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Posted on Tue Sep 27th, 2011 @ 8:14am by Lieutenant Commander Soraya Delrisa & Chief Warrant Officer Akina Jrez & Lieutenant Commander Nauket Kulvher

Mission: All Souls Descend. Season 2, Episode 6
Location: Wardroom


Jrez was rapidly becoming frustrated. No-one in the room seemed to be wanting to be the first to commit themselves. Commander T'Rena had gotten the formalities out of the way then...silence. There was a lot to report but he felt he should wait for his superiors to go first. That was, after all, the way protocol dictated things should go.

"I have conducted a tour below decks," he said at last. "I must say that the crew are very concerned. Few were directly attacked by the parasites but they've seen the results of the attacks. Trouble is that they've seen officers betray Starfleet and they can't believe what they've seen. All this talk of parasites - to them it's excuses and typical talk of officers trying to cover for themselves. To tell the truth, I'm having a hard time of it trying to talk them round."

The silence following Commander T'Rena's opening statement had been ringing before Jrez voiced his concerns and Mason, who had been dealing with this first, instantly took a dislike to his attitude.
"Perhaps you should desist, Chief," she bit back. "Allow those who wish to rattle the cages to be deported or re-assigned. I have already made some arrangements within my own department."

"Do you still want to have a crew?" he muttered. No, that was uncalled for. "You know what's the thing they most respect?" Jrez asked, changing tack. "They heard the Klingon's protected a Starfleet officer in their embassy. Do I now make my point clear? At least the Klingons made a stand."

Mason pressed her palms upon the table top intriged at what infomation Jrez had upon the topic since she knew the details, or as much as could be expected. "Do tell us more."

"The officer they're talking about was infected but she was only new to the station so it's easy to spin rumours and tales around her. I've heard she was in the wrong place at the wrong time; I've heard she was high up in Starfleet Intelligence; I've heard she was the initial host - this one is, I admit, infrequent; I've even heard it was the Klingons in the wrong and, if not for her brave fight, they would have taken over the station for the Empire."

"Why then do I have a much different tale from the Klingon's themselves? The officer in question was held captaive, interrogated and would have escaped had the Klingon's not used additional force. Considering that, I would say they were fortunate that the said officer was infected since she died a short while later."

"I was on the FHew with Ambassador Haqtaj and PO Vartog. Both were present when the incident in the Embassy occurred. I was privy to their conversations afterwards. I would suggest you have a talk to them, Commander," he added, but he tried to keep it casual. Now was not a good time to make and enemy of Mason. Then again, no time is a good time to make an enemy of her, he reflected.

Her body went taught at the answer and her tone turning distinctly more dangerous, "Don't worry chief, I already have and will do again I believe."

T'Rena remained silent, observing how the officers, and in some cases NCO's, under her command reacted and interacted. The Trill NCO, her Chief Science Officer if memory served, was obviously out-spoken and opinionated... something that seemed to run hand in hand with alot of her crew as she was discovering.
"How would you suggest we overcome this obvious difficulty, Chief? As you are closer to the Non Commissioned Officers than myself or any of the Officers currently sitting at this table, I value your opinion".

Lieutenant Commander Ra-Movraii turned to face the joined Trill with interest, wanting to know how he - and his many lifetimes' worth of experience - would indeed decide how to approach the problem. Having been a chief of the boat himself left him curious as to how Jrez dealt with things. In many ways, he envied him, but at the same time, he had yet to see how effective he was.

"They need to hear the truth of what happened and they need to hear it now," Jrez replied forcefully. "Not what passes for the truth; not what Starfleet releases for public consumption. Any hint of a cover-up and disaffection will spread like wildfire. Right now it's just rumours and speculation but all it needs is a spark. That having been said, the crew needs to be put to work. Idle hands breed idle minds. If we keep them occupied then the rumours might die down of their own accord. I would recommend some sort of station-wide drill, something where all departments need to pull together as one - crew and officers alike."

"Tell the truth, be like opening the flood gates," Mason muttered under her breath and reclinded in her seat cross her arms.

Lieutenant Brianna Winters sat watching the going ons. She wouldn't comment until it became necessarily, she was trying to concentrate on the conversation at hand but he mind continued to wander back to Alex and his baby daughter Maya.

T'Rena considered the idea from the Science Officer, also noting that his own experience exceeded her own age, and probably that of most of the others now sitting in the room collectively.
"I agree that we need to take action Mister Jrez however after recent combat I question if a drill of some form is the correct direction".

"It might be a good idea to have a meeting- a town meeting, I believe it's called," Soraya said slowly. She winced as she turned her head to look at Commander T'Rena. "We need to be open about what happened, or the rumors will just get worse. We cannot function as a station if we don't have trust."

"Agreed". T'Rena said, her voice oozing confidence. "Mister Jrez would you please work with Doctor Delrisa on this. Please keep me informed".
It was a problem, and a very real one that she needed to address but at the same time she had the Cardassian Union working in silence on one side and Romulans hiding behind most Nebula in the area.
"What is the situation with the Stations offensive and Defensive capabilities?"

"After the recent fiasco on the station and this sector," Xal said coolly to the other staff members, "most of the fleet that aided in the conflict have returned to their usual assignments, but many remain in the vicinity, should they be required. Of course," the Efrosian put an ironic tone to his voice, "having a fleet of ships on our doorstep might upset morale."

"You all assume too much. These are Starfleet officers we are talking about and while they might be a little nervous and hesitant about trusting one another, they know the risks involved in their profession," Alex finally stated. Up until now he had been content to sit back and say nothing, to observe his new comrades to gauge just how useful they could be to him when the time for use was necessary. He couldn't sit silent any longer, after all, it had been nearly five minutes since he arrived and if he stayed quiet any longer it just might kill him. "If they cannot handle the idea that something happened and that the information has been classified then they have no right to wear the uniform. Let the rumours carry about. As long as it doesn't affect their overall ability to do their job, then the issue is merely one of speculation. A mystery for them to try to solve at one point or another. Besides, there is bound to be a new emergency at any time that will distract them from this current state of affairs. Such is the way of things. Let the shiny new feeling of the parasites wear off and people will forget about them. Some people that is. Not me, and perhaps not some of you, but most people will focus their attention on something new and shiny once it is presented to them rather than worry about something that happened in the past. Besides, while the overall morale and well being of the crew is important in making sure that things run smoothly, there are far more pressing matters before us here on the station. Specifically concerning the parasites and how they were able to infiltrate Starfleet for a second time so easily. Also why this station was so important to them strategically. As I mentioned before, people naturally love a mystery and while the immediate threat of the parasites is under control, there are still a number of unanswered questions we must ascertain if we are to move forward and not make the same mistakes."

T'Rena was fascinated with the Human in grey sitting at the far end of the table, until now ignoring all and choosing to stare out of the large oval shaped window, gazing down upon the world the station orbited.
He was a confident man from first impression and again he was not afraid of voicing his opinions, something that she would have to grow accustomed to with this collection of officers. Each one she had studied with the exception of Lieutenant Winters as most of his record had been classified. "I must agree with Lieutenant Winters. For the most part the recent situation will fade into speculation and for those few involved or with some insight should return to duty accepting the fact".

Jrez raised his hand to speak. T'Rena nodded towards him. "Thank you, Commander," Jrez said. "With respect, I must disagree. It's not just officers we're talking about here. Officers have been through the Academy; they have - you'll excuse me but they've been indoctrinated with Starfleet's ideals. What I'm talking about is the crew. By and large they're here for very different reasons. There's none of that 'I wanted to see the stars' passion. They're here because Starfleet gave them a job and training; they're here because they didn't fit in where they grew up; they're here because Starfleet offered them a better life than what they knew. Some are here because they believe in what Starfleet stands for but...and this is important...ask them what that actually means and you'll get many, many different answers. As for having the 'right' to wear the uniform; they earn it every day that they're here. They don't earn it by flash heroics - they do so by doing their duty."

"Exactly. They are here to do a job. If they cannot handle it, then perhaps this is not the kind of job they should be pursuing no matter the reason behind it," Alex countered the science officer's points, "If they need to talk to a counselor to make things better, then that is their prerogative. You might ask why I think we should ignore this? What do we have to lose? Time. Time is what we lose. Time is something we don't seem to ever have enough of. If we have to coddle these people after every event that happens, we will not only be taking away any pride these people have in their work and lives, but also losing out on using our resources to the best of their abilities. However, I am not the one in charge here, nor am I here to tell anyone how to do their job. You all have minds and opinions and for that matter large departments to take care of. You are the ones that will ultimately need to step up and decide what is best for you and the people who work under you."

"All I'm saying is, you can't ignore this and expect it to go away. You can't hope some new emergency will crop up and the crew will conveniently forget about the parasites. Much more likely, it will entrench their belief that their officers don't have a clue what's going on and can't be relied on."

Jrez fought for control. "Don't shoot the messenger." He drew a very deep breath. He turned his head to look directly at Commander T'Rena. "I'm sorry, Ma'am, but I am your Chief of the Boat. It is my job to report to you on the crew; their welfare, their efficiency, their productivity and importantly their morale. I would be derelict in my duties if I did not speak out - no matter how much others might not wish to hear it. If the rumours are allowed to 'carry about' then they will severely affect the crew's ability to do their job. That is not speculation."

"You have a valid point, Mister Jrez," T'Rena replied. Despite wanting to move onto more physical matters about the station she had to adapt to the needs of a crew as well. It was her duty to see to their welfare under her command and if the Chief of the Boat - the one person who had the ear of the larger mass of crew as NCO's out numbered Officers by a large majority - then things would start to fall apart around her. "I ask once more Chief; What would you suggest to put the crew at ease?"

"With respect, Ma'am," Jrez relied, "I stick with my earlier statements. We conduct some sort of exercise which gets the crew to act as one - all departments, all the crew."

Soraya stood quietly, and with some effort.

"The crew of Deep Space Seven are not simple-minded fools who will easily forget what happened here, nor are they mindless drones who need do perform repetitive tasks in order to focus on what they must do. They are intelligent men and women who have chosen to join Starfleet and serve the greater good of the Federation." She paused, looking from Alex to Jrez, then to Commander T'Rena. "They deserve to know the truth. Ignorance is the enemy, it is the reason this Station was taken so quickly. I was captured by those who were following orders, and we were all freed by those who did not. If we try to hide the truth of what happened, we will only make it easier for it to happen again," the doctor said, taking her seat.

T'Rena leaned back in her seat, mulling over the different points of view and opinions that had been put forward. She had to admit they were all a very strong willed group and in many ways she could understand why Admiral DeVuor and her Farther Admiral Varal were so intent on finding them a Commanding Officer that wouldn't leave them high and dry. So far too many had come and gone. Captain Crawford, Commodore Quinn and Captain Romano all within the space of twelve months had come and gone from the big chair within this group. Now she understood why the Admiral had said it was big shoe's to fill and that she would be around for a long time.
"I agree with everything that has been put forward. I suggest that we work towards each of the different propositions. Mister Jrez, please work with Doctor Delrisa on delivering the truth to the crew. Commander Mason please schedule a series of security drills over the coming month".

It was the end of that matter, or at least until the matter came round once more for review but until then she could focus on the station.
"Status report from all departments!"

"Mr Jrez kindly ranted about crew morale," Ra-Movraii said, covering his duties as acting XO, "so there's no point going into that, and all reports from the other stations in this sector of space indicate neither the Romulans nor the Cardassians are making any particular movements to be afraid of. A few are still complaining that not enough of their ships are back yet from that fleet that took back DS7, but that's their problem - not ours."

Mason slumped back in her seat brooding like a spoilt brat at T'Rena's descion. She glanced up the table to the officer on the Vulcan's side knowing little about him outside his name and temporary position of first officer until Leanne returned. Another opportunity she'd been skimmed over, although previous experience had tainted her previous taste for being at the top of the chain. Demotion certain dented one's pride.
"Security are continuing to uncover rements of the previous plot of those infected, which range from mild illegal trafficking and evidence of sabotage to stations primary systems. Since this is large station and those whom were infected had fingers in many pies we have a lot of ground to cover before the search is fully completed."

"Very good Commander", T'Rena nodded down the line at the Security Chief. "Lieutenant Winters are you able to openly discuss the status of your department?"
She was interested in what the Lieutenant was currently working on but so far he had remained cagey about the whole thing.

"I can discuss anything you wish openly, however, in return I believe it fair that you and everyone else discuss things openly with me," Alex said matter of factly, "Yet, in my experience most people prefer not to discuss things openly that are so personal to themselves. For example, if I were to ask you if you have ever committed a crime in your life and you replied 'No' then you would be lying for everyone has broken a law at some point in their life. Whether they were caught or not is the only difference. However, some people look at the degree of a crime and consider something minor to be of no importance and that by breaking such a law whether it is stealing a toy from a sibling to burning something environmentally dangerous. Thus if you replied 'No' to my earlier question you would most certainly be a liar and I would have no reason to trust you, so why would I want to share what could possibly be delicate information with someone who is untrustworthy. On the other side, if you replied 'yes' and I asked you to expand upon your reasons for doing such a thing and you were hesitant to talk about them in front of a group of people I would assume that you might have something to hide and therefore are not trustworthy again. If you do answer my questions and I find that I can trust you, then I would be delighted to speak to you about everything that is going on with my own department. However, this is something that can only be done if everyone in the room is trustworthy of my trust. So now if we want to begin a little let's learn who you are I can certainly oblige you all with a short synopsis of what is happening in my world and how it will affect each and every one of you in the future. Well not technically, because the future is not set. It is ever flowing and changing like water, but we can philosophize another day. As it is I can tell you that I plan to find my office and make a few adjustments to it when I do. I also would like to dismiss any of the previous staff that was here. Given all of the problems I've seen in the past few months they obviously have not been doing their jobs correctly. There is no way a group of parasites, nor a Cardassian chemical bomb should have affected this station the way they did if people in your intelligence department were actually intelligent. We also seem to have a number of Starfleet Intelligence agents running amuck here. I would suggest Commander Mason and I work together to identify these agents and their purposes for being here. After that, she can take it from there. So! Is there anything else you would like to know Ms. T'Rena or should we start the who can I trust games?"

"My gods, you speak a lot of rubbish," Ra-Movraii stated simply to the intelligence officer. "Get out more, kid."

"Oh I get out plenty. In fact, while I was on Earth recently I visited the pacific northwest to investigate a suspicion I have about the Bigfoot sightings of the twentieth century in fact being nothing more than a time displaced Klingon. Lovely country up there, but I have to admit, camping is not really something I care for. Nature is nice to look at and visit, but would be annoying to live in. Especially if I had to spend it with the people I was with at the time," Alex explained with raised eyebrows, "However, I'm guessing vacation is not exactly what you meant by your comment to which I will admit, I haven't been out and about recently as much as I would normally like to, but that has more to do with Starfleet and their diabolical plans for me than actual motive on my part. Not to mention all of the commotion on the station since my arrival that has needed my attention. Still, getting out and about is a rather subjective phrase given that different people have different ideas of what it means to get out. For some it means going to the local drinking establishment and partying, while others might decide that a quiet dinner with someone special constitutes getting out. While still others might just go to a gym and work out and consider that getting out. So despite the rubbish to which you accuse me of speaking, your specifics are rather lacking leaving me free to whatever interpretation of your statements happens to fit my fancy. Granted my fancy can change at any moment and I am free to reinterpret your statements at my convenience to fit them into whatever form I wish them to, but that is neither here nor there. After all, my will is my own. Just as your will is your own. At least as far as we pretend it to be, but that's a conversation best left for another time."

If T'Rena had been human she would have been laughing at her situation. Each of the officers, with the exception of the young Operations Officer taking the place of Commander Lam seemed to be opinionated, vocal, unwilling to adapt their views and in some cases long winded to the degree of unnecessary, Lieutenant Winters had turned out to be no different.
It many ways her Romulan half was objecting to the words of the Lieutenant as in some ways he seemed to be poking holes in her heritage. Did he know?
"Lieutenant Winters you have an excellent ability to disseminate and procrastinate without answering a simple question", next she turned her attention to her acting first officer, a warning over his wording and confrontational attitude. "Commander Mason please work with Lieutenant Winters on this project!"

Lifting her cold stare she brought her attention back to the room, almost every department had called in with the exception of Ops, as Lieutenant DeVuor had caught up with her before the meeting and the final Lieutenant Brianna Winters.
"Ambassador Winters, do you have any information to submit at the gathering?"

"We need to keep lines of communication open...with everyone, not just 'outsiders' but those on the station as well. Otherwise, my department will be running around like chickens with our heads cut off."

"Very well Lieutenant. Doctor Delrisa what is the current condition of our medical facility's and any injured personnel that may still be under your care?"

"As of an hour ago the supply ship is en route but still two weeks out. We should have enough non-replicable medications until then, barring anything out of the ordinary..."

The Doctor had started to speak but her words and dissolved into nothingness as a form sitting at the end of the table caught the Vulcan's eye. Who was she, wearing a grey rag around her shoulders her skin a pale blue. It had started a panic within her and with a darting glance around the table noticed that none else could see her.
Her instinct was to run but through a force of will she maintained her seat as the women slowly turned her head to face her.

It was only a fleeting glimpse of the horror that had been plaguing her dreams but it was enough to increase her breathing, perspiration peppering her forehead and it took several second for T'Rena to notice she had almost jumped from her seat and taken several steps backward's, the form having vanished in her flurry of activity.

"Commander?" she heard Soraya say. The doctor was in front of her now, reaching up to gently touch T'Rena's face. "You're trembling," the doctor said, almost to herself, as she pulled a tricorder from her coat pocket.

"My apologies!", the flustered Vulcan said while still fighting to regain her usual stoic composure. "Meeting dismissed".
She wanted everyone out so she could use the empty space to meditate even if only for a moment. It would allow her the time to slow her breathing and maybe even figure out what it was she saw.


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