Previous Next

Setting up the Search Shop

Posted on Tue Feb 13th, 2024 @ 8:32pm by Ambassador Natsuko Akayama [ADMIN NPC] & Captain Garrett Lovejoy [ Taylor] & Kyle Cragen [Reece] & Lieutenant Clara Lawson

Mission: Back Home
Location: Milky Way Galaxy, Alpha Quadrant, Galaxy Station
Timeline: (Two months after Elysium vanished)
3019 words - 6 OF Standard Post Measure

As the USS Avenger approached the massive Starbase, Kyle finished packing his things. Once done, he placed the bags in the required spot in his quarters, then notified the transporter room. In seconds, his bags were beamed away into a transport buffer, to await their final destination on Galaxy Station.

That done, he slipped on his suit jacket (Natsuko had suggested that he travel in civilian clothes, to ease any tensions with the crew) and left his quarters. As he did so, his pair of security escorts fell into step with him. The Captain of the Avenger had insisted on the constant escort, in exchange for not locking Cragen in the brig. To his credit, Kyle had been a model traveler, keeping either to himself or spending time with Natsuko, and not causing any issues at all during the two week trip from Earth.

A few moments after leaving his tiny cabin, Cragen and his escort had arrived outside the door to the opulent Ambassadorial suite that Natsuko was currently using. One of his guards reached up and pressed the door chime.

The door opened and Natsuko exited the cabin with a brisk nod at the guards and then she greeted Kyle with a polite smile. "Did you sleep well Mr Cragen?"

Kyle bowed respectfully to the beautiful Ambassador. "Yatta yo, arigatō." Since the day he had met Natsuko, he had been learning the language that she first spoke. While they he'd started to become closer, over the past several months, he had started to feel drawn to her. Unlike most of his past relationships, however, he wanted to do things correctly. He would never dishonor this woman.

Smiling Natsuko turned to her security detail. "To the transporter room I believe. Lets not keep Captain Lovejoy waiting."

On Galaxy Station, Captain Garrett Lovejoy stood waiting for the Ambassador to transport over. Garrett was no longer the stiff pain in the ass that he was when he had been one of Commodore Mountbatten's aides. He had undergone a remarkable transformation. Due in no small part to Samantha being returned from the mirror universe. Rescued by the crew of the Elysium. He was still a capable leader, but he had learned how to relax when necessary and to even joke on occasion. Now he waited for the Ambassador and a special advisor to transport over it was all very hush hush. He understood the need for secrets, but it didn't mean he liked it and he did not like this. Still, he would be a good host and listen to what the Ambassador proposed.

A few beats later, the transport operator received a comm message. "They're ready to Bram over, Sir."

Garrett nodded, "Thank you Chief. Let's not keep them waiting. Bring them over."

The young Bolian nodded once, then worked her console. Immediately afterwards, the familiar sound of a transpot cycle filled the chamber. Then, two forms started to coalesce.

When the cycle finished, Ambassador Natsuko Akayama stood on the right pad. To her left, dressed in a subdued business suit, stood Kyle Cragen.

As the figures materialized on the station's transporter pads. Garrett's eyes narrowed slightly as he took in the figure of Kyle Cragen. He had never met the man but knew about him and his associate Michael Bishop from Josie's debriefing as well as the information from Starfleet's files and various government files.

The Ambassador stepped forward briskly. "Captain Lovejoy. A pleasure" She held out her hand to him.

Garrett took the offered hand and shook. "Ambassador. It is good to meet you as well. Welcome to Galaxy Station." His eyes moved to Kyle. "Mr. Cragen, welcome." He greeted the man respectfully.

Natsuko smiled and shook Lovejoy's hand "Thank you captain."

Following Natsuko's lead, Kyle steppes forward and offered his hand to the Captain. "Captain, Garrett, I have heard many good things about you, Sir. As I stated to the Captain of Avenger, I know I don't deserve any kindness from you or your staff, or a I asking for any. I am working towards mending the wrongs I caused. While on your Station, I will not give you, or anyone else here, any troubles. If you would be more comfortable with me staying in your brig when I am not actively working on finding the Elysium, I will not resist in any way, Sir."

Garrett shook Kyle's offered hand. He chuckled when Kyle mentioned he had heard good things about him. "I don't know about that Mr. Cragen but thank you none the less. As you are here with the Ambassador, and she seems satisfied with your word. I see no reason to alter your current arrangement. You and the Ambassador will be assigned guest quarters. So, no stay in the brig."

Kyle dipped his head respectfully as he replied. "I will ensure your faith is not tested, Sir." He then took in a breath and let it out with obvious concern. "Now, with respects, I'd like to get to work right away on the findings that both your crew, and the two runabouts we sent out, collected."

Natsuko nodded. "Have they returned Captain?" she asked curiously.

"Of course, Mr. Cragen." Garrett replied as he prepared to address the ambassador. "They have just returned Ambassador. The data they collected has been downloaded and we can view it in the station's situation room. If you will both follow me, we can get right to work."

Kyle nodded. It was clear that he was anxious to begin the investigation. Not that he could be blamed, as three of the most important people in his life were on the Elysium, somewhere out in the cosmos. While he didn't say anything, not even to Natsuko, not yet...he knew that they were still alive. As he had not felt their deaths, but instead a simple blankness where their energies had been before, in his mind, he believed they were still alive.

"Lead on Captain" Natsuko said calmly.

Before they could follow, though, a slender brunette in intelligence grey appeared and waited for Lovejoy to acknowledge her. Lieutenant Clara Lawson, had been assigned to Galaxy Station after the events of the Black Watch. Her gaze narrowed at Cragen and it was clear she did not approve of this situation.

Kyle paused and respectfully dipped his head. The look of regret was clear in his eyes and face. "Lieutenant Lawson. It is agreeable to see you again. I know we do not have a good past, however, as I have already told your commanding officer, I am not here to cause any trouble. In fact, I am working very hard to attempt to right the wrongs of my past. I hope I am able to prove that to you while I am here." There was honest sincerity in his words. "If you remember, I did give my oath as an El Aurian, to my granddaughter, Kara, to change my ways. That oath is still in effect."

Clara sniffed disdainfully. She looked at Garrett. "Captain Lovejoy. Our latest sensor data and intelligence along the Romulan boarder." She held out the PADD she carried. "They seem to be missing a ship as well."

"Thank you, Clara." Garrett replied as he watched the exchange between Cragen and Clara. There was certainly no love lost on Clara's part towards Cragen. He looked at the PaDD before addressing the Ambassador and Kyle. "A Romulan warbird has gone missing in the same area the Elysium was in."

Natsuko frowned. "They must have been shadowing the Elysium on the other side of the Neutral zone." She looked at the intelligence officer. "No intelligence that they took the Elysium and this is fake out."

"No." Came the reply from Clara. "No such intel not even around the people who took the then Captain and executive officer prisoner over 2 years ago."

"Good work Clara. Keep monitoring all Romulan channels both official and unofficial for anything that might be a clue to where the Elysium and her crew might be." Garret replied.

"Of course Captain." Clara replied. "I will keep updating you. We have also locked down that section of the deck next to the hanger bay as you asked and have secured it as per the Ambassador's specifications." Thus said, Clara turned and with another disdainful look at Cragen she swept away.

If Cragen was uncomfortable by the treatment he was receiving, it didn't show on his face. He knew it would be a difficult journey back into the light. However, he would not falter, nor would he feel any animosity towards those whom he had wronged and were now expressing their displeasure with his presence.

Garrett turned back to the ambassador and Cragen. he didn't apologize for Clara's attitude toward the man. Cragen had destroyed many lives. he and Miichael Bishop both had. Garrett applauded the man's desire to make amends but didn't know if he would be successful.

Natsuko took a breath. "Lead on Captain. Lets get this search started."

"Certainly Ambassador. If you will both follow me. We'll go to the conference room where we can discuss the information we have and make a plan for searching, finding the Elysium."

Kyle held out his left elbow to Natsuko out of respect, silently offering to be her personal escort.

She linked her hand through his arm. "I just hope we can find enough clues to do more than search" she said softly. "That ship has had its trials and more than once it has survived events it should not have."

Kyle nodded as they continued to follow Captain Lovejoy. "The crew is one of the best I have ever seen. If they are whole somewhere, then I am certain they are doing well.'

Garrett looked over his shoulder at hearing Cragen's comment. "I could not agree more. Mr. Cragen."

"How many people have you assigned to this task Captain?" Natsuko asked as they followed him.

Garrett stopped to face Natsuko and Cragen. "Twelve currently Ambassador. there are others I can pulls from Strategic Ops if we turn something up." Garrett replied.

"A good number" Natsuko said calmly.

Kyle listened intently to everything that was being said. He was desperate to find out what happened to Josie and Kara.

Natsuko considered the situation. "What is the current feeling about the search Captain?"

They had just reached the conference room, so Garrett withheld a reply until they had entered. Once inside he turned and looked at Natsuko and Kyle. "The crew is cautiously optimistic Ambassador. They realize the magnitude and severity of their actions and are leaving no stone unturned as they look for something, anything that will lead us to the Elysium."

At that moment, the doors on the opposite side of the room opened, and a pair of young officers, clearly both related to each other and xBs, though the woman was more heavily modified.

"Captain," the woman spoke as they approached the trio. "We have started to compile the information that the scouts collected. With your permission, we can display and work on the raw data here?"

Garrett smiled at the pair. "Of course, 2 an excellent idea." Garrett replied as he turned to Natsuko and Kyle. "Ambassador, Mr. Cragen allow me to introduce 2 of 7, and her brother 4 of 7. They have been leading the search for the Elysium."

Natsuko inclined her head. "Hello. I am glad to see Captain Lovejoy has got the best for this task."

Four looked over to the ambassador and he seemed to consider her for a few beats. Then, he replied. "Your vote of confidence is appreciated, Ambassador Natsuko Akayama, however, it is possibly an incorrect assessment of our abilities. Records do not indicate this type of incident ever having occured before. Therefore the claim that we are the best for this task could be seen as presumptuous."

His sister placed her real gad on his arm, quieting him instantly. "What my brother is trying to say, Ma'am, is thank you. However, we have more than just the desire to find the Elysium and return her and her crew safely home. Our Godmother, Lieutenant Rin, is a member of the crew. She is also the only family that we have left, aside from each other. So, we are doubly determined to ascertain the location of the USS Elysium and her crew."

Natsuko nodded, and said "And what have you discovered so far?"

Two turned to the briefing table and typed in a few commands into the computer interface. Suddenly, a hologram of the region of space being investigated came into view over the center of the table. "Thus far, thankfully, no debris has been found. However, there is an an unusual amount of raw cosmic energy residual in the area. We are still attempting to ascertain the source."

Kyle stepped closer to the table, his brow burrowing slightly as he examined the moving image. "Can you show me a history of how the energy was moving in that area?" He pointed to a spot towards the center of the image.

"Yes, Sir." Four replied as he typed in a series of commands, both enlarging and enhancing the section in question. "While the feed is sped up to triple, this is how the energy has moved over the past several hours."

Kyle kept looking at the moving image for several seconds, then gasped. "By the Goddesses!" He whispered in shock.

Garrett turned to look at Cragen and his whispered explanation of shock. "Something you wish to share Mr. Cragen?"

Kyle lookedover at Garrett, a look of confusion in his eyes. "You didn't see it?" He then realized his error and closed his eyes, shaking his head slightly as he spoke quietly. "Of course you didn't see it, you're only human."

Turning back to the briefing table, Kyle found an interface and started to type in several commands. When he was done, a twenty second-long section of the video recording starred to play on a loop. The only evidence that anything was occurring, was a bit of space dust kept swirling in the bottom right corner of the image.

Looking back at Garrett, Kyle asked calmly, "How much do you know about my people, Captain?"

Garrett hesitated only a moment before he replied to Kyle's Question. "El-Aurians can manipulate reality through sound. They can also experience limited telepathy and project themselves into the minds of others. Their lives tend to be hundreds of years long. A lot of El-Aurians used their power to act as advisers or confidants, while others became con artists." Garrett looked to Cragen, "How's that?"

Kyle nodded. "Well, that is certainly true. Also, while we are long-lived, we also possess abilities that other species do not. Some of us can see the energy flowing around and through living beings. Some can feel time, and are aware when it is disturbed in any way. Then there are some, like myself, that can see and feel the energy patterns in the universe itself."

Garrett looked at the loop for several seconds before he replied. "I see the raw plasma waves extending ever outward, nothing more Mr. Cragen."

Kyle looked back at the looped feed and pointed. "See? Right there. The dark matter antiprotons are in flux. That only happens when a quantum filament moves by." He typed in a few more commands, and the image changed. The dark emptiness was filled with a swirl of bright colors, the scene awash with violent swirls. There were also two brighter splotches, one larger and more oblong than the other.

Pointing to the image, Kyle continued. "Now, a starship's warp core will attract a quantum filament like a magnet. And once the ship is caught, there is only one of two outcomes possible. One, the ship is destroyed. As there is no debris present, we can tell that that is not what happened."

Tag Any. (And two?)

"Two," he responded with a slight tilt of his head. "If both the ship has powerful enough engines, and the pilot is crazy enough, if they jump to high warp quickly enough, they could slingshot clear of the filament. Unfortunately, depending on close they are caught by the filament, they could sustain major damage." He looked at the scans more. "If I'm not mistaken, it does in fact appear that they managed to achieve escape velocity." He pointed to the streak that seemed to move away from the larger of the two splotches. "If we can determine the direction of that streak, we will determine where the Elysium might have ended up."

Garrett looked at the streak that moved away from the others. He then looked at Cragen, the Ambassador as well as Two and Four. "Well, what are we waiting for? Let's see if we can get some idea where the Elysium is."

Hearing their commanding officer speak, Two looked over at her brother, then nodded. Turning back to the other three, she said aloud, "With respect, Captain, it will take some time to determine that. With your permission, my brother and i will continue to crunch the raw data, then, using the station's main computer and the various deep space telescopes that are in the area, we might be able to start to form an answer for you. Perhaps, we should reconvene here in the morning, zero-nine-hundred?"

"Of course, Two. You and Four take the time you need. If you require more personnel or equipment, it is at your disposal." Garrett replied. He wanted the Elysium found as much as anyone, Failing that, he wanted to know its fate.

Two dipped her head respectfully. "Thank you, Captain. We will strive to have as much information available when next we confir." Behind her, Four was already busy, working with the raw data files. He was creating numerous directories and sorting the information that had been collected, to that point, into more manageable chunks.

"I know you and Four will leave no stone unturned and no avenue unexplored Two." Garrett replied to the female Ex Borg.

~To Be Continued...~


1. Yatto yo, arigatō = I did, thank you


Previous Next


Comments (2)

By Lieutenant Commander Aurelia Taylor on Wed Feb 14th, 2024 @ 4:08am

So I take it the earlier two mission posts about the search will be mentioned or even examined possibly

By Captain Samuel Woolheater on Wed Feb 14th, 2024 @ 5:45am

A nice, enjoyable read. I like the connection back to Galaxy Station. And I like the lil' ol' clues left behind.

And it's a nice ass symmetry that the ol' 2, 4 of 7 (Rin's dear ones) have made a return and are aiding in the search. We do appreciate it when internal references are then mirrored in later postage.

We look forward to the next installment of this bit of the story.