Senior Staff Briefing
Posted on Wed Aug 15th, 2018 @ 7:48am by Captain Phoenix Lalor & Commander Gary Taylor & Commander Liselle Qwyyn & Commander Aurelia Holmes & Lieutenant Commander Matias Grronkil & Lieutenant Commander Tate Sullivan Ph.D. & Lieutenant Leah Bailey & Lieutenant Commander Arrianna Salannis an Vantar & Lieutenant Wynter
Season 2: Mission 2: Just Breath
Location: Eclipse Briefing Room
With the take over of the Elysium close to commencing, Phoenix decided to get the staff together so they could hear about the man they were about to face. So with Gary's yes, she summoned the senior Staff to the briefing room.
She stood waiting in her dress whites.
Lia entered and noticed Phoenix standing by the desk, "Oh hi Captain, guess you need to talk. Don't suppose you have any hints on how I can be a better XO?" She looked for a chair to sit down, somewhere close to the door.
"I think you are doing fine." Phoenix said with a smile. "Though baiting the helmswoman who controls the ship may not be the best thing. If Lise gets distracted..."
Trying not to laugh, Lia held her hands to her mouth. Controlling herself she replied, "Yeah, I suppose Liselle is not the person to upset. And thanks for the opinion on how I'm doing, to be honest I'm just winging it".
"Believe me, most people dropped into the XO role just wing it. I did."
Liselle walked into the room then, shaking her head. She pressed the palms of her hands tightly together as if in prayer. "I can't -- I can't stop thinking about them touching her," she she said. "Their sticky fingers on the flight controls."
Turning to look at her friend, Lia giggled. "I think we may have a spare exocomp you could use, but can we get the Elysium back first. Before you start your annual spring clean, which seems to happen every month". A beaming grin was sat on Lia's face, somehow these two women were slowly becoming fast friends.
Arri spoke. "Then we must accomplish our directives quickly. I'm not fond of these usurpers absconding my books and my wardrobe. And I will make their discomfort even more profound if they dismantle astrometrics." The Alindari noted calmly as ever, but with a hint of dislike for the hyjackers.
Matias was fuming as he entered. "So help me, if I have to rebuild Engineering, they will have to pay!" he said.
Wynter entered silently pouring over a PADD a slight frown o his face.
Phoenix sat down. "Hey they have my sword and jewelry collection. Some of those swords are priceless." She noted Wynter's face. "Something wrong Lieutenant Wynter?"
Wynter looked up at the captain. "I fear that the mission is compromised." He said flatly, before he looked down once more gathered himself and continued. "Or at least that the greater mission is. We are hoping that these individuals aboard the Elysium will lead us to Jorus Cardoth. Now we have little actionable intelligence on him. We have the basics of race blood type and what not." He said bringing up the info on the screen in the briefing room. "Or at least we think we do, this man is a data gatherer, and compiler. He will have a number of listening posts throughout the galaxy and of course will have them in hubs of commerce and activity." He let that drop for a moment. "I doubt that these would be smugglers will find him, and if I was to go with the worst case our marines aren't as hidden as we think."
Gary came in behind Wynter and leaned against the wall. He heard the Intel chief give a brief report on the mission and the possibility of it being compromised. "What makes you say that Mr. Wynter? About the marines I mean?"
"The methodical way at which he operates, as well as how he operates. If you are trying to impress him with a display of force or bravado that would fail as he could care less, but cunning intelligent steps would be ideal. If I were to take over the ship I would have a ship manifest they are easy enough to get. Then you keep watch at the choke points so the docking ring, transporter room keep track of everyone whom comes out and cross them off your list. If you don't get everyone you would assume they are still on board the ship, which would mean that you know about them and have a way to neutralize them. That show would impress Cardoth not the ship itself." He paused for a moment then looked over at the XO. " Much as anyone could tell that the Captain is rekindling old flames, and you seriously need to make a move and get the flirting over with before someone gags you on the bridge Commander." He said dryly.
Gary said nothing that was the best response in a situation like this. He just looked at Wynter as he remained leaning on the wall.
Leah thoughtfully nodded at the marine's comments. "The way you're talking, it sounds like reputation and prestige are important to him. Would it sweeten the prize for this man if he had a few Starfleet hostages as well as the Elysium herself? Let him think he was holding more cards than he actually did?" She glanced hopefully over at the Captain, hovering nearby. "Perhaps we could let him think he might have captured the youngest Captain in Starfleet..."
Gary gave a subtle nod to Phoenix and pushed off the wall. He had heard enough and frankly Wynter's remarks had annoyed him. If there was anything he needed to know either Phoenix or Lia could tell him. With another nod he turned and headed back to the Eclipse's bridge.
Lia sat upright, "Just hold on a moment Lieutenant, would you care to clarify that last comment you just made?" She slowly stood up, moving her chair to do so. "Are you presuming to question a Senior Officers conduct? Are you further presuming to question my conduct? Because if you are, I would change course now". She walked over to Wynter, "You are here to brief us on the enemy and his assets, NOT to stand in some childish temper tantrum and insult a Senior Officer". She looked at Phoenix and Gary then back at Wynter, "They may have missed your little insult, I DID NOT LIEUTENANT!!!!" Her anger was now plain to see, "I demand you apologise here and now, or as far as I'm concerned. You can spend the rest of this mission, in the brig. Do you understand Lieutenant?" She now walked over to Gary, "This Officer is Senior to you, he has been placed in charge of this vessel because of his experience". Lia now pointed to Phoenix, "This Senior Officer is the one who placed him in there". Walking back over to Wynter she stopped inches from him, "You have a problem, you come to me. You do an end run around me, and I'll put you away for a considerable time Lieutenant. Now apologise".
Gary stopped and turned around at Lia's outburst. *God Bless You Lia!* He thought silently. She was fiery, independent and she didn't take any crap from anyone and he loved her for it. He looked at Lia, Phoenix and finally his gaze settled on Wynter, his tone calm and controlled like the calm before a coming storm. "Lieutenant,you've questioned not only my conduct but that of Commander Holmes as well. Along with Captain Lalor's judgment. I dare say you are standing on thin ice here." He shook his head in disappointment. "I don't know if your a fool, incompetent or just misguided and frankly I don't care which of them it is. What I do care about is you doing your job and frankly I have doubts on that if this is how you conduct yourself in a staff meeting, making childish comments. I expect better of you. Further,if this is an example of your conduct I think a serious rethinking of the Intel department is called for. You are suppose to be a professional. Now act like it and leave the high school comments behind!" His voice rising to drive the final statements home.
Her comments seemingly ignored, Leah leaned over to the person sat next to her. "Are senior staff meetings...normally like this?" she whispered.
Arri whispered back. "The are not so irrational at all times. I usually read a science or technical journal until the storm passes, would you care to have a copy?"
Phoenix stood silent for a moment and held up a hand. "ENOUGH!" She said loudly. She rarely raisrd her voice at her senior staff. "What in the Gods you three! I have never seen such a display and never expected it from three members of my senior staff!" Her silver blue eyes flashed a sure sign.of her anger.
"Commanders Taylor and Holmes stand down. You both know better! Lieutenant Wynter your comments while they may have seemed like a good idea at the time, they were out of line. We will discuss this after the briefing all three of you. I am horrified by the past two minutes and the lack of decorum shown." Phoenix crossed her arms. She could not believe that she was having to do this in a senior staff briefing no less.
Taking a breath she tried hard to bank her temper down. "Lieutenant Bailey, your comments about a possible hostage is interesting but I doubt I would be allowed to agree to it." She flashed a tight smile trying to dispel her anger.
"Lieutenant Wynter. Finish your briefing on the man please. Without the personal comments if you please"
Wynter nodded non-plussed. "As I was saying he values information which is what I was demonstrating, the person who could give him detailed information such as that would be invaluable. That is all Captain."
Lia stopped and looked at Phoenix, "As you wish Captain, but I feel justified in my response to comments made by a Junior Officer". She then looked at Wynter, "Lieutenant Wynter, as directed by the Captain. I apologise, but I suggest you also be aware of your comments". She went and sat down, her anger still boiled but orders were orders.
Gary remained by the door, "You are right Captain, I/we do know better. The comments made by Lieutenant Wynter were inappropriate for this setting and that is all I am going to say. Other than I apologize Lieutenant my comments were also inappropriate for this setting." His tone formal and stiff.
Choosing to, for the moment, leave that in the past, Phoenix focused on the current issue at hand. "Detailed information. Like what is stored in our ships computer banks?" She asked Wynter curiously. What was in those banks were years of Crew logs and not just the current ones.
"That is a portion of it, but how one reacts to having information, personal or otherwise released, as well as how to play people. Jorus doesn't play the ball or hand he plays the man, and from everything gathered he is exceptional at it. Simply put the information that I have stated here, and the subsequent gathered would allow him to manipulate a number of our crew as he wishes."
"And I am sure all of us have things to be used against us." Phoenix said softly. "So he does not have honor then?"
"He does have honor, but he will take every precaution, and as I said he plays the man, so if he knows your weakness he will use it. That is not to say that he will cheat you out of a win, just his capture."
"Well we are not after capturing him." Phoenix said softly. "We are wanting to initiate contact with him."
"Everyone has vulnerabilities," Tate offered. "Of course, the vulnerabilities only give him power if we allow it. Is there a way to take away his leverage or at least reduce its power?" Ironically, her comment applied to the emotional outbursts they had all just witnessed. The date had been taken, so to speak. She would have to address the problems later, but for now, at least people seemed more interested in solving the problem is directly in front of them.
"Yes Commander we all have vulnerabilities, but Cardoth has masked them as well as played a shelf game extremely well. Most officers would suggest baiting his ego, but that has not worked with him. Perhaps baiting his intrigue would, but that will take time and is not an operation that most are willing to undertake. I suspect that Cardoth will be nearby, but I doubt he will be in command, so even if we do stumble upon him we will not realize it until too late. So Commander I dare say we will have a hard time taking advantage of this, but I will endeavour to keep working at it." Wynter replied.
Lia listened and tried to work out just how they could succeed with this dog of a mission, "Lieutenant, how about pride? Could we use his pride against him?" She was hoping for a positive reply, but didn't hold out any hope.
Arri spoke, "I was about ready to suggest such a course of action. There is a possibility we may succeed in retaking the Elysium but fail in capturing Cardoth." She mentioned. "Commander Taylor, I have something of an unorthodox, and dangerous, idea."
Gary was still smarting over Phoenix's tongue lashing and he had no desire to converse with anyone at the moment still courtesy demanded he listen to Arri's idea. His eyes drifted to her and giving her a curt nod he crisply added, "Just what is your idea Arri?"
"We form our own 'pirate cartel, and out-do him. He will be so scandalized by these 'upstarts taking the USS Elysium away from his posession, that he would spare no effort to maintain or restore his reputation." Arri smiled. "My people know this mentality well, as we once were as deviant as s Cardoth in ancient times."
"A pirate cartel? And just how do you suggest we achieve this Arri?" Lia could kinda see where this was coming from, but somehow couldn't quite work out the finer details. "And just who do we place as our figure head?"
"Doubtless Cardoth is already aware of the possibility that we'll retake the Elysium, and if he's as smart as you say, he'll divine what we'll do next and prepare accordingly. But if we create our own false cartel, take the ship he would desire so much, and move in on all of his operations, creating a false rivalry. Then like all criminal minds, he will be slighted, and will want to make an example. The alternative is him loosing his reputation to an 'upstart.' He will bring all his cards to bear on us... out of pride." Arri mentioned. "I would suggest you lead this false cartel Commander."
Now she sat up and took notice, "Excuse me? Are you saying I should lead this Cartel? Why not Commander Taylor?" Lia hoped she had heard right, but if she had. Why would anyone believe she could do this?
"Commander Taylor is currently the Commanding Officer of the Eclipse, and due to Starfleet Regulations on a CO going on away missions, it would be against regulations for a CO to be put in harms way. Being the leader of our proposed faux cartel would be hazardous." Arri explained as calmly as ever.
Gary sighed and shook his head slightly but otherwise kept silent. Arri was going to quote rules about him not going on an away mission but it was okay for Phoenix to go and meet with a smuggler? What was wrong with this picture? Still he kept silent as he didn't want another tongue lashing from Phoenix.
"Following regulations has never exactly been the this crew's highest priority, especially if the mission's goals require some creativity for the greater good," Tate pointed out without a trace of sarcasm.
Nodding Lia stood up, "And I don't see why we should stop now, do you agree Commander?" She looked at Taylor who was being annoyingly silent, she'd make the little bugger talk even if he didn't want to. "So Commander, what's the plan? I mean you ARE the CO you know". She glanced at Phoenix, almost daring her to say something.
Arri was quiet. 'Humans are most illogical and irrational.' She said mentally to herself. 'Especially this crew.'
Phoenix raised an eyebrow back at Lia. Did they not see the rank pips? oh to pull a SHARR on this group, the situation was getting just a bit on her nerves. She sighed, reigned in her temper and held up a hand. "Sorry for the... interruption Commander Taylor, you may be the CO of this ship, but the mission is mine to lead. An away team will be assembled and once Captain Styles' teams signal, I will send them in and follow. No more will be said. Now I have an away team to assemble. This meeting, called at my order, is dismissed." She dismissed the crew with that last word and a wave of her hand.
She then looked at Taylor, Holmes and Wynter. "The three of you will do best to realize that this is not over and once this mission is done, we will be speaking of it. Dismissed." And thus said she left the meeting room.
Gary had remained silent the entire time both Lia and Phoenix were talking. Phoenix responded just as he knew she would. She was the overall commander of the mission while he was second fiddle. His opinion was second to hers. As she summarily dismissed them, he turned on his heel and returned to the Eclipse's bridge.
Lia faced Phoenix direct, "If you think it requires a meeting, then so be it Captain. But with due respect, I would think it better to just let it die a natural death. Ego's got dented and matters taken out of context, I will be amending my behaviour, I trust others will follow suit".
Dr Sullivan sighed inwardly. She didn't quite understand how things had gotten so explosive so quickly, but one thing is certain. She was going to have to get to the bottom of it sooner or later, or the entire crew was going to suffer.
tag anyone? If not, sign off and OFF
Captain Phoenix Lalor
Commander Gary Taylor
Executive Officer/ Commanding Officer
USS Elysium/USS Eclipse
Commander Lia Holmes
Chief Security/Tactical Officer/First Officer
USS Elysium/USS Eclipse
Lt Commander Matias Grronkil
USS Elysium/USS Eclipse
Commander Liselle Qwyyn
Chief Flight Control/Second Officer
USS Elysium/USS Eclipse
Lieutenant Commander Tate Sullivan, PhD
Chief cat counselor
USS Elysium/USS Eclipse