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Throwing Our Orders Out Of The Window

Posted on Sun Nov 13th, 2016 @ 8:12pm by Captain Claudia Ainscow & Commander Akiva ben-Avram & Lieutenant Commander Soren Himmel & Lieutenant Commander Cara O'Reilly MD & Major Storr Garlake & Lieutenant Elsa Johansson & Lieutenant Kazyah Linn & Lieutenant JG Annie Wilson

Mission: S1E2 - Unity
Location: Observation Lounge
Timeline: Mission Day 8; 12:00

Having met with Akiva and Soren earlier that day Claudia decided it was time to brief the crew on what was going to happen. They were expecting to be on a silent running search and destroy mission - but it wasn't going to be the case - as Claudia had decided to discard with her orders and go ahead with what she felt was right. With the Vindex well on its way to Altor she decided to get the crew together well before their arrival.

Cara was in the sonic shower in the gym locker room after her morning run on the gym track when she heard the announcement calling for the senior officers to report to the Observation Lounge. "Figures," she muttered as she shut off the shower and wrapped a towel around her. Dressing quickly, she grabbed her gym bag and hurried to the turbolift. On the way she passed by Sickbay and set her gym bag just inside the door, motioning to Mac that it was there. A few minutes later she walked through the door of the Observation Lounge and said, "good morning, Captain," then walked over to the replicator and ordered a cup of Landris Blend coffee.

In engineering Soren had delegated a few assignments to his engineers, to prepare for the next mission. Vindex pulled through in good shape, and he didn't expect much to be done. He entered the observation lounge with a cup of hot black coffee, and a PADD. He acknowledged the other two before having a seat.

Elsa made a quick stop on the bridge, exchanging a few words with the Andorian science officer who had worked the Gamma Shift before making her way to the observation lounge. The tall Swedish woman exchanged a few quiet greetings with those already assembled, ordered a cup of Soderblandning from the replicator, then took her seat.

Claudia watched as the gathering assembled. She'd already briefed them the previous evening but now she was having to instruct them again. She already had a cup of tea which she'd not yet touched since replicating it - in meetings she liked to make sure whoever wanted a drink had one before starting her own.

Cara sipped at her coffee and watched everyone as they entered the room, nodding and smiling at those who acknowledged her.

Annie arrived next, she came in and sat down in the closest vacant seat to the bridge, hoping that whatever the 'emergency meeting' Captain Ainscow said it was wasn't as negative as it sounded. To Annie, an emergency usually meant just that, and not something positive.

Akiva stormed through the doors, almost brushing his shoulders against them before they parted. His face conveyed neither anger nor happiness, though, just an even keel that belied his stormy eyes. Realizing he was running late--again--he quickly nodded toward everyone whether they acknowledged him or not. After sitting down, he realized he was without a beverage. He excused himself from his seat and went to the replicator.
"Prune juice, tall glass, room temperature," he said as quietly as possible. Grabbing his glass, he pointedly avoided eye contact with the rest of the room on the way back to his seat.

Moving with silent ease, Kazyah Linn walked through the doors and stood near the back of the room. His mental eyes scanned the room slowly, taking in as much information as he could. His new role aboard the Vindex was proving to be easier than expected.

Storr stood over the biobed, watching Drex's chest rhythmically rise and fall with the subdued beeping and pulses on the accompanying medical readout screen above his head. He was still in a medically-induced coma in order to keep the Trill symbiote alive while his body healed from the vacuum exposure that Drex received when the brig separated from the Bozeman. Thanks to the marine's tactical suit being equipped with emergency life support and minimal shielding, he had managed to follow the brig out into space before being transported directly to sickbay. It was a bold move and one that Captain Garlake was recognizing by already having submitted the Trill for the Wounded Lion and Gold Nebula decorations.

A flash of movement caught his attention and he looked just as a vision with red hair swept through and dropped her back inside the doorway before departing as quickly as arriving. The face was unfamiliar as his commbadge chirped with a second call for Ainscow's senior staff briefing. He responded in the afffirmative and took another look at the peaceful man laying before him before turning and making his way to the observation lounge, hoping his regular seat was vacant.

"Thank you all for coming. I know I gave you our next mission brief yesterday evening but things have changed" Claudia began.

Standing up and activating the console at the head of the briefing room's table a map of the Federation's area of operations in the Gamma Quadrant appeared showing planets and the last known location of both Starfleet and Consortium vessels. Pointing to a particular place on the screen Claudia continued.

"The Consortium have amassed an attack fleet at Gavara. At the moment it is believed there are twelve ships there with another three due to arrive within the next three or four days at the most. After that they are planning to attack and seize Starbase Unity"

Claudia then pointed to another location.

"It is believed there are two friendly vessels hiding in the Altor system here - the Brandenburg and the Sarek. Our fleet at Starbase Unity mainly consists of lightly armed ships so it won't be able to hold out for very long - so what I'm proposing is along with the Renown we rendezvous with the Brandenburg and Sarek and head for Unity along this route" Claudia said.

After Claudia pressed a button to the side a red line appeared on the screen from the Vindex's present location to Starbase Unity via Altor. After consulting with Annie and the star charts it was the fastest way to get there and although it was a risky route it was the only one they could take if they were to arrive at Unity in time to help.

"Any objections or questions?" Claudia concluded.

Having spent her entire career in the Alpha Quadrant, Cara knew very little about the Consortium. Only what she had heard from those who had passed through Outpost 67. But she wasn't a stranger to war and what it meant for her staff. "Medical will be ready," she said, with confidence.

"What is our contingency if the Sarek or Brandenberg are disabled or compromised?" Akiva asked. "I don't see how we could afford to get bogged down in heavy repairs, searching, or yet another dogfight."

"If they're disabled then we'll have to leave them behind and go with just the Renown as assistance although we'll make that decision when we get there and see what we're working with - if anything. If they're compromised then I personally don't think they'll be where Tolan last knew them to be and we'll just carry on" Claudia replied.

"As far as finding the Sarek and Brandenberg are concerned," Elsa began, "We could apply Bayesian search theory to our effort. Which," Elsa said, a self-deprecatory smile on her face, "I have barely an inkling of understanding of, and that from a class in my first year at the Academy. We do, however, have a mathematician in Science who could probably come up with something that, in cooperation with Flight and Operations, could speed up locating our potential allies."

"That would be useful," Annie said. "It's going to take us at least a week to get there even though we're on our way to Altor, any time we can take off that is vital. The sooner we can find, or not find them, we can make our decision earlier. If they are not there, then we can change course earlier, and that will give us more time."

"I'll have Ensign Bogolyubov get in contact with you then," Elsa told Annie, before looking over at Claudia, "Assuming that plan is okay with you, Captain?"

Claudia smiled. "Of course. In the meantime I'd like you all to keep the contents of this briefing to yourselves. If there is even one sleeper agent aboard this vessel and they find out what we're actually doing they might just try and throw a few obstacles in our way. Does anybody else have any questions before I meet with a few of you individually to discuss individual assignments?"

Akiva scanned everyone in attendance. He did not truly suspect anyone present of being a sleeper agent, but it was still useful to observe who had what reaction to the mention. After his perfunctory assessment, he gave Claudia a nod of approval.

Storr took a deep breath and let it out slowly, the screen still showing the positions of the Vindex, the Consortium fleet, and the supposed Starfleet holdouts. "Ma'am, I don't mean to be a wet blanket but wouldn't we be better served by conducting harassment missions against them in their staging grounds and along their route of travel rather than waiting for them at Unity? Given their numbers and the tactical deficit we have, surprise, speed and unpredictability would be our strengths in this scenario...a force-on-force defense does not favor us in any way. At least, that would be what I would do if those symbols up there were for land units rather than starships."

Claudia pondered for a moment - it was a good idea but one that could be risky. If the enemy fleet was going in one big group - which Claudia suspected they would - neither two or four ships would be able to stand up to them. However if they went in smaller groups they could always pick one or two off on the way there.

"It's a fair point Captain but I'm not sure. If they go in smaller groups then we might have more of a chance to do some damage - or stall them long enough to give the rest of our fleet enough time to get there. If all of the enemy fleet goes together then if we had all four ships we wouldn't overpower them. If they go in smaller groups then I think it's worth considering ambushing the group that leaves Gavara last. What do we all think?" Claudia asked.

Speaking without a trace of the hesitancy she felt at putting herself forward, Elsa offered, "I'm inclined to think that whatever ships the Consortium has assembled will move en masse, particularly in light of the recent battles involving the Renown." Elsa decided not to bring up her particular role in that conflict. "Among the little information that trickled down about the Consortium leaders was that they were more astute in political matters than military ones. I think their knee jerk reaction at not being unable to capture the Renown and the crippling of the Cukela will be to be extra cautious as far as the security of their assembled fleet is concerned."

"I think so too," Annie said. "It's something to think about though, if we see any stragglers or lone ships, then we absolutely should make an attempt to disable them and give them more time at the star base."

"Fortune favors the bold," Akiva quipped. "The time for subtly is passed. Now we must match strength for strength, and if we're found wanting, we make it up with chutzpah."

Claudia looked around the room. This was a bold and daring mission that could end up going very well or very badly - part of her wished she'd left the Bozeman in tact and liberated it from the enemy - but it was too late for that now.

"Mr Tora has left the ship to help out on the Renown so until a new department head arrives Ensign Zuzan will be co-ordinating Tactical operations. Mr Linn any help you can offer her will give her the best chance of preparing appropriately" Claudia said.

"Of course," Kaz said from the back of the room.

"Does anyone else have any questions or ideas? Anything at all?" Claudia asked.

Annie looked around, nobody spoke, so she did.

"All I have to say is, let's give them hell." Annie said.

Cara wished she had had time to put her staff through just one more drill before the feces hit the fan but she would just have to have faith that they were ready. With confidence she said, "medical will be ready, Captain."

"Alright let's get to it. Thank you all for coming" Claudia said.

Cara got to her feet, grabbed her PADD and headed for the door.

Annie got up and followed Cara out of the door, thinking about what Claudia had asked her to do. It was her first major project, she was looking forward to it, and most importantly its outcome.


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