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Together Again

Posted on 30 Apr 2017 @ 12:46pm by Admiral Zachary O'Connell & Captain Harvey Geisler & Commander Thiago Teixeira & Lieutenant Commander Terry Walsh & Lieutenant Commander Jayla Kij & Lieutenant Commander Arjin Djinx & Lieutenant Joey Geisler & Lieutenant David Moreau Jr & Lieutenant Avery Stuart Ph.D. & Lieutenant JG Felix Langston & Lieutenant JG Michael Griffin

Mission: The Finnean Crisis
Location: Ward Room 2, Deep Space 9
Timeline: MD 1 || 1400 hours

Ward Room Two. That was the room assigned to the crew of the Black Hawk for the briefing. Harvey preferred to the be the last to arrive for briefings, but this time he was neither running the meeting, or in complete knowledge of what the ship was about to face. All he had were a few notes, some rather cryptic ones at that, from his former roommate, Zachary O'Connell.

Therefore, he and Joey were the first to arrive. A Bajoran legalman from the local militia greeted them as they came into the room, and informed them that a coffee cart had been brought in, courtesy of the station's commander.

As Harvey thanked the Bajoran, he smiled. When he was last on Deep Space Nine, Harvey was a sour old man, wanting just to get the next phase of his career over with and retire. Now, he genuinely couldn't wait to see his crew again. As Captain of the USS Black Hawk-A, he'd been privileged to review the ship's manifest prior to arrival. Harvey was excited that the command crew was mostly the same as it was before with only three exceptions which affected Security, Engineering and Operations. And, only one of those faces would be a familiar one.

This, in Harvey's mind, was going to be the adventure of the lifetime, and he couldn't wait to start it, no matter how much he did or didn't know of the future.

Arjin was sipping at his exotic beverage. A pale green liquid that went by a posh name. It was too sweet for his taste though. Especially since it had no aclohol in it to balance things out.

He was about to taken another sip, when a message came to him. He entered his personal code and scrolled trough it.
It was an order to report to Ward Room 2 to get further orders.

He left his drink on the table and headed out, checking on the way where the room was located.

As he arrived, he was greeted by a Bajoran, who nodded him inside.

Entering the room he saw the familiar faces of Captain Geisler and Lieutenant Corwin. It was good to see they were at the briefing as well.

"Captain, Lieutenant", he said. "Nice to see you are both in good health. I hope you enjoyed your time off."

"Do any of you have any idea what to expect today?"

Joey offered Arjin a smile from where she was already settled. "We did, thanks. I hope you enjoyed yours as well," she replied, before moving on to the next question. "As for what to expect, it would be best to wait for the briefing." Although, she had a little insight into the matter, it wasn't her place to share it.

"It's good to see you again, Mister Djinx," Harvey said, extending his right hand for a shake. The Captain spoke the truth. Since leaving Deep Space Eleven all those months ago, Djinx's face was the first familiar one he'd seen. In an instant, reality hit him. Aside from being on his new command, he was certainly home.

Arjin took the Captain's hand and shook it. Equally glad to be amongst persons he knew.
Turning his face towards the the Lieutenant he replied at her response. "Thank you. My leave was quite relaxing. My aunt and uncle were quite pleased to see me after all this time."

Lieutenant David Moreau, a big bald tank of a man in a gold uniform entered the Ward Room with a PADD in his hand and greeted the Bajoran before he presented his order and was allowed to enter. He looked around and spied a tanned man in Command red with four pips on his shoulder and pegged him to be the new Captain he'd be serving under, if indeed that was the reason he had been summoned to Deep Space Nine. Beside of him was an incredibly attractive brunette with an impressive figure who was also in Command red, but had only two pips on her collar who practically glowed with the healthy appearance of someone who had spent time under a yellow sun. The third man was a Trill with the pips of a Lieutenant Commander in either a Science or Medical tea uniform on, and that seemed to be it for the gathering a the moment.

He approached the Captain and presented the PADD to him. "Sir, Lieutenant David Moreau, Security Division, reporting."

"Mister Moreau," Harvey greeted. He'd been made aware of Lieutenant Di Pasquale's decision to not return to the Black Hawk when he reviewed the crew manifest a few days ago. He didn't blame her at all. The Consortium Crisis had been hard on everyone, and not everyone bounced back as fast. "I'd welcome you aboard, but I'm afraid that will have to wait until we're on the ship."

"That's not a problem, Captain," David said. He'd have to find out what the man's name was sooner or later, but he didn't want to seem awkward in front of a new commanding officer, so he went to take a seat.

Joey looked to the beast of a man that joined them and blinked. It wasn't a reaction to his size, after all, he wasn't much larger than their very own Squadron Commander. No, it was a reaction to the announcement of Security Division. If he was currently handing the Captain his orders, and was taking part in the briefing that was about to take place, then that meant... that meant he was their new Chief of Security. Camila wasn't coming back.

A surge of emotions coursed through the newly minted Chief of Intelligence as she processed what was going on. A huge part of her wanted to hunt their former Chief down and throttle her, but that wasn't the type of person she was. That didn't mean she wasn't going to reach out to find out what happened. Time and place, she reminded herself, offering the big, bald Sasquatch a smile.

Sitting down, David saw the smile that the statuesque brunette gave him and returned it, then steepled his hands and waited for others to appear. He also wondered what had became of the previous Chief of Security and how he would be received by what would normally be a tightly bound crew who had been through hell together.

Michael was the next to enter, he had only barely been able to make it back to the station and the Ward Room in time as he had been spending most of the past few days on the new Black Hawk. The ship remained impressive and he couldn't help but feel privileged to serve on it. As he walked in he nodded to the officers already there. He recognized some of them but as he had only been an Assistant Chief before he didn't really know them. Michael proceeded to walk to the Captain and handed over a padd. "Captain, Lieutenant Junior Grade Michael Tolian Griffin, Engineering, reporting as ordered" He said.

Harvey smiled at the young Lieutenant as he accepted the PADD from the Engineer. While Griffin was a familiar face, it would be the first time he'd join them at a Senior Staff meeting. "It's good to see you again, Lieutenant," Harvey greeted the engineer with a handshake. "I understand you've been with the new ship for a while now."

Michael nodded. "It is an honour to be here, sir. And yes, I have been overseeing some of the final preparations. I can state confidently she will be worthy of her name, sir." He said.

"Excellent!" Harvey replied, brandishing an unusually large smile. "I can't wait to see her for myself. I'm sure you and your team did an excellent job."

"They did a fine job, Captain," Thiago said, entering the room just in time to hear Geisler's words to Griffin. The Brazilian Commander had spent the last several weeks supervising the completion of their new home. He'd also had the opportunity to command her on the trip to Deep Space 9 from Utopia Planitia. Not only did this mean that he already had his quarters set up, but also that he got first crack at the command chair. "Your new chair works well, sir," he added with a smile. He took a place a few seats down the table on Harvey's right.

"It's good to see you again, Thiago!" Harvey said with a smile as the Brazilian XO crossed the room. With the Commander's glowing verbal report on the crew and the new chair, Harvey found himself almost wanting to bolt from the meeting and go take a quick tour of the new ship. Alas, he would have to wait until the briefing was over.

Terry walked in the Ward Room and shook his head to the Bajoran, declining a drink. He then took note of who had beaten him there. Heh, quite a few of the Senior Staff actually. But, he didn't see Camila yet. That bottle of exquisitely fine wine that he promised her was on it's way to wherever he would be sleeping, so he could always give it to her later. He did take note of the beast of a man that was sitting at the table. The pilot walked up and handed his PADD to the Captain. "Afternoon, Sir. I have to say, I was surprised when I got the recall orders and happy all at the same time. I've missed being out here."

"That makes at least two of us, Mister Walsh," Harvey replied, accepting the PADD and returning a handshake. "It's an honor to be working with the 325th again. And, I hear your pilots got an upgrade."

Terry looked at the Captain sideways. "An upgrade? Well I knew that we lost some fighters, but, what kind of upgrade? Or do I want to know? You know, just wait. Let me be surprised, like when you first took me took me the Flight Deck not long after I came aboard." To say that he was excited about an upgrade would be putting it mildly.

The Captain could only smile. He was known for two things among his crew, being a grumpy hard ass and for stunning members of his crew with shocking news. This time, however, Harvey would not allow the Squadron Commander to return home without being in the know. He lifted his collection of PADDs and sent the full contents of what Walsh handed him to the PADD surrendered by Djinx. A few seconds later, he'd called up schematics for the new fighters and subsequently handed the PADD back to Walsh. "Top of the line," Harvey stated proudly.

Terry scanned the schematics. "Ohh, sleek. Top of the line, indeed, Cap. Er, Captain." He grinned, "Sorry. I think I'll go have a seat and read these over before I dig myself a deeper hole. Thank you, sir."

David watched the other big bald guy walk in in the colors of Command red and wondered if he was Flight because although he had the pips of a Lieutenant Commander on his collar, there seemed to be an air about the man that he would normally associate with a pilot of some kind. Whoever the guy was, David wasn't sure if he liked him or not and where things would go once they met on and off duty.

All the way to Deep Space 9, Jayla had been lonely. That was to be expected. Well, no it wasn't. She'd never been lonely a day in her life. She usually had no trouble approaching people and just introducing herself, but for some reason, she felt awkward and alone.

Well, now she was on her way to the briefing and some of her friends might be there. Things would be better once she was around friends, she was sure.

But, the instant she walked into the Ward Room and spotted some familiar faces, the same empty feeling came into the pit of her stomach and she frowned, averting her gaze. Why did she feel so out of place among these people whom she had known for many months now? Why couldn't she even bring herself to say hello to them?

It didn't matter. Without a word or a glance to anyone, she took a seat a little apart from them. She didn't want to intrude, after all.

Watching the Trill physician enter, Thiago wondered how she was doing. The last time he'd seen her, he had found her crying in a hospital stairwell on New Bajor. Since then, he'd thought of her several times, mostly fleeting flashes; her eyes, her smile, her hair. The woman who had invited him for a run the morning of the day he'd been reassigned from CO of the Cochrane to Exec of the new Black Hawk, Muriel, had reminded him a lot of Jayla. It had made their week together a little awkward for him. I should try to talk to her, he told himself, make sure she's okay.

Lt. Felix Langston walked down the corridors of DS9 fanning a PADD in one hand hand and running a hand around his head with the other. It had been far too long since he'd seen his crewmates from the old Black Hawk. He wondered how many of them would be back aboard the new ship. He tapped the PADD with his free hand and looked down at it as he continued walking.

"Never thought I'd see a ship with this name again," he said to himself as he approached the ward room. His mind raced as to what to say to the old colleagues and new officers that would be gathered in the room. He looked down and adjusted the shirt of his uniform one more time before strolling in the doors.

Felix took one look around the room and noted everyone there. There were quite a few familiar faces, including a tanned captain and former security officer now wearing command red. They looked quite happy next to one another. Nearby were the Brazilian first officer and the hulking squadron commander. He also found a few new faces, including a gold-collared man who looked to be the exact size and shape as the fighter pilot.

He also saw Jayla, looking a bit more dour than usual. Something's up, he thought to himself. I should see what's going on after I talk with the captain.

Felix walked up to the captain after he'd finished talking to the squadron commander, extending a hand to the happy-looking veteran. "Lt. Felix Langston, Chief of Flight reporting for duty," he said, flashing his boyish smirk. "Can't wait to get back out there."

"Welcome to the club, Mister Langston," Harvey greeted. "The Black Hawk's going to be in good hands with you back at the helm, Lieutenant."

"Thank you, sir," Felix said, beaming. "It's an honor to serve under your command again." With that, he found a seat and waited for the briefing to begin. He looked at Jayla, hoping she was okay.

Avery took a deep breath as she approached the wardroom, suppressing a wave of anxiety. Even now, there was a part of her that still wasn't certain she had made the right decision coming back to Starfleet, let alone to service aboard the Black Hawk. It wasn't because she didn't believe in Harvey and it wasn't because she had anything against the rest of the crew. As a matter of fact, she couldn't remember serving with a closer knit crew in her career, but it was also because of that closeness and what they had all endured together that she hesitated. Seeing so many familiar faces wouldn't come without the reminders of the trauma they had all experience. Truthfully, Stuart could still hear their stories and their anguished cries as they either suffered injury or recounted their psychological wounds. She knew if she was to come back, she would be expected to accept the broken pieces that represented their distressing emotions and contain them for as long as it took each person to make sense of what had happened to them.

For a long time, Avery couldn't imagine doing that again, and although her time away how to help her read discover her passion for her work again, now that she anticipated seeing familiar faces again and facing their expectations, a wave of self-doubt rose within her. It was only out of pure stubbornness to face her fears that she was able to put 1 foot in front of the other enter present her orders to be allowed entry. Taking another deep breath before the doors parted, she nodded to herself as if to say she could do this, before presenting a smile for the rest of the people waiting, people she cared a great deal for, but was admittedly nervous to see again. "Hello, everyone. I've missed you. Captain," she greeted with a respectful nod, reminded of what she had said to him just before she took her leave. In some ways, that woman seemed light years away now.

Her eyes naturally searched for Jayla, and when she found her, she offered the doctor a wry smile. The fellow healer and other members of her staff were the only ones who could truly understand what it was like to experience all of the battles from their unique perspective, as they watched people suffer and die, working as a team to breathe life into bodies that stubbornly resisted, knowing that you lived in who died was much more arbitrary in many ways than they would like to admit. Serving those thoughts away, she took her seat, a part of her grateful there wouldn't be much time for a conversation.

The doors opened a final time, this time granting entrance to two men. One of them sported an Admiral's uniform, complete with gold fringe, belt, and two sets of boxed pips on the collar. Harvey knew this man well as they were once roommates back at the Academy. Though they rarely saw eye to eye, the former roommates had a new appreciation for each other, and it was a thank-you gift from the Admiral that Harvey had a new command and most of his former crew back together again.

Accompanying the flag officer was a gentleman, human, clad totally in black. Completing his ensemble was a black vest with a textured sheen finish.

Both men entered the room and made for the head of the table. "If everyone would have a seat," said Vice Admiral stated as he moved to the head of the table. "We have much to go over and little time to accomplish it all in." His companion, as he took his seat near the head of the table, grunted at the mention of the word time. He'd been with the department for decades, and he was all the more annoyed by jokes about time.

Harvey took a seat at the foot of the table, able to look at the Admiral and any member of his crew should he need it. As for now, well, it was time for some answers.

Arjin was surprised at the sight of the man that had entered with the Admiral. A fully black clad figure did nothing to appease his unease. Curious as to what would follow, he sat down at the middle of the left side of the table.

Joey settled down and made herself comfortable, figuring they were likely going to be there for a while. Her eyes first went to the Admiral, but didn't linger long when she noticed his companion. His attire stood out more than anything, and two different thoughts popped into her mind. Neither of which she planned to make public. It was then that she realized what she'd been told prior to this briefing that there was much more to be said.

"Good afternoon, everyone," Zachary said, brandishing a hollow, diplomatic smile at everyone in the room. "I'm sorry for cutting your shore leave short, but an urgent matter has come to Starfleet's attention that we need to address immediately." By now, the Bajoran attaché had inserted a chip into the display to the admiral's left. "I should also add," the Admiral cautioned, "that this briefing is classified above top secret. You are not to discuss the particulars with anyone, except members of your crew that you deem deserving of this information."

Above top secret, yet here we are, David thought as he watched the man in black and wondered who he was and what role he'd play at the briefing. Any time a person in all black showed up, someone or something had gone wrong and it was going to be up to whoever they approached to fix what went wrong, then be told to forget about it because it never happened and they were never there.

Oh, this just gets better by the second, Joey thought as her gaze moved back to the Admiral. Still, she said nothing, but waited for things to get going.

Teixeira looked around the table at his crewmates. It was only then that he noticed Corwin was in a command uniform, reminding him about the Intelligence Center the new Black Hawk contained. He had faith that Corwin would be a better intelligence officer than others who he'd worked with in his career. Too many of them were trying to be James Bond-esque instead of focusing on the often more valuable analysis portion of the intel field. He also noted that new Security Chief was just as large in person as he appeared in his personnel file.

Felix kept a steely gaze on the official clad in black. The man's demeanor suggested he was some type of gargoyle making its home on one of the spires of Notre Dame. He furrowed his brow and softly sighed as he thought about the implications for having such a person as this in the briefing. This isn't right, he thought.

Avery suppressed a sigh. Was it too much to ask that their first mission not involve cloak and dagger things? Apparently, it was.

With the windows tinted and the door locked, Zachary picked up the remote from his chair and pressed a button. The screen was filled with an image of a brilliantly blue and white interstellar phenomenon. "This," he said, "is the Finnean Convergence Zone located in the Finnean Sector of the Gamma Quadrant. The USS Vasco da Gama discovered it in 2371. No one is still sure what it is, but we know it spans at least three lightyears and is surrounded by some sort of barrier. Any attempt to enter it has been meant with both failure and death."

Zachary let that sink for a moment before continuing. "We know that there is intelligent life inside of it, as every so often, a new ship emerges. In all cases but one, each ship was rendered beyond repair, and the lifeforms inside of it... Well, let's just say that they didn't live long."

"If this happened in 2371, what will our mission be related to it?" David asked after he noticed that the windows tinted and doors locked. He glanced at the PADD he had came in with was deactivated and knew that no devices in the room could now capture audio or video.

"The Finnean Convergence. Now that could become interresting." Arjin thought. But he remained silent. The only thing giving away his curiosity being a slightly raised left eyebrow.

Joey pinched the bridge of her nose and closed her eyes. She never imagined she'd be going back to this place, and if she was completely honest, it worried the hell out of her. The last time she was there, things were already unstable, and now... well... the situation was worse. Now she could only wonder what the hell Starfleet was getting them involved in. Still, they had a duty to do, and the Lieutenant planned to do her part just as everyone else did.

That's when the man in black stood. Zachary, as if queued by a telepathic, or by a rehearsed move, handed off the remote to the gentleman. "My name is Lucmur," he introduced himself. "Last week, the Vasco da Gama retrieved a Starfleet Class Nine probe that emerged from the nebula. Its design and configuration is of the latest model, however, the probe was confirmed to be over one hundred years old. It contained a lot of data, and this message."

Lucmur pointed the remote at the screen and pressed a button. The viewscreen changed. For a few moments it was filled with crackles and static. The image fought to change its resolution, finally revealing a human male. His face was more than recognizable; its owner now sat at the foot of the table.

”...ardate 66…. This i… ...tain Harvey Geisl… ...ip Black Hawk. Th… danger. Repea… ...deration is in dange…”

Static commanded the rest of the message. Harvey remained silent in his chair, his jaw hanging just slightly ajar. His brown eyes did not blink and the color drained from his cheeks. Of all of the possibilities for the recall, Harvey never imagined that this would be even remotely an option.

As he listened to the words, Teixeira's head whipped to the side, his eyes locking on Harvey. "What the hell? Captain?"

"What kind of sick joke is this?" Joey demanded, looking toward the Captain before she turned her attention back to the two men up front, but her gaze fell on Lucmur. She was shocked, confused, angry. "How?"

Jayla blinked, face blanching in fear. Resign, said that tiny voice in the back of her mind. Resign now. Get up, hand in that resignation letter you wrote and just walk out. Don't wait for anyone to say anything, just leave. Leave. What are you doing? Why are you still sitting there? Get up! Get out! NOW! But, she was frozen. Whether it was in fear or out of a sense of duty she had no idea. But, for now, she was still.

Felix's eyes went wide with shock. "This...this isn't real," he said to himself. He regained a grip on his composure, but still found himself shaken by the recording.

Arjin draw in a sharp breath as he saw the captain's face on the screen. lLooking back between the man in black and the Captain, he grasped the meaning of this message. "Please no temporal shenanigans.", he thought.

Avery closed her eyes at the sound of Harvey's familiar voice, clearly in distress. Her mind immediately flashed back to his order to abandon ship, and although intellectually, she knew this was not that, it took a moment for her brain to catch up with her emotions.

"Stardate 66-something," Harvey said at last, his voice cracking under the shock of what he just saw and heard. "That's next year. 2389."

"That's correct," Lucmur replied. "Sometime next year, you will send this message. And you'll be sending it from inside the Convergence Zone."

"Mister Lucmur," Teixeira started, still unsure of what to make of the situation, "where is this probe now? And when can it, and its telemetry, be delivered to the ship?"

"There are two probes," Lucmur answered matter-of-factly. "Probe number 9PF345X940FJL953-BH04 was manufactured by Starbase One nearly five weeks ago and delivered to the Black Hawk three days later. It is currently sitting in your probe storage inventory."

"And its hundred year old twin is still in the Gamma Quadrant," Admiral O'Connell interjected. "Obtaining it is going to be another matter entirely, especially since it's not in Starfleet's possession."

The later statement confused him. "You said the da Gama retrieved it," Thiago stated. "What happened that it is no longer in Starfleet's possession?"

David had started to say something, but the Executive Officer beat him to it. He revised his question a moment later and looked at the man called Lucmur. "Mister Lucmur, how is it that a hundred year old probe sent from next year found its way back here? That sounds like a temporal incursion. Is it possible that this is a fake sent to lure someone into a trap?"

Lucmur looked at the security officer. “While I represent the Department of Temporal Investigations, you now know just as much as I do. Until we get into 2389, I cannot begin to tell you how this would happen. It’s also dangerous to speculate as doing so could easily create a pre-destination paradox where you already know what you will do and could inflict irreparable damage to the timeline trying to get to that point. That doesn’t even take into account the actual date the probe was launched. It could be as early as 66000.0 or as late as 66999.9, giving you an entire year to launch this probe.”

"Understood," David said as he wondered what kind of headache this mission was going to be. Then he stopped as he remembered AR-558 and the hell he had lived there for six months. He was one of forty-three survivors before Starfleet made another appearance and remembered going hand-to-hand with the Jem'hadar. This would have to be a lot easier than that by any stretch of the imagination.

"Temporal Shenanigans indeed.", Arjin sighed. "So you expect us to go ahead as we normally would and just let things unfold as they would have or shall be. Which would lead towards the the same result as now. Are you sure you have disclosed the entire message to us?", he could not resist to ask.

Avery thought it was a reasonable question. Of course, if that was what was expected of them, it begged the question why they were being informed of this message at all. Why risk contamination simply from them knowing this was coming?

Zachary nodded to Lucmur, intending to answer the First Officer’s and Science Officer's questions. The gentlemen switched places by the view screen. A new tap on the remote triggered a map to appear on the screen. “The Finnean Convergence Zone is here,” stated the Admiral, pointing to the lowest portion of Task Group Vanguard’s area of operation, “two lightyears away from Finnea Prime. The locals have been aware of the Convergence Zone, naturally, for longer than we have. To them, it’s always been a great mystery, the source of many legends, even to the point of religious fanaticism.”

Another tap and a new image, this time of a Federation Starbase. “This is Deep Space Fifteen which orbits Finnea Prime. The Federation built it and began operating the base in 2374, only to abandon it a few months ago at the onset of the Consortium Crisis.” Then, in a low tone, he muttered, “Thank you, Terlexa.”

Zachary turned to face the crew of the Black Hawk. About a month ago, we started to restore a Federation presence on the station, but our efforts have not been received well. The Vasco da Gama was operating out of the Starbase, and returned to port while awaiting orders. Their ship was then raided by a group calling themselves the Followers of Dolmoqour. The probe was stolen in the raid.”

"It's not surprising the Followers of Dolmoqour have possession of the probe now, or that they raided the ship. The Followers were causing trouble when I was there. I dealt with their attempts at kidnapping and murdering delegates when I was at the Fourth Steading." Joey commented.

"I am not really familiar with those followers of Dilmoqure or how they call themselves.", Arjin spoke. "Do they pose a threat to the Federation?"

"No one can say for sure," Zachary said. "Until now, the Followers have kept to themselves, aside from the occasional kidnappings and murders mentioned by Miss Corwin. Why they want the probe is beyond us. As for its current location, no one knows for sure. All that we know is that the Followers are operating in territory protected by the Selubassari. I should also note that the Selubassari have a controlling interest with the Six Steadings that govern the planet, and have never been happy with the Federation. If you want to get to the probe, we're going to have to play nice with them."

"But why the probe?" Harvey asked. "Of all of the things to take, why it? And what makes you think that we can do anything about it?"

"DS Fifteen has a security leak. We believe that's how they found out about the probe and why it's not in our possession now," answered the Admiral. "Which means that the message I just played for you is not secret. We believe that because you sent... or will send that message... you'll be able to get a lot further with the Selubassari than anyone else."

The Admiral folded his hands behind his back before adding, "Your mission is simple, really. First, lead a task group to fortify Deep Space 15. Second, negotiate with the Selubassari to restore some semblance of balance with the Steadings and Federation-Finnean relations. And, third, get that damn probe. Starfleet will not sanction any sort of clandestine action to retrieve it either. Finnea is of value to the Federation, especially now that we know we'll be able to enter that zone. Of course, you'll have to figure that out eventually too."

"And none of that is going to be easy," Joey said with a frown. Especially with her past dealings. Of course, nothing about Starfleet was ever easy, but this... She even found herself wondering if she'd recognize anyone, or if anyone would recognize her. Still, they were going to have to play nice to make any of what O'Connell said happen.

"We never did get the easy assignments," Avery replied. "Why should we start now?" She smiled, but anyone who knew her well would know the smile didn't quite meet her eyes.

"If there is nothing else," Zachary said, then I turn this over to your Commanding Officer, Captain Geisler."

Harvey immediately fought back a sigh. There was much to do, and so many new answers to find. "Let's not keep the future waiting," he told his crew. "The Black Hawk leaves in one hour. If you're not on board, consider yourself reassigned. Dismissed."

Arjin nodded toward the Captain. There would be plenty of time to discuss their mission later. And besides he wanted to see his new home as quickly as possible. So he stood and walked out the room en route to the pylon where the Black Hawk was docked.

Joey rose to her feet once the briefing concluded. She couldn't help the sinking feeling she had in the pit of her stomach, undoubtedly a mix of everything that had happened over the last few hours. Those feelings were quickly pushed aside, and without a word, she made her way out. There was a ship she needed to get to, but a couple other things she had to do first. With an hour time limit, that didn't leave her a whole lot of time.

Felix stood when the captain called the meeting dismissed. He only had a few things left back in his temporary quarters on DS9, so it wouldn't take long to move over to the new Black Hawk and get his quarters and new office set up. The mission seemed daunting, but Felix retained his joy at the chance to push further into the frontier. He nodded at the crew and made his way out of the ward room.

Moreau came to his feet and glanced at the PADD that had been useless to bring, looked at the others and hoped that they could come up with a plan with next to no information about a species and factions that he had no idea about. Hopefully somebody would, because with the no covert actions order, he was going to be as useful as a bump on a log and end up babysitting. With that, he headed out.

Avery stood, momentarily pushing thoughts of the upcoming mission from her mind. There would be plenty of time to deal with the challenges to come. For now, she needed to find comfort in seeing familiar faces and meeting the new arrivals.

Harvey remained in his chair, keeping his eyes fixed on Admiral O'Connell as everyone filed out of the room. He intended to have a word with the man before heading for the Black Hawk. There had to be more to this story.


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