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Pushing Against the Dark Waves

Posted on Wed Jul 6th, 2022 @ 1:31am by 2nd Lieutenant Christian Rogers & Petty Officer 2nd Class Corvus Hannah [Rogers]
Edited on on Fri Jul 22nd, 2022 @ 3:02pm

Mission: Mission 1: A New World
Location: Pioneer Shuttle "Darling"
Timeline: After "Private Broadcast"

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Hannah looked up as the door to the shuttle opened. The space inside was already overcrowded with him, Baldwin and Kawolksi and several computer system squints from Ops being sent over to go through the Malon freighter's systems to see what could be found there. With the radiation levels aboard the freighter being what they were, they had to take the shuttle instead of transporting over.

Further, Warren - despite the error that led to the broadcasting of that unfortunate bit of conversation - still ordered that they use their old generation armor and not the new Mark Vs that they were issued just before departure from the Alpha Quadrant. Even Rogers was ordered to switch out. Warren explained the Mark Vs were using bioneural circuitry and the radiation was adversely affecting the suit systems. The Mark IVs still used the old fashioned isolinear processes and were less susceptible to the radiation. Baldwin and Kawolski were just finishing up changing into their armor as the door opened. Both men stood and turned to the door.

"Join the others," Rogers told the last Ops squint as he squeezed onto the shuttle. This systems specialist wore EVO suits like the three other squints. They had no training and no reason to be in combat armor and Hannah knew on that basis Rogers would never authorize their use of it. But Hannah felt the anger radiating off his CO as he glanced at his teammates, his dark eyes burning as he saw them.

"You'd better be ready by the few minutes it takes us to get there," Rogers said to them. "Hannah, you're with me up front."

"Sir," Baldwin said - he was typically the pilot, or at least co-pilot, in these cases.

Rogers stopped, the wave of anger flowing off him again. Unfortunately for him, not growing up in Betazoid society he had never fully learned to control his emotional output. When emotions were strong enough, he still broadcast no matter how much he tried to keep a clamp on it. Rogers took a step forward, glaring at his subordinate. "Do. You. Really. Want. To. Push. It. Now?" His words were staccato like gunshots.

Baldwin gave Kowalski a glance before shaking his head. "No, Lieutenant."

"You're out of uniform and not prepared for your assignment, fix it now," Rogers said as he turned and made his way to the pilot's chair.

Hannah sighed and then stood to follow his CO. He clapped Baldwin on the back, armored hand against armored shoulder, as he passed. Neither said anything but the sentiments were exchanged nonetheless. He slid, as quiet as he could, into the other chair and checked off the pre-flight systems. Rogers didn't say another word as he engaged the shuttle's systems and flew the short distance between the Pioneer and Malon freighter.

"Baldwin, you and Kowalski's first task is to secure that evidence you said you found earlier. it's considered a crime scene now and I'm sure the Benthan Guard would appreciate a professional job done there. Record the scene, mark the evidence before you move anything. The rest of you, we want a full download of the Malon's computer and information. We may not have time to go through it all now but we want to secure it as evidence. Everything. I wouldn't want a judge to toss it out because the Malon argued we cherry picked what we wanted. Petty Officer Hannah will be going around doing exposure level checks. He'll innoculate and treat as necessary. If you are too exposed, he'll order you back to the shuttle. He carries my full force and authority in this matter. Defy him even once and you will see how I am without my cherub-like demeanor. Any questions?"

Two of the squints hesitantly rose their hands. Rogers tossed the baseball to the one on the right at random, then watched as it hit the chest of the EVO suit and then bounce to the floor and slowly roll back toward him. Hannah stooped to pick up the ball and walked it to the squint. He explained the system of being able to talk in a Roger's briefing, ignoring the confused, horrified and...in at least one case...entitled expressions on the faces of the Ops crew.

But the one took the ball and looked at it for a few seconds before she spoke. "We may not have enough data storage for a full computer dump."

"You throw the ball to the next to indicate they want to speak," Hannah coached. "In this case, the Lieutenant wants to answer."

Rogers caught the awkwardly tossed ball. "Can you replicate the systems you need here on the shuttle?" He tossed it back for the answer.

"The replicators will need to draw more power than usual if I have to switch it to industrial replication status. That'll affect internal systems. Life support, inertial dampeners, lights, even shields and speed when we return." She tossed the ball, a slightly better toss, back to Rogers.

"Do it if you need to. We're all in sealed EVO suits so life support won't be necessary, the distance we need to travel to get back aboard the ship isn't that great and we can use the passenger restraints as necessary. Speed and shields won't be a priority either."

"What if we're attacked again?" one of the others said from the back.

"That's twenty for the first warning," Rogers spit at the offender.

"He means pushups," Kowalski leaned in to whisper to the Ops crewman who spoke out of turn. The crewman glared at Kowalski. "Like he said before," Kowalski answered the unspoken rant, "do you really want to push him now?"

"Twenty?" the crewman said, after glancing at Rogers again.

"Take your time," Kowalski advised.

"Anything esle?" Rogers asked after he retrieved his ball. "No? Good, Baldwin open the airlock and you all have your orders. Get to it."

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