Something in the Shadows
E1 Only The Beginning
Location: USS Magellan; Observation Room
Timeline: MD09 1700
Commander T'Prynn sat watching, observing the smaller starship on the viewscreen in front of them in her usual considered way when the communications array burst to life. It had only been a matter of moments since the bridge had informed the Captain of the Gisborne's arrival and the desire of the ships Captain to visit the Magellan, so the sound of the Captain's voice was intriguing.
"Terax to senior staff. Report to the observation lounge."
Rising to her feet, the Vulcan led the exodus from the bridge to the observation lounge and, upon entering, took up her customary seat to the right of the Captain.
"Down the rabbit hole Alice went," replied Will as he locked out his engineering console and followed right in behind Commander T'Prynn as he took a seat right next to her and waited for the captain and his guests to arrive.
Tim surrendered his forward operations console to a relief officer and took up the rear of the party heading for the lounge. Once there, he took a seat across from Commander Harris, assuming the Captain's guest would take the seat across from the Executive Officer.
I was almost in! Jeremiah said to himself as he walked down the corridor. Fifteen more minutes and.... He stopped himself from continuing the thought. That he'd been interrupted from whatever may have been about to transpire with an attractive brunette engineer wasn't what he needed to be thinking about. "Head in the game," Gilbraith said, aloud this time. Up ahead of him, the Observation Lounge doors loomed. The science officer took a deep breath and approached the doors.
"Evening," he offered to those already present.
The Captain walked into the observation room, followed by 3 officers. He directed the two female officers to the seats, while the male officer stood close by. He saw most of his senior officers were there and walked across the room taking his place at the head of the table. "This is Captain Yorke and Commander Arroyo of the USS Gisborne. Lieutenant Commander Parem." They all nodded as he said their names. "I'm a little in the dark too, so Captain Yorke, the room is yours."
"Thank you, Captain. The Gisborne's mission has a lot of classified components, I won't get into now. However, one of those components is the Breen border of the Inconnu Expanse. We were just outside of the Gienah system, monitoring the border when we picked up a group of burst transmissions. Normally an Intrepid class wouldn't have picked them up. But we have been fitted with some extra sensor boosters. We couldn't decipher most of it, but the word 'Wi'u'Kai'. It was in several of the transmissions and we don't know what it means."
"Is it permissible to grant the Magellan access to these transmissions and other data you have accumulated? Our significant science and operations capability should be of benefit to any investigation," the executive officer of the Magellan queried, looking between her own Captain and the visitor from the Gisborne.
Captain Yorke looked to her XO, who stood there with a PADD. She nodded to him, and he began tapping away. She looked back to the Magellan's officer. "Done. Some of the data's security classification is still to be determined. Until such time, Commander, please treat it as classified Level Nine."
Tim frowned and was unable to corral a sigh before it escaped his throat. This meeting couldn't be more than a simple We found strange messages sort of thing. "What are you not telling us?" he asked aloud.
"Plenty of things Commander. Most not relevant here." A sly smile passed over her face. "That said, we think we have something tracking us. As most of you know, or rather should know by now, the Expanse if filled with gravitic anomalies. There has been a constant anomaly about 50,000 kilometres of our stern. At first, we thought it was just a normal anomaly. But this one seems to be matching our course. Not our speed, but when we slow down, it catches up."
Anjad looked up at the last sentence. "A type of gravitic anomaly cloak? That's not possible. Is it?"
"We didn't think it was. But whoever is following us must have been in the expanse, and learning about the anomalies for centuries. We obviously aren't sure, but we have transferred over all our sensor data. Your sensors are more powerful than the Gisborne's. Couple that with your own scans, you might be able to get a clearer picture."
"So, you mean to tell me that all of these anomalies that are around us are possibly not all anomalies but ships under cloak?" Harris said as he looked up with a note of concern on his face. "If that's the case then we are surrounded, and those are possibly the ships that could have destroyed Deep Space 7."
"If we really were surrounded," Tim pointed out, "then they would have had ample time and opportunity to take either of us out. It seems that we are being watched, whatever the case and reasoning may be."
"If we have detected them, it is logical to assume they know that we have done so," Commander T'Prynn began, "I believe it would be most prudent to let them know that their presence has been detected," she suggested, looking towards Terax.
Terax looked to Yorke, for her opinion. Given the sensitive nature of her assignment for Starfleet Intel, he would give way to her at this point. "We would rather you didn't. Our tail, or rather potential tail, is still unconfirmed. And this one has very specific readings, with it giving off a frequency pulse of around 320 megahertz. As I said, we don't want to tip our hand. If you can get readings using the Magellan's sensors, excellent. But under no circumstances are you let them know you can see them."
"Sounds like we have a plan then," Terax said to no one in particular.
"If we're truly being monitored then, anything besides our current sensor sweeps would set off alarms," Tim remarked. "But, with some finesse, I think we can hide a narrow band sweep in our next set of scans while boosting warp power to strengthen our warp bubble since we are still in the midst of distortions. The increased power should hide what we're trying to do and help us get a reading or two."
Terax nodded to his Operations Chief. He looked to his Chief Engineer.
"That might work," Will said as he thought about the scenario. "I can create a static warp shell that can be used to discharged built up negatively charged particles on the warp coils, to 'clean them.' The massive power build up will register like a ship travelling at warp nine."
"Excellent. Let's get it done. Anything else?"
T'Prynn remained silent and still as she observed the people around the table for any further responses.
With no further responses, Captain Terax stood, looked around to his officers, and nodded. "Dismissed then."