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Picking Up the Trail

Posted on Mon Feb 13th, 2017 @ 1:26am by Commander Akiva ben-Avram & Lieutenant JG Annie Wilson
Edited on on Mon Feb 13th, 2017 @ 9:53am

Mission: S1E4 - Remnants Of A Lost Cause
Location: Astrometrics Lab
Timeline: MD 67 - 1000

It wasn't often that Astrometrics was front and center in the mission, but then it wasn't often that the captain was taken hostage either. Joel Allen was running every cross vector simulation he could think of, but none of them were yielding satisfactory results.

"If they'd merely stolen a shuttle craft, then this would be a lot easier," Joel muttered as his fingers flew across the console. His eyes left the sprawl of display screens overhead long enough to notice Annie was still sullen and downcast. She had been this way all morning. Joel wanted to be sympathetic, but they also had a job to do. Maybe he could help pull her out of her sump.

"Maybe we're going about this the wrong way," Joel said. "If you were Henley, what you do? Maybe we eliminate a few systems that way."

Annie was at her lowest yet, her partner had died in the attack, and now she felt all alone. She just wanted to disappear and be with Anastasia forever in eternity, but somehow, Annie had the feeling that wasn't going to happen.

"If I was him, I'd go and die in a corner. But to find the Clyde, we need to find something they haven't managed to cover up, which won't be the warp trail...whatever that is." Annie replied, not really in the mood, but following her orders.

"True," Joel said, trying to get past Annie's disposition. "We know the direction they went, but they've got such a head start that it doesn't do much good since they've masked their warp signature. But we know that greatly reduces their vector speed, which should give us a solid lead in our search parameters."
Joel pulled back the view of the display screen from a regional magnification to the full sector grid. "The problem is that there is nothing in the direction they went, not that they'd reach anytime soon at low warp. Long-range sensors still detect nothing, so we know they're still cloaked. The question remains: where did they go?"
Joel sighed and leaned away from the terminal. "There's something we're missing."

"You're the Science officer, why are you asking me?" Annie replied, fighting back the tears she had let flow so freely the night before and the morning before she started her shift.

Akiva quietly entered the Astrometrics Lab so as not to intrude. The last bit of conversation did not encourage him. "No luck, I take it."

"No, sir," Joel said, throwing a look to Annie which she did not return. "I've compared charts with the metrics we've been given--top speed, suitable hiding places, Starfleet patrols in reclaimed sectors--and there just doesn't seem to be adding up. It's like they're going nowhere."

"Well, they can't stay cloaked forever," Akiva said. "They'll have to turn up sometime."

Annie had nothing to say, she looked at the console and didn't take her focus from it, it was like a bad dream, but Anastasia wasn't appearing, and she wasn't going to come back. Annie wasn't even sure why she was there, only that she was told to be.

"True enough," Joel replied, "but they could be halfway across the Gamma Quadrant by then, maybe even in Dominion space."

Akiva frowned. "That's a startling possibility. But with the Consortium's recent defeat, I can't see them going to ground in unfamiliar territory. No, Saalkan and Tolan are equally shrewd. They'll have something in the works. Alternate transport, something."

"If that's the case, then we'll need to widen our search grid," Joel said dismally.

"Not necessarily," Akiva said with slow, deliberate words and a rub of his chin. "Saalkan built a Romulan cloaking device, which is normally undetectable except... for when stationary! Then it emits a high concentration of tetryon particles."

"So if they're sitting around, waiting for a pick-up from another vessel..." Joel continued.

"Then the Clyde will be putting off a silhouette of tetryon particles!" Akiva clapped his hands. "Excellent work. Create an algorithm for long range sensors to detect any tetryonic build-up and forward it to the Science console on the Bridge."
He slapped Joel on the shoulder and looked to Annie. "Your work here is done, Lieutenant. Let's get you back to the helm. We have us a runabout to find."

"Yeah," Annie replied, emptily. "I'll go and do that."

Annie then left, heading back to the bridge as ordered.

Joel and Akiva exchanged awkward glances.

"Right." Akiva turned to leave himself. "Update me if you can determine anything else."

"Aye, aye.... Captain." The word fell awkwardly out of the petty officer's mouth.

Akiva shook his head and left without another word. They all wanted Claudia back, but nobody more so than him.


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