Posted on Fri May 19th, 2017 @ 12:55am by Captain Nami Ishikawa & Captain Oliver Lee PhD & Lieutenant Commander I'lien Slvar & Lieutenant Kevan Dash & Lieutenant Georges Ejim-Long & Lieutenant Chrysanthe Capulet & Lieutenant Ryley Kincaid M.D. & Captain Jackson Werner
Episode 4 - Truth, Justice, and the Federation Way
Location: Briefing Room, USS Arcadia, Silent Triangle
Timeline: 1315 Hours, MD 1 (March 3, 2393)
Chrysanthe Capulet, entered carrying a PADD. She had copies of scans and the information from the Themyscira they had downloaded and was scrolling through it silently as she entered. She gave Lee a nod and skirted around to her normal seat.
Kevan sat silently, as he had since he'd entered the briefing room, watching the Starfleet Captain sat across from them. There were unusual differences in the uniform, the combadge insignia, little bits like that. She was a Trill, too. That was merely an observation, however, and not an influencing factor. He'd heard enough scuttlebutt and drawn some conclusions from the raid on the Klingon ship, but this meeting would confirm his suspicions. For now, however, he felt comfort in the security detail he'd posted outside. Two good men. If this was some sort of trick they'd be ready to intervene.
Nami watched as Oliver talked to his first officer at the other end of the conference table. It still felt surreal, seeing him in the flesh, and alive. It had been so long that she had almost forgotten how lively his eyes used to be; there was not a trace of that weariness so characteristic of him in his later years. This was a happier time for him, a time before the war, a time before he lost the love of his life. Of course, as every cadet learned in Temporal Mechanics 101, nothing ever stayed the same whenever time travel was involved. So this Oliver Antoninus Lee was not exactly the same man she had once known and devoted herself to. For starters, he was not in command of the Themyscira as he was supposed to; who knew what else had been changed? But no matter what had and had not been changed, it was good to see him again. Despite her better judgement, she had missed him.
One didn't need to have empathic abilities to tell the crew was genuinely confused, concerned, and even a little bit apprehensive by recent developments. Ryley felt all those things as well, even as she felt protective of the newcomers. It was the counselors natural inclination to be protective of anyone who didn't it was the counselors natural inclination to be protective of anyone who had been hurt, even as her head told her it was more practical to keep an open mind all around.
Jackson entered the briefing room next. He was studying a PADD, which contained all of the personnel files of the Marines now under his command. While the transition of him replacing the former MCO assigned to the Arcadia had been unusually abrupt, he was doing everything he could to get up to speed with the current situation as he could. After all, no matter what, the mission always comes first. He quietly sat down in one of the remaining empty chairs at the long table, nodding a greeting to those officers that looked his way.
Noticing that the last of his senior staff had come and taken their seats, Oliver said to I'lien, "Well, let's get the meeting started. This should be fun." It was not such sarcasm in his voice as a resignation to the fact that they now had a case of time travel in their hands. He had always hoped that he would never have to deal with time travel and all its ramifications and paradoxes, but there he was, looking down the conference table at Captain Nami Ishikawa, a time traveler, and apparently someone who knew him well, or rather, would know him well. Ugh, temporal paradoxes.
I'lien nodded. Privately he wondered why this meeting would be more fun than any of the previous 114 meetings he had attended. It was illogical to think this one would be different as none of the previous had been "fun". He focused his attention on the captain.
Oliver cleared his throat, and once he had everyone's attention, he took another quick moment to go over his words in his head before finally speaking. "Before we start, I would like to remind everyone that this is a classified debriefing, and all information released in the debriefing is to be held confidential in accordance with Classification Protocols 23-15 and 46-8. In other words, it's strictly need-to-know."
"Now as some of you are already aware, this morning at around 1030 hours we defended the USS Themyscira against a Klingon battleship, the IKS K'Vort. Korax, the Klingon captain initiated his ship's self-destruct after it was disabled and boarded. Our boarding parties were safely extracted, and they brought back about a dozen Klingons that they could apprehend before the K'Vort self-destructed. The Klingons are currently being held in the brig and will be interrogated as protocols require.
"Our scans have confirmed a higher than normal concentration of chronometric particles in local space. It seems that shortly before we received the distress call from the Themyscira, a temporal vortex was opened in the vicinity of the battle." Gesturing in Nami's direction, he continued, "Captain Ishikawa claims that they are from the future, specifically the year 2422, and the rest I'll leave to the good captain."
Nami listened as Oliver spoke. The man chose his words carefully and only acknowledged as facts what he could be certain of. As for the reasons the Themyscira had traveled back in time, he made it clear that it was only her version of the story and left it for her to tell. He was judicious as ever; at least that hadn't changed.
Leaning forward from her seat, the Trill captain rested her clasped hands on the table. "Twelve years from now the Dominion will deploy a biological weapon of unknown origin. They struck fast and they struck hard. We were never able to develop a counter measure, and by the time we finally managed to destroy the weapon at a tremendous cost two years later, the Dominions had already gained an upper hand. We dragged out the war for another thirteen years, but by 2422 the Dominion had taken over Earth and most of the Federation. Whatever they hadn't taken fell to the Klingons, the Gorns, and the Tholians. Some of us continued to resist, but it was only a matter of time before all would be lost. We were, however, able to develop a functioning chrono-generator, and so here we are, hoping to save the Federation before it's too late."
Chrys raised an eyebrow. This was very interesting. "Time travel is very dangerous." She stated. "You could be screwing your own timeline."
Kevan maintained a poker face but inwardly agreed with the Science Officer. Who knew what sort of impact this would have on the space-time continuum? And yet the other part of him was curious; if this was a ship from some dystopian future then the intelligence and information that could be gathered might be invaluable to the current-day Federation. Besides, who wouldn't want to know how things turned out for themselves?
Kincaid took a moment to consider all that their newcomer had offered. It was a lot to take in, and after she had wrapped her mind around the time the crew had come from, she couldn't help but feel immediate sympathy for them. What was being described was a time of constant conflict. She didn't disagree with any of her colleague's comments about messing with the timeline being dangerous, but The counselor didn't know that if confronted with a reality of constant war, she might not of taken the same chances. "Dangerous and vague as the options may seem, exposure to constant conflict has a way of making desperate choices seem like the only choices."
Nami had been so focused on Oliver that she had paid little attention to the rest of his senior staff as they came in and took their seats around the conference table in the last few minutes. But as soon as the blonde in teal had her attention, she immediately recalled the face. She would remember that face anywhere, any time. Except for Korra, no one had ever impressed her so much - in her own disturbing way at least.
She noted the woman's rank and responded, "Lieutenant Capulet, isn't it? My timeline was already screwed when the Dominion took Trill, Betazed, and then Earth, Lieutenant. But it's a moot point in any case. We are already here."
Chrysanthe calmly nodded. "Touche" she replied with an incline of her head. "Then you won't mind giving me a look at that biological weapon to see if we can come up with a counter."
"No, I wouldn't mind at all," said Nami, "except I have little to give you. Whatever intel Starfleet had on the weapon was highly classified and way beyond my pay grade. We tried to retrieve the intel cache after Earth fell, but after losing a lot of good men and women, we still ended up empty handed."
Turning to the whole group, she continued, "What we do know, however, is that the Dominion dug up the weapon on Caliv II five days ago. It's currently being held at a Dominion research facility in the Galeon System as we speak. It will be moved from the Galeon System in four days and we have no idea where it's headed from there."
"This is the only chance we have. The Arcadia can reach the Galeon System in two days and can take on the orbital defense platforms with ease. You must destroy the weapon while you still can, or war will come and history will repeat itself with a fallen Federation and tens of billions dead."
Oliver's brows tightened as the Trill spoke. Not only did he have a group of time travellers on his hands, but now he had to make a decision that would impact billions and the fate of the Federation? Nothing had prepared him for such a decision. Was this the moment Admiral Sandel and his grandfather talked about, the moment he screwed thing up?
"Captain, what exactly are your intentions? How are you planning to change the order of events that have occurred in your future? There is no certainty that you will be able to change the eventual outcome or whether that outcome has not already been changed by forces outside of our knowledge."
I'lien's questions jolted Oliver out of his thoughts. He habitually tugged at the bottom of his uniform jacket as if it needed to be straightened.
"More than my future is at stake, Commander," he said and then glanced around the table. "which is why I would like to hear what everyone thinks."
The decision was his, of course, but the first advice Admiral Raje - his mentor since his early days at Strategic Ops - gave him when he assumed command of the Bunker Hill was to listen first. "That's what your senior staff is there for." the admiral said. But equally important, he himself needed some time to think.
"Forgive me Captains, both" Chrysanthe stated from her seat. "But how do we know if the weapon even exists in this timestream? For all we know you could have crossed universes as well as timelines." That said, Chrys was all for doing what was needed before things went to crap.
"I for one agree with Captain Ishikawa's plan," Kevan remarked. "Putting aside the temporal prime directive for a second, a Starfleet Captain is asking us for help in protecting the Federation from harm. Surely at the very least we should investigate the Galeon system and substantiate the threat. Starfleet Command will surely back our play if we do come up with the evidence, right?" Assuming it wasn't reviewed by another Admiral with a bone to pick with Captain Lee, he added silently.
"And if they don't?" Chrys replied playing devils advocate, "Don't get me wrong I agree that something should be done but what if in this time, the weapon is not there and its somewhere else? Or not even created?"
"Wishful thinking won't save the Federation. I prefer the pragmatic approach." Kevan nodded at the Science Officer. "I hope you're right at the end of this, but by the time I said 'I told you so' there might not be much of anything left."
Chrys merely smiled at that. "While that is true, how do we know her story is true?" She replied. "We only have this captain's word that this is the future. How do we know that it is? How do we know that she is even federation?" Chrys gave an apologetic smile to Ishikawa.
"You are too trusting. I am saying that while I agree that something should be done, let us take things with a grain of salt and understand that while the so called future may happen, it is still a possibility. What happens if we do this, and breach the borders of a highly volatile race? Sir, if you are going to do this, I would suggest that the Arcadia NOT be taken into it. Send a recon party to begin. A small strike squad can get in and out more easily than the Arcadia." Chrys wanted people to think, consider all angles. Not everyone was to be trusted. And she knew that better than most.
I'lien nodded. "Captain, I would tend to agree with Lieutenant Capulet. The Arcadia is one of the premier vessels in the fleet and newly launched. Our crew is still learning the ship and each other. We are not operating at our best. We should also consider the damage to Captain Ishikawa's ship. Taking the Arcadia close enough to launch a scouting mission seems to be the logical course of action as it provides us with the greatest flexibility. Additionally," he said looking at Captain Ishikawa. "We can use the time to further examine their sensor logs."
At least someone was thinking Chrys kept her thought to herself as she studied the Temporal Captain.
Nami raised an eyebrow as both Capulet and Slvar expressed their reservation.
"As I said, Lieutenant," she addressed the science chief. "the Dominion had already brought the weapon to the Galeon system before we arrived here. Our arrival does not and cannot change any event before our arrival, so I can guarantee you that the Dominion has the weapon and it is sitting in the Galeon System as we speak."
Nami was a little disappointed by Capulet's response, but if the lieutenant was the same woman she remembered, there wouldn't be too much to worry. Capulet always did what was necessary.
Turning to Slvar, Trill captain continued, "The Themyscira might be down for the moment, Commander, but she's not out yet. Besides, the Klingons have been dealt with and we are safely inside Federation space. My crew can finish the necessary repair within the next 36 hours. But if you don't destroy the weapon now, there won't be another chance. A recon operation would be unnecessary since we know exactly where the weapon is, but more important it'd waste the time you don't have."
"So Captain," she turned to Oliver. "what is your decision?"
The Arcadia's commanding officer did not respond to the question immediately as he quickly - and quietly - reassessed his decision before announcing it. He really hoped it'd not be a mistake.
"The Galeon System is deep inside Dominion territory." he said, "Even if we can somehow reach it undetected, we are still talking about a preemptive strike that could, in the best case scenario, lead to a major diplomatic incident, and at worst it could plunge the Federation into the war that you have come here to prevent, Captain. We have the capability to send in a recon or even a strike team, but a mission that deep into Dominion territory would require authorization from Starfleet Command."
"So you will do nothing?" Asked Nami with a deep frown.
"Not quite. For one, I'll send over an engineering team to give you a hand with the repairs. I'll also inform Starfleet Command of the situation. But given the gravity of the decision at hand, Command will have to relay the information to the president and the Federation Council, who will then decide on a course of action."
Nami raised an eyebrow. "You are leaving that decision to the politicians? They were just as responsible for the Federation's fall as the Dominion! They care about nothing but the next election and their own pockets. Even General Bolanus couldn't stand by watching them debate while entire systems fall to the Dominion."
Oliver listened as the other captain spoke. When she finished, the deep frown on his brows was unmistakable. "There was a coup?" He asked, fearing the answer.
With a deep breath Nami collected herself. She fell back into her chair and said, "It doesn't matter now. It could have made a difference, but didn't. Thanks to you."
For the next few moments Oliver didn't say a word as he looked into the Trill captain's eyes. Part of him was dismayed, part of him curious. But he knew better than asking her what had happened in front of his senior staff. Enough about the future had already been revealed.
"As I said earlier, Captain Ishikawa, I'll send over an engineering team to help with the repairs on the Themyscira, but we will stay put until we hear from Starfleet Command. We are not the Praetorian Guard; nor are we the Tal Shiar. We are Starfleet, and we will abide by the oath we all took." Turning to the security chief, he changed the subject, "How are our Klingon guests doing, Mr. Dash?"
"Under lock-and-key for now, sir, but grumbling about it. They'll be climbing the walls before too long, but for now they're waiting for a debrief by our intelligence department. They'll most likely have some preliminary findings to report by tomorrow," Kevan answered. His eyes flicked to Captain Ishikawa, looking for a hint or clue as to her feelings about that. Perhaps it might give away something if she knew that the Klingons might talk. If she was concerned about what they would say, however, she didn't show it. Her distant look suggested she was no longer interested in the conversation. "Hopefully we'll have more for you by the time Starfleet Command responds with our orders."
"Thank you, Mr. Dash." Said Oliver. Despite the Klingons' belligerent attitudes, they might just give him the necessary information to either support or contradict what Ishikawa had said.
Jackson listened to the various arguments with silent interest. While he felt that his Marines were up to the task to run the recon mission, he also agreed with Captain Lee, that for the moment, the regs should be obeyed. That being said, however, he also started working up a training cycle to ensure the Marines would be able to execute the recon mission immediately, should the Captain order it. He would keep his thoughts to himself, for now.
Turning to Chrys, he said, "Lieutenant Capulet, go over whatever little intel Captain Ishikawa has on the Dominion weapon as well as the Themyscira's sensor logs, and see if we can learn anything from." He looked to Ishikawa. "You wouldn't mind, Captain, would you?"
"Not at all." Nami answered nonchalantly.
Chrys nodded. "Of course Captain. It will be most illuminating"
"Lieutenant Arlin," Oliver said to his acting chief engineer, "prepare your teams and coordinate with the Themyscira's engineering chief for the repair."
The Bolian engineer nodded. "Aye, aye, Captain."
"Dr. Kincaid," Oliver continued with the assignment, "Please work with Dr. T'Lor and Medical. Let's make sure our guests are well taken care of." If what Ishikawa said about the future was true, he could only imagine what a 15-year war could do to someone's mind, which might prove to be much harder to treat than mere physical injuries.
Ryley nodded. At least on this score, they were on the same page. "Of course, sir."
Glancing around the conference table one more time, he asked, "Any questions before we get back to work, ladies and gentlemen?"
Jackson looked around as well. Though she wore the Starfleet uniform, something about Captain Ishikawa did not sit right with him. However, he decided not to voice those concerns here and now. He would speak to his Captain after the briefing was concluded.
"Very well," Oliver straightened his uniform jacket as he stood up from his chair. "If there's nothing else, dismissed."
As most of his senior staff along with Ishikawa stood up and began to file out of the conference room, he noticed that the Marine CO remained in his seat.
"I assume you want to talk in my ready room, Captain?"
Captain Oliver A. Lee
USS Arcadia NCC-89015
Captain Nami Ishikawa
USS Themyscira NCC-89472
(NPC - Oliver)
Lieutenant Commander I'lien Slvar
USS Arcadia NCC-89015
Lieutenant Chrysanthe Capulet
Chief Science Officer
USS Arcadia NCC-89015
Lieutenant Kevan Dash
Chief of Security
USS Arcadia NCC-89015
Captain Jackson Werner
SFMC Detachment Commander
USS Arcadia NCC-89015
Lieutenant Ryley Kincaid M.D.
USS Arcadia NCC-89015