USS VINDEX - NCC-2474-A
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Approaching Rakhar

Posted on Sat Aug 6th, 2016 @ 2:10pm by Captain Claudia Ainscow & Lieutenant T'Mia & Lieutenant Commander Soren Himmel & Commander Akiva ben-Avram & Lieutenant Elijah "Eli" Dreznik & Major Storr Garlake & Lieutenant JG Tora Benjarvi & Lieutenant Kazyah Linn & Sergeant Bella Zaltin

Mission: S1E1 - Booby Trap
Location: Deck 1; Main Bridge
Timeline: Mission Day 6; 09:00

The Vindex slowed and dropped out of warp as it reached the Rakhar system where they had been sent to locate the missing starship the USS Renown. The trip had been uneventful and the choice to take the longer route to Rakhar had certainly proven to be a wise one. Claudia was still getting used to her new ship but she was more than happy with how things were going so far - although she knew that this mission wasn't going to be as easy as it looked on the PADD she was given.

T'Mia sat in the place that all good executive officers could be found in a moment of crisis and adversity, at the right hand of her commanding officer. She remained silent as she tapped away at her console and monitored sensors and communications.

Benj was standing at the main tactical/security console, directly behind and to the right of Lt. T'Mia. From his station, he had a good angle to view all but the turbolift right behind him. As per his usual procedure upon entering a system, he immediately began to scan the area, starting close to the ship and working his way out. It only took a few seconds to get the report back.

"Sensors have scanned the area, Captain. No sign of the Renown in orbit and I'm currently not detecting their warp signature. Either the Renown never made it, or they were here and left long ago. No sign of debris or sign of battle either. The planet Rakhar is coming into range."

Akiva sat at the left forward terminal station beside the helm. His sensor scans confirmed the tactical report from Benj. "An initial scan of hailing frequencies do not reveal any distress beacons or communications of any kind, Commander," he reported. "We appear to be alone."

Kazyah sat in a place he wasn't quite sure he was supposed to: at the left hand of the Captain. But at the moment, he didn't care. He was needed on the Bridge but Intelligence didn't exactly have a designated station. So he figured this was the lesser of two evils. "Something doesn't seem right, Captain. This system should have traffic running through it," Kaz said as he tapped the console that sat next to his chair.

Eli swiveled around on his chair to face the Captain. His colleagues had already given the basics, but his job as Science Officer was to fill in the details. "Yes it should," he said in response to the Intelligence Officer. "But there are no signs of it at all. And I mean literally none. No warp or plasma trails. If someone has been here, they were very meticulous about hiding their approach and departure."

Claudia was intrigued by the very worrying lack of traffic in the system - especially as it was pointed out to her that the system was usually much busier than it is now. The fact nothing else was detected was also a cause for concern.

"Intriguing. I think it might be best for us to go into grey mode to avoid detection. Mr Dreznik scan for a suitable hiding place - Mr Tora continue to scan for any enemy vessels" Claudia said.

"Aye Captain", responded Benj, he continued to work the long range and short range tactical sensors. So far there were no apparent signs of conflict or of ships in the area, but that didn't mean that they weren't there. It was like the moments in a horror movie before the villain/monster/demon jumps out and attacks you. All is quiet... too quiet.

As they approached Rakhar, its moon could be seen off in distance on the far side of the planet.

"Captain, I recommend that we launch a Class 1 Sensor probe just across the north pole region of the planet towards the moon. It would give us better clarity and range on our sensors." Benj had seen debriefs time and again of ships hiding in the magnetic polar fields of planets, where atmosphere hid the ships visually and the magnetic field fouled up the sensors. At this point, they couldn't risk being caught between a force in the polar region and a force hiding behind the moon.

"Agreed - launch one when you are ready, Mr. Tora" Claudia replied.

"Class One Probe is away, Ma'am. We should have more accurate scans of the planet in 5 minutes, with readings from behind the moon in 15." Up on the screen, the flare of a probe, almost mistaken for a torpedo, shot away from the ship. It began it's arc that would take it past the northern pole region of the planet and on toward the moon.

=/\="Ainscow to Himmel. I'd like you to work with Mr. ben-Avram and start powering down non-essential systems. Please report to the bridge"=/\= Claudia replied.

=/\= On my way, Captain=/\= Himmel Turned to his assistant chief engineer, "Handle things down here." He then ran off to the turbolift.

Noah entered the Bridge. He stopped short at the right side of the Captain and leaned in on the console. Looking up at the viewscreen. "Correct my if I'm wrong but shouldn't there be a Starship out there?"

"Yes there should, Mr. Fields. We don't have one - not even a warp trail or anything. Something isn't right here," Claudia replied.

Captain Garlake turned his attention from the straightening of his newly-hung office accessories (if you could call a row of wall-mounted heads to include a Klingon Jackal Mastiff , South African Gemsbok, and Ligorian Mastodon "accessories") to the LCARS display to read Benj's message relaying that they had arrived in Rakhar. He appreciated the Bajoran's professional "heads-up" to his department, as the grunts were usually forgotten in the shuffle due to not having a physical presence on the bridge. Standing, he replied with a simple "Acknowledged" keystroke and tapped his communicator.

=/\= "Garlake to Zaltin, have fire teams one and two on alert, with three in standby."=/\= With a brief "Wilco, sir" in reply from his First Sergeant, the MCO stood and made his way to the Marine TOC. While he hoped that it would be simply to monitor a peaceful situation, the mantra "hope for the best, prepare for the first" had guided Storr well through his career and didn't see why it wouldn't continue to do so.

Bella really hated downtime that was in the middle of an intense situation. She had been monitoring the situation as well as she could, while still performing her daily duties. Now that Garlake had commed her, well, she actually had a plan put into motion. She entered the Barracks to find most of the Fire Teams in the vicinity... an example of how well trained they are. They knew that someone could go down at any moment and to be scattered all throughout the ship would delay action that could determine the outcome of a battle.

"We have orders, Marines. Fire Teams 1 and 2, Lock and Load for action. Fire Team Three, be in standby in case the forces are greater than we anticipate. You have three minutes before the Captain comes down here and slams you into your battle gear."

The Marines of Fire Team 1 and 2 jumped to get ready, their faces displaying readiness, determination and a little bit of anticipation. Fire Team 3's expressions were easy to read as well... they were a bit disappointed at being named the "backup".

Meanwhile, Akiva systematically powered down nonessential systems from his bridge station as per the captain's orders--all holodecks deactivated, non-vital environmental systems in the arboretum, crew lounge, and shuttle bays deactivated, and anything else necessary to lower the EPS demand. He maintained all of Sickbay's systems at full power, though.

Himmel had walked out of the turbolift and headed to the engineering station relieving the engineer on duty. He began doing his own checks on systems diverting power to the more essential systems in preparation for what the mission may call for. Shields, and weapons were ready to receive an extra boost, scanners were also given a little more juice along with engines in case a quick get away was needed. He looked to Akiva at his station, "I'll keep monitoring and divert power where needed."

"Once we've found somewhere to hide the ship we'll take a runabout and fly into the system - the smaller the craft the less likely it'll be detected. Mr. Henley, once we've found a suitable hiding place I'd like you to prepare one of the runabouts for a recon mission. You'll be flying," Claudia replied.

Ensign Henley was relieving Ensign Wilson who was currently off duty due to illness.

"Yes, Commander" Henley replied.

"How soon can we go into grey mode gentlemen?" Claudia asked Akiva and Soren.

"Systems show the warp core is powered down with all systems on minimum output. Grey mode has now been initialized, captain," Akiva reported. "Standing by for further orders."

"Excellent. Let's head into the north pole area of Rakhar and see what we can work out. It's clear that the Renown isn't here. Mr Henley - take us there at a quarter impulse" Claudia ordered.

John nodded. "Yes Commander"

John plotted the course towards the north pole of Rakhar and engaged - the ship slowly began to move towards its intended destination where Claudia hoped they would find some answers as to the fate of the missing starship that they were tasked with looking for.

"Mr. ben Avram, Mr. Henley and Mr. Tora - one we've arrived at our destination we'll head down to the shuttle bay and take one of the runabouts," Claudia said.

"Aye aye, captain," Akiva said. He sent a notification to a junior operations officer to relieve him momentarily.

"Copy that Captain", responded Benj, he called up Takahashi to the bridge to take over his position.

John was far from expecting to be taking part in an away mission so soon - but given the circumstances it seemed inevitable that he would be called upon.

"Yes, Commander." Henley replied.

Kaz leaned in towards the center chair, "Captain, do you think joining the away team is a good idea? Nothing seems right about this situation, and I can only imagine the danger you would be putting yourself into."

Claudia agreed with Kaz - it perhaps wasn't the wisest thing to do right now but she thought they needed to do a bit more digging away from the ship.

"Perhaps not - but we need to see what is going on here, Lieutenant. They're supposed to be here but there isn't a single trace of the vessel anywhere - not a warp trail or anything. Something just doesn't add up here," Claudia replied.

"That's exactly what I mean," Kaz replied. "Not only is our ship not here, but no ship is here. Something happened and things don't add up. Just...be careful."

"We will Lieutenant. First sign of any trouble and we'll be right out of there" Claudia replied.

"My relief is en route to the bridge," Akiva said to Claudia. "I'll go ahead of you to the shuttle bay and prep the runabout."

Claudia nodded. "Thank you Lieutenant - Mr Henley please assist him with the runabout preparations. We'll take the Mersey as I believe the other two Danubes are in for maintenance today. Mr Tora and I will join you both in a few minutes"

John nodded and got up to join Akiva in preparing the runabout. He was relieved by an Andorian conn officer who continued to pilot the Vindex towards its destination.

"Aye, Captain." Akiva acknowledged his relief officer with a nod and left the bridge for the shuttle bay.

"Mr Himmel - once we're gone you'll be in command. Have the ship ready to jump to maximum warp in the event the runabout is pursued. If the ship comes under attack - you're under orders to retreat to safety" Claudia instructed.

Soren turned and nodded, "jawohl Captain, she'll be ready."

Soon the Vindex had arrived at its destination and Kaz's point had been thought over. Claudia decided it would be wise to take a couple of Marines with them for some extra security as well as having the presence of her Chief of Security.

=/\="Ainscow to Garlake. Please join us in the Main Shuttlebay - bring some people with you as we're going for a stroll"=/\=

"Mr Tora let's make a move. The bridge is yours Mr Himmel" Claudia said.

"Aye, Captain", said Benj as he removed two phasers from the weapons cache on the bridge. He knew that the Marines would be packing some firepower, but it wouldn't do for them to be unarmed. He put one in his holster and then handed one to the Captain. "I hope you don't need this, but my job is making sure you are safe." Then he followed Commander Ainscow into the turbolift that took them both down to Main Shuttle Bay.

As they left the bridge, the probe had just past the North Pole Region of Rakhar and began to send by information that it was getting.... nothing spectacular. Then it headed on towards the moon of Rakhar. It would be another 10 minutes before it was able to scan behind the planet.

 

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