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Jarred Thoran

LtCmdr. Shayne: Finally... Answers? (Blackwell)

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I always love it when @Randal Shayne is left in charge :D

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((Bridge, USS Blackwell))

Whittaker: ::he looked to Shayne and spoke directly.:: Report.

::Shayne felt himself shift out of the role of commander, and into the mindset of a first officer, both relishing the relief that Whittaker’s presence afforded, and trying not to concentrate too admimently on the sudden drop in exhilaration and adrenaline. He hoped his decision to bring Whittaker back to the bridge had not interrupted anything the captain had been doing below, but Merzan’s request, the Klingon ships’ sudden movement toward the anomaly, and the other equally dangerous or problematic features of their situation left Shayne feeling as though no other choice were possible. Some part of him chafed at his cowardice- running for daddy as soon as matters got even slightly over his head. Nevertheless, Whittaker was one of the most competent officer’s he’d ever had the pleasure of working with. If anyone could take care of this, it was him. Succinctly, Shayne broke down there current dilemma.::  

Shayne: Commander Walker is preparing to test a solution- I don’t pretend to understand it, but it has something to do with beaming down to the surface and attempting to rescue our people. It’s dangerous, so I figured I’d best get your approval on it. They’re on their way to the transporter room now.

::His mind raced, trying to remember that Whittaker had just arrived, and had not been party to the events of the recent past. What else was important?::

Shayne: The gik’tal has begun to move toward the rift- I’ve got Commander Ezo warning them off. Additionally, Mr. Ramirez reports that the anomaly will be closing again soon, in a matter of three hours or less. However, he believes that focusing anti-particles in to the midst of the rift might stave off that closure for a time. And, intriguingly, Commander Merzan has requested to join Walker on her escapade to the surface. 

::His words, especially to an outsider who had not witnessed the exchange, sounded somewhat absurd, and so Shayne did not blame Whittaker for consulting with Jolara. It was at that moment that Shayne realized that he should have done just that. She was the counselor, after all, trained to read emotions and detect falsehoods as a secondary but important side effect of her main work. Whittaker hadn’t been on the bridge ten seconds, and already he was making Shayne feel foolish just by implementing sensible behavior.

Whittaker: ::to Jolara:: Do you have any reason to suspect Merzan's motives?

Jolara: ?

::Shayne’s own confidence in Merzan, and his own determination to not look like an impotent knob, had likely influenced his decision to not consult any of his other officers. He vowed to learn from his error, while still maintaining confidence in Merzan’s sincerity. He had not met a Klingon yet that lied, and he refused to believe that his first encounter with one would be with a Defense Force starship captain. Nagging doubts lingered, of course, but from what he’d seen of Merzan, and Walker, if anything poor were to happen on their little voyage, he felt it unlikely that it would stem from a betrayal on Merzan’s part.::

Whittaker: Alright. Mr. Shayne- give Commander Walker to go ahead to traverse the rift then take Ensign Ramirez, Lieutenant Mandak and Lieutenant James to deflector control to implement the ensign's idea to delay the decay of the rift.

::Shayne gave a swift nod.::

Shayne: Aye, sir.

::The first order of business was communicating Whittaker’s command to Walker, ostensibly in the transporter room at this point.::

Shayne: =/\= Shayne to Walker. The light is green. You may proceed. =/\=

Walker: =/\=  Will do Commander.  We’ll be back soon. =/\=

::He had faith that Walker’s statement was true, but he couldn’t help but pray all the same. He liked this pink-haired commander, and though he regretted the loss of any Starfleet officer most deeply, it would likely be ever so slightly more painful if Walker were to not return. She had such a spark of life, and a love for the same. And, of course, a pregnant wife complicated the mix greatly. Suddenly, he wondered if he should request to take Walker’s place. Shayne was fairly confident that he could handle Merzan’s brusque brutality. But he certainly didn’t have the technical abilities, despite his status as Operations Officer. This was only proven by the fact that he still did not comprehend entirely her plan.::

::They all had their assigned duties. His were waiting for him in Deflector Control.::

Shayne: On me, folks.

::Shayne made for the turbolift, and could hear the subtle scuffling as the other three individuals moved to follow him.::

Whittaker: Lieutenant Drass, keep monitoring the situation from up here. Ensign Leath, start scanning for anything that might give us a clue as to who is responsible for the creation of this rift. 

::From the beginning, the readings had been strangely… formulaic. Orderly, in a way. The idea that it was an artificial creation had lingered in Shayne’s mind throughout this affair. Whittaker’s words now seemed to confirm that perspective. Whatever they’d found, he hoped it would cast more light on their problems.::

Drass/Leath: ?

Mandak: And here we go...

::The turbolift doors shut before him, and the quartet plummeted into the bowels of the Blackwell. ::

((Deflector Control, USS Blackwell))

::Shayne hated the Blackwell’s bridge, mostly because it was a preposterously small affair, deeply insufficient for the volume of people needed within it. When he’d served aboard the Apollo-A with Nicholotti, he’d be astonished by the sheer size of the Odyssey class control center. A transporter room in the back?! Multi-tiered seating? It looked more like a conference room. In his career, he’s luxuriated in the unnecessarily spacious, and groaned in the unreasonably cramped. Now, as he beheld Deflector Control, and how it was not too much smaller than the bridge he’d just exited, he finally resolved to talk to Whittaker at their next refit stop. Perhaps they might be able to scrounge up a larger bridge module for the Blackwell. It was worth a shot, anyway. He put those thoughts aside as Mandak spoke.::

Mandak: So... What now?

::Once again, he was entering a situation that demanded everything but his expertise, or so it felt. He thought himself rather fluent in engineer-speak, but Walker’s plan, and now Ramirez’s idea, eluded his grasp.::

::Fortunately for the second officer, help was not long in coming.::

Ramirez: Uhmm… Lt. James, you are an engineer, right?

::A good question. He was aware that James was Walker’s wife, but beyond that (and a fleeting understanding of her skill set) Shayne knew virtually nothing about the pregnant officer.::

James: Yes. That’s right.

Ramirez: Good. What I need from you is to configure the Deflector to produce the chroniton anti-particles. :: tapping on a PADD, and passing it to James :: These are the characteristics of the anti-particles we need to produce. Do you think it is possible?

::Shayne raised an eyebrow. The newcomer was already taking charge, and from the sounds of it, most competently.::

James: It is possible.

Ramirez: Thank you. Please, let me know when the modifications are complete. I will give you then the information about the energy output and how narrow the beam must be.

::The ensign then turned to the newly promoted Mandak, and… did Shayne catch a whiff of affection? Or infatuation? Either way, the brief look on Ramirez’s face vanished within an instant of its appearance, and business was once again on the forefront of his mind.::

Ramirez: :: clearing his throat :: Lt. Mandak,  Can you provide the exact location of the outer and inner rims of the anomaly, please?

::The request was simple, but satisfying it would likely be time consuming. Unlike what Shayne had come to expect from anomalies in his travels, this one stayed fairly consistent in size- another factor leading him to personally believe that it was created by mortal instruments, not by the random authority of chance.::  

Mandak: ?

Ramirez: Please, patch that information to my console once your calculations are complete…

Mandak:?

::There was a controlled excitement in Ramirez’s slightly accented voice, and Shayne almost wanted to share in it. Their newest science officer was clearly looking forward to seeing what would result of his idea, and beyond that, Shayne knew that many science officers held the thrill of discovery above almost everything else. Casually, he looked at Ramirez, who promptly noted the intrusion.::

Shayne: You’re looking pleased. Anything I can do to help?

::Just like Merzan, Shayne despised sitting idle. When others around him were working, thas resentment morphed into an intolerable burden. He actually wanted an ensign to give him instructions- anything to be a part of the team.::

Ramirez: Sorry, sir. :: clearing his throat again :: Hmmm… Can you monitor the anomaly and keep an eye on the rift’s chroniton density, please? :: providing a PADD :: Here you will find instructions about how to do it, sir. Please, that that station :: pointing the a place close to Mandak's ::

::Shayne now raised both eyebrows. Most cadets or brand new ensigns demurred from taking command of any situation if offered the opportunity, and those that didn’t often had an inflated opinion of themselves and their abilities. But Ramirez was proving to be a most pleasant surprise. What a remarkable display of competence.::

Shayne: Aye, ensign.

Mandak: ?

::After a short time, during which Shayne was just beginning to wrap his mind around his assigned task, James spoke up.::

James: The modifications are done, Ensign.

Ramirez: Response

::There was no doubting the concern in James’ voice as she replied. Indeed, Shayne shared some of that apprehension.::

James: ::as casually as she could manage:: And you’re positive this will work

::The doubt was still present, but Ramirez’s confidence gave Shayne the courage to put some faith into their work.::

Ramirez/ Mandak: ?

Shayne: From what little I understand, it’s got a good chance.

James: Okay… Ready when you are.

::Shayne consulted his instruments.::

Shayne: Ensign, chroniton density is dropping, slowly but surely. We’ve got to hurry.

Ramirez/ Mandak/James: ?

::As the process began, Shayne’s panel lit up with a warning he didn’t immediately recognize. After a moment, though, it came to him.::

Shayne: We’re firing an antiproton beam directly into the center of the anomaly.

::He squinted and looked closer.::

Shayne: Some strange readings over here…

Ramirez/ Mandak/James: ?

Tag/TBC…


Lieutenant Commander Randal Shayne 
Ops Officer/ Second Officer

USS Blackwell 
NCC 58999
G239202RS0

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