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Mission Briefing

Posted on 22 Oct 2015 @ 7:53pm by Captain Harvey Geisler & Commander C. Kos & Lieutenant Commander Terry Walsh & Lieutenant Commander Roget del Rosario & Lieutenant Commander Jayla Kij & Lieutenant Jarveth Adan & Lieutenant Commander Temerant Bast & Lieutenant Avery Stuart Ph.D. & Lieutenant JG Ken Rogers & Lieutenant JG Perei

Mission: Rude Awakening
Location: USS Black Hawk || Briefing Room
Timeline: MD6 || 1030 hours

Mac woke with a start. She was sitting at the desk in her office. She'd only dozed off for a minutes. It wasn't surprising, she was exhausted. She had slept horribly the previous night. Most nights really. She was still deeply troubled by the mission on Nestene. Reza being run through. Braxus having his spine splintered. These images haunted her. The only time when she could get a s good night's sleep was when Terry shared her bed. In those times, she was bolstered by his strength; her safety reinforced by his presence.

She looked at her terminal. There was a blinking indicating that she had a message waiting for her. She realized that it was likely the incoming message alert that had awoken her. "Computer, display message."

The screen opened a large text box in the center of the LCARS display. There was a senior staff meeting in thirty minutes. That gave her enough time to have some coffee and some breakfast.

*****

Doctor Avery Stuart entered the briefing room and took her customary seat. While she waited for the others to arrive, she quietly reviewed the usual reports and briefings she received on a regular basis. By all accounts, the recent reception had been a success and now it was time to focus on business.

Lieutenant Rogers walked briskly into the briefing room, spotted Doctor Stuart and took a seat near her. He smiled as he took out a PADD for the meeting. "Another day, another briefing, right Doctor?" He asked.

Avery smiled to Rogers. "I'll take it. I'm just glad we have control of the ship again," she added sincerely.

Jayla bounded in, bright eyed and bushy tailed as always. It was sickening, really, how chipper she always was. It was a wonder nobody had decided to hit her over the head with a mallet by now. "Good morning!" she said cheerfully, taking her usual seat. "How are you two this morning?"

"Good, thanks," Avery returned with her own smile. "I guess I don't need to ask how you are." Stuart had been suspicious of the CMO's natural cheerfulness at first. It wasn't that she had anything against people being happy, she just questioned whether the doctor was presenting her genuine self. Constant cheerfulness could be just as much of a friend as being constantly somber. As far as Avery was concerned, the jury was still partially out, but there was nothing pathological about it.

Rogers suppressed a grin and replied. "Fine Ma'am, and yourself?"

"Excellent, as always," answered Jayla with her customary wide grin and a wink.

"Good to hear it, Ma'am." Replied Rogers.

Roget had been in his office when the department yeoman informed him about the briefing. Dismissing the crewman, he transferred the files he was working on onto his secured PADD, locked his desktop terminal, and headed for the observation lounge. On his way, he continued working on his review of intelligence files.

Arriving to the lounge, he found that several other officers were already present. He walked directly to a chair at the far end of the table and sat down. His PADD made a slight beep, causing him to look at the display. The additional information he'd requested about Captain Geisler and the rest of the senior staff.

Lt. Rogers jerked his head up at the sound of Roget's PADD beeping, nodded at him, and then went back to 'figuring' on his PADD while awaiting the Captain.

Terry had a feeling he might be one of the last few to arrive to the briefing. It was true that the Valkyries were prepped and ready, but there was more to go through in having the 325th transfer back onboard than Terry thought. Everything from room assignments for the added personnel to making sure they had all the necessary equipment in the fighter bay before they left. So, PADD in hand, the newly minted Lieutenant Commander Walsh entered and took a seat across the table from Dr. Stuart and Lt. Rogers. He noticed that in addition to those two, Jayla and the stoic looking Security Chief were already there. Not as late as I expected to be, he thought.

Harvey crossed the threshold one minute before he'd scheduled the meeting to start. He meant to arrive precisely on time. Perhaps it was the urgency of the mission and the moment that caused him to be ahead of schedule. He nodded to the crew that had arrived as he moved over to the viewscreen to prepare the briefing.

"Good morning, Captain," said Jayla. "How's your shoulder?"

The Captain instinctively flexed it, though his attention was still on preparing the briefing. "Better," he replied, his mind thinking about the upcoming yoga class tomorrow. Part of him was looking forward to it, the rest dreaded it.

Lieutenant Bast walked in, carrying a data padd as always. His screen was set to monitor the installation of several dozen security patches to the main computer, ones that had been overlooked during the last maintenance cycle, or new patches that had since been released. Those patches were designed to fix security holes that could have been used by Consortium agents to take over the Black Hawk.

He greeted his fellow officers, and took a seat at the table.

Mac had watched the new Trill Operations Officer enter the Observation Lounge. She was about 45 seconds behind him, just enough time that doors hissed closed just moments before Mac got close enough to trigger them to whoosh back open.

Entering, a third cup of coffee in her hand, she saw that nearly everyone had arrived. Including both Terry and Harvey. Also present was Security Chief del Rosario, with whom she, thus far, had an acrimonious relationship. She crossed to her customary seat to the right of Harvey's seat at the head of the table, feeling somewhat awkward being in the same room as the two men who held a piece of her heart.

Lieutenant Jarveth Adan stepped into the Observation Lounge Not a minute late. He had just arrived aboard and was told about the meeting upon arrival. He could see there were new faces everywhere, including two Trill officers like himself. He crossed the lounge and seated. "Sorry I am late, sir," he said. "I'm Lieutenant Adan, the new Chief Flight Control Officer. I just learned about this meeting as I beamed aboard."

Harvey's internal clock chimed at the half-hour. He tapped a button on the viewscreen to clear it then turned around to face his senior staff. "Morning, everyone. I know this is our first briefing in several months, and we have a few new faces. Now is not the time for pleasantries, so I'll leave it to you all to get to know each other when we're done."

He eyed the room as the demeanor changed. "In case you'd heard the rumors, allow me to confirm them. As of 0930 this morning, the 325th Starfighter Squadron has been reassigned to the USS Black Hawk. Mister Walsh has agreed to accept the position of Squadron Commander, so we welcome our missed fighters back home.

"I wish, however, that the circumstances for their return were different. You are all aware of the activity here in the Gamma Quadrant, especially with the admiralty. Admiral Adislo and Commodore Cameron, the heads of Task Force Nine, have fled Federation forces on the account of treason. Admiral Adislo's location is still unknown, and Cameron is believed to be holed up somewhere near Starbase Unity, along with several other ships that have chosen loyalty to their cause, and not Starfleet."

Harvey turned to the viewscreen and called up a map of the sector. "Neither one of those is currently our concern. We know Cameron's forces are concentrated at Unity, and there are reports of pocketed resistance throughout the quadrant. Most of Task Force 9 is still recovering from the moment of treason, and chasing down those who may have some connection to Admiral Adislo. We are being assigned to the Gavara system."

After tapping another button, the map zoomed in on that location. "Several medical and other relief convoys have been passing through this system to deliver aid to the planet. Not one has been able to make good on that delivery." Another tap of a button and security footage from a medical transport began to play. An Akira-class ship warped into view and fired on the transport.

"This is the USS O'Carroll under the command of Commodore Zachary O'Connell." He sighed, wondering how much the similar Irish names would cause his crew to ship up over the next few days. "He's intercepted every convoy and raided their cargo bays. Medicine, industrial replicators, various supplies, you name it. Every single item is believed to be going towards Cameron's forces while the crew on these transports are left severely injured, and in many cases, dead."

"Convoy schedules are usually classified information," said Bast. "How would O'Connell know when to strike? He must be hiding within sensor range of the convoys."

Lieutenant Rogers raised his hand. "Captain, is it *possible* that O'Connell is being fed information from an 'inside source?' "

"Anything is possible," Harvey said, folding his arms in front of his chest. "The Commodore's background is in Engineering. Starfleet has changed their encryption policies in the last few months, but it's likely O'Connell either has a source or has found a way to read the transmissions. Either way, he's been there. The convoys are quickly overrun, likely because he knows just where to hit them."

"What exactly do we know about O'Connell personally and his motives for doing this?" Avery asked. Even taking into consideration the treasonous actions of others, that didn't mean others were blind followers. People were also individually motivated to take action.

"He's cocky," Harvey instantly replied. "Talented, but very self-assured. And this isn't from a personnel file," he told the staff. "He was my academy roommate for two years."

To Roget, this was not new information. He watched the other officers to see their reactions.

Rogers softly smiled. "'Cocky,' hmm? And 'self assured' to boot. Maybe that can be played against him." He thought to himself.

"Roommate!" exclaimed Jayla quietly before she could stop herself. That could be tricky. She knew how she would feel if she had to apprehend one of her former roommates.

"Regardless," Harvey said, waving his hand to cut the chatter. "The fact remains is that he needs to be brought to justice. O'Connell is precise in his actions, so catching him in the act will be easy. Apprehending him will be the challenge.

"del Rosario. Walsh. Adan. The O'Carroll and the Black Hawk are evenly matched. The fighters will be the key in keeping the tables turned in our favor. I need options in the next twelve hours."

“You’ve got it, Captain,” said Terry. “I’ll put together a few attack scenarios for you to review. With three flights, we should be able to keep his Tactical Chief guessing for while.”

Roget looked at the Walsh and Adan. "We can meet in the Sit Room. I'll have Lieutenant Barna join us," he said, thinking it would be a good idea to bring the senior tactical officer into the conversation. Roget, while not a slouch at tactical, was decidedly more comfortable on the security side of things. That was one of the reasons he preferred serving on Starbases: the separation of security and tactical functions.

Jarveth nodded a little, the Trill anxious to get down to work. "Let's say in half an hour? That will give me time to settle in afterwards."

"Rogers. Dicon. Bast. We may need to disable the O'Carroll, and we need to be prepared if they escape our grasp. Check the charts for nearby nebulae or other areas to hide. It's possible the O'Carroll may be using places like this to hide already. We need to inflict as much minor damage to the ship as possible, and we'll need to make repairs to get the ship moving to bring her home to Deep Space 11."

Rogers spoke. "Captain, we'll check the charts - and we'll find a spot *we* can get to and hide if we have to make repairs, as well. Just in case." Rogers hit his com badge.."Lieutenant Perei, meet me in the main Science Lab, we're going 'star shopping..' "

Perei glanced up as the communications device on her chest startled her. She listened while Rogers spoke "I can do that Sir but wouldn't the astrometrics lab and personnel be better suited for that?"

Rogers just grinned. "We'll be helping the ship and its crew.it's going to be you and I on this."

"Yes Sir" Perei replied and then closed the communications between the two of them by pressing her badge. Outwardly Perei groaned she didn't want to be in any room with the man for any length of time. It wasn't that she disliked him, it was that she disliked the way he ran his department. He kept her locked in the lab and now on a whim, he didn't even go to the correct personnel when he needed to. Instead he had to drag her away from her experiments and tests. Perei sighed softly as she started to trash what she was working on as it wouldn't be worth anything if she couldn't finish it.

Bast checked his data padd. "I've installed a lot of new security subroutines and patches to the system. But the O'Carroll might not. I'll see if there's anything in there that we could exploit to disable the ship."

"Excuse me Lieutenant," Roget started, "but given that computer security is the purview of my department, I would like all of the information regarding your 'upgrades.'"

Bast looked at the Security chief. "According to Starfleet regulations and procedures, the computer systems fall under the responsibilities of the Chief of Operations. But please, feel free to drop by my office if you want further details."

"Computer security is just that, a security matter. Therefore, it is my responsibility. Now, if you want to volunteer to pick up some shifts in the cyber security division, I'm sure I can find something for you to do." Roget tossed a PADD in Bast's direction. "You can see that the Captain signed off on this already."

Temerant sighed. Roget had had a reputation on DS11 for having all of the subtlety of a bulldozer. Now he could see that not only was that reputation well-deserved, but that he also had all of its tact and diplomacy as well. "If only things were that simple, I'm sure we could rely on Security to do it. Black, white. Night, day. Good, evil. That's not how it works in the real world."

He looked at Roget, then at Geisler. "I don't believe the Captain was presented with all the facts required to make an informed decision," he stated. He put down his data padd. "The installation of security patches and subroutines has to be carefully coordinated, and scheduled with the other departments. I've seen security patches that disabled the main sensor array for two hours," he said, looking at Rogers. "Others shut down quarantine fields in Sickbay." He looked at Kij. "Or the communications array, or the antimatter containment field. Patch impact analysis has to be performed. A maintenance scheduled has to be laid out, and coordinated with the other departments, so that they can take appropriate measures." He looked at Rogers. "How'd you like to lose two weeks of work because a Security officer didn't notify you that the sensor array would be going down at the wrong moment?"

He didn't wait for an answer. He looked at Roget. "Planning these installations is kind of my job," he said, sliding the padd that Roget had tossed back across the table. "Of course, you can be kept up to date on security concerns, and you can have access to the patch inventory and all available documentation," he conceded.

"Gentlemen!" Harvey nearly snapped, not pleased at all that two of his officers had engaged in a turf war during a Staff Briefing that was supposed to be wrapping up. "Settle it when we're done here."

Sighing, Harvey looked towards Doctors Kij and Stuart to finish giving his orders. "Doctors." Harvey looked at both women for a second. "Stand by for casualties."

"Yes, sir," replied Jayla, her mind already going over the checklist of what to do once she got back to sick bay.

"Anyone else?"

Terry shook his head. This was his first Senior Staff briefing and he was just taking in everything. “Nothing here, sir.”

"Only that I'm happy to be a new member of your crew," said Jarveth. "I look forward to serving you sir."

"For the duration of this mission, I want hourly status reports from each department," Kos chimed in. As XO, she had to ensure that ship's departments were ready for whatever they might encounter, even if that meant being buried under a mountain of reports. "I'll be checking in on each of you soon," she said, before dismissing the assembled officers.

As the other officers filed out, Roget remained. "Captain, can I speak with you?"

Mac watched del Rosario corner Harvey. She approached the two men. "Mind if I join?"

Harvey's eyes darted back in forth for a moment. Mac seemed almost defensive through her eagerness to join, but Harvey was probably reading into it. "I think we're good, Mac. Work with Walsh to get the rest of the squadron aboard. We'll be leaving as soon as that's done."

She nodded to Geisler. "Of course Captain," she said, casting a long look at del Rosario. She turned and left the briefing room. She needed to talk to Harvey about an idea she had, so maybe she could find out what the new Security Chief was conferring with Geisler about.

Roget watched Kos leave the room. He didn't let his pleasure at seeing her denied access to this conversation show on his face. His eyes stayed focused on her, staring at her shapely form, until the doors slid closed and he and Geisler were alone. Despite his dislike for Kos, he could admit that she was an attractive woman. If looks were everything..., he thought.

 

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