Cmdr. Shayne: Going Where A Fair Few Have Gone Before

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Quinn Friedl

Mar 29, 2021, 1:35:25 PM3/29/21
((OOC: Alrighty, folks- first sim of the mission! If you have shore leave scenes to finish up, feel free to do so.))

((Deck 1, Conference Room, USS Arrow))
He was early, as per usual. This time, though, it was a matter of him not being able to sleep. Mason was right. His acknowledgement wouldn’t change anything, but it would put some emphasis on her instructions. His blood, flooded with caffeine and energy, demanded release, and it was something he could not offer it. So he’d decided to get a head start on the day. 
As he’d walked to the conference room through the dimly lit gamma-shift corridors, he had reflected on the importance, and yet straightforwardness of their next mission. It was exactly the sort of thing he’d been expecting before his deployment to the Isles. Now, though, it seemed too deceptively simple to be true. 
The conference room was uninhabited, and after bumming around for several minutes, he decided to do something about his tension, his misplaced resolve. The words of Th’yquirn still lived rent free in his mind, and improvement was the goal, for his own sanity and quite likely his commission. He was so wound up about the world, his role, the safety of the crew… and yet, it never seemed to manifest in any appreciable way. Any time he got even close with one of them, he’d pull away politely and put the pips back on. Perhaps it was time to resist that, in a small way to start. 
An hour passed, quicker than most, as Shayne moved from replicator to table, arranging small decorations and a few baskets of muffins, along with other breakfast fare. It was anathema to do this; he preferred his work and meeting spaces to be clean and businesslike. Indeed, when he’d served under Admiral Renos, Shayne had found the genderless J’Naii’s affixation on affectation to be grating. To sod with the biscuits- he wanted the mission parameters! And now, look at him- following in the footsteps of his old mentor years after he’d been transferred. 
Some approximation of an hour later, Shayne watched as the first officers moved into the room. The rest followed in quick succession- some alert, some hiding the signs of exhaustion well, and some gripping steaming mugs of coffee or similar drinks in their hands. Shayne envied them deeply. 
When the senior staff were finally assembled- no small task, even in one of the larger inhabited spaces aboard the ship- Shayne began his presentation as he so often did; with a holographic table image. Why the designers saw fit to add such emitters into the table, and not into an actual section of the ship, Shayne did not know, but hopefully, between Alvarez, the engineering staff and whatever Ferengi traders were available, that particular oversight would be tended to in due time. 
Shayne: Good morning. Let’s begin.
He pressed a button, and a holographic image of an utterly typical M-Class planet popped onto the screen. Its blue-green hues were dotted with blacked, scarring pockmarks, signs of cataclysmic detonations considering their visibility from space. 
Shayne: This is the planet Venthis in the Almarda Cluster. It rates as a G- on the Richter Scale of Cultures. 
Shayne did not pretend to understand the intricacies of the scaling system used by the Federation’s foremost xeno-anthropologists. What he did know was that there were certain, concrete qualifications for each planet or species, and that they were an easy, if not mandatory guide for captains in the unenviable position of making first contact. G- class cultures were just starting to explore their solar system, and demonstrated the capacity to create crafts meant for interstellar flight. In essence, this was the lowest cultural scale in which first contact could be made, in accordance with the Prime Directive. 
Shayne: For the last several hundred years, nation-states, varying in number and size, have been in conflict with one another. The scars of this conflict, and the technological wonders their societies have created, are plainly detectable. 

Shayne pressed another button, and a mission log accompanied the planet model. 
Shayne: However, some eighteen months ago, the fighting predominantly stopped. Starfleet Command is uncertain as to why. What is known is that first contact between the Federation and the species inhabiting Venthis- they gave no formal classification- that occurred ten months ago was both successful and unusual. Captain Nes Bim Dvoll of the starship Arkhipov reported that the planetary survey readings (updated less than a decade ago) appeared to be more than two centuries out of date. These people nearly bombed themselves back to their Stone Age, and almost overnight, they’ve managed to develop rudimentary warp technology.  

The commander looked over the staff, both weary and mischievous. This situation had a precedent- alien civilizations that did not share Starfleet’s non-interference directive would occasionally interact with natives before they were ready, usually in search of profit or territorial expansion. 
Shayne: No doubt some of you are looking at external causes to explain this sudden change, and while we cannot rule them out, Arkhipov reported no extraterrestrial activity or technology on the planet. For the time being, we must assume that these people acted alone. Which leads me to our goal. 
Shayne disabled the holographic image, and looked proudly at the assembled staff. 

Shayne: Second contact. 

He let the reactions sink in. Second contact- arguably as important as first contact- was a far cry from the grungy survival the crew had been consigned to over the past eight or nine months. It would, if all went well, be a breath of fresh air for his rested, but still weary staff. 
Shayne: Arkhipov reported that the Venthis culture seemed highly interested in either allying itself with, or joining, the Federation. Our primary mission is to evaluate this world and compile enough information so that the Federation Council may make an informed judgement. Our secondary mission- one that we will carry out with the greatest respect and courtesy- is to determine what the cause of this newfound peace and cooperation is. 
The commander reached for a PADD and began reading assignments. 
Shayne: I will be meeting with the ambassadorial party aboard the Arrow- in fact, most likely in this very room. Mr. Serinus, Counselor R’Ariel, I would like you both to be present for these proceedings. 
Serinus/R’Ariel: Response
His primary goal was the good of the mission, as it ought to be, and obviously, both officers would be key in successful negotiation. This was still a mission with a great many unknowns, and he’d value their insight. That said, some small part of him was pleased that it made sense to have Serinus stay aboard the ship and to have Wilde go down to the planet. He had faith in them both, but since Regan had raised his concerns, Shayne was eager to give him the same opportunities wherever possible. 
Shayne: Commander Collins, you will lead an away team consisting of Lieutenants DeBarres, Wilde and Ander. Your goal is to evaluate Venthis society, with a particular emphasis on their scientific endeavors and achievements. 
Collins/DeBarres/Wilde/Ander: Response 
Shayne turned now to their newest member. 
Shayne: Ensign Mason, the wars on Venthis may have stopped, but they’ve left a great many scars. As a show of good faith, the Federation has agreed to try and treat a number of Venthis individuals who have permanent injuries, and whom Venthis medicine is not able to treat or cure effectively. Certain consenting individuals will be beaming aboard the Arrow for assessment. In addition to helping these people, this will be our best bet of gaining helpful medical information with which we can help more of the Venthis population in the future. I’m not expecting these people to be cured- that will take a great deal of time- but I’m hopeful that this will be a positive step toward more normalized relationships. If you find anything unusual about these patients in the course of your treatment, I’d appreciate being informed so long as it does not breach doctor-patient confidentiality. Counselor, it’s likely these people will have sustained psychological harm as well as physical- your services and talents may be helpful in Sickbay as well. 
Mason/R’Ariel: Response 
His throat was already getting dry, but he finished what he started. 
Shayne: Lieutenant Waters, Venthis is surrounded by a mess of spatial debris, most likely from their previous conflicts. I would like to stay close to the planet, and as such, your talents at the helm will be vital. Ensigns Caden and Alvarez, I plan on reviewing this debris closely for clues regarding this civilization’s sudden advancement. I’d like you both to prepare surveys of particularly intriguing components. 
Caden/Alvarez: Response 
As Shayne finished his assignments, a sudden wave of suspicion washed over him, and mingled with the excitement, as if the universe was telling him that there was reason for hope, but also good cause to stay very, very vigilant. 
Shayne: There is a great deal that we do not know, including what awaits us round the next corner. As much as I dislike uncertainty, there is no crew I’d rather face that uncertainty with. We arrive in two hours. Let’s get to work. Are there any questions? 

Any: Response 
((OOC: Happy to backsim any questions or comments! If you have questions or comments out of character, don’t hesitate to reach out. Let’s rock!)) 

Commander Randal Shayne
Commanding Officer
USS Arrow
NCC 69829
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