STF

MAIN SIM Shuttle to Beltran

Posted Feb. 22, 2024, 12:12 p.m. by Lieutenant Commander Dagen Thor (CE) (Gene Gibbs)

Posted by Lieutenant Junior Grade Vanessa Slade (CNS) in MAIN SIM Shuttle to Beltran

Posted by Lieutenant Junior Grade Reia Shandy (C Intelligence -Comm Officer) in MAIN SIM Shuttle to Beltran

Posted by Lieutenant Junior Grade Vanessa Slade (CNS) in MAIN SIM Shuttle to Beltran
Posted by… suppressed (10) by the Post Ghost! 👻
snip
Ever the one to dance along the line of regulations, he gave Reia a mock shocked look as she side hugged him. Smiling he clasped her at her shoulder and pulled Reia in for a brief but comforting hug. Then whispered as he let go, “You’ll wrinkle me,” he said, grinning for a moment as he thought of them getting to the planet with strands of Reia’s hair on his dress uniform. Truth to tell this was something that he was happy for Reia to be along with him. He had had precious few first contact anythings much less joining Federation anythings. While he could put up a good formal front and be a good boy he did tend to forget himself in a certain amount of gawking and getting into shop talk with others. He had been around enough people who boasted this or that tech would revolutionize society at large and found it to be more bluster than reality. Something as spectacular as their shield tech would be an amazing boon if they could get it working on their ships but Dagen had a lot of if’s .. and, ultimately, while the diplomats and Captains and such did the niceties Dagen knew it would fall on him to get waist deep into it. It was exciting but it was almost like going into an exam without having actually attended the classes. “Ouch,” he said, looking at Thomas approaching. Did he look that stiff?

Reia stepped in front of Dagen and gave him a critical once-over. She tucked a bit here, stroked a bit there, and smoothed out a bit of his hair. Lastly, she did indeed find a strand of her hair on his shoulder.

Conversely he knew that Reia would be keeping her eyes open doing her intelligency thing, seeing things that meant nothing to Dagen but spoke volumes to her. Sometimes Dagen thought it was her making things up, just as the Earth author for Sherlock Holmes seemed to do. Sometimes he felt that she was a bit of a Sherlock Holmes; her perception on many a thing was uncanny. “Let’s shoot for the yacht,” he said to Reia, nudging her in that direction.

“I think the shuttle will be safer. The yacht wasn’t meant for things like this. Besides, all the really really pretty people want to be in the yacht. The handsome intriguing dangerous people should be in the shuttle don’t you think?”

-Reia, CIO/Comms

He saw the counselor heading for the yacht. She looked as though she were going on a cruise rather than a diplomatic mission but counselor’s prerogative. Sure it would be best if they went to the shuttle; wouldn’t want the counselor giving them tips. Idly as he gazed at his wife he did wonder whether she was saying he was the handsome one and she the intriguing and dangerous one. He was okay with that. “Shuttle it is,” he said, guiding her with him to it.

IC: Thomas turned up, walking stiffly in his dress uniform with his mouth set into a thin line and his eyes pinched.

“Where do you want me?” he asked, looking between the two craft.

COS

Dagen, CE

Vanessa Slade CNS

Magnus had opened his mouth to answer Reia’s comment when Thomas arrived and smiled “Well are you pretty or handsome?” He asked with a wide smile “Captain’s prerogative and yacht, I’ll take the lovebirds in the Shuttle you take my place on the Yacht” Having both Command personnel off the ship and in the same vehicle was too big of a security risk for his mind, besides he wanted the Security Chief at the Captains side at all times as he was the only one to make him look small in comparison.

Thomas nodded, understanding the XO’s reasoning immediately.

Once everyone had picked their ride on the shuttle of their choice, the two ships began to make their way down to the surface of the planet. The trip was relatively smooth to the large orbital platform located at the bottom of the exposphere of Beltran.
The orbital platform was large and heavily armored. This was not surprising with the Gorn Hegemony just a few light years from it. It was surprising that there was only one platform no matter how far the shuttles scanned out for a second one.

Only one .. was there only one thing worth protecting? Dagen wondered. That seemed odd to have something that hefty .. but only one. His thoughts were interrupted by the sudden turbulence.

In the middle of the Thermosphere, the ride in the shuttle became very bumpy. If one was not strapped into their seats they ran the risk of being thrown from it. The energy disturbance the shuttles were experiencing seemed to only be for a few hundred feet.

GM Kate

“I’m glad I saved room and didn’t eat before I left,” Dagen quipped trying not to bite his tongue together with the shaking of the shuttle.

Calvin clipped on his belt. It was a bad habit that he couldn’t shake that if it wasn’t a combat drop he didn’t like strapping in. Strapping in was the beginning of the mental preparation for a fight.

Magnus opened a channel to the Yacht =^=Shuttle Jericho to Yacht, hope you all are strapped in, things are getting really bumpy over here=^= The call was mostly a secondary distraction from the turbulence as he flew the shuttle, he wasn’t going to spend the flight down on scanner duty so he’d grabbed the lead pilots seat during startup.

XO

“A day late and a credit short,” Dagen said as he was jostled against Reia, which, in hindsight, was not a bad thing.

“Is this the expected chop?” Calvin asked anyone.

“Are we going to need EV suits,” Vanessa looked at Calvin and then around the space. “You know my certification on EV’s is a bit ihhhhh feee,” her tone and pitch rose and fell as she stated trying to talk in between the jostling from her seat. Vanessa did not have the controlled tone and pitch most of the other crew had when speaking. They sounded far more controlled and reserved. She sounded like she was on a roller coaster. With each bump and shake, Vanessa shifted her grip along her safety restraints indicating this was the first time she had experienced what the more senior crew was referring to as chop

Vanessa Slade CNS

As if punctuating the XO’s comment the ship hit a pocket of turbulence and the occupants in both the Yacht and Jericho shuttle felt as if they were free-falling for several seconds. Their bodies tugged at the restraints and anyone not strapped in would have been bounced out of their seats and into the air. Just as their stomachs rose as high as they could into their throats, the shuttles regained control flying smoothly for about a minute. This freefall versus clear flying sensation see sawed back and forth for about five cycles. Those not familiar with rough flying could now check it off their bucket list. Those with experience would instantly relate it as dropping into a warzone.

Dagen was a touch more sensitive to turbulence thanks to having a symbiot that could shift about in such situations not to mention his old injury that just made things all the more interesting. Light of complexion to begin with he paled with the turbulence and gripped the arm rests. “Yeah, okay,” he said. “Point one. Upgrade shuttle inertial dampers.”

Magnus laughed out loud at that “That takes the fun out of flying Commander, we rarely get to feel the G’s these days” Although he was jovial in tone his focus was on making minute corrections to their flight as they continued down.

=^=Jericho and the Genesis Yacht to the flight controller, we are on final approach, any final course modifications?=^=

co

Dagen

=/\=Shuttle Jericho and Genesis Yacht please maintain course and direction=/\= The flight controlled stated in the slightly song-like tone that appeared to be the typical pitch and resonance of the Beltran people. =/\=You are right on course and we are ready to welcome you.=/\=

From the viewports, one could see the large orbital platform from the course they were on. As they passed the platform, one could see it resembled a Cardassian orbital platform in the sense it had about twenty proton torpedo banks all spaced equidistance around the center along with what seemed to look like some kind of phaser turret resembling a cannon-like weapon found on ancient naval ships in the US Navy, between each of the torpedo banks. Around these two structures were phaser banks in large circular patterns and too many to count as the shuttles flew by.

Lots of muscle .. on one arm .. Dagen thought as they passed by that platform. Big gun. Wonder if they could defend underneath. Come in on the other side of the planet and punch holes from the underside and hull it? He missed the view on that thanks to sudden turbulence rattling his jaw.

Thomas gave it his best try anyway. That was a heavily-armed facility, one that would almost certainly be a considerable challenge to deal with if it came to it. At the same time, there did appear to only be the one, so theoretically they could just fly to the other side of the planet and blast away with impunity until the Beltrans stood down…

But that wasn’t how the Federation operated, he chided himself.

“Is that a Cardassian Model?” Calvin questioned. People weren’t buying too much Cardassian stuff since they lost the Dominion War and they were still trying to rebuild after the Founders destroyed most of their homeworld and most of their fleet.

A few seconds after the flight controller responded a second message came in via coded Starfleet channel.

=/\=Crew on route from the USS Genesis, this is Lt. Dean of the Starfleet contingent security force assigned to Beltran. Hang tight. The chop is just part of the entry. You should be out of it when you hit the mesosphere. My team will meet you at the LZ and report to whoever is in charge of the away mission and brave enough to come down in your boats.=/\=

GM Kate

‘The chop’. He looked at Reia and mouthed that again. That was what they called it? He wondered if these fine folks had developed a better damper system that he could look at? Or at least talk about over dinner. Easy shop talk. But brave enough? He shrugged at Reia. It’s not like they could just beam down so what was our good Dean getting at? Perhaps he would enlighten them and he was sure the Captain would be so ‘informing’ him about the lack of them being advised on what to expect. “Hopefully this is the roughest patch of the whole mission,” he said. The dinner better be good.

Dagen, CE

Thomas furrowed his brow. That was surprising language from a supposedly-fellow Starfleet officer. Had Dean gone native already?

COS

Reia leaned over and kissed Dagen’s cheek. She shook her head and gave him a sad little smile.

“You and I both know this is probably the easiest and calmest part of whatever is going on down there. Come on, you know things aren’t setting quite right. Look at that porcupine of a station. I mean really?”

  • Reia, CIO/Comms

Dagen gave Reia a wry smile. “At least we know what to expect when we go back home. No travel on a full stomach. That should have been in the Fleet briefing.” He liked windows when traveling; Reia was right on her description. Porcupine. He had seen those earth creatures and wondered how in any universe that evolution had generated that. “More firepower than some starbases,” Dagen commented. “What do you think with your intelligence training. Does that make sense? Is that on a geosynchronous orbit over their capital? The king’s lavatory? What?” Not the most diplomatic but his stomach was feeling churlish and that was translating up.
- Dagen, CE

Reia simply had to laugh at that last comment.

“I’m not exactly certain. Yes, the laboratory, that makes perfect sense. My biggest question is why there’s only one of these porcupine stations.”

  • Reia, CIO/Comms

“Expense maybe?” Dagen offered as things smoothed out at last in the ride. “All that hardware on there can’t be cheap,” he offered. He nudged Reia. “Think of the yacht we could buy with the cost of that?”

“Consider the diplomatic approach in conjunction with your own specialties” Magnus cut in on their conversation, at least they’d stopped flirting long enough that he wasn’t distracted during the so-called chop, although he always greatly enjoyed seeing the two interact “Is it a deterrent? if so for whom, us or the locals” He meant us in the wider sense of anyone approaching the city “Can we use the existence of that thing to help us during talks? What’s the cultural significance of the thing?” He counted the first things that came to mind, it had been fifteen years since he was assigned to a diplomatic vessel “Why place a singular orbital platform instead of using ground-based defenses?” The questions were only there for the others in the shuttle to consider possibilities he’d likely miss “Of course depending on the age of the station it might just be there for a royal ego boost”

XO

Dagen tried to recall .. was there emplacements underneath or just pointed ‘up’? “Battleships usually needed support vessels,” Dagen offered. “This is just one big bristly target.” As his stomach settled Dagen was able to think some more. “Why is it there at all?” He considered ground based defenses. “Ground based defenses have inherent weaknesses. Atmosphere plays havoc with energy based firepower reducing its effectiveness unless it is a directly overhead shot. Hit its energy source and you have a real big bang. And targeting something from a planet to an object like a ship traveling a quarter light speed where you have a second for a window before it is over the horizon again.” He scratched at the collar of his uniform. “If it’s for ego it’s a mighty expensive toy. He should have been happy with sports cars.”
- Dagen

“Well back in the day, they used to sink battleships in a harbor’s shallows so it rested on the bottom with the guns above the water line. It was an unsinkable defense platform. That being said. The platform isn’t sunk, but not moving, that cuts engines, which is about 30 percent of the space and power usage of a starship. But one platform is mostly useless, tactually.”

Marius

Reia had actually been studying the station with quite a high degree of seriousness while the conversation around her was happening. Now, she just couldn’t help it, she looked from one man to another on the ship and stretched and smiled, is only a woman can.

“Gentlemen gentlemen gentlemen, me thinks the king is just really overcompensating. No seriously, if there’s a real reason for this station we should find out what it is. I’m curious as well but couldn’t resist.”

  • Reia, CIO/Comms

Dagen playfully elbowed Reia with a weak nudge. “Assuming they work the same way,” he said with a grin.

“You are not wrong. It is a theme across civilizations that big equals power and authority. Big vehicles, big residences, big ships with huge honkin’ space guns, big biceps,” Vanessa’s voice trailed off joining Reia’s earlier train of thought now much more relaxed in her seat. “Back in the Academy, I had to take Psychology of Gender Studies which focused on the dangers of classifying sexuality into one role versus another. To make the class more lively I was given the assignment of supporting the theory behind the widely popular twentieth-century book Men Are from Mars and Women Are from Venus. My theory in the paper was that Stonehenge, Dolmen de Sa Coveccada, the Carnac stones, and other megathilic monuments were created by a bunch of dudes sitting around drinking whatever they were fermenting at the time and saying ‘Hey Bruce did you see what they did over in France. They hauled a bunch of stones into lines. I bet we can do that but better. We could stack them. Hell yes we can.” Vanessa took on varying degrees of deeper pitches simulating a conversation between several people. “I was told it was a unique and varied approach on explaining the bias in the ancient text Men are from Mars and Women from Venus that was all the rage in the late twentieth century. While yes it grossly categorizes people based on their south forties, I do however agree with Reia that men still tend to like big things and maybe the book was not all garbage. I mean it is rare to see a man opt for a scooter when they can have a motorcycle and our King of Beltran is about a foot taller than any man on this shuttle. Makes sense he would want to play gun is bigger than yours with the Federation as the first thing we see rollin’ on up to his house.”

Vanessa Slade CNS

Dagen listened to the ladies psychoanalyze their other half’s, at least by bulk gender. “Nothing wrong with trying to improve on something,” he said with a smile and tried not to feel that he was being picked on because he was the token engineer. “You have to admit that motorcycles just look better and there is no such thing as a sidecar on a scooter. Would you all rather be on scooters? A limo scooter with all of us hanging on and the last one hoping that the driver doesn’t turn too fast?” He chuckled at least to himself as he imagined that being like a vehicular game of crack the whip. On Trill they called it playing Serpent’s Tail. He glimpsed outside at the now out of sight orbital station. “Let’s just say that the ruling royal family does have a flair for the ostentatious.”
- Dagen, CE


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