PH/E01 - Away Team
As the Liberty Bell slipped away from the Philadelphia, thrusters gently nudging it away from its mothership, the Parhelia System lay before them. Parhelia IV, a gas giant of swirling orange and brown, lay directly before them as Braggins had noted when delivering the pre-launch sitrep. Passive sensors detected a Cardassian twenty million kilometers off their starboard wing, at a range of twelve million kilometers and increasing with every second.

To get to Parhelia II, the Liberty Bell would need to circle around Parhelia IV, and then they had a clear run towards the second planet in the system. At full impulse, in a straight line, a journey of not more than fifteen minutes. If the crew wished to employ stealth, minimising their energy signature or taking a less direct course, it would take longer.

Ultimately, the best course of action would need to be dictated by those in charge, with the knowledge that the moment they crossed the border they were on their own. Under radio silence protocols, there would be no way to call for help, and the fleet wasn't due to arrive for some time.

The success or failure of the mission now lay with a dozen Starfleet Officers, their little support craft, and fate.
The docking clamps released from the Liberty bell with a dull thud. To Benjamin, however, they sounded like the bells of doom.

He’d been preparing for this for days. He and Tyra had spoken at length about timing, about power curves and drain, about patrols and sensor shadows. It had given them something to talk about as they worked, and the illusion that they were minimizing the risks they were both taking. They both knew that while they could minimize the risks to the mission and their lives, nothing they could do would a solve them of the winds they were sowing with every power cable and control wire they attached.

Fortunately, this was a scenario they had talked about, or was similar enough to it. Per the advice of Jensen, they had waited a moment for the Cardassian patrol to get out of sensor range. Passive sensors, at least; they didn’t seem to be using their active scanners in an attempt to be discreet, playing the “watching you watching me watching you” game border sentries so often engaged in. However, Tyra wanted to take no chances, and he heartily agreed, so they had come up with a plan.

He looked back down at his console. The undocking was just finishing up as the last umbilical broke free, and the Waverider was floating free just below the Philadelphia’s saucer. They would be hidden from prying eyes by the Philly’s relative bulk for the moment, but only for a moment. He looked up at his captain, and saw her nod.

His hand slid across the console, slowed by the weight of apprehension and finality he felt closing in. He came to the torpedo controls and once again cursed himself for not getting the controls changed. His finger hovered for a moment, and before the ship could move he dropped it down on the fire button.

“Activating cloaking device,” he intoned, and knew that whatever else happened on this mission, his fate was sealed.

==GM input please.==
==See Artemis Crew Logs for more information==
“Activating cloaking device,” Elias said with a stony voice.

Oh, so that's how we're getting there without getting shot. Shouldn't be surprised. Of course, they're completely illegal, but then so is this entire thing. 

Robin wasn't aware she was gripping the armrest on her seat so hard until she felt pain. With effort she forced herself to relax.

I was so calm until it came time for the actual mission. Now I'm scared?  

She had to admit she was. She felt like the same underconfident middie she had been in the leadup to the Megasphere battle. The time before the battle had been absolutely grim, with the crew convinced it was a suicide mission... and this had the same feeling of dread. Still, now the purple-haired nurse knew these people. She'd been in numerous dangerous situations with them and they always found a way to pull out a win no matter the odds. 

And who knows? It's a decent plan, maybe it'll work with minimal trouble. Our last away team mission failed within zero seconds, so at very least it's already impossible to break that record. We're as ready as we can be. And if things go south we'll improvise. We always do. 

She sat back in her seat, just wanting the ride to be over.

== Tags ==
As Elias' finger depressed the buttons, several things happened. Alerts flashed on the engineering console that there was a power drain from the torpedo system, the lights flickered and for a moment the deck plates trembled as the EPS conduits surged under the strain of a system they had never been designed to power.

Then everything settled down again; the ship still in one piece, and as far as anyone could tell, totally cloaked.
With Jenny making her retreat back to the bridge of the Philadelphia, Tyra felt that familiar feeling of unease settling into her stomach as they reached the end of the phase security officers referred to as 'hurry up and wait'. Soon, the train would leave the station and there would be no undoing the decisions that had been made, for better or worse.

This was far from the first weight to grace her shoulders over her long career but this one felt different, heavier in some ways. Maybe it was because the scales of war would be directly affected by their action or maybe it was because she had a very distinct feeling that this might be the last shining piece of her legacy before it was tarnished by her own decision. A decision she didn't regret but one she resented having to make.

She busied herself checking her gear once more, making sure magazines and power packs were loaded and charged and her small medical kit stocked. She'd forgone some of the restraints she normally carried in favor of more space for grenades, knowing she could fashion restraints if needed though she doubted they would be.

She was checking the sharpness of her knife when she heard the docking clamps release and she carefully slid the weapon back into its sheath under her arm, easily blockable from enemy reach with a carefully locked elbow. It felt like that unease had just grown about ten pounds, even as she nodded at Elias when he looked for her concurrence.

“Activating cloaking device,” Elias stated.

It wasn't conscious that Tyra held her breath as her blue eyes darted to watch the console from her seat, waiting for any indication that their careful preparations had paid off. The alerts that popped up didn't cause her any alarm but only because she had known to expect them. However, the flickering lights and trembling deck plates caused the redhead to tense, her fingers practically white along the barrel of her rifle until she forced herself to relax.

And then, it settled down exactly like it was suppose to. If nothing else, the hard work and sacrifices weren't going to be met with immediate failure. It was a small victory in her mind.

"Mister Grant, let's take the extra precaution of skirting Parhelia IV before beelining to our target. Stick to passive scans unless we find ourselves in a bind. I'd rather be safe than sorry, even with our advantage."

== Tag Grant! ==
The Liberty Bell floated down as the docking clamps had disengaged. She would be in the shadows of the Philadelphia for a few moments, and Miles' thought process was to make those moments count. As he prepared everything with what would need to be minimal power to avoid detection, he noted in the corner of his eyes that Commander Elias was prepping to fire torpedoes. Mile was about to interject when the words came out of Elias' mouth.

A cloaking device. Miles couldn't help the frown that etched his features. On the one had, he, as pilot of the mission, should have been informed about such a device where the ship's original firing mechanisms were housed. On the other hand, he understood the need for discretion for such a device. It was, by and far, illegal, and they could all be court-martialed just by now knowing of it's existence. But that was the point, wasn't it?

They were already about to do things highly against the books. This was, for all intents and purposes, a Dark Ops mission. And as soon as they crossed that border, well...what was one more thing to add to the court-martial? Although, outside of Elias (and most likely Captain Crawford), who would have known the device was installed? Everyone else had plausible deniability. Not much, but it was something.

Miles noted the power drain of the activation. At first, he wasn't sure how activating the cloak would fair for the ship. Luckily for them, however, things appeared to return to normal. That was Miles' cue to begin his lower-powered move towards their destination. It was also at that point that Captain Crawford addressed him regarding his orders on course setting.

"Aye, Captain," he responded, as he set the trajectory for Parhelia IV, fully intending to get as close as possible without being caught in gravitational pull. That would help to mask their signature for a little while, before the beeline began. As he piloted, he made sure to keep an eye on passive scans, though he was sure Harriman and Elias had those under control. He needed to focus on making sure they weren't detected.

As he reached Parhelia IV, he set the course to follow just outside of what would pull them towards the planet. He did, however, try to adjust to make their exit from the planet's orbit grant them a little more speed without utilizing the power that would speed would normally entail. Not quite a slingshot maneuver, but definitely lending to the idea.

==Tag. GM input: How goes the journey past Parhelia IV?==
Feeling somewhat reassured now that she had checked in with Mara, Aeryn then settled back into her seat, or as settled as she was going to get, considering that she was fully geared up. That was nothing so long as she was secured for the journey to Parhelia IV and their intended destination. Yet it wasn't the armour or her weapons that weighed heavily against her flesh, knowing it was more than that, especially when she heard the alerts, before the lights flickered and the deck plates trembled underneath her feet.

What the ....? was Aeryn's initial thought, wondering if the Liberty Bell had suffered some kind of malfunction, which was all that they needed, as it wouldn't be a good indicator of how things would progress. However, her first thought was quickly followed by another one, this time if she had imagined it all, as things returned to normal, before the realisation finally took hold. Had she become so lost in her train of thought that she hadn't heard Elias?

That was quickly rectified and, as her breathing returned to a steady pace, grateful that her sanity hadn't been brought into question, while bringing her emotions back into check, with what had just happened.

While using a cloaking device was extremely risky, not to mention the repercussions when they inevitably got found out by command, Aeryn understood the need for giving them as much of an advantage as possible. Her loyalty belonged to the Captain and the rest of the away team, and now that they were no longer under the protection of the Philly, it became more important than ever.

== Tags ==
Lucy had been concerned about Ensign D’Mar. Jay gave off this awkward vibe. The task ahead of them wasn’t pleasant, but maybe Jay was concerned about other implications. Her appearance did seem more Cardassian to anyone unobservant in the details and they were going into a very risky situation. The implications for Jay alone weren’t pleasant and she wouldn’t be the first Starfleet officer to escape a less than favorable situation only to return to it or a nearish proximity.

Jay was still new enough to the crew not to seem completely at home. It was odd that she’d missed the couple of seats in the crew area of the Liberty Bell and headed for where all the equipment was stored. Attempting to get that young lady out of her shell might be a plan provided the crew got out of this in one piece. Lucy would definitely be asking for help with this one. A group effort was usually more effective.  It did depend on the group.

There was an odd moment where the lights flickered and there was a vibration. Lucy thought she heard Lieutenant Commander Elias say about activating cloaking device. The Treaty of Algeron did tend to get treated like guidelines than a rule when the occasion required. She was curious as to where Ben had acquired a functional cloaking device. She wasn’t going to sniff at something that gave the crew an edge.

Spicy! Definitely going the whole hog.

== tag ==
As the Waverider departed, Mara shifted in her seat. She was trying to focus her mind on the plans for when they go to Callisto, what her role was and what she needed to do. Whatever happened out in space before they got there was outside of her control so there was no point worrying about it.

At least, right up until those fateful words were uttered.

“Activating cloaking device.”

There was a palpable change in the mood on board the small craft as everyone seemed to be considering the ramifications. Most were probably expecting some trick or hidden surprise to help them reach their target - Calleja certainly had been - but the forbidden tech hadn’t been something she’d considered a possibility.

That changes things if we get home she thought to herself. How thorough are those post-action reports going to be now? Are we goin’ to get sworn to secrecy? And if word gets out, how far down the ladder does Command decide to prosecute?

Some particularly unwelcome thoughts ran through the Security officer’s mind. She was a recent addition to the Artemis crew and not as tightly bound to them as a lot of others. Did that make her a potential target for orders to bring them in? If she refused those orders, as she almost certainly would, how did that impact her? How well would the others withstand any interrogation?

Mara dismissed those thoughts. She lived her life by a strict code. She was a member of the Artemis crew. They were her family. They had welcomed her aboard, helped her grow and in turn relied on her to help keep them safe. There was no question in her mind. She was going to do what was best for the crew. If that meant taking responsibility for using the cloaking device, then she would be right there alongside Elias and Crawford if it ever came to it.

The Bandaran looked around the rest of the team. If anyone needed reassurance, she was happy to offer it where she could.
The journey past Parhelia IV was uneventful; the only real danger was going too deep into the gravity well and either getting caught up in one of the swirling gas storms, or disrupting the gases in the uppermost layer and revealing their own position - both would likely have rather fatal consequences.

Passing out from the shadow of Parhelia IV, the inner system lay before them. Passive sensors could not detect the Callisto or any of the Cardassian ships in the inner system at this range, but they'd be out there somewhere.

For now, the cloak appeared to be stable, which meant they could divert power to the engines and make the journey a little quicker if they wanted to. A micro-jump would be the best option for getting to the station quickly (it would be near-instantaneous), though inside a star system that was usually best left to daredevil pilots or those with a death wish. A straight-line journey at full impulse would take no more than five minutes to cover the 750 million kilometers between Parhelia IV and Parhelia II; any evasive action to throw off pursuit would, of course, add to that time.
There was a power surge that alarmed Benjamin greatly, but fortunately it passed quickly. The deck shook, the lights flickered, and his panel rang, and then... silence. He sighed with relief and slumped back in his chair for a moment, glad that it was done. Of course, there were going to be further and greater consequences to what he had done than a bit of a power drain, but that was a problem for future Benjamin. For now, it's time to just try and stay alive.

He looked around at his fellow crew and nodded. Tyra ordered Grant to take them out, and Benjamin knew he still had more to do, but not yet, thankfully. They had to get the crew lounge converted into a giant transporter pad, but for now he could relax. But not too much, of course. He took another sip of his coffee so he could avoid falling asleep from relief.

Instead, he called up the sensors. All they would be able to see would be visuals at lightspeed, but it was better than nothing. "Slow and steady," he said to himself, both because he didn't want to risk emitting more energy than the cloak could cover, and because he didn't particular want the next part of the mission to start. He'd been so engrossed in the cloaking device and making sure it worked that he hadn't had more than a couple hours across the entire three days to really think about what was going to be happening once they arrived.

He wasn't a commando. He didn't want to be. He wanted to tinker with engines and reactors, getting the most from the systems so that other people could do what they needed to to the best of his ability. Fighting, killing... he wasn't made for it. And even though he was going to be focused on trying to get Callisto running as quickly as possible, he was under no illusions that he would have to get his hands dirty.

Benjamin took another sip of his coffee, and hoped that the trembling in his hands was just the caffeine talking.
When the ship’s power fluctuated, Emily visibly flinched. As much as she tried not to, it happened. Her hand jolted to grip her lap, bruising the skin underneath. When had they discussed a cloaking device?

Well, for her first mission, she could now tick off deadly and illegal. Not bad for a newbie.

Releasing the grip on her leg, she let out a nervous break. Glancing around the waverider, she quietly took in the rest of the teams. She wasn’t the only one with mixed opinions on the tech being used. The vibe being given was one that calmed her nerves, it was nice to know she wasn’t alone.

Leaning back into the seat, she attempted to relax her tense shoulders. They still had more to go and the team needed her to be functional. Emily continued through her internal monologue of medical procedures.
“I can have someone else do this Damian, it doesn’t have to be you.”

“The list of people you trust can be counted on one hand Atlas,” Damian replied as he sat at the console, hands shaking slightly.

Coleman’s past had plenty of examples of dubious choices, especially before he’d met his mentor and learned to channel his frustrations through boxing. There had been many close calls with Starfleet Security, and even a time or two he’d been caught. Even then, he never came close to feeling what he did in that moment. The ethical and legal boundary he was contemplating crossing. There’d been little sleep on the ship with the threat of a mutiny looming. What little downtime they had was spent fretting over the situation, and what could be done. After a meeting between three other officers, the Captain, and Damian, it was determined that the best course of action was to uncover the leaders stirring up trouble and round them up.

There was only one real choice to get the information quietly, without alerting anyone. All heads had turned to Damian in that meeting. They looked at him with a mixture of commiseration and cautious hope. All that Coleman felt was his stomach in his throat. They were right though. If anyone else tried it, there was a chance it would be discovered. That discovery would ignite their opposition and cause a firestorm to rage throughout the ship; lives would be lost.

“Damian,” Captain Peck’s hand rested on his shoulder now, and Coleman sighed.

“I’ll make it easier for you.”

Atlas Peck came around so that Damian could turn his head to look at him.

“Damian Coleman, I order you…” Peck’s lips moved, but the words were lost in the loud rush of blood that suddenly overtook Damian.

Atlas finished speaking with grim determination on his face, and something else in his eyes too. At the time, Coleman thought it was respect. Though experience, space, and time from the event told him it probably was something else. Looking back on it, Damian was almost certain it was something more menacing. It went along with everything else Coleman remembered about the man afterwards. Atlas Peck was a man used to getting his way. Worse once he was made Captain.

“Give me an hour,” Damian finally said after several excruciatingly long seconds that felt more like ages.

“I’ll get you the names. Then we can put this thing down without firing a shot.”

“Good man,” Peck clapped his shoulder and squeezed it. He smiled, released Coleman, and walked away.

“Activating cloaking device…”

Coleman’s entire demeanor had changed in an instant, like a driver pulling the e-brake and sending the vehicle into a sudden one-eighty. Previously jovial, and attempting to keep things light, there was a much more dour look that took over his face and body rapidly. He knew that Benjamin and Tyra had been up to something, but he’d been smart enough not to ask about it. Now, he was even more glad that he hadn’t asked anything. The less he knew, the better. Though there was still a problem, and that was Starfleet would be looking into every single person attached to the mission; assuming that any of them made it back anyway.

Damian opened his mouth to say something to Elias and Crawford, but then closed it almost instantly. There was nothing he could say that either of them probably hadn’t already considered. Plus, they were careful enough to make sure that anything that came down the pipe would fall squarely on their shoulders. They had done what they thought needed doing, not just to ensure the successful completion of the mission, but the safety of those undertaking it.

Heads gonna roll on this one… he thought to himself, as a dire pit welled in his stomach; a not unfamiliar feeling.

That is when he realized why he was so damn mad with Ben and Tyra. They assumed that by keeping it secret, they were covering everyone else’s butts. But that wouldn’t actually be the case. Jenny would be grilled. And Damian too. Probably Cera as well, being the Quartermaster. There was a good stretch of plausible deniability for those not directly attached with installing a cloaking device for use on a Federation vessel. The real problem for Coleman was, just how hard would an inquiry look into everything? How far back would they look?

Focusing on his breathing, Damian still couldn’t wipe the deep furrows in his face, along with tightened muscles. Everything in his body screamed at him to get up and go for a walk. But where exactly did he think he was going to go? What would be accomplished by him stomping out of the cockpit where the rest of the crew could see him? It wouldn’t do anyone any good. Not even him. And if someone asked him what was up, he couldn’t answer truthfully anyway. Because it wasn’t the damned cloak he was mad about. Or Ben. Or Tyra. But himself and his past.

Within another moment or two, the focused breathing started to win. They had to make it back alive for any inquiries. Realistically, it wasn’t great odds. What Coleman knew he needed to do was focus on the mission and not what potentially could come next. Pulling up the passive scans, Damian worked on them, reviewing them for any pertinent information. No doubt Grant was already looking anyway, but another pair of eyes never hurt. Plus, it kept Coleman busy and not thinking on other things. Even then, a permanent scowl rested heavy on his big brows.
Aside from the orders of the Captain and their acknowledgement there was silence in the Waverider. The mood was grim and all of the usual friendly banter between the Artemis officers was gone. Everyone knew that they were in it now.

There would be repercussions, though as far as Robin was concerned there was little for Crawford and Elias to be ashamed of. Star Fleet wanted to handle this mission as a black-ops, but instead of sending a trained commando team it was sending the staff of one of its flagships. 'You get what you pay for' was an old saying, and one that fit this situation. If Star Fleet Command was smart (and the young nurse was beginning more and more to question if that were true) then it would bury this mission, win or lose, deep.

She could only hope that didn't mean they would be buried deep as well.
Emily's brow furrowed as she confused, once again, a term that she'd known since her first year of schooling. With an internal groan, she abandoned the idea of running procedures as it was only compounding the tension in her mind and muscles. The vibe in the small ship wasn't helping. Someone had to say....something. 

Finding her voice, she spoke, quietly to nobody in particular, "So...cloaking is cool. Which we can never...ever...tell anyone about, right?" 

As a midshipman and brand new, Emily was banking on those factors to save her ass from too harsh a return comment. At least the silence was broken. The dynamic force holding them all mute had been poked, lightly with a gentle stick. From there it would either improve or grow darker. She hoped for the latter.
Jay D'Mar had entered the crew lounge just as the ship shuddered.

Some forgot to regulate a plasma flow adequately.

She was a little confused and had looked for the engineering bay on this tiny ship that didn't have one. Jay felt the eyes of the crew on her as she entered the lounge and found a seat. She hoped they thought she had just been to the toilet. The ship began to move slowly and Jay realised the mission had begun. She didn't know how to react. To rely on the Prophets, trust her shipmates, or trust no one and rely on herself and her own abilities. Certainly, there was an element of fear in all the options. This was going to be a test of her metal.

An officer spoke, Jay didn't know who she was or what department she belonged too, as they were all dressed in black jump suits with armour.

"So... cloaking is cool. Which we can never... ever... tell anyone about, right?"

Jay immediately responded out of her naivety, "No, it's just a plasma flow not properly regulated," she said. "Clockers are illegal !"
The journey around Parhelia IV went about as well as Miles could have hoped for. He did have to be extra careful with this particular gravity well as opposed to the likes of Earth, Vulcan, Andoria, and the like. Nevertheless, once they cleared the planet, he double checked the readings. So far, it appeared to have been fairly successful, as nothing showed up on their limited scans.

He double checked his calculations and trajectory to their destination. In a straight shot, it would take them approximately five minutes. However, he would need to keep the ship on a more...erratic...course to do as much as possible to avoid detection. As he made his adjustments, which he believed would more than likely double their arrival time, he heard the uncomfortable silence that had settled onto the vessel when the cloaking device had been activated being broken by their Medical Midshipman, Star.

The follow up from D'Mar was definitely one borne of naivety, but was pretty sure didn't help matters, either. Neither were in his department, so he would defer any chastisement to the younger officers' Seniors. Instead of engaging, however, he reported directly to the Captain.

"I've set up a trajectory to allow for a bit of maneuvering instead of a straight shot," he stated. "ETA approximately 10 minutes, but double checking course for time."

==Tag. GM input: How does Miles adjustments affect their ETA? Thank you.==
This wasn't her usual haunt, which was made abundantly clear as the smell of stale beer and body odor assaulted her nose upon entering the bar. It seemed to be mostly filled by souls that looked to have recently escaped a mining operation for a much needed drink. Her entrance had been denoted with a few side way glances before immediate dismissal, further cementing that she didn't belong here but neither did the person she was looking for. It'd taken just over one pass to find her target, the almost regulation hair and the scruff that didn't quite look permanent but effectively said 'leave me the Hell alone' had stood out like a sore thumb against the shaggy hair and beards of the rest of the patrons.

He hadn't looked up at her approach, not even when another tumbler of whiskey was set in front of him at her request, along with one for her.

"For what it's worth, I'm sorry," she said after a few long moments of silence. He didn't look at her but she could see his brow bob in the mirror behind the bar, his head tilting as if to ask for clarification on her penatence. "I should have seen it coming. I should have recognized the bad intel sooner and made a different decision. Anything."

Steve's laugh was rough, his hand coming up to rub his scruff as he pressed the tumbler of whiskey to his cheek. "If you're that skilled of a tactician, you don't belong as a grunt, kid but there's nothing you could have done to change any of this," he answered, finally turning his head just a little.

"How bad was it?"

"They got me on disobeying a direct and lawful order, failure to maintain my post and about six policy violations tacked on for good measure. I'll be out of commission for a bit but it was worth it," he answered, his lips pulled into a wry grin just barely. "My men are alive and I would do it again and again."

Now, she smiled wryly in return. "But let's not. There was never a moment I didn't believe you'd come but I'd rather not ride that faith to the end of the line. It was close."

"It's always close," he mumbled before looking over at her. "The problem is that our actions are judged by men with the luxury of viewing us as nothing more than numbers. Mission success is paramount to all else and for most, it's easier to balance success on casualties over finding that third option that allows us our cake and tasting it too."

"Was it a hard decision?"

She must have sounded almost child-like based on the way his grin softened. "No. I would rather my feet be held to a thousand fires over having to knock on a single front door that didn't need to be knocked on."

Then, he shifted the glass so that it was tipped towards her. "Promise me two things: when you have your own men, be willing to make the hard decisions for them. And when you do, stand tall because if even one makes it home that wouldnt have, it was worth whatever ass kicking follows."

Her glass clinked against his without her even considering the weight of the promise. "Deal."

Since the cloak had been brought online, the tension has been brought to a boiling point and yet, Tyra's own demeanor had relaxed and the tiniest of smiles curled the edge of her lip.

The decision, heavy and critical, has been made and executed; the weight of it would only be beared if she survived the most unlikely of odds. If she didn't, her culpability in the decision making would be revealed in her final message to Steve. Unlike Thomas or even Jenny, she trusted Steve to value the consequences of her decision over her legacy, he wouldn't let other people take the fall for a decision she had made and she hoped that one, or two of she couldn't shield Elias from the worst of it, sacrificial lamb would cover the cost. It was why it had been so critical to keep everyone in the dark, to keep the knowledge as limited as possible. Plausible deniability would save most of them, in her experience.

However, she suspected the collateral damage might be insurmountable on a more personal level. She could practically hear Damian's teeth grinding from across the cockpit and she could only imagine the anger she'd feel in his shoes, if Derrick had kept something similar from her. She wanted to explain why she had kept it from him, why it had been the best option, but now wasn't the time for a heart to heart. There might never be, truthfully, but that was just another pound to add to the mantle.

It was the sound of nervouse chatter from the main cabin that made her get up, passing Coleman on the way. "I'm sorry I couldn't tell you," she said softly, though she purposefully didn't stop in front of him as her feet continued towards the divide between the cabin and the cockpit. She could deal with Damian's anger along with everyone else's later.

"-- Which we can never...ever...tell anyone about, right?"

"No, it's just a plasma flow not properly regulated," she said. "Clockers are illegal !"

She couldn't tell if Elias' minion was displaying a concerning level of naivety or had a coping mechanism steeped in mockery. She wasn't sure if she now needed to be worried about Ramius 2.0 in the idealism plane or if D'Mar was better suited to the gray areas than anticipated. Either way, that was a concern for later when circling the wagons became the concern over survival.

"I think that's something we can be concerned about after we get the Callisto back, preferably discussed with copious amounts of alcohol," she said, her blue eyes locking onto Star for a moment before bouncing around the room. Her words didn't hold their typical sharpness when dealing with the insensibilities of midshipmen; she didn't want to spend her last moments of peace yelling at her officers, not until they truly needed it.

"I've set up a trajectory to allow for a bit of maneuvering instead of a straight shot," Grant stated, causing her to lean back into the cockpit. "ETA approximately 10 minutes, but double checking course for time."

"10-4," she answered before turning her attention back to the cabin. "10 minute ETA," she announced to the cabin. "I don't know if security packed any movies or popcorn but make yourself as comfy as possible because this will probably be the last bit of peace and quiet until we've got the Callisto back."

If it has been just a team of security officers, she likely would have made a joke about a crusty NCO and their trusty flask coming in handy during such a wait but she didn't think that would go over well with some of those present.

With that done, she turned back into the cockpit, eyes shifting from Elias to Coleman. She wanted to ask Elias for a status update or give Coleman a task of some sort but they were now in the worst part of 'hurry up and wait'.

And she didn't even have a console to fiddle with, so, instead, she picked up her rifle and began checking it for the 10000th time.

== GM: I think my payment of Oreos should be delivered soon so just keep that in mind as you move us forward. ==
The journey through the Parhelia System, though tense, was uneventful. The Liberty Bell's passive sensors provided ample warning of any sensor buoys that might detect them, giving Grant time to go around. Worryingly, they also detected a heavier concentration of Cardassian hardware in the system than had been briefed - several automated weapons platforms had been placed in a perimeter around Parhelia II. There were no energy emissions, however, suggesting that they were not currently operational.

A freighter of the ubiquitous Groumall-class had just released from the station's upper pylons, and was moving at a sedate pace towards the system edge.

The Callisto herself remained in her parking orbit, under the watchful gaze of the station and the new weapons platforms. If the Liberty Bell crew wanted an accurate read of just how many people were aboard, they would have to risk an active scan.
Time, as always, was the limiting factor. Even though it was only ten minutes, it felt like it had been a millennia or two by the time that they got in the same area as Callisto. He  had watched the sensors along with the others in the cockpit, and tried to think through everything that was going to have to happen. 

At least it wasn't parked at the Nor, he thought with a measure of relief. They hadn't been sure if it would or wouldn't be, but at least this way it wouldn't be protected by the station's shields. He couldn't tell if the ship had it's own shields up, but he added it to the list of things that he needed to figure out.

He was, however, surprised to see the weapons emplacements around the area that they kept having to maneuver around. They at least didn't seem to be working, but the simple fact they were here meant the Cardassians meant to keep the system long-term, which was a problem strategically. With such a large concentration of Benamite here, the system was critical for slipstream usage. However, that wasn't his particular problem right now.

Right now, his problem was the Callisto itself. As it finally came into range of passive sensors, he started trying to interpret the data he was getting. It would have been simpler to just run a full sweep, but that would've defeated the entire purpose of using the cloak. A low power scan might be doable, but they weren't to the point of needing to make that kind of call yet. Instead, he tried to sift through everything as best he could, looking for two critical pieces of information. First, whether or not Callisto had her shields up. The energy expenditure should be fairly easy to read even just using passives, but it all depended on range and sensitivity.

More importantly, he needed to know if Callisto's warp core was currently running. If it was, it would simplify their escape quite a bit; the energy that the warp core put out would let them utilize the ship more effectively, not to mention just letting them warp out as soon as they had control of the ship. If it wasn't, he would have to bootstrap the core back to functionality. It was doable - he had brought the antimatter and deuterium for that very scenario - but it was time consuming and was going to cause them any number of problems. The sooner he could know, the sooner they could make plans and enact the appropriate contingencies.

He set his now-empty coffee cup to the side, and dug through the data, trying to find answers.

==GM Input: Shields and warp core status for Callisto once we're in range?==
D'Mar looked up and the captain was standing in the arch way between the cockpit and the crew lounge.

"I think that's something we can be concerned about after we get the Callisto back, preferably discussed with copious amounts of alcohol," the captain said, looking around the room at no one in particular.

That's neither a confirmation nor a denial.

Jay wanted to ask a direct question of the captain. It was an officer's duty to ask their superiors questions if one believed that orders or actions were wrong or illegal. But before she could bring words to her mouth to voice her question...

"I've set up a trajectory to allow for a bit of maneuvering instead of a straight shot," Grant the pilot, Jay believed, stated, "ETA approximately 10 minutes, but double-checking course for time."

Twisting to view the cockpit,"10-4," the captain answered before turning her attention back to the cabin.

"10 minute ETA," the captain announced to the cabin. "I don't know if security packed any movies or popcorn but make yourself as comfy as possible because this will probably be the last bit of peace and quiet until we've got the Callisto back."

The time had not passed but Jay felt that the time to ask her question had faded and in some sense the question was superfluous. In 10 minutes, the mission would be in full action and it wouldn't matter what the answer was to her question, it would be too late. She bowed her head to wait out the 10 minutes in silence.

Movie? Pop-corn? What are they?
Aeryn had caught the way Mara had looked around at the rest of the team, before becoming consumed by her thoughts again. The realms of her mind, while acting as a distraction and as a sanctuary, felt like the safest place to be, considering where they were headed and the time they had left until they reached their goal. It wasn't as if the Security Chief feared death, not after seeing it first-hand and who it had taken from her, but at least she had taken the necessary steps should the very worst happen.

She did, however, look up as Star found her voice, understanding the  Middie's need for doing so, and she wasn't wrong either, as it was like a forbidden secret you could never share. Of course, there would be questions if they survived, but that was something that future Aeryn could deal with, as Ensign D'Mar offered up her thoughts about the cloaking device. The Captain quickly dealt with this particular topic of conversation, offering up a solid explanation, confirming that it was illegal to use such devices and therefore giving them plausible deniability.

If given the choice, Aeryn would never betray that and stick to what she knew or what she didn't know, as Grant then informed them that ETA was ten minutes, bringing the reality of what they were about to face, even closer than it had been from the minute the Liberty Bell had departed from the Philly. Ten minutes to Aeryn felt like a mini lifetime, but it would soon speed up, regardless if she liked it or not. Ten minutes until everything changed, ten minutes to make the most of, and a wry smile appeared briefly on her face at the mention of movies and popcorn.

" I knew I forgot something" she quipped, attempting some humour while they had the opportunity and the remaining precious minutes of normality.

== Tags ==
The Callisto's Warp Core was active, though at minimal power levels; given the low quality of Cardassian Dilithium, keeping the core at low power would extend the life of the high-grade Federation-mined Dilithium that regulated the reaction.

The shields were also down; this was a "safe" system, so there was no need for them to be raised.

The passive scans, while giving Elias the answers he needed, were not clear. The results were distorted and fuzzy, as if something were trying to block them.
Considering whether or not he should get up from his station, the decision was made for him. Tyra had already stood up and began to move through the cockpit towards the other cabin. Simmering in his seat, Coleman closed his eyes for a moment while focusing on taking a few deep breaths in. A flurry of thoughts tried to fill the void that his momentary break had opened. Yet he tempered those intrusions, filing them away for later, when Damian heard Tyra speak.

"I'm sorry I couldn't tell you.”

There was an earnestness that came through, even with her speaking as softly as she did. Rationally, Damian could guess why it was that Tyra decided to play her cards close to her chest. Though that didn’t much help to quell the roiling imbalance that seemed to churn within Coleman. There was an impulse to stand up and talk with Crawford just then, but Tyra kept moving on, as if she already knew that her apology might spur something to that effect. He was grateful.

Running his hand up into his face Damian wiped it, as if trying to rub all expression and reaction from it. It hadn’t been a conscious choice. Though once he’d realized he’d done it, Coleman forced himself into the mode of focusing on the mission. He listened as Tyra spoke to the other cabin while the door was open, before Grant decided to make an announcement of his own.

"I've set up a trajectory to allow for a bit of maneuvering instead of a straight shot, ETA approximately 10 minutes…” Grant’s statement informed Damian that he’d have a lot of time to think about things if he didn’t busy himself with something.

With ten minutes left before they made their arrival to the Callisto, there was time to do final checks on things. Standing up, he deftly pivoted past Tyra, giving her an accustomed nod before turning his eyes on Calleja and Miller. Locking eyes with each in turn, he let his gaze and expression do some of the talking, before giving them a hand signal to follow him.

Continuing on, Coleman went down into the cargo bay with his mind on finding the crate that he’d brought aboard. Inside were plenty of goodies that might help with their mission, and one in particular that he hoped that he didn’t have to use if it came to the worst. Cracking the crate open, he checked over his shoulder to see if Miller and Calleja had understood his nonverbal communication. Once they both arrived, and the door to the other cabin closed, he started to speak as his hands went through the crates contents.

“I thought about giving you both the usual big speech nonsense that Commanders probably always give their security teams before going in somewhere hot,” he chuckled to himself.

“Hell, we’ve all heard enough of that kind of stuff that each of us could recite some version of it. So, I ain’t gonna do that. Oh yeah, here we go!”

Like a kid opening presents, Coleman pulled the item out. It was an old isomagnetic disintegrator that was basically little more than a phaser bazooka. It had always been on his list to use one, but thus far in his career, Damian had never had an excuse. Plus, they weren’t exactly easy to come by anymore; but the Artemis had sources that could get just about anything. Both Calleja and Miller would probably recognize the weapon, and if they extended their creativity a little, they’d understand what it could actually be used for… if worse came to worse. Turning back to face both of the officers with him, the smile on his face was genuine as he looked at them.

“Clear the path, do what I know you can do,” his eyes drifted from Miller to Calleja, “and if we successfully take the Callisto, make sure your charges come back.”

Coleman had been careful about how he worded the last part. The order could have easily been ‘make sure everyone makes it back’. But that wasn’t realistic. As Security, and he considered himself as part of that group still, it meant being willing to put it all on the line to make sure others were safe. It was the reason, he knew, why Tyra always went on away missions and why she didn’t always tell her First Officer everything he needed to know. The understanding still didn’t take the sting away, and there’d still be some damn words if both he and Tyra made it back out, but part of him did understand some of her decisions.

“There we go. Short and sweet. If you’ve got any questions, or want extra gear, we’ve got time yet. Plus, if either of you have a damn flask, now would be the time to share,” Damian chuckled, even though he was also serious.

== tag Miller and Calleja ==
Aeryn didn't know if anyone else had appreciated her humour, but for the security chief, it had got rid of some pent-up tension, the kind that needed to be syphoned off once in a while, especially with the time counting down until they reached their destination. Returning to her normal façade, Aeryn's attention quickly diverted to Commander Coleman as he entered the crew lounge and indicated for her and Mara to follow him. Recognising his gaze and expression, Aeryn quickly unfastened the straps holding her in place and, without a second thought, walked behind the FO as he then made his way into the cargo bay.

Once the door had closed and Coleman began to shuffle through the contents of the crate he had given Calleja to manage, Aeryn gave Damian her full attention while staving off natural curiosity as to what he was doing. Appreciating what he said next because she could recite that kind of speech by heart and smiled as he finished speaking.

" Agreed" she remarked, before Damian revealed what he had been looking for, and for a moment Aeryn simply stared at it. To the redhead it was something that she had heard of but never seen, until now, and yet there was an instant recognition. This was some serious kit and, if anything, it brought home the seriousness of what could happen should they have to use it. The words that followed rang true with the Lieutenant and how you had to be realistic even if you wanted everyone to come home.

" Yes Commander" was her reply, knowing that she didn't need to say anything else as she had understood every word, and would bring her charges back or give her life to save them. It was her job after all and a task she wouldn't shy away from as Damian continued and added some humour of his own, while still being serious.

" No questions and I think I've got everything that I need. As for a flask, I don't, but when we get back, I've got a bottle of aged Scottish Whiskey to crack open for us all".

== Tag Coleman & Calleja ==
Lucy couldn’t figure if she was in for an ethics class or if Emily was getting to grips with the Artemis mindset. Use of cloaking devices in a gray area that verged on very dark gray if you ignored the Treaty of Algeron and the Romulan. They got really got uptight about other systems using cloaking devices, unless it suited them. There had been that time when they’d allied with the Klingons, it had not ended well.

Jay came off with something about a poorly regulated plasma flow and illegal clockers. Lucy didn’t know if Jay was being purposefully naïve or if she had missed how suspect the mission was. Adding a cloaking device to the mix wasn’t a major issue for Lucy, as long as said cloaking device disappeared conveniently before the brass got wind of anything. The crew of the Philadelphia would definitely want their Waverider back, minus anything likely to cause comment by those who didn’t need to know how the mission had been carried out.

Before Lucy could add her two cents to the discussion the Captain suggested leaving the conversation til after they’d retrieved the Callisto. Lucy personally would have preferred to forget the topic and focus on the drinks, preferably somewhere with sun, sea, sand, and the kind of drinks that came with humorous names and paper umbrellas. There was an announcement of ten minutes eta. The Captain joked about a movie and popcorn.

Aeryn said that she knew she’d forgotten something. Ten minutes wasn’t much time for anything of note and Lucy didn’t think she could keep the popcorn down with the mounting anxiety. Aeryn and Mara had a brief Security meeting with Damian in the makeshift cargo hold. She tried not to think what they were likely to encounter on the Callisto and quiet contemplation was easier than adding to the worries of the rest of the Away Team. Zoning out until they needed to get ready seemed optimal.
In the quiet, sombre cabin Robin couldn't help but hear the conversation between Tyra and Damien, though part of her wishes she hadn't. The First Officer hadn't known about the cloak. It made sense, of course; the fewer people who knew the better, and that way Tyra could legitimately claim that only she and Elias had any knowledge of the illegal technology. The Captain was covering for the crew on this mess of a mission. Still, he hadn't been in on it, and he would be responsible for half the job aboard the Callisto.

Well, it's like Uncle Bernard used to say back home, 'Cop didn't see it, I didn't do it.'" We'd be better off if everyone just forgets this happened. Not sure how Star Fleet will handle that, o'course.

She fidgeted in her seat. Coleman took the Security officers to the cargo bay. Robin wondered what surprises they had back there, but contented herself by pulling an energy bar out her pack. After a pause she offered it to Emily. "Want one? They're blueberry. I brought plenty, and we might not get a chance to eat anything after we deploy." The Augment was perpetually hungry and had a bottomless appetite, but she had to admit that eating right now was mainly just nerves.

== Tag ==
As Tyra's fingers nimbly worked over the different mechanisms of her rifle, she was all too aware of what she was doing. She remembered that many years before, her assistant chief of security had very acutely pointed out to a young officer that every officer had a different way of handle the tension and stress leading up to a mission, in a way that only an observer like Mihar could. She'd pointed out Dawson as the silent brooding type, their Bolian Chief as the non-stop chatterbox, Crewman Lawrence as the hummer, sometimes singer, and Tyra had been the fidget, prone to bouncing her feet or pacing if given enough space. Oh and there was the discreet and rarely seen flask bandit.

After that had been pointed out, Tyra had made a point of being significantly more careful with her movements. A leader needed to be careful about the energy they projected and fidgeting was often mistaken for nerves when really, for her, it was anticipation. Today, though, the anticipation was a little too much, or maybe it was nerves, but all the same, she'd run out of pieces to manipulate on the weapon. And pacing wasn't an option.

It was without conscious thought that she set down her rifle and shifted her coping mechanism to one more befitting the crusty Chief that was three divorces into his career and about eight black marks. The metal was cool under her fingers but given that she'd already committed one crime this week, what was a policy violation to add to the mix?

The liquid was burning down her throat as Elias' voice reached her ears, reporting that there was some fuzziness to the sensors. If Elias had turned around for the report, he'd have witnessed the end of her sip from her flask, though she wouldn't have offered more than a shrug and a self-deprecating almost smile. After all, from her perch, the only witnesses to her crime were Elias, Grant and Harriman, two of the three she knew wouldn't say anything.

The flask was still in her hand as she moved forward in the cockpit to look at the readings, it rested on the back of Elias' chair as she leaned forward to read them. That put directly it in Grant's line of sight and as she straightened up, she half-way motioned the flask towards him as an offer.

"I hear it improves piloting efficiency by 15% in low doses," she remarked rather flippantly before she looked at Elias. "Jamming would make sense but let's cover all of our bases. I'll check with the brainiacs on what the system might hold from a spatial feature stand point."

The flask was back in her pocket well before she entered view of the main cabin and she paused in the door way for a moment. It wasn't lost on her that neither Coleman nor the security officers were in the room; she was certain he was giving them the speech as any good former security officer should. She had no doubt, despite whatever frustration he likely held for her, he was still prepared to do what was needed to make the mission work, though she was under no illusions that her apology had done much of anything other than soothe a smidge of her own guilt.

"Miss Devereaux, I need to know if there are any anomalies or features in the Parhelia system that would account for disruptions or interference to passive sensors," Tyra requested to the lone science officer before shifting her blue eyes to the medical officers, who looked to be on the verge of eating the Last Snack.

Eating... that's the missing coping mechanism, Tyra mentally noted.

"One of you, please, assisted Devereaux. The other one, please make sure that the neurozene cannisters are in good condition and that we have what's needed to hook them into the Callisto's environmental system, if given the chance. Make sure you're familiar with where they can be hooked in. Also, double check that we have the hardware to set them off independently, if needed."

== Tag! Slight hijack of Elias with player's permission! ==
Jay sat silently in her corner of the crew lounge contemplating the discussion on the cloaker. She had realised by this time that they were using a cloaking device. It was obvious, the Cardassians would be shooting at them by this time if they were not cloaked.

The captain came in and spoke to the science officers and then to the medical officer.

It makes us just like the Cardassians using any tech you can get your hands on, don't worry about the rules! That very attitude has brought us here. The Cardassians wanted trans warp drive, so they have got the Callisto and are going to reverse engineer it, for themselves. Which is worse, what they do, to get it, or what we do, to get it back!

Jay was unsure of how she felt about this situation, on a mission where many people may die, all to prevent the use of technology. She kept her head bowed as she didn't want eye contact with anyone. To stop her mind obsessing over this situation, she started a mantra, Secure engineering and hold no matter what. Get the warp core revved up and ready to go. But her mind kept drifting back to her mum, what she did to get them both off Cardassia Prime. Her mother would never talk about it, in fact she insisted that Jay never ask about it. So, it had to be something very bad or immoral or both. Sometimes doing bad or immoral things brings a good outcome. 

Jay settled on that thought even though it gave her no comfort, knowing she was party too and would have to do some bad things in the hope of a good outcome.
Benjamin frowned a little as he looked at the data he was interpreting. "So, I've got good news and bad news," he said over his shoulder to Tyra.

"The good news is that the Callisto appears to be ripe for the picking. Her shields are down, and her warp core is active though operating at low power." He was almost ecstatic about that, as trying to bootstrap the core in anything like a reasonable amount of time was either extremely dangerous or just downright impossible, depending on the timeframe that Tyra required. But that was now one less thing to worry about; they would still bring the deuterium, but it would likely just wind up sitting in a corner and not needed, depending on the ship's fuel reserves.

"The bad news," he added as he felt her come up behind him, "is that the data we're getting is... fuzzy. Something's keeping our passive sensors from getting a clear picture." He felt her hand rest on the back of his chair as she looked at the data herself, and he noted her hand wasn't exactly empty.

"I hear it improves piloting efficiency by 15% in low doses," she said to Grant, confirming his suspicions about what she held and drawing a smile from the older engineer. She continued on, looking at him, "Jamming would make sense but let's cover all of our bases. I'll check with the brainiacs on what the system might hold from a spatial feature stand point." She walked out, flask having disappeared into her pocket before she was close to the door, and he could hear her talking with more of the team.

He sighed, and reached into his tactical vest, where his own flask rested over his heart. Well, one of his flasks. It was good for more than just drinking, after all, but in this instance he took a pull from it and shook his head. When in Rome, he thought, and shrugged. He limited himself to the one mouthful, though, and put it back, letting the new alcohol burn in his mouth for a moment before he swallowed. "Might as well run a quick diagnostic," he said to Grant, "to make sure it's not our own instruments causing the issue." He suited actions to the words, doing a quick double-check of the sensor array to make sure it wasn't them, or possibly some unpredicted interference from the cloaking device.

As it ran, he tapped a control for the comms. "Elias to D'Mar. Go ahead and get the transport enhancers online and ready, so we can get the crew lounge set up for beaming each team out quickly. If something needs to be moved, ask Lieutenants Miller and Calleja for help."

==Tag D'Mar & Grant==
==GM Input on diagnostic results==
Emily nodded to Robin, "Honestly, that sounds perfect about now." Accepting the snack she quietly confided, "I get that our main focus is to stitch and save but I had a brief, ridiculous and completely unnecessary moment of panic thinking that I might call someone by the wrong name or get their rank incorrect." 

Shaking her head and partially laughing at her worries, she opened and took a bit of the bar. To her surprise, it was tastier than Emily had expected. The sweet blueberry taste made her smile, "My adoptive mom loves blueberries. She even has her kitchen decorated with ridiculous blueberry tiles." 

The small thought of home was warming and at the same time added in an extra dose of guilt that she hadn't sent a letter home. 

"One of you, please, assisted Devereaux. The other one, please make sure that the neurozene cannisters are in good condition and that we have what's needed to hook them into the Callisto's environmental system, if given the chance. Make sure you're familiar with where they can be hooked in. Also, double check that we have the hardware to set them off independently, if needed."

Emily looked to Robin, "Are we the 'one of us' she's referring to?" Her brow crinkled slightly looking to her Chief for some clarity, "If it is, I can check the canisters and their connections."
Jay was sitting with her head down in a prayer-like position when she heard the voice of the chief engineer in her ear.

[Elias to D'Mar. Go ahead and get the transport enhancers online and ready, so we can get the crew lounge set up for beaming each team out quickly. If something needs to be moved, ask Lieutenants Miller and Calleja for help.]

Jay stood and in a low voice replied "Ai Commander". She immediately proceeded to bring the transport pattern enhancers out of storage into the crew lounge.

"Lieutenants Calleja and Miller, could you please move some of the chairs around the center table up against the walls, so we will have more room for the group transport area, whilst I erect these pattern enhancers and bring them online."  

Jay began to place the four pattern enhancers at the corners of a large square covering most of the area of the lounge between the door to the shuttle bridge and the centre table. She did leave space for a passage around the transport area, outlined by the enhancers at each corner, so that crew could move easily between the shuttle bridge and the rest of the shuttle.

Once they were in place Jay turned the enhancers on.  She then disappeared down the short passage at the rear of the lounge that led directly to the transporter area at the rear of the shuttle. Bringing up the transporter consol, Jay began to marry each enhancer into the shuttles transporter system, so that the system now recognised the area marked out by the enhancers in the lounge as the transport platform, as it were.

Jay then began a diagnostic test of the system and its linkage to the enhancers, so that she could report back to the commander Elias that the system was operational and safe to use.

== GM input, please? Is the transport system with enhancers operational and safe to use? ==
== Tag Lieutenants Calleja and Miller ==

The sensors were in optimal condition. Local conditions were also not to blame for the fuzzy readings. The culprit was either aboard, or very close to, the Callisto.


With the system set up in a textbook manner, it was online and 100% safe to use.
Miles concentrated on his trajectory and making any adjustments to their course as necessary to ensure they weren't detected. Though others were keeping an eye on the passive scans, Miles was also doing so as it regarded to his navigation.

He frowned as he noted the weapons platforms that had been placed around the system. That would definitely put a hamper on things, though, from what he could make out, they weren't powered up. He wasn't as familiar with Cardassian tech insomuch as how long it would take those to come online if/when the Cardassians realized something wasn't right.

Conversation continued, and Miles vaguely recalled the Captain loosely gesture with a flask in his direction. Something about improving piloting efficiency. Though it was tempting, Miles still politely declined, as talk of "fuzziness" on the scans of the Callisto came up. He decided to run a quick diagnostics on the Liberty Bell's instruments, just as Elias made the request to do so.

"Aye, sir," Miles replied. Though they were both Department Heads, Elias still outranked Miles and was, for all intents and purposes, the de facto next in the Chain of Command after Crawford and Coleman. It wasn't long, before Miles got back the results.

"It's not anything on our end, Commander," he addressed Elias. "Whatever is causing this is either close to, or on board, the Callisto. Hopefully the closer we get, the better the picture." After the report, Miles went back to navigating and looking at a way to make dock with the Callisto that wouldn't alert the Cardassian's in the area.

==Tags. GM input: Is Miles able to find a secure and inconspicuous way to dock with the Callisto?==
Mara was running out of weapons to check when the FO came past. She didn’t entirely get what he was trying to say with the gestures, but she understood the hand signal. With a shrug she rose and followed him and Aeryn into the cargo bay.

The Bandaran folded her arms as he started to give them a pep talk whilst holding an isomagnetic disintegrator. By the time he’d finished, and Miller had said ‘no questions’, Calleja just shook her head.

“So do you take women into the back often to show them your… cannon?” she asked with a raised eyebrow. “Is that what the drink’s for? To make it more impressive?”

There was an awkward pause before Mara laughed.

“I’d say I’m sorry, but we all know I ain’t,” she said with a wolfish grin. “As for flasks, no, I don’t touch the stuff. Seen it do way more damage than any of the hardware in here. You do you but keep it where I don’t see it.”

She scratched absently at the back of her neck.

“As for anything else…”

The Cardassian engineer bustled past with a set of transporter enhancers.

"Lieutenants Calleja and Miller, could you please move some of the chairs around the center table up against the walls, so we will have more room for the group transport area, whilst I erect these pattern enhancers and bring them online."

“Sure. Give us a sec though, yeah?” Mara replied, before her dark eyes flicked back to Damian and Aeryn.

“I just have a bad feelin’ that we’re gonna to be faced with decisions that don’t have a right answer,” the Bandaran said, her hands resting on her belt. “Thanks to all that with the cloaking device, we’re already pretty much f*cked even if we come home with the job done. I know not everythin’ is black and white. I live in the grey. But this… Yeah. This ain’t in no trainin’ manuals. So we just gonna have to make the best of it.”

A half-smile crossed her lips.

“You know any good lawyers, boss man?”

== Tags! ==
The Liberty Bell was equipped to dock with the Callisto two ways. It could extend a docking collar to an external hatch, but that would involve opening an airlock from the outside - not exactly stealthy.

If the Liberty Bell was parked in its usual docking cradle, the inner doors would open automatically as part of the docking procedure. With the right command codes, which Crawford was helpfully in possession of, and the Callisto's computer would pass it off as a returning away team.

Technically the Liberty Bell could remain cloaked while it docked, so with the hatch closed, any passing Cardassian wouldn't even notice it had docked.
"My adoptive mom loves blueberries. She even has her kitchen decorated with ridiculous blueberry tiles."

"Sounds pretty nice to me," Robin said as she reached for another bar for herself. She'd grown up in a huge ranch house and such decor sounded just like the sort of thing her mother loved. There was a rose theme in the old kitchen, and the nurse missed it sometimes. 

"One of you, please, assisted Devereaux," the Captain ordered. "The other one, please make sure that the neurozene canisters are in good condition and that we have what's needed to hook them into the Callisto's environmental system, if given the chance. Make sure you're familiar with where they can be hooked in. Also, double check that we have the hardware to set them off independently, if needed."

Emily looked to Robin, "Are we the 'one of us' she's referring to? If it is, I can check the canisters and their connections."

The CMO nodded. "Yeah. I'll help Lt. Devereaux. You go check the neurozene." She clicked open her flight harness and stood up. "I had the engineers rig the canisters so that they would be easy to attach to a Luna Class life support system, so getting them hooked up shouldn't be difficult. They can be triggered by a remote that's attached to the first canister or by a tricorder with the code 166745. The dosage can be varied depending on the circumstances, but I'd recommend 50 parts per million. Make sure everyone on your team knows the code, just in case. See you in a bit," she said.  

That was a strong enough to take out a Cardassian without killing them or doing permanent damage. If possible Robin hoped that the mission could be completed with few enemy casualties... not to mention that there might still be Star Fleet personnel aboard. Preventing a war would be more difficult if they went in and killed the Cardassians, despite the fact that that was exactly what the Cardassians had done to the Federation crew. 

With that she went over to Lucy. The Science officer had no doubt heard the Captain so would be expecting help. "Any ideas," Robin said to the redheaded JG. Robin was unfamiliar with the Parhelia system, but she assumed that Lucy would have read through the reports on it and hoped she had a theory what might be causing the disruptions... if there was anything.

== Tag Devereaux ==
The diagnostic ran quickly, and Grant came back with the results.  "It's not anything on our end, Commander," he told Benjamin. "Whatever is causing this is either close to, or on board, the Callisto. Hopefully the closer we get, the better the picture."

"Understood," he told the younger officer, and stood from his chair to stretch. "Keep us standing off for the moment," he said, "until the Captain says we're ready. They may not be able to see us right now, but their sensors might still detect a neutrino surge or something if we get too close." For a ship this size, they would likely have to be very close to be detected, but there was no point in running the risk until they needed to.

After all, if the Callisto was the source of the interference, then the likelihood of a trap had just increased by... well, he wasn't very good at threat calculation, but it felt like it had gone up significantly. Maybe he was just being paranoid, but a part of him wanted to just cut and run, get out of the system and back to the safety of the Artemis - although that brought up thoughts of having to face Cera, and he wasn't certain he wanted to do that either. Damned if you do, damned if you don't, he thought, and wished he'd done things right when he had the chance.

But, he reminded himself, there are plenty of reasons we need to get this done, and done right. He sat back and thought about what the Cardassians could and would do with the Slipstream drive. One of the few times he'd slept these past three days, he'd woken up screaming at some of the bleak premonitions he'd had, and was glad that it had been at 0230, when no one else was on the Liberty Bell. No, there was no alternative but to get on the ship and get Callisto back, and hopefully find out something about how their research and development was going if possible. What was it Nathan had told me once? The only way out is through.

So instead he started working his console. Without using active sensors, it was going to be hard to get around the interference, but it was possible that the computer could compensate for it somehow. He started running an analysis on what he was seeing, hoping that the Liberty Bell's computer might have an idea of what was causing the interference and have some form of countermeasure that could be applied, or some kind of tuning he could perform on the sensors to help them out in the face of the jamming. Worst case, he thought, maybe it'll tell me if the active sensors even have the power to punch through it at all. It wasn't a risk he wanted to take, but it could be needed.

==GM Input: Data gathering. Does Liberty Bell have any idea what could be causing the interference, and any recommendations on countering?==
Jay D'Mar finally finished setting up the transport enhancers, ran all the required tests from the transporter at the back of the Liberty Bell, to make sure that all was operational.

Tapping her comms, Jay said, "D'Mar to Cdr Elias. The transporter and enhancers are operational and one hundred percent safe to use."

A stray thought wash across her mind, Transport inhibitor "Computer is there any way to check if a transport inhibitor is running on the Callisto, without warning the Cardassians of our presence?"

== GM input, please. Answer to Jays question to the Liberty Bell's computer? ==
"Yeah. I'll help Lt. Devereaux. You go check the neurozene." She clicked open her flight harness and stood up. "I had the engineers rig the canisters so that they would be easy to attach to a Luna Class life support system, so getting them hooked up shouldn't be difficult. They can be triggered by a remote that's attached to the first canister or by a tricorder with the code 166745. The dosage can be varied depending on the circumstances, but I'd recommend 50 parts per million. Make sure everyone on your team knows the code, just in case. See you in a bit,"

"Got it," Emily said with a curt nod.  The ship's hum accompanied her brisk steps as she navigated to the storage area.  She'd never seen Neurozene at work but had heard stories of how efficient it was. Their rationale for utilizing it was sound and Emily prayed it worked. 

The neatly arranged canisters awaited inspection and as she looked over the additions from the engineers, "Well done." Emily muttered to herself as she looked over their work. They'd done a fantastic job on the connections and release mechanism. Simple, yet effective. Meticulously she checked each canister and its connections, disconnecting each briefly to test that their responses worked via remote or tricorder. She then reconnected them, ensuring everything was back as it should be.  Setting off Neurozene on the shuttle would not be a good way to get to know the people on board. 

Heading back to the Captain, Emily poked her head into the space where Crawford and the others resided, "Ma'am" Emily said with a wave, "Cannisters are checked, no faults found. We can set them off manually or remotely with either a remote or tricorder. She paused, "Am I ...good to sit back down?" She wasn't sure if leaving was rude or if she was supposed to just drop information and leave it at that.

The computer's best estimate was a dampening field surrounding the Callisto; if they could find lout the exact modulation of the field, they might be able to beam through it, but that came with its own risks if the modulation were on a rotation and changed mid-transport.


[Negative. Active Sensors required.]
Ens D'Mar didn't have to wait long for the answer as the computer replied [Negative. Active Sensors required.]


I wonder? If the Cardassians are trying to reverse engineer the slipstream and they attempt to run the drive at low output to see how it functions, that may cause some sort of interference, and be dangerous as well.

"Computer, hypothetically, if the Cardassians were trying to reverse engineer the slipstream drive what is the best way to go about that? Hypothetically, if they attempt to run the drive at low output whilst the Callisto is stationary, to see how it functions, what would be the likely effects? Would it cause any interference to say transporters or other functions of the Liberty Bell or other ships nearby."

== GM input, please. The computer's answer to D'Mar's queries, please? ==
Lucy popped the seat restraints and got to her feet. It wasn’t make-work to check what was ****ing with the Liberty Bell’s sensors. The fewer surprises the better. For this little enquiry it looked like Roby was assisting her. She asked if Lucy had any ideas.

“I doubt it would be a natural effect as the Cardassians would have to deal with it as well. No point setting up a base when you’re going to have your operation disrupted by some local phenomena. If they’ve started to play about with the Callisto’s slipstream drive it could trigger a resonance of sorts…”

Lucy honestly hoped it wasn’t that. Messing about with technology that wasn’t well known was problematic and led to serious problems. Better something that the Cardassians had done on purpose and not some accidental effect. She realised that Engineering and Tactical would be going after the mechanical causes. They were likely miles ahead of her and Robyn.

“I’d better over what Stellar Cartography had on the Parhelia system, before heading to the cockpit. I’m sure Lieutenant Commander Elias will let us know if they find something first.”

Lucy pulled the PADD from her bag and looked for what Stellar Cartography had provided on the Parhelia system.  She’d assumed that it was an average solar system with a load of Cardassian hardware. Had anyone said something about the Parhelia system? Nothing came to mind.

Better to know before hand, than discover you missed something.

== GM input request, are there any notes about spatial or subspace phenomena in the reports on the Parhelia system? ==
As science and medical had begun acting out her requests, Tyra had shifted back into the cockpit, fighting back a surge of restless energy as she did so.

Her blue eyes caught a glimpse of Grant's console, taking in how close they were to their target, before shifting to Elias'. He seemed to be examining the interference and the likelihood it would effect transport. She couldn't make out exactly what it said but even the possibility meant she needed to begin to seriously consider their alternate plans.

She sunk into her chair, shifting her rifle to lean against the bulkhead while she pulled the small portable console out of its hiding spot in the wall near her elbow.

When she had brainstormed their situation with Coleman prior to briefing, they'd come up with a number of contingency plans that could be moved around to fit different circumstances. There had been so many deviation and variables it had been impossible to make full plans without running through the alphabet at least twice but the plug and play pieces would still work.

If they weren't able to transport at all or without immediately compromising themselves, the obvious answer had been to dock the Liberty Bell, utilizing the hopefully operational command codes to bypass any alerts and security protocols related to a docking attempt. The less obvious answer had been to perform a much riskier space walk to an airlock but there was a big risk on that second option, both to safety and to detection as an airlock opening without a corresponding vessel might trigger an alarm.

Of course, if the Liberty Bell docking triggered an alarm, they were even more disadvantaged than their transport triggering an alarm because at least, transport got them where they needed to go with a tiny element of surprise.

Though maybe, there was an element of surprise to still be had even if docking was successful.

"Ben, theoretically, if we dock and the command codes fail to disable a docking notification, would we be able to transport within that second or two before security protocols for an unauthorized dock initiates? Doesn't need to be two groups or a specific location, just needs to be not on the Liberty Bell anymore."

She needed that part to be possible before even considering the second part of that possible surprise.

As she waited for an answer, she reverted back to her original plan diverting as she brought up the plans for the Callisto, looking at the location of the docking port for the Liberty Bell in comparison to their destinations. She was just tracing the best possible route to engineering when Midshipman Star appeared.

"Ma'am" Emily said with a wave, "Cannisters are checked, no faults found. We can set them off manually or remotely with either a remote or tricorder. She paused, "Am I ...good to sit back down?"

Tyra didn't immediately answer or look up, finishing her trace before finally giving the young woman her attention. "Thank you. I hope y'all got the concentration right for Cardassians and hopefully y'all have brushed up on their physiology for this. I have a feeling it'll be needed."

And then, she waved her hand slightly, the tiniest of amused smiles curling the corner of her lips. "But yes, you can sit back down."

== GM Input: What is the travel time between the docking cradle for the LB and both engineering and the bridge? Accounting for both a straight travel time using turbolifts and crawling through the tubes. ==
Somehow, Benjamin's worst case appeared to not actually be the worst case scenario. He felt Tyra looking over his shoulder for a moment as he was trying to search for an answer, but she was gone before it came in which left him with the job of actually telling her the bad news.

He slumped back in his chair and for a moment his hand travelled towards his flask, but he arrested the motion. It was one thing to take a drink while trying to find the answers he needed. Now, he was afraid he would be drinking out of despair. And I've done that one before, he thought. It wasn't exactly a time of his life he had any desire to repeat.

"Ben, theoretically, if we dock and the command codes fail to disable a docking notification, would we be able to transport within that second or two before security protocols for an unauthorized dock initiates?" She broke into his reverie with the question, leaving him to decide whether to answer first or tell the bad news. "Doesn't need to be two groups or a specific location, just needs to be not on the Liberty Bell anymore."

"Well," he started, but swallowed his answer as the young medic came in and reported on the neurozyne. Tyra took her answer deftly and dealt with her manifestly young demeanor softly, which he was also grateful for. It meant she still had her eye on the ball and focused on getting the job done, rather than focusing on how much of a screw job this was turning into. Of course, she doesn't know what I know yet, he reminded himself, and spoke back up.

"Well, Captain, I don't think that's going to be possible," he said. "Whatever they're using on the Callisto is throwing up so much interference that we can't punch our transporters through them, not without getting lucky and risking losing anyone sent anyway even if we are lucky." He closed his eyes and thought for a moment, knowing he needed to offer solutions rather than just reporting problems. "It's possible that, once we're docked, we could treat this as a site-to-site and use Callisto's transporter system so we can go to one of the transporter rooms, but that would require that hard link, and I don't think we'd have time to do it within that window."

He thought for a moment more, rubbing the stubble on his chin before shrugging. "It's possible - possible, mind - that if we were to put a team into the buffer as we docked, we might be able to punch them through to one of the transporter pads before any security cuts us off. But it would be a tight window." He turned back to his console and started running a quick simulation. "Let me crunch some numbers," he told her.

==GM Input: So, would tapping directly into the Callisto's system let us materialize on one of their pads, and would we have time to get a 5 or 6 man team plus gear sent as a databurst to their transporters before security bites? If it's possible, how risky is it?==
==Apologies for the delay. RL stuff and writer's block combined to really hit my posting.==

After relaying the information to Elias, as well as getting the results of ability to dock with the Callisto, there was little Miles could do except keep the Liberty Bell from being detected. As he thought, any moving forward concerning docking was put on hold, the initial command coming from Commander Elias. Miles nodded his affirmation in the command and continued about until it was time for the next step.

This was always the part of time critical missions that always put Miles on edge. The inevitable hurry up and wait part. They needed to make sure this was done right. Any wrong move could instantly devolve the mission and incur a heavy cost. That was something Miles would ensure he was not the reason for any wrong moves.

Miles noted the return of Captain Crawford to the cockpit, and she and Commander Elias began brainstorming scenarios for if her command codes didn't work. It was good to have plans, though it seemed everything was so limiting. Nevertheless, he still listened, ready to enact any plan at a moments notice.

He also took the opportunity to glance Harriman's way. She had been uncharacteristically quiet for some time now. Miles could understand, especially with everything that had been thrown at them, and how things had progressed. He could not fault her for it. It was still something he needed to ensure wasn't affecting her too much.

"How are you holding up?" he asked her, quietly enough not to disturb the brainstorm session.

The initial response that Damian had got from Mara, had Aeryn stifling a chuckle until the Bandaran broke the inevitable awkward silence that followed with a laugh and her usual wolfish grin. Naturally, Aeryn was curious as to how the FO would react, but knowing Damian as she did, he would no doubt take it with good humour, especially given the tense situation. As for Aeryn, she grinned and also understood why Mara wasn't partial to a drink, unlike herself. It might have been tempting to take a swig right now, but since she didn't have her flask, she could do without it until they got out of it.

When Mara started to speak before Ensign D'Mar asked for their assistance in getting things ready for transport, Aeryn nodded her assent while thinking that their time in the Liberty Bell was about to run out. Once Mara had acknowledged D'Mar and returned her attention to Aeryn and Damian, it became more serious than the joke she had just shared.

Everything that was said, the COS agreed with because there were still a lot of unknowns with this mission, and Mara was right about that. Even if they did make it back, it wasn't as if they were going to receive a hero's welcome. Thoughts about her future, especially the more recent ones regarding her current position, seemed insignificant now, as though they belonged to someone else, as opposed to the person who had wanted it so much, as it now all rested on the outcome of what happened next. This was quickly followed by a couple of what-ifs, but Aeryn couldn't dwell on that now as Mara then made a quip about Damian knowing a good lawyer.

" Agreed, we will have to make the best of it regardless of what decisions we're going to have to make, and yeah ... we're going to need one for all of us".

== Tag Coleman & Calleja ==

[Unknown. Insufficient Data.]

==Deveraux - look at my earlier post dated 11-08-2023==


From the Waverider Cradle on Deck 7, it would take moments to get to either location if the Turbolifts were used.

In the event they had to use the Jeffries Tubes and other maintenance access points, the journey up to Deck 1 would take at least 10, probably 15 minutes depending on whether access hatches were closed, the amount of equipment being carried, and the overall fitness level of the crew, If there was no direct route due to damage or sealed hatches, that journey time could increase to 20 to 30 minutes.

The journey to Engineering on Deck 11 would be equally arduous, except the majority of the travel would be horizontal and any climbing would be in a downward direction. It would likely take 10 to 15 minutes at least, assuming open corridors and access shafts. If a more circuitous route were required, that time could easily double or quadruple.


Theoretically it was possible to use the Liberty Bell's transporter to perform a site-to-site transport aboard the Callisto once docked. It would take a few minutes to set up, and came with risk; any modifications done to the Callisto's internal structure would be unknown to the Liberty Bell's transporter, running the risk of someone materialising in an emergency bulkhead, cargo container, or some other inevitably fatal piece of equipment. Furthermore, any power fluctuations on either ship ran the risk of destabilizing the patterns, with equally fatal results. Transporting to a pad in one of the Transporter Rooms, or even the Cargo Bay, would lessen the odds of any unfortunate accidents; this would, however, limit the options available to the teams in terms of getting where they needed to be.

There would probably be enough time for one complete transporter cycle before security became aware of the transport. After that, any personnel would likely be cut down the moment they materialised.
Over the years, Tyra had learned the hard way that one's intuition was just as important as one's experience and knowledge. And there was a nagging feeling that something wasn't quite right, the tiniest of chinks in her confidence. Yet, she couldn't pinpoint the trigger, maybe the possible dampening field or maybe the concern about the Callisto's codes working. It wasn't that the dampening field necessarily screamed anything other than a reasonable precaution but what if it wasn't a dampening field at all? The Cardassians had already proven they were capable and willing to redirect transporter beams and she couldn't say she really wanted to get directed into the brig from the start. She didn't think that was it either, though it was a worthy concern, but maybe, it was just unease at the first forced change to the primary plan.

Ben had made it clear that transporting like originally planned was out of the question and his suggestion that, maybe, they could beam to a transporter room once docked really didn't solve anything. The transporter rooms were on Deck 4 and Deck 7, respectively, and neither location offered a significant advantage for either team in trying to reach Decks 1 and 10. If anything, it would just telegraph their presence.

Which meant they were pivoting to docking the Liberty Bell. They'd briefed this possibility, had gone over each point, but as she considered them, that discomforting nag seemed to get just a little harder to ignore.

Plans rarely survive first contact. Our success always lies in our ability to improvise, adapt and overcome.

It took about thirty seconds for her to finally pinpoint what was causing that feeling and she was annoyed she hadn't seen it before. They were overcomplicating things and likely making their own objective harder to reach. Assuming that the best case scenario occurred and the Callisto's fleet codes worked, they would have to remain entirely undetected for a ten to twenty minute climb or descent. It was possible but it ran the risk of the Liberty Bell being discovered in that time or the Cardassians stumbling upon intruders in the tubes. Now, they could utilize the tubes for speed but then, they were potentially at the mercy of security protocols shutting the lifts down, trapping them inside, if the Cardassians became wise to their presence before they could reach their destination. That didn't even account for the issues that would be presented if the Liberty Bell triggered a docking alert, which would make a dual front assault extremely costly and unlikely to succeed.

And then, she saw it. It almost felt like the words were highlighted on the deck plan she was staring at, like Fate itself was tapping at it in hopes that she might see it.

Always a third damn option...

She was still grinning at the schematic, probably looking slightly maniacal, when she reached out to hit the intercom. "I need everyone to report to main cabin ASAP."

Once she had shut the intercom off, she looked at the cockpit crew. "Y'all can stay in here -- you'll be able to hear what's going to be discussed. We're changing the plan in light of that," she motioned towards Elias' console. "We're not lambs to the slaughter, not today at least."

By the time Tyra stepped into the hatchway between the cockpit and the main cabin, it looked like everyone had made their way back. The redhead didn't move fully into the main cabin, instead leaning back into one of the sides of the doorway so that her words made it into the cockpit as well. It also meant she could still catch a glimpse of the consoles if things went entirely awry.

"I know that we have briefed a lot of possible options for how this will go down but based on what I'm seeing, I'm calling an audible. We're detecting interference that will make transport impossible and forcing us to go to the docking plan. As I'm sure everyone remembers, I have the Callisto's Fleet Codes and in an ideal world, those will allow us dock undetected. However, we need to be prepared for this to be nowhere ideal."

Tyra leaned forward and touched one of the consoles near the door, bringing up the Callisto's schematics. "The docking cradle's access is on Deck 5. Even if Fate smiles on us and we enter undetected, we either risk immediate detection by taking the turbolifts or we suffer through a long trek through the tubes with the chance that the Liberty is discovered during that time. If Fate doesn't favor us, we're looking at a knockdown drag out fight through four decks up and five decks down. Doesn't sound like great odds."

"However, located on Deck 5, not terribly far from the Waverider access, is an access point for the Computer Core," she pointed to the area on the schematics before pointing out her next locations. "It has additional access points on Decks 4, 6 and 7. It will be tricky to hold because of those additional access points but as one consolidated team, I believe we are capable of doing so. Additionally, if a worst case scenario happens and we trigger a docking alarm, I believe we are capable of pushing that far and holding it. If we can get control of the computer core, we control the ship; between the fleet codes and Elias, we should be able to take control of it but only if we keep the Cardassians out."

"Step 1 will be docking. Regardless of whether the fleet codes work or don't work, our objective is now the Computer Core. If the codes fail and the hatch will not open, Elias will utilize a breaching charge to open it. Calleja and Miller, you will be point on our exit; if the codes don't work, we need to be moving with a fucking purpose but be smart. If they work, we have time to be careful. Coleman and Grant will be rear guard and responsible for securing the Liberty Bell on our exit. Everyone else will fall in between."

"Everyone, make sure you're stocked on neurozene grenades but if you deploy them, make sure you let everyone know so that they can mask up. Medical, you will be responsible for moving the neurozene cannisters and getting them to the computer core. If they're not bagged up, there should be bags to pack them into for easy moving. Elias, transport the bulk of the explosives but give a few charges to Grant to carry. D'Mar, you and Devereaux will pack out and transport the scramblers and enhancers. Anyone else not carrying something can help as needed."

There was a pause before Tyra snapped her fingers, seeming to want to ensure that she still had everyone's attention. "I need you all to listen very carefully to this next part because, if we have fought our way into the core, there is a very really chance that neither Coleman nor myself might be in a position to be yelling and making sure people are where they are needed. The most important person that absolutely needs to make it to the core is Elias, along with D'Mar and the Callisto Fleet Codes. If none of that makes it to the core, we're screwed."

"Once we get to the core, Elias and myself will begin attempting to access the computer through whatever magic he can work and the codes. I need Calleja, Grant and Mayfair to climb the access ladders in the core and either seal off or booby trap the access points on the upper and lower decks. The lower deck is only one deck removed from Security so it is likely the most crucial. D'Mar, Star and Devereaux will set up the pattern scramblers to try to prevent transport in. Coleman and Miller will oversee the scramblers and the perimeter defense with Harriman. Once you have finished your task or we have enemy contact, everyone but Elias, myself and Mayfair will fall back to defense. If I have finished my part of the process, I'll fill in where needed but Mayfair's job is quite literally to keep Elias in the fight regardless."

"Ultimately, our goal is take the computer and try to minimize reinforcements -- if we can stay undetected for a while, amazing but I'm not betting on it. As soon as we have enough control of the computer to have the environmental controls, we will begin deploying neurozene to strategic locations. Once we have control of security systems, if needed, we will drop the bulkheads and start isolating everyone. Once we reach a point that we feel confident we have the upper hand, we will take the bridge and engineering like originally planned. Our goal is still to get this ship out of here but this feels like the better route."

Now, the redhead took a deep breath, seeming to steel herself for the next words out of her own mouth. She hadn't forgotten the last time she'd asked for questions or concerns. "Any questions? If not, get your gear on, get the equipment you've been tasked with carrying and be ready to go in 5."

== Tag everyone! ==
To say that there had been a change in plans was putting it mildly. As the Captain spelled out the new assignments Robin listened intently, not sure what to make of it. She was no Security officer to judge; it sounded to her like a decent plan, but regardless orders were orders, and in a few minutes they'd be committed.

"No questions, Captain," the nurse responded. Tyra wasn't waiting for anything beyond that, and they had little time to prepare, so she went back to Emily.

"All right, three and three," she said to the Midshipman. "Each of us will take half the canisters; we'll grab packs from the emergency supplies here. Once your job with the scramblers is done, coordinate with D'mar to get the neurozine hooked up to the life support system as quickly as you can. After that, when we're on defense, your job is running field aid. Keep people patched up and fighting as much as you can, stabilized otherwise. And please stick to cover," the CMO said with a grim smile. "I know this is a lot, but you've trained for this. Follow the leads of the officers; they're all experts who've been through it before. Any questions?"

Robin waited to see if her charge had any, then motioned her back to the cargo she had just left, stopping at the supply locker for the packs. Three canisters and associated gear each were going to be a bit of a burden, but manageable, and probably a lot easier for the half-Vulcan doctor than the tiny nurse. Robin again cursed the fact that she hadn't gotten the Augment genes that would have made her superhumanly strong. Still, was at least happy for her enhanced speed and reflexes... it was likely they'd come in handy before the day was done.

With that done the CMO headed back to the front of the tiny ship. "Go talk to Lieutenants Miller or Calleja and get us a few neurozine grenades each," she said to Emily. She popped the small remote off and stuck it in the pocket of her black jumpsuit. "Could I have everyone's attention, please? The code for the neurozine canisters is 166745, which any of you can enter with a tricorder if necessary. If anything happens to me I have a remote in my pocket that will also activate them, and you can adjust the dosage on it or the canisters. They're set to 50 ppm, more than enough to take out the Cardassians and any of us not wearing a mask. 100 ppm will stop their hearts... and ours." The nurse hoped it wouldn't come to that, but she had to face the grim reality that it was likely better to die than to be captured by the Cardassians. Their horrific treatment of prisoners was well known. And if worst came to worse, if they were overrun, then shooting a canister would flood the immediate area with enough of the drug to finish off anyone who got even a single breath of it... and even a gas mask would give only a few minute's protection.

With that she went to checking her gear. It wasn't necessary since she'd done so before and she didn't forget things, but it was something to do to avoid getting the nervous shakes.

== Tags ==
Jay D'mar waited for the computer's answer and it finally came but it was not what Jay expected.

[Unknown. Insufficient Data.]

"What, you 're a useless piece of technology masquerading like Artificial Intelligence. Grrrrr... (A deep guttural growl) do I have to spELL IT OUT!" Jay sometimes had a temper when she didn't receive what she was expecting, or things didn't go the way she expected. The good side of Jay was that she calmed down rather quickly after her initial explosion.

"Computer, examine the sensor data from the Liberty Bell and tell me if there is anything you can find that would inhibit or prevent transport from the Liberty Bell to the Callisto?" The more she spoke the calmer she became.

== GM Input, please? The answer for Jay question to the computer.
"Once we get to the core, Elias and myself will begin attempting to access the computer through whatever magic he can work and the codes. I need Calleja, Grant and Mayfair to climb the access ladders in the core and either seal off or booby trap the access points on the upper and lower decks. The lower deck is only one deck removed from Security so it is likely the most crucial. D'Mar, Star and Devereaux will set up the pattern scramblers to try to prevent transport in. Coleman and Miller will oversee the scramblers and the perimeter defense with Harriman. Once you have finished your task or we have enemy contact, everyone but Elias, myself and Mayfair will fall back to defense. If I have finished my part of the process, I'll fill in where needed but Mayfair's job is quite literally to keep Elias in the fight regardless."

To keep him alive. That’s what she meant. Mayfair’s job was to keep Elias alive. Emily looked around and made note of D’Mar and Devereaux. She didn’t know what it would entail to get those scramblers up and running, but keeping them alive was her task. She’d make damn sure it happened too.

With no extra to comment Robin turned to Emily and calmly gave her instructions.

"All right, three and three," she said to the Midshipman. "Each of us will take half the canisters; we'll grab packs from the emergency supplies here. Once your job with the scramblers is done, coordinate with D'mar to get the neurozine hooked up to the life support system as quickly as you can. After that, when we're on defence, your job is running field aid. Keep people patched up and fighting as much as you can, stabilized otherwise. And please stick to cover," the CMO said with a grim smile. "I know this is a lot, but you've trained for this. Follow the leads of the officers; they're all experts who've been through it before. Any questions?"

Emily's head shook with a nod "Take the things. Move the things. Save the things." With a grin, she added, "Don't do anything stupid. Listen to the smart ones. Keep covered."

Her attempt at a light-hearted, vague roundabout set of instructions hung in the air. It was Emily's way of navigating through the serious task at hand, a quirky blend of practicality and humour that only she seemed capable of conjuring. However, it was a double-edged sword, as her attempts at lightening the mood had a fifty-fifty chance of landing her in trouble.

“I’ll go work on the canisters.” She said quietly. Turning to leave she paused when her CMO added on another task.

With that done the CMO headed back to the front of the tiny ship. "Go talk to Lieutenants Miller or Calleja and get us a few neurozine grenades each," she said to Emily.

The canisters, though awkward with their extra tubing, with a bit of wiggling and deft handling, managed to fit easily into a pack. With a bit of rigging, it could be worn as a backpack or carried over the shoulder. Whatever was easiest. Within moments, they were prepped and made ready to be carried, and Emily turned her attention to the second task.


She had been told to ask Miller or Calleja. Which turned into asking Miller as she was nearby.

“Lieutenant?” Emily asked, “Mayfair asked me to nab some Neurozine grenades. I didn’t get a number though. Do I need to specify …a number?” Her brow quirked curiously.
Benjamin couldn't help but shake his head in disappointment as the simulation results came up on his screen. Security would know they were using the Callisto's transporters nigh-instantaneously, and it would take a couple minutes for them to be able to set up the hard connection anyway, during which a lockdown of the connection could happen anyway. It just wasn't a solid answer for their problem, and he wasn't sure how to do it.

He could feel the frustration coming off of Tyra behind him, as well; she was brooding hard enough to almost be radiating heat. They needed a new approach, and he was damned if he could see one. Fortunately, he wasn't the one in charge of this mission since he didn't have the tactical knowledge to try and make this work. But Tyra did. He heard her move suddenly, decisively, and call everyone together over the ship's comms. "Y'all can stay in here," she said; "you'll be able to hear what's going to be discussed. We're changing the plan in light of that." She motioned towards Elias' console, and the mess of failed simulations upon it. "We're not lambs to the slaughter, not today at least."

He found himself cheered and intrigued by the answer, and spun his chair around to watch the captain as she commenced a new briefing. She outlined the problems, and the fact that they were being forced to dock rather than beam was causing most of them. Fighting through most of the ship to their destinations was a non-starter.  "However, located on Deck 5, not terribly far from the Waverider access, is an access point for the Computer Core," she said, tapping the schematics on her padd dramatically, and he wondered how he didn't see it sooner. The Computer Core would give them access to all ship's functions, even if it wasn't the best location to access several of them from. It was going to be more difficult to defend, but it could be done and would be easier to do than trying to fight to the bridge or engineering.

As she continued laying out the plan, though, he started getting more uncomfortable, however. It seemed like she was pinning a lot of the plan on him and his ability to get through whatever security was being utilized by the Cardassians on the computer core. He could think of a dozen different ways this was going to end badly, but he shook the fears from from his mind. It wasn't productive to worry about them until he was in place and could find out exactly what he was facing. Plan for what you can control, he told himself, not what you're afraid of.

She was wrapping up her briefing with their movement assignments. He was going to have to be prepared with a breaching charge, but he also had to tote their explosives with him to the core. Somehow, he wasn't exactly enthused by this, but it was the best assignment he could come up with, as well. Security needed their hands free to fight if needed, and everyone else was also tied up with other responsibilities. Benjamin took a deep breath, and just nodded. She asked for questions; he had none.

Instead, he turned to Grant. "I'll get a pack ready for you to grab once you're done up here," he told the lieutenant, and then edged out of the cockpit and through the crew lounge. Once in the cargo bay, he rubbed his eyes with the heels of his hands, being rewarded with a burst of static both digital and physiological as his two eyes reacted differently to the same input. He wished he could actually get the tiredness out of his eyes that way, but of course all it provided was temporary relief. A deep breath followed, and then he started digging into the crates of explosives, assembling two packages of them. One of them he set aside for Grant to pick up on his way out; the other he added to his backpack - already loaded with the canisters of antimatter - and set it to the side.

He closed up the one crate, and then went to a wall locker to check on the devices contained within. Breaching charges weren't exactly standard equipment for a Starfleet shuttle, but there had been enough scenarios even on the original plans that might need something like this that Commander Coleman had insisted on at least a few to be held in reserve. He pulled one out of the locker and set it down on top of a crate while he shouldered his backpack on, securing the chest and waist straps as well as the shoulders, and making sure the added pack of explosives wasn't too encumbering sitting at the small of his back. That done, he did a last check of his kit - engineering items in his multitudinous pockets, secondary kit packed and attached at his left side. Knives were strapped to his legs and a phaser pistol on his right thigh, with an extra clip or two in small pockets on his backpack's straps, and he leaned his rifle against the wall next to him until he needed it.

That done, he began checking the breaching charge, and making sure it was ready. Five minutes were going to go by very quickly, but also slowly, but he wanted to be ready when and if the device was needed.
When Aeryn agreed with Mara, it drew a wry smile from the Amazonian Security officer. There wasn’t any time for her to make good on her promise to D’Mar though, as Tyra apparently had other ideas.

[i]She could literally have turned around and said ‘hey y’all gather up’, and we’d have heard her
Calleja thought, but she nodded to Coleman and Miller and made her way to the cabin where she leant against the hull to listen.

It wasn’t a shock to hear that they were going to have to change the plan. It was the first rule of warfare - no plan ever survived contact with the enemy and this one was no exception. In Mara’s view the new plan was actually less risky than the original. They weren’t relying on transporters, which could be jammed or hijacked as their last mission had proved. Not splitting the team in two increased contingencies as they could cover across in the event of casualties. And she felt better about their odds knowing that they weren’t relying on two completely separate teams on different parts of the ship completing their missions.

"Any questions? If not, get your gear on, get the equipment you've been tasked with carrying and be ready to go in 5."

Calleja looked around the room. For a moment she was ready to crack a joke, but she thought better of it as Star’s attempt seemed to fall a little flat.

Besides. Not entirely sure Coleman is gonna forgive me for the last one.

“Less a question, more a suggestion,” she said to Crawford. “If we’re gonna access the computer core, can we use it to give the Cardies the runaround? The last few boardin’ missions I’ve been on, we used crybaby programs to have the defence forces chasin’ ghosts. You get lucky and get a poorly trained or just bored unit, they’ll start ignorin’ the actual alerts from us ‘cause they think it’s just another hoax.”

It went without saying that Mara had a program downloaded just in case, the same one she’d used to drive the Graiark security teams round the twist when she rescued Beka Sydesh. If the Captain thought the plan had merit, Mara would see what she could do. If not, it was time to get geared up. Either way the Bandaran was ready.[/i]
Mara and Damian's responses would have to wait, assuming that they even had time to finish this particular conversation, as Captain Crawford called for everyone's attention. Moving back into the main cabin area along with the others, Aeryn felt as though the mood had shifted again, although for good reason, as the Captain spoke and explained the change of plan. If she was being honest with herself, Aeryn wasn't surprised by this or the fact that the Liberty Bell had encountered interference as they got nearer to their target. In fact, it was likely to be expected given the parameters of what they were trying to achieve and as much as she had hoped that things would be a little smoother, she also wasn't completely naive to the possibility that things wouldn't exactly go their way, even with the added addition of the cloaking device.

Rather than give the negatives any further thought, Aeryn concentrated on what was their new objective and more specifically what Security's role would be, now that they were aiming for the Computer Core, as opposed to splitting up into two teams. As for Aeryn's own opinion on the change, it made the most sense given the limitations that they now faced, along with the reality of it all and how important it was to protect the core and people who were vital to the mission's success. The odds may have shifted but she had already made peace if she didn't come back and how all of this now rested on Plan B or whatever designation it had been assigned.

Each step, every instruction had been committed to memory, and with five minutes left, Aeryn knew what she had to do, as Robin then commanded everyone's attention regarding the code for the neurozine, before Mara made a sound suggestion. Although Aeryn's attention shifted towards Mid Star, who had been instructed to collect neurozine grenades for herself and Robin. This allowed Aeryn to focus on something useful as she answered the Middie.

" No, that's okay, if you come with me, I'll get you both sorted with those".

Heading back to where their gear had been stored and taking into account that they would also be carrying the cannisters, plus other equipment, Aeryn opened a crate and took out eight grenades in total. Four each for Robin and Emily and then stocked up for herself, along with anything else she might need that she hadn't already attached to her suit and utility belt.

== Tags ==

Perhaps unhelpfully, the computer began reeling off phenomena that might be interfering with the transporters. Some seemed logical, like dampening fields or transporter inhibitors, while others were more far-fetched, such as sabotaged systems, extreme levels of solar radiation, or a temporal rift.
== GM 01 a question? ==

== Is this the computers answer to D'Mar's specific question stating, "Computer, examine the sensor data from the Liberty Bell"
Has the computer examined the sensor data or not? The computer's response seems to be a very generic answer to D'Mar very specific question. ==
“Less a question, more a suggestion,” Calleja started and for a moment, Tyra really did wander if she was back in her own personal hell. Fortunately, Calleja seemed to be focused on being helpful and not giving Tyra more gray hairs. “If we’re gonna access the computer core, can we use it to give the Cardies the runaround? The last few boardin’ missions I’ve been on, we used crybaby programs to have the defence forces chasin’ ghosts. You get lucky and get a poorly trained or just bored unit, they’ll start ignorin’ the actual alerts from us ‘cause they think it’s just another hoax.”

The redhead paused for a moment, considering the option and its value, before shrugging. "Why not? This is more guerilla warfare than conventional. It might not be a bad idea to have a program that makes our invasion force larger than it is for later down the line but I think we're a little late for that one."

As everyone began moving and acknowledging orders, Tyra noticed that there seemed to be one person missing from the group and of course, it would be the officer she had the most hesitation about bringing along. The redhead rubbed her forehead in frustration at the hiccup and likely delay. Elias had already disappeared so there was a chance that he had noticed as well but it was just as likely he was focused on his own assignment. After all, this was not a mission for babysitting and she doubted Elias had brought a backpack leash with him.

"I don't know if she's deaf or one of those engineers that hyper focuses but somehow, we're missing an ensign for this briefing," she hissed at Coleman as she moved past him. She did stop after another half-step and partially turned. "Get everyone else squared up and ready."

Tyra wasn't sure who she was actually looking for, her wayward engineer or her wayward engineer's babysitter, but it was D'Mar that she found first, still working on the transporters in a sign that she likely fell into the hyper focused engineer category.

"Is there a reason you ignored a summons to the main cabin for a briefing, Ensign? Is the intercom back here broken?" The redhead arched her eyebrow up in question before shaking her head. "I don't have time for this and neither do you. We have a change in plans -- transport is not longer an option for reasons you would know if you'd been where you were suppose to be. I strongly suggest you go find your boss and learn your new assignment. You've got five minutes before we move into the next phase. "

The redhead started to turn to back track before she stopped. "This isn't mission where slip ups are acceptable. If you don't think you can pay attention to what's happening around you, you and everyone else will be safer if you stay on the Liberty Bell, Ensign."

She didn't bother to stick around for an explanation or excuse. Neither really mattered to her either way. They had bigger things to deal with and the unfortunate reality was that a lack of attention would be a self-correcting issue. Hopefully, it just didn't take someone else with it.

What little remained of her five minute deadline was spent pulling her tactical vest into place, adjusting the different attachments and double checking that she also had neurozene gas grenades. Her phaser and pistol were each checked before being slotted into their respective holsters. Her grenades, restraints, and med kit were also quickly checked before she turned her attention to her rifle. Her earpiece was placed into her ear before she picked up the last piece of the puzzle, her helmet. While she had a spare gas mask on her belt, her helmet also had the functionality, though it made it less than comfortable.

She was careful to sling her rifle so it hung across her back as she shifted to look into the crew cabin. It appeared that everyone had taken the five minute warning seriously and were nearing ready.

"One minute," she called out into the cabin before shifting back towards Grant.

"Start taking us in," she ordered as she came to a stop next to him. It took a little adjusting of her gear to be able to easily access the station next to him, where she carefully began to type in the Callisto's fleet code. It took a few moments for the computer to register it and another to double check that it was ready to transmit.

"Fleet code has been entered and is ready to transmit," she announced, likely loud enough to carry into the cabin. "Everyone needs to get in place for docking ASAP."

== Tag D'Mar, Grant... and well, most of you. ==

== GM Input: Once Grant moves us in, is the docking successful? Is the Fleet Code acknowledged and does it work? ==
==For All==

The Liberty Bell moved closer to the Callisto's lower saucer, and under Grant's careful instruction, softly rose into the docking port. With a soft bump, docking clamps reached out to secure the ship in place and a light flashed green on both the pilot's console and every hatch control indicating the surrounding area had been pressurized.

It would appear that Crawford's code had been successful in allowing them to dock, but whether it would allow them to take control of the ship would be uncertain until they reached a command hub; namely the Computer Core, Engineering, or Bridge.

==I will be creating threads for you in the Artemis forum momentarily.==
>> Artemis Ancillary Locations >>
There were no disruptor blasts impacting the hull, and for the moment they were still alive. Robin took that as a positive sign, as she did the fact that there were no hasty orders to retreat from the Captain. Did that mean anything beyond that they were so-far undetected? No. Was it likely to last? Also no. But baby steps were fine.

The CMO finished her unnecessary kit inspection and waited quietly in her seat, backpack filled with neurozine canisters in her lap. She took a breath, waiting for the command to go. She and Emily wouldn't be first, of course, but if there was an immediate firefight they needed to be ready in case there were early casualties.

She closed her eyes and said a short, silent prayer. Unlike most humans in the Federation, Robin was still a religious person and held the faith of her ancestors, though she didn't often attend mass. She prayed for her comrades that they be safe and unhurt, she prayed that she would stand strong, and prayed for the Cardassians as well. She had no desire to harm any of them, and hoped (however unlikely it was) that they would end up with nothing more than a neurozine headache and a one-way ticket back to Cardassian territory.

>> Artemis Ancillary Locations >>
Lucy knew she should have expected the results. The Cardassians could be capricious, but not stupid. Whatever it was impeding the sensors was most likely a device of some sort. Before Lucy could let Robin know that the surveys had no record of spatial phenomena it was go time. The Captain was briefing the crew on the current iteration of the plan.

Once docked the first task was taking the Computer Core of the Callisto. Lucy was to assist with blocking attempted teleportation into Computer Core. Using transporter enhancers to scramble attempted teleportation was an intriguing idea, also useful if it worked as hoped. Of course after they had captured the Computer Core there were still primary points like the Bridge and Engineering.

One step at a time.

Lucy headed into the cargo bay and along with the rest crew. There were the expected crates of phasers and gas masks. Next to where the canisters of neurozene there was a grate of grenades with similar markings. Lucy added four to her satchel. It was unlikely that she’d be using them, but it was good to have back up for others.

Once she’d checked her satchel for phaser, tricorder and party favors Lucy lifted a set of pattern enhancers and her Engineering field kit. Just another day at the gym. Being the lone Science Officer meant she wasn’t on point or rearguard for the group. Exiting the Liberty Bell was going to be very interesting, especially since the Waverider was still cloaked.

Time to surprise some Cardassians. No hugs.

>> USS Artemis – Ancillary Locations >>
>> Artemis Ancillary Locations >>
Emily felt nauseated, a low gurgling in her stomach without reaching the point of actual sickness. Miller had passed her the grenades, and she expressed her gratitude. Returning to her CMO, she handed over the small devices and double-checked if anything else was needed. Once confirming that everything was in order, she nodded.

Gradually, people began to filter out. Despite the urgency of the situation, Emily couldn't shake the feeling of transitioning from a familiar space to an unfamiliar one. As she observed the shift, the gravity of their situation prompted her to silently recite a Vulcan prayer. Taking a deep breath to steady herself, Emily lifted the pack with the canisters onto her shoulder, grabbed her medical gear, with mask,  in hand and followed the rest.

>> Artemis Ancillary Locations >>
Things quickly went from slow going to breakneck speed in what seemed like the blink of an eye. Options had been going back and forth, with there always seeming to be a snag or something that would basically end with them fighting for their lives. However, it did appear Captain Crawford had an ace.

Knowledge of a ship's layout was a highly critical skill that Miles believed important. He couldn't claim that he could give you the layout of each type of ship of in the Fleet, especially when upgrades or modifications were taken into consideration. But the Captain had an idea.

Miles listened as the plan was laid out. It could work, and give them a leg up when it came to fulfilling their mission. It was out of the box, but sometimes those were the best plans.

Miles role was pretty straightforward: He would playing Security Officer again. Yes, he would also have to secure the Liberty Bell on his way out along with Commander Coleman. He did one final check of his gear before the plan was initiated. When it was, he moved the Liberty Bell to dock with Callisto, as nothing had given indication that the Captain's codes had been denied. Taking a deep breath, he prepared to move out.

>>Artemis Ancillary Locations>>

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