Posted March 4, 2022, 12:29 a.m. by Lieutenant Commander Teller Graham (Chief Science Officer) (Luke Hung)
Posted by Lieutenant Lake Holway (Counselor) in Main Sim - Hell Hath No Fury - Conference Room
Posted by Captain Dante Knight (Commanding Officer) in Main Sim - Hell Hath No Fury - Conference Room
Posted by Lieutenant Commander Teller Graham (Chief Science Officer) in Main Sim - Hell Hath No Fury - Conference Room
Posted by… suppressed (10) by the Post Ghost! 👻
The Admiral and R’eadn nodded to each officer in turn and the the Admiral looked at his security detail and nodded once. They immediately took up positions on either side of the door and their hands dropped to their sides… as if readying themselves for something. The Admiral then looked at Dante and said “Before I explain further Captain, I must ask… are you sure all your officers are actually yours?” The question was sincere and carried with it a weight of concern that was almost palpable.
DaVinci rose a quizzical eyebrow at the admiral’s comment. Was he playing mind games and shifting the focus of the current crisis on the Saracen’s crew? Was the admiral who HE said he was?
“Begging your pardon, Admiral, but would you care to explain what that is supposed to actually mean? Why wouldn’t we be ourselves?”
When the security detail had taken up positions at the door, Sha had risen and offered her chair to the Medical Chief. As security, she wasn’t the one who should be sitting. And the fact the Admiral’s detail was no longer relaxed, well that added a bit of alert to her already speeding pulse.
Sha had tightened her fists at the Admiral’s question, her own voice caught in her throat. But when the XO spoke up, she couldn’t help butting in. “Or are you asking if our allegiance is to our Captain, Admiral? I assure you, my allegiance is to my Captain and this ship. And any who challenge that are welcome to step up.” Her body tightened as if half expecting someone to start something. It took every ounce of discipline not to step towards the Admiral in direct challenge. She managed to simply tighten her fists and clench her jaw to maintain composure.
Teller presumed that is was some sort of backwards way of talking about an alternate universe, or spies. Since he didn’t have the specifics or his tricorder on him all Teller could do is look among everyone’s faces like of like a gun fighter in a spaghetti western about to go into a quick draw.
Lake found herself holding out a quieting palm in the COS’ direction. Jumping to conclusions wasn’t going to help anyone in the meeting. “I’m sure you have an excellent reason for asking that question, Admiral, but you can see by looking around the table that some of us are offended by it. Perhaps it would be best if you explain why you’re asking and what proof you need to accept that we are the proper officers of the Saracen.”
“Easy, Sha,” Dante said, nodding his head slightly for her to be at ease. “As my Senior Officers suggest, Admiral, maybe you should expand on what you mean by that.”
Sha had paused as the Counselor had raised her hand. And as the Captain nodded at her she even took a step backwards and crossed her arms rather than standing with balled fists. “Yes, Sir…” she said with respect, and clenched her jaw.
She just hopped the Admiral had a really good reason for his question. While only a couple of them had actually said anything, she was pretty sure the ruffled feathers weren’t just on her end.
The Admiral nodded in acknowledgement of the push-back, seemingly unphased by it. “No offense intended, and I have no reason to doubt the authenticity of anyone here.” D’Vak then looked at his aide and nodded once and R’eadn stood up and reached into her belt and produced an optical data-disk. She looked at Knight as if asking permission and gestured to the port on the display at the front of the room.
“Go ahead,” Dante motioned to the screen, “if there is a malware program imbedded in the disk that attempts to take control of any part of the Saracen the ships AI has clearance to initiate self destruct, but I trust you.” Dante lied, but his poker face was absolute. He had learned the art when telling Natasha that her self saucing chocolate pudding was amazing and just like his grandmothers.
Sliding the disk into the docking port, a map of a unfamiliar section of space appeared. “This is Credensela, a Class M planet on the far side of Romulan space. For over twenty five standard years, the Star Empire had a thriving colony on the surface, and a penal facility on one of it’s three moons. With the collapse of the Empire after the supernova, the colony was temporarily cut off from communication. Eight months ago, we were able to reestablish contact. When ships arrived, it seemed nothing was amiss. That was until two weeks ago when we, the Tal Shiar, discovered that every individual on the planet was a synthetic copy. We traced the creation of the ‘synthicates’ as they have come to be known to a Dr. Faustus McGonn, a human who had fled the Federation two decades ago to come work for the Star Empire. He was a genius with regards to biomolecular replication. I say ‘was’ because he was killed while attempting to defect back to the Federation. Unfortunately that now appears to have been a duplicate of the doctor. And now… we have reason to believe that the doctor has replicated himself several hundred times. But only his consciousness, which he has placed inside the synthicates as an underlying personality. We believe that the Doctor intends to smuggle himself back into the Federation with the end goal of causing a terrorist attack that will encourage the Federation to finish what the supernova started… the complete eradication of the Romulan Empire and it’s people.”
R’eadn then moved back and sat down next to Admiral D’Vak.
The Admiral looked at the assembled officers and said “The prisoners on that ship are, we believe, synthicates who are harboring the hidden consciousness of a rogue madman.”
Sha frowned. She wasn’t a fan of clones, copies, synthetics or whatever folks were calling them these days. When one has lived their life, they were meant to die and move on into the next life. For her, she hoped it would be Sto’vo’kor. But she knew many cultures had such afterlife or heaven and hell equivalents.
“Do we know how long the synthetics have been in those positions? We’re they planted there recently or have they been there for years?” She didn’t realize she had stepped closer to the screen till she spoke up. Then she clasped her hand behind her back and stepped back to her place against the wall. “I’m sorry. But I think the answer would help to give us a timeline of when the Doctor was here and how long such things take.”
“Along with that, tell me how you came to believe that he may be attempting a terrorist attack when prior to that you killed his clone thinking it was him, for trying to defect back to us? Forgive me for being aware that now claiming he is a terrorist so we simply destroy all synthetics in an attempt to save ourselves would be a very Romulan thing to do. We may not be actively hostile but,” Dante motioned to R’eadn, “the Tal Shiar is still the Tal Shiar. I need something more solid to go on, examining these so called synthetics would be a start.”
Dante Knight, CO
The Admiral cocked his head at Dante and then shook it, as if disappointed. “Of course.... the age old adage of ‘Romulan subterfuge’. Well Captain, all of our data is on that disk. Review it as you wish. R’eadn will also provide you with anything else you feel is pertinent. But for now… as you are in Romulan space, I will instruct you to not move or attempt to retrieve anyone or anything from that ship. It is evidence in our investigation. That ship also harbors, officially, escaped prisoners. Prisoners your Federation has not laid claim to nor requested the return of. And such exchanges are far beyond the paygrades of anyone in this room, so at the minimum you will have to contact your Command to get direction, correct? Now as to our unofficial situation… We have not asked you to destroy anyone, nor did we purposefully try and end the Doctor’s life. In fact, we didn’t do that all. You did. He stole a Romulan ship and crossed into the border. One of your patrol vessels hailed the ship, received no answer, and they detected the ship preparing to jump to warp. They fired and destroyed the ship in much the same way you destroyed the vessel earlier. Look at your Action Reports for this area, Captain. Six months ago. I’m sure you will find it corroborates the information I am giving you.”
“What that ship harbors Admiral is not much of my concern until we confirm who is on it.” Now it was Dante’s turn to give a disappointed frown at the Admiral. “That ship is Federation, not Romulan and has been missing for years. Now, it turns up in Romulan space with people you claim are fugitives. Where are our people and what happened to that ship.” Dante leaned back and his eyes turned hard. “I’m sure you are aware that taking a Federation ship captive and imprisoning the crew is an act of War, so no, I have no obligation to contact my Command when the safety of Federation citizens are in question at your hands, a very probably situation considering that the occupants of this lost Federation ship broadcast a call for help. I am wiling to follow your wishes At The Moment, Admiral, while we investigate your information, but likewise I will not permit you to attempt to retrieve anyone or anything from Our ship. “Sha,” Dante said looking at his Security Chief, “Can you bring up incident reports in this sector? Federation ships do not fire on any ship about to go to warp without provocation, even Romulan ships. That situation you are describing would only be similar to our situation now in any way, if they were being fired on, like we were. Starfleet does not go around wantonly destroying ships that don’t fire first.”
The Admiral inclined his head slightly and said “The taking a flagged ship would be an act of war… except when that ship is taken as a result of crimes against the nation who takes it. Now I don’t know what your records say about the history of the ship and it’s crew… but our records say that the Federation was told of the events… and they did nothing. Now, you may consider this a result of skullduggery on our part… but I can assure you it true.”
“They do if they detect unsecured fissionable material and do not receive any response to orders to power down, Captain.” the Admiral said quietly.
“Very generous of the Romlan’s to let us know they had taken one of our ships,” Dante said doubtfully. “But the Federation doing nothing about a Federation ship being taken, criminal act or no? That’s not believable.”
“Lets take a look at that report,” Dante looked at Sha.
With nothing to add to the conversation, Connor was just sitting at the table jotting down notes on his padd and sipping at his ‘special’ water.
He looked at his padd, and accessed what he could on the engineering capabilities of the ships in question. Was there a power fluctuation, something that suggested one of the ships was not what they appeared to be?
Depending on the sophistication on cloning and replication techniques the determination of who was or was not a synthetic would vary in difficulty. Teller would like to find a way to do it with a scanner but in some cases a genetic sample would need to be taken. He rolled his eyes. Maybe he could get the CMO to work with him on that. Technically it was an overlap between their two department.
Sha nodded at the Captain’s request. Moving to the wall unit, she typed in the search parameters and waited for the answers to come up about the incident the Admiral was describing.
She remained silent and tried her best to remain personal.
Holway watched the Captain and the Admiral as they carefully stepped through their power play with each other. It was ridiculous to think that anyone on the Saracen was a clone just because the Admiral suggested it. The ship and its crew had been called to the area intact and they hadn’t experienced any intrusions as of yet.
OOC: Keeping it alive for the GM
Sha glanced at the room, feeling the tension as a near palpable feeling on her back. Looking back at the screen, she read through the information trying to see what she could glean from it all. Surely there was something in the pages on the screen that would help not just diffuse the situation, but also help get missing Fleet members home and answer the question of where the ship had been and what had occurred.
The search brought forth an After Action report filed six months ago from the patrol vessel Sahara. It was brief, but to the point. On the star date indicated, the Sahara detected a ship dropping out of warp on the Federation side of the Neutral Zone. The ship was Romulan and the sensors practically “lit up” with the levels of radiation coming from the vessel’s aft section. The Sahara ordered the vessel to power down so they could lend aid, but instead the vessel… not answering the hail… began to power up for a jump to warp. The CSO of the Sahara then detected readings indicating there was a weaponized nuclear device onboard. The ship was again ordered to power down, but did not respond. The Captain ordered a crippling shot at the ship’s engines… and the vessel went up in full four megaton nuclear explosion that was large enough to damage the Sahara. There were no survivors. Life signs recorded on the Romulan ship indicated three Romulan and two humans.
Sha frowned. “Captain… This is a rather disturbing report. Seems the Sahara came across a Romulan ship, that had a rather strange radiation signature, coming out of warp on the Federation side of the Neutral Zone. They offered aid but the ship powered up as if about to go to warp again, ignoring the hails to aid them. The CSO is listed as calling the Sahara to hit it with a crippling shot. But it went nuclear and took out both ships. No survivors. Last readings indicated three Romulan and two human crewmen on board the Romulan ship before it exploded. Sensors from the Sahara indicate last readings read a weaponized level of nuclear radiation.” They perceived a threat and dealt with it. were the words she left hanging and didn’t speak aloud. She also didn’t hide the fact, in her tone of voice, that she didn’t like the report. Something was terribly wrong.
She turned back to the Captain and the others. Her face held a look of confusion but she fell silent till the others could react.
Teller tilted his head. Romulans historically used nukes for self-destruction… although he hadn’t thought they still used them. It also seemed very aggressive to fire on a ship that was basically running away unless they had a really good reason.
Dante tapped his fingers on the table for a second in thought. “Okay, so the Saraha fired a warning shot because they detected a weaponized nuclear device, in itself not usually a concern considering a standard photon torpedo carries more destructive potential than a nuclear weapon, that’s why we changed to photon weapons from nuclear when the first NX class ships had been launched. The Romulan ship then initiated a self destruct because of that warning shot, rather than jump to Warp, so the Starfleet ship didn’t destroy it at all, it was deliberate on the Romulan ships part and this defectors part.” Looking at the Admiral again now, Dante leaned forward. “Admiral, I am going to suggest a co-operative approach to this matter. You say the ship has escaped prisoners, if they are Romulan, we have no claim to them nor do we want to be taking Romulan citizens out of your space. If there are Federation citizens on that ship, they are who we are interested in, along with the ship itself of course but I consider that secondary and less important that the possibility our citizens are on that ship, which so far with no contact with them, we have only your word that these people are who you say they are. We need information, and we need it from that ship, Admiral. I propose a joint away team to investigate that ship.”
Captain Knight, CO
It was a confusing bunch of information, thought Lake as she sat silently. The Captain’s suggestion of a joint away team sounded like the solution though. The only way the two interested parties were going to get facts, were if they boarded the affected ship and made their own inquiries. She was certainly up for an away team mission if Capt Knight thought her presence there was in the best interest of those involved.
That was a lot more interpretations than Graham made…
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