Star Trek: Cygnus

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Delivering the Bad News

Posted on Mon Mar 8th, 2021 @ 8:22pm by Lieutenant JG Lisald Vaat & Captain Maxwell Stafford & Commander Helena Pope
Edited on on Tue Mar 9th, 2021 @ 5:29am

Mission: Episode 2: Collision Course
Location: Main Bridge | U.S.S. Cygnus
Timeline: Shortly After Making Orbit

The turbolift doors opened to the Bridge just as he finished reorganizing the PADDs in his arms from the collision he had with Ensign Olson outside of Science Lab 3. Stepping out and onto the Bridge proper, he saw immediately the First Officer sitting in the Center Chair. He assumed the Captain was on duty in his Ready Room. Stepping around the sweeping horseshoe panel, Lisald approached Commander Pope. “Good morning, Commander. I have the results from the analysis and feasibility of deflecting the asteroid from hitting the colony,” he said, jerking his head towards the viewscreen, which was filled with the image of the colony below. “I think we need to talk to the Captain. It’s not looking very promising,” he said, his shoulders dropping slightly, almost imperceptibly.

Pope nodded and lead the way to the ready room door and pressed the chime.

Although neither Senior Officer heard the Captain grant entrance, the door did slide open, revealing the Captain expectantly awaiting them both, sipping on a dark liquid from a mug. The two stepped in, the door sliding closed behind them, granting them a private audience with the senior-most officer aboard the ship. Lisald began once Commander Pope sat down in the only chair available in the room, parroting the same thing he had said to the Commander on the Bridge a few moments ago, setting the stack of 8 PADDs on the Captains Desk. When he was finished, he waited for the questions to begin.

Stafford sat back in his chair. "Boil it down for me, Lieutenant. How 'not promising' are we talking? Is this thing hitting the planet no matter what we do?"

Lisald was ready for this. “I believe so, sir. Using every available resource at hand, including the resources of the remaining rescue vessels still en route, I estimate a 25% chance of success at being able to deflect the asteroid, based on its current position, composition of the asteroid and its speed. 30% at extreme best,” he emphasized. “We even tried running simulations in attempting to destroy it with the weaponry available to you as Commanding Officer of the rescue operations. All that would do is serve to spread out the destruction of the colony, instead of hitting it in a localized area. I really wish I had better news for you, Captain. We tried every conceivable, and even more than a few outlandish, scenarios.”

"I assume there's no way to fortify the settlements to survive it?" Pope asked, "We're looking at an extinction level event."

Vaat looked at the seated Commander and shook his head. “No way that I am aware of, within our technological level.” He pulled a PADD out of the pile and handed it to the Captain while he continued to speak to the Commander. “We looked at decreasing the relative mass of the asteroid using combined warp field bubbles. We looked at setting up a point-by-point grid using all of the available warp-capable ships and crafts to channel all available shield power to the colony,” he then turned to the Captain and said, “Did you know they don’t even have planetary defenses in place already? Anyways, short of having solid neutronium, and lots of it, as well as a year or more to do the fabricating, we could probably shield a few small parts of the planet. But as you mentioned Commander, this is an extinction level event. This is the end of this planet having higher level life on it for probably a hundred thousand years. This asteroid,” he said, grabbing the top PADD and handing it to Commander Pope, “is huge, its dense, and it has a lot of kinetic energy behind it.”

Pope exhaled deeply, "Well shit."

A grim smile crossed the Captain's lips briefly. "I couldn't have said it better myself, Commander." His gaze moved from his XO to the Chief Science Officer. "Have you informed the Dalriadian science team of your findings?"

Vaat shook his head in the negative. "No sir. You and Commander Pope are the first people I have shared our findings with. I didn't want either of you to be blind-sided by any official from the Colony with this information before I had a chance to tell the both of you," he said.

"I've convened the DHs from Science, Ops, and Engineering again to review it ahead of our presentation to the Dalriadians, given their attitude though I feel we're likely to get some push back that we're not taking it seriously. Perhaps they'll have some groundbreaking lead for us to take on." Pope said, "So, if we can't stop or move the rock, and the locals are resistant to evacuation, what's out move. Are we to remove them by force?"

The Captain let out a sigh. "I don't think it'll come to that." He told the XO. "Don't forget that we were invited here." He couldn't imagine any leader preferring to let his people die than evacuate onto Starfleet vessels, no matter how deep the antipathy. "But if it comes to it, I won't force anyone to leave their home. If people choose to remain on the surface and face the end," Stafford took another deep breath and let it out slowly, "then so be it."

"When do we expect the delegation from the surface?" Pope asked.

Max glanced over at a nearby clock. "Their science team will be beaming up in two hours."

"We're meeting in 15, we should be ready to present our findings to them when they arrive." Helena said looking to Lisald who would be taking the lead on the presentation.

"Aye Commander. One step ahead of you," Vaat stated, pointing at the PADD's stacked on the Captain's desk, save the two that the Captain and Commander were holding, respectively. "I cannot imagine any further information they would need that isn't already on these PADDs compiled, but in case there is, I am ready for them.

Pope nodded, "Good, now we'll just have to hope the Captain can convince them to let us help." She said with a grin to the Captain.

OFF

Captain Stafford

Commander Pope

Lieutenant Lisald

 

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