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Topic: CH02: S [D02|1500] An Unknown Grandson? (Read 207 times) previous topic - next topic

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  • stardust
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CH02: S [D02|1500] An Unknown Grandson?
[ Lt. Cmdr. Rutherford | Upper Shuttle Bay | Deck 10 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @Griff @Brutus @Swift
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When Samantha had traveled to the Theurgy, on board the Vor'nak, further and further towards Klingon territory, her apprehension and worry, had grown exponentially. In her already decade long career, in the diplomatic corps, she had not served during a single engagement with the warrior race. As a matter of fact, she had served in at least one negotiation with the Romulans, where she had to assume a counter position to Klingon interests, on behalf of the Federation. Luckily, that was not public knowledge. But the quintessence of the matter was: She had not engaged in any sort of professional interaction with them, not even a hypothetical one, since her classes on Klingon culture, in the academy. A little bit of which, had come back to her easily, being thrust into the customs on her transport to Aldea, and then there was of course also her innate sense for conversation and empathy, her diplomatic talent. But even though all of that was looking up, she did not want to rely on it alone.

So the diplomat had solicited the help of an unlikely friend in Hi'Jak, or Jack, how she was supposed to call him (or Kyle, in his unofficial capacity as her fake-fiancé). A half Klingon himself, the man had been an indispensable source of information on the race, half his lineage came from. Deliberately pushing aside his personal political history with the empire, which was not at all beneficial to any kind of future diplomatic relationship with the chancellor. So she had opted not to inform him, of the intel she had gotten relayed by Commander Fisher, to avoid any conflict of interest. Because as it had turned out, Jack might not have broken Martok's lineage after all. Monitoring ship wide communication, Fisher had intercepted a message to Chu'vok, from Ja'rod, son of former Klingon fiends Lursa & B'Etor. Claiming that his twin sister Jo'reh had indeed a son, with Drex, Son of Martok, and that they had discovered the location of the child (and mother), somewhere on a ship, hiding in a remote star system.

Of course, Andrew had lobbied for this matter to be approached via diplomatic channels. Potentially hoping Samantha would call in a few favours and resolve the situation in the political arena, as he too shared the common sentiment of it potentially being a trap. As a matter of fact, he had explicitly advised against any direct intervention. Well, knowing all the facts now and having all the background information on what official channels could actually do, the commander had decided to go a different diplomatic route. If there was indeed the chance that Martok's lineage was not broken, then that would go a long way towards his house's credibility as strong leaders. And in turn, it would serve the alliance with the Theurgy immensely. The only immediate alternative being, that the blonde offered herself as an incubator for a future Martok spawn, she actually preferred the prospect of flying into a potential trap.

Leaving Foval in charge of the diplomatic detachment, the commander had ordered Ensign Eloi-Danvers to accompany her on this, slightly unusual, diplomatic mission. If this really was a trap, then she wanted to give the enemy as little leverage as possible. So, the logical conclusion had been to bring the lowest ranking available officer of her department - no offense. No pilot, no security, small shuttle. They did still hold a generally agreed upon diplomatic immunity, if they traveled without armed guard. Whether that agreement would be honored, was a different question. The plan, however, was to find the Klingon ship and negotiate a truth. A potential reintegration of the Martok lineage and future for the house, as the rulers of the empire. She was, after all, at liberty to offer Federation asylum consideration ... even though that technically meant very little, given the crew's traitor status. Captain Ives would surely be inclined to offer a similar protective sentiment for the Theurgy.

Making her way from her quarters to the upper level of the shuttle bay, which was on the same deck, Samantha readjusted the shoulder strap of the little Starfleet issue bag, she had brought. Containing a dress uniform, just in case, a standard replacement uniform, grooming kit, a book and a small lucky charm. Meeting Ensign Eloi-Danvers, outside the entrance to the bay, the diplomat gave her a courteous nod. "Glad to have you join me." the commander smiled encouragingly, beckoning for her to enter first. She had intended to spend some time to talk with the brunette for a while. Having picked up on a few things going on, within the first department meeting they'd had. Some of which she meant to understand, before forming a judgment, about whether it would interfere with her duties or not. All in all, however, her experiences with the Betazoid had been only exemplary.

"How is your Klingon, by the way?" the blonde sparked casual conversation, that still somewhat pertained to the mission, as the two women made their way to the line of Type-9 shuttles on the gallery, overlooking the lower level and large rear doors. She had reserved one of them ahead of time. It was just big enough for two people and a short journey. The least threatening thing you could think of, in terms of Starfleet auxiliary crafts. Because that was, and always had been, her diplomatic approach: The least intimidating one possible. Many species did not react well to someone in a superior position, it put them on the defensive from the get-go. So even if you were, you should always make the opponent believe THEY were. Granted, this was potentially an approach that she should re-evaluate, in dealings with the warrior race, that valued strength and determination above most, only inferior to honour.

"Is our ship ready?" Samantha alerted the deck chief, on the center console, overseeing shuttle bay operations on the floor. The man turned, only to immediately recognise the department head. "Ah yes, Commander Rutherford, we have had a last-minute type change, you've now been upgraded to a Type-11 shuttle, ready on the deck below." he explained, holding out his arm, to guide the women to the side of the platform, where the stairs led down. Furrowing her brows, the blonde followed the man's guidance. She had never flown a Type-11 herself before, in her mind it was way too big for two people. But she would not admit any of this, to either her subordinate or the deck chief - who might not have let her fly in that case. Ordering the two officers down the stairs with a pleasant nod, the man remained up on his post. Making her way down and around the corner, the diplomat stopped dead in her tracks ... what the fresh hell.

"YOU upgraded the shuttle ..." the blonde stated, matter-of-factly, shaking her head lightly in a sense of frustration. She should've known better than to try and elude the king of evasion: Andrew Fisher. And with him, was another blonde woman, also in red undershirt, to complete the set. Giving the woman, likely the pilot, a courteous nod, the woman focused all her momentary contempt back on the only man in the group. "I suppose it's no coincidence that the Type-11 has 4 cockpit seats." she stated, once more not really a question, because she was not in a mood for answers. "Have you even been readmitted to duty yet?" Given that the man had only just been in an explosion the night before. At this point, however, the diplomat had already submitted. It was clearly a fly, or no fly, scenario, that came with a few hard concessions. Taking a deep breath, she made those admissions, with a theatrical heave of her shoulders, before marching on, with steady steps, towards the back hatch of the state-of-the-line shuttle. "It's going to be classical music, the WHOLE way." she barked back, her definitive counteroffer, stepping up the ramp, into the belly of the beast.



OOC: Let's get this shit show on the road :-) I would suggest that we establish a posting order with everyone's first reply. If anyone wants to jump in ahead of someone else, down the road, let's talk about it in the Discord group :3 Oh, and have fun!!!
  • Last Edit: July 18, 2020, 10:17:08 PM by stardust

Re: CH02: S [D02|1500] An Unknown Grandson?
Reply #1
[PO3 Lillee t'Jellaieu |  Upper Shuttle Bay | Deck 10 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Brutus, @stardust, @Swift

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For all their differences, there were several common rules in both Starfleet and the Romulan military. For low ranking enlisted pilots, one of those rules was downright sacred: when senior officers got into a pissing contest, the pilot was well advised to quietly ignore them and pretend that everything was normal. It had nothing to do with proper respect for official protocol and everything to do with self-preservation. The pilot in that instance was there to fly, look pretty and keep her mouth firmly shut unless directly talked to, lest she be drawn into profoundly irritating matters.

So, standing besides Fisher outside the shuttle in the face of a rather annoyed lieutenant commander, Lillee did exactly that: she kept her mouth shut, stood straight and regarded a nearby shuttle with far more interest than it deserved. She only knew the three officers by reputation, but nevertheless, it was clear that the upcoming mission would be...interesting.

Assuming those Klingon pigs don't try to kill us again, Lillee mused sullenly, wishing that she'd had time to get her honour-blade from her quarters. Oh Elements, this is just the type of mission where everything goes very, very wrong.

Still, everything seemed to be defused quickly enough as Rutherford strode into the shuttle. The mission was still happening, apparently. Lillee didn't know any of the three officers except by reputation and name, an odd state of affairs before setting out on a dangerous mission, but nevertheless, such was the Starfleet life. Flashing a brief and polite smile of greeting at the other diplomat, Lillee turned and followed Rutherford into the shuttle, heading directly for the pilot's chair and beginning the pre-flight procedure.

Fly, look pretty, shut up. Simple. No, it was a diplomacy mission to the cursed Klingons..okay. Fly like a demented bat, look invisible so that the beasts ignore me, shut up and let the diplomats do their thing. Step 4: get home safe and relate the exhilarating story to Anh-Le over dinner. Keeping that thought in mind, Lillee focused on her work.
[Lieutenant Commander Cross |  Chief Tactical Officer ]

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[Petty Officer 3rd Class Lillee t'Jellaieu |  Chief Support Craft Pilot | CONN ]

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Re: CH02: S [D02|1500] An Unknown Grandson?
Reply #2
[ Ens. Faye Lintah Eloi-Danvers | Upper Shuttle Bay | Deck 10 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Swift @stardust @Griff  
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With a small bag tossed over her shoulder containing what gear she thought she might need for the mission ahead, Faye Lintah Eloi-Danvers stood at the entrance to the Upper Shuttle Bay in the mid afternoon, awaiting her boss. She'd known Rutherford for around about a week at this point, maybe slightly more, and was still trying to take a measure of the woman. She seemed a reasonably competent boss, and her record was certainly impressive. Years more experience than Faye had, for sure, and a much wider breath of it to boot, given that most of Faye's time was dealing primarily with Klingon's, and a smattering of Romulans. This fact was the main reason behind her assignment to this mission, she was certain. Of all the members of her diplomatic team currently being built upon the Theurgy, Ens. Eloi-Danvers had the most hands on experience with Klingon's. 

Some very hands on experience, she thought to herself with a wry smile, recalling a night not terribly long ago, when Rutherford's quarters had been her quarters. She idly wondered if the blonde had put the tub she'd been assigned with her room to as enjoyable use as Faye had over the month and a half that she had appropriated the dwelling as Acting Chief Diplomat. Neither Riley nor Mickayla had any complaints about that tub, she idly mused, shifting her weight from one foot to the other while trying not to think about the impending dread that the mission ahead offered. So many things could go wrong, and there was a decent chance that if the thing became pear shaped (as her mother liked to say), Faye would not see Nurse Paterson, the woman's she'd formed a rather swift and deep relationship with, or Security Officer MacGregor, a newfound friend, again. She'd half thought about appropriating Mickayla MacGregor for the mission, but felt it might be over stepping her bounds, seeing as she was no longer the head of the department. 

Had she been in charge of the mission she would have hardly hesitated to add her friend, given that she was in fact a Klingon. One raised on Earth, true, but she'd made some heavy inroads into the contingent of Klingon's stationed in the Aldean system. An asset, in Faye's book. But a compromising one as well, given her own growing friendship with the Klingon woman. A conflict of interest. And Lt. Commander Rutherford was the one in charge, wanting to keep the mission team as small and non threatening as possible. Faye was...pretty non-threatening, no matter how you looked at it. 

That fact wasn't terribly reassuring when going into a situation with angry Klingon's.

Pushing that less than pleasing notion down, Faye stood up a bit straighter, adjusting the strap of her bag as the blonde in question approached. "Thank you, Commander," she said by way of acknowledgement, tamping down on some pre-mission nerves with both feet as she drew a mental sampling of the Lt. Commanders emotional state. Nothing there caused Faye any significant worry, and so she let a bit of the tension bleed out of her shoulders, but only a little bit. Time was pressing, and the situation as a whole was...grave. She licked her lips and made her way into the shuttle bay, taking the lead for the moment as indicated by her boss. She could feel the weight of the other woman's gaze, squarely between her shoulder blades, and she tried to remind herself that she was an accomplished diplomat in her own right, thank you very much. She shouldn't be feeling any of the symptoms of impostor syndrome. 

Telling herself that did very little to alleviate the feeling none the less.

Cocking an eyebrow as Samantha fell into step next to her, Faye answered the question in lightly accented Klingon, "tlhIngan Hoch QaQ law' vulqangan, ra'wI'". She had decided to use the officers rank, instead of the epithet that would have most likely followed such a question, had Faye been a Klingon officer being asked such a thing. She flashed a toothy grin at the other woman, but had no time to say anything else. 

What followed after was quite a surprise. First in that their ride had been reassigned. While Faye personally drew a bit of comfort from the old adage that it was better to treat with Klingon's from behind a well placed phaser bank, she had understood her boss' logic when it came to choice of craft. A ship nearly twice as long as the one they'd originally chose was a statement in and of itself, and Faye had to wonder just why the ship had been upgraded to the much larger vessel. The only craft the Theurgy had assigned to it bigger than the type-11's were the Runabouts, the ships Aeroshuttle, and the Captains Yacht, Allegiant which was currently deployed already.

A considerable step up, that was rather shortly explained. Faye felt the anger boiling up in the other woman before she actually saw whatever it was that had caught Rutherford's eye, and ire. Two more red-shirted officers, a human male, with Lt. Commander's pips, like Rutherford's, and a Romulan female with petty officers bars. Faye felt her eyebrows shoot up high. While she was certain the woman would be a more than competent pilot, she rather questioned the notion of bringing a Romulan officer along for a sit down with Klingon's. The latter would not at all be happy to see the former as a general rule. But Faye held her tongue. 

See, she could be diplomatic. 

The exchange between Rutherford and Fisher - it took Faye only a moment to place the ships new Chief of Intelligence - was short and to the point. She thought it might boil over into something nasty, but the blonde officer decided that it would be quicker to take the others along than it would be to raise a fuss, and Faye found herself letting out a short burst of air from between pursed lips that she hand't realized she'd been holding. Crisis averted, I suppose, she thought, picking up faint impressions of amusement and relief from the others. 

The two blondes had already entered the ship, the Romulan falling into step immediately behind Faye's boss, so the brunettes were left out at the loading ramp. With a shrug to the more senior officer, as if to silently say 'what can you do?' Faye followed the pilot up the ramp, letting Lt. Commander Fisher close up the ship. She made her way through the back of the vessel, past the transporter column in and into the cockpit, taking one of the small auxiliary stations behind the Conn chair. She'd tossed her gear in the back compartment. She had no illusions that she would taking up the co-pilot/ops station now that they had an actual pilot along. Whether she'd assumed correctly, or not, remained to be seen. 

Only after she'd found herself in the cockpit, watching over the shoulder of the pilot as the Romulan woman began pre-flight operations, did Faye bother to wonder just which species 'classical' had Rutherford been referring to? 
Note: No Posting while at GenCon, 7/31-8/5/2019

  • Swift
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Re: CH02: S [D02|1500] An Unknown Grandson?
Reply #3
[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Personal Quarters | Deck 10 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @stardust @Brutus @Griff

Fisher had known he should have turned up every stone during the previous night, when he'd handed over an intel report regarding this previously unknown Grandson of Klingon High Chancellor Martok to the Chief Diplomatic Officer. He'd had a feeling that she'd ignore his recommendations to approach the matter with a more delicate and deliberative approach via diplomatic back channels. But against his better judgement, he'd declined to put forth his own plan of action on the matter and had hoped that his much-needed short rest wouldn't cause him to lose the initiative. It did. A decision he'd regretted having made, when later after having lay awake in his bed, surrendered to the demons that taunted his consciousness, he'd discovered a logged flight plan put in for a Type-9 shuttle. It's listed crew as a pair of Diplomatic Officers, one of whom he'd explicitly urged to not engage in such an immediate action.

For a long while, Fisher had cursed his Tal-Shiar friend for having even relayed the report to him, having come via subspace comms buoys. It was a somewhat conciliatory offering, one made in light of what little the Romulan had known in regard to the Paris Bombing. Alarak, like most of his kind, had regarded the Klingon Empire as an immediate and existential threat to the safety and prosperity of the Romulan people, and as such had been keeping a close watchful eye on their Beta-Quadrant neighbors. To a point, that regard had been well warranted. So, it came of little surprise, when after Fisher had been given the promise of a rather intriguing development within the Klingon Empire, that Alarak had indeed come through with a series of intercepted communications. Communications that had sent between General Chu'vok and Ja'rod, son of Torg. The revelation of what was in those communications; that there existed a child born of Drex and Jo'reh, daughter of Torg represented a potential tidal wave of developments within the Empire. If an heir to the House of Martok could be secured, then the alliance between Theurgy and the High Chancellor would greatly improve. Alternatively, if this heir were discovered and subsequently assassinated by Martok's rivals, it could spell disaster for the Empire, as it would serve to dishonor him in the eyes of many Klingon Warriors, driving them to back Gorka, son of Margon in his attempt to seize power.

Given how precarious of a situation it was, he of course understood how Commander Rutherford had clearly felt it merited a need for expediency.

He'd just hoped that someone else could and would have dealt with the matter. Someone from security maybe, though given the recent loss sustained to that department, the option didn't make much sense. Maybe even a small task-force of the remaining Lone Wolves. But in that approach was also the possible downfall of future political dealings if things went bad. A flight of Federation warpfighters discovered deep within Klingon Space would be hard to explain, and in fact might tip-off rival elements to enact their own plans to eliminate this heir in a more rapid timetable.

No, a covert effort was indeed the best method for approaching this potential monumental development. And as such, Fisher recognized that he'd needed to play a part in it. Especially since he represented the best and most well-informed aspects of Theurgy's remaining Intelligence Operatives. Lieutenant Arn had departed aboard the Allegiant on its mission to Breen Space, and Lieutenant Byrne had only recently returned to active Intelligence duties aboard a Starfleet vessel, after having spent nearly a decade among the Aldeans, and there were no guarantees as to how up-to-date on the current Klingon political climate he'd been. So, resigned to the fact that no additional rest would come to him, Fisher had sought out the solace of distracting duty. He'd accessed requisition orders, and had subsequently co-opted Rutherford's plans, expanding them to account for what he felt were elements that needed to be addressed. It was how the mission had gone from two, to four participants: the two Diplomatic Officers, himself, and arguably the best shuttle pilot aboard Theurgy, a Romulan Petty Officer by the name of Lillee. And in order to accommodate the added bodies, as well as provide a faster travel and durability, Fisher had upgraded the assigned Type-9 shuttle to a Type-11.

There had also been an ounce of personal considerations that had affected his biases toward the mission, which had indeed played a bigger part in his decision to tag along. Though, he'd declined to actively acknowledge said personal consideration, as he knew it potentially represented a compromising factor to his objectivity.

-

Roughly an hour later, as the timetable of the mission loomed, Fisher emerged from the shower in his personal quarters, the skin of his body stinging from the scolding hot water that he'd sought out just a moment earlier. He'd been hoping that the heat of the water on his face and head, spraying against his closed eyelids would relieve some of the stress and tension running through his mind. If not, it would at least serve to ease some of the lingering ache in him from having survived an explosion just 17 or so hours earlier; a fact that was imminently consuming, as though his wounds had been healed rather thoroughly, he could still feel the dull pain of the previously broken leg, and a deep pervading sting within his abdomen, where he'd been pierced through by a piece of stray debris. That remnant pain in the wake of complete healing was something of a mystery to Starfleet Medical still, as it didn't always seem to persist in everyone, though it was clearly a prominent enough issue that they knew of it. In Fisher's own experience, given the number of injuries he'd sustained over the course of his career, he himself had rarely if ever experienced it before.

Maybe it was just his lack of consistent rest since coming aboard Theurgy, or perhaps it was something else that had contributed to his somewhat drained energy levels. Or, maybe it was just stress playing mind games on him.

After toweling off, he stepped past the still shattered mirror that hung on the wall of his bathroom and sighed in abject regret. He shook his head and emerged back into the main area of his quarters, retrieving a small electric razor that he could shorn down his rather full beard with. The heat of the explosion, as well as some smaller debris had lacerated parts of his face in addition to singeing away a few parts of his thick facial hair. He figured he could do for a trim up, and gradually worked his relatively untamed stubble down to a more manageable five o'clock shadow. There was a moment that he considered shaving himself smooth but remembered how someone had told him that a little bit of that shadow gave him a more distinctive look, while also prevented him from looking fifteen years younger.

Content with the face that stared back at him in the reflection of a PADD screen, Fisher then slipped into a newly replicated uniform, as his previous had been burned, torn, and cut away. There was always a strange smell to newly replicated fabric, he thought in the moment as he zipped up his duty jacket and attached a new combadge to the left breast. After offering a momentary glance around his quarters, he spotted a smaller PADD laying beside the couch, and smiled ever so slightly before exiting into the hallway.

The upper shuttlebay was just a short walk along a Deck 10 corridor from Fisher's personal quarters, during which time the Chief of Intelligence considered just how he might handle the fallout awaiting him for having interjected himself, and his own preparations on someone else's mission. Understandably, he expected to encounter some level of aggravation, and annoyance from Sam and her subordinate.

Ironically enough, he knew how important it'd be for him to be somewhat 'Diplomatic' in how he played this.

"Petty Officer t'Jellaieu, glad to have you as pilot for this mission." He acknowledged the Romulan woman as he approached her, walking along the flight deck toward the shuttle that had been assigned them. Roughly five-meters longer than the Type-9 that Commander Rutherford had originally selected, the Type-11 was faster, more well-armed and armored, and had far better amenities afforded to a larger away team. Those facts, combined with a far better skilled pilot at its helm, would likely play a role in the success or failure of this mission, as well as improve their chances at surviving any potential obstacles awaiting them. "Fair warning, this might be unpleasant." He warned the Romulan pilot as he saw both Rutherford and Eloi-Danvers descending a flight of stairs, on their way to discovering his alterations to their endeavor.

Shrugging his head, Fisher seemed to regard the blonde diplomat with a somewhat apologetic look. No doubt, it was the kind of charming look he'd employed in past efforts to disarm potentially annoyed colleagues, to varying degrees of success.

"I did." He admitted, looking back up the loading ramp that lead out of the aft section of the larger shuttlecraft. "It's a bit more rugged in it's capabilities, than the Type-9 you'd requested. Better weapons. Better armor. Better sensor suite." He was trying to sugarcoat the fact that he'd completely re-arranged the plans she'd made, with zero regard for what she might have intended. Indeed, the larger shuttle improved survivability, but it's size and greater power-output increased the chances of their being detected. It was a balancing act, and he was willing to risk it, given what all was at stake. Though, it wasn't necessarily his risk to make. He'd just made it, unilaterally. There was a consideration on his part to answer her next question, regarding the number of seats, but he knew it was a rhetorical one, emphasized by how clearly, she didn't want any further explanation on his part.

She appraised him with a skeptical glance, voicing another concern as to whether or not he'd been cleared for duty, and he realized that he himself actually hadn't even put any thought into that regard. He'd just assumed, given the circumstances of everything going on, that he'd resume his duties without issue, and deal with the windfall of such a decision later on down the line.

As she shrugged and moved past him up the ramp, followed after by the Petty Officer, Fisher raised an eyebrow in relative surprise of how lightly he'd gotten off in terms of backlash. His green eyes falling back on the Ensign who stood with him a moment longer, before she too offered a shrug, he followed suit and offered one of his own before jumping a little as Rutherford hollered back down the ramp at him; something about classical music.

"Still went better than I thought it would." He admitted aloud to no one as he was left standing alone on the deck outside the shuttle.

Climbing the ramp, a moment later, Fisher made for the fore compartment of the shuttle, taking note of the Romulan pilot already seated at the CONN, he turned to face the Diplomats as they went about getting situated. "This is still your operation." He began to explain, indeed conceding operation authority over to the other Commander. "I'm just tagging along. You're in charge. You say jump, and I'll ask how high." He used the old adage, raising both of his hands in a sign of surrender to whatever decisions would be made, though he did begin to move closer to the tactical station, feeling as though he would be best served from that station.

"In fact, you tell me where you want me."
  • Last Edit: July 24, 2020, 04:15:34 AM by Swift
Writer of [ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Chief Intelligence Officer | USS Theurgy NX-79854 ]

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Re: CH02: S [D02|1500] An Unknown Grandson?
Reply #4
[ Lt. Cmdr. Rutherford | Upper Shuttle Bay | Deck 10 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @Griff @Brutus @Swift
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Turning her pate to Faye, the commander gave her a quizzical look first, that was soon replaced with a delighted one, as she let the Klingon words sink in, jumbling them into a barely coherent line of Federation standard in her head. Giving her beautiful features and mischievous grin a once-over, the woman settled on the humorous meaning, to the Betazoid's words, that transcended her slight accent. "Lang tlhap." ("Point taken.") she replied with a subtle chuckle, oscillating the confident tone of her voice. It was still a little bit hard to read the young woman, which was probably not due to her biological heritage. There was just a lot weighing on her, past experiences and current tribulations alike, that distorted any clear image of character and demeanor one could gleam. Which was perfectly natural, given the situations she'd been in, the dark memories she had to keep at bay. And as she had learned in her career so far, the diplomat took her for exactly that, and just that, giving her room and reason to grow and breathe, within an environment that demanded less of her, than total control and responsibility, beyond her age and experience. At least she was confident, that it was the best approach with her subordinate. Something she had not been able to device for her dealings with the chief intelligence officer yet.

As the time of their acquaintance came up to a week, Samantha was thoroughly starting to contemplate, whether Fisher's unawareness of her professional ability to read people - including him - was pure underestimation, misguided self-confidence, or whether he was just deluding himself into blissful ignorance. Watching him deploy his virile charm, like a tactical countermeasure, a smoke screen to confuse and disarm his opponents, she appreciated the sheer skill. But as someone who had grown to care for the man on a personal level, all the same, she was once more troubled by the instinctiveness with which it sprung into action. Even in a setting such as peaceful and hazard-free as the shuttle bay of a Federation starship, among fellow Starfleet officers. Though she did not prescribe it any ill-intent or malice. Granted, everyone had their thing, with which they kept people at safe distance. For Petty Officer t'Jellaieu, it was likely her professionalism and focus on the task at hand. For Ensign Eloi-Danvers, it could've been her agreeable coyness, that tricked people into a sense of complacency and ease. As for the chief diplomat herself: her outgoing nature probably left little room for counter-incursions into her own personal realm, deliberately.

Resisting the urge to roll her eyes at the puffed-up description of the shuttlecraft, the blond failed ever so slightly, as her blue eyes hit the corner of the ceiling in a quiet huff. Not disregarding the man's reaction upon her medical query. Using physical momentum as a perfect ploy, to evade a thorough reading or skilfully crafted comeback, the officer brushed past her intelligence counterpart on her way to the rear of the craft. "Oh good, it's you as a shuttle." she retorted dryly, not intentionally attempting a joke, yet potentially coming across slightly bitchier than intended. It was all she could do, aside from causing a scene right there. Knowing fairly well that she did not have the power or leverage to move him, both physically as well as figuratively. Actually, the three of the women together, probably wouldn't have been. And in a way, though she'd deny it, it lent a sense of safety to the sinister mission. And even if t'Jellaieu and Eloi-Danvers would've been able to draw enough reassurance from the plucky blonde, as the commander of the mission, she herself was reluctantly glad, to have some reassurances of her own, if only in the resourcefulness of SIS' finest. But potentially in a more substantial sense of care, that lingered between the very actions of the man, that constantly got sprung back into her life, like a bad 'jack-in-the-box' joke. Though an increasingly welcome one.

Making her way into the back compartment of the Type-11 shuttlecraft, across the ramp, Samantha took quick visual stock of all mission equipment being strapped in, as she passed the 'social' area and through the set of doors into the cockpit. "What are the procedures concerning take-off weight? Do we have to declare that ego to the deck chief?" the officer joked, a little bit cuttingly, to the pilot, as she took her seat already, dutifully, preparing the shuttle for departure. Touching the panel on the wall, the diplomat opened the locker on the side of the bridge, behind the consoles, dumping her duffle bag inside, after pulling out a PADD. Ultimately taking her seat at the science station in the back left, behind t'Jellaieu, she beckoned for Faye to take the ops in the front, with a warm smile. So the two younger officers could bond more freely, without having to feel constantly intimidated and monitored by their superiors, duping it out over responsibilities. Also, it left Fisher to sit opposite her at the tactical side-station, where he was undoubtedly served best.

Regarding him with a thoughtful look, belying a sense of agitation as well as relief, the diplomat brushed her plump lips together at his attempt at, well, diplomacy. And even though she did her best, she found it hard to stay mad in light of such skill. Personal ramifications beneath the surface didn't help, never had, as professional as she wanted to approach the situation. There were certain feelings that were harder to subdue with her Vulcan training than others. And he certainly managed to trigger those relentlessly. "Yeah, there's not going to be any jumping for you." she replied, professionally, as her blue eyes dropped to his previously broken leg briefly, as she turned around to face her console, back facing towards the center of the bridge. Still conveying a certain sense of sympathy, albeit well hidden. "I think I made myself pretty clear, where I want you, but tactical will be fine for now." she prompted, regretting the potentially ambiguous character of her words, while appropriating one of her station's screens to download the intel data and mission parameters, she had accumulated during lunch. If he'd thought that it had indeed gone better than expected before, then he had underestimated the delayed and staggered payback of a diplomat ... and a woman at that.

"Ensign, could you please confirm that Commander Fisher has thought about relaying the five Tachyon probes to the shuttle's magazines?" she ordered Faye at the Ops station. Another slight jab at the man's penchant for intervention and inception. No doubt in her mind that he had thought of every eventuality and had unearthed every last shred of her mission plans. It was almost poetic how little he was able to home in on whatever was developing behind the scenes. Surely more a matter of admission, rather than skill. "If everyone's set, take us out at your leisure, Petty Officer." Placing her hand on the console in front of her, head turned right to gaze out the large front window, Samantha steadied herself against the slight sway of the shuttle, as its inertia dampening systems calibrated, upon it leaving the immediate influence of the grave plating. Pulling up some more details of Fisher's intelligence report, she relayed the star chart of their destination to the pilot's station. "Set a course to the Epsilon Monocerotis system, Warp 6, and drop us as close to the outermost planet as you can." she instructed t'Jellaieu, turning her chair ninety degrees so she could look at the CONN telemetry, across the woman's shoulder, holding on to the back of her chair.

The first mission she would be in charge of, in her position as CDO. Well, at least officially. Watching the shuttle slip through the bay doors, and out from between the Theurgy's top nacelles, the deep darkness of space soon filled the viewport. And as they embarked on this journey, she had every shred of confidence in the team that was with her along the way. Even if half of them had not been part of her original plan. Turning her head slightly, hesitantly, she met Andrew's sage colored eyes, face a blank canvas in a moment of contemplation a she tried to figure out what of the many emotions she wanted to convey. Ultimately settling on a somber, thankful, tuck of a smile, on lips pressed thin, against more expressive sentiments. Slipping the hand on the back of t'Jellaieu's chair forward onto the woman's shoulder encouragingly.

"Engage."
  • Last Edit: July 25, 2020, 07:56:45 AM by stardust

Re: CH02: S [D02|1500] An Unknown Grandson?
Reply #5
[PO3 Lillee t'Jellaieu |  Shuttlecraft Rosalind Franklin (NX-79854/04)| Warp Transit ] Attn: @Brutus, @stardust, @Swift

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At Commander Rutherford's jibe about ego, Lillee had to repress the urge to roll her eyes. Oh yes, this would be a wonderful voyage, even before the Klingons undoubtedly tried to kill them...assuming Rutherford and Fisher didn't kill each other first.

"Oh, don't worry Commander," Lillee commented wryly as she worked her console, waiting for the others to settle themselves. She could hardly ignore a direct question, as much as she might want to avoid it. "Starfleet shuttlecraft are designed to accommodate egos of all shapes and sizes. Regulations dictate that we only occasionally jettison those egos in an emergency."

That said, Lillee glanced at Ensign Eloi-Danvers with a brief smile of mutual suffering, only then noticing the black irises, before shrugging and returning to work. "Shuttlecraft Franklin to Bridge, requesting permission to launch." The affirmative reply only took a few seconds to come, Lillee opening the shuttlebay doors remotely as she waited. She ignored Rutherford's question about the probes, trusting Eloi-Danvers to see them and report for herself. The probes were something, she reasoned, and showed that the diplomats weren't foolish enough to trust the Klingons. The things would be useless against Romulan cloaking technology but Klingon cloaks were far less sophisticated, so there was a chance.

At Rutherford's order to launch, Lillee pulsed the shuttle's thrusters to lift off. "Aye, Epsilon Monocerotis, Warp 6."

The launch was as smooth as could be, Lillee tapping the thrusters and gently guiding the large shuttle out of the Theurgy's aft entry, the four nacelles presenting an impressive sight. Still gentle, Lillee took the shuttle out in a loop and stopped to aft and starboard of the dreadnought, presenting the four of them with an impressive view of the Theurgy. The enormous starship looked impressive, freshly repaired, refitted, and ready to get back into the fight.

Still, the Theurgy had only briefly dropped out of warp to drop off the shuttle. As the crew of the shuttle watched, the nacelles lit a brilliant blue before the starship erupted into warp once more, leaving the relatively miniscule shuttle quite alone in the void. Without comment, Lillee worked the controls, reorientating to their new destination. Rutherford's hand on her shoulder warranted a bemused frown, but she didn't bother commenting. Officers did love to feel commanding when actually in "command"; it was best to let them enjoy the feeling and get on with business.

Rutherford gave the order and Lillee duly engaged the warp drive, flinging the shuttle out into speeds far faster than light. "We'll arrive in just over six hours," she commented, glancing back at the three officers and particularly Fisher. Unpleasant, indeed.  I thought he meant the Klingons, not the diplomats.
[Lieutenant Commander Cross |  Chief Tactical Officer ]

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[Petty Officer 3rd Class Lillee t'Jellaieu |  Chief Support Craft Pilot | CONN ]

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Re: CH02: S [D02|1500] An Unknown Grandson?
Reply #6
[ Ens. Faye Lintah Eloi-Danvers | In the hot seat | [/i Shuttlecraft Franklin[/i] ] Attn: @Swift @stardust @Griff  
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There was a saying about assumptions that seemed to take precedence right then; and another about what you expected and what you got often being at odds with one another. Both were rather applicable as her boss gestured for her to take the ops station opposite of the petty officer. Well. Just because she wore red didn't mean she knew much about flying a shuttle craft. She had the basic training, of course so that accounted for something. Swallowing and nodding she flashed a smile she didn't feel at all and sat down to the left of the Romulan woman, shooting her eyebrows up high on her forehead in a look that screamed Well, didn't expect this, did you?

The rather caustic emotions rolling around the Chief Diplomat in regards to the Chief Spook of the ship added a smidgen of haste to the Betazoid's actions as she sunk into the seat, tapped a few buttons and ran a quick level 5 diagnostic that was done in roughly half a minute. Repressing a snicker at some of Samantha's sharp wit,  Faye watched as the console informed her that it was operating per norm, and she went through what she remembered of the pre-flight check list, which was basically nodding her head and confirming anything from the pilot, whom actually knew what she was doing.  Aloud, she hissed a whisper at the Romulan woman, "Ever have one of those mornings you just wished you'd stayed in bed? That's us, for the next however many hours this takes. Mom and Dad are fighting again."

She jerked a thumb back over her shoulder at Fisher and Rutherford. She was trusting on the fact that the Petty Officer was a Romulan, and her barely audible comments would be easily enough heard by her - and not the two more human members of the crew. A few moments passed in comparable silence, for those in the front of the cockpit while Fisher took another off hand tongue lashing from a woman who was supposed to be Diplomatic (such blissful irony, Faye mused) and then her boss was asking her for a probe update. Punching up a few commands, the junior diplomat reviewed the logs. 

"Well ma'am, Commander Fisher seems to be rather competent in making changes to someone else's mission plans, but yes, the probes are all loaded and accounted for. I's have been dotted and t's crossed, by all accounts." She wasn't really all that upset with Fisher, but she did have to back her boss. Present a united front and all of that. It was so very typically human male of him to rush in and think that he could save the day. Never mind that she actually agreed with the spy, in so far that a bigger ship was better when dealing with Klingon's. They were a warrior race, even down to their farmers and merchants, and lawyers. They respected shows of strength. Now if only those micro-probes had been micro-torpedoes. We wouldn't have to fire them, just have them to get the point across, she silently mused as the ship slowly lifted it self up and off the deck plating.

She was a diplomat, not a soldier. But she wasn't stupid either. She'd made far more progress with Klingon's after flipping one over her shoulder than she had with sweet words and nice feelings.

The nose of the ship dipped slightly as it sped forward, out through the shimmering force field that kept breathable air in but let shuttle craft out of the ship, and into a long, looping arc around the contours of what had been Faye's home for the better part of the last year. She let out a soft sigh, watching the graceful ship fall away around them, her eyes tracing its lines. The nacelles gathered their energy in a blue white glow, and then the behemoth warped away, leaving in its wake a ship that seemed far too small for the emotions of the senior officers it contained. 

Samantha came to stand behind the two seats and Faye pulled her eyes away from the point where the Theurgy had been and back to her console as she tried to remember all the little things needed to be done. Thankfully it wasn't much, and soon enough they were ready to go. "Course confirmed," she echoed after the Pilot laid it in, and she did one more status check. Power distribution from the miniature warp core to the nacelles looked..right. She thought. Pretty sure. No alarms were howling so she flashed a thumbs up. Navigational Deflectors were in place, and the inertial dampners were dialed in (that would have been bad otherwise). 

Six hours, Faye thought to herself and winced. This was going to be painful. "So, who brought the deck of cards?"
Note: No Posting while at GenCon, 7/31-8/5/2019

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Re: CH02: S [D02|1500] An Unknown Grandson?
Reply #7
[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Fore Compartment | Type-11 Shuttlecraft | Rosalind Franklin ] Attn: @stardust @Brutus @Griff

In truth, Fisher found himself moderately relieved that the Chief Diplomat hadn't in fact called his bluff, requesting a demonstration of exactly what he'd just promised. It wasn't that he'd doubted the effectiveness of Nurse Vojona's healing touch the night before. For that matter, he was relatively certain his injuries had been for the most part, healed, and healed thoroughly. But he couldn't escape the lingering psycho-somatic effect of those injuries and found himself apprehensive about the prospect of literally jumping to Rutherford's beck and call. Thankfully, it had seemed she wasn't in a particularly cruel or vindictive mood, despite him having inserted himself into her mission without so much as the courtesy of even a cursory forewarning. As such, he figured he'd express his appreciation by letting her jab and prod at him with barbed words, and passive aggressive attacks. Though, he kept a running tab in his mind that he would refer to later on, when the situation presented itself.

And for the most part, Fisher kept his mouth shut during flight preparations.

He'd then taken up position in the chair situated before the tactical console, directly opposite of Rutherford. His hands dancing across the console, he logged his security access into the computer, and drew up a wide variety of information contained within reports which had been flagged as vital to the success of the mission by his staff. It was time to put the diligent work of Ravenholm and Anh-Le to good use, as they had performed above and beyond the call of what he'd charged them with. Included in that information were comms relays between Klingon Defense Force outposts that had been intercepted. Those comms contained the movements of several large groups of Klingon warships in and around the Epsilon Monocerotis system, which if accurate, would help to facilitate the stealth aspect of their mission. With a swipe of his hand, he transferred the analysis of those comms relays to the stations before the other three officers. Specifically, Petty Officer t'Jellaieu would find them useful in plotting her course throughout the sector.

Additionally, Fisher began screening the incoming subspace communications that had been re-routed from some rather illicit sources. As a spy, he'd had a wealth of unsavory and untrustworthy types he could call on when the time demanded it, and this situation demanded it. Old assets and other spies that he'd traded favors with over the course of his career began to relay whatever information they had, if any. For the most part, he was certain that most of it would prove useless, irrelevant, or outdated. But there still could've been a kernel of usable intel hidden among it. To speed up the process of gleaning through it all, Fisher set the computer to query search and compile results pertaining to several keywords: Tachyons. Martok. Heir. Grandson. Gorka. Ja'Rod. Chu'Vok. Torg. Drex. Jo'Reh. Starfleet. Shuttle. Ambush.

If anything were tagged, it would move to the very top of his queue to review.

Simultaneously, as the Petty Officer began to pitch and veer the Rosalind Franklin out of the shuttle bay, Fisher ran a diagnostic of the craft's tactical systems. His ears registered the additional verbal jibe of his Diplomatic counterpart, and he decided that he himself would also verify that the probes she'd requisitioned for her Type-9 had been transferred and loaded into one of the micro-torpedo launcher magazines of his Type-11. As the Ensign soon relayed the same confirmation to the other Commander, Fisher smirked a little wryly and spun around in his swivel chair to face Rutherford, who had been looking past him through the viewport. His green eyes narrowed ever so slightly as he followed her gaze to the view beyond the front of the craft. Quite a view it was, he realized as t'Jellaieu had brought the shuttle around for a glimpse of the Theurgy; a truly magnificent and massive vessel, this was the first time he'd managed to see it through his own eyes in complete majesty. A moment later the quad-nacelles began to glow brightly blue until its hull elongated and streaked off into a sudden flash of light.

They were alone now.

"Phasers. Torpedoes. Probes. Shields. All defensive systems are green across the board." He announced to break the momentary silence, relaying what he considered to be important information to the woman in charge of the mission. "Lateral and Long-range sensors are also operating within normal parameters. Captain." He added the honorary title after having apprised her of all systems to which he had direct control over.

"Also, if anything, I would've figured I was more analogous to that of a Runabout, than a Type-11. A little older. More adaptable. Higher endurance." He cocked his head a little, as he embraced the amusing recall of Sam's sarcastic teasing just prior to their launch. "A little bigger too." He added as he spun back around, looking to his console once more. His hands working at the controls as he opened the first queried report that the computer had compiled for him, this particular one coming from an older asset working aboard a Morassian freighter. The freighter had been dispatched to Klingon space in order to take on a shipment of endangered species that had been purchased, meant to then be ferried back to the Morassian animal preserve. The keyword prompting the query, 'Heir' having referred to the ascendance of the Governor of Dayos IV's son to succeed him in that role. Irrelevant as it was to their current mission, Fisher still filed the report for later, knowing it was still prudent to update the scope of power within the Klingon Empire.

Given their situation however, Fisher was more immediately concerned over cloaked Klingon Warships, as even though the Type-11 could dish out and receive a little more punishment than a Type-9, it was still no match for even the lowliest of Klingon Birds of Prey. Which meant that if they were going to survive this mission, and find success in it, they'd need to remain undetected.

As the Ensign piped up about a game of cards, Fisher raised one of his thick eyebrows inquisitively at the suggestion.
  • Last Edit: July 24, 2020, 06:11:30 AM by Swift
Writer of [ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Chief Intelligence Officer | USS Theurgy NX-79854 ]

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Re: CH02: S [D02|1500] An Unknown Grandson?
Reply #8
[ Lt. Cmdr. Rutherford | Fore Compartment | Type-11 Shuttlecraft | Rosalind Franklin ] attn: @Griff @Brutus @Swift
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The relationship between a subordinate and a superior was an interesting one, to say the least, only surpassed by the relationship between two superiors. Ironically, everyone had been on either side, at least once, in their career - if they did everything right - yet still, neither side seemed to ever fully appreciate the sensibilities of the other. Having been an Ensign once too, subordinate to a big ego and even bigger vanity, in the form of an Andorian ambassador, Samantha could very well remember the feeling. The sheer defiance of everything thrown her way, always knowing better, feeling misjudged, undervalued. It came with being young, new to the structure, that was the chain of command. When one broke out of the strict hierarchy of a home, into an even stricter one. When the prospect of shaping your own future, standing on your own two feet, crumbled into a mess of duty hours, behavioral guidelines and dress code. And just like they had, against their mothers and fathers, they subtly rebelled, in a way, against their new oppressors, their superiors. But while having been there once, colored the blonde understanding towards the struggle, she also understood now - some odd ten years later - that she had needed the strong guidance, the preparation, the proverbial micromanaging. And she still believed that, albeit all levity and candor, to alleviate the weight of their situation, this very guidance was still the core of her job as a superior.

Not taking into account the reflections on the long windshield, stretching far out to the front across the dashboard of the shuttle, both t'Jellaieu and Eloi-Danvers lulled themselves into a false sense of anonymity, which was perfectly fine. Hell, it amused the diplomat, at this point in time. She'd been there, she'd done it, and it was not any less amusing being on the receiving end of it. But looking over at Fisher, she wondered if he dealt with similar issues, or if people just experienced an innate sense of trust and obeisance through his hulking presence, thick brows and sacrificial work ethic. She had to admit, she did. Though she wasn't sure if his brows, specifically, played any role in it, for anyone else. Brushing her lips together, the woman averted her gaze once more, letting blue eyes drop to the carpeted deck plating, before being drawn away once more by her commands being confirmed upon execution. A small smile, creasing dimples across her face, the commander took a moment of silence as if not to appear basking in the sentiment of returned banter, on Andrew's expense. Though, from the way her face glowed for a moment, the suppressed grin, that couldn't be quite extinguished from her eyes, left a lot on that notion to be desired. "Very well." she acknowledged Faye. At least drawing pleasure from her mission parameters not having been changed any further.

Fisher soon returned to his duties, to evade the ongoing mockery, or simply out of sheer professionalism, and Samantha caught herself looking over, just as he had turned, and the coast had cleared, for a covert reciprocation of the appraisal. Many a thought running through her head, some more recently conceived than others, some more serious, than other. All the while not taking into account that his large wall of console, had a reflection too. And when his baritone voice rose up once more, even just on the first letter, she felt her heart drop at the prospect of being called out. Only to slip down in her seat an inch at the rather clinical narration of facts, from his station. Which was just the right amount of professionalism to remind her of her own. So, it came to quite the relief, the offering of something to jump on, that didn't have a personal quarrel underlying its very sentiment, or did it. "I love how you consider phasers and torpedoes 'defensive systems'." she sighed dryly, tending her own console to evade a potential staring match, which she would undoubtedly lose. No, in this DEFENSIVE position, she was the great white shark that had jumped on one sign of weakness, by the baby seal, and was now maiming it for what it was worth. But it did also touch on a root sentiment of her as a diplomat, and this having been intended as a diplomatic mission. Now they had the CIO tag along, with his covert trickery and photon torpedoes. Undoubtedly not hesitating to use either, if the situation tipped one degree to the uncomfortable.

Samantha had developed a great deal of respect and admiration for the man and his talents, among other things that had no place in this thought process, but she had also learned a great deal about his dark past and how it influenced his perception of their current situation. Their little bit after the Nicander interrogation springing to mind. Which she didn't hold in any form of hurt pride anymore, by no means, but which had unearthed a deeper issue between their respective departments and the way they approached certain topics. And even through his grand display of rhetorical relinquishment, she wasn't convinced that he would be able to contain his inner daemons, to spring to life at the first sign of trouble, triggering him to take control of the situation in whatever way he saw fit. It was certainly a possibility she would have to consider and prepare for. Listening to his subsequent quip, once more trying to make light of the situation, she was now also reminded of the other side about him. The upbeat variant of his inner duality. Something that always resonated with a part deep inside of her, which she couldn't turn off or ignore. Affection, quite potentially.

"Alright, thank you Mister Fisher, we'll take turns expressing our own feelings by assigning ourselves appropriate shuttle classes, in a little bit." she spoke up, a little bit louder, across the confines of the small cockpit, which was now dipped into the subtly varying hues of quickly passing stars and eradiated space dust, from their warp field. Giving Faye a quick look to relate a similar, albeit now non-verbal judgment on her suggestion, the room quickly fell silent. Nothing but the subtle hum of the engines, filling the uncomfortable void. "Now ..." the blonde reasserted herself, spinning her chair so she was facing the middle of the cockpit. "Intelligence has provided us with an intercepted communique to General Chu'vok, hinting at the existence of a living grandson to Chancellor Martok. Hidden away somewhere in the Epsilon Monocerotis system. I don't need to tell you what it would mean if this was true. The ramifications for the political stability of the Klingon empire would be staggering. It would make every one of us easily dispensable to achieve it." The diplomat started out, narrating the mission, now that they were underway, letting her eyes rest on Fisher for a moment, at her last comment. But not to single him out as the first one to go, but as the likeliest to shout 'here', when it came to it, and the emotional ramifications that came with such a realisation, for her.

"I've obviously intended for this to be a diplomatic mission. To find out the truth about this mystery, bringing back the grandson, if he does exist, to ensure Martok's bloodline, as an ally to all of us, goes on. We will not engage any military forces, in defense or otherwise. At the first sign of trouble, I want you to be ready to draw us out of the system, to regroup, or withdraw." she beckoned their pilot with a nod. "Since the intel provided, is not readily verifiable, we will not risk a diplomatic incident, by trying to extract this supposed grandson by force. It would only hurt our position later." She wasn't going to jeopardize their shaky alliance over the mere prospect of a stronger one. She may have been a good poker player, but she hated gambling. There was a good chance this whole thing was just an elaborate trap, to implicate them into whatever scheme was playing behind the curtain, to weaken the chancellor's position. And she would not make herself become an accessory to this treachery.

"Now, if anyone has anything to add, let's hear it." she opened up the floor for debate, though her voice had been very firm on being almost immovable on her stance towards the general sentiment of this mission.
  • Last Edit: August 02, 2020, 01:15:43 PM by stardust

Re: CH02: S [D02|1500] An Unknown Grandson?
Reply #9
[PO3 Lillee t'Jellaieu |  Shuttlecraft Rosalind Franklin (NX-79854/04)| Warp Transit ] Attn: @Brutus, @stardust, @Swift

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With the shuttle at warp, Lillee was all out of excuses to look "busy" and ignore the bickering senior officers behind her. Recalling the ensign's earlier joke, she smiled covertly at the Betazoid, rolling her eyes. Danvers was right, to be sure. Lillee half wondered when the two officers would "get a room", as humans put it, either to beat each other senseless or relieve the tension another way. Or both, Lillee mused. Regardless, she and Danvers were in an unenviable and awkward position, although it was at least rather amusing to watch.

Then, flicking through the intelligence records that Commander Fisher had sent her, Lillee grinned at one of the authors, a certain adorable green-skinned lieutenant. It wasn't an especially rational response, but just seeing the woman's name left a warm feeling in Lillee's stomach. despite the dangerous mission they were embarking on.

Nevertheless, when Commander Rutherford began her truncated briefing, Lillee paid full attention, turning her own chair around. She visibly squirmed at the thought of getting involved in Klingon politics, but such was the job, and at any rate, she wouldn't be called on for anything even remotely diplomatic. Or she shouldn't be, anyway. Still, one thought made her frown.

"If this is a trap, of some sort, Commander," she said, "know that we cannot outrun pursuit. Most Klingon ships are faster than this shuttle, assuming their engineers are sober, and they're far better armed. I can out-fly any Klingon, but out-running them or out-fighting them would be difficult. Diplomacy and cleverness are our only true options for retrieving this...um...boy."
[Lieutenant Commander Cross |  Chief Tactical Officer ]

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[Petty Officer 3rd Class Lillee t'Jellaieu |  Chief Support Craft Pilot | CONN ]

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Re: CH02: S [D02|1500] An Unknown Grandson?
Reply #10
[ Ens. Faye Lintah Eloi-Danvers | In the hot seat | [/i Shuttlecraft Franklin[/i] ] Attn: 
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Open foot, insert mouth, Faye thought to herself. The downside of being a telepath was that, even when you were actively keeping your mind inside your own skull, you still picked up on the feelings around you. Nothing major, no in depth probing without effort, but you were swimming in a sea of feelings and thoughts. On a big starship, or on a planet it could either be an overwhelming roar, or a background sound. For most Betazoids, it was the latter, save when everyone was thinking the same thing at once, usually, 'oh shit, Borg!' or something similar. Much harder to tune that out or just float along without getting pulled under. In the confines of the Type-11 shuttle craft however, the ocean, such as it were, was more like a small pond, and the individual ripples were much harder to ignore. 

In this case she picked up clear amusement and mutual commiseration from the petty officer pilot when Faye made her little playing card crack, and various levels of reluctant amusement and dour frustration from 'mom' and 'dad', as the young ensign has taken to referring to Lt. Commander's Rutherford and Fisher, based on their bickering words and feelings. Sure, it was a childish comparison to draw, but damned if their behavior didn't remind her of her own parents, and the back and forth they often had. Full of love, sure, but by the gods did they bicker. 

Blowing a puff of air out that ruffled her bangs, she looked at Rutherford's reflection in the view port and shrugged her shoulders a bit. Not quite contrite, but not defiant either. She was who she was and it was hardly her fault if everyone with any sort of rank was in a sour mood. It was a long flight ahead of them, may as well relax. Apparently she was in the wrong on that. Or more likely, in the wrong for voicing that. Oh well. In truth, Faye was still getting used to not being the one in charge when it came to diplomatic measures. Even when Lt. Commander Dewitt had been assisting her in matters on Aldea, the more senior officer often deferred to her judgment when it came to strictly matters of diplomacy. Adjusting to the role and duties of a junior adjunct, in essence, was an exercise in restraint that was as tasking as some of the less enjoyable physical therapy that Nurse Paterson had insisted Faye take up after she'd been defrosted a few months back.

At least, she noted with resigned satisfaction, I wasn't the only one. While Rutherford's rebuke of her card playing suggestion had been subtle and nonverbal, there was no missing the jibe she'd sent to Fisher. But 'Mom' and 'Dad' were getting down to business, judging by the sound of things, and once she was sure that the ship wasn't going to suddenly lose warp containment, nor that the navigational deflectors and inertial dampers were not going to reverse their polarities and turn the crew of the Franklin into space paste, she turned her around to listen in on the conversation, sitting sideways to still keep an eye on the sensor array.

What followed was a very succinct summary of the situation, and the reason that Faye was on this mission at all. Her experience with the Klingon Empire, gained over the majority of her time as a diplomat. Rutherford had more experience in general, but when it came to Klingon's in general, and the current affairs of the empire over the past few months in particular, Faye was the subject matter expert. She'd cut her diplomatic teeth on assignment at freaking Khitomer, home of the self named Accords that brokered the longest standing peace between the Empire and the Federation (minus that small blip in 2372).  If there really was a previously unknown heir to the house of Martok...if he had a grandson, even with an off shot scion of the house of Duras, for all intents and purposes the black sheep of the Empire that refused to die, it would be monumental. 

And there were so many pitfalls that the fallout would be just as monumental....ly bad.

"Assuming the child exists, and we can prove blood verification, if I recall the report correctly, the mother is of the house of Duras, yes? Are we sure that Martok is going to want that to be public?" Faye saw some flickers of confusion on the other faces in the small cockpit and she pursed her lips, thinking through how to follow up and elaborate. Taking a breath, she solidered on with a bit of background, on the off chance that the others were not quite as up to date on things as she was. For all she knew she wasn't telling them anything new, but she felt it was best to be certain. 

"The animosity the House of Duras has gained in the last few decades has severely curtailed their standing within the High Council and the Empire. From triggering a civil war to dark alliances with the Romulan Empire that were to neither powers benefit," she shot an apologetic look at the pilot sitting next to her, "and the criminal efforts of Lursa and Betor, the scions of the house up until their death during the encounter at Veridian III and the destruction of the Enterprise-d, the House of Duras have become something of pariahs within the Empire. Let us not forget that Chancellor Martok officially adopted Worf, son of Mogh into his House during the Dominion War, and the former House of Mogh has a long history of...animosity with the House of Duras, which would have transferred over to Martok and his House in turn.

"Knowing that the freshly deceased heir to the reigning House of Martok begot a child with one of its chief rivals....that is going to be all kinds of messy. So I'll ask again: would Martok wish to acknowledge such a child existed, and damn the potential fall out from that, for the sake of having a new heir, or would he rather the bloodline officially have ended with Drex?"


That was a damned chilling thought, with regards to what by all reports was a child. But...that was Klingon politics. 
Note: No Posting while at GenCon, 7/31-8/5/2019

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Re: CH02: S [D02|1500] An Unknown Grandson?
Reply #11
[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Fore Compartment | Type-11 Shuttlecraft | Rosalind Franklin ] Attn: @stardust @Brutus @Griff

There were always potential professional ramifications at play when it came time for different departments to coordinate on efforts, and there were few if any other departments that were forced to coordinate on contentious matters as often as Diplomatic and Intelligence services. Since it was nary impossible for a diplomatic team to effectively court, and negotiate with political rivals if they didn't know, and understand what the motivations driving them. In a way, it put Intelligence services at the behest of a Diplomatic corps, acting as a functionary of their mission to maintain or push for peace. There had been instances in the past, when Fisher had worked under other Intelligence Leads that were less than pleased by this arrangement; they often felt as though Intelligence could alone, better dictate the measures that should and would be taken. Politicians only ever seemed to get in the way for them. For Fisher, it wasn't like that at all. He preferred to adhere to this standard, because it prevented him from having to make decisions that reflected badly on the intent and mission of the Federation. If it were a collaborative effort, there were more options that could be explored. If it were only ever up to him, then that absolute power would probably lead to corruption, as it had so many others in his position.

There was also however another side to the ramifications of the mission that hung in the back of his consciousness, hidden behind that foremost important professional concern, in the form of a personal one. He'd only worked with the Chief Diplomat in one previous engagement, and that had gone rather poorly to say the least. Perhaps not entirely due to his fault, but the fact was, that it had put a momentary strain on their then friendship. A strain that had only been alleviated at the behest of a bombing, jolting the both of them into a realization that they didn't have the time, or even the want to focus on petty professional differences, especially given the near constant state of emergencies they were being dealt. Now, as that friendship began to blossom into something more, he couldn't help but be concerned as to the potential strain this mission might put on them again, and what he might subconsciously do in order to avoid such a situation.

No, duty demanded he stick to his guns, even if it meant going against her and her decisions. But would he?

Still, as he worked at his console, he caught sight of her face reflected in the glass panel and felt something stir within him for only the very faintest of moments before he resumed his analysis of the shuttle's weapons systems. He wondered what was hidden behind the azure gaze that had stolen a glimpse of him when he wasn't looking, but he understood that any kind of investigation of the matter would've been exceedingly unprofessional given the environment.

Instead, he'd made his report on the weapons systems, and as his 'Captain' made another jibe at his expense, he couldn't help but grin more broadly in amusement of the punishment he was taking. Again however, he recognized that indeed he'd made himself the punching bag of the mission by having had the temerity to accompany it without so much as an ask. It was a surprisingly small price to pay, he'd decided, as it meant he could keep a better eye on the matter, and perhaps maybe influence its outcome in a more positive and beneficial way. If not, then he could take some solace in the fact that he was getting to spend some time in the field again, as he'd spent a good chunk of the last year behind a series of desks. Operational Leads didn't get to go out on all the 'fun' missions the way most field operatives did, and to a point, he'd missed it quite a bit. There was an associated adrenaline rush that came with them, and for the most part, Fisher hadn't been able to experience that kind of rush in quite some time.

'Only fools and dead fools relish after that rush. If you want to live, and more importantly If you want to win, then you put that shit aside, and relish after the only thing that matters. Control.' He could hear the words of an old superior SFI officer as though he were standing just behind him. It had reminded Fisher then, just as it did now of the necessity to focus on the aspects of a mission that he could truly and directly influence. It was all a game, but it was a game that you didn't want to lose, because if you did, it meant yours, or more importantly, someone else's life. Anyone who got into Intelligence primarily for the thrill of it, didn't last long as a field operative, because their instincts were all wrong. They would make mistakes because they wished to indulge in their insatiable need for a rush.

No, the better thing to go after was control. But Fisher had already relinquished most, if not all of it away, and he was determined to not attempt to wrest it back at any point if he could.

Not wishing for his thoughts to linger on unpleasant memories any longer, he'd felt it necessary to alleviate the tension by recalling her comment of the similarities played at between him, and the shuttle. And as the Commander rather abruptly cut him off, he couldn't help but snicker audibly at the self-realization of how he'd gotten under her skin already. Turnabout was fair play he thought in the moment before he also realized that he'd grinned a little to broadly not to be noticed by the others of the shuttle if they looked. Catching himself, he cleared his throat audibly and stifled away the smirk, satisfied with having achieved a minor personal victory, even if she quickly squashed him back down like a bug with a dismissal of his attempt at jest. There had been a rather pithy and succinct retort that immediately played out in his mind, as he was ready to offer up a potentially unflattering opinion of what shuttlecraft she might be analogous to, as a joke of course, but he'd refrained.

There would be other opportunities to return fire, as it were.

Rolling his head, he'd decided to let it go and embrace Rutherford's more serious tone as she began to offer up her briefing, regarding her with the attention that befit her role. It was after all, her mission, and as he'd just reclarified for himself, she was in charge. The last thing he wanted to appear as, was though he were a challenge to her operational authority; that he would undermine her in front of two Junior officers. It would have been moderately inappropriate from a personal point, and incredibly inappropriate from a professional one. Plus, Fisher understood the dangers that came along with splitting a crew. He needed to have her back on this and reserve any concerns for private discussion later. He needed to listen, and absorb what her plans for the operation were, so as to emphasize his intent to remain under her command, rather than a threat to it. And though he'd already understood the details, it didn't hurt to hear them again. Often times just hearing someone else tell you what you already knew, could reveal something you hadn't at first noticed about that knowledge. It was also good to get on the same page as her, knowing what her intentions for this mission were.

In her voice he could sense the genuine care she harbored for those under her command now; a trait that was outwardly more evident than it was whenever he spoke to his own people. His emotional exterior, when in a professional sense anyway, usually ranged anywhere from serious, to sarcastic, to defiantly optimistic. But rarely did he exude a sense of warmth for the others underneath him. At least, not the way the Chief Diplomat seemed to. To a point though, that was deliberate on his behalf, as he felt it was often best if he didn't seem emotionally compromised. Ironically enough it was an emotion that played into it, as he simply feared showing any cracks of his mostly rigid exterior. Though this was sometimes easier said than done, and in more recency especially so. He of course did wish for the absolute best for his people, he just wasn't the best at making it so clear to them. She on the other hand, seemed to possess a natural affinity that radiated concern. A very much warming exterior for those under her command, entirely opposite of his own colder one. A warmth that clearly held regard for him as well, as she mentioned the possibility of self-sacrifice as a part to the mission.

As the Commander then made her intentions for the mission clear, her Intelligence counterpart offered nothing but a small nod of acknowledgment, as he'd agreed to the approach on all fronts. It offered the best potential outcome, with hopefully the least amount of fallout. So, when she asked if there were any concerns, he knew it best if he kept quiet. She didn't need his backup in the moment and offering anything of the sort would have been patronizing to say the least. A silence that continued as Lillee offered up her analysis of their tactical situation, in the most apt of ways. They were simply no match for a Klingon warship, even in their more durable Type-11 shuttle. Yet when the Ensign indeed posed a follow-up, he took the chance to speak as an opportunity to offer up an explanation of the intelligence that had served as the impetus of this mission.

"Speaking on behalf of the intel, the concerns over the validity of this... heir... are well founded." He again knew he didn't need to back Rutherford up, in order to emphasize her operational oversight. But he did feel it necessary to point out that even he wasn't willing to stand behind the intel reports as they were. It would have been dishonest of him. He'd been through his fair share of shitty missions acting on behalf of bad information, and the only thing that annoyed him more than that bad information, was when an Intelligence Officer refused to admit that the information was bad before, or even after the fact. Fisher wasn't one of those kinds of Officers. No, everyone aboard this shuttle deserved to know how little evidence there existed to back up this potential suicide mission. "Unfortunately, there just wasn't enough time needed to vet the claims made in the intercepted communications. As to what the Chancellor's reactions might be, I'm not a diplomatic specialist in the slightest." He admitted as he swiveled in his chair, looking to Sam for her analysis on the matter. He of course did have an educated guess on it, but he didn't want to undercut her, when diplomacy was her forte, not his.

"What can we expect?" he asked.
Writer of [ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Chief Intelligence Officer | USS Theurgy NX-79854 ]

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Re: CH02: S [D02|1500] An Unknown Grandson?
Reply #12
[ Lt. Cmdr. Rutherford | Fore Compartment | Type-11 Shuttlecraft | Rosalind Franklin ] attn: @Griff @Brutus @Swift
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The coat of duty was a comfortable one, to wrap yourself up into. It lent a certain comfort of procedures and rules, that could steer a derailed situation back on track. It was also a rather mutual sentiment, that usually caused everyone to fall into their designated line and assume their individual roles, as signified by their rank pips and the colors of their undershirts. Almost like a communal mantra, a collective chant, in perfect pitch, sitting around the campfire of responsibility. There was much to be said, about social interactions and the dynamics between individual characters, especially for someone as skilled in it, like Samantha and Faye. But general, 'private' social interaction, was a far more intricate mix of nuances and shades to be considered, like vanity and subjective feelings. Something meant to be absent, from the realm of service, as far as that was possible, channeling one's own flawed humanity, into a streamlined concept of rules and expectations. Where one was expected to function as one cog in a whole machinery, rather than the concept of putting one's own individuality above everything else, that dominated many an officer's private arena.

Obviously, the commander herself had not given the best example to follow after, in her interactions with Fisher. Yet short of accepting that, validating it even, to anyone else, the blonde had evaded comfortably into the sentiment of duty, to avoid any revelations, detrimental to her standing as the de facto leader of this mission. At least in regard to what damage hadn't already been done. Opening up the floor to the group, the diplomat was keen to see what submissions would come up. Because as much as the innate differences between human individualities could complicate any interaction, it could also yield a near unlimited source of differing opinions and insights, to any given situation, that either reinforced, or even challenged, a superior's own. As such, the term 'speaking freely', in service terms, was a weapon best wielded by those experienced in dealing with the havoc it could wreak on one's own convictions. Additionally, the offer put her in a passive role, for a moment, which was great to hanging back and relaxing for a little bit, weighing the pros and cons of the facts presented to her.

Petty officer Lillee went first, giving a tactical run-down on the shuttle's capabilities, which was well founded in her expertise as a skilled pilot. The best Theurgy had to offer, in terms of support craft navigation, if her position and the lack of a scratch marks on the shuttle's paintjob after departure, was any indication. She certainly raised a valid point, that wasn't even an assumption, but a stone-cold fact. Then Faye followed suit in her narration of her unique perspective, peppered by diplomatic experience, to give her very own view, of where their potentially pitfalls lay. And although Samantha was partial to forming an opinion on that particular subject, as it was basically her own forte, she intended to give each their voices the same attention and consideration. Wasn't that what a good commanding officer did?! Ultimately the attention shifted to Andrew, as it was his turn, and the blonde could feel her posture stiffening slightly, as blue orbs made that jump over. There was an added sense of discomfort, in the uncertainty of how to deal with him, how to address their recent history properly, or how to discard it as a whole, in this more professional of settings. A decision she hadn't quite been able to land on yet. Neither did duty lend enough of a safe rope, to pull herself along with, when it came to the handsome commander.

As he went and reinforced her previous suggestion, that the intel was not as sound as it should've been, to warrant such a mission, she gave him an appreciative nod. Ultimately raising her brows slightly, as he so abruptly tossed the ball back at her. Samantha had reveled in the comparable safety of siting there, just listening to everyone else, far too long and in far too much complacency. The direct prompt, however, urged her to address the subjects in reverse order, starting with the most recently voiced issue. "Well ..." she started out, obviously buying time to contemplate the right words, while sitting up a little straighter and crossing her legs. "... I think that ultimate decision is well above our paygrade, or even our sphere of authority. Our main goal is simply to retrieve the potential grandson ..." she looked at Faye, before letting her eyes trail back to Fisher with the continuation of her elaborations: "... or whatever intel we can, on why this ploy was invented and who would be behind it. I think even if it is just that information it can still be valuable."

Looking back at Ensign Eloi-Danvers, subsequently, though really addressing everyone, the chief diplomat was ready to elaborate on it some more, as it was more within her professional arena. "If the intel turns out to be true, and we do find Martok's grandson there, I could see this being beneficial in a myriad of ways, first and foremost to our standing with the Chancellor himself, upon delivering the boy - not matter his ultimately fate. But in a broader, political context, given that the House of Duras seems to be a rather passive player in the Empire at the moment, Martok could potentially use the boy to absorb their house into his, and thus till a long-standing rival. The intel itself describes Ja'rod falling out with the House of Torg and seeking out contact to the Chancellor, if that is true, then the last confirmed Duras blood relative to be alive, could be willing to join the House of Martok ... or die honourably at its blade." she stated matter-of-factly, as if narrating a procedure. Diplomacy certainly warranted a certain level of detachment, from the personal stories affected by the grander scheme. Even if they were of the definitive variety.

"If Martok chooses to rather end the Duras bloodline, by killing this potential grandson, than using him to ensure the continuation of his own. If that's the signal of power, he wishes to convey to the council. Then that will not be detrimental to our standing with him by delivering that option. In any case, it will be advantageous. So, I have no doubts that either way, this mission will be a success." Samantha concluded that part of the queries, though not by shutting down any potential other variables she had not considered, after all the arena was still open for factual sparring. It was also important for a leader to exude confidence, even in the face of insurmountable odds. But to be honest, unless proven otherwise, staring down the barrels of a fleet of Klingon ships, she wouldn't lose that hope anyways. It may have been closer to a delusion, than an actual romanticized notion of a positive future, but it was damn persistent none the less. "As for the potential of a trap, and it is a likely one still, I will defer to your expertise as a pilot. Alternatively, I believe this shuttle has a few tricks up its sleeve that will give us an added benefit in our escape. I trust Commander Fisher will utilize his best tactical expertise to do so. We should leave the attempt, to outrun any of them, as a very last measure, for sure. If there's any preparations we could do to increase our warp speed, temporarily, or decrease theirs, we should explore those."

Concluding with a pleasant nod to Lillee, the diplomat let her pale blue eyes trail through the small group of officers, gauging their reactions, as well as their inclination to contribute to this mission briefing any further, before she would make any final decision to send everyone off on their little tasks, until they would arrive in the Epsilon Monocerotis system. No doubt in her mind that, despite her initial reluctance, this was potentially the best team gathered, for this specific mission.
  • Last Edit: August 02, 2020, 03:14:44 PM by stardust