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The Thunder Rolls

Posted on Wed Sep 8th, 2021 @ 11:29am by Lieutenant JG Shaille Levine & Captain Abigail Laurens & Lieutenant Commander Evelyn Rozia & Lieutenant JG Henry Ashton & Linza (Lin) Esni & Lieutenant Commander William Rogers & Lieutenant Tavis Styvek & Commander Ichiko Gail & Lieutenant Commander William Gunnison & Lieutenant Commander Calvin Morgan & Lieutenant Roxa Onaix & Lieutenant Alexis Aenera & Lieutenant JG Tamarack & Ensign Jaimie Nolan & Warrant Officer Koh Ottasu & Warrant Officer Callisi Veera

Mission: Double Bind

Barely two hours had passed since she last sat on the bridge, yet she had been summoned to return. Departments were still scrambling to get reports, to find out what was happening on the planet, not to mention the fact that their stage of social development was still an unknown factor.

Though, at that particular point in time, none of it seemed to matter as every set of eyes on the bridge were transfixed on the images overlaid on the screen at the front of the bridge, watching the data from the sensor probes feeding back. It didn't take a rocket scientist to know what they were seeing, and she had no doubt that there were other consoles and screens displaying the same feedback across the ship, even though it seemed like most of the ship had started filtering silently onto the bridge, the only give away to the stream of new arrivals was the near silent hiss of the turbolift doors in the otherwise silence.

On the viewscreen, it was easy to see when the storm made landfall, the gust front from the sparse cloud cover for the electrical storm seemed to clear the air of the town in a span of seconds, making it easier to see the ground. However, that was just the calm before the storm as the fast moving disturbance slightly obscured the low-built buildings. Then the lightning that had been occasionally striking the ocean even as it danced in midair found whatever stuck out above the level ground and began to hit it like the hammer of an enraged deity.

The lightning strikes didn't differentiate between vertical surfaces; Buildings, vehicles, light poles, people, it mattered not. As they watched from the magnified viewscreen, the corner of a stone-built building collapsed from a series of three nearly simultaneous strikes, followed by a meter thick bolt that flattened then ignited a wooden house perhaps twenty meters away. One figure, moving as rapidly as one could on their own feet was briefly illuminated from a strike before it collapsed in the street and ceased movement altogether. Electricity arced between light poles, connecting them in the glaring brightness of light.

Evelyn had half-risen from her console in triumph as the screen began to flicker with the lightning and she sat back down, mouth agape as she took in everything she could from it. One building crashed down, part of another, movement began, then stopped as one thing or another caused it. They were too late. If anyone were near her, they’d have heard the slight whimper that came from the engineer in her helplessness as she watched the storm year at the town.

On the bridge, Ichiko watched in silence at the scene before her. One could think her cold for the attention she was paying without any form of reaction. Cold? Calculating? Or adrift on the notions of protocol and regulation? Watching the storm move in tore at her soul, and the first flash of lightning that struck the street caused her to finally recoil ever so slightly. Motion, flash, stillness. Dwelling, flash, desolation.

So are we seriously going to just sit back and ignore their call for help...

I could cite several examples of Starfleet vessels assisting in ecological disasters on pre-warp planets that were later considered acceptable by Starfleet Command...

The Prime Directive isn't just any law... It is the preeminent law of the Federation...


She finally turned her head away from the display. If indeed they were just here to hear their last call then they had done exactly that. The memory of this planet's society would live on forever in the Astrae's computer bank, and until the end of Ichiko's own life. Which of them was more reliable was a matter of preference. She couldn't watch any longer. She had to stand by, but she would do so in solitude. "The comm is yours." she said with a brisk nod as she made her way, with haste, off of the bridge.

Having come up to the bridge just as much to see what was going on as to escape Sick Bay for a moment, Calvin sat at a science station set for Medical Oversight. His focus was not on the station but the view screen. The beauty and awe of nature was juxtaposed by the inherent knowledge of the carnage and damage being caused by it. His mind flew different places, including his past.

Linza had been watching, silently, against a back wall of the bridge. This wasn't something she wanted to watch. She almost avoided any type of view, but at the same time, she more wanted to see everyone else's reactions. But this was...why were there rules they had to follow.

Roxa had been on the bridge since the beginning of what looked like hell being unleashed on the planet. Tears streamed down her face like rivers, not only from the sheer horror, but the great since of loss from each individual on the bridge. "No" she said where only she could hear it, but her empathy was in overdrive and there was a wrenching pain in her mid section.

Will watched the scene unfold on the main viewer. He could hear the discomfort from his fellow crewmembers, and while it brought him no satisfaction, he hoped it might tip things in favor of at least seeing if there was a way to help the planet's inhabitants.

In some ways, he understood the hesitancy of those who thought the crew shouldn't do anything at all. If they were discovered, who knew what kind of an effect that might have on the natives? It could be good (certainly any civilization that was on the verge of developing warp drive had to have considered at least the possibility of life - and not just life, but sentient life - outside of their own planet), but at the same time Will had to admit that there had been a couple of cases he'd heard of where the Federation had quietly started First Contact proceedings with a soon-to-be warp drive species only for it to quickly be mutually agreed upon to halt the proceedings at the request of planetary leaders who felt that their people simply weren't ready for the news of the existence of actual aliens, and to learn of that, it was felt, would likely have devastating effects on them. But if the Astraea could help while ensuring that the locals were never aware that they'd been there, wasn't it worth a shot?

Buck watched the storm unfold stone-faced. At first the helm and then the command chair once Commander Gail left the bridge. Carnage was the best way to describe the scenes. There would be no survivors. Not at this location. His enhanced hearing made out the muffled sobs and stifled tears from other observers on the bridge. Surely now, after this, they couldn't abandon these people he told himself. And if not? He'd do it himself. He had a plan.

Abigail was aware of the movements of crew members, of Ichiko's departure, but she didn't acknowledge. Watching it play out was hard enough as it was, she couldn't imagine Ichiko being forced to relive it over and over, unable to forget. She wanted to turn it off, to tell Commander Rogers to resume their previous course to the trading colony, to go back to their original plans of meeting up with the Pennsylvania. She turned away momentarily, looking away from the screen, focusing on a piece of the carpet on the deck as she waited for her eyes to stop watering.

Still, no one spoke. Everyone simply watched and reacted.

Lieutenant Styveck was here at the Captain's request, it wasn't often he was asked to the bridge, then again, he thought to himself, it wasn't often to watch an island of people exterminated by a storm. This event was horrible, he swallowed her to keep down the rising lump in his throat, as the disaster unfolded. Softly under his breathe he repeated a Vulcan mantra to calm himself.

The waste of life was illogical, scientifically he could analyze the data, but emotionally it was overwhelming, though he tried not to he continued to watch and could not hide as a single tear rolled slowly down his cheek.

==============

"Look, I know, but ... just in case." Koh commented to Shaille as he suited up in his flight suit. Zippers here, catches and seals there, the Ts'usugi flight suit fit him well. Boots for broad paws, gloves for soft hands, and a collar that would inflate to a makeshift helmet in a crash. There was a sealed helmet in the cockpit, just in case. "Have you seen those images? Look I... I can't exactly fight a hurricane, no amount of ordinance can change the weather and we don't really have time to put up a WeatherNet like Dalacar has but, but I can't just stand here and wait. I can't just... watch."

"I know," she responded quietly, each word echoing with a heavy mix of sadness and concern. "Just promise me you'll be safe." She paused another moment before stepping in, hugging him tightly, pulling his forehead down to hers momentarily before stepping back. "I'll be on the bridge."

==============

In the flight deck, there sat a few craft of alien design. Blink fighters. The pinnacle of aeronautic supremacy. Fast, sleek, top of the line. Only the best pilots made it to consideration. Only the toughest and most intense of the best were chosen.

Callisi Veera sat in her cockpit in silence, suited and prepped at a moment's notice. She sat in relative comfort, watching the footage of the storm on loop. Flash, bang, repeat. Flash, bang, repeat. The only sound that differed was a sniffle, a whimper from the Daughter of Ts'usu that she'd swear she never made. A drop fell from her cheek to land on the PaDD she co-opted to watch the events unfold, a drop she quickly rubbed away. She had only one working tear duct, but she'd blame it on the space dust.

Yeah. Dust.

==============

The screen up in Science Lab One was trained on the storm, as Alexis was trying to predict what was going to happen, where it was going to go, what it was going to do. Unfortunately she wasn't a climatologist, but the storm looked bad. She cringed as she watched it hit, but looked with a scientists eyes and brought up the readings from the sensor scans, "Interesting.." She said quietly to herself, then a tear fell from each eye as she continued to watch the destruction. There was nothing she could do, helpless to do anything but watch.

==============

 

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