Starfleet Intelligence: The Missions of the USS Doyle, Chapter 4

STAR TREK: STARFLEET INTELLIGENCE
The Missions of the USS Doyle

by Edward Webb

LEGAL STUFF: All of the characters and events not specifically
copyrighted by Paramount Television is copyright (c) 1998 by Edward
Webb. This is a fan novel written for the pleasure of other fans. It may be
distributed freely as long as no charge is collected in this distribution, and
the body of this work and this copyright notice is kept intact.

Chapter 4: Briefings

Admiral Tapok stepped off of the shuttle onto the grounds of
Starfleet Command. The trees and grasses waved gently in the nighttime
breeze, but the simple beauty of the scene was lost on him as the nameless
shuttle pilot showed him into the building. He looked neither left nor right,
simply following the pilot until he reached the secured area. He
absent-mindedly thanked the ensign and continued on his own down a
number of maze-like corridors, eventually arriving at an unmarked turbolift.
He stepped inside.
“Security Clearance?” the turbolift computer asked.
“SECLAR 8. Admiral Tapok. Starfleet Command, assigned to
Starbase 29. Access code Beta Theta Five.”
“Access granted. You are expected, Admiral Tapok.” The turbolift
lights started to move, but Tapok knew they were a disorientation technique
so that no one knew exactly where the meeting room was. For years he
tried to determine from the subtle changes in pressure where the turbolift
went, but he never followed up on his estimates, since he knew the price of
exposing Intelligence secrets. He simply waited for the turbolift to stop,
holding his PADD at his side.
Soon, the door opened. The room beyond was dimly lit. It contains
a semi-circular desk, curving around a single chair illuminated by a spot
light. The three figures seated at the desk were barely visible. Tapok knew
them only as Admiral Adams, Admiral Baker, and Admiral Caine. Tapok
knew were pseudonyms, since Admiral Baker went from a male to a female
voice over the years, and Admiral Caine was obviously now an Andorian,
whereas Tapok first met a Terran in that seat. These were the Assistant
Chiefs of Starfleet Intelligence, their identities kept secret from all
personnel except the Chief of SFI and the President of the Federation
himself. Tapok walked into the room, and sat in the chair.
“Welcome, Admiral Tapok,” Admiral Adams said, his voice
bouncing over the nearly empty room. “Status report.”
“As ordered, I have assembled the special operations cell. Captain
Sara Takashi has taken command of the USS Doyle. The cell is listed
under the name Project Josephine”
“Good,” Admiral Baker replied. “Have you placed your agent inside
Josephine?”
Tapok nodded. “The information is in the file, codenamed
Manchuria.” He handed the PADD towards the table, and a blue hand was
briefly illuminated as Admiral Caine reached into the light to take it from
him. A few soft sounds issued from the PADD as he looked over the
information. “Excellent,” Caine said.
Tapok raised his voice. “If I may inquire, it seems illogical to assign
an agent inside of a supposedly trsutworthy cell, especially an agent who is
unaware of his nature as this one is. Why was this course of action
chosen?”
“Captain Takashi is a bitter woman,” Adams replied. “The Psych
department says there is a small chance that she may join certain… terrorist
organizations. If the intelligence information she has access to gets into
Maquis hands, they could become a sizable threat in the future.”
“Then why was she assigned to Josephine?”
“She is the best choice for the job,” Baker responded. “The inside
agent is merely a precaution. Her family has a history of loyalty to
Starfleet, and we expect her to continue in that tradition.”
“I saw nothing from her service record that indicated any
extraordinary skills.”
“She has a vendetta against the enemies of the Federation,” Caine
said. “The Cardassians, the Borg and the Romulans have taken away
everyone she has cared about. That makes her more useful than any other
highly-skilled agent. Plus, she is no ordinary starship captain. She has a
diverse background.”
“You are referring, I presume, to her time in the Starfleet Marines.”
“Correct,” Adams said. “She has experience with military
operations. Although she was only assigned to them for six months after
the Wolf 359 massacre, her unit distinguished itself during the crisis.”
“The details of which, I’ve noticed, are classified at SECLAR 9.”
Admiral Baker chuckled. “Yes. Technically, she doesn’t even have
the clearance for her own knowledge. One of the perils of intelligence
work.”
“Understood. Is there anything else?”
“Yes,” Caine said. “You are to return to your duties on Starbase 29.
We are putting Commadore Iannone in command of Project Josephine. He
will be assigned to you officially, but in reality he will report to us.”
“I understood that Commadore Iannone was one of the officers who
first joined the Maquis’ terrorist activities.”
“You are correct,” Adams commented. “He has been pardoned.”
“Is he still sympathetic to their cause?”
“That information is classified, Admiral Tapok.” Admiral Baker’s
tone brooked no arguement.
“Understood. I will then resume my duties.”
“One more thing, Tapok,” Admiral Caine said. “This meeting never
occured. Josephine is simply a new crew testing out an experimental ship.”
Tapok saluted. “Of course, sir. No meetings ever occur in this
room.”

* * * * *

The turbolift doors opened, and Takashi looked out at her bridge for
the first time. It was designed in the traditional circular shape. In the
center of the floor stood on a gentle dais, which spread out into a wedge
behind it. On the wedge were the weapons and communications consoles
facing front, and the engineering display behind. Bradley was hunched over
the console, making minor organizational adjustments for his benefit. On
the right side of the wedge were the turbolift doors Takashi stood in, and on
the left side was the entrance to the officer’s lounge and meeting room. In
front of the chair was the navigation and operations console, with two
chairs in front for the two duty officers. One of the chairs was occupied by
Tee-eye-you, slowly piloting the ship out of dock at one-quarter impulse.
On the left side was the science station and the door to her Ready Room,
and another chair for a counselor or second officer, and on the right was a
tactical display and th!
e first officer’s chair. Wren’s chair.
In the center, on the dais like a throne, was the captain’s chair.
Takashi stepped up to the chair and slowly eased herself into it, feeling it
give and contour itself around her body. Her hands gently stroked over the
displays on the chair arms, and she looked ahead at the three dimensional
viewscreen, which was showing the last of the shipyards as they prepared to
go to warp. She simply sat for a few moments, feeling the throb of the
engines under her, the sounds of the consoles gently beeping and chirping.
She nearly missed what Tee-eye-you said.
“What was that, Lieutenant?”
Tee-eye-you made a small electronic noise, which could have been a
sigh. “I said we’re ready to go to warp at your command, sir.”
“Very well.” She held her breath as she made her first command
decision. “Engage.”
The starfield streaked by, and she felt the ship’s throbbing increase.
She watched as the ship approached warp 4, when suddenly the floor
lurched and everyone was forced to hold on to their seats to keep from
falling to the floor. “What the hell was that?”
“Engineering to Bridge.” Maron’s voice filled the bridge as they
heard other voices muttering in the background. “Sorry about that, Captain.
We’re having a little problem with the inertial damping system. Should
have it sorted out in a few minutes.”
“What happened Maron?”
“Some kind of weird reaction with the Chameleon and the warp
field dampners, sir. Someone probably cross-hatched when they should’ve
patched. Nothing major.”
Takashi laughed. “Keep me posted, Engineering.” She stood up and
crossed the floor to Wren, stealing a brief glance at Tee-eye-you. She
thought she could see him punching at the display in front of him a little
harder than usual. “Lt. Bradley, inform our escort of our current situation,
just in case. Lt. Tee-eye-you, open a level 4 LCARS link with the Norway,
and let them monitor our readings until we reach Starbase 29.”
Tee-eye-you turned and faced Takashi, his yellow eyes seeming to
burn into her. “I can’t do that, Captain.”
Takashi took a step closer to him, invading his personal space.
“That’s an order, mister.”
Wren stepped closer as well, facing Takashi. “Frank’s right,
Captain. The Norway’s Captain only has a SECLAR of 5, which isn’t
enough for an unrestricited computer link to the Doyle’s computers.” He
turned to Tee-eye-you. “Give them a LCARS link, but keep their access to
engine output and open ship communications. Everything else is to be
cleared only by myself or the captain.”
Tee-eye-you looked at Takashi for a moment longer, and then
glanced at Wren before going back to the console. “Aye sir,” he practically
spat.
Wren turned back and motioned towards her Ready Room. “That
briefing?”
She started to walk towards the door, and stopped. She was damned
if she would allow any officer to speak to their Captain that way. Ryan
wouldn’t have allowed that outburst, even at the most relaxed of times. She
strode back to the other side of the console, facing him, and slammed her
fist down.
“Mr. Tee-eye-you, as long as I command this ship and this cell, you
will do as I say. I don’t care if you don’t like my race, my gender, or even
the color of my hair, but as long as I have these,” she said as she pointed to
the pips on her collar, “you will cut the attitude, and cut it now. Do I make
myself clear?”
Tee-eye-you sat for a moment, and then spoke evenly, the
modulations in his voice almost absent. “Permission to speak freely, sir?”
She considered for a second, and then decided, What the hell? Let’s
get it over with now. “Granted.”
“You’re out of your element. Wren and I have been in Intel for
years. We don’t need some upstart Captain screwing things up. As long as
you sit in that chair and keep your mouth shut, we should do fine.”
She glanced over at Wren, who gave a half-hearted shrug, as if to
say Good luck, I can’t control him. She turned back to the cyborg, and
smiled. “I may not have been in Intel for years like you have, but I’ve been
involved in starship tactics and military operations since I was born. My
family comes from a line of warriors and generals thousands of years long.
I’ve survived Wolf 359, and damaged one of the Borg ships in the process.
I’ve lost my last ship to three Romulan warships, and it was my quick
thinking that saved the lives of some of this crew, including your Security
officer.” She leaned forward, her nose almost touching the cyborg’s. “The
Federation needs a pro-active measure to keep our families safe from
invaders. They need a ninja, a thief in the night, an invisible sword to
silence its enemies. The Doyle is that sword.”
She stood back up and straightened her tunic. “So, Lieutenant, just
sit there, keep quiet, and do what you’re told, and watch me wield this
sword against those who would slay us. It’s kill or be killed, and I’ve made
my choice. Have you made yours?”
Tee-eye-you stared for a moment, and then his gaze dropped to the
console. “Estimated arrival at Starbase 29 in 48 minutes, Captain.”
She let her breath out in a sigh. “Thank you, Lieutenant. Inform me
when we are within five minutes of the starbase.” She stepped back to her
Ready Room, aware that all eyes were on her. She felt Bradley’s voice in
her mind, congratulating her. She smiled to herself, and then turned to
Wren. “That briefing?”
Wren looked at her, dumbfounded. “Aye sir.”

* * * * *

Takashi sat behind the Ready Room desk, trying not to think of
ways of decorating the room to her liking. Wren spun the built-in PADD
towards him. “Computer, access file Josephine 1. Access code Wren 6.
Verify.”
“Access code for Commander Elayth Wren confirmed. Voice or
text?”
“Text. Display on this terminal only.”
Takashi looked at Wren. “So, after that little scene out there, I take
it I have a lot to learn about Intel work?”
Wren leaned back. “Yes and no. You do have a lot to learn, but it’s
my job to inform you of SFI protocol, not Frank’s. He takes some getting
used to, but he’s a good man, under it all.”
Takashi put her hands on the desk, spinning the terminal towards
her. “I’m sure he is, otherwise he wouldn’t have been assigned to the
Doyle.”
Wren nodded and stood up. “We are officially a scientific crew,
testing out a new ship on a two-year shakedown voyage. In actuality, this
cell and the Doyle are part of an SFI project code named Josephine. As a
result, our cell also officially carries the name Josephine, although Lt.
Coffey likes to call it ‘Joe’s Cell’.” He stopped and appreciated the smile on
Takashi’s lips. “I’ve already seen your personnel record, and I’m sure you
know it, so I’ll only say that your Security Clearance is now at Above Top
Secret, SECLAR Seven.”
“What is your SECLAR?”
“For this briefing, I am also Seven, but afterwards I will resume my
normal SECLAR of Six, or Top Secret.” He sat down and punched up the
first picture onthe terminal. “As I mentioned before, I’m your Second Cell
Leader. I was in the Starfleet Marines for two years before transferring to
SFI for over five years, doing field agent work. I’ve been involved in
Klingon, Romulan, and Vulcan covert operations. My symbiote has
memories of three previous joinings, which posses medical skills, historical
data, and stellar cartography knowledge which has been helpful in the past.
My major job, besides the usual duties of an XO, is to brief you on
Intelligence procedures and to assist you as necessary. However, your
SECLAR is higher than mine, and there are some things I won’t be able to
advise you on.”
“Wait a minute. Can I give you the clearance if I need your advice.”
“Technically yes, but you must report any deviancies to a
crewmember’s SECLAR to SFI,and they’re REAL picky.” Wren leaned
forward and smiled. “Trust me, it’s a real pain to work in the dark
occasionally, but that’s one of the hazards of Intelligence work.”
“So I’m noticing. Who’s my Second XO?”
“Interestingly enough, it’s Commander Maron.” Maron’s picture
appreared in the terminal. Even in a picture, he still looks huge, Takashi
thought. “Since his theories helped the Doyle to fly in the first place, he
seemed the logical choice. That, and he has spent a time involved in
‘questionable’ activites in the Resistance.”
Takashi stared. “Maron was in the Resistance?”
“Actually, it was SFI that got him out of Bajor. Rumor had it at the
time that he was developing a personal claking device. Starfleet wanted it
for their starships. Turns out that Maron never got it beyond the theoretical
stage, but his work helped lay the groundwork for the Chameleon Device.”
Takashi got up and walked over to the replicator. “Ginseng tea,
hot.” She turned back to Wren as the machine purred. “Interesting. How
about Security? Do you know about Bradley?”
Wren spun the terminal back towards him. Obviously he hadn’t
memorized this part yet. “I was surprised at your choice of a Betazoid as a
Security officer, but his skills will be invaluable in the cell.”
Takashi chuckled and sat back down, the tea steaming in her hands.
“Not exactly. He doesn’t like to use his abiltities.”
“What? Why not?”
“He has a habit of broadcasting as well as receiving thoughts. he
can do it sometimes, and he’s pretty good at sensing strong emotion, but
that’s about it.”
Wren sighed. “Well, at least he will use it in a pinch. Luckily his
SECLAR is Five. We don’t need him broadcasting SFI secrets to the
Cardassians.”
Takashi set down the mug on the desk, hard. “Bradley’s a good
man, Betazoid or no. His service record is exemplary…”
Wren put up his hands in defense. “Whoa! I’m not criticizing him,
Captain! I’m simply pointing out, as my duty as XO, any threats to
Federation security…”
Takashi sipped at the tea. “I know. I’m ust not used to the
cloak-and-dagger routine.”
“Trust me,” Wren smiled, “being a little paranoid helps in this
business.”
Takashi set the tea down. “Speaking of paranoid, tell me about your
friend, Tee-eye-you.”
“Frank? Oh, that’s another whole can of worms in a duranium
frame.” Wren punched up a picture on the terminal. The face was entirely
black, with no mouth, ears, or hair, covered in a grid of thin yellow lines.
The only facial feature visible was a pair of yellow eyes.
“What’s that?”
“That’s what he looks like normally. Frank is part of another project
called Tactical Infiltration. Frank is the first Cybernetic Tactical
Infiltration Unit, or TIU for short. His real name was Francis McCarber,
but he was nearly killed in an undercover operation two years ago. They
managed to save his brain, and it was implanted into the TIU shell.”
“That’s amazing! What are his capabilities now?”
“The shell is a modified Soongian-type android body, similar to
Commander Data. The positronic net interacts with the chemicals in
Frank’s brain, giving him a phenominal reaction and processing time. He’s
not as fast or as accurate as Commander Data, but he’s a damn sight faster
than anyone else in Starfleet.”
“What about the lines over his face?”
“That’s a close contact hologrid, similar to a holodeck wall. It’s used
to allow Frank to mask himself as anything of comperable size and shape –
in other words, as any humanoid. He usually walks around in his old body
when on duty.”
“What about his voice, and his eyes? Surely those would be noticed
in infiltration?”
Wren laughed. “He can modulate any color eyes and voice pattern
as well as physical features. Frank just likes to conserve power by using the
default settings on those features. In fact, when he sleeps, he reverts fully,
taking on the black hologrid appearance.”
“So he has a time limit on infiltration?”
“As long as he stays up, he’s fine. Luckily, Frank’s always been a bit
of an insomniac, but it’s done nothing for his temper.”
Takashi absorbed all of Wren’s information. Imagine being trapped
in a metal body, unable to sleep, she thought. No wonder he has the
attitude he does.
“Okay, what about my CMO? Isn’t he a little young?”
“Lt. Junior Grade Brian Coffey. He’s young all right, but brilliant.
He’s an expert on First Contact medical procedures. He has a knack of
guessing the right thing to do in each case.”
“Guessing medical procedures? I’m sure Starfleet Medical doesn’t
like that!”
“That’s why he’s still Lt. jg. He’s been demoted two times for
unlicensed and untested medical practices. The damn thing is, though, they
always work. With unknown alien physiology, he literally has a 100%
recovery rate.”
“What about known races?”
Wren looked sheepish for a minute. “Well, lets just say that we’re
trying to direct his gifts in the right direction.”
Takashi drank the rest of her tea. “Remind me never to get sick.”
Wren laughed. “It’s really not that bad. He’s actually quite good at
reconstructive surgery in relation to disguise – in fact, his doctoral thesis
was on just that, and it’s now a standard at Starfleet Medical.”
“Interesting. I’ll have to read it…”
“Bridge to Captain Takashi.” Bradley’s voice cut through the room.
“Takashi here.”
“Captain you have a coded message from Admiral Tapok. It listed
as SECLAR Seven.”
Wren got up. “Looks like our first mission has arrived. The most
important thing to remember is need-to-know. Only tell us what is
necessary to complete our assignment.”
Takashi stood up. “Commander… I appreciate you candor, and your
help.”
Wren smiled. “Good luck, Captain.” He turned and walked out of
the Ready Room.
Takashi sat down and looked at her mug. She flicked her ponytail
over her shoulder and looked at the terminal screen. “Put it through, Lt.”

End of Chapter 4

AUTHOR’S NOTE
————-
This chapter is so far the longest one, and the most informative. This is
about the first third of Book One: Operation Genesis. There’s a lot of new
terminology, and I’m trying to sneak it in as best I can.

First off is SECLARs. They’re a little confusing, since they’ve never been
used in the shows. It clears up some security inconsistancies I’ve seen. It’s
a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being unclassified and 10 being “for the President’s
eyes only”. SFI agents have about two SECLARs higher than their Starfleet
counterparts (so, if the average starship captain’s SECLAR is 5, Takashi’s is
7). Sometimes SECLARs are artificially increased or decreased in certain
situations. Examples of SECLARs being increased was Wren getting
temporarily boosted to SECLAR 7 for Takashi’s briefing, and Riker’s
knowledge of the Pegasus mission, which is around SECLAR 8. There are
conditions for “field promotions” of SECLARs, but all instances most be
explained in full to the Assistant Chiefs of SFI (the creepy Admirals in the
empty room).

A lot of refrences were used in writing SFI. The book that started it off is
the “Star Fleet Intelligence Manual” by John A. Theisen, published in 1987
by FASA Games for the Star Trek Role-Playing Game. It’s set in the
original TV series timeline, but enough of it was good to update
one-hundred years. I’ve also changed a lot from it, too — the book’s not
gospel for SFI. Another good guide is the ST:TNG Technical Manual by
Rick Sternbach and Michael Okuda (both manual and CD-ROM versions).
I’ve tried to keep the “pseudoscience” as accurate as possible, but mistakes
happen (just as in the series). Also, a similar fanfic (set about five years
after SFI) is Starbase 17:PIKE, at 206.29.126.5/vcm/PIKE. I ran across it
long after I had fleshed out my idea for SFI, but some of the similarities are
eerie. However, I feel confident that they are two different series with
different styles, and I’m hoping to do a collaboration with the writers of that
series for a PIKE crossover !
(possibly involving time travel or a prequel to PIKE). Finally, a lot of my
espionage and technothriller style of fiction comes from writers such as Ian
Fleming and Tom Clancy.

I’m also working on a writer’s guide to SFI in parellel to this. Once I feel
comfortable releasing it without spoiling any of the storyline, it will be out.
I encourage other writers to add to the SFI universe.

If you have any comments, suggestions, ideas or questions, feel free to
email me at eddywebb@hotmail.com.

ESW 01/11/98

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