Is Anybody Out There

Posted on Wed May 29th, 2019 @ 8:06pm by Commodore Peter Gardner & Captain Melifa Thrall & Captain Senior Grade Lanniefelysa Merefica & Colonel George Krivo & Commander Senior Grade Korrath & Commander Daniel Gardner & Commander Senior Grade Karissa Gardner & Lieutenant Thaddeus Mattix MD & Doctor

Mission: The Soon After
Location: Commanding Officer's Office, Operations, Diogara Station
Timeline: Current

Peter nodded to each of the Senior Officer's as they entered. The informal briefing from the Area Operations Staff was something they held every morning. He could see the look on his former First Officer's face was grave, as was his wife's. The other's looked more stoic, more hardened but something had definitely hit them this morning. "What?" He asked of the room out loud, looking around the room individually before stopping on his wife, who had almost become his de-facto Area XO.

She met his eyes and he immediately recognised the sadness that he could feel emanating from her. She looked down at her pad, input a few commands, before then dragging her finger across the screen to the edge, and flicking it up into the empty space in front of the room. Immediately, a holographic display of a planet in the nearby sector of Nishalla. "Nishala 1, pre-warp civilisation," Peter recalled out loud. He remembered sanctioning several duck blind missions to the planet several years ago. "They took a huge hit by the Borg during.....our recent encounter." She paused for a moment to collect herself." From what we know of the Borg, which I think people were arrogant if they thought they exactly how the Borg operate, they ordinarily would've passed Nishala 1, simply down to their lack of technology. We now understand, the Borg assimilated millions of their population during the recent attack."

She tapped her pad again, shifting the holographic display to images of the planet surface. "This was their cities and infrastructure prior." She narrated, showing pictures of a civilisation matching Earth's 21st century."This is the planet now." The image shifted to several images which made Peter immediately feel sick. Another screen showed listed data which included the current population and how much it had gone in the days after the attack, in their thousands per day and this figure was rising. The data projected that if nothing was done to stop the haemorrhaging of the population quickly, there wouldn't be enough of them to rebuild their population.

"What's happening to cause these kinds of numbers?" Peter asked calmly, attempting to maintain his composure. This was like nothing he had seen before. "Their current situation, I believe at this point, it would be prudent for me to ask our Medical Hologram and Doctor Mattix to join us." She tapped a command on the table between the two chairs where she was sat and the door opened and in walked what appeared to be a Mark 1 EMH, but Peter not only had this Mark 1 been heavily upgraded, he had evolved just like the Voyagers EMH had during there time stranded in the Delta Quadrant. Behind the Doctor, walked in Thaddeus, one of the original Snowdon Medical Officers.

"I trust Captain Merefica has given as much detail as she can, Commodore." Dr Mattix began, but he paused and looked at the holographic Doctor. "The Doctor has spent a great deal more time researching and studying this, so I yield to his greater knowledge at this point."

The Holographic, balding man nodded his thanks before turning his eyes to Peter. "Due to the events that transpired, their infrastructure, their Governments, their policing and medical services have virtually been stopped." He nodded to Lannie, who changed the images, to what looked like an old township to Peter. "They have been forced to live in conditions that haven't been seen in Federation for over 500 years. Due to these conditions, infection control doesn't exist. Our probes have detected vast disease, which mostly we can treat extremely easily but even before the attack, their current medical research wouldn't have enabled them to cure. I won't begin to question the Prime Directive in this case, that isn't my job."

Peter nodded as he listened but when the Doctor paused, he didn't hesitate in asking the obvious question. "Mostly treat, Doctor?" He asked confused.

The Doctor sighed, not that he needed to breathe his programming was designed to facilitate breathing to enable the people he interacted with to feel more comfortable around him. "Our probes have detected a pathogen that we cannot identify. Early indications show it is similar to tuberculosis but nothing we've run in our projections seem to touch it. We've been able to slow it down at this point, but nothing more. They have a matter of weeks before too many of their population will have been killed by his disease for us to stop their extinction." The Doctor finished, realising his last statement was like a cold, harsh slap across many of the people's faces in the room. "And we have received a distress call....of sorts." The Doctor added.

Peter, whose eyes had begun wandering out the viewport, looking for inspiration, snapped back at the Doctor, his eyes narrowing. "A distress call? How have they managed to send a distress call?" He stated, feeling his composure slipping. It was his former XO, Melifa that spoke this time. " We began monitoring their radio traffic, through the low RF frequencies, a precedent for this was set on the Enterprise - D in the Selcundi Drema Sector. Commander Durol spent the last few days working on the Universal Translator, which has managed to formulate the language. There are two people, taking shifts, asking for help from the stars. They go on to say that where there is darkness, there must also be light, to battle the darkness that has swept their world." Melifa stated, attempting to detach herself, but to Peter, he could see she was clearly failing.

"Are they still transmitting?" Peter asked, addressing his question at Melifa, but it was Lannie who nodded after a quick glance at her PAD. "Patch it through," Peter stated simply but immediately wished he hadn't asked. The fear and desperation in the person's voice was blaring apparent. "Computer, audio off." Immediately the audio fell silent.

Peter leaned back in his chair, running hands across his face and then across his hair as he thought for a moment. The rest of the room was silent. They knew him well enough now, he needed to collect his thoughts. "Does anyone think that the Prime Directive applies and we shouldn't render our help?" He asked the room.
He was met with silence. He nodded. They were thinking the same as him. The Prime Directive ceased to apply when the Borg interfered in their development and now he knew the duty was beholden on them to ease their transition into this big wide galaxy. "Very well, Colonel Krivo, prepare your Regiment for medical containment procedures. I want a small team to accompany Captain Thrall to the surface when she makes the first contact before the initial mass beam down and restructuring of the camps. Have we had any word from the Farragut?"

"They are a few hours out." Korrath said, speaking for the first time " They are not in the same direction as Nishala." Korrath added, guessing what Peter's thoughts were. Peter nodded. "I want the Excelsior's repairs to be complete by tomorrow morning at the latest, Captain." He said to Melifa. "Take what resources and personnel you need, heck, if you need me to I'll get my hands dirty. The Farragut is bringing with them Commander Jauwak, this is right up his street, he will accompany you. I know the Excelsior is short-handed, Captain. Commander Kahla, Lieutenant Mellark, the Doctor and Doctor Mattix are at your disposal, as are any of the senior staff assembled in this room. I am going to make contact with the person on the other end. Now, let's get to it."

Everyone immediately got to their feet, apart from Peter and exited the office, leaving Peter alone. His thoughts turned to the voice on the receiver. "Computer continue playing audio and establish 2-way contact." After a moment, the computer confirmed it had established the 2-way contact. "My name is Peter Gardner. My team and I have received your message. I am organising help to come to you, it will be with you tomorrow." He said, hoping the universal translator had indeed correctly adjusted to their language.

Peter spent the next several hours, answering questions such as how do you know our language? Are you really from the stars? Who were the monsters that attacked them? How can they trust him? Amongst hundreds of others, but Peter know what could really help his team that was getting ready to assist these people, was that they were prepared for their arrival, otherwise, it would take even longer to secure the sites and work with the people on a cure.