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Yellow Alert

Posted on 14 Jul 2019 @ 12:50pm by Captain Harvey Geisler & Commander Thiago Teixeira & Lieutenant Commander Terry Walsh & Lieutenant Commander Jayla Kij & Lieutenant Commander Arjin Djinx & Lieutenant Joey Geisler & Lieutenant Gemma Alexander & Lieutenant Camila Di Pasquale & Lieutenant Jarith Roshe & Lieutenant JG Damian Akorem & Lieutenant JG Lina Sorensen & Ensign Kelly Khan

Mission: Truth and Justice
Location: USS Black Hawk
Timeline: MD 15 || 1100 hours (March 29, 2389)
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===[Flight Deck]===

Lt. Alexander, having just finished a training session and been properly debriefed, had arrived in her quarters deciding to head for a quick shower before getting back to it, especially since she'd heard they'd be arriving sometime soon. She'd meant to break sooner for a proper lunch but the training had been almost constant and she couldn't get away. At the moment, hair still wet, she was chewing on a protein bar as she headed back to the flight deck.

Lunch for Terry was a simple turkey pastrami sandwich with lettuce and tomato. And it was currently laying, half eaten, on the table in the Pilot's Ready Room. The squadron commander had opted for that location to spend the morning rather than his office. Plus, it was closer to the Flight Deck for the time to...whatever...happened. He picked up the PADD that was beside the sandwich and began studying it again. It had the changes and upgrades that had been made to the couple of Gryphon's on it and all of the dynamics. If he had to use them, he needed to know them.


===[Crew Quarters]===

Lieutenant Jarith Roshe munched on a chocolate bar while reclining in the overstuffed chair in his quarters. He had a lot to think about. The aliens were a challenge, but that was of no consequence. The information he had gathered was important.


===[Bridge]===

Word had come that the Black Hawk was about to arrive at Penduli V. Prior to this, Harvey had withdrawn from the bridge in order to take an early lunch. He did not know what this day would bring, and he certainly did not want to leave anything to chance. Over the last couple of weeks, the crew had been working hard, preparing for this moment through extra training, simulated drills, and studying the technology and information they'd received so far. The crew had been through a lot in the last four months. It was only in the last few days that the crew's morale seemed to have a boost, perhaps it was an attention to relieving stress through parties and concerts, or perhaps it was thinking that the end was actually in sight.

One could only hope so.

The doors to the turbolift opened, allowing the Captain to step out onto the bridge. He had not been alone in the turbolift. Despite the company, only one thing had remained in his mind: completing this mission and getting the hell out of here. "Status report," he requested, moving to the center chair.

"We're approaching the planet, Captain," Joey spoke, but there was more. Something she hoped they'd never encounter again. What were they hiding? However, they'd made it through a minefield before, and they could do it again if they had to. "And it appears that there's a minefield protecting it."

Harvey nodded, taking his seat at the middle of the bridge. They'd expected a minefield, and with the situation being as it were, it was good to know it was still operational. "Helm, drop us out of warp and slow to one-half impulse."

"Aye, Captain," Kelly said as she brought the ship out of warp. "Speed at one half impulse, Sir."

"Bridge to Engineering," Harvey called out next. "What's the status on the alien equipment you've adapted? We've arrived and we're ready to test it out."

Lina was actually pondering over the latest reports on the alien equipment as the Captain's call reached her over ship comms. She tapped her communicator.

"We've been trying hard to adapt most of those devices. Some seem to work perfectly, but others still looked a bit shaky especially when we connect them and to our shuttle computers and try to let the computer control the devices. However, I think that we could work out those issues ... manually." The Chief Engineer stressed the last word although she was sure the Captain understood what she meant.

Lina hoped that this would be enough, but engineering and herself had almost been working day and night over the last weeks to work it out. She herself had only had 4 hours of sleep in the last couple of nights. That had to do.

Harvey frowned, although he knew the engineer couldn't see him. "We are arriving at Penduli V. Looks like you'll get a chance to test that theory shortly."

"Understood, Sir," was the short confirmation she gave the Captain. Lina had known it would come to this. Some of those devices were still almost like a black box to the engineers.

"Stand by, Lieutenant," Harvey then said as he shifted his focus elsewhere. "Helm, what's our distance to Penduli V?"

"Two billion five hundred thousand kilometers to Pendul V and a hundred million kilometers from the edge of the defense minefield," Kelly said.

The Captain turned to his Intelligence Chief next. "Miss Geisler, what can the sensors tell us about the minefield and the planet?"

Joey moved her hands over the console in front of her. There was quite a bit of information to relay, which had the Intelligence Chief taking a break. "The minefield is thicker than the one we encountered back at Kalisa, and there are Duonetic field generators scattered around the planet. It seems those fields emit a continuous EMP which prevents the use of practically all electronic equipment," she began, pausing long enough for that information to sink in. "As for the planet, it seems that Penduli V is living in what appears to be an industrial age. No electricity from the looks of it. There also appears to be signs of wounds on the planet itself, bombed cities that appear to be centuries old." Her brows furrowed. "I'm also picking up signs of life."

Harvey nodded. "All right, it's time to see what all of this fuss is about." There would be no turning back now. Not after all these months and all of the lives that had been sacrificed in the name of the unknown. Hopefully, no more would be required. "Tactical, sound yellow alert. Operations, evacuate all outer edges of the ship where possible. Engineering, have damage control teams on standby."

"Yellow alert," Camila ordered and made the appropriate selection on her console to send the alert through the ship to let everyone know to be on station, but not at attack readiness.

From his console, Arjin was also monitoring their enviroments. Ready to intervene if it would be nessesary.

As he often did, Thiago kept an eye on multiple systems and operations, ready to jump in to assist if needed. His focus at present was on the evacuation of the perimeter of the ship; it wasn't easy to relocate people en masse. Even the ones in Starfleet.


===[Flight Deck]===

When the shipwide yellow alert sounded, Terry put the PADD down and went to his locker. It was time to suit up and get ready. When the Black Hawk went to yellow alert, Flight Ops issued condition yellow for the fighter squadron. All fighter pilots would be contacted via combadge as a secondary notification. The ship's yellow lights and alert image being the first. They were immediately activated and the modified rotation he'd prescribed would be put into effect. All pilots on the rotating shifts were required to maintain readiness, while those off duty observe restrictions on off duty activities to maintain their readiness. It also meant that he and Alexander would be ready for their part of the mission. The rest of Alpha Flight would go on hot-standby while the squadron was put on a five minute alert status. Terry sat back down after donning his flight suit and put the helmet next to the sandwich. He then picked the PADD back up and continued reading.

Gemma had just arrived back at the flight deck when the yellow alert went off. She immediately shifted direction and headed for her locker. Efficiency through long practice, who knew being late to class would also help one get dressed quickly and without much brain power focus?, had her suited and ready in fairly short order. She grabbed her helmet and headed to the Pilot's Ready room, seeing Rocco she said, "Hey Boss." Then plopped in a seat near him, in the centuries old 'hurry up and wait' procedure.

Terry looked up at the sound of Gemma's voice. "Lieutenant," he replied, looking up from the PADD. "Just another day in Starfleet, eh?"

Gemma smiled and nodded, "That's why we get the big bars of latinum." She said, not annoyed more vaguely amused. Jokes were a great way to pass the time before one took their life in their hands again. "How annoyed would ground crew be if we got in the way rechecking our craft?" She asked after a moment and gestured out in the vague direction of their craft where ground crew swarmed.

He looked up from the PADD, "I expect they'd be pretty annoyed about it. At least from my past experiences. But they'll talk about it among themselves and not in front of us. Besides, I'd feel better if we were right next to them when this goes down." Terry stood and put the PADD in pocket on his flight suit and headed for the door.

With a 'Well ok then' shrug she stood up as well, grabbed her helmet and followed.


===[Sick Bay]===

In Sick Bay, Jayla didn't even have to say anything or bark out any orders; her staff already knew what to do. Nurses and corpsmen readied the medkits while doctors prepared biobed and tricorders. Jayla smiled to herself as he watched them for a few seconds. The Black Hawk crew worked like a well-oiled machine. She joined them, making sure her own station was in order. She always put herself on satellite triage as she was a fast reader and knew how to best direct her doctors, nurses, medics and corpsmen to reach the crew who could not make it to Sick Bay wherever they were around the ship.


===[Bridge]===

“Ops, Intel,” Harvey ordered as the crew settled into their stations. “Keep your sensors on the planet. Start analyzing where the population is concentrated and select potential beam down points. Commander Teixeira, keep an eye on the minefield as we move towards the planet and call out adjustments as you see them. Tactical, raise shields and arm phasers. Track targets of opportunity as we move through.”

"Shields up and phasers ready, Captain," Camila said as she began tracking targets across the board. There were so many that she had to wonder if they had enough torpedoes or power for the phasers.

"Yes, sir," Joey said as she began to scan the planet, particularly for high concentrations of life signs and safe places to beam their crew down.

His fingers moved across the smooth surface of his console, adjusting the arrangement of the readouts to put the sensor data of the minefield front and center. "Understood, Captain," Teixeira responded. Their previous run in with these type of mines gave them reason to be concerned.

Akorem turned his head to the right slightly and nodded. "Aye Sir. I have a couple of beam down spots, but I can narrow it down." Lets prove you can do this he thought to himself. He had only been back on active duty, albeit small shifts, for a couple of days, so this was his first real mission since everything had happened.

Harvey looked down to his left armrest and began to tap an entry into his log. “Bridge to Engineering, activate the device.”

Lina heard the order via comms and nodded although she knew tha Captain was not able to see her. "Okay, so please work now," she said to the device as she sometimes kept talking to the equipment she just used or activated. "Device activated, Captain," she finally replied to the Captain via comms hoping that it would work.

The bridge lights flickered as the technology came to life, pulling power away from multiple systems in order to protect the Black Hawk from the minefield. "Shield status and readiness report?" he asked aloud.

"Shield's...are...working," Thiago said, referring to the readouts on his console. "I don't think we'll be more ready. Just need to keep an eye on the power levels and the modifications. That stops working and we're going to be in a tough spot."

Harvey frowned. The news wasn't the best it could be, but at least they would not be hindered for now. "All right. Now or never, everyone. Helm, take us in."

Khan sat the helm and gave a nod to the Captain's orders to take the Black Hawk in and despite knowing that they supposedly had the equipment and protocols to get the ship through the minefield safely, she wasn't taking any chances. As they approached the perimeter of the mine field, she had a strong desire to send out probes to see if they could get through or not, but she was trusting to luck and technology to get them through. That, and a healthy dose of cajoneitus but since she didn't have the dangly bits required for that, she trusted to skill instead and began to ease the ship into the field at the slowest speed she could manage while relying heavily on the thrusters.

"Good job so far, Ensign," Teixeira stated, wanting to reassure the young helmswoman. Khan had already proven herself to be a skilled pilot and solid officer, but their current situation could cause doubts in even the most seasoned member of Starfleet. The Black Hawk proceeded, slowly, further into the mine field. Things were going well. Which should have been a surefire sign that something was about to go wrong.

"Mines tracking in from port!" he called out. "Helm, change bearing, thirty-mark-forty-three."

"On it, Commander," Kelly said as she made an adjustment to the RCS thrusters on the starboard side and rolled the ship out of the way of immediate danger. However, the mines were still tracking and she focused on coming up with a new course while waiting for further orders while she piloted the ship.

Camila began tracking the mines on Tactical and brought it up on display. "If we concentrate on the middle grouping of mines, Captain, we should be able to contain the damage at that point as long as we have enough distance between us."

"Reinforce shields to port," Harvey quickly ordered. "The moment those mines are in a position to not cause a chain reaction with the rest of the minefield, take them out."

Camila routed auxiliary power to the port shields and lined up the phasers with the mines. "Ensign Khan, get us some distance and prepare for a quick thrust deeper on a different path," she ordered.

"Acknowledged," Kelly said as she nudged the thrusters to give the Black Hawk more thrust as she continued her path to starboard. "Distance is three hundred meters to contact and one hundred meters and growing from the central field," the short brunette said as her fingers set the next maneuver up in preparation. "Five hundred meters and two hundred meters from the main field. Seven hundred." She continued to count.

Camila waited until the Ensign had put a thousand meters between them, then fired on the central mine that was in pursuit of them and destroyed it and the other ones near it, hoping that it wouldn't set off the main body of the minefield or sent more in pursuit.

"Nice shooting, Lieutenant," Teixeira commended, his eyes still fixed on his console. "Everything looks good, Ensign." He continued monitoring as the ship glided through the field.

Several minutes passed without event.

An alarm sounded.

"Got several that have picked us up," Thiago announced. "Inbound from multiple directions." He transferred the details to the viewscreen and both Tactical and Helm. "Think you can take them out like the last ones?" he asked, looking up at the Security Chief.

"Yes, Sir," Camila said. "Helm, take us around to heading one one nine mark four and hold a straight course for a thousand kilometers, but be prepared for evasive."

"Yes, Lieutenant," Kelly said as she brought the Century class ship around on the desired heading and then began to put some distance between the ship and the mines that we once more closing in. She made a few adjustments, then began to put more space between them and the mines.

Camila waited until the mines which had been attracted to them once again started to close in with each other and there was room between them and the main body, then she fired a spread of phasers across the mines and watched as each one blipped off the sensor readings. "All mines destroyed, Commander," she said after double checking that more hadn't replicated themselves.

Kelly continued to maneuver the Black Hawk-A through the minefield until she announced. "We're in the safest orbit we can get, Captain."

"Captain," Akorem said allowed. "I found a couple of good beam down spots, but they aren't viable. There is some kind of duenetic field around the planet. We could beam down, but we wouldn't be able to beam back."

Harvey was not surprised by this bit of news. In fact, he'd been planning on sending down a runabout based on the intel they'd gathered already. "See what you can gather from the duenetic field generators. Anything you can gather about their strength, range, and power sources would be helpful. And see if they interface with the mines at all."

"Aye Sir," Damian replied. "I'll grab everything I can from the scanners now, though it may take a few hours to get anything definitive. The field is stronger at the generators, and is messing with the sensors."

"Miss Di Pasquale," the Captain then said, "Looks like you and your team will be taking the long way down."

"Acknowledged, Captain," Camila said as she summoned a junior officer to take over Tactical and came to her feet. "With your permission, Sir."

"Get to it," Harvey ordered before standing and moving to the front of the bridge to stand next to the helm. As he did, he crossed his arms and watched the Ensign's piloting.

With a nod, Camila headed off the bridge and left for the flight deck.

The approach to the planet was easy once the alien hardware had been incorporated into the ship and the runabout the away team would be taking. Now, the Century class starship maintained a geosynchronous orbit while the planet revealed its mysteries and secrets to the powerful sensors.

It appeared as though several of Penduli V's cities had been bombed back to a pre-industrial age, while several anachronistic individuals seemingly decided to leave it that way. Others seemed to have built upon the ruin and remains of the wreckage, turning it into a society run by clockwork machines and cogs which were partially hidden while others were displayed openly.

One city in particular, appeared to be in relatively decent shape. It stood out to her because of a tower that seemed to reach out toward orbit. It didn't make it, but it was quite an impressive structure. But, that wasn't all that sensors revealed. They also picked up native inhabitants that filled the tower and area around it. "Captain, I believe I've found our location," she said, turning her attention toward the man sitting in the center chair for a moment before looking back to her console. "Giving a visual now." And, with that, the Intelligence Chief displayed images on the view screen.

The viewscreen flickered, changing to an overhead image of the city Joey had discovered on her sensors. A moment later, it rotated thirty degrees so that they could see the topography and the level of destruction and life in the city. "Lifesigns?" Harvey asked.

"Yes, Captain, but I don't have any visuals of them," Joey replied.

"Anything else you can tell us about the planet?" Harvey asked. "Or about the concentration of lifesigns?"

"Sensors indicate high readings of geothermal energy," the Intel Chief answered. "As for the lifesigns, they seem to be scattered about, though there is a small concentration of them around, and inside, the tower."

"Forward the readings to the Mississippi," Harvey ordered with a nod. "Helm, maintain orbit. Ops, focus your sensors on the system itself. Let's keep an eye out for any surprises, or in case we start having company. XO, maintain yellow alert. You also have the bridge." Harvey did not wait for responses before he disappeared into the Ready Room. It would be a while before they knew anything, and he intended to be as fresh as possible when they did.

Kelly locked in the orbit around the planet and sat back to study her console for a moment. They were inside the minefield perimeter, but she bent forward and began to plot multiple ways out for when the time came, sending the coordinates and paths to Navigation, then she sat up straight and watched the planet on the viewer and waited.

 

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