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Part of Endeavour: Where Angels Fear To Tread

Do Tell!

Endeavour NX-06
Thursday 12th May, 2157
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After the gathering, Campbell and Leonov led the admiral out of the conference room and towards the Command Centre so they could get their next set of orders. Once they were in the box-shaped room,  Paulsen had gone to the large central wall console and inserted a data chip into it, loading several images across the huge wall monitor. 

“Ollie, Katya, this is the Alpha Gruis system, and it’s near Romulan territory,” Paulsen shared as she gestured towards the simulation of a star system. “Your orders are to scout this system and to determine if there is a suitable location for a new listening post.”

Scoffing somewhat, Campbell crossed his arms. “I thought we wouldn’t be fighting any Romulans in this mission?”

Paulsen shook her head, “No, I didn’t say that; I said this should be a change from your previous assignments. A bit of exploring for the greater good of the war effort.”

Campbell looked at Leonov, hoping she was picking up on his annoyance with Paulsen for not being clearer earlier. 

Leonov’s expression was as inscrutable as usual. “Exploration and military reconnaissance are quite different, admiral, requiring different approaches and priorities. You wouldn’t be thinking of sending the Endeavour if there was not some particular challenge, so which is it? Are we expecting a Romulan presence, local opposition, or is there some other difficulty requiring a Columbia’s extensive resources to overcome?”

“Starfleet needs to set up a larger net to see what the Romulans are up to. Right now, we don’t have enough ships to do this with a task group of surveyors. Instead, Endeavour will be one of a few ships sent in by themselves to do such a thing without backup and making a scene,” Paulsen stated.

“Basically, you don’t want the Romulans seeing us?” Campbell clarified. 

“Precisely that, Ollie,” Paulsen confirmed. “Now we know nothing about this system, so I want a thorough investigation done, including your recommendations for a suitable site for a listening post.”

“Are there any specifics this base needs to have?” Campbell checked. 

Paulsen passed a tablet over with the possible base schematics, “Somewhere out of the way, can’t be picked up on long-range scans but can sustain its personnel. Our deep space scans indicate that there might be a Minshara class world in the system.”

Scrutinising the plans, Campbell noticed something odd about them. “Ma’am, these plans include elements of Vulcan, Andorian and Tellarite technologies?”

“Indeed they do,” Paulsen verified. 

Campbell passed the tablet over to Leonov for her to review. 

Even before taking up the tablet, Leonov wore a thoughtful expression. “We’ll have to make our approach in the right way. There are regional phenomena we can plot a course near to mask our presence. None of this will make us invisible if the Romulans are looking for us, but we’re one of the biggest ships in the war front. We should take all possible precautions.”

Only then did she look at the tablet. After a moment, one eyebrow quirked. “Vulcan deep-space sensor technology does open up our options on a location. Their science programme -” This was said with the slightest sardonic edge in recollection of Vulcan surveillance operations of years gone by, “- has provided them with more long-range data than us, historically. We will need to do a little work along the way to be sure we can integrate the Andorian power signature-dampening protocols properly. That may impact position. But I’m impressed.” At last she looked up at the admiral and asked the million-unit question: “Is this the extent of assistance we’re getting from our allies these days?”

Paulsen nodded grimly. “Unfortunately, yes. Until the refits to their vessels are complete to avoid them being susceptible to the Romulan telepresence capturing virus, this is one of a few projects they can contribute to.”

“What about the Kreetassans?” Campbell wondered aloud. He hadn’t spent all that time, almost a year ago, negotiating with them for them to be kept out of such a project.

“For the moment, they’ve requested to be left out of such operations. They wish to remain working with us on the frontlines for now.” Paulsen answered. “Back to Commander Leonov’s point from earlier, a well-planned route to avoid detection would be appropriate. I want the Endeavour in and out without the Romulans; we’ve been close to their border. I’d be taking the Poseidon back to Starbase One, so you won’t have any backup close by. Any further questions?”

Both officers shook their heads, and the admiral ended her briefing, wishing them all the best.