(( Briefing Team Two In Aestrometrics Suite Three, Deck 3, U.S.S. Thor. ))
Garcia: (Ben smiled and tapped the terminal. His eyes widened) Alright, wha=
t about a probe instead?
Brell: That could get the finer details we would need without having to sen=
d down an entire team.
Greaves: (Frowning) I don't like the idea of a probe. The colonists were ca=
pable of space flight and likely have some kind of sensors. That's the bes=
t-case scenario. If an advanced race is on the planet they certainly also =
have advanced sensors. Either way, it's likely that a probe would be more =
difficult to hide, and would give the presence of the ship away. It also c=
ouldn't think for itself and wouldn't be able to make prime directive-based=
decisions if discovered.
Ben wasn't sure on that one. If the colonists had sensors, then they were p=
robably capable of scanning for bodies within planetary orbit. Plus, if the=
y could back track location through a transporter beam, the Thor's location=
would be broadcast be it probe or humanoid that stepped on to the transpor=
ter pad. Greaves' broader point about keeping the Thor's location from bein=
g disclosed did have merit, and Ben made a note on his PADD to include Grea=
ves' recommendation in the team report to Captain Kells.
Dar: Some sort of camouflage maybe?
Garcia: Is there any merit in using a holograph in place of the probe?
Brell: Both in tandem maybe? Though I would feel a probe would be enough to=
get the data we need quickly after hitting orbit.
Greaves: The hologram would require an emitter, but could work. I'm still =
concerned with the dynamic decision-making ability of a machine, however. =
If it's discovered and all. Something unmanned certainly carries less risk=
Dar: Call me old school but I prefer a more, life-form approach to collect =
delicate information like this, yes even though there is a risk to human li=
Ben's chest expanded as he took an uneasy breath. At some point, someone wo=
uld have to scope out the surface - the team were right to face the fact fu=
ll on. At the same time, Ben wanted to give Captain Kells as many options t=
o mitigate the threat to life faced by a potential away team.
Brell: What about a probe network? if we used microprobes like those carrie=
d on runabouts we could get a detailed visual net on the whole planet in a =
way our sensors couldn't. We would be able to fabricate as many as we neede=
d with the facilities we have on the Thor.
Greaves: The microprobes probably would be harder to detect. Any idea wha=
t kind of electromagnetic signature the data network would create?
Dar: Do we know what the planet's atmosphere is like? If I am not mistaken =
microprobes can be very sensitive and if there is any sort of fluctuations =
on the planet, magnetic...electrostatic...it might not work.
Garcia: Can we anticipate for that with shielding, or upgrading the micropr=
obes casing - like how we'd protect the ship's hull?
Greaves: So, after we get some eyes on the settlement and the inhabitants,=
what next? 250 years is a long time. How do we convince these people we're=
from the Federation and here to help? They may not trust us.
Dar: I would suggest we try and isolate one maybe two of the colonists if w=
e can convince them we mean no harm it might be easier for them to convey o=
ur sentiment to the rest than us barging in on a couple of dozen and trying=
to convince them all at once. It will also give us a better understanding =
of the mindset we are facing down there.
Dar paused letting her suggestion settle.
Dar: We have no idea what or how they view outsiders and well mob mentality=
can be dangerous.
Greaves: You're right. That would be especially effective if we can isolat=
e a key decision maker or influencer. Mayor, governor, religious or commun=
ity leader. That kind of person. Maybe a two phased approach is best. Rec=
onnaissance to identify leaders and determine the threat and risk on the su=
rface, followed by a low-key meeting with a decision maker.
Greaves: Well the hottest question is still do we go manned or unmanned rec=
onnaissance. Or a combination of both? Lieutenant, what's your guidance?
Garcia: Looking at it, we have the threads of a plan. Captain Brell's senso=
r net looks sensible for the initial reconnaissance. At the very least we'l=
l get topographical and population intel. While I can see the limitations o=
f beaming down a probe in addition to the sensor net, having a probe progra=
mmed and ready for deployment would be prudent - even if just to check for =
adverse temporal effects to the internal chronometer. I do accept that sens=
or readings only get us so far. This is where Ensign Dar and Lieutenant Gre=
aves' strategy comes into play. A Marine led specialist reconnaissance team=
goes in first. Their purpose, to identify the community leader and suss ou=
t the security risks. Following on from this, a diplomatic team can then go=
in and do the low-key meet with the identified decision maker.
Garcia: Broadly, we've got a three phased plan. Sensor reconnaissance, spec=
ialist Marine reconnaissance and then - Directives notwithstanding - diplom=
Garcia: Captain Brell and I will take the sensors. Ensign Dar and Lieutenan=
t Greaves will prepare the reconnaissance teams as discussed.
Garcia: Yes Captain, your combined diplomatic experience with Admiral Turne=
r would be invaluable for modelling some possible diplomatic scenarios. :: =
Ben glanced at Dar and Graves. :: Likewise, if you need to call on other de=
partments in the course of organising your assignment, do it.
Garcia: Aestrometrics suite three will serve as our team base, and you're f=
ree to break out to your departments. Back here in 90 minutes for a team up=
Lieutenant Ben Garcia
Embassy Duronis II - USS Thor NCC-82607
Author ID number: G239102MR0
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