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Now What?

Posted on 29 Sep 2016 @ 11:28pm by Captain Harvey Geisler & Lieutenant Commander Terry Walsh & Lieutenant Commander Jayla Kij & Lieutenant Commander Adam Casey & Lieutenant Camila Di Pasquale & Lieutenant Avery Stuart Ph.D. & Lieutenant JG Felix Langston

Mission: Click Three Times
Location: Briefing Room Two
Timeline: MD7 || 2030 hours

Camila entered Briefing Room Two ahead of the other senior officers, her mind already at work on possible plans to retake the Cochrane, but with information so limited and the firepower and current condition of the Black Hawk, she was hard pressed to formulate something that wouldn't get them all killed. Still, she thought about various scenarios as she took a seat and bit her bottom lip.

Harvey entered immediately behind Camila, having followed her from the temporary bridge. All along the way, he kept thinking about the decision he'd made, second guessing whether or not he'd made the right call. Even though Langston, Casey and Di Pasquale were the only ones on the bridge during the incident, he was sure to hear protests from the rest... the remainder... of the senior staff.

With the turbolifts operational, it was a quick trip from Deck Eleven up to Deck Six. Terry was hoping that he could learn something...something that he could take back to the squadron as he had said. Upon entering Briefing Room Two, the Squadron Commander saw his CO and the Security Chief. "Captain, Lieutenant," he said, walking in and taking a seat across from Camila. He hadn't forgotten about that bottle of wine he owed her and neither did he intend to forget it. She had been a big help to him and had become a good friend in just one training session.

Jayla still had no idea what had happened. She had been stuck in Sick Bay and had had no information save the "Standby" she'd gotten from the Captain. So, she had stuck to treating patients and making sure anyone who was still unconscious was secured in their biobeds. And so, perhaps the least informed member of the senior staff walked into the briefing room to see grim faces. Her ever present smile slid from her face and was replaced by a puzzled expression as she took her seat.

"Commander," Harvey said in a solemn voice, greeting Mister Walsh. "Doctor," he said to Jayla. He had sat in his chair at the head of the table. A rare move by his part as he'd always preferred to stand during meetings.

Felix walked in, trying his best to keep his head down. Tensions had grown heated on the makeshift bridge and he hoped that the mood had calmed somewhat. Although with the current situation, he doubted that would be the case. Still, duty compelled him to take a seat and at least try to offer input.

Avery entered the briefing room quietly, her face which normally out at least a wane smile for the others around her impassive. They had to figure a way out of this and a means to move forward, but she was concerned for Geisler. Privately, she'd witnessed him agonize over his previous command decisions and what he perceived as his failures and evidence that he was stuck, so she could imagine what any additional emotional objections to his decision would do to him. He'd already been questioned openly on the bridge, and that had occurred without any invitation to offer opinions.

Adam walked into the briefing room and took a seat, nodding to the others as he entered, by way of introduction. He was tired, of course, but that was to be expected. So far, everything that was happening was...well, it wasn't what Adam had expected. But he was starting to realise that the unexpected was normal on the ship.

With the staff assembled, Harvey looked up to the occupants of the room. He placed both hands on the table and began to talk in a quiet voice. "A few minutes ago, we encountered five rather large starships belonging to an organization called The Confederation. I doubt that's their full name. The lead ship was commanded by someone a couple of you may recognize. A certain Karemma named D'rimo."

"Isn't he the one who helped us after we were boarded by the Syndicate?" asked Jayla, brow scrunching. She didn't remember ever meeting him, though she heard enough about it to know that he was friendly. Sort of.

Terry sat there for a moment and thought. D'rimo...yeah, I remember him. "Normally I'd say it was good to see a familiar face, but considering the Yellow Alert..." He shook his head. This was even more confusing. What had happened in this quadrant?

"Though I recognized him, he did not recognize us or the Black Hawk," Harvey told them. "Thanks to Lieutenant Burke and Commander Casey, we've also noticed that these sectors are completely devoid of recognizable subspace signals, including Starfleet."

"I've been going over Starfleet's navigational data on the Gamma Quadrant and comparing it to our current position and heading as we've been moving along," Felix said. "None of the Starfleet landmarks or outposts that are on our maps are out here. It's like they've been wiped from existence."

"Or never existed at all," Harvey added. "Mister Casey found something unusual just before the Confederation ships arrived. Adam?"

Adam nodded. "When I began to scan the entire area, I noticed that there were no traces of Thelaron radiation. Whilst we had been travelling away from the explosion, I should have been able to track something from the nebula, even if it was minute traces. After the Shinzon incident, all Starfleet Sensors were updated to be on the lookout for Thelaron, since no one wanted a repeat of what happened." Adam explained.

"This left me wondering what happened, so I checked everything...and then I discovered that the subspace Quantum Signature was different. I checked everything, and noticed more differences to the entire area. So I ran a check on Starfleet records, and realised that we are no longer in our universe. In 2370, Lieutenant Worf on the Enterprise encountered a Quantum Fissure, which opened up parallel universes. Each universe is different by many means. An example would be when James Kirk also encountered a mirror universe, where Starfleet was, in fact, an Empire. There could be some where humans don't exist, or are slaves to alien species. Some where we never encountered the Dominion or the Gamma Quadrant, or where Starfleet doesn't exist. It's impossible to predict how many there are, but our quantum signature no longer matches that of the universe around us." Adam explained.

"So you're saying we somehow traveled to a different universe and/or a different time and we had no idea?" Avery asked.

"In other words," Harvey explained, "We're not in Kansas anymore."

"Now that we've figured out where we're not, how do we get back and what are we going to do about the Cochrane and whoever this D'rimo and Confederation is?" Camila asked, wanting to get to the point of the meeting.

"Figuring out how we got here is the first step," Harvey pointed out. He pulled an isolinear chip out of a pocket that he'd almost forgotten about. "I have a feeling it has something to do with this." Harvey rose and inserted the chip into the slot by the viewscreen. He entered a couple commands and called up the visual of the spatial rift he's spotted on his tour from the morning. "This is what's left of that Valdore. You all know by now how close we were to it when it exploded."

Sighing, he looked back to the group. "How to get back isn't our top priority. We can figure that part out as we go. Getting our people back is the priority, not to mention figuring out what dimension we landed in. I, uh... I could use some recommendations about now."

"The Mississippi is loaded full of sensor equipment, Captain," Camila said. "it also has a very low signature and we could pilot a team in to investigate the Karemma ships and what they're doing with the Cochrane and be out again before they know. I would recommend a Security and Tactical team, a Scientist, a good pilot and an Engineer as an away team."

Terry nodded. "If need be, I can pull a pilot from the squadron for the mission. That is, if Lieutenant Langston is going to be flying the Black Hawk." He turned to the ship's pilot. "Not meaning to step on your toes there, Lieutenant."

"I'm up for anything," Felix said. "Anything to help get our people back. You can count me in if you'd like."

Harvey shook his head. "Any other time, I'd approve that. But who knows if we'd even slip in unnoticed. No. we have to stick together."

Camila frowned. "Sir, we're in an area that we don't know up against a enemy we don't know and we need information. We aren't going to get it by wandering around blindly."

"You're absolutely right," Harvey said with a sigh. The Captain crossed his arms and sighed, giving him a moment to think. "There might be a place where we can get that information. Before the Consortium, the Black Hawk was exploring some uncharted territory. And, we needed information that time too. We found ourselves at a space station called Razmena. It's a long shot, but we just might find what we need there."

Felix leaned back in his chair and put a hand to his chin. "You're right about that being a long shot," he quipped. "With our current status, we might not even make it there. Who knows who else might show up and wanna tear us nacelle from nacelle?"

The Captain loosed an unnatural light and brief chuckle. "It's a risk we'll have to take. Seeing how the Confederation overpowered and surrounded the Cochrane, it's safe to say that we'll face plenty of danger out here. All the more reason to stick together."

"Captain," Camila said as she thought of the Command structure and the current lack of two of the others in the department, one of whom she was extremely worried about. "Given the fact that Commanders Teixeira and Bast were on the Cochrane, you are now down an Executive Officer and Second Officer. Do you plan to fill those areas on a temporary basis until we get them back?"

Harvey glanced at Camila for a moment. He hadn't considered that part of their new reality just yet. Up until an hour ago, Harvey was content to manage the Black Hawk on his own for the next couple of days. Given that Unity no longer existed and coupled with the fact that they had no idea what they were up against, going it alone was no longer an option. He would have to do something about his command structure.

He looked first at Commander Walsh, the ideal candidate for first officer. "Mister Walsh," he began. "Next to me, you are the highest ranking command officer on board. However, I can almost guarantee that the squadron is going to be crucial in recovering the Cochrane. With the squadron shrunk considerably, I need you in the air more than I need you at my side."

Terry nodded. "You've got it, Captain. Wherever you need me that's where I'll be." And that was the truth. But inside, he still wondered what it would have been like to sit in that chair for just a few days. His mind wondered for a split second to the fact that he did have a capable Deputy Squadron Commander. But he quickly dismissed it.

"As for you, Doctor," Harvey said, looking to the woman in charge of everyone's physical well being. "I need you in sickbay. I know we still have critically injured personnel from our last conflict. Without a Starfleet facility to rely on, they need you more than I."

Jayla breathed a sigh of relief. Not only did she have no desire to ever be second in command, she had a desire to avoid the position as long as possible. "Understood and agreed, sir," she said whole heartedly.

Harvey then turned to the person who asked the question. "These are dangerous times, which is why I will need you, Lieutenant, to serve as Acting Executive Officer. I need someone with a security mindset to keep us on our guard."

"Me?" Camila asked as she looked around the table at the officers with more seniority and higher rank. She took note of who wasn't mentioned as much as who was mentioned and wondered who would hold a grudge against her for being selected. "Yes, Sir," she said as she unconsciously straightened her back and squared her shoulders. "I will do my best to keep this ship and crew safe, Sir." Her mind turned to the now open Chief of Security position and she knew that Lieutenant Corwin would be the perfect choice.

"Razmena is a few days out," Harvey said. "That gives us time to make repairs and adjustments. I want all Senior Staff to carry phasers. We don't know what we're up against, and we better stay prepared and ready as a result. Mister Walsh, I know you're already working on pulling the squadron back together. Keep on it."

"I am, Sir. And I will," he replied. "I have a good support staff, though. Couldn't do it without them." His eyes briefly went to the PADD on the table in front of him. He had done the best he could with what he had up to this point. Some of the raw materials from the Chimera had even aided in repairing the fighters quicker. Now, it was up to them to stay on their toes and not damage any more.

"Now for the fun part..." Harvey muttered. He unfolded his arms as he returned to the head of the table. Once there, he placed both hands on the edge of the table and leaned in. "According the last team that went there, Razmena is a dangerous place. They put the Orion Syndicate and even Ferengi to shame. If... if it exists in this universe, we can count on it being the same. Information won't be cheap. And we'll have to pay for it. Latinum and credits are no good here. Go through everything. Medical supplies, alcohol, trinkets, artifacts, weapons, whatever. We'll need it for bartering. I also need recommendations on who to accompany me to Razmena. Mister Langston, I expect you to fly the Mississippi. Mister Walsh, I'd also like a fighter escort. I don't want to flash teeth, but I don't want anyone to pick a fight with us either."

When he'd asked about medical supplies, Jayla had gone through a mental checklist of about three items before her mind landed on the most valuable thing in Sick Bay right now. Do not let them find Adan, she thought to herself fiercely. She would protect the symbiont with her own very life. Kij silently agreed. They would not be leaving Adan behind no matter what the cost. Rather than bring up her sudden revelation, she simply nodded, hoping her face betrayed nothing.

"I'll have a fighter escort ready, Captain," said Terry. With just under half of the fighter complement, Lieutenant Kilmartin would have an interesting time setting up a rotation. They might have to pull longer shifts. Then a thought struck him. "Captain, do you want a fighter escort once we reach Razmena or one en route to Razmena?"

"Just the two to escort the Mississippi to Razmena," Harvey replied. "The Black Hawk will need to stay close, so no one will be in the air for very long. The rest of the squadron might need to stay grounded. I don't want to reveal all of our secrets, since we can almost bet the Confederation will still be watching."

Terry nodded as he made some notes. "Good point. I'll get two fighters assigned to escort the Mississippi. As long as the Black Hawk is at Yellow Alert, the remainder of the squadron will be active and on a modified rotation just in case they're needed."

When the Captain announced that he would be going on the away mission to a station that would put the Orions and Ferengi to shame, Camila wanted to object and state regulations, but she kept her mouth shut. She was the acting Executive Officer, not the Chief of Security now and had to present a unified front with the Captain to the rest of the crew. Instead, she thought about his questions and suggestions before she responded. "First, Captain, I would suggest Lieutenant Corwin be my temporary replacement as the Chief of Security and I would like her assigned to the away team due to her previous experience in Close Protection."

The Captain only nodded in reply. Now wasn't the time to refute these suggestions, and given that she was the most familiar with the department, he'd trust the Lieutenant to handle the personnel shuffle personally.

"Secondly, we just scavenged quite a bit from the Chimera that can be used to barter and trade with the beings at the station without giving away any Starfleet technology or weaponry that can't easily be duplicated by other races, Sir," Camila finished.

Harvey raised an eyebrow at Di Pasquale's suggestion, especially curious about the salvage from the Chimera. "If we can afford to be without it, and if it fits in the runabout with the rest of us, it can go." Looking over to Lieutenant Langston, Harvey also added, "Get with Ensign Khan. Refit the Mississippi with cargo pods. We won't need anything else on board the runabout really."

"Aye, Captain," Felix said. "We'll get to it straight away." Felix knew he and the recently promoted ensign, despite their differing backgrounds, were the best people suited to refitting the Mississippi to make sure she flew the best she could.

"In the meantime," Harvey said, walking back out over to the screen to remove the isolinear chip. "There is a lot to be done. Miss Di Pasquale. Have Lieutenant Cooper work with Commander Walsh to study the scans we took of the Confederation ships. They're bigger than us, and are probably adequately armed. We need an advantage. And, Commander Casey," Harvey set the isolinear chip in front of the Science Chief. "This contains some detailed scans I took of the rift. I want your entire science department on this. It's going to be our ticket home, we just need to know how to use it."

"Yes, Sir," Camila said as she made a note to contact Cooper after the meeting, not to mention having to meet Corwin, also.

"I'd like to volunteer for the away team when we arrive, Captain," Avery offered. "In the meantime, do you have any specific orders for me, besides the obvious?"

"I'll take that into consideration," Harvey told the counselor, though he wasn't sure what good a counselor would do on the station. This was an information gathering mission, and the first priority was security and the brokerage of that information. "Besides the obvious, no. The crew's under more stress than ever before. We need to keep that under control."

Terry nodded at the Captain's instruction for him to work with Lieutenant Cooper. He hadn't had that opportunity yet, but he did remember that Cooper was with Camila when he had his episode outside of Sickbay. Other than that, it would be a new experience for him.

"If there's nothing else," Harvey said, "Dismissed. Get some rest everyone."

 

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