Aerv nursed her cup of tev'lyo in both hands. Her eyes roved over the hemisphere of data displays she had projected above her console. Engineering had routed the power to the shields that she had demanded. The science staff in the Sensor Pod were complaining about it. She was ignoring them. A power reserve waited formal permission to be routed to weapons. Ever cautious, as a Tactical Officer should be, Aerv had been trickling some of this to this to the phaser banks since going to Yellow Alert. Technically, this was not 'protocol', practically, a little 'pre-warming' would allow the phasers to respond more quickly when called for. Aerv had no doubt that they would be called for, even if they were not fired. She was learning this lloann'na behaviour: Seem peaceful, tell others you are peaceful, tell yourselves you are peaceful, but be armed. So, Yellow Alert. Shields, but no weapons. Until weapons might be needed, then weapons at once.
In this light she took other measures too, Bio-Sciences were eager but - to her mind - unfocussed: "You may install such specialised modules on subsequent probes, if you have time to design them, and if we have time to deploy them. For now, I require you to equip modified class 2 casings with a full range of standard bio-sensors. Use as many as you need, but I must have all possible data on this entity as soon as possible. Report to the forward torpedo bay at once." she switched comms:
"CTAC to Forward torpedo bay, Bio-Sciences will be with you soon, please give them all co-operation consistent with a launch time for the customised probes within thirty minutes. I will also require six photon torpedo casing stripped and ready to receive custom loads in addition to the probes...Yes I know Chief."
"CTAC to Sick Bay. Please advise on the extent of your stocks of bio-mimetic gel and programmable nano-probes. I may require large quantities of both at short notice... I am aware of that Doctor."
Her attention moved to another display:
The mission shall be conducted in three parts.
I. Operator Insertion - Successful insertion of combat forces aboard C. Megalastridae.
II. Attainment of Control - Successfully seize control of C. Megalastridae control mechanisms.
III. Containment - Successful containment of all hostiles aboard C. Megalastridae.
No doubt the Marines were delighted with that prospect. Aerv would attempt to provide alternatives to such a mission if at all possible. Sitting back on her stool, she sipped her tea.
Aerv listened in discreetly to the conversation around the Big Chair. Scanning the Unknown, Chrysopelea Megalastridae, or whatever one wished to call it was revealing only so much. She was personnalyy inclined to try firing the next instrument packages into the beast inside some of the stripped out torpedo casings she had had prepared, but his had not been called for and might, she considered, be regarded as a hostile act by the Unknown. Instead a shuttle and fighters were being sent. Aerv was mildly surprised. this was the method most likely to reveal more detailed information, but it also put lives at risk. Lloann'na were notoriously averse to that. In any case, she had other uses for the stripped torpedo casings.
"CTAC to forward torpedo bay. Chief, I want those stripped casings fitted with two anti-matter chambers each. I say again two anti-matter containers, no conventional matter component, just some conventional explosive to rupture the casing upon impact."
If the beast proved hostile, she had no intention of relying on energy weapons to fight a creature which ate novae. No, Charon would provide half the components of the reaction. Let the creatures own body contribute the rest.
"CTAC to Sick Bay. Doctor, if the forthcoming shuttle mission provides us with sufficient data, please stand by to give me an estimate on how long it will take to design nano-probe or biogenic weapons effective against the Chrysopelea Megalastridae."