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Skirting the Line (Mission Brief)

Posted on 11 Mar 2018 @ 11:58pm by Captain Akio Tachibana & Major Terrance West & Commander S’chqenr T’Jedf Tolkath & Lieutenant Rafe Cassidy & Lieutenant Nicholas Hunter (Jan 2389 - WIA-TRNSFR to XFY Medical)

Mission: Ne Me'e Laua Na Paio - Heroes & Villains
Location: CIC - Deck 2
Timeline: 2 Jan 2389

ON:

[Combat Information Center]


Akio had been studying the map on the "pool table" in the rear of CIC. Star charts were on the edge of the map as a Flight Control Lieutenant and Hunter and a LTJG from OPS studied the map as well.

"We will be taking a general heading of 140 towards Canterra, sir, where we will be hopefully come into sensor and comms range to get a good look at what the Gorn have. Based on our assessments, the Gorn likely are orbiting the planet, so further entry will be barred and it will be safer to stay within Federation space," the OPS Lieutenant explained coldly.

Akio missed Nimh already.

"Do we have any indications where the new border is though?" Akio asked.

"No sir, again, best assessment puts it at maybe a lightyear from Canterra," the LTJG answered.

"Will our sensors reach Canterra still?" Akio asked.

"We can cover one parsec with the long range sensors Captain" Tolkath replied, he was stood quietly observing the projected course. "Three point two six light years. However, the range can be effected by adverse conditions, excessive radiation and so forth. The closer we are, the better results we can expect to achieve."

"Commander, it is our assessment based off of the surprise attack and the fact we have no information on the front from our usual sources, there is electromagnetic interference," the Operations officer explained to Tolkath.

Akio nodded. He expected as much himself. This was going to be a messy war.

"I ~may~ be able to provide a work around for that," Hunter said as he stepped forward. "It depends on the amount of interference we encounter, however, that will be the determining factor."

"Have we made contact with the USS Wyoming?" Akio asked.

"Unfortunately, no. There is no response to our encrypted, long range messages," Hunter answered.

"What is our plan to rendezvous with a ship we don't know the location of?" Akio pondered aloud.

Nick shook his head. "Our last known location of the Wyoming, according to their last report to Starfleet, was somewhere in the vicinity of Canterra on the Gorn side." Hunter tapped the map, just below Canterra.

Great, Akio thought. Not only were they going in blind, and would be blind, their contact was silent at best or destroyed at worst. At least Hunter had a chance to get up to speed, Akio thought. The Operations Department was one of the vital organs of a starship.

"Are there any further questions or inputs?" Akio asked grimly of the senior staff.

Juan stood back with his arms crossed and brow furrowed, this was shaping up to be ugly, dangerous, and very much out of his wheelhouse.

"It is possible the electromagnetic interference is effecting communications in the same manner as the sensors," Tolkath offered. "However, such interference equally effects the Gorn's ability to use their sensors and communications as well. They will be as limited as we are."

Akio was again amazed at the night and day difference from Tolkath and their previous Chief Science Officer. While the otter-like Lieutenant was certainly adorable and very much intelligent, his use aboard the Hawaii did not extend to functional benefits like Tolkath's knowledge.

"Commander, if you do not mind, I would like you to give a brief overview of what your assessment is of Gorn capabilities," Akio said, giving Tolkath the floor as the display switched to holographic models of Gorn vessels.

Hunter clasped his hands behind his back and stepped closer. If he could find some way to enhance the ship's sensors, he would need to hear what Tolkath had to say.

Tolkath nodded and moved towards the holographic display. "I recently carried out a review of Gorn ship designs. They appear to be following a standard layout, with modernizations.

First known contact was in 2267 when a Gorn ship, the Gress'sril raided the colony on Cestus III and was pursued by the first Constitution Class Enterprise.

That ship had quad nacelles, two mounted vertically on struts projecting laterally from each side of a center superstructure. That design was fast, although the Enterprise eventually caught up to it after a prolonged pursuit at speeds above Warp Eight. It also had energy beam weapons that were deemed superior to phasers of that time period.

Since that initial contact there has been a consummate increase in speed and power, consistent with steady progress in warp technology and ship designs.

Unlike Starfleet, which has experimented with many different classes, data from later encounters with Gorn vessels appears to show a continuation of the four-nacelle design, surrounding a central body, although with some variation in the positioning of the nacelles themselves.

Gorn shields are known to be robust and while they can be taken down, they will sustain considerable damage before failing.

Just ten years ago in 2379 the Gorn again invaded the Cestus system and a limited sector war was fought between the Hegemony and the Federation. It eventually took a combined fleet of Starfleet vessels to finally push them out and back to Gornar.

Now they have returned again The reports from Cestus III are extremely fragmentary, It appears that, using an almost identical tactic to the attack in 2267, the Gorn flotilla approached along a regular transit route and then launched a surprise assault which quickly overwhelmed the defenses.

A noteworthy piece of data is that the Gorn ships appear to be mounted with some form of rapid firing weaponry. The offensive capabilities being far superior to the output normally expected from that number of ships, almost eighty percent more.

This was followed by the raid on the shipyard. Again it was rapid and deadly, but did not result in the Gorn gaining control of the system or ship yard. From the reports it was difficult to be certain if that was the Gorn's intention.

There is insufficient data to determine if it was a failed assault or just a hit-and-run- raid, meant to cripple Starfleet's repair facilities and so strength the Gorn's hold on Cestus III.

There were more reports of heavy fire from the Gorn ships, again more than would be expected. It was also noted that there appeared to be significant variation in capabilities, some ships were clearly of the older specification.

It would appear the Gorn have not been able to replace all their obsolete ships and only a percentage are of the more modern powerful designs.

Tolkath concluded the short briefing with. "It would be advantageous to gain detailed scans of Gorn vessels so that their full capabilities can be evaluated"

He then turned to a member of the assembled senior staff. "There is also another avenue open to us for more information. Doctor, perhaps you could tell us what you know of your species' vessels?"

Akio was thankful for the matter-of-fact question from the Vulcan. If such a question came from anyone else, it would not have sounded neutral at all.

"I don't really know anything..." hissed the Gorn, although it didn't seem on purpose. "I wassss not raissssed in the Gorn Hegemony. I have more experiencccce with Klingonssss and Ssssstarfleet compared to my own people'sssss sssshipssss."

Akio was almost mesmerized by the rhythmic lisping of the Gorn.

Tolkath merely nodded "As you say" Inwardly he was skeptical of the Gorn's claim, but this was neither the time not place to question the Doctor's integrity. There was one other matter he thought the Gorn might be more forthcoming on.

"I understand starships are not your specialty Doctor." He continued "On a more general matter, does the Cestus system hold any particular significance to the Hegemony, that you know of?"

"Of coursssse," Sthilg replied, "Every Gorn knowssss the hissstory of Cessstusss and issss raissssed to think of the planet as part of the Gorn Hegemony, regardless of how irredentisssst it may ssssseem."

Akio again noted the underanswering of the Doctor and chose not to say much for fear of betraying his suspicions to the Gorn. Akio felt uneasy having a member of the enemy race aboard his ship and was again thankful for the stoic Vulcan.

"I see" Tolkath nodded again, this was possibly better than data on ships, as far as he knew the Federation had never been able to determine the reason for the Gorn's repeated attempts to take over the system. "Thank you Doctor, perhaps you could tell us more about that part of your history?"

The Doctor took a pause and though his eyes did not change, it was as if the lizard felt a bit taken aback. Although in reality, Sthilg was just trying to find the correct words.

"The Gorn alwaysss felt like Cessstusss was theirsss ssssincccce the 23rd ccccentury. A natural colony for ressssourcccesss. I imagine that issss why Canterra issss of interesssst too," the Gorn explained.

"Thank you Doctor" Tolkath replied. The Gorn's response was logical but he was uncertain if it was true. It was likely the Hegemony had already expended considerable resources in their attempts to annex the systems, possibly more than they would recoup.


Cassidy, who'd been absent-mindedly chewing on his PADD's stylus, tucked it behind his ear and leaned forwards. "If we can get more data on the limitations of Gorn sensors, or Commander Tolkath's best guess, then we can probably find a way to make the local terrain work for us; Starfleet's had longer to map the region than the Gorn. I can plot us a route skirting as close as possible to anything that's going to disrupt their sensors - especially with Lieutenant Hunter's help on how close we can go without blinding ourselves, bonus if he can boost us. No reason we can't do this softly-softly; we might not know where they are, but this was our space, and we've got the data."

There might have been a slight twitch from the Vulcan when it was suggested Tolkath guess but only if one had been watching closely. "Lieutenant Cassidy is correct. We can plot a course that keeps the ship within the boundaries of the areas of greatest disruption.

"Essentially we would be in sensor shadow, but able to scan the open areas. I will work with him and Lieutenant Hunter to prepare a recommended course based on the available data."

If Cassidy had picked up on the twitch, he gave no sign of it, merely grinned toothily around the stylus in agreement and acknowledgement.

"Very well, CSO," Akio replied. "Do not assume we will be operating in a vacuum. Expect the border to be heavily patrolled, so keep off-ramps in mind if we encounter any interested observers."

The Vulcan took a moment to process Tachibana's metaphors. They were of course operating in the vacuum of space, but Tolkath had enough experience of working with Humans to get the idea. "Understood Captain, we will endeavor to include exit routes along the way."

"Major West, I am sure your marines will stay frosty if we encounter any resistance," Akio noted.

"Semper fi," West replied.

Akio looked around the room and asked if there was anything else. No further inputs were given and everyone was dismissed.

When the briefing concluded Tolkath signaled Cassidy and Hunter. "We will adjourn to Astrometrics gentlemen. Where we can guess the best heading for Mister Cassidy to not fly us into a solid stellar object"

"I mean, that would be pretty embarrassing for all of us," Cassidy agreed cheerfully, still seeming oblivious. "But until we know for sure how good Gorn sensors are, we'll have to get up close and personal with every useful phenomenon." He clapped his hands together briskly. "Sounds like fun."

Hunter grinned at Cassidy. "You're nuts. I like it, but you're nuts."

Tolkath followed the two young offices out of the briefing, he raised an eyebrow to Tachibana as he passed but his face gave nothing away.

Akio didn't know what the three officers were up to, yet he was sure the Hawaii was in good hands. Well, they were the only hands the Hawaii was in at this point.




[About 40 mins later, Bridge - Deck 1]

"CONN, take us out of orbit and lay in a course for the Canterra sector as discussed during the brief, warp 8," Akio ordered.

"Aye, Skipper, course plotted, warp 8," said Cassidy smoothly, fingers dancing across the helm controls. "We'll cross the new border in approximately 22 hours."

"Engage."

"Sensor packages at maximum. Weapons on standby mode," Hunter added as he settled in for the flight.

[OFF]

Akio Tachibana, CDR, SF
CO, USS Hawaii

Darren Marian, LCDR, SF
XO, USS Hawaii

Tolkath, LCDR, SF
CSO, USS Hawaii

Nicholas Hunter, LT, SF
COO, USS Hawaii

Rafe Cassidy, LT, SF
CONN, USS Hawaii

Sthilg, LTJG, SF
CMO, USS Hawaii

Terrance West, Maj, SFMC
CO, 3d MRBN

 

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