STF

side - sim: The Infiltrator

Posted June 26, 2022, 11:32 a.m. by Ensign Kovan ch'Sirhc (Engineering & Communications Officer) (Abigail G)

Posted by Commander Roman Alden (First Officer & Chief Science Officer) in side - sim: The Infiltrator

Posted by Ensign Rand Farquharson (Yeoman First Class) in side - sim: The Infiltrator

Posted by Commander Roman Alden (First Officer & Chief Science Officer) in side - sim: The Infiltrator
Posted by… suppressed (8) by the Post Ghost! 👻

(snip)
Seventeen checks. Only thirteen interviews. Kovan nodded his head in a distracted way and released his hold on Randy. He waited outside Rand’s office for security to show up. Kovan explained the basics to them, his voice too flat but given there was just another attempt on a crewmate’s life it could be interpreted as shock. “And check the whole office for prints, before the explosion Rand made a statement that her office was messy. Something Rand would never do.” The security officers went in and Kovan slipped down the hall and to the lift. Headed straight for Morgan’s quarters.

Kovan made his way in and searched until he had the list in his hands. The anger and rage he felt hadn’t dimmed. Kovan kept it contained, focused it into a fine, and potent point. He scanned the list, searching for those four Morgan had yet to interview and for any details that may stand out with the others.

Kovan

There were twenty officers on the list, there were three checks left to do and seven uninterviewed officers. LaCroix was on there, unbackground checked and uninterviewed, Morgan had noted that there was a holdup in getting some of the files for his background check. Then there were two security officers, a science officer, two other engineers, and a medical officer uninterviewed. One of the security officers and the science officer had holdups on their background checks, too. The security officers found nothing in the way of physical evidence, no finger prints or anything. The console was rigged in a very similar way to the machine in the lab, most likely done by the same person. It had overloaded and exploded because whoever did it had made it so the limit on amperage that saved Alden’s life wouldn’t happen again.

~ Morgan

Three checks. Seven interviewed officers. Kovan noted LaCroix’s name but also the names of the security officer and the science officer with holdups on their background checks. There was still so much work left to do but there wasn’t enough time. Their assassin failed and now the pressure was on. They operated under a countdown and must either succeed or escape. Kovan took the list and locked Morgan’s door to ensure no one else could get in after him. Not easily at least. Their assassin would know that Morgan was investigating, maybe they hoped to take her out with Rand.

Kovan canceled his extra shifts in engineering (easily granted given the amount of added work hours he demanded to limit his downtime as much as possible) and used Morgan’s notes on the suspects as his starting point. The medical officer was simple to catch in her room on her downtime. Kovan did not mess around. He got straight to the point and readily used his intimidating height and build to pressure upon the officer. He grilled them relentlessly and shamelessly used Morgan and Rand to coerce cooperation or silence. If any one reported his actions before he caught the assassin. . .

No. Can’t think of that now. Kovan held onto his rage and moved on to the next suspect on his list: the science officer.

That poor medical officer was terrified of Kovan and denied knowing anything about any of it. She promised to tell if she saw anything but really she just wanted Kovan to go away and was glad when he did. The science officer told Kovan he wouldn’t think anyone in the lab would do it, but what did he know? Also terrified of Kovan by the time Kovan was done with him, he had no valuable information they didn’t already know. Those two interviews took the rest of the day.

A day or so later Randy sought out Kovan. He didn’t give the man time to say anything. “So we don’t know each other but I understand you’ve been doing the engineering checks. I want this insert some untranslatable Gaelic word caught. Morgan came and talked to Alden in sickbay. Someone’s been in his quarters messing around with things. Left it messed like they did Rand’s office. I’m going to give this jerk what he wants - me. I’m the exact type of target he wants. How do you feel about spying on my quarters and seeing who shows up?”

Randy

Kovan blinked at Randy. This was unexpected. Kovan had been running himself ragged doing his “interviews” and running the checks in Morgan’s absence, all while working his regular shifts. “What, so you can land yourself in the infirmary right next to your sister? If you want to keep her company so badly then just go see her. You don’t need an electrical burn and the risk of potential death so the two of you could wrap each others bandages and kiss your wounds better.” It was a risky, but perfectly good idea. If their assassin really was motivated by targets with wealthy backgrounds. . . Kovan didn’t care that Randy was risking his life, but he did care about Rand and Rand cared deeply about her brother.

“And just what makes you think the assassin would go after you? They’ve failed twice now and a third mysterious accident is one too many. Especially with your connection to Rand and the XO.” There’s no way the XO or Rand would sign-off on this plan. But it could be the perfect opportunity. Kovan was conflicted. He had to be sure of Randy’s conviction and know how much he’s thought about this before deciding to go along.

Kovan

Kovan had made a mistake when it came to his… interrogations. And that was that even if they didn’t report his actions, all officers talked. Angry officers talked louder. To anyone that would listen. And that meant that after their run-in with Kovan, they were telling EVERYBODY all about Kovan’s suspicions, anything Kovan had mentioned in their interrogations made its way around their respective departments, Medical and Science. Unfortunately for the investigation, Science had one Ensign Scott in it. The ship gossip.

When the science officer Kovan interrogated blabbed all about it to Scott, Scott made sure the entire ship knew about all of it. By evening the next day, it was the talk of the ship. That the Commander’s accident wasn’t an accident, that Security suspected someone on the crew of being behind it, and that the same person had caused Rand’s accident, too. Whoever the assassin was, surely they knew all about the investigation now.

~ The NEs

Randy nodded listening. “Okay well first off you need a new plan because your interrogation sessions have spread like wild fire across the ship, everyone knows. It was confined to medical but then you went to science and the ship gossip learned about it and told EVERYONE. She’s got a good heart but can’t keep a secret. So it’s a good bet the assassin knows you are after them. So first of all I don’t intend to go back to my quarters. That would be stupid. I don’t want to get electrocuted, and I’ve already been to see Rand. She’s going to be fine, thanks for asking. Now look this guy is a fanatical he doesn’t think straight. He failed at getting Alden, so he went after Rand. I don’t think he knew she was nobility. He was just going after her to get to him. To get Alden to come out, so he could try again. If he knew she was nobility, he would know I was and come after me already. So I go have a drunkin session and play it up. So then not only did he fail with Alden twice because his trap didn’t work and he didn’t take the bait when Rand was attacked, he failed a 3rd time because he didn’t kill Rand either. So now he has a new target, he can’t fail this time. He’s desperate and he’s going to make a mistake, a major one. The only thing that is solely mine that no one else messes with is my quarters. You hang out on deck 3 and see who goes to my quarters and starts messing around. And he will go now because I won’t be there, I’ll do it up right and get detained.”

Randy

Scott! Kovan swore in several languages. That. . . that! Next time Kovan saw her he was going to make her regret ever opening the bottomless pit she calls a mouth! Kovan knew this mess was his fault. As much as he was furious at their assassin and the harm they brought to Rand, a good portion of that fury began to turn inwards. It was simple, easier, to blame Scoot. To give her the verbal lashing that he actually deserved. He won’t actually say anything to Scott, but that didn’t stop him from imagining it. Still, he winced at the end of Randy’s speech and had enough humility to look at least a little scolded.

“Alright, alright you made your point.” Kovan pinched the bridge of his nose. “Fine, we’ll do it but if no one comes to your room then you’re sticking close to me until the assassin is caught. Your sister would skin my hide if I let anything happen to you after this stunt of yours.”

Kovan

A Day Later, Somewhere Else Aboard the Sentinel…

“They’ve got the target under tight guard. Another rigged system isn’t going to do the trick. They’re expecting it. They’re too careful. I need to find another way to get to him…” The first officer said. They were somewhere private, where they’d not be overheard or seen. “The Farquharson boy is up to something. Have you heard about the rec hall incident?” The second officer nodded and then shrugged. “He’s trying to distract us. It’s probably a set up. Ignore him. Keep your focus on the target. If we divert attention, we dilute our cause, get caught before we accomplish anything.” The second officer sighed, “It’s unfortunate the plan to draw him out failed and she lived. At least we’d have something to show for our efforts if we’d gotten rid of the sister.”

The first nodded their agreement. “I don’t want to get caught before I finish the mission. Ensign Morgan has been investigating. I don’t know what she knows but from what Scott was telling everyone, doesn’t seem like she’s close. It doesn’t seem like they know there’s more than one of us.” They shrugged, “If we keep our heads down, I might even get another attempt in on one or both of them before I get out of here. Whatever happens, I won’t give you up.”

The second smirked, “Of course you won’t. That’s part of your mission. You’re disposable in the grand scheme of the mission. Even if they catch or kill you, I’ll still be here, feeding information out… and once they get someone else in, I can help them the same way I have you. The ship’s schedules, routines, security protocols, I’ve had time to study everything I can get access to. As long as I don’t get caught, this mission has a chance. If I can remain placed here, then once we finish off the Aldens, we’ll have a headstart with access to the Farquharsons. It’s not like you get someone on the inside every day.” The first nodded. These people were completely commited to their cause, nothing would make them change sides. “I’m skilled with machines mostly. They’ve got the target’s medical equipment under lock and key, 24/7. I can’t get to it. What can I do?”

“He’s been out of Sickbay, has he not?” The second gave the first a mischevious look. “Know how to shoot a phaser?”

Back with our main characters…

It was the next day, and while Rand was asleep, Roman had slipped out of sickbay in search of someone who knew where the investigation was. Rand had a nightmare the night before, she was scared and confused and he just wanted these people caught. It was Morgan he found first, and from her he got a summary of the investigation so far. He’d said before, but he told her again that he didn’t remember most of the day of his own accident. He also told her he knew about Randy’s stunt, and that he wasn’t happy about it.

Unfortunately, Randy’s stunt yielded little in the way of results. No one approached Randy’s quarters at all. In fact, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. If drawing the assassin out was the goal, it had failed colossally. When Morgan was done giving Roman a summary on the investigation so far, they went to find Kovan to get a report on the attempt to draw out the assassin.

~ Roman

Kovan was having a terrible day. Not the worst day of his life, oh, this was far, far, way far from that. . . but it was at least in top twenty. Randy’s stunt turned out to be a waste of time. If he and his sister weren’t targets before then they most certainly would be now. Which meant there were now three people to watch over and protect. Kovan attempted to do more “interviews” this time with the security officers but with the crew alerted and on edge it failed. He couldn’t get either of them alone for long enough to “talk”. Besides Kovan’s heart wasn’t in it anymore. The rage that had fueled him before had cooled to a self-depreciating glacier.

Roman and Morgan didn’t have to look for long for him, he came slinking to them with his metaphorical tail between his legs. “We need to regroup,” He said, which would likely be the understatement of a century. He looked tired and worn-out. The crew didn’t like him much before but these days that attitude was outright hostile.

Kovan

Roman sighed, he could guess what that meant. Randy’s stunt had uncovered nothing. Roman’s only idea was dumber than Randy’s and surely would either get him killed or dumped by Rand. “What do we know so far? Surely there’s some kind of trail? Surely an assassin can’t nearly take the lives of two officers and get away with it?” There was attitude in his voice, this whole thing had him grouchy and upset. That some fanatical hit squad seemed to be getting the better of Starfleet. Making a fool of all of them.

~ Roman

Morgan was pacing back and forth, thinking, tapping her chin with a finger. “It has to be an engineer, or someone with a lot of engineering background. From the list Rand compiled for us the only people who fit that description were engineers. The only DNA evidence on the machine was LaCroix and Gallagher. Gallagher has been on the ship a long time. LaCroix is new and his service photo doesn’t match who he really is. Rand found that out. She searched for his high school and early Academy photos. Not the same person, or at least not by picture. I don’t have his full background check yet. I would really like to review the security footage and ship’s internal sensors and see where he goes and then if the two logs match up.” She turned toward a lift, “Let’s go up to the security office and run those checks.”

“LaCroix is at the top of my list.” Kovan said. He had several days to think over everything and he felt a growing certainty that an engineer was behind it all. He kicked himself hard for not following his gut and interrogating the engineers sooner but he didn’t want to risk being wrong.

Morgan really had to ignore what Randy did. In theory it was a good trap, but it was reckless and ill prepared. Arriving at the security office she pulled up the surveillance videos and ship’s logs and set a search for LaCroix. “What also bothers me is Rand checked the records, she does NOT miss things or confuse them. So who ever fixed the ship logs has to have some clearance and rank, or has help to do it. Or has copied credentials or something.” She sighed, “What are your ideas?” she asked of both Alden and Kovan.

Morgan

“Someone’s messed with ship communications,” Kovan said quietly, but with a firm certainty. “I’ve set them right again but they’ve been compromised for who knows how long. I will keep an eye on the comms equipment, see if our assassin notices and if he tries to tamper with it again. As for altering the ship logs. . . could be another Hijacker. A good one, not the cheap out-dated thing used by the pranksters.” Though Kovan and the rest of engineering worked to correct the weakness that allowed a Hijacker in, the technology behind them was ever changing. Shoring up defenses against one could mean nothing when a newer model exploits an entirely different weakness in ship design.

Kovan

Roman nodded, “LaCroix seems like the most likely candidate. But how do we prove it? These are serious accusations, we can’t just go pointing fingers only to later find it was a really great frame job. As for the comm systems… Check what exactly might be at risk, what has been sent and received since the system became compromised. That will need reporting to Starfleet.” To Morgan’s question he considered momentarily and then said, “I’d say copied credentials, who knows whose credentials. I can’t imagine anyone high up enough to do that helping them accomplish it.”

~ Roman

Kovan nodded, “I started some of that already. I ran a risk analysis but that’s still running. The other comms officer is watching that for me while they’re on duty.” Whatever their name was. Kovan couldn’t remember in this moment.

Morgan pulled up another file, one with some generic name that wouldn’t get anyone’s attention and then copied to a stand alone disk and then onto her PaDD. “This is the 3 outstanding background checks I’ve been waiting on. LaCroix was one of them.” She handed the PaDD to Alden to look over the files and tell them what they said.

“Good academy grades, no major troubles or reprimands, from small-town Illinois… Passed his entrance psych evaluation.” Roman scrolled through the file. “His photos didn’t match, right? What if we ask him specific details and see if he knows them? I think there was a real LaCroix, and the assassin replaced him.”

Morgan turned back to the security footage and ship’s internal sensors logs to see where LaCroix had been going and if the logs all matched up or if he was trying to trick them.

LaCroix had been very careful with leaving that kind of trace… But now that they knew what they were looking for, there was evidence he was trying to trick them.

“Kovan, who on the ship would have the credentials high enough to change the logs so well that even Rand couldn’t find it.”

Morgan

~ Roman

Kovan listed off the names of several high ranking officers, then added, “If LaCroix is our assassin then he’s patient. All it takes is one person getting careless for him to take his chance and steal another’s credentials. Starfleet officers are some of the most lax and trusting of any I’ve seen. Sure they still follow protocol in general but,” He shrugs. “Anyways, I think the XO has the right of it. Let’s talk to LaCroix and see if we can’t trip him up.”

Kovan


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