The final act is wrapping up when a priority message comes in for the captain from the bridge. Giving everyone a friendly thumbs up, Captain Atawhai leaves The Battering Ram and enters the turbolift. We zoom in on her face, which shifts from happy to instantly concerned as the screen fades to black.
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We return to a scene of the USS Migizi flying at warp speeds, stars blurring in the background.
“Captain’s Log, Stardate 21.876.2. We have received a pair of distress calls, the first from Xerxes IV, an uninhabited Class M planet containing no sentient life except for a Federation science team. The distress signal offers us no additional information, except that the team is in incredible danger. To make matters even worse, a massive ion storm is tearing through this sector and has damaged the USS Sedentary Mallard, a Constellation-class ship transporting vital supplies. We are the only ship close enough to handle both crises.”
We swing the camera towards the bridge of the Migizi, a sense of tension thick enough to feed to a targ filling the air, white knuckles hovering over consoles and controls.
“Captain,” Ensign H’tak turns over her shoulder, “the Mallard is drifting deeper into the storm.”
“Options, people!” Atawhai snaps, her hands gripping the arms of the chair.
“We could follow her in, nab her in a tractor beam, and begin emergency repairs as we try to drag us both out of the storm,” suggests Commander Vega, rubbing his neatly trimmed beard.
“May I remind the captain that we still have people on Xerxes IV that we need to help,” responds the chief of security, stone-eyed Lt. Cmdr Westmark. “I suggest we send a shuttle to the planet.”
“A shuttle? In this ion storm?” Atawhai scoffs.
“The ion storm’s magnitude is directly proportional with the cross-sectional radius of the starship flying through it,” Ensign Suratt says, one Vulcan eyebrow delicately raised. “A shuttle should be able to navigate the short distance relatively safely.”
“Fine! Dr. Simpson, report to the shuttle bay! We’re sending you to Xerxes IV on a rescue mission. I’m sending Lt. Cmdr Zin to assist you… Westmark, who do you trust to keep them safe?”
“Considering how little we know? Torlent is our best bet. I’ve yet to see him flinch at anything the universe has sent us.”
“Perfect. Let’s round out the rescue party, in case it takes longer than expected for us to assist the Mallard… Lt. Cee has degrees in astrophysics, trauma surgery, and xenobiology. Should be able to figure out what’s going on. And an engineer… Cmdr. Wilcomen, can you spare an engineer for the Xerxes mission?”
“Ah, captain,” comes Wilcomen’s distinctive singsong response, “I’m going to need every hand we have to keep the shields up and the warp core stable… hmm? What’s that, Keli’i?.. good point. Captain, I’m sending Lt. Cmdr Keli’i to assist. His terminal shorted out, and they won’t do me much good here.”
“I think that’s as good a team as anyone could hope for. Simpson, Keli’i, Zin, Torlent, and Cee, grab whatever you think is necessary and get down to the planet as quickly as possible! We’ll be back for you as soon as we rescue the Mallard, but use your judgement to evacuate or stay, as you see fit.”
(OOG: A’ight, here we go! Let me know if anyone wants to do anything special to prep for the mission. The information about Xerxes IV in the LCARS is basically “Mostly Harmless,” but I’m happy to fill in any information if you’re looking for specifics that may be buried in the database or previous long-distance scans or whatever. Remember to narrate what you want your character to do, and pick the Attribute + Discipline you want to use.)
(Additionally, the shuttle will need 2 people at the controls: One at Conn, and one at Ops. Usually, the characters that have the highest Conn are the pilots, and that would be Torlent flying and Keli’i on Ops as the highest engineering, but I’m happy to adjust if anyone else has requests or suggestions. Or if you have ideas to help the shuttle navigate the storm… you’ll only be in it for about ten minutes at warp, and then another few minutes to reach the planet surface)
(It is currently August 9th at 10:35pm local time, EST, and I’ll give y’all 24 hours to ask questions or make suggestions or requests before we fling the Shuttle Kidinnu into the ion storm… approximately)