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Part of USS Mackenzie: Mission 5 – Answering the Call (ATC)

ATC 006 – To Work

R332 / House of Pora
02.04.2401 @ 1200
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“We are nearing the planet, commander.”  The pilot of the Winona worked the console while she coordinated with the other runabout and shuttles.  The planet on the maps was identified as R332 but was known in the sector as House of Pora.

T’saath gave a nod for him to drop out of warp, and the five ships flashed into the sector and proceeded toward the planet.  There were several colonies spread across the surface, and most of them were within a day’s walk of either other.  She signaled to the others to follow their course as she tapped the console, “This is Federation Runabout Winona calling House of Pora Space Control.  We are on approach with four other shuttles inbound with medical and engineering supplies responding to a call for assistance.”

In the rear compartment, Chief Kondo helped Doctor Reid prepare the various biobeds and mobile equipment containers, “Given what we read, I don’t expect a warm welcome, Doc.”

Reid motioned to three attached medical officers to unpack the mobile stretchers, “The people out here have every reason not to trust us…or anyone for that matter.  Our only hope for this mission is that we at least put all of our cards on the table…and don’t try and hide anything.”

The Chief Security officer grumbled, “Is that why you mandated a lower amount of security offices than what I would usually recommend?”

Jordan turned to him, annoyed. “We are in a different part of space with this new task force, Kondo.  Where we were was significantly different from where we are now.  Taking a chainsaw to a chip on someone’s shoulder isn’t the most balanced or helpful response.”

De La Fontaine gawked at her, “You misunderstand….”

She held up her hands as if to surrender, “I’ve got people to save, heal, vaccinate, and whatever else they’re willing to let me do.  You security, I’ll medical.  I need you to let me run this as much as possible without getting into it with anyone.  When the time, god forbid, comes for some blunt-force trauma, I’ll step aside.” Kondo gave a slight nod and moved to return to his work.  Jordan watched him momentarily and then sighed, “I’m sorry, Kondo.  I’m…this is a big mission for us.  I think I’m just feeling the pressure of doing this right and not causing some kind of incident on our this mission.”

His soft eyes turned to her, and he shrugged, “We are all in a new place here, Jordan.  You, me, Captain Harris…change is hard…and figuring out our place in this newness isn’t easy.  I know that feeling all too well.  Apology accepted.”  He let the moment breathe as she reflexively relaxed. “How can I help?”  She gave a thankful and thin smile as she began to walk through the checklists with him.

Back in the cockpit, T’saath tapped the beeping console, =^=Federation Runabout, you are ordered to enter a holding pattern while leadership evaluates your request=^=

The pilot turned with a quizzical look on his face, “Commander…what does a holding pattern look like in…space?”

She examined a map of the sector, “We’ll pull out of orbit and retreat to this point here.  I’ll advise the others.”  The Vulcan tapped out the message as the Winona turned towards the point she had identified.  Her logical mind had already begun to evaluate the attitude of the controller through reasoning, given the area’s history.  Was it designed to give them what the humans called a ‘cold shoulder’?  Or was this more of how things were done with everyone who came to this part of space?  Variations and variables spun through her mind as it worked through each scenario possible.

Kondo came forward from the rear, “Holding pattern?”  A nod from T’saath, and he suggested, “Ensign, monitor the planet-based weapons systems.  Just in case.”  He stepped back into the rear compartment.”

The communications channel chirped, and T’saath tapped it open, =^=Federation Runabouts, you will land at the indicated location.  Make ready for inspection and interviews from our security forces.=^=  Kondo slipped back to the cockpit and frowned as the channel abruptly closed.

“That is…unusual.”  He read the console and glanced at the planet.  Something wasn’t adding up.

The XO agreed, “They are understandably paranoid and distrust us.  However…”  She tapped on the console, “I’m inclined to keep one shuttle back to observe and report back to the Mackenzie should something unpredictable occur.”

Kondo suggested, “Chief Tir on shuttle Slidell would be a good choice.  He’s senior staff and can react to a developing situation.”  He didn’t mention the symbiont Tir and the additional help she could lend.

She replied, “I concur.  Prepare the crew for landing.”