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So much to do

Posted on Fri Apr 23rd, 2021 @ 11:44am by Commander John Collins & Commander Garran Suliborn
Edited on on Fri Apr 23rd, 2021 @ 11:47am

Mission: On the Verge
Location: Forward Operating Base Invictus, Sokratis: Intelligence office space
Timeline: MD03, 1800

The Forward Operating Base established on Sokratis for Solaria's deployed personnel plus the colonial personnel they were supporting was finally set up. Hence, after grabbing dinner from the field kitchens, Collins headed over to the Intelligence "building" to check in on the wider situation.

"Ah, Commander," the tent looked almost comically small compared to its occupant, despite being Federation Standard in design. But then, everything Federation Standard looked comically small compared to the venerable Sirran, Garran Suliborn. "I was just about to seek you out actually. How go the preparations? FOB established?" rumbled his sonorous deep voice.

"Being established is probably a better way of putting it. Utilities are being connected as we speak at the edges, CHUs are setup along with a DFAC and all the other needed sustainment functions. It'll be a probably continuous process while we're here, going from tents like this to plasticrete structures, that sort of thing. The militia's needed a proper base since planetfall, so that'll be our legacy to them, I think," Collins replied. "Equally importantly, we're getting supplies for the colonists moved down continously, and I check on the efforts to get the colony's subspace relay back up once I'm done here. I came by basically to check on how you and your team are doing setting up, how they're going in terms of anything we can brief to the governor and Captain Stanton, so forth."

"Such is the bane of someone in a position to organize. I don't miss it," Garran mused. "I've got something for you. Probable cause why the Tzenkethi attacked, what the probability of follow-up attacks is and some options on how to solve the Tzenkethi problem," he offered.

"OK, let me hear it," Collins replied instantly.

"Have a seat, this is going to take a few moments," Garran said, pushing a chair towards Collins. "First of, you asked me to think about some PR things we could do to calm down the population and keep them friendly towards us. My experience that acts of humanitarianism work best. Things like blankets for the displaced, medicine, food, water, shelter - things like that. You mention plasticrete structures, I figure we could win the hearts of the population with a strong aid program while we're here, and leaving behind some new longer-term shelters for the displaced, stores of edibles that'll keep, provide medical aid while we're here - general disaster relief and then step it up a notch beyond the immediately necessary, things like that. Show them that we're here to help, actions speak louder than words, after all."

"OK. What I meant by PR was ad campaigns and public service announcements, posters, that sort of thing. We have the actions to help them either in preparation or underway, but we need the advertising to set realistic expectations, let colonists know about those bits of progress they can't see for themselves, and combat rumors," Collins noted. "Ensign Timir from Counseling has expressed an interest in trying his hand at the cultural advisor track, so because responsibility for psychological operations in this regard is largely split between counseling and intel by doctrine, my thought was he could take the lead on it and your people could advise as needed?"

"That's what I meant though, step up the things we do and make a big song and dance about it, make that our PR, without making itlook like it's PR. People are smart, they'll see through PR for PR sake," Garran countered. "Anyways, I've also done some research into the Tzenkethi themselves and think I've got a pretty decent idea what they're about and how much of a problem they're going to be."

"Okay then." When the Tzenkethi were mentioned, then Collins sat down. "Tell me what you're seeing."

"They're a highly xenophobic race who fancy themselves a power in the region. They've got a lot of pride in their culture, history and religion and see our presence here as intruding on their rightful space," Garran spoke darkly. "Are you familiar with the old religious wars and crusades of Earth's history? Basically what's happening here is not far off. They see the UFP as weak and as infidels, and they're not happy we built a colony so near their space or what they perceive to be their space."

"Their open attack on this colony is likely just a warning for what's to come. I don't foresee this ending peacefully or diplomatically without relocating the entire colony to a planet further away from Tzenkethi space - which is not really an option, not realistically. Unfortunately, as long as we have a presence here, they're going to get more and more upset with us as time goes on," Garran leaned back in his reinforced seat, steepling his fingers as he spoke with his sonorous, resonating voice. "Add the resources on this planet that they want to the whole religious chosen race zealotry and we've got a powderkeg with a lit fuse on our hands."

"Oh God. So we can't evacuate and we barely have the resources to defend this place," Collins summed up.

"Push comes to shove, forced evacuation is always an option. Last resort one, but still. Some colonists will fight the idea, and evacuating will show the Tzenkethi that Starfleet gives in to terrorism, so we'll want to only consider it as an absolute last option," Garran mused, his voice rumbling. "One thing we could do in the mean time is arm the population. Train them, inasmuch as we can in the short time we're here. Patch up the global defense net - I've got some ideas for that if you want to hear them. But that's all temporary, stopgap measures at best. Want my opinion? We need to call in Starfleet command, explain the situation, have them come up with a more long term solution, preferably one that includes bolstering the GOD network and establishes a power base in the area."

"I can approve drawing up plans for arming and training the population for presentation to the CO, the Governor, and the commander of the colony's militia, but actually executing requires their sign off; Meanwhile, agreed in terms of contacting Intel HQ and SFC with your findings, after you brief Captain Stanton." Collins mused. "Go over the ideas for the global defense net, if you would?"

"In short, I can shore up the Global Orbital Defense network, but it would occupy most of my time here and I'll need help from Ops," Garran explained. "The colony is using outdated GOD platforms, Odin Three class. The network is somewhat lacking in coverage and these old platforms just don't have the surveillance capabilities of newer models. That said, their weapons are still good. I've - taken the liberty to procure updated firmware and operating systems for them though, with up-to-date ICE and firewalls making them more resistant to the kind of cyberwarfare tactics the Tzenkethi employed. I could roll out this update, though like I said, it'll take some time, precluding me from other work like the PR job."

"Also been thinking on how to increase their sensor range and definition, and I'm confident I can slave them to some Class II probes like the ones we have onboard Solaria. Would need the command team to sign off on me using a significant portion to bring the GOD network up to snuff though," his rumbling voice continued. "And it would again take some time. The firmware update and slaving them to Class II probes would give approximately a onehundred thirty percent increase in the GOD network's efficiency. Might be enough to delay or dissuade the Tzenkethi - for a little while, at least. My primary recommendation remains that Starfleet install a new GOD network, maybe set up a patrol route, establish more of a power base in the area."

"I don't disagree, but Ops is swamped with, in no order, the logistics of getting relief supplies here, getting the subspace transmitter up again, and restoring the utility grids, particularly EPS. However, I am leaning towards submitting a request to the Corps of Engineers for them to send out a red horse ship," Collins replied, red horse referring to the teams that handled emergency fortification efforts. "If they approve my request promptly, they'll be here in 96 hours. Would you feel comfortable handing off the GOD networks to them?"

"Hmph," Garran furrowed his brows, contemplating for a moment before speaking again. "That could work. I could do preliminary work, start the rollout of the updated firmware on a limited set of platforms, test the implementation, start preliminary work on modifying the Class Twos. Long as your red horse team arrives before we leave - I don't like the idea of leaving this colony's defenses in shambles without a Federation presence to dissuade follow-up attacks. Will keep me busy, that's for sure. And would still need the command team to sign off on it before I can really start working, since I'm siphoning ship assets directly."

"I'll do you better regarding the Red Horse team; they'll arrive in 3 to 4 days and we're slotted to remain on planet for up to 4 weeks," Collins replied. "They stay after we leave, for as long as 6 months. It's not a capability many in Starfleet remember exists, but a job like the GOD Networks is literally why we have em."

"Still, I'd feel a lot better if I did the preliminary roll-out of the new ICE and run some tests," Garran smiled. "Things like that is why you have me."

"Fair." Collins went quiet for a few seconds. "On second thought, never mind the PR thing. You could feasibly have your fingers in every area of reconstruction, and even if psyops is an intel task, I can easily task the Governor's civilian staff with it. Everything else, proceed as we've discussed. The ICE and testing that is on your plate, but be prepared to brief the red horse team in detail on what you did."

"I'll take notes," Garran chuckled a moment before turning serious again. "I'll get right on it, Sir."

 

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