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    Messages in Star Trek: the Edge of Duty
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t_catt11
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a wrap

Stardate 2365.02.12
USS Peregrine, Captain's Ready Room - 09:55

Tochi hadn't been happy to go along with all of Drake's pronouncements - which was to be expected.  Some of the Trill's words, however, came as a surprise.

Tochi gazed at the box which Silas had slid across the desk and, for a moment, marveled at it’s contents, but, soon enough, reached out a hand and snapped the thing shut. "Thank you, my friend," he smiled genuinely, "but this is not the reason we agreed to serve under you, you know? You, sir, are an excellent officer, a wise leader, and a knowledgeable Captain. That is what makes you the sort of commander Starfleet needs and deserves. Not the handing out of undeserved promotions or the sheltering of your crew from actions you choose to take upon yourself when you know all of us are behind you." The Trill’s hand closed on the box and drew it across the surface of the desk and, even as he pocketed the thing, he smiled at his friend. "We will take your promotion, Silas," he offered, "and thank you for it, but do not think that an extra pip will keep us from telling the truth of what transpired here, or the role that we played in it."

Silas chuckled ruefully.  "Underserved promotions, Tochi?  Surely you undersell me.  While a twisted part of my physche would love to see the look on the faces of Jacobs and his cronies when they discovered that everyone on this ship had been promoted, it would make a mockery of the process, undermine the validity of the promotions, and strain the fabric of the concept of independent command."

He shook his head.  "No, my friend - I am, as they say, a dyed in the wool hardass; no matter the circumstance, I would never dream of using my position to give unfair favor to anyone.  From what I have seen, from how the crew responds to you, how your peers interface with you... you should have owned that third pip for at least a year or two by now, glitchiness be damned."

"You are our friend, Silas Drake," Tochi Zai smiled softly, reaching a hand across the desk to shake Silas’, "and that is more an honor than any medal, rank, or badge could ever hope to confirm. In the event that they do assign you to a penal colony, rest assured that we will visit you regularly and often."

Feeling a catch in his throat, Drake had to push and clear his throat to respond.  "Thank you, Tochi.  Your kindness is very much appreciated."

After a moment's pause, he added wistfully, "I wish that Michelle could have known you.  She would have liked you."




Posted on 2018-09-20 at 15:39:57.

t_catt11
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5894 Posts


eternity's gate

Stardate 2365.03.03
Starbase 118, Auditorium One - 13:15

Silas sat, back ramrod straight, at a small table next to his advocate.  The young woman could have only had her second pip for a few weeks by the look of her... and while she was certainly earnest, her knowledge of the law had proven shaky more than once.  Of course, there were few truly capital cases tried these days, but it still would have been nice had she possessed a bit more seasoning and presence.

Presently, the brass who served as the General Court Martial board filed in to the makeshift courtroom and took their places on the dais.  Besides the judge, there were four admirals and one commodore... none of which even glanced at the accused.  Silas had not missed the fact that seated in the front of of the gallery was Captain Joshua Jacobs, who had undoubtedly come to enjoy the show.  The odious man wore a smug grin.

Once everyone was seated, the judge - a swarthy gentleman - asked aloud, "has the panel reached a verdict?"

The closest figure to the judge, a female human admiral with short brown hair, nodded.  "We have, your honor."

The judge spoke solemnly.  "Very well.  The accused will rise."

Silas took his feet beside his council.  He expected to feel butterflies, to feel fear.  Instead, he felt... empty.  He almost felt sorry for his representative; the Lieutenant looked every bit as queasy and fearful as Silas himself believed he should feel. 

"Please announce the verdict," the judge spoke.

The woman cleared her throat.  "For the three charges of conduct unbecoming an officer," she said, her voice growing stronger as she spoke, "we find the defendant guilty.

For the charge of failure to obey a direct order, we find the defendant guilty.

For the two charges of high treason, we find the defendant guilty.

For the charge of incitement of a mutiny, we find the defendant guilty.

For the charge of piracy against a Starfleet vessel, endangering the lives of Federation personnel, we find the defendant guilty."

A small sob actually escaped the lips of his defender.  Silas felt weak, felt the room begin to spin, but there was no way he would give Jacobs the satisfaction of seeing weakness at this moment. 

The judge nodded.  "Starfleet thanks the panel for their service.  Please be seated."

He then turned to face Drake. 

"Commander Drake, you have been found guilty of a variety of capital offenses by a jury of your peers.  Do you have anything to say before I pass sentencing?"

Silas spoke huskily, "No, your honor.  I do not."

The judge tilted his head in acknowledgement.  "Very well.  Silas James Drake, I do hereby revoke your commission as an officer of Starfleet. You will not wear the uniform or bear the badges of office, and neither you nor your family or heirs will draw any benefit whatsoever from your service. 

Your crimes strike at the very foundation of our belief system, sir.  Without chain of command, Starfleet is subject to anarchy and failure.  Your personal opinions are not greater than those of Starfleet.  Your reckless actions put the lives of Federation personnel in jeaopardy and weakened the position of the Federation in this sector for years to come.  You led good officers astray and plunged not only your own vessel, but the entire battle group, into chaos with your mutiny. 

Any of the last three charges would have been more than enough to put you away on a penal colony for the rest of your natural life.  But these crimes were not in a vacuum; these crimes built upon one another and push this case into an entire new dimension of lawlessness.  Therefore...

...Silas James Drake, I hereby sentence you to hang by the neck until dead.  May God have mercy on your soul.  Please escort this man to the brig, where he will be held until such time as his sentence can be carried out.  This Court Martial is adjourned."

Numbly, with his ears ringing, SIlas allowed himself to be placed in binders and led away.

 

--------------------------------------------------------------

 

Stardate 2365.03.06
Starbase 118, Docking Bay Two - 05:28

Silas stood at the top of the makeshift scaffold, strangely at peace with what was to occur momentarily.  They had chosen early morning for obvious reasons; there would be less of a crowd, less chance for any disruption.

The Security ensign who had drawn the short straw grabbed his arm and spoke, not unkindly, "it is time."

Drake nodded and allowed himself to be led to the edge of the platform. In spite of a lifetime of other regrets, he found himself oddly bitter about the plain gray jumpsuit they had dressed him in.  Was it too much to ask to die in full uniform, with a shred of dignity?  But then again, that would soil the colors, he supposed, as the noose was fitted around his neck.

A rush of bitter regret swept over him.  Those he could not save, those whose careers he had certainly ruined.   Here at the last, true fear finally peeked through, and Silas felt his stomach turn to jelly.  Desperately, he fought back a sob.  Surely he would be with Michelle soon, what was there to fear?

A chime, and it was time; the platform disappeared from beneath his feet, the deck came rushing up at him, a terrible burning pain speared down his spine and up into the base of his skull.  The fates were laughing, he hadn't had the luck to break his neck in the fall; instead, he would suffocate.  His lungs on fire, gasping for a breath that would not - could not -  come, the world was hot agony, his vision slowly filled with floating spots before going dark... where was Michelle, why couldn't he see her?  Pain, darkness, alone, pain, darkness, alone, pain, darkness, alone, pain, darkness, alone, PAIN, DARKNESS, ALONE, PAIN, DARKNESS, ALONE, OH GOD!

 


Covered in cold sweat, Silas awoke with the bedsheets tangled around his body.  The reassuring hum of the Peregrine was the only noise that intruded on the silence of his cabin.  Shaking, he ordered the computer to raise the lights.  Suddenly, the inside of that bottle of Scotch seemed far more appealing than whatever tomorrow's arrival at Starbase 118 might hold.  Shaking like a a leaf in a strong breeze, reeking of sweat, Drake stumbled to the desk and grabbed a tumbler.








Posted on 2018-09-20 at 16:43:42.
Edited on 2018-09-24 at 15:56:25 by t_catt11

Odyson
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Truth, Justice and........

Stardate 2365.02.12
USS Peregrine, Captain's Ready Room - 10:55

John sat at his com console, “Julie I need you to be sure all of security transmission from the Peregrine get into the right hands, they need to be the full video and audio. If the brass only sees the shortened text revision they won’t be able to measure the full impact of what transpired.”

The young Asian women smiled back, “We’ve done our best. There seemed to have been technical issue that was affecting the text only versions. We were able to verify that they all opened and viewed every last minute before the text version was available. I have to say you do get yourself into some interest situations.”

John let out low sigh, ”Thanks cuz.. They really needed to see and hear Jacobs to feel the truth in the situation. Captain Drake is likely the best officer I have ever served under. He’s Old School; serves Right and Justice. If I didn’t know better I’d say he was related to one of us. Hell with a name like Drake he just may be a hidden hero. “

“Now now Johnny Boy…there are no hidden heroes…just folks that serve Justice and Right.” Petty Officer Kato smile at the ornate oriental wall hanging of the ancient female samurai, the Crimsoned Warp, on her wall. “By the way Jay was by and said there just may be something odd about that Captain of the Coronado . Jay said Donny found it interesting that each time Jacob’s headed a diplomatic mission he seemed to come away a bit more well heeled but nothing that could be proven illegal..just fishy.”

“Did he say if there were any hints dropped that could make it to the brass?”

“Well I don’t know how far it has spread but there is very interesting scuttlebutt rolling here at 118.”

John let out laugh, “I owe you all no matter how it plays out..we can only hope Justice is served…I’ll make good on our dinner when reach 118. Should see you soon.”

“Looking forward to it.”Julie waved as she signed off.

The com screen faded as John sat back. John knew that many thought the reports sent out by security was just another form of tattling, but John knew that the truth always had to be known. Picking up the crystal cube that held a single silver bullet he gazed at it he hoping he’d helped his captain.



Posted on 2018-09-21 at 19:43:19.
Edited on 2018-09-23 at 10:39:56 by Odyson

Eol Fefalas
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Stardate 2365.02.12
USS Peregrine, Captain's Ready Room - 09:55

“You are our friend, Silas Drake,” Tochi Zai smiled softly, reaching a hand across the desk to shake Silas’, “and that is more an honor than any medal, rank, or badge could ever hope to confirm. In the event that they do assign you to a penal colony, rest assured that we will visit you regularly and often.”

Captain Drake cleared his throat before reaching out to accept the Trill’s handshake. “Thank you, Tochi,” he said, the emotion in his voice tactfully masked though not unnoticed, “Your kindness is very much appreciated.”

“And more than deserved, Silas,” Zai replied with a smile and a nod.

“I wish that Michelle could have known you,” Drake added pensively as the two men’s hands unclasped, “She would have liked you.”

“And, likely, held us accountable for any trouble we allowed you to get into,” Tochi chuckled. “We’re sure that we would have liked her, as well,” he added, “and that, wherever she may be, now, she is as proud of you as we are.”

If there’s nothing else, sir,” the Trill said, straightening his uniform as he got to his feet, “we are supposed to be on duty at the CONN…” He offered a roguish grin and a quick wink, then. “…We should probably get back to it and make sure that we’ve laid in a sufficiently roundabout course back to Starbase 118.”

((OOC: Anything else from Silas on this goes here… backposts as needed, of course.))

USS Peregrine, Bridge - 09:59

Tochi Zai emerged from the Captain’s Ready Room, still with only two pips on his collar, and strode toward the CONN. As he approached, the diminutive form sporting the mass of red curls that occupied the helm bounced in the seat once before turning and blinking up at the Trill now standing behind her…

“H’lo, Lt Zai,” Megan grinned, her eyes darting quickly between Zai and the console at her fingertips, possibly unsure of exactly where they should be at the moment, “Everythin’okay?Meetin’wit’th’Cap’nwentwellan’all?”

…Tochi couldn’t help but grin in the face of the girl’s enthusiasm and uncertain excitement. “Relax, Mr Owen,” he chuckled softly, tipping his head a bit to indicate that it was okay for her to pay attention to her instruments and the viewscreen, “Take a breath and fly your ship.”

“Yessir…Ayesir…Jus’ wasn’ prepared fer ye ta…” Megan tittered as her eyes flittered back toward her controls and her fingers sped over the console. The little woman’s back straightened, then, and the mass of curls held behind her head in a tenuous ponytail bobbed as she forced herself to suck in a long, slow breath. “Anaway,” she almost sighed on the exhalation of that breath, her eyes now keen on the console and screens before her, “Meeting wit’ th’ ol’ man go a’right, sir?”

“Both better and worse than we’d imagined it might, Megan,” Tochi grinned, resting a reassuring hand on the girl’s shoulder, “Thank you for asking.” He glanced over her shoulder at the CONN, then, and, following that, let his eyes drift to the viewer. “Course and speed?” he asked after a moment, his hand falling away from the tiny pilot’s shoulder.

“En route to Starbase 118, sir,” PO Owen answered almost instantly, “per the Captain’s orders. Stan’ard Starfleet nav-paths, gi’en oor current position. Currently cruisin’ a’ warp five…”

Tochi reached passed her and made a slight adjustment to the currently plotted course but didn’t commit it to the controls, right away. “Drop us to warp three, Mr Owen,” he murmured as his cold fingers withdrew from the console, “and adjust Peregrine’s course per our input. I don’t think any of us are in that big a hurry to get back to 118.”

…Her eyes following Tochi’s hand, Megan did let her gaze drift away from the CONN for an instant, and she blinked, again. Then, realization dawned on her elfin features and she turned her face back to the controls to hide the smile that had started to tug at the corners of her mouth.

“Do you mind extra time at the CONN, Petty Officer,” the CFCO’s voice asked from over her shoulder, “or do we need to release you to your regular detail and take the helm, ourself?”

“Nosir. O’coursesir! I dinnae mind at all, sir,” Megan replied, tapping the icon that would commit Tochi’s adjusted flightplan to the computer and drawing the warp drive down to the suggested velocity, “Course correction’s laid in. Ye take all th’ time ye need, Lt Zai. I’ll mind th’ shop, ‘ere, til someone relieves me.”

“We’ll leave you to it, then,” Tochi winked, backing away from the CONN and pointing himself toward the turbolift, “Carry on, Mr Owen. Thank you.”

USS Peregrine; Deck 2 – XO’s Office - 10:09

Tochi whisked through the door to his office and, before the thing could close, flopped himself down in the chair behind the comparatively expansive desk that bisected the room. Why, Silas? Why are you so quick to give up on yourself? The question went unspoken save for in his mind as his feet went up on the desk and his hands pressed to his forehead. The Trill’s eyes scrunched closed, though, behind his eyelids, his gaze was still firmly fixed on the blank slab of his office’s ceiling. He sighed, long and loud, letting the tension seep from him on each bit of that expelled breath and, as it went, so, too, did the phantom view of the ceiling of his office. At first, it was just a blurring of the curves and lines that defined the ‘pattern’ of the office’s overhead but, soon enough, the blurring melded into the soothing gray-black of unimagined sight… and the realizations started to come…

“My very first real command led to the death of several people, Tochi. Including Michelle's," Drake’s voice echoed in his memory; the conversation recalled hadn’t occurred even two weeks ago. “I know what you are going to say. The matter was investigated, it was concluded that I did everything possible, that I chose the correct course of action. I know what they say; they gave me a frilling medal for it.”

…Tochi’s eyes shot open, then, and, as his hands came away from his head, one of them fumbled for the felt-lined box in his pocket. He thumbed the box open, sat it on the desk, and stared at the single, hollow rank pip nestled inside. Have you accepted a fate that has not yet come to pass as some sort of self-loathing act of contrition, Silas? The Trill wondered, pinching the little gold dot between his fingers and removing it from the box. Is your fatalistic outlook based solely on Jacobs’ political standing or, instead, is it something that you, yourself, hope for… a desire to make amends for some shadow of guilt that haunts your thoughts? He pursed his lips as he eyed the pip that now balanced on the tip of one finger and, after a moment, let out another sigh, accompanied by a rueful shaking of his head. It troubles us that we’re even considering that to be the case, Tochi’s thoughts continued as, at last, he affixed the Lieutenant Commander’s pip to his collar, We know you to be a stronger and wiser man than that, Silas, but we can’t help but wonder…

“Well, there’s little we can do about your personal demons, my friend,” LtCmdr Zai said aloud, his fingers falling away from his collar and coming to rest on the console built into his desk, “but we do know a thing or two about politics and how tenuous perceptions of power can be in that arena. Why don’t we see if we can’t get demoted by going against your orders, hmm?

Computer,” the Trill called, “Access all First Officer and Personal log entries from stardate 42132.4 to present; filter for any and all mentions of Captain Jacobs and/or the Coronado.

The computer chirped in acknowledgement and, soon enough, a summary of the data he had requested was scrolling across his display. As he examined the information and flagged specific items for a more in depth review, he called out another command; “Access ship communications for the same date range. Flag all communiques between myself and Commander Bethany Farr…”

=/\=Acknowledged,=/\= the computer responded. A status indicator appeared on Tochi’s console as the requested communication records were accessed and sorted.

“…Also, give us a capture of all bridge to bridge communications between the Peregrine and the Coronado from stardate 42143.7 forward…”

=/\=Secure and encrypted bridge communications requires verification of security level nine or higher,=/\= the computer replied, =/\=Input your code to proceed.=/\=

“…Zai- sigma-lambda-nine-zero-four-eight-six,” Tochi called back.

There was a brief series of blips followed by a similarly brief silence before the computer acknowledged his clearance; =/\=Code authenticated,=/\= it said, even as the files began to appear on his console, =/\=Thank you, Lt Commander Zai.=/\=

Over the course of the next hour and a half, Tochi went through the logs and comm files in excruciating detail, compiling every last bit of data that might be used to show that it had been Jacobs and not Drake who had been in the wrong where the Gamera debacle was concerned – policy, procedure, and chain of command be damned – and, also, those snippets of conversation between himself and Commander Farr in which she, herself, had questioned her Captain’s motivations, maneuverings, and malice toward Drake. When he finished, all the information he could find was consolidated and copied into a single file which he attached to an outgoing message…

To: Office of the Judge Advocate General, Starfleet Headquarters
From: LtCdr Zai, T.
Subject: Captain Silas Drake

Sirs,

By the time this message reaches you, I am sure you will have received other communiques regarding the activities and actions carried out by the crews of both the USS Coronado and the USS Peregrine where they concern the peace summit between the Rytian and Kuldar, held recently in the Gamera system. While, in the end, the mission was a success, tensions ran high between not only the respective delegates but, also, the Commanding Officers of the Starfleet vessels assigned as escort. Regrettably, the frictions between Captains Drake and Jacobs were not resolved as amicably as those of the Kuldar and Rytians. In the end, Captain Jacobs came to threaten bringing numerous charges against Captain Drake for actions which, quite honestly, sirs, saved not only numerous lives aboard both vessels but also the summit, itself.

Attached you will find secure, unaltered copies of my own log entries and communications in regards to this matter, as well as copies of bridge to bridge communications between Captain Drake and Captain Jacobs that transpired during the time Starfleet assets were engaged with saboteurs who sought to subvert the peace conference. I ask that, in your consideration of charges, should any be brought, that you consider the contents of these files before finalizing such decisions as I am sure they will provide an enlightening counterpoint to any allegations Captain Jacobs might have already made.

Sincerely,

Lt Commander Tochi Zai
(Executive Officer; USS Peregrine – NCC-79288 )

…Tochi blinked once as he re-read the message, then, with a confident nod, stabbed a finger at the console and sent the thing on its way. “And if the political machine in Starfleet wishes to ignore it,” he murmured, reclining back into his seat, “Perhaps GNN might care for a look.”

He stared at his display for a moment longer, wondering how much trouble he’d just managed to get himself into… particularly with Silas… but, after that fleeting instant of uncertainty in what he’d just done, the Trill shrugged and rose from his seat. Glancing at the time and feeling the slight rumble of a stomach nearing empty, he tapped his commbadge and strode for the door; “Zai to Lt Sh’iraolnas…”

=/\= ((OOC: assuming a response)) =/\=

“Good afternoon, Asovil,” his smile brightened just at the sound of her voice, “If you’re not busy with more important things, we were hoping you might consider having lunch with me.”



Posted on 2018-09-26 at 15:13:42.
Edited on 2018-09-26 at 15:56:34 by Eol Fefalas

t_catt11
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the beginning of the end

Stardate 2365.02.13
USS Peregrine, Bridge - 17:35

"Captain," Lieutenant Lasad spoke, "Starbase 118 has given us clearance to dock."

Finally, Drake mused.  It hadn't been lost on him that clearance had first been given to the Coronado some two hours ago.  The tiniest ghost of a grin pulled at the corner of his mouth as he considered that this all should have happened hours ago; apparently, someone had felt that some course and velocity changes were in order.  Jacobs was surely seething even more than usual.

"Very well," Silas spoke, looking around the bridge of the frigate for what felt utterly certain would be his final time to do so.  "Commander Zai, please complete docking procedures." 

In short order, it was done.  Almost immediately thereafter, Lasad spoke up again.  "Captain, we've been hailed again.  Commander Jennings has requested that you and Commander Zai meet with him at once."

No surprise there, Silas mused.  "Understood," he responded.  With a final glance around the bridge, Drake stood.  "Mister Lasad, you have the conn."  With that, he exited toward the turbolift.

------------------------------------------------

In the turbolift, Drake let his thoughts wander.  He had called a final dinner in the Officer's Mess the night before, but the mood had been somber - undoubtedly brought down by his own state of mind.  For a moment, his thoughts drifted to the nightmare, and a shiver ran down his spine. 

He elected to skip deck two; he had already packed up his meager personal possessions from both his cabin and ready room.  He would not bring the duffels and boxes at this point, thought surely someone else would handle his personal effects once he was in custody. 

Silas found himself desperately hoping that they would not replace Tochi as XO once he had himself been removed.  The Trill had such an excellent rapport with the crew; he would be invaluable to smoothing the transition for the next CO of the Peregrine.  Whether he believed it or not, the Helmsman would make a fine Captain himself... assuming his future commanding officers managed to stay on the right side of the regs.

All too soon, the pair found themselves on the gantry, with a small party waiting for their arrival.  Glancing at his companion, Silas spoke quiety.  "Thank you again, Tochi.  For everything.  May the wind forever be at your back."

And then, the time had arrived.  "Commander Silas Drake," spoke a red-uniformed human Captain with wavy black hair.  "I'm Captain Richards, in command of Starbase 118."  In his hand, he offered a PADD.  "I have orders from Admiralty.  You are hereby relieved of command of the USS Peregrine; your first officer, Lieutenant... er, Commander Zai is nominally in charge for the time being."  Three officers in Security gold stood behind him, and he glanced at Tochi.  "Commander, the Peregrine is ordered to undergo repair and refit at this time; please see to it that this is handled."

OOC: assuming Tochi complies..

As Richards spoke, Drake noticed that there was another small knot of people standing nearby.  One wore a blank expression and the gold of Security; the others were dressed in civillian attire, and seemed to be paying great attention to the conversation that Silas and the station brass were having.  One or two were speaking into recording devices.

"Commander Drake," Richards continued, I'm afraid that I have to ask you to come with us.  As he spoke, a sandy-haired human that Silas recognized as Commander Jennings, the station Security chief, strode toward him. 

Silas nodded.  "Of course, Captain."  As he spoke, Drake raised his wrists together in front of him.  "I am unarmed; I checked my sidearm in to the ship's armory already."

As Jennings reached for Silas, binders in hand, Richards cut his eyes at the group of civilians and spoke tersely.  "That will not be necessary, Jennings.  Put those away!"

The Security chief looked disappointed, but followed orders, instead grabbing Drake's left arm.  "Come with me, sir," he spat, but a loaded look from Richards caused him to drop his grip.  Silas fell in, with Richards and Jennings on either side, and the two officers behind.  As they walked away from the ship, Drake could pick up a snippet of the civilians' speech.

"....as they are now leading Commander Drake away..."

------------------------------------------------

The lack of solid sleep had started to get to him; Drake could have sworn that everyone’s eyes were on him as he was led through the Starbase corridors. At one point, the group walked through a common area, and he could have sworn that the holovids were broadcasting news items related to the Gamera peace summit. He even thought once that he heard his name mentioned, but when he looked up, all he could see was the greenish shape of the planet as the backdrop to Gamera station.

Drake was surprised to find himself being led down what felt like a residential hallway, as opposed to his expected destination of the Station brig. Soon enough, they were in front of a nondescript hatch.

“Commander, these will be your quarters for the time being, “Richards spoke. “You are under house arrest. Security will be stationed in this corridor; please do not attempt to leave your quarters without proper authorization. I will see to it that your effects are delivered to you within a timely manner.”

Confused at the turn of events, Drake stepped inside the apartment, and the hatch whooshed closed behind him.

Inside was a reasonably spacious suite, with a bed, a desk, and both a private head and personal replicator. A viewscreen was on the far wall, and was turned on to the FNN broadcast… and footage playing, showing himself being led away from the Peregrine. At the bottom of the display was bold white text with the caption, “DRAKE TAKEN INTO CUSTODY”, along with scrolling text beneath that raised pointed questions about the event.

As focused as he was on trying to make sense of the meaning of the holovid, Silas completely overlooked the wiry older man in the chair near the viewscreen until the latter took his feet.

Momentarily, Silas found himself face to face with a Vice Admiral. As Drake started to salute, the man sighed and shook his head. “Commander Silas Drake. What in the hell am I supposed to do with you?”
 



Posted on 2018-09-26 at 17:46:37.
Edited on 2018-09-26 at 23:37:58 by t_catt11

Bromern Sal
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Stardate 42146.6 (11:48 AM, 02/12/2365 Friday)
Science Officer's Office, Lab 1

=/\= Zai to Lt Sh’iraolnas… =/\=

Blinking away the strain she feels within the deepest recesses of her alien eyes, Asovil Sh'iraolnas breathed in sharply and practically jumped against the chair back in surprise.

"Uh, yes? I mean, this is Lt Sh'iraolnas," the voice sounds familiar... oh! OH! "Tochi! Hello."

=/\= Good afternoon, Asovil. If you’re not busy with more important things, we were hoping you might consider having lunch with me. =/\=

"Lunch? But it is still ear—" pausing, the Andorian scientist taps her computer screen and raises her finely manicured eyebrows. "It's already close to twelve-hundred! Time buys when you're eating plums, I suppose. Although, that makes no sense as I'm not eating plums..." Considering the statement for a moment, she shrugs it off and realizes that she's not yet answered the man.

"Yes," she finds herself responding thoughtfully and then following it up with a more forceful affirmation, "Yes. I would enjoy that. Shall I meet you in the galley?"

Still caught somewhere between her analytical mind and her fumbling social persona, Asovil returns her attention to her work for a moment, unconsciously picking up a couple of sentences up from the end of her recent report on the Black Matter Displacement Formula for Determining Cloaked Objects in Space. It's one thing to have come up with a methodology; it's another thing entirely to write it in such a way as to deserve publication. Glancing at the commendation Captain Drake had awarded her with earlier this morning, the blue-skinned woman fears for a moment that she had missed Tochi's reply, lost as she was in her thoughts.

Stardate 42150.0 (5:35 PM, 02/13/2365 Saturday)
Science Officer's Office, Lab 1

= Beep chirp =

"Come," Asovil responds absently, her nose just a few inches from the screen of her PADD and the sensor report she was looking at for the hundredth time since the battle.

"I thought you'd want to know," Ensign Maize remarks on the heels of the hydraulic hiss emitted from the opening door, "that we've arrived at Starbase 118."

Settling back in her chair, the Chief Science Officer of the Peregrine rolls her head on her elegant neck and sets the handheld computer on the smooth surface of her desk. "And the captain?"

"No word has come down yet... officially," Dalia responds.

Eyeing her subordinate with slightly hooded eyes as the strain of her studies slowly leaves her shoulders, Lt Sh'iraolnas considers the other woman's words for a moment before pursuing further insight. "And unofficially?"

"Word has it," Dalia slides into the chair opposite her superior officer and leans forward conspiratorially, "that Captain Drake and Lt Cmdr Zai are preparing to disembark without a retinue."

"And this is newsworthy?"

"It means that the captain is expecting the worse from what we can tell," the other scientist discloses excitedly.

"I am confused," Asovil's brow furrows, creasing her otherwise smooth forehead and her antennae press forward. "Who consists of this group of observers and why is it that you appear thrilled at this assumption? Having been in a far less contentious circumstance, I can assure you that the whole event—while necessary—is unfortunate."

"It is! It really is," Ensign Maize licks her lips and blinks rapidly a few times. "I am not excited because of Captain Drake's circumstances, sir. I'm sharing with you the scuttlebutt about the ship and... well... we humans have a particular affinity for gossip. So, I guess it could come across as something I'm excited about but I assure you that I am not."

"Your explanation does you no credit, Ensign Maize," Asovil frowns a little and reaches up with both hands to rub the back of her neck. "Please, check with Ops and determine what availability there is for our department to experience some leave while we're here, and Dalia? No more shufflebutt."

"Skuttlebutt, sir?"

"Yes, that."

"Are you not—never mind, sir. I'll see to a potential leave schedule right away," rising from her seat, Ensign Maize pauses. "Sir?"

Pausing her self-inflicted therapeutic massage, Asovil raises her eyebrows and peers up at her sub-officer, "Yes?"

"If there is a trial, and it's public..."

"Yes?"

"Would it be appropriate for the crew to attend? To show support for the Captain, I mean."

"Those who are on leave are welcome to attend any public event that they should desire, I would presume," feeling a bit annoyed by the round of questions, Asovil drops her hands back to the desktop and swipes her PADD up. Why such simple questions? Of course people can attend! They should, even.

Without further engagement, the Assistant Science Officer made her way from Lt Sh'iroalnas' office leaving her superior to the work of fine-tuning her paper.



Posted on 2018-09-27 at 15:30:19.
Edited on 2018-09-27 at 15:55:26 by Bromern Sal

t_catt11
Fun is Mandatory
RDI Staff
Karma: 338/54
5894 Posts


what, indeed?

Stardate 2365.02.13
Starbase 118, Drake's Quarters - 18:06

The Admiral's words hung heavy in the air, and though the man's words were not unkind, they seemed difficult for Silas to get his head around. 

Dumbly, he sputtered in response.  "Sir?"

The Admiral sighed and shook his head slowly.  "At ease, Commander... have a seat." 

As Drake carefully accepted the offer, the Admiral continued.  "Do you have the slightest idea of just how much of a pain in my ass you have become?  Jacobs has been in contact with Starfleet Command nonstop for the past three days.  All sorts of charges are coming your way - surely you are aware of that?"

Silas nodded carefully.  "Yes, sir.  I expected as such."

The older man seemed satisfied with that.  "That, in and of itself, is going to be an enormous mess.  The inquiry, the Court Martial..."

I guess that makes it official, Drake silently mused.

"...and all of that is bad enough," the Admiral groused, "but what am I supposed to do about all of THIS?" he demanded, gesturing at the viewscreen. 

Silas continued to feel foolish, like some joke had been shared with everyone in a crowded room but him.  "Sir?" he inquired.

The older man fixed Silas with an incredulous stare for a moment.  "You don't mean to tell me... you actually don't know, do you?"  Bizarrely, the Admiral began to chuckle.  "I suppose that you haven't paid attention to the newsvids, eh?  Well, congratulations, Commander... according to the public, you're a frilling hero." 

The Admiral gestured, and the broadcast changed to a different provider.  Two women - one human, one Vulcan - debated one another earnestly.  Silas couldn't seem to focus on their conversation, but the title at the bottom of the screen caught his eye: "COMMANDER DRAKE - HERO OF THE PEOPLE, ENEMY OF THE STATE?"

Drake’s mouth opened, then closed without a sound.  Finally, he found his voice.  "Sir, I don't understand."

The Admiral chuckled dryly.  "Someone - I have it on good authority that it was a highly placed Kuldarian diplomat - apparently decided to sing your praises to the news media.  How you went far beyond the edge of duty to save lives, to save their peace process.  Governmental officials for the Rytain say nearly the exact same thing.  The story has spread like wildfire, how a generations old conflict ended because of the actions of a Federation warship in stopping a terrorist plot, how her maverick Captain ignored regulations to save the day."

Silas stayed completely silent as the Admiral spoke.

"There is holo footage of the Peregrine firing on the Coronado.  There are those in Starfleet Command who are ready to fit you for a noose right now.  And yet... how does one hang a hero?"  The older man pinched the bridge of his nose between his forefinger and thumb.  "Like I said, Commander, you have become an amazing pain in my ass."

Drake cleared his throat.  "Sir, if I may, it must be clear that my officers were only carrying out my direct orders.  I am solely..."

The Admiral cut him off.  "Don't be ridiculous, Drake!  Of course they were following orders!  No one with a shred of common sense thinks for a moment that some two pip Looey took it upon himself to fire on a Federation vessel!  This sits at your doorstep alone."

Silas nodded.  "I understand, sir.  I am prepared to accept the consequences of..."

Again, he was cut off.  "Commander, be silent.  I want to ask you some questions.  You will answer me with complete, unvarnished truth in all cases.  If I decide that you are holding back details, that you are attempting to place a positive spin on any aspect - let alone, that you are lying - then my time with you here is done.  This is not an official interrogation, mind you - but your words do matter.  Do I have your word that you will be truthful?"

Silas nodded.  What could he possibly have to lose?  "Aye, sir.  I will not hold anything back."

The gray haired Admiral nodded.  "Very well. 

Did you disobey a direct order from Captain Jacobs and abandon the ordered attack run?”

Silas nodded. “Yes sir, I did. I had compelling evidence to suggest that the Kuldar were not behind the attack, as Captain Jacobs believed.”

The next question came. “Did you remove Captain Jacobs as commanding officer of the battle group under threat of force?”

Silas nodded. “Yes sir, I did. His actions were jeopardizing the peace process. An attack against an innocent party would have ended all peace negotiations.”

The questions kept coming. “Did you later fire on the USS Coronado, fully aware of the fact that this was a Federation vessel that you were targeting?”

Again, Silas nodded. “Yes sir, I did. Captain Jacobs refused to break off his attack. I took down his shields to get his attention.”

The Admiral arched an eyebrow. “Did you threaten to cause loss of Federation life aboard the USS Coronado, unless Captain Jacobs relinquished command of his vessel?”

Silas had no choice but to agree. “Yes sir, I did. Captain Jacobs chose to retaliate, and had I not threatened to disable his vessel, he would have done so – or worse - to mine.”

But the questions were not over. “Did you threaten neutral alien fleets – fleets representing the very governments whose peace you were supposed to be brokering – with destruction if they failed to comply with your instructions?”

The room seemed to draw in close around Drake as he answered. “Yes sir, I did. The fleets were taking hostile positions, and the peace summit would have ended had they began shooting at one another.”

The Admiral shook his head. “So you threatened to kill them instead. Did you also arrest the head Ambassador of a foreign power at a peace summit that you were supposed to protect?”

A rueful grin touched at Drake’s mouth. “I did, indeed. I had evidence that the Ambassador was aligned with the terrorists, but he was otherwise untouchable. So I invoked plenipotentiary powers and declared him a threat to operational security, had him arrested and held for his crimes against his own people. And yes, I did follow up and threaten the representatives of both governments when they attempted to abandon the summit.”

The Admiral stared at Silas for several agonizingly long moments with an unreadable expression.

“These could all be interpreted as very serious – even capital – crimes," the Admiral observed. Silas nodded, knowing as much. “As I already told you, there will be an official inquiry, and I see no way that there will not be a formal Court Martial; there is simply no way for Starfleet to look the other way, no matter what the newsvids might be saying. Commander Drake,” the older man continued, “I do have one final question,” he stated. “I’d like to know how, exactly, you fit them in.”

Silas blinked, feeling rather stupid. “Fit what, sir?”

The older man actually laughed. “Son, how exactly do you manage to fit those enormous brass balls of yours inside of regulation uniform trousers?”

For the first time in days, Silas began to wonder if there might be some improbable way out of this as the Admiral continued to chortle over the idea of a Commander invoking plenipotentiary powers.



Posted on 2018-09-27 at 17:20:27.
Edited on 2018-09-27 at 17:45:55 by t_catt11

Bromern Sal
A Shadow
RDI Staff
Karma: 137/11
3576 Posts




Stardate 42150.1 (6:10 PM, 02/13/2365 Saturday)
Science Officer's Office, Lab 1

Insects on Andoria are not the same as those on warmer worlds. They tend to either move slowly in their blubberous state, thick and rife with fatty tissue designed to protect their innards from the extreme temperatures or they bore extreme layers of fur and in some cases, both. Either way, their biological designs are repulsive to the blue-skinned scientist. There is one aspect about Andorian insects that she does appreciate, however, and that is that they don't fly. They don't pester... like the flashing notice on the upper right portion of her screen indicating in bright yellow that she has a video message waiting for her. Attempting to ignore the persistent notification as proven impossible. Every time she instructs the computer to dismiss it, the notification vanishes for a moment and then reappears; which she is quite certain is not supposed to happen. 

"Oh, by the Blood of Uzaveh the Infinite!" Will this incessant distraction not leave me be?

Placing her index finger against the screen at the point of the notification once again, she angrily swipes to the right and sends it off screen. 

"Computer, run a level five diagnostic scan on the messaging system," she commands flatly. I'll see what's broken and have Engineering come to repair the issue right away. Then, perhaps I can get some work done.

Rising from her desk, the Andorian Shen makes her way to the replicator and leans her shoulder into the wall next to it. "Katheka, hot." 

As the replicator dispersed with her order, Asovil settles her frustration and focuses her internal energies on the mental exercises taught her as a young girl by a priestess of Uzaveh. Are you one? Are you of two? Are you the third part of three? Are you a whole four? Are you one? Are you two? Are you the third part of three? Are you a whole four? Repeating the phrase over and over again, her antennae stop their quivering and return to their stationary rigidity.

Taking the steaming cup of Katheka from the replicator bay, she blows the tendrils of mist from the surface and sips lightly at the refreshing liquid. Returning to her desk, she sets the mug on the Andorian painted tile she uses as a coaster and takes up her PADD once more. In the upper right-hand corner of the screen, the notification has returned and with it, the shaking of her antennae.

"You win," she snarls, tapping the indicator once resulting in the screen filling with the video link.

Just moving into position behind a desk is a shadowy form, male, human, and wearing black clothing. The figure's features are almost entirely draped in light shadow, not enough to make it impossible to see his features but certainly enough to add a sense of mystery to the whole communication. 

He's an older human, Asovil places him at around fifty to fifty-five years of age, with graying brown hair cut regulation short and sagging cheeks. His eyes look tired, the upper lids hanging heavy over his dark irises and massive bags rolling over his cheekbones. Bushy gray-white eyebrows adorn his brown in a tilting frown and his tall forehead is alive with creases.

"Lieutenant Asovil Sh'iraolnas, it is a pleasure to make your acquaintance," his lilting voice announces as he settles into his chair. Peering past him, the scientist attempts to pick out any item of decoration she might recognize, symbols, or another identifying object, but is immediately disappointed to see nothing more than a dark blue wall.

"I would say the same but for the fact that I do not know you and you've interrupted my work with your persistence," at this, her antennae press towards the screen though her face remains emotionless.

"Yes," he shakes his head in what the alien assumes is an unspoken apology. "I regret that. I'm sure you have a great many details to iron out concerning your recent success with dark matter."

Chills spread through her chest and her body freezes as the only movement that continues is the slight turning back of her antennae and the marginal tremor that courses through them. "Who are you?"

"My name doesn't matter, but my reason for reaching out to you does," shifting in his seat, the older man leans into the camera causing the shadows to deepen about his eyes. "There will be many requests by the scientific community to collaborate or expound upon your findings, Lieutenant. It is in the best interest of all that you do not turn your discovery over to anyone until you hear from me again."

"And you'll tell me who I'm supposed to share my research with, am I correct?" Asovil's voice carries with it the cold winds of the Mesanthi'ton Plateau. "Do not contact me again." 

With that, she ends the conversation revealing her paper as though emphasizing the man's words. Narrowing her eyes, she sets the PADD down and looks up at the picture of the Andorian mountain range called Abpathni, a tourist attraction and a very dangerous but beautiful local. 

"Lt Sh'iraolnas to Lt Berk," she states crisply.

=/\= Berk here. =/\=

"I just received a video transmission. I'd like to know where it came from."

=/\= Was that just now, Lieutenant? =/\=

"Yes."

=/\= One moment. I'll look into that for you. Is everything all right? =/\=

"Please just locate the source of the transmission," she responds, not intentionally coming across as surely, but unaware of any way to change her mood at the moment.

=/\= I show that you've not received a transmission for days, Lieutenant. =/\=

"That's impossible. I just ended it."

=/\= With who? =/\=

"I don't know, Berk. That's what I'm attempting to find out."

=/\= Don't bite my head off, Asovil. I'm trying to help you out here. Look, I show that you ordered a scan on your messaging system that's close to finishing. I'll come to your office and we can look into this further. =/\=

"Yes. Let's."

Staring balefully at the PADD lying next to her computer on the desk, Lt Sh'iraolnas takes her Katheca in hand and sips at it. Like most Andorians, she is a patient woman, the trouble here is that she feels threatened and she has never taken that sitting down. Peering out her office door to the empty lab, she wonders at how this individual could have received the information he had so quickly. Her report would be accessible to the brass within Starfleet but this man was cloaked in shadows and mystery, not the usual approach ranking officers take. The only other way she can surmise such information reaching someone else's desk would be if it were actively shared, and she isn't entirely sure that many on board the Peregrine would even know what she'd done, let alone with enough information on hand to elicit the kind of call she had just fielded. There certainly was intrigue and non-conforming actions going on within her department before she arrived but not to the level where she felt as though she were suddenly a part of some great conspiracy. Did this call have something to do with Captain Drake? Was this an attempt to keep a potential command victory out of the discussion when her captain went to trial? 

Antennae pressing forward, she sits upright at her desk, the cup of hot liquid sloshing in her hand but thankfully not spilling over. I may be on top of something, she incorrectly uses the human phrase. "How realistic is this hypothesis?' she remarks out loud, setting the mug on the table next to the tile coaster.

"Drake is going to be court-martialed, of that there's no doubt," Asovil muses, her antennae now dancing about in excitement on the back of her head, her braided white hair already showing signs of whispy defeat at the end of the day now swaying with the steps she takes. "Jacobs obviously dislikes Drake, even I could see that. Would he attempt to conceal events to eliminate appearances of success from the Captain?"

Pacing about in front of her desk, Asovil's mind works furiously over the data points she has on hand. "He is certainly political enough, and to be disgraced in front of his ship like that would elicit any Andorian captain to demand Ushaan. Perhaps this is the Terran version of Ushaan?

"Computer, what is the Terran version of Ushaan?"

=/\= In the medieval era of Earth history, humans would engage in duels over besmirched honor, but this practice was outlawed and aside from a time in the pre-industrial era where cowboys would have violent gunfights in city streets, duels do not take place within human society. =/\=

"Not even in different forms?"

=/\= I do not understand the question. =/\=

Sighing, Asovil attempts to rephrase her question in a way that the computer might better decipher. "Are there any forms of human dueling that take place today that do not include physical altercations?"

=/\= Duelling is considered a barbaric practice and has not been— =/\=

= Beep chirp =

=/\= —in practice for hundreds of years. Other forms of dueling included rites of manhood within tribes of natives on the continent of Africa, the western cowboys and their glamorized showdowns in the American Old West— =/\=

"Cancel," grumpily admitting defeat, Asovil turns to face her new arrival.

Lieutenant Berk stands just inside the doorway, his eyebrows raised quite high on his forehead. "Thinking of challenging someone to a duel, Asovil?"

"No," she replies bluntly, feeling a little embarrassed and defensive at the same time. "Please, just look at my system."

"So long as we're not going to end up in a duel..."

"No dueling," she assures him irritably, her antennae rigidly quivering and pulled back nearly against her silky white hair.

Shrugging, Mathias moves to her desk and holds a tricorder over the components. "Has the system finished its diagnostics?"

"It has not reported yet, no."

"All right, well, I have Engineering running a deeper scan on the shipwide systems. If you received a transmission—"

"There is no doubt that a transmission came through, Lieutenant," Asovil snaps.

"—right. Sorry." continuing while looking at his tricorder readings, the Chief of Security attempts to assure her, "We will find any sign of it with these deeper scans."

Remaining silent (in part because of doubts that she's harboring), the Chief Science Officer continues her pacing and her deliberations while her counterpart in security does his work.



Posted on 2018-09-28 at 16:35:01.

Eol Fefalas
Witless Protection
RDI Staff
Karma: 442/28
7142 Posts


Back to Front

Stardate 2365.02.12
USS Peregrine, Deck 2, XO’s Office – 11:48

There was a momentary silence in the wake of his hailing Asovil that brought a faint smile to Tochi’s face. Head down in research or one of her experiments, most likely, the Trill easily imagined. Just as easy to envision, too, were the expression of rapt intensity that played on her face, the way her antennae might be tipped forward, and the way an errant wisp of silky, white hair fell across her elegant features only to be absently tucked away behind her ear…

=/\=Uh, yes? I mean, this is Lt Sh'iraolnas,=/\= the Andorian woman’s vaguely distracted voice finally responded, then, with a shift in tone toward realized familiarity, =/\=Tochi! Hello.=/\=

“Good afternoon, Asovil,” his smile brightened at the sound of her voice, “If you’re not busy with more important things, we were hoping you might consider having lunch with me.”

There was another brief instant of silence and Tochi couldn’t help but chuckle as he waited it out. We definitely interrupted while she was deep in thought.

=/\=Yes,=/\ she answered, pensively, at first, but, then, affirmed with more force, =/\=Yes. I would enjoy that. Shall I meet you in the galley?=/\=

Tochi was already rising from his desk, his smile spreading all the more in anticipation of seeing her. “The galley or The Aerie,” he answered, making his way toward the door, “which ever you prefer. We were just hoping to steal a few minutes of your day to say hello…”

((OOC: Up to you, Brom, as to where the pair have lunch and/or if we even wish to play the whole thing out. Tochi is really just looking to “catch up,” congratulate her on being awarded the Cross of Alexander, and enjoy Asovil’s company for a bit.))

Stardate 2365.02.13
USS Peregrine, Bridge - 17:35

From his spot at the helm, Tochi eyed the starbase where it loomed on the viewscreen and watched the flight patterns of the various craft that swarmed about the station. He had already queued up the Peregrine’s pre-docking protocols but wasn’t precisely anxious to engage them; he’d already seen to it that the Saber’s arrival, here, would be delayed by altering course and velocity and, if the truth of it were to be spoken, he would be perfectly content to keep the ship in its current holding pattern indefinitely but…

“Captain,” Lieutenant Lasad floated across the bridge from the OPS station, “Starbase 118 has given us clearance to dock.”

“Very well,” Silas’ voice came from behind him, then, “Commander Zai, please complete docking procedures.”

“Aye, sir,” Zai replied, nudging the engines to half-impulse and guiding the Peregrine to her approach vector, “Docking procedures engaged.”

His fingers danced across the console, making minor corrections to heading and velocity while, at the same time, opening a comm channel. “Starbase 118 Approach Control,” he said following the acknowledging chime from the comm, “USS Peregrine requesting lock on.”

=/\=Affirmative, Peregrine=/\= came the reply, =/\=Systems locked. Proceed to Docking Bay Six.=/\=

“Acknowledged,” the Trill sighed faintly, drawing the impulse engines down incrementally as he maneuvered toward the yawning spacedoor, “On final approach, Bay Six.”

Soon enough (perhaps too soon for his own liking given the circumstances) the Peregrine was safely roosted in the starbase’s docking bay. Tochi’s console had scarcely registered that the stations gravitational and umbilical support systems had been engaged when Dio called out another report. “Captain, we've been hailed again,” the OPS Chief said, “Commander Jennings has requested that you and Commander Zai meet with him at once.”

“Understood,” Silas responded even as Tochi climbed out of his own seat and moved to stand beside the Captain. “Mister Lasad, you have the conn.” 

Zai offered a faint nod when Silas’ eyes met his but said nothing, electing, instead, to simply walk in silence at the man’s side as he took his leave of the bridge. When they entered the turbolift, though, and as much as he might have tried to stifle it, a faint sigh whispered over the Trill’s lips as he wondered exactly whom Starfleet might deem worthy enough to sit in the Peregrine’s now empty command chair. They’ll have a hard time finding anyone as laudable as Silas Drake, he mused as the lift door closed, obscuring the bridge just as Lasad approached the Big Chair, of that we have no doubt.

The trip from the frigate’s bridge to the head of the starbase gantry was passed in silence and was woefully short. The hatch whisked away and the Peregrine’s Captain and Executive Officer stepped onto the gantry to see a small party awaiting their arrival. It was then that Silas paused, turned his eyes to the Trill at his side and said; “Thank you, again, Tochi. For everything. May the wind forever be at your back.”

“And may the sun shine warm upon your face,” Zai returned, a warm if somewhat dejected smile playing on his lips as he turned to face his friend. He clasped Drake’s hand, then, and gave it a firm shake. “We don’t think you have anything to thank us for, Silas, but you’re welcome all the same.” As he released Drake’s hand, Tochi turned his eyes toward the obvious security retinue awaiting them at the gantry’s far end. He let out another sigh, echoing the one that escaped him on the lift just moments ago, then, clasping his hands behind his back, the Trill pasted an ambiguous smile on his features. “It has been our honor to serve with you, Captain,” he added as they strode across the gantry, “and my privilege to call you friend.”

And then, the time had arrived.  “Commander Silas Drake,” spoke a red-uniformed human Captain with wavy black hair.  “I'm Captain Richards, in command of Starbase 118.”  In his hand, he offered a PADD.  “I have orders from Admiralty.  You are hereby relieved of command of the USS Peregrine; your first officer, Lieutenant... er, Commander Zai is nominally in charge for the time being.”  Three officers in Security gold stood behind him, and he glanced at Tochi.  “Commander, the Peregrine is ordered to undergo repair and refit at this time; please see to it that this is handled.”

Zai pursed his lips and offered Richards a curt nod in reply; “Aye, sir. Right away.”

He turned to face Silas, then, and rendered a crisp salute. “Captain Drake,” he intoned, a sly wink hiding under the shade of his saluting hand, “we’ll see you soon, sir.” As much as it pained him to do so, Tochi turned and, without another word or so much as a glance back, strode purposefully back toward the Peregrine. A tumult of emotion flooded him as the hatch opened ahead of him but he was able to swallow the bitter lump they had tied in his throat and managed to step over the threshold without allowing any of it to register on his face.

Stepping back onto the turbolift, he ordered it back to the bridge and made the ride in silence. When the door whisked away before him, again, he strode back onto the bridge, making straight for the command chair. Lasad had scarcely gotten out of the thing and travelled two steps back toward OPS before Zai had sat himself in the chair and, wordlessly, keyed a few commands into the console built into one arm of the thing. When the computer beeped it’s acknowledgement of those commands, Lt Commander Zai tapped one more key and an address whistle sounded over the ship’s general comms. “Attention, all hands,” he stated, matter-of-factly, “this is Lt Commander Zai. In spite of our mission’s success and in absence of common sense, Starfleet has seen fit to relieve Captain Drake of command of the Peregrine. Until further notice, I will serve as acting Captain of this vessel.

Our current orders are to undergo repairs and refit while we are docked, here, at Starbase 118. Engineering: please compile and submit your damage reports and upgrade requests; Operations: coordinate and facilitate repair and resupply efforts with station OPS as soon as possible; Security: establish in-port details per your discretion. All non-essential personnel are hereby granted on-base liberty for the duration of our stay. Captain Zai, out.”

Cutting the comm channel, Tochi hauled himself out of the chair and, ignoring the eyes that may or may not have been on him, just then, strode toward the Ready Room door. “Mister Lasad,” he said, more gruffly than he had likely intended, “once again, you have the CONN. We will be in the Ready Room.” He neither expected nor awaited a response. Instead, he veritably stomped (much as Silas had often done in past days) toward and, as it slide away ahead of him, through the door. As he stepped into the room, stopping just short of rounding to the business side of the desk, his gaze swept slowly over the various ship models that hung on the walls… The Golden Hind was, now, notably absent from the collection… Tochi drew in a deep breath as he resigned himself to, finally, skirting the desk and depositing himself in the seat to which, by rights, Silas should still lay claim. He held that breath, his eyes again finding the empty spot where The Hind should have been, and, after a long moment, leaned heavily back into the chair, closed his eyes, and pinched at the bridge of his nose as, shakily, he allowed that long held breath to escape.

((OOC: Could probably come up with more but decided to stop there - I still have at least one more post to write for another game, after all. Anyhoo... Tochi will be lingering in the Ready Room for a bit. Interrupt at your own discretion.  ... I may have a bit more from some NPCs (and possibly Tochi) a bit later...))



Posted on 2018-10-01 at 15:37:20.

t_catt11
Fun is Mandatory
RDI Staff
Karma: 338/54
5894 Posts


to what lengths?

Stardate 2365.02.13
Starbase 118, Drake's Quarters - 18:24

The gray-haired Admiral had taken his leave and wished Silas the best.  The former CO of the Peregrine sat in a bit of a daze until the door chime rang - as he knew it would.  "Come," he spoke.

Lieutenant Commander Jennings stood in the doorway, flanked by his Security goons.  "Commander Silas Drake," he spoke, "I am here on behalf of Starfleet Command to formally notify you of the inquiry into your actions in the Gamera system, as well as those committed both to and from the mission site itself.  Captain Joshua Jacobs has provided more than sufficient evidence to call for this investigation.  At present, the charges against you include failure to obey a direct order, insubordination, and high treason - but more charges are pending."

He took a breath.  "Captain Richards has chosen to allow you to remain in house arrest, but note that if you violate this in the slightest, you will be relocated to the brig."  A nasty gleam was in the man's eye.  "I'm personally hoping that you will give me an excuse to so relocate."

Jennings glanced at one of his officers.  "Bind him," he ordered.  "Drake, you will accompany us now to station Security to undergo formal questioning.  You have a right to have counsel present during such questioning, but you may not decline to answer.  Do you understand?"

Silas nodded in acceptance as he held his hands out.  "I understand," he spoke as the binders were slapped on. 

----------------------------------------------------

It was not lost on Drake that he was led through what appeared to be less traveled corridors.  This time, there were no common areas, no civilians to pass.  Soon enough, he found himself seated at a small table in a small room next to the brig.  Presently, a Security-clad Lieutenant entered the room and took the seat opposite his.  The illusion was that they were alone, but Silas well knew that the conversation was being broadcast - and that the far wall was a viewport in the room for what was surely a handful of officers outside.

He cocked an eyebrow.  "I thought I was supposed to have counsel present?"

She nodded.  "Yes, sir.  You can wait for that, if you prefer."

Drake smirked ever so slightly.  "That's okay, as I have nothing to hide.  In fact, Lieutenant - please note that I am voluntarily surrendering my rights against P&D interrogation.  I will hold no detail back."

She stammered in response and excused herself from the room.

----------------------------------------------------

P&D - short for polygraph and drug - had been illegal for at least a hundred and fifty years.  The names were a bit antiquated; twentieth century polygraphs were notoriously unreliable.  Of course, medicine had come a very long way in the past three hundred fifty years; it was quite possible to analyze brain waves in real time to determine the truthfulness of a witness; only the most skilled pathological liars were able to beat such tests.

The "D" related to the various "truth serum" drug cocktails that were once a staple of Cold War era spy novels.  Sodium Penthothal and similar drugs did once enjoy various levels of success, but these had been outlawed by humanity since the late twentieth century.  Again, the progress of medical knowledge had long since yielded ways to force witnesses to tell the truth; the drugs tended to leave the recipient feeling quite nauseous and drowsy for a day or two after, but they were all but perfectly reliable.

Of course, both methods were highly illegal across the Federation, as they obviously violated personal rights.  Rights that Drake had willingly chosen to waive. 

----------------------------------------------------
Stardate 2365.02.19
Starbase 118, Drake's Quarters - 19:12

"Drake, are you alive?"

The gruff, but not unfriendly voice called out into his apartment, but Silas could do little more than moan in answer.  The Admiral let himself in, and found Silas crumpled in the floor, where he was hugging the head for all he was worth. 

Rather than show sympathy, the older man chuckled.  "I've seen Andorians that weren't as green as you, man!"

Silas groaned again.  "I have accepted the fact that I'm going to die from overdose.  Give me some privacy, please."

The Admiral chuckled again. "Glad to see you keeping your spirits up.  I'd feel sorry for you, but this is a self inflicted wound; what sort of damned fool *asks* for P&D?"

The older man glanced to the side.  "In all seriousness, I wanted you to know - even with your testimony, things aren't going as well as they could have. The computer recordings from the Peregrine have been confiscated by Intelligence and marked as Classified."

Silas swore, retched, and swore again.  "Jacobs," he spat.

The Admiral nodded.  "Some friend of his, almost certainly.  But the realistic fact is this - as compelling as your testimony may be, you can't corroborate it with anything."

"My crew..." Drake started to object, but was interrupted.

"And Jacobs will have his crew testify his way.  He's very good at this game.  It will remain your word against his."

Silas shook his miserable head.  When push came to shove, a senior officer was to be believed... especially if the senior was well connected.  "Can I appeal?"

The Admiral shook his head.  "Your hearing starts in two days.  You can try, but nobody will hear it before then.  By the time those records see the light of day, the Court Martial will be long over."

Drake groaned.  "On the bright side, I'll hopefully die before they can sentence me."



Posted on 2018-10-02 at 16:21:41.
Edited on 2018-10-03 at 11:50:50 by t_catt11

HaemisMcTavish
Occasional Visitor
Karma: 3/0
30 Posts


No...No... Not again!

Stardate 2365.02.13

USS Peregrine, Engineering – 19:03

 

Haemis walked back into engineering stopping only a moment to deposit some recycle into a bin just inside a room off from engineering, he lingered a moment at the entrance staring down at a Padd in his hand as he checked several things off his list. He had things to do, he wanted this ship to have an easy transition with the engineering crews that they would be meeting at Starbase 118 to do some repairs and any refitting they would need before they would be heading back out. He smiled at the thought, having gone around the block on a single mission, not having been berated or hounded after for unbelievable task that he was used too back on the Coronado.

Something pulled his attention, not something he was used to seeing. Several of the engineering team were gathered around in deep conversation, a few even appeared troubled. With an eyebrow arched he slowly made his way over and stopped dead seeing what they were looking at.

“I can’t believe this!” he heard Caity Morgan’s voice over the others, it was then he realized it was her holding the padd when he pushed his way through the group and took the padd from her hand not believing it himself.

The lone headline was all he focused on, before the movement in a video caught his eye to drive home what he was reading, right there in a small window was Captain Drake being led away by Starfleet Security. He instantly felt his anger spike, he knew exactly who had perpetrated this. He glanced around at the others. “Back to work, you have tasks to complete!” he snapped, he saw a few of them visibly flinch at the cut of his words.

It didn’t take long for them to disperse in a hurry wanting to avoid any further chastising, leaving him and Caity standing there, he continued staring at the Padd. He didn’t hear her first question, but his eyes snapped up to her when she asked him again.

“You okay?” Caity asked concerned.

“No.” he said, this time with more control than the last. “No, I’m not. And this is not Okay!” he said fighting the urge to twist the padd into bits in his hands, it gave a slight protest as he squeezed. But a gentle hand on his brought his attention back to his coworker’s gaze.

“I can take care of thing here if you need a minute.” She said, there was some reassurance in her voice as she gave him a nod. “Were docked, and nearly done with our tasks as it is.” She said.

He simple nodded and handed her the Padd. “Call me if you need me.” He said and turned at that and left. While her intervention had stayed his hand with the Padd he was still angry.

It took every ounce of his focus to maintain his composure as he traversed the ship to get to his quarters, he had not had the luxury to spend much time in them. He had not even unpacked. He crossed the small room and dropped onto the edge of his bed taking in a deep shuddering breath, then let out a long string of curses in Gaelic shouting it as if the man could hear him.

He got up and began pacing the room now, going over the hundred thoughts of what he should and shouldn’t do. His desire to go and find the man and throttle him rising but knowing that it would only fuel the fire. He let out another long string of curses as he mumbled to himself as he walked the room finally stopping as a thought had struck him.        

“Damn it!” he exclaimed and then began tearing apart one of the cases he had not yet unpacked. He didn’t care what he tossed from the box as he dug looking for it, not even the sound of something breaking as it flew across the room gave him pause, finally digging to a small square cube. He pulled it out, it was a gift that his former boss had given him aboard the Coronado. Somewhat as a joke but somewhat for the fun of it. It was a multicolored cube which turned many ways and was a game of algorithms. He hesitated staring at the thing, settling down on the floor amongst the mess he had made.                    

He let out a resounding sigh and began plucking the plastic pieces off one at a time until he revealed the core, a lone blue blinking light gave him comfort knowing that the information had not been found. It was his trump card that he had all but forgotten about.

Standing he moved over to his small desk and opened the panel on the side of his computer and plugged the device in, then opened the storage device and ran the program he had prepared which opened a prompt. He sat there staring at the blinking line know what it expected. “Not again, I won’t be a party to you ruining someone’s life without putting up a fight. Even if its partially from the shadows.” He said and typed in the address for the Judge Advocate Generals Office, and then simply hit send. It would convey a lot of anonymous information, everything from log files to interdepartmental communiques, video files that he was able to steal away from the Coronado computer before he had been removed. It was an eventuality and It was meant to save him from loosing his job, his livelihood that he loved, but this would serve a better purpose he reasoned in his mind.                    

He watched as the communique built with his anonymous verbal testimony, bounce it through several encryptions, then sent the file along the vast subspace data network to try and hide his tracks, he figured if it bounced all over hell and back they might not try to look to far into where it came from. They might figure it out, and he knew based on what was in the file that Jacob’s would probably know who sent it, but he didn’t care.                    

Haemis leaned back in his chair after it confirmed transmission, the light on the device winked out as he pulled it from the slot. In effect the device had just self-destructed from a data standpoint. He knew what he had sent would only be considered because it came from an anonymous source, but it was hopefully enough to turn some heads and make them think long and hard about this Captain Jacobs.                    

“I hope it helps boss.” He said to himself. He sat in the dim light of his room for a while, staring at the screen. He only could hope that it would help, it angered him that they were in this situation. Tapping a few keys on the computer he pulled up a video file and watch that near career ending punch. Watched Captain Jacobs go to the ground, the shocked look on his face. A small grin appeared on his lips, and he realized in that he was helping to do just that. It was then a realization had hit him, it was very likely that others were doing the same thing right now. Sitting at a console writing a strongly worded letter or providing some kind of testimony to be considered. Most of which would never see the inside of the courtroom. The crew he had come to know in just a short time was tight knit, and part of him knew they wouldn’t let this one go quietly into the night.                    

Taking another deep breath, he steadied himself and then stood pulling his uniform tight. He accessed the task list for the engineers, they had done their duties all tasks were completed. That was one less thing he had to worry about now, he nodded and headed up towards the bridge to report their work was completed. The ship felt different since they had secured from flight operations, ships at rest always unsettled him. He liked the subtle vibration in his feet, it felt real. The ship was different in that it was starting to feel like home.                           



Posted on 2018-10-02 at 20:45:49.

t_catt11
Fun is Mandatory
RDI Staff
Karma: 338/54
5894 Posts


judgment day

Stardate 2365.02.18
Starbase 118, Auditorium Two - 09:06

"Your honor, the defense would like to introduce an additional piece of evidence."  The words of Drake's advocate rang across the closed courtroom, causing more than a few sideways glances and whispered comments. 

"What sort of evidence?" asked the presiding judge - a swarthy, broad-shouldered human male.

Lieutenant Billings stood, ramrod straight.  While she certainly could not have much experience with capital cases, the younger woman was clearly more than capable, and likely viewed this case as the sort of thing to add as a feather to her career's cap.  The older admiral had insisted on Billings, and Silas could see why.  "Your honor," she spoke, holding up a PADD, "this contains documentation from Admiral Veresh, in the office of the Judge Advocate General.  It seems that the JAG office has come into possession of various computer recordings, ship to ship communications, and log entries from key officers aboard both the USS Peregrine and USS Coronado.  These items will clearly demonstrate that Commander Drake did everything in his power to follow the letter of the law as it applied to the Gamera mission, that Captain Jacobs refused to consider obvious evidence as to the composition of the actual threat to the peace process, and that Commander Drake had no choice but to take the actions that he did in order not only preserve the success of the peace summit and to protect the interests of the Federation, but to save lives."

Joshua Jacobs, seated alongside the Prosecutor, leapt to his feet, face purple with rage.  The Prosecutor held a hand out, desperate to silence the Captain.  "Your honor, the prosecution must object!  This data has not been presented to us for proper vetting, and as you are well aware, Starfleet Intelligence has already removed these sort of recordings and marked them as classified.  It would not be proper for them to be introduced into..."

The judge held up his hand.  "Be silent.  I find it irregular enough that Starfleet Intelligence has taken these measures and refused to respond to requests from this inquiry; I will hardly ignore applicable evidence directed to this court from the Judge Advocate General.  The evidence will be heard."

-------------------------------------------------

=/\=

"Captain," Drake spoke, "I must insist that you stop this madness at once. I will not allow you to press this ill advised attack on innocents."

Jacobs snorted. "I honestly do not care what you insist, Mister Drake. This attack run will happen with or without you; there is nothing that you can do to prevent it."

Iron in his voice, Drake responded. "Captain Joshua Jacobs, I find your judgment to be critically impaired to the point of endangering our mission. By the authority invested in me by the United Federation of Planets, I hereby remove you from command of this mission. You will stand down at once and await further instructions. Please do not force me to place Commander Farr in command of your vessel, as well."

=/\=

Silas sat silently as the communication was replayed.

-------------------------------------------------

=/\=

"You filthy piece of dog s***!" Jacobs spat.  "You treacherous bastard! When this is over, I will hang you myself!"

"Captain Joshua Jacobs," Silas spoke aloud in a measured, almost disinterested tone, "as lawful commander of this battle group, I hereby find you unfit for duty.  You are relieved of command of the USS Coronado, effective immediately.  Commander Bethany Farr will now assume command of your vessel.  My phasers are locked onto your own; if you do not comply, I will render your weapons useless.  If that is not sufficient incentive to ensure your acquiescence, I will move on from there to cripple your engines."

 "You wouldn't dare!" Jacobs shouted.  "Even your treason does not run this deep!  Our shields are down, thanks to you!  If you fire on this vessel, you will surely kill Starfleet personnel!" 

"You are correct, Captain...", Drake responded dispassionately, "and I will regret each and every one of their deaths for the short remainder of my own life.  But you leave me no choice.  I cannot allow you to harm my own personnel, nor can I allow you to kill innocent Kuldarians."  His voice deadly calm, he continued. "You have ten seconds to comply."

=/\=

Silas was mute as the damning words were repeated. 

Oh, there was more - Tochi's own logs (the spotted bastard had disobeyed Drake's direct orders, it would seem); communications between the XOs of the two ships.  Notes and recordings from Chief Engineer McTavish, dating back to his time under Jacobs.  Tactical readouts, including the intelligence that the Peregrine had sent, that Jacobs had ignored.  The prosecution tried to object a time or two more, but the judge shut it down immediately. 

Eventually, it was all said and done.  There was no questioning the authenticity of the recordings.  Silas was cross examined, but there was little relevant to add. 

-------------------------------------------------

The brass who served as the General Court Martial board deliberated for less than an hour. Presently, they filed in to the makeshift courtroom and took their places on the dais.  Besides the judge, there were four admirals and one commodore... none of which even glanced at the accused.  Jacobs, who had sat with a smug grin for so much or the trial, was unreadable.

Once everyone was seated, the judge asked aloud, "Has the panel reached a verdict?"

The closest figure to the judge, a female human admiral with short brown hair, nodded.  "We have, your honor."

The judge spoke solemnly.  "Very well.  The accused will rise."

Silas took his feet beside his council.  He expected to feel butterflies, to feel fear.  Instead, he felt... empty. 

"Please announce the verdict," the judge spoke.

The woman cleared her throat.  "For the three charges of conduct unbecoming an officer," she said, her voice growing stronger as she spoke, "we find the defendant guilty on two of them.

For the charge of failure to obey a direct order, we find the defendant guilty."

She paused for a moment.  "However, we find that the order in question was, in fact, illegal, and we recommend that this charge be vacated."

After a moment, she continued down the list.  "For the two charges of high treason, we find the defendant not guilty.

For the charge of incitement of a mutiny, we find the defendant not guilty.

For the charge of piracy against a Starfleet vessel, endangering the lives of Federation personnel, we find the defendant not guilty."

Incredibly, Silas realized that his advocate was actually smiling - broadly, at that. 

The judge nodded.  "Starfleet thanks the panel for their service.  Please be seated."

He then turned to face Drake. 

"Commander Drake, you have been found guilty on minor charges by a jury of your peers.  Do you have anything to say before I pass sentencing?"

Silas spoke huskily, "No, your honor.  I do not."

The judge tilted his head in acknowledgement.  "Very well.  Silas James Drake, you and your crew faced an incredibly difficult situation and found yourselves torn between a very clear conflict between what was right and what was legal.  A lesser man would have taken solace in the protection of the chain of command and followed his orders without question... and in doing so, the peace would have been prevented, the Federation's interests would have been damaged, and lives would have been lost.  Instead, you found the courage to take actions that our regulations did not, could not cover.  You found a way to do the right thing, at great personal risk.  To act in the spirit of the regulations when no written regulations truly applied."

The judge actually chuckled.  "Now, then.  I hereby accept the Review Board's recommendation to vacate the charge of refusal to obey a direct order.  But son... you cannot threaten death on non Federation subjects that refuse to follow your lead.  For this conduct unbecoming an officer, I hereby reprimand you, Commander Silas James Drake.  "

Stunned, Silas found himself speechless. 

"Furthermore," the judge continued, "I want to be the first to tell you - the Review Board has nominated you to receive the Legion of Merit.  Starfleet could use more officers like you; congratulations, Commander."

Drake stammered.  "Th... thank you, sir."

The judge smiled widely.  "You are to report to the USS Peregrine and resume command at once.  You are dismissed, and this Court Martial is adjourned."

A grinning Billings shook Drake's hand as he numbly made his way out into the corridor.  Just as he left the auditorium, he heard one of the Review Board admirals speak up.  "Stop right there, Captain Jacobs.  You have some items to answer for."




Posted on 2018-10-09 at 18:38:57.
Edited on 2018-10-09 at 22:22:08 by t_catt11

   
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