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Relaying new orders (Part 1)

Posted on Sat Aug 13th, 2022 @ 4:08am by Captain Mikoto Misaka & Lieutenant Commander Lurath, Son of Grogori & Lieutenant Commander Peter Carter Jr & Lieutenant Commander Sonak & Commander Eila Juutilainen 'Illu' & Lieutenant James Henderson & Lieutenant Xatoo Kolen & Lieutenant Felicie Giehl & Lieutenant Shandro

Mission: The Search
Location: Observation Lounge, Deck One

Mikoto stood with her hands behind her back watching the stars zoom past into the far distance through the large viewports of the observation lounge. The Ermiana was proceeding nicely cruising towards their next assignment at Deep Space Nine and it was nearly time for the staff briefing.

The ship had some new crew aboard after the standard crew rotations. Only earlier that morning she had greeted her new Chief of Security and now Second Officer. She waited patiently for the senior staff to arrive so she could go through their mission details.

Eila arrived at the observation lounge with a fresh cup of coffee. She was hoping this would be the last cup of coffee she would need to consume before her shift was over and she could get the sleep she had been staving off during her overnight shift.

"Captain." She nodded in Mikoto's direction. She stood for a bit, unsure of whether or not to take one of the heads of the table or the sides as she had always done. Eila was still unused to the whole Executive Officer business.

"Commander" Mikoto replied as she turned to face her. She walked over to the head of the table and sat down. "Might as well sit down whilst we await the other officers, we've got a few minutes before we're due to start"

"Sure." Eila muttered. "Would you prefer I sit on one of the heads or to one of the sides?"

Mikoto smirked as she indicated with her hand to the chair to her right. "Well you're XO now, so technically my right hand correct?" she smiled. She could sense that Eila was fairly new to the position.

"Alright, then..." Eila said, sliding into the indicated chair.

Shandro entered the Observation Lounge carrying an Intel PADD. His blue eyes shifted as he looked around the room before greeting the Commanding Officers. The officer than walked over to an empty seat and sat down.

Mikoto nodded at the intelligence officer. He had been aboard a while and no doubt he would be an essential asset on their upcoming mission.

Shandro's focus shifted to Mikoto. "Captain... would you like to hear what I have found out now or later?"

That caught the Captains interest. "I think it would be best to share with the senior staff if its regarding our upcoming mission. I trust that Starfleet Intelligence already gave you the 'heads up' so to speak?" she asked as she intertwined her fingers together. "Of course, anything classed as 'sensitive' you can tell me in private after the briefing..." she added.

Pete was always to the bridge when he request can over the intercoms. It was only a few extra steps into the conference room. "Morning Captain ... Commander." Pete took his normal chair and settled himself in.

"I've gone over what Intelligence has provided and made a few inquiries with several of my contacts in the area." Shandro replied as he patted his hand on the PADD he brought in. "What we should provide us with some enough to accomplish our mission." He paused for a moment before adding. "I have been asked, Captain, to extend an invitation from a friend in the Cetacean Operations department."

"Ah yes, Ensign Kai" Mikoto smiled. She honestly needed to make a visit one day down to the Cetacean Operations department, it was one part of the ship she had yet to visit. The Galaxy Class was huge afterall and even though she had been in command for a few months now, there were still areas she had yet to visit.

"She'll be thrilled you know her name, Captain." Shandro replied, a slight smile on his face, before adding. "She was convinced she would never have an opportunity to meet you."

"I'll get down there and meet her personally at some point soon" Mikoto replied with a nervous smile. She made a mental note to visit the Cetacean Operations department later that day, it was the least she could do since she had more or less neglected the initial visit.

"Cetacean Ops, eh?" Eila asked. "I've heard they were rolling something like that out on these newer ships, but I've never actually seen such a facility in person. Perhaps I might need to come with you, Captain."

"You're mistaken, Commander." Shandro corrected as he leaned back in his chair. "Cetacean Operations is a facility that comes standard in Galaxy Class Starships. These ships have been around for quite some time."

"Forgive me for my comment, Lieutenant;" Eila remarked. "My last assignment was an Ambassador class. As you can probably imagine, a Galaxy class is quite a step up for me."

Shandro nodded his head before adding. "The department has a large pool which is used for Federation species that work in the department that cannot survive outside of water. Aquatic mammals and the like. Ensign Kai is a special case. She's a Zetcean. Earth, and other species, refer often describe them as mermaids."

"Those pools are a pain in the neck to maintain if you ask me." Pete half said under his breath. Yes he knew aquatics had a right to serve in Starfleet as much as the next being but he had to go so far as to keep a dedicated repair crew just for one area of the ship, and it drove him nuts.

The doors opened as Lurath walked in. He continued over to the replicator and tapped on the console. He didn't use voice commands for his drink. It was a special mixture that he had to add himself and select it through his private menu. Once his mug was replicated, he took the hot drink, and proceeded to an empty chair to have a seat.

The doors opened again and in walked Lt Henderson, tapping away on a PADD. He looked up a noticed the captain.

"Good Morning Captain, just keeping an eye on my relief. First shift at the CONN after being promoted from shuttle pilot, just making sure we don't deviate too much," he says with a little smirk. He walks over to the replicator and orders.

"Raktajino, double strong double sweet," he picks up his drink and heads down to the end of the table and takes his seat, watching the PADD out of the corner of his eye.

The doors opened once again, this time the incoming officer walked in with some trepidation. Lieutenant Xatoo Kolen stepped into the room, barely able to make eye contact with the populated room, his nerves almost getting the better of him. As a joined trill this wasn’t the first time he’d walked into a potentially uncomfortable situation, it probably wasn’t his 163rd time, but as the ‘new kid on the block’ he couldn’t help but feel those butterflies in his stomach.

Following in behind the Operations Officer, Sonak approached an appropriate position around the table. Some of the crew had beverages, whilst others were in the midst of conversation. The Vulcan selected a seat at the far end of the table from the Captain, segregating himself from the group that had gathered already. Sonak decided not to make eye contact with the crew at this point, preferring instead to continue to review data from his padd.

Noticing that most of the present company had beverages he felt compelled to join them by ordering something from the replicator. He suddenly regretted drinking those three cups of coffee earlier in the morning. His bladder already felt full, and the glass of sparkling water he’d just ordered certainly wouldn’t help things in that department. He only hoped that the briefing wouldn’t involve discussing any babbling brooks, waterfalls or streams.

Taking the cold glass of sparkling water, he moved towards one of the remaining empty seats and sat down. He again scanned the room with his eyes, barely able to keep any decent eye contact, and took a short sip of his beverage.

Eila picked up on the new Chief of Ops' inability to make eye contact right away as a sign of nervousness. It was a sign that was all-too-familiar to her from her counseling days. She watched as the Lieutenant sat down and seemed to look around while also looking down.

When the Lieutenant's gaze neared Eila's direction, she motioned her coffee cup in the other officer's direction.

"Morning, Lieutenant;" She greeted with a smile before sipping her coffee. "Sleep well?" Eila truly meant the question; as she hadn't seen the Lieutenant from the overnight shift.

Kolen was slightly taken back by the gesture of social interaction from the Executive Officer. He closed his eyes hard for a second, but to him it felt like a lifetime. His previous host, Wipek, had suffered greatly with anxiety later in his life. An unfortunate trait that had now affected Xatoo during some stressful social circumstances.

Thankfully, it had never effected his ability to perform his duties, but made it hard to interact with large groups of people socially. “You can do this. You can do this.” He repeated over and over to himself in his mind. Finally opening his eyes, he smiled confidently at the woman - the anxiety gone. “Good morning Commander. I slept very well thank you. How about yourself?”

"Sleep?" Eila scoffed. "Nah, I worked the overnight shift. Looking forward to getting off work so that I can catch up on some Zs."

Kolen smiled and added an understanding nod to his response. Thankfully he wouldn’t need to do many night shifts, but they weren’t out of the scope of possibility. As a department head on a starship, officers were expected to ‘be on-call’ in the event of an emergency situation. Technically he could be called to the bridge at 3am. He expected that those situations would be rare however. Or at least, he hoped that they would be. His eyes returned to meet Elia’s gaze, “I’m sure you’ll be able to get at least a few hours once this meeting is over.”

"I sure hope so." Eila commented as she took another sip of her coffee.

Felicie had a drink already in her hands as she entered the Observation lounge. She gave a small nod to those that had looked in her direction and quickly scurried to a seat, hoping to not have made the last appearance at the briefing.

Once everyone had arrived and was seated, Mikoto cleared her throat to gather all their attention. "We have received new orders from Starfleet Command" she started as she looked around at all their faces. Granted there were a few new ones at the table and she was still learning everyones names, but she had endeavoured to get to know her crew; she hoped they would all make a good team.

As the Captain began, Sonak discarded what he was reading for the moment, instead switching the padds interface from read mode, into write, so that he could take notes if necessary.

She tapped a few times on the controls built into the table. A holographic chart of the Badlands appeared. Several areas plagued with huge plasma storms and spacial anomolies. "As most of you know. This is the area know of the Badlands" she said looking around them all. She tapped it again and a holographic image of a Centaur Class Starship appeared. "This is the USS Bismarck. A Federation Centaur Class starship. She was assigned to patrol duty in the Badlands when she encountered trouble. The last transmission from the ship stated that the ship had been attacked by the Maquis and was being boarded. It has since then disappeared." Mikoto explained as she turned off the image of the ship.

"However Three days ago, Starfleet intercepted communications from a Cardassian warship reporting they were under attack by a Federation Starship. The Cardassian Union have demanded to know why a Federation Starship attacked their vessel unprovoked, they were also able to identify the ship" she explained to officers. "They identified the ship as the USS Bismarck. Starfleet believes that the Bismarck is now under control of the Maquis. Our orders are to proceed to the Badlands, locate the Bismarck and either retrieve the ship or destroy it. If we retrieve the crew safely, we should however Starfleet believe they may already be dead by this point"

"I should mention that the Cardassians are... less than pleased. If this ship isn't stopped it could lead to war. I don't need to stress that we don't want that" Mikoto told them. She looked over at Shandro. "Lieutenant Shandro, do you have any intelligence reports on the area?" she asked.

Shandro looked around the table as he began to speak. "As the Captain said, due to the attack from the Bismarck, the Cadrassian's have stepped up their patrols in the area. They're assigned two ships, always within warp range of each other, in the event of a second attack. They are determined to destroy the Bismarck whether the crew is still alive or not. However, there are a few Cardassian officers who are willing to assist in the detainment of the ship and willing to provide the safe return of the crew. That number is small so we need to tread lightly." He paused for a moment, looking to the Captain and Executive Officer. "I have a contact who may be willing to help us through any problems we may come across with the Cardassian ships, but you need to tell me quickly because the window to contact him is small."

"I've been authorized to intercept or destroy that ship at all costs. Reach out to your contacts as soon as we're done here" Mikoto replied. "Any information will be valuable"

"And as far as assistance?" Shandro asked. "Would you be willing to work with... an familiar enemy?"

"Define 'A familiar enemy'" Mikoto responded.

"A Cardassian." Shandro with little, to no, hesitation.

An awkward silence fell upon the room. Mikoto finally broke it after what seemed like an eternity. "We've worked with them before. We have a peace treaty the last time I checked. If they are willing to offer us assistance, it's assistance we need"

Shandro nodded his head. "And with every interaction there has been a level of caution. Us, and sometimes them, expecting the other shoe to drop. Mistrust and subterfuge." He paused for a moment, nodding his head, before concluding. "Granted... it's earned and helped us be prepared... but with this one it wont be necessary. He can be trusted. In fact, even likable."

"Let me know as soon as you make contact" Mikoto replied simply.

To be continued...


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