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A Probing Situation

Posted on 18 Mar 2021 @ 10:26pm by Captain Harvey Geisler & Commander Terry Walsh & Lieutenant Commander Joey Geisler & Lieutenant Commander Gemma Alexander & Lieutenant Commander Arjin Djinx & Lieutenant Avery Stuart Ph.D. & Lieutenant JG Charles McCullen

1,364 words; about a 7 minute read

Mission: Extinction
Location: Main Bridge
Timeline: Mission Day 21 at 1400


In space Alpha Squadron slid into their positions with their wingmen as they launched. It was a standard combat patron configuration that Alexander liked to call 'Saturn's Rings' with the Black Hawk as Saturn. Each team would move around the Black Hawk at different but overlapping angles on a loop, a close to middle range patrol route. Enough to be able to move in quickly to render aid but far enough for a warning. And always with some part of the squadron with eyes on the planet, not that threats couldn't come from anywhere but that couldn't be ignored.

As they slid into their routes and positions, Archer got on coms that could be heard by Alpha flight, The Squadron Hub Mission Room and the Bridge if they so chose. "Archer online and in position, systems green. Alpha flight give a shout out on status."

Galahad, piped in, "All green Boss Lady." as other pilots indicated their readiness eyes on their HUDS.

At the end Gemma contacted the Black Hawk, "Alpha to Hawk, all eyes open and systems green."


Commander Di Pasquale and her team had departed the flight deck via the Runabout Citarum a short while ago, leaving the bridge crew to await the telemetry results from the several probes Commander Djinx would launch throughout the system.

Avery sat quietly on the bridge, using the relative silence to center herself and allow the sense of anticipation to wash over her. There was no doubt it was going to take awhile for her to be able to completely relax on the bridge given all they'd been through, but personally, she liked being on the bridge because it gave her a sense of control.

Arjin had programmed as many probes as he could to cover as much base he could. Focusing on planets and moons that would be able to support some kind of hiding place for humanoid lifeforms. Juggling with the data that came back would be difficult but not beyond his skills. He nor anyone else in the crew was waiting to be surprised by some pirates. So he’d better do a proper job.

Captain Geisler had found himself back in the center seat, eyes fixed on the planet in front of them. Moments like this always made him nervous. There was no way to know what was on the planet surface, not with the atmosphere scattering their scans. He just hoped that this would not be another situation like when they'd found the Dolmoqour.

At the helm, Charlie monitored the positions of the fighter squadron and the departing runabout in relation to the Black Hawk, the planet, and each other. He would have rather been on the runabout, they had no idea what the atmosphere of the planet was like and while he didn't doubt the pilot they had could do the job, he would have rather done it himself. But he was a bridge officer and his place was here, coordinating and delegating.

Part of Terry would always be a fighter pilot. As such, the monitor he was standing in front of was set-up with the squadron formation around the ship. The rest, was the various locations of the probes the were sent out. It would be nice if the probes ended up being some kind of sensor web for them.

"Geisler to Black Hawk," came Joey's voice over the comm.

Harvey's eyes shot over to Commander Walsh, wondering if they needed to be ready for action. "Go ahead, Commander," he answered, eagerly awaiting his wife's report.

"We have determined that there is no life here, Captain. In fact, it appears that those who once occupied this place died wherever they happened to be," Joey said. "We have also found a computer, but don't currently have the means to get it running. There's too much here for our present team to go through. We need time."

"Standby," Harvey said. He rose from his chair and approached Walsh's station. As he did, he waved Commander Djinx over to join them. "A dead planet with an atmosphere we can't penetrate. One away team can't cover enough ground to be sure it's uninhabited. Not to mention, it sounds like we've got an extinct civilization on our hands. What do you think? Should we stay and give this planet a thorough look?"

Arjin walked over when he was asked by the Captain,. “I sure would like to investigate a new if not dead civilization. But are we not on a search for pirate vessels? Do we have time for this and don’t we put the Black Hawk in danger when we do?”

"We launched several probes into this system in a variety of directions," said Terry. "If they find any evidence of pirates, we'll know. Especially if we lose the signal from one. Here," he said, nodding to the view of the grey planet, "this definitely qualifies as part of the original series of Starfleet's tenants...exploration of a strange and new world. It'd be nice to get back to the original mission for once."

The Captain nodded, quietly evaluating the opinions of his trusted officers. "One of the benefits of running this Task Group is that I answer only to Admiral O'Connell, and I think I'd rather ask forgiveness than permission. Pirates have been a thorn in Starfleet's side for centuries, and a couple of days aren't going to make a difference in that. Besides, I think this crew needs a chance to stop and smell the roses."

Harvey looked back up at both men. "We can spare a couple of days. Besides, it would take several days to properly clear the planet. I say we take our time. Commander Djinx, take as many scientists that you want down to study the planet. Work in shifts and make sure we do our best to not destroy the sites. Commander Walsh, inform all other department heads of the situation and let's get some of their teams down there to make some surveys. Transporters are out of the question, so have all teams coordinate with Mister McCullen on the use of our shuttles."

Terry nodded, "You got it, Captain." He turned back to his console and prepared a quick notification to the department heads regarding the Captain's orders.

Finished at the XO's station, Captain Geisler looked back to the viewscreen. "Joey, are you still there?"

"I'm still here, Captain," she answered.

"We're going to stay for a few days. Let Commander Di Pasquale know that she'll need to station security teams and checkpoints near the survey teams. In the meantime, do whatever you need to do on the planet, and bring up only what you think you can get away with disturbing."

Joey expected Camila to arrive at their location soon enough. "Yes, Captain," she agreed.

"Keep us posted on your progress. Black Hawk out," Harvey said, returning to his chair. "All right, everyone. Who's ready for a little bit of fresh air?"

At the helm, Charlie couldn't help but grin as he recalled the conversation he'd had with the captain about exactly this. It was nice to imagine that he'd had some kind of influence. Without looking back, he raised his hand.

The Captain smirked. "Looks like we've got our first volunteer. As soon as you can get your shuttle schedule worked out, you can head on down with the first group."

"Yes sir," Charlie responded, turning briefly to flash a megawatt grin at the captain and then pulling up the shuttle schedule with renewed urgency. He'd already worked out a rotation plan for the small craft pilots, interspacing them with helm officers to give them breaks where they could also enjoy some downtime. He just had to work out the launch and return times and publish the list to the crew.

Captain Geisler leaned back in his chair, his eyes fixated on the planet displayed on the viewscreen. He loved a good mystery, and all he could do was hope that this mystery would be a simple one, with no dangers awaiting his crew.


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