Posted on Wed May 30th, 2012 @ 5:01am by 1st Lieutenant Craig Tybalt (Cuz) & Lieutenant JG Erienne Tosca & Corporal Brittney Wayne (Trix) & Corporal David Carpenter (Cypher) & Staff Sergeant Eric Mixon (Cable) [PNPC Wayne] & Corporal William Kirby (Chi-Town) [PNPC Tybalt]
Location: "Ranger Country"
Timeline: Just after "Unexpected goings on"
"So, did your Commander...What's the phrase?...Drill you a new one, after the meeting?" Koroth asked, as Craig entered the ranger's 'lounge', known as the 'Vault', converted from one of the crewman's quarters that had been assigned to them. It would also, be used as a mission briefing room.
"Not as bad as I thought." He answered as Kirby handed him a scotch. The Klingon, as usual, was drinking a bourbon, a habit he had picked up somewhere. Koroth was wearing the uniform of his clan, which featured a black turtleneck, a pair of black long slacks, with knee high boots, a tunic made of pewter colored shiny fabric, with no sleeves, tucked into the pants at the waist. This was finished off with a sash of thickly woven gold metal like fabric, Crossing his upper body and overlapping at hip. The sash, being made of cloth and not metal was a sign of dishonor, in Klingon society...Koroth wore it with honor.
"So, what do you think about the people aboard this station?" Craig trusted his friend's opinion...Klingon or not.
"They are the perfect mixture of bravery, intelligence and paranoia...Not bad, for Starfleet." The commander took a drink from his tumbler.
"What do you think, Trix?"
"Well for being a bunch of Starfleet types the guys are kinda cute." Brittney snikered. "No they seem bold and I agree with the bravery part we will see what happens if the stuff hits the fan."
"Hell, I wouldn't mind getting to know the Security Chief!" Kirby interjected. "She's hot."
Cable walked in the room and saw Kirby sitting with the new group. He grabbed a Vodka and water (hold the water), and came over to join the group.
"How's the arm Cable?" Craig asked the heavy weapons guru. "The techs get it straightened out?" Cable had to put up with his old arm, the one he had gotten from the aliens, when the Rangers from Striker were being held captive, had been confiscated, so that it could be studied...Chances are, IF he got it back it, would be in pieces.
Cable gave Tybalt an exasperated look and sat down.
David Carpenter merely pushed himself up off of the wall, emerging almost out of the shadows with his gear in check, and his duffel already packed at his quarters. David studied the crew observantly from a distance. He approached the table, and the others. "Sirs," he greeted crisply, offering a salute. He took a seat at the table, far away from the action, with a portable console in his hands.
"Welcome to the fold, Cypher." Tybalt said. "I hope Captain Carlin isn't still grousing about having to finally give you up." Carpenter had been temporarily assigned to the USS Vermont by Intelligence to do some special work for them...what ever it was, it was classified. "I'm guessing you've met Wren, he's sort of the Team mascot, but, don't tell him that." The bar owner was special to the Rangers. Up until a couple years ago, he had been one of the best combat engagement operators the Ranger's had. Sadly...Maybe it was too much action, or always being away from family...What ever it was, he had cracked up (which sometimes happens in the business). He was given a discharge at full retirement pay...So, former Staff Sergeant Tyron now owned 'Tyron's Bar & Grill' on the promenade.
"Yes, sir," David responded.
Kirby piped up. "So, Cypher, what do you drink?"
The young corporal looked down to his console. He tapped the side so the screen popped up and began tracing his fingers over the command keys. "Coffee." He replied calmly, but there was a hint of wryness there if one looked hard enough.
"Coffee?" Kirby said with distaste. He pointed with his thumb. "The replicator's over there." Damn another tea toter. What was the Universe coming to? He wasn't sure his 'still' could create a cup of coffee.
David merely arched an eyebrow and lifted up the cup of coffee he had procured before sitting down, taking a drink of it and turning to pay attention to Tybalt.
If Erienne had been moving a little bit faster, she would have run into the door to the room even as it slid open. She knew it wasn't a great first impression to be late. Kirby stopped her and asked intently: "Drink?"
She looked around confused. Did she enter a bar by mistake? Everyone seemed to be holding some sort of beverage. "Errr, no. No thank you," she said and smiled as she moved past the man who smelled of actual alcohol and found a seat somewhere. "Oh, sorry," she said to Tybalt. "Didn't mean to be late, but I was...," she hesitated to explain and decided an uncharacteristically short reply would have to do. "Sorry about that."
David looked up as the woman he'd met on the promenade earlier surfaced.
Tybalt looked at the assembled members of Alpha Team. "Now, down to business." He handed out padds to each of the Rangers.
"It appears Starfleet has lost a probe." He keyed the information to appear on their padds as he went on with the brief. "It has been traced to system b-571, well within Tholian space." Though everyone knew the implications of the news, he mentioned it anyway. "The Tholians could see this as an act of war.
"Along with the Cloaking device provided through Commander Koroth," He indicated the KDF officer sitting in the corner. "...We will be helping Cerberus Station recover the probe, hopefully with out the Tholians finding out about it."
He looked to the Klingon. "Koroth?"
The smooth headed Commander stood up. "Though you are hoping to sneak in unnoticed, there is a chance that you will encounter some Tholians...Perish the thought." He smiled. "On your padds is information that will help you to defeat Tholian warriors and hopefully make it out with your hides, or at least die in glory, taking as many insects with you as possible."
"The information you have in front of you is from classified Imperial documents." He smiled again. "That, I might add, you not suppose to be seeing."
Biological images of a Tholian appeared on each of their padds. "Tholians are silicon based beings and look similar to gagh that is too big for a bowl." Koroth enjoyed his joke, then continued. "They are most comfortable at temperatures in excess of 450 Kelvins (OOC: 350.33°F or 176.85°C), much below that and it is death for them."
David began tapping at his computer as Koroth spoke. He didn't look up, but he was paying attention diligently. A drop in the conversation had him pausing, and looking up. He realized it might have seemed rude. "Tholians communicate via radioactive pulses," David revealed in that quiet voice. "Their bodies are attuned to a specific frequency," the young corporal said, continuing to work at his console, his fingers flying almost expertly. "Disrupting that frequency could disperse an incapacitating blow to all Tholians in the area." He continued typing, his eyes tracking back and forth. "If I had Federation permission, I could get their frequency. Tholian medical databases." He closed the lid to his computer and leaned back, drinking his coffee.
Erienne Tosca, who had been invited to provide additional information, not covered by Koroth, put her padd down flat on the table. "Well, with such a well-informed team, there is little that I can add. To add to the Tholians and the temperature they prefer, this means that lower temperatures can hinder them, or even freeze them quite easily. It seems a viable achilles heel, if not for the fact that Tholians do communicate over long distances, and are believed to possess a hive mind."
"Which incidentally is not uncommon at all." She continued. "The Borg of course have a synthetic hive mind, where they are all connected, but with the Tholians it is indeed more insect-like. It is highly likely that if one Tholian notices something being off, the whole mind will be alerted to it. I guess this explains their xenophobia. They can't communicate with other species this way, and that puts us on a lower level, to them. It's not just that we don't speak their language or use different body language; we can't ever attempt to learn to communicate their way. They communicate with us on our level." She paused and took a deep breath, sure that she was going off on a tangent.
"They're going to be unhappy, either way. They find the probe, they are going to accuse the Federation of spying. They catch us retrieving the probe, they're going to accuse the Federation of spying, and then kill whoever retrieved the probe. Either way, it is not going to be good." Erienne tried to look dapper, and thought she was succeeding in hiding that all she could think was 'This is a suicide mission, people! Run!'
Kirby smiled. "So, this is going to be another 'milk run', huh?"
As the almost forced laughter subsided, Craig looked toward the zeno-anthropologist. "Thank you Lieutenant, your information has given us a lot to go on for this mission." He then aimed his eyes at the rest of Alpha Team. "Cypher, get those frequencies, use Int-Auth code Beta-2." An 'Int-Auth Code' was a communication program that allowed Starfleet Intelligence to use a starship's (or Station's) subspace equipment, without leaving a 'foot print'. "Intelligence should be able to let you piggy back off one of their assets. I also want to be able to totally jam their communications, during the mission." The 'asset' was probably a spy station somewhere near the Tholian border.
The hacker nodded. "Yes, sir." With that, he looked back down at his console, tapping away once more.
"Trix." He continued. "You and Cable are with me, we're going to see what the techs on the station can come up with on short notice." He then aimed his attention on his 'problem child'. "Kirby see to the arm-vacs." Arm-vacs were combat oriented vac-suits that the Rangers used, they couldn't be used as long as standard Starfleet suits, but, they did offer protection that wasn't available in the normal suits. "...And, the 'drinking lamp' is off, stow the still."
"Ah! Come on Craig!"
Tybalt ignored Kirby's outburst. "The 'last meal' will be at Wren's." 'Last Meal', was a tradition among the Rangers...It was the last meal eaten before a mission, and for some Rangers, could be the last meal period. The 'Last Meal', was eaten together.
The meeting was over.