“Welcome aboard, commander.” Captain Scotto said as he shook the hand of his new Chief Engineer, fresh off reassignment. The young-ish officer returned the handshake with a firm nod of his head. “My pleasure, captain. I’m grateful that you were willing to take me on with such short notice.” The engineer said.
Lieutenant Commander Christopher Wellington had already pulled a full tour of duty on the USS Fitzgerald, but was eager to get back into action. He just so happened to be spending his mandated shore leave here at the colonies when disaster struck with the D’Ghor. Luckily, his family was not counted amongst the dead, but there was definitely a different feeling among the colonists.
Prior to the D’Ghor attack, the colonies were already dealing with a fungal problem in their crops causing widespread disaster when it came to being able to be self-sufficient. The Hunters made life worse, cutting the colonies off from supply routes and ruining whatever was left of unaffected plant life.
While the Devastator and her crew were instrumental in returning things to normal, the fungal mutations were still wreaking havoc on the colonies’ local food supply. Replicator rations were only going so far. With Task Force 93 command leaving the cluster, the Dev was left to try and mitigate the fungal problem or provide the colonists with a way out of the area.
Walking through the hallways away from the transporter room, Captain Scotto took the time to make idle conversation with his new officer. “As you can see, while the Dev may not be top of the line no longer, she still packs quite a wallop.” Scotto gestured to the walls and displays as he escorted the engineer to his new home in engineering. “We were sent out with the latest upgrades to holographic projection systems throughout the ship and of course the latest sensor and scientific packages. But, I’m sure you’re familiar with all this.” The captain said.
Wellington was a little uneasy around the new captain. He always wanted to be able to trust the guy in charge, but he needed to be able to make his own assessment of the man – he couldn’t go by what he had heard from others. “Absolutely, sir. Sixteen phaser arrays, twenty-four decks, seven diplomatic suites, five science labs, primary and secondary sickbays, emergency cruising speed of nine-point-nine-five.” He replied.
Scotto happily gruffed before adding, “Yeah, but only for thirty-six hours. What’s up with that?” He quipped.
The doors to engineering opened before them and the familiar hum of the warp core felt like a warm blanket over the body of Lt. Commander Wellington. “I’m sure we could make it to 40 if we really needed to, sir.” He quipped back before turning his attention to the cavernous engineering area.
Scotto clasped his hands together, “Well, commander, she’s all you—”
Before he could finish his thought, the screens all around them went dark and a slight beeping alarm began sounding – not loud like a red alert, but enough to make it clear something was not right.
A moment later, an Ω symbol appeared on the screens. Scotto’s heart skipped a beat. Wellington dropped his sack near a console and attempted to gain access. Nothing was working. Around the room other personnel were lifting their hands in the air to no avail. The chief engineer turned around to the captain with a perplexed look, “Sir, my access isn’t working. Perhaps—” Scotto raised his hand. “I will take care of this on the bridge.”
In the captain’s ready room, Charles shut down his computer display and rubbed his eyes. This was not the only instance of Omega. Reports were coming in all over the most secure Starfleet emergency channels – this shit was everywhere. Why? Unknown. Connected? Unclear. He read through the Omega Directive procedures three times. It was clear what his next moves had to be.
The chime to his ready room sounded. “Computer, unlock the doors to my ready room, authorization Scotto-two-nine-beta.” A positive chime and a muffled click indicated he could answer the door. “Come on in, he said aloud.”
His first officer, Commander Sera, appeared in the doorway. “I’m sensing that the next few minutes are going to make me wish I stayed in bed.” She said.
Charles felt the familiar pain in the back of his neck, shooting down his spine. He implicitly rubbed his neck, giving Sera the opportunity to chime in. She stepped forward to allow the doors to close behind her. “Chuck,” she said. The captain raised his free hand, “Don’t call me that. We don’t need to go down that road.” He stood up in defiance of the pain and took a breath. Pulling down on his sleeves, he continued. “Assemble the senior staff in the briefing room. I will have further assignments there.”
“I cannot stress that even the little information I have provided should not be shared amongst your staff or junior officers. I will investigate the source of our sensor readings and then go from there. Report any unusual findings directly to me.” Scotto commanded from his standing position behind the chair at the head of the table.
Wellington raised his hand, “And the colonists? What are we supposed to tell them?”
“Nothing.” Scotto demanded. “We are moving them out of this area for their safety. The mercy ships will be able to take them out of the cluster.”
Another officer raised her hand. “And this specialized team? Why can’t we handle this on our own?”
Scotto rubbed his eyes. “Trust me, I would rather we just handle things ourselves, but, I am under very strict operational procedures. Once the team arrives, we will be free to focus on the why and now the how of why we are in this situation.”
“The situation, we’re not allowed to know about?” Wellington asked.
Scotto stared down his new officer. “Let’s leave the attitudes behind as we move forward on our new mission. I hope that there will be a sufficient resolution to satisfy our curiosities. In the meantime, let’s keep the colonists safe, and get them evacuated as quickly as possible.”