((Interior. U.S.S. Arrow, Deck 1. Bridge.))
Quentin Collins absolutely loathed waiting.
His hands drummed nervously over the haptics station of Science 1 as he awaited the Computer to finish it's compilations. Turns out, for largely banned and heinously destructive weaponry, Starfleet had had quite a few run-ins with metagenic weaponry.
Add to that about a hundred mentions across the Federation News Service and about a couple of dozen other independent reports from the Outer Rim and Delta Quadrant, it all added up to a shocking amount of gigabytes. All of which seemed to be filtering through an Xindi-Insectoid tube-wyrm's pace. Quentin rubbed his eyes heavily from behind his equally heavy glasses. Having pushed them up a touch on his forehead in order to allow his fingertips to dig into the corners of his eyes.
As he finished blinking the fresh tears the act brought, he allowed himself a single look at the Science 1 main screen. 43% Complete. Had the Bridge not been alight with activity and Security drill prep (led naturally by their hyper-vigilant Chief Serinus), he would have screamed.
Thankfully a new face in the Science side of the Bridge kept him grounded for the moment. As the new arrival, wearing the proud lustery Yellow of Engineering approached him. Quentin turned in his seat to the slightly skittish Ensign and tried to not look like he was about to vibrate out of his skin in computational frustration.
Dewitt: I am sorry to disturb you, Sir, but I am going to need a map of
Quentin felt his eyebrow instinctively cocking. That seemed...a trifle basic. Surely it couldn't have been that simple. Plus...
Collins: I believe the Admiral's briefing data-pack had a spatial map of the area, Ensign. Was there something in particular you needed a closer look at?
The Ensign took a slight beat and enlightened Quentin.
Dewitt: When we want to contact Mercia IV without the Sheliak noticing,
we might have to bounce over a few relay stations and ships in the
sector. Which brings me to my second request: We are going to need a
live map of fleet movements to pull this off.
Quentin opened his mouth to say something...but then snapped it shut as his mind caught up with his mouth. That was...actually rather inspired. Not only did it keep their relative position from the Sheliak fleet somewhat obscured, but it would likely also allow them to pick up some errant chatter from the fleet itself and maybe even nearby listening installations tied into the Mercia array!
Quentin stood quickly, holding a directing finger up toward the new arrival, hopefully telegraphing him to follow. Quentin was going to do him one better. At least, he hoped so. He pulled up the Admiral's data-pack from the thankfully cleared OPS station, hardcoding the map interlay of the Mercia sector space across the terminal's main display.
He threw his eyes over his shoulder to the still close standing Ensign.
Collins: Mister...Dewitt, was it?
Collins: Lovely to meet you, Mister Dewitt, but I will see your map and raise you...
His hands danced, in a sort of haphazard, but purposeful manner across the OPS station, gathering a light, but steadily thrumming positron pulse from the ship's deflector dish. A low-yield strain on the already surely tasked Warp Core, but one what would give this Mister Dewitt all he had asked for and just a little bit more.
With a two-four time snap of his fingers, he deployed the positron pulse and started to etch into the system it's steadily increasing output algorithm. Acting as like a constantly updating weather radar map of old. The closer they got to Mercia, the more they would "see". And should the Sheliak fleet make any sudden or shifted heading movements, Dewitt would be able to see it all.
He turned, proudly to Dewitt, allowing him now full range and access to the station.
Collins: The Galactic Arrow Weather Service! Just keep an eye on the scopes (and maybe check my work a bit?) and you should see all you need to. This was a GREAT thought, Mister Dewitt. Gold star to the Engine Room.
He turned again to the next new voice. Jacin Ayemet, standing with a look on her face like she needed to say something. Quentin approached, crossing his arms tightly.
Collins: Leftenant, please tell us something good.
Quentin could feel the mood headed for a downturn, but Quentin, both as a "superior" and peer to his current ragtag assembly, would never allow anyone around him to despair.
He would tell himself it was for them, but really it was for himself. If he allowed himself to dip then all his momentum would be lost. All that worrying and waiting would be for nothing. And he wasn't about to give his own darkened self-image or the galactic war criminals they now pursuited would win the day.
oO Not as long as I'M breathing...Oo he swore silently.
Collins: Hey, chin up, you lot. We know more than we did an hour ago and that's always something. We don't have much time left, but we have enough to learn even more. That's how we are going to win this. By being SMARTER. By being BETTER. Who's smarter, who's better than Starfleet, eh?!
Quentin's blood pounded in his ears. He hadn't realized he had drummed his fist against the Center Railing in concert with his words. But what he fully realized is that he believed every word he had just said.
Now it was time to see how much they believed it too.
Any Bridge: RESPONSE
Quentin Collins III
Chief Science Officer
U.S.S. ARROW NCC-69829