Shayne looked about the room, the small confines of the space bringing them close together. Arrow was simply not designed for large meetings of this sort, but it would have to do. Most of the senior staff had arrived within the last few minutes. There were COs out there that had placed a high value on speaking casually before the meeting began. Renos had even set out pastries. Shayne still couldn’t think of his last engagement against the Borg without remembering the sickening sweetness of a blueberry scone.
Shayne: Thank you all for coming. There’s a great deal to consider, so let’s begin.
Shayne wasted no time in bringing up a graphic on the screen against the far wall. Upon it was Theta 122, along with a number of sensor readings and a collection of small outlines upon the two-dimensional image representing the numerous ships in their vicinity.
Shayne: This is our situation as of now. As you can see, a few ships are capable of making planetfall, and have done so near the emergency settlement.
He pressed a button to zoom in on the image, and the planet disappeared, replaced with a tight window on a collection of tents and shelters that had been established as quickly as was feasible. Some yardage away, a haphazard collection of small craft had landed, and what Shayne prayed were their crews had already begun to offload the most critical of their supplies. To the bottom right corner of the image was the edge of Atlas Base, it’s perimeter quiet and seemingly resigned.
Shayne: Most, however…
Shayne pressed another button, and the image zoomed back out to encompass the planet once more.
Shayne: ...remain in orbit, doing their best not to get in each other’s way. So far, this has been generally successful.
It was shocking to Shayne how small the vast space around the planet really was when dozens of ships were crammed into it without much planning or guidance.
Shayne: Lieutenant Nakada has been working with the engineering team to prepare a steady source of water filtration. It will not last long without adaptation, but it is better than nothing by a long stretch. As such, among our first priorities will be to get those water filtration systems secured and installed on the planet’s surface. Commander Collins will lead Mr. Nakada, Lieutenant Serinus and Lieutenant DeBarres to the surface. Your goals will be to install the water filtration system, and to keep whatever supportive order you can.
Shayne did not even have to look at Serinus to know that clarification was wise.
Shayne: Allow me to stress the nature of “supportive order”. We are there to assist. We are there to help. Short of life-threatening situations, you are not to interfere unless the interference is wanted. It is crucial that we earn the trust of the colony and these inhabitants. The last thing I want is to bully our way to a tenuous control that we couldn’t maintain or defend anyway.
Shayne pressed another button- he was getting quite good at it- and zoomed out further, to reveal the haphazard assortment of ships buzzing about the planet.
Shayne: Those that aren’t landing, whether because they can’t or won’t, are our next concern. Right now, there’s precisely no legislation or enforceable code to keep these ships from tearing each other to bits for resources and control. Given the histories between many of these worlds, it’s likely it will happen. So! Our next job is to open diplomatic lines to any who are interested, but more specifically, to the Big Six.
The Big Six- a name affectionately bestowed upon the six most likely problems to the flotilla. Warships, pirates, Ferengi… each of the six vessels was powerful, and the goals and strategies of those that commanded them were extremely different. Opening a dialogue might just be key to their survival.
Shayne: To that end, I have sent an invitation to the fleet for every captain to join us aboard Arrow. I have no doubt that many will decline, but we have to try. I will lead the negotiations; Lieutenants Wilde and R’Ariel will remain aboard to assist in facilitating them.
With Serinus down on the surface, Shayne wanted someone who’d worked closely with the man to keep the ship safe. If anything were to happen to the captains and delegates, there would be hell to pay.
Shayne: And finally…
He again zoomed in, and realized that perhaps it wasn’t such a bright idea to give everyone motion sickness. The image coalesced into a more interior view of the planet, but the picture stopped abruptly at a certain depth.
Shayne: Sensors- and our intrepid explorers :: he glanced at Nakada and Wilde:: - have detected unusual readings below the surface that indicate signs of both water and intelligence. I’m hoping we can get a more complete analysis of whatever is down there. Commander Traenor will lead a small expedition to that area, consisting of Lieutenant Waters, and Ensigns Caden and Sival. Are there any questions?
Commander Randal Shayne