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Needle in a Haystack

Posted on Wed Apr 24th, 2024 @ 10:39pm by Captain Mikoto Misaka & Breeze & Lieutenant Commander Sonak & Commander Eila Juutilainen 'Illu' & Lieutenant James Henderson & Lieutenant Felicie Giehl & Lieutenant JG Kromal Ezazzan & Lieutenant JG Feeva Drylo

1,841 words; about a 9 minute read

Mission: The Search

The Ermiana dropped out of warp on the very edge of one of the many star systems in the Badlands. This was a known spot for Maquis activity and Starfleet Intelligence suspected some sort of base in the area. The system was mainly made up of gas giants each with large moons and an asteroid belt, plenty of places where the Maquis could hide a base.

Misaka leant forward in her chair as she examined the map of the system that was now showing on the viewscreen. Locating a Maquis base could provide them with clues as to the location of the Bismarck, at least that was her thinking.

"Let's get a detailed scan of the system. Look for anything unusual..." she ordered.

"Acknowledged Captain," Sonak replied, carrying out Misaka's orders. "Commencing system scans. There is considerable interference, from an unknown source." The Vulcan turned towards the Captain. "It would apear that there is sensor masking equipment in effect, somewhere in the system."

"Sensor masking..." Misaka pondered. "Can you pinpoint the source?"

"I am attempting to resolve Captain," Sonak replied, returning his attention to his control panel. "I am attempting to isolate, but this may take some time."

"Temporarily diverting power to sensors to boost," remarked Kromal idly from his station, then looking briefly to Sonak he gave a quick nod. "Try another scan now, 'Commander."

"Acknowleged," the Vulcan replied, "repeating the scan." He scanned the system again, with the range and intensity now increased. Again, the readings were not clear. Whatever technology was in use was clearly powerful, and definitely in use to hide something significant. "I still do not have a clear source, however, I can provide you with an approximate heading." He turned to the Captain once more. "Our course should be Heading 048 Mark 014."

"Helm, take us on that heading. Half impulse," Misaka ordered.

"Confirmed, Captain. Heading 048 Mark 014, half impulse," James responded as he tapped the commands into his console and pushed engage.

The Ermiana banked and moved through the system towards the unknown power source.

"Anything?" Misaka asked.

Felicie had taken that moment to come out of the turbolift when the Captain had asked the question. Walking down the rampart, she turned to the main part of the Bridge and handed over the PADD with the final numbers. "Here are the final numbers from the attack," she commented.

"Thank you Doctor," Misaka said as she took the PADD and glanced it over. She let out a sigh, as she placed it on her lap. She would read it properly when she had a moment, but the numbers on it were not appealing at all.

The Ermiana arrived at the co-ordinates to be faced with a lifeless asteroid. "I'm guessing by the looks of it, this isn't a Maquis base?" Misaka asked.

"It is not," Sonak replied. "Commencing full scans, Captain."

Felicie nodded and went back to Sickbay to get staged in case there was another red alert like last time. While she had hoped that there was going to be nothing that would happen, she was not naive enough to actually believe it.


Making it back to Sickbay, Felicie looked around and gathered the senior officers that were there. "We are currently in a possible Maquis system. I would recommend that we prepare for a possible boarding or finding casualties from the missing ship," Felicie commented. "Any questions?"

Breeze came into the Sick Bay just before the end of the Doctor's statement. She moved closer with her hands clear she signed to speak.

[There is not much to do in Ten Forward, I would like to help if you will allow?] She began. [I , as humans say, Aced the First Aid courses and not scared at the site of blood. And having someone who can 'Feel' how people are doing might help?]

"If it comes down to it, we'll definitely take all the help that we can get," Felicie commented, showing her in to where they were waiting to triage anyone coming through. "This is what I call the quiet before the potential storm."

Felicie had read what little information that they had on the profile for Breeze and knew that she was only a formality between her and being a proper field medic. "Maybe when it's not so tenuous," Felicie started as she sat down on the stool, taking a quick reprieve before she continued, "we can get your formal field medic certification."

[ I am at your service.] Breeze agreed. [I promise to do all that I am able.] She bow slightly before moving to a neutral corner, putting her defensive mental shields up to better filter all going on around her.

Felicie nodded to the young woman and picked up a report to start working on things to keep her hands less idle.


The scan results had come neck negative. The asteroid was exactly what it was; just a plain asteroid with nothing special about it whatsoever. However they had discovered a small beacon attached to its surface giving off a Maquis power signature.

"Target that beacons with phasers." Misaka said simply. "Get rid of it, then continue the search for the base." She ordered.

The Ermiana fired phasers, bright beams of orange light darting across space and striking the beacon.

"Confirmed, beacon destroyed, Captain," Sonak confirmed the Tactical Officer's reported. He initiated a further scan of the system. "There still remains interference. New energy signature, bearing 071 mark 010. Perhaps we will find an additional interference systems there."

Kromal thought for a moment. "Sonak, if I connect the deflector dish to our sensors, it could theoretically act as a huge amplifier for sensors. Do you want me to try that?"

"Affirmative, Lieutenant'," Sonak replied, nodding, somewhat perturbed that the junior officer had addressed him by name. However, the suggestion had not been without merit, therefore, as it was of little consequence, he elected to proceed. "Repeating scans." As the scan was conducted, it slowly returned data, and the display screen on his panel identified key points. Initially, the previous energy signature, displayed, with the location revealed to be slightly more accurate. "Our energy signature now confirmed at bearing 071 mark 011," he reported. Whilst there was little difference in their elevation, this would bring them considerably closer to this signature.

He watched as further signatures also now appeared on his display. Sonak turned to face the Captain, "now reporting additional contacts. Energy signatures at bearing 149 mark 057, bearing 198 mark 084, and bearing 284 mark 043. All match the energy profile of the asteroid beacon." This made it clear that these beacons would all be similar masking equipment. Still, as a result of the masking equipment at work, there remained minimal other readings from the system, despite the efforts of Ermiana's crew. Sonak concluded that the equipment that the Maquis had procured for masking themselves was significantly advanced. "I would suggest that we eliminate" he returned to face his display as he spoke, quickly checked a radius arc from the beacons - to give him a rough indication of the system coverage of each beacon, "at least two further units."

Misaka let out an audible sigh. "Is there any way to filter out the dummy beacons and locate the base without alerting them?" she asked.

"I do not believe so, Captain," Sonak replied, "the beacons are the cause of the interference. And the destruction of the first beacon that we encountered will also likely have alerted them to our presence."

"So its likely that they already know that we're here." Misaka pondered. "And they know that its only a matter of time until we flush them out." She thought about it for a few seconds. "Take us to the next beacon Lieutenant and put us into an optimal firing position."

"Aye, Ma'am", Henderson replied, "We'll come in from behind, high to the right, and the ship will swing on an arc to keep the Ventral Saucer Array in firing position"

"Once we're in range. Phasers again, use a torpedo if it's shielded better," Misaka ordered looking back up at Lurath. "Also, start sensor sweeps of the system. If they know we're here they might try to run. If they do decide to try and run, we work out where the base is from their flight trajectories."

The destruction of the next beacon was instrumental in identifying which of the remaining beacons should be targetted next. Sonak reported which was the ideal beacon to target, and once this one had been taken down, it revealed the location of a Maquis installation. "Captain, we have now identified a substantial Maquis installation." He turned towards the Command area, to add, "based on my analysis, I would estimate that this is a supply depot. Perhaps a distribution hub for equipment and consumable supplies."

"Good work." Misaka replied giving the Vulcan a smile. "Put it up on the viewscreen."

After what seemed like an eternity, the final location of the Maquis base was now showing on the bridge's viewscreen. "Finally." Misaka said as the Ermiana began to close in.

"Hail them," she ordered.

Kromal tacked a few claws on his console, then nodded as he kept his gaze forward. "Channel open," he confirmed.

"Maquis facility. This is Captain Mikoto Misaka of the Federation Starship Ermiana. Lower your defences and surrender. You will be taken into custody and will not be harmed," Misaka said simply.

"No response, Captain," Kromal reported.

"They have shields raised, Captain," Sonak reported, "however they have minimal offensive systems. A targetted strike in these locations," he tapped on the panel in front of him, highlighting what he believed would be suitable targets, and displaying them on the viewscreen, "will penetrate their shields, and allow us to access the base."


There was nothing yet that was happening that made Felicie worried what was going on on the Bridge. If it was something that she felt that she needed to be a part of, she could have held open comms in her office to keep the chatter down in sickbay. Right now, that wasn't necessary. While there were other things that would change her mind on it, she knew that she would adapt as she did.

Meanwhile, Feeva was in her office, making notes, trying to avoid her presence being missed anywhere. She was on-hand to do anything medical wise, but for now? It was best to lie low, she knew.


With the Maquis' defences now disabled Misaka turned and looked at Eila. "Assemble an armed away team. Secure the base, bring everyone into custody. Once we have secured the base I want a full inventory of their supplies." She ordered

"Understood. I'll have a team together within the half hour." Eila nodded.

Posting by:

Captain Mikoto Misaka
Commanding Officer
USS Ermiana


Commander Eila Juutilainen
Executive Officer
USS Ermiana


Lieutenant Commander Sonak
Chief Science Officer
USS Ermiana


Lieutenant James Henderson
Chief Helmsman
USS Ermiana


Lt. JG Kromal Ezazzan
Chief Operations Officer
USS Ermiana


Lt. JG Feeva Drylo
USS Ermiana


Lt. Felicie Giehl
Chief Medical Officer
USS Ermiana


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