Characters in this post
View character profile for: Lt. Commander Avakhon Khinsharri
View character profile for: Zazi Sh'viakrik
View character profile for: Lt. jg. Raymond Colon
View character profile for: Eight of Eleven
View character profile for: Aji D'moonh
View character profile for: Captain Wendi Nablesse
View character profile for: Vaanaras
New Mission Orders
Captain Wendi Nablesse tapped her comm badge. She had received her orders from Starfleet Command. With the Endeavour only being three weeks out of spacedock, she was still brand new to most of her crew. She was however part of an impressive Task Force that had been rebuilt since the battle at Wolf 359.
"Captain Nablesse to all Senior Officers, please report to the Observation Lounge. A meeting will be held in fifteen minutes" she announced simply. They had already had a few meetings before, but this was different. These orders were being passed down from Starfleet Command themselves. Wendi needed to make sure everyone was clear.
She tapped the PADD in her hand and raised an eyebrow. She didn't like the sound of what the ship was going to do, but orders were orders. She wasn't one to follow them blindly, but even she knew that this new mission of their might be a bit risky. Taking the PADD with her she left her ready room and stepped into the Observation Lounge, the large windows showing space zooming by and unknown stars just streaks of light.
Lt. Commander Avakhon Khinsharri, hearing the call to the Observation Lounge, secured his station with his replacement officer, went to the OL door and pressed the button awaiting permission to enter. After hearing the response "Enter" he steps forward as the doors slide open. "You wanted to see us Captain? I am hopeful we have new orders from Star Fleet about our mission, The crew is getting a little anxious and the morale is a bit low as they believe we're not being utilized to our full potential. As C.OO., I have been running efficiency testing and battle simulations for weeks now in readiness for whatever we may encounter. I can say with confidence that short of a Borg Cube, we're ready SIR!"
He the takes a seat to the left of the Captain awaiting the other officers.
Hardly willing to be late to her first ever meeting with this new to her crew, Vaanaras practically galloped down the corridors leading to the Observation Lounge. With her fan-like ears pressed tight to her scalp and a look of pure concentration painted across her delicate little face, the Vorta was ready for business without a shadow of a doubt.
She paused just long enough to press the chime to the locked door that stood between her and taking her spot and quickly scoot through the moment it hissed open, "Captain," she nodded in greeting, sliding into her seat. A PADD clattered gently as its plastic outer shell came to rest against the table directly in front of her, announcing that she could finally take a deep breath and begin to relax - the hard part was done. It was all down hill from here.
Eight of Eleven arrived at exactly the right time. She scanned the room and could see the Captain and a few others. The ever-present PaDD was in her hand, this time with what data she could find on Species 3783 - Romulans.
She went towards the replicator and got a glass of water before sitting down quietly next to Vaanaras.
She did not have a species designation for the woman because the Borg had yet to encounter the Dominion.
"What species do you belong too?" she asked curiously and without preamble.
An ear twitched towards the sound of water sloshing in a glass, homing in on the intricate way it swished, sighed, and plunked with every footfall of the person carrying it. When that person then chose to sit beside her, Vaanaras allowed the rest of her attention to be drawn in their direction. She'd long heard tales of the Borg, mentions of how a few had managed to be rescued and 're-purposed' for life within the Federation and Starfleet. Captain Jean-Luc Picard had even once been assimilated and restored to his former glory, widely welcomed and beloved even after the massacre at Wolf 359.
In many ways it gave the little Vorta hope that, one day, there could be wider spread acceptance for her kind within the Federation.
"Good question, I'm a Vorta." She replied quietly with a smile and nod, "Lieutenant Vaanaras, Chief of Security."
"I am Leutenant JG Eight of Eleven," Eight introduced herself. "Your species has yet to be assimilated but from what I understand, they were enemies of the Federation?"
Eight had read about the Dominion but this was the first time she had actually met a Vorta.
Aji rushed across the bridge to the observation Lounge. Her mind was ticking off tasks that still needed to be done as the voyage got underway. Prioritizing the tasks she quickly typed out orders to several of her engineering crews on her PADD before returning the bulky device to her side satchel. She quickly ran her fingers through her fur as she prepared to join the staff meeting. Leaping up she depressed the panel to open the door. Landing gracefully on the deck she marched in as the lounge as the door swooshed open. She could see the captain at the end of the room near the windows. She made a short chirp and stated, "Engineering reporting in Ma'am! " Aji made her way over to the seat to the side of the main viewer. stepping under the conference table, she quietly shoved the chair back and proceed to jump up on top of it. She un-shouldered her satchel and sat down on it, bringing her up to a level where she could just see the faces of her fellow department heads.
A meeting so early in their mission meant only one thing...nothing good. Perhaps. Zazi didn't see it as good, at the very least, but she had been proven wrong, of course. In the Observation Lounge she sat primly, one ankle crossed over the other, her PADD in hand, slipping her fingers up to tuck a stray curl of bright white hair behind an ear, her antennae swaying with each noise that followed everyone coming in.
She gave a quirk of a smile to the Captain, but that was all, as the meeting commenced.
Wendi looked around at her officers. "Good morning all" she said. "First of all, a big thank you and well done to all of you for completing our three week shake down. However, Starfleet have sent through our first official mission assignment"
“I so hope that you have good news for us Captain. I know the last few weeks have been rather intense for everyone. I know personally that I have found it rather interesting." Avakhon said.
"Ma'am, engineering stands ready to get underway. Still some fine tuning to be done, but my crews are on top of them."
Offering a smile, Vanaaras couldn't help but puff up a bit with pride at having completed that initial shakedown cruise. It hadn't been easy, new ships and new crew always have a few bugs to work out of the system, but they'd made it out on the other side and now were ready for real action. "You can count on ship Security, Captain. We're ready for anything." She nodded, turning on her PADD and making ready to take notes.
"The USS Kousaka picked up a signal two days ago from the Kotori nebula which spans the Neutral Zone four light years from our position" Wendi explained simply. "Its too organised to be a sensor echo or background radiation. Starfleet believes that it could be a lifeform or some sort of ship within the nebula. Our orders are to enter the Neutral Zone and search the Nebula for the source of the signal" she looked around at them all. "I know we'll be in violation of treaty, but those orders came from the higher ups. Any questions?"
“Sir, are we going to be expected to run into a welcoming party upon our arrival? I have researched the signals that they reported and it is similar in nature to one we encountered on the Enterprise with an alien species that abducted crewmen and performed experiments on them. They used a highly concentrated beam directed at the ship and for about a week they took our people out and brought them back while they slept. Is this a similar scenario?”
“If so we never got enough information about them to draw a conclusion if they were intending any further incursion into our galaxy. Has Star Fleet expounded on this now?” Avakhon asked.
Wendi shook her head in response. "We can assume that we will get a response from the Romulans in some sort if way. As for now I can't say yes or no as I don't know myself" she stated. "If you already have information on those signals, then pass on your data to Science and Intelligence. They'll be needing all the help they can get". Wendi thought it a little odd that her Chief Ops officer knew about the signals before she did. She put it down to just monitoring events around them and keeping track of subspace communication channels.
"Captain, how are we supposed to look for something in a nebula? Sensors will be minimal at best, and the closer we get, the less those will even work. Can we send a probe?"
Wendi nodded. "The Kousaka sent in three multi-spacial probes but the readings turned out inconclusive" she explained simply. I'll need your best people to boost our sensor output"
Aji looked at the Captain, her obsidian eyes staring blankly as she pondered how exactly how her best people would boost sensors that would be rendered obsolete by the environment of the Nebula. "Very good Captain, we will do what we can." She let out a resigned chirp as her mind raced with how she was supposed to do the impossible. The Galaxy class was the finest Starfleet had, Aji helped build half the systems, but some things you couldn't just solve mechanically.
The idea of entering the Neutral Zone, being anywhere near the Romulans, left Vaanaras with an almost pained expression as she quickly took notes and began calculating questions based upon possible scenarios and stimuli within the mission. It was the mention of Romulan interaction that spurred her out of quiet time and into 'action', "Captain," She raised, forcing her eyes up and away from the PADD she was working on, "Have we given any thought to the fact that this could be a trap?" It had to be asked, even if it sounded downright paranoid, "I mean... Historically speaking... The Romulans haven't always been the most forthcoming people and if they're feeling imperious they may be looking for a reason to provoke a fight?"
To some, it may have sounded crazy. To her, it made perfect sense. Maybe, just maybe, the mark of a good Security officer was a healthy sprinkling of paranoia. After all, just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they boogie men aren't out to get you - and that was a mantra the little Vorta was starting to live by.
"We know that it could be a trap. Thats the reason why the Kousaka didn't initially investigate" she explained. "Starfleet has faith in the Galaxy Class designs. Especially since the Enterprise destroyed that Borg cube a couple of years back" she explained. "I don't like it much either if I'm honest" she admitted.
To Vaanara, the Kousaka was incredibly smart in their decision to not explore the signal further - especially given the nature of its location, but she also knew that where they wouldn't go... Starfleet would. They had to. "Starfleet is right to have faith in the Galaxy class," she conceded, "but I suppose all we can do is be ready for anything and expect even the unexpected. I'll see to it that we aren't caught with our pants... down, Captain." The moment the old Terran colloquialism began to leave her lips, she felt her ears begin to burn hot with embarrassment. It probably wasn't the best thing she could have told her Skipper.
"I completely agree" Wendi replied.
Zazi nodded, a finger tracing the edging of her PADD. "Wonderful," she merely stated, leaning back in her chair.
Question: Zazi frowned, her antennae twitching lightly as everyone around her began to talk. "Hm. A signal? And if we are in violation of the treaty, will the Federation back us up in case of emergency?"
"Thats the last thing we want. If this is a trap we will be needing a backup plan quickly. That's why Starfleet has the Potemkin and the Fubuki on standby near our location. Not too close to arouse suspicion, but close enough to get to us if we need them for aid" she explained. She knew that the Galaxy class was well armed, but more firepower was always welcome if they needed the advantage in a possible tactical situation.
"The Potemkin and the Fubuki..." The Vorta nodded, jotting down the information in her own form of short hand, "Yes... If this is a trap, extra fire power and the ability to have our six covered will make a world of difference." There was more nodding and the feeling of dread began to alleviate and lift like an early morning fog. They weren't out in the black alone, and that could make all the difference between life and death should her suspicions pan out to be fact, "Thank you for addressing my concerns, Captain."
Eight had no immediate questions but she did raise her eyebrow at the news they would be entering the neutral zone.
Species 3783: Romulans. Biologically similar to Species 3259 but lacking the telepathic abilities. They used cloaking devices and a unique propulsion system. Resistance quotient 0.7, a similar quotient to the Federation.
That was what she knew from the Borg. What she knew from Section 31 was that breaking a treaty with the Romulans was a bad idea so there must be something special about these signals for Starfleet to risk entering the neutral zone.
"Have they sent us any initial data on the signals yet?" She asked the Captain.
"We've only got the probe results so far to go off. They should be able to show the pattern and its frequency" Wendi explained simply.
“So far it’s not a well defined pattern, intermittently being shown, I have the formative assessment from my previous experience and I have expressed this already. Until we have a more definitive answer, we are shooting blindly hoping not to hit ourselves. I am suggesting that we map the nebula with tetryon bursts that will allow us to ‘see’ where sensors can’t. It will allow for a more complete scan, but there’s always the danger we hit a pocket of hydrogen gas and ignite it. That would really cause problems.”
Raymond stood near the back of the room since he wasn't exactly a senior officer, but had been invited to the briefing anyway. The doctor was there of course, and would fill in the rest of the medical staff later. He felt it necessary as the liaison between the doctor and the medical staff, that he had as much information as possible. Captain Nablesse laid it out in a no nonsense fashion, just the way Ray preferred it. Neutral Zone, nebula, unknown signal originating from within. Starfleet must feel like this was very important. That nebula stretched across the zone and bled into both Federation and Rihannsu territory. It represented a weak point and possible clandestine operation hot zone for both nations. Raymond listened as the other officers chimed in with thoughts and advice as to how they might proceed and what they might find. If they had to actually cross the Neutral Zone to find it, then so be it.
Wendi looked around the room, she could see there were quite a few concerned looks and emotions flying around. This mission was far from routine, but she had faith in her crew. "Right then" she said. "We've all got a lot of work to be doing. We reach the Nebula in a twenty eight hours. We have until then to get this ship prepared and ready to face whatever we might find in there. Pull double shifts if you have to, but I want... we... need this ship to be ready" she explained to them all.
"I know you guys can pull this off. All data regarding the signal and the Nebula will be transferred to your workstations." She added. "If there's nothing else, then lets get to work. Dismissed"
“Aye Captain, you can count on us!” Avakhon piped up.
Lt. Commander Avakhon Khinsharri dismisses the staff and heads back to the bridge.
“We’ve got a lot of work people, let’s get to it!”
Zazi nodded, flicking her PADD off as she stood, brushing imaginary dirt from her pant leg. She had a few more crew members to do check ups on, approve them for work, heal any injured crew lying around, check in with her own department...a lot, pretty much. But she and the others would definitely have it done within that time frame, should all go well. She looked over at Raymond, giving him a sharp nod. They'd be one busy busy bunch, she hoped he was prepared. "Well, let's get started."
Aji had listened carefully. The ship was in excellent condition, but the nebula would put a quick end to that. Essential systems would need to be insulated and protected, that would be a full time job by itself, to somehow increase sensors and safeguard those would really overwork her staff. Double shifts indeed. This was going to be full refit protocols. She climbed off her side satchel and pulled out the PAAD, typing in requests to her assistant to break the news to her staff that they were in for a long week.
Eight stood up and left quietly, heading straight for the intel office. She had a lot of work to get done and intended on being efficient about it.
Captain Wendi Nablesse
Lt. Commander Avakhon Khinsharri.
Chief of Operations
Lt. Cmdr. Zazi Sh’viakrik
Chief Medical Officer
Lt. Cmdr. Aji D'moonh
Chief Engineering Officer
Leutenant JG Eight of Eleven
Lieutenant JG Raymond Colon