Once More Unto The Breach...

Posted on 04 Dec 2022 @ 11:42pm by Commander John Reynolds & Captain Harvey Geisler & Lieutenant Commander Joey Geisler & Lieutenant Commander Camila Di Pasquale & Lieutenant Zayna Ryler & Lieutenant T’Mari Rael & Lieutenant JG Kemm
Edited on on 05 Dec 2022 @ 12:08am

Mission: Milk Run
Location: Conference Room
Timeline: Mission Day 1 at 0800

In an atypical move, Captain Harvey Geisler was the first to arrive in the conference room located just off the main bridge. He’d just completed a briefing with Admiral O’Connell, a briefing that left him nearly as agitated as when he’d been informed of the decommissioning. Orders had officially been issued for the Black Hawk, and they were orders he hadn’t expected.

Thankfully, there would be plenty of time to complain about it… during the mission. For now, he sat in his chair and waited for the senior staff to arrive.

Having wondered when there would be a meeting of the senior staff, Zayna still was going through a few PADDs when the message came through. After making her way to the conference room, she was surprised to see the captain there already. “Early this time, sir?”

The Captain merely shrugged. “First time for everything, I suppose.”

John wasn’t too far behind - maybe the space of the bridge - but he entered the room behind someone else. The new exec quietly found the chair next to the Captain and took a seat. He wanted to wait and see what, or how, everyone else decided to come in. Would they talk? Would they simply sit down? He just wanted to gauge them a little.

Camila came in seconds after the Executive Officer and wondered if he had talked to the Captain yet about meeting her and how that had gone. Oh, to be a drone fly on the wall during that meeting. She gave a nod to Harvey and Zayna, wondering who else she would recognize other than Joey. With a mental shrug, she headed to take a seat at the end of the table opposite the Captain.

T'Mari entered the room offering an apologetic smile, she wasn't usually tardy when called for a briefing. "Hello everyone" She took a seat and made herself comfortable.

Joey made her way into the conference room and moved toward an empty seat to settle into. She took a quick look around. Some faces were familiar, but others weren’t so much. It wasn’t very surprising given how much of the crew hadn’t returned. What did surprise her, though, was that Harvey had managed to arrive before she did. He was usually the last one in, and now, she had a feeling this would be interesting.

Not far behind the Intelligence chief was Lieutenant Kemm, the ship’s sole Kelpian. Kemm had been an engineer aboard the Black Hawk since the Convergence Zone, and wound up being the senior engineer on Alpha shift. Neither Reynolds or Geisler were comfortable appointing him as the Chief Engineer, and rather decided to let the senior officer take the lead per shift. Kemm would interface with the other duty engineers to keep them abreast of activities. He took a seat next to the newly appointed Science chief since he thought of her as a familiar and friendly face.

Arriving beside Kemm was Warrant Officer Matza, a Betazoid nurse practitioner with a pixie hair cut that had been recently assigned to the Black Hawk. In a rare move, the Black Hawk wouldn’t be leaving dock without a Chief Medical Officer, and the Betazoid Matza would be taking temporary charge of sickbay just to make sure it remained in order. She took a seat next to T’Mari.

T'Mari nodded and smiled at the Betazoid woman as she sat down. Betazoids always sensed one another in a room.

Lieutenant Michael Kenmore, Deputy Squadron Commander, entered the room and noticed that he was close to the last to arrive. If not the last. Despite his time in service, this was only his second assignment and he was fresh meat to the ones that’d been here a while. He found an empty seat on the opposite side of the table and sat down. Still going off what he was familiar with regarding senior staff meetings on the Starbase, he kept his mouth closed, his ears opened, and his mind in gear.

The doors opened again and Teddy walked into the meeting room. “Commander Marsh. Operations,” he offered as he quickly took his seat. He hadn’t met most of the people sitting around the table.

“Welcome, everyone, to the new Black Hawk,” Harvey said, remaining in his chair as he began the ship’s first staff meeting. “I know there are several unfamiliar faces at the table. You’ll forgive me if I skip the introductions for now, but it’s important to note three faces. The first is Lieutenant Kemm. Kemm is our senior systems engineer, and he will be taking point during Alpha and Delta shifts. Lieutenant Lopca will take point during Beta and Gamma. Any engineering questions will be directed to them.”

Moving to the face next to T’Mari, Harvey continued, “Warrant Officer Matza will be our supervisor in sickbay until we receive our Chief Medical Officer. Should anything need scheduled, please do so through her. Otherwise, she’ll make sure at least one doctor and nurse are on duty each shift.”

Both Kemm and Matza nodded to the senior officers in the room.

John returned the nod to the two supervisors but kept his countenance otherwise neutral.

Zayna looked towards Kemm and Matza. She knew Kemm from before, but still gave him a smile, then also gave a smile to Matza as well.

“And finally,” Harvey said, looking to the fighter pilot that had sat down near the security chief, “Lieutenant Kenmore has been assigned as the Deputy Squadron Commander, and will be the Acting S-O until the real one arrives. The squadron has mostly operated on its own in conjunction with the ship’s efforts, so aside from Kenmore working closely with Renyolds and myself, the squadron shouldn’t impact regular operations and your departments in any way.”

The Captain continued, “Other than that, I trust by now, the remainder of the senior staff has had a chance to meet each other, including the new XO, Commander Reynolds. If not, you’ll have to do that after this meeting.”

Harvey leaned forward in his chair and interlocked his fingers before setting both hands on the table. “Who here is familiar with the Gavara system?”

Camila gave a nod. She was well familiar with that system and having a firefight with Bast in the process when he was trying to beam everything into space. A part of her missed the Trill that she had briefly dated, but the rest of him had been spoiled. “I take it we’re going to be investigating the piracy more, Captain?’” she asked.

“Heard of it, Captain, but nothing more,” Ryler stated, sitting back a bit to listen.

“I’ve heard of it,” said John. “And have read a little about it here and there. Seen it on star charts.”

A new arrival to the Gamma Quadrant, Marsh was in the dark about the system in question.

“Piracy is all part of our standing orders,” Harvey replied. “But, unfortunately, that’s not a direct part of our new mission. For those that don’t know, Gavara is on the outer edge of Federation-monitored territory. Its sole M-class planet, Gavara IV, boasts a small colony that has been a target for both the Dominion, and the Consortium. Starfleet has been trying to rebuild and fortify the colony since the crisis two years ago, and recently, all supply runs have been hijacked.” Harvey sighed, recalling how familiar this story was sounding. He fought the urge to lower his head and break his view of the senior staff.

“We’re reduced to doing escorts now?” The Security Chief asked. “For how long, Captain?”

“Federation-monitored, but not necessarily Federation-enforced?” he said. Though it came out as more of a question. “A show of force isn’t a bad thing. But it sometimes doesn’t work as a deterrent either.”

“The trouble is, as I believe most of us know,” Harvey reluctantly continued, “is that Starfleet is stretched thin in the Gamma Quadrant. And while there are a couple Californias and Parliaments out here, Gamma Command isn’t willing to spare one to monitor this run. Admiral O’Connel seems to think that someone with teeth needs to babysit the convoy to Gavara, and then to Starbase Unity. And it seems that yes, we’re on escort duty.”

Zayna let out a soft sigh and shrugged, “I guess I can get some great scans of the area of nothing else, especially if it does turn just into escort duty and not much else.”

“Someone with teeth, but they give us dentures,” Camila muttered low under her breath, but the Captain was right. “Do we have permission to bite, Captain?”

Joey found her gaze shifting to Camila. Gavara was before her time on the ship, but this wouldn’t be interesting like she’d originally thought. In fact, they would be babysitting. Given past missions, though, this would be a change of pace for them. Also considering past missions, there was a chance they might need to bite as her former department head had asked.

“We have permission to protect our own,” Harvey simply explained. “I’ve also been told to remain at Gavara until we’re relieved by the Saratoga. Saratoga’s not part of our task group, and its current assignment is unknown. So, we may be at Gavara for a while.”

Marsh leaned forward in his chair. “Depending on what ‘awhile’ means, we might have to tread lightly with our supplies.” He slid a PADD down the table to the captain. “We’ve got plenty of raw material for the replicators. But we’ve got some shortages on non-replicatables.” He looked towards the Betazoid Warrant Officer. “Including a fair amount of medical supplies.”

Harvey picked up the padd and gave it a glance, only to have his already great frustrations grow. “Wonderful,” he muttered. Under normal circumstances, he wouldn’t be so cavalier in front of his senior staff, but he just didn’t care at the moment. “Not to jump ahead to the next point, but our convoy is coming straight from Deep Space Nine. It should be arriving in the Idran system in five hours, which means we’ll have to get underway within the next hour or two in order to catch up with them the moment they exit the wormhole.”

Pirates they could handle. Supply shortages could fall on the rough side of depends. But the other, they’d be pushing it. “If there's still things to get done, getting underway in an hour or two with the crew we have is going to mean all hands on deck,” said John. He looked at Lieutenants Kemm and Lopka. "Make sure we're ready to leave before we need to leave. And that we can maintain the escort." He glanced to the Security Chief. "I have no doubt that weapons and shields will be high on the priority list for Security to maintain too, gentlemen."

Camila looked at Reynolds as she listened to the first casualty reports. "It begins." she said in a quiet tone.

T’Mari was quietly listening to what was being said, making occasional notes on the PADD she had with her when she felt it needed noting.

"Science will be as ready as we can be," Ryler stated finally, eyes down on her PADD rather than on the others as she realized she had a lot of work and very little time to finish it.

Harvey looked around the room a final time. Seeing that there were no further questions or comments, he stood up. "We'll depart in 90 minutes. Please be at your stations in 80. X-O, please work with our Chief-less departments to make sure they're ready. Dismissed." Without waiting for anything else, Harvey was the first to leave the conference room.

Joey rose to her feet once the Captain dismissed them. She'd kept quiet during the briefing as there wasn't much that needed to be said, but she did make some mental preparations for her department. There were things they would need to keep an eye out for, and that meant meeting with her team as soon as possible.

Camila watched the new faces and the faces that weren't there file out of the conference room. They weren't prepared. She would have to work extra hard, she saw, but that was her job. To prepare for the things they weren't. They were explorers. She was a fighter and she would fight for them. She had done it when she was young and she would do it now. For the ship and for the crew and for those that could no longer fight. The ombre haired Security Chief squared her shoulders and headed out for her office to prepare for everything she could.

John got up and headed out after the Security Chief. This had to be the first time he'd seen a CO leave a briefing before anyone else. Such was life out here on the frontier, apparently. Personally, he could get used to that. He had sixty minutes to make sure said departments were ready for departure. The rest of the time he'd allotted for getting back up to the Bridge and settled-in at his station.

Pushing back from the table after hearing they were dismissed, Zayna followed suit. This mission could go so many different ways, and she wasn't sure how here team were going to handle being thrown into things. But, she had faith in them. Making sure she hadn't left an extra PADD laying on the table, she too headed out.

T’Mari stood and followed the others departing the briefing, it sounded like they’d all have their work cut out for them.