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Marshaling Orders

Posted on Mon Mar 28th, 2022 @ 9:31pm by Commander Rupert Tyree

Mission: Prelude to War
Location: BDF Station Station Theta
Timeline: MD002 14:30 hrs

Rupert walked along the familiar hallway of the BDF administrative wing on Theta station, his booted heels clicking slightly on the uncarpeted floor. He’d been summoned to the Captain-Marshal’s office and the uniform of the day notation had been BDF dress greens. He was still a member of the BDF reserves but for all intents and purposes, he was back to Star Fleet so he was a bit mystified about what was going on.

Minutes later he was ushered into the Marshal’s office and found a woman in civilian clothes waiting for him. She was dressed in traditional Indian wear and had her hair simply done as she sat in the Marshal’s chair, glancing through data on a PADD.

Looking up, Captain Teshna Froyce (retired) watched Rhu enter and smiled, “Good to see you again, Rupert. Congratulations on finishing your tour with the BDF and on your new command.”

“Thanks, Tesh,” Rhu replied, coming to a halt and crossing his arms. “Slumming it on Betazoid now, hoy? How’s retirement?”

She smirked at that and gestured to the chair across from her then at the steeping tea pot on the desk. “It has more interesting twists and turns than I could have ever imagined. How’s Kalia?”

“Moving along, I’d expect,” Rhu stated as he slumped in the chair across from his old friend. “She isn’t interested in re-joining Fleet and wanted more stability here on Betazoid. Stability isn’t exactly a word that describes me or my career. And I get the feeling you’re not going to ensure that stays the same? I heard Ainsley was on Betazoid. I expected this meeting to be with her.”

“Good to know BDF keeps track of all arrivals still. And yes, she was here but she needed to be elsewhere and she isn’t cleared for some things. Yet.”

That piqued Rhu’s curiosity. Ainsley Shaw was rather highly placed in Federation Intelligence. “Yet? So, this involves Valiant and not just me.”

She nodded and said, “USS Valiant and her crew are hereby Seconded to the Department of Operational Analysis.”

“Department of Op Analysis?,” Rhu queried. “What is that. Some sort of clever shell company? How do you hide a warship…”

She held up her hand and cut him off. “Technically, Valiant is still a Federation Warship. Your orders from here on out will be coming from me, under the signature of Kor. So, Federation Intel. But you’ll be really working for me, most of the time.”

Rhu squinted at her and said bluntly, “That’s pretty irregular Tesh. I’ll need orders.”

She nodded and slid a flimsy over to him and he read it.

Then read it again.

“From the office of the president,” he quoted. “This is on the up and up?”

“I talked to him myself, Rhu. This needs to be done. I can’t tell you what we think is going on because we don’t have proof. You’ll be a cog in helping us figure out some things. And, more direct, you and your Valiant will be our direct action arm. That’s why you’ve gotten the prototype holo-cloak. And I’m working on getting you an actual, factual cloak from the klingons. Also, your weaponry will be updated as well.”

As she spoke, Tesh slid the PADD she’d been reading over to him and said, “You can keep that. It’s got a few more security protocols on it than a normal PADD. Set for your retina, palm print, breath print and voice. The short of it is, for now, along with the cloak, we’re adding six ventral/dorsal quantum single shot torpedo tubes to Valiant as well as, in months to come, looking at putting a D'deridex class disruptor into Valiant’s nose cone. The compartment will be shielded to mask it from scans and make it seem normal, but…we’ll see how R&D comes along with it.”

“That’ll really make my Engineer and XO hoopy,” Rhu grunted as he took the PADD. What’s this all about?”

Tesh eyed him evenly for a few minutes, then said, “Deniability, in part. But there’s something rotten in Fleet and we think there are bad actors out there meaning to do harm to the Federation. That’ll have to do for now, Commander. That doesn’t leave this room, get me?”

“I get you, Tesh. Does this mean you’re back in harness and I should be calling you Captain?” Rhu asked.

“No,” I’m officially a bureaucrat, now. I still maintain my rank at Captain, but I’m not in Fleets chain of command and that flimsy tells anyone who questions me to think again.”

“Damn spooky shit,” Rhu grunted. “I knew you’d get me into trouble back when I transferred to the academy and you were my Cadet company commander.”

“I love you too, Rhu,” Tesh grinned at him. “You’ll be receiving detailed orders from the Admiral,” she said, standing then. “We can’t linger here too long or someone might take overt notice. But it was the most secure place I could find to do this.”

She gave him a hug, then said, “Oh, your crew is going to get a lot of extra training as well. And will be doing some clandestine missions for FI as we go along.”

“You’re making this up as you go along, aren’t you?” he accused, as he returned her hug and stepped back.

“Of course,” she said, drawing a cloth up to cover her hair. “Now, read through that PADD. It’ll give you a brief on the upcoming mission and some of the ideas we have for Valiant. Some things may work, others not. Give me about a twenty minute lead before you leave.”

She touched his face then briefly, and said, “And take care of yourself, Rhu. This ride is going to get bumpy.”

He watched her exit the Marshal’s office and slid back into his chair, reaching for the tea cup as he contemplated what Tesh had told him. Then he began surfing through the PADD.

After ten minutes, he muttered. “Bumpy she says. Looks downright treacherous.”


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