Welcome to Star Trek Simulation Forum

Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to contribute to this site by submitting your own content or replying to existing content. You'll be able to customize your profile, receive reputation points as a reward for submitting content, while also communicating with other members via your own private inbox, plus much more! This message will be removed once you have signed in.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Hunter Matheson

Fishing in a Fishbowl

Fishing in a Fishbowl

Fishbowl: A small, highly exposed and largely indefensible area.

When you’ve been staring blankly at a tactical board for a while without realizing it, it’s definitely time for a break. Matheson blinked, shook his head, and pushed off to wander the conference room and massage the back of his neck while he stared into space to get his brain back.

The conference room table was more than ordinary. Well, it looked ordinary during meetings, but the touch of a button converted it to a Generation VII Integrated Command and Control table (G7ICC, or Gen7), a giant computer touch-screen, a completely integrated tactical marvel used by the top echelon of Starfleet’s Special Operations Command tier one teams. One click and you had an integrated Command, Control, and Intelligence/Information environment used to support operations of any genre for maneuvers or all-out war. Think of old time tactical planners with their paper maps spread out on a big table, and dotted with small model ships, tanks, guns, and you-name-it, and you get the idea. Except it’s all computerized. Matheson had everything he needed and then some—for most missions. Problem is, this mission didn't fall into the category of most. It was more into the category of deadly mission creep, meaning that a mission had drifted way off course, and the mission and the team were struggling to survive. Or so we’re told. If the team wasn’t in danger, it wouldn’t be a “rescue” mission, right?

Anyway, Matheson was struggling with Hawthorne’s directive to review the reports. He didn't exactly fit into the category of top echelon. Sure, he served in SPECOPS, but he’s a gunnery sergeant. His experience was limited to working with a team, not planning a mission, and definitely not pulling a compromised team out of harm’s way—unless it involved going in, swooping down in his Special Operations Shuttle Craft (SOSC), guns blazing, clearing the way for a Quick Reaction Force (QRF) insertion and rescue. He’d never, ever planned or commanded a mission. Kind of a big difference there. But the skipper said he “was better trained than most of the crew for this sort of thing”, and you just don’t say no to the skipper.

Pausing at the view port, Matheson blew out a breath, trying to clear his head.

“So what do we have?” he said, thinking aloud. “We got Atrian IV buried in hostile territory. We’re talking Jem’Hadar, and anyone else that’d like to take out the Federation. The planet’s frozen. Or at least the surface is frozen. The latest intel on the planet is six months old, so we’re really flying blind there. We have no idea what the mission was. Ex Oh says we have the team’s files, so that’s a plus. And we know the handler. Or they know the handler. How do we locate them? Biotags?

“And the planet? It’s a class R, meaning that it’s a rogue that got knocked out of one system and wandered for a while until it got trapped by a belching star. And it’s in a super weird orbit. And the planet has a powerful magnetic... field....”

Crossing his arms, Matheson half-turned and stared at the table. Several colored dots indicated the team’s and handler’s last known locations. Squirly lines showed reported movements until 6 months ago when reports stopped coming in.

The team never made contact with each other. That was a good sign. Covert Ops doesn’t exactly lend itself to group maneuvers. Staying apart insured that if one went down, the others didn’t—the purpose of SCI. And their handler, a local, seemed to be on the down-low. Good sign. But how did they get those reports out, given the power of that magnetic field?

“Computer, what’s the likelihood that the magnetic field is artificial?”

“There is a 63% probability that the magnetic field of Atrian IV is artificial,” it responded.

“Huh.” Dropping his arms, he approached the table and braced against its outer rim. “Why is that?”

“The magnetic field fluctuates at intervals coinciding with high energy particles emitted from the planet’s star, specifically during the planet’s orbital perihelion. The magnetic field does not match the configuration of naturally-occurring fields.”

So… if the field is artificial, there must be.... “Computer, give me the most likely location for a field generator.”

“Insufficient data.”

“Okay, then,” he sighed. He was back to square one, it was report time, and he still hadn’t addressed the other concerns that gnawed at his gut, like the mine drilling in 2372—the same year the Founders began the Federation-Klingon War. And the sitreps stopped when Camelot came online?

Matheson slipped his report onto a PADD and blanked the Gen7. Did he have something? Maybe. Maybe not.

Edited by Hunter Matheson

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0