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A Lead At Last

Posted on 22 May 2019 @ 7:45pm by Captain Harvey Geisler & Commander Thiago Teixeira & Lieutenant Commander Terry Walsh & Lieutenant Commander Jayla Kij & Lieutenant Commander Arjin Djinx & Lieutenant Joey Geisler & Lieutenant Camila Di Pasquale & Ensign Joe Owens & Lieutenant Danyl Adan

Mission: Truth and Justice
Location: Conference Room
Timeline: MD 1 || 0900 hours (March 14, 2389)

Camila had taken the intervening time to square away her department, made certain that the alien guests were restricted to nearly all and any areas of the shp, and had argued that they should be put in the brig but had no proof that they had done anything wrong. Still, she had personnel watching them in shifts around the clock and gave full, detailed reports daily on their activities and words, as well as sent conversations to Intelligence for analysis to determine if there was a code to break.

Now she found herself entering the Conference Room for a debriefing and wondered what more she could contribute, but was determined to push for more protocols. She took a seat with her back to a wall and waited for others to arrive while she mentally prepared herself.

After taking what felt like a dozen breaks to catch her breath, Joey finally made it to the Conference Room. At thirty-two weeks, she was nearing the end of her pregnancy, but it seemed like the smallest tasks were becoming increasingly difficult... like walking. Now, the Intelligence Chief was grateful for the opportunity to sit down, which was exactly what she did, placing the PADD she carried in her hand on the table in front of her. Her attention went to Camila. "Lieutenant," she greeted.

Camila gave Joey a warm smile and nod in return.

It seemed to just about everyone else that the usually cheerful Dr. Kij was even more cheerful this morning. Whether that was due to the away team- and of course Alex- returning or something else was up for debate. But, as she entered the Conference room with a mug of coffee in hand, she smiled entirely too cheerfully at the other two women. "Good morning!" she said happily.

Terry walked in with his favorite coffee cup in his hand. Well, one of several like it. He'd gone though quite a few over the years. It was a little beat up, sure. But it still did the job. Just like him. He took a seat at the table, opposite the door, and set the cup and PADD down. "Mornin' everyone." That was a lot simpler than trying to say good morning to each individual and use their rank. And right now, Terry was all for simple.

Arjin walked inside the conference room, holding a standard Starfleet academy mug in his hand.
It was filled with an aromatic tea brew called “Earl Grey”. His expression was neutral when he nodded his “Good morning”, to all present and took an empty chair.

Joe wasn't sure how he felt about this, normal the Chief would be at the senior staff meeting but the boss must have been unable to attend. He quietly made his way inside a padd in hand, not bothering to get anything to drink as he sat down in an empty chair. He was not in his normal environment.

Danyl Adan entered the conference room with a little time to spare. He held a mug of coffee clutched in one hand and a datapadd in the other. Sitting in one of the empty spaces, he greeted everyone in the room.

The doors slid open and Thiago entered the room, a bit surprised that he was the last to arrive. Well, he thought, other than Harvey.

"Good morning," he said the assembled staff as he approached the replicator. "Maracujá tea. Lightly sweet." A large mug materialized, steam rising from the liquid. A tropical aroma entered his nose as he lifted the cup to his lips and took a sip. Perfect, he thought. He took his customary seat to the right of where the Captain normally sat.

As customary, Captain Geisler was the last to enter the conference room, carrying a cup of freshly brewed Wilkin's coffee and a padd containing notes for the meeting. "Good morning, let's get started," he said as he sat down, not acknowledging a soul in the room. "Mister Owens, let's start with the new girl herself. How's the Black Hawk holding up?"

Joe took a moment and reread his own padd, "Well with the 'gunk' as Griffin put it cleaned away the hull is not at risk anymore. As for the engines themselves, they are running smooth."

Satisfied as he could be with that report, Harvey turned his attention to the rest of the senior staff. "I've reviewed the Away Team's reports from the Kalisa Archive. Based on those, and what information we've been able to parse so far, we've set course for Penduli V. Until this meeting, information about it has only been available to a few of us. Those who were at Kalisa, bring the team up to speed."

Camila gathered her thoughts as she thought back to the report that Parks had given. "There's a new planet called Penduli V about five light-years away. It had a similar defensive system to Kalisa, though the position is further fortified. It has ape like creatures, vast jungles, technology on par, or in some cases greater than what Starfleet possesses and it comes with a warning her that the area was not to be entered. The Triosin said there's a rumor which tells of an duonetic field around the planet so great that electrical technology will not function."

Joey rose to her feet while Camila spoke and made her way over to the replicator. She was hungry. Again. Something that seemed never ending, and might land her in hot water eventually, but the Intelligence Chief wasn't about to deny her children anything. What they wanted, they got, and this time that came in the form of a rather large plate of loaded nachos with extra jalapenos and a chocolate milkshake. As quiet as she'd gotten to her feet, the mother-to-be returned to her seat with her food in hand, acting as if nothing happened.

Harvey glanced up at Joey while she attempted to satisfy her cravings, then quickly returned his attention to his Chief of Security. The information she presented was certainly surprising, but then again, what didn't surprise him about the Zone anymore. "Sounds like a prison of sorts."

"Of sorts," commented Terry as he mulled over what had just been said. "Cages are usually meant to keep things in. But what if this one was meant to keep things out? If the rumor is true about the duonetic field, there wouldn't be a need to create and build technologically based things on the planet's surface. They just wouldn't work so what's the use? Sounds to me like someone is trying to keep technologically advanced beings from entering."

"And if that's the case, Mister Walsh," Harvey supposed, "then why is the rest of the population of this Zone still stuck at our twenty-third century level? Unless this is all a prison and this planet is Maximum Security."

Terry leaned back and breathed in deeply. "Now that's disturbing," he said. "Their own version of a Rura Penthe...in an entire section of space."

"If so. Would that not also confine the jailors to Penduli V? Or is it a relic of a dead but advanced race that is being kept in working order by the machines they built ?.", Arjin questioned.

"With the way the current planet is defended and the one we're heading for even better defended, what I want to know is why," Camla said. "The two aliens haven't revealed much and I don't trust them."

Joey turned her attention toward Camila, then looked back toward their Captain. Perhaps, it was time for a little bad cop, worse cop? It worked out well for them once before, but the man with the four pips at his collar would have the ultimate say in that particular matter. "It seems all we have is more questions with little to no answers for them, and we have two individuals on board who might just have those answers," she said, leaning back in her chair. "Maybe, Lieutenant Di Pasquale and I should question them. It worked in our favor regarding Razmena, and could very well work in our favor again."

With that particular matter now in Harvey's hands, Joey continued. "As for other matters, we were able to breach the defenses of Kalisa, and with the codes and information were gather from their database, I don't think there will be an issue getting beyond Penduli V's defenses, either," the Intelligence Chief stated. "However, I'd still like to run an analysis once we get there just so we have a few possible backup plans."

"Any information at this point would be helpful," the Captain confirmed. "I have a feeling that whatever we sent ourselves in here to find is on that planet. The Zone itself seems to be incapable of generating something... anything... that will upset the balance of life as we know it." And, while it seemed logical, this whole affair seemed to be anything but logical. If something was contained on that planet, how could it get off?

"Finding out the why is one thing, but back to the defensive systems for a minute," said Terry. "Whatever the runabout had that helped them get out of Kalisa, I'd like to have done to the Gryphons. I want our pilots to be able to move about freely if we're needed for escort or support operations. Or combat for that matter. Hell, if we're immune to the defenses, then we can take up position inside the fields and draw in an enemy. Sitting ducks."

"Is that something that can be done?" asked Harvey to no one in particular. "Our pilots could also scout out different areas, especially if we wind up being the only starship in orbit of the planet. Our sensors likely won't get everything on a first pass."

Terry nodded, "Scouting could also work, too. But getting upgraded is out of my league."

"I'll let Ensign Owens speak to the possibility of outfitting the Gryphons, but I admit to some reservations about doing so," Thiago said. "Primarily what happens if some else gets a hold of the technology? It was locked away for a reason. We've already upset the balance in the region, and will continue to. Are you comfortable, Captain, with running the risk of creating an even bigger imbalance?"

As much as he valued his XO's opinions, especially when they reminded him of their obligation as Starfleet officers and the many general orders they'd sworn to uphold every day when wearing this uniform, all Harvey could do was frown. "We really don't know what to expect in this area. All we know is that somewhere in this region is a terrible threat to the Federation. I have a feeling we're going to need our fighters, but I do see your point. Evaluating the situation with all of the facts is the priority. Maybe this is all some sort of wild goose chase." And a costly one at that, with thirty-eight lives lost thus far.

Adan spoke up, "I could get together withEnsign Owens and see about fitting those flyers with better maneuverability."

"Maneuverability might help a little," said Terry. "But I flew the test run on those things and saw them in action firsthand. It'd be like spitting in the ocean on Pacifica. We need the ease of access, but we don't have to leave the technology on the fighters. Put it on, do the job, take it off and destroy it, and go home. I've never experienced any sort of situation in my service to Starfleet that would necessitate leaving it installed anyway. It all seems relegated to this region of space."

Camila had been thinking for a moment before she spoke up again. "Sir, I suggest we have Lieutenant Roshe scan the aliens from another room while Lieutenant Geisler and I question them again."

"I'm sure that could be arranged, as long as Doctor Kij clears him to do so," the Captain confirmed. "But there's something here we haven't really discussed. Either no one knows of this planet, or its own impenetrability has made it a non-topic in this region. It's highly unlikely that our guests know any more about the planet than we do."

Joey hadn't liked a lot of what their time in the Zone had brought them, but she liked this bit a lot less for a few different reasons. "Or maybe they do know about the planet, but there's something about it that keeps them from talking. What, or why, remains to be seen. Which means, we're likely going to have to find out on our own."

"Doctor?" Harvey asked the Trill woman who was sitting there with him in the room. "What are your thoughts? Can you release Mister Roshe for Lieutenants Di Pasquale's and Geisler's interview? Also, have you detected any abnormalities among our guests?"

"Absolutely," agreed Jayla. "To Roshe assisting in the interview, I mean. As for the guests, they seem normal. I don't entirely trust them, but I didn't find anything to suggest anything nefarious, anyway." She shrugged. "I'd recommend keeping an eye on them all the same."

The Captain nodded, acknowledging the Doctor's statement. "All right then, it sounds like we need more information before we can fully continue. Di Pasquale, Joey, conduct your interview with Roshe's monitoring. Mister Walsh, I'd like for you to collect a focus group. Take what we learned from Kalisa and see what we can apply to Penduli. I could also use your Marine mind on taking a look at what we know about the planet and determine the best possible place to land should it be necessary. Owens, Adan, I want a full examination of the equipment we retrieved from Kalisa. Not only do we need to install it aboard this ship, I would like to see about replicating it for use on a runabout. The duonetic will make transporting difficult, so if we do visit Penduli V, a landing party will be necessary. Doctor, let's perform a thorough physical on our guests once more. Let's be sure they're not hiding anything. Djinx, Teixeira, help out where you can. Did I miss anyone? Questions?"

"Permission to leave so that I might prepare for our interview, Captain?" Joey asked. In reality, it was her nice way of stating she needed to use the ladies room without actually coming out and saying so. Now, she just hoped he'd give her to the go ahead.

Harvey shook his head. The meeting was almost over, and he wanted to be sure his Intelligence Chief didn't miss anything should it come up.

"On a side note, Captain, I'd like you to consider remote controlled drones equipped with expanding foam ammunition in the event of boarders." She handed him a PADD with a quadcopter hover drone designed to fire a machine gun like steam of small balls that stuck to targets and rapidly expanded.

Harvey accepted the padd and placed it on top of his own. "I'll take a look after the meeting," he said, giving her an acknowledging nod.

Terry nodded. "No problem, Captain. Focus group and a Marine tactical assessment, piece of cake." He started thinking about who he would need to put together for the group. The landing deal would take a little more thought as he hadn't been in a full-on Marine mode and mindset in a few years.

Joey shifted in her seat, keeping quiet while the others around her spoke. She could wait a little longer, but how much longer remained to be seen. Of course, if it were too late, then she and everyone else inside the conference room would know it soon enough.

Harvey looked around the room once more. Seeing that no one had anything to add, he nodded to the assembled team. "Let's get to it. Mister Owens, I need you to stay with me for a few moments. Everyone else, dismissed."

With a nod to the Captain, Camila got up and exited the conference room to drill her personnel some more.

 

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