Special Task Force 247 - "Operation: Duck Hunt"

Oversees day to day operations of UF Starfleet Marine Corps, leader and supervisor of all functions of the Corps, including TRACOM, FORCECOM and more.
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Cipher Rhode
UFS Civilian
UFS Civilian
Posts: 276
Joined: 070705.1927
Duty Post: Civilian
Ship/Station Posted: Unknown
Grid: Unknown
Has thanked: 25 times
Been thanked: 2 times


[Hey everyone, Cipher here. I wanted to take a moment to give a premise of what is to come. I wanted to introduce a style of roleplay that might not be seen much outside of SL. This style is known as Text-Based or Forum-Based Role Play. Sometimes this text-based style was highly used in Yahoo Groups (RIP) in the way of PBeMs, Play By e-Mail simulations.

This text based style is what is going to be used in this "Special Task Force" mission. Just like in STO, it is a unique mission in and of itself, with unique goals, and where ANYTHING can happen. In a Special Task Force mission, it's up to everyone to determine if the mission will succeed, or fail. And just like in STO for a STF mission, failure is not an option.

Therefore, I present to you, for your enjoyment and possible consideration for joining in, Operation: Duck Hunt.]

1200 ZULU

Chris heard the beck and call of the Academy Commandant, Kermie Mistwallow. As he stepped off of the turbolift, he nods to the deckhands walking around. He steps towards Kermie’s office and taps his chime. “Enter,” Kermie says as the doors open.

Chris steps inside, stops one step short or his desk and saluted Kermie in full uniform, wearing his Green Recon Beret. “Sergeant Major Christopher Rhode, reporting as ordered, sir!”

Kermie saluted him back, “As you were Sarge, thank you.” Kermie offered Chris a seat, an officer that he soon accepted as they both sat down. “Brother, need your help with something. Got a couple of things that need some investigating.”

“Investigating,” Chris inquires, “something that couldn’t be ran by my desk?”

“I could only run it by your desk if you actually use your darn office,” Kermie says with a chuckle.

“You know me too long to know that I’d rather have that as space that can be useful to the rest of the unit here, not just some private office where I could take in and bang hot cadets and crap.”

“But even if I did Sarge, it wouldn’t be enough to get this quiet.”

“Quiet? What’s going on sir?”

Cipher leans in as he listens to his adopted brother. Yes, even though he and Kermie far outrank each other, they are brothers in an extended, yet tightly-knit family which makes blood bonds look like elite membership clubs. Even though they are brothers, they still respect each other’s offices, knowing that they have earned it and are proud of each other, proud to be working together. This is also on top of the fact that Kermie is the Sector Chief for Starfleet Intelligence, making Cipher his pimp hand for the Delta Quadrant when things go wrong.

Kermie opens up a secured PADD and begins. “The USS Veracruz is currently dealing with the Cooperative they have one more mission on wednesday to figure it out, however this may require a follow up.”

“Follow up? But this is the Veracruz, and the Co-Op. Shouldn’t be a problem with either of them, especially in the Co-Op. What happened?”

“Seems some of the nodes on the co-op sphere had been corrupted somehow.”

“Corrupted, since when?”

“Unknown, the ship has removed the nodes. However, they came under fire when they boarded the sphere. The nodes seemed to have a binary sequence coded which equated to the phrase ‘Duck duck goose’. I suspect there may be an outside influence.”

Cipher looked at the PADD then back to Kermie. “Seems like whoever put in this sequence is picking out random Co-op drones to carry out hit jobs, using our people as target practice. Frakking sick.”

Kermie nodded in agreement. “Veracruz's mission is simply to repair the nodes and send the Co-Op on their way and move on. Perhaps a follow-up is needed from STF.”

Cipher looked back at Kermie. “Sir, all due respect, the Special Task Force was meant to be just a one-time thing. But, any chance this had something to do with the DDoS attack on the grid from a few days ago?”

“No idea,” Kermie responded with shaking his head. “I'm hoping with your contacts you could go and investigate some... non starfleet sanctioned places, to put it politely.”

“Funny you should mention that. I caught up with a couple of operators I used to run with. Thought they were dead by the Borg after the leak Lan did with HYDRA. They managed to hold out long enough to break free and help start the Co-op. Tough SOBs.”

Kermie switched the images on Cipher’s PADD to a planet with random images of peculiar looking cities and its citizenry. “There is an area called the Commonwealth of Caledon, i visited there during a Magellan Mission. It is a sort of steampunk-era planet, they may be hiding more than meets the eye.”

Chris raised an eyebrow. “Somehow, I would guess that it may be a nice place for members of the Co-Op to vacation in. Man with somewhat primitive tech, yet made advancements that are light years ahead, just in that spectrum alone, and without spilling the blood of innocents.”

Kermie Mistwallow nods.

“A return to a simpler time, a wishful time, unplugged from the grid. And they have one massive tactical advantage. The population, from what it looks like, looks almost no different them they are. They would blend in easily and the people would accept them like long-lost family. Dare I say they could even make an alliance.”

“Well the ball is in your court Major,” Kermie says. “Do what you need to do to investigate it further, use back channels and keep this out of the public eye for the moment, we don't need a stigma surrounding the alliance with the co-op, we can hope this is an isolated incident, but better be safe than sorry.”

“Yes sir. Wait, you said Caledon, right?”

Kermie Mistwallow: “Correct,” Kermie says as he passes another PADD over, giving him credentials with a travel itinerary.

Cipher reviews the PADD. “Frak,,, you remember the Syldavians?”

“Indeed I do,” Kermie answers sitting back in his chair. “Now you understand the concern?”

“Of course. I'll have a convo or two with them if need be. They know me. I can keep them calm and their panties out of a bunch. I'll see if I can catch a ride to the Crow's Nest, get in contact with a journalist buddy I know, Tin-Tin. Good guy. If it wasn't for folks like him, I wouldn't have known that not everything has to be solved with a trigger-pull. That's what STF is about.

“Some information is need to know Chris,” Kermie reminded with a smile, “and the less i know the more plausible deniability i have.”

“Deal, but keep me posted if anything changes in the Co-Op. We can't lose them to a computer glitch, that's worse than the Borg trying to take them back.”

Kermie stands up and straightens his uniform, “Of course. Well i have to get to another meeting Major, do you have everything you need?

“So far, yes sir. All my credentials are updated.”

“Alright, well dismissed and god speed.”

Chris started to salute, but then his train of thought derailed. “Aye aye sir… HEY WAIT A MINUTE!!! You kept calling me Major!”

“Oh yeah, one more thing,” Kermie taps his commbadge. “Major DelGotti, please report to my ready room on the double.”

“Aye aye sir,” Kiara’s voice said as within seconds, she is transported in with a cascade of blue stars and sparkles.

“Great, then we can begin,” Kermie says, changing his tone and taps a recording function on his desk. “Fleet Captain’s official log, Stardate 180328. In my presence at this time are Sergeant Major Christopher Rhode as the subject and Major Kiara DelGotti as a witness. By the powers and duty vested in me under the Emergency Command Officer Activation and Commissioning Act of 2395 enacted by the Federation Council, it has been determined that a mission and task that is vital to the safety and security of the United Federation of Planets, it’s allies, and its interests must be undertaken immediately. It has also been determined, that such a command officer in this room at this time is not present that can command a Special Task Force appointed to execute this mission. Major DelGotti, do you agree with this assessment?”

“Sir, I agree with this assessment, sir!” Kiara responded.

Cipher continued to look in bewilderment of what’s going on around him.

“May the record reflect that a Command level officer of the UFS Marine Corps has testified under in good faith to the former statement. Major DelGotti, do you see any personnel in this office that is capable of carrying out this mission as the Special Task Force Commander?”

“Sir yes sir!”

“Major, please state this person’s name for the record,” Kermie orders.

“Sir, the only person qualified in our direct presence is Sergeant Major Christopher Rhode, sir!”

“Major DelGotti, do you have full faith and belief that the Sergeant Major, should be be commissioned to the appropriate office of which will enable him to carry out this duty, can execute this duty without falter nor fail?”

“Yes sir, yes I do sir. The Major can personally vouch for Sergeant Major Rhode as he has consistently enhanced the professionalism and espirit de corps that is expected of his current duties at this time.”

Kermie then stepped from his desk, holding a PADD. “Mr. Rhode, if you would like place your hand on the PADD and please raise your right hand.”

“I would sir, thank you sir.” Cipher did as such, keeping his steel composure.

“Christopher Isaiah Rhode, as of this moment, you are hereby relieved of the position of Sergeant Major of the United Federation Starfleet Marine Corps, and you are granted an honorable discharge from the same with the eternal gratitude of the United Federation of Planets. At this time, it is my duty under the Emergency Command Officer Activation and Commissioning Act of 2395 and my distinct honor and pleasure to offer you a commission to the office of Major in the United Federation Starfleet Marine Corps. Do you accept Mr. Rhode?”

Cipher couldn’t believe what was happening. Never did he expect to become an officer. Never did he want to desire to be an officer. But it was something about this moment, something about this mission, something about the last two years that told him that he is needed to step up. He looked to Kiara, who is now the Commander of TRACOM. Cipher then finally responded, “Sir, yes sir!”

“Then repeat after me…” Kermie started with the officer’s oath, only for Cipher to take over and finish.

“I, Christopher Isaiah Rhode, having been appointed an officer in the Marine Corps of the United Federation of Planets, as indicated above in the grade of Major do solemnly affirm that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United Federation of Planets against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter.”

“Congratulations Major Christopher Rhode. Computer end of log.”

All three of them hugged it out, being so close to each other, fighting for each other, sometimes fighting with each other, they couldn’t be more proud of how far everyone in their little family has come. “Hey Kermie,” Cipher says.

“Yes Major?”

“Aren’t you late for your meeting?”

“Yeah, but what are they going to do, bust me down again?” Kermie says with his Orion smirk.
LtCol Christopher "Cipher" Rhode, UFSMC-Retired
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
ARMOR Holdings Corp.

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User avatar
Cipher Rhode
UFS Civilian
UFS Civilian
Posts: 276
Joined: 070705.1927
Duty Post: Civilian
Ship/Station Posted: Unknown
Grid: Unknown
Has thanked: 25 times
Been thanked: 2 times



Cipher stepped off of the civilian transport, dressed in a finely tailored suit based on 20th and 21st century styles of a black, single-breasted suit coat, crimson red tie held together with a gold tie clip, finished off with black pants and shoes blacker than space itself but at the right light, it would shine brighter than the suns of Vulcan.

He blended in perfectly with the world that was called 'steampunk' due to its culture and aesthetics. Around him were people with all sorts of devices, equipment, and sometimes prosthesis on them, including members of the Borg Co-Operative that have, despite initial fears of Starfleet, have been welcomed on this world with as open of arms as possible, as if they were there the whole time.

He made is way to a local family-owned establishment of food and libations, one of his favorite places whenever he would come for a visit. MacTaggart's was very well known for its culinary faire from Earth, traced all the way back to old Scotland itself. In the last few years, it has become what many in the Co-Operative called, 'their second home'.

As the music played through and the usual hooligans cheered and jeered at the Soccer Football match going on locally, Cipher took in a view of the area. He was not just finding a place to sit, but was also planning his escape route just in case things got hot.

"HEY, TWINKLE TOES! YA GONNA STAND THERE LIKE A FRAKKIN ORNAMENT OR YOU GONNA SIT AND STUFF YA TRAP!" yelled the proprietor of the establishment from behind the bar, catching Cipher's attention with a smile on his face.

"Mac? Holy crap, they still don't have your room in Hell ready yet?" Cipher says jokingly as he approached his friend.

"Not even in Gre'thor brother!" says Chief Warrant Officer 3 John "Jack" MacTaggart (UFSMC, Ret.) as he and Cipher embrace and hug each other. Jack held his brother in arms with his somewhat normal left arm and his Borg prosthetic right arm. "By the Gods old and new, how ya feelin brother?"

"Got that burning, itching feeling this morning on the way here. Other than that, I'm fine."

"Well well, getting you some of that cabbage on the way here with that swagger?"

"Negative Jack. Promotion," Cipher says as he shows Jack his ID and badge from his wallet, showing his new rank.

"Son on a..." Jack looked at his wallet closely and then yelled, "OY, AUGGIE, YOU OWE ME 500 POUNDS MATE! CIPHER GOT HIS ARSE BRASSED!"

"BOLLOCKS! HE'S NOT EVEN HERE IN HIS SHINY THREADS!" Auggie said from upstairs in the establishment.

"At least your Mum liked the suit I took her out with last night. I'm still wearing it for you to see!" Cipher yelled upward.

GySgt. Augustus "Auger" Ledger II (UFSMC, Ret.), also known as Auggie to those who love and loathe him, peeked down at the main floor. "Well frak me Cipher, you cost me 500 pounds you frakking wanker!" Auggie jumped down from the balcony to the first floor, landing with no pain at all being stabilized with his Borg prosthesis within his spine, right leg, and other places internally. He too embraced his comrade from long ago.

Both Jack and Auggie fought with Cipher on many other STF missions, especially during the Iconian War and the Krenim Time Crisis. However, due to the massive intelligence leak caused by now captured or dead treacherous former Starfleet Officers, they were caught by the Borg and assimilated. However, the Borg made one fatal flaw when they assimilated Jack and Auggie. They brought them in at their weakest link, and the two were experts in pissing off authority figures. They were one of the few "OG's" of the Borg Co-operative, helping the Co-Op become a formidable Self-Defense force and entity, and integral in helping the Co-Op even mix into Caledon, especially as they keep the drinks flowing.

"So, what's the job brother," Auggie looked to Cipher as he nodded the men to a seat in a corner.

"Job? You guys are retired, makes no sense to drag you guys back into the fray, you've done so much..." Cipher says as he sits down with his friends in a corner away from the patrons, "and paid too many prices."

"There are fates worse then death Mate," Jack says, "what's another scuffle, eh?" Jack gave Cipher a knock and nod, flashing his enhanced green eye to let them know they're secure.

Cipher relax and explained his mission. "Ya, nasty business this is. And it's getting worse. Whenever someone gets the goose on one of our Co-Op cubes, they go on a rampage about them, start tearing this up like the hooligans when the United lose. Had to put down five so far, poor bastards," Jack says.

"Five? So this is just more than just some prank."

"Aye," Auggie says. "We've been analyzing the data streams over a couple of pints. We have been able to simplify it down to binary coding, and that's where we found it."

Cipher raised an eyebrow. "It?"

"Some wanker hacked the dream stream and put in a proc virus. Whenever there have been a series of ones and zeroes, a random '2' would come about and it would turn an easy-going bloke into a murderous nutter."

"Think it's the Collective trying to disrupt you guys, like you did to them way back when?"

"Nigh, the Collective is still picking up their pieces out of their arses after they thought they could go up against the Iconians."

"Right, so any idea of who's doing this?"

"Has to be someone that has the time, patience, and the evil heart to toy with minds of folk who just want to live the rest of their lives in peace. Sadistic frakker if you ask me. We've checked out a few places here so far, but others, well, that's where you might be able to get in." Jack nodded and digitally uploaded location data to Cipher's PADD, retrofitted to look like a touchscreen phone. Cipher looked and saw its progress. "Really, the Syldavians? Check them out?"

"Aye. The Syldavians pretty much made it clear that us Co-Op folk ain't exactly welcome, sometimes. But they've been reasonably good in not bothering us. You might know someone in there, ya?"

"Been a while, but yeah, I'll check this out, see if someone might not like you guys anymore."

"You carrying mate," Auggie asks.

"Came naked, couldn't risk exposure of STF 247."

"Right then, head on to the back and we got anything and everything you need. We'll keep you stocked and alive. The Pub can be your FOB and all the mates here are friendly and always ready for a fight."

"Let's hope it doesn't come to that," Cipher says.

"Hey now, with rank comes wisdom now?" Jack asks.

"Two years Jack. Two years hunting HYRDA for what they have done to everyone I love has done wonders for me," Cipher says with a bit of fire in his voice.

"NOW THERE'S THE CIPHER I KNOW!" Jack says as he laughs and looks to a lady at the bar, possibly his wife, Cipher thought. "Kelly, bring a pint for my mate here!"

"Get it ya-self Jack, you own the place!" his wife says with the entire pub laughing at the exchange.

Cipher piped up after his laugh, "Good to see you too Kelly."

LtCol Christopher "Cipher" Rhode, UFSMC-Retired
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
ARMOR Holdings Corp.

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