NCC - 77447 - B
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New Orders, New Adventure

Posted on Sun Mar 22nd, 2020 @ 11:24am by Commander Bianca Caselli & Fleet Captain William Hood

Mission: Under A Glassy Surface, Where We Don't Belong...
Location: Starfleet Command. Earth.
Timeline: Current

Having enjoyed as much of his limited free time as he could Will found himself back on the familiar grounds of Starfleet Command. Though his time off was welcome and a much needed reprieve from reports Will couldn't help but wonder about the pile that no doubt awaited him when he returned to the ship. Looking up to a cloudless clear blue sky he knew soon he would have to trade the view for black star filled space, bulkheads and artificial gravity.

He'd been summoned by Rear Admiral Joseph Collard for a briefing but this time Will's First Officer, Commander Caselli had been invited as well. With 15 minutes to go before the meeting started Will found a seat in the general lobby beyond the security checkpoint and waited.

Having also cleared the security checkpoint, Bianca walked through the lobby, her gaze finally settling on her commanding officer. Weaving through the general crowd, Bianca dropped into the seat next to him, offering what she hoped was a reassuring smile as she rested her hand lightly on his forearm. In truth, she was anything but reassured. Their last mission, through no fault of their own, had essentially become an unmitigated disaster. "Are you ready?" she asked quietly.

"Ready as I'll ever be." Will spoke standing up. "I hope you enjoyed some down time, doubt we will be getting much of it after this briefing." Will didn't want to keep the Admiral waiting after the disaster of the last mission he was pretty sure the ice under his feet was still pretty thin. "Lets get this over with." He concluded with a sigh.

Standing up, Bianca nodded slightly. "I'm sure it won't be that bad," she offered, walking beside him as they made their way up into the offices.

No sooner had they walked through the doors, the receptionist looked up at them, no sign of a smile, her expression completely devoid of all emotion. "Admiral Collard is expecting you, this way." She walked out from behind her desk and led them a short way along a corridor, knocking twice on a door before opening it and stepping aside to let them in.

Stepping back, Bianca let her Commanding Officer enter first, walking in behind him, her hands clasped firmly behind her back as she stood firmly.

Will followed and already the mood set from the receptionist painted a grim outlook. He wondered if she knew of what lay ahead.

Admiral Collard was a trim figure of a man, white hair and standing almost as tall as Will. He was standing next to his window when he turned to watch the door close behind his arriving guests. "Captain, Commander. Take a seat." The Admiral returned to his table taking a seat himself and prepared to start the briefing.

"Admiral," Bianca acknowledged politely, waiting until Will sat down before taking her own seat. She didn't need to be an empath to feel the tension in the room. Part of her longed to make a silly joke and lighten the mood, but she knew that that would inevitably just make things worse.

It was obvious that Will was a known element and one not too favoured by the Admiral by his cold approach. Will could feel it because he'd become familiar with it with the long investigation of the last mission and the hordes of questions that were fired his way.

The Admiral activated his tables holographics and a system with 7 planets appeared. "19 days ago the U.S.S Bainbridge, an Excelsior class vessel was conducting a covert observation of a developing species on the border of Federation space in the Kaus Borealis system." The view zoomed into the third and largest planet.

"Pre-space civilisation, no satellites in orbit, no signs of any space program for that matter. The Bainbridge was supposed to report in 19 hours ago. Long range scans have failed to detect her and shes not answering hails." Will looked at the planet, similar to Earth with land and water masses, cloud movements and poles.

Bianca was momentarily confused, but instead chose to remain silent, watching the display with interest. "Is there any known influences that might affect communications?" she finally asked quietly. "Ion storms in the area or anything else?"

"Nothing that has been detect by long range sensors." The Admiral replied. "The system was last visited many, many years ago but the ship didn't report any problems or issues during her transit to the system." The image zoomed out to the system wide view. "I want you to take the Dreadnought there, assess the situation but remain undetected. Find out what happened to the Bainbridge and then report back for further orders."

Will nodded that he understood but couldn't shake the feeling that the Admiral simply wanted the Dreadnought out of the way and very far away.

"Seems straight forward enough," Bianca said calmly. Though, to be fair, the same could have been said about their last mission, and look where that got them. "What is our backup plan?" she asked. "In case we get there and for what ever reason we can't contact anyone or report back."

"You leave and return but you must maintain zero federation presence." There was a marked degree of emphasis on the last part of his sentence.

Will had to wonder why then send a ship as large as the Dreadnought, a smaller ship, a Frigate or Corvette was better suited to staying undetected. "Understood."

"Very Admiral." Will spoke still unable to shake off the feelings that the tone of the Admiral had swirled up.

Bianca was longing to respond to the rather scathing remarks, yet instead she chose to bite her tongue, simply nodding and keeping her hands firmly clasped in her lap. "I assume then, Admiral, that we're cleared for immediate departure as soon as our ship finishes resupplying?" she finally asked quietly, wanting nothing more than to be out of this office completely now.

"The last of the supplies should be loaded within 4 hours. You depart then, dismissed."

That was that. Will knew what he needed to know and the lay of the land was barren and bleak. The sour taste of the last mission was prominent within some areas of Command but there was nothing he could do about it. "Admiral." Will spoke in parting then headed for the door.
"I hope so, a repeat performance will not serve you well."

Will was right, the remark confirming what he suspected and yet understood why. "Understood."

Waiting until they had cleared not only the office, but also the lobby and the front doors of the building before she spoke. "So who spat in his fruit loops?"

"We did in some way I suspect after the last mission and I'm pretty sure his was not the only bowl." Will replied. "Head back to the ship and ready her for departure. I need to get my things from my quarters here. We will leave the moment the supplies are on board and if anyone is late, they get left behind."

"Understood Sir," Bianca replied quietly. "I'll issue an immediate recall for all crew with a two hour deadline. Anything else you want me to take care of before we depart?"

"Colonel Frost had left for a marine base for new personnel, make sure he got them and they plus equipment are stowed before we leave." Will rubbed his chin and sighed. "I'd rather have them and not need them, then need them and not have them."

"I'll take care of it Captain, you have my word," Bianca reassured softly. "I'll get the crew back on the ship and make sure everything is sorted. You take care of what you need to do."


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