USS VINDEX - NCC-2474-A
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The Final Rundown

Posted on Mon Mar 6th, 2017 @ 8:17pm by Commander Akiva ben-Avram & Lieutenant Commander Soren Himmel & Lieutenant Commander Cara O'Reilly MD & Major Storr Garlake & Lieutenant Commander Martha Cusack & Captain Graham Holmes & Lieutenant Megan Atkinson & Lieutenant JG Kevran

Mission: S1E4 - Remnants Of A Lost Cause
Location: Observation Lounge
Timeline: MD 68 - 1400

The last 48 hours had been brutal. Never before had Akiva taken so little sleep. He had to shut off the part of his mind warning him of the side effects. Even Biynah could notice, and had insisted on helping him. As of that morning, Akiva had instated her as his acting yeoman. She stood in the corner now, quietly observing him.

Akiva sat with his hands on the conference table, hands down, and stared blankly at the opposite wall. His only movement was the faint tension of his clenched jaw. The only other person who had arrived was Captain Holmes, but they had merely exchanged handshakes. A solemn, unspoken agreement seemed to form between them that they would wait for the others before discussing their grim business.

Graham looked over at Akiva and could see he looked tense and deeply concerned even despite the lead they had received in the early hours of that morning. They were now well on the way to Deep Space 9 and Graham was confident of a swift conclusion if DS9 had managed to back up David's information.

"How're you holding up today?" Graham asked.

"I manage to catch an hour of sleep," Akiva said, "until one of the traitors-turned-triple-agent contacted me with vital information. In other words, Captain, not the best."

Megan arrived first and quickly sat down opposite Graham - extremely tired from the amount of overtime she'd done recently. She hadn't slept very well the night before but today Megan was feeling a bit more optimistic than she usually would.

A few moments later Martha arrived and took a seat next to Graham - remaining in complete silence and also showing how much her extra shifts had taken their toll on her energy levels.

Cara was exhausted. The last couple of days had been long and taxing. The Main Suite of Sickbay was still in repair mode and power had been cut to most of the Triage/ER area while her office and the patient cubicles destroyed in the grenade blast were, basically, be reconstructed. Power tools rang throughout the suite and medical staff had to dodge engineers working on the repairs. It was wearing everyone's patience thin and tensions were running high. She walked into conference room and took a seat without looking at anyone.

The smell of coffee followed Soren as he entered the room. This time he had not been busy with repairs, even though he had been keeping a close eye on them despite his temporary re-assignment. He had tried to keep focus on crew morale, but sometimes an engineer is not the best morale officer. He nodded to the others with a small smile to show care.

The MCO was the final arrival, his demeanor matching the already somber attitude of the remaining senior staff. He nodded to Akiva as he sat, an acknowledgment of the man's senior status, an apology for being last (though still not late), and permission to begin the brief in earnest.

"Thank you all for coming," Akiva said. His long face brightened a bit at seeing everyone else gathered. "You may know that our heading has changed, but allow me to give clarity for one and all." He cleared his throat.

"What you need to know is that it appears Lieutenant Linn claims to be on our side, though there is no telling how far we may trust him. As it is, the information he's provided has checked out. We are headed to DS-9 via the wormhole in order to confirm the rest. If everything checks out, it seems our enemies have gone to ground at the old Maquis colony of Veloz Prime."

"That is in the Cardassian sector," Kevran softly noted. It would be familiar territory for him.

"Indeed it is," Akiva said, nodding toward Graham, "which is why Captain Holmes and his crew will be the only back up we have. No one else is coming to our rescue this time."

"Although we have two powerful ships there's no telling what strength they will have in orbit of Veloz Prime. I suspect it will be minimal to avoid attracting attention but there could always be craft based on the surface. I would suggest dropping out of warp as close as possible to avoid detection until the last second and giving us more chance to use the element of surprise" Graham said.

"Actually, I'd like to propose a gamble that will solve the problem of early detection and a total lack of intel on the ground," Akiva said. "As useful as Kazyah Linn has proven to be, I won't risk our lives on his word. Therefore, I suggest the following action..."

Akiva took a breath, and steeled himself enough to present his ideas with confidence and clarity. "The Klingon Bird-of-Prey detected by DS-11 was confirmed by Kazyah Linn, so it is likely the mercenary vessel is still in their employ. Let the Vindex take a direct course toward Veloz Prime with the Endurance taking a circumspect route. Whichever ship encounters the Klingon vessel first will hail for backup, and rather than destroy it, we commandeer it."

Akiva looked around, forcing eye contact as he drove the last part home. "Then we use it as a Trojan horse. We discover the whereabouts of their other vessels, the details of their defense grid, and any other useful information. And, most importantly, we use it to get our Marines on the ground without raising an alarm. The Vindex and Endurance will bring up the rear once the Klingon vessel has taken the brunt of the resistance, allowing its skeleton crew to return to our ships. Thoughts, everyone?"

"I suggest we use the Bird of Prey to bombard the facility once we've retrieved the hostages - it is a much smaller craft and would be much easier to navigate above the planet's surface. I'd keep the Vindex and Endurance back just in case any of their friends decide to arrive while they're under attack" Martha suggested.

Akiva nodded as much in approval as acknowledgment and looked to the rest.

Cara made a couple of notes in her PADD so she wouldn't forget. She had no way of knowing what condition the hostages would be in. No one knew why they were taken or if they had just been held against their will or tortured for information about Starfleet. Either way...she wanted to be ready for any scenario.

Himmel spoke up, "We'll need to keep surprise on our side as best we can if we are to take the Klingon vessel with little damage, and fewer casualties. I think if the Major is confident enough, we could transport a small boarding party."

Akiva nodded once more and turned his eyes along with all others on Storr.

"I leave the final recommendation with you, Major."

Major Garlake took a moment to look out the small observation windows behind Soren, who sat opposite him. Stars streaked past them against the inky blackness of space, the nearly simultaneous blue and red shift of the light making them seem like trickling prisms. There were dozens of thoughts racing through the Afrikaner's mind, many of them...not positive. Now, however, was not a time for negativity, having come this far through so much and so close to returning their own back into the fold. Returning his focus back into the room, he made eye contact first with Akiva before rotating through the small group.

"I am confident, Commander, that the 2/5 will deliver you the ship and the hostages. However, there is a very large caveat that I think should be considered and mitigated in whatever way they can. The first is that given the manning situation, there will be no organic capability for the Vindex to defend herself from a counter-boarding action or further insider threats. If anyone is 'waiting in the wings' from the Consortium, after the Marine contingent leaves would be the perfect time to launch a coup de grĂ¢ce...Lord knows we're already on our heels." the MCO waited several beats before continuing. "Now, I promise to provide a riotous excursion with privileged glimpses into the human heart...because we're in the ass-kicking business and these days, business is good. Cara," he said, turning to the red headed beauty, "have sickbay spun up to receive Klingon and close-quarters bladed casualties. Soren, I'm going to need you to find a way to increase the lighting level to as many lumens as you can give me on that ship. Megan, I need you to search the cargo manifests and inventories for whatever sunglasses or tinted eye shades you can find. Martha, I'll need your help in analyzing Bird of Prey blueprints."

Storr knew that it was asking for more from everyone that already had their plates full to overflowing but if he was going to do this (and bring everyone back home, alive), he needed all the help he could get. That, and luck. Lots of luck.

"Outstanding." Akiva had recorded all of Storr's recommendations as he had listed them, and now he read them back with his own notations.

"Sickbay is a priority, second only to Engineering, so they will be armed along with the Bridge personnel, in addition to the Major's recommendations." Akiva nodded to Cara.

Cara didn't like the idea of having to be armed. She was a doctor and took an oath to save lives not take them. Besides....she hadn't qualified with a sidearm since leaving the Academy.

"Lieutenant Atkinson, if you cannot locate suitable protective eyeware, then I authorize immediate replication to the MCO's every specification." He again nodded to Megan.

"As for the boarding party, I am going to send Lieutenant Cusack along with the Marines. She will take command of the Klingon vessel once its Bridge is captured and remain there once the Marines mobilize against the Veloz Prime facility."

He looked to Graham. "That will, of course, mean that I will have to borrow a helmsman from the Endurance if you could spare one, Captain."

Graham nodded. "Of course Commander - I'll look into it as soon as I get back"

Megan nodded to confirm she had understood her orders.

Martha turned to Storr and nodded before facing the rest of the room.

"I think it may be wiser to keep the Vindex back and send the Endurance in behind the Bird-of-Prey instead - she's in a better position to fight than we are and although our shields are fully recharged I suspect as the Major has said it won't take much for them to seize control of the Vindex. If we confirm the coast is clear then we could bring the Vindex in too - but we really can't afford any more losses and that's the best way of preventing that" Martha said.

Graham again nodded to confirm he was in agreement. He felt keeping the Vindex back until it was confirmed to be safe was a good idea and he put his suggestion forward.

"If the Commander and Major agree I would be happy for the away team to beam over to the Endurance for onward transfer - and to protect the Vindex as best as we can I'd be happy to see if my Marine CO can lend a hand so some Marines can be kept here just in case - again that's providing those concerned are happy with that plan" Graham offered.

"Agreed." Though Akiva had conceded, he was visibly disappointed at putting the Vindex to the rear. He sighed and folded his hands together. "You all have your assignments. Let's get this done. Dismissed, everyone."

 

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