Time: 0700 hours
Location: Gamma Quadrant – two sectors past Hunter
UFP Freighter Torgus
It had been nearly twenty-four hours since Fergouson had last made her check of the Omega molecules that had sent her world into complete and utter chaos. She had kept her crew, for the most part, busy, and completely in the dark as to what was going on on the bridge. She could feel, however, the tension was starting to build with each passing second, each passing minute, hell even each passing hour. To her, it seemed that the ship that Admiral Ross had told her was on its way was taking their sweet ass time. She didn’t know how much more she could take at this point.
“Computer,” she waited for the all too familiar beep before she requested the current molecular sensor logs of the Omega particles.
She had been quite lucky so far that only two additional molecules had been added to the four that she had detected from their arrival in this part of space. She still did not understand how, let alone why they had suddenly shown up like that. She had traversed this particular region of the Gamma Quadrant so many times before and had never picked up the slightest remnants of any anomalies whatsoever.
“Computer,” one more she waited for the acknowledgment from the computer before she continued, “give me a display of the time between Omega additions until now,” she ordered.
The computer took a moment and then displayed her request.
She looked at the information that had been displayed on her chair’s arm console and thought, ‘every 13 hours.’
“Computer, display the remaining time until the next predictable addition of Omega.”
The console changed from her initial request to a 24-minute countdown. Seeing this worried her as this would make the total seven. She only hoped that whatever ship was on its way would be able to handle such a massive amount of potentially unstable particles.
As she sat there sending her recent sensor logs to the Admiral the intercom once more echoed into the eerily silent bridge.
“Captain, your presence is requested in the mess hall,” came the voice of Major Fir.
With a sigh escaping her lips she pressed the intercom button on her console, “This had better be of a life or death situation, Mr. Fir,” her voice held a tone of irritation to it.
“Computer, lock onto my vitals, and perform a site-to-site transport from the bridge to the mess hall,” she ordered.
A moment later, at the heart of the Freighter mess hall, a bright light could be seen as Fergouson materialized out of the transporter beam. She looked around at all of the confused faces before she ordered the computer to keep a lock on her. Her bright green eyes continued to look for her second in command. She didn’t see him.
“Computer, locate and transport Major Firgison to the mess hall.”
As soon as the transportation had finished Fergouson reached out and snatched her second in command by the back of his uniform and tossed him into a nearby chair, which slid across the floor and came to a stop against a table. Her temper could be seen vividly on her face.
“Is there something you want to tell me?” She looked at each and every person’s face as she spoke.
When no one spoke up she walked over to a console and entered in her authorization code. As she hit the pulsating ‘engage’ icon on the console she turned and looked at them all.
“Computer, execute Alpha protocol,” Fir’s eyes widened as he heard this coming from his Captain’s mouth.
“Debrah!!” He yelled at her.
“This is my ship and if anyone objects to my orders let alone how I run things then you can get off my ship at the next port,” she stated with complete authority. “Now I will give you one last chance, what the fuck is going on?” her voice held a tone that meant there was no uncertainty about her next move.
Once more Fir yelled out Fergouson’s name as he stood up, the back of his knees impacted with the chair sending it back a few inches. She looked at him, “Something you want to say?”
“Yes, as a matter of fact,” he said as she squared his shoulders and took a step forward, “We all want, no deserve to know what the hell is going on?”
Fergouson had hoped that this wouldn’t come up, but she knew that it was inevitable. She closed her eyes tightly and then opened them looking at her crew of nearly ten years. Each one of them is loyal to a fault, and each one of them has everyone’s back.
How could she tell them about Omega, after all the only reason that she was aware of it was because of her ties to Starfleet. Normally a civilian freighter would not have detected the Omega particles, but when she had purchased the freighter, Starfleet wanted to make sure that her ship was outfitted with the most advanced navigation and sensor array that was available to the fleet, next to their flagships.
She had been one of their most seasoned veterans and they had even tried to offer her a position as Commandant at Starfleet Academy on Earth. She had declined, of course, feeling at that time that she had given the fleet enough of her time. Enough of her blood, sweat, and tears. Now here she was, at a crossroads, stuck between doing what her oath as a former Starfleet officer had sworn her to do, and her vow to her second family that she would never hold anything a secret from them.
She stood there in silence and prayed that she had the strength to hold true to her oath. As she looked at her crew she lied to them, “There is a spatial anomaly that has overwritten the ship’s primary code, and unfortunately has locked everyone out of the bridge.” She hoped that her lie, her act, was good enough to fool her crew, especially her second in command.
Fir looked at her, “Then why did you tell me earlier that you had locked me out?” He asked her.
She looked at the Major and lowered her eyes as she kept the act up, “I didn’t want you to know the truth of the matter at that time.,” she continued with her lie. Hoping he would accept it. She looked up into his eyes and was greeted with a look of acceptance.
She turned back toward the console that she had accessed earlier, and slowly let a sigh out, as she deactivated her previous command.
“Computer,” she looked at her crew, “transport me back to the bridge.”
The mess hall lit up with the light from the transporter as the computer executed her order. As soon as she was free from the materialization of the transporter beam she once more let out a sigh, “One crisis averted,” she said to herself.