Skip to main content
Topic: Day 02 [1550 hrs.] A Council of War (Read 3890 times) previous topic - next topic
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Day 02 [1550 hrs.] A Council of War

[Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt | Officers' Quarters| Deck 14 | USS Theurgy] Attn: @Auctor Lucan

[Show/Hide]

After two long days, two days of whiling away the time and figuring out his place onboard the renegade dreadnought, Alistair finally got the message he'd been expecting: a summons to meet Captain Jien Ives. It had taken longer than Alistair had expected, given the nature of he'd joined the crew, but he couldn't find it in himself to be annoyed. He'd read about the insanity that had occurred to the crew over the past few months, from Earth to the Azure Nebula to Qo'nos, from sex zombies to evil time travellers to enigmatic hyper-advanced amoral aliens. The rumour mill suggested that Ives hirself had been through the wringer, though everyone Alistair talked to was too loyal to say anything more.

It was all remarkably familiar, and for the thousandth time as he returned to his quarters, Alistair wished that the Relativity had arrived just an hour earlier. Captain Jiji and Commander Cak would've been perfect allies for the Theurgy crew. By contrast, his training aside, Alistair was a poor choice. His failure on Praxis was a lead weight in his stomach; only Lauren Pierce's piloting heroics had made up for it. Jiji and Cak wouldn't have been so slow down on that moon. Heck, Cak would've beaten the Infested to death with her own severed limb, not run away crying as Alistair did.

Somber as he entered his quarters, Alistair was still clad in his uniform, wearing the thing out of habit even if he wasn't working duty shifts yet. He picked up a PADD on his desk, taking the spare few minutes he had to read it as he stood there. It was the most important report he'd ever written. It had to be done right. Thoroughly absorbed in checking that there were no errors, Alistair lost track of time, and he glanced upwards, speaking automatically.

"Computer, time," he said, the same words he'd said a million times before.

Re: Day 02 [1550 hrs.] A Council of War

Reply #1
[ USS Theurgy "Thea" NX-79854 | Officers' Quarters| Deck 14 | USS Theurgy ]
[Show/Hide]
When the perfectly ordinary request came, Thea might have just let her subroutine C-47 answer for her - her voice being generated from the audio-library and emitted through the intercom.

As it were, however, Thea had just been about to contact the speaker herself, so when the request to know the current time was made, he just so happened to speak before she would. So, once the Ship A.I: s amusement about the timing had settled, she answered instead of her automated subroutine.

[1550 hours, Lietuenant,] she said through the intercom. [Stardate 57659.8. Would you mind if I joined you?]

Once the answer came, Thea accessed her transporter systems, locked on to the mobile emitter, and beamed it from Vector 3 to Vector 2 - making the emitter and her projection appear inside the time traveller's quarters. She was wearing her black chameleon body suit, and she had her hands folded behind her back - shoulders squared. She smiled at the Lieutenant and titled her head.

"Are you ready? I can accompany you to Deck 01, if you want. I was guessing you didn't know the way there, since you're new to my three hulls. It would be no trouble, I assure you."

Having accessed the organic's service record, Thea had been intrigued into his chosen field of expertise, and she had guessed they had quite a lot to talk about. That was, if he was in the mood, since the poor thing had gone through quite an ordeal by all accounts.

Re: Day 02 [1550 hrs.] A Council of War

Reply #2
[Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt | Officers' Quarters| Deck 14 | USS Theurgy] Attn: @Auctor Lucan

[Show/Hide]

"What?" Alistair said in response to the computer voice, baffled, and when Thea suddenly beamed in, Alistair damn near jumped out of his skin. He only just avoided an undignified yelp, eyes wide, and was grateful that Thea started talking first, giving him a moment to recover. He had known about the Theurgy's AI, heard about her, even studied her for a time, but somehow, he hadn't quite clocked on that she was a person. Another quality Alistair moment to add to the collection.

"Uh...thanks, Thea," he said in bemusement, noting her avatar. Modeled off a human woman...or perhaps it was a composite? And the choice of a bodysuit rather than a uniform was intriguing, given what it said about Thea's status and allegiance. What was the thought that went into those decisions? Had it been Thea, or had it been her designers? Alistair winced as he realised that his brain was getting off-track, and he smiled awkwardly, shrugging his shoulders.

"Sorry, first time talking to a true AI," he said, glancing down at his PADD. "That's, uh, very kind of you to offer. I haven't served on a ship as huge as this...as, uh, you, before." Was it rude to call an AI huge? Probably not. "Okay, Thea, lead on."

With that, he left his quarters and moved into the hallway, but waited for Thea to pick a direction before following her. "Wait. You beamed in rather than...you have a mobile emitter. Woah." As they reached a turbolift, Alistair grinned. "That must be amazing. Total freedom. I mean, I know you can fly anywhere with your hull, but to have the added option of going places as a humanoid?"

Then Alistair blinked, realising that the turbolift was moving along even though he hadn't told it where to go. Being with an AI had its advantages. "Sorry, excuse me for being so nosy. Like I said, first time meeting someone like you. It's, uh, a bit like a boyhood dream, weird as that may sound."

Re: Day 02 [1550 hrs.] A Council of War

Reply #3
[ USS Theurgy "Thea" NX-79854 | Officers' Quarters| Deck 14 | USS Theurgy ]
[Show/Hide]
With the barrage of comments and questions posed when they walked down the corridor, Thea had chuckled with good humour while they entered one of her turbolifts, which would take them to her uppermost deck.

"You may want to keep the dreams of your boyhood to yourself when speaking to someone for the first time... especially if they are a part of said dreams? I am flattered, of course, though I hardly think I would live up to your expectations," she said, but surmised it had to do with his educational background rather than an interest in her personality. "In fact, you are already overestimating my freedom. I cannot fly anywhere without a crew operating me. I am hard-wired to not have access to all systems, the helm controls being one of them. That is unless I actually sit down by the helm with my projection and I get the security clearance to access the console. It was very astute of you to notice how I must have a mobile emitter, however. That is correct."

The turbolift stopped at Deck 01, in the corridor outside the Captain's Yeoman's waiting room, and Thea gestured for Leavitt to step out first before continuing. "It was built by the late Lin Kae, a brilliant young man who served aboard me until recently. He died saving me from my confinement aboard the Versant, where I was being held captive by the Savi."

She paused briefly, refraining from pulling too much from her memory banks when it came to Lin Kae and all the things he had done for her. She straightened and stepped across the corridor, her smile returning as she faced the Lieutenant. "The emitter has indeed allowed me to leave my three hulls, evidently for the better and for the worse, but aside from the abduction... it has mostly been a liberating experience to set my feet upon different worlds than my deck plating."

Before chiming the Yeoman to let them in to Captain Ives, Thea got the notion that the time traveller might wish to speak further before entering, so she folded her arms below her chest and cocked a hip, smiling while observing him with her projection's optical sensors. "Do you want to step inside, or do you dare tell me more about your 'boyhood dreams', Lieutenant Leavitt?"

Re: Day 02 [1550 hrs.] A Council of War

Reply #4
[Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt | Conference Room | Deck 1 | USS Theurgy] Attn: @Auctor Lucan

[Show/Hide]

Alistair winced at Thea's remark, softened though it was by her smile. "Oh. Right, sorry. That came out weirder than I intended." He grinned nervously, glancing at the conference room door, but was grateful when Thea didn't enter. This was a conversation that he was happy to delay, if only for a couple of minutes. "I mean to say, I spent a lot of time neck-deep in computers as a kid, so I've always been fascinated by...uh, people like yourself. If there's one benefit of all this madness, it's that I get to meet you in the...uh, photonic flesh."

He sighed, rubbing the back of his neck awkwardly. "I'm sorry to hear about Lin Kae. I never met the man, but I know the name. From what I heard, he was really quite brilliant for someone so young, especially with holography. It figures that he'd crack mobile emitter technology." Alistair hesitated, considering Thea for a moment. "Er...I look forward to working with you, Thea. I know you've read my service record, so you know my qualifications. If you ever need help with your software or even core hardware, I'd be happy to provide any aid that I can."

Alistair huffed in amusement as he crossed his own arms. "I've actually studied your matrix, weird as that probably sounds. Before the Azure Nebula battles, Starfleet was contacting specialists on starships all over the quadrant to work out ways to...um, hurt you. Cyberwarfare. Captain Jiji had me working on that project for a week, but I didn't come up with anything. It's sort of ironic that helping you is now my job. Feels better, too. I hate malware, especially when used against living beings."

At that, Alistair shuffled from side to side, glancing at the door again. "So...uh...Captain Ives. What are they like? A cuddly CO, or a really intense CO? I kinda feel like I'm walking into the dragon's den."

Re: Day 02 [1550 hrs.] A Council of War

Reply #5
[ USS Theurgy "Thea" NX-79854 | Outside Conference Lounge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]
[Show/Hide]
Thea found her projection smiling at the Lieutenant's almost bashful behaviour towards her, though to deem him as shy might have been a miscalculation since he was openly complimenting her and saying that he looked forward to serving aboard her - because of her. Chuckling, Thea fell back on the social conventions that rhymed with the output of her emotional chip and cleared her throat a little.

"Well, I am flattered, Lieutenant. I will make sure to speak with you if I have any concerns of my own, and I am sure Lieutenant Ravenholm - our new Chief of Operations - would want to be working with you in the regard of maintaining my components and systems as well. She has had a lot of experience with my technology and program over the course of the past five months. As for your previous assignment..."

Thea made a casual, dismissive gesture. "I do not judge you for it. I realise that both Command and the FNN have been effective in their smear campaign, so it doesn't surprise me if specialists from the Daystrom Institute or officers whom have studied my holographic matrix and hardware design have been tasked to find exploitable weaknesses. I am... fairly confident that whatever malware and means found to attack my original program will be less effective now, since I have evolved quite a lot over the course of this mission."

The question about Captain Ives wasn't entirely unexpected, given the fact that the Lieutenant would have been painted an altogether different image of her Commanding Officer than the people that already served aboard her. In fact, even under ordinary circumstances, the temperament of one's CO was a common focal point for officers with a new commissioning, so Thea would indulge Leavitt to the best of her abilities, but also wanted the organic to make his own opinion.

"As you can imagine, the Captain has been faced with a mission few other Commanding Officers would have had to deal with. Even in service to the tenets of the Federation and Starfleet regulations, the mission to protect the truth about Starfleet Command and to spread that truth has forced the Captain to defend this crew from our brothers and sisters in Starfleet. Even in defence, at all points, many innocent lives have been lost because of the mission, and based on my database entries about the cost of command for organics and the weight upon their consciousness - something which I can relate to - the Captain bears a heavy burden. Still, hir decisions and orders have kept us alive, and the enemy remain opposed. In the light of this..."

Thea glanced towards the door next to them, thinking about what Leavitt's question had referred to rather than the circumstances in which the Captain's temperament would have been formed. "Ives wants redemption in the eyes of the Federation for all the officers serving aboard me, and the only way in which that can be found... is to complete the mission and expose this enemy we face. So, the Captain has to put the mission first... but not at the ultimate price of hir crew. Yet more than once, Ives has also said that we cannot surrender the spirit of Starfleet for sake of the mission, since until very recently, we have been the only ship which had remained free of the corruption that the Infested have spread. The guiding light which may take Starfleet out of the darkness..."

Thea looked back Leavitt, her smile gentle. "I deem it as a balancing act, upon which the Captain must balance at every turn. I reckon few Commanding Officers would envy the task beset upon hir."

Re: Day 02 [1550 hrs.] A Council of War

Reply #6
[Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt | Conference Room | Deck 1 | USS Theurgy] Attn: @Auctor Lucan

[Show/Hide]

Alistair listened patiently, paying close attention to the AI's explanation. He smiled at the poetic description; melodramatic, perhaps, but telling, not just about Ives, but about Thea herself. She was astonishingly young, even for an AI, but her emotional development had clearly matured. Loyalty, the capacity for moral judgement, affection; Thea was a far cry from the murdering machine that Starfleet had painted her as.

"Captain Jiji said similar things," Alistair said quietly, smiling sadly. "She was adamant that despite everything that had happened, the Federation still lived so long on the Eclipse as we remained true to its ideals. I guess Captain Ives and Captain Jiji would've gotten on well together." He glanced at the door. "The captain must be amazing to have accomplished so much, and to have inspired so much loyalty from you and the rest of the crew. I guess I should stop procrastinating and just meet hir."

With that, flashing Thea another friendly smile, Alistair took a breath and tapped the chime. A few moments later, he stepped inside, immediately identifying the famed Captain Ives and walking up to hir. Alistair snapped to attention, his hands behind his back.

"Lieutenant Leavitt, reporting," he said formally.

Re: Day 02 [1550 hrs.] A Council of War

Reply #7
[ USS Theurgy "Thea" NX-79854 | Outside Conference Lounge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]
[Show/Hide]
Following the Lieutenant into the room, Thea saw Captain Ives turning from the viewports that overlooked the surface of Qo'noS - the space around Thea's saucer section filled with Klingon ships and worker bees that sought to repair her hull.

"At ease, Lieutenant," said the Commanding Officer, being in his male form at that time, and a faint smile touched his face. While Thea walked over to the viewport, Ives folded his hands behind his back and spoke to the newly arrived officer. "I have read the reports, as well as the debrief from the situation on Praxis. It would seem I owe both you and Captain Ducane gratitude for your intervention, where you helped Commander Cross and his away team prevent the destruction of the moon. The simulations of the events, had they come to pass, would have spelled planet-wide extinction on Qo'noS. I have even received word from Chancellor Martok, where he express the highest gratitude of the Empire, and if time prior to the arrival of the Romulan forces suffice, you and other officers might be summoned to the Klingon High Council. I am ill versed in Klingon commendations, but I believe the Order of the Bat'leth is one of them? In any case..."

Jien gestured towards either of the seats at the conference table, since there weren't any seating arrangements when there wasn't any Senior Staff meeting held. Jien seated himself at the head of the table, and folded his hands in front of himself - looking at the man whom had returned to his own timeline.

"I would have visited you yesterday if I was able, but between my official duties, I have been under medical treatment as well. When I learned that you were released from sickbay at the memorial, I set aside time to speak with you. Not just to give you my personal gratitude for taking on the task Captain Ducane gave you, in spite of the things you may have heard about the Theurgy, but also to ask if you carry any direction or information from the Relativity."

Thea remembered how Ives and Morali had spoken with Ducane prior to the Battle of the Houses, and that the Captain of the timeship had said that there were preconditions that needed to be set before he could tell the crew of the Theurgy anything else. Ives, of course, enlightened Leavitt about this.

"Ducane asked that we kept the Breen out of the war, and we have, in spite of the Infested trying to destroy the council chamber of the Confederacy. Ducane also asked that we ensured that Martok remained in power, and we did. We even prevented the Infested from inciting the Andorians, so with this in mind, I was hoping for some good news from our ally in the future."

In all likelihood, Thea guessed that Ives already knew about the PADD which Leavitt had brought aboard...

Re: Day 02 [1550 hrs.] A Council of War

Reply #8
[Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt | Conference Room | Deck 1 | USS Theurgy] Attn: @Auctor Lucan

[Show/Hide]

Given all the hype around Ives, Alistair couldn't help but expect...more. The entire Federation lived in fear of Ives and the heavily-armed dreadnought at their command. Alistair had been one of them. Out on Starbase 69, he'd watched the FNN live broadcasts of the Theurgy's escape from the Sol system, the desperate efforts by Starfleet to stop the renegade starship. Ives was the face of it all; reviled as a traitor, reluctantly admired for surviving despite the long odds, feared for what insanity they might pull off next.

Even knowing the truth of it all, Alistair still felt his stomach churning uncomfortably at actually meeting Ives. Regardless, he felt...underwhelmed? Ives just seemed like a normal captain; four pips, authoritative, and even capable of smiling. Not a hero, not a demon. Just another person in a crappy situation. As Ives spoke his greeting, Alistair took a breath and relaxed. Okay. He could work with this.

...The Order of the Bat'leth, not so much. Alistair's cheeks flushed at the thought. There was no way, right? Ida and her people had done all the heroic stuff, plus Cross and his crew aboard all the Allegiant. All he'd done was pass on a message, get his ass kicked and completely fail to do a job. Well, when the Klingons got the full story, they'd work it all out.

Grateful for being offered a seat, Alistair paid close attention to Ives's words, nodding along at points, even as he tried to wrap his mind around it all. Only 48 hours prior, he'd been fighting for his life in a post-apocalyptic nightmare. DTI training was extensive, but it didn't cover handling all this.

"Yes sir, I do," Alistair said, matching Ives's serious tone as he set a PADD on the table. "I wasn't onboard the Relativity long. They pretty much just patched up, sent me directly to Captain Ducane for a briefing then beamed me right to Praxis. Captain Ducane didn't tell me much, to be honest. He just told me the truth about you and the Infested, then gave me a mission." Alistair took a breath as he glanced out the window at the Klingon homeworld. "Part of it involved saving Praxis, or saving Martok; they only decided which mission to send me on a few moments before they beamed me away." And boy, hadn't that been a fun surprise to wait for on the transporter pad. "The other part was about passing on classified information to you."

With that, Alistair glanced at Thea. "Hey, Thea, could you bring up the data file Relativity Intel A11-L, please? Security code: Leavitt Upsilon-8664-Sigma-95." He was about to get to his feet and walk to the large display embedded in the bulkhead, but was surprised when a hologram snapped on above the conference table, showing the data file in holographic form. "Huh. Neat. You fancy new ships get all the best toys."

Alistair grinned at Ives, realised what he was doing, then winced. "Uh, sorry. Anyway, Captain, it's all here, just like I told Commander Cross when I gave him the PADD. Some of this information was supposed to help me earn the trust of the away team on Praxis. There's...er, a lot of personal stuff about the crew there, not really relevant to the mission. I should probably delete those parts." Alistair grimaced, realising that he should've done that already. "The rest is for you and your staff. From what I can see, it's a...uh, cheat-sheet, I guess. It's meant to give you a big advantage in your mission."

There was a pause then, and Alistair sighed, before turning to look Ives in the eye. "I should say, our mission, sir. I meant what I said at the memorial."

Re: Day 02 [1550 hrs.] A Council of War

Reply #9
[ USS Theurgy "Thea" NX-79854 | Outside Conference Lounge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]
[Show/Hide]
Well, Thea wasn't feeling as 'fancy' as Leavitt had suggested, knowing as she had several sisters being rushed through their pre-production phase in order to address the threat she and her crew represented for the Infested. What little they could ascertain from sources in Starfleet's database suggested that they might be commissioned for duty within a couple of months, but since the Theurgy-class project had been labelled with a higher security clearance than before, they simply couldn't know for certain when they might expect to face one of them.

Thea had summoned the file above the conference table, it being represented as a sphere with a labelled information structure. Jien listened to the Lieutenant while stepping towards the table. When the time traveller mentioned the memorial ceremony, the Captain nodded and turned towards him.

"Yes, hearing your words and having read the reports, I realise that you are already a part of our mission - having fought the same foe as us - before you even stepped aboard," he said quietly, not accessing the information just yet. "Given what you have endured, seeing the fate of the Epsilon and one potential future, I would suggest you talk with one of our counsellors. Consider it a personal recommendation, and not just because I was once a counsellor myself."

Jien leaned against the edge of the table and folded his arms across his chest, and as he did, he changed... to her female form. When she spoke next, the tonality was the same, only the timbre of the voice fitting that of her female form. "After I was abducted by the Savi, I did the same while Thea was repaired at Aldea, and while the memories will still be there... it helps airing out the events to someone with words. When speaking of what you've endured, you are able to scrutinise yourself more objectively, instead of seeing those memories with the lens of a personal shortcoming. You can more easily come to terms with it all, in many different respects, ranging from the blame you may place at your own feet, or the second-guessing of your own actions. If you are true to yourself, you accept that you did as best as you could. My abduction was inevitable, but I survived, along with the rest of the abducted who still serve aboard this ship."

Thea spoke up then from where she stood. "I was also taken aboard the Savi ship, my positronic brain ripped out of my main computer core for their experiments, but as the Captain said, we are still here."

"And so are you," Jien continued, remaining where she stood. "If you would like to continue the mission you began aboard the Eclipse, serving under my command, you are welcome to. We need qualified line officers in the Operations department, and if you are willing, I am certain Lieutenant Ravenholm will need your help."

Re: Day 02 [1550 hrs.] A Council of War

Reply #10
[Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt | Conference Room | Deck 1 | USS Theurgy] Attn: @Auctor Lucan

[Show/Hide]

Seeing Captain Ives shift gender, just like that, quite thoroughly threw Alistair for a loop. He'd known that Ives was a shapeshifter, had expected it, but it was still alarming all the same. No matter how much he tried, it was hard to switch off that instinct from the war, the constant fear of talking to someone who might turn out to be an imposter. Still, Alistair just managed to hide it, even if one hand dipped below the table and started fidgeting anxiously.

Focusing himself, Alistair looked between Captain Ives and Thea, matching their solemnity with his own. "Of course, sir, I'll report to Lieutenant Ravenholm as soon as I can. Uh, technically I'm still part of the Department of the Temporal Investigations, too. If any more time travel occurs, I'm trained to handle it, and to ensure that the Temporal Prime Directive is followed. Beating the Infested won't matter much if our timeline gets twisted into pretzel and suddenly all Vulcans have turned into two-headed lizards."

He hesitated then. "I didn't know about what you both went through on that alien ship. It puts things in perspective, I guess." Alistair looked Captain Ives in the eye. "And thank you for your concern, Captain, but I learned my lesson during the war. I already saw Counselor Williams this morning."

With that, Alistair glanced at Thea with concern. "And...uh, Thea? Speaking as a professional in this field, based on what you describe happened to you, I strongly recommend a full check-up of your core, both hardware and software, if you haven't had that done that already. Being forcibly removed from your host environment is traumatic enough, never mind what the Savi might have done. Even if you feel fine now, and your self-diagnostics are clear, there could be deeper problems that only an outside observer can detect. Your positronic matrix is the first of its kind, so it's best to play it safe when it comes to your health."

Re: Day 02 [1550 hrs.] A Council of War

Reply #11
[ USS Theurgy "Thea" NX-79854 | Outside Conference Lounge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]
[Show/Hide]
Tilting her head a bit, Thea listened to the concerns that the Lieutenant raised and nodded, though she disagreed on some points.

"Positronic artificial intelligences are not completely original at this point, since the Soong Legacy Project followed the creation of Doctor Soong. Actually, I am no more unique than that of an organic individual. I am different because of my nature, yes, but in terms of being unique... I would argue I am no more unique than you or the Captain in your own different respects. Your organic makeup and genetic differences doesn't stop sickbay from treating your ailments, and I have confidence that my damages are no more difficult to understand and treat. Especially since I can run diagnostics on myself." Thea smiled then, since she did recognise the social conventions revolving around someone offering to help. Her runtime couldn't quite determine the man's motivations... but she took the kind offer at face value, flattered that he was so interested in the maintenance of her systems. "That being said, you are - of course - welcome to review my diagnostics to see if there is anything remaining that wasn't already addressed while I underwent my refit at the Aldea Prime Shipyards. Thank you, Lieutenant."

Captain Ives had glanced towards Thea while she spoke, and Jien's faint smile returned. "You might want to give the man an update about what has happened to your program since it left the Daystrom Institute. You are far different, more advanced, now than when we fled from Earth. Perhaps the mission report about the Ishtar Entity might cover the lion's share of your upgraded matrix?"

"Agreed, Captain," Thea said, and wondered how the Lieutenant might make sense of what she'd say next. She looked back at him, and gave him the unembellished conclusion of the event. "An omnipotent alien entity turned my holographic projection into an organic human female. The experience had a - for a lack of a more encompassing word - profound impact on my personality matrix. I was given the opportunity to experience reality like an organic would, in all respects. From the manner in which I formed thoughts and memory engrams, to the input of a human nervous system - feeling everything like an organic might. The memories of that event may have turned into data in my memory banks, but as I load them, the experience is perfectly clear to me. It has allowed me to bridge whatever blind spots I held for a human experience, and evolved my personality matrix to a point where I can make connections and summon data in a manner that no computer scientist would be able to let me do through positronic programming. Since then, I have received upgrades that allow me to mimic the physical experience I had, so that I don't feel as numb as I did when I was restored to my original nature."

Having said as much, she paused, to let the Lieutenant wrap his thoughts around the implications, and ask his questions.

Re: Day 02 [1550 hrs.] A Council of War

Reply #12
[Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt | Conference Room | Deck 1 | USS Theurgy] Attn: @Auctor Lucan

[Show/Hide]

Alistair was indeed trying to wrap his mind around the explanation, but was clearly struggling. He looked between Ives and Thea, making a comically confused expression as he did so. It took a good few moments for Alistair to recollect himself, rubbing the bridge of his nose.

"So, uh," he said slowly, "not just extradimensional evil parasites. Not just time travel. Not just a Borg apocalypse. Not just a revolution against Starfleet. Somewhere among all that, an omnipotent deity decided to screw with you all. Right. Yeah. Okay. It's not even one I've heard of, like Q." Alistair chuckled to himself. "Man, I know that an appreciation of the absurd is a necessary part of being in Starfleet, but this is really out there."

He glanced at Thea, smiling awkwardly. "Uh, anyway, I'm happy to hear about how much you've evolved, Thea. Your well-being is none of my business, I guess, and I respect what you've been through, and how much you've grown beyond what your creators intended for you." Alistair hesitated, weighing whether to continue. "But...uh, how do I say it. I don't mean to cause offence or anything...er...well, the thing is, you're very different to other positronic lifeforms that we know of. That's what I meant about you being unique. Dr Soong designed his androids to be what we call 'open' AI's, with almost unlimited potential for adaptation and growth as fully autonomous sentient lifeforms. They were...uh, built for it."

Alistair fidgeted nervously under the table, hating to keep driving the issue (especially with Captain Ives right there, surely losing their patience), but he kept going all the same. "You were built as a 'closed' AI, intended to serve a specific purpose. Your designers didn't plan on any of this. You've expanded beyond your original programming, but the more you do it, the more you risk serious errors developing in your matrix that you can't detect." He glanced at Ives, adding "It's called Sh'meeru's Law. The more self-aware an artificial intelligence becomes, the less aware they become of their own critical functions. It's the equivalent of an organic lifeform trying to run a diagnostic on their own brain. We just can't do it as effectively as an outside observer."

Sure that he'd said too much, Alistair cleared his throat awkwardly. "Uh, I'm sorry if I've overstepped, I know that it's not my place, and I don't know much about your particular case. I could be completely wrong, and your health is your own concern, and...okay, I'm shutting up now."

Re: Day 02 [1550 hrs.] A Council of War

Reply #13
[ USS Theurgy "Thea" NX-79854 | Conference Lounge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]
[Show/Hide]
For 2,536 seconds, Thea evaluated whether or not Lieutenant Leavitt was speaking out of prejudice towards her, based on the inferior standards of which she had initially been built. He also cited something that the organics had decided to consider and absolute - this 'Law' that couldn't possibly apply to all A.I. - definitely not future ones. The sample size available for statistically sound results were simply too low, since there were too few like Thea, and regardless what initial findings had made Sh'meeru coin this 'Law', he had been too quick with his conclusion since he couldn't possibly foresee all advancements in the field. Computer scientists like Sh'meeru were of the ilk that - inadvertently or not - would curtail the rights of A.I. in the Federation, raising concerns about A.I. growing ignorant about their own nature when he had no inkling about what it was like to be her, or even compare oneself to one's original specifications.

Analysis complete, Thea concluded that Leavitt was merely concerned about her, and wished to help, so she smiled - even chuckling a little bit. "Like any child becoming adolescent, and then adult, you also expand beyond your original state, don't you?" she said, putting her hands on her hips in an idle fashion. "All organic lifeforms run a risk of dysfunctional upbringing. Errors in judgement might develop, proclivities that are detrimental for you to succeed in whatever undertakings you have in life, all of which you cannot always detect since they are a part of how you have been nurtured by the culture around you. I find it more than likely that Sh'meeru might have made his assumption about A.I. solely based on his own experiences as an organic. Someone unable to run diagnostics about his own behaviour and bodily functions, and much less compare them to earlier performance data."

Jien didn't seem to mind how the Lieutenant raised his concerns, and she had something to add as well. "I recall how you raised concerns after Lin Kae gave your personality matrix free will, Thea. You found lowered performance in results in some functions aboard, in which you were not - initially - having automated protocols. You asked yourself to have the majority of your non-essential and all the crucial functions automated, so that your runtime wouldn't be weighed down by minute decisions that you'd actively have to do at all points. Your positronic brain was simply over-exerted by the conscious effort of processing all those functions, so you asked to have some of your original programming restored, which freed you up for a more present and attentive experience."

"Yes, Captain." Thea looked back towards Leavitt, her smile remaining. "Lin Kae and I worked for weeks after that to ensure that my functions in regard to the crew and the mission wouldn't be compromised. Like I said, however, I look forward to work with you now that you will serve aboard me, and we can look at my diagnostics together so that I can alleviate your concerns about my functionality. Please bear in mind, however, that comparing my A.I. to my original version isn't overly rewarding, since that would be like comparing yourself to when you were an infant. There is little to be learned in that, so I would rather go over old and new performance data, and see if there are any discrepancies that I may have missed in my diagnostic logs."

Re: Day 02 [1550 hrs.] A Council of War

Reply #14
[Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt | Conference Room | Deck 1 | USS Theurgy] Attn: @Auctor Lucan

[Show/Hide]

Well, it was something. Thea clearly didn't believe that his concerns were warranted, but Alistair reasoned that he was, after all, a stranger, so he could hardly blame her. At least he could look over Thea's core systems with her to confirm for himself even if he was no Lin Kae, whom Thea had apparently held in high regard.

Until he died. Alistair didn't how it had happened, but the mental reminder of the senseless death of a brilliant man refocused him. He had a mission to accomplish.

"Thank you, I'd be happy to do that," he said to Thea, nodding. Alistair paused before glancing at Ives, although he was unable to avoid shifting uncomfortably in his seat. "Captain, with your permission? There's more that you need to know that isn't covered in this data file." He glanced at the holographic representation. "The, uh, alternate future I witnessed. Well, that I and the others witnessed. I think that I saw some of the Infested's plans. We didn't know about the Infested at the time, not until one of them beamed onto our Bridge and...uh..."

Alistair cleared his throat, the hand below the desk curled into a fist, but he looked squarely at Ives, forcing himself to concentrate. "I saw how we lose, sir, and what the consequences are. That's another reason why Captain Ducane sent me, I guess."

Re: Day 02 [1550 hrs.] A Council of War

Reply #15
[ USS Theurgy "Thea" NX-79854 | Conference Lounge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]
[Show/Hide]
What Alistair said was a rather sobering side-step from the discussion about Thea's inner workings, which had Jien take a deep breath, likely in the knowledge about what was to be said might be quite a lot to digest. Then again, Thea supposed that the Captain might have drawn her own conclusions about what the future might be like if the Infested won.

"I have been led to believe, from speaking with Captain Ducane, that the future isn't certain for us. How... what we do here may alter what is to come. That being said, judging by what you told Commander Cross, you came from a future that evolved on the premise of the Borg invasion happening. I suppose it still might, if the Borg find some new means to reach the Alpha and Beta Quadrant without the use of the apertures in the Azure Nebula. Let's hope not, shall we?"

Jien pushed away from the edge of the conference table and walked to her seat. "Let's hear it."

Thea walked to the viewports that overlooked the surface of Qo'noS, gazing across the horizon as if she looked over an green ocean. Whilst listening, she was processing what Alistair had said earlier, about there being hidden malfunctions in her matrix that she couldn't detect. She deemed the odds of such occurrences low, but she couldn't quite account for things that were outside the grasp of her diagnostics, for those runtimes did not penetrate her individuality. Her mood, and outlook on her existence. No internal sensors would be able to detect her opinions beyond how she acted, and perhaps... perhaps she had changed over the course of her voyage. Not just in the sense of her features, her freedom or her fortitude.

She had seen dear members of her crew die. Killed in battle. Not just Lin Kae, but also Miles Renard, whom had barely made it back to her again after his disappearance at Starbase 84. Ravenholm had made it back from Qo'noS, fortunately, and Stark didn't just remain but had been made the new XO. So there were good things about the development of the mission, but the losses were still there, and she wasn't quite sure how to process the finite nature of the organics around her, and especially so when she had developed friendships with them.

They now resided as data in her memory banks. Packages of digital memories which she held dear, but she had no means to process them beyond loading them, and feeling her emotion chip perpetually feel the loss of them. She'd found, also, that loading those memories never became easier - at least not yet - so she'd come to avoid doing so if she could. It seemed more efficient focusing on the mission parameters and helping her current crew, new and old, since that gave her purpose and meaning.

The nagging query that remained with her, however, was if the imprints of the fallen would - or should - still have meaning for her, or if she would be function more optimally if they were sealed away, and could no longer be accessed.

Re: Day 02 [1550 hrs.] A Council of War

Reply #16
[Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt | Conference Room | Deck 1 | USS Theurgy] Attn: @Auctor Lucan

[Show/Hide]

"The thing is, the Borg invasion didn't begin right away," Alistair said reluctantly, as if he was forcing the words out. His stomach churned, a surprise more than anything else; why was this so difficult? He'd talked to other people about this before. Sure, those people were all dead or assimilated in an aborted timelime, but still... "After the battle, Starfleet managed to mine the aperture in the nebula. The Borg only broke through in '87. The Infested wanted more time to play with us, I guess."

He cleared his throat, again looking at Ives directly. "I'm sorry to say this, Captain. I know what this crew has been through, but...Niga. The Infested began a quadrant-wide Niga pandemic in that timeline, and I suspect that they might try it here too. The Federation contained it in quarantine zones, but the cost was...I can't properly describe it, sir. Betazed, Risa, Delta IV, Pacifica, Peliar Zel, they were mostly worlds with telepathic or sexually open cultures. All of them were simultaneously...what's a good word? Consumed." Alistair shuddered at the thought, and he took a steadying breath. "I saw some of the data from those worlds, sir. Photos. Video. It was like watching photos from Earth's Holocaust, or videos of Colonel Greene's extermination camps after World War III. I wouldn't wish it on anyone."

Alistair hesitated, but he said what came next. "The final casualty count before the Borg invaded was twenty four billion on thirteen inhabited worlds."

Re: Day 02 [1550 hrs.] A Council of War

Reply #17
[ USS Theurgy "Thea" NX-79854 | Conference Lounge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]
[Show/Hide]
Analysing what Alistair was saying, Thea turned her head to look at the man, thinking that if Starfleet had placed mines in the Azure Nebula, then the future which the Ops officer had visited had to be a version in which the Borg threat had been detected. Like he said, with the Infested succeeding with spreading the Niga virus, they had to be content with letting the outbreak sweep across as many worlds as possible to undermine any resistance against the pending Borg invasion. Then again, they might also just have wanted to savour their imminent victory for as long as possible...

The enemy was truly one of chaos.

"The Niga virus is a vile thing," Jien said quietly, looking introspective. "We deployed an away team to the research facility at which it was created, so that we might ensure that it may not spread from there either in this timeline of ours. Commander Cross and his team returned in time for the memorial ceremony, and the reports from the officers are coming in, but I have yet to verify if there were any loose ends. Hopefully, with the destruction of the Niga planet and the success of that mission, we won't have to deal with that contagion again."

"Captain," Thea said, turning halfway towards the table, "Doctor Nicander said that his doubleganger - allegedly from a parallel timeline in which I never left the Mahéwa System - also carry the virus. Based on the reports from Liam Herrold and Eun Sae Ji - from when they were lost in that transporter incident - he is likely telling the truth. If this second Doctor is indeed working with the Infested among the Savi, then I fear the threat of another outbreak remains a very real possibility."

"I know," Jien said, frowning and sighing lightly, "and sometimes I wish Nicander was still lying to us."

Thea made no comment, but looked towards Alistar, wondering how much he had managed to read up on in the reports from the mission so far, since what they spoke of might remain unknown to him.

Re: Day 02 [1550 hrs.] A Council of War

Reply #18
[Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt | Conference Room | Deck 1 | USS Theurgy] Attn: @Auctor Lucan

[Show/Hide]

From his expression, it was clear that Alistair hadn't read the reports, and he looked somewhat baffled by the conversation that was proceeding in front of him. Nevertheless he caught on quickly, although he did look a bit pale.

"There may be intelligence about Niga in the data that Captain Ducane sent," Alisitair said, gesturing at the hologram above the table. "He didn't mention anything about Niga, but I think he was pressed for time, trying to get me off that ship as fast as he could. If there is anything actionable, your Intel people will be able to find that, sir, and keep all the data secure. I skimmed some of this, and honestly, a lot of it went over my head." Alistair glanced at the hologram, reached out for one of the files seemingly at random, and frowned as he read the . "I have no idea what a 'Purple MonkeY convergence' is, or a 'Baboon operation'. I'm not sure that I want to know."

With that, Alistair tossed the file back at the hologram and reluctantly turned to face Captain Ives squarely. "Captain...uh...there is another threat. It's more subtle, I think, and maybe not an immediate problem, but I have to report it. Based on what I saw in that future, and what I know now, I don't think the Infested just want to destroy us. I think they want to...uh...corrupt us. That's the best way that I can describe it."

Alistair sighed, rubbing his forehead wearily. "In six years, without our intervention, Starfleet will become something different. Something evil. It doesn't sound possible, and I don't know how the Infested will manage it, but it's true, sir. The Starfleet that we saw in that alternate future were nothing like us. They had the same uniform, flew the same ships, but the way they talked, the way they acted, the things they did..."

Re: Day 02 [1550 hrs.] A Council of War

Reply #19
[ USS Theurgy "Thea" NX-79854 | Conference Lounge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]
[Show/Hide]
The future that Alistair described seemed bleak in more ways than one, the odds of it all happening anew hard to determine since the organic came from a future which had already been altered by the outcome in the Azure Nebula. Still, if the development was unrelated, it might be of merit to gather more details on what he meant. Thea turned more towards the man, having pulled some relevant data from her memory banks to aid her line of questioning.

"In analysing this, I find that what you describe can be attributed to many different occurrences, or perhaps a combination of either of them. On one part, we have the change in leadership in how Starfleet Command shifts rhetoric and priorities over the course of time. A gradual change in the norms, rules, responsibilities and proper practices in Starfleet. This alteration of their code of conduct may not only be a result of leadership, but external events. For instance, when the USS Calamity was sent back from a future in which the Infested had been unopposed, her starship design clearly suggested the implementation of Savi technology. The Reaver warp fighters also held technology and designs that could be attributed to Savi influence."

"Yes," Jien said, nodding where she sat, "and the theory - while unconfirmed - is that when the Borg Invasion began, the Infested among the Savi would have offered aid to Starfleet against the Collective with their technology, making the war become more devastating for innocent bystanders. With Starfleet Command and the Scion High Council joining forces, the Praetor under parasitic control along with any number of other factions, the Infested would have complete reign over the pace of the war, able to undermine any efforts that had any chances of resisting the Borg in the long run. Already, we know that Starfleet Command have suppressed the development of key scientific breakthroughs, like the slipstream drive that would - otherwise - have been implemented on some ships in the fleet already. What other things they may have suppressed is hard to determine."

Thea nodded, and turned back to Alistair. "There is also the possibility that the number of Infested among the fleet were higher in the future you saw, so the change in their code of conduct may have been more profound. As it stands, it is unknown how many Infested there are, but Doctor Nicander suggest that there are fewer than we might think - the selection criteria seemingly based on roles the individuals play in events to come. While Starfleet Command and the Praetor makes sense as targets, others have not been so obvious to us. At least, not until their role becomes clear. Like the one you fought on Praxis, or Ensign Sonja Acreth, that according to Nicander went back in time to seed the planet Niga with its virus."

Re: Day 02 [1550 hrs.] A Council of War

Reply #20
[Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt | Conference Room | Deck 1 | USS Theurgy] Attn: @Auctor Lucan

[Show/Hide]

Alistair was quiet for a few moments as he tried to make sense of everything that Captain Ives and Thea were saying. It was a lot of information to work with, forming a complicated interconnected narrative that Alistair had only read an overview of the previous day. Still, the DTI hadn't taken him in for nothing, nor had nearly two years of training been in vain. The realisation struck him like lightning.

"Maybe it's all related," Alistair said, looking between Ives and Thea. "What if the state of the galaxy is directly connected to the power of the Infested? The Federation is the one of the most powerful civilisations in the galaxy. We're everything that they hate: ethical, peaceful, compassionate, actively spreading our ideals to our neighbours. The Federation is basically their mortal enemy. What if that's why they targeted us more than, say, the Klingons, or the Dominion? If the Federation is corrupted, then more Infested can cross over into our galaxy to spread chaos and destruction. Maybe that's why there are so few Infested, because they haven't corrupted us yet."

Alistair sighed. "It's just a theory, though, and I don't have any proof."

Re: Day 02 [1550 hrs.] A Council of War

Reply #21
[ USS Theurgy "Thea" NX-79854 | Conference Lounge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]
[Show/Hide]
Indeed, it was all a matter of speculation at that point, and there would be little merit in delving deeper into things they couldn't possible determine to be the truth. Of course there might be things to discover in speculation, but with too few facts available, it quickly became an exercise in futility - the topic likely better examined at a later time.Even taking that into account, however, Thea found the man's suggestion plausible.

"Food for thought," Jien Ives said, glancing at the data hovering above the table. "Thea and I will be going over the data that Captain Ducane sent me, and I do hope we'll be able to find something worthwhile in terms of what the next step ought to be. If the Relativity could give some direction, it will aid us in determining what role we might play in the development with the Romulan fleet movements. There might be priorities that is entirely separate from whatever the Praetor is aiming to do, and if that is the case, we are in dire need of clues as to what those priorities might be."

Thea smiled, looking at Alistair. "I look forward to our continued talks, Lieutenant, and the examination of my logs. I hope I will hold up well under scrutiny, so that I may allay any fears you may have about the state of my subroutines."

- FIN

 
Simple Audio Video Embedder