The crew of Starbase 118 had been dealing with the concerns about the Romulan plague, and wondering what ships or fleet would be sufficient to get them safely in and out, or who else would be sent. The answer was more surprising than anyone would have expected.
The USS Excalibur-A, a top of the line ship with the new slipstream drive, was “delivered” to Captain Nicholotti along with a promotion to Fleet Captain! Though testing out the new drive would need to wait as the fleet going with them didn’t have access. Mostly because it was the Romulan fleet that had been previously threatening the base. The final surprise came that the planet they would head to wasn’t where they had initially thought the plague to be, but Agurtha. A planet that was host to a large concentration of Tal’Shiar.
The crew prepared as best they were able, as each took into account the new ship’s capabilities. Security working to prepare their people on the use of hazmat suits while providing security for the medical personnel, and others working to ferret out the secrets that had lead to this point.
On arrival, Fleet Captain Nicholotti informed the FO and SO that she would be going down to the planet with the medical staff. Both to support the medical needs, but also as the political and diplomatic statement it was. Uncharacteristically, her FO said nothing of the dangers but kept his mouth and manner quiet.
The away team was met by the acting director of finance of Agurtha, and his “aide”. They were walked around on the planet, only slowly making their way to the hospital…and not moving at all toward the cause of the plague.
Those remaining on the ship used passive scans to determine likely points of concern, and found a mysterious structure that needed more active scans. Strangely enough, the First officer contacted the Tal’Shiar directly and requested their assistance in cutting through the “red tape” around the situation. Even more strange.. they agreed.