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Dalia Calling

Posted on Fri Aug 28th, 2020 @ 11:26pm by Commander Tavis Inahri & Lieutenant Commander Bear Jasper & Lieutenant Aurora 4827/A & Lieutenant JG Cassandra Thorn PhD & Ensign Alex Dalton & Commander Magnus Hawkins

Mission: Mission 1: Dirty Little Secret
Location: Bridge - USS Odyssey
Timeline: Mission Day 13 - 1453 hours

"Commander, we're entering the Ulyrian system," said the man manning the Helm.

"Full stop. On screen," Tavis said, sitting comfortably in the center chair. Luckily everyone was here already. Ops had given them an hour notice of their arrival so everyone had plenty of time to get to the Bridge. As the large viewscreen came to life, the image of a beautiful blue planet filled the screen with a large circular satellite in orbit.

"Ensign Dalton, I assume that's the station? Dalia Station?" he asked.

Aurora Violet stood to the rear of the bridge before the status display while Green was in Engineering. Gray was sleeping.

Handling two departments at the same time had to have been one of the most insane things Aurora had ever attempted. She had simply thought she could focus on the task of calibrating some of the sensors to find the particular physiological signature of their target, but once word got around that there was an actual department head on hand to make decisions Operation personnel had flocked around her like locusts, asking questions, requesting guidance, mediating disputes. And all at once her ability to be in three places at once turned into a disadvantage because it meant three times as many people harassing her. She had to remind herself to bake Ensign Dalton a cake or something.

Pulling his gaze away from the beautiful mystic blue planet to double check the data scrolling across his console Dalton gave a nod: "Yes sir, that is correct."

Sat in his comfortable chair to Tavis' left, Bear leant back and embraced that sense of trepidation percolating in his gut. He'd been here before to this very station, 12 years ago now, but that sense of foreboding mixed with excitement rushed back all the same. The kid who'd made this journey with the nefarious crew of a certain freighter was still alive and kicking and hoping for justice, but his Starfleet training made it easier to hide that inner child. Most of the time, anyway.

"Can you tell us the IDs of any the docked ships, Ensign?" Bear asked, expecting mostly a 'no' in response.

Cass had taken over one of the auxiliary stations in the back, looking over the readouts, but saying nothing. It was a challenge to be the passive observer on the Bridge. The pull to be a regular Starfleet officer was strong, very strong. She had to remember her role here though, she'd trained for it for a long time.

Dalton frowned slight at the Commander's question half wondering why the security chief wasn't able to answer his own inquiry - unless he was testing him of course. He reviewed the display: "Civilian vessels mostly, freighters, transporters, a few small private charters," he explained.

Tavis nodded, "Good to know," he said. "Anything with a Ferengi signature?"

The Ensign shook his head: "No, nothing I can detect."

At the mention of the Ferengi signature, Cass raised her head a little, eyebrow raised. Did he have additional orders? Or was it just a suspicion? Then again, the presence of the Ferengi wouldn't be that big of a surprise, considering how involved they have been lately in events.

Aurora's head raised as well as she glanced over her shoulder. She saw that the Captain's statement caused the woman in teal to perk her head up as well. Aurora caught her eyes and smiled. Science? Or was she part of the medical staff?

"Where will the away team go first?" Hawk asked. They had agreed to wait until they had eyes on the station and a better grasp of the situation before making that determination.

Tavis considered for the moment, "I say we head directly to the station," he said, looking back at his XO. "Civilian clothes, I don't want anyone getting spooked that Starfleet is aboard the station. Just fact-finding at the moment. Ask around, see if you can find out where he is aboard the station. No confrontation if avoidable."

"We'll need official business," Hawk stated, "an actual reason to be there. Otherwise we'll stand out like sore thumbs."

Tavis nodded. This was a point of concern that was raised during his security briefing.

"We have anything we can trade?" Bear asked, gifting Tavis a significant look. "It's been over a decade, but I suspect there's still a minor connection I could check up on." He shrugged. "If not, they'll be other buyers about who might like... say a crate of the good stuff."

Cass turned away from her console, turning to face the view screen, "A suggestion, if I may?" She kept her accent clear. In a situation like this, she needed to be understood clearly. "Perhaps ask if we may come aboard for shoreleave, before heading off to some sort of scientific assignment or some such? Interest in a diverse cultural experience and the lot."

Tavis shook his head. “No, that would put people on edge. This isn’t exactly the kind of place you want to announce you’re from Starfleet.” He looked back at Hawk, “What if your business is to secure a ship?” he asked. “Take one of the shuttles to the station. Your story could be that you stole it and you want to dump it and use the funds to purchase another vessel that’s less obvious. Gives you reason to be there as well as an explanation for why you arrive in a Starfleet vessel.”

"You guys should have figured this out before we came here." Cass thought to herself. "They already know we are here. To have a stolen Fleet shuttle arrive without us taking action is going to be even harder to believe. And the team will pose a liability, hanging around the station with a bloody Fleet vessel on a lookout." Thoughts swam thrugh Cass' head for the briefest moment before she clamped them down as she returned to her station.

Aurora pondered the issue.

"What if we are the commodity?" she suggested. "Dishonorably discharged Starfleet crew, dumped off on the station, desperate for work? They know we're here, we have to have a good reason for being here. We could come up with a plausible story for why we've been kicked out of Starfleet. A Prime Directive violation could be a good reason."

"That was among the list of possibilities," Hawk said, "Among many we discussed."

Tavis held up his hand, bringing the ideas to a close. "Thank you for the suggestions everyone, glad to know we're all trying our best to get this done right."

He sat there for a moment, mulling over the various ideas. But in the end, he knew the best option was the one that favored his strengths. "Hawk, Bear, Aurora. Take a shuttle and get over to that station. Dalton, Cassandra and I are going to stick with you from the Bridge. Let's play it by ear and take this one step at a time, together. No uniforms."

"Understood, Sir," Aurora replied. To the XO and Chief of Security she said, "I will meet you in the shuttle bay just as soon as I get dressed in something less presentable."

And with that violet turned back to the Engineering status board while in Engineering she murmured to one of the NCOs she was heading out.

"This is not going to go the way you think." Cassandra thought to herself, outwardly nodding at Inahri's command. "Yes, sir."




Changed into something less formal, Hawk struggled against feeling out of his element. The Starfleet uniform was more than just clothing. It was an identity, assurance that he was not the person, no, the thug from Galorda Prime. Looking into the mirror and seeing his Klingon half-ridges standing out from black tactical gear was one of the hardest things he'd done in some time. But it had to be done, just like what came next.

Aurora did not have many civilian clothes; the past years had seen her live a very orderly life, which meant very tidy, precise uniforms. But over the years she had picked up things here and there. Worn dark gray hiking boots, sturdy navy slacks, a long sleeve gray blouse and an auburn hued jacket with a hood, she completed the ensemble with an old equipment belt she had taken a fancy to.

Meanwhile, violet was still on the bridge while gray had staggered down to engineering.

"For the duration of the away mission, you are to refer to me as Targh'n." It was a name he had not used since adolescence, a vestige from his paperwork for political asylum. It remained in his file as a legal middle name as a reminder of the Klingon heritage he so despised. As much as he identified as solely Human, deep down he knew better.
"No ranks, no names, only aliases. You may choose them now."

Hmmm, Aurora thought. She was supposed to have an alias? Well, naturally. After a moment she said, "Let's keep it simple: Das."

On the bridge violent murmured "Targh'n" as she committed it to memory.

"Perry," said Bear, instantly and pointed to his own chest. His brother's name was guaranteed to draw his attention in any situation, not one he could forget or mistake. He looked effortlessly comfortable in civilian clothes, worn boots, combat trousers, a dark t-shirt with a band name on it, the lettering faded and worn hidden partially by his battered dark brown leather jacket. "Let's do this."

Hawk... or, rather, Targh'n, gave a nod. "Let's."

Being the ranking officer on the away team and being flight-rated for shuttles, Targh'n took a seat at the helm and let the other two figure out their seating.

Aurora sat in one of the rear seats and called up the engineering specs on the shuttle, more out of habit than anything else. She was full of nervous energy, she always was on a mission. Meanwhile gray made it to Engineering and violet's foot began to nervously tap on the deck of the bridge.

Taking the seat next to Magnus', Bear occupied himself with investigating any ship signals in the vicinity of the station itself, drilling down into type and any information that he could drag. He scanned the area a little further out too, seeing if anyone was lurking on the periphery.

"Shuttle One to Odyssey reporting all green," Targh'n said through the open comm to the bridge.

"Received, shuttle one," Dalton's voice came through. "You're clear to launch when ready."

"Shuttle One sounds very boring," Aurora noted in the rear, "Why don't we name our shuttles after, I don't know, calderas or something? Or insects? 'Aphid' sounds like a cute name. 'Ladybug'?"

Targh'n let out a faint scoff. "There's probably a name on file. Check the registry."

"Nnnnnnnnnnno," Aurora said after a moment, "I like the name 'Ladybug'." she smiled, "Of course if that name is too masculine for you I suppose we could call it 'Rainbow Unicorn'. Or 'Velveteen Rabbit'."

The scowl came naturally to Targh'n/Hawk's face, as did the faint uptick of a smile at one end of his mouth. "You'll have to run that by the man in the command chair."

With a roll of his eyes, Bear ignored them both. He didn't really care what they called the shuttle, he was far more interested in what - and who - they were about to walk into on Dalia.

The comm sparked to life with the Captain's voice, "Shuttle One, how about we worry about names later and get over to that station?"

"Velveteen Rabbit copies," Aurora replied with a smile. To the guys she said, "I'm ready."

The large shuttlebay door rolled upward slowly, revealing the pitch black of space beyond the forcefield. The shuttle lifted from the deck, stabilizing for a moment before it swung forward, passing through the blue field with ease and into the void. It's destination: Dalia Station.

 

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