Ghosts (Mission)

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Ghosts
Season:

Season 4

Episode:

20

Date:

January 8, 2390

Template:Mission

The shakedown cruise brings the Black Hawk to a nebula where it can test the improvements on the sensors. When the lifeless hull of a Federation starship is detected inside, Captain Geisler orders the Black Hawk to enter and investigate.

Summary

Two days have passed since the Black Hawk's ill-fated drills. Not only has the crew been unable to answer the questions why, but tensions between many of the senior officers continue to grow. Lieutenant Commander Di Pasquale, Lieutenant Parker, and Lieutenant Akorem begin their diagnostics and investigation into HASA Their diagnostics only cause additional frustrations when their experiments destabilize its holographic matrix. Meanwhile, various oddities still occur throughout the ship, ranging from rolling power outages on Deck 13, to replicators producing mass quantities of tapioca pudding, and even to an EPS relay transforming itself into a metaphasic radiation generator and exposing several gelpacks to it. Holodeck 1 also began to experience several oddities with the computer being unresponsive and generating programs that did not match the users' requests.

Most of the repairs to the ship are completed, and the Black Hawk once again gets underway, traveling at warp to the next waypoint on Lieutenant McCullen's course, a nebula located between the Karemma system and T-Rogoran space. Shortly before arrival, the tensions between the senior staff go on full display on the bridge. Doctor. Jennin arrives and demands to speak with the Captain for not answering his messages in a timely manner. He is subsequently invited by Captain Geisler into the office to air his greivance. Commander Di Pasquale and Counselor Tivan discuss the recompense of the broken bottle before Tivan asks why she has been forbidden from using HASA. Days before, following the drills, HASA had been placed on restricted access and would be available only to a diagnostic team and the Captain. Tivan, unsatisfied with this answer, enters the Ready Room without permission, forcing the Captain to push her out until his other meeting is complete. During the experience, the Captain and the new Chief Medical Officer establish an understanding of each other and begin to form a bond over Bolian whiskey. Captain Geisler meets with Tivan, who is concerned that HASA is developing sentience and asks that she be granted access to HASA for study. Her request is denied based on lack of proper evidence to back her theories. Tivan acknowledged Geisler's decision, all the while not accepting the Captain's reasoning.

The Black Hawk arrives at the nebula and begins its sensor sweep. Commander Djinx, manning the sensors, begins to make tweaks to the pallets, weighing their upgrades against other modifications that need to be made. In doing so, he spots a metallic object deep in the nebula. Commander Walsh orders the ship to enter the nebula. A few minutes later, the arrived at the object that Djinx detected and discovers that it is the Saber-class USS Shran, lifeless, listing, and seemingly abandoned. Intelligence Officer Geisler checks the records and reports that the Shran has been missing since May 2388, right at the start of the Consortium Crisis. An Away Team is dispatched to board the Shran and learn what happened to the crew and the ship. Djinx and McCullen are ordered to take a runabout and survey the Shran's exterior, to use their visual scanning against the Black Hawk's sensors to determine the true success of the upgrades.

The Squadron's Alpha Flight is dispatched to assume a patrol formation around the Black Hawk and the Shran whilst in the nebula. Initially, the patrol remains quiet. The Flight Operations Center is paid a visit by HASA, who had reactivated itself and assumed the form of a bikini-clad Brazilian supermodel, and informs the Flight Ops crew that every launched Gryphon was experiencing a variance in the matter/antimatter reaction of their warp cores. HASA, without orders, remotely initiates a Level One diagnostic, effectively disabling each fighter's warp drive. Environmental controls malfunction in the Flight Ops Center, and the temperature quickly begins to rise. The crew is unable to restore environmental control, prompting the center's immediate evacuation. As soon as the room was devoid of life, HASA rematerialized as a golem and begins to assume control of the center. Alpha Flight, having lost all power thanks to the Level One diagnostic, are towed back to the Flight Deck by Bravo Flight.

With the teams dispatched, Captain Geisler settles back into the bridge and the command chair. Systems begin to malfunction minutes later as the replicator produces items other than what was requested. The environmental controls also go on the fritz, drastically turning down the temperature, pushing the bridge well below freezing. Captain Geisler and the bridge crew escape before the various hatches freeze shut. A few minutes following the evacuation, life support on the bridge returns to normal. HASA materializes as a golem and begins to interface and study the ship's command functions. Elsewhere aboard the ship, malfunctions continue to run rampant. An engineering detail determines that these malfunctions are all connected to the computer and begin emergency efforts to take unaffected systems into manual mode while constructing new controllers that can operate independently of the computer.

Djinx and McCullen, along with Chief De Vries, aboard the runabout Zambezi, begin to survey the exterior condition of the USS Shran. As the vessel had been adrift for more than a year inside the nebula, the Shran exhibited many examples of corrosion and decay. A massive hull breach is detected near the transporter rooms, and its damage pattern indicated that it had been caused by a detonation from the ship's interior. Several bodies, partially consumed by the nebula, were found floating nearby. Further scans and inspections of the Shran reveal evidence of microfractures and further decay. McCullen calculates that the Shran went dead several hundred thousand kilometers away from the nebula and drifted inside. Both officers agree that there was nothing more to search for and return to the Black Hawk. Upon arrival, De Vries spots a foreign object attached to the ship's port nacelle. Sensor scans immediately reveal this device contains biological components along with explosive compounds.

Captain Geisler and the bridge crew, now commanding the ship from Auxiliary Control, discover that the command lockout on the bridge had been lifted, using Captain Geisler's command codes. The Captain is convinced that a saboteur is on board and summons a security team, led by Lieutenant Fairchild, to retake the bridge. Commander Djinx and Lieutenant McCullen arrive in Auxiliary Control and reveal their findings, and a science officer arrives with knowledge regarding the modified gel packs. News of the Flight Deck also reaches Auxiliary Control. Captain Geisler officially announces the end of the shakedown cruise and divides the team to accomplish the myriad of tasks.

HASA, meanwhile, completes her inventory of the bridge and recent logs, including Tivan's conversation with the Captain. Intrigued by this, HASA decides to introduce itself to the Vulcan Counselor in her quarters. Tivan marvels at HASA's ability to overcome the odds, as well as its new ability to think for itself. She suggests that they help each other overcome their physical shackles and ascend to a higher plane of existence.

Aboard the Shran, the Away Team beams inside the Ready Room due to the bridge having been long exposed to the nebula. The team easily accesses the bridge, finding it filled with nebula gases and floating bodies. A survey reveals that the bridge lacks any power to any of the consoles, as well as the turbolifts. The Away Team splits up, with Commanders Geisler and Di Pasquale heading for the armory, and Commander Walsh and Lieutenants Parker and Ryler bound for Engineering. They quickly discover that the rest of the ship is as just, if not more, eerie than the bridge. Bodies and severed limbs float aplenty and offer no suggestion or clues as to what transpired. Di Pasquale and Geisler arrive at the armory via a series of Jefferies tubes. Two dead crewmen are found inside, both brandishing phaser wounds, though one was missing a head. They immediately discover that the armory had been stripped clean. Not a single phaser, rifle, grenade, or even power cell remained behind. Even the isolinear chips containing the ship and security protocols were absent.

Walsh, Parker, and Ryler arrive in Engineering to find no evidence that power systems remained online, save for a strange green glow emanating from the Chief Engineer's office. Both Di Pasquale and Geisler head in to investigate and discover someone inside, a humanoid who introduces himself as Kelinor. Rather than submit to questions as to why he was there, Kelinor triggers a defense mechanism and beams away. The Away Team continues their investigation and discovers that there are many critical pieces missing, Lieutenant Parker manages to get a computer console online, which Commander Geisler uses to download what she can from the computer core. The Shran's computer, shortly thereafter, announces that the ship has suffered a critical failure and that decompression on all decks was imminent. The Away Team collect their gear and anything worth saving and make haste for the shuttlebay. There, the team find an undamaged shuttle, and use that to return to the Black Hawk.

Meanwhile, Captain Geisler and the remaining bridge crew, start to put some of the pieces together and realize that the sensors are projecting false images. A probe is launched to investigate and use its telemetry to discover the truth, only to reveal that the sensors were masked to hide a starship, which in turn, immediately targets the Shran. The Black Hawk quickly maneuvers to place itself between the Shran and the unknown vessel, which is revealed to be another Saber-Class starship. Communications are established, first revealing a foul-mouthed Orion woman, and then Kelinor, who introduces himself as Etam. He attempts to project a false story that his ship, the DujlIj Hegh, had been hiding in the nebula from local raiders. This story is quickly dismissed as someone aboard the Black Hawk sends the DujlIj Hegh a message and attempts to drop the shields. Kelinor introduces his real self, fires on the Black Hawk, and then cloaks to escape. The bridge crew is unable to penetrate the cloak, and Captain Geisler orders Commander Walsh to meet with him immediately upon his return.

Timeline

This mission is a direct continuation of Mission 19. As such, we begin on Day 3.

Mission Day 3 (January 8, 2390)

Mission Day 4 (January 9, 2390)

USS Black Hawk

USS Shran

OOC Information

Mission 20 will began on June 1, 2020. Since then, 24 posts have been published.

External Information

Complete Mission Logs for Episode 20: Ghosts

MISSIONS OF THE USS BLACK HAWK
SEASON 1 0: New Voyages1: Echoes2: Pursuit3: Razmena4: Boarded4.5: Repairs5: Answers
SEASON 2 6: Rude Awakening7: Outbreak8: Risky Business9: Click Three Times10: Endgame
SEASON 3 11: Shore Leave12: The Finnean Crisis13: Crossing Over14: The Search Begins
15: Fractured16: The Kalisa Conundrum17: Truth and Justice18: Epilogue
SEASON 4 19: Sentience20: Ghosts