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Topic: CH02: S [D02|1200] “Unto the deaf, secrets remain so.” | Sember Occultus, P1 (Read 125 times) previous topic - next topic

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CH02: S [D02|1200] “Unto the deaf, secrets remain so.” | Sember Occultus, P1
"UNTO THE DEAF, SECRETS REMAIN SO" | SEMBER OCCULTUS, PART 1

STARDATE 57651.86
APRIL 17, 2381
1200 HRS

[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Central Intelligence Suite | Deck 05 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan @Nolan  @chXinya  @GroundPetrel

Standing inside the large main chamber of the Central Intelligence Suite, Lieutenant Commander Andrew Fisher kept his arms defensively postured across his chest, a look of consternation on his face as he watched the main viewer. Displayed on it was the emblem of Starfleet Intelligence, and a progress bar beneath that had steadily filled. For the first time since he'd been brought into the know regarding Theurgy; this devious plot to undermine and undo Starfleet from the inside out, he would speak to his old friend, and mentor, Rear Admiral Joseph Nerva Anderson. The subspace communications system that was to be employed, so as to ensure that no traces could be made back to him, was very limited in it's capabilities, but it would still allow the Chief Intelligence Officer an opportunity to apprise Anderson of the situation aboard Theurgy, and to ascertain whatever facts had thus far been gathered of the previous day's horrific event in Paris. In a way, he dreaded this conversation, as he felt a pang of guilt at having been unable to prevent such an occurrence, as utterly impossible as it would have been for him to do so. It didn't matter. Someone somewhere had to have known something about it and had failed to send it up the proper channels in time. It was for that reason that Fisher had agreed to remain in Starfleet Intelligence some years earlier when he intended to leave it.

Only at Anderson's behest had he agreed to stay, though to a degree he had begun to wish he hadn't. Intelligence work was difficult to say the least, especially if you intended to remain true to the tenants of Starfleet, as Fisher had.

"We apprise the Admiral of limited facts. We cannot guarantee that he won't fall victim to the 'Nameless Darkness' as so many others already have." Fisher reminded the others around him of his intentions. He of course trusted Anderson, but there was simply no way to verify across such distances that he was still, who he had been before. At any moment, he could have been infected, their enemy having become privy to the knowledge reposed within Anderson. Information that could compromise Theurgy's attempts to end their threat. "No specifics." His green-eyes trailed from the screen for a moment, catching PWO Ravenholm situated at the console as she worked diligently to establish a connection with the buoy. His attention then fell to Lieutenant Dantius as she stood just off in the corner. "We keep our points vague, and concise." He knew he didn't have to repeat himself, but it never hurt to be thorough. There was little room, or time for them to delay and re-word anything they were to offer.

As a nod came from Ravenholm, Fisher took a deep breath before he proceeded.

"And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." He said simply, the unofficial motto of America's Central Intelligence Agency during the 21st-century. It was a personal favorite of his, and in fact most Starfleet Intelligence Officers. It originated from the Holy Bible; John Chapter 8, Verse 32. It was also something of a calling card that Anderson had used when speaking with Fisher in the past, and it seemed only appropriate to co-opt it on his own accord.

"I am here. We are legion. We are active. Operations have begun. We are underway. Our efforts doubled. Please advise of situation on Earth. Need confirmation of the bill. Need to know who's paying. Please respond in kind, following established protocols for verification. Bishop out." There was a lot of information contained in very few words. It was an old practice, that had continued to prevail for Fisher into his modest age. It was something of a standard greeting, meant to establish the boundaries of trust in a source that could not be readily verified, which Admiral Anderson most certainly was. He would have understood that. Theurgy's verification was ensured by the sheer fact that they were still on the run. There was no need to verify that they hadn't been compromised, if they had been, he would have known by the sheer announcement that it had been brought to 'justice' by task-force Archeron. But for Fisher, he couldn't count on the same simple verification. Anderson would need to be forthright on his part, otherwise this call would be pointless, as Fisher was unwilling to risk exposing anything that my compromise their mission.

With a nod, he signaled Ravenholm to cut the first transmission, and send it. There would be a delay, as Anderson would need to receive it, an encode his own response, so Fisher knew he had a chance to at least go over some updates from the Shuttle Bay, regarding the Type-11 he'd requisitioned for a mission that wasn't his, but that he was going to co-opt out of personal necessity, as well as professional concerns.

"Now is the time to formulate any questions you might have people. But remember. Short. Concise. To the point. We, nor the Admiral have the time for in depth conversations." He set the PADD back down onto his desk, and approached the wall mounted replicator, a slightly noticeable limp to his right leg; a lingering result of it having been broken the night before during the 'Spearhead' lounge bombing. Psycho-somatically, he could still feel a deep ache, even though it had been rather thoroughly healed. "Coffee. Dark roast. Black." He ordered, and a moment later the hot caffeinated beverage whizzed into existence from out of nothing, and he accepted it. This was the fourth cup he'd had thus far, and he predicted he'd need at least one more in order to truly feel the exhaustion of the night before subsiding. He'd need to find some sleep on the shuttle, he figured, but he also imagined that might be difficult with the verbal berating he was due to receive. Pushing the thought aside, he knew he had to focus on the more serious aspect of Theurgy, and on what information might come back from the Admiral, if it did at all. Only time would tell.

With that thought, Fisher sipped at his coffee and returned to lean against his desk. Waiting.
Writer of
[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Chief Intelligence Officer | USS Theurgy NX-79854 ]
[ Lt. JG Kate Foster | Chief Surgeon | USS Theurgy NX-79854 ]

Re: CH02: S [D02|1200] “Unto the deaf, secrets remain so.” | Sember Occultus, P1
Reply #1
Lt. JG Dantius Thi Annh-Le | Central Intelligence Suite | Deck 05 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy  Attn: @Auctor Lucan @Nolan @chXinya @Swift

Anh-Le frowned, thinking through the options.  "With respect, sir, I think that we should keep all outgoing communication to a bare minimum, and we should keep requests for information to the general.  As we still have no idea how the enemy select their targets, or what gives them an in, or anything like that, so...it may be acceptable to obfuscate as to how we discovered any new information that we send to Admiral Anderson.  Especially if he asks--I think we should consider creating false sources of information to confuse a potential infiltrator.

The potential of Admiral Anderson--of Intel itself--being suborned scared Anh-Le more than anything else.  She tapped her PADD mindlessly with one finger, plotting through nightmare scenario after nightmare scenario.  "We need to know as much about the bombing as possible.  Especially any recordings that may have survived.  That might help prevent future attacks, but Anderson certainly has other teams working on it--if I were him, I'd have at least three, small units coordinating, tight information control to keep anything from leaking out.  Outside of that, though...all we really have from Nicander is a vague understanding of what it feels like to be possessed, and his impressions of what the enemy's intent might be.  Nothing Anderson can really act on.  However..."  Anh-Le bit her lip.  "The anyon scan is our ace in the hole right now and needs to be kept secure as long as possible.  However...no, the parasites seem to be able to access host memories.  We might not be able to afford the risk of even giving him the stardate of the Shuttle Von Braun Incident of Stardate 45892.4, if it's an infiltrator it'll likely go pull the files and figure out that we know about the anyon trick, letting them figure out some kind of counter."

On that line of thought...could they proliferate anyon emission tech covertly?  Unlikely to succeed, and a great way to kill lots of hosts.  So maybe not...

Anh-Le shook her head, reminding herself to stay on topic.  "In short, sir, recommend keeping things short and vague.
Really enjoying writing a halfway stable character for once...

Re: CH02: S [D02|1200] “Unto the deaf, secrets remain so.” | Sember Occultus, P1
Reply #2
Eventually, a chirp from Ravenholm's console announced the reply coming in. It was an audio transmission, and once it was decrypted and opened up, the voice was distorted. Garbled to unrecognition, which has been the common practise of Director Anderson after he'd established communication with the Theurgy. After all, the Rear Admiral was behind enemy lines, so to speak, and the greatest risk was to him should the Infested somehow intercept the message going to the subspace buoy.

[This is King. Message received and understood. We did not have to pay for the main course on the bill, but a second one will be issued in approximately nine hours. I repeat, nine hours. We have no one present to pay for it, and should I try to make a transfer from either of my accounts, the cost will be even higher as a whole. Likely higher than anyone can afford, given the expected price.]

Even though the voice was garbled, there was a distinct tightness to the tone, suggesting how serious the situation was. [With your efforts doubled, could you pay for it instead? You can find the second bill attached. King out.]

There was a small text attachment with the transmission, including a lot of encrypted numbers. Once decrypted, galactic coordinates were there, readily available to be entered into a navigational interface. Once this was done, the LCARS star-charts homed in on a singular planet. Better yet there were planetary coordinates included as well, and the LCARS map would centre into the capital of one of the Federation's founding worlds.

The blinking circle landed on the Plaza of Freedom in Laikan, the capital city of Andoria.


OOC: [Show/Hide]

Re: CH02: S [D02|1200] “Unto the deaf, secrets remain so.” | Sember Occultus, P1
Reply #3
[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Central Intelligence Suite | Deck 05 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan @Nolan @chXinya @GroundPetrel

Fisher sipped idly at his stimulant of choice, relented to let the circuit of the message complete, and to field and listen to the discussion that was promoted by those around him. It was no surprise to him that Lieutenant Dantius was the first of the others to offer up her take on the matter, as she had quickly come to be one of the more open in terms of her opinion; something he more than appreciated. Silence was great when you were in the middle of a room full of potential enemies and rivals, but in an instance like this, they were all on the same team, and differing or confirming opinions were important to absorb. So it was, that as he turned away from the replicator alcove, that he offered her the complete attention that she warranted. It was soon made clear however, that they were of a similar mind on the matter; that simplistic and even vague communications were the best route, as there was no means of guaranteeing the Admiral's uncompromised status. There was a relief in him that welled up at the realization, that the instinct for secrecy hadn't been lost on the other members of his staff, but rather echoed appropriately.

"Noted, Lieutenant." Fisher confirmed for her, an approving tone to his voice as he stepped back toward the central holo-table.

Another minute would pass before there was a klaxon at Ravenholm's console, alerting them that a return message had been intercepted; once that message was data-logged, and decrypted, Fisher gave the nod for it play out for them all to hear. It confirmed one thing right off the bat, that their 'Spy King' was still active, as even though he'd masked his vocal tone, the use of the codename was one that only Anderson would have chosen. He was still at work on their behalf back at Starfleet. It was something of a powerful and inspiring sentiment, as things had seemingly taken a turn for the worse, to know that their man on the inside was still in play, well so long as he hadn't been compromised by their enigmatic enemy. It was also a sentiment that grew in positivity as the message confirmed that the President of the United Federation of Planets had been spared her death; Nan Bacco represented a return to the brighter days of Starfleet, before they were bogged down by war, after war. To have lost her, would have struck a great blow to morale across the Federation.

It did raise a follow-up in Fisher's mind however, though he would wait to finish deciphering the rest of Anderson's message to formulate it.

Once it had completed, Fisher looked about to gauge the reactions of everyone else before diving in. He doubted he needed to explain the meaning behind any of what was said, as they all seemed to come from the same school on the matter: IE Anderson's. But it still didn't hurt to at least verbally review the facts as they had been presented to them. "Good news is the President is alive. Bad news is, we have a new problem..." Fisher leant over to examine the galactic coordinates that had been relayed to him, setting down the aluminum-tumbler that contained his strong brew on the holo-table before he punched it up there. As an icy-blue globe came into view, he let an exasperated sigh leave him. "Andoria." There was a long silence that permeated the room, as they each understood the gravity of the situation and dilemma posed their way. Anderson laid it out plainly; he couldn't intercede, lest he reveal his hand, and the role he was actively playing in support of Theurgy. Yet at the same time, Theurgy's efforts were split as it was, with half their effort going toward helping the Breen, and the other half working on behalf of the Klingons and Martok.

Swiftly, Fisher tapped his combadge. "Fisher to Captain Ives. I'm forwarding onto you a set of decrypted Galactic Coordinates that we've just received from our mutual benefactor. I'm afraid our situation grows even more dire by the hour. I will keep you apprised of additional developments as well." He could have waited for their communications with the Admiral to complete, but given the stakes of the situation, he knew there was a paramount need for immediacy.

Finished with his first relay to the Captain, he approached where Ravenholm sat, and reached out to touch the console, ready to send his follow-ups to the Admiral.

"Understood, King. Second bill has been forwarded onto accounting. Payment yet to be finalized." Fisher took a moment, realizing how silly the manner in which they were speaking was, but it was a necessary means. Anyone who intercepted would have though it a joke at best, given how cliché it was. Remembering the follow-up from just a moment earlier, something of a promise he'd made to someone else aboard ship, he took a deep breath before continuing. "Are we expecting our waitress to collect, and can you confirm that the children were free from the bill as well? If so, have you been recommended a decent baby-sitter for them?" With a thick eyebrow raised, Fisher nodded to Ravenholm as a means to end recording, encrypt, and send the transmission. It would take another circuit of time to get the answers that he needed, but such was the business of these dangerous times.

"With any hope, the Federation Council wasn't entirely obliterated as well." He explained, though again, he assumed the others knew the meanings behind his confusing questions.

Retrieving his coffee, he took another sip, and appraised the others for more discussion.



OOC:[Show/Hide]
  • Last Edit: August 29, 2020, 08:13:09 PM by Swift
Writer of
[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Chief Intelligence Officer | USS Theurgy NX-79854 ]
[ Lt. JG Kate Foster | Chief Surgeon | USS Theurgy NX-79854 ]

Re: CH02: S [D02|1200] “Unto the deaf, secrets remain so.” | Sember Occultus, P1
Reply #4
The wait for the reply seemed to drag on forever before arrival, even if it was merely the stakes and the tardiness of the subspace distance and elaborate encryption protocols that caused the delay. In the meantime, Ives had acknowledged the report with a written message, stating that he would contact the Erudite.

Once Admiral Anderson's message arrived, however, the chirp pierced the silence of baited breaths.

[King here. The waitress seem absent and unable to collect, yet she might have colleagues closer to your table. Awareness of your dining unknown, yet one of them might be lenient when it comes to payment. In fact, being a good friend of ours, she might even pay for some of our bills out of their own pocket. Confirmation of that still pending,] said the voice, the tightness of the voice lessened a bit, since this was actually good news delivered. If there was potentially an ally ship out there, the endeavour to aid Martok might be easier - the "lies" of the Theurgy not just coming from them. Anderson wasn't finished, though.

[While some of the children had to pay for the bill, five did not, and I have made sure there is a baby-sitter present for them, even if I could not call her myself. Now that the bills are coming, I am establishing new payment methods, but my funds are limited since I have to use hidden assets. Please forward confirmation on the second bill as soon as possible, and if the helpful waitress shows up, she will present herself as Freedom Sentinel. King Out.]

In the wake of this silence, there was still more to speak of, but the bursts had to be short. They had yet to speak of the FNN and Romulan troop movements, and any number of relevant issues, but as far as the dinner-analogy, it had run its course, and if they were to speak of the Praetor and the Romulans, there had to be some other set of code-phrases to use.


OOC: [Show/Hide]

Re: CH02: S [D02|1200] “Unto the deaf, secrets remain so.” | Sember Occultus, P1
Reply #5
[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Central Intelligence Suite | Deck 05 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan @Nolan @chXinya @GroundPetrel

The devastation to the Federation Council was clear, as from the sound of Anderson's relay, only a handful had survived. Though Fisher had little personal stake at hand when it came to them, someone he knew and now cared for, had. But he couldn't risk pressing for specific names as to appease her, to do so might well compromise them in whatever tenuous situation they now existed. At the same time, the news wasn't all bad, as the Admiral had forewarned him of apparent assistance coming at some point soon; under the codename of 'Freedom Sentinel'. He'd need to apprise the Bridge Crew of such a development, so that they knew not to start firing on whatever ship presented itself as such.

Long has the time since passed when the parlor tricks of code phrases and such were still of important use, if anything it had been something of a game, rather than an actual necessity of remanding important information from unwarranted eyes and ears. For his part, the practice had run its course, and as the responses had come in a fashion that was wholly within the realm of personal experience, it spoke to the uncompromised status of the man on the other end. Only a man like Anderson would have even entertained such a silly notion from the beginning, and in fact he had. It was the stuff of old cheesy spy films, and serials; not at all what modern Intelligence Operatives relied on for security in such uncertain times. No, encryption was the modern-day golden standard upon which to base one's faith in relaying information back and forth. Encryption the likes of which Ravenholm, and the other data analysts aboard Theurgy were masters of; the likes of which Anderson likely had a team of trusted individuals working on in similar kind.

With a simple nod, Fisher acknowledged the cybernetically enhanced woman sitting at the console to begin the next phase of recording. "Spy King, Bishop-- I'm ceasing coded-speech. Full encryption from this point on. What can you confirm of Romulan Praetor Tal-Aura on the matter? Federation News Net confirms that she has claimed full responsibility for the attack on Paris and is moving her fleets to begin preparations for war. What of Donatra and her separatist forces?" The point being made, that perhaps there was an ally in Romulan space that they could rely upon in undermining the Praetor. Granted, Donatra had her hands full just trying to keep her fledgling Imperial Romulan State afloat, but in her Theurgy might find an ally along the lines of Chancellor Martok, for they might be able to trade the revelation of the Parasites to her, in exchange for assistance in staving off total war. It was an issue that Fisher had considered previously but had yet to address with anyone with direct input on the matter.

At this point, interference within the grander scope of Internal Romulan matters was well within reason, and in fact, if Anderson didn't have cards at play there, then Fisher was confident that he and Theurgy would soon. "Please advise. Bishop out." There would be another circuit that would need to complete before those answers would come, but he already had additional details that he'd needed to appraise the Captain of and would be doing in the meantime.
Writer of
[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Chief Intelligence Officer | USS Theurgy NX-79854 ]
[ Lt. JG Kate Foster | Chief Surgeon | USS Theurgy NX-79854 ]

Re: CH02: S [D02|1200] “Unto the deaf, secrets remain so.” | Sember Occultus, P1
Reply #6
With full encryption activated, the wait was a tad longer than before, but once Anderson replied - the voice still garbled to protect his identity in the unlikely event that the subspace transmission was compromised - he spoke plainly.

[King here. The Praetor is undoubtedly orchestrating the attacks on Federation targets, and our sources on Romulus claims she eliminated opposition in the Senate to push for war. It has been confirmed that she used the Theurgy's involvement to sway the remaining Senate about breaching the ban on thalaron weaponry. With this technology fully at her disposal, the Romulans are fitting their fleets with what they need to turn the tide against Donatra, whom doesn't have the resources at her disposal to do the same. It is only a matter of time before the Imperial Romulan State falls, and they have to flee for Klingon space, and the same is true of the remaining Reman forces. Given the state of things in the Klingon Empire, however, it is unknown if they will find sanctuary here. Captain Ives may know more than me and my own in that regard, and since you carry the Chancellor to Qo'nos, you might simply ask where Martok will stand if he can deal with the usurper.]

There was a pause, before the Admiral spoke anew.

[We have received the specifications for the transphasic light emitter, yet we do not have the necessary kemocite on hand. Shipment inbound, ETA one week. Construction specifications are clear enough, but more time is needed for that to be concluded as well. Any progress with the second alternative, in which the parasites might be removed by phase variance transporter, is crucial. Two of my assets have vanished in Starfleet Headquarters, one of which can name me. My time hiding in plain sight might come to an end soon. I can send one more message before my presence is needed elsewhere. King Out.]

Bad news.

It could be the King's reign was coming to an end.
  • Last Edit: September 15, 2020, 12:15:07 AM by Auctor Lucan

Re: CH02: S [D02|1200] “Unto the deaf, secrets remain so.” | Sember Occultus, P1
Reply #7
Lt. JG Dantius Thi Annh-Le | Central Intelligence Suite | Deck 05 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy  Attn: @Auctor Lucan @Nolan @chXinya @Swift

...Fuck.  Anh-Le's blood ran cold.  Her instinct was to recommend offering immediate assistance, but she sat on that urge; it would only put more assets at risk.  "Commander, I recommend suggesting that Admiral Anderson go underground.  Maybe the old fake-death trick?  We still know so little about how the enemy select targets, that might be enough, and at the very least it's worth a try.

She thought through possible outcomes--the analytical part of her briefly noted that this might present a theoretical opportunity to gain intelligence on the enemy's method of selecting targets, but she quickly sat on that idea with the rest of her mind.  The cost was far too great.  "Alternatively...Maybe a portable anyone emitter could be used as a sort of shield against possession?  If they pull us into a parallel phased dimension somehow to infect their targets, maybe using anyon emitters on a local scale would prevent infection entirely.  Admiral Anderson has more resources than we do, he ought to be able to have one quickly whipped up if he hasn't already.

This was bad--not completely unexpected, in an op like this there was no such thing as stability, but really, really bad nonetheless.  The Orion ran a hand through her hair, chewing on her lip as she breathed out through her nose.  "I think Admiral Anderson's got 48 hours, tops, before they nab him--by arrest or by possession.  Probably less.  Commander, I further recommend that all mission planning from here on out operate on the assumption that we will have no direct or indirect support from Earth, and will be operating in radio silence by default.  And we should end this call as soon as possible so he can focus on escaping the enemy.

She hoped that Anderson would make it out.  He was a good guy, and sharp--and assets were few and far between on this job.  Much less Admiral-level assets. 
Really enjoying writing a halfway stable character for once...

Re: CH02: S [D02|1200] “Unto the deaf, secrets remain so.” | Sember Occultus, P1
Reply #8
[ Lt. Jonathan Byrne | Central Intelligence Suite | Deck 05 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]  Attn: @Auctor Lucan @GroundPetrel  @chXinya @Swift

The news certainly wasn't exactly what they were waiting for, not fully at least. They got some intel they could put to good use, though in turn they got more troubling news. Byrne remained to keep himself on the sidelines for now. Soaking up the information they were getting while toying around with an Aldean trinket he had brought aboard. It was a simple bracelet with a kind of pearls and beads on them. He ran them through his fingers as he looked at Fisher and the rest of the present crew.

If anything, they were treading upon a wasp nest. There were decent pointers where they would find more trouble and where they could find friends. He didn't envy Ives or Fisher's seat for one bit. It'd be tough calls to make but... The Orion spoke up and suggested some great ideas. Byrne's eyes shifted over to Fisher to see what the experienced man would decide. Realistically, it'd be hard to make an admiral disappear. Even with a fake death simulation, too much variables perhaps...

Byrne kept toying with the trinket, eyes a bit absent from the meeting now as he ran a few scenarios in his head, wondering which he'd be able to propose as an alternative. He couldn't quite find a suitable one and thus, he remained by the side. Ears picking up everything while his eyes dwelled upon the occupants inside the intelligence suite.
Thomas Ravon: [Show/Hide]
Kythalie Benmual: [Show/Hide]
Amelya Rez: [Show/Hide]
Jonathan Byrne: [Show/Hide]