Posted Aug. 9, 2022, 11:18 p.m. by Commander Daniel "DaVinci" Colter (Executive Officer/CIO) (Terry Sullivan)
Posted by Lieutenant Commander Teller Graham (Chief Science Officer) in Main Sim - Hell Hath No Fury - Conference Room
Posted by Lieutenant Sheleah Ruby (Diplomatic Officer / CNS) in Main Sim - Hell Hath No Fury - Conference Room
Posted by Gamemaster Mr. Smith N. Jones, Solicitor (GameMaster) in Main Sim - Hell Hath No Fury - Conference Room
Posted by… suppressed (25) by the Post Ghost! 👻
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.
DaVinci began tapping out commands on the computer in front of him. Inputing his security clearance as the ships Intel officer might give him access to more information on the incident. Classified information, he hoped. He searched manually instead of verbally asking for the information, so that the Romulans onboard were unaware of his actions.
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…
Ooc: just keeping it up for the GM
Sha took a half step forward. “I volunteer for that, Sir.” She knew whatever was going on want what they thought. And she didn’t trust anyone else to make sure things didn’t go sideways. She just hoped the Admiral was open to the idea.
They hadn’t asked for volunteers, but they would need at least a medical or science officer. He didn’t say anything but nodded in an affirmative fashion. He would go as well.
She also hoped neither the Admiral, not the Captain, would insist on going. She doubted that would help any situation they were working into. Maybe a councilor from both sides might be a good idea, though, and medical. Who knew what kind of physical and mental stresses those in the ship has endured.
As the information appeared, the CIO/XO scanned quickly looking for anything that might be useful regarding the Sahara Incident.
There was an Intel file attached to AAR form the Sahara. It was a video only file, taken from the ships own recordings. It showed a beam of phaser energy lance away and strike the Romulan ship in it’s aft section. Almost immediately, there was a blinding flash of light and the ship vanished in a nuclear fireball. The intensity of the detonation was unlike any self-destruct sequence known.
As Knight watched the video, R’eadn looked at him and said “A question if I may, Captain… have you been scanning the life signs aboard? And if so… have you noticed that there is no fluctuation in them? Almost like they are static sensor logs?”
Everything DaVinci read in the reports and saw on the video appeared to corroborate what the Admiral had said.
OOC: I don’t remember exactly what the life signs showed when we scanned.
OOC: They were stated as being static, unchanging etc yeah
“Are you suggesting, Adniral, that the life signs are false? That those ships are being controlled by a . . . .hologram based on the sensor logs? Or by an AI allowing our sensors to pick up life signs that aren’t really there?”
The XO/CIO began comparing the life signs the Saracen had picked up with those recorded by the Sahara. If the life signs were the same, it would add creedence to the Admirals suggentions.
IC: “If that is the case, why the distress call and then hold position drawing us into Romulan space?” Dante shrugged. “If they are making a suicide run surely there are people on that ship and they wouldn’t go radio silent. Maybe they are in stasis, that would explain the static life signs but then who sent the distress call? It still doesn’t answer the question of where the hell our people that were on that ship are.”
The Admiral looked at Knight and said “From what we have been able to garner, the process of synthetic duplication leaves… little… left of the original subject’s mental activity. Those we found that hadn’t perished in the process were less than vegetative.” His tone was one of sincere regret.
The video did corroborate what the Admiral said, but it was a video only file obtained from the Sahara’s own logs and the Saraha was not a Romulan ship, clearly at some point the Romulans had used espionage to obtain it. Video files were also known since the Age of Trump to be easily doctored to show what someone wanted to see, and as it was video only, they either had to trust it or suspect it. At this point, Dante needed more information before he went aw stuff it, just shoot the damn thing.
OOC: James, we have a bunch of new writers join us, could you put up a quick recap of the Sim so far. It might help us all with what we know (instead of what we think we know too) and where to go from here.
Sheleah sat quietly observing her new crew mates as well as the situation they had been sent to untangle. Counseling and diplomacy had quite a lot in common. Sometimes it was just a matter of scale. At that moment, however, she had nothing to add to the discussion either way.
- Sheleah, CNS/CDO
Breena watched the video logs as they were displayed and listened to the information given. She didn’t really wonder how the Romulans had logs from a Federation ship. No organization was impenetrable and the file could have been easily and openly obtained without the use if spooks. But she would love to get ahold of the file and analyze it to see if it was tampered with. She would also like the tactical sensor logs to see what they were picking up during the encounter. The captain wanted a joint away team. It was a good idea, kept everyone able to watch everyone else, the down side was they’d be so busy watching each other they might miss what they were looking for on the other ship. As she watched and listened she let her mind expand outward to see what she could learn with her telepathic and empathic senses as well.
As her mind expanded out, she could sense everyone in the room in some way or fashion… except for R’eadn. Visually and physically she was there, of course… but to all of Atoded’s mental senses… there was no one there. The Admiral, to his credit, was at least being truthful. He harbored no ulterior motives that she could sense.
Not being able to get anything of R’eadn didn’t surprise Atoded at all. Tal’shiar had training for that after all. Brenna would have been more concerned if she had gotten something off of the woman. The Admiral appeared honest, from what she could tell. Telepathy wasn’t the end all be all of judging people, but for now it was reassuring.
OOC: If this was covered earlier I couldn’t find it and I apologize.
OOC: No worries! And you are fine.
IC: R’eadn looked at the Security Chief and said “We suspect that there have been modified atomic explosive devices stored on the ships. For what purpose we… well, we don’t actually know.”
Brenna nodded slowly, “But you have theories?” This was all new information, a new situation that the crew of the Saracen had not previously been aware. Any theories or speculations the Romulans might have were fewer wheels they would have to recreate if their guests were willing to share.
“Nuclear weapons though obselete are still used infrequently in the Romulan Empire as a self destruction system. It continues to be very through and since its in space, it becomes background radiation very quickly aside from the irradiated items specifically which may be the point making recovery and investigation difficult.”
IC: “Do we know why these ships have these massive radiation signatures and then blow up so spectacularly? Does it have something to do with their cloning process or other research? As Cpt Knight said we’ve moved past nuclear weapons, but those explosions seems a bit much for that.” She glanced at Marsh, he was the tactical expert here, he would know more about that than she would.
The Admiral looked at R’eadn and nodded slightly. She gave him back a look that could have pulled the paint off the bulkhead, but it quickly vanished. She pulled out a small PaDD and began tapping in commands.
Sitting quietly whilst the more senior and experienced Officers conducted the meeting, Harrison surreptitiously pulled out his PaDD and began some analysis of the information received.
Firstly, he pulled up the scan logs for the incident, queuing up the life signs data to playback alongside a time stamped version of the Saracens wider sensor logs showing the incident as it had unfolded, such as the engagement with the warbirds, nuclear explosion, capture of the freighter with the tractor beam, etc, to see if there had been any spike or variation at all in the life signs as these events had unfolded. After all, they had certainly set his pulse racing! He then transmitted this data to the Medical and Science teams for more expert analysis.
Secondly, he began a search of the Federation databanks for After Action Reports of any incidents that noted similar circumstances with regards to life signs that had been recorded as remaining static throughout in a similar manner.
LtJG Harrison Rutger - Chief Operations Officer
The search for similar AAR’s within similar parameters found nothing.
On her console Brenna pulled up the sensor logs of the ship trying to create a map. If they were going to board it, she’d rather not go in totally blind. “What about these clones? Have they been augmented in some way? Faster, stronger, smarter, resistant to phaser fire? Other than prolonging their life, anyone have any idea of why they are going to such trouble?” Brenna wanted to know what kind of force she was going to have to arm the team with.
OOC: Again if this was covered already, I apologize.
The Admiral shook his head. “No, and calling them clones is somewhat problematic. They are fully synthetic duplicates, but organically produced, not using non-organic components. And they aren’t true copies… but rather… well…” and he thought for a moment and then looked at the Saracen crew. “Do you know how your replicators copy things down to a molecular level, but the food it makes just doesn’t quite taste the same? It like that. They are complete and true duplicates… but something is missing. And the ‘what’, we do not know.”
Sheleah decided, at that moment, for some completely unknown reason, to be bold.
“Philosophically speaking, perhaps they are missing a soul. Don’t worry, I’m not a philosopher but, if they are synthetic, copies, or whatever, they simply don’t have the spark of life that we do.”
- Sheleah, CNS/DO
“Federation Law is pretty clear on that, once a clone gains consciousness it is considered a sentient independent being.”
Brenna drummed her fingers quietly. She didn’t say it, but she wondered if they felt or sounded different to a telepath/empath. Brenna was not afraid to use her talents if they would help. She didn’t rely solely on them, but she wasn’t going to ignore them as a useful tool either.
Finally finished with whatever she had been doing, R’eadn stood and stood in full view of everyone at the table. “What I am about to say has not been vetted or verified by any intelligence or documentation we have found.” She looked at teh Admiral and then took a breath, as if someone was standing behind her with a blade to her neck to make her talk.
“The Admiral and myself believe that the Doctor’s purpose is to start a full-fledged war between the Federation and what is left of the Romulan Empire.”
OOC: Hey James, you may have missed it but up above the CO suggested a joint away team to investigate the freighter, I don’t think that was replied to yet?
OOC: It was not replied to, no. ;-)
IC: Dante nodded and grunted slightly. “That does make sense considering what you have been talking about previously. The other ship, the terrorist plans. But for what purpose? I’m going to suggest that if this Doctor has an agenda against the Federation, using what is left of, sorry for the description, a very much weakened and fractured Romulan Empire isn’t the way to carry it out. He must have another agenda.”
Captain Knight, CO
Just keeping it up for the GM
The Admiral waved off Knight’s apology. “Your description is accurate, Captain. And that is one of the reasons we believe that he is choosing now to act. Because we are vulnerable and our response would be less than effective. As far as another agenda? We still control colonies with access to needed resources and of strategic value to our enemies. A war with the Federation would make many of those tempting targets for annexation. After all, the Federation is not the only government we have… history… with.”
Sheleah took out her personal PaDD and began looking up the area in question in relation to things her father may, or may not, have worked on.
- Sheleah, CNS/DO
“Trust me, Admiral,” DaVinci added, “the last thing we want is a war with the Romulans. There are a number of us in Starfleet that feel guilty that we weren’t able to offer more assistance after the Hobus Incident. All that politicking was time that could’ve been better spent offering help.”
The Admiral looked at Colter and nodded slightly. “Indeed. Sometimes I think if we did away with all the politicians, things might actually get better.” and he chuckled slightly. “But I digress. And no, I am not ignoring the suggestion of the Away Team. But I am cautious about sending anyone aboard - Romulan or Star Fleet - and exposing them to anything the good doctor may have cooked up. I would not put it past him to have set up all these other ships as bait to get us to board. He is that devious.”
R’eadn spoke up and said “I will go. I will even consent to wearing one of your Star Fleet monitors used by your Marines. You could see everything I see. Limits exposure, and gets the intelligence we need.”
“I am willing to go with her, Cpt. Though missions like this are best kept to one or two people. There is more stealth in one, but more skill in two. As the old Human saying goes, ‘two heads are better than one’.” Brenna doubted her telepathy would really come into use for this, though she would try. Most likely the ‘doctor’ had been trained or trained himself to be immune to telepathic gifts.
“Absolutely,” Dante nodded. “Admiral I don’t believe that a small team is the best idea, especially if there are tricks over there.” Looking at R’eadn, he nodded. “I would welcome your participation on the mission alongside us as partners in this, by our own regulations we are required to respond to a distress call and in this case, required to investigate this ship. “I’m willing to provide a team of Two Security Officers, Engineering and our XO along with a backup team of Medical, Counseling and Science if needed. If we work together in this, we won’t be inclined to suspect the other of anything devious.”
Captain Knight, CO
Two security officers. Brenna started running through her department of who had the skills for this mission. Colter would chose his own team, but she would have recommendations ready if he asked.
The Admiral shook his head slightly and said with a wry and weary smile “My dear Captain, as much as I applaud your words… I sincerely doubt that anyone in the Federation would see Romulans as anything but devious.” and he took a deep breath. “But so be it. A joint task force it is. R’eadn will go, along with two of my security officers. I will leave the Science and Engineering personnel up to you. Mine is warship much like your Saracen, but I know your people put more effort into those areas on such vessels than we do.” and he slapped his hands on the table. “So let’s get this done. Allow me to make preparations and we will meet you here before we all go to the ship. That work for you, Captain?”
DaVinci began putting his team together in his mind. The new engineering chief, Lt. Ch’Thaanaq, Lt. Cmdr. Atoded and a security officer of her choice.
“I’m got my team picked, skipper,” he replied to Dante.
OOC: Just waiting for Dante to respond.
In his gravelly voice, DaVinci issued his orders. “Lt. Cmdr Atoded, you’ll be joining me with whoever is next on your duty roster. Standard security package. Same for you, Lt Ch’Thaanaq, engineering kit. . . and a phaser. I don’t want anybody going in there without a way to defend themselves.”
Sheleah wasn’t certain how anybody would take the request but, she was going to make it anyway.
“I’m an observational type of counselor so I request that comms be kept open for me to observe team dynamics, responses in stressful situations, etcetera.” she stated or, they could just ask her to go with them.
- Sheleah, CNS/DO
The Admiral looked at the Counselor with a quizzical look for a moment and then said “Actually, I would be most interested in what your perspective on the persons in question would be. Captain, would it be possible for your Counselor to join us?” he asked.
“You read my mind, Admiral,” Dante smiled. “I think with the possibility of people over there being of, questionable motives in your advice a counselor would be invaluable.” He looked at Sheleah, “You are welcome to join the team and Mr Graham,” now he turned to the Chief Science Officer, “I would like you to join them. Medical we will hold on standby in case we need them.”
Captain Knight, CO
“Aye sir,” Given that breakdown of the team. Graham would not be in charge, so he didn’t even have to decide of the manner of the insertion or any other issues. Just himself his tricorder and his massive… brain.
DaVinci nodded at both Graham and Ruby to acknowledge their addition to the team. “Make sure you’re both armed as well.” The XO added.
Teller pointed his fingers mimicking guns and under his breath when ‘pew, pew.”
The Admiral smiled and said “So be it, Captain. We will return to our ship to prepare for the mission. We will meet back in an hour.” and he stood up. “Saracen, I appreciate your candor and understanding here. I hope this may, someday, become a turning point for our two peoples.” and he nodded at his aide and they moved to the door.
Sheleah made a mental note to grab a phaser, and other weaponry, from her office. One day she should probably check in with the COS about the interesting assortment of personal protection she had accrued on her travels.
- Sheleah, CNS/DO
Colter stood from the table and looked at his team. “Let’s get packed up people. The sooner we get over there–the sooner we can hopefully get this matter straightened out.”
He turned to the Romulans and added, “Admiral, if you’ll follow me, I’ll escort you back to the shuttle bay/transporter room.” (OCC: Can’t remember how they got over here!!)
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