The Mess, Mess
Posted on Fri Aug 26th, 2022 @ 1:45am by Captain Björn Kodak & Lieutenant Margarar & Lieutenant Nico Oliveria & Lieutenant Mothim-Ril & Lieutenant Timmoz & Petty Officer 1st Class Kotri Tesren & Petty Officer 1st Class Amber Hartree & Petty Officer 2nd Class Joselyn Brand
Echoes and Effigies
Location: Mess Hall
Timeline: Mission Day 3 at 2000
[The Mess Hall]
[MD 3: 2000 Hours]
Mothim was not easily shaken.
Despite the strange occurrence earlier, the Aurelian still showed up in the mess hall for lunch. No way was he going to miss lunch - especially not if he felt a molt coming on. That being said, he was a bit late for his lunch... the mess hall was mostly cleared out by now. Oh well. More seats to choose from. The scientist ruffled his feathers and smoothed them back into position as he approached the replicator, and once he had a bowl of pasta he sat down by himself at the tallest table he could find.
He did not, however, get to eat said pasta.
Mothim gave a small sigh as an announcement started playing through the mess hall:
"This is Captain Kodak to all hands. We've encountered a medical threat that necessitates locking down the crew and sheltering in place until it's safe to come out. Wherever you are, stay put. If you're currently on your way somewhere, find the closest place to shelter for the time being. Once conditions are once again safe, we will communicate a lift to the lockdown. This is not a drill. Kodak out."
A medical threat... perhaps this related to what Mothim had seen earlier. Maybe medical had found the Gorn and pulled him aside for testing. Or maybe there was some sort of anomaly somewhere on the ship that duplicated crew members. Mothim had no idea. And as curious as he was, this - for now - was in medical's hands. They'd call him up if they needed them. Carefully, the Aurelian picked up the bowl of pasta and swallowed it all in one gulp. One advantage - or disadvantage, depending on how you looked at it - of being avian was that he didn't need to chew. He didn't have teeth after all. Only after putting the dirty dish back into the replicator to dispose of it did Mothim turn around to see who else was here in the mess hall with him.
The lean musculature that was the Orion Timmoz had stepped into the Mess when the announcement came overhead. And immediately, his eyebrow raised. He'd been off duty for less than twenty minutes: enough time to go to the Waverider and change out of that blasted V'draysh uniform and into something more him. He enjoyed the patient yet slightly perturbed look of gazes shifting away when they noticed green biceps and ropy arms in an open vest. And the gaudiness of a copper armband and an equally copper necklace.
The Orion, though, did not smile. Twenty minutes was little time to distance himself from some very strange orders. Something about it did not sit well. Orions had a concept of luck and fortune. But in a world of duplicity, one learned that a string of strangeness was never a good thing. Timmoz met eyes with the Aurelian. The last time they'd seen one another was on a Talbeethian-induced trip to his past. Timmoz nodded once at the avianoid. His eyes sidled to the apprehension of the few others in the room and then, finally, to the one he'd come in here for in the first place: Oliveria.
His hand twitched into a fist and released at the creeping feeling of being a caged animal. Predators did not like that.
When the announcement came through, the engineer was already levering himself out of his chair to wave Timmoz over, "I wonder what kind of medical event?" he asked aloud as he padded over to the verdant pilot. "You think we should try to call the bridge? I should check on engineering, shouldn't I?" He asked nervously, chewing his lip.
Timmoz sent a glance at Mothim to join he and his Ashka. Nico was already on his feet and when Timmoz closed half the distance, he answered. His voice was low, he scratched the dimple in his angular cheek, as his eyes skirted from the curious crewmen around them. "Yes," he said with a darkness to his voice. "I just came from the Bridge. We're on a course to nowhere. But Kodak insisted on it." He gestured at Nico with a finger, "Did you bring orders from Pathfinder Station for us to rendezvous with a Federation ship?"
Mothim's eyes met Timmoz's when the Orion glanced over. The Aurelian shrugged, and walked over to join the other two. Mothim rarely turned down an invitation to join in a conversation; even the most simple social interaction might yield curious, scientific results. "Hello~" He greeted Timmoz and the human. "How's your day going?" He asked, as if oblivious to what was going on around them.
Timmoz had leaned his elbow on his arm, that arm lashed at the front of his torso. He picked at his lip, his eyes intent on Nico almost like this was an inquisition. His leanness swiveled and he again regarded the Aurelian. "Troubling. Something is off." He mumured. "And yours?" He asked as if remembering his manners.
Interjecting, halting, nervous, "Um... orders... no, I mean, they would have been given to me, but even if not, Dravor would have mentioned them." Nico paused to slap his combadge, but the chirp was dull. The engineer didn't call to engineering as intended and instead looked to the Orion, "Communications are down. Medical emergencies don't cause comms blackouts. Those come from the bridge." His eyes darted between the three, and his smile almost returned. Certainly, there was a tugging of the lips, "Three Lieutenants, it seems, who's in charge?"
Margarar had been sitting quietly by herself in the Mess Hall. She was small, so when she did not make noise or want to be seen, she often could be overlooked. Of course, much of the crew did not care for her, so being overlooked was probably a good thing. And now that the Chief Engineer was here, she had less time to be on duty at the same time as troublesome people, like Noah. On the other hand, it was relieving that she was no longer primarily in charge. She was happier taking orders. Then, she knew where she stood.
However, the hairs on the side of her face stuck out. Something was wrong. When she saw the others reaching for their commbadges and getting no response, she knew that something was wrong. Could this all be related to the hologram anomalies? Spotting the closest thing that Margarar could consider a friend on this ship, she approached Timmoz and asked, "What is wrong? By your reactions, should I guess that communications are down? That should not normally happen."
For a moment, Timmoz lost his Cluros. His mouth formed a thin line as he uttered an Orion curse. "I knew it..." He groused in a husked, dangerous sound. As the small Antican approached, Timmoz's dark eyes fixed on her. "Four lieutenants," he corrected the Engineer. "No. Something is very wrong," he clarified. "Who locks down communications during an emergency situation?" He added pointedly.
"I was on the Bridge before I came here. Kodak..." And he hesitated at the name, "Ordered an inexplicable course change. When I asked him if I had the correct coordinates he said yes. We were to meet another Federation ship. When I scanned, there were no Federation ships within a month of travel. When I asked him where the orders came from," Timmoz looked at Nico. "He said he got them from you, via Pathfinder Station."
Margarar turned her face towards Lieutenant Oliveria, growling gutturally wondering who the liar was. Liars had no place in Starfleet and she would root them out of her tribe if necessary.
"I think I would defer to Lieutenant Oliveria in this situation," Mothim responded. "After all, engineering usually takes precedence in emergency situations." There were far, far more cases of engineering-related emergencies than there were scientific ones. "I wonder if this has to do with Lieutenant Gar'rath... I saw two copies of him earlier and they were arguing with each other. Would certainly explain the possible medical issue. And maybe a reason to cut comms for a bit - maybe one of the Gar'raths was trying to, I don't know, pull rank on some of the ops officers and try to get them to take sides." Despite the scenarios that Mothim suggested, he still didn't seem too worried - more fascinated than worried.
"Two copies of the Gorn?" Timmoz did not understand but he did not like the sound of that. One was... plenty. Two took all the Meridor and left none for him. Timmoz pushed through. "That doesn't explain why the Captain explicitly lied to me on the Bridge." He shrugged stiffly, "I concede that there are times I need not know what is happening. That is the way of things. But that is not Kodak's usual way. He omits details." Timmoz gestured in a downward sweep of fingers, "But he does not lie. Perhaps it is not only Gar'ath that has a double."
With a terse breath, Timmoz did concur: "Oliveria then."
The Antican spoke up, "I had a double on the holodeck and our cadet also claims to have had a double. There is something odd going on here and there's not a lot of consistency to when and where these doubles appear. But what is certain is that nobody has had one twice." She paced away and then back like a trapped animal but at the same time, she was glad that it was not her making decisions for the moment.
"Is that a certainty?" Mothim asked with a shrug. "Just because we haven't seen somebody have one twice, doesn't mean its not possible." The Aurelian paused for a moment to think. "I wonder just how similar to ourselves our doubles our. Myself, at least, well, science is such an integral part of who I am that if my double - if I had a double that is - were to have any claim at being me, he would trying his hardest to figure out what was going on right now. Like I am. Maybe I am the double." The avian trilled with amusement. "But you said the Captain was acting off. So either he is acting off or his double is acting off. Either one is a problem. Good thing I'm not with the security department."
"Your sense of humor escapes me," Timmoz said pointedly at the Aurelian. "Let's have fewer riddles and conjectures. Our ship has been compromised and we can't assume this lockdown is real. At the very least we need to re-establish communications and try to reach other sections." He glanced at the gathering, "If I was still Syndicate and attempting to take your ship the first thing I would have done would have been to disrupt your ability to coordinate. I would have seized the important areas of your ship and made sure your crew couldn't move around to oppose my boarding parties."
"You have all just been drafted," Timmoz raised his voice to the other Yeomans in the room. "Assist Lieutenant Margarar in opening this door. Mothim, Nico. We need to get communications back online."
Petty Officer Kotri Tesren had been standing on the perimeter of the Lieutenants, listening into and sharing the concerns expressed. As a security officer, her first thought was to do her duty: do as the Captain commanded and stay put. But if it wasn't really the Captain giving the orders, staying put could be the worst thing they could do. As she was drafted by Timmoz to work on the doors, the woman nodded crisply and said, "Aye sir." She left off the About time, too comment that flashed through her brain.
Moving to the rear of the mess, Kotri found an emergency storage locker and opened it, smiling upon what she saw. "Peldor joi," she whispered to herself, looking down at a medical kit, an engineering kit, and two Type II hand phasers. There were emergency rations as well, though the Bajoran left those be for the time being. They probably weren't going to be here long enough to need them -- or at least, that's what Tesren hoped. Coming back around to the group, she kept one phaser for herself and placed the rest of the spoils on a table.
"Who wants what?" Kotri asked. "And next time the Gratitude Festival rolls around, remind me to be thankful for Starfleet stashing emergency supplies in so many public places," she snarked sarcastically. "Lieutenant Margarar, where did you want to start?" she asked the Antican.
Timmoz took the phaser.
Joselyn Brand and Amber Hartree were more hesitant yet milled to the doors. Brand glanced back as Kotri had- as so typical- gone into dynamo mode. "Well the Lieutenants right about one thing," Amber said. The redhead shook her head, "They never close off communications during a medical lockdown. That's against Starfleet Medical Regulations. Medical Response Teams need full comms access to coordinate as they spread out and make sure everyone gets to quarantine. And as far as I can tell, nobody activated the EMRTs. My badge would've gone off."
Nico nodded to Timmoz as he removed his combadge to work on establishing a local communications network, "Hey, I thought I was in charge, Mister Timmoz?" He winked to show he was kidding and remind folks he was indeed the officer in charge. With a few tweaks of the micro spanner, Nico put his commbadge into primary mode, allowing it to function as a communication hub, "Everyone tap your combadge five times please to put them in away team mode. That will allow us to communicate with each other over short distances. Unfortunately, ship comms are down, and I can't restore them here. I need to be in engineering to accomplish that, and we are very much stuck here." His tricorder trilled away as he scanned the door in thought.
The Orion smirked his Cluros. "I was taking your silence as you were considering I was right about your Dark Ages," he quipped back. He did as instructed, plucking his commbadge off his chest. In his lime palm, he tapped it five times. The Orion fixed his badge back to his chest. "What range will we have with these now?"
"However," the Engineer chucked a few moments later, "I think I might be able to capitalize on your weirdness Timmoz." Tricorder, still trilling, Nico switched to holo mode bringing up a larger holographic display in front of him. Using his other hand, Nico swiped and tapped through several screens before a green Connected box appeared to hang in the air, "Tsk Tsk, you left the Waverider powered up." Looking up, he smiled at the group, "It is very easy to forget locking out shuttles to keep them from being powered up wouldn't work on a powered shuttle. I suggest we use the Waverider's transporters to head for Engineering, but I am open to other suggestions." Pausing, he waited for anyone to speak up.
Timmoz's eyes dropped, his green skin flushing a darker shade. But his Cluros didn't fail him. "I see." He tapped his badge, "Timmoz to Waverider Control. Lock pattern buffers on the seven personnel in the Mess Hall. Beam us directly to Main Engineering."
"Acknowledged," came the voice of the computer, by way of the Waverider.
Golden sparkles of light embraced the first two members to transport, given that the Waverider's transport capability was limited to two at a time. They vanished in a fading haze only for two more of the party's members to be enveloped next. The process repeated until all seven of the team members found themselves standing in the engine room, facing the warp core as it spanned three decks -- one above and one below the main thoroughfare.
TO BE CONTINUED...
=/\= A joint post by... =/\=
Chief Science Officer
Lieutenant Nico Oliveria
Assistant Chief Engineer
Chief Flight Controller
Petty Officer 1st Class Kotri Tesren (NPC)
Petty Officer 1st Class Amber Hartree (NPC)
Petty Officer 2nd Class Joselyn Brand (NPC)