Strange on the Horizon
Operation: My Unfair Lady
Location: Beta Antares Shipyards | Conference Room
Captain Pippa Whitley assembled the skeletal senior staff that they were able to pull in on short notice, Lieutenant T'Lanna Vali was continuing to serve as Acting First Officer while Commander Soral and Lieutenant Alex Kingsley continued on the road to recovery and healing, physically, emotionally, and deeply on a psychological level. Several other members of the Captain's innermost circle had been off enjoy their extended leave time while Pippa spent their own in rooms with admiral after admiral and encircled by swarms of engineering teams poking and prodding about the starship that Captain Whitley and crew had brought through from another universe.
The starship in question, the Finney had been taken to the Beta Antares Shipyards to be studied and analyzed, thoroughly investigated system by system in what was turning out to be a months long process. Pippa could not help but draw comparisons to the mythos and air of mystery from Earth's Area 51 from centuries ago. Captain Whitley had walked into the room with a PaDD in hand where her officers had settled in. Pippa sat the PaDD down on the table and ordered a warm aromatic mug of Lady Grey tea latte and took a seat at the head of the table.
"Thank you all for coming on short notice," the Captain said addressing them all. "The Beta Antares scientist and engineers are not quite done picking the starship apart, but I have been told by Rear Admiral Bennett that they will begin putting the ship back together in the next few days. There have been some strange discoveries made aboard and some of the technology that the starship is equipped with will continue to be studied, but Starfleet Command has agreed with my request to assume command of the starship with the crew from the Standing Bear."
“That’s good news Captain” T’Lanna smiled. “With your permission may I make some suggestions regarding the planning of facilities for families onboard ship?”
"Of course, T'Lanna," Pippa replied. "There appears to be the space for families aboard. I'm open to your suggestions."
T’Lanna smiled warmly. “Thank you Captain.”
"Lieutenant Connelly," Pippa said calling upon the man who was still Acting Chief Science Officer. "The science laboratories aboard the starship were housing over a dozen active experiments, the science logs themselves will take months to get through. I do not know if I can truly call the science officers from the other universe scientists from what I have read. They experimented on lifeforms and had been keeping some captive at the time we boarded it after the Borg attack."
Pippa picked up the PaDD and shook their head glancing through the information. "Experiment 626," Whitley announced "One of the ones that was still captive aboard. It has been described as a gelatinous form of life... a formless, fluid-like species. It apparently can survive the vacuum of space itself, presently considered indestructible."
"Indestructible?" the science officer repeated with a raised eyebrow, pondering exactly how that theory had been tested. He quickly decided it was best not to dwell on that line of thought. "I will be sure to examine the data and see if we can discover anything else about 626. And perhaps think of a name. 626 seems too... clinical."
Perhaps pessimistic, but Adrianna had to bring the idea to the table, "anything or anyone considered indestructible can be weaponised or villianised. We need a fail safe in case."
“We could always beam it off the ship if there is any real danger,” Connelly suggested. “Besides, nothing can be truly indestructible. Although I imagine the people in the mirror universe gave it a good shot.”
Captain Whitley nodded. "They wanted to remove it from the ship for further study, but I have arranged for it to remain aboard. Lieutenant Connelly, you'll oversee the studying of 626...or whatever you name it. Though I want you to confer with Lieutenant Kingsley remotely. "
“Of course,” he conceded with a nod.
"Adrianna," Pippa said looking to the Chief Intelligence Officer. "This starship has been to dozens, hundreds of planets that we have not charted. I want you to work your way through their logs from these worlds. There were species on there that I've never heard of, perhaps ones that don't exist in our universe."
Adrianna nodded, "I will do."
"Doctor Selin, Sickbay aboard this starship is much larger. You'll have a lot more space to work with which means additional medical personnel."
"That will certainly be a positive Captain. With all the different testing they did, the equipment will need to be closely inspected to ensure safety, but I see no issue seeing to those inspections in a timely manner.
"Lieutenant Vali and I are scheduled to have a more in depth mission briefing later this evening, but we have been cleared to take the starship Finney out on a shakedown mission to Cardassian space. I have put in a formal request that has been supported by Admiralty to have the Finney rechristened The USS Standing Bear which should be in effect by the time we disembark."
Pippa turned things over to the Chief Intelligence Officer. "Adrianna, if you don't mind, I yield the floor to you. What is the current sociopolitical environment on Cardassia?"
Adrianna nodded and addressed the room, scrolling through a PaDD with notes on for her own benefit, "as a whole, the cardassian colonies and the outer worlds are being harassed and attacked. Most recently, an attack cost a small village. Completely decimated. In the remaining areas, violence, and crime in general, is up. It is tearing through homes, affecting thousands. It's not safe on the streets. I would prefer to return home to Roma as myself, than walk through those streets as a cardassian. To further the issues, the Castellan, their elected leader, has been personally targeted. They are fine, but are very much shaken up. A group has claimed responsibility. They call themselves the Obsidian Guard. There is speculation that the Obsidian Guard may be an instigator in the spike in crime rates. A cat amongst the pigeons or perhaps a wolf in sheep's clothing. By causing chaos, the like of security teams re stretched thinly."
Pippa let out a small yet auditable sigh. "Lieutenant Vali, we'll learn more about this Obsidian Guard this evening, but anything Obsidian has never been good news for Cardassia," stated Pippa.
“Understood Captain” T’Lanna nodded. “I’ll be interested to learn more about them.”
"Lieutenant Eberhardt, would your family happen to have any past dealings with ex members of the Obsidian Order?" Pippa inquired. "This new Obsidian Guard appears to care a lot less about discretion and more about causing terror, but I suspect some old members of the Order have their hand in the Guard. Your family may have contacts that extend beyond what our Intelligence can reach."
Adrianna shifted uncomfortably. There was a contact, one she knew rather well, too well. She'd dated him... Well, used him. "I won't have a need to contact my family. The last time I spoke to that person, they were heading for the order."
"Very well," replied Pippa. "Recent technical confirm what I had suspected, the starship is equipped with cloaking technology though until we have a better understanding on how that works, Starfleet Command and Starfleet Engineering have requested that we do not use it, especially given Treaty of Algeron's status is still murky at best" explained the Captain.
Pippa looked to Doctor Selin "Doctor, after you have Sickbay up and running, I would like you to work closely with Lieutenant Connelly. The...creature, experiment 626. We know very little about it, but recent reports were that it had begun to look different, possibly unwell. I would like for the two of you to learn more about it and nurse it back to health if possible."
“Of course,” Connelly nodded, glancing at the doctor, “I am sure nothing could go wrong.”
Selin raised one graceful eyebrow. "Indeed." She commented with all the stoicism her race was known for, but the barest trace of a raised lip on one side of her mouth broke the otherwise perfect facade. She turned her attention to the Captain. "We will see what can be done with 626."
"Then we will do what is required to get this ship ready, crewed, and standing by" quipped Pippa. The Captain gave a nod. "I would recommend that everyone brush up on their Cardassian language and culture. If Starfleet Command is sending us that way, we will likely be there awhile."
Pippa looked around the table and wish a sharp nod, concluded the quick briefing. There was a lot to do, and Pippa needed to brush up.on theur own Cardassian culture. It had been a while since they had dealings with them.