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Rosetta Stone

Posted on Sun Dec 6th, 2020 @ 9:42pm by Captain Indrala Xerix & Ensign Viradi & Lieutenant J'remar Menun & Lieutenant Eklisa

Location: Bridge, USS Falchion

With the away team en route to the Kessok vessel, it was left to those remaining on the bridge to figure out how to communicate with this truly “alien” species.

The United Federation of Planets was made up of hundreds of races on thousands of worlds. Multiply that by a factor of at least one hundred for civilizations that weren’t member worlds, but that the Federation had communicated with. So the fact that the Universal Translator couldn’t interpret the clicks, hisses, and warbles that seemed to comprise Kessokian spoke volumes about the uniqueness of the race.

Captain Xerix pondered all of this while she sipped a demitasse of genmaicha. The delicious roasted aroma and flavor of the Terran beverage never failed to warm the Betazed. The white and cobalt teacup she clutched was emblazoned with the ship’s name and registry number.

“Lieutenant Menun, coordinate with Ensign Veradi to analyze the pattern of weapons fire on the Kessok hull. Perhaps we can glean some useful information.” Indrala said.

"Affirmative captain," J'remar replied. He set to work using the sensors to scan the Kessok ship, hoping to pick up anything that might be a telltale sign of who attacked them.

“Lieutenant Loh, do you have any ideas on establishing even the most primitive of communication methods with the our friends?”

Taldrah thought for a moment and remembered something from her training. She wasn’t sure it would work, but she responded confidently, “Pictographs could potentially be a solution, sir.”

Taldrah had to think for a few moments about what would be the best symbol to send to the mysterious crew. After settling on a few options of general greeting symbols from various languages and cultures to send, she attempted to open communication and send them. Only something was wrong…

“Sir,” Taldrah looked at the Captain with concern, “the Ferengi are jamming communications.”

Indrala nodded in frustration. “Keep trying, Lieutenant.”

“Captain, a shuttle from Deep Space Twelve has just dropped out of warp” said Ensign Viradi.

Indrala looked up from her tea. “Ah, our doctor and chief science officer! Their timing is matchless” Indrala murmured contentedly. “Lieutenant Loh, direct them to Shuttlebay two, and inform the doctor that her services will be required post-haste in sickbay. Lieutenant Eklisa will be needed on the bridge.” Said the Captain.

“Yes, sir.” Taldrah replied and quickly directed the doctor and chief science officer to Shuttlebay two. “Also, Lieutenant Eklisa, please report to the bridge. Doctor, please report to sickbay.”

Eklisa was glad to be thrown directly into a mission off the shuttle, hurrying to the Bridge and tying her braid up into a tight bun.

"Captain, Lieutenant Eklisa here reporting." She nodded toward Indrala quickly.

Indrala gave the Denobulan a once-over. She had the appearance common to many scientists, too busy thinking to give much thought elsewhere. The Betazoid liked that sort. They were usually top-tier at what they did.

“Welcome aboard, Lieutenant. Please relieve Ensign Viradi. There will be time for proper introductions later” The captain said.

"Excuse me, Ensign." Eklisa gently urged Viradi off the science station and got to her sensor readings, "I see we have some injured company. What sort of SOS did we receive from them? Analyzing that may give us a foothold on their language."

Viradi nodded to his new Denobulan boss, well accustomed to having a female superior. “Here’s the info, sir.” He said quietly.

"Thank you." Eklisa didn't spare time to look at Viradi, instead nodding and catching herself up on all available information. She set the computer to work identifying patterns among the signals, seeing if anything the ship had sent out since the distress signal was similar to the signal itself. Hopefully being able to identify simple words like 'help' or maybe 'ship' would give the UT more to work with to decipher the language. If not, knowing 'help' would be useful for any attempt to offer assistance without being seen as a threat.

The results of the initial scans came back, and J'remar set to work analysing the information. There wasn't much to go off. The weapons fire seemed to have been caused by a form of plasma weapon, but across the entire Alpha Quadrant, there were more species that used plasma weapons than J'remar could count on both his hands.

"Captain, scans from the exterior of the vessel came back. All that I've been able to fully determine is that the damage was caused by plasma weapons. I can't find anything that could tell me who fired them however."

"Hail the vessel?" Eklisa suggested, flipping through the tiny dictionary of identified sounds. "I should be able to get a simple message across, I think I've got 'help ship' together. Even if I'm wrong, there's little chance it could be interpreted as a threat."

She transmitted a cut-together string of clicks and whirrs that she hoped passed for the language and monitored the vessel for a response. Data flooded in, more of the language, things she couldn't make sense of, and an image file. The image was of a vessel, not the one in front of them, but it was accompanied with something else that had been in the original distress call.

"I think this might be the ship that attacked them." Eklisa popped the image up to the viewer.

The vessel was red-brown and curvy, but without any reference it was impossible to tell the size. It looked as though it might be Ferengi.

"Possibly," J'remar mused. He ran the image through the computer, and soon it found a match. "The computer's found a match between that image and a type of Ferengi cruiser. If the Ferengi were responsible for this, they would have overpowered the Kessok within minutes."

As if on cue, the Ferengi vessel shimmered into existence aft of the Kessok ship, its rust-colored hull contrasting against the turquoise nebula in the background.

“Red alert!” The captain barked. “Helm, put us between them and the Kessok. Loh, tell the away team we have company. And hail the new vessel” she said

“Yes, Captain,” Taldrah nodded. She quickly reached out to the away team, “Away team- we’ve got company. Some Feregni friends have decloaked near the Kessok.”

Leutenant Loh had never much cared for Ferengi, like most non-Ferengi species, and she wasn’t looking forward to the difficulties this mission might present. This wasn’t the mission she was hoping for, but she’d still do her best. With these thoughts in mind, she hailed the Ferengi vessel and hoped for a response.

As soon as the order to go to Red Alert was heard, J'remar was already locking the Falchion's phaser banks on the Ferengi vessel, the torpedo tubes loaded with a spread of photon torpedoes as well. Shields were up, but J'remar didn't expect them to last against a vessel presumably much more firepower than the Falchion could withstand.

Indrala wondered for a moment why a Ferengi ship would have a cloaking device, before remembering that the species had purchased warp technology. It would stand to reason that they could purchase cloaking technology as well.

As the Captain pondered, the large rust-colored ship banked sharply and from the tips of her winglets, launched a pair of blue-white plasma torpedoes. The spherical balls of energy lazily tumbled towards the Saber class vessel.

“Menun, try to use the tractor to repel those torpedoes!” Said the Betazoid.

"Yes Captain!" He replied, locking the tractor beam emitters onto one of the torpedoes. It was grabbed by the invisible force and directed away from the Falchion, but he wasn't able to redirect it fast enough to block the second torpedo. It slammed into the ship, rocking it violently. J'remar held onto his console to keep his balance.

He looked down at said console, watching damage reports stream in. "Shields are down! No major damage, but another hit like that and we'll have hull breaches all over the ship!"

Eklisa braced on her station, scanning the Ferengi vessel for any information that could possibly be of use. She felt somewhat useless in a firefight, but knowing your enemy is always helpful.

“Helm, come about but keep us between the two ships. Menun, fire at will!” Said the Captain

J'remar nodded, his face a steel curtain of determination. "Affirmative!" Pulse phasers and torpedo tubes primed several minutes ago, all he had to do was target the Ferengi vessel's essential components. "Firing at their weapons!" He released the first volley of photon torpedoes, complementing it with a volley of blasts from the pulse phasers, hoping they'd be enough to penetrate their shields, but knowing that cruiser was probably more than a match for the Falchion. The volley from the phasers crashed into the Ferengi ship's shields, though no visible damage had been done. The torpedoes came in next, and it was obvious that they had rattled the Ferengi.

"Enemy sheilds at 50%" Eklisa turned from her screen to the view screen, then rapidly back, flickering her display between several sensors rapidly.

The Ferengi ship wheeled around slowly. It was large and powerful, but certainly not agile. Indrala swallowed the lump forming in the back of her throat. “Ready the tricobalt warheads. Helm, attack pattern gamma four on my mark!” Said the Betazoid.

J'remar focused in on his task. Tricobalt warheads were certainly a powerful weapon that could turn the tide of this battle. He readied the warheads, fingers hovering above the launch button.

Lieutenant Loh’s heart was beating rapidly. Things had finally gotten exciting. Suddenly, she heard something that only a well trained ear could hear, “Something is coming through communications! I can’t make out the words, but those are definitely voices I’m hearing.” She cocked her head to the side and squinted, trying to make sense of the chatter.

Before Indrala could respond, the forward view screen showed the nebula erupting in light, which lanced out and struck the Ferengi ship, causing the shields to flash and haze.

“What the hell is that?!” Cried the Captain.


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