“We’ve got a breach in the sea wall near Baker Street!” came a shout out from the local emergency team.
“Gavinton is reporting a potential hurricane forming just off-shore,” came a much calmer update from a team responsible for updates about events on one of the other continents which Mac couldn’t recall.
“Winds in the Rainbow Mountains just took out another tower,” advised someone from the PAM team that was watching over the umbrella network. “No holes in the system yet, but the southern arcs are taking a beating.”
“And this,” Governor Makarov said from beside him in their little bubble of calm at the back of the disaster control centre, “is only as calm as it is because of your ship.”
Atlantis had briefed them on the plan as soon as they could, which coincided with them being close enough to start their runs, laying down plasma streamers which while quickly faded from view, were detectable and more importantly had done as predicted. Then when it took up sentry as a planetary guardian, it had been given its own status monitor in the disaster centre. Nothing fancy, just a field output and altitude value. All present were briefed that if either value dropped, they’d be in for a hell of a time.
If the main deflector gave out, then more would be demanded of the umbrella towers, which weather was already felling. If the ship dropped altitude, it would be forced to quit its activities to seek a higher orbit, if not in fact seek shelter in the shadow of Stormlea. But so far neither of those situations looked likely.
“We’re what, four hours into this storm? How much longer can it rage for?” Makarov asked.
“Estimates give it a couple of days. We are talking about an interstellar storm after all.” Mac shrugged, then paced himself a little in the area they had. “That said though, it’s usually the storm wall that’s the worse. The worst of it should be over in another six or so hours. Then Atlantis should be able to free up and lend assistance planetside. Should hopefully see the worst of the weather effects as well.”
Makarov nodded in understanding. “And your people even managed to salvage some of the university’s sensor array I understand.”
“Not all of it. Pinched a few satellites from orbit, stashed up on Atlantis or at the spaceport. We’ll put them back before we leave, but the SNARC is going to need to be rebuilt, Governor.”
“It’s not a priority, I assure you, but I’m sure Starfleet would appreciate it being back online as quickly as possible. Our readings of this storm and the Paulson Nebula no doubt will provide the scientific community with a few years’ worths of study.”
Mac pointed to one of the monitors on the walls of the room, a visual feed from emergency workers here in Sydney behind the shimmering of emergency forcefields holding back a rising body of water mixed with debris and refuse, the hallmarks of a city experiencing a natural disaster. “Looks like those emergency forcefield generators are already coming in hand.”
“Hopefully they’ll hold the water back long enough for something a bit more concrete,” Makarov said. “I need to speak with my people, then address the planet.”
“Of course madam Governor,” Mac said, shook the offered hand and watched her go before he himself made for a nearby comms terminal. A few commands of the system, a ‘please wait’ while a taxed system found him some bandwidth and he was presented with the bridge of the Atlantis. “Afternoon Captain.”
“Morning to you too Mac,” Tikva said. “We need to talk about this mission. It’s cost me an arm. Nearly a leg.”
He couldn’t help but chuckle in the face of the woman’s seemingly endless jovial nature in the face of losing an arm, though losing it once before likely makes it easier the second time. “How’s it looking from up there?”
“We’re monitoring the storm, even launching the odd probe into it to gauge the storm wall and it’s looking promising. Gabrielle thinks the storm wall should pass within three hours, then we’ll be down to a mid category one storm after that for a couple of days. Umbrella’s will be more than enough and the wild weather will end. We’ll then liaise with the disaster centre and help out where we can.”
Mac actually smiled at that. Better than he thought and he was being slightly optimistic in what he said to Makarov. “Plenty of folks will be happy to hear you calling the disaster centre.”
“Well till then we’re still stuck here and can’t help out. Talk to you again when we’re free Mac. Atlantis out.”
“Did she say the storm will pass in a few hours?” came a voice behind him, causing Mac to turn about and see Lisa standing there. He knew the look on his face was the question ‘what are you doing here’ as she just shrugged and continued. “Special advisor to the Governor remember? Means I can come and go pretty much as needed till this whole thing blows over.”
“Ah. Well, not over over, but the storm wall will have passed. Atlantis can then start helping out as best they can, even make for Highcroft again if we suspect they need to,” Mac said, answering the first question. “Hey, before I get back to ordering what people I do have here, I just wanted to say something. Not sure if we’ll get a chance in all the clean up and then no doubt our warping off to the next emergency.”
She looked at him expectantly and he took that as the cue to continue that he needed. “You and Grant need counselling.” He said it. He hadn’t really wanted to but the man’s reaction to him the whole time had pushed him to say something finally. “Or Grant does at least. He acts like a jealous meathead around me and I can’t figure out why.”
Lisa shook her head. “He needs counselling? We need counselling? Where was this Charles MacIntyre ten years ago?” She stepped closer and smiled at him. “You’re right Mac. And I will sort things out. Your coming here has brought a few things to a head that have been bubbling away for a while now.”
“I didn’t mean to cause any trouble, but yah…” He trailed off for a moment. “Look Lisa, if you need anything, anything at all, just call. I’ve got friends all over the place, even in the Fleet. Can help out best I can.”
“Mac, that’s sweet, but I’m a grown woman, I can handle myself. I can handle Grant,” she said, forcing Mac to meet her eyes. “I’m glad you’re no longer that rut-stuck ass I broke up with. Now, go do your Starfleet thing. And promise me it won’t be ten years before we talk again?”
“Only as long as you promise the same.” With that he gave her a brief hug, two ex-lovers, now friends, getting ready to head back to their jobs, unsure if they’d get a proper goodbye at the end of this. “Right, time to go be awesome.”
“Or at least moderately capable,” Lisa said with a smirk on her face.