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SD242007.31 - Plot Log - "A Different Flavour of Doom"

Posted on Fri Jul 31st, 2020 @ 6:09pm by Brigadier General Jonathan Grey

812 words; about a 4 minute read

Mission: The Sincerest Form of Flattery
Location: Versailles
Timeline: Current

=^= General Grey's Office =^=

Fingers steepled in front of a pensive expression, made all the more ominous by the gloom. The upcoming meeting with the Admirals had a higher security clearance usual, so even the lights had to be dimmed to give the room enough power to properly secure itself.

High-gain sensor arrays were probing every crevice, searching for listening devices. The doors were locked down with a determination not seen in weeks. Level 10 force fields had been established in the floor, the ceiling, and the walls.

Needless to say, the replicator was offline too. There was simply no power left.

"Remind me why we're doing this." demanded the General, as he stared at the slowly rotating Starfleet symbol on his secure terminal.

"Sir, because the pledged Cardassian, Klingon, civilian, local defence force, and station maintenance ships can't move the entire station, even if they all work together." answered his yeoman, who stood in the far corner of the office, anticipating a level 10 force field to slam down the moment the call connected, cutting him off from the General.

"No luck with the warp bubble?"

"None. The black hole's too close sir."

"Cutting off the outer ring?"

"We heard back from the Civilian Council. They'd consider such an act a deal-breaker, and their ships would retreat."

"Holding out until the singularity naturally degrades?"

"No sir. We're already using backups to keep several systems afloat, and we're still losing panels. A few more months and we'll start losing sectors of the outer ring. Engineering can keep the spindle afloat, but the"

"Using fewer ships to gradually ease us out?"

"Same problem, except worse because we'd be passing through multiple gravimetric shears with a constant strain on the hull."

"So we need more ships."

"Yes sir."

"Powerful ships."

"Yes sir."

"Which only the Admiralty can lend us."

"Yes sir."

"...I'm going to need to beg, aren't I?"

"That *is* why you had me position that pillow by your feet, sir."

"Oh yes." murmured the General, peering down at the little pink number with tassels. It seemed appropriate.

At this, the terminal beeped at him. Exchanging nods with his Yeoman, the General activated the final force-field, leaving him in his own little sound-proof bubble.

After a few moments, the area was deemed to meet the requisite security standards, and the call connected.

"General Grey, it's good to see you well." said the Andorian Admiral, giving a small smile. The aging admiral to her right merely gave a sharp nod, and the Major General to her left gave a nod as well.

"Admiral T'Chula. Admiral Praxis. General Dran." said General Grey, aknowledging each of the big fish in turn.

While many more Admirals were above Grey in the grand scheme of things, these three were the ones who had met with him earlier. After giving them a briefing on Versailles' status, they had said something vague about "deliberations" and ended the call.

Needless to say, this had Grey worried.

"General," began T'Chula, consulting a padd in front of her, "Please provide an update on your efforts to secure ships, with the aim of moving Versailles away from the black hole."

"Yes ma'am." said the General, consulting his own padd. There were lists of ship classes, numbers, species, and units of force they could lend to the effort. Making eye contact with the Major General on the call, Grey recalled Dran's dislike for long-winded explanations, and he set down the padd.

"We have a lot of ships arranged and pledged, including Klingon and Romulan, but we still need several more to move the station."

"Then I have good news for you, General." said T'Chula. "After our deliberations, we have decided to make a number of ships available to you for the purpose of moving Versailles. They will also be carrying some raw materials, to aid repairs."

Grey blinked in surprise.

"That is excellent news. Thank you." he managed to say.

"Of course," added Praxis, a nasty smile on his face, "there are...conditions."

"Conditions, sir?" said General Grey, not liking the sound of this at all.

...Several minutes later...

The call closed with a chime, and the forcefields dropped shortly afterwards. The Yeoman looked up from the padd he was reading and focused on the General, who seemed to have buried his head in his arms.

"Sir?" asked the Yeoman, cautiously approaching the desk.

"Lieutenant." came the General's muffled voice. "Please arrange a meeting for all senior staff. As soon as possible."

"Yes sir." said the Yeoman, making a note on his padd.

"Tell them that I have good news, bad news, and worse news."

"Are we doomed, sir?" asked the Yeoman, who knew his CO.

"We're always doomed, Lieutenant." replied the General, closing his desk terminal.

"This is simply a different flavour of doom."

=^= End of Log =^=

Brigadier General Jonathan Grey
Commanding Officer
Starbase Versailles


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