Part of USS Atlantis: Mission 1 : Let’s go be explorers…

“Okay, so, lobbing an antimatter missile at warp speeds it just not polite.”

USS Atlantis, Delta Quadrant
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Mission Day 92
1217 HRS
Main Bridge

“New contact, bearing 010 mark 001, distance five light years,” announced Lieutenant Ch’tkk’va from the tactical station a mere moment after the sensors had beeped at them, having done their valiant duty to spot new warp signatures.

“Five light years?” Mac said from the command chair, not even looking up from the padd in his hand. He had the watch and was making good use of boring transit time by actually getting ahead of his chunk of the performance reviews that had needing doing. On the other side of a door just off to the right of the bridge he knew the Captain was working away on her share of the reports. “That’s what, over a day away at warp nine?”

“One day, four hours, forty-eight minutes,” came a helpful clarification from the conn.

“Thank you Lieutenant T’Val,” he stated. “So, this new contact, why didn’t it show up earlier?”

“They weren’t at warp,” Ch’tkk’va stated. “I would suspect we appeared on their sensors and they have gone to warp in response to that. They’re currently on an intercept course if we maintain course and speed, based on their current speed of warp four in just over twenty four hours. No communication attempts so far.”

“Right…send them a hail Ch’tkk’va, standard greetings and such. T’Val, maintain course and speed for now. Uh, Ensign Parkins,” he dragged the name out as he looked to the young, fresh faced man at Operations, checking his own memory the name was correct. “Update the ships log with this contact.”

“Yes sir,” the young man said as he swivelled back around and went about his duties.

“Right, that settled, Ch’tkk’va, you have the conn. I’ll be in the conference room if you need me.” Standing, Mac tucked the padd under his arm then tapped at his comm badge as he headed for the door to the conference room.

“Lieutenant Gantzmann, please report to the conference room when able,” he said just after crossing the threshold and the door closing behind him.

It was barely ten minutes later when Adelinde walked into the conference rom from the door that led to the rest of the ship, not the bridge door. As always, Mac had to admit, she had deportment down to an art and entered into the room before stopping and clasping both hands behind her back.

“You wished to see me Commander?” she asked.

“Sit,” he said, indicating the seat opposite his. She’d be afforded a view of the stars streaking towards Atlantis as they speed through space, something Mac preferred at his back while he was doing paperwork, least he loose time while just staring into the rapidly speeding past void. “Just wanted to talk to you about a few things,” he indicated as he waved his padd gently in the air.

“Performance reviews sir? I submitted all of mine yesterday for you to look over.”

“Ah, not your team Lieutenant, but yours.” He set the padd down and collected the cup of warm water he’d replicated when he first had come in here. It had been hot then, but thermodynamics was not to be denied. “I feel bad about basically giving you the same report as last month, but we’ve been in transit the whole time. You’re keeping your department numbers up, you’ve improved departmental cross training, especially with Engineering which I totally appreciate by the way. But, well, nothing truly stands out.”

“As you say Commander, we’ve been in transit for the last twenty-eight days as we move along the Krenim border territories. There hasn’t exactly many opportunities to, demonstrate my skill sets. I have however been spending time working with my junior officers as I feel Lieutenant Ch’ttk’va is capable of running the department while I undertake tutoring work,” Adelinde said. “I just didn’t feel it necessary to state such in my own reports as my focus was on my staff, not myself.”

Mac sighed, a few things suddenly clicking. Junior officers lifting their performance metrics, field training courses being completed, extra training being undertaken. All the signs of a department head actually getting their underlings to do the self-improvement they were supposed to be doing.

“Okay, so, my bad then,” he said with another sigh and shake of his head. “Next time, perhaps let me know you’re doing such work? It helps with my reporting.” He rose a hand to stop her responding for a moment. “Yes, it’s about your staff. For me it’s about my staff and that’s you.”

“I see your point Commander,” she admitted. “Is that all then?”

“Actually, no. There is another matter I’ve been ignoring for over a month and it’s not really been an issue at all, but I want to make sure it isn’t.”

“And that would be sir?” she asked.

He had to give it to her, she could feign ignorance with the best of them. There wasn’t any realisation on her face, no signs that she had any inkling of what he was about to ask her, which was only scuttlebutt amongst the crew at the moment.

“You and the Captain.”

“Oh, that,” she responded. There was what, the faintest blush to her cheeks? Or was he imagining that?

“That. Look, Lieutenant, it’s not the first time officers have had relationships, not the last either, but Captains tend to be in a bracket of their own. I need to know if this is going to be a problem all the way out there in the DQ.”

“It’s…not going to be a problem Commander.”

“Whoa, wait up there a moment Gantzmann, I don’t mean break it off just…be careful, will you?” Last thing he needed was a breakup because of his meddling making absolutely everything uncomfortable for all this far out in the DQ. They’d spent nearly two months just getting out this far in the first place. “And…look, I’m going to speak to the Captain about this as well shortly. Honestly, you two have discretion down pat. I’m going to insist however you both speak with Counsellor Hu.”

“I wasn’t going to break anything off with the Captain, Commander. I was in fact going to insist we do what you’ve just insisted,” she replied, looking at him with a deadpan expression. “If you don’t mind sir, could I be dismissed in order to go and arrange that matter now?”

“Your dismissed Lieutenant,” he said. “And look…I wish you both the best, but just remember, she’s the Captain.”

“And I’m the Chief of Security. It’s my job to keep everyone on this ship safe Sir.”

Mission Day 92
1845 HRS
Captain’s Quarters

“Do we have to?” asked Tikva over dinner. It was oddly convenient that Wednesday night, tonight, had become date night. Her XO confronting her about her relationship with a department head, the ship’s counsellor doing the same even. All on date night. Like they knew.

Conspirators. Mutineers! Keel haul them!

Shut up you. They’re just doing their jobs. Besides, we should have seen Hu weeks back anyway. This far out, not like Command can really step in anyway and break things up.

Boo! A keel hauling would improve morale!

“Yes,” Adelinde said as she cut into her lasagne some more, preparing it into bite sized chunks. “I’ve already booked an appointment for tomorrow evening. If that’s okay with you?”

“Guess it more depends on these new comers coming at us. Mac says they’ve still not responded to hails. Apparently, there’s no subspace communications coming from them at all. Hopefully nothing important enough to mess up our booking.”

“Let’s hope not.”

“Well, that aside, what’s on the plans for tonight?” Tikva asked just before taking a bite out of the lasagne herself, offering a happy little noise at the taste as it hit her.

“Gym is free if you wanted to practise that spear sweep I taught you,” the larger woman said as her gaze dropped to her own dinner “Or could watch a movie if you wanted.”

“I was thinking wrestling, or knot tying,” Tikva nodded and for once was glad it wasn’t her that was blushing.

FTL Missile SL-52
Timestamp 5214.25.06 14:36

Unidentified Superluminal transit signature detected…

Drive signature does not comply with IFF protocols…

Targeting solution has been provided by Fire Control Bravo…

Fuel status is 44%…sufficient…

Fusion reactor startup initialising…confirmed…internal power systems online. Umbilical has been removed…

Superluminal drive systems start up initiated…maximum speed authorised…

Cleared launch tubes…orientating for interception…drive systems online…

Interception in 100224 litseg at present closing velocities…

Warhead armed…

Korvan System Defence Station Zeta-3
Timestamp 5214.25.06 14:37

SL-52 launch confirmed…

Two missiles remaining in inventory…

Communications attempt #52145123 with Command…Failed…

Communications attempt #52145123 with Zeta-1…Failed…

Communications attempt #52145123 with Logistics…Failed…

Resuming independent operations…

Tracking anomalous superluminal signature #14214…

Mission Day 93
1500 HRS
Main Bridge

“Still no response to hails Rrr’mmm’bal’rrr?” Tikva asked as she walked out of her ready room. She knew the Gaen was on bridge duty but she was taken aback by him not being at the Ops station next to the helm. She stopped, staring at the empty chair for a moment before a gravelly voice caught her attention from just outside her peripheral vision.

“None yet ma’am,” they said.

She turned to see them at Mission Ops and decided to go and see why for herself. Rrr’mmm’bal’rrr was there with Gabrielle Camargo and both were examining more detailed scans of the ship coming towards them now. “We just got these,” the young woman said when he noticed Tikva approaching.

“No living spaces, no life support. Using a fusion powered warp drive. Though this is concerning,” Rrr’mmm’bal’rrr said, pointing out a device nestled just fore of the needle like ship’s midsection.

She recognised the general gist of instrumentation at the front of the vessel as early designed navigation deflector setups, sensors and the such. A block of likely computing hardware was behind those, likely providing the brains of the ship, but what Rrr’mmm’bal’rrr was pointing to looked like a large sphere just smaller than the diameter of the vessel.

“What is that?” she asked.

“Sensors have identified it as a magnetic containment bottle. Holding nearly five kilograms of antimatter.”

“Any interesting scans of the system this came from?”

“Nothing Captain,” Gabrielle replied, bringing up long range scans of the system. Half a dozen rocky worlds, an equal number of gas giants. Nothing to really garner any attention. “No M class worlds, no interesting phenomena. Middle range G class star with elevated sunspots currently. Perfectly normal boring star system from this far away.”

“Sensor lock,” announced Adelinde from Tactical. “Alien ship has just locked sensors on us and made minor course corrections.”

Tikva just turned and stared at Adelinde for a moment, blinked once, twice, then realised just what was coming there way. “Helm, evasive! Take us to maximum warp right now! Shields up!” She was throwing herself into her seat with three large steps, timed just as the lights dimmed and yellow alert klaxons started to blare throughout the ship.

FTL Missile SL-52
Timestamp 5214.25.07 10:64

Approaching interception timestamp…

Engaging targeting sensors…

Target identified…

Terminal manoeuvres engaged…

Target is engaging in evasive manoeuvres…

Unable to match target speed…

Interception failed. Self-destruct initiated…

Mission Day 93
1502 HRS
Main Bridge

“Target just self-destructed Captain,” Adelinde reported. “It tried to follow us but we’re just to fast for it. Likely to nimble as well.”

“Okay, so, lobbing an antimatter missile at warp speeds it just not polite,” Tikva huffed as she settled into the seat more comfortably now. “Maintain yellow alert but bring the phasers up to standby. Ensign Carmichael, lay in a course for that star system and take us in at full speed. I want to know who’s being so impolite in these parts.”

“Aye aye ma’am.”

Korvan System Defence Station Zeta-3
Timestamp 5214.25.07 10:66

SL-52 failed to intercept target…

Target is faster at superluminal speeds then interception weaponry…

Success of second launch…0.01%…Unacceptable…

Halting second launch sequence. Warming up CIWS platforms. Time for particle beam emitters…1 seg, 10 dar…

Communications attempt #52145129 with Command…Failed…

Communications attempt #52145129 with Zeta-1…Failed…

Communications attempt #52145129 with Logistics…Failed…

Resuming independent operations…

Tracking anomalous superluminal signature #14214…