Halsey glanced around the bridge and tapped his badge, “Lieutenant S’Atilen to the bridge.” He turned to Sesias, “You’re temporarily security and engineering, Lieutenant, in addition to your duties as operations. Once S’Atilen arrives, get him on the communication station.”
“On my way, Captain.” S’Atlien grabbed his PADD and quickly made his way to the turbo lift. “Bridge”
“Yes, sir.” Sesias quickly reconfigured his console so that, till an emergency arose, he could keep tabs on each department with the use of one of his arms.
He tapped his badge once more, “Lieutenant Choi to the bridge. Head of Civilian Science Operations to the bridge.”
Choi’s voice came back through the commlines, “Right away, sir.” He was curious about what the heck he was needed for.
He stood over the United Federation of Planets logo in the bridge’s center. Given what they hadn’t found on the initial scan, he was growing concerned about the implications of what that would mean. He needed to plug the empty spots on his bridge. The doors flew open, and Theodora Walker-Halsey stepped onto the bridge and gave him a nod. Leopold gestured to the science station, “For the moment, I need some good eyes and ears.” She allowed a thin smile to cross her face before shifting to the science station and getting to work.
The turbolift doors opened a few moments later.
Egrel stepped out of the turbolift onto the bridge, approaching the Captain, “Sir… I was requested?” He stood in a relaxed yet attentive posture with his hands clasped behind his back.
Halsey gestured to the right-hand chair, “You’re going to be pulling some XO duties for a bit, Lieutenant Choi. Get up to date on the mission files and briefing on the chair’s console. I have a feeling this plan, so carefully constructed, is about to have some significant issues in its foundation.”
Egrel furrowed a brow in concern at the temporary shift in positions and nodded once, “Of course, sir.” He walked over to the XO’s chair, moving to sit down in the chair. He started to review the files and orders, his brow furrowed. He remained listening to his surroundings, glancing up as he heard the turbolift doors open briefly.
S’Atilen entered the bridge and made his way to Sesias, who had just pointed over to the communications console. The Caiten nodded and made his way over to the console. “Captain, incoming transmission from Lieutenant O’Shea. Says it’s for your eyes only.”
Leopold turned to the communications officer, “That’s a first. Transfer it to my chair console.” He sat roughly in the chair and tapped at the arm console, his eyes widening by the moment.
Egrel furrowed a brow and looked over at the captain. That certainly couldn’t be good.
Halsey slipped in an earpiece and handed Choi one for his ear, “You’re getting read into this as temporary XO.” He tapped the audio file, and it filled both of their ears. As the voices spoke their parts, Leopold’s concern elevated far past concerned. This was trouble in the worst meaning of the word. As the audio clip ended, he shook his head, “Well, that was different.”
Egrel nodded and took the other earpiece, slipping it in. He exchanged glances with Leopold.
=^=Sorek to Mercy.=^= Halsey gave Egrel a look of curiosity.
“Halsey here, go ahead, commander,” Sorek explained the situation over the open channel. Halsey replied, “It appears we’ve got layers to this situation, Commander. We’ve received a message from O’Shea and Beattie regarding an audio file they discovered. You’re correct – we can’t risk transporting anyone until we know more. I have no choice but to confirm your recommendations and put the entire away team on a hold order.”
The channel closed, and the CO returned to his temporary XO, “We seem to have stepped in the proverbial…stuff. Thoughts?”
Egrel sighed and ran a hand down his face, giving his head a slow shake. He offered a faint ghost of a chuckle at Halsey’s words, “That is an incredibly mild and polite way of putting it, sir. We can’t make rash decisions right now.”
“Captain, we have another message from Lieutenant O’Shea for you. Sending it to your console now.” S’Atilen said from the comms console as he had one hand on his earpiece and the other sifting through the various channels.
Halsey listened carefully and was about to speak when his operations officer spoke up.
“What the hell?” Sesias turned to gave Captain Halsey. “Captain, we have a situation here; the transporter room just informed me that the observation post enacted quarantine protocols. All outbound transporters have been locked out. We can’t even transport our people out if there is an emergency need for it. “ Sesias turned back toward the main view screen. “What is going on down there?”
Leopold frowned, “We’ve got some work to do up here. We’ll have a meeting here on the bridge shortly; we’ll need to make some backup plans.”