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Bridging The Gap
Episode 11 - Family Matters
Stardate 73834.3
MD005 0900 hrs

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Two Sides, Same Coin

Posted on Tue Mar 26th, 2019 @ 9:04pm by Captain Winfield Hood & Colonel Emilio Woods & Brigadier General Francis 'Judge' Sobel & Captain Ir'dama & Lieutenant Commander Dara Jax & Glinn Kalim
Edited on on Tue Jun 4th, 2019 @ 1:39am

Mission: The Drumhead (Empok Nor Premier)
Location: Station Commander's Office - Empok Nor
Timeline: MD002 0900 hrs



Emilio dreaded was about about to happen on this station. Two of the largest egos that he had ever met were about to collide, and he had the pleasure of telling one of those egos about the meeting. He stood outside Judge's quarters and made sure that his uniform was straight. After stealing a deep breath he pressed the door chime.

The door opened before Emilio and he heard, "Come in Colonel."

Brigadier General Francis N.M.I. Nobel turned as his Chief of Staff entered his quarters and he looked up from his desk. "It's not time already" the General asked, leaning back in his desk chair.

"You know it is, sir, "Emlio responded, saluting. "In fact, if we don't leave now..."

"We'll be late and likely get the good Captain upset with us?" Sobel smiled slightly, standing.

"Yes sir," Emilio said, "And you know it's been on the books for a week.

"I should just send you, Sobel groused, shutting down his workstation. "I have too much to do to listen to his complaints."

"It's his station, boss "Emilio reminded him.

Again.

"Well I certainly don't want it," Sobel told him as they exited his quarters. "All we need is to borrow part of it." He changed the subject as they exited.

It wouldn't do to be overheard.

***


Winfield Hood paced in his office, something he had been doing for the past hour. "What's his game old man? Why is he here on my station? I mean orders are orders..." He spoke with a sharp tone, as if he held back an immense amount of anger.

Dara chuckled as the memories from the Jax symbiote flooded her brain. Memories of a close friendship with Winfield. "Win, he has a job to do just like you do. Those stars don't mean anything more than your pips. Besides he will most likely not be on the station much. Rumor has it that they are building him Camp McCoy on one of the moons."

"No, no, no... He will take the station mark my words. Well Cardassia at least won't allow it." Hood interrupted. "He has to go but how, how can I get rid of him and his bunch of miscreants they are already causing a mess."

Dara rose and placed her hand on his shoulder. "You can't Win and he will be here in five minutes for a meeting."

The last statement took all the wind out of Hood, there just did not seem to be any way around it. The Judge had arrived and there was no sign that he would recuse himself.

***


At the lift to Operations, Sobel and Woods were met by Sobel's aide de camp, Captain Ir'dama. She saluted and both men returned the salute, then the three entered the lift.

"Captain, I don't think there will be anything urgent. Mainly you'll just need to stand there and stare randomly at their duty personal," Sobel told the Vulcan, who almost sighed, and nodded to him.

"Frank," Emilio chided him.

"Don't Frank me, Emilio. This meeting isn't going to change his mind or my orders. At best, it's likely only going to cause medical to have fits next time our blood pressure is checked," Sobel said.

Then they were in Operations.

Ir'dama stepped off the lift, then to one side and called out, "Attention On Deck!", Sobel and Woods stepped from the lift and paused, looking around the stations Operations center.

When the call for attention came from the lift Glinn Kalim looked up from the main operations console. It seemed to the Cardassian that someone did not get the memo that this was a Cardassian station. As such the crew is not bound by whatever the Vulcan was attempting to do. Out of the group that entered the bridge Kalim recoginized one, General Sobel. Kalim met the group at the lift with his hand extended toward the General. "General Sobel welcome to Empok Nor. I am Glinn Kalim the Executive Officer of this Cardassian station. I know the Captain is expecting you, and I just wanted to bifd you welcome."

Sobel nodded and shook hands with the Cardassian. "Glinn. Thank you for your welcome. It's nice to meet you. Let's not keep your Captain waiting." He kept his tone polite and looked around operations for a brief second until the station's XO led him to the Captain's office.

As they entered, he greeted Hood. "Captain, it's a pleasure to meet you. These are two of my officers, Colonel Woods, my exec and Captain Il'dama, my aid."

Dara stood as the marines entered the office. Hood for his part was behind his desk with his most diplomatic smile plastered to his face. "General you and your staff are most welcome. This is Empok Nor's Second Officer Lieutenant Commander Dara Jax. Please everyone have a seat. Is there anything that we can get you?"

Sobel took the preferred seat and smiled slightly. "Most welcome indeed. I noted the Cardassian response when I entered Operations. It seemed rather chilly. Which is odd for a race well known for it's ambient temperature preferences. I can only guess it's a natural reaction when Marines land?"

The Brigadier glanced at his XO and smiled, "About what we expected, I suppose." Turning back to Hood, he continued, "So, Captain, that leaves us in twitchy territory. You don't really want us here and I have orders that don't seem to care what you want. Does that sum it up?"

Dara set a tray with a coffee pot and all the trimmings on the desk and sat on a couch along the side wall of the office. She could not resist a small smirk at the comment from Sobel. It seemed that Jax rather enjoyed the way Sobel made their old friend twitchy.

Hood tugged at his uniform tunic as he sat down behind the desk. "General it seems that you are only mostly correct. You are right that I do not really want you here, however the implication underneath that statement is wrong. The fact is I know why you were sent here, and if we are to keep this station then we need your people." Hood spoke through gritted teeth as he hated that he had to say that. "That said, this station is under my command and Cardassian authority, and it is at their request that you are here." Winfield poured himself some coffee if for no other reason then to have an excuse to stop talking.

Woods noticed the Trill woman and like most of the Trill he had met she was quite striking. There must be something in the water on that planet. he thought. He decided to let Ir'dama stand as sentinel behind the General and took a seat on the couch next to Dara. As Winfield spoke he whispered to the Ops Chief "Colonel Woods but you can call me Emilio if you would like." A small knowing smirk crossed his lips as Dara shook his hand.

Sobel looked at Hood and nearly sighed. He really hadn't needed to be reminded that this was Hood's station and who had requested a Federation troop presence in the sector. The man seemed desperate to keep his seat at the top of the hill: seemed worried that his command would erode with a simple FMC one star in residence.

"All true, Captain," he said, "Why don't we start with what role you seeing my Brigade filling on your station."

"On the station your role is defense only. There is a suspicion that an overwhelming force is going to try to take this station. The evidence of which is here..." Hood handed a PADD to Sobel. "Your Brigade is to make sure we hold this line as it were. The CDF has no resources to give to keep the station and if there is one thing you and I can agree on it is the promises that politicians make are often larger than what can be provided. So here we are. I expect that most of the time there will not be much for you to do. However, I have been informed that the SFMC is building you a training camp nearby and that this will become a launching point for you."

Sobel took the PADD, glanced over it and handed it wordlessly to Woods. "That would have been very good information to have had whenever the assessment was put together," he half groused. "My orders, and I quote, were to not excite or alarm the local populace and command structure. Thus, I have only half a wing of strike craft and the Headquarters security team. Two platoons, plus the staff, which will give you fifty combat effectives. Give or take."

Frank pinched the bridge of his nose and then took a breath. He needed to be political here, not just start barking orders. " Captain, I'd like to have Major Ir'dama immediately scramble the 2738th and 5891st fighter craft and get them inbound to set Combat Air Patrols as far out as possible. Then I can re-task as many troops as you want to garrison your station. I'm not sure how soon they can get here."

He glanced at Woods, who began working on a PADD of his own and looked back at Hood. "Camp McCoy IS a work in progress and large portions of the Brigade are still in-transit, with some of the troops their already in environment training."

After a few seconds, Woods chimed in. "The quick reaction force can be here in 24-36 hours. All else, probably one week, sirs. Elements of the squadrons can be on site in about 48 hours."

Sobel sighed and nodded, "So, there we have it Captain. Give the word and our QRF, approximately 100 marines, can be here soonest."

He didn't voice his irritation, wondering who had been sitting on the intel Hood had just shown him. Frank would investigate that later.

"Sirs, if I may..." Dara Jax interjected. "This station is a trading hub for Cardassia. Private trading ships going in and out at all times. Having military craft on station will most likely scare off everyone. Is there any way that we can scramble 2738th and 5891st as the General suggests, however, keep them on Alert 1 status here at the station. This way the commerce is not scared away until it is time." She smiled softly in an attempt to lighten the mood in the room, the tension was thick. "General I can allocate an entire landing bay on the outer docking ring for them. That area of the station can be set to respond to you CAG's commands. All I would need is a name and authorization code." She turned toward Hood and smirked with a wink to him. "Of course the Captain's approval as well."

Winfield leaned back in his chair as he thought about everything that Sobel, and Dara had just said. "General as it stands right now Fleet Intel does not know when or if this attack is going to come. As you can see it is allegedly going to be launched by a joint Maquis and Cardassian attack force. Something like this could only be achieved with assistance on the inside. That being said I would be inclined to agree with Commander Jax. If you feel her plan is feasible I would say go with it. I think added to her plan would be an investigation that I would like your..." His voice trailed off as he read the PADD that contained a listing of the General's staff. "...Major Roi to lead while working with Lieutenant Lamberti, my Chief Intelligence Officer. The goal is find out who is working from the inside, and to confirm if this attack is coming. Well, General what do you think?" Hood leaned forward and rested on his desk. He knew this moment would be the defining moment of their relationship.

Before Hood could respond Woods glanced over at Sobel. He sighed deeply as if to say they had stepped knee deep into the muck here. However, the Captain's plan was the best course of action for now. He simply nodded to express this.

Sobel nearly commented on Woods slow leak. Or the likeness that he'd just mimicked, but decided to save that for later. He was irritated and he didn't need to show that to the fleet, or their...hosts.

"Limiting my attack craft to trap door spider status and diminishing your long range detection, is of course, your call, Captain. I'll abide by your requests up until the point I think you're placing my people in unnecessary danger. I do believe worrying about 'trade'," he said slightly scornfully, "is a mistake. A show of force would assure all but those who have something to hide and make those who think attacking this station is a good idea to think again."

Shifting in his seat, he looked at Woods. "Alright, Colonel. Get the squadron assets available inbound soonest. Alert the QRF to prepare for mobilization at a moments notice. Put Company J, 385th on alert as well."

Turning back, to Hood he said "Major Roi and our S2 staff are at your disposal."

Then he let his petulance show. "My battle suited marines won't offend any delicate sensibilities if they have to show up to pull our collective bacon's out of the fire if, will they?'

Winfield actually laughed at the General's comment. "No they won't it will become a sign of the times. Lieutenant Commander Jax will work with your CAG to create an adequate hangar bay. Which reminds me, it seems that your staff list is incomplete. Who is your CAG and when shall we expect them on the station?"

"That would be Captain Shiqwue," Woods immediately offered up, "call sign Firefly. She should be able to get here by 2000."

"Good, good we can get that sorted shortly then. To address the trade issue... Unfortunately we have to factor that in. As you are aware this is a Cardassian station and they are worried about their commerce, and supplies to rebuild their colonies. The Detapa Council assures me that they are aware of the impending danger and will yield when the time comes. However, it is best to let them have their way until that time comes." Hood continued.

"One would hope they're not being reactionary to all of this," Sobel commented dryly. "Not jamming their heads into the sand and hoping nothing comes by to smack them in the rear. After which, they will be extremely shocked at such an unexpected happenstance and deciding to point fingers at us for not having taken adequate steps..."

Dara pulled up the service record on the CAG and noticed that she was a Bajoran who learned how to be pilot as a young girl in the resistance. It was quite impressive and Dara did not let that fact go unexpressed on her face. She began to make a list of what would have to be done to create a landing bay.

Hood nodded in agreement. "There General at least we are in agreement. I would rather follow your plan and pull out all of the stops. However, politics being politics we must let the Cardassians run this as they sit fit. Unfortunately if we get the chance to say I told you so someone would have already been killed. But what the hell do politicians care about that. Corps, or Fleet we are all on the front line and all bleed for the politics." Winfield hoped that Sobel would at least see that there they were on the same page.

Frank wasn't happy about it. But the Captain was right. They had to play with the hand they were dealt. "Agreed, Captain. There's to much else for it."

Hood stood and extended his hand with a smile. "Well I think that is a good start and there is a lot for both of us to attend to. Should you need anything I and my officers are always at your disposal."


A Joint Post By

Captain Winfield Hood
Commanding Officer, Empok Nor


Glinn Kalim
Executive Officer, Empok Nor


Lieutenant Commander Dara Jax
Chief Operations Officer, Second Officer, Empok Nor


Brigadier General Francis Sobel
Commanding Officer, 258th Starfleet Marine Expeditionary Brigade
Empok Nor


Colonel Emilio Woods
Chief of Staff, 258th Starfleet Marine Expeditionary Brigade
Empok Nor


Captain Ir'Dama
Aide De Camp, 258th Starfleet Marine Expeditionary Brigade
Empok Nor

 

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