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Our First Stop

Posted on 09 Apr 2018 @ 6:15pm by Captain Harvey Geisler & Commander Thiago Teixeira & Lieutenant Commander Terry Walsh & Lieutenant Commander Jayla Kij & Lieutenant Commander Arjin Djinx & Lieutenant Joey Geisler & Lieutenant Camila Di Pasquale & Lieutenant Reginald Hawthorn & Lieutenant Avery Stuart Ph.D. & Lieutenant JG Felix Langston & Senior Chief Petty Officer Charles Stephens Jr.

Mission: The Search Begins
Location: Conference Room, Deck 1
Timeline: MD 1 || 1000 hours

Joey made her way into the Conference Room with a PADD in hand and looked around, taking note that she was the first to arrive. It wasn't too surprising all things considered. She chose her usual seat at the table and settled down to wait for the others, taking those few minutes to go over some things that required her attention. None of those things would prove too distracting that she'd miss out on anyone walking inside, though.

Security drills were a constant on all shifts and while her Assistant had shouldered much of the load, Camila had been right there with her personnel, pushing herself as much as she had pushed them. Despite the grueling pace, the ombre haired Chief of Security looked like she had put on some weight and definition and her eyes were no longer as haunted as they had been. She paused before the entrance of the Conference Room and checked her uniform, then entered with a PADD in her hand. She gave Joey a nod, then went to take a seat and settled in for the others to arrive.

Reggie pulled the third straw for entry to the meeting and arrived in a manner befitting his workload: Frazzled. He either had shadows under his eyes or the vacuum grease build-up had been particular fiendish to wash off. He was at least in a clean uniform, the wonders of near-instant matter replication doing away with the laundry needs of trillions. Reggie just picked a seat, any seat, and landed in it.

"Well..." Reggie said, stifling a yawn. "Don't y'all look well rested."

The Intel Chief offered Camila a smile and a nod, making a mental note to get with her to check in, before she turned her attention to Reggie. Joey wasn't going to say anything about the statement he'd made, and that was simply because she was well rested. However, that didn't mean she was going to keep her mouth shut. "Run into any simian hands lately?"

"Been busy ya know, fixin' all manner of things that got broke or blown apart by our visitors. But I tell you what, I see the hand of a good for nothing ape I'll be sure to tell ya after I've dealt with it. Wouldn't want to put you to any trouble," Reggie said with a grinned. "Us engineers are mighty fine problem solvers."

If Joey had anything else to add, she didn't. There was a time and place for such things, and here wasn't one of them.

Thiago walked into the conference room, having left the bridge just a moment before. "Where is everyone?"

“Right behind you commander,” said Jayla wearily, but cheerfully. Sick Bay had been busy. When the engineers were busy, they inevitably hurt themselves and so the doctors were kept busy. Thankfully there had been no serious injuries. “Good Morning, everyone,” she added, settling in one of the empty chairs.

"Morning there Doc," Reggie said brightly, knowing his face had two gears and that Joey would only ever see one.

Joey offered Thiago and Jayla a smile. "Good morning. We're the first to arrive. I imagine the others are on their way."

"Already here and waiting for you and other others, Commander," Camila said as she took mental note of how fast the Engineer switched gears and his threat to Chow.

Charles much like Reggie had been fixing and in some cases re-fixing so much in the past couple weeks that he had little time to tend to his other duties. He had finally had a desk day where he was logging complaints and issues that the enlisted crew had been pilling on his desk. He walked in looking rather tired and saw all the officers around the room and he just made his way to a seat at the table with a grin.

The maps of the surrounding area were still attending gymnastics class in his head. So Arjin absent minded entered the Conference Room. Rather late as most of the times. He made a mental note to try and not arrive with the last bunch next meeting. At least he had taken the time to shower and change uniform.
"Morning everyone.", he said. Nodding towards each of the gathered officers before taking one of the sparce empty seats. "Looking great 'Spots'", he added towards the doctor. "Thanks for getting the memory back on track."

"Couple of bad nights of Pok Deng I'd like to forget, but you medical folk gone reminded me how much I lost on those card games," Reggie chuckled.

"Sorry," said Jayla with a small grin. "But if you want any memories, you have to get them all. There's some things I'd like to forget, too," she added with a vague hint of darkness.

"Really-?" Reggie bagn to say before cutting himself short.

Terry strolled in, a PADD in one hand and a tall cup of coffee that would take the hair off a Nausciaan. The wonderful odor coming from the cup simply confirmed it. He looked around and found an empty seat in the nearly full room. He put the PADD down and took a long drink of the delicious goodness.

Joey smelled the coffee before Terry even walked into the briefing, and now found herself putting a death grip on the chair she sat in as nausea bubbled up inside her. She was not going to be sick... not in a room full of people... not again. The Intel Chief closed her eyes as Terry took a seat and began taking a few deep, calming breaths. She began to let her mind wander to thoughts of some of the ship's crew, none that were currently in the room, being lined up for a firm smack across the face from a certain little Capuchin. It was clear she was struggling, but was somehow managing to keep things in check.

Felix walked into the briefing room, running a hand over his neck and working out a kink in his shoulder. Since the ordeal, he hadn't been sleeping well, as visions and flashes kept him awake at night. He kept himself going with nearly double the amount of coffee he usually drank in the mornings. Taking a big swig from his cup, he nodded at the other members of the senior staff as he sat down, unintentionally sighing as he did.

Not another one... Joey knew it wasn't personal, but couldn't help but feel that fate was working against her. She kept her eyes closed and fought the urge to escape the conference room in an attempt to keep from getting sick. After all, mind over matter could only do so much. Still, the Intel Chief planned to fight it with everything she had, reminding herself this wouldn't last forever.

Avery entered the conference room, her mind half on the present and the crew's immediate needs, and half on trying to process what they had all been through personally. It was a lot to process and although Avery knew she had to forgive herself for being more distracted so she could move forward, she knew it was going to take a bit more effort.

Approaching her seat, Stuart felt herself smile upon seeing Joey's pregnant form. if there was anything that was going to help her focus on the future, it was the promise of new life.

Promptly, at 1000 hours, Harvey entered the conference room. The ship's cover was still on his head, and his longer hair had been brushed back behind his ears. "Good morning, everyone," he began. "Doctor Kij, Lieutenant Hawthorn, how's our crew and ship?"

"Can't speak for the crew but ships running as well as can be expected, better in point of fact. We've just about finished off damage repairs from the attack from the...er...we figure out a name for those Good Samaritans? Well anywho Core's back up and running at peak efficiency, the hull's back in one piece. We can begin to shuffle folk back into their quarters now from where we put'em," Reggie said, rubbing his chin. "Though if its all the same, I'd like to give my deck thumper's some downtime. They've been pulling double and triple shifts to get everything looking like the Black Hawks just finished her builder's trials. Be nice if that reward was some downtime. Got me a roster here for a reduced shift pattern that'll get'em all seen to over a 72 hour period."

"The people are good," answered Jayla. "I haven't had any reports of missing memories in a couple of weeks, so it appears we've all regained all memories. Now if we could just keep the engineers from injuring themselves," she added with a cheeky grin at Hawthorn. "I think that suggested downtime is a great idea."

"The crew is slowly but surely finding their footing again, some more quickly than others," Avery noted, pausing ever so slightly to acknowledge she was speaking of herself as much as anyone else. It was more than disconcerting to have one's memories tampered with, and considering Avery regularly helped shape perceptions and mental processes to promote healing, she had obsessed over all that could of gone wrong as much, if not more than most. "I have no doubt that in time, all will demonstrate the same degree of resiliency they have in times of previous trauma. We are strongly bonded as a crew, and whatever we doubt or may have missing, we know we can count on each other."

Camila looked around the table and then took note of Joey's expression. "Are you okay, Lieutenant Geisler?" she asked, not associating coffee with the Intel officer being sick, but knew she had been sick a few times when they didn't have their memories.

All Joey could do was manage a nod. Anything else would have her being sick on the table before her, and she didn't want that, but the scent hung in the air and assaulted her in ways she didn't even think possible. Continued to take a few deep breaths in an effort to calm her fragile stomach and work through the feeling.

Harvey eyed Joey for a moment, knowing exactly what was happening with her. After all, he could smell it, the rich aroma of the pleasantly smelling hot bean water. Knowing this could erupt at any second, Harvey stood up, picking up the padd that was waiting for him at his seat. "As much as I would like to promise downtime," he stated, "we have a mission to complete. Three months ago, we learned about a probe that was launched by us inside the zone. Now we're here, and there's a ticking clock."

The Captain began to walk along side the conference table, holding the padd in his hand. "Somehwere... in this zone..." Harvey stopped behind Walsh, gently waving out the window, "is some sort of threat that puts the Federation in danger. We've got to find it, identify it, and, well..." Harvey planted the padd, screen down, on top of Walsh's mug to stop the smell from wafting. "Stop it if we must."

Harvey resumed walking and stopped again, this time in front of the large viewscreen. "We'll rest when we can. Mister Hawthorn, with with Commander Teixeira on a relaxed duty roster, but keep an understanding that the crew remains on call."

"Yes Sir, I can modify the roster I have here to at last make sure their getting as much down time as work time. Engineering will always be ready to answer when called Sir," Reggie nodded.

"As soon as you have something drafted," Thiago said to the Chief Engineer, "I'll take a look."

The Captain turned and touched a control, prompting the viewscreen to spring to life. On its vibrant screen was a small star system with five planets, each one looking like they'd seen better days. Two notes appeared on the screen, with one identifying an orbital station at one planet, and the other note identifying a domed habitat on another. "After weeks of scanning and analyzing sensor data, we've picked out our first port of call."

"I ain't no fancy pants astrogator but none of those planets look like Risa," Reggie commented, his eyes tracking across the screen. "You got any close up of the station? Might give us an idea of tech levels, given there are only so many ways to radiate heat without using bonafide space magic."

Camila remembered the last time they were at an alien station. "Sir, why are we even considering the station?" She asked. "These people tried to kidnap us and when that didn't work, they attacked us. Then rather than be captured, they destroyed their ships."

"Fair point," Harvey ceded to his Chief of Security. "However, our sensors have been running the last few weeks. Our friends are still patrolling the barrier, and none of them have made any trips into or out of this system. And, while we can't expect everyone to be friendly, there's only so much we can pick up from sensors. Eventually, we have to establish contact with the cultures indigenous to here, so long as the Prime Directive allows."

"That's the one about not interfering with them that ain't learned how to play nice with each other and use antimatter responsibly?" Reggie asked with a grinned. "Always thought that was more of a guideline than not."

"It'd be nice for other people not to interfere with us for a change," Felix quipped while leaning back in his chair and putting an arm behind his head.

The scent of coffee still hung in the air, but listening to what was going on around her gave Joey the opportunity to push it further to the back of her mind. "And what if those on the station feel the same way our friends before did? Try to separate us from the ship, then force into having to fight again?" the Intel Chief asked, opening her eyes to look toward the Captain. "I'm sure everyone is aware of this, but we're alone out here. We have no means of outside support should things go bad. I suggest sending a smaller team ahead and see how they're received instead of a starship containing hundreds. It seems less threatening that way."

“Given our welcome I’d have thought a little Gunboat Diplomacy would be down right welcome. Let folk know we’re here to explore but not shy in defending ourselves,” Reggie smiled. “I could have a work crew out on the hull give the engineering section some grinning teeth around the defector dish. Beautify all that Starfleet grey out there.”

Terry had been gently tapping the side of his coffee mug with the flesh if his finger since Harvey had capped it. He had attempted to remove the PADD once. And only once. Deciding to leave it alone for now, he added to the conversation. "We're talking about smaller teams instead of a large starship. Why not smaller ships? I could take a few fighters in. They're small enough and," he paused, looking to Reggie, "they have teeth."

Harvey shook his head. "We might have teeth, but let's not forget. We have no support out here. If we show our full strength, everyone will know what to expect. No, this is a game of chess. We start small, and we work our way up." He pointed at the different markers on the screen. "We're going to split up. Two Away Teams will take the Mississippi and the Euphrates to the station and the habitat respectively. Federation credits and latinum are both invalid here, so we'll need items to trade for information, and possibly supplies. We do have a few crates of precious metals and stones in the cargo bay, so there's a start. Mister Hawthorn and Mister Stephens, see what you can rustle up from the crew. Exotic foods and beverages could be handy here."

"Er...how much, in the way of quantity would be needed of these trade goods?" Reggie asked. The Reginald Madison Hawthorn the Second Memorial Still, known to one and all as Secondary Thruster Quad Intercooler 5, had a peak efficiency that met local demand. "And I'm assuming you want quality so you don't want me to set some Boot's up in a lab somewhere sewing little Black Hawk onesies and what not?"

Concerned eyes had slid over in Joey's direction when Camila had asked if the Intel chief was feeling all right, but Avery noted the moment seemed to have passed, thanks in large part to the Captain's deft handling of the offending beverage. She recalled Geisler had mentioned Joey's trouble with the scent not long ago, and Stuart was filled with sympathy. Practically constant nausea, especially at this point in the pregnancy, had to be a nightmare. Now her attention focused on Reggie, who seem to have a very colorful way of offering a point. The counselor smiled inwardly. God knew, they could all use a bit more levity.

"That will be up to Commander Teixeira and Lieutenant Geisler to decide," Harvey replied to the engineer. "Since the teams will be using the runabouts, no more than 8 persons will go on each team. While you all are out socializing, we're going to have the Black Hawk take a close look at the rest of the system. We're too far out for our sensors to be completely effective, but judging by the EM radiation and abnormal properties of the zone we've seen so far, we'll have to get up close to give it a proper look."

Joey opened her eyes and looked toward the Captain. That was one way to snap her out of the nauseous feeling. "Will we be leading the teams?"

"We could fire off a few probes on ballistic trajectories through the system, have their passive sensors dialled up to maximum sensitivity. Whilst the away teams greet the locals we can move around to the other side of the system and pick up the probes on their way out. See if what the Away Teams report matches up with what the probes gather. Used a similar trick hunting pirates on the Olympia, it works if the Tac Officer's good at seeing things in static." Reggie said, spinning a PADD on table between his fingers.

"I'd like to assign two Security personnel to each team," Camila said. "I want to be on team one with Ensign Mitchell and I want Parks on team two for lead with Petty Officer Miller."

"Will the Squadron be providing escort to the Black Hawk?" Terry asked. "Or, like the probes, we could be sent out for recon," he suggested. "Give a human and defensive element to it in case we do run into someone."

Taking on the questions one at a time; to his Chief of Intelligence, "Yes, you'll be leading the teams." To the Chief Engineer he said, "We can use a minimal amount of probes. I want to keep our footprint as small as possible for now." Then, to the Chief of Security, "We're not handling assignments here. Speak to me or the team leaders after the meeting. But, plan on four security personnel per team. Someone's got to guard the runabouts."

Finally, to Commander Walsh, he said, "I'm counting on the squadron to provide both. Likely more recon than escort. I don't want to look like we need the squadron every time we're out and about."

"I will organise several science teams so we can analyse all incomming scan and other data 24/7. If there is something worth knowing, we will get it back to you as quick as possible.", Arjin added to the conversation and nodding to the Captain.

"Do you want us to wear our uniforms?" Joey asked. She didn't think it would make a big difference if they did or didn't, but that was a call she felt the Captain should make given his last statement.

Harvey nodded to Joey in confirmation. Every lifeform aboard the Black Hawk was foreign to the zone. Anyone looking at them already knew that the crew was not from around here. Might as well embrace it.

"We stand out like a sore thumb anyway, so it's unlikely it would matter what we wear," Joey stated, hoping they wouldn't run into any trouble while away. If they did, though, they'd be prepared for it as they always were. "I think that's all I have for questions right now."

"Does that mean I can start wearing my hat and boots? I mean don't get me wrong, these Federation bootie things are rear slick but they're not treated Montana leather," Reggie said, getting up from the table before running a hand over his head. "Feel damn hear nude without my hat on. Ain't natural."

"You can wear one of these while on duty," Harvey remarked, indicating the cover that he presently wore on his head. Only after he said it did he realize that Hawthorn had other things on his mind. "If there's nothing more, Commander Teixeira and Lieutenant Geisler, prepare your teams. Lieutenant Hawthorn, get Warrant Officer Griffin to assist with runabout prep. Make sure they're ready for anything. Commander Djinx and Lieutenant Langston, give the scans another look. I want recommendations on where to start as soon as we arrive. We'll arrive at the Alpha Trios system tomorrow morning. Dismissed."

Arjin stood up from his chair. But before leaving the room he decided to go over to the Intelligence Chief who seemed to have problems keeping focus at times during the mission.
"Everything ok?", he asked.

"Yes, Captain," the Intel Chief said as she rose to her feet, looking toward Arjin as he approached her. She nodded her head in answer to his question, but felt the need to explain a bit. "I'm fine, but there's coffee present, and it makes me incredibly nauseous." Joey grabbed the PADD she'd brought with her and prepared to make her exit to anywhere the air was fresher.

 

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