Journal Entry from LTjg Sarki Karjala, Stardate: -311163.82
I am now stationed aboard the USS Sparta as the Navigation Officer. The USS Sparta is a fast cruiser stationed on the far side of the Bajoran Wormhole to map out the Gamma Quadrant. Our first encounter on this side was not too newsworthy and my involvement was minimal, I would nonexistent. My involvement on our latest contact, however, had a very auspicious start. I had the bridge watch and completely missed what would amount to a distress signal from a merchant ship. Though I would later argue that it never should have been a distress signal in the first place.
Regardless, one of Lieutenant Eve Loren’s Mission Operators on watch with me, picked up a distress signal from a Federation registered merchant vessel, the SS Mars Maersk. Seems the third officer of the Mars Maersk reported that his Commanding Officer and First Officer had beamed down to a planet’s surface and never returned. The third officer correctly reported that he thought unwise to beam himself or any others to the planet’s surface. Really?! Now that is command thinking. However, under the normal criteria for a distress signal, such as the ship is facing eminent destruction, I didn’t see the reason for the Mars Maersk to send a distress call.
In accordance with the proper protocols for distress signal handling, I set the Sparta’s course to the assist the Mars Maersk, requested more identifiable information regarding the Mars Maersk, and notified the Captain. The CO for the Sparta is a bald middle-aged human named Walker Boh. Apparently, he has issues with Cardassians, which is probably why we are stationed in the Gamma Quadrant. Though I am thereby fortunate enough to get some work in Stellar Cartography I probably wouldn’t be exposed to in the Alpha Quadrant. The first officer is Commander Adrian Donnelly, a B’Arbequan by birth, though raised within the Federation. Rumor onboard says he some kind of Prince or royalty by birth in B’Arbequa and that the Command Master Chief, a Jack O'Neil, is somehow tied to the commander. Don’t have all the details on their relationship yet. To boot, CDR Donnelly was laid up with some medical condition on his eyes. According to Dr. Fox, the CMO, some B’Arbequans have hypersensitive eyesight.
Back to the more important things at hand, contact with the SS Mars Maersk. That ship was commanded by a Human and the first officer is a Bolian, neither of their names was I able to commit to memory. The ship itself was in orbit around a minimal Class M planet with three natural satellites and a population of around 1.5 billion. Scans indicated that it was a manufacturing planet with a humanoid population. These humanoids had nose pleating, not unlike a Bajoran’s, and a ridge running down the spine areas. There were no other Class M planets in the system and no additional settlements. No warp signatures were detected in system, other than that of the Mars Maersk, and no other indication of advanced space travel. One of the moons did have what turned out to be remnants of an abandoned Dominion base, capable of supporting around three of those Jem'Hadar attack ships.
The planet is called Kurlin and was under the rule of a President Semack, it would turn out the race was fairly militant and President was used loosely. Turns out that the Captain and First Officer of the Mars Maersk had visited the President in the planet’s capital city of Tarpi. When LT Loren established contact the planetary government through an Assistant Minister of Special Affairs named Carek. This Carek indicated that the Mars Maersk Captain and First Officer were indeed visiting with the President and others on a guided tour. Because they were touring facilities deep underground, they would be out of communications for hours – at best. This became apparent to the crew and command staff that the Minister was making excuses and possibly buying time.
Upon reaching standard orbit, sciences and mission operations were able to determine that the normal crew of the Mars Maersk was down to 64 from its standard compliment of 70. During the Captain’s almost threaten conversations with Minister Carek, we scanned and attempted to maintain contact with the Mars Maersk. Apparently LT Loren was spending time to locate President Semack and the Mars Maersk’s CO and #1. Somewhere in this time frame she managed to intercept a message between the planet’s president and a General Zog. The message indicated that something significant should happen within ten minutes, unfortunately by the time the message was decrypted it appeared that time had almost elapsed. Captain Boh ordered red alert.
My scans of the area indicated that there was erratic movement by the Mars Maersk. The ship had been taken over by unknown aggressors, the life form count nearly doubled aboard the merchant. Thank goodness the CO called GQ. Back to, LT Loren, she managed to break into the conversation between President Semack and this General Zog. An impatient dialogue transpired between Boh and Semack followed by some hand gesture and non-verbal communication that signaled beaming President Semack aboard. The CMC evidently has a background with the Rapid Response teams, so immediately following the takeover of the Mars Maersk he was dispatched to setup an away team – presumably to find the Mars Maersk’s CO and XO and now to board the taken vessel. Regardless, this put the Chief in the transporter room when the President in all probability arrived surprised the Chief. Must say that Mission Ops did an interesting job of tracing the telecommunications and used that connection for the transporter – guy got sucked right through his phone!
Chief O’Neil’s team escorted the President to the brig and secured him. Hearsay indicated that President Semack was searched and treated as a prisoner to the point the Chief took Semack’s weapon (of course), belt, shoes and all his personal belongings. Captain Boh ordered the vessel to close on the Mars Maersk and tractor it out of transporter range. With some difficulty and the expert assistance of the CHENG, a Susan Grant, we managed to execute the orders fairly well. Once we reached safe range, the Captain went to speak with the President. The scandalmongers say he was looking for a few buckets of water, a wood plank, and some towels. Don’t know why, but that was the chatter. I remained on the bridge, so I wouldn’t know. The OPS Boss, a CDR Brauerhaus, seemed to advise the Captain well and, for lack of a better adjective, strongly. They might not have been in total agreement and I believe it was handle well at the command level.
After some time with President Semack, the Captain managed to negotiate the release of the Mars Maerk’s crew and setup a meeting so the merchants could iron out some type of trade deal with the planet Kurlin. Brauerhaus seemed to want to minimize the Federation exposure here and the Captain wanted to let the merchants’ broker a deal. Personally, when all said and done, the merchants forked over three Shuttles and access to the abandoned Dominion Base and god knows what else. On our departure from the system, we did survey the base, with negative results, but I still think it wasn’t the best idea. I am under the impression neither did Brauerhaus or CHENG Grant – but heck, we’re not in charge.
Well we got out of there without any loss of life or damage to Federation property. For my first time exposure to the command structure in full operational status, I can say there seems to be some differences in opinions. They do seem to be handled well enough by the CO, XO and OPS, but I am not sure of the Captain’s insistence that the CHEG, a female mind you, appears almost ‘keep’ down in Engineering. LT Loren is a female, though only a LT, and the Captain clearly looks at her differently than the CHENG. He might have issues with the opposite sex as well as Cardassians.
The only other issue I currently am at odds with is the Captain’s propensity to yell the ships name. Not like yelling USS Sparta, more like yelling over the Comms – “This is SPARTA”. Guess we’ll all have to get use to that.
I hear the horses thunder
Down in the valley below.
I'm waitin' for the angels of Avalon,
Waitin' for the eastern glow.
Last edited by LukeDev75 on Sat Jan 26, 2019 10:48 pm; edited 1 time in total