USS Pioneer NCC-74757

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Operation OMAHA Part III

Posted on Mon Nov 11th, 2019 @ 10:14pm by Captain Tyler Malbrooke & Chief Petty Officer Leslie Calhoun & Petty Officer 1st Class Tobias Beckett & Staff Sergeant Flarn & Sergeant Gaagii & Lance Corporal Shayla Kunadt & Staff Warrant Officer Jennifer Masters & Warrant Officer Mira Jayna & Captain Cornelius Tremble & Sergeant Miranda Schultz & Corporal Azure Thompson & Lance Corporal Rairror Thoran & Lance Corporal Adélaïde Moreau & Private Aiden Pearce
Edited on on Tue Nov 12th, 2019 @ 2:57am

Mission: Episode 8 - The Silence
Location: Over Wren IX
Timeline: MD004 1230 hrs
3073 words - 6 OF Standard Post Measure



Last Time On Operation OMAHA Part II

Miranda made the changes to her suit, adjusting the sensors and weapons. She felt the familiar heightened awareness that came with situations like this. She began to breathe in and out more slowly, counting two seconds for each, so that she wouldn't lose her situational awareness. As she identified large pieces of debris, she tagged them so they could be tracked.

Neil reviewed everything for a few moments there, then wen through the motions, changing to the secure comms suite and began sending a coded message.


And Now The Conclusion...


Floating in the chill of space amidst the ring debris of Wren IX, Neil focused his concentration on his computer system, trusting the MARVEL-EAS / Mark IV’s suit proximity settings to keep him from running into anything.

On his HUD, the Cure’s icon’s and that of the Hawkeye with Master’s Intel people were moving toward the coordinates he’d indicated and he decided it was time to clue in Pioneer. However, there were too many oddities going on so he took the time to encode the message he had for Pioneer.

Key code: 2981632010a29hv21s4.
Red Team Lead to Pioneer. Training mission has encountered signs of battle, some dating back 20+ years including Cardassian, Dominion, and Federation wreckage. Debris field being tagged. Cardassian signal detected along SAR route and HAWKEYE vectoring in as well. More to follow. End.
Key code: 2sevb017492018sl2s47x.

Neil ran the text through the encoder then released it into the telemetry his CnC suit was sending back to the Pioneer as a matter of routine. Seconds later the indicator went green and he closed that system down and continued moving. His suit’s tricorder was scanning and recording information on the debris he passed as he continued. He noted Flarn closing ranks his way and frowned, but didn’t say anything as he adjusted the Cure’s search pattern to compensate.

The sergeant never did anything without good reason.

Aboard the Pioneer Tyler sat in the command chair, the bulk of his Senior Staff, his family was out on assignment. The Operations Officer of the deck called out the receipt of the message and informed that it was encoded. "Route it to the Command Chair." He ordered as he opened the station that was between the CO and XO chairs. He read the message and responded in kind. "Red Lead, Pioneer acknowledges your sitrep. Proceed to investigate with caution. Will recall all Red assets if emergency arises. End." Tyler leaned back in the chair and stared at the view-screen, which showed all the Pioneer assets and what they were doing. This mission was putting them deeper into the suck. "Ops get me General Sobel..."

Flarn arrived at his CO's location and keyed in the stop for the suit's thrusters. "Cap, I think I know what is going on here, and what I have to say is best left off the comm channels. Back when I served during the war there was a legend of sorts. One that was never confirmed and one that I never took stock in until now..." His voice trailed off as he realized that everything fit the legend.

Neil looked at his sergeant, then maneuvered closer and went helmet to helmet with the Terlarite, cutting his suit's comm's. When he spoke, his voice echoed into Flarn's helmet. "Cut your comm and tell me a tale, Sergeant. Something here is definitely hinky."

With a short snort Flarn raised his right arm and tapped a couple of buttons, this disconnected the comm channel. The Tellarite's HUD confirmed this. He then began speaking as Tremble had directed. "There was a legend tossed around the non coms, it was known as the battle that never was. It tells of a race of people with the power of memory. That is to say that they can forget. The Dominion sought these beings out and of course we wanted to put a stop to any possible allegiance there. Both sides sent exploratory forces, or so the tale tells. However, these forces were never heard from again. All knowledge of the missions were disavowed, but worse then that it was not in any computers. The starfleet ships were never built if you believe the shipyards and the computers. Now here we are years later at the site of a battlefield that either the Cardassians did not know about or refused to tell us about. Sir my people do not believe in coincidences." Flarn's eyes darted around the wheels in his head kept turning.

Neil watched his sergeant but the tale was matching what the Cure was finding. "I believe you and that means, per usual, there's more than meets the eye. I'm scrubbing OMAHA right now, our priority is that signal and any intel we can get, then RTB post haste. Get to the source, strip it if possible and help Intel get what they need. I'm going after that pod Kunadt found and pull the computer core from it. We'll proceed as if our comm's are compromised, but some things can't be helped. Questions?"

"Only one question sir. What do we do if we forget why we are here?" Flarn replied. The question seemed a bit childish, and perhaps ominous. But for the Tellarite it was a deadly serious question.

"We can only do what we can do, Flarn," Neil said. "We'll just have to keep our guard up and watch out for our people. Right now, we need to get this done and get back to the boat."

Flarn had a lot to say, a lot that he wanted to ask. However, he decided that it would be best to follow his CO's lead and get the job done. He turned toward the source of the distress call and engaged his suit's thrusters. We are the Cure and this battle is no longer forgotten. He thought, as he resolutely set about his task.

Miranda found a Federation fighter, or what was left of it. Her HUD indicated it had been hit by Jem'hadar fire. Because of the nature of space, it could have been a year ago or the 22 years indicated. It was creepy to see the detritus of the battle just sitting here. She navigated around the wreckage, taking readings, until she identified the fighter, and then the pilot. He was only nineteen. The logged the information and sent it to the Pioneer before moving on to the next ship.

She found four fighters, all in pieces. She scanned them, took what information she could, and moved on. She found two computer cores, too damaged to be salvageable, but she kept them anyway.


Aboard the Hawkeye, Jayna felt like she'd gone back in time to when she first joined Starfleet as a Maquis recruit. She'd seen battles like this. First against the Cardassians, then the Jem'hadar. Her father would have said it was thanks to the prophets she was alive to see this, but she'd never really believed in them. Now, though, seeing this battle almost frozen in time, brought so many questions. First, she wanted to know who sent that signal and why? Second, why had this battle sat here for so long? She continued to monitor the comms, listening to the chatter as she tried to clean up the signal to get something she could understand.

Watching the debris field, she could almost see the ships as they'd been 22 years ago. "I've located the source of the signal," she said to Masters.

"Good," Jenn said, "Moving in closer to the source. Let me know when you got the message." She pressed some buttons on her console as the shuttle slowly moved in.

Jayna nodded. As they got closer, the message became clearer, but she still couldn't get it to where it made sense. She remembered an algorithm she used a lot in the Maquis. She hadn't used it in so long, but this place seemed to bring out more of her old memories. She entered it into the computer and ran the message through it.

Flarn proceeded to the location of the signal and found that it was actually more than one signal. They were homing beacons, one Starfleet issue and the other came from a Dominon fighter. All of this was not rubbing the Tellarite the right way. "Red 2 to Hawkeye, I have two homing beacons on appears Starfleet issue and the other from a Dominion ship. Each are currently transmitting coded messages. The messages seem to be degraded. Please advise how you would like to proceed."

"Send them here, Red 2. We've got the tools to decode them," Jayna replied.

"You crazy son of a bitch you did it..." Billy exclaimed excitedly as he clapped Tobias on the back. "Hoo wee I have not seen decoding like that since the Navajo. Ma'am we cracked the code..." The last sentence being addressed to Jennifer as the smile left his face. The message that he was looking at was ominous and what made it worse is that it left more questions.

Tobias turned in his chair. "Actually, we cleared up the message and in the process found an underlying code that belonged to no one in this battle." Although he did not show it physically he did share Billy's excitement. The tone in his voice was evidence of this.

'Good job." Jayna said. She was pleased and impressed that Tobias cleared up the message. "What is the other message?"

Jenn looked thinking to the message. "Very good," She said.

The smiles that were on Billy and Tobias' faces left just as quickly as they had arrived. Their skin blanched white as they read the message that they had just cleared up. Tobias turned toward the two women. "Sirs this message was originally transmitted on a coded frequency to Cardassian Central Command. It states that a race known as The Silence calls Wren IX home. That they are extremely powerful and half the invading force was wiped out without a single shot fired. But sirs, here is the rub. The message is confirmed sent, but never confirmed received. It could not have been jammed as it was still transmitting when we received it. It is like it simply did not leave the area."

"What worries me more is that, this message indicates that some where someone knew about these people and sent us here anyway. Back in the Great War we had a saying, when something made you feel itchy it was simply put wrong. Right now I am feeling mighty itchy." Billy added.

"Bringing them in now. ETA 5 minutes, better make room." Flarn's voice was heard again over the comm channel. A small amount of humor was evident in the Tellarite's voice for a change.

"How much room?" Jayna asked.

"These are both computer cores and transponders. They are going to take up a bulk of the space in the Hawkeye." Flarn replied not beating around the bush.

"Thank you. We'll think small." Jayna checked to make sure there was nothing that had to be moved. While gear was generally stowed in compartments there were times when equipment was staged for later use. When she verified that the space was as clear as it could be she added, "Hawkeye ready."

Jenn checked their flight plan. "Ever just felt we're on a graveyard?" She shivered a little and then pressed the channel button. "After this we're having a drink, Captain!"

Cracking a smile, Neil responded, "Roger that. I think several are in order."


Neil approached the pod, half waiving to he Cure's pilot as he jetted in and approached the pod. He let his suit's sensors run over the exterior of the survival craft as a matter of course, though if there had been any perimeter traps, she'd have set them off before. Still, it paid to be careful.

"We'll pull this core too, then RTB. If you see any interesting, we'll haul that with too. Now, lets see what we can see." He started for the pod's hatch, switching his suit's sensors and activating a remote which popped from a belt pouch and drifted in, finally attaching itself to the hull.

After hearing the Cap's orders Shayla smiled, she knew that they had hit on something big, and it was a doosey. At least she thought so. She maneuvered herself to get as close as she could to the pod's control panel and her eyes widened. "Red Leader we have a huge problem... This is a Cardassian escape pod from a Galor Class battleship. Her trajectory says she was vectored for an orbital docking station. Most likely the one we spotted currently on the far side of the planet. But the pod has no damage, and there is no sign of the occupant. It is like it was launched empty."

"It would take an override for that," Neil mused as he watched the readout from the tricorders high resolution remote as he activated his suit's thrusters to move back. "Either way, we're going to go in and take a gander. Stand clear. I'm not reading any explosives tied to the opening mechanism, but that doesn't mean it won't blow."

Neil activated the probe's mechanism which began to rotate cycles of signals, trying to activate the pod's hatch. After thirty seconds, nothing happened and Neil steered forward. "Figures, it's so old that the batteries are dead," he commented. Reaching up, he found the manual overrides and began cycling them in a specific order which, according to the manual should open the thing.

Or blow him to pieces. Odds were in his favor, but you just couldn't trust anything.

The hatch popped toward him an inch. He'd been expecting it but it still half scared the snot out of him. Once clear of the frame, it irised away and was left staring into the pod.

Shayla took a peek inside, even going as far as climbing into the pod. As she sat in the pilot's chair she realized something and her mouth fell agape. "Cap sir, this thing is active it is simply in standby mode. I can fly this back home. There is even a recall button that is still active."

Neil was momentarily distracted as the Cure's pilot inspected the pod and his command repeater showed him images of two of his Marines exiting a Jem ha Dar craft and hauling a computer core to the Hawkeye.

At Shayla's words, he focused and said, "We'll take it back to the Pioneer, though...I wonder where the recall button would actually take it?"

"That was my sentiment exactly sir. I would be lying if my finger was not itching to press it. However, if you give me about five to ten minutes to get the dust off these engines I can get a course laid in for the shuttle bay." Shayla said with a smile. She wished that the escape pod was environmentally sound. Working the controls with the suit's gloves on was becoming a bit of a hassle.

"Sounds good, Marine," Neil stated as took stock. His HUD and the radio chatter indicated things were in hand. He pulled up readouts from the Pioneer and the Hawkey and there didn't appear to be any threats.

But appearances were deceiving. And this place was making his teeth itch. His mind went to Tallida and he wondered how her part of the mission was going, though if things had knowingly went south they probably would have heard something.

Probably.

Still, you could only do what you could do and the Cure had work to do. He keyed his comm suite and said in the clear, "All Omaha units, finish your last sweeps and RTB. Hawkeye, once you have those cores and the like, RTB."

Switching all but the local frequency back to monitor, "Corporal, get this thing working if you can but we'll hold off taking it back to the barn until everyone else clears the area.

Shayla climbed into the pilot's seat of the pod and strapped herself in. The pod was adrift and as she finished strapping herself in the image of Wren IX came into her field of view. She thought that the planet was quite breathtaking and she wondered what kind of progress the teams were making on the planet's surface. What in blazes happened here all those years ago. She thought as she began the start up sequence for the pod's thrusters.


A Joint Post By

Captain Cornelius Tremble
Marine Commanding Officer/Second Officer, USS Pioneer


Staff Warrant Officer Jennifer Masters
Chief Intelligence Officer, USS Pioneer


Chief Petty Officer Leslie Calhoun
Data Systems Analyst, USS Pioneer


Petty Officer First Class Tobias Beckett
Intelligence Specialist, USS Pioneer


Staff Sergeant Flarn
Rifle Fire Team 1 Leader, USS Pioneer


Lance Corporal Shayla Kunadt
EVAC Specialist, USS Pioneer


Sergeant Gaagii
RECONN Fire Team Leader, USS Pioneer


Captain Tyler Malbrooke
Commanding Officer, USS Pioneer


Warrant Officer Mira Jayna
Infiltration Specialist, USS Pioneer


Sergeant Miranda Schultz
Communications Specialist, USS Pioneer


Corporal Azure Thompson
Corpsman Command Fire Team, USS Pioneer


Lance Corporal Rairror Thoran
Munitions Specialist, USS Pioneer


Private Aiden Pearce
Corpsman RFT 1, USS Pioneer


Lance Corporal Adélaïde Moreau
SAR Specialist, USS Pioneer

 

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