Chaos broke out on the MLS H. Viking as the ship tumbled through to the other side of the portal. Alarm bells were going off everywhere, the radio was yelling at them in white noise, and all around, the sounds of personal belongings flying off shelves and desks could be heard. There were several loud crashes and a litany of curse words over the com as the ship was thrown about.
“Captain, I’m picking up a signal. It appears to be coming from a nearby solar system!” Ensign CrimsonThirteen called out over the cacophony.
“Following!” Commander Aka-click said between gritted teeth as she fought with the helm for control of the ship.
“There are fires in the engine room,” one of cadets called out frantically.
Captain Eldarwen called down to the engine room immediately. “Lt. Kds, can you get those fires under control?”
“Putting them out wasn’t in my job description,” Kdskid007 responded with more annoyance than panic over the current situation.
Captain Eldarwen wasn’t able to hold her tongue in response. “Neither was starting them!”
“Details.” The com clicked off.
“Can we send Twinkle to help Kds put out the fires?” Aka-Click suggested.
Eldarwen gave her a dubious look. “Are you really certain that is the best course of action?”
“No, but we don’t really have any other options either, do we?” Aka-Click shouted over her shoulder before turning her full attention back to navigation.
“Well, I suppose it doesn’t matter either way,” Eldarwen muttered and called for Ensign TwinkleToesTheBeserker. Zhe appeared all too quickly at the captain’s side, startling the latter slightly.
“Kds needs help in the engine room. Fires need to be put out. Hurry!” The captain had barely finished speaking before the ensign had already disappeared.
Meanwhile, Ensign CrimsonThirteen was fiddling with the uncooperative radio and camera settings so they could get a better notion of what they were heading towards. “Captain, I have a visual telecom signal and… Well, hello there Rex!”
The statement was followed with a resounding BOOM as Commander Aka-click called out “Brace for impact.”
With a painful crash, the ship came to a halt. Captain Eldarwen had braced herself against the command desk and raised an eyebrow at her Commander, who shrugged. “Any landing you can walk away from….”
The captain shook her head and addressed Ensign CrimsonThirteen instead. “How’s the radio doing? Can we get a transmission back to the SSA?”
“Everything looks fairly shaken up but I’ll try.”
“Alright.” Captain Eldarwen straightened, brushed some dust off her clothes and headed out of the control room. “Everyone good?!” she yelled down into the ship’s main room. There was a chorus of affirmatives, some more enthusiastic than others.
Staff in tow, curious cadets crowding around them, Captain Eldarwen pushed open what remained of the exit-door (the automatic button had refused to work, despite lots of impatient pushing) and was utterly stunned. When Ensign CrimsonThirteen had mentioned dinosaurs, all sorts of visuals had passed through her mind but nothing quite like this.
The Viking crew was faced with lush greenery, and the bluest sky they had ever seen. Huge trees stood before them and every possible space between them was filled with flowers and bushes in all shapes and colours. What sounded like a million birds were chirping in the trees and a multitude of other animal sounds could be heard in the jungle. In the distance, there was a heavy but rhythmic thud-thud as something large made its way through the trees. The air that hit them was pleasantly warm if somewhat humid.
“I know you all want to go exploring. I’m not holding it against you.” There was an odd popping sound next to her and Captain Eldarwen turned towards Ensign TwinkleToesTheBeserker who was suddenly holding a large bucket of ice cream, looking clueless as to its appearance.
Confused, the captain decided to ignore that for now and went back to addressing the cadets: “I will however be very put out if you fall into craters, are swept into the air by volcanoes or get lost in the jungle. And please try to avoid being eaten.”
Thud-thud-thud. Whatever it was, it was getting closer.
Phooowsh. A bright fireball burst into the air near Lt. Kdskid07 and just as quickly dissipated.
Something strange – stranger than usual – was going on here.