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Approaching the Freighter

Posted on Tue Aug 18th, 2020 @ 8:22am by Captain Mystery Ellis & Lieutenant Commander Feyd Relor & Commander Jamie O'Connell & Lieutenant Ares Curillo & Lieutenant JG Kevin Lance & Ensign Lucas Miles & Crewman Thomas Jefferson

Mission: Distress Call
Timeline: Current

** ON **

The USS Independence dropped out of warp into...

[Captains Mess]

"Computer, turn off that racket"

"Unable to comply"

"Computer! Turn off that damn noise!"

"Unable to comply"

Bowing his head, Thomas let loose a heavy sigh. Digging through a drawer, he pulled out a spanner and popped the computer control panel off the wall. Once the internal workings are exposed, he started pulling isolinear chips until the flashing light and the sound stopped in the kitchen.

Satisfied with his results, he turned on his heels, stepping on the chips scattered on the floor, and returned to his food preparation.


With all the focus on the possibility of an upcoming conflict, the engineering crew were focused on power levels and engine performance. None of them noticed the panel flashing a warning 'Critical computer failure, Deck 3'...

Lt. O'Connell was just checking the last of the panels showing the ship's engine performance when his Comm went off. "Engineering, Lt O'Connell here." "This is Crewman Fuller here on Deck 3; there's a panel flashing a warning about a 'critical computer failure.'

"Bloody hell!!" Jamie said in a loud voice "I'll get someone right on it, thanks."

"Ensign T'Sol go to deck 3 there is an alarm going off saying that there is a 'computer failure'. See what you can do and report back."

"Aye Lieutenant, right away" Ensign T'Sol said as he grabbed his tricorder and made his way to Deck 3. After about a half hour T'Sol got back to Jamie "Lieutenant we have a real problem here, it looks like that the Computer has picked up some sort of, well, Virus from an outside source."

"Can you isolate it so that it doesn't effect any other of the Ship's computers" was Jamie's hopeful question.

"Yes, I've located the problem, its in the Captains Ward room" was the Ensign's evaluation.

Jaime cursed in a language T'Sol didn't understand. "Very well, Contact Lt Lance. Have a security team dispatched to the Captain's Ward Room now." He nodded to a couple of Engineers. "You, you, with me now." He said, and headed for the Captain's Ward room.

When Jaime arrives at the Captains ward room, expecting, most likely, the security team to have alien invaders in custody, stops short as the door opens with his jaw on the floor in surprise. The floor in front of him is covered with the scattered isolinear chips, probably from the computer terminal that is malfunctioning. Across the room are two security officers standing at a counter, one of them is chopping vegetables, the other is washing vegetables to be passed to the one doing the chopping. All the while Thomas is behind them directing the show. Both security officers have semi confused looks on their faces and show just a tad bit of fear of the kitchen master directing their actions from behind them.

"Tactical to Engineering," came Lieutenant Lance's voice over Jamie's comm badge.

As Jamie tapped his comm badge, he still couldn't believe what he was seeing, he managed to get out "O'Connell here, go ahead Lieutenant."

"I've deployed a security team to the Captain's Ward Room," the Tactical Officer replied, "What is the nature of the emergency?"

" A.... Lieutenant you may want to come to the Captain's Ward Room. I'm looking at both of your Security Team washing and cutting vegetables for our esteemed Chef; I also found the computer problem. There are isolinear chips all over the floor" Jamie informed the Tactical Officer trying not to laugh out loud. If this wasn't such a ridiculous sight Jamie might be pis*ed.

Jamie could almost hear the tactical officer's mouth opening and closing as he grappled with the information relayed to him. Finally he replied, his voice taut with anger, "If there is no further use for the security team, I will recall them." And after a pause, "The adjustments to the starboard sensor array do not appear to have corrected the malfunction. The fault appears to be a hardware issue."

" Yes, you can recall your security team; I don't think there will be any problems here. As far as the censor array, I'll get a couple of my people on it asap. Although this ship is barely a year old; we shouldn't be having these kinds of problems. The construction crew probably hurried too much building her and missed proper installation procedures; we'll take care of it" was Jamie's answer.

"Ensign T'Sol give me a hand picking up all these isolinear chips and get this damn computer fixed; looks like the Chef was your virus" were O'Connell's instructions.

"Right away sir" as the Ensign began collecting the chips and placing them one by one back into the computer. The two security guards out down the vegetables as they listened to their earpieces, their complexion going pale.

"Chef please step aside for a few minutes so that we can collect all of the chips. By the way how did they end up on the floor?"; this of course was a rhetorical question as Jamie knew only too well what had happened.

"It was the only way to shut off that infernal racket. Plus the flashing lights were giving me a headache." Picking up the chefs knife and honing it Thomas says "and the next time you send people to help with the cooking tell them to leave their weapons behind."

After the chips were all collected and the security team had withdrawn, Jamie shakes his head and says "Computer, deactivate alert system in Captains Wardroom" and then taps his Comm Badge, "Lt. O'Connell to engineering"

"Go ahead Lieutenant".

"Crewman Decker take Johnson with you and make your way to Jefferies Tube 7 and go down to the starboard sensor array, it's out of alignment again. Look for any loose bolts and make sure that the array is seated properly. You should be able to re-calibrate it from there by hand. Make doubly sure that it's 'dead nuts' correct; our reputation depends on it. When your finished report back; understood?"

"Aye Sir; right away and we won't disappoint you" was Crewman Decker's reply.

After some time the Ensign said" I've replaced all of the chips and had to replicate a few of the broken ones; but they are all back in the Computer. After running diagnostics the Computer terminal is at 96 percent efficiency; there're will be no more further problems as long as the chips remain in the Computer"

Jamie looked straight at the Chef saying "The chips will remain in the Computer; won't they."

With that out of the way, and hopefully the last time this type of thing happens, Lt. O'Connell made his way back to Engineering along with the Ensign. Now he would have to check on the sensor array as soon as he returned.

"Crewman Decker how are you guys doing on the sensor array?" was Jamie's burning question.

"Good Sir, the sensor array had slipped out of position; that's why Tactical had such crazy readings. We've loosened up the bolts had have managed to reseat the array and we tightened the bolts as per ship's specs. Now all we have to do is recalibrate it and there shouldn't be any more problems."

"Great, let me know when your finished so that I can inform Lt. Lance that there shouldn't be anymore problems with the array."

"Aye Sir" Decker out.


"Approaching destination Captain," Lucas announced. He was surprised to still be at the helm station but Lieutenant Maida's instruction was clear. The Chief Flight Control Officer had been assigned other duties and as such the top pilot had delegated the task of piloting the ship to Lucas.

As the ship neared their final stop, Lucas disengaged the warp engines and the Achilles class starship emerged from subspace into an entirely new star system. His sensors indicated that the system had six planets none of which were habitable and a class M star.

The flashing yellow lights on the Bridge created a tense situation at least from Lucas' perspective despite the fact that this was supposed to be a simple rescue operation. However, it would have been foolish to rush to the aide of the freighter without first taking precaution to ensure the safety of the Independence and her crew.

Luckily, his navigational sensors detected no other ship in the immediate vicinity aside from the freighter, which was dead ahead and on display on the main viewer.

"Scan the freighter and surrounding area I don't want any surprises, communications hail the freighter," Mystery ordered.

"No contacts other than the freighter," replied Lieutenant Lance. There was one anomalous reading 57 degrees to the right of the ship's center line, but the level of confidence was low because the sensors couldn't agree with each other. On a hunch, Kevin began a diagnostic routine on the starboard sensor array.

Lt Ares Curillo manned his sensors as all the collected data eventually found its way to the science station. From there the science officer could then filter and point to the most logical course.

"Captain we are still outside of transporter range. We need to be closer," Ares expressed to the Captain. His other interest was the anomalous reading 57 degrees right of the center line.

"Take us to transporter range," Mystery said, "Get the captain of the freighter on line. I need to know how bad things are over there."

"Aye Captain" Balrog responded non-nonchalantly. Everyone on the bridge, in unison, turned toward Ops with a raised eyebrow. They had all heard about his misadventure while on leave on Risa, complete with the inadvertent rubber ducky. How he was on the bridge now was anyone's guess. With a collective shrug, they turned back to their stations.

Lucas fired up the ship's impulse engines rapidly closing the distance between the freighter and the Independence.

A security alert presented on the tactical console. A request by the Chief Engineer for a security team in the Captain's Ward Room. Kevin deployed a ready team and checked for evidence of a violation of the ship by boarders but the computer reported none. No transport signatures, no unauthorized access of air locks, no breach of the ship's hull.

"Sir,' said Balrog. "The Freighter's Captain is on screen now." There was, unfortunately, a lot of static, garbling his transmission.

"Can you clear it up?" Commanded the Captain.

"One moment sir." replied Balrog, his fingers dancing over the LCARS, completely surprising those on the bridge. In most circumstances, he was a liability, but in this moment, he was surprisingly at the top of his game. "There we are."

"This is Captain Malcolm Reynolds of the Freighter Olympia. We are in need of assistance. Repeat, this is Captain Malcolm Reynolds of the Freighter Olympia, any vessel, please respond."

"Open hailing frequency," Mystery ordered

"It's open captain,"

Captain Malcolm this is Captain Mystery Ellis commanding the Federation Star Ship USS Independence. We're here to assist you. How badly are you crippled. Does your crew need to transport over to my ship?"

While awaiting the response from the freighter's captain, the tactical console alerted that the diagnostic was complete. As Kevin guessed, the starboard forward senors were out of alignment again. Engineering had treated the symptom, not the cause of the malfunction. "Never send a computer to do an Human's job," a former captain's remonstration rang in Kevin's ears. He need to find about the situation in the Captain's Ward Room so he would have an opportunity to ask the Engineer about the sensor array's malfunction.

" Captain this message could be automated. General Order 12 states. When approaching a vessel with which communication has not been established, all Starfleet vessels are to maintain maximum safety precautions, regardless of the origin of said vessel, be it a foreign power, an hitherto unknown ship, or a Starfleet vessel." Lt Ares Curillo recommended.

Mystery nodded "I'm well aware of the regulations. Tactical charge weapons and standby shields."

"Aye, aye, Captain." acknowledged the tactical officer who then returned to the heated conversation he was having sotto voice.

"Scan the freighter, let's see just what we're dealing with over there," Mystery ordered.

"Captain," Lucas called from his station having patiently been listening as he maneuvered the Independence closer to the freighter. "We are now within transporter range of the freighter." Given the defensive posture that they were taking, he parked the ship near the maximum range of transporters giving the ship enough maneuvering space to high tail it out of the system should it come to that.

" Scanning numerous pockets of life forms aboard ship Captain. Well I was..." Lt Curillo first reported.

"What is it lieutenant?" Mystery asked "What have you found?"


"Computer, activate Emergency Medical Hologram", Nurse Natasha Grimm said.

"Please State the Nature of the Medical..."

"What the hell are you doing!?" Feyd yelled, approaching the bewildered Nurse.

Natasha blinked. "I...I was activating the EMH."

"What the hell would you do that for?" Feyd fumed, looking over the puzzled holographic man.

"Well, what if we need an extra set of hands? Better to familiarize ourselves with him now than when we need him, right?" Natasha said, defending herself.

Feyd considered that. "All right, I'm sorry. Good point."

"Please state the nature of the medical emergency." Repeated the computer.

"Ok, here's the deal, pal. I've heard all about you EMH programs, and I want to make one thing abundantly clear here." Feyd said, pacing around the main biobed like a caged leopard. "I'm in charge Fuc***ng Medical Officer. What I say goes, and what you think, what you think, is irrelevant. Are we clear? And if we aren't I will erase you from the ship's computer pronto. Clue, there's only one right answer."

"Uuum...crystal clear...sir." Replied the EMH, its adaptive programming shining through like a binary star.

"Good then." Replied Feyd, a satisfied look on his face. "Very well, brief him." He said to the Nurse.

"Uuuum..." Natasha replied, knowing that since he was part of the computer, he would already know their mission, heading and circumstances. "Aye sir."

< Bridge >

Curillo then reconfigured the scans. " Those life readings can not be confirmed Captain."

"Send a probe over, we need to know if there is anyone alive there. Check to see if any escape pods have been launched," Mystery ordered


I'm going to post this as it has gotten long. Time to get creative. What is going on there?

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