Part of USS Mercy: Mission 3 – “Lost in Space”

Security Briefing

USS Mercy - Conference Room
10.13.2400 - 14:00
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O’Shea stopped outside the doors to the conference room that Captain Pottinger had set up within. He had yet to touch base with any of the department heads on the take on her but as with every new Captain he encountered he figured it was best to approach them with an open mind.

He tapped on the door panel notifying the occupants within that he was outside.

Pottinger glanced up from the various PADDs she was working on.  Ensign Laurel, a few chairs down, spoke up as he kept his eyes and hands working on the console, “The Chief Security Officer.”

She mused, “Wonder who he pissed off to end up assigned to an Olympic class.”  She stood, “Enter.”

O’Shea stepped into the room and came to the attention, “Lieutenant O’Shea reporting as ordered.”

Pottinger nodded her approval at his stance, “Welcome, Lieutenant.  I’m Captain Grace Pottinger, and this is my assistant, Ensign Laurel.  Take a seat,” she gestured to a seat on the other side of the table across from her.

O’Shea nodded towards Pottinger and then Laurel and gave a quick “Captain, Ensign” as he looked at each in turn before sitting down in the chair. “So, Captain Pottinger, what can I help you with?”

She tapped at the closest PADD to her, “I understand you are relatively new to the Mercy – as is most of her crew.  What can you tell me about the crew?”

O’Shea cocked an eyebrow at that; it was not the first question he expected. “Yes, that is correct. As for the crew, they are good people. As with any new crew, their effectiveness will only increase in time as they learn to work to each other’s strengths. Captain Halsey seems to be good at recognizing people’s talents and helping them work together.” He paused for a moment, shifting in his chair, his posture relaxing slightly, “Given the relative short time the crew has been together, they proved their merit against a sentient AI as well as helping the colony on Colony 159 after the Romulan and Klingon attack. I have seen crew that have been together longer do worse.”

Grace smiled, but she was not particularly happy about his response.  It felt canned and possibly not completely true to her ears, but she would have to walk a delicate line as the mission continued.  In the short time Leopold had sat in the center chair; she was starting to discover that he’d found a way to connect to most of his crew.  To what end, she wasn’t quite sure.  She returned her attention to O’Shea, “Part of this mission will be ensuring the safety and security of the observation team – they will be confined to quarters.  No member of the team will be allowed to wander the ship – their meals will be provided in the room. Once the interviews, examinations, and processes are concluded, they will be escorted back to the observational station on the planet.”  She looked up at him, “Will your security teams be able to work within these parameters?  This means if a member of the observational team attempts to leave their quarters, you will need to ensure the doors are locked and otherwise secured with an officer outside.”

That is an odd request; pretty sure that is not protocol for such a review,’ O’Shea thought. He frowned slightly before he responded, “My team can easily handle that task.” He straightened his posture as he expected what he was about to ask might get some pushback. “I would not be doing my job if I didn’t ask as to why? From my understanding of the current protocols for these missions is that after a medical review and initial debrief, no isolation is required. Unless that has changed since I reviewed them when our orders were received. Is there something I need to be aware of regarding this team that isn’t in the brief?”

Pottinger held her smile, “The why is specific to this mission and the team – we are testing out new protocols within our teams to ensure no outside influence or tampering occurs when it comes to the observational team and their objectives.  They were aware of the conditions when they signed up for the positions – this will not be news to them. As for it not being included in the brief – a slight oversight – Ensign Laurel will ensure that detail is revised going forward.”  She tapped at her PADD – you have a security officer who carries…a blade with him?  While he is working with my teams and the observation center, that particular weapon will need to be secured and off his person.”

O’Shea frowned before speaking, “I am glad that they are aware of these new conditions and that the oversight will be corrected. Incorrect briefs, even on what should be a routine observational team review such as this can put people in danger.” He turned to Ensgh Laurel and nodded, “I look forward to an updated brief with the protocol when it is disseminated,” before turning back to Captain Pottinger. “As for the second point, special compensation has been granted by Captain Halsey for the traditional ceremonial blade. These are well within Star Fleet provisions unless I am mistaken.”

Grace shook her head slightly, “Within the operation, I am in command – Captain Halsey is responsible for the overall ship operations that are outside of my area of responsibility.  That is spelled out in detail in the captain’s briefing and documents that Starfleet Observations Command drew up.”

O’Shea cocked his head to the side and nodded with a smile, “Your command of the mission components is not in question, Captain Pottinger. I will happily inform my officer not to carry the blade as you have requested though I would like to understand the reason behind it, given this is within his rights, so he can log it accordingly if he so chooses.” He paused for a moment and looked past Pottinger into the space beyond as he mulled over his next thought, “I will need to know if there goes beyond the blade. Standard practice would be for my team to be armed with phasers when guarding the locations, are these not to be carried? If so, it would hamper my team’s ability to keep the observation team safe and secure, as you put it?” 

Grace had to give the man credit.  He was asking the right questions.  “Standard practices are that only Starfleet-issued standard weapons are to be used.  Your team is a security team – it would be untoward of us to suggest they not be able to arm themselves as that is their practice.  The reason you can give your officer is that we are very particular in Starfleet Observational Operations when it comes to how we operate with our crew and the crews we work with.”  She stood from her seat, “If there’s nothing more, Lieutenant O’Shea?”

O’Shea’s eyes settled on Pottinger for a moment, his face expressionless as he thought through what she had said. “Nothing further from me but I may have questions after I review the updated brief and new protocol after Ensign Laurel sends it through. As for the blade I appreciate the rationale behind your order and will pass that one,” he remarked before leaning back into the chair slightly. “As for the standard-issued weapons, I am glad to hear that this new protocol will not limit my team and their ability to do their job.”

Pottinger gave a slight nod, “That sounds reasonable.”

O’Shea stood and looked at Pottering and Laurel, “It was a pleasure to meet you, Captain Pottinger and Ensign Laurel. I look forward to working with you on this mission.” With that, he turned and left the room feeling a bit unsure as to this new Captain and her somewhat odd order regarding the blade.

The door closed behind the security chief and Grace turned to her assistant who was staring at her expectantly, “Yes, I know.  This crew is going to be difficult.  This wasn’t my first choice in the Olympic class fleet.”

Laurel grimaced, “If I remember, Mercy was third on your list.  We’ll do what we can with what we have, Captain.”  Pottinger sighed and returned to her console.