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Staff Briefing

Posted on Saturday October 8th, 2016 @ 8:42pm by Captain Peter Gardner & Commander Magnus Sterling & Commander Sienae t'Rllaillieu & Lieutenant Commander Nomi Bernard

Mission: Enemies Closer
Location: USS Excelsior, Briefing Room
Timeline: MD1 0820HRS

Peter had chosen the meeting time to be just after lunch. He knew how hard his crew had been working to get the Excelsior back to 100% and he didn't want to deny them their lunch break. He stood, his arms at his sides, looking longly down to the planet below. He had come to see Diogara as his home. A place that he had so many memories of, but they were not his own. They belonged to his wife. Like every Diogaran, they found it hard to leave and he could feel the longing in her and in himself to return. He still felt very uneasy about this mission which wasn't helping feeling like he wanted to go home, to Diogara.

He breathed deeply as he began compartmentalising, a skill he was very adept at.

Maddox said little, mostly brief and polite introductions as people came in. Shortly after coming aboard, he had been handed several dozen PADDs, but brought only two with him to this meeting. This would be a good opportunity to meet senior staff, although aside from similar meetings, he doubted he would interact with them much. Certainly for the foreseeable future he would be working on repairing the ship. No, he corrected himself, he had to coordinate the work on the ship, it was tempting to get hands-on and try to tackle a full workload himself, but as he had been reminded several times today, his job was to keep an entire staff productive, not just himself. He wondered if he'd made a mistake in taking this post.

Looking at the time, Nomi had noticed that her free time was now over, and that she had to get to the briefing room for the staff meeting this afternoon. She had been working on upgrading the tactical station's processing ability. It would allow her to get her implant to interface with the station quicker, allowing for more speed in communication. Walking into the briefing room, she nodded to the Captain and slid deftly into a chair on the other side of the room. "Captain."

Peter nodded to his Security Chief. "Commander."

Glinn Ramall Greset was one of the last of the invitees to reach the observation lounge. Clad in his jet-black Cardassian uniform with its bulky chest piece and contrasting slim-fitting trousers, Ramall stood out like a sore thumb from the Starfleet officers at the table. He took his usual seat near the end of the table, separate from the senior officers and department heads.

Sterling paused outside the door to the briefing room, this would be his first time meeting the senior staff since coming aboard. While Sterling reported for duty that morning aboard Excelsior, he had been tied up with duties elsewhere. It surprised him how much had changed in the fleet, while simultaneously so much hadn't changed. Fortified, he approached the doors which swished open automatically and he entered. "Good, I'm not late. I was tied up in briefings with half a dozen different administrators on station, bringing me back up to speed. I was afraid I'd be late, not a terribly good first impression."

"I wouldn't be concerned, Commander," Ramall said, eyeing the new arrival's collar. "We are all here to meet you, I believe." The Cardassian smiled broadly.

Sterling eyed the cardassian briefly then returned the smile. "Ah, you must be our resident cardassian observer. Commander Sterling," he said introducing himself as he moved towards a chair. "I hope recent events haven't soured your impressions of Starfleet."

"Oh, Commander. I don't let small trifles influence my opinion of anyone, foreign or otherwise. My job here is to observe after all, and if I were so easily prejudiced I wouldn't be doing a very good job, would it?" Ramall retorted, a tight smile tugging at his lips.

I would hardly call death and destruction and the stranding of the fleet in this quadrant 'trifle,' Sterling thought but ever so diplomatically nodded towards the cardassian. "We are fortunate, then, that someone with such an open minded perspective was chosen to observe the crew of Excelsior. It is an impressive quality I wish more people shared, then so much conflict could have been abated."

"We are not entirely here to meet our new First Officer, Glinn." Peter remarked to the Cardassian. "But that will be part of it."

Nomi sat back watching the heated exchange between the officers. It wasn't her quarrel, she wasn't going to get involved. She hadn't spent her life in Starfleet - maybe it would have been different if she had...

"Before we start, we need to wait for our Chief Intelligence Officer. She has been assigned to us to assist us with this mission." Peter remarked. "I am anticipating her arrival any moment now." Peter remarked to the room at large.

Sienae felt unsettled by her tardy arrival aboard the Excelsior. Although "The Agency" instilled promptness in every operative and handler, Intel always seemed to arrive "in the knick of time." PADD in hand and AWOL bag swung over her left shoulder, Sienae composed herself and "moved with purpose" as if her timely arrival was of strategic importance. The PADD firmly grasped in her right hand pulsed in alarm as time fleetingly passed. The pulsing alarm ceased with a double tap whereas the anxious butterflies continued to swarm in her stomach. She paused at the briefing room doors, closed her eyes, and engaged a moment her friends endearingly termed "masquerading." Although not able to suppress her emotions completely, Sienae had learned from her mother at an early age to mitigate the physiological and psychological symptoms of anxiety and mimic her mother's composure and embodiment of logic and reason.

"Apologies for my tardiness Captain," Sienae passed the PADD from her hands containing transfer orders and various other tabs of information.

Peter took the offered PADD and placed it down immediately, without reading them. He had already seen it. "Welcome aboard, Commander. Please take a seat and lets get started."

"Thank you Captain," Sienae acknowledged with a slight head bow. Pivoting she caught a glimpse of the senior staff which unleashed a plague of previously tamed butterflies in her stomach. She firmly grasped the strap of the encumbering AWOL bag and timidly avoided eye contact hastily advancing for an open seat at the back end of the table.

Peter looked at the very sparse room for a moment. It wasn't at all what he was used to. He didn't like being sent on a mission so short of his Senior Staff, but there was more than one reason Admiral Atticus had placed such a high priority on this mission. "To get straight to it, we've been ordered to the Mordred Nebula to attempt to make contact with the Vaadwaur. Ideally, we will come up with a non-aggression pact. I know that appears unlikely, but that's our objective. Any questions?"

Sterling subtly leaned back in his chair. He'd been given several security briefings already, and the Mordred Nebula only meant one thing, the elusive Vaadwaur. "To my knowledge, captain, the Vaadwaur have been extremely reclusive when confronted by one of our vessels. Does command believe that situation has changed?"

Peter turned his chair slightly to face his new First Officer. "You're correct. The Excelsior was ordered some months ago to the Mordred Nebula as a show of force and that seemed to stop them for a time. Command are hoping that we can ascertain their intentions." he responded cautiously. "But they don't remain hopeful."

"I am not familiar with the species." Maddox explained when the focus turned to him. "Are there any special environmental requirements needed for the Vaadwaur?"

"Starfleet has had limited contact with the Vaadwaur since 2376," Sienae added with her arms crossed firmly planted on the table, "They are natives to the Delta Quadrant and the limited data available on their physiology suggests they may be ectothermic."

Peter nodded. "From what I've read of Voyagers reports, mixed with the latest intelligence reports, we understand they are humanoid and have a long history of being aggressive."

Chiming in, Nomi added, "very aggressive from the reports, especially against the Turei."

Sterling considered the brief briefing, trying to contact a reclusive and potentially hostile neighbor with a foothold on Delta Starfleet's backyard, and placate them enough to a non-aggression treaty seemed too little information to go on, but that was the nature of their situation. There was also the potential for this mission to take Excelsior far and away from Diogara station in pursuit of contacting the Vaadwaur formally. "I know Starfleet needs all the resources it can get to continue to effect repairs and accommodate the crews. What kind of provisioning can Excelsior expect for this mission and how soon do we depart?"

Peter tilted his head in acquiescence to his First Officer. "Admiral Atticus wants us gone as soon as possible for more than one reason." He said almost grimacing. "That being said," he said turning to the room at large. "If you need anything specific for this mission, give Commander Sterling all your requests and he will see to them." He said before turning back to his First Officer. "Is there anything else?" He asked his new Executive Officer.

Sterling could have said more, but elected to shake his head. He would come to get to know the crew over the next several days, for now there was a lot of work to be done, so it was best to focus on that. "Nothing at this time, Captain. With the station's resources dedicated to repair and refit of the fleet, we may experience some delays in resupply and restaffing. I think it's realistic to schedule Departure at 1000 Hours the day after tomorrow."

"And what can we expect in terms of support once we're off and away? Or are we expected to operate as the wayward Voyager did during our duration in the Delta Quadrant?" Greset asked, rocking back and forth in his chair.

"Expect almost none," Sterling said solemnly. "Diogara Station and the Diogaran people are our only remaining support base in this quadrant. There are a few minor installations but nothing that's equipped for fleet support. As for the fleet itself, we have few fully operational starships, not until refit and repairs are completed. That means we will be alone. Our decisions, or actions, or behavior, will reflect on the Federation and influence our neighbors' good will - which we most definitely need. Request what you need now, you might not get another chance for a while."

"Looks like I have some calls to make," Ramall grumbled, folding his arms across his chest.

Sienae leaned forward onto the table glancing towards the Cardassian Representative, "Glinn, mutual coordination of strategic information from our contacts would be in our best interests."

The Cardassian's smile returned after momentarily faltering and looked to the intelligence officer. "I have a few pieces of information you may find useful, Commander if you would like to discuss them at the conclusion of this meeting.

Peter listened to his First Officers extremely accurate assessment of the current situation. Inwardly, Peter was impressed. It meant either he had kept appraised of the comings and goings within the Fleet or he had completely updated himself prior to coming to the briefing. Either way, it impressed him. He nodded simply once before turning his attention back to the room. "If there is nothing else?" He asked the room at large.

Ramall shook his head. "I think I have everything I need, Gul -- I mean, Captain."

Peter made eye contact with the staff each in turn before nodding. "Very well, dismissed."

 

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