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t_catt11
Fun is Mandatory
RDI Staff
Karma: 368/54
7051 Posts


resumption?

Stardate 2365.05.16 - Impact minus 49:45
USS Peregrine, Captain's Ready Room - 15:51

Captain Drake sat stoically as a rather rumpled Commander Kennedy assumed parade rest in front of his desk and brought up Ensign Owen's little science flight.  Momentarily, she sought permission to speak freely.

Silas nodded.  "Of course, Commander.  I always welcome the honest input of my staff," he replied.

Once the permission was granted, the CEO launched into a frankly surprising tack of how the Angel was unproven, how the mission was volatile, how she felt that Zai should be the pilot.  As she freely admitted, the engineer was offering advice outside the scope of her expertise... the entire conversation was frankly bizarre.  What right did she think that she had to come and advise the captain as to who should and should not pilot a frilling shuttle?

For several heartbeats, Drake allowed her words to hang unanswered in the air as the fingers of his right hand pressed into the surface of the desk.  And then, suddenly, the truth hit him around the head and shoulders.

The wrinkled uniform, the mussed hair, the bizarre subject matter delivered with an utterly professional tone - a tone much like the one that Kennedy had used when she lied to him at the staff meeting about the status of the replicators.

No, the Chief Engineer wasn't lying, per se - but she was omitting some very relevant information.  It didn't take some seasoned poker player to read the tells on the woman's face, in her voice and body language.  Kennedy had far more than a professional stake in this matter.

She was sleeping with the Peregrine's XO.

For several more heartbeats, the Captain strongly considered issuing a blistering rebuke, advising the engineer to stick to her responsibilities and warning her to never again darken his door when confusing her personal life with her duty.  But for once, he opted to make an attempt at a more... diplomatic approach.

"Commander Kennedy," Silas spoke, gesturing to a chair in front of his desk, "have a seat." He allowed a long pause before adding on.  "Please."

OOC: assuming that she complies...

"Kennedy," he continued, "I appreciate you sharing your concerns with me.  Your passion is plain to see, and I can respect passion." He met the CEO's gaze and held it for several moments with a neutral expression.  The two of them had understood one another well enough when she told her lie at the staff meeting.  Silas was hoping that Kennedy would similarly understand his meaning here.

Momentarily, Drake resumed.  "With that said, Commander, I have every confidence in Ensign Owen, who is an extremely talented pilot.  You may not be aware, but I personally gave Owen her field commission largely due to her flying that very craft you speak of.  When most of my crew - including Commander Zai - were incapacitated, Ensign Owen flew the Aurora Angel on the mission to the USS Serapis that ended up eliminating the Chimera nanite threat in the face of extremely difficult conditions."

He paused for a moment.  "I have studied the science reports for 2365 C41A3 DN17 in great depth.  The asteroid is large, it is dense, and it has an unusual magnetic field.  None of these items would be enough to deter me from sending a second year cadet on a flight to it; Owen is so much more than qualified for the task that there is simply nothing to discuss there.  Now, if you don't feel that the Aurora Angel is a viable choice as a vessel, I see no reason to not simply use a more conventional shuttlecraft."

Drake shook his head.  "As for Commander Zai..." his voice trailed off for a moment.  "Yes, I grounded him from all flights.  He was planning to take the Aurora Angel, fly her to the asteroid, crash into it, or detonate the warp core, or otherwise destroy or break up the rock.  He tried to resign his commission to do so in a noble - albeit futile - gesture to protect me and the Peregrine from the ire of Starfleet Command.  As if admiralty is so foolish as to believe that an XO quitting and flying his personal ship away would somehow not raise objections from his Captain."

Silas chuckled ruefully.  "Of all the harebrained schemes... Kennedy, even were we orbiting Mars, I still could not simply accept the resignation of an XO from a ship under weigh.  To say nothing of the fact that while that shuttle belongs to Tochi, I suppose... with no title or registration for it from Starfleet, any ownership is in spirit, at best. Starfleet would correctly point out that he crafted it using a great deal of raw materials and replicator cycles that belong to them.  So not only would I be derelict in duty in allowing my XO to desert his posting, I'd also be allowing him to take Federation property to carry out a blindingly obvious mission to violate the Prime Directive.  His choices wouldn't shield me from court martial, wouldn't protect anyone.  All it would do would end up with him losing his career, likely his freedom, and potentially his life if he decided to go full on sacrifice."

The Captain sighed.  "No, Kennedy, I could not allow him to do that to himself.  He can be angry with me if that's what he needs, but I cannot let that happen."

Drake sat back in his chair.  "I don't know if you are aware, but we have received a distress signal from the planet.  They don't specifically know of the Federation, but they do realize that there are likely intelligent life forms here with the ability to save them.  They are begging for us to help, Kennedy.  Tomorrow, if we haven't found a better solution, we will destroy that asteroid with torpedoes, and that will be that.  I will play those recordings to Starfleet Command, will argue that we are not violating the Prime Directive - and hope that plea covers me to the court.  If not, so be it. If this is how the court rules, better I take the blame than both myself and Zai take it - and, say, possibly Ferrero as acting XO for not helping to stop Zai."

Momentarily, Silas took his feet.  "No, Commander," he spoke.  "I cannot let Tochi fly that shuttle.  Period.  I appreciate your concern, but my decision has been made, and it is sound.  If for some reason Ensign Owen feels that she is not qualified to fly the science mission, we will simply cancel it."

Drake sighed.  "Is there anything else, Commander?"

OOC: assuming nothing of importance...

The Captain nodded.  "Very well.  Dismissed."

 



Posted on 2022-11-07 at 23:42:20.

Merideth
Muse-i-licious
RDI Staff
Karma: 180/13
3266 Posts


**** these Turbolifts!

Stardate 2365.05.16 - Impact minus 49:44

USS Peregrine, Captain's Ready Room - 15:52

“Your passion is plain to see, and I can respect passion." Silas met her gaze and she felt her stomach drop. He had seen right through her. She kept her eyes fixed on his, blinking only once as the realization hit her. It’s more than that… it’s this ship, that planet out there… it’s… She gave him back the smallest of nods and he continued. 

She listened as he rebuked her appraisal of the situation, corrected her thoughts and affirmed that he wouldn’t allow the planet to be destroyed, no matter the consequences. And with each word, with the finishing of every paragraph he offered her she felt herself feeling more and more like a cadet back at the Academy instead of his CEO. 

Drake sighed.  "Is there anything else, Commander?"

What else was there to say? “No sir.” She said, rising out of her seat. “Milvov has Engineering right now, but if something should arise that you need me for… I’ll be in my quarters.” 

The Captain nodded.  "Very well.  Dismissed."

Another curt nod of her head at being ‘dismissed’ by the captain. She gave a final smoothing out of her pants and turned on her heel to leave. Her hand reached out for the console button that would slide the door open for her, but paused. Cali’s head swiveled back and she gave Drake a long look. 

“We’re lucky, all of us. The Peregrine, Callican… we’re lucky to have you out here riding as our Captain.” She let her words, spoken with her typical stoicness, hang for a moment before she turned back and pressed the button for the door, it slid open with a hissing brush against the low pile of the carpet and she stepped out onto the bridge. 

An eager Ensign Owen caught her attention immediately as she wandered out onto the bridge, the door closing behind her. California offered a warm smile to the girl, she walked over and patted her shoulder twice. “Everything’s gonna be alright…” was all she offered to her, and Owen’s face remained puzzled as Kennedy simply slid away and back toward the turbolift. 

Once safely inside the turbolift, and alone, she tapped her comm badge. “Commander Zai.” 

=/\=Commander Kennedy,=/\= Tochi’s voice replied, =/\=What can we do for you?=/\=

“Commander.” Her voice was clipped, completely professional. “You’re still grounded for the time being, Ensign Owen will fly any missions that need to be flown. I believe that the situation is in hand, however. You should delete the navigation program I put into the Angel, not sure I trust my math, and it doesn’t look like it will be needed. The planet is asking for assistance. That’s all, Goodnight Commander.” 

She dropped her hand, and waited for his response.

The Trill’s sigh whispered over her commbadge and she could almost imagine the soft smile playing on his lips and the short nod of resignation he might have offered. =/\=Understood,=/\= he said, =/\=I did warn you that taking Silas to task on the matter would be an exercise in futility, Cali, but thank you all the same. Good night.=/\=

She listened to his words, the soft sigh from him and the way his tongue seemed to taste her name a moment when it passed through the wires. There was no response within her though and she simply let the comm badge fall silent when he finished speaking. 

When the turbolift ground to a halt between decks she screamed.



Posted on 2022-11-08 at 11:39:25.
Edited on 2022-11-08 at 11:39:43 by Merideth

Alodie
Veteran Visitor
Karma: 6/0
126 Posts


Trying to solve a big rock problem - with antimatter explosives

Stardate 2365.05.16 15:50 - Impact minus 49:45

If we can’t avoid the impact, can we at least make it less devastating, reduce the mass of the asteroid using a combination of phaser ablation and torpedoes? Break it to pieces so most of it burns up, the resulting fragments will still likely kill millions and cloak the planet in dust that’ll kill millions more as they freeze to death or starve. But with some luck the Callicans could bounce back.

Zhay-la rubbed her eyes with the back of her hands, dry from strain, she'd be sitting in her office, lights lowered for close to 4 hours at this point,focused at the display in front of her, she’d poured over torpedo yield calculations and simulation results for the umpteenth time. At least this was a problem that tapped into her strengths, a problem she could throw herself at rather than feeling useless on the bridge.

She’d long since lost track of the number of simulations she and Lt. Reid had run, in every single one they had come up short. DN17 as she’d taken to referring to it after a while was simply too dense in addition to being too massive to be easily broken up without alerting the Callicans of their presence.

"This is a physics problem, not a tactical problem" she thought as she rubbed her temples in frustration just as a realization hit her. As if she was possessed, she tapped her combadge, perhaps a little too hard and she winced.

=/\= Taissud to Commander Kennedy, if you’re able to meet, I have an idea I want to run by you. I need an engineer. =/\=

((occ: assuming a response to the affirmative.))

Zhay-la pulled up the material analysis data gathered by the science team, maybe they couldn’t vaporize it, but maybe they could use it as fuel. If we could get that fuel moving in the right direction, we might be able to nudge it into a large elliptical orbit. As the rock's chemical compostion scrolled down the screen, she absentmindedly traced the line of a scar on her hand. If this was going to work, they would need to work fast.

=/\= Lt. Taissud to Commander Zai, do you think the Captain will approve a mining expidition? =/\=

((occ: I'll leave things there and see what comes of this.))



Posted on 2022-11-12 at 20:28:55.
Edited on 2022-11-13 at 17:57:39 by Alodie

Eol Fefalas
Lord of the Possums
RDI Staff
Karma: 467/28
8744 Posts


Fluff

Stardate 2365.05.16 15:56

USS Peregrine - Shuttle Bay 2; Bridge of the Aurora Angel

When Cali’s voice fell silent and the comm channel between them closed, Tochi let go of another half-frustrated sigh, lifted a hand to scratch at his whisker-stubbled jaw, and reclined into the Angel’s pilot-seat. “For all the trouble our simple solution has caused in the past hour,” he muttered to himself as his finger flitted over the console before him, “We might be led to believe that the problem wasn’t in the proposal itself but rather in its delivery.” A mirthless chuckle passed his lips and his eyes panned over the nav-sequence that Kennedy had programmed in preparation for his planned intervention with the asteroid. “I probably shouldn’t have delivered it, at all… to any one… should have just done it…”

He ran a hand across the close-cropped hair above his ear and let one corner of his mouth tick upward in an amused smirk when he picked out a minor error in one of the CEOs equations regarding intercept trajectory. A series of soft chirps issued from the console as he made a correction and continued his scan of her code. Not bad math, at all, Eugene, he mused, making only one more minor tweak to her calculations before reaching the end of her program. You really should trust yourself more. For the flickering of an instant, he considered the possibility of initiating the program, now. Just override the shields on the bay door, fly the Angel out into the void and call it done… How would Asovil have said it? ‘Better to ask for forgiveness than four pigeons?’... Silas surely would have taken measures to prevent him from doing just such a thing, of course, and he likely wouldn’t have even fired up the shuttle’s engines before the whole ship went to Yellow Alert and he found himself hauled off to the brig but the thought lingered in his mind just the same. In fact, the Trill’s fingertips hovered just millimeters away from the icon that would have committed Cali’s program to the Angel’s nav-com. He might have even initiated it, as well, but another chirp from his commbadge snatched the thought away.

=/\=Lt. Taissud to Commander Zai...=/\=

Tochi’s fingers drifted away from the console and, instead, tapped at the Starfleet insignia pinned to his shirt. “Good evening, Zhay-la,” he replied, reclining into the seat again, “What can we do for you?”

=/\=Do you think the Captain will approve a mining expedition?=/\= 

The Orion woman’s question caused a curiously confused expression to flit across his features and, trying to make sense of the query, Tochi hesitated a moment before answering; “I’m afraid that’s difficult to say for sure, Lieutenant. The Captain and myself aren’t exactly seeing eye to eye, at the moment. What did you have in mind?

((OOC: Not long but something, I suppose. Probably a good enough place to cut things off and see where this might lead.))



Posted on 2022-11-13 at 16:34:34.

Alodie
Veteran Visitor
Karma: 6/0
126 Posts


Starting a rock band

“Lt. Taissud to Commander Zai”

=/\= “Good evening, Zhay-la,” the commanders disembodied voice rang out in the mostly empty armoury “What can we do for you?” =/\=

“Do you think the Captain will approve a mining expedition?” 

Zhay-la detected a hint of hesitation from the trill; =/\= “I’m afraid that’s difficult to say for sure, Lieutenant. The Captain and myself aren’t exactly seeing eye to eye, at the moment. What did you have in mind?” =/\=

“I’m meeting with our chief engineer shortly, I’m happy to throw myself at the mercy of the Captain once I’ve run it by Kennedy, science and of course you.” Zhay-la replied. She tapped a few buttons on her padd, sending her files to the commander “Please let me know if you see any obvious faults in my proposal so far.”



Posted on 2022-11-14 at 19:52:24.

Eol Fefalas
Lord of the Possums
RDI Staff
Karma: 467/28
8744 Posts


We need more cowbell!

=/\=I’m meeting with our chief engineer shortly,=/\= Zhay-la informed him, evoking a faint nod from the XO =/\=I’m happy to throw myself at the mercy of the Captain once I’ve run it by Kennedy…=/\=

Of course you are, Tochi mused silently, a faint grin wriggling across his lips, Just remember to keep a grip on that temper, Lieutenant.

=/\=...sciences and of course you.=/\= The CTO fell silent for an instant and a series of muted chirps filtered across the comms. A moment later the Angel’s console pinged, notifying him of files awaiting his review. =/\=Please let me know if you see any obvious faults in my proposal, so far,=/\= Lt Taissud requested.

“Acknowledged, Lieutenant,” he answered, cuing up her analytics for review, “The more options Captain Drake has in mitigating this situation the better. We will give this a look and get back to you as soon as possible.” He skimmed the opening lines and equations of the TAC officer’s proposal, bobbed his head again, and continued; “At first glance, Zhay-la, we would say that this has merit. It might be best if I were to join you and Commander Kennedy in your discussion. Where are the two of you meeting?”

((OOC: assuming that the location is not withheld and/or there are no objections to a third wheel))

“Very well,” Tochi replied, still skimming the CTO’s calculations, “Give us a few minutes to finish my review and we’ll meet you in the Armoury forthwith. Zai out.”

When his badge blipped in confirmation of the communique having ended, Tochi let his gaze skip from Zhay-la’s files to Cali’s nav-com program where it was still displayed on another panel. It seems a shame to simply delete all of this, he decided, Silas’ refutation of the plan aside. Contingencies and the like. “Computer,” he called, bringing the nav-com parameters to the forefront, “Encrypt and archive these parameters, locally, as Kappa Zeta Five-One-Four.”

=/\=Confirmed,=/\= the computer responded as Zai shunted Zhay-la’s report to a PADD and rose from the pilot’s seat, =/\=File archived as Kappa Zeta Five-One Four.=/\=

The Trill snatched his jacket from where it lay, tossed haphazardly across what was meant to be the SCI console, shrugged it over his shoulders, and strode for the Angel’s boarding ramp, out of the shuttle bay, then pointed himself toward the armoury.



Posted on 2022-11-15 at 09:09:43.

Merideth
Muse-i-licious
RDI Staff
Karma: 180/13
3266 Posts


Collab between Meri and Alodie for you all :)

Stardate 2365.05.16 15:56

USS Peregrine - TurboLift 

Commander Kennedy squatted on the floor of the turbolift. An access panel lay discarded on beside her, the disemboweled guts of the turbolift came spewing out from hole she’d exposed. She was actively rewiring it, digging down into the wires with a screwdriver. 

“Come on!” She pleaded, “I just need you to start working, like you’re supposed to… alright? I don’t have time for this. You don’t have time for this nonsense, you’ve got important things to do, a whole planet to save… and you’re here, piddling around with this-”

=/\=Taissud to Commander Kennedy. If you’re able to meet, I have an idea I want to run by you. I need an engineer.=/\= A voice rang through her commbadge and stopped her diatribe to the ship. 

I need an engineer. The words rang back through her head. She stopped her work on the turbolift and popped her right index finger into her mouth. A light tang of copper covered her tongue and she ran it across the snagged fingernail she’d won in her intense battle with the access panel. And you're talking to me? Funny. The amusement didn’t hit her face though. This has to do with the asteroid, I really don’t want to talk about the asteroid anymore, I don’t want to deal with these turbolifts, I don’t think I can handle the green girl… I don’t think… I don’t know what I just let myself do down on the Angel and what the hell I was doing in the Captain’s Ready Room being overly passionate about Zai… I don’t think I should have gotten on this ship.

These thoughts rattled around in her head, bouncing around like hard marbles against the inside of her skull. Then she realized that time was ticking away and that somewhere in this cursed machine Zhay-la was awaiting her answer. She swallowed hard and yanked her finger back out of her mouth. 

“Taissud. Yes… I mean, well I’m currently in the middle of something” actually between decks is more accurate “but I should be able to get out of it shortly. Give me… say fifteen minutes. Where can I meet you?” 

=/\= “The armoury, 15 minute is fine” =/\= Taissud responded curtly over the comm line.

“Yes. Fifteen minutes, I’ll be down. See you then.” She kept her voice clipped and business-like, even though she was still internally screaming. When the communication ended she plopped down onto her bottom and continued to dig into the guts of the turbolift. 

Stardate 2365.05.16 16:22

USS Peregrine - Deck 5 - Outside of the Armory 

When the turbolift had, at last, spit her back out onto the proper deck she gave the door a light pat on her way out. “That’s it darling, now just keep that up and I won’t need to call you to task again…” She gave the small space another glance before the doors slid shut and she turned to wander down the corridor. 

Kennedy paused just outside of the door to the armory, and just as she had a short time ago she took a brief moment to try and improve the image she was presenting. Since leaving the Captain’s Ready Room she had added another layer of sweat, a hang nail and several more wrinkles to her uniform. What I wouldn’t do for a sonic shower and a strong cup of… anything right now. 

Instead of fleeing she licked her lips, ran her hand through her hair and then pushed the button that would let the door to the armory slide open. Should I have brought her a plant? The thought crossed her mind and it actually tugged the smallest of smiles onto the edge of her lips. Crackers and Christ this could get complicated… 

The door slid open and she saw herself inside. “Zhay-la.” She said, wandering in and immediately going over to the bench where the Orion was bent over. Comfortably she dug her hip into the side of a shelf and leaned over the Orion’s shoulder to try and take a look at her work. “You say you need an engineer?” 

Zhay-la had worked quickly, drafting her plan and having the computer mock-up drawing of what she thought they would need. She’d found some 20th century pop music in the ship's library and had it blaring in the background, it was labeled “The Beastie Boys”. The music helped her concentrate, keep intrusive thoughts at bay. 

 “This may not quite deal with the prime directive problem, but it’s better to present solutions than problems to the captain.” she mused as she looked at the rendering the computer had loaded onto her pad, it looked like she’d designed some sort of doomsday weapon but it was actually the opposite. A voice cut through her thoughts and over the music.

“You say you need an engineer?”

She felt a small surge of adrenaline, surprise, and she tamped it down. “Computer, pause recording!” she half shouted over the song, as she turned to meet Kennedy.

“Commander, thank you for indulging me, I know you’re busy.” Zhay-la said politely, she’d been more than a little rude to the chief engineer earlier. 

Kennedy shrugged. "Off duty. Just been…" a series of possible answers for what she'd been doing tumbled through her thoughts, but she didn't want to say any of the, "...it doesn't matter. I liked your music selection. Computer, resume music, just quieter." She said and smiled a little more as the ancient rebellious voices began their cadence about sabotage once more. "Perfect. This is about that forsaken asteroid isn't it?" 

Zhay-la smiled as the music came back, she picked up the pad on the workbench she’d appropriated as a work space and spinning the pad like a knife she handed it to Kennedy. “It is, but I suspect that you might actually enjoy this.” she replied, her smile relaxing to a slight wry smirk.

Kennedy raised a curious brow, watching as the Tactical Officer lit up with a smile. She took the offered pad. "Well now I am at least curious…"

As Kennedy scanned the relatively crude technical drawings and assumptions she’d been handed, Zhay-la explained the gist of her idea.

“I’m good at dumping lots of energy into things in order to hurt them, you’re good at dumping lots of energy out the back of the ship so we can move.” she paused to take a breath, hunting for any sign of approval from Kennedy.

“I really hope she doesn’t think I’m some kind of dumb ground pounder. Introduction to propulsion engineering was hardly a strength of mine at the academy.” She pushed those thoughts back under the surface. She needed to give the CEO the benefit of the doubt. “Stop treating everyone with suspicion Zhay-la” the tiny voice in the back of her mind reminded her.

She continued ”I’m proposing we use a phaser emitter assembly to do that with the big rock outside. I think with some doing we can nudge the asteroid onto a near miss trajectory with the added benefit of using the asteroid as reaction mass. Basically the same way a torpedo makes course corrections using thrusters.”

Even if she was terrified that her crewmate and chief engineer of the ship she had just been posted to was going to shoot down her idea, she stowed those thoughts, she couldn’t let any of that show.

Careful not to betray her frayed nerves she finished her pitch. “What do you think? We’d need maybe two shuttles and a few crews should be able to pull this off without giving us away to the Calicans.”

“I hope I don’t come across as desperate” the negative voice blared in the back of her mind.

Kennedy gave the specs a final look and then lowered the pad to her thigh. She tapped the back of it against her knee as she considered it. "I have had similar thoughts of my own to be honest. Although with admittedly less… eloquence…" she smirked. 

The engineer paused again, at this time sighed heavily. "I think you should know… I just got done speaking with the captain myself. It seems that the Calican's have started emitting distress signals. I don't think that the Prime Directive is really too much of a concern right now." 

She clicked her tongue across the roof of her mouth a few times. "As to the feasibility of your plan…" she tilted her head, "... It's not far off I think. I don't see adjustments for the magnetic field, and this space lady has one hell of a magnetic field, that's gonna mess with anything we hurl at her. We're going to need to really ramp up whatever we use, and work on the interception point. Likely need science to step in and puzzle out the fine details… but yes I think you are on the right track here…" 

Here she grinned and let out a rueful chuckle, "I think that the hardest thing we need to figure out is how and when to bring it to the captain. I think I took a few missteps in my last conversation with him, and Zai is most certainly on thin ice with the Captain right now." she shook her head and rubbed the bridge of her nose, "This whole thing seems to have everyone shaken up and acting a bit impulsive." 

Zhay-la smiled at Kennedy’s response and she felt the tension leave her body. Not going in weapons hot seemed to be paying off. “If you can help me make this presentable, I’ll get science on board and take it to the captain.” She replied. “We have the equipment we need on the ship and it won’t take a tricobalt device to solve this issue then.” she concluded.

Kennedy lifted the pad again and blinked over the specs. "Yeah, alright. I'll start up some simulations, pull together inventory…" she nodded to the other woman and flipped the pad back, "send me what you got. Gonna need some caffeine…" she chuckled as she dug a knuckle into the edge of her eye. 



Posted on 2022-11-15 at 10:44:47.

Nomad D2
RDI Fixture
Karma: 53/6
3026 Posts


Ferrero Sees No Choice So He Makes A Choice

Stardate 2365.05.16
USS Peregrine, Ferrero's Quarters and Captain's Ready Room 

 

Like everyone else on the Peregrine Ander Ferrero had been sitting around contemplating the situation with the asteroid ever since the situation had arisen.  His original conviction had been to avoid breaking the prime directive – the directive was clear and the one sure way to steer clear of putting everyone in the crew in danger of violating it was to simply do nothing.  Morally speaking, one was guilty of the sins one committed, not the things left uncommitted.  So, do nothing, and they were in the clear. 

               But he could practically hear his abuela even as those thoughts came to him.  “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph in the world was for good men to do nothing.”  Ok, so that was really Edmund Burke, but it was exactly the kind of thing his grandmother would have said as she dragged him off to mass.  Doing nothing, in the face of wrong, might be just as wrong.  He hadn’t really been paying much attention to her at the time seeing as he’d been the one generally doing the wrong, but the words had apparently sunk in at some point. 

               But the problem was, there was no way to act in this situation and avoid breaking the prime directive.  One either did nothing and watched 7 billion people die or one took an action which could ruin them.  There was no middle ground.  It was one or the other.  He listened to the audio of the planet’s plea for help again.  It had only come in recently, but it was his department, of course, that picked it up and so he had been one of the first to hear it.  Why did the voice that begged for help somehow sound so much like his abuela? 

               He knew why.

               Slowly, he got up and went to see the captain. 

 

Ferrero pushed the comm button on the door frame of the ready room.  “Commander Drake,  Lieutenant  Ferrero here, may I have some of your time?”

 

OOC:  Assuming a positive response.

 

“Commander, I know that I have previously voiced skepticism about interfering in this situation.  I know you have a lot to do – but I have a couple of thoughts I felt I needed to share.  The first is that, I don’t think there is any way out of this situation without violating the Prime Directive.  Literally nothing you do can avoid it.”

               He took a deep breath and continued to explain.  “Any action this ship takes to alter the course of that asteroid WILL impact those people.  From the start the crew has been searching for a way to do this without being seen by those on the planet because if we are seen then we are effectively introducing advanced technology into their world.  Yes, obviously, of course.  But even if we do it unseen by those on the planet, we will be unavoidably changing their world in significant ways.  Consider commander, what the people on the planet are saying right now.  Science has told them that a doomsday asteroid is heading their way.  People are people of whatever race Sir., and I can guarantee you that at this moment attendance is skyrocketing in whatever passes for a Church on that planet. If that asteroid suddenly explodes or diverts its course, people on that planet WILL give credit to something or someone.  If they see us, it will be us.  But if they don’t see us, then it will be to something else.  Does taking an action to encourage the development of a giant theocracy sound like following the Prime Directive?   Even if we could somehow shoot it with another asteroid to knock it off course by what would appear to those on the planet to be natural means, it would almost certainly have this effect.  Either way, seen or unseen, a doomsday rock that changes its mind and the bell stops tolling?  We will have changed that planet.”   It was impossible as he gave this little speech to not hear his abuela giving credit for everything good in the world to God.  Somehow God never got the blame when someone got shot, got sick or he was arrested.  Or when giant asteroids doomed whole planets.  Just the good things.  But he knew what she would have done with a doomsday asteroid that didn’t doom anyone.

               But that wasn’t the only option.  “The other option is you could choose to do nothing, and technically that is not interfering, but as many have pointed out, the result is the loss of 7 billion people and an entire habitable world.  And, Sir., while I would really prefer to avoid breaking the Prime Directive, I think that does so also.  An entire planet will have its future changed . . . destroyed . . . obliterated.  Changed.  And while some would point out that WE didn’t do it, the equal truth is that ONLY WE could stop it.  The result, whatever it is for that planet, will be a result of the choice made by this ship.  Our choice, your choice, will change the future of that planet.  It seems the Universe has not given you the option of following the Prime Directive.  By the choice to act or the choice to not act, the Peregrine will determine a planet’s fate.”

 

OOC:  Pausing a moment for reaction, if any.

 

Ferrero could hear his abuela in his head.  He really hated that voice; sanctimonious and judgmental at the best of times as she dragged her grandchildren off to mass.  But it was also a voice that had been echoing in his head throughout his life.  He usually ignored it, but sometimes the little grandmother on his shoulder seemed to outweigh the little devil.  He sighed.

               “Commander, if we had a way to stick with the Prime Directive I might well continue to argue for that line.  But I don’t think we do.  And in the absence of a way to avoid breaking the Directive, there really only seems to be one choice.  We need to stop it.”

 

OOC:  Waiting for any response from the captain.

 

“Thank you for your time commander.  I guess I will go see if there is anything I can do to assist with the scientific mission to the asteroid.”

               As he turned to walk out of the room he looked back at the commander.  “Commander, if the people on that planet have to give credit to either a scientific space-faring race or a deity, I’d rather science got the credit.  Accidently being seen might not be a bad thing.”

               Ferrero left the room and went back to his post on the bridge to see what communications from the planet had been picked up. 



Posted on 2022-11-16 at 19:35:35.

t_catt11
Fun is Mandatory
RDI Staff
Karma: 368/54
7051 Posts


divine?

Stardate 2365.05.16 - Impact minus 49:20
USS Peregrine, Captain's Ready Room - 16:26

Drake sat at his desk while Lieutenant Ferrero shared his concerns.  Silas had to admit that he was glad to know that his 2O had apparently undergone a change of heart in terms of whether or not the Peregrine should intervene.

The Ops chief made compelling points as to how they could be fostering a theocracy on the planet, how no matter what they did, it violated the Prime Directive. 

Drake nodded.  "Ander, I understand your concern.  If we act in ANY manner, it will impact the development of the planet.  There is no doubt of that; and there is no doubt that doing so is at odds with the entire purpose of the Prime Directive."

Ferrero's words reverberated deep within Drake's psyche.  It seems the Universe has not given you the option of following the Prime Directive.  By the choice to act or the choice to not act, the Peregrine will determine a planet’s fate. 

The Ops chief continued to speak.

"Commander, if we had a way to stick with the Prime Directive I might well continue to argue for that line.  But I don't think we do.  And in the absence of a way to avoid breaking the Directive, there really only seems to be one choice.  We need to stop it."

Silas swallowed before replying.  "I concur.  We will detemine their fate - and I will not move on from here ignoring their pleas.  If they had a few small technological advances, it would be our duty to save them.  I cannot accept that a lack of those advances justifies the damnation of their entire species, their entire world.  We must stop this destruction, their extinction.  Rest assured that I will no longer debate the 'if' of that matter - I will only consider the 'how'."

As the Second Officer took his leave, Ferrero added on his opinion that it was better to allow the Peregrine to be seen, and thus dilute the chances that the rescue was perceived as part and parcel of divine interference.  Silas was not sure how he felt about revealing his ship to primitives, but he had to conceed that Ander had a point. 

The Captain nodded.  "I don't know that I agree with that course, Lieutenant, but you raise some excellent points.  I will take your advice into consideration."

 

 

 

 



Posted on 2022-11-16 at 20:42:29.

Merideth
Muse-i-licious
RDI Staff
Karma: 180/13
3266 Posts


Oh so gently...

Stardate 2365.05.16 16:25

USS Peregrine - Deck 5 - Outside of the Armory 

As he made his way along the corridors of Deck Five, Zai was engrossed in his review of Zhay-la’s proposed interdiction with the asteroid… at least until his steps got him close enough to the Armory that he could hear the discordant, driving beats and rhythm of an ancient Terran tune that filtered through the door of the place. He stopped in his tracks, a brow arching as his eyes lifted from the PADD and fixed on the door. And people call my musical tastes esoteric, he chuckled inwardly, getting his feet moving again after indulging in a moment of trying to place that particular song, We’ll be sure to remind someone of this the next time I fuse Klingon opera with blues metal.

Upon reaching the Armory, Tochi cued the door and was assailed by the tune at an even higher volume along with the half-shouted words of the two women inside.

"I think that the hardest thing we need to figure out is how and when to bring it to the captain. I think I took a few missteps in my last conversation with him, and Zai is most certainly on thin ice with the Captain right now." Cali shook her head and rubbed the bridge of her nose as Tochi, yet to be noticed by either she or Zhay-la, leaned against the doorway and listened,, "This whole thing seems to have everyone shaken up and acting a bit impulsive." 

“If you can help me get this presentable,” the green-skinned woman suggested from behind a slight smile, “I’ll get Science on board and we’ll take it to the Captain.We have the equipment we need on the ship and it won’t take a tricobalt device to solve this issue, then.”

“Yeah, alright,” Cali returned, still engrossed in her perusal of the PADD, “I'll start up some simulations, pull together inventory…” She offered the other woman a nod and handed the device back over into the care of the Orion woman’s hands, “...Send me what you got. Gonna need some caffeine…”

“Quite a bit of it, we would imagine,” Tochi suggested, loudly enough to be heard over the music, as he pushed away from the doorjamb and stepped fully into the armory, “It seems the two of you didn’t need me here, after all. Got things worked out between yourselves before I left the shuttlebay, did you?”

Kennedy literally jumped and twisted her head to the door where the voice had come from.  A flush ran up from her collar towards her ears when she spied the spotted Commander in the doorway. “Jumping beans and pogo sticks! Zai. I’m putting bells on you. This constantly sneaking up behind me isn’t going to go on much longer.” She exclaimed a little too loudly even with the loud music in the background. 

At the same time as Kenedy, Zhal-la subconsciously dropped into a ready stance, knees bent, hands up, brandishing the padd that had just been placed in her hand. She snapped to attention once she realized it was the Commander. Her normally bright green skin took a slightly darker hue in the apples of her cheeks. 

Tochi offered a sheepish smile in reply and his spots flushed vaguely purple… Bells could be interesting, he managed not to say aloud… “My apologies, Kennedy,” he grinned, stepping into range where he needn’t raise his voice so high in order to be heard over the music, “We had informed Lt Taissud that I’d be here but, I assume, you missed the memo.” He flicked the CEO a subtle wink and turned his gaze to Zhay-la.

“As I said, it seems I am a bit late to this particular party and the two of you have things well in hand,” he said, “If there is anything we might do to assist, just let me know, hm? I’m doing little else but sitting on my thumbs of late, after all. If nothing else, we would be happy to accompany you when you lay this out in front of the Captain…” Though, presently, that might not exactly help you sell the thing, he appended mentally. 

“Trajectory.” Kennedy stated flatly. She shifted quickly and moved over to where the computer console was stationed, she drug over a crate of something and used it as a chair, squatting on the corner with one hand steadying her precarious position as the other flew over the console. “It feels off, Zhay-la’s gonna talk to science I know the magnetism is gonna screw with us, hopefully she can get some specs on how to adjust for that… but… it’s still…” she shook her head. “Look it over fly-boy. I’m digging into inventory…” and she buried her head into the lines of text appearing on the screen. 

“Actually,” Zai returned, lifting his own PADD as he rested a shoulder against a rack of phaser rifles. 

When Zai, casually began to dig into his own thoughts Kennedy turned her head from her console, her brow already twitching into a tight knit. She said nothing, though, as he continued along his thought process. 

“I was giving approach vectors a look on our way here, and giving some thought as to specific target points for Zhay-la’s proposed phaser ablation of the asteroid in order to affect its trajectory by way of mitigating and minimizing possible - or should we say probable - casualties planet-side…” 

“Computer,” the Trill called, letting the PADD in his hand fall to his side, “Access Aurora Angel archive file Kappa Zeta Five-One-Four.” When the computer chirped acknowledgement he continued; “Extract the proposed intercept trajectory, overlay and reconcile with Lt Taissud’s proposed vectors…” 

Kennedy’s hand tightened up on the lip of the crate. “I… you…” she fluttered, then throwing an embarrassed glance at Zhay-la she leaned over closer to Zai and hissed in a low tone, “I told you to delete that, first off. And what’s with coming in here and playing like you had nothing to offer when you obviously did… I… fine… whatever.” She shook her head, glanced at the files pulling up on his PADD with a look of mild curiosity, and then turned her back on him again. 

“We archived it,” Tochi murmured in reply, wilting a bit at her censure but casually dismissing it with a shrug, “Almost the same thing. Besides, I thought it better to keep it on hand just in case a contingency was required. Your math wasn’t as iffy as you led me to believe.”

“You won’t flatter me with comments about my math…” she huffed under her breath and she banged through inventory lists. “And fine… whatever, Zai, you’re the XO at any rate. Get the numbers on this one right, okay?” she sighed. 

He chuckled softly and gave a faint shake of his head as the computer completed its amalgamation of the nav parameters from both Cali and Zhay-la’s files. “Not to worry, Commander,” he replied, his tone returning to normal, “Astro-nav is a specialty of ours.” He held the PADD out at arm's length, turning it a bit so both women could see the newly modified flightpath rendered by the computer’s calculations. 

“You see,” he offered, tracing the tip of a finger along the proposed course, “If the Angel maintains a course keeping her within moderate phaser range of DN17 - say, one hundred fifty to one hundred seventy-five kilometers - and makes ablative strikes here, here, here, and here…” he tapped specifically targeted points along the asteroid’s flank, “...I believe that very well might shear enough mass that and final, lower output barrage, here, could feasibly affect the DN17’s kinetic energy enough to nudge her into a near-miss trajectory.” He rolled his shoulders and lifted his eyes from the display to regard Cali and Zhay-la; “We should, of course, consider factor in Ensign Elial’s geological analysis of the thing to insure that we have the best possible phaser modulation for the damn thing’s composition but, short of that, I think we might have a solution here that will keep casualties and environmental impact to an acceptable minimum.”

And, if that should fail, he thought to himself, his gaze falling back to the display and fixing on an unmarked point near the end of the flight path, we eject the core, here, and hope for the best.

Zhay-la had taken up a perch on the armoury workbench, legs folded beneath her, half kneeling, half sitting. She’d stayed quiet, watching the back and forth between her colleagues. Seeing a gap, she cut in. “What if we made range a non-issue?” she mused.

She tapped on her padd and threw a schematic up on the security briefing display. An exploded diagram of a torpedo casing was up on the screen, however it looked like someone had swapped out all of its internals and replaced the usual matter/anti-matter warhead with what appeared to be a phaser emitter, a micro-fusion generator and a fire control and targeting suite.

Kennedy's neck snapped up to look at the screen above her head. The light of it danced over her face as whatever angsty feelings that were running below its surface melted. "What… by the saints and all the crackers. What are you doing to that torpedo?"

“It’s an autonomous defense drone, I designed while I was aboard the Calypso, it’s designed to quickly set up defenses and micro-meteor coverage for new outposts.” Zhay-la explained. “Basically it can be embedded in the crust of a planetoid or hull of a poorly equipped star base.”

"This isn't knocking the space-trash ***** off course… this is… vaporizing her." Kennedy sounded impressed, her fingers lifting to brush the image on the screen lightly. 

Zhay-la amended Kennedy’s statement as she hopped off the bench and walked towards the display  “Vaporizing her gently.”

She tapped the screen to show the casing of the torpedo, “The design relies on a reinforced casing so it can survive the impact and deploy, it shouldn’t need much modification.”

The Chief Engineer took another moment to look over the design on the screen, and to absorb what Zhay-la was saying. And then she burst into laughter. By the time she turned around the tears were filling her eyes and she was trying to figure out how to catch a breath between the collections of giggles. “Vapor…” she started, “v…” she shook her head and wiped at her leaking eyes with the backs of her hands and tried to take a breath. “Your green sparring partner wants to vaporize the **** thing gently!” She managed to get out at last. “And I think… I think…” still giggling she glanced at the schematics once more, “I think she just might… but gently… of course…” 

Tochi’s brow furrowed slightly as he, at last, started to truly comprehend the intricacies of Zhay’la’s proposed solution… So, not a ship, at all, he considered, his eyes ticking between the nav chart and the schematics the CTO had presented, but a modified torpedo. Brilliant!... Then, at the sound of Cali’s near hysterical laughter and the commentary she had managed to pepper in between giggles, he couldn’t help but grin and chuckle a bit, himself. Having personally sparred with the Orion woman (and gotten some small insights into the redacted parts of her service record), there was no way he could have missed the irony in Lt Taissud suggesting that the asteroid could be vaporized gently. It was amusing, in fact, that that particular word was so readily found in her vocabulary.

“Of course,” he concurred over his own snickering, flicking a wink at Cali and a grin at Zhay-la, “Gently would be the preferred option, we suppose. 

 

Well done, Lieutenant,” he said to Zhay-la, “Coordinate with Sciences on this as needed and let us know when you’re ready to present it to the Captain.

 

“Commander Kennedy,” his eyes flitted to the still laughing CEO, “I assume you’ve already found what you’re looking for in your inventories? If you require any additional resources to bring the Lieutenant’s idea to fruition, just say the word and we’ll make it happen, hm?”

 

Kennedy bobbed her head, wiping at the tears brimming out of her eyes and smiled. “Yeah… I think… yeah. Gently,” she repeated, shaking her head. “I can have it all lined up shortly here.” Her laughter began to die down slowly as she started to turn back to the console. 

 

“I suppose,” he mused aloud, tucking the PADD under his arm and turning for the door, “if I am to join you all in presenting this to Silas, I should get myself back into uniform.”


And I could use a fresh one… Kennedy thought to herself with a small sigh.



Posted on 2022-11-17 at 10:17:55.

Eol Fefalas
Lord of the Possums
RDI Staff
Karma: 467/28
8744 Posts


Can we talk?

Stardate 2365.05.16 16:45

USS Peregrine - Deck 5 - Corridor outside the Armory

LtCdr Zai swept into the corridor, his mind a bit calmer than it had been in the hours since Captain Drake had grounded him, and allowed a faint sigh of relief to whisper over his lips. As soft as that puff of air had been, though, the Trill couldn’t help but notice how quiet the ship had become and, as he pointed his steps toward the turbolift, take note of how heavy that silence was. The collective tension of the crew where this asteroid situation was concerned seemed to permeate the air, giving it an almost palpable weight that he hadn’t experienced since the Chimera incident.  That, compounded by the almost awkward tautness between himself and Cali just moments ago, settled on his shoulders like a metric tonne of dilithium and neither a shake of his head nor a stiffened rolling of his shoulders seemed capable of shaking it loose.

What the frill were you thinking, Tochi, he sighed inwardly, trying his best not to cast a glance back at the Armory’s door. Despite the scuttlebutt about you on this boat, what happened with Kennedy is not your typical approach. Self-chastisement over the encounter aside, Zai couldn’t say that he hadn’t enjoyed the encounter, nor could he deny that he wouldn’t mind if it happened again, but it had been initiated so abruptly and had concluded with an almost clumsy inelegance that it had begun to nag at him. If we are to continue to effectively work with her, he decided as he neared the lift and, simultaneously failed in his attempts not to look back, I suppose she and I are going to have to drag the topic into the proverbial light of day.

As he turned the doors to the armory hissed back open and the object of his thoughts passed through them. Her head was down and she was busy trying to smooth down the crease on the cuff of her uniform. She licked her thumb and then pressed it against the fabric, pinching it between her thumb and finger and trying to reestablish the smooth line that it should be presenting. Tochi tilted his head and watched her, stopping his own feet as he did. The engineer padded closer and he caught the expression on her face, half a scowl written into her lips as she fussed with the cuff. She was within a few paces of him when she at last looked up and found herself staring at the Trill. 

“Bells,” she muttered under her breath and released the cuff. Her eyes tracked from him to the turbolift standing shut just behind him. “You know… I get that the turbolifts are being shifty still, but… you have to push the button to summon them at least. The very least.” She said flatly, stepping around him to push the button herself. 

Speaking of pushing buttons, he thought, offering her a wan smile, it seems that I’ve done that very thing, doesn’t it? He nodded and forced his smile to brighten a little. “I do,” he replied, an anxious hand lifting to push through his hair as the lift door whisked open, “We were just… lost in our thoughts for a moment, I suppose. After you, Commander,” he added, gesturing to the lift’s interior.

She offered the slightest bob of her head and stepped through the door and into the brightly lit small space. “Yeah… it’s been a long day,” conceding a little as she moved to the far side of the capsule and leaned against the interior handrail. “Deck two,” she said, then glanced at Zai, “I assume…” 

“Good assumption,” he said from behind that crooked grin of his as the door whooshed shut again. For the first few interminable seconds that followed, the two of them languished in the rather uneasy silence that had fallen around them. As the weight of it compounded the tension already nagging at the base of his skull, though, Tochi reached out a finger and brought the lift to a halt. “Commander… Cali…” he sighed, turning his gaze to frame her face instead of the featureless metal of the door, “I think I might owe you… an apology? I… what happened…”

“Stop…” she cut him off, putting up her hand into the space between them. “I don’t need any apology, Zai. I seem to…” she licked her lips and sighed, “I seem to recall saying yes, so, don’t.” 

Nodding, he sucked in a deep breath and let it out again. “You did,” he said, a sheepish smile playing on his features, “but still… I… it’s…” Fumbling for the words he wanted to speak but failing to find them in the moment, his smile melted into an anxious scowl and he shook his head as he chased the tangle of his thoughts for the right thing to say. “It’s not what happened that’s troubling me, Cali,” he suggested after a moment’s introspection, “but how it happened… and why… if that makes any sense, at all.” He sighed out a humorless chuckle and shook his head at how insipid his words sounded. “F***,” he chuffed as the spots at his temples went purple, “We sound like some foundering schoolboy, don’t I?”

Cali’s eyes rolled a moment, but when they fixed back on him they softened. “Zai. How? Why?” Her shoulders gave a shrug in her rumpled uniform, “Stress, you just got grounded, there’s a massive chunk of space trash out there threatening seven billion lives and we’re all that’s going to stop it. It… it just happened, okay? You think you need to alleviate your guilt for something I was just as involved in? Buy me some flowers, okay?” She frowned and sighed, darting her eyes from his now. “I think Drake knows, he accused me of being overly passionate in my defense of you… I… look…” She picked at her cuff again, “it’s not like… I mean okay it’s been some time, but it’s not like this is the first time I’ve… God… This… this doesn’t have to be a thing, okay? There’s no strings, I don’t expect anything… I got a little ruffled over Drake’s comment, that’s all.” 

“Silas’ comments do tend to ruffle others quite easily, if unintentionally,” he chuckled, “and, you’re right about the how and why to an extent. The stress of all that’s happened… of all that is happening… certainly played into things. An… escape like that was something that both of us likely needed in the moment but…” he chewed on his lip for a second, blinked at the door, and turned his eyes back to hers, “...but there was more than need there, Cali. For me, anyway. I wanted it. Wanted you, not just somebody. You.” Another chuckle and his weight shifted from one leg to the other as he ran his fingertips over a stubbled cheek; “I don’t feel guilt about any of it except, maybe, for the way it happened. I find you very attractive and I enjoy your company more than you might know so, I think, I might’ve liked things to have gone a bit slower… taken our time in getting to that… earned it?” He shrugged and laughed, then. “Despite what the rumor-mill on this boat might lead people to believe, I’m not really all that good at this kind of thing, am I?”

She shook her head a little. As he’d spoken her arms had curled up around her middle. “No, no you aren’t. We’re… we’re friends, I mean, I’ve loved tinkering around on the Angel with you, loved it. But yeah I’ve heard the rumors. I saw how you looked at Zhay-la, the look you get in your eyes when you talk about Asovil… And… trust me…” She sighed heavily, pushing up off the wall of the turbolift and leaning forward, “trust me, Zai, you don’t really want me.” She pushed the button that would start the turbolift again, and then fell back against the wall. “We’re fine, okay? Nothing to worry about having to keep working with me, I’m not gonna make this awkward, okay?” 

It’s already awkward, Tochi thought, somehow managing to maintain the bright smile that had come to his face when she had said that they were friends, but we understand what you mean. “Alright,” he nodded as the lift began moving again, “I suppose that’s enough. Friends.” He let himself fall a bit more easily back into the returned silence but, as the turbolift neared deck two, he turned his gaze on her again; “Does that mean that I’m not allowed to invite you to a nice dinner once this is all over?”

“Like… a date?” She asked, brow raising. 

He flashed a roguish smile and shrugged; “Perhaps, like a date. Let’s start by calling it a private dinner between friends, though. See where it goes?”

Cali gave him a long apprehensive look, chewed her bottom lip and held tightly to the handrail of the turbolift as it started to slow to a stop. “I don’t think you heard me, I’m a good friend, a great lay… rarely do the two work together long.” The doors to the turbolift began to open up exposing the hallway of deck two. “I need a sonic shower, a clean uniform, a cup of coffee. Can we just get this stupid asteroid done and then… I dunno Zai… Commander.” She sighed and pushed off the wall to start for the open door. “Sure… dinner… I guess…” she shrugged noncommittally, “girl’s gotta eat…”

“Indeed she does,” Zai conceded, a satisfied smile sparking in his eyes as he followed her off the lift, “We’ll see you soon, Commander.” He watched her for a moment as she peeled away and strolled toward her quarters… A girl might also need to hear some good music, be danced about her living space, and poured a drink or two… He turned in the opposite direction, then, and ambled toward his own door… It’s not as if I’m asking you to fall in love with me, Eugene.



Posted on 2022-11-17 at 12:45:44.
Edited on 2022-11-17 at 12:52:43 by Merideth

Nomad D2
RDI Fixture
Karma: 53/6
3026 Posts


Asteroids travel in showers, don't they?

Stardate 2365.05.16
USS Peregrine, Bridge

               As the door to the ready room slid shut behind him Ferrero very slightly shook his head.  Encouraging the ship to take an action that could get them in trouble?  It wasn’t usually his way, but somehow this situation had the feeling of a no-win spot.  But while there might not be a win, there was a clear losing option – at least for the planet.  And he didn’t need his abuela to tell him about that one.  And the idea of a theocracy setting up on the planet made his stomach twist just a little bit.  

               He quickly turned and moved to the ops station on the bridge.  He set about scanning the planet looking for any further messages.  Was there another request for help?  Could he make out any other messages from the planet?  Or could he even intercept any planet-side communications?  Perhaps learn something about what was going on down there?  It must be chaos.  The longer this mission took to pull off the more chaos there would before they could be saved.  That asteroid was a doomsday device whether it struck or not.  But perhaps he could learn something of what was going on down there. 

               As he started to work, he turned to Miahaya Amai, the communications specialist.  “I assume you have been listening for any further messages from the planet.  Keep scans going for that, but I also want more information about what is happening on the planet.  Typically, in a civilization of this level, a lot of signals will leak into space.  It may be a random bunch of stuff, but something might be there.  It will give us some information about what they are saying about that stone.  I want to know what they know and what they are saying if it is at all possible to know.  Get me anything that seems at all connected to that rock.  If not that, get me anything.”  Turning back to his own station he added.  “And don’t forget about another plea for help.” 

               With Amai put to work monitoring the planet Ferraro put the sensors back on the asteroid itself.  It seemed this rock had an odd magnetic field.  Ok, that seemed odd.  He did a scan for some other asteroids in the other area.  Did they also seem to have an unusual magnetic field?  Asteroids tended to flock together, was there a group giving off weird field readings?  He started looking for abnormal readings in mass, direction or movement, spin, reflectivity, density and any other thing he could come up with.  He looked at their target rock and also any others he could find.  If one was weird, maybe others were as well. 



Posted on 2022-11-27 at 21:27:02.

   
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