Meeting with the XO…when the past doesn’t match the future or the present

Posted July 19, 2023, 3:44 p.m. by Commander Garinder'Jen th'Jir (Executive Officer) (Gene Gibbs)

Posted by Captain Kelly Bordeaux (Commanding Officer) in Meeting with the XO…when the past doesn’t match the future or the present

Posted by Commander Garinder’Jen th’Jir (Executive Officer) in Meeting with the XO…when the past doesn’t match the future or the present

Posted by Captain Kelly Bordeaux (Commanding Officer) in Meeting with the XO…when the past doesn’t match the future or the present
Posted by… suppressed (2) by the Post Ghost! 👻
Kelly leaned back in her chair feeling the weight of the pips around her neck. This was not the first time the pressure of being in command felt like a yolk holding her down. This would not be the last time either. It was just one moment in the career path she had chosen.

OOC: I hope the setup was okay as to why you weren’t in the story so far. It is only about a week. You can alter or correct my post if you have a better idea. If the stories don’t match it fits perfectly with an insurgent team making the crew play cat and mouse. Just have fun posting. Where you run I will follow. ~Kate

Her senior staff had held the ship together after the attack from the aliens had sent her to sick bay for a week but they were not the XO or the CO. Everyone had an opinion but only she and the XO were in command. The bubble of anger in her chest was not related to the crew or even the aliens. It was directed at Starfleet command and those that had placed the Atlantis in its current predicament.

While it seems so innocuous on the surface hindsight was 20/20. The closed-door meetings for Ian and the XO had set the crew up for a brief lapse in command structure when during the first contact with the aliens. If Ian had been free, Kelly would have taken him with her to the transporter room the night the aliens had arrived since they were directly asking for him. If Jen had not been sequestered in his own closed-door meeting with Starfleet brass off the ship he would have either been in the command seat or in the transporter room where his background with the Marines might have made a difference in the initial attack by the aliens. She vaguely wondered what that meeting was about which caused the XO to leave her ship besides it being a way to keep him incommunicado for the past several days. Kelly did not see him being a part of the coup by section 31 but neither did she see the officers placed under her nose for weeks that participated in it. If he had been a part of it, why would section 31 need to place a fake Andorian XO for Jessa to think was the actual XO? If Jen was a part of it, section 31 would have used him directly and been far more efficient in the promenade attack.

A hundred different variables with a hundred different possible outcomes but that did not matter now. He and Kelly were left with piecing together a plan and moving forward. Turning to the console, Kelly randomly punched buttons scrolling through all the data she had compiled to go over with him as she waited for him to arrive at her office. The XO was always punctual but right now there were a million fires to put out and only two hoses so she waited for him. Her request had told him to just come in when he found a moment so she waited for the door to slide open and her first officer to enter.

Kelly Bordeaux CO

Jen stood outside the door trying to halt the frown that had been on his face for much of the day and only growing firmer. The old Terran adage of ‘your face will freeze that way’ rather went to the heart of the matter when it came to Andorians. Still, even when he had come to some grips with it and pulled his face into a normal same ol same ol expression he felt that his antennae were still in full frown. But then that was something that an Andorian would notice; he knew it was hard enough to read Terran expressions. For whatever reason he found it easier to read a Tellarite than a Terran. Taking a breath he entered. One step in he stopped and noted the Captain and resisted the ‘army’ impulse to come to attention and salute. Why can’t the Navy just follow more tradition? “Captain”? he said.
- Jen, XO

Kelly wished she knew her XO far more intimately right now. He always seemed to be wearing the same expression, happy or sad, that was plastered on his face now. It served well in a crisis but in this moment she needed to read the room as the saying went. “If you are here to tender your transfer papers take a number and get in line,” she gestured to the PaDD’s on her desk. “Just like the meat counter at a butcher shop, it first come, first transferred off.” The sarcasm in her voice indicated it was a joke but still had a serious tone. “Take a seat,” she reached into a drawer and pulled out a bottle of neon blue Andorian ale along with two shot glasses. She had no idea if the XO was going to join her but Kelly didn’t care. Her meeting with the COS required more than coffee, milk, and sugar.

Jen’s antennae made slow circles almost as though he were trying to feel things out. Things had been tense, yes, and if it felt more like trench warfare well, the ship was still an awfully clean trench. “My Andorian bonsai is quite happy and I’ve finally found a good place in my quarters for it. I’m not about to start packing again, Captain.” His eyes watched the bottle come out. It reminded him of their first encounter in the bar on Earth. What she wore then was much more flattering than her uniform now.

When Kelly first heard her XO was going to be an Andorian, she hated to admit the slight ugh feeling that developed in the pit of her stomach. Her previous XO’s had been closer to her background and personality; however, like most things in life, it was good to step out of one’s comfort zone. Jen brought a unique perspective to the command team Kelly could not get anywhere else. His background in the Marines made him particularly adept at looking at things from an angle she did not immediately see. It also helped to confirm her gut feeling when she was looking at a situation from a military standpoint. “That is good to know because I need you here and now.”

Filling the glasses, Kelly downed her shot and set it next to the bottle. “Your planet distills one hellavu hooch,” she savored the shot for a second. Rolling the shot glass around with her fingertips she took a second to gather her thoughts. Jen was not one for preamble and since he was not sitting in the brig, Kelly assumed he was with her and not against her. “We are in quite a predicament my friend. I am not sure how up to speed you are on the going’s on of the past week but I am sure you have read the preliminary reports.” Jen had not just waltzed up the command tree like some officers. He assumed his rank through hard work, dedication, and exemplary actions. This meant he knew how to skim over information that was needed and ask for clarification on what seemed out of the norm. Right now Kelly needed a second pair of eyes on the data packet she had put together that hadn’t been shared with the rest of the crew. Sliding a PaDD over, Jen would notice it did not open with his biometric as normal but needed his command access code indicating what he was about to read was CO and XO clearance only.

“It’s our undistributed physiology. It takes more to affect us the same,” he said, “though the hangover can be nasty.” That too added to the general orneriness of the race in general and feuds could be set off much easier after festival times when many people were so .. affected. He reached for the glass and took a sniff at it. It was real. Not synthehol. The replicator just couldn’t get the smell right so it was easy to tell the difference. He didn’t match her by downing it but rolled half about in his mouth to take in the subtle taste of it. To an Andorian it was a smooth taste, almost like ice wine on Terra, and so was easy for them to overindulge. There were other drinks that were more akin to Terran whiskey that packed a punch going down as much as making them drunk. He nodded to her. “It has been engaging reading.” Which was an understatement and was more like a marine engagement post report. Looking at the PaDD he noted it didn’t just open. That was starting to look more like a marine tablet. With only a brief glance at the Captain he tapped in his access code after a moment of trying to recall it. Biometrics made the mind soft in some things.

As he skimmed the message, Kelly summarized. “We are still putting square pegs into round holes right now with our intell but it seems that innocuous space noise we were ordered to check out a week ago was a signal that command had picked up about six weeks ago. According to Admiral McLaren, it was a blind chance we were the only deep spaceship in the area to investigate it. McLaren hasn’t screwed us before so I tend to believe him but it was really coincidental that Captain Primrose showed up the day after the aliens attacked when you were off the ship.” She paused allowing Jen to share his thoughts if he wished to.

There Jen frowned and shook his head. “I’ve learned that when the upper echelons wants to solve a crisis they create it first and then come in with the solution. Or, they trip a crisis to divert attention from what they are really doing. Blind chance perhaps but coincidence?” He shook his head again as he finished the glass, watching the Captain pour. He did the same, but carefully, listening.

“Agreed and I don’t tend to believe in coincidences or chance much either. My gut says Command got in over their heads with this and have no idea what to do about it. If I am really being honest, I can’t shake the feeling someone somewhere decided we are expendable. I did not think about them using us as a diversion until now or maybe leverage if what they have planned doesn’t go the route they intend it to. It would explain why we are being sent to a remote section of space, why the kid hasn’t been removed, and all our comms are being channeled through Outpost 45 before they are relayed back to Earth. Gives them time to control the narrative,” she tossed out as more food for thought. Letting oneself slip into conspiracy theories was a rabbit hole that could be all-consuming and lead to bad choices. On the flip side, ignorance of possible facts was not wise either.

“Aside from me being out for the count for a few days, things seemed to just be in a pressure cooker until somehow a twelve-year-old child was able to escape sick bay, use the transporters to beam back to her ship, then back here to take out three security officers in the brig.” Pouring another shot for her she slide the bottle over to Jen. “From there the aliens do not transport back to their ship or to the hangar to steal a shuttle but into Marine Country where the Marines unleashed the full fury of hell on them and the aliens just watched it from behind their shields. Finally after subduing the Marines with more or less defensive measures they beam into the promenade and separate themselves from each other in equidistant quarters of the promenade to what? Try to convert the crew? Take over the ship by using the entertainment decks? To become martyrs to a cause we don’t know? To cause a mutiny because half the ship thinks this kid is a mini-super genius and the other half think you and I are in on it because Jessa is saying you authorized her actions. None of this is making any sense,” she laid out the basics of what happened not giving too much information to sway or influence Jen’s perception of the events. As his mind processed the information, Kelly would answer his questions with as much information as she could. There were so many talking points that Kelly dumped on the table like mahjong pieces. In time they would cover all of them. For now, she let Jen decide which piece to pick up first and try to help her figure out what was really going on.

Kelly Bordeaux CO

“I may be biased but my first thought was that the aliens were the Borg in another form. We think they are all the same. But what if they weren’t? What if they could adapt to our frustrating them and their testing the waters in another fashion, another form, another strategy?” He swirled the ale in the glass, the blue liquid reflecting an overhead light. “Just throwing that out. Genius kids. Technology that we can’t penetrate. Other races do exist certainly but for ones this advanced in a rather now crowded part of the galaxy. Super tech aliens don’t exist in a vacuum.” He smiled. “Pardon the pun.”
- Jen, XO

There was so much intelligence Jen had not been given before now. It was not due to Kelly hiding facts or being ordered not to share them. It was far less covert than that. Kelly needed an independent analysis and no matter how unbiased individuals claimed to be, at times it was better to see if two separate roads naturally converged into a single lane of thought. “Again great minds think alike but all tests we have run so far indicate no trace of known Borg technology,” she tapped a few buttons on her console bringing up everything the ship had on Jessa Novar filling the wall PaDD behind her.

“The night the aliens attacked Jessa’s carotid artery was punctured by the female alien Zala Tsu. I think this was a tactical maneuver to separate her from them and place her in a position of less security. Dr. Lauren Shan was able to save her but not due to her medical expertise. Reviewing the footage and basic human biology, an injury like this is fatal in less than ninety seconds without treatment. Jessa survived almost five minutes before the doc was able to stop the hemorrhaging. It wasn’t until the child was in recovery did we notice the time stamp or begin to speculate why. An analysis was run on multiple blood samples but it wasn’t until several days later we learned about the Galactic Union’s use of cellular nanites as their basis of medicine. Preliminary findings show their nanites seem to give them god-like regeneration skills…that is for someone that does not know they exist.”

“Everyone wants to build their own super soldiers,” Jen said with a small frown. He was on the fence on that. Modern warfare benefits from any upgrades over the enemy. The trouble was what to do with them when they were not needed. “Clever work with nanites. That is good with stealth. Wouldn’t stand up to razor drones or AP Photon pellets.”

“While we can’t confirm this yet, we have a working theory based on what Jessa has told Rinker in her daily sessions with him that they may only be effective for a short period of time. She explained to him that she gets a vitamin shot every three months.” Kelly let her voice trail off as she looked at the image on the screen of the tiny metal device. “The blood samples also show she has a perfect paternity DNA match to Ian.” Enlarging that report, it showed in laymen’s terms a visual displaying that fifty percent of her DNA was from Ian, and the other fifty percent of her DNA was from a human female.

Kelly Bordeaux CO

“And they don’t have an idea of the female?” He furrowed his brows and antennae. “From birth DNA is logged in the Federation databases. How could that pass through without detection through the various stages of growth and interaction with medical facilities?”
- Jen, XO

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