NCC - 86105
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Tentative at Best

Posted on Tue Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 10:12am by Commander Gaius Ra-Xialii & Captain Benjamin Byrne & Lieutenant JG Ethan Kessel

Mission: Klingons on the Starboard Bow
Location: Planet Surface

As the rematerialisation effect faded, Byrne took a few seconds to take in his surroundings. The terrain was liveable, but hardly a preferred environment. Surrounded as he was by the surviving crew of the ship they had discovered, it was his own officers who stood ready to greet him.

"Commander," he said, stepping forward as though stepping down off of the transporter pad back aboard the Endeavour. "I trust that Doctor Aleint-Um has put the medical teams we sent down to good use. What's the situation like down here?" The commander's earlier report to the ship via PO Blaise had been a very preliminary one, made just after meeting with the survivors, and Byrne was eager to understand what the case was now that his officers had had some time to assess the situation properly.

Gaius guided the Captain down the rough path to the bottom of the rise they had chosen as the beam in site, "Indeed he has, triage is in place and the more dire in need of attention have been transported to the Endeavour." He hesitated for a moment, trying to phrase what he needed to say, "The attitude amongst the survivors is puzzling to me. It is almost as if they don't want to be rescued. They have passed all of our quarantine procedures and some are ready for active duty, but their leader, a Commander Nikiri, is keeping his team tight lipped." Xialli let his words settle for a moment, as his brow furrowed, holding a rather large fern out of his CO's path. Habitually he let out a small growl, a further sign of his frustration.

"Hardly too surprising," the captain responded. "The little information I have from Starfleet indicates that they seem to have been on a classified mission; they're likely under orders from Starfleet Command not to discuss it with anyone they can't confirm has clearance to know." As they walked, Ben took the time to take in the scenes around him; most of the survivors were in good enough condition, considering, but there wasn't a clean face in sight other than his own crew. "How many are there? Will there be any problems with taking them all aboard the Endeavour?" The second of his two questions he directed towards the other two officers accompanying them; Lieutenants Biggs and Kessel.

"So far there are 74 officers and crew accounted for. Integration could prove troublesome if what you say is true," Gaius said, voicing his own opinion in the matter.

"Well we may have to Jettison the Bar..." Kessel joked.
"There shouldn't be a problem... Though I'll be honest sir, I don't like it. They were shot down for reason and I'd feel much happier knowing how and why they ended up there before we get any deeper." He said. Kessel nodded in agreement.

"As Starfleet officers I can't find anything that would judge any of them to be a security threat," Tettly responded, keeping step behind the captain and the first officer. "But at least until we know what they were doing out here and how they were shot down, I'd rather not let them have the access they'd usually have on a Federation Starship, just in case." He said. Kessel nodded again.

"I don't trust them. Why kind of mission is 'above the pay-grade' of the man in charge of making sure the ship is working? If something is gonna come firing potshots at us I like to know who - and why."

"Make the preparations," Ben ordered, aware that he didn't want to remain stationary too long with a Bird-of-Prey hanging around. Though he didn't want to demoralize his engineer, he personally knew that there would likely be situations in their future service whereby he would be unable to disclose the nature of their mission to him, or to other members of the crew. As much as he could understand their frustration with being kept in the dark, he also understood the need for confidentiality. "In the mean time, I think I had better go and see this Commander Nikiri."

Ethan gave a thin smile. "Good luck with that..."

"The commander's this way," Tettly said, moving up to start leading the small group towards the little area in the center of all of the survivors, where a makeshift 'command tent' had been made out of the materials in the survival packs included in Starfleet escape pods. The commander was standing casually and talking with one of his officers - by the looks of him a medical or science officer - before turning towards the approaching group.

"Captain," he said, recognizing the rank pips on his collar. "Welcome to our little paradise."

"Commander Nikiri, I presume?" Benjamin said, coming to stand around the flattened boulder that had been put into use as a table. "The documents I received from Starfleet indicated that a full captain would be in command of the Tomahawk."

"There was," the commander responded. "Captain Argnal died from injuries sustained during the attack. I have assumed command of the survivors."

"You have my condolences," Benjamin replied, though he couldn't help his mind turning towards the necessary operational issues that posed. "My officers tell me that we should be able to accommodate all of your crew aboard the Endeavour, though quarters may be tight."

"We may be able to spread out here Captain, but trust me your brig would be more comfortable than life down here." Nikiri responded. "I don't want you to make any special preparations for myself or the senior officers, though," he continued, looking now at Ethan. "If the rest of the crew have to sleep in your cargo bay, then I'd rather all of us do until we can get back to a starbase."

"Perhaps you were used to sleeping in cargo bays on the Tomahawk, but on the Endeavour we have just enough room to be comfortable," Gaius said with a smile. It was no small accomplishment to him that he had been posted on one of the best ships in the fleet, time some others knew that too. He turned to the Captain, "I suggest we change to a 4 shift rotation for the duration of the Tomahawk crew's stay. That way we make best use of personnel available to us."

Benjamin nodded. "Agreed; we can discuss that more at length after we've got the more immediate issues sorted out."

Gaius nodded to the Captain and made a mental note. He returned his attention to the matter at hand.

"In the mean time," Benjamin said, steering the flow of the conversation once again. "I think we need to speak about your mission."

Commander Nikiri's face reluctantly steeled at that, as though the air around the group had just chilled. "Captain, you must understand that our mission was classified by Starfleet Command. I cannot discuss the specifics with anyone who doesn't have the relevant clearance from Command."

At that, Byrne produced a PADD that he'd brought with him. "You'll find the relevant clearance code on this PADD," he told the other officer. "As your captain is now listed as a casualty, I am assuming command of your mission, as well as control over the list of need-to-know for the operation. You'll read me in on the details as well as Commander Ra-Xialli immediately, as well as any other officers as I deem necessary as the mission progresses."

Nikiri took a few minutes to analyse the data on the PADD, confirming the authentication code. "Understood, Captain," he responded at last. He looked up and glanced at Ethan and Tettly. "But we'll need somewhere more secluded. I can't risk anyone overhearing the details."

Byrne nodded. "Lead the way," he said, holding out an arm to the edge of the camp.

Ethan shrugged as the three walked away.

"Yeah. What do I know? I am only the guy that'll be keeping this Ship from falling apart when things get rocky. Why do I have bad feeling about this? Secrets. I can't stand them. I hate being left out the loop - you can't make good decisions based on flawed data."

"No, you can't," Tettly agreed, shifting to watch the officers leaving whilst still facing Ethan. "But unfortunately it's above our paygrade; at least for now. I'm sure the captain would tell us if it was going to put the ship in danger." He shrugged, mimicking the engineer's gesture. "In the mean time, I guess we should carry on making preparations to beam all of these people up."

"I trust the Captain. Its that Commander I don't trust. You are right though, we should get to work..." They set about as planned.

Captain Benjamin J. Byrne
Commanding Officer

Commander Gaius Ra-Xialli
First Officer

Lieutenant Tettly Biggs (NPC'd by Byrne)
Chief of Security

Lieutenant JG Ethan Kessel
Chief Engineer
USS Endeavour


Commander Nikiri (NPC by Byrne)
Former First Officer, Acting Captain
USS Tomahawk Survivors


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