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Security Issue? (Tag Mercer)

Posted Feb. 24, 2024, 4:57 p.m. by Civilian Elijah Mercer (Professor / Scientific Advisor) (J Ridgley)

Posted by Civilian Dorma Fen (Governor’s Assistant) in Security Issue? (Tag Mercer)

Posted by Civilian Elijah Mercer (Professor / Scientific Advisor) in Security Issue? (Tag Mercer)

Posted by Civilian Dorma Fen (Governor’s Assistant) in Security Issue? (Tag Mercer)
Posted by… suppressed (35) by the Post Ghost! 👻
Fayth escorted Mercer away from the secured lab and back down the hall, but not to the exit. Instead they stopped by a set of offices. “Dr. Mercer, I would like to give you the benefit of the doubt, but you have walked into and seen things I am not sure you should have. So we have two options. You can wait with the officer inside while I verify your identity and credentials, or I can contact Colonial and Star Fleet securities and let them handle this security breach.”

Lt. Cmdr. Fayth, Chief Star Fleet Medical Officer

Elijah found himself taken aback by the Lieutenant Commander’s unexpected resolutions, observing her petite, 5‘2” stature and distinctive blue-black hair that gracefully swayed with each movement. The Betazoid features, evident in her pure black irises, provided a striking contrast against her lightly pinked pale skin. As they prepared to enter the secure office on OEDV, Elijah couldn’t help but acknowledge the surprising cooperation from the Lieutenant Commander.

“I have nothing else demanding my time; I don’t mind waiting while my background and credentials are thoroughly checked,” he expressed, offering a small smile. “Perhaps I should have delayed my retirement by a week or two,” he added, readying himself to follow the officer and allowing her the necessary time to confirm his identity. Elijah was genuinely surprised by the hostilities and the uncollaborative atmosphere that seemed to exist between the civilians and the Starfleet contingent.

Doctor Elijah Mercer
Professor / Scientific Advisor
Oed V

“Retired?” She looked at him, all of him, her eyes scanning over him, “Ah yes, we ‘Fleeters’ do have a way of standing and moving don’t we. They will pick you out of the crowd like a splash of red in a black and white world.” She blew out a slow breath. “Do not mistake my actions for cooperation Dr. Mercer. My department and I have worked tirelessly and thanklessly to mend relations with Oed. I absolutely will not have a breach of security on a classified project be at the cause of Star Fleet. With that said, I do appreciate your cooperation in waiting. I would loathe the alternative.” She keyed in her clearance to the security office and entered behind him.

“And I to Lieutenant Commander, and let me at least be the first to thank you for upholding Starfleets values in cooperation. You may consider it a thankless job but we are part of the same machine and without each other this whole alliance falls apart.” Eli said sounding as if he had said that line a hundred times before, in truth he had recited it to many wayward cadets and ambassadors.

The Lt on duty looked up with a bit of surprise. “Cmdr Fayth? Is everything alright?” They didn’t have any detainees currently. “I need to perform a background and credential check on Dr. Mercer here. He does not have free reign of the complex. He has agreed to wait here until I return. Cpt. McBride, the Lt Governor or the Governor are the only ones who may override me on this. Is that clear, Lt?” The man nodded and professionally hid his surprise. Cmdr Fayth wasn’t his DH but she was a senior officer and she very rarely issued orders. “Aye ma’am.”

Eli observant as the first day he joined starfleet looked around the room, it wasn’t anything he hadn’t seen before except the lieutenant, who like the Lieutenant Commander was just doing their job he was sure to mention who well they had conducted themselves to the governor or the Starfleet Commander atkeast.

Turning back to Mercer, “Now, if you would Dr. Mercer, allow the computer to scan your biosignatures and provide a voice sample. There is a replicator if you need food or drink. I will return.” After getting the scans, Fayth left to check over his story. First confirming his biosignature, but not on the last out take physical from 2 weeks ago. Oh no, that could be easily doctored. She went all the way back to his intake examinations before being accepted to the Academy. She also pulled his personnel file.

Eli moved to the computer allowing it to scan him, “Computer, Doctor Elijah Mercer Retired, disused authorisation Alpha-2-1-Gamma-XRay-9” the computer acknowledged both his biometrics and voice patterns. He didn’t anticipate any spanner’s so stood back and allowed the Lieutenant Commander to do her job.

She briefly read through the file. He had a strong background in science, and oh…well no winder he thought he could just walk around anywhere. He was awarded the rank of Commodore so he could fill a diplomatic scientific research position. Well she was going to call Hyrushi anyway, she might have to call Dasca as well.

While she glanced over his file, his medical records loaded and the biometrics she took in the security office. They checked with his retirement physical, but she would still check against his older files.

Then she opened a comm to Ms Dorma Fen, marked urgent.

Lt. Cmdr. Fayth, Chief Star Fleet Medical Officer

Civilian Elijah Mercer
Professor / Scientific Advisor
Oed V

It took a moment, but then a familiar face appeared. =/\= Commander Fayth. =/\= Dorma said. =/\= To what do I owe the pleasure? =/\=

Dorma Fen, Governor’s Aide

Fayth did not smile, which was extremely unusual for her. =/\=I know it is a very sudden request, and Governor Hyrushi is very busy, but I need to speak with him about,” gods she hated to say this, “a potential security risk concerning the ‘basket’ you delivered to Star Fleet science.=/\= She knew Hyrushi had deep an unwavering trust in Ms Fen and would tell her if needs be, but she wanted to emphasize the potential severity of the situation from the beginning.

Lt. Cmdr. Fayth, SFCMO

Dorma’s eyes went flat and her jaw clenched. =/\= And what risk might that be, Doctor? And is it something we should be preparing for? =/\=

Dorma Fen

=/\=An individual, who is unknown to the rest of us, arrived at the lab to assist. His Star Fleet clearance levels are still valid, but he is marked as retired. Of course we are willing to have anyone the Governor wants, assist on the research. However, he is not on any list any of us have seen nor does anyone know him. He is currently sitting in the security office here in the lab complex.=/\=

Lt. Cmdr. Fayth, SFCMO

Dorma’s expression didn’t change, but she said =/\= Please give send me what you have on them. =/\=

As the file came through, Fen read it and visibly relaxed a little. =/\= He is known to me, Doctor. Elijah Mercer is a recent arrival to the colony, and will be filling a role at the Oed University in the Physics department as a Professor. He will also the new Scienctific Advisor to the Colonial Government. =/\= and she looked back at the screen. =/\= But no, he was not given clearance to wander where he likes, and is not assigned to the project in question. Please instruct Mr. Mercer to come to the Tower immediately. He and Governor Hyrushi can… discuss… his intrusion and clarify his actual position here on Oed V. =/\= She then fixed a look on Sharah that clearly indicated judgment… but not directed at her, per se. =/\= I would recommend that Star Fleet review their security protocols, Commander. That is not a good look for you. =/\ and the screen went dark.

Dorma Fen, Governor’s Aide

=/\=I will do so…=/\= but the screen went dark. This was not good. She got up from the desk and walked back into the security office. “Lt. Kingston, please escort Dr Mercer to the government tower and to the governor’s office.” She looked at Mercer, “You have been instructed to report to Governor Hyrushi immediately. His assistant Ms. Fen is waiting for you. Lt Kingston will escort you.”

“Well out of the frying pan and into the fire, it’s a pity time travel isn’t readily available and I may have done all this differently. None the less best not keep the Governor waiting.” Oliver stepped towards the direction of the younger Lieutenant before quickly turning back to the Lieutenant Commander, “Commander I apologies for the confusion and aggravation this may have caused I assure it it was not my intention and if I can I will see to it that I personally make amends. Good day to you”

Kingston called in his relief and then walked around the desk. “This way Dr. Mercer. We’ll transport directly over.”

Lt. Cmdr. Fayth, SFCMO

“Thank you, Lieutenant. Lead the way,” Elijah expressed his gratitude, following the officer as they navigated through the corridors. The journey was brief, accompanied by sparse conversation, and soon found them materializing in the far more majestic Governmental Tower.

Upon arrival, Elijah addressed the figure present with caution. “Ms. Fen, I presume?” he inquired, his tone reflecting a mix of formality, curiosity and sorrow, eager to engage in the unfolding events of his own making.

Doctor Elijah Mercer
Professor / Scientific Advisor
Oed V

The figure sitting at the desk was a human woman in a blue uniform. “No. You are in the lobby of the Government Tower, but Ms. Fen told us to expect you.” she said. Flanking either side of the desk, which was set in the middle of the lobby, were four security checkpoints; two per side. A line of individuals of all kinds and variations of species walked up and either did a scan and then walked through the checkpoint; or they spoke with one of the pair of guards at each entry way to gain entry. The exit was through a similar setup on the far sides of the massive lobby. “Scan in please, and then you will go through Security and all the way back to the express lift at the far right. That will take you to the Governor’s office.”

The lift ride was actually pleasant, as the transparent fronted lift sped up the exterior of the structure and gave a wonderful view of the city center where the tower was located. The doors opened on the top floor of the government tower. A desk sat off to the left of the entrance opposite a large seating area with sofas and overstuffed chairs. A human woman, obviously Asian looked up from her desk interface and said “Mister Mercer. I am Dorma Fen, the Governor’s assistant. Please… be seated. He will be with you in a moment.”

Dorm Fen, Governor’s Aide

He nodded in acknowledgment. “Understood, thank you,” Elijah responded. Despite the anticipation of a less-than-warm welcome on this visit, he couldn’t shake a twinge of disappointment. Reflecting on how he had molded the situation, he realized that OED might not be the idyllic haven he once believed. Though he could have opted to complete his service, Elijah yearned to wholeheartedly dedicate himself to the mysteries of the universe. Regrettably, his best intentions seemed to have led him into a predicament, leaving him feeling somewhat ensnared in unforeseen challenges.

Doctor Elijah Mercer
Professor / Scientific Advisor
Oed V

A few minutes later, Ms. Fen said “Mr. Mercer? The Governor will see you now.” She pressed an icon on her touch screen and there was a soft chime and the doors to the Governor’s office swung in.

The room beyond was spacious and white. Walls of glass from the left of the doorway gave an uninterrupted view of the city as they wrapped around the far corner of the room and then continued on out of sight behind a wall that extended from the far right corner of the doorway about three-quarters the length of the room. Set into the wall was a fireplace, in front of which was a large sunken seating area with a low table surrounded by couches and chairs. In the far left corner of the glass walled room was a desk and a raised section of floor. Set at an angle with two chairs before it, the lone occupant of the room seated behind the desk looked up as the door opened.

The figure appeared human, save for the eyes. Terran Asian features surrounded jet black eyes. Long, black hair flowed down the back of the figure halfway to their waist. Dressed in a dark blue suit with a deep red shirt under a slightly darker red vest, the figure stood. “Mr. Mercer, I presume. Please, come and sit. Would you care for tea?” Hyrushi’s voice was calm, even, and professionally polite; but certainly not warm.

Hyrushi, Governor

Discerning the situation, Elijah chose not to correct anyone regarding his status as a fully recognized Doctor with a Ph.D. and a rather vibrant history. Having been on the other side of the desk, he understood the nuances of when to speak and when to remain silent, though he wouldn’t refuse a cup of tea. “Thank you, Governor Hyruahi. I believe turning down tea would be one of a few misjudgments I might have made today. It’ll certainly make swallowing certain pills a lot easier, at least,” he remarked, injecting a touch of humor into the conversation. Of course, he wasn’t about to completely abandon his nature; after all, he remained a Mercer.

Doctor Elijah Mercer
Professor / Scientific Advisor
Oed V

Hyrushi gave him a polite, if not heartfelt, slight smile. “Indeed.” and he tapped the desk. “Ms. Fen, you may bring in the tea now, please.” He looked at Mercer and said “Do be seated.” and he gestured to a chair and as he himself sat down. Ms. Fen arrived and set a tea service on the desk and exited the room. Hyrushi picked up the pot and poured steaming tea into a cup with no handle; one for his guest and then one for himself. “Lemon, sugar, milk.” he said as he indicated three small silver domes on the tray. He leaned back and took a sip of his tea, his obsidian eyes locked on Mercer as if judging the man without knowing him. “So I am to understand that you introduced yourself at the Star Fleet Science labs, hmm?”

Hyrushi, Governor

Oliver followed the Governor’s lead, settling into a chair as he observed the delicate pouring of tea. He added milk and sugar to his tea, expressing gratitude for the gesture, even though honey was his preferred addition. As the aromatic blend swirled, he delved into the topic at hand. “Ah, a less-than-ideal introduction, it seems. I initially presumed my clearance levels had seamlessly transferred, especially given my smooth access to the science labs. However, judging by everyone’s reactions, it appears there might be a hiccup—perhaps a holiday backlog at Starfleet Operations,” he mused, a hint of wry humor in his tone.

With a genuine apologetic undertone, Oliver continued, “I want to extend my sincere apologies. My intentions were nothing but the best—I aimed to hit the ground running and contribute my expertise. Unfortunately, I hadn’t anticipated any delays or the underlying tension between civilian and Starfleet personnel. It’s disheartening to learn that efforts are needed to foster collaboration, especially when the academy emphasizes unity. Regardless, I acknowledge my part in the situation and am determined to rectify it in any way possible.”

Doctor Elijah Mercer
Professor / Scientific Advisor
Oed V

Hyrushi was silent for a long moment as he regarded the man before him. He reached out subtly and took stock of the man’s emotional and mental state, seeking any sign of deception or secretiveness. Finding none, he set his tea down. “Well, let me begin by saying that you are most welcome to Oed V. However, you arrive at a time of great change… and with great change comes fear and suspicion, I am afraid. Tell me, Doctor… are you aware of the statement that was sent by myself and the Lieutenant Governor to the Federation Council?”

Hyrushi, Governor

Elijah leaned back, contemplating the inevitable discussion of OED’s Colonial Government Statement that he had anticipated and now faced. As the statement resonated in the assembly chamber during his initiation into a diplomatic science assignment, it unexpectedly postponed his departure scheduled for the next day. Eli’s reaction was a blend of concern and fascination; while the statement received public approval, behind closed doors, discussions about OED’s perceived ego had circulated. Some radical flag officers, in hushed tones within closed rooms, even floated the idea of military action.

“Ah, quite the statement. It prompted similar statements from other colonies challenging the alliance’s central government, especially starfleets involvement and deployments,” he spoke carefully. “The Federation’s primary charter is to assist its members in safeguarding legitimate rights and interests whilst exploring the unknown universe. Your reminder of that duty stirred conversations. Starfleet and the Federation are not flawless, but we can only aspire to be. I had assumed such a statement would align with recent experiences, but it appears there is still some work to be done to become unified, it was however nice to see some officers wearing the uniform doing just that, I must give merit to Lieutenant Commander Faythe, she at least is trying.”

Eli paused once more, reflecting on the enduring relevance of Hyruahi’s message. “Your words hold merit today. I hope that with my background, I can contribute to shedding a positive light on the change you mentioned while staying true to my main purpose here: educating bright minds in the field of science, advising the government, and perhaps even cultivating some vegetables,” he chuckled.

Doctor Elijah Mercer
Professor / Scientific Advisor
Oed V

Hyrushi took a breath and said “Doctor Fayth is the highest example of what Star Fleet should strive to be here on Oed. We are quite fortunate to have her.” He picked up his cup and took a sip. “But the tension between the civilian population and Star Fleet… indeed the Federation itself… is quite high here. The impending arrival of the Vren has only raised that level. The project you stumbled onto was not open to you. Not by your credentials, not by your position, and certainly not by your past career. And it is unfortunately the very first project where we have had colonial scientists working directly with Star Fleet scientists. All of whom were chosen and approved of by myself and the Lieutenant Governor.” He took another drink and set the cup aside. “Star Fleet’s failure to keep the lab secured is quite the proverbial black eye to them. And it lends me to want to reconsider the cooperation with the project; although that would significantly slow the study. So I am torn, you see, as to how to proceed.” He picked up the cup and held to his lips.

“What would you advise, Doctor Mercer? In your role as Scientific Advisor to the Cabinet and government?” he asked before drinking.

Hyrushi, Governor

“Two weeks ago, I would have initiated a thorough investigation, holding individuals accountable for any lapses in standards and procedures,” he stated, pausing to reflect. “I would have personally overseen mentorship, striving to understand the shortcomings, learn from them, and enhance our practices,” Eli added, taking another thoughtful sip.

“However, the present circumstances are different for both you and me. I’m aware that they are most certainly conducting an internal investigation. If I were in your position, I’d let them carry out their inquiry independently and request a comprehensive report to prevent a recurrence. Leniency might be prudent; I don’t see this as a mistake solely of those present but rather an issue within the broader organization. Given the busy operational period with recent academy graduations, Earth’s holiday season, and the fact that we’re all only humanoid, understanding is crucial.”

Eli paused one final time, considering the path forward. “In terms of cooperation, I believe it’s paramount to demonstrate unwavering support for our collaborative efforts. Removing the cooperation project wouldn’t serve any purpose. Perhaps, we should actively foster and enhance our involvement in the study for the benefit of all parties involved. Maybe a gesture of good will, or public show of support to lesson the bruising so to speak.” He was no politician but he had served as a diplomatic commodore and that was as good as it got.

Doctor Elijah Mercer
Professor / Scientific Advisor
Oed V

Hyrushi listened intently as the new advisor spoke, getting a sense of the man behind the words. After Mercer finished, Hyrushi nodded. “A practical and even-tempered response. And an appreciated one. So now I will ask you to consider the security breach in conjunction with the statement sent to the Federation. We stated quite clearly that if Oed was to be a part of the Federation, that we need to be considered a partner… not an afterthought. So, if as you said the breach is a result of operational needs and holidays and such, why should the colony continue to trust the Fleet to secure the project and not see this as yet another aspect of being ignored? Two of the three contributors you specified are not going to change, after all.”

Hyrushi, Governor

The question presented Eli with a complex scenario, and he chose a teaching approach. “If I may delve into a lesson I often share with my recruits,” he began. “Imagine a planet not much dissimilar from OEDV, where the sun and wind were arguing over who is stronger. Suddenly, they spot a traveler coming down the road. They decide to settle the argument by determining who can get the traveler to take off his coat. The wind blows as hard as it can, but the traveler only tightens his coat further, much to the displeasure of the wind. Then, the sun softly shines its rays on him. The traveler suddenly feels hot and finally removes his coat, declaring the sun the winner.”

Eli paused, allowing the story to sink in. “The lesson here is that persuasion is better than force. A kind, gentle manner, like the sun’s, is always more effective than cold threats and force. So, if you ever need something from someone, it is best to be kind and humble rather than resorting to yelling. You might find they respond better. Of course, this may not always be the case, but I have other anecdotes to cover those,” he chuckled.

“To be open and honest, we must acknowledge that Starfleet, especially here, is not perfect and will change. You may not notice it at first, but people like Commander Faythe will start a movement. She will be joined by others, and then more will follow. It’s the natural way of things; the learning curve will eventually lead OED and Starfleet to become partners. We just need to show them the way, especially when they don’t see it themselves. Perhaps this incident is a perfect opportunity to further establish our foothold within their contingent.”

Doctor Elijah Mercer
Professor / Scientific Advisor
Oed V

Hyrushi nodded thoughtfully. “Again a reasonable and diplomatic response. So allow me to ask you, as a former Commanding Officer… how long should we remain polite and understanding when that same courtesy is not reciprocated?”

Hyrushi, Governor

Elijah, considering the question, replied thoughtfully, “In my experience, maintaining politeness and understanding is crucial for fostering positive relationships, even in the face of adversity. It’s a testament to our commitment to collaboration and shared goals. However, it’s equally important to recognize when our efforts are not reciprocated. If courtesy consistently goes unacknowledged, it might be time to reassess the dynamics.”

He continued, “I believe setting a reasonable timeframe for reciprocation is fair. It allows for a diplomatic approach while ensuring that our commitment to professionalism is reciprocated in kind. If you wanted and were to grant me 24 hours, I could draft an appropriate response strategy to address the situation and outline steps for navigating future interactions more effectively, then you may proceed, and make amendments before proposing the changes.”

Doctor Elijah Mercer
Professor / Scientific Advisor
Oed V

Hyrushi stared solidly at thr man for almost a full minute in silence, his face completely unreadable.

“I will accept your offer of drafting such a proposal, Doctor. That being said, I give no guarantees as to it’s implementation. Additionally, I fear that you are operating outside of your depth. Not that you are not intelligent nor mean well… but you simply do not grasp the nature of this place, it’s people, or our relationship with the Federation in general and Star Fleet specifically.” He took a breath and exhaled heavily. “There are dynamics here that you simply don’t know. At least, that is what I hope. If you are aware of them, then your recent actions should be viewed from a much more… severe… perspective. But I am willing to give you the benefit of assuming ignorance versus maliciousness. I would strongly recommend that you attempt to make amends with the team you interrupted, however; and make yourself available for any Star Fleet investigation into how you were allowed access. Agreed?”

Hyrushi, Governor

Elijah acknowledged the governor’s concerns with a deep breath. “I fear you are correct. The complexities of OED far surpass any briefing or explanation provided by Starfleet Command. I worry that their understanding of the inner workings here is misguided or, worse, ignored,” he said, pausing to reflect on the moment. “However, I cannot excuse my own actions and inactions in this situation. To move forward, we must navigate through Kubler Ross’s curve and find a way to accept and move on. I sincerely hope that my actions in the coming weeks will prove my sincerity, not only to you but also to the Starfleet officers involved.”

Elijah added, “Furthermore, Governor, I want to assure you that I am willing to submit to any investigation. I am as intrigued as you are about how I was able to navigate the complex so freely. Transparency is crucial in addressing the concerns you rightfully raise, and I am committed to assisting in any inquiry to shed light on the matter. If that is all, I believe I have a framework to draft and some apologies to attend to.”

Doctor Elijah Mercer
Professor / Scientific Advisor
Oed V

“Take your time with the framework. We have much bigger things to attend to right now.” Hyrushi said. “Get settled in, find your footing, and take any actions you may need to take with regards to Fleet Security. Once that is done, we will discuss working you into the meetings with the Vren. I’m sure your perspective will be useful.”

Hyrushi, Governor

“Once more, thank you for your understanding and leniency. I sincerely hope that, with time, I can prove myself and earn the trust of both you and the Starfleet personnel. Perhaps we can find a way forward together,” he explained, rising from his seat and extending his hand for a handshake with the governor.

Doctor Elijah Mercer
Professor / Scientific Advisor
Oed V

Hyrushi stood and shook his hand with a professionally firm grip and then released it. “That is the goal, is it not?” he asked rhetorically. “Please ensure Ms. Fen has your address on file. And welcome to Oed V, Doctor Mercer.”

Hyrushi, Governor

“Thank you Governor, until next time which I hope is a far less concerning matter” He gave Hyrusi a polite smile before leaving, ensuring he gave his details to Ms. Fen.

Doctor Elijah Mercer
Professor / Scientific Advisor
Oed V

Ms. Fen took the information and then gave Mercer her comm information in case he had any issues. “Anything you need, Doctor, do not hesitate to ask. Navigating Oed can be… tricky. And judging from this little tete-a-tete, you will probably need all the help you can get.” and she laughed in a friendly manner. “If you need an Oed V survey course, I might be able to help with that if you are interested.”

Dorma Fen

Elijah accepted the offer graciously, appreciating the gesture of support from Ms. Fen. “Thank you, Ms. Fen,” he replied with a warm smile. “Navigating OED’s intricacies does seem like it could present some challenges, and I wouldn’t want to get lost in the shuffle,” he added with a chuckle, his tone lighthearted but genuine.

“As a newcomer, I believe understanding the intricacies of OED is crucial, and starting with a survey course sounds like an excellent idea,” he continued, nodding thoughtfully. “Your insights would undoubtedly prove invaluable in helping me acclimate to this unique environment.”

Doctor Elijah Mercer
Professor / Scientific Advisor
Oed V

“Thought as much.” Ms. Fen said with a friendly smile. “Tell you what. Meet me at The Grotto Restaurant tomorrow at two pm. We’ll have lunch and you can ask any questions you have and I can fill you in on the how and why Oed works the way it does. Sound good?”

“Sounds delightful, hopefully, I will remain out of trouble before then.”

Doctor Elijah Mercer
Professor / Scientific Advisor
Oed V


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