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Posted on Mon May 20th, 2019 @ 10:33pm by Captain Sun Mei Xiang & Lieutenant Theodore Adams

Mission: The Time That is Given Us
Location: Seppala Station, Operations
Timeline: Concurrent with end of Paces

[Seppala Station, Operations]

The Shanghai had been out running its paces for a few long hours. It was just doing its own thing out in the system and making sure everything was active. The rest of the initiative had their own jobs to do though, and Seppala Station was back to its usual boring self. It's operation center monitored everything going on as would be expected, but Lieutenant Adams was anxious. He kept asking a simple question.

“Computer,” His voice muffled under his hand before the question came. “Time?”

Each time, the computer would answer softly, giving an update of the current time. Each time, his foot would rap nervously for a few moments and he would do something else. It was all to keep his mind elsewhere. Like so many officers shifted in time, he knew what was happening. What was coming down the line. A point in time they could do nothing about. They didn't even know officially what had happened, just that today, sometime, there was a terrible event. One that almost shut them down when they were trying to get the Initiative off the ground. And they couldn't risk doing anything about it.

He was watching over the shoulder of another officer as shuttles came to and from the station trying to get supplies back down to the planet and bring some normalcy back. It was only being mildly successful. It was frustrating, more so than he was used to. Then. A voice broke his concentration, a change from the near-silent buzz of people just working through the shift.

“Priority one message from New…” A comm officer said relatively quietly, a bit nervous. There was a moment of pause after as if he was trying to confirm something.

Adams twisted around swiftly. His face had gone red, heat rushing as he finished the statement, “Anchorage?”

“I,” The officer seemed confused. For a moment he adjusted uncomfortably in his seat before correcting himself and starting over. “It's their signal, but… It's the Admiral.”

“What?” Adams bounded over to the comm panel, pushing past an officer in his way, his voice repeating over and over, “No, no, no, no, no." He slid to a stop next to the officer, and visibly swallowed before he looked over the comm panel. "What the hell? What the hell?" He reached over and tapped the comm panel. "No no no... How did they get on the New Anchorage QED? That is the only freaking system with Initiative channels?"

“I don't know."

“Damn it. Damn it, damn it.” Adams shook his head and hit the console as he turned to face the other officer. By this point, most of the operations team was looking at him, watching the actions as he worked. “Get a captain up here. Do not let that…”

“It was sent to every ship with a QED system, sir. There is no stopping it.” The comms officer said calmly. "Lieutenant, there is nothing we can do."

“We jammed every other channel. That was only for Initiative crew on site. Shit," Adams ran a hand nervously through his hair and shook his head for a moment. He tried to think and then gave a short wave, waiting for a moment of bated breath for a response. He didn't think they had time. How could the other crew have hijacked New Anchorage's comm bands? Was something different? "TI is going to kill us. Do not respond. Do not play it. Hail the captains tell them what you know. Now. Fast. All of them.”

There was a quick pause as the comm officer worked, and then he said something quickly, "Captains we have a problem," The officer spoke, pausing as there was a response in his headset from the Captains. "QED, yes. Mhm. Oh." The officer sat up straight, startled by something. Then pulled his headset off and turned to Adams.

"What?" Adams intoned slowly, his head tilting nervously.

"Sun isn't on Shanghai's bridge,"

"What?" Adams felt his throat tighten, his heart drop a bit. "Tell me you're joking."

"No, crew is running its paces, she was called off for a Logistics issue." The comms officer said quickly. "She's not happy."

"Shit, shit, shit," Adams spoke, "Do you still have her?"

"No. She killed the comm to try to head them off."

"Going better on the other ships?" There was a little hope in his tone.

"Not much." The comms officer said with a little twist of his lips. "A little bit - but... yeah, not going great."

"Why do things always go sideways out here?" Adams sighed and fell back into the nearest seat.



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