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Reported Apparition

Posted on Saturday, 27 June 2020 - 10:34am by Captain Barret Stillwater & Lieutenant Raith Kolani & Lieutenant Alex Kingsley

Mission: Operation: Iktomi
Location: USS Standing Bear | Deck 05 | Auxiliary Science Lab 1
Timeline: MD 2

Having haven't the notes of the briefing to Lieutenant Raith Kolani, Commander Stillwater had requested the man's presence on deck five, one of the general science labs that were used for auxiliary purposes on an as-needed basis. In this case, his need was two of his crew to begin work with what they already knew, working theories and the hypotheses that had been spreading around like wildfire. Damn media he thought to himself grumbling and muttering about them as he walked down the corridor and into the science lab.

The media had been blood hounds on the trail from the moment the otherwise random happenings of Federation cargo and merchant vessels being attacked along the various trade routes started to become more frequent and patterns emerged. The Federation and Starfleet could no longer keep the details from getting out, and it was only a matter of time before someone with a lick of intellect played connect the dots and serialized the incidents.

Stillwater walked into the science lab to find it was already occupied by Lieutenant Kingsley. "Good afternoon, Lieutenant," he said to the woman. She was already present for the briefing and had asked some valuable questions. "Lieutenant Kolani should be on his way shortly. I sent him notes and details from the briefing, an abridged version of events."

"Commander," Lieutenant Kingsley replied with a warm smile. She had little to no contact with him since he had come aboard. On reflection, she realised today's briefing had perhaps been the longest she had spent in his company since the ceremony where he had officially taken command. "I'm sure he'll catch up quickly, he's a quick study. How are you settling in, if you don't mind me asking?"

"He is," replied Stillwater in regards to Kolani. "Damn fine Operations Officer from what I read. I was quite impressed with his personnel file and what Lieutenant Commander Victrix had to say about the man" he added with a pleasant nod. "I am settling in alright. It is still quite the adjustment back to Starfleet life, but this mission is reminding me of what I liked about Starfleet."

"Finding the bad guys?" she suggested with a playful smile.

Stillwater made a fist with one hand and brought it swiftly towards his other hand, opened and flat. The two colliding made an audible smack of collision. "Exactly, kicking the bad guys' asses."

She couldn't silence her laugh. "Well, we better find you the right bad guys then," she grinned.

"Please do" he replied with a nod. "I want whoever is responsible to be stopped, or at the very least slowed down. We are losing too much cargo to whoever is responsible. If they got their hands on the wrong technology and allowed it to be sold to even worse people, we would have a very serious problem on our hands."

Raith arrived at the science lab with a PADD in hand and as soon as he entered, he saw that both Alex and Captain Stillwater were already there and waiting for him. Making sure his uniform was straight and tidy, he walked over briskly to the pair of them.

"Captain, Lieutenant, I'm sorry I'm late," he started. "I was held up with some maintenance work on the auxiliary EPS Flow guides on deck ten. Thankfully a routine diagnostic and some replacements parts have solved the problem." He stood with the pair of them after making his excuses.

"So, how may I be of help?" he asked.

"You aren't late, Lieutenant," replied Stillwater "just delayed a bit" he added. "We cannot start the show without you. I need both of you reviewing some sensor readings and Captain's logs that have been sent over to us. They are from a few months back, but we believe the same vessel was responsible for the attacks. Accounts of the incident all have one detail that tied them together, attacked from out of nowhere and their ships significantly drained of power" Stillwater informed them.

He gestured to the work stations in the lab. "I felt the two of you were best suited for this. I want to narrow down technological possibilities and determine what sort of weapon this vessel might be equipped with" noted Stillwater. "I do not like the sound of a phantom vessel that appears out of nowhere and attacks so swiftly, it renders starships docile."

"Neither do I," Alex agreed. She nodded to Kolani, "we should look at the types of ships which were attacked, attempt to determine common factors which may have rendered them - to quote the commander - docile."

Raith nodded as he agreed with Alex's ideas. "Other areas we could look at are if there were any traces of exhaust gases or ionisation trails in the area of each ship going missing, that could give a clue about who we are dealing with," he explained. "Also, if we can get an ID on the type of ship they are attacking or get a specific idea of the type of manifests they were carrying that could also be a hint that could get us on the right track."

Raith looked around the Science Lab and nodded his agreement with the Captain's suggestions. "Either way, looking at this from both a Science view and also an Operations/Engineering view, we can come up with some ideas for you pretty soon, sir," he added, looking confidently at Alex. as well.

"That is exactly what I am looking for and why you two are the ideal candidates for the task" he said quite confident in their abilities to handle the task. "I am a practical man though my ancestors may have believed in skinwalkers and medicine men, I believe in Changelings and herbalists" he said with a chuckle. "There is always a scientific reasoning or technological intervention to explain away magic and mysticism."

"Do not tell that to some of the professors at Cambridge," Alex warned with a wistful smile, "the last debate I witnessed was on essentially that subject. Fourteen hours it lasted before the Dean stepped in. It was declared a draw. Regardless, in this case, I am sure there will be a more mundane cause than witchcraft."

Stillwater chuckled. "Thank you, lieutenant, I will keep that in mind" he said to Alex. "I will leave the two of you to get to work. Keep detailed notes on anything you uncover. I'll except hypothesis if the speculative evidence can support it, but I want more to work off of than ghost or phantom vessel."

With that, Stillwater gave a nod to them both. He would let the two officers get to work immediately. If the Standing Bear were to encounter this phantom, Stillwater wanted a way to defeat it.


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