoing repairs and a refit, the U.S.S. Challenger crew received orders to locate and salvage a 22nd Century Earth Starfleet vessel that had been found by a Federation science ship. With command of the Challenger passing over to Commander Samal Frazier in an official capacity, the crew were keen to live up to his expectations, and also to lay their hands on an authentic piece of Earth's history.
On arriving in the same sector of space as the Earth ship, designated Eosa, the crew found themselves confronting an intricate dilemma. Firstly, the Eosa was stuck in an asteroid field, caught in the gravity of a large asteroid, moving slowly towards its destruction. Secondly, it was unclear as the the final fate of the crew, as no life-signs were detected aboard, and neither were any remains.
Working quickly, and led by calculations from Ensign Mailea Labria, the crew of the Challenger dispatched three ships, the Centaur, the Irwin and the Captain's Yacht, each staffed by Senior members of the Challenger crew. Commander Frazier exercised his Captain's privilege to take the helm of the yacht, leading the three vessels into the asteroid field. Unfortunately, the unpredictable nature of the field led to a collision between two asteroids, and the Yacht and the Centaur both suffered significant damage. The crippled ships limped their way toward the Eosa to lend what support they could, and led by the Captain, the crew quickly boarded the ship.
In response to the damage sustained by the Yacht and the Centaur, a command decision was made to send the rest of the Challenger's senior staff to the Eosa in shuttles, which would also be needed to assist in towing the Eosa away from the asteroid. Lieutenant Targ, a Tellarite, was left in charge of the Challenger for the duration. However, Targ was quickly relieved on medical grounds after developing symptoms from an allergic reaction to Rango fruit, which he had taken from someone else's plant. The lower decksmen were then left to safeguard the Challenger from any possible interference from a local power, the Gu'ran, who were watching the salvage operation very carefully.
Back aboard the Eosa, the Challenger crew were making progress. Lieutenant Kincade Tel-ar was forced to multitask after working on repairs to the Centaur, when a concussion developed by Doctor Reid during the runabout's impact with an asteroid fragment took a turn for the worse. Forced to tend to Reid's condition immediately, she had no option but to take him to the Eosa's sickbay to attempt an operation with outdated medical equipment. Meanwhile, Commander Netal, along with Lieutenants Tallis Rhul and Jesse Lawn, worked to restore power to the Eosa and assist her in becoming shipshape. It was not long before more members of the Challenger staff arrived to lend a hand.
During a venture below decks to investigate the disappearance of the original crew's remains, Lieutenant Commander Turc Brakur had a fateful encounter with a non-corporeal entity, which, in its weakened state, bonded permanently with the Brikar's brain. After recovering from the experience, Brakur realized that his eyes were now changed, purple and glowing, and that he had the ability to communicate empathically with others. More specifically, the entity, who introduced himself as Adam, had that ability, and remained as a separate entity within Brakur's mind. When Brakur returned to the Bridge, he found himself serving as messenger for the entity, whom the Captain was keen to question. After receiving news of Doctor Reid's condition, Brakur felt compelled to visit his shipmate, and when he arrived Adam was keen to provide Reid with medical assistance. As a result, Doctor Reid's latent empathic powers were activated.
Squeezing every last ounce of power out of the Challenger's auxiliary ships and the stricken Captain's Yacht, and using delicate calculations developed by Ensign Labria, the Eosa's rescue was finally at hand. Despite an initial emotional outburst and some uncharacteristic behaviour, Ensign Labria came through for the crew, with her calculations fortuitously leading the Eosa and all of its tow boats into a spatial anomaly that catapulted them to the edge of the asteroid field unharmed. Despite this, Lieutenant Tallis resolved to get to the bottom of Ensign Labria's strange behaviour once the mission was complete.
With the mission seemingly over, the new crew of the Eosa noticed a build-up of energy, and were drawn into what appeared to be a larger anomaly than they first thought. Unknown to them, the crew aboard the Challenger watched in horror as the Eosa disappeared through a rift along with two shuttlecraft, leaving the Irwin and Centaur stranded in the asteroid belt. To make things worse, Lieutenant Commander Tal Tel-ar developed worrying symptoms that affected his balance and antennae, and the Eosa's old crew materialised on the bridge, demanding to know who the intruders were who now sat at their command stations. Faced with a 22nd Century captain who was intent on saving his ship from attacking Romulans, Commander Frazier had no option but to assist with the Eosa's escape, and ordered the Challenger's crew to work with their historical counterparts in order to affect repairs. Many of the Challenger and Eosa crewmembers alike became anxious at this forced working relationship, although the Bridge crews rapidly integrated and began to work as a team. On the Bridge, new recruit Ensign Hannibal Tiberious Parker was instrumental in repairing the Eosa's shields to maximum efficiency, and in Engineering, Ensign Garlone 301 worked alongside Ensign Solor and Lieutenant Chalmers to restore power to the ship's systems.
Before long the Romulans returned, intent on the Eosa's destruction. Outnumbered and outgunned, the Eosa began to take heavy damage once more, and after the Eosa's commander was killed in an explosion on the Bridge, Commander Frazier assumed command of the vessel. In order to ensure that the Challenger crew survived, the two shuttlecraft that had towed the Eosa launched to assist in the battle. With tactics developed by Lieutenant Commander Hugh Barnes, Lieutenant Tallis and Ensign Labria, the attacking ships were warned off or destroyed, thanks also to Lieutenant Lawn at the helm of the Eosa, and disturbingly to Lieutenant Commander Brakur. Able to see variations in energy fields due to the abilities granted to him by his "partner", Brakur was able to identify a weak spot in the shields of one of the Romulan ships, and Doctor Reid wasted no time in taking advantage.
With the rift that brought the Eosa back into the past rapidly closing, Lieutenant Commander Marcus Dickens was forced to work at speed to implement a plan to take the Eosa back to its correct time period. With seconds to spare, the Eosa and both shuttles arrived back in the present, to be greeted by the overjoyed crew of the Challenger. With the Eosa in tow, the Challenger began its journey back to Earth.
After delivering the relic and taking on a battalion of marines to transport to Deep Space 17, a formal dinner was held to celebrate a successful mission. During the festivities, promotions included Hannibal Parker to Lieutenant (j.g.), Jesse Lawn to full Lieutenant, Elina Kincade Tel-ar to Lieutenant Commander, and Tallis Rhul to Lieutenant Commander and ship's Second Officer. Most important of the promotions was the well-deserved elevation of Samal Frazier from Commander to Captain, which was met with joy by the Challenger's crew.
And so the Challenger continued in its journey to DS17...