A Little Too Easy
Location: USS Tornado
“Aye Ma’am,” said Ensign Hamilton at the helm. “Dropping out of warp.”
Caradan sat in the captain’s chair, again in command of the ship temporarily as Commander Shaqdac stayed behind in his quarters, undoubtedly giving Caradan another chance to fail.
Shaking her head, “Not letting that happen,” she whispered to herself.
The Tornado slowed from warp and came to a stop in orbit of the fifth planet, though it was the fourth planet that was of interest. Caradan ordered the ship to stop sooner so as to get a better idea of the situation before they arrive at their destination.
“Corporal Higgins,” Caradan kept her eyes fixed on the viewscreen with a tactical overlay displayed. There were no Klingon ships detected in the area. “Scan the space around the fourth planet. What do you see?”
Higgins looked over the scans. "String of defense sats Ma'am. Look to be a full plantary defense grid if I had to guess. Look like a few defense platforms, but they're the majority. Got several offensive ones if the massive main gun I'm seeing mean anything." He reports, getting the best scans he could with conditions as they were. "Can't give you any precise details though, solar flares are making any kind of solid scan for armaments or defenses difficult at best. And don't bother asking me about ground conditions. Uhh, Ma'am."
Caradan sat back and furrowed her brow, a gesture she had seen many do. “Well, this seems a bit too easy to be true. Ensign Reis,” Caradan turned to the second officer, “Thoughts? Ideas?”
"Well, seems like that's true." Reis said. "I mean," She tapped away at her panel and looked over the information shown to her. "It could be a trap, it could be just a state of disrepair. It could be... well... a lucky break." She shook her head, "Really, we need to give those satellites a wide berth until we know for sure they're actually disabled, and we aren't slipping into a trap. Hard to scan and seemingly dormant." She gave a shrug, "We should be wary. Something always lurks in places like this. Might not be Klingons, might be worse."
Caradan slapped her commbadge. “Bridge to Engineering.”
“Ensign, where is Lieutenant Mindo?”
=^=”He just got off duty Ma’am.”=^=
“Well I am about to get him back on duty. I want two sets of eyes and a detailed scan of those defense satellites.”
=^=”Aye Ma’am. Keselowsky out.”=^=
“Computer,” said Caradan to the ceiling. There came an affirmative bleep. “Relay message to Lieutentant Mindo. ‘Report back to Engineering. Detailed scans required. Order of Lieutenant Eunidas.’ Send message.”
Moments later, Mindo exited the turbolift onto the bridge.
"I was closer to the Bridge," he said, walking briskly to the Engineering station behind the Captain's chair. "I can run my scans from up here."
"Sounds good," said Caradan. "Glad to have you up here lieutenant."
Moments later, Mindo spoke up. "Sir, my scans indicate the defense satellites are not powered at the moment. They're a little outdated, but could probably be accessed by our computer once we calibrate for the technology. I'm sending the information to Ensign Keselowsky now. They should have compatibility worked out in under ten minutes."
"We may not need use of these satellites," said Caradan. "Let's just be prepared in case unwanted guests do arrive. If you do run any simulations, do not access the satellites directly. I do not want to alert anyone." Caradan looked back to the tactical display on the viewscreen. "If anyone is watching that is."
Erickson stepped in to the bridge and handed a padd to Caradan. “The satellites should have any issues. The main power grid is no longer attached to anything.” Erickson reported. “The moon around the planet is what we will have issues with. Trace elements will make transporting to the surface difficult. I was waiting for the scan results to come back to confirm sir.”
“We will have to shuttle down then,” Caradan said. “It seems we cannot scan the surface from this distance. I want to get a report from Engineering before we proceed.”
"Aye sir," said Mindo.
Crewman Tiffany Crismore looked up from her screen on the center multi-access console, known as the pool table.
"Brad," she said to Ensign Keselowsky, "I have the calibrations we need for the satellites but...how good is your Klingon?"
"On a scale of 1 to 10. 1 being Mindy's opinion of me and 10 being...he looked to Tiffany...10 being your opinion of me," he thought but a second, "I would have to say somewhere around my father's opinion of me. Probably a 5. No 6. Yeah, right around there. 6.5 maybe. 7 tops. It's good. Above OK for sure." He gave up and decided to look at the schematics. "Let's just find out for sure shall we."
Tiffany calculated in her head her opinion of him as a ten, then decided to calculate what she thought Brad thought was her opinion of him and then dialed it back a little.
"OK," she said after a second. "That's good enough. I'll need your help."
“Sure thang babe,” Keselowsky said as he looked over the schematics displayed on his terminal. “It looks like these satellites are all independently operated…were independently operated. Perhaps a cascading command can be sent to one that will filter to all the others. Taken that we can get power to these things.” Brad looked up at Tiffany, seeing an irritated look about her. “I’m sorry. What do you need from me?”
"Well so far, you're right on track, but what I really need is help configuring the universal translator to this dialect, and for that I need someone who speaks Klingon. Mindo isn't here, so I need you." She added, "And for the last time, don't call me babe while we're on duty."
"Sure thang ba...um...Yeah. Let's get on this." Keselowsky went to work on the universal translator in regards to the particular dialect of Klingon contained in the source code of the defense satellites. "I am having to account for the programming code as well. Of course, it is not the same as spoken Klingon." He tapped away at his terminal and mumbled things to himself. "This is a bit strange. There are words and phrases here that the computer is telling me," he looked over a few things again to double check, "have not been spoken or used for a long time now. Actually, this dialect was customary to the ridgeless Klingons; the augments.” He looked up to Tiffany then continued working. “That is why the U.T. had trouble at first. Accessing language archives now.”
As the universal translator started working on translating phases and words, he sent the workspace back to Tiffany’s work station. “You should have it now. Do your thang baaaaaeeeeeiiiii…I am going to stop talking now.”
Within a few moments, Mindo turned back to Caradan and reported, "Sir, we have compatibility with the satellites and have already run a few tests. If we can bring them online, I think I could create a negative feedback, using their own satellites, that would jam any sensors they may have and make it harder for them to see us. Then we can get in closer for a more accurate scan."
“Hold that thought Lieutenant,” said Caradan to Mindo as she looked over information on her PADD. Being out of the way, this entire system seem mostly to completely uninhabited.” She dropped her hand by her side and stepped forward closer to the viewscreen. “It can’t be that easy. Mindo,” she spun to the engineering station, “have your team ready to initiate upon my command. If there is anyone in the area, I don’t want to alert them to our capabilities. Erickson,” she turned to Scott, “what is the likelihood that anyone, friend or foe, could be using the forth planet as a staging area or a lookout, anything?”
“Very likely sir. The moon around the planet makes it hard to transport down. It’s in a better tactical area then the rest of the planets. Yet, just fits into class M properties. It has no direct claims to the any houses. The perfect place to hid in Klingon space.” Erickson stated.
"And, just to add..." Reis piped up. "Neutral parties love places like this. I'd bet a weeks holodeck time that we're already being watched by someone, just not closely so far."
“It would not be Klingon Space if we were not being watched.” Caradan thought a second and hoped that Reis was right about neutral parties. ’They may not be friends but they may not be foes either.’
“Lieutenant Mindo,” Caradan spoke up, “I want you to be ready to either take control of or throw those satellites into utter chaos the second they show any sign of operation. Higgins, Erickson, both of you keep your eyes, ears, and sensors open to anything threatening. Helm, set a course for the fourth planet, one quarter impulse. We will maintain Yellow Alert at all times. Engage.”