Cash On Delivery (Starbase 118 )
|StarBase 118 Ops|
With all of the stress of the previous missions behind them, the crew of Starbase 118 was able to relax into their normal duties. Of course on SB118, this meant that they only had to deal with a corps of reporters who wanted to know all that had happened recently. Some of whom went above and beyond literally, as they slipped into secure areas to find a tooth from the dragon-like creatures encountered previously. Delia Ailed, the reporter in question, met with another reporter Mr. Jiph to share that information. Newly promoted Captain Walker went down to speak to them, looking to arrange a face to face between them and the Captain. Things didn't go as well as they might have, Walker answering the questions honestly, but not fully... and the reporters recognizing the game and being more deliberate in their questions. A telling question about the people lost and injured ended the game, with Walker sharing the information on a later interview with the Captain. Looking for more open responses, Ailed met with Commander Breeman. Going so far as to claim she was there to walk his dog, then use that to speak to him. Still hurting from the losses on the ship, he shared far more openly the situation.
Meanwhile, the freighter "Astrolabe" docked and requested emergency repairs. The medicine they are carrying "Vitali 7" a medical substance that if fresh can be of great use to combat a romulan epidemic. And if expired, becomes a hallucinagenic drug worth quite a bit on the black market. While the freighter's crew leaves, the station's engineering crew finds that the ship itself was held together by luck and baling wire.. and the baling wire just snapped. A faulty sensor allowed an explosion to occur on the ship, thankfully not wounding anyone but knocking loose some of the Vitali 7. Something that appears to have expired!
And rounding out the chaos, and showing up with perfect timing, a Romulan fleet large enough to threaten the station has arrived and demands the release of the medicine.
A romulan fleet outside, reporters getting into everything, a freighter being repaired then exploding. Unfortunately, someone in the crew thought "At least it can't get worse". Murphy, like an evil Q, does not like to be tempted.
Some of the crew, investigating the Astrolabe to help survivors and determine the reason behind the explosion, were exposed to the expired drug. Combined with multiple secondary explosions, sickbay was busy. At the same time, the Astrolabe's First Officer and crew met outside the ship to discuss mutiny. Ensign Mandany Rose, one of the station's counselors, tried to keep things calm. Unfortunately, things escalated when Commander Klart, the freighter's first officer, inspired the freighter's crew to mutiny. This did not go over well with Captain Mimgar, the Captain of the freighter. Klart appeared to panic, and called out that the Captain deliberately allowed the medicine to expire. Mimgar... reacted poorly, taking Ensign MGia hostage until he could talk to Captain Nicholotti. They met, and MGia was injured as she knocked the freighter captain out.
Just prior to this, Lieutenant Silveira "rescued" Captain Walker from sickbay, doing an immediate transport to the Hub. Unfortunately, while Walker was mostly recovered from the exposure, Silveira had a cracked cranium which was causing him to switch between languages uncontrollably. Doctor MacLaren, realizing that both MGia and Silveira were flight risks, told each of them that the other needed to be watched...keeping them both safe. Something even more critical with the realization that MGia was pregnant. A fact that only she and her doctor now know.
Returning to the Hub, Captain Nicholotti setup a meeting with one of the reporters on the station, who focused his conversation on Anya. Unwilling and unable to go beyond the statement that she was her sister, the reporter warned that the truth could only be kept away for so long. Sending the reporter on his way, the briefing began. The astrolabe was looked at as sabotage, potentially Romulan... but unfortunately unproven. The question of why the Romulan fleet has given so much time, and has remained uncloaked. And most importantly, how the romulan epidemic can be stopped. The crew rushes off to find answers, while the Captain tries to convince Starfleet of the importance of the act.. and to provide more ships to see it through.
As the situation evolved, the crew of Ops was able to discern the reasons behind the Astrolabe's "visit". The Captain of the Astrolabe had wished to harm both the Cardassians, and the Romulans who had "profitted" from the liberation of Benzar. The Romulans he'd pay back by providing outdated, and therefore ineffective medicine. Stealing their hope away at the most cruel of moments. This story was shared, not only with the Ops crew, but also with the reporters still on station.
At the same time, Captain Nicholotti began working with Headquarters to provide medical assistance to the Romulans, something she was surprised to note her First Officer initially opposed. Captain Walker felt an almost immediate sense of karma as he was notified soon after of his romulan step-mother and step-sister's presence on one of the affected worlds. Realizing the closer connection to the crew, as well as the potential for the epidemic to jump species with a half-human romulan hybrid involved, the crew amped up their efforts to determine what could be done, and make themselves invaluable to any rescue efforts. Captain Nicholotti went so far as to have a private summit with the Romulan Commodore who'd parked her fleet outside the base. Their discussion determined that the plague was affecting multiple worlds. Realizing that the Federation ships would have to go deep into Romulan space, Ael'Riov Arrenhe i-Mnaeha t'Llweii volunteered to guard those ships with her fleet, even to the point of firing on other Romulan ships if necessary. Realizing the crew's Leave was more likely to be ended than simply delayed as initially believed, the crew was ordered to take the night off, before things escalated further.
Taking advantage of the brief pause, Commander's Orman and MacKenna professed their love to each other, making plain what each had felt for the other for some time. Meanwhile in another section of the station, Lieutenant Silveira was given two surprises. The first that he was soon to be a father with Ensign MGia, equally shocking for him was the news that he was going to be married not to one Andorian woman, but two as Thalla MGia, Ensign MGia's cousin, would also carry the child.