STF

Main Sim - I've Got Good News... And Bad News (Tag Command Staff, DH's)

Posted July 26, 2021, 10:49 a.m. by Gamemaster Alias Smith N. Jones, Esq. (Gamemaster) (James Sinclair)

Posted by Commander Siadra Enai (Executive Officer) in Main Sim - I’ve Got Good News… And Bad News (Tag Command Staff, DH’s)

Posted by Captain Sara Kiernan (Commanding Officer) in Main Sim - I’ve Got Good News… And Bad News (Tag Command Staff, DH’s)

Posted by Commander Shara Calloway (Chief Intelligence Officer) in Main Sim - I’ve Got Good News… And Bad News (Tag Command Staff, DH’s)
Posted by… suppressed (14) by the Post Ghost! 👻

(snip)

Blue chuckled and said “Such a strong term, Captain. But not a wholly bad idea either. Now then… Preparations for the insertion will take place inside the Cantreken Nebula.” He activated the view screen and a picture of the nebula appeared. “The Cantreken Nebula. A veritable ship’s graveyard that has accounted for dozens of lost ships and countless lost lives over the past two hundred years since it was discovered, the hard way, by a Vulcan science vessel. The entire region is a designated no-travel zone, but some still try to shave off the ten days added travel time by cutting across the peripheral boundaries. Many studies have been done on the nedula to to try and find out the source of the massive ion-plasma storms that erupt without warning from it. Only one was successful, and that is why we are going here.”

He tapped a few commands and the view was now of a startling and unfamiliar form of space installation. “This is Cantreken Station… a wholly unacknowledged and highly experimental station designed by the Tholians some four hundred years ago. Yes, I said it’s a four hundred year old space station inside an impenetrable ion-plasma storm generating nebula. It was discovered by the survey ship Eleanor Rigsby forty years ago right before she was destroyed by said ion-plasma storms. Since that time, Intel has kept it completely isolated from general knowledge. In fact, until you were just told, exactly one thousand people in all of the Federation knew about it. Nine hundred and ninety-three live on the station itself. One is the Admiral in charge of Special Projects, one is myself, one is Agent Pikelsimer here, one is the current President of the Federation, two are members of the Vulcan Science Council… and one is the Director of Star Fleet Intelligence. That nebula is where the Asimov will supposedly be destroyed. That station is where we will refit the Asimov and make it what we need it to be: a ship of pirates and marauders. Criminals and murderers. Everything a growing criminal enterprise needs to grow up nice and strong. Questions so far?”

GM

Si’Rek groaned internally and then, as the CE hadn’t been able to make it yet, said “And just what sort of ‘refit’ are we talking? Cosmetic? Structural? Systems? What?”

Si’Rek, Ops

Blue looked at him and paused before saying..

“Yeah.”

GM

Shara chuckled softly. “Basically, we have to make things look shabby, like we’ve been through the ringer. Too clean cut and they’ll spot our game lightyears away. The trick is to rough things up enough. Keep things functional but break a system or two. We’d do well to get out in a shuttle and fire a few shots on the hull. Give ‘er a little wear and tear. Especially if we’re going into the eye of the storm, we need to look competent enough to have been successful at a mutiny, but they have to see that it cost something.” A ever so slight edge touched her voice before it was gone. “And uh, well, not to put too fine a point on it, but been there done that. I was rebel cobbling things together, so I know this game.” She leaned forward, eyes flicking between Blue and Pickelsimer. “So what’s the catch gents? What the variable we might have to work harder at getting right?”

Commander Calloway, CIO

Pikelsimer looked at her and said “The ship we can do easy. And the shuttle idea? Gold. I’ll make sure you and I get to do that, Commander. The catch, as they say… is just what Commander Calloway said. We have to look like we have been through hell. Us. Our physical selves. That means medical alteration… cosmetically, of course. Wounds. Scars. Burns. The whole thing. So in addition to changing the clean and sleek appearance of this fine vessel… we’re gonna be changing the clean and sleek look of her crew as well.”

Pikelsimer, FedSec

Sara nodded. “Alright so cosmetic surgery from the medical department.” She considered slightly further. “We should probably start with the bridge crew so that our outward face is completely scruffy. Ditch the uniforms as well?”

-Captain Sara Kiernan, CO

This was entirely her shtick and it grated on her that it was useful now. So soon too! She had hoped to get a bit of distance between it all first. “The cosmetic stuff ain’t the issue folks. Behaviour is. Two seconds around a bad performance and I promise you our targets will be all over it. We’ll be done. Probably dead. We have to sell it. You each have to believe in this. You have the become the mutineers we’re portraying. This isn’t a game and treating it like one will get yourself and others killed. So, if you’re not sure how to pull it off, well, I can give pointers, critique the nuances, but you have feel it. You have to summon real emotions from a real place. The trick is that you’re mixing it all up. Putting emotions behind words and actions that are all an act. Does that make sense?” Shara said, eyeing the room.

Commander Calloway, CIO

“So we are modifying our ship… right after we repaired it, I might add. We are modifying our bodies… a violation of the laws surrounding body autonomy, I might add. And we are putting our lives in jeopardy for… what? Why are we doing this?” He looked at Blue and Pikelsimer and said “You speak in generalities. You give half-truths… if even that much. And you still have the absolute gall to come onto this ship and ask this of people without giving us cause to accept it as necessary? I’m sorry, I may be out of line here and if so please accept my apologies… but this is so far past the norm of orders as to be almost a work of science fiction.” Si’Rek looked at the Captain and XO and waited to see what they had to say.

Si’Rek, Ops Chief

“Your objection is noted Commander Si’Rek.” Sara nodded. “Those who elect not to participate in any part of the mission are free to do so. No one is being coerced. Crew who want out can play the part of loyal Starfleet crew who get ejected as part of the mutiny. They won’t be required to be involved.”

“Except some of us have to be, Ma’am. I doubt the ship would fare well if, for instance, almost everyone in this room decided not to participate.” He looked at Blue and Pikelsimer. “Offering a choice isn’t the same as being given a choice… now is it?”

Blue nodded once and said “Contingency plans are in place for that, Commander. Any critical role that is vacated by the assigned officer will be filled prior to departure. So yes… you really do have a choice.”

Bethany sat quietly and listened. The kind of modifications they were talking about to the ship meant that she was going to have to get creative with the tactical capabilities and start running trainings to make sure her department knew how to be David and knock out Goliath. Si’Rek wasn’t wrong. This was so far beyond ‘normal’ orders for ‘normal’ Fleet. Her gaze slid of Calloway. She got it, just like Bethany did. This was normal for them. And appraising Pikelsimer and Blue she had no doubt they both did too. But echoing Shara’s words Bethany’s soft Appalachian accent filled the temporary quiet, “You gotta give ‘em a reason. As Cmdr Calloway said, we’ve got to sell it, we have to believe it if ‘they’ are going to believe us. You gotta give the crew a reason to sell it. And simple ‘orders’ ain’t gonna do it boys.”

Gadi, CoS

“I’d like to minimize our contact with those who could see through our cover.” Sara said. “If we have to attribute that to mechanical failures or ongoing personnel issues, the less we deal with people, the fewer opportunities we have to blow it.”

-Captain Sara Kiernan, CO

Her back straight and her hands folded in her lap, the First Officer had been sitting silently at the conference table while she listened closely to everything that was being said. Every question that was being asked. And watched those around her just as closely as she listened to their words. Her face was a nearly emotionless mask of professionalism. Though anyone who knew her very well or was really good at reading people, as she knew several in this room were, would most likely be able to detect the emotions that were boiling underneath that calm facade of hers. She’d definitely have to talk to Calloway and get some pointers from the other woman or else she would be the one who’d blow their cover. After all, selling a story she not only didn’t really believe in, but also having some serious issues with their mission was not good a starting point. And yet she felt obligated to stay. She was the First Officer after all and this was her very first mission in that position. Not counting the rescue mission, that is. And thus she felt that she not only owed it to the ship and her crew to stay, but also that she had to prove that the was worthy of the pips on her collar and the new title she carried.

Shifting her gaze towards Pikelsimer and Blue, Siadra asked, “Those surgical alterations, are they only going to make as look like we’ve been through a lot or will some of us be given completely new identities as well? After all, if there really would be a mutiny not everyone would be on the side of the mutineers. Or else a mutiny wouldn’t be needed, no?” Unlike during their earlier meeting her voice remained perfectly even and as gentle as it usual was. Though the piercing gaze and the slight flare of her nostrils hinted at the fact that she wasn’t as calm and relaxed as she tried to appear.

~Cmdr. Enai, XO

Si’Rek, Ops

Blue looked at her and said “Some will be modified partially, but retain their identities. Those individuals will be made criminals or deceased. A few will be given whole new identities, designed and crafted by Agent Pikelsimer who, I can assure you with zero reservation, has done a very thorough job in crafting. Who gets what is already decided, and no one has a say in that selection, I’m sorry to say.”

GM

“Captain, if I may add something?” Shara said, gesturing to the table with a reflective expression. She could hear and see the resistance to the whole thing and she wasn’t going to try and remove it. But after all these years, what she could offer this crew was hard-earned perspective.

Commander Calloway, CIO

“Please do Commander.” Sara gestured for Shara to speak.

-Captain Sara Kiernan, CO

Rising to her feet, for a brief moment Shara felt all sixty-five of her years. And many of them had not been kind. Looking around the table at her new shipmates, she then gave a long look to Micah and then Blue. “I’m not one for pretty speeches, but here’s my take on all of this. Take it or leave it as you will. ..”

“Agent Blue and I have switched roles, it seems. Fitting in a way most here won’t understand, but we’re sending him into a dangerous situation and he’s asking something of us. He’s asking us to do whatever it takes to bring him home. He’s asking us to do for him what he has done for many others. Ihis mission is unfinished business for him and I, and Pikelsimer. We can’t truly rest easy until it’s done. For good. But Blue needs to come home because there are people who would be devastated if he didn’t. And I get that now. I didn’t always. The truth is that I’ve spent most of the last nineteen years of my life not worrying about if I died on assignment. What Blue is about to do? That was everyday for me. One-way missions that if I walked out of their intact, well, great. If not? I did my best. But I can’t do that anymore. Because for the first time in a long time I have people who are counting on me to come back, to be okay. So I’m going to help Blue because he needs me to. And we don’t turn our back on our own. Not if there’s anyway we can help it. But the thing is folks, I can’t do it on my own. And Micah here can’t either, though I know he’d damn well try. And I know our captain and first officer will do this mission, hesitantly, but because they know it’s needed. And Bethy? I know you’re in because, well, we’re two peas in a pod,” she said with a smirk. “But the rest of you? I’m not good at asking for help. But I’m asking you right now. I’ve not had a crew in a very long time. I have to remember what’s it like, but last I remember, a crew stands by each other. So, please, help me bring this man home, and help me get back to those I love.” And with a shrug, Shara sat back down, pulling all the emotions swirling around her into a neat ball that she could tuck to the side. Still, she was reflective and somber. This wasn’t some walk in the park, and she wasn’t going to deny that, but no one could say her words weren’t sincere.

Commander Calloway, CIO

Si’Rek looked at the woman with a flat expression… or maybe it was shock. After a few long moments of silence, he softly cleared his throat and said “I… if my earlier statements came off as flippant or as minimizing the situation, I stand corrected and apologize. The Commander is more than correct, and Operations will be standing by to assist in whatever manner we can to ensure everyone is accounted for at mission’s end.” and he settled back into his chair, pulled out a PaDD, and prepared to take notes. He cast a glance at Siadra and said softly “We’ll look after her, don’t you worry.”

Si’Rek, Ops Chief

Between the whirlwind that were her own emotions and everything she was sensing from the other people in the room, Shara in particular, it took all her professional training and all the coping and grounding techniques in her toolbox to keep herself from getting completely overwhelmed by the magnitude of this mission and all that was at stake. After all, the last thing anyone them needed was for their First Officer to have a breakdown and burst into tears right now. She could fall to pieces later when Liara was asleep and she was alone. But right now she needed to be strong and composed. Glancing back at Si’Rek she gave him a tiny smile and nod before turning to look at Shara again. “Thank you Commander. I’m certain we will all do our best to make sure every single person will come home at the end of this mission,” she said softly, but with conviction in her voice and expression. “And if you have time after this meeting, I’d appreciate a few pointers beforehand.” Looking at Blue and Pikelsimer, she then added, “And I have a few personal questions I’d like to discuss as well. Either just with both of you or in the company of the Captain and Commander Calloway as well.”

~Cmdr. Enai, XO

Blue inclined his head slightly and said “Of course, Commander. We are at your disposal after we are done here.” Blue looked around the table and said “We will arrive at the nebula in just under a week. Three days from now we cross the no-fly boundary. Until we are inside the nebula, the specifics of the mission are not to be discussed with the crew. As soon as we dock Captain… Commander… I am sure a briefing will be in order. At that time, the crew will be given the choice to stay or leave. If they choose to leave, they will be housed on the station for two weeks to ensure that the package has been delivered successfully. After that, any crew who did not participate in the operation will be reassigned and monitored until such time as the Asimov has been restored to full duty. Now, if that is all? With the Captain’s permission I have nothing further at this time.”

GM

“Understood,” Enai replied with a nodded and then added with a small smile, “Thank you.”

Si’Rek stood and made his way out, casting a glance at Siadra that said I want to talk and made his way out of the room.

Si’Rek, Ops

Siadra gave Si’Rek a nod, signalling that she had understood and that they would definitely talk alter. She then let her gaze wander through the room once more. taking in everyone’s expression, body language and of course the emotions she was sensing from them. This was certainly going to be a difficult mission. For all of them. And all they could do was give their best and hope that it would end well.

~Cmdr. Enai, XO

Bethy nodded at Shara. She was in and it would take more than the devil himself to stop her from bringing them back. She was trained that way. T’Jal would have her hide in slow and painful ways if she turned her back on crew. “Only thing I need, once it’s safe to provide, is what modifications, what ‘permanent’ damage the ship’s tactical systems will be operating at. I want to run some simulations and make sure my department knows how to operate that way, not all pampered with perfect working equipment. Other than that, I work best on the fly.”

Gadi, CoS

Though perfectly composed on the outside, Shara though she was going to be ill. There was no part of her that wanted to do any of this. But she had spoken truly. She would do it because it was the right thing to do. Regardless of whatever details some people were allowed to know about her, the reality was that she had just gotten herself and her daughter out of danger and it had not been pretty in the aftermath, despite all the good things that had come from it. So much for sleep. But… her gazed lifted to Micah for a brief moment. He was here. He was here! Maybe that would be the detail that made a difference, because the thing she couldn’t admit to all these people was that for all her bravado Shara wasn’t sure she could make it out intact. And she wasn’t talking about her physical life.

Commander Calloway, CIO

“Alright everyone.” Sara sighed gently. “I understand this is no small risk we’re undertaking, and we all have concerns. We are trained and experienced officers. We can do this. Let’s keep our heads together and the mission in mind. We have a lot to do, so let’s get to it.” She nodded to say Dismissed.

-Captain Sara Kiernan, CO

Since she had few more things she wanted to talk about with Blue and Pikelsimer, and Calloway and Kiernan if they wanted to stay, Enai remained in her seat and waited for the rest of the Senior Officers to leave. Her gaze wandered over to Shara as she waited as she started to feel concerned for the older woman. It was obvious to her that she was struggling and thus she would not only talk to her learn how she should act, but also to see what there was she could do to support Shara.

~Cmdr. Enai, XO

As the rest of the assembled officers left, Blue turned in his chair and said “All right, Commander… what would you like to discuss?”

GM


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