Location: In orbit of Jutus
Speed: Standard Orbit
Shields: Nominal
Hull: Nominal
Systems: All Systems Nominal

Before we Begin
Episode 11 - Family Matters
Stardate 73834.3
MD004 1400 hrs

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Doing What We Do Best

Posted on Wed Sep 4th, 2019 @ 8:54pm by Captain Tyler Malbrooke & Gul Markuul & Commander Quinn Ó Flannagáin & Lieutenant Commander Larim Myles & Lieutenant Ingrid Hollister & Lieutenant Ameri Ó Flannagáin & Lieutenant Commander Vaebn tr'Hwersuil & Lieutenant Elen Diari & Staff Warrant Officer Jennifer Masters - Calhoun & Petty Officer 3rd Class Sofia Cipriani & Lieutenant Richard Ballston M.D. PsyD & Lieutenant Tallida Ovaa & Captain Cornelius Tremble
Edited on on Wed Sep 4th, 2019 @ 11:36pm

Mission: Episode 8 - The Silence
Location: Briefing Room - Deck 1 - USS Pioneer
Timeline: MD001 0930 hrs
4537 words - 9 OF Standard Post Measure

"Gul you have to understand we are the only Federation Starship in sector. We have so much more to do then clear planets for your colonization." Tyler leaned back in his chair exasperated with the Cardassian Defense Force commander. He tapped his mug indicating Sofia to refill it for what seemed like the fifteenth time since starting the communique.

"Captain, my dear Captain have you forgotten. Your ship remains at the disposal of the Cardassian government. Ergo you serve under my command. Now I order you to a survey mission, or do you Starfleet types no longer enjoy exploration. Now I will bilk no further discussion. Proceed with all haste to planet Wren IX. Markuul our..." Gul Markuul ended the two hour conversation coldly and without discussion. His smug face being replaced by the seal of the Cardassian Union. Tyler sighed heavily and ran his hands through his hair.

"Sof... This makes no sense. On the one hand I have a station that needs defending, a Captain and General begging me to shuttle reinforcements over and on the other a Cardassian Gul browbeating me with a treaty and sending me to stare at an empty planet. What do you make of it?" Tyler had taken to asking his Yeoman for advice, a tactic that his mother, a former Yeoman had said was always the best course of action.

"I don't know sir, but that Gul seemed pretty smug when he hung up on you. It seems that he's trying to get you to abandon your position. I'd be sure to weight what you do carefully sir." Sofia replied as she poured another cup for him.

"You are right... It just rubs me the wrong way. Summon the Senior Staff for a briefing." Tyler said with a smile and large gulp of his coffee. He quickly opened a channel to Winfield and Sobel, might as well break the news to them before any of the crew arrived.

Sofia nodded at his request and sent a message for all department heads to report to the briefing room. "Are you wanting me to stay sir?" She asked.

"Yes I am sure the staff is going to need a steaming cup after hearing this news. Well that and my mother, rest her would have my hide if I kicked the Yeoman out of the room." Tyler said with a smile as he sipped his coffee.

"As you wish Captain." She said with a warm smile. She hid behind the effects of last night with Ensign Price. Usually she would never be hungover when on duty to early.

Ameri has just finished some reports, intending to meet with Paul Michael when she received orders to report for a briefing. She took a deep breath and smiled with confidence. Her first meeting as a department head, she was looking forward to it. She headed on her way and entered the briefing room. She took a seat and nodded to the captain.

Quinn wondered when Tyler started to accept orders from the Cardassian Government. He was always under the impression that the Federation gave them, there orders. But it was clear the Cardassians were having them do their dirty work. Which was a little ballsy he thought. It may have been 20 years since the war ended with the Dominion. But a lot Federation and the starfleet senior officers, still remember the losses they took. Quinn took a seat, remaining a little silent. He could tell by looking at Tyler's face, he was a little worn down. That told him all he needed to know about Tyler's meeting with Gul Markuul.

Vaebn got the call while parsing through the last Starfleet astrometric data packet. He closed down the holographics and left connect the unpack status to his PADD and grabbed his mug before leaving the lab.

Walking toward the briefing room, Neil regulated his pace and his contact found the actuator sensors and he walked through the hatch without pausing and slid into a chair. Looking about the table, he nodded and busied himself by removing his beret and tucking it away and setting his PADD on the table. "Morning," he said by way of greeting as he settled into his chair.

Sofia had a little table next to the replicator where she was preparing cups for coffee if anyone wished one. She also had tea, and Raktajino for those of that persuasion.

El sauntered in, relaxed and headed for Sofia "I thought I was the only mind reader", she commented picking up a cup, taking a long draw from it and sighing. She looked over at the captain "We're three hours from being good to go, can't go any faster as we're refuelling antimatter." A small shiver went down her spine seeing the Gul there- bad memories.

Vaebn stepped in while taking a long pull from his mug, and glancing at the PADD to check the data stream unpack, and looked up with just enough time to not walk into the table full of hot beverages. He stopped short, "My apologies Yeoman, I didn't expect the cart to be there." he said as he nodded briefly to her.

Tallida was a counselor. While she was a department head, technically, she didn't quite understand why the Captain had requested her presence for this meeting. Perhaps it fell under his desire for her to operate in a diplomat capacity. She continued to think it over as she entered the briefing room and took an empty chair, paying no attention to where she would be sitting.

Larim was in phaser practice when he got the summons. He rolled his eyes a little bit but left anyway. "Was almost passed my best." He said as he made his way to the briefing room

Jenn walked in grumbling. She hated to be disturbed when she was doing such important work. She walked in and nodded to everyone in the room. She took a tea from the trey and sat down. She had nothing to say for the moment, unless she felt the need to.

Ballston made his way in looking a little concerned about the sudden summons. His brows furrowed slightly and his pale eyes search the other newcomers for a hint as to why. In his left hand was a PaDD though not one he would normally take to a briefing, this one was thick, bulky and trimmed in neon green. With a silent nod, he let the captain know he had arrived before taking one of the last available seats.

Ingrid had been manning the helm when she got word that a staff briefing was being called. She lingered at her post for a few minutes, even as she heard other senior staff filing in through the bridge. She was feeling rather sluggish today; her depression reared its head again. She didn't want to work or do anything else for that matter. With a resigned face, she stood and made her way into the briefing room. As she moved to her seat, she took special notice of the Captain's Yeoman, who was currently dating her Assistant Chief. She offered a frail smile in the younger woman's direction but sat without a word.

Once everyone was seated Tyler smiled broadly at his staff, his family. "First I want to welcome everyone back and I hope your shore leave was a good one. However, duty calls as it always does. I just got off with Gul Markuul. It seems that he would like us to head to Wren IX and see if it is suitable for Cardassian colonization. Now I know this is not our typical fare. Since I consider you all family we might as well get it out now before we proceed." Tyler sat down indicating that the floor was open for anyone who wanted to speak."

“You mean other than the obvious,” Ameri spoke up. “We are the only Federation ship in the area and they are sending us. We should explore reasons why, other than the one they have us.” She smiled then. “Yes, this could all be just what they are saying but I prefer to be cautious.”

"It's certainly an odd change of pace. Playing "real estate" for the Cardassian." Larim observed smiling. "Maybe we can plan parties for the Breen next."

"Well, we all know there is something brewing," Jenn said. 'Let's not jump to conclusions just yet. But I do think it is odd myself that this is happening right now too."

"Sir," Neil said,"This is a Cardiassian idea. Doesn't Fleet think it's a bit...untimely? We may be helping out the Cardi's, but why is Fleet letting them yank us around?"

"Well Major that is an excellent question and according to all of the information I can get from the higher ups is that the Ninth Fleet is getting redeployment orders soon. As such they want us to get back into the swing of exploration. We are also at the full disposal of the Cardassian Defense Fleet, and they can issue orders within reason to me. I so not like it any more than the rest of you. It also sounds damn fishy especially with the Obsidian Order staging a coup. For the time being we are going to have to accept Markuul's orders at face value. However, I want to be ready in case he is playing for the other team." Tyler leaned back in his chair as he spoke to his Second Officer.

Neil shook his head then and sat back slightly, "Sir. All due respect to all parties, but are you sure someone out there doesn't like us?"

"Captain, I know this might sound subordinate, but why risk a starship for a planetary survey ? Can be easily done with a sensor bar equipped Danube runabout or a Venture class, both of which Empok has. " Elen questioned.

"Empok Nor is being appropriated as a defense base of operations for the Cardassian Fleet. It seems that they are more than worried about the Obsidian Order rearing their ugly heads. As far as both fleets are concerned, that is Starfleet and the CDF, we are it." Tyler replied to his engineer. It seemed that everyone smelled the same rat that he did.

Ingrid stared blankly but didn't speak. She'd known that this assignment would be heavily related to the Cardassian people, but she was more uncomfortable than she'd anticipated. Perhaps, she thought, pretending to be fine wasn't really a good idea considering the present circumstances. These remained just thoughts, however. Increasingly, pretending to be fine and telling lies was all she was good at lately. Trap or not, she knew the Cardi's were up to something. They were always up to something.

"Right now that is out of the way we can get down to business. Vaebn what can you tell us about the planet and it's system." Tyler said as he gulped his coffee deeply and brought the meeting back to order.

Vaebn turned his chair to face the Captain and pulled up the information on his PADD. "To be honest sir, we didn't know much about this planet, or system other than it existed until we were sent the Cardassian colonial logs earlier this morning. However, my team has been actively scanning the system with as much power as we can muster. We even tapped a few *cough* external sources to get this information." An image warmed into view above the table from the room's holographic projectors; the system showed twin stars burning brightly and a number of dwarf planets closely in orbit with a few larger masses towards the edge. "Wren IX is one of only two full sized planets in the system, and the only class M in the system. Orbiting binary dwarf stars, Wren IX is on the outer edge of the system, but well within the habitable zone. The inner portion of the system," he indicated near the stars, "are mostly dwarf planets rich in minerals but no atmosphere to support life of any kind due to severe gravitational stresses and orbital proximity to the center of the system." He focused the hologram in and brought Wren IX into full few. It was a lush bluish-green world with only two visible landmasses, each surrounded by vast oceans.

"Here she is, in all her majesty. Wren IX. Two primary continental masses surrounded by water oceans, and we suspect large island chains between, but will need to be closer to have a clearer picture. From our long range scans, we can tell that she is relatively stable, geologically, and the atmosphere is 19% Oxygen, 78% Nitrogen, and the remaining 3% being various gasses within safety standards. There are also two large ice caps covering the majority of the poles, but it is too thick for us to see a covered land mass from this range." He pulled the image back a bit, "Wren IX is approximately 3% larger than Earth and due to its mass, has a slight oddity that may make our approach interesting." He stood and pointed to an area of haze surround the planet, "This strip of occlusion, which we thought was a sensor echo from the binary stars, are in fact,"he zoomed the image to the haze and away from the planet, "a pair of overlapping rings made of ice and other minor massed debris. There are two proto moons on the edge of each ring, and it is my opinion, that they are actually remnants of larger satellites that suffered a collision with another body, thus creating these twin rings that move in different orbit paths, but mirror the remaining satellites."

Vaebn sat back down and shifted the image back to the planet, leaving it rotating above the table. "Does anyone have any questions?" he asked as he lifted his mug and took a long drink.

“Do we know if the planet was inhabited before,” Ameri spoke up. “You mentioned remains of a satellite. If so, it would be relevant to know by whom and what happened to cause them to leave or their extinction.”

He looked at Ameri, "The satellites is question were once prominent moons. At some point, based on the limited evidence from our long range scans, it appears, from the composition of the rings, that an extra-planetary body struck one or both moons rendering them into the smaller moons we see here." He indicated the satellites in the holographic display. "And the smaller remains of all three, again based on limited data, created the rings. As for life or civilizations; we do not have enough data, nor can we extrapolate such until we can get much closer."

All of the explanation and description wasn't making the Chief Medical Officer any more comfortable, "if it is just our ship that is investigating the planet, I have to ask exactly what they are looking for, seems as if they could do this sort of mission themselves, unless they just want us out of their way."

"The CDF states that since the attempted coup they are redirecting their fleet to protect the homeworld and the colonies. They are asking us to take on the routine survey mission as to not let their colonization plans fall behind. I do not like it any more than you do. This does sound like something fishy, however as with anything with the Cardassians we are going to have to play along until the moment reveals itself." Tyler responded to the Doctor's misgivings. Fact was the Captain agreed with his CMO.

Tyler smiled. "Thank you. Hollister, I know you are new here but make sure you are ready to deal with those rings. See if you can get a closer look at them before we leave. Ameri, Elen is the ship going to be able to handle the gravitational stress of the binary system? I am surprised there is a habitable planet there at all."

"Ring's are easy, sir." Hollister said, uncharacteristically quiet. "Just don't fly through them. That may be a bit harder to do considering the gravitational forces we'll be dealing with, but my pilots can handle it."

El was hesitant "I'm not sure to be honest, the new Structural Integrity field installed can't handle over warp 7 stresses yet, as I'm wary of pushing it too hard too soon. If it's Ok would like to send a couples of probes ahead of us - one to test the gravitational fields and one to give a preliminary survey of the planet so we know what we're heading into."

“I believe with some adjustments they will,” Ameri replies. “But I concur that sending out probes would be the first step.

Vaebn looked across at the engineer, "I'll be fitting out a pair of class IV probes for closer study and it shouldn't be much to add additional sensor protocols. As to the gravitational stresses; there is a pair of large gas giants on the outer edge of the system that are pulling against the stars which has aided in the creation of Wren IX. Their pull should eliminate most of the gravimetric shear that the binary is creating. If we stay in the outer range and near to Wren IX, we should be able to avoid most of those problems."

"Sounds like you three have a plan of action. Now get er done..." Tyler responded to Ameri, Vaebn, and Elen. "Larim there should not be much for you this go around for a change. However, make sure we have teams ready to secure the away teams during inspections. Niel your team is going to be needed elsewhere for the most part, however, if you can spare a couple of men have them assist with the security measures." Tyler continued the meeting working his way around the table. "Counselor I would like you to get the pulse of the crew. Tensions have been running high the past few months and it would be nice if you could help the crew relax."

"I'll have teams of three to accompany each team, Captain." Myles said. "Standard armament."

"Fleet standard or Marine, sir?" Neil asked deadpan, then he held up his hands and grinned, "SAFE load outs, aye aye sir."

Neil caught Talli's eye and smiled, "You've got to love Marine acronyms. SAFE is Search, Assesses, Find, Evacuate, rather than SAR for Search and Rescue, or SAD Search and Destroy."

Then the Marine then glanced at Myles, "Somehow, the Corp's always LOOKING for something."

"Like security, with better weapons" Larim laughed.

Listening to the talk around the table Tyler could not help but agree with his officers this just did not seem right. "Major Tremble, Lieutenant Hollister make sure that Ms Kunadt keeps the Hawkeye and Serenity on readiness status we may have to send The Cure and others ahead of the Pioneer on the return. I fully plan on playing both sides of this coin."

The Marine nodded to Malbrooke and said, "Aye aye sir. We'll keep them on alert fifteen status. Full load out."

Then Neil winked at Myles and said, "That's because you're not supposed to scare people. We are."

"Great point." Myles said, chuckling.

Tallida watched the interchange. A smirk pulling at the corner of her lips. She wasn't going to admit that she didn't really know what she was supposed to say in all of this. She was a ships counselor not a strategist. She seemed to have had that thought many times in this meeting.

The chat with Gul Markuul was still nagging at Tyler's mind and as such he skipped a few points and turned to the man to his right. "Commander what do you make of all this?"

"Sounds like we are going to have an interesting time Captain. I have the upmost faith in our crew, to get this handled." Quinn said, trying to be comical in his response. Deep down, he hated the idea. And thought it could be disastrous, if handled incorrectly.

Tyler and Quinn had developed that unwritten repoire that many COs and XOs develop. A simple way of communicating without saying what they meant. This was one of the instances when that was coming through in full effect. Tyler understood that his XO had misgivings. Heck so did he... "Commander I would like you to keep in touch with Captain Hood here at the station while we are on mission. If anything happens out of the ordinary here. I would like a plan of action to get back here on the double."

"Understood, I was planning on keeping in touch, with the good Captain and Lieutenant Essu." Quinn said, not really offering any other feedback on the matter. He was still involved in his mission, to discover what really happened to the USS Pioneer. When they left, during that missing year.

Tyler nodded his agreement and approval with the XO's course of action. "Masters, what do we have on the CDF fleet movements." Tyler turned toward his Intel Chief. He thought is best to play both sides of the coin.

Quinn was curious on the fleet movements of the Cardassians. Especially now, they were being treated like pawns in whatever game they were playing. Somethings never change, it seems clear to him, that the Cardassians were interested in using the Federation, for their own gains.

"According to the intell we got right now," Jennifer started, "Half the fleet is currently protecting Cardassia Prime. And from my liaison from the Cardassian government I heard there has been no contact with the rest of the fleet. So that is peculiar."

"Does intelligence have any speculations on where the missing fleet is?" Quinn asked, as he looked over to Jennifer. He was very concerned, that half of the fleet is missing.

"Well the intelligence liaison did inform me that their last known location was at the Breen border," Jenn explained. "That's all I have."

Tyler dropped his head it felt like a huge weight was on his neck. "Wait let me get this straight. Half the Cardassian fleet is in Breen space and the other is at Cardassia. This just after an attempted coup on Cardassia prime.." He pounded his fist on the table. "I don't like this any more than anyone else does. But we all have a job to do. Masters stay on it. I want to know what that fleet in Breen space does. If they flinch I want to know. Get me a long range comm tap. I want to know who they talk to, and why. Finally find me Leyton and Prenar stat. Ameri get me Lieutenant Commander Hadir Prenar on subspace. He is on the Alexander I believe. Tell Admiral Sepyandar that I would owe him one if he would spare the Commander for a chat. Perhaps he can shed some light on his family. In the meantime let's get this planetary expedition done as soon as possible. We are explorers and perhaps we all need reminding of this from time to time. So, let's all try to enjoy it. If there are no other questions..."

Quinn knew this was not the place, nor the time to be challenging the Captain. What was going on? Why would the Federation, be at the beckoning call of the Cardassians? Something seemed very off about this whole situation. He had a feeling that Tyler, and him were pawns, in some game. And they were not told why. But is a pawn, ever told why?

Tallida watched Tyler. She made a mental note trick him into a lunch very soon. He needed someone to talk to and being the ships counselor, she would volunteer to crack that nut. Her eyes darted over to Neil and quickly looked away. She couldn't wait to get out of here.

Ameri listened as they spoke and made notes for herself. Something didn’t seem right about this mission. Like their were details missing and she was certain most felt the same way. She would coordinate with Engineering as was her job to ensure the ship was ready for anything.

"Let me not hold any of you from your jobs. Dismissed!" When the room cleared it was just Tyler and Sofia. "Well Sof it seems that you might be the word of reason. What do you think of all this? And don't give me the I am just a Crewman crap, I know better."

Sofia scrunched her face up a little, she hated being put on the spot even if it was just with her Captain. She was just a crewman, the greater scale was not something she could really affect, but I guess she could still have an opinion.

"I'm as confused as you as to why half of the Cardassian fleet is at the Breen border, but they could just be posturing. They do like to do that, especially after what has just happened. It might be a show of strength to save some sort of face. The crew seem torn but I know they will do what you ask. I just hope the Cardassians aren't luring us into a trap. To move us away from where we really need to be... they may be using us in their 'show of strength'... but I'm just a Crewman, sir." she said with a cute smile teasing him slightly.

Tyler smiled back at Sofia he above most knew that Crewman had more knowledge then most. He hoped that she was right, hoped that the Cardassians were just posturing. Something told him that the hope was futile. For the first time in two years Tyler felt the weight of his rank, and he felt alone.

A Joint Post By

Captain Tyler Malbrooke
Commanding Officer, USS Pioneer

Commander Quinn Ó Flannagáin
Executive Officer, USS Pioneer

Captain Cornelius Tremble
Marine Commanding Officer/Second Officer, USS Pioneer

Lieutenant Commander Richard Ballston M.D. PsyD
Chief Medical Officer, USS Pioneer

Lieutenant Commander Larim Myles
Chief Security/Tactical Officer, USS Pioneer

Lieutenant Ingrid Hollister
Chief Flight Control Officer, USS Pioneer

Lieutenant Tallida Ovaa
Chief Counselor, USS Pioneer

Lieutenant Ameri Ó Flannagáin
Chief Operations Officer, USS Pioneer

Lieutenant Vaebn tr'Hwersuil
Chief Science Officer, USS Pioneer

Lieutenant Junior Grade Elen Diari
Chief Engineering Officer, USS Pioneer

Staff Warrant Officer Jennifer Masters
Chief Intelligence Officer, USS Pioneer

Crewman Sofia Cipriani
Yeoman, USS Pioneer

Gul Markuul
Commanding Officer, CDF


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