"What you didn't see"
Season 2: Mission 2: Just Breath
==/\== PREVIOUSLY ==/\==
“Captain, we need the ship as bait. And the Elysium will be bait.”
Phoenix scowled. “Oh come on. There are other ships you can use as bait. The Nogura for one! Or the Sarek! Or the Yorktown or ... hello the JUNO or VESTA. Brand new ships, with that brand new smell!”
“We need to trap this gang and they will lead us to the man we want. Your ship is here. And we are going to use it Captain.”
“Carla you are such a bitch you know that right?”
The blonde smiled. “Yeah, yeah that’s not what you said at the academy when we were on that mission together.”
“No, but then you were not being a bitch to me. Just to everyone else”
Carla had been a fourth year squad captain when Phoenix had been in 1st year and had been a close friend ever since. But this, this was just wrong!
Phoenix grumbled and pouted but it did no good. The outcome was set.
===/\=== Captain's ready room ===/\===
Once all three were settled in their seats, Phoenix moved to stand behind her desk. "ok.. you would have all heard the evacuation call I just put out?"
At their nods and looks, Phoenix continued. "I was informed not an hour ago that the Elysium is being requisitioned for an important mission."
Gary looked at Lia and then back at Phoenix, "An important mission? Didn't we just finish an important mission?" He questioned.
"Here we go again", muttered Lia.
"Requisitioned?" Styles asked, "Requisitioned for what?"
"It is going to be used as bait." She let it hang in the air.
"Bait? Bait for what Captain?" Gary asked, already not liking what he was hearing.
"The Command have intelligence around a gang of, well for lack of a better word, thieves. They are trying to impress one of the largest smuggling gang chiefs in the quadrant by stealing federation technology." Phoenix said clenching her fists. "They want to let them steal the Elysium and track it to the Smuggler chief's base."
"W.....H...A...T!!!!!!!!!" Gary said you could practically hear the individual letters coming out of his mouth. " Let a bunch of pirates steal the Elysium, just so Command can catch the head of, of the pirates." He sputtered in anger. "Whose asinine idea was this Captain?"
Lia shook her head, "Tell me something, is Starfleet trying to loose this ship and crew?" She pushed back in her chair, "Like the First Officer has pointed out, it's a half arsed idea. We could loose the ship completely, I really don't understand where Command are coming from on this". She looked at the assembled staff, "Due respect Captain, but I think this stinks".
Gary looked at Lia, grateful for her support before he returned his attention to Phoenix, "This idea not only stinks, it's completely idiotic! Let pirates steal a state of the art starship just to catch their boss?" He shook his head, "If Command knows their stealing federation technology use something else for them to steal and follow them but you don't use a starship. Hell, if I was a pirate and I saw the Elysium or any other starship ripe for the picking I'd think it was a trap. What's to keep the pirates from thinking the same?"
Phoenix sighed and leaned back in her chair. "I have said all that and more at top voice to the .... woman who told me. They have an insider in the group. The Decontamination ploy has worked before years ago. But WE are not going to let them just take our ship."
Phoenix looked at Lia and Styles. "This is why I called the three of you here. Holmes, Styles. You are each to pick 15 people from your teams. They will be briefed by me, and stashed away on the Elysium, they will have whatever weapons they want. Avalon has at my orders removed certain area's from the ships schematics. And we have had life sign blockers set up. They will help us take back the ship when it gets to the base of this smuggler. Starfleet do not want to arrest this chief, they want his assistance and these... thieves are wanting to get in his good books. I do not trust these orders as far as I can throw them." She looked at Gary, "There is an intrepid class inbound which we will use to follow the Elysium. It has been fitted with a cloaking device by SI. Its called the Eclipse."
Gary shook his head, "Bad, bad idea Captain. "You're telling us that Command in it's collective wisdom decided that these smugglers as you refer to them have the IQ of four year old's and because they see something bright and shiny they will want to steal it." He shook his head, "I'm sorry they don't have the IQ of four year old's maybe Commands think they have the IQs of monkeys." The disgust was apparent in his voice.
Phoenix nodded. "You know you are just saying what I thought out loud right?"
Gary nodded a humorless smile on his face. "I suspected I might be but wanted you to know you aren't alone in your thinking."
Lia hung her head, "Well after our last mission, you do know we lost my 2i/c. Seems he stowed away on a shuttle, nobody noticed until a few days ago". She coughed and continued, "So that puts the security involvement at a disadvantage right off the bat". She looked at the Captain, "Sorry, I only just found out".
Phoenix sighed. "Did he stay behind in the alternative reality or did he leave after we came back through the pocket wormhole?"
"Unknown Captain, I presume he stayed behind on the planet. But I have no proof that is the case, as I said I only just got the news myself". Lia wasn't happy about Alfonse, she thought the pair were finally getting things working in security.
"That's fine. We can deal with the situation later. This is now." Phoenix said softly. She looked at the three of them. "This goes not further than the three of us. Is that understood? Lets not tip our hand. I want those 30 personnel in the ballroom in 30 minutes. If you are among them, that is fine. But Commander Taylor and I will play the parts we have to and leave the ship. Taylor, when the Eclipse arrives in 40 minutes, I want you to go and take command of it."
"Understood Captain. Is this a formal changing of command?" Gary answered readily, questions already forming in his mind. However they were questions that were better off not being asked right now and left to when he could talk with Phoenix privately.
"Temporary." She smiled faintly. "Besides, I can't keep you chained as XO for ever. It will be under your command until we get the Elysium back and I will retake command of the Ely then. They want me to negotiate with the Smuggler chief... " she added ruefully.
Looking towards Styles, Lia spoke. "I think this is best left to those who know what their doing, So any Security personnel tasked will be under the Captains orders if he chooses to lead this taskforce". She then returned her view to the Captain, "I will do or go where required, that would include remaining at DS9 if so ordered". She glanced between the other three, "I'm not happy with this, and I won't pretend otherwise. But I will play my part, reluctantly".
Gary listened in silence as Lia said her piece and he understood perfectly how she was feeling. He turned to speak to Phoenix, "I appreciate the vote of confidence Captain. Though I confess to being confused. You couldn't command the Eclipse and negotiate with this smuggler chief?" He pushed on, "In regards to command of the Eclipse, do I get to name my XO?"
Phoenix nodded. "Of course. Once the Ely is stolen, our crew will go with you to the Eclipse. So you have your choice."
"Understood." He replied simply already running the short list of candidates through his mind. He glanced at Lia but said nothing. He was waiting to see how Phoenix replied to her statement of possibly staying on the station.
Phoenix looked at Lia. "Lia, if you don't stay with your team here on the Ely, you will go with the crew to the Eclipse when it arrives." She paused "I want you all to know that this is not my preference. But we have no choice."
Lia nodded, "As I have said Captain, this kind of thing is best left to those best trained for it. I'm not trained for this, so I'll stay with the rest of the crew". She looked at Styles again, "As of now, the Security section is completely under your command. They will follow your orders, I hope they don't let you down".
Gary listened as Lia told Styles she wasn't trained for this and placed the security forces under his command. Personally, he thought she was an excellent security, tactical officer and was being too hard on herself. However this was her decision and he would abide by it.
Styles nodded, "I'll take point on this one," he said, "But I'd rather that Commander Holmes assist me in that manner, I think it'll be easier for security and Marines to cooperate if both of the department heads are running it," he then turned his head towards Lalor, "If it doesn't interfere with whstever plans you may have, Cap'n,"
"My plans are to hide the fact that we are not lettng them just take this ship. And to take it back ASAP once it is on its way." Lalor stated. "I trust you all to work together. And if Commander Holmes gives command of her people to you Styles, it means she trusts you as well."
"Understood, I'll begin prepping everything as soon as possible," Styles replied, "Permission to speak freely?"
"Granted" Phoenix said softly.
"This is a terrible idea, I can't imagine who signed off on this," Styles said, "But I'll play my part willingly,"
Once they had sorted everything to their satisfaction, Phoenix gave them her last set of orders. "Leave here, look unhappy. Get me those officers in the Ballroom, asap."
"Well, looking unhappy won't be hard Captain. In the long line of bad ideas that Command has had, this has to rank near the top." Gary groused as he got up to leave. He was unsure of what Lia was going to do now that Styles had asked for her assistance in this matter.
Lia looked at Styles and the Captain, "I sorry Captain Styles, but I must insist on this. I am not trained for this kind of mission, so I'll remain with the crew. You will have all my people and they will do as ordered, I will only be a burden and a liability. Your better off without me, believe me way better without me". She rose and headed for the door her head down, she glanced at Gary. "This is a bad idea, I just know something is going to go wrong". She passed him and headed for her cabin, never raising her head once.
Gary met Lia's glance, heard her voice her opinion and head for her cabin. He would need to talk to her later. While she felt she was unsuited for the undercover portion of the mission, a notion he disagreed with he had another role she was ideally suited for.
Captain Phoeix Lalor
Commander Gary Taylor
Captain Collin Style
Commander Lia Holmes
Chief Security/Tactial Officer