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Shooting for the Moon

Posted on Tue Apr 14th, 2020 @ 9:49am by Commander Jacob Kane & Lieutenant Kevan Dash & Senior Chief Petty Officer Mason Malone

Mission: In the Family
Location: USS Athena - Ready Room
Timeline: MD-4

Kane pursed his lips as he perused the latest reports from Lt Commander Taeler on the surface. Things were progressing glacially, which in many ways didn't surprise him: these things weren't resolved overnight. With the Ambassador still in a coma and showing no immediate signs of recovery, his only other hand to play was the one that the two officers he was waiting for would be able to give him: some news on the ship they had recovered.

He looked up from the PADD as Lt Dash entered with CPO Malone.

"Gentlemen. Report. And make it good news."

"I think so sir.." Mason was keeping a slight distance from his colleague, almost as if to make a point and there was a certain awkwardness between the two security officers that was easily spotted. "We managed to find the origin of the attacking vessel..." He paused, looking sideways at Kevan, before looking back at the captain and offering the PADD he was holding.

Kane eyed them momentarily. He could tell there was something there. An embarrassment or awkwardness. He'd deal with it later. Taking the PADD in hand he looked it over. "Looks like a good piece of work, gentlemen. Well done." He looked at the data. "Did you track the energy signature yet?"

"Yes sir. We tracked it to one of the moons but that's all the detail we got. Well that, and we think the vessel is of some kind of Paratan origin. Don't we Kev?"

Kevan shot him a look. Calling him 'Kev' in front of the CO was bordering on a breach of rank protocol. "Paratan. Yes." He growled it out.

Kane's eyebrow remained raised. "Paratan craft in a Paratan system. Attacking the Federation Ambassador. Usually that would signify a prelude to war." He lowered the PADD. "We have cause to investigate, I think." He headed for the door, with the two men in tow, and exited onto the bridge.

"Helm, break orbit and set a course for the third moon of Paratus IV. Maximum scans." Kane looked back over at Kevan and Mason. "Any other findings of note?"

Mason nodded. "The scorchmarks on that damaged ship.... they seem to be Paratan," he added slowly, "we checked it several times sir..."

"Paratan," Kane echoed. He considered that for a few moments. This could be some sort of set-up. Perhaps intentional, to put them on the back foot.

"The pilot was, too," Kevan pointed-out.

"I still feel like we're missing something from this picture," Kane remarked, watching as the grey pockmarked moon started to grow closer on the screen. "Paratan damage. Paratan pilot. Anything else?"

"I believe the reports said the pilot was male?" Mason asked, "I find it disturbing that we have a Paratan ship that was shot down, that's bearing marks of Paratan weapons sir...and the trails lead us to a Paratan moon? Isn't this all a little convenient sir?"

"Possibly," Kane nodded. "But worth the risk to investigate. I sincerely doubt the Paratans have anything that can touch a ship this size and well-armed." It was probably a mildly arrogant boast, but an educated one; these people were barely 12 months warp-capable. The chance they would have the capability to challenge a fully-armed Prometheus-class starship was astronomically remote.

"Approaching the third moon now," reported Brewster at the helm. "Think they call it Pavon, locally."

"Sensors?" Kane inquired.

"Faint power readings on the dark side. Reading structures, looks like they're barely a few dozen feet below the surface," came the report from Ops.

"Communications?" Kane asked. There was a brief pause.

"No response to hails, Commander."

Kane stared at the rolling moon below them. In many ways it was reminiscent of Luna, pre-colonization. "Inform Lt. Commander Shan she has the conn," he declared, rising from his seat. "Misters Dash and Malone, if you'll join me in the landing party. We're going to check out those structures."

An excited look crossed the former marine's face. Recon... this ought to be fun. "May I recommend tactical gear sir? We don't know what we're going to find down there."

"That's not protocol." Kevan's back was up as he retorted rather too quickly. Kane noticed the outburst but chose not to address it. Instead he managed to respond more simply.

"Let's not go in all guns blazing, Chief," he explained. "They may well be trouble, but we don't want to be too aggressive in our approach. Besides, we'll have open transporter locks at all times." He was inclined to agree that it was likely to be trouble, of course. But he knew that his own 'shoot first' reputation maybe wouldn't serve him well if things went wrong down there. Best to let the record show that he was at least trying the peaceful option first.

Mason bit his lower lip. "I still recommend taking a phaser," he countered. It went right against his training to go anywhere without at least some form of protection. "Even if it's a small palm phaser, a Type I... I strongly recommend against going unarmed sir... we don't know what we'll find down there, and evidence shows that they do have weapons."

"We're not going unarmed," Kane replied with a little hint of a smirk. "There's a middle ground between going in looking like a marine strike team and arriving with our pants already around our ankles," he explained. "Starfleet usually operates in that middle space, Chief. Standard hand phasers. Normal landing party routine."

Kevan suppressed a little snort at the remark, but said nothing. Best not draw the CO's attention.

Mason on the other hand turned his head at the snort. "Issues with the plan, sir?" he asked formally, "I might be a former marine and used to a little more gear but the captain probably knows best. If he says hand phasers, then hand phasers it is, right?" He shrugged, turning back to the captain. "Normal routine it is sir. Do you ah... need time to prepare or shall we head out."

"I'm ready when you are, Chief," Kane replied, already on his way to the turbolift. "Perhaps you'd like to ask Doctor Reed to join us?"

"I think that might be a good idea sir, to have a medic with us," Mason replied. "I'll swing by sickbay to get him."

SCPO Mason Malone
Investigations Officer
(pnpc Savin)

Lt Kevan Dash
Security Officer
USS Athena
(PNPC Kane)

Commander Jacob Kane
Commanding Officer
USS Athena


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