NCC - 81102
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First Briefing

Posted on Wed Jul 1st, 2020 @ 4:04pm by Commander Tavis Inahri & Lieutenant Commander Bear Jasper & Lieutenant JG Cassandra Thorn PhD & Lieutenant Zoey Thomas MD & Commander Magnus Hawkins
Edited on on Tue Jul 14th, 2020 @ 2:54pm

Mission: Mission 1: Dirty Little Secret
Location: Observation Lounge
Timeline: Mission Day 1 - 0959 hours

Tavis walked into the room, the large wooden table surrounded by various members of his senior staff. While most of them were on board, there were still a few staff members that they had to pick up along the way. But despite the lack of a full table, there was no reason to postpone the briefing. He knew the rest of the staff was eager to know why they'd been pulled away from their regular assignments for this position.

"Good morning, all. I won't waste any time, so let's jump right in." Tavis said as he stepped to the head of the table. "I don't think I need to remind you, but just in case, what we're about to discuss is completely classified. Each of us has been given classified security clearance for this mission, but that does not extend to your staff. Unfortunately, they will need to remain in the dark on most of the details. Any information you believe needs to be shared can be done on a need-to-know basis, and only with my approval."

He activated the holographic display set in the center of the mahogany table as the face of a man displayed. The head rotated slightly, giving everyone a complete visual of the man with a stern look and pointed ears. "This is Kazyah Linn. Former agent of Starfleet Intelligence and Liaison to a classified installation known as Memory Theta. Memory Theta is a repository for artifacts and technology deemed dangerous to the Federation." Tavis looked down at the PADD he had, making sure not to gloss over any facts that were important.

"Approximately three months ago, Mister Linn left Memory Theta, headed for Ferengi space. His last known location is an installation out in the Beta Quadrant known as Dalia Station. I'm sure some of you have heard of it." Tavis looked up at the faces that were looking back at him. "Our job is to locate and capture this man and bring him back."

In a reverent silence, Bear studied this first-time imagery of the great and mysterious Kaz. He hadn't really ever guessed at what the man would look like, reality being so much more of a teacher than conjecture, but given the current mission it was imperative to finally have that visual information safely stored in his mind's eye. So, Kaz's features now commited to his brain, Bear considered the other big news of the day. Memory Theta.

"Commander, when you say artifacts and tech that are deemed 'dangerous' - what sort of thing are we talking about here? I'm guessing it's not just weaponry?" Bear frowned. "Did he take anything when he left?"

Dalia Station. Damn. That had been a long time ago. What was it now, twelve years at least? Bear pushed back in his chair and stretched his legs out under the table. For now, he was going to keep that little piece of information to himself.

"I was given very little specifics on Memory Theta itself. But as far as I'm aware, he did not take anything with him, physically." Tavis picked up the PADD, glancing through, "I believe the main concern is the information he has and the classified intel he was privy too."

Bear nodded, then raised an eyebrow. "Okay, thanks. So it's really real?" He double-checked, not wishing to doubt Tavis. "This... Theta?"

Tavis nodded. “Yes. Contrary to what we’ve all thought for ages, Memory Theta is a real place.”

"Dalia station, Captain?" Zoey asked, raising her hand momentarily as she spoke. "Is there a particular reason why we'd have heard of it or just something visited often?" Zoey was defintely the newest person to Starfleet as well as space travel in the room. Was there something she needed to prepare for?

Tavis slid into his seat, “Dalia Station is infamous in certain circles. It’s known as a station that has very little law. If you want to find the seediest place with the shadiest people, Dalia is where you go.”

Alex almost didn't say anything. He was almost content to just sit back and follow along. Almost, however, only counts when it comes to plasma grenades. Leaning back in his chair, still maintaining a professional posture, but one that was much more comfortable, he spoke.

"Or, if you just want to go somewhere you don't have to worry about Starfleet, or the Federation watching your every move. Some people do go there for legitimate business, where they can do it in a more open environment, without tons of bureaucratic regulations, and oversight. You know, on top of all the seedy stuff..." he said, letting his voice trail off as he realized how all of what he'd just said probably sounded.

"I see," Zoey said, nodding.

Bear let a sideways glance take in Lt Channing for a moment and made a mental note to have words later.

"Wha' is our goal once we find 'im, Capten?" Cass spoke up finally, letting the others 'more in the know' speak up first. After all, she was 'just the Counselor'. "I understand' tha' our goal is ter bring 'im back, aye. Are we considerin' 'im a target, a possible victim, a defector? Just so we can build a prop'r profile. People don't just disappear without' a motive. Or is tha' no' on us ter determine?"

Tavis looked at the woman with slight confusion in his eyes, "I'm sorry, I didn't quite understand that..."

Cass cleared her throat, "sorry, sir." She said, her accent now a clear queen's english. "I was asking what our end goal was with Mister Linn? Is he considered a target, a victim, a defector? Knowing a motive and having a profile will help us find him and then deal with him accordingly. We all know people don't just disappear without an agenda of some sort. However, is that determination on us once we find him? Or whoever signed our orders? Basically, is he intending to pass this information on, or is he being hunted because he knows something...someone else thinks he shouldn't?"

"Ah," Tavis nodded. "Starfleet has classified this man as a deserter. We have no further information as to a motive, and while I'm not going to prioritize the information, if we gather it along the way, I'm perfectly fine with that."

Hawk was rapidly processing the additional information that had been left out of his informal touchbase with Tavis. "If this man truly deserted from Memory Theta, then why aren't we receiving any support from that... group?" To say the Klingon hybrid was skeptical was an understatement. "How reliable can we say this intelligence is?"

It took all of Cass' training to keep her thoughts structured, tailored to the story of Cassandra Thorn, the Counselor. She knew the reasons and she knew how reliable, but that was not for the others to know, not yet. With a psionic in the room, thought could betray you all too easily, so it took all of her training to project who she needed to be at the moment.

"Tha' is a good question, sir." She added.

"From the information I have, we are not the first attempt to apprehend Mister Linn," Tavis said. "Prior to us they've sent two different agents to try and bring him in. Both failed."

"So send in a ship that has never worked together before to catch someone that people who specifically trained for that sort of thing failed to do?" Zoey asked the skepticism heavy in her tone. "Seems smart."

Tavis shrugged, "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result," he said. "I suppose they wanted to try something different."

"I suppose, but there are a lot of other ways to be insane besides just trying the same thing over," Zoey added. "I'm sure the counselor would agree."

Cassandra glanced over at Zoey, before returning her attention to the group. "Right..." She blinked the feeling of incredulity away, "I'd love t' 'ave a look a' 'is psyche eval' if possible, see if I can glean anythin', the brief we got' din't really offer anythen' ter go on."

"You'll all find that you have a full briefing of the target and what we know about him in your inbox," Tavis said, clearing up any confusion. "I wanted to wait until we had launched to give you any of this information. Not that I don't trust you all, but this mission is highly classified."

Hawk cleared his throat to gain everyone's attention. "There is a piece of intelligence that is not included in the briefing," he said abruptly. "It may also shed light on the nature of our assignment." Giving Tavis an expectant look, Hawk paused a moment before giving a helping prod. "Commander Inahri has prior history with our target."

"Well that makes more sense," Zoey said, turning her attention compltely to the Captain waiting for him to share.

"Ser?" Cass looked over at Inahri.

Tavis sat there for a moment, weight out the pros and cons quickly in his head.

"They deserve to know," Hawk pressed with unflinching eyes.

"You're right, they do," Tavis said, finally. "Commander Hawkins is correct, I do have personal history with the target. He and I grew up together. I believe Starfleet feels that my history with him will somehow make a difference and assist us in succeeding in our mission."

Cassandra nodded in understanding. "Can yeh tell us more? Were yeh friends? School mates?"

She had to force herself to slow her curiosity down, both because it would seem odd as well as putting the obviously uncomfortable Captain further on the spot.

"We were friends throughout our adolescence and into our Academy years," Tavis said. "But to fully understand the depth of our relationship, you're going to need to know more about him."

Tavis turned off the holoprojector, not wanting to stare at Kaz's face any longer. "When he was a child, Mister Linn was involved in an accident that left him completely blinded. He came to live with us in the temple I was studying at. During the years he spent there, Kaz strengthened his telepathic abilities with my help and teaching. As our relationship grew, so did the bond we had with each other." He began to twist the silver ring on his right index finger, a tell-tale sign that he was either thinking or uncomfortable.

"Over time, I was able to help him develop a skill that would become quite useful. By reaching out with his mind, he can sense and feel people and objects around him. This would allow him to no longer need assistance in navigating, though I'm sure he still requires help with some things."

The Commander sighed. "Over time, I have no doubt he has grown quite a bit with his mental abilities. From what I understand of his time in Starfleet Intelligence, the ability I unlocked within him came quite handy in his missions."

Cassandra nodded at Inahri's explanation, making a note to speak with the Captain more about this privately. There was obviously more, but it may not have necessarily been mission related.

As Bear watched and listened to the others talk, he felt that need to protect rush up within, and he locked it down. These were Tavis' crew, this was the inner sanctum of the ship, and Hawk was right, they did deserve to know.

But, seeing that known tell, Tavis' turning of the silver ring, Bear frowned deeply and turned his dark eyes to the most vocal of the 'interrogators'. He didn't need telepathic skills to determine the Captain's underlying vulnerability, and his prior knowledge of at least part of the history with Kaz made Bear want to step up and defend Tavis. Defending him here, however, would project weakness for the older man, so he chose another route.

"I've been to Dalia station, Captain," Bear said, and he cast his gaze around the table. "A few times, a good while ago."

Zoey was locked in battle with herself over what she should say about this or if she should say anything at all. It was not lost in her facial expressions at all that she wasn't really sure how she felt about this mission. "So they're using you as bait?" Zoey finally put out on the table.

Tavis shrugged. “I wouldn’t say I’m bait. They just believe my relationship will allow us to get closer to him than the others.”

Dumb move, thought Bear. Nowhere near a big enough distraction. He settled for maintaining a solid stare at the half-Vulcan and let that look fester into a stare as the man spoke further. Where did he get off giving away the Captain's secrets?

"It appears the admiral's strategy is to leverage the target's old feelings for the commander," Hawk provided. "That means the CO will require 'round the clock surveillance. If we get close enough for Kazyah Linn to engage, then the commander will be at risk... yet that is precisely what seems to be expected of us. Security in particular will find this a unique challenge." He nodded to Bear. "If our Chief Engineer had reported in by now, we would also consider a collaborative effort to utilize shipboard systems to isolate the target in the event of infiltration, so consider this a preliminary briefing. Once we're fully staffed, we'll supplement with further strategy development."

"Do ye believe Linn would actually approach us? By us I mean the Cap'n?" Cass posed the question. "If 'e is on the run, why would 'e risk makin' contact wit' 'im?"

"We honestly don't know what to expect," Tavis said. "We're going to take it slow and just see what happens."

Zoey frowned and looked down at the table in front of her. Leave it to her to not get the standard fun exploration mission or humanitarian effort. Starfleet was going to be an interesting ride.

"Not my first unique challenge," Bear said evenly, and without a show of pride or ego. It was simply a true statement and this mission was one he had personal investment in. He looked from Hawk to Tavis and met the Captain's gaze. "He wants you, he'll have to come through me first," Bear promised, repeating an old saying of bodyguards through the ages. "And I'd say we have an advantage here, this time we know what the threat looks like, and what he's capable of. Right?"

Alex sat forward slightly, "We know what he was capable of. Not what he's currently capable of, or willing to do to fulfill whatever goals he has in mind." Truth was, when someone made the choice to leave something they'd devoted a large portion of their lives to there were usually things no-one knew about going on. He had a nagging feeling that the person they were being sent after had become a far more dangerous man after he left the watchful eyes of those he had been working for.

"I think, and this is just my two cents here, that we can't be too careful, and we damn sure can't underestimate him. Especially with the bond that he apparently shares with the Captain," he added, finishing up his thought.

With a silent moment of study directed solely at Lt Channing, Bear let his dark gaze take in the details of the other man's face as took his time with his response. "You do your job, I'll do mine," he said, his tone calmly stern.

"I think we can all agree that we're going to take our precautions and be vigilant," Tavis said. "It's going to take us a bit of time to get to Dalia Station. Once we do, I think it'll be best to send just a small group to the station. From what I understand, the sight of Starfleet would make a lot of people nervous, so no uniforms. And it's probably best I not be part of the group. If Kaz is on Dalia, I'd like to know before he suspects we know."

He looked around the table. "Commander Hawkins, Commander Jasper, Lieutenant Channing. I think the three of you would be the best likely trio for this. Get acquainted with the station and its layout. Be prepared. All we're doing is dipping our toe in, asking questions, getting information. I don't want anyone to confront Kaz. The last thing we need is for him to run where we can't find him. Understood?"

There were various nods and quips of agreement around the table. "Good, glad to hear it. Everyone's dismissed."

As people began to stand from the table, Tavis turned to look at his Executive Officer. "Commander Hawkins, can I see you in my office please?" he asked before he stood and left the room.

 

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