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Progress Report

Posted on 03 May 2024 @ 11:39am by Captain Harvey Geisler & Senior Chief Petty Officer Mila Rasputin

1,778 words; about a 9 minute read

Mission: Return to Razmena
Location: Captain's Ready Room
Timeline: June 17, 2390 || 0915 hours

It had been hectic contacting all the ships in Task Force Belvedere and even worse trying to get them to go to yellow alert based on the word of one Captain Harvey Geisler. Oh, he had had a lot of wins, but the Black Hawk was an albatross around the neck of Starfleet. She had wheedled, coerced, cajoled, pulled in favors and all but threatened others to get the word out and why it had to be done.

She was nearly drenched with sweat by the time she got ahold of the last ship and got the Captain to agree to the Yellow Alert status, then it was time to reconfigure the Auxiliary One station on the bridge to handle Task Group Operations. With that taken care of, she turned and headed for the Captain's Ready Room, the last place she had seen the Captain going.

Mila mopped her brow with her uniform sleeve and tapped the chime, then waited for the Captain to respond.

Harvey had no idea how much time had passed since the Black Hawk had parked above the Gaittithe. With the Search and Rescue and salvage operations underway, he had taken a moment to withdraw to his ready room and regroup. He'd just exited the refresher and was about to request a carafe of Wilkins from the galley when he'd heard the door chime.

"Come," he said, moving over to the desk.

The Senior Chief marched into his office and glared at him. "I am seeking permission to speak freely, Captain," she stated without a trace of an accent.

Harvey paused, wishing now more than ever that that carafe was already here. He had little patience to wait, so he tapped the button on the replicator's control board for a espresso. Harvey could tell instantly from her lack of accent and her demeanor that this was not going to be a pleasant conversation. "Anything to drink before you do so?"

"Captain Graham Holmes of the Endurance is a dickhead!" she shouted, then composed herself. "I will have black tea with currant jam, please."

Harvey chuckled and made the request of the replicator. As it worked, he turned to Mila and stated, "It's not just me then," Harvey remarked. "I swear Holmes has to be the progenitor of every idea, and if it's not his, he hates it."

"Da," Mila said as she accepted the drink and added a spoon of jam to it, then stirred it. "If it is not him speaking, he does not wish to be hearing it. Stubborn. You would think that I was asking him to surrender to Romulans."

"Maybe we should," Harvey asked, sitting behind the desk. "Then he becomes their problem and not mine." He took a small sip of the espresso before asking, "Aside from Sherlock there, what's the update?"

"The general theory is that you are being alarmist," she began. "However, they are knowing that you have not been proven wrong for long and that makes them hate you, too. It is also giving you clout to do such things and get away with it. I am thinking that more than one call is being made to Admiral O'Connell."

"He's on the top of the list," Harvey said, placing his half-full cup of espresso on the desk. He sighed, closed his eyes, and rubbed his temples. It'd been a few days since he'd actually had a solid night's sleep. Staying awake during the graveyard shift was quickly catching up to him. "But not until I have some more solid information. Right now, all I have to go on is the residual polaron energy and a totaled Akira-class vessel. I can't come back and say that this was the Dominion if there's nothing concrete to prove that."

"I am having hope that one of the away teams will be bringing back proof of something," Mila said. "Especially with three going in undercover. That is what is worrying me."

"I don't know if anyone from the Away Team is here," Harvey admitted. "We found their warp trail leaving this area. I would imagine they either know something, or they're following a valuable lead. Either way, I don't like being without two of our senior officers."

She took a drink of her black tea and looked thoughtful. "Were there anything else other than warp trails to go on?"

The Captain shook his head. "The pirates themselves didn't hurry out. I hear our SAR team caught quite a few and they're being prepared for transport over here. Transporter use is limited, so it's going to be a slow evacuation."

"How many injured are we looking to be receiving?" Mila asked.

"There's just over two hundred survivors," Harvey stated. "Judging by the shape of the Gaittithe, whatever hit them hit them hard and fast. It's a miracle anyone survived, but I also imagine that more than half of those are injured."

The Captain sighed and sipped his drink. "Mila, you and I have seen a lot out here in the Gamma Quadrant in the last two years. This is different. I don't think it's Dominion. And I don't think it's pirates."

"You may be coloring me paranoid," Mila said slowly. "But what about other Razmena? We caused many problems there and possibly left trail."

"What other Razmena?" Harvey asked, confused by her question. He paused, then said, "You mean the one in the other universe? We closed the gateway between the two. It's impossible for them to cross over."

"Da, we did," she acknowledged before she continued. "What if we are accidentally giving them knowledge of how to reopen it? They are having technology on par with ours, Captain."

"We never shared technology about the tricobalts. And, to our knowledge, that information wasn't accessed by the Cochrane's computers." Harvey sipped his beverage, considering the implications and possibilities. "Besides, it was the tri-cobalt with the thalaron with a Romulan artificial singularity with that particular kind of nebulae material. If it was an accident for us, it's likely not something that can be reproduced."

"You are being right," Mila said. "What if it is Founders? We are knowing how war ended, but after that? Da, Dominion is scattered, but there is always space roach hiding in shadows."

"The Dominion's lurking." Harvey leaned back in his chair. "Gamma Command's got a Vorta ambassador and a small detachment of Jem'hadar. But this definitely isn't like them. Best I can think of, someone's got their hands on polaron technology."

"Is not like entire Romulan fleet did not come to destroy Founder homeworld and end up destroyed," she said. "Or we would not have encountered it. If we have, others have before us."

"And then we'd all know about it," Harvey pointed out. "Just like the Mirror Universe." He sighed. "Besides, even if there was a crossover, there's still more to the puzzle than one disabled starship. All these raids, supplies being stolen. Something's going on."

Mila frowned. "I am not knowing and we are being stretched thin with our sister ship being hit," she said. "They are seeming to be more desperate all the time and we are being step behind."

Harvey frowned as well. "Yes, I've noticed that too. The sooner we can get the Gaittithe secured and towed, the sooner we can get back on this."

Knowing it was time to change subjects, Harvey leaned forward and picked up his cup. "What's the status of configuring Auxiliary One on the bridge? I'm going to want to keep an eye on the entire Task Group until this is over. No more day-late surprises if we can help it."

"It is being completed," she said with a hint of professional pride. "When am I ever coming to you and not having done what you wished done? If I could be predicting all your needs, we would not be in this mess."

The Captain chuckled. "Ain't that the truth? I know we're in uncharted territory here with the group-wide yellow alert and nothing to go on. I welcome any recommendations on moving forward. These hourly check-ins will be fine today. and maybe tomorrow. But the task group will eventually not stick to a schedule or forego them altogether. When that happens, no one will answer the cries for help."

Mila took a drink of her tea and added another spoon of jam. She stirred it and thought about his request. "Are we having resources to make a bait cargo hauler?" she asked. "Something precious and hard to replicate that the pirates would want?"

Harvey considered the thought. "Possibly. We ourselves are short supplies. Hell, the Gaittithe was supposed to give us some from Starbase Unity. We'll have to head that way to drop off the wreckage, especially since Gamma Command is too far to tow to."

"Once we are being at Unity, we will be able to find something to use as bait. We are not knowing exactly what they are taking yet or what they are wanting. We need to be talking to survivors and getting live reports."

"In a few hours, we'll have a couple hundred aboard." Harvey finished his espresso and set the empty cup on the table. "I imagine we'll have a lot of intel to sort through. Not to mention any pirates we've managed to nab."

"I have already sent out a call for all extra bunks not in use to be volunteered and the cargo bays are set up to receive and act as triage, too," she said.

"It'll be nice to be above capacity for the next few days at least," Harvey remarked. "Coordinate any cabin assignments with Commander Marsh. And let's make sure the replicator systems and galley are ready for the extra strain."

"Da," Mila said as she nodded. "Would you like me to be opening officers mess as well?"

Harvey nodded, "Whatever it takes to get the survivors taken care of."

"It will be done, Captain," she said. "If not, then I am not fit to be your Yeoman."

Harvey sighed, turning to look out the nearby window. He could not see the Gaittithe, but its debris was certainly floating by. "All right," he said at last. "Let's get to it. Thanks, Mila."

"Do not thank me yet," MIla said as she came to her feet. "There is work to be done."

The Captain grunted at her remark. That was the understatement of the week right there. And even though Harvey recognized all the truth in that statement, he knew that they really had no idea how much work there would be to do.


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