As part of a new series in the Poll of the Week, we’re bringing you into the centre chair. When presented with a situation, how would you react? What would you do?
Your ship, the Ambassador class USS Æthelflæd, is en-route to the Gardner system, responding to a medical emergency in the colony there. Your ship, stationed at Starbase 47, was the first responder and will be followed up by the Horizon class USS Edward, but it’s missing a large component of its normal crew, onboard your ship.
The medical emergency appears to be a set of plagues a new one every 19.27 standard hours. The comm went silent shortly after the SOS, and no attempts to raise the colony have succeeded. As the normal sector commander is at a conference over in the Eta Sector, you have called together your senior staff to discuss if you should request backup as well from the Akira-class USS Penda.
After gathering information from your staff, including a briefing on the Gardner system, you and your staff come to the following information:
- The Gardner III colony has dealt with four different viral plagues, and the fifth should hit in 4.15 standard hours.
- You are approximately 4 standard hours at this point, waiting for the Penda would make that 12.
- Sensor readings of the Gardner system are impossible at this distance due to the deep subspace inversion the star and gas giants are undergoing.
- The USS Edward was undergoing a refit, and only half of its weaponry is present.
- The Gardner system is within only a few light-years of Tholian AND Cardassian space.
- The Cardassian force in the area is only a few hours away from Gardner, on "wargame exercises"
- At last census, in 2397, the Gardner III colony contained one million sentients. The SOS implied half were dying, and their infrastructure was at risk of collapse.
After the meeting, the USS Penda is summoned, and the cautious arguments of your tactical officer lead you to drop out of warp early and take readings the second you cross the heliopause of the system. There is a battlecruiser of unknown design above the colony.. and one in the asteroid belt, tractoring an asteroid on an impact course with the colony.
Your staff immoderately erupts in suggestions, but you know that those battlecruisers individually out mass and outfight your ship, and the Penda is eight hours out. Fighting is out of the question, but inaction will only let you see a colony die.
Which course of action do you take?