Low Tide (Part IV)
Posted on Friday, 23 April 2021 - 8:55pm by Commodore Jada Kwan & Captain Barret Stillwater & Lieutenant Talarn Zilth & Lieutenant Ryan Rose MD & Lieutenant Raith Kolani & Lieutenant JG Harley
Operation: Peace or P'Jem
Location: USS Standing Bear | Deck 01 | Briefing Room
The starship was adrift, warp engines were entirely offline. There was no room to entertain the notion of the Quantum Slipstream Drive as the QSD required an extensive amount of power that the Standing Bear Frankly did not have. All potential power was going to life support systems. There was no wiggle room. Impulse engines were a possibility in a couple of hours perhaps.
There wasn't much point on being on the Bridge. It was a moot point. Andorians had sent at least one raiding party aboard while shields were down. It did not bode well for them for them, however. Nevertheless, the message was as sharp as the tip of a Klingon warrior's bet'leth: the Standing Bear was vulnerable, and it was out of this fight.
Captain Stillwater had called for an emergency meeting of what resemblance of a Senior Staff he had at his disposal: Lieutenant Zilth, Lieutenant JG Kolani, Lieutenant JG Harley, and Doctor Ryan Rose, Chief Medical Officer. The Captain and his officers had been on the Standing Bear's bridge where they conjugated for several minutes before Barret proceeded to lead them to the Briefing Room.
The doors were not powered. Stillwater had to begin prying the door open with a bit of elbow grease and muscle. "A little help, Spoon head?" he said to his husband.
Talarn stepped forward and put his hands on other side of the small opening and pushed. Both of his arms were mostly ally reinforced, but the door still fight him. With a small grunt he did manage to force them open. He stepped back from the door and allowed Barret to go first.
Once they got the doors open, Captain Stillwater began to enter the room, but quickly stepped aside, allowing his husband, Chief Tactical Office of the starship to see. There was a woman seated at the Briefing Room table, Human in appearance and in uniform. Though she was not anyone Barret recognized.
Talarn stepped quickly in front of Barret, but himself between the unknown woman and his husband and captain a phaser already in his hand. He wasn’t even really sure when he’d drawn the weapon. The light over his right eye ridge blinked rapidly and eerily in the dimmed light.
The woman turned the seat, a mug of tea steaming away in her hand. Her seat turned and she greeted the Cardassian. "Don't be alarmed, Lieutenant," she said calmly. "You aren't going to shoot an unarmed flag Officer are you?"
She scoffed. "That's what I thought," quipped the shadowed tongued woman. "Your comm systems are done, your shields are out, and you are dead adrift in space. It's a surprise you've made it through this little Andorian temper tantrum."
Talarn growled and lowered the phaser, but he didn’t put it away. He didn’t care who she said she was.
"I don't believe we've been formally introduced?" Barret said easing his way into the room. The woman was seated in his normal seat. So, he took the one Soral usually would take.
"Commodore Kwan, Strategic Operations," the woman said calmly. "Please, you may all be seated and we will get this meeting underway."
Ryan took a seat, hoping this meeting would go quickly. He knew Jarin would be fine to manage sickbay, but he still felt out of place when not there.
Talarn moved to the other side, putting Kwan between them. He sat heavily and holstered his phaser. His gaze flicked between Barret and Kwan.
Harley, for a moment, forgot what he was supposed to do next. No one already in the room seemed to like what was happening. When people started to join the woman at the table Harley ducked into the room and sat in the nearest chair. He waited with fascination.
Raith had made his way in to the meeting room and was glad of the peace and quiet for a few minutes after the beating that the Standing Bear had taken. He knew he had a long list of jobs on his hands to get the ship back up to specs again and it was going to b a pretty job. Looking around and not recognising some of the officers in the room, Raith took note of them and waited to see what would happen next.
The Commodore studied a PaDD momentarily. "Your First Officer and others were taken by the Andorians, you have dispatched an away team with marines, and we are only just getting started," she said shaking her head.
"Granted leave to a Crewman Eberhardt and Petty Officer Baciami, your Chief of Intelligence... to where? No specified destination, but my intelligence says Ekos. A curious choice for a romantic getaway, wouldn't you say so Captain?"
Stillwater did not like having his back against a bulkhead like this. "I don't make it a habit at questioning where members of my crew choose to spend their leave."
Commodore Kwan raised a brow. "You have made a few mistakes, on purpose mistakes, but I will fix them," she said sternly. "In case you aren't aware, the cavalry arrived, Captain. Federation starships have repelled the remaining Andorian battlecruisers, but this battle was costly. The Andorians launched an orbital bombardment on P'Jem, entire colonies levelled. We are still getting casualty reports, but the approximation are thousands dead."
"Have medical ships been dispatched?" Ryan butted in. He was normally pretty quiet in these formal situations unless specifically asked a question, but when medical issues came up, he was more prone to speak his mind.
"Yes," the Commodore said. "Two hospital ships, Olympic class are en route to P'Jem. They are at least a day away travelling with tactical escorts... the Andorians have been trying to attack them," explains Commodore Kwan.
She looked at Stillwater and then back at the Chief Medical Officer. "We are pulling medical personnel from all starships and sending them down to P'Jem. Dr., you'll pack whatever you have in Sickbay and bring your medical staff with you."
Ryan couldn't help, but give a quick glance to Stillwater. The Commodore might outrank him, but the man was still the CO. "Understood."
Except he would not be for much longer. Commodore Kwan as though she were reading the Chief Medical Officer, tapped away on her PaDD and glanced up at Captain Stillwater. "Captain, I am relieving you of command of the USS Standing Bear on this stardate effective immediately. You will, however, remain aboard carrying out your administrative duties. Command of the starship will be transferred over to me."
Talarn visually tensed, his hands, on the table, balled into fists.
Raith looked at the Captain with surprise and then looked back at the Commodore to wonder why she had just taken this course of action, especially with most of his senior staff in the room. Raith would have expected that move to be a private matter.
Barret was quick to pounce on that bit of information. "May I ask why?" He certainly had not planned on leaving the Standing Bear anytime soon, and if he did, it would be back into retirement on Prairie.
"This is a temporary arrangement, I assure you. I have no desire to command this...quaint starship longer than I need to" the Commodore ricocheted. "My Ambassador class was destroyed in the battle with the Andorians. Starfleet Command needs me to continue coordinating relief efforts for P'Jem. The Standing Bear will be one of the last ships to be towed away."
It was delightful to hear the Standing Bear was so low on the totem pole. "Understood, and when your assignment here is completed?"
Commodore Kwan smiled. "You will have your ship back in your capable hands, and I will be off to handle some other matter of importance, Captain." The Flag Officer looked at Lieutenant Kolani.
"Operations?" she inquired. "Work with the ship's engineering department to undergo repairs. It will be a while until a California class can be here to tow you. I would like to have communications and shields back online as soon as possible."
Raith felt his back get up as the Commodore mentioned being on such a quaint starship and right away he knew that he wasn't going to get along with her. However as she was the now Commanding Officer, he was obliged to follow her orders.
Looking at the Captain before he responded, Raith made sure he was civil. "I understand, sir. I'll coordinate with Engineering teams to make sure that we get both communications and shields back online as a top priority," Raith began.
"Whilst it’s good to know that our quaint starship will be getting a tow from another quaint class of starship, I assure you that we'll make sure that we get the systems back online... Sir," he said, purposefully pausing on the "Sir".
The Commodore actually preferred to be addressed as 'Sir,' and it amused her see the Chief Operations Officer tiptoe as though he were on a high wire. "Lieutenant, thank you for your vibrant optimism. I am sure both Captain Stillwater and myself can see you are itching to get back to work."
She looked over at Stillwater as if to nudge him to abide. Barret cleared his throat. "Lieutenant Kolani, you know what to do,” stated the Captain.
"Lieutenant Harley, we aren't going anywhere anytime soon. Hop down to Engineering and lend a hand wherever they could use you," added Stillwater. "Talarn, we are still sitting ducks out here while our shields are down. Make sure security personnel are posted at crucial areas throughout the ship."
Harley nodded. “Yes, Sir.” He paused for a moment. “Now, Sir?” He didn’t really want to go. The drama of the room was exciting.
"Once we are done here," replied Stillwater.
Talarn also nodded. He bored a look into Stillwater that said he didn’t like what was going on. “Yes, Captain. I will take care of it immediately.” He lowered his gaze to his PaDD, on the table, and he tapped his fingers over the surface, sending new assignments to his security team.
Stillwater flashed a look at Talarn. It was essentially to thank him for not ripping the Commodore apart.
The Commodore grunted. "Dismissed, gentleman. Captain, I'll see you in your Ready Room after," she added.