Command Level Updates
Episode 7: Into The Fire
Location: Ready Room, Deck 1
Timeline: MD146, 1015 Hours
It had only been a few minutes since the Nogura had received the transmission from Captain Utaazi of the Odyssey and the change of orders for his ship, but already the Captain had had his curiosity piqued by what he had read in the Captain's file and that information about the Odyssey's previous mission - so much so he was eager to share the information with his two senior most officers who he had ordered to his ready room. He was never one for keeping people in the dark on matters unless absolutely necessary, instead choosing to trust that his people would perform better if they knew as much as possible at all times, and that started with his first and second officers. As a command team, they couldn't be expected to carry out their duties and offer insight unless they were privy to the truth of the situation so, ss he sat at his desk nursing a warm cup of earth tea, he read with interest the information on the screen before him whilst he awaited their arrivals.
Tara had already been en route from Engineering to his office to deliver a status update about the new slipstream drive when she received the call, so a short while later she entered the Ready Room. "Main Engineering reports all is well with the Quantum Slipstream Drive," Tara stated. "There was a slight incident, some internal fluctuations that could have caused some problems, but we seemed to have smoothed everything out, and the drive is operating beautifully," the Trill reported as she sat down across from the Captain. "I'm growing quite fond of Commander Millarini, I'll be sad to see her go when she's no longer needed to oversee the Drive."
"Likewise," Colby frowned as he relaxed in his chair, "I approved her transfer to the Adriatic this morning, along with that of Akaria Okan and young Tempestava th'Zorati. I think it's time to let them all grow a little," he was happy for the officers, especially the younger ones who were going on to permanent roles as department heads on the Adriatic, but it was still sad to lose such competent officers.
"The Adriatic? Very nice ship, they should flourish well there," Tara remarked with an approving nod.
Will entered the Ready Room last, having come from the library, where he spent the beginning of most mornings, reading the latest news and periodicals. He still had a PADD in hand, so he could finish his reading in the turbolift. “Good morning, Captain, Commander,” he said with a smile, sitting down next to Tara.
"Good morning Commander," the Captain nodded in the newcomers direction as he sat up in his chair and got straight to the point. "A short while ago we received a transmission from the Captain of the Odyssey with a slight adjustment to our orders. We're to rendezvous with the Odyssey, as well as the Adriatic and the Roehampton, at Starbase Two-One-Four in roughly eight hours," he told, turning his screen to face them both. On it, there was a schematic that showed the route of travel. "We're going to have to use the Slipstream to get us there on time."
Will couldn’t help but grin. He’d never been on a Slipstream-capable ship. He was familiar with the ships the Captain listed. Odyssey. Adriatic. Roehampton. Intrepid, Excelsior, and Nebula classes. Add a Sovereign and you had a sizeable, capable task group. He recognised the Starbase too. “Two-One-Four. We discussed it briefly the other day. It’s our only installation in the Wastelands. Why are we sending such a force there, sir?”
"In short, the Starbase has detected a force of Alrakis Pact vessels within sensor range and thus, our presence is required much sooner," the Captain told as the display changed to reveal several blinking lights on the periphery of the starbases indicated sensor range.
"That's troubling," Tara remarked. "Are they getting anxious that there are still Starfleet vessels inside the Expanse in violation of the blockade?"
"There are plans for a summit between leaders of both sides to allow further exploration of the Expanse, so I suspect their move here is to draw our attention elsewhere," the Captain told.
“But where?” wondered Will. “There’s not much out there. A lot of it is uncharted, but there’s no indication of anything important out that way.”
"Yet," the Captain added. "We don't know what they may or may not have found, or what their true intentions out here may be, but the sheer fact that we're now splitting assets between here and the Inconnu Expanse gives them an edge," he told before activating a new screen on his display, "what I find perhaps even more troubling is this," he pointed to an energy signal on the screen, "this is the weapons signature of a vessel that not only destroyed two Pact vessels, but also bested the starships Brier-Ridge and Charleston. Both ships had to make a swift getaway and are now headed to Starbase Forty-Seven for repairs," he told as he sat back in his chair again. "Brier-Ridge is one of the new Diligent-class ships whilst Charleston is an Onimaru. Neither vessel is a slouch defensively."
Tara frowned as she looked at the images of the damaged vessels. "I've repaired a lot of damaged hull plating in my days as an Engineer, but I've never seen blast marks like that. What can leave marks like that?" she asked. This was something, something dangerous!
"Whatever the hell this weapons signature is, that is what's responsible," Drayton answered, "I've had the logs added to your clearance levels, but whatever it is, it isn't pretty. It sounds like they come and go in an instant; one of the logs refers to a blinding flash, followed by a volley of weapons fire, then the same flash again. It renders sensors practically useless," he revealed.
Will dug deep into his memories. He was no expert on weapons, but he knew a small amount about the weapons of most major powers and enough minor ones. “It doesn’t sound like anything used by anyone out that way,” he said. “The only non-Pact forces in that direction are the Kzinti and the Ferengi, and neither of those use weapons I’d describe like that. Of course, it could be some unseen power in the Wastelands, or even one from outside importing new weapons to the region. Hard to say much with any certainty.”
"Commander Neprem," Drayton smiled, "following our briefing, you'll have the bridge for the next few hours while I dig deep into the recent contact history between Starfleet and the Alrakis Powers. Commander Hunt, I want you to delve further into what we know and see if you can find anything that match this signature."
Will nodded. “Aye, Captain. There could even be references in the historical database to attacks against Federation or other ships that no one has linked to these incidents yet. If there’s anything out there to find, I’ll find it.”
Tara nodded. "If either of you need an extra pair of eyes, do let me know," she said, but she was grateful that for once she wasn't the one who had to do all this research! "If there's nothing else, then I'll go watch the bridge," she added as she rose from her chair. There was, indeed, much to do.