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Blasting & Ripples

Posted on Friday, 5 March 2021 - 2:21pm by Captain Barret Stillwater & Lieutenant Talarn Zilth & Lieutenant T'Lanna Vali & Lieutenant JG Jarin Alexander MD & Lieutenant JG Adrianna Eberhardt

Mission: Operation: Trail of Tears
Location: USS Standing Bear | Deck 01 | Briefing Room


With the shuttlecraft having departed sometime ago, Captain Barret Stillwater was left with a depleted amount of his Senior Staff. His First Officer and Second Officer were en route through the asteroid field via shuttle. Their Chief Operations Officer accompanying them along with the ship's Chief Medical Officer; however, this would not prevent Stillwater from staying active and being determined. He had summoned several members of his crew to the Briefing Room.

The others had already arrived by the time Stillwater did. Chain of Command had left his husband, Talarn Zilth as Acting First Officer. "Evening," he said to members of the crew. Captain Barret Stillwater fetched himself a mug of tea from the replicator before taking a seat.

"You all are up to speed on what's been going on. We received a transmission that may be a distress signal coming from within or past this large asteroid field, remnants of the Romulan Star Empire."

T’Lanna was sitting holding a mug of hot chocolate which she was blowing cool, she’d forgotten to state a temperature so it had replicated rather hot, not that she minded. It lasted longer that way. She sipped it before putting the mug down to let it cool. “Do we know any more at all, Sir?”

Stillwater gestured at Adrianna Baciami. "Fortunately, Petty Officer Baciami is proficient in decryption and was able to help us determine it was not a normal modern Romulan signal from refugees," stated the Captain. "However, it may have been a more selective transmission. Commander Soral was able to pick bits and pieces of it, but there's still a lot of unknowns," added Stillwater.

T’Lanna nodded and sat back in her seat, something was tickling the fringes of her senses enough for her to let her mental barriers down to see what it was. A sudden feeling of being trapped, or enclosed, crept into her mind, letting her senses explore further. She felt despair, a feeling of loss, fear, horror and a whole jumble more. Yet somehow it felt unreal, almost hazy, obscured in a fog that she didn’t understand. The last time she’d felt anything like it was at the site of a recent disaster aboard a previous ship, emotions left by the tragedy had hung in the air like a blanket and it hurt just to be there. Sitting there she was lost in a world of her own, not hearing anything else that was said in the room.

Captain Stillwater had noticed the expression of some discomfort on the woman's face. He immediately looked across the table to Doctor Alexander in a non verbal exchange to see if he was showing similar signs of concern.

Jarin noticed the Captains look and the obvious issues that T'Lanna was having and decided not to act but to keep an eye on the Lieutenant, if anything he figured she would give him a sign that she needed help.

"We are at an impasse though," Stillwater continued. "That asteroid field is too dense, the asteroids themselves too large for our deflectors to handle, and though the Standing Bear is small; A shuttle was more adaptable to navigating through it."

Adrianna offered, "Those actually navigating it will be fine. I'm sure that we can find away to assist if we need to."

T’Lanna snapped out of her daydream as the emotions she was sensing were starting to get to her, snapping up her mental defences she shook it off and looked at Barret as though nothing had happened. “I’m sorry I err... zoned out a moment there, did I miss anything?”

"Not entirely," replied Stillwater. "Maybe you should have Doctor Alexander walk you down to Sickbay after. You aren't looking so well," noted the Captain.

T’Lanna shook her head. “There’s no need Captain, I’m fine.” She offered an unconvincing smile.

"I think that might be a good idea Lieutenant" Doctor Alexander suggested.

Captain Stillwater looked at Eyelaya. "Our deflector dish isn't powerful enough to clear us through safely with an asteroid field that dense and asteroids that large. Is that a fair assessment?"

"That's pretty much it. We'd have to shrink ourselves pretty small to get the Fontan... Standing Bear inside,” she said.

"I don't suppose we have anything marked 'eat me' or 'drink me' around here to make us any smaller. The deflector is at its capacity, but I'm thinking if we can't get any smaller that we may be able to make the asteroids themselves smaller."

Adrianna couldn't help but snort at the Alice in Wonderland reference. It had been her favourite book as a child.

Talarn leaned back from the table, his eyes seeking Barrett’s. “We could... shoot them.” He knew it didn’t sound like the best idea, but his plan was bigger than that. “Hear me out... if we carefully blast them into smaller pieces, then the deflector can handle it.”

It intrigued Stillwater. "So, essentially a mining operations. We blast them into smaller more manageable pieces."

T’Lanna sat trying to pay attention, but the sensations she was getting were threatening to crash in on her mind. The sensations were strong one minute and lessened off the next. She pushed her seat out and stood up. “I’m sorry, Captain, I need some fresh air, I’ll be right back.” She quickly headed out of the door pausing outside to lean against the wall.

The Captain nodded. He tried to hide his concern for the woman, but it was still etched on his face.

Jarin gave the Captain a slight nod and got up and followed T'Lanna to make sure she was okay.

Outside the room T’Lanna was trying to get an emotional ‘grip’ it was proving difficult at best. She looked towards the doors as Jarin stepped out.

"Everything okay?" Jarin asked with a concerned tone.

“I... I’m fine.” It was a lie and she knew Jarin wouldn’t accept it. “It’s just I... I hear voices, feel emotions that aren’t coming from the crew, feel...” She paused and took a deep breath. “I can’t switch them off.”

"Perhaps we should make a visit to sickbay Lieutenant?" the doctor was quite concerned for T'Lanna.

T’Lanna shook her head. “I’m not going to Sickbay, not now.” She took a deep breath. “We need to get back to the meeting.” With that she headed back into the room.

Eyelaya waited until the counselor was out. "She's feeling the images... Soral had the same when he came down to engineering to pick up a barrier shield for the shuttle," she said, not aware that Soral hadn't told Stillwater about that.

"I don't believe in omens, but I do believe, perhaps then, that we should have concern?" Adrianna half asked.

Captain Stillwater looked at Eyelaya and then at his Chief of Intelligence. "My ancestors believed strongly in nature, in listening to and being open to the spirits. It may be prudent that we proceed with caution."

Just then the doors reopened and T’Lanna returned to the room looking somewhat more composed than she had when she went out. “My apologies.” She took her seat and sat quiet.

"That's alright, T'Lanna," Stillwater replied. "Though we were just talking about you. Apparently Soral was affected by something as well. Are you sensing something?"

Jarin still thought she should be checked out in sickbay and made his way back into the room just moments after the Lieutenant and took his seat.

T’Lanna nodded as she looked up at Stillwater. “It’s err... I feel emotions and hear voices.” She frowned as she tried to put it all into words. “A feeling of being trapped, or... enclosed. Such despair!” Her eyes were tearing up just talking about it. “Loss, fear, horror...” She stopped talking and took a very deep breath wiping the tears away. “It feels real and yet unreal, hazy, like something covered in fog!” She reigned in the need to cry. “The last time I felt anything like this was at the site of a disaster, the remnants of the emotions of the deceased. It was overwhelming then and this is so much stronger! I’m having trouble shutting it out.”

Eyelaya waited until T'Lanna was seated and then she placed a comforting hand on T'Lanna. "I may be able to help." She looked at both the Vulcan and the Stillwater. "Actually seeing is that we have Vulcans and Betazoids on this ship I have a suggestion."

T’Lanna looked at Eyelaya curiously. “Which is?”

“A telepathic inhibitor. I have a few... we'd need to work with Medical to make more and to calibrate, but it would allow you to receive the imprints but not be as affected by them."

T’Lanna massaged her temples before nodding. “Under normal circumstances I’d refuse point blank, but right now....” She nodded. “It’s an acceptable offer.”

Stillwater nodded. "Under normal circumstances, I, as Captain, would agree as well. These are, however, abnormal circumstances and I hate putting you at risk, Lieutenant," he said to T'Lanna. "But whether you are just feeling echoes of the billions of lives lost when the Romulan star erupted, or if it is something else, your abilities right now are more adept than our sensors. Nullifying or numbing your abilities right now would render us blind."

T’Lanna nodded as she looked at Stillwater. “I understand, Sir. I’ll do my best. A short period of meditation might help if I can meditate to start with given what I’m sensing.” She took a deep breath. “Don’t be surprised if I start acting a little jumpy, hearing voices that aren’t there has that effect.” She offered a small smile.

"Still, we should be able to find away to give you a bit of relief." Stillwater looked at Doctor Alexander. "Can we take a reasonable approach. Instead of completely blocking her senses, could we go at with a diminished inhibitor, like localized anesthesia?"

"When I get back to sickbay I'll come up with the best course of action, perhaps the Lieutenant can help?" he looked from the Captain to T'Lanna.

T’Lanna nodded. “We could still ... use an inhibitor, just set it at a lower level.” She frowned she had a thumping headache thanks to the sheer volume of what she was picking up on. “Just ... tone it down enough for me to function normally.”

"Whatever constitutes as normal out here," replied Stillwater. "Eyelaya, work with Lieutenant Zilth on our targeting sensors. I want to increase precision if we are going to be surgically blasting."

"Yes, sir." She grinned at Zilth happy to work with her friend.

The Captain then looked at Baciami. "I want Intelligence continuing to work on decoding and deciphering that transmission. There may be more to it than we know this far."

Baciami nodded, "of course, sir. Not a fan of not knowing."

Stillwater began to rise from his seat. "You know the plan, you know what we are doing, and now we will try to get ourselves a bit deeper to get answers. Dismissed."

He wasn't sure what those answers would be, but being this close to what was left of Romulus and other worlds of the former Star Empire had been weighing on him. The Federation could have done more. They should have done more, but politics and optics had gotten in the way.



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