You Say Goodbye and I Say Hello
Posted on Fri Feb 7th, 2020 @ 11:37am by Captain Henry Crow & Commander Edra Crow & Commander Vox Templar & Lieutenant Commander Brielle Jayde & Lieutenant Commander Caressa Melanick & Lieutenant Edruj Daughter of Thrawn & Lieutenant JG Aemilia "Millie" Stepanova
Bless the Maker
Timeline: One week after Loose Ends
The entire crew stood at attention in their dress uniforms in the cargo bay as the three sealed containers with the Federation flag draped over them sat side by side in the middle. A moment later they de-materialized in a transporter beam and the crew was dismissed.
Henry turned around to the Senior Staff but before he could speak his combadge chirped.
"Captain this is Lieutenant Tagum, we're picking up a repeating signal of unknown origin. What do you want us to do?"
Henry considered before looking to Edra. "We don't have any underlying orders yet, do we?"
Edra shook her head. "I haven't received anything."
Henry hit his badge. "Set course for the signal. Let's go see what's out there."
Brielle had tugged at her collar when the comm line came through and looked over at Henry, "Do you want me to head up to the bridge?"
He nodded to Brie, then looked at the Seniors. "Dismissed. Feel free to stop by quarters and change into normal duty attire if you're as sick of the formal stuff as I am."
"Henry," Millie interjected, "before you do, we need to talk."
His expression gave away his thoughts. "Perhaps later."
Millie noted the expression, and shook her head. "I think now would be best."
Brie nodded to Henry but then glanced to Millie. "Duty calls, Millie."
Caressa noted the public calling out of the Captain. She made mental note to pull her in for a conversation about being overly pushy. Especially in public. "Millie I agree with Brie, duty calls."
He glanced between the rest and with another silent dismissal nod began walking towards one of the exits.
Millie caught a glimpse of Edruj out of the corner of her eye. She could hear the voice of her Klingon friend echoing in her ears. Show dominance. The counselor clenched her jaw, quickly closed the distance, and planted herself directly in front of the Captain. "No. You've been dodging me for several weeks, you've missed your last two sessions, so we meet now, Henry."
Banks glanced around at the others. "Someone should probably go do something.....but not before it gets good."
He looked down at the petite woman in front of him. "That is the second time you've addressed me informally, Counselor. Are you thinking this little show is going to work? I can tell you it won't because your body language screams that you are so uncomfortable in this fake bravado and you have no idea what to do next. Next time, get better advice before you do something this stupid." He stepped to the right and around her.
Caressa was mortified. Millie was staffed under her in medical and a Junior Grade officer. "Lt. Stepanova, my office now!" with a raised voice. The irritation was noted in her voice.
Brielle swore more than a few times under her breath. "Stepanova! Go with the doctor, please?" It wasn't often that she did anything with her second officer abilities, but now was the time, "Everyone else, I'd suggest the bridge?" She couldn't command Henry or Edra, but most of the others...and for whatever reason she was getting more frustrated than she should.
Millie stopped, watching the retreating Captain. She clenched her jaw, forcing herself to take a deep breath. She wanted to follow after him, but with two senior officers now yelling her name, she decided it was not a wise idea to pursue him at the moment.
Edra had been deep in conversation with another Lieutenant when she picked up on the commotion caused by her husband and the counselor. For a moment she watched in horror as it escalated. By the time she pulled herself together, Henry had left and Caressa and Brie were working cleanup. She needed to figure out how to handle this, and fast.
As the others were leaving, she finally stepped forward and looked to Caressa. "Doctor, if you don't mind..." She only nodded toward Millie.
"By all means" Caressa smiled understanding that Edra could do more damage than she could.
"Stepanova, Ready Room, now." She looked back to Caressa and whispered, "Come find me later and make sure I'm not losing my mind." With a meaningful look, she walked toward the Turbo lift, taking it up to the Bridge. Millie joined her, silently standing at the back of the lift.
Caressa smile and nodded in agreement.
When the lift reached the Bridge and opened, Edra walked stiffly out, certain that Millie would be behind her. Halfway across she spoke very formally without taking her eyes off her destination. "Jayde, you have the com. Captain, could I see you in your ready room?" Her tone clearly said that was not as much of a request as a question implied.
He could tell that was not XO voice, that was wife voice and complied.
Millie followed behind, pausing at the door of the ready room. By now, she knew she was in trouble. She hadn't been wrong--the Captain HAD been avoiding her and dodging sessions--but she was clearly going to get an earful for her behavior. She waited, unsure if Edra wanted to speak to them both.
Edra nodded to Millie, encouraging her to come in, and the doors shut behind the three of them.
Caressa waited for the entourage to leave before she made her way to the turbo lift. She entered the Turbo Lift and of course everyone was talking. She exited to the main bridge, just in time to see Edra and Millie enter the Ready Room. It was quiet. It was as if everyone was waiting for the hammer to drop. This was not an everyday occurrence. She admitted to herself she found the counselor annoying but tolerated her because she was doing her job. Maybe she should have monitored her more closely.
Brielle nodded to Edra, having known that was coming anyways. She wasn't going to bother going to get out of her dress uniform, even though it was uncomfortable. She glanced to Caressa and shrugged, sitting down in the command chair.
Banks entered the Bridge and non nonchalantly walked to the Ready Room, just kind of hanging out a few feet away. Her ears picked up something a moment later, a raised voice no one else was close enough to hear, and widened her eyes, stepping closer to the door for a better position.
Eyeing Banks, Brie couldn't help but smirk a little. She knew what was going on, but had to put on a 'command' face for the bridge crew. That didn't mean that she wasn't curious what was going on.
Banks blinked a few times before muttering to herself. "Aw, shit."
Unable to stop herself, Brie wandered over to Banks, whispering, "Do I want to know? That look on your face says something is going on."
Banks shook her head. "Not good."
With a heavy sigh, Brielle nodded and went back towards where she was sitting, but didn't sit. Instead, she paced a little before walking around the bridge.
Caressa just shook her head. She went back to reviewing logs, but could help but to keep looking over to Banks for some kind of information. "You're going to wear a hole in the floor Brie."
"No, just...wondering what is going on in there." Brie looked over to the ready room door as she could hear someone, she wasn't sure who, nor was she sure what they said. "Whatever is going on in there...it can't be good."
Commander Templar stepped onto the bridge and over to where Jayde was pacing in front of the helm station. "Good morning, commander. How's bridge duty so far?" He handed her one of two mugs of hot coffee and arched an eyebrow as he looked around the room. His face showed a slight suspicion that things weren't the usual but kept it to himself.
Taking the offered coffee, Brie shrugged, "Ready Room drama," she whispered as she took a sip. "But with this crew, what else is new?"
Banks stepped closer to the door, her ear nearly resting on it.
Raising an eyebrow, Brie slowly made her way back to the ready room, "Something change?" she whispered to Banks.
"I think they're whispering."
Glancing around the bridge for a moment, Brie tried to listen in as well, "I... don't hear anything."
Caressa just shook her head. "Geez guys. Are we back in school again? Then she laughed. "But are you hearing anything good?" She twisted back and forth on her desk chair waiting for the ready room door to open.
Edruj sat at her station and observed the readouts from the sensors. She partially agreed with Caressa. That is to say, whatever was happening in the Ready Room was none of their business. She wanted no part of the conversation going on at the moment.
"Caressa, you can't say you aren't a tiny bit curious," Brie said as she finally went back and sat down. "I guess we wait on that. What's the report on the signal we found?"
"I am curious, but I also think they need space. Maybe I should have monitored her more. She is a Junior Grade officer. I still can't believe she called Henry out in public." She switched modes, waiting for a response from Brie's question.
The helmsman turned to Brie. "Still several hours away Commander."
Nodding to the helmsman, Brielle sat back a little. "So, we've got a few hours for this and then whatever is going on," she nodded to the Ready Room, "in there."
Vox curled one eyebrow as he tried to hide the disapproval of this scene by sipping his coffee. It wasn't proper for them to be acting so unprofessional on the bridge and especially in front of other, more junior officers.
Edruj simply kept her eyes on her sensors. Gossip like this would never be tolerated on a Klingon ship. She thought, and the fact was Millie was right in one regard. The Captain needed to respect the Counselor's position and lead by example. But Edruj, not being one to gossip, would keep her mouth shut.
Edra walked in taking long, quick strides. She was pissed at Millie, at her husband, but most of all at herself. That she had let the outcome she was hoping for get away from her was, to say the least, embarrassing. She'd gleaned some information from the verbal explosion, but nothing that helped the situation. She might be able to use that later, but now, she had a different job. She walked around the back of the bridge, and stepped down a few steps, coming up behind Banks. "You're too predictable," she said sourly as she passed by on her way to the center chair.
Banks about jumped out of her skin before looking at Edra, then the ready room door, then her again.
Templar shook his head slowly at Banks. "Getting sloppy in your old age, Patricia," he said quietly from a few feet away with a faint grin.
Brielle couldn't help but smirk, glad she'd gotten away from the door. She stood up and gave Edra the seat, taking the first officer seat again. "I take it... that didn't go well?" she asked quietly to Edra, guessing they had transported out of the room at some point.
Banks gave Vox a dry look as she returned to her normal spot at the back of the bridge. As she passed him she put her hand behind her back to inform him he was number one in her heart.
Templar waited until he caught Banks' eye and let her have a wicked smirk with a hint of satisfaction for the one-up. He then made a mental note to schedule their next intelligence meeting as soon as possible.
Edra passed a look to Brie that said she didn't want to talk about it. At least not without a stiff drink. "Everyone, back to your stations. If there was a show to be had," she looked at Banks, "It's over now."
Catching and knowing the look from Edra, Brie nodded and glanced at Banks. She gave a small eye roll at the gesture and shrugged to Vox. Then, turning back to Edra, "Later?" She had things they could use to make drinks, but didn't say that outloud.
"Perhaps," was Edra's only reply. "Status update?" she asked, attempting to bring the situation back to normal. When she was given word of their current status, she nodded and sat down, maintaining their current course.
Caressa silently reserved 2 seats in the ship's lounge and booked babysitters for 1900 and sent an invite to Edra. She knew that look on her face all to well from dealing with Henry while she was dead, but not dead. She wondered to herself why Millie was pushing so hard on Henry. It was her job, but it felt like she was on a personal quest. She made note to do a little research on the counselor, a little digging never hurt.
===SEVERAL HOURS LATER===
The Helmsman turned to Edra. "Ma'am we're in orbit of the sixth planet. The signal seems to be coming from in their ocean from some kind of small craft. About twenty feet by ten. It's a mile and a half deep in the water."
Edra stood, keeping her eye on the viewscreen.
"Sensors show that the craft cannot remain watertight for too much longer." Edruj added to the helm's report.
"Scanning for life signs," Caressa stated as she was moving her fingers over the console.
Brielle had moved back over to tactical but was looking out the viewscreen. "Checking to see if there are any other ships in the area," just in case someone else did this she said and then thought.
"There are no life signs." Her voice trailed off sounding disappointed. Finding dead bodies or nothing at all was getting a bit old, Caressa thought to herself.
"No other ships in the area either," Brie said and frowned hearing Caressa.
The elapsed time had calmed the XO somewhat. The crew's ability to answer her questions as they came to mind added to the sense that they were functioning at peak performance. Caressa's report, though, was not encouraging. She turned to the Science and Engineering stations. "Can we modify the tractor beam to pull that craft out of the water?"
Edruj thought for a moment. "I believe we can Commander. However, it will take a few moments to make the modification. Also, I believe we would have to get the ship extremely close to the planet's atmosphere. I am not sure that the Mercutio can break free once in."
She nodded, disappointed that the last detail changed her mind, but she wasn't about to risk the ship that bad. Still, they had to do something, and time was getting short. She turned to the Engineering console, "Ensigns, I need you to boost the output of the deflector dish so that we don't have to get so close. We don't have a lot of time. Please work with Edruj to calculate when it will be safe to pull them out."
It took several hours, including a two hour replacement of the main relay when it became overloaded but finally the deflector dish upgrade was complete.
Edra stood as the report came to her. Hopefully they weren't too late. "Helm, move us into position. Jayde, you've got control of the deflector dish. Edruj, I want you monitoring the structural integrity of the craft." She turned to Caressa. "Medical should be ready for casualties," she said dryly.
Glancing to Edra, Brie nodded and shifted the controls to her main screen. "Deflector ready."
Carressa hit her Comm badge. *Sickbay be ready to take on casualties if needed* She then looked back at Edra. "Sickbay is ready, Commander"
Edruj nodded in response to her orders and then turned to her screens. "The craft is holding together for now, but there is no way of knowing for how much longer."
The craft was retrieved from the amber colored water. Once it was in the air it was transported to Cargo Bay 2. The signal continued in no known language.
Edra let out a breath she'd been holding as the process started. "Good job, everyone. Helm, move us back into standard orbit. I want Security, Science, and Medical down in Cargo Bay 2 getting into the craft. Medical, see if there's anything that can be done for the folks inside. Once Medical is done, see what else you can find out about the vessel."
Brie fell back into her seat a bit. "Jeez. Don't think I've ever done anything quite like that. Glad it worked."
Caressa headed to the TL and entered. Edruj entered the turbolift right behind Caressa.
A few moments later Henry walked onto the Bridge. "What's the status?"
Edra stood, a backwards glance at the Captain before looking forward at the viewscreen. "The wreck is in Cargo Bay 2," she replied plainly. "It and any possible survivors are being analyzed. We're stationed in orbit at the moment." She moved to her seat, making room for him.
He sat with a nod. "Well hopefully they're alive."
Brielle glanced to the Captain, "They would be very lucky if they were."
Suddenly the Mercutio registered a sensor sweep emanating from the planet below. "Captain we're being scanned," alerted the Helmsman.
Edra sat forward. "Can we hail them? The vessel we have may be theirs."
Checking over the tactical scans, Brie didn't like the fact that they were being scanned.
"No reply Commander."
Edra looked over at Henry before nodding. "Let them scan us, but advise if they start manning weapons."
He nodded but hit his badge. +Caressa+ "Doctor, what's going on down there?"
The Doctor's voice came through a moment later. "Well Captain, It looks as if we have a rather tall cybernetic life form who is in need of assistance" see eyed the being and smiled. " He..well it was trying to assist its family and is being hunted by the Degans. The family members are on the planet below."
"I see." He glanced to Edra. "What kind of assistance is it...he...asking for?"
"Captain he is asking to re-charge. A engineering team could most likely help with that. I am out of my element here. As far as the other issue that needs a deeper dive."
"Alright, we'll set something up for him." He opened another channel. "Ensign Moro, report to Engineering."
"A recharge? That..is an interesting request..." Brielle shook her head and let out a heavy sigh.
Henry's badge chirped again but it was just static. "Hello?" He looked to OPS. "Try and figure out who was just trying to get through. We may need to run a diagnostic on communications."
The officer at OPS began her task before looking up quickly. "Captain I have an unauthorized access to the main computer."
That got Henry's attention. "Which files?"
Ops took a breath. "All of them, Sir."
Brielle's eyes went wide. "I've lost complete control of the weapons array! Trying to see why and get control back." She didn't want to try to command override, especially if the comms were having issues too. If she did, she'd be giving away her command codes.
Brie's console showed all phaser arrays were being aligned to target the same spot on the planet's surface.
"Captain," Brie's voice came through again, "All the phasers? They're being aligned to one target...all to the same spot on the surface. I can't override the targeting manually."
Henry turned to Brie, taking in what she said. "Computer, deactivate all weapons systems, authorization Crow, Henry, 83927."
The weapons systems went dark.
"Now what the hell is going on?"
Pulling her hands back from the console, Brie shook her head, "I've lost everything I had. I was going to suggest not using command codes, especially if the comms are acting up and systems aren't seeming to be under our control."
Ops gasped. "Captain, the cargo bay just had their force field dropped!
Henry could barely process all that was happening in such few moments. "Secure that bay!" He turned to Edra. "Get every security officer down there now."
Edra nodded. She sent a message through a PADD, hoping that would bypass the communication issues. Once sent, she stood and walked briskly towards the lift, grabbing the Security officer on the Bridge with her.
Ops nodded. "The bay is sealed, I'm reading three life signs."
Suddenly the scans from the planet below ended and a transmission was received in text form only. It read: 'We see you have removed the deceiver who is named Gairal. We intend you no harm and wish to be left in peace.'
Henry looked around the bridge as Ops read the message aloud. "Anyone else feel like we stepped into the middle of something?"
"I think that is an understatement, Captain," Brie said with a heavy sigh.
Henry tapped his badge. +Edra+ "Commander what's the status down there?"
The XO's voice answered, "Edruj and Dr. Melanick dropped the bay field purposefully. It sounds as if the AI they found wasn't entirely friendly. There are no casualties on our side, and only one serious injury that is currently being tended to. We'll report for a debriefing shortly."
Henry nodded to the Helmsman. "Back us off the planet and give them some room. Hopefully that conveys we're not looking for a fight. I'm going to be in the ready room." He looked to Brie and nodded at his chair as he left the Bridge.
Nodding, Brie let her replacement take over and moved to sit in the chair. This was turning into an interesting bridge shift.
Captain Henry Crow
Commanding Officer, USS Mercutio
Commander Edra Crow
Executive Officer, USS Mercutio
Lieutenant Commander Brielle Jayde
Second Officer, USS Mercutio
Lieutenant Commander Caressa Melanick
Chief Medical Officer, USS Mercutio
Chief Science Officer, USS Mercutio
Lieutenant JG Aemilia "Millie" Stepanova
Chief Counselor, USS Mercutio