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  Captain Michael Holden & Commander Carishai, SD
"How To Handle the 'Dirty Birds'" JDL
Login “How to Handle the …€Â˜Dirty Birds'”

JDL: Admiral Katera, Captain Holden & Commander Carishai


Captain Michael Holden's mood was mixed as he entered the conference room where Admiral Katera and Commander Carishai awaited his arrival. One thing that buoyed him was the time he had just spent with Taz and then with her and little Mikey. Also, weighing him down was the news he had yet to deliver to Commander Lobren.  The room had been provided with a hot luncheon for the command officers and reminded Holden that he was hungry.


“I apologize for keeping you waiting,” Holden said to Katera and Carishai. “I just took a little break to see my wife and baby son.”


“Yes, I had heard of the new arrival,” Admiral Katera replied. “Congratulations.”


“Thank you, Sir,” Holden said as he made a sandwich from the hot roast beef and rolls that were on the buffet table.  He smeared some horse radish on the inside of the roll, then put some salad onto the plate as well.


Commander Carishai nodded in greeting to Captain Holden. The plate in front of her was half full with the remainder of a meat-laden salad with large dollops of horseradish in place of dressing.  She was in the middle of eating a bite when Holden had come in and when she was done chewing she washed it down with a beverage that Holden didn't recognize and smiled.


"Yes, congratulations on the new addition.  I look forward to meeting your wife and children."  She set her knife and fork to the side and wiped her hands on her napkin then set it on the table as well.  The attendant stepped forward to collect her plate and she touched him lightly on his forearm.  "The beef was delightful and so tender, please let the chef know. And I'm certain that horseradish was grated fresh. Thank you."


The attendant returned her smile and replied "Yes ma'am." as he removed her plate.


She looked from Admiral Katera to her new commanding officer.  "Shall I activate the display of the Habris system?"


"Please," Holden answered, taking a seat at the conference table.  He took a bite of his sandwich as the holographic display came to life above the table.  Swallowing his first bite, he started the discussion.

"As you know Hidargo is the third planet in the system.  We have found ways to approach the planet without being seen, apparently  by not only the locals but the Mecaw on that planet as well.  They knew Excelsior was outside the system, but had no clue that Belaya sat just beyond Hidargo's moon."

"What about their heightened alert status after having seen your runabout?" Katera asked.

"I believe we can overcome that as well, Sir," Holden said before taking a second bite of his sandwich.  "Their detection systems rely heavily on radar and standard two dimensional image cameras.  We can fool their radar with some creative sensor work, and the cameras with holographic projection."


"I like it. A very creative solution and probably not too time-consuming to arrange.  My bigger concern is determining if we can reverse the mess  the meddling Mecaw inflicted on people of Hidargo."


"Wait a minute," Katera asked, looking at Holden. "Holographic projections? To disguise the ship? How do you intend on doing that?"

Captain Holden chewed the bite he had taken and set his sandwich down.  He tapped on the table console, and an image of Excelsior appeared above the table.  "With technology obtained from Admiral Fyrstk at Pasteur Station."  Katera's eyes narrowed at the mention of the other admiral. Holden took it Katera was less than fond of Admiral Fyrstk.

On the image of the starship, small points of light started to blink at carious locations around the ship.  "The XL is fitted with holographic projectors which intermix with the shield projectors.  We can input almost any image we want and the resulting holographic image around the ship will deceive almost any passive scan.  It does have its drawbacks, such as we don't have shields stronger than navigation shields while the "sub-mode" is active, but it has proven effective already in one very sensitive mission."

"I want to see this in action," Katera huffed.


When Katera had expressed surprised, Carishai had swallowed had.  Unlike her former commanding officer, she had known about XL's ..."enhancements", which she would need to explain to Captain Holden in the near future.


"Yes, I'd like to have the chance to see "sub-mode" in action as well. Plus we can use the extra time to work on a resolution for the other issue."

"That can very easily be accomplished," Holden said confidently. He then proceeded to contact the bridge and have them program the sub mode and have Relentless scan the ship and send the real-time results to the conference room.  As the orders were carried out, the holographic image on the table shifted to look like a Valdore-class warbird.  Relentless's sensor information came up beneath the image.

"Fyrstk gave you this technology?" Katera asked.

Holden nodded. "He told me he had used this on the Constitution-class Eagle he had commanded as well as the Intrepid-class one."


"That would explain how he bested a warbird with the Connie," Katera noted with some admiration.


"Quite impressive. We know that Hidargo doesn't have the level of tech to even suspect such a system exists. I wish mental manipulation were something we could reverse as neatly.  We could simply make sure the Dirty Birds....the Mecaw...leave Hidargo and stay away.  Then do some old-fashioned observing to see if the people  return to normal if they are no longer being influenced."


“That actually was my line of thinking, Commander,” Holden said, impressed Carishai came to the same idea as him without any prodding.  “It is my understanding that the Mecaw were planting suggestions into the minds of the Hidargo on either side of the planet.  The Mecaw would take out a Eastern Hemisphere ship, and make it seem like the Westerners did it, and vice versa. If we remove that influence, maybe things will go back to normal.”


“The little scare your Commander Lobren's show put into them might be enough to get the two hemisphere powers talking as one again,” Katera suggested.


"That might be the case too.  I remember learning about a series of still unexplained aerial phenomena on Earth's South American continent which served as a major catalyst in uniting the majority of the countries there and increased their overall economic and technological development.  Do you intend to take Relentless home Roi....Admiral?'

Admiral Katera's eyes flashed at Commander Carishai as he had told her many times before to not use his first name when dealing with other officers. "No," he replied a bit more angrily than he had intended. "I will take command of Relentless and monitor the situation. I'll keep her behind the moon of Hidargo where Excelsior's runabout was hiding during the first encounter."


In other words, you're going to micro-manage, Holden thought but did not put voice to. He simply nodded. "Excellent, Sir." He took a drink  of his juice then said, "Now, what I propose is we try a tight beam communications signal to the Mecaw base on Hidargo.  If they are reluctant to answer, we still have the two 'guests' that we can lean on to telepathically contact their starraven."


Commander Carishai seemed to be unaffected by the admiral's ire and she looked to Captain Holden.  "What role would you like me to take for now?  I have no desire to just abruptly push Commander Lobren aside when their hasn't been any appropriate time to announce my appointment."


Holden frowned and took a moment to answer.  It was clear he was struggling with this whole maneuver by Starfleet Command. "You will assume the role of executive officer," the captain instructed. "As soon as we are finished here, you and I will go talk to Commander Lobren."


"Aye sir.  Are we done? If so I'd like to grab a quick bite of that cheesecake before we meet with Commander Lobren."

Holden chuckled.  "Of course, Commander. Help yourself."  He watched her for a moment.  He had caught the look on Admiral Katera's face when she referred to him by his first name.  Holden also caught the fact that Carishai seemed to have missed that. Or, she caught it and didn't care.  Would that become an issue between himself and the commander?

"Well, I see you two have some things to work out," Katera suddenly said, rising from his seat.  He brushed some crumbs from his uniform. "Good luck to you both, and I'll be monitoring."

"Thank you, Admiral," Holden simply said.


Cari placed a slice of cheesecake on a plate. She examined the various toppings and after deciding to leave it plain, she savored a bite.


"Captain Holden.  Please rest assured that I didn't accept the position as your first officer in order to satisfy anyone's agenda or as some kind of backhanded commentary on how you run this ship.  I'm here for one reason, that's because I want to be here.  I am honored to be here, to be a part of the Excelsior's crew and to work alongside them.  But I'm not insensitive to the concerns that you almost certainly have about me and what others may think.  Don't hesitate to file a formal complaint if you feel the need to do so."  She smiled an ate another bite before putting the plate down.

Captain Holden nodded. "I understand, Commander and I appreciate your honesty.  I believe Command never thought Commander Lobren capable of being XO, though I would argue the point with them.  There was a reason they held off on permanently giving him the spot, and now it seems they have their reason to replace him." He looked directly at Cari. "I do not hold you at fault, nor do I hold Admiral Katera. And, this is a good crew. You will see."


"I don't have any doubts, the XL is a fine ship with an equally fine crew. Ready to get the most difficult part of this over with sir?"


Holden nodded. He let out an audible sigh and brought his hand to his combadge. Tapping it, he called out, “Captain Holden to Commander Lobren, would you please report to the conference room.”


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