With everyone gathered in the Observation lounge, Naris hoped this would be a short briefing. She honestly didn’t like these long-drawn-out meetings that took forever. Her plan was simple: go in state the mission, talk about what happened, and hope no one had any questions. However, life had taught her that plans were never quite so simple. She had ensured she would be the last one there and walked in with a padd in hand. Standing at the head of the table, she looked around the room. “Ok, people, let’s make this short and sweet. We all have jobs to do,” Naris added before getting to our destination.”
She sighed, “no sense in beating around the bush; the Romulan Star Empire is collapsing. Reports are coming in that the Star Navy has removed the Senate, and it wasn’t an amicable split. The long and short of it, worlds are bailing, and one sector, in particular, has requested assistance from the Federation,” she reached over, tapping a button on the terminal. “Recently, a Reman named Resak took over Psi Velorum III. He was named acting governor, and he has requested aid in establishing their freedom from whatever remains of the Empire.”
Naris waited for the shock to end before she continued, “the Galileo isn’t ready for a fall on assault or anything close to minor assault for that fact. We’ve been ordered to Ketalos 3. They’ve recently seen an increase in pirate attacks due to the chaos, and we assume various factions are vying for the resources still on the planet. Ketalos is an older operation and not as advanced as some of the newer facilities. Their defenses are minimalistic at best, and they can not defend themselves properly.”
The XO looked up, “when was their last communication?”
“Ketalos has been radio silence for almost three hours,” Naris stated, “Doctor Borden, we need to be ready for anything. As we don’t know the status down there, I want sickbay to be ready for mass causality protocol or recovery protocol.”
The Doctor ran her fingers through his hair, “I don’t have to tell you that Sickbay isn’t exactly in the greatest ship, but we can manage.”
The Galileo’s Counselor leaned forward from the back of the room, “I can assist in basic triage and wherever needed.”
Naris nodded, “Captain Bates and Lieutenant Nalin, I want whatever you can give us to be routed to shields, weapons, and sensors. I don’t want to be caught off guard. These pirates have managed to avoid detection. We need to help find them.”
Eli rose an eyebrow, “This old ship, I will be surprised if pushing one system won’t break another. This ship, excuse my phrasing, is in piss poor condition. I have been working to get it fixed, but I am not too confident in the ship itself.” He shook his head, remembering the hours he had already spent trying to get the systems into some semblance of working order.
The Executive Officer looked over the reports, and internally he agreed with the Engineer; however, he knew that orders were orders. “What do you need to ensure we don’t fall apart at the seams?” He wasn’t entirely sure why the Federation would be sending an older Steamrunner into a situation like this; surely, they had more capable vessels.
“Look, this is definitely not an ideal situation, and if a quarter of what I hear is true, we are flying into a shit show,” Naris looked at Eli with a smirk, “excuse my phrasing. Orders are orders, and one way or another, this ship will report to the Velorum; let’s just hope Mister Rivers doesn’t have to get out and push us there.”
The Helm Officer, who up until now had been attempting to get the Science Officer’s attention, looked to the Captain, “I know I am a hell of a pilot, Captain, but….”
Naris cut him off, “save it for the Helm console, Mister Rivers.” She looked to Eli, “use whatever you need and whoever you need, coordinate with Commander Malik.”
Eli sighed. “I will do my best, but I cannot promise the results will be what you want.” He shook his head and made his way to Engineering to begin trying to prepare the ship.
“Everyone knows what is at stake here, and everyone knows how dangerous the Romulan Empire is already,” Naris added as Eli left the room. She made a mental note to talk to him once this meeting was over. “We also know how dangerous things can be if the Romulan sector destabilizes any more than it already is. There is a lot riding on the entire Fourth Fleet and us.”
“Counselor Evet,” the Captain turned to the Lieutenant, “feelings about the Romulan run deep, many of them for a good reason. They’ve spent eons building a lack of trust. You might need to keep your office doors open longer than normal.”
Massi smiled, “I am sure many will have a hard time with all of this. I will get with my staff and ensure that we have an increased presence.” She looked at Doctor Borden, “I will also make sure that we have a staff Counselor for sickbay, just in case.”
“That will be wonderful, “ Naris looked around the table, “you all have your orders dismissed.” Naris waited till everyone was out of the room as she slumped down into her chair a bit further. Looking out the window, she peered into the void of space. “Somewhere out there is Ketalos 3,” she told herself, “and your first assignment as Commanding Officer.”
“Heaven help one of us,” she smirked as she reached over to pick up her coffee. For a brief second, she wondered if it was too late to turn down the assignment on the Galileo. They could find a new Commanding Officer. She pressed the coffee to her lips.
Setting the cup down on the table, she ran her left hand over the table. “You better hold it together, old girl,” Naris spoke, “Eli might be right, but I am confident you still have many more fights left in you.”