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==The Bridge of the USS Philadelphia is a roughly circular room located at the centre of Deck One. The walls and carpet are standard Star Fleet beige and grey, while freestanding consoles are trimmed in faux chrome to meet 25th-century aesthetic.
 
On the forward wall of the Bridge rests the holo-viewscreen system, which can be activated vocally or via manual input from any console when required. Immediately aft of this is the Helm console which sits on a slightly raised platform, flanked by the Tactical station to the pilot's right and the Operations station to their left. These stations can be easily reconfigured if required in an emergency.
 
Moving back, another step up leads to the command area. The Commanding Officer sits on the right, the First Officer on the left. Between them is a large multipurpose terminal, and both chairs have smaller terminals built into the armrests. Captain Braggins' chair has been modified from the standard to include storage for a sidearm and a beverage cup holder. An auxiliary station is positioned directly behind these chairs on a railing.
 
The rear area of the Bridge begins with the Deck One access points that flank the command area. Beyond these doors, a bank of three consoles lines each wall; Science on the left, Engineering on the right. The very rear of the Bridge is taken up by the Master Systems Display.==
The trip from deck seven to the bridge felt like it took forever as the turbolife finally slowed, and the doors parted to reveal the circular corridor that ringed the outside of the bridge. Due to the layout of this with two lifts, one port and one starboard, it took her a brief moment of hesitation whether to turn left or right before she could head to the bridge.

Turning right, then right immediately again, the doors parted and revealed the bridge. She'd entered through the port side. Her new ops station directly to her left and toward the the rear, the science stations to her right. The Captains and first officers seats side by side in the middle of the room, and what had been her previous station the helm, front and centre. Just where it had always been.

Looking about, the room was decorated in that dark grey shade that showed up every single bit of fluff and dust that landed on it. She kind of missed the lighter beige that they had used a few years back.

“Can I help you, Ma'am?” Asked an engineer who was doing something under a console at the back of the room.

“No, thank you.” She replied. “Just looking.”

The engineer nodded and returned to their task. There were no senior officers present, so she turned and stepped back into the corridor deciding to take a turn around the ring to see what else was up here before she headed back down to see if anyone from her mythical staff had appeared yet.
Once again fully dressed in her uniform, Jenny stepped onto the Bridge for the first time since retaking command of the Philadelphia in an official capacity; it had been redecorated during the refit, the beige and light greys replaced with darker greys and blacks commonly associated with 25th-century ship designs such as the Sagan or Inquiry classes. As she rested her hands on the handrail that ran the width of the Bridge behind her chair; things had changed for sure, the Philadelphia had been gutted by the yard dogs, but this was still her ship.

Hello old friend...

The new Bridge module, familiar but different, had a strange scent that wasn't unlike the "new ship smell" she'd experienced when boarding the Artemis and then the Philadelphia, but with more 'tang' to it. It was indescribable, but it was there, and Jenny knew that part of her would continue to obsess over the smell until she figured out what the smell actually was. Stepping down into the main area of the Bridge, Jenny dropped into her seat and ran her hands over the new armrests as she tested the comfort of the padding underneath her behind. New chairs always took breaking in, and this one was no different, but it would do. If only it swiveled; that was one thing she missed from the Artemis and a lesser extent, the Aquila; a chair that allowed her to turn and face the back of the Bridge without craning her neck or back.

Pushing mundane thoughts from her mind, Jenny flipped open the central console between her chair and Jensen's; the crew had already been recalled so they were aboard, but now it was time to leave, they needed to be at their departure stations. Depressing the button that activated the shipwide communications system, Jenny cleared her throat.

"This is the Captain. All hands to departure stations."
To say that Peter was less than pleased would be an understatement on the scale of saying that the Marianas Trench on Earth was a little bit deep. He knew perfectly well that part - honestly a big part - of his dissatisfaction of the Philadelphia being a lot smaller than the Aquila was the fact that he felt it to be a demotion. Objectively speaking it wasn't, he retained the same position and he had even - to his big surprise - been promoted to Commander! But a short while ago he'd been second in command of a small town, in essence. Now he was second in command of....what? A glorified probe?

There comes a point in every person's life when they're unofficially required to be aware of their own weaknesses, and Peter knew that this was one of his.

He put on his straight face as best he could outside the door to the bridge, and then stepped close enough for the door to open, and stepped inside, then nodded and smiled politely to a few crewmen working their stations, before heading to the First Officer's chair and sat down next to Braggins just as the gave the order to prepare for departure.

From his own terminal, Peter sent an omnibus-order to all departments:

[All departments, report go or no-go for launch.]

== Time to kick butt and chew bubble gum! And I'm all out of gum! ==
Taking the opportunity to walk around the ring of deck one, she passed the ready room and the conference room along with a few other rooms as she went. It was an unusual design with them not being directly attached to the bridge itself. But at the same time it was almost gave the feeling that the whole deck was maybe an ejectable survival pod in its own right should the worst happen.

That's when she heard the Captains voice over the comm; [This is the Captain. All hands to departure stations.]

As the corridor arced back round, she caught the red flash of a uniform disappearing into the starboard bridge door.

Too tall for the Captain. Must be Jensen. She surmised. Time to look busy.

She for a moment considered continuing her walk around the deck to re-enter on the port side, but this door was nearer. It would only be a few more seconds, but her tactical training told her seconds cost lives. Problem was, she wasn't a tactical officer any more.

Entering the bridge again, she saw both the Captain and Commander seated in the centre seats, and now she had to walk across in front of both of them to her new official post at the operations station past the tactical and the helm.

“Ma'am. Sir.” She said in deference to the pair before she took her seat and logged in while briefly glancing over to what would have been her seat only a short while ago.

Before the Aquila which she'd only flown for a short time, she'd flown the Philadelphia for almost a month and had found some of her more charming quirks in her handling. And deep down, she kind of felt a pang that she wouldn't get to fly her again.

“Bringing ships systems online and running preliminary flight checks.” She said running her hands over the console. All the while, she had the unfounded but ever percent feeling that she was still on borrowed time. Now it was just a case of waiting for the other departments to report in.
After what felt like a billion years in the ready room Tera stepped back on to the bridge and it was just as shiny and amazing as the first time she laid eyes on it, she watched as the senior officers scrambled to their stations, it was amazing watching everyone in their roles and she hoped one day she would be just as efficient as them. Okay reporting to science…Tera looked around the outer stations as she slowly walked around and then to her delight, she saw a familiar face; it was her department head. What was her name again, Aqua no think it started with a B, B…Back…no oh Black… Maybe I should just call her by rank might be best until I know for sure.

Tera walked towards her department head and took in a deep breath; she then tried her best to sound formal. ‘'Lieutenant sir, Midshipman Ichika reporting in for duty sir.’’ She said not moving. The midshipman was feeling nervous and wounderous at the same time it had been a mixed morning thus far and she hoped hard that it gets better.

The sounds of the bridge gave her goose bumps apart of her wondered if her late mentor felt the same way when he was in her shoes, she wished so much she could tell him about the Captain and how she had already made a friend, so much has happened to her and she’s not even been on a single mission yet.


==Tag Lt Black==
As data scrolled past on her console in preparation for launch, a shadow appeared in Black's peripheral vision.

“Lieutenant sir, Midshipman Ichika reporting in for duty, Sir.” Said the voice attached to the shadow.

The young woman was trying her best to stand statue still as she stood at attention. Maz had expected to find her team down in the labs. Which she'd found pretty much empty, and was caught a little off guard.

“Ah, Midshipman.” She replied. She was glad that Ichika had said her last name and not her full name. She was sure there had to be a way to pronounce it. She'd tried when they first met, and failed completely.

I wish we could just assigned people numbers... She mused.

“If you can take the...” She glanced back to the science I/II stations near the rear. She also felt the Commander watching. “The rear science station and just observe. For now. Once we're under way, we can head down and meet the rest of the staff.”

== Tag back ==
Tera’s eyes seemed to grow wide as her department head asked her to take the other station, she was going to observe what was going on in the bridge first hand this was exciting, ‘’Aye sir’’ she said softly. Oh, my pink fuzzy slippers this is amazing, okay where’s the station no that’s engineering that’s I’m not sure what that is oh there it is science. Ichika quickly sat down and tried her best to supress a flurry of giggles. Okay I need to make mental notes of everything that goes on here, I’m guessing that man over there is the first officer.

The midshipman turned her gaze to the view screen next and for a moment she thought the screen was getting bigger and the room around her was shrinking or maybe that was just her anxiety kicking in. Flipping eggrolls, no more tofu for breakfast, that was trappier then quarks bar. The midshipman pondered for a bit was everyone this anxious and nervous when they started their journey or was it just Tera a big pile of fluffy anxiety.?

T’apic, so far I’ve made an arse of my self and I think my actions would of even made you blush, the Captain was so generous as to give me a second chance and I hope I don’t blow it, I really want to show the crew that I can be pro active just like them, so now I am going to take notes and see if I can  grow into this uniform, maybe one day I will be worthy of it, Okaasan (Mother) Otosan (Father),I promise next time you see me I would of made our name worthy to be among the stars.
It felt only right for Maggie to take the shift that would see them heading out. She furrowed her brow at seeing Black in blue, but the Bridge was not the place to have a chit-chat. She took her place at the Tactical station and logged in, only then allowing herself to look around. Automatically she responded that all conditions were ‘green’ in her department to the First Officer; she might not have gotten to know Jensen that well, but she felt comfortable with having the same FO and CO as before.

She was down an officer, and down a damn good one, if she could have said so herself. Vega was gone, having transferred off at the last minute. It was disappointing, and even though technically her department had a decent amount of people for the ship size, she still counted herself as down one.

As Mags sat in her “corner desk” with its L-shaped control panel, she looked over to Ops, waiting to see who would show up for this shift. She had made the schedule, sure, but hadn’t paid too much attention to names and time, simply just filling in the gaps with the information she had.

I remember the good ole days, Maggie mused, throwing a look behind her at the Captain and First Officer, When the Captain would hold a briefing before we set out towards our destination. One edge of her mouth turned upwards; Jen Braggins definitely didn’t Captain like her father did. Maggie wondered what that man was up to these days, anyway. Probably shooting rats in the front yard of his cabin, or something.
With her Bridge crew assembling and readiness reports coming in from across the ship, Jenny absentmindedly played with her ponytail as she turned her mind to more complex matters at hand; the new purple into orange gradient she had been experimenting with hadn't come out quite the way she'd intended and it certainly defied Starfleet regulations on coloration and length, but with the way she'd been treated by the Admiralty for simply doing her job, she was beyond caring about what the regulations said. Besides, it didn't look too bad. What did look bad was the basic mission outline she'd been given for their next outing; someone at Starfleet Tactical obviously thought they were being clever, when actually they'd come up with a battle strategy that straddled the border between moronic and asinine.

This is what happens when you employ career paper-pushers in strategic positions.

Continuing to mess with her ponytail Jenny glanced up and around at the essential stations on the Bridge; namely the Helm, Operations and Tactical Stations. Without those stations being crewed, the ship was essentially operating at half efficiency; the Engineering and Science stations at the rear of the Bridge were simply to increase efficiency and ensure there was someone controlling all of ship's functions from the command centre. Like before, there was no Security station on the Bridge; but this was a science ship not a warship or prison barge and the days of merged Security and Tactical departments were long since past, so there was no need for one. Besides, she had Jensen if she ever needed a Security Officer's point of view.

"Lieutenant Black, contact DS-Nine Ops and request departure clearance. Then query the Artemis on their own departure preparations."

Abandoning the tangle she had been trying to work out with her fingers, Jenny tucked her hair back over her shoulder. Though she would have much preferred Murphy or Black in the pilot's seat given the situation they were going into, circumstances had conspired otherwise; Black had been shuffled off into Operations to manage the Science Department as part of her ongoing (and probably never-ending) "rehabilitation", and Murphy's place as Chief Tactical Officer was technically the Tactical Station; a new Weapons Systems Officer, one Lieutenant Victoria Vega, had been assigned to the crew, but had not reported for duty and it remained unlikely that they would before the ship departed. She leaned over to Jensen so the rest of the crew would not overhear her next words.

"Alert DS-Nine that we have an AWOL Officer; Lieutenant Victoria Vega. If shore patrol doesn't round them up before we depart, she's their problem."

Moving back into an upright position, Jenny drummed her fingers on her armrests as she waited for docking clearance. She could also see the same tension in Petty Officer sh'Zereth, currently sitting at the Helm; the young Andorian Zhen had recently arrived from a posting as a Shuttle pilot aboard the Hikaru Sulu where she had been identified as a candidate for commissioning, and Jenny knew the young woman was eager to show her stuff.

She would, however, have to wait until they were given the all clear; just like everyone else.
Maz Looked over as Commander Murphy entered and took her station on the opposite side of the bridge. And a slightly built Andorian petty officer took the helm.

"Lieutenant Black,” Said the Captain startling her slightly.

“Yes, Ma'am.”

“Contact DS-Nine Ops and request departure clearance. Then query the Artemis on their own departure preparations."

The first part was a given. The second request was something of a surprise.

Opening the appropriate channels, she said; “DS9 Operations, this is Philadelphia requesting permission to depart.”

Once the station had replied, she opened a second channel to the Artemis as requested.

“Artemis, this is Philadelphia. Captain Braggins sends her regards, and requests your readiness status.” She used her best telephone voice as her mother called it. At least she hadn't said; 'Hullo, my lover!' Which was a common greeting back where she'd grown up. A mistake she'd made out of nervousness when she'd served aboard the Copernicus.

Once they had their permissions and confirmation, this mission was a go. All it would take was the word from the captain and...

Oh how she missed the helm already.


== GM Input ==
[Philadelphia this is DS9 Operations; airlocks are sealed and docking port is retracted. You are cleared to depart.]
"Thank you DS-Nine Operations. See you soon. Philadelphia Out." She replied before turning back to face the Captain.

"We're good to go, Ma'am."
“Lieutenant Black,” Captain Jen Braggins ordered, “Contact DS-Nine Ops and request departure clearance. Then query the Artemis on their own departure preparations.”

Maggie checked her station: why were they checking in with the Artemis? Braggins leaned over and whispered something to the First Officer; was Maggie imagining it, or had the Captain looked over her way before whispering? Great, something’s going on involving me, and no one’s going to tell me. Mags thought bitterly. She hated being out of the loop, especially when the loop pertained to her or her department.

It was one thing for Black to suddenly be in the Science department, that was weird enough, but for her to be down another Tactical Officer, without anyone bothering to tell her, and now they were apparently going on a joint mission with the Artemis? If they ever had a briefing, there was going to be a lot of questions from Maggie’s corner.

“Artemis, this is Philadelphia. Captain Braggins sends her regards, and requests your readiness status.” Maggie allowed herself a side-eye towards Theresa - what the heck kind of retail-worker voice was that?! She expected her to ask the Artemis if they had any coupons, next.

But before she could send a “Hi there” and “What the heck was that?” message to Black, Deep Space 9 gave them permission to leave, and things would not be running smoothly if Maggie allowed her attitude to get in the way.
There was a slight delay before the comm to Artemis was answered by a female voice with slight southern drawl.

[Captain Crawford here. Regards, huh? I've seen your Captain deliver her regards before so I think I'll pass but you can tell Captain Braggins that we are awaiting clearance from DS9 for launch, green across the board,] she answered, a ting of what might be amusement in her voice.
[Philadelphia this is DS9 Operations; airlocks are sealed and docking port is retracted. You are cleared to depart.]

And so it begins...

"We're good to go, Ma'am."

Jenny looked up from the PADD she had been studying; it contained the most recent updates to the plan outlined by Starfleet Tactical, and as it had been when she and Tyra had been briefed, it remained garbage. There was no name appended to the plan, probably so blame could be sufficiently deflected when it inevitably went to hell in a handbasket, and Jenny could imagine how the committee who had devised it were patting themselves on the back and imagining the medals and promotions they'd just earned themselves.

Jenny found it highly doubtful any of them had ever been in combat outside of simulations.

"Very well. Tovoth, move us off, full thrusters. Put us in a holding pattern until the Artemis casts off, then put us in formation with them."

The young Shen nodded and with a soft bump, the Philadelphia backed away from Deep Space Nine and moved into a holding orbit around the station while the larger Artemis made her own departure preparations. Though she would never admit it, Jenny missed the larger vessel; she didn't have nearly the same level of authority and autonomy she commanded as the Philadelphia's Captain, but that ship and her crew had been something special. Not to mention bigger, faster, and more heavily-armed.

[Captain Crawford here. Regards, huh? I've seen your Captain deliver her regards before so I think I'll pass but you can tell Captain Braggins that we are awaiting clearance from DS9 for launch, green across the board.]

Jenny smirked as she detected the amusement in her sister-in-law's voice, no doubt prompted by the manner in which Black had contacted the larger ship; Jenny had never pegged Black as being the kind of person to have a 'retail voice', and certainly not the kind of person to use that when communicating with another ship. Had she suffered a blow to the head? Was she under Tal'Shiar conditioning again? Those were questions she'd originally asked when she had laid out Starfleet Command's offer to Black to move into the Operations Department and she'd accepted, and she was starting to wonder again now.

"That happened one time! And he was sitting in your chair so he deserved it! Or are we talking about the other time?"

Flipping open the console between her chair and Jensen's while she spoke, Jenny composed a text-only message and quickly fired it off to the Artemis, specifically the console on Tyra's armrest; it was a query whether Tyra had figured out a better way to get her team aboard the Callisto, and a suggestion that they get the crews together for a briefing once the ships cleared the Bajor system.
Peter was busy receiving and acknowledging the various reports from the departments. A matter of routine.
He had just finished acknowledging one such report when Braggins leaned in and informed him of their missing crewmember.
He stiffened.
AWOL.

That had happened to him once before, what now seemed like forever ago when he'd been DH on a different ship. A Midshipman

Or was he an Ensign?

had decided to not report to the transporter room for an away mission, which meant that he'd had to go in the officer's place, which meant that the ship had been without its chief of security unnecessarily. He had torn the young officer a new orifice upon his return, and vowed to do so again. He had, if anything, grown even less tolerant of such things since his elevation to XO, because his sense of what this amounted to had become even sharper.
The crew of a starship was a well-oiled machine, and all of its constituent parts were necessary for it to function as intended. While it was of course not likely to prove a matter of life and death, it very well could be. There might arise a situation where Vega's presence could have made the difference between life and death for some, or all of them.

Was it likely? No. But he'd been a Starfleet officer long enough to expect the unexpected.
And what Vega could expect upon their return would be Peter's recommendation to the Captain that a court-martial be convened. Yes, there were worse crimes out there. Yes, it'd be an annoying use of three flag officers' time. But it would also set an important example. Even if the only  sanction would be a permanent mark on a record or something similar - Peter did not wish for draconian measures, but he did wish for an example to be made of Vega to discourage others from following the example.

In the moment, however, he merely nodded discreetly and replied in a whisper:

"Copy", then proceeded to wordlessly transfer the information to DS9s security office, requesting they take her into custody pending the Philadelphia's return if she could not be found and brought to the ship before departure.

A few moments later, he knew she wouldn't be. The all-clear to go had been given. Airlocks sealed, docking port retracted. They were on their way.

But not, it seemed, without some ship-to-ship banter between them and the Artemis for some reason he could not figure out. It annoyed him a bit, and the frown was visible on his face before he managed to shoo it away and return to what he had heard referred to as his "resting b*tch face". He preferred to call it his "neutral face".

He was also anxious to learn what, exactly, their mission was. And slightly annoyed that he didn't know. There had been no briefing of the senior staff as it was protocol, and he knew there had to be a good  reason for that. He was looking forward to finding out what it was.
[I know I wasn't hired for my math skills but I think I'm counting past two on this one,] was the reply received from the Artemis.

A few moments later, a text message was received from Tyra, confirming a plan was in the works and agreeing to a joint briefing. There was a rather snarky remark about how many times one ship and its former CO could cause her a headache before asking if she needed to get Cera started on the brief hosting duties.
In the corner of her eye, Jenny could see that Jensen was unhappy about something, his "resting Jensen face" was back with a vengeance. Whatever it was, Jenny doubted it was important or he would have said something about it already. That said, it appeared to have come on about the same time Black had hailed the Artemis; was her First Officer showing disdain for a little bit of banter between colleagues and family members?

Well, that rod can't get even further up his behind...it'd come out his nose.

Jenny snorted into her coffee at that one; Tyra was one of Starfleet Security's most decorated officers before she'd transferred into the Command division, she'd earned a well-deserved reputation as an investigator and a door-kicker, but she was also gifted with considerable intelligence of a kind not normally seen within your average Security type. That she recalled more than one incident meant her memory hadn't started to fade as she dove deeper into her forties, which in turn meant she also remembered all of the embarrassing shenanigans Jenny had become embroiled in during their service together.

So many stories better off buried...

"One, three, ten...who's counting any more?"

Jenny frowned briefly as she read the text message that had accompanied Tyra's voice, still quietly amazed at how they were able to text so quickly after all this time. The comment about the Callisto and her former CO would have been amusing had that folly not gotten a lot of people killed, with a death toll that was only likely to rise as the operation continued. The offer for Cera to set up the Artemis for the joint briefing was sweet, but given the Philadelphia would be the one delivering the strike team, Jenny figured it would be better for the smaller ship to play host and allow the Artemis to continue independently to the rendezvous point with the other assault ships.

I'm still not comfortable with possibly throwing another slipstream vessel into danger. If it gets captured...

Tapping at her console, Jenny sent a reply that suggested the Philadelphia could host; it would be cramped, but it would mean everyone was where they needed to be. The strike team would beam aboard with their equipment, and anything that they did not bring would come from the Philadelphia's own stores. Plus, it would give Jenny a chance to show off her ship - it wasn't a deep space explorer with all the bells and whistles like the Artemis, but she was Jenny's.

"Commander Jensen, inform Lieutenant Sharp that we will be needing extra chairs in the Officer's Lounge; our Briefing Room isn't big enough for our purposes, and I feel we're all going to need a drink by the time the briefing is done."
Tyra's text reply didn't come through quite as quickly this time with a delay that suggested she was considering something.

[You just miss us so much that you want us all crammed in together like the good ol' Maddie days. Philly is fine but I'm not having my guys pull gear blind. They need to feel confident they've got what they need to get the job done. Either 1) I can have us over there in 5 to 10 minutes, we brief and then they get 15 to 20 to pull gear and get back or 2) I need 30 to an hour to brief my acting command team and do a down and dirty brief for the team so they can pull gear and get over there so Artemis can continue on.]
Peter nodded at the instruction to let Sharp know of the extra guests. 

Given how small this place is, they might be out in the hallway as well, he thought, but didn't say. Instead he said:

"Copy. How many are we going to be?"

Once answered, he quickly relayed the information to the Quartermaster via his console, and did not envy her the task of trying to fit that many people into the clown c.....Officer's Lounge comfortably.
"Copy. How many are we going to be?"

Jenny considered the question briefly while her head was down tapping out another message; she wasn't a fan of keeping Jensen and the rest of the Bridge crew in the dark about the plan, but for now they simply didn't need to know. They would learn soon enough.

"For now, plan for a dozen. Then head down to Transporter Room One to meet our guests. Find someone to meet anyone arriving at Transporter Room Two, our ship might be small but our guests still might get lost."

Fortunately Transporter Room One was directly adjacent to the Officer's Lounge; Transporter Room Two was further away, adjacent to the Enlisted Mess, but it was on the same deck so it wouldn't be too much of a walk for the people who were "unlucky" enough to end up materialising there. She knew there were going to be questions about why a joint briefing was being held on the smaller ship, chaired by the junior Captain, but just as there were two sides to every story, there were two parts to this mission and the Philadelphia's role was vital. Plus, they'd never had the opportunity to host an event since commissioning.

If this works, maybe we'll hold a victory celebration here as well.

With the arrangements made, Jenny flipped the computer console closed and depressed the communications button on her armrest.

"All Officers report to the Officer's Lounge in ten minutes for a briefing. Master Chief Bartlett, report to the Bridge."
The answer from Artemis' Captain was a little quicker this time. [Sounds good. Put out the welcome mat and hide your breakables. I'll get the natives rounded up and over ASAP.]
"Understood", Peter acknowledged, then  got up and headed for the door to head to the transporter room.
WHen the door opened, he took a deep breath and headed out into the hallway. 

Oh what a long trek it will be. I wonder if I will make it there in time, or if Capt. Crawford will wander our gargantuan, endless halls for hours before I succeed in finding her! , he thought sarcastically, as he reached the door to the transporter room. Then he remembered:

"Jensen to Ragarri. Please head to transporter rooom 2 to receive delegates from the Artemis, and then head with them to the Officer's Lounge"

== Next post: TR1 ==
It took Maggie a hot minute to catch up on the friendly banter that the two Captains had, and then once it clicked, Maggie made it a point to look up their ‘6 points of separation,’ as it were. It appeared that not only were Braggins and Crawford good friends, they were family by marriage, and it was safe to assume that a joint mission between the two women may have been a scheme in the making. 

Maggie was not calmed by this, as the realization came over her that both Braggins and Crawford liked to jump into things and figure it out during the chaos. Once upon a time, Maggie had wanted so badly to be a part of Crawford’s crew - the Artemis was legendary. Nowadays… Maggie was looking forward to some fun, but really wanted to get back to Griffin and Katie.

A call for extra chairs in the Briefing Room was made, and Maggie was relieved at least to hear they would get some information before leaving the space station completely in their wake.


>> Briefing >>
Peter entered the bridge again and quickly found his seat in the XO's chair. He'd held this position for a while now, but it was still something that daunted him.
Even on this ship it was a massive responsibility. And it was looking to be an even more massive one soon. They were - he feared - heading into what could very likely be a hard fight.
He wasn't sure if it was a good idea to call for all departments to report combat readiness or not. Part of him wanted to show that initiative, but he also didn't want to alarm the crew unnecessarily until he'd learned what, precisely, they'd be doing while Alpha and Bravo were either saving or destroying the Callisto.


In the end, he decided to wait with that until Braggins had told him what they were to be doing. He quite desperately wanted to know by now.
He took a look round the bridge. No one who hadn't been in the officer's lounge just now knew that there was a very real risk they were going into battle. To war. The Cardassians were not going to buy the ruse, he was 99% certain.
Yeah, the idea of a group of Starfleet officers going rogue was, of course, not outside of the realms of possibility. But there was no way they were not aware of the buildup of forces, nor stupid enough to not realize those force's purpose.
And a strike team trying to steal their prized possession in the middle of this?

Peter just hoped that if war came, they would not half-bottom it like they had in the previous wars with the Cardassians. If war came, the best thing to do would  be to beat them back to Cardassia Prime, and blockade the planet until they cried "Uncle", or the Cardassian equivalent.
Then would follow decades upon decades of nation-building to an extend that'd look the development of Germany and Japan after Earth's second world war look like child's play. But the reward all those years hence would be a stable, prosperous, free ally.

But that's a concern for later, he told himself. For now, let's just focus on getting as many of us out of here alive as we can.
>> Ossifers Lounge >>


Walking back onto the bridge, Maz noticed that the Commander was already there.

I'm sure he's got himself a miniaturised site to site transporter on him somewhere.

She nodded to him out of courtesy as she took over her station and began looking up information on the Parhelia system. Basic information came up. Pretty much the main details from the briefing specs.

Problem was as an ex-tactical officer, she knew that maps and specs are not the territory. You can know everything about somewhere, but until you've been there, you don't know it at all.

Glancing back at the young Andorian at the helm. A Shen half her age she suspected. Maz was going to do do what she could in her newest role, but she missed her old job.


== GM Time! - What basic inflammation can you give me on the Parhelia system at this stage? ==
==Pre-Timeskip==

[Name: Parhelia System.
Type: Binary Star System: Class M Primary, Class F Secondary.
Allegiance: Cardassian Union (Disputed).
Planets: Parhelia I (Class A), Parhelia II (Class C), Parhelia III (Class J), Parhelia IV (Class J).]

==Post Timeskip - Some Time™ (about 3 days) Later==

The Parhelia System loomed ahead of the now-solo Philadelphia; the Artemis had peeled off from the smaller ship some time earlier to rendezvous with the Task Force at Maxia, leaving the little Scout alone to perform her part of the mission. On the face of it, it was a simple task; let the Artemis crew "borrow" their Waverider and simply continue on their original course, as if they had simply stopped to make a course correction while on routine patrol.

Through a mix of careful plotting and luck, the Philadelphia had emerged at the system boundary at the same time that Parhelia IV passed by, shielding the small vessel from any Cardassian sensor arrays deeper in the system. It would also mean that the Philadelphia was mostly-blind to whatever might be lurking deeper inside the system, but events over the border were not part of the Philadelphia's mission briefing.

The Cardassian picket ships would eventually return and detect them, but the closest one was nearly ten million kilometers away and moving away from the area on its patrol route. For now, the Philadelphia had the perfect opportunity to deploy the Liberty Bell without drawing undue attention to herself.
==Post-Timeskip==

Not for the first time, Jenny brooded over the sheer lunacy of the plan they had been ordered to carry out; sneak a team of regular Starfleet Officers into a system claimed by the Cardassian Union, or at the very least members of the Cardassian Military, and either scuttle or steal a Federation starship while a Starfleet Task Force attempted to oust the system's occupying forces. If she hadn't known any better, Jenny might have assumed that she was in some terrible holo-novel or holodeck adventure; it reeked of the cliches that went with twentieth-century action movies, even down to the "the odds are against us, but we can't fail" mantra imparted by the officer who had initially briefed Jenny and Tyra.

Ultimately it's not them that the odds are against, it's us. Even with a Task Force at our backs, what if the Cardies send reinforcements?

As she stared at the viewscreen, the depths of the Parhelia System hidden from visual sensors by the Parhelia IV Gas Giant, Jenny ran over the plan once again in her head. Once the Liberty Bell was away, the Philadelphia was to continue on her original course and await the arrival of the Task Force. Then, and only then, could they reverse course and enter the system themselves to act as a possible rescue ship if the Strike Team had to scuttle the Callisto and escape on the Liberty Bell - Jenny had often wondered if the only reason the Philadelphia had been assigned the ferry job was because she'd been the closest ship equipped with a Waverider. 

Even after six weeks on the Yeager and the Aquila job, I'm still their delivery girl.

The thought of the Yeager, once again relegated to mothballs in the Qualor II Surplus Depot, sent a twinge of regret through Jenny. Though the Philadelphia and the Aquila were by far the superior ships, the six weeks aboard that bodge job of a starship, ferrying semi-important cargoes up and down the Romulan border while wondering what would break next, had been some of the most fun she'd had while wearing the crimson of Command. Not since the Voltaire attacking the Megasphere had she felt like she was truly calling the shots, free to do things her way away from civilian oversight and the prying eyes of the bigwigs at Starfleet Command.

She missed it.

She'd argued for the Yeager to be the insertion ship due to her status as a Federation-registered but civilian owned (and technically, operated) vessel, which would lend credence to the whole show being a rogue operation if it all went downhill, but she'd been refused. Someone at Starfleet had insisted upon the Philadelphia, and so the under-armed scout was now sitting alone on the boundaries of hostile space, staring down the barrels of a Cardassian occupation force, and hoping for the best that they got away undetected.

Whatever her misgivings, the plans had already been set in motion. It was too late to turn back now.
It was the third day of travelling from their initial departure to the Parhelia system when they arrived.

Outside of what they could get from the computer that it was a binary system, with four planets. One virtually molten, one frozen and two gas giants. None capable of supporting humanoid life. They still had very little to go on. That combined with they were still being kept in the dark as to their role beyond the initial delivery of the insertion teams. Frustration was becoming the norm.

Maz had tried to keep herself busy between shifts. Studying sciencey things as she put it in her head. Trying to legitimize her position. And spending some time in the workout room. Usually on one of the treadmills.

She'd arrived on the bridge this morning, dressed correctly, but her hair was a little too fly away and she was feeling still a bit too tired. stifling a yawn or two along the way.

As they came out of warp, the timing was impeccable. They were in the shadow of the fourth planet on the very edge of the system. One of the gas giants. Its huge size and mass, along with the radiation it gave off masked their presence perfectly. It also apparently blocked any opportunity for them to be able to scan the system itself with the exception that there seemed to be a patrol vessel some ten million kilometres off. And thankfully, moving away from them it seemed.

Tapping a few more controls, she double checked the results she was receiving, and then moved on to checking the remote systems status she had for the Liberty Bell down in its launch bay on deck four. Everything on the board looked green. Now it was again a waiting game for the crew to signal they were five by five, and for the Captain to give the go.
== After timeskip ==

Peter was not any less anxious about the wisdom or lack of same of the mission. They were, apparently, to just sit on the edge of the system holding their collective Johnsons, trying to not be spotted.
And yes, at this range they likely wouldn't be picked up by any sensors in the system. But all the Cardassians would have to do, would be to have a picnic somewhat closer to them, or more likely a ship heading that way, and they'd be spotted.

He didn't like it one bit.

That said, duty was duty. And he didn't have like orders, just obey them. So he bore it. He did get an idea to minimize their risk, though:

"Captain", he leaned in towards Braggins and whispered so only she could hear him. "Recommend we work on a way to minimize our power usage while still remaining able to power up when necessary. Something like reduciung power to all non-essential systems to minimum. That way we run less risk of being detected. And finding a way to be able to get back into operational state immediately if necessary could give Engineering something to do while we wait?", he suggested. "That patrol vessel hasn't seen us it seems", he pointed out, "But next time we might not be so lucky."

== Tag ==
==After time skip==

Tera had spent mostly all of her free time in the labs gathering data and making sure everything was in order, she was neglecting her off duty hours she seemed to be in science mode throughout her time on the ship, she had data as much as she could possibly gather and she hoped her CSO could find it useful. Okay it's just the bridge it wont bite you.

The Turbolifts doors swished open, and the Midshipman's stomach still twisted like a knot, even though this was her second time on the bridge it was still daunting to her, as she took her first steps she noted who was on duty and she watched as the other officers work it made her feel rather proud serving on the ship. Okay where is Lt Black?  Tera noticed the Boss at the science science station she slowly made her way over and stood by her left hand side for a moment before speaking. ''Hello Sir, I brought the information you asked for about the system'' she said while handing Black the PADD.

''The planets them selves are quiet interesting, as you can see the planets are Classes, A,C and J types'' she couldn't hold her excitement while talking about the system and the planets themselves she also went into detail about what the planets could be based on the classes and she then pratted on about gasses and the effects that those gasses have on the planets and how amazing it would be to calculate the temperatures and see how they fluctuate. 

''Oh, sorry I kind of trailed off, but yeah its all very cool, or I should say hot stuff....pun not intended'' she said with an awkward smile.

==Tags==
As the Philadelphia waited for her passengers to disembark and the first real phase of the mission to begin, a text-only message was received marked "Captain's Eyes Only". Upon opening, it was a status report of the Task Group that would be "conducting exercises" in the nearby Maxia system.

[TF 501 - Captain Brian Bowan, Commanding.
USS Kumari, NCC-86610 - Inquiry Class (Flagship)
USS Spector, NCC-63898 - Akira Class
USS Stalwart, NCC-75635 - Defiant Class
USS Redoubtable, NCC-75634 - Defiant Class
USS Trafalgar, NCC-52427 - Steamrunner Class]

Appended was a message hailing the success of the mission, and a thinly-veiled warning for the crew of the Philadelphia to stay out of any fighting.
"Captain, recommend we work on a way to minimize our power usage while still remaining able to power up when necessary. Something like reducing power to all non-essential systems to minimum. That way we run less risk of being detected. And finding a way to be able to get back into operational state immediately if necessary could give Engineering something to do while we wait? That patrol vessel hasn't seen us it seems, but next time we might not be so lucky."

Jensen's suggestion dimly registered with Jenny as she brooded, having now decided that playing with her lighter was the best way to ease her anxiety and her mood. A classic Zippo lighter with a wolf's had engraved on the body, it had been a gift from Bryan - intended as a good luck charm more than a functional lighter, it had served her well as both since she had first stepped aboard the Artemis as her First Officer. She flipped the lid open then closed, open then closed, the metal making a tinny clinking noise that carried over the otherwise quiet Bridge.

"No. If that ship did detect us, it might simply be ignoring us because we're still on our side of the border. If we go dark, they'll come to investigate and then we're all screwed. We make like we're nice friendly scientists just taking a break to adjust our course, and then we'll leave our neighbors alone."

A beep at her central console distracted her attention from Jensen, and she frowned as she read the message she had just received. "Black Brian" Bowan, it couldn't have been a more officious and odious officer in charge of the Task Force, could it? That he was telling her to stay out of his way was a joke in itself; he'd risen to command by playing politics and annoying his superiors enough that they promoted him to become someone else's problem, and now he was in charge of the force meant to liberate Parhelia from the Cardassians. Apparently Starfleet Command didn't care about the mission as much as they seemed to claim. He was also junior to Jenny by a fair margin, and despite the "tactical superiority" conferred by his shiny new command, she had no intention of letting something as quaint as Starfleet regulations dictate what she could and couldn't do with her own ship.

Once again, she wished Command had left her on the Yeager, where she could basically do what she wanted without having to worry about Starfleet's up-and-comers.

Indicating Jensen should look at the screen despite the bold red letters indicating it was for her eyes only, Jenny smirked mischievously. Her mood had not been improved by the message, but it was nice to share the lunacy of their so-called "betters" with someone. Though tempted, Jenny decided not to forward it to Tyra, who had had her own run-ins with the infamous "Black Brian" when she had rejected his attempts to transfer onto the Artemis.

"Look at this. Fucking joke if you ask me."

Jenny's attention was immediately attracted by the entrance of the new Science Midshipwoman - Ichika; the young woman hadn't lost any of her bubbles during the three-day journey, but now she had decided to bring them onto the Bridge at a most inopportune moment. For some reason she decided it was time to "nerd out" about the planets in the Parhelia system with Black; essentially vomiting words onto her superior officer, before finally realising where she was and what she had done, and apologising. With a pun.

It was the last straw for Jenny's mood, and though the words didn't explode out of her like a drill sergeant's screams, the tone carried in her voice suggested that she was mightily pissed off and that pushing her any further would be unwise.

"If you two are quite finished chatting shop, we have work to do. Lieutenant Black, I need you at Operations."

Which is your job, no matter how hard you want to pretend to be a proper scientist.

"Prepare a Class Seven Probe; we'll launch it at Parhelia III ahead of the Liberty Bell to use as a datalink for the Task Force when it arrives. Midshipman Ichika, take the Science station; you might learn something while you're up here, and contemplate the words 'silent as the grave' while you do it."
Black had been seated at the ops station when they'd arrived at Parhelia. She'd tried to link it with the Science station to try to get some better scans of the system given the massive radiation blanket that the fourth planet was generating.

It seemed however that there was a protocol set up that was preventing the connection, so she had little option but to get up and go to the station and try to connect the systems manually.

It took her only a moment to complete the task. It looked like there had been a lockout placed on the station by the previous CSO for some reason. She made a note to have to go through other systems to ensure there weren't any other surprised left behind by her former opposite number.

It was then however that Ichika entered the bridge and came over to her, all eager to get going with researching the system.

The information the Midshipman presented wasn't anything new from what Maz could tell initially. Pretty much the same data she'd already gleaned from the computer and basic scans.

Ichika was still talking when the Captain made her wishes known. It was sharp and to the point.

"If you two are quite finished chatting shop, we have work to do. Lieutenant Black, I need you at Operations."

“Yes, Ma'am.” She replied out of reflex more than anything. But it had caught her off guard, and she turned a little red out of annoyance really as she hadn't been doing anything wrong and was about to return to her station anyway before she'd been Ichika'd.

Something that she had noticed however over the last few days, was that the Captain had become even more snappy than on previous tours. But at the same time when she'd seen her with the members of the Artemis crew around, she seemed more relaxed. It wasn't something that stood out a mile, just a feeling.

Maz being used to expecting to being in trouble for something had learnt to read the room to know when was the best time to leave. And there were subtle signs that something was brewing, but she didn't know what just yet.

"Prepare a Class Seven Probe; we'll launch it at Parhelia III ahead of the Liberty Bell to use as a datalink for the Task Force when it arrives.” Continued the Captain.

“On it.” Said Black almost tapping the controls before she was fully seated.

“Midshipman Ichika, take the Science station; you might learn something while you're up here, and contemplate the words 'silent as the grave' while you do it."

Black would have preferred the younger woman to have gone back to the Astrometric lab to perform her work there, but she was here now, and since there was only the two of them it seemed best to keep the only other one who maybe understood the big words to hand.

“Probe loaded.” Said Black a few seconds later.


== Tags ==
== Post time-skip==

Maggie had made sure she was the one on the Bridge. Sure, it was selfish, but it was one of the perks of being Chief. She had given her department the rest of the list to finish up, and now that she had full confidence in her little team, Maggie didn’t have to worry about whether or not things got done. And then checked at least three times over, because they were going up against the Cardassians, and that gave Mags some anxiety.

She felt like a mouse going into the lion’s den. The mouse had smelled some food, and it was some really tasty food, and the mouse was starving, and even though a pride of lions resided here, they really wanted that food.

Great. Maggie thought, sarcastically. Now I’m goddamn hungry.

The closest Cardassian ship was ten million kilometers away, and Mags was watching it. She had marked it special with a red flag on her console, and every tick on the screen made her heart beat just a little bit faster.

Black was on the Bridge, too. That made Maggie feel a little bit better; even though she was no longer in her department, even though Black had her own department to worry about, Maggie kind of felt like she had a secret plus one on the Bridge. A little Tactical Officer in her back pocket, should things go sideways.

Braggins snapped at Black, due to the new Science Middie being chatty, and Maggie raised an eyebrow, careful to keep her eyes on her console. She tapped a few buttons, wondering just how much information they could get from maps before having to engage formal scans. Science sent off their ordered probe, and Maggie looked for any answers that could be a little more immediate.


==Tag GM: what do [passive] scans say about the location of other Cardassian ships?==
==Post Time-skip==

R'Kaar walked onto the bridge as the ship came out of warp. Despite the small size of the Philadelphia, R'Kaar made sure to stay within easy reach of the bridge, as it was the nerve center of the ship, and also the most likely to see trouble, given the nature of power surges and the bridge's many EPS conduits. Silently, he sent out a prayer to the Great Hunter to watch over the crew and protect their eyes, as he didn't want to have to go through the complicated procedures necessary to restore even basic sight in the middle of a pitched battle. 

As R'Kaar watched the crew busy themselves with their tasks, his eyesight took in the high amounts of information about the crew's physiological state. Giddiness from Ichika, metabolic rate increases from Murphy, and the Captain...R'Kaar made a note not to make her more irate. Even though he was supposed to make sure that the crew was at peak condition, his presence aboard the bridge was both in his capacities as CMO, but also as a counselor, given his training in xenopsychology. 

Given he did have some input on the situation with the Cardassians, R'Kaar said, 

"I would infer from their psychological profile Captain, that the Cardassians will likely expect us to make an attempt to rescue the Callisto. But, so long as we don't show our hand, and appear to be a science vessel, we may get a verbal warning if we proceed further rather than a direct challenge. They're already in a position of strength, due to their station's presence, but I would expect them to be focused on bigger threats that could take down their station, and potentially destroy the Callisto in the process. But I would agree with you Sir; going dark draws attention when the goal is to act like nothing is wrong."

"Given the reputation of Star Fleet officers that's known, put together with the Cardassian propensity for gathering intelligence, I'd say its more likely they're focused on locating the position of Star Fleet's more notorious tacticians, along with any fleet they might be attached to. We might be a blip on their radar, but there are potentially bigger blips out there making more noise that they want to find more than us."

The Caitian medical officer was calm as he stood near the science stations, as he continued to observe the situation.

==tag Captain==
Ichika’s ears buzzed as she heard the Captain address her, she immediately felt her body become rigid and tense.

After hearing the order to take the science station, she made her way there and sat down, without making a sound, however there was a squeak that came from the chair frame as it took the weight of the small lady, she then looked around the bridge hoping the no-one heard the noise.

'Silent as the grave’, what does she think I am going to be shouting out everything that is going to happen, I will only give everyone the information that is relevant and when asked.

Tera could feel her heart beating in her chest, as this was only something that she had done in training simulation back at the academy, now this is the real thing.

As she sat there looking around at her fellow ship mates and her command team, she started to feel pleased that the Captain had let her remain and her main focus apart from her console was on Lieutenant Black at the operation console, as she hoped to learn from her.

With her CSO saying that the probe had been launched, Ichika wondered if the science console would pick up anything from it’s scan and she also hoped that it would be useful.

== GM Input: Did the science station indicated anything form the class 7 probe. ==
== Tag: Anyone ==
==Murphy==

Passive scans detected no other patrol ships; they were either too far away for their energy emissions to be detected, or they were being shielded by the planets.

Of course, a ship operating under stealth with only the most vital systems operational, would be difficult to detect with a passive scan no matter how close it was.

==Ichika==

The probe had not been programmed to immediately broadcast data, as that would give its position away.
When Black reported the Probe was ready to launch, Jenny simply nodded and made a small hand gesture noting she should proceed; though the Liberty Bell wasn't quite ready to launch yet, Jenny wasn't going to be caught sitting on the edge of hostile territory with her torpedo launchers jammed up with scientific equipment; she knew her history, and known what had happened to commanders who allowed them to get caught so flat-footed. 

"I would infer from their psychological profile Captain, that the Cardassians will likely expect us to make an attempt to rescue the Callisto. But, so long as we don't show our hand, and appear to be a science vessel, we may get a verbal warning if we proceed further rather than a direct challenge. They're already in a position of strength, due to their station's presence, but I would expect them to be focused on bigger threats that could take down their station, and potentially destroy the Callisto in the process. But I would agree with you Sir; going dark draws attention when the goal is to act like nothing is wrong."

Jenny had been aware of their new Chief Medical Officer's presence on the Bridge from the moment he had arrived, but since he had not announced himself and instead simply situated himself by Ichika at the Science console, she had no idea why he was on the Bridge. Unless summoned, his place was in Sickbay, and Jenny had a sudden sinking feeling that she had another Kurasa on her hands - an entitled officer who believed they deserved to be where the "action" was, even when it was not their place.

The Starfleet psych profiles on Cardassians are based on thirty year old data; they may not have changed much since the Dominion War, but not everyone is a lunatic like Dukat, a patsy like Damar or sociopath like Garak. 

Despite her misgivings about what the Caitian was saying, she remained silent; a good thing, as his commentary on the situation seemed to be endless. He'd made similar remarks outside of his field during the briefing three days prior, and while she appreciated someone willing to learn and apply their new knowledge, there was a time and a place. This, however was not it.

"Given the reputation of Star Fleet officers that's known, put together with the Cardassian propensity for gathering intelligence, I'd say its more likely they're focused on locating the position of Star Fleet's more notorious tacticians, along with any fleet they might be attached to. We might be a blip on their radar, but there are potentially bigger blips out there making more noise that they want to find more than us."

When Ragarri had been silent for more than a few seconds, Jenny could finally assume he was finished. At first, she briefly considered remaining silent and ignoring the unsolicited input, but if this truly was another Kurasa situation, that might lead to the comments being repeated. No, the doctor needed to be interacted with directly, and maybe even put in his place. Jenny also wondered, worried being slightly too strong a term, whether the Caitian's previous involvement with Cardassians was affecting his thinking - it had been his judgement that had led to the destruction of the Cape Town seven years prior, and Jenny was reluctant to allow him that kind of autonomy again.

"Starfleet's psych profiles only catalogue known entities; the Cardassians who rose to prominence during the years around the Dominion War. They don't paint the whole picture of Cardassian life; it's too nuanced even for xenoanthropologists who spend their entire careers studing their culture. You need to study the people, not the leaders, if you want to know how your adversary thinks. Their art, their music, their culture. The Cardassians believe they bloodied our nose and shamed us when they took this system, and that arrogance works in our favour; they know Starfleet will not willingly provoke a war, so they do not expect an attack - the patrols we identified are better-suited to anti-piracy patrols than holding on to a system of strategic importance."

Having consulted with her contacts at Starfleet Intelligence, Jenny knew that even at maximum warp, the nearest Cardassian reinforcements were a day away; if the system fell to a dedicated and well-armed attack force, they would have time to fortify against a counterattack. That was assuming the Cardassians only sent their smaller vessels, like Galors and Keldons. If they threw a Hutet into the mix, and the lack of one being present already made that unlikely, that time would become thirty-six to forty-eight hours.

"Furthermore, the Cardassians know our fleet movements along the border as well as we know theirs. No doubt they've seen our friends 'exercising' in the Maxia System and prepared to reinforce their borders on the off chance that someone does something stupid; that moves ships away from this system, not closer to it. They also likely tracked us as we moved along the border ourselves; I've seen the Cardassian intelligence reports on Captain Crawford and myself, they consider it a waste that we were assigned to "science ships", but they're aware of us and know that we are in the area. That's good for us, however; it means that right now they're focused on this ship, and when we leave, they'll continue to focus on this ship until they figure out where the Artemis went."

Glancing at the chronometer on her terminal, Jenny rose slowly to her feet.

"I am going to wish our passengers good luck personally. Commander Jensen, you have the Bridge. If the Cardassians come back, make nice; tell them that we had to stop to recalibrate our navigational sensors, and will be on our way when complete. Then start moving away at Impulse as a show of good faith, it'll please them to watch us leave without a fight."

Rolling her neck to try and sort out the crick she had developed sitting still for too long, she continued.

"That being said, I want the ship ready to go at a moment's notice. Crew to action stations, both torpedo tubes loaded and shield and phaser capacitors charged on the off chance they get spicy. If they open fire, you have permission to blow the bastards out of space...And pass out sidearms to the crew, just in case..."

In effect, Jenny was ordering a Red Alert without actually ordering a Red Alert; though her place during such a time was on the Bridge, the crew departing on what still could realistically be described as a suicide mission included members of her family. Plus Jensen could look after the ship for the five to ten minutes she expected to be gone; he'd need the experience for when he was offered his own command, assuming this whole endeavour didn't go south and land them all in jail. Or worse.

With her orders clear, Jenny nodded to Jensen with a small and encouraging smile, before briskly moving towards the turbolift and descending into the bowels of her diminutive command.
Once the probe was loaded, it took nothing more than a subtle wave of the hand and an imperceivable nod from the Captain to give the order to launch the stealth instrument.

Had Black blinked or looked away for a nanosecond, she would have missed it, it was that quick.

“Probe away.” She confirmed before it went silent and undetectable to anyone specifically looking for it.

From the back of the bridge, she could only imagine the frustration of her young Midshipman who was most likely champing at the bit for any data it would be returning. A wait that would be a long one as these style probes only returned their data when it was safe to do so, and there was no possibility of interception.

Beyond that, it was a waiting game. Though she was surprised they'd deployed it so early given that it was meant to be launched in conjunction with the Bell.

Behind her, she could hear the distinctive accent of their Caitain doctor who had been present during the briefing. She wasn't exactly sure what he was talking about as she only heard odd words because of other sounds around them.

The next thing however to happen was what surprised her. The Captain all but announced that she was leaving the bridge but not before she left orders to effectively go to red alert without saying so.

Black waited for the sound of the doors closing before she turned to look back at the Commander and Murphy.

Something in the back of her head just cranked up to eleven.
Peter nodded at her reaction to his suggestion. It made sense, he guessed. Though if he was a Cardassian, they would look suspicious as fudge just sitting there.
He didn't have time to think much about it, though as she directed his at tention to the screen she was looking at....and he paled. He'd just violated some very basic Starfleet principles. "Captain's eyes only" meant exactly that.

Still, he didn't disagree with her assessment at all. This? This was who was about to lead the Federation into a likely war with the Cardassians?
He nodded in assent to her statement.

"And not even a funny one, at that" he growl-whispered. As if things weren't hairy enough already.

The way Ichika entered like a belle at her debutante ball irked Peter as much as it had Braggins, though she had beat him to the proper reaction.
He wasn't entirely sold on the idea of launching a prope into the system juuuust prior to the assault. It would throw any plausible deniability out the airlock, but...well, they needed info, otherwise they were in the dark.

He found himself gripping the armrests on his chair slightly harder, before he caught himself doing it and forced himself to relax

It took all of his self control, however, to keep from replying "Oh wow, that's a great analysis. Must have taken you ages to compile" when R'Kaar decided to grace them with the information that the Cardassians might think they were there for the Callisto.

No. We're just here for the excellent Kanar and to borrow your copy of The Never Ending Sacrifice

He did manage to do so however, meaning restrain himself, and instead sat looking at the console as Braggins deservedly tore R'Karr a new one.
When she gave her instructions, Peter nodded solemnly.

"Aye, Captain. I have the bridge", he acknowledged, and returned her discreet smile in a similar fashion, before taking the center chair when she moved to the turbolift.

"You heard the Captain everyone", he announced to the bridge.

"As discreetly as possible, make us ready to go if we're forced to", then announced to the ship:

"Jensen to all hands. The Captain wants everyone at action stations in case things go south. Report on the double."

And then he tapped his badge and called someone who he knew and trusted

"Jensen to d'Tor'an. There's no klaxxon, but I want you to enact General Quarters Three. All Security personnel are to arm themselves. I know you're stretched tight personnel-wise, but please see at least one to the Bridge, and a couple to Engineering.", he finished.

Then leaned back. Hoping, and hating himself a bit for hoping, that he wouldn't be in the center chair for long. He would hate being forced to return fire, and be in charge of the opening salvo of a new war.

But if it comes to it. You won't hesitate. If they make you, you won't hesitate.
[Liberty Bell to Bridge. We're ready. Any intel?]
"Starfleet's psych profiles only catalogue known entities; the Cardassians who rose to prominence during the years around the Dominion War. They don't paint the whole picture of Cardassian life; it's too nuanced even for xenoanthropologists who spend their entire careers studing their culture. You need to study the people, not the leaders, if you want to know how your adversary thinks. Their art, their music, their culture. The Cardassians believe they bloodied our nose and shamed us when they took this system, and that arrogance works in our favour; they know Starfleet will not willingly provoke a war, so they do not expect an attack - the patrols we identified are better-suited to anti-piracy patrols than holding on to a system of strategic importance. Furthermore, the Cardassians know our fleet movements along the border as well as we know theirs. No doubt they've seen our friends 'exercising' in the Maxia System and prepared to reinforce their borders on the off chance that someone does something stupid; that moves ships away from this system, not closer to it. They also likely tracked us as we moved along the border ourselves; I've seen the Cardassian intelligence reports on Captain Crawford and myself, they consider it a waste that we were assigned to "science ships", but they're aware of us and know that we are in the area. That's good for us, however; it means that right now they're focused on this ship, and when we leave, they'll continue to focus on this ship until they figure out where the Artemis went."


R'Kaar thought for a bit on that, and replied, 

"I stand corrected with your wisdom Captain. If you'll permit me to do so when you return Captain, I'd like to remain on the bridge to experience what you have learned should the Cardassians decide to make themselves known. But if you would prefer me to return to Sickbay, then I'll do so."

However, then the Captain ordered the increase in readiness, and once she had left, R'Kaar looked over at Commander Jensen as they ordered General Quarters Three, 

"I'll return to Sickbay and prepare for potential casualties. Unless you would prefer that I stay on the bridge Sir."

R'Kaar was not looking forward to being armed, but, sometimes it was necessary to defend one's self, especially if the enemy enjoyed shooting at medical personnel.

==tag Jensen==
[Liberty Bell to Bridge. We're ready. Any intel?] Said the voice of Captain Crawford over the comm.

Black looked over to Murphy again and back toward the Commander. Giving them both the 'Well I got nothing' shrug.

The probe had only been lauched a few minutes now, and with it's steath configuration it was yet to have the oppotunity to send them anything.

Given this lack of intel, she waited for one of the more senior officers to make a decision as what to reply.


== Here's the Buck. Catch! ==
Peter looked at R'Karr and shook his head.

"No, Doctor, please return to the sickbay. I hope your services won't be needed soon, but better safe than sorry. Oh, and do make sure to stop by the armory and make sure to grab sidearms for yourself and your staff. I hope the Cardassians won't be paying us a visit, but if they do, I want the very bulkheads to speak Federation Standard", he said with a smirk, not knowing if R'Karr got the reference or not. He then nodded as if to say "Get going", before he turned his attention to the incoming call from the Liberty Bell

He looked immediately at Black, and saw that there was nothing yet. He nodded reassuringly at her. This was his job now.

"Bridge to Liberty Bell. Nothing yet, Captain Crawford", he replied. "It only launched a few minutes ago, and while I'm not a scientist I'd imagine that the shenanigans we did to it to keep it as concealed as possible might have an impact on performance. I'll let you know as soon as we have something", he finished

Then added to the bridge crew:

"And everyone please arm yourselves", he said, heading from the center chair over to the "armory", for lack of a better term, on the bridge to grab a sidearm. "And pray to whatever deity might exist that we won't need them", he finished, then headed back to the center chair and took his seat again.


== As long as it's only the skin and not the whole animal you're throwing at me Tongue ==
The Chief Medical Officer, new to the ship, was also on the Bridge. Perhaps he wanted to see the action for himself, perhaps he thought his place was on the Bridge, perhaps he thought that because of the high stakes, the Captain might want to lend her ear to his thoughts.

He was wrong.

After expressing a professional medical opinion, Braggins dressed the CMO down, and Maggie could only raise an eyebrow and make sure she wasn’t looking in Ragarri’s direction. Her passive scans were returning nothing, and though she didn’t want to come face to face with an enemy Cardassian, she stared at the screen and willed something to show up.

Then something truly odd happened: Braggins stood up, and announced that she was leaving the Bridge. Telling Jensen to handle the Cardassians should they show up, she cracked her neck and further said that she wanted the ship at what Maggie called a low-Red Alert. Why the Captain would leave the Bridge at such an important time, Maggie could not fathom, but it was not her place to say anything.

It was Jensen’s.

But the First Officer obeyed command, maybe knowing something the rest of them didn’t know, and began giving out their marching orders. He called down to Security, got their butts in gear, told the CMO to get back to Sickbay, and made sure that the whole ship knew they were to sit on the edges of their seats. Black stared at Murphy, and Murphy stared at Jensen, and Jensen paid them no mind.

[Liberty Bell to Bridge. We're ready. Any intel?]

Maggie and Theresa stared at each other for a quick moment, both a little bug-eyed. Mags quickly accessed the probe’s telemetry, wondering just how different things were “actually” going versus what they had been told in the briefing room. She opened up her mouth to reply to Captain Crawford, but thankfully was saved by First Officer Jensen and his tact.

“Bridge to Liberty Bell. Nothing yet, Captain Crawford. It only launched a few minutes ago, and while I'm not a scientist, I'd imagine that the shenanigans we did to it to keep it as concealed as possible might have an impact on performance.”

Everything in Maggie’s body told her that this was wrong. Her anxiety shot straight up, and in her mind, she was suddenly somewhere else. Back on Starbase Bravo, curled in a big, warm bed with her baby, with her husband making the mattress move as he moved in to join them. Maggie’s cheek was against Katie’s cheek, and the warmth was a comfort that could not be matched. As Griffin settled into bed, he adjusted the covers so they were over the three of them, and put his arms around his girls.

That was where Maggie wanted to be. Not on the Bridge of a tiny ship, where its Captain had just left them, on the border of Federation and Cardassian space. Not awaiting orders from a Captain of another ship, currently on board a shuttle heading towards a suicide mission. And certainly not awaiting data from a probe that would certainly set off a war with a rigid, conquer-happy people.

There was a lump in her throat that felt like it was the size of Cardassia Prime. Maggie sent a small text-based message to Black. It simply read: “Hold on to your butt”.


==I’m not a fan of catch. I always flinch when something comes flying towards my face!==
==Security NPC Enlistedman Murik, Vulcan==


Precious minutes after First Officer Jensen had given the order, a male Vulcan slipped silently onto the Bridge. He did not announce himself, did not make eye contact with anyone, and was visibly armed with both a standard-issue phase pistol, as well as a phase rifle. He stood at the back of the Bridge, tall and brooding, like a shadow of the doubts that had been lurking in the Bridge officers’ minds.

He was only ‘in the way’ in the sense that his presence marked the serious mood that was falling over the entire Philadelphia crew, the sense of foreboding that came with this mission, as well as being so close to enemy borders. His pure Vulcan face betrayed no thoughts, his still posture showing no emotion. His dark eyes looked only forward, and not a hair was out of place on his head.

Murik was to be their suit of armor at the back of the castle, their security blanket as they ventured out of bed, their emergency rations should the hunger of battle grip them.
"No, Doctor, please return to the sickbay. I hope your services won't be needed soon, but better safe than sorry. Oh, and do make sure to stop by the armory and make sure to grab sidearms for yourself and your staff. I hope the Cardassians won't be paying us a visit, but if they do, I want the very bulkheads to speak Federation Standard."

R'Kaar nodded and replied, 

"I'm not sure of the euphemism Commander, as the Cardassian also speak Federation Standard, but I'll make sure medical is ready for both kinds of trouble." 

He saluted and headed out the turbolift, for the security office.

>>Next Post: Security Office>>
Once preparations were finished and the Artemis crew were aboard the Liberty Bell, a message from Grant came through to the Bridge.

[Liberty Bell to Philadelphia, requesting all clear to launch.]

==Tag==
Peter smiled when he saw Murik enter and nodded appreciatively to the man. D'Tor'an was quick and effective. She'd make an excellent COS someday soon.

Then Grant's voice was heard through the comms

[Liberty Bell to Philadelphia, requesting all clear to launch.] 

Peter looked at Murphy and Black.

"Leftenant? Leftenant Commander? Any issues apart from the current lack of data from the probe?"


== GM: Any reasons the LB shouldn't launch? And any data from the probe yet? ==
The probe wouldn't start broadcasting until it reached its final destination, so the relay remained silent for now.

The Cardassian ship was moving steadily away; a few more minutes and the distance would be great enough that its passive sensors would be unable to detect a ship with an energy signature as small as that of the Liberty Bell.
"Leftenant? Leftenant Commander? Any issues apart from the current lack of data from the probe?"

Black checked her displays for the umpteenth time. “Not that I can see. Our only contact is still moving away. Give it a couple more minutes, and I doubt from what we know about their craft, they'll see anything we do.”
"Understood", Peter acknowledged her reply, and then an idea occured to him.

"Is it possible to relay the data from the probe to the Liberty Bell once it starts sending, in a way that the Cardassians can't pick up on? I don't want to blow their cover, but I do want to give them all available information if possible", he finished.
"Is it possible to relay the data from the probe to the Liberty Bell once it starts sending, in a way that the Cardassians can't pick up on? I don't want to blow their cover, but I do want to give them all available information if possible", asked Commander Jenson.

Tera had what her mother called a lightbulb moment, she hesitated at first but she thought this was to serious to hold back on.

“Sir, apologises I may have a solution to the situation if permitted, you see we can piggy back on the Cardassians single and we can transmit the data that way,” she paused for a moment she hoped she wasn’t out of place here...

“W..what I mean is Sir, the signal would be white noise to the Cardassians as they will see it as there own broadcast, if permitted I can use the bandwidth data and transfused the signal from the probe, coordinating the data and allowing our allies to obtain the data without interference from the enemy”

Ichika held on to her chair she was expecting to get yelled at or worse sent to her quarters for speaking out of term these thoughts were causing her heart rate to go up and her chest was feeling the pressure,where her insecurities  getting the better for her?

==Tags==
Within a heart beat, Ichika came up with an idea from the science station at the back of the bridge

It was a good idea. However there was another that Black knew from her tactical training.

"That's a good idea, but it may be simpler to just give the Liberty Bell the probes transponder frequency. That way, when the probe transmits, they'll be nearer to it that we'll be at that time and they will get the data much faster than us having to relay it back ot them."

== Back to the NEW Boss ==
Peter was surprised at Ichika, but pleasantly so! He was about to tell her to do it, before Black demonstrated why she was DH of the science department. That solution, he felt, should have been obvious to him as well. He nodded.

"That's what we'll do", he said to Black. "Send them the frequency.", he instructed, then tapped his badge:

"Jensen to Liberty Bell. If you wait a couple of minutes, you're good to go. We have one bogey moving away from us, and in those few more minutes, they shouldn't be able to detect you when you launch. As regards the probe, Leftenant Black is sending you the transponder frequency, so you can pick up the data when it comes in. Allow me to echo the Earth poet Virgil: Audentes Fortuna iuvat: Fortune helps the bold.  Godspeed, Liberty Bell. Bridge out"

He leaned back in the chair and took a deep breath, and thought of another Latin quote

Iacta est alea
Black did feel a bit bad for overriding her junior officers input. But how many times had her suggestions been over ridden by her superiors in her career, and regardless how many times her ideas had been right or wrong wasn't important. All that mattered was they had been voiced and someone had been given the options to hand and made a choice based on them.

"That's what we'll do", Jensen said after a moments contemplation. "Send them the frequency."

Black began tapping her console to send the information down ot the 'Bell' before they departed.
A sudden thought occured to him. Something that might....well, not give them an edge. That wasn't going to happen here. But at least one small card in their favor. Perhaps enough to unnerve the Cardassians enough to give them some leeway. He smiled devilishly before he got his facial expression back under control.

He tapped his badge.

"Jensen to D'Tor'an. Sorry to micromanage you, Leftenant, but would you mind sending Crewman Brele up to the Bridge in exchange for Petty Officer Murik?", Peter said, then looked at Murik.

"I don't question your abilities in the slightest, Petty Officer", he assured the man. "I'm banking on the sight of Crewman Brele to throw off any Cardassian commander, should they hail us. And then exploit that."

== Tag ==
The Artemis crew -or rather, the Strike Team- was clearly champing at the bit to launch, now asking permission to take off. Maggie, apprehensive as she felt, couldn’t find any reason on her scans to keep them from doing so, even though it felt like pushing a kid down a pool slide into the deep end. Jensen looked to the two women, one Tactical, one previously Tactical, to see if they had any objections.

Unfortunately for Maggie, and fortunately for the Strike Team, there was nothing in space seemingly keeping them from dropping the team. Black confirmed that the only Cardassian ship they could see was slowly moving away from them, and they’d soon be all alone in their little area. While Black’s Midshipman tried to get clever, the Chief Science Officer had a simpler solution for the Liberty Bell and the probe, though Maggie could appreciate the creative thinking.

Think horses, not zebras. She thought towards the kid, throwing a glance towards Theresa.

Jensen wished the Liberty Bell well, sending them off with his own over-educated quotes of luck, translating the phrase that’s usually roughly translated as “Fortune favors the bold.” Maggie took a moment, thinking about the ship’s namesake, and how everything on the ship was “themed” after that namesake. Philadelphia. Her city. Big city look, little town feel. Known for liberty and hoagies. The Liberty Bell. Known for its symbolism for freedom. And hardiness. Maggie could only hope that a great crack would be all the little shuttle came back with.

“All good here.” Maggie finally said, even though she knew it was after the fact. Jensen knew well enough that Maggie wasn’t afraid to speak up, and would have done so if it affected the team’s take-off. If there was hesitation in her voice, she would explain it, but much like watching a sport, she knew that her personal emotions would not influence the outcome of the Liberty Bell’s launch.
==Petty Officer[s] Murik & Brele==


Things were moving now towards what Murik considered the “meat” of the mission, towards when he would be needed. Until then, he would stand sentry, at the back of the Bridge, where he could see everybody.

“Jensen to D'Tor'an. Sorry to micromanage you, Leftenant, but would you mind sending Crewman Brele up to the Bridge in exchange for Petty Officer Murik?”

The Vulcan moved his gaze towards the First Officer, who addressed him directly.

“I don't question your abilities in the slightest, Petty Officer. I'm banking on the sight of Crewman Brele to throw off any Cardassian commander, should they hail us. And then exploit that.”

It was an interesting thought. The Cardassian people had not been in direct, face-to-face contact with the Federation for some years now. How would one react, should they see a member of their own species on the Bridge of a Starfleet ship, in a Starfleet uniform, was something that would surely be worth study. The First Officer, in Murik’s opinion, was taking quite the chance with that, as the Vulcan was of the mind that should the enemy see such a sight, there was a high percentage it would throw them into a fit of rage, as emotional beings were prone to do. But it was not the Vulcan’s call, and his responsibility was to his duty, and right now, his duty was to wait to be relieved.


~

Packed to the nines, Corbin walked onto the Bridge, feeling a bit nervous as the First Officer himself had called for him. He knew this large-scale, subterfuge mission was focused mainly on the Cardassian Union -or whatever the government was calling themselves these days- and had a sneaking suspicion that the FO thought that he could be his ace in the back pocket.

Corbin was adopted.

He didn’t like to talk about his past, and what he remembered of his childhood, before he had been adopted. First, he didn’t like to volunteer information about himself to begin with, but the people of his species were now enemies of the very state he lived in, which made him extremely self-conscious. When he had been handed over to the Federation, he had but one name to himself: Brele. The Federation didn’t know if that was his first name or his last, and so it became his surname. The people who adopted him had granted him a Human name: Corbin. It was to help him feel like he had half a chance at fitting in.

“Reporting as ordered, sir.” Corbin said, as a way to announce his presence to the Bridge. He merely nodded to Murik, and the Vulcan nodded back, heading back in the direction that the Cardassian had come from.


==Tags to Jensen!==
Peter smiled genuinely when he saw Brele.
Was this a gamble? Sure. But right now they needed every advantage they could get.

Peter thought about reassuring the man in more detail, but decided against it. Right now, his attention needed to be focused 100% on the goings-on around him. Everything else could wait. And he hoped that his genuinely expressed non-verbal appreciation had been enough to communicate to Brele that he wasn't being messed with.

"Thank you for responding so quickly, Crewman", he said, then debated for a moment whether to let Brele know the reason he'd been asked to join them. And then decided for it. After all, Murik had been told. 

"I've known you for years now. You're a credit to the uniform in your own right", he said, and his tone indicated that it was not simply empty flattery. He continued: "I asked you here simply because if one of the Cardassian ships spot us, they're likely to try to hail us to indimidate us. I'm cointing on them spotting one of "their own" " - and Peter made sure to enunciate the air quotes over those two words very clearly, "will throw them off balance. And in that case, have the upper hand, if only for a moment. For now, please take the position the Petty Officer left. And let's hope that I won't have to execute this plan", he finished with a sigh as he once again returned his attention to the viewscreen in front of him where and the display attached to the center chair. The Cardassian ship was moving further away still.
In the minutes that had passed since Braggins departed the Bridge, the Cardassian ship had continued to open the distance. They were now outside of what Starfleet Intelligence believed to be effective range of Cardassian passive sensors.

An alert flashed that the Liberty Bell was detaching itself from the Philadelphia, and briefly it appeared as a sensor contact on Ichika's science console, and on Murphy's fire control system. There was a detectable energy surge coming from the little ship, and then it had vanished entirely from sensors.

There was no sign of debris; the Liberty Bell was just...gone...
Peter was definitely tense when the Liberty Bell detached. The coming hours would determine whether they'd get away with it, or whether this was the opening move of a new interstellar war.
And he had the dubious privilege of having a first-row seat to it all.

His tension, however, increased something like tenfold when the Liberty Bell disappeared from sensors.

Of course he couldn't know for certain, but he knew only of one way to make that happen.

Someone has installed a cloaking device on that thing he thought angrily. And now he was not just tense, but downright angry. And nervous. The Federation could fight the Cardassians if necessary, of that he was certain. But if the Romulans decided to take offence, legalities aside.....


We'll be in trouble.
After a few minutes more, the Liberty Bell detached from the Philadelphia. Their scans still showed the contact moving away at a steady pace, and nothing else n the vicinity now with the exception of the...

The waverider class craft vanished from sensors.

“Ichika, can you confirm what just happened?” Said Black calling back to her junior officer without looking up. Although she hadn't piloted that class of shuttle before, she knew they had limited stealth capabilities. Same as the probe they'd already deployed, but to vanish completely this close to them.

She looked over to Murphy. “Did they just, cloak?” She mouthed silently.
Lieutenant Black dismissed her suggestion for one of her own, stating that the Liberty Bell would have to be closer to the probe as they would have the transponder frequencies, that way there would be no chance of the signal being intercepted by the Cardies, this was a way which Ichika hadn’t considered, and she was impressed by the simplicity of the it.

That was impressive, going for something simple that would work, I’ll have to remember that one.

As there was no more science talk, she returned her focus to the science console and making sure that she was being a quiet as the grave, the Midshipman continued to listen to everything that was going on around her, as being that she was still getting use to being on the Philadelphia and especially on the bridge, everything was a learning curve and might come in handy later on.

For some reason that the Middy wasn’t privileged too, it seemed that Commander Jensen had decided to replace Crewman Brele for Petty Officer Murik, they were a members of the ships security team, this lead to Ichika wondering what that advantage would be in the change and she hoped that the reason would come to light, as she was intrigued to find out.

That should throw them off if they made face to face contact with us, I bet that they never would have considered that there are Cardies serving with in Star Fleet.

Throughout this whole event, Midshipman Amaterasu Ichika hadn’t taken her eyes from her science station, so when the alert flashed up, she was reacting to it without any hesitation, there was nothing to report on the detachment of the Liberty Bell from the ship and the initial sensor, it was only a few seconds later that, that completely changed and the science station lit up like an old Earth’s Christmas tree, as it picked up an energy surge coming from the Liberty Bell, it was only there for a few seconds before it vanished from the science sensors.

Shifting slightly in her chair, Tera started trying to work out what exactly the energy surge was.

“Ichika, can you confirm what just happened?” Said Black calling back to her junior officer without looking up. Although she hadn't piloted that class of shuttle before, she knew they had limited stealth capabilities. Same as the probe they'd already deployed, but to vanish completely this close to them.

“Give me a few seconds, Sir, I’m trying to work out what happened” she replied.

Now what could cause that kind of energy surge, especially in a small ship like the Waverider support craft.

Quickly bringing up the information on the Waverider, Tera looked over it to see if there was something onboard that would cause the energy surge that the sensors had picked up, but the information didn’t show anything, which means that something has been added to the Liberty Bell that wasn’t part of the original design specifications.

Whatever it is, would either make it mission specific or extremely top secret.

Tapping commands into the science station, Tera requested that the computer try and match the energy surge from the Liberty Bell to any record on system.

== GM Input: Does the computer find anything on record that matched the energy surge from the Liberty Bell? ==
Maggie wished they could extend their sensors, just because she hated knowing that the Cardassian ship was just beyond their eyes’ reach. She also wished she knew Braggins’ reason for abandoning the Bridge, especially when all hell could break loose the second the Cardassians realized the little shuttle was headed right for them.

The Liberty Bell gracefully left the underbelly of the ship, gliding out and becoming a smaller, separate sensor blip on the Philadelphia’s sensors. Maggie watched it, feeling suddenly motherly towards the tiny white dot, perhaps like a mother duck letting their chick enter the deep water for the first time. Once the Bell left the Philly’s shields, they were on their own in space, heading towards enemy–

Energy surge.

The Liberty Bell was gone. Maggie’s mouth opened, she wanted to cry out, but no sound came, which was probably for the better. She honed her sensors in on where the shuttle used to be, and was even more shocked to find literally nothing there. No shuttle, no residuals from enemy weapons fire, no debris whatsoever.

The CTO looked up, still shocked, the wheels still turning in her head, and looked to others for their reactions as her own brain caught up to what trickery the Strike Team had done.

Jensen looked pissed; Black was just as confuddled as she was. The Science Chief asked her Midshipman to confirm what they had all just seen, and then the woman turned to Maggie.

Did they just cloak? Black mouthed to a still wide-eyed Maggie. It was the only explanation, short of some sort of new anomaly, but Maggie still could not believe it. She played back the last few seconds of sensor data, even bringing forth the live view, but the ship simply just faded from existence.

“Based on… visuals…” Mags couldn’t believe she was about to say this, “It doesn’t look like the work of a Q being… or a subspace… anomaly.” She looked back up the her Science counterpart and the First Officer, deciding that if anyone, she could be the one to look foolish and say it out loud.

“Did you know they were planning on cloaking, sir?” she asked Jensen.


==Tags to the whole Bridge==
The computer quite easily matched the energy surge to something stored in its databases, but it had not originated from a Starfleet energy source. The surge was widely known to be a byproduct of activating a cloaking device from a Klingon Bird of Prey, specifically the D-12 variant of the B'Rel class
Jenny had known that by the time she reached the Bridge, the Liberty Bell would have detached from the Philadelphia and be on its way to the Callisto; it was a simple matter of mathematics, it would take her several minutes to traverse the ship thanks to the layout of her turbolifts, and the Artemis crew were on a schedule. What she had not banked on, however, was the manner of their departure and how it would flummox the Philadelphia's Bridge Crew.

That crew always were good at making statements...

Black had asked if the Liberty Bell had just cloaked, Ichika appeared to be trying to verify whether it had, and Murphy was querying Jensen if he'd known about it. The poor Commander, Jenny realised, was probably having to really adjust the stick up his backside in order to not have an aneurism or apoplectic fit; outside the box thinking wasn't exactly his forte, and if the Liberty Bell had indeed cloaked, then he was now having to wrangle with the moral quandary that came with willingly defying the Treaty of Algeron. While there was no longer a Romulan Star Empire, the Romulan Free State still insisted it be upheld.

If this gets out, we'll be expecting a very angry letter from the Romulan Ambassador. Or a Squadron of Warbirds coming calling demanding we turn everything over.

"Whether we knew about it or not isn't important; what's done is done, and if this means this is less of a suicide mission for the Strike Team, so much the better."

Though she put a cavalier face on as she reentered the Bridge properly and took her seat, deep down Jenny was furious; only one person would have installed a cloaking device aboard the Liberty Bell. Though she hadn't been made privy to the events on Pomn, she'd known that Elias had "acquired" a Klingon Bird of Prey. Allegedly it had been dumped into a star since, but it would seem that he'd at least "salvaged" some of the components. What that meant for the mission was good news; for the careers of everyone around him, however, not so much. According to Starfleet Regulations, the Captain was legally required to be responsible for the actions of their crew - which means Elias had, knowingly or not, implicated Tyra in his crime. The Captain was also legally responsible for what happened on or to their ships, which meant now that Jenny was also implicated.

Ah well, Starfleet was getting boring anyway. Maybe the Fenris Rangers are recruiting?

Adjusting herself to be more comfortable in her chair and accommodate the gunbelt encircling her waist and knife at the small of her back, Jenny reached into the armrest storage and once again withdrew her lighter. As she stared at the screen, she absentmindedly flicked the lid open and closed a number of times before snapping it shut again.

"There's not much we can do now but head to the rendezvous and wait. Helm, make your course two-seven-zero mark three-five, Warp Three. Midshipman Ichika, purge any sensor log of the Liberty Bell cloaking from the sensor logs. If anyone asks, nobody saw or heard anything, and the sensors glitched momentarily as a result of the refit. The last thing we need is to start another interstellar incident."

Jensen's not going to like that, but it's time he learned that command is about bending the rules where necessary...
Peter didn't have time to answer the - quite reasonable when he thought about it but still infuriating - question from Murphy about whether he'd known. Part of him told him it was a reasonable question, the other part wanted to ask how she dared ask it.
Luckily, he was saved by the bell as Braggins returned to the bridge.

He got out of the center chair and took the First Officer's seat again.

When Braggins was the one who responded, Peter found himself mostly in agreement with her. If it helped the Liberty Bell pull this off, it was quite possibly worth it. But....only quite possibly. Becaue if the Romulans got wind of this....

Then he did something that quite possibly no one saw coming. He had acquired the reputation of a "By the book so much that it is really by the whole publisher"-reputation, he'd realized that. But he was also, at heart, a pragmatist. And he saw as well as the Captain did, what would happen if this...incident....appeared in the logs. Better to use the less than credible story of a sensor glitch in that exact moment, and thus have plausible deniability, than to potentially fight a war on two fronts.

So not only did he not look in the least bit pissed about this particular order, he nodded approvingly, giving his assent to the scheme.

"Terrible luck that the sensors should happen to glitch just then", he said, suppressing a smirk, but only just barely.
The computer gave an answer to Tera’s input and the results confused her as the energy surge wasn’t of Star Fleet origin but was Klingon in origin and to be more specifically the surge was that of a cloaking device that would normally be on a D-12 B’Rel class bird of prey.

“Based on… visuals…” Lt Murphy started to speak “It doesn’t look like the work of a Q being… or a subspace… anomaly.”

Ichika wasn’t sure, but there was a definite feeling that someone was looking directly at her from behind, not knowing who the individual was, she felt a little intimidated and most definitely that they were all waiting for her to speak.

Well, it more certainly wouldn’t have been a subspace anomaly and what is a Q, as it’s just a letter in the human alphabet as far as I was concerned.

“I have the results from the sensor data Commander Jenson, and it is…. Interesting” Tera spoke, she was about to carry on explaining, but was interrupted by the turbolift doors open and Captain Braggins exited and headed down to the command area and took over the command chair from Commander Jenson, Ichika wasn’t sure if she should continue to report on what the sensors found, just to be safe she decided to wait and see if anyone says to continue.

"There's not much we can do now but head to the rendezvous and wait. Helm, make your course two-seven-zero mark three-five, Warp Three. Midshipman Ichika, purge any sensor log of the Liberty Bell cloaking from the sensor logs. If anyone asks, nobody saw or heard anything, and the sensors glitched momentarily as a result of the refit. The last thing we need is to start another interstellar incident." Captain Braggins ordered.

Tera wasn’t sure if she had heard the Captain correctly and if she did and she really ordered her to wipe the sensor data from the Philadelphia, then there was something really wrong with what they were actually doing here, the data from the sensors might come in handy later on….but being that this was her first assignment out of the academy and that all throughout her training she was told that unless it was a complete violation of Star Fleet Prime Directive, then you do as you are told.

“Just to clarify your orders Captain, you wish me to complete wipe everything about the Liberty Bell’s cloaking from the record?” Midshipman Ichika asked.

She knew that there might be some come back from her asking for clarification, but she needed to make sure that the order was correct, before she did anything that might get her into legal trouble.

== Tag: Bridge Crew ==
Peter felt the tension in the air. He shared it. The order went against his instinct. But it was also his opinion, his firm opinion, that it was the right thing to do in the context.
They'd have to take the fall for it later, if so. If it could avert an incident with the Romulans, or worse, it was worth it.

So he was a bit more than slightly annoyed when Ichika asked the Captain to repeat the order she'd just very clearly and unequivocally given.
And given that part of the First Officer's job description was to make sure the Captain's orders were implemented, he hardened his tone a bit.

"Midshipman, you heard the Captain's order. Obey it, or leave the bridge!"

He wasn't yelling, not even raising his voice. But he was speaking firmer than possibly anyone - with the exception of Braggins - had heard him speak before.

Because now was not the time to second-guess leadership. They were quite possibly heading into open war. And Peter found himself wondering if Ichika would turn around and say " Just to clarify your orders Captain, you wish us to fire back at the Cardassians shooting at us?" if it came to that.
As far as that part went, however, he held his tongue. As far as questioning a clear order, though, he did not.
While everyone was still putting two and two together, the Captain returned. She must have known what was going on as one of the first things she did was order Ichika to delete sensor data along with give Murphy an new course.

Knowing this was a time to keep eyes forward and look busy, for a second, she thought she heard the Commander say something that...

Nah....

Ichika however responded from the rear of the bridge, by the book. “Just to clarify your orders Captain, you wish me to complete wipe everything about the Liberty Bell’s cloaking from the record?”

Black turned and shot her a look that should have said; 'stop talking and just do what you're told', but it was too late. Jensen had lost his joviality of seconds earlier, and beat her to the mark.

"Midshipman, you heard the Captain's order. Obey it, or leave the bridge!"

Ah crap...

[Just delete the logs. We'll talk later.] Black quickly typed and sent to Ichika.
Braggins returned to the Bridge, and if things hadn’t been “top secret” enough in the joint crew briefing, they certainly got that way when the young woman gave her orders.

“Whether we knew about it or not isn't important.” This was the Captain’s way of announcing her way back onto the Bridge. “What’s done is done, and if this means this is less of a suicide mission for the Strike Team, so much the better.”

That just brought up more questions for Maggie, though of course she knew better, and so stayed silent. Silently judging, of course, but silent. Where did they get that technology? Did Braggins know about it, if not Jensen? How long had the technology been in Federation hands? What else was tucked away in their shuttle? And then, the practical uses: Had all the kinks been worked out? Wouldn’t they have to de-cloak in order to do anything? Maggie had to stop herself now - the half a dozen “what ifs” were not going to be helpful coming from her and her station. She wasn’t on the team, she didn’t have the luxury of worrying about such things.

“There's not much we can do now but head to the rendezvous and wait.” The Captain said firmly. Maggie continued to not like this plan, and then realized that she wasn’t the only one. Braggins was furious, Jensen was extremely put out, and the general emotional atmosphere of the Bridge was, to put it mildly, unhappy.

Braggins began giving orders, starting with a new heading, and ending with a wipe of the Philadelphia’s sensor logs. It made sense; they would maintain plausible deniability for as long as they could, lest they all be kicked out of the Fleet.

Well, I suppose I could always go work on Jackson’s cargo ship. Mags told herself, though it wasn’t a happy thought. Because I’m sure Starfleet wouldn’t want me even near a Starbase.

“Midshipman Ichika, purge any sensor log of the Liberty Bell cloaking from the sensor logs…”

“Terrible luck that the sensors should happen to glitch just then.” Jensen commented.

“Just to clarify your orders Captain…”

It was like watching the big budget scene from an Old Western movie: a freight train barreled towards a conestoga wagon, which was sitting idly on the tracks, minding its own business but nevertheless completely in the way. The train was unbelievably large, though small at a distance, and the wagon was impressive, but clearly quite breakable. To anyone who saw the scene, they knew what was undeniably coming in the seconds at hand. Braggins was the freight train. Ichika was the little wagon, happily about to be blown apart into smithereens.

But then, something amazing happened. Loyalty to the Captain overrode loyalty to the book, and Jensen came in like an asteroid and demolished the little “conestoga wagon” himself.

Midshipman, you heard the Captain's order. Obey it, or leave the bridge!

First Officer Jensen’s words, as well as his tone, were harsh. The volume of his voice was not raised to what one could define as ‘yelling,’ but his tone was that of a predator ripping its prey apart. Maggie moved a little faster to make sure that the ship was heading towards the rendezvous point, and told the ship to engage the engines at warp three. She made sure to work the ship up to that speed, as they were now to be careful to not make themselves look rushed. Things were already blowing up inside the ship, there was no need to have things outside the ship blowing up, as well.


==Moving forward at Warp 3...!==
Tera felt her heart pounding inside her chest, her fingers also felt numb, her mind was racing a mile a minute and all she could think of was her duty as a Star Fleet officer. Her mind was battling with what she had to do and what she felt was right to do, she felt that her teaching from her academy days contrasted with what happens in the field, and this was her first dilemma.

With the order now verify by the Philadelphia’s first officer, Tera had two options to choose from, either comply with the order and wipe the sensor logs or leave the bridge and then must wait for a potential disciplinary action against her which could either be dismissal from service or a black mark on her permanent file.

“Yes Sir, wiping the sensor logs, as ordered” Mid Ichika replied in a neutral tone.

Turning back to the sensor console, she noticed a flashing light that told her there was a message, bringing up the message, she noticed that it had come from Lieutenant Black

[Just delete the logs. We'll talk later.]

This simple message made her feel even worse; she had hoped that someone was understanding why she asked for clarification on the order, but there was a high chance that she would be told off by her Department Head.

As there was no point in replying to the message, Tera went about erasing the sensor logs of the events when the Liberty Bell exited the ship and the disappeared.

== Tag: Everyone ==

== GM Input: Was Tera’s attempt to erase the sensor logs of the Liberty Bell leaving & disappearing successful? ==
==Ichika==

The logs were successfully purged as far as she could tell. The only way to be sure was to go into the Computer Core itself and use one of the access terminals there to ensure nothing had somehow remained in the system.

==Everyone==

The Philadelphia departed the system at Warp 3 heading towards the rendezvous. About ten minutes into their journey, an communique from the Kumari was received. Like before, it was marked Captain's Eyes-Only, but this time it was also heavily encrypted.
Ichika felt her mouth droop into a frown as she watched the data designate before her eyes, she had felt rather peculiar about this ''lie''  or for the better choice of term out right defiance to her moral, but what could she do exactly.?

As the lights flickered on the console her stomach turned, if she disobeyed her orders she would of been thrown off the ship or worse court-martialled and then likely sent home in a sushi bag, well this young pup was no ones California roll, she carried out the order to the best of her abilities and before she knew it the computer chimed indicating it was done murdering the data. 

''Sirs Data has been irradicated'' she said in a neutral tone all emotions of joy and bubbliness seemed deprived of air.

There we go departing the system and leaving the other crew to deal with Cardies and whatnot, this feels so fucking wrong, I just want to yell right now...but Tera just rein it in, hopefully Ju has it better in Engineering then you do up here in the sticks.

==tags==
Once Ichika announced that she's expunged the data, there was an odd kind of silence that settled over the bridge as the minutes passed, and they travelled further from the Parhelia system onto the RV coordinates that the Captain had given.

Glancing at the chronometer, Black made an executive decision. Four bells. End of shift.

She tapped a few controls, and moments later, the door opened and in walked Chief Petty Officer Tarek. A Tellarite. Thought he was a tactical officer, he was also the Shuttle Bay Manager. A position that as Operations went, he kind of came under Blacks jurisdiction if necessary. And due to the mission it wasn't exactly like he too many shuttles left to manage now.

“Itchika. With me.” She said standing and heading to the door.

>> Lounge >>
Tera closed off her console and jumped out of her chair, she followed her CSO to the Lounge post haste.

Wait did she just call me Itchika? she paused for a moment Who the hell is Itchika maybe I should start calling her Lt Blue. she smirked as she entered the lift.

Ichika was now out of view and headed for a lecture she could feel it.

>>Lounge>>
==The following post is made with in-character thoughts and feelings, and the message contents are courtesy of GM-01==

With the Philadelphia safely at warp and headed away from the system where it was very likely the first shots of a conflict with Cardassia would be fired, Jenny continued to sit and brood. She had not stood the ship down from its not-quite-Yellow-Alert status, which meant she had to do her brooding on the Bridge rather than in the comfort and privacy of her Ready Room, but such was life. Mildly irked when Black and Ichika decided to leave the Bridge, Jenny decided that she would berate them for it later; now was neither the time or the place, but technically both Officers had absented themselves from their posts during an alert scenario - one that did not care for things such as bathroom breaks or shift changes.

Yet more examples of why Starfleet is crumbling; officers who should have been cashiered in charge of malleable Middies with stars in their eyes.

Rubbing tired eyes with the forefinger and thumb of her left hand, Jenny sighed deeply. Her promotion to Command had never been the honour people had told her it was, it had been a calculated political move, otherwise she'd have been put in command of something that fit her expertise and experience; an Inquiry or Akira-class, or one of the newer Gagarin-class Battlecruisers. Instead she'd inherited the core of a crew that had been battered during the Megasphere battle and humiliated by Romulans stealing secrets from a crippled Hospital Ship; they were competent for the most part, but she'd noticed a tendency to attract 'characters' that either could not, or would not, mesh well with the wider Starfleet community. That they'd been chosen for the Aquila mission had probably been an olive branch to Zan more than anything else, and now they were essentially glorified postmen, delivering people to where they needed to be.

It had been fine on the Yeager, she'd expected it then and she'd enjoyed a fair amount of latitude in how she got things done, but being relegated to such tasks while back in 'regular' Starfleet just went to show how far the politicos were willing to go. No doubt they'd expected her resignation months, maybe even years ago, but there was no way they'd have accepted it. She'd seen the headlines that preceded the ceremony that awarded her the Starfleet Medal of Honor; they'd ranked her skills as a tactician and strategist up there with the greats such as Malcolm Reed, Garth of Izar, and Benjamin Sisko. No, Starfleet wouldn't let her go, but they also wouldn't do anything to remove her career from the influence of petty bureaucrats.

It's no wonder you get the occasional crackpot every now and then; your Garths, your Ransoms, your Locarnos. Build someone up then squash them under red tape and "procedure", of course they're going to snap.

An urgent beeping from her console attracted her attention; another eyes-only message, though this one with encryption beyond the standard. Downloading the message to her PADD, Jenny ran the decryption algorithm quickly and frowned as the message began to be displayed; the mission was cancelled, all assets were to return to their initial staging areas effective immediately. Either someone at HQ had gotten cold feet, or this had been the plan all along; discredit two of Starfleet's most notable up-and-coming officers as rogue elements. As she continued to read, her grip on the PADD tightened; the screen flickered, then died as the screen cracked, and then the PADD broke apart in her hands with an audible crunch.

"Helm, all stop. Ops, establish datalink to our Probe in the Parhelia System then get me shipwide comms. All Officers, report to the Bridge immediately."

As the crew went about implementing her orders, Jenny tossed the broken remains of her PADD at the floor, where they further shattered into pieces. Brooding had been replaced with white-hot rage at being left out to dry; heads were going to roll, both in Parhelia and at Starfleet Headquarters, and any lingering thoughts of her career's survival had departed her mind.
The trip away from the scene went relatively calmly, but Peter was under no illusions as to the situation. It was still very likely the opening phases of a full-blown interstellar war. The plausible deniability from Starfleet was very much less than plausible, both because it was Starfleet officers involved, and because of the build-up of forces in the area, which Peter gave the Cardassians credit enough to think that they had to have realized.

But for now, the Philadelphia was not part of the action. They were to hang back and wait. And so they did.
The disappearance of not only Ichika, but Black as well made him raise an eyebrow too, but he didn't say anything about it. He was XO, but when the Captain was present, calling such things out was her job.
And it seemed that she'd gotten something else to think about, because Peter did notice that her facial expression changed....as well as the tension she showed. To the point where she cracked the  PADD and tossed it aside.

What on Earth could be that bad?

Peter took a deep breath when she called all senior officers to the Bridge, realizing that he was about to find out.
>> Lounge >>

It took only about a minute to travel from the Officers lounge back up to the bridge, and as the doors parted, Maz could feel the annoyance radiating from the command area.

She glanced over to where she'd left Tarek at her station. Then back toward the Captain and Commander.

The she immediately took a step to her left and moved over to the ops station to relieve the Tellarite NCO, who quickly briefed her on what he'd been ordered.

“Tha Captain asked for a datalink to the probe that was deployed earlier. I've sent to primer code, and I'm just waiting for the handshake.”

“Thanks.” She said before relieving him.

Now wasn't the time for her to be given the bollocking she knew she was going to get later. Now was as ever time to do as she was told.

Do as I say, don't do as I do. She thought to herself as she wondered if it was about time she started following her own advice. Especially in light of what her little assignation with Ichika had just been about.

“Still waiting for the probes response.” She said keeping her voice neutral as she could.


== GM – Do we make contact with the hidden stealth probe far, far away from our current location, without the Cardassian's detecting anything? ==
<<Previous Post: Sickbay<<

R'Kaar, though he hadn't made it onto the same car as the science officers, came out of the doors soon after the pair had left. He would have taken the Jeffries tubes if it had been any slower, given most felines love of tight spaces.

As soon as he entered the Bridge, he took in the sights again, seeing if anything was amiss. His eyes caught the remains of the PADD below the Captain, and almost immediately his hands went for the dermal regenerator he kept with him as part of the standard medical kit.

He was about to say something, but given the rage of the Captain, he tried his best to see if Jenny had cut herself on the fragments of the PADD. If she was bleeding, then he'd have to treat her; but his medical training won out over not wanting to draw the ire of the Captain.

"Captain. Have you injured yourself?"

The voice of the CMO was strong and direct, as he was attempting to diagnose whether the Captain needed medical attention because of the shattered PADD. A professional tone, that suggested the person using it was wanting to do their job, rather than disrespect.

==tag Jenny==
==Black==

The console kept updating every few seconds, until it gave a mournful beep.

[Connection Unavailable.]
The Science team -the CO and the Midshipman- went into the Officer’s Lounge, presumably to have what Maggie would have called “a little chat.” The Captain sat and waited; waited for Science, waited for the Artemis crew to call in, waited for literally anything to happen. They were the mothership, and Captain Crawford was the one doing all the work. All the Philly could do was sit and wait, and try not to look funny at any passing Cardassians.

As they were underway, the Captain’s console beeped, and Maggie tried not to stare too hard in that direction. The woman frowned as her eyes scanned over the words, and then there was a sickening sound of something breaking. Mags’ eyes flew back to Captain Braggins, seeing a now-broken PADD in her hands.

“Helm, all stop. Ops, establish data link to our Probe in the Parhelia System then get me shipwide comms. All officers, report to the Bridge immediately.”

Maggie thought for a moment just how many levels of “bad mood” their Captain may have. Things may have been tense before, but now the young woman had just taken her anger out on a piece of equipment, no matter how subtly. The PADD was now on the floor, more cracked than before, and the CTO was torn between picking it up (as she was used to picking up after raging toddlers), and leaving it there as a show.

The Chief Medical Officer appeared on the Bridge in answer to the call, and he approached the Captain with a small medical device. “Captain. Have you injured yourself?”

Don’t draw attention to it, don’t draw attention to it! Maggie thought desperately, though of course neither she nor the doctor were telepaths. Now everyone’s attention was drawn to the PADD. Well, I’m not picking it up. Maggie thought. I’m not her mother. Though she certainly acts like she needs one.

As frustrating as missions could be, as understandably stressful as being a Captain must be, Maggie was getting a little tired of the young woman’s show of emotion. Professionalism whatnow? She yearned for her post back on Starbase Bravo, with her family and her quiet office. That was, if Starfleet didn’t court martial them all, now.
The seconds ticked by as the screen kept refreshing on the status of the attempted connection to the probe, so many thousands of miles away in the Parhelia system.

To be honest, she didn't know what was more painful. The waiting, or the eyes staring daggers into the back of her head.

Then the computer changed and gave a return.

[Connection Unavailable.]

Now, of all the possible outcomes that could have occurred. This wasn't exactly going to be the one, Black considered briefly, that would result in either lightening the mood of the Captain, and two, make for good reading later at the inquest.

Bite the bullet. She thought. You're wearing your big girl pants today. You can do this...

“Connection Unavailable, Captain.” She said as she began running the handshake protocol again, but fully expecting the same result.

There were multiple reasons they couldn't make contact. The probe may have been discovered. It could have suffered an onboard failure of some kind. It could be blocked by a planetary object at this time, or they could simply be just too far away.
Ichika returned to the Bridge with Black she still felt uneasy about things but this was something the Midshipman had to swallow her pride on and take her seat back at the science station.

Tera's stomach clenched once things started to heat up again and her CSO mentioned that the connection was unavailable, the ninja probe was likely to far away or obscured by some obstacle, maybe there was away to reach the single but the odds where against them right now.

What the hells are we supposed to do it's not like we can bounce a signal off a planet and hope it reaches the probe.....

The midshipman looked to where her CSO was and she looked back at the command team she was wondering what the next steps would be.

This mission has gone beyond sideways it's now under a burning wreck upside down and somehow we have to make it back without getting our hides handed to us.

Ichika sighed she was unsure how she could help right now, she had so many ideas but all of them seemed outlandish and not by the book so to speak, but maybe now was the time that the book needed to be shut and thrown out the airlock so she turned around in her chair and gazed at her console, she was trying to determine which idea she could try.

If I was a lost Ninja Probe how would I locate it from a large distance, and how long would that distance be?

''Computer How far are we from the probe's location, can we extend the sensor input allowing the bandwidth to reach the location by bousing the ships sensors off of other planets magnetic fields?''

Ichika had to recall that the space around them was moving so if  the computer could calculate the distance, the signal would have to compensate for the moving space and debris thats in space and anything that could interfere with the signal, it was a long shot but it was worth a try right?  

==Gm input please, how far are we away from the probe and can the ships sensors somehow be strengthened to locate the probe from the distance?==
[Distance: 7,250,000,000km
Further information requires Active Sensor scan.]
==Moving us along and assuming every Officer is now present...==

Jenny looked at her assembled Officers; every commissioned member of the crew was present on the Bridge regardless of usual operating procedure or duty status, as much an oddity  on the Philadelphia as it would be impossible on other, larger ships. What she was about to suggest, no, what she was about to do would require their support; even if it meant they simply stayed out of her way while she did it. Their careers were on the line already, but their reputations and lives would also be irreversibly affected by what was about to happen.

Do I have the right to ask it of them? Do I have the right to order them?

Shaking her head as Ragarri enquired after any injuries she might have sustained and simply nodding slowly as Black confirmed they had no contact with their recon probe, Jenny exhaled slowly. The Probe wasn't a surprise; they were programmed to hide until they had something to report and anything short of a self-destruct command would go ignored by its onboard processors until it awoke. It had been a long shot, anyway.

"Command has ordered us to stand down. Operation Ursa Major has been cancelled."

Jenny paused for only a moment to let that sink in before she continued.

"Regardless what the politicians may or may not have decided, we need to retrieve the strike team; that means we turn around and go back for them. If we're lucky we can get back to Parhelia and pick them up before they board the Callisto, explain it as a navigational fault to the Cardassians when they ask. If not, well...things get interesting. Either way, I don't intend to leave our people to the tender mercies of the Cardassian government because some bureaucrat a thousand Light Years away got cold feet."

Glancing down at the wreckage of the PADD, Jenny briefly considered just what she was going to say next that wouldn't cause her entire crew to mutiny. It wouldn't be the first time a crew had mutinied against a Starfleet Captain, and depending how long Starfleet lasted as an entity it likely wouldn't be the last. That was, of course, assuming that the Cardassians didn't harness the Quantum Slipstream and launch an all-out attack against the Federation Core; occupy or depopulate the Founding Worlds, and the rest of the Federation would topple like dominoes.

"I intend to make an announcement to the crew shortly. I cannot order any of you to follow me, but rest assured I am going. Anyone who cannot conscientiously follow my orders from this moment on can take a shuttle or escape pod and await rescue by the closest friendly vessel."

Glancing up at the clock above the viewscreen, Jenny watched the seconds tick by until the minute changed.

"In five minutes, this ship reverses course. Anyone still aboard at that time will be returning to Parhelia and whatever fate awaits us there."
As Jenny began to brief the senior officers again on what was about to happen, R'Kaar listened.

"In five minutes, this ship reverses course. Anyone still aboard at that time will be returning to Parhelia and whatever fate awaits us there."

Once Jenny had concluded, R'Kaar said, 

"The needs of the many Captain, outweigh the needs of a lone bureaucrat. If the Cardassians get their hands on Quantum Slipstream Drive capabilities, billions may pay the price for our inaction, and my oath to do no harm by action or inaction prevents me from standing idly by and watching Star Fleet shoot itself in the foot. What you intend to do, will uphold the values of the Federation and its member planets."

R'Kaar looked around to the other officers present, and added, "Medical stands with you Captain, wherever you might take us."

R'Kaar's tail slowly twitched back and forth as he waited to see who else would stand for the defense of the Federation.
When Peter heard what the slate had contained, he was absolutely fuming inside. Command was leaving the Artemis' senior staff holding not just the baby but the entire nursery. He had a feeling why they were doing it. Again: Plausible deniability. With this order, they could potentially claim that the original order had come from a rogue element within Starfleet Headquarters, that had been put right.
Thereby potentially creating a win-win-scenario: If the away team were succesful, one way or the other, the objective was acoomplished, and they could court-martial potential survivors for breaking orders, hopefully placating the Cardassians.
If the away team was not succesful, on the other hand, the "plausible deniability" became all the more important. Just some rogue elements.

They were left holding so many Johnsons they could probably field an American Football-team at this point. And there were no good options left.

But when Braggins started talking about deliberately disobeying very specific and clear orders to get out of Cardassian space, and the CMO actually agreeing, Peter's blood froze.
He didn't like these orders any more than anyone else did. But he was not going to stand by and help start a war when it hadn't been ordered.

"No", was the first thing he said, then took a deep breath, got his emotions under control, and looked Braggins in the eyes with a steely determination.

"I apologize for that outburst, Captain. May I have a word with you in your Ready Room?"

It was his duty to try to make her see reason before....

Let's not think about that now. Let's hope she sees reason
<< Engineering

Luckily, the Philly wasn’t a huge ship but even still it took time to get from Engineering to the Bridge. She had heard the all-call go out and had headed up towards the Bridge as fast as she could. The Bridge was already full of other officers as she stepped on board, her eyes flickering around the Bridge to see if there was anyone she could stand next to and not feel like a complete newbie. The Bridge was frankly just too crowded to find the one person on it that she knew well enough to stand next to so Ju just hung out in the back as the Turbolift continued to spit out more officers from all corners of the ship.

Midship Han leaned against a spot in the wall where it seemed the safest and looked at everyone. Even without her Betazed abilities she could see the tension in the shoulders of the men and women who filled the Bridge. It almost made Ju’s shoulders tense up but she kept herself calm because having been down in Engineering, especially as a young fresh officer, she knew nothing of what was going on. Ju had been running diagnostics and keeping herself busy in other ways waiting to be needed.

Captain began to speak about how Command had ordered them to stand down on the mission they had previously been briefed on. What? I wonder why? What happened?! Eun Ju looked at the various officers compiled in a central location and thought about how she also hoped they weren’t attacked right now since.. they were just sitting ducks. But, she also understood some things were better said in person and if the Command was telling them to abandon the mission, she thought perhaps this was one of those. Braggins continued talking about how despite whatever had been decided by people in comfortable desk chairs, they at least had to turn back for the strike team.

That got Ju’s attention as she stood up more straight, she knew of at least one person on that team and she didn’t want to see anyone get hurt. This was her first mission! It was a shame it wasn’t picking up boring samples on the dark side of some phantom moon. Braggins explained they would head back, try to collect their team before they got their feet wet, and if the ship was caught explain they just got.. lost. That seems.. far fetched. Ju thought to herself, but didn’t voice her doubts, she was only a Midshipman and they had made it abundantly clear in her trainings that during her early years she would likely not be sought after for her ideas or council.

Braggins admitted she was heading back and those that didn’t want to follow in their blatant disregard for Command’s orders, could find an escape pod or a shuttle their home for now until a friendly came by and rescued them. Wow, is this what a standard mission is like? Come with us.. you might die, or you can leave us.. you still might die but at least you won’t be a traitor? Ju wished she had upper officers whom were friends to consult with, she was curious if this was a norm or not. Dying to know more information but really not having any reason to ask because the Bridge crew had likely already seen it and experienced it.

Chief of medical spoke up first stating he and his department were with Braggins. Does the Chief make decisions for his whole deck? Ju wondered for a moment, wondering if her Chief would make a decision for her or if she was allowed to make her own decision. They had five minutes to either remain on the ship or find an alternative route. Her Halmoni would have her hide either way if she were still alive. If she stayed and was a traitor, she would have beat her for letting the family down. If she turned her back on her crew, she knew that her Halmoni would likely haunt her for the rest of her life and curse future generations just for good measure.

I wasn’t planning to go anyway… this is where I was assigned, this is my new home.. new family. Ju reminded herself shaking her head a moment.

Ju wasn’t sure if she was supposed to confirm or deny verbally or not. No one else had chime- the First officer, a blonde fellow she hadn’t actually met yet, said one word ‘no’. Ju had to fight herself not to gasp at the sudden shock, she had expected that most would either quietly leave the Bridge to find their alternative modes of transport or they would be like the catman and make sure that Braggins knew she had a crew to rely on. The First Officer asked to see Braggins in the Ready Room which meant everything else that happened would be off screen, and decisions would be made in there which would effect the rest of the crew.

Now Ju wasn’t quite sure what to do with herself. Where is Tera…? was her last thought as her eyes cast around the crowd again to see if she could find her friend.
<< Engineering <<
He felt the room's unease the moment he entered, wafting around, posturing, making its presence known.

His eyes landed on the figure at the center of the discomfort, Captain Braggins, whose silence kept the dark clouds at bay.

She opened her mouth to speak, and suddenly the tension came crashing down.

The Captain was about to steer the Philadelphia into a mass court martial, total destruction, a diplomatic incident, and/or a quadrant-wide war. He could hold on tight as the ship plunged to the bottom of the sea, or he could let go and take his chances with the waves on the surface. He could live with the guilt of leaving his fellow officers to die, or he could die with them or rot in a Cardassian prison cell. He could fulfil his duties as the ship's Chief Engineer, or he could fulfil his duties as a Starfleet Officer.

My duties... What duties? Mutiny? Run away and let this happen

Judging by how quickly the CMO offered his support, Braggins might be able to carry out her plan regardless of what he did. So... if you can't beat 'em, join 'em?

What would his parents think? He could already see their faces as Starfleet called in to tell them their son was either a dead traitor or an ineffectual mutineer. His expression contorted as if to approximate their reaction. He shrank under the weight of their shame.

Commander Jensen stepped in to pull the Captain to the side. Altairi saw his chance to navigate through the mess of emotions she'd left.

He found Eun Ju quickly. "Midshipman," he spoke in little more than a whisper, trying not to draw the others' attention, "I don't like this situation. I'm sure you don't either."

Understatement of the century. The whole ordeal was already trying to tear him apart. He couldn't imagine how bad it could be for her. It was her first mission and the poor midshipman already had to choose between abandoning orders or hopping ship. "I want you to know that I'm not going to force you, or anyone else in the department, to stay aboard. If you object to the Captain's decision, I want you on a shuttle out of here as soon as possible."

He took a step back, both to let her think and to let himself think.

He'd given her a choice he could barely make for himself.
Using the "newcomers" as a distraction, Peter made a quick decision. He didn't have time to write a long sentence, so all he did was use his console to send only two words to D'Tor'an in the highest priority, banking on her not making it until he was in the Captain's ready room:

"BRIDGE ASAP", hoping that the young woman would understand that it meant "Get to the bridge as soon as klingonly possible"

He gestured towards the ready room:

"Please, sir. Just a moment", he said politely and in a respectful tone, but with the same steel in his eyes as a few moments ago.
"Command has ordered us to stand down. Operation Ursa Major has been cancelled."

Okay...

The Captain explained her intentions, ending with; “In five minutes, this ship reverses course. Anyone still aboard at that time will be returning to Parhelia and whatever fate awaits us there.”

Maz felt cold as the implications of what had just been said slowly sank in. Other officers began to speak as they made their choices. Their Caitian medic the most vocal of the first.

She saw the Commander was very much opposed to this turn of action. Maz glanced at the faces of the others around her to try to glean their initial reactions. The situation was frighting to say the least.

This was potentially a career ending decision for all of them if this went south, and career ending if it went north, east or west too.

Stand with the Captain, and if it ends badly, it's death or a trial, then jail. Leave, and face trial and probably jail or discharge for not acting, or stand against the Captain and loose, it's a trial and jail. Stand against her and win, then it's mutiny.

There were probably other options, but given Black's previous conviction, though now quashed, she just knew she was not going to be the poster child for this ending well, but she had to make a choice. It was going to be hard. They all were.

Captain Braggins, Pro's and Con's. Pro's. She's the Captain. You follow her into hell and back if she orders you. Con's. She's terrifying, and so far, she's only given us information on our missions grudgingly. How do we know she isn't withholding other details that we should know?

Commander Jensen, Pro's and Con's. Pro's. He's ex-security. He has the rules book tattoo'd on his eyelids. Con's. He still doesn't like me, but that's by the by. He's always overly cautious. He might not have the full picture himself.

She looked over at Murphy.

What will you do? She asked herself. The tac chief was probably the most stable member of the whole senior staff that she'd observed to date.

The clock above the screen was ticking. A decision had to be made. She could feel her heart pounding in her chest. She took a deep, slow breath and tried to focus. The anxiety began to rise. It hadn't for a long time, but this had triggered it deep down.

Hold it together.
R'Kaar wasn't surprised to see so many of the crew indecisive. He expected Jensen to object, given the crew reports seemed to indicate that he was a stickler for the rules, which Star Fleet did need at times. Some wiggle room was necessary for a ship to function smoothly though. However, when Jensen's fear levels spiked with his exclamation, R'Kaar turned and looked at the First Officer. 

This was one of the few times that R'Kaar appreciated having eyesight that was better than his own. The subspace pulse that his ocular implants sent out, returned with large amounts of information. Heart and breathing rates, sweating, and other external responses to stimuli were visible to the CMO, as he listened to Jensen request that the Captain talk to him in the ready room alone. This was a critical moment for all officers aboard the bridge, and critical to his assessment of the Captain. R'Kaar then said,

"Commander Jensen, it is my professional medical opinion, that the Captain should remain here on the bridge. This is the fire that tests the mettle of officers, and the choice between loyalty to one's oath to Star Fleet, and one's loyalty to their Captain's judgement or the Captain's own loyalty to what they believe in, is what makes or breaks an officer. Removing Captain Braggins at this point to the ready room for a private chat, would also interrupt my own assessment as to whether or not the Captain is of sound mind and judgement. So far, she has shown herself to be concerned of the fate of those assigned to this mission that are being abandoned by Star Fleet." 

Given we are not at war with Cardassia, and the mission being officially scrubbed, what actions the away team takes against Cardassian assets in Parhelia, is considered actions of rogue members of Star Fleet in the eyes of Star Fleet. Thus, there will be no easy way to retrieve them diplomatically, should they be captured. Captain Crawford, by using our Waverider, has also placed the fate of her own crew in the hands of Captain Braggins. With the withdrawal of support from Star Fleet for this operation, Captain Crawford is relying entirely on Captain Braggins's judgement as to what will happen to her and her crew. How to convince the First Officer to trust her without being a long-winded professor is going to be difficult.

"For all of you present, I'll just remind you, that the highest ideals of a Star Fleet officer, are to serve the Federation, be loyal to your oaths, and be loyal to your principles. And there will be times you cannot do all three at once. But you have to choose what ideals are the most important to you, and don't look back once you've made your choice. And the reminder, that the penalty for piracy in the Cardassian Union, is execution by any method they so wish."

He left the final part specifically for Peter, so that the First Officer might get the idea that Jenny was trying to save the away team from a torturous slow death, should they fail. And if he wanted to dissuade her from that course of action, he'd be taking responsibility for the end result of what happened to the away team.
It had not been fear Ragarri read in Peter. Only initially, but after the first brief instinctual reaction it had been shock and anger. At the concept of going rogue. As if the tension in the room was not bad enough, now Ragarri had to have a medical opinion on something he could not possibly have a medical opinion on.  Peter's expression turn from firm politeness to stern rebuke.

"You cannot have a professional medical opinion on where the Captain should be, Doctor, unless it's sickbay becuase of illness or injury. What you can have a professional medical opinion on, is whether or not she is medically fit for duty, something which no one has questioned except you, it seems, in the event that she consults her XO. The rest of your pathos-filled little speech I'm not gonna dignify with an answer. We don't have time, and you're not the one to have that conversation with"

He demonstrably turned his back on Ragarri, then looked at Braggins again: "Just a moment, Captain. Or we could talk here, but I wouldn't recommend that". The same determination from before was back in his eyes. He was determined to make his point, either in the privacy of her ready room away from the crew, or here. He had respect enough for her office, and her, to prefer the former. And Command officers arguing - and this was going to be an argument, Peter could feel this with certainty - in front of the crew was not a good idea in any circumstances.
"You cannot have a professional medical opinion on where the Captain should be, Doctor, unless it's sickbay because of illness or injury. What you can have a professional medical opinion on, is whether or not she is medically fit for duty, something which no one has questioned except you, it seems, in the event that she consults her XO. The rest of your pathos-filled little speech I'm not gonna dignify with an answer. We don't have time, and you're not the one to have that conversation with."

So my words are lost on him. So much for the logic of Surak, matched against the fear of being wrong.

"This is not the place to argue Commander, where my authority extends in extenuating circumstances such as this. But, I will not declare her unfit for duty, until such time as she does something that would alter my assessment of her. She is asking us, to disobey Star Fleet orders in order to pursue a line of reasoning that withstands the test of logic, and of our...humanity."

R'Kaar sighed and added calmly in the same peaceful tone he had been using, 

"With all due respect, I believe you're afraid Commander Jensen. And I can't say or do anything that would alter that state of fear into something productive. But the crew needs words of wisdom and guidance more than an angry rebuttal and words in secret for what the Captain has asked of us. Captain Braggins I believe can explain her reasoning to you, and sway you towards a better path, but as history has shown, she's a strong-willed Captain. When she's made up her mind, not even a Megasphere can stop her, and she's asking you and the crew to trust her. And if you can't, she's asked you nicely to get out of her way."

Anger and shock, were only symptoms of a greater problem to R'Kaar. Anger's root, was something that made one afraid of enough to lash out against. Shock, was a sign that something the person held dearly seemed to be threatened, and they were afraid that if they didn't do something, they would be held responsible. But when it came down to saving lives, there was no room for fear that led to emotions that caused conflict with others. Some fear was good, self-preservation as one case, but letting a fear guide your actions, caused more harm than it protected in the experience of the Chief Medical Officer. Fear of violating his medical oaths inadvertently caused the destruction of the Cape Town, but his fear here, was the loss of life that was the danger of QSD technology represented to him, and trusting Captain Braggins, made him feel that the fear was unjustified, because there was the potential for a solution that stopped a great loss of life. There was always the possibility that this would cause the end result he wanted to prevent, but he knew that was always a possibility. Regardless, R'Kaar would follow the orders of Captain Braggins.

==Sorry for not giving much room for others, feel free to push the kitty out of the way==
Ichika was not impressed with how things where being handled a good officer would listen to the opinions of others and not let there emotions guide them like unstable children that eat to much candy and where fighting over which monster toy of the week was better.
The midshipman however did notice that her CSO and countless other officers where indeed not handling this well and for good reason, it would seem that no matter where things where going you either hit a brick wall or an even bigger ego. Times like these I wonder if my parents where right now to trust me going to Starfleet. 

Tera walked closer to her CSO and for a brief moment she squeezed her hand reassuringly, for the first time since she joined the crew she showed her more adult nature and her maturity to boot, with a sigh she stepped forward and looked around the room, her eyes scanning each person and wondering what she could say or do in this situation. Indeed she was new and just a Midshipman but this affected her as well so she was going to do what she did best and follow her moral code.

Tera let go of her CSO's hand and walked over to the Doctor. '' Sir as a Doctor would you say a calming tea and a retreat to the lounge would be best for everyone right now while the Command team talk in the ready room?'' she said calmly 

Ichika smiled and moved her arms behind her back as she took a bit of a casual stance. ''I think The Commander has everything in order maybe if we didn't crowd them stuff would get done more effectively if I may say so boldly sir''

Ichika was trying her hardest to recall the teachings that her Vulcan mentor had taught her throughout the years, she remembered  that she needed to keep  a level head stay calm and keep your emotions in check. 

==Tag all==
The probe had gone; they had lost it, either intentionally or unintentionally, though Maggie had a sneaking suspicion it was the latter. Sneaky missions meant sneaky probes, she figured. But the probe wasn’t so much her concern now, it was the Captain, her anger, and the poor victim on the floor, the PADD which was probably unrepairable. It would go into the matter recycler, then, and Maggie would eat it for breakfast later in the form of oatmeal with brown sugar.

“Command has ordered us to stand down. Operation Ursa Major has been cancelled.”

There was one thing Maggie utmost respected about Jen Braggins, and that was that she didn’t mince her words.

“Regardless what the politicians may or may not have decided, we need to retrieve the strike team; that means we turn around and go back for them…I don't intend to leave our people to the tender mercies of the Cardassian government…”

There was a pregnant pause between her words.

“I intend to make an announcement to the crew shortly. I cannot order any of you to follow me, but rest assured I am going. Anyone who cannot conscientiously follow my orders from this moment on can take a shuttle or escape pod and await rescue by the closest friendly vessel.”

As a life-long Tactical officer, Maggie had been trained to see a situation from all sides. Right now, her mind was reeling. They were ordered to return to HQ, and abandon the folks that had just slid out of their reach with their shuttle. That in itself just seemed Not Right. It wasn’t like Starfleet was going to send anyone out to get those people, once the Philly docked. And what would be the sense in that, anyway? Philly goes all the way back, just for USS Someone Else to go to the exact location they were, and finish their job? No, it was clear that no one was coming for the Artemis crew, at least not officially. What Starfleet had just done was dump the crew into a Cardassian toilet, and instructing the Philly crew to flush them down.

“Medical stands with you Captain, wherever you might take us.”

Maggie stayed silent, looking around the room and watching for everyone’s reactions. The Cardassian security man in the back of the Bridge looked mighty uncomfortable, but stayed quiet. A PO would stay quiet unless spoken to under normal circumstances, but talking about going into Cardassian territory, where horrors most certainly awaited them, was not normal circumstances.

“No.” Jensen blurted out. Then, “I apologize for that outburst, Captain. May I have a word with you in your Ready Room?” Maggie almost let a burst of laughter escape at the absurdity of it all. Black looked over at her; no one else had spoken yet, save for Jensen continuing to plead to speak with Braggins in private. The silence did not bode well for the Captain. The CTO could only give her friend a nervous look back. She was all for Three Musketeer-ing it, but she also wanted a little more of a plan set up.

The CMO spoke again.

“Commander Jensen, it is my professional medical opinion that the Captain should remain here on the bridge. This is the fire that tests the mettle of officers…..”

He lost Maggie almost immediately. Prattling on about fire and honor and backbone and his own personal views on Braggins’ idea.

“For all of you present, I'll just remind you, that the highest ideals of a Star Fleet officer…”

Had Maggie been a little less professional, she would have outright told the Caitian to shut up. Luckily, there was Jensen.

“You cannot have a professional medical opinion on where the Captain should be, Doctor, unless it's Sickbay because of illness or injury… The rest of your pathos-filled little speech I'm not gonna dignify with an answer. We don't have time, and you're not the one to have that conversation with.”

At least he recognized that they were dealing with a finite amount of time. The grand-standing of the medical officer was not only unwarranted, but unneeded and time-consuming. This was no time for a filibuster, it was time for decisions, whether they fell one way or another across the line.

It was a full-blown argument now.

“With all due respect, I believe you're afraid, Commander Jensen.”

Maggie began to see red. The cat continued.

“And I can't say or do anything that would alter that state of fear into something productive. But the crew needs words of wisdom and guidance more than an angry rebuttal and words in secret for what the Captain has asked of us. Captain Braggins I believe can explain her reasoning to you, and sway you towards a better path, but as history has shown, she's a strong-willed Captain. When she's made up her mind, not even a Megasphere can stop her, and she's asking you and the crew to trust her. And if you can't, she's asked you nicely to get out of her way.”

The CTO felt like she was shaking all over, and watched the tiny science Midshipman try and placate the CMO.

“Sir as a Doctor, would you say a calming tea and a retreat to the lounge would be best for everyone right now, while the Command team talk in the ready room?'

Maggie shot daggers at Black. Control your people, Maz!

“I think the Commander has everything in order - maybe if we didn't crowd them, stuff would get done more effectively if I may say so boldly sir.”

Good grief, this had gone on long enough. Braggins needed people, not waffles, and there was plenty of nonsense on the Bridge right now without the crew getting silly.

Tactical stands with you.” Maggie said, her voice firm and loud. “And if you don’t want to be a part of this,” she added, glaring at Ragarri something fierce, “like she said, get the f**k of the Bridge.”

She couldn’t believe she cursed.
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