Until smoke comes out of your ears

Posted on Wed Jan 13th, 2021 @ 3:17pm by Commander Sarah Deco & Commander Garran Suliborn & Lieutenant Jack Carver

Mission: On the Verge
Location: Chief Intelligence Officer Office
Timeline: MD01 - 1130

Garran had sent out a request for both Sarah Deco and Jack Carver to meet him in his office at their earliest convenience.

It didn't take long for Sarah to arrive at the CIO's office and be allowed entry. After all, she was going from one meeting to the next right now, like most department heads probably were, in an attempt to prepare themselves as much as possible for what was to come. She usually didn't like this office, or Intelligence type people, but right now, things were different. It could give them an advantage, and she'd take it.

Jack was right behind her. Some might consider him a bit of a clwon, and in certain circumstances they'd be right, but when it came to his job, Lieutenant Carver was dead serious.

The Intelligence Chief's office was a unique affair, a far cry from standard Starfleet offices. All the ISO-standard furniture had been replaced by solid wooden ones resembling dark oak, though of an alien origin. The work desk replaced by a heavy wooden one, a bit oversized to match the officer sitting behind it. An overall warm and pelasant, rustic atmosphere filled the space, helped by the decoration matching the furniture. Alien landscapes, hunting scenes, plants. On the desk, a veritable cornucopia of small, carved wooden figures of Earth animals, Vulcan ones, Klingon ones and other ones from all corners of Federation space.

"Ah, welcome, Lieutenant, Commander. Thank you for coming," Garran's voice was thick, deep and warm, resonating, a deep basso profondo. "Can I get you two something to drink?" he asked, rising to his massive height.

"Uh ... A coffee please. Black. Strong," Jack offered, a bit taken aback by the massive officer before them.

Sarah wasn't quite so impressed by the officer's height, as she'd read his file, as she was by the way he'd decorated his office. It should be mandatory to include a change this significant in the person's file as well. "Just some orange juice," she added, her distraction obvious as she looked at the various decorations around her, especially the wooden figures.

"Like the figurines? Carved them myself. I'd be honored if you liked one enough to want to take it with you," Garran offered, moving to collect an OJ and a coffee, as asked. "That goes for you too, Lieutenant Carver," he added. "It's a Sirran culture thing, to create and give away."

Once the two officers had taken their seat and Jack was going over the various figurines - his eyes falling upon that of a wolf - Garran took his seat again, setting the OJ and coffee down for the other two officers. "I called you here to discuss the approach to Sokratis colony. I've done some research, some reading up."

"I'm interested to learn what you came up with," Sarah nodded, tearing her eyes away from the figurines to move them onto the officer on the other side of the desk. She'd some some research of her own regarding the best approach to the colony, but she doubted her own finds would be as detailed as those of an Intelligence officer.

Jack leaned back and sipped his coffee. "Am listenin'" he offered.

Garran flicked an ear. "Sokratis colony is protected by a network of aging Global Orbital Defense sattelites, Odin three class. These geosynchronous sattelites carry a double photon torpedo launcher and a type IX phaser array and are arranged with overlapping fields of fire. However, due to the age and sub-par maintenance of these platforms there are weaknesses in the coverage. The Tzenkethi used these weaknesses to push through the defensive net, taking down several of the platforms, allowing them to enter atmo. Only when resistance from the planet became too strong did they retreat."

Jack sipped his coffee "So we're dealing with someone who has the firepower to take down GOD platforms."

"Correct," replied Garran.

"If you have a good enough pilot, you can position your ship in such a way that it's near-geostationary. Depending on the age and general state of the GOD's, it's possible that they ignore such an object," Sarah added, looking thoughtful. "Which doesn't mean that I don't agree they'd need a lot of firepower. To even position a few ships in such a way, it would take quite some firepower to overcome the initial maneuvering threat this would pose to the GOD's."

Garran flicked an ear and smiled. "Correct. Add to that that we can't be certain what state or condition the remaining GOD platforms are in. We can't be sure they are still under Sokratis control, can't be sure the Tzenkethi didn't leave a logic bomb, but that's something for Operations and Engineering to look in to," he explained.

"So what you're saying is, we should be careful in our approach to the planet," Jack mused. "Maybe drop out of warp outside these platform's weapons range, send in a probe? Approach with shields up, weapons hot in case they read us as hostile?"

Garran gave a nod. "It's unlikely but a distinct possibility we cannot rule out. As for the best way to approach the planet, that's for you two to decide."

"Definitely drop out of warp a good distance away," Sarah agreed even though the approach wasn't intended to be decided in this meeting. She sipped her OJ as she thought of the platforms some more. "I'm not too worried about a logic bomb, but I am worried if they've upgraded them. If they're still indeed the class three ones, they're pretty predictable, whether we've been programmed as hostile or not."

"If they're upgraded they did so outside of any official Federation logistics pipeline, which doesn't seem in line with the colony's location and how the Colony's oprating history. They've always gone through official channels for anything they needed," Garran mused. "I've not found anything regarding upgrades in the colony's operational history. I think it's safe to say that they're still the class three ones."

The Helm officer listened carefully. She continued to think about his previous words. "What kind of logic bomb are you expecting, Commander?"

"The simplest and most likely would be an IFF scrambler that would designate any incoming Starfleet ships as hostiles, causing the net to open fire. That's the type I would leave behind," Garran flicked an ear. "Granted, it's a remote possibility, but one we can't ignore."

"We can change our designation beacon upon our approach," Sarah mused. "But only if we consider the chance of their being a bomb higher than the GOD's still being in colony control. Because if we're wrong and we change our beacon, they'll also start firing on us."

"It's a beautiful catch 22," Garran smiled.

Jack quirked a brow. "Beautiful?"

Garran chuckled. "As someone who's spent your combined lifetimes doing this kind of work, I can't help but hold a certain admiration for any situation that causes us to pause and think," he mused. "So how would you solve this particular catch 22, Lieutenant?"

Jack considered a moment. "We drop out of warp outside their weapons range, send in a probe. A loud one, so we can be sure the GOD platforms pick up on it. If the probe doesn't trigger a logic bomb, we approach a weak point in the grid with shields up. Weak point so if there's a logic bomb and the platforms open fire, our shields will be able to tank it while we make billy big steps out of range again. We should be able to handle some type IX phaser fire for a while before the shields start to buckle."

Garran flicked an ear, looking to Sarah for her opinion.

"Sounds good," Sarah agreed. "And we should be fine once I get us into geostationary orbit. All in all, our time exposed to the weapons fire should be limited."

"Our primary concern is our own ship's safety. If we have to sink some GOD platforms to reach the planet, that's just what we're going to have to do," Jack mused. "At the Captain's discretion of course."

"And I'll be sure to write up a very convincing report of why Sokratis' global defense network needs to be upgraded anyways," added Garran. "But I think we've reached a consensus?"

Sarah looked over at Jack. "Sounds like we have. If you could get me the weapons strength projections, Lieutenant, I'll come up with the Navigational computations to keep us out of range. I'll also get you the shortest amount of time I need to get us geostationary so you can have a look at shields strength."

"Shouldn't be hard, I'll have the report on your desk within the hour," Jack offered.