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Topic: CH06: S [D03|1420] Gorilla's in the mist (Read 122 times) previous topic - next topic

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  • stardust
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CH06: S [D03|1420] Gorilla's in the mist
[ Lt. Cmdr. Rutherford | Diplomatic Council | Deck 02 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @GroundPetrel @Auctor Lucan

As Samantha stepped out of the turbolift, another shake of the ship's deck sent her tumbling into the sidewall of the corridor. Pushing herself off the paneling, by the wits of her palms, the slender blonde rushed onwards. Feet dragging through a thick layer of vapor, gushing from a ruptured seal nearby. Muffled thuds and mumbling blows reverberating through the duranium alloys, the supports of the corridor singing with the vibrations of that the inertia dampening system couldn't handle.

Further down the corridor, a troop of security personnel rushed by, orders barked to the front of the line from their leader, as they vanished around a bend. Klingon war cries somewhere in the distance. Rounding the next corner, luckily, the diplomat already arrived at the outer door of the diplomatic council - arguably the safest place on the ship. Lieutenant Dantius was already waiting there. Undoubtedly feeling a bit uneasy, out in the open like this. They would both feel much safer, once inside.

"Lieutenant ..." she breathed hastily, placing her hand on the console in the wall, next to the large doors, unlocking them. The whole system had gone into lockdown. Likely a program remaining from the locales time as the ship's flag bridge. With a relieving chirp of acknowledgment, however, the vault opened up and let the two women pass inside. Right through the small anteroom, the next set of doors waited until the first had closed once more, before letting them enter the circular hub.

It seemed like no one was here, unless they were hiding under desks. But the commander had to postpone worrying about her subordinates to a later time. "I just received notice that someone is trying to contact us via the secure Starfleet uplink I had your department establish, via my old offices on Starbase 133." The blonde explained briefly, to catch Anh-Le up to speed momentarily. "I suspect my grandmother might've caught on to my credentials being used. She's a Rear-Admiral at Starfleet Operations." Moving on along the side of the room, towards the adjacent conference room and its large wall display, the deck plating started to sway like a ship in heavy seas, the lights gently flickering, making the two women stagger in their paths, until the auxiliary stabilizers kicked in. Obviously, the Klingons had placed yet another precise hit.

"Computer, engage uplink." Samantha ordered, stepping through the sliding glass doors into the separate meeting area, the big transparent panes too vibrating under the ship's stress. Positioning herself at the side of the long table, blue eyes trained on the display as the Starfleet symbol started to spin, the woman neglected to sit down. Though she had an idea that at some point she might be inclined to. The anticipation flushed her muscles with liquid gold, as all the worry and hope came rushing back, that had been pushed away ever since the bombing of Paris. Either way, she would know more in a few seconds, for better or worse.
  • Last Edit: February 01, 2021, 09:52:30 PM by stardust

Re: CH06: S [D03|0920] Gorilla's in the mist
Reply #1
 Lt. JG Dantius | Diplomatic Council | Deck 02 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy  Attn: @stardust  @Auctor Lucan

Anh-Le saluted the blonde crisply.  "Commander Rutherford, sir.Should I apologize for stealing her drink the other day?  Nah, not appropriate, maybe later.  That was assuming that Rutherford would even tolerate the bar brawl being brought up again.  She seemed pretty straight-laced. 

The Orion nodded along as Rutherford explained the situation.  "Well, at least that's circumstantial evidence that might suggest she's not infected, sir."  If Rutherford's grandmother were infected, she probably wouldn't be bothering to call when any potential passenger could just skip to murder attempts.  Though...would a junior Admiral be able to contact us?  Anderson went to ground, might even be dead or turned, and it's not like he was throwing our contact ident out to just anybody already.

Uncertainty.  That was the worst part. 

Then some Klingon gunner's good luck messed up the inertial dampeners, and Anh-Le cursed under her breath, praying that the dampeners didn't do more than briefly hiccup.   Without them, any attempt by Theurgy to maneuver would at best throw the entire crew around like bowling pins. 

At worst, a rapid velocity shift in space without inertial dampeners would throw everybody on the ship into the bulkheads and decks with enough force to instantly liquefy them.  Anh-Le had seen the results of a pirate ship losing inertial dampeners in the mess that used to be the coreward part of the Cardassian DMZ once.  The poor bastards had suffered a nav-def failure in warp, and hit some space dust that shredded their inertial dampeners.  Trying to drop out of warp had been their last mistake. 

Anh-Le had never vomited so much in her life. 

Rutherford engaged the uplink, and Anh-Le pulled out her PADD to take notes.  Alright, let's see what Granny can give us.

OOC: Sorry for the delay, grad school assignment took up all of yesterday! 
Really enjoying writing a halfway stable character for once...

Re: CH06: S [D03|1420] Gorilla's in the mist
Reply #2

>> Click For Full Resolution

[ Ambassador Elim Garak | Classified Cooridnates | Aboard Paris One ]
The days since the Paris bombing had been interesting, sufficed to say. In all honesty, Garak was surprised he had been allowed to remain with the President of the Federation and the surviving members of the Council. Oh, he knew the 'why' of his present circumstances, of course, but it seemed surreal how events had unfolded since that fateful day.

Best illustrated, perhaps, by his present task, in which he at the behest of an enigma in Starfleet Headquarters had been advised to answer a message from Starbase 113. A message that hadn't been addressed to him, even, but in which he was supposed to learn more about what that decrypted simulcast from Starbase 84 had meant. All he knew was that Lieutenant Commander Jona Rez, the one who had encrypted the hyperbolic and allegedly fake message from the Federation starship Theurgy, was a mutual acquaintance of theirs - his and that of this engima in Starfleet Intelligence. This enigma seemed to believe what the encrypted and real version of the simulcast had stated, in which a Captain Ives claimed Starfleet Command had been taken over by a parasitic enemy which couldn't be detected by conventional means. As for Garak, he could see how that would have made what happened in Paris easier to execute as far as such operations went, but that was hardly enough for him to compromise himself by starting to spread what he'd learned.

Especially when surrounded by powerful people whom could just have easily been possessed by these enemies.

Since the engima, calling himself 'King', couldn't reveal his identity to Garak, this option had been arranged for, in which he were to speak with people who knew more. Clearly 'King' didn't trust Garak either, so this relay communication via Starbase 133 had been the best option to find common ground and a way forward. If what the encrypted version of Captain Ives' speech was true, then whomever would be on the other side of the subspace comm link would get his undivided attention. Not just in the respect of informing the remnant body of the Federation Council what might be afoot, but because he had to bring the word to Cardassia and the Castellan.

So, in the dark room in the lower deck of Paris One, wherein his features would be shrouded in shadows, he stared at the spinning symbol which awaited an answer on the other side - Starbase 133 merely being the relay towards somewhere else entirely. In all likelihood, the USS Theurgy.

When the uplink was established, the recipients had yet to opted for visual or auditory transmission, so Garak was only looking at a dark screen - knowing they could just hear him and see his silhouette on their screen.

"Hello," he said, smiling as he spoke and knowing he would likely sound more amiable that way. "You and I have a mutual acquaintance in 'King', and since there is no way to tell if those you sought to speak with have been compromised by these... parasites, you will be speaking with me instead. Pardon the inconvenience."

He waited for a moment, for those on the other side of the uplink to decide if they wanted to show themselves or restrict their communication to audio only, before he continued. "While I have received and decrypted the same simulcast that 'King' got from Starbase 84, over a month ago, I would like to know more about the situation before I risk my life in aiding in the matter. So, 'King' is supposed to have sent you word ahead of this, the code word being 'Freedom Sentinel'."

Federation code words... How novel.

"Now, would you mind telling me what you know about this enemy?" said Garak, tilting his head where he sat.

Of course he wouldn't reveal where he was, and to whom he was currently connected. If he did, then he might as well have turned on the lights in the room. He knew he might be an essential link between these alleged 'protectors of truth', to whom he likely were speaking, and the remaining members of the Federation Council... but he wouldn't be a fool about it. For all he knew it, he wouldn't put it past the Romulans to spread misinformation in times of war.

  • stardust
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Re: CH06: S [D03|1420] Gorilla's in the mist
Reply #3
[ Lt. Cmdr. Rutherford | Diplomatic Council | Deck 02 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @GroundPetrel @Auctor Lucan

"So far, intel posits only the highest echelons of Starfleet are infected, and as much as my grandmother would smack me over the head for saying so, I don't think she is important enough for that." the blonde replied to her colleague with a knowing raise of the brows, non-verbally indicating that this information, much like what was going to transcend, was to remain between their both departments. Her grandmother was a formidable woman, no question. Much of her own gravitas came from those formative years growing up on earth between Starfleet and the Federation respectively. But still, she was only second in line to those making the final decisions. Enjoying to say that she lacked the hubris for that kind of job and was thus never considered - only slightly adding to her bitterness in progressing age.

Greeted by the spinning logo, the large viewscreen eventually glazed over with the dark recesses of a barely lit space, a humanoid silhouette cutting the layout virtually in half, not revealing much of their own identity. A seemingly thick head of black hair, like a helmet atop an unusually thick neck and broad shoulders ... the commander found it hard to project either of her grandparent's likeness into that literal frame of reference. The admiral DID have a rather fluffy head of hair, usually, but it rested atop a toothpick, by comparison. Frankly, it was curiosity, that persuaded the diplomat to reveal herself, in the end, not tactics or protocol. Taking one step forward, the blonde tapped a control on the table, causing the glass wall behind her to draw opaque, effectively replacing the view of the former flag bridge with a generic white backdrop, thus not giving away an indication as to where they really were ... visually, at least.

Squirming ever so slightly at the mention of King, one of intels seemingly oh-so-smart monikers for Anderson - if memory served her right - she would for now entertain the silly charade that a four year old could crack. Let alone a parasitic force that virtually had access to the entirety of Starfleet's knowledge. Quite possibly this was merely a sense of protocol people from that branch of service needed to cling to in order to not lose hope, much like she did to the diplomatic guidelines. A sense of absolute normality, in an utter lack thereof.  But there was also something else that put people at ease, talking to someone with a face. So, Samantha switched on the visual receptors to transmit both her and Dantius' rather well lit representations. Including the additional spectrum of human emotions, visible on their faces, which almost served as a third means of straightforward communication, alongside the audio and visual ones.

"Well, since you seem to know who I was expecting to speak to, it is only fair you reveal who it indeed is I ended up with." Was her first question, foregoing personal introductions for the mere reason that this person already seemed to know who she was - or thought so - and because they hadn't even landed on equal footing in terms of visual identification yet. There was no sense in wasting time on some precautious Starfleet switchboard operator.

Switching her stance, resting one elbow on the other arm crossed below her chest, the blonde cupped her chin against her thumb in contemplations, giving the shadowy figure a narrowed glance. "You're obstructing my direct efforts to investigate further in the matter, under the guise of integrity concerns, yet you're requesting additional affirmations to warrant your involvement. Pardon me for saying so, Sir, but I believe we have a chicken and an egg problem on our hands."

"I would not mind telling you more about what we have found out, to aid the fight, if I were to understand that the one whom I am sharing this information with is trustworthy, and not just privy to the intelligence rulebook of cant." the officer added curtly, stretching the corners of her plump lips at the emphasis on the last word belted out brazenly. Only to then give Anh-Le an almost apologetic side-glance, adding quietly: "No offense."

"And not me, personally." Samantha resumed her attention on the dark figure. "But yes, intelligence has been informed of the mission, yet if you wish further details you will have to talk to 'King' himself." Oh well, how hard and redundant it felt to get that soubriquet past her lips. Then he wanted more information, for her. Curious. "Funnily enough, I was establishing this link to ask the very same question. Seems like your interception put us at a stalemate."

And even though she could've said more, as they indeed had uncovered quite a bit of information that would've been valuable to both Anderson and Starfleet as a whole, she wasn't yet convinced to simply relate all of that to a mystery man who hijacked her frequency. Nor was it her place, really, she was a diplomat, not an intelligence operative. And just that moment, another volley shook the deck, causing Samantha to level herself with a gentle touch of delicate fingers against the table beside her. This was unfortunate, but it had probably been a stupid idea to be able to hide the ensuing battle from whoever she was talking to.

"As you can see, we are a little pressed for time, and I don't know how long we can keep this connection up. So, let's make the best of it."
  • Last Edit: February 08, 2021, 01:12:54 AM by stardust

Re: CH06: S [D03|1420] Gorilla's in the mist
Reply #4
Lt. JG Dantius | Diplomatic Council | Deck 02 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy  Attn: @stardust   @Auctor Lucan

That is NOT somebody's granny.  Cardassian or Vaadwaur, not many species had a neck like that.  Almost certainly Cardassian since what Vaadwaur had escaped Janeway's Folly #18,000 were allegedly extremely few in number and stuck on ancient rust-buckets. 

Which meant someone high up in what Cardassian intelligence operations hadn't been thoroughly purged by the Federation and its allies. 

I wonder if the rumors about him and that doctor Bashir are true...  Anh-Le stopped and chided herself internally.  Off topic.  Focus on the situation.  Ask about fashion advice at the end of the call to confirm the scraps of information she'd picked up over the years. 

"Sir," Anh-Le said under her breath to Rutherford.  "If he's got the right codes, we have to trust that he's on the level.  If we see the enemy in everyone, they've already won.  He has A--King's number, and ours, so he's in the loop.

Of course, the Cardassian could still be infected, now or later.  But that was always going to be a risk.  And without at least a bit of trust, they were all fucked.  

Chó chết, though, Rutherford was more high-strung than Anh-Le, and the Orion was pretty sure she would need beta blockers to go with her regular meds soon. 

The ship shuddered again.  Damn, it's bad out there, isn't it?  Wonder who's winning.
OOC: Apologies for the delay, had some Internet issues and grad school kicked my butt.  :(
Really enjoying writing a halfway stable character for once...

Re: CH06: S [D03|1420] Gorilla's in the mist
Reply #5
[ Ambassador Elim Garak | Classified Cooridnates | Aboard Paris One ]
Hearing the blonde human with the higher rank talk, and having been told just enough by 'King' to deduce whom she was, Garak's smile became wider. Of course, his smile was no indicator of his amusement. Quite the opposite, in this regard, since the daughter mightn't just be emotionally compromised by her family affiliations, she didn't seem to understand the necessity of deniability and the protection of assets. Much less the purpose of code words when dealing with sensitive intel and establishing trust with new operatives.

Thankfully, the Orion woman pointed out that very thing, which made Garak take a deep breath. He decided to give the two officers another chance instead of just disconnecting. It was worrying that the starship which led the operational fight against this alleged enemy was in battle, but he wasn't about to compromise himself out of pity for their plight.

"To be fair," he said turning his head slightly to the human speaker, "I am obstructing your ability to make contact with those you sought because they have neither picked up on the transmission you've made to the Starfleet Archives, nor can we know they are not... 'Infested' as well. Their whereabouts are unknown at this point. They are alive, but that is all I knew before 'King' suggested I took the opportunity to speak with you. I do hope they are well, and remain themselves, but this has yet to be verified. Which, incidentally..."

Garak turned his head towards the Orion woman, whom seemed to be more cooperative. " why I contacted you. King spoke of cycling anyonic phase variances with anyon emitters, and how it might kill both host and parasite, but he also said you managed to isolate the exact phase variance for this purpose not long ago in your scientific research. If Starfleet Command is been overtaken by this enemy, and they are the only verified 'Infested', then it stands to reason that you have a means to slay this clandestine species of instigators, but you either decide to not do it, or hope to find a more benevolent means to do it. Is this true?"

Simple enough answer to give, he hoped, despite their unwillingness to cooperate on his terms. He was quite aware that he held all the leverage in the conversation, which might irk the officer that dealt with diplomacy, but it wasn't like he was making it very difficult for them. He wanted to know more, so that he could act on their behalf. They'd just have to get over their ego for a couple of minutes, and he was literally within a hundred meters from the Federation president and her staff.

His second question was more pointed, however.

"Lieutenant Commander Jona Rez was the one who encrypted the simulcast I received from Starbase 84," he said, gesturing in a dismissive manner since it was a side-point, "He is an old acquaintance of mine, and while I am curious about the false recording of Captain Ives which he created, in which your Commanding Officer claimed that he did defect to the Romulans during the diplomatic talks about the Remans some time back... I was more surprised that Captain Ives was prepared to incite a civil war in the Federation just to alert everyone on the receiving end of the encrypted version of that simulcast that Starfleet Command was overtaken by aliens. If I were to venture a guess.... then I'd say Jona Rez and Captain Ives did not agree on the potential fallout of the simulcast, since Jona encrypted Ives' real words in the fashion he did, and perpetuated Starfleet Command's claim that you were Romulan defectors. My question, in short..."

Garak suspected that they might foresee it, but he couldn't help himself with the theatrics. " what Captain Ives did to Rez for doing so, since my dear friend has yet to try and contact me after sending me that encryption?"

While the answer itself was indicative of the resolve of the Theurgy's commanding officer, it would also verify how 'King' could contact him in the first place.