Moving deeper into the system
Season 2 Episode 2: The New Frontier
Location: USS Tomcat
Timeline: Mission day 15
A few days after they finished with the outer planet and with all the data they could gather, Jasmine made sure that all stealth protocols were in place ready for when they moved out of the corona. The ship that had headed to the station had since left with it gone it would be much easier to slip past the station. Not for the first time did Jasmine wish that cloak they had for their Venture class scout would work on a ship as big as the Tomcat, but they had to rely upon old techniques to slip past.
"Comms activate the stealth protocols"
"Communication Protocols are in place, Captain," Sheela responded as she finished inputting commands and activating them.
"Science make us invisible to their scanners"
"We are still out of phase Captain, they can't see us visually or with their crude analogue sensors" Maia replied. "Also I've scanned their warp drive they will not be able to maintain a stable warp field" Maia added.
"Doctor how is the crew coping with being near the corona of the sun for so long?" Jasmine asked.
The crew are handling the corona very well Captain, the senior crew members are helping those who have never been in one and a few of the Star Fleet species needed innouclotaions to help them through the effects of the corona. Everything from a medical standpoint is going perfectly.
"Good, Security make sure all emissions we do go unnoticed by the aliens," She said.
The Security Chief nodded and got to work carrying out Jasmine's instructions.
"Tactical ready with the Phasers, should our stealth bit fail I want their comms and scanners taken out," Jasmine said.
"Phasers armed and ready,Captain." K'Muss said
With that all done Jasmine sat back and looked at the back of Ensign Barker's head "okay Ensign take us out half impulse till we leave the corona totally then full impulse and give that station a wide berth" Jasmine said.
"Yes Captain" Barker replied.
Looking at Walon "El-tee, when we get to their home planet the moment we begin getting data, I want you to make up a psychology report on their thinking processes and such."
"I will be happy to Captain," she replied softly, though truth told she was actually looking forward to it because she loved seeing how different folks thought and processed things. Learning about others was always fun for her...
Sheela was busy at Comms and listening in on one of their main communications bands. She would squeak and giggle occasionally once the UT had worked out a passing translation. She was focused on a small screen before her. The primary Com's Officer had his headphones jacked into her console. He occasionally snickered also.
"What are we looking for here, Captain"? Maia asked.
Shrugging "initially our job is exploration and observation, so I would give that orbital base a wide berth and make sure the ship is invisible to them, but let's get scans of the station. When we have safely passed it we will move deeper into the system and to the Class M planets; we have only a recording of what they look like, but things could have altered in the twenty or so years since an explorer ship passed this way. We do however need to know the species name and their current level of technology" Jasmine said.
"Understood Captain, but I must remind you that the farther we move into this system the longer it will take to have access to our warp drive. While we are out of phase our navigational deflector can detect anomalies. but I recommend that we travel no faster than one-half impulse power while we are here. Any faster and we will not have time to make course corrections". Cdr. Sterling advised.
Looking at her First Officer "Understood Commander, Mr. barker use the recommended speed" Somers said.
"Aye Captain" Barker the helm officer responded as he made some course corrections.
Sheela taps in some commands and watches her screen flicker and change. Both, Primary Coms Officer and Sheela busy watching a television broadcast. Both are softly laughing over the antics of what they're seeing.
It was then that Jasmine noticed that both Sheela and the secondary Commas officer were quietly giggling, they seemed engrossed, so Jasmine got up and walked up and stood behind Sheela to see what had caught their attention. She looked at the screen it seemed it was some kind of program.
"Lieutenant Sheela, just what in the name of Hades are you doing?" Somers asked all serious.
Both of them looked at Captain Somers, "Watching the local news and some of their Television broadcasting." The other Com's Officer nodded. "Good stuff," He chimed in. "Squeeee... Intelligence gathering and getting a wide sample of their language for translations for the UT." Sheela spoke next, nodding.
"This what we have what they look like from.. their commercials and news feeds." Sheela glanced back at the screen after she tapped in a few commands. "Even got a view from one of their Satellites."
Looking at the visuals with a mix of curiosity "Interesting" She said then she did a friendly tapping on Sheela's shoulder "keep it up, but do concentrate on their news channels, we need to know the political situation" Jasmine said.
"They have a 'Citizen Caste' and a 'Non-Citizen Caste'. From what Iz gather. There is a mandatory 5 year Military Service to have come a Citizen to be able to vote and run for Government Office." Sheela played back the Recruitment Add for Military Service which told of the perks of serving a One 5 year term military contract gives a person. "The World is at peace and beginning of an active drive for space exploration. They've established their first major thriving space platform."
"Excellent, " Jasmine said and left Sheela and her partner in crime to their task, as she sat back in her chair "Helm how far are we from that orbital?" she asked Barker.
"We have gone far enough that we can ban the right to head deeper into the system, but advised no active scans should be done for another twelve hours, then after that, the planetary noises should cover our scans," Barker said.
"Good, make it so Ensign," Somers said then turned to face Sterling "Commander at said time begin scanning the uninhabited planets, we know from the last scans done that there were only three Class M planets in this system, we left one behind and we have two more to scan. But we need to know which one of those two remaining planets have sentient life on them, it may be both do but when we can scan again we need to determine for certain." Jasmine said.
"Understood Captain, I feel better about leaving this system to the Antians anyway. Let them repair the fabric of space. There is still significant spatial damage to the other planetary systems as well, but two are class M. Long-range sensors are all but useless in this area. We will need to get considerably closer due to all the subspace interference so we can get a clear reading. Perhaps no more than 20,000 Kilometres, however, a standard or polar orbit may be more effective, Sir. We could launch several probes to cover ground more quickly". Maia advised.
Thinking over her First Officers suggestions "make it so Commander, prepare the probes, add a stealth module to them" she said then turned to face Barker "Ensign Barker when we have confirmed which planet has the advanced culture on putting the ship into polar orbit" Jasmine said.
"Yes Captain" Barker responded.
She turned back to Sterling "Commander do as much of a detailed scan of the other planets as we pass them while we are en-route will you?" Jasmine said.
"Aye Captain, but due to the interference of the Antians efforts to rebuild the fabric of space we will need to be very close. No more than 20,000 kilometres to get accurate readings. Unfortunately, the Antians efforts are causing a lot of subspace and gravimetric interference. It's a jumble out there Captain, like flying through clouds. We have only been able to penetrate the interference locally, however, we are making progress". Maia replied.
Swivelling around and looking at her XO quizzically as most of what she said went right over her head "very good Commander, let me know if there are any developments of significance" Jasmine said and faced front again.
Iria overheard the commentary from the Captain to Sheela and asked, "Lieutenant Swiftpaws would you mind sending a copy of what you found there to the counselling offices for me? I would love to review that in more detail."
Sheela made a full copy of what she and the other communications officer had gathered. Along with a working translation which was uploaded into the ship's UT library. "Sending a copy to yooz. They are called *Seussian, as a Sentient Species. Also tapping yooz into the Com's feed to get more, if needed, Lieutenant Walon."
All this time Jasmine kept an ear on what else was happening on the bridge around her she was pleased with how her crew were performing and she returned her attention back to the viewscreen as the space station passed them blissfully unaware of a spacefaring civilisation besides them in this system.
"Lieutenant Sheela, I need you to scan the communication channels for any indication that our passage has been detected, the last thing I want to do when I get back to Federation space has to answer for breaking the Prime Directive, " Jasmine said.
Sheela ran a check on all of the Seussian's frequencies as she tapped in commands. "O, squeakies.... Their star base commander just called their home base on Seussian 3. Just thanked them for the improved communications." She spun in her seat and looked at Captain Somers. "Our ship is acting like a high-speed com's relay. Iz tried to stop it... "Sheela shrugged. "Only thing Iz suggest is to jam this link... Looked at her partner on communication when he tapped her thigh. "Squeaa?"
"Their main star observatory is complaining to their high command that Stars clusters sector 14567 just disappeared and reappearing. So far the Observatory personnel think it's their military doing high-level aero-maneuvers."
"Captain they can't see us, we are invisible to both their sensors and their eyes for the moment due to being out of phase. If we jam their communications they might get suspicious". Maia advised
Turning her seat to look at her XO "Hmm.... Okay we take a leaf out of the old Submariners book" she said then pressed the Comms button =/\=All hands, this is the Captain, rig for silent running, bolt down everything until further notice, bridge out =/\= Jasmine said then looked at Sheela and Walon "Lieutenants Swiftpaws and Walon rig the Comms and Sensors to accept only incoming sensor and Comms readings" Jasmine said as the ship went to Yellow alert "increase radar and sensor jamming on all frequencies, make us part of the background noise" Somers added.
Sheela nodded her acknowledgement as she continued to monitor the radio frequencies and tv. She would love to meet these folks. She and the Com's Officer working at her side made sure nothing was transmitting and all communication were routed through the ship's intercom system, rendering commbadges radio function inoperative.
Jasmine looked at her CMO "Lieutenant Cahill, get down to medical and make sure everything is locked down for silent running" Jasmine said.
Dr Cahill came over to see what was going on. She had to chuckle a little herself ant some of the things that she saw. "They do seem to be a happy go lucky bunch of people. I bet they would be a nice group to visit with one day." She then went to the Medical Section on the Bridge and continued to check out some things she had found. The investigation was slow and deliberate with us not being allowed to use long range sensors. She had found an interesting formation in the space system that was quite fascinating.
Dr Cahill smiled, on it Captain. As she went to the turbo lift. She walked in and looked around for the report The ACMo Lt Jackson told her all systems were set to run silent and that all things were running smoothly. She went and checked on the patients there in Sick Bay and found all were minor problems. they had a few cases of upset stomachs and a few were recovering from minor injuries they received in doing their jobs. She went to her office and sat down at her desk.
"Perhaps when they perfect their warp drive design they can be approached by the federation, by my estimates they are still ten years away from that". Maia advised.
Jasmine only nodded and remained silent as she could not figure out anything to say at this moment in time.
Captain Jasmine Somers
Commander Maia Sterling
Lieutenant Commander Sheela Swiftpaws
Chief Intelligence Officer/Communications
Lieutenant Alexanderia Cahill MD
Chief Medical Officer
Lieutenant Jg Iria Walon
2nd Lieutenant K'Muss
Marine Commanding Officer