Back in the Heart of Unity, T'Pia has a chance to meet her hero when Captain Geordi La Forge of the USS Challenger arrives in the Sphere. However, plans quickly fall apart and T'Pia finds herself having to clear her idol's name with the help of a few old and new friends.
T'Pia@crystyl | Back at the Heart, the Coalition fleetyards as a hive of regular activity with everyone settled in to the project and hard at work developing concepts and testing ideas T'Pia@crystyl | The facility has become a picture of the Coalition with species as diverse as the Federation all working together. The only difference to an untrained eye being the strong mix of different - T'Pia@crystyl:- uniforms and not such a dominant presence of Starfleet ones T'Pia@crystyl | Of those in Starfleet uniform in the central hub, one stands out with a blue cadet tunic - working hard and quietly at a console on her own until approached by an Arshai in Colonial uniform T'Pia@crystyl | Arshai: "Cadet, how goes the latest tactical simulations?" T'Pia@crystyl:"I'm still running them, Sir" T'Pia@crystyl | Arshai: "What is the delay?" T'Pia@crystyl:"N-no delay Sir. The latest simulations are just a lot more complex than previous, so there are more variables to account for. That takes more time" T'Pia@crystyl | Arshai: "Funny. Karku doesn't recall Captain Se'Lai ever having to make excuses. Get it done" with that, he walks off T'Pia@crystyl watches with a slight frown at his back before turning back to her work with a sigh. Her reaction suggesting that this unrealistic expectation level of her, and comparison to her mother, is not - T'Pia@crystyl:- uncommon here. Clearly nor is it welcome NPC@annpc#557 | As Pia works away, she hears another voice behind her, "Hello, Cadet...?" T'Pia@crystyl turns, "Hm?" NPC@annpc#557 | Pia sees Ensigns Sauda and Coragg standing behind her NPC@annpc#557 | Sauda: "It is you! Hi again! I don't know if you remember us, Ensign Sauda and Ensign Coragg?" T'Pia@crystyl:"We met at the ceremony, right? I see you decided to take Rianni's advice" NPC@annpc#557 | Coragg smiles and nods, "That's us! We decided to join the project here, since it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity." T'Pia@crystyl:"You're working on the ship build too? Or... other things at the Heart?" NPC@annpc#557 | Sauda: "I'm working on the ship build, Coragg's part of a research team studying the Sphere biomes, but he spends most of his off-duty time here." T'Pia@crystyl:"Well, I'm glad it's working out for you both. I- I have to finish these simulations..." she hastily turns back to her work NPC@annpc#557 | Sauda: "No worries! You...want to meet up sometime when you're off-duty, in the mess areas or something?" T'Pia@crystyl glances back over her shoulder with a faint smile, "Sure. That would be nice" NPC@annpc#557 | Sauda smiles back, "See you there! And good luck with your simulations!" T'Pia@crystyl mutters a quiet, "Thanks..." --- NPC@annpc#557 | Some time later, Sauda and Coragg are at a table in the mess hall, chatting among themselves as they wait for T'Pia T'Pia@crystyl heads into the shipyards lounge much later in the day, smiling a little to see the friendly faces and heading over, "Hi, hope you haven't sat here all this time just waiting for me" NPC@annpc#557 | Coragg smiles back, "No, not at all! We only got here a...has it been over an hour now? We were talking and time just flew by!" NPC@annpc#557 | Sauda chuckles, "That tends to happen. Not enough hours in a day, is there?" T'Pia@crystyl groans a little, "Uh, tell me about it..." NPC@annpc#557 | Coragg: "Lots to do and too little time?" T'Pia@crystyl:"Something like that" she waves down a passing waiter and orders a drink NPC@annpc#557 | Sauda: "You're still doing regular cadet studies on top of your work here on the joint ship, right?" T'Pia@crystyl nods, "Yes, my studies are still my primary commitment. Some of my classes enable me to satisfy criteria whilst aiding the project but not all" NPC@annpc#557 | Coragg: "I knew a few people in my year who did their studies while working on a ship. It can be quite a bit of work to juggle at times." NPC@annpc#557 | Sauda: "I hope it's going well, other than the workload?" T'Pia@crystyl slumps down to the table, resting her chin on her arms with a heavy sigh, "I wish I could say it was..." NPC@annpc#557 | Coragg: "What's wrong?" T'Pia@crystyl:"Me, by all accounts" NPC@annpc#557 | Sauda: "What do you mean? You're amazing. Weren't you doing things on the Valley Forge to help even before you became a cadet?" T'Pia@crystyl nods, "Sure I was, that's how I came to know what I want to do with my life" NPC@annpc#557 | Sauda: "What's changed here?" NPC@annpc#557 | Coragg: "Is it getting used to being on your own? I know that took me a little getting used to when I first went to the Academy." NPC@annpc#557 | Coragg: "I mean, I had roommates, but up to then I was living with my family and all." T'Pia@crystyl:"I guess... At least when I was on the Valley Forge everyone knew that I was me and my mother was my mother" NPC@annpc#557 | Coragg leans forward and squints, "I can see the resemblence, but you don't look /that/ similar to her. Plus the uniforms, but I guess some of the people here might not know the difference." T'Pia@crystyl:"It certainly feels that way..." NPC@annpc#557 | Sauda: "So people are treating you like your mother, right? Not literally mistaking you for her." T'Pia@crystyl shakes her head, "No, the uniform makes at least that much clear. But it's like... uh, I don't know!" she huffs in very non-Vulcan frustration, "It's like because my name is Se'Lai, everyone - T'Pia@crystyl:- presumes the same of me as my mother, who is like a damned living legend around here!" she swipes at her empty glass, launching it off the table - thankfully harmlessly - into the nearby wall, and- T'Pia@crystyl:- dropping her head to her arms folded on the table once more NPC@annpc#557 | Coragg reaches forward and pats Pia on the arm gently, "Hey, I can't say I've been in a situation like this before, but I'm sure you'll do a great job here of your own skills and talents." T'Pia@crystyl:"I'm glad somebody is so sure of that..." NPC@annpc#557 | Sauda: "What exactly /are/ people here expecting of you? If you don't mind me asking." T'Pia@crystyl:"Nothing special in terms of specific tasks or anything. It's just like... everyone wants... more. Nothing special, just more of everything. More of me" NPC@annpc#557 | Sauda: "I mean, as legendary as your mother is, she's still human- well, Vulcan. It sounds like everyone's just having unrealistic expectations based on her reputation. I don't know if she'd - NPC@annpc#557 - even be able to live up to such expectations if she were here instead." T'Pia@crystyl:"Exactly! And if she couldn't, then what hope do I have?" NPC@annpc#557 | Coragg: "I think it's not so much about meeting their standards, but tempering their expectations..." T'Pia@crystyl raises her head a little with a perked brow, totally not just like her mother, "How do you mean?" NPC@annpc#557 | Coragg: "Like...making people expect less of you. But in a good way, not by failing at things. I'm...not exactly sure how, but it sounds like people here need to start thinking of you as a - NPC@annpc#557 - person with the same limits they have." T'Pia@crystyl sighs softly, "I appreciate the thought, but I have no idea how to achieve something like that" NPC@annpc#557 | Sauda: "Me neither...as Ensigns people normally aren't expecting all too much of us around here..." T'Pia@crystyl:"Well I appreciate you both trying still, it means a lot" NPC@annpc#557 | Sauda smiles, "If we have any ideas, I'll be sure to let you know!" NPC@annpc#557 | The door slides open and a group of Lodzki step into the mess. They don't take seats however, instead heading over to the window T'Pia@crystyl watches them distantly NPC@annpc#557 | The Lodzki stand and converse idly as they watch. A few seconds later, the door slide open again and a pair of Arshai step inside, similarly moving over to the window NPC@annpc#557 | Sauda: "Must be someone coming through the gateway. Happens every time, everyone's eager to see new ships that come through. Mostly locals since they've never seen our designs before." NPC@annpc#557 | Coragg: "Well, aside from those of our ships that have already come through, of course." T'Pia@crystyl:"Another Starfleet ship arriving?" she trails off curiously as she stands to go see NPC@annpc#557 | Coragg and Sauda both stand, stepping over to join Pia NPC@annpc#557 | Sauda: "I haven't had reason to check the schedules, but it would seem so." T'Pia@crystyl:"I wonder what ship it might be...?" NPC@annpc#557 | As expected, the gateway springs to life a few seconds later. A lone Guardian enters, replicating a drink for himself before taking a seat by the window and looking out as well NPC@annpc#557 | A ship emerges from the gateway, but it is clearly not a Starfleet design NPC@annpc#557 FX | https://static.wikia.nocookie.net/sto_gamepedia/images/2/20/Lkr_Ship_Dranuur.png/revision/latest?cb=20200404193817 T'Pia@crystyl 's eyes widen NPC@annpc#557 | Not far behind it, a second, triangular shaped vessel exits the gateway NPC@annpc#557 FX | https://static.wikia.nocookie.net/sto_gamepedia/images/1/15/Lkr_Ship_Ho%27kuun.png/revision/latest?cb=20200404200028 NPC@annpc#557 | Then, the much larger and familiar hull of a Starfleet Galaxy-class cruiser emerges, escorted by two smaller, circular ships beside it. The gateway closes behind the group of five as they - NPC@annpc#557 - begin approaching the Foundry facility they are on T'Pia@crystyl presses her face up to the window eagerly, "That... that's the Challenger!" NPC@annpc#557 | Sauda widens her eyes as well, "I heard something about them coming here to assist with some of the Federation's newer allies! These other ships must be them." T'Pia@crystyl:"I've never seen them before, but my studies I think they might be Lukari" NPC@annpc#557 | Coragg: "Lukari...they're the ones with the advanced protomatter technology, right?" T'Pia@crystyl:"Yes, that's what I'm basing my assumption on. Those drive configurations look more like those kind of systems than matter-antimatter" T'Pia@crystyl vaguely guesses the same person who ID'd a generic Galaxy class by name at a glance... NPC@annpc#557 | Coragg: "That explains why they've been called out here to help. From what I remember of my academy classes, that technology can help re-terraform all the planets the Horde have ruined!" T'Pia@crystyl:"Oh that's right, yeah!" NPC@annpc#557 | Outside the window, the Galaxy-class cruises closer and closer until it stops next to the Foundry, conveniently at a position where its name can clearly be read outside the window NPC@annpc#557 FX | https://i.imgur.com/VEITu7G.jpg T'Pia@crystyl wears a rather self-satisfied grin at being right NPC@annpc#557 | Sauda gives Pia a pat on the shoulder, "See? You are good!" --- NPC@annpc#557 | The next day, T'Pia is once again at work. It is a busy morning and she is concentrating when she hears Coragg call her name again T'Pia@crystyl turns, smiling to see who it is, "Hello again!" NPC@annpc#557 | Coragg smiles back, with Sauda standing beside him NPC@annpc#557 | Sauda: "Hey, we were just in the area and thought we'd come by to check, see if everything's going okay with you." T'Pia@crystyl:"Nothing new. Still trying to think on what you guys said last night" NPC@annpc#557 | Coragg: "Any ideas?" T'Pia@crystyl shakes her head despondently, "Nothing so far..." NPC@annpc#557 | Coragg: "I was thinking, I'm not sure about this, but maybe-" He pauses abruptly before both Ensigns suddenly stand at attention T'Pia@crystyl turns to see what has them at attention NPC@annpc#557 | T'Pia turns to see the Arshai who was bossing her around the previous day, along with a familiar face... NPC@annpc#557 FX | https://static.wikia.nocookie.net/sto_gamepedia/images/4/43/Geordi_La_Forge.png/revision/latest?cb=20180714212258 T'Pia@crystyl promptly joins the two Ensigns at attention NPC@annpc#557 | Arshai: "This is Captain Geordi La Forge of the USS Challenger. One of the Federation's renowned engineers, as Karku is told." NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge: "At ease, ensigns. Cadet." NPC@annpc#557 | Karku: "The Captain will be joining the project while the Challenger awaits deployment here in the Sphere." T'Pia@crystyl relaxes her stance, watching with slight awe at a personal hero in the flesh NPC@annpc#557 | The two ensigns relax their stance as well and Captain La Forge extends a hand to them, "Karku here is just showing me around the shipyard, or Foundry as you call it here. Quite a place you've - NPC@annpc#557 - got here." T'Pia@crystyl shakes his hend after the others, "There are technologies here we are just barely beginning to understand! Um... Sir!" NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge chuckles and nods, "Still, automated Nuhar shipbuilding systems, Iconian technology, I wish I had access to tools like these back when I was designing ships at Utopia Planitia." T'Pia@crystyl:"I am sure we could benefit greatly from some Upee expertise, Sir! The technological capacity of the foundry is impressive, but it lacks the ingenuity required to implement a design with so many- T'Pia@crystyl:- unknowns as we have here!" is clearly excited by the conversation and ignorant of anyone else, apparent by her prolonged hand shaking NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge: "Yes, it's designed to produce Nuhar Constructs, isn't it?" He begins to slowly draw back his hand T'Pia@crystyl realizes what she's doing and promptly lets go of his hand, sheepishly returning it to her side, "Y- Yes Sir, that's right! Some of the other Heart foundries are still constructing new generation - T'Pia@crystyl:- Nuhar constructs" NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge: "But this one is being repurposed to build the new Coalition joint vessel." T'Pia@crystyl:"That is correct Sir. This Foundry is the central design hub for the project. I-... I would happy to help you acclimatize if you like" NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge smiles, "Sure. We're among the few Starfleet personnel on the project, so I have a feeling we'll be working together often. I should finish up my tour first, and then I'll come find - NPC@annpc#557 - you, Cadet...?" T'Pia@crystyl beams with excitement, "Se'Lai. T'Pia Se'Lai. Sir" NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge: "Se'Lai...you must be Captain Se'Lai's daughter." T'Pia@crystyl nods, "Yes Sir... I am the daughter of Captain Se'Lai" NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge: "You were on the ship when you first discovered the Sphere, weren't you?" T'Pia@crystyl:"Yes, I was there from the moment the mission began and only disembarked recently when the Valley Forge left on it's new mission" NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge: "I can't ask for anything better than one of the people who originally discovered the Sphere to help me and my crew settle in," he smiles. "I'll come back here as soon as Karku's - NPC@annpc#557 - shown me the rest of the place." He turns and walks off with the Arshai T'Pia@crystyl watches them leave, "And people always say you shouldn't meet your heroes..." --- NPC@annpc#557 | Later in the day, T'Pia steps into the mess hall, this time with Captain La Forge following behind her NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge: "So this joint ship is going to be running on Nuhar AI as an operating system?" T'Pia@crystyl:"Yes, well, sort of. The Nuhar AI will still be the underlying framework but it will not actually be a sentient AI like the proper constructs. It will be more like the hybrid fighters on the Valley - T'Pia@crystyl:- Forge. We have the neural pathing schematics on hand for them, but we're trying not to base anything directly on them given the origin of the fighters" NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge: "Interesting. They're still going to be much more intuitive than standard computers on our ships, I assume?" T'Pia@crystyl:"Absolutely, yes! In fact we are still debating the most effective means of working with such a system as the fighters are almost completely autonomous, though they take direction from the Eon which- T'Pia@crystyl:- in itself is controlled by a neural interface of non-Starfleet origin" NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge takes a seat at one of the smaller tables, "Speaking of- we're going to be working with plenty of non-Starfleet technologies here. I'm assuming since the ship is being constructed in - NPC@annpc#557 - a Nuhar facility, the foundation will be largely Nuhar, and we'll be working to integrate our own technologies and design elements into that foundation?" T'Pia@crystyl:"Not necessarily. Nuhar Constructs aren't exactly made for occupation so there's very little in their design that suits a biological crew" NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge: "So this is going to be a true medley of technologies, then?" T'Pia@crystyl:"That is what the project is striving for, yes Sir. Everyone involved has their own distinct ideas, as much as their own distinct requirements and technologies built to achieve them" NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge: "It'll certainly be a page for the history books. I don't think anything like this has been attempted before. Early Federation designs were quite experimental, but it usually used - NPC@annpc#557 - one civilization's design as a base and incorporated bits and pieces from the others in. As evident from our modern ships, Starfleet ultimately settled on human design as the foundation, with - NPC@annpc#557 - integrated Vulcan, Andorian and Tellarite technologies here and there." T'Pia@crystyl:"There was that experimental Alliance program after the Iconian War, but... I think all we can take from that is a lesson in what not to do!" she chuckles, "The Orions also have good examples set - T'Pia@crystyl:- though with their new fleet which builds Orion technology on top of a heavy Klingon base" NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge nods, "And we have both Orion and Klingon presence with us in the Sphere. Their experience could prove invaluable in this project." T'Pia@crystyl:"Then we have the less familiar elements, like the Guardians, Regulators, Lupan, Torokei to name but a few who all have distinct technologies of their own. Not to forget our host Iconians either!" NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge: "I'm sure the Romulans can help with that. They've used the Solanae Sphere's facilities to build new ships. Not to mention that their new homeworld was a formerly Iconian settled - NPC@annpc#557:- planet. They've got more experience integrating Iconian technology than anyone else." T'Pia@crystyl:"Except maybe the Iconians" she giggles NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge chuckles, "They certainly don't understand Iconian technology as well as the Iconians themselves, but the Iconians aren't the Borg. They showed no interest in incorporating our - NPC@annpc#557:- technology with theirs at any point during the war. The Romulans on the other hand have been tinkering with Iconian technology for decades now. Not always successfully as the loss of their - NPC@annpc#557 - previous homeworld shows, but after hard lessons like that, they might know how to combine Iconian technology with our 25th century systems even better than the Iconians themselves do." T'Pia@crystyl:"And they are certainly putting that expertise to use already! But we shouldn't discount the Iconians solely based on their conduct known to us from recent years. They did after all integrate Nuhar - T'Pia@crystyl:- technology heavily with their own here; Nuhar technology which is at the heart of our new design" NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge: "Having them present here will definitely help. None of us have actually worked on Iconian technology with Iconian supervision before- well, except maybe the Nuhar. But I don't even - NPC@annpc#557 - know of any of the surviving constructs are old enough to remember back when the Iconians were here." T'Pia@crystyl:"Possibly not. So... I was curious Sir, are you going to be assisting with any particular aspect of the project at this stage, or just providing broader oversight where needed?" NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge: "Mostly general oversight, we're still quite early in the design stages after all. But I'm hoping to get a little more hands-on with finding ways to integrate our Starfleet designs - NPC@annpc#557 - and technology with those of the rest of the Coalition. That's why I'll probably be working more closely with you and the other Starfleet members of the project." T'Pia@crystyl:"Well in that case Sir, there is something - I mean, if you think you might have the time and all..." she waffles, poking her fingertips together like a nervous child, "There is one element which - T'Pia@crystyl:- is... sort of Starfleet that is being encouraged into the design, and is actually the reason I'm assigned to the project as well as my studies. So I thought, maybe... we could collaborate a little?" T'Pia@crystyl:( http://i.imgur.com/QCSM0tT.gif <-doing this!) NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge smiles, "You don't have to be nervous, Cadet. I'd be happy to work with you on this idea. You say you were assigned here because of it, was it something you came up with?" T'Pia@crystyl:"Not really Sir, but I did collaborate with the originator on the first implementation! It's the holographic CIC, we're looking to fully develop the concept as it was too much to realistically - T'Pia@crystyl:- retrofit into an existing design. Holographics was one of your specialities as I recall, right?" NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge nods, "That's right. I heard about a new CIC system your mother implemented on her ship. Was that the prototype for this idea?" T'Pia@crystyl:"Yes, that's right! The initial idea was Rianni - LT Tierno's - as a tactical system. I helped her repurpose the secondary bridge into a functional system, but the overall concept was for a much - T'Pia@crystyl:- more integrated system. Because of this I've only been able to design it the holodeck itself so far" NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge: "But with a fresh new ship designed from scratch like this project, you'll have a chance to work it into the ship systems seamlessly as you envision it." T'Pia@crystyl:"That's the idea yes, and since the system was - perhaps a little overly - credited for the victory over the Horde fleet here, it was decided early on to see if we can actually make it a reality in - T'Pia@crystyl:- this design" NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge: "Well, I'll be happy to check out your holodeck simulation and help you find the best ways to integrate it with the overall design." T'Pia@crystyl:"Really? That would be great! Thank you Sir!" NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge: "There's nowhere better to look for good ideas than in the next generation of Starfleet. My younger days are behind me now- I might have experience, but vision- now that's an - NPC@annpc#557 - advantage you've got today." T'Pia@crystyl:"I hope so, Sir" NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge: "The people in charge of this project clearly think so as well, otherwise you wouldn't be here. And not just you, there's plenty of more junior officers working on the project. The - NPC@annpc#557 - original propulsion systems of the Galaxy-class were largely the work of Dr. Brahms, who was only a junior engineer at the time..." As he speaks, the doors on both sides of the lounge open. - NPC@annpc#557 - Two Regulators step in from either side, fully suited with their helmets on. They move in the formal, disciplined fashion they usually do while on duty, converging on their table. Soon, the - NPC@annpc#557 - four faceless figures stand all around them like statues NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge pauses and looks up at them, "Can we help you?" T'Pia@crystyl looks up at them as well NPC@annpc#557 | Regulator: "Captain Geordi La Forge of the Federation starship Challenger, you are under arrest for violation of Regulation 4, Section 6, Clause 81." NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge: "Regulation 4, Section 6, Clause Eighty...what is that even for?" NPC@annpc#557 | Regulator: "Possession of weaponized protomatter technology." NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge: "I think there's been a misunderstanding. The Coalition approved the use of protomatter to restore the damaged worlds out here. You're welcome to check the Lukari vessels, they don't - NPC@annpc#557 - use protomatter weaponry." NPC@annpc#557 | Regulator: "The offending technology was found on board /your/ vessel, Captain La Forge. You will be granted the opportunity to explain yourself in a fair trial in front of the entire, - NPC@annpc#557 - Coalition. Until then, you are to be detained and the Challenger locked down." NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge stands, looking apologetically to Pia, "Sorry about this, Cadet. I'll take a look at your program as soon as I get this sorted out." T'Pia@crystyl stands as well, "I-... I'll find out what this is all about Sir. Don't worry, we'll soon get this cleared up!" NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge smiles, "I appreciate the offer Cadet, but I'm sure my crew will get to the bottom of this. I don't want to see the Regulators arresting you over any further misunderstanding." T'Pia@crystyl:"Don't worry Captain, we have faced Regulator scrutiny before" NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge: "You're the ones who made first contact with them, so you know them better than we do. But try to stay out of trouble, Cadet." He turns to head out with the four Regulator escorts T'Pia@crystyl to herself, "Always do" T'Pia@crystyl taps her combadge, "T'Pia to Sauda" NPC@annpc#557 <C - Sauda> "Hi Pia! Sauda here. What'd you need?" T'Pia@crystyl:"I have a... situation. Could you grab Coragg and come meet me in my quarters?" NPC@annpc#557 <C - Sauda> "Sure, we'll be right there." T'Pia@crystyl:"Great, I'll see you there!" she taps off, hurrying out --- NPC@annpc#557 | A few minutes later, T'Pia has returned to her quarters when the doorbell rings T'Pia@crystyl:"Come in!" T'Pia@crystyl paces, deep in thought NPC@annpc#557 | The two ensigns step inside NPC@annpc#557 | Coragg: "Are you alright?" T'Pia@crystyl stops and shakes her head, "No, not even! The Regulators have arrested Captain LaForge and locked down the Challenger!" NPC@annpc#557 | Sauda: "What? Why?!" T'Pia@crystyl:"They accused him of having protomatter weapons on the Challenger!" NPC@annpc#557 | Sauda: "That's ridiculous. Why would he have protomatter weapons? Have they even looked at his Starfleet record?" NPC@annpc#557 | Coragg: "I don't think it's just the Regulators. I noticed outside the window just before Sauda called me- the Challenger was surrounded by Iconian ships." T'Pia@crystyl:"What?! That's crazy! Why would the Iconians even care about that? I mean, they play with Omega!" NPC@annpc#557 | Coragg: "Well, protomatter weapons would devastate the carefully cultivated biomes on the Sphere surface, if they were here that is. But like Sauda said, why would the Challenger be carrying - NPC@annpc#557 - something like that? I'm pretty sure it's against the Khitomer Accords." NPC@annpc#557 | Sauda nods, "It is." T'Pia@crystyl:"Exactly! So it has to be a mistake, but I know the Regulators and rash as they are, they do not act lightly. To move for an immediate arrest they clearly believe they have something solid against - T'Pia@crystyl:- the Challenger. So what are we going to do about this?" NPC@annpc#557 | Coragg: "Starfleet's going to send someone to investigate soon, I'm sure. None of us here are in Security..." T'Pia@crystyl:"No, but... I mean, I can't just sit around and leave this to others. Not when I've seen what Regulator trials put everyone through back on the Forge" NPC@annpc#557 | Coragg: "With the Challenger locked down, we probably can't get to the scene of the investigation. And I don't think Security will disclose many details of an active investigation to us either." NPC@annpc#557 | Sauda: "What about that Arshai AI expert? She was on the Valley Forge for a while, wasn't she? And the official Arshai representative to the Federation at the moment. She might know something." NPC@annpc#557 | Coragg nods, "And Pia probably knows her..." T'Pia@crystyl nods, "Yes, a very good place to start!" promptly tapping her combadge again, "T'Pia to Mana" NPC@annpc#557 <C - Mana> "Hello T'Pia." T'Pia@crystyl:"Oh thank the stars! Mana, I'm sorry to disturb you, but could you come by my quarters? It is quite urgent" NPC@annpc#557:<C - Mana> "Mana promised Captain Keelah Mana will help watch T'Pia. Mana will be right there!" T'Pia@crystyl:"Thank you Mana!" T'Pia@crystyl moves to the replicator and returns with a bowl of ice cubes, "Do you two want anything? This might be quite a brainstorming session" NPC@annpc#557 | Sauda: "I can use a raktajino." NPC@annpc#557 | Coragg: "I'll have a Lusone tea." T'Pia@crystyl furnishes them with drinks and snacks while they wait for Mana NPC@annpc#557 | A few more minutes later, the doorbell rings again T'Pia@crystyl:"Come in Mana!" NPC@annpc#557 | Mana steps into the room, "How can Mana help T'Pia?" she glances around at the two other Ensigns "...and friends?" T'Pia@crystyl chuckles, "Ensigns Sauda and Coragg! Mana, something has happened with the Regulators and Captain LaForge" NPC@annpc#557 | Mana steps over and takes a seat, smiling at the ice bowl, "T'Pia even prepared some ice! Mana appreciates this." She takes an ice cube before looking back at Pia, "Is that the captain of the - NPC@annpc#557 - ship that arrived yesterday?" T'Pia@crystyl:"The Challenger, yes" she nods, "They have accused him of having protomatter weapons on board and the Iconians are locking down the ship too" NPC@annpc#557 | Mana nods, "Mana will check." She stares ahead blankly into her visor for a few seconds. "There." She taps on her biosynthetic arm and the panel slides open, projecting a hologram of a - NPC@annpc#557 - report over the table for everyone to see T'Pia@crystyl peers in at the holoreport NPC@annpc#557 | Sauda leans forward, "Protomatter signature initially thought to be a result of Lukari vessels in close proximity...determined to be originating from the Challenger. Search was conducted by - NPC@annpc#557 - security personnel on the Foundry and two protomatter torpedoes were discovered among the ship's torpedo storage. That can't be right, can it?" T'Pia@crystyl:"No, protomatter weapons are outlawed by the Federation as part of the Khitomer Accords. Although..." NPC@annpc#557 | Coragg: "What're you thinking?" T'Pia@crystyl looks back, "The Lukari are here to use that technology to expedite terraforming of the reclaimed worlds right? Couldn't torpedoes simply be a delivery system for planetwide distribution?" NPC@annpc#557 | Sauda: "It could, but the Coalition knows about that. The report says they initially thought the signals were coming from the Lukari ships and seemed to be okay about it." NPC@annpc#557 | Mana pulls up a second report, "The torpedoes are being studied now, but apparently the Lukari do not utilize torpedoes as a delivery system precisely because of the Khitomer Accords. Although - NPC@annpc#557 - the Lukari's protomatter systems could be weaponized, doing so will take work, like modifying a deflector. Work a crew can easily manage with a little time, but this is apparently enough to - NPC@annpc#557 - avoid classification as a weapon and be permissible." T'Pia@crystyl:"Well, the Lukari might not use that delivery method but maybe it is the most effective way for the Challenger to assist. Is there any way we could determine this?" NPC@annpc#557 | Mana: "Mana does not think that is the case." She pulls up a third file, this one a formal document rather than a report. "The Regulators only permitted the Coalition's use of protomatter - NPC@annpc#557 - under the specific condition that the technology employed cannot be used as a weapon in any circumstance." She points at the bottom of the document, where Enelya's signature can clearly be - NPC@annpc#557 - seen. "The discovery of protomatter technology that /could/ be used as a weapon, even if not intended for such a purpose, will be a violation of this agreement and compromise the restoration - NPC@annpc#557 - effort. Captain La Forge must know this." NPC@annpc#557 | Coragg: "And he'd never take such a pointless risk." T'Pia@crystyl:"See, something clearly isn't right in all of this! So how can we get to the bottom of it...?" NPC@annpc#557 | Mana thinks, "There is already an ongoing investigation, but Mana agrees, this is all very unusual." T'Pia@crystyl:"Mana, you and I are more familiar with this process than anyone else involved from Starfleet. We have to help, right?" NPC@annpc#557 | Mana: "Mana can speak to Vora about allowing access. The Challenger crew is being confined to the vessel, but external investigators are allowed entry with express permission from a figure of - NPC@annpc#557 - authority in the Coalition. If there is a place with answers, that must be the ship the torpedoes were found on." T'Pia@crystyl:"I believe there is sufficient cause to warrant our assignment as external investigators" NPC@annpc#557 | Mana nods and stands, "Mana will talk with Vora immediately and return soon." T'Pia@crystyl:"Thank you Mana! We'll keep digging in the meantime and see what we can find out" NPC@annpc#557 | Mana smiles and turns to head out NPC@annpc#557 | Sauda: "It almost sounds like someone's set up Captain La Forge. Maybe not even him specifically." NPC@annpc#557 | Coragg: "You mean sabotage the restoration effort? But who'd want to do that?" T'Pia@crystyl:"There are lots of non-affiliated parties attempting to profit on the Horde's demise. Maybe one of those?" NPC@annpc#557 | Sauda: "It's a possibility, but how would they have smuggled the torpedoes onto the Challenger?" NPC@annpc#557 | Coragg: "How would they even have the torpedoes? Protomatter technology isn't exactly common." T'Pia@crystyl:"Both good points..." NPC@annpc#557 | Sauda: "The only people who could've pulled this off is someone inside the Coalition, but no one would sabotage our own efforts." T'Pia@crystyl:"External influence maybe, or ulterior motives. There are always possibilities but I'm afraid that it more the realm of the intelligence folks" NPC@annpc#557 | Coragg: "Didn't the intel ship just leave the Sphere earlier this week?" NPC@annpc#557 | Sauda: "Yeah..." T'Pia@crystyl:"And as far as I know, they haven't left anyone behind to watch over things here" NPC@annpc#557 | Sauda: "I guess it's up to us to get to the bottom of all this, then. If someone inside the Coalition might be responsible, under influence or not, we can't trust any of the other - NPC@annpc#557 - investigators." T'Pia@crystyl:"Eugh, it's like fighting the Horde all over again!" NPC@annpc#557 | Coragg: "We're lucky to have someone with as much experience as you along, though!" T'Pia@crystyl:"Well fat load of good it's doing us! All that 'experience' is telling is that I wish 'this person' or 'that person' was here because they have exactly the skills we need!" NPC@annpc#557 | Sauda: "Hey, don't underestimate yourself Pia. I think there's alway situations when we wish someone was here to help us, but you've seen a lot and I'm sure you have much more experience than - NPC@annpc#557 - you give yourself credit for." NPC@annpc#557 | Coragg: "Certainly more than us. We might be ensigns, but this is our first time out here, while you've been on the frontier for years now." T'Pia@crystyl:"Thanks for the vote of confidence" she smiles faintly, "And for helping! So we're not command officers or anything like that, we don't have the right tools for the job... so... we do what any good - T'Pia@crystyl:- engineer does! We improvise with the tools we /do/ have!" she looks at the two, "What are your specialities?" NPC@annpc#557 | Sauda: "I specialize in tactical systems- phaser arrays and such. I know torpedoes and torpedo launch tubes pretty well. As a tactical officer I'm also trained in starship tactics and how to - NPC@annpc#557 - actually use the weapons at a tactical console, but I'm afraid I'm no Lieutenant Tierno. I always leaned more towards the technical side, which is why I'm working on the shipbuilding project." T'Pia@crystyl:"Technical is good, because it gels better with engineering!" looking to Coragg, "What about you?" NPC@annpc#557 | Coragg: "My specialty is ecology, but I've done the science officer bridge training so I can perform any general science duty. My work involves spending a lot of time working with scanners so - NPC@annpc#557:- I'm pretty handy with sensor systems and a tricorder. We learned quite a lot about protomatter in V'Rin's class, but I don't have any practical experience working with it. Very few science - NPC@annpc#557 - officers do." T'Pia@crystyl:"You know more about it than either of us, so that's a win! As for me, I don't really have a speciality yet as I'm only in my first year. But back on the Valley Forge I did a lot of work with power - T'Pia@crystyl:- distribution systems and holoprogramming. My main field of interest though is starship design" NPC@annpc#557 | Coragg: "This project is perfect for you, then!" T'Pia@crystyl:"We have a problem involving starships, torpedoes and protomatter. We three between us know starship, torpedoes and protomatter! So we have the tools, now just to diagnose the problem and develop a - T'Pia@crystyl:- fix!" NPC@annpc#557 | Sauda smiles, "Exactly! See, we can do this Pia!" T'Pia@crystyl:"So for now we're waiting on Mana to get us on board the Challenger. But when you said about scanners you gave me a thought; what about the initial scans taken by everyone watching when they - T'Pia@crystyl:- arrived! If we could get to some of those we might start to see a picture" NPC@annpc#557 | Coragg: "That's a good idea! Come on, let's go collect some scans," he stands T'Pia@crystyl springs to her feet, "You know where we can access them for the foundry? Perfect!" NPC@annpc#557 | Coragg nods, "Our team's accessed some sensor data from here. Follow me!" --- NPC@annpc#557 | The three of them make their way to one of the lower levels of the Foundry. Not only are Starfleet uniforms rare down here, but organic lifeforms entirely. They only run into a handful of - NPC@annpc#557 - people walking through the halls here, with most of the activity being Nuhar drones zooming through the halls NPC@annpc#557 | Coragg leads the way to a wall console and begins tapping on it. Every once in a while, a nearby hatch opens and a drone would dart out, soon disappearing into a different hatch T'Pia@crystyl:"I don't think I've ever been to this part of the facility before" she notes, looking around curiously NPC@annpc#557 | Coragg: "It's not a commonly traversed place, as you can probably tell. Mostly it's technical systems down here, which the Foundry maintains by itself, so there's very little reason to come - NPC@annpc#557 - here unless you're looking to access raw data. I know of a few people who like to take breaks down here just because it's quiet, and a couple of engineers who study how the Foundry works in - NPC@annpc#557 - their spare time, but not everyone even knows how to get here." T'Pia@crystyl:"I'll have to keep it in mind!" NPC@annpc#557 | Coragg: "The parts of it where we live and work, that's the areas designed to accommodate biological personnel like us. The rest of this place isn't really intended for us, so it can be quite - NPC@annpc#557 - maze-like and difficult to navigate." NPC@annpc#557 | Sauda chuckles, "Yeah, I went exploring once with some of the other junior officers. We got lost and ended up half an hour late to our shifts." T'Pia@crystyl laughs NPC@annpc#557 | Coragg: "Aha. Found the time range we're looking for. Now let's see..." NPC@annpc#557 | Coragg points out something on the console, "That must be the protomatter reading of the torpedoes. I see them being moved off the ship recently, and before that they were on the Challenger - NPC@annpc#557 - in this section." NPC@annpc#557 | Sauda nods, "Stored with the other torpedoes, like the report said." NPC@annpc#557 | Coragg taps on the console a few times, "Huh. Okay..." T'Pia@crystyl:"Found something?" NPC@annpc#557 | Coragg: "Yes and no. It's more so what I didn't find. The reading appeared about an hour after the Challenger docked with the Foundry. It wasn't there when the ship first came in, but I also - NPC@annpc#557 - see no sign of how it could have gotten there. There's no transporter signature, and the protomatter signature didn't move into the ship, it just appeared." NPC@annpc#557 | Sauda: "Someone could've been hiding the signature until it was in place, to set up the Challenger." T'Pia@crystyl:"Or they could have found another way to sneak them on board besides a transporter. How closely is the timing linked to when they docked?" NPC@annpc#557 | Coragg: "Not very. An hour's long enough for someone to have gotten them onto the ship." NPC@annpc#557 | Sauda: "Lifesigns?" NPC@annpc#557 | Coragg: "Nothing outside the Challenger's own crew got anywhere close to that area, but if they can hide the protomatter from our sensors, they can probably hide their lifesigns or other - NPC@annpc#557 - signatures, if it was a synthetic lifeform." T'Pia@crystyl:"There's certainly no shortage of synthetic life around here these days. What exactly would it take to mask both protomottar and biological lifesigns?" NPC@annpc#557 | Coragg: "Biological lifesigns aren't hard to mask, but protomatter is- it's very unstable and gives off quite a strong and distinct signature. That's probably why they had difficulty - NPC@annpc#557 - discerning that the reading actually came from the Challenger and not the nearby Lukari ships, because the reading from the Lukari ships are so strong." T'Pia@crystyl:"But in theory, it could be masked?" NPC@annpc#557 | Coragg nods, "In theory, yes, if someone has access to some good equipment and really knows what they're doing." T'Pia@crystyl:"No shortage of people like that around here" NPC@annpc#557 | Coragg: "Yeah, it doesn't exactly thin down the suspect list..." T'Pia@crystyl studies the data to see if anything odd jumps out to her NPC@annpc#557 | T'Pia doesn't see anything at all on the reading that's out of the ordinary, other than the fact that the protomatter readings just popped into existence on board the Challenger. Everything - NPC@annpc#557 - else seems to be totally normal NPC@annpc#557 | Coragg: "I'm gonna take a look at the surrounding area and ships in the vicinity, but I have a feeling if they covered their tracks this well, there's nothing to find here either." NPC@annpc#557 | As he taps away on the console, Pia's combadge sounds T'Pia@crystyl taps, "T'Pia" NPC@annpc#557 <C - Mana> "This is Mana. Where is T'Pia?" T'Pia@crystyl:"That is actually a very good question... we are in the lower workings of the foundry somewhere" NPC@annpc#557 <C - Mana> "Why is T'Pia down there?" T'Pia@crystyl:"Gathering information. How did you get on with the Supreme Commander?" NPC@annpc#557 <C - Mana> "Mana has obtained the needed permission. Come to the Challenger docking airlock when T'Pia is ready. Mana will wait here." T'Pia@crystyl:"That's great! Thank you Mana, we will see you there shortly" NPC@annpc#557 <C - Mana> "Don't get lost in the lower levels!" T'Pia@crystyl:"We shall make every!" NPC@annpc#557 | Coragg: "Nope, as expected, sensors have nothing unusual around the Challenger and Foundry facility either." NPC@annpc#557 | Sauda: "To the Challenger, then?" T'Pia@crystyl:"Yes, let's just make sure we've got everything we can here first. We shouldn't rush and risk missing something" NPC@annpc#557 | Coragg nods, "I'll give it one more check and download the data so we can review for later." --- Mana@anncaris | After their trip into the lower levels of the Foundry, T'Pia and the two ensigns make their way to the airlock access to the Challenger. They find Mana waiting in the hallway leading up to it Mana@anncaris waves and steps up to them, "Did T'Pia find anything?" T'Pia@crystyl:"Not really. Just an oddity that the protomatter signature on the Challenger didn't register on sensors when they first arrived" Mana@anncaris:"Every little piece of information might be useful! Mana has something new as well. Apparently, the protomatter torpedoes were stored in Starfleet quantum torpedo casings and visually - Mana@anncaris - indistinguishable from the other torpedoes. The internal workings of the torpedo seems to be constructed using Starfleet components as well. The study is currently trying to determine whether - Mana@anncaris - these are real or simply well-made approximations." T'Pia@crystyl looks to the others, "Well I'm no tactical expert, but whenever I open my toolbox I always know exactly where everything should be in it, and if anything is ever out place it sticks out like a sore- T'Pia@crystyl:- thumb! There must some sort of inventory records for ordnance, right?" Mana@anncaris | Sauda nods, "That there definitely is. And if the casings are really Starfleet, there'll be an ID code as well. Did they find one?" Mana@anncaris:"Yes," she projects another file from her arm and Sauda takes out a PADD, noting down the codes Mana@anncaris | Sauda: "We can check them against the inventory records of the Challenger." Mana@anncaris:"Ready to go inside?" T'Pia@crystyl:"We should scrutinize the inventory records for this ordnance and track it back to onboarding" she nods, "We are ready Mana!" Mana@anncaris turns and leads the way. The entrance to the Challenger is watched by ten Lupan- a pair at both ends of the hall leading up to the airlock, four standing guard at the airlock itself, and once - Mana@anncaris - they step through the docking tube, they find two more at the end of the tube by the Challenger-side airlock, this pair armed exclusively with melee weapons. Mana has to show their - Mana@anncaris - authorization twice to both groups of Lupan by the airlock before they enter the hallway of the Galaxy-class starship Mana@anncaris | Coragg: "They do have this place locked down tight..." T'Pia@crystyl:"To be fair, the Lupan can be just as intense at a casual social gathering..." Mana@anncaris | Sauda chuckles, "Good point." Mana@anncaris | On the ship itself, there is some sense of normalcy as Starfleet personnel are still out and about, though the activity is far lower than one would expect from an exploration cruiser of this - Mana@anncaris - size and more akin to activity on a ship like the Latenter. They walk by a group of Arshai who nod to Mana as they pass, and she nods back to them Mana@anncaris looks to T'Pia, "T'Pia knows Starfleet ships better than Mana, especially one Mana has not been on before. Where to?" T'Pia@crystyl:"We should start with the torpedo bay where the rogue ordnance was found" Mana@anncaris | Sauda: "We'll follow your lead. I might know torpedoes, but I don't know where they're stored on this ship." T'Pia@crystyl quickly glances around to get her bearings, "This way then!" and she heads off Mana@anncaris and the rest of the group follow along Mana@anncaris | A pair of Regulators guard the torpedo bay, and Mana has to show their authorization again before they proceed inside Mana@anncaris | Inside, the two empty slots where the protomatter torpedoes were removed is clear, as the rest of the bay is fully stocked T'Pia@crystyl heads inside and begins interrogating the computer for all relevant records, "I can work through the inventory with Mana's help. Could you guys check the storage racks for any anomalies? I should - T'Pia@crystyl - be able to ID any other ordnance with an identical history" Mana@anncaris | Sauda nods, "On it." Mana@anncaris | T'Pia finds the inventory records and notices that the two ID codes for the casings are indeed present in the list. The codes are also in line with the rest of the torpedoes on the list, - Mana@anncaris - meaning that someone probably didn't alter information to slot them in T'Pia@crystyl updates the others and goes to remove an access panel to pull the raw memory log to verify the record integrity Mana@anncaris | T'Pia verifies that the records have definitely not been tampered with! Meanwhile, Sauda approaches her T'Pia@crystyl turns to Sauda, "Nothing out of the ordinary here so far" Mana@anncaris | Sauda: "Same here, but that's the odd thing. Come check this out," she waves T'Pia over T'Pia@crystyl perks a brow, following curiously Mana@anncaris steps over as well while Sauda explains, gesturing to the torpedo racks Mana@anncaris | Sauda: "The Challenger has newer torpedo storage systems than I expected for a ship of her age. I guess that's what happens when you have a former Chief Engineer as a Captain. La Forge takes - Mana@anncaris - good care of his ship. Anyways, these racks have a pressure sensor system. When a torpedo is loaded or unloaded, it should detect that." T'Pia@crystyl:"You say 'should' detect it..." Mana@anncaris | Sauda: "It didn't. These sensors are sensitive. Even if you're strong enough to lift a torpedo and immediately put a new one of the exact same weight, it'll detect the second when the switch - Mana@anncaris - happened. If you open a torpedo on the rack and modify it that should still show up as something on the sensor. The only way around is if they altered the pressure sensor data." T'Pia@crystyl:"But... if there's nothing showing as being disturbed, doesn't that just indicate that the torpedoes haven't moved?" Mana@anncaris | Sauda: "Exactly. Well, it shows them as having been moved now, after they were confiscated for study. But there's no evidence of a switch happening at any point between loading and now. How do - Mana@anncaris - the ID codes match up to the ones in the record?" T'Pia@crystyl:"Everything adds up" Mana@anncaris | Coragg stands from behind the rack, shaking his head, "I can't find any sign that the sensor data or sensor itself has been tampered with." Mana@anncaris | Sauda: "That means the protomatter torpedoes weren't moved in after the Challenger docked. They were here all along..." T'Pia@crystyl:"Which is exactly what the Challenger is accused of. Only... why then were they not detected the moment the ship arrived? Could they have been somehow dampened or deactivated without physically - T'Pia@crystyl:- interfering with them?" Mana@anncaris | Coragg: "Deactivated, probably not. The protomatter must be already in the torpedo and protomatter is naturally unstable, so the reading should always be here. Dampened...maybe. But when they - Mana@anncaris - appeared on sensors, someone must have deactivated whatever was causing the damping field. Check the internal sensors. The readings appeared at," he glances at his PADD, "one hour, fourteen - Mana@anncaris - minutes after docking. Someone must've come in here around that time to deactivate the damping." T'Pia@crystyl nods, "On it! Would it have to be done here, or could it have been deactivated remotely?" she asks while working Mana@anncaris | Coragg: "Depends on the device, but if it was done remotely there must still be a signal." T'Pia@crystyl:"Any inclination as to what kind of reading we're looking for? There can't be that many energies that can effectively dampen protomatter right?" Mana@anncaris | Coragg: "No, there isn't. Try tachyon or something similar." T'Pia@crystyl:"Thank you, that should help!" she chirps, eagerly working on the scan data Mana@anncaris | T'Pia finds no unusual signatures, but she does find the telltale signs that something /has/ been altered in this data T'Pia@crystyl:"Here we go... these logs have been altered!" Mana@anncaris steps over, "Mana will see what Mana can recover." T'Pia@crystyl:"I can see the records that have been altered, but not what they were before the tampering. Hopefully you will be able to go deeper! I'm going to try and backtrack the tampering to a specific stationâ€ Mana@anncaris nods, extending the direct interface wires from the fingers of her biosynthetic hand and connecting directly to the console Mana@anncaris | T'Pia is able to trace the tampering back...to the station she's working on now T'Pia@crystyl:"It was done from this terminal! Sauda, try cross referencing our timestamp with room access. It is a secure area so all activity should be logged both on internal sensors and the direct security - T'Pia@crystyl:- lockout" Mana@anncaris | Sauda nods, "Checking now." T'Pia@crystyl:"Coragg, do you know how to check for traces of transporter activity? Could be worth a look a too as I doubt whoever did this happened to have security clearance" Mana@anncaris | Coragg: "I'm on it now." Mana@anncaris:"Mana cannot recover the lost data, but Mana has discovered something. The sensor data has not only been altered, but a very well-concealed subroutine has been slipped into the internal sensors to - Mana@anncaris - ignore certain readings in this particular bay. Specifically, tachyon and chroniton." T'Pia@crystyl:"Can you determine anything about the nature of the subroutine - where it may have come from?" Mana@anncaris shakes her head, "But whoever planted the subroutine knows the ship's systems very well." Mana@anncaris | Sauda: "I've got something!" T'Pia@crystyl:"Someone was in here at the time?" Mana@anncaris | Sauda nods, "A Lieutenant Junior Grade Ashley Hall." T'Pia@crystyl pauses her task and calls up the personnel file, "Ashley Hall... Ashley Hall..." Mana@anncaris | Ashley Hall seems to come from a Starfleet family, with both parents having served stints in Starfleet, and her brother currently in service as well. She seems to be a good officer, with no - Mana@anncaris - demerits on record Mana@anncaris:"Mana has something else. Ashley Hall was the officer who managed the loading of these torpedoes from Deep Space 4." T'Pia@crystyl:"This is assuming that she is who she appears to be still. What do you think Mana, is this enough to push to the Regulator investigation team or should we look into this Ashley Hall more first?" Mana@anncaris:"Mana is trying to trace the movements of Ashley Hall through the ship, but there is nothing else unusual. Mana can only tell that Lieutenant Hall requested the torpedo loading duty at the time - Mana@anncaris - and was not specifically assigned the task by any superior officer. This information may have to do." T'Pia@crystyl:"Even with all of this, it only proves that a serving Starfleet officer played a hand in our theoretical conspiracy. It doesn't alleviate the Challenger or Captain LaForge of the allegations. We'll - T'Pia@crystyl:- have to dig deeper" she pauses, "Computer, what is the current location of LT Ashley Hall?" Mana@anncaris | Computer: "Personal quarters, Deck Seven." --- Mana@anncaris | After grabbing all the information they can in the torpedo bay, T'Pia and co. proceed to Lieutenant Ashley Hall's quarters Mana@anncaris | T'Pia is able to find her way around the ship and locate the proper quarters T'Pia@crystyl chimes the door as they arrive Mana@anncaris | A woman's voice calls out from within, "Come in." T'Pia@crystyl steps inside, "LT Hall?" Mana@anncaris | Lieutenant Hall is sat behind her desk, typing on her computer. She stops and turns as T'Pia enters. She appears to be an ordinary human woman around thirty years old, give or take a - Mana@anncaris - few years. The face matches the one in the records Pia viewed earlier Mana@anncaris | Hall: "Hello. What can I do for you?" T'Pia@crystyl:"I'm Cadet T'Pia, this is Ensign Sauda, and Choragg, and this is Mana from the Colonial Fleet. We are just assisting with the investigation that has caused your ship to be locked down and were - T'Pia@crystyl:- hoping you could assist?" Mana@anncaris | Hall nods, "How can I help?" T'Pia@crystyl:"Well, we understand that you work in the torpedo bay right?" Mana@anncaris | Hall: "That's right." T'Pia@crystyl smiles and approaches, "Perfect! What can you tell us about the routine down there?" Mana@anncaris | Hall: "On an average day, usually just a routine check by scrolling through the sensor logs. The launch tubes themselves take maintenance, the torpedoes we usually only check when they are - Mana@anncaris - being loaded, or during specifically scheduled inspections." T'Pia@crystyl:"I guess you must have a pretty small team in there, right? Must be very close-knit to work with a group like that!" Mana@anncaris | Hall nods, "Yes, it is. I'm the officer in charge there, the rest are enlisted personnel who typically do the log checks and help out with loading and maintenance work. Most of us also work in - Mana@anncaris - the torpedo tubes as well." T'Pia@crystyl:"Makes sense. I take it there's been no recent changes in personnel right, or unexpected visits?" Mana@anncaris | Hall: "No. Well, there were some people who joined the crew more recently, but none on my team." T'Pia@crystyl makes notes on a PADD, "Got it, thank you. Oh! And I forgot to check before we came, so could you just confirm; were you on duty when the Challenger arrived here?" Mana@anncaris | Hall nods, "Yes, I was." T'Pia@crystyl smiles, "Perfect, thank you Lieutenant! We won't disturb you any longer" Mana@anncaris | Hall smiles back and turns to her computer again T'Pia@crystyl heads back out with the others Mana@anncaris | Coragg: "Well she seemed...unusually calm." Mana@anncaris nods, "Mana saw no changes in body temperature that normally indicates a shift in mood." T'Pia@crystyl finds a quiet spot to consult, "She has to have known that her team would be under scrutiny" looks to Mana, "Really? Damn... I was really hoping you would have picked up something. Hmm... calm - T'Pia@crystyl:- under pressure is hardly incriminating. But what else can we do?" Mana@anncaris | Sauda: "If she gives consent, we could bring in a telepath to check..." T'Pia@crystyl:"Do we have someone we can turn to?" Mana@anncaris | Coragg: "Well there's a Betazoid scientist I work with. She's staying down in the Custodian facility, but I could ask her to beam up here." T'Pia@crystyl:"Ok, so we have an empath. But how can we justify a more formal interrogation with Hall now? What about medical, could we elude to a teamwide assessment or something?" Mana@anncaris nods, "Probably, but Mana's visor performs idle scans and there is nothing biologically unusual showing with Lieutenant Hall...wait, Mana might have something..." T'Pia@crystyl:"Oh please have something!" Mana@anncaris taps on her wrist and projects the scan data, "T'Pia may know better, but that is not a standard Starfleet replicator..." T'Pia@crystyl:"Mana you're right! That is not a standard Starfleet unit! Though I am not sure what it is or what that means... come on, I have an idea!". she hurries off Mana@anncaris follows curiously T'Pia@crystyl leads them into a network of jefferies tubes, winding her way around to a maintenance section on the same deck where she begins interrogating a console, "This is the control unit for the EPS grid - T'Pia@crystyl:- in this section that covers Hall's quarters. Anything made on that replicator should have a latent pattern registered in here" Mana@anncaris | Coragg smiles, "Good thinking." T'Pia@crystyl:"Some of this stuff is beyond me, but there are definitely patterns here that should not be accessible to any Starfleet replicator, let alone a personal unit. Some of these... could be Iconian or - T'Pia@crystyl:- Regulator maybe. Mana, do you recognize these at all?" Mana@anncaris:"No, these are not like any Iconian or Regulator technology Mana has seen, but do seem inspired by such designs. Perhaps even more advanced than them..." Mana@anncaris:"Mana can send these patterns to Professor Lycas. But Mana thinks there is enough here to link Hall to the protomatter torpedoes." Mana@anncaris | Sauda: "Or at least the act of hiding them." T'Pia@crystyl:"But it still doesn't prove anything more than a Starfleet officer being involved, which is what they already suspect. We need to find proof that she is working for someone else and not Starfleet" Mana@anncaris:"Mana will see what Professor Lycas can find on these patterns. Lycas has far more experience studying unidentified technology than Mana." Mana@anncaris connects her direct interface wires to the unit for a moment before retracting them T'Pia@crystyl:"Meanwhile, let's recruit ourselves aa Betazoid and see if we can make use of the Challenger's sickbay for a less obvious assessment" Mana@anncaris | Coragg nods, "I'll call her up here." --- Mana@anncaris | A few minutes later, the team gathers in the Challenger's sickbay, and soon afterwards a Betazoid ensign in a science uniform steps in Mana@anncaris | Coragg: "This is Ensign Dati, xenobiologist." T'Pia@crystyl looks over with a smile, "Nice to meet you Dati! I'm T'Pia and this is Mana. Thank you so much for coming to help us here!" Mana@anncaris | Dati smiles, "It's a pleasure to meet more of Coragg's friends. He mentioned you needed someone to get a telepathic reading?" T'Pia@crystyl:"Yes, we're trying to figure out what actually happened here and need to find out if someone is hiding something. Can you help us?" Mana@anncaris | Dati nods, "Of course. What do you need me to do?" T'Pia@crystyl:"We've got the team who work in the torpedo bay coming in for health checks under the guise of exposure to uncontrolled elements. While they are here, we'll make casual inquiries" Mana@anncaris | Dati: "And you want me to see if they're telling the truth?" T'Pia@crystyl nods, "Yes, that's the idea! So what do you say?" Mana@anncaris | Dati smiles. "I can do that. We passively monitor neural activity of those around us as much as you hear sounds around you. But if you want me to look specifically into someone's thoughts and - Mana@anncaris - memories, I will need their consent." T'Pia@crystyl:"Can you tell from passively hearing their minds if they are trying to hide something?" Mana@anncaris | Dati nods, "I can also look a little more actively, as long as I do not probe beyond the surface." T'Pia@crystyl:"Then... could you do that and maybe give us a signal if there is anything untoward? Then we can try and get consent to probe deeper maybe!" Mana@anncaris | Dati: "I'll stand aside and monitor. You don't mind if I contact you telepathically to give updates, do you? They'll probably know they're being monitored if I give verbal updates." T'Pia@crystyl smiles and shakes her head, "Of course not, feel free! They should start arriving any time now so let's be ready" T'Pia@crystyl moves to one side and starts preparing tricorders Mana@anncaris | Dati nods and steps out of the way. Indeed before long, members of the team begin stepping in. As Hall stated, they are all enlisted, save for Hall herself T'Pia@crystyl whispers to Coragg, "You've got this!" Mana@anncaris | Coragg smiles, then frowns as a Tellarite steps in, "Oh great..." Mana@anncaris | Tellarite: "Physical checks? Really? What'd you think I am, a Changeling?" T'Pia@crystyl ushers the team in, spreading them out to take seats on the different beds. She turns back with a chuckle, "Nothing so dramatic! They just want us to make sure you're all in good shape since nobody- T'Pia@crystyl:- knows exactly what happened in your bay yet so they're worried there might be side effects from exposure to the protomatter or something!" she chirps innocently Mana@anncaris | Tellarite: "Protomatter doesn't have any harmful radiation, does it?" Mana@anncaris | Coragg: "Not usually, but it's a very unstable and dangerous substance. That's why it's use is so controlled. We have to make sure." Mana@anncaris | Tellarite: "Fine. I had nothing to do with these torpedoes, though. I have no idea how they got into the bay!" T'Pia@crystyl:"Yeah, especially when it shouldn't have been there. Who knows if it was stored correctly, or mixed with anything nearby!" she heads over, "You don't work in that bay?" Mana@anncaris | Tellarite: "I do, but I haven't been in there since the Challenger came through the gateway." T'Pia@crystyl:"The ship hasn't taken on more torpedoes since arriving has it? Mana@anncaris | Tellarite: "No, we did a full restock at DS4 before coming through." Mana@anncaris | The last members of the team, an Andorian Petty Officer and Lieutenant Hall step inside T'Pia@crystyl bops him on the head with her PADD, "The you could have been near them still!" Mana@anncaris | Tellarite: "What do you mean? Someone snuck the protomatter torpedoes onboard after we docked here, didn't they?" T'Pia@crystyl:"Why do you say that?" Mana@anncaris | Tellarite: "Well they couldn't be here all along- that would mean someone had to have been hiding them all along! It makes more sense that someone smuggled them in here, there's way more - Mana@anncaris:- unknowns in the Sphere. I know I didn't see any protomatter readings all the times I checked the bay's logs before we came in." T'Pia@crystyl:"And the Challenger has been on hundreds of independent sensor systems since you arrived, nobody got near the ship with the capacity to do anything. Besides, wouldn't your pressure sensors have - T'Pia@crystyl:- shown if something was altered in there?" Mana@anncaris | Andorian: "It would, yes. Unless someone altered the pressure sensor data." Mana@anncaris | The Tellarite nods, "There's no way to fool those sensors, unless the data itself was messed with." T'Pia@crystyl stands back, looking between the two, "Could someone even do such a thing? That sounds /way/ beyond anything your security systems should miss!" she still chirps naively Mana@anncaris | Andorian: "I doubt it. And if the sensor data was messed with, you can probably tell." Mana@anncaris | Human PO: "Does that mean we had those torpedoes all the time since DS4?" T'Pia@crystyl:"Oh I'm sure the real investigation team will find if anything has been tampered with! We're just helping out!" T'Pia@crystyl moves up to the Human, "Seems to be the case. Do you remember when that batch was transferred aboard?" Mana@anncaris | Human PO: "Not the exact timestamp, but you can probably find that in the logs. It was when we were restocking before we made our way to the gateway in the Jouret system." T'Pia@crystyl:"So you wouldn't know if there was anyone new to the station team who would have had access... oh well!" Mana@anncaris | Andorian: "I worked with Hall on loading them, but she did most of the checks on the torpedoes since she's the one with the Academy training. I'm just a crewman." T'Pia@crystyl:"Hey! If there's one thing I learned in my last posting, there is no such thing as 'just' a crewman! We actually had two enlisted officers on the main bridge shift!" Mana@anncaris | Andorian: "Really? Well I've got more experience working with the loading mechanism of the tubes and Hall mostly had me there as muscle. I didn't see anything off with the torpedoes as they - Mana@anncaris - were being loaded, but I didn't check beneath the casing of most of them. That was Hall's job at the time." Mana@anncaris | Hall nods, "Everything was as they were supposed to be at the time." Mana@anncaris | Dati: <She is not lying, but she is hiding something as well.> T'Pia@crystyl:"Of course, and your Lieutenant has already been gracious enough to put up with our curiosity!" she chuckles, glancing over to Hall and nodding, "Yes Lieutenant, everything adds up here for your - T'Pia@crystyl:- team so if I had to guess, I'd say they're going to go and lock down the station and grill all of it's personnel to find who is responsible" she says with absolute certainty... Mana@anncaris | Hall smiles, "Excellent. I understand this is an unusual situation, but my team here has nothing to do with it." Mana@anncaris | Dati: <Relief. And truth. Interesting.> T'Pia@crystyl:"Of course they don't!" she turns with a chirp, chuckling, "I mean, it's not like any of you even have access to the technology needed to mask those weapons. You couldn't even find it on a Starfleet- T'Pia@crystyl:- ship!- oh!" she gasps, "I probably shouldn't have said that. Don't mind me!" she smiles, resuming her side of the scans with the Andorian Mana@anncaris | Human PO: "What technology?" Mana@anncaris | Tellarite: "Well, that explains why we never saw anything wrong. See? Not our fault!" Mana@anncaris | Dati: <I sense concern from Hall. Genuine curiosity and surprise from the others.> T'Pia@crystyl:"Like I would know!" she laughs to the Human, "I might be an engineer, but still only a cadet! All I know is that it would require some very advanced non-Federation technology or some such thing. - T'Pia@crystyl:- And it's not like the Challenger has had the exposure to frontier elements that could pull this off like the Valley Forge had! Probably a good job really, since if you had been out here for all of- T'Pia@crystyl:- that then people might still be looking at you guys as being under external influence or something. /So/ much paranoia about telepaths since the Horde!" Mana@anncaris | Hall: "You think that could be what's happening here?" Mana@anncaris | Andorian: "I thought these implants we got were supposed to protect us from that." T'Pia@crystyl:"Pfft, nah!" she points to the Andorian, "And for that very reason, no way someone could influence any of you guys!" T'Pia@crystyl she says as a cue to prompt Sauda for a 'unless...' subtle suggestion as planned Mana@anncaris | Sauda takes the cue, giving her, "Unless..." T'Pia@crystyl takes a moment to think on it, seeing who pipes up first Mana@anncaris | Hall: "What are you thinking?" T'Pia@crystyl:"Well I mean, the implants are all well and good... but before I left the Valley Forge there was an incident where someone made use of the known standard frequencies to manipulate others..." Mana@anncaris | Hall: "So one of us could've been manipulated still?" T'Pia@crystyl:"In theory..." she ponders, turning to Hall as she responds, then letting her gaze drift conveniently, "But we could easily help you rule that out right now if you like!" Mana@anncaris | Hall: "Sure, that would be helpful." Mana@anncaris | Dati: <She doesn't seem pleased about that...> T'Pia@crystyl looks to Dati, "Ensign, you're Betazed right? You could help us clear this up right now by checking the team's thoughts!" she intentionally ignores Hall and turns to the Tellaratie, "What do you - T'Pia@crystyl:- say? Want to put this to bed once and for all before the Regulators get the same idea and tie you all down to force it?" Mana@anncaris | Dati nods and steps out. Hall pipes up again, "Can't you do this with just a medical scan? That's what I heard, anyway." Mana@anncaris | Dati: "If it's subtle enough, not always. But telepathy will always reveal something." T'Pia@crystyl:"A medical scan is all well and good assuming there are physical side effects. Trust me, this is by far the quickest and most non-intrusive way to clear you all!" Mana@anncaris | Hall nods reluctantly Mana@anncaris | Dati: <I made up what I just said, but I think she bought it.> T'Pia@crystyl:<Me too!> T'Pia@crystyl turns to the Tellarite again, "So what do you say, shall we get you cleared?" Mana@anncaris | Tellarite: "Come on, let's get this over with!" Mana@anncaris | As Dati starts work on the Tellarite, Mana steps over, "Mana has Professor Lycas on comm. The Professor requests to present this information to T'Pia in private." T'Pia@crystyl nods, "Of course Mana, the Professor probably wants an update on my report! I'll just leave this to the Ensigns here, don't mind me!" she chirps, waving to the group as she heads out to the office Mana@anncaris follows into the office, stretching out her biosynthetic hand. A small hologram of Professor Lycas appears above it Mana@anncaris | Lycas: "Hello T'Pia." T'Pia@crystyl:"Hello Professor! Thank you for helping our investigation!" Mana@anncaris | Lycas: "The situation may be more complicated than you initially anticipated. What I am about to share is classified material. Neither of you possess the clearance for it, but given what is - Mana@anncaris - occuring and my certainty that I may trust the two of you, I believe this infraction is logical." T'Pia@crystyl leans in, "We will not betray your trust professor. What... exactly have you learned?" Mana@anncaris | Lycas: "Some of the components do seem inspired by Iconian and Regulator designs, but the technology has distinctly Starfleet elements. One component in particular stands out. It is an - Mana@anncaris - iteration of a piece of technology I have encountered once before. On stardate 9529.7, the USS Chagaris discovered unidentified pieces of debris in the Khitomer sector. I was called in to - Mana@anncaris - study it. My team determined that the debris was exceptionally advanced and quantum dated to several centuries into the future. We concluded that it was the remnants of a vessel that had - Mana@anncaris - travelled back in time to either observe, interfere or prevent interference with the historical Khitomer Conference occuring in the sector. We were unable to study the technology for long before - Mana@anncaris - a temporal agent from the 31st century appeared and confiscated the debris. This event was subsequently classified by the Department of Temporal Investigations. Given my service record, I was - Mana@anncaris - allowed to maintain my memories of the studies. This debris was the only time I have ever encountered technology similar to this." T'Pia@crystyl:"Professor, are you saying that someone from the future is responsible for placing these protomatter warheads?" Mana@anncaris | Lycas: "If they are not from the future, they are at the very least utilizing technology of the future. They may personally belong to our time, but it is likely they have a benefactor from the - Mana@anncaris - future." T'Pia@crystyl:"This certainly does complicate things..." Mana@anncaris interrupts before Lycas can speak again, "Something has happened outside," she rushes out towards the main sickbay area T'Pia@crystyl quickly follows Mana@anncaris | T'Pia and Mana enter just in time to see four flashes as four Regulators beam in. All the ensigns and enlisted are in the room and seem to fine, but Hall is nowhere to be seen and Dati looks - Mana@anncaris - around with a surprised expression Mana@anncaris | Regulator: "We have detected a transport in this area. The vessel is locked down. Explain." T'Pia@crystyl:"What happened? Where's Hall?" Mana@anncaris | The door slides open and two Arshai rush inside as well with their weapons drawn, looking around Mana@anncaris | Dati: "I was going to examine her, but she just disappeared..." Mana@anncaris | Sauda: "It was a flash, exactly like those Regulator transports!" T'Pia@crystyl looks to the Regulators, "It's Lieutenant Ashley Hall, sounds like she escaped using technology like yours. Do you have a way to track it?" Mana@anncaris | Regulator: "Our vessel is doing so now." Mana@anncaris | Coragg steps up to the main console in sickbay, "I think I saw her tap her combadge before, we might be able to track the communication as well." Mana@anncaris | The Regulators turn and stare at him Mana@anncaris | Coragg: "If you'll allow me..." T'Pia@crystyl:"It's alright! Coragg is just trying to help - we all are!" Mana@anncaris | They exchange glances with one another, then one of them nods T'Pia@crystyl moves to assist Coragg T'Pia@crystyl whispers as they work, "Thank you for stepping up. Don't worry, they look scary in those suits, but they aren't so bad really" Mana@anncaris | Coragg nods, "Thanks for standing up for me." He taps on the console, getting to work T'Pia@crystyl smiles, "Hey, what are friends for!" Mana@anncaris | The signal is discrete, but being sent from a Starfleet combadge, Pia and Coragg are able to precisely track down the other end of the communication...except there's nothing there, just an - Mana@anncaris - empty spot between the Foundry and the Sphere surface T'Pia@crystyl:"That's definitely where it went... a cloaked ship maybe?" Mana@anncaris | Regulator: "We are scanning now." Mana@anncaris | Coragg puts up a visual feed of the region. The Regulator ship cruises into view as it performs various scans T'Pia@crystyl:"If I were picking someone up in a cloaked ship, the first thing I would do is move away as quickly as possible..." Mana@anncaris | The Regulator nods and the ship promptly speeds up towards the nearest exit hatch, scanning as it goes. Nothing happens for a good half minute, then... Mana@anncaris | Something decloaks into view, but it almost looks like it doesn't decloak fully. Instead of a ship, the shape that emerges is like a flickering shadow. The shape is clearly that of a ship with - Mana@anncaris - prominent nacelles extending away from the main body, but no details can be discerned. Viewers would recognize the effect from the Latenter's encounter, though the shape of the ship is not - Mana@anncaris - identical, suggesting a different vessel with the same capabilities. T'Pia of course has no idea what it is Mana@anncaris Sound FX | https://youtu.be/8DNO2eU_qkg T'Pia@crystyl:"What the...?" Mana@anncaris | Three glowing torpedoes emerge from the aft of the shadowy ship. The dark energy shields of the Regulator ship flare up, but the torpedoes pass straight through, impacting the ship. The - Mana@anncaris - sturdy Regulator design holds together, though a few pieces of hull and debris are sent flying from the impact and lights of the ship start flickering as it goes adrift Mana@anncaris | Regulator: "Our vessel has been hit by what appears to be chroniton-based torpedoes. We are losing power and are unable to continue our pursuit." T'Pia@crystyl:"If they hit like that, then maybe that's a good thing..." Mana@anncaris | Regulator 2: "Multiple hull breaches and several injuries, but no fatalities." T'Pia@crystyl:"We are ready and willing to assist your ship if required!" Mana@anncaris | Regulator: "We have the situation under control, but others appear to still be attempting to intercept the unidentified vessel." T'Pia@crystyl:"You have to warn them about those torpedoes of theirs!" Mana@anncaris | Regulator: "I am advising our Supervisor to do so now." Mana@anncaris | On the console, a Starfleet Oracle-class flanked by a Nova and a Mercury class move in. All three ships open fire, but their phasers pass through the shadowy shape as if it wasn't there. - Mana@anncaris - Before the Starfleet vessels can break off their attack run, a beam erupts from the shadowy ship. It strikes the Oracle first and it quickly flickers and loses power, then switches targets - Mana@anncaris - to the Mercury, leaving the weakest Nova for last. All three ships are quickly rendered adrift and defenseless, and the attack run looks eerily similar to historical footage from Wolf-359 Mana@anncaris | Fortunately, there are no followup shots and the three vessels are left disabled but unharmed as the shadowy ship continues towards the edge of the Sphere. Two Nuhar Constructs move in, - Mana@anncaris - grabbing the disabled ships but not closing towards the mystery ship Mana@anncaris | Regulator: "All ships have been warned." T'Pia@crystyl:"It's like that thing was... out of phase or something" Mana@anncaris | Regulator 2: "That is no simple phase cloak. We would have disabled it if that were the case." Mana@anncaris | Regulator 3: "Our analysts believe it has temporal properties as well." T'Pia@crystyl:"Makes sense" she nods Mana@anncaris | As the shadowy ship is about to reach the edge of the Sphere, a gateway opens in its path and an Iconian battleship emerges, flanked by four Iconian raiders. They fire to just as little avail. - Mana@anncaris - This time, two red beams that look remarkably similar to Nuhar beams erupt from the shadowy ship, sweeping across like scissors at the Iconian ships that appeared in its way. The four - Mana@anncaris - raiders are destroyed and pieces of the battleship are cut off, purple explosions erupting where they were once connected to other pieces of the ship like blood from a wound Mana@anncaris | The shadowy ship doesn't even break pace, passing /through/ the disabled Iconian battleship, and then straight through the Sphere's surface, disappearing from the image Mana@anncaris | Sauda: "What was that thing..." T'Pia@crystyl:"Something very dangerous..." Mana@anncaris | Regulator: "The one they extracted was a member of this crew?" T'Pia@crystyl:"LT Ashely Hall, yes. But she was working alone, subversively from the Challenger and it's crew! We think she's, like, a recruited agent of whatever future faction that ship is acting for" Mana@anncaris | Regulator 3: "Chroniton technology does not necessarily indicate that they originate from the future. They may simply be a very advanced civilization." T'Pia@crystyl:"No, of course. But it's more than that - the amalgamation of technology we just saw! Starfleet profile, Nuhar weapons... /Regulator/ transporters! All of these have just started to come together - T'Pia@crystyl:- now. So logically, a ship combining all of those distinct elements must be from a future time" Mana@anncaris | Regulator: "You suggest this was a Coalition vessel from the future?" T'Pia@crystyl:"I see no logic in the future Coalition working to usurp its own past. But the vessel does bear such hallmarks - maybe it's a Coalition ship that got stolen in the future or something, I honestly - T'Pia@crystyl:- don't know what to make of all of this. But I am convinced that Hall was working alone, the secrecy and conduct should be proof enough of this and that the Challenger and Captain LaForge are not - T'Pia@crystyl:- involved" Mana@anncaris | Regulator 4: "I can confirm that Captain La Forge was not extracted, nor was anyone else in the Sphere to our knowledge. That would corroborate your claim." T'Pia@crystyl offers her PADD, "We have also found evidence of Hall's presence at the time the protomatter was detected, and further evidence of that activity being hidden on internal sensor records which prove - T'Pia@crystyl:- she was working to hide it from the rest of the crew. If you investigate her quarters, you will also find a non-Starfleet replicator system installed within the standard fascia. This PADD shows - T'Pia@crystyl:- patterns for more amalgamated technology closer to that ghost ship than the Challenger. We believe she replicated advanced future components to build a dampening system to hide the protomatter - T'Pia@crystyl:- warheads until the Challenger was here for them to be discovered. As to why, I'm afraid I have no idea" Mana@anncaris | Meanwhile on the console, the visual feed continues to run, showing the Nuhar Constructs towing the powerless Starfleet ships back to the Foundry while a second Regulator ship moves in to - Mana@anncaris - assist the damaged one. The disabled Iconian battleship, along with all the debris, are sucked into a gateway and disappear from view Mana@anncaris | One of the Regulators takes the PADD with a nod, "Thank you. We will present this information to our Supervisor and the wider Coalition." Mana@anncaris | Regulator 4: "I expect Captain La Forge will be released soon in the light of this new evidence." T'Pia@crystyl:"I should hope so! And everyone here from Hall's team too, the evidence shows that they too were kept in the dark about her actions" Mana@anncaris | The Andorian nods, "I had no idea what she was up to." Mana@anncaris | Human PO: "Why would she even do this?" Mana@anncaris | Dati: "I've examined them all telepathically and I can confirm." T'Pia@crystyl:"I'm afraid we'll all have to wait for another day to find that out. Whatever it is, if they - whoever they are - went to all this trouble once to undermine the Coalition, you can bet they'll do so - T'Pia@crystyl:- again" Mana@anncaris | Regulator 3 nods, "I will advise our superiors to be on guard. If we encounter such a vessel again, we will be ready to counter these torpedoes." Mana@anncaris | Regulator 1: "For now, we must present your evidence and see to the repairs on our vessel. Thank you again." Mana@anncaris | The four Regulators disappear in four synchronized flashes T'Pia@crystyl smiles and looks to her gang, "We did it you guys! I mean, sure, Hall got away and all, but... we proved the Challenger's innocence!" Mana@anncaris | Sauda smiles, "Once Captain La Forge is freed, I'm sure he'll look deeper into this and make sure the crew is free of any other potential infiltrators." Mana@anncaris | The Andorian stands, "I don't think there's anyone else among the crew, but I just realized something." T'Pia@crystyl turns, "Hm?" Mana@anncaris | Andorian: "Hall was just responsible for the torpedo bay and loading the torpedoes. She probably covered up the protomatter, but she couldn't have been the one who put it in there in the first - Mana@anncaris - place. I was there with her when we loaded the torpedoes. She checked them, but it's a brief diagnostic, not enough time to replace the inner workings of a torpedo. And the loading happened - Mana@anncaris - not long after we docked, she couldn't have gone off the ship and switched the torpedoes. That means there had to be at least one other person working with her on DS4." Mana@anncaris | Sauda nods, "The one who put the protomatter in place. Hall was only the one who made sure they were concealed on the Challenger." T'Pia@crystyl:"This definitely seems a much bigger thing" she nods Mana@anncaris | Coragg: "But we've hopefully found enough evidence to prove Captain La Forge innocent and show the Coalition that someone's setting this up to sabotage the restoration efforts. That has to - Mana@anncaris - be a win for us," he smiles T'Pia@crystyl:"And it wouldn't have been possible without you guys, so thank you - all of you!" she grins Mana@anncaris smiles, "And T'Pia too! T'Pia really led this effort, Mana is sure Keelah will be proud!" T'Pia@crystyl:"Thank you Mana, you and the Professor really helped us out too!" Mana@anncaris:"Mana should report this to Vora, and advise the Colonial Fleet to be aware of any future sabotage as well. Sabotage in the future that is. Also possibly by people from the future..." T'Pia@crystyl:"There are a lot of variables! Please, if ever I can do anything to return the favour you need but ask" Mana@anncaris:"Mana will be sure to, but T'Pia has helped a lot already by unravelling this mystery! Mana will mention T'Pia's role to Vora." T'Pia@crystyl:"Coragg and Sauda too! It was a big team effort!" Mana@anncaris:"Mana will mention the whole team, don't worry," she smiles and turns to head out T'Pia@crystyl looks to the others, "We should probably get back to the foundry too. Don't want to outstay our welcome here" Mana@anncaris | Coragg nods, "Lieutenant Tierno's right, things do get quite interesting often out here on the frontier! Come on, let's go." T'Pia@crystyl chuckles, walking out with the others, "The funny thing Coragg, is that you see this as an /extra/ordinary day!" --- NPC@annpc#557 | The next day, T'Pia goes in for her shift to find Karku, her Arshai superior, waiting in the middle of the room T'Pia@crystyl steps over, "Good morning Karku. Were you here waiting for me?" NPC@annpc#557 | Karku: "Karku was." T'Pia@crystyl 's eyes narrow slightly with uncertainty, "Is... something wrong? Or does Karku have a new task for me?" NPC@annpc#557 | Karku: "Karku does have new tasks for T'Pia, but that is not why Karku is waiting. Karku wishes to congratulate T'Pia for helping uncover the sabotage. Having someone with Captain La Forge's - NPC@annpc#557 - experience incarcerated would not have been good for the project." T'Pia@crystyl smiles sheepishly, "Thank you Karku! I only spent a little time with the Captain, but I knew from his history that he could not be guilty of those charges. It was just to absurd" NPC@annpc#557 | Karku: "Karku agrees, but not everyone would have been able to uncover the conspiracy as quickly as T'Pia did. T'Pia has been shown to be as effective as any member of the Valley Forge's crew." T'Pia@crystyl:"That is very kind of you to say Karku, I appreciate the thought - truly!" NPC@annpc#557 | Karku: "Karku always knew that T'Pia was capable of meeting such standards. That is why Karku pushes T'Pia- such is the way the Doshaie are trained to reach full potential." T'Pia@crystyl:"Y-you mean all that was... encouragement?" NPC@annpc#557 | A familiar voice sounds behind TP: "Yes, that is the Doshaie way. Most of them don't really get the whole social courtesies thing, but they always produce results." T'Pia@crystyl turns in surprise at the sudden address from behind her NPC@annpc#557 | She finds Vora standing behind her, "Good work, T'Pia. I don't know if your mother and her crew could've done better if they were here and leading the investigation." T'Pia@crystyl:"Supreme Commander! You are kind to say, but I am sure the truth would have come out one way or another. The Challenger's crew were no doubt looking into things too, and that's assuming the - T'Pia@crystyl:- Regulators wouldn't have got there too" NPC@annpc#557 | Vora: "Perhaps, but since you're the one who uncovered the truth, I was hoping you wouldn't mind if you presented the details of your investigation at the Coalition meeting today. We're still - NPC@annpc#557 - piecing together everything we know and trying to figure out what we're dealing with here." T'Pia@crystyl:"R-really? Well, sure I don't mind at all!" she turns, "But I also have commitments to Karku's team that I must make sure not to neglect" NPC@annpc#557 | Vora: "Don't worry, it'll be six hours before the meeting starts. We still have teams working on gathering information." T'Pia@crystyl:"Understood Supreme Commander. I will be there" NPC@annpc#557 | Karku nods, "In the meantime, T'Pia can keep occupied with some work in Simulator Three-Two." T'Pia@crystyl:"Three-two, got it" NPC@annpc#557 | Vora: "I'll see you in six hours, T'Pia," she nods and heads off --- NPC@annpc#557 | T'Pia steps into Simulator Three-Two to find it already in use. While the interior is clearly Nuhar, it's distinct from the Nuhar holodeck she expected to see and instead appears to be - NPC@annpc#557 - configured into a simulation of the interior of a Nuhar construct T'Pia@crystyl looks around curiously, "Um... hello?" NPC@annpc#557 | A line of Nuhar drones flies down an intersecting corridor, forcing T'Pia to wait for them to pass before proceeding. There is no answer, only the hum of the internal machinery of the - NPC@annpc#557 - Construct and that of the passing drones T'Pia@crystyl continues curiously NPC@annpc#557 | As she continues on, she hears the echo of footsteps, clearly distinct over the background hum T'Pia@crystyl tries to locate them and heads towards the source, "Hellooo?" she calls out again NPC@annpc#557 | T'Pia soon notices a figure in a Starfleet CO uniform walking towards her. As he gets closer, it becomes clear that he is Captain La Forge, "Hello Cadet. I'm told I have you to thank for - NPC@annpc#557 - proving my innocence." T'Pia@crystyl:"Captain! It is..." she reigns in her excitement, "It is a relief to see you out and about again. Does this mean everything has been resolved to the satisfaction of the Regulators?" NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge: "Well, they're satisfied that I wasn't involved. The Challenger's still locked down; the Courageous' security department is performing a full investigation of the rest of the ship - NPC@annpc#557 - and crew just to make sure there's nothing else. Since my own security department's under scrutiny as well, there's not much I can do to help manage the process. You're the one who exposed - NPC@annpc#557 - Lieutenant Hall?" T'Pia@crystyl:"Not just me, Sir. I had help from Ensigns Sauda and Coragg. Mana and Professor Lycas also assisted, so it was actually quite a big team really!" NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge smiles, "Well, you actually made good on your promise to clear this up. You're starting to remind me of another cadet prodigy I knew, only a lot more likable," he chuckles T'Pia@crystyl tilts her head a little, "I'm not sure I want to know..." NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge: "Probably not. But thank you, Cadet. I appreciate everything you've gone through to prove me innocent." T'Pia@crystyl smiles, bowing her head slightly, "It was the right thing to do, Captain. But thank you" NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge: "I'd say I'm surprised by Lieutenant Hall's betrayal, but if a long career in Starfleet's taught me one thing, it's to expect anything. I don't suppose you found any reason for why - NPC@annpc#557 - she did what she did?" T'Pia@crystyl shakes her head, "I'm sorry Sir, but no. Dati never got as far as a telepathic inquisition with her- oh! Ensign Dati, she helped out too!" NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge smiles, "I'll make sure to thank her as well. Hall's record is clean from everything I've seen- I guess we'll have to find out why when we can track down and deal with the ship she - NPC@annpc#557 - escaped on." T'Pia@crystyl:"Have you seen the logs of what happened with that ship yet Sir?" NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge nods, "It's one powerful ship. But we've managed to stand up to the Borg, the Dominion and the Iconians despite their technological advantages. We'll find a way to deal with that - NPC@annpc#557 - thing. The fact that it's using technology which seems to be based on the Coalition is also something we might be able to take advantage of." T'Pia@crystyl:"That's why I was thinking too!" NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge motions to one of the Nuhar walls around him, "That's why I'm learning everything I can about the local technologies here, but the joint ship development program is probably our best - NPC@annpc#557 - tool here. We'll never know as much as the experts from these civilizations, and we have them all working together already." T'Pia@crystyl:"So do you think we should reprioritize the project teams to focus on combating these technologies?" NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge: "No, not entirely. We might want some of the experts to help us develop countermeasures, but from what I can tell, this ship seems to be a combination of various technologies, not - NPC@annpc#557:- overly based on any one single civilization. Just by working on the project and finding ways to combine Coalition technologies ourselves, we might be able to learn more about this ship and its - NPC@annpc#557 - capabilities as we develop something similar to it." T'Pia@crystyl:"I think I understand. So for now we... redouble our efforts and learn all we can?" NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge: "Exactly. Speaking of which, I just loaded up this program to pass the time. I came here because I promised to look at your CIC simulation." T'Pia@crystyl beams, "Really? I mean, of course! I can load it up right away for you!" NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge smiles back, "You kept your promise to clear my name, it's only fair that I keep mine too." T'Pia@crystyl pulls out her PADD and taps away, "Alright then! Let me load it up" NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge: "Take your time," He saids and waits for T'Pia's program to load in T'Pia@crystyl | The view ripples around them until they find themselves standing on the central raised platform of the horseshoe bridge. The basis in Starfleet bridge layout is apparent, save for the lack of a - T'Pia@crystyl:- Captain's chair in front of them where it would normally be. The platform itself is clearly raised some distance from the floor and - besides the doors at either side - equally distant from the - T'Pia@crystyl:- walls as well. Otherwise it appears a fairly typical bridge with ops and nav console at the forward tip of each leg of the horseshoe, a spot for a viewscreen up front, a command station behind them - T'Pia@crystyl:- on the raised section and a number of support console around the room NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge looks around, taking in the view from the raised platform, "I take it this is where you'd coordinate from?" T'Pia@crystyl:"Yes, this is a work in progress to amalgamate the CIC layout with a standard bridge. at present it still focuses on the command officer, but this may end up being a more tactical focused position - T'Pia@crystyl:- up here" NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge: "I see the command officer doesn't get a chair. Making things fair for everyone since the engineering stations often go without one?" he smirks T'Pia@crystyl:"Oh no they do! That's just behind us" she points over her shoulder NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge glances over and nods, "Ah, that's where they sit. What happens on this platform, then?" T'Pia@crystyl:"A lot of species we've encountered tend to favour having the CO seated further back with more of an overview on everything rather than sat in the middle of the place with half the activity behind - T'Pia@crystyl:- them" she taps the console activating a holomap in the centre showing the Heart, "The central void is used for holographic mapping and communications. We are also looking at tightening up the - T'Pia@crystyl:- whole thing by bringing the outer areas into that central section and having the holodisplay suspended above them" NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge: "Now that's a good way to integrate holodisplays into a bridge. Call me old fashioned, but I always thought the holographic consoles on some of the bridge designs from the turn of - NPC@annpc#557 - century was a bit too form over function. Tightening it up is a good idea, too. The bigger design might serve well for a flagship, but many of the combat-focused designs that would really - NPC@annpc#557 - benefit from an advanced CIC tend to be smaller ships." T'Pia@crystyl:"That's what Rianni thought too! And I know all about the trouble with those holodisplays - I still remember mum having to develop redundant backup LCARS systems for the Odyssey overhaul! And - T'Pia@crystyl:- that is something I was hoping to get more of your insight on. But first, you should see what this bridge is really all about. Computer; tactical alert" T'Pia@crystyl | Instead of the expected dim pulsing red light response to the command, the room does indeed dim a little while the consoles brighten. But most notably the entire 360 degree view around them - T'Pia@crystyl:- ripples away to show the starscape beyond the simulated vessel's exterior. All of the sensor and tactical data is projected directly onto the view of the associated objects around them, and the - T'Pia@crystyl:- central holo becomes an image of the Valley Forge - clearly the demo ship - showing system status around the ship NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge looks all around as the 360 degree view activates, "Now that's an impressive innovation on the viewscreens or window designs we have." T'Pia@crystyl chuckles, "Please Sir, do /not/ get me started on the windows! This-" she gestures to the room around them, "-Is Rianni's dream that we made a reality and used to coordinate the fleet at the battle- T'Pia@crystyl:- here. All of those side consoles can be manned communication centres with nominated battlegroup leaders. The concept is actually quite basic; a single competent officer to oversee large scale - T'Pia@crystyl:- engagements and coordinate activity. When Rianni had to do this from the Valley Forge tactical station she felt hindered by the limited flow of information from allied assets. This way, she was - T'Pia@crystyl:- able to see the battle unfold in real time and better anticipate enemy movements as a result. I believe... the Human premise is 'there is no substitute for the real thing'. In this case, the real - T'Pia@crystyl:- thing being a live view of the actual ships as opposed to sensor readings" NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge nods, "There's a certain degree of instinctive reaction that the real thing gives you which you just can't pick up from sensor readings. I assume this display still has all the - NPC@annpc#557 - magnification abilities of a regular viewscreen given the overlay capabilities?" T'Pia@crystyl:"To a degree, yes. However we have found that magnifying the entire field of view can be... disorienting, and so a focal area remains up front in the traditional viewscreen position. Computer; focus - T'Pia@crystyl:- grid... baker-14" as an example, a holographic viewscreen appears at the end of the room, though nothing more than the suspended platform is visible in the void between them. It's frame sets it - T'Pia@crystyl:- apart from the wider display which highlights the focal area before showing the magnified view on the new screen T'Pia@crystyl:"We are also looking into other non-tactical benefits to this system before we go too far with it's baseline design. Similarly so with the overall ship concept, though I highly doubt my ideas will - T'Pia@crystyl:- make to the drawing board" she chuckles NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge: "Maybe not exactly as you envision them, but you've got some great concepts going here. Ship design is a collaborative project, and others'll always have their input and ideas that - NPC@annpc#557 - might alter yours, hopefully for the better if you have a good team. From what I've seen though, I'd be surprised if the Coalition doesn't pick up at least a few of the ideas you have here. - NPC@annpc#557 - After all like you said, an earlier version of this CIC has already proved helpful in the field, and with the whole Coalition to witness it at that." T'Pia@crystyl:"And that's exactly why they wanted me to bring this design here! But I'm in no rush to see my overall ship design ideas come to life, after all I've still got a few years at the academy before I - T'Pia@crystyl: - can even apply for the ASDB!â€ NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge: "And you've got plenty of time to implement your ideas when you do make it into the ASDB. With experience on a project like this, I'm sure you'll make it there- I don't think any - NPC@annpc#557 - other cadet out there has practical ship design experience. Some theoretical simulation work like this and a few trips to the nearest shipyard to observe, maybe, but not an actual contributing - NPC@annpc#557 - position on a design project!" T'Pia@crystyl:"Well then I shall just have to make sure I do contribute towards the final design!" she smiles, "That said, there was one stumbling block in particular that I was hoping you might have more - T'Pia@crystyl:- knowledge of that could help" NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge: "I'd be happy to. What're you having trouble with?" T'Pia@crystyl:"Well Sir, it's as you already pointed out actually - with what you said about the holographic consoles on modern starships. This is all well and good, but if power is disrupted then everything is - T'Pia@crystyl:-useless. But the project team is already working with other parties who's technology I'm less familiar with on that particular front, since it is ultimately the same for a Nuhar construct - if they- T'Pia@crystyl:- were to lose all power, they would essentially be dead so they must have a means of sustaining systems. No, what I was looking into was a more personal touch for the biological accomodation of the- T'Pia@crystyl:- crew using these workstations" NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge: "And have you made any progress with these personal touches so far?" T'Pia@crystyl:"Sort of! Are you by chance familiar with the artificial lifeform Mia?" NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge nods, "I've heard of her. She's the unique AI lifeform who served with you on the Valley Forge, right?" T'Pia@crystyl:"That is correct, yes. But specifically, are you familiar with her technology?" NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge: "You mean the Arshai drone, or the projected avatar?" T'Pia@crystyl:"The projected avatar in this instance" NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge: "I haven't had a chance to study it firsthand, but I've read about it. Comes from the...Legian civilization, wasn't it?" T'Pia@crystyl smiles, impressed, "It does! It is Olelian replication, significantly more advanced than anything we use. In Mia's case it produces her avatar at a cellular level which she can manipulate at will" NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge: "And you're thinking instead of using conventional holograms, you could implement their technology instead. If the power goes out, I assume the replicated material remains?" T'Pia@crystyl:"We are still studying the technology and it's implementation on a grander scale. No, my own little project here at the moment comes back to the workstations and the ergonomic requirements for such - T'Pia@crystyl:- a diverse range of species. Mia's technology got me thinking; what if the chairs could be molded at will like Mia's avatar!" she taps her PADD and a basic chair appears set at a bridge station T'Pia@crystyl:"A simple premise, but by using this programmable replication, or programmable matter I suppose you could call it, we could easily accommodate any individual with perfect physical synchronization" T'Pia@crystyl steps forward, pressing her palm to the workstation to register herself and causing the chair to reform into a perfect form for her NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge nods and smiles, "A great idea. This way we don't have to worry about standard designs being as ergonomic as possible for as many species as possible. We can tailor the chairs to the - NPC@annpc#557 - personnel at the station at any given time." T'Pia@crystyl:"Exactly yes! We have some incredibly diverse physiques here, so I felt it was an important factor. So now, we have this principle working with the programmable matter. The problem is that it still - T'Pia@crystyl:- relies on a power source. It's one thing for bridge consoles to flicker and fail in an emergency, but we can't have a bridge crew all suddenly falling to the floor too! That is where I was hoping - T'Pia@crystyl:- you might have some ideas from your engineering experience and more recent work with the Lukari about some form of self-sustaining power that could be used here. Something as powerful as a ship of- T'Pia@crystyl:- any description would require too much power for such a system, I know. But a simple element like the programmable workstations is small enough in demand that - in theory - it might be workable" T'Pia@crystyl:"But neither I or my mother have sufficient knowledge of self-sustaining power sources" NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge: "Workstations are a good place to start, and I think we can work up something to keep them operational if the rest of the ship loses power. Once the design is proven, tested and - NPC@annpc#557 - refined, it could be feasible to implement into your entire 360 degree viewscreen down the line." T'Pia@crystyl:"That is a worthy goal, Sir! I felt that there had to be a way, but I lack the appropriate knowledge. Do you believe the answer could lie in the Lukari's technology?" NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge nods, "The Lukari are most known for their protomatter technology, but they have a talent for harnessing power from various naturally existing sources rather than relying on - NPC@annpc#557 - causing fusion or matter-antimatter reactions like we do. I know of a few things they have that could help- I'll talk to them about it and start working on some tests, see which one works best - NPC@annpc#557 - with the power needs of this programmable matter." T'Pia@crystyl:"Perfect! Hopefully this could prove a good way for you to quickly get to know some of the different species we have out here who you may not have met before too!" NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge: "That's one of the reasons I wanted to get involved with this project. Legia isn't far from the lost Earth colony where you found a gateway connected to the Sphere, right?" T'Pia@crystyl:"It is in the same sector, yes" NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge: "It shouldn't be a long trip for them to send some teams or experts through to help on the project as well, then. After all, no one knows their technology like they do." T'Pia@crystyl:"I believe you are right Sir, that does sound feasible!" NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge: "I'll talk with the Diplomatic Corps about reaching out to them, then." T'Pia@crystyl:"Thank you Captain! That's about the limit of my direct involvement in things right now, but I can introduce you to more of the team and see what other projects are being focused on right now" NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge: "That would be great. Let me know if there's ever anything else you need too, Cadet." T'Pia@crystyl chuckles, "Short of bouncing some of my wilder grand designs off, I don't think there is really anything and I know between your command and the project you have far more important things on your - T'Pia@crystyl:- plate" NPC@annpc#557 | La Forge: "Well, if anything comes to mind in the future, I'm sure I'll have a few minutes to spare. I owe you one for your thorough investigation." T'Pia@crystyl:"I will keep it in mind Captain, thank you" --- NPC@annpc#557 | A man wearing a uniform that seems to have elements of Starfleet design, but look closer to the Everett's timeship uniform than a modern one, steps into an unfamiliar ready room unlike any - NPC@annpc#557 - we've seen so far. The man seems to have LCDR pips on his collar, and the woman who awaits him in the room has Captain pips. Like Captain S'Torien, she seems to be wearing a blue department - NPC@annpc#557 - colour, which appears to be the colour of the Command division in some future timelines NPC@annpc#557 | LCDR: "Captain. You wished to see me?" NPC@annpc#557 | Captain: "Not me." NPC@annpc#557 | The Captain taps the table and suddenly, particles seem to extend upwards from the centre of the room, forming the shape of a man. This is clearly not a hologram, but a variant of the - NPC@annpc#557 - programmable matter technology. As the figure takes shape, we recognize the uniform and then the face- Commodore Fox of the Loki NPC@annpc#557 | LCDR: "Commodore Fox!" NPC@annpc#557 | Fox: "Commander Hall. I must say, I am disappointed in you." NPC@annpc#557 | LCDR Hall: "I'm sorry, sir. Ashley was about to be exposed, we had to extract her. I understand it was rash and unplanned, but-" NPC@annpc#557 | Fox holds up a hand, "The extraction of your daughter was understandable. We cannot risk the Coalition learning what she knows, and we do not leave our own behind." NPC@annpc#557 | LCDR Hall nods, "I'm glad you see it that way as well, sir." NPC@annpc#557 | Fox: "But...your daughter failed her task and risked compromising our operations in the Sphere. You assured me she was ready." NPC@annpc#557 | LCDR Hall: "That was my mistake, Commodore. I am willing to accept any-" NPC@annpc#557 | Fox: "You will not be punished for your daughter's mistakes. I have spoken to your Captain already. She is to be integrated into the crew, but at the rank of crewman. She will have to earn her - NPC@annpc#557 - officer's position." NPC@annpc#557 | LCDR Hall: "Yes. That seems fair to me, Commodore. Thank you." NPC@annpc#557 | Fox: "Ensure an error of this magnitude never occurs again. You have attracted the Chief's attention. And you will find that he is not as forgiving as I am." NPC@annpc#557 | The programmable matter disperses, and LCDR Hall shares a glance with his captain NPC@annpc#557 FX | Fade to black