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The End of the Beginning

Posted on Tue Feb 26th, 2019 @ 4:49pm by Captain Neema Mar & Commander Ariella Azulas & Lieutenant Commander Vok J'runn & Lieutenant Commander Peter Gardner & Lieutenant Hunter Hudson & Rayna
Edited on on Sun Mar 24th, 2019 @ 10:51pm

Mission: Episode 1 - Saying Goodbye
Location: Central Conference Room, Deck 1, USS Athena
Timeline: Mission Day 10 at 1200

With the full crew present and the ship ready to embark on its two day journey back to the Alpha Quadrant, it was time to get everyone on the same page. By now, Neema had met all members of the Senior Staff and other important individuals to the cause but if they were going to have any chance those people would also need to know each other and everyone needed to know what they were going to be doing. With that in mind, Neema had ordered all members of the Senior Staff and a select few others to join her in the Central Conference Room at 1200. Setting the right example she walked in as the first one at 1150 and took a seat at the head of the table.

It wasn't long until the executive officer of the ship entered the observation lounge, the short blonde scooted towards her seat beside the Captain and nodded at her new superior. "Afternoon Captain," Azulas greeted the senior most officer on the ship as she pulled her long blonde locks behind her ears and sat in her seat.

"Afternoon, Commander," Neema replied, acknowledging her second in command with a smile.

Rayna strode into the conference room, nodding to the two officers assembled, and taking a seat at the table, a small collection of PADDs tucked under her arm. “Good afternoon, ladies,” she quipped, pleasantly.

Hunter too, joined the meeting a few minutes early, he hated being late for anything. Like others, he was carrying some PADDs under one arm and a travel mug of steaming mint tea in the other. Nodding to everyone as he entered, he spoke up, "Captain, Commander, good morning... just," he smiled. Hunter gave a curt nod and smile to everyone else present as he sat down and prepared himself for the meeting.

Lieutenant Commander Vok J'hunn entered the conference room with a steaming cup of Raktajino in one hand and made his way to a chair. The slender Klingon seated himself before he nodded to his fellow officers who were already around the table. "Good afternoon, all," he said softly. He was rather excited to have his own medical bay and a little more anxious to get started there then he was to attend a staff meeting. Although, he did understand the importance of having and attending them.

Once the full Senior Staff had arrived Neema moved to face them all. "Hello everyone, by now I have met all of you already so I will forego the usual introductions," she said, shortly followed by a smile. "Some of you have been briefed on our mission already, others are as in the dark as the rest of our crew are. We are going home. The Athena is the culmination of centuries of work, innovation and willpower to produce the strongest ship this galaxy has ever seen. Merging the best of three major powers with significant contributions by dozens of others we have constructed a vessel that can act independently in deep space for decades and outgun anything it faces. The goal of the Galactic Fleet has always been to eventually return to take back the Alpha and Beta quadrants from the Dominion. To do this, they need information. The Athena can't defeat the Dominion on its own and it won't have to. What we will do is establish contact with native resistance, gather information on the current status of the region for the Galactic Fleet, establish a foothold and sabotage the Dominion wherever we can." Neema paused for a second to let it sink in. "The Fleet Admiral has given me full autonomy to act in this regard, we do not operate under Fleet Command, we operate on our own. We determine where to best move next and which locations need to be struck. As long as we make sure the mission is completed. Are there any questions?"

"This operation comes with great risk, Captain, with a possibility of very little reward," Azulas chimed in from beside the Captain. "We have no idea of knowing what advances the Dominion have made, if there is indeed ANY native resistance left to even make contact with or if the people of the quadrants even want liberating at this point. A lot of time has passed and who knows, maybe the Dominion secured the peace and order they preached about?" The XO let out a sigh. "They may not want us back."

Neema nodded. "You are not wrong, and this is also why our mission isn't public. Our assignment is one of reconnaissance first. Considering the willpower of our people though and the general trends in Dominion technological innovation prior to the war we do believe our chances are well. There is a real risk of failure, but it is a risk we have to take."

Vok leaned back from the table and crossed his arms. He didn't say anything, but he did seem to be thinking. His brows were furrowed and his brown eyes were focused on the Captain. He nodded in agreement when Commander Azulas spoke. At least he wouldn't be on a boring mission. Where there was conflict there were often wounded. Not that he wanted wounded, but at least he wouldn't be looking for things to do.

Peter listened silently as the other Officers talked. He had his own thoughts. He listened as the Trill XO talked. "I still think that it's a valid question," Peter began. He had no doubt the Captain had been briefed about him, his thoughts on the Galactic Federation and Section 31. "What are the orders if they don't want our interference?" he asked in a neutral tone.

"Reconnaissance," Rayna responded. "The Dominion are a formidable foe. I'm certain your Admiralty doesn't want us charging in guns blazing if we're going to just get blown out of the sky, so to speak. Neither I nor my compatriots are particularly suicidal, so I appreciate the pragmatism of the order."

Looking back at the Captain, she continued, "My only concern is this: If we find a decent force of indigenes wanting to rise up, how do we plan to sway them to our side?"

Peter raised his eyebrows at the woman. It was matter of fact. They're not my Admiralty, Peter thought silently, but didn't say it outloud. "Reconnaissance is all fine, but my question remains. What are our orders if they don't want out interference? And you say a 'decent' force of indigenous population, I say that needs to be defined," Peter began. "What if everything is okay? What if there is peace? What if the majority want peace but there are few, in proportion to the population, that are unhappy? What right do we have after three hundred years to disrupt these people lives if they are happy?" He paused for a minute. "The Federation once had a Starfleet Officer, later an Ambassador whose name was Spock. He was lauded as being very wise. He stated that the needs of the many, out way the needs of the few. I just hope that we are prepared if our interference isn't wanted."

"A valid question and one you will not like the answer to. The Galactic Federation is at war with the Dominion, the Galactic Federation will return home. If the local populations do not want us, the Galactic Fleet will still execute the original General Order that provided for our exodus and now our return. Looking at the history of how the Dominion has dealt with occupied powers though and the brutalities inflicted on occupied worlds during the war like the massacre of New Bajor, I have no doubt that they will jump at a chance to be free of them. This is a fight we have been preparing for for 300 years," Neema replied, having sensed the Tactical Officer's reluctance from the moment the matter of their mission was raised.

Turning back to Rayna she continued, "The Dominion is likely to have deprived them of the resources to pose a decent resistance, we carry with us thousands of torpedoes, tens of thousands of phasers, and the means to make more. Most importantly we have fifty Omega weapons in our armoury and the authority from the Fleet Admiral to use them if the circumstances require. Perhaps more important than all of this we have the full military knowledge of our preceding civilizations. The ingenuity of Starfleet, the brutal strategic superiority of the Klingons and the cumulative knowledge of the Borg collective to offer their leaderships and the promise of the full Galactic Fleet to place the Dominion on the defensive as soon as we have properly assessed the tactical situation."

Peter did little to hide his disgust on his face, but remained silent. It was all too obvious the indoctrination of Section 31 had taken its toll after 300 years. Peter knew he would, very soon be faced with a choice, good and evil were too often described as a black or white, or yes and no. There was a fine line. The Galactic Federation didn't care. They weren't the Federation that he would've died for 300 years ago. They had the mentality of bullies, I'm big, you're small and by virtue of being bigger, they had to be right. He knew that as black and white as it was being painted, the situation was not going to be that, there were going to be former Federation citizens who had decided to work with the Dominion or collaborate as he was sure the word would be.

If it wasn't for the fact that parts of his family may well be alive, he would've stood up and resigned there and then. The only reason he had stayed with the Galactic Federation was because of this, this chance to get home to see his family. But he never expected it to take 300 years. And now, the ship he now found himself part of was the vanguard of a potential civil war. Although he knew that this was just one possibility, a logical one considering the time that had past, but it was quite the Dominion were still the evil ones.

Vok had listened quietly and now leaned forward in his seat. "So, what you are saying is that like it or not those people are moving or more than likely the Dominion will wipe them out. Am I correct?"

"If there are people or worlds that do not want to live under the Galactic Federation, that is their right and we will not infringe it. We will however remove the Dominion from the Alpha and Beta quadrants. At times that may involve striking at worlds that do not want us to stay afterwards," Neema replied.

“We all have our concerns,” Ariella spoke up again, looking around the table, “none more so than I, but this is our mission. We could wait another three hundred years, or we could decide never to go, but we are ready, now. We won’t know what to expect until we get there, but despite this, we have to try,” the XO declared, her support for the CO resolute and unwavering despite her own concerns.

Neema nodded towards her second in command. "Very well then, everyone prepare your departments. We are heading for the Alpha Quadrant in 4 hours. You are all dismissed" She said, concluding the meeting.


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