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Too Many Voices In Such A Small Space

Posted on Sun Jan 19th, 2020 @ 9:28am by Captain Rueben Gregnol & Executive Officer Valiyi Uhin & Fordyce Kirschler PhD & Chief Engineer Michael Burnstein & Ships Doctor Quinton Sarratt MD & Chief Scientist Jinx Jorasco & Chief Helmsman Eden Bowers & Chief Armoury Jake Ford

Mission: Mission 10 - Temperance
Location: SS Mary Rose - Observation Lounge
Timeline: MD 12 10:00

Gregnol sat down and looked at everyone already there waiting for him to join them. He had been with Jeassaho making sure that she was okay before he joined the senior officers in the observation lounge. He was starting to think he should hold meetings there more often. They were a lot quicker without a table to rest on. The reason they were there was because of the ship that could be seen out the window. They needed to make the choice there and then which ship. “Sorry about that. I was with Jea,” he said, knowing they would all know what had happened by now and how she had been attacked.

The ship was not perfect, but it had potential, especially when they found whoever or whatever was on the ship. “So, everyone, how are your areas of the ship looking?” he started, allowing them to speak up.

"Probably about eighty-five percent of the ship security-checked," Jake noted. "Couple of areas blocked off by apparent damage. We've still not made much progress on the...situation with Jeassaho." He added the last part a little reluctantly. It was a fresh wound in the captain's mind, and certainly a point of frustration for himself. "It makes me a little uncomfortable."

As the newcomer, and still getting over the stigma of being a stowaway, Jinx sat in the back, dwarfed and hidden by the others. She was calmly slicing pieces off of a raw liver with her knife. Most she fed to the cat-sized raptor curled at her feet. But occasionally she popped a piece of raw organ into her own mouth. "Insufficient," her voice popped in. "The sensors are old. Battered by the crash. And nothing in the Science department is accessible. I have to lug around a stool everywhere I go to reach anything." Of course, that wasn't really any different than on the Mary Rose, and it was an even older ship. "But the labs are fine. Nothing that getting some modern equipment won't fix." Jinx had been used to the Federation tech on Narendra station, which had been state of the art, so she didn't know better.

Burnie leaned back against the wall. He was the new guy, but he was also one of the best equipped to assess both ships with respect to functionality. "The labs and medbay and general physical plant are in much better shape, and while the sensors are old, they're newer than what we have on the Mary Rose. However, the big missing piece is functioning engines." He pursed his lips, gazing at the ghost ship through a viewport. "I'd feel a lot better about the idea of moving over if we had been able to start up the warp core."

"So what is stopping the warp core from starting?" the captain wondered quietly, looking up from his padd where he had been writing notes to keep track of everything.

Quin trailed in late. Normally a man who was always on time, his mind had been elsewhere. Sipping his coffee, he merely looked around the room and waited to see why he had been summoned to the meeting. He wasn't big on large gatherings like this. In his opinion they were a waste of time, and small one on one meetings were more beneficial.

"It's not that the warp core can't start, at least as far as we know," Burnie explained after the doctor had had a chance to get seated. "It's that we had to shutdown the process because of something large moving around somewhere back in the control panels."

Now that attracted Gregnol’s attention and made him look up properly from over his padd. “Something big?” He glanced to where Ford sat and frowned. He’d had enough of things hiding in the darkness of his ships.

"Yes." Burnie nodded. "About man-sized, I'd say. And even if it was only a cluster of spiders big enough to give that impression, there was no point taking a chance on anything in there scrambling the controls right when we about mix matter and antimatter."

"If it's a creature, we should work to preserve it." Valiyi could have likely cared less what it was, but seeing as they were working so carefully on preserving everything else about the ship, she saw fit to at least say that much. She hadn't said anything else that whole time. "Is there any way we can lure it out?"

Jake glanced over at Jinx, musing on the prospect. "If we need a lure, maybe your pet lizard could work? It's fast enough to escape if it needs to."

Jinx glared at Jake. "Zambi will be far more useful hunting it," she said, her eyes lighting up a bit. "I love a good hunt!"

Eden had kept quiet so far. She was never much of a talker in a large group, preferring the company of just one or two people. She had thoughts on the ship, but so far no one had asked her what she thought. As for the...whatever it was roaming on the ship, she finally gained the courage to speak. "I don't think spiders knocked out a crew member. They're shy, remember? Whatever she came across had the foresight of intent. It knocked someone out, didn't kill them or eat them, just removed them from the equation. That makes me nervous."

"Da. I agree," Gregnol admitted slowly. He did not really want to think on it that either something was on the ship that could hurt them all, or one of his own people had hurt Jeassaho.

"That doesn't rule out creatures that were working out of fear," Valiyi pointed out. "Though I do not actually believe adding another creature to the equation will help matters. If this creature -- or otherwise -- is willing to lash out against a bipedal being, there isn't much stopping said mystery foe from doing the same to...Zambi, you said? I'm sure Zambi is perfectly capable, but adding another level of unpredictability could make the entire situation... more difficult."

Burnie frowned, listening to the discussion. "What concerns me most is that we scanned for life signs and read none. I know the sensor system on this ship is old, and I understand missing something like the spider, but something Human sized?" He shook his head. "That suggests that whatever it is is actively hiding, shielding itself from detection."

"I guess that just means we need to catch them and find out who they are and what they're doing on the ship. No chance of being an original crew member right?" Eden asked, just to make sure.

Jinx perked up. “Wait. I remember reading something like that in the databases on Narendra Station. The Kisongo never met them, since we’re clear on the other side of the Beta Quadrant, but I thought the files on Jem’Hadar said they could self cloak? If they stood still?”

Subterfuge wasn't exactly his specialty, but he'd had more than his fair share of experience with it, so Ford Kirschler chimed in, "Yeah, they do. But they're not the only ones. There's always rumors about Tal Shiar personal cloaking devices, Flaxian camouflage fields, so on and so forth. Not to mention there are other ways of masking your life signs if you know what you're doing. It could be anyone. But I think it's safe to say someone sentient, knowledgeable, and with a vested interest in staying hidden for some reason."

Gregnol frowned just a little bit. He had been hoping that the group would come to the table with a lot more than they were, they were fixated on something that could or could not be on the ship. "There are many ways of making yourself disappear and appear a ghost," he added his own thoughts before glancing at Jake. "So how are we going to find them? Or are we going to make them come find us?"

"That's easier," said Ford. "Shut everything down systematically to force them where we want them. We know it's a sentient organic lifeform, which gives us the upper hand. It needs life support and environmental systems at a minimum -- oxygen and warmth. So, we can make the shut down look like a cascading systems failure. The computer warnings will give them a head's up. And if everything goes down except, say, Main Engineering, they're going to need to come to engineering to get things running again. Except they find us."

To cap his point, he held his hand out like a gun and grinned.

"Might work," Jake noted, considering. "Beats just evacuating the ship and venting the whole thing to space." The thought had crossed his mind. "Ford's idea is a sound one. Section-by-section shutdowns sequentially means we can monitor those areas for anomalies. And maybe we can limit the options of whoever is hiding out over there."

“We can modify the sensors and tricorders, too,” Jinx said. “Look for what isn’t there, holes in the ambient sensor noise that the computer normally filters out as background.”

"A good strategy," Burnie remarked. "Unless they're using Romulan tech. That accounts for the approach by supplying its own background noise. I wouldn't be surprised if others have picked up on the idea too."

Quin just sat in his chair, listening to the entire conversation unfold. Out of all of the ships, assignments, or jobs, he ended up here. It was at that moment, he was suddenly regretting that choice. He was a doctor, or so the crew thought. He didn't want to be scavenger around a ship playing a game of cat and mouse with whatever they were talking about. He figured it best to just sit back and let these crazy people handle the unknown factor. He'd wait in sickbay for the injuries that were no doubt going to follow. The phrases like creature, big, Human-like, spider... every one of them made his skin crawl.

Gregnol stayed quiet for a long time, longer than was normal for him as he considered everything that was being said. It seemed the only line of investigation and action open to them at the moment, other than evacuating the ship and venting.

"Thank God I found Stan," Eden said, though she didn't realize that the words had actually left her lips and believed until she saw the look on the other's faces that she had only said something inside her head.

“I’ll work on adjusting the sensors and tricorders,” Jinx said, her short legs kicking as they swung beneath the big chair she was sitting in.

"So do we have enough power to attempt this and smoke out the being?" Gregnol was wanting to meet the individual, to say the least.

"Aye. Power for sequential shutdowns isn't an issue," Burnie replied. "And it shouldn't be too hard to boost the sensors. The bigger lift will be containment if we catch it, since I don't trust the force field emitters outside the brig to hold for long, especially if our ghost can generate any sort of energy surge. Which I could manage by crossing some connections on a personal cloak, for instance."

"I got to say, you all are nuts," Quin finally commented. "Terms like containment, if we catch it, and not trusting force fields are not very settling, if I am honest. We've got an unknown whatever it is, and your idea is to smoke it out and hope we can hold it." He leaned back in his chair, suddenly thinking that the old equipment on the Rosie wasn't that bad. Perhaps they didn't need the floating junk heap. "I realize I am just the doctor, and this was outside my wheelhouse, but you people wanna go poke a bear with a stick and hope the stick is long enough." He knew he was probably speaking out of turn, and didn't really care. The captain could kick him out at the next stop, if they made it. He looked around the table half expecting his Romulan friend to jump out and insult him.

Eden seemed to stop and think about the analogy, her thoughts drifting far away from the table where the others sat. "Do you have any suggestions then, Doctor?" she finally asked.

Quin shook his head, "like I said, not my area of expertise. But I can say that this current plan doesn't seem like a very good idea."

“Lucky thing is, if he did cross the connections on his personal cloak to short out a force field, he could only do it once,” Jinx told Burnie. “And he wouldn’t have a cloak anymore. That would make any second attempt easier.” She paused. “We sure we want him alive? There’s always a baryon sweep. That’ll kill anything organic in the ship.”

"That assumes there's only one of them, which might argue for the baryon sweep, but that assumes an organic lifeform and one with nothing rigged for shielding," Burnie replied. "Also, we don't know why they're on the ship to begin with, and dead matter is notoriously bad at answering questions."

"That much I can agree with," Valiyi cut in curtly. The last thing any of them possibly needed was a crime (or another) on their hands. "How about we agree to find what - or whomever - it is and identify them before we try to flush them out perhaps?'

"How long would it take to get a baryon sweep sorted?" Gregnol asked trying to think through the mental to-do list that was growing by the hour. "Could you guys get something set up whilst the Engineers carry on trying to sort out the warp core?"

“Just need to rig up a few normal cleaning drones with the baryon emitters,” Jinx said. “Let them loose on the ship. If we wanted it all done at once, it might require using the deflector dish.”

Gregnol frowned a little, he did not want it rushed as Baryon sweeps were dangerous on ships that were up to date let alone ships that were older. He did not like the idea of a baryon sweep at all but they needed to track down whoever or whatever was on the other ship. "Okay, so you can have it set up within the day then?"

"I'll program the drones to coordinate. To make sure we're pushing it," said Ford, taking care to throw a glance in the doctor's direction, "in the right direction. Shouldn't take more'n an hour or two."

"Take twelve hours." Gregnol hinted softly. He did not want the baryon sweep messed up and the Engineers needed time to sort some stuff out.

OFF::

Michael Burnstein
Chief Engineer
SS Mary Rose

Jake Ford
Chief Armoury Officer
SS Mary Rose

Quin Sarrat, MD
Doctor
SS Mary Rose

Eden Bowers
Chief Helmsman
SS Mary Rose

Dr. Ford Kirschler
Chief of Operations
SS Mary Rose

Rueben Gregnol
Captain
SS Mary Rose

Valiyi Uhin
Second Officer
SS Mary Rose

Jinx Jorasco
Chief Of Science
SS Mary Rose

 

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