Posted Oct. 20, 2021, 2:14 p.m. by Lieutenant Commander Gravel Mardusk (Chief of Security) (James Sinclair)
Posted by Fleet Captain Kelly Bordeaux (Commanding Officer) in Crew quarters - B&E, rat, or a ghost
Posted by Lieutenant Commander Gravel Mardusk (Chief of Security) in Crew quarters - B&E, rat, or a ghost
Posted by Civilian Maybelle Spunkler (Child) in Crew quarters - B&E, rat, or a ghost
Posted by… suppressed (14) by the Post Ghost! 👻
It was dark and late. Most of the crew was asleep save for room 4412 on D deck. A soft rattling followed by a clunk awoke the individuals in the room. The wife was the first to open her eyes and notice the sound. As from time immemorial, she reached out grabbing for her partner beside her. “Doug…Doug wake up,” Cheryl jabbed at his arm rocking his body. “I think someone is trying to break in,” she uttered sitting up in bed and pulling the sheet up as she looked at the door to her quarters.
“Are you daft woman? We are on a starship. Who tries to break into someone’s quarters on a starship,” Doug said groggily closing his eyes and rolling over. “Besides have you seen the security chief. Huge Orion,” he yawned. “Pretty sure you would have to be brain-damaged or just an idiot to try to willfully commit a crime on his turf.” Sleep just began to wash over Doug again before a sharp jab into his kidney’s woke him up abruptly. “Owwww,” he yelled rubbing the spot Cheryl had just ground her elbow into on his body.
“Doug get up! Did you hear that,” Cheryl snapped frustrated? Her eyes moved around the room as if searching for an unknown presence.
“No but I felt it and so will any one in sick baaaaay,” he stopped complaining as he heard a loud rattle followed by a clunk. Throwing the blanket off of him, Doug moved across the room picking up a baseball bat leaning next to his dresser. Thank god he had signed up for that intramural league last week. Before that, there was only the rugby team and that weird version of baseball the Australian dude got going for department sports but finally, someone picked up a normal sport. Its equipment also had the dual purpose of home defense.
“Doug what are you doing,” Cheryl snapped in a hushed whisper. She eyed the bat and crossed her arms annoyed.
“What,” he growled back in a hot whisper now equally annoyed. “We have an intruder. What should we do…get them coffee? Just stay here,” he motioned with one hand leaving the room.
Rolling her eyes, Cheryl reached over to her comm badge on the nightstand beside her. =/\=Secruity we have an emergency. Someone is trying to break into our quarters. We need a team here now,=/\= she called down to the security office waiting for a reply.
~Intruder to room 4412 (Unknown....as of yet)
=/\= This is Security. =/\= a voice answered, correcting Cheryl. =/\= Acknowledged. Stay on comms, please. Have you seen the intruder? Can you describe them? We have a team heading your way. =/\= the voice of the Security officer was calm, but slightly comforting. Professional, but not cold.
Less than a minute later, the door to the room slid open and the lights came on in a flash. Two Security officers stepped in, phasers drawn, and began sweeping the room. A third stepped in, a massive Bolian with a scar running down one side of his bald head, who looked at Doug and said “And what exactly do ya intend to do with that, hmm? I’m guessing from your wife’s call, you didn’t manage second base there, DiMaggio?” and he turned and surveyed the room.
“Funny,” Doug gave the Bolian an annoyed look. It had less to do with the man’s comment and more that right now Doug felt like a fool. No man ever wanted to admit he needed help and having a security team in your quarters at zero three hundred hours meant you were inept or it was a domestic disturbance, neither of which was something Doug wanted to deal with when work started tomorrow.
“Did you find anything,” Cheryl came out adjusting her robe presenting the classic image of a wife in the middle of the night.
“If we found anything do you think I would be standing here in my boxers surrounded by a security team,” Doug gave his wife a sour look. “Because as I said earlier who the hell breaks into someone’s quarters on a starship. It’s not like they have a place to hideout. Right,” Doug looked at the Bolian hoping for a little male professional courtesy to back him up against his over-imaginative wife.
The Bolian shrugged and nodded towards Doug as he made notes on the PaDD. “He’s not wrong…”
Cheryl returned the sour look with an equally withering glare herself. “Doug I am not crazy. We both heard a sound from in here. Ignoring her husband she moved to face the Bolian. “So what is standard procedure for something like this? Do we need to dust for prints or,” her voice trailed off?
Doug for his part had given up but he also knew how to stay in his lane. He was married and while he might be debating about selling his wife to a traveling band of gypsies right now, he did like her most of the time. Leaning his bat against the couch, Doug sat on the arm looking at the other security officer. “You’re not married right,” he asked the man. “Piece of advice, if you do it’s better to just let your wife run with the crazy. If they don’t get it out is festers and grows to something you can’t control.”
Doug and Cheryl
“Maybe someone standing here -” the Security officer began,”- could explain what this ‘sound’ was, where it came from, and why you said to Dispatch that someone was actively breaking into your quarters when there is no one here besides the two of you and there is no sign of forced entry anywhere? That might be a good place to start before we call in the Crime Scene crew.” he said sarcastically with a glance at Cheryl, but still professionally.
Doug put a hand over his mouth trying to stifle the chuckle. People who said security officers did not have a funny bone were crazy or just being arrested.
“I am telling you I heard,” Cheryl said and stopped immediately looking around wide-eyed. “Did you hear that? Listen,” she started shushing people waving her hands about. As the room quieted faint tink and ratting could be heard. The sound seemed to come from nowhere and everywhere. The more they listened it sounded like the rattle clink was coming from someplace high. It also coincided with the environmental systems kicking on. It could vaguely sound like something banging against a vent or screen.
“See…see,” she glared at her husband. “Telling me I am crazy. I said I heard a sound and I heard a sound,” Cherly began to take on the wife’s self-righteous role that made husbands wish just slightly that their wife was crazy just to not have to listen to them bark about how right they had been. Even more annoying than Cheryl crowing about her correctness, was the fact that her crowing was drowning out the very faint clink and rattle that could barely be heard before.
The Security officer looked at Cheryl and said sharply “Be quiet!” and the turned and listened. His gaze followed the sound with some difficulty, but eventually he determined that it was louder coming form the air outlet into the room. But then the sound stopped. He listened for a moment and then looked at Doug and Cheryl.
“Now, then… is that the noise you heard? The sound of metal rattling and clinking against metal? The sound of something wrong with the environmental systems above the ceiling of your quarters? That sound?” and he pointed up. “That sound that is coming from a four inch wide vent, but that you said was the sound of someone breaking into your quarters?” He crossed his hands in front of him and looked sternly at Cheryl. “Ma’am… I know it’s early in the morning. And I know that being awakened from a deep sleep is disorienting for many. Might I suggest that the next time you hear the sound, you call Engineering… and not Security? Because that-” and he pointed up at the small vent above them, “- is not like in the vids where the burglars crawl through four foot wide air shafts to break into the vault. And this-” and he pointed at the room around them, “- isn’t really what a thief would consider a money-making target. So please… go back to bed. Sleep. Call Engineering in the morning and tell them your environmentals are on the fritz and you need it fixed. Good night.” and he turned to go to the door.
“So you are just leaving us,” Cheryl crossed her arms and rolled her eyes.
“Ma’am as the chief said there is nothing there,” a duty officer flashed his flashlight at the vent hoping to illuminate the area and prove his boss’s point. However, instead of just lighting up the area on the ceiling, a light flash briefly replaced the darkness after the officer’s beam was removed. FLicking the light back and forth on the vent, the security officer noticed something weird. Two small points of light seemed to shine back as if they were eyes. “Uhmmm sir,” a voice called out looking back and forth between his superior and then vent. None of this made any sense. His boss was right. No one in their right mind would break-in. The space was too small at half a meter by a quarter of a meter to hold anything but cold and hot air and yet something was there.
Pulling a chair over to vent the officer stood up and began to pull at the vent cover.
“Are you gonna just let him stand on my chair? He is going to ruin the upholstery,” Cheryl threw up her hands.
The Bolian looked at the vent and then at Cheryl and Doug. “Bedroom. Now. And lock the door. ” and he all but pushed the woman into the room.
As Doug followed, he closed and locked the door and then turned to the Ensign. “Ok… what the hell is that…“he asked rhetorically and then tapped his comms. =/\= Delta Four to Security Hub… Chief, you need to see this. =/\= A voice like rolling thunder responded. =/\= Copy. On my way. =/\=
As the Security officers worked on the vent cover, the door slid open and the green mountain of the CoS came into the room.
“Just pull it off,” one of the security officers directed the other as his friend tentatively reached for the vent as if it was flaming hot.
“I am,” the man growled back rolling his eyes at his patrol mate. Flexing his fingers, the guy let out a deep breath he hadn’t realized he had been holding.
“What you scared of some rodent,” his partner snickered looking up at what appeared to be two small yellow eyes glaring back at him through the vents.
“Rodent no. Five foot four feisty blonde hell yes.” Again stopping his progression of pulling off the small vent cover. “Do you know the hell she is gonna raise if someone has to tell the boss lady she has rats or mice on her ship?” The security officer raised a questioning eyebrow. “And if the engineering chief gets wind of a rodent problem he is gonna flip his kid. Ever had a rat problem? Dude they chew through anything. I heard of a ship once that completely decompressed Becuase the chewy little buggers at through the titanium plating of the hull?”
“Shut the frack up,” his partner said crossing his arms but moving back a step. “Are you talking about the USS kellerton?”
“Yes and I am not telling Kelly the Atlantis is going to be the Kellerton. You know how that woman is about her signs. Should we call ian? Let him run interference? “.
While the two men debated they were so focused they did not see the chief enter the room. The two pin points of light seemed to stare before randomly flickering on and off as if they were blinking or maybe flashing .
~Two officers ready to let the $*** roll up hill instead of down
The rumble of thunder that was the Security Chief’s voice said “That would be Captain Bordeaux, not ‘Kelly’, Ensign. And if you would curtail the commentary and kindly do your flipping job, I would surely be most appreciative.”
Mardusk looked at the Bolian Lieutenant and said “Kradd, I thought we agreed Hines and Cartwright were not to be on the same patrol team?” The Bolian shrugged and said “Dispatch got a call about a possible intruder, they were on individual patrol and responded. I came to try and prevent… well… this, but they were at the door when I got here. Oh, and you might wanna be careful. Hubby has a baseball bat and isn’t afraid to use it.” Marduck snorted softly and said “Better than a cricket bat. Those things are sturdy.”
Before Mardusk could continue his comm badge went off. =/\=Sir we are getting a noise complaint from rooms 2115C and 2113A. =/\= The rooms were next door to Doug and Cheryls room of 2114B. =/\=I know it is the middle of the night but I wasn’t sure if you were planning on handling it or sending a team. They are saying there is a banging on the adjoining wall of 2114 and 2113. 2115 is just claiming a possible domestic situation. 2114, a Cherly Bornkowski, is claiming the last team we sent did nothing and something about being locked in their bedroom? How should we proceed?=/\= Whether it was the late hours of just the non stop comms but Cheryl, the security office did not seem to know which end was up. =/\=Oh and while this is probably not any concern. Three other quarters have complained about hearing noise in their ceiling. I tried to explain the ducts were barely large enough for someone in engineering to get in but they are ignoring that.=/\=
Mardusk growled; a low, predatory rumble and glared at the door. “Lady… the team you claim didn’t do anything is still freakin’ here! You call my dispatch one more time and I will put you in the vent to figure this out! Ya hear me?!” He waited for a moment and listened to the sound of squabbling before a male voice said “Uh, yes sir. No problem. We’ll… shut up, woman, before you get me court-martialed or sat on!… we’ll make sure we leave the dispatch for actual emergencies. Um… please don’t break the door.”
As if to punctuate the sentence a squeeze then a dull thunk echoed out of the vent. It had dull sound as if coming out of the vent but carried from somewhere else. This was followed by a tinny “hello”.
Ghost in the ship
Mardusk’s head whipped up and he looked at the vent. His eyes narrowed and his jaw clenched. Putting his face up to the vent, he listened for a moment and then said “Aw dammit… Maybelle! How in the nine blazes of… nevermind. Where are you? Can you follow my voice?” He looked at the Security team and said “Go get Engineering and Medical here right now.” and the three bolted out of the room.
Turning back, he said “Now first we’re gonna get you out of there, ok?”
Mardusk, Fishing the Walls For Lost Souls
“Hey Mr. Mardusk,” a familiar voice said happily at first before turning hesitant. “You were on like patrol right. I mean I didn’t get you out of bed now…did I?”
“You know when I get out of this we are both going to have a really really good laugh over this but um....do we really need to involve engineering in this. I mean I am pretty sure if you toss me a rope and some baby oil we can figure this out ourselves. Oh and you can skip medical. Ms. Evrilla is probably in bed and she can’t leave Tatyl.” Directing her miner’s helmet light up at the space she fell into, caused a dim light to fill the vent giving it a more spectral glow than the two beams it was earlier. The way the light was shining would key Mardusk into realizing Maybelle was not behind the vent but at angle to it meaning she was to the right of it by about ninety degrees.
Mardusk took a breath and then said calmly “Maybelle, we do have to get Engineering in here because you are too big to fit through that vent… baby oil or not. Now… how did you get in there in the first place? And how long have you been back there? Do you need some water or anything?”
“No..no thank you on needing anything. I ate before I got here,” she answered with the naive innocence only children had and adults lost as they aged. “Mr. Jacen made burgers and nachos. We were watching the game before he fell asleep on the couch. Ever had one of his burgers? They are ahhh mahhh zing,” she used a sing-song voice that was a bit echoey as it reverberated in the metal enclosed walls.
Mardusk’s head whipped to the Bolian. “Get a team to Commander Drayke’s quarters asap. Take Engineering with them.”
“Do you know what time it is,” she asked.
“It 0245, Maybelle.”
Hearing his response she calculated the time she had been stuck. “Then that means about thirty minutes ago I got stuck. It was not my fault though. It’s not like I planned to get wedged in the wall panels. I think the area above this spot wasn’t welded well. They just don’t build things like they used to.” Maybelle’s voice now changed to that of the wisened old sage that loved to preach about the past and better days. “If I hadn’t collapsed I am pretty positive I would be back in my bed.”
“Maybelle, wh-… you know, never mind. Just stay there and don’t move. At all, Maybelle. Do not leave that spot. Understand?”
“Oh that is not going to be a problem,” she said as she looked around the small space. If she hadn’t been a child there was no way she could have fit. The spot was just slightly larger than her shoulder width and not deep enough to for the sit. The fact was she was lucky to have fallen in feet first and not head first. If she had been headfirst she would not have been able to right herself.
Ten minutes later......
“Mardusk,” were Jacen’s first words as he entered the quarters and looked around. He stopped talking not seeing his young ward plopped on the couch. Annoyed was not the correct word but until he could not find the person he as actually coming to get. “Where.....”, he checked the corners a if clearing a room in a strategic manner. “They said Maybelle was…here?” His voice, while still gruff, now sounded incredulous.
Mardusk looked at Drayke and jerked a thumb at the vent. “She’s in there… in the bulkhead.” Mardusk said, a tone of harsh judgment radiating from his words. “Engineering is coming, so they should be able to assist in the extrication. You, on the other hand, should really know better than to leave that one unsupervised. I’ll make sure you get the bill for the damage they are gonna have to do to get her outta there.”
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