Cause For Concern?
Posted on Sat Feb 24th, 2018 @ 9:08pm by Commodore Nilani Azulas & Lieutenant Commander Garen Romaes & Commander Tara Neprem & Commander Audrid Kane & Lieutenant Commander Arnon Barak MD, PsyD & Lieutenant Naddia Yole & Lieutenant JG Lisa Creed
Episode 3: Something Wicked This Way Comes
The turbo lift doors let out their trademark ‘swish’ as the doors parted to reveal a rather tired looking Captain as she held a hand to her mouth to stifle any noise from the enormous yawn she was letting out at the exact moment the doors opened. Suddenly conscious that the bridge crew could see her, the Captain lowered her arms to her side and composed herself before walking onto the bridge, headed for her command chair. Gamma shift was almost fifteen minutes away from concluding, yet she had been called by the shift commander on rotation this week; Lieutenant Shantic Romaes.
At the sound of the lift opening, the Lieutenant rose from the command chair once he caught sight of the Captain out of the corner of his eye.
Nilani stopped near the chair and looked at the man with a raised eyebrow. The Bajoran looked worried. “Is everything okay Lieutenant?” she queried as she put a hand on the headrest of her chair.
“I’m not sure Captain,” the Bajoran responded, immediately chastising himself for it. Not knowing was suicidal for a commander, even one on a night shift. He saw the immediate look of concern on the Captain’s face and elaborated. “We’re approaching Kylata III, Captain. Problem is, we initiated communication protocols as required but we are yet to receive a response from any of the scientists,” he revealed, glancing at the Relief Ops officer nearby.
“We’ve tried every frequency Captain. Nothing,” the Ops officer revealed.
A worrying turn of events, but not all that unusual the Captain pondered as she took the command chair from the Lieutenant. “There could be any number of reasons for the lack of communication,” she told in an effort to reassure them. She did need her people at their stations though in the event of a problem, so she reached down to her control panel and opened a ship wide communique that would not go down well. It was, after all, the morning after the gathering the night before. “=/\=Senior staff, report to the bridge,” she spoke clearly over the communications channel before terminating it.
Whilst she waited for her people to arrive, the Trill rose from her seat and took a few paces forward until she was stood between the chairs of the conn and ops. She placed a hand on each headrest as she looked at the screen. “Take us out of warp. Continual hails,” she ordered.
Streaking stars soon disappeared and were replaced by the slow moving stars of the distance as the Nogura began to glide slowly towards a tiny speck in the distance.
When the call came, Audrid was already in the turbolift on her way to the bridge. She had experienced trouble sleeping and as such decided it was probably best to get an early start on the shift. A lucky coincidence as it turned out. After the turbolift arrived and the doors opened Audrid walked onto the bridge. "What's going on, Captain?" She asked before taking her seat next to Nilani's.
Turning and glancing back at her first officer, the Captain gave a frown. “The station on Kylata isn’t answering our hails,” she informed before glancing back at the view screen. “Lieutenant Shantic; put us in standard orbit of the planet.”
“Aye Captain,” the Bajoran smiled as he nodded and carried out her request at the appropriate time. It pleased him immensely that she was his first commanding officer who had no problem getting to grips with the naming traditions of his people.
"Captain, I recommend going to yellow alert. We are at the frontier and it is possible the local team has come under attack, an attacker that may still be around," Audrid replied.
Nilani mused over the suggestion for a second and then nodded to the relief tactical officer who instantly initiated yellow alert.
Yole had been awake in her quarters reading, a bout of insomnia keeping her awake lately. She relieved the Bolian Ensign at the forward Ops station settling in and keying in her personal access code.
"Captain, I'm picking up some odd readings from the planet." Yole said, as she analyzed the sensor feeds. "Low level readings of hezeron particles, an exotic form of radiation, nothing in the mission profile would generate those."
"Could it be interfering with communications?" the Captain questioned as she returned to her command chair beside the XO.
"Yes ma'am. Hezerons are known to disrupt EMR across across the spectrum, and even subspace. We may not be able to maintain any sort of communication with an away team." Yole said from her station, still trying to find away through the interference.
Arnon arrived on the bridge and stood behind the Captain's chair, slightly off to the right.
"Good morning," he said. "What's the word on our friends out there?"
"That's what we are trying to figure out," the Captain responded with more than a hint of frustration in her voice. She shifted uncomfortably in her seat and then glanced across at her XO. "Inform command of the situation and let them know I intend to send an away team to investigate," the Captain instructed.
Audrid nodded and quickly wrote a message on her console to send to Starfleet Command. "They have been informed," She said, something about this all made her feel very uneasy.
"I'm sure Doctor Raygi will want to join the away team," Arnon said. "But if he doesn't, I'm prepared to go along and offer medical support."
As the turbolift doors opened to deposit Lisa onto the bridge with her side arm strapped around her waist, she asked," What's up?" as she headed towards the seat that was on the right side of the bridge, as she knew something must be up to have her called to the bridge at this time of the morning.
Tara had come across Lisa on the way up to the bridge, and exited the lift with the Chief Tactical Officer. Since Lisa had spoken up first, Tara remained silent to see how the question was answered, eager to learn what had necessitated a summons to the Bridge at this hour.
Tired of repeating herself already, only a few minutes in to the shift, and with the majority of staff now present, the Captain rose from her chair. "Okay people, this is the situation. We have failed to establish communication with the planet and there appears to be no technological reason why that should be the case. As the complex is large and spans several levels above and below ground, two teams will go to the surface. I'll lead alpha team with Commander Neprem, Counsellor Barak and Lieutenant Rashkae. Bravo team will be lead by Commander Kane and she will be joined by Lieutenant's Yole, Creed and Raygi. Sidearms only. These are Federation citizens and we don't want to be scaring them when we beam in," the Captain instructed. "Lieutenant Kolbeck, the ship is yours. Maintain standard orbit and keep a transporter lock on all away team members. Questions?" she asked eventually.
" Just one Ma'am," replied Lisa looking at the Captain as she continued, "Need I remind you of what I sated last time we spoke Captain?" as she walked up to Azulas, "Neprem will go on Bravo team as I am your Bodyguard and your safety is mine as your head of security," as she looked back at her.
Audrid raised an eyebrow at the Security Officer's rather unique approach to the Chain of Command and orders being orders.
"May I remind you Lieutenant, I am commanding officer of this ship and I give the orders. Your duty is to do as I instruct and carry out your orders," Nilani chastised the younger officer, embarrassed at having to remind the Lieutenant of the chain of command in front of the rest of the bridge crew. She made a mental note to speak with the XO about the Lieutenant upon their safe return. "The team assignments stand. Unless you would like to remain on the ship, Lieutenant?" Azulas asked with a raised eyebrow as she glared at the rebellious Security officer.
Lisa responded, "Then I want it noted that as Chief Tactical Operations officer," She continued speaking "I would like it known that I am absolved of anything should the Captain be harmed in any way," looking back at both Kane and Azulas.
Kolbeck chuckled as he watched the scene with the Ladies of the Nogura play out before him. They were all powerful, yet they had still enjoyed talking about style.
The engineer had remained near the center of the Main Bridge of the Nogura, watching as the away teams milled and assembled towards the turbo lift, to the ships transporter room.
Although Kolbeck had little real time experience as command situations, he had excelled in Academy training exercises and simulations. The first and foremost he regarded the safety of the Captain and her crew. Deep down he secretly empathized with Lt. Yole. He felt she was correct in her assertion, yet this was no place or time to discuss the Captain’s orders were the Captain’s orders.
"I think your orders are clear, Captain. Split up and find out what the hell happened," Audrid said, seeking to conclude the awkward exchange.
"I'll grab a field kit and meet you in the Transporter Room, Captain," Arnon said. As he spoke, he multitasked and thought about Creed's overzealous attitude and behavior. They were crossing the line into insolence and dancing on the border of insubordination. Arnon made a mental note to keep an eye on the Lieutenant and to consult with the Captain and the XO on the matter. "Permission to leave the Bridge?"
Nilani nodded to them all. "Alpha report to transporter room two. Bravo gets three. Get what equipment you need and rendezvous at your respective transporter rooms in five minutes," then a little smile crept on her face. "I think it's time we all tried out the new tactical vests these snazzy uniforms come with," she smirked. "Ooo! I'm going to try the new overcoat too!" for a split second, she was less Nilani Azulas and more Jennica Azulas as Jennica's penchant for new clothes came out. When she realised, she let out a nervous cough. "Dismissed," she instructed.
Audrid shook her head at Nilani's response to the prospect, only she could derive such fun from Starfleet uniforms. Upon the order Audrid got up from her chair and moved for the turbolift. She would pick up the equipment at the armoury.
"Understood," Arnon said. He turned and followed Audrid to the turbolift, grinning at the captain's comment. "And I think I'll stick to the field jacket and tactical vest. Tripping over the skirt of that overcoat while running for my life or diving for cover doesn't really appeal to me. If you do wear the overcoat I'm sure you'll look lovely. Just remember to wear something under it."
"Your choice of 'flattery' is most unusual," Tara remarked as she followed the man to the lift. She was wary of going on an away mission so soon, she wasn't sure she was ready yet, but she suspected that's why Nilani wanted her on Alpha team where she could keep an eye on Tara.
"I absolutely excel at being unusual, Commander," Arnon said. "Absolutely excel at it!"
Arnon could feel the tension and anxiety Tara was suffering from. He lowered his voice, speaking to Tara gently and calmly, if quietly and quickly, before they caught up to Audrid.
"You're going to do fine," he said. "Breathe, center, and charge ahead!"
Yole released the Ops station back to the relief officer. "Yole to transporter two and three, be prepared for a long cycle transport, the interference may cause some problems." She received two quick affirmatives before heading for transporter room three.