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The Narrow Window

Posted on Tue Jan 22nd, 2019 @ 1:27pm by Captain Cassius Whittemore & Lieutenant Ezra Maor & Ensign Daniel Sheridan & Lieutenant Commander Joseph Thompson & Lieutenant Andrew Stokes

Mission: Episode 02: "The Telling"
Location: Conference Room (Bridge), USS Thames
Timeline: Mission Day 02, 0718 Hours

ON: [[Conference Room (Bridge), USS Thames, Mission Day 02, 0718 Hours]]

Something about having so many unknown variables involved with their present situation did not seem to sit very well with those gathered around the table. Truth be told, Cassius wasn't all that thrilled with it, either. There were too many rabbit trails for them to get caught up in.

As if to validate his concern, the briefing began to devolve into a number of smaller, side conversations. To one side, Cassius could hear Maor and Thompson debating the best approach to securing the ship as well as the colony. Each spoke from their own experience. Their arguments had merit. Given how much they respected one another, Cassius could see how it made it that much harder for either of them to reject a particular approach out-of-hand.

Sheridan, Stokes, and Makaio were discussing what it would take to get the Thames back into orbit as quickly as possible. Their new chief engineer had already pointed out the challenge of having to reinitialize the warp core and get primary power back online. They also had to deal with the fact that not all of the colonists' equipment had been unloaded from the ship's cargo bays yet. Here, too, there would be no easy solution.

His gaze eventually turned to Frost, who was seated near the far end of the table. Frost had her hands wrapped around a metallic coffee mug. She appeared to be trying to make sense of both conversations as best she could, going back and forth from one to the other, though perhaps not with the greatest success.

Cassius cleared his throat. The room fell silent as everyone turned their attentions toward him again.

"I have spoken with Vice Admiral S'iraa and informed him of our situation," he told them, "The Bureau of Colonization is understandably concerned about the presence of these aliens. They've asked us to relocate the colony..."

Relocate the colony? Stokes' brain began spinning at the work necessary to uproot the entire colony. Even as it sat now, with deployment unfinished, pulling up stakes and relocating the colonists would not be easy.

"Sir, depending on the timetable required for the relocation, we might be forced to abandon quite a bit of supplies and material. If the Starfleet is considering this a potential Prime Directive situation, we will be forced to destroy the supplies. Destroyed or not, if we have to leave it behind the colonists will not have the necessary supplies to set up in another location. They would need to be supplied again by the Bureau, the Thames just doesn't have the necessary raw materials to replicate all the things we'd have to leave." Stokes began to consider the strain on the ship's systems if they were forced to attempt to redeploy all those missing supplies. A galaxy class ship would be hard pressed to deploy a colony TWICE.

"I understand."

"I can tell you right now that supplies aren't the only issue, either," Joe put in. "I've had to help relocate colonies before, and they really don't take to it lightly. I agree wholeheartedly that any supplies we can't immediately remove will have to be destroyed, but as logical as that is it won't be so easy for the colonists to swallow." He shook his head. "Tensions will be even higher. Violent outbursts will almost certainly erupt, and we're not exactly equipped to handle police action and security for the colony and keep the Thames safe."

"As I said, I have explained our situation to the admiral," Cassius said, "and he agrees it may be premature to evacuate the colony at this time. We've been given forty-eight hours to figure out who these aliens are and what impact their presence will have on the colony project. If we can't come up with a solution in that time, then the bureau's orders stand."

Daniel shifted somewhat in his seat, but did not say anything. Thanks to the footage he'd been taking over the past several weeks, he felt as if he knew the colonists as well as anyone. He'd heard people's stories and interacted with them in the more ordinary moments of life. Relocating the colony at this point was going to be trouble for all the reasons Lieutenant Stokes and Commander Thompson had mentioned...and more.

At the same time, though, Daniel knew it wasn't his place to contradict the advice of the senior staff, much less an order from Starfleet. His only reason for being at the table was because his supervisor wasn't available and someone needed to report on behalf of the operations department. So, as much as he may have wanted to say something, Daniel did his best to stay quiet.

It would be so easy, Joe thought, if these were just pirates or some other known threat. That would bring it right back into the realm of his own personal experiences. But one couldn't simply attack strangers, even if the circumstances they caused were this unfavorable.

Bridge to Commander Whittemore.

The sound of the watch officer's voice caused everyone to pause. It was not uncommon to receive messages and updates during staff meetings, but a direct call from the bridge was unusual to say the least. That it was happening now told Cassius something about their situation had changed.

"Whittemore here."

Sorry to interrupt, sir, the watch officer apologized, but the Pendragon is reporting new movement at the alien landing site.

"What sort of movement?" Joe asked, instantly alert. If the aliens were moving with hostile intent, they would need to react quickly.

One of the vessels has just taken off and is making its way around the planet.

That definitely made everyone pay attention. Up to this point, their conversation had largely been speculative based on what information they'd been able to gather in the last couple of hours. They'd been operating under the assumption there would be more time to assess the situation further and to come up with a better plan of action. Now they faced the possibility of a direct encounter, one they would have only minutes to prepare for.

Things had just gotten a whole lot more complicated...

OFF

Commander Cassius Whittemore
Commanding Officer
USS Thames (NCC-80629)

Lieutenant Adessa Barra, MD
Acting Executive Officer
USS Thames (NCC-80629)

Lieutenant Commander Joseph Thompson
Chief Security Officer
USS Thames (NCC-80629)

Lieutenant Ezra Maor
Chief Tactical Officer
USS Thames (NCC-80629)

Lieutenant Andrew Stokes
Chief Engineering Officer
USS Thames (NCC-80629)

Lieutenant Mary-Elizabeth Frost, MD
Chief Medical Officer
USS Thames (NCC-80629)

Ensign Daniel Sheridan
Operations Officer
USS Thames (NCC-80629)

 

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