Canopus Station
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Posted on Thu Oct 7th, 2021 @ 12:33am by Lieutenant Commander Jillian Toomey & Captain Benjamin Ingram Dr & Commodore Theodore Grissom

Mission: S2:3: Snow Drift
Location: Canopus Station, Admin Block, Confrence Room A
Timeline: MD4 8.30

“We’ve contained the spread…mostly.

When Ingram was angry, the sort of angry that saw people demoted and transferred to whichever star was furtherest from his sphere of influence, there his eyebrow would twitch. Just once, an easily missed warning sign that the cool blue flame of intellect was about to become the sort of black body radiation spike that wiped out civilisations.

In the conference room aboard Canopus Station, with the backdrop of one wall showing the impressive inner docking port of the Starbase, the primary players of the game were present. Captain Ingram, Commodore Ingram, and Lieutenant Toomey. No one else, not even aides, not even guards. The only other entity in the room was a holographic display showing off Canopus Station in regal Federation blue, with a dark red liver spot that radiated out from the central core of the dome and terminated at its edge. Little roots and outcroppings shot off of that, marked with softly rotating hazard markings.

“We got lucky,” Ingram said, using a gesture to highlight part of the hologram as a bright golden root system appeared through the model. A section where red and gold passed close but did not touch was boxed in. “If this…Portia plague had branched out here a meter to core-ward it would have breached a primary EPS conduit. As it stands only minor damage was caused during the transformative process, and was…repaired. Save for the birthing chamber for an entire bloody starship.”

“Calm down Captain,” Grissom rumbled like distant thunder.

“I don’t think you’re in a position to make demands,” Ingram said, giving Socket’s a glare worthy of vaporization. “Your OSI operation released a materially virulent nano swarm on my station, put my crew at risk, and then played a game of fusion-based chicken with a glorified trainee captain.”

He looked at Toomey again. “No offence.” (Footnote: All the offence.)

"No offense?" JT started before she was cut off by the Admiral.

“And I agree you have the right to feel a little piqued. But, we’re all here so we can move forward from this unfortunate event,” Grissom said, rolling his hands. “Lieutenant, do you want to add anything for the record?”

"I want a free trade agreement between my people and the crew and people of Canopus Station," JT said. "I want protection from retribution for past acts. I want a guarantee that no one is coming after me or them for the Portia thing that I didn't even know about. As for the hole in the station...I didn't have any control over that, either."

"As for what to do with it, now, well, we have options. It kind of listens to me, so I'm going to direct it to make all and any repairs done in the course of action it may have taken since it's first movements on the station. Then, I'm going to take them all from the station and decide from there. If that's possible."

"I'd hold off on that course of action," Ingram interjected. "At least until my science department can have a proper look at it. And before you bring up the Non-Replicating Treaty, we're not in Federation space anymore Commodore. If boundaries are to be pushed, best they are pushed very far from civilised space. No ones has seen nanotech on this scale, at least developed to this scale at any rate. There is value in....cautious research."

"Your station," Grissom commented. He took a solid-looking padd, the sort with padded corners designed to be dropped repeatedly by engineers, and pushed it across the desk to Toomey. "The JAG office printed that up as a 'catch all'. It protects you from past events from the moment of your arrival, and from any future prosecution from events that arise from those events. Also the second file there classifies the crew of the USS Magnificent as extra-national citizenry: all the rights of Federation citizens, as well as the legal padding of being foreign nationals. It allows for free access to station facilities and services, and provides you the right to act within your own free will within the guidelines of Federation law."

JT took the PADD and settled down to read it with no indication that she was going to stop until she got to the end of it. "What's this part about the Rish and Clockmakers?"

"The Rish share your unique status as being non-Federation citizens granted special dispensation to remain on the stations," Ingram said cooly. "They're space vagabonds, wanders and hustlers with a rich culture with sticky fingers."

"As for the Clockmakers," Grissom said slowly. "They interesting joint project between the Office of Special Investigation and another branch of Starfleet. A technological plague we've run into a few times here in Messier 4, and one reported case within the boundaries of the Milky Way galaxy. They make your Portia Protocol look like a sneeze. Clockmaker's work on a star system wide scale, converting all available matter into more of itself with the end goal of entombing a star in a Dyson Sphere for unknown reasons. In fact, we have a ship investigating that at the moment, the USS Traveller."

"Maybe we could introduce Portia to them like they tried using Hugh to infect the Borg and Picard wouldn't do it," JT said. "We can do it here and now and no one would ever know."

"True. Understand Lieutenant there are files on the Clockmaker's I cannot disclose to you. But I can tell you Starfleet is very concerned about Boötes Void, a 168 light-year bubble of pure blackness. No light comes out of it, nor through it. We have reason to believe the Boötes Void is a Clockmaker aggregate. A collection of galaxies and stars enclosed together in shoal of dysonspheres." Grissom said somberly. "Sufficed to say we don't want a repeat of the Borg encounter. If the Clockmakers are one of the Apex predators of the universe, we want to remain under their radar until we know we can counter them."

"Besides," Ingram purred. "This Portia nanotech is rather ingenious. I've had a chance to look at samples, their all undifferentiated nano cells until an outside response prompts them to combine in a manner that is useful. Assemblers, constructors, even destructive forms have been seen. I'd be more interested in Portia has a potential weapon against the Myriad, or even the Concordance. And before you get a high horse, remember you signed off of using a subspace weapon, and manufacturing them here on my station: breaking new ground on new weapons might well be our best course of action. Lieutenant Toomey has practical experience from her universe with methods and devices that rely on nanotechnology to function, even if she can only relay the process and not the still shows that it can be done."

He smiled, looking at Toomey.

"You might one day find yourself among the company of Cochrane, Archer, and Fukido as the fathers and mothers of modern technology," the smarmy station administrator said. "And all because of a fluke accident. Bravo."

"I see," JT said, feeling like she had a whole lot of catching up to do and no time to do it. She looked between Grissom and Igrams and wondered which of the two were more evil, then decided that evil was good. She had seen a movie where that had been proclaimed by a vampire, so it had to be true. "So where does that leave us here and now?"

"It leaves us with the need to give you a mission," Grissom said. "Keeping you locked up, or penned up under vague orders only seems to lead to vast property damage. The best way I can see of keeping you from doing unto others, is to give you something to do that ain't make work."

"I have need of a Chief of Operations. Mara is a good engineer, but good engineers make for poor administrators. Operations has been running as an auxiliary of the Engineering division since we arrived, and now that we are settled into our place here it needs someone to turn it from a vestigial organ into something with life in it," Ingram stated with vigour. "Traffic around the system is increasing, with the mining guild operating in the Unicorn A & B belts. Not to mention construction traffic for the Pollux Fleet Yards. Also at any given time, there are a dozen or more shore parties operating under the Canopus Station auspices, managing and supplying them is key. Not to mention the supply issues we have between the station, the fleet, and the colony of Landersdell.. It is, by far, not an easy task, nor one for the faint of heart."

"Does that come with a promotion?" JT asked. "And are department chiefs allowed to drink here?"

"To facilitate the change to department head status you would be promoted to Lieutenant Commander, as I doubt very much running Space Traffic Control as well as the Stations logistics train would work very well if you were junior to all your subordinates," Ingram said guardedly. "As for alcohol, there is a number of establishments on the station, as well as communal replomats and replicators in crew quarters. Of course, overindulgence might be noted by station monitoring. So far only one person tried to make literal bathtub gin, but it's not even halfway through the year so who knows."

"Fair enough, and is there any beings on the station that get special dispensation or none at all?" she asked.

"Any directives like that will come down from my office," Ingram said. "Though, regardless of any message, missive, or plea...Bar'soon is not to be provided with anything but basic amenities. Also, be mindful of the Rish. They are a collection of vagabonds that snuck aboard before we transited to Messier 4. Scoundrels to a one."

"Got it," JT said. "Nothing to who or whatever a Bar'soon is and don't trust the Rish at all. They sound like of like Wooks from back on my side of things."

"THe Wooks? Huum, our Chief Counsellor and Chief Science Officer are something of the anthropological bent and would be delighted to hear more of these Wooks, and your impression of them in comparison of the Rish." Ingram said. "Commander Meilin is an interesting sort, a scientist with tactical training but a devout pacifist. You'll get along like a house on fire. Dr T'Niam is a very curious Vulcan."

" on fire doesn't sound particularly inviting," she said. "And a pacifist Scientist. Got it. I'll be happy to pass on anything I have on the Wooks," she promised.

"After all you got here, who knows what else might wash up upon our shore," Ingram said before getting a soured look from Grissom for tempting fate.


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