Star Trek: Defiant

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The Road Ahead

Posted on Mon Feb 1st, 2021 @ 11:19pm by Captain Veronica Reynolds & Commander Niamh O'Donoghue & Lieutenant Dante Bishop & Lieutenant Yisril Turran & Lieutenant Rinix & Ensign Adalind Nyffs & Lieutenant Anders Odegaard

Mission: Episode 0: A Storm Is Brewing
Location: Briefing Room, USS Defiant
Timeline: MD 9: Morning

Captain Reynolds took a sip of her coffee, reading over an incident report in front of her as the rest of her officers filtered in.

A Tellarite and a Bolian crewman had gotten into a scuffle in the Mess Hall which spilled out into the hall beyond. Something about a soup recipe and the Bolian's mother. To be honest, Veronica wasn't too interested in the specifics. The scuffle was something of a natural growing pain as the crew came together. Gathering a new mix of people into one place was bound to cause some friction, especially without new adventures to bind them together. Thankfully, that was about to change.

She finally reached the comment about the soup and the Bolian's mother and her eyebrows went up. "Oh wow. I have to admit, I never expected to read those words in an official report," she said with a chuckle. The Tellarite had quite a mouth on him. "Niamh, what are we going to do with this guy?"

"Well I'm of two minds if I'm honest," Niamh said thoughtfully as she looked up from her own copy of the report. "I mean, we can all agree Crewman Glars was out of line for what was said," she said thoughtfully, placing her tablet on the table they were sat at, replacing it with her mug of lady grey. "But from his point of view I think he was trying to be friendly. My assistant on Deimos was Tellurite, clashed with me all the time. But I'd dare anyone junior to me be disrespectful in her presence, I honestly thought she hated me up until that point" she thought back on the experience fondly now, she would miss Lieutenant Ferv greatly.

"Mandatory sensitivity training would be my suggestion" Niamh suggested, "and a personal apology to Crewman Zawas. I could make certain exceptions do to Tellurite culture, but interacting with others respectfully was covered during his training" Niamh added before leaning back into her chair and taking another sip of her drink.

"What would you suggest, Dante?" Niamh asked curiously looking Dante's way, genuinely interested to hear his take.

Dante sighed as he put down his own padd. "A forced apology is no apology at all, honestly. And it will be very clear that it is not sincere, seeing as Tellarites don't usually deign to give one, even if they are clearly in the wrong. I think the training is the best option, as well as making it clear that their behavior will be monitored closely until we can rest assured something like this won't become commonplace."

"Fair enough. Sensitivity training it is," the Captain said, before noting more quietly. "Though I'll be showing that one away in my head if I ever need to piss someone off."

She looked around the table, noting that the crew had gathered. "Thank you for coming everyone. Settling in easily enough I hope?"

Walking into the briefing room after she got the call for senior staff to come for the briefing, Adalind shook her head to get rid of some of her hair loose that got caught in her collar of her uniform, taking her place at the table and adjusting her chair just slightly so she could cross her legs. As she looked around the room sizing her new crew up, figuring out which ones she could have fun with, which ones maybe not so much, and yeah you know their buttons.

Stretching out his arm, Rinix was still not entirely convinced that it had healed. That's the hypochondriac in you talking, he thought. He nodded at the Captain and waggled his data slate, 'I believe the science facilities are adequate,' he said with some understatement. The facilities were the best he'd seen in his career.

"Adequate, huh?" The Captain asked teasingly. "Well if you need any additional equipment, make sure you speak up now."

'I can always make a list,' said Rinix mock-threateningly before breaking into a chuckle.

"You have until tomorrow," she retorted with a smile. "Otherwise, it might take a good long time to arrive."

Yisril arrived and sat down on the first chair she could find, looking around the room and nodded, somewhat awkwardly. "Morning," she greeted.

"Alright, seeing as you're all here. Let's get this show on the road," Reynolds said, before reaching to flip a switch on the conference table. "Computer, lights."

The room dimmed as the holo-emitter in the center of the table flared to life. The darkened room was suddenly filled with tiny pinpricks of light, coalescing into the shape of the Milky Way galaxy.

"We..." A small red light appeared indicating their presence over New Vulcan. "are here, currently in orbit over New Vulcan. As many of you are I am sure aware, our ultimate destination is the Carinae Expanse. On the very fringes of Federation Space."

Captain Reynolds swiped a command and the map showed an illuminated path of travel before arriving at the destination, noticeably farther away. Once the blinking dot arrived at its destination, the galaxy map exploded in size, zooming in on the region of space in question, and sending the tiny stars throughout the room. In the center of the region, a bright orangish-pink duel blooming nebula appeared, dominating their views. "The Carinae Traverse is largely unknown to us. Beyond our greatest sensor sweeps and mostly obscured by the Carina Nebula, the Traverse represents one of the largest frontiers currently within warp range. It's untamed, uncharted, and waiting to be explored."

She stood, beginning to circle the room as she spoke. "Our mission is simple. Out there, we won't have the support of the Federation. Out there, we are the Federation. We are to spear head exploration, make First Contact, support and expand Starfleet's presence there, and assist with the foundation of Starbase Arcadia."

With an outstretched hand, Veronica spread her fingers, causing the holographic image to amplify. The only partially formed shape of a Starbase appeared. It was a model midway between the pylon based Starbase 1 over Earth and the massive globular Capital-class Starbase Yorktown. Only one of the docking ports appeared built so far, and the center globe was only 2/3 finished. "Arcadia will be the seat of Federation power in the region once it is finished. But until then, it is exposed and the seat of Federation power in the Traverse will be this room."

"That's an awful lot of territory for a single Federation Starship to chart and catalogue, even if that Starship happens to be a newly launched one." Anders commented upon his inspection of holographic interface and the situation at hand. "Is the area being explored by any other local powers?"

The Captain stopped circling, resting her hands on the back of her chair. "You're not wrong that it's a lot of territory. We won't be alone forever, but until Arcadia is online, the duty will fall on our shoulders. We do know a few familiar powers who have made some level of forays into the region. The Klingons had been out in this region a few decades ago, but signs seem to indicate that they've fallen away from this region of space. We do know the Tholians have had scouts out there before. But beyond that, powers in the region appear to be new to us. It's something of a blank slate, with all the pros and cons that brings."

A twinkle could be seen in Adalind's eye when Tholians were mentioned. They were a fascinating species, especially the "hive mind" component, but she went back to just listening until something occurred to her. "New species potentially, hrmm I'll need to look over our universal translator and make sure it is in top shape, along with my own skills," she added.

"I would bet on new species, so definitely brush up those linguistic algorithms," the Captain replied, her face passing through a small holographic star system as she reached for the holo-control panel. "Which brings me to Object 412-2K, nicknamed 'the Visitor'."

A holographic image of a small but visibly alien device popped it. It was violet in color, with green and orange indicator lights across its surface. Shaped somewhat like an aquatic lifeform with long fin like tendrils, the device had been noticeably mangled at some point, though whether it was signs of battle or signs of some sort of natural damage weren't immediately clear.

"The Visitor is a probe of unknown origin that was picked up by a group of Federation scientists, floating extremely slowly away from the edge of the Eru'zel Nebula. Its design and alloy composition are completely foreign to us, but as you can see, it was visibly damaged. Unfortunately, that damage compromised its data core too. It took the Vulcan Science Academy several months to try and crack its encryption. And when they did, it only bred more questions." Veronica said.

"Mr. Rinix is already aware of this, but I am now able to declassify it to you. Upon accessing its core, the device provided a set of coordinates for its point of origin..." she continued, and pressed a command key on the holo-emitter. Suddenly, the galaxy zoomed out again. Stars raced across the room, shrinking once more until they were tiny pinpricks of light in the image of the Milky Way Galaxy. The red dots indicating their location over New Vulcan and the Carinae Expanse were visible. However, another appeared. And it was not close. Well past their location in the Beta Quadrant, across the galactic center, and the vast majority of the way back out of the galaxy, the dot came into being.

Nodding towards the holographic projection, Rinix said, 'as you can see, the probe's origins lie in the Gamma Quadrant. This is despite the probe being less than ten years old at the time of its discovery. This is quite unprecedented as you can imagine,' Rinix warmed to his topic. 'Think about it, an entirely new civilisation, untouched by any of ours yet.'

Anders sat there more than a little curious, he wasn't a science officer by any means but he had been in space long enough to know that a great many things couldn't be explained so easily. "So what are we speculating? A wormhole brought it here? Some omnipotent being decides to scoop it up and drop it in our laps on the assumption an intelligent power finds it?"

Smiling widely at the Security Officer's questions, Rinix shook his head, 'the current working assumption is that it got here under its own power. I've requested further access to their records in order to further analyse any radiation data in order to rule out any exotic scenarios.'

Dante had not chimed in at that point, wanting to let the others in the room have a chance to take in the data they were being shown. Tapping a few keys on his own padd he threw a small packet of data up onto the display. It was a small line in bright blue, and it meandered from their point, to the point it appeared the probe had originated from. "Please keep in mind that at our best speed, following this course," he said, indicating the line he'd just created, "it would take us several decades to reach the point of origin. Unless that probe has a form of propulsion yet unknown to us I am of the opinion that there was another factor involved that brought it to our neck of the woods."

Rinix looked at the man patiently, 'it's a possibility,' he said reasonably, 'but it's probably more likely that the civilisation that built this has a better or different grasp of warp mechanics than we do.'

"I'd have to concur with Lieutenant Bishop." Anders replied with a nod towards Dante. "Whether or not this object is decades or centuries ahead of us technologically is up for discussion and examination, the point is you don't cross thousands upon thousands of light years surpassing numerous star systems and foreign powers without someone noticing it traversing the cosmos."

"They may not use typical warp mechanics at all" Niamh weighed in, "I can't disclose much, but there's a project currently being looked at codenamed Excelsior that is seeking to breach our current limitations in terms of speed via a complete overhaul of our current configurations. They're still within the theoretical stages as far as I'm aware, but the data looks promising" she explained, her eyes locked on the probes projections, "it's not impossible that their method of FTL transportation is imperceptible by most of the passive scans our networks use".

“They’re all interesting theories which bring some fairly ranging implications with them. Ultimately, the only way we may find out is getting out there,” the captain replied. “I’m sure it won’t be the last mystery we find either. Our launch window is currently set for 1100 tomorrow morning. What do each of you need before then?”

"I am squared away already, Captain, helm can be ready at a moments notice," Dante replied.

Rinix shook his head, 'no the Science Department is ready for departure, barring a few supplies that will arrive today.'

The Captain nodded. "Then I suggest you all finish up preparations and then get some rest. Big day tomorrow. Can't have us looking sleepy on those holo recordings."


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