Shiarrael returned to her chair and sat down as Savant stood up to escort the hologram around. In that second she knew that Savant had probably processed a large quantity of information regarding the issue. Hopefully she would be able to find out more about these things through the Avatar. Shiarrael also typed a short note to Aerv telling the young woman to take a small team to the outer hull to investigate the thing that had attached itself to the Charon. When she finished Shiarrael looked at Lamont who appeared offended "Ambassador" She said distracting the annoying Ambassador "do you have any experience with starship operations?"
Lamont was stunned. A new and technically sophisticated lifeform had just appeared before them and initiated a first contact scenario and the captain had ordered the computer to escort it about this ship without so much as an introduction? Had she gone mad? No…no she was already mad, but insane?
He couldn’t fathom her decision. Savant, for all of her processing powers, was not the ideal candidate to speak with this lifeform. The sophisticated program lacked those innate human qualities and instincts which were vital in first contact negotiations. Furthermore this was HIS providence and his alone! She was purposefully cutting him out for the sole purpose of spiteful revenge. The nerve! The audacity! Did she really place diplomatic protocol on such a low level?
Lamont quickly stood and opened his mouth scarcely able to contain the anger boiling up within him over her irrational, reckless, and immature actions. He would see that Starfleet command was made aware of this improper breech of well established protocol especially when it came to first contact scenarios. Savant could easily mistake innuendo, body language, or some other emotion its programming was never designed to process or notice leading to a diplomatic disaster.
Then it hit him. A tirade on the bridge was exactly what the captain expected. Not this time. Oh no. He had no intention of giving her yet another excuse to send him to the brig. He would not be baited so easily by this temptress. If she wanted to let Savant play ambassador so be it. The responsibility was hers. If this went south it would hang on her head, not his.
And besides….two could play at this game.
Lamont closed his mouth slightly as it formed into a pleasant smile. “Actually captain I do have some operations experience from my days aboard the Lexington. You’ll forgive me, I’m a bit rusty, but I think I would enjoy a refresher course while Savant entertains our guest.” Lamont motioned toward the empty operations chair. “May I”, he asked politely. “With your permission of course sir.”
Shiarrael knew Savant was more than capable of entertaining the 'guest' and monitoring the ship's operations even if at a limited capacity- but limited capacity for Savant was still beyond capacity for Lamont. However, if Lamont wished to tinker with the operations console she had no complaints. Should he actually harm anything he would have to answer to that program "you have my permission Ambassador." She smirked slightly- just enough to be seen but not enough to give away her malicious thoughts.
Lamont, none too happy with the arrangement but determined to save face, nodded and proceeded to the operations station where he cautiously looked over its various interfaces. “They’ve upgraded”, he muttered poking a few buttons here and there. The basics seemed to be accessible without trouble however much had changed since his last encounter with an operations console aboard the USS Lexington which seemed like a lifetime ago.
After a few minutes of cautious prodding Lamont felt slightly better as more of his previous training slowly came back to him. It wasn’t until his console exploded with information did he begin to question his decision. Perhaps waging a war of words with the captain over her decision to have Savant initiate first contact with an unknown intelligence thus usurping his role was the better choice after all.
"Captain...I think it just swallowed the fighters." Ensign Felding's who had replaced Aerv at tactical looked perplexed as the view screen image switched from the probe that had attached itself to Charon's outer hull to the image of the serpent-shaped machine.
Lamont’s console was ablaze with incoming sensor information and confirmations of transponder communication loss from the fighters.
As the difficult situation played out the science officer only added to the tension by announcing findings that the nearby sun was only hours away from going nova. Lamont quickly checked the sensors to the best of his ability and found evidence which corroborated the science officer’s statement. An alien intelligence walked the ship, the fighters had been captured, digested, or worst case destroyed and the Charon now only had hours to recover the fighters and their pilots, deal with an alien entity of unknown power and potential, and escape the blast radius and gravitational fallout of an exploding star.
Lamont was simply trying to keep up with the massive amounts of data coming in while attempting to be of some use at the operations console. He couldn’t help but contemplate the fate of the pilots, the intentions of the alien entity, and of course the future of the Charon. It suddenly dawned on him how little he missed the controlled chaos of bridge duty.
"Wonderful." Shiarrael cursed in Rihannsu and stood up. "Commander Lamont inform Savant that she will have the bridge when she finishes with the 'avatar'. Oh..." Shiarrael had almost forgot and felt a moment of angst before she mentioned it to the Ambassador "have a shuttle prepared for me. I am going to retrieve our people before this sun explodes." Hopefully, she added as an afterthought.
Lamont turned in his seat to protest. The captain had no business leaving the ship under these circumstances! His lungs filled with a deep breath in preparation to protest, however he stopped suddenly. She’d made her decision and if there was one thing he had learned from her it was that she was just as stubborn as he was. Nothing he could say would change her mind.
“Aye sir”, he responded turning back around to face his console.
Rehu left the bridge without incident as the bridge crew carried on in the face of adversity.
Lamont notified Savant of the captain’s orders and quickly contacted the flight deck and requested a shuttle be made ready for her departure. Despite his strong objections to the captain’s actions Lamont felt compelled to tell the captain something before she departed.
Tapping into the shuttle’s onboard computer with some difficulty due to the unfamiliar operations console Lamont entered a short message where the captain would no doubt see it.
The text simply read, ‘Good Luck Captain. -Lamont’
[ End Log ]
Ambassador Ian Lamont
Captain Shiarrael Rehu