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The Gas Mines of Ben Vosa


Classic Short based on pic for Short Shots. Non official entry.


     “U.S.S. Solace, and U.S.S. Sharp requesting permission to enter the Solar System for docking at Ben Bosa Station.”



     “Ben Bosa Station to U.S.S. Sharp and U.S.S. Solace, Permission granted to enter the system. Please observe all warp restrictions and maintain course zero, nine seven mark four for approach. Control out.”



     ”Acknowledged, U.S.S Solace out.”



     It is in the far off galaxy that a lone solar system encircles the swirling mass of the dual nucleus star of Andromeda. This galaxy, the secondary one out of three located in this region of the universe, is the destination of the two ships that slowly cruise toward it. Their destination is a large solar system, where eight planets lie, and around the fourth planet, the Ben Bosa Station orbits the planet. One of the ships is a Tanker, to carry the gas that is harvested from the planet where the station orbits. It brings the much needed cargo to the region and beyond, to other Earth Federation Colonies. The other is a large Destroyer Class Starship, which escorts the Tanker toward their destination.



The Tanker itself is a sleek vessel with long pods, housing the massive engines. Between the rounded front, where the bridge is located, and the engines aft, that massive pod-like tanks house the gas that is harvested from the planet. The ship is dressed in the typical dingy white, with many patches, showing its age and battle-scars. It is trimmed in red with the Federation logo on the side of the hull. It is the U.S.S. Sharp that cruises along here, one of the oldest tankers that approaches the system and still runs in the stars of space between Earth and Andromeda. The other is a sleek narrow vessel, bristling with a massive super structure in the center, and turrets on the fore and aft that mark it as a combat ship, the U.S.S. Solace.



Seated on the bridge of the Tanker ship, Commander James Reynolds lounged in the command chair of the ship known as the aging relic. He managed to pan a long gaze around the bridge of his ship, and at the crew who had served with him the longest aboard this Tanker for the last ten years. He managed a pleased smile at the performance of his crew, his friends who served for a long time aboard this aging relic of a Federation Tanker.



Captain Reynolds glanced at the view screen where the stars of space collided with the ship as they continued on course through the stars of space. Here, he yawned and he turned his chair toward he helm where two of his officers worked the controls.



“Helm, Status report?” Captain Reynolds asked, turning his command chair, toward the helm and navigation position where Thomas Joelton sat at the Helm and Sarah Carmen sits at the Navigation position.  They turned their seats halfway, to face the Command Chair.



“We are on course, Captain. We are making Warp five. All systems are normal and functioning.” 



“Very well.”  The Captain replied, turning to Dan Levine, sitting at the science module. He is the Science Officer/First Officer aboard this ship.



“Dan, I need a pre-approach scan please.” The Captain asked and the young man, sitting at the science station looked up from his console to nod. He moved quickly to the viewer module of the Science console.



“Right, a Pre-approach scan… Aye, Captain.” He replied with a sneer, and he clicked a couple of switches on his console as the sensors hummed, echoing on the bridge of the ship.



Little did they know, as the science officer scanned the system ahead, that two similar ships are on course leaving the solar system, their current destination. They are on a collision course toward the Sharp and Solace and reactions were immediate as a klaxon sounded on the bridge.



“There are two approaching on the port side, sir!” Dan reported, as he had his face in the science module viewer.



“Class?” The Captain Reynolds asked. 



“One is a Tanker Class Starship… Our sister ship, the Adriana’s Folly and another Destroyer Class Starship, the U.S.S. Livingston.”



“Turn to zero, four six, give them a wide berth.”  The Captain ordered, and outside in the stars of space that the ships turned to its new course, allowing them to slowly approach. As the ships moved silently past each other, they did not even give any recognition that the others were there.



“Continue on course, and decrease to warp four.” Captain Reynolds ordered again, and the ship slowed. Along side, the Destroyer Solace kept pace with the Tanker, as the ships moved through the stars of space. On the bridge of the Tanker, Captain Reynolds studied the screen on the bridge, starting at the ghostly nebula-like formation of Andromeda Galaxy.



“Sensors indicate the way is clear now, sir. There are no other ships except the Adriana and Livingston who passed us.” The Science/First Officer reported.



“Very well, pass the report to the Destroyer.”  Captain Reynolds ordered, “Maintain course and speed.”



“Reduce Speed to Impulse for Ben Bosa Station. Ahead Warp point five.” Captain Reynolds ordered, and in the stars of space the ship appeared from warp, slowly creeping along into the Solar system known as system three, one two.



     At the helm, the helmsman’s hands danced across the console in front of him. He half turned to the glance at Captain Reynolds who watched the view screen as the stars of space slowly were hurled upon them, nodding a silent nod.



     “Warp point five, Captain.” He said with an accented voice and the Captain smiled. 



“Is the Solace still with us?” The Captain asked, and at the Science station, Dan meekly nodded.



“Where else would she be?” Dan replied jokingly and there was a chuckle on the bridge.  He glanced at the sensor device and he read the instruments quickly.



“Sir, the Solace has peeled off to course three, one five, Mark six.” Dan announced, “Sensors indicate motion from that direction, sir!”



“Shit. Red alert, shields up.” The Captain ordered, and there was a nod by Dan to Hthsss who hit the button on his console. A klaxon sounded on the bridge and throughout the ship. The crew of the Tanker rushed to their positions, Kim Chi the Weapons Defense Operator hit the button on his console, nodding to the First Officer.



“Shields are up Captain!” The Science/First Officer shouted. 



     “Evasive maneuvers. Increase to warp, point nine.” Reynolds ordered, “Turn us to evade and take us toward the station.”



     Outside in space, the Tanker lurched as it increased speed to bank away from planet eight in the solar system.



     “Evasive Maneuvers, Captain.” The helmsman reported, “On course away from the Solace, sir!”



     “Get us out of here, stat.” Captain Reynolds said, as he stood on the bridge from his chair. Phasers struck the shields of the Tanker.



     “We’ve been hit sir, no damage.” Kim reported.



     “Notify Solace, we are under attack.” The Captain reported, “Give the direction and coordinates!”



On board the Destroyer, Captain Ken Frakes sat on the bridge of his ship, the klaxon also sounding as the crew ran in from the turbo-lifts onto the bridge, and others working feverishly on the bridge. As the ship continued to charge toward the contact at full impulse power, sitting at the science console, Jessica Parks scanned space ahead for any contacts.



“Motion detection device reports contact bearing three, one eight, Captain. It is moving toward the Sharp, at Warp point nine!” At the helm of the Destroyer, Trk’che Bzzzarti, or Tex for short, the Insectoid Helmsman sat at the console of the ship while Samantha Fox sat at the Navigation console.



“Match course and fire barrage!” Captain Frakes ordered, “Full spread of torpedoes!”



“At the Weapons Defense, A young Humanoid named Fredric Spolic hit button on his console. Outside in the stars of space, the torpedoes appeared from the launchers like fireballs, streaking through the silent void and detonating in bright bursts of energy in the open expanse of space.



“Negative hits, Captain!” Fred reported, “Torpedoes reloading and ready to fire.”



“Fire at will!” Captain Frakes shouted, as the ship continued to wallow through space.



“We are approximately six thousand yards from the contact, Captain!” Jess said, seated at the science station.



“Torpedoes are away, sir!” Fred reported. Outside the torpedoes streaked again into the stars of space. An explosion appeared in the background of space.



“Sir, we have direct hits!”  



“Target that explosion and fire full phasers and torpedoes.” Captain Frakes, exclaimed, as torpedoes streaked from the launchers and lethal bolts of a barrage erupted from the turrets of the Destroyer. Each hit struck the vessel.



“They are taking hits, Captain!”



Lethal beams lanced out from the vessel they were attacking, and hits struck the shields of the Destroyer.



“Ship is Cybertron, Captain!”



“Sensors indicate we are on to a Cybertron Frigate, sir.” The Science Officer said, “They have taken on heavy damage.” A large flash appeared a moment later.  



“Target was destroyed.” The Weapons Defense Officer reported, making the Captain turn to nod.



“Did the Sharp manage to make it to the station?”



“Affirmative, the Tanker departed and went to the confines of the station defenses, sir.” The First Officer said, walking toward the Captain’s chair. Captain Frakes managed a nod.



“Set a course to rendezvous with station, and the tanker, helm. Ahead, warp point six, for solar system only.” The Captain ordered, and at the helm, the helmsman’s claw-like appendages danced across the console. Outside the ship, in the stars of space, the Destroyer Class Starship turned, lightly damaged as it set a course toward the station at the fourth planet.



Meanwhile back on the tanker, Commander Reynolds sat on the bridge of the ship, as his crew began minor repairs to his aging cargo ship. At the helm, the helmsman kept it on course as it slowly approached the Ben Bosa Station.



     “Communications get station control on the horn.” The Captain ordered, “Inform them we are on approach for docking maneuvers.”



     “Aye, Captain.” The Communications officer, Hthsss touched his console buttons rapidly, “This is the U.S.S. Sharp, to Ben Bosa Station Control. We are on approach ready for docking maneuvers.”



     “U.S.S. Sharp, permission granted to dock, set to automated control for docking procedure.”



     “Helm, you heard the man.” Captain Reynolds said jokingly and the Helmsman hit the button on his console. The bridge lights turned blue as they switched over.



     “Ben Bosa you have control.” The Captain said sternly into the speaker.



     “Affirmative Sharp, enjoy the ride.” The voice said and the Captain managed a grin.



     “U.S.S. Sharp confirms, with thanks.” The Captain replied and he hit the button on the console of his chair.



     Outside the ship plowed through the stars of space as it approached the large station known as Ben Bosa. It is a large station that is very large in diameter, with a long needle body under the main body of the station. Two large space dock doors are on the side of the station, and as the Tanker approached, the station doors opened allowing it to enter. It is the same type of station as the one at Earth, but this one is slightly smaller in design than Earth’s massive orbital station.



     The ship slowly approached the doors of the space dock and on the bridge the helmsman sat in the chair, leaning back watching his console as the doors moving closer and closer toward them. As the ship moved through the doors, they closed slowly behind them.  Inside the dock there were many other tankers, freighters and combat ships docked here in this large bay.



     “Sir we are being routed to Docking Bay Ten, for immediate loading.”



     “Very well.” The Captain replied sharply.



     The ship turned slowly and it came to rest at the dock. As it wallowed to a shop, it drifted slightly in the interior of the dock.



     “Activate all moorings.”



     “Moorings activated.” The Helmsman replied.



“Alright, begin shut down procedures, and all off duty personnel may commence for shore leave. Duty personnel, start loading of the starboard tanks for the gas cargo.” The Captain ordered. There were smiles among the crew, a few yawning openly as they rushed off the bridge, to their quarters to begin their leave.



     “Sir, the Solace has arrived at the station, and reports the enemy was destroyed.” The Communications Officer said, turning toward the command chair.



     “Outstanding.” The Captain replied, “Did they arrive and dock?”



     The Communications Officer nodded. “They are at Docking Bay three.”



     “Very well, send the Captain my thanks and compliments.”



     “Aye, sir.” Hthsss replied, and turned to his console.



     Activity began on the bridge, as the crew began working to load the dangerous cargo into the tanks. It is a delicate cargo in which is bound on the return trip to Earth and beyond. But for now, the crew was relieved to be at their destination after a long journey to get here. Not aware that their next mission would be coming very soon.



To be continued ---


WC: 2,178