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Part of USS Tokyo: M3: Follow The Broken Trail

10) Our path

USS Tokyo - Conference Room
June 2401
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The senior staff had gathered in the conference room to wait for the next step in their dangerous path. One that could inflict damage to their career, to their lives, and maybe to others. This gave off a tense and uncertain vibe in the room that couldn’t be calmed down; they all accepted their fate without taking the ticket of escape that their Captain had offered. 

“This is mental…” Tamaz spoke, looking outside the window, scratching the back of his head. “We are going to get ourselves killed with this…”

“That is an enormous understatement. If things go south, and we are truly going to do something extreme, then we are in for quite the ride,” Cezs spoke, leaning back in her chair. “It has to do with the Captain collapsing in the hallway, for sure”

Padgok blinked as he looked up from his PADD. “Why would you make such a connection?” 

Cezs felt eyes looking at her from both of them. “I don’t know. It went pretty fast when it happened. The Captain had a … episode of sorts that I can’t describe. But it was not a normal one. It was one of those freaky moments that concerned me”

Looking at Tamaz, who raised his shoulders in response, “Well, she did describe it in her summary when addressing the crew; if it is related to the message from Commander Towalr that got her these visions and episodes, then it might be the trigger to do this mission” Padgok gave an analyzed answer. 

The moment Tamaz wanted to respond to that, the three remaining senior officers entered the conference room, which made him return to his seat. Everyone took their seat, “What is the status or plan…?” Tamaz broke the ice at once without mercy as he wanted to know what was going to happen next. 

Ko sat down in her chair, taking a breath. “Well, thank you for your excitement or energy to go deep into this, Lieutenant. But this is a typical plan that goes with the flow. We have a target, and that is the Borg Sphere that we left behind in pieces.” She brought up the information of the Sphere that was missing a large chunk of it. “This is the location we need to intercept, and we are in a tied spot with this.” 

“How so?” Cezs spoke out curiously, already investigating the sphere status and the data that came to her PADD.

“The course it plotted, basically,” Yozria stated with her arms crossed over each other. “After we returned from our interception, mission data indicated that the ship was heading north. Most likely reacting to the sudden withdrawal of all Borg-related ships.” Yozria shrugged at that. “So long-range scanners are not picking them up anymore, and the trail they leave behind is fading away fast.” 

Nodding to the answer, Cezs shrugged a bit, “But what is the trouble, we go after it traveling north?” 

Looking at her new Chief Engineer, Yozria had admired her tough former assistant. But there were still things that she needed to learn and understand. “Because the sphere in question is heading to the edge of chaotic space to return to Borg Collective space. If that happens, we can say goodbye to our crew members.” Yozria saw the guilt and horrifying realization sink in with Cezs and nodded, looking back at Ko.

“The ship can, however, be traced, but we need tech for that,” Ko resumed, placing her hands over each other. “We must go stealthy and enter a black market at an independent colony near the Turei Alliance. This colony has been visited a few times for various reasons. One of them was the dealing of xBs parts and selling them to the highest bidder. A favorable place for Ferengis.” 

“War is good for business….they use every context of that rule in their benefits, it seems.” Viamame shrugged at the idea itself. 

The room became quiet as Tamaz broke it once again. “So what will be looking for at that …black market?” Tamaz stated carefully and looked at Yozria and Ko, turning his head a few times. 

Ko kept quiet for a second and finally spoke to answer the question, “We are looking for a tracking device. A Borg drone uses a connection feed to the collective. It is adaptable to any communication array to trace back to its …well nest,” Ko explained, leaning back in her chair. “So our mission is to retrieve such a device and use the data we collected…hmmm,” She thought for a second. “ That Lieutenant Vahdat collected before his AWOL about the sphere and tried to relocate it. Find the breadcrumbs to follow it”

The mention of Vahdat made some at the table uncomfortable, “Please keep your minds in the game. Vahdat, Towalr, and…Deem are depending on it” Yozria stated with some pain in her voice as she had to mention her brother as well “But we have additional problems, and that is …Starfleet” She knew that this would come on the table eventually, but it had to be discussed “Now that we have missed our first check-in, Starfleet might be already on high alert thinking something bad has happened”

“They can track us down, no?” Cezs blinked at the information and was rather calm about the whole ordeal that she was participating in a rogue action. It didn’t bother her at all, it felt exciting and refreshing. 

Shaking her head “No, upon leaving the officers that decide to part ways, I ordered Commander Deem to shut down the communication and beacon systems. This means that no one on our ship can contact anyone from the outside. If it is registered, I have instructed security to place this person in the brig.” She saw some people reacting in protest and raised her hand. “Please remember that they had a window of choice to leave the ship. They choose to remain, and by doing so, any action that is against our plan to rescue our crew is a dangerous one.”

“But if people still want to leave or cannot live with this burden, the brig is not the solution?” Tamaz protested while leaning in forward.

“That might be true,” Viamame looked at Tamaz. “But think of it this way: if a crew member sends a message to Starfleet about our plan, then we are all going down with them, and even the one that contacted Starfleet will be arrested. Another scenario would be that we will be in a hostile area, and they notice the message. Who do you think will get first to us?” 

Tamaz sat back in his chair and nodded in disbelief, not realizing the severity of the mission they had agreed on. Taking a deep breath to let it sink in. 

“So we are dealing with a few problems. We are alone on this mission; we will deal with black-market thugs, and we need a plan to intercept that Borg ship as fast as possible and get our crew out of that Sphere,” Yozria summed it up.

“For now, you are dismissed, but please take these concerns seriously into account. Our crew members depend on it,” Ko spoke informally and nodded to them as they started to leave to let the new information sink in. She took a deep breath, with both Yozria and Viamame still staying behind.

“Are they ready for this?” Yozria looked at the door that had closed when Tamaz left at last.

“They have to be,” Ko replied. “Because without them, it will be very difficult….”