Put a Kettle on
Posted on Sunday, 19 June 2022 - 10:48am by Captain Pippa Whitley & Lieutenant T'Lanna Vali & Lieutenant JG Adrianna Eberhardt
Operation: My Unfair Lady
Location: USS Standing Bear | Deck 01 | Ready Room
Roughly an hour after meeting with the Standing Bear's Acting Chief Science Officer, Captain Whitley had retreated into the Ready Room for some time. They had requested the presence of Lieutenant Eberhardt and Lieutenant Vali. This was a pressing matter, and Pippa knew that time was of the essence.
Adrianna stepped into the room, finishing doing up her uniform jacket with a PaDD under her arm, "Sorry, I'm here." She may have only been a few minutes over an hour, but it still flustered her to be late.
T’Lanna brought up the rear as she arrived at the Ready Room. “My apologies Captain” She offered Adrianna a warm smile. “Lieutenant.”
Captain Whitley gestured for the two women to have a seating of their preference. "It was the tea, T'Lanna," Pippa said wasting no time. Lieutenant Vali had been summoned to the scene, Adrianna had only been kept in the loop.
"Doctor Selin was poisoned by a plant based toxin, one that can be synthesized or replicated which appears to be what happened. When she ordered her tea from the replicator, an amount of this toxin was replicated into the beverage as an ingredient. For some unknown reason, the computer did not prevent this from happening" Whitley said giving a brief summary of what was just discussed in the Chief Science Officer's office with Ethsn Connelly.
Whitley quickly gestured to her replicator. "I took all of the food and beverage replicators offline as a precaution. I left the industrial units untouched."
T’Lanna nodded, then looked at Whitley curiously. “Is it possible that Doctor Selin ordered the brew, and overrode the replicator safeties?”
"In theory," Adrianna replied, "she seemed of sound mind the last time I spoke to her though." She placed the PaDD on the table, "no names seem to jump out at a first glance to me from the list you requested. I've not had that long to look though. The base made this troublesome to get, three registers for one damn ship."
Pippa nodded "It was a whole ordeal getting a new paint job and the furniture in a color scheme accepted by Starfleet" Pippa said to Adrianna. "I imagine they had you going over hurdle after hurdle, but now we have a large obstacle."
"T'Lanna, it does not seem like Doctor Selin was in any danger of self harming herself in this or any manner, but I want you to rule that out."
T’Lanna nodded. “Of course, I’ll take a look through her personal logs and see if I can find anything.”
"My suspensions have me looking ahead at Cardassia, and that someone had tampered with that replicator unit. We've seen surgically altered infiltration happen in the past. We are going to be embarking to Cardassian space soon, and if we don't have this figured out, we will be making a detour near Bajor."
Adrianna nodded, "we may have an in, at least. I had to sell what was left of my soul, mind."
"Your soul is a start, Lieutenant, but there may be more to be sold. What do you have thus far for an in?"
Adrianna chuckled. Little did the captain know. She started looking through her PaDD, "an old arms specialist, well explosives expert, that used to work for my family. He's offering help, kind of."
"Third parties through the grape vine. Excellent, I am sure they will provide us with valuable information, but I dislike the thought of going into Cardassian space blindly, especially with what has happened to Doctor Selin."
Pippa shifted a bit, a change of posture. "Lieutenant, if there were a means of getting you into Cardassian space ahead of the Standing Bear, would you go?"
Adrianna considered it. She was silent for what felt like a short time. "Would there be a definite out-- a time scale," the Italian asked, seemingly pokerfaced, but Ekos had left her a touch cautious.
"Your out would us," Pippa said sternly. "I do not leave my officers in potential danger without a secure lifeline to them." Pippa passed a PaDD over to Adrianna. "Her name is Paisley Baird, she's 28 years old born and raised on Earth, Glasgow to be precise. She's an investigative reporter employed by the Federation News Service. Dye your hair a delightful ginger and with a few light surgical tweaks, you can pass as her."
Pippa continued a bit "We've arranged a lovely three week celestial cruise for her. She will be nowhere near Cardassia, and I've arranged transport for you from the starbase to the Cardassian world of Soukara, it was formerly used as a Domion base during the war."
Adrianna ran a hand over her chin, looking at the PaDD thinking, "gawd, nobody tell my mother."
"Your secret is safe with me," Captain Whitley replied. "Fortunately, the planet has been a bit reclaimed by Cardassian artisans, but it would be beneficial to mingle with the locals, get a sense of how they are handling this Obsidian Guard, and perhaps if they know anything."
Adrianna looked to T'Lanna, "you understand my hesitation. Do you feel this is wise?"
T’Lanna offered Adrianna an understanding smile. “It’s up to how you feel Adrianna, you went through a lot on Ekos. If you can’t face doing this...”
Pippa cleared their throat. "I do not wish to place any further psychological strain on the lieutenant," Captain Whitley said to T'Lanna and then looked at Adrianna "I read those Ekos reports."
"This would be entirely voluntary. If either of you object to it, we will continue with alternative routes and rely on the Intel that you can gather from here."
Adrianna stiffened a little at the memory of writing the Ekos report. After a moment, she looked to the captain, "I have no objection. I just need time to sort a few things before leaving."
T’Lanna nodded. “If you’re sure Adrianna?”
Adrianna nodded, "just give me an absolute out."
Pippa looked at Adrianna sternly. "Lieutenant, undomesticated equines could not remove me from getting to you. I would personally beam down with a militia, and punch a rabid mugato if it meant getting you extracted safely."
Adrianna offered a small smile, "I appreciate it."
Reassuringly, Captain Whitley nodded. "I do not believe you will have much if any trouble. I have personally served alongside some of the strongest, smartest, fiercest women to have ever wear a Starfleet uniform. When I look at you, I see pieces of them. One day, your name will go alongside the likes of Tryla Scott, Carol Freeman, Elizabeth Shelby, and even Kathryn Janeway."
T’Lanna smiled. “Now that’s high praise if I ever heard it!”
"As discreetly as I want this to be done, it will be sanctioned as an away mission under my orders" stated Pippa. "That said, I'd be negligent to permit you to go unaccompanied. Starfleet away team regulations are that away teams must be composed of more than one crew member."
Pippa recoiled a bit. "You are in charge of this away mission, Lieutenant Eberhardt; however, I'd like for you to take Lieutenant Joral from the science department with you. We can arrange an identity for him, that should be easy enough."
"Where would I be without a PA," Adrianna commented. She felt humbled at the compliment, and smiled a little at it in a gracious manner.
"Lieutenant, I'll see to it that Lieutenant Joral is up to speed. You will board a Boslic freighter that is presently at the starbase. I know the Captain. You and Joral will be a 'stowaways' that will be dumped off at Soukara. The Standing Bear will arrive in Cardassian space the next day."
"When do we leave?" Adrianna nodded.
"As soon as your cosmetic change is done. It is probably best that we dye your hair the old fashioned way. Swing by the ship's salon. I'll send them information on Paisley Baird. When you are done there, head to Sickbay. The EMH will adjust your facial features."
Adrianna nodded, "I'll report in first thing."
"Alright then. That takes care of that matter, you are dismissed, Lieutenant, or should I say Ms. Baird," Pippa said with a small smirk across their face. It was amusing to think of Adrianna as a redheaded investigative reporter.
Adrianna nodded and stood up to leave.
Pippa looked at Vali "T'Lanna, if you don't mind staying a bit longer, I have something else to discuss with you as my First Officer."
T’Lanna nodded as she looked towards Pippa. “Of course Captain.”
Once Adrianna had left, Whitley let out a heavy sigh. "I hate having to send people on missions like this. I meant every word. I don't believe she's at much if any true risk where she's going, but I still worry. If anything happens to her... to any of this crew..."
“Captain, this crew all knew what they were signing up for when they joined Starfleet” T’Lanna offered an understanding smile. “We all do what we’ve been trained to do.”
Pippa nodded "They do. That they do, but that does bring up something. We have been assigned two new officers compliments of Vice Admiral Kitan, one of them is a Chief Medical Officer to have while Doctor Selin is incapacitated. They are apparently a handful."
“Ohh?” T’Lanna gave Pippa a curious look. “So we’ve become a ship that takes the hard cases now, have we? Guess that means I’ll have my work cut out for me.”
Pippa shrugged "We were in a desperate situation, pressed for time, and I think the Admiral believes we can fix whatever is wrong with this new Doctor."
T’Lanna grinned. “Then who are we to refuse! Besides I like a challenge, it keeps me on my toes.”
"Then I'll leave you to study their service record and personnel file before they arrive. You won't be able to miss them when they do...something about blue hair."
“Seriously?” T’Lanna smiled. “Well it’s unique to say the least.”
Pippa nodded. "Enjoy," the Captain added and gave the woman a nod as to say that was everything.
Nodding politely T’Lanna headed on her way. It seemed she could have her work cut out for her.