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Uneasy Orbit

Posted on 22 Aug 2019 @ 10:21pm by Captain Harvey Geisler & Petty Officer 2nd Class Marioneta Gomez & Commander Thiago Teixeira & Lieutenant Commander Terry Walsh & Lieutenant Commander Arjin Djinx & Lieutenant Joey Geisler & Lieutenant Camila Di Pasquale & Lieutenant JG Damian Akorem & Lieutenant JG Lina Sorensen & Lieutenant JG Catherine Cooper & Ensign Kelly Khan & Ensign Shay Mitchell & Chief Warrant Officer Roosje De Vries & Chief Petty Officer Tarsa Rogers & Petty Officer 1st Class Allen Miller

Mission: Truth and Justice
Location: USS Black Hawk
Timeline: MD 15 || 1330 hours

Nearly two hours had passed since the Runabout had been dispatched from the Black Hawk, and the Away Team hadn't checked in. To say that an uneasy silence had gripped the bridge was an understatement. The Captain remained in his Ready Room lest he wear a significant impression in the carpet with his incessant pacing.

Things were too quiet. Camila, Shay, Miller and the others had been gone for two hours now without a word. Were they okay? Were they in trouble? Not knowing was beginning to drive Joey crazy, and the Captain was still in his Ready Room. Was he okay? There were too many questions plaguing her and not enough answers. Still, none of them required the Captain's attention. Her eyes fell to ship's Executive Officer. He wouldn't have any answers to her questions, either, and for all she knew he was thinking along the same lines as she was.

"Commander, how long do we wait until we hear something?" Joey found herself asking. "Should we send a second party down to find out what's going on?"

Arjin turned his head. He did not like it either when there was no contact with an away team. But he had learned to be patient. Surely sending in a second away team so soon without any knowledge would be taking a huge risk. But he kept quiet and wondered what the XO's answer would be.

"We're not sending another team," Thiago replied. "At least not yet. We can give them more time." Like everyone else, he was concerned. But sending another team into an unknown situation wasn't a good prospect.

Kelly at at the helm quietly whistling Bridge Over River Kwai under her breath as she moves her fingers over the console in front of her. Such strange, small hands when one had been in someone else's body several times. The young human had a wide variety of thoughts on many things but seemed focused on some sweet brown confection called chocolate and flying. She had a wealth of information about flying nearly anything even if her practice at the real items were limited. As the one inside of her studied her memories, the real Kelly screamed, ranted, raged and threatened the thing that Quinn had put in her, but all of her attempts at regaining her body back had failed to date. She glanced surreptitiously at the others on the bridge and noted that the Captain was gone and wondered when he would return.


===[Runabout Mississippi]===

Once the Mississippi cleared the upper atmosphere and had the Black Hawk in range, Camila looked at Gomez. "Open a channel and request clearance to land."

Gomez, who had taken the second station up front next to Warrant Officer De Vries who was piloting the runabout, initiated the hail. "Runabout Mississippi to USS Black Hawk. Away mission was successful, and we carry a delegation from the surface for a meet and greet. Requesting permission to return home."

As they waited for the main ship's response, the Dolmoqour controling the alien called Roosje did his best to keep the ship steady and fly as inconspicuous as possible. It had not been easy to focuss to doing a task at hand since the human female had a mind full of memories that were redundant to him. It seemed she could not stop thinking about her family. The sheer amount of memories about good times with an extended band of siblings was overwhelming to say the least. And the fact that almost every thought was cheerful was not helping either.
Meanwile the real Roosje was not so cheerfull now. She was rather ashamed to fly enemies towards the Black Hawk. All she wanted to do was sabotage the flight. But helas there was no possiblity for her to resist and do so.


===[Main Bridge]===

"Commander, incoming hale from the Mississippi. They say they have a delegation for a meet and greet." Lieutenant Akorem announced.

"A delegation? That sounds promising," Teixeira said. Tell them that we look forward to meeting our guests and clear them."

"Aye Sir. Relaying the message now." Akorem replied.

"Bridge to Geisler," Thiago called out.

"Go ahead, Commander," came the Captain's quick and hopeful reply.

"The Mississippi is returning."

Captain Geisler didn't immediately reply. A moment later, the doors to the ready room parted and the Captain returned to the bridge. "What's the update?" he asked the bridge crew as Harvey made his way to the center seat.

Akorem looked to the Captain. "Mississippi is en route now, they have a delegation from the surface on board."

"A delegation?" Harvey asked, a bit surprised. The runabout hadn't made any attempt to contact the ship or do anything else prior to coming up from the surface. "Run a scan of the runabout, scan for anything out of the ordinary."

"Scanning now Sir." A couple of seconds passed while the scan was completed. "I'm getting a very minor interference, but it's within normal tolerances. Most likely from the duonetic field."

Harvey wasn't surprised that the scan returned negative. Still, something about this seemed unusual. He had no reason not to trust his senior officers, especially his Chief of Security who had been incredibly vocal about not letting people aboard without authorization and extra precaution. If she endorsed this, then who was he to refuse. "Very well then. Clear the runabout for landing in the shuttlebay. Contact Yeoman Rasputin and have her prepare an honor guard to greet the arrivals. Commander, I'll ask for you to join us down on the shuttlebay. Lieutenant Geisler, the bridge is yours."

"Yes, Captain," Joey said. This was the second time she'd been handed the bridge, and just like the first time, she hoped things would be uneventful. Given that Camila, Shay and Allen were with the Away Team and delegation, she knew things would go smoothly. They wouldn't let anything happen to the crew or to the ship.

Arjin was glad the shuttle would be back soon with everything seeming to be in order. He wondered what the delegation would look like. Glad that they weren't hostile. If so surely Lieutenant Di Pasquale would not have seen it fit to take them to the Black Hawk.

Thiago nodded and followed Harvey to the turbolift.


===[Runabout Mississippi]===

"We've received clearance to return aboard," Gomez reported from her forward console. "No details yet on what to expect when we do."

"From a Security standpoint," said Allen, "they'll want to make sure the delegation is protected. There might be a little more security than normal; especially in vital places that are normally restricted to visitors. They might want to even assign a protective detail to the delegation. Though, Camila can confirm if that's the case. If these memories are correct, diplomatic first contact is with the ship's Command team? Commanding Officer?" He spoke those last two statements as a question and looked around to the others for confirmation, denial, or thoughts.

"Yes," was Linas short answer. As usual the new owner of Lina Sorensen did not lose too many words, but even he considered a one word answer was perhaps not appropriate here now. And he had to practise taliing more as he knew Lina seemed to be a bit more wordy than he was. "My host... I mean I can confirm that. Perhaps we will also join that... ceremony as we are the team that etsablished contact," Lina added then started to grin devilishly. "More contact than they imagine."

Lina - the real Lina - felt totally lost and alone. Helpless like a fly in a spider's web. When she heard the words coming out of the mouth of her body, she felt desperate and helpless. But she was not able to do anything - nothing at all, it seemed.

"Everything of what you said is correct according to Di Pasquale's memories," the being controlling her said. "All of that is standard protocol when arriving with a new delegation. This is a First Contact scenario, also. They'll break out the red carpet for the Scruna and my Security people, two of the best that is on the ship already here." She looked at Shay and Miller. "Are already Followers. It'll be easy for us to get what and who we need while keeping control of the situation."

Cooper nodded her acknowledgement of the situational analysis, her hosts memories confirming what had been said. She'd said her piece and was now keeping alert to the conversations around her as she continued to try to make sense of the somewhat disjointed nature of her hosts mind. It seemed it was organized but not in, what seemed to the being, a typical manner.

Catherine herself, had gone from rage to a kind of helplessness but was stubbornly paying attention to the conversation no matter how painful not that she could do anything but at least it gave her something to focus on rather then how helpless she was.

"If I reed this pilot's memories correctly", the alien posessing Roosje said, "There will be a debriefing after arrival. Should we not synchronise our story?" Adjusting the flight patter slightly, it commenced the approach to the big ships docking bay."

"What's to synchronize?" Gomez asked from the front. "We arrived, found a delegation, and are returning home. The Captain and the XO will be busy with our guests. That gives us some time."

"Agreed," said Allen. "And even if they wanted more details, we can tell them, 'It'll all be in my report,' and we should be fine to continue with our business."


===[Shuttlebay]===

Harvey entered the shuttlebay where the runabout was preparing to enter and land. A small honor guard had already assembled, having no choice but to do so hastily. The Captain appreciated the irony of the situation. For the last three months, the ship had been wandering the Convergence Zone seeking this danger whilst encountering lifeforms or all shape and size. Most of those had forcibly boarded the ship, and now here they were inviting others aboard.

For the first time in his career, Harvey was participating in an actual, somewhat proper, first-contact situation. He was, however, attempting to be wise about it. The files retrieved from Kalisa had informed everyone that Penduli V had been all but erased from history. Something tragic happened to this planet and this people. The fact that it was guarded so heavily by automated platforms suggested that all of that was for a very good reason. For that reason, and that alone, he'd slipped a Type-I phaser into a small area on the waist of his uniform jacket. The phaser was small, unobtrusive, but easy to get to if this suddenly went south.

Harvey took his position at the end of the honor guard to wait for the runabout to arrive. Once it had landed and powered down, he would approach the side of the vessel.

Following standard protocol, Teixeira stood alongside the Captain. He wondered what this delegation would be like. This was a First Contact situation, and such things were preferably handled by trained specialists. However, as tenured command-level officers, both Harvey and Thiago were deemed capable of proceeding in a pinch. It was always the unknowns that caused issues in these cases. Without knowing anything about the species, there were concerns about how they'd react to a ship this size, or the environmental settings, or all of the different species onboard. Would they be able to eat and process the food?

Once the Mississippi was in the shuttle bay, Camila came to her feet. "I'll take the lead with the Scruna and go to meet with the first officer and Captain. The rest of you go to your hosts assigned areas and begin selection." With that, she headed out of the runabout and motioned for the Scruna to join her.

Cooper's hijacker nodded with Cooper's head and stepped onto the ship after the exit was clear.

Per orders from Camila, Shay nodded her head. "I'm just a combadge away if you need me," the Ensign said before taking her leave. It was time to scope out some of the local talent and see who would serve their purpose well.

Harvey moved to the front of the honor guard line. He nodded to his Chief of Security and remaining crew as they exited the runabout. Seeing the first of the Scruna stepping out of the door, the boatswain blew his whistle, snapping the honor guard to attention. "On behalf of the United Federation of Planets, welcome aboard the Starship Black Hawk," Harvey said with a smile. "I'm Captain Harvey Geisler. This," he gestured to his right, "is my Executive Officer, Commander Thiago Teixeira."

Three Scruna now had disembarked, and they stood in front of the command team, demonstrating how much they towered over both men. "We are Scruna of Penduli V. You honor us by allowing us to leave our home."

"That is a story we are most interested in learning about," Captain Geisler said. "Though I'm sure our Away Team has already told you that. If you like, we can continue this conversation elsewhere. We have a room being prepared for us as we speak. Perhaps you would like a tour while we wait?"

Inside the runabout, Petty Officer Gomez had remained seated at her station, quietly handling powering down the runabout and securing the controls. At least, to the crew, that was exactly what it looked like she was doing. On occasion, she would glance up to the shuttlebay control room. On her third glance, she saw Ensign Quinn standing there with a toolkit in hand. She could instantly tell that he was the only one not looking at the new arrivals.

He was looking at her.

Gomez nodded to the ensign, utilizing a pre-arranged symbol that everything was preceding according to plan. Quinn returned the nod and disappeared, bound for his next objective.

Back outside the runabout, the lead Scruna stated, "I am Nek'tor, leader of the Banished. A tour would be fantastic, especially since we have not seen technology like this besides diagrams in our historical books."

"Excellent," Harvey said with a smile. "Lieutenant Di Pasquale, please join us." Stepping back and leading with a gesture of his arm, Harvey indicated for all to follow him.

"Of course, Captain," the ombre haired woman said with a sly smile as if she found something amusing. It was too easy and soon, they would have him and other key players on the ship and be able to get out of the Zone forever.

 

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