...We Have a Problem

JP with Omni, Jaxx, redsword_7, Kudzu, and CS

Glenn let out a sigh, "73 years that would be a record-breaker in cryosleep.
With that, Roku softly gasped inaudibly and swallowed hard, knowing all too well about long term cryosleep.

"Sorry, Captain, did not mean to interrupt. Just thinking out loud. I say, keep the scouting team small. Doc, Ogai, Vera and myself. Everyone else runs operations from here. If anything goes wrong, we come back to this ship and call the marines to deal with it.", suggested Roberts.

Capt. Kenny replied, "Valid point, Roberts. We will need to consider all possibilities and skills needed for this investigation. I want all precautions taken for this mission."
"I would normally say dock with the ship, but unless we can control MUTHUR... forget it. It would be hard to match up and dry dock.," said Roberts.

“Don’t worry about that, I can put this baby right where we need to be.”, said Paddy Lohan.

Ogai looked at Glenn, and sighed, muttering under his breath, "What good am I gonna be over there?"

He pinched the bridge of his nose and sighed again. He stood up straight and said, "Let me look around the Montero first and then I'll go with you."

"Well, Captain, it is up to you. What are we doing?", asked Roberts.

Capt. Kenny rubbed his chin as he contemplated all the possible options he had to work with. He needed the best results and the least negatives in this new crappy staged mission he was being forced into by some unknown entity. He thought about the best crew members for the search mission and his gut told him he was better off with an experienced person for safety reasons.

Then Capt. Kenny looked at Roberts sternly and said, "Roberts can you put a team together and do this by the books? I don't want to lose anyone and if possible... still come out ahead with this mission. Since we are dealing with the unknown here... I don't want anyone getting careless. For all we know the ship is full of poison."

Roku busted out her sketchbook and fervently scribbled a depiction of what she saw in the floodlights.

Roberts gave a sigh.

"Yes but I have to be put on the books. Like all the others, I will not risk my life for free."

He paused thinking "I could do it with three: myself, the doc, and Ogai. But odd numbers are bad so Vera would be my fourth."

Capt. Kenny then looked at Jensen with a stern look as he spoke, "If you want this mission to happen. I need you to add Roberts on the crew roster for his suitable position. Once you both reach an agreement you will need to discuss equipment for the mission. If you get all cheap on this Jensen, you are more than welcome to go in there alone."

The prospect of discovery and salvage of a lost ship was appealing, but Bruce Jensen wanted this to happen as much as the next guy. He was simply an HR guy sent to evaluate space truckers and their ships. Why did the Captain think he had so much sway with legal? Roberts would get a cut of the mission proceeds, but he already knew there was nothing he could do immediately, except log it and put in a request.

Jensen nodded, “I’ll talk to MUTHUR.”
He jogged over to the corridor and used his access keycard to enter.

After a few minutes, Jensen returned.

“You’ll need to confirm the job on one of the terminals. Should be all set, but understand we aren’t in range for direct communication of anything, so the company won’t even get word of this until we can get to our destination.”
MUTHUR impatiently spoke.

“Company rules mandate a salvage operation upon the vessel.

Priorities are as follows:
1. Recover any scientific data / samples from the USCSS Cronus.
2. Escort the salvaged Cronus to Anchorpoint Station or another W-Y facility.
3. Save crew members on the Cronus.
Proceed with the new mission directive.”

"I don't like the order of things, but when do we start? I think we all should get a little rest and prepare for the mission." Roberts said and turned to Captain Kenny. "Sir, who will be in charge of the team going over?”

Ogai came back into the room, a small frown on his face, "We can't rest. If there's potentially people on that ship, we're leaving them on that hell hole longer. I say we go now. Also, we've been resting in Cryo for ages, we should be good."

Capt. Kenny approved Roberts on the terminal as per request of Jensen while remaining silent. Then he turned around and approached the crew. Capt. Kenny then said, "MU/TH/UR said the USCSS Cronus launched in 2110 and has been missing for 73 years. She is running on minimal power with all exterior and interior lights off. The only sign of life from her is the repeating SOS signal. Asahi your gut seems to be spot on... but realistically they have been MIA for a long time and have no power. Even in cryo their odds are in the negative right now. We all just woke up and are in no condition for this level of stress. If it was a routine salvage job, I would have no qualms about it... but this whole situation has us all on edge right now. If we are going to get through this I need everyone bringing their "A" game to the door. Ironically, Marines like Roberts are conditioned to bring their ‘A’ 24/7 so that is why I prefer him on point in this one. The command for this mission will be Me then Roberts. Oh, and Roberts, I expect you to keep the crew safe no matter what first. The salvage comes second. Money is pointless if we are dead. Personally, I would rather just tow the damn ship as is."

With a nod "Yes sir. Well, you heard the man." , replied Roberts. He looked at the others.

"Suit up! Someone also draw the M240 Incinerator Unit with the 2 reloads. That can be used for more than burning people up... and we have no idea what could be over there.", says Roberts. Then started to walk back to the lockers.

Meanwhile, Vera dug into a glitch she saw during system diagnostics. At first it looked like things checked out, but she felt uneasy about moving on without another look. She dug deeper into it and... "What the...? Who would...?"

Flustered, she got back on the comms and said, "Guys? I’m pretty sure someone has tampered with our FTL drives. Can I get some help confirming this? Like, help that watches each other so that no further tampering or evidence hiding takes place?"
Roberts halted taking his shotgun out of his locker. He unlocked the trigger lock and chamber cable, putting them back in the locker. When he heard what Kirby said. He gave a sigh and looked at the floor.

"Shit, why me, all the fucked up things?" He walked over to the panel and tapped the comms button.

"Ogai, can you verify what she is looking at? Vera, have MUTHER record what you see. and make a backup copy." He paused, thinking.

"Captain and Mr. Jensen... if that's true that changes a lot of things legally." he said in a frustrated tone.

Ogai tisked under his breath and bit at his thumbnail for a moment. Then he nodded, "Right..."

He stood, nodding at the pilot and captain before walking off. He went down to where Vera was, tapping on the wall to signify his arrival. He smiled, "Hey, so, intentional sabotage, that's always nice. Who do you think did it?"

Thankful that it was Asahi, Vera exhaled a shaky breath. "I'm not going to even try guessing. This is all just a horrible situation. I don't want to make it worse by speculating. Would you please confirm that I'm not crazy...and maybe find some facts to help us accurately find who's responsible?"

Ogai hummed in response before nodding, "Gotcha." He came closer, checking out the diagnostic report. His lips thin into a small line as he read.

"Look, Captain... I know you and I have our differences, but I swear… I didn't touch a thing in there. Only redrafted the contract files.", Jensen said.

“You want me to punch him, Cap?”, smiled Lohan.

Jensen gave him a concerned look. Lohan would do it, he knew.

Capt. Kenny groaned a bit and acted as if he was clearing his throat as he pretended to ignore that last comment.

"Well that just complicates things even more now doesn't it? Well, since Asahi is on Robert's away team he won't be available for long. Vera, make a second team to fix the damage to the FTL drive with whoever is left. Keep me posted on the vid screen. I will monitor both teams' progress from here. Don't cut any corners and play it safe. We can't afford to lose anyone, so do it right. Take rest breaks if needed and pack the right equipment. Start off with your assessment then make your plan before you begin. That's all."

Then Capt. Kenny took a sip of coffee and rubbed his temples.

Ogai frowned and spoke up into the comms, "Wouldn't it make more sense for me to stay and fix the FTL? I'm the ship's technician, it's kinda what I'm here to do..."
He bit at his thumbnail as he waited for an answer. He ran another diagnostic and determined that the repairs to the displacement drive would take 18-24 hours with only one cutting torch on board over multiple charges and some of it would require Extra Vehicular Activity wearing a compression suit.

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