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The Odds of Successfully Navigating an Asteroid Field...

Posted on Mon Apr 23rd, 2018 @ 11:03am by Lieutenant Commander Yara Blackwater & Lieutenant Commander Emil Nosske (Command) & Captain Alexander Kurtz & Lieutenant Rafan Kel & Lieutenant JG Cey'aaren & Ensign Marwa (Kincaid)

Mission: Leviathan
Location: Bridge, USS Valkyrie
Timeline: MD01 18:04hrs

Lieutenant Kel had been successful in his attempts to devise a method of tracking the creature that had crippled the Tower Bridge. Alex didn't understand all of the science, but the short version was that the breach the alien had emerged from implied that it could be from another universe. Based on theories from the Tower Bridge's science officer, and the data from that ship, they had been able to reconfigure the sensors to follow a trail of sorts. It had traveled a considerable distance, and was apparently capable of immense speed, among its other impressive abilities, and it appeared to be heading for a nearby asteroid field.

“Confirmed Captain.” Ensign Marwa called out from the operations station near the back of the Bridge. “The trail leads into the nearby asteroid field.”

“Thank you Ensign.” Alex replied. “Helm, bring us out of warp near the edge of the field. Raise shields and go to yellow alert, full sensor analysis of the area. Lieutenant Kel, I'd like an analysis of the field, and see if you can work out where the creature went in. Once that's done, I'd like a course in to track it. Blackwater, how difficult is it going to be to navigate into the field?”

"Difficult." Yara replied, looking between her console and the asteroid field displayed on the screen. "Not impossible though. I'm not going to be able to give you a set course because I will have to adjust, but someone needs to point me in the right direction at the very least."

"Well then, let's see what we can get for you, Lieutenant Blackwater." Nosske said and stood from his chair, moving over to the science station to stand next to Rafan and put his hand to the side of the console. "Are you having any success, Lieutenant Kel? We don't want to linger here longer than we have to considering what this creature did to the Tower Bridge."

"Some," The Trill replied absently to the XO as his fingers danced over his console, calibrating the sensors as he started the search for their illusive beast that had recently attacked the aforementioned ship. He was seeing a faint harmonic signature that, for a lack of a better term, was the creature's wake as he did his best to track it through the asteroids. He then sent the course to both Yara's console and the view screen as the path appeared on screen "The path on screen is the projected course of the creature, I will need to make adjustments as we move deeper into the the field, but as long as Lieutenant Blackwater is able to keep us positive or negative twenty degrees of the projected path we should not lose our quarry."

"Well when one of the asteroids floats into our path, you get out and push." Yara muttered under her breath.

Cey'aaren had configured one of the available stations on the bridge to access the ship's communications antennae. He turned away from the multipurpose terminal to face the center of the command module. "Captain, the counselor and I had some success in identifying what we believe to be the subspace frequencies the creature might use to communicate with others of its kind. We think that with more study, we might be able to emit the right 'songs' to attract or repel the creature. Maybe even make it think we're the same," he offered.

“That's good Lieutenant, start working on the comm system. We might have to experiment on the fly, we can't risk letting the alien get out of sensor range.” Alex said. He was hopeful that the asteroid field would mean it was slowing down, trying to hide or take shelter.

“Captain, we're getting some tachyon readings around five thousand metres to port.” Ensign Marwa reported. “It looks like it might be a cloaked ship out there, possibly using older cloaking technology.”

Alex tilted an eyebrow slightly, this was an unexpected development. “Helm, bring us about to face the source, tactical, load quantum torpedoes.” He had a bad feeling about this, and he wanted to make a show of strength.

“Ship decloaking!” Marwa said, almost immediately as they brought the ship to bear. “Looks like Klingon, K’Tinga class. Power signatures aren't standard Klingon though. They don't seem to be a match for any of the Klingon ships deployed to this sector either.”

“Keep the weapons ready Lieutenant Thorne, but open a channel.” Alex ordered. “Unidentified ship of Klingon origin, this is Captain Alexander Kurtz of the Federation Starship Valkyrie, identify yourselves and state your business in this area.”

There was a tense pause, several seconds passed, which felt like an eternity before the viewscreen came to life. Alex didn't recognise the species of the alien that appeared on the screen. He appeared to be a male, with purple skin, mottled with a lighter blue. He had no visible hair, and no eyebrows above his slightly feline yellow hued eyes. His mouth appeared to be slightly too big for the rest of his features and it was filled with disconcertingly uniform, pearly white teeth that he showed off in a smile that came across as less than genuine. Definitely not a Klingon.

“Greeting Captain Kurtz. I am Rezzik, commanding officer of the Korami. We are prospectors, looking to mine some of the asteroids for precious metals and the like.” The creepy smile never left his face as he offered his introduction. “Since we're in neutral space, I trust you have no issue with that.”

“That's true.” Alex conceded. “But I should warn you that we're investigating a security concern in this area, and I don't believe the asteroid field is safe. It might be better if you keep your distance until we've completed our mission.”

“I thank you for your concern Captain, but, as you can see, we're a well equipped ship and I'm sure we can handle any… security concerns.” Rezzik’s voice dripped with false sentiment. Alex didn't doubt that the Korami was there for something other than prospecting.

“I strongly advise against that.” Alex said. “The potential danger to your ship is…”

“Stop trying to dissuade us.” Rezzik interjected, still grinning. “We know exactly how valuable what's inside that asteroid field is, and it will be ours.” With that, the screen cut to black.

Alex frowned deeply. Things had just got much more complicated. “Get me a full database search on Rezzik and the Korami.” He ordered. “And get me a priority check on the scan data from that ship from any friendly planets or stations within communication range. I want to know exactly who we're dealing with.”

"Initiating database search now," Rafan began while he did his best to scan the alien ship to give them a more detailed idea of what they were facing, both ship and captain as he frowned and continued to attempt to track the unknown entity as well.

Yara turned around in her chair to look at Kurtz with a quirked brow. "I think it is pretty obvious what they are after. Do you want to just keep sitting here or do you want me to take us in?"

"Transferring information about Rezzik to main viewscreen." Rafan said as the alien captains face displayed a much different looking being, the displayed image had the right side of his face completely disfigured, the purple flesh twisted and drooping while his eye was completely white. The perfect white teeth had been yellowed and pitted black on the disfigured side as well, adding a whole new level of unsavory to the man's character that once seen could not be unseen. The file scrolled through a bevy of charges that had been laid against him; He had once held a medical license within the Federation but had lost it after he began practicing creative surgeries on his patients, leaving some horrifically scarred while others had died. He'd escaped authorities after starting a plasma fire in his own clinic and only sporadically appeared on Starfleet and other governments radars. He was wanted for war crimes committed during the Dominion War when he was employed as a doctor in a Dominion internment camp and again escaped judgement, though the details were speculative at best.

He was wanted for the theft of the IKS Tiq'leth, which appeared to be the Komari despite attempts to disguise the ship and there were rashes of disappearances and bodies throughout Klingon and Federation space that bore similarities to his past work but no solid evidence connecting him to it. They were dealing with a madman that certainly had no qualms about facing off against Starfleet, especially since he had been outwitting them for so long.

“Shit.” Alex muttered as he scanned through the text. Rezzik was a nasty piece of work. Far too nasty to ignore, which he had been considering before Lieutenant Kel found the information on him. Anyone wanted for war crimes during the Dominion war was a priority that couldn't wait. “Lieutenant Thorne, lock weapons on the Komari, I want a tractor beam on them as soon as possible.”

"Aye, sir." Thorne replied.

Before he could order an intercept course, the Valkyrie was struck by weapons fire from the liberated Klingon ship. “Close them down Blackwater.” Alex ordered. “Return fire, target their engines. I want them disabled, then I want their weapons offline.” The Komari fired a couple more disruptor bursts as they started to move towards the asteroid field.

Yara scowled as the ship rocked again. Whatever this creature was it better be important. Her fingers quickly flew over the controls and she brought the Valkyrie around to offer Thorne a clear shot as well as protect the vulnerable areas of the ship. She wasn't a state of the art ship anymore and her build was clunky, but Yara was a skilled pilot and despite these factors she coaxed the ship up on the vertical axis, first dipping down then pulling up and offering the briefest of windows for Thorne to fire. When he didn't have the reflexive response, she cursed internally and maneuvered the ship again so the two ships were side to side with the Valkyrie tilted toward the Komari. This left her momentarily vulnerable but Yara looked up just in time to see the phasers fire onto the ship in the exact points needed to disable them - or at least make them think twice about what they were doing firing on a Federation ship.

“They're cloaking again Captain!” Ensign Marwa warned. “I've got a full scan of their power signature, but I can't keep a sensor lock. I might be able to use what we've got to find a way to detect them though.”

“Get on it Ensign.” Alex felt his jaw set in frustration, their mission had just become far more complex. They couldn't be sure of Rezzik's motives, but there were some fairly clear possibilities. “Lieutenant Blackwater, take us into the field. Follow the creature’s trail, I'm sure that will lead us to the Komari as well. Thorne, maintain a tactical alert. I want to know if you see anything you don't like.”

"Aye, sir." Yara said, wasting no time in bringing the ship about again to head into the field. This wasn't going to be easy and they might come away needing a new paint job, but Yara knew she could do this. Flying through fields like this was something she had worked long and hard to be able to do. Under her hand, the Valkyrie dipped into the field on thrusters only, seeking the creature who had come here to hide.

Throughout the captain's initial interaction with the poachers, Cey'aaren had continued to monitor the comms array while keeping an ear open to what was going on around him. Even as the ship began to take fire from the stolen Klingon vessel's disruptors, Cey was busying himself with trying to examine the subspace frequencies in the immediate vicinity visually, trying to discern the creature's signals from the rest of the noise in the asteroid field. As the other ship cloaked itself from their sensors, Cey'aaren popped open a compartment in the counter under the console. Inside were a small number of hidden tools and small equipment to aid the crew in specialized tasks. From between a brown engineering PADD and a miniature parametric scanner he withdrew a silver earpiece. A must have in the early days of Starfleet exploration, the device had become less frequently used thanks to advances in technology. These days, it was really only useful in situations like this, where one was trying to isolate discrete frequencies in a busy environment.

"Confirmed Captain." Rafan called out as he worked to analyze the sensor readings from when the Komari cloaked, beginning a tachyon scan since they were dealing with an older model Klingon ship.

"Captain, I am detecting subspace emanations deep within the asteroid field that seem consistent with the frequencies the Tower Bridge detected at the time of the creature's initial appearance," Cey reported as the ship began to move deeper into the rocky region of space.

"Good work Lieutenant." Alex said. "Blackwater, follow the signal, Thorne, keep an eye out for anything that might be a cloaked ship. Eyes open people, this could go south very fast.


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