Saturday, October 30, 2010

[Trek Universe] SD 241010.30 | Starfleet Command Meeting "The Shaken Pillar" wrote to

=/\= Starfleet Command =/\=

Jason moved quickly across the grounds in the cool afternoon breeze. He
had just learned about the attack on Vulcan and was now heading for a
meeting called by Travers. He was taken a back, it should have been
impossible for the attack to have occurred, which meant the majority of
Starfleet was sleeping on the job yet again, "nothing like being so low
on CO's they promote one who couldn't find their asses with a map and a
big red x," he murmured as he made his way inside.

Drayson crossed the grounds at the same time, his course intersecting
with Admiral Roberts, "Morning Admiral," he greeted, "How in the hell
did this happen?" has asked as they headed for the command building.

"I wish I knew, do you know how many ships, starbases, Marine bases and
listening posts they had to get by to get this deep?" Roberts asked with
a sigh and handed over a fifteen page list of everyone along the most
probable route.

Drayson went over the list, "So either our cloak detection grid isn't as
good as it's supposed to be, or they've found a way to skip right around
it. Wormhole maybe? Maybe they figured out Transwarp?" he suggested as
they continued their determined march towards the building.

Jason shrugged as they stepped on the lift, "I'm not sure, with what
happened at Utopia all the Federations grids should have been upgraded
and there should be more defenses in each system, there's going to be
more the one officers career over because of this," he replied and shook
his head.

Out in space at an undisclosed location, Rear Admiral Douglas was
sitting down behind his small desk in his equally small office on his
new prototype. He began typing on his console, setting up a intelligence
grade secure subspace comm back to Starfleet Command for the meeting. He
sighed as he stared at the Starfleet Command logo he got in return since
no one was set up in the conference room yet.

On the USS Erasmus, Suzanna sat in her office, a secure connection set
up, no holotransmission this time, but there was no time and she wasn't
in the mood. In fact, although her Vulcan appearance was neutral, her
human half was seeding. She disliked most Romulans, there were one or
two exceptions, but having fought two wars against them, both times
instigated by the Romulans, and the first one the Romulans had invaded
Vulcan. Her contacts on Vulcan had sent her sensor logs of the area and
her best science people were studying them.

At Quantico, in a brand new office he had not even had the chance to
settle into, Lucius looked over the preliminary reports for what felt
like the hundred millionth time. Shock had accounted for the dominant
feeling an hour ago. Not shocked by who had sacked Vulcan, but how they
pulled it off. He had scarcely been ushered in as the head marine when
his staff handed him the news. Lucius could not help but let memories of
the last two Romulan wars flood back and he had trouble finding words to
justify those atrocities, but found ample words to link them to this
latest practice in barbarism.

The secured link ready, Lucius waited for the meeting to begin. Relief
forces had already been dispatched. No doubt it would be discussed but
the faster they arrived the better. he sighed, not nerves, but anxious
to get started.

Roberts and Drayson stepped through the main doors of the command
building, heading right and down the stairs to the basement levels. A
Starfleet Marine was waiting, coming to attention before conducting
their ID scans.

"Please go through sirs," the Marine advised as the doors slid open to
the command briefing room. Drayson took his usual seat, others already
waiting, but a few stragglers yet to show.

Admiral Douglas was leaning back a little in his chair waiting
patiently, staring off into no where in particular when his monitor
beeped. He righted himself and tugged on his tunic lightly as he looked
to the screen to see people gathering, "Afternoon everyone."

Roberts paused inside the door as a message that Admiral Graham had
arrived at CSOD, "Admiral Roberts to Admiral Graham, report to Starfleet
Command briefing room two, double time please," he called then moved
over to an empty chair.

"On my way, Admiral." responded Graham. He arrived in moments and took
a seat amongst some of the "Top Brass" he had only heard of.

On another screen the view of the USS Thunderchild observation lounge
could be seen. Sitting at the black granite and oak conference table
were General Liconie and Captain Munroe. The Marine was looking nervous
and angry at the same time, the attack had happened on his watch and his
entire fleet had missed it, not a good point to add to a resume.

One of the watch centre communications technicians approached the table
and whispered to Commodore Drayson. "Thank you Chief," he replied,
turning back to the table, "We've secured the Vulcan ambassador and
taken him to one of our continuity of government sites," he updated the
assembled brass. "He's naturally quite shaken - at least as much as a
Vulcan can be."

At that moment, the doors opened and Admiral Zacharias Travers entered
the briefing room, a determination in his steps and his face. "Thank
you all for appearing on such short notice," he began, reaching the head
of the table in short order. "As you all know, the reason for this
briefing is to discuss the events that took place at the planet Vulcan,"
the CinC added without waiting for anyone to react to his presence.
"Before we make any reactions in response to this unprovoked assault, we
need to make sure our details are clear. We need to establish who was
involved, what the purpose of the attack was, how it was achieved, the
damage that was effected, and the deployment of immediate relief
efforts. General Liconie," Travers said looking at the screen showing
the Commander of Beta Fleet, "We'll begin with your preliminary report,"
as he sat down in his designated seat.

"I know as much as everyone else at this point, a report was filed in
writing with a standard status. Neither the CO of the Charon nor
Quantum Fury has attempted contact to warn of what would happen or in
the aftermath," Liconie replied, "I will be turning them over to IA
after all is done."

Master Chief Petty Officer Horatio Black was at the back of the room
with the rest of the communications and operations staff. He noted the
flag officers around the table and had already begun recording those who
were not present. His job was simple. Observe the meeting and ensure the
communications equipment was not tampered with and remained secure. This
was his official posting; the truth was far from that. He was a Section
31 conscript, tasked by the Director to observe the meeting and record
it in its entirety. Section 31 had been caught off guard and this attack
posed more questions than it answered. This meeting would put them in a
position to determine how to react and know what Starfleet was planning
at all levels across the fleet.

"Keep me apprised of what they find out," Travers replied. "Is there
any indication what the objective of the attack was?" he asked to the
entire staff.

Ashley sat in her chair toward the end of the table, still not filled in
on all the detail of the incident. She felt rather unprepared, for which
she blamed her assistant. She felt new to the group, and this was not a
good feeling when she needs to work with all these people like they have
know each other for years.

Suzanna's image was shown on the split screen with the other
participants that called in via subspace communications, her Chief
Science had just shown her some of the preliminary analysis. "Sir, I can
not speak to motive or objective, I can say they have used some sort of
wormhole technology. All the markers and astrophysical activity that we
have analysed of the sensor logs from Vulcan indicate this. They seem to
have found a way to artificially create a worm hole in a specific
computed location or path." The half Vulcan paused for a moment, "there
is much more analysis needed, however, this is a very worrying trend."

Horatio looked up at the last comment made by the Chief of Starfleet
Science. Confirmation of wormhole technology was certainly of interest
to Section. He also noted the arrival of a Captain, but wasn't familiar
with who she was. Tapping at his console he continued to monitor the
meeting as it unfolded before him. Part of him was uneasy, he felt like
he was betraying the Federation. He didn't necessarily agree with what
Section did, and this was nothing like his childhood games playing spy…
but he knew it had to be done… his family were at stake and this
information could be used by them to save millions. Clearing his throat
he passed a PADD over to one of the other officers in the command center
and returned to his station.

Rear Admiral Douglas cleared his throat before speaking up, "Knowing who
perpetrated it might help. The attack was launched by Vaek'Riov
tr'Sahen, using a portion of the fleet under his control. tr'Sahen is
based out of I'Rak Prime, which given the travel time under normal warp
speeds, we would most certainly have seen that fleet movement."

"In addition, apparently the Romulan Preator and the Supreme Commander
of the fleet were unaware of this plan. It seems Vaek'Riov tr'Sahen
managed to bypass not only our detection, but that of his own military
and the Tal'Shiar. Subsequently they have increased their fleet's
presence along the Neutral Zone, most likely anticipating some form of
response." he glanced at his padd just off to the side of the screen to
see if he missed anything then looked back, "We are pressing our sources
for more information on Vaek'Riov tr'Sahen."

"Ladies and Gentlemen, I know I am new to this august group, " said
Graham, clearing his throat and rising from his seat, "But I think we're
avoiding an observation that seems obvious, albeit yet very
disturbing... the people that set these defenses in place, were no
amateurs. And although this Romulan Vaek'Riov is well experienced and
obviously skilled, he would still need help from inside to get that deep
into Federation territory, especially to one of the Founding Members of
the Federation Council. Folks, I hate to say this...but...we have a
traitor in our midst! And considering the nature of this infiltration,
possibly even in this very group."

Admiral Douglas raised a brow, "I caution against premature judgement on
this matter. We do not yet have enough information to suggest inside
support. This technology allowed them to appear directly above Vulcan.
Strictly speaking, knowledge or tampering of perimeter defenses was not
necessary." he would agree the possibility was there but to jump to such
a conclusion now without evidence was rash, not to mention mildly insulting.

Ashley raised an eyebrow at Graham's comments, and agreed with Douglas.
"It is important that we do not loose the best of ourselves seeking to
place blame. However, it may be prudent to open an investigation, if
such "accusations" appear to be warranted". Ashley shifted in her chair,
"an internal investigation would require unlimited access to a number of
secure offices and files, and may be the only way to truly know if a
Federation citizen, let alone Star Fleet Officer was in anyway involved
in this incident."

Roberts just listened to the conversation quietly, taking it all in and
watching those in the room and on the screens. He knew most were upset,
and the General being Betazoid just naturally didn't hide his feelings
very well, which probably made him a good Marine before he ended up as
Fleet Command, but was more and more a stumbling block that he was sure
was going to have the man in trouble sooner then later. After the
Admiral finished Jason sat forward, "do we know where this rogue went
and while we're here meeting, what kind of support has already been sent
to Vulcan?"

The unanswered questions within the discussion were disturbing. Lucius
couldn't admit being comfortable with the idea of a traitor on the
Federation's side, but given the suddenness of the attack and the extent
to which the Romulan force had penetrated Federation space, it seemed

Suzanna wondered why so often infiltration and insurgence was thought of
when unknown technologies were used, or if the intelligence agencies
were surprised by something. Having lived through, and fought against a
real Starfleet insurgency, these events did not bear the hall marks of

"Just as important," the General added, "are we to assume the attack was
the only one of its kind? The sack of Vulcan could have been a dry
run. It doesn't seem to serve any strategic purpose otherwise, except
perhaps to test the effectiveness of the attack."

"Many Romulans still hold onto a dislike or even hatred of Vulcans. It
is not inconceivable that some would simply want to hurt them given the
opportunity." commented Chris, "However, the possibility of others in
the Romulan Empire making further use of this technology, whether it was
planned originally or not, is very real. We should start communication
with the Preator to hopefully avoid such attempts."

"A peace-keeping force is already on its way, to be taken under the
command of the most senior marine commander currently on-site, arriving
with the USS Charon. Additional forces are enroute pending the
possibility of a repeat attack." Lucius had acted as quickly as the
information had come to him. As the reports had described, the
destruction was sufficient to necessitate the presence of an
expeditionary force, which he had authorized shortly before the
meeting. "Temporary food provisions shouldn't be a problem, but I'm
concerned about where to put the displaced in the meantime."

"I think I agree with your original statement, General," Roberts started
and sat forward, "that this was a dry run of sorts. They'd know we
wouldn't be caught twice unprepared. Just out of curiosity, and mind
you my specialty is tactics not science, how would the Bajoran, the
Spinward March or the unstable Chlorian wormholes be affected if this
artificial wormhole were directed at them?" he asked, looking to Blokpoel.

"A good question." Suzanna replied in first instance, while her mind was
considering a response. "Both the Bajoran and Spinward March wormholes
are controlled by beings, if they are targetted, it may just damage
them, which could lead to the decision by the beings to close the
wormhole, or they could be destroyed. It is to soon to speculate, we are
in the early phases of studying the data, and this is one of the paths
we will analyse."

Graham sighed and nodded. He stood again and said, "I will concede that
real evidence of a Federation collaborator may not be evident at this
time, but I am gratified that you do not dismiss the necessity for an
investigation out of hand. As to the means used to create this
'wormhole', the only means available to the Romulans that may presently
exist may be the Veteron Collider. Is anyone aware of its present
status or whereabouts?"

Travers leaned forward to speak, a motion that was noticed by everyone
as he'd remained nearly perfectly still during the discussion. "I agree
that the 'how' of this attack is important, but more importantly, I want
to know if it can be defended against. Wormholes are, by nature,
unstable phenomena, even artificial and long-lasting ones, so I have to
believe that as large of a threat to the Federation as this represents,
there have to be weaknesses in whatever systems that were used."

The CinC stood. "For the immediate concerns, General Liconie, Captain
Munroe, I want Beta Fleet mobilized. All of it that can be spared. Put
enough ships on the border to match the Romulan show of strength, but no
more. Have the reserve border groups start running battle simulations,
and let them see you running those drills. Bare our teeth a little for
their benefit."

"Commodore Drayson, the Praetor needs to know that this, like his own
movements, is just a cautionary and defensive measure. But one of their
officers went rogue and attacked the Federation, which I expect the
President will want the Empire to be held at least partially responsible
for. We don't want a war, but we will not suffer any more attacks
because neither he nor the Supreme Commander can keep their people in
line. I want all the information they will give on Vaek'Riov and what
they know about the technology they employed."

"Admiral Douglas, in the likely event the diplomatic channels are unable
to secure that information, we'll need to rely on your agents to get it
for us. In the meantime, Admiral Blokpoel, we'll need your
astrophysicists working with the Corps of Engineers to continue to do a
full analysis from the data we already have, and draw from whatever
sources you have to. I want an emphasis on early detection options, as
much as we can, and possible determent."

Travers waited a moment for all of that to sink in before continuing.
"General Sulla, Admiral Roberts, I'm putting both the Corps and First
Force elements in the area on full alert. If there were any stragglers
from Vaek'Riov's group who managed to escape, find them. Capture them if
possible, but if not...." he trailed off without finishing that
statement. "If there are surviving ships, we'll need their databanks
intact. If they've gone to ground and trying to pass as Vulcans, work
with the Vulcan government to flush them out."

"As for the possibility of infiltration. Captain Reithel, Admiral
Graham, I will make this clear: I will not allow for a witch-hunt. But
all the same, run a discrete background sweep of high-profile members of
Starfleet and the Federation Council, anyone who may have assisted in
allowing this attack to occur. If you find anything you believe warrants
further investigation relating to this attack that is beyond your
access, then you bring it to me. If you need extra eyes, I'm sure
Internal Affaris can accommodate you with some of their resources. But
for now, this is strictly observation and analysis. Last thing we need
is our own people blaming each other out of paranoia and overreactions."

"Are there any questions?" Zeke asked.

"Aye," Roberts replied, "I'd like to task Unit Eight specifically with
finding and taking control of this technology. It is a powerful weapon,
as you said, and has the possibility of cutting off our forces sitting
the farthest out. I'd be willing to have a Recon or Airborn team pair up
with the Unit Teams to accomplish this."

Admiral Douglas leaned forward toward his screen, "We can make that a
CSOD operation, Admiral, if you are agreeable. I'm just concerned with
sending First Force into Romulan space before we even known where this
technology can be located. It may have been destroyed at the source or
relocated by now. To be frank, Intel agents are already in Romulan space
and won't raise any alarms. Sending a force, as skilled as they are, can
be considered an act of war and they would run a higher risk of being
discovered." not to mention the agents he would task with this do not
officially exist.

"Find out what the Charon's people know," Travers interjected, "They
came through the same wormhole, so they may have a better idea of it's
location and properties. As for going in after it, Admiral Douglas is
correct, we don't yet know enough to warrant so brazen a response on
sovereign Romulan territory. However, begin prepping the team in the
meantime, Admiral Roberts. Coordinate with General Sulla and Admiral
Douglas to find it's location. If viable, and if the Romulan leadership
is not forthcoming in spilling the details, we'll decide on a more
direct course of action then. But understand this, there will be no
operations into Romulan space without my express authorization."

"Aye, sir, no official ops into Romulan territory, understood," Roberts
replied, making notes about areas where the could still be deployed to
and sit and not technically be in RSE space, "General Sulla, Admiral
Douglas, I'll contact you both from my office."

"We're near Vulcan and will set a course," Liconie said and nodded to
Andrew, "we have both Fleet Head of Medicine and Head of Fleet
Operations aboard so they'll have direct access to any Fleet support,"
he said.

"Alright, this meeting is adjourned for the time being," Travers said,
turning to leave. "My chief of staff will be coordinating with everyone
for continued updates. If there are further developments, inform me
immediately. Dismissed." As he began walking out, he motioned to
Commodore Drayson for a word in private.

Drayson stood and approached the Admiral, "Yes, sir?" he asked, as they walked out of the room together.

Lucius nodded his understanding before the remote link ended, anxious to
get started on a solution to the sudden and severe military advantage
the Romulans seem to have gained. It was something he would probably
lose sleep over until solved, no doubt akin to many in the intelligence
branches. He made a note to pick up a bottle of champagne for when the
dawn finally washed away this Federation security nightmare.

Lucius looked to the intercom. "Demere, new orders for the peace
keeping forces on Vulcan. Have Colonel Falcon put some of her Recon
boys in aid worker cloths in case any of the Romulans made it to the
surface before their ships went down. The last thing we need there is
an insurgency."

= End Log =

Admiral Zacharias Travers (NPC)
Commander, Starfleet (apb - Auryn)
Starfleet Command

Lieutenant General John "Razor" Liconie
Commander, Beta Fleet
Beta Fleet Command

Captain Andrew Munroe
Deputy Commander, Beta Fleet
Beta Fleet Command

Admiral Jason "Duck" Roberts
Commander, First Force
Starfleet Command

Rear Admiral James Graham
Executive Commander, First Force
Starfleet Command

General Lucius Sulla (NPC)
Commandant, Starfleet Marine Corps (apb - Jade^Falcon)
SF Marine Headquarters, Quantico III

Rear Admiral Christopher Douglas (NPC)
Director, Starfleet Intelligence (apb - Jaeger)
Starfleet Command

Vice Admiral Suzanna Blokpoel
Head, Starfleet Sciences
USS Erasmus

Commodore Jack Drayson
Director, Starfleet Diplomatic Corps
Starfleet Command

Captain Ashley Reithel
Director, Starfleet Judge Advocate General Corps
Starfleet Command

Master Chief Petty Officer Horatio Black (NPC)
Officer of the Watch (apb - Rik)
Starfleet Command/S31