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Part of USS Daradax: Mission 2 – Wings of Salvation (Sundered Wings Fleet Action) and Bravo Fleet: Sundered Wings

SW – Chapter 15: Planning for Dire Circumstances

USS Daradax - Kunhri Star System
June 2400
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Kirin sat in her quarters, wearing a comfortable black and red flowing dress that matched her hair perfectly. Tucking her feet up to her chest she tried to read through a series of reports from the crew of the Daradax as well as from the other Starfleet ships in systems but could not focus. She looked up from the PADD and the paragraph she had been reading for the last forever, it seemed, tossed it to the side with audible frustration and glanced towards her bedroom. “I hate being couped up here, it’s been almost four days! There is nothing to do but read these endless reports. Maybe a quick nap, then some exercise and I will feel better….” starting to stand she stopped and dropped back down onto the sofa, “I have been putting this off too long.”

After a couple of hours, she put the PADD down and leaned her head back, “It has definitely been an eventual few weeks for the crews of the Dvorak, Temeraire and Neptune and I guess the Ulysses now. Almost makes me feel like are not doing enough ourselves…” she pauses and picks up the PADD quickly glancing at it. “No, that’s not fair, the crew has been helping wherever they can with the farms and refineries….We just need to get that datapad decrypted so we can figure out what the Romulans are doing.”

Sighing with frustration she stood up, stretch and went to the replicator, “Risan Chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream” she said before picking up the plate and turning back to the sofa. Before she had taken two steps the console on her desk beeped with an incoming call. “Guess I need to get that” she muttered as she sat down and opened the screen casting a long look at the cake before accepting the call.

On the screen before her appeared the roughly shaved and unkept image of the EMH MkX, why he present himself that way she wasn’t sure. He changed his appearance regularly and Kirin was never sure how he was going to present himself when he was called up.

“Doctor, what can I do for you? Do you have any updates on creating a new implant to block the pheromones?” Kirin quickly asked, trying to hind her excitement. After the first few days of hounding the EMH, she decided it would be best to stop calling every hour or two demanding updates and let him and the crew do their jobs.

“Right to the point, no small talk?…Fine. Yes, I do have good news. I spoke to the medical leads on the larger vessels in the system and their more advanced industrial replicators had a similar device on file. They will be able able to replicate it and transport it over a few hours…” Holding up a hand… “but I must warn you it is not a proper replacement. It will, in theory, block the pheromones by injecting a blocker into you but we will need to monitor and balance the doses daily and then get it replaced once back at a larger medical facility. You can now get back on your feet, per se, not that you have been off them unless sleeping or sitting I assume. I will message you when it arrives. It will only take a few moments to implant.”

“Thanks, Doc, this is great news. I cannot wait to get out of these quarters.” Kirin said before the EMH disconnected. Smiling she called up a communication line to her XO, Thanen.  While she waited for him to reach a console she leaned back and took a bite from the chocolate cake and smiled. It seemed like the day was turning around.

A moment later the console chimed confirming that the connection had been made to Thanen as the image of the Starfleet logo disappeared and the Andorian’s face appeared on the screen showing that he was in engineering; the Daradax’s warp core humming behind him.

“Kirin, How are you? I was just about to message you. Kerry has been able to decode the datapad she just ran out of here a few seconds ago quite excited about it.” Thanen said with a smile as soon as the video call connected. 

“That is great news, and I am well” Kirin began to say as her console chimed again with a message from Kerry asking for a meeting in 30 minutes. “Once sec, Kerry has just messaged me about the datapad, I am going send the meeting request to yourself, Belania and Ril as well. Best we meet on the observation deck.”  

Thanen nodded at this letting Kirin continue. “I spoke to the EMH, we should have a replacement implant in a couple of hours; not more outlandish behaviour caused by me.”

“That is great to hear, I know being quarantined in your quarters has been frustrating, to say the least.” Thanen said before an embarrassed look crossed his face, “I know I wasn’t myself but I do want to apologize again for the way I behaved, Ril is still pretty annoyed with me I think.”

“Thanen, you need to stop apologizing for that. Everyone was not themselves; Ril included. But that is done, we can all have a sit down about it once I am no longer locked away per se. The reason I was calling was I wanted to see how the ship was running. I have been getting lots of reports and such from the crew and the other ships but any insight or updates you have would be appreciated.”

Thanen pursed his lips and thought for a moment, “There isn’t much that isn’t in the reports you have been sent to be honest and whenever anything has come up it is directed to your first. Though it does seem that Kerry is getting along better with everyone, well not better as she got on with everyone she seems a bit more outgoing. I have seen her socializing with Ril and Belania but had also enjoyed her time on the Dvorak. Beyond that, there has not been anything else to report besides the unfortunate incidents regarding the poisoning on the planet resulting in the loss of lives and the arrival of the Ulysses. It will be good to have you back out and about. I should go check on Kerry and the others before the meeting.”

Kirin nodded, “Sounds good. Speak soon Thanen.” before ending the call. Sitting back in the chair she could help it as her smile returned. “Finally we will figure out what those Romulans were doing and why I got shot.” Picking up the fork and having another bite of the cake she thought this day was on the up and up. With that thought, her console chimed and a new video message appeared, Kirin had spoken too soon.

The message tag read: ‘WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU!? SHOT AND KIDNAPPED AND I HAD TO FIND OUT FROM SFI! – USS Stormfront – Captain Tarken’

“Damn, knew I forgot something.”

Thanen stepped back from the engineering console he was at and glanced at the warp core, closing his eyes for a second to listen to the hum of the drive letting it calm him. Whenever he thought back to the confrontation with Ril on the bridge while they were all under the influence he felt like he was going to be sick, he in no way blamed Kirin or felt anything negative towards her for it but he hated that he was not himself and lashed out at Ril and others on the crew. What really gnawed at him though was how he remembered feeling about Kirin, he knew that he would have done anything she asked of him or thought she wanted just to make her happy; it was unnerving. He respected her and thought she had alot of potential, he just hoped that his memories of the event wouldn’t interfere with his interaction with her moving forward. 

Looking over at the display and realizing the time he frowned, “Guess I should go speak to Kerry so she has a full briefing ready, though she likely already does…” he muttered as he turned and walked towards the science lab Kerry had been working in.

Kerry sat at in the observation deck at the large conference table waiting for everyone to join. Scanning through the PADD he had she quickly double-checked that she had loaded all the relevant data that Kirin had retrieved. Sighing she tried to push down her nerves, she had briefed the crew before and got one with everyone, she even had drinks with Ril and Belania a couple of times. She hated how she always got nervous speaking to people…

Before she could think on it much more the door slid open and Belania and Ril walked in chatting. On seeing Kerry they both smiled and took a seat. “So, did you find anything exciting once you broke the encryption? What are the Romulans up to?” Ril asked as soon as she sat down. “I am pretty sure we are about to find out Ril. Patience” Belania said invoking an eye roll from Ril and a brief laugh from Kerry which was interrupted by Thanen as he walked into the room.

“If you are laughing I hope that means the information you found isn’t too dire Ensign,” he said with a smile. “Shall we start? The Captain will connect remotely to see the briefing and the information you have found.” 

Kerry nodded and send the files she had found to the main display which changed from the Starfleet logo to a file directory. Before she could start speaking a small window appeared in the top left showing Kirin sitting at her desk.

“Afternoon everyone,” Kirin said with a nod. “Shall we begin, Kerry the floor is all yours.”

Standing up Kerry walked to the head of the table. “As you all know I have been trying to decrypt the datapad the Captain, ah sorry, Commander brought back from the planet. With the help of some of the teams on the other ships, we broke through this morning.”

Over the next 45 minutes, Kerry outlined all the critical data that was on the datapad. Most of it was pretty routine but it did confirm the presence of a secret Romulan research base in the system.

“So in summary” Kerry continued, “The Romulan Military and Tal Shiar established a biological weapons research facility about a decade ago on an asteroid in the outer field of the system with the designated A-5736 Gamma, once translated. The location was likely chosen as the field as are a high level of radiation throughout it due to the composition of the asteroids. The focus of the base was on the development of mutagenic weapons against non-Romulans; it wasn’t abandoned as they appear to be close to having a working prototype. They have been kidnapping Remans as well as members from other species for experimentation with the goal of being able to cause programmable mass mutations within the host bodies.”

Kerry paused for a moment and sighed. “The base is small. The reports indicate it only has a crew of seven; four scientists and 3 military officers for oversight and acting as guards. On top of that, they seem to have a Malem-class scout ship attached to the base. If they are close to completing we need to stop them.”

“Kerry, thank you for presenting all of this for us. Please send the presentation to me so I can pass it on to command and the Taskforce.” Kirin said, “I have already spoken to the command given what we suspected and you are right Kerry, we need to stop the work and get more information on this weapon in case we have to develop a counter-agent. I know the other ships are currency busy so we will likely be on our own. Given what we have seen, the layout and personnel what is everyone’s thoughts on this? Ril, what is your tactical assessment and thoughts on the execution?”

Ril leaned forward, her hands clasp in from of her with her thumbs pointing back towards her with her chin resting on them. “I am always up for a challenge, and this will be a challenge. I would be much happier with a full hazard team on this.” She began before shaking her head. “But we don’t so no point thinking on that. The first challenge will be the Malem-class. It has to be hiding even with a cloak otherwise the tachyon grid would have detected it. So we will need to find it and disable it; if we approach the base and make it clear we know where the base is then the ship will likely make an appearance. The good news is that in theory, the Daradax will have the upper hand. An old Aerie-class wouldn’t be able to handle it but the Ravens were designed for border patrol and pack more of a punch.”

“After that, it becomes really risky. Boarding actions in general are very difficult. We would have no support from a larger hazard team so we will need to go in fast and hard; Beam in, neutralize guards and capture scientists; collect all the research data and, I assume, destroy anything we cannot take?” Ril continued looking around. “I would suggest that Kirin, Kerry and I go over. Kirin and I have experience and Kerry…” she says looking over to her… “you will be best placed to identify what we need to collect.” This caused Kerry to shift uncomfortably in her chair so much so that Ril noticed. “Kirin and I will do the heavy lifting Kerry. We will just need you to watch our back.”

“We need to plan out the station assault a lot more, the holodeck will be helpful for that.” Ril continued and looked over to Thanen and Belania, “I would suggest that the XO and Belania stay on the Daradax and monitor the situation, ensure the Malem stays disabled, keep an active transporter look on the away team that sort of thing.” 

“That makes sense” Thanen responded with a nod. 

“Great, we do not have much time so we will have to move quickly on this. I will have a new implant in the next couple of hours so I will be out to help with the planning in person.” Kirin comment. “I want to make sure this is done by the numbers and all systems are ready as we will likely see combat and this will be the first time for us. Ril, start reviewing tactical systems; weapons and shields but also tactical gear. We will also need to sit down and plan the assault in more detail. I will get working on a holodeck simulation for this based on the layout we have.” to which Ril lips turned up into a wicked grin. “Kerry, tap into the tachyon grid the Temeraire has set up we need to see if we can track the Malem once we get close to the asteroid field. The radiation as you said is likely helping them hide. Also if you can review the data again to be 100% certain about what we are looking for.” Kerry nodded quickly, “Belania, can you go over the command and control systems, make sure the Daradax is in peak shape.” to which Belania smiled and said, “I have been looking forward to putting her through a real test.”  which drew smiles and light laughs from the rest of the crew.

“Thanen, I trust engineering is in running smoothly?” Kirin asked.

Thanen let out a little laugh, “Of course Kirin, but I will be doing a full check anyways.”

“In that case, dismissed. If anything comes up come to me right away.”

At that everyone rose from the table and Kirin cut the video feed.