Phil exited the ready room with a very perplexed look on his face. He knew something very serious was going on, but Treylana wouldn’t give him any explanation as to what it was. “When was the first officer ever left out of the loop?” he thought to himself. It didn’t seem right, but there had to be some logical reason. Until such time where his captain’s actions became a danger to the ship or her crew, he would give her the benefit of the doubt. For now he had assignments to delegate.
“Beta shift bridge crew, report for duty.” he said after tapping his combadge.
“Beta shift already sir? We’ve barely just started the shift.” William exclaimed.
William was a man of duty and honour and for whatever reason, the entire bridge crew was being replaced early. He felt like he was being punished.
Phil turned toward the helm and called for Tucker to join the two of them. Kalela put the ship into auto navigation and did so.
“Don’t worry Lieutenant. You’re not being relieved of duty. The captain has some tasks that need to be completed in a very short timeframe. All of the senior officers are being reassigned until they have been completed. I will rearrange the duty shifts later to reflect that. The captain would like for you and Tucker to head to torpedo control and prepare ten photon torpedoes with a yield of at least eighty isotons.”
“Excuse me? Did you say eighty? What the hell are we planning to blow up?”
“You know as much as I do. Try to keep the speculation to a minimum and avoid any idle gossip. I’m sure the captain will make her plans known when the time is right.”
“Aye sir.” William replied with a slight disdain in his voice.
William was relieved by his Beta shift counterpart and after passing on any relevant information, he and Tucker headed to the turbolift.
Phil glanced over toward the Operations station next “Tamura, you’re going to need to work with other members of your staff and see if we can increase the structural integrity field of the ship.”
“By how much are we talking? Structural integrity is already operating at peak efficiency.”
“I don’t have an answer to that. Given that we’re creating eighty isoton warheads, let’s assume the worst possible scenario and give it a little extra to counter it.”
Phil examined the PADD in his hand one more time. He wasn’t sure what the contraption on it was but he couldn’t dismiss the fact that the captain made it seem like out of all the tasks that were being assigned, this one was the most important. He could only assume that was why she tasked him with its construction rather than having an engineer lead the project. Fortunately the blueprints were written such that an ensign or a fourth year cadet could assemble it. It was, however, going to be a time consuming task.
With Beta shift now in place to take over, Phil turned his attention to the Lieutenant in charge “The bridge is yours.” and then made way for the turbolift “Petrov, I need your assistance in cargo bay one.”
“Damnit! Why won’t these modifications work!” Paul said as he slammed his fist on the console.
“Sir! We just blew two more EPS relays in section seventeen.” a young ensign said in an attempt to update his commanding officer.
“ARGH!” Paul shouted only half paying attention to his crewmember’s update as he stared at the PADD for a minute thinking to himself “The shield emitters are trying to draw more power than the relays can handle. Maybe if we add a couple more emitters, we can draw the needed power in smaller increments evenly distributed.”
“Sir! The relays.”
Paul looked up from his work to acknowledge the ensign directly “Hmm? Oh right! Send crewman Jeffries to go replace them. Then, I want you and Clarkson to grab and install two more shield emitters here and here.” he said pointing at the port and starboard sides of the warp core on the diagram.
“This was supposed to be the easy part of the modifications. I haven’t even begun to configure the multiphasic programming.” he thought to himself again.
Thinking that a change of scenery might help his thought process, Paul got up from his workstation and headed for his office. Perhaps if he focused on something else for a few minutes he could get back on track. He sat down in his chair and gently massaged his temples. He could feel a slight headache coming on, but wasn’t about to deviate from his duties to go to sickbay for something so trivial.
“Computer, begin Chief Engineer’s log.”
“All logs from senior staff must be encrypted.”
“The order for senior officer logs to be encrypted was given by Captain Hess on stardate 76425.6.”
“Fine. Begin log and encrypt.”
The computer chirped a few times as it set up to receive and encrypt the incoming log entry.
“Chief Engineer’s log, stardate 76425.8. It’s been roughly two hours since the captain asked me to install multiphasic shielding around the warp core. The modifications she has requested are not going as planned. I’ve blown out at least a half dozen relays just trying to get enough power to the emitters for the configuration requested. Not that what she is requesting is impossible. It’s just the timeframe she’s wanting it completed.
Normally I would have teams laying new circuitry to account for the increased power load which could have been done in eighteen hours, but these modifications need to be completed in eight. I have a theory that might achieve the configuration necessary. Without a complete understanding of the configuration however, I’m not certain my theory will hold. I just wish the captain would be more forthcoming with answers. End log.”
Two photon torpedoes sat mounted atop workbenches in the forward section of Torpedo Control. Their cases opened to expose the internal circuitry. Greater numbers of torpedoes sat stacked in racks ready to be loaded into the torpedo tubes at the push of a button. Kalela was working on one of the table mounted torpedoes while William was working the other, their backs to one another. “I should be up on that bridge right now! Not Beta shift!” William said in disgust.
“You’re the Chief Tactical Officer. Obviously you’re the most qualified person to handle this task. Otherwise the captain would not have requested it.”
“Exactly! I am the Chief Tactical Officer. My place is on the bridge. Especially if we will be facing an immediate threat. I’ve known the captain for a long time. It’s not like her to keep secrets from anyone.”
“Relax Will. I’m sure the captain has her reasons for what she’s doing. Hand me the phase modulator please?” she paused with her arm outstretched to receive the requested tool “I’m sure we’ll be told everything we need to know when the time is right.”
Although Kalela’s words were not exactly what he wanted to hear, it did manage to put him at ease slightly so that he could focus on the task at hand. Following her procedures in tandem with William’s, she was now ready to load the new warhead into her first torpedo. She continued “What yield were these being configured to again?”
“Apparently the captain requested at least eighty isotons per torpedo.” William replied.
“A single one of these could destroy a small planet. I can only imagine what we’re going up against if we need all ten.”
“The Commander ordered us not to speculate. You’re right though. It’s gotta be huge.”
William finished configuring the charge and inserted it into the torpedo casing and closed the access panels. Kalela wasn’t far behind him and finished up her torpedo a few seconds later. “There! Two down, eight more to go.”
Treylana finished going over the latest sensor data. It was confirmed. Omega had indeed been detected on the fourth planet of the binary star system they were en route to. There was no denying it. The real question now was, exactly how many molecules were they going to have to deal with.
“Computer. Begin encrypted subspace message to Commodore Bennet, USS Discovery, Delta Quadrant”
She took a sip from her coffee, her third one of the morning, while she waited.
I regret to inform you that Atlantia has discovered the presence of Omega molecules. I have initiated the Omega Directective per Starfleet regulation and due to our present location in the Delta Quadrant with no access to a specialist team, I have set course for the source of the molecule, a planet in a nearby binary star system. We are prepared to take whatever action is necessary to completely eradicate the molecule and ensure the safety of the sector and possibly the quadrant.
Captain Treylana Hess
Treylana stared blankly at her terminal for several minutes thinking about how she wished her former captain was with her right now. She needed some moral support. She knew everything she was doing was according to Starfleet protocol, but part of her wondered what kind of an effect her decisions would have on her crew. How far would they be willing to trust those decisions?
“Computer. Send message.”