Posted on Thu Jan 10th, 2019 @ 9:51am by Captain Charlotte Reynolds & Lieutenant Commander Kenna Wolff & Lieutenant Michaela Holland & Lieutenant Elias Lindholm & Lieutenant Caroline Isley & Ensign K'Muss & Lieutenant Ian Acainus
Episode 3: Foxes and Henhouses
Location: USS Defiant Airlock, Starbase Arcadia
Timeline: Prior to the War Council
Defiant officers streamed past as the stern Marine woman stood, watching the scene. The ships recent encounter with the parasites had potentially exposed the crew to infection. And while each officer had been scanned and proven clean, the ship could still be holding stowaways. Admiral Haster had ordered a baryon sweep of the ship to purge any hidden organic matter, and Brigadier General Rebecca Javier was taking it upon herself to see off every crewman.
She flipped open her communicator, linked with the public address system, and called out to them. "Attention all Defiant crew. You have been assigned quarters in the Residential Pier aboard Arcadia during this process. Please go about your shore leave as planned. All senior officers, please report to me before departing."
Ian was looking forward to some shoreleave perhaps another date with Elias was in order. Something calm and pleasant, possibly sensuous, but as long as finding himself on the wrong side of a brig forcefield accused of some horrific crime wasn't involved he'd be happy. But for now, his only goal was to get to the briefing and find out what in the Universe was going on.
“Acainus, Ian. Rank Lieutenant. Welcome back to Arcadia. I trust I can rely upon you to avoid the brig this time?” The Marine stared him down.
He met her gaze, and while he wanted to keep his face impassive, he just couldn't do it. The corners of his lip turned up ever so slightly, "Trust me," he said, that's the last place I want to wind up. I mean I know Marines are known for their friendliness, but I'd rather not experience it again. If it's all the same to you."
She appraised him for a moment nodding. "I think that'd be best for both of us. Defiant will be clear at 1300 tomorrow. Until that time, make yourself at home on Arcadia."
Kenna walked up behind Ian and inclined her head to the Marine. "General." She said politely. It was the normal Kenna that everyone knew. Quiet, yet polite, reserved. She carried a Starfleet issue duffel over her shoulder and a PADD in her left hand.
The general's expression warmed significantly. "Lt. Commander Wolff. Welcome to Arcadia. If you had a few minutes, I'd actually appreciate your assistance with a security matter. As the ranking StratOps Officer in the sector, it'd be nice to run a few things by you."
"Of course General. I have nothing planned for the rest of the day. When would you like to meet?" Kenna replied.
"I should be available in an hour, once Defiant's baryon sweep begins," the general replied. "I will need to attend the War Council session once it begins, so we can discuss until then."
Kenna nodded and slipped away.
Elias waited approached the Marine and waited while Kenna and the general conferred. Elias had always had good relationships with the Marines he had known, and he had even considered transferring to the Marines. But, he knew Starfleet transfers would not advance very much, and once he got his commission he knew he wouldn't be allowed to keep it in the Marines.
Elias carried his standard sea bag he kept from his enlisted days. He also carried a long rifle case that contained his phaser rifle and his sidearm. It was not unusual for tactical and security officers to bring weapons aboard the station, but they always had to be inspected by the station security. Elias also never went anywhere without a weapon, but he hated letting the station security check his weapons. It wasn't the task, but the attitude that some of the Marine guards sometimes exhibited.
“Lt. Lindholm, welcome aboard Arcadia,” the general said. She gestured toward his equipment. “I’m sure you know the drill. We’ll need to inspect that before I can allow you to bring it station side.” She gestured and two marines stepped up to take a look at the gear.
Elias nodded and set his case on the adjacent table. He took a step back and motioned to the two marine guards to commence with their inspection. "Of Course General. It's good to be aboard. I trust your men won't damage my rifle too bad."
She gave him a look that was either amused or annoyed. “Your rifle will be in safe hands.”
Caroline Isley waited in line with her fellow officers to be inspected by the Marine general at the front. She understood the need for security but that didn't make this any more appealing. The blonde was growing impatient by the time she made it to the front. She straightened her blue uniform and tried to hold back her irritation.
K'Muss stood ramrod straight. Truth be told he didn't really care for brass as a rule. Ever since he made an Admiral barf once, but he patiently waited his turn. “General,” he said as he came up.
“Ensign K’Muss,” the General said with a hint of disgust. But just a hint. “You’re well aware of the shore leave protocols I assume. Please avoid flying anything for the time being. I prefer our shuttles intact.”
"Always a good policy, General." He said "And of course, General. Well aware." He nodded. Generals, ugh he thought.
Javier looked him over skeptically. "Fair enough. Move along, Ensign."
Michaela had reservations about leaving the Defiant unattended, but she tried not to let them show. Yes, Charlotte was the captain and there were several other officers above her in the chain of command, but as chief engineer, practically the entire ship was her responsibility. She didn't like the idea of other people conducting the baryon sweeps, even though that was how the process usually worked. Still, no one had even invited her to assist or at least watch in on the operation. That didn't seem right.
But there was a lot going on that didn't seem right, and it was harder and harder to know what to look out for. Fighting Klingons was one thing... all this espionage and cloak and dagger planning seemed far beyond her training and expertise.
One thing did feel right though... or at least, there was at least one thing to look forward to more free time with Caroline. If she could manage it. At the moment she kept her distance from Isley, not yet wanting to appear as a pair in front of the crew. Well, she wanted to, but in Starfleet, it seemed everything required careful planning. Perhaps even personal relationships.
With all that on her mind, Michaela seemed a bit distracted as she waited in line.
The general marked her checklist. “And Lieutenant Holland. That marks the last of the senior staff. I assure you, Lieutenant, your vessel is in good hands. We just want to make sure you didn’t bring any of those bugs back. Anything else we need to know?” The general was being noticeably nicer with the human woman than she’d been toward the Caitlin before her.
"Um, no General. Nothing not already in the engineering logs." Michaela said with a slight shake of her head. She was unfamiliar with the general, and didn't know about the bad blood between her and the Defiant's former command crew. At this point she was at least a little wary of any flag officer, knowing about the parasites and that their commanding admiral was suspect, but as far as she knew this general was just personally ensuring that no one was accidentally left aboard during the baryon sweep.
"Good," the general said briefly. "I just don't want any surprises when we do those purge. Just make sure to keep your crew out of trouble while aboard. That Caitian's got a reputation." There was a bit of disdain in her voice.
"Uhh. Yes ma'am." Michaela said, unsure of how to respond to that. She hadn't seen anything out of sorts with K'Muss's service record, but of course those didn't always tell the whole story. She didn't know whether to believe that the General's story was true, or if the woman just didn't like the Caitian. Either way... something to keep in mind.