I have a Bad Idea...
Posted on Thu Jan 24th, 2019 @ 9:23am by Captain Christopher James & Captain Charlotte Reynolds V1 & Ensign Claire Lafayette & Master Chief Petty Officer Amelia Redgrave & Lieutenant Michaela Holland & Lieutenant Commander Maralen Seitha & Lieutenant Elias Lindholm & Lieutenant Dante Rawlins V1 & Lieutenant Caroline Isley & Lieutenant Commander Niamh O'Donoghue V1 & Ensign K'Muss & Ensign Thyra Sh'shraaqir V1 & Lieutenant Ian Acainus & Lieutenant Commander Summer Gallagher & Lieutenant Andromeda Sheffield Dr
Episode 4: Fires of Arcadia
Location: Promenade Pier, Starbase Arcadia
Timeline: MD3 Night
Captain Reynolds looked out over the rest of Starbase Arcadia. It was fully night now on the station, and fires and phaser flashes could be seen reflecting in the windows of the distant command tower. But thankfully, their small neck of the woods had remained quiet and peaceful. That wasn’t sustainable though. Eventually, they’d be confronted by the infected crew. And even if the rest of the station staff managed to fight them off, Charlotte wasn’t comfortable waiting on the sidelines any longer. She’d already held off on her natural instinct to act rashly. She wasn’t about to wait any longer.
She, like the rest of her gathered staff and honorary extras, had raided a neighboring clothing store. She’d donned a pair of jeans, a dark green top, and a brown jacket. Her phaser was now openly slung to her hip, with the rifle across her back. Her hair was tied back in a simple ponytail. No time for flourishes.
She turned to address the group, noting how many were eagerly awaiting her orders. Even Captain James has ceded some authority, since his ship has already left the station. This was her group to lead. “Alright, you all know the situation. We have people trapped here that need a safe place to stay. And we need to stop those things from launching the Indomitable. Those two objectives are relatively counter to each other. But I think I have an idea that can solve both at once. It’s a reckless idea. Downright stupid even. It’d require a half dozen things to work in succession to even have a chance of succeeding.” She paused for dramatic effect more than anything else. “But we need a safe place to store these people, and I can think of one place where there are, without question, no parasites. Because right now, no organic matter is allowed there.”
Dante puzzled over the captain's words for a few moments, and then his eyes lit up. The excitement faded fast, however, as he turned to look at her. "Well, I mean, you are certainly not wrong about there being no parasites, but how would we keep anyone alive as the sweep went through the Defiant?", he asked, completely confused as to what the rest of her plan could possible entail.
“Plus there are armed guards at each of the docking ports,” Captain James piped in. “So we can’t exactly take these people to a port and turn it off.”
“I know. Like I said, there would be a lot of moving pieces.” Charlotte said. She crossed her arms thinking for a minute. “Obviously, we’d need to disable the baryon emitter, preferably in a way that makes it appear the sweep is still happening.”
Maralen thought about the problem for a moment, letting his strategic mind work it over silently. "That could be arranged, but I would need access to the control system for the emitter." he said thoughtfully. "The optimal would be directly, as in at the control board for it, but I could do it remotely if necessary." The problem with that method, of course, was that if his hack was discovered, it would be that much harder for him to counter any measures taken against his work.
Isley listened to the captain and the others. She was in her uniform, standing next to Holland. There weren't too many things that could be mistaken for a Baryon scan, so she was pretty sure that this was a computer and not sciences issue. They needed to find a way to fool the computer into thinking the scan was still going. They weren't going to be able to substitute a different type of particle. "How hard would it be for us to get access to the main control board?" she asked.
"Pretty hard, given that you could kill off an entire crew with a baryon sweep, I doubt there's more one or two consoles with the authority to execute one. One in station operations, of course, then perhaps another in docking control. Both are of course heavily staffed and guarded... though who knows what's going on there now. You'd also need administrator level clearance to access those functions, which only a handful of officers would have. Gaining unauthorized access would be... very difficult, I'd imagine." It had been all Michaela could do to keep her response coherent, and not one of the congested, half-baked tech rants she was prone to when her nerves were on edge. Perhaps Isley standing next to her was a calming influence. Or perhaps she was building up a tolerance to crisis situations.
When the Engineer spoke up, Charlotte noticed for the first time that she was in uniform...but not in her usual color. She raised an eyebrow, looking the woman over. Her blue uniform fit her well, but not perfectly. And it was a remarkably close match to the one the science officer next to her was wearing. Charlotte gently teased her. “Get lost on the way to the closet today, Lieutenant?”
Michaela had of course been keenly aware that she was not wearing her usual colors. She'd been expecting someone to say something, but that didn't mean she had a good answer already prepared. "Hey, at least I'm in... uniform... ma'am." She said, awkwardly, and with immediate regret. IT was only just the other night they'd been out playing pool. This was one of the perils of fraternization... overstepping boundaries at the wrong time and in the wrong place. After her remark she at least had the good graces to blush.
"I'm only kidding. I'm impressed anyone is even in uniform," Charlotte said, trying to convey that her comment was only in jest. "But I agree, it's likely to be quite difficult. I'll supply you with all the admin codes I can and whatever else seems relevant. Worst case scenario, fry the damn thing and we'll deal with the consequences later. I'd rather have the device destroyed than risk them turning it back on once we're aboard."
Charlotte continued. “Next, we’re going to need to warn the externally docked ships about the situation. They can be ready if the Indomitable launches before we can stop it.”
Thyra got up. "I can do that, captain. There is a terminal not far from here. Can try open up the communication system to get a connection to all outside docked ships. But I may need to boost the signal locally." She turned to K'Muss. "Can you help me?" She asked him. "I could use a little assistance."
'Sure," Kit replied. "I may have a few tricks."
“Sounds like a plan,” Charlotte replied. “I, personally, will be using my command override to get back aboard Defiant. But that’s going to require the baryon sweep to have been deactivated and I’m going to need someone one to disable the transporter jammer or my pattern will be scattered across the star system.”
Claire Lafayette cleared her throat. She didn't love the idea of having to get to such a dangerous location. But the lives of the crew depended on it. "I can get the emitter down, but I'm no good with a phaser. I'd need somebody to cover my back."
"I've gotten pretty good with a phaser," Ian spoke up, "and maybe I can talk our way out of a situation if I have to."
Dante shook his head, "No, it would be best if it was me. I've got experience in ops, and Claire is used to the computer systems. Together we'd have a pretty good chance to take the jammer offline and get it done quickly.", he said, looking to the captain to make the final decision.
“You can both escort her. 2 phasers is better than one,” Charlotte replied. “But Lt. Acainus, the station has been taken over by body-snatching parasites who very nearly killed the Federation President, myself, and countless others. You won’t be talking them down. If somebody comes after the three of you with aggression, you shoot to kill.”
Claire looked at her two escorts. “The more the merrier, I suppose,” she said with a smile.
"Understood, Captain.", Dante replied. Turning to the others, "I'm ready to head out whenever you are.", he said, hefting the phaser in his left hand and making sure it was still set to kill. "Don't forget, what used to be the people we encounter is gone. Don't hesitate to shoot, they won't give you a second chance.", he added.
"Understood as well, Captian." Ian said with a grim smile and with a nod to Dante, "No prisoners, and I have no plans to be turned into one of those."
“Once I’m aboard, I’m going to need a small team to beam the civilians aboard and get Defiant back in fighting condition. You're probably going to want to get to the station transporters. It's the only way we can move that many people fast enough,” the captain replied. “If something goes wrong, Defiant might be the only ship that can truly take on the Indomitable.”
Niamh stepped through the group to get a clearer view of Charlotte, "I'd like to assist with the Civilians," she volunteered. Unlike a few of the others, she'd not bother to change and was still wearing her Arcadia duty uniform, "I can also assist your medical department with getting things up and running too" she offered eagerly, the day had been long and hard and she'd had just about enough of feeling so vulnerable. Getting the civilians out of harm's way would go a long way to relieve some of the pressure.
Elias stepped forward as well, "I'll go with them as well Captain. Its best in case we come under fire." Elias felt that his skills would be best used getting those that couldn't fend for themselves to safety."
Andie inclined her head. "I am no good at combat captain. I am.better with the civilans as well."
Amelia Redgrave stepped forward. She planned to stay close to her new friend. “I’ll go with you. Having more skilled marksmen can’t hurt.”
Charlotte sighed. She didn’t like the idea of this next one. “And lastly, we’re going to need someone to override the station defenses and exit hatch system. Otherwise we’ll be sitting ducks and the internal defenses will have plenty of time to pick us apart. But the controls are in the command tower, likely the most guarded part of the station.”
“I can do it,” Captain James spoke up. “I was already thinking about going after the Admiral, to see if she’s in charge of all this. Those controls are also in the command tower. It’d be on my way. It should make a decent distraction from what you’re doing.”
Summer listened to the conversation. "I can get people into the tower." She said. "Be cramped but I can do it."
"And I've got the combat training still fresh in my head. I'll go with them, if they'll have me. An extra pair of eyes, and another phaser can't hurt. Plus, I make a pretty big target if things go south, I can at least give them a better chance of succeeding." Jovani replied.
Charlotte nodded. "Alright, everyone. We've got work to do."