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Day 08 [1830 hrs.] Operation Vigilant Sigil Pt.1


STARDATE 57677.68
APRIL 27, 2381
1830 HRS

[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Fore Compartment | Type-11 Shuttlecraft | Rosalind Franklin ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan @RyeTanker @BipSpoon @jreeves1701 @GroundPetrel

Ives had left.

His parting words, a well-wishing of ‘Good Luck’ lingered in the air long after he’d dematerialized atop the dual transporter pad of the shuttlecraft, Rosalind Franklin. Now what lay ahead of Fisher, and his comrades standing round the fore compartment, each with a unique yet wholly understandable look of confusion and or concern, was a mission that would be off the books, but not due to a traditional sense of clandestine operational procedures. No, Fisher would’ve been fine with that. As a spy, he’d coordinated a number of missions that had never seen any sort of official recording. It was part and parcel for the service. But he’d never before participated in an operation that had been deliberately left off of the books, due to potential temporal implications. Naturally, he was as well read on the matters of time travel and past incursions involving Starfleet as any other officer, but innately, the fundamentals gave him something of a migraine any time he tried to make sense of it all.

“Wonderful.” He quipped sarcastically as he cast a glance across the compartment to Lieutenant Dantius.

They’d only just embarked upon this affair, and his head was already swimming with forethoughts, concerns, and considerations regarding the passage of time, both now, past, and future tense. Though, with a shake of his head, he’d made some affirmative decision that he’d operate according to his dictates regardless of the ramifications.

“I guess first things first, we need to find this... B’etath... if we’re going to stop his assassination.” Pushing off of the console from which he had been leant against, Fisher nodded to Dantius before continuing. “If you’d be so kind as to establish a secure channel with Klingon Councilor K’Tal.” It’d been some time since he’d had any sort of contact with a representative of the Klingon Intelligence Services, or at least any contact that wasn’t of the strictly illicit nature, but if they were going to track down their target prior to his murder, they’d need an inside hand on the matter. “Hopefully Admiral Anderson’s name still has some weight we can leverage to our benefit.” He remarked, stepping over to the Tactical station to ensure that no internal sensors were actively recording the affair. Even if they weren’t under strict orders to operate with zero data logging, he’d likely still have opted to ensure the security of the cabin for such a communication.

“Someone want to take the CONN, and move us further away from Theurgy? Maybe put us into mid-orbit over Qo'noS.” He asked.

Once the cabin was verified secure, thus ensuring no record of the mission nor any happenings aboard the shuttlecraft would be logged, he nodded in affirmation to Dantius a second time, as though to say she could access the communication grid without hindrance. With a step away from the console, he then approached the starboard side equipment locker and opened it. “No sense in pretending otherwise.” He explained as he began retrieving a number of Type-II Phasers to disperse among the team. “We’ll need to be armed for this. Never know when someone is going to pop into our dimension from some other timeline, or some such craziness.” The flippancy of his tone of voice belied the minor annoyance he felt at having been plucked for this mission, seemingly at random. He hadn’t been given any explanation as to why, but he imagined it has something to do with the structure of the timeline.

“Standing orders are to shoot any intruders on-sight. We ask questions after.” He wasn’t in the business of playing games anymore. He’d already been on the receiving end of personal pangs during his time aboard Theurgy. Twice in fact. And he wasn’t about to see any of the members of this team, since they were technically under his command, end up in any kind of a Klingon interrogation chamber, or worse. After all, the threat of the Infested was very real on this mission. In fact, there was a damned good chance they’d end up in some sort of a fight with one or more at some point in the very near future, and that alone caused the ache in his still recovering body to intensify a factor. Thankfully, he knew the people who were along with him for this one and could vouch for each any every one of them and their individual ability to hold their own. He wouldn’t necessarily have to hold the line alone on this one.

“Should’ve brought a deck of cards.” He commented absently as the seconds seemed to pass, and any hails made to raise K’Tal went temporarily unanswered by the Klingon Intelligence Agency. He knew of course, it would only be a matter of minutes, if that, before their call was taken.

OOC: Alright, figured it’d likely help for us to have a shuttlecraft along for this mission. It can serve as a base of operations for our characters as they attempt to track down the location of B’etath, and then perhaps in a support role afterward. This is the starter thread for the Story Prompt ‘The Retro-assassination of B’etath | Tempus Sigillum’.

Posting order is as follows: @Swift @RyeTanker @GroundPetrel @BipSpoon

Re: Day 08 [1830 hrs.] Operation Vigilant Sigil Pt.1

Reply #1
[Lt (JG) XamotZark zh’Ptrell (Lt. Zark) | Fore Compartment | Type-11 Shuttlecraft | Rosalind Franklin]

@Swift @GroundPetrel @BipSpoon

Lt (JG) XamotZark zh’Ptrell moved towards the conn station, glad to have something to do as her brain wracked itself coming to grips with the clandestine assignment the Captain had handed everyone in the shuttle.  In her mind, she had no idea why she had been chosen for this particular assignment, and she'd done her best to steer clear of anything involving temporal mechanics aside from remembering the mantra of as little effect as possible whenever involved in a time travel incident.  "Aye Sir, Setting course for a geo stationary orbit over the First City at one-quarter impulse.  ETA is 15 minutes."  After making a few minor adjustments to the navigation and setting up the auto pilot, the medico accepted the phaser and attached it to her belt as her mind continued to mull over the situation.  In a lot of ways, what they were going into was damn exciting and interesting.  She'd already had quite a bit of that already though, and the last time she'd been on planet had involved a slug fest with the Klingons that saw several crew members killed. 

Diplomacy was generally not one of her best skills, so she'd leave that to the more eloquent intel types, but there were a few things other things that she'd grabbed along the way and she took a few moments to do a quick search of the replicator files and couldn't find what she as looking for.  Deft fingers manipulated the comm system to bounce a data transfer from the Rosalind Franklin to a series of comm satellites before hitting Theurgy and coming back with the requested information which was uploaded to a spare isolinear chip.  With the shuttle on autopilot.  The Andorian made her way to the replicator and removed a panel before inserting the chip into an empty slot and waited a few moments for the system to up load the program.  With a beep of completion, Zark began selecting items from the reprogrammed replicator a was soon loads of generic clothing, a few dark grey cloaks, shoulder holsters, non Federation formable explosives and detonators, micro grenades, a 'pocket' med kit, and various knives of Naussican metallurgy, tricorders that appeared to be of Ferengi manufacture, earbug communicators, and water pockets to the dining table.  The piles were organized and she scribbled on a PADD with arrows pointing towards each person's pile.  They could take or leave what they wanted as they saw fit.

The combat medic was somewhat hesitant with the musical instrument case she brought from the cargo area before shrugging and setting it on table and unlocking the latches.  It was archaic, yet possible uniquely suited to their circumstances, for inside were the parts to a bullpup sniper rifle, suitably updated for the 24th century and designed with an integral silencer, and 10 rounds of Tritanium Tipped 0.338 Lapua Magnum ammunition.  It was no where near as destructive a phaser or disruptor, but it had the advantage of being very quiet and had the ability to go thorough just about everything non military. As she looked over the dull matte black parts, Zark fervently hoped she wouldn't have to assemble the thing, but given their track record so far of hostile encounters, she couldn't be certain.

"Y'all wanna get changed before we head down? Also, I'm going to check that the logs for all this stuff in the comm log and replicators were never created, but can someone check first?" Zark called to the front as she closed the case and grabbed her pile before heading to the washroom to change.

OOC: @GroundPetrel you're up, remember to tag Bip for the next post.
Lieutenant (JG) XamotZark zh’Ptrell (Lt. Zark), Combat Medic [Show/Hide]

Lieutenant Frank Arnold, Chief Engineer [Show/Hide]

Re: Day 08 [1830 hrs.] Operation Vigilant Sigil Pt.1

Reply #2
Lt. JG Dantius Thi Anh-Le | Fore Compartment | Type-11 Shuttlecraft | Rosalind Franklin | ATTN: @Swift @RyeTanker @BipSpoon

"Sir," Anh-Le acknowledged as she double-checked the com rig's encryption.  Hopefully the Klingons wouldn't take too long. 

She sent off the transmission, then turned in her seat.  "With respect, Commander, do we have a plan going in?  We don't have a reliable means of identifying the enemy until they decide to drop the mask, but given the limited numbers of the enemy I doubt they'll send many infected operatives directly.  Maybe not even one." 

Which meant that they had little chance of capturing more enemy agents, but that would be a tertiary objective even if it occurred.  On the positive side, the likelihood of one of the team becoming infected (how did that even work?  The crew needed to figure that out, and soon, or the enemy could theoretically pop up anywhere on the ship at any time and just casually blow up the warp core with none the wiser) was also small--effectively nil in Anh-Le's personal estimation. 

On top of that, if the enemy was using temporal locals as agents, which Anh-Le thought likely, they might be harder to detect, which could be bad...but also useful if the team could spot them anyway, to keep the operation quiet. 

"I also recommend a brief discussion of our insertion and rescue plans, sir," Anh-Le continued.  "With respect, my Orion slave-girl routine is passable at best, though I've got the body for it.  I'm not certain if I'll be an effective distraction if I'm given that duty.  Furthermore, Klingon intelligence services will likely be unable to provide sufficient personnel aid for overwhelming numbers, due to the need to keep operations quiet for the time being.  Otherwise, I'm at your service, Commander." 

The com link beeped, and Anh-Le swiveled back to read the message.  "I have contact with K'tal, sir.  The ident code checks out.  He wants to know how you got this code and how you know Anderson."  It was phrased like a stereotypical angry Klingon, but Anh-Le thought that was a sham.  She wouldn't be surprised if K'tal and Admiral Anderson had a personal red-line comm just in case under normal circumstances.  It was how she'd run things, anyway. 
Really enjoying writing a halfway stable character for once...

Re: Day 08 [1830 hrs.] Operation Vigilant Sigil Pt.1

Reply #3
[ Lieutenant Valyn Amarik | Fore Compartment | Type-11 Shuttlecraft | Rosalind Franklin ] Attn: @Swift @RyeTanker @GroundPetrel  [Show/Hide]

Valyn had been on her fair share of operations since her arrival. She was constantly moving. This though, over the entirety of her career was something entirely new. While she’d read what reports she could regarding Theurgy’s temporal run-ins. She herself had never had to really deal with time-travel. Not in her time with the Tal Shiar, not with Shinzon, not on the Enterprise. Of course, she’d read her fair share about it, both from Romulan perspective and from that of Starfleet while she was at the academy. What she gathered, was that it was nothing short of the most convoluted headache one could possibly find oneself in. So there she was, knee deep in it. 

Silently, she stared out the viewport, into the endless black, lost in her own mind for a moment. Valyn wasn’t here as a pilot, or as a ‘handler’ arranging things from a technical perspective. She knew where her skills lay, and they were in the field. As they moved away from Thea, she watched the hulking vessel grow smaller and smaller, though it never really vanished, at least not for some time. She hadn’t yet had a good view of her from the outside like that, and seeing her like that she understood more clearly that the engineering and design behind the ship really was a monument to Starfleet grandiosity and ingenuity. 

As Fisher moved towards the equipment locker, she broke her gaze from the mothership, and followed after him, glancing into the locker and searching for a phase pistol. They were certainly her preferred weapon over a classic Type-II. “Whole damn thing is convoluted. This assassin could be anyone. Hell, it could be his wife.” She ground her teeth. In reality, she’d never expected to be part of anything like that, but she’d received the message, as had all the others. She reached past Fisher and found the preferred weapon, holding it with her finger extended across the side of the weapon, not around the trigger. She wasn’t particularly keen on the idea of facing another infested so soon after her last. Azurite Station was something that still haunted her dreams. The Bajoran man at her feet, blown to pieces and littered with injuries that would have killed any other man. It did not however kill him. 

“Got it.” Shoot first, talk later. It was a methodology she was very much a fan of. She by no means desired violence, but given the magnitude of the mission, she would have suggested the very same thing. 

As the Andorian set out some gear for her, Valyn gave her a nod, and even a friendly smile...ish. She looked at her pile and gathered up her things. She took a pair of cargo pants, some combat boots, a sweater, and a brown, leathered, and worn looking trenchcoat. Her other gear was set to the side as she changed. The clothes fit perfectly, and in an instant she’d gone from Starfleet officer to nondescript appearing Vulcanoid. She shoved the pistol into her shoulder holster, obscured beneath the jacket. The tricorder and a handful of explosives were also tucked into various pockets. Briefly, she reached for her own Romulan knife, and then thought for a moment, staring at the inscription on it. A pained and angry looked came across her face before she reached for a nausican replacement, stowing her own knife in the equipment locker. That knife was her most valued possession, it also however had her Tal Shiar name and rank inscribed upon it. It was too risky to bring. She shoved the earbud in her ear, and pocketed a pouch of water, then indicated she was ready to go.

Valyn looked down at the case being opened and let out an impressed whistle. “You do not fuck around, Lieutenant. Ballistic rounds are a good choice.” Her eyes glanced over the Tritanium tipped rounds and really, she certainly looked impressed. It wasn’t really often she was able to see a weapon like that, something that still utilized slugs or bullets. Disruptors and phasers were simply more convinient and damaging in most cases. Ballistic weapons certainly weren’t something the Federation often used anymore, at least not in her experience. She’d of course read the report from the Battle of Sector 001, about how her old Captain had utilized a holographic Thompson Machine Gun to blast through a group of borg on the E’s holodeck once, but never had she seen something like it in action. 

“I got you.” Valyn moved off towards the front of the ship and began to go through the logs. Most of it hadn’t shown up in any case, but there was some nondescript data entries that she quickly got rid. Her fingers rapidly danced across the multicolored LCARS display before she leaned back to give Zark a thumbs up. “All clear.”

Valyn moved towards the main section of the craft to find her seat again and glanced towards Anh-Le. “Maybe they won’t send one but frankly after the last run in I had with one, I’d rather be safe than sorry, myself. Even if they aren’t infected though, they’re some sort of Temporal Agent more than likely.” The Orion did have a point though, they had absolutely no idea how to identify their target. 

She glanced at Fisher, allowing him to answer the questions, it was his op after all. She did however, offer her brief input. “I say we keep ourselves as hush-hush as possible for as long as we can. We pose as civilians. I, for instance-” She cleared her throat and her entire tone changed. Her southern belle voice vanished in a flash and was replaced by something monotone, serious.

“My name is T’mir.” It was certainly a lot more likely than a stray Romulan wandering about on the Klingon homeworld. The façade quickly broke though, and she smirked. “Insertion and rescue-” She glanced at Fisher. That was his court, and she intended to let him have it. 


Re: Day 08 [1830 hrs.] Operation Vigilant Sigil Pt.1

Reply #4
[Lt (JG) XamotZark zh’Ptrell (Lt. Zark) | Fore Compartment | Type-11 Shuttlecraft | Rosalind Franklin]

@GroundPetrel @BipSpoon

Lieutnant Zark stepped out of the washroom looking significantly less conspicuous aside from being an Andorian.  If anything, she looked much like a shabby person down on her luck and just trying to get by.  When she got to the surface, she'd have to smear some dirt on her and generally make herself appear very unappealing, but that shouldn't be an issue when she found some garbage to roll her cloak in.  Ughhh, it's going to take forever to get the smell out, and what it'll do to my skin.... The Andorian mentally shivered as her antennae drooped.  Such depressing thoughts were banished as she made her way passed Valyn who had effortlessly switched tones to something else.  "T'Mir is it?  Well, if we're going with false identities, I'll go with Sam.  At least it has the benefit of being part of my name, and to answer your statement" The blue smile turned absolutely feral for a moment. "I sure as shit don't fuck around with violence."

By the time the medico turned bardic hobo lookalike had made her way back to the pilot's seat, Commander Fisher appeared to be somewhat frustrated by what K'Tal was telling him.  Hard to tell though, especially with professional spooks of the leader's calibre.  Still, it didn't sound good.

"Sir, surely with our method of contacting you, our bonafides should be...." Commnder Fisher started before a gruff and distinguished looking Klingon, presumably K'Tal cut him off.  "How you got this code is suspicious enough and though we are a warrior people, without good intelligence and security, even the mightiest warrior can be laid low by treachery Commander"  Dealing with fellow professionals could be frustrating apparently the Andorian thought to herself as she eavesdropped while monitoring the course the shuttle was taking.  "These are suspicious times and acting with such .... reticence about your purpose is a severe test of my patience. "  The Klingon crossed his arms before giving his terms.  "Commander, you will stay with the shuttle.  You will land at an undisclosed location where you can be monitored, the rest of your ..... team can transport down before then.  When your business is concluded, you may take off again and retrieve them.  We will know when they have all beamed back aboard.  Your shuttle will be tractored to the pad, and if you try to leave without authorization, we will destroy the shuttle with you in it and your team will be hunted down and killed." Fisher made a sound of protest, but was cut off.

Woooooow, that's just lovely and so welcoming. Zark thought to herself.  Her internal monologues sarcasm was so thick, she imagined it leaking out of ears and nose for a moment.

K'Tal continued oblivious to what the Andorian was thinking.  "We may have a lead for you.  Four days ago, a group of Orions and Nausicans, presumably with the Orion Syndicate, was charged with obtaining large quantities of trilithium and tekasite.  As those two compounds are highly controlled and used in explosives that can destroy stars, we monitored the group closely and raided their warehouse.  We found a significant quantity of tekasaite, but no trilithium, and the prisoners we took were hired thugs who don't know anything useful.  Their leaders are still at large and seeking some way of receiving a large payment from their benefactor.  If what we did find out is to be believed, it's the equivalent of a million bricks of gold pressed latinum" 

The Federation didn't have money, but Lieutenant Zark had been to places that still used currency.  At the amount being stated she felt her eyebrows try to climb into her antennae.  Somebody was looking to seriously get something done.

K'Tal continued after he let that amount sink in.  "I'm sending you the coordinates of the warehouse and additional intel that we have on Syndicate activity.  I need not remind you Commander that you're activities are highly covert and unsanctioned.  Do not waste what little trust is being placed in this little endeavour of yours.  K'Tal out." 

The Klingon killed the comm link without even saying goodbye and Fisher snorted before looking over at Zark.  "Let's meet with everyone else to discuss that delightful conversation."  Zark nodded as she followed the human to the main compartment. 

"Okay people here's what we know."  Fisher began without preamble, as he laid out what K'Tal had told him for everyone to hear.  "Now, this is going to necessitate some changes, so first of, Lieutnant Amarik, you're now in charge of the field aspect of the op.  I'll try to pass along what information I can glean, but it'll mainly be your call on what happens when you get planet side." Commander Fisher paused for a moment as he began to wrack his brain for what to do next.  "So, what do you think of the intel and do you have any other ideas as to how we're going to find our mystery protectee?"

OOC: With Swift's departure, Andrew Fisher is now an NPC. Let's get this show on the road.

The posting order is
1. RyeTanker
2. GroundPetrel
3. BipSpoon
Lieutenant (JG) XamotZark zh’Ptrell (Lt. Zark), Combat Medic [Show/Hide]

Lieutenant Frank Arnold, Chief Engineer [Show/Hide]

Re: Day 08 [1830 hrs.] Operation Vigilant Sigil Pt.1

Reply #5
Lt. JG Dantius Thi Anh-Le | Fore Compartment | Type-11 Shuttlecraft | Rosalind Franklin | ATTN: @RyeTanker  @BipSpoon

Trilithium and tekasite.  A bomb, that could be blamed on a terrorist faction or diehard anti-Martok forces.  Clever, albeit stretching the definition of "assassination". 

"The triggerman will probably be a cognizant enemy agent," Anh-Le mused.  "The others are probably dupes, like the ones they already caught.  I see a couple of likely possibilities right now--an infected triggerman close to B'etath as a suicide bomber, or one waiting near the bombing site with a detonator, relying on the target having a reliable routine..."  Why a bomb and not infecting the target, or a poisoning?  Or a frame-up and staged duel?  Klingons loved that shit. 

Of course.  "I think they're using a bomb to avoid detection," Anh-Le realized.  "Our source has an edge.  But the enemy knows they're being tracked."  Temporal mechanics was such bullshit. "Right.  I think the most likely situation is a suicide-bomber triggerman near to B'etath, ready to take out a building or a city block at least.  Unless they're trying to kill two birds with one stone and restart the civil, no, this took planning, most recorded temporal incursions have seemed to have limited precision, so this was likely already in motion.  And our source wouldn't just tell us to do the literally impossible, so it should be possible to avert the assassination.  In some timeline we probably did..."  No, rabbit hole, bad.  Focus

"I'll secure our comms with K'tal's team, sir," Anh-Le decided, fingers flying over her console.  "We should look for someone with a transmitter.  They couldn't infect their target for some reason--" more evidence that they have a severe bottleneck "--but they got someone pretty close.  A superior of some sort, maybe.  One who's outlived their usefulness?  I need B'etath's schedule.  If I can get that, I might be able to figure out who the triggerman is." 

It wasn't a plan, and it relied on a lot of probabilities and the limits of her imagination, but it was a start. 

Anh-Le activated her comms unit in team mode.  "Lieutenant zh'Ptrell, Lieutenant Amarik, comms check.  Can you hear me?
Really enjoying writing a halfway stable character for once...

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