To The Rescue
Location: 5 n' Dime Lounge
Timeline: 1 Week Following Into the Hot Zone
After several hours of meetings on the topic the CO and XO along with Commander Templar and Lieutenant Edruj retired to the lounge for a bite to eat while they continued their work.
To have dinner with the CO and XO was a high honor to Edruj. She knew that Starfleet did not work the same as the KDF however, she still retained the ideals of the KDF. As such she made sure that her uniform and familial sash were perfect before heading to the lounge. When she got there she found the Captain and Commander already seated. "Captain, Commader." She said by way of greeting and awaited the indication that she could join them.
Henry appreciated the formality she felt was needed. "Lieutenant, please," he motioned to a chair. "As my wife can attest sometimes we get more work done if I'm not daydreaming about food."
Edra simply acknowledged with a knowing nod.
Commander Templar entered the lounge and made his way over to the table where the other three were seated. He nodded in greeting toward them. "Good evening captain, ladies..." He pulled out a chair and sat down, smoothing over his uniform front before pouring himself a glass of water from the pitcher on the table.
Edruj took the empty seat and smiled briefly. "This virus has got a lot of us baffled sir. It is like when we take a step forward we wind up being thrown three steps back."
"Medical has never been a particular strong suit for me. I do better with things you can blow up. But if anyone can find a cure or get a handle on this thing it's our people." Henry took a sip. "What still bothers me is the cause. I know we don't have solid intel but this whole thing seems like its not natural to me."
"I would tend to agree with you, captain. I think that this is natural but not at the same time. I believe that this virus was at one a point a virus native to this planet. However, a lab perhaps while working on a cure caused it to mutate into what is seen now." Edruj chimed in and then sipped the blood wine that had been brought to her. One of the perks of dining with the captain was access to a little bit of a better quality of food choices.
Edra nodded again. "We've contemplated the idea of something genetically engineered in the medical meeting. It's hard to speculate until they do get some hard evidence. Best preparation for now is to keep all options on the table, and not overlook any detail."
Vox nodded as he listened to the discussion. His skeptical nature, coupled together with his job description, almost guaranteed suspicion of surface facts. Indeed, during the senior staff meeting, he had been the one to propose that the virus was indeed a synthetic, manufactured virus designed to be a biological weapon. "I agree. If we take things at face value, we could be missing something more sinister at work."
Henry began carving up his steak. "Internal scanners show so far so good in keeping anything from the planet from sneaking up here. I just wish they'd give me a straight answer on how long we're supposed to keep this up. I'm getting a lot of 'let me get back to you on that' type replies."
"I think it is a delaying tactic. They have access to our staff, and our equipment. So long as they do they would not want us to leave. If the Mercutio was given a timetable they would have to stick to it, and may not have a cure in time. The only good news is that those that have recovered show that they have an antibody, which could possibly be used to create a vaccine of some sort." Edruj spoke between bites of her steak. The Klingon within her was saddened by the dead meat, but she was satisfied as it tasted good.
Henry nodded in agreement. "I told the good doctor at the first sign of trouble I wanted them pulled back to the ship but luckily we haven't had to do that yet." He knew that last word was the operative one.
Edra had been making a dent in her meal as she listened to the others. She looked over at Vox. "Can we monitor their communications? Deduce a tone, or even direct quotes from the leaders and government about what they are expecting from the virus, and maybe from us."
Vox nodded and curled an eyebrow in thought for a moment. "That's definitely something we can accomplish. A few atmospheric drones would be able to penetrate their communications network without too much trouble, I'd wager. It would certainly give us a leg up..." He sipped his drink slowly as the specific probe specifications preoccupied his mind.
Henry chewed in silence before nodding. "Good thinking. At this point the sooner we're out of here the better."
Edra took a drink as she considered how to respond to those words. The doctor that she used to be was still very much alive. "Let's not get too ahead of ourselves. This crew has experience enough to make us gun shy, but those people down there do need our help, and truncating our response because we've been burned before is a disservice to them and ourselves. We need to keep our ears open, but until we have more solid evidence that something underhanded is going on, we need to do the job we're here to do."
He continued to chew but didn't refute what she said in front of their company. He wasn't a dummy.
Edruj wiped her mouth with the napkin, something she had become accustomed to since she had been in human company. "Commander, back in the Empire there is a saying: 'ghorgh QaH nej 'ej bIH'e' QaH Qujmey Da'ovQo'. vay' QaH qar nIS chaH qabDaj?;' Which means: 'When one seeks help and refuses to help themselves. Do they really need any help at all?' I think that applies here. I understand the need to help and the danger of not helping. However, they do not seem to want to assist in their salvation. That alone is enough to raise the hair on my arms and want me to be ready for battle." She took another few bites of steak after she spoke. Every part of the Klingon thought there was something wrong. It was rare that the scientist and warrior within her were in agreement.
Vox finished chewing a bite of succulent, medium-cooked steak as he nodded his head to the side in Edruj's direction. Once he swallowed, he said, "She has a point. Why are they so keen on just handing the entire problem to us? It stands to reason that any planetary government would be somewhat focused on working with us or even simply observing our methods to learn, or at least offer a helping hand."
Henry took a long sip. "Do whatever you have to do," he said to Vox.
Had he been dining with only the captain and first officer, Vox would've mentioned the good captain by his first name. However, in the presence of the lieutenant, he knew to keep things official. "I'll get started immediately," he said with a curt nod.
Captain Henry Crow
Commanding Officer, USS Mercutio
Commander Edra Crow
Executive Officer, USS Mercutio
Chief Science Officer, USS Mercutio
Commander Vox Templar
Chief Intelligence Officer, USS Mercutio