Posted Jan. 23, 2023, 5:34 a.m. by Lieutenant Commander Adam Magnusson (Chief Intelligence Officer) (Hjortur Ingi)
Posted by Lieutenant Laural Corynn Witley, Ph.D., M.D. (Counselor) in From There to Here - The Arrival of the CO
Posted by Captain Iphigenia Henao (Captain) in From There to Here - The Arrival of the CO
Posted by Lieutenant Commander Adam Magnusson (Chief Intelligence Officer) in From There to Here - The Arrival of the CO
Posted by… suppressed (29) by the Post Ghost! 👻
Part 1 - The News:
It was the call she had been waiting on for the last five years of her career and she remembered where she was when she got it. She’d just returned from vacationing on Risa and had settled her luggage on the living room floor while she shuffled through it and pulled out various souvenirs she’d obtained from the planet. She was intending to sort and organize them so she could give them out as gifts. The commlink in her condo beeped reminding her that she had received one very important message while she was away.
It was enough to distract her from her current task that she stopped what she was doing, strolled over to the comm, entered the code to access the message, and listened to the standard female computer voice say:
*Commander Henao, you have…ONE…new transmission from…. Admiral Zachariah Webb. To access ….”, Iphi didn’t wait for the computer to finish it’s discourse, she immediately accessed the message. A pre-recorded video transmission appeared on the 10X12 monitor and a peanut butter-toned older man with long greying dreads appeared on the screen dressed in Admiral attire:
“Commander Henao, this is Admiral Webb.” He said in a very deep voice, “I have some news I’d like to share with you. When you get a chance, please contact me.” Just as quickly as he appeared on the screen, his image cut out and all that remained was an image of a circular star map on a blue background, framed by a wreath of two laurel leaves.
She instantly entered Admiral Webb’s contact code and almost immediately he answered her hail.
“Iphigenia, how are you?” he said showing perfectly white and aligned teeth.
“I am well, Zach, you asked me to contact you.” The Admiral briefly frowned at her sense of urgency.
“Yes, yes. Well, let’s get right to it. I have some exciting news for you. There was a suspenseful pause.
Iphigenia almost lost her mind, “Yes, Admiral, what is it?”
He pressed his lips together in a smile then finally said, “How would you like to command your own ship?”
Iphi’s eyes grew wide, a small gasp escaped her mouth, and then a huge smile spread across her face. “Are you serious? Yes! You know I have been waiting for this moment.”
“Ah yes, well no more waiting. It is here now. The former Captain of the Leviathan has retired and with her, the XO left as well. We want to partner you with Romulan Commander Jaieh Vrenek. She will be your new XO. I think…no, I am confident you two can really get the Leviathan in shape.”
“I am excited to work with her. I agree I think we both will be assets to the Leviathan, sir.”
The Admiral nodded and continued, “The Leviathan specializes in rescue and anomalous recovery missions. You will not be commanding a typical vessel. I will forward you a full profile of the ship. I have very little on the missions as they are so classified that I wasn’t able to get clearance in time to send them to you.” The man presented a smile before he asked, “Welcome to the center chair, Captain Henao, do you have any questions?”
“Just one, when do we start?”
“Soon. I will send you all the details for your new posting after it is officially arranged. Congratulations Lieutenant Commander Henao, before I go, I will leave you with this quote: “It’s not safe out there. It’s wondrous, with treasures to satiate desires both subtle and gross; but it’s not for the timid.”
Part 2 - Journey to the Leviathan:
As the tiny shuttle emerged from what seemed like oblivion, the Moljinar class starship came into view and grew ever so larger in the window. Iphigenia stared at the massive craft in awe. All she could think was how beautiful it was. It prompted an immense smile that showed almost all her teeth. The pilot who was an Asian man looked at her, smiled too, then said in a deep Irish accent. “I take it that you are happy to be approaching the ship, sir?” Iphigenia nodded, “Yes, I am. However, I am nervous too. This is my first and most important assignment, but I am ready.”
“Aye, I can tell that you are. I have no doubt that you will excel in this and any future endeavors.”
Iphigenia placed her hand on the man’s shoulder, a silent show of appreciation for the support and encouraging words. When the shuttle entered the shuttle bay, it came to a smooth and uneventful landing. “Here we are! A full half hour early, too!” Iphigenia stood up from the co-pilot’s seat and turned to the pilot. “An attestation to the efficiency of your piloting skills, no doubt. I am sorry, but I didn’t get your name.”
The man grinned and said, “Lieutenant Commander Harris O’Brien, sir. Please to meet you, Captain Henao.” He held out his hand and Iphi shook it.
“Thank you for getting me here safely. If you are ever looking for something different. Contact me and we can get you a position here on the Leviathan. We could use a shuttle pilot.”
“I just might take you up on that offer.” He said with a wide smile.
“Please do,” she said returning a friendly smile, “Now I will leave you as it’s time for me to get to work.” Iphigenia walked to the exit and waited for it to open. Afterward, she walked down the ramp, dressed in her red jumpsuit uniform, boots just below her knees and covering her calves, her black hair was fixed in two neat braids that swooped the side of her head and were strategically fixed in an intricate bun that sat at the nape of her neck. She looked around, lifted the PaDD in front of her eyes, and reviewed the ship specifications as she thought to herself, Sickbay, XO, Counselor, Science, Operations, Food, Quarters….… “Two sickbays. Which way to Alpha sickbay?” she said out loud to no one in particular as she headed for the nearest lift.
OOC: Hello Everyone! Again so excited to be here on the Leviathan with you all. Take this opportunity to bump into the CO and introduce yourselves!
As the doors to the Turbolift open, there was a man there reading a pad. He had khaki BTUs on a black polo and a white lab coat on. He had glasses on his face on the lab coat. You can see the rank of lieutenant on it. The man was on his way to Containment. He look up as Henao entered the lift “ new arrival ….captain Henao right. You’re going to scare people with you being an hour early. He said jokingly, I would love to see the look on their faces.” He said as the lift moved.
Lt. Lance Von Hellsing (CE/CA)
She presented the man with an amused smile as she stepped into the lift. “I assume you are not a telepath and you saw the pips on my uniform?” There was a slight pause as she said, “Alpha sickbay!”
After speaking destination to the lift she continued. “I hope they are not too surprised or scared as I was hoping for a more....um…overjoyedish reaction.” She offered her hand to the man and said, “And you are Lieutenant.....?”
The man took her hand “Lt. Hellsing the chief engineer and containment architect of this pleasure cruise” he said shaking her hand “ and in case, if you’re wondering, yes, we do have a unicorn in containment, and please do not feed it” he said jokingly.
Lt. Lance Von Hellsing (CE/CA)
Jaieh rushed in, clearly aware she was a couple minutes behind. “Ah. I see Lt Hellsing has already welcomed you aboard, Captain. I’ll be your XO, Commander Jaieh Vrenek.” She paused to gauge the COs response to a Romulan XO.
Iphigenia smiled at the woman and said, “Yes, Commander Vrenek! Admiral Webb told me you were chosen as the XO. I am glad we finally have an opportunity to work together.” Iphigenia didn’t care that the woman was Romulan, although it was not lost on her that the Romulan Empire was an issue for the Federation. She didn’t suspect her for being a spy or traitor but mentally noted that she keep an eye on her until some trust between them had formed. In any case, Iphi was just glad that Commander Vrenek had arrived roughly the same time she had so they can begin planning all the logistics of the ship. “I happen to be a little early, did you also arrive ahead of your ETA as well? Don’t you think they should have pinpointed a meeting spot where we could have rendezvoused and then placed us on a shuttle so we could arrive together?
“Perhaps the Chief and I can take you on a tour of the ship?” She offered.
Iphi looked at the man and said, “I’d like that. I do hope you were not joking about the unicorn,” she said with one teasing eyebrow raised. “I would place my father’s entire fortune on the line to see one.”
Hellsing smiled “that will be fun we can start with containment I have to feed our guests there anyway,” he said he turned to the XO “ I have placed new protocols for the containment decks. Only authorized personnel, are allowed to enter a few lieutenants, and those above Can enter. I was hoping maybe I can talk to you about having a containment security team in the containment area. Mainly to deal with anything that breach containment” he said.
“What type of guests do we currently have in containment?” Iphigenia asked.
“ in cell 01 we have ARU-8151968 know as a hell horse but most people call it a unicorn. We have ARU-7568867 in cell 2 that is known as a gremlin, he is harmless Just don’t get him wet don’t put them in bright light And it never feed after midnight. We also have a lot of small ones that I can show you that takes some care.” He said as te left was moving.
“I would love to see them. What are the consequences of any one of them escaping? Could they wipe out the whole crew? If so what steps are you taking Dr. Hellsing to ensure that doesn’t happen.” she asked as she walked with him and the XO.
Lt. Lance Von Hellsing (CE/CA)
“I’d take the Doctors word on that, there have been issues with the Gremlins as I understand” A deep voice came from a nearby shadow, a man stepped out as if from nowhere, a habit of this particular officer. He wore a yellow Starfleet Uniform with the rank pips of a Lieutenant Commander. He was a human and short for a man, about the same height as the two Command officers and a good fifteen centimeters shorter than the Chief Engineer “Lieutenant Commander Adam Magnusson, Chief Intelligence Officer” He introduced himself to the two senior officers. He’d been planning on being there when they arrived but the combined early arrival and his own duties had delayed him. fortunately Hellsing had managed to delay them so he could play his shadow trick again, one of his few sources of entertainment.
The man’s stealth appearance out of nowhere startled Iphigenia. Her eyes widened as she turned in the direction of his voice. “Lieutenant Commander Magnusson,” Iphi said after she gained her breath, “Are your entrances always so… surprising?” Then she presented her hand to him. “Nice to meet you.” She had expected him to be much taller however the beard alieved any disappointment she had as it made his appearance, in her opinion, more appealing. “Will you accompany us on the tour? I would love to hear any insight you might have on our containees.” She knew that wasn’t a real word, but was proud of herself for coming up with it on the spot.
“Only when the opportunity presents itself” Adam respond in full seriousness and took her hand “You as well ma’am” His grip was firm but brief. He nodded to her question “I’d love to, ma’am” He turned around slightly as if in anticipation of a new arrival.
“The ship continues to surprise me,” a voice from behind Magnuson replied. Sitting in her grav chair, Laural wasn’t especially tall, but she carried herself with dignity. Even so, she wasn’t terribly formal most of the time and her eyes often sparkled with mirth. She regretted she hadn’t had much of an opportunity to interact with the former CO and XO before their departure, but she knew she was being given a second chance now. The counselor hadn’t expected to find them where she had, but having caught up and seen the welcoming committee, she offered, “Laural Witley, chief counselor. It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance.”
~Dr. Laural Witley, chief counselor
Iphigenia looked past Mr. Magnusson and saw a woman in a gravchair. She smiled and said, “Dr. Witley!” she went to shake the woman’s hand. “I am so glad you are here. FYI there was a delay in my psychiatric records from Starfleet. Apparently, my name was atrociously misspelled and the files could not be accessed.” Iphigenia shook her head, “One has to wonder how such things can happen with all the technology we have. Technical errors should be a thing of the past, but I guess that will never be the case. Will you join us? Dr. Hellsing is about to give us a do and do not do tour of the containment area.”
Laural smiled and returned the captain’s handshake firmly. She appreciated the other woman’s welcoming demeanor as well is the opportunity to explore the containment area with the others. She had yet to personally interview any of the detainees who could communicate directly with her, having only read a bit about their backgrounds. When the captain mentioned the delay with her psychiatric records she briefly wondered if the captain was trying to avoid a proper assessment, but if that were the case, it was a pretty elaborate way to avoid Witley. Deciding she didn’t have enough information to know one way or the other and recognizing that it was unfair to judge her otherwise, Laurel turned her attention to the request to join them. “Yes, ma’am, I would love to.”
Lance was listening to the questions “ as for one of the guests escaping that is not 100% but the cells are reinforced deposit fiber steel. This metal is very hard to make and is stronger then most ships hulls. On top of that the B.A.M keeps them clam enough to not what to leave but if by any chance that does happen the containment deck will go into lock down with force fields and the air will be pumped out” he said removing his glasses cleaned them then putting them back on. “The smaller ones you just need to let them know who is boss and most of them can be talked to like a child”
Iphigenia raised her eyebrows as she listened to the Chief Engineer. “Well that’s interesting. Why wouldn’t they just make starships out of this material?” The Captain was not an engineering expert, the CE would probably quickly realize. “Also I apologize but some of the acronyms that are used by technical and medical crew members sometimes escape me, what is the B.A.M.?” she asked.
Her eyes widened slightly when Mr. Hellsing said that the air would be pumped out as a security and containment measure. Even though these were potentially hazardous and maybe even menacing creatures/organisms, didn’t mean that should not be treated ethically, and suffocating a living organism was just....cruel. However, Iphigenia did not intend to question his process, especially not in front of the other officers that were among them. “I would love to know more about your process, Lieutenant Hellsing.” she simply said as she stood there smiling at the man.
Lance saw a few questions on the CO face “first the metal the cells are made of is very rare and hard to refine. The B.A.M is a Behavior Acoustic Modulator it is a device that is use to relax and help keep the guests from braking out and as for the air pumping out of containment. The cells will still have air it is to encourage the escape to return to there cells” when he was finished he looked at the group around him.
Lt. Lance Von Hellsing (CE/CA)
Iphigenia nodded and said in reference to the fiber steel metal, “Oh yes, that makes sense.” Regarding the B.A.M. device, she said, “I believe this is my first time hearing about this type of device. Is it a design of yours?”
“Yes” he said “There is a BAM on most vessels in the ARU fleet. Most people in Star Fleet don’t even know who we are.
Witley listened patiently to the exchange between the new captain and Hellsing, thankful for the explanation of the acronyms is the materials used in the containment area. She was not telepathic, but if she were, she would realize she had many of the same thoughts the captain did. Chief among them was to make sure their detainees were treated with dignity and respect. She had no doubt many of them had ill intentions, but that didn’t mean they could ignore their Starfleet values. “I’m curious, Doctor, how does the B.A.M. Account for the differences between the detainees? I imagine what agitates one might keep another calm.”
~Dr. Laural Witley, Chief Counselor
Dr. Witley had posed a great question, that Iphigenia had not thought of herself. She made a mental note to call upon the counselor in matters that concerned the behavior and personalities related to the anomalies they captured and allow her opportunities to come inspect and observe the detainees so she could report back her recommendations.
Lance looked at the counselor “ each modulation is different just like each medication is different for different patient’s. There are some creatures in the containment area that is happy to help. Some of them You can have a good conversation with. And depending on their likes and dislikes, that is how I feed them 3 meals a day.” His eye darkened “ then there are some that are pure evil it’s only purpose is to destroy and kill your sons. An evil we can even kill the bust we can is lock it up a hope to god it can’t get out”
“That is quite… disturbing,” Iphigenia said in reference to Dr. Hellsings last sentence. “Hopefully, there are protocols that these beasts are not contained on this ship forever. There must be a planet that has just as good a containment facility, somewhere in the universe, where we can them off. Otherwise, I fear it would be a risk to hold on to them forever and eventually we would run out of space.”
Adam quirked an eyebrow at the Captain’s question “That’s where our home base comes in, there more permanent facilities there. Containment and research, many of our anomalous… guests are too dangerous to be set loose. If there is a suitable planet we have yet to find it, a place that can serve as containment facility can’t be so large as to be unmanagable. Perhaps something can be done at a later date.”
“That makes sense. Thank you for the clarification.” The CIO seemed to have experience and be informed on the specific containment processes as she expected he should be. “I’d love to be briefed about our guests later regarding absolute dos and do nots regarding them. Also if you could forward me the policies on safeguarding and containment so I can review them? And if you have additional thoughts or want to propose improvements in the process I would love to discuss those as well.”
Adam inclined his head “Of course, I’ll prepare a memo for your office”
She turned to Dr. Witley and asked, “Have you had an opportunity to review the containment procedures? If so I would love to hear your thoughts. If not is it something you would be interested in doing and providing feedback from a Psychiatry point of view?”
In response to the Captain’s question, Laural nodded. “I would be happy to share my insights, Captain. I’ll make sure I gather all the dossiers.” She had mixed feelings about the containment of detainees. Understanding them to better keep people safe was one thing, but of those who weren’t evil, if such an adjective could be applied in a scientific realm, she couldn’t help but wonder what they believed or felt about their detainment.
As they reached the containment area, Iphi moved closer to container that held the gremlin and studiedit for a bit. She looked at everyone and said, “It’s so cute. If I hadn’t been briefed on it. I would think it’s as harmless as a tribble.”
“Looks and even behavior can be deceiving,” Laural replied. “I don’t pretend to be all knowing, but I do hope to make sure the right support is given to each of those aboard,” she added with a smile, referring to crew and detainee alike.
~Dr. Laural Witley, Chief Counselor
“Has it been customary to consider the mental health and…or well-being of our detainees? I only asked because I know some of them can be dangerous and it seems like an insurmountable task to take on yourself. We will have a doctor on board soon who is a D.O. I knew another doctor who was a D.O. and head of a psychiatry department on a ship. Those doctors like to take a holistic approach to things and rather than using medicine as an initial means to fix an issue they first try to understand how lifestyle and environmental factors impact your well-being” Iphigenia shook her head and laughed, “Being a doctor yourself, I am sure you are aware of the different medical specializations. However, I said all that just to show you that I have learned to appreciate that specialization now since I was treated by this doctor and she convinced me that her approach was quite effective. In any case, we still need M.D. as the holistic approach is not effective for everyone or every species. Do you think it would make sense to work together with her as you start your work with our detainees? You could provide the mental analysis as well as diagnosis and she could help provide treatment as these are beings that are typically not humanoids, so the treatment focus would be more related to their environment versus any improvement through counseling or psychiatric sessions.”
Laural was accustomed to all sorts of comments about her profession. Some of these were benign attempts at humor, some reflected misinformation, and some were meant to communicate the speaker’s overall knowledge, disdain, or appreciation of her profession. Henao’s comments didn’t quite fit any of those categories, but did she detect a tiny bit of nervousness? Not being empathic in the organic sense, Wit couldn’t tell, but meeting new people could be nerve-wracking. “I’d be happy to collaborate with anyone, ma’am. As you point out, we all have a variety of training that can provide unique perspectives. I can’t speak to past Chief Counselors here, but I’d be very surprised if the well-being of the detainees was ignored as a matter of principle and practicality. I intend to approach each one to explore how I might engage them.”
~Dr. Laural Witley, Chief Counselor
“Great. I will connect you and Doctor Álvaro-Byrd, our CMO, so you can both work out a plan. Should we head to your office so you can do my psych evaluation? I would rather get it out of the way so you don’t hunt me down at a later inconvenient time.”
Adam cleared his throat “I do warn against assigning Anomalies anthropomorphic identities, most are too alien to be assigned morality, personality, or even measurable sentience. Anomalies are contained because of the inherent risk they either are capable of or have already produced.”
It was a good warning. “You think they are not entirely intelligent enough for us to consider these matters? I do understand your warning. I don’t believe that the expectation is that they will display emotion or any characteristics that would otherwise cause us to reevaluate their situation. The purpose is just a matter of understanding them and their species more than anything.”
Adam cocked his head “It is not a question of intelligence but of sapience and the definition of species, which implies groups but most anomalies are singular, not plural. And although understanding them is a part of the ARU’s mission statement our main concern is containment of that which is too dangerous to travel the stars. On the question of sapience, we can take for example the Armus being of Vagra II, which could be considered anomalous but we would not seek to contain it because of its Sapience. Most of what we deal with lack the ability to make moral judgements, being more akin to forces than beings.” Adam paused “My main point is to simply adjust your view from the Standard Starfleet scientific method, the ARU operates in a different area than is normal.”
Iphigenia nodded her head as the CIO spoke. She couldn’t pretend she knew all there was to know about the ARU and more importantly she had a lot to learn. She had to listen to him and consider his advice, it is why he was the CIO and he probably had the most in-depth knowledge regarding the Anonmolies than anyone else on the ship. “I see. Some of the anomalies will not ideal for what we are intending to do. So do you have any suggestions on any that we can observe more closely? Even better what would you propose we do? Do you think what we are trying to do is worth the effort?”
Henao asked good questions and Laural was curious how the intelligence officer would answer. She accepted his warning in good faith, but she recognized just as he was reminding them to consider their own biases in judging these anomalies, she would be inclined to tell him the same. The point of any investigation or evaluation was to gather facts and to gain as objective an understanding of them as possible. This meant not assuming anything about them, including an inability to make moral judgments, when it was possible that meant morality only as they understood it. Wit believed the wiser course of action would be to start by acknowledging their own understanding would be colored by their social, cultural, and psychological frames of reference, as well as the limitations their own biology presented when it came to properly and objectively observing, let alone interpreting, their sensory perceptions.
~Dr. Laural Witley, Chief Counselor
Adam shook his head slightly “I don’t disagree with a psychological approach to the seemingly more sapient anomalies, it is not my area of expertise to say if something can or cannot be treated or studied by members of that field” He did not glance at Whitley as he spoke of her department “My department deals mostly in locating, investigating and identifying potential anomalies for containment. It does grant a certain perspective which is what I offer. The ARU is necessary, the containment procedures are important. These anomalies have the potential to be catastrophic entities.” He paused for a moment “For your first question I think trusting in your Science teams experience until you have gained the experience to make educated decisions.” He said simply “There are no right answers or a right way to do this job, there will be containment breaches, we will lose officers, we might even lose parts of the ship” He said in a matter-of-fact manner, albeit a grim tone “the ARU is highly classified for a good reason” He did not mention his personal opinion of what he thought should be done in regards to the anomalies.”
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