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Settling Dust

Posted on 03 Jun 2019 @ 12:22am by Captain Akio Tachibana & Lieutenant Commander Rafe Cassidy (Jan 2389 - TRNSFR After Gorn War) & Ensign Rora Tai

Mission: Hahai i na pilikua nui - Hunting Monsters
Location: Flight Control Centre
Timeline: T+2, 2100 hrs - After "Planning Brief"


Holographic displays danced and shifted before Cassidy, the two fleets lining up, coming together, and then setting apart. Alongside was the larger sector map, small dots instead of images of ships moving as the time index sped up, then rewound. Every inch of data Cassidy could get his hands on relating to the Gorn ship movements, tactically and strategically, put together before his eyes.

He'd been there a couple of hours; about ten minutes ago he'd asked Ensign Tai down. He was wild-haired by now, bags under his eyes, pacing in front of the display, with little of his usual spark of cheerfulness.

"Oh, Ensign, good, you're here," said Cassidy when she came in, back still to the doors as he tapped fresh commands into the stellar cartography display. "Figured I could run a few things past you - I mean, you're alright, still in one piece after the fight? Because I'm sure we can get on with some more work." He spoke pretty fast, faster than was definitely necessary for what couldn't possibly be urgent work in the aftermath of battle.

Rora eyed her boss a moment and nodded, "I am fit to fly, but you look like you need a break no offense, but at least get a cup of coffee or something close your eyes and take a breath. Once you're calm I will be happy to bounce ideas around with you!"

"There's not much time," said Cassidy, finger raised. Then his shoulders sagged. "Fine. A coffee. A deep breath. Then we work. How're you?" He was heading to the replicator even as he spoke.

Rora gave a wry grin, "Okay didn't get shaken up too much compared to some of the others and you look like hell so I am not complaining." after he got his coffee she got herself a cappucino and took a sip, "So what ideas did you want to bounce?"

Cassidy near-drained the coffee in one go. "I want us to assess the navigational data from the battle," he said, gesturing back to the display. He was still talking pretty fast. "The Gorn withdrew, but one advantage we have compared to most battle circumstances is that we're in territory that's been in Federation borders for years. I'm curious as to their fallback points, their rallying points, where they're likely to come from and what they're likely to do next." It was, all of it, the sort of data and analysis that would be being done by multiple departments across multiple ships already in the aftermath of battle - that, perhaps, had already been done.

Rora nodded, "Okay do you want me to see if anyone has compiled everything from the others yet?"

He gave her a rather bleary look. "Yeah. I know, they'll have put a lot together already. But there might be something." He turned back to the display, gazing at it with weary eyes. "Might be something. Something they've missed."

Rora took a moment and looked at the display, sipping her cappuccino carefully, she had only seen one part up close and personal, the rest was new to see the details for. "How much is doubled over?" she asked softly after a minute.

"I - some." Cassidy stopped, resting his hands on the edge of his control panel, and bowing his head. "I don't have a percentage. I know, we're going over old stuff. But right now it's this, or I sit on the bridge and periodically assure the Captain we're definitely still maintaining stable orbit." He sounded exhausted, apologetic, and looked back at her. "I'm sorry, Ensign - you've got better tasks to get on with..."

Rora shook her head, "Not right now I don't, we're in this together," she walked over to the display, and pointed, "What is that? The read out is like a hot spot but it doesn't look quite right. At least to me."

He gave a bleary squint, then blinked and checked his readouts. "There's a class 2 nebula a couple light years away; it's disruptive to our sensors. We've had the Compass and fighter wings performing periodic fly-bys to make sure we're not caught blind." Cassidy reached up towards the holographic display, stretching his fingers to zoom the sector map in on the phenomenon. "But you're right. Those hot spots are flaring up on our long-range sensors, in between the fly-bys. Might just be the interference..." He clicked his tongue, not sounding convinced. Or perhaps he just wanted there to be something wrong.

A nearby Intelligence Senior Chief was looking at the same map.

"We've sent 4 passes out, yet the nebula keeps interfering with our sensors. There's a big debate in the shop whether it's nature or the Gorn. What do you think, sir?" the Chief asked, turning to Cassidy and almost regretting the question instantly as he saw the perspiration and color of the Commander.

"Class 2 nebulas sometimes run interference with sensors, though some of the upgrades in the navigational software over the last five years have countered that," Cassidy reeled off, and chewed on his lower lip as he studied the read-out. "It shouldn't be giving us this much trouble, though it's possible there's just a natural variance that's throwing us off."

Rora frowned at the nebula 'hot spot' could be turned into a blind spot if they weren't careful. "Has anyone actually gone into it or dragged a probe or something?"

"Of course-" Cassidy paused. It was his instinct to assume someone had, somewhere. They were a battle group of seasoned officers, multiple ships, experienced crew. People would be going over the data, the lay of the land, analysing and reaching these conclusions. What he'd found wasn't hard. Someone would have found it and acted on it.

Then he remembered he was the Chief Flight Control Officer on the battle group flagship. "Oh damn," Cassidy breathed. "I'm someone." He looked down at Rora; colour was returning to his face, even in the face of the terrifying realisation that there was nobody else to take care of the things he'd assumed were being taken care of. "Let's send a probe out there, something discreet, see if there are any fluctuations in our findings between when there's a fly-by or when they think it's quiet. I'll flag up the region for the patrol groups, get them to keep an extra eye out on when they're in the area."

"Yessir," the Analyst smiled. He had been requesting additional scans and probes, yet most of the resources were committed planetside. The CONN of the Battle Group Flagship just gave him a probe though. "I'll put the request in with science right away."

"Outstanding. Let's hope I don't have to wrangle with the Commander on that," Cassidy sighed. But he looked immensely better for having something to do; his eyes brighter, seemingly less tired. What had been the frantic insistence of a man who'd felt helpless had manifested into something far more useful.

He looked at Rora. "Good eyes, Ensign. We'll see if anything comes of it."

Rora nodded her head softly her cheeks flushing, "Happy to help, Sir, but it's easy to see stuff when you're not the one that's been focused on it. I was just lucky and next time you might spot something I might miss." She said quietly.


Rafe Cassidy, LCDR, SF

Rora Tai, ENS, SF

Intelligence Senior Chief NPC
Played by Akio


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