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DL | CIO | LCDR Stacker | "Crash Sail, Pt. 1"

Posted on Fri Oct 5th, 2018 @ 3:19am by Lieutenant Commander James Stacker

Mission: Lacuna
Location: Various Locations | Cold Station Theta
Timeline: Several hours after the meeting with FADM Red.

They were waiting outside his office when James arrived. He’d seen the few crewmembers in the area already casting looks back up the corridor: by their very nature the gathering was bound to attract some attention. Those present included a Benzite lieutenant commander from the Campbeltown in operations gold, a green-collared lieutenant commander from the MACOs, and Warrant Officer Parsuv. A ship, a team leader for a unit of specialized commandos, and an intelligence officer. It had all the initial appearances of discussion on a pending mission.

They followed him into the office and stood quietly while he outlined the mission from concept to execution. By this point the images on the PADD had been uploaded into the station computer: they stood around the screen on the wall as the station’s chief intelligence officer summarized what was known. What was unknown. How the mission was operating from start to finished on a condensed timeline. It was the last part that prompted reaction.

Although the lieutenant commander had left out the verbal assurance, of an incentive if the mission was executed within four weeks, virtually all could guess that something had been offered. Why? Because for all this flaws James Stacker was an ethical and honorable man, and it was clear that he had personal reservations about the mission. Reservations which he wisely kept out of the discussion. His only concession was that things "might be a little rushed."

For all the grumbling and startled blinks, however - although there were strangely none from the Benzite - the officers were at heart professionals with a collective experience totaling something on the order of six decades. When the meeting adjourned thirty minutes after discussion, they went their separate ways with a clear understanding of what had to be pulled off in six hours.

A crash sailing.

=/\=


Nobody James had ever spoken with had ever known the etymology of "crash sail," but in his experience they were a very rare type of sortie. Generally speaking they were short-notice emergency departures of starships from an outpost or station, typically in response to major disasters or unplanned contingencies. As a petty officer aboard the marine transport Guernsey, over a decade before, he’d participated in one and didn’t look back on it with fond memories.

Even through the fog of time he remembered high all-around stress, fists flying, assertion of rank several times, and even a few injuries. Back-breaking labor that left even marines on the brink of exhaustion. Pallet after pallet of gear, tools, equipment, and supplies. That had been provisioning of a transport carrying over two thousand marines and a hundred vehicles, however, with orders to sail in eighteen hours. As the turbolift car slid to a stop he found himself mentally bracing against what would probably be a considerably more-stressful experience.

When the doors slid open, however, he found himself eyeing a near-empty staging area. Two crewmen turned his way as he approached, only to find his course diverted when the Campbeltown's officer emerging from the walkway.

"Where is everything?" he asked as they shook hands again. Before an answer could be made the turbolift opened again to reveal some of the MACOs. The crewmen crossed to them, then led the first part of the platoon away as their officer detached and joined James and the Benzite.

"Rather quiet, if you don’t mind my saying so." The newcomer was looking around with a carefully-guarded look, like he expected pallets of freight to start coming out of the bulkheads.

"As I was just about to say to the Commander, we are already provisioned."

James and the MACO exchanged a look. "Come again?"

The Benzite smiled at them with a touch of professional superiority. "This is a reconnaissance ship, gentlemen. We are used to short-notice deployments. A few more supplies than normal were onloaded to account for the MACOs. I believe Commander Valeese is bringing a few items as well. The stasis pods will be aboard within the hour."

A thoughtful sound came from the chief intelligence officer as he slid up a sleeve, revealing an old timepiece. After a moment in which his jaw worked it slid back down and he looked at his companions. "Well .. I do believe we'll depart on time. Shall we?"

=/\= End Log =/\=

Lieutenant Commander James Stacker
2XO/Chief Intelligence Officer
Cold Station Theta, SB-1170

 

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