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Lt Anjala Batim

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  1. Anjala nodded slowly. "All right. Mission accomplished for now. Open a channel to the Destiny, I'll brief the captain." When the comm channel was open, she addressed the captain's face on the small screen. "We located the Crater, drifting with minimal power. She was emitting a distress signal warning it had been disabled by gravitic mines. Further scans showed no evidence of that kind of weapon being used. We did chart the locations of the cloaking emitters so they can be targeted and destroyed, but...I think we need to consider the possibility that the crew of the Crater may be hostage. Charging in, blowing up the cloaking field, could endanger them." She leaned over, sending the gathered tactical and sensor data they'd collected to the Destiny. "Just before we pulled out, we used an active sensor pulse to look for mines. Not only did we not find mines, we didn't see another ship either. It could be cloaked, but that would be a cloak inside a cloak, which seems extravagant. I still have no idea what's going on here, but I think we have a better chance of approaching the Crater without escalating the situation than the Destiny."
  2. "By the time that 1.3 seconds is over, have us back outside," says the Lieutenant. "We should have everything we need at that point to take out the cloaking field, navigate the mines, and reach the Crater. We'll transmit it to Destiny and rendez-vous with them as they move in for the rescue."
  3. "All right," Anjala said as she leaned over the chairs to see the instruments. "J'sira, take a look at these readings. Can you tell us anything about the condition of the Crater we're not seeing? Signs of damage?" She then went on, "T'set, on my mark conduct as thorough a sensor sweep as you can of the corridor between our present position and the position of the Crater. The goal is to map the minefield to the best of your ability." "Ensign, on the same mark, start backing us up out of the cloaking field. If anyone's watching, we'll light up like a star on their screens when we start that scan. Keep the window of exposure as brief as possible." "What's your estimate on how long you need, T'set?"
  4. "It's the Kobayashi Maru all over again," muttered Anjala, feeling a fist close around her heart. "Jensen, full stop. Prepare to get us out of here, but don't execute just yet. T'set, record the exact coordinates of as many of the cloak generators as we can detect, then scan for energy readings on the Crater. If it's that badly damaged, it shouldn't be too hard to find." She shook her head. "This is a really complicated setup for pirates, but we're not near a hostile border. What the hell is going on?"
  5. The trek from the turbolift to the shuttlebay was mercifully swift. She stepped into the cavernous space of the bay and spotted Miriam and J'sira immediately, waiting near one of the shuttles. A quick glance back verified the others had followed her as well. A boatload of fresh-faced graduates, trying to fill the big shoes of senior officers. Her heart paused in her chest for a beat. Am I ready for this? It's not just my own life on the line...it's everyone on the Crater as well. And maybe the Destiny, if we get into trouble. Ready or not though, this was the job. It wasn't just Captain Raymer who had something to prove. They were trying to jump past a decade or more of experience and field work. You could be damn sure that looking down mid-jump was going to be scary as hell. So no looking down. Lieutenant Batim crossed to the shuttle, giving J'sira and Miriam a curt nod as she arrived. "We're flying into an area of space concealed by the largest scale cloaking field ever recorded. I'll need everyone on point. We've no idea what to expect in there, so eyes and ears open, report any detail that stands out to you." "Jensen, we'll launch, maintain thrust until we're a few hundred kilometers out, then cut engines and drift in on momentum. I'll trust your instincts on speed and heading, but try to be...unpredictable. And we don't really know they can't see out, so be ready for evasive maneuvers once we're inside." "Miriam, J'sira, you're here for when we find the Crater, to assess casualties and damage. T'set, you're on sensors...no active scans right away though, unless we're confirmed spotted. We're looking for transmissions, energy readings, life signs." "Our objective is to find the Crater and get enough information to plan a rescue operation. Secondary objective, determine the nature of the cloaking field and its possible destruction. Beyond that, we'll work it out as we go." She paused to let that sink in, then went on to add, "There's a lot of crew on the Destiny thinking we don't deserve the titles we were given when we came on. That we're upstarts. That we don't belong here. Some of you have had to deal with that already." "Here's where we show them they're wrong." Anjala boarded the shuttle and looked back. "Jensen, you're a crazy pilot fresh out of the Academy...lets say we throw the checklist out and just go, huh?"
  6. Anjala nodded, "Ma'am." She glanced at T'set and Jensen and headed for the turbolift, pausing inside to let them onboard as well before telling it to take them to the shuttle bay.
  7. Anjala frowned. Her off the cuff reaction was to negate. The shuttle would be just as much at risk as a probe, and with people on board. But looking at it the other way, the alternative was for the entire Destiny to essentially do the same thing, with zero chance of evading detection and a whole lot more people in it. "I should be on the shuttle," she said finally. "We won't want to run active sensor sweeps once we're inside, and I may be able to sense threats passive sensors wouldn't."
  8. "We're flying blind," Lt Batim says. "I'd say send a probe in ahead of us and go to yellow alert. Red alert before we cross the cloaking field."
  9. Anjala leaned over a bit, frowning at the sensor readings. "That's...not...wait a second. It's not a hole in space, it's just an area we're not getting any sensor information from. Like a black hole or...some kind of cloaking device? But the region is huge. That'd take more power than ten starships could give it."
  10. "Our commanding officer is Captain Raymer," Batim reminded Jensen, meeting his eyes without blinking, "We'll follow her orders. That said..." She looked at the other officers, "He's right about the chatter. Everyone focus on your tasks. Leave the politics to the politicians. That's not our job." "Everyone to your duty stations." The lieutenant nodded and headed to the turbolift to go to the bridge.
  11. "The starbase has lost contact with a science vessel, the Crater," Anjala replied. "The Captain is briefing with Captain Zhao, but has instructed us to be ready to leave by the time she's done. Resupply notwithstanding, we're the closest ship to the last known location of the Crater." "We'll resume resupply once we return, with the Crater. Now, what's our status on readiness?"
  12. Anjala nodded then gestured at the others at the dinner. "You heard her everyone, back to the Destiny, doubletime." She got up and signaled the duty officer on the Destiny with her commbadge. "Lt Watts, get the pre-launch checks started on Destiny. Triage the list, we may have to leave before everything's done." When the Lieutenant acknowledged, Anjala looked at the others. "I figure you have questions, I'll explain once we're on the Destiny. Come on." Lt Batim then headed out. Using the transporters had occurred to her, but this wasn't exactly an 'emergency,' yet. Beaming straight off the station would raise a lot of questions and probably make Raymer's job that much harder.
  13. Anjala was not fond of politics. Having grown up with parents who were diplomats, she'd been surrounded by the stuff most of her life. Political situations were all fine lines arranged in complex webs, where tugging one strand had cascading consequences that were really hard to predict. They were messy and often seemed like no-win situations. Zhao wasn't 100% wrong in his motivation, though what he was doing was pretty garbage...essentially kicking Destiny and its new captain when they were down. He could have chosen to support and show faith in them to try to improve their odds. Instead he was essentially offering and encouraging its officers to abandon ship. Which was garbage. So she leaned over towards Raymer and said in a quiet voice, "They lost contact with one of their science vessels, the Crater. They're going to ask the Maravel to investigate...but Destiny is a lot closer." Tugging this strand, Lt Batim hoped to get Raymer to go after Captain Zhao and suggest the Destiny could help...and hoped those unexpected consequences were things they could deal with.
  14. Anjala nodded, returning the smile. "If I wanted rest, I'd be back on Earth. Roberts, huh? All right. Lets see what we can do to keep him busy and out of trouble. Thanks for the orientation. Now I've got bunch of work to get started on so I'd better get started." She gave Jack something that was halfway between a salute and a good-bye wave, then headed for her new office. She wanted to meet the department heads, but they'd probably be too busy to yank into a conference room, so she'd probably have to go where they were. Then there was a lot of reading schedules and rosters and stock levels and logs to get herself up to speed. That office was probably going to be her home for awhile now...
  15. He turned assessing stormy grey-blue on Anjala, clearly curious about her next answer without exposing what he wanted that answer to be. "Now, what you like t'know 'bout the ship, specific like, instead of askin' me what I think you should know?" Anjala nodded then looked around and said, "The kind of thing this crew's been through, I'm seeing my role as being damage control and mitigation first, optimization and efficiency second. For me that means a lot of time reading dossiers and logs and manuals. It also means keeping myself available and visible so everyone gets used to me. It's probably going to be a little while before I know what the important questions to ask are. But..." She paused, then glanced at the Chief again. "How's morale, Jack? The ship must have been a pressure cooker."
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