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On the Trail

Posted on Mon Dec 16th, 2019 @ 12:14pm by Captain James McCullen & Master Warrant Officer Kayden Ganador & Commander Temerant Bast & Lieutenant Commander Tyran Nige & Lieutenant Oliver Ross & Lieutenant Eza Bergen PhD & Lieutenant JG Alexander Mitchell & Lieutenant JG Merlar R'heil & Lieutenant JG Simon Hunter

Mission: Reaching Out in Hope
Location: Bridge, USS Sentinel
Timeline: MD10, 1300 Hrs


Captain Jim McCullen strode onto the bridge, nodded once at his XO and sat himself down in the big chair. he had just been notified that the last of the supplies, personnel and equipment that were to be embarked aboard the Sentinel had been transferred - rumblings were that the admiral was mightily displeased at the rapid transfer of an industrial replicator and several hundred tons of supplies without so much as a by your leave from the ambassador and McCullen was keen to set out and avoid whatever blow up was coming. He tapped the comm console on the left side of his chair, "All senior officers, report to the bridge please."

Mater Warrant Officer Kayden Gandor was already in the turbolift when the call came in, fresh from a diplomatic briefing with the lieutenant, he had deigned to call on the captain. Thus, he stepped on to the bridge shortly after.

Tyran was already at his station when he heard the Call "Commander Nige reporting as ordered Captain" he was overlooking his station at Tactical.

Merlar heard the call as she headed for the nearest Turbo lift. =/\= "On my way" Merlar purred as she rode the turbo lift.

Eza was seated at the forward of the two science stations on the port side of the bridge, he had been finishing the final diagnostics on the sensory arrays.

"Mr. Ross, have we got everything we need stowed aboard?" The captain asked, already knowing the answer but reluctant to break with the tradition of going around the bridge before setting out. Traditions were lucky and breaking them was not.

"Our stores are bursting Sir," Ross replied.

"Good, good." McCullen smiled, "Mr. Hunter, is the ship ready?"

"Aye Sir," replied Simon as he continued, " Everything is Green across the board," as he knew that his team had worked long and hard to make the ship ready for today, "Permission to ask for some R &R for my teams Sir?"

"Within the duty schedule, as it allows for it." McCullen responded, "Mister Tyran, tactical status?" He looked over his shoulder at the new tactical chief, the man had been in the job less than twenty four hours and he seemed to be doing an excellent job, thus far.

Tyran responded as he checked the tactical status." Phasers and torpedoes are fully loaded and ready Captain" he was ready for the Sentinel to get under way.

"Thank you, Lieutenant Commander. Lieutenant Bergen, status of the science department please?"

"Good to go, the minor repairs to the sensors are completed and calibrated and the upgrades to the labs were completed by Lieutenant Ross' team." The Trill replied.

"Very good, thank you. Ex-Oh, how are we doing? All buttoned up and ship-shape?" He asked Bast, the last in the chain and the anchor - if there was anything the captain had missed, the XO would catch it.

"Sickbay reports ready," read Bast from his console. "Diplomatic detachment is giving us the green light. We're good to go."

The captain looked forward, seeing an unfamiliar pair of shoulders ahead of him at the helm. It took a few seconds before he could place them. "Lieutenant Mitchell," that was it, the new helm officer, "undock from the station and then set a course for the Stakoron system, maximum warp."

"Aye sir. Clear all moorings." Mitchell's fingers danced across the console as he cleared the moorings and the umbilicals retracted. Once it was confirmed that they were clear, he activated the bow thrusters. The Sentinel was pushed away from the station until they were free and clear to navigate.

Xander killed the thrusters and entered the course he'd already plotted that would take them to Stakoron. As soon as he did, the Sentinel swung around. The turn rate was slower than he liked but then if he did it his way, he would have swung around quickly enough to stress the inertial dampers and that would have been uncomfortable for everyone on board. That wouldn't go down well with the Captain, or anyone else for that matter.

With the Sentinel on course for Stakoron, Mitchell engaged the warp engines. She accelerated quickly past the speed of light and the junior Lieutenant monitored the warp field and engines as she continued to accelerate towards her maximum speed. "Warp engines engaged." He reported needlessly, but it was protocol.

"Thank you, helm." McCullen smiled, pushing himself up from the chair, "all senior officers, join me in the observation lounge please."

Eza rose with the other senior officers but unlike most his station was not immediately taken over by a relief officer as the Science stations wasn't required to constantly be manned.

Mitchell, realizing that he was Acting up and therefore required to attend the meeting, was relieved and followed Bergen into the briefing room.

Tyran was at his station on the bridge overlooking his security department staff when he heard the Call from the Captain to report to the main briefing room. Tyran followed the rest of the senior staff to the briefing room once inside the briefing room he had a PADD in hand and sat down waiting for the Captain to begin the briefing.

Chief Ganador moved from where he had been stood at the back of the bridge to make his way to the ready room, where he took a seat half way down the table.

Lt. jg. R'heil sat down next to her Security chief when he got there to listen to the meeting.

Eza sat silently, having not met the majority of the senior staff he was attempting to place names and faces based on rank and uniform colour. The Security Chief was an obvious place being the only yellow collared commander aboard. He assumed the Caitian was his deputy. His eyes fell on Alexander and lingered a moment as the remaining staff took their seats.

Bast was the last to leave the Bridge and head to the briefing room, handing over Bridge watch to Ensign We'chak.

"Ladies and gentlemen," McCullen smiled at his assembled officers. This was the first briefing they'd had together in the Gamma Quadrant and for the first time, they were setting out on a mission that was not automatically fraught with danger - instead, they were doing what Starfleet officers signed up to do - helping. "We are now on course for Stakoron II. Our mission is one of diplomacy and assistance, we are to reach out to the Stakoron people, give them whatever assistance they need and if we can, establish some kind of diplomatic relations." The captain nodded at Master Chief Ganador. "This is Master Warrant Officer Kayden Ganador, a special adviser from Opaka Outpost - he will be working with the diplomatic team. Mister Ganador?"

"Thank you, captain." Ganador stood, spreading a smile around the room. The diminutive man took a moment to let the room see him and then began, "the Stakoron people have been under the yoke of the Dominion for, as far as we can tell, several hundred years. That is, until, sometime in the last few weeks the Dominion unexpectedly pulled out. This is part of a general withdrawal of the Dominion that we've yet to explain." The chief paused to let that sink in, "without their Dominion overseers, the Stakorons have been left without necessary supplies, medical care or effective leadership - the Stakorons have no idea to take care of themselves and they appear to know it. They have reached out for aid and we have been called to answer. Questions?"

"Is there not a strong change the Dominion could return to reassert their control over the planet?" Eza asked. "The terms of the peace treaty basically said they're free to continue operating as they choose in the quadrant as long as they don't take an outwardly offensive stance to alpha and beta quadrant exploration efforts."

"I am a diplomat, lieutenant, not a strategist or an intelligence officer, but it seems unlikely to me that the Dominion would go to all the trouble of leaving an entire system just to return. That's not, in my experience, how the Dominion operate." Ganador replied, looking to the captain for conformation.

McCullen frowned, he had considered that very possibility several times and spoken to Starfleet command about it twice, they had made their opinion very clear. "We're under orders that if the Dominion return looking for a fight, we will not oblige them. At the first sign of Dominion military presence we're to leave, our mission is diplomacy, not starting another war with the damned Dominion."

Eza nodded, he had a rather uncomfortable knot in the pit of his stomach but hopefully it was just good old nerves.

"We're not discounting the possibility that the Dominion might return," piped in Bast. "But their actions so far indicate a complete withdrawal from this sector. Intelligence reports indicate that they've left over two dozen worlds to fend for themselves over the past few months, and have vanished without a trace. Starfleet Intelligence views their return as possible, but unlikely in the short term. In the meantime, those worlds need help, and that's why Starfleet has dispatched a handful of ships to the Gamma Quadrant."

Merlar listened to Capt McCullen carefully as he was talking and explaining the Mission, She frowned about the news that the Dominion maybe back for a fight. She continued to listen to the captain the whole time.

Lieutenant j.g. Mitchell shared Eza's concerns about the Dominion returning to reassert control over the planet. Hell, maybe they pulled out just to lure Starfleet in before springing their trap. But to what end? He didn't give thought to that particular thought. The knot in the pit of Eza's stomach was mirrored in the pit of Alexander's.

"So what type of aid do the Stakoron people need, to be blunt, Intrepid-class ships aren't normally used for large scale humanitarian operations." Eza said, turning his focus to what a relatively small ship could do on the scale of an entire planet recently released from Dominion control.

Merlar was listening to people talk, and thought to herself,during the conference and was worried bout interference even though the planet was released from Dominion Control, she never would know if they could set a trap for anyone coming to the planet or not.

"I'm aware, but we're the only ship in the sector that's not already on mission and the situation is time-critical. As for what they need, we're not sure." McCullen answered, "our job will be to provide what aid we can and assess the situation for Starfleet. If more aid is needed, that's up to Starfleet to organize."

"Think of this mission is a scouting party, lieutenant." Ganador added, "our aim is to establish a dialogue, figure out what they need, and want from the Federation and then report back. Along the way, if there is aid we can provide we will do so, but as you said, we have our limitations."

Eza nodded, he still was apprehensive but they had their orders.

"I'm aware that this mission is likely to be a difficult one, but this is what Starfleet was founded for. Making contact with species we know little or nothing about, assisting those who are in need and spreading the message of peaceful cooperation and equality for all. Lieutenant Bergen has raised some very good points and they are legitimate concerns that we'll heave to deal with as and if they present themselves." The captain paused to direct an encouraging smile at the science officer, "If there are there any other questions or comments, I'd like to hear them." He offered, looking around the room.

Tyran said "I have no questions at this time, Captain. I'm eager to get this mission underway."

Merlar looked at her security chief, "I'm with my Security chief, no questions sir." She purred and thought she had something to say, but couldn't think of it...

"Very well," McCullen nodded, satisfied that his senior staff understood the mission at hand. "Brief your departments, make your people ready and if there are any issues, my door is always open. Dismissed."

The captain watched his officers leave the room, wondering what awaited them when they got to Stakoron. He was confident that his ship and his crew could handle whatever came their way and hopeful that they'd have a peaceful mission helping people who needed it.


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