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Reviewing the Situation

Posted on Tue Jan 22nd, 2019 @ 1:22pm by Captain Cassius Whittemore & Lieutenant Ezra Maor & Ensign Daniel Sheridan & Lieutenant Commander Joseph Thompson & Lieutenant Andrew Stokes & Lieutenant Adessa Barra MD & Lieutenant Mary-Elizabeth Frost MD

Mission: Episode 02: "The Telling"
Location: Conference Room (Bridge), USS Thames
Timeline: Mission Day 02, 0700 Hours

ON: [[Conference Room (Bridge), USS Thames, Mission Day 02, 0700 Hours]]

Joe always made it a point to arrive early to staff meetings, and he wondered how much of that inclination was ingrained instinct from years of securing an area before important meetings. Of course, here on the ship there were negligible concerns in that area, but there was a potential threat now looming. Joe had transferred to Starfleet with an open mind and never enjoyed the idea of treating unknowns as hostile, but it was his duty to do so until it was clear they were not.

While he was waiting, Joe glanced out the viewports. Even after days planetside, it was still a slightly disconcerting sight to see anything but a view of space out there. Joe wondered whether it meant he was getting too accustomed to his surroundings that such thing would even throw him slightly off-balance. Then again, it was the unbalanced situation that kept him on guard, remembering to analyze each of his surroundings.

The conference room was practically empty when Mary-Elizabeth entered, coffee mug in hand. Though she'd intended to nurse it slowly on her way to the staff meeting, somehow she'd managed to down its contents before the 'lift had even reached the Bridge. Shrugging inwardly - coffee was part and parcel of a medical professional's largely sleepless existence - she made her way to the replicator, noting as she went that Joseph Thompson was the only other occupant currently in the room.

Frankly, she didn't know if that was good, bad, or somewhere in between. The last time she'd spoken to him had been in the colonists' medical facility, and while their conversation had come to a tidy resolution, it had still been rocky from the start. "Good morning, Commander," Mary-Elizabeth said, her back to him as she quietly and politely requested more coffee from the replicator. Refill in hand, she sat in the nearest chair, reasoning that she had chosen it for its proximity to the replicator and definitely not because it was set a fair distance from Thompson.

"Good morning," Joe replied amiably. He noticed her seating choice but elected not to make assumptions about it. Instead, he nodded to her mug. "Long night, or just don't like mornings?"

Mary-Elizabeth raised a brow as she took a sip. "Comes with the territory," she said simply, wishing she'd had the computer make it a bit sweeter. "Odd hours are normal hours in medical. I suppose that's probably true for your department as well."

"True, but in my department I'm the one who inflicts the odd hours on everyone else," Joe said with a small smile.

The door leading to the bridge opened. Ezra entered the room, not at all surprised to find Thompson had beaten him there. When they’d first started serving together, he’d made a genuine effort to arrive earlier, but eventually gave up after only a few attempts when he realized there was just no sense trying to outdo the man.

Ezra nodded once in the commander’s direction before turning his attention to Frost. She seemed mostly in good spirits after their little outing the previous evening, though he sensed some unease from her now. He offered her a warm smile and moved to take the seat next to hers.

“I hope we didn’t keep you up too late, doctor,” Ezra joked as he sat down.

Relaxing a bit to see her new friend, Mary-Elizabeth returned his smile with one of her own. "Hardly," she said, taking another sip of coffee. "While I'm obliged as a medical professional not to recommend this course of action, I'm one of those sorts who can go days without sleep, so long as there are caffeinated beverages near at hand."

Others continued to arrive one-by-one or in pairs. Greetings were exchanged and a few chatted among themselves while they waited. Finally, they were joined by Whittemore and Barra who entered together from the bridge. Both made their way to the head of the table where they each took their seats.

“Good morning,” Cassius said. He paused long enough to look each person gathered around the table in the eye, acknowledging their presence. Most of them had already been in staff meetings together before. A few were new to the table, whether because they were serving as stand ins for their respective departments or new to the ship entirely.

“I’m sure, by now, many of you have noticed a few changes around here,” he continued after a moment, “In light of Commander Makino’s departure, Lieutenant Barra has kindly agreed to serve as acting first officer. I’d also like to welcome Lieutenant Stokes, who will be taking over for us in Engineering…”

Andrew nodded to the assembled team in front of him. They seemed to be fairly tight-knit. Hopefully, he wouldn't have a problem feeling at home. In his pocket, his hand squeezed the PADD. He withdrew it and began to look through the updated status reports. We wanted to be ready should they ask for anything.

“Good,” Cassius said, “Now that that’s settled, let’s get started. Most of the vessels we detected have already landed on the far side of the planet. A few are still making their way to the surface. From what we’ve been able to observe, it would appear they intend to establish some sort of long-term presence here.”

“Lieutenant Stokes, Chief Aatke, and I have been going over the scans,” Daniel interjected, wincing a little to himself when he realized he’d just interrupted the captain, “We’re pretty sure the reason the away team wasn’t able to detect the ships was because there was almost nothing there to detect, at least so far as we can tell. Rudimentary propulsion, no warp signatures, and no weapons…”

"No weapons that were initially detected," Joe said in an interjection of his own. "I can tell you I have plenty of first-hand experience getting attacked by weapons that aren't picked up by the usual scans." He left unsaid how many times the reciprocal was true. "You said we can't easily detect them. For all we know, they could be making landfall and stealing a march on our position. Before we do anything else, I think we need to secure the colony and get the Thames up into orbit where we're less vulnerable."

Ezra shifted slightly in his chair. On the one hand, he understood where Thompson was coming from. They were both responsible for ensuring the safety of the ship, each in their own way, and they’d both had plenty of experiences that made them cautious. However, Ezra had gone over the data with Markov several times. It seemed to confirm Sheridan’s assessment that these ships were unarmed. Ezra also shared the curiosity many of his colleagues had about where these strange vessels had come from and who they belonged to.

“I agree we need to be cautious.”

The words caused everyone’s attention to turn toward Ezra. Even though they’d been together on this assignment for nearly two months, some of them were still learning to understand and to trust one another. Most of what they’d dealt with so far had been administrative or logistical issues having to do with establishing the colony. This was the first time they’d faced something like this.

Ezra realized he was going to have to explain himself better. “The Pendragon almost crashed into one of their ships,” the tactical officer pointed out, “and they didn’t really seem to do much about it. Am I right?”

A couple of the staff looked at one another, but no one said anything.

“What that tells me is that they’re not an immediate threat,” Ezra said, turning toward the head of the table, “which means the benefits of staying where we are may outweigh the costs. At the very least, from this position, we can extend our shields to create a protective barrier over the colony.”

The comment of extending the shields grabbed Stokes attention.

"Extending the shields around the colony would be problematic at our current power levels. Shaping the shield harmonics to encompass the colony will need a larger allocation of energy then we are currently using. We'd have to re-route quite a few main systems to provide the necessary energy." He manipulated the PADDs. He pulled up a power consumption analysis and displayed it on the conference room screen. " Alternatively, we could bring the warp core and main power systems back online. This will provide us the necessary energy to shape the shields around the ship and the colony. It would also allow us to leverage the ships main sensor array to try and get an additional information we can."

Stokes surveyed the room, gauging the staff's reactions to his suggestions. "I also asked my team to prep for main engine restart. Should we need to get into orbit quickly, I want to make sure the ship is able to respond." finishing his suggestions he returned the display to the default image.

Cassius leaned forward. While he appreciated the wisdom of needing to secure both the Thames and the colony, it was something he was already aware of. Both men had said their piece. He didn’t want the whole discussion getting bogged down in this one avenue when there were other factors that needed to be considered.

“Where are we on offloading the colonists’ equipment?”

Stokes was not prepared for the commander's question. He'd been so focused on the ship's systems, his ship's systems, that he'd neglected the colony's status. He consulted his PADD, "Sir I don't have the current updates in front of me, I apologize." He HATED that he did not have the information the Commander asked for.

"I'd have to defer to Ensign Sheridan and the operations team for colonial deployment status." Having continued to scan the PADD data in front of him he came across a bit of data that gave him a little of what he needed, a power systems maintenance request. Inwardly he breathed a sigh of relief. "I can tell you," Stokes began, composing his plans he was reviewing the data, "that the power systems of the colony are operating within design specs. The ongoing electrical storms are playing havoc with the shielding resulting in brownouts. I have a request to add extra shielding and insulation to the units to help mitigate the symptoms. Pending your orders, I had planned on deploying those upgrades today."

Starfleet engineers were known for thinking on their feet and Stokes was no exception.

OFF

Commander Cassius Whittemore
Commanding Officer
USS Thames (NCC-80629)

Lieutenant Adessa Barra, MD
Acting Executive Officer
USS Thames (NCC-80629)

Lieutenant Commander Joseph Thompson
Chief Security Officer
USS Thames (NCC-80629)

Lieutenant Ezra Maor
Chief Tactical Officer
USS Thames (NCC-80629)

Lieutenant Andrew Stokes
Chief Engineering Officer
USS Thames (NCC-80629)

Lieutenant Mary-Elizabeth Frost, MD
Chief Medical Officer
USS Thames (NCC-80629)

Ensign Daniel Sheridan
Operations Officer
USS Thames (NCC-80629)

 

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