Meeting with the Admiral
S1, E1: Uprising
Location: Ready Room
Timeline: MD005 1330 hrs
Jack had been on the Pioneer for only a few weeks and he had already realized what he hated about ship life, he had been in more meetings then training. At least at a Marine base you had meetings while you trained. He already had a meeting with the Captain, one with the CMO, one with The Kingsmen and now he was asked to return to the Captain's Ready Room. For what this time no one knew. He smiled at the officers that he passed as he made is way through the ship, even though the smile hid his true feelings. He pressed the door chime to the Ready Room for what felt like the millionth time.
Harley finished off his coffee and headed on his way to meet up with the senior staff. He hoped this was going to give them information on where they were headed.
He saw Patton ring the Ready Room and hurried up so he could go in with him. “Good morning!”
"Commander, good morning. I see you were brought in for this one too." Jack said with a smirk. Jack wore the jumpsuit style work uniform of the Corps. He felt it was more comfortable then the standard uniform.
"I can not tell you how happy it makes me, that Starfleet came to the census, and re-instated the Marine Corps, so foolish to retire them. Given how unstable the galaxy is." Adria said, as she walked into the room, looking over to Jack and Harley, sitting at the table.
“Afternoon Captain,” Harley said with a smile. “I agree with you on that one.”
"The Corps has never faltered or failed. It never went anywhere. But thanks for the vote of confidence Cap. I plan on integrating my Kingsmen into the day to day running of the ship when there is no Marine specific missions." Jack smiled and took a seat then crossed his legs. "This is a hell of a ship you have here Cap."
Harley grinned at Jack’s words. He had played some poker with him and some of his men. He was as solid as they come. He looked to the captain. “Do you have good news for us?”
"Depends what you mean by good." Adria suggested with a grin on her face, as she looked over to Harley. And then over to Jack, ignoring his comment that the Marines had been their the hole time.
“Do we have new orders,” Harley went right to the point. “Or are they playing around still.”
"We are already on route, Admiral Malbrooke should be here shortly, to help us with our first mission." Adria said, wondering what was keeping him.
“I figured as much,” Harley replies. “Do we have specifics?”
Tyler Malbrooke had drifted through the Pioneer since he arrived, much like a ghost trapped in a long forgotten place of a long forgotten age. Those that he passed in the corridor seemed to look at him sideways, and whisper in hushed tones around him. Times like that made him self conscious about the scar on his face. The scar yet something else that was left over from a bygone era.
He had a meeting with Captain Solwick and her command staff. He believed this would be the last meeting before he cremonily passed the torch. Tyler arrived on the bridge and an Operations officer stood to attention. "Admiral on the bridge" the officer said in his clearest voice. Everyone else on the bridge came to attention. Tyler held his had out in a gesture that said everyone should go back to what they were doing. "As you were... And save that for your Captain, she deserves it more than I." His raspy voice tired with years could be heard. He rang the door chime to the Ready Room.
Jack leaned forward at the mention of a mission and specifics. It would finally be something his men needed. An objective, something for them to do. However, it seemed that the Captain was being mum at least until the Admiral arrived.
"There in the ready room sir, waiting for your arrival." A young officer called out from the bridge. He could not believe, he was talking to the iconic, the legendary Admiral Tyler Malbrooke.
"Thank you..." Tyler replied to the officer and turned to ring the door chime again. When the permission was given Tyler stepped into the Ready Room. Jack snapped to attention. "Morning everyone..." Tyler said as he looked around, the Ready Room was both as he remembered it and different all at the same time.
“Harley followed suit and have the Admiral the respect he was due. “Good morning, Sir!” He had heard a lot about Tyler Malbrooke and his adventures on the Pioneer.
"Number one, please have a seat," Adria said, as she motioned for the table. "I took the liberty of replicating your favorite coffee drink." Adria said to him, showing the cup in front of his seat.
Harley took the cup and smiled. “Thank you, Captain.” He took a drink, it was perfect. “Just like I like it.”
"Welcome Admiral, can I offer you a Beverage?" Adria asked, wanting to make the Admiral feel at home.
Tyler smiled weakly. "Yes coffee, black please. And Thanks. It's a fine crew you've assembled here Captain."
"It is, even with the last minute change in first officers. Commander Jackson, is a suitable replacement." Adria said, with a big grin on her face. She still wondered why the Romulan's recalled their citizen.
Tyler took the coffee and sipped savoring the flavor. "Thanks for the invite but don't let me hold your meeting up. I'm just here to stroll down memory lane. Please proceed. "
Harley listened as they spoke showing no expression. Did suitable mean he was doing a good job or she was managing as best she could? He decided not to go down that road and waited for the captain to speak.
"Admiral Malbrooke, did you have a lot of dealings with the Klingons over the span of your career in Starfleet?" Adria asked, wanting to get a little back ground on him, and seeing if he could be useful.
The question perplexed Tyler, Adira had made it to command her own starship. Surely she knows how to handle Klingons. However, he decided to indulge her to see where it would lead. "I have had no more dealings then any other Captain. I find the Klingons to be the staunchest of allies." He ran his hand through his hair and tightened the long white pony tail that he had.
“Do you believe that to be true,” Harley spoke up. “That they are truly our allies.” He felt like the question needed to be asked.
"I would say that most of them are. Just as with us there are Klingons who will go against the norm. Try to maintain the status quo. That's just it there is no such thing as status quo. Politics is a constant evolution, and one must change to fit. I have had my fair share of people who would not change or grow with the times." Tyler thought back to the original Pioneer and their dealings with Cardassia. Gul Prenar and Admiral Leyton are two such people that he is talking about at the moment.
"What is the status quo for a conquering species, and how the Federation deals with this atrocity?" Adria asked, looking for real advice.
“We are to try and negotiate a peaceful solution,” Harley spoke up. “And if not defend ourselves and members of the Federation.”
"If am to be totally blunt a species bent on conquest is relatively easy to negotiate with. You simply have to make sure that you give them a better target than yourself. That is what most Captains might say to you. However, that is not what I believe in. I believe that if you truly want to negotiate with a species bent for conquest you have to show them that you are an equal. That you are worthy of their friendship. Look at the USS Enterprise-C for example, they showed the Klingons that they were honorable and worthy allies." Tyler smiled, a rare thing these days as he sat down. He enjoyed talking of history and apprieated the Captain giving him this chance to participate in the new Pioneer's launching.
"What an optimistic approach, I hope you are right. History shows us, that conquering societies like strife and conflicts. It helps them expand, and learn. I agree, we need to get them to see us as equals, and not the enemy and not a race, that is interfering with their cultural identity." Adria pointed out. The last point, was going to be hard to prove. They were polar opposites in cultural beliefs.
Harley looked from one to the other. He agreed with what was being said but felt like he needed to add to the conversation. “It won’t be easy, especially in a cultural level. They are conquerors and we are not. That is one area we will have to tread carefully on.”
"Agreed, you will be essentially starting the Klingon peace talks all over again. Humans earned their respect once, and I think they can do it again. Especially with this ship and crew leading the charge." Tyler replied with a smile. He knew this crew would succeed, he had helped pick them for the job. If Tyler Malbrooke was totally honest with himself he was a little jealous that he was not going out there with them.
"I am not afraid to ask for some advice Admiral. I know that the Klingon's have been a race of conquers, how do we match them, earn their respect?" Adria asked, hoping he had more hands on, or sound tactical skills, when it came to dealing with the Klingon Empire.
Tyler sipped his coffee as pondered the question. "Simply put you show them that humans are not to be conquered. You comport yourself with honor, and never lie, never ever hide anything, just be upfront. If they find out you were hiding something you have no honor. When negotiating take charge, you dictate the course not them. They will respect you for that." He spoke curtly as he drove his point home, pausing only to sip his drink. Tyler continued to think of ways that the Captain could win over the Empire.
"Sounds simple enough." Adria said, thinking to herself, nothing is that simple. She knew it would be a struggle, to bring the klingons on their side to avoid open war. History has not been to kind to the Federation, with war with the Klingons.
Harley thought it sounded all to easy to him. Their history with the Klingons seemed a little more brutal than that. “It sounds easy enough the way you say it but I will be honest, I will be prepared for them to be difficult.”
"A wise choice, given the facts everyone has stated to us. But like the Admiral said, being respect and acting honorably, should win us a reprise with the Klingons." Adria pointed out, wanting Harley to know in a way he was right, but this situation, was a little more delicate than plotting a tactical point, on a map.
"I agree Captain," Harley spoke. "But we don't want to get caught with our pants down. I just want to be prepared, in case."
"Listen, I am not saying that it is going to be easy. In fact it will be one of the toughest things you will ever do. The Klingons will not sway easily. I would also recommend upon first meeting executing the Chal'doch'al. It is a Klingon ritual in which a recitation of honors and battles won are recorded. Both sides will participate. So upon first meeting have the most battle hardened member of the crew do the talking first. Of course it would be best coming from the Captain, however, the Klingons love their stories so the person with the most stories should do the talking. This is no easy mission that you have, however, I do envy you. Envy what you are going to start and hopefully accomplish." Tyler spoke the utmost truth. He would have rather been going with them as opposed to going back to his desk. It is their time now... he thought.
"The Pioneer does have a Klingon Engineer, and her family holds a seat on the high council." Adria pointed out to Tyler, hoping that maybe G'Rall's political connections, could come in handy.
Harley thought that was the best choice. He would love to see their engineer go head to head with another.
"If your Engineer has the stories to back it up then have her lead the way. However, if you are going to use her for her political connections they will see right through that, and not respond kindly. For all of their bluster the Klingons do know how to play politics and have some great scientific minds. However, they do not hold those positions to be honorable. It is still the glory of combat, the thrill of the honorable fight. However, the a member of the High Council will have them listen to the Chal'doch'al." Tyler thought that putting the Engineer to the forefront was a risk, but a good one.
"I appreciate the information." Adria said, with a warm smile on her face. She heard what the Admiral had to say, but the sad reality was, she was not sure, if she wanted to open up that can of worms, about her combat experience.
Harley pretty much heard all he needed to. They were going to go into this and do what they needed to. The Captain was smart and a quick thinker and Harley knew they would do the right thing. With an excellent crew on hand how could they lose?
"Either of you, have anything else to add or to get off your chest, this is the perfect venue to do it." Adria suggested to the two of them.
Tyler stood up and smiled. "Well Captain I will leave you to the pomp and circumstance of your crew and a new ship to launch. I will see you at the reception."
“I am good as well,” Harley nodded. He was glad to have this meeting over.
"Unless anything else, dismissed and thanks guys." Adria said, as she started to head over to the door, to escort them both out.