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An Approaching Enemy: Actions And Counteractions

Posted on Wed Aug 16, 2017 @ 3:13am by Captain Edward Pearson & Lieutenant Hamilton Long & Lieutenant JG Solok & Lieutenant JG Darren Higgs & Ensign Verity Anderson & Ensign Lara Tollivar
Edited on on Wed Aug 16, 2017 @ 10:05pm

Mission: The Eye Of Sin
Location: A Deck - Bridge, E Deck - Deflector Control
Timeline: January 2, 2157 - 1200 Hours

"Shuttlepod One has launched, sir." Tollivar looked up from her scanner.

"Thank you Ensign," Pearson acknowledged from the center seat. He then turned his head towards the tactical station. "Mister Solok, keep a lock on them at all times. I don't anticipate that they'll run into any problems but who knows what they'll find down there."

The Vulcan nodded. "Acknowledged... No problems as yet." He worked his board for a moment. "They've entered the atmosphere."

"I hope that none of them believe in ghosts," Eddie commented in a soft tone. Of course, such things were not real. He was well aware of that. The mind, however, had a tendency to play cruel tricks on a person's imagination and sanity especially during the most stressful of times. Going to a graveyard planet certainly qualified as such.

"Ghosts, Sir?" asked Solok, one eyebrow raised. "I do not understand."

Pearson smiled a bit at the Ensign. "On Earth, there's a superstition that goes back thousands of years that in places where people have died, their spirits reside in that location in a restless otherworldly state. We call them ghosts. They usually appear after succumbing to a violent or unjust death; when they have unresolved affairs that they need to see through."

"I... See... Such a belief is not logical, but... So human of you."

"I'll take that as a compliment Mister Solok," Eddie replied with an amused tone which didn't last. His attention was quickly diverted when an alert sounded from the Vulcan's console.

"I'm reading another ship approaching."

"Another ship?" Pearson repeated, as if he needed to say it again in order for the information to sink in. "Why didn't we pick it up before?" he asked.

"It was not moving, and the amount of radiation in the system made readings difficult. However, now that it is moving, I am able to detect it. I am trying for a positive identification."

Tollivar looked up from the comm panel. "I tried hailing them but no response."

Solok let a barely perceptible crease mar his forehead. "It is of an unknown design, and it is moving slowly. These readings are similar to something I have seen before, but I am not entirely sure what it might be. If I had to hazard a guess, I would suppose that it may be controlled by the Romulans, though it is certainly not of their make."

Romulans. There were several elements now that indicated that they were involved in some way with the fate of the planet they were now orbiting. Eddie didn't like it. "Tactical alert," he announced before turning to the science station. "Ensign, are you able to detect any life-signs aboard that ship?" he asked Verity.

"I'm working on it Sir." Verity replied, working intently on the sensor panel before her, "It's not easy to get a reading through the interference from the radiation." she explained as she continued to work, "But I should have something for you very soon. I'm recalibrating the sensors to compensate." she promised earnestly.

"Mister Higgs, put us in a higher orbit," Pearson ordered. "Let's give the Ensign all the help she needs." The radiation that was emanating from the planet would be less the farther away they were from it. It was all they could do for now as Eddie didn't want to leave orbit completely just in case the landing party needed them.

"Taking us into higher orbit now Sir." Higgs responded, tapping a few buttons on his console before guiding Endeavour away from the planet into an orbit where the radiation levels were much less.

"Got it." Verity squeaked excitedly as the sensor readings cleared up considerably, "There are...uh..." she frowned, "No lifesigns detected Sir."

"Romulans. Damn it." Eddie gripped the arms of his chair tightly in frustration. He'd hoped that somehow it wouldn't be them. "They must be using their telecapture system which means that they know we're here. Mister Solok, what's the status of their weapons?"

The Vulcan checked his readings. "Now that we are not in so much radiation, I can get clearer readings... They appear to be in the process of powering up, Sir!"

Tollivar swung around and looked at the Captain. "Sir. Should I try to contact the landing party and inform them that the Romulans may be in the area?"

"They're not actually here, Ensign. The ship is being controlled remotely from another location. Starfleet vessels have encountered this a number of times now," Pearson began to explain as there weren't many beyond the senior officers who knew about it. "The Romulans were able to improve the telepresence technology that they used against Enterprise two years ago. Except now, this technology also allows them to hijack enemy vessels. We can't risk opening a channel to surface in case they use that opportunity to hack us." Again, Eddie looked to Solok. "Are there any other Romulan-controlled ships in the area, or is that the only one?" he asked.

Solok did a quick check, hoping against hope there would be nothing. He was rewarded by a signal from the sensors. "None, Captain. This appears to be the only one. However, it appears to be heavily armed, unless my readings are being thrown off."

"How armed are they Ensign?" Eddie asked although he was almost afraid to have asked that question.

"At least four quartets of particle cannons, and I am reading eight torpedo launchers or solid-shot cannons of some kind--it is difficult to get a reading at this distance. The hull appears to be weakened, but even so, if the ship is hostile, she is a formidable opponent."

"That's putting it lightly," the Captain said. "I have every confidence in this ship's capabilities but I think that we're outmatched this time. Options?"

"They may be having trouble with their comm systems and that is why they are not responding to our hails." Ham said from his engineering station. "If it comes to a fight I would suggest targeting those weakened hull sections. I can boost power to the phase cannons to give them more of a punch."

Solok turned to Pearson. "If I may, it may be possible to generate some sort of electromagnetic pulse that will... what is the term? Fry their systems? We could target it on two hull breaches that I have detected--they appear to have been mountings for two more of those cannons. They are near the vessel's power matrix." His console signaled again. "We can get at least some visual data from the sensors now."

"How long will it take for you to set up the pulse?" the Captain asked.

"Fifteen minutes, maybe twenty. If I could have Lieutenant Long's assistance, and if we could work in Deflector Control, we might be able to get it done in less time."

Pearson didn't really like leaving orbit, but they couldn't just allow the Romulans to continue spying on them. Whatever the reason they were here for, the enemy was interested in their progress. If Jeannie came back with anything of value, it couldn't fall into Romulan hands. They needed to take action. "Go. And Hurry."

"We will work with all possible speed." Ham said heading for the lift.

Solok rose and followed Long to the lift. "Captain," he said, turning back, "Should I summon someone to take my station, or would you like that honor yourself?"

It was tempting. If they weren't dealing with that other ship, Eddie would have jumped at the chance to sit in that seat again. He needed to be focused on the whole picture though. "Have Crewman Hudson report to the bridge," he finally told the Vulcan.

"Aye, Sir." Solok moved for the lift. Hudson was a good choice--she was competent, quite competent actually, and her being on the bridge during this incident would restore the faith of some in the female crew, even if their mutiny had been only temporary.

Abruptly and unbidden, Solok's thoughts strayed to T'Lar. Ruthlessly, he quashed them down--there was a job to do.

* * * * *

Deflector Control was quiet when Lieutenant Long and Ensign Solok entered. The Vulcan turned to the lieutenant. "You are the senior officer here--what needs to be done first?"

"I am going to reset the deflector dish to emit the EM pulse. I need you to increase power to the dish by twenty percent, that way we have the energy to generate a strong enough pulse to overload the other ship's systems." Ham said.

Solok moved to a console and set to work. "I hope this doesn't blow out the deflector--it may be the only thing powerful enough to work, but the dish is a delicate piece of machinery."

Ham started entering a series of commands into another console. "If we don't hold the pulse at full charge longer than thirty seconds we will be okay. More than that and we run the risk of melting the dish. The power couplings between the dish and the beam generator will have to be bypassed to protect the generator." he said.

"Aye." The Vulcan tapped at the console. "Bypassed... Power increasing... One moment... I'm reading a fluctuation in the EPS transfer regulators."

"Hold on I see it." Ham said as his hands moved across the console entering commands. "Resetting the regulators. The fluctuations are dissipating." he said.

"Confirmed... The fluctuation has stabilized... EPS power transfer stable."

"I have reset the dish to emit the EM pulse." Ham said.

Ham checked the settings once more before pressing the comm button on the console edge. "Ham to bridge. We are ready down here." He said.

"Good work," Pearson replied over the comm. "The ship controlled by the Romulans is still heading straight for us. Get back up here and we'll see if that plan of yours does the trick."

"Aye Sir. We are on our way." Ham replied.

"It will work... If it doesn't, we're all in trouble," remarked the Vulcan dryly.


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