Judgement Day: Someone Else’s Ship

by Christopher Nuttall

Disclaimer: This story uses characters from the Star Trek series owned by paramount and a situation created by Alara Rogers.  No copyright infringement is intended, nor is this story canon in the Star Trek universe or the ‘Judgement Day’ Alternate Universe (unless Alara says otherwise). 

I really hate this job.  It’s spooky and yet so needed and yet it’s a reminder of the effects of the catastrophe that hit the Federation.  This job is one of the jobs that keep the UFP going – and I hate it.  But what other choice is there?

We see the ship floating in space as we approach.  Almost immediately, we can see something is very wrong, it’s hanging at an angle to the galactic plane.  That’s not needed, of course, but its odd and wrong.  The ships also been damaged in some way, looking like it had been though a battle, carbon scoring obscuring the hull in places.  Its wrong. 

Of course it’s wrong, there are no humans aboard that ship.

No one at all.

The ship feels like a ghost ship.  We transport aboard and take control of the systems without any real problems, using the battle bridge as a control point.  Its not so easy for the five of us to power a whole starship up, but we can do it.  Its harder when scavengers have been at the ship already, several battles have been fought against former Starfleet ships that had been pressed into service by the Orion Pirates or the Gorn.   

When the disaster happened, there was something special about this ship.  Unlike the others I’ve salvaged, this one had a crew that was only partly human, but the non-human members were flashed back to their homeworlds without any explanation.  What was special about this ship, I wonder, why was it given special treatment by them?

  We owe humanity so much and even now we need them back, but all our efforts have proven futile.  We’ve bombarded the Barrier surrounding the solar system with enough firepower to atomise a planet – no result. 

And then the war came.  Seeing the Federation in disarray, half of Starfleet’s personnel effectively wiped out, our old foes came baying for blood.  The Romulans started pressing the Federation for a redrawing of the border lines and, worse, the Cardassions started attacking both the remaining Marquis and the Bajorans.  They reoccupied Bajor a month after the event.

There was no choice; I keep telling myself that, we reaffirmed our alliance with the Klingons, although, without humanity, we’re more of a Klingon protectorate.  We moved crew around so that most of the remaining ships were fully crewed and hit Cardassia with everything the Klingons and we could scrape up.  We smashed much of their fleet and imposed a demilitarised zone all over the Cardassien homeworlds.  The Klingons got much of the captured territory.

But much of the fleet was crewed by humanity.  They left those ships just drifting in space, although there was one disaster when a Galaxy-class ship rammed a Starbase as most of its crew had vanished, and we have to recover them.  Already, some of the more warlike members of the Federation are wondering if they could form empires of their own.  There has even been a resurgence of age-old Andorian-Vulcan rivalry that humanity ended; the hero Jonathon Archer convinced them to end their petty struggle.

It was at that moment humanity grew up.


I’m sitting in the captain’s ready room, off the main bridge.  The USS Searcher has arrived and is towing our new find back to Vulcan.  We can relax now, put our feet up while the mighty Ambassador-class starship hauls us on our way. 

I can’t relax, wandering though the ghost ship, wondering why she was treated in this manner, why she was emptied and left to die in the cold depths of space.  Looking at the captain’s desk, I think I see an answer, a letter he wrote, hoping that someone would find it. 

Suddenly, I understand, the captain was trapped on Earth with the others; he could not tell us the real reason why humanity was punished.  I wander back onto the bridge and sweep the dust off the ship’s dedication plaque, knowing now why spiteful entities with the power of gods choose to treat this ship in such a manner, knowing, for all the good it does us, the true authors of humanity’s predicament. 

The line on the dedication plaque is enough to identify the ship….

“To boldly go where no man has gone before….”