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[PLOT] JDL - Com Ivanova, Cmdr Dahe'el. Cmdr Archer, LtCmdr Smith, Lt Shran, Lt Sha'mer, Lt MacLeod, Ens DiAngelo - "All Hands"

Posted on 242004.19 @ 15:14 by Lieutenant Craig MacLeod & Commodore Rochelle Ivanova & Commander Almar Dahe'el & Commander James Archer & Lieutenant Commander John Smith & Lieutenant Ra'lin Sha'mer & Lieutenant Anaxar Shran & Ensign Amelia Diangelo

Mission: Lacuna
Location: USS Vindicator
Timeline: Current

=^= Main Conference Room =^=

The room was much the same as it always was; a large single table in the middle of the room with chairs around the edge. The spot at the head of the table was reserved for the Commodore, with small placeholders letting everyone else know where to sit. All of the department heads had their names on the table as per usual, and key senior officers also had spots marked for them.

The first person to arrive was Lt Cmdr John Smith; the Vindicator's new Chief Diplomat. He noted the empty room, fetched a small padd from his pocket, and took a seat in his chair. Both hands folded in front of him as he waited for the others to arrive.

The second one to arrive, with clockwork exactitude, was Lt. Anaxar Shran, Chief Science. A tall, whip-thin Andorian whose uniform always looked to be two sizes too large because of how thin he was, with a mass of scars on his face from his hairline to just above his nose. A facial implant was grafted in or over the area with the worst scarring. He stalked in with a measured tred, walked straight to his chair and slid in. The PADD he'd held in his hand was placed on the table in front of him. He gave the Commander a slight nod, no more than a brief acknowledgement of the other's presence, and waited.

Striding through the door and to his seat on the right hand of where the CO would usually sit, Almar found himself in a room with an Andorian and a man who he had not had a chance to meet yet, though he knew exactly who he was since he'd had the paperwork come across his desk, "Commander, it's nice to meet you." the Cardassian stated as he slid a couple of padds out of his uniform jacket and placed them in an array before him, "Lieutenant Shran, I hope you're well?"

Anaxar moved his head to face the XO, which was in his case more a gesture of politeness than functional: if the implants were activated, he would see anyone regardless of where they were positioned, and if they were off, he wouldn't see anyone at all. But it made people feel more comfortable to be faced, so that was one of the small habits he had taught himself over time. "Yes," he replied distantly, then seemed to think about it and added vaguely: "I guess."

Rochelle wasn't far behind Almar, her nose more or less buried in a PADD as she navigated around people, chairs, and other bits of furniture in order to find her seat. What wasn't lost upon her were the faces of those who had already arrived - Smith with his patient demeanor, Anaxar haggard and pensive, Almar concerned but relaxed in his element. All of them serene, but the air hanging heavy and pensive in wait of information to be shared and filtered down through the remainder of the masses. "Won't be much longer now." Until what? The beginning of the meeting? Until they found them? Both? Hopefully both, she decided, crossing her legs and setting the PADD down on the table in front of her.

"Nae. Nae long t'all." Craig agreed as he entered the meeting room and offered a small nod of acknowledgement to his peers, "Most are oan their way up. Saw a few." He shrugged through his brogue, pulling up a chair beside the Cardassian, finding the need to be close to the Captain nearly overwhelming. There was something in her eyes that told him she'd need them all to be close at hand, the knights of her court and all that.

Ra'lin entered the room like a small shadow. She wasn't senior staff as such, but as the one with the CO's schedule and the one who usually kept the records of the meeting, her presence was wanted, nevertheless. She looked pale and wan after the events of last night. Spillage from the crisis on the station – the screams of the injured and dying – were easily within her mental range and those primal screams bypassed any kind of natural shielding. They were silent now, mercifully, but the memories were still with her. It had also left her shield in tatters. Nothing a good night's sleep couldn't restore, but she didn't have the time for that.

She sat down quietly, as far away from Lieutenant Shran as she could (his spillage was the most painful one), and careful not to touch anyone. Least of all Rochelle. She did flash a quick smile at Craig. Seeing him was the best thing after last night.

Ra'lin seemed to have opened the flood gates, as a small sea of faces entered shortly after she had, filling most of the remaining spaces. Some seats were conspicuously empty, but the situation was time-sensitive, so they couldn't afford to hang around too long. The atmosphere thickened quickly as the small talk petered out, and heads began to turn in the Commodore's direction.

"Right." Rochelle nodded to Craig and watched the last of her team come pouring into the office, Archer among them. "We've found ourselves in a bit of a situation. At this point we have limited leads on where Lieutenant Dai'xun and Commander Valeese are - but we're working on it and narrowing options down." She cleared her throat, reaching for a PADD, "On top of it all, there appears to have been an explosion aboard the station. Casualties are still being reported and tabulated, no cause has yet been identified."

Having snuck herself in with a small group of officers, Amelia had quietly taken a seat on a chair in a corner of the briefing room. With her Padd on her lap, the girl paid close attention to the officers and took notes. Her father thought it might be a good exercise for the girl. Plus, she could keep an eye on the Commodore.

"My people have reached out to species in the local area." John informed the room, tapping on his padd. The wireless projector lit up in the centre of the table, as the lights dimmed and a hologram of the galaxy popped up. Stars slid to the side and faded as the image zoomed in, revealing a rough blue circle that denoted the search area. "Some of the representatives happily supplied ship movement data for their territories, and others were amenable after some light bartering; mainly luxury foods, antimatter, and trade-approved alloys."

"Simply put," he continued, "the areas in green are well-patrolled, and we estimate around ninety percent of all ships passing through these areas are scanned. Ship IDs, trajectories, and the results of any unrelated searches. No Stenellian or Vorta signatures, I'm sorry to report." he added, pressing a key. Several zones lit up green, including a central one around the station. "The areas in orange have somewhat-patrolled territories. Maybe half of all ships are scanned. Maybe." At this, yet more areas lit up. "And, finally, the areas in red have erratic patrols at best, and some ships file duplicate scan results so they can clock off early. Still, we have some scans." Another set of zones started to glow.

"As you can see, there are many escape paths that consist of areas with either no patrols, or no species willing to cooperate with us. And too much of this screen is red. Still, we have records on many thousands of ships, and it gives us a chance to find a scan of over eighty percent of the ships on straight-line vectors away from the station. All of this information has been uploaded to the investigation database." John finished, hoping someone had insight into how they could narrow down the list of ships. True, the Commodore's intel might preclude the need for such intel, but the key word there was "might", and it was important to cover all the angles in case they were needed.

The tall Andorian raised his head. "I may have something to add to this," he said in his raspy voice. "Cold Station Theta has been kind enough to allow me to access their sensor logs. There have been various… glitches, which possibly indicate the presence of a cloaked vessel." He called up a projection of his own and overlaid it with the one already hovering in the middle. "I contacted several other vessels in the area at the time and used the data they sent back to confirm that quite a few of those weren't glitches at all. So there is a strong indication that a cloaked vessel has been nearby Cold Station Theta at the time of the obductions, and it departed a short time later." A series of dots began, a few in the green zone near the station, moving away and disappearing into one of the red areas. Then, a bit further out, a shorter series of dots in a different colour entering one of the green zones.

The Andorian rubbed the scar tissue on his forehead. "Now, it could just mean that a cloaked vessel just happened to depart around the same time that Commander Valeese disappeared. Cold Station Theta is practically a spies' convention." He didn't move his head, and obviously couldn't move his eyes, but still it seemed he momentarily focused his attention on Commander Archer. "But statistically speaking, the odds are in favour of this bearing the signature of the ship used to kidnap Commander Valeese and Lieutenant Dai'xun."

"Entirely true." Archer responded distractedly, looking back up from a small device he'd been typing away at. Once pocketed, the spook looked to Rochelle, locked eyes with her, and nodded. "There's been a development. At 06:20 this morning information came in from a verifiable source that there was a ship docked at Cold Station Theta two days prior to the kidnappings. The Carlotta. Standard freight vessel usually running dry goods and livestock between a few ports of call, including the station. Manifest says she delivered targs to a Klingon restaurant, various other food stuffs, exotic fabrics, and construction supplies for another shop up on the main promenade. Nothing particularly interesting." He continued, rising and bringing up the information on the vessel for the crew to take a look at, "She's a shit heap, but she left shortly before the main sweeps began right after Commander Valeese was reported missing and all sources indicate that she's headed towards a station in an asteroid belt once known for its role in Orion Syndicate crime, but thought to be defunct post the Klingon purge... It's back on line aaaaaand...." He paused briefly, working to bring up the rest of the information compiled between sources and Stacker, "Tada. One female Stenellis. One female Vorta... They're on the auction manifest as headliners of the event."

Wetting his lips, the spook's head dropped and he cast a glance in Anaxar's direction realizing that there was a massive chance the man had just learned he was going to be a father in the worst way possible, the auction listing had it printed loud and clear. On the off chance those implants weren't on, he wasn't going to be the one to say anything aside from a momentary lapse into compassion and a pang of empathetic hurt for the Andorian scientist.

Upon scanning the information, Anaxar didn't move, didn't flinch. He already knew. The only thing he said was: "So, how are we going to retrieve them?"

Almar knew exactly how this information had come about and where it had been obtained from, he'd already resigned himself to the fact that he was never going to be able to stop her from doing it again, but in this case he was secretly glad she'd bent the rules as it meant they had a chance to bring one of their family home, "My instinct tells me that Commander Archer has a plan, am I right Commander?"

Another furtive glance towards Rochelle and Archer nodded, pressing on through the presentation, "We'll be taking the vessel assigned to Commander Stacker's men. Mine is too high profile, if they see a Defiant coming in... Party over. We may as well broadcast all over everything that we're coming to crash the party." He sighed, running a hand through his close cropped hair, "We have people on the ground already that are organizing a bidding war. They will win and we will bring them home. After they're secure, everything else will be done to bring the kidnappers to justice and we'll be on our way home." It, of course, was the reader's digest version. No one needed to know what he and Rochelle had discussed, what he demands were, or what he'd do to see those demands through. "Shran? You're coming with Stacker and I, the rest of you will stay behind and prepare for our return, monitor the situation through long range sensors and radio frequencies. You know, stay out of the way and make it seem like its business as usual."

"Then quit talking aboot it 'n' dae it." Craig heard himself say and shrugged in defense of himself, "Pardon mah manners, bit we a' want them hame 'n' sittin` 'ere in this room isnae aff tae dae it. " The reprisal seemed to make more sense and soften the blow of his imprudence a wee little bit, or so he hoped. The idea of Si'a being stolen from them and sold off bothered him more than it should have. Her being sold off while pregnant and carrying a child created out of sheer love and admiration between her and Anaxar... Well that just plain boiled the blood flowing through the burly doctor's veins. A hand reached out to rest on the Andorian's shoulder out of need to comfort him and show unity.

"I will ha'e sickbay oan standby. Si'a is tae come straecht in th' moment she arrives, even if ye hae tae beam her 'ere. We'll be treating this as a heich risk tae her 'n' her bairn 'til we hae reason nae tae whilk means she's tae be kept calm, feet up, 'n' hydrated while th' trip hame. Nae walkin', nae dramas. Ye ken?" His emerald eyes danced between his friend and the ghost, looking for some signal that they understood his orders as a medical professional. To lose the baby after all of this would be a crippling blow to the morale of the Vindicator, a team that rejoiced around family and friendship.

Anaxar gave the Spook a curt nod, to show that he had heard and understood. A good thing the man had decided to bring him along. He'd have gone out on his own to find Si'a and bring her home. Even if he had to travel to the other end of the galaxy to do it, he'd bring her home.
The grim look softened somewhat at Craig's touch. He rested his own hand on Craig's, for a moment, just long enough to show him he'd noticed, and as thanks.

John nodded, agreeing with the plan. Had there been marines aboard, a part of him would have recommended a strike team on general principles. However, subtlety was a more heavily weighted priority here, due to the nature of the captives. Even had the captives been a group of non-pregnant Klingons in perfect health, he'd still have hesitated. It's not difficult to kill unarmed captives if you put your mind to it, after all, regardless of their species and disposition.

"I'll have my people continue to send out requests for nonspecific information." the diplomat decided out loud. "If the kidnappers have been monitoring our efforts to find the captives, a lack of requests might tip them off. Though anything too specific might make them....twitchy. Perhaps a search for shipments of a Vorta's favourite food, or somesuch. Specific enough that they won't suspect a ruse, but stupid enough that they won't get worried about being discovered. After all, anyone can synthesize anything these days." he concluded, uncomfortable with having his department play the imbecile, but very comfortable with the idea of the unsuspecting kidnappers suddenly discovering empty cells.

Having carefully listened to the officers around the table and their plan, she finished taking notes on and recording the subject which she could later access or even analyse for further information, Amelia was however tempted to simply stand up and volunteer for any away mission they had planned, she had the necessary skill set for ground reconnaissance and infiltration... or so she was convinced but given recent event's the officers may think otherwise on the matter and decided to keep her mouth shut and humbly sat in her chair.

On the other side of the table, Ra'lin had observed the other young woman from time to time, saw how she seemed to twitch in her seat, occasionally, like an eager young puppy, and how she looked at Archer. She probably wasn't a bad kid, but still, Ra'lin felt angry every time she thought back at that scene in the ready room. She wondered if Commander Dahe'el had had a chance to talk to Archer about it yet. Probably not, with all the more urgent stuff going on at the moment.

Meanwhile, Anaxar waited until they were formally dismissed, so that they finally could get out there and do something at last.

Taking a moment to cast a glance over her crew, Rochelle was struck by the level of trust they held and their determination to see this through, it sent a slight shiver down her spine or... was that hunger? She wasn't quite sure anymore, the quiet rumble confirmed her suspicions and her eyes immediately flashed to Almar, he most certainly would have heard it from his seat. The phoenix pushed herself to her feet and set herself with arms locked on the table, "Thank you for your suggestions, make all the preparations you need and lets get our officers home." her voice was firm and smooth, "You're all dismissed."

=^= End of Log =^=

Commodore Rochelle Ivanova
Commanding Officer
USS Vindicator, NX-78213-F

Commander Almar Dahe'el
Executive Officer
USS Vindicator, NX-78213-F

Cmdr James Archer
Chief Intelligence Officer
USS Vindicator, NX-78213-F

Lt Cmdr John Smith
Chief Diplomat
USS Vindicator, NX-78213-F

Lt. Anaxar Shran
Chief Science Officer
USS Vindicator, NX-78213-F

Lt. Ra'lin Sha'mer
USS Vindicator, NX-78213-F

Lt. Craig MacLeod
Chief Medical Officer
USS Vindicator, NX-78213-F

Ens. Amelia Diangelo
Intelligence Officer
USS Vindicator, NX-78213-F


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