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Day 02 [1600 hrs.] Into the Wild Blue Yonder

Day 02 [1600 hrs.] Into the Wild Blue Yonder

[ Sera vers Aldnoah | Random Corridor | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Lucan, CanadianVet, Kaligos, and others involved in the mission.
This was her chance! The Captain was in an area of the ship Sera could actually access. Thea, the ship's AI, had told her that Ives was finally out and about. If she hurried, she could possibly catch the elusive commanding officer and pitch her mission idea. She’d been able to find out more or less where they were and knew that they were close to an old dig site she’d visited a couple years back, hidden here in the Azure Nebula. She needed something to do. Desperately. Why? Because she was bored as hell. Bored might be an understatement.

She had yet to meet with anyone really, she had found all the public areas she was allowed to go to that were worth visiting, and visited most of them. She needed to be out doing something, somewhere. Take Sabine on a supply run, pilot one of the repair shuttles, something! Every time she had tried to meet with the Captain or First Officer, she had been turned away, saying that someone would get with her soon, and just to stay out of the way. This wasn't how this was supposed to go. To be fair, she hadn't really had any idea how this was going to go when she half landed, half crashed into the Theurgy shuttlebay for protection from the interceptors, but she was hoping for something more exciting than aimlessly wandering the ship waiting to be summoned. She knew she could help, but she wasn't "an officer," and didn't "have clearance." Jack had actually been put to work and she hadn't seen him since the night before with their shower together and the ship-wide briefing. She didn't know if he'd approve of her plan to go to the Captain to pitch a mission, but he wasn't here to ask.

As she had done all her life, she was taking her fate into her own hands. She turned a corridor and saw the captain moving towards a repair team of some sort. He was in his male form at the moment, something Sera was still wrapping her head around, but she managed to catch up to him before he made it to the larger group down the hall. "Captain Ives!" She said perhaps a bit too loudly and raised her hands to her mouth in a half-apologetic, half-frenetic gesture. "Captain, if I could just have a moment of your time." She didn't give him much of a chance to say yes or no. "My name is Sera vers Aldnoah. I'm a civilian captain of the SS Sabine, a shuttle that’s currently sitting in one of your shuttle bays. I escaped Starbase 84 and docked with your ship during the battle." She left out the part about her difficulty in actually being allowed to get back on said ship. One step at a time.

She realized she was rambling with too much introductory information. Was she nervous? She didn't usually get nervous. Her boredom must really be getting to her. She took a quick deep breath and steeled herself again. "I've overheard some of your officers in the mess talking about some supply problems and I have a solution for you. There's an abandoned Klingon forward supply outpost, older than the Klingon-Federation Neutral Zone not too far from our current position. I could take Sabine and load up her entire cargo with dilithium crystals, which I hear the Theurgy desperately needs." She realized again she was talking loudly and everyone in the corridor had turned to stare at their conversation. She wasn't sure what else to say so she finally stopped long enough for Ives to comment. She braced herself for his reaction.

Re: Chapter 40: Into the Wild Blue Yonder | Day 2 [1500 hrs.]

Reply #1
[ Captain Ives | Vector 03 Corridor | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @CanadianVet, @Mathis, @Triage, @Kaligos & @Havenborn (and FYI for @Doc M.)
While confering with his First Officer, Ives had been heading towards Main Engineering when he heard the voice of the woman behind him. He turned to face her, his eyebrows slightly raised, but without any objection voiced about her interruption. It was quickly evident that the person - with neither uniform nor rank - was one of the passengers picked up during the Battle of Starbase 84. During her long tirade, this was confirmed, and a piece of the puzzle about the onboard resources fell into place. The Sabine was a loose end in the reports, with merely the name of the woman in front of Ives filed with the shuttle.

Deputy zh'Wann and Petty Officer Bremmer had been walking with Jien and Commander Trent, a personal escort that had become merited with the threat of the Devoted still persisting. It had actually been the topic of discussion - along with Virus 117 - before they had been interrupted by the Câroon woman. At least she appeared to be Câroon based on her appearances, with her eyes and her tattoos reminicent to Doctor Nicander's in all but colouring and motif. Golden yellow and raging flames instead of pale grey and swirling winds, still equal in iris and ink. Perhaps the two security officers saw her as a threat, thinking she'd sprout fire any moment, because Deputy zh'Wann stepped between Ives and the woman with a blue hand resting on the handle of her pulse phase pistol, and had likely told the woman to be on her way had not Ives raised a hand - having forestalled the Andorian's interruption.

In silence, Jien weighed her words in the scales of his mind, considering the possible opportunity that Sera vers Aldnoah had presented them. "If you say there is an abandoned Klingon outpost, and also call it a dig-site," he said when she was finished, with just a short pause before his quiet words answered her, "do you mean to say that there is a mine of unprocessed dilitium there, or that this hidden outpost actually has crystals stocked in event of war?"

The difference was significant, in how the Theurgy had little time to start a mining operation, much less cultivating the dilithium for usage. Yet even more significant was the truth in what the Câroon had heard. The escape from Starbase 84 had been swift, the warp factor higher than Thea had ever gone before, but it had taken its toll on the three warp cores. Dilithium crystals were used to contain and regulate the annihilation reaction of matter and antimatter in a starship's warp core, which otherwise would explode from the uncontrolled annihilation reaction. When placed in a high-frequency electromagnetic field, eddy currents were induced in the structure of the crystals, which kept charged particles away from the crystal lattice. This prevented it from reacting with antimatter when so energised, because the antimatter particles never actually touched it.

But more importantly, while low-quality artificial diilithium crystals could be replicated, they were limited in the power of the reaction they could regulate without fragmenting... and were therefore largely unsuitable for warp drive applications. So, if this alleged dig-site had processed dilithium crystals, then it meant the Theurgy could actually go to maximum warp again without risking that her current crystals shattered... and the entire ship was blown to pieces.

Jien looked towards Trent, knowing that his XO was thinking the same thing. Depending on what could be found at this site, their entire repair operation might have to be relocated, since the civilian shuttle might not be able to carry everything Thea needed. Yet first, they needed verification... and a complete inventory of the site.

Re: Day 02 [1600 hrs.] Into the Wild Blue Yonder

Reply #2
[ Commander Trent | Vector 03 Corridor | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan , @Mathis is, @Triage , @Kaligos  & @Havenborn  (and FYI for @Doc M. .)

There simply were never enough hours in a day.  One would think that a ship trying very hard to look like a hole in space while effecting repairs was somewhat quieter, but it was not.  Commander Carrigan Trent, Executive Officer of the USS Theurgy, had never been more glad to have Lieutenant Commander Dewitt as his adjutant and taking much of his workload off his shoulders, but still he was being run ragged.  And that was when things were slowing down. 

But way things were going, meetings on the move were becoming a staple of his day, and he was finding himself sorely missing the time he had spent on the Holodeck with Natalie Stark.  If anything, she'd been the highlight of his day so far, and looks like she would remain so, assuming a certain little Radiant did not decide to avail himself to his hospitality again that evening... not that he would be back in his quarters at anything resembling a civilized hour. 

And now, the Captain merited an armed escort, thanks to the deteriorating internal security situation.  Things were getting out of hand, and they would need to be addressed sooner rather than later. 

As a voice was heard behind them, Trent turned about at the same time as Ives, and even as Deputy zh'Wann moved to interpose herself, the Petty Officer who formed the remainder of the escort, a newcomer from the Resolve no less, moved past them and took position on the other side, her back to the bulkhead and her hand down to the grip of her pistol.  One thing the XO could not fail to notice was that this Petty Officer Bremmer, she had moved smoothly and without directions to do so, taking the perfect position to cover the hallway and the nearby door; she was good all right, and that was worth noting. 

The woman approaching them was that civilian who'd come in in that heavily armed little ship of hers, and she wasted no time in talking about the supply situation, and a nearby cache of dilithium, among other things.  And they certainly could use new crystals, and spares.  Theurgy's warp drive had been sorely abused as of late, between the Calamity and the run from the failed operations at Starbase 84, and replacement crystals and further spares would not go amiss. 

"Captain, our geo-sciences lab could reprocess Klingon crystal to suit our warp drive.  Or even work from raw crystals to produce something usable.  Perhaps we should consider sending a party to take a look, and bring back as much dilithium as they can carry in the process.  If projections hold, we'll still be in pretty good shape logistics-wise when repairs are completed.  But if we can get a source of dilithium, we can't afford to pass it by."

Re: Day 02 [1600 hrs.] Into the Wild Blue Yonder

Reply #3
[ Sera vers Aldnoah | Random Corridor | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Lucan, CanadianVet, Kaligos, and others involved in the mission.
Sera looked between the two security officers, the XO, and Captain Ives, as if noticing the first three for the first time. One of them was mostly blocking her view of the captain, which Sera found a little annoying, so she side-stepped slightly, giving side-eye to the human female, so she could at least make eye contact with the two commanding officers who had asked her questions.

“Both, actually. The Klingon outpost had both processed dilithium crystals as well as an abandoned mine of the unprocessed stuff, so it sounds like exactly what we need,” she said nodding along with Trent’s comment. “I would have made out with a fortune, but unfortunately I discovered that the Klingon’s defense systems, antiquated though they were, still posed more of a problem than I cared to deal with, so we’ll need to bring someone along skilled in disarming those.”

She could tell she was getting their interest, so she continued. “Also, I know you Federation types are as interested in interesting archeological finds as I am, so I’ll let you in on the real reason I was there. Beneath the Klingon facility there was an even older outpost, maybe a colony of some kind. The few glyphs I was able to translate mentioned something about a race of beings called The Lightborn, or Sunborn… Starborn? Something to that effect anyway, and some of their doors wouldn’t open unless subjected to certain specific and intense frequencies of light, which I didn’t have the equipment to reproduce, but I’m sure you do.”

There, she had them almost sold, she could tell. They all knew this was too good an opportunity to pass by, and Sera was so close to leaving this ship, flying Sabine, and maybe even getting a profit from this trip, one she’d had to abandon years ago, that she could taste it. Time to bring it home and make sure she’d need to come along. “Best part, I can take you there. The clouds of the nebula are especially dense and charged in that area, making sensors almost useless, but I not only have the path archived in my ship’s logs, but I can guarantee you a safe flight in with me as the pilot. So, how about it Captain? Can I help you solve your energy problems?”

Re: Chapter 40: Into the Wild Blue Yonder | Day 2 [1500 hrs.]

Reply #4
[ Captain Ives | Vector 03 Corridor | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @CanadianVet, @Mathis, @Triage, @Kaligos & @Havenborn (and FYI for @Doc M.)
Oh, but it was evident the Fire Regioneer before them had her own reasons for wanting to go there, likely due to both the intrinsic and monetary value of the crystals. Either she meant to make a profit once she left the Theurgy, or she simply tried to gain favour with the present Starfleet crew aboard. Then again, she could also be so bold as to try and escape the ship with or without the alleged crystals.

So, the decision whether to approve an away mission was not at the forefront of Jien's thoughts as she looked at the Câroon. No, it was whether she was trustworthy or not. In the end, the only way to make sure was to take prudent precautions, since the proposed pay-off was substantial. If this shuttle the woman owned would have no chance of leaving the mission, there was no risk in granting approval.

"I see no harm in having a look," she said quietly to the fiery-eyed woman in the corridor, "yet your ship can't go there without any protection. Sensor readings from the battle will have shown you docking in our shuttle bay, so given the risk Starfleet chances upon you, you will have an escort of warp fighters too. So, you need to make sure they can follow in your wake. Moreover, if I remember the report correctly, you have enough room for five Starfleet officers as well, correct?"

It was a rhetorical question, Jien already turning her head towards Trent. When Sera vers Aldnoah had spoken of Klingon security systems, she had thought about their recent topic of discussion: The Klingon Intelligence operative aboard.

"Junior Lieutenant Hi'Jak wanted to prove his loyalty... and I could not fathom any better way than this," she said, and then she paused, thinking of what the Câroon had said about the deeper levels of the outpost. Having spoken with Heather McMillan herself, Jien remembered what she had said about the lost history of her people, and during the battle at Starbase 84, other reports had detailed the sheer extend of her abilities. Regardless if there was any connection to the lost Radiants, her abilities might still be the key to the ruins. "And I want Warrant Officer McMillan to go as well, because I think she would not pass on this chance if she was told about these ruins. The Radiants and these 'Lightborn' could very well have a shared origin, and she could uncover a piece of her people's past."

While not confirmed, Yeoman Henshaw had hinted to Jien that the First Officer had been meeting with the former civilian scientist, and to forestall any objections - knowing she would object too if there was more to those meetings than Trent let on - Jien glanced towards Deputy zh'Wann. The Andorian did not turn her head - her icy stare locked on the woman with flame tattoos - but one of her antennae shifted a little towards Jien.

"These two scientists, along with our benefactor here, would of course need protection and an experienced mission leader, should there be monsters lurking in the bowels of this dig-site... or scavengers claiming it as as their own," she said in part jest, her faint smile not quite reaching her oaken eyes. "Lieutenant zh'Wann?"

The Andorian officer nodded imperceptibly. "I will hand-pick two officers that will accompany me."

Because of what the Deputy had done at the final battle with the Calamity, the reports about her actions during the SAR mission, and how she had breached the very command centre of Starbase 84, Jien had abandoned her earlier misgivings about the woman. Aside from Wenn Cinn himself, Jien trusted no other to lead the mission to this supposed dilithium mine. "Excellent. Schedule it for tomorrow at 0700 hrs."

Turning to Trent first, she raised her eyebrows a little in query as to if he had any objections. "Commander, could you please speak with Mister Ravon and ask him to arrange for the fighter escort?" she asked, before turning back to the Câroon woman. "Thank you for granting us this opportunity to obtain more dilithum. Is there anything we can do for you in kind after you return, to show our appreciation?"

Jien did not have to emphasise 'after'... and she didn't.

Re: Day 02 [1600 hrs.] Into the Wild Blue Yonder

Reply #5
[ Commander Trent | Vector 03 Corridor | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan , @Mathis , @Triage  , @Kaligos   & @Havenborn   (and FYI for @Doc M. )

Trent was the skeptic, the calm, cool voice of second though usually.  He was always one to consider the factors at play when making a decision, but whenever he had made a decision?  He stood by it good or ill though without committing himself to a unitary direction, and adjusted his course of action as conditions would dictate.  And in this case, his advice was to indeed take a look; if there was indeed access to refined dilithium, or even just raw ore, it would be an asset they could not afford to overlook. 

And it would seem the Captain had a similar idea, for Ives greenlit the mission, and began enumerating its parameters.  Hi'Jak.  The half-Klingon scientist was a bit of a conundrum, and he had arrived on board on Sabine; that definitely made the XO a little uneasy.  After all, if those two were close, it might not bode well for the remainder of the away team.  Or it would should someone not as circumspect as Jien Ives was setting the operational guidelines. Such as attaching an escort that could keep up and overhaul the shuttle if need be, and placing some fully trustworthy people on board. 

As Ives spoke, Trent did not need to be given direction, and using the PADD he practically always carried, he was jotting down a rapid preliminary warning order to the fighter bay, and to the half-Klingon, as well as Security with regards to the upcoming mission. 

But his fingers stilled over the controls.  Sending Heather out there?  Part of him wanted to put an end to this immediately.  She was dear to him, that much he would not even come close to denying.  But she was also so fragile, so delicate, and definitely did not have the right kind of mindset for heading into a place that could be completely laced with booby traps, and might not even be fit to hold atmosphere anymore.  "Captain, Warrant McMillan is not Starfleet-trained, and neither is Miss Aldonah. Whoever goes with her, at least one person should have extensive EVA training."

No, objections would be squashed flat almost immediately, so all Carrigan Trent could hope to do was to try and mitigate the risk. 

However, Ives did continue, and gave hir orders.  "I've already sent a precautionary to the interested parties.  I'll have a more in-depth discussion with Commander Ravon once he'll have had a chance to pick out the detail.  Deputy zh'Wann, I think it is safe to say you can expect to be in a hostile environment; make sure whoever you pick is checked out on exosuits and have relevant experience.  Find yourself a relief for your current task, and I'll want to see your personnel recommendations and preliminary operational planning in two hours.

Re: Day 02 [1600 hrs.] Into the Wild Blue Yonder

Reply #6
[ Sera vers Aldnoah | Vector 3 Corridor | USS Theurgy ]
Sera took mental notes about the relationship between the Captain and hir first officer. Trent was very efficient and no-nonsense. She wouldn’t want to be in an interrogation room with him, but she did find herself wondering what he would be like drunk. Ives was still a bit harder to read. The Captain was certainly a being with a commanding presence, but also very personable and almost calming. Sera had noticed a lot of her pre-conversation nerves had relaxed since the encounter had begun. She still didn’t know how much she could trust them, or their willingness to protect her, given their quadrant-wide reputation, but she found the interaction promising. Plus, some of the others she’d started to meet here had begun to win her over as well.

The question about what she would want in return though, did catch her off guard. She thought they were just negotiating permission to go on the trip, she wasn’t quite expecting a ‘return the favor’ conversation until after it was proven successful. She took a moment to think about it and collect herself. “Since my fate has aligned with all of yours, what I really want is to be useful and become part of your crew. As for what I’d do, I can imagine future missions like this one. I’ve been to a lot of out-of-the-way planets and systems and have a lot of useful information in my databanks, which I’d be willing to share with you. I would be well situated to visit… ‘less reputable’ destinations for supplies and equipment and not stick out as much as a Starfleet officer would. I also have talents in botany and could help grow plants for the ship for food and morale.”

She took a breath and realized she hadn’t made any actual, specific request, and she shouldn’t let the opportunity go to waste. “I would also like permission to reside aboard Sabine indefinitely until such a time as I choose otherwise. She’s been my home for years. It’s comfortable, where I feel safe, and comparable energy drain to an entire set of quarters.”

She knew that a lot of this would need to be discussed in detail upon her return, but she hoped it would be a good start. She tried to gauge Ives and Trent’s reactions.


Re: Chapter 40: Into the Wild Blue Yonder | Day 2 [1500 hrs.]

Reply #7
[ Captain Ives | Vector 03 Corridor | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @CanadianVet, @Mathis, @Triage, @Kaligos & @Havenborn (and FYI for @Doc M.)
When the First Officer spoke to her, Ida had turned her and nodded in acknowledgement. Ives had noted Trent's comment about Heather McMillan and he was certain the Andorian had picked up on that potential requirement as well. Sera's conditions, once she mentioned them, were surprisingly humble.

"I am quite certain we could arrange for permanent access to your shuttle, as long as it is not in the way for everyday operations. I do think one of the corners of the Upper Shuttle Bay will be ideal, but I will need to have this verified by officers Stark and Veradin first before I make any promise on which bay it will be. The Lower Shuttle Bay does also have potential space for her, even if there is a lot of work-bee and shuttle activity with the repairs."

Having said this he moved on to her role in the crew. "I will let you speak with Commander Trent at length about what you can do after the mission, but I am certain we can find a role that is of great value to the ship, and I hope you'll find permanent duties rewarding as well. Thank you, again, for suggesting this mission, and hopefully, we'll have enough dilithium to last us the remainder of the mission."


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