USS Valkyrie
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Reflections On A World's End

Posted on Sun Jun 4th, 2017 @ 12:53pm by Commander Charles Kincaid

Mission: Mission 2: For A Swarm Of Bees
Location: Ready Room, USS Valkyrie
Timeline: MD 11 - 1712hrs

It was over. Charlie could scarcely believe what they had pulled off, just as they were running out of time. The drones had been turned around and their mothership had warped out of the system, apparently heading towards the gamma quadrant. Hopefully that meant that it wouldn't menace any other inhabited systems for a while. They would be kept under surveillance by Starfleet and it's allies fornas long as possible, just to make sure they carried on as expected and the energy signatures were being circulated to act as a warning should they ever turn up again.

The away team had discovered clues to the ship's origin, seemingly ancient and apparently designed to preserve a sample of any intelligent species that it encountered while it's drones strip mined their worlds. It was a horrifying token act of compassion, a way to assuage their guilt over what they were doing to the planets their machines harvested. Charlie couldn't imagine what kind of intelligence could create machines like that. All if the away team's data had already been relayed to Starfleet command where it would be studied and picked apart in minute detail. Maybe there was something positive to be gained from all this, something in that data that could be used to advance the Federation's knowledge, even save lives.

The colonists that had been evacuated onto the Valkyrie had been returned home for the time being. The gravitational effects on the system were likely to have a major effect on New Salem in the near future though, so the colony was being abandoned. The Federation was calling it a phased withdrawal this time though, rather than an evacuation. Part of that withdrawal would involve a small science team observing the long term consequences of the incident on the rest of the system. The USS Watson, a Nova class ship, was due to arrive with that team in a few days. In the meantime, the USS San Marino had entered orbit two hours ago, and the USS Pioneer would arrive tomorrow to begin the withdrawl. A convoy of transport ships would follownsoon after that in order to handle the colonists in the most comfortable way possible. The Starfleet corps of engineers was sending a detachment to help with the disassembly of the buildings and equipment in order to salvage as much as possible. This little out of the way colony had suddenly become one if Starfleet's high priority missions and Charlie was glad to see the resources they needed being allocated.

New Salem, being the planet's first settlement, had been located in the best spot on the planet. The area was lush with vegetation, temperate, and most importantly for now, geologically stable. That meant that the changes in the system's gravity wouldn't have an immediate effect. The tremors that were expected to begin soon would be minimal, and they wouldn't progress to dangerous earthquakes until the people were safely away from the planet. It was the closest thing the safety that the colonists had experienced for quite some time, and it would give them a chance to say goodbye to their home, short-lived as it had been.

The science team aboard the Watson would have a longer term mission. They were to study both the planet as it experienced massive changes due to a very unusual cause, and the stellar array that the drones had begun to construct. The array was nowhere near complete, or even close to being active, most of the more complex technology wasn't in place yet. But what was there may provide clues to the origin of the drones and their mothership and even show indications of the technology which would have eventually been in place. There were questions to be asked about the purpose ofnthe array too. Theories ranged from a full Dyson sphere, to a kind of interstellar refuelling point to some even more outlandish suggestions. Charlie hoped that they could learn something significant, something to put these buzzards events in context, but he resigned himself to the fact that they may never be able to do that.

Charlie had spoken extensively to Captain Rinax of the San Marino, handing over the details of the mission. He had been particularly clear that the colony's current Starfleet garrison commander should be kept far away from the work. The Vulcan had been a big part of the reason that the situation on the surface devolved so quickly and came so close to complete disaster. Ultimately, the situation that the colonists were faced with was always going to provoke a strong reaction, one of self preservation. That was the nature of all sentient beings. Bit it should have been handled better. The people.had needed hope, or at least a sense of calm, and the colony's leadership had failed to provide that. Charlie had not been prepared for that failing, he had been too preoccupied with the technical and logistical challenges. And really, he should have been able to focus on that, not be forced into playing peacekeeper.

Charlie had found himself shifting uncomfortably in his chair as he described the attack that had injured him to Rinax. It all felt fresh, painful and difficult to describe. He realised that he would need to speak to the counsellor about everything that had happened and the difficulties he was having now. Things were easier when he had things to do, when he was busy. It was the quiet times that were difficult. Like now. He sat behind the desk in his ready room, unsure of quite what to do with himself. The reports were filled and filed, and work was well underway to get the ship back to normalcy. They would be making their way back to Deep Space 12 the next morning, which would give them a chance to resupply and put themselves in order before their next mission. Practically, there wasn't much more he could do at the moment, so he found himself alone with his thoughts. He had rearranged his desk, bit it hadn't made a lot of difference. After that, he had spent some time staring at the painting that hung on the wall, the Valkyrie. It still felt excessive, but less so now. He was slightly less inclined to change it than he had been before this mission. If he could find something a little more subtle, maybe he would, but for now he was okay with it.

Ultimately, he wanted to focus on the success of their mission and that was what he was emphasizing to the crew. They had accomplished something amazing against all the odds. Before this, they had been untested and unprepared, barely fit to be called a crew. But now, they were more than that. If they could overcome this challenge, there was no limit to what they could accomplish.


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