Posted on Sunday, 5 September 2021 - 2:33pm by Commander Soral & Captain Barret Stillwater & Lieutenant Alex Kingsley & Lieutenant JG Adrianna Eberhardt
Location: USS Standing Bear | Deck 01 | Bridge
Timeline: MD 10 |2394
The night watch was hardly anything to write home about, but with the recent blitz attack on the USS Standing Bear, the death of some lower decks crew, and Lieutenant T'Lanna Vali in decontamination and under Doctor Rose's observation as she undergoes treatment for Trellium-D radiation exposure and synaptic repairment, there was plenty for the night watch to be concerned about. Captain Stillwater had opted not to sideline his Chief Operations Officer, though Lieutenant Kolani's significant other was fighting to regain her sanity and recovering from radiation poisoning, Barret believed in the man. There was nothing Raith could really do for T'Lanna except his duties aboard the starship and to be a good parent.
Lieutenant Kingsley's most recent volley of probes had transmitted back some strange readings worth investigating. Following his instincts and training, the lieutenant informed the Captain before setting course for an asteroid field where the abnormal readings were emanating from. Raith was under orders to keep Stillwater updated if anything peculiar came about. The starship had come to a full stop and yellow alert conditions were activated.
"Should I wake the command crew?" Lieutenant Jodon Joral asked from the science station on the bridge.
***A few minutes later***
It was the wee hours of the 'morning' just a couple shy of the next shift change, but Captain Barret Stillwater, Commander Soral, and Lieutenant Kingsley had all been woken from their sleep. The Captain was first to arrive, exiting the lift with a mug of tea in his hands, the steam still rising from the freshly replicated mug. His eyes immediately locked onto the main viewscreen. That is not something you see every day he thought as he made his way down to his Captain's chair.
Lieutenant Kolani had vacated the seat and relieved the woman who had been seated at the Ops station. "Is that what I think it is?" asked Captain Stillwater as he studied the image on the viewscreen. It was a ship of some sort at least part of a ship, but it was imbedded into the surface of a large asteroid.
"Some sort of ship, Captain," replied Lieutenant Joral from the science station, waiting for the Chief Science Officer to arrive to take over the station. "Whoever's ship that was, they didn't win the battle with that asteroid belt. That wreckage has been there for a while."
Soral hadn't been asleep. He'd been meditating. His latest expenditure of energy had left him depleted and mentally drained. He'd crept out of bed when Alex had fallen asleep and had been on the meditation pillow with Bones sitting watch. The tiny dog was his meditation companion every time.
Lieutenant Kingsley had groaned as the summons came through, kicking off the bedsheets as she hauled herself out of bed and half walked, half stumbled towards her wardrobe to snag a fresh uniform and it took several seconds too long to realise she had grabbed Soral’s instead. Returning if, she picked out her own and quickly changed. A few seconds to splash some ice cold water on her face and she was at least fifty percent awake by the time she was tugging on her boots and fighting with her hair to hastily braid it while she walked.
“Coffee. Strong coffee,” she ordered from the replicator before heading for the door, “ready?”
"Not particularly but it is a necessity." He said dropping a kiss on the top of her head as they headed towards the bridge.
Stillwater nodded and turned to the young man standing where his husband usually was, but not at this hour. "Wake Petty Officer Eberhardt, I want to know more about that ship."
Adrianna’s slumber was quickly interrupted. She looked to Leopold, and quickly got up. True to form, her standard didn't kick in, so was grateful for the delayed translator when she acknowledged her attendance. She quickly pulled on her uniform noting it was getting a little tight and wandered down to see the captain, a portable cup of string coffee in hand to try and inspire her brain cells to let her mind operate in something other than her native tongue.
When the Chief of Intelligence arrived, Stillwater gestured to the viewscreen. "Sorry to wake you, but I want to know who the hell that belongs to," Stillwater said. He wanted to make the most of having the woman on his bridge before she needed maternity leave.
Adrianna tapped her finger on the coffee cup to point out the need to wake up still. The woman switched on her translator and looked out to the ship on screen. She raised her brows impressed at what was before her.
After a few seconds of speaking the computer caught up with translating, "if I'm not mistaken, that is a smuggler's ship. We used to use similar styles for getting past security. This kind, you'll find tended to have Starfleet specific stuff on them for black market trade. So, weapons mainly, but could also be medical gear or some stuff that even Starfleet ships barely get a look in on. See, they look like ours, so Starfleet shrugs them off, but they're not."
Soral looked at Stillwater. "Away team?"
The Captain looked at his First Officer and nodded. "I'm thinking so, Number One," Barret replied. "Not exactly a ship in distress anymore. It's been there for..." Stillwater could not even begin to estimate. At least not visually.
Lieutenant Jodon Joral had stepped away from the science station, surrendering it over to Kingsley. "Initial scans would seem to indicate at least a few years, Sir," the Trill said. "We can send an away team, but I would not advise trying to use transporters. There's too much interference from the diverse alloy compositions of this asteroid field, and something about that ship's hull is making it difficult to get an accurate reading."
The officer at the tactical station seemed to be in agreement. "You'll have to take a shuttle. There are fractures in the ship's hull, likely from impact. I'm still detecting low levels of power from parts of the vessel, the hull fractures have definitely compromised environmental conditions aboard" reported the tactical officer.
Stillwater nodded at Soral. "If that was a smuggler's ship as Petty Officer Eberhardt has surmised, there may be of something of value aboard. At the very least we owe it to the families of those deceased aboard to recover the ship's logs if there are any. Commander, take a small EV suited away team and a shuttle."
A small clearing of the throat drew Stillwater's attention to the Ops station. "Lieutenant Kolani?" asked Stillwater. Apparently, there was something of importance and interest as Stillwater listened to the man report, they were going to have company soon. The USS Klamath was on its way to the Standing Bear's coordinates.
"Lieutenant Kolani, respond to the Klamath. Send our sincerest gratitude to Captain D'Hoffryn, but tell them not to high warp it here. I hear those California classes fall apart easily," teased Stillwater. He turned his attention back to Soral. "Better make haste Soral, the Klamath will be here in a few hours...sooner of Captain D'Hoffryn's reputation is anything to go by."
Soral gave a nod. "Lieutenant Kingsley, Mac, Hamura, you're with me." He looked up at Biacami. "Feel like joining us?"
Adrianna nodded and shrugged, "might be worth me going. I used to work on ships like it. I know where they hide the good stuff."
"Everyone meet up in the shuttle bay in thirty minutes." Soral excused himself to go check on Oriana and ensure she was alright. He knew that Hamura was worried but that they needed time to process that worry.
“Half an hour,” Alex agreed with a nod, certain she could fit a lot of coffee into that time.
"Be careful," Stillwater cautioned. "That Klingon bird-of-prey is still lurking about" the Captain reminded Soral.
"Understood sir," He looked at the team. "Half an hour, that means 30 minutes not 31 one." With that he walked away to the turbo lift to prepare.