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Top Secret Briefing

Posted on Sun Jul 30th, 2017 @ 9:35pm by Captain Claudia Ainscow & Lieutenant Emilie Delameilleure & Lieutenant JG Nealey Snowdon & Commander Akiva ben-Avram & Major Storr Garlake & Lieutenant Commander Arturo M'Rohass & Lieutenant Elijah "Eli" Dreznik & Lieutenant Arkady Sjet Dr & Lieutenant Kazyah Linn
Edited on on Sun Jul 30th, 2017 @ 9:36pm

Mission: S2E1 - Secrets
Location: Captain's Ready Room/Observation Lounge
Timeline: MD 100; 0900

The previous day had seen several new arrivals, including a new member of the senior staff. When Akiva had entered the Bridge to begin a new day, it was with the excitement that only a perfectionist understands. The Vindex was nearer to a full complement than it had been for weeks. He could not have been more hopeful for whatever the future held in store.

He made his customary walk around the Bridge to quietly greet and assess each station before assuming his chair in the center. All was quiet, which made him ecstatic. Noise meant trouble. In Akiva's estimation, they'd had more than enough trouble to last them the rest of the year.

=/\="Captain Ainscow to Commander ben-Avram. Please see me in my Ready Room."=/\=

For some reason, that felt more ominous than it sounded. "Yes, ma'am."

Akiva handed off the Bridge to the Science officer and made his way to meet with the captain.

Claudia was in her ready room tapping the table and looking over at the wall. Thinking about whether she'd made the right decision or not to proceed with the assignment it was too late to change her mind now - Commodore Hutchinson and his counterpart at Starfleet Command were expecting the shuttle to be delivered to Starbase Unity as soon as possible.

Since he had been summoned, Akiva entered the Ready Room without announcing himself. He was often a stickler for formality, but he and Claudia had developed at least that much familiarity in their time together.

"You wished to see me, Captain?"

Taking out her tin of biscuits from the drawer in her desk - made by Grace - she opened them and helped herself to a couple. She'd not long had breakfast but already she was feeling hungry again.

"I did. We have received orders to transport the alien craft on the surface to Starbase Unity" Claudia replied.

Akiva tried to hide his excitement. He was not one for needless action, but orbiting Nova Mercia had long ago grown tedious.

"Then we'll need to get it excavated and brought up to the shuttlebay," he said. "I suppose this assignment came with a deadline as well?"

Claudia nodded. "We shall. It will have to be done quickly because we need to leave as soon as possible. As for a deadline there is one - of three days. It will take us the majority of that to get there at a low warp - although it depends on what Engineering can come up with to mask out warp trail and if that limits our speed"

"Yes, ma'am. I'll assemble the senior staff in the Observation Lounge."

The best part about being in orbit around a planet was that hasty staff meetings were not the burden they might otherwise be during warp travel or during some perilous operation.

Akiva strummed his fingers on the table, waiting for everyone to arrive. As usual, Claudia was the first to enter, seeing as how she had been right on his heels. He shared a nod with her as she took her place at the head of the conference table.

Claudia sat down at the head of the table and read the PADD in her hand. She looked like a woman on a mission of her own - she hadn't stopped all morning and it didn't look like it was going to stop for the rest of the day either. The joys of being a starship captain. She continued to read her PADD in silence waiting for the rest of the command crew to arrive.

Arkady was the first to arrive and had the look about him of a lost tourist. In point of fact, he had asked two passing crewmen and had bid fond greetings to a supply closet and secondary astrometric. The former had been full of cleaning supplies, whilst the latter had been a little starved for contact. Arkady counted himself lucky to have extricated himself without losing a finger.

" big window," Arkady remarked with scholarly aplomb, nodding to the inch thick quazi-diamond viewport. "If you mind not, I will sit near door."

Arturo entered next, PaDD in hand. He'd managed to get most of the 'poof' out of his fur, first by touching a piece of metal and giving himself the shock of the century, then by brushing the poof down. So he looked relatively normal. He found a seat on the opposite side of the table from Arkady.

"Good morning to you, Captain," he said. "And to you, Commander. Good morning to you as well, Doctor. Thank you for your assistance with my mite problem."

Before the Doctor could respond, the doors opened. "We have mites on board?" came a voice, laced with disgust. Kaz walked into the room, his shoes silently padding over the carpet as he slid into a chair. "Who let the fleabag in?" he asked, to no one in particular, but clearly referring to Arturo.

"Was small infestation not picked up by Starfleet quarantine procedure. Fortunately, we have caught it at beginning, and mites have been...dealt with," Arkady said. That phrase, the way he said it, was perhaps a little off putting. "Mites are problem for silca based electronics, not people. Operations have already cleared the ship as clean. Cleaner now, even."

Arkady frowned, looking at the table and the growing assortment of officers.

"Is odd meeting not to have tea and small plate of delicate pasteries. You should have consulted, I could have catered."

"That won't be necessary," Akiva said. "This meeting shall be quite brief indeed."

"Is why I make baklava so small, for brief briefings. Hard to get mad at one another with pastries in mouth," Arkady remarked.

Claudia repressed a giggle at the suggestion of pastries in the table for the meeting. It was a good idea and she wished she'd spoken to Paul or Arkady in advance to provide some. The pastries the doctor provided for her in sickbay last time were extremely delicious.

"I won't be keeping you all long" Claudia said.

Megan and Nealey arrived together. Megan was looking a little worse for wear after making an early start on a few things in Engineering - whilst Nealey was looking a bit more buoyant than usual. With the two Operations division officers taking their seats at the table they engaged in a brief hushed conversation before turning their attention to the briefing.

Next up was Emilie. After helping herself to a drink from the nearby replicator she took her seat next to Megan and waited patiently for the briefing to commence.

Eli came into the Observation Lounge next to last; this was somewhat out-of-character for him, as was his somewhat disheveled appearance. He had been up until 0400 chasing potential leads on his personal project, and he was confident that he was making headway. Although his eyes still had a fog of sleep, he was hoping that the double strength raktajino in his hand would help with that. He nodded to everyone individually, not saying a word, and took one of the last available chairs at the far end of the table.

Storr, his ever-present blue SFMC logo-emblazoned white coffee mug in hand, entered the briefing room to the gaze of everyone already present. The MCO had been making a conscious effort to arrive earlier to these things but the last-minute call and...another call of sorts in his quarters made him the last to arrive. Quickly looking over the attendees and for an empty seat, he shook his head. *Who the blerrie hell are half these people?* he asked himself while taking the seat between what looked like a large housecat in command red and a bearded spark plug of a Russian wearing science or medical teal. And he wondered why nearly everyone under his command preferred to stay on the two decks of "Marine Country"...

"I think that's everyone," Akiva said. "Captain Ainscow has informed me that we've been given an assignment." He handed the floor over to Claudia with a nod.

Claudia remained seated with her hands clasped together on the table.

"We have been asked to transfer an alien shuttle found on the surface from here to Starbase Unity. Lieutenant Atkinson - I would like you to work with Lieutenant Snowdon on having the craft removed and brought up to the ship. We have permission from Starfleet to perform an autopsy on one of the alien bodies so I'd like Lieutenants Dreznik and Sjet to work on that" Claudia began.

Claudia paused briefly to take a breath and take a sip of her glass of water.

Claudia concluded. "I will task a team with performing a small analysis of the craft tomorrow once it's aboard and we're underway. Due to the nature of this assignment, the details cannot go outside of this room and we will be operating under radio silence and with no escort. Starfleet are aware of the fact its owners could come and look for it but I have confidence we can get this shuttle to where it's going."

"Only one?" Arkady asked, leaning across the table with a question furrowing his brow. "Will make job harder to have only one body to study. What is oddity in one, could be species wide trait. Also, I think I saw note that bodies in morgues are being held under same conditions as Borg drones. They are cyborgs?"

The way he said that, the way his hands balled into fists that creaked with strain, made it clear he did not like the sound of that.

"They're cyborgs of sorts. They have been enhanced with a number of different pieces of technology...and that's what Starfleet are most interested in. I don't know the extent of it yet but I do know they won't be able to assimilate anyone" Claudia replied.

"As long as they are not like Borg. I...dislike having to kill things twice. It offends me," Arkady said with a sniff, settling back into his seat.

"The idea of having those things on board makes me shudder. I just hope this craft of theirs is worth looking at to make up for it" Nealey commented.

"That's what you're all here for," Akiva said. "Starbase Unity has the facilities to handle just about anything, but they'll require advance notice. Anything we can find will allow them time to prepare."

"Do I have permissions to blow cyborg body into teeny tiny pieces if it is hazard to ship? I ask only because is hard for organic and cyborg's parts to survive incineration by plasma," Arakdy drawled.

"Perhaps, Medico," Arturo said. "We should wait until we've actually determined that the cyborg is a threat before incinerating one of our best chances to understand what we are dealing with?"

"Lieutenant M'Rohass is correct," Akiva said. "No incineration. Command is quite insistent that Starbase Unity receives all contents of the shuttle."

"Will send missive to Starfleet Command on subject of eating meat, in case they think is mean to do so," Arkady rolled his eyes and said something in Russian that the translator refused to copy over into English. "I make no promises that I will not use Medical override if I deem it necessary. Is best of offers I give you Captain."

Storr took a long pull from the steaming cup (covfefe, strong and black, naturally) before turning towards the Captain.

"I could post a couple devil-dogs in Medical if it would...allay any concerns."

"As for how we're getting there then we need to get there quickly and quietly. Miss Atkinson - I'd like you to mask our warp trail. Mr. M'Rohass - If you can find the most direct course than both of those combined will make our lives easier" Claudia said.

Megan nodded. "Yes Captain"

"Of course, Captain," Arturo said. "I will see to that."

Kaz shifted in his chair, "An interesting assignment," he simply stated, rubbing his chin as he looked up at the Captain. "Is Starfleet afraid one of their capital ships can't protect a small shuttle from an unknown alien race?"

"I think it's more to do with we don't know what they're capable of. Needless to say, if they do come looking then we'll be ready to defend this ship" Emilie commented.

"There's also the fact that we're on the raggedy edge of Federation space," Akiva added. "We don't know what we don't know, so it's best to play it safe."

"That's exactly it. This is a unique opportunity to study this species and Starfleet don't think another chance will come along any time soon if at all. Losing it could be costly - especially if the species is hostile" Claudia said.

"If crash in shuttle at orbital speeds do not kill these things, Starfleet will have new Baba Yaga clawing at their door. Is sometimes thought that we open more doors than we should, and we rarely ask ourselves before hand why they are locked," Arkady added as a thought.

"Perhaps," Arturo said. "But, Medico, this door seems to have already opened. Sticking our heads in the sand and pretending these creatures and their technology don't exist is simply foolish."

Besides, as a felinoid, Arturo was perpetually on the wrong side of doors. In fact, he had encountered very few doors that he didn't want to be on the other side of.

Akiva nodded. "We're explorers. Let's see what we can discover from this situation before turning tail and running away." He glanced at Arturo. "No offense intended."

Kaz chuckled. Storr managed to suppress his only moderately more so and hid it with his mug.

Akiva shot Kaz a scowl.

Arturo smiled.

"You are allowed one cat joke per month, Commander," he said. "And that was yours! Same goes for you, Lieutenant."

"Humor rationing. Purrfect," Storr retorted with a chortle and his last swig of java, the reverberation of the rolled "r" still echoing in the room.

Arturo growled. He really hated cat jokes.

Arkady winced. His English was not great, but even he knew that word play had been painful for all to hear.

Claudia looked at Kaz briefly before returning her line of sight to all of those present in order to discuss the other matters at hand. There were a couple of issues now facing the crew and Claudia felt it was best to address them now before they left.

"In other news...Commander Himmel has been requested to remain on the planet's surface for the time being to assist with some more technical aspects of the colony's construction. He may or may not be returning so until we get a definite answer I'm making a couple of temporary changes to the command structure. Lieutenant Atkinson will be acting chief engineer and Lieutenant Dreznik will be acting second officer for the foreseeable future" Claudia said.

Megan merely nodded to confirm her new assignment. She hoped Soren would return because of their good working relationship - however, these things happened and it would give her some experience to put onto her personnel file.

"Understood Captain" Megan replied.

"Yes Ma'am," said Eli with enthusiasm. He had been wanting more was his chance to prove to the crew that he was worthy of that responsibility.

"Congratulations to you both," Akiva said, "particularly to Lieutenant Dreznik with his successful completion of the Command test."

"Are we finished?" Kaz asked, standing up from the table, "I have things to do." Without waiting for an answer, he began to head for the door.

"Sit your tachat down." Akiva kept his voice quiet but firm. "You were not dismissed."

Kaz stopped and looked at the man. "I'll see you in my office, Commander," he said, his voice stable and unwavering, as he continued and walked out of the room.

Akiva set his jaw beneath narrowed eyes. He folded his hands in front of him, stewing with anger, and turned back to Claudia. His eyes demanded action, but he forced himself to follow his own orders. He would wait until Claudia dismissed them all.

Storr raised a brow nearly to the ceiling and grasped the table lip. Hard. Where did Kaz get off being so flippant and disrespectful to command? Insubordination was a virtual death sentence in the Corp (ingenuity on the battlefield not withstanding) and to see it here, in front of the entire senior staff, was nearly more than Garlake could take. His eyes cut to Captain Ainscow and while he was only somewhat hoping that she would unholster a phaser and blast the half-breed, the look demanded action.

Claudia remained facing those who were still present but she called out to the departing Lieutenant. She and Kaz had always had a difficult working relationship but this was the first time he'd walked out on a briefing and ignored orders.

"If you walk out of this room before you've been dismissed Lieutenant then it won't just be Commander ben-Avram paying you a visit in your office..." Claudia said.

Kaz stopped in the middle of the doorway, crossing his arms in front of him. He turned back towards the room but made no movement to reenter. So he stood there, his body an obstruction to the doors.

"Before I let you all go I need to remind you that this assignment is delicate and may not be discussed with anyone else unless myself or Commander ben-Avram give you express position to do so. We will remain on a state of tactical readiness at all times and I'd like extra security posted around the shuttlebay and other critical areas. I'd like the Marines and Security to pool their resources for the next few days if both departments are agreeable?"

Storr looked to the Belgian brunette that ran security and sat across from him. *What was her name again? Something continental, started with a "D"...Da...De...kak* he thought, simply cracking a smile and nodding to her.

"Too easy," the MCO replied. "The LT and I can work out the details after this."

It was clear that any boarders would make a beeline for their shuttle in the main shuttlebay. Heavy security would be required around that area and Emilie was pleased Captain Ainscow had realized that.

"I'll get on it when we've finished Captain" Emilie responded.

"Might I suggest a detachment is sent to guard the morgue? We are assuming if they attack us they will only want shuttle. Would you leave the body of one of your officers behind?" Arkady asked. His eyes fleetingly glancing to Kaz with a rye smile. "I mean officer not currently present of course?"

"I'll consider my earlier suggestion approved, then. I'll have two Marines on guard duty." Storr answered before Kaz could have a chance to reply.

Claudia nodded. "Very well. Thank you all for coming"

Turning around and facing Kaz who was still standing in the doorway she gave a sly smirk.

"You are dismissed" Claudia concluded.


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