Posted on Mon May 1st, 2017 @ 3:49pm by Captain Marcab Strongfellow & Commander Mikayla O'Dell M.D & Commander Evangeline Tyler M.D. & Captain James Racktor & Commander Brad Pennell & Lieutenant Kelly Sloan
Location: Deck 14 - Senior Officers' Conference Room
Marcab enters the conference room. He walks over to the replicator and orders his tea. After it materializes, he grabs it and heads for his usual seat at the conference table. He then sets down his tea and his PADD. He sits and waits for the others to arrive. He begins thinking of his brother that was lost so many years ago.
Mikayla walks in carrying her coffee mug that boasts, "this doctor is powered by caffeine". She sees no one else is in the room and that Marcab looks deep in thought but she doesn't like the look on his face. She has known him long enough to know he was thinking about Anthony. She walks over and places her hand on his shoulder and leans down. "Hey, handsome. You left before I got up this morning. Everything alright?" she says, softly.
Marcab replies, "Bad night. I was just remembering some things." He then smiles, looks at her and tells her "Thank you for asking."
Mikayla gives him a concerned look as she, reluctantly, takes a seat to his left. She knows he's hurting and she hates that he has to keeps it bottled up but she has never been able to break that armor. In the year and a half that they have been together she has only seen glimpses of that part of him that he keeps walled off. Now there is a meeting and, once again, a reason for the armor. She sips at her coffee but keeps her eyes on Marcab.
The opening of the conference room doors reveals a shaded lens glasses Ted in his sharp and charcoal grey coloured business attire as he drifts in, his expression one of warm greetings as he nods in the couples direction. Yes that was the correct term for them in his view, while they maintained an air of professionalism that was beyond reproach that's what they were though some people might not be aware of their relationship or chose to ignore it, their bond was there for those willing to see. He wished them all the best for their future.
Finding a seat opposite Marcab at the table Ted wondered if he was doing this deliberately as it could be construed to be a challenging stance to the Commander's leadership. Dismissing this passing thought Ted thought it more likely that he had been very busy of late with MARS matters and wished merely to have the best position from which to understand the reason for the meeting as that had not been forthcoming when he was requested to be in attendance.
Placing his padd on the table before him he regarded the pair for a moment further then realising his rudeness removed the glasses and placed then by his padd.
"Doctor, Commander", his warm tones reflecting both his familiarity and regard for them, "You're both looking well"
Marcab answers, "Thank you sir. You are looking well yourself."
Mikayla lifts her coffee cup in a mock toast. "Good morning, Ted," she says with a pleasant smile.
The conference room doors hissed open once again, and Evangeline Tyler entered, carrying a PADD in one hand and a cup of raktajino in the other. She smiled and gave a respectful nod to the others in the room, not wanting to interrupt any potential conversations that might've been ongoing.
Mikayla is glad to see the counselor, as the clinic project and the busying Medical Facility has given her very little time for socializing and she hasn't seen her friend since the last Medical Staff meeting and that was a few weeks ago and only in passing. "Staying out of trouble, Evangeline?" she asks with a smile.
Evangeline smiled. "For sure. I just haven't had time to get up to my normal shenanigans," she added with a laugh.
Brad walked into the room looking a bit out of breath. "My apologies Captain... I was dealing with an issue down in Engineering," Brad said as he took his seat. "Here is my report," Brad said as he slid a PADD over to the Captain. "Doctor O'Dell, I should have the supply schedule to you by the end of the day... we have several ships arriving over the next few weeks that will be delivering some additional medical supplies for the station," Brad explained.
"Can any of those supplies be used in the planet clinics?" Mikayla asks.
"I am in contact with Starfleet about that very issue... at the moment there are a few Admirals that think we should lend support and not direct care, but I think I have convinced enough of the Admiralty to vote in our favor," Brad said. "I have all your research as well as some information from the Chancellor on the state of the population of these settlements that has our case very convincing," Brad continued. "With all of that said.. we can discuss this in more detail offline," Brad said.
"Dammit," Mikayla whispers and sits back in her seat.
It didn't take an expert in behavior to know the senior doctor was displeased, but in Evangeline's opinion, everyone was doing all they could to address the issues with the clinic. It sounded like the matter wasn't closed at all, simply being debated.
James was on his way to the Conference Room after training his troops he had a PADD in hand with infromation on the recent mission he went to the replicator to get a ractajino once he entered the Conference Room and began to sit down he told brad " Sorry Im late Commander I was in a training session with my platoon " he said.
Ted looks on with interest at the word 'research', his attention passing from the XO. to the doctor, "Perhaps I may be of assistance in cutting through some of the bureaucracy you're experiencing at the moment. If you can read me in on this research.... I may be able to speed things up if theres a nudge from the Science Council to get on with things".
"That sounds like a good idea." Marcab added. He then adds, "What good is the head of the research section if we can't involve him in the research."
Again the door hisses open and, slightly out of breath, Kelly hurries through before it even hits the halfway point. She nods to the Commander and takes a quick seat, tucking her flight helmet under the chair. "Sorry I'm running late Sir, I just got back in from a patrol." She scrubs her fingers through her short red hair in attempt to make it a little more presentable after 10 hours under the helmet.
Marcab seeing that the entire staff has arrived, he introduces LT Sloan. "Everyone this is Lieutenant Sloan, she is the deputy CAG. She will be filling in while Lieutenant Commander Dominguez is away." He then goes on to state, "The reason for the meeting is that I would like to get everyone on the same page with the next steps for Oraxa. We had a team visit the planet and they have returned with some interesting news and unique issues." He takes a breath, "One issue that we need to address is the unique behavior of a normally docile creature." He then turns towards his XO and says, "Commander could you please tells us about this creature."
"Normally docile!" Mikayla speaks up...the disbelief obvious in her tone of voice. "Have you forgotten that 2 years ago one of those creatures got on the station and fed on four people...one of which was a boy? Or that you had to rescue me from almost becoming meal number 5? Docile my ass."
"Sorry doctor, did you say something!" CDR Strongfellow replies in a stern and disapproving tone of voice.
Mikayla still had nightmares of the creature being just inches from her face when they had cornered it in the lab. The putrid smell of its breath...the acidic saliva sizzling on the floor of the lab as it dripped from the creature's jaws. She glares at Marcab and says, "yes, Commander. I did say something. But obviously it wasn't important enough for you to listen. Or remember the depleted bodies of the creature's victims. But I haven't forgotten and those things are not docile."
"Doctor, once Commander Pennell finishes his briefing, you can give a history lesson on the same creature that we encountered here on the station some time ago." CDR Strongfellow informs her. His face then changes to a look of sorrow and regret as he finishes by saying, "And NO doctor I have not forgotten those that were lost that day or what happened. I have a reminder of that event still to this day."
Evangeline said nothing, but made a mental note to speak to each of them as soon as the meeting was over. Obviously, they were still struggling with not so distant experiences, and if they were allowing their emotions to spill over in public like this, there had to be a great deal going on underneath.
Mikayla glares at Marcab and sets her jaw. To keep from saying what's on her mind, she gets up and walks to the replicator and gets another cup of coffee which she pours into her cup and sips at it, her back to the room.
Curiouser and more curiouser Ted thought as he watched the latest interplay. A normally 'docile' animal or animals that was now aggressive, an incident with said animal in the bases recent past before his arrival. One had to ask what made the animal so aggressive if this was not normal for them and are the two incidents connected. A sub dermal vibration just under the skin between his left fore finger and thumb installed for secondary comms and security purposes alerted him he was wanted somewhere else. Ted hoped the meeting would finish soon.
Brad looked around,"alright, we are also expecting an increase in all traffic but in particular there will be an influx in personnel... as we are critically manned in most areas of the station," Brad said. "We are still working with the Oraxian government on all fronts, but for now only senior staff are allowed to have any diplomatic contact with the Oraxians," Brad continued. "Does anyone have any pressing personnel issues that I should be aware," Brad asked.
Ted frowned at the last comment, clearly the doctor had an issue regarding the animal, was there something else going on which was of major import. Where was this leading to as he tried not to fidget in his chair.
"Have you put a team together to investigate the creature?" Marcab asks.
"Yes, sir... I have a flight team scouting out several sites on the surface as well as some 'other irons in the fire' gathering intelligence from the surrounding outposts and civilian traffic," Brad replied. "I will have a report to you on what the flight team finds on the surface as soon as they return," Brad continued.
Mikayla walks back to her seat and sits down but stares, blankly, at her coffee cup.
Brad turned back to the table, "Doctor O'Dell... once the medical supplies are cleared, I need your team to handle the transport on confirmation of the inventory," Brad said. "Please note any damaged or missing inventory and have that report to me as soon as possible," Brad continued.
"Alright," Mikayla says simply.
CDR Strongfellow looks at the good doctor and states, "Doctor O'Dell please inform this group of the creature that we have been referring to."
Mikayla looked at the acting security chief and asked, "can you access the security database from stardate 68787.17?"
"It'll take a minute," the Lieutenant says as he begins entering the information into the terminal built into the table. "What am I looking for?" he asks.
"Image files," Mikayla says and gets up from her seat. She walks over and leans down to look over the Lieutenant's shoulder.
As the images appeared on the small screen the Lieutenant began swiping them. "Tell me when to stop," he says.
Mikayla watched the screen and says, "there," when she sees a security image of the creature in the lab just before it attacked her. "Put it on the main screen, please," she says and the Lieutenant sends the image to the large screen behind the Commander. The image of the large creature with dangling appendages and elongated head, slimy drool dripping from its mouth, appears. Mikayla has to force herself not to tremble outwardly. "The drool is chemically similar to sulfuric acid," she says, swallowing hard to keep her emotions at bay. "It has a tubular tongue that it...," she has to stop, look away then continue. "...inserts into the mouth of its victims and then it...literally...sucks all of the fluids from its victims, depleting the internal organs to nothing more than deflated balloons. It appears to acquire nourishment that way." She turns to look at the XO. "But it's docile," she says sarcastically and returns to her seat, turning so she doesn't have to look at the screen.
CDR Strongfellow begins to speak. "At the time we did not know what it was. It had killed several people on the station before we were able to kill it." He pauses, trying to maintain his composure he adds, "Now according to the Oraxans this is suppose to be a docile animal on their planet. We can't explain the reason for the change in this creature. Part of our task will to figure out why this creature has changed its behavior. We need to know if this is a evolution change or some other reason for this creature becoming this way. The Oraxans want the same answer and have agreed to work with us in this investigation." He pauses a moment, then asks "Any questions?"
Ted cleared his throat to indicate he had some questions or at least some commentary to add to the subject matter as he started out cautiously, "Perhaps I'm stating the obvious but that means there already a bio scan of the creature in the starbases database that I can access to study. In any case it seems unusual that a creature that gains its sustenance from other creatures by such an invasive technique is docile as it needs to latch onto its assumedly unwilling prey which implies a predatory element to its characteristic. Unless of course it off sets this by also being a carrion hunter", he shrugs at this new notion.
Ted's eyes widen in anticipation as a new thought crossed his mind, "Is that creature or its carcass still here, I could examine it and at the least add more information on it, maybe develop its dietary preferences?"
Mikayla shakes her head. "No. The creature was incinerated by one of our Marines," she says.
"Oh..", Ted uttered, looking disappointed, "I'd be willing to get new bio scans and I'll need bio samples off one of these creatures with the right protection of course"
"Are you asking to go on the away mission?" CDR Strongfellow asks curiously.
Without hesitation Ted replied with conviction, "I go where the science takes me and if that means in the field so be it", shifting to a more circumspect tone, "Besides I was planning on eventually going down to the planet and getting to know the people down there, who knows I'm sure there's also plenty of business opportunities that can be pursued as well, unless there was something else you had in mind for the MARS Centre Cdr.?"
"Commander Pennell will have a slot for you on the away team then, but understand that the away team commander will be in charge of everything that happens there." CDR Strongfellow informs Ted.
Ted nods in agreement noting he didn't get a direct answer to his question. His attention then shifting for the moment to the aerospace commanders deputy and hopes the aerospace lead wouldn't be away too long as that had an impact on one of his project they had been discussing in recent times.
Sliding his padd towards himself Ted access the file the good doctor has been speaking about with such opposition about. His eyes drifting over the data like a sponge to water, he gets a sense of whats happen, its a generalised sense and he would have to go over it again in more detail but he understood her concern now.
Looking up with concern in his eyes he says the word softly, "Tracken.."
"Are there any other questions or concerns?" Marcab asks the group.
Kelly glances around before speaking up. "Do want need me to set up recon groups or are we just flying escorts?"
"I would prefer both but I will leave that to your discretion." CDR Strongfellow answers. He then adds, "Please coordinate the times with the XO."
Kelly nodded "Will do Sir."
"Okay if there are no further questions, you may be dismissed." CDR Strongfellow announces.
The subdermal vibrations in Ted's hand once again reminded him that he was wanted elsewhere as he rose and nodded to everyone, "Commander.", then switching his attention to LtCdr. Pennell advising politely, "Please let me know as soon as possible when you wish to leave Commander. I may have an assistant with me for the task at hand as its likely the task will be more arduous than I first thought." Ted then turned and left the room seeming to glide along but at a faster than his usual pace. Outside the room he contacts his assistant Naomi, "Naomi it must be urgent if you've being trying to get hold of me while I'm in a meeting with Starfleet. In any case get me a priority channel to Counselor Gamesh about urgent medical supplies affecting diplomatic relation for a new Federation entrant. Something about Starfleet Logistics or Command dragging their feet over their availability which is hampering our efforts with the planet Oraxa's government."
=^=Yes Director, you should know our patient is getting restless and wants to know when you will be going to see Frank, hes becoming most insistent=^=
"I understand, advise our patient I am on my way and we will see Frank forthwith," Teds face reflecting sympathy for Naomi's situation.
Brad got up from his seat and headed for the door.
Marcab sits in his chair as the staff disperses and he just watches his core group of advisers knowing that they are more than capable.
"Commander Strongfellow... my Marine battalion is ready for the away mission coming up and I'd like to be a part of it," James replied.
"That's good. They will probably provide security while planetside." CDR Strongfelllow tells the Marine.
Kelly tapped a few notes into a PADD then rose, gathered her things and with a nod to the officers remaining hurried from the room.
Mikayla looks at James and says, "want a little advice, Captain? Don't let any of those things get anywhere near you or your Marines. The science guys may want to study them and try to see why they are attacking the villagers but I think they should just be eradicated. Torch the woods they live in with them in it." With that she gets up, grabs her now empty coffee cup and storms out of the room without even glancing at Marcab.
Marcab watches as Dr. O'Dell exits the room. He knows that this is going to be tough on both her and himself because of the incident some time ago. Now they will have to deal with these creatures once again. He thinks to himself, 'How do I tell her that I know the pain she feels?'