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Operation Cold Comfort: Planning Brief - Part 1

Posted on 01 Jun 2019 @ 1:50am by Captain Akio Tachibana & Commander S’chqenr T’Jedf Tolkath (Jan 2389 - TRNSFR After Gorn War) & Lieutenant Commander Iria Taltos & Lieutenant Commander T'Lara & Lieutenant Harry Stevens & Gunnery Sergeant Kyle Walken & Captain Edward Bolingbroke (Dec-Jan 2389 - TRNSFR After Gorn War) & Lieutenant Junior Grade Geneviève "Jenny" Lassonde (Dec-Jan 2389 - TRNSFR After Gorn War) & Ensign Rora Tai & Lieutenant Junior Grade Emma Walken & Lieutenant Junior Grade Anyi Nila
Edited on on 05 Jun 2019 @ 3:24pm

Mission: Hahai i na pilikua nui - Hunting Monsters
Location: USS Hawaii
Timeline: T+2 20:30Hrs


[Marine Command Canter; Deck 22: 2030Hours]

The Briefing room screens displayed various images from the southern polar region of Canterra.

Second MSOT had been retrieved from the surface three hours earlier; while the team recovered from the brutal artic conditions their reconnaissance data had been processed and prepared for dissemination at the upcoming meeting, the objective of which was to prepare a plan for assaulting the mine and liberating the enslaved colonist workforce.

Bolingbroke had met with Battlegroup command staff to appraise them of what the Team had discovered in the Xore colony. For now that find remained classified and would not be revealed at this meeting.

There would be a preliminary discussion, followed by a mission proposal to Captain Tachibana and Colonel McGruder. With Major West deployed at Onidon the task fell to Bolingbroke.

He sat at the table reviewing his notes and sipping his second mug of hot cocoa. He had the glimmer of a plan, but it was complex. He knew it needed refining and so had requested several personnel to attend the preliminary meeting.

Master Sergeant Kadesh and Sergeant Mason were already there, preparing their report on the situation at the Xore colony settlement and Mine.

Walken was quiet as he entered the briefing room, he gave a nod to Captain Bolingbroke as he rounded the table and took a seat at the far end of the table.

As Harry and Lady Sif entered the room, Harry still flexed his fingers and rotated his wrist after T'Lara had fixed it after he had broken it after the console had exploded, he headed towards the replication unit to get a mug of coffee and a bowl of water for Sif, Just in case the meeting took longer than he expected. He then took his seat and waited for the rest of the staff to arrive.

Emma was quiet as she entered, despite the fact she was looking at her brother who she hadn't seen in person in over a year. Taking a seat she simply listened.

Tolkath entered, he carried a PaDD with the data the Marine Captain had requested earlier and took a seat alongside his Biologist.

Jenny walked in, still in her flight suit, and looking rather rumpled. She found the nearest open seat and sat down heavily, slouching a little. After the surging adrenaline high of flying in combat, there came a crash as the body recovered from being in crisis mode.

Calm and silent, T'Lara walked in. She looked around and nodded to everyone before she sat down and waited for things to start. She sat down next to Harry. She looked over to his mug, but she didn't want to drink anything.

Once Nila entered she narrowed her eyes as she stared at the dog, she then shifts her glare to Harry, "Really? You have the need to bring your pet to a briefing. Well, I really hope the dog has some insight on our situation." She snarked as she made sure to sit down as far away from the dog as possible

Harry put the mug of coffee down on the table and smirked as he replied, "Do you not see her service jacket on her," as he took another sip of the coffee, he finished," Or do I have to ask Bolingbroke to speak to T'Lara to have a look at your Sight,"

Rora walked in the room her hands wrapped around a tall mug of french vanilla cappuchino.

She was unaware of the building tension in the room as she walked around to where to new Operations officer was and Rora sat on the Bajoran woman's right side.

Bolingbroke looked up questionly, wondering why the Security Officer was including him in squabble with the Operations Officer.

"Or I could ask her myself as she can remove you from active duty," replied Harry as he looked back at the operations officer, He finished ,"and don't think your safe down that end of the table," as Sif adjusted herself giving her tail a thump against the leg of the table.

"Please, I've seen children that are more threatening than you Stevens, I look forward to hearing what your pet has to suggest Stevens. I'm sure she will have amazing thoughts on our current situation, I see you also forget her leash again you really got to start remembering that." Nila had a PADD she was reading from going over system reports and repair schedule since it was something important.

"As I told you last time she is a Starfleet working Dog." Stevens replied

Iria walked in the banter between Stevens and Nila missed by moments, as she walked a wide circle within the office's available space, around the table avoiding the Chief of Security and his so called 'service dog'. In her opinion he treated the beast as an emotional support crutch, and from the rumors she'd heard he didn't take to anyone comment on the beast. She glanced at the helm officer on Nila's right, Iria sat down beside Nila on the left side of the Bajoran woman, and gave a cheeky grin as if daring Stevens to comment on her choice of seating.

Just then, a Marine entered the room and shouted, "ROOM TENCH-HUT!"

Colonel McGruder entered along with Captain Tachibana and some other officers.

Once everyone was seated and to stop the squabbling, Bolingbroke began. "Alright, l think we will begin!" Bolingbroke said "Over the last thirty six hours Forth MSOT carried out a reconnaissance of the Xore region of Canterra.

"Located near the edge of the planet's southern polar region, Xore consists of a central colony settlement, located on the coast of a large frozen lake and then the Xore Strike mining complex." He pointed to the image displayed on a viewscreen and then over to Tolkath.

The Vulcan nodded and explained "The Xore mine has one of the largest deposits of Topaline yet discovered in the Beta Quadrant.

"Topaline metal is part of the trans-uranic series of heavy elements. In its most stable form, has an atomic mass of 318.

"It is an important element, primarily it is used in the atmospheric purification process in life support systems, we use these systems on this ship.

"But it is especially critical for life support systems used in bio-dome style settlements, with large populations.

"Such as might be used by the Gorn to establish further colonies on this world and others which are not normally conducive to reptilian lifeforms.

"Topaline also has another function. When refined, in its purest form the metal can disrupt most forms of sensors. For example, if used as a coating on a ship's hull it would reflect and reduce the effectiveness of sensor scans and weapon targeting systems.

"While it is not comparable to a cloaking device, it could potentially prevent accurate scanning of a ship at long range and then further prevent stand-off weapons, such as torpedoes, from establishing a reliable target lock.

"It would also be effective against smaller craft such as Starfighters, who have less powerful sensor systems then a capital ship. If the Gorn have found a way to develop this aspect of Topaline's properties it could give them a significant advantage in combat. "

The Vulcan looked over to Stevens and Lassonde.

"Now that would be a slight problem" replied Harry, as he knew that the small fighters would be able to pin point where to hit like the Pilots in the late 20th Century had to do for the missiles to hit, "but small craft could tell us where to aim though,"

"Potentially," Jenny explained, "loss of sensor capabilities would put us on the back foot to be sure, but that's why we're still able to manually target our weapons. It's just that in space, that can get a bit...complicated."

"Aiming one fast moving object, launched from a second fast moving object, at a third fast moving object, based, on visual and verbal directives from a forth fast moving object, is not the same as hitting that said object" Tolkath commented dryly "Without the assistance of targeting and guidance systems l believe you may find the mental calculations of speed, distance, time, relative velocities and vectors to be somewhat.... challenging... Mister Stevens."

"Right," Jenny affirmed. "Relying on manual targeting can make it almost impossible to hit other small craft. It's easier when you're shooting at something a hundred times bigger than you are, but you're still forced to get close, dangerously close. If the Gorn had this technology, you could expect reduced effectiveness from us fighters, and more losses since we'd be splitting our attention between shooting and flying."

"I Understand that," replied Harry as he knew that she was right, "But a small craft could fly close to map the infrastructure to show us where the Generators are," He continued looking back at her, but still he understood her point.

Iria had listened quietly and intently but when Tolkath made that statement towards Stevens after his previous comment she had to bite her lip to keep from laughing out loud the Vulcan had basically 'burned' Stevens.

Harry was not happy about being shut down like that from the commander of the Hawaii's fighters, but as far as he was concerned they would need a layout of the base so that they could be knocked out. and he also knew that a small craft would or could go unnoticed.

Rora ended up spitting her sip of cappuccino back into her cup she hide her smile behind a hand and coughed softly before she took a sip again.

"Ok, that's enough banter! Let's get back to the task" Bolingbroke stopped the discussion. "You were saying Commander?" He looked to Tolkath

"It is quite possible that the Topaline deposits at the Xore mine are one of the primary reasons for the Gorn invasion of this planet" Tolkath concluded.

The Marine nodded. "I understand that Topaline runs in seams and veins and is normally mined by following those veins and seams as they twist and wind through the rock strata" Bolingbroke asked, he'd consulted the computer on how the mineral was collected. "Using mostly manual labor, is that correct Commander?"

"Indeed." Tolkath replied "It is generally accepted that Topaline mining is labor intensive, the use of large scale cutting machines is less effective than the method you described, miners following the individual seams. In a large deposit such as this one, many hundred or even thousands of workers could be employed."

"Which would be why we have seen the Gorn taking colonists into the mine" Bolingbroke said "It appears they are using them as a slave labor force to mine Topaline."

"That would be a logical conclusion" Tolkath stated.

"So, we need to find a way into the Mine. But the Gorn have installed a very powerful barrier shield over the site." Bolingbroke started. "I'm told that we could bombard it from orbit, eventually batter down the shields and flatten the place. However, we know they have colonists in there, we can't risk them either from the bombardment or by causing subterranean collapses in the mine galleries.

"That means we need to get in without destroying the facility in the process. To that end we..." He nodded towards Walken. "have come up with the beginnings of a three phase plan; get personnel into the mine; take control of the power Substation and cut the power to the shields; then a ground assault on the mine to liberate the colonists.

"So, Phase One: the Frog Squad, using the Aubrey, will infiltrate a group of us to the Mine, posing as captured colonists so that we get inducted into the workforce.

"Phase Two; using Lieutenant Lassonde's fighters we stage an attack on the Aubrey just as it leaves after delivering the infiltration group to the mine. There are some ice canyons about eighteen hundred meters from the substation where we can fake a crash landing. Intel originally proposed something like this with the Aubrey for a recon of Onidon, but with a little adaptation I think we can use it here.

"The Frog Squad then makes it's way to the substation as survivors of the crash. We can expect the Gorn to let in their poor injured comrades without delay, at which point they make they way to the control room, seize it and cut the power.

"We do have a building plan for that, it's on the first floor and only has one entrance, so we should be able to hold it, once we get in.

"Finally, Phase Three; as soon as the shields drop the Battle Group will begin transporting in Marine Infantry companies to carry out the ground assault on both the mine and the substation.

"The Gorn have installed several hard-point defensive bunkers at both buildings. Those will take some cracking but the Infantry will bring heavy weaponry for that and if need be we can paint the bunkers for airstrikes by the fighters.

"Meanwhile, once the power goes out the group in the mine will start diversionary actions and if possible attempt to make their way to the mine spaceport control and open the main doors.

"If that proves too well guarded, their main task will be to try and protect the colonists until the Infantry breaks in.

"Once we have control of the facility we intend to use it as a safe zone for the colonists. We can set up aid and medical facilities, replicators and so forth. Which is another reason we want to cause as little damage as possible."

Bolingbroke looked around the table, he was well aware it was complex and there were several steps that needed to work perfectly if the whole plan was to succeed. Which also meant there were plenty of chances for failure...

"So, to start with we need a group of would-be colonist prisoners, I need volunteers..."

Walken finally spoke up, "Captain can I take it you listened to my suggestion from when we were planet-side?"

"I listened, but let's see how many volunteers we get before we make that decision." Bolingbroke replied and looked around the table.

Akio was impressed with the plan, yet surprised by Staff Sergeant Walken speaking up among such a senior crowd. He was definitely bold.

Nila shook her head this went against her every fiber of her self preservation but she lifted her hand. "Alright I'll do it, but if I die down there at least make Harry put a friggen leash on his pet."

"I want to be clear, that this is solely a volunteer mission," Akio clarified. "No one is being ordered to do this."

Iria had listened and nodded after the Captain spoke, "I volunteer." Her voice was calm and steady, she knew it was risky business, but if she could help she would do her very best.

Rora set down her cappuccino and looked from the Captain of the Hawaii to the Marine Captain who had explained the plan and each segment. "I am more than willing to fly The Aubrey or however else you think I can help." She said evenly and certain of her words.

"And that's exactly where we need you Ensign, in The Aubrey's driver's seat." Bolingbroke nodded

Emma broke her silence and raised her hand, "I'll go, not sure what use I will be in a fight but I'm sure I can help in some way."

Kyle finally noticed that the teal uniformed Ensign who had been sitting out of his direct eyesight was his sister, about to stand up he controlled himself and sat there knowing an outburst right now would neither be useful or helpful.

Iria watched Kyle shifting in his seat, and settling again after the new science lady spoke up, she eyed the woman a moment, and bit back a cheeky grin as she recognized the features of Kyle's sister, she turned her gaze towards Bolingbroke she hoped he didn't mind her tagging along on the mission.

Rora nodded "Happy to do the flying," and took up her cappuccino again, she had a feeling she better enjoy the drink while she could because she doubted there would a chance again anytime soon.

"That's four." Bolingbroke stated and looked to T'Lara and Stevens

"As the medical chief, I should go," T'Lara said. "You will need me to take care of the injured and set up the medical facilities." She had been silent all this time watching her fellow officers bicker about petty things. "May I also request my fellow officers to refrain from bickering till after the mission. We are star fleet officers, not children. And to remind you all, I have the authority to take all of you of active duty for medical reasons," emphasizing the 'medical reasons.' She leaned back crossing her arms.

"If she thinks I'm scared, I'll go," replied Harry as he still angry that he was being insulted as he knew that He had to show that he wasn't going to stay here, but go on the front lines," He Looked down at Sif He finished, " I Can Have Sif put in the kennels whilst I'm away,"

Bolingbroke was getting fed up with the snipping coming from Stevens, the man was squabbling over nonsense while they were trying to arrange for the rescue of hundreds or thousands of colonists from an evil species who had been murdering children.

Stevens was Tachibana's responsibility but the man's behavior was becoming disruptive and since this was a Marine operation he was going to put a stop to it.

"Lieutenant Stevens. You are not here to dare other Officers into anything!" He snapped "Lieutenant Lassonde and her fighters have an assigned task for this operation as specified by me, not you."

"We are asking for volunteers to undertake a very hazardous mission. We need people who are reliable and can work together as a team under highly stressful and dangerous conditions. Right now I'm not even sure if you are suitable to be in that team.

"If you are unwilling or unable to conduct yourself in an appropriate manner then feel free to leave and send in another member of the Security department with a more conducive attitude!"

McGruder was a bit perplexed by the disruption yet noted Bolingbroke's strong rebuke. He was a natural leader and if the op went well, a great strategist.

Akio on the other hand was looking at the Colonel, a bit embarrassed for his crew, yet maintained a straight face. Recently, they had received word a new replacement was on the way. Akio wondered if that was best as Stevens had shown some rough edges and was still considered a junior officer. He had only recently been promoted to LTJG after all.

Bolingbroke finished and locked eyes with Stevens. The man's lack of leadership when searching for the Gorn Doctor came back fresh to his mind. Was Steven's even competent? He bailed out then over some flippant reason for his dog, would he do so again in the mine? Can I trust him with the lives of others around the Gorn? He wondered.

"I said sir," replied Harry as he kept his gaze upon the Marine as he continued, "That I am willing to Go and Sif Will go into the Kennels," he continued as a whine came from Sif, "and I am willing to contribute to this mission and T'Lara did make an oath to Look after Sif though."

"An oath?" Akio asked Stevens.

"Yes Sir an oath, but if both of us are needed for this mission, Sif will go into the Kennels." replied Harry as he kept his eyes fixed on the marine "whilst I am off the ship," then he had an Idea, He turned to Face Akio, He asked, "Captain, would you do me a favor and look after her instead of her going into the kennels?"

"Lieutenant Stevens," T'Lara stared a moment to the table. "I do not think it is prudent to discuss private matters at this table."

"Agreed," Akio said, thinking T'Lara was referring to a promise about watching Sif that T'Lara may have made previously. "My understanding is that Sif is a Starfleet Working Dog, so I think the kennels will best suit her," Akio put the matter to rest as he turned to Bolingbroke.

To Be Continued....


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