E1 Only The Beginning
Location: Main Bridge
Timeline: MD09 1300
Tim sat at his forward Operations station on the bridge. Since they'd left the site formerly occupied by Deep Space Seven, he'd focused on continual scans for new gravimetric distortions so that they would not repeat the experience. Thankfully, all had run smoothly since then. Their journey so far had yielded few fruitful results. Sadly, the most excitement they'd seen was when they were forced out of warp and affected repairs.
An alarm sounded from his console, the triple tone matching the one Tim had assigned for sensor contacts. "Sensor contact, one-half lightyear ahead," he called out from his station. "It's not registering as a distortion. In fact, it's rather small."
Commander T'Prynn inched forward in the command chair of the bridge as she listened to the report from the Operations Chief. She felt it prudent to carry out a little inquiry before contacting the Captain, so asked her first question. "Do you have visual on the area, Commander? Perhaps we can ascertain the nature of the contact through visual means?" she queried.
"We're not yet in visual range," Tim reported. "Detail is still cloudy, but it is definitely artificial in nature, and I'm picking up what appears to be an engine trail. There is a warp signature, but it is distorted."
Rising to her feet, the graceful Vulcan approached the forward stations and placed a hand on the headrests of each seat, standing between them as she looked down at the Ops console. "Perhaps an indication of trajectory or velocity?" she queried again.
Tim had to wait for the next sensor sweep to reach that far. Such sweeps occurred every five seconds or so, therefore he was left at their mercy. "Commander," he said almost cautiously. "The contact has shifted direction and speed. It appears to be heading our way."
"Helm, all stop. Yellow alert," the Vulcan ordered as she made an about turn and made for the command chair. Reaching down to press one of the controls on the arm of the chair, the usual tone accompanying an open communication line echoed around the bridge. "Captain Terax to the bridge," she ordered over the comm before collapsing into her own chair in anticipation of the Captain's arrival.
He stood, upon hearing the request for his presence on the bridge. Walking onto the bridge, he saw eager eyes looking at consoles. "Report." He asked his Vulcan XO as she vacated the center seat on the bridge.
"Captain," the Commander respectfully bowed her head to her superior briefly before delivering the report he had requested. "Commander Parker has detected a sensor contact and warp trail. Since our initial scans, the contact has shifted position and is on an intercept course with the Magellan." She rose from her seat to stand beside the Captain. "I have ordered all stop and felt it prudent to activate yellow alert."
"Confirmed, Captain," Tim added, checking the sensors once again. "The gravimetric distortions are preventing us from learning its identification code, but I believe it is a Starfleet warp signature."
"Would it be possible to launch a probe?" T'Prynn queried, looking at the Operations Officer. "It may provide advanced detail?"
"We could launch a probe," Tim replied, looking up from his station. "But, it wouldn't get far in front of us before the gravimetric distortions disable it."
"Maintain yellow alert and hold position. Time to intercept?" The Captain asked as he assumed the command chair.
After a quick series of taps on his console, Timothy reported, "Two hours, forty-seven minutes. Give or take four minutes."
“Captain, perhaps now might be an opportunity to implement Engineering’s countermeasure to the distortions?” T’Prynn suggested as she took her chair next to the Captain.
"Agreed Number One. Make it happen. Have Security run tactical drills just in case this is a new threat. Though it's unlikely, we are still in a relatively unknown area of space, and surrounded by a number of races who aren't exactly our biggest fans right now." He waited for a moment. "Tim, estimates on when we can get a positive reading on who is heading our way?"
"My best guess is in about half an hour, Captain," Tim replied, turning to look at the Captain. "If Engineering's countermeasures are effective, we might be able to shave that window at least in half, if not more."
Commander T'Prynn turned and looked towards the Tactical station, nodding to the Bajoran occupying the position. "Lieutenant, commence tactical drills," before tapping her commbadge. "=/\=Bridge to Engineering. You have authorization to implement your countermeasure Commander Harris. Report to the bridge," she directed before closing the channel as quickly as she had opened it.
Will crossed his fingers to Jean as he walked out of main engineering and walked into a turbolift, "Bridge." A few minutes later the main turbolift doors opened revealing the bridge, and the yellow alert colors flashing around him. He quickly walked over to his engineering console and inputted his command codes causing his terminal to come to life. Will started moving his fingers across his forward and side consoles, powering up what he had hoped would be a successful countermeasure. "Main deflector dish is powering up," replied Will giving out a status report. As each one of the systems came on-line he was showing green indicators across the board, and after a couple of minutes the deflector dish was showing signs that it was ready to go. "Deflector dish is on-line and ready to go."
Terax looked over to the engineer now on the bridge. "Do it. Let's see if this little plan of yours works."
T'Prynn, in the safety of her seat, pressed the controls nearby and opened a ship-wide communique. "=/\=All hands, this is Commander T'Prynn. Brace for possible turbulence." Better to be safe than sorry.
"Here we go," mumbled Will as he glided his fingers across his forward engineering panel. He looked down and watched the monitor as the deflector dish started sending out the subspace frequency waves. He swiveled his chair around looking at a side view monitor, and all of the power readings were looking good. "Readings should be coming in now Captain," replied the chief.
Tim watched his console as the sensor readings did indeed start to clear up. He arched his left eyebrow in a very Vulcan manner, beyond grateful that he could actually see a few things ahead of the ship now. If only they had this modification back when they neared Deep Space Seven... "Confirming now that it is a Starfleet warp signature. Computer recognizes the registry as the USS Gisborne."
“The Gisborne. Intrepid class,” T’Prynn spoke with a raised brow as she rose to her feet again, clearly unable to sit still any longer than absolutely necessary. “Captain Yorke,” she added as she stepped over to Tim’s station and glanced over his readings.
"Very well. We can't rule out any Pact ploys. Hold position, maintain yellow alert. If anything looks out of the ordinary, go to red alert. Let me know when they are within comm range." He stood and walked across the bridge to his ready room.
The breath that Will was holding was finally let out as the captain entered his ready room. He was amazed that it worked, and he promised he would have to thank his historian of an uncle in his next transmission home. As he pressed his comm badge "Harris to Jean, the test was successful, when everyone's shift ends have them meet me in Ten Forward. Harris out."
The Vulcan Commander returned to the command chair in the centre of the bridge and prepared for a long stint in command during the Captain's retreat to the readyroom.
Tim shifted in his seat before placing a tracker on his sensor readouts. Unless something changed, the Gisborne wouldn't be in range for another two hours. Once it hit that window, his tracker would set off an alert. Tim then thought ahead and called off his relief officer. Though Tim would normally be off shift during that time, he wanted to see what would await them.
Only a couple hours to go....