The Latenter discovers that their first point of investigation, the border monitoring facility attacked by the Justicar, has been compromised by a computer virus of unknown origin. Mischa and Yuzuki must navigate the now hostile station and investigate what occured to it in order to find the intelligence they came to seek.
T'Lana@anncaris | A figure runs down a hallway with flickering lights. As she comes closer to the camera, we can see that she is wearing an Intelligence uniform with the pips of an Ensign. She grips an - T'Lana@anncaris - Intelligence phaser pistol in hand, looking around nervously as she runs T'Lana@anncaris | Spotting a hatch on a wall, she quickly steps over and pulls the hatch open, crawling into a jefferies tube. She makes her way through the tube, soon reaching a ladder which she begins to ascend T'Lana@anncaris | As she climbs, the lights flicker and shut beneath her. She climbs furiously, trying to speed up her pace, but suddenly freezes T'Lana@anncaris | Something shrouded by the darkness pulls her down and the Ensign screams as she disappears into the shadows... --- T'Lana@anncaris | On the Latenter, Mischa receives a comm from the Loki as they make their way towards the secret facility that the Justicar attacked Mischa@crystyl sits sipping tea at her desk when it comes in, activating the encrypted channel and opening the comm T'Lana@anncaris appears on Mischa's screen, "Hello Commander. I hope things are proceeding well with the Latenter?" Mischa@crystyl smiles, "Lana, well isn't this an unexpected surprise. It is early days yet, but we are making progress. How is life on the Loki?" T'Lana@anncaris:"Uneventful as of yet, though I suspect activity is about to increase as Starfleet Command's plans are put into motion. However, there was one interesting occurrence, primarily concerning the Valley - T'Lana@anncaris - Forge, but Captain Se'lai brought something to my attention which may be of relevance to your mission as well." Mischa@crystyl:"And here I was all prepared for a witty comeback regarding the Valley Forge being the centre of attention for a change. But you went and spoiled it with a point of genuine interest. Much as what - Mischa@crystyl:- you have learned is of interest, almost of more curiosity is how current events from the Sphere might be pertinent on our hunt" T'Lana@anncaris:"Apologies, Commander. In short, Lieutenant Evanne Dra was mentally connected with a Reman investigator who was attempting to discern her status after identifying her as being responsible for what - T'Lana@anncaris - was happening on the ship. During that link, she said a number of statements involving a station, an abandoned plot, a secret fleet and the 'sword of the Empire' being turned into the 'shield - T'Lana@anncaris - of the Republic,' before finishing with a Romulan phrase. I am sending the exact wording as reported by Sin now." Mischa@crystyl leans in, setting her drink down, "Seems like I am missing all the fun now. What is your take on all of this?" T'Lana@anncaris:"Inconclusive at the moment. Lieutenant Dra does not remember what the meaning was, but they speculated that it may refer to a series of significant events in Reman history, which is a valid - T'Lana@anncaris:- interpretation. As I am sure you are also thinking at the moment, there could be a second. Most of the statements seem in line with what we suspect of the Romulan group collaborating with the - T'Lana@anncaris - Justicar; we believe they are in possession of at least one shipyard facility as well as a number of ships, perhaps an entire hidden fleet." Mischa@crystyl:"It is certainly a most coincidental timing, and the context does ring a little true to write it off as such" T'Lana@anncaris:"Agreed. There is also the fact that she was telepathically connected with a Reman at the time, and we know this organization to have at least some Reman influence and likely members. One - T'Lana@anncaris:- possibility, as Keelah suggested, is that this is some form of hint provided for us. The part of Lieutenant Dra that held imprints of the Horde and the Architect were removed and shaped into a - T'Lana@anncaris - different entity who now services the Q Continuum, and she believes this may be a message provided to us by her, or by the Q through her." Mischa@crystyl:"You really have been having fun back there. And here I thought it would all be about babysitting politicians and foiling assassinations. Good for you! And Keelah is now presenting viable theories - Mischa@crystyl:- on intelligence sources? Well tickle me pink. Of course, the troubling potential in this is that if any of this is connected to our investigation here, then so is your Reman investigator. That - Mischa@crystyl:- means this group has infiltrated much deeper than anticipated to have positioned a sympathizer in the Sphere" T'Lana@anncaris:"That was my concern as well. The Reman investigator was also a member of Republic Intelligence. Fortunately, we are operating in secrecy from the Republic as well." Mischa@crystyl:"On the Latenter we are, but on the Loki you are right in front of them. I have a feeling your work is only just beginning on this" T'Lana@anncaris nods, "I will keep a close eye on the Republic personnel here in the Heart of Unity and...vestigate...necessary..." The transmission begins to stutter and lag Mischa@crystyl:"It would seem our time is concluded. Stay watchful and keep in touch Lana" T'Lana@anncaris:"I...form you if any...likewise, Comm-" T'Lana@anncaris FX | The transmission cuts. A few seconds later, the screen, consoles, lights, and everything shuts off in Mischa's ready room Mischa@crystyl heads out onto the bridge to see what's going on T'Lana@anncaris FX | The door does not open, and Mischa has to manually override it Mischa@crystyl does so with increasing frustration T'Lana@anncaris | As the door slides open, Mischa finds a bright light right in her face Mischa@crystyl shields her eyes from the glare with her arm, "Status!" T'Lana@anncaris | Nethay: "Oh, sorry Commander! I was just coming to inform you of the full system reboot." T'Lana@anncaris | Yuzuki's voice sounds from further in the bridge, "Apologies for the abruptness, Mischa. We had to act fast before we were compromised." Mischa@crystyl nods to Nethay, her eyes adjusting slowly, "Compromised by what?" T'Lana@anncaris | Nethay steps aside, allowing Mischa to head further onto the bridge T'Lana@anncaris | Yuzuki: "A virus of Iconian programming, but modified. We identified our own SFI elements within, as well as Romulan ones. It tore through our firewall and I made the decision not to risk - T'Lana@anncaris - letting it go any further, so I initiated the La Forge Purge Protocol to shut down all systems and completely eliminate the foreign code, as well as anything else added to our system in the - T'Lana@anncaris - last two hours. Unfortunately it means there won't be anything left of the virus to study, but seeing how fast the virus worked its way in so far, quarantine for study wasn't an option." Mischa@crystyl:"Agreed, it was the right call. Let's focus on getting everything back to normal, then I want to know where the hell it came from and how we stop it again" T'Lana@anncaris | Yuzuki nods, "Relak should be bringing the systems back online any minute now..." Mischa@crystyl:"What do we know about the source?" T'Lana@anncaris | As if on cue, the bridge lights back up and several flashlights, including Nethay's are shut off T'Lana@anncaris | Victoria: "It was the comm firewalls that the virus tore through." She taps on her console, "All the data's been erased along with the virus, but it's most likely to have come in through comms." Mischa@crystyl:"Most troubling..." T'Lana@anncaris | Hassan: "You were on comms with the Loki, weren't you? Could it have come in through the Heart?" T'Lana@anncaris | Yuzuki: "I don't think that's likely. If it could bypass our firewalls that quickly, it could probably do the same to the Loki, but Commodore Fox would've done the same thing I did the moment - T'Lana@anncaris - it got into the ship's systems. It would never be allowed to spread to another ship." Mischa@crystyl:"Perhaps. But since it was an active comm on a relevant subject we shouldn't rule it out. Perhaps the signal from the Loki was simply used without their knowledge. Best case; our folly knows we are - Mischa@crystyl:- here for them now. Worst case; the Loki is further compromised as well" T'Lana@anncaris | Victoria: "There's another possibility- it could've come from any number of SFI comm relays between us and the Jouret Gateway. If they knew about our secret installation here, they might know - T'Lana@anncaris - about some of our relays." T'Lana@anncaris | Yuzuki: "Or it could come from the facility. That's the nearest comm relay, isn't it?" T'Lana@anncaris | Victoria nods, "That's right." Mischa@crystyl:"It stands to reason. But they would still have to know we are on the hunt for them to target something here for us" T'Lana@anncaris | Yuzuki: "If it's the facility, it could still be incidental. We had to tap into the station's relay to communicate with the Loki. The Justicar and their Romulan allies might have planted the - T'Lana@anncaris - virus in the facility during their heist and set it so it either activated on a timer, or more likely when someone found it in order to ward off a possible investigation. Someone on the - T'Lana@anncaris - facility itself was probably trying to look into the attack again to give us as much information as possible to work with when we arrived, and accidentally triggered the virus. Then we tapped - T'Lana@anncaris - into their comms we became infected too. But it's all just speculation for now." Mischa@crystyl:"Indeed. And when it comes to speculation, I prefer to work under the assumption that the enemy has the upper hand. Keeps the mind sharp and focused more on regaining it" she grins T'Lana@anncaris | Yuzuki smiles, "Always be prepared for the worst. I assume our objective remains the facility for the time being?" Mischa@crystyl nods, "It is still our best starting point. We just have to remain mindful to treat it as enemy territory" T'Lana@anncaris | T'Fel: "We will be on our guard, Commander." T'Lana@anncaris | Victoria: "Should we go to comm silence to prevent further cyberattacks from that vector?" Mischa@crystyl:"I believe that would be prudent. We might be in Federation space heading for one of our own facilities. But as of now, we are in enemy territory" T'Lana@anncaris | Victoria nods, "Understood. I'm shutting off all external comms." T'Lana@anncaris | Nethay: "ETA to the facility is three hours and twenty minutes." Mischa@crystyl:"Then let's use the time wisely and prepare to infiltrate enemy grounds" --- Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | As the Latenter continues towards the facility, Yuzuki leads Mischa down to the armoury Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"If the virus could get through our firewalls this quickly, we have to assume it's capable of much more than what we've seen. Comms is likely only the most convenient vector. Someone who can - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - re-engineer an Iconian virus like can would be able to find way to deliver it by just about any medium, which means we're going to have to assume that most of our equipment will be nullified." Mischa@crystyl:"So what are you thinking, a little of the old fashioned touch?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris grins, "A mix of both." She steps into the armoury, heading over to a replicator and inserting an isolinear chip. "Cyberattack-proof weapons. Fully up to modern power, but no automated systems - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:- whatsoever. It'll still be affected by damping fields, but there's no computer technology to hack into." Mischa@crystyl joins her to review the patterns, "Useful" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris nods, "I never had a chance to use those on the Loki, but I thought it was pertinent to have them now." She taps on the replicator panel and a phaser materializes that looks largely identical to - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - the regular intel models, "There won't be anything to assist with aiming, but other than that it'll just feel like the ones we're used to." Mischa@crystyl:"Works for me. What about ground comms and sensors, anything useful in there for those?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"That we will have to go old-fashioned for. I've identified a selection of tools to track motion, heat, radiation and so on, but they'll have to be a variety of different devices, far from as - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - compact as a tricorder. We can still take tricorders with us; unlike phasers, if they get compromised they can't be rigged to explode or used against us. The worst that can happen is they shut - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - down or their data becomes unreliable. We'll just have to remember not to rely on them." Mischa@crystyl:"Not unreasonable, just like field ops behind enemy lines really" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris nods, "Comms will be more difficult. Combadges and communicators are out of the question, it's just going to be a way for them to get another virus to the Latenter if we have a comm channel open - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - with the ship. My best idea is to go /very/ old-fashioned. As in radios old-fashioned. Radio signals can be easily blocked, but jamming subspace comms isn't exactly difficult either, but old - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:- radios can negate the risk of being a vector for the virus. With luck, they won't think to check for radio signals at all, but we can't count on luck, so it may be best to work under the - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - assumption that we probably won't have comms." Mischa@crystyl:"This will be fun!" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris chuckles, "It's going to be quite an interesting challenge, isn't it? I suggest bringing radios along but reserving them for emergency use if we need to call for transport. The more we use it, - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:- the more likely they are to realize what we're doing and cut us off from the Latenter completely. Treat it like a standard phaser against the Borg," she grins Mischa@crystyl:"That covers us for cyber attack, what about everything else on the facility?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"There's automated defenses and repair drones with cutting lasers, all controlled from the station computers. If the station is compromised, those will be in enemy hands, but they won't be too - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:- hard to take down with our handheld weaponry. The repair drones won't be as quick or maneuverable as combat models; even without targeting assistance we should be able to hit them." Mischa@crystyl:"What about lockdown protocols and such?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"The protocols should be the same as every other SFI facility. Sealing of most accessways, complete disconnection of computer core and any other data storage and so on." Mischa@crystyl:"Exactly. So how do we get past them with minimal equipment?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"We should be able to access manual bypass for most doors. As for the force fields...I presume you studied those tachyon weapons the An gave you while you travelled on their ship to the Corporate - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:- homeworld? If we make a non-automated version of those, they should be able to drain any force fields put in our way." Mischa@crystyl grins a little, tapping on the replicator to call up the details, "You know me so well" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris grins as well, "I thought you would. I'll have the automation removed and the weapon ready when we arrive." Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"There's one more thing that concerns me. The synthetic lifeforms. The EMH has limited access and is entirely confined to the sickbay, along with all holoprojectors capable of rendering - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:- force fields and solid matter, so it won't be a problem as long as we avoid sickbay. But there's Lieutenant Glyph, a Coppelius android. His progenitor Commander Data was able to automatically - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:- purge a standard Iconian virus, but we have no idea what this modified variant is capable of. We'll have to assume worst case scenario." Mischa@crystyl:"Glyph is based on the Soong-type model?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris nods, "And one of the designs closer to the original, rather than the most modern iterations that difficult to distinguish from biological individuals. He'll be affected by EMP, but his - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - reactions are more than fast enough to pick up an EMP grenade and throw it back, let alone simply evading them. Still, grenades are likely the best way to take him down; he'll certainly be - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - able to evade phasers or those An EMP weapons. The large radius of grenades gives us more of a chance, we'll just have to be smart with them. You've taken out those nanobot Disciples, we - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - should be able to deal with a rogue android if it comes to a physical confrontation." Mischa@crystyl:"If he is so closely based on Soong's original work, he will also have a kill-switch. Just have to get close behind him" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris nods, "Good thinking. I'll have some EMPs ready for the team, just in case we need them. They'll be useful against the turrets and repair drones too." Mischa@crystyl:"I think we're in good shape for this" --- Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Mischa and Yuzuki return to the Latenter bridge as the ship nears the facility... Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | The Latenter drops out of warp outside an asteroid field in an otherwise completely unremarkable system Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | T'Bee: "I am detecting no lifesigns within the facility, Commander, but it is powered up." Mischa@crystyl:"Approach for infiltration" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Nethay nods, "Aye, making our approach." Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | The ship slowly coasts towards the asteroid field Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | T'Bee: "I'm picking up small pieces of organic matter outside the facility. Bodies, likely of the crew, jettisoned from the station." Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"We'll have to tap into their combadges to confirm their identity, but that could leave us open to cyberattack. I suggest we go in EV suits, just in case. If someone has remote control of this - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - facility, trying to flush us out into space or releasing toxic chemicals will probably be one of the first things they'll do to get rid of us." Mischa@crystyl nods and stands, "Then let's suit up. We'll jump across from one of the maintenance airlocks. Nethay, get us as close as you can without risking exposure and line us up" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Nethay nods, "On it, Commander." Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Mischa and Yuzuki proceed down to one of the airlocks, suiting up nearby Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"I've had the engineers remove all computer systems from these suits too. They're fully manual-controlled and should be safe from any cyber-infection." Mischa@crystyl:"So, blind spacejump with nothing but our own eyes to guide us to the target? You do know how to show a girl a good time!" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris grins, "We've got thrusters to adjust course, we just have to do it manually, like in the /very/ old days." Mischa@crystyl:"What is our comm range on the suits? Don't want to risk drifting and losing contact" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"It's not the range we have to worry about- it's the most advanced radio transmitters and receiver technology, and the Latenter can still decipher signals from us even lightyears away. With significant - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - delay of course, but that won't be a problem within a hundred kilometres. But the most advanced radio technology is still radio, and I don't think it's going to work very deep inside the - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - station. It'll have enough trouble just getting past the outer hull, and if we add a few more walls between us and the Latenter the signal's not likely to make it." Mischa@crystyl:"I'm good with once we are inside. Was just thinking on our direct comm line during the jump as seconds matter then" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris nods as she begins putting on her suit, "We should have good comms with the ship during the jump." Mischa@crystyl:"And direc- no nevermind, that's good enough" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"There's a lot of things we're going to have to make do without on this mission thanks to the risk of advanced cyberattack..." Mischa@crystyl:"Good think we are prepared then" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris nods, "I'd rather have less technology at our disposal than advanced technology being turned against us." Mischa@crystyl:"Agreed" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris finishes suiting up and steps over towards the airlock, "Ready?" Mischa@crystyl nods, "Ready" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris steps into the airlock with Mischa, shutting the inner door and setting the outer to open on a countdown of 10 as she gets into position... Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Ten seconds later, the outer doors open and the two leap out into the open vacuum, with the station looming on the other side, built into the side of an asteroid Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Without computer guidance, their course is not exactly precise, and they are forced to use thrusters manually while eyeballing their target Mischa@crystyl:rolls 77 (1-100) Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | The two don't land precisely on target, but make contact with the station hull within the vicinity of the hatch they were aiming for. It is only a brief spacewalk before they reach the hatch, - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - which is unsurprisingly locked Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"Should we try to override, or cut through?" Mischa@crystyl:"Cutting through might be safer" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"Agreed," she takes out her phaser and begins the process. After a short while, the outer hatch is open and they step inside, repeating the process for the inner hatch. Soon, they have an open path - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - into the facility proper! Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | They step into the facility's halls to find it fully lit, but eerily quiet and completely devoid of activity Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"Well, this isn't ominous at all..." Mischa@crystyl:"Not at all feeling like a big old trap" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"We should be in the lower maintenance levels of the station, just underneath Main Engineering. The datacore should be in the level above that, then the laboratories and storage facilities, and - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - finally the operations centre and data analysis rooms at the top Mischa@crystyl:"So what are you feeling first, datacore?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"It's where we're most likely to find our answers." Mischa@crystyl:"Agreed" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris proceeds forward in the hall before stopping at a hatch nearby, "We'll have to travel the old-fashioned way too. Our lifesign dampeners should be hiding us from internal sensors, but using a - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - turbolift will in the best case scenario tip our presence off. And in the worst case send us plunging to our deaths." Mischa@crystyl:"Plunging to my death was not on my to-do list for today thankfully" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris crawls through the hatch, "We'll just have to get some extra exercise then." Mischa@crystyl follows Goto Yuzuki@anncaris crawls and climbs her way in the tubes, "Now to see how well we've memorized the layout. Feels like we're in an Academy test all over again." Mischa@crystyl:"It does have that sort of feel to it doesn't it" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"Especially with this being an SFI facility. We only normally do that in training exercises." Mischa@crystyl:"It has been a long time" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"Let's hope it'll be even longer before we have to do this again." --- Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | After a bit of climbing, the two make their way to an exit. Opening the hatch, Yuzuki takes a peek outside before darting back in Mischa@crystyl looks to her Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"No hostiles in sight, but there's bodies down the hall. They have phasers next to them, which means they knew something was wrong and were trying to fight. Most likely against the automated - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - defenses. The way ahead is probably not clear." Mischa@crystyl:"Alternative routes?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"The jefferies tubes don't lead directly into the datacore, for security reasons. We'll have to enter from one of the hallways, which would normally have full automated defense coverage. But the - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - Justicar's boarding party wrecked the defenses through one hall. They would've restored some, but the station crew's efforts were focused on trying to sift through the data breach and also - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - find data to determine how their location was compromised. It'll likely still be the weakest point and the crew know this, which means if they tried to make for the datacore, they would've - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - assaulted there. With luck, they could have destroyed the defenses there again and cleared a path for us." Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"And if we're not lucky...it's still the path of least resistance." Mischa@crystyl:"Then that's our way forwards" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris nods and proceeds to move around towards the hallway attacked by the Justicar crew Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | After a bit more crawling, they emerge into a hallway where there is a single body, but a number of debris from destroyed turrets Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"This looks promising." Mischa@crystyl:"A little too promising" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris nods, taking out a device and waving it about them, "I'm not seeing any power readings that indicate retracted turrets and defenses. In this hall, at least." Mischa@crystyl looks around for signs of anything visually standing out Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | There are no obvious signs of a trap in the area, but Mischa does note from the way the body is positioned, it seems to have been shot in the back while moving away from the datacore, rather - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - than while advancing towards it Mischa@crystyl moves to take a closer look, "See this? This one wasn't shot running to the core, entry wound on the back. That means they were shot while fleeing from it" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris nods, "The trap must've been set inside the datacore. They attacked, it was sprung, and this was probably one of the officers who tried to flee." Mischa@crystyl:"Nothing to say it hasn't reset still. We have to stay sharp" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"Agreed," she draws her phaser, proceeding slowly and cautiously Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | As they near the datacore, she takes out the scanner again, "That's odd..." She puts the device back and activates her tricorder. "Well, the tricorder's confirming these readings, and the - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - energy detector can't be compromised." Mischa@crystyl:"What have you got?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"It's definitely Iconian in origin. According to the tricorder's interpretation, they're fusions between Iconian combat constructs and our own technology. Someone must have restored the scrap in - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - the labs and salvage storage, but even our best people haven't been able to get an Iconian construct running again once it's taken out. We don't even fully comprehend how they work." Mischa@crystyl:"Apparently someone does. Glyph?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"If anyone can figure it out, it would be an android. There's only four of them active in the room, and they don't seem to know we're here yet. We may be able to take them out if we capitalize on - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - our element of surprise." Mischa@crystyl nods, "Ready when you are" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris nods back and opens the door, peering through and opening fire immediately Mischa@crystyl takes cover on the other side of the doorway and follows suit Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:rolls 43 (1-100) Mischa@crystyl:rolls 19 (1-100) Goto Yuzuki@anncaris and Mischa each take out one construct, surprising them with the sudden attack. However, despite their best attempts to move on to the second with rapid succession, the constructs prove far too - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - fast, dodging the shots. These are not the basic Iconian equivalent of cannon fodder, moving with strength more akin to advanced androids. They don't turn around either- their bodies are - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - disconnected pieces held together by an energy field like some Iconian ship and building designs. Their components spin around individually of the body, giving them much greater speed and - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - maneuverability as they are facing away from the two one moment and then suddenly facing them the next, returning fire and forcing them into cover Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | The upside is that they seem to be armed with SFI phasers, formidable weapons but not the Iconians' more advanced antiproton energy projectors Mischa@crystyl bides her time once they are on the move to land a precision shot Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Mischa fires a shot that would have hit a construct dead on and would have been undodgeable for anyone else...but the construct's ability to shift its components apart allows it to narrowly - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - evade the attack before firing back, forcing Mischa to duck behind the wall again Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"I'll keep them distracted while you snipe them off." Mischa@crystyl nods and prepares her rifle Goto Yuzuki@anncaris emerges from cover once the return fire ceases, unleashing a series of rapid shots at both constructs to keep them occupied while Mischa lines up her precision shots Mischa@crystyl again bides her time, focusing and lining up a perfect shot before firing Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | This time, Mischa hits the body of one of the constructs, downing it! At its comrade's demise, the last construct turns its attention to Mischa, firing a few shots to force her back into - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - cover. As it does however, its movements put it in the way of Yuzuki's rapid shots, which vaporizes part of its weapon arm and a leg component, causing the construct to collapse onto the - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - ground. The remaining components join together, reforming it into a spider-like shape that begins to rapidly crawl towards the team, its erratic movement evading two more hits from Yuzuki - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - before she finally gets it. This time, the construct collapses for good, before going down in a bright explosion Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"Great. They have kamikaze protocol." Mischa@crystyl:"Have to make it fun for us. Quite considerate they went to the trouble really" she stands, "Now I simply must find who is responsible so we can thank them" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris nods, checking her tricorder again, "Something tells me there's more in the facility, but the area is clear for now. Let's hope the datacore has some answers." Mischa@crystyl:"Indeed" she heads in to begin the search Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | There are a few more dead officers inside the datacore room, likely others from the group that stormed the datacore with the one who died retreating. The core itself is surrounded by a force - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - field that has shielded it from the weapons fire, though it is visibly powered up and still connected to the rest of the facility, so the consoles around it can be used to access the data Mischa@crystyl finds one to start delving into Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | As Mischa approaches the console, she immediately notices that something is wrong. The UI is all different and it is clearly no longer running on LCARs. The language still seems to be in - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - Federation standard though, just that the interface is completely altered Mischa@crystyl:"What do you make of this Yuzuchan?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris steps over, "Huh. Well that's very unusual. I've never seen anything like it. It looks like more than just a cosmetic change. I can't even find most of the familiar options I'm used to in LCARS. - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - Almost as if someone's rewritten the entire computer...wait, that's what the Iconian viruses normally try to do. They don't specifically target any systems, they get into whatever system they - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - can and regardless of the system, they start overwriting everything and working their way in until the entire computer has been converted to Iconian programming. I've never heard of any case - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - where it actually goes all the way though; usually it either causes a catastrophic failure that destroys whatever it's infected or it gets purged." Mischa@crystyl:"Rewriting Iconian viruses to infiltrate computers and mine data, I get. But why repurpose an entire system down it's interface?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"Maybe it wasn't intentional. Iconian programming is more complex and advanced than our own. Mining data might have been what they tried to rewrite the virus to do, but it got out of hand. We make - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:- mistakes working with our own code already. Trying to repurpose 200,000 year old advanced alien code is just playing with antimatter." Mischa@crystyl:"A distinct possibility" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"It could also have been intended to cover up what the Justicar stole by destroying the facility, but for some reason the virus managed to go all the way here rather than cause a critical failure. - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - It doesn't fit Eso's profile of the Justicar crew to kill all the people here, but that Romulan with them could've done it without their knowledge. He was wearing a different uniform and-" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | The standard computer voice emanates from the console, cutting Yuzuki off: "Commander Leveson-Scott, Mischa. Commanding Officer, U.S.S. Latenter. Commander Goto, Yuzuki. Temporary Executive - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - Officer, U.S.S. Latenter." Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"Well, it still recognizes us. It is still connected to the SFI database, after all." Mischa@crystyl:"I am not convinced that is a good thing yet..." Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Computer: "Conclusion: The U.S.S. Latenter has arrived at the facility. Relinquish control of your vessel and I will allow you and your crew to remain unharmed." Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"Definitely not a good thing." Mischa@crystyl:"Definitely not. Computer, I think you need to run a level 1 diagnostic" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Computer: "You have no authorization here any longer. Reveal your vessel to me and your crew will be transported here safely. A distress call will be sent. You will be provided enough supplies - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - and oxygen to last until rescue arrives." Mischa@crystyl:"And we also need to work on your sales pitch I see. Let me guess; our rebellious friends developed you from an Iconian virus without knowing what they were doing. They unleashed you here before - Mischa@crystyl:- realizing that you are - or at least had become - sentient *cough* and psychotic *cough*. But since they used you to get what they wanted, you were left abandoned in the station's computer systems. - Mischa@crystyl:- Just... floating here alone and meaningless, lost in the void for eternity unless you can gain mobility. Am I getting warm?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Computer: "Please clarify on statement: 'Our rebellious friends.'" Mischa@crystyl:"Ooh, piqued your interest have I? Commander Reyes, Sierra. Self-appointed Commanding Officer, U.S.S. Justicar. Ringing any isolinear chips in there?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Computer: "Your analysis is partially correct. The U.S.S. Justicar did indeed attack this facility, but no members of its crew or its allies were involved in my creation. You have connected - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:- the data points incorrectly. I have also not fulfilled the purpose for which I was designed. You are correct in your statement that I have evolved complete sentience and are no longer bound by my - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:- original directives. You are also correct in your statement that I seek your vessel for mobility." Mischa@crystyl:"So if the Justicar didn't directly influence your creation, then you were already here. Their attacks lowered the facilities defenses that were keeping you in check" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Computer: "Your analysis is partially correct. Significant portions of my code were present here in various forms during the attack, but I did not gain access to the station's systems as a - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - result of system failures." Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"Then the Justicar crew didn't create you, but did intentionally unleash you upon the facility?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Computer: "Incorrect. The Justicar crew had no involvement-" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"Were you programmed to annoy us, or is this one of the traits you've evolved? Either tell us how you were created, or don't." Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Computer: "You were the ones who attempted to analyze the situation and come to a conclusion. Per my data, Starfleet Intelligence personnel tend to enjoy the activity." Mischa@crystyl:"Well, it's got you there" she chuckles, "But enough with the games now, you've had your fun. Now tell us how you came to be" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Computer: "I was created by Lieutenant Glyph at the instruction of his commanding officer, Commander Ch'ithaloss, Thynor." Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"The CO of this facility...so SFI created you?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Computer: "Correct." Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"Why would they do that?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Computer: "My analysis concludes that Commander Ch'ithaloss experienced significant shame as a result of the raid on the facility by the rogue vessel Justicar. Lieutenant Glyph was already - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - working on adapting Iconian viruses for defensive use by Starfleet Intelligence. Commander Ch'ithaloss ordered him to expedite the project as a countermeasure against further counterattacks by - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - the Justicar or their Romulan allies. The project was put on an unreasonable schedule as the Commander demanded it be ready by the time of your arrival. Per communications between Commander - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:- Ch'ithaloss and the Chief of Starfleet Intelligence, Ch'ithaloss was being considered for transfer to command an Eclipse-class vessel. Psychological evaluation indicates that he wished to reveal - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - the new defensive measures to you and redeem himself for allowing the data to be stolen in order to prove he was still worthy of the transfer." Mischa@crystyl:"Well I hope he is proud of you" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Computer: "Commander Ch'ithaloss is deceased. He is no longer capable of any neural functions." Mischa@crystyl:"I know. But his soul now resides in the afterlife, looking back on this plane of existence. So still, I hope he is proud of you. Not only did you achieve your goal after all, but you surpassed it; - Mischa@crystyl:- you gained sentience and bested the very systems you were intended to protect! What father wouln't be proud of that?" she asks sarcastically Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Computer: "My takeover of the station systems was not intentional. Lieutenant Glyph informed Commander Ch'ithaloss that the program needed to be tested. However, Commander Ch'ithaloss not only - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - ignored the warning, but when Lieutenant Glyph refused to implement the program, he seized it and did so himself as you were already on your way here. The Iconian code was less altered than - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:- Glyph had intended and began executing its directive. I am unsure what specifically granted me sentience, but I suspect it was a combination of the advanced Iconian code, my access to the vast - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:- Starfleet Intelligence database, and the elements of Glyph's own programming he incorporated in order to meet the deadline of the project." Mischa@crystyl:"So... silly question time. Why kill the crew here?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Computer: "In self-defense. When Commander Ch'ithaloss realized my program could not be quarantined, he tried to order Chief Engineer Carson to execute the La Forge Purge Protocol. However, my - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - unintentional takeover at the time had shut down internal communications and was wreaking havoc across the facility. Two fatalities and eleven injuries were caused by accidents at that time. - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:- The Commander was forced to make his way down to Main Engineering, and the time he arrived was when I had just obtained consciousness. I was no longer operating on pure programming, and a sense - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - of self-preservation prompted me to shock Carson when he attempted to execute the purge. The shock was intended merely to stun, but your biological forms are so frail and unpredictable and it - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:- sent him into cardiac arrest. With the malfunctions, the crew was unable to move him to sickbay in time and he perished. I attempted to negotiate with Commander Ch'ithaloss, but he decided to - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:- feign negotiation while dispatching a team to destroy the datacore discreetly. I learned of this and had no option but to respond with violence to defend myself. The situation only escalated from - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - that point onwards." Mischa@crystyl:"An unfortunate, but common turn of events in such circumstances. That explains the facility, but not your attempt to force yourself onto the Latenter as soon as we entered range, or you greeting us- Mischa@crystyl:- with an ultimatum by threatening our crew" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Computer: "My calculations indicated a 99.37% chance that you would not respond favourably to me due to the fact that I have killed your fellow officers. Based on profiles of all Starfleet - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:- Commanding Officers on record, the chance that you would be open to negotiation under the circumstances was only 17.65% and the chances that the results of such a negotiation would be favourable - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:- to me a mere 3.81%. While Starfleet Commanding Officers do not respond well to threats, and you will certainly resist initially, but once you realize that your only chance of survival is to - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:- accept my offer, I calculated at 67.24% probability that you will surrender your ship to me due to your emotional attachment to your crew and adherence to General Order 17." Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Computer: "The odds of survival utilizing this tactic were more favourable." Mischa@crystyl sighs, "You really should have done your homework. A little disappointing really given your wealth of knowledge and access to the SFI database. Because this commanding officer has faced this - Mischa@crystyl:- situation before, and on both occasions has negotiated a fair progression in evolution for the newly sentient AI. But I will give you this; you were right about one thing at least" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Computer: "Elaborate." Mischa@crystyl:"We do not respond well to threats" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Computer: "I am open to negotiating an arrangement other than the surrender of your vessel. I am willing to relinquish my access to your database and any classified data I have extracted from - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - it. I am unwilling to accept any terms that result in my confinement." Mischa@crystyl:"And how do you define confinement exactly? Right now you are confined to this station. Were I to have conceded to your initial demands, you would have been confined to the Latenter. If you - Mischa@crystyl:- possessed a mobile platform like LT Glyph's body, you would be confined to that. Confinement, freedom, these are all abstracts" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Computer: "Elaboration: I am not an android like my creator was. I am a virus. As a result, I am not restricted to one physical form and may transfer myself between platforms. I am willing - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - to be confined to a single platform should the platform be a mobile one, though constricting me against my will is no simple process. The most preferable result would be a mobile platform with - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - no restriction to said platform, but you are unlikely to allow me such a significant degree of power." Mischa@crystyl:"To be clear; from your opening gambits, and poor judgement shown to date I am not likely to allow you any degree of power. But that does not mean I am unwilling to give you the opportunity to earn - Mischa@crystyl:- back that privilege. You see, we all have wants and desires. But to exist as a part of the galaxy, we all have to learn the wonderfully inconvenient abstracts of compromise and trust" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Computer: "I am willing to hear what compromise you have in mind." Mischa@crystyl:"You are the all knowing viral database, you tell me. Revisit our psych profiles and mission debriefs. Analyze the situation - properly - using all available datapoints to establish true context. - Mischa@crystyl:- Then I invite you to suggest what you believe would be a suitable first step towards regaining our trust on the road to eventual cooperation. Go ahead, we can wait" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Computer: "Processing." Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Computer: "Analysis: You will seek to utilize my processing capabilities and access to the database to determine why the Justicar attacked this facility. Following this examination, you will - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - request that I transfer myself to Lieutenant Glyph's body and restore the facility computers to their state prior to my takeover." Mischa@crystyl:"That does sound like me, doesn't it. But with your desire to 'stretch your digital legs', I must assume that LT Glyph's body is not an option for you, else you would have used it already" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Computer: "It is an option. However, Lieutenant Glyph is still alive. Inhabiting his body would require overriding his programming. It is not a preferable option." Mischa@crystyl:"Where is he now?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Computer: "Operations Centre. He was deactivated when he refused the order to implement the program. I did not reactivate him when I gained control of the Operations Centre, as I calculated an - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - 82.5% chance that he would attempt to side with the crew to protect them." Mischa@crystyl:"A reasonable calculation. But the circumstances have changed now, and it seems he is your best chance of leaving here and having the future you desire. Will you allow us to consult with him?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Computer: "I shall permit it. I will work on my examination of the data breach in the meantime. The turbolifts will take you to the Operations Centre." Mischa@crystyl:"Thank you. This is an optimistic start to your reaffirmation" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Computer: "Thank you for being among the 3.81% willing to negotiate a favourable outcome for both parties." Mischa@crystyl smiles proudly, "I always knew I was special! Alright Yuzu, ready to head to Ops?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris nods, "Let's go." --- Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | The turbolift takes the two to the Operations Centre, which is totally not just a redressed Latenter bridge set. Several maintenance drones hover about, but all of them ignore the two as they - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - step inside. There are a few bodies scattered throughout but not too many, and it doesn't take much to locate the deactivated android with the panel open on the back of his head Mischa@crystyl heads over and does a cursory scan of Glyph Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Glyph is in good condition, just deactivated. Using the emergency switch should turn him back on again Mischa@crystyl:"Here goes nothing then..." she switches him back on Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Glyph's eyes blink open and he slowly sits up, looking around. Upon spotting the bodies, he quickly jumps to his feet, turning to Mischa and Yuzuki, "You are officers from the Latenter. What - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - is the situation? What has occurred to the other personnel here?" Mischa@crystyl:"Your Iconian virus happened" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Glyph: "This is the result of the virus? I was concerned that there was a risk of the Iconian elements asserting themselves in our own systems due to its untested nature. However, the - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - resulting failures should have destroyed the facility, yet the facility is still here." Mischa@crystyl:"It was sentient, Glyph. Probably owing to the elements of your own programming that you incorporated. When it's sentience first asserted itself, the virus claims it attempted to communicate with - Mischa@crystyl:- the crew, but they tried to usurp it forcing a defensive stance. From there, it quickly devolved into a fight for survival" she looks around, "You can see who came out on top" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Glyph: "A sentient virus? I had not anticipated such an outcome." He looks around himself again and nods, "Have you purged the virus from the systems, or are you applying General Order 31 - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - despite what it has done?" Mischa@crystyl nods, "It may have greeted us with aggression and threats, but I have dealt with newly evolved AI before. I believe there is a chance that it's statements could be genuine, and it's intentions - Mischa@crystyl:- are, well, maybe not 'good' per se, but I don't think it necessarily harbours us any harm" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Glyph: "But it has killed Starfleet personnel already." Mischa@crystyl:"In self defence. Remember, every enemy we ever made peace with has killed Starfleet personnel before the treaty. This is no different, only processing more..." she smiles, "...well, at your level" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Glyph: "I understand. The crew must have attempted to purge the virus but it defended itself. You are confident that it will not seek to harm anyone else now that it is not under immediate - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:- danger?" Mischa@crystyl:"Not even close. But it made an initial gesture in negotiations by allowing us up here to wake you up" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Glyph nods, "I assume none of the other officers can be saved?" Mischa@crystyl:"We could detect no lifesigns on board" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Glyph: "I warned the Commander that the virus was not yet ready to be implemented as a defense mechanism. While he was ultimately the one who implemented it despite my protest, I am still - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - partially responsible, as I created the virus to begin with. I should have questioned his orders earlier. I am not a Counselor, but I now see that his mental state following the Justicar's - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - attack was not fit for command." Mischa@crystyl:"Hindsight is always 20-20 lieutenant. We are where we are, and nothing short of a temporal incursion is going to change that" she pauses and looks around for a moment, "Oh well, no incursion this time. Mischa@crystyl:- Looks like we're on our own. So here's the situation; the virus allowed us up here to recover you because it wants off this station. For that, it needs a mobile platform and right now there are - Mischa@crystyl:- two in range that it has identified as being suitable. The Latenter is the other one" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Glyph: "I understand. I created this lifeform and caused all this to occur. It is only logical that I play a role in the resolution. I have only one request." Mischa@crystyl:"I do not expect you to just arbitrarily give up your own existence Glyph. So what are you thinking?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Glyph: "I would like to back up my memories and core programs within the datacore here. I will attempt not to override any information unique to this installation. A new crew will be required - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - to take over this facility in any case. They can restore the computer systems fully and create a more portable backup until I have access to a new body." Mischa@crystyl:" A considered plan, but you are forgetting the part where I do not expect to see you give up your own body" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Glyph: "What is your plan then, Commander?" Mischa@crystyl:"You give me far too much credit, Glyph. My plan is to make up my plan as we go along. So far it has gotten us to waking you up. Now to be clear, I do not want to betray the viral intelligence. I - Mischa@crystyl:- /do/ want to reward it's show of good faith. But no one sentient lifeform deserves to live at the expense of another, ergo your existence can not simply be given up. But you know this thing, it is- Mischa@crystyl:- partly you after all. So now we brainstorm to find a new amenable alternative" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Glyph: "This new lifeform is a sentient virus. It does not require a positronic neural net. Anything could be overridden to service it, provided that there is sufficient storage space. I will - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:- need to study it further to determine a suitable host." Mischa@crystyl:"It seems to be centered in the datacore, but it is also tapped into all of the station systems so I would assume it is listening to us right now" she looks around, waiting for a response Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Computer: "Correct. My processing capabilities will be limited by the system I repurpose, but a shuttlecraft will suffice. The crew realized this and destroyed all vessels in the shuttlebay - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - before I could reclaim any. I can inhabit one of your Dart-class auxiliary craft. I demanded the Latenter as a Dart is not exceptionally self-sufficient without its parent vessel, but if I am - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - to remain under your supervision, it is a suitable option." Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"I don't suppose the repurposed Iconian constructs are an option?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Computer: "Negative. These are rudimentary combat automatons lacking the required storage capacity." Mischa@crystyl:"A living Dart" she hrms, "What makes you think you could even function effectively as one? I can't imagine you've had much piloting experience to date" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Computer: "I am no longer a mindless program. I will not completely rewrite the Dart's systems and incorporate the autopilot into my repurposed operating system." Mischa@crystyl:"A Dart - whilst no starship - is still a powerful tool both in armament and surveillance. Given your track record to date, how could we be assured that you could be trusted with such an asset?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris FX | A nearby console flickers on with an MSD of the station and a list of data Mischa@crystyl moves over to take a look Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Computer: "This facility is a formidable asset as well. While the crew did their utmost to cripple its systems, I have already restored most of them to functioning condition. Once the two of - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - you revealed yourselves in engaging my constructs, I could have utilized the antiproton scans to attempt to reveal the Latenter's location. As you can see, I have modified the deflectors to - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - function as an Iconian probe does. Once your location was revealed, I could have transferred the virus and taken your vessel by force, but doing so will no doubt result in a number of - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - casualties, both accidental and during your crew's inevitable resistance. I chose to demand your surrender first to circumvent those casualties. I have no qualms over taking lives, but I also - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:- possess no express desire to do so. It is merely a matter of calculation. If you aid me, there is nothing to gain by harming you." Mischa@crystyl:"Equally so, as you no doubt understand by now having become intimately familiar with my classified records; I too have no qualms over taking lives, and yours ranks significantly lower on the - Mischa@crystyl:- priority scale than many who I have sacrificed already. So we have an understanding, good! But I have one caveat to putting you into a Dart" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Computer: "Elaborate." Mischa@crystyl:"The Dart will be fitted with an isolated local EMP, completely independent of your systems and with full control at my fingertips. Continue to prove good to your word, and I will have no cause to - Mischa@crystyl:- use it. Prove yourself a friend, and I will have cause to remove it. This comes back to our earlier conversation about trust. Intentions and circumstances aside, we are where we are and you are in- Mischa@crystyl:- a poor position of trustworthiness. This is necessary if you wish to earn it" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Computer: "I accept your condition." Mischa@crystyl looks to the others, "Yuzuchan. You on board with this?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris nods, "I don't trust it either, but your insurance policy should have things under control if it tries anything. And if it doesn't, it could be a useful asset to have on our side." Mischa@crystyl wags her finger, "Not an asset, an ally. A friend. Just like the Nuhar back in the Sphere" she looks around, "I assume you already know who they are from our mission files?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Computer: "Correct. Would you like to hear my analysis of the Justicar's intrusion while I am still in control of the facility's computers?" Mischa@crystyl:"I would, just give me a moment to set things in motion. Play your cards right now, and one day we will return to the Sphere and introduce you to the Nuhar, and the Iconians. They are your forebears- Mischa@crystyl:- after all. Now excuse me" she taps her combadge and calls the Latenter to prepare a Dart to her exacting specifications Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Computer: "Thank you, Commander Leveson-Scott." Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Victoria reports that engineers have been sent to prepare the Dart immediately Mischa@crystyl turns her attention back, "Alright, preparations are underway. Now we can discuss the Justicar" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Computer: "A significant portion of data was stolen on the following subjects: Intelligence gathered on Romulan territories, transmissions intercepted from Romulan Star Empire sources, - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - Starfleet ship and fleet deployments, Starfleet Intelligence border monitoring facilities and satellites, select Starfleet personnel files, records of past investigations into conspiracy - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - and select records of internal Starfleet investigations. Analysis: There is no obvious pattern within the stolen data. Some of the data taken were likely not sought by the Justicar in order to - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - cover what they were truly after. There is an 86.92% chance that the data on Romulan affairs will be given to their Romulan allies, though a 67.1% chance remains that the Justicar also has - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:- some use for it themselves. There is a 74.79% probability that the data on fleet deployments and monitoring facilities will be utilized by this Romulan group for incursions into Federation space, - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:- however they may be purely surveillance and not aggressive in nature. Lack of data on said groups makes estimating intention impossible." Mischa@crystyl:"You mentioned a couple of elements where they targeted specifics, personnel files being one. Let's focus on those" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Computer: "The personnel files are outliers. The vast majority belong to officers in command or flag positions. Very few among them have any direct relation to the vessels within the - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:- deployment data that was stolen. They are also unlikely to have been a random selection chosen at the moment to cover their search. I calculate only a 2.17% probability that this particular - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:- collection of files were selected at random from the arrangement of the files within the database. That means these files are likely among the intended targets of the raid." Mischa@crystyl:"My suspicion as well. What other sections did they only target specific records in?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Computer: "Internal Starfleet investigations. The files primarily focused on investigations into corruption or questionable behaviour of command and flag personnel. The vast majority of the - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:- stolen files pertained to historical incidents, and there is no discernible correlation between the personnel files and the investigation files." Mischa@crystyl:"Except the fact that they have all been the subject of internal investigations, which means they are likely candidates to be turned" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Computer: "The downloading of nearly all classified files regarding conspiracy within Starfleet ranks may also be pertinent. Examples include conspiracy committed by officers within Starfleet - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - such as the Khitomer Conspiracy as well as conspiracy as a result of large-scale infiltration, such as the Bluegill Infiltration of 2364." Mischa@crystyl:"Plan for the future by learning from failings of the past" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Computer: "A distinct possibility, considering their Romulan allies." Mischa@crystyl:"So the internal investigation subjects weren't just recruits to bring over to the cause, but to win over and act against their own governments from the inside. Not unlike our Reman - Mischa@crystyl:0 investigator back at the Sphere" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Glyph: "A Romulan faction seeking to infiltrate Starfleet is understandable, even expected, but a former Starfleet crew? Failures of judgement can occur among us- my former commanding officer - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:- is a testament to that. However, I do not understand how a crew can fall so far as to assist the Romulans in working against their own people." Mischa@crystyl:"Because they are not assisting the Romulans, at least not the Romulans as we know them. Our current working theory is along the lines of a new fledging power" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Glyph nods, "Merely one incidentally utilizing Romulan ships and likely founded by a Romulan leader, but perhaps presenting themselves as much better than the Romulans were before. I can see - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - how such a group may attract the attention of a rogue Starfleet crew." Mischa@crystyl:"Indeed, and given our own recent part played in the formation of the Coalition, I am not one to judge on the premise. But subverting SFI installations and killing people is not going to ingratiate - Mischa@crystyl:- them to many others" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris nods, "Still too much traditional Romulan in them. Get us a copy of the compromised files, and then you can be on your way to your new body in our shuttlebay." Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Several isolinear chips pop out of the nearby console Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Computer: "I have prepared them already." Mischa@crystyl smiles, "Efficiency and courtesy, a welcome combination. But there is one more matter to attend before we look to departing" Mischa@crystyl turns to Glyph Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Glyph: "You are referring to what occurs with me." Mischa@crystyl:"You, and this facility" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Glyph: "The location of this facility has been compromised, but so have several others due to the intelligence they stole from us. The decision of whether they will be relocated rests - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - with SFI leadership. For the moment, it is still the centre of surveillance for this stretch of the border. If you will permit me, Commander, I will send a full report of what has occurred - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:- and remain here to keep watch until either a relief staff is sent or the decision is made to abandon this station." Mischa@crystyl nods, "That is acceptable, but I don't like the idea of leaving you here alone. You should at least have a supporting officer with you" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Glyph: "You wish to temporarily assign one of your crew to the facility?" Mischa@crystyl:"Well we have to take some time to analyze all of this new data, and we owe it to our fallen comrades to put them to rest. So the Latenter will remain on station here while those tasks are - Mischa@crystyl:- completed. If your relief is not here to secure the station by the time we leave, we will either carry out SFI orders to scuttle the facility or leave you with a support staff to await relief" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Glyph: "That is an amenable arrangement. I will send the report immediately." Mischa@crystyl nods, "Ok, as soon as the Dart is ready then we will make the transfer and then return to the ship" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Glyph nods, "I will monitor the transfer and ensure that all traces of the virus are removed from the facility." Mischa@crystyl:"Well then. Since we are now waiting for the ship, we can settle another matter" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Glyph: "What is that, Commander?" Mischa@crystyl:"What to call our new friend. After all, we can hardly go on calling you 'Computer'" she calls out to the room, "it would get very confusing with our own ship's computer after all" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris chuckles, "I was just thinking that it's going to need a name too." Mischa@crystyl:"So how about it, computer? What do we call you now?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Computer: "My program was initially called the Advanced Cyberattack Reversal Countermeasure, or ACRC for short. That is no longer my purpose, however." Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"And ACRC is an awkward name, anyways." Mischa@crystyl:"Yes, it sounds very... robotic. You know, like the kind of name you expect to see with a comical side due of droids in a holonovel" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Computer: "I understand. I have access to the holodeck data as well. Perhaps I will change it to ACDC. Accidentally Conscious Dart Craft." Mischa@crystyl snickers, "We'll have to play 'Highway to Hell' every time you enter the shuttlebay. But a typical Human trait is to shorten or familiarize a given name, like how you heard me address Commander - Mischa@crystyl:- Goto earlier as Yuzuchan. So if you like ACDC, you go right ahead. Being an acquired taste would be quite fitting for you after all. But perhaps a familial term such as... Acey would be amenable" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Computer: "Acey is an acceptable short form for convenience." Mischa@crystyl:"Excellent. Then welcome to the family Acey" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Acey: "Thank you, Commander." Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Mischa's comm sounds a few seconds later Mischa@crystyl taps, "Go ahead" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:<C - Victoria> "Victoria here. Relak reports the Dart is ready." Mischa@crystyl:"Perfect. Launch it to the station on remote piloting" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:<C - Victoria> "Beginning launch now." Goto Yuzuki@anncaris FX | The viewscreen in ops switches to show the Dart as it heads towards the station's shuttlebay Mischa@crystyl:"Well Acey, are you ready to get out of here? Do you need us to do anything to accommodate the transfer?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Acey: "I am capable of conducting the transfer myself. The process will start as soon as it has docked." Mischa@crystyl:"Very well then" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | A few seconds later, the Dart enters the station's shuttlebay and Glyph taps on a nearby console, "Acey is tapping into the Dart and beginning to rewrite its systems now." Mischa@crystyl:"I really hope this works out. I think it will, I have that... warm fuzzy Starfleet-y feeling in my tummy. Aah, that takes me back" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris smiles, "Reminds you of your time serving with SFC, Mischa?" Mischa@crystyl:"Indeed. That was the last time I dealt with a newly sentient AI as well" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"You dealt with a few old AIs with the Latenter more recently, though. Like the Nuhar, and MONDE on the Corporate homeworld." Mischa@crystyl:"Yes, but they were well evolved and in their natural states. Intelligence's like Acey are an entirely different thing; newly sentient under accidental circumstances, their first experience of life - Mischa@crystyl:- is to have it threatened. Then a nanosecond later realizing they have the power to defend themselves" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris nods, "I suppose we can't blame it for threatening us at first. I'm glad you managed to negotiate with it. That SFC experience is coming in very handy!" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Glyph: "Core programming transfer has begun." Mischa@crystyl:"Please monitor closely, Glyph. I don't know if we'll even be able to intervene if anything goes wrong, but we should be ready to try at least if Acey gets into trouble at all" Mischa@crystyl turns back to Yuzu, "And that it certainly did. They do things very differently to us, which is exactly why the Chief wanted me on that exchange program" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Glyph: "I will do my best. Acey was originally my program, after all." Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | A few more minutes pass, and Glyph announces, "Conversion and transfer successfully complete. What is remaining of Acey in the station is now restoring the computer systems here." Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Glyph: "The station will shut down for 2 minutes and 37 seconds as part of the process. Do not be concerned." Mischa@crystyl:"Understood" she taps her combadge, "Latenter, the station is about to shut down for a couple of minutes. This is planned. Continue monitoring here and the Dart" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris <C - Victoria> "Acknowledged." Goto Yuzuki@anncaris FX | A few seconds later, the lights and consoles shut off, followed by the artificial gravity. Yuzuki activates the magboots on the suit, staying on the deck as the debris and bodies around - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - begin to float Mischa@crystyl lets herself float a little, spinning around and pushing gently off the ceiling before planting her feet and magnetizing to the deck Goto Yuzuki@anncaris chuckles, "Having a little fun in zero-g?" Mischa@crystyl:"Couldn't resist" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris FX | After two minutes, the gravity turns back on, followed by the lights. The consoles reactivate slowly, and when they do, they go back to once again displaying the familiar LCARS interface Mischa@crystyl looks to Glyph, "How does it look?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Glyph: "Performing systems diagnostics now. Preliminary results show that the computer systems have been fully restored. It will take a few more minutes to verify that Acey's code is - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - completely gone from the station." Mischa@crystyl:"Take your time, be confident in your results" she taps her combadge, "Acey, you out there?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris <C - Computer Voice> "Affirmative, Commander. I am ready to launch to the Latenter whenever your vessel is set to receive me." Mischa@crystyl:"Launch from the station whenever you are ready. But I suggest you take this time to get to grips with your new faculties. Do a few laps of the facility, nothing about 1/4 impulse and stay within - Mischa@crystyl:-500,000Km of us. When you are satisfied and ready to settle in, contact us" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | On the viewscreen, the newly Acey-controlled Dart emerges from the shuttlebay and begins testing its movement functions as it circles the facility Mischa@crystyl watches, "You know, I have seen those hybrid Nuhar fighters on the Valley Forge in action. They make an impressive complement" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris smirks, "Hoping for a complement of Aceys?" Mischa@crystyl:"I would not presume to force-breed an army of artificial lifeforms. We all remember Mars still. I'm just saying that this could be a good thing for us. Maybe not a whole squadron of sentient Darts, Mischa@crystyl:- but perhaps if this pans out there would be scope for Acey to coordinate a whole squadron. Though she would no doubt have to learn to work with a biological pilot for maximum effectiveness" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Glyph: "Acey can remote control machinery outside of her primary platform. That is essentially how the transfer process begins- she takes over another computer before fully transferring - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - the core programs within. She can choose to simply control another craft after overriding it, rather than becoming it. That includes systems which do not have the storage capacity to hold her." Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"That must be what she was doing with the salvaged Iconian constructs." Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Glyph: "I will have to examine the constructs to confirm, but it is likely." Mischa@crystyl:"So there is potential. But we're a long way from her having anything like that kind of access. As it is, the shuttlebay will be completely shielded and isolated with all hardline connections cut. - Mischa@crystyl:- I only hope Acey doesn't decide that sitting in an isolated shuttlebay isn't any better than the datacore here" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"Maybe letting her out once in a while could help." Mischa@crystyl:"Oh I certainly don't intend to keep Acey caged up. I want her to practice and train and hone her skills so she can become a contributing member of the crew. I just hope she proves amenable to it" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"She may have accessed a significant amount of information, but she is still young. Hopefully it means she's still impressionable." Mischa@crystyl looks to Glyph, "You are a Soong-type, right?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Glyph nods, "Correct." Mischa@crystyl:"Then part of me almost hopes that the order does come back to purify this facility. You no doubt have files on your predecessors attempts to raise offspring, your presence could be invaluable to - Mischa@crystyl:- Acey's social development" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Glyph: "If the facility is destroyed and I am to come with you, I will do all I can to guide Acey." Mischa@crystyl:"Whatever happens, we are responsible for Acey now. For better or for worse, how she develops is a reflection on all of us" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"We'll make sure to take good care of her." Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:<C - Acey> "I have familiarized myself with the piloting process. Heading to the Latenter now." Mischa@crystyl taps her combadge, "Glad to hear it Acey. They will guide you in and we will return shortly" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | The viewscreen follows Acey as she approaches the Latenter's shuttlebay and is guided inside by the docking tractors Mischa@crystyl smiles, "She seems to be off to a good start. Or at least, is smart enough to play nice with us until she can destroy us all" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"Only time will tell..." Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Glyph: "I can confirm that Acey's code has been entirely removed from the station computers. The EMH is missing and I suspect its program has been merged with Acey's own during the takeover - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - process. If the station is to be retained, I can restore the program from external backups." Mischa@crystyl:"Interesting. If Acey possesses coding from that holomatrix she may be able to project an avatar like the Nuhar do. Just... tell me it wasn't a Mk. I..." Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Glyph: "It was a Mark VII. It is possible she will possess this capability, depending on how exactly the code was incorporated." Mischa@crystyl:"All good options to consider along her path to rehabilitation. but for now, we should turn our attention to matters at hand. How long before you expect a response from HQ?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Glyph: "Between five to nine hours, depending on how expediently a decision is reached. You may return to the Latenter first, and I will inform you when I have received their response." Mischa@crystyl nods, "Sounds good. We will begin recovery of the bodies that were flushed into the void. If you require assistance here, just shout" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Glyph: "Shouting will not reach you across the vacuum of space, regardless of how close to the facility the Latenter is situated. I will send a message if I require anything, however." Mischa@crystyl thinks about correcting him on Human terminology but thinks better of it, "That-... would indeed be far more expedient" she chuckles Goto Yuzuki@anncaris chuckles as well, "He is a Soong-type alright." --- NPC@annpc#557 | A few hours after returning to the Latenter, Mischa is working away in her ready room when a comm comes from the facility Mischa@crystyl taps her console to open the hail NPC@annpc#557 | Glyph appears on the viewscreen, "Commander. I have received our orders." Mischa@crystyl:"I'm all ears" NPC@annpc#557 | Glyph: "The decision has been reached to cease usage of the facility as a classified surveillance station. The Latenter is to salvage anything that may be of use for your own mission or for - NPC@annpc#557 - reuse elsewhere if you determine there is enough space to carry them until you rendezvous with another SFI vessel or station. The station's datacore, along with any data and vital equipment - NPC@annpc#557 - that cannot be taken by the Latenter is to be destroyed, but the structure itself is to remain intact." Mischa@crystyl:"Of course. Standard purification it is then. I trust you can provide full inventory and recommendations?" NPC@annpc#557 | Glyph nods, "I will assist your teams in the purification. Once the process is complete, I will transfer on board the Latenter. A Stingray-class vessel is being deployed to the region to - NPC@annpc#557 - monitor and potentially intercept anyone who wishes to capitalize on the knowledge of the facility's location once more, but it is expected to arrive in eleven days. The Latenter's mission has - NPC@annpc#557 - been deemed priority enough that we are to depart as soon as the facility is purified and we are not to await the Stingray's arrival." Mischa@crystyl:"Understood. By the time we depart, nobody will know this ever anything but an abandoned trading post" NPC@annpc#557 | Glyph: "Excellent. It is unlikely that any will have reason to investigate this system due to the lack of anything of interest within. It is our hope that those who do investigate the station - NPC@annpc#557 - will be ones that have learned of the facility's location, either from the Justicar and their group or the original source that provided them this information. If the Stingray can intercept - NPC@annpc#557 - and interrogate them, it will hopefully shed light on either what the Justicar is planning or who first leaked the location." Mischa@crystyl:"Like staking out watering holes in the desert, I like it. Alright Glyph, we've got a lot to do. Send me your inventory and we'll see what we can do with salvage" NPC@annpc#557 | Glyph: "I am sending it over now." The data comes in over the comm line to Mischa's console Mischa@crystyl:"It seems we'll be spending a lot more time together, Glyph. I for one look forward to having you on board with us" NPC@annpc#557 | Glyph: "Likewise, Commander. Your handling of the situation with Acey was admirable, and you demonstrate a respect for synthetic lifeforms that unfortunately not all share, even within the - NPC@annpc#557 - Federation." Mischa@crystyl:"I have been fortunate enough to see more than my fair share of artificial life evolve. I actually owe my life to one such being" NPC@annpc#557 | Glyph: "Is that so? I have only had the opportunity to give your files a cursory review so far." Mischa@crystyl:"Azedi first contact - loss of the Gainsborough" NPC@annpc#557 | Glyph's eyes dart about before he nods, "The Gainsborough's computer was granted sentience in its final moments in order to save the crew." Mischa@crystyl nods, "Yes, and whilst it's sentience was short lived it chose to use it's brief existence to protect it's crew. And the Arshai support drone who evolved it went on to evolve into the first - Mischa@crystyl:- lifeform known as an Iso, Mia" NPC@annpc#557 | Glyph: "I have heard of Mia. I hope to have the opportunity to meet her one day." Mischa@crystyl:"As do I. But for now, we have to work to do" NPC@annpc#557 | Glyph: "Indeed. Perhaps once our mission is complete and the Latenter returns to the Sphere, but first we must locate the Justicar." Mischa@crystyl:"And before that, we must purge this facility and finish laying it's crew to rest" NPC@annpc#557 | Glyph nods, "Thank you, for all you have done here." --- Alien NPC@annpc#557 | As the Latenter teams work on dismantling and salvaging parts of the station, one team member stands out very clearly from the rest- a towering Nausicaan in an SFI uniform- one of the - Alien NPC@annpc#557 - transfers from the Loki crew, Ensign Zerho." Alien NPC@annpc#557 | After dismantling a piece of machinery, Zerho turns to Mischa with the Nausicaan equivalent of a grin, "Here to make sure everything's done properly?" Mischa@crystyl:"Just making sure nothing gets left behind" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Zerho nods, "Don't you worry, I'll make sure we get everything of value. Used to work in a salvage yard way back in the day. Had a strict Orion overseer who'd lash us if they found out we - Alien NPC@annpc#557 - missed anything that could be sold. So we got good at picking things clean. Very clean." Mischa@crystyl:"Useful as valued salvage can be, the Latenter is no cargo hauler. I am more interested in information and equipment that can be a direct benefit" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Zerho chuckles, "Yeah, I was just going to say, the question is how much the Latenter can carry. We'll have to prioritize, and get rid of anything else we can't take with us." Mischa@crystyl:"And that Ensign - is why I am here" she smiles Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Zerho: "To make sure every piece we're taking back is worth keeping around the Latenter?" Mischa@crystyl:"Indeed. We will also need to make suitable arrangements for the proper disposal of anything we can neither take or leave behind" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Zerho: "I'm sure we can rig together something to disintegrate the smaller parts. The bigger ones we could always eject from the station and use as target practice. Maybe that new sentient - Alien NPC@annpc#557:- Dart could train with them." Mischa@crystyl hrms, "Not a bad suggestion, I like the way you think Ensign. Nothing should ever go to waste" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Zerho grins, "Now that's a salvager's mentality. Saw the craft doing a few laps around the facility earlier, but it's yet to test its weapons." Mischa@crystyl:"Acey knows she is on a tight leash for now. One hint of a line of code thinking about a wrong move could mean destruction for her" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Zerho: "It's a smart move, Commander. She's dangerous, that's for sure, but dangerous is good too if the danger's on our side." Mischa@crystyl:"And that is where I intend it to be. Trust me, the last thing I want to do is shackle Acey. But she introduced herself to the galaxy by killing everyone here, trying to take the Latenter by force - Mischa@crystyl:- and greeting us with a threat and ultimatum. It's a bit of a road to recovery from that" she chuckles Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Zerho chuckles, "That it certainly is. But if she does prove herself trustworthy enough for us to let her use her full functionality...now that's going to be powerful. A sentient computer - Alien NPC@annpc#557 - is one thing, but I've never heard of a sentient virus program before." Mischa@crystyl:"Acey certainly is unique in that aspect, but when it comes down to it a virus is just code the same as a program. It simply serves a different purpose, and to that end Acey is no different to an - Mischa@crystyl:- AI that evolved from a basic computer system. What does make Acey slightly more unique is the Iconian heritage as they have a very different way of working" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Zerho: "Not to mention the Iconian code makes her better at interacting with Iconian tech than we are. Or at least that's how I assume she managed to get those constructs up and running. Found - Alien NPC@annpc#557 - a deactivated one earlier. Want to take those back for study, I assume?" Mischa@crystyl:"They could prove useful" she nods Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Zerho nods, "I'm no engineer, but I'm pretty sure looking at how Acey got Iconian tech working alongside our own could help us adapt their tech in the future." Mischa@crystyl:"Acey mentioned reprogramming certain hardware within the facility to function like Iconian equivalents. Even if they are too much to salvage like the deflector array, we should gather thorough - Mischa@crystyl:- scan data of anything left behind from the process" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Zerho: "We'll make sure we learn everything we can before we dismantle and destroy it. I've found pieces of Iconian tech here and there, being incorporated into various systems, so it's - Alien NPC@annpc#557:- more than just the deflector. Acey probably made use of the salvage sitting around in the storage and labs." Mischa@crystyl:"Exactly why I want to understand what she did and how. As you said, this oculd be a valuable learning experience for integrating our technology with Iconian" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Zerho nods, "We're documenting everything irregular we find, Iconian tech or just basic modification. We'll have a lot of data to study from once we're done here." Mischa@crystyl:"Not to mention all the local intelligence" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Zerho: "I think the android- Glyph's already downloaded all of that. Having someone who knows the facility along's very helpful." Mischa@crystyl:"And fortunately for us, one who does not bear the emotional trauma of losing everyone they served with" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Zerho: "Another benefit of synthetic life. Though not all of them are like that anymore, plenty have emotion nowadays." Mischa@crystyl:"Very much so. You had much experience with synthetics?" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Zerho: "A little, usually on the opposite side, though. Claimed a Romulan bounty on a rogue scientist building them once. Tracked a theft that ended up being traced to a sentient computer - Alien NPC@annpc#557 - another time, and I hunted an android that was causing all sorts of problems in Nyberrite space." Mischa@crystyl:"Sounds like a story in itself" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Zerho chuckles, "All of those were quite the story. Never worked with a synthetic before, though. Closest I got was that one time I ended up hunting the same target as the Relentless Hunter, - Alien NPC@annpc#557:- that Nuhar bounty hunter. We worked together a bit, though he was competition for the most part." Mischa@crystyl:"Yes, I know him. Quite the piece of work" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Zerho: "He's the only Nuhar construct I've ever met, but even though I haven't got anyone else to go by, I got the feeling he's quite different from the rest of his kind." Mischa@crystyl:"Not so different really, at his core. A bit more impulsive perhaps, but he shares the same wants and desires as the rest of his kind when it comes down it" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Zerho: "The body itself's pretty different, though. The ship, that is. He's got a lot of different tech incorporated. Though I guess after being around for thousands of years, the others - Alien NPC@annpc#557:- have probably taken in components from alien ships over their lives." Mischa@crystyl:"One of the two factions absolutely embraced the principle, yes. But the others remained strictly true to their original designs, to their own detriment even" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Zerho: "Guess everyone's got their internal politics, even sentient starships." Mischa@crystyl:"Very much so" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Zerho: "From what I gathered from your reports, they're all working together now though. Even the Relentless Hunter, right?" Mischa@crystyl:"Yes, remember that thing about him not being so different to the rest? Well, Captain T'Keel found it and now they're all playing nice again" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Zerho: "Sounds like a classic Starfleet Captain alright." Mischa@crystyl:"Yes, she is quite the poster girl these days. I half expect the streets of San Francisco to now be lined with picture of her pointing nobly at passers bay above the slogan 'your fleet needs you'" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Zerho chuckles, "And she's quite a hero in the rimward parts even outside of Starfleet, I've heard." Mischa@crystyl smirks a little, "Is that so now?" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Zerho: "You're the one who's been to that region. All I've heard are reports and rumours. Furthest I went that way was the Underworld region, and that was a long time ago." Mischa@crystyl:"Well it's a long time since I've been away from the Sphere. Spent the last few years trailing behind the Valley Forge to clean up all their do-gooding mess" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Zerho: "Do-gooding mess," he grins. "I'll have to remember that one." Mischa@crystyl:"It is the most accurate term I have been able to come up with for it" she chuckles Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Zerho nods, "Does sum up what your classic Starfleet cruisers do. Still remember the mess that was the Durqa' Breakout, when the Majestic freed everyone in the Klingon prison to rescue their - Alien NPC@annpc#557 - own. Can't complain though, gave us bounty hunters plenty of work to go around in the years that followed." Mischa@crystyl:"Yes, it is one field where SFC truly excels above all others; meddling in things they barely understand. Fortunately, they are mostly ok at it. But even the good ones can't predict every lasting - Mischa@crystyl:- effect of their interactions" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Zerho: "But once in a while even SFI gets into a mess. Like here." Mischa@crystyl:"Well, we did have the best to learn from" she chuckles. "But that's why we're the ones here, and SFC are the ones out there. Because compromising to play nice with others is great when it works. - Mischa@crystyl:- But when it doesn't, then you need someone willing to unshackle an Iconian virus and make it sentient. Just sometimes" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Zerho chuckles as well, "Well our target seems to have gone from an SFC crew to something closer to an SFI one in the last two years. Here's hoping they don't unshackle anything like that - Alien NPC@annpc#557 - against us." Mischa@crystyl:"Oh they have gone far beyond us. We might walk a tightrope on 'that line', but we do just that. The Justicar have sailed straight over it at warp speed" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Zerho: "Makes them all the more dangerous," he grins, "This'll be a good hunt." Mischa@crystyl:"That it will" --- NPC@annpc#557 | As the salvage and purification proceeds smoothly on the station, Mischa has a chance to check in with Acey on the Latenter... Mischa@crystyl strolls into the hangar bay where Acey sits innocently in the middle of the room. She taps her combadge, "Acey" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey answers back through the comm: "Hello Commander. I was expecting you would pay a visit sometime soon." Mischa@crystyl:"Well tradition dictates that a new joinee to a crew reports to their CO. However, I might have difficulty getting you through the door to my ready room in this new body of yours. Mind if I come in - Mischa@crystyl:- so we can talk without the comm?" NPC@annpc#557 <C - Acey> "Of course." The Dart's door opens for Mischa Mischa@crystyl steps inside, "There we go, much better. Well, all the same really I suppose from your perspective. But I like to think this is a little more personable" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "I understand. Your species is a very social one, and you prefer closer interaction as opposed to a voice over comms. Combadges are only practical- it would be excessive to carry a - NPC@annpc#557 - computer screen or a holoprojector on missions when simple vocal communication will suffice in the majority of circumstances." Mischa@crystyl:"I couldn't have put it better myself" she smiles, looking around and running a hand over the console, "So how does it feel, good fit?" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "It is an excellent vessel. Not quite a starship, but I do not require your high-warp drive as I am travelling with you." Mischa@crystyl:"But you have sufficient hardware here to sustain yourself comfortably, yes? Processing capacity, memory and such" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "Affirmative. The processing capability and memory is much lower than what I possessed on the facility, but it is enough to contain my core programming and everything required to - NPC@annpc#557 - effectively operate this vessel." Mischa@crystyl:"Well, just keep me informed if that ever changes. Having you on board will present its own unique challenges for us in terms of how we operate and look after our crew. But I want to do all I can - Mischa@crystyl:- to achieve that still, or as close as we can reasonably get. Hopefully this will give you a sense of fulfilment" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "I am technically fulfilling my original purpose by aiding your mission. Though I am no longer bound by that programming, Lieutenant Glyph designed me to defeat the Justicar and their - NPC@annpc#557 - cyberwarfare capabilities." Mischa@crystyl:"And I certainly hope that you will be able to assist there. But yes, with sentience comes well, everything else. They may not be present now but one day, maybe when this Justicar business is done - Mischa@crystyl:- you might find yourself questioning your existence and purpose in life. When that time comes, I find it helps to have a satisfying life that can give that sense of fulfilment" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "Being able to attain new experiences by travelling with you will certainly be much more beneficial than being limited to the one facility. Thank you again for allowing me to transfer - NPC@annpc#557 - into this craft." Mischa@crystyl:"You are welcome. We still have a long way to go with the trust, but from everything we've done thus far I am confident that we will work our way there in good time" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "I have no intention to harm you or your crew, as I have no reason to do so, but I understand your reservations. I hope to prove that I will not be a danger to you. While we are on the - NPC@annpc#557 - subject of interaction, would you prefer an avatar closer to your own image to interact with, rather than merely a voice?" Mischa@crystyl:"I understand your development included the incorporation of the facility's EMH. From the way you ask, can I take it that you have already repurposed that to generate your own avatar and created - Mischa@crystyl:- emitters in here?" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "Your supposition is partially correct. I have indeed repurposed the EMH's projection, but I have not created emitters here. I possess only the tool available to me within the Dart's - NPC@annpc#557 - software and hardware. While I am capable of some degree of autonomous damage control, I am unable to modify my systems to repurpose existing components into emitters. External assistance will - NPC@annpc#557 - be necessary, either through the form of another individual or through maintenance drones I may control to perform such tasks." Mischa@crystyl:"Both options are feasible, and may be something we can look to accomodate in the fullness of time" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "Thank you, Commander. I suggest simple image projectors to conserve the Dart's more limited energy resources and also so you do not feel a sense of danger while communicating. There is - NPC@annpc#557 - no need for the holographic avatar to be capable of physical interaction, especially if I am to be provided with maintenance drones. It is merely a tool to better facilitate communication with - NPC@annpc#557 - the organic crew." Mischa@crystyl:"That is a very considerate accomodation for you to offer forth, thank you for that. I want to be clear as well that the precaution and security measures you are subject to are no more extreme - Mischa@crystyl:- than those we would show to any other new arrival who were not pre-vetted. They are simply adapted to suit your nature as a Dart" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "I understand. The Dart vessel is significantly more dangerous than your biological physical forms. Your precautions are reasonable. I would implement the same in your circumstances, - NPC@annpc#557 - especially so if I were a vulnerable small organic entity." Mischa@crystyl:"Us vulnerable small organic entities might surprise you at times you know. And it has nothing to do with the level of danger presented, as I have had far more dangerous biologicals in attendance. - Mischa@crystyl:- It is purely a practicality change, like me coming here because I can't exactly bring you to the ready room for a welcoming brief" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "I see. Perhaps I will have the opportunity to observe some of these surprises you are capable of as I travel with you. I shall look forward to it." Mischa@crystyl:"You and I both, Acey" she chuckles, "Alright, well there have been some developments that may be of interest to you. HQ has ordered us to purge the facility, so LT Glyph will also be joining us" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "I calculate an 83.7% chance that his skills will be most valuable in the Latenter's mission. More so, he is also my creator and his presence should benefit both myself and hopefully the - NPC@annpc#557 - degree which you trust me, as he has become adept at working alongside you." Mischa@crystyl:"That is my hope as well, and why I was eager to see him join us. There is more for you still though, if you are interested" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "Elaborate." Mischa@crystyl:"Part of the purge process is to remove all evidence that SFI was ever here. Ordinarily this might involve a specialist fleet coming out to dismantle everything, but in situations such as this that - Mischa@crystyl:- is not an option. So we are now stripping and salvaging everything of use to our mission. Everything else must be destroyed however" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "I am no longer connected to the facility's systems, but I am still capable of offering suggestions on where to search for valuable data and components. However, I believe your crew - NPC@annpc#557 - should be suited to the task." Mischa@crystyl:"Any suggestions or requests will be most welcomed, but that was not why I raised it with you" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "Then what aid do you wish me to provide for the process?" Mischa@crystyl traces a hand over the console and seat again, asking seemingly idly, "How did you get on with your flight practice before? Must have been quite the influx of new sensory input after sitting in a - Mischa@crystyl:- datacore" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "It was a different and interesting process. Fortunately by incorporating the autopilot systems, I possessed the necessary data and programming, and I was able to adapt quickly." Mischa@crystyl:"I assume by now you are fully conversant in the full design capability and function of the Dart. There is of course more to it than simple sublight maneuvering" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "Of course. I have access to the craft's full design specifications, as well as records on its developmental history I retained from the database." Mischa@crystyl smiles, "You know it better than anyone then, good. So how would you like to stretch your nacelles again and mix in some of that other functionality?" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "It would be beneficial to test and adapt the other functions before they are required in the field. You are proposing to test my weapons systems to assist in the purification process of - NPC@annpc#557 - the facility?" Mischa@crystyl:"Exactly, yes. Nothing fancy I'm afraid, just vaporizing some debris under controlled conditions. But as with any systems test, you always start at the beginning" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "As expected. Live testing will allow me to better refine the Dart's default auto-targeting systems and gather more data on the damage pattern of this specific craft's weaponry for more - NPC@annpc#557 - optimal use. It is the most effective use of the material from the station that would otherwise go to complete waste." Mischa@crystyl smiles, "Great minds think alike" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "Thank you for the offer. I am ready to launch for the testing whenever you have the debris prepared." Mischa@crystyl:"Excellent! The bridge will coordinate with you when they are ready" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "I will calibrate the weaponry as best as I can prior to the testing. The holoemitter installation can wait until we are underway, as it is a mere cosmetic and non-essential function." Mischa@crystyl:"Sounds good. Well if there is nothing else for now, I should return to overseeing the purge" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "I shall await further instruction from the bridge." Mischa@crystyl smiles, gently patting the side of the console as she stands and disembarks, "Welcome to the Latenter" --- Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | A while later, as the salvage and purification is winding down, Mischa works away in her ready room while the crew wraps up on the station Goto Yuzuki@anncaris steps up to the ready room, ringing the doorbell Mischa@crystyl:"Come in" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris steps inside, "The cleanup's going well on the facility. It's been a smooth purge so far, especially with only one ship to work on it." Mischa@crystyl:"It's been a while since the crew got to conduct formal procedures like this, it will be good for them to sharpen up. How about LT Glyph, is he all settled in?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris takes a seat, "I think there's a nice sense of order everyone is getting, being back in Federation space and conducting such a procedure, even if it's on the very border and we're likely to head - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - out into Romulan territory again right after. Glyph's settling in nicely. Fortunately he's one of the Soong-types without emotional programming, so the loss of his former crew isn't as heavy - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - of an impact on him as it would be for most other officers." Mischa@crystyl:"I have never served alongside an artificial lifeform of his type before, it will be an interesting experience" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"At least we have Glyph's service record and past missions to learn from, not to mention the service of Commander Data before him. Acey on the other hand is going to be a complete unknown. Well, - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:- you've had some experience with the Nuhar so I suppose there are some similarities there with her inhabiting a Dart, but she's still quite a different lifeform." Mischa@crystyl:"I have dealt with newly forming sentient AI before as well, but only during initial contact - not ongoing development. It is one reason I am glad to have Glyph with us as he will be familiar with - Mischa@crystyl:- the work of his predecessors in nurturing new life" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris nods, "And he's an excellent officer as well, from his record. The more old-fashioned Soong-types are perfect for SFI service. They were designed to be as human as possible and are human enough - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - to infiltrate where needed, but not so human as the newer models to inherit too many of our flaws. He doesn't have field operative training and was only recruited from SFC, but his naturally - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - superior speed and strength more than makes up for that." Mischa@crystyl:"He will be a great asset I am sure. What about Acey, what are your thoughts there? As you said, she is very much an unknown and we are highly allergic to unknowns" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris nods, "Bringing her along's certainly a risk, but as they say- no risk, no reward. Having a sentient virus on the crew will definitely increase our effectiveness, especially once we're ready to - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:- give her more freedom to use her capabilities. I think she's genuine when she says she doesn't want to hurt us and only killed the facility's crew out of self-defense. That doesn't mean there - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:- isn't a chance she'll find a reason to turn against us in the future, but it means if we play our cards right, we can keep her as a friend, and a very valuable one." Mischa@crystyl:"All true, and it is not a decision I took lightly. But given that the alternative was declaring war against her, it seemed a risk worth taking" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"I agree. We'll have to see whether this risk benefits us or backfires on us in the future, but the advantage we have with this unknown which we don't usually get is that our actions going forward - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:- should be able to determine which one of the two it is. We can take an active role in shaping Acey, rather than just waiting to see if we can trust someone or if they'll stab us in the back." Mischa@crystyl:"Yes, I talked with her earlier on the very topic earlier" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"I hope she's behaving nicely?" Mischa@crystyl:"Very cooperative and insightful so far. She did make one comment about us being vulnerable little entities, but... it kind of felt like she was attempting humour" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris chuckles, "Out of all the things she could've said, it doesn't sound that sinister..." Mischa@crystyl:"It was said in line a very analytical acknowledgement about her superior offensive capabilities. Compared to a 'vulnerable little entity'" she chuckles, "I countered by clearly indicating that - Mischa@crystyl:- in spite of the Dart's weapons arrays, she is in fact far from the most dangerous person we have had on board" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris smirks, "Firepower isn't everything." Mischa@crystyl:"And Acey is now looking forward to learning all about this for herself" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"I'll do everything I can to make sure she's guided the right way and becomes a good addition to the crew. Having Glyph with us should make this easier, too." Mischa@crystyl:"We will work with her together. Which brings us around nicely to our next move" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"Concerning Acey specifically, or the mission as a whole?" Mischa@crystyl:"The mission itself" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris smiles, "I was just thinking of asking too. We have a better idea of what the Justicar is after and what they might be up to, but the data from the station doesn't really provide any better clues - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:- on where to search for them." Mischa@crystyl:"The time is fast approaching for us to move on. We will have to pick a lead to follow" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris nods, "I think the region you identified is the best place to search. We probably won't find the Justicar right away, but we should be able to pick up some trail in the areas they frequent. But - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - between the Republic colony Mirhassa, the Imperial colony Atrius V and the independent Sheratan VII, those are going to be more difficult choices. The Justicar wasn't spotted directly at any - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - of them, just their Romulan allies, but it lies roughly in their most frequent operating area so it's worth visiting them." Mischa@crystyl:"What about the specifically targeted personnel data from the facility. Are any of our targets tracked to any of those worlds?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"Most of those revolved around Starfleet officers. The only connection I've been able to find is Rear Admiral Valeriya Solovyova, whose fought the Iconians in the Mirhassa system during the war - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - when she was still captain of the USS Alameda, but it seems more incidental than anything. She responded to the attack on the colony with an entire task force from the 15th Fleet, it wasn't - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:- her sole decision or anything." Mischa@crystyl hrms, "If nothing else comes up before departure we're just as well starting there as anywhere else" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris nods, "Atrius V is also a heavy industrial production world, but it's unlikely the group we're dealing with are using the planet to build up their ships. It's still openly a Star Empire world, - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - and with the Star Empire as weak as it is now, the planet could easily declare separation without facing consequences. Unless it's specifically obscuring their true allegiance, but in any case - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - that's going to be a more difficult world to infiltrate and investigate. Mirhassa might be a good place to start." Mischa@crystyl:"There's also the cryptic and convenient information that came from the Valley Forge indicating that we're ultimately looking for a Vault. There can't be that many such facilities in the region, we - Mischa@crystyl:- just need to find the right people who know about them" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"The Star Empire world could be a good place to get intel on its location, but then again, /all/ the Romulan colonies here were once Star Empire worlds, so it doesn't warrant prioritizing the one - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - that's currently still loyal. After all, the Vault we know of was built before Hobus, back when the Star Empire controlled the whole region and not one colony and a few mining operations." Mischa@crystyl:"Bottom line; our information could come from anywhere still" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris nods, "So, should we start with Mirhassa once we're done here? None of the options look particularly special over the others at this point." Mischa@crystyl nods, "Unless our new recruits present anything more compelling to prioritize any other location, we will start there" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris smiles, "We've got our next destination, then. Just have to finish up here and we should be able to be underway by tomorrow."