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Lieutenant Theo Whittaker: The Eureka! Moment

Trellis Vondaryan

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(( Bridge | USS Albion ))

Tatash: Well, eliminating the obvious, there are no planet’s nearby within transporter range, and locking through an asteroid field would be challenging from the outside. There’s no bases in the field, nothing but mines and dangerous gasses that wouldn’t be conductive to operations. We’ve also got the fact that the Stormcrow was destroyed by a weapon that wasn’t our own, seemingly by an invisible force. So… ::he glanced at Theo and nodded:: Yeah, you can see where I’m going.

::Theo felt a pall of dread run through him. As a child he had heard stories of how James T. Kirk defeated a Klingon Bird-of-Prey that could fire through a cloaking device. Although that ship had been a prototype that was swiftly outlawed in the first amendment to the 1st Khitomer Accords, the idea that the technology was possible gave him nightmares for months as a child. Nightmares of invisible enemies stalking through Whittaker Manor and striking him down. It was only after his mother had taken him to see her chief medical officer, who was an expert in sleep disorders that the nightmares had ceased.

They returned several years later, however, after he read reports of how Captain Jean-Luc Picard had defeated a similarly equipped Reman predator in the Bassen Rift. After another course of treatment, Theo decided that he wanted to join Starfleet to help battle anyone who possessed the technology. He had already become fascinated with machinery- and the upswing of applying for the academy at the age of 16 was that he could anger his father. But that was another story. He knew that when he fell asleep that night- the nightmare would return.

But for now, those vivid, terrifying nightmares could wait. He had a job to do. Grateful that the academy had drilled the concept of ‘honour and duty’ into him harder than a Klingon initiate, he found the courage to put his fears to one side and look at Tatash ::

Whittaker: A ship that can fire while cloaked.

Tatash: It wouldn’t be the first time Starfleet’s seen a ship that fire while cloaked, let alone transport. Theoretically the latter should be easy if they haven’t got shields raised. The former worries me, it worries me a lot. Especially with the firepower they are packing.

::That, Theo decided, was putting it mildly. A cloaked Romulan vessel, capable of what it was capable of with murky intentions at best. If they had fired on one Starfleet vessel, what was to say they wouldn’t fire on another- especially one that was such an easy target as the crippled Albion presented. Theo felt the invisible figure getting ready to haunt his dreams.::

Whittaker: oO Not. Now! Oo

Falcon: ::Sighs.:: Why don’t we ever get to use the cool toys?

Tatash: I don’t doubt that if whatever is out there wanted us out of the picture we’d be a wreck by now. The Albion’s wounded and wouldn’t stand toe to toe against whatever is out there. Their attack on Stormcrow seems more of an assassination than a sortie, very quick and precise and at just the right moment to make us second guess ourselves.

::Theo stepped closer to Taybrim and dropped his voice into a whisper, as another frightening prospect occurred to him. He might not have been executive officer, but he was the second senior-most officer on the bridge and it was, apparently, his job to offer another opinion. This one, however, nobody but the CO should hear.::

Whittaker: Sir, we have Arrihman on board right now. What is to stop the Romulans from assassinating him by destroying us as well?

Taybrim: Very little. ::he paused, brows forming a dark straight line:: Unless they actually cannot fire while cloaked - they may be hiding and waiting for the right opportunity when our back is turned. ::He paused, looking towards the engineer for answers:: Can we get any sort of tracking on them in that asteroid field?

Tatash: That I don’t know. :: he motioned towards Nira :: Any ideas on how we can tag it? I’d strongly urge if we can act as passive as possible, if they get wind we can track them… well let’s keep our distance, but don’t look like we’re trying to keep our distance.

Falcon: And how, pray tell, would you suggest accomplishing that?

Tatash: I don’t know, fly casual?

Falcon: Ah. ::Smiles.:: How appropriately vague. I think I can manage that.

Whittaker: There may be another solution.

::He wished he had not spoken because the plan was only just beginning to form in his mind. Once again, every set of eyes on the bridge seemed to be directly staring at him with great expectations.::

Taybrim: What's your idea?

Whittaker: We don’t necessarily have to be able to track her, :: he motioned to Nira :: Although if we can that would be an absolute advantage. :: beat, looking at Taybrim :: We just have to look like we. :: beat :: I may have only been in Starfleet for nine months as an officer, but I’ve grown to learn that Romulans are extremely cautious unless they have to be. The cloaking device is their greatest advantage because it allows them to silently analyse and strategize before taking definitive action. :: beat, he looked at Taybrim :: I say we call their bluff. That way we’ll avoid a confrontation with them and it’ll give the diplomatic team more time with whatever they need to do.

Taybrim: I say that's pretty solid plan. ::He turned towards those on the bridge:: The question is how do we startle them without spooking them into another dogfight?

Tatash: Anyone ever play battleships? ::he muttered, before turning to look at some of the others on the bridge giving him a curious look:: It's a game, you have a grid, each player takes a turn firing a shot into a grid not knowing where the enemy ships are, you aim towards the place most likely to have a concentration of ships in. It's guesswork, but you can at least feign a look of confidence if you're methodical.

Vondaryan: ::[...]ing his head, smiling:: Sounds... tactical. I shall look forward to playing that back on the base. ::beat:: This Romulan ship, if it does exist, must be somewhere in this minefield, then.

Falcon: Certainly not wrong. Given the make-up of this field, the mines floating around, there’s only so many places they could hide. Especially if they had the power to punch through Stormcrow’s shields and cripple them; you’d need a decent sized cruiser, at least. If we make some educated guesses, we could probably pull something like that off.

Taybrim: Well, we did plan a whole bunch of countermeasures to deal with the Stormcrow - can we turn any of those into a way to flush Romulans from a bush. Asteroid field. You know. ::hand wave::

Falcon: Don’t worry about where the ship needs to be. You tell me a place, I can put her there. Impulse drive is still ready, and the thrusters are hot.


Edited by Trellis Vondaryan
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