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Topic: CH02: S [D02|1500] An Unknown Grandson? (Read 520 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 ]

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

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? 
Puppet master of:
[Lt. Cmdr. Natalie Stark | Chief Operations Officer | USS Theurgy NX-79854]
[Lt.(jg) Sarresh Morali | Temporal Affairs Officer | USS Theurgy NX-79854]
[Ens. Faye Lintah Eloi-Danvers | Diplomatic Attaché | USS Theurgy NX-79854]

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 ]
[ Lt. JG Kate Foster | Chief Surgeon | USS Theurgy NX-79854 ]

  • stardust
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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

[Show/Hide]

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 ]

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

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  
[Show/Hide]

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?"
Puppet master of:
[Lt. Cmdr. Natalie Stark | Chief Operations Officer | USS Theurgy NX-79854]
[Lt.(jg) Sarresh Morali | Temporal Affairs Officer | USS Theurgy NX-79854]
[Ens. Faye Lintah Eloi-Danvers | Diplomatic Attaché | USS Theurgy NX-79854]

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 ]
[ Lt. JG Kate Foster | Chief Surgeon | USS Theurgy NX-79854 ]

  • stardust
  • [*][*][*][*]
  • Slipping into something more comfortable ...
Re: CH02: S [D02|1500] An Unknown Grandson?
Reply #8
[ Lt. Cmdr. Rutherford | Fore Compartment | Type-11 Shuttlecraft | Rosalind Franklin ] attn: @Griff @Brutus @Swift
[Show/Hide]


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

[Show/Hide]

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 ]

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

Re: CH02: S [D02|1500] An Unknown Grandson?
Reply #10
[ Ens. Faye Lintah Eloi-Danvers | In the hot seat | [/i Shuttlecraft Franklin[/i] ] Attn: 
[Show/Hide]

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. 
Puppet master of:
[Lt. Cmdr. Natalie Stark | Chief Operations Officer | USS Theurgy NX-79854]
[Lt.(jg) Sarresh Morali | Temporal Affairs Officer | USS Theurgy NX-79854]
[Ens. Faye Lintah Eloi-Danvers | Diplomatic Attaché | USS Theurgy NX-79854]

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 ]
[ Lt. JG Kate Foster | Chief Surgeon | USS Theurgy NX-79854 ]

  • stardust
  • [*][*][*][*]
  • Slipping into something more comfortable ...
Re: CH02: S [D02|1500] An Unknown Grandson?
Reply #12
[ Lt. Cmdr. Rutherford | Fore Compartment | Type-11 Shuttlecraft | Rosalind Franklin ] attn: @Griff @Brutus @Swift
[Show/Hide]


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

Re: CH02: S [D02|1500] An Unknown Grandson?
Reply #13
[PO3 Lillee t'Jellaieu |  Shuttlecraft Rosalind Franklin (NX-79854/04) | Warp Transit ] Attn: @Brutus, @stardust, @Swift

[Show/Hide]

Lillee tried to pay attention. She really, genuinely did. The information in the Danvers and Rutherford's briefing might well mean life and death at a critical moment, and thus needed to be fully understood...but curse it, Lillee didn't care a whit. It wasn't the politics, as such; like any good rihanna, she paid close attention to politics, both Federation and Romulan. She even kept a weather eye on current events in lesser star nations like the Cardassians and the Tholians, and Lillee thought herself more well-versed in such things than most Federation citizens and, indeed, most Starfleet officers. Given how Rihannsu education emphasised and encouraged political studies far more than most Federation species, it was hardly surprising.

Still...they were Klingon politics. The thought of such a thing was deeply unpleasant; much like a bad date, Lillee thought it best appreciated while thoroughly inebriated, and she'd spent a lifetime quite happily ignoring the subject. She caught the gist of what Danvers and Rutherford were saying, at least; the boy was important, either dead or alive, and they needed him to secure Martok's power base. As for the rest? Lillee didn't care less. The name 'Duras' tickled her memory, but nothing lit.

As Rutherford stopped talking, Lillee considered her suggestion about for a moment. "There are a few things I can do to improve the warp drive, Commander, yes," she mused. Such modifications would mean considerable repairs back on the Theurgy, but it was a prudent precaution nevertheless. With that, Lillee turned, glancing at the sensors one last time. "Sensors are clear. Five and a half hours until we arrive. If anyone desires food or sleep, the aft cabin has a replicator, bunks and a shower. We may not have the time for such luxuries afterward, especially if angry Klingons are chasing us."



rihanna: a female Romulan
Rihannsu: Romulan (adjective)
[Lieutenant Commander Cross |  Chief Tactical Officer ]

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

Re: CH02: S [D02|1500] An Unknown Grandson?
Reply #14
[ Ens. Faye Lintah Eloi-Danvers | In the hot seat | [/i Shuttlecraft Franklin[/i] ] Attn: @Swift @stardust @Griff  
[Show/Hide]

About half-way through the answers she got, Faye felt a little pressure begin to build behind her eyes. She knew the feeling well. The beginnings of a headache were starting to blossom there, the first pick axe strikes (or perhaps mek'leth was a better analogy in this case) were starting to fall, little starbursts of mild pain that would, she was sure, build into a right proper ringer in about an hour. It wasn't because of anything related to the flight. Small craft or large, Faye did not get space sick. Seasick, sure, though she took medication for that when she knew ahead of time. But no, this headache had to do with the mission unfolding around them. 

She just knew that, no matter what, this wasn't going to go well. 

Leaning back in her chair again, she crossed one leg over another and brought her left hand up to (carefully) pinch the bridge of her nose. Slow breath in, slow breath out. Sort the information we've been given. Politics. Houses. Unverified Intel, but worth the risk. Almost any out come could be a win as long as we live. Great odds... She frowned and moved her hand away as their pilot wrapped up a quick summation of their flight time, and the resources available. A shower would be nice, but she wasn't sure that it was really called for. Besides, 'mom' and 'dad' might need to go argue with each other again, and the back of the shuttle would be a much better place than the front. Semblance of privacy and all that. If Faye tried really, really hard, she'd probably be able to ignore all the emotional noise that would bubble up out of that. 

Or maybe there wouldn't need to be a fight. In truth she didn't know anyone on this shuttle well enough to really say. Rutherford had been aboard for little over a week at this point, and while the woman seemed extremely competent in running the department (and taking a world's weight off of Faye's own shoulders), that didn't mean that she knew her boss. Fisher was a complete unknown to her as well, save that she was aware he'd been named to the senior staff as the new chief of the spook squad, and that there was some sort of recent history between him and Faye's superior (that you didn't need to be telepath to notice). At least Faye had seen the blonde Petty Officer a time or two around the ship, down in one of the bars, or the ships baths (or perhaps actually on duty), but beyond that passing familiarity she didn't know the Romulan either. She simply sympathized with the woman for being tacked onto something last minute. 

The mental gymnastics she subjected herself to, inane and off topic as they seemed, did what she had wanted. By letting her thoughts run around on mundane matters, her subconscious had managed to worm down to the real issue at hand that was bothering her with this mission in general, and the discussion in particular. Diplomacy often required a certain amount of detachment. So too, did good spycraft, she assumed, and to some extent or another, service in Starfleet as a whole required an ability to separate yourself from the circumstances of others. But Faye knew the Klingon Empire. She understood its politics. And she had seen firsthand the sheer brutality it could entail. There was much to admire about their ethos, their culture, even their cuisine. But there was a savage directness to the warrior people that could not be ignored, nor glossed over. There was a need to be crystal clear with the potential outcomes of how this could go, and get a buy in from everyone right then and there. 

Which wasn't to say that Faye was happy that she was the one that had to put the words out into the world.

"So, assuming this isn't some kind of trap, to hit either Martok or his agents - us in the case I suppose," there was a trace of amusement in her voice, considering that they were about to very much interfere with the internal politics of a sovereign empire, and bless them, no one had brought up the Prime Directive and how that might - or might not apply. "But, assuming we don't warp in and get shot out of the sky for sheer spite, or the like, and we find this Grandson. As far as we see it, returning him to Martok, no matter what happens after, is a win for us because it gives him options." There was a slow pause, and then, she very carefully, very pointedly drove the D'k tahg in to the heart of the matter. 

"Which includes the very real possibility that the Chancellor will decide to simply lop the head off of the boy who - even by Klingon standards - is a child, with no real agency of his own, because it would be more politically convenient than allowing his existence to be known." There was a long pause, and into it she added, "And we are fine with that outcome?"
Puppet master of:
[Lt. Cmdr. Natalie Stark | Chief Operations Officer | USS Theurgy NX-79854]
[Lt.(jg) Sarresh Morali | Temporal Affairs Officer | USS Theurgy NX-79854]
[Ens. Faye Lintah Eloi-Danvers | Diplomatic Attaché | USS Theurgy NX-79854]

Re: CH02: S [D02|1500] An Unknown Grandson?
Reply #15
[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Fore Compartment | Type-11 Shuttlecraft | Rosalind Franklin ] Attn: @stardust @Brutus @Griff

Fisher kept silent, acquiescent to just listen to Rutherford as she reclaimed the lead of their four-person discussion. Nodding succinctly as she laid it all out for them, in a somewhat comprehensive manner. After all, there was only so much that they could reliably count on. The gray area of the facts of this mission was so vast, you could have likely parked the Theurgy inside of it, end-to-end, and still had room for a Miranda-class or two. He didn't like it. Neither did any of the others, judging by the concerns that they each raised in succession. But such was the nature of the time. They simply hadn't the luxury afforded to properly vet the intelligence as it had come in; at least not if they actually wanted to make a difference of any kind in the matter. Still, it didn't change the fact that this could all have been an ambush; and if that was the case, then they needed to be fleet of foot, rather than die-hard. In a Type-11, they weren't exactly formidable enough to take on a Klingon warship, really of any class. Thankfully, they had a specialized pilot at the helm, rather than one of them trying to handle that task themselves. Fisher himself was a halfway decent helmsman, but nothing to the effect of Lillee, or half the other pilots afforded to Theurgy.

As the conversation shifted to that of an appraisal of the risk vs. reward balance, Fisher perked up a little, as evidenced by his gaze escaping the blank stare that it had been locked into, and finding a gaze of each of his female companions in turn, before finally settling his attention on Sam.

It was interesting to hear a take on Klingon politics from someone who specialized in diplomacy as a trade. For his part, his own interactions with Klingons had generally only been reserved to those of fighting, or drinking. Though, in the moment he couldn't be sure of which he had done more of. An amusing thought, but not necessarily one that was relevant to the here and now. Having blinked away the distraction, Fisher re-attuned his focus to the real matter at hand. Unlike in Federation culture, this matter of an unknown Grandson wasn't so cut and dry. There was a litany of socio-political issues at play. Which was odd enough, considering the outside perception of Klingon culture was always so simple. A gross underestimation by those, as Klingon culture was anything but simple. It was just as nuanced and complicated as any other, just in a different way. As was made clear by the Diplomatic Officer, as she rather effectively put it all out there for the three other Officers to digest. He imagined that of the four of them, the one that was saddled with the greatest difficulty of understanding these complications, was the Romulan helm-officer. Though, maybe not so. Romulans could be decidedly pragmatic in their appraisals.

Deciding to address the tactical concerns raised, Fisher piped up. "We're outfitted with a small number of probes which can detect latent tachyons better than our standard sensor suite. As we draw closer to Epsilon Monocerotis, I recommend we launch a pair of them to make a summary assessment of our situation. One aft, to check our baffles for any Klingons ships that may have hitched onto our warp-wake, and one fore, so as to maybe uncover any ships lying in wait. It's not exactly a guarantee that the probes will give us anything to go on, but it might. As for defensive measures, if we need to defend ourselves, or evade capture; the starcharts indicate that the Epsilon Monocerotis system is home to a crumbled planetoid." Swiveling around in his chair, Fisher brought up a chart of the system, and highlighted the seventh planet. It showed a surprisingly large rocky world that had essentially been ripped apart by some unknown means in the past, as half of it was fractured into an immense debris field of planet chunks and boulders, some as large as a small moon. The planet had gone through a gradual break-up, which had obviously been occurring over the course of some centuries, if not longer, indicated by the trail of debris encircling the star system. It had created something of a rather dense asteroid belt.  "Epsilon Monocerotis seven. It could provide us with some cover, and maybe a place to lay low if we encounter any issues. Though, if the Klingons are prudent, and this is a trap, then they'll have laid down a pattern of mines to make it a little more difficult on us."

Swiveling back, he regarded each of them in turn once more. "That's the best I've got so far. But I'll keep at it."

Next came additional input and responses from Ensign Eloi-Danvers, whom he had no previous rapport with. Fisher didn't venture much outside of his own department when it came to professional matters. Save for the times when he actually needed to interact with the other departments, though that usually entailed either Security, and or Engineering more often than not. On the whole, it's true that a ships Diplomatic Corps. would be often forced to work hand-in-hand with Intelligence, but in his experience, he hadn't been involved in many Operations that were privy to such a professional relationship. That was likely due to the fact that his expertise came more from a covert espionage / sabotage approach, rather than the far more common overt information gathering one. He just simply didn't do overt operations, and as such didn't need to work with Diplomatic Corps. In fact, there was a good chance that he had caused more than a few headaches for them over the course of his career. He had a history of disrupting the flow of peace-talks, by intervening with mis-information campaigns that sought to discredit rivals and enemies. It would alter an outcome in the favor of Starfleet and the Federation, but it also likely doubled the amount of research and paperwork that those Diplomatic Corps. had to go through in order to make sense of it all.

One Diplomatic Officer had once accused him of being a poor team player. A reputation he had compounded by co-opting Rutherford's mission in the first place, but he was trying to make up for it by letting her dictate how things went. It wasn't exactly second nature to him to relinquish operational oversight, after all.

However, as he listened to the betazoid woman, he'd been brought back to something that stuck in his side worse than the piece of shrapnel that had pierced him the night before. That this 'M'ven' might have been better off staying unknown. That by bringing him to Martok, they might well have been putting the young boy in danger; perhaps even signing his death sentence. It didn't sit well with Fisher. He understood that in other cultures, the practices, and traditions of morality that he adhered to were sometimes considered odd, but he couldn't discount the effect they played on him. No matter what Starfleet or Federation doctrine dictated, or what 'modern' progressive sensibilities meant, he couldn't idly allow such a cold outcome to take place. After all, M'Ven was just a boy. Innocent in the matter entirely and deserving of a chance to live a full life. Another man in Fisher's position would have simply justified the outcome by passivity, but that's what separated him from them. What was sometimes viewed as a blotch on his record as an Intelligence Operative, even though he would defiantly wear it as a badge of honor. He didn't compromise who he was, for the sake of a more 'favorable' outcome.

Taking a deep breath to consider how best to address the issue, Fisher instead stifled himself. He would let Rutherford speak, again not wishing to dictate her approach. Though, he knew that if the situation presented itself, he wouldn't allow such an outcome to unfold. No matter the cost to himself, or their mission, he wouldn't be able to live with himself if he let something so blatantly immoral occur. However he hoped against such an eventuality, he made quick mental note to approach such a dilemma over the course of the next five hours, determined to put some form of a plan in place which would ensure that something like that wouldn't happen. Sensing an outwardly visible look of concern on his face as he seemed to weigh it all, Fisher realized that his poker-face had given way, and so he averted his attention by swiveling his chair back around to face the console. He refused to directly address the issue, and instead stood from where he'd been seated. He would take up Lillee's prompt to explore the aft compartment of the shuttle. Without a word, he left the other three, having set the computer to alert him of any incoming information that demanded immediate attention.

He needed to seek the solace of a cup of dark roast, if he was going to make it through this mission with the level of alertness that was demanded of him.

But he also needed to gauge his thoughts on the troubling aspect that Faye had raised.
Writer of
[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Chief Intelligence Officer | USS Theurgy NX-79854 ]
[ Lt. JG Kate Foster | Chief Surgeon | USS Theurgy NX-79854 ]

  • stardust
  • [*][*][*][*]
  • Slipping into something more comfortable ...
Re: CH02: S [D02|1500] An Unknown Grandson?
Reply #16
[ Lt. Cmdr. Rutherford | Fore Compartment | Type-11 Shuttlecraft | Rosalind Franklin ] attn: @Griff @Brutus @Swift
[Show/Hide]


The reassuring explanation given by t'Jellaieu, was a welcome addendum to the sentiment of hope and certainty, that the chief diplomat wanted to convey, through letting everyone's professional skills blossom, in this little merry-go-ground between them. It made everyone feel like they were able to contribute to the positive outcome of the given mission. Where the most threatening and disillusioning sentiments were born from a feeling of helplessness and lethargy. "The same goes for the adjustments to the warp drive, I assume?" the blonde continued on the pilot's suggestion, to get their rest and relaxation done before the proverbial shit would hit the fan. It was an order, wrapped in a suggestion, wrapped in a question. Posing three very different levels of angle from which to take it. "Maybe I can look you over the shoulder some more, when you do. Warp engines fascinate me." she shrugged simply, touching back on a sentiment of intrigue by things that seemed entirely alien to the commander. Always had.

Samantha's attention moved on to Ensign Eloi-Danvers, whom she shared a more professional similarity with, a subject matter she figured to know a thing or two about, to have a solid opinion on. But that did not preclude the views of others on the matter, especially if they were as versed in it as the brunette Betazoid. Surely Fisher would also have an opinion on the subject, even though it was not his realm of expertise, but rather simply for the sake of having an opinion. A thought which made the corner of her lips tuck slightly with a grin, that was not in reaction to Faye's opinion, after all, so it boded as slightly outlandish. However, the notion soon faltered, in the eye of the quarrel posed. The more seasoned diplomat had made herself seem deliberately unattached to any of the potential outcomes, which she had narrated, and wasn't going to fault anyone who outwardly took a side. It was a tough concept to contemplate, the fate of a child. But a level of detachment was necessary in the political arena and maybe she'd be able to impart a little bit of it on her subordinate during this mission.

But then the Ensign asked for a rather concise judgment, guidance, maybe, but there was no real absolute answer to this cacophony of hypotheticals and possibilities. Which wasn't exactly the science Samantha normally dealt in. "Our goal is to give that boy a variety of opportunities he would not otherwise have, hiding in a remote star system, waiting to be discovered by less favorably inclined parties." the blond reiterated, understanding it was not an answer per say. "The main objective of our mission is to find out if the intel is sound and secure the boy, at which point we will face the dilemma of our further proceedings." Which was just her vague way of saying the decision was postponed indefinitely, because it had already been made. Not entirely realizing that she was talking to an officer with diplomatic training as well. Which eventually prompted her blue eyes to shift over to the man responsible for them all being here, more or less, as she shut off the potential for further hypotheticals on the front of their mission parameters.

Tilting her head to the side slightly, pursing her lips, as Andrew began to speak, the diplomat's blue eyes widened for a moment, in a prodding sort of fashion, as she half expected credit for the tachyon probes. None such mention, however, made it into the foreseeable extent of his narrations, so she retracted the sentiment, with a tuck on her bottom lip. Nodding slowly, then, at the star chart and the system's asteroid belt, the commander soon was reminded of the man's infallible prowess at planning for every contingency. Letting her azure ponds, slightly shuttered behind the fleeting shade of her long lashes, refocus on the chart that was being pulled up, the place also looked like a good spot for the intended objective to hide out in. "Since we're not aware of the specific location of our target within the system ... an orbit around that larger fragment, would seem like a well enough hiding place, where the asteroids are dispersed by the gravity well." she pointed across the latitude of the cockpit, towards the upper left corner of the display, where he remains of the planetoid congregated in a pocket, relatively free of the smaller debris.

Sitting back up straight in her chair once more, a satisfied smile to her plump cushions, Samantha let one last encouraging glance trail around the officers. "Alright, everyone, let's make the best of the next five hours to prepare for our arrival. Let us know before we get out of warp." She ultimately instructed the pilot, while Faye resumed her ministrations over the OPS console and Fisher followed the suggestion to leave and investigate the back compartment. Following him with her peripheral vision, the officer turned her chair back towards her own side-console, pulling up the protocols for Klingon social interactions and courtesies. But she soon found herself distracted and unable to focus on the dryly written lines of diplomatic text. Letting out a gentle sigh, maybe she could use something warm to hold on to as well. "Ensign, you have the Conn." And with those words the blonde got up swiftly and made her way out of the cockpit and into the back compartment of the Type 11 shuttle.

Beyond this spoiler is a little humorous joint post intermezzo, that Swift and I concocted, which is not part of the mandatory read /;-D
[Show/Hide]

Coming back from the social area of the ship, a steaming cup of ginger and ginseng tea in her hand, Samantha gently strolled over back to her seat, carefully nipping on the edge of her drink. The loud metallic roar of bugles and trumpets, flowing through the parted doors, before they zipped shut once more. If the two junior officers hadn't been already given the situation, of their two superiors being alone in the back, a conspicuous regard, they certainly could do so now. "If any of you want to get something to drink, don't mind Commander Fisher, he's studying the old German classics." she smiled, letting her body slip smoothly into the leather seat. Placing her mug on the lower end of the console, the lines of texts from the diplomatic protocol just flew by her blue eyes now, as she readily soaked up the details, making cross-references and notes, here and there. Until they would arrive in the Epsilon Monocerotis systems she would have a solid procedure established, over how they were going to make contact and negotiate a peaceful passage for the young heir. Asking Faye over a couple of times, during their travels, she revised certain points with the young woman's expertise on the matter, before shadowing the petty officer on her warp engine tuning, until Lillee alerted them to their impending arrival.

"Commander Fisher, we'll arrive shortly." she instructed, after a brief tap on her badge, turning to the large viewport, anticipating the streaks of stars to condense into steady white sparkles, partly blocked by a rocky orb, as they were supposed to come out very close to the outermost planet of the system.
  • Last Edit: September 09, 2020, 11:06:05 AM by stardust

Re: CH02: S [D02|1500] An Unknown Grandson?
Reply #17
[PO3 Lillee t'Jellaieu |  Shuttlecraft Rosalind Franklin (NX-79854/04) | Warp Transit ] Attn: @Brutus, @stardust, @Swift

[Show/Hide]

The following hours were, for Lillee, consumed by tedium. She was no engineer, and the modifications to the shuttle's small warp core were fiddly work. Trusting Eloi-Danvers to handle the conn, Lillee had to devote her full concentration to the task, referring frequently to the computer as she went. Halfway through she shod her uniform jacket and opened her red undershirt as she lay underneath the core, grumbling in Rihannsu under her breath as she tweaked.

So focused was Lillee that she didn't notice when Rutherford turned up, but respectfully (and not having much choice) she explained what she was doing as she went. Nevertheless, he Commander seemed more receptive than intrusive, not overly bothering Lillee, much to the petty officer's gratitude. Finally Rutherford went back to doing something else, leaving Lillee to her task. Barely forty minutes before they were due to drop out of warp, Lillee finally finished. She groaned as she stood up, rolling her shoulders and stretching before resealing the panel over the core. Picking up her jacket, she looked forward at the two diplomats.

"All done, Commander," she reported, untying her long blonde hair from its ponytail with relief. "We'll be able to do warp 6.5 for an hour or so, if necessary. The deck chief is going to be furious when they see the state of this warp core if we have to go that fast, though." Lillee smiled, the thought an irate deck chief plainly not troubling her. "Now if you'll excuse me, I very badly need a shower and coffee."

Twenty minutes later, a revitalized Lillee in a fresh uniform returned to the bridge, sliding into her seat at the conn. The shuttle finally dropped out of warp, revealing their destination, a rather spectacular sight. What remained of a planet dominated the forward view, the world having been devastated by a cataclysm at some point in the recent past, much of the crust and mantle having erupted away. The core was visible even from space, a vast debris field orbiting above the great wound in the blasted planet.

Still, Lillee only afforded the view a glance before looking to sensors. "I have an orbital station on sensors, embedded in one of those rocks," she reported, "just where it should be. Course is laid in for approach, ready for your order."
  • Last Edit: September 03, 2020, 02:48:26 AM by Griff
[Lieutenant Commander Cross |  Chief Tactical Officer ]

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

Re: CH02: S [D02|1500] An Unknown Grandson?
Reply #18
[ Ens. Faye Lintah Eloi-Danvers | In the hot seat | [/i Shuttlecraft Franklin[/i] ] Attn: @Swift @stardust @Griff  
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The non-reaction from Fisher spoke volumes to Faye, literally and figuratively. He was forcing himself to keep his mouth shut, out of some deference to her boss. Cute enough, she supposed, after he'd forced himself onto the mission to begin with. The Betazoid was still on the fence about that whole issue but having a dedicated pilot in the Romulan woman next to her mollified Faye somewhat. The junior of the diplomatic contingent for the mission wasn't exactly a stellar small craft pilot herself, though she could get from point A to point B without crashing. She had no idea of her senior officers abilities, but 'Jellaieu was a pilot by profession and trade, and thus, in and of herself a welcomed addition. 

Of course, the Intel Officer's outward actions were not entirely a true reflection of his inner thoughts and emotions. While Faye usually kept a good distance from the mental mindscape of others, at least in regards to what a Betazoid could, without picking up the errant thought here or there, this time, with the question before the group being as pivotal as it was, she probed slightly. Not utterly intrusive, not really. Just...something akin to running her fingertips across the surface of a body of water, testing its temperature. What she found was a mixture of restraint and impulse, emotions that were turbulent at best and...well. A point in favor of Lt. Commander Intrusive.

She felt her eyebrows rise ever so slightly as he stood, moving to make himself a drink in the replicator. It wasn't the action that surprised her, not really. It was the depth of conviction she felt. He was not, perhaps, utterly useless after all. At least in the one aspect upon which they agreed. She tucked that little notion aside for later, and tried to pretend she hadn't picked up on some of the mans impressions of her boss. If she dwelt on that she'd fall into a highly unprofessional fit of giggles on the spot, and that wouldn't do, not with Lt. Commander Rutherford laying out a path forth in regard to the child. 

Her answer being a non answer was plenty informative there, too, and Faye nodded once, not an agreement, but a simple acknowledgement of the message conveyed. Focus on figuring out if there even is a child, and getting the brat away from wherever they might be, before you worry about keeping him alive later down the line. While that wasn't the most reassuring notion ever, it was a practical path. If there was no child, there was no need to worry about him getting his angry little ridged head cut off. Rutherford preferred a more detached view of the situation, and the political ramifications, and perhaps that made the senior Diplomat better at her job as a result. For Faye, whom felt everyone's emotions in a way that the mostly human could only understand when she made an effort and forced herself to do so, it was a different matter. She would feel the dread that would come down on the child if he were to learn that his life was to be forfeit, as sure as it was her own, and she knew that no amount of mental shielding would prevent her from experiencing it from the hypothetical child in the hypothetical situation. Thus, hypothetically, she wasn't going to let it happen. 

So there.

Thus resolved, Faye eased herself back into her chair and forced her shoulders to unbunch. She stopped clenching her jaw and took a slow breath through her nose, though her onyx eyes darted from one party to the next all the same as if nothing were out of the ordinary and she wasn't going through mentally fortifying relaxation exercises. Thus she listened to the description of what lay ahead and possible methods for dealing with their arrival in the target system. It all sounded very tactical stealthy sneaky sneak.

What caught her off guard, was Samantha's departure from the cockpit shortly after Fisher. She blinked as the words registered and while, aloud, she said "Aye aye, ma'am," she found herself thinking Oh, hell. Swallowing a bit, the Ensign settled back in her seat in the cockpit and shared a glance with the ships pilot. Her eyes slid to the back compartment, and waited for the doors to close, before she let out a long, low sigh. Drumming her fingers on the edge of the console, she debated asking the Petty officer for her opinion on the matter of the hypothetical child, but decided against it. Faye was hardly one for sticking to formality when it came to non-comms (her choice of recent off duty playmates, not to mention the girl she'd fallen pretty hard for as stark testimonies for her flaunting such insignificant rules of decorum), but at the same time, she had no wish to place the woman into the middle of an argument between officers. 

Instead, she quirked her lips up in a slight smile and mused, aloud and apropos of nothing at all, "Just how sound proof do you imagine that bulkhead is, anyways?" That got a glance, and she wagged her eyebrows up and down a few times, pursing her lips and trying to hide a wider grin.  Faye gave it even odds, in her mind, that the sheer tension between those two was almost certainly non-professional in nature, manifesting itself in the current conflict related to the mission. Her jokingly calling them Mom and Dad hadn't been for nothing, and if they were back there for more than 15 minutes, well...she'd make her assumptions and be privately amused. 

Alas, Rutherford returned in a fashion that lead Faye to believe nothing so amusingly untoward had happened in the rear compartment. Which wasn't to say that nothing amusing happened, judging by the almost smug satisfaction that was radiating off the blonde officer, and the mildly amused frustration coming out of the back compartment. Revising her estimates of what was going on there, Faye smiled in her own self satisfied fashion, having managed not to ruin things during the short time that she had been left in charge of things. In response to Rutherford's declaration, Faye tilted her head to one side, appraising the music she'd picked up, and ran her tongue over her teeth, behind her lips. "It certainly sounds old, Commander, no argument there."

Wagner, Faye decided, was not to her tastes.

The next few hours dragged by, with Faye spending most of the duration making sure the ship didn't suddenly veer off course. Which was to say, she left the autopilot on and monitored the sensors, sipping at her own cup of tea. She would have killed for something stronger to relax. But that was a no no. The time not spent monitoring the sensors and the ships general progress (dull) consisted of Faye putting her head together and fielding a plethora of questions from her boss in regards to everything and anything Klingon. Rutherford was an accomplished diplomat with wartime experience under her belt, but Faye was the one who'd spent practically every year since she graduated around the warrior folk. It made her the expert, and that meant the five hours to their destination were busy for the younger envoy.

While Lillee might have had the most physically tasking amount of work to deal with, at least she got a long enough break to go take a shower. An idea that appealed greatly to Eloi-Danvers, who half toyed with seeing if the woman wanted company, before dismissing the notion out of hand and and settling back to keeping the ship from crashing into an errant asteroid or falling through a subspace fissure, or some other nasty thing that surely befell a shuttle full of red-shirted officers when the only accredited pilot took a break.

Finally however, t'Jellaieu returned to take over the job of flying the ship, leaving Faye with a scant 20 minutes to try and bleed away the boredom and stress of the past few hours. She rose in turn, nodding , and simply walked about the cabin for a moment, bracing herself against one of the support struts and stretching out her legs. She pondered the sonic shower herself, but decided she didn't have quiet enough time to properly relax. Sighing softly, and deciding she still didn't want to listen to the music in the aft compartment, Faye curled up on the transporter pad, near the warp core that the petty officer had been diligently working on earlier, tucking one leg under the other and shutting her eyes. She could feel the thrum of the engine through the bulkhead and used it as a meter to force herself through a small meditative series of exercises. 

Eventually even that ended, and she'd made it back to the front of the cockpit before Fisher got out of the rear cabin, coming to stand by Samantha and Lillee and stare out the view port at the vista before them. Despite herself, the lithe Betazoid let out a low whistle. "Damn, the file just doesn't do it justice does it?" She asked of no one in particular, momentarily stunned by the  sheer spectacle of it. Pulling herself away from that view, she slid into her chair and took her own readings of the area. "I'm not seeing any vessels closing on us immediately, unless their cloaked, of course."'

Dangers lurking behind a cloaking device aside, Faye eyed the read outs for the outpost itself, and bit down on her lip, again drumming her fingers on the edge of the console. An apparent nervous habit. Now that they were here, she found herself questioning yet again just how they were going to proceed.
Puppet master of:
[Lt. Cmdr. Natalie Stark | Chief Operations Officer | USS Theurgy NX-79854]
[Lt.(jg) Sarresh Morali | Temporal Affairs Officer | USS Theurgy NX-79854]
[Ens. Faye Lintah Eloi-Danvers | Diplomatic Attaché | USS Theurgy NX-79854]

Re: CH02: S [D02|1500] An Unknown Grandson?
Reply #19
[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Aft Compartment | Type-11 Shuttlecraft | Rosalind Franklin ] Attn: @Brutus @Griff @stardust

Left to the companionship of Richard Wagner, Fisher leant back in his swivel chair and set down the PADD he'd been pouring over. If there was anything which could out pompous the 'viscount of ginseng and ginger', then it was most certainly classical music. That wasn't to say that the Intelligence Chief outright disliked the genre, he just vastly preferred other auditory background noises upon which to work and focus. If anything, he'd thought classical music as somewhat mind-numbing in the way it tended to carry on, almost endlessly so. Every piece he'd ever listened to, had its famous two- or three-minute melody which was otherwise contained within another hour, even longer stretch that was largely forgotten and unremarkable. This was of course a wholly unfair, and crude assessment of the situation, but it was 'his' assessment. Still, he was reticent to let Rutherford have the final say, and perhaps even the last laugh on the matter, since he was owed some form of recompense for co-opting 'her' mission in the first-place.

Shaking his head in acceptance of his fate, he retrieved the coffee that had been returned to him and took a deep sip only to discover that his taste-buds had been decidedly tainted by the lingering flavor of her herbal tea.

"Figures." He verbally mused, examining the warm black beverage with his sage-eyes.


Some measure of time later.


The time had elapsed rather slowly, especially given the slow pace of the audio backdrop which permeated his surroundings. In his head, he could have sworn his brain was on the verge of explosion, or implosion, under the stress of having spent the previous few hours organizing plans which he'd hoped would never need to transpire. He was trusting in Ives, and in Martok that they would make the just, and moral decision when it came to this M'Ven, if he even existed. All the same, it never hurt to be prepared for any eventuality, and Fisher was relatively comfortable with what he'd put in play regarding that. Of immediate expense, it would cost a small portion of the funds that he'd been amassing throughout his Intelligence career; a bit of a stipend he'd invested in a Ferengi banker a few years earlier, though the unsavory bastard was a little apprehensive about the matter. The true expense would come at the cost of his career, and perhaps even his place aboard Theurgy, if he was forced into reacting to said eventuality.

"Petty Officer." He regarded the blonde Romulan as she entered the aft-cabin, the latest bit of living company that he'd been privy to during the journey, as there had been the occasional incursion previously. Whether it was for a cup-of-tea, or just a little more room to stretch some weary legs. But for the most part, he had been left to his own devices in the aft-compartment, while Eloi-Danvers had manned the controls as Rutherford brushed up on her diplomatic protocols, and t'Jellaieu made some modifications to the warp-core to allow for a temporary burst of speed should they so need it later. When they closed distance, he had re-routed tactical control to his PADD, and launched the pair of sensor probes which would scan for latent tachyons both fore, and aft of the Rosalind Franklin's warp-wake. Scans which came back as negative. That was either the first bit of incredible good-luck that they were going to need, or a sign of how wrong things might be going over the course of this little mission.

"I think something is wrong with the replicator. Coffee seems a little, off." He remarked to Lillee as she emerged from the shower a few minutes later, after she'd retrieved her own cup of the caffeinated beverage. He had some cursory suspicion that Sam had made alterations to the programing, so as to dissuade him from indulging in any more of it. In retaliation, he'd formulated other plans which would make up for such deviousness, though they would have wait for a return to Theurgy to be enacted. But it felt good to break out his old habit of pranking and practical jokes, and this one would be paying him satisfactory dividends for weeks to come. So long as it went off without a hitch. Eh, he was relatively positive that the coding he'd put together would operate within desired parameters, although he would need to look it over once more before he'd upload it into the computer systems. Reaching for the PADD to do just that, he stopped when a call came through his combadge, that they were arriving shortly.

"That'll have to wait." He said aloud to himself.

[ Fore Compartment | Type-11 Shuttlecraft | Rosalind Franklin ]

Having finally Emerged from the Aft Compartment, and after having listened to Faye confirm the negative status of sensor sweeps, Fisher felt it necessary to appraise them of his own negative findings which had been carried out by the pair of probes he'd launch just a few minutes earlier. "Likewise, probe scans came back negative for latent tachyons. Either the Klingons have finally addressed that particular Achilles heel across the entirety of their fleet, or we've managed to avoid picking up any tails." His attention shifted from the Betazoid woman at her respective position as he turned to settle down into his seat at tactical and returned all controls from his PADD to the station before him. There was a general unease in the pit of his stomach as nerves began to build in anticipation of their mission coming to a head, which would either confirm the intel that had come to him, or it would dispel it, and place the four of them in a considerably dangerous position.

"For the mission's sake, and for our Romulan companion's sanity, I'll be hoping for the latter, rather than the former." He mused as his hands danced across the console, bringing up lateral and passive sensor readings as they were starting to come in from the computer. Lillee had attuned them to scan the remnant planet, which revealed that it wasn't merely a debris field in which they could hide if the situation so demanded it, but also the likeliest of hiding locations for their target of choice. If it existed.

"There's no record of any existing structure in the database, but judging by what I can see, it appears patchwork in manufacture."

That was an understatement he soon realized, as sensor-readings were building a better, more complete picture of the outpost in question. It was also far grander in size, and scope than what had been outwardly visible on the surface of the large chunk of planetoid to which it was embedded. It was clear that the structure had been cobbled together over the course of at-least a century, as there were power-readings that dated back at least that far, if not further. It was also clear that the structure had started out as some kind of a mining facility, as a good portion of the planetary fragment had been hollowed out, and he could pick up remnant readings of what must have been an absolutely monumental deposit of duranium. Not exactly the rarest mineral in the Galaxy, but still valuable in ship construction, and in such high concentrations even made it difficult to get a complete picture with sensor readings alone, due to a shadowing effect of the mineral.

"Best guess is that we're looking at an old illegal duranium mine, that's since been retrofitted into a smuggler's port. I can't get an exact number, or a fix of the specific make-up of the population, but it numbers somewhere in the two- to three-thousand range." Swiveling about in his chair, Fisher looked over to regard Rutherford with the next bit of information, and to see how she might want to proceed. "There are also almost two-dozen faint warp signatures at play; from craft that are shored up, and also a number of power-plants built into the structure itself. But I can't get a steady or verifiable reading on defensive systems, as either they're non-existent, or more likely, they're being masked due to a shadowing effect from duranium deposits." There was a damned if you do, and damned if you don't look in the spy's face, which betrayed the moderate annoyance of acting on intel that couldn't be fully ascertained. Such was the job of being in command however, and for the moment, he was absolutely committed to the agreed upon structure which placed Sam completely in that position.

"Not exactly the answers you were looking for, I know." He said, setting himself up to shoulder the blame and responsibility to whatever tough call that she was going to have to make. In a way, it was his responsibility to bear, since Intelligence was his job, but he wasn't directly in the position to determine which actions would follow. That onus fell upon his esteemed Diplomatic counterpart in the moment.

Not an enviable position, he recognized.
  • Last Edit: September 26, 2020, 12:17:26 AM by Swift
Writer of
[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Chief Intelligence Officer | USS Theurgy NX-79854 ]
[ Lt. JG Kate Foster | Chief Surgeon | USS Theurgy NX-79854 ]

  • stardust
  • [*][*][*][*]
  • Slipping into something more comfortable ...
Re: CH02: S [D02|1500] An Unknown Grandson?
Reply #20
[ Lt. Cmdr. Rutherford | Fore Compartment | Type-11 Shuttlecraft | Rosalind Franklin ] attn: @Griff @Brutus @Swift
[Show/Hide]


Putting her PADD down, as Lillee addressed her formally, Samantha took a brief glance back at the now closed up warp core access once more, as if to need visual conformation of a job well done. That there were no random sparks or coolant leaks. No that she could tell with the chamber sealed up like that anyways, so she'd have to take the information at face value, not a difficult feat. "Thank you, Petty Officer, let's hope we won't need it." she replied, a professional, encouraging smile, stretching her plump lips thin. She uncrossed her legs and turned her chair around, to place the PADD back down on the communications console, as the other blonde excused herself to clean up, the temporal flood of Wagner, intruding into the cockpit as the doors slid open, drawing a far warmer and more genuine smile onto her features. Evoking a certain sense of reward, from the fact that Andrew hadn't dared to change the music, suffering through it like a trooper. He'd get props for that ... later.

The time until they were all back, huddled together in the considerable confines of the cockpit, seemed to have flown by with the same warp speed the shuttle had dashed towards a destiny unknown. Yet not seemingly with the same sort of gravitas, one would've expected, giving their impending doom. The diplomat found the mood to be excited, intrigued, if not optimistic, as the sight of the shattered planet zipped into existence, seemingly out of nothing, across their viewport. And as soon as the navigational sensors were fine-tuned to their much slower velocity, and as such, a much narrower and much more detailed field of effect, the former void of space, poetically imaged as empty space across the shuttle's dashboard, now lit up in a symphony of blue and yellow light, as virtual asteroids and planetary debris came to life as holographic projections, casting reflections of a golden sun in an eerie turquoise pond, on each single officer, as they took a moment to stare in awe. Aside of the high stakes and the bad odds, there was still beauty, hidden in the cracks of a vacuum that could kill you with the savagery of a Nausican warrior, almost instantly.

Giving a status update, Lillee held the shuttle in a waiting position outside of the debris field, their proposed hideout invisible to the naked eye, but a clear yellow marker on one of the asteroids in the holo-viewer. A mere tap of a button and a zoom in later, the surface of said rock spread across the dashboard, superficial and subterranean structures clearly visible, as well as distinctly marked power signatures, overlaid from Fisher's tactical scans. Complimented by Faye's valuable input that none of the ships seemed to have noticed them, or were on any kind of intercepting trajectory. So far so good, their arrival seemed to have gone unnoticed. Having her blue orbs temporarily transition to the commander on the opposite side of the cabin, he almost instinctively volunteered the tachyon probe readouts, confirming that there seemed to be no cloaked ships either. Which at least put the survival odds of this mission a little bit into the favorable part of the statistic. The blonde listened further on his elaborations, eyes switching between the man, the asteroids through the viewport and the scan results of the hologram. Her mind processing all the information and making tiny little adjustment to the plan she had already formulated. Actually preferring a smuggler's outpost over a strictly Klingon installation or ship. It would be far easier to blend in, and a lowlife's motivations were usually a little more straightforward than your average Klingon warrior's.

'Not the answers she was looking for' ... Samantha let that phrase roll around in her head for a bit, appraising Fisher with a peculiar look. Trying to gauge whether he was intent on conveying that he knew her so well, or that he had enough integrity to not make up lies to fill the void of nescience, or that she would have unreasonable demands as to the answers given? The complicating part being that, while she was still learning about his demeanor and abilities as an officer - much like everyone else in the cabin - she was also helplessly trying to unravel him as a person. Which was a truly convoluted combination. So, she decided to let it go ... but the moment of silence and the long stare, had already bestowed a certain sense of discomfiture on the moment. "I ... guess we can deduct that we have not been detected yet, by the lack of any kind of immediate response ... let's keep it that way." she recomposed herself skilfully. Andrew Fisher would not be the wrecking ball to tear down a decade of diplomatic skill and prowess. Not today, at least. Getting up from her seat, the blonde took up position between both front chairs, steadying herself with a hand casually fidgeting at the corner of Faye's backrest.

"Conn, take us within transporter range, into a position behind one of the larger rocks, we can use the probes as sensor relays, to keep scanning for potential dangers. Ensign, let's prepare for an away mission." The officer detached herself from the front once more, taking a step back into the center of the cockpit, turning towards Fisher, for another moment of contemplative silence, it seemed. Or awkward, more like it. "Keep scanning the outpost for more valuable details, maybe juvenile Klingon bio-signs. Also, a secluded beam-in site would be nice." she managed a smile, that was not only a token of reassurance but one of temporary farewell. Noting Faye coming up by her side, the two officers proceeded into the back compartment of the shuttle. "I hope you know how to blend in, Ensign." the older diplomat chimed with palpable glee, shooting a delighted spark back over her shoulder, one of genuine excitement for the prospect of this mission. Because diplomacy was not all procedures and preparation, sometimes it was about going down into the thick of it and find a beneficial solution among seemingly insurmountable differences.

Making her way over to the replicator, Samantha activated the library function, to find anything suitable and scoundrel like. "How long has it been since your last away mission?" she asked casually, probably having been able to recall the exact date from the brunette's personnel file, she had so diligently poured over, in the first hours of her assignment. All the while making a selection on the screen, which prompted the small alcove to light up, as the garment materialised, illuminating the elated pate of the chief diplomat in a neon hue. Picking the neatly folded, structured leather up, stepping aside, the blonde beckoned for her subordinate to follow suit. "Go wild." she chimed modestly, excusing herself to the corner between the table and the bunks, so she would have time to give Fisher a decisive back-order, if she heard the doors slide open, while the ladies changed. Placing the garment on the table by her side, the diplomat ran down the zipper on her uniform jacket, lips parted in casual relaxation, blue eyes idly locked to the plush surface of the carpet across the cabin.

Sliding the jacket off her slender shoulders, a torso wrapped in crimson fabric revealed, that soon followed a rather similar fate as the teeth of this zipper too unraveled. This time revealing a faded purple tank-top, as far as the multiple layers of their duty-wear went. But that too found its way over the woman's head, tussling up her already fluffy waves, as it joined the rest of the haphazardly folded uniform, on the bottom bunk. As nothing more remained but a strapless, black bra, painted to her gentle curves, the commander released the hold on her waist and slid down the creased pants, this time revealing far less layers, but a matching, paper-thin panty in the same charcoal hue. Which would go perfectly with the fabric slowly being unraveled from the table. Stepping into the readily discovered opening, the blonde effortlessly slipped the skintight tube-dress up her figure, stretching over supple protrusions and gentle recesses, slender arms funnelling into tight sleeves. Watching over at Faye once more, for the first time since starting the ordeal, Sam gladly noticed that the Ensign was already half done getting dressed herself.

"Would you mind?" she asked, nodding over her shoulder at the gaping fabric, revealing the tender curve of her spine across peach skin. Moving over to meet the brunette halfway, they ended up in close proximity to the replicator once more. "Computer, platinum wig, razor cut tips with bangs." she instructed the machine and a distinct ball of silky strands in icy pale blonde appeared momentarily. Just as Faye was about finished zipping the skintight leather sleeve up, that made her body look like an obsidian hourglass. Picking up the wig, subsequently, the diplomat took a moment to fix it to her head appropriately, tucking her own fluffy strands underneath, before tending to some final touches of strengthening her makeup look. Ultimately satisfied with the result, she stood up straight once more, evening the fabric across her curves, giving the Ensign a gratifying once over too. Impressed with the covert look her diplomatic counterpart had chosen, as it too reflected a part of her personality. And it was always easier to portray an act, inspired by one's true personality. Fabricating a persona out of thin air was, after all, more intel's domain.

[Show/Hide]

Overall it had maybe taken fifteen minutes or so, in which Samantha had been able to peripherally notice the ebbing and flowing sound of the impulse engines, as the manoeuvred into position, and the large appearance of an asteroid across the viewport, as she ventured back into the cockpit, was a visual confirmation of that impression. "Any news on those scans, commander?" she casually probed Fisher, while opening the starboard locker, where she'd previously deposited her bag. Bending over in what seemed to volunteer little wiggle room, the diplomat unzipped the pouch and retrieved a few small gemstones,  then gingerly slipping them into the cutout across her décolletage. "In case they don't accept 'physical' compensation." she chuckled lightly, noticing Andrew's seemingly quizzical - or maybe just genuinely stunned - look. "We'll be taking our communicators, so we can keep in touch. Petty officer, try to keep out of sight, and if you need to evade beyond transporter range to avoid detection, you have my blessing ... we can't beam back up to a cloud of debris." Patting the backrest of Andrew's chair, one last smile of reassurance, the diplomat stepped back onto the transporter pad.

"If no one has any last questions or opinions ..." Sam openly addressed the room, including Faye, catching up to her side. "Whatever you two can give us in terms of areal support and operational insight throughout the mission, will be highly appreciated."

Re: CH02: S [D02|1500] An Unknown Grandson?
Reply #21
[PO3 Lillee t'Jellaieu |  Shuttlecraft Rosalind Franklin (NX-79854/04) | Warp Transit ] Attn: @Brutus, @stardust, @Swift

[Show/Hide]

"Aye, Commander," Lillee answered in response to Rutherford's direction to move the shuttle. She worked for a few seconds, scanning the various rocks within transporter range of the station, before finding one that caught her eye. It was quite small, considerably smaller than even a Galaxy-class starship, but Lillee didn't mind at all. The asteroid stubbornly resisted her scans, the shuttle's computer struggling to make sense of its readings, which made the thing perfect.

She glanced back as the two diplomats made their way aft, curious, but Lillee dismissed it. Instead she gently pushed the shuttle towards the target rock, using only the thrusters and brief bursts from the impulse engines, surfing the weak gravitational fields of the other asteroids for additional thrust and to slow them down in equal measure. It was delicate flying but not overly difficult, permitting Lillee to relax as she flew.

"Commander Rutherford seems very impressive so far, Commander," Lillee commented with a hint of mischief, unable to help herself. "I confess, I had always thought of diplomats preferring stuffy conference rooms to dens of crime like this. Do you know her well, sir?"

No sooner had Fisher replied than the diplomatic officers returned. Lillee took another minute to cosy the shuttle into its hiding spot, only a few meters away from the asteroid that dominated the viewport on the port side. The rock itself shadowed the shuttle from the sunlight, shrouding the craft in darkness. Finally satisfied with her parking, Lillee shut down the engines, turned round...and her mouth dropped.

Wow.

The sight of Rutherford clad in skintight black leather, silver hair and all, was literally stunning. It was certainly the last thing Lillee had expected, especially in concert with Danvers' attire, but after a moment, Lillee recognised the logic. It was a place of scum and filth that they were going to, after all, so it made sense. It was also hilarious; in the space of twenty minutes, the officer had become a...what? Pirate queen? Dominating businesswoman? Some odd assassin?

After Rutherford's final comment, Lillee nodded, although she was clearly trying hard (very, very hard) to contain a smile. "Understood, Commander. Good luck."
[Lieutenant Commander Cross |  Chief Tactical Officer ]

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

Re: CH02: S [D02|1500] An Unknown Grandson?
Reply #22
[ Ens. Faye Lintah Eloi-Danvers | In the hot seat | [/i Shuttlecraft Franklin[/i] ] Attn: @Swift @stardust @Griff  
[Show/Hide]

While there had been little doubt that the mission that Faye had been tapped for would be what was generally referred to in the business as exciting, at the same time, she hadn't quite expected things to unfold the way they were turning out so far. Never mind that they were on a much bigger craft, with two more bodies along for the ride. That part was incidental. Faye had assumed that they'd find the kind on some ship, have to open a comm channel, and between Rutherford and herself, charm the Klingon's into the most reasonable outcome imaginable, in which they handed over this child to Starfleet for protection. Assuming of course, the child existed at all, and the ship didn't try and just, well, blow them up. Which was a reasonable concern, and not exactly what Faye would classify as 'a favorable outcome' by any stretch of the imagination, but it was on the list. 

What had not been on her list of expectations, was the apparent smugglers starbase that happened to occupy one of the larger asteroids in the system. An old (illegal?) deuterium mine, apparently. Great place to hide just about anyone or anything, objectively speaking. For the moment at least they seemed to not be drawing attention, which was a blessing, but if there was some sort of smugglers safe haven, Faye had to wonder if the original plan was going to be the smartest play. She looked over from Rutherford, to Lieutenant Commander Fisher, their resident spy. Perhaps it wasn't the worst thing ever that he had inserted himself into the mission, as she listened to his report of what lay ahead. Delightful.

Faye began to take what they'd learned and pair it with what they'd intended, and wondered if this was going to be the point at which Fisher asserted his obvious qualifications to - if not take over the whole mission - then put himself into the running for any off ship work. Naturally her gaze shifted back to Rutherford when the blonde moved to stand between the two front seats, resting a hand on the back of Faye's own chair. Wondering if she aught to read anything into that or not, the Betazoid instead turned her gaze back to the augmented holograpic readout, pursing her lips, as if she could reach out and glean something from such distances. Supposedly some of her kind were that talented, but Faye was decidedly not. All she could sense was a jumble of emotions from the occupants of the shuttle craft, including the marked determination from Samantha to press on with the original plan of Diplomacy over Espionage. 

Uh-oh, she thought, tensing as the orders were dished out. Wondering at the wisdom of leaving the trained spy behind to man the fort, Faye blinked a bit, let out a puff of breath she hadn't realized she'd been holding, and clapped her hands onto her knees. "Aye aye, Ma'am," she acknowledged the order - not like she was going to argue with her boss in front of the others - and stood up as Samantha shared some silent look with Fisher. Not at all wanting to know what was going on there, the Betazoid ran a hand through her hair, swallowed back an oath and tried to tamp down on her nerves, before following Samantha into the back. 

"I like to mingle with the locals as much as the next Betazoid. Possibly more," innuendo much, Faye? She wryly noted, if only to herself, as the doors slid shut behind them, leaving the two women in the relative privacy of the aft crew compartment. "I think my last technical away mission was early in the efforts on Aldea, when Lt. Commander Dewitt assisted me in the preliminary negotiations for our stay. I haven't exactly been on may infiltration missions, mind you. I was pretty integrated into the local culture at Khitomer, but I wasn't also trying to pretend to be someone I wasn't. And on Aldea, it was simply making sure I didn't mention the words Theurgy or 'Starfleet', and that my name wasn't Faye, and I was pretty golden. This is a different cup of tea, to say the least." God help them, Rutherford was excited to go beam into the smugglers den, and beard the lion, or however the saying her mother used to use went. Faye couldn't well remember it right then, and she just shrugged in response to the commanders enthusiasm. 

Oh, playing dress up was all well and good. She liked a little roleplay now and then, and costumes could be just as fun as not wearing a stitch at all, in her humble, nudist opinion. This was something of a different fish to fry however. But...if she thought of it as a roleplay...and tried not to think about how Riley might enjoy such a thing, and just focus on the basic premise. "Hmmm," she made the thoughtful, wordless noise, crossing her arms and then tapping a finger against her chin, starring off into nothing for the moment. A glance back over her shoulder showed her a mostly unclothed Rutherford, holding out some sort of skintight cat suit, by the look of it. With that in mind, the diplomat pursed her lips and re-evaluated her choice of attire. Shrugging again - she felt like she was doing an uncharacteristically large amount of that, lately - the Ensign walked up to the replicator and started punching up buttons. "One undercover badass babe outfit, coming up." 

The alcove made a little chiming noise after a moment of data inpunt and an outfit was revield. What  followed suit was similar to the more senior officers actions, though with small differences. First and foremost. Faye simply stepped away from the replicator an started stripping in front of the common table between the bunks, not caring one wit if Lillee or Andrew might happen to walk in. She had nothing to hide, and lacked the more ingrained nudity taboo's of humans, or Romulans. Beyond that, the disrobing followed the Lt. Commanders, save that Faye had chosen a pair of warm, almost orange toned bra and panties set. Or more accurately, it had been chosen for her earlier that day, by someone that enjoyed the colors on her. Now, those remained, the dark haired Betazoid taking a moment to adjust the straps and make sure everything was still contained, before tackling the multiple layers of her new outfit.

Layer after layer was pulled back onto Faye, of the new outfit. The fist layer was skin tight, a comfortable black fabric top that, and a matching set of leggings that covered even her toes, pulled up over her hips. A top this was sleeveless, Gi like wrap, of a gray so dark that it too was nearly back. She had just fastened it in place when Samantha asked for help, and pausing, Faye turned to do just that, taking in the expanse of bare back and the proffered zipper. With the practiced ease of someone who had done this a thousand times in the past, Faye zipped Samantha up, chuckling to herself as she heard the other Diplomat order a wig. "Nice call, boss," she noted, and went back to the rest of her ensemble. 

Soon she had her boots on, and the hooded, long sweeping vest was in place, a mix of fabrics and mail, something she'd seen once on Khitomer, which would offer some protection from blades, and a hood that could be pulled over to hide the face. To this, she added a silvery, metal like fabric set of wrist wraps, snugly secure around her hands. Wiggling her fingers, she toyed for a moment with her brunette locks, that currently stretched down to blonde tips. Sighing, she tucked those away, tightly, and replicated a black haired wig, fitting it over her in turn. As nice as it had been to zip up Sam, and sure that the other woman would have returned the favor, this outfit did not require such assistance. And privately, Faye suspected the get up was more comfortable that Rutherford's choice of attire as well. That said, looking Sam over, she could only imagine how the others would react. 

[Show/Hide]

Still fiddling with her wrist wraps, Faye followed Samantha out into the cockpit and looked up, unable to repress a wicked smile as she struck a theatrical pose, of which the two add on's to the mission would see, but Samantha would not. She did not hold it long, and by the time the other diplomat was turning to raid her gear bag, Faye was the picture of professional once more, even if she were snickering inside, picking up the torrent of emotion from Fisher and t'Jellaieu. It was better than thinking about how under prepared she felt for what was going to happen, even as she picked a few assorted odds and ends of her own out of her bag, including a gifted D'k Tagh that she strapped to her belt. She prayed she wouldn't have to use the thing, because it was not really in her skill set to do so, but it fit the part, and had been a last minute addition when she thought she might be dealing with Klingons face to face on their ship. 

Klingon's diplomacy was often conducted at the point of a blade, so she'd be better served to bring her own. They'd respect that. 

Shooting another smile over at Lillie, whose amusement was infectious, Faye rocked back on her heels and forward up onto her toes, settling down again with her hands on her hips, drumming her fingers carefully. Questions, comments and concerns were addressed, and Faye coughed, asking, "Now, you're sure you'll be able to pull us out? Do we need to replicate any sort of beckon or um...transport enhancer? Don't those come in arm bands?" It wasn't that Faye was scared, far from it. She just wanted to be prepared to be pulled out such a hive of scum and villainy. After a moments consideration, she turned to Rutherford. "And on that note, what if we ah...need to tag the kid and run? We should pack something for that, yeah?" No sense in getting left behind if they had to sacrifice one of their communicators to beam up the royal brat.

Faye felt slightly embarrassed, bringing that up in front of the others. It was the kind of thing she should have thought up prior to leaving the aft compartment, to at least better seem prepared and capable of the mission on hand. She was a Starfleet Officer after all, and they were supposed to be ready for anything.

Gee, performance anxiety much? Roleplay, remember? Just...pretend its a very extended roleplay that ends up with you getting your rocks off in the end. Clearly this is how all the spies do this. Chin up girl, its Roleplay, you got this, she mentally bolstered herself, in what had to be one of the oddest internal motivational speeches in the history of untrained espionage.[/i]
Puppet master of:
[Lt. Cmdr. Natalie Stark | Chief Operations Officer | USS Theurgy NX-79854]
[Lt.(jg) Sarresh Morali | Temporal Affairs Officer | USS Theurgy NX-79854]
[Ens. Faye Lintah Eloi-Danvers | Diplomatic Attaché | USS Theurgy NX-79854]

Re: CH02: S [D02|1500] An Unknown Grandson?
Reply #23
[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Fore Compartment | Type-11 Shuttlecraft | Rosalind Franklin ] Attn: @Brutus @Griff @stardust

The rationale that they hadn't yet been detected seemed reasonable, as there were no hints of elevated activity or awareness from what the sensors were displaying for Fisher. Considering the somewhat chaotic nature of the system of asteroids and planetary fragments that were floating in and about the general vicinity of the outpost, it made sense that a lone contact like that of a Type-11 Shuttlecraft remain relatively unnoticeable. Still, it wasn't an impossibility for someone to pick up on the new power-signature that their engines would have registered, regardless of operating on minimum power and thrusters. For what it was worth, Fisher just assumed that the reality of the moment was that they were lucky. Hopefully that luck would continue on throughout the remainder of whatever this mission was to be and see them find some modicum of success. Given the events of the last 48-hours, they and in fact the rest of Theurgy were in desperate need of any wins they could possibly get.

Monitoring the readouts as they flashed across the screen before him, Fisher listened as Rutherford ordered them in closer, expecting that the data he would be privy to would increase commensurate with proximity. It did. Definition started to hit him, as he could make out a rough enough layout of the interior of the outpost, however he still couldn't necessarily make out much more than that of a cursory understanding. Clearly there was still too heavy a presence of raw unrefined duranium in order for low-level sensor sweeps to get a full picture of what was going on down there. If they wanted to remain in as unnoticed a state as they currently had been, then this would have to make-due for now. Besides which, he imagined that he and whoever else would be joining him on an away-mission, could more effectively ferret out a more comprehensive understanding of the facility after beam in. That of course all hinged on the assumption that he had made, that any form of away-mission would involve him.

Clearly such an assumption was wrong, as Rutherford called for Eloi-Danvers to make preparations for departure.

Immediately there was a thought to object to the idea that the only trained infiltrator among them would be left behind to man a console, while two diplomats braved into the likely chaotic environment of an illegal-duranium operation. After all, he'd spent the better part of a decade living among the least desirable and disreputable people in the Galaxy, all while gaining their trust and feeding word of their dealings to Starfleet. There was a reason he had been afforded such a strong measure of leeway when it came to past operations that he oversaw, because he had developed a knack when it came to disarming the suspicions of disruptive elements. It took seasoning in the field to know when to stare a gun in the face and press on a lie, when to fold on it, and when to draw your own gun and force the other one to the floor, sometimes judiciously so. As cunning as Sam and Faye likely were, he had doubts as to whether or not they possessed the kind of instinct and intuitiveness that leant a hand to someone when faced with such a daunting task as infiltration.

Of course, his fellow Lieutenant Commander picked up on this concern, and offered what was meant to be a reassurance. A reassurance that quelled the mountain of considerations at play for perhaps a brief enough moment to let her and her subordinate retreat to the aft-compartment, but not nearly enough to outright disarm Fisher and his protestations.

Remaining acquiescent to the Chief Diplomatic Officer as the operational lead was proving more difficult than he'd expected.

Reticent to let them at least make preparations in quiet and hoping that maybe Eloi-Danvers might voice a concern over the odd choice of personnel for such a mission, Fisher sank back into his chair at the tactical station. A moment of quiet contemplation ran through his mind as he stared at the console screen, debating whether or not to press the issue. Personal complications put aside, Fisher focused on the professional ramifications of what amounted to a glorified politician playing spy, and the idea seemed utterly ludicrous to him. But again, he had essentially passed on this mission. Had he wanted to dictate how it went, he should have capitalized on it himself, rather than letting it run down the line to the next person. The only issue was, Fisher hadn't expected that the next person would be someone that carried the personal stakes that would prompt him into interceding on the matter once more. Had it been any other member of the Senior-Staff that had opted for such a mission to recover this unknown heir to Martok, he likely wouldn't have gotten involved. The fact that he had been so co-opted by such a sentiment annoyed him immensely, and he found himself tensing as self-admonishment settled in.

"Hmm? Oh..." he answered absently to Lillee as she piped up a moment later. He'd heard her words they just hadn't registered. Something about Rutherford being impressive. Swiveling about, he focused on the Romulan situated at the CONN as she voiced some of the concern that had been running through her own thoughts and adding a little probing question at the end.

"I met her when we both came aboard Theurgy about two weeks ago." The answer to her question wasn't an answer at all and was clearly meant to stall further introspection, at least for the moment.

Returning his attention to the monitors, Fisher set the computer to progressively scan and update the information he had at hand in regard to the outpost. It would effectively paint him a better picture, while he could focus on another task. He wasn't necessarily resigned to letting Rutherford and her subordinate risk themselves in some sort of brazen display, but he also wasn't going to force himself into the situation either. He hated the idea, sure enough, but he was willing to give a cursory benefit of doubt to Sam and her judgements as the Officer in command of the mission. He could keep a close watch on things as they developed, and if they reached a point that he found unacceptable, he would step in and make them so. For now, he approached the starboard locker and opened it. Selecting a number of items, he set them out before the science and communications console to await the return of the two women from the aft compartment. A return which came almost immediately after and prompted him to turn and appraise them.

Appraise them he did, just as he was sure Lillee was doing in her own way. Though Fisher's gaze likely lingered a little longer than Lillee's, as his mind was clouded momentarily by the appealing manner in which the skintight patent leather dress clung to Sam's shapely features. It was interesting how even after you'd seen someone in their most exposed, they could still find manners in which to completely consume your interest by appearing in a different light.

Realizing that his sage-eyes were perhaps a little too obviously transfixed on her, Fisher cleared his throat audibly in an attempt to regain his composure from a moment earlier, and dismiss the more base thoughts that had stirred within his subconscious. "Right... well." He responded to Rutherford's queries as he stepped back to settle into his chair and review the updated information as it had appeared on the screen before him. "The general layout of the outpost seems simple enough but given what the sensors have been able to detect, there's likely a lattice work of old tunnels that are weaved in and out from a central hub. That central hub..." he pointed at the screen as he blew up the image to be more easily seen by Faye and Sam. "...likely serves as something of a market, or promenade. Maybe even a pseudo-main street, given the high concentration of bio-signatures there. From what I can tell, there are about a dozen bleed off corridors that lead out from this main street, and they're likely the best location I have at inserting the both of you without being detected."

Spinning about in his chair after Rutherford made a point of reminding t'Jellaieu to keep out of sight, Fisher stood up and approached the console wherein he had laid out the items he would insist upon both Officers taking, some of which the Betazoid Ensign had already hinted at needing. "You've got a pair of emergency transport beacons, which if activated will allow us to effectively beam you out, regardless of transport inhibitors. The only caveat being that the signal will show up on any and all sensors, alerting everyone in the system to the fact that there are Starfleet personnel in the vicinity." He went down the line, gesturing to each of the items in turn. "Also, a set of isolinear tags that can be used for target tracking, and also to serve as a transponder for beam out. Though unlike the ETBs, they can be interfered with by transport inhibitors, and are susceptible to duranium shadowing. So if you make use of them for extraction, you'll want to be clear of any major duranium deposits. Otherwise I can't guarantee a clean lock on with the transporters." The expression on his face meant to emphasize the dangers of the latter half of his explanation.

"I've also tied in the sensor data that I've been able to gather into a tricorder, and will attempt to feed additional updates to it, but again, duranium shadowing might cause some transmission issues. Either way, you'll have at least a cursory layout of the outpost from the start. You'll likely have a better understanding of the situation when you get down there, than we will up here." Moving on, he hefted up a small little pouch with an odd and rather ugly pattern embroidered along it's surface. "Your gems might fetch something of greater value, but I never leave home without at least a few slips. It's not a lot, but it's at least enough that you'd not appear flat out broke upon inspection. And sometimes a complimentary beverage can lubricate any dealings into moving more smoothly." The pouch was in fact one he'd taken off of a Ferengi merchant during a game of tongo a few nights earlier in the Aldean cantina, and in reality represented the total sum of Gold-pressed Latinum that Fisher could readily get his hands on in the moment, despite the relative fortune he'd amassed during his career, but which was locked away with a rather squirrely Ferengi Investment Banker, and his dimwitted brother.

"You've also a basic field kit for any minor injuries, and a hypospray which can be used to sedate someone." It was always good to have some means of knocking someone cold without having to literally hit or shoot them. "Lastly... and you're taking them. I don't care if you stash them when you get down there, but a weapon in close proximity is better than no weapon at all. A pair of Type Ones." He touched at the two 'cricket' phasers as they lay on the console counter, each providing some firepower in an easily concealable package; they represented some form of personal defense if things got a little heated. Ideally, he'd want them to keep the weapons on their person, but he imagined there was a hesitance to being armed at all times, as they were probably far more versed at disarming someone with their words, than otherwise. "t'Jellaieu and I will keep as close a watch on your progress as we can, while also trying to get a better idea of where or even if there's a juvenile Klingon bio-signature down there. That said, we can only venture so near without giving ourselves up. So we should count on a routine check-in of some kind. Say... no longer than one-hour."

Crossing his arms over his chest, he still didn't like the idea that they were going, and he wasn't. He liked even less the idea that he hadn't verbally voiced his concerns, but he was certain that the tone of his voice, and the general posture he'd assumed was making that evident.

"If we don't get such a check-in, we'll assume you've been compromised, and you can count on us coming to get you."
  • Last Edit: September 26, 2020, 06:38:40 AM by Swift
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[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Chief Intelligence Officer | USS Theurgy NX-79854 ]
[ Lt. JG Kate Foster | Chief Surgeon | USS Theurgy NX-79854 ]

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  • Slipping into something more comfortable ...
Re: CH02: S [D02|1500] An Unknown Grandson?
Reply #24
[ Lt. Cmdr. RutherfordEns. Eloi-Danvers | Former Duranium Mining Facility | Asteroid Fragment | Epsilon Monocerotis System ] attn: @Griff @Swift @Auctor Lucan
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The slight discomfort and limitations, in the leather dress, reminded Samantha of the restrictions she put upon her own composure, even when in the considerably comfortable Starfleet uniform. A certain sense of poise and decorum, ever present on her postures, voluntarily, that only now seemed like a deliberate compulsion to the blonde, that her body was forced into such sentiments, by the rigorous cut of such a garment, not her equally relentless mind. A garment that dictated a certain elegance and poise, from the flesh and blood contained within, like a graceful leather cover, suggested an expertly crafted novel, contained within its bounds. In a sense, it was an almost intuitive choice, to don a garment that mimicked - or equally dictated - her usual demeanor. Just as much as Faye's eventual outfit gave a grander insight into her character, despite how much of her was obstructed by black fabric. It was what the diplomat already knew to happen, whenever giving someone a chance to venture beyond the predefined portions of clothes and foods that were prescribed by Starfleet guidelines. One would always fall back on the very notion clothes were originally adorned for, as an extension of one's own individuality. A sentiment largely abolished in modern days, as it could lead to jealousy and pride. But that didn't mean it would not continuously persist, beneath the veneer of civilized society.

And since they were to venture to a place where most likely civilization was naught but a faraway reminiscence, in the way they both smelled of fresh clothes and roses, a little bit of pride and jealousy was probably going to fit in perfectly. Fisher's descriptions of the place, manifesting pictures in her mind, patchworked together by mementos of previous engagements and a childhood of growing up around refugee camps, drew a picture pretty much in line with her previous assumptions - no surprise there. "Sounds like a good plan." The blonde nodded, at the CIO's apt assessment of the best beam-in-point. Thus, approving of his proposition. Turning her blue eyes to her subordinate's somewhat wavering pleas, Samantha did of course not see them as subversion of her procedures. Normally she wouldn't have brought any kind elaborate of Federation technology with her, certainly not when that very association was what they were trying to conceal. But she could see the advantage in being safe, rather than sorry, and the subtle relief, in Faye having asked for it, instead of her. And without missing a beat, Andrew had moved out of his seat, crossing the short distance to the opposite side of the cockpit in stride. Though thus breaking the comfortable, warming glances, that had remained glued to her from the moment she'd re-entered the cockpit.

"I guess we'll only activate them in an emergency then." the commander replied to the rather suspicious nature of the transporter beacons' signal. Though her tone already dipped in a kind of restless tremor at the sight of how many gadgets they actually had to go through and how much time it would take her to talk the man out of them. "The plan is to come back to the beam-in site for extraction. If that is not possible, only then will we make use of your technical doodads. Are we almost d..." she replied, being interjected immediately by more elaborations and even more compromising utilities. Scratching the side of her forehead, as if the platinum wig was itching her sensitive skin, the notion was rather a sense of agitation, rather than physical discomfort ... though it was getting there. Deciding to wait for the man to finish, the blonde crossed her arms, betrothing him with a readily discernible way of affection as he pulled out a personal pouch of Latinum. Adding a level of craftiness to his character that she had not previous estimated to these heights. Striking a pretty interesting fact, if only casually, that didn't really seem to register with himself, as he went on. Handing the tricorder to Faye, the diplomat gathered together the transport beacons and enhancers as well as the warm pouch of Latinum from the man's hands. "Thanks for that ..." she smiled, close proximity between them, as her gentle odor transpired towards his nostrils, before stepping back onto the transporter pad. There was no way she would be caught with a Starfleet phaser down there, nor the remote possibility to have its energy signature lead anyone to it. Thus, through the smoke screen of her actions towards the man, the two weapons still rested quietly atop the console, outside his distracted field of vision.

Giving the intelligence officer a warm smile, lasting mere seconds, as not to facilitate any further objections, blue eyes swiftly switched to Lillee at the CONN. "Energize, petty officer." She instructed, clutching an array of items to her chest, that were not readily discernible to be all, or only pieces, of his selection. Knowing fairly well that if she'd order Fisher, a conversation would still have to be had, and the potential of a revelation could dawn on the man. Azure orbs falling back onto him ever so briefly, before they dissolved in a starburst of energy, dissipating into the pattern buffer below, before being transmitted to the secluded corridor specified by the commander. Taking a cautionary look around, holding her breath as the gentle hum of the shuttle had made space for a far lower, more distant grumble within the corrido, carved from rock and lined with makeshift metal supports, the diplomat ascertained that they were indeed alone and that their transport had largely gone unnoticed. Recomposing herself with a deep breath that made her chest heave and the tight leather generate a gentle cracking sound. Appraising their surroundings, the blonde coincidentally found a small scribble pad and crude stick of graphite on one of the rusted supports, a diagram of some electrical relays etched into the paper.

"Try to transfer as much of the tricorder map onto the pad and keep the scribble. Maybe we can dispose of the tricorder then." The least unusual technology they carried the better, not to mention her own pocket space was limited. At least the transporter beacons and enhancers weren't so readily identifiable as Starfleet tec by even just a school child. For now, she would just dispose of them in the inconspicuous pouch, Fisher's Latinum came with, which ironically matched her dress quite well. "As for our cover: I'll pose as a rare Edo slave while you will pose as my owner and dealer. Maybe we can covertly dig for information under the negotiations over how many Targs I am worth." the diplomat explained, while pulling a little bit on the seams of the dress seemingly glued to her physique. "You think that would fly?"
 
Faye had little say in what had transpired between Fisher and Rutherford. She'd msotly just stood there like a good little girl, listening to the expert on infiltration and under cover activity dole out gadgets and gear like something out of an ancient spy novel. She half expected an embedded communicator inside a wrist chorhograph, but instead settled for the tricorder, flipping it open and giving it a slow once over. Nothing much else to be done about it, she stepped back onto the pad, following her boss, and trying to keep the frown that threatened to bloom over her face off of it. At least until they beamed down, and Fisher could no longer see it.

The young ensign was not going to undercut her boss in front of someone that had inserted  themselves into the mission. This was supposed to be a diplomatic venture, not some holoprogram. That didn't mean Faye was keen on going unarmed into a situation like this. Still, she was suddenly thrust into the role of slave owner and was trying not to drop the tricorder and the pad thrust at her in the moments after they had materlized on the planetoid.  She took a slow, deep breath and reminded herself that it was highly inappropriate to ask a superior if they were out of their fucking minds.

"I think its a believable cover. As long as I can managed to be suitably menacing. Which, we'll see. I'll just channel some deep repressed anger. That's what spies do in situations like this right?" Faye quipped. She had pockets, and began to distribute bits and pieces here and there. "Which, speaking of. With all due respect, why are you so keen to get ride of the tricorder? This thing could be the difference between life or death."
 
Nodding slowly as Faye narrated her ideas of intelligence procedures, the notion grew steadily in pace and intensity, until a small chuckle broke the repetitive stance. "Right ... I suppose so." the blonde mused. "In which case Commander Fisher should have quite a bit to thank me for." A rather dry quip, that mimicked the stone dust, collected on the trusses and beams around them, perfectly. "The thing is, in my experience, any sort of cover or lie, that is too close to the truth, makes you complacent and sloppy. It is when you have to device a completely alternate reality, that you rethink every little detail and truly make the mirage come to life." the diplomat related as sort of an off-handed advice, stemming from years and years of experience in the arts of facilitating an illusion of what the opponent wanted to see.

"It very well could." Samantha replied, raising her brows in reassurance, though they were mostly concealed behind the platinum tresses of her wig's bangs. "When you're found to carry it, you might as well be dead. For the covert implications of being a Federation spy or simply the sheer value of such an extraordinary device." It may not have been to them, where it was always just a push of a button on a replicator away. But the majority of the galaxy did not live in the casual luxury they had so non-chalantly grown to accept as a normality. "I agree that it would help us get around and to the source of this mystery much more easily. But when it comes down to it, I'd rather put my faith into our diplomatic talent and negotiation skills, than a token of technology that could give our true intentions away."
 
Yes, Faye's suspicions were pretty on the ball. Something was going on between the two department heads that went well beyond the fact that Andrew Fisher had decided that she and Rutherford could not be allowed to go on such a mission alone. A bit of white knighting on his part and...well, she wasn't sure, on her superiors. It was in short none of her business as long as it didn't interfere with the mission, and it was not as if Faye had any stones she could possibly throw when it came to interpersonal relations among members of the crew. A few faces flashed across her mind, to varying degrees of pleasing delight, or, in the case of one Catian colleague, mild agitation. So setting all of that aside, she listened and nodded and took in what Samantha said.

She didn't just go along to get along either. She considered it, weighed and measured it. Listened, not just hearing. She still thought that, while they were both quite talented, and could bluff their way into and out of anything, she wanted that tricorder on hand. Arguing that with the commander seemed like a losing proposition however. "In that case, keep an eye out while I try not to screw this up," she noted, pulling the device out, running some scans, and bringing up a map.

Samantha had been in this business for too long to simply ignore the subtle nuances of uncertainty and hidden frustration within any person she interacted with. It was a skill, honed from a talent to guide a negotiation in a fashion, that felt like a natural progression of giving and taking, towards the opponent. With the intent to obscure the true course with a flutter of pointless concessions, lulling the person into a sense of achievement. So it had ben vital, that she be able to pick up whenever her counterpart was feeling as if they were not given the choices they wanted, and thus were in danger of waking from that illusion she created. Which was as much true for a mission that could almost certainly end in death or imprisonment, painting it as a matter of certain success.

Granted, Faye possessed the innate diplomatic ability to process any information given and weigh it against its benefits towards herself as much as the matter at hand, to abstract it, even if it went against her personal beliefs. But that didn't mean that, as a person, she didn't also have the ability to hold a grudge, if only towards herself. "I tell you what, we'll leave the tricorder under some of these Duranium rocks, just in case ... didn't Commander Fisher indicate they would dampen scans?!" That way, maybe, it would not alert any potential scrappers or opportunistic thieves, who certainly roamed these corridors in abundance.
 
Knowing that the device was in a safe place if they needed it was something. Hopefully it would not be the kind of need where it was an immediate thing. All the same, as Faye did her best to transfer a basic idea of where they needed to go to the paper pad from the device, zooming in and out. She glanced up and gave a sharp nod. "He did say something about that yes. Its part of why we've only got a general idea of where we're going and what's in-between us and the target."

Calling a child a target (or the potential child a target she supposed) did not exactly sit well with Faye. Then again pretending to be here to sell her superior officer didn't exactly sit great with her either. Even if there was a tiny part of Faye that would have found the notion suitable revenge for a difference of opinion. Thankfully, that was a part of herself the diplomat barely acknowledged existed, let alone listened to.

"There. That's as good as I can get it." She said, sliding the tricorder shut, and then handing it over to Samantha.
 
,,It looks perfect." The blonde judged with a slightly higher pitch to her voice, after a brief inspection of the scribblings. Turning towards the sidewall of the corridor, letting her blue eyes slide over the crudely chopped rock and rusty beams, ultimately settling on a niche in the bottom corner, obscured by some lose rocks with metallic reflections beneath the dust. Letting out a slight, victorious breath, reverberating against her vocal cords in a low whistle, she attempted to crouch down and conceal the tricorder. However, the fabric of her dress did not give as much leeway as needed to perform such elaborate acrobatics, it seemed. The slightly louder cracking of the leather alerting her to a potential failure of the seams.

Erecting herself up once more, clearing her throat in a modestly awkward fashion, the diplomat smiled at her subordinate thinly. "Would you mind?" she inquired, holding the gear out to Faye once more, ultimately brushing both palms past her hips to even out the fitted garment once more. Letting her attention trail down the shaft, to where she felt like the crowded noises were coming from, she assumed that was where it would lead into the marketplace Fisher had talked about. "I guess we'll go that way ... what does the map say?" And just like that, the Betazoid had been designated their navigator.
 
Faye actually snorted in laughter, tried to repress it, and failed. Nothing for it. She held her palm out and took the device, squatting down with considerably more ease than Samantha had a moment before. "Leather is a very tricky material to work with, Commander," Faye noted, her tone hushed, but no less amused. She wiggled the device into the crevasse in the old mining corridor, and pushed some of the soot and small rocks into place over top of it. She looked up from where she'd squatted down, sweeping eyes as dark as the carved rocks around the alcove and gave a little nod. Hopefully they would be able to find their way back here readily enough. She'd marked the point on their scratch map in any event.

Rolling back up to her feet in a fairly fluid fashion, Faye checked the sketched out document. "25 meters give or take, the tunnel forks then opens up into a wide concourse. Not sure what it was used for originally, but its a market. We have to go through it to get to where we think the child is being held in any event. So there's nothing else for it but to proceed on and hope for the best." Including, but not at all limited to no one trying to turn them both into a quick profit. After all, if Faye's cover was 'selling' Sam, someone might decide that they both would fetch a decent price. Still, she wasn't sure what all did and didn't get traded in a place like this, so she squared her shoulders and thought about Mickayla MacGregor, the security non-comm who had been assigned as her escort at one point on Aldea. With her in mind, she set forth, trying to project that same sense of power that came naturally to the Klingon woman.

Samantha followed Faye's elaborations on their route ahead, trying to manifest the layout in her head. Somehow they'd have to traverse the central market place quickly, and preferably without any lengthy interruptions that could give their cover away. "Alright ..." the blonde broke the considerable silence, after the Ensign had finished. "... if anyone asks, I am being delivered to an Yridian merchant, for ... I don't know 500 bars of latinum - not really up on how much people are worth these days." the blonde concluded, slightly irked at the lapse in preparation.

"Try me ... give me your best slave merchant grit." The commander challenged her subordinate, wiggling her fingers towards her waist from arms held out low. She wasn't going to be alerted to the Ensigns high pitched rant of insecurity in the midst of a hundred lowlifes with sharpened teeth and questionable hygiene.

Faye tilted her head in turn and pursed her lips. "Perhaps we should have asked Commander Fisher the going rate. I imagine he knows. Since he's the one that provided the latinum to begin with." She rolled her shoulders, "Klingons don't trade in slaves any more, haven't for a while, not officially. I know something of their economics but we live in a post scarcity society. Money is...meh." She shrugged her shoulders. The junior officer gave her boss a blatant, appraising look. "I'm sure you're worth at least 500 bars."

Running her tongue over her teeth, Faye tried for something out of a bad holo novel, and summoned up her best angry scowl. She rubbed her hands together, almost in a caricature of a Ferengi merchant, combined with that swagger from her friend the security guard. In a raspier voice, she noted over her shoulder, "Remember once we go in there, if you're the slave you're supposed to keep your mouth shut." Hows that for grit? She thought to herself.

Shooting Faye a mischievous grin at the mention of Andrew, that was not entirely inspired by her well-groomed joke, but also by the awkwardly gleeful sentiment of hearing his name mentioned, Samantha nodded appreciatively at the relation of more information unique to the Betazoid's professional background. The very reason she had thought of her first, to accompany this mission. "To be fair, I doubt we'll find a lot of 'official' business here." She stated with thin lips, raising her brows in ominous anticipation and judgment. However, the reassurance of her physical worth, drew back vivid color and gentle curvature, to plump cushions.

"Well, just don't let me go under 350." the diplomat reassured with a smile, before adjusting her posture to fully take in Faye's 'performance'. Listening to her voice shift and her posture stiffen, the commander was actually impressed with how much spunk the little thing could project on command. She had heard whispers about how fiery she could be in confrontation, especially with one raven haired Caitian. But it was one (unhelpful) thing to be emotional - an entirely different one to summon and channel it into something productive. "That'll do the trick."

Nodding pleasantly, the blonde turned towards the faint shimmer around the next bend, from where the sounds of people came from. Taking a deep breath, trying to convey the sense of confidence necessary, she started to strut ahead, moving around a few corners and across intersections, always towards the ebbing and flowing sonata of alien voices, cheers and drunken slurs. One more turn, and they stepped into the ant hive of this sector's lowlife who-is-who. A circular cavern, lined with makeshift shops and venues, domed with rusting trusses and tangled cables, oddly colored lights strewn throughout.

If it weren't for everyone's towering nature, their entrance would've surely raised a few more brows, but as it where, even the generally tall blonde, could venture forth relatively obscured. Sure, they were shot the more immediate glances of appraisal and judgment, but at the very least the entire room was not instantly alerted to their presence. Weaving through the musky stench and rotten odor, in the general direction of the opposite corridor, Samantha DID try to occasional tiptoe and get a look across the sea of thieves.
 
Pleased that her commanding officer thought she could manage less than reputable on command, Faye took in that confidence and pride and tried to channel it outward into her actions from that point on. She was going to need to give the performance of a life time. Diplomats did that all the time, or so she told herself. What was a negotiation but a particularly well crafted play, with both sides acting out parts in their own personal best interest. You didn't know the lines ahead of time, or not all of them, and had to play against the other 'actors', but you knew the general gist and your role. This was simply another day at the negotiating table; albeit a very dingy and poorly lit one. Where perhaps the other players on stage could have used a bath. It was the 24th century. She shouldn't be smelling quite so much body oder in the corridors.

That this was the first things he really noticed spoke volumes about Faye and her priorities in life. What they faced was truly something out of a holonovel, and Faye made mental notes here and there, should she ever want to recreate such an encounter. She'd never really done this before, and beneath the nervous worry and repressed terror there was something exciting about it all. Carefully, just as she had with that first breath of air, Faye let her barriers down, testing the temperature of the mental waters around her. She did not pry into anyone's mind directly, but simply allowed herself a sense of the emotional atmosphere. It was as jumbled as the visuals before them, the Starfleet ensign doing her best not to stagger or gape about.

"Steady on," Faye muttered, as much to her 'wares' as to herself. She kept her head on a swivel for now, threading around - yes that was an orion, and what looked to be a Selay, with its cobra like head arguing with a Ferengi merchant over something small and furry in a cage. A small smile tugged at Faye's lipss as she saw a Bajoran  merchant ant a gaggle of Yirridians. "At least our cover looks like it'll be eay to sell," she noted, nodding toward the gathering. Not too far beyond that she spotted a pair of Pakleds sitting on a bench, starring straight ahead.

,,Our cover or me?!" Samantha whispered over her shoulder, making sure it would not be considered an inappropriate slave uprising by any onlookers. It was a dry joke, but adding a smile to it, even if it just tugged at the corners of her plump lips, would've not sat right with the role she was supposed to play. Takings tock of all the different aliens around, none of which the diplomat was overtly surprised to see here, the lack of Klingons was surprising though. Then again, in the context of who had selected this place for refuge, maybe not so much. It would've certainly aided a young Klingon fugitive to remain considerably unbothered.

Making their way across the courtyard slowly, a quick hand suddenly dashed form one of the patrons they had to snake by in close proximity, squeezing the blonde's buttocks almost painfully. Like a pair of rude pliers. Letting out a slight, involuntary yelp, she twirled around instantly, ready to get her sudden revenge, but just as quickly realizing, it was not her place to do so, in this scenario. So, angry blue eyes thus fell on Faye, and with it a good deal of responsibility and expectation.
 
"Six one way, half a dozen the other," Faye hissed back to Samantha, using the old Terran saying, yet another idiom she'd picked up from her adoptive mother. She'd been full of sayings like that. With Faye's sheids lowered somewhat, she was able to pick up on the emotions behind the words and appreciated the attempt at humor, and the effort that her boss had to put in to keep her expression schooled. They were of like minds on that moment, and Faye kept stalking forward through the crowd, looking for signs of actual Klingon's anywhere in the secluded outpost. Given the dirth, she felt that their supposed targets would stand out pretty well. But then there was the outburst behind her, the sudden shock and indignation rolling off her suprior, and a sense of lechery from the crowd.

Faye spun around on her heels and summoned up her her best impression of a bull in a china shop (again with the idioms) and stalked toward the man that had reached out and cupped a hand full of latex coated bum. She shoved a finger in Rutherford's face as she moved past, as if to stop her, and then barked out in passable Klingonese, "vaS'e' luja'chugh je Dalo'chugh, petaq!" With a dark snarl, she pushed forward toward the offending bystander, and switching to standard. "You couldn't afford the price."

Having a finger shoved in her face like a petulant child, although part of the plan she herself had laid out, drove the diplomat close to the conundrum of who to slap first ... before retreating into the safe anonymity of 'slave girl #1'. Portrayed by some ditzy model, with no acting experience beyond keeping a straight face, who was not being paid to talk. Or even have an opinion, for that matter. Witnessing Faye assert herself, however, bringing all that knowledge and experience to the table she valued the Ensign so highly for, reminded her why she'd devised this ploy. Not the slave-girl/merchant bit, but this entire scheme of pushing her subordinate into a semblance of command.

Brushing her lips together, merely reinforcing what the Betazoid had said with a sassy nod, as the culprit glanced her way, to finally gauge the worth, probably. He then looked back at Faye, chewing on something unsavory in the pocket of his scruffy cheek. "What about an hour?" Yeah right, Samantha barely resisted the urge to roll her eyes but rather constricted them between narrowed lashes. As if he could last that long. "What about if I just take her ... and you too?" he leaned forward a bit, his voice growing lower and more personal, as his foul odor brushed past the brunette like a gentle breeze, wafting over from a dumpster.

"She's spoken for," Faye fired back, not really recognizing the creatures species as she tried to improvise. The heavy in a holo-drama would jut their jaw out, strike a pose and blow the man off. SO that's what she went with, hands firmly on her hips now, and sure enough, she pushed her jaw forward. In the back of her mind she was glad that she'd kept herself to just a finger in Sam's face. She could have been just as effective if she'd smacked the other woman, as if it were the slaves fault that she'd been pawed at. Better to save the physical stuff for the brute that was forcing itself into the conversation. Her nose scrunched up as she caught a whiff of his stench, and she tipped her chin up higher. "You wouldn't last five minutes pal," Faye fired right back. Inside she was fighting not to bolt, but again, what was diplomacy if not a good deal of acting? So she tried very hard to play the part and gently readied her left leg, popping up onto her toe and wiggling her foot side to side. If it came to it, well, she had half a plan.

Right about then though, it sure would have been nice to stick one of those cricket phasers up under his jaw. Oops.

Samantha watched the situation unfold with growing anxiety, the restraint of not being able to do something, burning beneath her skin, as teeth gritted together, causing small ripples to form, across the peach skin over her jaw joints. She was readying herself to interject at any time, potentially blowing their cover, but yet still harbored a good sense of trust, that Faye would be able to diffuse this all on her own.

"Oh ya? Is that an insult?" the lowlife barked back, leaning forward even further, to the point where his forehead almost touched the Betazoids if she didn't retreat. The fact that he had to ask spoke volumes to his wit. At any rate, she could discern his breakfast and lunch, from watching the leftovers in between his graciously spaced teeth alone. Raising his hand, the man grabbed the short brunette by the hood of her coat, attempting to drag her to the side, making space to move in on the merchandise.
 
Being able to feel the anxiety bubbling up behind her from her superiors and the position the woman was forced to play, the vapid, helpless and at least mostly cowed form of a slave, at odds with the training of a Starfleet officer, did very little at all to reassure and calm Faye as she was faxing down the towering alien. There were downsides to being a telepath and empath, and even when she had her control tightly reigned in, things could be pressing and distracting. Now, when she'd been leaning on it for a tactical advantage in their situation, those complications were all the more pressing. Everything's a double bladed mek'elth, I swear, she thought, to no one in particular.

And then he got physical. Which was his mistake. She had a few options handy to her and her initial impulse was to send a knee to his groin. But she remembered a lecture at the Academy in her basic defense course, about how not all alien's kept their genitalia in the same place. Given that, and other facts at hand, she swept her left arm up to dislodge his grip. Now, given her size and his size, her general lack of combat practice in the years since the Academy, and her less than confrontational nature, it should have been laughable. Save for the small fact that Faye's left arm had been utterly destroyed in the assault at Jupiter Station, in the same explosion that had killed off the rest of the Diplomatic mission assigned to the Theurgy. And her replacement had been scavenged from the Black Opal supply depot, one of the hidden caches of weapons and medical supplies along the neutral zone.

Starfleet didn't make a habit of advertising that such artificial limbs could, in short bursts, greatly exceed the parameters of their biological counterparts that they had replaced. Thus, when Faye brought her left arm up into contact with the man, not only did it arrest his grip, there was a nasty, crunching sound as it cracked his wrist with ease. "I Said, hands. Off. The. Merchandise." She growled, in her best impression of every heavy she'd ever seen, while trying not to vomit in the back of her throat. She could quite literally feel the pain she'd just caused and it was utterly sickening.

The muffled crack, like a porcelain amulet, breaking in a leather satchel, cut through the loud surroundings like a phaser beam through a dark room. It constricted the blonde's airflow with a sense of anguish, not born from sympathy, but from a sentiment of pain perception by proxy. The lower edges of plump lips, drew to the corners of her defined jawline ever so slightly, revealing the roots of white teeth, between rouge pillows, in abject suffering. A notion that was soon replaced with the horrific truth of an affliction that, despite its gruesome auditory prowess, was neither fatal nor incapacitating. And the reverberating echo, would likely inflict tenfold its original scathe. There was, however, nothing either of them could do about it. It would take a Nausicaan, to alter that fate, or at least a couple of lowlifes.

Switfly dashing her skinny arm forward, the blonde ripped a leather balloon from the scoundrel's belt, showing stains of bloodwine or red liquor, in streaks down its side. Unnoticed by its owner, blue eyes briefly scanned their immediate surroundings, landing on wide, squared shoulders, presenting their back towards them, a mere few feet away. Raising the pouch above her head, liquid swishing around inside, Samantha threw it against the other man's back with enough vigor so the seams ripped and a bloody explosion splattered over the majority of his hind side. And as the initial pitter patter of drops against the dusty floor subsided, the only thing that remained was a low grumbling that grew in intensity as the mass of muscle drew momentum and turned around, revealing a burly Klingon with brows drawn low between dark eyes, sharp fangs glimmering opaque beneath untamed scruff.

Erecting her arm in a swift motion, pointing towards the original culprit without a word, the leather strap on his waist still dangled, from where the stolen contraband had started its journey. A mere step aside enough to make way for the Klingon to turn into a raging bull, charging for the proverbial red flag. A red flag that, until the heavy thuds of quickening footsteps drew closer, had no idea what was hitting him, and would likely not know either, after he was thrown backwards, into the crowd of lowlifes, that did not take too kindly to such surprises either. The growling and howling erupted like a tsunami wave across the room, as the motions in the crowd grew quicker, more erratic, like a stirring ocean.
 
So in the end, the burst of inhuman, artificially augmented strength alone wasn't enough to fully deter the man. But it had been enough to both buy time, and distract everyone from looking at Samantha. Faye would take that as a win, eventually. Once she made sure that her heart wasn't going to beat right out of her chest, or that her stomach wasn't going to void itself all over one of the rough hewn walls. Which wasn't a sure thing at the moment, given that her brain echoed with the phantom pain she'd caused, and the angry emotions of the large Klingon that had tackled the would be assailant away from Faye. She'd had very little time to react herself, and managed to scamper back just in time to avoid being swept into the crowd with the full body block from the wine drenched behemoth.

Stepping back twice, she swallowed and snaked her very real, very flesh hand around Samantha's arm, and gave a solid jerk to the side, pulling the blonde back from the unfolding scuffle. Bodies flowed all around them as the brawl broke out in earnest, shop keepers and merchants doing their best to protect their wares in the commotion, while shoppers themselves descended into an all out melee. The Betazoid found herself breathing heavily, panting and slammed her mental walls back into place with such force that her ears rang while she blocked out the swell of emotion and violence. "Oh god, I hate shit like this" she snarled under her breath, shoving her boss along and doing her damndest to get them lost in the fracas.
 
Being pulled away from the turmoil, Samantha found herself staggering a little bit in her tight dress during the quickened pace. She understood the urgency of the situation, but good god, her knees could only move so many inches apart in this thing. There was certainly no opportunity, or accident, to get laid in this dress. They managed to stagger to the sidelines, however, where shops and corridors were carved from the cave walls. However, as they sought themselves in considerable safety, the blonde had to admit, she had completely gotten turned around in the moment.

Taking a cautionary look around, gauging the many tunnels that branched off, she wasn't quite sure at first if they had managed to traverse the marketplace straight on, or had gotten deflected somewhere to the side, like shrapnel. Then, however, she was briefly distracted by Faye's comment, even more. Letting out a muffled chuckle, the diplomat irked a brow at her subordinate. She wouldn't have thought her to despise a little bit of ruckus. "Well, as hard as you may try, not every negotiation will result in the shaking of hands." she assured her, now also safe enough to talk, while everyone's attention had focused on either joining, or keeping away from the fight.

"You got any idea where to?" Sam inquired curtly, realizing full well that a tricorder would've been handy now, but wouldn't let it outwardly show. She still stood by her conviction.
 
"I think I broke his hand when we 'shook' does that count?" She groused in turn, her hands now on her hips as she took long, deep breaths to try and calm herself. she wouldn't allow her head to look down. If she bent too far forward who knew what might fall out of her mouth. Diplomat as she was, she'd rarely had a negotiation descend into the kind of chaos unfolding before them. Swallowing the acidic taste in the back of her throat she rubbed at her right temple, feeling a pulse of pain as she too mirrored Samantha's actions, trying to get a feel for where they now stood in relation to where they had come. Again, she longed for the tricorder, but all the same it might have drawn unwanted attention back to them just as they were trying to feel such observations. Drat.

"Sorry. I just...had my mind very much exposed in the moment. Walls were down and I just paid the price by feeling...all of that. I think," she paused, bit her lip and narrowed her eyes. So many of the beings in this place were taller than she was and it was frustrating. Faye was of average height for a Betazoid, even one of the colony girls like herself. It didn't help all that much here, and she'd settled on practical footwear with no heels so there was no boost to be had in that department. "I think we need to go that way," she pointed, to one of the branching off shoot tunnels. It looked right, but her little sketch only helped so much.

,,It's certainly a good start." the blonde snarked, but in a heavily distracted manner. Naturally a negotiation, starting in such a manner, would dissolve into anarchy eventually. This mission would certainly call for an interesting debrief, that was for sure. Letting her sense levitate over the ailments of her body, be it form the garment or the elevated stress levels, he Vulcan training and partial heritage, did a rather good job at suppressing these sentiments in favor of logic. Yet, the logical approach would've been to retrace their steps, if getting lost, but that seemed an utterly dangerous idea, given that the path they came from was now a pulsating, gyrating knot of limbs and heads.

"Well, having half a Vulcan olfactory system, doesn't exactly help either." Samantha replied, attempting to convey a sense of shared impairment, to alleviate any undue feelings of guilt. Turning her attention towards where Faye indicated, fielding it as good a possibility as possible, the commander nodded decisively. "Let's go then ..." And with those words the tall blonde moved ahead, feeling that if any more danger was lurking beyond these curves and corners, it should've been her brunt to bear. No matter their current roles.

Slipping into considerable quiet and desertion, the corridor was barely distinguishable from the one they had materialized in. Making it extremely difficult to keep an optimistic spin on the possibility to stumble upon their target. The labyrinth of tunnels stretched onward until they could hear nothing of what they had started, back in the marketplace, anymore. It was, however, replaced by an eerie silence, interspersed with a growing and ebbing hum of power couplings and conduits. That was, until voices cut through the thick air, one high pitched and more delicate, the other strong, yet feminine.

Moving through a ripped burlap curtain, out onto a small platform, overlooking a lower cave, a small shed like structure was huddled against the far side, flickering lights illuminating the space. And in front of the makeshift abode, sat a Klingon woman and her child, no ten years old, from the look of it. A gentle sigh of relief left the blonde's nostrils, as her shoulders relaxed into a more gradual incline. Faint twitches, tucking at the corners of her plump lips.

So Faye had to deal with the brain waves of others and Samantha had the heightened scents to contain with, thanks to a Vulcan ancestor. As bad as the place already smelled, the betazoid had to admit that this was something of a determent indeed. She was glad she didn't have that burden to bear in addition to her own. It was something to distract herself from the mental backlash of the fight as the two women wove their way down the corridor of rough hewn asteroid rockface. They were giving up on the whole guise for the moment in favor of speed and practicality, and Faye didn't seem bothered at all to let Samantha slip around and take the lead. As the quiet descended around them, Faye let her senses open back up a bit, to try and give any sort of warning. Something, or someone did lay ahead. And they were wary.

Sensible.

The junior diplomat lay a hand on her bosses shoulder as they rounded the corner and the child came into view. As with the other woman she felt her breath catch slightly. Faye wasn't sure how to approach, how to let them know they were there. She'd let Sam handle that. That's what having a superior was for. Passing the buck in a nasty moment. Instead, she took two slow steps back from the entrance, the towering platform and pressed her back against the rock walls. She reached into the folds of her over cloak and triggered the small device, opening - or attempting to open - a channel back to the shuttlecraft. "Eloi-Danvers to Fisher. If you can read this, we've found the package. Will try and tag. Can you get a lock, over?"