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Shrouded in Smoke

Posted on Wednesday, 29 December 2021 - 3:05pm by Captain Pippa Whitley & Lieutenant K'Var & Lieutenant JG Adrianna Eberhardt

Mission: Operation: Mirror of Madness

It was Captain Pippa Whitley’s Sermon on the Mount, but Pippa was no preacher, no teacher, nor soothsayer though the Starfleet Captain did have foresight in the practical sense, in the logical manner in which history and intel converged to provide a quick glance through a crimson tined kaleidoscope at what as to come for the Vulcan people should they stay course that Soral had lifted anchor and set them asail on. Though the Vulcan vote had ultimately deadlocked them into staying part of the Federation, that the vote had gotten as close as it had was what propelled Pippa down this path, not waiting around for some grandiose Federation Ambassador to waltz in lecturing to the Vulcan nor a brigade of Starfleet Admiralty to meet with the Vulcan governmental officials.

Pippa opted to ‘take the fight’ to the Vulcans and strategically hit them where it would do the most repair – the Vulcan soul. Mount Seleya was arguably one of the most sacred and spiritual places within the Vulcan system aside from P’Jem. This was strategic though. Mount Seleya was where Surak delivered some of his more famous teachings, including that which became known for the IDIC, something that Captain Whitley capitalized on during their own speech.

“Vulcan society has thrived for what feels like millennia – rooted in the belief of living long prosperous lives, peaceful, but that was not always the case. You were a barbaric war-like species that lacked structure, logic, discipline, and order. You were on the brink of self-extinction” Pippa had said swiftly. “Now, you stand at the precipice, just as I do here now stand at this cliff, at any moment it could give out, but I have faith – Faith of the heart that it will not bend nor break” Pippa added stepping closer to the edge gracefully though the captain could almost feel their Caitian Chief of Security’s heart pulsating arithmetically.

K'Var was paying close attention to the Captain, ready to make a move and try to catch her if something should happen and she started to when some of the snow and ice gave way.

The Captain then stepped back, breathing a sigh of relief that the cliffside of the mountain did hold, fortified by ice and undoubtedly supported by the cold below freezing temperatures. Their lighter weight and graceful steps adding to their good fortune. Not only would I have died had that given way, but my whole speech would have been infamously memorable, but not in a favorable way Pippa though to themselves.

Pippa cleared the thoughts from their mind. “In your 4th Century emerged a great man, a logical man, one you know as Surak, the father of Modern Vulcan civilization, and I dare say a man that I greatly respect. Had I ever had the opportunity during his life, I would have told him live long and prosper, but I am glad that he is deceased.”

The captain looked at the perplexed expressions on some of the Vulcans. “I am glad because he would be standing here on this sacred mountain confused by your lack of logic, your abandonment of his teachings, and short sightedness.” Pippa shook their head and pointed at a section of Vulcans gathered. “You act more like Romulans than you do Vulcans – suspicious, fearful, and impulsive. You are not the Vulcans I respect, and if this planet leaves the United Federation, a federation that your ancestors helped build – Vulcan serving as a pillar, if Vulcan leaves, then you have only confirmed what the Romulans, the Klingons, the Orions, the Humans have always thought of you – weak.”

This was not the speech she had rehearsed. Pippa was going off script and if Oriana were there, Pippa imagined that the ensign would be shaking nervously and wincing at Pippa’s heavy-handed blows opting for Pathos and Logos rather than establishing Ethos and shifting to a Logos driven speech. “Do not be weak – Be better. Be Vulcans.”

As Pippa neared the climax of their speech, the captain could see Lieutenant Kolani fidgeting off in the distance. Lieutenant K’Var soon thereafter had an expression on their face after having stepped away and tapped their communications badge. Pippa’s had gone off three times during her speech, she had placed it in a silence mode in order to continue. Something was wrong.

“Vulcan is more than just your home though you cannot see it now, perhaps because of the elevation we are at, but descend this mountain and go into the villages. Look beyond the Vulcans who have called this planet home for centuries and you will find Surak’s teaching in the mixed families that call this planet home, the Humans who have settled here, the Romulan refugees that you have taken in – Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations. That is Vulcan and Vulcan is the Federation. Pour that in your Plomeek Soup and digest it this evening” Captain Whitley swiftly concluded their speech, and left the Vulcans murmuring amongst themselves, a chorus of upper brow prattle to her sharp silver-tongued ‘low brow’ emotion driven ultimatums. Pippa raised her hand looking right at a group of Vulcan monks and gave their symbolic hand gesture.

The captain hatefully made their way over to Lieutenant K’Var who was clearly having a conversation over the comm with someone from the Standing Bear. Pippa presumed that it was Lieutenant Kingsley whom Pippa had left in command. “Alex, what is it?” Pippa asked, but it was not Alex Kingsley who responded to the captain’s inquiry.

"-- so, yes, we need the captain back on board," came the voice of Eberhardt.

"We have trouble, Captain" K'Var turned toward Pippa.

Pippa looked at K'Var. "Someone fill me in," the Captain said. "Wfat the hell is going on?"

K'Var had taken a few minuets to get the Captain caught up on what she had just been told and that one of her senior staff had been abducted. "This isn't good Captain" K'Var followed up and waited for the Commanding Officers instructions.

"It is not," Pippa replied shaking their head. "Lieutenant Eberhardt," Pippa said over the still open comm channel. "Hold down the fort. Get a lock on the Lieutenants and myself, beam us to our landing coordinates. We'll bring the shuttle back."

"Hands are a little bit full, but give me five minutes," Adrianna replied.

Pippa nodded at K'Var.


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