Posted by Gamemaster Alias Smith N. Jones, Esq. (GMT) in Main Sim - Conference Room - Mission Briefing (Tag CO, XO, ALL DH’s)
Posted by Lieutenant Priscilla Simms (Chief Science Officer) in Main Sim - Conference Room - Mission Briefing (Tag CO, XO, ALL DH’s)
Posted by Gamemaster Alias Smith N. Jones, Esq. (GMT) in Main Sim - Conference Room - Mission Briefing (Tag CO, XO, ALL DH’s)
Posted by… suppressed (2) by the Post Ghost! 👻
The transporter activated and two figures appeared on the pad. One was a tall, slender human male. He carried a black bag and had a backpack over one shoulder. His companion was a slightly older human, and the exact opposite build. Shorter and broad at the shoulder, chest and waist; he sported a handlebar mustache that was kept in perfect form with old-fashioned wax. He wore the uniform of Star Fleet and Admiral’s pips rested on his collar. The Admiral looked at the Transporter Chief and said “Admiral Hallsley and Dr. Drillek. We are expected.” and stepped off the pad. The Chief came to attention and said “Yes, sir! Your escort is just outside. The Conference Room is ready for you, Admiral.” and he tapped the control panel and a long whistle of varying tones rang out through the whole ship, it’s meaning understood by every member of the crew: Flag Officer on board.
Hallsley nodded once and said “Appreciated. We will head there now.” and walked out the door with Dr, Drillek following. A few short minutes later, they arrived at the Conference Room.
The Admiral and his associate looked at each other and then walked in… and there was no one there. Hallsley furrowed his brow in confusion and looked at Drillek. “Maybe we’re in the wrong conference room?” and Drillek shrugged. “Well, we’ve seen a flurry of activity. Getting a ship this size up and going would be a feat in and of itself, wouldn’t it?” and Hallsley nodded in agreement. “Indeed. And Im sure wires may have crossed in moving the ship from fleet operations to Special Projects.” and he sighed and said “Well… take a seat. Let’s see what we can prepare for the briefing before hand…” and the two men sat down at the far end of the table opposite where a Captain normally would sit.
Priscilla had head the whistle of the Flag Officer and it piqued her curiosity. It was intriguing that the Department Heads had been called to a meeting and then the whistle went off. Stopping by her quarters to quickly freshen up and make sure her wayward hair hadn’t decided to take off on its own, she then made her way to the conference room. Arriving about ten minutes after the group had, the Science Chief stepped in expecting to see several of the staff there already. Seeing only strangers brought her up short with an obvious surprised look on her face. Quickly recovering with a respectful incline of her head, she smiled. “Oh, forgive me, Admiral. I didn’t realize I would be the first one here.” Moving to set her PaDD down near her seat about halfway down the left side of the table, she moved to the replicator. “I’m Lieutenant Priscilla Simms, Chief Science Officer. Can I get you gentlemen something to drink?” She noticed the water pitcher and glasses in the middle of the table, but was betting they would appreciate something more.
Lt Priscilla Simms
The Admiral smiled and said “No thank you, Lieutenant.” The man seated to the right of the Admiral looked at her through narrowed eyes and said “Simms… ” as if thinking about the name. “You were on the Magellan, were you not, Lieutenant?”
“As you wish,” she nodded and turned to get herself a glass of juice before turning at the odd sounding query of her name.
Moving back to her seat, Priscilla inclined her head and smiled. “Yes, Sir. For a few years before coming here. Have you served there?” She sat in her seat and leaned slightly on her elbows. She glanced to see I’d the doctor was checking his information about her. She wasn’t sure if it was a good thing or bad thing that the man knew her service records.
The man, dressed in civilian clothes, shook his head. “Oh, no… Im not in Star Fleet. But your name was amongst the list of potential candidates for the station.” he said, and then caught himself. “Julian Echo station, that is.”
“Oh? I hope that is a good thing.” Priscilla smiled and made light of the comment hoping it wasn’t one of those ‘she needs to be at the furthest end of space’ kind of lists.
Drillek smiled slightly and said “Oh it is. Don’t worry.” and he chuckled.
Forgrave glanced at his chrono as he moved hurriedly through the corridors. Gah; of course I lose track of time the day we have a damn briefing… Muttering dark invectives to himself, he hoped that he wasn’t doomed to be the last to arrive. Though he detested the political game within StarFleet, he was well aware that laxity on his part could greatly affect the perception of the Dresden and her crew - and the whistling bosun’s pipes had been for a Flag Officer.
Double-checking his PaDD, he confirmed that he was at the correct conference room before smoothing out his uniform and calming his breathing. No time like like the present… And with that thought, he opened the door and entered, quickly scanning the room to see who all was there. Issac was initially pleased to see just three figures; though his thoughts changed on seeing that two of the figures were unknown to him - one bore the pips of an admiral Hallsley; if I remember correctly…, but the other appeared to be a civilian.
“Sirs; Ma’am.” Issac nodded courteously to the Dresden’s guests and the familiar face of Priscilla as he approached the table; extending his hand in greeting. “Lieutenant Forgrave, Security Chief. Welcome to the Dresden; it’s a pleasure to have y’all aboard.”
Issac Forgrave, CoS
The conversation was cut short as the Security Chief walked in. “Forgrave, good to see you, again.” Her smile for him was genuine and she went back to sipping her juice wondering just what this was all about. Mission briefings didn’t usually involve this type of brass.
The Admiral nodded at the Security Chief. “Lieutenant, good to meet you.” hebsaid in his deep rumble of a voice. “This is Dr. Drillek.” and he indicated the man next him. Drillek nodded once, but kept quiet.
Shortly after Forgrave walked in, the doors to the conference room slid open once again, this time allowing Holloway to enter. Her Command Red uniform was perfectly pressed, and her ballerina bun sat immaculately done atop of her head with millimetric precision. She moved at a normal pace, not seeming to rush even though the Dresden’s guests were already present. When her eyes scanned the occupants of the room there was no surprise, nor apologetic look on her face. It was almost as if she had planned to arrive after them all along.
“Admiral Hallsley, welcome on board.” Molly said as she sat down at her seat on one of the ends of the table. “My apologies to make you wait. It’s been busy around here.” She gave the man a polite smile. “I see you have already had the chance to meet some of the staff.” Her smile turned warmer as she turned to both Simms and Forgrave. “Dr. Drillek, I presume? I don’t think we’ve had the pleasure of meeting…”
Ellie arrived several minutes later, a rag in her lap that she used to wipe some engine grease off her hands as she came to a stop next to the table “Apologies for my tardiness.” She said to the Admiral and the Captain when she arrived.
Leuitenant Commander Renveer slipped in behind the captain before the door slid shut, and inclined his head in greeting both to the guests and the present department heads. He stood behind Captain Holloway and slightly to her right until she sat, at which point he joined the table seated at the chair closest to her right side. The unimposing man waited for an opening to introduce himself patiently, his dark eyes observing the guests with passive curiosity.
(Lt. Cmdr. Renveer, XO)
“No apologies on your part necessary, Captain. Actually, probably me who should be apologizing to you for snatching you and your ship from Fleet Operation Command on such short notice. I’ll try not to make a habit of that going forward.” he said with a smile and slight laugh.
Molly gave the Admiral a small smile, but to the trained eye it would be visible that she wasn’t too happy about the fact.
“I dont stand on a lot of ceremony or rank, Holloway. And it is your ship. So… Do you want us to start the briefing now, or wait for the rest of your Command team, Captain? No skin off my nose either way.” and he glanced back and forth between the CO and XO.
Looking around the room to the officers present, Holloway didn’t like to start without everyone present, however, she had the feeling Hallsley had waited enough. She glanced at Renveer, uncertainty written on her face, before turning back to the Admiral with one last glance at her wrist chronometer. “Well, why don’t we start. I’m sure we will be able to catch up whoever arrives in the next few minutes.”
“As you wish.” the Admiral replied and then looked at his companion. The slndet man stood up and said “I am Dr. Sean Drillek. I am the Chief Engineer for Star Fleet Special Projects Division. I and Admiral Hallsley have spent the past five standard years designing, building and deploying… well… this.” and brought up a holographic display in the center of the conference table.
The figuure showed a space station, but one that was certainly on the unique side. A base structure supported a clear dome that covered the entire facility. As the Engineer spun the diagram slowly around, it was obvious that some parts of the interior had walls but no ceilings; allowing the station’s occupants to see out into space from almost anywhere. The facility itself had three levels, and in some places transparent flooring allowed a view through the dome even from the lowest level.
“This is Observation Station Julian Echo. It is a state of the art facility designed to monitor the inevitable demise of a nearby brown dwarf star. Everything was designed with the utmost attention to detail. Painstaking design and redesign was done by all of the Federation’s top scientists and engineers, all of whom have spent years creating the perfect and most advanced observatory in history. It is, for lack of a better term… perfect.” Drillek looked at the assembled staff.
“But now it isn’t. The station’s normal report didn’t come in and there has been no response to communications. That was two weeks ago, and we have no idea what has happened.”
Drillek sat down and Admiral Hallsley stood up and put his hands behind his back. “The station itself was ahead of schedule on it’s reporting. Therefore, Star Fleet Command has, to this point, declined to send anyone to the station. The station is more than capable of supporting itself for months without any kind of assistance, and the radiographic activity form the star itself has interfered with subspace communications in the past… but not for this long. Dr. Drillek and I are convinced something is amiss… the nature of what we have no idea or indication of.” and he tapped the interface and the image of the station changed to the standard star map of the galaxy.
“The system JE Observatory is in is not bordered by any claimed space. It holds zero strategic value, and the planets in the system so little of value that we have no reason to suspect any kind of hostile activity.” and he glanced at the Desden’s officers and a gave them a half- smile. “I know… you’ve been told that before. Me too. But this time, I cannot honestly figure why anyone would have an interest in the system. Its in the middle of no where with nothing of value. Hell, its even so far from the shipping lanes that pirates would lose money trying to hideout there.” and the image vanished and the Admiral sat down. “But as we all know… the unknown can be a dangerous place. Hence we are sending the Dresden to ascertain what the issue is, what is wrong with the station, and deal with it. Full station schematics will be provided, as well as crew roster and current experiment parameters. What else do you need, and what questions do you have?” and he looked around at the crew.
OOC: Fixing typos
Forgrave had been taking notes on his PaDD as the men spoke. Glancing at it to be sure of his question, he asked “You said they’re overdue by two weeks, yes? When was the last report you received, Sir? And what was their typical reporting schedule?”
Drillek spoke up. “They are overdue by two weeks on their anticipated schedule. Actual reporting is due only monthly unless something needs attention. So I suppose… technically… thry still ha e two weeks to send a communication.
“As well, would you be able to provide us with complete records of their past reports? Perhaps there’s something in there that may give us some clues as ta what happened; or help us once we’re there.”
Lt j.g. Issac Forgrave, CoS
Hallsley nodded and said “Absolutely. You all will have access to all reports from the station, from all departments.”
Renveer sat up straighter to indicate his intention to enter the conversation. “Hello Doctor, Admiral. I’m Lieutenant Commander Renveer, executive officer. You said that there’s nothing of value in the system… but it sounds as if Julian Echo is itself of great importance. Is the station’s existence classified, or do you believe that hostile forces may have caught wind of it and attempted to raid the facility?” He paused before adding, “The Dresden is a combat-capable ship. Do you have reason to believe this mission will be more dangerous than any other distress call, for example?”
(Lt. Cmdr. Renveer, XO)
Drillek spoke up and said “No, the station isn’t classified by any means. In fact, it was the leading story for months prior to its launch. A good many people throughout the Federation are following it. We actually have plans to live stream vids from the station once we were certain all the kinks had been worked out. And nothing anticipated mind you. Just the normal new station issues that crop up occasionally. Oh, and there has been no distress call. I just wanted to clarify that.”
Molly had remained silent while her Chief of Security and her Executive Officer posed their questions. Something in Hallsley’s words had been mulling around Holloway’s mind.
“Admiral… if I may ask…” Molly started when there was a break in the conversation. “You mentioned that, to this point, Starfleet Command has declined to send anyone to the station, because even though they have been silent for the past two weeks, they were ahead on their reporting, correct? You also mentioned that it is not the first time that something has interfered with the station’s communications, albeit not for this long, and that specifically you and Dr. Drillek are convinced something is off.” Holloway paused for a second, joining the tips of her fingers and setting her chin against them. “I think you know where I am going with this, but before we start making plans, I think it is important for us to know exactly what is going on here.” She paused once again before continuing. “You’re telling me that, after two weeks of not sending anyone to check on a station that technically still has two weeks to send a report, according to your colleague, Starfleet decided to give the two people that believe something is wrong, permission to take a warship, not really suited for scientific purposes, on a mission where you don’t expect a hostile encounter? I’m sorry but…” The hint of a cynical smile showed on her lips. “Why not taking a scientific vessel? Why not wait two more weeks? I feel like I’m missing something here, Admiral, and even though Admiral Tulo’t directly informed me of your arrival, suggesting this is an approved mission, until I understand exactly what is going on, we are not going anywhere.”
Hallsley looked at Halloway, and a brief flicker of something… disappointment, perhaps… passed over him and was gone.
“Captain. We have told you everything we know. This is an approved mission because I threw a big enough fit for Command to make it so. And while this may be just a warship to you… I expect you, the ship, and the crew to be versatile enough to handle whatever situation you may find.” and his eyes locked onto hers.
“You feel like your missing something, Captain? Well join the club because so do I. I’m missing responses to subspace communications from the most advanced celestial obsevatory in the history of the Federation. And you are going to go have a look and figure out why.” The Admiral looked around the table at the crew, his face showing a sternness that hadnt been there before.”Now, I don’t know what kind of directives you all have received in the past. But I dont play games. And I sure as all get-out don’t keep my teams in the dark. This isn’t Star Fleet Intelligence or some super-secret weapon design garbage blah -blah-blah. Special Projects isn’t some grand code for secret classified goings on.. We handle a vast array of projects that require special attention and personnel. Most of the challenges we face are logistical in nature: getting the right people and equipment where they are needed.” and he sighed heavily.
“Now… I and Dr. Drillek have given you everything we know… which, granted, isn’t much. But its what we have. Dr. Drillek will be accompanying you to the station. He designed and built it, so he’s the most qualified to deal with anything that may have happened.” Hallsley’s eyes once again rested on Halloway. “Any further questions, Captain?”
At the mention of the observatory, Priscilla had darn near dropped her jaw on the floor. It wasn’t just any science station, it was THE science station. She had been keeping up on it since it’s inception years ago. The quintessential science endeavor that had almost made her want to put in a transfer the moment she had heard it was finished. Now, here she was, not just going to the station to check on it, but going with the very man who had designed it! She was a bit more than star struck and was mentally kicking herself for not realizing it was ‘that’ Drillek who had said hello to her upon entering. Now the comment of her being on the list for the station made sense, and actually sent another swell of pride thru her already thumping chest.
While everyone had been asking the questions she had thought up during the briefing, she had been furiously taking notes. Despite the rest of them and their trepidation, she was ready to jump to warp 10 at this moment and head there. But she also knew, from not being fresh from the Academy, that this was still a huge lump of unknowns they were about to plow into. As the conversation paused, she spoke up. “What Class is the Brown Dwarf and are we equipped to boost the radio signals if the interference from the star, itself, is the cause of the lack of communication? I understand the radio waves from some brown dwarfs can be quite disruptive at even normal ‘safe’ distances. If that’s the case, will we have the equipment or replication specs on board to address such a thing? Or any other replacement parts that can’t be replicated, if say antennae or arrays have been severely damaged from anything in the area including meteor storms?” She knew it was probably a moot point, but she hated to go all the way out there and find out they didn’t have the one plug they would need.
Drillek looked at her and nodded in absent-minded approval of the questions. “Excellent questions, Lieutenant. The station is equipped with a new series of industrial replicators and are programmed with all the critical and standard parts patterns that they would require. And the station was supplied just three weeks ago, so the Admiral and I couldn’t think of anything engineering related that could cause them to go off-line.” and he looked down at the table and tapped some commands into the interface and a new display came up.
It showed the star in question: a Class V brown dwarf with three planets roughly the size of Sol system’s Mercury orbiting it. Drillek spoke. “The staion is set outside of the normal radiographic interference of the star, but flares of activity have twice now interferred with communications. But the Admiral and I don’t think that is the issue here. The last report from the station indicated a decline in radiographic activity… not a spike. Hence our insistence that someone go have a look.”
Ellie spoke up from her spot towards the back of the room “In the last report, Engineering didn’t report any problems with comms or other issues?” She asked making sure that she had understood what the Doctor and Admiral had said “It’s possible that the gravitational pull of the Brown Dwarf somehow accelerated and caused some sort of damage to the station itself. The higher the technical advancements, the more possible there are for malfunctions.” She said simply, being an engineer, it could be something as simple as a fried relay or as complicated as the entire comms system being destroyed or damaged.
She looked at the Admiral and Doctor “Not saying that your station isn’t ‘perfect’ but everything mechanical can break.” She said “I will need to look over the engineering reports and see if I see anything out of the ordinary.” She said not meaning to put down their excellent work, but machines were machines and they could be fickle.”
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