Thread: Tension
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Career Officer
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 52
# 14
05-02-2013, 08:08 AM
“If an object is larger than the solar system you come from, is it still considered just an object?” Sal’Ar Rei queried as he sipped on something dark from his favorite mug.

“It’s small to somebody, somewhere.” Andrea looked as the thing filled up every inch of the monitor, even at negative magnification. “I wouldn’t want to meet them if they don’t like me.”

“There is a definite energy pattern on the surface that is following our movements” Allen had been glued to his monitor ever since the new energy pattern had become evidient. “It has resonance frequency at ten point two terahertz, five point one, and so on. I believe it to be a scanner of some kind.”

“Well, we have been actively scanning for three days now. No reason why they shouldn’t be curious about us. Helm, bring us in, to point two five light years and hold.”

Narse acknowledged as he always did, by performing the task requested of him. The ship accelerated to warp five before dropping back into normal space suddenly.

“What was that?” Andrea looked up as she saw Narse checking his own controls.

“It’s the power source, Captain.” Allen displayed the ellipse and showed a huge area radiating out like a magnetic field. At point three light years subspace is distorted from the object’s power source. Warp drive will not function past this point.”

“That means at best speed we are now four months from the object.”

“Yes Ma’am.”

“Helm, take us back to normal space, best speed.”

Narse complied and the ship turned back on her course, then stopped absolutely. At such speeds even the inertial dampeners have a slight issue, resulting in most of the crew on the bridge winding up under the viewscreen.

Andrea, who now strapped into her chair even during routine operations, was the first to recover. “Mister Skagg?”

“Tractor beam, I think.”

“Three-Tenth’s of a light year away?”

“Yes Ma’am, and power output on the object has increased three percent.”

“It seems,” Sal’Ar Rei commented as he recovered his favorite mug, “That our invitation is now mandatory.”

The beam soon accelerated the ship to near-light speed, and it had the power of a Starbase behind it, so all the little ship could do was move toward the inescapable object.

“Can we cloak out of it?” Sal’Ar sat at the conference table with his traditional dark concoction swirling around inside its container.

“Cloaks don’t work that way.” Selan said dejectedly from her place at the table. “If we could break the lock we might have a chance.”

“The scanner beam is more powerful that the combined power output of Earth.” Allen replied dryly.

“Could we rig an antimatter explosion? I’m guessing a few seconds is all we’d need for Selan to get us out of this.” Sal’Ar said as he looked at the Captain, who kept her expression neutral.

“An explosion large enough to disrupt the beam would destroy the ship.” Replied Allen.

“I am amazed, truly amazed, that the Federation ever survived its own curiosity.” And with that, Sal’Ar left the table.

“The Vorta has a point.” Genis stood at the Captain’s right. “If I may be so bold.”

“I welcome an open dialogue at these meetings. I’d rather hear it first hand than try to correct something three generations later.”

“This ship needs to survive and return to the Dominion shipyards.”

“Dominion?” Allen questioned. “This is a modified Defiant class destroyer.”

“Modified with Dominion weapons and engines, experimental technologies that must be reported on, especially seeing as they are successful.”

“Modified with Federation technology…”

“Enough.” Andrea stood up to make sure the matter had paused. “We will do all we can to make sure everyone gets what they need out of this ship. We are over the Gamma Quadrant, so the Gamma Quadrant is our first stop, assuming we get free of this situation.” Andrea made sure she had both of their eyes before she continued “I need one crew. We didn’t survive a Borg strike to fall apart during a First Contact mission.” She paused to let the words sink in. “Remember who your friends are out here. Dismissed.”

“Captain.” Genis left the room.

“Was I out of line?” Allen querried.

“Yes.”

“My apologies then.” Allen left the room.

Selan sat, as always, quiet and listening, never looking anyone in the eye except when she spoke to them or they spoke to her directly. “What do the Romulans get out of this mission?”

Andrea studied Selan for a long moment. “The Romulans will get out everything they put in, and whatever information you decide to share with them.”

“I’ll share everything with them.”

“Of course.”

The two stared at each other for a long moment before Selan got up and moved to the door. “Good night, Captain.”

“Good Regeneration, Selan.”

Selan nodded and went to move out of the door when the words struck her. “What… an odd thing to say.”

“I’m young, Selan, not dense. I knew the first week.”

“Had we thought you dense, we wouldn’t have given you this command.” Selan came back to the table.

“Does Sal’Ar Rei know?”

“No. I don’t want to undermine him, or you.”

“I wish I could blend in as well as you do.”

“It does allow for a particularly honest evaluation.”

“Any words of advice?”

“Let’s keep this mission to one First Contact, should we survive.”

“Yes Ma’am.” Andrea said with a smile.

“And should we get to talk with anyone, Sal’Ar is an excellent diplomat.”

“I thought so as well.”

Selan paused before she spoke her next words. “Should it look like we won’t be able to deliver the ship to both governments…”

“It won’t fall into the wrong hands, I promise.”

“You have remarkably good perception, Captain. May it serve you well.”