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The Ashes of IO-216 (standard:science fiction, 3314 words)
Author: Nathaniel MIllerAdded: Jun 07 2015Views/Reads: 821/673Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
A story of disaster in a far off galaxy of the Milky Way. A colony and disaster looms for a colony of the Earth Federation in a neighboring system.

“Captain's Log, Star date: 4533.4, Science Vessel, U.S.S. Russell
Chamberlain, NCC-1534 

The ship has just arrived at sector one forty-five, arriving at sixteen
hundred hours, Xenos Colony time. We have come per orders for research 
of a navigation anomaly in region caused by volcanic activity on planet 
eight, designated IO-216. We also will be checking on all systems of 
the power station that was built on planet that provides power to Xenos 
Colony on planet three, ensuring continued normal operations of the 
station. So far everything is normal and functioning.” 

Cruising in the stars of space, the Russell Chamberlain, a Battle
Cruiser Class Starship converted to a Science Vessel slowly plows 
toward the solar system known as the Xenos Cluster. As the ship slowly 
approaches the outer-fringe of the twelve-planet solar system, on the 
bridge the crew works feverishly to scan the system. They are taking in 
relative data before heading to their destination to start their 
research assignment in orbit around the eighth planet. The crew is also 
understandably nervous with this assignment, sent out without a 
military escort to a far off world as the enemies of the Earth 
Federation are in the general vicinity of the new colony located in 
this cluster. 

As for the Chamberlain, the ship itself is large and bulky, the size of
four city blocks, a floating island in space. It has two massive 
engines powering the ship on the rear, a narrow, but massive main body, 
and a rounded front, in which it houses the bridge.  It is a sleek 
design, dressed in white, trimmed with the red stripe and logo of the 
Earth Federation. It is one of the more powerful exploration and 
research vessels converted by the EDC. But it is under equipped and 
armed only with phasers as a defense. It is another reason the crew is 
nervous, and uptight, almost wishing that a military vessel would have 
been dispatched with them when the orders were cut. But that had been 
over three weeks ago, and there had been no contact with any other 
ships during their travel to this cluster. 

Captain Thomas Franklin Raithe calmly sits in the command chair on the
bridge of his ship, staring idly at the screen as the ship enters the 
Xenos cluster. As he remains seated, he turns his chair toward the 
science officer, Varis Delong, who sits at his station with his face in 
the scanner module before him. He waits impatiently for Varis' report 
as the ship enter the cluster, beginning their mission in this part of 

“We're entering Sector one forty-five, sir.” He finally announced, and
there was a murmur on the bridge. 

Quickly the captain, turning his chair, faced the Helm and Navigation
positions from the blank wall where he had been staring. 

“Helm... slow to sub-light speed for the Xenos Cluster. Ahead, warp
point five,” Captain Raithe ordered, “Turn the ship to course three, 
one, two mark six.” 

“Slowing to warp point five and turn to course three, one, two mark
six.” the helmsman, named Vanessa Parks, said, as her hands danced 
across the console making the ship slowly turn on its new course. Next 
to her, Crx-tks, the Insect-like navigator sat at his place at the 
Navigation position, and he busily punched in calculations as they 
slowly cruised through the solar system of the cluster and their 

“I have a strange course anomaly, sir. I am adjusting our trajectory for
the sector,” Crx reported, his claw-like hands moving across his 
console. “It is off three degrees from our projected course. 

“Very well...” Captain Raithe replied, “Steady as we go.” 

“Confirmed, there is a three degree anomaly, sir. It seems to be some
sort of magnetic force that is causing the navigation error,” Varis 

“What's causing that, Varis?” Captain Raithe asked. 

“Well according to the colony data sent to us, it might have to do with

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