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The Search within the Search pt. 2

Posted on Wed Sep 15th, 2021 @ 12:56am by Lieutenant Bonnie "Bon-Bon" Durnell & Captain Rhenora Kaylen & Commander Finchley Kerr & Commander Savar cha'Salik hei-Surak Talek-sen-deen & Lieutenant Commander Sandra "Phantom" Risa & Lieutenant Commander Shylow Vitari & Lieutenant Chester "Duo" Maxwell & Lieutenant Dean House & Lieutenant Thriss Kla'ren & Lieutenant Aurora Vali & Lieutenant JG Avarak

Mission: Gamma Quadrant
Location: Gamma Quadrant - Ion Cloud
Timeline: Current

[USS Sunfire bridge]

Finchley followed the readings on his screen and they came in. Just for half a second he thought that something out of the ordinary was about to be recorded, but then...nothing, just background readings. Still, he couldn't shake that gut instinct he had, and he'd listened to that inside of himself before. Now however, there was nothing showing, perhaps he was just being jittery because of the area they were in and what had happened last time he was here.

"Readings please Lieutenant House, what are you showing?" Finchley asked Dean.

"I don't know. I thought I saw some flickers, but then also there was an asteroid collision. Also the cloud is messing with the readings." House was having the same gut feeling. Nothing he could pick out though. "Maybe once it gets to the probe it gets closer to the Darnicite. We should probably think about the fact that if there is a Cardassian ship or ships, they could have Breen torpedoes. Those are particularly nasty and could potentially disable us in one shot, shields or no shields.(DS9 reference)"

Sandra was busy tuning out all the voices and emotions of the ship's crew when she caught an odd presence. " I could have sworn I sensed a presence........," she said looking at Finchley. "Coincidence or not?" she added.

Finchley looked at Sandra, "Hard to say, we're not getting much in the way of solid readings from the probe as to what's in the cloud. There could be ships in there, then again, there may not and we're chasing shadows. One thing that convinces me we need to go in there is the Darnacite, it's too much of a coincidence that there's traces of it here, and the Cardassian attacks on the Patterson just a couple of sectors away."

He looked at Rhenora and said "Captain, we could set up a grid search pattern that takes us into the ion cloud from the opposite end from where the Darnacite trail ends, that way we're protecting ourselves and giving us the best chance to still scan the cloud for the Bajoran carriers?"

"Do it" the Captain replied simply, knowing a good idea when she heard one. She had learnt a long time ago that being a captain was less about giving orders and more about drawing the different strengths from your crew.

"If I may interject, I don't think that's a good course of action. We stay where we need to and let the probes do the work. We can even send one out with our sensor beacon signature to throw things off. Keep the other probes doing their job and the tachyon field going. It'll mask us." Dean glanced up and mentioned.

" Could we receive the probe's data signal from the other side of the ion cloud? Birds and stones and all that?" Rhenora asked, not sure if the probe's transmitter would be strong enough.

"I don't see why not, sending the second out, a level 5 probe. It should, both, giving us the data back, Captain."

"Then we hedge our bets on plan A and plan B simultaneously, deploy the second probe and move us around to the other side of the ion cloud" The Captain requested, taking a breath and waiting to see what would unfold next.

Dean set up the tachyon field through the deflector dish, as well as sending out the second probe. "Two things done."

Finchley looked round at House and then to the Captain and said "Sir, sending that class five probe into the ion cloud won't make a difference, if Mr House had cared to look at the readings. If there 'is' someone in the cloud, they already know we're here, so sending out a sensor signature beacon won't make any difference, it'll just look folly. Plus, the data from the probe we just launched is giving us a single sector depth only depth report, it's limited on it can achieve, it is after all a probe, the name itself gives it's purpose. The reason for the grid pattern search is we can use the more powerful sensors of the Sunfire to search inside the cloud whilst at the same time protecting ourselves from anyone or anything that may try to attack us."

Looking at House again he continued "Lieutenant House' suggestion lacks foresight and should be disregarded, the optimum use of the probe and our own ships resources is going with the suggestion I provided you with and not the poorly thought out one the Lieutenant there suggested."

Aurora had sat quietly up until now but she took a moment to interrupt. “Captain... there’s definitely someone or something out there, I’ve been sensing it on and off. If I had to take a guess I’d say Cardassians. They’re very controlled, it makes them hard to read.”

~Cardassians~ Finchley thought, was it the same ones who had attacked his previous ship he wondered. He was brought out of his thoughts as the Captain spoke.

"Gentlemen..." Rhenora let the word hang in the air for a moment. " Launch the second probe and proceed to the opposite side of the ion cloud to begin in standard search pattern." The Captain ordered.

Finchley left the launching of the probe to the Chief Tactical Officer, meanwhile he turned to Phantom and said "Helm, bring us about, heading one three six mark one, one half impulse, take us to the ion cloud boundary."



[Arngard bridge]

Gul Traman watched as a second probe was launched from the Federation ship. Looking round at the Trooper at the helm he said "Shield status?"

"Shields operating at maximum output Sir!" the Trooper reported.

Glinn Topar looked up from his console and said "Sir, the Federation ship is moving away from their probes and heading towards the edge of the ion cloud."

Traman thought for a moment, it would be easy to take out the probes, but that would then alert the Federation ship to them being there, or he could shadow the ship and try to find out what their objective was.

"Helm, lay in a parallel course to the Federation ship, but take us further into the ion cloud. Keep us at half their speed, we don't want them suddenly turning on us if they find out we're here."

"Yes Sir" the Trooper replied and set about his task.

"Communications," Traman said.

"Yes Gul" replied the Comms's Trooper.

"Signal our other ships to say we're shadowing the Federation vessel and tell them to halt their search for the time being."

"Yes Sir" the Trooper replied.

Traman sat and watched as the Sunfire moved slowly across his viewscreen "Let's see where you're going and what you're up to Federation."



[USS Sunfire bridge]

Once again Finchley had that gut feeling something was out of the ordinary, but there was something else, an added twist.

"Where are you Mark, and what are you up to out here?" he said quietly to himself.

" What did you say?" The Captain asked as she heard Kerr from the rear of the bridge. The Sunfire had released another probe and was on its way to the rear of the ion cloud to begin searching, yet something was 'off'.

"It was nothing Captain, I was just talking to myself" Finchley replied to Rhenora.

" Stay sharp people, we may be being played here" She said cautiously.



[Arngard bridge]

As the Hideki Class ship moved along a parallel course, shadowing the Sunfire, the Trooper at the Helm gave out a shout "Radiation burst at...", but it was too late. Off to their port side, the burst exploded in a brilliant fireball and it slammed the Arngard broadside, causing it to rock and list badly.

"Report!!!" Traman called out, clinging desperately to his seat as the ship lost lateral control.

"Cloak shield offline, lateral controls failing, main shields failing!" the helm Trooper called back.

Glinn Topar somehow made his way from his station to the helm and began aiding the Trooper there to rectify the ships listing.

"Gul, the cloak's gone, we can be seen!" he called to Traman.

"Get the other ships here, NOW!" Traman called back.

"Yes Gul" the Glinn called back, looking round at the Trooper at Comms. The trooper desperately sent out a distress call, and looked back at Topar and nodded.

TBC

 

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