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Part of USS Europa: And the Cradle Will Fall

Change of Command, pt. II

USS Europa, Briefing Room
MD02 - 0600
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It was early in the morning, but the entire senior staff had assembled on time in the conference room, awaiting the introduction of their new commanding officer, after Captain Alain had departed the ship to attend to a family crisis back on Earth. It was still that bleary time of day where most beings’ brains were still booting up, but there was an air of anticipation in the room.

The doors parted to admit the two last attendees. The two Human men were about thirty years apart in age, but roughly the same height and both wore command red. The older man had dark hair and wore the insignia of a fleet captain, while the younger man was blond, more muscular, and a lieutenant commander. They sat down at opposite ends of the table.

“Good morning. I am Fleet Captain Brett Logan, and I’ve assumed command of the Europa for the duration of this mission. This is Lieutenant Commander Christopher Forrest, my adjutant. He’ll be filling in where needed, but the rest of you will continue in your current roles until further notice,” Logan explained. “Before we go any further, I’d like to know who I’m dealing with. Let’s go around the table and sound off: I want to know who you are and if there’s anything of special concern from your department.”

Natalya paused trying to understand what had happened. She had not been informed of the Captains quick departure until she woke up with the orders to attend a briefing. She wasn’t quite sure how to respond to the Fleet Captain. “Commander Natalya Koerner, Executive Officer. No current concerns to note.” She stated as she was still trying to understand everything that was happening.

Aarven looked around the room then back at the Captain, “Lieutenant Aarven Ashatia, Chief Engineering Officer.” She began as she spoke up first, though she normally wait until last she was getting more out of her comfort zone. “Nothing in Engineering as of right now,” she answered his last question.

Being seated next to the Chief Engineer, she knew that she would be next to sound off. Good thing she had her PADD with her with the recent update from her team’s efforts. Plus she didn’t get much sleep herself, maybe a few hours before getting back to work on the sensors. She then realized that Lieutenant Ashatia was done, so she focused her eyes right on the Captain. “Akira Rowe, Junior Grade Lieutenant, Chief of Operations, sir.” She spoke loudly and clear, something she was used to. “No special concerns, sir.”

“Lieutenant JG Beckman sir,” Willow said in her usually confident tone. She’d been one of the last in, didn’t have anything before her on the table and had made effort to make sure she looked the part of the model officer at least. Being quiet literally the most junior ‘senior officer’ in the room was competing in her headspace with her innate swagger, masked for the most part with a professional demeanour. “No concerns from flight ops aside from a few voiced concerns about flying in the Badlands, but I’m confident my people can handle it.” I’m confident -I- can handle it, being the subtext of that statement.

Eddie spoke up next. “Lieutenant Commander Edred Price, sir. Chief Science Officer. I’ve only just arrived myself, but there are no pressing concerns at present. I will inform you otherwise should something come up.”

— Chief Security and Tactical Office, Lieutenant Jolie Kyo —

With a PADD in hand, Jolie was going over the recent reports from the ship’s security force. As well as adding her newest member to the roster when she heard the announcement for all of the senior officers to report to the conference room. Cocking her head to the side as she listened to the voice over the intercom. “Who is that?” she said out loud to herself as she set down the PADD.

Standing up Jolie walked toward the closed door but not before stopping at a mirror that was near the exit of her interior office. Making sure that her uniform and appearance were in place, she nodded, and exited out of her office, and made her way to the closest lift that would take her to the bridge, and ultimately the conference room.

As the lift slowed to a stop on the deck which housed the bridge, Jolie could not help but wonder who had summoned her. The door to the lift, slid to the side with a soft hiss after it had come to a complete stop. Stepping out, Jolie made her way to the closed door of the conference room, and it was then that her eyes came to rest on two new people; both of whom were wearing command red, and one of which was wearing the four pips and bar of a fleet captain. She safely assumed that this man had been the one to call for the meeting of the senior officers.

After Jolie took her seat she listened to what Logan has stated and nodded, ‘This explains why we haven’t left yet,’ She thought to herself as several of the officers in attendance informed the CO of what was going on.

Jolie looked up from a PADD that she had brought with her and took a quick look at it before looking up at the Fleet Captain, “Nothing to report at this time, Sir,” she stated, “Just eager to get out there and see what is going on with this missing Cardassian vessel,” she added before going silent.

Krull, whom for the most part was sitting with his arms crossed over finally spoke up, looking towards and addressing the Captain “The Medical Department is at the ready, Captain Logan.” he spoke, putting some emphasis on the Captain part of Logan. His gruff tone continued, “A few incidents are being attended to currently, but there is nothing major.”

Once the introductions were complete, Logan tapped the panel next to his seat that brought up a map on the screens at either end of the room and on the large display next to the conference table. It showed the Europa‘s relative position to the Cardassian ship’s last known position within the badlands.

“At our current speed, we’ll arrive in roughly five hours. That’s a faster timetable than you were anticipating, but I’m confident we’ll be prepared. The sooner we find that ship, the sooner we’ll know what the rest of the mission parameters entail, but Starfleet Command can’t stress how important this mission is. Forrest?”

“Right. The Badlands, as we all know, are full of volatile plasma storms, gravitational anomalies, and basically anything else that will make even the best pilots think twice about entering the region. The Cardassian’s are being tight-lipped about what this transport was doing, but they’ve been unusually forthcoming about its specifications and flight path.”

“We’ll retrace her steps and see if we can’t find this needle in a haystack,” Logan added. “I want an away team briefed and ready to go on a moment’s notice if we need one, and sickbay needs to prep for a possible mass casualty event. I don’t know Captain Alain or his command style, but I like things to be done by the book, so we’re going to run this by the numbers. Any questions?”

She looked at him, “No sir we’ll have the Europa ready to enter the Badlands before we even arrive, sir.” Ashatia replied as she adjusted quietly in her seat.

Akira was familiar with his style, his straight to the point and by the book style. She had a Captain like that once, her second assignment, something she couldn’t forget. So as to follow suit, she spoke after the Lieutenant did, “My team and I have been able to boost sensor efficiency by at least nine point four seven percent. Number of sensor packages were boosted, including the transpectral sensor, that alone should help the sensors detect an object through the plasma interference. Hopefully this will help us find the vessel faster. I wish I could have done more.”

Captain Logan arched an eyebrow. “I’m not a fan of tinkering past design specifications, Lieutenant Rowe. A burn-out or malfunction within the Badlands could be deadly. Get Commander Forrest a full report on what you’ve modified,” he ordered, not sounding angry but also not sounding like there was room for negotiation there.

Akira felt red in the face when she was called out like that, more annoyed and frustrated than embarrassed but she wasn’t going to speak her mind, having done that on her second assignment with a Captain like him led her to her third. Experiences and first impressions basically told her to zip it aside from, “Yes, sir.” Doing her very best to keep the tone neutral before averting her eyes to her PADD and started to take everything her and her team did and added it to a rough draft of a report. Now she will have to get with the Chief on the power adjustment that she had requested to do with the EPS junction linked to the sensor systems to ensure that nothing was going to ‘burn out’. She had spent those hours not sleeping going over everything her team had done that she had instructed them to do to ensure it was done properly. And now she has to explain in detail as to why she believed standard specifications aren’t good enough, and how and why improving them to help with the mission won’t blow up in her face.

“Thank you,” Captain Logan replied, looking at the lieutenant for a split second longer before turning back to the group. “I realize that this transition might take some getting used to, but we, unfortunately, don’t have time to really get to know each other before hitting the ground running. If this were a less pressing situation, Starfleet might have been able to send another ship, but the Europa has the best equipment available for the job.”

The captain paused.

“Our unfamiliarity with one another and with the ship itself is all the more reasons to play this one by the book. I’ll expect reports from all departments within the hour on mission readiness. Commander Koerner, please stay behind, but the rest of you are dismissed.”