SFC Date: 2385/07/20
Detecting that the freighter warped to the outskirts of the system towards a Class D planetoid, the Fortitude quickly set an intercept course and engaged at full impulse; intercept time: 3 hours 32 minutes 54.52 seconds.
Engaging warp inside a planetary system is prohibited by Star Fleet regulations except in emergency situations.Ex Astris Scientia
Several minutes later, sensors indicate that the freighter has jettisoned all cargo pods into the gravity-well of the planet and is experiencing a warp-core breach in progress. The crew decides to break regulations and make a quick warp jump to the freighter. Just before arriving, sensors detect a warp-core breach and the computer initiates an emergency engine shutdown to prevent damage from the resulting subspace shock-wave; temporarily blinding sensors.
With systems restored, no significant trace of the freighter remains except for the cargo pods, now hurtling towards the planet surface. Further scans indicate that the Valyrian crew is on-board one of the pods and that one of the other pods contains an undefined number of Romulan life-signs. The crew quickly sets an intercept course in an attempt to use the tractor beam while launching several shuttle-craft to assist the operation. Sensors additionally indicate that the pod with the Valyrian crew has engaged structural integrity fields and inertial dampeners and would survive planetary impact where as the others would not (including pod with Romulan life-signs).
As the pods begin to enter the thin atmosphere, being not at all aerodynamic, they begin to tumble and collide with one another. The decision is made that the Fortitude should focus on the pod with Romulan life-signs as it seems that it would not survive an impact with the planet.
In a show of daring and skill by the helmsman and tactical officer the Fortitude is able to wrest and recover the pod back into a stable orbit. Unfortunately the shuttle-craft didn’t have the power necessary to recover the other pods and they crashed into the planet. The pod with structural integrity fields engaged survived the impact, creating a crater and embedding itself quite deep into the plutonian surface. Meanwhile Pods without SIF and inertial dampeners were destroyed, further littering the impact zone with debris.
Still unable to get precise life-sign readings of the pod in orbit, the crew decides to send over a survey drone. Upon beaming over, the drone indicates that there is no power or gravity onboard and that the life-signs are coming from one of the larger cargo bays. Upon entering the bay the probe transmits images back to the ship of crates floating weightless through the cavernous space, and in the center is a device giving off a faint green glow. The device, clearly of Romulan design is generating sensor interference and false life-signs. The crew disconnects the power source on the device and the life-signs fade away.
Meanwhile the shuttle crew have been surveying the impact site. Transporters are risky, in order to reach the Valyrian survivors, the crew would need to excavate and tunnel down to the pod. While preparations are being made, a drone is sent into the debris to see if there’s a better way or whether it could reach the cargo pod. About halfway, the drone can go no further but detects a faint distress call emanating from the pod.
After sixteen grueling hours, Chief Paw and his engineering team are able to reach a docking port. After erecting a force-field a security team overrides and opens the hatch and are met by several Valyrian crew-members ecstatic to see their rescuers.
Chief Medical Officer Cren clears the crew to be beamed up to sickbay and begins to triage the Valyrian survivors. All were dehydrated and hungry with various minor injuries from the impact. Several including the Captain and Chief Engineer had more serious injuries which the physician was easily able to treat.
The captain and crew confirmed what the crew of the Fortitude already suspected. Romulans, in uniform, commandeered the ship and took the inhabitants hostage. Upon entering orbit of the planetoid, the crew and their cargo were jettisoned into the planet’s gravity-well. The Captain recounts looking through a porthole at his ship flying away, a bright flash followed by his ship going to warp.
With the assistance of the Valyrian engineer, the crew is able to pick up on the ship’s warp trail. It looked like the Romulans did a good job of making their trail with the help of the warp-core breach of a smaller shuttle-like craft. The crew had never seen it before and didn’t know where it had come from.
Following the trail and going to maximum warp, the crew quickly detects and catches up to the freighter; which was heading directly towards Romulan space and only three light-years from the neutral zone.
After not responding to hails, the Fortitude knocks the freighter out of warp. A brief firefight ensues where it is quickly demonstrated that the freighter is significantly and tactically outclassed. The Fortitude detects a narrow-band distress call directed towards Romulan space and jams the freighters communications. The crew also detects that several transport inhibitors have been set up in the bridge and living quarters of the ship but notes that the engineering section was vulnerable. Cheif Paw successfully transports two Romulans form the engineering section to the Fortitude where security teams quickly moved them to the brig, noting that they were clearly wearing Tal Shiar uniforms and insignia.
Disabled and vulnerable, the freighter floats in space waiting for the Fortitude’s crew to make their next move.