Mission Briefing Part #3
Posted on 24 Feb 2020 @ 11:39pm by Captain Jasmine Somers & Lieutenant Colonel Alexandria Somers & Major S'arila Donovan & Captain Maia Sterling & Lieutenant Commander Alexanderia Cahill & Lieutenant Cody Parker & Lieutenant Commander Remington Dodd & Lieutenant JG Paul Winchester & Lieutenant Lamia ‘Mia’ Arderne & Lieutenant JG Nicole Taggert & Lieutenant JG Doctor Amiri Aldana 365 D.V.M., M.D. & Lieutenant Serina "Reaper" Donovan
Edited on on 25 Feb 2020 @ 9:10am
S03 Ep 02 Trouble in the Sticks (Main Post) Galen IV Phase 1
Location: Briefing Room Tomcat
Timeline: S3 Mission 3 MD 01
And so, the Grilling continues…
“What attitude specifically do we need to be aware of? Since not everyone on our ship is empathic having every possible detail helps a great deal. Besides the Cardassians being immune to their control, do we know if they avoid any particular temperature or climate? Do they give off an odour an animal might detect, or do they avoid critters, species; with fur? I know from the records that the Bluegills were able to control a Vulcan Admiral, so that bares in mind of considerable strength of will against the vaulted Vulcan logic and presence of mental discipline.” Iria said evenly as she regarded the Colonel.
Looking at the Intelligence Officer “new to Intel huh! Okay at least you are asking excellent questions” Alex begun “Unknown, as for the medical symptoms you would need to consult the medical records, I am a soldier, not a doctor nor medic, I cannot confidently answer a question that is not of my field. Now if you wanted to know the best way to silently kill someone, I am your girl” *sly smile* “as far as I am aware the parasites have the same outlook on weather types as other known parasites be they in the body or out, as for the odour, as far as I know, there is none; again you would need to consult the medical records. To date there are only two known species that are immune to the Bluegills, that being the Cardassians – something to do with the brain chemistry I think – and Major Donovan, medical scans were done on her when she first arrived in our reality and we do not know if it is down to the quantum difference in her biosignature or the fact that she was genetically engineered – her brain chemistry is similar to that of a Cardassian – all other known species are not immune. Anything else Lieutenant Walon?” Colonel Somers asked.
Iria shook her head softly, “Thank you for the information Colonel if I have further questions, I will bring them up later.” She said as she sat back in her seat to give others a chance to ask their questions.
Colonel Somers simply nodded and looked around the room.
Doctor Aldana listened patiently for now. S/he was beginning to get nervous, s/he, like many other medical officers, had read Doctor Crusher’s article in the Starfleet Medical Journal – what little bits hadn’t been redacted – on what she’d discovered from an autopsy of the so-called ‘Bluegills’. Amiri had been reminded of a mission s/he’d had on a previous assignment. It hadn’t involved these parasites, but much about the behaviour of the possessed reminded hir of certain aspects of another mission s/he’d had… not to mention s/he’d read at least some fiction on the so-called zombies. Aldana shivered silently.
Sombra picked up on this and perked up. He sat up and leaned his head into Alpha’s lap, checking on hir.
~Don’t worry pal, this all just gives me the heebie-jeebies that’s all. We’ll have to see if we can get you a sample of these ‘Bluegills’ in order to get a good scent, and see if we can help detect them.~
Parker scoffed as he watched the video, the security was lax if they had been doing their jobs, they might have mitigated the damage, but there was nothing he could do now. “Colonel, I am Lieutenant Parker, Chief of Security. First, I’d like to welcome you aboard, secondly, I am curious, if we were to send an away team is there any way to prevent the Bluegills from entering its prey? I know it’s been several years since the attack involving the Enterprise-D but I was curious whether or not Starfleet’s science team has learned anything else about the Bluegills?”
*nods* “that is one question I cannot answer with any certainty, what is clear is the infestation took place over several months ending with the destroyed embassy, but I would guess that they choose to only take someone over if they needed someone aboard. Any away team from this ship will be prime targets, so Lieutenant Parker you will need to increase security.” *looks at Cahill* “and Doctor Cahill you will need to set up screening procedures in the transporter room or shuttle bay to scan the away teams when they return and as those controlled by the queen have superior strength you will need at least four security or my rifles in there and weapons set on heavy stun as only such a setting works. Do either of you two have any questions?” Colonel Somers asked.
“No more, for now, thank you,” Parker said out loud. oO Just like a marine, Oo he thought to himself, oO Be prepared to shoot your crewmates, and we will think about how to solve it afterwards. Oo He was planning on doing some research on his own after this meeting.
Dr Cahill responded, “One thing we can do with transporters is put up a forcefield and scan those returning for signatures that are not common to the personnel assigned to the Tomcat. The transports can be set to check them as they return against the biomarkers stored in the transporter buffers. Also, scanners can be set up to check bio files on record in the shuttle bays. They are portable and able to move to each shuttle as they return,” said Cahill, she paused and added “We can do additional scans on the shuttles when they are returning from the planet surface as well. Engineering should be able to set these up pretty quickly while we are en route. Of course, medical teams can examine the ones returning as they come back to the Tomcat.” Cahill added.
“Sounds good Commander” the Colonel responded.
Dr Cahill added, “There has been a lot of research done since the first contact with the Bluegills. I have been watching this research and though it is experimental, we may be able to implement the research items and see what does work and does not work. This may give us a chance to test some of it out and make some adjustments to it as we go too.”
*Looks at Cahill* “Make it happen, Commander” Colonel Somers responded
Dr Cahill replied, “Aye Colonel Somers”
With that, she looked around the room to see if there were any others.
Serina was listening quietly as questions were asked and the Colonel answered. She waited for an opening to speak and it appeared. “Colonel Somers, my name is Lieutenant Jg. Serina “Reaper” Donovan, I am the CAG and I would like to know how you want my fighters and me to aid in this undertaking. I know that from the history of Enterprise, these creatures are from a different galaxy. Only a trained eye would notice in a pilot if he or she had been infected. Is there any possible way to avoid being attacked? I would hate to have all my people grounded because of fear. If it gets dicey out here, I need my people with their minds intact,” she finished saying.
“Hello, Lieutenant, all known intelligence states that these Bluegills work covertly and tend not to control pilots, we think it is something to do with the pilot mentality and their minds being too strong, after all killing a potential host is no good to them, so your fighters will mainly be needed for support in space, none of the pilots will go to the planet as you may be needed in space, any other concerns?” Alex asked.
“No Colonel, that was my only concern at the moment. Thank you, sir,” Serina said.
Lamia looked at Somers again.” Colonel as we’ve more or less ascertained that empath and telepaths can detect the presence of these Bluegills, might I suggest that any away teams sent have a telepath or empath with them?” After the last mission, she was surprised herself with what she was suggesting. “That way you would have an early warning system.”
*Looks at Arderne again* oO I bet she turns heads, well she did to Mav Oo Alex thought to herself admiring how Arderne looked. “That is a good idea, but there are few of them on the Tomcat and while a deterrent the telepath has been trained to obey Starfleet rules for telepathic usage, the Empath would need to be near someone infected to sense anything, but usually those infected have managed to disguise they are infected, so that is an iffy thing. Basically when Starfleet first encountered these things they were lucky that the queen was quickly killed, but those infected did end up in a coma for a short time, hence my mentioning of increasing security and having medics and extra muscle on hand, any other concerns Lieutenant?” Alex asked.
Lamia paused to think about it. “Not at the moment thank you, Colonel.” She smiled warmly.
“Hello, Colonel. I am Lieutenant Dodd, the chief engineer. I am curious, if the Cardassians have attempted to investigate the situation themselves or if they are just letting Starfleet deal with it? Also, would environmental suits help prevent a Bluegill from targeting a host if we could fit the suit to broadcast a biosignature that would maybe repel the Bluegill?
“Hello, Lieutenant Dodd, they might have, we do not fully know as they are still so clandestine in their research it does bear thinking about, but we do know the Bluegills cannot affect Cardassians. The EVA suits will work as long as they do not get compromised but imagine the raised eyebrows at seeing Starfleet personnel in EVA suits on a Class-M planet, even those infected will know that we know something. As for finding a biosignature and such is a good idea, you will need to work with the medical and science department on finding a way on there, anything else Mr. Dodd?” Alex asked.
“Thank you, colonel. I just had the thought so tossed it out there. I don’t have anything else, but my team and I would be willing to engineer what we can to help the mission.” Dodd replied.
Lamia sat silent for a moment before looking up yet again. “Sorry Colonel, one last question. Do we know why the Cardassians are immune? Is it something to do with their blood, or strength of will? Maybe it’s something we could explore?”
*Looking at Arderne* “I have already mentioned Lieutenant that it is something to do with Cardassian brain chemistry and as for medical knowledge that is my limit, any other questions Lieutenant Arderne?”
“Thank you, Colonel and no more questions” Lamia offered a smile.
Commander Sterling stood up. “First Welcome to the Tomcat. I have heard of the Bluegills before. I was led to believe that they were a mutated form of the Trill symbiont, the result of the Trill experimentation that went bad during a plague they were trying to eradicate. As far as my research indicated they are evil and driven by a desire to destroy the Trill. Indeed, they nearly achieved their objective in the incident during the 2360s. They gained control of several key elements of Starfleet and were able to deploy a lot of Starfleet military assets around the Trill homeworld. What makes these Bluegills any different and what have they done in this case?” Commander Sterling asked.
“Hello Commander Sterling, my cousin speaks highly of you, now as to your question; well researched and well thought out, you do credit to that White Cord you rightly earned. From what Starfleet Intelligence can gather their plans have not changed and they have learned from their mistakes, the first time they tried they concentrated on Starfleet, but think about it, they have thousands of people on Galen IV to implant, so you have the entire Galen IV colony, all ships have been directed to not go there, but not before a transport ship got off-world, since then two other colony worlds and orbitals have gone silent, but as for plans they have not changed. The Bluegills figure why not just use one entity, we can take over other empires and use them as our forces to destroy the Trill, so stage one is investigating Galen IV bombing and hunting for the queen on that planet as records show; kill the queen and the drones die and those infected by said drone will have some after-effects but will survive. Anything else Commander, Anyone?” Colonel Somers asks as she looks and the ACoS, ACEO, and ACMO while allowing the ship’s First Officer to continue if she wished.
“Yes, I do have another question. If Cardassians have proven to be immune to the effects of the Bluegills why has no one reached out to them for assistance?”
“You would need to speak to Intelligence Headquarters about that Commander, I deal with what I am only told, but I would assume there is some sort of political reasons – another reason while trained in diplomatic niceties I never went into politics – life is short and I would rather die in battle than from the machinations of the Federation Council,” Alex said with a smile.
“Does Starfleet have any idea who the queen is inhabiting or are we talking about an orbital bombardment of the whole planet?” Maia asked.
Looking at the First Officer “If only we did Commander if only we did, it could be anyone who is not a Cardassian, but the person infested with the Hive Queen will not be in the front if past records on this are anything to go by. He or she will be in a place that can be easily guarded” Colonel Somers said.
“Sounds like a bug hunt then, a proverbial needle in the haystack,” Maia said.
With that, she looked around and up popped another question…
“Hello Colonel, I’m Lieutenant Paul Winchester and I was the Chief Intelligence Officer of the Tomcat until recently,” Paul stated looking back at the Colonel, He continued, “and in that time I never saw anything like this,” as he stared at her. He finished, “so my question is this; how damn reliable is this or is this fake?”
Iria blinked at Winchester as he opened up with such a disrespectful tone, and scathing line implying he wasn’t happy about his current position as the Assistant Chief of Security and Tactical. The Colonel had referenced the first incident and given them what information she had; it was beyond rude of Winchester to imply that the Colonel was giving them a false alarm. Iria had to wonder again about how trustworthy Winchester’s intelligence had been since he was questioning events that had happened and where on record.
“I have my issues with Intelligence, but this is real and not a fake, I confirmed the source through my contacts, and it is very real Lieutenant Winchester. I hope you are finding your footing again in Security,” Alex said, “I read up on all the Heads and Deputies on the Tomcat on my way here and your file was most interesting Lieutenant, but while the question was good, might I remind you that all intelligence matters are no longer of your concern, that stuff is now up to Lieutenant Walon” *smiles* “but Kudos on the question Lieutenant, so anything further on your mind Lieutenant Winchester?” Alex asked her attention fully on him as she stares him down.
“Captain, I know that the Colonel is a relative of yours, but how can we be sure that her contacts have not been compromised to feed us lies,” Paul replied looking back at the Colonel. He continued, “for all we know this could be one big trap to discredit this ship’s good reputation and yours,” Winchester didn’t trust this information as far as he could throw it.
“LIEUTENANT WINCHESTER!…” the Captain began but fell silent when Alex gently touched her shoulder, she walks over to Lieutenant Winchester and in a calm controlled voice full of menace but oddly very old-worldly formal.
“Lieutenant Winchester Sir, you will stand, sir,” Alex said and waited till he was standing then close to his left ear “listen carefully Lieutenant Winchester, if you question my sources again, or try to make me look like I have no idea what my contacts know I will bounce you around this ship before you know what is happening, never question me in such a fashion again, sir, or you will suffer for your impudence, sir, are you understanding me?” Alex asked.
As Paul rose from his chair, he knew that he had criticized the captain’s cousin and was about to be yelled at for his trouble. However, it was for him that the information that was supplied was from her contacts and not Starfleet which had made him worried. He looked back at her for a minute after she had whispered in his ear. He respected Captain Somers, but Colonel Somers had yet to earn his respect.
The Captain watched frozen in her place she had rarely seen her cousin like this and knew Winchester was skirting the realms of the protocol. She knew from experience that Alex was a hairsbreadth from going postal on the Lieutenant, the only thing stopping her was the commission she wore.
As Alex initially satisfied with the response began to return to the head of the table still giving off an angry vibe.
“Captain, as you well know that contacts can be bribed to tell the handler something different,” Paul replied looking at both the Captain and the Colonel, as he continued. “Which is why I am sceptical of this information,” he glanced over at Lieutenant Walon who he knew had taken his job in Intelligence and didn’t understand how it works.
Alex paused mid-step with what Winchester just said and spun and pinned him with a look, Captain Somers was looking scared at this point, her cousin was about to lose it.
Alex surprised all by her calm outward appearance and response *tight smile* “Lieutenant Winchester, my contacts are solid and how dare you question such information normally you would be correct, but these sources are without reproach. I know you are sore about being moved from Intelligence, so I would kindly ask that you not question the integrity of the information. Intelligence is no longer your purview; I have read your qualifications and Lieutenant Walon’s and she has more skills than you do. While I am sure the Captain gave you her reasons as to why you were moved sideways, I am glad she did because going by your questions and accusations of bad contact I see you were unworthy to be Chief Intelligence Officer. If you were under my command, I would slam you in the brig, but I will leave your punishment up to the Captain.” Alex said handing over to her cousin.
“Me? Unworthy greenie?” Paul Looked back at her as he continued “You know nothing about me or why I was removed from Intelligence,” as he stood his ground, he finished, “Give me a fighter and I’d fly rings around you,” he issued the challenge to the Colonel.
“I doubt that Lieutenant Winchester and mind your tone if you say anything further, I will arrest you and slam you in the brig, you, sir, are being a total and utter ass. I may not know you personally, and from what I have seen here I do not want to, but you will obey orders and instruction and if you talk to me again in such a fashion, trust me that they may find your body one day, but they will never be able to identify it.” Colonel Somers said and began to walk away and paused and turned.
“The death threat was for effect and I always wanted to say that line” *smiles* “but I have connections in the Federation Council and high up in Starfleet and trust me when I say this; any further disrespect from you I will have you reassigned to the most boring menial and dirty task there is in the Federation and I will make sure you are busted down to ensign and if there are not enough dirty jobs in the Federation I have connections in the Klingon Empire, think on that for when you wish to show disrespect next time Lieutenant Winchester and silence” the Colonel added.
Jasmine nodded surprised by her cousin’s calm manner “Lieutenant Winchester I am placing you on restricted duty, when not on duty you will be confined to quarters and detail will be assigned to you when you are due off duty, this will continue until I see fit to remove said restrictions, I am also suspending your replicator privileges, perhaps you will learn not to overstep the bounds of your duties in the future Lieutenant, now sit down and shut up you are banned from asking any more questions in this meeting understood?” Captain Somers responded.
The tension in the room was growing so thick, it could be cut with a knife, and it made Sombra whine. Surely someone must need his comfort, but he was torn between whom to go to.
Amiri silently called Sombra too hir. S/he cuddled and hugged his head, softly comforting him. S/he then took him by the head and gently turned his gaze upon hir. S/he hunched down trying to hide hir actions and held hir left index finger to hir lips.
~It’ll be alright pal…~
Alex looked at the Captain oO she has gone soft in her old age Oo she thought as she saw the Captain press a button and in walked an old acquaintance.
“Lieutenant Winchester I believe you know Major Donovan; she will be your escort until your restricted duty has been lifted *looks at the 2.1336m female marine who had just stepped into the room.
“All good Captain!” S'arila said as she stood to her full height, the lights were dim enough so her red eyes were visible, but she was looking directly at Winchester “we will be getting to know each other Lieutenant” she said in heavy accented standard, while it was not the case her accent sounded like Earth native from what was once South Wales, but it was alien.
“Donavan,” replied Paul as he registered her presence he turned to face his commanding officer, “Sir, if I may say this,” as he worded this in the right way, “I am worried that this could be a trap as we and I mean the USS Tomcat has angered many people over the years,” he hoped the captain would get his meaning.
"That is Major Donovan to you, Lieutenant Winchester," the tall hybrid said menace in her tone.
The Captain gave him a malevolent look “did you not hear the order to shut up Lieutenant? But to answer your question your assumption of the trouble the Tomcat has caused is false the only ones we may have angered are possibly Pirates and the Orion Syndicate, we are so far out in Federation space the other factions have little interest in us, so what you say is useless. You were not there at the first battle at the Hydaransz System I lost a lot of good people on that one and it was one Starfleet assigned us, we also lost a lot on the second battle, out of all of us here only four from that time remain, myself, Commander Sterling and Cahill and Major Donovan, so it is only the lawless we have upset, now shut up, you are forbidden from asking any more questions Lieutenant Winchester” the Captain said
Parker was shocked at Winchester’s actions; he bowed his head as he thought about how he’d have to deal with the man’s actions. As the Assistant Chief of Security, Winchester’s actions were a direct reflection of Parker and his department. He only hoped that Captain Somers wouldn’t judge him too harshly for a man who had been forced into his department only a few days before.
Lamia gave Winchester a surprised look, she could sense his emotions as well as hear his comments. It seemed to her that he was sore at losing his position in Intelligence but her job here wasn’t as a Counsellor if it was she’d be visiting him afterwards for a talk
Iria had kept her seat as she watched in disbelief at Winchester's commentary and insistence that the Colonel wasn't a professional insisted that their contacts could be a harm to the ship. At the Captain's orders that Winchester getting put on restricted duty and he wasn't supposed to ask further questions during the briefing. He was definitely in need of a talking to. She would discuss the matter with Aldana and Lamia later.
Serina’s eyes went wide at the confrontation between Winchester and the Colonel. That was not only rude and confrontational but damn close to insubordination. She wondered what he hoped to achieve by doing this especially now and at a sensitive mission briefing. *shaking her head*
“Colonel, I am curious as to how involved my engineering team would be needed? I am willing to let those in my staff who have interests in assisting outside of Engineering do so if it will help the mission. I myself would be willing for any assistance I can provide beyond the Engineering level and as a telepath. I would be willing to join any away team as needed.” Dodd said as he offered to do all he and his engineering staff could do for the success of the mission.
“Good to hear Lieutenant Dodd” Colonel Somers began, her vibe was one of calm again, she still sounded a little strained, but was congenial with her responses “if I am totally honest I have no clue, perhaps work with medical and sciences to find a way to expel the parasite in a drone host without killing them, a special hypo would be needed or something along those lines. Sadly, the host to the Hive Queen is a lost cause and will be the one death that will be unavoidable. I leave all technical stuff up to those departments, I am a Marine and I have a certain skill set and I know to trust departments that deal with the tech and science-y stuff which I do not know” Colonel Somers said.
"I understand, ma'am. I will work with Lieutenant Taggert to make the schedules in Engineering flexible to allow any of the staff the abilities to assist in other sciences and medical as they desire during this mission." Dodd replied with a glace at Taggert.
With that Captain, Somers looked around the room “okay is there any more questions anyone would like to ask, excluding Lieutenant Winchester who has been ordered to be silent, anyone else have any questions for the Colonel before I hand out assignments?” The Captain asked.
“Yes, captain, if I may?” Nicole Taggert offered. She’d been absorbing all the information and was worried about something taking over her mind and others. “can you say if any human has been immune to these creatures? And if we’ve encountered them before, shouldn’t we be able to detect them again with sensors and tricorders? Lastly, if we’ve got their biosignatures, have we found something like a dog whistle that’ll make them at least keeps their distance?” Nicci was worried enough that any telepath could tell she feared to lose her own free will. The Orions wanted her as a pleasure slave and infiltration agent, and she was worried something like that would happen with these creatures.
Alex answered for the Captain, the senior Marine officer leaned forward onto the table on her hands, *with a smile* “That is a very good question Lieutenant and one I am not qualified to answer, I can only pass on what Starfleet tells me, but from the limited information available no human to date is immune, as for the rest of the question, you will need to consult the files, all of which are available to all here” Colonel Somers answered.
“Thank you, colonel,” Taggert said. “I will look through your data and see if I can find any technical solutions to our little dilemma.”
Fleet Captain Jasmine Somers
Commander Maia Sterling
First Officer/Chief Science Officer
Lieutenant Commander Alexanderia Cahill MD
Chief Medical Officer/2XO
Lieutenant Remington Dodd
Lieutenant Paul Winchester
Assistant Chief of Security
Lieutenant Lamia 'Mia' Arderne
Chief Operations Officer
Lieutenant Cody Parker
Chief of Security
Lt. Jg Iria Walon
Lt. Jg Nicole Taggert
Assistant Chief Engineer
Lt. Jg Amiri Aldana 365 D.V.M., M.D
Assistant Chief Medical Officer/Counsellor
Lieutenant JG Serina 'Reaper' Donovan
CAG/Raider 1/Helm Officer
Lieutenant Colonel Alexandria Somers [P: Somers]
Major S'arila D'Tana Donovan[P: Somers]
Bravo Unit Commander
CWO Sombra C.G.CA/U, PSA, C.ESA [P: Aldana]
Counsellors aide/Morale Officer