USS Adelphi


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Post 4 - The Weight of Nothing

Posted on Sat Sep 26th, 2020 @ 12:37am by Captain Björn Kodak
Edited on on Sun Sep 27th, 2020 @ 8:39pm

Mission: Episode 2 - The Next Phage
Location: Main Bridge
Timeline: The morning after Post 1

[Main Bridge]
[The morning after Post 1]

“It’s definitely pre-warp,” Lieutenant Chabon reported from the Tactical station. “Their technology level seems to be on par with 1960’s Earth. Nuclear-based power, automobiles, aircraft of a kind…not detecting any satellites or space-capable vehicles, however.”

“Similar to 1960s Earth but not human?” Captain Kodak asked from his central seat, having turned in his chair to regard the Tactical relief officer. Finding a human colony far, far from home wasn’t exactly out of the question. The annals of Starfleet were filled with discoveries of parallel-development human colonies inexplicably found in places they shouldn’t be.

“Definitely not human,” the Andorian shook his head. “I’m not a biologist but, based on these readings, I’d say these people are more akin to the Kazon than anything else. Their skeletal structure and outward appearance certainly lend towards that theory, though their cranial plating and hair are much more subdued than your typical Kazon.”

“Who knows…perhaps these people and the Kazon share some ancient ancestry,” the Captain said, rising to his feet. “How about the Ocampa, Mr. Ooteen?” Kodak asked, turning toward the Ops station at the fore of the Bridge. “Have you been able to confirm their presence, as expected?”

“It’s…interesting,” responded the curious intonations of Lieutenant Ooteen at Ops. After taking a heavy drag from his breathing unit, the azure-skinned Benzite double- and triple-checked his readings before turning back to face Captain Kodak. “As we suspected, I am detecting Ocampan life signs on the planet below. However, there are only a few of them: certainly not the number we’re expecting from their lost colony ship.”

“A few is better than none, but that is definitely concerning,” the Captain slowly nodded, walking closer to the Benzite’s console. “Any signs of wreckage on the surface? Perhaps their ship crashed and many of them perished…” he trailed off, his eyes lowering to trace the console’s readouts even as Ooteen studied them himself.

After a few moments analyzing new readings, the Ops officer nodded. “I am picking up their vessel on the north-western continent, not far from what we believe to be this civilization’s capitol city. The ship appears damaged, certainly,” Ooteen took another drag from his breather, expelling a small puff of the gas native to his world, “but the condition of the Ocampan vessel does not correlate with the seeming loss of so many Ocampan lives.”

The Benzite studied his scans for several more moments, nodding as he confirmed some additional details. “I am also detecting the wrecks of a few other, unidentifiable vessels, sir. However, those ships are in much worse shape than the Ocampan vessel, which could possibly be repaired to space-worthiness. However, according to my readings, it appears the Ocampa and a few life forms from each of the other vessels may be living amongst the natives…”

“At this point, there probably isn’t much else we can learn about the situation from orbit. And given the pre-warp civilization, hails might be picked up and contaminate the culture below,” Kodak lamented sourly in that rasp of his.

“Commander Lenek’s survey team may need to reconfigure for cultural infiltration in order to make contact with the Ocampans,” Chabon spoke up from the rear of the Bridge. “But I’m afraid we have another wrinkle, sir…”

Getting my steps in today, Kodak thought to himself, striding across the Bridge to join the Tactical officer at his console. “Report, Lieutenant.”

“Well, the south-eastern continent seems to be out of reach for the natives,” Chabon explained, his face scrunched in puzzlement. “They don’t appear to have sea-faring vessels large enough or sturdy enough to hazard the incredibly stormy seas that gap the two continents. And while they do possess aircraft capabilities, I do not believe their rudimentary craft could cross the vast ocean between without needing several refueling stops. Meaning they wouldn’t be able to get there even by air…”

“And that’s relevant because…?” This time, the question came from Ensign Talbot, who was manning the Engineering station nearby. Her junior rank apparently did not stop her from expressing frustration over such drawn-out explanations.

Somewhat perturbed by the young woman’s tone, it was to Kodak that Chabon replied. “I’m picking up evidence of a very large complex down there. For some reason, sensor readings are coming back very distorted but I believe I’m picking up Ocampan life signs there as well. I’m not sure what’s causing the lack of sensor resolution,” the Andorian shook his head, “but that building’s design is not at all characteristic of the pre-warp civilization. And given the energy readings I’m picking up, I’d say it’s possible the structure belongs to an alien race of some kind.”

“Could the other missing Ocampans have built it?” Ooteen asked from the front of the Bridge.

“Doubtful. The structure is quite dissimilar from known Ocampan architecture, though I admit,” Chabon nodded, “up close and personal scans would give us a much better idea about all this. Given the sensor resolution issue, we just can’t tell from up here.”

The Captain took a few moments to consider the new details of the Adelphi’s quickly-changing missing. If the Ocampa did crash land on the planet — as it seemed — then it was possible that a few of the survivors were now living amongst the natives, which made the job of making contact with them that much harder given the Prime Directive. It also seemed like some of the Ocampans found their way to the other continent somehow, but why?

“Alright. With a pre-warp civilization on one continent and an out-of-place alien complex on the other, this mission has just taken on a whole new flavor. Commander Lenek is assembling her planetary survey team in the transporter room as we speak,” the Captain parsed out. “Have her and her team report to the Briefing Room instead, Lieutenant,” he ordered the Andorian. “And have Cadet Gonzalez join us as well. His speciality in anthropology might come in handy given that civilization down there.”

“Aye, sir,” Chabon nodded, his antennae wagging slowly as he sent the ordered messages.

[Briefing Room]
[30 minutes later]

After discussing the situation at length, the senior staff had decided that two teams would be necessary to both establish contact with the Ocampans on the main continent while also investigating the alien complex on the opposite land mass, which seemed to house Ocampans as well. Given the need for an additional team, some extra personnel had been ordered up to flesh out the teams. As a result, the Briefing Room had run out of chairs enough for everyone to sit. But at least a new plan had been concocted and the team leaders were now in the process of meeting with their team members in opposite corners of the room to discuss details.

The first team would be led by Commander Lenek. Tasked with undergoing cosmetic surgery and replicating appropriate clothing, the First Officer’s team would beam down and attempt to infiltrate the native’s capitol city to make contact with the Ocampa there. This, of course, in hopes of helping them repair their ship and get it back up into space. To see to the Ocampa’s medical and engineering needs, Doctor t’Nai and Lieutenant Oliveria had been assigned to the mission. And given the potential for an inadvertent First Contact situation, Counselor Karim and Cadet Gonzalez had been attached to the team as well. A couple of security officers on loan from Lieutenant Astril would also accompany the team for support.

The second team would be led Lieutenant Timmoz. Given the sensor resolution issues and severe storm activity, transporters had been deemed a no-go for this arm of the mission. Instead, the Second Officer’s team would be taking a runabout down to the planet’s surface, hoping to land nearby in order to investigate the alien complex and search for any Ocampa who might account for the vague life signs detected from orbit. While Timmoz himself would pilot the runabout, Ensign Parsons had been assigned for engineering support. No longer walking with a cane and having patched things up some with Oliveria, the Ensign had been deemed fit for away team duty. And given the high degree of unknowns where the strange complex was concerned, Lieutenants Astril and Sor’aa would be coming along for security support.

After both teams confirmed their orders, the briefing was dismissed. Both teams would gather once again in one hour, geared up and ready to go. And for Lenek’s team, the mission came with the extra pleasure of wearing faces that were not their own. Thankfully, Sickbay’s surgical team was quite experienced with such alterations. Doctor Grey had already been put on alert to assist with those while t’Nai ran the team members through the standard inoculations and such prior to heading out.

Sitting there far longer than necessary, lost in his thoughts with everyone now gone, it was with surprise that Kodak peered up at Dobbison, who’d just arrived to fulfill his post-meeting cleanup duties. Serving on the Adelphi in a civilian capacity now, the young man worked for Debbie Gless down in Ten Forward. As an extension of his duties there, he’d also been made the primary catering support for important staff meetings “upstairs.” He pushed an anti-grav cart into the room, no doubt for the removing of unused catering items.

“Oh, sorry to disturb you, sir,” the man flashed a wry smile, his eyes kind. “I didn’t think anyone would still be here,” Dobbison explained, walking up to the table and beginning to pick up the remains of half-finished pastry trays and used plates. “You uh…gonna eat that, Captain?” he chuckled, pointing down at the untouched lemon bar sitting on a dainty plate in front of Kodak. “They’re rather like me: tart and sweet but not to everyones’ taste,” he laughed warmly. “I’d be happy to clear it away for you if it’s not your thing?”

Narrowing his eyes at the young man, Kodak mock-glared. “No one gets between the Captain and his lemon bars, Mister Dobbison,” the Chameloid smirked. He rather liked the young man’s exuberance and passion for what many might deem an unimportant job.

“Debbie’ll be thrilled to hear it,” Dobbison chuckled back, the anti-grav cart he’d brought into the room with him now laden with the quickly-picked up discarded items. “Let me know if you need anything else, sir. Happy to help,” he offered one last smile before slipping out the way he’d come, his cart in-tow.

With Dobbison now gone, Kodak found himself alone with the frustration of his thoughts. Were he still First Officer, he’d be leading one of the teams down there to solve the mystery of the missing Ocampans right now… Instead, he would remain aboard the Adelphi, coordinating some of the efforts from orbit and worrying over whether his people would safely return.

The newly-minted Captain’s pips were almost imperceptibly light but right now, the weight of nothing never felt so heavy...

*** A post by… ***

Captain Björn Kodak
Commanding Officer


Various NPCs


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