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Canterra - Operation Toe Dip - Briefing

Posted on 14 Apr 2019 @ 11:15pm by Major Terrance West & Lieutenant Rafe Cassidy & Lieutenant Junior Grade Eira Cortez & Lieutenant Junior Grade Jinn Tevran & Ensign Steven Bernard, Ph.D. & Captain Edward Bolingbroke, 24th Viscount Creedmoor & First Lieutenant Gregor Goss & First Lieutenant Eleanor Hargreaves & Ensign Spencer Griffith-Bailey & Ensign Anyi Nila & Senior Chief Master-at-Arms Isabella Kelly
Edited on on 14 Apr 2019 @ 11:16pm

Mission: Ka Hakaka Maikaʻi - The Good Fight
Location: Marine Command Center Deck 22
Timeline: 12.5 Hours to Canterra


[Marine Command Canter; Deck 22]

The Briefing room adjacent to the Command Center had been set up, a viewscreen displayed a map of Canterra and a close up of Onidon and the surrounding land.

A smaller screen on the side was linked to Cassidy's flight control panel on the Bridge.

With Hawaii still at warp, Cassidy knew it was safe to give the meeting the bulk of his attention; his console would effectively explode with alarms if something went wrong, so for now he gave the screen his focus.

Bolingbroke conferred with Corporal Hudson, they finalized the mission plans as the personnel entered.

Gregor stepped in, and moved silently over to take his seat, exhaling a deep breath when he sat down.

Upon arrival, Hargreaves took the same side of the room as the rest of the Marines, unconsciously - perhaps - contributing to the sharp divide in contrasting uniform colours across the briefing.

Jinn entered after Hargreaves and took up a position opposite her and the rest of the Marines. He didn't have to be a mind-reader to tell that there was apprehension on their part at having 'fleeters' involved, but the fact that he was a mind-reader only helped to hammer that point home. The waves of apprehension rolling off the Marine side of the table were palpable.

Cortez followed shortly after into the room and took up her position next to Jinn.

Nila quietly took her seat, a PaDD in hand so she could alert the Quartermaster as soon as she knew everything they would need.

Bernard nodded in a friendly manner to the crew members he had met earlier and sat down, back straight, fighting the irrational fear that he would fall asleep during the briefing and disgrace everyone.

Spencer was the second to last to walk in, holding a cup of tea in one hand and a padd in the other. He took his spot next to Cassidy's image on the screen, nodding politely at everyone in the room.

Being the last to walk in, Isobella had been notified of her inclution on this briefing for this away mission, she knew that Ensign Stevens must have some faith in her for him to give her this oppatunity, as she took her seat, she wondered what this mission was.

As the last took their seat a Sentry at the door called out "Room! Room Atn'shun!" as Major West entered.

"Please, take your seats. Captain?" West looked at the stoic royal.

"Yes Sir" Bolingbroke started. "This briefing is classified Secret. Operation Toe Dip will be the covert infiltration of two Special Operation teams, with attached Starfleet personnel, onto the surface of Canterra, in the vicinity of the central colony site, Onidon." He pointed to the map, "Here."

"Infiltration will be via Arrow Runnabout Hilo, which is in Marine transport configuration. Lieutenant Cassidy will cover the flight details later in the briefing, but basically there will be entry into orbit over the Northern Pole, then low level, nap-of-the-earth flight to the first Landing Zone, designated LZ Eiger One. At sixteen hundred and eighty meters approximately. There is a rocky plateau in the woods, which should accommodate the Arrow."

"This will be a supply drop only, for part of Team Four's supplies." He marked the spot on the map. It was on the North flanks of the mountain range.

"The Arrow will then move to LZ Eiger Two approximately twenty kilometers South from LZ Eiger One and drop off Team Four. It is located in the Skyscraper Mountain range, which starts to rise some seven kilometers North of Onidon.

"The projected LZ is on the North side of the head of a pass, at approximately three thousand, one hundred and twenty meters. That should shield the LZ from Gorn sensors in the city, which is twenty eight kilometers South.

"Temperature at the LZ will be around ten to fifteen degrees Fahrenheit. There is deep snow on the ground and there will be high winds coming up that pass. There is snow down to around two thousand seven hundred meters, where conifer forests take over. The last six hundred meters of the range is more open scrub woodland.

"It will be cold and windy until you can drop down to the tree line. Temperatures will get up to around sixty Fahrenheit once you get down to the scrub.

"We do not believe there are any colonial habitats or occupation in this area. We do not know about a Gorn presence. Although the conditions higher up will make it more difficult for them without additional protective gear.

"ETA for the LZ is Oh-One Twenty Zulu. That should give you around five and half hours to stash the remainder of your supplies; get down to the scrub land and find somewhere to lay up before sunrise at Oh-Six Fifty Three Zulu.

"After disembarking Team Four, the Hilo will then move back North and skirt around the northern side of the Skyscrapers, moving west to Landing Zone Bogota" He pointed to the map "Here."

"LZ Bogota is located in a dense temperate rainforest, approximately nineteen to twenty kilometers West of Onidon. The land is hilly, with a few rocky peaks, but generally slopes down toward the lake surrounding the colony.

"The LZ is at six hundred and thirty five meters, behind this rocky massive." He again pointed to the map.

"Which also should shield the LZ from Gorn sensors. Temperature on the ground is around sixty five degrees Fahrenheit, with high humidity.

"There does not appear to be much clear ground, but there is a small lake and the LZ is on a beach at the South end. ETA for the LZ is Oh-Three Fifteen Zulu. Local sunrise is again at Oh-Six Fifty Three Zulu.

"This lake feeds into a small river which flows down to the lake around Onidon. We can supply inflatable rafts and this may be the easiest route through the jungle to get into an overlook position on the colony.

Likewise we do not see any colonial habitation in this area, but the conditions would be more suitable for the Gorn to operate in.

Once both Teams have advanced to your lay-up points you can plan your reconnaissance patrols commencing at last light tomorrow.

"The Hilo will be carrying additional supplies, which you will need to cache at sites near the two LZs until you can find a more permanent location.

"This will be harder for Team Four, due to the altitude, and that is why there is the first drop at LZ Eiger One; which will also serve as your Emergency Rendezvous point.

"Once both Teams are landed, depending on the outcome of the space battle, the Hilo may be able to return via the route in.

"If not then LZ Bogota would be the best spot to hide it. If Team Three can clear some of the ground at the back of the beach the Arrow should be able to push in under the tree canopy.

"Alternatively you could land her in the lake, but we do not yet have data on the depth at this time. "

Bolingbroke turned to Cassidy on the screen and Griffith-Bailey in the room. "The plan is to get the Hilo away prior to arrival at Canterra, so they can make insertion while the Gorn are distracted by the Battlegroup's arrival.

"Anything to add on the flight plans Lieutenant, Ensign? I understand the Polar insertion will be somewhat... bumpy?"

A low, wry chuckle came from the image of Cassidy. "Canterra IV is a class-L planet but the poles are closer to class-Y conditions. We have a less stable magnetic field up there, which is the insertion point. What keeps you hidden also might kill you; sensors are going to be limited, atmospheric conditions highly variable and unpredictable.

"Expect pockets of thermionic radiation discharges which will need to be anticipated and evaded with limited navigational sensors. Obviously the higher in the atmosphere you fly, the less severe the conditions - and the higher the likelihood of detection. Unfortunately for passengers, all I can suggest is buckling up and contemplating religion; the rest is in Ensign Griffith-Bailey's hands." Cassidy gestured to where, from his perspective, the pilot sat but to everyone in the room he just waved vaguely at the screen. "I trust his judgement in how to tackle these flight hazards."

Spencer finished his tea and coughed slightly, "I can only be flying to the beset of my abilities, and at the first sign of any trouble, I'll be flying out of there until everything dies down. Should this occur, team leaders and the Lieutenant here will be notified."

Bolingbroke was not exactly sure where the pilot intended to go with the Arrow, since the poles were Class Y environments. It was a concern that the mission would be aborted before it had even begun, leaving the Hilo out in the open during a space battle with the Gorn defenders.

But Cassidy had assigned the man, so it would be his responsibility to find a replacement if the pilot was not up to the task.

He let the matter go for now and pressed on. "Questions on the Landing Zones?" Bolingbroke turned to Goss and Hargreaves

"Do we have any details on landing conditions for Eiger Two? If not I'd assume a likelihood of deployment by rapelling rather than trying to set the Hilo down up there," said Hargreaves.

"It's on the North side of the pass, the slope is not as steep there. There should be room to set it the Arrow down." Bolingbroke replied "Rappelling is an option, as is using the transporter but both you would be better trying to avoid if the pilot can land. Likewise you will have some supplies to get down too"

Bolingbroke knew maintaining an even hover while getting buffeted by the wind was tough and that made it was too easy to slip off the ropes, or land awkwardly, causing injury before they'd even started. He looked over to Griffith-Bailey for input

"I'll attempt to land at the bottom of the slope, or as close to the ground as possible, but I can guarantee it can definitely be rough." Spencer cleared his throat again and added, "Here's hoping it won't be too bad though."

"Regarding LZ Bogota, how many additional waterways feed into the lake, or are at least nearby? Or, is there only the one stream to follow?"

"From the survey data we have, it only looks like one river heads towards the Onidon lake, there may be other smaller streams in the area, you'll have to check those out when you're on the ground" Bolingbroke replied

"This all looks great. Do we have any indication of anti-aircraft arty?" West asked.

"We have not received detailed sensor readings of Onidon's Ack-Ack defenses at this time Sir. " Bolingbroke replied "The colony is on the far side of the planet from our approach. The flight path is designed to keep the Hilo hidden as much as possible on the way in, thus avoiding likely AA Sites. "

"I don't expect the Gorn to even be awake at this hour," West remarked.

"Quite sir" Bolingbroke nodded "Although the orbital firework show might wake them up...."

"Well, hopefully they're too busy staring at the pretty sights in space than minding our infil," West smirked.

"Now, to determine which Starfleet personnel are going with which Team," Bolingbroke asked "Anyone have training in mountain or jungle environments?"

Cortez raised her hand briefly and nodded, "I have experience in both jungle and mountain environments from different missions I've been on."

Bernard raised his hand, "I have had mountain and desert training, Sir. I'm good with a phaser and can learn Jungle."

As she listened to what Bernard had said knew that she was going to be in the hot and sweaty jungle, although she had trained in hot environment with her father, but she had hated every minute. She said," Sir, As Ensign Barnard has taken the mountain, I will take the jungle,"

Bolingbroke looked to the two Team leaders to choose, he was not going to assign them people they felt would be unsuitable for their Team's mission.

"The Jungle has a steep learning curve, I'd prefer not to take the risk of bringing in anyone untrained. I'll take Cortez," Gregor stated.

Jinn grinned "To be honest, I also have training in both, but absolutely find a mountainous terrain more agreeable. Less bugs and humidity, of course. I'm fine with accompanying the 1st Lieutenant's group, if she'll have me."

Hargreaves' face remained as inexpressive as ever as she nodded across the table. "Then it would seem I have Lieutenant Tevran and Ensign Barnard accompanying me," she said emotionless.

"Then Chief Kelly will be with Team Three at LZ Bogota," Bolingbroke concluded.

"Aye Sir," replied Isabella as she knew that she would be having to get her hot gear out again including her backpack, which she had hoped never to use again, but now she had to make sure she had everything assembled.

"Very well sir," Gregor assented.

"Alright, we have Lieutenant Nila here, let's tell her what you need for supplies." Bolingbroke went on "The Hilo can carry Fifty Marines, there will be Thirty Three of you, so you have around six thousand pounds of cargo capacity"

"How much of the supply load will be given over to jungle equipment sir?" Gregor asked.

"Both teams will get the gear they need for the conditions they will be operating in" Bolingbroke replied. "Team Four's may be a bit bulkier and heavier as they will be in colder conditions initially. Where as Team Three will be in a temperate rain forest, but will need rafts so that should even things out. Once the essential equipment is loaded you'll both get fifty-percent of the remaining capacity for whatever else your want to take"

"Thank you for the clarification," Gregor replied, turning his mind back to jungle environments.

Hargreaves picked up her stylus. "What are the conditions causing the separate deployment of my team from the supply drop, sir?" she asked, level and unaccusing.

"Ten thousand feet of altitude, high winds and around eighteen inches of snow" Bolingbroke answered in the same tone, there were no questions that could not be asked when it came to ensuring the teams understood the mission

"We did not want to drop you on that pass with three thousand pounds of gear to move in those conditions, so part of it will be cached at LZ Eiger Two" He continued "If you have to escape and evade the Gorn then having supplies at your E-RV should make it easier to hump back over the pass."

"We were anticipating dropping the bulk of your extra food, phaser batteries and so forth there. But you tell us what you feel comfortable with taking with you up on the mountain"

"I'd agree with that assessment, sir," said Hargreaves calmly, tapping on her PADD with her stylus. "Basic survival and operations gear on us. Anything else is an extra we can come back for when we don't have to move fast."

"Think it over carefully, we only have so much time to prep this." Nila looked over the people in the room.

Gregor 'hmmm-ed' as he considered. "My team will be travelling light, Basic tents, solar collectors, and field rations should do. Aside from the inflatable boats, we will need an allotment of brush-clearing equipment though, those should be the bulkiest things we need for our mission. We will only need more if we become stranded after the battle, so, I would give over the rest of team 3's space to long-term supplies, we can cache them at the LZ in case they're needed. That would be things like power cells, spare weapons, a compact industrial replication unit, food, and medical supplies," he explained.

"Noted, I will have the Quartermaster and any available personnel to start packaging and getting your supplies loaded up. Lieutenant Goss can I get a count of how many people are heading down with you? Present addition Starfleet personnel excluded." Nila shifts her attention to the male First Lieutenant

"There are fourteen marines in my team," Gregor answered.

"Noted Lieutenant." Nila speaks softly.

"Mountaineering equipment and cold terrain tents sufficient for all personnel, evidently," Hargreaves started, tapping off entries on her PADD. "The most lightweight variants on equipment; everything's got to fit in packs, no messing around with a litter up a mountain. Night and low-light vision equipment, and I want everyone equipped with one or more sources of infrared for emergency detection." The mountain itself might be more of an enemy than the Gorn, Hargreaves knew from bitter experience.

With Hargreaves talking now the Bajoran focused in on her making notes of what her team would need. "I have it marked down, I also have the same question for you as your counterpart."

"Forth MSOT is fourteen Marines, myself included," Hargreaves confirmed.

"The Intel department has access to a few goodies, but they're not exactly optimized for military operations," Jinn replied. "As such, aside from our uniforms and personal gear, we'll be fine with whatever the standard loadout is."

"I would prefer if everyone had the same standard loadout; we don't develop and assign the equipment for fun," said Hargreaves. "But more important is familiarity with the gear you have. I have no doubt we'll have follow-up briefings, Lieutenant Tevran, but I'd be obliged to Ops if all sixteen of us have access to the same basic gear. We can optimise from there."

Bernard was glad he had been assigned along with Tevran. He had met him and thought he was alright. He was struck by Lt. Hargreaves beauty and sternness, so he thought it would be best to just acknowledge that he was ready than attempt to say anything important and fail.
"I'm ready," he said.

"I'm ready sir, but will have to pack a few things," replied Isobella, she would have liked the mountain mission, however, she was now Jungle bound.

"Finally, you are weapons free!" Bolingbroke announced "We are at war with the Gorn Hegemony, standard battlefield rules of engagement apply.

However, since this is a covert reconnaissance operation. I would suggest you avoid contact wherever possible." He did not labor the point, both team leaders knew the drill.

"And, if you have to abort the mission, your alternate landing and operating area will be in a range of hills to the East of Sophiaville" Bolingbroke said, expanding the map on screen to show the planet's second colony

"We have not specified an LZ but the terrain consists of rolling wooded hills and valleys, there will be plenty of spots to get the Hilo down and in cover. You can then operate at local command discretion"

If they had to get away from Onidon it probably meant the Gorn were on to them and then they would become the hunted.

How they dealt with that and stayed alive was going to be down to them. Both Team Leaders were trained for this and burdening them with endless what if scenarios and further plans would just get in the way.

"Last thing, " He handed over PaDDs to Hargreaves and Goss. "Your comms frequencies and check in times." There was a long list of encoded frequencies, each would only be used once to try to minimize the chance of the Gorn monitoring them "Team Three is Callsign Fawcett; Team Four is Callsign Hillary.

Those will be passed back to Task Force Command. If the Battlegroup does not survive the battle or has to withdraw, whoever comes next will know you are down there and how to contact you."

There was nothing to be gained by reminding them that would probably be at least three or four months from now and during that time they would be on their own with a planet full of Gorn with little to do but track them down.

"Departure is scheduled for T Minus One Hour to Canterra. I understand there is some kind of Eve of battle Soiree organized for later this evening" Bolingbroke finshed up "If you are going to attend just make sure you and your Teams are ready to go at Oh-Five Fifteen Hours in Hanger Two"

"Understood sir," Gregor affirmed.

The most emotion Hargreaves showed all meeting was her obvious abhorrence at the idea of a party so close to deployment. "I expect my team to be fully rested," she warned Bernard and Tevran rather sharply. "I'll be doing final briefing and kit check with 4 MSOT at 0445 on the Training Ground, Deck 22." It was left pointedly open on what she expected of the two Starfleet officers.

"Yes ma'am," Jinn replied. "I'll see you fine folk there. For now, I have a party to get to."

Jinn left at that. 0445 meant he wouldn't be able to get too rowdy at the party, but he still planned on attending and enjoying himself.

Bernard was used to getting up at 0500. He'd get his gear ready right after the briefing, and in the morning he'd be on time. He could always grab 20 minutes on the shuttle. "Aye, ma'am." He said, "are flack vests and phaser rifles authorized?"

"Certainly," said Hargreaves, then considered a moment. "Bring the equipment you're most familiar with, though I'll want to make sure you have the best options available. Marines use rather heavier-duty gear than Security." There was, perhaps, a hint of superiority about her voice - or was she just so bland that by now people were reading into it?

Bernard allowed himself a smile, but with no teeth. Marines are trained to feel superior. It helps them put down more enemies. As a rule, he treated Marines with great respect until an individual showed him or herself to be an intense shit-bird.

Bolingbroke looked to West for permission to end the briefing and for the Major to address the teams if he chose.

"Good work on this plan, everyone. I expect everyone to be ready tomorrow or you'll have my boot in your ass," West replied. "Dismissed."


Terrance "Terry" West, Maj, SFMC

Edward Bolingbroke, Capt, SFMC

Gregor Goss, 1LT, SFMC

Ellie Hargreaves, 1LT, SFMC

Rafe Cassidy, LT, SF

Spencer Griffith-Bailey, ENS, SF

Anyi Nila, ENS, SF

Jinn Tevran, LTJG, SF

Eira Cortez, LTJG, SF

Steven Bernard, Ph.D., ENS, SF

Isabella Kelly, MACS, SF


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