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Author Topic: S2 - M4 - Blood and Soil  (Read 2365 times)

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Offline Rayek trLhoell

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Re: S2 - M4 - Blood and Soil
« Reply #195 on: March 26, 2020, 02:58:16 am »
Katra Station - Operational Control Center

The probe they'd launched was feeding them a continuous stream of data about the gravitational anomaly, but there were currently no surprises in its development.  It was increasing in power in a linear, predictable way.   The Kosst Holana was being contracted with to perform an active particle injection of the gravitational anomaly, which should allow them to learn more about it.  Meanwhile, the Healy was making positive advances in their investigation of the 'space whale,' as it had come to be called.

And as these mysteries waited to be solved, there was little for Solluk to contribute.  As such, he decided to review recent reports and administrative paperwork, using his PADD to get various chores completed.

It was as he moved through his metaphorical mountain of reports that he came across Ensign Goodspeed's recent reports on the Healy.  He'd read her summaries before, but now began to dig into the details.  Those details were not particularly promising.  There was something rotten in Denmark, and in this case Denmark was the station's beloved attached ship, the USS Healy.  That rot needed to be dealt with.

He opened a channel, using his seat-side control.

=/\= Katra station to the USS Healy, Captain Solluk speaking.  Captain t'Lhoell, I wonder if I could borrow one of your Engineers?  If they're not engaged in the whale investigation, of course.  I'd like to have an in-person conference with Ensign Goodspeed, otherwise.  She can come across on a shuttle if you can spare one. =/\=

After seeing that the contract for the Kosst Holana was all in place, Rayek glanced over towards the Captain a bit surprised that the Vulcan would call for Goodspeed while the engineer was currently on assignment with the Healy's mission.

"Is there a problem Captain?  Something specific regarding Ensign Goodspeed or her performance that I should be made aware of?" he questioned.
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Offline John Saxon

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Re: S2 - M4 - Blood and Soil
« Reply #196 on: March 26, 2020, 06:45:45 am »
[USS Healy - Bridge]

Quote from: Beja
At Saxon’s suggestions for various shielding methods, she nodded to him, “Why don’t you work on the shielding problem Lieutenant, while I see if Roberto has completed the simulation scans. We need to be very precise with our brian surgery. I don’t think we will get more than one chance, and we do not want to inflict any further harm to the whale. It may be time to seek the help of our mission specialist, too. Our ‘scalpel’ will have to be very exact.

Saxon nodded briskly, far more content to be given a task within his skillset than he was to sit still and oversee works going ahead by others. His dad would have been proud. Almost. He even didn't mind being given a job by the Counsellor even though he was meant to be temporary First Officer; he figured it was a perfect blend of Beja's Klingon heritage (despite how different she was from most of her kin) that afforded her a more direct - if not kindly - manner and his own hands-on, blue-collar demeanour.

"Certainly, Counsellor. Please do keep me updated as to the final output requirements however, so I can have the computer properly calculate the most effective screening."


Overhearing, Jada turned slightly in her chair, with one eye on Tactical, one ear on the report. So, her first fears had been right after all – it was no natural, wild space whale at all, but some poor creature, engineered and modified, its very brain wired up and enslaved with no choice but to serve. She grimaced in disgust, sickened to her stomach. But she swallowed it and got on with the mission. 'It's not the first time we've encountered this sort of thing. The Dord and their Overseer Implants in their Servants. It operates on different principles though.' she reminded them.

At Jada's comment, John turned and looked surprised, then grateful for the prompt. There had been so many other distasteful issues with the Dord, that the implants themselves were an almost - shamefully - minor consideration, despite the obvious differences in implant methodology. Mentally, he chided himself for preferring to reminisce - if not about something a little more relevant to the current situation- deeper into his career past rather than drawing on more recent encounters. "Thank you, Chief" he admittedly truthfully. "A timely, if not troubling, reminder."

His weathered face twitched with thought. "Let's not take any risks nor overlook anything. Can you run full tactical analysis on the space whale and look for any technological signatures that could point to this being a Dord entity. And", he wondered aloud, "check with Katra as to whether the Dord's behaviour around their Embassy has changed in any way. Especially if they've become much more amenable to us or the Numati delegation."
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Offline Solluk

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Re: S2 - M4 - Blood and Soil
« Reply #197 on: March 26, 2020, 01:32:14 pm »


Katra Station - Operational Control Center

Solluk turned to his most trusted senior officer and nodded his head, "Yes, Number One.  I apologize, I should have explained this to you already, but other events made this seem less urgent.  Now that we are in a pause between crises, I thought to address it.   But let me begin at the beginning.

On the Tempest, when I was briefly Chief Engineer there, I used to spend hours reading about software updates designed to solve almost inconsequential performance issues in various pieces of hardware, and experimental hardware configurations that were being trialed by various engineers throughout the fleet.  I would read service updates from crewmembers- material that was routine, dry, and never intended to trickle up to the Chief Engineer.  A waste of time... or most people would think so.  But I found it fascinating. 

Often times, I could diagnose an emerging issue from reading small notations on maintenance forms.  For instance, what Crewman Larkin had to say about his frustration with an EPS relay's tendency to fall out of alignment.  This, only a minor notation on a routine service request.  And yet it informed me about a vibrational issue in the EPS relay socket that occurred whenever we would travel at Warp 7.  And only at Warp 7.

Well, ever since Goodspeed joined us, she's been filing a number of Engineering reports that I find troubling.  She seems to be gathering a body of evidence in preparation for submitting an official report up the chain.  I only noticed this trend because... well, I have been indulging in my old habits.  I suspect she's been accumulating so much supporting evidence because she believes I may be sensitive about criticisms to Starfleet Engineering protocols.  But in fact, in reading her filings, I have begun to share many of her presumed concerns.

You may have noticed yourself that Rhade has been fairly consistently putting out a large number of proverbial fires on the Healy.  But the New Orleans Class has a reputation as being one of the most robust designs to come out of the Starfleet yards in the past fifty years.  A reputation that has not seemed entirely warranted given the performance of the Healy ever since she was assigned to us. 

I decided it was time to talk to Goodspeed about it.  If the Healy needs an unscheduled refit or upgrade, we'd better get on with it sooner rather than later."



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Offline Tess tLhoell

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Re: S2 - M4 - Blood and Soil
« Reply #198 on: March 26, 2020, 05:21:17 pm »
Lt. Cmdr. Tess t'Lhoell (11 weeks pregnant)
[USS Healy - Bridge]

Tess acknowledged Hrafn's advice to act cautiously. "We're on alert status and I trust our security chief to be able to act accordingly to any change of the situation", Tess assured her.

While she waited with interest if and what the 'space whale' would reply, a call from Engineering came in. Though it wasn't what Tess had hoped to hear.

=/\="Acknowledged, Commander. I'll await word back from the team on your progress. Time is of the essence. We don't know for how much longer the occupant inside the whale will be able to bear up. t'Lhoell out." =/\=

Beja, Tess noted with some surprise, went over to assign tasks to the current First Officer. But John was grounded enough to not make a big deal about it. Beja announced to wait for the input from Roberto and Tess kept an eye on her console.

While she waited Jada made a good point in mentioning the Dord who used a similar technology to make their slaves do whatever they wanted. It was a dark memory for her, the whole concept of the Dord's society was cruel. She would never forget the image of the Dord master punching his slave Toji with unbelievable force.

Tess blinked, shaking the memory off. The suspicion rose that they might be dealing with the Dord again. While it was an unpleasant thought to assume the Dord masters had found ways to subdue other lifeforms, Tess knew about their society and how to deal with them. It didn't concern her that much. But personally she thought this was something else. Something new.

Tess approved of John's precautions he told Jada, nodding at both of them. Then her console pinged with the data coming from sickbay and which would show up on Beja's console as well. Roberto had combined all the data he had received to create an overview that was as detailed as possible. On that he had marked the spot they had to work on with the energy beam.

"Looks like we're one step forward", Tess exclaimed, pleased. "Mr. Saxon, maybe it will be sufficient to create such a fine duonetic energy beam effect that it will act like a 'scalpel' or rather ... a lance..." She thought the way John had initially called it was best suiting, "...and impact the inhibiting circuit only and nothing else." She looked to John questioningly.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2020, 05:43:42 pm by Tess tLhoell »

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Tess' biography (updated Feb 23rd, 2020) - Previous name: Tess Moreno

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Re: S2 - M4 - Blood and Soil
« Reply #199 on: March 27, 2020, 02:42:35 am »
[Bridge, USS Healy]

His weathered face twitched with thought. "Let's not take any risks nor overlook anything. Can you run full tactical analysis on the space whale and look for any technological signatures that could point to this being a Dord entity. And", he wondered aloud, "check with Katra as to whether the Dord's behaviour around their Embassy has changed in any way. Especially if they've become much more amenable to us or the Numati delegation."

'Sir.' Jada acknowledged quickly, turning back to her station. She first sent the message, appropriately general and non-alarmist, just in case: =/\='Healy Tactical to Katra OCC: just curious, how are our ambassadors taking the space whale drama?'=/\=

Then she began the first tactical scan, looking for power and technology signatures that might indicate weapons and defences – almost nothing was apparent in the space whale, but didn't meant something wasn't subtly hidden. The latinum circuitry in the skin cells was the most prominent, but it also obscured deeper scans. Thus, for a tactical analysis, Jada set aside the scans and tried to think – what would she do if she had to use this space whale as a weapon? Besides quit in disgust. Drop it from orbit?

Then Jada turned back. 'Ah, Lieutenant Saxon? Do you know that old story of ancient human soldiers hiding a man inside a horse so the enemy would take it inside their city? Then at night he got out and opened the gates?' she inquired meaningfully. 'I figure he must've been pretty manky after that, and I don't know why they'd take a dead horse inside the city and not just butcher it outside, but eh.' she added with a shrug. It was a human story, it had probably lost some things in translation.
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Offline Rayek trLhoell

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Re: S2 - M4 - Blood and Soil
« Reply #200 on: March 27, 2020, 03:22:18 am »
Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[Katra Station - Deck One - Operational Command Center]

At being called 'Number One' for the second time that day, Rayek had to refrain himself from reacting poorly to what he knew was supposed to be a positive nickname.  Many Captains referred to their First Officer as 'Number One'.   While he appreciated the Captain's attempt at easy familiarity by use of the nickname, he really would rather the Captain call him by name or even just rank.

During his time as an inmate of the Romulan prison system, Rayek like every other prisoner  had his identity stripped from him.  He was not called on by his family name as was standard in typical social convention. Nor was he called on by his personal name - in fact if any were caught using their names they were punished with a harder work schedule.  In all interactions he and the others were referred to by their alpha-numeric designations.  For nearly year his sole identity was 'Prisoner 3J4S735GL'.   Freed of that place now, he found himself rather adverse to being called by a number rather than his name.  Any name was better than being a number or alpha-numeric designation. 

Despite his distaste for the appellation given him moments before, Rayek paid close attention to what the Captain spoke.

Solluk's interest in reading engineering reports wasn't all that unexpected given that Rayek was aware of the man's history as Chief Engineer of the Tempest.  Yet Rayek doubted that a review of the very same engineering reports by him would have noted any of the issues that he was claiming.  It took someone far more 'in tune' with the engines and 'feel' of the ship or station to read between the lines. 

Rayek could understand now somewhat the Captain's explanation but what he failed to see was the sudden urgency that necessitated leaving the Healy one engineer short at a time when every creative idea could be important, to secure the release of the vessel trapped within. 

No, it certainly wasn't what Rayek would have done...  but the decision wasn't his.

"I see.  Shall I send another engineer back to the Healy in her place?"

Just as he'd asked that of the Captain, a call came in to the OCC.

[Bridge, USS Healy]

'Sir.' Jada acknowledged quickly, turning back to her station. She first sent the message, appropriately general and non-alarmist, just in case: =/\='Healy Tactical to Katra OCC: just curious, how are our ambassadors taking the space whale drama?'=/\=

Rayek seemed surprised by the question.  Did Jada think that perhaps the Numati, Dord or Dosi might be involved.  Captain Rixx hadn't mentioned the Ambassador's reaction to the creature 'parked' outside the station... Rayek had assumed that was because there had been none ... but then assumptions were dangerous.

The Romulan First Officer opened the channel to respond.  =/\="No disturbance by them have been reported to security.  But I will check in on them personally.  tr'Lhoell out." =/\=
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Offline John Saxon

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Re: S2 - M4 - Blood and Soil
« Reply #201 on: March 27, 2020, 07:01:27 am »
[USS Healy - Bridge]


Then Jada turned back. 'Ah, Lieutenant Saxon? Do you know that old story of ancient human soldiers hiding a man inside a horse so the enemy would take it inside their city? Then at night he got out and opened the gates?' she inquired meaningfully. 'I figure he must've been pretty manky after that, and I don't know why they'd take a dead horse inside the city and not just butcher it outside, but eh.' she added with a shrug. It was a human story, it had probably lost some things in translation.

It took John a moment to really tune in to what the Orion Senior Chief meant; the imagery of a soldier emerging, covered with viscera, from a horse carcass briefly overwhelmed rational thought until the initial surprise of the subject matter passed. Suddenly realising the fable Jada really meant, he began to open his mouth to correct her before wryly deciding to invoke a microcosm of the Prime Directive on this matter, and closed his mouth just as quickly: as far as he knew, this misnomer could be a popular, if not well-received, story among Orions which had some cultural impetuous comparing Humanity's differences to their own; indeed, they could even have a local version that was closer to the truth which could be called into question if he followed this up... although from what he already knew of the peoples (admittedly mostly through 'direct encounters'), the more...brutally pragmatic...approach was certainly not outside their bailiwick.

"Well yes...Quite...Let be vigilant..", he eventually managed gamely before busying himself with the deflector grid configurations at the secondary Tactical console.

After all, everyone knew the Trojan Horse was really all about a soldier posing as a 'hilarious' mime artist, gifted to the Trojans by the attacking Greeks. The mime artist enraptured the enemy troops with a night of 'hilarious' japes, most notably riding an invisible horse, before throwing open the gates to the attacking forces long after the crowd had gone to bed.

Saxon had thus never trusted mimes ever since his dad told him that story.

He wondered if the pilot in the whale was of the same profession; the urge to lock phasers was suddenly almost tempting.
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Offline Kalem Michael

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Re: S2 - M4 - Blood and Soil
« Reply #202 on: March 27, 2020, 08:36:19 am »
[Katra Station - Operational Control Center]

Kalem had been waiting until the Kosst Holana had launched before he Contacted them so that way he only had to open one channel. He didn't know if Captain Arrun had made it yet but it was time to open the channel and at least have it ready if he was.

=/\= Kosst Holana, This is Katra station on a secured channel. I am Kalem Michael and I will be your Liason with OPS. If you need anything on my end please don't hesitate to ask. =/\=

Offline Solluk

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Re: S2 - M4 - Blood and Soil
« Reply #203 on: March 27, 2020, 10:45:19 am »



Inside the mind of a space whale...

PAIN...

SO LONG, IT HAS BEEN...

WILL I FEEL THE FIRE?  WILL IT BE BRIGHT?

I HAVE NOT BEEN WARMED BY IT IN SO LONG...

WILL I FEAR IT?  LOATHE IT?  LOVE IT?

WHAT SHALL I BE, IF I BE ME, ONCE MORE?...





Katra Station - Operational Control Center

Solluk considered Rayek's suggestion.

"Let's see what fruit this conversation gleans, before we reassign anyone.  They have the Shran's Second Officer there helping in Engineering, so I'm not especially concerned for the moment.  But depending on what Goodspeed says, I may change that assessment."

He stood, "Speaking of which, the center is yours.  I will wait for Goodspeed in my office.  Let me know as soon as we start getting results either from the anomaly investigation or the whale investigation."

With that, Solluk repaired to his ready room to await Ensign Goodspeed.


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Offline Catherine Goodspeed

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Re: S2 - M4 - Blood and Soil
« Reply #204 on: March 27, 2020, 12:07:29 pm »
Katra Station - Shuttlebay docking area

Catherine Goodspeed smiled at the young Cadet as he docked safely and opened the door to let her out. 

"Thank you young man, maybe one day you can teach me which buttons to press in case I ever need to fly one of these things!"

With a wave of her hand Cat departed and was again on the semi solid ground of the station.  Nice chap; Cat thought.

Cat was on automatic pilot as she exited the shuttlebay and made her way to OCC and to the Commanding Officers Office on Deck 1.  What had she done?  her brain was in overdrive as she thought over the faux pas and her general non Starfleet like mannerisms.  Perhaps you couldn't teach an old dog new tricks? 

Prior to going there Cat made her way to the nearest rest room and washed her face, neck and hands and damped down her hair to make herself as fresh and presentable as she could look.  Nothing worse than turning up looking like she had been dragged through a hedge. She straightened her uniform and headed back to her destination.

At least the ship was in good hands, nothing else she could really assist with as the main cusp of the issue evolved around the whale and it's stomach content.  Not really an engineers area that.

Katra Station - Deck 1 OCC - Commanding Officers Office.

Then she was here.  Outside the door. She puffed her cheeks out and tried to breathe slowly through her nose to calm her breathing down.... and pressed the door link to announce her presence.

« Last Edit: March 27, 2020, 01:05:39 pm by Catherine Goodspeed »


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Offline Tess tLhoell

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Re: S2 - M4 - Blood and Soil
« Reply #205 on: March 27, 2020, 01:59:18 pm »
Lt. Cmdr. Tess t'Lhoell (11 weeks pregnant)
[USS Healy - Bridge]

Finally the duonetic energy beam was modified enough that it would work like a 'lance'. With the help of Beja they also determined the exact spot where to use the tool at the 'whales' head to interrupt the circuitry that made it impossible for the poor creature to act on its own volition.

When everything was set up Tess leaned forward in tensed anticipation, nodding her head. "Alright, let's activate it and see what happens." While that was done Tess looked over to Hrafn. "If it is possible for you to notice a change in the creature's mood towards hostility, pain or aggression, let us know." She then looked to Jada. "Prepare for quick evasive action or defence if necessary, Chief."
« Last Edit: March 27, 2020, 02:23:31 pm by Tess tLhoell »

Species: Ba'ku
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Tess' biography (updated Feb 23rd, 2020) - Previous name: Tess Moreno

Offline Rayek trLhoell

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Re: S2 - M4 - Blood and Soil
« Reply #206 on: March 27, 2020, 02:57:49 pm »
Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[Katra Station - Deck One - Operational Command Center]

Katra Station - Operational Control Center

Solluk considered Rayek's suggestion.

"Let's see what fruit this conversation gleans, before we reassign anyone.  They have the Shran's Second Officer there helping in Engineering, so I'm not especially concerned for the moment.  But depending on what Goodspeed says, I may change that assessment."

He stood, "Speaking of which, the center is yours.  I will wait for Goodspeed in my office.  Let me know as soon as we start getting results either from the anomaly investigation or the whale investigation."

With that, Solluk repaired to his ready room to await Ensign Goodspeed.

Rayek nodded his in acknowledgement. "Aye, sir."

Then given Jada's prompt about the Ambassadors, Rayek checked through the various messages to the OCC that Ensign Ricci had been fielding all this while since the cancellation of the Red Alert.  As expected there were several complaints from the more outspoken shop owners.  As well as an official request for information and a demand for better judgement in using the Alert system by the Katra Chamber of Commerce, run by Daimon Sorq.  And yes, there they were messages from the Ambassorial Admin seeking information and offering assistance. 

Before replying, Rayek continued to scan quickly through the remainder to be sure that Ensign Ricci hadn't missed something of importance.  But the rest seemed to be just more of same except by individual citizen rather than some representing an organization.  Rayek smirked at seeing among the many private citizen messages collected, Karinne t'Movel had deigned to put in a complaint as well. 

With a sigh, Rayek moved that one to his inbox, despite it being addressed to the Captain.  For someone who had rose in the Empire to the rank of Sub-commander, he was surprised she didn't follow the Chain of Command better. 

Satisfied that there was nothing requiring immediate attention, Rayek contacted the Numati Ambassadorial suite to 'check up on them' in the guise of responding to their query and offer.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2020, 03:00:13 pm by Rayek trLhoell »
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Offline Hrafn Falleg

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Re: S2 - M4 - Blood and Soil
« Reply #207 on: March 27, 2020, 02:59:18 pm »



Inside the mind of a space whale...

PAIN...

SO LONG, IT HAS BEEN...

WILL I FEEL THE FIRE?  WILL IT BE BRIGHT?

I HAVE NOT BEEN WARMED BY IT IN SO LONG...

WILL I FEAR IT?  LOATHE IT?  LOVE IT?

WHAT SHALL I BE, IF I BE ME, ONCE MORE?...





[Bridge - USS Healy]

Hrafn had a moment of independent thought about what Urulei said... she didn't have answers to any of that, so she pulled on her maternal diplomacy to answer without having answers.

[MIND] =/\= I'm sorry, I don't have proper answers for any of that, we... well we've never attempted this with a creature such as yourself before.  As far as we know you are totally unique so that would have been rather difficult.  I will make you a promise, if you are hurt and you tell me, this way, I will have them sever the contact immediately.  Do you trust me to do that? =/\= [MIND]

"Yes, the spots DO go all the way down.  No, you don't get to see!"

Offline Solluk

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Re: S2 - M4 - Blood and Soil
« Reply #208 on: March 27, 2020, 10:30:21 pm »


Katra Station - Station Commander's Ready Room

"Come in."

Solluk got up from his desk and took a step to the adjacent replicator alcove.

"Please, Ensign, have a seat.  Can I replicate you a beverage?"

He ordered himself a Vulcan tea, with the intention to add whatever beverage she might name.

"I regret that we really haven't had the chance to sit and talk before now.  When I take the trouble to specifically request an officer, I usually like to get to know them a bit.  Unfortunately, circumstances have not been ideal."

Solluk sat once more behind his desk, and took a small sip of his tea.

"I have been taking the liberty of reading your recent Engineering reports.  Technically, a Commanding Officer is not capable of being a 'snoop', but I realize it is unusual behavior to read the small maintenance paperwork and notes that accompany routine service requests before an official report is passed up the chain.  Poring through such documentation is an unusual form of recreation, I admit, but I do enjoy reading technical entries just as someone else might enjoy a good holonovel."

He set down his cup, "As I read your notations, it became clear to me that you were restraining yourself from more colorful observations and more descriptive language than official paperwork might permit.  I also sensed you were gathering examples for a larger submission.  Rather than wait further, I thought it best to confront you as soon as possible about this matter.  While I am by no means an 'old hand' at this sort of thing, I sense we are experiencing a very brief respite between a pair of major events.  And so, this is my moment, if I wish to avoid putting this off for another month."

He leaned forward somewhat.  "It is very plain to me that you have a low opinion of the most recent New Orleans refit, and perhaps a low opinion of Starfleet engineering policy in general.  I want to hear it from you, in a more candid fashion than official documentation might allow. 

You may proceed, Miss Goodspeed."


He took up his cup again and enjoyed another sip of the tawny brew.


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Re: S2 - M4 - Blood and Soil
« Reply #209 on: March 27, 2020, 11:12:31 pm »
[Bridge, USS Healy]

She then looked to Jada. "Prepare for quick evasive action or defence if necessary, Chief."

'Aye, captain. Strengthening forward shields and readying a hard-reverse evasive manoeuvre.' With the space whale now in front of the Healy, they'd be covering their face and backing the hell away if this went awry. But Jada had also prepared a drill-frequency focused phaser beam targeted at the top of its head, for a swift coup de grâce if this experimental brain surgery on a space whale went hideously wrong and euthanisation was necessary. She just wouldn't spoil their hopes by announcing it.

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