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Plot Log: A Discovery

Posted on 29 Jun 2022 @ 9:18pm by Captain Easton Lawe & Commander Kristiana Petrova & Lieutenant Commander Cintia Sha'mer & Lieutenant Callisi Veera & Lieutenant Madalene Sabine

1,643 words; about a 8 minute read

Mission: A New Frontier

Everything was going well.

The Odin was flying point for the fleet group, with only the small scout-class vessels keeping swiftly ahead to alert the group to any problems that might arise. For several days of their journey, there had been no problems. There hadn’t even been anything all that interesting, which was usually a very dangerous place for a ship and crew to be in. It lulled everyone into a false sense of security, which space–as broad and almost mystical as it was–was rarely kind enough to let continue for long.

“Captain,” Lieutenant Commander Sha’mer announced toward the end of alpha shift. Everyone had been getting that feeling of preparing to head off duty to find something more entertaining to do, so the sudden announcement was a little more jarring than it would’ve been had it come earlier in the day. “The USS Hermes is reporting that they’ve found something…odd.” She felt the old tingle of excitement, mingled with a hint of nervous tension. 'Odd' could be anything. Friend, foe, neutral, or completely unknown and unknowable.

“Odd?” Easton’s deep voice repeated with a hint of amusement and too hints of wryness. “Could the Hermes be more specific?”

There was a long pause. “Not really,” the response finally came. “They are requesting our presence to help figure it out.”

The captain’s dark eyes flashed with amusement as he met the gaze of his first officer, but then he chuckled and shrugged his broad shoulders. “Well, I guess we’ll have to make time for a little exploration amid all the traveling excitement. Let the USS Mkabayi know that we’ll be taking a detour at the request of the Hermes but hope to make an appropriately swift return for the scout’s namesake.”

If anyone else found his bit at the end amusing, they kept it to themselves. “Lieutenant T’nel, please set course for the Hermes’s location and engage at warp six.”

“Yes, sir,” T’nel replied with the usual Vulcan flair. “We will arrive at the location of the Hermes in thirty minutes, sir.”

“Looks like we’re all on duty a bit longer today, folks,” Easton said, straightening his uniform in the Picard Maneuver Two and then settling into the command chair to wait the next thirty minutes out and come up with whatever ‘something odd’ might be.

Thirty Minutes Later...

The screen focused in on what the Hermes had found.

It was some sort of…oddity, yes. It looked like a combination of a device and a ship, although there didn’t appear to be any crew aboard–at least not by what they could read from their initial sensor sweeps. There was a vague appearance of an Earth squid or octopus, with a bulbous front section and several mechanical “tentacles” from the back. It seemed, for all they could tell, inert. There was no power or energy signature.

Nor any clue as to what it was or where it came from.

“They weren’t lying,” Easton said dryly. “Dispatch the Hermes back on its scouting course, then update our command envoy friends on the Mkabayi. Let them know we have found the strange object and are investigating.” He rested his elbow on the armrest, tapping his lips thoughtfully while he worked through a few scenarios. “This could prove a pointless distraction, or we could discover something fascinating. Open to opinions,” he finally said, casting his glance between the senior staff manning the bridge with him.

Kristiana considered for a moment, brows furrowed, leaning against a handrailing. She observed the strange ... entity, before speaking up. "Recommend going to yellow alert, launching fighters to fly support. The more sensors we put on that thing, the more we'll learn about it. The more weapons we have available, the harder we can strike if it turns out angry. If it turns out friendly, we won't lose anything by playing safe and defensive."

Madalene's eyes sparkled as she saw what was the odd thing, Madalene started a barrage of scans, "I vote we stay, I mean look at that thing," Madalene said sounding excited, something she has not been in awhile.

"Why do we assume the best posture is one of hostility?" Callisi offered from her post on the bridge. "Learning more, observing more, but if we immediately then move to posturing and hostility then we invite it to respond the same. If it even can react." the cyclopean rabbitess offered as she stood by the operations admin wall station. "As a former fighter pilot, I recommend putting them on ready status but holding off on launching them at this time. A probe or three will suffice for scanning and observation without putting pilots needlessly in harm's way."

Her hollow glance turned to Kristiana, "Not that I was suggesting you were suggesting." before returning her glance to the captain's proximity.

Easton considered for a long moment, steepling his fingers and pressing them against his lips as his dark eyes stared intensely at the object on the viewscreen. "I'm inclined to agree with Lieutenant Veera for the moment," he finally said. He nodded at his XO. "While I appreciate your thoughts toward defense, I believe that would be an aggressive maneuver that could backfire. Let's go to yellow alert but only put the air group on ready status. Let's launch two probes and see what happens. If it responds or not."

"Yellow alert! Shields up! Tactical, report readiness, weapons cold," Kristiana called out in a clear and decisive voice, before tapping her comm badge. "Petrova to fighterwing, prepare for launch and standby," she added, her voice and her expression all business. She'd taken zero offense at Lt Veera's disagreement with her suggestion, nor Captain Lawe agreeing with the Ts'usugi officer - she was asked for an opinion, and she'd be the first to admit that her style of command would tend towards the more militaristic style than some.

"Yellow alert, aye," Sha'mer replied, her fingers lightly brushing the tactical panel. "Weapons cold and standing by." She keyed up a three-d display and rotated it, viewing both the artifact and themselves from various angles. The thing, whatever it was, was completely inert, but she wanted to be prepared just in case it suddenly wasn't. It felt inert, too. That was a good thing. She hoped.

Callisi turned her attention back to her station for a moment to load up a pair of scanning probes. After selecting the probes she thought would do the best at this short-range, she deployed. "Probes away. Scanning begins in five ticks." a Ts'usugi measure of time, aptly named.

Madalene sensed the anger and disappointment, hell she felt it too. "lieutenant I can be a second set of eyes on those probes," Madalene said still pouring over data from the ship's sensors.

Easton nodded, and then they all waited as those ticks ticked on by. "Are we seeing anything yet, Lieutenants?"

"Outer composition is an unknown material alloy. The object is unpowered, and appears to be a craft of some form judging from the hollows within. Structured like hallways and rooms. No signs of life of any form." Callisi recited as the scans came back. "Object is inert. No relative velocity, no heat, no emissions, no power, no life."

"Lieutenants Veera and Sabine, any sign of weapons or shielding technology? Can you find an engine room or obvious bridge or control center?" Kris tilted her head slightly, as if a subtle change of viewing orientation would suddenly give her amazing new insights. Unfortunately, those did not materialize. "Opinions as to the craft's purpose?"

Callisi gave the probes a few more moments, "With the unknown configuration of the object's structure, it would be pure speculation as to what is or isn't a weapon. Same for shielding technology, if any. The object is inert, so any substructure shield projectors would simply look like hull plates."

"As for designations of internal space, pure speculation. Not everyone puts their bridge to deck center. " no humor. Simple observation. "There are five large spaces potentially adequate to be either a bridge, a command, and control or even a power generation core chamber." The rabbitess turned to Madalene, "I'd like to confer with Engineering for this. "

The captain listened to the reports, nodding thoughtfully. "Proceed with speaking with engineering about this. Alert Commander Taliborn that you'll be doing so. If we ascertain that this isn't a threat, I may want to bring it in to study it further so we can learn about it and if it speaks to anything else in the area. In the meantime, I'll be in touch with the convoy lead." He got to his feet and straightened his uniform. "Petrova, you have the bridge."

"Captain, I am seeing similar data from technology that commander Tailborn was studying, the piece of tech was from the Sal'kiiran empire," Madalene quickly added, as she continued to study the scans.

"Are you suggesting this is Sal'Kiiran in origin?" Kris asked as she took the center seat. "Or, of a shared origin?"

"Possibly, I mean the specs we are still trying to decipher, but there are enough similarities that I think that is a safe hypothesis," Madalene said looking up, "I would like to join lieutenant Veera to let the commander know what we have found," she added.

"Alright. Reroute the probes' sensor feed to the science labs and invite the commander there. Three pairs of eyes are better than two," Kris agreed.

"Of course Captain," Madalene said as she rerouted the sensors to her lab, and sent a message to the commander and Sov to meet them there, "lieutenant, ready?"

"Indeed." the rabbitess gave a nod and proceeded to head out, her station relief moving to cover her as soon as she moved.


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