Rules of Engagement
Posted on 28/06/2017 @ 12:18pm by Captain James Warrington & Major Patrick Smith [PNPC] & Commander Tracy Henderson & Lieutenant Odin Kriggson & Lieutenant Celina & Lieutenant JG Seamus MacDonald Jr & Ensign Simon Hunter & Ensign Krystel Villanova & Warrant Officer Constance (Connie) Hayward
Location: Main Briefing Room
Timeline: After the Return of the Blackbird
Upon the return to the Hephaistos Patrick took the intelligence first too intel to back it up and then on to the Captain. After a short briefing on what was discovered at the location the two decided it was time to make a pretty big call. Heading to the main briefing room they summoned the Senior staff and the new Strategic Operations Officer to the briefing room.
The Chief Intelligence Officer, Lieutenant Celina was one of the first to arrive in the briefing room. "Sir" she offered as she entered and took a seat at the table.
Krystel walked into the Confrence room, wearing a skirted version of the standard uniform. "Sirs." She said with a smile.
Having received the Call, Simon had headed to the briefing room as his first briefing as the Strat Operations officer, He thought to himself ~ I hope I don't screw up~, as he headed inside the room. He said," Ensign Simon Hunter reporting as Ordered Sirs",
Seamus had just finished cleaning up when he received the call for the meeting. Normally he preferred to take the long way to wherever he was going so he could do spot checks along the way, but he thought he shouldn't dally and went to the nearest transporter pad. Striding into the briefing room, he scanned the room quickly. "Good day, all." He said as he took his seat.
Odin was the next to arrive. The massive engineer made his way inside, wielding his most deadly weapon: a large mug of steaming hot coffee, though in his hands it didn't look that large actually. Not until he set it down on the conference table, at least. "G'morn all." he gave a nod to those present, taking his seat.
Connie approached the briefing room, not expecting to see so many faces there already, and look startled when she entered and saw that most of the crew who were to be at the meeting, were already present. "Morning everyone," she said with a nod or wave to each person as she took her seat.
Tracy yawned as she walked into the briefing room. "Who's ideas was it to have senior staff meetings so early in the morning?" she said as she walked over to the replicator. "Hot chocolate. Extra chocolate, double sweet."
With everyone present and the Task Force Commanding Officer now present via hololink Warrington decided to begin the meeting. "Ok folks. This is one of this situations where a ship sets precedent. To bring you up to date within the last 36 hours a small craft from the Hephaistos departed to investigate intelligence recovered by our earlier boarding and subsequent capture of a Hirogen patrol ship." He began to pull a holomap up in the center of the briefing room. "At these coordinates we have confirmed the presence of the Hirogen base that has been raiding supply ships and several weaker vessels within the area since our arrival."
He zoomed in on the asteroid base for all to see. "As is visible we have one heavily entrenched asteroid base with a large garrison of ships and fighter craft. It is resupplied by this planet for we assume food and water." He zoomed back out to a strategic view of Starfleets forces in the area with the Hirogen position visible for reference. "So. What do we do?"
Simon sat looking at the situation and knew the problem could benefit the ship and crew, "Sir, it is my opinion that if we were to capture the station it could be used by us as a refuel point", keeping his eyes on the holoprojection He finished," and also a base of operations for us". as he looked over at Celina he asked, " What do you think Celina?"
"I would agree, a resupply station that could be used by the fleet." The feline paused for a second "I think we could manage to use the resources more sufficiently and upgrade several pieces of the technology."
Seamus sat back, listening to the options being put forward before speaking. "While I agree this would be prime real estate for us to have in our possession, I'm a bit hesitant to do so. Simply put, we'd have to get through their defenses, evict the current occupants and take possession of the base. Are we equipped and able to do this ... absolutely, but we're opening ourselves up to have the Hirogen, and possibly any allies they have, to do the same to us, and they'd do so with a vengeance. My question would be, are we willing to open ourselves up to making an enemy or enemies and probable retaliation over a piece of rock?"
"Taking the rock would be a show of force, letting them know we're not to be trifled with or underestimated. We can achieve the same by destroying the facility, with the added benefit that we're not tied down defending a facility they know both the location as well as the defensive strengths and weaknesses of." Odin mused.
Thompson and Warrington had been exchanging glances during the conversation. With a nod James let Thompson take his seniority and reply. The holo projection of the TFCO stood and walked to his version of the map which matched with the H's. "You all bring up good points but at present Lieutenant MacDonald brings up the most important one. Any action against this station would be essentially be a declaration of war, as it would be if they launched an attack on Starbase 322 or the likes. While a lot of us here have backgrounds stretching back to the Dominion war we must remember that the Federation is by nature a peaceful alliance of worlds."
He scratched his chin rather symbolically due to his total lack of beard. "Our first port of call should be as always to negotiate. However I appreciate that the Hirogen are likely to laugh in our faces and shoot first. For stability to be established in this region we have to deal with this base, one way or another." He frowned looking more and more perplexed. "Capturing the base would be a costly option given the nature of its position within the belt and weapon coverage. And shuttles or dropships attempting to assault would never make it and yet any ship attempting too transport would have too drop their shields assuming you could drop the bases."
"Them shooting first gives us cause to defend ourselves, and they're easily provoked into shooting first. Send over a probe with a message of peace, wait for them to blow it up, and we have our cause." Odin mused, contemplating his coffee. "I could tune our torpedoes for range. We launch them at warp, they coast at warp until a pre-programmed range, then drop out of warp and slam into the target." He offered. "Not saying this is the smart thing to do, but it is a thing we could do."
"Lieutenant Kriggson's idea is a great one and one I'd like to see put into place not only for this situation, but to have in place if needed in the future. That being said, though, I'd rather have it ready to use as a backup plan if they aren't willing to talk." Seamus started. "If talks do fail, we could also set up proximity mines that use the interference that is inherent to these parts of space to essentially cloak them and then when their supply ships get near, they go off and essentially cut off their supply lines."
Since he had seen it with his own eyes Patrick took the short pause too speak, "Having seen it myelf I'm not convinced those torpedos would make it. They'd be destroyed before impact either by asteroids or weapons fire. Counter raiding however sounds like a much more viable tactic. If we effectively siege them into leaving we could avoid major casualties on both sides as long as they don't force a decisive battle."
"That's a big if, though. And, sure, we'll lose a few torpedoes due to interception or stray rocks, but that's why we don't send like seven. We send fifty." Odin countered, voice calm.
"Also true but I'm still not convinced that it'll make enough of an impact," Pat replied.
Before they could continue what would inevitably become a back and forth Warrington interrupted. "Ok folks. This is my proposal. We attempt too negotiate a cease fire. If that fails we begin to harass their supply lines impounding ships too reduce their effective ability. That'll be done through reduced supplies and them being forced to assign escorts to their supply ships." He zoomed the map in once more to the asteroid base. "If they still will not negotiate after that then we hit the base and if possible we attempt too force it to surrender or destroy it. Any objections or suggestions?"
"Nope. Sounds good to me." Odin agreed, taking another swig of his coffee.
Krystel cleared her throat. "I know I have the lest combat and diplomatic experience at this table, but if we start attacking and impounding their supply ships. Doesn't that make us no better then pirates. I know that we are at a threat level here, but wouldn't those actions paint us as the aggressor and ruin future relations with other governments within this sector?" She looked around the table and at the hologram. "When we took that ship, that is understandable, because they attacked first." She looked down at her hands as she folded them onto the table top.
"Thing is they have been attacking us persistently since we arrived in this region aside from the incident we had with them," James countered. "At this stage we either accept that Hirogen raids will be a persistent constant in life here resulting in many Starfleet deaths and that of any allies we make or we take action to try and remove the threat."
"That is correct" Celina interjected "Starfleet intelligence suggest that the Hirogen have destroyed several of our probes and several other Starfleet vessels have reported unprovoked attacks."
"Sir, if that is true," replied Simon looking back at Warrington, He continued," Then why not take their base and equipment?" as he leaned back in his chair.
Krystel frowned at the open talk of Warfare on the Hirogen and it unnerved her. "If I may. Didn't we have that same problem with the Klingon Empire in the mid to the late 23 century?" She looked around the table. "We defended our boarder until a diplomatic solution came about." She gave a weak smile. "I had a chance o review the data from the Hirogen ship we caught. Those of that ship have rejected the Voyager Hunting Method. They see the Federation as worth prey, very worth. That is why they attack us using pack tactics." Krystel's throat went dry. "I just want to make sure that this judgement has all the facts, before it is made." Her hands started to fidget as she went quiet as her peace was said.
Thompson perked up as she spoke, "Ensign that is something my folks here have totally missed and there is an important detail there. It may be that through a show of force such as turning up to the negotiating table with a fleet would deter them as is." He seemed quite excited as well by the idea of heading this off before any conflict could resume. "Ensign Villanova in your opinion would that persuade them to talk or would they see it as an opportunity for a good battle and fight?"
"I think it may help if we can find those that support the VHM." Krystel stated. "These Hirogen, may listen if they see others of their race in talks with us. Admiral Janeway has had dealings with the Hirogen. The records off the Voyager stated that the more force we use, the greater the force they will use. I mean if we do go to war with this faction of Hirogen, how soon would those of the VHM will join them?"
Warrington was listening thinking. "Surely then this would be a VHM? If the ships that hit us are from that faction then would they be likely to be basing out of another factions turf?"
Seamus cleared his throat quietly before speaking. "I'm not convinced that it's the VHM at the moment. They aren't the type to work out of someone else's turf as that would open themselves up to an attack from whomever's turf they're in, effectively making themselves the prey when they're wanting to be the hunter."
Thompson decided to make a decision at this point. "Very valid concerns there and the Lieutenant is right. We don't know. So Captain. I think given the reputation the Hephaistos has already garnered in your first outing against them you should quite literally go and see. Be ready for a fight and if they won't negotiate we can move from there. It's all your Captain," the TFCO concluded before closing his comm channel and disappearing.
Taking his queue Warrington stood. "Seamus get working on the torpedos. Krystal work with intel to find supply routes. Smith work with Seamus and the Marines to formulate an assault plan. We prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Dismissed everyone."
Celina was impressed with their leaders decision. She would continue to monitor intel and sensor readings and be prepared best she can.
OOC: Final thoughts then sign. I'll post tomorrow morning.
Captain James Warrington
"Failing to Prepare is Preparing to Fail."
Chief Intelligence Officer
Lieutenant JG Seamus MacDonald Jr.
Chief Security/Tactical Officer
Ensign Simon Hunter
Strategic Operations Officer
W/O Connie Hayward
Commander Tracy Henderson
Lieutenant Odin Kriggson