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Decimation at the Doorstep

Posted on Friday, 25 February 2022 - 2:08am by Captain Pippa Whitley & Lieutenant T'Lanna Vali & Lieutenant K'Var & Lieutenant JG Adrianna Eberhardt & Lieutenant JG Ethan Connelly

Mission: Operation: Crimson Kaleidoscope
Location: USS Standing Bear | Deck 01 | Bridge

As the USS Standing Bear entered through the spacial rift that had seemingly been opened by the mirror Soral or perhaps Kingsley, Captain Whitley could not rule out that the woman may have been the cause of the tearing. If anyone had the know how on how to do such a thing, the Chief Science Officer certainly was not one to discredit. What was on the other side had Captain Whitley immediately spring to their feet and stare at the view screen. There was something ahead and a lot of it, but an asteroid field it was not. "Enhance view screen," the Captain said nearly gasping.

“Aye Captain,” Petty Officer Ilian answered, working quickly to adjust the image.

It was a debris field, but more than that it was debris from more than one starship. There had to be parts and pieces from several. A grimace came across Whitley's face as a chill went down their spine. Bodies. There were bodies in the debris field, souls that had been pulled out into space with explosive force undoubtedly. They were dead, dead before they hit space.

Survivors? Unlikely, not with the amount of small fragments of starships.There barely looked to be anything larger than a shuttle or runabout left. These were pieces of starships that had been torn apart like flesh in a shark feeding frenzy. "Scan....scan..." Pippa took a deep shaking inhale. Collect yourself the Captain thought to themself. They need you as Captain right now. "Scan for survivors," Pippa elaborated, swallowing hard afterward.

From the nearby science station, Lieutenant Connelly shook his head as she tried to sort through the massive volume of data, searching for any life signs. “None that I can detect, Captain,” he reported, “but I’ll extend our search - perhaps escape pods made it out?”

"Hopefully," Pippa replied though by the looks of it, that seemed unlikely - launched escape pods, yes, but Pippa did not suspect that whoever or whatever was responsible for the decimation would have permitted the pods to perform their desired function of allowing survivors to escape. "Lieutenant Eberhardt, bring us in closer to that debris field. I want a closer look at it" Captain Whitley said to the woman manning the flight controls.

Adrianna looked to the captain, she was reluctant. Up to this point, it had been a joy ride, beyond it would verge on suicide. "All due respect, captain, that may not be a good idea," she relayed back before looking back to the screen, edging in anyway.

"Your caution is noted, Lieutenant, but we aren't going to get answers from afar," Pippa replied. "Not with these half Efrosian eyes" added Pippa.

"Lieutenant Connelly," Pippa called out. Pippa caught sight of some sort of emblem or sigil on a piece of starship, but it was scorched and only part of them symbol. The Captain did not recognize the symbol at all, it was foreign to the Captain. "Can we tractor that piece of debris aboard?"

Ethan eyed the fragment and gave a brief nod, “we can - any particular reason, Captain?”

T’Lanna looked towards Connelly. “I believe it would give us an idea who, or what did this Lieutenant.” She looked towards Pippa.

"Exactly," Pippa confirmed. "I don't recognize that symbol, it looks vaguely Federation, but not ours. Aside from trying to identify the symbol that piece has scorch marks. Getting a closer look and examining that with a tricorder may help us identify the ship it came from at least what the hull was comprised of, and Lieutenant K'Var may be able to inform us what sort of weapon caused the damage, phaser, disruptor, or something else."

T’Lanna looked towards Ethan. “Let’s get a piece aboard Lieutenant, the sooner we have it the sooner we can get some answers.”

“Of course,” Connelly said, turning to his task.

Pippa had given a nod to Lieutenant K'Var to indicate that Pippa wanted them to head down to where the piece of debris would be taken in, and start inspecting it. "See what you can find out, Lieutenant."

"Yes sir" K'Var gave a nod and signaled for a replacement Tactical Officer to join them on the bridge. There was no way the Lieutenant was leaving the station on manned in their current situation.

"We can't stop and smell the roses for long," Pippa added. "We need to track down the other Soral while the trail is hot. My guess is that he's either gone through this debris field to present an obstacle for us, or they are hiding among the debris. Either way, let's get back on the trail."

“Captain” T’Lanna looked towards Pippa. “Seeing as we don’t know what’s waiting for us, might I suggest we go temporarily to red alert? I’d rather not be caught out if the other Soral is waiting for us.”

"I'd normally proceed at yellow alert in situations like this, but you have a valid point. We are looking for Soral, and he has the upper hand on us. Before Lieutenant K'Var left, Pippa clarified. "Go to red alert, and hold your post. Belay my previous order, and have MacKenzie and Hernandez deal with the debris identification."

Pippa was impressed with T'Lanna. She was shaping up to be beneficial as Acting First Officer, catching Pippa where they were faltering.

"Red Alert" the tactical chief repeated and the bridge lights dimmed, instantly the flashing red indicators activated and the entire ship would be at the highest alert.

“Captain,” Connelly spoke up, barely affording the time to look up from his monitors. “There is an energy signature, not our shuttle, but definitely a ship of some sort was here. Nothing on long range sensors that I can see and the readings are dissipating. I can send helm the coordinates.”

Pippa Whitley had to make the decision then and there. If they waited too long to discuss options and weigh the choice, that trail would be null and void. "Do it," Pippa said to Connelly.

“Aye Captain,” Ethan nodded.

"Adrianna," Whitley said sternly. "Stay on it, and don't let up. Get us through this damn debris field ASAP. If Ops needs to reallocate power for shields, so be it. We're not letting him escape us."

Adrianna nodded and quickly, and somewhat recklessly-like started navigating at speed as best she could. The woman managed to avoid a lot, but it was safe to say that the ship would require a fresh coat of paint.

“Captain?” a quiet voice piped up from Ops. Wishing it didn’t feel like all eyes were upon her, Siana cleared her throat, “if it isn’t our shuttle, how do we know this ship is the one we need to follow?”

"There's always a bit of a gamble...uncertainty," replied Pippa

“While it is a valid point,” Connelly admitted, turning away from his station to face the rest of the Bridge crew, “I’m about ninety percent certain we want that specific ship.”

“Why?” Siana asked before anyone else did.

“Because someone,” Ethan grinned, “is sending out a signal, in old Morse Code. It’s hidden in minor fluctuations in the energy readings but it is repeating. It’s an SOS, Captain.”

“An SOS!” T’Lanna smiled. “It has to be Lieutenant Kingsley Captain. The other Soral may be trying to have his Alexandra take over ours, but she’s still in there and right now she wants us to find her!”

"Ethan, coordinates," Pippa replied swiftly. "Relay them to helm. Lieutenant Eberhardt, get us clear of those debris and get us closer to those coordinates."

“Aye Captain,” Ethan confirmed, forwarding details to the helm, “all yours, Lieutenant.”

Adrianna quickly glanced at the coordinates before actioning them. The Italian was quick and nimble about it, but a few close calls were had. Before long, they were hot on the trail. "Hang on, Alex," she said quietly to herself.

The USS Standing Bear headed to investigate the SOS.


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