Sitting around the coffee table in the middle of the Captain’s ready room, an unwitting silence engulfed the four occupants of the room. It had been a few minutes since anyone had said anything, so the Captain, being the senior most officer present, took the lead. Leaning in towards their guest slightly, he tried to get their guest’s attention. “Mister Henry?” Thaddeus inquired, “are you ok?”
Mason sat motionless in the chair looking almost like a mannequin or an android, his gaze focused straight ahead but not at anything in particular. He had been lost in deep thought, trying to piece together the events of the past few days. Ever since he regained consciousness in this ship’s medical bay, he was trying his best to remember what happened to his ship, and how he ended up on that Gorn vessel. He was frustrated; frustrated that he was taken prisoner, frustrated that his ship may have been destroyed… But mostly, he was frustrated at feeling like he had been powerless to prevent it.
“Yes, sir, I apologize.” Mason replied, shaking his head slightly before continuing, “I’ve been trying to remember what happened, remember where my ship and crew might be, but I can’t.” Feeling uncomfortable and slightly restless, he stood up and crossed his arms before going on, “I was on the bridge of the Enforcer… We detected a Gorn vessel approaching us. The Captain decided to keep the shields down as to not provoke them unnecessarily, next thing I knew we were hit.”
He paced the floor a bit as he recalled the last few moments on his ship that, for all they knew, could have been destroyed in the attack. “The Captain ordered the shields up, and just as he did I ordered to lock phasers on target.”
He shifted his gaze a bit, looking at Captain Scott now, “I was standing near the operations console and was walking back to my station when we were hit again… It was the strangest sensation, at first I thought the gravity system failed but in reality, I was flying through the air towards the bulkhead… I hit my head hard.”
Mason rubbed his head in the same spot he hit it against the bulkhead, remembering the intense pain he felt immediately afterwards. “I tried to get up, but everything started to go black around me. I stumbled and then collapsed. My next memory is waking up on the Gorn ship.”
Scott and the team had been nodding along, hanging on the newcomer’s every word, intensely curious as to his tale. A few looks were exchanged between them, but all knew what had to be done.
“We’ve not detected any Starfleet vessels anywhere in sensor range,” Scott remarked, “but if we can track down the Enforcer, maybe we can find some answers. Do you think you’re up to helping us retrace your ship’s movements?”
Mason nodded, “Anything I can do to help my ship and crew, I just hope they’re alright.” He stood over his seat, dropping his arms to support himself on the back of the chair before going on, “We had just departed Cestus III and were en route to the Argolis Cluster when we detected the Gorn vessel. We dropped out of warp to investigate their presence in what was clearly Federation space by a large margin, and before I knew it they began firing on us.”
Mason shook his head in frustration, “I wish I could remember more, but here are the last coordinates that I can recall of the Enforcer.” He leaned down and typed the coordinates into the PADD that had been sitting on the table in front of him.
Aamin immediately took ownership of the coordinates, duplicated them for himself and begged his apologies before departing the room to deliver a new set of orders to the bridge crew.
“It is possible that, should we find the ship, there will be nothing left of the crew,” Commander Usmanov reminded those left behind, “but my biggest worry at this point is where the Gorn went. If they aren’t on the Enforcer, where are they?”
Using the provided coordinates, the Captain pulled up the last known location of the Steamrunner-class ship on his display and twisted the screen for the other occupants to examine. “Are you ready to get back to work, Commander Henry? You’re welcome to join us on the bridge,” Scott suggested, eager to get out there and enlist the help of others.
Mason nodded in agreement with Commander Usmanov, “Agreed. It isn’t so unusual that Gorn vessels violate the borders of the neighboring powers, but they usually don’t come this far into Federation space. A raid here or there by a rogue cell, sure, but usually never something like this.” He hoped maybe the Enforcer was chasing them back to their territory, but he knew to temper his hopes and expectations until they could discover what really happened.
When the Captain spoke, Mason stood up straight and fixed his uniform then nodded, “Yes, sir. I appreciate the opportunity and will help in any capacity I can.” He didn’t know what the Captain would assign him to do, but anything to keep his mind busy and focused on finding his friends and ship he was grateful for. He only hoped that they weren’t too late.
Rising from his chair, the Captain nodded to the newcomer and led the way to Venture‘s command center, which was alive with activity thanks to new orders from the ship’s XO.
“Captain on the bridge!” a voice called from the back of the room, a signal to all that Scott was back and in charge again, but gone were the days where officers would stop in their tracks and stand rigidly still. On Venture at least.
“We’re headed for the coordinates from our guest,” Aamin informed the CO upon his emergence from the ready room. “Commander Henry,” the XO pointed to the large suite set back from the main command center, “StratOps is at your disposal. If you can think of anything at all that might help us, let us know,” the Trill nodded to their guest, whilst Usmanov took over at tactical once more.
“Aye, sir.” Mason acknowledged, reporting to his station and pulling up the relevant mission information on his console’s display.
“Open a channel. All decks,” the Captain requested, looking down at Lieutenant Mora at Ops. A nod from the bald Bolian indicated the channel was open.
“All hands, this is the Captain,” Scott began, leaning on the back of Mora’s chair. “We’re moving into phase two of our mission. Information recently obtained requires us to locate the starship Enforcer, a Steamrunner-class vessel. Until further notice, we will stand down to yellow alert. Mission-critical elements take precedence until further notice, with standard operations suspended where required. Liaise with department heads for further clarification,” he decreed sternly, but when he next spoke, his tone lowered somewhat. “Until we locate the Enforcer, we are working on the assumption that hundreds of lives are at risk. Saving those lives is paramount. That’s all,” and with that, the communication across the ship terminated. Thaddeus made his way to the command pit and took over the center seat once again.
The search for Enforcer was underway.