Part of USS Dragon: Abeloth – Aftermath and Bravo Fleet: Ashes of Deneb

ABELOTH – AM – 5

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“Captain, the last group of refugees have been transported,” Sustrum announced

“Very well, I hope the work that Meadow and her team did doesn’t hinder the resettlement of the refugees. They asked for a lot, hard to believe that command agreed to it all.”

“Yes ma’am”

“Let’s hope that the dinner tonight goes without a hitch so that we can close out the resettlement negotiations.”

“Captain, incoming message from the Aztec. Looks like they have found something.”

“Well that’s interesting, did they say what?”

“No, only that they picked something up on their sensors and have decided to go take a look.”

“Well, that may change some things.” as she tapped her combadge. “Meadow, Aryanna. Please come to the bridge as soon as you are able.”

“Not the best time, captain. Is it something we handle from here?”

“I would rather not.”

“Crap, I’m on my way.”

Several minutes later, a disheveled Meadow entered the bridge.

“Sorry for how I look, but trying to fix any loose ends before this dinner…” she shook her head

“I’m not worried about how you look, What I need now is your brain?” She gave her the rundown of the latest information from the Aztec. “As you can probably tell this raises some questions.”

“Yes, it does. Though I think that this dinner is or could be rather important in the overall scheme of things, could go a long way in starting to fix the reputation of Star Fleet in the eyes of the residents of the region.”

Aryanna sat back in the center chair and nodded. “True, but if the Aztec…”

“That’s a big if, they don’t even know yet. Cancelling the dinner now may..” she shrugged her shoulders.

“I guess you’re right, though I think we need to prepare for an immediate departure once the dinner is complete.”

Meadow chuckled. “You were hoping to get out of it, weren’t you? Hoping that the information would persuade me to cancel?”

“Well….I mean come on who wants to be around a bunch of diplomats all night? Boring speeches with boring people followed by boring talk. Plus, the search for what the dominion left behind is our primary mission, let’s not forget that.”

“Oh… I have not forgotten. Nevertheless, no way am I going to throw all this work away on a ghost chase. Even with the dinner, we will only be a few hours behind them. Not like they will find much in that amount of time.”

Aryanna reached over and pulled up a map displaying the region with known ship locations marked. “Sustram, recall all shuttles and away teams once they are complete with their current mission. Cancel all further Angel deployments and call back any that are out on patrol.”

“Yes, ma’am”

“Comms, two things. First, Let the Aztec know that we received and acknowledge their last transmission, and inform them that once we are finished here we will be heading in their direction. Second let the fleet know that the Dragon squadron will be forming up at a possible dominion site, no further information at this time.”

“Yes, captain”

“Viameli, did we get the location coordinates?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Good, good. I want us ready to leave the moment that the dinner is finished and the Izar delegation has left.”

“Sounds like you have a dinner to finish getting set up, Grab Lieutenant Thorn to assist you.”

“Already have.”

“And I guess I have just enough time to find my dress uniform and make myself… presentable,” Aryanna said with a sigh. “I am not looking forward to this, it’s not the dinner it’s the damn small talk that bothers me.”

“Just smile and at least look like you’re interested, it’s only for a couple of hours.” Meadow looked at her with a slight smile.

—————————————————-

The small delegation of senior officers watched as the delegation from Izar made their way onto the transporter pads. Hands were shaken and pleasantries were given as the Izar delegation took their places.

“Chief, when you’re ready,” Aryanna said to the beta shift transporter chief, as he nodded and checked the final parameters for the delegation. He reached over and tapped the console as the delegation slowly dematerialized in a flash of white.

“Well…” Aryanna started as he looked toward Meadow and Lieutenant Thorn.

“I think it went quite well, Captain. I was even surprised by the gift.” They all looked at the rolled parchment currently in Lieutenant Thorn’s hand. “Nice of them to create a copy of the agreement for the Dragons crew.”

“Lieutenant, make sure that gets framed in something fitting and displayed in the main crew mess.”

“Yes ma’am”

Aryanna reached up and unbuttoned the jacket’s top few buttons.” Phew, now I can breathe. Damn dress uniforms are so stiff.”

The other three officers did the same feeling it was ok since the captain had.

Aryanna tapped her combadge.” Captain, bridge”

“Yes ma’am”

“Is everyone onboard?”

“Yes, ma’am the last shuttle docked a few minutes ago.”

Aryanna nodded. “Did security do a final walk-through to make sure no one was left behind?”

“Just completed ma’am.”

Aryanna let out a long sigh. “Good, good, we are on our way up.”

“Meadow, you’re with me. Madison, you’re good for the night, see you in the morning.”

“Yes, ma’am” as Lieutenant Thorn turned and made her way to the turbolift.

Aryanna looked over at Meadow. “Thanks for the advice, by the way.”

“What advice was that?”

“To smile and look interested. Got me through a few tough moments during the dinner.”

Meadow chuckled. “Always worked for me, do you think I like every negotiation I enter? Sometimes you just have to suck it up, nod when you are supposed to, and smile. Make them think you’re paying attention when all you’re doing is trying to figure out how to get away.”

Aryanna let out a chuckle. As she led them toward the turbolift.

“Bridge”

“Captain on the bridge.” was announced as the captain’s whistle sounded and they stepped off the bridge.

“As you were” they watched as the beta shift crew went back to what they had been doing as the Lieutenant continued to stand in front of the central chair.”

“Captain” as they offered the ring.

“Thank you, lieutenant.” she took the seat and Meadow took hers.

“Is the ship ready?”

“Yes ma’am. All shuttles and personnel are onboard and all systems are showing green across the board.” the Lieutenant now standing to her left said.

“Helm, let’s take her to Warp Nine and see if we can make up some time.”

“Yes, ma’am”

They felt the ship slightly vibrate as the command was given, and watched as the ship entered warp.

“Shall we go see if we can reach Captain Mathisson and find out what the latest is?” Aryanna stood and handed the ring to the Lieutenant, “You have the conn. We will be in my ready room for a bit.”

“Yes ma’am”

As she made her way toward her ready room, entered and undid the jacket the rest of the way. “Grab a seat, Meadow” as she went to the sitting area, pulled the tunic from the back of the couch, and quickly changed.

Meadow could not help but notice the scarring along the arm over the top of the black glove.

Aryanna walked over to the replicator, ordered, and received a glass of water. Then she walked over, sat in the chair behind the desk, and tapped a button on the console.

“Comms, open a channel with the Aztec and send it to my ready room.”

“Yes, Captain.”

A few seconds later the console beeped as the comms channel was opened. “Captain Mathisson, it’s Captain Rigras. Just wanted to reach out and see what the latest is.”

“We are still gathering data, but it’s looking like some sort of debris field.”

“Are you reading any type of energy signature?”

“Nothing as of yet.”

“That’s odd”

“Yes, it is”

Aryanna and Meadow look at each other with raised eyebrows.

Meadow leaned onto the desk. “Any ideas?”

“Not many, as someone with an engineering background a few come to mind but I would like more data. I am going to drop us from warp at a short-range sensor distance. Take a look before we go all the way in; make sure we aren’t walking into something.”

“Sounds like we have a mystery on our hands.” Aryanna added, “Though I would ask that you hold there till we arrive. We can use the Angels to take a closer look.”

“Will do…”