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Part of USS Cygnus: A Failure to Communicate

Mission Briefing

Conference Room
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In an unusual move, Captain Bane had invited several members of the crew to the Staff Briefing usually reserved for the Senior Staff of the ship. However, with the way that Starfleet had conducted itself, removing four of the original senior officers from the ship mid-mission, Bane wanted to ensure everyone knew what their mission was. It served several purposes; it allowed the information he was about to share to be disseminated quicker and also showed that he, as Captain, and more, as a member of this crew, that he cared about the uncertainty everyone was feeling. He didn’t know a single person aboard this ship any more than they knew him, and he wanted to be sure that they all felt like family as soon as possible.

“Alright,” he began, looking around the table. “I appreciate you all coming.” He looked and nodded at each person as he said their name. “Lieutenant Lisald, our Chief Operations Officer. Lieutenant Gore, our Chief Tactical Officer. Lieutenant Anderson, our Chief Engineer. Dr. Elodin, our Chief Medical Officer. Ensign Spangler, our Chief Science Officer. Dr. Dattek-Winters, our Assistant Chief Medical Officer” (he paused for a second after he looked at her, what with her Cardassian features). ” And Doctor Kin’Fuji, our Medical Officer. Thank you all for coming here and taking time out of your busy schedules. I know there is a lot to do as each of you adjust to your new roles and new responsibilities, or to help out the others that are new,” he said, specifically looking to his brethren, Lisald and Elodin.

“Our mission ahead of us is 100 percent exploratory and science. Starfleet Command sent this ship to the relative back-side of Cardassian Territory, where the Federation knows little to nothing about. The best we do know is that there is at least one space-faring civilization there. We don’t really know where, or if they are friendly or hostile, only that they call themselves ‘The Commonwealth’. Questions,” he asked, opening up the floor to each of them.

Kin’Fuji remained quiet as she didn’t understand why she was summoned to this meeting.  What the Captain just said could have been said over the ship wide intercom.  “Couldn’t we get all needed information from the Cardassian Union?”  She finally asked.

Bane looked to the Cait’sune medical officer. “Thank you for asking, Doctor. The short answer is we have asked. However, they are notoriously tight-lipped when giving information, even innocent information like this. Hence the reason we are being sent out there to find out.” He looked to the rest of the officers assembled here for more questions.

“I’ve been analyzing the data they gave to us from our last mission.” Albert paused, scrolling through the PaDD in his hand, “We thought they had either altered the data to conceal their means & methods; but I’ve dug a bit deeper and I don’t think they did.” He shrugged, looking back up, “I don’t think they did; their data might just not be that good.”

Bane was surprised by this, what with he knew about the Cardassian Union and their intelligence services. “I’ve always known the Cardassians to keep meticulous record, Mr. Spangler. That is extremely telling their data isn’t that good. Could it possibly be a paradigm shift from their traditional ways?”

Elodin harrumphed. “The Cardassians aren’t exactly known to be the explorer type,” he pointed out. “Unless this planet had resources they could subvert, or the planet had any kind of strategic value, I doubt they gave it much interest. And given its location, in the Outer Rim, I don’t think it has that much strategic value.”

The Captain smiled despite himself. As he was smiling, he caught sight of Dattek-Winters, his smile disappearing from his face in an instant. Clearing his throat, he responded. “You have a valid point, Doctor Elodin, about how they aren’t known to be prolific explorers.” He let the rest of the statement the Doctor stated hang in the air.

Having seen the Captain’s enchanting smile disappear from his face as soon as he noticed her, Winters was shocked and very sad at the same time. She had no idea why he had reacted to her that way but it couldn’t have been a good omen, that was for sure.  She spoke quietly and although, as she had determined yesterday, she managed to look him in the eyes hoping to convince him of her earnestness, her hope that she might be able to regain his good opinion was sinking fast.

“I  understand that at the end of the war with the Dominion, the Cardassians as a military whole, picked the wrong side and were massacred by the Jem Hadar…. in their millions”  Ravi ventured  “Is it reasonable to imagine that a lot of records and record keepers perished at that time and the balance of order has not been able to be re-established yet?  Perhaps therefore, they really don’t know much about whatever is out here, much less any lone and unexplored planets.”  Unconsciously, she ran her fingers through her dark wavy hair and down her mother’s precious Bajoran Earring.

Plase nodded, the notion that their records could be lost a new idea to him. He wished he had thought of it. “You aren’t wrong at all, Doctor Dattek-Winters.” He looked around the room briefly before continuing. “There could be a million different reasons why the Cardassian Central Government has not been able to provide this information, ranging from simply never having had it,” he said, looking at Doctor Kin’Fuji, “to giving what they had and it not being very detail,” he said, looking at Spangler, “to them never being interested in that part of space, and therefore never explored it beyond the occasional sensor sweep from light years away,” he stated, looking at Doctor Elodin, “to the information having been lost, possibly forever, to the Cardassians,” he said, looking to Dattek-Winters. 

Bane took in a few breaths before looking at Lieutenants Gore and Anderson. “Lieutenant Gore, Lieutenant Anderson, Lieutenant Lisald, you three have been conspicuously silent during this conversation. What say you?”

Gore nodded to his commanding officer. “The Cardassian Union is not ready politically to be an imperial actor on the galactic stage again”, he said. “Probably, I mean”, he added, quickly. “Public opinion outside the Union might not have mattered much to them in the past, but they cannot afford to be seen as a threat to peace at this time. That does not mean that they have no interest in what is sitting on their back porch. It would be imprudent, and out of character for them. They probably have their own designs on whatever lies out there. A successful high profile first contact with a potentially powerful new ally would be a coup for them politically. Also it would be a strategic misstep to let the Federation get too friendly with peoples they have borders with. Being surrounded by powers whose dispositions are not advantageous is never a good position to be in”, he said. For half a second, he almost added something else, but ultimately held back.

Lisald spoke up for the first time during this mission, taking the time and opportunity to listen to his comrades and shipmates, and to fully gather everything that was going to be said. “Sir, I have to agree with Lieutenant Gore. It is highly suspect they have not talked to their back yard neighbors, or scoped them out. Sir, I recommend we ask Command to push the Cardassian Union again on any more relevant information.” He inhaled. “In the meantime, I have been disseminating First Contact procedures to the crew and have ensured everyone is brushing up on it.”

Bane nodded. “Good job Lieutenant Lisald. I also want you to allocate all the power and resources needed for the Science Department. Ensign Spangler,” he said, looking to the Chief Science Officer, “You and your staff will likely be the busiest. I want perfect calibration of all sensors and want a dozen or more of each class of probe ready to launch, and all of your staff refreshed in planetary survey, entomological survey, flora and fauna surveys and any other survey you can think of. I want them all and I want this done to the greatest of your ability. Lieutenant Gore,” he went on, looking at the Chief Tactical Officer, “Be sure to get familiar with the tactical capabilities of this ship. I’d like to see you run several drills for each of the four shifts between now and when we make contact. With all of the new people aboard,” he said, looking around at the staff before him, “Myself included, we will surely need the practice. Dr. Elodin, I do not expect any medical emergencies to come your way, but you and your staff will be extremely busy cataloguing and updating Starfleet records when we start meeting these new-to-us people. Please be sure your staff is ready.” He looked to his Chief Engineer. “Lieutenant Anderson, do your thing down in Engineering, and please make sure all the power that Lieutenant Lisald needs is available for when he starts allocating it to the various departments.

Spangler looked sideways at Lisald; the only other person in the room that had any idea how big of an ask that was at the moment. “Yes, Sir.”

Bane looked around again at all of the officers set before him. They had their tasks before them. He was sure they were all eager to get back to their posts so they could do what they did best. He knew they were all excited about this mission too. Adventure, discovery, seeking out and finding new life and new civilizations, first contact. This mission had everything to offer that each of them signed up to Starfleet for.

Looking around at the staff of the USS Cygnus, Bane inhaled deeply. “Alright everyone, let’s get to it. Dismissed.” Plase was happy to get this mission on the road. As they all filed out of the room, he watched them all go, but he kept a very specific eye on his Chief Engineer, Lieutenant Anderson. She hadn’t said a word to him, or any of them, this entire meeting, despite he asking her several times. It was almost like she wasn’t even there. He would have to keep an eye on her.

A JP by the entire crew of the USS Cygnus

Bane Plase, Captain

USS Cygnus, Commanding


Lieutenant Gore

Chief Tactical Officer


Dr. Elodin Devan

Chief Medical Officer


Lieutenant (jg) Lisald Vaat

Chief Operations Officer


Dr. Raviran Dattek-Winters

Assistant Chief Medical Officer


Dr. Kin’Fuji

Medical Officer


Ensign Albert Spangler

Chief Science Officer