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The Missing Piece

Posted on Thu Jun 11th, 2020 @ 4:56pm by Lieutenant Eza Bergen PhD & Commander Temerant Bast

Mission: Shadows
Location: XO's Office

Eza rubbed a hand over his face, his stubble was a day or two longer than he would have normally allowed it to be, but given he was getting an average of four or five hours of sleep a night he was too tired to deal with it right now. He skimmed the report for the final time ensuring there were no errors or ommissions. Satisfied he pressed the chimed to the XOs office and waited.

Bast sat at his desk, sipping his fourth Rak'tajino of the day (and ignoring the warning signs coming from the symbiont regarding that fact and the heartburn it might cause) when he heard the door chime.

"Come in," he called out.

"Good morning Sir. I think it's morning still anyway." The Trill scientist said as he crossed the room and handed a PADD to the XO. "This is our final report from the relief efforts the department was taking the lead on. Project updates and what not so that the relief teams know where to start."

"It has to be morning somewhere," replied Bast, taking the data PaDD that Bergen offered, and waving him to a seat. "So what's the damage? Is the New Hope going to be in over her head?"

"She'll be better off than we were." Bergen replied, "To be blunt, we had half the people and a quarter of the supplies we needed to even be rendering the aid we were in the capital. The crew did an incredible amount of work given the sitution. Once major concern is xirdalium. It's a mineral required for their technology to function, it appears to be a design choice to incorporate it, given the Dominion I'm not surprised, it's sort of like a mechnical ketracel white, the Dominion supplies it and it's key in every major technology used by the Skakoron, most notablely their power generation. There's no source of it in the system and long range scans haven't been able to detect it anywhere in the sector. I have astometrics searching for it."

Bast wiped a hand across his face in exhaustion and exhaled loudly. "We should let the New Hope deal with this..." he mused. "They won't have time to deal with this... They'll have their hands full helping them rebuild their society from the ground up..." He put down the data PaDD and looked at Bergen. "Try searching the Federation Mineralogy Database, see if you can find any trace of this... xirdalium."

"Already did, I was hoping there would be a nice big chunk of it somewhere easy. Three records of chemically similar minerals. One is deep in Romulan space, so inaccessible plus a helluva long supply run. The second is on a planet currently in year 93 of a civil war. The third was a long range scan from a DSO. The deep space observatory flagged it as an interesting avenue of further study, but it's on the edge of Dominion space. Starfleet felt the interest wasn't worth the risk. I have a team working on a synethic alternative but it's so far provided nothing, given the Dominon long game we're used to I'm sure it's next to if not impossible to synthezize."

"I think that's a safe assumption," agreed Bast. "How long can the Stakorons last without the thing?"

"About three months, maybe five if they ration." Eza replied.

"And years to convert their power systems to a deuterium power source," muttered Bast. "The Dominion sure knew how to enforce loyalty. All right, good work, Eza. I'll take it up with the Captain, and pass that information along."

He set the data PaDD down on the table and stretched his arms. "We might have a few days of R&R on Opaka Outpost. Got any plans?"

"Sleep." The younger Trill replied with a smirk. "Other than that, no I don't think so. What about you sir?"

"Pretty much the same," agreed Bast. Though, truth be told, given the report he had just seen, the likelihood of R&R was decreasing by the second - once Starfleet got a hold of this, they were sure to dispatch a ship to that nebula to scrape for xirdalium. And, given their availability and familiarity with the Stakoron, the Sentinel was the perfect candidate for the job.

"We're probably getting sent to that nebula aren't we?" Eza asked.

"I think that'd be a safe bet," agreed Bast. "Though you never know... Maybe a dozen new ships made it through the wormhole in the last couple of weeks, and are just sitting around Opaka Outpost, ready to be sent over to that nebula..." His tone made it clear that he was being sarcastic.

"I'd be surprised if Starfleet even has a dozen ships anywhere in the fleet just sitting around waiting to be deployed." Eza replied.

"You never know," countered Temerant. "Cautious optimism..."

Bast got up from behind the desk and picked up the data PaDD. "I need to take this to the captain. Good work, now get some rest."

"Thank you, Sir. There's also a list of crew from my department that I singled out for their work." The Science Chief said getting to his feet.

"Of course," said Bast. "I'll go over it later this week. Several other departments have also submitted their lists of commendations."

"Thank you, Sir." Eza said before heading out the door and straight to his quarters.


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