Mission Day 105
The problem, Tikva was finding, with having a girlfriend who also happened to be your Chief of Security, was the early morning starts. Yes, she kept her fitness up, but she wasn’t the diehard fanatic like some she knew, but Adelinde was edging on that territory. So that meant by the time she’d come on duty in the morning, finished her morning one on one with Lieutenant T’Val and sent her on her way, she’d already been up for four hours.
A run, then a bit of sparing which to be honest she didn’t mind for various reasons, cool down stretches, some breakfast, a morning walk of the ship to pop in on various departments briefly before the bridge at 0800 hours. It was just enough, as she glared at the door to the bridge, roughly in the direction of tactical, to annoy her, being up this long already.
But Adelinde had far too many redeeming qualities to remain even more then annoyed at her for long.
Yah, sorry Boss, we all agree with Primitive Tikva on this one.
I think Boss was agreeing with us anyway?
Wait, we all agree?
Tikva shook her head, a smile forming on her lips as she thought about that last kiss in the turbolift before they had stepped out onto the bridge, ever the professional couple. Maybe, just maybe she could make this particular relationship work? It certainly helped that Adelinde seemed highly interested in making it work.
Before she could contemplate the issue much further her computer terminal beeped at her politely, to inform her of an overnight message of importance, but which no one had warned her about. A quick check and she noticed the Starfleet Command prompt on it, Captain’s Eyes Only as well and then stopped.
“Computer, why wasn’t I notified of the Eyes-Only message in my inbox?”
The dutiful minion at the heart of her starship chirped in acknowledgement, then spoke. “Captain, there is a priority one message from Starfleet Command for you.”
“Yes, I see that, but why wasn’t I notified when it first came in…six hours ago?”
More beeping. “Unknown routing error. Captain, there is a priority one message from Starfleet Command for you.”
“Yes yes, I see that. Run a level three diagnostic on the comms system and send the report to Ops when done,” Tikva ordered as she tapped the message, expecting to see a video for her, but instead was greeted with a small amount of text. It would have been quicker and easier after all for hyper-subspace and the windows large enough for face-to-face conversations where rarer, but windows for a small set of written orders were likely much easier to time.
From : Fourth Fleet Command HQ
To : Captain (Provisional) Tikva Theodoras, Commander, USS Atlantis
Subject : Tkon site of interest – immediate investigation required
Recent events in the Federation have highlighted a lack of understanding of an ancient power, the Tkon Empire. Fourth Fleet is prioritising exploration and recovery of Tkon artifacts and data in order to better understand recent events within the Federation and abroad.
Starcharts recovered from a private collector hint at a possible Tkon outpost in the Delta Quadrant near your current position. You are hereby ordered to divert course to the provided coordinates and undertake recovery operations of any pertinent artifacts and databases.
If required Captain, you are hereby authorised to proceed under the Omega Directive.
Fourth Fleet Command
“What sort of mealy-mouthed intel dweeb wrote this damn thing?” she asked of no one in particular after reading the orders which danced around the point and only hinted what it was all about in the last line. It was all a follow up in regards to the Omega situation. Just great.
Attached were a set of coordinates, not more then ten light years, again another few days at high warp. But with no impetus of sub-space destruction, unless of course that all changed, Tikva couldn’t and more importantly wouldn’t run the ship’s engines that hard again. They hadn’t even had a full week to let the engineers look over everything.
Depressing a call button, Tikva spoke. “Theodoras to Velan. Chief, if I wanted warp power right now, what can I ask of you that’s going to keep me in your good books?”
“I can give you warp seven right now, but no more than seven five since I know you’ll want more. And that’s my final offer right now Captain,” came the Chief Engineer’s voice over the comm.
“Seven five it is than Chief. Theodoras out.” Her finger came off the call button and she stood, finished the last sip of her second, no third, cup of coffee and stepped out on the bridge. “Ensign, set course two seven six mark eight seven and engage at warp seven point five immediately,” she ordered of the young flight officer at the helm, then around the bridge to Tactical where she stepped up beside Adelinde. “Any signs of Borg?”
“Still nothing,” the reply came, Adelinde not even looking up from her screens, but brining up long range scans on one for Tikva to look over. “Not even a hint of transwarp signatures on long range scans.”
“Let’s keep it that way. You have the conn, I’m going down to see the archaeologist we have on board. Command wants us to go digging in the dirt, best let our experts know what to expect and give them some time to do some prep work.”
Tikva could feel the curiosity from Adelinde at that and she smiled in response. “I’ll tell everyone everything at a briefing. We’ve got a few days yet and it’s just a follow up to something someone found back home,” she said, telling the truth, save for a small omission that didn’t impact the veracity of everything else said.
Fuck, did we just lie to Adelinde?
No, we omitted something.
Still feels like lying.
“Well, makes for slightly different orders then last time,” the taller woman said, giving Tikva a hint of a smile. “I have the conn, enjoy talking with Simmons and W’a’le’ki.”
Science Lab 2
Lieutenants Simmons and W’a’le’ki were, as Tikva discovered, some rather unique individuals. She couldn’t quiet place W’a’le’ki’s species straight away, but Simmons was clearly from the British Isles by accent alone.
“Lieutenants, have an assignment for you two,” she said coming through the door and getting their attention, clearly interrupting a discussion where both sides were using reference material with padds and screens open around them on either side of the large table they’d set themselves up on.
W’a’le’ki, her dark blue-green skin tone and vibrant ruby red eyes, turned with a smile towards Tikva and smiled with a mouth full of teeth just a little too sharp for comfort. Each one was pristine and white, but each was also sharp, clearly ready to rend flesh from bone. “Captain, a pleasssure,” the s stretched out as she spoke. “What can we help you with?”
Dragging a spare chair over, Tikva sat herself down at the large table and smiled. “We’re diverting course to investigate a possible Tkon outpost nearby. Apparently, some recent discovery back home has highlighted it and someone was smart enough to do put two and two together and assign us the work.”
“Tkon? Out here?” Simmons asked, his tone incredulous. “I find that difficult to believe ma’am.”
“Honestly so do I,” she responded. “But orders are orders. I want you two as principles on this. We’ll get to the coordinates Command has given us in a few days. From there we’ll investigate the veracity of the claims and hey, maybe make an interesting discovery or two?”
“Well, proving or disssproving anything as Tkon will be interesssting,” W’a’le’ki said, those eyes of her’s twinkling in the light, her smile hinting at mirth which Tikva could just make out from her. Something about the woman was just different enough that Tikva wasn’t sure what emotions she was getting from the woman.
A puzzle for another day.
“What do you know of the Tkon ma’am?” Simmons asked.
“Just what I’ve learned watching some documentaries and a museum display at the Smithsonian once. Ancient extinct power, died off when humanity was descending from the trees or thereabouts. Could lump them in the same category as the Iconians or the Preservers for ancient powers that mysterious disappeared.”
“Clossse enough,” W’a’le’ki said while shrugging her shoulders. “They disssapeared it isss sssussspected after their home ssstar went sssupernova. It isss alssso sssussspected they had advanccced transssporter technology. But there isss much in the way of literature for us to read before we arrive, yes Sssimmonsss?”
“True. We’ll also need to coordinate with Lieutenant Camargo and put together dig teams and run over basic protocols. Get equipment out of storage or replicate it as well so it’s ready when we get there,” Simmons answered. “We’re going to have a busy few days Captain.”
“Oh, no doubt Lieutenant. Right, I’ll talk with Camargo and let her know you’re the principles on this investigation when we get there. I’ll also have you in a briefing this afternoon just so I can give you the full information Command has sent along. Won’t be a long meeting but I’d appreciate both of you being there.”
“Thanks all for coming,” Tikva announced as she walked into the conference room, the computer having advised that everyone was present. Taking her seat, she leaned forward, elbows on the table. “We’ve got an interesting set of orders that some of you know are already aware of, but I did keep the entirety to myself until now.”
A tap on a set of controls and a holographic display of the Milky Way galaxy appeared on the table, with large green swathe over a portion most would likely identify as the Alpha and Beta quadrants, but with small dots of the same green spread across the galactic plane. “Command has asked us, with a bit of a priority actually, to go look into a suspected Tkon outpost this far from home.”
The map zoomed in on the more local galactic region, with a sickly green pallor cast over a large area, the colour most would identify with the Borg, another bright and vibrant green around a single star system. A bright yellow line cut across the map, diverting here and there, to represent the path of the USS Voyager decades ago through this region, to which Atlantis was well and truly off the beaten path.
“There a reason for this Captain?” Mac asked, still looking like a man trying to wake up, which he truthfully was.
“A couple. Some situation back home, declined to say of course, but which more Tkon information would be useful. We’re to conduct a preliminary investigation, see if we can identify anything of grave import and then send it forward. But at the same time, I figure we could drop off a couple of shuttles, some prefabs and a full team for a proper dig on site, yes?”
“Kinda wish we knew why Command wants this information so desperately,” he continued.
“I’ll ask,” she offered. “Lieutenants Simmons and W’a’le’ki will be in charge of planet side operations. They’ve already given me a list of personnel they want for a proper dig; we’ll go over it tomorrow Mac. Anything else Lieutenants?”
“Jussst equipment lissstsss we are working on Captain,” W’a’le’ki answered. “If we are to be camping on sssite for a while, cccertain needsss will naturally have to exxxpand.”
Tikva wasn’t sure what she meant, but Mac’s nodding in acceptance told her all she needed to know. Her XO would be all over it. “Excellent. Well, Lieutenant, could you give the senior staff a quirk reminder of the Tkon and then cover the high level of what you’ll be doing? I want everyone to support this operation.”
Mission Day 109
“Warp drive shut down in five seconds,” T’Val announced from the helm.
Nodding to herself, Tikva tucked the padd in hand between the chair arm and her leg as she looked up just in time to see the streaks of stars stop, giving way to a single brighter point against a backdrop of stars. “Report.”
“GIV main class star, twelve worlds, two L-class, though one much nicer then the other,” Camargo answered. “Probes away to scout the outer gas giants. Oh…I’m detecting a starship in orbit of the fourth world, the nicer of the two L-class. I’ve got two shuttles as well.”
“Well,” Mac said as he stood up to go and look over Camargo’s shoulder briefly. “Looks like we’re not the only ones looking into this place.”
“Perhaps, but remember, Command wants information. Lives are on the line.”
She had lied, again, to her crew about why this was so important. She promised to ask, then waited before informing them yesterday that it was all in response to some medical emergency. A dig site, ancient warnings, then sickness. Command was desperate to save some lives so follow up on the newest pieces of information, their assigned coordinates. She didn’t need to tell them it was related to Omega, that would just drive more curiosity about that particular can of worms.
Another lie, another day.
Pretty sure it’s another day, another lie.
Is it though?
“Well, we’re here to save lives, no reason we can’t be here to make friends. T’Val, take us in, full impulse. Rrr, make sure we’re ready to deploy when we get to orbit. Mac, shuttles ready?” She paused long enough for his nod in the affirmative. “Right then, Rrr, be so kind as to hail these fine folks, will you? Let’s say hello.”