Posted on Tue May 15th, 2018 @ 4:58am by Lieutenant Commander Nola Elbrun & Lieutenant Commander Johannes Adlerstein & Lieutenant Alkan Malaya PhD & Lieutenant Kevan Dash & Lieutenant K'vagh & Lieutenant Ryley Kincaid M.D. & Captain Jackson Werner
Episode 4 - Truth, Justice, and the Federation Way
Location: USS Arcadia
Timeline: MD 3 (March 5, 2393)
Malaya drank so much jumja tea while letting ship medics tend to her superficial injuries, that she suddenly had a full bladder.
First impressions were everything on a posting and this was her first active duty assignment aboard a ship. Chief Engineer at that. So that implied she had to be an example. Thus . . . the Bajoran attempted to hold it.
Crossing her legs like a lady as a subtle means of trying to control her bodily instincts, she pulled the iso chip from her front lab pocket.
"I saved the AI . . . or at least partially. She was very insistent about us evacuating the ship so I may be missing a few lines of code," Malaya fielded to the assembled group while she looked at a PADD on the table. She did not like silences. "Why would anyone name it Themie? Naming them only humanizes the technological product, in my opinion."
K'vagh sat across the table from Malaya, his uniform still scuffed and dirty as he had not had the opportunity to replicate a replacement. "Humans seem to have an obsession with naming their technology, especially if it talks" he said.
Sat at the end of the briefing table in the seat normally reserved for the XO, Kevan's sour expression lightened just slightly to explain: "Themmie is short for 'Themyscira', the name of the ship she was assigned to. They probably just shortened it as a nickname." He looked over at Nola. "Speaking of which, shouldn't we be revisiting our orders on the matter?"
Jackson suddenly entered the conference room, after ensuring that his Marines were ready, in case the Captain decides (hopefully) to go after Ishikawa. He nodded to Kevan and the other present as he made his way to his seat at the long table.
Nola glanced in Kevan's direction as she walked into the room, followed by her security escort. In all honesty she had started to feel that Corporal Charles was assigned to keep an eye on her rather than protecting her from another kidnap attempt. Of course, she knew it could not have been Werner's intention, but that didn't change how she felt.
The ship's acting captain took her seat and glanced around the table. The XO, the COO, and the CTO were still in the sickbay, and from what Dr. T'Lor had told her, they would be out of commission for a while. How was she supposed to run the ship without one-third of the senior staff. Then her eyes fell on the Klingon sitting on the other end of the conference table. But first, she turned to his commanding officer.
"Commander Adlerstein, what happened?"
Lieutenant Commander Johannesburg Adlerstein, lately the XO of the Kyushu, shook out of his mental hermitage. He kept going through what had happened in his mind, trying to find reason, pattern, anything.
“We encountered a vessel of unknown configuration but bearing Starfleet paint. Upon hailing, a female captain addressed the Skipper and . . . myself.”
His hesitation brought a raised Vulcan eyebrow.
“The woman seemed . . . to know me. I had never laid eyes upon her before, but still she spoke to me as if we should know each other.”
The German shook his head, as if to clear away dust.
“Regardless . . .” he continued. “The short answer is that she opened fire upon us, and cut through our shields and hull like it was made of butter. The Kyushu might be dated, but she is not that old. But it was like a toddler fighting a Klingon. BLUF?* We got our asses handed to us in a bow. Skipper was struck down on the second pass. I ordered an evacuation. And...here we are.”
The former CO began to rub his head. “She made no demands, no threats, not even a boast. It was if we were an inconvenient distraction. And because of that label over 600 of my crew now float out there to join the star stuff...and I don’t even know why.”
Author Note:*BLUF - Military acronym: Bottom Line Up Front
Nola took a deep breath. The man deserved to know why his ship was destroyed and why so many of his crew died.
"Commander," then she turned to the Klingon, "and Lieutenant K'vagh, what I'm about to tell you is classified under Classification Protocols 23-15 and 46-8." Having received a nod of acknowledgement from both men, she continued, "Yesterday at around 1030 hours we rescued the USS Themyscira from a pursuing Klingon battle cruiser, the IKS K'Vort. According to Captain Nami Ishikawa, the Themyscira's commanding officer, they are from 2422 and they have traveled back in time to stop a war that in her timeline led to the Federation's downfall. We eventually learned that Ishikawa had planned to exterminate the Founders with a genophage virus. She and her crew were arrested, but this morning they escaped with the help of . . ." Nola paused briefing before continuing, "Lieutenant Capulet, our chief science officer. They also took Captain Lee as hostage. That's why the Kyushu was sent to intercept the Themyscira. Command could not allow Ishikawa to commit genocide and start another war with the Dominion."
"That explains our encounter with their AI," Malaya nodded in understanding, though she found it hard to sit completely still. She looked down at her PADD again to refocus.
"The AI?" said Lieutenant Abdül "Kadir" Yu, the Arcadia's acting chief tactical officer, "She helped Ishikawa and Capulet take Captain Lee hostage."
Malaya crossed her legs even tighter, trying very hard to hold it. "The AI also made sure the loss of life was minimal - did not want me or others aboard when the ship exploded. Saved a copy of its programming."
Kadir raised a slight eyebrow. "Huh, is that right?"
K'vagh re-adjusted his position in his seat before speaking, "And what of the K'Vort?"
"Destroyed," Kevan replied. "Self-destructed, actually. Not very Klingon, if you ask me. Then again, a lot of what has been going on has been out-of-character lately."
K'vagh was clearly disturbed by the thought, someone must have been mistaken. "I find that hard to believe. Klingon vessels are not equipped with such devices". K'vagh knew only too well the Klingon way when the battle does not go well; crash your ship at flank speed directly into the enemy's bridge and die with honour.
"Oh believe me, it was a surprise for everyone. Especially when you're standing on her bridge..." Kevan sighed.
Adlerstein spoke up. “What does the Brass say?”
Nola hesitated for a moment and then said, "Our orders are to proceed to Starbase 235. Admiral Hoya has dispatched the El'nar Ascendant and the Jalanda to intercept Ishikawa."
“I say we join up with the task force immediately.” Hans burst out.
Ryley took each piece of new information in silence. She'd helped to see to their guest's medical needs and now she was trying to get her bearings like everyone else. Naturally, they were all concerned about the Captain and what might be happening to him, but Kincaid understood they could not afford to act rashly.
"I shall make sure the major repairs are done soon, if there are any still remaining," Malaya offered, as she was still reading through various repair logs and request forms.
"Woah there, folks . . ." Kevan almost jumped to his feet. "I know a lot of you haven't been keeping up on recent events, but newsflash: you just got your butts handed to you. Why isn't anyone here talking about shutting the Themyscira down?" He looked over at Nola. "We might have had orders to break off pursuit, but the Arcadia is the only ship remotely able to catch them while they're still in Federation space. And we're way more than a match for a Luna-class ship. Whatever the admiralty wants to say - we're tactically in the best position to go after them..." he paused, fixing her with a determined look. "If we're willing to step-up and show them we can."
"I agree with Lieutenant Dash." Said Kadir as he punched in a few commands on the small holographic control interface in front of him. A holographic display of the relative locations of the Arcadia and several other Starfleet vessels as well as projected course of the Themyscira materialized in the middle of the conference table. "There's no way the El'nar Ascendant and the Jalanda can catch the Themyscira before she enters Dominion space. Any other ships that could intercept her are even less well armed."
Jackson spoke up next, looking at Nola specifically. "The XO is correct, Ma'am." He spoke respectfully as he pressed a command on his PADD, activating a three dimensional image if their target starship. "If we can get close enough, I can get three teams of my Marines aboard. Two of them will run interference, while the main team retrieves our stolen people. While there will be casualties, it is far better to do something, rather than running home with our tail between our legs." He glanced at Adlerstein, to see if he would add anything.
The German rubbed his chin ruefully. “I agree with your Marine CO; those are our own on board. We owe it to at least try and get them back. Lord knows I’d want my shipmates to try anyway.”
Nola didn't say a word as she glanced around and her hands kept fidgeting under the table.
Malaya just shook her head in disbelief. Leave it to a marine to fight man-on-man. A thousand variables were wrong with that ill-thought plan, and Malaya unintentionally started listing them off on her hand - As was part of her thought process.
"Active internal sensors, advanced weaponry and anti-boarding systems, advanced propulsion, and lastly... they have hostages," the engineer finished. "Just to implement your plan Mister Jackson, we would need to blind them... You will need engineering technicians adept at jury-rigging, sabotage, and system hacking."
”At the minimum, we can delay them long enough to allow reinforcements to arrive in strength; we can Kavala V them.” Adlerstein quipped, referencing the well known Battle of Kavala V, where a Miranda-class cruiser gave a delaying action against four Jem Hadar destroyers to allow Fifth Fleet time to regroup, leading to a victory in the Battle of Nebula AA23.
Kadir looked to Malaya. "So all we need is have some of your engineers accompany the boarding teams and take care of any countermeasures that they might run into. Besides, if the Themyscira AI is as friendly as you say, Lieutenant, we might not even need to worry about any countermeasures from the ship herself."
Malaya's grin at that moment might have rivaled Doctor Evil's, though that was not her intent. She pulled out her data rod and almost cackled.
"I can do better . . . I can do the same trick their AI did to us. Overwrite it with the copy I took. Make It work for us." Malaya looked to the tactical officer, or rather his chest in reply, "But I am not as versed in weapons programming, so we may need to sabotage weapons systems in person. If you can give me four hours to study and reprogram the AI I took, all your team would need to do is pop the data rod into a terminal . . . I'll remote-control the AI from our bridge at that point."
Kadir nodded and turned to Nola. "That could work."
Kevan also nodded his approval. Taking the AI out of the equation would help their odds dramatically; Ishikawa wouldn't have a full crew behind her and without the AI they'd be kept busy, giving the boarders time to move. "It looks sound enough to me. If the commanding officer agrees . . ." he looked over at Nola.
Nola glanced around the table. It seemed that the senior staff had reached a consensus, not one that she had hoped for, but a consensus nonetheless. It was still her call, but overruling the entire senior staff was not something she would want to do. Besides, there was a small part of her that wanted to go after Ishikawa, too . . . but . . . a sigh.
"Very well," she finally said, "Lieutenant Dash, work with Captain Werner and prepare a boarding plan. Lieutenant Alkan, get the AI ready."
"Aye aye," Kevan responded with emphasis, almost triumphantly. He looked over at Werner. "Feel like suiting up to kick some ass?" he grinned.
Jackson didn't grin. As a seasoned warrior, he saw armed combat as something that should be avoided at all costs. That did not mean that he wouldn't fight, if tgere was no other way, he would use every once of his considerable training and experience, to ensure that he succeeded in whatever he did. Of course, he was definitely aware of the old saying, No combat plan survives first contact with the enemy. He knew, no matter how well prepared he and his Marines were, there would be casualties in the upcoming battle. He wasn't a stranger to notifying next-of-kin, when those under his command didn't return home alive. It was tge one part of his position that he absolutely hated. During his career leading Marines, he had lost twenty-seven. To this day, he remembered, in full detail, the Marine's name, age, family members, plus how, why, where and when they had died. He could still see each of their faces when he closed his eyes. He knew that it was the burden of command, however, he refused tp allow it to cripple him in any way. He would continue to lead Marines until the day he died.
Standing up from the table, the Marine replied solemnly, "My team and I will be ready, Sir. You just get us into deployment pisitiin and then let us loose. We will get the Captain back."
Nola let out a quiet sigh. "Any questions?"
"Just one question . . ." Malaya asked as she stood up and moved like a toddler trying to hold their bladder. "Where is the nearest bathroom again?"
T'Lor raised a curious eyebrow at the question. "I can show you the washroom, Lieutenant Alkan."
Malaya nodded almost Vulcan-like in thanks to T'Lor, but did not relax her muscles. She would wait for the washroom to do that, oh yes.
"Very well, then." said Nola, "Dismissed."
Malaya moved post-haste with T'Lor out the door.
As everyone stood up and began to leave, she called out, "Lieutenants Yu and K'vagh, stay for a moment.
Kadir was visibly puzzled, unsure what Elbrun wanted with him and K'vagh. He looked at the Klingon and sat back down in his seat.
Nola leaned forward from her chair. "The Arcadia is the most powerful ship in the Fleet, but the Themyscira is still twenty-five years more advanced. If we want to maximize our chances against the Themyscira, we will need someone who's familiar with her." She paused briefly before continuing, "Since the Kyushu fought the Themyscira, Lieutenant K'vagh, you have more hands-on experience with her tactical capabilities than anyone on the Arcadia. I'd like you to temporarily take over as the acting chief tactical officer."
Kadir couldn't believe what he had just heard. "What?"
K'vagh glanced at Kadir and then back to the commander, "Whilst I am honoured, I do not believe that I could offer any valuable input. The Kyushu was destroyed if you recall . . . I would consider that a failure if I were in your position. And if you were Klingon you would understand my dishonour in not giving my life in the battle along with nearly five hundred of my comrades!" K'vagh responded humbly.
Nola, of course, was not a Klingon, but she did know what it was like to lose your crewmates.
"There was not much you could have done against the Themsycira, Lieutenant. Her weapons and defensive systems were far more advanced than the Kyushu's. But the Arcadia is a match for her, and if we can stop Captain Ishikawa, your crewmates would not have died in vain, and I think you can help us do just that."
K'vagh pondered for a moment and then it was if a cool breeze washed over him, as-if his concerns were suddenly dissolved. "Commander, the Klingons believe that when a warrior dies without honour, or having never won a battle . . . that their soul cannot be granted entrance into sto'vo'kor."
K'vagh grinned before continuing, "The only way, to restore honour and guarantee a place in the after life for the dead is to win a glorious battle in their name . . . avenge their death if you will . . . I shall do everything I can to ensure the crew of the Kyushu take their place amongst the honoured dead."
Kadir was still incredulous. "Captain, I don't think this . . ."
"I have made my decision, Lieutenant Yu." Nola didn't wait for him to finish. "Bring Lieutenant K'vagh to speed with your department's status report. Dismissed."
With that, she stood up and headed to the exits, followed closely by her security detail.
Lieutenant Commander Nola Elbrun
Acting Commanding Officer
USS Arcadia NCC-89015
(NPC - Roger/Oliver)
Lieutenant Kadir Yu
(former) Acting Chief Tactical Officer
USS Arcadia NCC-89015
(NPC - Roger/Oliver)
Lieutenant Kevan Dash
Chief of Security
USS Arcadia NCC-89015
Lieutenant Alkan Malaya
USS Arcadia NCC-89015
Chief Tactical Officer
USS Arcadia NCC-89015
Lieutenant Commander Johannes Adlerstein
Captain Jackson Werner
Marine Command Officer
USS Arcadia NCC-89015