Calling in the troops
Season 2: Mission 2: Just Breath
Location: DS9 - Secure room
Timeline: MD 2 22h00
Phoenix had, been told about the secure room, and now she stood in the middle of it, surounded by monitors and a number of chairs. She hit her comm and summoned her executive Officer, Chief of Security, Marine CO and chief of Intelligence to it.
Lia entered and looked around, "Jeez, talk about finger on the pulse. Sorry Captain, guess I'm the first to arrive". She found a chair by a security monitor and pressed a few buttons. Turning to Phoenix she smiled, "I could have a lot of fun in here".
Next to walk in was Styles, in full combat Uniform, "Nice setup," he said, "This oughtta be interesting,"
Gary entered moments later. Seeing Phoenix and Lia along with Styles already there. Sorry." He said simply as his eyes took in the rooms set up, especially the monitors. " Oh, so we get to watch the hijackers in action? Should prove interesting maybe even informative,"
"I still wish to object to this entire enterprise Captain, I think it's wrong and to much could go south". Lia felt someone had to put their cards on the table, she decided it was going to be her. "Due respect, but I think we're gonna regret doing this". She was determined that if and when this all went pear shaped, she and her department would be in the clear.
Gary spoke from his place, "Lia, The Captain has protested this idea. You, Captain Styles and I have all given our opinions which concur with the Captains that this is not only a bad idea but a lousy one. However we're stuck with it and now we have to ensure we do everything possible to make sure it works."
She looked over at Gary, "I know that, but when something sticks in your throat". Lia looked at the other two, "I understand we don't have an option, but this is sticking in my throat". She glanced down, "I will do what I have to, but Captain Styles look after my people please".
Wynter casually entered a moment later, and eyed everyone carefully. "Captain I don't know what this is about, but I will just say from the looks on your faces it looks like it's a dumb idea."
Phoenix sighed and waved him to a chair. "Let me catch you up Lieutenant. The reason the ship was evacuated is so the brass can use her as bait in a trap. They are wanting to allow it to be taken by a smuggling group and then we will follow them to their base."
She waved to the monitors. "Already Captain Styles's teams are in place on the Elysium in sheilded area's to avoid detection. And The USS Eclipse is on its way so that Commander Taylor can take command of it and we can then follow the Elysium."
"After they arrive at their base, the plan is to take the smuggling team hostage and use them as bargaining chips so that their leader can be in intel source," Styles said, "Which, with all due respect, is, in fact, a VERY dumb idea,"
Looking upwards, Lia let out a long sigh. "And that's where it could all go tits up, as we British say. There's got to be a better plan than that?" She glanced round the room at the rest of the assembled staff, "Besides the Eclipse, do we have a plan B?"
Gary had been sitting quietly as the others spoke. Finally he spoke taking them all in a glance as he did. "Frankly, Command is making a mistake in their assumption of the smugglers. Their criminals not stupid. If I came across a ship like the Elysium just ripe for the taking, I'd think something was up and you can bet they will too and have a contingency plan in place. So we need to be one step ahead of them. This holding the smugglers as hostages is dumb. If I was the head of the smugglers I'd kill all those taken and either kill the ones holding them or incapacitate them and have a new crew standing by to crew the ship."
Wynter sighed. "I have a bad feeling about this." he leaned forward in his seat. "What exactly do we know about the smugglers?"
"Not much" Phoenix replied softly and she hit a button. "They are wanting to become members of one of the most secretive and elusive Smuggler and Fringe groups. Its lead by Mr Joras Cardoth. He is Erisian I have since discovered. But he does not suffer from the normal aliments of the males of my race. His organization is multi cultural as well as well mixed gender wise. Other than that, he has a passion for information and feels it could be a powerful asset, sometimes more important than brute force. He considers himself to be a sophisticated and genteel individual and avoided violence whenever possible, but is not averse to engaging in it when necessary." She sighed and sat down. "His people on Erisia are minor nobility with no real political power, but they seem to be information brokers there too. He has no contact with them."
Holding her head in her hands, Lia now spoke quietly. "Really stupid idea, but how about we get two or three girls together. And try and infiltrate the gang from the outside, that way we could have people on the inside and get a drop on the smugglers?" She raised her head and looked at the Captain, "If I can round up two more idiots, with me that would make three. Styles here can go do his thing with his crew, and the three amigos give you the information from rebel HQ. So now Gary we come to you, our brave First can command the rescue barge that would come to our aide". She glanced back around the room. "It's a plan, a backup plan I admit. But we're out of options here, so anything is on the table". Lia placed her head on to the panel in front of her, "I'm open to anyone else coming up with an idea, but we'd better be quick about it".
Gary looked at her in disbelief, "Are you serious? Never mind replying, I can see you are. Let me say this then. That idea is almost as bad as the one Command came up with. Do you honestly think a group of smugglers are going to let three women they just happened to pick up as their stealing a state of the art starship and tell these three women their plans or let them near anything their doing? They'd take you alright, let you all languish in a cell before they sell you off to the highest bidder."
Phoenix sighed again and held up a hand before Aurelia could eviscerate the XO verbally or vice versa.
"ok. The answer is going to be no unfortunately Lia, I think had it been other wise, you would have me and either Arri or Liselle in cohoots with you in the idea." The Erisian smiled. "After all, our ship does crazy pretty well."
Turning she waved to a monitor which lit up. "Captain Styles, your teams are visible to these cameras only. " Then another monitor lit up. "This is the actual Engineering team. They are starfleet personnel and cleared for accessing the Elysium." Pausing she scanned the four before her. "This could take several days. As you have all mentioned, it is very suspicious that the ship is entirely empty. But I have given Command a timeline. If they have not made their move by the end of 5 days, we are going back on the Elysium and they can borrow another ship for their bait"
Lia smiled, "So that's a no then, ok I get it". She gave Gary a sideways glare, "Nice to know how certain people feel about me, how much do you think I'm worth?" She then gave Gary another grin.
Phoenix smirked and waited for one of the men to reply to that. If they were game to.
Gary met Lia's look head on. "How much do I think you are worth?" He repeated her question and without missing a beat replied. "You are extremely important to the ship Lia. As for me, I think your worth can never be calculated. You are in a word..... priceless."
Coughing, Lia looked at Gary wide eyed. "Priceless???? I would have gone for cheap, or maybe of value. But then as a friend at the Academy once said, `You don't know her very well, do you?' She and I really liked one another, kinda". Taking a deep breath she returned to the matter in hand, "When does the Eclipse arrive?"
Phoenix smiled "In about 2.5 hours or so." She said. "But we won't have Gary take official command until the Elysium has gone 'missing' so to speak."
Gary listened as Phoenix told Lia the Eclipse's estimated ETA. Then turning to Lia he said without blinking, "I think I know you very well."
Wynter looked up slowly and sighed. "Captain I suspect in two and a half hours we will know one thing, that this plan has gone sideways. But all we can do now is wait."
"Waiting is never easy." Phoenix said camly. "But as you say, waiting is all we have."
"Well, then we may as well get the waiting over with," Styles said, as he sat down and leaned back in his chair, then looking over the monitors, "Anything else we should know?"
"Not that I have been told at this time" Phoenix admitted. "I hope you all brought popcorn and coffee..."
"How about pillows?" Gary drawled looking at the others, "This could be a long wait and we might as well be comfortable."
Shaking her head Lia looked at Gary, "You'll be wanting waitress service next, perhaps you'd like someone to tuck you in and mop your brow for you?" She smiled as she spoke, "I hope these little buggers don't keep us hanging on to long, other wise we'll all be asleep through bordom".
Now it was Gary's turn to smile. "Gee Lia, that would be great, do you think you can go ahead and arrange that? Or are you volunteering?" His smile growing wider.
Phoenix rolled her eyes at the exchange and looked at the two others. "Gentlemen, shall we leave these two to their flirting?" she asked with a smirk towards her XO and Chief of Security.
Wynter smirked as he stood. "Yes."
"Sorry Captain. We'll behave ourselves." He replied to Phoenix even as he winked at Lia, his eyes holding a mischievous glint.
"Behave all you like. You both just drew first watch." Phoenix smiled. "Styles and Wynter will relieve you in 3 hours."
"Say what????" Lia looked at the Captain, "Well now I suppose I can find soemthing to do, anyone wanna run a take-a-way for me?" She glanced at Gary, "I think your to blame for this, I never flirt at work, well I never get caught if I do". She giggled as she started to fiddle with the controls before her, "Three hours right? I should have this system figured out by then".
Gary leaned back in his chair and smirked. "I think, you are equally to blame and you got caught this time so just accept it." He chuckles as she fiddles with the monitor controls.
Wynter shook his head slowly. "I don't think you want to bet on that Commander Holmes. Three hours aye Captain."
"Three hours. Very good Captain." Gary replied from his chair, "I'm sure Commander Holmes and I can find something to keep us busy until we're relieved." He winked at Lia.
"Do you have something in your eye?" Lia asked Gary, she smiled as she spoke. Standing up she moved closer to the first Officer, "If you have a deck of cards, we could play strip poker. Loser goes to Quark's naked and buys food for the pair of us". There was a glint in her eye as she said it, somehow she knew she wasn't going to loose.
Gary was completely nonplussed by Lia's statement, completely deadpan he replied. "That is a tempting and enticing offer Lia but I wouldn't want to put you through that when you lose. Besides we may have to move quickly if the smugglers make their move sooner rather than later and if your naked that slows up the whole process.''
Phoenix rolled her eyes and headed for the door. "have fun" she called out as she ushered Wynter and Styles ahead.
Wynter stopped at the replicator for a moment, then silently tossed a pack of cards on the desk as he walked out.
"Oh boy, I can't wait," Styles said as he followed Wynters out
Lia spotted the cards, "Funny guy's, very funny. But I don't think the First Officer gonna play". She picked up the cards and started to play solitaire, something she hadn't done since she was a child.
Gary leaned back in his chair and cast a lazy look at Lia. "Oh, I'll play, give you all you can handle and then some but not here and not now. At a more appropriate time." The last said with a lopsided grin on his face.
Captain Phoenix Lalor
Commander Gary Taylor
Commander Aurelia Holmes
Chief Security/Tactical Officer
Captain Collins Styles
Chief of Intelligence