Blackbird on the Prowl
Location: Hirogen Base
Timeline: 13 hours after 'The Blackbird'
It had been a relatively peaceful trip to the nav point for the Blackbird and her passengers. On only two occasions did they have to change course to avoid being detected, once by an unknown freight ship and second by a Hirogen patrol craft. Thanks to her upgrades the Blackbird was nearly undetectable unless you got to short range sensor range with her and even then with warning Patrick could make her look like a piece of space junk pretty easily. As they approached the Nav point however it soon became clear that staying hidden was going to be a lot trickier.
From a distance sensors had identified the Nav point as a stellar asteroid belt halfway between the 2nd and 3rd Planets in the system. Now able too cross reference with star charts Iota had just sent from a trade mere hours ago the system was identified as the Heydai system. As they got closer the largest of the many Hirogen signatures revealed itself to be a sizeable asteroid outpost deep within the belt.
"Celina you seeing this?" Pat asked as he brought the Blackbird to a stop in space reducing its power signature.
"Aye, taking sensor readings and recordings." She paused and pressed a few buttons on her console, "Boosting power to sensors for tactical analysis." The sensors had picked up ships ranging from frigate to several well armed battle cruisers. "I have it." She transferred the technical specifications to the other consoles. The asteroid base was equipped with seventy five tetryon cannons and from what the Lieutenant could gather at least twenty five torpedoed launchers. "This isn't good," Celina said with a little more excitement in her voice than normal.
"Thats the understatement of the century. Seamus I'm not sure about you but I'm not picking up any gaps in that weapons grid," Patrick observed as he flicked through the data.
Looking through the data, Seamus shook his head. "They definitely know what they're doing, Patrick. Even their outer perimeter has excellent coverage. There are minute gaps in their coverage, however they aren't even large enough for a shuttle craft to get through," he replied.
"Throw in that number of vessels and we've got ourselves a problem." Patrick sat back in his chair in thought. "Asteroid bases can't sustain themselves. We all know that, hence why Starfleet rarely uses the things. Too much can go wrong. Ergo that base will need to be supplied with food, oxygen and water."
"Yes that could be one of their few weaknesses" the Intel Officer reported.
"Very true." Seamus agreed as he thought of possible actions. "If we wanted to make them rethink their base here, we could use the asteroid belt to our advantage to disguise our ships to slowly cut off their supply lines. That, unfortunately has a moderate risk to whomever is assigned that duty. We could also lay proximity mines in the belt to do the same thing. The latter option reduces the risk to crew, but has an increased risk of failure as mines could be found and possibly disabled."
The ideas were quite impressive, but the decision would be up to someone higher ranked than Celina. As far as she knew this was a recon mission.
"A guerrilla warfare strike. I like that idea as well," Smith added himself now looking at the map. "If we combined that with a strike on their actual supply base it'd have double the impact. If the Hirogen don't have the supplies to raid they will move to where they do. They might be hunters but they know a loss when they see it."
"Agreed" the Lieutenant said. "Not much we can do ourselves" she added turning from her console to look at the others.
"For now, though, I'll be happy with recording as much information as we can so we have as clear a picture as we can on what we're up against." Seamus said.
Celina gave a quick nod and turned back to her console, making sure she wasn't missing a thing that was happening.
"Celina. Fire up a the long range sensors. Try and see if there is any repeating traffic, like shuttle or transport convoys in a line," Pat instructed. "Only a short burst though as the increased scans will probably draw attention too us."
Celina did as she was ordered and within seconds she had some data "picking up convoys of supply ships around the base sir."
"I see them now. Good spot. Looks like theres a trail out to a system an hour away. Lemme check the maps," he said excited as he spun in his chair and went to the spare science console behind. "Yes look here. Small M class planet orbiting the 3rd planet. Are we close enough to scan for power sources if I give you more juice to sensors?"
"Possibly" was all the Caitian replied with. The sensors on the fighter weren't the best.
"Alrighty then," he Smith muttered to himself. Pulling up the power distribution grid he frowned before diverting reserve powers to juice the sensors. "Hows that?"
"Got it" she said "check your console."
"Looks like we hit the spot alri..." he bagan before an alarm cut the air. "Whoops. Bit too much power there. Got two Hirogen ships on an intercept course. Seamus shields and lets scadattle," he instructed as he began powering engines and redistributing the power again.
Celina was keeping a close eye on the ships "They are gaining speed" she called out.
"Sounds like a plan, boss." Seamus said as his fingers flew over his console. "We're good to go on my end. Let's get on out of here."
"Excellent. Course set to the barn. Engaging," Patrick informed them as the telltale noises of the warp drive kicked in. "Well one thing is for sure they know someone knows now. Hopefully they don't know it's Starfleet.
Seamus turned slightly towards Patrick. "I wouldn't worry too much about that, boss. These fighters are new to this quadrant, so their configuration is not known to anyone over here. The sensor burst was long enough to get noticed, but not long enough to trace back to any specific technology, so I'm fairly confident they won't be able to trace it back to Starfleet unless we're caught."
Celina hadn't even thought of that yet. "Good point" she said getting as many last minuet scans as she could.
Patrick half nodded his head in agreement. "The concern is what may have been stolen from Voyager. This hull existed before she left, though in a twist of luck the sensors might not be Starfleet..." he added with a sly grin.
"So I noticed, no where near the accuracy" Celina said dryly. "I suggest we make our way back to the Hephaistos and report our findings." She really didn't want to get into a fire fight in this tiny ship, she didn't like the odds.
Smith made a face of feigned outrage. "Here now. Those sensors are better than you'll find on any other ship this size bar a Valkyrie sensor suite. You've been spoiled with those shiney ones on the H I think."
"Puurrrrhaappss" Celina said with a puur in her voice and a smile on her face.
Seamus shook his head and smiled. "Come on now, kids, don't make me send y'all to separate corners." He said, breaking out into a wide grin.
"Yes daaaad," Smith replied with an equally large grin. "Looks like we are clear," he informed them. "Download the sensor data and have it ready for the boss. I'll do the necessary log purges once we are back."
"Aye" Celina said and started the download. She was proud of what they had accomplished and wondered what the next steps would be.
"Sounds good to me. Thanks for the ride." Seamus said.
Major Patrick Smith
"Proud of his baby Blackbird"
Lieutenant JG Seamus MacDonald Jr
Chief Sec/Tac Officer
Chief Intelligence Officer