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Flying Blind

Posted on Mon Jun 11th, 2018 @ 12:30am by Captain Batai Dhej & Lieutenant Commander Elsie Barnett & Lieutenant JG Byron Coleman & Lieutenant JG Doctor Bheria Vanth D.V.M., OB/Gyn & Ensign Cassidy Westphall M.D., Ph.D. & Ensign Gregory Ellis

Mission: Balance
Location: Dhej's Quarters/Sirona Conference Room
Timeline: Current

=/\=Dhej’s Quarters=/\=

Batai groaned as he heard the voice of the officer on the bridge interrupt his sleep. “Bridge to Captain Dhej. I’m sorry to wake you sir, but there is a priority one message from an Admiral Lewison for you.” With a gravelly voice he replied, “Put it through to my quarters Lieutenant. Dhej out.”

Swinging his feet out of bed, he grabbed a nearby robe to cover himself, and moved to his desk. Entering his access codes, the Federation seal was replaced with the wrinkled face of Admiral Victoria Lewison. Not one to stand on ceremony the admiral said, “I’m sorry to wake you Captain Dhej, but I have new orders for you. I trust your vessel is ready to deploy?”

Nodding sleepily, he replied, “Yes Admiral, we should be ready within the hour.” Shaking her head Lewison replied, “Before I tell you what you are getting into Captain, I want to tell you we don’t have a lot more information than what I’m sending you.” Sighing, she tapped a control, and a file appeared in the lower part of his screen. Continuing, Lewision said, “Those are your official orders, and the only information we have about what you’re getting into.”

Before Batai could ask a question, she added, “Basically the mission you are going into is a delicate one. A nonaligned world, home to the fully avian species the Tohree, sent out a cryptic distress call one of our passing vessels picked up. It was vague on details, but outlined they had experienced a planetary disaster, and were requiring assistance. However, they were extremely clear that only one vessel was to come, and that we had to respect their request for privacy.” Pausing, she added “Beyond that, we don’t know much. Starfleet has agreed to send the Sirona as you are the nearest ship capable of assisting them. I wish I could give you more information, but you will need to figure it out on your feet.”

Nodding, Batai replied, “I understand Admiral. I assume I have full discretion on how the mission is conducted?” Lewison nodded slightly and said “Within reason yes. I would like you to keep whatever you find on their planet private until the situation is resolved, in deference to their request. Good luck Captain. Lewison out.”

Knowing he wasn’t going to get any more sleep, Batai tapped a control on his desk and said, “Dhej to senior staff, Westphall and Ellis. Please report to the conference room immediately. Dhej out.”

=/\=Conference Room=/\=

Vanth had been on the tail-end of a 12-hour nightshift in sickbay when the call came in. It had been a light shift and this time of night in sickbay had always been more casual, so s/he only had on hir lab-coat and uniform bottoms. Passing through the bridge before arriving in the conference room s/he noticed it was still on night watch and the conference room was vacant. S/he wasn’t used to being the first to arrive to these meetings. S/he crossed over to the replicator and replicated a note-PADD and a peanut-butter milkshake with extra B12, extra peanut butter, and swirled with red, yellow, and orange candy-coated peanut butter pieces and NO chocolate. Sitting near the head of the table to the left of where the captain would sit Vanth brought out the note-PADD and brought up a graphic novel to read until the others arrived.

Elsie walked into the conference room. She was the second person to arrive. One minute she was sleeping and the next she was woken up by the captain. When she heard the call from the captain, she took a quick shower and headed to the conference room, she did not want to keep him waiting. She walked over to the replicator. It was way too early for tea, she ordered a cup of coffee, and took a seat.

Typically, she would be in a good mood, but she was feeling a little fatigued from sleep deprivation. She waited for the others to arrive. She was trying to shake her grumpiness, before the senior staff arrived.

Vanth had been so quiet and s/he guessed the XO had still been half asleep, that s/he didn’t mind keeping quiet until more of the staff arrived.

After her time shopping, Cassidy had decided to turn in early, particularly given she was still trying to process everything that happened so far. She had sorted out her emotions and her thoughts but was still emotionally drained. Given the hour she had been called to the conference room, Cassidy was grateful she had gotten the extra rest. Entering the room, she smiled at Elsie as Cassidy took her place. “Hello again,” she greeted politely.

Batai slowly walked into the conference room, a large mug of raktajino in his hand. He wore his uniform jacket over a casual shirt and pants. He knew it was technically against regulations, but he was too tired to worry about them at the moment. Nodding to Barnett and Westphall, he took a seat at the head of the table and sipped his drink. Smirking slightly, he said “Hello to you both. Forgive my casual appearance, but being woken up by a grumpy admiral in the middle of night should allow me a bit of flexibility shouldn’t it?”

The Caninoid “dog-tor” didn’t mind not being greeted. S/he figured hir boss didn’t want to bother hir since s/he was buried in a digital graphic novel. Or perhaps with as quiet as s/he was being and as tired as everyone else seemed, s/he blended in too well.

Elsie watched the others as they walked in and remained quiet. She was still trying to wake up. She tried not to be grumpy, she sat in her seat sipping on her cup of coffee. She could smell that he had ordered a raktajino. It smelled very good. “Of course, Captain, I wonder if Admirals ever sleep?” She joke-fully and half heartily asked.

Cadet Gregory entered and took his usual seat at the far end of the table away from where the CO sits. He nodded to the crew around him.

“Hello, Cadet Gregory,” Cassidy greeted politely, taking note of where he sat, wondering if it was just a matter of personal preference or something more. To the Captain, she offered, “Something tells me Admirals are up even earlier than we are. I think it comes with the pips,” she added with a grin.

Byron wondered what buffoon Admiral thought it would be a good idea to wake up the entire senior staff at this ungodly hour? He strolled into the conference room with a cup of coffee already in hand, he had been sipping on it since he left his quarters. He quietly took a seat and waited for the meeting to start.

Taking a sip of his coffee, he sat the mug beside him for a moment and said “Like I said everyone, I apologize for waking you up in the middle of the night and cutting our downtime short. Admiral Lewison informed me a few moments ago about our new mission. Perhaps informed is too strong of a word. She gave us a vague outline of what we’re getting into and essentially told us to figure it out.”

Hearing the conference getting started, the Chief Medical Officer marked hir spot in hir book, and switched to the writing program, pulling out the stylus; s/he then took a long draft of hir milkshake.

Sighing, Dhej grabbed his coffee and stood, pacing behind his chair. Taking a sip to calm himself, he added “Basically we have been given the task of helping the Tohree, who Starfleet knows almost nothing about. A distress call, audio only, came from their homeworld, requesting help after a planetary disaster. It contained a very brief description of the inhabitants, identifying them as a fully avian species.” Shaking his head, he continued “Beyond that, we’ve been told by the Admiral that we are basically to figure out what the distress call is about and offer what help we can. The Tohree have specifically asked for only one ship, and for us to keep what we find on their planet confidential until they decide otherwise. They’ve made it very clear their privacy and isolationist beliefs be respected.” Looking to the group he added “Any initial thoughts or questions?”

Elsie was a little a concerned about the isolationist part of his address to the senior staff. She had had some minor dealings in the past with other alien worlds that had an isolationist belief. Trying to offer any assistance that went against their cultural beliefs was always difficult to achieve. It was not impossible, but difficult. “Have they given us a list yet, in my past dealings with isolationist colonies, there is typically a list of things not to ask or say, and list of areas we are not allowed to enter.” She asked, she wanted to get started on her homework as soon as possible. Her homework being studying the Tohree.

Looking to Barnett, Batai replied "Not a list per se Lieutenant. They have made it abundantly clear though, going as far as to quote parts of the Federation Charter, that we are to be respectful of their demands for privacy. They specifically quoted, chapter and verse, the regulations about non-interference in the affairs of non-aligned worlds." Sighing, and taking another sip of his coffee, he added "To be blunt, it is rather frustrating not knowing what we are getting into."

"I feel the same way, we will be walking on eggshells trying not to make a sound. To keep the natives from being unhappy." She suggested. Basically she was saying it was impossible with those generic orders, not to have some minor discrepancies. But it also cleared the Tohree of having to honor any agreement stipulated in a written contract, the list she was referring to earlier.

Bheria cocked hir head as s/he listened patiently and intently, but soon s/he had hir own question. “Do we have any images of these Avians, maybe a biological profile?”

Elsie really liked the question, the doctor had asked. She was not sure an isolationist group would want their picture taken. A lot of groups were very cloak in dagger type, when it came to photography or the outside interference with alien cultures. But she was curious to know if Starfleet had a picture of this race called the Tohree.

So far, important questions had been asked and Cassidy decided it would be best to hear the answers before posing questions of her own. Besides, she was focused on absorbing what she had already heard. As a therapist, she wasn't typically the skeptic or the cynic in a discussion, but nevertheless, she found herself concerned not only with the specifics of the potential disaster, but in particular, the request the details not be shared with anyone until a decision was made up by the inhabitants themselves. Were they asking the impossible? As a crew primarily comprised of healers and first responders, what if whatever they were dealing with posed a danger to people who weren't even aware of what was going on? With their ethics allow them to keep quiet simply because they had been asked to by people in power?

Looking to Vanth, Batai replied "They have not submitted any biological information about their species, again, noting their privacy regulations. All we know is that they are fully avian, and can extrapolate that treatment of any injured beings would likely be similar to tending to a large Terran avian. Though, to be honest, our supposition could be way off the mark."

Looking to the rest of the group, he added "Before we continue, I do want to let everyone know that likely I will be asking everyone to potentially help out with tasks that aren't exactly their specialty. What I mean, is that we may need to ask everyone who has any medical training to assist with triage, and first aid of the wounded." Pausing, he finished off his coffee and added "Also, you all notice that Lieutenant Dane is not with us. She received orders to be reassigned as soon as we reached the starbase. I will be counting on you all to help in some fashion with the diplomatic ... balancing act we see ourselves in."

"Most of the crew should have basic medic training. However, I believe Doctor Vanth and Doctor Phaedra are our only certified medical staff and both should lead the teams, in the triage centers." Said Elsie, wondering if they should start cross training to become medical emergency medical staff, or talk to the captain about getting a rapid response team assigned to the USS Sirona.

Doctor Vanth cocked hir head at the XO's comment. S/he was confused. S/he would have to get back to her comment later. "Well I suppose this is where my veterinary training may come in paw. Do we know any information on the nature of what we'll be dealing with here? Natural disaster? Biological disaster? Plague?"

Consulting his PADD, Batai replied "Yes Doctor, we know it is some sort of natural disaster. Again, they are sparse on details, but their distress call indicated what they refer to as ground shakes and skyfalls, and a great disturbance to the "Nest". I think it would be safe to assume the planet went through some severe natural disaster, and prepare for the worst."

Vanth nodded, "There may be some trapped civilians then. I'll tell my teams to be ready for dangerous search and rescue conditions and equip them with extra gear accordingly." S/he looked at Security Chief Caerleon, "I may need to draft some security personnel in to help."

"(I wish we had more than one S&R Canid.)" Vanth added, more to hirself than anyone.

Turning to the rest of the group, he said "With that being said, we need to be prepared for anything we could encounter." Looking to Caerleron, he said "Lieutenant Caerleon, I'd like you to prepare your teams for possible crowd control procedures. We're likely to be going to have a lot of scared and angry beings, and we will need to be prepared for whatever might happen when we arrive. I'm hopeful that we won't need your team to step in, but I can't promise that. "

Looking to Cadet Ellis, he said "Cadet Ellis, I am going to ask you to take on the lead in OPS for the duration of this mission. You will be overseeing the distribution of supplies and resources for the teams. Also, when we are within sensor range, please try to get as detailed readings as you can of what has happened to the planet."

Ellis nodded. It seemed like a lot on his plate, but in recent months the cadet has learned to rely on his wits and a lot of coffee. "Aye sir," he replied.

Turning to Coleman, he said "Lieutenant Coleman, I am going to likely need you to help with not only your normal piloting duties of our support craft, but also some traffic control. We don't know if our transporter technology will be allowed by the Tohree, so I would like to confirm all officers with flight experience are briefed on the mission."

"Not a problem, Captain. Happy to fly the crew back and forth." Said Byron, wanting to get a little away time from the bridge. He felt that he was spending too much time on the bridge, being around Elsie. He needed a little breather. He knew he would probably be taking her to the planet, but a change of pace, could still be a good thing.

Finally, he looked to Ensign Westphall, and said "Ensign Westphall, I will be asking you to help with both the medical needs of the wounded, as required by Doctors Vanth and Phaedra, but also I'd like you to help us understand if there are any emotional or psychological needs we may be missing. We don't know almost anything about these people, so we don't know how they are responding to this crisis. Any insight you could provide us would be useful."

Cassidy nodded. She had anticipated as much regarding her duties and wouldn't have it any other way. If she could help, in whatever capacity, that's what she wanted to do. "Of course, sir."

Elsie wondered if she would be leading the away team, or would he? This was not really the place or time to ask, she just listened to the assignments being given. "You have your assignments, I expect your best behavior. You are bound to run across a few Tohree that will not be apart of any delegation or welcoming party. Just remember Starfleet has a few crash courses in diplomacy , especially on how to interact with societies that focus on isolation."

Amiri made a mental note to brush up on that information. S/he hoped there wouldn't be a ban on shuttle landings, otherwise s/he wasn't sure how s/he'd get to the surface.

Satisfied that everyone had their orders, he said "Ok everyone, we have a lot of work to do. Mr. Coleman, take the bridge and set course for the Tohree Homeworld, warp 8 as soon as everyone is back aboard from the station. Everyone else, you are dismissed." Reach up to his combadge he said "Dhej to all hands, effective immediately, shore leave has ended. We have a new mission and need everyone at their posts immediately. Dhej out."

Watching as the crew left, he called out. "Barnett, you're with me." Leading her out of the room, he crossed to the ready room, and waited for her to join him.


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