Previous Next

Staff Briefing

Posted on 10 Mar 2023 @ 7:19am by Commander Kristiana Petrova & Captain Easton Lawe & Lieutenant Commander Cintia Sha'mer & Lieutenant Commander Thex sh'Zoarhi & Lieutenant Callisi Veera & Commander Lucsa Myan & Lieutenant Amelia Warner

1,501 words; about a 8 minute read

Mission: Deus ex Machina

"Coffee, black, hot, strong," the captain ordered from the replicator in the observation lounge.

There was nothing like an early morning staff briefing for weird shit going on.

"I'll wait until everyone is here so you can brief at once," Easton said to Kristiana as he carried his coffee to the table and took a seat. "I trust this will be interesting, though, since we haven't had enough excitement recently it seems." He smiled a little and took a sip of his coffee before it was quite cool enough to drink. It burned his mouth, but at least it woke him up.

"Well, I think it's interesting," Kris mused. She seemed tired. But then, it had been her bedtime already by now. "I'm redecorating my quarters and wanted all y'all's opinion on a color palette," she joked with a wink, getting herself a double espresso from the replicator and taking a seat as well, waiting for the rest to filter in.

The next through the doors was the familiar form of the resident rabbitess, crisp and professional. She stopped for a moment to catch her bearings and find the others, before heading over towards the small gathering. A pitstop at the replicator wall for a mug of coffee for herself, and she was then on the way to Easton and Kristiana. "Captain. Commander." a nod each, recognition to each, as she took a sip. Black, dark, bitter. It would wake her right up, if it didn't burn her first.

With a skip in her step in came the ship's chief engineer. Though she was rather tired from her long shift of putting the ship back together her mood was still up. Taking a coffee from the replicator she took a seat with a "good morning everyone" to the room.

Doctor Warner was the next one to walk in. She didn't look quite so exhausted as she had when she arrived at the last staff briefing, so that was a good thing. "Good morning," she said a nod, taking her seat immediately as she had a mug of tea she'd prepared before she came.

Sha'mer was, to her surprise, not even the last one to arrive – there was one other empty chair. She was still on crutches and would be until the pierced bone had healed, but she had a new brace which replaced the one destroyed by the steel squids. It was larger than the old one, almost enclosing her whole leg. It looked more like a cannibalised part of an exoskeleton than a brace and that was more or less what it was.

The nerve damage still hadn't healed the way she had hoped. The sensoric nerve system worked, after a fashion: she could feel some areas better than others, some parts barely at all, others felt almost normal. The motoric nerve system was a different story. Coupled with the already existing damage she could barely move the leg at all. The brace was designed to pick up what impulses it could from the damaged nerves, amplify it and move the leg for her. But there was a lot of adapive learning involved and it was a steep learning curve, which in practice meant that the brace didn't always operate the way she wanted it to. Which was the major reason why she had been late.

"Apologies for my tardiness," she muttered and sat down.

"Goodmorning. Thank you all for coming," Kristiana began, as she rose from her seat and started the briefing.

"Three and a half hours ago, Odin received a distress signal," she explained, replaying a recording of the message.

"-nar station Alpharius to any sh- -at can hear u- -need immediate assista- -periment gone wro- -ase help. I repeat, lunar station Alphar-"

"I've left Dresden in command of the fleet and had Odin respond to the distress call," Petrova continued. "We arrived about half an hour ago, but have been unable to raise Alpharius, or even do a proper scan of the facility as we've been unable to focus our sensors. Something seems to be blocking our attempts to do so."

With that she pulled up the one scan they had been able to get of the facility, the grainy, fuzzy, low resolution image of the facility itself nestled in a lunar crater.

"Thoughts? Theories? Opinions?" Kris concluded.

"Do we have any hints at all as to what it blocking our sensors?" the doctor asked curiously. "Is this a Federation station or belonging to another race? If the latter, could something in the construction of the station itself or the people on board perhaps be troubling our sensors?"

"The Universal Translator pegged the distress call as being in the language of the Oran'taku, a humanoid race once encountered by the Enterprise NX-01," Kris elaborated. "As to the possible nature of the sensor block, that's what I'm hoping to hear opinions on."

At that moment a half asleep, distrated looking junior officer stumbled her way into the briefing room, looking around with wide eyes. "Oh good. You've all already started and I'm way late," the Lieutenant Junior Grade stammered, stumbling as she took her place at the table, almost spilling her stack of padds as she did. "Uhm - what did I miss?"

"Lieutenant Vargas," Kris raised a brow, looking at the science officer. "Where's Lieutenant Sabine?"

"Sickbay," Vargas explained, glancing over at Doctor Warner. "Don't worry doc, your people have got her taken care of. She's just - unavailable. I'm taking over until she returns to duty," the young woman explained, looking like a deer in headlights.

"Well, welcome Lieutenant Vargas. Here's what you've missed~" Kris said, explaining in short about the distress call and the trouble with the sensors.

"Could be the crater they're in, making a sensor echo that is confounding our system. Maybe launch two probes to scan from the edges to see if the readings make more sense." Callisi offered over the rim of her coffee. "Or perhaps it could be a mineralogical event. Maybe there's something actually in the ground that's interfering. I mean, they built that station there for a reason."

" Has there been any contact with them since the NX-01? " Thex enquired.

"Not that I know of," Kris answered Thex' question. "If someone has, it's not in the files," she added. Then to Callisi, "All those possible reasons are plausible. I sent probes, but lost contact with them as they drew near. Haven't heard from them since. I've been thinking, we could send Ensign Walker in. She's got shields and is autonomous on a level the probes simply aren't. Plus, she has more powerful sensors. She could do a recon run and RTB. Thoughts?"

Callisi considered the notion. The pros, the cons. "She's well armed." a glance over her coffee cup at Kris, before she took a sip to break the glance. "Higher up the power scale than a simple probe, but for this, about the same. Could work, better results and still minimal risk to the crew."

"In the meantime, I'll see if I can find anything in the biological database about them since the NX-01's encounter with them, though I don't expect to find much," Amelia said ruefully.

"I'll look into the Sal'kiiran database as well," Commander Myan said. When had she gotten there? No one knew, but there she was. "It's a little far from our system for us to have gone there during our more system-bound years, but we may have had them come near us. I'll see if we can provide anything."

Sha'mer listened to the various reports and questions with a frown. She didn't like it. Something which blocked all sensors around the lunar base? That could be a long list of things – the very location of the base could have been picked because it was shielded like that – but it meant that they would be going in blind while answering the original distress call, and that made her uneasy.

The original distress call, yes, and now the even more ominous silence. She wondered if it was an idea to try to reach out telepathically, but shook her head at herself. If there was nobody around to answer a hail or to keep sending, chances were there was nobody around to be picked up. But then again, maybe it was just an equipment malfunction and there were still people there. Maybe…

Kris declined to remind Callisi that ensign Walker was crew as well. Instead she gave a nod to everyone assembled. "Alright, guess that was all I had. Any questions, anyone?"

Kris looked around the room. Seeing no hands raised, hearing no questions asked, she gave a nod. "Alright, that concludes the meeting. Lieutenant Veera, I want you to monitor Ensign Walker's - ... vitals and other signals as she does her recon run. Commanders Sha'mer and sh'Zoarhi, stand by in case this escalates. Commander Myan, please do your research and let me know if you find anything. Thank you all, dismissed."


Previous Next

RSS Feed RSS Feed