Starfleet Command

Previous Next

JL | VAdm Scholtz-Archer, Com Levine, Atarah | Beacon

Posted on 241709.28 @ 11:00pm by Admiral Sabine Scholtz-Archer & Danielle Atarah

Mission: Reconciliation & Reconstruction [Fleet Plot]

"Straighten your shirt, will you? You look like you just climbed out of the sewers." Andrea Levine shook her head at her companion, sighing. "You're not in the sewers these days, are you?"

"Only when I'm hungry," Danielle Atarah, who didn't think she dressed that badly outside of uniforms, smirked back at her former Captain and friend. "Relax, boss. Seriously, one of the best things about being a civilian is not worry about how pressed and shiny my clothes are."

Andrea scoffed, amused, "I didn't expect shiny or pressed. Start with 'organized.' At least in front of an Admiral. With... this sort of news," she casually tilted the PADD she was holding. Dani looked at it with a smile.

"Aww, are you nervous?"

"I'm not nervous, Dani. I'm..." she appraised the woman in front of her and shook her head, "you remember you're here as my friend, right? Not as... you know... whatever... your new title... thingie... is."

Dani grinned. "Overlord of crime, Earth, LTD?"

Andrea grimaced and stepped onto the transporter pad, sighing. "The news you and I found is too important to waste on this... game you're playing right now. Let's just make sure we get through this meeting without anyone..."

Dani chuckled and joined her friend on the transporter pad. "Don't worry, boss. I have no intentions of getting myself in trouble with the head of the entire quadrant. I'm stupid," she smirked, winking at Andrea, who shook her head with a surrendering smile, "but I'm not that stupid."

Andrea took a breath and nodded at the transporter technician. She was about to be transported from Starfleet Academy to Starfleet Headquarters. With a piece of news. And a Dani. The day was going great.

"Energize," she asked, and he did.

* * *

Sabine was a wreck. An absolutely unholy wreck. Things were starting to go pear shaped and there was almost nothing she could do to stop it. Sean was gone, run head long towards Cold Station Theta where Fleet Admiral Red was slowly but surely recovering and, of course, where the Vindicator was supposed to have checked in. At least once. And hand't. She sighed heavily, sliding a PADD forcibly away from her and across the desk where it hit, and nearly toppled over, her latest glass of sweet tea. "God damn it." She hissed, drumming her fingers. Aboard that ship were most of the children of the admiralty. Rochelle, James, Colt, Michael, Ra'lin... The names ticked off one by precious one to the point it burned her. Of course it burned her. It should burn her. James was her first and only born child. The loss of him would break her heart into itty bitty smithereens that she'd have no hope of ever recovering and the rest all belonged to close friends and colleagues. Every soul on that ship was irreplaceable, but these were the names that hit home. God damn it, indeed.

The chime of her door caught her attention, and she sighed heavily as if trying to disperse the rash level of panic that was beginning to tighten her chest. It wouldn't go away. The best she could do was hide that level of crazy behind a polite smile and make sure she looked as put together as possible... At least on the outside. "Enter!" She called. It had better be important.

Dani flipped the PADD in her hand like a juggling act, she smiled, about to walk in, but stopped cold. Andrea gave her a deadly look and walked passed, leaning to the woman's ear as she went. "Not everyone is me, Dani. Try to remember that." She went in, and Dani, blinking, walked after her, flipping the PADD once and then stopping again, placing it squarely in her lap as she stood slightly behind her friend and former commander, letting the woman do the talking. For now.

"Admiral," Andrea nodded to Sabine, standing in what Dani found to be an amusingly Starfleety stance. It was amazing how much one notices about the system when one is looking at the system from the outside. "I'm sorry to disturb you, but we have some news you need to hear."

Dani was going to pitch in, but she swallowed her words, nodding pleasantly instead. The news were important enough to be cordial for. And, well... in her mind, at least she was the fucking savior this time. All hail Dani's ingenuity, right? Hell yeah. She smirked, despite herself. Despite the news. Luckily, Adnrea didn't see it, or she'd have slapped the woman upside the head. Hard.

"Commodore Andrea Levine, as I live and breathe, to what do I owe the pleasure?" Sabine greeted the woman warmly as she rose from her seat and cast a questioning glance towards Dani. "I'd ask that you schedule time to seek an audience with me, but something tells me that this is something I need to hear now." Please, dear God in Heaven, let this be something positive, something that brings this damned ship back. rung in the strawberry blonde's head, tolling like a bell as she looked - with hope - from one face to the other.

"We have some news to--," Andrea started, but Dani , unable to hold herself, smiled smartassedly. "We think we know where the Vindicator is."

Andrea opened her mouth to speak, but took a breath, instead, relenting, gesturing at Dani, "Admiral, this is Danielle Atarah, she is a former Starfleet officer, served under both myself and Commodore Ivanova. Earlier this morning she came to me with some news, and... well," she gave Dani a look and sighed. "You should hear this."

"You should," Dani smirked and walked a step forward to be next to Andrea, rather than behind her, giving the Admiral a winning smartass smile. The savior, about to tell how cheating the system saved everyone. This was too good.

"How familiar are you with quantum subspace invariant low band communication, Admiral?"

"Relatively, Ms Atarah. Though somehow I doubt that you're here to give me a lesson in electronics engineering." Sabine motioned for the group of them to head towards the informal seating arrangement closer to the windows. This didn't require the stuffiness of sitting in uncomfortable chairs around her desk, especially not when the whereabouts of a missing vessel, a brand new class, had potentially been uncovered. She cast a quick glance towards Commodore Levine, wondering just how much trust she had in the unseeingly imprudent ruffian she'd pranced into the office, "Have a seat and please, continue on. Finding the Vindicator is one of Starfleet's top priorities at the moment."

Andrea sat, a look of quiet indignation on her face, her eyes on Sabine's, as if to ask 'bear with me here'. She wasn't entirely sure if she would, but she had to give Dani props for this one, and Dani, unsurprisingly in the least, took all the props she was given.

"I could if you want," Dani joked, but cleared her throat and lifted her palm up in the universal sign of "I'll behave" as she walked over and plopped into one of the seats, smiling with satisfaction. "So, right, well, as you know, one of the most powerful properties of an inavriant low-band channels is that they are built for long-range, but they have low bandwidth. The non-subspace non-quantum version was used by ancient humans on Earth to communicate with submarines. It's a pretty cool concept." She ginned, and Andrea cleared her throat. Dani's grin transformed to an excited smirk, instead, a rare display of apology. "But anyways, before the Vindicator left port, I gave Ivanova a quantum subspace invariant low-band communication node. In case she needed to... communicate." outside of normal channels was left unsaid, but Dani's lopsided smile was hint enough.

Andrea cleared her throat again. "The device allows Ivanova to contact Earth from practically anywhere as far as the edge of Federation space."

"Yes, and it is a two-way device, so I could call just as easily as she could me," Dani explained, "So when the Vindicator vanished, I sent a comm request to it. But it didn't respond to my commands, which is incredibly weird."

"Oh..." A hand rose quickly to cover the Admiral's mouth, beginning to tremble as she considered the implications, "So... They're... Gone?" It had to be asked. A mother's worst fear, an Admiral's worst fear - both walked hand in hand like a sucker punch that left her wanting to gasp for breath. Losing it would have to come later, not in front of a member of the Admiralty and certainly not in front of... Whatever Atarah was. What didn't make sense was why the strange former Engineer was bubbling like a cauldron, beaming with pride over potentially devastating news. It made absolutely no sense, and nonsense was one of the few things that drove the Admiral batty. Another pained look was cast towards Levine, thinly sugar coating a demand for answers that her gentle upbringing didn't allow her to simply hop on and bluster on about.

"What? No! why--" Dani started, and Andrea sighed, grunting, her patience running thin. The Commodore raised her arm at Dani, shutting the younger woman up like very few could. "Admiral, the device was meant for communication channel, but it also had a... a somewhat hidden feature," Andrea took the shortest of pauses, and Dani's lopsided smile came back, an expression of satisfied 'win' all over her face. "It transmits an encrypted signal back to its origin every 12 hours." She nodded at the Admiral again, allowing for a small trace of a smile to finally appear on her face. "It's a beacon."

"A beacon!" Dani approved, grinning. "So you see, when the Vindicator vanished and it didn't accept my commands, I went back to the log and looked at the entries." She pulled her PADD from her belt and turned it on, handing it over to the Admiral like a treasured prize. "It's still transmitting. Every 12 hours, like clockwork. Location, ambient temperature, and oxygen levels. The works." She beamed, waiting for the Admiral to acknowledge her brilliance.

"So you stuck a homing device on one of my commanding officers..." Sabine mused out loud, the accusation hanging like a storm cloud. It was obvious now, the rumors about Danielle Atarah were all likely true - but Levine and Ivanova had welcomed her with open arms, kept her sheltered from whatever storm she was about to weather. It took guts to parade into Starfleet Headquarters boasting about such a device and such a detailed bit of information gleaned. In fact, it was a bittersweet blessing. "You, essentially, know where she is at all times... Where the Vindicator is so long as Ivanova is on it or leaves the device behind." The voice lightened as realization dawned and the fairer half of the Admirals named Archer finally took a seat. Dani had been accepted. "So where is she? A Stenellian Ascendancy vessel and the USS Roosevelt both were unable to locate her when running long range scans near her last known coordinates. No one wants to go into the nebula any longer, and that is completely understandable."

"It wasn't really a homing device, it's--" Dani's eyebrows bunched up defensively, but Andrea cut her off. There will be a time and place for questions about security and implications of Danielle Atarah's boundless hutzpah, but this wasn't the time.

"The information from the past two weeks is distinctly garbled, like it was encrypted again but we don't have the key," Andrea gestured at the PADD. "That when Dani came to me." luckily remained unsaid, but understood from the tone. Dani smirked and shrugged.

"It took us a bit, but we figured out the source of the noise," Andrea pulled her own PADD and pressed a button, the information in both PADDs shifted, the numbers and letters changing rapidly as if passing through a decryption algorithm. "It's time shifted. The location in space is accurate, but the band has gone through a time shift." Andrea paused a second, letting the numbers sort themselves out on the screen. "Fifteen thousand years, in fact."

"They're not in the nebular," Dani grinned, "Because there is no nebula. It's still a star." She shrugged, a gesture of "and now you have it", with the smug satisfaction of someone who cheated, got away with it, and was chosen as the winner.

Silence hung over them as Sabine looked between the two faces; the apologetic Commodore and the gloating... Whatever she was. Levine was steeped heavily in science, a woman that was pragmatic and factual in each and every thing she did and accomplished. Atarah was a loose cannon, but held the trust of at least two of Starfleet's brightest stars. The news they bore spoke volumes... The Vindicator, and her crew, were alive at least for the moment - but they were trapped. Trapped thousands upon thousands of years in the past in a system that had, at some point, become unstable and been destroyed... And remained unstable. "So they're, for lack of a better term, existing in the past... Some sort of temporal shift, but you still have a fix on them?" She sighed heavily. There was hope, but it was slim, but still hope that they could escape and return to the present. Escape to home. "How... How do we get them back or is this a hope and pray that Ivanova can pull a rabbit out of her hat moment?"

"If anyone can pull a rabbit out of a hat, it's Ivanova," Dani smirked, "but she might not have to."

"We think," Andrea again interrupted, more to make sure Dani doesn't gloat too much than anything else, "that we might be able to take advantage of the beacon to pinpoint the location of whatever rip in subspace or timespace caused the Vindicator to be pulled back in time. We have a reason to suspect it might still be open, even just a little."

"That's the coolest part so far," Dani grinned, and leaned over to Andrea's PADD, pressing a button. The information on it vanished, replaced by an additional set of data; the information was clearly much weaker, and the numbers weren't exactly synchornized with the other, but the lines and spacial coordinates matched.

"See, what we've been seeing with the original data is the original beacon back 15,000 years, still transmitting, from 15,000 years ago--"

"Which is why it's time shifted," Andrea pitched in. Dani nodded.

"Right. But see these here," she pointed to the second set of coordinate data. "This is a weaker signal. I didn't see it at first because the frequency shifted, like with a doppler effect -- but once I knew what to look for, it was clearly there. This is the beacon's signal too, but this one," Dani smiled widely, gesturing at the PADD as if she just played a winning hand of poker and won the entire jackpot, "this one is the signal that is coming through the subspace rupture." Ta da. She grinned at Sabine, and then at Andrea, and Andrea, despite herself, smiled back, and her smile held some significant measure of pride.

"Now that we know the secondary link exists, we might be able to open a channel," Andrea nodded, smiling. "And even better, we might be able to triangulate the exact position of the subspace rupture and send it to the Vindicator, so Ivanova can use the coordinates to--"

"Pull a rabbit out of a hat," Dani finished, and leaned back in her seat, content with herself.

"It's a chance that we're going to have to take and run with." Sabine nodded, clapping her hands against her lap, "The best place to do this from is going to be the point closest to where the Vindicator is, extra strength from signal to signal... Correct? Like radio waves?" The Admiral rose from her seat, this time allowing herself a strong measure of excitement to wash over her still refined features. Worry muddied the waters of her usually calm eyes, leaving them dark and bleak - but now something greater shone beneath their sapphire surfaces and begged for a chance to come out and play, "Pack your bags, ladies. We're going to Cold Station Theta."

"Yes, closer is probably better to pinpoint the-- wait," Dani's smile faded at the last statement, and even Andrea was impressed at how fast that happened. "I'm sorry, what? Go where now?"

"I'll help you pack, Dani." Andrea smiled, giving the Admiral an amused look.

"What? Wait a minute." Dani protested, her smile more surprise than humor. She looked at the Admiral for a moment, then at Andrea. "That was't the plan. Me going to Starfleet headquarters is one thing, but leaving the sector-- the quadrant?" The smile shifted again to 'you have to be joking'. "I'll give you all the information you need, and I'll be available over comm."

Andrea didn't need to say anything. Her smile, growing with knowing amusement by second, spoke for itself.

"Oh bless your heart, dear, but no. We're going to need you there. You know this... Device... Better than anyone else. I assure you it'll be very safe, the head of Alpha Quadrant Security will accompany us." The Admiral beamed, feeling the lightest of heart that she'd been in well over two weeks. It dimmed slightly at the sight of sheer panic gracing the woman's face but tried to revitalize itself with Levine's obvious mirth. She sighed, heavily. "Danielle... Or may I call you Dani? I wouldn't drag you out into the black unless I absolutely needed you. My son is on that ship. Rochelle's on that ship. Admiral Hawk's son is on that ship, Admiral Sha'mer's daughter as well. I'm not above begging you to help them." Sabine leveled, "It's personal for all of us above and beyond retrieving Starfleet assets and technology."

Dani's eyes narrowed. She thought for a moment, wondering how she'd convince Zett that she was going to out into the void again, and with Starfleet, no less. The fact this ship was commanded by her friend would be a win to the discussion, but Dani also had a feeling Zett would see quite a lot of gain from saving, potentially, a ship that has so many notable people's spawn on it. It wouldn't be a terrible idea to have people owe you a favor.

"Fine. I'll sort my business and come along." Her ship will come too, she knew. Zett wouldn't have it any other way. She glanced at Andrea. Andrea wasn't even attempting to hide her smile. "You don't have to be so amused about this," Dani rolled her eyes.

"I think I do." Andrea chuckled. "After all of this," she grinned, and nodded her thanks at the Admiral. "I think it deserves all the optimistic amusement we can muster."


Vice Admiral Sabine Scholtz-Archer
Alpha Quadrant

Commodore Andrea Levine, PhD
Dean, School of Science
Starfleet Academy

Danielle Atarah


Previous Next