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The Tyche Incident - Part II

Posted on Thu Mar 31st, 2022 @ 5:53pm by Captain Abigail Laurens & Lieutenant Commander Ebrin Valek
Edited on on Thu Mar 31st, 2022 @ 5:53pm

Mission: Lower Decks
Location: Starbase 11 - Observation Lounge
Timeline: Backpost - Prior to arrival at Pathstone

The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.

“Which is?” Powell asked, “Or is this the part where I need to suddenly step out for an important call?”

Quinn shook her head in response to Powell's second question. "Pathstone is a megastructure of Dalacari design, built to allow exploration and transit across the vast gulf of the galaxy. But if we want to talk about how it does that, I'm afraid you'll need to take that call."

The fleet admiral directed her attention back to Devane. "Is Pathstone viable? I didn't think it was a done deal that we'd have permission to use it."

"We don't, at least, not yet." She paused, sliding into the seat that was vacant for her at the table. "I have one Commanding Officer with ties to the Dalacari, who has actually already travelled through the Pathstone system. Her ties to the Dalacari and the existing goodwill she has established with the Ts'usugi could go a long way toward helping us get a deal in place."

"Then let's try to get that done. I don't like leaving our people stranded out there any more than you do." Quinn turned back to Admiral Virtam. "In the meantime, assemble your convoy. The Vesta has been itching to get out there. Escorting a convoy might be a waste of her potential, but we don't have many other options at the moment."

“I think we can muster four Spirit class ships for this on short notice. If we had longer, I could offer up an Intrepid or Dauntless but the timetable I have says at least six months.” Alex added since he had the data in front of him, “And that’s lofty to be honest. Realistic would be closer to a year. Quantum Slipstream has proven quite…fiddly.”

Niamh gave a short nod and made a note on a PaDD, handing it to her assistant. "Captain Laurens is going to need a new ship. The Akira-class vessel she commanded was destroyed due to mass systems failures resulting in a warp core breach." She paused and looked toward Alex. "What do we have available that we can reassign her crew to?"

That got him to glance over to his boss this time. He took a breath, tilting his head before calling up another diagram. It was a ship launch schedule, and he selected one of them.

“I’m going to start off at the perhaps crazier of ideas so we can work down to a workable solution rather than going up and cutting ourselves off and the knees.” Alex said, “We have an Odyssey-class coming off the lines. To be honest, if we have such an uncertain future in the Delta Quadrant, then we need a ship that we know will get there and back. It’s big, it’s sturdy, and we crammed the thing with so much new kit that if we need to refit the thing in less than 50 years, I will first eat both my shoes and then we can call the last 150 years of Starfleet development a waste of time.”

One would have followed the comment with a sign of levity, but there was none from Alex, as if he was that certain of what he just said that he would indeed consume his footwear if proven wrong.

"Let's hope it doesn't come to that, Captain," Quinn replied. "I'd like to think that my time in starship development wasn't wasted. Niamh, let’s see about getting Laurens a new ship so she can continue those negotiations. I'm still partial to the Vesta-class, but I suppose the Odyssey is an alright ship too.”

Niamh suppressed a smirk. “I’m sure, Admiral, that Captain Laurens will learn to deal with the disappointment of the Odyssey class,” she responded.

"I'm sure she will." Quinn turned to the other admiral. “D'era, I don't think we can afford to wait six months or longer to refit more ships. Gather as many Spirit-class ships as you can and have them rendezvous at Cestus III to take on supplies. And have Captain Drell meet them there. The Vesta is a good ship. They'll make sure our Delta fleet is resupplied."

Virtam nodded to show that he understood. Of the two objectives, getting the Vesta to return to Cestus III was likely to be the easier task. A simple directive, restricted to captain’s eyes only, would probably be enough. Finding the Spirit class vessels they needed to make the trip was going to be more difficult. Thankfully, Powell already had a lead on four. If they could get at least one or two more, though, he’d feel a lot better about their chances of success.

“Then I guess there’s one question left,” Niamh said softly. “What do we tell the general public? There’s going to be thousands of people wanting answers. We need to give them something. Families, loved ones, hell, the press will have a field day with this if the truth gets out.”

“If we try to keep a lid on this, the instant this hits the diplomatic level and the Federation Council, it’s a foregone conclusion that this will be amplified.” Alex said, pressing his fingertips together, “And we’ll be out of a position to do damage control. We don’t need to get into specifics - this is an experiment to facilitate exploration of the Delta Quadrant. It was done with the knowledge and consent of other Quadrant powers. This was an accident that is undergoing investigation.”

“In short - I am saying we own it now before the press gets this and runs off with it and suddenly what happened was that the Dominion hired Synths and the Borg who are in cahoots with the Tal Shiar.” He concluded.

“You forgot to include that it was sanctioned by Section 31 and funded by the Orion Syndicate,” Niamh shot back dryly. “The presence and use of the Graviton Catapult has been semi classified. To talk about it now may cause a lot more questions as to why we kept the technology hidden.”

“Right, those two as well. Forgive me.” Alex replied, “But semi classified is still potentially over-sensationalized. So. That’s just how I see it.”

"Is there any reason why we can't do what Captain Powell suggests and rule the ship lost as a result of an accident?" Quinn asked. "We don't need to go into the specifics, though I have no doubt that it would be a political quagmire no matter what we do. There was a similar issue in the late 23rd Century where an experiment gone wrong resulted in the destruction of three Federation ships and a Klingon ship. That program was classified too, but it didn't keep the Klingons from wanting blood. I think we nip this in the bud now and make it clear that the program is shutting down before it gets any worse."

“I agree,” Virtam said, leaning forward in his seat, “Our statement regarding this needs to be clear and concise. No matter how much we might want to, we cannot realistically account for all possible ways it could be misconstrued or misrepresented. We make our statement…and then we follow through.”

“The more honest we are now, the less we have to backpedal on later if something gets leaked. Not to say we unload everything at once, but if someone whips out a detail we chose to omit, that’s easier to do damage control on over an outright lie.” Alex added, “Plus it’s less work to figure out a story to cook up and pass out.”

Niamh contemplated for a moment before giving a nod. “Then I guess it’s time we talk to the masses,” she said quietly. “I’ll make the arrangements.”

Quinn nodded in response. "Then let's get to it. Dismissed."


Fleet Admiral Emily Quinn
Commanding Officer
11th Fleet

Vice Admiral Niamh Devane
Chief of Fleet Operations
11th Fleet

Vice Admiral D'era Virtam
Director of Fleet Resources
11th Fleet

Captain Alex Powell
Chief of Starfleet Engineering
11th Fleet


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