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Topic: Day 28 [1930 hrs.] - “And ye shall know the truth...” | Mitosis Intelligo, P1 (Read 135 times) previous topic - next topic

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  • Swift
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Day 28 [1930 hrs.] - “And ye shall know the truth...” | Mitosis Intelligo, P1

STARDATE 57627.45
APRIL 7, 2381

[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Personal Quarters | Deck 10 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan

Things had finally started to calm down in the wake of the madness that had unfolded after the Vor'Nak docked at the Aldean Shipyards.

From what he'd gathered from Torvok and Kaban during his disembarking a few hours earlier, there was to be a Right of Vengeance duel carried out between Klingon High Chancellor Martok and some young Klingon Bekk. Of course, his own young warrior friends had made it out to be a bloody spectacle for the ages, but he'd had his doubts as to the true significance of it. Most Klingons were notorious for pumping up the pomp and circumstance of every occurrence, no matter how truly ordinary or mundane it might really have been. Then again, he had considered that there might have been an underlying reason to the ceremony that hadn't been overtly made clear to those who had witnessed it.

Regardless, it had certainly given him something to ponder over during the hour or so process of clearing him for entry aboard the Theurgy. Well, that and the general magnificence of the Theurgy itself. He'd only seen schematics of the Theurgy and her class in reports, and they'd done little justice to the actual scope of the ship's beauty and design. It'd reminded him of a blend of the Sovereign and Prometheus classes, given its angular sharp design features and MVAM abilities. Just at a scale that made the latter two classes almost seem miniature in comparison. It'd been after Admiral Anderson's initial direction to seek out the rogue starship, that he'd began making a substantial effort to understand and memorize many key aspects of the design, but it'd take months to truly comprehend all that made the Theurgy what it was.

The security check had been surprisingly thorough and had included a full biometric scan in addition to some other form of a scan of his anatomy, that he'd not experienced before. Though, he had a suspicion as to its purpose.

Afterwards he'd been led through the ship's corridors by a security officer who said little more than a few simple words of greeting and parting. He was an outsider and It made sense to keep chit-chat to a minimum until he was acclimated and truly a part of the crew, as it were. Andrew found the quarters he'd been assigned, though bare of any personal affects, to be surprisingly luxurious and comfortable. Granted, in comparison to his 'estate room' aboard the Vor'Nak, even a maintenance compartment would have been a welcome reprieve.

"Thank you, Ensign." He'd acknowledged the Security Officer as they left him.

He'd had about a half-hour to himself before he expected to be contacted and subsequently instructed to meet with the ship's Captain for an in person briefing. In the meantime, given the sparse human comforts afforded during his journey aboard the pair of Klingon warships, he'd opted for a much-needed shower and change of clothes.

As he washed nearly three weeks of grime, sweat and stink away, he'd considered how he might be put into service aboard the Theurgy. Admiral Anderson had been forthright with some details of his assignment but had also left some decidedly unspecified, which under the circumstances made plenty of sense.

Emerging from the shower a few minutes later, he found a newly replicated Starfleet uniform laid out on his bed, and the red, not gold collar helped narrow down the ideas that ran through his mind. Fastening the Starfleet combadge to the left side of his duty jacket, he checked the time on his PADD and nodded gently.

"Nineteen-Twenty-Four." He said aloud, expecting to be contacted any moment.
  • Last Edit: May 22, 2020, 05:59:45 AM by Swift

Re: Day 28 [1930 hrs.] - “And ye shall know the truth...” | Mitosis Intelligo, P1
Reply #1
[ Captain Ives | Ready Room | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]
Two hours after the duel in the Ha'batlh ended, a replication of Hi'Jak's body had been produced replaced Thea.

Jien had yet to speak to Martok after the farce in which the Bekk had nearly lost his life, again, and the meeting between the Senior Staff of the Theurgy and the High Chancellor was delayed until the next morning. As it were, the Klingons of the Vor'nak and Chun'Dab were drinking bloodwine in the Klingon part of the shipyards, sharing stories of the battle against the Borg Queen with General Chu'vok's officers.

For Jien, that was a delicate matter, because he had an interest in not explaining where the white dreadnought had come from there in the heart of the Azure Nebula. The Versant, which had punctured the Borg Cube with its massive graviton cannons. It had been a display the Klingons sang about, and yet Ives had spoken little of that ship with Martok and the resident Klingons and Aldeans. Martok didn't even know that he'd been at the bridge of that beast of a ship, giving the command to fire, for the High Chancellor had been conferring with Zyrao Natauna during the battle. Fortune favoured the mission, in how that particular circumstance wouldn't undermine the secret alliance with the Voice. The leader of the rebel Savi, who wished for his people to remain unknown.

And yet even as Jien sat in his Ready Room - in his male form - the Erudite lingered in orbit around Aldea. A second dreadnought. Cloaked and unknown to all but the Theurgy, which was getting upgrades for the mission ahead thanks to that particular alliance. The question at hand, was how he might best explain all of it for a new officer, with a rank that suggested a potential seat in the Senior Staff.

"Enter," he called when there was a chime from the sliding doors, his visitor being escorted through the Main Bridge so that he might step right into his office. Slowly rising to his feet, Jien put the PADD he'd been reading on his desk and walked to meet Lieutenant Commander Fisher, whom Admiral Anderson had sent to them.

"Welcome aboard, Commander," said Jien, knowing that introducing himself would be unnecessary. Both his faces had figured on the FNN subspace feeds since November. Given the events of the morning, there wasn't the faintest of smiles in the corners of his eyes, but he kept his tone cordial enough. It wasn't the Commander's fault that Martok had side-stepped his promise and almost killed a former member of his crew. "Please, go ahead if you need anything, and have a seat."

The gesture towards the replicator was brief, and Jien returned to his seat behind his desk. A cup of coffee already sat next to his computer console, which he now closed so that he could give the visitor his full attention.

"You have come highly recommended by Director Anderson, and you have no doubt been briefed about the situation as a whole. We have fought to defend ourselves since late last year, and in protecting the truth, we've had to take lives of fellow officers in Starfleet. We've been smeared and persecuted by Starfleet Command, and yet we've fought to learn more of this enemy, and how we might defeat them. We've made progress, and we've halted their plans for now in stopping a Borg Invasion through the Azure Nebula."

Pausing there, Jien decided it was time to begin the evaluation.

"Pray tell, Commander Fisher, as you've made your way here and tried to ingest the enormity of what has accosted the Federation, what questions still remain for you about the situation?"

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Re: Day 28 [1930 hrs.] - “And ye shall know the truth...” | Mitosis Intelligo, P1
Reply #2
[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Captain's Ready Room | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan

The call to report to the Captain's Ready Room came just a minute later via the ship's Artificial Intelligence, aptly named Thea. Years earlier, he'd read a report on the AI project taking place aboard the Theurgy and had found the concept rather fascinating. Though, not specifically the scientific aspect of it, but rather the information logistics benefits it promised. His game was intel and planning relevant operations off of said intel, and an AI would make gathering that intel substantially less arduous. At least, that was his hope. His type of operation still called for traditional information analysts, and he was willing to bet Admiral Anderson had assigned him a damn good one, but an AI was an AI, and the computational processing power of a modern Starship like the Theurgy just couldn't be easily outmatched.

Under escort of the same Security Officer that had brought him to his quarters, he now made his way to Deck 01 to meet his new CO.

"Thank you." He dismissed the Ensign again, who himself nodded and stepped away. He was still an unknown quantity to the Security Team aboard, even if they did know to expect him, which they probably did, It still made sense to keep watch on him until he'd been given the 'all-clear' by the ship's Captain.

After touching the panel to the right of the ready room door, alerting its occupant of his arrival, he heard the authorization to enter and stepped inside.

"Thank you, sir." He acknowledged the cursory greeting as the door hissed shut behind him. "I'm glad to be aboard." He added as he approached the ready room desk, taking an immediate initial stock of the Chameloid Captain that had stirred up a hornet's nest of almost unparalleled proportions over the course of the previous four months. Granted, it'd been a nest that absolutely deserved stirring of the utmost and severe kind. Still, there was a certain way his new commanding officer seemed to carry themself; many were in a rush to condemn Ives and might have called his manner speculative, but to Fisher, who knew the true score of the game, figured his manner was more deliberative.

As Ives gestured toward the replicator, Fisher politely refused. "I'm good, sir. Thank you." In truth it'd been little over three weeks since his last decent meal and the sight of a standard Federation replicator might have brought a tear to his eyes, but his immense appetite was buried well beneath his desire for information. Taking a seat, he listened as the Captain explained in general the situation the Theurgy had faced, and that had warranted Admiral Anderson's attention enough to send Fisher and a plethora of other hand-picked Starfleet officers to help in their crusade for truth.

When the Captain finished speaking, Fisher took a moment to try and organize his thoughts.

"Well, to be honest Captain, Admiral Anderson didn't exactly specify what I was to do when I got here." He mused, giving the slightest of smirks as he for a brief moment remembered the implicitly vague language the 'Spy King' had used when contacting Fisher. "As I'm sure you can understand, the very delicate nature of his assisting the Theurgy, combined with the covert manner in which he was forced to contact me so far away from Starfleet Headquarters, demanded a level of ambiguousness that some intel circles might even deem excessive." Again, Fisher paused as he digressed back to the main point. "The files that I was given access to, though limited, have painted a pretty ugly portrait of what we, and in fact the entirety of the Alpha and Beta Quadrants are now facing."

Canting his head ever so slightly to the left to dismiss the nerve inducing terror of it all, he continued. "But there are more than a few holes that need filling in. I know that assumptions can be dangerous, but they can at times be equally as advantageous to someone like myself, in my particular field of work. As such I assume a lot of those holes can be filled in as I access the files that're available here. Additionally, as my expertise lies in the development of information gathering operations founded on physical infiltration, and the subsequent undermining of rival organizations and factions, I think I can safely assume that Admiral Anderson intended for me to establish such an operation aboard your ship, and to aid you in the undermining of these Parasites."

Fisher looked to gauge the reaction of the Captain, falling silent for just a slight moment before resuming.

"I suppose my first question, would be to determine if the latter of my previous assumptions was in fact correct."

"Am I here to head an Intelligence Operation of that kind, Captain?"

Re: Day 28 [1930 hrs.] - “And ye shall know the truth...” | Mitosis Intelligo, P1
Reply #3
[ Captain Ives | Ready Room | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]
Astutely enough, the Commander had surmised the larger picture and made a few assumptions of his own in regard to the mission and his role in it. As far as the evaluation was concerned, as much has been expected. Anything else would have been rather disappointing.

"While I served in Starfleet Intelligence many years ago as an operative, I have since long taken my skills to other fields," he said as a precursor to his answer, wondering as he observed Fisher if Anderson had given the man access to the classified parts of his service record. Then again, with Starfleet Command having set the dogs after the Theurgy, Ives wouldn't be surprised if his prior assignments and training had been passed around rather freely. While it felt wrong to call the Commanding Officers in Sankolov's task force canines when they were merely ignorant of the truth, it made it no less a fact that a dog could track prey better if they knew what to scent for.

"Therefore, we do have need of someone with more recent training and networks at hand. Better yet, someone who can both gather the relevant intel for the mission and advise on actions. This ship has had high ranking Intelligence Officers aboard before today, alas we've lost them, and remain in need of someone with that particular kind of skill-set."

Indeed, not only had Edena Rez died at Starbase 84. Keval ch'Rayya had died in the battle against Martok at the heart of the Azure Nebula, and Commander Trent had been killed during the current stay at Aldea. What he'd done to the USS Bellerophon had caught up to him, and a Lieutenant who'd lost his pregnant spouse in the battle had taken justice into his own hands. A tragedy on many levels, and yet it seemed the incident hadn't caused any further repercussions for the chain of command.

"As we speak, those Anderson have screened and chosen are making their way aboard, and before we set out from this drydock, we will have enough personnel with the kind of training we share. I would need someone with your rank and experience to lead them, and take a vacant seat in our Senior Staff." Leaning back, Jien shifted...

...into her female form. Her voice, while lighter in tone, remained the same, just like her unblinking stare. If anything her voice had a more crystal clarity and hardness to it than the thrumming deeper tones of her male form. "Before then, however, I need you to tell me what you would do, should I pick you rather than one of the others that are on the way aboard. What would your initial approach to your assignment be?"

Jien raised her hand, however, to forestall the obvious platitudes and trite selling speeches she might get. Glancing out at the ochre surface of Aldea outside the viewport, Jien wondered if someone new to the crew could actually understand?

"Before you start, Commander, bear in mind hat I have no patience for anything but the truth, so spare me the sales pitch. My crew and I have endured a lot, more than we should have if Starfleet Intelligence had addressed this threat before we lost the majority of our admiralty. Nonetheless, here we are, and we will not be in hiding forever." She had lowered her hand, and there was not even the faintest of smiles that would undermine her meaning.

"They say... that the roots of a tree grow deeper in a storm," she said, and her oaken stare pierced Fisher. "The more adversity the tree encounters, the deeper the roots take, and the stronger the tree grows. So... are you strong enough for this crew, Commander?"

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Re: Day 28 [1930 hrs.] - “And ye shall know the truth...” | Mitosis Intelligo, P1
Reply #4
[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Captain's Ready Room | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan

Fisher leant back in his chair as Ives went about explaining in brief the details of the Theurgy's need for an Intelligence Operation, in addition to his own past within the field. A fact that Fisher had been keenly aware of even before being briefed by Anderson on the Theurgy and the subsequent mission to seek it out. Considering the proximity of his previous operation, and his personal dealings with conspirators tied to Donatra and the Imperial Romulan State, it'd only made sense that SFI had given him access to files regarding the Chameloid. Afterall, he and his renegade starship had been accused of having been directly involved in the State's acquisition of Starfleet weapons reserves and caches.

Still, Fisher knew he couldn't trust everything contained in those files, as they'd likely been fabricated or distorted in order to paint a different picture of Ives than what was the actual reality. Instead he would listen and make his own judgements of the person that his friend and mentor trusted enough to support in spite of the potential downfall he'd suffer if that support were discovered or revealed. That was going to be another obstacle to overcome with this potential assignment, that Ives was clearly being careful with making official. Understandably so, Fisher figured, as the need for reliable and actionable information was going to be of utmost importance to the Theurgy moving forward.

Information he was confident he could, and would provide to Ives and the Theurgy, if given the chance.

As Ives' shifted from male to female form, Fisher passively noticed the obvious change of voice tonality that went along with it, but actively noticed that there was little to no change in terms of general mannerisms or the inflection of words the Captain used. He understood that though they were two separate forms, they were still the same person at the core. It was certainly a unique feature, and something he'd not had much experience with before. He wondered for a minute if there might have been some personality preferences with one form or the other; but pushed the thought aside as he focused on answering the questions being posed.

"I understand, Sir." He answered simply as the Captain cautioned for facts and the truth, rather than promises and posturing.

In fact, the failures of Starfleet Intelligence to have seen or prevented the crisis they now faced was something that he was taking partial ownership of. He'd been attached to various operations for over a decade, and hadn't picked up what was going on, however subtle the hints might have been. That fact had troubled him greatly since the Admiral had clued him into what was really happening behind the scenes and had been a source of more than a few sleepless nights of deep introspection and analysis.

As the Captain finished, Fisher thought for a moment as he went over it all in his head one more time.

He'd weathered more than his own fair share of harsh storms over the course of his career, suffering failures of one magnitude or another. He remembered the faces of all those he'd been forced to kill in the field. With vividity he could remember the names of all the friends he'd lost in operations he led, many of whom he'd personally sent on the missions that had cost them their lives. The suffering he'd seen, witnessed and even at times contributed too weighed heavily on him at all times. It had kept him honest and reminded him to strive daily toward upholding the principles of the organization he'd sworn an allegiance to.

"I do believe I am, Sir." He said with confident determination that he was strong enough.

"...and, if I may co-opt your analogy, our enemy has planted a root system of their own throughout Starfleet and beyond, and I believe the best way to remove those roots is by tilling the soil around them. These things might have infiltrated the highest ranks of our institutions, but those high ranks have individuals that work beneath and around them. Many or even most innocently so, but they're still a functionary of our enemy. And if given the authority to act accordingly as the Chief Intelligence Officer of the Theurgy, I have every intent of disrupting those functionaries. I'll exploit them for valuable information, weaken their resolve and disrupt their ability to support those they serve."

"I intend to till the soil, so that when the time comes, we can uproot the tree. Sir."
  • Last Edit: May 28, 2020, 06:49:59 AM by Swift

Re: Day 28 [1930 hrs.] - “And ye shall know the truth...” | Mitosis Intelligo, P1
Reply #5
[ Captain Ives | Ready Room | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]
Nodding slowly when hearing the reply, Jien had watched the man. Not just with the eyes of a Commanding Officer with a mission priority in mind, but also the eyes of a former Intelligence officer and a Counselor. Old eyes, unpractised if it wasn't for specific needs of her current positon, and the demands of being in command. What she saw made her confident enough about Fisher's resolve.

That wasn't all, however.

"The reason I left Starfleet Intelligence is likely well documented," she said, without further comment on the analogy, which had been apt enough when used in the manner Fisher chose. "I left because I could not support the manner in which some officers in your line of service conducted themselves when it came to the very tenets we are supposed to protect. Compromises made when it came to the values that we were all supposed to stand for. Grey areas are frequently encountered when being in command as well, but before, during and after the Dominion War, I have too often witnessed the proclivity to tread upon those very values. Stepped on by Intelligence officers that think themselves knowing more - and knowing better - than those in the field. A form of hubris, born from the sentiment that others are ignorant, when it is they who've lost their footing."

Leaning forward, she folded her calloused hands on the desktop - looking into Fisher's eyes - and she dared him so much as to flinch in admission to feeling called out by what she said. If he felt that what she said applied to him, she would watch for such a reaction.

"We all make hard decisions every day, our duty wearing the Command Division colours inherent to our line of service," she continued after a moment, "yet you operate closer to the areas in which honesty becomes a detriment, and the standards which we all should hold ourselves to might become a liability. My expectation from you is complete loyalty not just to the mission, for that is not enough. You have a dual priority, for it also extends to this crew now."

Rising to her feet, she left him to savour the challenge, for if he thought about it long enough, he might just see what a balancing act he stood before. "Too often I have witnessed the 'greater good' cloud the eyes of less experienced men and women," she said as she picked up her cup of coffee and walked towards the viewport, "officers who mistake where their loyalty should lie when deployed in the field. The difference is that you are accountable to me and those serving here aboard Thea, and not just to the operations you've led before."

Sipping her coffee, she let him think without having to meet her eye, but her question was nonetheless direct. "So when facing a situation where you have to decide between the mission and the survival of this crew, what would you do?"

In Jien's mind, she remembered facing Edena Rez when she was in the brig - before the Niga Incident - and how her former host, Jona Rez, had admitted to their assignment aboard. The task to destroy all present prototype technology in the event of the ship being compromised, and the technology at risk of falling into enemy hands. Thea, the Valkyries, everything, was to be destroyed with a command code override, unbeknownst to Jien.

Rez' mission had been an insult, in how it showed the hubris of Starfleet Intelligence, thinking they knew better than the Commanding Officer of the ship when all hope was lost.

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Re: Day 28 [1930 hrs.] - “And ye shall know the truth...” | Mitosis Intelligo, P1
Reply #6
[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Captain's Ready Room | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan

Fisher empathized with Ives as the Captain went on to briefly explain her reasons for having left the Intelligence Services, recognizing the same struggle to stay true to the ideals and tenants of the Federation that he'd gone through. The problems were always the same when it came to clandestine operations and were in effect caused by their very nature. Afterall, it was secrecy that empowered those who would abuse and break the rules to achieve their goals, shielding them from the consequences of their actions. He'd witnessed it more often than he'd care to remember in the moment; actions taken in the name of the Federation that went entirely against its ideals and doctrines, and even more actions that were taken for personal gain and benefit.

He wasn't naïve, he understood that there were times that rules had to be bent or even broken in order to affect good. In some regard it was even expected and accepted in the Intelligence Services, given the high-stakes game they played. Still, whereas others saw that flexibility with the rules as a blank check to be cashed, Fisher knew that there was a limit to it if he wanted to feel worthy of the uniform he wore. If he wanted to be able to look himself in the mirror and not feel sick to his stomach, as he'd been so warned. Thus far he'd managed that, having avoided the adoption of the same severe cynicism that plagued many of his fellows in those regards.

It'd been anything but easy.

There were more than a few ghostly faces permanently burned into the back of his eyelids, haunting him when he tried to sleep. Voices that reverberated throughout his head, despite having been long since silenced forever. He'd never forget the names of those who'd given their lives under his direction, that might have lived on had he damned them and their honor in favor of short cuts and losing who they were supposed to be. On more than one occasion he'd been told by Counselors to respect their deaths, for they had given their lives to uphold the Federation and its ideals. And while it was true, that they had given of themselves while keeping their honor and dignity, it hadn't stopped Fisher from sometimes questioning his dedication to that higher moral standard.

As Ives went around her desk to the viewport, Fisher stood from where he'd been seated and went to stand beside her.

He gazed out at the Aldean Shipyards beyond this side of the transparent aluminum and measured his thoughts as the Captain finished asking her question.

'Mission or the Crew' he posited in his mind for a brief moment.

There were always extenuating circumstances to every scenario, and the outcome of one decision or the other. But Fisher knew that the Captain had deliberately left her dilemma as vague as possible in order to gauge how he would respond. If he asked for clarification on the terms, it would demonstrate a reluctance to making snap-decisions, which sometimes had to be done. He could also simply choose one or the other, as sometimes the mission was more important than the crew, and vice versa, but that wasn't right either he felt.

"Sir, I can only operate according to the same dictates I always have." He paused a moment, remembering what had been his guide during the times there was no easy answers available.

"When faced with a choice like that, weighing one against the other in a single solitary moment. Mission or Crew? I'd be lying if I told you anything other than I'd have to trust what my heart tells me." It'd been the same answer he'd given to another, far more contentious superior, many years earlier when faced with a similar hypothetical decision. An answer that brought mockery, derision and a professional division that lasted even to this day. But he'd stood by his answer then, just as he was willing to do now.

Fisher turned his face to Ives and looked to her with his green eyes for appraisal.
  • Last Edit: May 30, 2020, 12:10:14 PM by Swift