Chapter 9 - Calling Home

Irij Savoi, Communication Officer of the USS Tanjura, was exhausted, the last . . . hours had been terrible.  Unexpectedly launched across space, the ship damaged, communication link with Star Fleet lost.  Captain Ajzure had allowed her to use three probes to try and build a bridge to the Federation communication relays, now to see if it worked.

“This is the USS Tanjura, Esquimalt Station please reply,” she broadcast, watching the telltale track the message through subspace.  Patience, patience.  She was about to broadcast again when she received a reply.

USS Tanjura, this is Esquimalt Station, we are recieving you,” same the reassuring voice.  “Your signal is weak can you boost your broadcast.”

Irij looked at the readings, a 3.82 second delay each way, that was better than she had feared.  “Boosting now Station, we have a several second lag due to distance.  Sending our status report now..  Captain Ajzure would like to speak with Admiral Minawara if he is available.”  As she waited for the reply, Irij sent a message to Ajzure to be ready.

Yoshi’s attention had been dragged in several directions all at once, not something a relatively fresh Admiral wanted to have to experience. Still, he was just beginning to settle in to the chaos when the notice came through on his desk. It was in text form – he’d made it clear to the station staff that calling him was liable to get them chewed out with the swarm of calls coming in. His eyes darted from the call he was currently on – one Commodore Nelson McCormack was taking an overly long time to explain that his Odyssey class was a day away from the station currently and would be arriving with very much needed supplies as soon as he could. Yoshi had met McCormack one, several years ago, and had found the man to be an overconfident blowhard, a fact he was not second guessing. When he saw USS Tanjura as the call coming on a low-band channel with a priority message his interest was piqued.

“Nelson I have another matter to attend to, thank you for coming so quickly,” he said, killing the channel and switching to the incoming one. It was a bit of a shock in this day and age to see the message coming through without a holographic element. “Admiral Minawara here.”

There was a pause that continued for an inordinately long time.

Njessa had shifted to her desk as soon as Irij had informed her of the comlink to Starfleet with a multiple-second delay!  It had been years since she had experienced that and that was during a training exercise.  Hearing the admiral’s voice was a great relief.  “Admiral, Captain Azjure here, we are currently in the Lohalian sector, coordinates 3 Alpha by 4 Epsilon, and our primary dilithium supply has been compromised.  We suspect as a side effect of the special event which moved you.  Note that this communication has a nearly four-second delay each way.”

The Admiral’s eyes narrowed slightly, thinking over the 4 second delay in real time as he considered the notion that their own displacement had caused extended issues elsewhere. “I am glad you are safe Captain,” he said, himself trying to remember where exactly the Lohalian sector placed them. “First and foremost, are you and your crew okay? Do you need relief vessels?” It was a simple enough question with – currently – a complicated enough answer.

“Overall, yes, though we did have two fatalities caused by stresses from the transit,” replied Njessa, a fact that still caused her no end of heartbreak.  “The Tanjura has held up well except for the dilithium.  While, yes, a relief vessel would be ideal, until we have data on what causes the damage to the dilithum, we cannot in good conscience as you to risk another vessel unless the situation becomes worse.”

“Well, keep me in the loop then,” Yoshi said, pushing through a few orders for ships to head to a standby status. There were a few SAR Merians that would be able to be there in short order if needed.

“We are sending data on the damage to the dilithium directly, perhaps someone else has experienced similar problems or has a solution for repair,” said Njessa.  “We hope to track down some replacements here.  We will update you as we have more news.”

“Now, how is Esquimalt Station?  No serious damage, I hope.”

“No damage,” Yoshi said, his eyes darting to a display that was still pulling in real time information. “If anything the Fleet is more upset than we are, having to handle the fallout of it all.”

“That is good to hear, Admiral,” said Njessa.  “I am going to free up the bandwidth for data transfer.  We will keep you updated.  Contact us if you need us.”

“Keep safe, we’ll be here if you need anything.”

Njessa closed the voice chat and then opened one to the communication’s officer.  “Excellent work, Ensign.  Hand over maintenance of the communications link to someone else and get some sleep.  I know you have not had any sleep since we arrived.”  There was the start of a protest from comm but Njessa cut her off.  “ That is an order,” she clarified.

“Yes, Captain,” said Irij, not bothering to hide the relief in her voice.

“Go,” Njessa said gently.  “We will need you at your best soon enough.  Goddess bless your sleep.”

She clicked the comm off and learned back in her chair.  She should follow the same advice.