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Call of Duty

Posted on Fri Mar 1st, 2024 @ 1:43am by Captain Akiva ben-Avram & Captain Mrazak & Lieutenant JG Ryland Dedeker & Commander Arianna Frost & Lieutenant Commander BaoJun Qiao & Lieutenant Commander Finley Chu & Lieutenant Sophie Xiong & Lieutenant Calderon Jarsdel & Gunnery Sergeant Roderik Kos & Ferrofax & Lieutenant Commander T'Bela & Lieutenant Commander Leonora Wolf MD & Lieutenant Teejay

Mission: S1E6: Where Skies End
Location: Overwatch Station
Timeline: MD 2

Even though Akiva and Ari hurried from the arboretum, they still hadn't gotten to the briefing room before Mrazak had sounded off the Theta Alert.

"Mrazak, you may take a seat there," Akiva said. "I will be leading this briefing."

"No," Mrazak said. "I am the field team leader. The briefing is mine to give."

Akiva shook his head. "Admiral Tau briefed me. I will brief the others."

"I was there, too!" Mrazak protested, his grimace beginning to twist his face. "Your presence is not required."

"But my authorization is," Akiva said smugly. "I've encrypted the data so that it cannot be accessed on this station by anyone but me, including your local copy of it. Take a seat."#

"And before you ask, I'm not intervening on your behalf. This is more fun to watch than the sentient mycelia spores we have in one of the more robust isolation tanks in The Vault," Ferrow fax purred from his perch somewhere in the rafters.

While Mrazak did, indeed, sit down to wait, he did so at the head of the table. Akiva didn't mind. He sat at the opposing end. The two men glowered at one another, each with vastly different approaches to the high stakes mission.

Arianna pinched the bridge of her nose at the bickering and took a seat, next to Akiva with a sigh. "The others will be here soon." She said, the underlying message being - let's not let the others see Command bicker.

One advantage to arriving early was that one got to observe how the others arrived- their mannerisms and reactions to one another. One very interesting thing that T’Bela noted upon entering the briefing room was the posture between the two men. So they did not get along. Also apparent was the other woman’s exasperation at them. This was also interesting and would require further observation.

Another advantage was that T’Bela could take this opportunity to smirk at Mrazak and choose a seat as close to him as she dared. She was going to milk this as long as she could.

Punctuality was definitely one of Sophie’s strengths. She saw no point in dawdling, especially since she wasn’t doing anything important. Entering the briefing room, she very nearly did a double take at the Cardassian, but then her brain reminded her that they had a new doctor and she merely nodded once in greeting.

Slipping into the room, the xenoscience specialist also did a slight double-take at the Cardassian sitting at the table. He tamped down on his immediate visceral reaction. The woman was a Starfleet officer, not an Obsidian Order operative, making it very unlikely she had anything to do with the entire Soukara incident. He took a seat towards Akiva's end of the table to await the inevitable pronouncement of impending doom.

Composed and calm, Cal strode into the meeting room and sat down in a chair halfway down one side of the table, expression enigmatic. His mind picked up the nuances of emotion from the others as well as those louder mental peaks and troughs and for now, he simply listened to those, literally reading the room.

Teejay strolled into place, stopped just inside the entrance to regard those already present, shook his head and grinned. With plenty of options for seating still remaining, he adopted a place opposite T'Bela and with an empty chair beside him.

Leah came in next, a cup of coffee in her hand and a PADD in the other. "Morning..." she greeted everyone and took a seat next to Teejay.

"Shall I site to site the missing meeting attendees or could this meeting have been an electronic memo?" Ferrofax asked from his perch in the rafters.

Akiva was about to speak, but Mrazak cut him off.

"Please do," Mrazak said. "Time is of the essence."

"Next time you try and transport me I'll upload a second copy of your base matrix to your substrate." Fin said as she walked into the door. Her security override prevented Ferrofax from depositing her into the room, but only by dint of it dropping her just outside the door.

Rodi simply appeared at the back of the room.

Ryland was transported in a full state of undress. Fortunately the towel in his hand made the trip. Wrapping it around his waist, Ryland just grinned at everyone. "Briefing, huh? Musta' missed the memo."

With everyone at hand, Akiva took the lead by standing up and projecting his voice louder than usual.

"Admiralty hand-delivered the next mission and made it top priority," he began. "The Phantom will be dispatched immediately to the Gamma Quadrant in order to retrieve technology stolen from the Dominion. Failure to procure and return the technology to its rightful developers will result in the nullification of the Treaty of Bajor and a resumption of hostilities between the Federation and the Dominion. Since it was stolen by Federation citizens, to with former Starfleet officers, the Federation would in fact be viewed as the aggressors in said war. With that being said, Captain Mrazak has prepared a strategy."

At first Mrazak bristled at being stepped on in his own meeting, but Akiva's introduction was almost respectful. The Vulcan Without Logic puffed out his chest and began his presentation. It began with a star map of the Gamma Quadrant and a highlighted minor sector. "The area of operation is known as the Stygian Traverse. It's an inhospitable region of space that is not copacetic to warp travel and so most starships bypass it as an unnecessary hazard. Somewhere within is a criminal haven called Fiddler's Green. Due to the difficulty of navigating the region, the Dominion has never purged it, only quarantined it. Our quarry lies within."

The star map changed to a Starfleet dossier file. "The perpetrator of the theft is alleged to be Commander Onaga Sayuri, former Chief of Security and Tactical of the USS Chimaera which was commissioned and lost to mutiny earlier this Stardate. With the stolen vessel, Onaga accepted a contract to steal what Dominion officials have only called 'Project Mazikeen' from a clandestine research facility designated Mnemosyne. The contract was offered by this man." A second dossier appeared parallel to the first one. "Maximilian Dedeker, notorious pirate, wanted terrorist, and proprietor of Fiddler's Green."

All eyes fell to Ryland. How many assholes named Dedeker could there be in the wider galaxy? Ryland didn't exactly appreciate the attention either. "What?"

Almost all, Cal didn't need the visual connection to skim some information passively from the helmsman's mind. Teejay, however, leant back in his chair, joined the group moment and adopted a big shit-eating grin as he watched Ryland's reaction. Family. Poor bastard.

Ari leaned forward, leaning on her elbows on the desk. "Needless to say, this mission is off the books. There is no cavalry coming and we fail, nobody is going to give a toss. Actually, they'll likely pin the issue on us and officially disavow us."

Leah nodded, "how hands-free are we?" She asked, business mode on.

"Not at all," Akiva said, "and that's the problem. Starfleet has ordered Memory Theta to conduct this investigation at the behest of the Dominion, but the Dominion has made it clear that they will be forced to respond if anything goes wrong. As a result, Starfleet has further ordered that you regularly updated our diplomatic attaché, Mr. Gregorio Emanuel de Castillo-Bartres, who is currently at Gamma Command. He is representing Admiral Tau's office at the political summit taking place there."

"The Stygian Traverse is the sort of spatial anomaly that comes with an Alpha 1 Hazard Rating. The sort of thing they plaster over variable output jet black holes and binary pulsars. The sort of thing that on a bad day puts nearby stellar systems at risk of imminent extinction-level events. The Traverse does that on a good day," Ferrofax said. "It's mostly sensor opaque, physical probes that have gone in mostly come out intact. With nonsensical data that at best makes it appear the laws of physics use it as a summer vacation spot. Not to mention the transdimensional super fauna that have been sighted."

T’Bela’s eyebrows went up slightly as the hologram started talking and they kept getting higher the longer he went on. “So bring extra bandages,” she said cheekily.

Leah nodded. "So an off-the-books mission with a tight leash, got it. What about this Onaga woman, KOS, apprehend?"

Ari had an answer for her, but one that would be shared later.

And Cal noted the lack of response and took that as information. He turned to Akiva as the man spoke and raised a pre-emptive eyebrow.

"She's a wanted fugitive, so apprehending would be optimal but secondary to retrieval of the stolen tech," Akiva said.

Bao considered for a few moments. "Do not be alarmed, Doctor. Ferrofax, for the Dominion to go to this length to recover something, especially insisting Starfleet do so and be willing to risk the Treaty of Bajor, is concerning. Do we have any idea as to what we are after? Assumptions are dangerous, but in this case, it seems prudent to assume that whatever it is is both dangerous and not something that should be in the hands of mutineers, terrorists, and..." he paused for a moment. "The spacefaring equivalent of old Earth Roma."

"The answer to that question was conspicuously absent from the data provided." Mrazak's voice was a near growl. He resented being on the wrong end of a secret.

Secrets were Teejay's upbringing and career choice in one way or another, physical, environmental and intriguing, always intriguing. His enigmatic expression signalled a deeper level of thought as he considered this go-fetch mission into the Traverse. Not his first time, but that wouldn't help. He didn't recall much about the last visit.

Akiva offered what he could. "The Dominion ambassador cited its classified status, I am told, in the same breath as his ham-fisted request for assistance." Even Akiva couldn't completely stifle his annoyance. "Why they would not reveal its nature to the very ones tasked with recovering it is beyond me."

"The Dominion does not have restrictions on their AI development programs, as opposed to the Federation. And given their distance, being on the other side of the galaxy, intelligence gathering is a little hard. Even for me. If, say, we were to travel near to a Dominion comm's relay station...well." Ferrofax's voice supposed the deployment of a shrug. "Who knows what I might discover."

Leah looked up on instinct. She could see the benefit of what Ferrofax was saying, but also the dangers if one got discovered.

"Onaga is Lagashi. Ever come across this one, Commander?" Ari looked over at Bao. "With so few Lagashi in Starfleet and all." It sounded awful, the question, she knew. However any and all information they could operate with would be beneficial, apart from what they had already been given.

"I am afraid not, Commander Frost," the Lagashi replied. "She was in her final year during my first year at the Academy. We met, once or twice in passing, but we had completely different academic tracks and rather different, well everything. From what I remember of her, we have very little in common, both in terms of interests and personality. From publically available information, she is from Lagash IV which has a comparatively larger population of citizens of Japanese rather than Han ancestry, and they often preserve those tongues, though she probably also does know the Pentad putonghua as well. It appears her family has some infamy for having a large number of debts that would have negatively impacted her social standing. Her service record might be of interest to you, however," he added as his eyes glowed from Sunny filter information onto his displays.

Ari nodded, already formulating a plan in her head as she looked at the proffered file.

Still in information gathering mode, Cal leant back in his chair and let his gaze wander while his mind reached passively outwards.

Leah looked over at Ryland. "Hey, so...about your older lookalike? What do we need to know?" She leaned on her elbows, fingers steepled together.

"He's an asshole," Ryland said. "Full stop, through and through. Wanna' know why I lost my commission way back when? Started with him. That bastard implicated me in his piracy. As a wing commander, that looked real bad. I had to go on the run until they worked out my innocence." Seething through his teeth, Ryland said, "Ain't nothing good that ever came from Old Max."

Leah nodded, "care to give us a profile later, just in case we run into him? Anything that could give us an edge over him? What are his strenghts? Weaknesses, etc?"

Sophie rolled her eyes but said nothing. If this Dedeker was anything like their own, his motivations were sex, sex, food, and sex.

"Oh we're definitely gonna run into him," Teejay stated, amusement lightly colouring his features. He did feel a little bad for their Dedeker, but family was always a lottery and one that was largely outside anyone's control. "The notoriety implies a heavy arrogance and the lack of capture speaks highly of his skillset and connections," he noted. "Hell, I've heard of him, but that was before I met you," Teejay's gaze lighted on Ryland. "Be fun to repay that favour you owe him, though?" He asked, intrigued to see their wanted terrorist's little brother's reaction.

Ryland looked at the squirrely Vulcanoid man crooked in the eye. "If you're half as smart as your uniform says you must be, you'll steer far and wide from Max. He's nothing but trouble." Folding his arms, Ryland shook his head and muttered. "... some bullshit..."

"I'll requisition the latest Security profiles from Gamma Command," Akiva said, "but it may be faster for the Phantom to retrieve them directly than wait for OpSec to collate reports and logs from local patrols and patch through the latest updates. It's still frontier space out there."

"You may be right," Mrazak groused. "We're certainly not going to wait around either. We head out before the day is through. Dismissed!"

 

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