I want to thank Gibraltar and Galen for their input in the following scene. Without Gibraltar's questions and information and Galen throwing out a possible scenario, this scene wouldn't exist.
Seven Hours Later…
“I wasn’t expecting to talk to you so soon again Captain Ottah,” Captain Erasia said with a slight smile as she crossed the threshold. The Edoan weakly smiled back. He stood up from his desk and awkwardly extended his torso appendage in her direction. The man’s other two arms held personal display devices. Tan took the proffered hand, feeling a pang of jealousy that she wasn’t born with a couple extra limbs.
After her exhausting half-discussion/half-chewing out of Captain Tanaka and Commander Rhizzo, Tan had brought both Captains Thelius and Ottah to her office. Most of her ire in this instance had been directed at Thelius. Though she appreciated the saturnine Andorian taking her side in the contretemps, he had acted without her approval, a disregard for the chain of command nearly as grievous as Rhizzo’s rebellion.
Ottah’s bunched shoulders and pinched expression told Tan that she was about to get some payback. She waited patiently while the Edoan searched her face as if divining clues or motives.
“When are you going to dispense the Alpha Weapons?” The man eventually asked.
“What are you talking about?” Erasia asked, “What are ‘Alpha Weapons’?”
Her reply made Ottah stand up to his full height. His expression hardened, his yellow eyes burned like suns. “Captain Erasia, I hoped that we had established strong enough bonds of trust, despite the recent misfortunes, to move beyond such deceptions. Certainly you weren’t planning to hoard all of the armaments yourself.”
Tan shook her head and blinked rapidly several times as she tried to process exactly what the man was asking her. “Ottah I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“While checking with my first officer on the progress of the rescue mission, I informed her of recent events here,” Ottah said, his gaze still brimming with skepticism. “Commander Hsiao said she was shocked that things would devolve to the point where Rhizzo and Tanaka felt the need to create subspace weapons since we had Alpha Weapons in our possession.”
“I really don’t know what these Alpha Weapons could be,” Erasia answered honestly, her exasperation straining her voice.
“Janice said that select starships, among the overall taskforce, were given incredibly powerful weapons such as subspace fractal inversion fields, zero-point singularity initiators, and protomatter bombs,” Ottah’s look was damning. Tan was certain hers was horrified.
“Oh gods,” she shook her head, “Don’t tell me Starfleet has actually devised such weapons?”
After a few tense, silent moments Ottah said, “I know you are a skilled medic, but there’s nothing in your service record that said you were an actress. I believe you knew nothing about these doomsday weapons.”
“The question I have is how does your first officer know about them?” Erasia asked. The tension she felt at being accused by Ottah had shifted to anxiety about being left in the dark.
“She’s an acquaintance of the chief strategic operations officer aboard the Galaxy,” the Edoan explained. “He told her about these weapons and she trusts him.”
“I don’t get it,” Tan admitted. “Why equip some ships but not all?”
“Or why equip any with weapons this destructive?” Ottah added.
“We can be certain that neither Tanaka nor Rhizzo have any of these weapons,” Erasia reasoned. “If they did, neither would’ve been so sanguine about creative subspace weapons. Further, Ottah if you had these armaments, you wouldn’t be questioning me about them.”
“But what about Thelius?” Ottah asked, his expression becoming ominous. “Could he possess these arms and not tell us?”
“If so, maybe because he isn’t authorized to do so,” Erasia said, wanting to give the querulous man the benefit of the doubt. “Whoever could authorize these weapons doubtlessly has the power to order Thelius or any other ship commander to be silent about storing them aboard their ships.” Ottah nodded in agreement.
“Should we ask him?” The Edoan ventured.
“I don’t think he would tell us,” Erasia admitted.
“We could scan Baltimore?” Ottah offered.
“I’m sure that precautions were already taken for that probability,” Tan reasoned.
“Well there is another possibility,” the Edoan’s shoulders lifted slightly before slumping. “That the Alpha Weapons were aboard Narcissus.”
“Possibly,” Erasia thought, as she stroked her chin. “Though it begs the question why Captain Landau didn’t use them against the Kothlis’Ka?”
“I have no clue,” Ottah confessed. “Perhaps the armada attacked before they had the time to respond?”
“There is that,” Tan conceded, “though there is another possibility we haven’t considered,” she said, her expression darkening. Ottah looked at her askance.
“None of our ships were given Alpha Weapons,” Erasia answered.
“I hadn’t considered that,” Ottah said, shaking his head, “But why? Even though we are closest to the Alpha Quadrant, we could still face impossible threats,” he gestured, not needing to spell out the present situation facing them.
“Maybe Starfleet Command had the same concerns I had, about using such weapons near the Tholians or the Romulans,” Erasia offered, not quite satisfied with the answer. These weapons conceivably did not violate any accords and they could give them a fighting chance, though at a terrible cost.
Ottah shook his head and looked down at his desk. It was the most dejected Erasia had ever seen the man. “I fear that we might never know the answer.”