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Mission 1: "Stratagem" 
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Post Mission 1: "Stratagem"
ON

<USS Sentinel, Captain's Quarters, MD01 0205>

Erik was sound asleep his mind in a far away place reliving a memory in a sublimely altered state, his only tie to the conscious world was the distant realization of Dutch's weight sprawled out across his feet. He was on his parent's ranch in Sadmeli, a small town in rural Georgia(country) enjoying a dawn too perfectly sunny and crisp to be reality yet in the dream state it felt just as much like home as it used to. Justinian, his stallion mount shifted beneath him as they both took in the cool morning air and as if joined with the horse Erik felt at one with him. He could feel Justinian's strength and shared his determination to conquer the trail ahead of them but as they were set to embark on their journey a weight shifted. His mind's eye blinked for a second, searching for the source of the odd feeling and having looked away the too perfect day faded into memory to be replaced by the shadowy bulkheads of reality.

Dutch whined slightly as he rolled back onto his stomach and Erik grunted as he found himself awakened early. After wiping the sleep from his eyes he heard the chirp of his comm badge sitting on the nightstand next to the bed.

=^= Captain, you have an urgent call coming in from Deep Space Three. =^=

The voice on the other end of the call was Ensign Kasai's, one of the Sentinel's helmsman and the night shift's Officer of the Watch. Erik rolled onto his side and took the comm badge in hand giving it a light pinch to activate it, “very well Ensign, rout it to my quarters please.”

As Erik stood from bed and stretched his mind wandered over the fading memories of his dream, its details already becoming obscure and wondered about its meaning. He was not a superstitious man by nature but his mother had always believed that dreams were filled with signs and portends of things to come. He had always viewed his mother's eclectic spiritual beliefs with skepticism but years in Starfleet had taught him to keep an open mind about such things. 'Dreams, like starships are vehicles we take into the unknown,' she had once told him and as he had grown older the words seemed ever more prescient.

After donning his trousers and vest Erik sat at the computer terminal in the main room. He activated the terminal with his command code and established a secure line for the call. Moments later the screen came to life with the sullen expression of one Captain Archie Black(NPC) the commanding officer of Deep Space Three.

“I'm sorry to wake you Commander,” Captain Black said. “But this is a very urgent matter.”

Erik nodded and waved his hand dismissively with a yawn, “think nothing of it captain. What can I do for you?”

“I don't mean to be suspenseful but what I have to say is probably best relayed in person,” Captain Black offered much to Erik's dismay. Whatever warranted the early morning call had to be serious and on the eve of the Sentinel's launch Erik wasn't thrilled about the prospect. “Can you be in my office in the next twenty minutes?”

“Of course Captain,” Erik replied, his boots already halfway on. “I will see you shortly.”

<Deep Space 3, Commander's Office, MD01 0230>

Upon entering the station commander's office Erik immediately took note of two other figures present, Captain Lucian King(NPC) of the USS Berlin and a Lieutenant Commander wearing Intel gray that he did not know. The trio of men stood upon his arrival and captain Black motioned for Erik to take a seat at the far end of his oblong desk. After a brief exchange of pleasantries the Intelligence officer wasted no time in getting down to business.

“What I am about to disclose is to remain in this room,” the Lieutenant said with a grave expression. “This is classified information and is eyes-only. Two hours ago DS3's deep space communications monitoring team discovered a heavily distorted signal coming from somewhere inside the Taevon expanse and after some clever digital manipulation we were able to determine that it was in fact a distress call. The signal markers and language used in the transmission suggests that the vessel sending the signal is a Gyrian transport, likely a 'pilgrimage vessel'.”

Erik leaned forward with his hands clasped in front of him on the table and listened intently. It was the first time that he had been privy to such a meeting and though excited to a small extent was also very concerned about where the conversation would lead. He would not have been called into the meeting unless his superiors intended to send the Sentinel to investigate and without its full crew compliment aboard any such mission would prove a challenge. Regardless, Erik was prepared to carry out any orders that he may be given.

“For those of you who are not familiar with the Gyrian's,” the Intel officer continued. “They are a warp capable species who's planet of origin lies in an unknown system beyond the expanse. They are generally regarded as a peaceful species but have been known to protect their religious sites, usually spatial anomalies or unique star systems, with deadly force. It is the will of the Federation that these religious positions be respected and that we not encroach on the Gyrian's sacred territories and risk damaging the very delicate rapport that we have established with them. With that said, our analysts have had a field day trying to come up with possible sources for the distress call and about the only thing they can agree on is that its well inside the expanse; to the order of a couple dozen light years. There are a few starsystems located there where, unique, conditions persist yet they remain largely uncharted due to the nature of the surrounding space. We suspect that the distress call originated from one of these systems. All of you know the risks associated with entering the expanse, especially when penetrating so deeply into its interior.”

It was then that all of the eyes in the room fell on Erik and he knew at once what it was that he was to be ordered to do. With the refit freshly completed and the ship having not yet taken a shakedown cruise the Commander was reticent about the idea.

“Commander Tsereteli,” Captain Black began. “With the USS Berlin only half finished with its refit the Sentinel is the only ship available in the region to respond to the distress call. Being of the Sentinel class line it is also most likely the best equipped ship to deal with the harsh environment within the expanse. As such, Horizon Fleet command wants you out there post haste. I don't have to tell you the danger involved with this one Erik and I know that half of your crew are green but we don't have much choice in the matter.”

“I know,” Erik nodded, his body feeling weightless suddenly.. “We're as prepared for this as we can be and we can be underway within a few hours.”

The trio of men nodded and for a moment Erik thought he saw sympathy on their faces. Admittedly, it was hardly the kind of mission he had expected to contend with so quickly in his new position but he really was prepared, pity was the last thing any commanding officer wanted from his peers.

“Before you go Commander,” the Intelligence officer began anew. “You should know that we have reason to believe that the Yang Zutal have been operating around the same area of the expanse that the signal came from. We as yet do not know the size or disposition of their fleet but as always, it would be prudent to take any extra precaution you can out there.”

“Of course,” Erik agreed as he stood. The Sentinel had been present in the Hades system a year prior under the command of Captain Rentok as a backup security measure and Erik was no stranger to the name Yang Zutal. The ships defensive services had not been required on that mission and any information garnered about the enigmatic alien race never left Rentok's ready room. Erik wished that he had been privy to the meetings held there but it had been above his security clearance, it still was. He trusted that any need-to-know information would be disseminated to him when needed. “If there's nothing else gentlemen I should get back to Sentinel and rouse the crew. This is going to be a shock for some of them and they will need the extra time for preparations.”

Again the trio nodded with Captain Black stepping forward to shake Erik's hand, “god speed Commander.”

OFF

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Commodore Erik Tsereteli
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USS-Sentinel NCC-83680


Mon Feb 06, 2012 8:05 pm
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Post Re: Mission 1: "Stratagem"
ON:

<USS Sentinel, Captain's Ready Room, MD01 0305>

An hour after first having been awoken Erik found himself back aboard the Sentinel and in his ready room. The call to general quarters had been sounded shortly after he had left the briefing and the preparations for launch were already underway. All of this he watched via continuously updating readouts on his computer display while he scrolled through intelligence files that had been made available to him. The files contained classified charts of the Taevon Expanse as well as info on factions that the Sentinel might encounter on its trip into the volatile region of space. Much of it was info that would have been made available to him eventually anyway but being pertinent to the situation had come out early.

<En Route to Ready Room>

Most people would have been annoyed at the extremely early wake-up call. Truthfully, Awen hadn't gotten much sleep and wasn't too keen on it herself, but after an extra strong cup of Vulcan mocha, she had put on her uniform and headed for the Ready Room as ordered. With the Resistance, they had often stayed up late for planning or actually completing ops, but that had been years before.

Once on the bridge, the Bajoran noted the few crewmembers scurrying about to be sure everything was ready. Whatever Erik had learned, it seemed to indicate they would be leaving quickly. Awen slowed as she approached the door and rang the door chime.

<Ready Room>

After the door chime sounded Erik set his PADD down and stood from his seat, "Enter Lieutenant." He had known it was Fala before the doors even slid open and on such a dire occasion was thankful for her punctuality.

Awen entered the Ready Room to find Erik standing behind his desk. When she was directly across from him, she stopped and looked him straight in the eye. "You wanted to see me, Commander." For the time being she remained standing, unsure if they would be staying put and trying to remain more formal for the time being.

Erik stood as Awen strode into his ready room and after a moment motioned toward the vacant seat on the far side of his desk, "Please Lieutenant, have a seat." His expression was one of tired concern but he had also been filled with a strange vitality that hadn't been there before, as if some latent virtue had awakened within him. He sat only after Awen had begun to do so herself and afterward slid a PADD across the cold glass surface for her review.

"We're being sent into the Taevon Expanse in response to a distress call," he began, as if narrating the information on the PADD. "I've been looking these navigational charts and CO's personal logs over since I got back here from DS3. I've skirted the edge of the expanse during missions in the past but this time we'll be heading straight into the heart of it; the notion has me a little worried. What do you know about the region?"

Awen picked up the PADD and briefly glanced at it; there would be time for a more through read later. At the mention of the Taevon Expanse the Bajoran raised an eyebrow. "Into the Taevon Expanse, sir? Anyone going into the Expanse should be worried. The region is dangerous for starships. Sensors can be rendered useless and it can wreak havoc on a ship and her systems....even if one is able to follow one of the corridors that have been found." While she hadn't been on ship that had tried to follow one of the corridors, she had read some reports. Truthfully, Awen didn't trust the notion of the corridors and the various elements that comprised the Expanse would be a nightmare.

"That's pretty much the sum of what all these reports say," Erik admitted. "I suppose there's a good reason why Starfleet has yet to fully chart the interior of the expanse, everything I've read so far paints a pretty grim picture. The Sentinel is one of the newest ship designs in the fleet though, to my knowledge this will be the first time a vessel of this class will have attempted the journey. We've been through some tight spots on this ship and she's never let us down, regardless, if you have any suggestions that might help us weather the Expanse's interior better I'd like to hear them."

"Indeed, Commander," the Bajoran replied initially. "I do have some ideas, but I need to work on the logistics of them with the Science department and possibly Engineering or Operations, depending on what is needed. Once I have more information, I can let you know, sir."

"Good enough Lieutenant," Erik said. He was confident that Fala and her team would be able to give Engineering and Ops something to work with.

Peter entered the captain's ready room less than twenty minutes after the call to general quarters had been sounded and was not at all surprised to find the Sentinel's two senior-most officers already seated across the desk from one another. It was clear any plan they might have had for completing the Sentinel's refit and undergoing a shakedown had most certainly been turned on its head. There was a part of him which would have rather had the time to develop his working relationship with Commander Tsereteli and Lieutenant Commander Fala a bit more before having to face them in a briefing such as this. Unfortunately, recent events had managed to undermine those expectations as well. They were left with no alternative than to hit the ground running.

"Commander Armstrong," Erik said as he stood from his seat. "Please have a seat, you're right on time. I take it that you've been made aware of the situation already?"

"I have," Peter replied with an affirmative nod, "This isn't the first time one civilian operations along the border have fallen victim to raiders, but that certainly doesn't make it any less serious."

Awen smirked slightly, "I'm sure it won't be the last either, for that matter. The location makes it even more difficult. It's not impossible, of course, but it won't make our mission any easier. I've already told Commander Tsereteli that I'll work with the Science team on concerns regarding the Expanse."

"Between the Expanse and the Black Cluster, we've been hard-pressed to keep up with the number of incident reports coming out of this region," Peter agreed, "Dealing with mercenaries or raiders is one thing, but having to deal with unknown phenomena like gravity waves or dark matter does things to a ship's systems...sensors, communications, propulsion, weapons. I've already pulled out a few things we might use to improve the effectiveness of our systems."

"Do you have the information on a PADD, perhaps? Or could we distribute it to the appropriate personnel for review? Any additional suggestions would be welcome," Awen noted as she watched Peter. She was curious as to whether her ideas were contained in the information or if they were different.

Peter proceeded to offer the first of two PADDs he had brought with him to the commander, saying, "I think you'll find the information quite thorough, but if there is anything you need elaborated upon, please let me know."

Erik took the second of the PADDs and quickly reviewed the data in conjunction with his first officer. Much of the data was technical and beyond Erik's Engineering rating but he got the basic gist of the suggestions. "I think this is a good start, be sure that this is circulated to Lieutenants Bates and Alana for review." Still standing Erik clasped his hands behind his back and peered out the ready room window in silent contemplation for a moment before turning back to the others. "Having not had a chance to work together I think some of the newer crewmen are going to feel some additional pressure on this mission. It's not the kind of send off anyone would request but the kind that can bring a crew together quickly, let's not let that possibility slip us by."

"I'm sure it will be a telling experience, sir," Awen replied thoughtfully. It could bring the crew together or it could expose their weaknesses. Either way, it would give them valuable information about the crew. "Is there any other information that StarFleet has provided? About the ship...recent activity in the area...anything of use?"

Peter glanced silently in the direction of Commander Tsereteli. There certainly was more information available both about the vessel in question and recent activity in the region, provided one had the appropriate clearance level and knew where to look. Peter's time served on the Federation frontier was only part of what allowed him to carry out his duties as Chief Strategic Operations Officer so well. Another important aspect of his position was knowing when to defer the distribution of information to someone in a more appropriate position. The line between stepping on toes and inappropriate withholding of information was very fine and the last thing he wanted to do was make either of his superiors feel as if he was anything but a member of their team.

After a few moments pause Erik cleared his throat and spoke, "I believe that the Commander Armstrong is in a position to go into a little more detail, however I would guess that some of that information is 'eyes only'. If you would excuse us for now Commander, we'll go over the relevant information at the staff briefing."

The Bajoran looked from one man to the other and stood up silently; the look in her eyes was enough without words though. There was no reason that she couldn't have been included in the information that would be disseminated to the crew later; the 'eyes only' information, if there even was any could have been saved for later. Wasn't she supposed to be the Executive Officer? If that was her position, she shouldn't just be thrown out of a briefing. If this was truly how it was going to be, perhaps the Chief Strategic Operations Officer should be Executive Officer instead and she would just concentrate on Science. Her jaw clenched, she spun on her heel and walked out.

There was silence as the Executive Officer disappeared from the room. Peter waited until the ready room door was closed once again before letting out an audible sigh. It would have been difficult not to notice the commander's frustration at having been prematurely dismissed from their briefing. This was an urgent matter of ship's business and he probably would have felt the same way had their roles been reversed. "Not exactly the strong footing I'd hoped to start off on, sir," he admitted after a moment.

"Nor I," Erik replied with fingers steepled as he let his gaze linger on the ready room door for a few seconds. He had likely made an error in judgement then, after all, hadn't Rentok included him in briefings that by protocol he should have been left out of? If a Vulcan could manage to bend the rules as such then so should Erik but what was done was done. "However, few of us have worked together before and its difficult to judge where lines must be drawn, we all have some adjusting to do. In the future, I think I would prefer to include Commander Fala in any Strat-Ops briefings, even if the information is above her clearance level. Agreed?"

"Agreed," Peter affirmed. There was a certain logic to the commander's reasoning which made perfect sense when one considered the Sentinel's size and mission profile. Certainly some of the information he was privileged to could not be divulged without serious consideration as to the situation in which that information applied. The last thing he needed, however, was to be thought of as the one who kept things to himself. He would have to see about trying to smooth the matter over with Commander Fala later.

"Very good," Erik said before turning his attention fully to Peter. "Now, I believe you have some intelligence with which I need to be brought up to speed on?"

"Sorry, sir," Peter said, bringing himself back to the matter at hand, "As I said earlier, Starfleet has been doing its best to keep a closer eye on this region of space, but increased demands on personnel and resources have made it difficult to keep up. It doesn't help that most of the reported incidents have gone cold by the time we're able to dispatch anyone to investigate them. There have been a few leads in recent months..."

"While not directly involved I have managed to stay appraised of the Yang Zutal situation," Erik explained. "Well, I suppose I should say that I am aware of the situation, what little information there is to be aware of that is. I was unaware however of any recent activity, what is it that you know?"

"How familiar are you with Vice Admiral Iluvar," Peter asked. The fact his Commanding Officer was even peripherally aware of the Yang Zutal situation indicated the commander had spent some time involved in operations along the frontier. It stood to reason, therefore, he might also be know of the admiral's involvement in recent affairs.

"Well," Erik smirked slightly. "Anyone who watches the news has heard of Admiral Iluvar, though I cant say that I've ever met the man. But to be honest, I had read many of his declassified mission reports before he was making headlines. The Pandora is, was, a busy ship."

"Shortly after the Board of Inquiry, the USS Pandora was ordered to investigate an outbreak of harassment on civilian traffic around the Black Cluster," Peter explained slowly, "Starfleet Command closed the investigation when they received reports indicating the presence of an unusual biological residue amongst the debris of a civilian freighter discovered in the same region of space. The admiral was ordered to turn over all mission-relevant materials for analysis, which he did rather reluctantly."

Erik had been unaware of the information Peter was disseminating and for once it genuinely surprised him, "why would Starfleet suspend the investigation? And to sweep the physical evidence under the rug for 'eyes only'? I can understand a certain level of prudent secrecy but why all the cloak and daggers?"

An audible sigh escaped Peter's lips. One of the most difficult things about working in strategic operations was trying to avoid giving people the same impression so many had of those who worked in Starfleet Intelligence. Peter was well aware his earlier hesitation had offended Commander Fala and would most likely create a rift between them if not addressed soon. At the same time, some would argue there we more important things at stake here than the professional relationship between two officers. Then again...well, Peter had never really been one to knowingly withhold important information if he could help it and he wasn't about to start now. Starfleet may have declared the information need to know, but Peter was the man in the field and he felt his commanding officer needed to know.

"Starfleet has reason to believe the attacks are being perpetrated by the Yang Zutal," Peter replied aft a brief moment, "and, while we did not have as much information about them then as we do now, there is still a lot we don't know."

Erik could have guessed and on some level did connect the dots that the information Starfleet was withholding concerned the nebulous new adversary but he preferred to hear it from a credible source and not assume. "I was afraid you were going to say that," Erik sighed and suddenly feeling restless again he stood once more. "I had been nursing some hope that they would turn out to be non aggressive but I suppose that is naive. Assume for a moment that we are about to head into an ambush now, does Starfleet have any idea how Federation technology will stand up to the Yang Zutal's?"

Slowly, Peter shook his head from side to side. "Aside from civilian traffic believed to have been ambushed by the Yang Zutal, there have been no recorded engagements between Starfleet and the Yang Zutal," he said, trying to recall anything he did know that might be able to help them. There was just too little information available at the moment to make any definitive conclusions. "...except," Peter continued, pausing to collect his thoughts, "...There was something in the admiral's report about unusual biomatter recovered from the wreckage of a civilian transport. It could have been something the transport was carrying...or it could have been from the Yang Zutal."

"I'd feel a lot better knowing for sure but it is what at is at this point," Erik said as he began to pace the length of the room. "This will probably end up as a routine rescue operation but I cant help but feel that something stranger is happening here. It's probably just me. At any rate, I would appreciate it if you could keep an eye out for any new information regarding this and related topics, if something comes along that you feel will affect the Sentinel I hope that you will clue me in on it."

"You have my word, sir," Peter replied confidently. Already, his mind was racing ahead to the work yet to be done. He would need to prepare a more general briefing for the senior staff, not to mention sort out any remaining clearance issues for his department so they could continue gathering information that might help them face whatever lay ahead.

OFF:

A Joint Post featuring:

Lt. Commander (Provisional) Peter Armstrong
Chief of Strategic Operations
USS Sentinel

and

Lt. Commander Fala Awen
Executive Officer
USS Sentinel

and

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Commodore Erik Tsereteli
Commanding Officer
USS-Sentinel NCC-83680


Sat Jun 30, 2012 9:44 pm
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Post Re: Mission 1: "Stratagem"
ON

<USS Sentinel, Cargo Bay 1, MD01 0300>

It wasn't until the PADD lay on the Cargo Bay floor surrounded by bits of glass from its touch screen that Lieutenant Junior Grade N'alae Terik (PNPC) realized how unmanageable her frustration had become. Having been pulled from a restless sleep twenty minutes before and essentially told that she would have to have the Sentinel's tactical systems ready to go within a days time, she was already on edge. When the ship's Quartermaster informed her that the Starbase would only be able to fill a third of the ship's maximum Torpedo load she had lost it.

“Well, that's just perfect,” N'alae growled as her jaw tensed and nostrils flared. Her olive Romulan complexion darkening a shade of green with the added blood flow. “Now you listen here, you call that sniveling worm sitting base side and tell him that if he doesn't find a way to get us our full payload that he's going to have a lot more to worry about than a pile of worthless paperwork!”

“Calm down,” Chief Nezra Fhazil (NPC) pleaded, the stout Ferengi had taken the brow beating well by his own estimations but he was starting to cave.

“Calm down?” N'alae ranted on. “Calm down! I'll show you calm you little worm!”

Later on, Archana would consider it something of a miracle that she arrived in the Cargo Bay just in time to stop the pair from coming to blows. Striding in through the cargo bay doors to check on the progress there, the empath was practically bowled over by the sheer intensity of emotions that permeated the scene. N’alae, her second-in-command, was nearly overcome by her rage, and poor Nezra’s fear was so absolute that it was almost palpable to the half-Betazoid.

Taking one look at the scene playing out before her, Archana quite literally leapt into action, flying across the huge bay to all but throw herself at the Romulan. “That’s enough, Terik!” she yelled, striving to put some space between N’alae and the Quartermaster. “Stand down now!”

N'alae stopped mid stride and spun on her heal to come to a crisp attention as her superior entered the room. The Romulans heart still beat savagely and her chest heaved with breath but what she lacked in emotional control she made up for in spades with discipline. “Sir!”

Nezra took the opportunity to begin picking up the scattered mess that had been his PADD, the instrument that had contained the entirety of the Sentinel's inventory. It wasn't really N'alae's fault that he had dropped the device, it wasn't her fault the he startled so easily, he chastised himself. If only he could stand up to those such as the Romulan witch, he would get the promotion he had been after.

“I'm sorry Lieutenant,” Nezra said without looking up. “It's all my fault.”

Archana frankly had a hard time believing that. She’d known Nezra for some time, and knew well enough that he was certainly no troublemaker. Just the opposite, in fact; there were times when she thought that the kind and well-meaning Ferengi was nearly diminutive. N’alae, on the other hand, was anything but diminutive, if Archana was any judge of character. “What is going on here?” she demanded, her tone of voice clipped and to the point. “I want to hear from both of you how this happened. And what on earth happened to that PADD? We don’t exactly have an unlimited supply of those, you know,” she said, exasperated.

“The dock master at Deep Space Three, claims, that they cannot provide us with a full compliment of torpedoes,” N'alae replied in short order, her visage slowly calming to the point of civility. “Among other things. While acknowledging that this is unacceptable, Chief Nezra is to incom...” She paused to draw a deep steadying breath before proceeding. “Chief Nezra was unable to or incapable of negotiate the procurement of what we need.”

Nezra having finished retrieving his PADD from the floor stood but remained silent, letting N'alae relay her side of the story and waiting to be given a turn to speak.

“I see,” Archana said slowly, giving the Romulan a speculative look. She was glad that N’alae seemed to be calming down, but it didn’t quite make up for the fact that she had rather obviously lost her temper over the situation so thoroughly. Still, fair was fair, and before she made any sort of judgment call, she wanted to hear what Nezra had to say as well. “Chief Fhazil, your say on the matter?”

"Well," Nezra stammered as his eyes darted between the security officers uncertainly. "Lieutenant Terik is right... In a sense." The Ferengi paused to survey the Romulan's reactions to his words but N'alae gave no outward sign of an emotional response, instead remaining motionless with eyes transfixed over the Ferengi's head. "Deep Space Three is low on munitions and while their replicators are running at peak rate they will not be able to fill all of our needs before launch. I tried to negotiate but..."

"But," N'alae interjected with a regulated tone. "You're incapable of forcing an issue to get what you need. Perhaps if..."

“Terik. Enough,” Archana interrupted, and it was clear by her firm tone that she would brook no argument. It was early, and she was just as tired as anyone else, but there was simply no time for these sorts of incidents under their current orders. “I have worked with Chief Fhazil for a long while now, and I trust that if he says he’s done everything that he can, then he’s done everything that he can.” Sighing raggedly, she continued, “I know that we’re all under a lot of stress to get the ship ready to move out on a moment’s notice, but this…disagreement is not helping things. What can we do to move forward—without anymore insults and finger-pointing?”

"Very well sir," N'alae replied reluctantly. "It is likely that we can manage with current munitions stocks, that is so long as we are not confronted with a prolonged tactical situation. I will prepare an inventory."

Archana wasn’t sure that she liked the idea of just ‘managing’ with their current stock. Although she believed Nezra, she still felt impressed to ensure that there was nothing more that could be done. “Will that work, Chief Fhazil? You’re sure that there’s nothing more we can do to fill our munitions stock before we leave?”

"Well, perhaps, with some Latinum," Nezra shrugged, an unusual gleam in his eye. "But the nearest trading post would make for too long a detour I'm sure. I am certain that DS-3 has given us what they can but just to be sure I guess I can check again..."

N'alae rolled her eyes at the Ferengi but said nothing, she had to admit to herself that the toad was thorough in his calculations and was likely right in his assessment but she still thought he was intolerable. Best to keep her mouth shut she figured, she was likely already in enough trouble with her new superiors, the last thing she needed was another black mark on her already tarnished record.

Pinching the bridge of her nose to ward off an oncoming headache, Archana nodded. “All right then. Check with DS3 one more time just to make sure, and then wrap up whatever you can so we can get a move on.” Glancing at the scattered glass still on the floor, the half-Betazoid frowned. “That PADD didn’t hold any important and irreplaceable information, did it?”

Nezra lowered his gaze to the glass as well and winced, "nothing totally irreplaceable... It really wont take me long to go through the cargo bay again, probably best that I do anyway."

Taking a quick look around the bay, Archana stifled what her mother would call a long-suffering sigh. "You mean to say that there was an inventory count on that device? Oh, lovely." She didn’t envy Nezra’s task, and she was disappointed that the loss of the PADD would force him to take another count in the first place. Slanting a look at N’alae, she was struck by a moment of inspiration. “If you need any assistance, I’m sure that Lietuenant JG Terik could help,” she suggested, almost mildly. Ultimately, she’d leave the choice up to Nezra. She couldn’t blame him in the least if he turned down the offer—he’d obviously had a less than pleasant encounter with her already, and chances were that all he wanted now was to be left to his own devices again.

Nezra glanced between the two security officers before running a shaky hand over his head's bulges, he didn't relish the idea of having to put in the extra time to retake the cargo bay inventory but he'd rather that than be stuck in the room with Lieutenant Terik any longer. "I think I can manage myself, I know Lieutenant Terik is needed elsewhere..."

“Understood, Chief Fhazil. We’ll be on our way,” Archana nodded to the Ferengi. Turning to face N’alae, she said, “Lieutenant JG Terik, would you mind joining me in the corridor for a moment before you continue your duties?”

N'alae bristled but said nothing as she cast the Ferengi one last glance and followed her superior into the corridor outside of the cargo bay. She stopped as Lieutenant Sen spun about and N'alae stood at attention, her mind running through the possible scenarios of what would come next.

If there was one aspect of her job that Archana didn’t particularly like, it was having to take disciplinary actions of any sort against the crewmembers under her command. Still, after what she’d just seen, she had little choice in the matter but to talk to the Romulan about her actions. “N’alae,” she began, addressing her by her given name rather than by title now that they were alone. “I know that tempers are running high with our new orders, but you cannot go around browbeating the ship’s quartermaster, especially over something that is beyond his control.”

"I admit, I was short with the Chief," N'alae admitted. "I may even have over reacted but I hardly 'browbeat' him. It's not my fault that he can't hand confrontation."

Raising one dark eyebrow, Archana gave N’alae a skeptical look. “I may not have been present for the entire confrontation, but as an empath, I stand behind my assessment that Nezra was indeed browbeaten.” Sighing, Archana folded her arms over her chest. “The fact of the matter is that this is a very small ship. We all live in close quarters with one another, and you’ll be seeing everyone, even Nezra, more often than you might like. It’s important for all of us to control our tempers and our emotions. All right?”

With a sigh of frustration and agitated shifting of her posture N'alae allowed herself to admit that she was wrong, "Understood. I'll be sure to keep that in mind in the future..."

She had probably known that she was in the wrong the whole time but she had never been one to back down easily. The fact that Lieutenant Sen was able to stand her ground against N'alae irritated the Romulan to no end but it also forced her to respect the Betazoid. Despite her ego being bruised there was at least that, so long as she could respect her superior she would be able to function under them reasonably well.

Relieved to have N’alae’s understanding, and hopefully her compliance as well, Archana smiled and nodded firmly. “Good. I’m glad that’s all settled then. Now, I have other tasks to attend to, and I imagine you have work of your own. If we’re both lucky, we’ll be able to catch up on our missed sleep sooner rather than later.”

Just before she turned to go, Archana added, “Keep me updated on the ship’s tactical systems, if you would be so kind. With all the bumps we’ve experienced in the refit, I want to be doubly sure they’re in the best shape possible.” Privately, the Betazoid had some doubts about how fit the ship was to fly. But since their new orders apparently left them with little choice but to leave directly, she kept most of those worries to herself.

"Of course, Sir," N'alae replied with a respectful if irritated nod. She was not so much irritated with Archana as she was with having to leave port in less than peak condition, such situations had never boded well for her in the Romulan Fleet and while such occasions arose far less frequently in Starfleet the Romulan still hated it when they did. Had she been in charge of procuring the ship's munitions from the starbase the situation would be different but alas N'alae knew that even she wasn't capable of doing everything that needed done on the Sentinel. "If there's nothing else I should get back to the torpedo room, Lyles (NPC) is going to need assistance securing the warheads we did manage to get."

“Of course. We’re done here,” Archana confirmed agreeably. “Give me a call if you need an extra hand.” As they parted ways in opposite directions, Archana’s thoughts had quickly moved past the little situation in the Cargo Bay. Now she was far more concerned with the possibility that the ship would indeed have to leave the starbase without a full compliment of torpedoes to confront some faceless threat that they still knew relatively little about. The empath realized that someone would need to tell the Captain at some point, and that person would likely be her. Altering her course, she headed back towards her office to see if there was anything she could do to somehow improve the situation in the meantime.

OFF:

This JP brought to you by:

N'alae Terik
Asst. Chief of Security
Played by: Captain Tsereteli

and

_________________
Lieutenant Archana Sen
Chief Security/Tactical Officer
USS Sentinel NCC-83680


Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:47 am
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Post Re: Mission 1: "Stratagem"
ON:

<USS Sentinel, Captain's Ready Room, MD01 0320>

After seeing Lieutenant Armstrong out Erik paused in the doorway to his ready room and surveyed the activities on the bridge. He had expected to see his first officer in the center seat but she was absent, likely having been called away to attend some pressing matter in the chaos that was ensuing. A young Ensign stood in front of the Captains seat instead, the Human, Dean Kasai (PNPC) hadn't been out of the academy a year but already he had earned himself several distinguished commendations for rising above the call of duty. He was still green behind the ears but he was exactly the kind of officer Erik wanted aboard the Sentinel; young, capable and ambitious yet humble.

“Ensign Kasai,” Erik said as he approached the young Japanese man, his thin Georgian accent only barely registering to the oblivious officer.

Dean turned abruptly, surprised to see the Captain of the ship approaching from behind, so focused had the Ensign been that he hadn't heard the hiss of the ready room's doors as they had opened. He moved a step away from the Captain's seat before coming to a rest at attention. “Sir?”

“At ease Ensign,” Erik said casually, as he looked to the others on the bridge. Only a handful of individuals were within earshot and being warrant officers or enlisted crewmen they were accustomed to tuning out the conversations of their superiors. Regardless Erik kept his voice low, “I'm sure that you've figured out for yourself that our CFCO will not be aboard before we have to launch. I just wanted to formally inform you that you will be handling her duties until such time as she can be transferred.”

The young flight control officer had expected as much but hearing it from the Captain put his mind at ease. A part of him was nervous but a larger part was honored and very much excited to be thrust into such an important position so early in his career. It also reassured Dean that his superiors were very much confident in his abilities as a pilot, he would ensure that he performed better than he ever had before. “Yes sir, it's become apparent. I am prepared to take on any responsibilities that you deem necessary.”

Erik smiled a little more broadly at the Ensigns self confidence, “yes, I'm sure you are Ensign. Just remember that this is a temporary promotion, once the Lieutenant is aboard you will still be subordinate to her, at least for a little while. Impressing me now will go a long way to speeding up future career advancements.”

“Yes sir,” Dean replied dutifully while he suppressed a broad smile. “As of now, what are my orders sir? I would prefer to make the best use of this time as possible...”

“Just make sure your department is ready,” Erik said as he clapped the young man on the shoulder and turned back toward his ready room. “You have the bridge Ensign.”

“Yes, sir.” Dean replied before turning back to the main view screen with a smirk of satisfaction. He clasped his hands behind his back as he watched the shuttle traffic uncaring as the others on the bridge exchanged glances. He was younger than most aboard the ship and knew that swift advancement through the ranks would put his elders under his command, an awkward situation to be sure but one that would be decidedly worth the discomfort.

OFF

A post featuring:

Ensign Dean Kasai
Assistant/Acting Chief of Flight Control
USS Sentinel
(Played by Commander Erik Tsereteli)

and

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Commodore Erik Tsereteli
Commanding Officer
USS-Sentinel NCC-83680


Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:16 pm
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Post Re: Mission 1: "Stratagem"
ON:

<<USS Sentinel, Captain's Ready Room, MD01 0400>>

There were far too many people moving about the ship considering the fact that it was barely four in the morning. Archana made her way through the chaos that had more or less become the ship on her way to the Captain’s Ready Room, a PADD held in her hands containing a less than promising readiness report. She certainly wasn’t looking forward to giving Erik the news about the state of their munitions stock, but someone had to tell him, and Archana had never been one to back down just because something had the potential to be unpleasant.

Making a few hurried greetings to some of the crewmembers on the Bridge, Archana crossed to the Ready Room doors and determinedly pushed the doorchime. In her mind, it was better to get it all over and done with. Captain Tsereteli was by no means an unreasonable man, and she felt that he was her friend besides. The sooner they got the situation set to rights, the better.

"Enter," Erik said after muting the microphone on his computer display. He looked up from his screen long enough to wave Archana in before resuming his conversation. "Its regrettable that you wont be here in time Lawrence, it's not that I don't trust Doctor NaVer but I would feel a lot better having a CMO with experience in field medicine aboard for this one."

"I'm sorry Erik," Lieutenant Lawrence Greer (NPC) replied. "You know that I would prefer to be with you, I've been looking forward to this post for two full years after all."

Archana stood silently near the door, waiting for Erik to finish his conversation. It wasn’t her intention to listen in on what was said, but standing so near to both the Captain and his computer, she couldn’t help but follow along. The name Lawrence was familiar to her—if she remembered correctly, he was an old friend of Erik’s from his previous assignment. By the sound of things, Darija was going to be with them at least as Acting CMO for a bit longer. The Trill was her friend, and a talented counselor and doctor to boot, but Archana couldn't help but think that things were going to be interesting following this development.

"I'm sorry as well," Erik replied, his voice carrying with it a deep disappointment. "We'll manage however and with any luck we'll be back within the week.

"Good luck Erik, take care of yourself out there and I'll see you when you return to port."

After a nod of understanding Erik terminated the communications link and looked up to his Chief of Security, he wasn't sure why Lieutenant Sen had come but he quickly concluded that she would leave with far more than she could know. "Please, come in Archana. My apologies for making you wait but it couldn't be helped."

“Thank you, Captain. There’s no need to apologize, though. I’m the one intruding,” Archana smiled, taking a seat in one of the chairs set before his desk. Normally when visiting Erik, she preferred to indulge in a little small talk, or at the very least inquire about Dutch. Given their current circumstances however, not to mention the ungodly hour of the morning, the Betazoid thought it might be best to simply forge ahead. “I’ve brought you the most recent readiness report for the ship,” she said, setting the PADD on the desk before him. “I’m afraid that it’s not all good news.”

Erik picked the PADD up from the table but didn't take his eyes from Archana's, he knew that the ship would not be leaving port at one hundred percent capacity but he had reserved hope that the situation would be better than worse. Archana's expression didn't convey the sort of dire immediacy that he had feared but it was clear that she wasn't pleased with the information she had delivered to him. Glancing down at the PADD Erik soon saw why, "Tractor beam still offline pending diagnostics," he paraphrased as he read. "Two Phaser banks yet to be installed and only half torpedo compliment. That's certainly less than ideal..."

“That’s one way of putting it,” Archana replied a little archly, a rueful smile turning up the corner of her mouth. “Apparently DS3 can’t spare us anything more as far as munitions go. Chief Fhazil did his best, and I hope that no one else will blame him for it,” she sighed, thinking of N’alae (PNPC) and the situation she’d done her best to fix not very long before. “If, gods forbid, we find ourselves in a situation where any use of force is necessary, we’ll need to be very careful with what we use and when,” she concluded.

Erik lay the PADD back on his desk a little harder than her had intended to and leaned back in his seat. He massaged the furrowed skin between his eyes brows, the lack of sleep was beginning to set in but there was simply no time to remedy the situation. His headache was not so much the result of lack of sleep however, rather the ever growing list of difficulties that would complicate the ship's mission. "Agreed," Erik said at last. "We'll have to make do with what we have. Shortages aside, how are your department's preparations coming along?"

Archana easily sensed Erik’s pain, and felt a little irrationally guilty in response. It wasn’t her fault that they were journeying into the great unknown without even a full compliment of torpedoes at their disposal, but she did wish that there were something more that she could do for him. Thinking on his question, she responded honestly, “As well as can be expected, I think. There was a slight…altercation over the munitions situation, but that’s all been resolved. Whatever comes next, I am confident that we’ll be ready.”

Erik looked up at his Security officer with a quizzical expression but decided not to ask, he had enough on his mind and was confident that his officers could handle any disciplinary actions if any were needed. Besides, he knew that he could expect details of the 'altercation' in Archana's next report. Pushing the thought aside he stood and stretched slightly before taking his mug to the replicator for a refill. "I am as well Lieutenant, we'll do as we always have. There is another matter that we should discuss however, something I've been giving a lot of consideration to."

Following Erik's movement with her eyes, Archana was a little puzzled by some of the emotions she was sensing from him. Whatever he wanted to discuss, she was sure that it related directly to her. The empath was briefly concerned that it had something to do with Lieutenant Commander Fala. Her overall impression was that the Bajoran was less than impressed with Archana after their somewhat stilted first meeting. That worry quickly passed, however. Awkward or not, surely their introduction to one another hadn't been so terrible that XO had reported back to Erik about it. "You have my full attention," Archana said. "What's on your mind?"

"I want you to be my second officer," Eric replied thoughtfully between sips of freshly steaming coffee. "For the obvious reasons but also because I know you, because I trust you and so does the crew. If anything should happen to Lieutenant Awen and myself I cant think of anyone else I would want handling things in our absence. I know its a big jump in responsibility but its one that I know you can handle."

For one brief but noticeable moment, Archana remained totally silent. As far as promotions went, the Captain's recommendation was by far the most meaningful that she had ever heard. "Thank you, Erik," she finally said, noticing belatedly that she had addressed him familiarly rather than formally. "Forgive my surprise, but I was under the impression that the new second officer would be coming from outside the Sentinel. I just need a moment to process all of this," she added with an apologetic smile.

"There's nothing to forgive," Erik replied quickly with a smile to match. "I hadn't exactly dropped you any hints these past few weeks and to be honest, I wasn't entirely sure of my selection until this morning. You had certainly been at the top of my list from the start but as you can imagine, there were numerous factors to consider. In the end, your having the position makes the most sense. Not to mention the fact that you deserve a little bit more responsibility."

By this point, it was all Archana could do not to grin like an idiot in front of the Captain. She was elated by this unexpected offer, but she wanted to maintain at least some decorum given the situation. It wouldn't do to have Erik rethinking his decision moments after his initial offer. Smiling brightly all the same, the Betazoid nodded. "Thank you, Captain. I mean it. Your confidence in me means more than I can say. But before I get carried away, I should say that I would be very happy to accept." Perhaps it would have been wiser to take some time to consider the promotion properly, but Archana didn't care. Unexpected or not, it simply felt right.

"Excellent," Erik said with hands clasped behind his back. "Computer, assign second officer status and associated command codes to Lieutenant Archana Sen. Captain's authorization code Alpha-Seven-Two-Seven-Nine-Epsilon."

=^= Assignment of Second Officer Status Confirmed =^=

"It's official then," Erik said with as broad a smile as he could manage in his fatigued state. "Congratulations Lieutenant."

Archana returned his smile, bemused that all it took was an authorization code for everything to change. "Thank you, Captain. I'll give you and the ship my very best." Chuckling a little, she added, "My mother is going to love this. But there'll be time for showing off to my parents later," she said with a humorous smirk. "For now, I still have work to do." Pausing before she rose from her chair, her smile fell a bit as she examined Erik a little more closely. "Before I go though, is there anything more I can help you with here?" She didn't go so far as to tell him that he looked like hell, but from the look of concern on her face, the idea was most likely implied. They were all more than a little tired, and Archana was sure that the Captain was taking the worst of it.

Erik realized what he must look like to Archana when he saw the concerned expression on her face, he also supposed that she could sense his emotions even if she didn't lead on that she could. He brushed his hand over the stubble on his chin absentmindedly while shaking his head, "I don't think so Lieutenant, though I appreciate the offer. I would like for us to be on our way in less than an hour and I think that pressure is more than enough to put on you."

"I understand," Archana nodded. As she stood to leave, she subtly looked him over one more time. "Just make sure that you take care of yourself, Erik. I'm no counselor, but your safety and well being is one of my top priorities all the same," she smiled. She really did consider it part of her job, but there was more to it than that. After serving with Erik for nearly two years, Archana's regard for him ran deeper than the concern a Security Officer felt for her Commanding Officer. "Don't worry though, I'm not about to start spouting platitudes. Thank you again for this opportunity. I'll be seeing you on the Bridge very soon, I'm sure."

"You're welcome and thank you, Archana," Erik replied with a nod. As he watched her leave Erik smiled to himself, he knew that he was lucky to have been gifted with such outstanding personnel. Lieutenant Sen in particular was an outstanding officer but also had become a close friend, something that for Erik was usually quite rare. It was true that he was on the lenient side as far as command officers went and many of his subordinates came to think of him as a friend but deep down he really was quite reserved.

Finishing off his current mug of coffee Erik returned the mug to the replicator for another refill, his third in as many minutes and as the mug dissolved it was replaced by a new one. Similarly Erik stowed away the distracting reminiscence he felt coming on and returned to his computer terminal where the latest reports from his ship's departments scrolled across the screen. He seated himself to began preparing for the ships launch and the mission at hand, real or contrived, the USS Sentinel would respond to the alien distress call in less than two full days. Erik would be ready for any eventuality.

A Joint Post by:

Lieutenant Archana Sen
Chief Security/Tactical Officer
USS Sentinel

and

_________________
Commodore Erik Tsereteli
Commanding Officer
USS-Sentinel NCC-83680


Wed Jul 11, 2012 2:26 pm
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Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:51 pm
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Post Re: Mission 1: "Stratagem"
ON:

<<USS Sentinel, Cargo Bay 1, MD01 0325>>

The ship was a bloody mess. Ever since he’d been transferred to the Sentinel, Christopher (PNPC) had done nothing except answer call after call for repairs and recalibrations the whole ship over, and now they were leaving with a vessel that was hardly ready to fly, as far as he was concerned. Striding into Cargo Bay 1, he located the Quartermaster at the far end and crossed towards him, looking to address the rumors he’d heard that something had gone wrong with the ship’s inventory.

“Mr. Fhazil,” he stated crisply, his arms folded across his chest as he faced the Ferengi. “What’s this I hear about our inventory? And something about an angry Romulan?” Word traveled fast in a ship so small, and although Christopher was fairly certain that the gossip he’d heard had been overblown—Nezra didn’t look bloodied and battered, for instance—he was still determined to investigate.

Nezra cringed at the sound of his name being called and whined just a little to himself, he had begun re-taking the inventory of the cargo bay but the constant distractions were most... distracting. "It was nothing Sir, really," the Ferengi replied while his fingers continued to tap-dance across the PADD.

Christopher frowned, his expression implacable. He wasn’t about to be given a brush off, not if he could help it. “It wasn’t ‘nothing’ and you know it. Tell me what happened, or I’ll have to track down the Romulan female I’ve been hearing so much about and ask her about it. Fhazil,” he said, somehow petulant and threatening at the same time, “I don’t want to have to do that.”

Nezra stopped typing and let out a long sigh, he understood his superior's position but he just wanted to leave the issue alone. The situation had been resolved as far as he was concerned and aside from that, he had too much work to do to be bothered by anything else. "Lieutenant Terik was disappointing that I was unable to procure a full armament of Torpedoes for the Sentinel, among other things..." Nezra glanced up at Christopher. "Well, maybe a little more than disappointed. Maybe a little angry... Well, maybe more than a little..."

Truth be told, Christopher wasn’t well pleased with the situation either, but it was hardly the Ferengi’s fault. He only hoped that it didn’t reflect too poorly on him as the superior officer. “So this Lieutenant Terik grows angry with you, and she…what, exactly?” he pressed, trying to get a better feel of the situation.

"She got angry," Nezra said as if to suggest that was all. "She yelled a little and then Lieutenant Sen came in."

“Lieutenant Sen,” Christopher repeated, scrambling for a moment to remember who that was. With all the work needing to be done on the ship, he hadn’t met very many people on the minuscule ship. “The Security Chief? You called Security on Terik?”

"Ah,well" Nezra fumbled as he tried to collect his thoughts. "Actually, Terik IS security, assistant chief. I think Lieutenant Sen was coming of her own volition, sir."

Letting that sink in for a moment, Christopher regarded the Quartermaster with a look of bemusement. “So you’re telling me…that you were badgered by some Romulan Security Officer, and then some other Security Officer—and another woman, at that—had to come to your rescue? Oh, now that is priceless!” he laughed.

Nezra stopped what he was doing and stared at Christopher for a long while before finally crossing his arms in frustration, "Whats so funny?"

“Tell me something, Fhazil,” Christopher said, his tone conversational, “Do you always let yourself get pushed around by women? Because we just can’t have that. Where’s your sense of pride? You’re a Ferengi, yes, but you’re not some sniveling…I don’t know, peace-loving Betazoid! You’ve got to stand up for yourself.”

"Pushed around?" Nezra repeated with an indignant tone. "No one pushes me around, least of all some... Fee-male. I stood there the whole time, I didn't move at all... Let alone get pushed, or fall down. I was standing up myself for sure!"

Christopher simply couldn’t help himself. He burst out laughing again, shaking his head from side to side. “You are too, too much, my little Ferengi friend. When I say pushed around, I don’t mean it literally, but figuratively. You didn’t fight back. You didn’t—“ Christopher almost said ‘stand up for yourself,’ but fearing that that would be taken literally as well, he amended, “—defend your honor in any way, shape or form.”

"I will defend my, 'honor' next time then," Nezra replied passively. "At least, I'll try. You didn't come all the way down here to talk about that though, did you? Is there something else you need sir?"

Sighing, Christopher shook his head once again. Some people just didn’t want the advice that he was freely willing to give them. It was their loss, really. “That was primarily my reason for coming. Seeing as you’re part of the department that I temporarily find myself at the head of, it’s my job to investigate when I hear rumors that you’re being pushed around by angry women. But, since I’m already here, you might as well give me a status report.”

Nezra straightened up a little when he realized that he was speaking with the new head of the Operations department, he hadn't heard that the new arrival had been given the job. "I am halfway through inventory here, sir. Most provisions have been loaded aboard with a few exceptions, mostly in the areas of tactical and Engineering. We're short on Torpedoes, spare Phaser couplings, spare EPS relays, low on Deuturium reserves, and the list goes on. We do however have fully functional and stocked Replicator reserves."

Christopher just resisted the urge to slap his palm against his forehead. The ship had no business leaving the starbase at all if that was the condition they were in. “What circle of hell has Starfleet sent me to?” he groaned, half considering resigning his new post on the spot. He was only supposed to be Assistant Chief, after all, and he certainly hadn’t signed up for any of this. “Well, at least if we face disaster, we’ll still have the opportunity for a nice last meal, I suppose.” Looking askance at the Quartermaster, he asked, “Is it always like this on this blasted ship?”

"Always?" Nezra repeated with a little hesitation. "I wouldn't say always... Sometimes? Only when we get called out on duty at the last minute which doesn't happen all that often. Well, it happens sometimes..." Nezra paused to think for a moment. "Actually, that's what happens most of the time... But, you'll get used to it."

“Lovely,” Christopher replied, though it was clear from the tone of his voice that he thought it was anything but. Life aboard a starship was always unpredictable, but he preferred his ships to be a little larger, a little better equipped, and a little less…disaster-prone, quite frankly. If he died on this vessel, he was going to be very displeased indeed. “Well, all right then. Nothing that can be done for it now, is there?” he remarked rhetorically. “Get that inventory list finished and avoid Romulans and Security Officers at all costs. Consider that an order.”

"Yes-Sir," Nezra replied with a little twinkle in his eye. Christopher's orders were the most agreeable ones he had heard in a long time. He would get along with this Hoo-Mon just fine, he decided.

OFF:

A JP by:

Chief Petty Officer Nezra Fhazil (NPC)
Quartermaster
Played by: Commander Tsereteli

and

Lt. JG Christopher Fielding (PNPC)
Asst. Chief of Operations

Played by:

_________________
Lieutenant Archana Sen
Chief Security/Tactical Officer
USS Sentinel NCC-83680


Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:01 pm
Profile
Post Re: Mission 1: "Stratagem"
ON: [[Strategic Operations Office, USS Sentinel, Mission Day 01, 0345]]

Charlie (PNPC) glanced down at the dribble of liquid remaining in his cup and sighed. This had been his second mug of coffee in the last forty minutes and the fact he was even thinking about going back to the replicator for a third was definitely a bad omen. It seemed strange, even after having served aboard Starbase 386 and personally experiencing not one but two engagements with an Elyshan fleet, that a call to general quarters would have left him feeling a bit uneasy. Perhaps it was because of those experiences and because the order to sound general quarters was not one usually given while a vessel was docked except in cases of serious emergency that he was feeling this way at all. Either way, Charlie certainly found it easy to think up more than a few reasons as to why the captain might have chosen to rouse a good majority of the ship's crew from their slumbers.

"He'll be here," Charlie assured Thomas (PNPC), who had continued to pace nervously back and forth in front of the office viewport since they had arrived. He knew it would do no good to try talking the young Betazoid into settling down or taking a seat, given all the emotional turmoil being produced by their shipmates' anxiety.

"I know," Thomas replied with a hint of exasperation, "I just thought we might have heard something by now..."

No sooner were the words out of Thomas' mouth than the door to the office opened with a hiss, allowing Lieutenant Commander Armstrong to enter the room at a rather brisk pace. The young Betazoid's nervous pacing stopped almost immediately now that the commander was present and Charlie could see the slightest bit of anxiety disappear from Thomas' expression. Both turned their attention expectantly to the commander, fully expecting to receive some sort of explanation for the sudden alarm.

"Morning, gentlemen," the commander said as if this were nothing more than a routine morning briefing, though he hardly seemed surprised to have found them both waiting for his arrival, "Our foot isn't even out the door and already they've found us some work to do."

"Us as in the Sentinel," Charlie asked, "or us as in Strat Ops?"

"Both," Peter answered. He reached out a hand containing two individual PADDs and waited as the two junior officers each took one before continuing. "Early this morning, Deep Space Three's communications monitoring team detected a severely distorted signal coming from somewhere inside the Taevon Expanse," he explained, "It took quite a bit of work and some digital enhancement, but they were eventually able to access enough of the transmission to determine it was a distress call. With the USS Berlin currently in the midst of undergoing its refit, we are the only ship available that is capable of investigating the source of this transmission."

Whereas the coffee had been doing very little to help Charlie come to his senses this early in the morning, the commander's brief explanation captured his full attention. He quickly skimmed the contents of the PADD he had just been handed before exchanging a sideways glance with Thomas. They were both becoming more aware of the work the commander had been doing with Starfleet regarding the Yang Zutal not to mention the recent incident involving an investigation of attacks on civilian shipping near the Black Cluster by the USS Pandora. The question was...did Starfleet think there was a connection?

"Our job here is to provide this ship and its crew with all the information we can find that will help us to accomplish our mission," the commander continued, "That means investigating all possible leads no matter how insignificant they might seem. I want Thomas to see about getting access to the communications logs from Deep Space Three. Once we've received the data, I want you both to go over it piece by piece until we can establish a better picture of what we're dealing with. We need to know as much as possible about that distress call and who sent it."

Thomas and Charlie both nodded to show they understood their orders. It was not going to be easy for either of them to gain access to the communications logs, especially given how quickly their contents had put the entire system on alert, to say nothing of trying to pull information from the logs once they had obtained them. Charlie glanced down at his empty cup once more before setting it aside. They'd already had enough bad omens for one day...

<Bridge>

After her departure from Erik's Ready Room, Awen had simply stayed on the bridge. It might have been a good idea to sleep on the information she'd received and start fresh later in the morning, but the Bajoran knew there would be no way for her to rest considering her frustration.

Though it had been awhile since she had been asked to leave, she still found it hard to believe. Couldn't the two have discussed the non-sensitive information with her there, and then just ask her to leave for the eyes only briefing? Her rational side was striving to take over by now... Fala forced herself to take some deep breaths to calm herself. Being frazzled certainly wouldn't help her.

When Peter emerged from the turbolift, he found the bridge's atmosphere only fractionally improved from when he'd passed through en route to the earlier briefing. People were starting to wrap their heads around the call to general quarters and disciplined training had already started to replace early morning fatigue. His gaze swept across the room in an instant, but found no sign of Commander Tsereteli, which led Peter to believe their commanding officer was otherwise preoccupied with the influx of information no doubt accompanying their hasty preparations for departure. They had not expected to be departing for at least another few days which meant the captain was probably wrestling with various individuals for as many supplies and personnel that could be spared. Peter hoped the tasks he'd laid out for his own department would help give them a clearer picture of what they were dealing with by the time they reached the edge of the expanse. Until then, they were just going to have to go with the flow.

Peter's gaze continued to survey the room until it came to rest on Lieutenant Commander Fala. The two had not gotten off on the right foot earlier and Peter was well aware of how important it would be for him to face the situation sooner rather than later. Taking a deep breath to focus his thoughts, he started in Fala's direction. "I hope I'm not interrupting," Peter said as he approached, "but I was wondering if I could have a moment of your time, commander."

Engrossed her thoughts and her work, Awen took a moment to realize someone was addressing her, but then turned to look in the direction of the voice. Peter. She didn't particularly want to speak with him at the moment, but it was part of her job as Executive Officer. "What can I do for you, Lieutenant Commander Armstrong?"

The commander's frustrated tone was immediately apparent to Peter and a part of him was concerned it might actually be a bit too soon for this, even if he tried not to let it show. "I wanted to submit an updated report for my department," Peter said as he held out a PADD for Fala to take, "and to apologize..."

Awen eyed him for a moment before taking the PADD, "Apologize?" She could, of course, assume what he meant, but better to get an actual explanation. The Bajoran sat the PADD down on the console in front of her before turning her attention back to Peter.

"For earlier," Peter clarified, "I've been working in Strategic Operations in this particular region for some time now and I'd like to think I've found the balance between what Starfleet thinks people need-to-know and what people really need to know. As first officer, I should have been more forthright with you and for that...I am sorry."

If nothing else, she could certainly identify with StarFleet's thoughts on what people should know... "Well, it wasn't you who dismissed me from the room. It just seemed that some of the information would have been shared with the Senior Staff anyway. If that's the case, I don't see the harm in me hearing it...and then leaving for any particularly sensitive items. As Executive Officer though, it's difficult for me to fully support this ship, our missions, and our crew if I'm left in the dark."

Peter nodded slowly. Having been an Executive Officer before, he could certainly understand where the commander was coming from especially in how difficult it was to carry out one's duties when one was consistently left in the dark. "I want you to know I will do everything in my power to make sure this doesn't happen again," he told her, "everything you need to know is on that PADD...and I mean everything. If you have any questions about it..."

Though her last experience in StarFleet had been...less than ideal, Awen reminded herself that she had chosen to come back. True, being brought back as an Executive Officer hadn't particularly thrilled her, but she knew she had to make the best of it for now. She had looked over Peter's file and he seemed like a good officer; he would be a valuable asset to the Sentinel. "I appreciate that, Commander. I'll be sure to look this over and come to you with any questions or concerns. Thank you for putting it together and touching base with me about the situation."

"Thank you, commander," Peter said in a somewhat more subdued tone, "for the opportunity to get my foot out of my mouth. I will be sure to keep you appraised of the situation as I become aware of things."

Awen nodded, "I think we are on the same page now, which will be beneficial. I apologize for my...abruptness...earlier as well. I'll look forward to any updates you have. I'm sure you have a lot to do and I have some additional reading to catch up amongst other things, so we should get back to it. Good luck, Mr. Armstrong." Truthfully she did feel better after clearing the air with Peter; hopefully it would help both of them concentrate more fully on their work.

OFF

A Joint Mission Post by:

Lieutenant Commander Fala Awen
Executive Officer/Chief Science Officer
USS Sentinel NCC-83680

Lieutenant Commander (Prov) Peter Armstrong
Chief Strategic Operations Officer
USS Sentinel NCC-83680

Ensign Thomas Gates (PNPC)
Strategic Operations Officer
USS Sentinel NCC-83680
Played by: LtCmdr Armstrong

&

Ensign Charlie Young (PNPC)
Cultural Research Specialist
USS Sentinel NCC-83680
Played by: LtCmdr Armstrong


Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:56 am
Chief Engineer
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Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:52 am
Posts: 5
Post Re: Mission 1: "Stratagem"
ON

< DS3, Vetrov's quarters, MD01 0500>

Fredrick was lounging in his temporary quarters idly flipping through a mystery novel, he smiled to himself as he put it down. He was so much fonder of the paper ones rather then reading them on a PADD, the smell and feel of the paper helped get him into the story, making him feel as though he were far away from the humming and thumping of DS3. It was all he could do to distract himself from the last two weeks aboard the star base while he waited for his next assignment.

"Computer, what kind of mission do you think I will end up on next," he asked flippantly. "Science expedition or another transport? I'm not sure the Admiral will be able to get me much farther away from home then this." Fredrick smiled and locked his fingers behind his head as he waited for the return error message asking for the restatement of the question.

The computer responded after a moment, "Next assignment USS Sentinel, Sentinel Class Escort Cruiser, Chief of Engineering."

Fredrick jumped up from his laying position onto his feet. "What?!" he shouted. "Computer, when did this assignment come through!? It was not in my messages when I last checked, why was I not notified?" His brow dropped with concern

The computer responded in it's usual calm tone, "Orders issued today at 0440. Notification of orders were not issued, reason unknown."

Fredrick walked over to the console where he could review the orders and verify the assignment. He smiled again, as he read the name, the class and position. Finally off of science vessels, he mused and on something that has some guts!

He continued to read the assignment trying to get to the details. He raised a brow when he looked over the ship's departure time and glanced up at the clock. A Smiled crossed Fredrick's lips once more, "less than a half-hour to get to my position... I'd better move or else I may be reported missing for duty, well played Admiral..." Fortunately Frederick had learned that trick a long while back and never forgot the lesson. "I wonder how much notice you gave the Commanding Officer." He grabbed his uniform and changed quickly, there would be no time to shower now.

He pulled a bag from under his bed and grabbed the few possessions he had managed to set about over the last few weeks; A few books, his racket-ball racket, holo-suite programs and the last picture he had of his family together, taken not long after he had graduated from Star Fleet. He took one last glance around the room before walking out of his quarters.

Fortunately Fredrick didn't need to make it that far across Deep Space 3, the USS Sentinel was docked at the nearest pylon. He made good time, Fredrick had no idea how long ago the CO was notified of his transfer but knowing the Admiral he would be lucky if the Captain had been notified at all. He knew that he would likely already be on his new CO's bad side, it wasn't a good position to be in, as usual.

He sighed a breath of relief as he saw the ship still in its docking port as he came around the last corner. He approached the docking ring and with a short nod to the security officer on duty walked onto the ship. He wasn't alone, along side a number of other crew members were hauling loads of supplies onto the ship on hover lifts. It certainly was busy. Fredrick cracked yet another smile as the security guard lets him pass unchecked, it was likely that the Admiral had notified security of his arrival as well, just to slow him down. With all the yellow uniforms moving about he may have just blended in...

OFF

_________________
Lieutenant Fredrick M Vetrov
Chief Engineering Officer
USS Sentinel NCC-83680


Thu Aug 16, 2012 4:36 pm
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Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:52 am
Posts: 5
Post Re: Mission 1: "Stratagem"
ON: <USS Sentinel, Main Engineering, MD01 0520h>

Fredrick set a quick pace as he made his way to the engineering bay, his first responsibility was to get to engineering and ensure that everything was in order. His mind was already exhausted from trying to figure out what needed to be done before the ship left port. He had only seen a few crew members in the halls on his way; The crew on board must be very busy, or there is fewer than a full compliment, he mused to himself.

The Turbo lift doors slid open clean and evenly revealing main engineering. Fredrick walked out and took in the sound and sight of his new assignment before stepping up to the upper decks rail to look down over the edge. He watched those present work for several minutes learning their faces and names with the help of his PADD. He had gotten reasonably good at this exercise seeing as he had done it almost every year.

He identified his Assistant Chief of Engineering,Lucretia making a good showing of leadership and readying the department without him. He waited for her to have a moment to take in the room between orders. She would no doubt notice him standing at the railing not performing any duties and take interest. Fredrick smiled to himself as he waited to see if he was going to be yelled at across the room by his Assistant Chief for standing around. Lets see what kind of a leader she is, he tells himself and waits.

Engineering had been a nightmare since the Captain had revealed that the Sentinel had received orders to depart early a few hours prior and Lucretia Zoraan (PNPC) had been charged with quelling the storm. She had served aboard the Sentinel for three full years and knew it's systems better than anyone but she didn't have the training or field experience to handle a primary leadership position. The young El Aurian had been awoken from her slumber and figuratively 'thrown to the wolves' earlier that morning and her sense of dread had only increased since then.

Around her the Engineering staff bustled about the room with only a slight indication that they had been trained to operate as a cohesive unit but despite the chaotic situation the ship seemed ready. The checklist of last minute diagnostics and system adjustments that Lucretia had on her PADD had slowly but surely been completed and for that at least, she was relieved. With a long sigh of frustration she leaned back slightly with her hands on her hips to stretch but as she did so she noticed an unfamiliar man looking down at her from above.

She didn't say anything at first instead taking a moment to make sure her fatigued mind wasn't playing tricks on her but as she held the mans gaze it became readily apparent that he was no hallucination. "You up there!" she called out over the commotion drawing the attention of a few of her subordinates. They followed her gaze to find Fredrick on the upper level as well. "What are you doing just standing there? It's customary for new arrivals to check in with their superior upon arrival you know..."

Fredrick stood up from his slightly hunched position leaning on the rail and took a moment to prepare himself to take command. This would be his last moment in many years out of command and he wanted to relish it. He raised his voice so the entire engineering bay could hear him even though most have turned to see who Lucretia was shouting at. "My name is Lieutenant Fredrick Vetrov, Chief of Engineering on the USS Sentinel. I have been with Star Fleet Engineering for more years than I would like to admit and served upon many vessels with command experience."

He looked directly to Lucretia, "By your leave Assistant Chief, I will take Engineering. Oh, And when you have an opportunity I would like a status report by you and the Officer on duty."

Lucretia stood and stared up at the Lieutenant dumbfounded for a long moment, she was simultaneously relieved that she was being replaced as Chief Engineer but also embarrassed to be reduced as such in front of her entire staff. As her wits caught up with her emotions she realized that she had not been given word of a new Lieutenant and that she might consider asking the man for his proof of assignment but she knew that if she did so she risked starting off in an even worse position that she already was. Swallowing her pride she stepped forward and replied, "aye Lieutenant. Engineering is yours." She paused and turned toward the reactor controls, "Ensign Anvers, if you have a moment..."

Like several of his fellow engineers around the engineering bay, Oliver (PNPC) couldn't help overhearing the brief exchange between Lieutenant Zoraan and the new arrival who claimed to be the Sentinel's Chief Engineer. Things were pretty hectic all over the ship as they scrambled to prepare for the unanticipated launch and this hardly seemed the time to be dealing with the usual rigmarole that came with welcoming a new member of the team. "Aye, ma'am," Oliver said as he tapped a sequence into the workstation. He motioned another technician over and waited until his replacement was situated before turning to fall in line with Zoraan.

Fredrick moved around main engineering avoiding the busy crew members as he found his way to a more private area where his impromptu meeting could take place. He pulled up his transfer orders on his PADD in the event his assignment was questioned immediately, he would rather get past the paper work as fast as passable, the ship is due to leave any moment. Fredrick sets the PADD down screen up so the orders can be seen and waits while Lieutenant Zoraan and Ensign Anvers replace their positions and find their way over for introductions and his status report.

Lucretia found her way over first while Ensign Anvers waited for his replacement. Fredrick smiled at the Lieutenant as she walked over, "Lieutenant Zoraan, let me first apologize for the entrance, you gave me such a great opportunity to introduce myself to my crew since I had everyone's attention. I meant no disrespect. I was just transferred into this position an hour ago so you will have to forgive my late arrival. We will have plenty of time to get to know each other better in the future but we have an impending launch I hear. I trust you have everything here in order?"

"As much as can be expected on such short notice," Lucretia said with a hint of annoyance in her voice. There was something about Vetrov's demeanor that rubbed the El Aurian the wrong way, maybe the ease with which he slipped into such a difficult situation and his seeming lack of awareness, or care of the awkwardness. She handed the Lieutenant the PADD she had been working from. "This is the shortlist of where we stand, as you can see 'shes' at least ready for flight but several of the new systems haven't been field tested yet."

Oliver glanced between Lieutenant Zoraan and their new supervisor as the two continued their exchange into the Chief Engineer's Office. Like several other members of the Sentinel's engineering staff, the young engineer had served alongside Zoraan ever since graduating from the Academy two years prior. He had been just as happy as everyone else to see her promoted to the position of Assistant Chief Engineer which was probably what was making him so uncomfortable about their current exchange with Lieutenant Vetrov. Hopefully it had more to do with the chaotic haste of their unexpected departure than the man himself. "We've tried to shorten up pre-launch inspections as much as possible within acceptable parameters and everything seems to be checking out so far," Oliver added, "but as Lieutenant Zoraan said, some of these newer upgrades...well, we haven't had a chance to see them in action yet."

"Thank you Ensign." He furled his brow as Fredrick took the PADD and scrolled through it quickly, nodding at the list. He could sense the tension in the air, the ship was not quite ready to leave its berth as far as the crew is concerned it seemed or at least that's what he hoped the tension was from. "Clearly 'she' is in good hands." He taped the PADD and a few times to see assignments and status on several systems that have not been completed and then handed it back to Lucretia with a nod and smile. "Do either of you have any immediate concerns with the current status or systems overhaul that I should be aware of?"

"Only regarding the new systems that haven't been tested," Lucretia responded after a moment of thought. "It's one thing to have a new EPS grid function right at full power in a holodeck simulation and quite another to fire up the warp drive and see how they hold. If you want my professional opinion, we're in for a very interesting couple of days..."

=^=Crew of the Sentinel, this is your Captain. Early this morning Star Base Three received a distress call coming from within the Taevon expanse, as the only staffed vessel within responding range we have been tasked with answering the call for help. You have all done an admirable job at readying the ship but I must confess, that was likely the easy part. I have confidence in the skills that each of you possess, trust in each other, trust in our ship. We will depart for the expanse shortly, all stations on standby.=^=

"Well that explains that," Lucretia sighed. "What are your orders sir?"

Fredrick took a stern pose. "Ensign, make sure that all systems are showing green to the bridge and prepare impulse engines for departure." He turned to Lucretia, "Lieutenant, give the warp core and field generators; specifically subspace and structural integrity another check. I have a feeling we may be running faster then cruising speed. I would like to know ahead of time if we should keep from pushing 'her' too hard out of the gate." He gives them both a nod. "Dismissed."

Lucretia nodded dutifully as she turned to start her task, it was likely they only had a few minutes to prepare and she intended to be ready. Lieutenant Vetrov certainly wasn't like the other Chief Engineers that she had worked with in the past but she had a feeling that she would be able to tolerate the man, perhaps in time even come to like him.

"Oh and Lieutenant." He calls as they turn to leave the office. "It sounds like you have done an admirable job so far." Fredrick smiled as he mirrors the Captain's comments. "I will make sure the captain knows you are responsible for how well prepared we are here."

Lucretia turned back to the Lieutenant for a moment with a startled expression, it wasn't unwelcome but she hadn't seen the gesture coming. "Thank you, sir," was all she could manage before giving the man a dutiful nod and continuing to the reactor work station.

Seeing as the conversation was now over and feeling as if there was nothing he could add, Oliver made his way back into the engineering bay only a few steps behind the lieutenant. He crossed the short distance over to the base of the warp core where the technician who'd taken over for him earlier was just finishing up the final diagnostics on the injection manifolds. Already, the plasma within the intermix chamber was beginning to slowly circulate as final preparations for their departure continued at rapid-fire pace. Oliver tapped the technician on the shoulder and waited patiently as the crewman secured the station before taking over once again. Hopefully their concern over whether or not the new systems had been adequately field tested would prove overly conservative. Something told him, however, that wasn't going to be the case.

There was nothing left to do at the moment but take a deep breath as Fredrick watched the engineering office doors slide close. He briefly considered going to the bridge and taking control of engineering from there during the launch but decides against it, if something were to go wrong in the next hour or two he would be needed here. He nodded at his decision, he will have another opportunity to meet the executive officers shortly after we are underway during the officers briefing. Fredrick moved out of the office and into engineering and found an open station and begin reviewing some of the new systems he recalled seeing on the shortlist Lucretia had shown him a few minutes ago.

OFF

A Joint Post featuring:

Lieutenant (JG) Lucretia Zoraan
Asst. Chief of Engineering
USS Sentinel
(Played by Commander Erik Tsereteli)

and

Ensign Oliver Anvers
Engineering Officer
USS Sentinel
(Played by Lt. Commander (Provisional) Peter Armstrong)

and

_________________
Lieutenant Fredrick M Vetrov
Chief Engineering Officer
USS Sentinel NCC-83680


Thu Aug 30, 2012 8:51 am
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Post Re: Mission 1: "Stratagem"
ON:

<USS Sentinel, Bridge, MD01 0520h>

As Erik strode onto the bridge from his ready room the officers on the bridge knew that the time for preparations had ended and the time for action had come. Despite being forced to depart a few days ahead of schedule, Erik was confident that his crew, new arrivals and old friends, all, had done their best to prepare the ship for its journey. He had been the Captain of the Sentinel for nearly a month and at long last the moment he had been dreaming of for years was at hand, the ship was on the brink of embarking on its journey with him in the center seat.

With a nod to Lieutenant Commander Fala he signaled that he was ready to take over and he seated himself in the Captain's chair. He smiled to himself slightly but his levity was no match for the dire seriousness of their mission, he knew that there would be time to savor the role later. "We've been cleared by Starbase Command to depart. Commander Fala, what is our status?"

Seeing Erik walk onto the bridge, Awen stepped aside from where she had been standing in front of the Captain's char. With a last hard look at her adversary, the chair, she moved to take a seat in the chair next to Erik's. The Bajoran couldn't help but feel a slight pang of regret at not being in front of the Tactical console - where she'd likely felt most at home, but the look on her face remained steady. Perhaps at other times she would instead situate herself at the Science station, but for now this was her place. "All departments report ready for departure, sir."

From her position at the Tactical station, Archana felt a thrill of anticipation race along her spine. She was tired, her hair was already beginning to escape from the intricate knot at the crown of her head, and above all, she still had serious concerns about the ship’s overall readiness. Yet for all her concerns, she couldn’t deny the sheer excitement she felt at the promise of a new adventure. Her hands braced on the edges of the console, she waited and observed, her gaze alternating between her station and the viewscreen as they made final preparations to depart.

On the opposite side of the bridge, Peter wished he had allowed himself more time to prepare his workstation for their departure. He had been so preoccupied with trying to track down the information his department needed that he'd failed to account for his own console. The workstation he'd been assigned for bridge use was technically designated as an auxiliary station which was easily reflected in the display's more general default configuration. Peter's hands danced across the smooth composite surface of his console as he attempted to complete a few last-minute adjustments. He'd already managed to establish the appropriate secure data links which would enable him to access more sensitive information from the bridge. All that remained was for him to work out a more easily navigable access menu.

"Excellent," Erik replied after a brief pause. He swallowed hard as he activated the ship's intercom from his control panel, it was time to address the crew. "Crew of the Sentinel, this is your Captain. Early this morning Star Base Three received a distress call coming from within the Taevon expanse, as the only staffed vessel within responding range we have been tasked with answering the call for help. You have all done an admirable job at readying the ship but I must confess, that was likely the easy part. I have confidence in the skills that each of you possess, trust in each other, trust in our ship. We will depart for the expanse shortly, all stations on standby."

After turning the intercom off Erik steepled his fingers, things would soon be set in motion and a great number of variables could influence the outcome of the mission at hand. It was likely to be a simple response mission but Erik hadn't been able to shake the gut feeling that something was amiss. All he could do was wait however and resigning himself to patience he turned to Fala, "Take us out Number One."

Raising an eyebrow as she glanced over at Erik, Awen remained silent for a few moments as she decided on the proper orders to give. It hadn't really been her responsibility to 'take a ship out' before, but she was familiar enough with the standard instructions. Addressing the flight control officer, the Bajoran ordered, "Ensign, release docking clamps and clear all moorings; reverse one quarter impulse."

Ensign Dean Kasai (PNPC) grinned slightly as the moment he had been anticipating finally arrived, he had been stuck at a desk for the better part of the Sentinel's refit and he was very relieved to be back at the helm. He dutifully tapped the commands into his console before reporting, "aye sir. Docking clamps released... Umbilicals severed... Reverse, one quarter impulse."

Peter shook his head in bemusement as he listened to the exchange between Executive Officer and Chief Flight Control Officer. It was a routine the former flight control officer was well familiar with despite not having guided a vessel through the departure sequence in some time. Even as his hands were poised over the surface of his own workstation, Peter's attention turned to the image on the forward viewscreen.

As the ship slowly started to move, Awen gave it a few seconds before giving further instructions, "Set course zero-five-zero mark two three eight, warp nine standby." Her whole body was tensed up, partly from what she had to admit was a slight bit of nervousness and partly with anticipation of what awaited them.

The ship gracefully rotated in space until it's nose was pointing away from the station and its vector synced up with the ordered heading. Ensign Kasai smiled broadly at the starfield before him on the main viewer, at last he thought, back to the stars where he belonged. "Course confirmed Commander, warp drive on standby."

A chirp from her console pulled Archana’s attention away from the happenings in front of her. As her dark eyes quickly scanned the contents of the new message, a small grin appeared on her face. She could hardly believe it—Chief Fhazil (NPC) had done it. Somehow at the very last moment the ship had been outfitted with the arms they needed from the DS3. To say that the Security/Tactical Chief was relieved was an understatement. If anything, she was closer to elated. “There’s been a last minute addition to our inventory, Commander,” she announced. “We have a full compliment of torpedoes at our disposal, sir.”

"Very good Lieutenant," Erik replied with a slight chuckle and took the news as a portend of things to come. "Let us hope that we won't need them."

The Bajoran glanced over at Archana as she announced her news. Her first impression of the Chief Security/Tactical Officer hadn't been particularly good...truthfully Awen still wasn't sure about her. However, coming through with a full compliment of torpedoes at the last moment wasn't easy; she had to give her credit for that. Awen still felt out of place in her current positions - the more familiar Security/Tactical role ever calling to her. It was unsettling to say the least, but little could be done about it.

Erik leaned forward in his seat, his eyes had been transfixed on the main viewer as well but as he prepared to give the order for warp he took one last moment to glance around the bridge at each of the faces nearby. Many of those on the bridge he had known for sometime, some where even his friends and others had only just arrive aboard the Sentinel but ultimately he knew that all of them were his responsibility. His decisions would affect every last individual aboard and the thought humbled him. Being a good Captain was more than simply sitting in the center chair and giving orders he realized, it was also about respecting, even caring about those under one's command. He did respect all of those aboard, particularly his bridge crew, he only hoped that his decisions would earn him the same respect from the crew.

"Ensign Kasai," Erik said finally as he turned his attention back to the viewscreen. "Engage."

OFF

A joint mission post featuring:

Ensign Dean Kasai
Assistant Chief Flight Control Officer
USS Sentinel
(Played by Commander Tsereteli)

Lieutenant Archana Sen
Chief Security/Tactical Officer
USS Sentinel

Lieutenant Commander Peter Armstrong
Chief of Strategic Operations
USS Sentinel

Lieutenant Commander Fala Awen
Executive Officer
USS Sentinel

and

_________________
Commodore Erik Tsereteli
Commanding Officer
USS-Sentinel NCC-83680


Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:10 am
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Post Re: Mission 1: "Stratagem"
ON:
<<Sickbay, Day 1, 0630>>

For the last couple hours, since receiving word that the Sentinel would be departing ahead of schedule to check out a distress signal, Darija had been doing her best to prepare sickbay and her small staff. There were only three of them...if there were any injured that had to be treated, her staff would have to be as efficient as possible about it. The Trill had already sent a message to the command staff, asking if there was any chance that other crewmembers with any basic medical training would be available to help if Medical got overwhelmed. Thus far, there had not been a reply, though she was not surprised.

Currently all three, Selene (NPC), Damien (NPC), and herself were all in sickbay. Soon, though, Darija was going to send them to get some rest. Based on what the Commanding Officer had noted, the Sentinel would reach the outer limits of the Expanse around 1000 and would enter the more dangerous area around 1600.

Darija moved over to where the two nurses were going over supplies. "Alright, I want all of us back in Sickbay by 1550 hours. That will give us roughly nine hours to work with; I think we can get away with each of us having another six hours of sleep. One of us will sleep from now til 1230 hours, one will sleep from now until 0930 hours and again from 1230 hours til 1550 hours, and the other will sleep from 0930 til 1550."

"I"m fairly awake for now, Doctor," Damien told her. "I'll take the later sleep shift, if that's alright." Even if he couldn't sense their emotions, the Betazoid could tell from their body language and the looks on their faces that the two women were in need of rest.

Not about to argue with getting at least some sleep right away, Selene gave the head nurse a tired smile, "Fine by me...I'll take the split shift, ma'am. What will you want us to do during our shifts here?"

"I don't imagine we'll have too many patients, at least not until we get to the Expanse... However, I wouldn't be surprised if some of our own crew shows up with anxiety issues or potentially imagined symptoms. Of course, any claims should still be checked out, but considering where we're headed, it could cause some of them psychological stress... Just be prepared for it," Darija explained. It would have been nice to have another counselor aboard, but the ship wasn't big enough to accomodate as many positions as other ships. "Otherwise, just make sure we're as organized as possible...be ready for triage, have hyposprays ready, if we're running low on something, be sure to replicate more."

"Do you think it will get that bad? The psychological impact, I mean," Selene asked. She had, of course, seen various forms of post traumatic stress disorder...and had had patients with anxiety or hypochondriac tendencies. However, it had never been a large scale problem and not quite like this potential situation.

Darija offered the Terran a hopefully reassuring smile, "We may not see it at all, Selene, but we should be prepared for it anyway. We should go ahead and get some rest while Damien takes the first shift in sickbay. If either of you come across patients or problems during your shift, please go ahead and wake me up." Over time, she had taken to calling them by their first names, at least if they were alone in sickbay. It was more...personal...and on this assignment it just seemed to fit. Usually they found it difficult to call her anything but Doctor, though.

Damien nodded, "Of course, Doctor. For now, though, you two need to get moving. Those few hours will go by fast. I've got this covered." He smiled at them as he coralled them towards the door. "I'll see you in a few hours, Selene. Sweet dreams."

OFF:

Petty Officer 2nd Class Selene Xenakis (NPC)
Nurse
USS Sentinel

and

Warrant Officer 2nd Class Damien Vorali (NPC)
Head Nurse
USS Sentinel

and

Lieutenant JG Darija NaVer (PNPC)
Acting Chief Medical Officer & Chief Counselor
USS Sentinel

all played by:

_________________
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Lieutenant Commander Fala Awen
Executive Officer/Chief Science Officer
USS Sentinel NCC-83680


Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:36 am
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Post Re: Mission 1: "Stratagem"
ON:

<<USS Sentinel, Ready Room, Day 1, 0540>>

Eric leaned back in his chair and pinched at the bridge of his nose, his head had begun to hurt some hours before and the dull throbbing had developed into a full blown migraine. He had dimmed the lights in his ready room shortly after entering a few minutes prior but the glare from his computer monitor was just as taxing. It would be a simple enough thing to visit sickbay for a remedy but Erik was a stubborn man and didn't want to take the time away from his duties to do so. There would be time for medication and rest after he was certain that the Sentinel was prepared for what was to come next.

It was then that he noticed that he had a text alert awaiting his attention in the ship's communication system; it was a transfer notice informing him of the appointment of a new Chief Engineer, a man named Fredrick Vetrov. Erik sat up and leaned forward, momentarily forgetting about the pain behind his eyes - the news of a new senior officer was a big surprise to him. Furthermore a followup automated alert from the ship's computer was attached to the transfer file notifying the Commander that Vetrov had arrived on board shortly before the ship launched.

"Computer," he began as he stood. "What is Lieutenant Vetrov's current location?"

=^= Lieutenant Vetrov is on deck two section four =^=

"I'll be damned," Erik said to himself in astonishment as he strode to the door and crossed its threshold onto the bridge. As he had expected, a moment later the turbolift doors opened and out walked an unfamiliar man in services gold.

The bridge was the end of Fredrick's self-guided tour of the ship's critical systems and locations after reviewing the ship's specs and plans. He knew protocols demanded he needed to introduce himself but the ship was already underway and wanted to make sure he was as comfortable as he could be with the ship before meeting with the Captain and XO.

At the sound of the turbolift doors opening, Awen turned to see who was entering the bridge. She frowned slightly as the man walked onto the bridge; the Bajoran was unsure as to who he was. It seemed he was a Lieutenant in either Operations, Security/Tactical, or Engineering, but other than that, Awen didn't immediately recognize him as a member of the crew.

"Lieutenant Vetrov I presume," Erik said evenly from the doorway to the ready room. "Please, join me. You as well number one."

Fredrick looked over to the man who had addressed him and quickly identified his rank. He was hoping to enter and find the ship's Captain in his waiting room; the last time the Captain was waiting for him on the bridge after a late transfer he got an earful. Fredrick gave a nod, "Yes Sir," and made his way over for proper introductions hoping for the best.

Nodding in understanding at Erik's request, Awen stood and turned back to the seniormost officer left, "You have the bridge, Lieutenant." With a final glance back at the bridge, she headed into the Ready Room.

"Please, have a seat." Erik said as he motioned toward the two empty seats opposite his own at his desk. "I must admit Mister Vetrov that I am more than a little surprised by your presence. I haven't even had time to review your service record..."

As Erik greeted them, Awen moved inside near his desk. The Bajoran stood behind and slightly to the side of one of the chairs, waiting to see how the commanding officer wished to approach the situation. Her curiosity was certainly peaked by the sudden addition of the new crewmember...Vetrov; she hadn't heard of him before.

Fredrick found his way to the open chair and made himself comfortable. "Lieutenant Fredrick Vetrov, Chief Engineer on the USS Sentinel; at least that's what my transfer orders stated that I received just a few moments before the Sentinel left port." Vetrov took a moment to consider how to proceed. "I would venture to guess I have been working on ships years before you entered Starfleet, my expertise and range of vessels is wide. I have had many experiences in combat and out in my years in Starfleet, I learn what I can from those experiences and leave the rest in the past." Fredrick smiled and hoped when the Captain pulled his record he would pick up the nuances of the statement and let it rest.

As she listened to the apparently new Chief Engineer, Awen was trying to decide what she thought of him. The Bajoran wasn't sure if he was trying to boast about all his experience or if he was noting it to make up for a deficiency. Regardless, she was wary of him so far.

Having seated himself as well Erik glanced over the Lieutenant's service record as the man spoke, he found Vetrov's impromptu monolog and authoritarian tone a little awkward but well intended none the less. Erik began to open his mouth to reply but quickly shut it and leveled his gaze with the Engineer as he realized that the man had not quite finished.

"I took the liberty of introducing myself to the engineering crew and took engineering through its diagnostics the last few hours. Here are the reports if you are interested." Fredrick set a PADD down on the captain's desk.

"Well," Erik said slowly before letting his voice hang in the air as he glanced down at the PADD. "I suppose that covers most of the usual bases..." In truth, Erik couldn't remember ever encountering such a speech when first meeting an officer, even as an Executive Officer he had found that most individuals entered their superior's office at least slightly intimidated. The man before him had obviously has a lot of practice and didn't much care for the usual pleasantries that began such meetings. After a quick, humor-filled glance at Awen, Erik continued, "what can you tell me about yourself that isn't listed in your service record?"

Awen frowned. In her time in StarFleet she could not recall a time when she had introduced herself to her department and started work prior to reporting in. She was none too impressed that Fredrick had taken it upon himself to do so. At Erik's question, though, she shifted slightly in her chair, turning to watch as the other man responded.

Fredrick took a deep breath, he was still getting past his anxiety of having to go through this introduction for the 'nth' time waiting to see how his record would impact another professional relationship. "I grew up on Mars, my father was stationed there in research and development and got me interested in star ships. I spent a lot of my time following my own interests. Science, Math and Earth History mostly, even spent the time to become fluent in Russian so I could read some original texts."

"Oh, and I do like to get away on fishing trips whenever I can. Considering the circumstances it's usually in a holodeck." Fredrick added as an after thought. He was being treated with more patience and respect than expected and found himself in a talking mood.

"I never took to fishing so much," Erik replied. He had decided that he liked Vetrov even if he couldn't pinpoint why. "I've done a lot of sailing though. My father always said 'We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch - we are going back from whence we came'. I suppose that always stuck with me."

Satisfied that whatever awkward moment had existed had passed Erik motioned toward Awen, "This is Lieutenant Commander Fala, first officer of the Sentinel."

Awen glanced from Erik to Fredrick, giving the latter a somewhat skeptical look and a nod, "Welcome aboard, Mr. Vetrov. I am curious...do you make it a habit to get started prior to reporting in? And do you have any idea as to why you were transferred over so late and with hardly a notice sent to us?"

Fredrick glanced to the Captain and then back to the XO and pointed to his face, "Sometimes in my age I forget all the Star Fleet protocol."

Erik couldn't help but grin a little at the Engineer's initial reply, if nothing else he was a man of dry humor. Very much the practical Russian, a personality trait that Erik himself had known well growing up an ethnic Russian. He kept the grin slight and hidden however as he was willing to bet that Awen wouldn't find the remark so amusing.

Fredrick quickly moved on, "Uh, no Ma'am, on either account. I cannot give you a reason for why it was such a late transfer." Fredrick replied to his new XO. "As far as starting early, I boarded the Sentinel with only a few moments before she was leaving berth. It is my responsibly to make sure she is ready and I take it very seriously. I knew once we were under way there would be time for me to check in."

Serious expression still in place, the Bajoran replied, "I find that hard to believe, Lieutenant. On all accounts. Even when a transfer takes place late, the Command Staff is informed of such - particularly before leaving. In your case, however, you magically got transfer orders and we were conveniently not informed. In addition, had you not been transferred aboard, the Engineering department would have continued with the Acting Chief Engineer in charge. Until we received your transfer orders and you officially reported for duty, you were not a member of this crew and should not have been in Engineering."

"As much as I hate to say it Mr. Vetrov, I must concur with the Lieutenant Commander," Erik admitted before Frederick could reply. "It would have been better had you come straight to me after boarding, even if in the middle of launch preparations. However, what's done is done. You are here now and we are in need of your expertise. Just be sure that you re-familiarize yourself with those 'Starfleet Protocols' so that we can avoid any further terse discussions. Understood Lieutenant?"

Fredrick moved a hand up to scratch his chin and after he felt the whiskers there he winced to himself. What a hot mess he must look like. He had no intention of showing up in this state but the Captain was right, what was done was done. He had come into his current situation between a rock and a hard place and it was his old habits that had influenced him to make the call to not follow protocol. "Understood." he said as he looked to the Captain.

He had only interest in following protocols in the last ten or so years when it was convenient, they serve a purpose but always manage to get in the way of work. Fredrick was a hypocrite as he had decided they were more important for younger members of the crew rather then himself, his career was pretty much over. He had bested other captains' patience with protocols in the past to varying degrees; he will just get transferred in the next year anyway. The younger Captains were always harder to play the game with, they had so much more to prove. This one seemed very confident so it could be a very interesting station.

Fredrick waited to see if there was anything else the Captain or XO had on their minds.

After a few moments of silence Erik decided that it was best to keep the meeting short, Vetrov seemed like a man out of place and while this concerned the Commander he felt that there was more to the situation than what was readily apparent. "Do you have any questions Mr. Vetrov?"

"I don't." the Lieutenant quickly replied. This introduction meeting had been one of the better ones in recent history and Fredrick was ready to get out when the getting was good. There would certainly be more time for questions in the future.

"Very well then," Erik said as he stood from his seat. "You're dismissed Lieutenant. Take some time to get settled into your quarters before reporting back to Engineering."

Fredrick stood up from his seat and nodded to the XO and then to the Captain, "It was good to meet you both. Do svidaniya comrades." He headed out of the ready room and to the engineering office to gather his things.

After the door slid shut behind the Engineer, Erik turned to his first officer with eyebrows raised in a disbelieving expression. "I believe that was the shortest Senior Officer introduction I've ever experienced... What are your thoughts number one?"

"Most of my thoughts you've already heard, sir," Awen replied initially. With a frown amidst a sigh, she asked, "Permission to speak freely?"

"By all means Commander," Erik replied as he re-seated himself and took up the PADD that had Vetrov's service record loaded.

A serious expression remained on the Bajoran's face as she began speaking, "Something is off. In fact, a number of things seem off. As I mentioned, I've seen late transfers before, but not ones where a crewmember is essentially given orders, pushed onto the ship, and then the door is slammed shut right before the ship leaves without so much as a word to the ship's command staff. It seems very suspicious. Not to mention the fact that he began unauthorized work in Engineering without checking in first."

"I agree," Erik said with a nod as he studied the text on the PADD more closely. "I've always been a good judge of character number one and I have to admit that I am more than a little perplexed by this man. He is either one of the most chronically irresponsible officers that I've ever heard of or he managed to garner the ire of someone at Starfleet Command. Someone who holds a serious grudge. Ether way, his service record is... Colorful at best."

Awen raised an eyebrow, "Or perhaps a combination of the two, sir? I've certainly not seen his service record...what does it show?" Surely some of those she had worked with in the Resistance had more concerning pasts, but StarFleet was assuredly not the Resistance...what had been acceptable then was not necessarily so in StarFleet.

"Perhaps," Erik agreed again. "It seems that twelve years ago our Lieutenant Vetrov was a Lieutenant Commander and Chief Engineer aboard the USS Montana. Something happened and a short time later he was suspended from Starfleet and under inquiry for a court martial. After the trial all records of what actually happened were sealed but it seems that a pattern starts there. Since then hes served no longer than two years at each assignment and in a capacity well beneath his abilities."

Erik looked up from the PADD with a raised eyebrow, "This man was crucified for whatever he did. In fact, this is his first senior staff assignment since the trial. Why now, I wonder?"

"A good question," she replied as she contemplated the information. "I suppose that could explain the lack of notice to us about his assignment here, which was last minute at that... As for the rest, I imagine either he would have to be willing to shed light on what happened or someone higher up would, though whether they'd be willling is more doubtful perhaps. His former Commanding Officers may have some insight as well. Regardless, I must admit that I have my reservations about him, sir," Awen said.

"As do I," Erik replied. It was well within his power to contact the Engineer's former Commanding Officers but then he would only be getting one side of the story. No, Erik had something else in mind. "We'll keep a close eye on him and see how he performs. If he isn't up to the task then he will be on his way to his next assignment as soon as we return to Deep Space Three."

Awen nodded; at this point there wasn't much else they could do anyway. But certainly she would be keeping an eye on their newest addition to the crew. "Is there anything else I can do for you sir?"

"Not at this time. Give Lieutenant Sen the bridge if you need, I'll be getting some rest. Thank you for your insight Commander," Erik smiled. "Dismissed."

OFF

A Joint Post Written By:

Lieutenant Frederick Vetrov
Chief Engineer
USS Sentinel

and

Lieutenant Commander Fala Awen
Executive Officer/ Chief Science Officer
USS Sentinel

and

_________________
Commodore Erik Tsereteli
Commanding Officer
USS-Sentinel NCC-83680


Thu Oct 25, 2012 9:52 pm
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Chief Security/Tactical Officer
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Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:51 pm
Posts: 17
Post Re: Mission 1: "Stratagem"
ON

<USS Sentinel, Bridge, MD01 0630h>

It had been nearly an hour since Archana had been given command of the bridge, and she’d yet to actually sit down. It was too new—and too exciting—for her to settle into the Commander’s chair, not to mention a little strange, considering the fact that she’d only been promoted to the role of 2XO some two or three hours earlier. So far everything seemed to be running smoothly. At the very least, she’d yet to break the ship in any fashion, which was, she supposed, a good sign. Surveying her temporary domain from her position near the command chair, the Security/Tactical Chief made her way over to Dean Kasai (NPC) at the helm.

“Helmsman Kasai, how’s she flying?” she asked the Ensign quietly and casually. Although there’d been no indication so far that anything was out of sorts with the ship, Archana was only too aware of some of the bumps that had occurred during the Sentinel’s recent refitting. She half-expected that something was bound to go wrong sooner or later, and had been checking with the various bridge crewmembers from time to time just in case.

Dean was a little startled when he heard Lieutenant Sen's voice so nearby; she was a quiet one even if unintentionally. "Everything is in order Lieutenant," he said with a grin half turning toward his superior. "Engine efficiency has risen slightly in the last fifteen minutes, I think our new Engineer is already at work down there. Aside from that, all systems nominal."

“I’m glad to hear it,” Archana smiled, clapping him lightly on the shoulder. The unexpected arrival of the new Chief Engineer had been quite the surprise, but not necessarily a bad one, especially if he was already making himself useful in the depths of Engineering. “How long are you scheduled for bridge duty this morning, Ensign?” Her question was partially out of curiosity and partially out of mild concern. Dean didn’t look or act particularly tired, but it had been an early and hectic morning for everyone, herself included. They were all going to need to catch up on their sleep sooner or later, and Archana knew that the Ensign had arrived on the bridge even earlier than she had.

"Another hour or so, ma'am," Dean replied. He supposed that the senior officers hadn't yet finalized an official duty roster, seeing as how they had departed nearly a full day in advance and he was the acting Chief of Flight Control until another more experienced officer arrived aboard. "I took the liberty of scheduling Petty Officer Tarvin to relieve me at zero-eight-hundred hours."

“Excellent,” Archana said. “Not that I’m anxious for you to leave, of course, but we all need to catch up on our rest at some point,” she smiled. “Carry on, Ensign.” Moving back again to stand near the command chairs, the Betazoid fixed her gaze for a few moments on the forward viewscreen. The stars streamed by as the ship sailed gracefully through space, and while it was a view she’d seen more times than she could count, it was still arrestingly beautiful. But it didn’t seem entirely productive, just standing there. By this point, she was propelled by a kind of nervous energy, likely the product of too much ship wide excitement and too little sleep. Spinning on her heel, Archana strode towards the Ops station for a current report.

Christopher (PNPC) saw Lieutenant Sen coming out of the corner of his eye and was quick to duck his head down again, as if by not noticing her she would simply go away. The woman had been prowling around the bridge for an hour now, and while she was slightly less intimidating than the Bajoran woman, Christopher had rather had his fill of strong, empowered Starfleet women, thank you very much. Still nursing a broken heart after a very bad breakup, he was at a point in his life where he was fairly certain that the entire female sex was pure poison. Still, he had a job to do, and he knew full well that Sen was only doing her job as well. Finally looking up, he offered her no smile, and just managed to hide his grimace.

“Lieutenant-JG Fielding,” Archana greeted, one dark eyebrow slightly raised as she regarded the man over his console. Empath that she was, she could read his distaste from a mile away. It wasn’t directed at her exactly, at least not entirely, but it was vaguely amusing to her all the same. If only he knew that his unfounded unease of her as a woman actually inspired her to visit him at the ops station more often than strictly necessary. “Report?”

“The same as it was twenty minutes ago, sir,” Christopher fairly drawled, his annoyance held just enough in check so that he wasn’t disrespectful. “I’m still monitoring the ship’s intensity grid and working on recalibrating the navigational sensors in anticipation of our trip through the expanse. As I said before, it’s going to take some time.”

“So you did say,” Archana agreed pleasantly. “It must have slipped my mind.” Giving him a half-smile as she turned to go, she added wryly, “You can tell me so again when I check in with you in another twenty minutes. No doubt it will have slipped my mind by then too.”

Glancing up from his current readouts, Christopher was at a momentary loss for words. He was certain that Sen was teasing him, but he wasn’t exactly sure how to respond to his superior officer. He’d gotten into enough trouble in the past for moments of insubordination, both intentional and…not quite intentional. “No doubt,” he agreed at length, the hint of a smile on his lips.

Archana hid her smirk by simply walking away. At least she’d gotten something other than sheer, ill-hidden disdain from the new Assistant Chief of Ops.

Dean couldn't help but cast a quick glance over his shoulder toward the rear of the bridge where his counterpart in Ops worked. Their eyes met only briefly but Dean knew that his 'what was that?' look was received without error. Lieutenant Fielding had only been aboard a short time and was nearly a decade Dean's elder but at that moment the Ensign felt as though the man needed a little encouragement if not instruction. He would be one to watch, Dean concluded.

Sitting quietly at the Science station, Mariana Cardona (NPC) glanced up in time to catch the look on Dean's face. The exchange between Christopher and Archana had barely registered with her as it seemed the Operations officer didn't have anything new to report. The El-Aurian's attention had briefly been caught by the mention of the Expanse, which she was currently studying. Tapping a few buttons on the right side of her screen, Mariana checked the sensor readings to make sure that no anomalies or particles of concern had suddenly shown up in their path.

Missing the look shared between Kasai and Fielding, Archana continued her round across the bridge, arriving at the science station next. “Anything exciting for me, Mariana?” she queried the Astrometrics Specialist quietly, her hands clasped behind her back as she casually gazed over the El-Aurian’s shoulder.

"I'm afraid not, ma'am. About ten minutes ago sensors picked up traces of tachyon particles, but further investigation revealed that they were the naturally-occurring type. Otherwise, it's been rather quiet," the El-Aurian replied, glancing at Archana with a small smile.

Overhearing Sen’s question and anticipating that she was next to be visited, Ariel (NPC) spoke up from her place at the tactical console. “Nothing exciting here either, ma’am. All tactical diagnostics are still coming up clean.”

"I think we're about as prepared as we can be, sir," Dean interjected after sensing that a full blown conversation might be forming. He had other plans for it's direction however. "Say, if you all don't mind my asking, have any of you heard the, um, stories about the Taevon expanse? I have a cousin who served aboard the Malinche a few years back and he swears that the crew there experienced all kinds of... Strange, things."

Archana turned her attention back to Ensign Kasai, intrigued by his question. “You mean the ghost stories, Ensign? I’ve heard a few,” she confirmed, taking up her position near the Commander’s chair again. “I haven’t heard anything about the Malinche’s experiences, though.”

"My cousin told be that those stories actually have basis in reality," Dean said with intentional dramatization. "Makes my hair stand on end just thinking about it..."

Christopher looked up from his console, rolling his eyes at Kasai’s inane suggestion. “Bollocks,” he murmured under his breath. Speaking up a little louder, he ventured into the conversation. “While I’ll admit that there are strange things aplenty in this universe, I draw the line at ghost stories. There's always a more logical explanation than ghosts."

"Logical explanation," Dean said mockingly with a trollish grin. "People are too quick to dismiss anything that can't be locked onto with a sensor sweep. There are hundreds of cultures who have strong traditions of the paranormal and many speak of such things in a quite literal way. I'd say its a little hard to dismiss them all as fantasy, wouldn't you agree?"

Scoffing quietly, Christopher pinched the bridge of his nose to ward off an oncoming headache. This was just part of the reason he didn’t particularly enjoy bridge duty. “I’m British, Ensign. Ghost stories have been around in my country for thousands of years. And besides, I didn’t say that they’re pure fantasy, did I? What I’m saying is that there are more explanations rooted in science than people are willing to admit.”

“Fair enough,” Archana interjected, sensing both Fielding’s growing annoyance and Kasai’s enjoyment in getting a rise out of him. While Dean obviously meant well, it didn’t seem like Christopher was in the mood to take a joke, and she didn’t want anything to get out of hand on her very first time in charge of the bridge. “For what it’s worth, we’re all about to find out firsthand what, if anything, is in the Taevon Expanse. It might be interesting to resume this discussion after we experience it for ourselves,” she suggested with a slight smile.

Once she had learned where they were going, Mariana had begun researching the various stories associated with the Expanse. From what she had read, Dean was in fact correct...however it was not the Expanse's doing, per se. What the Malinche had encountered could theoretically have happened anywhere. Since Archana had essentially ended the discussion, the El-Aurian kept the information to herself for the time being, instead running yet another sensor sweep.

Dean cast Christopher one last grin before returning his attention to the view screen, what Lieutenant Sen had said had been true enough. The young helmsman smiled externally but this was of course a front, he was as nervous as anyone else about entering the volatile region of space, ghost stories or no.

“This is what Starfleet is all about, I think,” Archana mused, the Betazoid in her wanting to end the discussion on a slightly more upbeat note. “The excitement, the adventure, the chance to reach out to others and go wherever we’re needed. Someone needs our help, and it’s our duty and our privilege to answer that call--even if that means flying full tilt into the Taevon Expanse in the early hours of the morning,” she finished humorously. Having spoken her piece, she finally gave into her aching feet and lowered herself carefully into the command chair, watchful and alert as the ship continued its journey towards the unknown.

OFF:

This JP brought to you by:

Ensign Dean Kasai (NPC)
Assistant Chief Flight Control Officer
Played by: Commander Tsereteli

Lt. JG Christopher Fielding (PNPC)
Assistant Chief of Operations
Played by: Lieutenant Sen

Petty Officer 1st Class Mariana Cardona (NPC)
Astrometrics Specialist
Played by: Lt. Commander Fala

Ensign Ariel Dunlap (NPC)
Tactical Officer
Played by: Lt. Sen

and

_________________
Lieutenant Archana Sen
Chief Security/Tactical Officer
USS Sentinel NCC-83680


Thu Oct 25, 2012 10:22 pm
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Posts: 35
Post Re: Mission 1: "Stratagem"
ON

<USS Sentinel, Captain's Quarters, MD01 0630h>

Erik rolled onto his side and propped his head up on one hand, his dominant arm had grown tired of holding the PADD elevated and needed rest. With the device laying on the bed before him he read through the latest readiness reports while gently brushing his fingers through the fur on Dutch's shoulders. He had arrived in his quarters nearly a half hour prior and had immediately lay down in an attempt to sleep but rest had eluded him. Only work was there to keep him from going stir crazy but even that was growing tiresome.

When his aching head could no longer tolerate the struggle to focus on the PADD's miniscule text, Erik tossed the device aside and sat up on the edge of his bed. The hundred pound dog beside him raised it's head and tilted it to one side as it studied its fatigued master and waiting anxiously for the words it knew was coming next.“Lets hit the deck Dutch.”

A short time later Erik was making his rounds of the upper decks in an effort to tire himself out but as much as he tried to focus on 'sleepy thoughts' his mind only kept wandering back to the hours ahead. It would be less than five hours before the Sentinel entered the outer reaches of the Taevon Expanse and it had the Commander a little nervous. He had done about as much research as one possibly could and had read all of the horror stories associated with the mysterious region of space. Nothing he had found comforted him.

Deep in thought Erik hadn't noticed the Andorian who had caught up and begun walking in stride beside him sometime ago. It was only after Dutch stopped to greet the familiar face that Erik paused to take notice as well. “Oh, good morning Chief,” he said awkwardly.

“Good morning Commander,” Enonya(PNPC) replied with a questioning tone. “It seems that someone is on auto-pilot, not running on all thrusters?”

“You could say that,” Erik replied with a small sigh as he turned to begin walking again. “There's a lot to prepare for, a lot to consider. I have to admit that I tend to develop a slight case of insomnia when crunch time comes, its been that way since my academy days.”

Enonya nodded thoughtfully as she followed at the Commanders side with her hands clasped behind her back. “Understandable. You want to be prepared for all eventualities and you feel that if you sleep you might miss something.”

Erik slowed his pace a little and glanced at his Andorian companion, “yeah, that about sums it up.”

“Well you know what Commander?” Enonya began pausing only long enough to meet eyes with Erik. “You're going to miss things and you cant be prepared for all eventualities.”

“I know that Chief,” Erik said with an indignant huff, it had been a while since he had been lectured by anyone, particularly a subordinate but then again he never viewed Enonya as such. She held a rank that was by military code 'beneath' his own station but she was by no means any less experienced than he with her own job. He had come to respect the Andorian's opinions and often took her advice. “But I can come close. I have to, I cant have it otherwise.”

“I know you cant sir,” Enonya smiled weakly. “But you wont be any good to your crew in a fatigued state. Go back to bed, force yourself to sleep.”
“Right,” Erik replied with another short sigh. He knew the Chief was right.

“You know what works for me?” Enonya asked as she stopped in the middle of the corridor.

Erik paused and turned to face the Andorian, “whats that Chief?”

“One of those steamy Risian fantasy bits,” she replied with a hawkish grin. “I could show you one of my favorites sometime if you'd like...”

“Chief,” Erik replied with a chuckle and shaking his head. “If it were anyone else, I might be concerned.”

“Goodnight Commander,” Enonya replied as she turned to return to her own dutied.

Erik continued shaking his head as he watcher her go before calling to his dog and returning to his own quarters. As his head hit his pillow he thought of the Chief's advice and of the many situations he had been in before that he had pulled through. He would pull through this situation as well he knew but it would be taxing, he would do well to learn to manage his perfectionism better. As he began to drift off to sleep his mind once again returned to the near future and the things that it held, even in sleep he would get no quarter from his concerns.

OFF

A JP written by:

Master Chief Warrant Officer
Enonya Alanni
Chief of the boat
USS Sentinel
(Played by Commodore Tsereteli)

and

_________________
Commodore Erik Tsereteli
Commanding Officer
USS-Sentinel NCC-83680


Thu Oct 25, 2012 10:35 pm
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Executive Officer
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Location: Ohio
Post Re: Mission 1: "Stratagem"
ON: [[Astrometrics Lab, USS Sentinel, Mission Day 01, 0938 Hours]]

It had been over just over four hours since the Sentinel departed Deep Space Three in response to an alien distress call coming from somewhere inside the Taevon Expanse and Peter felt no closer to understanding their objective than he had at oh-four-hundred hours that morning. His goal in securing the astrometrics lab had been to make use of the lab's advanced sensor arrays and superior data processing capabilities to help paint a better picture of what they might be up against. After all, it was his job to keep the Sentinel's command staff appraised of any information which might affect their ability to carry out this assignment.

The image on the lab's primary viewscreen was that of the immediate area surrounding Deep Space Three including the outermost edges of the Taevon Expanse. Federation-controlled territories were demarcated by a light shading of blue while the expanse itself was a roiling, translucent mass of purples, oranges, and browns. Amidst the identifying markers for Federation assets and natural phenomena in the defined region was a single indicator of the Sentinel's current position along a solid red line indicating the ship's course.

After a couple hours of researching on her own in her office, Awen had decided that change of scenery might be what she needed. The Bajoran had already had three cups of coffee...which was saying a lot since she...strongly disliked the bitter black liquid. Even adding an obscene amount of flavoring and sweeteners seemed to help little. However, she had to admit that the caffeine it provided was welcome. And so it was that she walked into Astrometrics - PADD neatly tucked under one arm, steaming fourth cup of coffee in her other hand.

As soon as she entered, she nearly spilled the hot liquid on herself as she came to an abrupt stop just inside the door. Though it perhaps wasn't totally unexpected, Awen was still somewhat surprised to see Peter in the room. "Hello Commander," she said, regaining her composure.

The sound of the Executive Officer's voice made Peter jump a little. Thomas (PNPC) and Charles (PNPC) were still in the process of trying to reconstruct the alien distress call from Deep Space Three's communications logs and, even though it was already nine-thirty in the morning, he hadn't really been expecting anyone else to be dropping by the astrometrics lab yet. "Commander," he said as he turned toward the woman standing just inside the doorway, "I didn't...I'm sorry. Did you need this?"

"Don't worry, Commander...it's not as if I had it reserved, per se. I needed a change of scenery after working in my office the last couple hours and thought this would be a good place to go," the Bajoran explained. "What are you working on?"

"Trying to get a better picture of what we can expect," Peter replied as he motioned to the image on the viewscreen, "though as you can see, I'm still missing a few of the pieces."

Awen nodded, "Looks like it's the difficult ones that are missing. The Taevon Expanse is not easily defined, to say the least. I can input the information I have about the supposed corridors...changing the color intensity based on how recent the data is and its apparent repeatability, if you would like. There is also some basic data, but due to the issues that sensors seem to have in the Expanse I'm afraid there won't be much more than that..."

"No...that's quite helpful, actually," Peter said quickly. Anything she could add that would help fill in some of the blanks would be more beneficial to them all. He took a step to one side so as to make room for the commander to access the primary workstation while motioning for her to join him. "Be my guest," he added.

Moving behind the workstation, Awen placed her coffee cup in front of her along with her PADD, which held the data she'd been collecting. Before leaving her office she had sent the data to the Astrometrics lab's systems, but she wanted to verify it nonetheless. Typing in a few commands, she brought up the coordinates in each place, then color coded the related data. "Alright, I think I have it... It should just need to load into the system now," the Bajoran noted as she entered in the last commands.

It didn't take long for the ship's computer to process the new information. Peter watched as several new areas of discoloration appeared amidst the haze of the Taevon Expanse. They weren't all that much closer to their objective, but at least it was a start. "How long did it take you to map out these corridors," he asked.

Awen's dark eyes moved to take in the additional information now shown. Glancing back at Peter she responded, "Several hours...mostly by seeing which ships have gone through the Expanse, determining the path they took, and then using some comparative analysis on the information. To be honest, I cannot guarantee that these corridors will still be there; at the least I highly doubt they'll be in exactly the same places. As you can see, there are a couple corridors where the path is similar but not quite the same - that's few and far between though."

"The Taevon Expanse isn't exactly known for being the easiest place to travel," Peter remarked mostly to himself, "It's certainly going to make navigation difficult." It reminded him of an experience he'd had while doubling as a Flight Control Officer aboard the Monitor during the war in which they'd spent several hours playing cat and mouse with a Dominion patrol in the Golden Discontinuity. Shifting plasma storms and ghostly images created by false sensor reflections had made navigation difficult for both sides in the engagement. "We're either going to have to slow down once we enter the expanse or find some other way of making sure we stay in one of these corridors," he continued aloud, "based on the reports I've read, one doesn't stray far from these paths."

"Well, I would recommend slowing down regardless...I would have to look through the Expanses' particle composition to see if anything there would help us navigate it, but I don't know if we'll have enough time to research it, figure out a way to use it to our advantage, and implement it before we go in. Even if we do, it would be experimental at best," Awen noted.

"Particle composition isn't our only concern," Peter cautioned. He knew as well as anyone the dangers of the Taevon Expanse were not limited to the physical properties of space itself. Turning to the console on his left, he immediately began making a few adjustments to the display and another layer of discoloration appeared on the viewscreen within moments. "There have been only a handful of Federation starships dispatched to investigate happenings in the Expanse since the increase of hostilities with the Elyshan Empire in 2384," he continued, "chief among them was the Intrepid-class USS Frontier under the command of Ambassador Mordred Ocal which made contact with two Elyshan factions operating in the Expanse, the Regime and the Shayde."

Nodding slowly, the Bajoran replied, "Very true, Commander. We'll also have to see if there's anything that can be done to boost tactical sensors so we aren't caught completely off guard should we encounter other vessels. It would be bad enough to have to worry about running into enemy ships, but the...challenges of the Expanse make it even more concerning. It will certainly be one of my priorities to prevent us from going in blind."

Peter was just about to open his mouth in response when the sound of a familiar voice suddenly came across the ship's intercom system. =^= Young to Armstrong =^= Charles (PNPC) called out.

"This is Armstrong," Peter replied, "What is it, Charlie?"

=^= We've been having a difficult time reconstructing the original distress call =^= the young science officer explained =^= The communications records from Deep Space Three are pretty incomplete. While some of that is due to interference and distortion from the Expanse, Thomas (PNPC) and I...well, we believe there's got to be more to it than that. =^=

A frown crossed Awen's face as she listened to the young man's description, "What more do you think there could be, Ensign?" She certainly wasn't surprised about interference from the Expanse; she had expected that. It was the 'more to it' part that had her concerned...

=^= I...uh...Commander... =^= Charles stuttered, clearly taken aback by the realization of the Executive Officer's presence.

"Go ahead, Charlie," Peter said reassuringly.

=^= Of course =^= Charles replied once he'd regained his composure =^= We had a difficult enough time getting access to the communication records on Deep Space Three, which they seemed quite reluctant to turn over, and we think they might not have given us everything. There's simply too many inconsistencies in the data for this to be a simple matter of natural interference. =^=

"You think they intentionally withheld information from us," Peter surmised. There was a moment of silence as the realization that, for all their efforts, someone was still trying to limit the scope of their investigation by withholding what could be important information. "Thank you, Charlie...and you, too, Thomas," he continued after a moment, "keep at it for now and transfer anything you have come up with to the astrometrics lab. I'll see about incorporating it into the overall analysis."

=^= Aye sir =^= Charles replied =^= Young out. =^=

Of the explanations that had crossed through her mind when Charles first mentioned of there being more to the issues than interference, Awen had not particularly been expecting that the starbase had withheld information. Looking over at Peter, she said, "What do you make of this development, Commander?"

"Disappointing," Peter answered with a somewhat exasperated sigh, "but not all that unexpected I'm afraid. This isn't the first time information regarding this particular region of space hasn't been allowed to flow as freely as perhaps it should. A couple years ago, the Pandora was pulled off an investigation of raids on merchant shipping around the Black Cluster and ordered to turn over all their evidence to another vessel without any sort of explanation."

"True...I do remember that - I was serving as the Pandora's Executive Officer at the time. However, if they're sending us to find out what happened, I would think they wouldn't be holding back from us now...if anything, they'd confiscate what we find later," the Bajoran commented.

"Looks like we're all in the same boat this time around, commander," Peter remarked as he continued to study the colorful display before them, "One way or another, we're going to find the answer. I just hope it's sooner, rather than later...for all our sakes."

OFF:

A Joint Mission Post by:

Lieutenant Commander (Provisional) Peter Armstrong
Chief Strategic Operations Officer
USS Sentinel

and

Ensign Charles Young (PNPC)
Cultural Research Specialist
USS Sentinel
Played by: LtCmdr Armstrong

and

Ensign Thomas Gates (PNPC)
Strategic Operations Officer
USS Sentinel
Played by: LtCmdr Armstrong

and

_________________
Image
Lieutenant Commander Fala Awen
Executive Officer/Chief Science Officer
USS Sentinel NCC-83680


Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:25 am
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