EP02 Prologue Senior Staff Meeting

From Star Trek: Theurgy Wiki

This is a wiki page dedicated to the Joint-Post writing of this Senior Staff meeting in Episode 02: Cosmic Imperative.

When prompted, the writers of Senior Staff members have until a set date to add short In-Character segments written out of the perspective of their characters during the meeting. There is a firm cap set on how much all writers get to write in their allotted slots, which will serve to increase the pace and alacrity at which a meeting like this can be depicted.


  • The order of the slots have been randomized in advance, but if a writer is available to post before someone else, the slot can be moved as best fit the scene.
  • Nicander's and Ives' answers will be added throughout the posting window.
  • Only a maximum of 2 paragraphs in each slot
  • The cap is set at 150 words per slot
  • It is allowed to add short comments through the Joint-Post in reaction to what is said by others, but these reactions has a firm cap of 50 words, dialogue included, and should be non-disruptive.
  • Continual corrections and edits are encouraged to allow for a better flow.

Any continuity errors and discrepancies will be sorted out after the ending date and before the JP is posted in the Prologue of Episode 02. The GM will handle any latent formatting issues and conversion from wiki markup to forum BBC code prior to posting.

Joint-Post 02: Mission to Romulus Segment of Senior Staff Meeting

With the proposition made, Jien came to a stop behind his chair, and put his hands on the back of it. "Speak your minds. What say you?"

If her look of anxiousness during the meeting hadn’t given away her leanings, Ives’ look just may have done it, and Ensign Cameron Henshaw did nothing to hide it. She was no longer hiding for the sake of propriety. She nervously swallowed before her eyes looks up at Jien, who in that very moment despite everything that occurred between them was the point at which she’d anchored herself to reality.

“The smaller device... how do we ensure it works and continues to work once our objective is complete?” Killing the Praetor with or without a parasite would make her a martyr and someone couldn’t be on hand the rest of her life to point a fancy pistol at her. No matter what happened it was a complicated and risky plan based on trust, which for Cam was simple for the rest of the crew to trust Lucan was another thing entirely.

"Nicander is about to use his Farsight again to gather intel on the situation beyond the Romulan border, so that would be a perfect time to try it," Jien said, pushing away from the back of his chair and starting to pace the conference room again. "If the transphasic light doesn't work, we only have the anyon emitter option, but then the Romulans won't have a Praetor anymore. As far as I am aware, aside from conventional phaser fire, we don't have a third option on how to subdue the Infested. Regardless, we need to reach the Praetor in order to make the attempt."

Worrying her lower lip between her teeth, Enyd leaned back, hands clasped in her lap as she looked to the ceiling and visualized the moving pieces. With the collective understanding that Empress Donatra needed to, and would, meet with Chancellor Martok at the Klingon border in mind, Enyd mulled over what had been said or unsaid through the course of the meeting. The old adage of strength in numbers was as true now as it was at nearly any other time in diplomatic history. If there could be made an alliance — temporary though it may be — between Donatra and Martok, the two of them working together with Theurgy — and through them the Federation — then those uninfested Romulan commanders could be made to acknowledge the puppet masters pulling the strings on their Empire. They may stand a chance of not only NOT being destroyed but also in gaining another ally against their nefarious enemy.

Eyes still on the ceiling as the pieces moved in her mind, Enyd spoke up, “If we cannot negotiate a workable relationship between Donatra and Martok at the rendevous point, both fleets will be destroyed by the thalaron-armed forces of their pursuers. Ourselves as well, for that matter.” Tipping forward in one swift motion, Enyd placed her elbows on the conference table and leaned against them, gaze moving over her peers. “Not only is it without question that our presence is required alongside Martok’s at the RNZ, but it would also be prudent of us to find a way to buy time for us and our allies if things shift sideways, which we know they tend to do. If the Romulans have thalaron-armed weapons, what do we have that can counteract them? Is there anything we can manufacture, ingest, wear, or find that can negate the effects of the thalaron radiation? If we can enter the playing field with that 'trick' tucked in our pockets, our confidence and morale will increase as our survivability stats increase. And a diplomat entering a negotiation with a backup plan already in place is far more likely to successfully broker a pact.”

"We have a theoretical solution on how to disperse thalaron radiation," Jien said, gesturing towards the panoramic viewport, as if indicating a ship far gone. "The Oneida left almost a week ago to scan the planetary rings of Ba'Ku, the working theory being that with those scans, there might be a way to mitigate the effects. You are right in that we need time in order to implement that kind of solution. Not just as a solution for Thea, but for both the Klingon forces as well as the remaining ships in Donatra's fleet. You are right, Lieutenant, in that we need to stall the Romulan pursuers, and without a means to deal with their banned weaponry, diplomacy might be our only weapon to save the lives of our allies."

It went without saying that Kingons weren't known for their diplomatic prowess, and there was a lot of bad blood between Donatra and the Romulan commanders that were loyal to the Praetor. Jien had no idea how many lives had been lost on both sides during the chase through Romulan space, but fact remained. The Theurgy might be the only neutral party that could stall further bloodshed at the Romulan border.

Cutting in at that point, the ships XO raised two of the fingers on her right hand to catch the captains attention. "A note on the Oneida's progress, Captain," while she addressed Ives primarily the report was of importance to all gathered. "Based on our last communication from the ship and our current projections of their path, the Oneida should be reaching Ba'ku within the next 24 hours. We expect and update from them as soon as possible there after. I'm not sure if the time table will provide enough time for our Science department to act upon the scans, but we should be prepared to begin work within 48 hours." What went unsaid, but was understood between the XO and her Captain was that this all depended on everything going according to plan. The odds of which were not great.

Selena leaned back in her chair, arms folding across her stomach as she thought about this other part of the mission. She wasn’t sure Captain Ives quite caught the meaning behind her historical reference but she set that to the side for the moment, especially since it sounded like Theurgy wouldn’t be going to Hobus herself. Getting the Praetor out of the equation, even temporarily, would certainly make things a mite easier at Hobus. Fair guess said that with the Praetor an Infested then any ships assigned to Hobus were under her personal command, so with her incapacitated then reinforcements would be slower to respond. Of course, this was all pure conjecture at this point. “At the very least, if we can throw a wrench into the Romulan C&C systems we should. That could save us, Starfleet, and the Klingons a load of trouble if we fail elsewhere.

"Agreed," Jien said passing behind the cybernetically augmented woman by the table whilst he paced the room. "If we fail to separate Tal'Aura's mind from the parasite's control, then a backup plan ought to include some kind of debilitating measure against the Romulan war machine. Something that throws their forces into disarray, and buys us the time we need to address the threat of the thalaron weaponry. Unless Tal'Aura can be convinced to stand down and call back her fleets, we'll have do what we can to save our Allies and protect the Federation."

Listening to the discourse between the Captain and her replacement at Ops, Natalie frowned slightly, a memory tugging at the frontier of her conscious mind. Pursing her lips, she turned to Selena briefly. "Lieutenant. One of my predecessors, the late Lt. Trent used a rather insidious virus to disable Task for Acheron and affect his escape and defection to the Theurgy." Carrigan Trent was a sore point for many members of the crew, and to this day Natalie still had mixed feelings about the former XO and Intelligence Chief, but his tactic had been effective. "It is possible we might be able to adapt that to our advantage and implement it against the Praetor's forces. Of course there is every chance that they are aware of the specifics of that bit of electronic warfare and have suitable countermeasures in place. Fractured though they may be, the Romulans are nothing if not cautious and well prepared."

Nodding in answer to Natalie's suggestion, Ives gave the suggestion a moment of thought. "There is no telling whether the Romulans might have countermeasures for that kind of a virus, but either way, the Soup Sandwich virus is a good base template to work with since an altered version of it even managed to work against the Borg for a short while during the battle in the Azure Nebula."

The Chief Tactical Officer raised his voice next. “What if we also use the Savi rebels as a weapon?” Briefly glancing at the rest of the officers gathered at the table, Cross continued. “Captain, you mentioned consulting the Voice for help earlier? So, if the rebels truly want to knock out their opponent's knees, this could be their chance. Much like with the Azurite Station, the Erudite could ferry one of our crafts with Reman cloaks. Using backyard technology would allow us to get closer to the Praetor without calling too much attention to ourselves too quickly.”

Giving this some thought, Jien inclined his head. "Aye, it is worth asking, since that would allow the Theurgy to stand with Martok and Donatra at the RNZ, and continue to work on the means to mitigate the threat of thalaron weaponry. We have both the Allegiant and the Apache available for a mission inside Romulan space, deployed from the Erudite, and both are fitted with a Reman cloak. Better yet, the Savi can reach the Hobus star quicker than we could."

Jaru wasn’t fussed on whether Tal’aura survived or not. He was only worried about the war that she – or the parasite inside her – was starting. If there was a good alternative that could stop it, then anyon away. They were basing this whole plan on the idea that it was all the parasite’s influence, but who said that the Praetor didn’t want to invade the Federation too? The two countries were hardly friends. He wasn’t an intelligence officer, a diplomat, or a scientist. Toppling the head of the Romulan Empire was their specialty. But Jaru had been on the front lines of enough wars to know what was coming to the border, so his focus was there. “If we can mount a good defense against the thalaron weapons, they might pull back. Romulans are backstabbers, not warriors. They’ll think twice about mounting a full-on invasion if they lose their ace.”

"Agreed," Jien said, inclining his head and hoping that the Oneida's scans would prove useful, and that they would be sent to the science department in time.

Vanya hadn’t been in Romulus space to her own devices for some time. She imagined that whatever intelligence files Theurgy had before they went rogue would be lightyears ahead of the compartmentalised information in her brain. She looked to the assembled team. “I must confess I am not that versed in current events on the home world, but if I can be of use to any plan, I’m here.” Still, one thing Vanya did know was science, and in the time she had taken over the team, she had little doubt that her team could give it the best shot. “As soon as we get scans from the Oneida, I’ll have my people pour through the data. If there’s a way to deal with the thalaron radiation in the sensory data, we will find it.”

"Good, Lieutenant." Jien came to stand by his chair again. "Let's hope the Oneida reached Ba'Ku sooner rather than later."

"Captain," Doctor Kobol began. "Might I suggest we put the Praetor into stasis, it may help isolate the Parasite in some way that could make the transphasic light cannon more precise in separating it from the host's mind." He said, "it could be a kind of surgery. We will need some form of transphasic containment holding for the parasite, I'm sure that sciences and engineering could maybe make a copy of the cannon into the containment holding?"

Ives shook his head. "Unfortunately, we only have one cannon due to the lack of access to kemocite, so even if we had the time to make new tech that utilise the transphasic wavelength, we don't have access to the critical component that powers the cannon." Another thing, however, came to Ives when addressing the Chief Medical Officer. "If the cannon has to be brought to Romulus in order to potentially end Romulan aggressions, and we also need Nicander's ability to successfully thwart the plans the Infested have for the Hobus star, then the Doctor cannot remain behind if we have to split up the ship and crew. Be it on the Allegiant or another shuttle travelling aboard the Erudite, he will have to remain locked up, but we need a medical officer that is familiar with him as a patient."

"We need Tal'aura awake Doc," Jaru cut in. "We need her to order the Romulans to stand down and retreat back to their borders before they start a war. She can't do that if she's taking a stasis nap."

Ives concurred. "Moreover, like I said, the specific transphasic light needed can't be replicated without the kemocite anyway, so a stasis pod is no option. Even if it were, since we've seen Infested fight on while their bodies ought to have given out from damages, there is even less of a guarantee that cryogenc stasis will contain one."

After listening to both the briefing from Nicander and everyone’s questions so far, Commander Kai Akoni had gotten a headache. Never had he thought that any crew he would be on would be considering killing the Romulan Praetor a viable option. Nevertheless, even though it wasn’t their first choice, it was a good alternative. Kai then took the time in a short and to the point way, to brief the rest of the senior staff on what his staff had been up to.

“My staff, more specifically, Kino Jeen has indeed been working on a mobile version of the light canon, and she's too far along to change it into a stasis pod. It would basically be most of the tech fitting in a backpack with the emitter being a standard sized rifle. They were working on it for unrelated reasons, but it just happens to fit our situation.“

Akoni looked around the room to see if everyone had digested his information before he continued, “I have every confidence it’ll work, because if we do have to resort to killing the Praetor, we have to make damn sure there is a backup plan in place. Having a power vacuum in the Romulan leadership won’t be good for anyone. Infested or not.”

"Yes," Ives said with a frown of shared concern, "and so far, the only thing we have on the table is Ravenholm's suggestion to destabilise their fleet operations with some kind of virus, but that will likely just be a temporary means to stall fleet advancement - buying us time to deal with the threat of their thalaron weaponry."

Alana thought momentarily as she listened to the others. An idea came to mind as she remembered the Captain's abilities and the possibilities that may present for their current mission to allow for both Nicander and the "Praetor" to be in position simultaneously. However, she realized with the note about the lack of materials for another light cannon, made her concept moot.

Thinking once more at the difficulties and the inability to make her previous suggestion come into play, Alana remembered another piece of the puzzle she'd been messing with earlier in the week. "Captain, as unfortunate as it was to have Chambers disappear, what about the information he passed along before we lost contact? His intel regarding the proper dispersal of the thalaron radiation. He mentioned in his impromptu data dump that the Oneida's scans of the rings of Ba'Ku won't be enough. The dispersal configuration of the key component of the weaponry itself as well was needed. Namely, the thalaron triggers."

"Yes," Jien said, remembering the unfortunate development with the missing Ops officer, "as I recall, we have yet to confirm these findings, much gained access to that kind of technology. Do you have new data?"

Pausing to gather her thoughts further she added another remark on her intel. "Since I had taken over the intelligence department over the past few weeks, my team was able to gather through their respective contacts beyond the RNZ, the coordinates of the factory in which Shinzon stole his thalaron generator. It could be a good option for us to explore and send in a covert team to... wreak havoc on the facility." She smiled at the thought of going off-world for that.

Nodding, Jien wondered if Chamber might have been right after all. "Confirm Chambers' theory with the scientists, and if so, then we have no time to waste. A mission to that factory needs to be underway sooner rather than later. I will discuss means of deployment beyond the RNZ with the Voice if you just send me the coordinates."

Larrant's avatar had remained frozen as he registered everything that was revealed in the meeting so far. As a member of a species that literally felt the gravitational presence of stars the ramifications of a massive supernova that could rip through the very fabric of subspace and into another dimension was... horrifying. The emotion was still relatively new to him. He had only felt it a few times and only as part of a shared consciousness with his diad hosts. He was still running the physic calculations when the Captain spoke.

"Sir, I do not have to remind anyone what the ramifications of a Hobus supernova would cause, let alone any supernova. This one would be significant considering its location in a heavily populated region of space. As you may know my people excel at navigation due to our unique sense of stellar gravity. In order for the Infested to punch a hole in the very fabric of dimensional space via a supernova suggests a level of destruction far greater than anything we have every seen. No Medusan in my lineage has ever known such an event to have ever happened. Forgive me as I have been modeling projections and running advanced calculations on the astrophysics that would make such an event even possible." Larrant wasn't even sure if those sitting at the table would even semicomprehend what he had calculated.

The implications were indeed dire, plainly so for Ives and the rest of the Senior Staff, calculations shown or not.

Chief Arnold didn't really like any of the answers he was getting. There was too little certainty in what was being proposed. Sending in desperate commando raids, having to get within shooting range of a possibly infested Romulan Praetor? These were truly desperate times. Frank quirked an eyebrow at Alana's suggestion since it gave him an idea. "Sir, I can rig transporter homing devices on dart guns. Even if we can't get the light cannon to work, we can still beam Tal'Aura out and into holding. On another note, for the EM pulse on the sun, a runabout could do it. I'd recommend dropping one off before the actual operation begins and sending it towards the sun."

Nodding, Jien thought about the suggestion of removing the Praetor from her seat of power in case she wouldn't become cooperative. "Good idea, Arnold. We still have TR-120 rifles in the Armory. If you can create personal transportation darts for those, and there are no shields or transporter inhibitors preventing such action, then it's a viable option. Make it happen, please. As for the idea to use the Hobus star itself to deal damage on the orbiting Savi weapon, then either of the ships deployed from the Erudite can do so, as long as the pulse calibrations work."

Hathev held her silence for a bit longer than might have been warranted as a series of thoughts occurred to her. One was certainly within her purview and if she knew Captain Ives as well as she thought she did, it stood to reason her suggestion was already in play. But the other... that second thought was well out of her duties and a suggestion of this might be out of place. Plus it might embarrass Cross. Even so, it was her responsibility to voice these ideas, especially given that Ives had requested input.

"I have two things, Captain. First, given the nature of our mission and the inherent danger attached to it, would it not be prudent to address the crew?" She paused. "Second. While I am no tactitian, I am curious to know if the option of borrowing a cloaking device from the Klingons and installing it on board Theurgy has been considered. It might make our approach a bit less...intense?"

"Of course, and yes, Commander," Jien said with a faint smile, glancing towards Hathev. "Federation tactical logs through the past twenty years are consistent in that Romulan cloaking devices are the top of the line, while we have constantly seen the Klingon devices prone to some sort of exploit. Aside from that, the evaluation showed that the utilisation of a cloaking device for a ship of Thea's size comes with trade-offs that are non-negotiable, compromising key functions of the ship since - relative to her size - it consumes large amounts of power. You may even recall that we tried to use a Reman cloak in the Azure Nebula, and almost lost the ship in the process. Moreover, the space distortion necessary to bend light rays is equivalent to an enormous mass concentration, so additional measures must be taken to compensate the effect inside the distortion, and those measures are - with current mission limitations - unavailable."

When the Senior Staff had fallen silent, Jien decided that it was time give out his orders. He changed... to her female form, and when she spoke, she turned to look at each person she addressed.

"Stark, work with Ravenholm and her officers. Use the base template of Soup Sandwich virus for a new version, specifically targeting Romulan subspace networks. Time is short, and we need it in case either the cannon has no effect, or the Praetor isn't willing to cooperate once she'd herself again. Commander Cross, you've deployed from the Erudite before, but I need you on the Theurgy if we are forced to engage the Romulan fleets at the RNZ. What I need your help with, however, is compiling an away team roster for the two-fold mission to Hobus and Romulus. Henshaw, get me an audience with the Voice, for if we are to commit to this undertaking, the help of the Savi will be crucial."

Continuing, Jien addressed those remaining. "Larrant, break orbit and plot a course for the rendezvous point we agreed upon with Chancellor Martok. We'll use the quantum slipstream drive, so - Arnold - give the word to your teams that we'll make a jump at 0900 hrs. In the meantime, you'll also need to compile a team to assemble transporter munitions for our TR-120 rifles, and run simulations on the solar EMP solution you proposed. Lieutenant Madsen, have the Diplomatic Corps ready to receive the Klingons on the Flag Bridge in wait for Donatra's arrival. Pierce, like I said, we need to know the thalaron trigger scans will fit the needs for the thalaron dispersal project, and once that is confirmed by Science, prepare an infiltration mission. The away team will be going on the Apache to the factory, while the mission to Hobus and Romulus will have the Allegiant and as many shuttles deemed necessary."

Finishing off her orders, Jien looked to the last officers at the table. "Commander Akoni, make the security preparations in the brig for Nicander's attempt to gather more intel, with the new cannon finished and ready for testing. Since Nicander will later be incarcerated in a room aboard the Allegiant, I need the necessary security modifications in place before mission launch, so work with Engineering to make sure his new cell is secure. Jaru, I need the Lone Wolves on standby and the warp fighters armed for fleet engagement at the RNZ. Schedule readiness among the pilots in wait for immediate deployment - all depending on the situation at the border by the time we arrive. Doctor Kobol, ready triage teams to be on standby, and Commander Hathev, have your officers support the other Departments as best they are able individually. I want you personally in the brig as an observer, however, by the time Nicander uses his abilities again."

All orders dealt, Jien paused, thinking that the different undertakings ahead of them were all equally vital in their own respect. "The stakes are high, but if we succeed on all fronts, we will have neutralised the Romulan threat in this war before it even began. You have your orders. Dismissed."

Joint-Post 01: Hobus Threat Segment of Senior Staff Meeting

[ Senior Staff Meeting | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: All

When Doctor Nicander appeared on the screen next to the curved conference table, Jien turned to face it with his hands on his hips. "Doctor, can you hear us?"

[Loud and clear, Captain,] Lucan said over the intercom.

"The Senior Staff has your report on this threat, and instead of revisiting it in that level of detail here, I will let the Senior Staff ask their questions."

[Of course, sir.] The Doctor began to slowly pace his cell, likely because he was unable to look the people that would address him in the eye. The first one to speak was Alana Pierce, the new Chief Intelligence Officer.

Pierce looked onward at Dr. Nicander's report and continued to gather data on her own PADD before her. The situation was mounting a monumental situation that was quickly spiraling out of control, that is unless they managed to get there first and terminate the infested's plans. While many aboard the Theurgy didn't trust the doctor for various reasons, she herself had reason to trust him. His guidance in the brig when inquiring for additional intelligence and saving her hide along with that of Byrne's was added ammunition for her to listen to the good doctor's report.

"Doctor, what is it that we're dealing with in as far as the infested? While I find this monstrosity alarming as well, there are engineers aboard with the wherewithal to take it down...hopefully." She paused momentarily allowing the situation to settle a little. "Are there Romulans or specific individuals you can provide further data on that we might be able to apprehend that may be compromised? Or key individuals that we can send in as interference to... stall or put a wrench into the situation? Any intelligence at all that could help us attack this beast on multiple fronts would be extremely beneficial right now with our presently unknown time window."

Lucan nodded, and it seemed like he recognised Alana's voice - a small smile of recognition touching his lips. [I have already ascertained that the Praetor is an Infested, but in order to aid this endeavour further, I realise that I may have to use my connection them to identify more individuals. So far, the transphasic light has been able to bring me back when I have used my ability, and while I do not relish the prospect, given the toll it takes, I will do it once more. Whether or not I learn something useful is yet to be ascertained, but it is worth the attempt.]

Kai Akoni, the Chief of Security, sat in his chair and pondered the report, holding the PADD in his hand. The whole thing was an exercise in mental gymnastics for him. On the one hand the report had to be taken seriously and something obviously needed to be done. On the other hand, he wasn’t entirely sure that Nicander could be trusted. However, whatever was asked of him, he would do. He just needed to know the answer to one question in order to make a plan. He looked at the screen and looked into the eyes of the man and asked “Depending on how the plan unfolds, if it requires an infiltration by personnel, are you going to want to come?”. Akoni asked the question, knowing that he’d unfortunately lose some of his people regardless of the answer.

[By the winds, Commander Akoni, I am a Doctor, not a commando,] Lucan said with a wry smile, looking at one of the bulkheads in his cell. [In all seriousness, however, given the required security arrangements my presence would demand, I think I would serve best from my cell, providing intel as best as I might to ensure mission accomplishment - perhaps even in real time if that would help. Yet... I don't see how me being in an infiltration team would do ought else than encumber those better abled... and if I am hurt, the parasite may take control like it did when that Devoted shot me in the Azure Nebula.]

Chief Engineer Arnold turned his hard eyes on the Doctor on the screen. "Okay, so we need to get close enough to this monstrosity to either strike at it directly, or land strike teams to blow it apart. Do you have any information on the defences of this place and any ship's around it? Theurgy is tough, but a Savi ship is a tough proposition. Can we spoof their sensors on the approach and in battle? It's always better to not get hit and I wouldn't want test the shields against...." The Chief stopped as his eyes narrowed speculatively in thought. "How susceptible is this thing to a solar jet? If the Hobus star is doomed anyway, losing a minuscule fraction of it's mass early shouldn't hurt in the galactic scheme of things. We could drop Thea close to the star and trigger the jet with and EM Pulse. The calculation could be tricky, but it's definitely doable."

Nicander seemed to give this some thought. [While the solution proposed is outside of my forte, and I am ill versed in matters purely tactical, I think one viable method to learn if Savi shields would be susceptible would be to look at the sensor readings from Thea's encounter with the Versant? There might be indications there that could show the probability.]

Ives muted the audio from the conference room for a moment, making a quick comment. "I think we ought to speak with the Voice of the Savi rebels about this solution. They might be willing to aid against a strike against the Scion High Council." The Captain then turned on the audio feed again.

As the Chief Tactical Officer, Cross' scowl had yet to dissipate. From the moment he'd been told they were meeting with Nicander he'd been at ill ease. Then Thea had brought up the sphere and his primary thoughts had been on potential weak points, where would it be easiest to place explosives and knock this fucker out of the sky. When it came his turn to question Nicander, that was his question. He figured if Nicander knew then the Scions knew and that would be both the place of most bloodshed if they didn't execute the mission right and also the place of greatest success if they did. Cross knew he was living up to the caricature of the crew's assumption on his character when his main question to the doctor was on strategically weak points in the infrastructure and hotbeds of security activity, but someone had to ask the important questions even if they were stereotypical.

Nicander nodded on the screen while he paced his cell, seemingly appreciating the pragmatism of the question. [With the lack of detail that I have currently, not having used my Farsight ability to actively search and find specific answers, I don't have anything worthwhile beyond what's in the report. There is some kind of firing mechanism below the sphere, and if that is targeted, then it can't do what it's supposed to against the Hobus star. I hope I will be able to find more answers if I use my connection to the other Infested, internal security arrangements included.]

Vanya, the Chief Science Officer, had no great love for her people. Ironically it was their development of Trilithium that led to the attempted destruction of stars by a renegade El Aurian scientist. Nevertheless the impact on the Hobus Star was something that she would wish on her worst enemy, and could have far reaching consequences for the entire galaxy. Her mind raced with possibilities. The nearest they had come to star destroying technology was Doctor Soren’s rockets. But from what was described, this was a form of energy.

"I’ve heard of similar technologies before," she said aloud. "But this was a trilitihum reaction caused by a rocket being shot into a sun to destroy it. Do you have any inclination of the type of energy? Perhaps if we can interfere with it, we can slow down or prevent a reaction. Kind of like setting up a dampening field to prevent beaming and communication."

Nodding at the question, the Doctor spread his hands. [The schematics I have seen have only detailed some kind of firing mechanism, so without more detail gleaned, it could be that the Savi are using a ballistic option rather than an energy-emitter. As for what kind of solution the Savi are able to utilise, I think our battle with the Versant revealed some kind of graviton beam lance cannon, as well as small tri-cobalt torpedoes? Doubtful that either would destabilise a star, so perhaps there is a trilithium solution in place.]

Jaru Rel, the newly reinstated commander of the Lone Wolves, was clinching his fist under the table. Every time Nicander spoke, his muscles contracted tighter. The Captain had mentioned lingering grievances, but for the recently dethawed pilot, the rage was very fresh. They’d served together for years, and he was still reeling at the fact that the doctor he’d trusted to save his wolves was also the enemy responsible for killing so many of them. But Ives had ordered them to stow it, so he kept his anger to nails digging into the flesh of his palm. Cross had asked the obvious tactical question, and Nicander seemed iffy on details. So he decided to backtrack slightly to a broader question. “Besides the Savi ship, are there any more ships in the area that could reinforce them?”

At this question, Nicander fell silent, brow creased. He looked at the surveillance unit briefly, the voice obviously familiar to him. He seemed to debate commenting, but with the dire situation at hand, he remained on topic. [The other me, whom came from a parallel timeline, was on a Savi ship, looking at the structure through a viewport. I did not glimpse other ships beyond that at the time, but there might be more. I was given the impression that the Scion High Council is directly involved in this endeavour.]

For once Selena kept quiet, preferring to listen to the others and their ideas first. The PADD with Nicander’s intelligence report sat on the table in front of her but she left it alone, the text scrolling around in her VISOR as she ran searches for any information that would help with all of the different factors the officers around her brought up. It was pointless though, the nature of their intelligence source made for a frustratingly detail-light report. “I know you’re doing your best doctor but we need detailed intelligence, and for that we have to get closer.” Selena’s eyes focused on the view screen and she studied the man’s face while he answered, “What kind of information do you have on their assets within the Hobus system itself?” Glancing to the Captain for a brief moment, “I’m thinking Azati Prime,” was all she said as explanation for now.

Having answered the question to the best of his ability already, it seemed Nicander could but apologise. [I am sorry, Ravenholm,] he said, recognising the voice through the static of the comm-link, [yet I don't know any further details yet. One Savi ship at minimum, beyond this structure itself. Beyond that? I could but point out the obvious that with the Praetor being an Infested, she can deploy Romulan ships to the area if so needed, and at short notice, given the coordinates.]

Next, the First Officer spoke. For Natalie Stark's part, it was still difficult at times to look at Lucan Nicander and not remember all that had happened between them, the kindness, the encounters, even just the simple sounding board the Doctor had served as, while Natalie struggled with her ever increasing responsibilities in the wake of her former bosses tragic, senseless death, all the way through the horrors of Niga and The Ishtar entity. She remembered drinks shared in a darkened lounge, with another man now dead. Memories spoken, friends mourned, a sense of comfort gained on the eve of a great battle. And all of that tainted by the knowledge that the entire time, a parasite had been piloting Nicander around, taking advantage of every exposed weakness.

Not that this was fair to the man on the screen now, a fact that she had been reminding herself of, for weeks now. She had a job to do. Setting it aside, all the worry and the stress and the confusion, she focused instead on the report, the questions asked, and the task on hand. "Forgive me, as this might be a stupid question, but this device is it already encapsulating the star, or is it to be deployed at the star. Are we going to have to deal with the intense heat and radiation coming off of Hobus already when we attempt to take this out? Because there is no doubt we have to take it out."

[It's in orbit already, Commander,] Nicander clarified for her, [range seeming to be at a safe distance from what I could see on the Savi charts.]

Hathev had come aboard well after the Doctor's betrayal of the crew. As such, she held no malice towards the man beyond that of a traitor and even that had been tempered by his unique circumstances. Still, she was well aware of the sensitivity within the crew towards the disgraced doctor and even more so aware that once the proverbial rumor mill began to churn over this the likelihood it would affect crew morale, would be high. Still, that was an internal matter to be discussed with Captain Ives and the rest of her counseling staff and to bring it up in this forum would be inappropriate at best. At the heart of the matter laid two central issues; the device being constructed near Hobus and whether or not Nicander himself could be trusted.

The former was a matter of intelligence gathering, tactical analysis, and diplomatic relations, in none of which did Hathev have any experience. The latter was a different matter. While under normal circumstances, Hathev would offer to perform a mind meld in order to ascertain the Doctor's truthfulness in his assertions, Nicander's species was conveniently immune to such a test. Still, she could sit down and speak with him and attempt to judge for herself and on behalf of the crew, just how trustworthy he seemed.

Again, it would have been inappropriate to state such an idea openly and in the presence of the person in question. So Hathev remained otherwise silent as she tapped a short message on her PADD, and transmitted it to the Captain's tablet - IF YOU DOUBT HIS SINCERITY IN THIS MATTER, IT WOULD BE LOGICAL THAT I SPEAK TO HIM DIRECTLY, SIR.

Ives oaken eyes fell to his PADD, and after tapping the screen, the message was revealed. The Captain pondered this, having met with Nicander already, before typing a quick reply. SINCERE, YES. UNKNOWINGLY COMPROMISED? POSSIBLY, YET UNLIKELY GIVEN RENDERED AID SO FAR.

Enyd Madsen, the Chief Diplomatic Officer, cleared her throat as she listened to the conversation repartee between the connection to Nicander and those around the table. She'd been briefed on Nicander but had never had reason or opportunity to speak to him before this. Remembering what she'd faced down on Qo'Nos, Enyd couldn't help but feel queasy in her stomach at the thought of dealing willingly with another one. But, again, she trusted Ives. With her life. With the lives of this crew. And if he could vouch for Nicander and set up this conference without batting an eyelash, then Enyd would comply without question. As the conversation shifted to her department and the eyes of the other senior staff turned to her, Enyd shifted in her seat. Although there was probably no need for it, Enyd didn't fight against the instinct to adjust her voice and speech patterns to sound more akin to someone from Benzar. If anyone around the table thought she was mad for doing so, they kept their responses to themselves as Enyd asked her question. "Since this threat reaches out to encompass the Romulans, do you have insight from among the Romulan forces? Faces, names, ships? Anything that we can use to pinpoint a place of contact, or better yet, know to avoid, as we seek to make connections diplomatically?"

[Not presently,] the Doctor answered after a moment of thought, [at least not beyond the Praetor herself. I have seen glimpses of Romulan architecture and consoles at other times. A male Captain, judging by his position on the bridge of the ship. It was before the Battle of the Houses, but not since. There could be others, brief as the impressions have been, and I have not actively sought other Romulans since I found the Praetor. I might find more, if I make the attempt.]

Thoughtfully, Jien motioned for Thea to mute the conference room. "That may have been the Captain of the Romulan warbird that Major Situka faced, before defecting to our cause," he said quietly, before motioning for Thea to unmute the room once more. With a glance towards Lietuenant Elro Kobol and Larrant, whom had yet to speak, and getting no indication that they had any questions, Ives made the call. "Thank you, Doctor, for your insights so far, and I agree that given the threat posed, you may need to use your connection to the other Infested again so that we can learn more. If you are so willing, and because your report state that the structure is nearly finished, this may have to be done within the hour. Are you prepared to do so?"

[Aye, Captain. I will await the security preparations.]

"We will confer on how to proceed in the meantime. Ives out." When the screen went black, Jien turned his attention to the assembled officers. "Going by the experiences of facing the Versant, and because Hobus is too far away to reach with a single use of our Quantum Slipstream drive, we may have to rely on the Voice and the Erudite in order to get there in time. That being said, I also see an opportunity in this development, considering the proximity of Hobus to Romulus."

Getting on his feet, Ives continued to clarify. "The only way to end a war, is to subdue the aggressor. Since we know the Praetor is compromised, I propose we use this knowledge to our advantage. If she were to be liberated from parasitic control, then we can and end the Romulan hostilities against both the Federation and the Klingon Empire in one stroke." Thoughtfully, Jien looked between the gathered faces while he spoke. "As opposed to using anyon emissions and killing Tal'aura like we had to do with Kopek in the Klingon High Council, we have another option. See, Thea has informed me that Petty Officer Kino Jeen has been able to shrink the transphasic light cannon to something more mobile, and if Nicander is any indication of its utility... then we have the option to restore the Preator to her own body, with the inherent chance of her ordering her fleets to stand down."

What was said next, however, was the lamentable alternative. "Should the cannon not work, it may suggest that Nicander has been lying to us about everything." Jien said this with a glance in Cam's direction, knowing that she believed in the Doctor, but it had to be said as a considered contingency. With a concerned frown, Ives continued, starting to pace around the table. "In that case, since we can't separate the parasites from the hosts yet, we only have the anyon option. An option that has proven itself to work twice against them. This means the death of Praetor Tal'aura, however, for which we have to have contingency plans as well. We don't want a martyr, but some kind of guarantee that the Romulan Senate see the truth for what it is, and order the fleets to stand down."

With the proposition made, Jien came to a stop behind his chair, and put his hands on the back of it. "Speak your minds. What say you?"