Posted June 5, 2023, 4:45 p.m. by Lieutenant Junior Grade Nicholas Foster (Chief of Security) (Ray Branch)
Posted by Ensign Jhalae Ynuchausti (Acting Chief Engineer) in Main Sim - Bridge
Posted by Lieutenant Junior Grade Nicholas Foster (Chief of Security) in Main Sim - Bridge
Posted by Captain Dante Knight (Commanding Officer) in Main Sim - Bridge
Posted by… suppressed (23) by the Post Ghost! 👻
Any lifesigns picked up by the lateral sensor arrays came from micro-organisms within the target. Gut bacteria and the like. There were no other lifesigns ahead, no neural activity, no electrical signals. And sensors showed thermal decay. The object was losing heat on a steady track, and would be on the mark for approximately nine hours of exposure to hard vacuum at this distance from the system’s star and concealed in a relatively dim, dark place.
((Small physics lesson as the best and brightest in Starfleet would know this. Space is cold, but not cold like we think about or associate it. Space is nothing. There is nothing to conduct or convect heat away from the human body. And the human body is very well insulated. The only mechanism to lose heat in hard vacuum is radiation. You radiate heat, which is detectable via infrared light, which is why there’s a thermal readout. The object is about 64°F and continuing to cool. But without something like a chemical reaction, nuclear reaction, or other source of energy input/output, the object continues to cool due to radiating away it’s energy. But it will take approximately 24 hours to really start freezing. ))
OOC: That is a fascinatingly morbid’ish thought :-P I learned something today!
IC: “Alright, we have somewhere to start,” Dante glanced across at Andriss before focusing on who, what and where.
Opening the Comm, he brought up the Chief Engineer as well as addressing the Chief Science Officer who was on the Bridge.
=/\= Lieutenant Ch’Thaanaq, we have a piece of debris from the B’hari, part of the Bridge, in the Cargo Bay. We need decontamination procedures in place and I would like you and Lieutenant Commander Graham to scour their computers for any retrievable information. Who attacked them, where they came from, anything that might help. =/\=
Teller nodded to the Captain from his console and headed to meet up with Lieutenant Ch’Thaanaq.
From the bridge Atoded grabbed the piece of the B’hari’s bridge and tractored it (OOC or beamed not sure which works here Lady GM). Coordinating with the Ops officer on duty in the Cargo Bay they brought the large piece of debris in.
((Either works. The piece is not that big. Not much bigger than a small speed boat. Either way the shields will have to come down for a short period.))
Next, he opened a line to Natasha.
=/\= Nat, we have a dead body out there. We’re bringing it in under isolation protocol and lets see if we can identify the poor soul. Indications are its’ been floating for 9 hours. You might want to make some space, I’m hoping to find more of the crew from the destroyed ship we are investigating but indications are, no life pods survived or are present. =/\=
=/\=Nat here=/\= she responded from sickbay. =/\=Understood=/\= Natasha replied and waited for the body to be beamed into the isolation pod in sickbay via protocol.
Nat Knight CMO
“Counselor, I’m not sure how much you can help the Doctor but I’d like you to pop into Sickbay and see if there is any insight or help you can offer.” Dante turned to Sheleah beside him.
Sheleah nodded, turned, and left the bridge.
Closing off the Comm, he turned to Atoded. “Brenna beam that body into sickbay under an isolation field, and keep an eye on the ship sensors. Whoever did this may still be out there. How are our shields holding up?”
Captain Knight, CO
“Aye Sir.” Brenna locked onto the body floating out there. What a horrible way to die. She keyed up the isolation sequence. =/\=Atoded to Sickbay. Locked onto the isolation pod, energizing now.=/\= Her hand slid over the keys as the body was pulled into the transporter beam and reappeared in sickbay.
Then her attention went back to the scans and sensors. She checked the power reading on the shields as well.
For the moment everything was still in the green, but a few were starting to head for falling below 80%, the yellow zone. Ionization against the shields was increasing on a steady track and a charge was building.
“Captain, ionization is increasing steadily and there is a charge beginning to build,” the CoS reported.
Andriss noticed the look from the Captain.
“Captain, permission to join Lieutenant Commander Graham and Lieutenant Ch’Thaanaq in the Cargo Bay? I was a Science Officer once upon a time, you know.”
-XO Andriss Krex
((Details in MOTD updated, including status board. ;3 ))
“No life signs other than bacteria have been detected in the vicinity, Captain,” Jensen announced once the scans have returned. Truhart didn’t want to specify how it was most likely the bacteria from the individual’s stomach, that had spewed out into space.
((I think I got everything for now. Transport of body was successful. Tractor or transport of the wreckage is also successful with some minor interference.))
Andriss stood from his seat. He was getting a little worried this could be a salvage instead of a search and rescue–or was this just a piece of a ship that could possibly still be intact? He wondered what they would find based off their new acquisitions.
“Any new information as we scan? There has to be more out there,” he murmured, almost to himself.
-XO Andriss Krex
The Helmsman wasn’t sure if they would find any survivors at this point. The Saracen had a few systems dipping below 80%, and the longer they were there, the more it would drain. His biggest worry, however, were the shields. Not only were they needed to protect against the radiation, but also to whatever could be lurking in the dark.
In the blue depths of the nebula sat the Saracen. The ebb and flow of cosmic dust, the remains of some celestial body continued without care. Around her were the dozen sensor probes forming a larger cloud, expanding her senses. Echoes and swirling shadows in the dark held at bay. The sensors themselves registered ionization along their hull as much as the shields of the Saracen were.
In the bubble of awareness around the Saracen there were other chunks of floating metal, the flotsam of a wrecked ship. Most around the same size as the one they had already picked up. All had the integrity of a ripped apart soda can. The total mass was almost to the metric ton of the dry mass of the ship. They were floating in the middle of the B’hari’s remains.
Around them were warm spots, relative to the vacuum of space. Almost a dozen humanoid figures. The crew. Counting the one they beamed aboard, that made a dozen. A dozen souls in the void.
As the probes reported more information through the stellar fog, another source of energy made itself known. A signal, a subspace ping, matched by conventional short range signals, both on a standard Federation emergency frequency.
Contact with the signal showed it was from the B’hari. When studied by the sensor net, it was very small. The size of a small case. The ship’s black box, designed to withstand all but the most rigorous of catastrophic events.
“Captain we’re picking up roughly 11 more heat signatures of deceased crew. And I have a lock on what appears to be the B’hari’s back box.” Atoded reported.
“It seems the B’hari sustained significant damage,” said Jhalae. “We should proceed with caution. I have no idea what can rip apart a ship in that manner.” She initiated the tractor beam to pull the crew and the black box aboard.
Being that tractor beams are generally short range, and the nebula’s interference has shortened transporter ranges it’ll take a little bit to scoop up all the things.The ‘cloud’ of debris is big enough to fit the entire Earth inside of, with a fair bit of wiggle room to spare.
Andriss’s mood certainly shifted. A dozen souls, left to the void of space. Now it was up to the Saracen to care for them until they could be returned to their people.
But the bigger question remained–why the B’hari and who, exactly, pulled the trigger or made the order. He sat in his seat solemnly.
=^=I’m afraid that we have more bodies incoming, Medical. Do you have room down there for twelve or can I help you find alternative arrangements?=^= Andriss said into his comm badge.
-XO Andriss Krex
=/\=We are not the morgue and that only holds two. Send them to a cargo bay and put them in a stasis field. We can’t work on more than four without turning us into a morgue. Send us five and the other seven to the cargo bay. When we process the first half we can do the next. I will also send down a few nurses to take some samples but the stasis pods should keep them in the same condition they arrived in until we get to them.=/\=
Natasha Knight CMO, crossposted by ShaunTee
Jhalae silently did as the CMO requested.
Andriss pulled out a PADD and sent a message to the NE in the Cargo Bay on Deck 7.
=^=Copy that. They’ll be waiting for you on Deck 7, Lt. Commander Knight,=^= Andriss said. =^=Let us know if you need our support.”
-XO Andriss Krex
=/\=Roger dodger=/\= Natasha said closing off the comms.
“I’d like to remind everyone that our shields are down nearly 40 percent from our arrival…” Truhart called out trying to make time a priority, “We don’t want to run into whatever did this with low shield strength.”
“I agree. With our shields down to more than half their capacity, we must proceed with caution.”
Foster stepped away from the Security station and faced the Captain. “If we transfer power from the weapon systems and to the shields, that should give us enough strength to last another hour”.
Jahlae waited for the okay to do the transfer. Hopefully they wouldn’t need the additional power but who knows what they were headed for. Whatever destroyed the B’Hari was still out there and they needed to be ready.
=/\=Captain, I have done my first preliminary review of the body. It appears to be a human male about 40 years of age. Right now my best guess is that some explosion of some sort killed him and he was then ejected out into space. He had severe burns and lost an arm which would not usually happen unless he was trying to hold onto something and his arm was ripped off as he got sucked into space. He is emitting a low level of radiation which again leads me to think it was some sort of accident on the ship which started it all. I am about to start my next autopsy. I will contact you if I find anything different with the next body. Knight out. =/\=
Natasha Knight CMO
As the ship continued to carefully maneuver from piece to piece the tactical board lit up. Three probes popped an alert before their signals went dark. The lateral sensor array noted a scattering of nadion particles, and new debris clusters where the probes used to be. Destroyed by something, likely phaser fire. A quick check showed that the Saracen’s weapons systems were cold and had not fired. The shots came from somewhere else.
The remaining sensors from the ship and farther away probes also alerted. A large indistinct shape loomed in the fog, not far from the edge of the debris cloud. And the black box…
((Sorry for the delay folks. Was waiting on our fearless Captain, but it seems he is otherwise occupied still. I wanted to give him a good chance to hop in before this happened. But the show must go on. – Sam H.))
While waiting for the Captain’s answer for the power transfer, LtJG Foster’s panel began flashing alerts regarding the probes. “Probe 1 has been destroyed, Probe 2 has been destroyed, and Probe 3 has been destroyed, Captain!” The COS ran quick sensor scans of the area to get a better picture. “There’s something in the fog, sir.....”
The destruction of the probes caused her left eye to twitch. “We need to brace for an attack!” Jhalae said with obvious concern in her voice. Everything happened so fast and the appearance of the unknown object in the fog was unexpected. “Whatever that is” She pointed to the screen, “destroyed my precious probes and probably the B’Hari. With our shields at 40% we won’t be able to take any significant hits.” However she checked the shield stats and saw it they were at actually 80%. How she’d missed that she wasn’t sure but she corrected herself as she cleared her throat, “Actually, nevermind, our shields seem to be holding at a healthy 80%.” To make up for her mishap on the shields she said, “I think there is a way to neutralize the ionization.” There was a pause as she tried to recall some of her engineering training. She was sure they’d undergone a scenario that involved ionization before. “I am almost certain that if we polarize the shields, we can disperse the electrostatic charge that is causing it. Although everyone should be prepared for some minor electro shocks. It’s shouldn’t be too bad and certainly not life threatening.”
((Reminder: The clock is ticking, and there’s only seconds before that enemy vessel is close enough to scoop up the black box and run.))
“Prepare to ionize the shields but hold on that for a moment, Ynuchausti,” Dante said turning his head towards her. “If it doesn’t go as planned and we lose shields, we’ll be in a worse position. See if the computer can simulate the result while we continue on course though, and if we can be certain it’ll prevent our shield loss, we’ll run it. For the moment, Red Alert, Mr Foster.” Dante turned back to the screen.
“We should retrieve the black box.” she scanned for it hoping to get a clue to its location. “Let’s all pray we can beam it aboard. With the destruction of the probes we won’t be able to safely retrieve it any other way.”
=/=Captain we have brought up a data cache from the wreck but we are gonna need a minute to figure out what we have adn what we can use. I will contact you when I have something.=/=
=/\= Good work Teller, =/\= Dante replied over the comm, =/\= Stay alert, we may have company soon. =/\=
“We need to be fast, there appears to be something out there!” Foster announced as he stared out at the viewscreen. “The probes definitely found something before getting destroyed, so lets collect the box before whatever destroyed the probe finds it.”
She nodded at Lieutenant Foster. “I will attempt to gather and analyze the data the probes collected before they were destroyed.” Jhalae was not great with computer algorithms. She had not expected to have to run them because she didn’t foresee herself in a department head position so soon. Now she wished she’d paid closer attention in the Academy. Tiny beads of sweat began to form on her forehead as she attempted to type in a data retrieval algorithm to gather the data. Oh please please please work. she prayed to herself.
=/+Sir the logs are showing that the ship was hit with a massive disruptor type weapon that emitted nadion radiation. It is usually only found in phasers but it appears like they turned it into a weapon on the scale of a ship. Sending you all data we have so far=/=
=/\= Copy that Mr Graham, receiving data. =/\= The Captain looked at the information being routed on the screen of his chairs console, and redirected the information so it was available to all of his stations.
“Anyway to determine the size of the vessel?” Jhalae asked. Most likely it didn’t matter because phasers were phasers and really any kind of phaser could do damage to any vessel. They were vulnerable either way.
“Exact size unknown, but I might be able to pull up some estimates from what the probe scanned before getting destroyed.” The COS replied. Nicholas quickly went over the date from just before the probes became inactive. He quickly ran the probabilities through the computer. He didn’t forget that their shields were still slowly draining, so time was not on his side.
“Putting up what the computer could come up with based on last data”, LtJG Foster called out.
Gravimetric readings weren’t very precise for something the size of a ship, but the sensor bouys had picked up a mass shadow somewhere around 2,000,000 metric tons. The Saracen was around 3,000,000 metric tons, so not as big. But a sizeable object. Combined with the visual data available, with range estimates… The object was approximately 370 meters long, 190-ish wide, and 70ish on it’s remaining dimension. The outline had a crescent-shaped front and leading edge, an almost tubular midsection, and the opposite end flared into a reverse flying-wing like shape or almost a pincer.
“The size of the ship is nearly comparable to the Saracen.” said Jhalae as she examined the data.
One one screen it compared those shapes and dimensions to known vessels, and almost immediately came back with a Keldon-class vessel. Putting up a wireframe overlay over the scans that it had, it fit the bill, and adjusted for lighting and distortions it fit almost perfectly.
Jhalae smiled, as her Academy training seemed to come back to her in bits, “It appears to be a Keldon class.”
The weapon signature was also a match, as it was armed with spiral-wave disruptors, an integrated mix of distruptor and phaser technology, and quite powerful, but not exactly a phaser lance.
And they were on course for the black box, almost to transporter range for it. The Saracen, almost twice that distance.
“I don’t know if we will retrieve the black box in time. They might beat us to it.”
“Keldon Class, huh?” Dante shook his head slightly. “Well, they already fired on Federation property. Helm make full impulse towards that black box, now. Jhalae I want that on board the moment we are in range and how are we going with that ionization plan?. Mr Foster load all tubes with Quantum torpedo’s and bring Phasers down to three quarter power, transfer that excess energy into shields. They’ve been here longer than us and if they haven’t managed to get around that shield drain issue, they’ll be in a worse state than we are.”
“Yes, sir.” she said. “And commencing ionization. Execution immediately and completing should take 5 minutes.”
“Nice ship, a little bit of a bully blowing up a probe.” Teller said openly. They should be more than a match for the Cardassian ship. But people did get lucky.
“Torpedoes and phasers at standby, Captain,” Foster replied once he double-checked the readouts on the console. “If you’re wrong, our escape pods will be of little use....” Nick spotted the Helmsman, Cadet Jensen frantically typing in commands, most likely plotting an escape route once ordered to leave the area.
“We don’t have escape pods, Lieutenant,” Dante lied outright, “I sold them years ago for extra coffee storage space so don’t miss when you have to shoot.”
Jhalae couldn’t tell if the Captain was joking or not. She honestly didn’t know if there were escape pods even though she should have as the CE. Honestly, she never considered them. Never envisioned she would actually be in enough danger to have to suddenly escape on a starship. That was how naive she was. She lived in the moment and never thought about the what ifs.
Pausing for a moment, he looked back at the Security Chief. “Lieutenant Foster, open a hailing channel, all frequencies. Lets send our new neighbors a message.”
LtJG Foster nodded in reply and turned to his comm panel. “Hailing frequencies open, Captain,” The COS announced once the channel activated.
The Captain immediately began his message.
=/\= Unidentified Keldon Class Cruiser, this is the Federation Battlecruiser Saracen. You have committed an act of aggression by firing on and destroying Federation science probes, investigating the destruction of a commercial freighter in this area. You are to withdraw from the black box you are approaching. I do not advise any attempt of aggression against this ship, lower power to your weapons and identify yourself. =/\=
The captain was tipping his hand a little, letting the Cardassian know that we had identified them. Teller flicked a switch on his station board and uploaded the warp field radiation from the ship. It was an old trick from the Cold War on Earth. Each submarine had a specific acoustical noise related to its nuclear power plan and the blades of the propellers, ships warp drive had a similar finger print. At the very least Teller would upload this ship’s ‘sound’ so the Federation would know if it ever bumped into it again. And if someone already had, then Teller would pull the record for the Captain.
He glanced at the computer.
Buffering… buffering. Databurst packet received. Datapacket .... verified. Message receipt confirmed. At least Starfleet would know something about what happened to the other ships, as well as what killed the Saracen… if they didn’t survive.
At first it seemed as though the heavy cruiser wouldn’t respond. Or deviate. It’s attitude and posture shifted, along with it’s sensor profile. The black box was being target painted. Their weapons were locked on it.
A moment later, the cruiser connected, and the view screen filled with the face of a male Cardassian, potentially in his 40’s to 50’s. He had high cheekbones and a strong jawline, sharp nose and a widow’s peak hairline. “Greetings, Captain. I understand you want the data from the black box. Well, so do we. Unfortunately for you, we’re under no obligation to identify ourselves. It seems there’s been some rather unfortunate business in this area. We were looking into it when to our surprise we discovered a hidden outpost on one of the planets in this system. It seems the B’hari may have perished for stumbling onto this very situation. Surely the black box would contain all the necessary data to ascertain what happened. We wouldn’t want it to go to waste, would we?” As he finished, he almost purred with a slimy used car salesman smile.
“I thought the Cardassians were an endangered species…” Nicholas mumbled to himself as the man spoke. LtJG Foster thought maybe he’d want to barter for the black box, since surely even a Cardassian knew the odds were 50/50. Though, Nick felt it could be somewhat helpful if they teamed up with the Cardassian if they weren’t the culprit afterall.
They are about to be the thought ran through Dante’s mind before he had the chance to stop it, but outwardly his face didn’t change until he spoke.
“To be honest the data on the black box is only a secondary concern,” Dante shrugged. “The B’hari was destroyed by weapons fire matching your class of vessel and you already committed an act of war by firing on and destroying our probes. The next step you take that is not in co-operation with us will result in relations becoming much less friendly than they are right now. So lets take a moment and not do something you will regret, yes?” The last sentence from Dante matched the tone and smile that the Cardassian had used. “Can you expand more on this hidden outpost and why you suspect the B’hari perished because of it? I’d be interested in knowing more about this unfortunate business you speak of.”
Tapping out a command on his console, he sent a brief message to the Helm station, reading very simply, Picard Maneuver, ready. That would bring them face to face with the opposing vessel and hopefully, the warp field appearing so close would disrupt the Cardassian transporter beam if they attempted to beam the black box on board.
Jensen thought the Captain had forgotten who was piloting the ship. Thankfully, this maneuver was so well known a civilian could probably pull it off.
“The longer we’re out here, the lower our shields are going to get,” Foster reminded the CO through his panel. There was no telling how long they’d live if the shields were to fall.
Foster’s voice was a reminder of the dire situation they could potentially face. Jhalae glanced at the shield status display, witnessing the gradual but not yet significant decline in real-time. “I will optimize our shield systems, fine-tune their efficiency and explore any options that could bolster their strength. We can’t afford any weaknesses.” She said eying the view screen.
“What about shunting power from nonessentials to the shields?” Foster asked, not knowing if that was already done before he had come to the Bridge.
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