The Search for Soral
Posted on Saturday, 12 February 2022 - 11:12am by Captain Pippa Whitley & Lieutenant T'Lanna Vali & Lieutenant K'Var & Lieutenant JG Adrianna Eberhardt & Lieutenant JG Ethan Connelly
Mission: Operation: Crimson Kaleidoscope
The pursuit of the other Soral had lead Captain Whitley and the starship Standing Bear deep into old Romulan space, deeper than most Federation starships had been for quite some time though the Standing Bear had been there before a few months back. Whitley sat in the Captain's chair as the ship searched.
Nearby, Lieutenant Connelly was drowning in a sea of data not just from the ship's onboard sensors but also from probes deployed to expand the search beyond normal range. Mapping out any anomalies, looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack amongst the ruins of the Romulan Empire. One may pause to consider the downfall of a powerful civilisation which was left trying to rebuild what little they had while a vast number of survivors resided within the territory of one of their oldest enemies. Vast numbers, yet not enough.
He was old enough to remember the fallout within the Federation when the evacuation finally received the go ahead. News channels full of stories of members threatening to abandon the Federation to join other alliances or simply become independent. And then, of course, Mars happened and what had been a genuine desire on those behind the evacuation efforts to do good regardless of history fell apart at the seems. Virtually overnight Starfleet found themselves damned for trying and damned for giving up.
Few people knew of how differently things might have been had the Romulans not held on to their valued privacy and secrecy until the last. Would it have made a difference? Maybe, maybe not.
As it was, Ethan Connelly did not have time to ponder such things. Not today.
With the aide of the slipstream drive the Standing Bear had made up for a lot of lost time, yet they were still chasing. Searching. With such limited eyes and ears - so to speak - in this area, it made the task harder. And there was so much debris that some areas were too dangerous to venture into. Probes, on the other hand, were perfect.
It was as he surveyed one field of debris that it suddenly struck him. Leaning forward, he enhanced the rendered image and did the calculation in his head. "There's a path," he said aloud, more to himself than in expectation of a reply. Turning the full attention of the ship's sensors on that area, a slow smile spread across his face, "I think I have something, Captain!"
Captain Pippa Whitley looked to their side, seated beside them was their Acting First Officer, Lieutenant Vali. "The sound of excitement from a science officer does not get old," commented Pippa.
T’Lanna wasn’t used to sitting in the First Officer spot, to be in such a position for the first time was proving somewhat nerve wracking, not that she let it show. “It’s certainly good to hear Captain.”
"Go ahead, Lieutenant," Pippa replied, directing the response to Connelly. "What is it?" inquired the Captain.
"There is a break in the debris field up ahead, but it is to uniform to be natural drift," Ethan explained as he called up the data on the main viewscreen, "enough space for a shuttle or small ship to pass through. It'll be a tight squeeze for us, we may take some minor damage. But once we clear the debris field..."
We will have them thought Pippa, tightening their grip on the armrests of the Captain's chair.
He paused as the image on the screen shifted, showing what seemed almost like a crack on a wall, albeit one invisible to the naked eye. "It's a tear in subspace," Ethan went on. "Although I'd say not naturally occurring. I'm also detecting low levels of Tetryon radiation, nothing harmful and we can adjust shields to compensate. There is, however, also quite significant levels of Chroniton particles being emitted."
It was a hot lead. They were practically right on the trail of the other Soral, and all that was standing in their way was a tight squeeze through a debris field, tight even for the Standing Bear, but doable. "Number One?" Whitley said looking to Vali for something encouragement? support? confirmation? Pippa was not even sure what they were looking for, but they did not want to jump off the edge without seeking a second approval.
T’Lanna looked towards Pippa. “If that’s where the other Soral has taken Alex, then it has to be worth the risk Captain.”
Ethan certainly couldn't argue with that, even as a newcomer to this group he shared their desire to bring an end to this situation and get back their science officer. The decision, however, was the captain's.
"Lieutenant K'Var," Pippa called out from the Captains chair. "As Acting Second Officer do you concur?" Pippa was fairly certain that they knew what the Caitian's response would be, but in addition to temporarily being Second Officer, the safety and security of ship and crew were at K'Var's forefront.
"I do Captain" K'Var paused and looked up from her console and the sensor data "however I think we should proceed with extreme caution."
Pippa was in agreement with that. "Yellow alert, Lieutenant K'Var," replied the Captain. "Shields up" added Pippa.
Acting on the Captains orders the Caitian Tactical Officer raised the shields and put the ships status on yellow alert. Yellow indicators started flashing around the bridge and the entire ship, letting the crew know o be prepared.
Whitley cleared their throat. "Petty Officer," the Captain said to the man currently at the helm's flight controls. "You may take a stroll to the mess," the Captain said. It was Pippa's way to gently relieve the man for his station, not quite trusting of a younger Non-com at the flight controls for such a risky flight path. "This requires someone with the right reckless attitude, and steel lined nerves. Lieutenant Eberhardt, the helm please."
Adrianna raised a brow to the captain. Of all the things she'd been called, she had not considered them a positive thing up until this point. "Open to having a death wish, captain?" Adrianna half teased.
T’Lanna grinned as she looked towards Adrianna, before looking at Pippa waiting to see what she’d say in response.
"Lesson one for those of you looking at switching to the command track," Pippa premised. "One does not become the Commanding Officer of a starship without a death with. Now, proceed, Lieutenant. One quarter impulse, no need to be a bull in a China shop."
Adrianna smirked and took a seat, "Andiamo!" The Italian did as told. Gawd, he'd wanted to fly this thing for a long time.
"Make it so," said Pippa as they grabbed the armrests. With Lieutenant Eberhardt at the helm, it was certainly a coin toss on how smoothly the flight would be. Fortunately, the Standing Bear was not a fighter. Otherwise, the Lieutenant would have likely had them all barreling around.