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Divide and Conquer

Posted on 25 Oct 2016 @ 3:07am by Captain Harvey Geisler & Lieutenant Commander Terry Walsh & Lieutenant Commander Jayla Kij & Lieutenant Jonathan Kilmartin & Lieutenant Camila Di Pasquale & Lieutenant Joey Geisler & Lieutenant Elizabeth Marion & Lieutenant JG Felix Langston & Lieutenant JG Catherine Cooper

Mission: Click Three Times
Location: Various
Timeline: MD 10 || 1400 hours

Harvey didn't need the computer's reminder to notify him that the Black Hawk was nearing the nebula where she'd put in for computer repair. In fact, he'd been watching the clock, counting down the seconds, for the last two hours.

Already he was dressed in his civilian garb with the unloaded Bertha tucked away in the holster. He'd spent all morning practicing with the weapon and walking around the ship, getting used to the non-regulation garments. To say they were uncomfortable was an understatement, and he hoped he'd no longer notice them once they arrived at Razmena. He was also a bit uneasy about making the decision to leave all of the fighter pilots behind with the ship, but it had to be done. After all, the Black Hawk would be unprotected while the computer was down. He needed every able pilot to look after the ship in his absence. Harvey even considered himself expendable in this regard. The needs of the many...

At the computer's reminder, he rose from his seat on the bridge and nodded at Lieutenant Di Pasquale. In that moment, he felt a knot in his stomach as he realized for the first time the gravity of this moment. For the first time since he took command ten months ago that he was relinquishing command of the ship in a moment of crisis. It was an uneasy feeling, one he thought might not pass until he was safely back aboard. "The ship is yours," he told her, "Miss Di Pasquale."

"Aye, Captain," Camila said as she acknowledged that the Black Hawk was now under her command. She thought back to the two short months before when she had came aboard as nothing more than an Assistant Chief of Security and now she was taking command of an entire starship. She didn't get up to change position as it wasn't required, but she took note of the new flood of information that came in her terminal as command was transferred to her. "Good luck, Captain."

"Miss Di Pasquale," Harvey said, stepping close to her and lowering her voice. "If, for some reason, we don't make it... Get this crew home. No matter what."

"Don't talk like that, Sir or I may have to make an official objection to your presence on the away team," Camila said. "You're all coming back in one piece."

Harvey flashed a smirk, admiring the Lieutenant's resolve. Mentally noting that the order still stood, Harvey nodded and moved towards the door. He triggered his subdermal communicator as he left the temporary bridge. "Geisler to Away Team. Report to the Flight Deck."

Dressed in the unusual attire she and the rest of the away team were wearing, Joey made her way toward the Flight Deck. She was still a bit nervous about the entire ordeal, but if anything were to happen, they'd been as prepared for it as they were going to be. At the small of her back, and concealed the her top, the 'Twins' were tucked away safely, ready to be used if absolutely necessary. Hopefully, it didn't come down to that, though. A situation that required weapons wouldn't end well.

She'd toured a great deal of the ship since her arrival, but this was one part of the ship she'd never seen before. Sadly, there wasn't going to be enough time to look around since there was information to be obtained on a space station, and the sooner they got that, the better off the crew on the Cochrane would be. It still bothered the hell out of her... not knowing what those individuals were going through, but they were doing what they could to get them back. It was only a matter of time now, she just didn't know what shape they'd be coming back in, and that was the most nerve wracking of all.

Lieutenant Elizabeth Marion walked into the flight deck in a double-time manner. She had spent the last hour and a half explaining to Lt. Burke how she wanted the core reboot handled, as well as contingency plans just in case something cropped up while it was happening. With everything that had transpired in the last two days, Liz could have counted the hours of sleep she'd gotten on both hands and still had a hand left empty.

She tugged at the vest under her clothing and made some last minute adjustments to the holster she was wearing before arriving at the exterior of the shuttle they would be using. It might not have been her job, per say, to begin the operations preflight, it gave her something to do and kept her mind focused rather than affording her time to give in to her mild exhaustion.

Jayla had spent several minutes examining herself in the mirror, making sure that the knives could not be seen. Not that she was hiding them from her crewmates, but she would rather they not be evident to anyone who might think about attacking them until she needed them. There was something to be said for the element of surprise, after all.

When the call came through, she took one last look and headed to the shuttle bay, satisfied that the knives in their sheathes were invisible under her vest. She nodded a greeting to Corwin and Marion with a nervous grin.

Petty Officer First Class Allen Miller walked on to the Flight Deck. It wasn’t his first time down here as he'd been on patrol a few times in here. The place was huge, cavernous almost. There were shuttles and Valkyries all over the place. And the place was buzzing with activity. He could see crew chiefs performing final check on their craft, micro-torpedoes being loaded, and few officers dressed in flight suits. He put his hand on his weapon again. It was still as secure as it had been a few minutes ago. The ancient firearm was difficult to get used to, especially the weight of his hanging at his side. He made his way over to the others and nodded.

"Commander, Lieutenants," he said.

Ensign Shep Hollingsworth and Chief Warrant Gutierrez showed up in their armored civilian clothing and went to take a position near the Captain without being obtrusive, their firearms tucked into hidden holsters.

Ensign Sarah Thatcher walked in dress as the others with her hidden weapon, unlike the others she was carrying a civilian looking portable computer in a battered case. It wasn't obvious it was battle hardened so could be dropped etc and be ok.. On it were resources she could use to aid information gathering, hacking or data reconstruction on the go but not much else besides enough viruses to wipe it if someone looked at it funny. It was carried on a strap across her back. Her hair tied back and under a black baseball cap. She nodded to the other security officers and anyone else who glanced her way before going to stand quietly by the group. She greeted Jayla with a smile as well but moved silently to stand as she wanted for further orders. Internally a little nervous but ready to do her part to protect her shipmates.

Lt. Felix Langston was on the flight deck, overseeing final preparations for the runabout. His eyes were wide open, due to the almost inhuman volume of coffee he drank earlier that morning. He tried to think of how many times he had absentmindedly refilled his mug, but realized he lost count. He was now holding a large container of water, trying as much as he could to balance his system and calm himself down. The truth was, he was about to fly into a potentially hostile area with naught much in the way of backup or hope of rescue. He looked down at the weapon on his holster. It felt strange to have something besides a phaser on his hip, let alone any weapon at all. He hoped that if there were any conflict, his training and cool head would overthrow any feelings of nervousness. He rolled his neck and shoulders in the strange armored civilian garb, consisting of a nondescript black shirt with long sleeves, a pair of black trousers and laced black boots. Over the getup, he wore a black synthetic leather jacket that was starting to get quite warm under the collar. "I don't know how people ever moved in stuff like this," he muttered as he took another sip of water. He saw the crew mates come in one by one and gave them each a wave.

Harvey arrived on the Flight Deck. He spotted the runabout prepped and ready in the middle of the bay, and the crew that assembled outside of it. Before he caught himself doing it, Harvey found himself looking around the flight deck, the bustle of activity of the fighters being prepared to launch. The tired, but dedicated, crewmen ran about, getting everything ready gave him both inspiration and fear. Captain Geisler was determined to return, and if it came down to it, he was willing to sacrifice himself to make it happen. Whatever it takes, he thought.

The Captain ceased his visual inspection and approached the group. "Everyone ready?" he asked them. Looking at Thatcher, he bobbed his head at what she carried. "What is that, Ensign?"

Thatcher came to attention, "A Field laptop Sir. Its hardened so can handle being dropped and even shot at to a point. It's geared for aiding in remote access of other computer based systems with additional programs for facilitating access, reconstructing deleted data, and other areas relating to computer forensics. There's nothing to it to id as Federation Sir. Known as a 'Clean System', will turn into slag if improper codes entered. It's on a chameleon circuit meant to meant make difficult to detect since it hides an an existing system. I also have a couple of the mini cams/audio stake out devices used in undercover work and well stake outs, meant to be unidentifiable." She glanced at Lt. Corwin then back the Captain, wondering if she overstepped. She'd been heading out of her work area in the security office and the cabinet with the items had been there, it was easy to grab and go. She hoped she didn't make a mistake and tried not to look as nervous as she felt at being addressed by the Captain.

Harvey paused, considering the implications of bringing along such a device. "We're looking to make friends, ensign. Not instant enemies. The laptop stays." He looked to the group. "That goes for the rest of you. Mission details have changed. No longer will we have our escorts. We're on our own, with a well-stocked runabout at our disposal. Our mission is to collect information. We have plenty of medicines, booze, and other goods. One wrong move, and our crewmates pay. Everyone goes home, understand?"

"Next time, talk to me or Lieutenant Di Pasquale beforehand. As the Captain said, we're attempting to make friends here. Who knows what they will think upon seeing something like that. If you're carrying anything else that hasn't been approved prior to this moment, it stays," Lieutenant Corwin said. She kept her face a neutral mask hoping he meant what he said about everyone going home. If he attempted what she had a feeling he would, things would go a different route very quickly. No one was going to be left behind. Period.

"Aye Sir. Sorry Sir. Sorry Ma'am." A chargrined Ensign handed her equipment to the bay security officer with request to see it returned to her work area. She had hoped it looked benign enough to be allowed and she really felt it would be useful in info getting, so had given in to a rare impulse. With the proper amount of regret and mentally kicking herself she returned to the group. "Prepared and properly outfitted Sir. Ma'am" She said to the Captain and Lt. Corwin, she said feling the lack of weight on her back as she adjusted the waist length leather jacket.

Jayla's brow furrowed in concern. Would her knives be okay? Suddenly she wasn't sure. Drat it all! If all she'd had to do was medicine, she'd be fine, but throw all these other skills- or lack thereof where she was concerned- into the mix and she was completely unsure of herself. With a sigh, she produced her knives from under her vest. "These are okay, right?" she asked uncertainly.

The Captain couldn't help but raise an eyebrow at the doctor. Considering the smiles she constantly wore, and the time that they'd spent together in private, he was surprised at the notion of an armed doctor. Sure, he'd had to carry a phaser, and use one, in the Dominion War, but this wasn't a War. "Looking to add some items to the trading heap?" he asked. "They might fetch a premium getting past a bouncer or an escort."

"I suppose," said Jayla with a shrug as she glanced at the knives with a look that said quite clearly that she didn't want anyone to know how loath she would be to give them up. "If I have to. I throw them, though. It's something I took up in the academy. Like a game. Like darts."

Thatcher looked at the knives, she had under-estimated the number the Doc said she would be carrying. "I guess if she wants to impress bar goers with her throwing skill that would be a way to make friends..." She thought getting over her initial surprise. She said nothing though, feeling a bit embarrassed about earlier. She wondered if the Doc would teach her blade throwing, if they returned..."When we return..." She corrected her thoughts.

Letting the matter of the knives drop, Harvey looked back to the rest of the team. "Mister Langston, are we ready to depart?"

"Aye, Captain," Felix said while slinging a small duffel over his right shoulder. "The Mississippi is loaded up, fueled up, and ready to hit the road."

"Then it's time to go," the Captain said. "Remember, no ranks. We're not in uniform, so I don't want to hear Lieutenant or Ensign or what-have-you. If you don't know names, you've got four hours to figure it out. Let's go." With that, Harvey turned and boarded the Mississippi.

"Aye, Capt...erm...Harvey..." Felix said, catching himself. Well, that's embarrassing, he thought. He shook his head as he boarded the runabout. "Four hours is not gonna make that any less weird."

Aboard the runabout, Harvey clapped a hand on the pilot's shoulder. "Just do your best ... Felix," Harvey said after a moment of hesitation, trying to remember the helmsman's name. "That's all I ask."

"Je vais, mon amie," Felix said with a nod as he made his way to the cockpit and the helm's seat.

Inside the cockpit, Harvey stood in front of the center tactical station. While he could easily take a seat, he figured one of the other crewmen might want to look busy at a console for four hours.

Sarah agreed with Lt. Langstrom..."Felix" She mentally corrected. She knew everyone's name it was just going to be weird using them. She started to head for the open tactical seat out of habit then paused glancing at Lt. Corwin, moving to the side in case she wanted the slot. "Ma' joey? whom do you want at tac?" She asked.

"Shep," Joey answered after Thatcher asked her question.

"For those of you who don't know me, I'm Shep," Hollingsworth said as he headed to the tactical station. "I'm Security and Tactical and I'll be keeping an eye on everyone."

Gutierrez nodded as he went to take a seat. "I"m Ricardo," he said. "I'm also a empath and if anyone here gets in emotional distress, I'll know it. I'll also be keeping my empathy towards the locals to see how they feel about us."

"Ok so intro's.." Thatcher thought and tried to roll with it as she moved aside for Shep, "I'm Sarah my focus is investigations in security but I had a minor in computer operations at the Academy. I am also pretty fair at flying below the radar. I'll have your back while hopefully not being noticed doing so." She smiled politely and as they seemed out of stations went to a side seat to strap in.

"Janell," said the petite Betazoid Warrant Officer as she came into the crowded cockpit. Looking around, she chose to withdraw to one of the rear cargo compartments. Even though the runabout was full, surely she could find a place to sit for a few hours and meditate.

Felix ran through the pre-flight checklist, making sure the Mississippi was ready for its departure. Hearing the conversation behind him, he paused after one item and looked around at those gathered in the cockpit. "I'm Felix," he said, "pleased to meet y'all." He then immediately turned around and went back to getting the runabout ready to lift off.

"Jayla," said Jayla with a twinkling grin that clearly said, 'as if any of you didn't know.' "Okay, so... Shep, Ricardo, Sarah, and... Janell?" she added, pointing to each in turn.

Miller walked in and looked around for a place to sit, or stand for that matter. "Allen," he said. "Security. And it looks pretty full in here." He took a seat next to...Ricardo, he thought. It would be interesting calling all of these officers by their first names. He couldn't wait for this part to be over.

"Joey," the tall brunette stated. She didn't feel the need to be long winded as far as her formal introduction went. As lo g as everyone knew what they needed to call her while on their mission to find information on their people, then everything would be fine.

Marion slipped through the throng of people and took her place at the operations console just opposite the flight control panel where Felix was sitting, bringing up the usual displays she was going to be keeping an eye on while they were in flight.

"Since we're going around the room, I'm Elizabeth, but everyone calls me Liz," the woman said in almost an absentminded fashion while she continued her pre-launch routine.

As everyone was settled, Harvey gave an order to a nearby officer. "Open a channel to the Black Hawk."

Lieutenant Corwin, who thanks to her SAR training was knowledgeable in flying runabouts and shuttlecraft, moved her fingers over one of the consoles. "Channel's open, Captain."

"Mississippi to Black Hawk," Harvey said. "Requesting permission to disembark."

"You are clear for launch, Mississippi" Camila said after checking the sensors before she switched channels. "Commander Walsh, launch the Black Knights."

"You've got it, Ma'am," Terry called back over the comm. He had been sitting in his Valkyrie watching the crew board the Mississippi. When Camila ordered their launch, he immediately disengaged the maglocks in the deck plating of his 'parking spot' and brought the fighter off the deck. He brought it around to bear on the open bay doors and watched as the Mississippi departed.

"Alpha One to Flight Ops, Black Knights departing by two-ship. Requesting green light once the hatch is clear."

The voice from Flight Ops came over the comm channel for the squadron. "Black Knights clear for launch in Happy hunting."

Rocco grinned behind his helmet as he maneuvered his Valkyrie out of the Flight Deck and into open space.

Sat in the cockpit of his Valkyrie, Sunbeam activated his consoles and within seconds the Fighter hurtled into the openness of space.

"Thank you, Black Hawk," Harvey said, trying to mask the guilt in his conscience. "Geisler out. Mister Langston, it's all yours."

"Oui oui, mon amie," Felix said in a slightly accented Cajun dialect. He breathed deeply, entering the commands efficiently and steeling his gaze straight ahead. The Mississippi's engines whined to life as she lifted from her moorings and turned to face the bay doors. With a few more commands, the ship glided forward and exited the Black Hawk. Felix kept the runabout steady as she cleared the Black Hawk's wake.

"Course laid in," Felix said. "Ready, everyone?"

"By your leave, Felix," Harvey said. He could easily give the order, but only the pilot knew when the ship was completely ready.

"All right, then," Felix said as he turned his chair back to the helm console. With a few more button presses, the star field around the ship began to distort and stretch in front of them. "Engaging course to Razmena." The Mississippi accelerated to warp, leaving the relative safety of the Black Hawk behind.

Joey took a deep calming breath and let it slowly. This was it. There was no turning back now... not that she would have to begin with. These were the types of situations she'd spent most of her career in. Situations where things were so tense, said tension could be cut with a knife. It was her hope things would go smoothly, but considering the other side of the field they had no control over meant that she, and everyone else, needed to be ready for anything. For some, that would be easier said than done, but it was the job of Security to help keep everyone safe.


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