Posted by Lieutenant Commander Renveer (Executive Officer) in Main Sim - Briefing Room - Senator Belgrande’s call (tag CNS)
Posted by Lieutenant Bethany Kovra Gadi (Counselor) in Main Sim - Briefing Room - Senator Belgrande’s call (tag CNS)
Posted by Captain Molly Holloway (Commanding Officer) in Main Sim - Briefing Room - Senator Belgrande’s call (tag CNS)
Posted by… suppressed (3) by the Post Ghost! 👻
Molly raised a quizzical eyebrow, taken aback by the Senator’s sudden change in attitude. Why had Hallsley’s name just changed the tone so much? She was sure it wasn’t just because she had finally given Belgrande the information she had requested. Glancing at Renveer wondering if he had anything he might have thought of anything they might request from the Senator, Molly finally spoke.
“Um, everything was quite sudden. But we are fully restocked, and ready to go. Now… I am very unfamiliar with Special Projects. In fact, this is the first time I will be working with the Department. Is there anything we should know about it? You know, from your perspective?”
Belgrande smiled a knowing smile. “Yeah, there is. I need you know and keep this in mind, Captain. Special Projects is unlike any other division in Star Fleet. You will have more logistical support, more operational discretion, more freedom to act and react than you have ever had before. But that freedom and support has a price. And that price is attention, and a lot of it. You are in the public eye now. What you do will be seen not just by the Admiralty and my comittee… but by billions of people at some point. The ripples of your choices will have far-flung reactions… so make good choices.” And she grinned broadly. “In short: don’t f$%@ it up.” and she grinned and winked at the two officers.
You will have more logistical support, more operational discretion, more freedom to act and react than you have ever had before. And yet, just moments before, the Senator seemed to be worried about misuse of resources. Seemed that she was only worried about it when it didn’t came to Special Projects.
And then, Molly’s mind processed the second part of the sentence. Attention… the public eye… billions of people… Holloway’s face went visibly pale. Almost sickly so. The thousands of freckles that covered her face now incredibly noticeable. For a moment, the world seem to spin around her, and she rested her hand on the table to keep herself steady. That was the one thing Molly hated more any other: the spotlight. It was a nightmare, right? It could only be. Slowly, she balled her free hand into a fist, and dug her fingernails into her palm hoping to wake up. To no avail. Someone, somewhere, had clearly found it funny to send her from one of the most secretive divisions in Intel, right into the middle of the public eye, and all Molly wanted was to throw up.
Renveer breathed in as discretely as possible in relief as the animosity evaporated from the senator’s voice. The gamble had paid off, it seemed. And even though Renveer was a difficult person to unbalance, the harsh looks he had gotten from the captain and the senator during the first half of the conversation had been uncomfortable, to say the least. He much preferred the expressions they wore now.
In response to Molly’s look, Renveer tilted his PaDD toward her out of view of the senator, showing a screen filled with reports of incoming calls directed to almost all departments of the ship. He was suggesting that maybe getting Belgrande’s advice (or assistance, even) for handling the cacophony of attention would be a good idea. But, for now Renveer was more than content to let Molly take the reigns with the conversation as the executive officer took the opportunity to decompress.
(Lt. Cmdr. Renveer, XO)
Looking at the PaDD Renveer had indicated, Molly nodded in acknowledgement. The calls… now it all made sense. Or at least Holloway thought they did. Looking back at the screen, Molly addressed Belgrande. “So… the public eye. I am assuming that is why the Dresden is currently being drowned in calls? Yours was just one in the middle of many others. Do you have any advice in how to deal with those?” Holloway’s tone had clearly changed. It was vacant, monotonous, almost as if she wasn’t all there.
Belgrande scoweled slightly and said “Calls?” and she turned from the screen and said something to someone off to the side. Turning back, she said “Captain, I would advise you to not say anything to the press or to anyone outside of the Admiral, his aides, or me and mt staff. There are a lot of individuals who think Special Projects is a waste of time and resources. Usually they are the same ones I am going after for the the exact same reason. Don’t give them any ammunition. It will end up just making your job that much harder.”
The press!? Molly was feeling physically sick now. She was realizing very fast the full meaning of the Senator’s allusion to them being in the public eye now. Were all those calls coming from reporters? When Holloway glanced back at Renveer, there was a hint of panic in her eyes. Turning back to the Belgrande, Molly continued. “Do you have any advice on how to deal with them? Cutting all communications might send out the wrong message and keep actually important calls from being answered. I can have all the comms past by me and Commander Renveer first, but that seems like it might be a poor use of our time…” At this point, Molly wondered what damage had already been done. She would have to discuss it and to look at the calls with Renveer after they had finished with Belgrande.
Glancing back at Renveer, she wondered if he would like to add anything to the discussion. Otherwise, the sooner they could finish this, the better.
Renveer was feeling a bit nervous now too, although he did his best not to show it. “Yes,” he interjected, “it’s probably best that we return to the bridge and order the crew to refuse contact with anyone from the media and directly encourage them to use discretion when discussing the mission with anyone not aboard, Senator. Unless there’s anything else we should know at the moment?” He glanced at Molly, hoping he wasn’t being presumptuous by taking the initiative to wrap up the call. But he was a bit worried about what conversations were happening parallel to theirs, and how those conversations may be violating the advice the senator had just given.
(Lt. Cmdr. Renveer, XO)
Belgrande actually chickled slightly before speaking. “Ok. Here’s your crash course in public relations. One: never confirm or deny anything you don’t want your name next to on all the scream-sheets from here to the Delta Quadrant. Two: ‘You’ll have to ask someone else’ or ‘Sorry, can’t help you.’ or ‘May I direct you to Star Fleet Media Relations’ are all really good, safe answers. And yes, absolutely no one on your ship should be talking to the press except one or both of you… and then only to say one of the previous answers. Trust me, no one is looking for either of you to be political or anything. They will just want to take advantage of your inexperience with the press. Sharks, the lot of ‘em. And right now they smell blood in the water. Undestand?”
OOC: Ah, I wrote down the reply to this thread and then didn’t post it because I am smart like that. :P – Joana
Molly nodded. Her already pale face seemed to grow paler by the second, as the repercussions of the calls incoming across the ship started to dawn on her completely. She nodded, but her mind seemed to be somewhere else.
Thankful that Renveer had already set the tone to end the call, Holloway simply carried the action from there. “Yes Ma’am. You’ve been very helpful, but me and Commander Renveer should probably go back and deal with the calls before it’s too late. Thank you for your time. We’ll be in touch, either directly or through Admiral Hallsley.” Her gaze might have been set on the screen in front of her, but it was clear that Molly’s attention was on the Bridge. “Have a good day.” And with that, she terminated the call.
Signaling Renveer to stay back with her, Holloway tapped her commbadge. =/\= Holloway to Lot’l. Cut all outside comms immediately. Until the end of this mission, if an incoming call is not coming from a crew member, or from a family member of someone on the crew, I want it logged and told to try again later. We are busy and cannot take calls at the moment. I repeat, no one is to take any calls that are not coming from someone on the crew or a close family member. Just take their information and politely tell them that we will get back to them as soon as we can. Do not engage more than that. I want a list of the call logs on my desk now, and a new one at the end of the day. Holloway out. =/\=
The hint of panic was clear in Molly’s eyes when they met Renveer’s. The light brown in them contrasting with her pale skin much like the freckles covering it. It was clear that she was hoping for some sort of input from her First Officer, but she seemed to have forgotten how to use words.
Renveer blinked in surprise at the order to cut the calls so abruptly. It was certainly a more decisive action than he would have taken. He chose his next words carefully. “I can understand why an abundance of caution is appealing… but…” Renveer sighed and put a hand to his head, sinking into one of the conference room chairs as he thought for a moment more. “If the media knows about the Dresden’s deployment and we go radio-silent, that will raise suspicion… and therefore further speculation on our mission. Given that Julian Echo station is doing just fine as far as the general public knows, if they’ve already been told by somebody aboard that’s where we’re headed… it could give the impression that this is not a routine check-in. And until proven otherwise, that’s what this should hopefully be.”
Molly looked at Renveer, as she realized how the actions she had just carried on might be perceived. She had panicked and acted without a second thought on the subject. Nothing good ever came from that. She should have known better.
The first officer rubbed the trill markings on his right temple. “We should review the logs of conversations from the last hour, and get Lieutenant Forgrave involved as well. Until we know what’s already been said, we won’t know how much damage control we need to do.”
Renveer looked up with a renewed determination. “All this is to say, the media response to our deployment is entirely secondary to ensuring that the crew of the Julian Echo station is safe and accounted for. As long as we keep that in mind as our primary goal and don’t get distracted from it, that’s what will make this mission successful.” His voice raised in confidence to emphasize his point. He hoped that would re-center Molly’s thoughts and get both of them back to thinking about the actual mission at hand… rather than its side-effects.
(Lt. Cmdr. Renveer, XO)
“Yes.” Molly said absentmindedly as she sat down on a chair next to the Dresden’s First Officer. Renveer’s words had brought the mission’s goals back to the front of her mind. He was right, as it was becoming usual. They couldn’t allow themselves to be sidetracked. “You’re right… we need to focus on the task at hand and not on the media attention we will be getting, although I must confess it will be hard to know that we will be scrutinized every single hour of this mission. What if there’s a misstep that makes us the laughing stock of the sector?” What if I do something stupid that makes us the laughing stock of the sector? It was the real question that Holloway was too proud to ask. “Do you think that we should designate someone to deal with the calls that will undoubtedly come? Someone that could be the…” Molly chuckled slightly at how preposterous the thought even sounded. “… someone that could act as the public relations officer for the ship?” Holloway shook her head, before muttering softly in disbelief. “What did we get into?”
Renveer raised an eyebrow in thought. “Well, we did just have a new counselor come aboard who’s familiar with the art of discretion. She seems like the perfect vandidate to me.” Renveer shook his head. “A public relations officer is definitely part of a counselor’s duties, so we’d be putting her feet to the fire… but Lieutenant Gadi seems like she can handle it.”
(Lt. Cmdr. Renveer, XO)
Molly nodded. “Sounds like a good idea.” For a moment, she wondered if the fact that the Counselor was an empath might even come to their advantage when it came to the task at hand. “I’ll call her in and we can brief her quickly before we go back.” Holloway motioned to the Bridge with her head. “Is there anything you think we should discuss now before we talk to Gadi?” With her hand was half way to her commbadge, Molly’s discomfort was clear. She was used to working in the utmost secrecy, and now she was faced with the complete opposite situation. She hoped it was only this mission, but something told her that working with Special Projects was going to be like this most of the time. “Also, do you drink?” From all their previous interactions, the Dresden’s former Counselor would know that Holloway kept her distance from alcoholic beverages, and yet, the look in her eyes made it clear that the question was to be taken seriously.
Renveer shook his head in response to Molly’s first question, and laughed shortly at the second until he realized she was serious. “Not usually on the job…” he started cautiously, “but if you think a light indulgence might take the edge off of this whole day, maybe a seltzer?” Renveer certainly wasn’t going to recommend they drink anything strong, especially considering the counselor was about to join them. Plus, Molly suggesting such a thing at all gave Renveer pause.
(Lt. Cmdr. Renveer, XO)
Molly shook her head. “After work, I mean. Not during it.” Even though her words were fluid, it was clear that her mind was somewhere else. “Alright, then let’s bring in Lieutenant Gadi and fill her in on what’s going on…”
With a quick tap of her commbage, Holloway opened a channel to the Counselor. =/\= Holloway to Gadi. Lieutenant, could you join me and Commander Renveer in the Briefing room for a moment? =/\=
=^=On my way, Captain.=^= Bethany closed the comm and looked down at Luna. “Well I guess this is it. Come on, back in your room for now.” She picked up the little fur ball and put her back in the cage and closed the door. Then she double timed it to the briefing room. She went to hit the chime but the doors opened automatically and she stepped into the room coming to a parade rest. “Reporting as requested Captain.” Bethany was all professionalism, despite the trepidation she had forced deeply into the recesses of her mind. Either the Cpt and Cmdr were going to give her something to do, to prove her worth, or they had decided to send her packing.
Lt Gadi, CNS
Molly smiled politely at the new arrival. “Please, take a seat Lieutenant.” She said pointing to one of the empty chairs around them. “Commander Renveer and I have been discussing our current situation and would like to have your input, and if possible, your help.” She paused for a moment. Her gaze falling on Renveer for a moment, looking for some sort of reassurance that they were in the same page.
Bethany took a seat, a deep breath, and tried to relax. Her input and her help. She was happy to provide both, but instead of jumping the gun she took in the seriousness on their faces and decided that something serious was going on. Something more serious than her getting to stay on the ship.
“Lieutenant, what is your experience in public relations?”
That was not what she was expecting, but years of working with edgy traumatized operatives kept her expression neutral and her body language relaxed. It probably wasn’t that much different than talking to the brass: difficult and unique to each situation. “I know enough that 1) never answer their questions directly, 2) keep control of the direction of the conversation, and 3) never make promises.”
Lt. Gadi, CNS
Renveer’s face almost broke into a smile. “Well it certainly seems like you have a better grasp on the task than we do,” he said good-naturedly with an amused look at Holloway. Turning back to Gadi, he placed his hands palms-up on the conference table. “I figured your past would lend you to a knack for discretion. The mission we’ve just been assigned… it seems as if we have many eyes on us, unfortunately. And, we’ve already had a couple less-than-ideal conversations with both Starfleet and Federation representatives… so I suppose our question is: are you good at playing nice with others?”
(Lt. Cmdr. Renveer, XO)
Bethany paused. “That depends on what you mean by playing nice with others. Public relations is all about smiling and politely telling people to mind their own business, that you are the boss. If you mean diplomacy. Well then diplomacy is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. So I guess which one do you want?”
“I’ll also need to a record of every transmission that went on during that time. What was said, who it was from, who answered, and the cooperation of the crew involved. I need to know where we are and what kind of promises the crew made. And they did make promises. They may not realize it, but they did. It won’t do the crew any good if we get stuck behind this. Some may be innocent some not. I need to know before the transmissions start again.”
Lt. Gadi, CNS
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