Posted on Mon Oct 16th, 2017 @ 2:56pm by Captain Tim Williams
The Deuterium Argument [Rebooted]
Location: Iota Command Facility
As the Highlander’s transporter beam disengaged, Tim found himself standing in a busy piazza, directly in front of the Iota Command Facility’s main complex. Grass and shrubbery that had been strategically planted around the open area reminded him of Starfleet Academy’s grounds back on Earth, but the bustle of personnel was definitely different; not only were they occupied with the tasks of running a far-flung facility, but one where construction was still ongoing as it expanded beyond the central buildings that had been considered critical priorities for the construction crews. On top of that, they had a task force of deep space exploration vessels to organise and supply. Tim didn’t envy any of them their tasks.
From behind him Captain Thompson appeared. “Captain, what do you think of our little home away from home?” he asked. John had been here long enough now to not be amazed by it and yet he was constantly surprised at the pace and scale of the work being done.
“Starfleet Command told me you had a little shack in the woods,” Tim commented, turning around at the sound of the new voice. “I’m guessing either Admiral Garner was pulling me leg again, or you’ve been hiding some of your achievements from the brass out here. Captain Thompson I presume?”
“You would presume correctly Captain Williams,” John replied grinning. “Aye the shack is getting there. Truth be told the orbital facilities are in much better shape and some people would much rather we had just stayed up there. Fact remains though it’s a lot harder to destroy a planet than a space station, and believe me, it seems friends are short these days.”
“So I’ve heard, what with the Vaadwaur nearby, and the Hephaistos finding evidence of the Hirogen nearby. Neither have proven particularly friendly to Starfleet since Voyager’s first encounter with them.” It hadn’t escaped Tim’s notice that to the casual observer, the Highlander might easily be mistaken for Voyager, which could lead to some uncomfortable encounters in this region of space. “I hope we haven’t found ourselves totally without friends here, though. Didn’t Admiral Janeway appoint one of the crew members she picked up Starfleet’s ambassador to the Delta Quadrant? A Talaxian named Neelix. Their colony isn’t too far from here is it?”
“She did yes. Unfortunately for us their colony isn’t as close as we would like. About a month at high warp. That being said thanks to the Galileo we have a delegation here now with comm links to their colony so that should help us generate good will.” The two started walking through the piazza moving through the life that was growing daily. “Truth be told Captain we have a problem here. We rely almost entirely on supplies from the alpha quadrant. We need friends and we need self sufficiency.”
Tim nodded in understanding. “Activity in the Cygnet system has been getting higher on the other end of the catapult. It’s going to start drawing attention if supplies keep coming through at the rate they have been. I remember from the reports that Voyager had some success mining their own dilithium and deuterium on their way, but to do that for a task force as large we have already would need a lot of heavy equipment. Did you have anything else in mind?” It was an educated guess, but from the way Thompson was talking, Tim suspected that the task force commander had already picked out a potential starting point to ease their supply problems.
“You are correct. It’d be a big operation and it’s not even just dilithium or deuterium. It’s everything from food to component production. If something happened to the relay we need to be able to support ourselves,” John commented sighing. “We have a few locations. I need you to check them out. Deuterium for fuel first since that will allow us to bring in more advanced supplies through Cygnet.”
“A Deuterium mine, or trading outpost?” Tim asked. In truth it didn’t matter too much, since their negotiations would have to start off at the same point anyway, but each had their own approaches. A mining facility could feasibly provide more than a trading outpost as they’d be getting the ore from the source, but at the same time there could be other parties wanting their own piece of a pie. A trading outpost might mean that they could gather a few extra supplies for the task force as well, though they would likely only be short term gains without locating more suppliers.
John tilted his head back and forth for a moment. “Diplomatically speaking trade post. But the strategist in me says a mine would be substantially more important since nobody can cut our supply off or jack the prices.” He paused for a moment thinking, “Someone out there will complain about us starting to mine but we can’t avoid it. We need a steady source we control.”
“Understood. We’ll make it our top priority. Is there anything else we need to be aware of as we head out there?”
Thompson shook his head, “No not at the moment. Though if you find anything else useful that we can make use of let me know.”
“I’ll make sure to forward anything we find along.” The two came to a stop outside one of the buildings still under construction and Tim turned to face the other captain to shake his hand. “It was good to finally meet face-to-face. Good luck with your shack.”
Taking the Captain’s hand John smirked, “Good luck with your shopping trip. Keep me informed,” he added before leaving.
“Tim to Highlander; one to beam up.”
Captain Tim Williams
Captain John Thompson
Task Force 37