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High Noon

Posted on 17 May 2017 @ 1:46pm by Captain Harvey Geisler & Commander Thiago Teixeira & Lieutenant Commander Terry Walsh & Lieutenant Commander Jayla Kij & Lieutenant Commander Arjin Djinx & Lieutenant Joey Geisler & Lieutenant Gemma Alexander & Lieutenant David Moreau Jr & Lieutenant Danyl Adan & Lieutenant Richard Metsker & Lieutenant JG Felix Langston & Lieutenant JG Dean Winchester & Petty Officer 1st Class Allen Miller

Mission: The Finnean Crisis
Location: Finnea Sector
Timeline: MD 5 || 1200 hours

Captain’s Log, Stardate 65845.4. Last evening, we rendezvoused with Task Group Vanguard in the Rakhari sector before continuing towards Deep Space Fifteen. The Diligent-class Khitomer and Steamrunner class USS T’Pol and USS Chanett have joined us in our effort to reassert a Federation presence, as did the newly appointed Commander of Deep Space 15, Commander Nite Krasa, a Bolian. Mister Krasa is aboard the Black Hawk, and with any hope, we can install him shortly. I do fear, however, that this will not be an easy task…

= = = = =

Harvey sat in his chair in the middle of the bridge. His hands were steepled in front of his face, and his nose rested on the uppermost digits. The Captain wasn’t sitting normally as he leaned as far forward as his spine would allow while his elbows dug in just behind his knees.

Not long after the rendezvous, sensors detected several Rakhari ships gathering in the Finnea Sector, forming a blockade around Deep Space 11. Based on the Intelligence gathered by Lieutenant Corwin, it seemed that the Rakhari were prepared to go up against the Selubassari. To war if they had to.

Sensors had also picked up on Ferengi and Dosi ships, also bound for Deep Space Fifteen, scheduled to arrive not long after the Black Hawk. Harvey could only fear the worst could happen, an open firefight plunging the sector into a war. And war was exactly what Harvey wanted to avoid. Still, he planned to enter with Alpha Flight at his side, ready to provide interference where he had to.

Lieutenant David Moreau sat at the Security/Tactical station on the bridge, his eyes on the station as they approached and checked the sensors repeatedly for any sign of ships in the area who had their weapons armed or shields up. As yet, there was nothing to be seen, but the huge bald man never took his eyes off of what he was doing and simply waited with the patience of a veteran.

Joey stood in front of the Intelligence console. The fact that the Rahkari were ready to wage war on the Selubassari was not at all surprising to her. None of what was currently going on came as a surprise to her. This was going to be quite the interesting ordeal, but she couldn't focus on that just yet. She moved her fingers along the sensors to try to keep up to speed on what was going on around them.

Lieutenant Felix Langston sat at the helm situated at the fore of the bridge. He had the Black Hawk maintaining her course with the other ships in the task group. He could feel the tense air around him and the old familiar feeling of ice water coursing through his veins as he awaited the captain's orders.

From his station, Teixeira looked out around the bridge. Even though it was a new ship with a new bridge and some new faces, it was home. He approached Geisler's side. "You stashed Krasa someplace? I would think he'd want to be here."

On queue, the doors that separated the bridge from the observation lounge parted and Commander Krasa entered the bridge. Typically chipper, the Bolian whistled as he observed what he saw on the viewscreen. "Looks like we've got our work cut out for us, Captain."

"Statement of the year," Harvey remarked quietly. Compared to what he'd been through the last few months, Harvey thought this would be child's play.

Arjin was busy with collecting enviromental data from his state of the art new console at the bridge. So far there was not much out of the ordinary. Nothing that needed to make them worry. Nor that the captain needed to know to make decisions. Coordination with the other Starfleet vessels went as smooth as was to be expected.

Danyl Adan was stationed at Ops on the bridge, scanning things both in space and on the vessel for readiness. He was concentrating so hard that sweat beaded on his brow. He swiped it with the back of his hand and continued monitoring.


===Security Complex===

Meanwhile in the Security Complex, Winchester was hard at work, eagle eyeing the docking area. Pulling up a seat, he sat down and began to scan the banks of video monitors in front of him, as well as keeping a eye out for any abnormal sensor readings or suspicious behavior. He was hard focused on his work now, and nothing save a ship wide Security Alert could pull him away from it.

A few moments later, Metsker arrived in the Security Complex. He had passed out a few patrol assignments and checked on Engineering before going to the Security Complex. Rich looked around and found a few security personnel gearing up so he assigned them to patrol Deck Six, he wanted an extra team close to Main Sickbay and the Medical Complex just in case.

Rich then walked over to where Winchester was seated, "Report Lieutenant."

Looking up, Winchester said, "Sir there has been no abnormal activity or behavior, the docking area is secured, so all in all at the moment its quiet."

Rich nodded, "Very good, keep me posted." Rich then stepped over to an open console and tapped in a few commands. After a moment he tapped his commbadge, "Ensign Mitchell, please report to Engineering and take charge of the Security presence there, and take Petty Officer Miller with you. Coordinate the patrols of Decks Seventeen thru Twenty from there."

"Yes, Lieutenant Metsker," Shay said before she turned to look at Allen. "Looks like you're with me, Miller. Let's go make our presence known." With her orders, she checked her gear one more time before she moved for the exit.

"Yes Ma'am, Ensign." Allen chuckled and got up. "If there's something I know how to do, it's make my presence known. Now, we're talking about Security presence, right?" He stretched his arms out and rolled his shoulders before 'bowing' up. "Yeah, Security presence time!"

"Come on, Miller," Mitchell said with a grin. "Save all that for any threats." With that, she moved out.

After talking with Ensign Mitchell, Rich tapped his commbadge again, "Lieutenant Metsker to Lieutenant Cooper, proceed to Deck Twenty-three and ensure all tactical systems and personnel are ready. Standby there in case you're needed on the Bridge."

=/\="Cooper to Lt. Metsker, can do." She said to the newly minted Deputy Chief, lot of new faces but so far people were melding well this was a good sign. She headed down to the bowels of the ship on deck 23 to do a visual and scanned diagnostic of the systems and equipment down there to do her part to ensure the Black Hawk's A teeth were sharp if they were needed.


===Space===

Terry and the rest of Alpha Flight was in a standard escort formation around the ship. The Century class was teeth enough simply by it's size and capabilities. But the Fighter Squadron provided more than teeth now, they provided a show of force. Terry checked the readout of the locations of his other fighters and the Khitomer, T'Pol, and Chanett. If they were going to re-establish a presence, this was the way to do it.

He looked out the canopy and towards the back to his wingperson before putting his attention back forward. He opened a channel, "Rocco to Archer, status."

Archer checked her systems and took a slow breath as she glanced around the darkness of space, at peace with the world. "Archer to Rocco, all quiet on the wall. Other craft do not appear to be at at any higher combat readiness than before and are holding position. The view is amazing and Arrow handles like a dream on a down pillow but hopefully we all look rather enough like a nightmare to make sure everyone behaves...". She looked at the Heads Up Display a focused expression as she took in the data on the blockade.

Terry replied through the comm, "That's what we're here for, to make sure things go well."

On the other side of Rocco, Aurilia flew her assigned Gryphon class fighter that she had dubbed Mjolnir and was amazed at how smooth the fighter was. She pulled up her sensors and checked on the other ships in the area and the location of the other fighters of the 325th Black Knights. So far, everyone was on point, but she wondered why she hadn't been assigned to fly wing with Grand Mal on this mission. Still, she was with the squadron leader and flying over the bridge of the Black Hawk-A and that was good enough for her.

Terry checked his sensor readings again. He was thankful for the updated Tactical side of them. He then tapped a button and opened a channel to the Flight, "Eyes up and stay alert, Alpha Flight. Tactical sensors indicate multiple ships. Remember, we're here as a show of strength at this point. Rocco out."


===Sick Bay===

Hope for the best; prepare for the worst.

That was the unofficial mantra of all of Starfleet Medical. They always prepared for the worst possible scenario so as not to be caught off guard should the worst actually happen. However, they hoped- and those with faith prayed- that everything would go smoothly.

Today was no exception. Jayla could tell that everyone in the medical department was tense as they checked their med kits, made sure all exam rooms were stocked and all equipment fully charged. There were more jokes that normal as a way to help relieve the tension, but it never worked.

Or perhaps it did. Perhaps they would be far more tense without the jokes.


===Bridge===

"Miss Corwin," Harvey asked, straightening up in his chair. "What's the comm chatter look like?" Aside from knowing that all four powers didn't like each other, he could only imagine what insults they were trading as well as encrypted communication flying between the two.

"I'm afraid I'm not picking up anything more than threats and insults being thrown around, Captain," Joey replied, keeping an eye on communications between all parties involved. This situation had the potential to get out of hand quickly, much like many before in the past, and if that was to happen, she wanted to make sure they knew about it ahead of time.

Out of the corner of his eye, Harvey noted that Krasa shifted his stance, undoubtedly a nonverbal response to the staggering numbers in front of them. Ten Rakhari ships attempted to hold the blockade while three Selubassari ships were stationed near the starbase. With the two Ferengi ships inbound, and nearly a half dozen Dosi on the way, this would be a conflict on four fronts. The fact that the Rakhari hadn't opened fire, or the Selubassari, said a lot.

"Where's the Vasco de Gama?" Harvey asked to no one in particular, though he expected Adan or Teixeira to make the report.

Lieutenant Adan's fingers slid across his console as he checked the read-outs. "Sir, the Vasco de Gama is docked at Deep Space 15," he responded.

"What about the crew of both the ship and the station?" Harvey asked, looking to Teixeira for this report. "Are they contained on the base or were they removed?" With the Selubassari in control, there was no telling what they were after, especially since they shared the same mentality of the Cardassians. Harvey could only wonder what was happened to the Starfleet crew, much less the Finneans on the surface below. But, one step at a time.

"No lifesigns on the da Gama," Teixeira started. A quick passive scan of the station revealed little more. "Uncertain if they are on the station. They could be held elsewhere. Hard to know without running a more detailed scan, which would not go unnoticed. There are lifesigns on the station, not just Selubassari." He reviewed the list of species the sensors believed it recognized. "The station crew. Possibly with the da Gama's thrown in as well." He looked up at Harvey. "Not enough information to know for sure."

Harvey nodded. One thing was clear, they'd have to start with the starbase, but not until this blockade was dealt with. "Mister Moreau, how soon before we're in targeting range?"

David checked his sensors and looked back over at the Captain. "Half a million kilometers and closing, Sir," he said as he transferred from Security to Tactical on his console.

Harvey quickly did his math, realizing that they'd be in weapons range in no time at all. Their shields were at least up, as were their escorts, but Harvey had delayed any decision on going in with the phasers hot. "And the Rakhari and Deep Space 15? Any active shields or weapons?"

"Everyone has shields and weapons hot, Captain," David responded. "That's probably the only reason that no one has fired the first shot yet. It's one big standoff at the moment and everyone is just waiting for the first shot. Shall I arm phasers and have the torpedoes loaded?"

The Captain shook his head. "We need to diffuse, not agitate." Looking back to the front of the bridge, he called out, "The threats and insults, Miss Corwin. Those still going on? Can we hear them?"

"Yes, Captain, they're still going on," Lieutenant Corwin replied as she moved her fingers over the console in front of her. "Putting them through now." With that, she touched a sensor, and the bickering from the other ships could be heard.

“… not responsible for your loss,” warned a voice that nearly sounded artificial. Harvey could only assume that this was a Selubassari speaking through a face mask.“Your blockade is illegal.”

“Six Rakhari were abducted near the sixth steading. Do what you will with the Finneans, but our kind are not to be sold as labor.”

“We cannot confirm or deny the abductions, nor do we sell labor across the sector as your allegations would have everyone believe.”

“What of our trade routes with the Dosi? They’ve been raided quite often as they pass through your steading. We know how you treat the Finneans, and we know that they are not the raiders.”

“You accuse us of—"

“We accuse you of kidnapping, Selubassari! No ship goes in or out until our people are returned and you agree to allow us to operate as we please!”


Harvey stood up from his chair and looked over at Commander Krasa. Bolians had a knack for displaying their emotions on their sleeves, a perfect foil for the Selubassari whom, without their opaque clothing and headgear, changed color to reveal their emotions. Krasa looked unquestionably concerned. He’d been fully briefed on the political and economic climate of the planet. Navigating these waters to establish a balance would be quite a challenge.

“Helm,” Harvey called out, clasping his hands behind his back and looking forward once more. “Slow to one-quarter impulse.”

"Aye, sir," Felix said. "Reducing speed to one-quarter impulse."

“Patch us into channel between the Rakhari Commander and Deep Space 15.”

Lieutenant Adan acknowledged the request. His fingers flying across the console in front of him, he said, "Hailing frequencies open, Sir."

“Rakhari and Selubassari Commanders, this is Captain Harvey Geisler of the USS Black Hawk.”

In an instance, the chatter stopped. Silence reigned for a few moments before the speakers crackled again with the voice of the Rakhari Commander. “This is Yarden, representing the Rakhari. The Federation has forfeited their claim on this planet.”

“The Federation had no claim to begin with,” Harvey countered. “I’m sure you’re aware with the agreement between the Federation and the Finneans, as well as the amendments signed by our peoples, allowing the Federation to mediate trades and business between the Steadings and external powers—"

“Of which you forfeited by evacuating the station several of your months ago.”

”Let the Captain speak, Yarden,” interjected the artificially sounding voice. ”Captain, I am Prefect Courc who now commands your forfeited starbase. I trust you’re here to reassert that this… Consortium are to blame?”

Harvey frowned at the mention of the cancer that had caused so much damage. Forcing himself to let it go, Harvey plainly stated, “We are here to offer our services once more. From the looks of the standoff between the both of you, you appear to need a good mediator.”

Both Yadren and Courc shouted their lack of a need for Federation involvement, to which Harvey pointed out, “Then let’s look at the facts. The Rakhari are ready to storm the staircase and take advantage of its resources to find its people. While you, the Selubassari, control most of the planet, the Rakhari are closer, which means they could easily maintain their blockade and bring you to your knees. But, doing so would plunge your two powers into war, something both the Ferengi and Dosi would benefit greatly from. Both are about to arrive, and who’s to say their cargo holds aren’t filled to the brim with weapons for the highest bidder?”

Silence resumed its command of the channel for a few moments. Finally, it was Courc who broke it, “The Selubassari would welcome Federation mediation.”

”The Rakhari would also welcome Federation mediation.” added Yadren. ”But not on your starship.”

“We can meet on Deep Space 15,” Harvey suggested. “It is, after all, why the starbase exists, a place where we can maintain these talks on behalf of the Finneans.”

”That is the former purpose of this base,” droned Courc. ”Now it is the Selubassari command center.”

Harvey frowned. A glance at Krasa told the Captain that he was ready to interject and assist, but the poor Bolian knew better. If he was introduced as the rightful commander of the stabase, talks would sour further.

“And what of the docked Federation starship and its crew? Are they honored guests at the table of the Selubassari?” Harvey did his best to keep from challenging Courc. Knowing that both species were rather legalistic, he had to be careful with accusations.

”Trespassers.”

“Tell you what, Courc. We are still willing to mediate, but first I will need the Vasco da Gama and it’s crew returned.”

”You make no claim on the starbase?”

“I don’t need to claim what I know to be mine, Prefect,” Harvey immediately countered. “My first interest is settling this dispute between you and the Rakhari. We can discuss the ownership of the station after that.”

Courc considered the human’s words for a moment before declaring, ”You will be allowed to inspect your shipmates, but no one will be released until you have delivered on your offer.”

“Excellent,” Harvey could breathe a little bit easier now. “May we—"

”The station’s shields will remain raised. The Rakhari and Federation may arrive by shuttlecraft. Escorts will await the both of you.” A metallic whistle could be heard on the channel, indicative that the channel had been closed.

David listened to the exchange and when it ended, he looked at the Captain. "I'd like to volunteer for the team going, Captain and add Lieutenant Winchester to the detail."

Teixeira had stepped away from his console and was standing beside Geisler. "Obviously, Captain, I concur with Mister Moreau. You need a security team with you. Counselor Stuart also."

Harvey nodded at the assessment. He hadn't thought of taking Counselor Stuart, but her thoughts could prove invaluable. "Agreed, Commander. I want you to take Doctor Kij and a medical team to examine the crew of the da Gama and the station. Let's make sure that they haven't been mistreated. Take some security with you just so I don't have to negotiate for your release either."

Thiago nodded his agreement to Geisler and then looked to the tactical console. "Arrange for a detail please, Lieutenant."

"Yes, Sir," David said as he tapped his combadge. =^=Lieutenant Winchester, Lieutenant Metsker and PO Miller report to the shuttlebay.=^= He called several other names for a total of four including himself and stood to head for the turbolift to wait for the Captain. While he waited, he called for all the personnel to bring their web belts fully equipped. =^=Lieutenant Cooper, you have Security while I'm gone.=^=

"Metsker here, on my way Sir, on my way." Rick replied over the comm.

"Aye Sir', Winchester said. He stood, locked out the console he had been using, and made his his way to a tubolift. "Shuttlebay", he said as the doors slid shut and the lift started to move.

Allen tapped his commbadge, "You've got it, Lieutenant. I'll meet you there. Miller out." He ended the communique and went to pick-up his belt and all it's attachments. This would be his first away mission with the new Chief and Assistant. He wanted to do, and be at, his best.

Teixeira nodded his thanks to the Moreau.

"Mister Djinx," Harvey called over to the Science station. "Take a team to the Vasco da Gama with Mister Griffin. Inspect the ship and start looking for anything you can about the Zone."

"Aye, Sir. If there is an answer aboard, we will find it.", Arjin nodded at the Captain.

"Miss Corwin," Harvey said just before turning to the turbolift, "Keep your ears open. Study the planet as much as possible, and see if you can't find any leads to pick up with once the negotiations are over."

"Yes, Captain," Joey said, turning her attention from her console to their Commanding Officer. She was fairly decent when it came to multitasking, but would have more luck working in the Intelligence Complex with her team. "Permission to leave the bridge?"

Harvey nodded to the Lieutenant before looking towards the helm.

With permission granted, Joey rose to her feet and excused herself from the bridge.

"Mister Langston," Harvey began his last order, "the ship is yours. Keep close to the starbase, and whatever you and the Squadron do, don't let things out here turn into a firefight."

"Aye, sir," Langston said, turning back into his station to bring up the duty roster. The gravity of the situation made Felix sigh a little heavier than usual. He made some on the fly adjustments and then turned to face The Chair. "Hoo boy," he whispered.

With that, Harvey entered the turbolift with the rest of the crew. It was time to get to work.

 

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