NCC - 86105
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Setting a New Course

Posted on Sat May 4th, 2013 @ 11:27pm by Captain Benjamin Byrne & Commander Gaius Ra-Xialii & Lieutenant Horatio Hawke & Lieutenant JG Ethan Kessel & Lieutenant JG Nessa Jenarian & Petty Officer 2nd Class Sophie Blaise

Mission: Klingons on the Starboard Bow
Location: USS Endeavour - Bridge
Timeline: A day after contact with Tomahawk Survivors

"Lieutenant," Benjamin called out, looking over towards the engineering station on the bridge as he and the first officer both entered from the turbo-lift. "Have all of the Tomahawk survivors been beamed up and accounted for?"

"Yes Sir. I don't think the replicators have every produced so many batches of coffee in one sitting before..."

"Good," the captain responded, making his way towards the center of the bridge. "Helm, set a new course; take us to the Firaxa Gamma system; warp nine."

Gaius winced slightly at the order given, knowing that some crewmembers may find this rather dramatic all of a sudden. It could raise suspicion amongst the other senior officers. He mulled over the dilemma, with a cup of steaming coffee.

"Aye, sir," Lieutenant Hawke said as he quickly tapped away at his console. He accessed the Nav Computer and quickly called up the preset for Firaxa Gamma. That system was quite a deviation from their mission plan and so naturally the Captain's order stoked Hawke's curiosity. He was about to follow-up with a question about the speed, but Lieutenant Kessel beat him to it.

Ethan blinked. "Nine? We in a rush Captain? I thought were supposed to patrol this area - this speed we blink and we'll miss them..."

"Our mission parameters have changed." Benjamin stopped to take the time to look at each of his bridge officers in turn, before making the decision on how much they needed to know about the reason for the Tomahawk's destruction. He couldn't justify leaving them out of the loop when he knew that he would be taking the ship into a dangerous situation. "The Tomahawk found evidence which suggests that a third party is manipulating both the Gorn Hegemony and the Klingon Empire to increase tensions in this region of space, and instigate a potential war between the two. I believe that they were shot down in order to prevent them collecting that evidence; evidence which we are now going to collect in their stead."

Ethan digested this. "So someone is trying to ignite a war between the Gorn and the Klingons. Why now? And why the Gorn? Wouldn't the Federation, or the Romulans be a choice? Who gains from a war between the Gorn and the Klingons?" He asked outloud. Then he paused.

Hawke considered what the captain had said for a moment as well as Kessel's question, which floated in the tension-filled air of the bridge for a moment unanswered. He had no idea who it could be, but only because the list of suspects would be huge. "There are a lot of people who would benefit from a weakened Klingon Empire," he said.

Ethan nodded. "Do we even know who this third party is?" He asked.

Sophie quietly listened to the discussion. The Klingon Empire had been around for ages and had a steady grip on the regions they controlled. Some people would no doubt have advantages of an empire in chaos. She was glad that at least they now had a lead to do something. And judging by their speed, something important.

With a quirk of an eyebrow, Nessa glanced to Ethan before rolling her shoulders in a shrug. "One thing that we can hope for is that they're as strong as they appear... needing a disgraced Klingon house to do the work for them, one would think they are not exactly the best of warriors themselves, but then again... could always be wrong."

"That's what we're going to find out," Byrne said, answering the engineer's question.

Settling into his chair at the centre of the bridge, Byrne shared a glance with his first officer before turning towards the front of the bridge again. "Tactical, take us to red alert. Helm; engage."

That was Hawke's favourite order - 'engage'. With that one word, he was able to unleash the full force of the Endeavour's warp drive and send her hurtling into subspace at speeds once confined to fantasy tales. It was a hell of a privilege to be the guy with THAT power at his fingertips. "Aye aye, Captain," he said. "Engaging at warp nine."

"Well I guess that solves that problem, Captain," Gaius leaned over his console, "Need to know rules changed?"

Byrne nodded. "If this were a simple data gathering mission," he said, keeping his voice low to keep the conversation relatively private; still audible, but below the volume where it would be polite for one of the others to chime in. "Then I would be more strict with the flow of information. But we're likely going to be putting the crew in danger, and for our best changes, they need to know what is going on."

Firaxa Gamma System

Hawke had been watching the countdown in the top left of his console for almost a minute now. It was telling him how long until they entered Firaxa Gamma and it was now winding down closer and closer to zero.

"Captain, we're entering the Firaxa Gamma system," he announced when the clock stopped ticking.

"Take us to impulse, Mister Hawke," Benjamin said, standing now and strolling the bridge with his hands clasped behind his back. "Commander Nikiri;" he continued, speaking to the Tomahawk first officer who was now standing by the mission operations console. "Are you picking anything up on sensors?

"Aye, sir," Hawke replied, dragging down the warp control to bring the ship into a comfortable sub-light cruising speed. As he did, he kept an eye on the forward display to make sure there weren't any asteroids or planets in the way. He was confident the course he plotted would bring them into Firaxa Gamma well clear of any hazards, but why take a chance?

"I'm showing the same power signature that we detected on the Tomahawk," Nikiri responded. He hadn't been too happy about Byrne taking a completely different tact to the one his own captain had taken in regards to the sharing of information, but he hadn't put up any resistance to the captain's orders. "It's coming from the fourth planet in the system. It looks like a facility of some kind. I'm refocusing our imaging sensors. Can we get a little closer?"

Byrne nodded towards the Conn. "Take us in closer, Mister Hawke. Nessa; utilise the science arrays to see if you can improve the resolution. Mister Biggs; keep an eye on the tactical readings. Alert me to any new readings."

"Aye aye, sir." Hawke quietly tapped away at his controls with his right fingers, slowly twisting the ship relative up and to port, pointing its nose toward the fourth planet. With his left, he calmly pushed the impulse throttle control up, creeping up through half impulse and climbing up toward three-quarter speed. He left it to cruise at three-quarter; it wouldn't take long to get there.

It had been a while since the last time Nessa had actually used a science console, so it took a few seconds to reorient herself, but eventually she had the sensors set up to the best possible resolution considering the distance. "I doubt it can get better than this, captain," she responded, lifting her head for a moment before glancing back down at the controls with a slight frown on her features.

"Aye sir," Biggs responded from tactical. He had already been monitoring the tactical readout on his terminal and the captain's order was just confirming what he was already doing. So far, they seemed to be the only ship in the system.

"I've got a better image now," Nikiri responded, tapping at his console. "Putting it up on-screen."

As the viewscreen shifted from the image of the space that they were travelling through in-system, the bridge crew were treated to a birds-eye view - enhanced by subspace imaging arrays to give them a real-time image this far out from the planet - of a moderately-sized facility, constructed mostly of crude, square buildings designed for function, rather than form.

"The technology in those buildings looks like a gathering of all sorts," the captain commented, peering at the image. "The ground-to-orbit turrets look Romulan in design, like some of the building does, but there looks like there's Klingon, Gorn, Orion... even some Cardassian in there."

"Does it seem like they've detected us yet?" the captain asked, turning to direct his question to Biggs.

The security chief shook his head. "No sir, and I'm not detecting any other ships in the system. But if we carry on much further they're bound to see us."

The captain reached a hand up to rub his chin as he thought. "Ethan," he said after a few moments silence. "See if you can configure one of our shuttles for a more stealthy approach. We need to get to that facility undetected. Hawke, Biggs, Jenarian and Nikiri are with me." As he stood to make his way towards the turbolift, he noted that the officers he had named automatically started moving as well, their replacements already taking over the consoles when the first officer interrupted him.

"Sir, I will have to disagree with that plan. Regulations do not permit you to partake in away missions, But you already know that. So my argument is mute," Gaius said standing, looking after the captain. The last sentence ending in a unsatisfied growl.

"The nature of the mission is too important for me to sit up here, Number One," the captain explained. "Whatever we find down there may have a far wider impact than this system, and I may need to make decisions quickly on the ground. You'll be in command up here until I return."

"Find somewhere that you can keep the ship hidden in-system," Ben said, giving his standing orders whilst he was off-ship. "I'd rather nobody know you're here unless it becomes absolutely necessary or we need an emergency pick-up. Have doctor Cooper meet me in the shuttlebay."

Gaius tapped some commands into his PADD, sending the order to doctor Cooper.

"I would recommend taking the Vancouver sir, and I will have the de la Roché and the Cavendish on the pad ready for extraction if things go south. That is not negotiable.... Sir," Gaius said folding his arms, "Or just let me know when stealth isn't an issue anymore, and I'll bring her in."

"Thank you Commander," Byrne said with a slight smile on his lips as he stepped into the turbolift with the rest of his away team. "I'll make sure to keep you on speed-dial. Main shuttlebay," he ordered, as the lift doors closed and the lift began to descend.

Captain Benjamin J. Byrne
Commanding Officer

Commander Gaius Ra-Xialli
First Officer

Lieutenant Horatio Hawke
Chief Helmsman

Lieutenant JG Ethan Kessel
Chief Engineer

Lieutenant JG Nessa Jenarian
Chief Science Officer


PO Sophie Blaise (PNPC)
Captain's Yeoman
USS Endeavour


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