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Posted on Wed May 8th, 2024 @ 9:15am by Captain Shran dh'Klar & Commander Jonathan Grayson & Commander Samantha Howard & Ensign Kate Kono & Ensign James Phoenix

Mission: Man & Machine
Location: USS Washington

As the shuttle landed Shran waited in the bay to greet his officers. As the door opened, he heard Sam yelling about transporting to someone directly to sickbay. He moved quickly to see what was going on, seeing Sam hovering over Phoenix and an unknown male. "Always an adventure when you go on an away mission" he noted, not seeing the other unknowns staring at him.

Jon stepped out next followed by Deanna. "Sir, I'd like to introduce you to John Connor, the leader of the humans and his wife Kate. I think we have a lot to discuss sir."

Shran looked at the new arrivals who were with Jon and Deanna and took in the obvious look of mild shock. It was obvious they had yet to ever meet an alien, or at least, he suspected as much. "Welcome aboard the Washington. I greet you in the name of the United Federation of Planets." He offered a smile in an attempt to disarm them, "I'm Andorian. I'm guessing I am the first alien you are aware you have met."

"Yes, the first alien" John replied. "You will have to excuse me captain, but up to this point, the only nonhuman beings we have ever known were machines, and they were trying to kill us for the last several years."

His wife had an inquisitive look in her eye. "Excuse me captain, but you said first alien we are aware of meeting. Surely you are the first we have met."

Deanna smiled mischievously. "Actually, I'm not human. I'm Betazoid. My appearance is human, but believe me, the similarities mostly end there."

"I'm sure you can understand Mr. Connor that certain information isn't readily disclosed. But I assure you, Deanna wasn't there to do you any harm, and neither am I. You'll find that almost 70% of my crew is Human, and humanity has a very large role in the Federation as a whole. But all of this and more we can discuss elsewhere. As my XO has said, we seem to have a lot to talk about."

Kate walked up to Kate and waved at Kate. Kate walked past Kate and waved to John. Kate looked up at Shran not sure if now was a good time to ask if she was responsible for cleaning the shuttle so Kate shifted her weight in front of Kate and stood next to Kate politely because she didn't want to leave before knowing for sure if she should be cleaning, or, if someone other than the pilot would clean it out. Kate saw another enlisted man walk into the shuttle and start cleaning and that answered that question for her before she even needed to ask. Kate sighed in relief as she stood next to Kate a moment.

There wasn't much to talk about. Kate was just so happy to be home after the craziness that she had discovered down on the planet, and she was also curious what else was required of her before being dismissed.

As they began to walk away from the shuttle towards the door, Deanna stopped and looked back at Kate. "Ensign, you are required to join us. The crewmen will handle the shuttle."

Kate smiled from ear to ear despite her scabbed-up face from the explosions she experienced. Her uniform was beyond repair, and she couldn't wait to get new threads from a replicator at some point, however, for now, she just happily skipped toward Deanna with her bag and her rifle slung over her shoulder. She had been through a little bit of trauma but as her father always said, 'you must float in the bowl, but you don't have to let it touch you'.

"Okay! Thanks!" Kate said. She skipped up next to Deanna. "Sooo, I was thinking, chocolate sundae, with sprinkles, and maybe some ice cream bars and all the other goodies that aren't radioactive, you know? Just -- something to keep our minds off of all the wild and crazy stuff we just witnessed. Those machines were really, really mean, did you notice that?" Kate inquired as she tapped her dirty fingers as if trying to point out something very important that maybe nobody had noticed.

Deanna couldn't help but offer a soft chuckle. "Food later. You do have time to stow your gear, get a new uniform, and run by sickbay for a quick once over."

Jon chuckled and shook his head at Kate's antics. She was a refreshing free spirit. He just hoped it didn't come back to bite her. He turned back to Shran and the Connors. "These people could use our help sir." He said as he walked besides Shran and spoke in a low tone.

To Kate, the idea of a fresh sonic shower was awesome. Part of her imagined the shower shaped like a large blue hedgehog just as she always did from the first time she heard the phrase "sonic shower", but the idea of simply being clean again overrode the ideas of a remodel. She stood amongst the other Officers and the guests and just looked dazed and dreamy as she thought about being refreshed. If she wasn't so shy, she would have even considered offering the visitors to shower with her. The fact of the matter was, regardless of how dankly stank John Connor, Kate#2, or the other officers were, she would have been too shy to share.

She rubbed her scabbed over chin as she thought of Reese though. But another fear loomed over her as she thought about the very real possibility that he might not have looked as awesome under his clothes as she imagined. As the saying went, 'never meet your heroes'. Kate blinked the thoughts away as she realized that she was daydreaming while the officers talked.

Sam had summoned a medical team to assist transferring her two patients to sickbay and she took her time making sure they were safe to travel through the corridors rather than using the transporter unnecessarily. The two antigrav gurneys were pushed up the ramp and then trundled back down a few minutes later with their precious cargo. "I'll give you a status report on these two once I get them in sickbay Captain" She commented as she passed the command team.

Shran whispered back to Jon, "I don't see why we can't help them. We'll get this all worked out. You and the others freshen up. We'll escort these people to VIP quarters and allow them the chance to do the same, then we'll talk with them." As they reached the turbolift Shran spoke with the new arrivals, "I'd like to offer you a chance to freshen up. We have quarters you can use. Give you a chance to enjoy some amenities before we talk. I'll even show you some of our technological marvels."

"Yes sir. I appreciate that. I can use a shower and so can the others. I look forward to helping them sir. They have been through the ringer."

As the turbolift stopped at Deck 2, Shran exited and began to escort the guests towards the VIP quarters. He looked over to Jon, "Give my regards to Callie. She was as always, worried about you."

Deanna looked at them both, "And what about me? Surely, I was missed. Worried about?"

"I've known you for too long to be worried about you D" Shran joked.

This little lighthearted back and forth seemed to amuse and even calm the newcomers. Give them a sense that some things don't change no matter how much time passes, or even what species you might be.

"Yes sir, I certainly will." Jon replied before deciding to tease Deanna. "Were you on the last away mission Deanna?" he asked seriously before a huge grin split his face.

Deanna gave a look at Jon. "I see how it is going to be."

Shran smirked and quickly ushered the guests into quarters. Deanna looked back at Shran and then back at Jon and saw that both had scurried off. She folded her arms in a huff.

A moment later, Jon peeked back around the corner. "Deanna, come to dinner. Callie and I would love the company."

In Kate's quarters, the sound of 21st Century Music was blaring from the bathroom. From LaRoux that just finished playing, and now Lorde, the silhouette of Kate's bare body through the translucent barrier that divided any observer from seeing her terrible dancing, still wouldn't have been enough. Kate danced to the music and pretended that the dermal regenerator she had used to clear up the cuts on her face and arms was her microphone. As she sang about 'talking it up on the Tennis Court', she thought about who on the ship might be willing to play a round of tennis with her one day. It was a fleeting thought worthy of a Starfleet officer's fleety mind, she guessed. There was so much dirt and grime on her body that the sonic shower's air circulation system momentarily looked as if it were sucking a dark cloud into the accumulators. She had one quick stop to the med bay to get that last hypo spray shot before the meeting and she didn't want to be late because she wanted to ask about re-homing one of those super-cute German Shepherds once their mean-machine-problem was rectified.

Kate stepped out of the shower and streaked across her quarters. She replicated a brand-new uniform with all the unmentionables and then turned to the pile of crusty old possibly radioactive threads that were sitting in the middle of the floor. She sneered at the nasty clothes before throwing a transporter tag on them. The old clothes dematerialized, and she looked out the window of her quarters to see the uniform floating away into the stars. Kate waved goodbye at the uniform just before sliding into her new clothes just as some rap song popped onto the 2020's mix that she hated. Instead of turning the song off, she slipped into her shoes, re-affixed her comm badge to the new uniform she popped on, fixe her short spikey hair, and ran out the door with the bass pumping in her quarters. From the hallway, she could feel the bulkheads rattling as she ran off to the turbolift in an effort to make Sickbay and get to the meeting to ask the important question... can I have a doggie?!


Shran entered the conference room with the VIPs and with the members of the away team, along with Ayana. He sat down around the table and started with asking this John Connor to describe the situation, giving a bit of background as well. Connor explained the situation as he saw it, the civilization they had created prior to the war, the sudden attack by the machines, and everything that has been happening since then. It was a tragic tale to be sure, but all such war stories seemed to be tragic in a way to Shran.

Shran looked to his officers once Connor had finished talking. "Jon, Sam, what is your analysis based on what you saw down there."

Kate jumped into the conference room and waved at everyone. The nearest chair to the door squeaked as she launched herself into the seat and rested her head in the palm of her hands with her elbows on the table.

Phoenix sauntered into the room a few moments after Kate. He wondered how she had so much energy, especially after the away mission. Not that it was a bad thing. It was probably the pain talking. Sam had done a great job patching him up, but he'd still be hurting for a few days and thus, the CMO had placed him on limited duty while he recovered. He quietly took a seat in the closest vacant chair near him and listened quietly to everyone.

Jon spoke first. "The situation is desperate sir. John and Kate along with their members of the human resistance have held their own so far against the machines but the machines can fight a war of attrition. Every member the resistance loses makes them weaker. Where the machines just run another one off an assembly line. They need weapons, medical supplies and food the most along with clearing the air of radiation. Sam can tell you more about that."

"The radiation issue is already under advisement. Inara has been working on a way to clean the atmosphere as well as clean the water and the saturated land from the harmful levels of radiation. I'm not saying she can get rid of everything, but she'll effectively end the nuclear winter and move your environment forward 75-80 in recovery, certainly a large enough margin to make things completely livable again. But as noted, that means we have to deal with the machines first, and I agree, the war of attrition certainly appears to be the tactic being used at this point. That is a war you can't win. I plan to shift the tide of battle significantly into your favor." Shran looked over at Sam, "Hopefully you have some good news" he said hopefully.

Jon spoke again, "I think any help we can offer John and his group right now will help them both physically and mentally and let them know they aren't alone in this fight."

"I've been working on a radiation treatment which will essentially purge their bodies of the built up radiation and extend their natural lifespans back to where it should be" Sam piped up, rubbing her tired eyes and stifling a yawn" it's tough going though and will take some more time. In the meantime we've prepared medical aid and food supplies"

"Very well. Perhaps you and Kate can go over the medical needs of these people, and also see what Inara plans to do and see if it can be helped at all by your medical plans Sam" Shran replied. The Andorian turned back to look at Jon and John Connor. "I assume you know where the major bases are located for the machines, Production facilities, logistic centers, things of that nature."

John Connor nodded. "We know where they are, but outside of bringing all of our forces together for one massive attack that would likely cost us more than them, we dare not attack those sites."

"I believe the captain would like to demonstrate our tactical dominance against the machines for your benefit" Ayana chimed in.

"Indeed" Shran noted with a smile. "You point out the targets, and we'll blow the hell out of those facilities. The only thing I would suggest is that you make sure your people are as far away from those facilities as possible when we hit them, because I can promise you, the destructive power of our weapons will leave you in awe."

"Are you thinking of high yield photons or tri-cobalt devices captain?" questioned Deanna.

"A mixture of both most likely" Shran replied simply.

"A nice fireworks display." Jon chimed in. "Quantum torpedoes would work well against wherever structures the machines have." He noted before addressing John. "We'll pull up a tactical display so you can give us the exact location of the machines bases," He added.

"I can start the intelligence gathering on enemy locations," Ensign Kate Kono suggested. "As chief intelligence officer I have the ability to send machines of my own down there. Small drones under my control and start monitoring enemy movements and send that information to tactical control so you can clear out the fog of ear." Kate tapped the desk a few times and a display popped up over the desk, displaying small drones as well as CGI schematics of the ships sensors that conveyed to the room how both could be used in tandem to fill the screen that Shran proposed to display with all the information they need to mark anything outside of the facilities.

Kate continued, "... I'll hook them. You clean them and fry them." Kate said with a giggle. She obviously had no remorse for them after they forced her to fire on them with her own Phasers. "Combined with your Intel on hard structures, the ship can easily locate the technical and I'll work with my resources to locate the soft targets in real-time."

Kate looked around the room and raised a brow, "what?! You think Starfleet kept me for my cute but totally awesome sugar sprinkled cupcake personality l?" Kate winked and grinned. "Those things down there made me shoot a rifle. That's totally uncouth!"

James chuckled at Kate's comment slightly before looking to everyone else. "The machines were also very powerful. From a tactical perspective I think we should also use our phaser arrays if we can, alongside the tri-cobalt devices and the high yield photons" Phoenix suggested.

Kate illustrated James's comment by walking her right-hand fingers across the desk, making a zipping sound with her tongue and teeth while riding her left index finger into her walking fingers, "Zeuumm Bgrghhh!"

Shran remained his normal stoic self. "Despite the youthful exuberance of my younger officers, I think you can see we can practically end this war for you with the arsenal aboard this ship. Orbital bombardment would be my preference, but Ensign Phoenix is correct, use of our phasers would also be useful to you. We'll have to enter the atmosphere to ensure phaser fire is accurate considering the radiation, so that will be secondary after we launch a full onslaught of torpedoes to targets." He looked over at Jon and Deanna, "I am thinking we may need to pinpoint targets with ground units. You two up to going back down there?"

"Sure thing sir. Whatever we can do to end this war." Jon replied crisply.

Kyle Reese, who had remained silent up to now spoke softly, "If I may ask, these weapons you are talking about, these photon torpedoes, tricobalt devices, phasers, what sort of destructive force are they capable of bringing?"

"A standard photon torpedo can deliver in terms you can understand, the equivalent to 64 megatons, but without the nuclear fallout. A tricobalt device, well, the destructive force comes mostly from the fact that they tear holes in subspace upon detonation. If we use quantum torpedoes, they deliver a maximum of 256 megatons. The phasers are capable of leveling entire cities if we have them on a wide range, but as the captain wants them in a more surgical strike, let's just say whatever they hit won't be there afterwards" Ayana answered with a slight smile.

"It would seem that Earth has advanced substantially since our ancestors left" John Connor said, impressed and fearful at the same time.

"Humanity has evolved quite a bit, but weapons are a necessity. They found out the hard way that while peaceful exploration may be the goal of many, not everyone feels that way" Deanna replied.

"Amen Deanna, amen. No not everyone feels that way." Jon replied before adding. "Ready for another trip back to the planet Deanna?"

Deanna grinned. "I live for these sorts of missions. Lock and load commander."

"I think we can have the runabouts used as fight bombers of sorts, hit these production facilities located here" Shran said as he pointed to the mapped-out area. He looked up at Kate and Phoenix, "I believe you two have earned the right to fly one of those runabouts. We'll have Wyatt and Vienna pilot the second runabout. They'll be responsible for targeting this facility, designated a munitions and heavy weapons depot. Kate, you and Phoenix will be going after the primary Terminator production facility and these two power plants that them. I think a phaser barrage and a few photons should eliminate the targets effectively."

Phoenix carefully listened to his orders and copied the information into his notes in his PADD. He'd be lying if he said that he wasn't excited for an opportunity like this. "Any idea how severe the aerial resistance will be for this one?" There were the drones that had attacked the shuttle on the way down for the first mission, but that will most certainly have ramped up, he just wasn't sure by how much.

"Anyone going into those areas would be under intense fire. It is a suicide run for our aerial forces" Connor said emphatically.

Shran offered a tactical reply, "Based on the information I have seen, while you will be under intense fire, they can't penetrate your shields. The most difficult task you will have that I can see is having your torpedoes intercepted."

Kate nodded at the ideas being sent around the room.
"Sounds like a plan. Whether it be a runabout or a shuttle, I'm proficient in both types. They're both good platforms but the Runabouts have photon torpedoes last I checked or did you all upgrade those, too?" Kate figured they had them upgraded. Shran seemed to always have top shelf death when necessary. Kate kind of felt safe, knowing that, despite the exploration capacity, they were always ready for everything.

Phoenix nodded. "Understood. We'll be ready" he was confident in the runabout plan, but after nearly dying on the surface, there was that heightened concern. He felt he could handle the mission, however.

"Very well. Ensigns, report to the shuttle bay and prep your runabout. We'll have the Steele's meet you down there to prep the other runabout. Take a full load of torpedoes. Reinforce the shields as well, just to be safe" ordered Shran. He looked around the table, "I believe we have a plan in place. Let's get things moving. Jon, notify me when you and Deanna are ready to deploy down to the planet."


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