An Unexpected Situation
Posted on Tue Sep 25th, 2018 @ 1:03am by Captain Cassius Whittemore
Episode 02: "The Telling"
Location: Main Bridge, USS Thames
Timeline: Mission Day 02, 0401 Hours
ON: [[Main Bridge, USS Thames, Mission Day 02, 0401 Hours]]
Minutes ticked by slowly as Antoniu waited for his commanding officer to arrive. He had tried to pass the time by gathering together all the relevant data so that he'd have something meaningful to report, but that hadn't taken very long. Even his fellow watch-standers, who had moments earlier been engaged in much speculation, were conspicuously subdued. They all seemed to be suddenly very interested in whatever task was right in front of them.
Antoniu was just about to say something about it, perhaps try to break the tension a little, when the turbolift doors opened. Several heads turned simultaneously to see Whittemore emerge onto the bridge. No one spoke as the commander briefly surveyed the room. A few made eye contact. Some tried to look busy, but it was clear they were curious to see what would happen.
"Over here, commander."
Cassius turned. Not half-a-dozen steps away was the tactical station where Markov stood waiting for him. The young lieutenant was definitely alert, but not unusually so. This combined with the general mood Cassius was getting from the room told him things hadn't gotten any worse since they'd last spoke. At least...he hoped they hadn't.
"What's our status," he asked, taking up position directly across the workstation from Markov.
"We've been monitoring the situation as best we can, sir," Antoniu replied. He entered a quick series of commands into his console and brought up a standard tactical display on the rear monitor. It showed the Pendragon holding position in a relatively high orbit above the far side of the planet. Three faint outlines that looked roughly like vessels of some sort were also visible. They appeared to be making their way toward the surface.
Unfortunately, that was about all they could see at the moment. Cassius was well aware decisions needed to be made, decisions that could have very significant consequences for everyone involved, but there simply wasn't enough information to work with yet. They needed to know more.
"Any chance we could link into the Pendragon's sensors?"
"These readings are coming from the Pendragon, sir," Antoniu explained, "The ships are barely registering. That's why they went undetected as long as they did. Our team only discovered them when they triggered the runabout's proximity sensors."
"How many on the surface now," Cassius asked.
"Four vessels so far, sir." Antoniu entered another keystroke. The view on the monitor switched to an image of the planet's surface where a handful of vessels had already landed. "It's hard to say what's going on down there from just one image," he added, "We'd need to have them move in closer if we wanted know more."
Cassius shook his head. Ordering the Pendragon to move any closer at this point would most likely reveal their presence, assuming they hadn't been detected already. Doing so might even be interpreted by whoever whoever was piloting the vessels as some sort of hostile act. For the moment, there was no immediate danger. They would just have to try to maintain the status quo until they had a better idea of what they were dealing with.
"Wake the senior staff," he ordered, "and have Lieutenant Barra report to my ready room."
Commander Cassius Whittemore
USS Thames (NCC-80629)
Lieutenant JG Antoniu Markov
USS Thames (NCC-80629)