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Posted on Wed Sep 6th, 2023 @ 10:41am by Captain Bethsabée Leroux & Commander William Gerhard & Ensign Anne Marie "Ree" Beckett & Lieutenant JG Calanthe 'Cal' Diaz & Chief Petty Officer Nish Karalo

Mission: Contagion
Location: Bridge
Timeline: Day 365
1626 words - 3.3 OF Standard Post Measure

The mood was sombre on the bridge and there was nothing that Beth could do to change it as the mood was deep inside of her as well. They all knew it had been 365 days since the ship had been lost in space and for a lot of people it was now real that it had happened which Beth could relate to that as sometimes it felt like they were in the middle of a fever dream that was impossible to escape.

She glanced around at the crew and smiled to herself. They all make her proud each and every day and there was no one else Beth wanted to be so far from home comforts with. “Status report.” Beth finally demanded to break the silence.

The call for a status report stirred Nish from a stray thought that had kept her attention away from the flight systems. She quickly looked over the panel in front of her. "Maintaining course, all flight systems operating within specified parameters."

William sat at his station and listened to the chatter of the bridge around him before checking his status display. "Tactical systems are in passive mode and standing by," he said before looking to Beth in the center chair and giving her a raised eyebrow. They had been through this routine so many times before, but they were both just glad to be back moving.

Beth stared at the man for a moment ignoring his raised eyebrow and questioning gaze by staring out the view screen. Beth was just trying to stir the silence that had descended on the bridge. “Very good.”

Though relatively new to Bridge duty, Diaz was not typically someone her colleagues would describe as a peaceful worker. It was fitting, perhaps, that the Communications Chief had a tendency to fill silences with conversation and there had been nothing immediately intimidating enough about the new assignment to thwart her efforts in that regard. Up until now.

Calanthe was still processing it herself but departing Relea had stolen such a vital part of her daily routine from her that she'd been immediately at a loss to know what to do with herself once they'd left orbit and there was no pilgrimage to the central archives on her agenda. She'd brought enough with her to continue her studies and that certainly helped but being back on board, back on track, back to work seemed somehow bland and monotonous. Most of her shift had been spent in silence and, as she spoke up now, there was a distant efficiency to her tone that suggested she wasn't really paying very close attention to the people around her.

"All channels clear."

“All systems functioning within normal parameters for science, ma’am. No anomalies are detected. Data streams are stable. Experiment data are recording accurately. All sensors are operational. No errors or irregularities were found. Monitoring continues as scheduled.” Darru announced not even looking up to see if that was too little or too much. He was just reporting as requested and that was the minimal information he was would and required if he had been making the report.

McManus looked up as he realised that it was him at the engineering console and he had to report. "Um...Engineering confirms all systems are functioning normally. No anomalies were detected in the intermix chamber or warp core. All parameters are within optimal range... Ma'am." Duncan explained calmly turning a little to look at Beth. He was not used to being on the Bridge at all.

“Diaz, patch me through to sickbay.” Beth requested rising from her feet.

"Aye, Captain." Despite evidence to the contrary, there was no hesitation in Cal's response, certainly not enough to warrant an accusation of daydreaming. There was a brief pause whilst she followed through with Leroux's order. "Channel open."

"How is sickbay today Doctor?" Beth wondered hearing the familiar cheep from sickbay through the comms in the background.

Avira wondered why it was that the commanding officer had reached out to sickbay. There was nothing much going on, and she didn't really expect anything to change about that. "We've been having a quiet day so far, Commander. A sprained ankle and a bruise from sparring. Other than that indexing the medicine stock."

Beth could almost hear the confusion about her check in in the doctors voice to anyone else it would not be noticeable but to her it was magnified and noticeable. “ Just the daily mundane…” Beth started to comment when the comms console lit up.

The sudden activity had a similar effect on Calanthe, who blinked rapidly and seemed to emerge from deep reverie to address a far more palpable concern than her introspection. "Captain, we're picking up a distress signal."

“Play it.” Beth responded and watched as the screen flickered but did not give a clear enough to give a clear image of what species that was trying to communicate with them.

“Our once-thriving civilisation now faces unprecedented catastrophe….” The screen showed just static as Beth turned to Diaz.

“Looks like our communication update from Relea is working.” Beth said as she was hearing standard. ”Can you clean it up ensign?”

"Working on it." The communication update, as far as Diaz could tell, was working just fine. Her ability to navigate the additional intricacies was where the improvement was needed, and that was despite the decently thorough orientation she'd received on implementation, and their new alien's additional assistance with adjusting to local frequencies. "Attempting to isolate the source."

It flickered and the voice returned. “We beseech any sentient beings receiving this transmission for aid. We possess vast knowledge in hyper-engineering and quantum harmonics, willing to share in exchange for salvation.”

William watched the screen intently as the image sharpened slightly before he returned his gaze to his own instrument panel. He input the commands to widen the passive sensor sweeps to their most maximum range. He thought he could see something but it was still to fuzzy to make out.

“Our encoded coordinates accompany this transmission, a mere glimmer of hope amidst the encroaching darkness. We plea for any benevolent souls to come to our aid.”

"Ensign, can you give me more power to the sensors," William said to Mcmanus at the engineering station adjacent to his own.

“I can.” McManus commented as he moved between the two stations wishing that he had slept a little better as he regretted choices.

“Ensign can you use that energy and increase the sensors.” Darru asked to Beckett as he started to try and gather as much information from the data as possible.

"Working on it," the woman answered in a quiet tone as she diligently started working on feeding the excess power to the sensors. Once she'd topped out what could safely be flooded in, she gave Darru a nod. "That's as good as it's getting."

“Thank you Ensign.” The Captain commented as she strained to listen to the final words from the unknown species.

“May this message find those who hear it, and may the stars carry it swiftly.” The final words said before the screen returned to normal.

William looked up towards the center chair. "I have something very faint on my sensors, but can't make it out fully. Bearing 270 mark 225, distance, 10 light years," he reported before looking towards Beth. "I can't say for certain if it's the source though," he said.

Beth nodded before remembering the message had data included. “Did the encoded coordinates come through?” The Captain wondered standing up to move to the communication console.

"One minute," Calanthe cautioned, her expression flickering between furrowed brow and revelation. Having pulled her headset into place to get a better manual interpretation of the transmission, she winced at the squeal of interference and slowly adjusted until it was tucked away behind the communication attempt. Leaning to the side so that Beth could see over her shoulder, Diaz lowered her volume to a more conversational level and addressed her mentor directly, "The last digit is an extrapolation, the signal degradation towards the end is significant. I can work on this on the way, see if I can tidy it up enough to confirm. But that should get us close enough for sensors to pick up something, if there's anything left to find."

Beth winched at the feedback and noise as she glanced over the consoles and nodded. “Lines up with what the commander said.” Beth said glancing back to the armoury chief and nodded at what he had said. “Chief let’s set a course for the signal.”

"Course laid in, ma'am. Ready to redirect on your command." Nish relayed the helm's status to the Commanding Officer. The sudden call had put her on high alert, sitting up straight from a somewhat slumped position. She had been tracking the incoming telemetry and kept up with the translation of the coordinates to their own system of finding their bearings. It was always fascinating to her how different species oriented themselves among the three dimensional planes of the vastness of space.

"Let's go," Beth instructed with a warm smile as she watched the ship spring back to life, its engines humming to life once more. The tension in the air was palpable, knowing that they were now the ones tasked with providing assistance, a role reversal that left them feeling somewhat uneasy.

"Science and armoury start scanning for anything unusual.” she directed, her tone firm but reassuring.

Beth smiled as her crew got to work, their eyes and instruments scanned the vast expanse of space around them, searching for any signs of the unexpected or the unknown. The ship surged forward, its crew ready to face whatever challenges lay ahead in this uncharted territory.


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