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Receipt of Orders

Posted on Thu Jun 16th, 2016 @ 4:11pm by Captain Claudia Ainscow & Commander Tolan

Mission: S1E1 - Booby Trap
Location: Deck 1; Captain's Ready Room
Timeline: Mission Day 2; 09:00

Claudia was in her office at the start of her duty shift awaiting a call from her superiors. She had sent a message requesting permission to depart on a proper shakedown cruise. That wasn't to be the case however as it was now 09:00 and nothing had been heard from Starbase Unity - although Claudia thought in the current circumstances it was going to be the case that communications were kept to those that were only absolutely essential.

Just as the stood at the replicator to get herself a cup of tea the chime of her Ready Room sounded. Instead of placing her order she turned to face the door and called to summon her guest into the room.

"Enter" Claudia said.

Lieutenant Tolan was the visitor. The Suliban Starfleet officer was a Mission Advisor - formerly an Operations Officer - now based in the Gamma Quadrant and had spent a number of months intensively studying The Consortium and their activities. He knew all he needed to know for him to be given Claudia's orders and to guide the new starship and her crew along the way for their first mission in the deep unknown region of space known as the Gamma Quadrant.

Tolan entered the room and stood in the centre of Claudia's Ready Room with a PADD in his right hand. He was temporarily assigned to the Vindex and he was due to return to Starbase Unity at the end of his assignment as a guide for Claudia and her crew.

"Lieutenant Tolan reporting for duty. I've brought your orders that you requested from your superiors - they felt it would be best given the current circumstances to keep sensitive information as secret as possible - hence why I've been sent here" Tolan said.

Claudia was surprised that she had been assigned a Mission Advisor - especially one who was a Suliban. She was aware of his species however she had never served with a Suliban officer until now. It was a unique opportunity Claudia was looking forward to.

"Well...I guess in that case...Welcome to the Vindex Lieutenant. I was about to get myself a cup of tea - would you like a drink?" Claudia asked.

Tolan had just had a drink with his breakfast prior to joining the Vindex so he decided on this occasion he was going to decline. He could see Claudia's surprise to his assignment aboard the Vindex - but it was one he was looking forward to. Tolan had always preferred to be out in space rather than working on a starbase - but now he was a Mission Advisor his position took him anywhere and everywhere.

"No thank you Commander. Shall we get down to business?" Tolan asked.

Claudia nodded and returned to her desk and gestured for the Suliban to sit down. Once they were both sat down she turned her console off and waited to hear what lay ahead for the Vindex and her crew on their first mission.

Tolan passed the PADD over to Claudia containing the details of his assignment to her vessel.

"This confirms I have been transferred to your command for the duration of this mission" Tolan said.

Claudia took the PADD and read that his assignment was only temporary. The nature of the mission however was not contained on the PADD - clearly that was why Tolan was there. She nodded as she read the PADD before placing it to one side and casting her sight on Tolan ready to listen to what he was going to say.

"That's fine with me" Claudia said with a smile.

Tolan nodded. "The Vindex's first assignment in any other circumstance would be relatively easy - although of course we're in the Gamma Quadrant so I think the use of that word would be incorrect"

Tolan paused for a moment before continuing.

"The Vindex is to search for and if possible retrieve the USS Renown which has disappeared from sensors and contact has been lost - although that could well be down to The Consortium having their way with it. We know very little about where it actually is but what we do know is where it was headed. It was due to complete a survey somewhere around Rakhar - however as The Consortium have taken control of Deep Space 11...there's a possibility they changed course to avoid them. As the wormhole from the Alpha Quadrant is now sealed and under Consortium control the Renown - and every other ship here - is stuck here until we take back control of the wormhole. It is likely they may have sought refuge to avoid being captured - the mission is to find the Renown and escort the ship back here" Tolan said.

Claudia nodded and took it in. A search and rescue mission in the current circumstances was anything but easy - and not only that they'd have to avoid The Consortium as much as they could along the way. Trying to find something whilst trying to stay hidden wasn't going to be a particularly easy feat.

"That's a big area of space we've got to cross to get there. Going directly via the quickest route wouldn't be the best way either as it's too risky...what route would you suggest taking to Rakhar?" Claudia replied.

Tolan nodded. "I'd recommend going via Trialus, Bopak and Yadera. Although it would be a much longer journey it would be far less dangerous. Going too close to Deep Space 11 is not a good idea nor would I recommend it. The amount of vessels they have in that area is enormous - we'd never be able to get through undetected"

"Well I think that's what we'll go for. What are we to do if the vessel has been captured by The Consortium? I'm certainly hoping that isn't the case but it's entirely possible - although I'm sure that's already been considered by yourself and our superiors" Claudia asked.

Tolan's reply was simple. He knew what they were to do if the Renown had been captured by their enemy - the only thing to stop the vessel from being added to The Consortium's already large fleet of vessels.

"Destroy it. It may be an old ship in terms of when it was launched but that's as far as it goes. It's fitted with the same phasers, torpedoes, shields and armour as this very vessel. We know that they've got Excelsior-class starships on their strength but they're not as powerful as the Renown - we cannot afford for that vessel to fall into their hands. If it's already in their hands then your orders are to destroy it before it gets to Deep Space 11" Tolan said.

Claudia was half expecting that response - but she just wanted to make sure first.

"I thought as much. Well - when are we expected to launch?" Claudia asked.

Tolan replied. "As soon as possible. The more time we give ourselves to look the more chance we have of finding it - either still on our side or otherwise"

Claudia nodded. It had to be today then - and she would now also have to brief her crew of their mission as well as The Consortium. One step at a time though - she was still letting the mission and her orders sink in. Should the Renown be in enemy hands Claudia knew that it had to be destroyed.

"And if anything else gets in our way too - although with any luck along the route we are taking we shouldn't be discovered" Tolan said.

Claudia nodded again.

"I won't have any issues with that if it becomes necessary Lieutenant. I'll brief the crew on our mission in a few hours and sort out launching from the starbase. I'd appreciate you being at the briefing - of course - you know more about The Consortium than I do" Claudia replied.

Tolan nodded. He had planned to be at the briefing anyway - but an invitation to take part in such occasions was always welcome. He hoped his knowledge would be beneficial to the crew in their upcoming mission.

"Of course Commander. I have a few things to sort out before we launch although I don't anticipate I'll be more than a couple of hours. Don't go to any trouble of officer's quarters however - I will be more than happy with guest quarters considering I'm only here for a short assignment" Tolan said.

Claudia smiled. "As you wish Lieutenant. I won't keep you from your work - I'll see you at about 12:00?"

"I look forward to it" Tolan replied.

Claudia stood up and extended a hand to the Suliban to officially welcome him aboard. She appreciated that the crew would have an advisor for the mission and hoped that things went to plan - although Claudia knew all too well that even the most meticulously things could end up not going to the original plan.

"Welcome aboard Lieutenant. I look forward to serving with you" Claudia said.

Tolan shook Claudia's hand and nodded.

"Thank you - and likewise Commander" Tolan replied.

Tolan then left Claudia's Ready Room and returned to the Starbase to arrange for some of his belongings to be transferred to the Vindex - just enough to keep him going until his return to the former Dominion facility. The assignment that the Vindex had been given was dangerous - and Tolan knew it was.

Claudia sat back down and resumed reading the reports from the previous day. It was going well so far and everything appeared to be on schedule for the launch she now had to arrange for later that day. She made a note in her planner that she was to hold a senior staff meeting at 12:00 hours before getting herself a cup of tea from the replicator to read her reports with. That day was going to be the day that the Vindex was officially launched.


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