The First Briefing
Et Tu, Brute?
Location: Main Briefing Room, USS Kingdom
Having met most of the faces gathered around the bronze hued briefing table, Rohana O'Touvelli took a moment to smile at all of them in greeting. Knowing how quickly missions could go awry, how quickly life changed, she knew that those little gesture were so important. It very well could be her one and only opportunity to do such a thing, and if so, it was important to make that connection. "Ladies and gentlemen," she began with a mischievous grin. "Welcome to the first ever briefing on board the Kingdom. Hopefully it's the first of what will be a long and eventful journey together."
"First, allow me to introduce you to Doctor Emmylou Figg. She's graciously agreed to stand in as our acting chief medical officer until a new one arrives." Ro indicated a scrawny brunette sitting at the far end of the table. "Which also means that mandatory physicals will not be cancelled. Sorry folks."
"Secondly, we've been tagged for our first mission. It should be fairly short and sweet: delivering a delegation of Kasheeta back to their homeworld. With the ship back in working order, this should be a really simple run to just put the Kingdom through it's paces." The commander gestured to the XO, who was seated immediately to her right. "Lieutenant Khaylen, would you kindly fill in the details?"
"Aye, Captain." Straightening out his tunic with a quick tug Kheylen composed himself before the senior officers who had already experience one shake up, namely in the form of their chief medical officer, before they had even launched.
"Two days ago a delegation of Kasheeta sent out a distress call after their ship was damaged in an ion storm approximately six lightyears from Earth. They had just departed a defense symposium in San Jose," Kheylen briefed those in attendance. Outward he was composed, his usual demeanor which wasn't cheerful nor entirely dismal. Internally he seethed as he was tapped to personally see to the diplomats' needs once they were on board.
"Our job," he said sternly, drilling their duties into each member of staff. "Is to see the delegation safely returned to Kashet in one piece." As he exchanged a glance with the captain the lieutenant wondered just how much detail they should disclose regarding an alleged threat to the lives of the delegation, an outside force whose actions had been disguised in official reports by citing damage to the Kasheeta vessel as caused by the ion storm.
"Are there any questions?" O'Touvelli asked as she looked around the table.
"Will we get a chance to scan that ship of theirs?" Hel asked. "I'd love to see what its made of and what its capabilities are. Even damaged we could learn a lot."
"The Kasheeta have decided to take possession of their vessel and a Starfleet Ptolemy tug will handle that transport," Kheylen answered Hel directly. If anyone not already cleared was to analyze the damage they would know that no simple ion storm could be the culprit. "I'm sure there will be a Kasheeta engineer with the delegation if you want to pick their head... on your own time, Lieutenant."
"What sort of security arrangements, if any, do I need to see to, sirs?" Aheaha asked.
Somewhere in his gut Aheaha felt like he wasn't getting the big picture but he had to rely on the information he was receiving from his commanders for the time being.
Ro thought about the answer for a moment before deciding that it was something that was better answered with a visual. She had the computer screens built into the conference table display a brief bio on the saurian race. "Have you ever met a Kasheeta?" she asked with a thin smile. "They're 8 feet of angry wrapped in fussy with a bit of condescending humor and a tendency to chew on offending parties. I'll go with what you feel is in the best interest of the dignitaries AND the crew."
"That might be a bit of a generalization, ma'am. Three Kasheeta have won Nobel peace prizes. Four have won Zee-Magnees. We nearly had a Kasheeta President in the 20's, until that thing with the secretary. I don't think there's been a chewing in a decade." Zanthi said, realizing that the first words to the Captain were to correct her. "Just to.. clarify, ma'am. Chief Science Officer and all. And don't say social science isn't science! Because.. it is." She laughed nervously, and realized she should stop.
Kelly gave Zanthi a narrowed eyed, oddly bemused look, "Oh, you're an odd duck, aren't you?" She teased, playfully, before turning her attention back to the Captain, "I suppose I'm just flying the ship, aye?" She asked, sounding a bit disappointed. Missions like these were always the bane of Helmsmen, nothing but straight flying and course corrections. They did tend to keep you alive longer, didn't they.
"Should feel right at home on this ship, then." Hel chuckled, resting a hand on Zanthi's for a moment in a friendly gesture. "As odd duck, I mean. Ship's full of them. Us."
"If I remember correctly, the candidate tried to eat the secretary. My opinion may be a bit of a generalization, but this is a species that regularly has incidents where people lose limbs for angering them. I believe that it's best to be cautious." Ro sighed. She'd never met a Kasheeta herself, though she'd read plenty of action reports regarding them between various posts. "Also, this is why I'm not the favored diplomatic contact on this mission. That would be Lt. Kheylen."
"Because Starfleet decided if anyone should be devoured it should be me instead of one of their prized diplomats," the Deltan said with a slight smirk, aside to the captain but probably plenty loud for the others to hear. It would have been funnier if it weren't true.
"Lieutenant Henshaw, if you feel like taking on added responsibility you can work with the quartermaster and see to it that appropriate accommodations are established for our guests," Kheylen suggested, following up with their previous conversation regarding the helmswoman having a clean slate. It was a simple task but it would be a start to her proving to him what she had to offer. "The necessary information is available in our database."
Kelly curled her lip and made a face at that suggestion, but sighed a nodded that she'd do that. Maybe getting a few brownie points with the XO wouldn't be... THAT bad of an idea. Self-righteous prick that he was...
"Chief. Lieutenant," the XO turned his attention to their engineering and security chiefs. "Just in case our guests do feel like chowing down it wouldn't hurt to have emergency bulkheads up and running in that section to keep them under lock and key." Preventative measures overruled his diplomatic responsibilities, Kheylen thought, when hosting certain volatile species.
"Bulkheads and forcefields, shouldn't be a problem, Lieutenant. I'll get it done." Hel offered.
"Leave the forcefields as the last resort, Chief," Kheylen advised as he imagined half the power relays blowing out across the Kingdom's saucer. "A single field across the entrance to the VIP quarters and ensure the emergency bulkhead network is functioning properly, especially with the hiccups we've had around this ship."
O'Touvelli wrinkled her freckled nose. She wouldn't call the collossal problems something that cute. "Hiccups sound almost cute. I'm glad it's under control again. Anyone else have anything to add, or are we ready to start tidying up for our gaggle of fine, red friends?"
Hel subtly rolled her eyes at Kheylen. She was the chief of engineering, she didn't need her hands held. "Regardless of the order, scale or occasion of activation, the forcefields do need to be ready, won't they." she mused. "No questions, we'll be ready."
"Make sure that we are," Kheylen stated directly. It was almost an ominous warning that severe repercussions would be handed down if the crew were ill-prepared, which, just might be the end result if the XO had his way.
"Don't worry, Lt." Aheaha tried to reassure his XO while also nodding in the direction of the chief engineer. "We've got this."
"... Have I, over the past few days, given you any reason to doubt my ability to do my job, Lieutenant ... ?" Hel asked Kheylen through gritted teeth, folding her arms over each other, looking at the man with narrowed eyes.
Looking from Hel to Kheylen, Ro sighed inwardly. The ship hadn't even left port yet: it was too damn early for a fuss. "H'okay, people, let's convene then and get ready for our guests. They'll be arriving in approximately five hours on a transport and escorted directly here. Dismissed."