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Traces

Posted on Fri Dec 27th, 2019 @ 4:54pm by Captain Osegan Trenna & Ensign Geoff Martinsen & Lieutenant Commander Arthur Talbot & Lieutenant Commander Jonathan Batchelder & Lieutenant Alan Pierce & Lieutenant JG Evaad Hessen & Ensign Calvin Nash & Ensign Tirjan Enar

Mission: Searching for the Lost
Location: Bridge
Timeline: Mission Day 5 at 0530

Geoff had switched shifts with Lieutenant Gnula so that he could be on duty when the Altai was slated to arrive in the Alpha Remidian system. As a result, he'd been at the helm for going on sixteen of the last twenty-four hours.

Originally, they would have already dropped out of warp and been on approach, but a series of subspace eddies had caused him to make a course adjustment that had added a bit more than two hours to the trip. The benefit was that their arrival wasn't happening in the middle of most people's sleep cycle; though early, it was a much more reasonable time than 0300.

"We're coming up on Alpha Remidian," he reported to the duty officer.

"Drop us out of warp, Ensign," the Bolian Lieutenant instructed.

Geoff complied. Over his shoulder, he heard the Bolian tapping on the console at the command chair. "Bridge to Osegan. We've arrived at the Alpha Remidian system."

It took a second before the Captain responded. "Thank you, Lieutenant," she said, the sleepiness noticeable in her voice. "Drop out of warp and start looking for any comm signals in the area. Also, wake up the rest of the senior staff. I'll be up there shortly. Osegan out."

The Bolian duty officer ordered the Ensign at Ops to monitor the comm channels for anything. He then contacted the remainder of the senior staff and instructed them to report to duty.

[XO's Cabin]

Artie was already awake, beginning his morning routine. He had just gotten out of the shower when the summon to duty came through. "So much for breakfast tea," he muttered as he quickly dried off. Artie dressed in record time and made a beeline to the bridge.

[Bridge]

Geoff had brought the Altai to one-quarter impulse. Ops was looking for comm traffic, to no avail thus far. Lieutenant Alnix was still in the command chair since the Captain had yet to arrive.

"Find anything yet?" Trenna inquired, stepping onto the Bridge.

Geoff looked over his shoulder at the Bajoran woman and was impressed that she looked so good given that she was just getting woken up less than fifteen minutes prior.

"Not yet," the dark-haired female Human at Ops answered. "Nothing unusual, at least."

"I don't know that we'll get anything strange on comms," Osegan said, crossing to the small replicator near her office door. "But we might be able to get a clue of where the team is. This is a big system and time is of the essence." She looked down at the display above the replicator. "Mocha with an extra shot of espresso. Cream, not milk. Extra hot." While the drink shimmered into existence, Trenna continued talking to Ops. "So any help in nailing down which planet they might be on would be great." She picked up the cup and made her way to her chair. "Let me know what you find."

She smiled at Alnix. "I got it from here, Lieutenant."

"I'm happy to remain to assist as needed," the Bolian man informed her.

"I appreciate that. How about you go grab something to eat and a nap and check back in?"

Alnix dipped his head and left the Bridge.

Where is my senior staff?, she wondered.

As if the Captain's thoughts were a magical cue, Artie stepped onto the bridge with a hot travel mug of English Breakfast tea in his left hand. He sipped the elixir as he crossed the bridge to his seat. "We made better time than expected," he remarked. "Have we heard anything yet?"

"Doesn't seem so," Trenna replied, enjoying the warm mug in her hands. "Probes?"

Artie considered the question for a moment. "Knowing that the previous rescue attempt encountered some trouble, it wouldn't hurt to have a set of eyes in front of us. I could have Ops prepare a series of Class Four Stellar Encounter probes. Their sensors would be sufficient enough to pick up any sort of distortions that could hit us last minute."

She concurred with a simple nod before taking another sip of her mocha. "Up for a little bit of work, Ensign?"

Geoff turned around. "Me, ma'am? Of course." He knew it was only half accurate; he didn't mind working, but he rarely volunteered for things without knowing what he was signing up for.

"Coordinate with the science department to help determine the most likely exploratory path of the team."

Science? "Yes, Captain," he offered. He rose from his chair and started towards the turbolift. Promptly, a Saurian he didn't recognize assumed his console. Science? he thought again. He wasn't a scientist. Not really, anyways. He'd minored in stellar cartography at the Academy, but that was a common choice for pilots. Even though he hadn't been out of the Academy for very long, he wasn't sure he remembered much of that material, owing largely to having not used it.

The turbolift doors opened, and Jon stepped off, a PADD in one hand and a cup of hot coffee in the other. He handed the PADD to Trenna. "This is a list of the routine maintenance I'll be overseeing from the Bridge today. Most of what I need to do is observational in nature, so if you need me for the mission, let me know. I'd rather not leave the ship if it's unnecessary though."

"Noted," the Bajoran woman replied. "I certainly don't want to keep you from your work. Not if I can avoid it, anyways." She looked at Artie. "I guess that means one of us will be leading any away team."

Artie cocked an eyebrow, trying to figure out if the Captain was annoyed or secretly excited about the prospect. "One of us?" Artie asked. "As Executive Officer, I must remind the Captain that her first duty is to the ship. Given that this is a dangerous mission, your place is on the bridge."

"Where was that when we were dealing with the Bardeezi? I ended up in a detention center!" she quipped. She made every attempt to hide her smile.

He knew the Captain was teasing. There were plenty of reasons he could fire back, including being newly minted as an interim XO and the enlisted tactical chief who just happened to have a hair trigger. "Oh, you know," he said, leaning back in his chair to check a couple quick diagnostic readouts on his screen. "Gotta let you have some of the fun now and again. Otherwise, you might volunteer yourself for the really dangerous stuff."

She gave Talbot some solid side eye. "Uh-huh," she fired back. "'A' for effort though. I almost bought that. Almost." She lifted the mug to her lips again and took a swallow of the cooling liquid. It was still hot enough to have a full flavor profile but had dropped in temperature enough that larger gulps were possible. "We're going to have to find the team before any away teams head out. If we were a larger ship, with more crew, I'd send out multiple teams; each one heading for a different planet. But we don't have that luxury with the size of our crew."

"I'm sure someone from the science department will figure that out," Batchelder responded, moving to take his seat at the Engineering station. "It shouldn't be too hard, I'm sure they want to be found, and are working on making it as easy as possible."

"All the more reason to use the probes," Artie reasoned. "Four class fours in front of us to seek out those quantum filaments, then a handful of class twos to orbit the planet and a couple class six comm relays to help boost any signal that might be out there. Might be expensive on the probe supply, but like you said, whatever helps find them quicker. Their supplies can't hold out much longer, I'm sure."

"Can we afford to use enough class twos to search all of the planets simultaneously?" Osegan asked. "The initial survey mission had only ruled out two of the eleven planets in the system, so the team was checking the rest in person. As of their last report, they still had five to survey."

Artie thought for a moment. "We only have about fifteen on hand, I believe. Besides, we can always manufacture more or restock at the next starbase. Compared to losing lives, I would say it's worth exhausting the probe supply." Artie tapped a few buttons to double check the inventory. "Looks like we've got sixteen, actually. I say we start with two per planet, and redirect the spares to the blind spots."

Thinking about it briefly, Trenna nodded. "Agree. Proceed Commander. I'd like to keep probe telemetry on the viewscreen." She took another swallow of her mocha.

Artie nodded to the Captain before rising from his chair. "Mister Batchelder, let's get some probes prepared." Artie stood next to the engineer at the two-consoled station. He didn't hover over the fellow engineer, but instead went to work on the rear console. "I'll lay down the trajectory for each probe if you'll work on getting them set and loaded."

"You got it, Commander," the engineer responded as his fingers danced across his console. "I'm gonna bring up the telemetry readouts now, so we'll get instant verification once the probes are on station. I've also got a little telemetry subroutine I'm patching in. Should help provide more stability in case of drift, or odd gravitational fields."

[Main Science Lab]

Geoff walked into the primary science lab and looked around. There were a couple of people milling about, but they ignored him. "Excuse me?" he said, quietly.

Ensign Enar looked up from his station, and smiled at the young man. "Hey there! I think everyone else is prepping for what's going to be an inevitable away team. What do you need help with?"

"The Captain sent me down here to get some advice on prioritizing our search pattern. Since we don't know which planet the exploratory team was on most recently, any help we can get in narrowing our search could shave time off finding them," Geoff explained. "And that time could be very valuable if they are in some sort of trouble."

Ensign Calvin Nash heard the conversation from his own station nearby and his ears perked up. "We could configure the ships sensors to look for any warp engine resonance traces." he said interrupting the conversation. "We could then simply follow the trail until it ended." Nash shrugged.

Looking from the Trill to the brown-haired Human man, Geoff thought a moment. "Uh, I'm Ensign Geoff Martinsen. We haven't met, I don't think." A more socially adept person would have extended a hand, but not Geoff.

Nash shied away at the response. "Sorry I didn't mean to interrupt." he held up a hand and turned back to his console and then immediately turned back, "It's just that you'll also have to adjust for the quantum filaments in the area." he shook his head, "They might interfere with the readings." he sighed for a second before continuing, "But actually we might be able to use that to our advantage too." Nash raised an eyebrow and looked at Geoff. "Oh I'm Calvin." he quirked his head to the side and chuckled softly as he said it. "Nice to meet you Geoff."

"You too...Calvin," Geoff replied cautiously. At least I'm not the only awkward one around here anymore, he thought, looking at the brown-haired man. "Can one of you come up to the Bridge? I think it would be helpful to have someone from the Science department on hand to manage the sensors. Especially given the nature of this mission."

Calvin didn't hesitate and immediately jumped to his feet as his eyes widened. He wasn't going to pass up an opportunity to work on the bridge. "I will." he answered quickly grabbing his tablet from the console and stepping towards the exit without waiting for a response.

"Do you mind?" Geoff asked the Trill.

Enar rolled his eyes, and shook his head. "Let him go. It would've been easier to just track their commbadges but if he wants to re-invent the wheel, by all means."

Martinsen gave the Trill an uneasy smile and then took off after the eager man. "Uh...Calvin!" he called. "Wait up."

Nash stopped just inside the turbolift and waited. "I heard Captain Osegan was in the Bajoran Militai?" he asked as the doors swished shut. "Is that true?"

Geoff nodded. "That's what her personnel file says. I've never talked to her about it." We don't exactly have that sort of relationship, he thought.

Nash nodded quietly as the lift began to move.

[Bridge]

The turbolift doors opened and Geoff stepped out onto the Bridge and headed towards his usual position at the helm.

"Back so soon, Ensign?" Trenna asked. She'd expected the young helmsman to be gone for longer. But maybe the folks in the science department had been particularly expeditious in their evaluation.

"Yes, Captain," he replied nervously. "I brought...Calvin...back with me." He motioned towards the brown haired Human man.

The Bajoran woman looked at the science officer Martinsen was directing her attention to. "Calvin, is it?" she inquired, giving Artie a sidelong glance.

Artie happened to look in the Captain's direction at the moment she fired that glance at him. In that moment, he wondered if he'd forgotten to send the latest duty roster and crew rotations to the Captain, but then he also remembered that it was five-dark-thirty in the morning, and most of them were just starting to wake up on a regular schedule. "Ensign Nash is one of our newest biologists," Artie explained, slipping out from behind the engineering station. "We're about to launch some probes at five uncharted and unmapped planets. Our missing survey team is on one of them. I could use your help developing a trajectory that could give us a decent view of where they might have transported."

Nash hesitated for a moment, clearly a bit nervous. He nodded, "I can help with that." he said softly then swallowed hard, "Yes I can help with that." he repeated himself this time louder before moving towards the science station to view the sensor logs. "I think if you..." he began to say towards Commander Talbot, "Adjust the probes to follow the missing ships warp resonance traces, it should lead you to them."

Batchelder gave the ensign a sidelong glance before turning back to his screen. Clearly the kid was nervous. Leaning in toward Talbot, he muttered under his breath, "Hadn't thought of that. Good call."

Artie hadn't thought of that either. Like Batchelder, he was an engineer by trade, trained to make equipment work both when it was and when it couldn't do so. Coming up with creative solutions on finding someone, well that's when a person in a teal collar was needed. Being shown up by an ensign... that would have to remain his and Batchelder's private pain. Artie just hoped that there was enough of a resonance trace for the probes to follow. The XO tapped the controls a few times to make the adjustments. "I think we're about ready, Captain."

Hiding her enjoyment that two seasoned officers like Talbot and Batchelder had been beat by an Ensign, Trenna gave the order to proceed. "Carry on, Commander." She turned to look towards Nash. "Thanks for the assist, Ensign. Assume the Science console please."

Calvin swallowed, "Yes Captain." he replied with an unsure nod as he stepped to the Science Station where be began tapping away at the keys. Several seconds later he dared to offer some additional help. "There will probably be some interference with all the quantum filaments around here," he said looking towards Commander Talbot, "So any adjustments if the probes get off course will have to be made manually." Then not getting an immediate response he added, "But you already knew that of course..." he cleared his throat and then turned immediately back to his station determined not to speak out of turn and embarrass himself again.

Artie performed a final check on the programmed telemetry to confirm that they were indeed ready to go. "All right, Mister Batchelder," he said, vacating the station and crossing the bridge to stand near the engineer. "Let's launch those probes."

"Probes away," the engineer responded, as a cacophony of dulcet tones erupted from his console. "Let's hope they can point the way."

Another turbolift door opened, and Lieutenant jg Evaad Hessen walked onto the bridge. His uniform was crisp and clean, his hair to within Starfleet standard. His eyes, however, were the eyes of a man who hadn't gotten more than three hours of sleep. "Captain, Commander. Apologies for my delay." He couldn't tune out the negative judgments coming from much of the crew, but that couldn't be helped right now. He walked to the Ops station, giving a polite nod to the Ensign operating it. He immediately picked up what was happening and what was needed next. "Communications link between the probes and Altai is at maximum, though as Mr. Nash told you before I arrived, we can expect that to drop as they approach filaments."

"Glad you could join us, Lieutenant," Trenna said to the Chief Operations Officer. "You were caught up with something else, I take it?" She assumed that there was a reason that the Betazoid hadn't been as quick to report to the bridge after she'd sent for them.

"Yes, ma'am," Evaad replied, trying to keep his voice level. "Malfunction in the EPS grid affecting a few cabins. I was in a Jefferies Tube, wearing a very messy cover-all, sorting it out when the call came. Apologies that it took me so long to get out of there and bridge-worthy." He didn't mention that the EPS grid malfunction directly impacted his own off-duty time, which was why he rushed to fix it rather than report it for later.

The lift doors opened and Lieutenant Pierce stepped on to the bridge, he adjusted his com badge on the lapel of his lab coat. Alan was still in scrubs he hadn't gotten a uniform yet. If was aware of out of place he looked, he gave no indication as he approached the Captain.

"Greetings Captain," He smiled. "Lieutenant Alan Pierce, I'm the new surgeon and apparently the CMO. I've taken the liberty of updating medical emergency protocols and surgical bay."

He handed a PADD to Osegan, "I'd like to assigned to away team. You got a great medical staff here but a lot of them pretty green. I've got the most experience in field medicine."

"If and when there's an away team," she retorted, accepting the device. "I'm sure that whoever is leading the team will keep you in mind. But we have to figure out where this missing team is before we assemble a team." She set the PADD down on the small pedestal that her small console was mounted to. "I'll review this and get back to you if I have any questions."

"Thanks," he handed her a second PADD

"If you authorize me to replicate some uniforms that would be great, it would appear that due to our Hasty departure my luggage was left on the space station." Alan smiled, "unless you're okay with me wearing scrubs for the rest of the mission.,"

"Unless there's a resource concern that no one has notified me of, you don't need my permission to replicate uniforms," Trenna replied.

She looked over her shoulder at Ops. "Can you sense anything from the team, Lieutenant?" She wasn't completely comfortable with the Betazoid's telepathic abilities, but this was exactly the type of situation in which Hessen's psi skill could come in useful.

"They're alive, or at least some of them are," Evaad answered. "I'm getting one strong reading. There's definitely a Betazoid on the team; I can sense her pretty well. I can't get a good read on their number or location though. When we get closer I'll be more help." It was one of those difficult situations where his abilities only became more useful as they also became less relevant, supplanted by other information that officers tended to find more appropriate, like comm lines and sensor readouts. "But they are still alive, and in some amount of distress."

Knowing that the survey team was still alive was good. And, for now, it would have to be enough.

"Keep working," she said. "I'd like to get all of them back alive."

 

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