Starbase Heist Committee
Posted on Mon Nov 19th, 2018 @ 11:25am by Captain Christopher James & Captain Charlotte Reynolds & Commander Gerald Holmes & Lieutenant Commander Kenna Wolff & Lieutenant Michaela Holland & Lieutenant Maralen Seitha & Lieutenant Elias Lindholm & Lieutenant Caroline Isley & Lieutenant Ian Acainus & Lieutenant Commander Summer Gallagher
Episode 3: Foxes and Henhouses
Location: Briefing Room, USS Defiant
Timeline: MD 23
Charlotte sat at the head of the table, reviewing the information they had. She was more convinced than ever that the creatures had infiltrated Starfleet. What she wasn’t sure about was how to proceed.
She’d summoned her command team and the Artemis team. Hopefully, they could put this plan together.
Not surprisingly, Maralen was first to arrive, save for the captain. As he entered, he gave her a smile and a nod. "Hello, Captain." he greeted. He knew the situation was serious, and he was serious about it, but that did not mean that he needed to be cold and unfeeling before the meeting. She had earned better than that from him. "How are you feeling?" he asked as he moved to sit in the chair to her direct right, setting his mug of tea and PADD on the table before him as he sat.
“Better. A lot better actually,” she said with a smile. “I think the combination of sleep and copious amounts of medication has me back in shape.”
Michaela had been expecting some sort of meeting, but she still didn't have a complete picture on what would be discussed. She'd been tasked with making the cloaking device operational, then dealing with the resulting damage control after escaping from the Tholian web. She'd heard about what had happened to the captain first-hand, but she still knew little about the away team's discoveries. After all, they'd been more concerned with escaping during the last meeting.
Not wanting to interrupt anyone, Michaela waved to Maralen and Charlotte as she took a seat. Realizing she'd forgotten to bring something to sip on, she busied herself with pouring a glass of water from the pitcher on the table.
Maralen was about to respond to Charlotte when he saw another officer enter. He caught the wave and smiled. "Hello again. How are you this morning?" He was trying to connect with her, with all of this crew. As their new Executive Officer, he needed to give them reason to trust him other than his rank and position. In his experience, that only meant that one had to obey you, not that they had to trust you.
"Hi Lieutenant, I'm doing well, thank you." Michaela said to Maralen. She still didn't know much about the new first officer, but it was good to see the role filled by someone from within the crew. They had worked well together figuring out the cloaking device when Seitha had just been the chief of operations.
Jerry entered the room with a cup of black coffee in hand. He paused for a moment seeing someone, he presumed the new XO, sitting in his usual seat immediately to the Captain's right. Mainly as a power play mind game on everyone else to exaggerate his friendship to the Captain especially when he wasn't the XO anymore. He smirked inwardly, at least he still outranked everyone else in the room including the new XO with the exception of the Captain. Captains once Chris entered the room. That still felt weird to him. He was surprised that he hadn't subconsciously found a way to get himself demoted already by getting himself into trouble. Was he starting to settle down in his older age, he wondered as he opted to take a seat in the middle on the window side of the table. He disliked having his back to the doors, that usually made him feel paranoid a bit.
Kenna slipped in silently and took a seat at the back.
Ian walked in carrying his proverbial cup of hot chocolate. He had some vague idea what the meeting was supposed to be about, though he wasn't sure of the details. He didn't know what he could contribute, he was a diplomat, not a spy, but he had shown up and was determined to do what he could to help.
He nodded at Jerry and the Captains, both old and new and took his seat.
Caroline Isley arrived and looked around. This wasn't the group she expected, so her eyebrows rose briefly before she smoothed out her uniform and took a seat toward the end of the table. She was now very curious what this was going to be about.
Elias entered the conference room and took his seat at the midpoint of the table. He set his mug of coffee down on the table after taking a sip. He made sure to sit straight and attentive and faced Captain James since he was leading the briefing.
Captain James entered the room, taking a seat at the far end of the table. It was odd to be addressing this meeting instead of leading it. But Defiant had her mission, he had his. "Hello everyone. I'll get right to the point. As you all know by now, we encountered these parasites aboard the Tholian ship," he said, pulling up a holoimage of the creature. "They attach themselves to the brainstem...or closest equivalent and exert control over the host. You also likely know that one such creature infected Ensign Thiriv and made an attempt on Captain Reynolds's life."
He paused for a moment, switching the image to a DNA strain. "What you likely don't know is that the Artemis has uncovered evidence of an infiltration of Klingon leadership. At least one high ranking general appears to be host to one of these beings."
Maralen listened quietly, absorbing the information. Unfortunately, due to their finding the dead Klingon on the Tholian ship, he had known that the Empire had been infiltrated. What was new information for him was that one of their generals was host. It did not surprise him, however. That was a good strategy. These things appeared to be very intelligent, and good strategists. The question was... how many more were there? All right, questions. How many and how high up the command chain did it go in Starfleet? He felt his tail fur start to rise as he thought about the damage that could be done by these things to the Federation if they did not stop it. He said nothing, though, yet, watching those around him for their reactions. His Shield of Calm was securely in place, offering that steady calm to any who needed it.
Isley knew some of this information since she had participated in the research on the parasitic creature. But she did have a question. "Do we think these entities are responsible for some Klingon policy?"
"It's hard to be sure," Charlotte said pensively. "Klingon policy doesn't need too much assistance to decide war is a good idea. But it certainly seems plausible. If these entities wanted to weaken the major Beta Quadrant powers, it'd be a good approach. Infiltrating the Tholians is an odd choice though. They're potent, but nowhere near as large a power as the Klingons or the Federation."
Though Michaela did her best to pay attention to what was being said, she couldn't help but think about her father, who was an admiral in Starfleet. Granted, he wasn't a very high ranking one, but his level of command had moved beyond a single starship. Could... had he been taken over by one of those things? And would she even know if he had? She kept quiet for the time being. A couple of questions were forming in her mind, but it seemed too early in their investigation for answers.
"That is true, Captain." Maralen said to Charlotte. "Their introduction into the Tholians might have been either a diversion or merely an unintended event that they decided to take advantage of." he offered an alternate theory as to why they would take the Tholians.
"Agreed," Charlotte replied, furrowing her brow a little. The Tholian angle still didn't make a ton of sense to her. "Not sure anything is clear there yet."
"Regardless, we need to find out what is going on. Upon our return to Arcadia, we need to assume everyone is a threat. Which is why I've called this meeting," Charlotte said. "We're going to need to subtly gain access to internal information on the Starbase. We'll need to pull in their medical records, internal sensor scans, crew logs, you name it. Maralen, Micheala, I'll be tasking you with splicing into the station's systems so we can monitor from here. Kenna, Elias, I'll need you to gain in-person access to the system's we can't splice. Jerry, we could really use access to their medical records."
Michaela acknowledged the order, her expression pensive and difficult to read. She didn't like the idea of conducting espionage against Starfleet, and their own home port, but for the moment it seemed they had little other choice. Accessing some of the station's systems without being detected would be difficult, but at least they'd be dealing with technology and systems they were already familiar with. Strangely, that was less concerning than their recent efforts with the cloaking device.
Elias nodded and thought before speaking, "Do we know which systems we will need to infiltrate?"
Charlotte shook her head. "Honestly not sure. Internal sensors would be a good start. Looking for gaps in the security network couldn't hurt either. Outside of that, operate at your discretion."
"My credentials can easily grant me access to their medical records. Though should they notice and I get caught looking into records of patients that aren't mine, it could lead into a whole heap of trouble. For one Doctor's can get territorial about their patients files, especially for reasons of Doctor/Patient confidentiality. I can get slapped with a unprofessional conduct charge that could land me back in a brig and/or revoke my medical license," Jerry warned his commanding officer. He added with a smirk, "That being said... Can any tech geniuses create a scrubber program to erase my tracks?"
Maralen frowned thoughtfully, the tip of his tail tapping against his hip. Its length was coiled around his waist, but the tip was not to be silenced. "It can be done, but it would need to be done in real-time as you move through the system." he stated, his tone thoughtful.
"We should also look at any exobiology research that we can find," Isley said. "I'm interested to see if any our data has been removed or altered. It seems odd that we know so little about these things and I wonder if someone is manipulating our scientists or reports."
Charlotte nodded. "That's an excellent angle, Lieutenant Isley. Let me know what you find."
"I will look into some contacts on the station Sirs." Kenna said softly. "I will let you know."
"Well," Charlotte began. "We dock in about 16 hours. Everyone get some rest. Dismissed."