Posted by Lieutenant Commander Peter Sigmundsson (Chief Intelligence Officer) in Main Sim [Deck 34]: Meanwhile, Elsewhere…
Posted by Lieutenant Issac Forgrave (Chief of Security) in Main Sim [Deck 34]: Meanwhile, Elsewhere…
Posted by Lieutenant Kalika Darz (Security Officer) in Main Sim [Deck 34]: Meanwhile, Elsewhere…
Posted by… suppressed (12) by the Post Ghost! 👻
“Commander! Glad ta see ya under somewhat better circumstances.” Issac grinned wryly at the large man. “Sadly, situation ain’t been resolved as of yet… And I keep coming up with more ‘n more questions, and damned few answers. Which, speaking of, I think I got something perfect fer our resident spook ta dig into, if yer game fer it.”
“Somethin’s been bugging me since our guest’s been attacked - now, I may well be jumpin’ at nothing, but I ain’t willing to leave it alone until I’m proven wrong. Ta outline what I’m thinkin’, I think it’s fair ta say that something is affecting our crew on an individual basis, right? Now, this seems ta be directly tied to them floating motes, but I ain’t one-hundred percent sure on that point as of yet. But I think it’s fair to say that Mr. Hab’rabi brought at least some of them aboard; seemingly knowingly and intentionally, but I don’t think maliciously. But then NE Sacco damn near kills the man, for no reason so far as he can recall - and as far as I know, that ain’t exactly in character fer anyone on my staff. I’m thinking that something got into his head and mucked about - similar ta what we’re seeing with some others here, but with wildly different outcomes. Now, we got motes flitting about willy-nilly, and such chaos ain’t gonna make us any more likely ta help Hab’rabi and his folks - so I find it hard ta believe that any of this would be something he wants; even discarding getting himself put in a coma.”
“So..... what that makes me think, is that maybe there’s more ‘n one thing going on here. Ain’t got a clue what, just too many questions floating around in my nasty, suspicious little mind. But I’m hoping that’s where y’all can come in, Sigmundsson - I’d be mighty appreciative if you dug into this for me while I’m putting out fires. I hope I’m jumping at shadows, but.... well, I’d rather jump than get bit on the ass.” Issac shot a shark-tooth grin at the commander, hoping that the resident spook would have more luck.
Baker flipped his tricorder shut and holstered it with a smooth motion, then made some notes on his PaDD. Once done, he turned to Forgrave. “I’ve passed my scans off to both the engineering and science departments, and completed a preliminary security report. I’m not sure what more use I can be to you here, sir. Orders?”
Issac grimaced slightly, sighing deeply before turning to face Baker completely. “Good work Baker; you did well ta contain this mess. But as far as orders go....” He fell silent for a moment, considering what little he - or anyone else, seemingly, knew about the current situation. “I think what we need right now is some actual information about what’s going on. But as far as achieving that goal.... well, I’m open ta suggestions. I’m hoping Sigmundsson can turn up something, but I ain’t content ta rest all my hopes on him. I think…” Issac paused, scratching absently at his chin as he considered what avenues were open.
“Pah! Hate ta say it, but I got nothing. Might be I’m getting run ragged chasing fires all over the ship. But we don’t know a void-blasted thing!” Issac’s voice lowered into a growl, a scowl carved across his face. “An’ the whole time, I feel like I’m waiting fer the other shoe ta drop; some fraggin’ new disaster ta show up and put the rest of this crap ta shame; all while it’s still eatin’ us alive bit by bit.” He shook his head and took a deep breath, calming himself down after his brief outburst. His face colored slightly, and he looked back at Baker. “Sorry ‘bout that, Baker. Just… I feel like I’m runnin’ in circles here. Ain’t no-one’s fault, just… well, if ya got any suggestions or ideas, I’d be glad ta hear ‘em.”
The chirp of Forgrave’s combadge interrupted the pause in conversation. =/\=Rende to Forgrave. I thought I would pass along that between our science, medical, and engineering teams we can track these motes to a certain extent. They can exist in both normal space and subspace. So if you can get a scan of a mote the ship’s sensors can track it, until it slips into subspace. But once it returns we can track it again.=/\=
=/\=Also Lt, I’ve just spoken with Cmdr Kohr. He’s woken up and apparently his encounter was quite insightful. He says that Hab’rabi intends to commandeer our ship and these motes are part of that. So until science and engineering have a way to imprison them. Shoot first, ask questions later. Understood?=/\= This might be a first contact situation but Rende had no intention of sacrificing crew or ship to play diplomat so some stranger could run rough shod over them. And as far as she was concerned if the motes were the souls of the dead, well they were dead already.
=/\=Thanks for the update Ma’am; can’t say it’s all good news, but I’m glad ta hear the XO is on his feet again.=/\=
“Well, that makes a sad kind of sense,” Baker mused, as much to himself as the others. “His ship was operating on barely minimal power, life support close to failing. We come along in a shiny, more advanced ship and scoop him up. Maybe he figures that since we’re so accommodating, we’d be easy pickings. Sends those motes out to stir up trouble and send us scattering, putting out fires while he cooks up his master stroke somewhere else. Maybe Sacco caught wind of something before he could pull it off, tried to put him down. Could have been whatever got Sacco didn’t agree with him, spooked him into shooting Hab’rabi. Either way, the big man goes down leaving his spooks and sparks to figure things out for themselves.”
“Yeah, it does explain things…” Issac was clearly unhappy with the presented explanation, but didn’t have any arguments against the analysis. “And Hab’rabi definitely came across as ‘do or die’ - or maybe that’s just hindsight, but damned iffin’ I woulda guessed that. But Sacco though…” Issac rubbed his chin in thought, frowning deeply. “Don’t reckon you seen the footage of Sacco - it’s brutal. Ain’t got any better explanations, but any man capable of bein’ that cold-blooded fer no reason… well, I feel like the counselor might have some notes in their file, eh? But then, maybe all them motes ain’t on the same page. Again, we just don’t know…” It was obvious the footage had stuck in Forgrave’s mind - correct or otherwise, Sacco’s actions had cemented themselves; and his mind couldn’t let it go until that particular puzzle had been solved.
Rubbing his thumb and forefinger together thoughtfully in front of his chin, Baker stepped over to a wall panel and pulled up a basic schematic of the Viking. A few more keystrokes highlighted several decks and numerous systems across the entire ship. The security guard gathered his thoughts, then added data from the security logs. Cascading points of light echoed out from the shuttle bay and into the surrounding areas. Nodding, he returned his attention to Forgrave.
“Now, I’m mostly spitballing here,” he added with a thin smirk. The security officer gestured to the blinking lights. “Hab’rabi comes over by shuttle, maybe so his spooks can sneak aboard or because transporters don’t agree with them. We’ve already seen how phasers and force fields affect them, so it tracks. While we’re busy rolling out the red carpet, he sends out scouts like a good general to get a lay of the land. He’s never seen our kind before, so these things grab a few crew members and tinker with them. They don’t do anything overtly harmful because they’re gathering intel, but the more they interact with the crew the more they learn—what drives us, makes us tick or vulnerable.”
Swiping the dots to a smaller portion of the screen, Baker pointed to the flashing decks with his free hand. “Seems eventually they got themselves some traction with our crew, started poking about. Guessing they got spooked when the exo and the captain got suspicious of all their hinky business, turned off the main computer and the gelpacks. The whole business with the malfunctions feels a little sloppy, like we caught them in the act—they’d been mucking about, sure, but they weren’t quite ready for… whatever. Otherwise, they’d’ve done it by then. The whole ship goes into chaos and lockdown, their boss gets himself laid out, and now they’re leaderless.”
“Now, if it were me laying siege to an enemy stronghold,” Baker murmured, fingers working furious beneath his chin as he swiped again to clear away the blinking deck indicators, “I wouldn’t have done any one thing too directly. Easier to be countered if you’re too obvious. My guess is that we’ll find out what he was trying to do if we look at the decks and systems that were hit. Some of it would be smoke and mirrors to throw us off, keep us chasing our tails and putting out smaller fires. Let’s see…”
“Taking our computer down would hamper our investigations, sure. Knock out the transporters? Hm, maybe to keep us from escaping or just beaming them into space? Closing bulkheads and locking down corridors to make it harder to effect repairs. Might be they messed with the replicators to prevent us from making more parts? Cutting off enemy supplies is an old siege tactic, for sure. Not sure why they’d mess with our gravity or environmental control, unless they were trying to make the Viking more like home. Maybe if we look at it from where they hit us.” A few quick taps to the console reoriented the data in a deck-by-deck list. “Deck Eight is pretty clear, what with the armory and computer core on that level—best place to both cripple us and gain information. Transporters were taken out on Deck Two here and Deck Eight here. Deck Fifteen had an increase in gravity, and transporters were down there, too. Main deflector control is spread across Decks Twenty-five and Twenty-six, where the environmental controls were wonky. And down here on Deck Thirty-four is where the warp core ejection systems and main deflector access are located.”
“The real question,” Baker sighed, “is why these particular systems? Why not take out our shields and weapons, too? Did they not get that far? It wouldn’t make sense to attempt a siege if you couldn’t escape if you failed; Hab’rabi wouldn’t be able to hop back to his ship because we’d just shoot him down. One thing’s for sure, though—now that we’re onto them, we’ve gone from siege tactics to guerilla warfare. Likely they’re going to lay low, strike fast and hard, and not play fair.”
Issac let out a long sigh as Baker finished his analysis. It was a genuinely good one, too - he was impressed by the comprehensiveness of it. “Them being aliens could explain any oddities - differences in priorities, tech, so on and so forth. Sure, it ain’t how I’d try ‘an take a ship fer myself, but maybe it’s standard tactics fer them. And causing chaos never hurt an attacking force. I can’t say I agree with all of yer thoughts, but I think it’s more ‘n fair to say we ain’t on good terms with them anymore.”
Kalika had been listening, but was silent, fiddling with her arm band. As the two finished their hypothesizing, she frowned. “Why bother with shields and weapons? Probably because they’re planning to take the ship. If you’re disarming your enemy and plan to keep his weapons for yourself, you don’t remove the energy packs. And since they’re staying in the ship, don’t need to bother wasting time with external things. Control of the ship, environmental issues, etc cetera, that’s what they need. Weapons lockers and power controls are what they’ll need. I think we can ignore most of the pity things around and focus on what the important things are, then. Doesn’t that make sense since we now know we’re probably being led by our noses?”
If someone knows they’re being led astray, they shouldn’t keep following it… Right?
“Them’s good points too, Ma’am. There’s a lot that ain’t adding up, but then, we ain’t got all the facts either; void, I’d say we got more guesses than facts right now. What I want is ta pick Sacco’s and Hab’rabi’s brains. Figure out what happened between them. And I hate ta say it, but I’m mildly suspicious of the XO’s report; but I can’t imagine an ulterior motive - unless....” Forgrave slowly nodded, eyes narrowed. “Now, bear with me here - I know I’m a paranoid fragger, and yes, Occam’s razor is something I’ve heard of. But what if there’s a coup going on in all this madness? Some opposing party takes Sacco; tries to kill Hab’rabi. That fails, and so gets in Kohr’s head ta put us against him on that front. Might could account for their attack on us being more smoke than fire, if the goal is ta shirk our help and depose of Hab’rabi’s leadership on their end. Maybe there’s a faction that was against asking for help?” Issac waved his hands in the air, quieting any immediate comments. “Now, I know I’m reaching, but none of this is sitting right with me, and so I’m lookin’ for reason and alternate ideas, that’s all. At the end of tha day, we gotta look out for our ship an’ our crew, and I ain’t gonna ask ya to disregard that obligation. In the meantime, let’s make sure this ship stays under our hands, yea?”
Peter had remained quiet for a while as they discussed their options “When infiltrating an enemy vessel you intend to take over you don’t need to bother with external weapons or defenses unless your Homebase is under direct attack. With a lack of offensive personnel taking over key locations is improbable, a good crew can take over key systems at several locations. Sabotageing transporters and internal sensors is necessary to move in secret.” He spoke as if from experience “If there is a friendly element with the enemy incursion it’s not something we can rely on, especially with how difficult it was to exchange information.” He was slowly squeezing his hand into a fist and releasing it “The initial operation smells more like infiltration than a siege, gathering intelligence and preparing for an assault. Standard intelligence-gathering mixed with sabotage turns into hit-and-run tactics that can only work when the enemy can’t detect you with any certain means. We’ll need to establish a way to detect the enemy, by scanning the motes, and then find a way to isolate and contain them.”
Baker nodded, then looked to Forgrave. “The alien and Ensign Sacco should still be in Sickbay, sir; I haven’t heard of them being moved yet, and it looks like an additional detail has been assigned to Hab’rabi. With your permission, I’ll start gathering information from the security checkpoints. If anything unusual has been mentioned or detected, they’d probably have the best chance to catch it with the amount of traffic they’d be dealing with. My scans of the one that got away—along with that other one I nailed—have already been uploaded for reference.”
“That way,” his tone held a slightly sharper edge, “maybe you and the Lieutenant Commander here can finally get us some answers from Hab’rabi.”
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