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Holding Down the Fort [PLOT]

Posted on Mon May 7th, 2018 @ 10:16am by Captain Malcom Llwyedd & Petty Officer 1st Class Kipp Lak & Lieutenant Cynfor Rees & Lieutenant Jackson Smith & Chief Petty Officer Charles Stephens JR & Warrant Officer Arlan Harlan & Petty Officer 3rd Class Max Tragar & Lieutenant Commander Jörgen Leed

Mission: Mission 3: The Galilei Conundrum
Location: Firebird - Various
Timeline: 26 June, 2394 - 0700 Hours


Every time he was on the bridge, Max felt a low hum of excitement in his blood. Even when it was third shift when nothing exciting ever happened. That wasn't true this time though--he was on first shift and they were on a potentially dangerous mission. Scuttlebutt said they were providing aid to a plague ship, and who was he to argue with scuttlebutt? He'd taken a black coffee with thanks from Kipp and slid into his seat, even though he'd already had some of Kalistri's espresso on his way here. The science console was a familiar friend. He glanced at the pilot's chair--a flashback from the Monterey stepped to the front of his mind. It wasn't a bad memory, and Nora was telling him remembering was important, so he let himself recall what it had been like to pilot the Monterey out of its dock. Dangerous. Exhilarating. And flying was something he wanted to do again some day. He took a deep quaff of his coffee, and checked Science's connections with Engineering, Ops, and Tactical, making sure all the data was flowing cleanly where it needed to be. The away team in particular, if they were boarding a plague ship, would need lighting quick responses from the Firebird if they ran into trouble. Max was ready.

Alpha shift, the only thing Cyn hated about it was the hour of the day. He arrived on the bridge with his coffee and took his station after he received report from the outgoing ops officer. Cynfor immediately began to redirect power from systems on the ship that were not needed at the moment to the power reserves. Rees wanted enough spare power on hand to assist in the mission below.

Charles made his way on to the bridge and tapped out the current tactical officer. First thing he did was grab a coffee from Kip's supply. He really did make a fine coffee. Once back at the console he looked over all the systems making sure they where in the green. He noticed that the shield generators where running but there seemed to be a spike every 13 seconds. Nothing that would harm the ship but he didn't like it. He turned to Rees. "Lieutenant Rees can you check the shield generators output numbers I am picking up a small spike."

"Can do Chief. It will take but a moment." Cyn's hands moved quickly over the console. "Ah ha there is the culprit an ODN conduit is malfunctioning. I am bypassing it now. There all should be green now. I will have one of my guys take a look at it." His bearded smile was ear to ear, indeed it was hard to keep Cynfor Rees down.

After watching the system readings for a few seconds Charles could confirm the hiccup in the system was fixed. "Thank you." He said with a grin at Rees. He then proceeded to start scanning for anything out there they should be concerned with.

Malcom tapped his fingers on the side of his chair, watching the main viewscreen, which held the image of the slowly spinning Gallilei. He listened to the small talk of his bridge crew, enjoying the way they worked together as a team. After months of working together, they were truly his crew now. He smelled Kipp's fresh, hand made coffee wafting in from his ready room. Malcom had agreed with Kipp's request to turn it into a pseudo-mess hall for the bridge crew, since they were running very short handed with so many away teams. Maybe we need a bigger ship. he thought and then smiled. He loved the Firebird and couldn't see how he would leave. He heard the turbolift doors open and Commander Leed stepped onto the bridge. Malcom raised his mug to the diplomat.

"Feel free to grab some coffee if you are so inclined, commander," Malcom said.

"Thank you, Captain. I find that a brisk run in the early morning followed by a cold bath provides all the focus needed," said the diplomat as he took the XO's chair. "Of course, on days I ignore my own advice coffee is the first step." Jörgen held up a tall mug with a small column of steam wafting from the hole in the lid. He nodded towards the image of the spinning Galilei with his head. "That looks worse than I thought."


Harlan was prepping his engineering ratings with unusual fervor. He wasn't a big fan of his people heading onto a ship that seemed likely to spin itself apart while they were on it. "Alright gang. We've got a doozy of a mission ahead of us. There's enough equipment to make a terrestrial land mammal hit hyperspace if we need and stuff to ensure you won't die if things go pear-shaped while we are fixing the power relays. You all know your roles, so if there's no questions, let's get you to the transporter room and beam out to this spiraling cruiser. I'll be handling things from here."


Malcom nodded at his chief diplomat's comment. "It isn't great, that's for sure. But we've got the right people for the job. I'm more worried about the effect the Badlands is going to have on our mission," Malcom said and then turned to where Max was sitting. "Max, how long before the Galilei drifts into the Badlands for real?"

Max checked his vector astrometry projections on the console carefully before structuring his response. "The anomaly is a potential threat to the Galilei in eighteen hours, sir." Provided his algorithm was correct. Which, considering the Badlands' propensity to change configuration at a moment's notice, didn't mean a whole lot. It could be eighteen hours, it could be twenty-six hours. But, if there was anything at all he'd learned about communicating with officers during his training, it was that they didn't appreciate extra information. Only information they could act on. Being a great scientist in Starfleet meant not only gathering correct data, but reporting it out in ways laymen could understand. Well--provided he could stay in Starfleet. He admonished himself. Now was not the time for worries about the psychiatric work he was doing with Nora to resolve his combat paralysis. Now was the time to be focused entirely on the plague ship and how to help them. He took another gulp of his coffee and continued to track their position.

Malcom nodded. "Good work, Max," He said and turned back to the viewscreen. The Galilei was spinning, a slow, undulating movement. He could see the shuttle making its approach vector. It could go any number of ways. "As soon as Jackson has that shuttle docked, I want him back on board. Ensign T'sai will be able to handle the Galilei once engineering has restored power."

Malcom turned to his Ops officer. "Lieutenant Rees, I would like you to boost power to our sensors," he said and looked over at Max. "Max, I want you to re-calibrate our sensors as best you can to filter out the interference from the Badlands. We might be the first ones here but we could end up with company. This liner would be a nice prize for certain groups, including our shadowy friends from the New Maquis."

"Ja--yes, sir," Max said. The New Maquis! How could he have forgotten? The Firebird had taken considerable damage when the Maquis had attacked the Sagan last time Max was here. Max scrolled back in the logs and called up all the data he and Luka and M'ndi had collected from that battle, using it to inform him as he carried out the order to re-calibrate the sensors. He knew exactly what interference the Badlands would put out, and exactly how it might interfere with a Maquis ship if one appeared. Provided they used the same class of cruiser they'd used last time. A pang--he missed Luka. They'd worked together during that mission to protect the Sagan, she on the bridge, he and M'ndi down in Scilab. Now he was the one on the bridge, others' lives in his hands. He wasn't going to let them down. The Firebird would be ready for anything.

"Aye sir, I will be redirecting power from the holodecks to the sensors. I am also re-calibrating the sensors to scan for major hull metals. Such as Duranium and Kellendide. This will give us an extra edge if there is another ship out there." Rees spoke up from his station as he worked feverishly.

The diplomat observed the scene unfold before leaning towards towards Malcom. "Captain, twenty years ago Bajoran Resistance vessels found sensors in the Badlands to be highly unreliable. Their inelegant, yet effective solution was to emit timed pulses used as a form of echolocation. Perhaps we should follow their example." Jörgen ignored the impulse to consider why using "we" had evoked such a warm response inside.

Malcom's face showed his surprise. "Commander, that is an outstanding piece of information," he said. "Max, why don't you see what you can find on that procedure and attempt to replicate it." Malcom paused, wincing as he watched the Titan shuttle narrowly avoid disaster. He was glad Jackson had been the pilot or their mission beginning could have turned into an ending.

Stephens stood at tactical and while going through limited sector scans he overheard the talk. "Captain I was serving in this area during the war and I recall what he is referring to." He didn't mean to upstage Max but he had a working knowledge of this. "We just have to modulate the deflector array to admit a low wavelength pulse. It works very much like an old earth submarine."

"Chief, why don't you move over and help Max locate the Starfleet records on that. Then the two of you can get working on putting it into practical use. If you need to leave the bridge, do so. This sounds like something we need to get done as soon as possible," Malcom said.

Max made room for the experienced Chief to join him at his station, and hoped he didn't make any mistakes in front of the veteran enlisted.

Charles sta next to Max and pulled the search he had done from tactical. There was a couple loadouts of how they went about doing it. "Now I don't have the smarts to figure out how to adapt this but I know my CO at the time had discussed using the deflector to do a similar operation."

"Yes, sir." Max pulled up a 3D of the deflector and rotated it, simulating a wave pattern. Long, complicated math scrolled by in a small window to the side, seemingly faster than the human eye could understand. By the occasional [o.o] appearing here and there, it was a good guess HALP was assisting. "This is a low wavelength pulse, but my simulations show it will pass right through the anomaly without bouncing back data." He took a breath. It was unexpectedly difficult to say so much at once, directly to the Chief. "Do you recall, Chief, how this was solved?"

"Well if I remember correct, that is, the point is for it to bounce through the anomaly of the Badlands without resistance but if there is a ship out there will it then report back." In his older age it was hard to remember all the details, but since he was a fan of an old earth movie Hunt for Red October, He seemed to remembered how this worked fairly well.

Of course. There had to be something in the cloud for the wave to bounce off of. Helvete, he should have thought of that. "Permission to launch a probe into the anomaly to test for bounce-back, Captain?" Max asked, while simultaneously pulling up the records the Chief indicated matched the stardate from his previous service so he could corroborate the data. If it did work, he'd need to be sending off pulses in every direction the whole time they were in the Badlands to keep an eye out for approaching ships.

"Do it, Max. Keep me informed of your progress," Malcom said and leaned back in his chair. He was hoping that this would be a boring mission with a quick conclusion.

Jackson materialized. He was momentarily shocked, he had expected to appear in the transporter room. Yet, here he was in the sick bay and there was the EMH staring at him with a very disappointed look on his face. Not that that was different than his look all the time, but Jackson could feel the disapproval well before the EMH spoke.

"Lieutenant, it would appear that my concern about your well being is well founded. I was activated by the captain as your shuttle left the ship and had an opportunity to observe your conduct. Under the powers invested in me as the acting chief medical officer, I am considering removing you from flight status. You are continuing to display unnecessarily risky behavior," the EMH said with a frown.

Jackson looked at the EMH with an equal frown, "Hey, this wasn't my..." He then sighed, "Ok, you are right it was risky, but I didn't see any other solutions." Jackson's mind started to replay the whole sequence again and while the weight of the gravity forces no longer pushed him down, the weight of his decisions and actions did. Quickly, though, Jackson shook the heavy thoughts aside, "I know you care about me, E. But when did you become my counselor?" He then grinned even more, "Oh hey, can we count this as one of my mandatory psych sessions?"

The EMH opened its mouth but before he could speak Jackson's combadge sounded.

=^=Lieutenant Smith, do me a favor and get yourself to the bridge immediately.=^= Captain Llwyedd's voice said.

"Well, I suppose I will let you go this time. But I will be observing you during this mission," the EMH said.

"Ah E, I didn't know you cared. Well I should get going, Captain calls." Jackson nodded to the EMH and hurried out the door.

Jackson strode quickly onto bridge, "Captain, hope I didn't miss much." Jackson continued on and nodded at PO T'Plotak as she got out of flight control chair. Jackson easily slid into and began scanning the readouts.

Malcom smiled. "Glad you could make it, lieutenant. Lets move around a little bit now that the away teams are away. Set me up a random patrol pattern that will keep us in transporter range of the Galilei

"Aye, Captain," Jackson replied. He relaxed into the chair and began setting up the patrol. It was nice to have something easy and relaxing after his harrowing experience on the Titan. "One boring patrol setup."


Captain Malcom Llwyedd
Commanding Officer
USS Firebird NCC-88298

Lieutenant Cynfor Rees
Chief Operations Officer
USS Firebird NCC-88298

Petty Officer First Class Kipp Lak
USS Firebird NCC-88298

Lieutenant Junior Grade Jackson Smith
Chief Flight Control Officer/Covert Operations Specialist
USS Firebird NCC-88298

Chief Petty Officer Charles Stephens JR
Chief of the Boat/Assistant Chief Intelligence Officer
USS Firebird NCC-88298

Chief Petty Officer Arlan Harlan
Assistant Chief Engineer
USS Firebird NCC-88298

Petty Officer 3rd Class Max Tragar
Stellar Cartographer
USS Firebird NCC-88298

Lieutenant Commander Joregen Leed
Chief Diplomatic Officer
USS Firebird NCC-88298
NPC by Soto


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Comments (3)

By Cadet Freshman Grade Gianna Djokovic on Thu May 10th, 2018 @ 7:22am

I love this sim because this crew can pull off these big JPs without any one character dominating the spotlight. It really highlights how well the writers work together for the sake of the big story. This all lends itself to a real sense of teamwork among this crew and supports the assertion that this group is the best at what they do, even if they are all individually flawed. -Liam

By Captain Malcom Llwyedd on Sat May 26th, 2018 @ 11:58am

Great additions and insight into so many characters. Love Max's internal dialogue that brings continuity from our time with the Sagan. The work between Cynfor and the bridge crew was well detailed and had good additions. I also loved the addition from Leed as he was an unexpectedly valuable source of Intel. Great fun with Jackson and the EMH. Good teamwork here!

By Petty Officer 3rd Class Max Tragar on Thu May 31st, 2018 @ 9:32am

Agreed! Great sharing of the spotlight by everyone here and each character engaging with each other and their own expertise. These "waiting for something to happen" on the bridge posts can be hard to preserve a sense of tension and action, but this post follows well from the previous two detailing the dire situation the plague ship faces. Nice work all!