Cmdr. Shayne: Of Mice And Omega

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Quinn Friedl

Apr 6, 2021, 1:17:43 AM4/6/21
((Deck 3, Main Engineering, USS Arrow)) 
He had spent his whole life preparing for this- the moment of indecision, of terror, and of doubt. He had faced his studies and challenges with this day in mind, because he knew that Starfleet, in its infinite flexibility and intelligence and diversity, would always find an answer. It wouldn’t be pleasant, it wouldn’t be easy, but it would be possible, made so by the decision to pursue an answer until everything else fell away. 
And now that it was here, Commander Randal Shayne was stricken. 
A second passed, and then two, and the crew about him started to notice. Engineering staff looked about their locked consoles in mystified dismay. He couldn’t blame them. This was not something they were ever meant to see. Hell, even Shayne knew of it only as a formality, a matter of necessary propriety for command of the Arrow. He knew something of the proper procedure now, dictated by the omegas blossoming on screens across the ship, but actually moving would acknowledge the threat, and Shayne simply wasn’t prepared to accept the burden of that horror just yet. 

Could the sensors have glitched? Of course. Could there be some external explanation? Maybe Alvarez was up to her old tricks? But in his heart, he knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that the inexplicable on the planet’s surface, and the impossible here on the ship had to be related. 

They couldn’t leave. Couldn’t run, even with their tails tucked between their legs. And it wouldn’t matter at all even if were to embrace his inner coward for a moment. Such was the nature of the threat they faced- all-encompassing. All-consuming. 

And right now, they were the one chance this sector had to stopping a disaster it would never recover from. 

Shayne: Don’t touch anything. Stand away from your stations and wait for my orders. 
R’Ariel/Serinus/Dran: Response 
He turned to them, and did not negotiate with his fear. He toppled it ruthlessly, and his eyes locked onto theirs. 
Shayne: I can’t go into details yet; I’m sorry. For now, let’s get the bridge. Ambassador, you too. 
His tone was harsh- harsher, perhaps, than it had a right to be, but after all, he was contemplating the death of billions. 
((Deck 1, Bridge, USS Arrow))
Somehow, the quiet turbolift ride gave Shayne something approaching forlorn hope. Maybe this was a dream. Perhaps he was simply going mad and when they arrived on the bridge, they’d find nothing wrong at all. He’d be considered mentally insane, but that was a small price to pay when considering the alternative. 

The doors opened, and revealed no such luck. Just like in engineering, every control surface and screen was obstinately displaying the same damning omega, colored like a ghost’s tepid flesh and spelling horror for them all. Without hesitation, Shayne stepped behind the first officer’s console and proceeded to input his relevant command code using the one access screen available to him. 
Waters/Alvarez/Caden: Response 
Dran/Serinus/R’Ariel: Response 
After a moment, the omegas disappeared, and were replaced by the common sensor and control interfaces. They once again had command of their vessel. Now it was a matter of what to do with it. 

Shayne: Your attention please. You will be kept abreast of relevant information as it becomes available and necessary to share. Lieutenant Waters, move us into a wider orbit above Venthis and bring onboard a component of debris that shows zero- and I do mean zero- energy output. Ensign Caden, Ensign Alvarez- begin constructing a quantum-static resonance chamber, and lock its feedback inducer at 1.68 terahertz. Computer! Release schematics for Omega resonance chamber, authorization Shayne Delta Iota 446. 
Computer: =/\= Level 9 Security Lockout disengaged. All other files remain protected. =/\=

Shayne waited only long enough to hear the responses from his officers. 

Caden/Alvarez/Waters: Response 
Shayne: Mr. Serinus, condition green. You have the bridge. Ambassador Dran, Counselor R’Ariel, you’re with me. 
The cryptic code was derived from an older, more specific meaning. In the old days, the term “condition green” was meant to signify trouble during an away mission that the interim starship commander should be made aware of, but should not interfere in for fear of costing greater life. In essence, Shayne wanted Serinus to prepare for any reasonable eventuality- dangerous retrieval of the teams on the surface, strike mission, defense of the ship, and more. It was ridiculous to place the man under even greater stress, but right now, Shayne really had not the slightest idea of what would happen next. All he understood was that any of the above, and much more, might become necessary at the drop of a hat. 
Serinus/Dran/R’Ariel: Response 
As Shayne moved swiftly toward the ready room, he waited only long enough for the pair to follow him and the doors to close behind him. 

Shayne: Computer, seal the doors to this room. No one gets in or out without my authorization. 
Computer: =/\=Acknowledged. Doors sealed. =/\=

The thought of trapping a foreign dignitary in the same room as a highly distressed commanding officer was not appealing- hence R’Ariel’s presence. The counselor was incredibly skilled, but even she couldn’t dampen the danger they all faced. 
Shayne: Access secured data file Omega-1, authorization Shayne Delta Iota 446, Clearance Level 10.  
Technically speaking, he shouldn’t have even provided the code on the bridge, but he was well passed worrying about that now. 
Computer: =/\= Error; security credentials insufficient to access Level 10 Protected Memory Storage. 

Shayne grated his teeth in fury, but he did not let it show beyond that. 

Shayne: Computer, I am the commanding officer of this starship. Priority Command Override. Accept current credentials. 
The computer chewed for a moment, and then bleeped happily. 
Computer: =/\= Confirmed. Sensors have detected the Omega phenomenon within 400 kilometers of this vessel. Implement the Omega Directive immediately. All other priorities have been rescinded. =/\=
Shayne: Display sensor data. 
The computer screen blipped, and showed the planet Venthis proudly. One one of these landmasses, a singular ping appeared, slowly bleeding outward into external territories. Shayne swiveled his computer on its desk, and allowed Dran and R’Ariel to see it. 
Shayne: Before anything else- Lieutenant, this is a direct order. You are to keep all that you see and hear in this room in complete confidentiality until I or another or more highly ranked officer rescind this order. Understood? 

R’Ariel: Response 

Shayne nodded once, then focused on the younger (and probably more bewildered) Dran. 
Shayne: Ambassador…
The commander leaned forward and pressed another button. This time, a geometric figure, seemingly composed of many smaller spheres that wrapped together, took center stage. 
Shayne: ...would you say this looks similar to your planet’s miracle? 
Dran/R’Ariel: Response 
Commander Randal Shayne 
Commanding Officer
USS Arrow
NCC 69829

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