Night Shift Fun
Episode 8: A Greater Power
Timeline: Day 184 at 0445
Tags: ALL SENIOR STAFF, REPORT TO THE BRIDGE.
It had been a few since the Lexington had departed and the Nogura had begun her short journey back to the Wastelands of the Alpha Quadrant to begin her investigation into the Nihari threat. With the journey set to take a while, the night shift had taken over as scheduled and were deep into their routines. This weeks senior staff rotation had fallen to Lieutenant Okan from tactical and she currently occupied the command chair whilst reading through some department notes from her staff. Night shifts usually had the label of being boring, of nothing ever exciting happening, but one thing was certain on Nogura - they were never far away from some sort of developing situation.
"Lieutenant," the night shifts Ops officer called out from the forward station, "we're picking up a sensor reading at extreme range."
This piqued the Cardassian's interest far more than the dull reports she had been reading so she practically flew up and out of the command chair to look at the Ensigns station. She couldn't make it out herself, so she turned towards the science station. "Lieutenant Dodds?" she queried of the older, moustached man that sat at the side station in silence.
The man, a gentlemen with near thirty years of experience in the fleet yet still only a junior Lieutenant, tapped away at his console as he let out a cacophany of "hmmm"'s and "ahhh"'s until eventually he looked down at the much younger Cardassian. "It's a large metallic object," he revealed.
"An object?" Akaria quizzed, her arms folded across her chest as she looked at him disapprovingly, "that's all you can tell me?"
Dodd's simply nodded his grizzled face.
"Should we change course?" the eager looking Ensign Gates grinned from the Conn as she hoped for something more exciting than just watching the ships engines.
"Hang on," the Lieutenant stopped the Flight Operations officer from getting too ahead of herself. Whilst Akaria walked back to the command chair, the two ensign's at the forward most stations exchanged glances before turning to watch her. At the chair, Akaria lent down and pressed a button on the arm. "=/\=Bridge to Commander Winters," she spoke out.
There was only a brief pause before the response came through. "=/\= Winters here, what can I do for you Lieutenant? =/\="
Sitting on the edge of the command chair, the Cardassian glared at the excited officers at the forefront of the bridge. "=/\=Sensors have detected an object on the edge of sensor range. Something large to be detected at this range but we are unable to gather anything further from our current position," the Tactical Officer advised.
“=/\= Understood. I will be on the bridge in a few minutes,” the XO advised, already emerging from her quarters. “Let us try to establish some facts before we wake the Captain in the middle of the night. Anything else of concern on sensors, Lieutenant?=/\=“
Akamai looked around the room and the silent chorus of no from each of the shifts officers gave her the answer she needed. “=/\=Not at the present moment.”
“=/\= Maintain course and speed for now. I will be there soon. Winters out. =/\=“
True to her word, less than a minute passed before the ship’s first officer entered the Bridge. Crossing to the science station she took a moment to review the data, delicate frown lines etched into her forehead. “Any match to the configuration on the database?” It was a long shot but it had to be asked.
“Nothing yet ma’am,” the ensign on duty replied, “but we could only run for partial matches.”
“Keep running it anyway, just in case...” Aria advised, studying the data as if it would magically transform. Sadly it remained lacking. And at this distance, so were options.
“No energy signatures of any kind?” She queried with the ensign beside her. He shook his head, then flashed an apologetic smile as he touched controls on the workstation. “Er, no ma’am. Whatever it is just seems to be there. If it is a ship then it is adrift.”
“There is no evidence it is adrift, Ensign,” she pointed to one of the read outs. “It has not moved position at all since your last scan... Alright, tactical. Your thoughts, Lieutenant?”
Akaria, back at the tactical station, looked down at the Commander and started to deliver her response. "I think we should move closer and..." she then stopped in her tracks as her computer console beeped at her. "What the hell? My console's showing that the object has disappeared?"
“Confirm?” Aria said to the ensign sitting beside her. While she waited she glanced at Akaria, “something that big cannot just disappear. Destroyed? Cloaked? Ensign Gates, adjust our course to keep the area within maximum sensor range. Before I wake up the Captain I’d like just a little more information. Ensign, sensors? What are they telling you?”
"Aye ma'am. Adjusting course," Gate confirmed as she tapped away at her console and adjusted the ships trajectory.
"Sensors confirm the object is gon..." the Ops Officer looked as confused as Akaria had before, "Now it's back again..."
“Scan specifically for any spatial anomalies,” Aria ordered. “Hold position here, let’s not fly into trouble, Ensign, until we know what kind of trouble. Engineering, rule out any issue on our side. Tactical... your thoughts before I wake the Captain in the middle of the night, Lieutenant?”
As the junior officers got to work, the Lieutenant folded her arms across her chest as she looked down at the tactical console. "Honestly, Commander? It could be some form of space station; it's certainly big enough," she suggested with a shrug.
“Agreed, and given everything that has happened in this region, I say caution is not unwise. I don’t suppose he has a favourite coffee?” Aria mused as she opened a comm channel. “=/\= Winters to Captain Drayton- apologies for the early wake up call, Captain, but we have something you may want to take a look at. =/\=“
There was silence on the end of the communications line for a few moments until a groggy sounding male voice answered. "=/\=If there isn't a raktajino waiting for me when I get there, there will be trouble," the Captain spoke briefly until the channel closed.
"That was going to be my guess," Akaria smirked as she shared a glance or two with the Commander.
“Sure it was,” Aria grinned. Seeing Akaria heading for the replicator, Aria busied herself pulling the data together.
Soon enough, the starboard turbo lift to the bridge opened and deposited a tired looking Captain Drayton into the command centre. Unshaven and his uniform jacket replaced by the waistcoat he often preferred at times like this, he took a few steps towards the tactical rail where the senior officers on the bridge were stood. "Ladies," he greeted them with a nod.
"Captain," the Cardassian smiled as she handed over the raktajino he had referred to earlier.
“I hope you are in the mood for an early morning mystery,” Winters commented as she handed over a PADD summarising what little information they had. “An unknown structure, on the very edge of sensor range. However it is an intermittent reading. It’s size is more comparable to a star base than a ship but beyond approximate size and position we have nothing at this range. Nor do we know why it drops off our scans.”
Colby nodded along as he looked over the data from the PADD and sipped on his beverage, walking around to the command chair and perching on the edge of the comfy seat. A few moments of silence followed until the Captain placed the PADD on the XO's chair. "Suggestions?" he eventually asked as he looked up and at the two senior officers, still sipping from his beverage.
“While it may be the scientist in me, we will never learn more if we don’t take a closer look,” Aria pointed out. “My recommendation would be to allow science to discount any spatial anomalies which may endanger the ship and to then alter course. As we get closer we will be able to extract more conclusive data.”
Drayton nodded his head as he rose from his chair. "Alright then," he took in a breath and then clasped his hands together behind his back. "Lieutenant Dodd's. Ascertain whether there is any danger to the ship in proceeding forward. When you're happy, transfer the co-ordinates to the helm. Commander Winters," the Captain looked at the XO with a sinister smile. "You have the distinct pleasure of waking the senior staff."
“Seems only fair they should be awake too,” Winters grinned.