Episode 1.1: Sidetracked - Communications
Episode 1.1: Sidetracked
Location: Captain's Ready Room, USS Aeon
Timeline: Follows Battlestations
Estrad walked quickly into his ready room, moving behind his desk and activating his monitor in one motion, before sitting down to study it. Tapping a few buttons, he passed a request through the system to activate the non-subspace transmission system, that of radio waves. An older medium than the subspace communication that they used today, it was still functioning despite the communications blackout caused by the signal interference.
A few seconds passed as Lyra processed his request from the bridge, diverted power to the radio antenna, and rerouted controls to his console.
The computer authorised his use, and he opened communications frequency. "This is Captain Estrad Dagan to the USS Sarragut. Come in Sarragut."
Silence pervaded his hail, but he waited. It was going to take a few seconds to reach them, and a few more for them to respond.
In fact, it was a full minute later before his console beeped with an incoming reply.
"Captain Dagan, this is Captain Kerensky of the Sarragut. Reading you loud and clear."
"Captain! A pleasure to hear you again," Estrad replied, before activating visual. A few seconds passed and he saw Kerensky appear on the screen.
"A pleasure indeed," Kerensky replied, "Although it appears our battle is going to be postponed, Captain. I am not sure how long this transmission is going to last, but if we can't get the simulation started today then our battle will end in a draw. Was this your doing?"
Estrad laughed. "I don't think so," he grinned, before becoming serious again. "Although I do feel that we should postpone our battle until we get instructions from Starfleet on our course of action."
Kerensky nodded, thoughtfully. "Agreed," she replied. "I suspect-"
Estrad's badge beeped. "Ops to Captain Dagan. The signal has stopped sir," Lyra's voice came over the comm.
"Thank you, Ensign. Recall all shuttlecraft and end the combat simulation. Also, see if you can get Starfleet Command on subspace."
"Yes sir," Lyra replied. "Will do."
"Very good. Dagan out," Estrad ended the quick comms chat and glanced back at the screen to see Kerenesky involved in similar conversations. A few seconds past before she turned her attention back.
"So, Captain, I guess we should await communication from headquarters before we make any assumptions," Kerensky mused.
"Agreed," Estrad nodded as he mimicked Kerensky's reply from earlier. "I'm in the process of contacting them now. I'll keep you posted."
"Very good, Captain. I'm sure we'll speak soon," Kerensky nodded once, leaned forward and deactivated the transmission. Estrad sat staring at the blank screen for a few seconds, slightly bemused by the sudden lack of the Sarragut's Captain, before standing and moving to the nearby window to think.
Staring out, he watched as the shuttles who were minutes ago in the middle of a simulated battle between two giant hulks of metal made their way back towards their respective vessels. The Aeon's shuttles, first tiny specks, slowly grew in size until they travelled over his viewing port towards the rear of the vessel, and the entrance to the shuttlebay.
The silence of space followed. Estrad looked out, allowing himself to contemplate the possibility of what would happen when, if, the signal returned. The ability to suppress communications, if prolonged, could cripple the Federation; such an event would would make it almost impossible to coordinate Starfleet's fleet of ships. It would also mean that events that happened across the sector would not be heard about, dealt with, or managed for a considerable length of time.
That could not be allowed to happen.
Estrad was brought back to reality with a start when his comm badge beeped. "Ops to Captain Dagan. You have an incoming communique from Starfleet Command, sir."
"Patch it through," Estrad replied, making his way quickly back to his desk and sitting down with a bump. Activating his viewscreen, he was presented with the face of an Admiral he didn't recognise. Black hair, equally dark eyes and a stern expression, the Admiral looked in his late fifties.
"Captain Dagan, I'm Admiral Merth."
"Admiral," Estrad replied, "thank you for answering my communique so quickly. I presume Starfleet received the same signal as we did?"
"Indeed we did, Captain," Merth acknowledged. "And by comparing the times of the start of the signal with other stations across the Federation, we've managed to pinpoint the coordinates. As the closest available ship we have, we want you to investigate."
Estrad nodded. "Of course, Admiral. Will the Sarragut be joining us?" Having the Sarragut along could be useful if the situation turned hostile, and they were obviously as close as the Aeon was now.
"No Captain, the Sarragut will not; they are due elsewhere. If you encounter any hostile reaction from whomever sent this signal that you are unable to deal with, you are to withdraw to Starbase 40 and alert Starfleet Command immediately. We'll take it from there."
"Yes, sir," Estrad nodded, eager to get started.
"Very good, Captain." Merth smiled, though his smile didn't quite reach his eyes. It looked tired, weary. "Keep us updated. Merth out."
The Admiral leaned forward and cut the communications link. Estrad leaned back, ran a hand through his hair, before getting up to return to the bridge to organise their departure.
Captain Estrad Dagan
Ensign Lyra Sapescal (NPC)
Chief Operations Officer