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Engineering a Solution

Posted on Sun Sep 4th, 2022 @ 10:34pm by Lieutenant Commander Emni t'Nai & Captain Björn Kodak & Lieutenant Nico Oliveria & Lieutenant Margarar & Lieutenant Mothim-Ril & Lieutenant JG Chiara MD, PharmD & Lieutenant Timmoz & Petty Officer 1st Class Kotri Tesren & Petty Officer 1st Class Amber Hartree & Petty Officer 2nd Class Joselyn Brand

Mission: Echoes and Effigies
Location: Main Engineering
Timeline: Mission Day 3 at 2015

[Main Engineering]
[MD 3: 2015 hours]

A young Vulcan approached the party who'd just beamed in, clasping his hands behind his back. "Sirs," Ensign Ranorak greeted Oliveria, Margarar, Mothim, and Timmoz. A nod was given to the rest of the team. "Has the danger passed then?" he wondered, arching an eyebrow. "Cadet Balsam and I have been keeping watch here and --"

"H-how did you get here?" Balsam cut in, coming over himself. He'd been sitting at one of the control stations near the Master Display Console when the team had beamed in. "Communications are down, so you couldn't have contacted a transporter room..." The cadet looked confused, reaching a hand up to run it through his shocks of dark hair.

Recognizing the cadet from Timmoz's description, Nico smiled and touched a finger to his combadge, "Primary mode, Cadet." Shifting his gaze towards the Vulcan, he set off for his console, "Unfortunately, no, Ensign, it seems the danger has not passed. As a group, we realized there was more than enough reason to posit that the Captain may have been compromised. Therefore we decided Engineering was the best place to confirm those assumptions without violating the Captain's orders as this is a shelter location."

Kotri, meanwhile, left filling Ranorak and Balsam in up to the higher ranks, deciding instead to look around, her phaser held at the ready. "Anyone else here?" she asked over her shoulder, eyeing the engine room up and down and looking in the crannies for any one else who might be around.

"It's j-j-just us," Balsam replied nervously, looking towards the woman.

"Alright," Kotri nodded, not putting her phaser away but dropping it from arm's length. "Orders, sir?" she asked, looking to Oliveria. Of the four Lieutenants, he seemed to be the one in charge.

"Just to be safe, secure the room as best you can," Nico responded to Kotri as he began tapping at the console, "Brand, you assist. Hartree, see if you can get into the medical database. Maybe we will find out there is an outbreak of some sort."

Turning to the Lieutenants, he continued doling out orders, "Mothim, patch into the internal sensors and see if you can locate the Captain. He's got a pretty unique biosignature, after all. Margarar, you and Ranorak see about bringing us to a stop seems odd to be warping around the DQ with everyone locked down, no?" Pausing his eyes landed on the Orion, "Prepare for the worst, Mr. Timmoz. I want us to be ready to take the fight elsewhere if needed."

He allowed his eyes to linger on his Ashka's for a moment before shifting to the Cadet. Nico wasn't as confident in his leadership abilities as the others were but continued playing his part as he pointed to his console, "And, how about you you assist me in getting comms online so we can contact the Captain?"

Timmoz raised his hand and then a finger to pause Nico. "You got here fast, Cadet," he addressed the skittish Midshipman. "How was your poker game?"

"T-turned out to be a game where you talk about s-sexual stuff," the cadet murmured back, eyes downcast. "I didn't feel comfortable and since it was in my quarters, I didn't want to be rude by staying in my r-room. So I excused myself and came here to work on something. That's when the lockdown order c-came through," he said, looking up again at Timmoz. "I should probably do wh-what Chief Oliveria asked, sir. Excuse me," he said, nodding before moving to assist as ordered.

Kotri had already established that the main level was clear, so next up was the upper deck of the engine room. Moving to the lift, she assumed a defensive position -- weapon again up -- as the plating she stood on rose beneath her. She disappeared from view as she began walking about the upper floor, checking and re-checking the room for threats.

"Step away from the console," Timmoz stated firmly to Noah. And he raised the phaser, producing it from the snug sleeve on his hip. "Cadet," he said almost mockingly. "By all means, please. Tell us everything about your," and he smirked, his eyes a predatory dance. "Experiment. What's it for? When did you begin it? What resources do you need here in Engineering that you can't get from the computer core? Why don't you bring up the program for us to see."

"Wh-why are you acting like th-this?" Balsam stammered, hands coming to a stop over the control surface of his console. He moved away as directed, hands held up submissively. "I-I didn't say it was an experiment, I said it was a pr-project. I've been helping Sheld--err, Ensign Parsons," he corrected himself, "with a holographic monitoring matrix for warp core stability. I can program Index from the computer core but n-needed to in-interface with the warp core. I wanted to check with someone higher up before I started m-monkeying around with the control linkages."

"It's true, sir," the Vulcan spoke up from his console, not far away. "The cadet did come here asking about the control linkages. I was assisting him," Ranorak confirmed, "before all of you beamed in. Has the cadet done something wrong?" His right eyebrow arched in that so-very-Vulcan way, eyes expectant.

Timmoz looked at the Vulcan Ranorak with a brief glance. "Did he arrive before or just after the Lockdown? The ship has been compromised and the Bridge may have been taken. Several crew members have been duplicated somehow." He looked back at Noah. "You are suspect at the moment, Cadet. I've never known Balsam to be squeamish. And your activities are out of the ordinary. if you're running a project it can wait until we have restored control over the ship." Timmoz raised his chin some. "So you and I can wait and be superfluous. We have the Chief Engineer and the Assistant Chief in the room to help Ranorak."

He gestured with the phaser and began to walk himself.

"He came in before the lockdown," Ranorak replied simply, watching the green-skinned helmsman direct the cadet -- at phaser-point -- across the way. Given Timmoz' explanation, the Vulcan could understand the man's suspicions but chose not to genuflect further. He did, after all, have orders to follow. "Lieutenant," he asked of the Antican, "where should we begin?"

Margarar let her gaze linger heavily on suspect Noah. I knew that he was nothing but trouble. "I want to know why the Cadet was even permitted to link the holographic monitoring matrix with the warp core without going through the proper channels. Just what did you think that you were going to achieve? The systems are incompatible and serve no purpose in being linked," the Antican growled at the Cadet.

She then looked over at the Chief and said, "We have to undo whatever this cadet did."

Noah moved as directed, hands still up. "I un-understand why you're suspicious. We already know there's been a du-duplicate of me r-running around the ship. I d-don't blame you for b-being extra cautious, Lieutenant," the stick-bug of a human said, his tone respectful despite his case of the stammers. With nothing else he was allowed to do, the cadet tried to spark conversation. "H-how did you beam in like that? Can we maybe b-beam someone to the Bridge?"

Timmoz slowly shook his head. "Conservation and consolidation of resources, Cadet. There's nothing we need on the Bridge that we can't get to in Engineering. You can put your hands down. I'm detaining you. I don't plan to shoot unless you give me a reason to." The Orion smiled. "We will be useless together."

"Al-alright," Noah replied, lowering his hands. "Sorry I can't be of more help, sir," he offered to Chief Oliveria, a lamented look on his face. As the team took to their respective tasks, the cadet watched with interest but deigned not to speak unless spoken to. Instead, he stood where Timmoz directed, out in the open part of the main level, away from any consoles. Putting his hands behind his back, he patiently waited as the team worked.

"I've got access to the Medical Database," Hartree stated aloud. The redhead was standing with Brand, both of their fingers the organized muscle memory flurry of Yeomans used to archive work. "The order for the Lockdown came from the Bridge. No one in medical signed off on it- Walsh, Bracco, Karim, not even Commander t'Nai. None of the quarantine protocols are in place." She twisted and looked at the gathering. "This looks like a security lockdown to me. There are forcefields blocking every section, but no containment fields are up. No biofilters are online."

"The code used to initiate the lockdown belonged to..." Brand frowned. "Captain Kodak." The towheaded woman scowled. "And it looks like all pathways for unlocking it are rerouted to the Bridge." She glanced at Timmoz and the officers. "And you're sure this isn't a legitimate lockdown?"

Hartree grimaced. She was thinking the same, despite the anomalies.

A sudden, unearthly howl came from Noah, his eyes incensed. He was looking up and away, as if he could see something else the rest of those in Engineering could not. "We didn't take you all for murderers, but murderers you apparently are!" he seethed, looking directly at Timmoz, who still held a phaser on him. "Fine, we can play it that way." With distortions that blanketed his whole body, the cadet disappeared from one location and reappeared in another: evidently a hologram rather than the real McCoy.

Noah was back at the master display console, fingers quickly running across the controls, leaning down and away to present less of a target. "We'll just lock you out of the --" Noah could not complete his sentence, however. For no discernible reason, the young man simply vanished where he stood, whatever he'd been trying to do gone undone.

Having heard the yell, Kotri slid down the ladder from the upper level and landed on her feet, twirling around with her phaser outstretched. But with the source of the wail vanishing into thin air, there was nothing to shoot. "What happened?" she asked, looking around to see if the hologram had appeared elsewhere, weapon still leveled.

Timmoz let the phaser in his hand slack. "I'd like to point out I didn't do that. So the question is. Who did?" He took little joy in being right about the Midshipman... apparently. But he found little sympathy for the decompiled hologram as well. He walked over to the console near Hartree and Brand. Lime fingers fell upon the keys. "The holo-grid's..." He frowned. "Offline. Is someone running a level one diagnostic on it?"

The singing flats of keys sounded under his fingers. "The diagnostic order came from junior crew quarters." He smirked. "Guess which group??" Timmoz glanced at Margarar.

Mothim shook his feathers back into position, them having been ruffled when the scientist opened his wings in an instinctual fear reaction to Noah's howl. This was getting much to combat-y for Mothim's sake, and a part of him really missed the time back when he was just an ensign scientist who had no sort of responsibility for figuring stuff like this out. He was a scientist; but more of a theorist than an experimenter. He wanted to hear about cool dangerous things, not necessarily experience them first hand.

"Sorry to interrupt," Mothim leaned down a bit to be closer to his crewmates. "But I did find the Captain's biosignature. He appears to be in the observation lounge, by the bridge."

"Are your scans accurate enough to tell if the Bridge has any life forms on it?" Hartree asked over her shoulder. She quickly returned, fingers busy, trying to dig deeper into sensor data that would indicate an outside threat. The bizarre outburst of the boy Jyl-eel had a crush on had disturbed her, yet Brand had stayed eerily cool.

"I mean," Mothim shrugged. "Normally they could. But there's something blocking me from the looking at the bridge... some kind of scattering field. Looks like t'Nai is in the observation lounge too, for what that's worth."

Stepping over to Mothim's console, Nico frowned, interpreting the data, "The field appears to be Federation, but it is being powered by some sort of alternate power supply, damn peculiar." He paused, tapping a finger against his upper lip in thought. Turning, he looked at the assembled group and unfurled his tricorder with practiced ease accessing the link with the Waverider. "Get your phasers ready, everyone, because I'm bringing everyone in the observation lounge here, starting with the Captain and XO. At least I hope it is them," he added as he finished imputing the commands.

Timmoz raised his eyebrow- and returned his phaser to the upright and ready position.

Kodak and t'Nai appeared in a shower of golden sparkles, resolving into solid figures as the transporter beam plunked them down and then let the pair go. The Chameloid's shining eyes looked about furtively, coming to rest on Timmoz leveling a phaser at them and Oliveria operating a tricorder. "Uh hello," the Captain rasped, seemingly a bit disoriented as Chiara appeared next, caught up in her own dance of twinkling motes. "Not that I'm not happy to see you," Kodak said to those assembled, "but how on Earth did you beam us out of there? With communications down, we figured we were stuck there for sure. I got one of the doors open but a force field barred the way from there," he explained. "Couldn't get into the Bridge," the man lamented.

"We used the Waverider," the tall Orion said, his phaser still vaguely pointed. "And we have evidence that some of our Junior Officers are working to circumvent the holo-grid. These beings seem to use it."

"Whoever they are," Yeoman Brand said in her dry tone, "They've got a hold of your voiceprint and authorization codes Captain Kodak."

"The duplicates were holograms," Kotri said, returning from her sweep of the lower floor. "Controlled by some kind of alien presence on the ship that's apparently in the computer. All clear and secured, by the way," she noted to Oliveria, who'd ordered her to do so.

"And the holograms have been shut down shipwide," Ensign Ranorak spoke up from his control console. "The junior officers Lieutenant Timmoz spoke of, I believe."

"Clever solution," the Captain smiled thinly at Timmoz. "And ah, that explains why I heard a lockdown order I didn't give," Kodak grumbled, his thoughts going back to the last couple of days as he soaked in the new information. "Two days ago, I was duplicated in Debbie's Diner. But my duplicate only seemed interested in talking to Andrew and Debbie. He quickly disappeared when I showed up for real, though," he said, giving the scenario some thought. "If they can use our appearance and authorization codes to fool the computer, that explains a lot. We--" He'd been about to say more when he realized Timmoz was still pointing a phaser in their general direction. "Is that necessary, Lieutenant?" Kodak asked, cat-like eyes focusing on the weapon. "If the holograms have been shut down, we're clearly not a threat, hmm?"

Slowly and carefully the Orion lowered the phaser. "So," he said as he pushed the phaser into the pocket holster on his hip, "The Bridge has a scattering field of some kind. Which prevents us from beaming there." he folded his arms with a sense of tension. "But as the Yeoman found out, your codes are rerouted to the Bridge. Our ability to regain control of the ship will be slow," he popped his eyebrows, stormy, under his curls. "At best. So how do we get to the Bridge?"

"We could beam into a Jeffries Tube near the bridge and manual climb our way through unless that is blocked as well," Margarar suggested.

Timmoz, having tightly folded his arms over his chest, nodded. "The Jefferies. Yes. And that would be only one force field to overcome. Not many." His eyes narrowed, "What about the escape pod off the Bridge?" He asked with a quirked brow. "It's a specialized pod I believe? Meant to help coordinate a regroup after an evacuation? It has independent computer systems, yes? And is tied to Bridge function?"

"Given what we've seen so far, I don't think we can trust anything tied into Bridge functions," Kodak lamented with a rasp, ruling out the escape pod as an option. "But we do need to get up there, I agree. I suggest two teams: Mr. Oliveria and Lieutenant Margarar, your team will work on getting this ship stopped at all costs. Wherever they're taking us, it can't be good. We're also going to need communications back up. Do as much as you can as quickly as you can," he nodded to the engineers.

Of course, he wanted to run to Timmoz and tell him to be careful, but that wouldn't have been professional, and so he nodded to the Captain and got to work, "Aye, sir," he responded. Turning to Margarar, he stepped back to his console, "Let's see if we can trigger a warp core shutdown. That will be the easiest way to quickly get us out of warp."

With a nod, Kodak turned then to t'Nai. "Commander, your team will be in charge of retaking the Bridge. As Lieutenant Margarar suggested, use the Waverider to beam into the Jeffries tube leading into the Bridge. Take Mr. Timmoz and Petty Officer Kotri with you. Hopefully you can force open the hatch and overload the force field with phasers. Once you're on the Bridge, disable the scattering field so I can beam in. I have a feeling only my voice print and verification codes can end the lockdown."

Emni had been silent throughout the update, standing just back from the Captain, mental defenses kept low to give herself the widest possible reach. She allowed herself a momentary swell of pride as she picked up each individual emotional signature. There was uncertainty there. Worry and nervousness as well. But on the whole the officers were calm, going through their tasks with the single-minded focus that was a hallmark of Starfleet officers. She nodded her understanding of her orders and turned to Timmoz and Kotri. "No point waiting, let's go."

The tall lime being nodded his head once in deference to the Tahedrin. "Let's make a small stop on the Waverider's pad. I have something that can uh." He grinned wolfishly, restraining a sense of villainous amusement. "Help with the hatch."

"Doctor Chiara," the Chameloid turned to her next, "I want you to set up a field hospital here. We have no idea what's happening in Sickbay and if the Bridge team gets injured, they'll need to beam back for care. Mr. Mothim, Petty Officer Hartree...I'd like you to help the Doctor by looking for emergency med kits and other supplies. Once you're all set up, please pitch in wherever else you can."

Chiara nodded while she looked around the space, deciding on an area to set up in. There was a cove that appeared to be out of the way and she started in that direction to check it out further.

Mothim nodded, slightly disappointed that he had no task that could not also be done by a Petty Officer. But oh well. Who really expected number crunching scientists to be good in a situation like this, anyway?

The redheaded Yeoman bobbed her head once. "Yes Captain." She glanced at Yeoman Brand and head jutted toward the nearest panel storage. "Help me please, Jos."

"Alright, I'll be staying here until the Bridge is clear," Kodak announced to everyone. "Once communications are up, I'll work on coordinating efforts across the ship. Until then, though, you all have your your best," the Captain said with a nod, dismissing both teams to get to work. There was a lot to do and not a lot of time to get it done.

=/\= A joint post by... =/\=

Lieutenant Mothim-Ril
Chief Science Officer


Lieutenant Nico Oliveria
Chief Engineer


Lieutenant Margarar
Assistant Chief Engineer


Lieutenant Timmoz
Chief Flight Controller


Lieutenant JG Chiara MD
Assistant Chief Medical Officer


Lieutenant Commander Emni t'Nai
Executive Officer


Captain Björn Kodak
Commanding Officer


Petty Officer 1st Class Kotri Tesren (NPC)
Brig Officer


Petty Officer 1st Class Amber Hartree (NPC)


Petty Officer 2nd Class Joselyn Brand (NPC)


Ensign Ranorak
Engineering Officer (NPC)


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