While We Wait
Posted on Fri Apr 28th, 2017 @ 11:52am by Captain Cassandra Quinn & Commander Hafrap Graf & Lieutenant Junior Grade Daniel Ryci & Commander L'Mina & Lieutenant Billi & Lieutenant Commander Miral Casano & Lieutenant Commander Lori Coffee
Location: USS Eclipse
Timeline: MD 4 - 1300
Cassandra returned from a quick break in the Officers' Mess and stepped onto the Bridge.
"Commander on the Bridge," someone announced as Cassandra stepped out of the turbolift.
"As you were," Cassandra said and looked around at the crew. She walked over to Lori who was manning the Sec/Tac console and asked, "anything?"
Lori shook her head. "Not a peep, Commander. Not even local traffic. Which," she looked up at Cassandra and raised an eyebrow, "is eerie."
Cassandra knitted her brows and said, "yeah. Expand the sensors' parameters to include the NZ."
"Aye, aye," Lori said and began to make the adjustments.
Cassandra then wandered over to the Communications console and stood behind the Comm Officer, watching the silent sound spikes and curves....silent because the ensign had her earpiece in and was the only one who could hear.
Noticing the shadow cast on her screen, the ensign looked up at Cassandra and shook her head to indicate she was hearing nothing out of the norm.
Cassandra moved to the Ops Console and noticed the Lieutenant running diagnostics on the ship's systems. "Good idea," she said, giving Daniel a pat on the back.
Daniel expanded the sensor parameters to include the NZ. "Thanks Commander. I have already expanded the sensor output to include the NZ as well" he reported.
Cassandra then walked over to the center chair and tapped the comlink on the arm and said, "Bridge to Engineering. Everything under control down there?"
Miral would have been in engineering for this mission, but she had specifications material to review and her assistant chief was more then qualified for the task at hand.
Kira tapped her badge.
=/\= "Bridge, stand by please."=^=
She looked at the nearest technician. "How are we doing?" She asked.
"All systems running normal," the technician replied.
Tapping her badge again, Kira said:
=/\= "Everything is good down here. We are continuing system checks, given our tactical situation."=^=
L'Mina arrived on the Bridge after checking the shuttle bay. She nodded to Commander Quinn before relieving the ensign at the controls. Next she did a check of her systems. This was probably going to be another boring shift. On the other hand while around Romulus, boring was probably better than excitement.
"Thank you Engineering," Cassandra said, not recognizing the voice who had answered her. "Keep me informed of any changes." She looked up at the sound of the turbolift door sliding open with a whispering hiss and saw Dr. Graf step out. "Welcome to the Bridge, Doctor. Doing a little sight seeing?" she asked, looking down at the center chair and deciding not to sit in it.
Hafrap responded, "Sickbay is slow, so I thought I would see the bridge. I don't come up here often. Mind if I sit here?" He pointed to the chair left of the command chair.
Cassandra smiled. "Have a seat, Doctor. We can watch the grass grow together," she said with a chuckle and sat down herself...forgetting, for a minute, that it was the center chair.
Hafrap had a seat in that chair for the first time. The view was impressive the bridge looked very big from this view point. He smiled and said, "That's a big chair, Commander."
You have no idea, Cassandra thought to herself. Out loud she said, "Yes it is, Doctor. Yes it is."
Hafrap smilied and said, "Doctor Reddex, doesn't get to come up here much. It's a nice view." He was trying to make small talk.
L'Mina smiled, but as she was looking at the viewscreen, only the person at the ops console could see. She had been in the big chair at times, so she knew that, while the chair itself was comfortable, what it represented was not always.
"Two ships arriving," she said as she spotted them on the sensors, "looks like freighters." Those would probably be quite surprised seeing a Starfleet ship here.
"On screen, please," Cassandra said and looked back over her shoulder at Lori who was already tapping keys on the Sec/Tac console. The ships appeared on the main viewer.
"They have come to full stop," Lori announced. "And are raising shields."
"I imagine they are," Cassandra said with a chuckle. "Open a channel," she instructed. "Romulan freighters....this is CDR Cassandra Quinn of the USS Eclipse. We are here by invitation of Senator Taris and have a diplomatic team on the surface. We pose no threat."
Hafrap said, "Well, this is a change of pace. This should be interesting."
Lori said, "Commander, they aren't responding at all."
"Hail them again," Cassandra said, looking over her shoulder at the comm officer. She stood up and stepped closer to the screen. "They look like Romulan Freighters," she said, more to herself than anyone else. Placing her hand on L'Mina's shoulder she said, quietly, "back us off a little. Give them some space. Maybe they won't feel so threatened."
"Yes, sir," L'Mina said as she moved the ship back a little. She hoped the cloaked ships they hadn't detected would move out of the way.
Lori opened a channel a second time and said, "They aren't responding via voice, text only. "We don't trust you, move away from the planet or we will fire on you!"
Cassandra nodded. "Lori...keep a lock on our people and L'Mina, move us back a ship's length," she said. "I want to know what the origin of those ships are," she said to anyone with access to the database. "Lori...plan a defense just in case."
"We can't move to much anymore or we lose transporter lock with the people on the ground, sir," L'Mina said, "quite strange actually. They have to know we're not a treat to them with all the cloaked ships around here."
"Commander, I think our size is what is frightening to them." Lori answered
Cassandra rubbed her hand over her face. If she raised shields it would send the same message as powering up weapons. But they couldn't run the risk of losing their lock on the Admiral. Finally she said, "if they want to communicate by text...then text it is. Send them my initial message in text," she said over her shoulder. "Lori? Give me an option."
Lori thought for a moment and said, "What if we offer to leave orbit and have a shuttle standing by to retrieve the away team? I would think a shuttle wouldn't make them nervous. I suggest a runabout, Commander." Lieutenant Coffee responded with
Billi, returning from an extended break, went to the SCI II station as usual, seeing it was still set the way she liked. She had overheard the bridge chatter while checking her console. "Commander Quinn, I suggest yellow alert. Energize weapons and defense and have them on standby."
Cassandra thought about the two options for a few minutes. "L'Mina....put a shuttle on standby. Lori...put us on Yellow Alert but do not power up weapons yet. Let's see if they respond to our texts.
"My shuttles are already on standby," L'Mina said, "but I'll get one ready to launch immediately."
She put a call to the shuttlebay to ready one of the runabouts for immediate departure.
Lori incited yellow alert and said, "Message coming in. The shuttle may launch with one pilot and must keep defenses and weapons offline while in flight. Any change in either will cause us to attack the shuttle."
Cassandra's first instinct was to send back a message saying that if they targeted the shuttle she would blow both freighters out of the sky but she curbed her instinct and said, "tell them we understand and thank them. L'Mina...get a pilot and a shuttle launched and down to the surface then back us out to the edge of the planet's exosphere. I want that shuttle to keep a transporter lock on everyone down there."
"They can only transport two at a time," L'Mina remarked, not liking a runabout on the surface of the planet, but giving the order to launch one anyway as she backed up the ship. She also made sure that two more runabouts had pilots and copilots in them, ready to go at a moment's notice.
"Runabout away," she reported as it left the bay.
"Commander, I will maintain a sensor lock on the shuttle and be ready for anything." Lori said a bit nervously.
Cassandra sat back down and pursed her lips as she thought for a few seconds. "What are they thinking?" she asked to no one in particular. "They're freighters. They have to know that they are out gunned."