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Topic: Chapter 05: Veiled Valiance [ Day 02 | 2000 hrs. ] (Read 84 times) previous topic - next topic

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Chapter 05: Veiled Valiance [ Day 02 | 2000 hrs. ]


STARDATE: 58292.69
APRIL 17, 2381
2000 HRS.

Mission Log, stardate 58292.69, acting mission commander Lieutenant Frank Arnold.

An overall strange development, what seemed to be a straightforward, if not dangerous mission, has become a dual pronged jab at desperation. Following the news of the sabotage of the Theurgy by an unknown bomber, it was decided that the away mission need split, to tackle the two threats facing the Federation. For now, we must put away any thoughts of grief, and handle the task at hand, or the Theurgy's sacrifice will have been for nought. While the Allegiant remains in Breen Space, my small team of mission specialists, as well as a contingent of Lone Wolves, and our modified Tovarek Drone, will hitch a ride with the Savi Erudite to Andor, where we will have twenty five hours to locate and diffuse a thalaron bomb, or raise the alarm and start the evacuation of Laikan.

- Lieutenant Frank Arnold, the Erudite

[ Lieutenant Frank Arnold | Aerodrome | The Erudite ]
Frank stood on the deck of the Erudite's aerodrome, arms crossed, one hand idly stroking his beard as the Savi vessel slipped to quantum slipstream without so much as a shudder. On any other day, Frank would have been thrilled, likely he would have been taken by a ramble about the speed, the mode of operation, and the materials required for such a venture. But now, he felt exhausted, by the emotional toll of the day, and the enormity of the task ahead of him, which they had yet to truly begin. Through his mind swam a hundred possibilities of how they could succeed in their task, and tenfold possibilities of failure.

The Savi had provided them with the space at least to set up, he'd likely be able to assemble a fairly permanent console here in this space, and there was a lab they could borrow if they absolutely needed it. While the Savi were not interested in directly being involved in this conflict, they drove a pretty bad ass taxi.

Waving away dark imaginings born of fatigue, he turned to the smattering of crew poised upon the deck of the aerodrome, accompanied by a crowd of hastily transferred equipment, some ready-fold bunks, Valkyrie Fighters, and his modified Tovarek Drone. He drew small solace from the accompaniment of his new toy, at least they'd have a faithful ally to watch over them, a guardian angel as Fisher had suggested when commissioning the peace. He said a silent thanks to the man for suggesting it come with them on this mission, perhaps he possessed some clairvoyance, apt for his role aboard the Theurgy.

With him also, were the assigned personnel from the Allegiant, pilots, science officers, intelligence operatives, a doctor, and a gunnery officer. All were qualified, all were keen, and yet that didn't absolve the pit in his stomach, he'd not worked with any of them before. He'd loosely gathered them once the equipment transfer was completed, so they could discuss the coming mission.

Eventually he cleared his throat, and offered plainly, "For those of you that don't know me, I'm Frank, Lieutenant Frank Arnold. I serve as the Theurgy's Assistant Chief Engineer in charge of Vector Zero-One." He nodded gently, "Beyond the intimate details of my life, I'm a no nonsense guy, and this is a no nonsense mission. We won't have the luxury of standing on protocol, we just don't have the time for it. So let's kick about some ideas of how we're going to find this bomb. We can reasonably assume it's Romulan in design, based on what our parasitic pals did in Paris." So much loss and death in the last 5 days, Frank didn't even think it had been that long. "We also know that detecting the radiation is likely a no-go. After Paris, you have to imagine every government in the Federation is on the hunt for thalaron particles with a fine tooth comb."

He took a pause, and a breath, and offered, "That means we're going to have to think outside of the box, the best Federation Andorian minds are, I'm sure, searching already. We have to look for what they aren't. Which is perfect, because out of the box is where this crew eats lunch." He grinned gently, "Now I stand by my theory that we should be able to detect the shielding material of the bomb. I've also been thinking, that the climate of Andor might actually do us a favor. With the thalaron particles unable to escape the shielding, and the very same particles not obeying an inverse square law, that energy has to go somewhere. It could potentially be heat. We might be looking for a hot parcel of rare alloy." He nodded, "It's a lead. But I'll leave the specifics to you Lieutenant Vanya." She was the science expert, and therefore the sensor expert, after all.

After another pause, he said "Lastly, I think it's imperative that we should not alert the Andorians until we are sure that evacuation is the only remaining option. I'm sure I don't have to say to anyone here, the Andorian government is as likely to react to a bombing attempt with equal ferocity to a successful bombing. We'll end up with the war we're desperately trying to avoid." He rolled his shoulders, they ached him today, "Which is why we'll employ the modified Tovarek drone for a site to site insertion, I'll stay behind, provide as much sensor support, and transporter aid as I can."

Once he was done, he turned to the group, and offered, "Now's the time for ideas, let's hear them. I want to have a solid plan together, before we get there."

The Deputy who was to lead the away team after the insertion was standing not far from Arnold, dressed in her exosuit but with her helmet off. She was frowning and looking towards the deck, but she had something additional to offer in wake of the last meeting in the Allegiant.

"Well, as for the target, it seems Laikan has been picked above other cities according to our mole in Starfleet Headquarters, even if it's not the largest city on the moon. I think, however, that I understand the reasoning behind choice."

Raising her eyes and antennae for a moment, ThanIda zh'Wann explained. "There are two capitals on our moon. Laibok is the capital city of the moon itself, while Laikan is the capital city of the whole Andorian Empire. It's because peace was once made between the Andorian clans in that city, on the site that would become the Plaza of Freedom. The Parliament buildings are centered around it. Lor'Tan, however, is the largest city on the moon, and  serve as the center for cultural, economic and political life. In addition, Andoria's largest commercial bodies and industrial organizations are also stationed in Lor'Tan. So, it would seem Laikan was picked because it is a city of significance for the entire Empire, and not specifically to cause the most structural and collateral damage. It would be an attack on my people's collective heart. It's the most efficient means in which to stir our ire. The city is located on the Zhevra continent, at which is considered the more temperate latitudes of Andor by other species. Should be around zero degrees Celsius this time of year."

It seemed awkward for the Andorian to speak of her people as 'hers', and it was likely because she was in exile, having abandoned her clan to serve in Starfleet. She wasn't finished, however.

"If the Reman was right, we should also ask the Savi to scan for cloaked Romulan ships in orbit of the moon, along with the rare alloys that might contain the thalaron particles to see which ship has the bomb, if there's more than one." Whether or not the Voice would agree to that remained to be seen, and time was short. "If the Romulans mean to deploy the bomb just prior to detonation, then we might have to try and board such a ship before that happens, and neutralize the bomb aboard it. Alternatively, the transporter systems aboard. Moreover, while it would be ideal if such a Romulan ship remained cloaked and hidden to the people on the planet, to prevent antagonizing them, we might have to destroy the cloaking device instead, so that the moon's orbital defences can deal with the ship."

Junior Lieutenant Rawley spoke up next in comment on that, running a hand over her shaved head. "If there is a ship - or more than one - and the Andorians can't deal with them, or are too bloody late to the party, then us Lone Wolves might have to do it instead. You guys will have to get off the ship with the bomb before then, though."

The Deputy nodded grimly, and then glanced towards the rest gathered in the makeshift camp on the dimly lit deck - the lights from their equipment and the exosuits standing out in the expanse of the aerodrome.

OOC: This was a joint post by @uytrereee and me! Thank you for the help on this starter!!  (L)

Indeed, this thread is the starter for Chapter 05. Supplemental threads on the Allegiant/Erudite set before this scene above belong to Chapter 03 or 04, depending on which time you pick, with the title convention CH0X: S [D0Y|ZZZZ] Insert Title. If set before 1245 on Day 02, it belongs to Chapter 03. As for Chapter 04, supplemental threads may be started set during the 7 hours I spanned in Chapter 04: Horns of Dilemma for both the away teams, which led up to the scene above. No Supplemental threads may be started set in Chapter 05 after this scene on the Erudite just yet.

Here is the Andoria team, and you have 7 days to post @Number6 and @Stegro88 ! :)

- Chief of Mission (COM) & Drone Control: Lt. Frank Arnold @uytrereee
- Medical Officer: Doctor George Hernandez (NPC)
- Fighter Escort 01: Lt. JG Evelyn "Ghost" Rawley @Auctor Lucan
- Fighter Escort 02: Ens. Isel Nix (NPC)
- Fighter Escort 03: Ens. Nathaniel Isley (NPC)

- Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM): Lt. ThanIda zh'Wann @Auctor Lucan
- Science Officer: Lt. Vanya @Number6
- Intelligence Operative: Lt. JG Donna "Chance" Petterson @Stegro88
- Redshirt Gunnery Officer: Sogh (Lt.) Valkra (NPC, due KIA)
  • Last Edit: September 07, 2020, 10:28:35 AM by Auctor Lucan

Re: Chapter 05: Veiled Valiance [ Day 02 | 2000 hrs. ]
Reply #1
[ Lieutenant Vanya | Aerodrome | The Erudite ]

She found that she liked Lt. Arnold as a CO, she reminded her of Laskey.  One of the flaws of Starfleet officers was the sense of entitlement that some of them had, even the good ones.  While she respected, even admired the chain of command, the way that some officers would stick to it was downright annoying.  Laskey was more of a pragmatist, and so was Arnold.  Sometimes you had to put your pomposity to one side, roll up your sleeves and wade in.  Vanya wasn't sure if she had mixed metaphors, they were often tricky to master at the best of times.   As he deferred to her she simply nodded.   She had looked around the Eruidte when she could and their tech while highly advanced didnt seem particularly complex to her.  

"Rigging up the systems  to find what you're looking for shouldn't be hard."
She said.  "If our hosts don't mind us playing with their toys." She added. 

The nerves in Vanya's system seemed to ramp themselves up  As odd as it was to "return" to Federation space, the mention of Romulan ships made Vanya's concern increase.  While she could "Think" in Romulan, most, if not all of her intel, was out of date.  The project that created her wasn't exactly well thought of, even within the ranks of the Tal'Shiar.  To be in a position where her Federation citizenship was no longer a guarantee of protection from being captured or destroyed by her former masters.   

On the other hand, she was prepared to protect herself and her crew from whatever challenges she faced.  If that meant tangling with her former people, so be it. 

Inhabiting my head are:

[Lt. Vanya |Assistant Science Officer| USS Theurgy]

[Lt. J.G Foval |Assistant Diplomatic Officer |USS Theurgy]

Re: Chapter 05: Veiled Valiance [ Day 02 | 2000 hrs. ]
Reply #2
[ Lt. JG Donna 'Chance' Petterson | Aerodrome | Erudite ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan @Number6 

"Well, this should be fun," Donna thought to herself as she sat on the bunk and listened to Frank Arnold deliver what amounted to a briefing to the assembled Theurgy crew members. It was a motley collection to be sure, but Donna had completed crazier missions during the Dominion War with less well-equipped teams. They'd be fine. The worst that would happen was they get captured by the Federation and then turned into an infested like Doctor Nicander so that their enemy could learn everything that they know. "No, better to die by my own hand," Donna resolved grimly. It wasn't the first time that she had made that resolution and she doubted it would be the last either.

"Locating the local intelligence operatives shouldn't be too hard," Donna noted calmly as she dredged up operational procedures she hadn't used in years. "Finding the ones loyal to Anderson will be the tricky part. Blending into the Andorian populace; that's going to be the hard part. I'm a little too tan for the part."

"I still think Lorad's idea is the right one,"
Donna opined, using the Reman's name instead of just referring to his species like the Deputy had. "The Romulans, even those not infested, aren't stupid. They'd have to know that everyone is going to be searching for the bomb or ways to conceal it. There best bet will be to hide it behind a cloak until right before detonation," Donna stated matter-of-factly. 

"The only question is if the cloaked ship will be in orbit for any length of time before deployment of the weapon."
PO3 Lorad [Show/Hide]
Lt. JG Donna 'Chance' Petterson [Show/Hide]
CPO Mickayla MacGregor [Show/Hide]
CM3 Samala [Show/Hide]
Lt. T'Less [Show/Hide]

Re: Chapter 05: Veiled Valiance [ Day 02 | 2000 hrs. ]
Reply #3

[ Lieutenant Frank Arnold | Aerodrome | The Erudite ]

Frank looked around his small group then, and gave a nod. They'd each fielded some ideas, and were slowly coming to a consensus. Either the bomb would be ground based, or would be shipboard and cloaked, likely the latter over the former. They would need to find it, and then the away team would needs be cut and transported inside, to deal with the explosive. Well, if that turned out anyway, there was always a chance one of their assumptions was wrong, and this wasn't the lab, if they were wrong, they might never see the Allegiant or the Theurgy again.

He cleared his throat, and then gave a gentle smile, waiting for a natural pause before taking back over the conversation, he offered lightly, "I'm starting to gather that we're going to need a few things that we don't have with us. My toy is going to need a slight modification I think. But I can handle that...mostly, I'll need parts. If the bomb is shipboard, we'll need a way in. I'm thinking slice and dice." He stroked his chin, "But I think we're also going to need access to the Savi's sensors, see if they can help us find what we're looking for. I have no doubt, Lieutenant Vanya, that you can handle running them if we're given the keys." He tapped the side of his head thinking, as he took out a PADD, trying to read some of his assembled notes on the Savi, diligently collected over their seven hour stint preparing for this mission, well what parts of that he hadn't spent with Jaya.

"It also looks like the Savi might have some infiltration technology that might be most helpful on top of our exosuits." He hmm'd and ha'd and then looked to the group and offered, "I understand that some of you likely had real nasty experiences with the Savi, but we're going to need their help if we're going to pull this off. I need you guys to draw on those experiences, and think of anything our hosts can offer us, that might aid us in our mission."

He gave a nod, "We're going to need to speak with The Voice." He involuntarily swallowed, and grunted out then after, "This'll be a first for me." He chuckled, and then turned, offering, "I'll...go speak with our hosts, and then, we can speak with the Voice as a group." He nodded then once more, and unless there were any more parting comments, started his stride towards one end of the campsite, laid out in the wide open space of the Erudite.

Eventually he came across one of their hosts, not too far away from their gathering, and offered a polite, "Uh, Greetings. I am Frank Arnold...I am the commander in charge of this mission. I'd like to petition with your leader, The Voice."

Now all there was to do was wait.


[ Lieutenant Frank Arnold | The Voice's Audience Chamber | The Erudite ]
2030 HRS

Fortunately the wait wasn't too long, no more than a half an hour, before he and the rest of his party were ushered into what could only be described as a throne room. Perhaps chamber was more apt, either way it was a grand room, with a rhomboid, or triangular window at the far end. That was where the illustrious leader stood, on his elevated platform, waiting to receive them. He was flanked by one or two of the other Savi, as was the causeway leading towards him.

Frank cleared his throat while he approached, clasping his PADD in his massive mitts, occasionally turning it end over end, and squeezing it. It was a nervous fixation for him, and eventually he stopped in his stride, perhaps fifteen paces away. He looked around to his group, and took one deep breath while he looked at the screen of his PADD once more.

He looked the alien overlord in the eye directly, and raised a hand in greeting, calling on every last ounce of First Contact training he'd slept through in the Academy, "I am Frank Arnold, Lieutenant Frank Arnold, Assistant Chief Engineer of the Federation Starship Theurgy, and Commander of this away mission to Andoria. I imagine maybe you were already told that. Thank you for receiving us for this chat, and for the ride." Slowly he looked around the room, and offered idly, but certainly loud enough to be heard, "I'll give you lot this, you can build a ship." He offered a low whistle, "I mean, this is some design let me tell you." He chuckled, and then waved a hand, "My apologies, I am prone to a good ramble, and while I'm sure it would be a thrilling study to listen to me wax and wane on the materials in play in this room, that's not why I've asked to speak with you."

He motioned to his team, and said, "I'm not a flowery guy, I'll cut through the bull. My team and I, we've come up with a reasonable estimate of some things we're going to probably need to have a chance at success. Now I understand that your people can't do much to help us, not that you're not able, but you've got your own directives. I understand that, we all do as Starfleet Officers." He paused and took a breath, "But not offering us any help, is as good as interfering on behalf of your enemies, at least in my book. So I hope you'll at least hear me out before saying no." He smiled his most charming smile, and continued.

"Really at most we'll need access to your sensors, whatever you can provide us, so we can locate our bomb, or, well we think it'll be a bomb similar to the Paris bomb, or our best guess at its composition. Beyond that I'm going to need some parts to help me assemble a graviton cutting beam, or any other configuration beam really, on my Tovarek Drone. We suspect the bomb may be shipboard, and I'll need a can opener so to speak. Uh a can opener is a sharp rotary blade that opens a food doesn't matter. I've gotten used to working with your boys under Blue, Commander Tiran, so if you wanted to loan me a couple to help me get that put together, I'd appreciate that."

Frank held up two fingers, and then lifted a third, "And if you had some infiltration suits, or personal cloaks, that wouldn't hurt our cause either." He took a deep breath, "I know you can't fly in there blasting like the fastest gun in the south, I get it. But, if you left these things close to our camp, in an open box, and we borrowed them, that would only be bending the rules, not breaking them." He looked about his people, motioning to them, and offered, "My people will move Earth itself to get this job done, but as Archimedes said, 'give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum to place it on'." He'd let them  fill in the gaps.

He offered a punctual nod, and lastly said, "If we provided you with a short list, could you furnish us with any of these things I've requested, possibly a few more from my team?" He looked to them, and waved them on to offer anything they wanted to ask for, or to say.