NCC - 81102
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And finally... The Real Security Briefing

Posted on Fri Aug 28th, 2020 @ 11:17pm by Commander Tavis Inahri & Lieutenant Commander Bear Jasper & Commander Magnus Hawkins

Mission: Mission 1: Dirty Little Secret
Location: Captain's Ready Room
Timeline: MD2 Very soon after Fight Cub

It had been quick, the brief rest and the drink of cool water. Far too quick, but Bear wasn't about to admit that to the victor. Luck, he told himself, luck had been on the XO's side. Luck and a loss of control that the Security Chief had duly noted for future reference. Klingon-battle-rage, just one more weapon in the ship's complement, and a good thing to have on his side.

Battles were always a learning experience, and the only shame in losing was not taking something from it. Bear silently vowed, as the two walked into Tavis' ready room, to spend more time sparring with Magnus. They needed to be able to not just rely on each other, but to recognise their strengths and weaknesses in order use them against any shared threat.

A wry grin presented across that bruised face as, Bear's weight leant partly against Hawk's shoulder, the two of them ducked through the doorway to join Tavis. Five minutes late. Bear cleared his throat, and spoke, his voice a little croaky.

"Sorry to keep you waiting, Captain," he said.

Tavis blinked as he looked between the two men. "Do I even want to know?" he asked, noting the bruising and blemishes that covered both men, though it was obvious one was in much worse shape than the other.

"Training exercise," Hawk said as evenly as possible. Fortunately his taciturn face was not predisposed to express embarrassment. "Pre-briefing training exercise. We were able to formulate some strategies during the post-training... Sickbay visit." He cleared his throat and attempted to move on. "We have a few strategies in mind for your consideration, however."

"You realized that it's very hard to lie to a Betazoid, right?" Tavis asked, sitting back in his chair.

"I'm sure I wouldn't know," Hawk said pointedly, "as I have never had occasion to lie to one."

Tavis rolled his eyes, "You two might as well take a seat, Bear looks like he'll fall over if he doesn't sit soon."

"Doctor says he'll live," Hawk said glibly as he helped the security chief into the chair and then sat down himself.

"M'okay," promised Bear, but he definitely looked happier sitting down. He scooched down enogh to rest an elbow on the chair's arm and gingerly let his palm support his head. "Magnus got lucky," he added with a wry smile, and he left the whole anger issue between the two of them.

"I'm not amused," he said to the both of them. "How about we get this briefing over with so you both can take some time alone in your quarters? I'd rather the crew not see you walking around with evidence of what appears to have been a brawl."

Bear didn't have the decency to look sheepish, but lifted his head proudly to regard Tavis. "Genuinely, Captain," he said, with an even tone and no evidence of feeling defensive. "I needed to know what I'm dealing with in regards to Commander Hawkins' strengths before we encounter anyone on Dalia." Bear kept his gaze locked with Tavis. "And this was the best way to learn."

"Just get on with it, gentlemen," Tavis said, sharply.

"Right..." Hawk took a breath to prepare his thoughts and then said, "So we've outlined a few options for your consideration. We could attempt a direct infiltration with a single team or a series of casual reconnaissance operations in multiple pairs. What are your thoughts?"

Going in undercover and finding an ally with information would be a great first start, Tavis thought to himself. He glanced between the two men and immediately decided to keep that idea to himself for now. "What sort of data do we have on the station and its defensive capabilities? Do we have information on the current ships docked? Any Ferengi vessels?"

Hawk turned to Bear. This was where his experience would come into play.

Bear made a face that suggested what he had to say wasn't about to improve their Captain's mood. He let his dark gaze wander from Magnus to Tavis anyway and then kept that intense visual connection with the man who could absolutely read between the lines.

"Well," Bear confessed openly, "first look suggests that the basic infrastructure of the defences are the same, but that's a trick. They always had a few decoys visible to draw your attention - coupla simple turrets and arrays no doubt backed up by serious upgrades considering the last time I was here was over a decade ago." He grimaced, but maintained eye contact with Tavis anyway. "I have information on the docked ships - yes - but they'll all be rocking transponders and signatures fabricated by a variety of underworld options, so we can't really trust that data. No overt Ferengi presence - no - but again, if your old friend's here, then he'll hardly be advertising."

Bear shrugged and rubbed fingers across his chin. "Only way to be sure what's waiting for us," he ended his ad-hoc report, "is to walk right up and knock."

"Correct," Hawk agreed, "which is why we advise selecting one of our two devised plans of action."

"And leaving me behind," added Bear.

They were not agreed on this point, which was made visible by Hawk's jaw setting firm and tight. However, they had agreed to allow the commanding officer to choose, so Hawk said nothing.

"That's not an option," Tavis said, "Tell me more about this direct infiltration idea. What sort of obstacles are you anticipating? Show me the contingency plan."

"Contingencies would be difficult to plan without current intel on station goings-on," Hawk said. "A direct approach would be risky in that the only option for exposure or failure would be to retreat."

Tavis shook his head, "I don't want us to be backed into a corner, or worse, have to retreat. If we engage him here, and we don't capture him, there's no telling where he might end up."

The Commander sat there for a moment, thinking. "No, the other idea is better. Let's send over a small team, the two of you and the new Chief Engineer. From my understanding of her physiology, she would be able to communicate with her other selves in case we run into any issues. But we're going to need a good excuse for being there."

"We're not in possession of any contraband," Hawk said, "so... perhaps we should be in search of some? Buyers rather than sellers. But would that put too bright a searchlight on us?" His question was as much to Bear as Tavis.

Tavis looked at Bear.

Bear stared stalwartly back at Tavis. He steeled his gaze, furrowed his brow and leaned forward. "Better that I stay back," he suggested. "Magnus and Aurora can handle a drug deal just fine. I knew this place well once, I'd be a good overwatch." It wasn't enough, he could tell by the look on the other man's face. "Someone might recognise me," Bear pushed, unhappily but with a grave sincerity. "I could jeopardise the mission."

"Commander Hawkins," he corrected. "Or Hawkins or Hawk. Magnus was my adoptive grandfather. That being said, you're our guide, so I recommend you take point."

Tavis ignored Hawk. “Bear, you’re going. Let’s move on. What sort of options do we have to get there and not raise suspicions?”

He sucked that up for a moment - the unwanted and unrefusable order from his Captain - and Bear pushed down the strong urge to argue further. It was done. He needed to deal with it privately.

"Options," he said, serious and invested now. "Simply put then, we could be selling something - stolen shuttle for example - or looking to buy something specific - drugs, shuttle mods, information. Or we just be up front and say we're looking for someone, not our actual target of course, but that would give us a fair reason to be snooping about asking lots of questions." Bear paused, holding back further ideas until Tavis and Hawk had reviewed these.

"I recommend against that," Hawk said. "Presenting ourselves as bounty hunters may scare up the wrong kind of attention. If the target is still on Delia, there's no way he wouldn't catch wind."

"Fair point," countered Bear. "But perhaps drawing his attention might work to our advantage? He's gonna be kinda difficult to sneak up on, either way." He looked to Tavis with a slight frown marring his brow. "Any idea where he'd go or what sort of person he'd hang out with, if he's here?"

"The last thing we want is to draw his attention," Tavis said. "Kaz doesn't exactly like to be seen or be known. If he thinks someone sees him, he'll run. No, the best course of action is for him to not know we're here."

"People are easier to spot when they're running," noted Bear, with a wry expression. "But I bow to your experience on this one, boss."

"In order to spot someone running, you'd have to see them," Tavis said. "I promise, if Kaz runs, you won't see anything."

He sighed, considering the options. "Honestly, I don't think we have a good firm idea right now. I propose that we leave it for now, we can take it one step at a time. Let's get a lay of the land when we get there, maybe put a few boots on the ground just to look around. Then we can formulate a more concrete plan while we go. Sound good, gentlemen?"

"Good enough," Hawk said, rising to leave. "Until next time, gentlemen..."

Tavis watched as both men stood, Hawk helping the injured Bear leave. He smiled, shaking his head as the doors closed behind them. While he wasn't a fan of fighting in general, nor did he think they should be walking around with such obvious injuries, he was glad they were bonding in some way. He rolled his eyes and chuckled as he went back to reading the Engineering report.


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