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Calling It In

Posted on 30 Jan 2016 @ 1:38pm by Lieutenant Commander Roget del Rosario & Commodore Juliana Terlexa & Captain Harvey Geisler

Mission: Rude Awakening
Location: USS Black Hawk || Ready Room
Timeline: MD 9 || 1400 hours

By the time del Rosario had returned to the Ready Room, Harvey had seated himself behind the desk. In front of the Captain were the seven isolinear chips containing the doctored logs, and there they'd likely remain until this mission was over. It would only be a few more moments before the commlink with Deep Space 11 was established and he had to think quickly.

Who would have doctored these logs? Harvey wondered. Why supply Gavara with the firepower to equip an army? Who was really Consortium and who was a part of the true Starfleet? Who framed Kos? He thought of the collection of Sherlock Holmes novels in his quarters and wondered how much further ahead the legendary detective would be.

Already he'd made his determination on what to do next. It would be this conversation with Commodore Terlexa that would reveal the missing truths. Or at least, so he hoped.


* * * * * * * *
Deep Space 11
Commodore Terlexa's Office
* * * * * * * *

Commodore Juliana Terlexa read over the latest progress reports that Commander Stanton had just handed her. The situation on Gavara was progressing to her satisfaction. The O'Carroll had managed to intercept a handful of convoys, but others had gotten through. She was glad that they had managed to set up more than one supply route to the system. O'Connell was aware of one route, close to the nebula, but there were others - and so far, those had gone undetected. If all went well, the assault on Unity could begin within a few weeks.

On her own front, things were also progressing as planned. Several more ships had joined them at Deep Space 11, including some capital ships - two Galaxy-class vessels, one Sovereign, and two Insignia-class heavy cruisers. A few captains were loyal to the Consortium, but others were still in the dark, believing that Commodore Cameron was the traitor. They still had to locate Admiral Adislo, but the situation was now progressing to a point where the old fool was becoming irrelevant.

Her comm suddenly came to life. "Stanton to Terlexa," came her executive officer's voice. "Incoming transmission. It's the Black Hawk. Captain Geisler wants to talk to you." Stanton's voice gave little doubt as to his opinion of Geisler.

"Put him through," ordered Terlexa. Now this was going to be interesting. Geisler was convinced that he was hunting Consortium "traitors". She had agents on board who were tasked with making sure the O'Carroll was destroyed, or ended up under her control. Should Geisler uncover the truth, her agents would make sure that he would be pushed aside.

She activated her monitor, and was rewarded with the image of Geisler, standing in his Ready Room. Behind him, she could see the man she recognized as Commander del Rosario, standing in a new red Command uniform - from which she deduced that he had taken over as Executive Officer. She smiled inwardly, glad that Commander Kos had been pushed out of the way.


* * * * * * * *
USS Black Hawk
* * * * * * * *

"Harvey," she greeted the Black Hawk's captain, smiling broadly. "How are you? You look good. Have you been working out?"

It was fair to assume that Terlexa's comment had caught Harvey off guard. He, however, did his best to keep his surprise concealed. In fact, he even glanced beside him to Commander del Rosario before looking back at the monitor. "Commodore," Harvey addressed. "Congratulations on the promotion."

Terlexa smiled. "That's awfully nice of you," she said. "Let me know when you're back in the area, and we can celebrate," she added with a wink. "Now what can I do for you?"

Harvey nodded, considering his words for a moment. "We have... found the O'Carroll."

"Have you, now." Terlexa took a pause. "I trust you've placed Commodore O'Connell under arrest?"

"He wasn't there," Harvey replied. "We have, however, placed the command crew in custody and began repairs to the O'Carroll and the convoy vessels."

"I don't have to tell you how urgently those medical supplies are needed on Gavara," said Terlexa. "See to it that those convoy vessels get back under way as soon as possible. As for the command crew..." She paused. "I'll have the USS Tianamen rendezvous with you to take them into custody."

Captain th'Danze, thought Harvey, immediately recalling the name of the Excalibur-class ship. "That's going to be a little difficult," he said. "There was a... situation aboard the SS T'Pring."

Terlexa frowned. "Explain."

He thought about telling her that one of his crew members was caught beaming weapons off of the convoy and scattering their atoms in the space around them. That, however, didn't seem to be the best course of action here. "Suffice it to say, Commodore, that the T'Pring's cargo didn't contain a single medical container."

Terlexa paused. She had expected that her agents would prevent the Black Hawk crew from finding the weapons. She fought the urge to look at del Rosario, and kept her gaze focused on Geisler. "What did you find?" she asked.

Harvey took note of her pause. Her expression didn't yield much for him to work with. Continuing was the only option. "Phasers. Grenades. An assortment of warheads and more. All stashed in crates with medical seals."

"I see," she said.

Harvey picked up one of the isolinear chips in front of him. He held it up without glancing behind him, knowing full well how thrilled Commander del Rosario would feel about not being informed about this next bit. "I had the logs analyzed, the ones you gave me of the O'Carroll attacking the convoy. They've been falsified. I think..." he said, setting the chip down as he formulated his lie, "I think the Consortium is smuggling arms to Starbase Unity via the O'Carroll. Why else would someone falsify cargo manifests and inspections, not to mention violate several laws by placing destructive arms in crates meant for humanitarian relief?"

Terlexa frowned. "Good question," she said. "My commendations to your computer experts, my staff here completely missed the fact that those logs have been altered. But it only reinforces my resolve to do everything we can to dislodge the Consortium from Starbase Unity."

Harvey was still less than convinced, and it took everything he had to keep a frown of his own from showing on his face. "So what do we do now?" he asked. "Obviously the Consortium can't get their hands on these weapons. I'd feel safer knowing that this supply will be deep in Starfleet territory."

Terlexa pursed her lips, weighing her words. "Captain Geisler, what I'm about to tell you is classified information, and cannot go beyond this conversation. Gavara is being used as a staging ground to launch an attack on the Consortium, beginning with Starbase Unity. Now I am ordering you to take charge of those weapons, and deliver them to Gavara yourself. Is that clear?"

He couldn't back his surprise this time. First Lieutenant Bast and now Commodore Terlexa. In that instant, Harvey immediately regretted contacting Deep Space 11. He straightened his posture and locked his gaze upon her eyes in the terminal's monitor. "It is, Commodore," he replied.

"Good," said Terlexa. She hesitated for a moment, then looked at del Rosario. "Commander del Rosario, I feel compelled to order you to ensure Captain Geisler follows my orders to the letter. If he fails to do so, you will relieve him of duty and assume command of the Black Hawk. Is that clear?"

Harvey remained straight in his chair, keeping his gaze affixed to the Commodore while he awaited Roget's response.

Roget, who had been watching the exchange between Geisler and Terlexa silently, nodded his assent to the Commodore. Though he didn't have much knowledge of Terlexa, his orders when he'd received his assignment to the Black Hawk were to defer to the CO of DS11. She outranked Geisler after all.

The screen went dark, but Harvey felt the pressure now more than ever. The orders were clear, and so was his conscience. If Terlexa was true, why would she choose to smuggle arms and weapons to Gavara. Even during the Dominion War, the Federation would not stoop this low. As of this moment, he only had one logical conclusion. And there was only one thing to do.

Harvey turned to del Rosario. Looking the man square in the eye, Harvey declared, "I have no intention of following those orders. I believe everything we know to be true is actually wrong." The last question Harvey had was what his Acting First Officer would do now.

"I wish you would reconsider Captain. We have our orders. We should carry them out," he gently urged. He didn't want to have to take action against Geisler. The Captain had, thus far, shown himself to be a good, honorable officer; the kind of CO Roget preferred to serve under.

The Captain barely nodded. Rising from his chair in a manner most would assume to be intimidating, though Harvey knew full well it would not have that effect on the shorter man, he pulled down on his uniform jacket to straighten out the garment. "Think about it, Roget," Harvey nearly pleaded. "There are better ways to stage an attack. Starfleet Command would never approve of these methods, and despite whatever is happening here in the Gamma Quadrant, they'll find no excuse for this action or for anyone who blindly supports it by saying they were "Following Orders." No, I won't do it."

"Your words, Captain...," he began, his voice trailing off as chose his next words. "Your words are a betrayal, sir. You turn your back on the chain of command, on the backbone of what Starfleet is."

"I have spent nearly 30 years in Starfleet," he continued, his eyes fixed on Harvey. Roget was ready to leap into action if Geisler made the wrong move. "Like me, you made a promise to follow the chain of command. To carry out your orders. To perform whatever duty is asked of you, even if you don't understand the reasoning."

"The Commodore gave you and order. And she gave me one. I intend to follow through on mine. I'd rather not this situation deteriorate further," he concluded.

Harvey gave no immediate reply. He stood there with narrowed eyes, examining the person in front of him. Captain Geisler knew full well what this course of action meant once he committed to it. If he was wrong, if what he'd heard from Commander O'Connell was wrong, and Harvey blatantly chose to defy Commodore Terlexa's orders, then this would be it. No more uniform, no more freedom. A court martial and life in a penal colony would be how he finished his life. And the Consortium would gain extra life due to his error.

But, if he was right... And the reasonings for this action were indeed sanctioned and designed by the Consortium, then he would be buying those loyal to Starfleet some very valuable time. At least, he hoped he could be the person to buy that time.

"This situation is a betrayal of what Starfleet is, Commander," Harvey said. "And I will have no part of it. What part will you play?"

"It is not a matter of playing a part, sir," he countered. "But rather a simple issue of duty. Commander Kos betrayed you, and her uniform, by sabotaging the ship. Would you do the same?"

"I am not Commander Kos," Harvey replied, lifting his head slightly. "But I promise you one thing. Those weapons will not be delivered to Gavara."

"I was hoping you wouldn't say that sir," Roget said, his hand quickly bringing his phaser to bare on Geisler. "Please reconsider."

Harvey didn't even flinch. "I certainly will not--"

Before Geisler could finish his sentence, Roget thumbed the trigger on the phaser. He watched the Black Hawk's commanding officer crumpled to the ground.

 

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