Obsidian Command

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Into the Deep End

Posted on 16 Jul 2022 @ 9:48pm by Captain Corvus DeHavilland & Commander Calliope Zahn & Lieutenant Commander Lance Quinn & Lieutenant Commander Cale Llewellyn, DSci & Lieutenant Theodore Winslow & Lieutenant Louke Haille & Lieutenant JG Hannah Wagner & Chief Deputy Marshal: Ridge Steiner FMS

Mission: M3 - Into the Deep
Location: USS Pathfinder - Bridge
Timeline: MD05 1200HRS
2291 words - 4.6 OF Standard Post Measure

This was really the last place that Corvus wanted to be. Things were going on, trouble was brewing and she wasn't allowed to stand and prepare for that on her own command; she was being sent to manage this issue from afar. To let the Admiral take control while she went out to do who really knew what just to give him that latitude. Sure, he'd done a good job of playing to her vanity and acting as if this was the more important job of all available. But the fact remained that she was being sent away from her command.

Because the needs of this mission were more scientific than anything, the Pathfinder was being sent. But since their potential foe stood a fair chance of destroying them on sight, she'd been instructed to take the Theseus along for the ride. Again, the Admiral had explained the 'logic' of Captain Callum's inclusion in this mission but it was starting to feel like she needed a babysitter. Maybe the Admiral didn't think she could take care of herself and had not only taken her command but sent her with a chaperone as well until he was certain. It was a state of mind that didn't make for a calm, collected leader. She hated every bit of this mission and the way it was given to her, but she had to focus on the task at hand. Orders were orders. She had to complete them, or whatever doubts Sepandiyar truly had would be proven right and she might well find herself sending a subspace message back to Captain Dansby, begging to return to the Praetorian.

Corvus focused on the mission. The specific's that they were supposed to accomplish all while practicing a simple Vulcan breathing technique Counselor L'Prea had taught her back on the Challenger to calm her anger. She'd spent quite a bit of time with L'Prea in the wake of her marriage falling apart but the lessons she'd taught her on controlling her emotions and calming her natural anger had been helpful in her daily life ever since. She rode through the Obsidian Command lift, glad to have no interruptions on her long ride to the shuttlebay despite the armed shadow that was occupying the lift with her. Major Finn was silent, and never once questioned what they were doing or where they were going, but he was there like a silent sentinel. She hated to admit it, but the mans presence was comforting somehow.

The walk to the Pathfinder would be short and sweet, and the turbolift ride from the docking arm just as much so. She passed through the corridors of the docking arm and along the path to the lift aboard the Pathfinder, finding her way to an occupied and bustling bridge. Despite hating every bit of this mission and the reasons she was being sent on it, she couldn't help but feel a little bit of pride as she stepped out of the lift and Commander Zahn called out, "Captain on the bridge!"

Calliope represented herself with a sharp attention as she called out DeHavilland's presence and the business of preparations quickly came to the proper reverenced focus. With less than an hour to call up, inform, and gather several of the leading staff on the ship, Calliope had still managed to get everything operational before the Captain had retrieved her duffel. She could have done a lot more with a few days warning, including better preparation of Theo and Lance and some of the rest. But she was determined to travel light on this trip and not take the baggage of blame and resentment along. She was used to working with restrictions on time, resources, people, and even her health and there wasn't a scrape she hadn't scrapped herself out of yet. The only thing she couldn't shake was just how underprepared Lance was for mission assignment. At the moment he was manning the Engineering support station on the bridge but she suspected soon enough he'd be ensconced in the engine room, which was at least where he would find the praxis of his theoretical life interest in propulsion. It would be underwhelming compared to his work in advanced slipsteam development, but she knew in the corner of his heart he was a little kid anytime a ship engine was involved. She just prayed to God Lance stayed safe. It didn't escape Calliope's notice that Finn boarded a few paces behind the Captain, clearly keeping up with her from a respectful distance. For every ounce of assurance it lent, the marine presence dotted around the bridge also added a foreboding sense to an already ominous mission.

"Commander," Corvus greeted Calliope, keeping it simple and professional as she could manage. "What's our status?"

Calliope gave an even, emotionless reply at volume for the benefit of all. "All ship systems are go, all crew are present and accounted for, Ma'am."

DeHavilland gave a slight nod to the XO she'd wanted but never quite got to have; now foisted upon her against her will. She then glanced at her chair, considering taking a seat and moving forward but shook her head internally and decided on a different path.

"You are all the best Obsidian Command has to offer," she declared for the bridge at large. "Which is why you are here, and you deserve to know why," she continued, now pacing to the edge of the arch that led behind the Captain's seat to the rest of the staff. "The last time this ship left Obsidian Command we picked up the debris of a vessel of unknown origin. Lieutenant Commander Quinn has been researching this debris, and understands more than anyone else about their capabilities. At least, that is what we thought," she sighed profoundly, matching her gaze with Quinn's. "The information I'm about to share with you all is classified at the highest level. It does not leave this bridge," she explained, pacing along the back of the arch as he considered her words. She made her way to the engineering console and kindly gestured to the terminal and accessed a data file that she put on the main glass. It was a rendering of the debris of the ship, alongside the actual view of one as taken by the USS Ardeshir.

"They are called the Pyrryx," Corvus declared simply. "An aggressive, xenophobic and totalitarian regime that hails from beyond the Aurelian Belt, well past the fringes of known space in this quadrant," she narrated, making her way back down the arch to the main floor towards the CoNN stations. "Our mission is to follow the last known path of this destroyed vessel, and ascertain where they are, where they've come from and, if we can, where they are going. Now. Starfleet has engaged the Pyrryx on multiple occasions, which is the source of this particular image," she gestured to the fully intact vessel, "And only the strongest and most tactically suited vessels have survived the encounters. This was taken by the Luna-class USS Ardeshir which fought against this vessel and only just survived. By the Captain's account, had the USS Atlantic not answered their distress, they might not have. They're vastly superior to a Nova-class vessel. But... that's why we're not leaving here alone," she said, pausing at the CoNN station to bring up a holographic figure that came to life just between the CoNN stations. It was a man in a Starfleet uniform via holo-presence.

"This is Captain Callum of the USS Theseus, a Prometheus-class vessel," she said, gesturing to him.

"Good day, Pathfinder," Callum nodded. "Per Admiral Sepandiyar's orders, the Theseus is to be your escort for the length of this away mission. Your job is to get the data, ours is to make sure you get back to share it," he declared curtly, like it was no big deal that him and his would lay down their ship and potentially their lives to get them out.

"I have command of this mission," DeHavilland clarified. "Where we go, how we go, what we do. That is my call. Captain Callum and the Theseus will support us without issue," she said to the crew, glancing at Callum as well, who nodded. "But for my staff, and to make it clear for you, Lachlan. The moment a Pyrryx vessel is in the vicinity, the command of this mission belongs to you. Hard stop."

Captain Callum looked surprised at that, but nodded. "Aye, Captain. Theseus will take the lead."

"Alright," Corvus said, looking around at the professional, stoic faces of her hand-selected bridge crew. "Captain. Are you ready to depart?"

"Already waiting for you outside the docking bay. Lead the way, ma'am," he smirked.

"Good. Thank you, Captain."

"Callum out," he replied and his hologram disappeared.

DeHavilland walked calmly to the center chair of the bridge and carefully perched herself on the edge. "Commander Zahn," she said, clearing her throat. "Let's go."

"Engineering, disengage docking clamps," Calliope began calling out tasks as she circled to stand in front of the first officer's chair and stare forward through the bridge display at the enormous stationyard docking doors that were parting like the maw of a giant whale which the Pathfinder was secreted inside of. It made the whole of the ship feel very, very small. "Ops signal our departure. Helm, take us out on maneuvering thrusters."

It was all too basic, Calliope knew, but the point wasn't that any second year cadet could do it; the point was the ballet that was starting the crew off working in sync on the little stuff. It was next to impossible to fix a rhythm mid stride if you started off on a wobble. Lurking vicious faceless killer top secret alien empire aside, there would be enough challenges to meet with new and nearly new faces who had never worked together and with the brevity of their preparations. Then there was the underlying frustration that Calliope could tell Corvus was nursing over this mission. It was well under wraps, and Calliope knew she only had the sense from her long service history with Corvus and the privacy of her briefing not even an hour previously, but she needed to remain bolstered and keep that frustration from spilling over to the crew— and to herself.

Winslow could have looked up at the Captain coming onboard but he stood up to attention and just stared at the view screen before he returned to his duties quietly checking each decks security. There really had not been enough time to do anything before they left other then let the security team know anyone in authority in the department was leaving and that Lieutenant Devek was in charge until their return, it wasn’t the first time but it did leave a small part of dread behind that it could be permanent if they got into trouble.

Steiner stood at the secondary Security position and did his best to stay out of everyone's way. He had been on larger Marshal's Service ships before, and on some joint operations with Starfleet, but this was a first time being an actual cog in the 'Fleet Machine'. He watched with interest as the crew smoothly went to work getting them underway. Quite what they would encounter when they got where it was the were going was the unknown...

Lance exchanged a momentary look with Calliope - a why am I here again? remaining unspoken - as he stood beside the secondary engineering console towards the rear of the bridge. He didn't need to be there, he could have been in the Engineering section, but for whatever reason she seemed to want him close. "We are disengaged. Clear of moorings now," he said out loud, even though anyone who needed to know would have realised it already.

Lieutenant Commander Cale Llewellyn stepped onto the bridge of the Patherfinder and simply looked around for Captain DeHavilland. Upon spotting her in her seat, he walked over to her an introduced himself "Captain, I am Lieutenant Commander Cale Jayson Llewellyn, DSci, your new Chief Science Officer. I just didn't know if you were aware of my assignment to your command or not," Cale said, remaining at attention whilst awaiting his new CO's acknowledgment.

Calliope intercepted, extending a hand to check his orders and scrutinizing the assignment. How had he gotten aboard? The airlock must have closed on his coattails. She hated being made a liar when she had accounted for everyone and her eyes formed dubious slits. If she hadn't assigned him and DeHavilland hadn't it seemed suspect. The orders were written by Zayne, however, and pushed through by a brief approval from Sepandiyar. Another command decision from the Admiral. On behalf of Captain DeHavilland, Calliope pointed to the science panel. "Take your station, Mister Llewellyn." Mentally she added him to the growing list of surprises and unknowns this whole enterprise seemed made of.

"Aye aye, Commander," came Cale's simple answer with a slight London accent. "And, my apologies for overstepping my bounds."

"Ensign Wiser, set this course," Captain DeHavilland called out, tapping the destination into her terminal and transmitting that to the CoNN.

"Aye, Captain. Course laid in," Wiser answered, glancing back over his shoulder.

Corvus turned her head to the left to see Calliope sit down and then turned back to Wiser, "Synch course with Theseus. Warp factor seven. Engage when ready," she ordered.

"Aye, Captain," he answered, turning back to his station. "Warp factor seven... engaged."


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