Part of USS Century: 0. The Great Chase and Bravo Fleet: We Are the Borg

Chasing Sensor Ghosts and Ill Premonitions

USS Century
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Captain Gar’rath sat behind his desk, the displays before him hovering silently while fluttering with a myriad of reports and situational reports from the USS Century’s patrol area. The longer the Gorn studied the reports coming in, the more he began to worry that something was amiss in his part of space. Reports of unregistered craft throughout Federation space wasn’t at all unheard of, and many times those very same craft were being piloted by some random citizen who simply wanted to live their lives in relative obscurity away from the eyes of others. It wasn’t far-fetched and certainly not against any actual laws to live on the fringes and go where they pleased without reason. What was concerning was the descriptions of the craft that had been seen following a rather chaotic flight path. Several reports merely described an oblong vessel with no obvious propulsion system, while others contained hull composition data listing tritanium as the primary building material. Even having been a security officer his entire career, Gar’rath knew that such a composition was not the workings of a ‘friendly’.

“Lieutenant James,” the Gorn said, looking up toward the middle distance of the room, “Report to my Ready Room.”

The ship transmitted his command through the comm system and a few moments later, the aforementioned Lieutenant walked into the space, his hands drifting behind his back absently as he looked to his commander. “Yes, Captain?” the science officer asked with a tinge of curiosity.

“Tritanium hulls,” Gar’rath said after shifting the display out of his line of sight.

After a brief pause, Lt. James shrugged, “What about them?”

“What species is know for using them almost exclusively for outer hull construction?” the Gorn inquired, already having a good idea as to what the answer might actually be.

“As far as I’m aware, tritanium in the kind of quantity to cover an entire ship’s hull is generally a Borg construction method,” the man answered after a moment of thought.

“I thought as much…” the Gorn grumbled, his throat rumbling in displeasure.

Lt. James raised an eyebrow at the comment, “Something the matter, sir?”

“Perhaps…” was all the Gorn said in reply. With another glance at the displays off to his side, the Captain made up his mind that it was something worth investigating and rose from his chair. “Gather the senior staff and have them report to the observation lounge immediately.”

“I’m on it, Captain,” the man said as he quickly turned on his heels and departed to do as he had been asked. Alone once more, Gar’rath walked over to the view port and looked out into the cascading star field that accompanied warp travel. If his suspicions were correct, some manner of Borg craft had infiltrated Federation space, and was just as likely to enter other territorial holdings of surrounding powers for some unknown but no doubt nefarious end. The fact that the object hadn’t garnered more attention was strange, which could mean that the reports might not be as accurate as they let on, or something else entirely was taking place. He couldn’t be sure, which was why at the very least, he was going to consult with his crew.

Gar’rath abandoned his contemplative vigil of the stars and walked out onto the expansive bridge of the Constitution-III class vessel he’d been given command of. All of the critical positions were manned by the relief crewmen, meaning that his science officer had already gathered the bridge crew and they were awaiting his arrival. The Gorn officer scaled the steps leading up to the command chairs, passing by the vacant center seat on his way to the rear of the compartment. Another flight of stairs traversed brought him to the observation lounge where his senior officers sat waiting for his arrival. Instead of going directly to his chair, the Gorn walked to the port side wall, bringing up the information on the display that he had been reviewing before finally taking a seat.

“I’ve been reviewing message traffic from the local area, and I’ve noticed a pattern of reports that has caused me some concern,” the Gorn remarked while casting his eyes over the crew gathered before him, “While they haven’t actually said the word Borg in any of them, the signs are rather clear that it is a possibility that this is who these reports are mentioning. Hull composition reports chief among them. Lieutenant James was kind enough to confirm my suspicions on that front already, thought he didn’t know that’s why I asked about it.”

Lt. James nodded silently in agreement with his Captain. The rest of the staff stole glances at one another at the revelation from their commander. While they hadn’t worked under him for very long, most of the crew had a good grasp of his overall personality, and jokes are not featured as part of it. If he was saying there was a Borg incursion of some kind, it was what he really thought was happening.

“And what do you suggest we do with this information, Captain?” the first voice to break the silence was that of the Vulcan engineer, Lieutenant Commander Sorreth.

“Investigate its voracity, Commander,” the Gorn’s reptilian head swiveled toward the engineer, “I would rather we look into this matter while it is still scattered routine transmissions than have to respond to a crisis we are likely ill-equipped to handle, even with this vessel’s capabilities.”

“Logical,” Sorreth conceded.

“But what are we going to do with it once we find it?” the Commander sitting directly to Gar’rath’s left asked. The Gorn turned to regard his first officer, a Human woman by the name of Abigail Peters, taking note of the look of apprehension on her face.

“Observation is the primary objective,” the Captain stated in an even tone, “Even if we are unable to match the vessel tactically alone, the possibility exists that conflict with vessels is not their primary objective. If it were, there would have been far more detailed reports of attacks made already.”

“What if that is only because they haven’t encountered Starfleet vessels on their flight path. It stands to reason they haven’t already encountered any since none of the reports you called up are from any of our ships,” the Century’s security officer, Lieutenant Khar spoke up.

Gar’rath turned to regard the Klingon, “That is a risk, one we are here to discuss.”

“I see,” Lt. Khar said in a contemplative manner before remarking, “While I do not wish to sound like a coward, fighting the Borg with such a tactical disadvantage will only lead to an honor-less death, if not worse.”

“Possibly,” the Gorn nodded his head slightly, “However, that is only if these reports are true. The fact remains that each of the reports comes from areas that are not in direct flight paths from one another and only similar in their areas might mean that they caught sight of something other than what I suspect it might be. It could be that we are chasing sensor ghosts or some manner of malfunction in their equipment that made them believe they saw something that they did not.”

“Then why look into it at all?” Lt. Khar asked.

“Because failing to do so would open the Federation and our neighbors to unnecessary risks. Much as I hate to say it… this is the right thing to do,” Cmdr. Peters chimed in, the exasperation clear in her voice.

“Indeed,” Lt. Cmdr. Sorreth chimed in.

“Doctor,” Gar’rath said as he turned his gaze toward the only other Lieutenant Commander in the room, “Do you have anything to add?”

The chief physician, a Betazoid woman by the name of Reli Odaim, offered a weak shrug from her seat at the table, “Not really. Much as I don’t like the idea of having to plan for possible assimilation, I would feel even worse if we let this one go and there was an actual threat lurking about that took advantage of our reluctance to get involved.”

“Thank you for that, Doctor,” Gar’rath lowered his head slightly before sweeping his gaze across the gathered personnel once more, “I understand and appreciate your apprehensions about this, but as it has already been said, doing nothing may prove to be the greater folly. While the risk is not mine alone to accept, the decision to act on this information is grounded in the tangible risk to more lives than we might ever hope to count ourselves. Though I am hopeful that this is truly an exercise in futility on our part chasing what isn’t actually there, we must be prepared to accept that we are going to encounter a Borg vessel and prepare ourselves and the crew for such an encounter. I trust I can leave it to you to get your people onboard with this.”

“Yes, sir,” the assembled officers spoke up in near unison. Gar’rath straightened up and nodded firmly before stating bluntly, “Let’s see it done.”

Comments

  • A Gorn in Starfleet and Captain of a ship to. I assume that's a first. A very interesting idea; and the instruction to the plot characters and how they interact is good. I'll now have to read the rest and see what's going on.

    December 11, 2023