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Part of USS Heracles: USS Heracles – Halting of a Diplomatic Solution and USS Heracles: Operation: Homestead

Halting of a Diplomatic Solution Part 1

Location: Alpha Quadrant – USS Heracles
Stardate: 74752.18 Time: 0938 hours
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—Bridge—

 

It had only been a few days since Vausees proposed to Debrah. She was now sitting in the central command seat of her ship, which had been tasked with aiding with the escort of a diplomatic convoy to starbase 310.

It was a simple assignment that she readily accepted because it gave her something to do other than sit on her hands and do nothing while the rest of the Fleet performed God knows what.

 

She was reading the Comm logs with her eyes down on a PADD in her hands, her left leg half-haphazardly crossed over her right. Nothing stood out to her as she proceeded to peruse the material that slowly scrolled down for her convenience.

 

The klaxons on the bridge suddenly erupted, and the lighting darkened as the wall lights changed from white to “Red Alert” red. She sat straight up, placing the PADD next to her on the armrest.

“Report!” she promptly demanded of her bridge officers.

 

Debrah had already begun monitoring the area around the ship and the entire convoy. The scans revealed nothing, which perplexed her, so she repeated them several times. “I’m not sure why the computer has brought up the ‘Red Alert, Captain,” she said as she placed her hands on the edges of the holographic monitor, looking up from her station.

She rose from her command position and came over to Debrah’s side. She nodded after taking a look at what the Commander had done. “Keep your eyes on the scans,” she said quietly.

“Lieutenant Jonton, call the Captain of the diplomatic lead ship and advise them of our predicament and see if they have noticed anything on their end,” she said to the Chief Operations Officer.

 

Jonton nodded and started sending the request to the lead ship. A chime came through the console a split second later. “Captain, we’re being hailed.”

 

“Bring it up on the main viewscreen.”

 

When Jonton tapped the glowing icon, the main viewscreen changed from a canvas of stars to a young man dressed in a starfleet uniform and three pips. “Captain, it’s open,” Jonton said.

“Command Ty, this is Captain Vax of the Heracles,” Vausees said, nodding. “Our computer has put us on ‘Red Alert,’ but we can’t figure out what prompted it. We’d like to know if your ship or any of the other ships in the convoy discovered anything?” She inquired, her gaze fixed on the Commander on the viewscreen.

 

As he glanced at her, he had a puzzled expression on his face, but he nodded and looked off screen for a second. When he returned her gaze, he shook his head, saying, “No, Captain, we do not detect anything from our ship, and neither do any of the other Commanding Officers from the convoy.”

“Keep your scans open, Commander,” Vausees said, “while we diagnose our end to see if it has anything to do with our systems. Meanwhile, I urge that you set the conditions to ‘Yellow Alert’ and issue the same to the rest of the convoy.”

 

The Commander nodded, and the lighting in the background behind him turned yellow. “Let us hope that it is just a system glitch, Captain.”

 

Vausees nodded, “Let us hope you are correct, Commander,” she replied and the main viewscreen returned back to the canvas of stars.

 

—Captain’s Ready Room—

 

Cody and Charles sat in Vausee’s ready “Impossible, Captain,” he responded as he considered every part that had been replaced or mended after being checked by himself or Skirak. “Myself and Lieutenant Skirak, personally checked every part before installation happened.”
“Lieutenant Skirak, report to the captain’s ready room,” Vausees said, reaching up and tapping her ComBadge. room, discussing what was going on with the Heracles.


“Captain, I have had my best men check and double-check every system inside and outside of the ship,” Charles said as he sat there, explaining that they had found nothing seriously wrong with any of the Heracles’ systems.


Vausees shifted her gaze to Charles after a brief glance at Cody. “Do you suppose something might have been installed without your knowledge when the crews from Starbase 72 had their hands in the Heracles?”

 

“Impossible, Captain,” he responded as he considered every part that had been replaced or mended after being checked by himself or Skirak. “Myself and Lieutenant Skirak, personally checked every part before installation happened.”


“Lieutenant Skirak, report to the captain’s ready room,” Vausees said, after reaching up and tapping her ComBadge.

 

After a few moments, the door to the ready room slid open, and Skirak entered. As he walked in, his uniform was folded about his waist. “Lieutenant Skirak reporting as ordered,” the Xindi-insectoid said in his clicking tones, which the universal translator interpreted.


“Have a seat, Lieutenant,” Vausees urged, motioning for him to take a seat beside Charles.

 

Skirak took the seat next to Charles that was provided to him. Vausees, examined the Assistant Chief Engineer.

“Skirak, Charles here informed myself and Commander Cody that both you and he personally inspected every part that came aboard the Heracles while we were inside Starbase 72, is that correct?” she questioned.
“That is right, maam,” Skirak said in response to her question.

“I’ve also received confirmation that the entire ship’s systems have been thoroughly inspected,” she said as she stared at Skirak.

 

“That is also right, ma’am,” he confirmed.

“Was there anything discovered in the system?”

“No, ma’am,” Vausees replied, nodding and looking at both Charles and Skirak. “Then we’ve got a problem, gentlemen. One major issue that requires an immediate remedy.”

Charles stared at Skirak, who was also looking at him, before returning their gaze to Vausees.

 

“What exactly do you have in mind?” Charles inquired, his gaze fixed on her.

Vausees stared at both of them as she considered the Heracles’ current problems. “As we know, the ship is on ‘Red Alert,’ and we have no idea why,” she explained as she continued to glance at her colleagues. “What I need to know is why this is happening and what is causing it.”

As she spoke to them, Vausee’s gaze went from one to the next. “How it is handled is up to the two of you, but for the time being, I am authorizing the two of you to do whatever you need to get this ship and its convoy going, and moving quickly.”

 

Charles returned his gaze to Skirak, and they both nodded. “Consider the task completed, Captain,” Skirak stated; Charles nodded in agreement.

“Dismissed,” Vausees stated, turning to face Cody.

Charles and Skirak both exited the ready room and made their way to the main lift.

 

“Cody, I need you to work with Commander Fergouson to figure out how we can secure this ship and the convoy while we’re here.” “I want this convoy to be as safe as possible with what we have,” she said, her gaze drawn to the holo-monitor on her desk.

 

—Main Engineering—

 

Charles and Skirak were debating the next step, with both of them fighting on what should be done.

“Skirak, if we conduct a complete EPS grid overhaul, we would lose the entire system for weeks and we only have days to arrive,” Charles sighed as he drove a hand through his hair while spinning on his heels with his back to Skirak.

Skirak’s mandibles emit frustrated clicks as he realizes how critical it is to get to the bottom of the problem. Charles contemplated what they could accomplish as he gazed out into the engineering bay’s emptiness. Suddenly, an idea struck him, and he turned to face Skirak. When he noticed Charles’ expression, the xindi-insectoid cocked his head to the side.Charles and Skirak were debating the next step, with both of them fighting on what should be done.

“Skirak, if we conduct a complete EPS grid overhaul, we would lose the entire system for weeks and we only have days to arrive,” Charles sighed as he drove a hand through his hair while spinning on his heels with his back to Skirak.

Skirak’s mandibles emit frustrated clicks as he realizes how critical it is to get to the bottom of the problem. Charles contemplated what they could accomplish as he gazed out into the engineering bay’s emptiness. Suddenly, an idea struck him, and he turned to face Skirak. When he noticed Charles’ expression, the Xindi-insectoid cocked his head to the side.

 

“What if we designed a nano-scope-like device and programmed it to scan the entire grid while flowing inside the EPS grid?” Charles said out loud as he thought about the device he was creating in his mind, “It could also be developed to inspect every secondary and backup system to see if there are any defects in parts or devices,” he explained as the device began to take shape in his imagination.

 

Skirak paused for a while, his mandibles forming a scary grin, and said, “I guess we’re going to have to replicate a few things.”