When the infiltrators begin altering the timeline to shape events in their favour, Mischa must undertake what may be her most unusual mission yet- going undercover as herself.
Alien NPC@annpc#557 | On the Latenter, Mischa presides over the bridge as they approach Crateris, the new site of the admirals' meeting Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria: "I take it the Director's invited you to the meeting too, Commander. You've played a critical role of late and probably have good insights for the Admirals." Mischa@crystyl nods, "I believe it is the insights that are of most interest here" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Nethay: "Hey, the critical role is important too. You deserve to sit with the Admirals after saving them all lately!" Mischa@crystyl:"A nice thought, but one that you should know better than to indulge. Even in SFC, it would be almost unheard of for a ship CO to join an Admiralty conference as a reward for doing a good job" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Nethay nods, "So, is it true that you'll be recommending a mission into the infiltrators' reality to the Admirals?" Mischa@crystyl:"Unless they've come up with any better ideas in the meantime" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Hassan: "I can't think of a better thing to do. There might be /other/ business to take care of, but we could certainly use more insight into these infiltrators." Mischa@crystyl:"Exactly. And other business is best left to other ships. Going behind enemy lines and gathering intel for threat assessment is exactly what the Latenter is built for" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Mischa notices Daurant tapping quickly on his console, and the lighting suddenly switches to red alert Mischa@crystyl looks over, "What's wrong?" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Daurant: "Sorry, Commander. No time to give you a heads-up. Just received a call from our El-Aurian guest. He sensed the timeline altering so I put up the temporal shielding immediately." Mischa@crystyl sits up, "Good call. Now let's get an explanation and assessment" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Daurant: "Our timeline analyzer's still incomplete. Mattis is our best chance of understanding this. Should I call him to the bridge?" Mischa@crystyl nods,"Please do" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | A minute later, Mattis steps onto the bridge. He still sports the same hairstyle he had on the pre-warp world, though his 1930s style jacket has been replaced by a long black one which is both - Alien NPC@annpc#557 - more modern and more fitting on an SFI vessel Mischa@crystyl looks over, "Tell me you have some information on this situation" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Mattis: "Only that the timeline's been altered. Things outside this ship aren't as they're meant to be." Mischa@crystyl:"Ok... so how do we go about determining the nature of the change now?" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Mattis: "I'm afraid I'm not a finely tuned sensor. I can tell when things aren't right. And I believe the change is more recent. Within your living memory, at least. Beyond that...afraid I - Alien NPC@annpc#557 - can't narrow it down any further." Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria: "That still leaves three to four decades of history to work through." Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Daurant: "I'll give priority to completing the timeline analyzer. But until then, we're going to have to find out manually, like we did when we picked up that timeship XO." Mischa@crystyl:"Alright, well first things first let's establish our surroundings. We were just talking about operations behind enemy lines. Well, this just became behind enemy lines so let's begin with a - Mischa@crystyl:- comparative scan of everything in range. Meanwhile, let's get some analysts tied in to the public databases and start comparing notes" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria: "On it, Commander." Alien NPC@annpc#557 | T'Bee: "Crateris is on sensors. A collection of vessels are gathered there, but it is not the same collection which should be present there, if the timeline was unaltered." Mischa@crystyl:"Who is there?" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | T'Fel: "It is still primarily Starfleet and Romulan vessels, several of which are Reman variants. However, I am also reading a squadron of Klingon birds-of-prey." Mischa@crystyl:"Maybe whatever changed was for the better" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | T'Fel: "More detailed scans are coming in. It appears the Justicar is still present, though it lacks its Romulan modifications. Instead, it appears to be sporting armour generators. It is - Alien NPC@annpc#557 - accompanied by the USS Wakizashi, the USS Long Island, the USS Sphinx and the USS C'Feri." Mischa@crystyl | Ori: "But for all we know, this is now a gathering of infiltrator forces seeking to root out the rogue resistance which we're known to be a part of" Mischa@crystyl:"A fair point" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Hassan: "Well these ships are all part of different fleets and command structures in the timeline we know. They certainly shouldn't be together, which lends credence to the Ensign's theory. - Alien NPC@annpc#557 - That, or fleet makeup's been changed quite a bit." Mischa@crystyl:"True, but the gathering we were expecting wasn't exactly that of a single command fleet either. It is feasible that this is the same situation, but the variables have each Admiral coming with their- Mischa@crystyl:- own ship" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | T'Fel: "I have identified one of the birds-of-prey as the IKS Rotarran, flagship of General Martok. Perhaps the timeline change is for the better, assuming their presence means the Klingons - Alien NPC@annpc#557 - have also grown wise to the presence of the infiltrators." Mischa@crystyl:"Perhaps. Any updates from the analysts?" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria nods, "I hate to break it to everyone, but it doesn't look like things have changed for the better." Mischa@crystyl:"What have we got?" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria: "In this timeline, we're still at war with the Horde. The Klingon Empire was the first to fall, still having fought their civil war and then being hit by Horde ships coming out of - Alien NPC@annpc#557 - Carran subspace tunnels. The Federation, Romulans and remaining Iconians are holding the line. No information about this gathering here, but the House of Martok is listed among the surviving - Alien NPC@annpc#557 - Klingon Houses who've joined the war effort. They're fighting under the banner of the Guardians now." Mischa@crystyl:"Well that certainly constitutes a significant change. So what happened to the Valley Forge's mission and the discovery of the Heart?" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria: "The Valley Forge was never sent on that mission. It was given to the USS Midway, which is listed as MIA. Starfleet Intelligence encryption is different in this timeline, so it's - Alien NPC@annpc#557 - going to be a bit before I can get access to our files. But it would seem Captain Pall and the Midway didn't see the same success as the Valley Forge." Mischa@crystyl:"So what would have changed to stop the Valley Forge going on that mission...? After all, it was prompted by their discovery of Forged Earth and the gateway there, which I steered Keelah to - Mischa@crystyl:- personally after the initial survey team found a piece of hull fragment with part of the Valley Forge name on it" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria taps her console before frowning, "Yes, that would do it..." Mischa@crystyl:"What would?" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria looks to Mischa awkwardly, "Well...you're dead, Commander. You never made it off the Gainsborough in this timeline." Mischa@crystyl sighs, "Well... bugger..." --- Alien NPC@annpc#557 | AFTER THE OPENING CREDITS... Mischa@crystyl | Ori looks between the two, "Wait... so are you saying what I think you're saying? The Commander is solely responsible for saving the galaxy from the Horde?!" Mischa@crystyl slooowly turns and gives Ori an unamused look Mischa@crystyl | Ori tilts her head, "What? Am I wrong?" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Daurant: "It may seem that way, but the timeline is a complicated thing. And we don't know if this is the only change to the timeline. Even without the Commander, someone else might have sent - Alien NPC@annpc#557 - the Valley Forge to investigate Forged Earth due to the connection." Mischa@crystyl:"In which case the Valley Forge should still have ended up on its journey to the Heart. But either way, I am at least grateful now for our temporal shielding" she smiles Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Mattis: "It's possible these infiltrators targeted you in the timeline at a stage before you became aware of their machinations, due to your recent efforts against them. But we don't know for - Alien NPC@annpc#557 - sure that the infiltrators are behind this. It could be the consequence of another change further along the timeline. Or there might be multiple changes, as Daurant suggests." Alien NPC@annpc#557 | T'Bee nods, "The Valley Forge also worked against the infiltrators, leading to their disappearance. It is possible that they were targeted as well." Mischa@crystyl:"Aren't the temporal agents from the future supposed to stop things like this from happening... boy, sure would be handy for them to pop in and say hello again. Our shielding should have represented- Mischa@crystyl:- an anomaly on their scans after all that one would think warranted investigation" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Mattis: "Counting on temporal agents is like counting on the Q. They have their own plans and agendas, and they never let you in on it. Most likely scenario is that they want us to handle this - Alien NPC@annpc#557 - ourselves. Or expect us to be able to. Same thing, at the end of the day." Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria: "They did say the last time we met that they wouldn't interfere with anything related to the infiltrators directly. They only showed up because someone from their Temporal Cold War - Alien NPC@annpc#557 - got Survivor tech into the hands of the Tal Shiar." Mischa@crystyl smiles, "Yes, you are right of course. Still, would be nice if they actually did turn up to put things right for once. Alright, let's start with what we do know so far. Even if it isn't the critical - Mischa@crystyl:- change, it's somewhat significant to me. So, get into the SFI archives of this temporal reality and pull my service record for starters. That should give an accurate accounting of cause of death" Mischa@crystyl | Ori: "Assuming it was after you joined the service" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria nods, "On it now." Mischa@crystyl:"Yes, well... we can look at public family records in the interim too then" Mischa@crystyl moves to a console and begins checking records herself Alien NPC@annpc#557 | With a little searching, Mischa sees that she did indeed join Starfleet and have the same career she did, up to the destruction of the Gainsborough. There, she is listed as KIA Mischa@crystyl:"Well, it seems there is nothing more untoward than the Gainsborough incident being at the centre of it at least" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Daurant: "But you survived that incident here. Something must've caused you not to, either another change or the infiltrators' direct actions." Mischa@crystyl:"Victoria, see if you can get into the SFC database and access the final data logs from the Gainsborough" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria nods, tapping on the console. A moment later, the logs appear on the console Mischa is using. They appear to be identical, indicating that the Gainsborough was lost in the same way. - Alien NPC@annpc#557 - Mischa's death here must've come after, quite possibly on the planet Mischa@crystyl hrms, "Try the Valley Forge; approximate timestamp plus 6 months from this log. There should be a log pertaining to the rescue of survivors" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria: "Here it is. Looks like you weren't among the survivors, and that's when you were listed as KIA." Mischa@crystyl:"Well it is certainly within the realm of possibility for something to have gone wrong on the hell planet. Unless I was targeted by a temporal incursion right at the evacuation point. I was the last- Mischa@crystyl:- one off the ship, so there were a few minutes there where I was alone without witnesses. Well, unless you count the newly sentient ship's computer" she chuckles Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria: "But that also didn't survive, so we can't ask it..." Mischa@crystyl:"Well if we assume for a fleeting moment that we are theorizing about this with view to doing something naughty and temporal ourselves to correct it, the worst case here would be starting with the - Mischa@crystyl:- Gainsborough and then having to wait in the shadows for 6 months on the hell planet. Given the whole grand scheme of temporal machinations, you could do a lot worse" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Daurant: "Well looking at the current state of galactic affairs, it certainly hasn't worked out well for them..." Mischa@crystyl:"Or anyone for that matter. I can't see any gain even to the infiltrators from allowing the Horde to run rampant across the galaxy" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Mattis: "They're not. Another change's inbound. Raise the shields." Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Daurant: "Already on it!" He taps away at his console Alien NPC@annpc#557 | T'Bee raises a brow, "The sensor readings of the system have spontaneously changed." Mischa@crystyl turns, "To what effect?" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | T'Bee: "The Klingon ships have vanished and the Romulan vessels are more consistent with the original timeline, though there are some differences. Most notably, the Imperial Romulans do not - Alien NPC@annpc#557 - have a presence. The Justicar is still at Crateris, once again with other Starfleet vessels. However, now they appear to consist only of ships under the command of the Admirals present at the - Alien NPC@annpc#557 - meeting, or at least the admirals intended to be present in our timeline." Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Mattis: "I'm guessing that last timeline was a mistake. And now they've corrected it." Mischa@crystyl:"Or attempted to in some capacity at least" she turns back to the console, rechecking her records from the Gainsborough to compare Alien NPC@annpc#557 | The Gainsborough appears to be intact and active in this universe. However, it is listed as a rogue vessel, in the same way that the Justicar is in the normal timeline Mischa@crystyl:"Well that is certainly different. Again..." --- Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria taps away at her console, "This can't be right. Every Starfleet vessel above Crateris is listed as rogue. Even the USS Voyager..." Mischa@crystyl:"I don't know, Tuvok was one of those aware of the problem before. So depending on the changes I can see Voyager getting roped into this too" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria: "True." She taps her console some more. "The encryption in this universe is much closer to our own, so it's easier to break into. Okay, this is not good..." Mischa@crystyl:"None of this is good" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Mattis: "What'd you find?" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria: "It's not just the ships above Crateris. The entirety of DSEC and Delta Quadrant Command is listed as rogue. I'm seeing the same with multiple other fleets as well. There's travel - Alien NPC@annpc#557 - advisories everywhere. Bajor, Betazed, Denobula, Trill and at least a dozen other worlds have just seceded from the Federation. By the Prophets...we're looking at the beginning of a civil war." Mischa@crystyl:"Well that certainly meets the definition of not good. Still, if the infiltrators are behind this then we may be looking at what constitutes a win for them now, or at least an acceptable outcome" Mischa@crystyl:"If this isn't their doing, or temporal agents are working against them, then we can likely expect another change to occur shortly" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria nods, then looks to her console again, "Well that's interesting. Take a look at this, Commander." Mischa@crystyl heads over Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria pulls up the Valley Forge's record. It is listed as destroyed, with most of its crew KIA including Keelah, though the crew roster seems to have many notable differences Mischa@crystyl:"This is going from very not good to very bad" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria: "It's definitely bad, but I might be onto something for what caused all this. Look here, the Valley Forge wasn't destroyed anytime recently. It was lost on Stardate 93707.9." Mischa@crystyl:"93707. ...9? What of the Gainsborough then?" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria pulls up the full Gainsborough record. In addition to being listed as rogue but still active, it seems to have filled in for the Valley Forge's role. The Gainsborough was the ship - Alien NPC@annpc#557 - which picked up and integrated the few survivors of the Valley Forge, then subsequently investigated Forged Earth and embarked on the rimward journey, with Mischa as XO all throughout. They - Alien NPC@annpc#557 - managed to stop the Horde just like the Valley Forgeâ€ Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria: "The only good news is that you're still alive, and it looks like you really are single-handedly responsible for saving the galaxy against the Horde." Mischa@crystyl | Ori looks over Mischa@crystyl glances back, then to Victoria, "Please don't encourage her..." Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria smirks slightly, "Sorry. Couldn't resist. It also looks like you're Captain Leveson-Scott now, and in command of the Gainsborough, which is still by the rim." Mischa@crystyl:"Whatever changed here must have given me cause to leave intel for a career with SFC then. How very bizarre" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria: "It was a field promotion that just stuck. Look, here. Instead of a future version of the Valley Forge returning to destroy Terminu, the Coalition tracked down and seized the Terran - Alien NPC@annpc#557 - vessel which helped free the Architect. Captain Lazard sacrificed himself on board that ship to destroy the Terminu star, leaving you in command of the Gainsborough." Mischa@crystyl:"He always did have a penchant for heroics..." Alien NPC@annpc#557 | T'Bee: "It would appear that your presence at the rim has caused the infiltrators' plans there to unravel more quickly. However, without your efforts here, many of the admirals we rescued - Alien NPC@annpc#557 - have successfully been assassinated. Admiral T'Lia never became Surgeon General to begin with, and Admirals Quinn and Tuvok are dead." Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Hassan: "Tuvok's dead? What's the Voyager doing here, then?" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | T'Bee: "Voyager has returned to the command of Admiral Janeway." Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Hassan: "And she's probably out seeking retribution for her old friend..." Mischa@crystyl:"Indeed" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | T'Bee: "I believe that the more rapid discovery of the infiltrators by DSEC, in combination with their successes in this part of the galaxy, culminating in the assassination of several - Alien NPC@annpc#557 - prominent flag officers in their way, have brought the Federation over the precipice of civil war." Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria: "Not just flag officers. The President's officially dead here, too." Mischa@crystyl:"So can we get any clearer of an idea as to what changed and when now?" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Mattis: "Are the temporal shields still up? You're right about another change, Commander." Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Daurant nods, "I'm just keeping them up as a precaution at this point." Mischa@crystyl:"Let's keep an eye on these changes as they roll out" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria: "We'll keep analyzing them, Commander." Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Mattis: "If these changes keep coming, it shouldn't be long until we can deduce just what they're trying to change. There's bound to be patterns soon, and patterns are a detective's best friend. Mischa@crystyl:"That is my hope as well. So far things seem to be centered around the fall of the Gainsborough so at least we have a starting point" Alien NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria nods, "I'll examine information around the Gainsborough particularly closely." --- NPC@annpc#557 | Almost two hours later, Mischa is in her ready room when the doorbell rings Mischa@crystyl stands by the thinking window, looking out at the stars, "Come" NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria steps into the room, "Commander. It's been an hour and the timeline hasn't shifted again. But it's not back to the way it was before, either. I suspect whoever's doing this have found - NPC@annpc#557 - their optimal result." Mischa@crystyl turns, cup of tea in hand, "So what do we know about this optimal result?" NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria: "No one's at Crateris anymore. Well, other than Reman colonists. Everything seems to have gone much more in the infiltrators' favour, which heavily suggests that the Survivors are - NPC@annpc#557 - the ones behind this." Mischa@crystyl:"I suppose the first attempts were simply not good enough for them..." NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria nods, "In this timeline, it seems like people generally aren't aware of the infiltrators' presence. No Horde victory, no civil war, no admirals making a stand against them. It's - NPC@annpc#557 - the closest thing I can think of to a victory for them." Mischa@crystyl moves to her desk, "So then. How do go about spoiling it for them is the question" NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria joins her, sitting on the opposite side of the desk, "I think you're right about the Gainsborough connection. Every change so far all seems to start from there." Mischa@crystyl:"Do we know what they did to effect this latest change exactly?" NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria nods, "We've gained access to both the SFC and SFI records by now. It's a much more intricate and involved process this time. The first two times, they seem to have done something - NPC@annpc#557 - more simple and straightforward. In the first it was removing you after the Gainsborough's destruction, and in the second, it was replacing the Gainsborough with the Valley Forge. Here, it's a - NPC@annpc#557 - bit of a longer story." Mischa@crystyl leans back, sipping her tea, "I do love a good story" NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria: "In this timeline, they contacted you in secret, providing you with the necessary modifications to defend against the Azedi weapons. You didn't trust this mysterious source of - NPC@annpc#557 - course, but when the Azedi attacked and took out the other Starfleet ships, you realized that the information was good and the Gainsborough made the adjustments just in time. It was still - NPC@annpc#557 - heavily damaged in the fight, but managed to hold out long enough for the Valley Forge and other vessels to arrive. These vessels were also given the same adjustments, forcing the Azedi to - NPC@annpc#557 - retreat. Two Starfleet ships were still lost and the Gainsborough suffered casualties, including Cadet Tierno who was also rescued by the Junayd and became the template for the Observer." Mischa@crystyl:"Sounds like they essentially recruited me now then" NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria: "It looks that way, but that's where things go badly for you. When the first Observer was terminated after the Battle of DS13, you advocated for keeping her under Federation - NPC@annpc#557 - protection. Shortly afterwards, Starfleet found every Azedi world razed and soon discovered a Krenim vessel with advanced temporal technology doing so. The Azedi were completely wiped out and - NPC@annpc#557 - during the confrontation with the Krenim vessel, Starfleet found a match between its comms and the messages you'd been receiving. No doubt with the Survivors pulling some strings from - NPC@annpc#557 - their infiltrators within Starfleet, you were tried and convicted of conspiring with a temporal faction to commit genocide, using your sympathy towards the Observer and Junayd as well as the - NPC@annpc#557 - Gainsborough's survival as evidence. You're now locked away in a maximum security penal facility. They did recruit you briefly, but for the sole purpose of setting you up." Mischa@crystyl:"Sounds about right for them" NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria: "It gets worse from here. The Valley Forge went on the rimward journey as usual, and they were tailed by the Latenter. Except with you incarcerated, the Latenter was commanded by - NPC@annpc#557 - Goto Yuzuki. Everything on that journey happened identically, except the Valley Forge was lost during the final battle. I don't have any evidence to prove it, but seeing how everything else is - NPC@annpc#557 - the same as the Horde conflict we know, I suspect Yuzuki did something to cause that. Without the Valley Forge and with the Latenter in enemy hands, it seems like there was very little - NPC@annpc#557 - action against the infiltrators. Their plans on the rim are a success and the resettlement of Horde space is in shambles. Sisko has disappeared back into the wormhole and hasn't been heard - NPC@annpc#557 - from in months. The Justicar is reportedly destroyed and its connection to the Shadow Guard exposed. Relations between the Federation and Romulan Republic are breaking down. Nikki's - NPC@annpc#557 - Empress here too and the Federation is getting closer to the Star Empire as it drifts away from the Republic." Mischa@crystyl:"This is indeed quite the pickle we've found ourselves this time, isn't it" NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria: "Daurant and Mattis have an idea on how to set the timeline right again. Or at least where to begin." Mischa@crystyl:"I assume at the Gainsborough?" NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria nods, "We need to make sure you aren't contacted by the infiltrators to receive the anti-Azedi defenses. Which...means ensuring the Gainsborough's destruction." NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria: "Not pleasant, I know, but as we've seen, it needs to happen for our timeline to be restored." Mischa@crystyl:"I am not precious about sacrificing conveniences of an unknown reality in order to restore our timeline, you need not worry" NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria nods, "I thought if anyone can see the bigger picture here, it's you. We're working on a specific operation plan now, but in any case, we're going to need to be near the Gainsborough - NPC@annpc#557 - and then perform a slingshot maneuver to the right point in time. I suggest getting us underway at transwarp first, then we can call a meeting to discuss how to proceed." Mischa@crystyl:"Sounds like a plan to me, proceed" NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria stands, "I'll get us moving, then." --- NPC@annpc#557 | A while later, the Latenter's senior crew gathers in the conference room NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria: "We all know what's been going on here, so I assume the current situation needs no introduction. The question now is how to resolve it." NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria: "We've come up with a potential plan of action. Acey." NPC@annpc#557 | Acey flickers into the room NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "There are two ways we may approach this. Firstly, we could shadow the Gainsborough and attempt to intercept their communications. However, the Survivors will know that they failed to - NPC@annpc#557 - contact you. Even if we manage to trace their communications to its source, the Latenter lacks the firepower for a direct confrontation with a Survivor vessel, even after our upgrades. And we - NPC@annpc#557 - cannot call upon any allies without risking yet another temporal alteration." Mischa@crystyl:"Or I receive their communication in place of my younger self" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey nods, "Precisely. Among Starfleet Command, it will not be difficult to take and replace your younger self. We are also able to take countermeasures to ensure no timeline disruptions - NPC@annpc#557 - occur. You have memories of that period of time. We may extract these memories from you and implant them in your younger self. As the memories /are/ your own and not a fictional creation, - NPC@annpc#557 - she, you, will not know the difference." Mischa@crystyl:"Makes sense. Do we have an estimate of how far back we will need to go?" NPC@annpc#557 | Daurant: "We don't know the exact time of the contact, but we have a timeframe. We go in, replace you while you're asleep, and you stay until the infiltrators contact you." Mischa@crystyl:"And how far back is this insertion point, using the Gainsborough loss as a common frame of reference?" NPC@annpc#557 | Daurant: "Two weeks beforehand. We don't know the exact date of contact with the infiltrators due to the damage suffered by the Gainsborough in the battle, but records suggest it occurred - NPC@annpc#557 - sometime during that week." Mischa@crystyl:"That's not too bad. So what is the plan here while I'm undercover as myself?" NPC@annpc#557 | Hassan: "Undercover as yourself. Must be what the Observer's mission felt like..." Mischa@crystyl smiles, "Quite possibly" Mischa@crystyl | Ori: "At least the Commander has the benefit of knowing herself!" NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria chuckles, "Yes, that should make his mission a little easier." NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "I believe the most prudent course of action would be to play along so the infiltrators do not suspect anything has gone wrong, and then subsequently delete the data for the - NPC@annpc#557 - adjustments they present. They will likely be monitoring the engagement, but by the time they realize the defenses are not being implemented, it will be too late for them to do anything. It - NPC@annpc#557 - may still be necessary to engage the Survivor vessel to prevent them from going back and attempting different alterations to the timeline, but it may be possible to do so in the present." NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria: "We'll have to deal with that when it comes. After all, we can't say exactly how they'll react to us foiling their plans." Mischa@crystyl:"Perhaps they already have and what we are seeing now is the result" NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria: "It's possible. All this temporal stuff is...difficult to wrap my head around. But let's just fix the change now, and figure out what to do about the ship if we have to face it. - NPC@annpc#557 - Hopefully it won't be a direct confrontation." Mischa@crystyl:"Agreed. But I would have some contingency in place for you all to act against them whilst I am undercover. We may find an opportunity for someone to infiltrate their ship and remove their - Mischa@crystyl:- capacity to make further attempts" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey nods, "We shall work on plans to do so and execute them should the opportunity present itself." Mischa@crystyl:"What about the slingshot, are we sufficiently prepared for exacting maneuvers?" NPC@annpc#557 | T'Bee nods, "Affirmative. Nethaydgea and I have actually been refining the process, in anticipation of requiring to do so due to the nature of dealing with temporal opponents. The calculation - NPC@annpc#557 - abilities between myself, T'Fel and Acey should prove sufficient for performing this maneuver with minimal room for error. We should reach our destination within a .5 stardate margin." Mischa@crystyl smiles, "Quite the optimistic prediction. I will hold you all to that" --- NPC@annpc#557 | As the Latenter quickly travels across the quadrant at transwarp to return to the time and location just before the Gainsborough's destruction, Mischa's doorbell chimes Mischa@crystyl looks up from her console, "Come in" NPC@annpc#557 | The door doesn't open, as Acey's hologram simply materializes in front of it NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "Commander. I have a proposal, but it's a risky one." Mischa@crystyl:"We aren't exactly playing safe right now. What have you got?" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey steps up to the desk, "You wished for a way to deal with the Survivor vessel currently enacting these timeline changes. We have concluded that the Latenter is no match for such a starship - NPC@annpc#557 - in direct combat, and we cannot draw upon any allies. With the Observer's assistance, it may be possible to enlist the Junayd, but there is a 100% chance such an action will lead to another - NPC@annpc#557 - alteration in the timeline." Mischa@crystyl:"Indeed" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey takes a seat, "There remains one other option." Mischa@crystyl:"Go on" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "Ever since encountering the first Survivor virus, I have spent the majority of my spare processing capacity into analyzing their code. As evidenced by later encounters, this devoted - NPC@annpc#557 - runtime has allowed me to counter their cyberwarfare with increasing effectiveness. During the attempt on the president's life, I was caught unaware by the deployment of an enemy AI. However, - NPC@annpc#557 - previous attempts at cyberwarfare did not involve usage of sentient synthetic lifeforms. Advanced code, yes, but bearing no consciousness. This deployment suggests what I am suspecting- the - NPC@annpc#557 - regular code of our enemy is no longer sufficient against my capabilities. They require something capable of adapting as I am." NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "I do not believe such a synthetic construct is present on every Survivor vessel. The intel from the Justicar's rescue of Admiral Tuvok suggests the vessel functions with a non-sentient - NPC@annpc#557 - computer system, as it could not adapt to the strategies utilized during that mission. The raider vessel studied by the Valley Forge shortly before its disappearance also shows no - NPC@annpc#557 - consciousness. Despite the use of Nuhar technology, Survivor vessels seem more akin to Starfleet vessels today, simply far more advanced. And not every Starfleet ship possesses synthetic - NPC@annpc#557 - crew." NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "In short, I calculate an 81.57% chance of successfully infecting and infiltrating a Survivor vessel, provided there is no AI on board. The probability that there are synthetics among - NPC@annpc#557 - its crew is only 9.76%, extrapolating from the current percentage of Starfleet vessels with synthetic crew, adjusted for several centuries of change." NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "My proposal is for you to bring me along, so I may attempt to infiltrate the enemy vessel when it contacts you concerning the anti-Azedi upgrades." Mischa@crystyl:"I see. How would you get there?" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "The Latenter will intercept a regular comms burst from the station and rebroadcast the update from Starfleet Command and Intelligence to the Gainsborough. The original data will be - NPC@annpc#557 - retained, so the Gainsborough will still receive the same reports, communications and other information, leading to no change in the timeline. However, I will piggyback off this transmission - NPC@annpc#557 - into the Gainsborough's systems. I am a conscious virus. This is what I was designed for. There is one element of risk in this part of the plan, though." Mischa@crystyl:"And that is?" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "The Gainsborough has an AI expert on board. I believe you are familiar with her. Mana-Arshai Dos Sndoi'Ihaie'Vaie Nos Indoi-Ihai. I may need your assistance in distracting her, should - NPC@annpc#557 - she come close to discovering my presence." Mischa@crystyl:"Of course. It is she who helps the Gainsborough computer gain sentience with help from one of her drones" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "Once I am in the Gainsborough's systems, I can then utilize the comm between the Gainsborough and the Survivor vessel when they contact you. I will slowly infiltrate their systems. If - NPC@annpc#557 - the operation is successful, I may be able to systematically eliminate the crew and allow us to capture the vessel intact. If that is not achievable, I will reveal their location to the - NPC@annpc#557 - Latenter and conduct any sabotage I am able to even the odds in a confrontation." Mischa@crystyl:"I believe attempting to seize the vessel may be a tad optimistic, but not impossible if say, you were able to get into their environmental systems and nullify the entire compliment at once. Failing - Mischa@crystyl:- that, it could present an ideal opportunity to learn more of their origins. But just how far does this risk go; will you send a copy of yourself or is it the one and only you all of the way?" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "Creating a copy will take time, and there is a risk that the copy may not think identically to me, even with the same code. Just as a clone may be genetically and neurologically - NPC@annpc#557 - identical, yet develop different personalities and outlooks. It will be better to do this myself." Mischa@crystyl:"Of course. Well, you've come on missions before. But never completely separated yourself from the Dart. How do you feel about the prospect of that?" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "I began my experience outside the Dart. While existence within the Dart has been quite comfortable, I am also looking forward to, stretching your legs, as you bipedal biologicals would - NPC@annpc#557 - call it. Perhaps you could compare it to someone raised on a starship travelling to a planet." Mischa@crystyl:"Well yes, but I was thinking more about the notion of putting yourself in that vulnerable position. Travelling to a planet is one thing, but most bipedals would think twice before stretching their - Mischa@crystyl:- legs infiltrating an advanced enemy starship" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey nods, "Yes, it is a rather dangerous operation, and I would prefer to test the full extent of my capabilities on a simpler target. I suppose I will be gaining some practical experience - NPC@annpc#557 - first on the Gainsborough, though I will primarily be infiltrating simply to hide myself within the ship computers rather than attempting to take control of any systems." Mischa@crystyl:"I suppose it still qualifies as a relatively safe trial. Did you have any specifics in mind for keeping Mana from catching on to your presence?" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "I will conceal myself within the computer databanks and transfer myself throughout the system to avoid detection. Anyone who notices a trace of my presence will likely believe it to be - NPC@annpc#557 - little more than a minor glitch. By the time they investigate, I will be long gone. It is more likely that engineering crew will investigate such small occurrences, and there should be minimal - NPC@annpc#557 - danger of detection. Should Mana take an interest, I would recommend dissuading her from investigating further by assuring her that other personnel are already looking into the issues. Perhaps - NPC@annpc#557 - hint at a wider issue leading back to the latest LCARS iteration, so there is some plausible explanation to content her." Mischa@crystyl:"Alright. Well, given the personal risk to you I will not make this an order. But if you are confident and willing, then I will sanction it" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey nods, "Thank you, Commander. I believe it is our best option against the Survivors. Preventing their alteration here will not be of much use if they simply make another." Mischa@crystyl:"Exactly. And if we can turn this around as you suggest by taking their ship. That could well be a decisive turning point for us" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "My thoughts precisely. Even if that is not achievable, the destruction of another enemy vessel would still be a victory. As we have theorized, it is likely that the Survivors have - NPC@annpc#557 - limited resources." Mischa@crystyl:"Well then, it seems like we have our contingency plan" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "I will utilize the remaining time to run simulations on the Gainsborough. It is difficult to predict what precisely to expect from the Survivor vessel, and I have already prepared as - NPC@annpc#557 - much as possible. It is better to perfect the first stage of the operation." Mischa@crystyl:"If I can provide any assistance, please let me know" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "I believe all the relevant files should be present within our database, but if I require any additional insight, I shall ask you." --- NPC@annpc#557 | Later, Mischa is on the bridge of the Latenter as they begin to near their destination NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria: "Not that we need any more reason to restore the timeline, but there's just been a development in this one. Thought you might still be interested." Mischa@crystyl:"Of course. What have you got?" NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria: "There has been an assassination attempt on the President here as well. However, it occurred on Rator III here rather than Laurentian Colony. Our Qowat Milat friend, Serenity, was one - NPC@annpc#557 - of those involved in foiling it. The Romulan Republic, or rather, the Shadow Guard, have been blamed for the attack. The Republic is denying any involvement with the Shadow Guard and - NPC@annpc#557 - disavowing them as a rogue organization, but the Federation is already withdrawing all diplomatic representatives from Republic worlds." Mischa@crystyl:"Just another reason why we must succeed then" NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria nods, "The Shadow Guard presumably still ousted the infiltrators within the Republic in this timeline. Maybe one of the few pockets of resistance against them. And now the Survivors - NPC@annpc#557 - are turning the whole galaxy against them." Mischa@crystyl:"It would seem so" NPC@annpc#557 | Nethay: "We're approaching the target star. Dropping to regular warp now." Mischa@crystyl:"Are all the preparations in hand to make the slingshot?" NPC@annpc#557 | T'Bee nods, "All the calculations are ready, Commander. The system of choice is uninhabited with no points of interest. Sensors are showing no vessels in the vicinity and records also indicate - NPC@annpc#557 - no activity during the time we will be travelling to." Mischa@crystyl:"Perfect, then let's get into position and make ready" NPC@annpc#557 | Nethay nods, "Aye Commander." NPC@annpc#557 | The Latenter drops out of warp with a yellow star looming ahead of them NPC@annpc#557 | A few minutes pass, and the Latenter settles into position around the star NPC@annpc#557 | T'Bee: "We are prepared to execute the maneuver on your mark." Mischa@crystyl:"Alright then, take us out" NPC@annpc#557 | Nethay nods and the Latenter begins its maneuver around the star, going faster and faster before finally slingshotting away... NPC@annpc#557 | As things start to settle after the maneuver, Daurant taps away at his console, "Latenter is still in good condition. No damage from the maneuver. Current Stardate looks to be...93669.8. Well - NPC@annpc#557 - within the .5 margin of 93670 we were aiming for." Mischa@crystyl:"Impressive job people" NPC@annpc#557 | T'Bee: "Thank you." NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria: "Now to find the Gainsborough and replace you with...yourself." Mischa@crystyl:"One infiltration op I never envisaged..." NPC@annpc#557 | Nethay: "Plotting a course to the Gainsborough's position now." Mischa@crystyl:"How long until intercept?" NPC@annpc#557 | Nethay: "Estimated time is about three hours and thirty minutes. We'll have to make the final approach at regular warp speeds so we can be under cloak." Mischa@crystyl:"Fair enough. Best remain at high alert around the clock now though. No telling where or when these infiltrators will appear" NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria nods, "We'll be alert, Commander. Sickbay is ready to copy your memory for implantation into the other you. We'll keep watch up here." Mischa@crystyl nods and stands, "Call me if anything changes" and with that heads out --- NPC@annpc#557 | Down in sickbay, Buena is waiting for Mischa, tapping away at one of the medical beds Mischa@crystyl steps over, "Ready to mess with some memories?" NPC@annpc#557 | Buena: "Don't worry, Commander. We won't mess with anything. We're just making a copy to imprint on the younger you. It does make me wonder, though..." Mischa@crystyl:"If I've already been on the receiving end of this imprint?" NPC@annpc#557 | Buena nods, "Exactly. Maybe we've done this before, and your memory now is imprinted by another future you. In which case these memories don't actually exist, and are sustained purely by a - NPC@annpc#557 - temporal causality loop. Boggles the mind, doesn't it?" Mischa@crystyl:"Exactly why I try not to think about it" she smiles NPC@annpc#557 | Buena chuckles, "Good advice. Just lie down on the bed, here." Mischa@crystyl hops up onto the bed and lays down NPC@annpc#557 | Buena steps over, placing a helmet-like device on Mischa's head, then applying a hypo to her neck NPC@annpc#557 | Buena: "Try to think back to this time. It'll help me locate the right memory segments." Mischa@crystyl closes her eyes and focuses NPC@annpc#557 | Mischa begins to hear a mechanical droning noise emanating from the helmet. She suddenly feels drowsy, and combined with the noise, quickly drifts off into a sleep, waking after an unknown - NPC@annpc#557 - amount of time Mischa@crystyl 's eyes flicker open and she sits up NPC@annpc#557 | Mischa sees Buena working away in the medical office Mischa@crystyl:"How long was I out?" she asks, hopping off the bed NPC@annpc#557 | Buena: "Only a little over half an hour. The memory extraction was a success. Now we're just waiting to get to the Gainsborough." Mischa@crystyl:"I don't suppose you saw any indicators to sate your curiosity" NPC@annpc#557 | Buena: "No, but I suppose that might just mean I do a good job imprinting them onto you," she smirks Mischa@crystyl smiles, "If anyone could do such a seamless job as to full you, I expect it would be you" NPC@annpc#557 | Buena smiles back, "Thanks for your confidence, Commander. And don't worry, I won't tell anyone about anything I saw in there. Doctor-patient confidentiality." Mischa@crystyl:"Good, then I won't have to kill you" she smiles again --- NPC@annpc#557 | Three hours later, Mischa is back on the bridge as they begin to approach the Gainsborough under cloak... NPC@annpc#557 | Nethay: "We've entered transporter range." NPC@annpc#557 | On the viewscreen, the familiar shape of the Gainsborough begins to come into view... Mischa@crystyl smiles at the sight, "It's been a while" NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria: "You'll get to visit her a lot more close up soon, Commander. Do we have a fix on the current version of you?" Mischa@crystyl:"It may be difficult to single her out over there. We can however pinpoint my quarters and beam me over there. Once she returns, I can send her back" NPC@annpc#557 | T'Bee nods, "I've located your quarters. It appears to currently be unoccupied." Mischa@crystyl stands, "Then it is time to get underway" --- NPC@annpc#557 | Mischa beams into her old quarters on the Gainsborough... Mischa@crystyl looks around, smiling at the familiarity and exploring the lost surroundings and her possessions NPC@annpc#557 | The quarters are exactly as she remembers it. As she explores around, her combadge chimes Mischa@crystyl wedges the famous purple dragon stuffed toy under her arm and taps, "Leveson-Scott" NPC@annpc#557 <C - T'Bee> "Sensors detect a human lifesign headed towards your position. It is likely your present counterpart." Mischa@crystyl:"Thanks T'Bee. Stand by to receive her" Mischa@crystyl heads into the bedroom NPC@annpc#557 <C - T'Bee> "Standing by." NPC@annpc#557 | A moment after Mischa enters the bedroom, the younger Mischa steps through the door in her exercise attire, having just returned from her morning jog Mischa@crystyl peers out of the door and smile, "I really did look good in that getup didn't I" NPC@annpc#557 | Younger Mischa jumps at the sudden voice and turns with a surprised look to see someone who looks just like her Mischa@crystyl:"I must apologize for the disruption, but I'm afraid I need to borrow our life here for a while" NPC@annpc#557 | Younger Mischa: "What do you mean? Who /are/ you?" Mischa@crystyl sighs, stepping into the room, "I can not blame you for being skeptical" she taps a device on her belt, isolating the room, then closing her eyes briefly. A moment later the ethereal dragon wings - Mischa@crystyl:- sprout and unfurl from her back NPC@annpc#557 | Younger Mischa taps her combadge a moment too late, the signal blocked as Mischa isolates the room. She tries to turn and get away... Mischa@crystyl:"Oh come now, are you really going to run away from yourself? Look at me, who else but us carries our ethereal partner on her back?" NPC@annpc#557 | Younger Mischa pauses, narrowing her eyes, "So you /are/ me. Not a clone or a changeling. Unless this is all a mental illusion..." Mischa@crystyl:"No illusions here I'm afraid" the wings curl back in, "Just some run of the mill temporal mess that we need to take care of. Don't worry, I won't be staying long, and you'll be in good hands for - Mischa@crystyl:- interim" NPC@annpc#557 | Younger Mischa: "You're me from the future, then?" Mischa@crystyl:"Exactly, that much is apparent. But I'm sure you know better than to dig for details" NPC@annpc#557 | Younger Mischa nods, "What's your plan for me while you take over? Surely you don't expect me to just hide in the bedroom while you solve...whatever this is. I can help." Mischa@crystyl:"Unfortunately not this time. Trust me, as much as I would relish the odds with two of me on a case, it just won't fit the logistics. So as for what we are going to do, that would be this-" she taps- Mischa@crystyl:- her combadge, "- Energize" NPC@annpc#557 | Younger Mischa opens her mouth to speak again, but doesn't get the chance as she's beamed away by the Latenter Mischa@crystyl sighs, "I do hope I can forgive myself for that. Well, time to get to work" --- Keliaya@anncaris | After beaming her younger counterpart to the Latenter and settling in, Mischa steps into the lift on her way to the bridge for her duty shift... Keliaya@anncaris | The lift ascends for a few levels, then stops. It opens to another deck rather than the bridge, where Kelly steps in Keliaya@anncaris:"Morning Commander." Mischa@crystyl:"Good morning Kelly, heading for a shift on the bridge?" Keliaya@anncaris nods, "Taking the morning shift today. Had an arrangement with Ensign Alves last night," she smirks. "You humans don't adjust to switching up your shift routines as well, so I catered to his - Keliaya@anncaris - schedule." Mischa@crystyl:"Yes, for all the will we lack your... stamina" she smiles Keliaya@anncaris smiles back, "Hey, you do pretty well yourself. Must be that daily exercise you do paying off." Mischa@crystyl:"It certainly has its rewards" Keliaya@anncaris grins, "You're welcome to stop by my quarters again anytime if you want to show up other humans on how it's done." Mischa@crystyl:"I will keep that in mind as always" Keliaya@anncaris | The door slides open to the familiar sight of the Gainsborough bridge as they arrive Keliaya@anncaris steps out onto the bridge, "So, is it the dungeon for you today, or will you be watching over us from the chair?" Mischa@crystyl:"I'll be down in the dungeon the for the being" Keliaya@anncaris nods and smiles, "Don't have too much fun without me, Commander." Mischa@crystyl:"I could never!" she smiles, heading down to the dungeon Keliaya@anncaris meanwhile heads off to the engineering station on the main bridge Keliaya@anncaris | Mischa steps into the privacy of her old intel dungeon, exactly as she remembers it Mischa@crystyl goes about her duties, falling back into the familiar old routine easily Keliaya@anncaris | The shift goes by as Mischa works away in her old routine. A few hours into her work, she sees a message from Acey... Mischa@crystyl discretely checks the message Keliaya@anncaris | The message simply reads, "Access acquired." A few seconds after Mischa opens it, the message closes and seems to disappear, deleting itself Mischa@crystyl smiles at the efficiency Keliaya@anncaris | The rest of her shift passes without incident, and soon she can hear activity from the bridge above indicating a change of shift Mischa@crystyl as usual, finishes up at her own pace before eventually heading out Keliaya@anncaris | Mischa steps up to the main bridge to find that the entire shift has already turned over with the exception of Kelly, who was explaining something to her relief. She catches up to Mischa just - Keliaya@anncaris - as she arrives Keliaya@anncaris:"Working hard as usual, I see." Mischa@crystyl smiles, "If I didn't know better, I'd swear you were hanging around to make sure I actually end my shift" Keliaya@anncaris smiles back and enters the lift with Mischa, "Someone needs to keep an eye on you to make sure you don't overwork yourself." Mischa@crystyl:"Impossible when one enjoys her work so much" Keliaya@anncaris:"Fair enough. But don't forget to enjoy other things once in a while, too. Going to grab something to eat, or back to quarters?" Mischa@crystyl:"I thought I might go for a ride actually, so a quick bite before getting changed would be good" Keliaya@anncaris smiles, "Deck 10, then." Keliaya@anncaris | The lift begins to descend Keliaya@anncaris:"Anything interesting on your shift today?" Mischa@crystyl:"No it was all quite routine" Keliaya@anncaris:"Mostly routine here, too. There was an issue with a bug that the computer specialists couldn't track down, but it doesn't seem to be anything major. Probably one of those glitches that needs an - Keliaya@anncaris:- oddly specific combination of variables to occur. The specialists weren't able to reproduce it but they're pretty sure it's not going to be a problem." Mischa@crystyl:"These things do tend to occur on occasion. Still, thank you for bringing it to my attention. I can touch base elsewhere and see anyone else has found any similar bugs" Keliaya@anncaris nods, "Hopefully it's nothing more than a minor error, but it's always good to be on top of things just in case." Keliaya@anncaris | The door opens onto deck 10 Keliaya@anncaris:"Back when I was working on K7, we had an obscure minor glitch that caused a major issue for us once." Mischa@crystyl:"Sounds like a story" Keliaya@anncaris smiles, "I can tell you about it over some food, if you like. About time for a meal myself, too." Mischa@crystyl:"Perfect!" --- Mana@anncaris | It has been two days since arriving on the Gainsborough. Mischa is back in her quarters after another uneventful day Mana@anncaris | However, the quiet is interrupted by the doorbell chiming... Mischa@crystyl opens the door and smiles, "Hello Mana" Mana@anncaris:"Hello Commander. Mana has something Mischa may be interested in." Mischa@crystyl:"Sounds intriguing! Please come in and tell me about it" she steps aside, "Ice?" she offers while Mana takes a seat Mana@anncaris steps in, "Yes, ice would be very nice!" Mischa@crystyl joins her with a bowl of ice cubes and retrieves her own cup of tea as she sits, "So what is this about?" Mana@anncaris takes the bowl, popping an ice cube into her mouth, "Lieutenant Keliaya said Mischa was informed of a minor bug that the Starfleet computer specialists discovered, yes?" Mischa@crystyl:"Yes, she mentioned it to me" Mana@anncaris:"The specialists have discovered some more glitches and Lieutenant Jiao asked for Mana to have a look. No one knows how to reproduce any of the bugs though, and Mana has been unable to find any - Mana@anncaris:- issue in the systems and programs where the glitches were supposedly seen." Mischa@crystyl:"Are the glitches causing problems now?" Mana@anncaris:"No, the reported glitches have no impact at all on ship operations. Like...seeing sensor ghosts. That would be an appropriate analogy, yes? The lack of explanation is the concerning part, not any - Mana@anncaris:- trouble caused by the occurrence." Mischa@crystyl:"Well that is something at least. Such things are not uncommon on starfleet vessels, but as long as they remain insignificant then all we need to worry about for now is cataloging occurrences to be- Mischa@crystyl:- reported back during the next overhaul" Mana@anncaris:"Mischa does not think there is anything to be concerned of, then?" Mischa@crystyl smiles, "Not at all. Well, obviously we would like the Gainsborough to be perfect. But with the way our systems are evolved and patched over time, such things are inevitable" Mana@anncaris nods, "Mana supposes so. Starfleet computer systems are developed by many different programmers and not as orderly as the Overseer's network." Mischa@crystyl:"Exactly. And we tend not to leave them alone, and regularly deploy minor updates to them. Depending how systems have been fine tuned from one ship to another these can often lead to the sort of - Mischa@crystyl:-glitches we're seeing here" Mana@anncaris:"So these are likely glitches resulting from updates meant to repair other glitches due to less coordinated programming by different organic specialists?" Mischa@crystyl:"That is the most likely, yes. In fact it is the seemingly random nature of these glitches which indicates this" Mana@anncaris:"Because the glitches are too chaotic to be the result of any one focused error, or a directed cyber-attack?" Mischa@crystyl:"And because they are almost impossible to reproduce. This is a typical symptom of such occurrences" Mana@anncaris:"Really? Why are these glitches so difficult to reproduce? Because the chaos makes the specific parameters of the error difficult to understand?" Mischa@crystyl:"Yes exactly. Quite often, the specific parameters are actually in completely unrelated systems" Mana@anncaris nods, "Mana understands why that would be problematic. Mana will not spend time attempting to track down these glitches unless ship operations become affected." Mischa@crystyl:"That would be the best, I am sure there are far more fruitful ways to spend your time" she smiles. "That said, it is still important that we track and map these bugs so feel free to keep logging - Mischa@crystyl:- reported instances. Should it become a point of concern, that may help troubleshoot it at the time. But if nothing else, it will allow us to provide the LCARS programmers a good bit of feedback - Mischa@crystyl:- for the next round of upgrades" Mana@anncaris: "Mana will do so, and keep Mischa informed if more serious glitches arise." Mischa@crystyl:"Thank you Mana, I don't know what we'd do without you here sometimes" she smiles Mana@anncaris:"The Gainsborough has operated well before rescuing Mana, Mana is sure the Gainsborough will be able to manage without Mana's presence. But Mana will try to assist as much as Mana is able!" Mischa@crystyl:"I know you will, and I appreciate your every effort" --- Keliaya@anncaris | The next day, Mischa arrives on the bridge for her duty shift. Once again, the door opens to the familiar Gainsborough bridge. This time, Kelly is on the bridge, standing from her seat and - Keliaya@anncaris - making her way towards the lift as Mischa exits Keliaya@anncaris:"Morning Commander. Back on the night shift today," she smiles Mischa@crystyl smiles, "And you say I'm the one you need to watch for overworking" Keliaya@anncaris:"Well, I don't have to sleep as much as you do. And I spend plenty of time relaxing too, as you know." Mischa@crystyl:"True enough. Anything interesting to report?" Keliaya@anncaris shakes her head, "Mana said she couldn't find any sign of the glitches and talked to you about it. No new developments there so far, probably just something brought in by the latest LCARS update." Mischa@crystyl:"As I explained to her, yes" Keliaya@anncaris:"Let's hope the next patch fixes most of these issues. Other than that, nothing else of note." Mischa@crystyl:"Alright thank you. Well enjoy a little downtime then" Keliaya@anncaris nods, "Enjoy your work, Commander." Keliaya@anncaris heads into the lift Mischa@crystyl waves and heads down to her dungeon Keliaya@anncaris | An hour into her shift, Mischa is working away when she sees another message pop up from Acey Mischa@crystyl checks it, curious to see how she is doing given all the fuss over glitches Keliaya@anncaris | Acey's message states: "Another presence is in the computers. Beginning infiltration. Expect contact soon." Mischa@crystyl clears the message, assuming it doesn't self destruct like last time Keliaya@anncaris | It does indeed self-destruct just before Mischa has a chance to clear it! A few minutes later, her console pops up with a transmission bearing the proper encryption for SFI Mischa@crystyl transfers to a secure console to view the message Keliaya@anncaris | The message plays, audio only with a mechanically garbled voice, "Mischa Leveson-Scott. Commander, Starfleet Intelligence, on attachment to USS Gainsborough as Intelligence and First Officer. - Keliaya@anncaris - Starfleet service number XX-752-9925 JEK. Do not attempt to track the source of this message. You will find none. I represent Starfleet, but not Starfleet as you know it. We come from far into - Keliaya@anncaris - the future and have come to protect our collective best interests. You may respond directly to the console. We are listening." Mischa@crystyl of course, still attempts to track the elusive source regardless of what they say, "If you represent Starfleet then you should know better than to attempt such subversive means of contact as this - Mischa@crystyl:- only raises suspicions" Keliaya@anncaris | Voice: "We are unable to work with the Starfleet of this time through official channels. It would impede our objectives more than aid them. I understand you have little reason to trust us. We - Keliaya@anncaris - do not expect you to. Not yet." Keliaya@anncaris | Mischa finds that the message is coming from within the Gainsborough's own systems, being synthesized by its computer, which is being given commands by some external source. She is unable to - Keliaya@anncaris - track down where the signal hacking the ship is coming from, but the modern Mischa does recognize elements in the code comparable to what the Survivors use Mischa@crystyl:"Then you undoubtedly have an airtight plan to earn my trust. Given that you're reaching out to me personally suggests you know of me too, so this should be entertaining at least" Keliaya@anncaris | Voice: "In twelve days, the USS Gainsborough will come under attack by a species currently unknown to you. Along with two other Starfleet vessels, the Gainsborough will be destroyed. We are - Keliaya@anncaris - uploading data that will allow your shields to resist their weaponry and your computer systems to counter their cyberattacks. They can be applied rapidly. When the time comes, you will see - Keliaya@anncaris - that we have your interests in mind." Mischa@crystyl:"Good. Because if you think vague talk of new threat about cyberattacks whilst you yourselves are making such an attack on this ship quantifies as gaining trust then you have seriously misread my - Mischa@crystyl:- personnel file" Keliaya@anncaris | Voice: "As I have said, I do not expect you to trust me. In twelve days, you may decide to do with the information as you see fit." Mischa@crystyl:"For all I know you belong to this supposed new species and this information you've provided will nullify our systems. You are going to have to do a lot better than that if you expect me to take you- Mischa@crystyl:- seriously" Keliaya@anncaris | Voice: "You do not have to apply the modifications now. We have programmed it so you are able to adjust your defenses in the midst of the crisis. You may analyze the information yourself once - Keliaya@anncaris - you have encountered this group. The initial attacks will cause significant damage, but you will still have time to apply the changes and save your ship, along with a significant portion of - Keliaya@anncaris - the crew. And if you decide that I am indeed in league with these aliens, then the information should prove useful in other ways. It would be unlike you to turn down information, would it not?" Mischa@crystyl:"If you know me half as well as you imply, then you know nothing about this conversation will incline me to follow your guidance and if anything go out of my way to do the opposite. Why don't we - Mischa@crystyl:- make this a face to face discussion so you can prove your sincerity?" Keliaya@anncaris | Voice: "Very well. We will contact you again after the attack on the Gainsborough to arrange a more personal meeting. Regardless of whether your ship survives, you will see that we do seek to - Keliaya@anncaris - aid you and that we are truly from the future." Mischa@crystyl:"If you are capable of that then why not before the attack?" Keliaya@anncaris | Voice: "You will see we are sincere once you have witnessed the attack. Until then, Commander." Mischa@crystyl scowls at the stubborn defiance, retrieving the offered data to a PADD for further study Keliaya@anncaris | With a little examination, Mischa's future knowledge allows her to identify that the data does indeed provide defenses against Azedi weaponry and hacking. The shield modification is actually - Keliaya@anncaris - more advanced than what Starfleet developed against the Azedi, being a combination of the Azedi defenses and a variation on the modification the VF helped develop for the Forli, which will not - Keliaya@anncaris - only block but deflect the Azedi weaponry. If the Azedi were still a problem in the future, this would've come in useful. Still, it might be a little insight into Survivor tech Mischa@crystyl keeps it locked away safely on her PADD for later review with Acey and returns to her duties Keliaya@anncaris | The rest of the shift passes without incident, and soon the shift change happens above her on the bridge again --- Keliaya@anncaris | Back in her quarters, Mischa rests for the night, but is woken early in the morning as her combadge chirps Mischa@crystyl groans slightly and fumbles for the combadge, tapping it as her hand finds it beside her, "Yes..." Keliaya@anncaris <C - Victoria> "Commander. Acey has made contact from the Survivor vessel." Mischa@crystyl sits up a bit more, "Any details to be mindful of yet?" Keliaya@anncaris <C - Victoria> "She is having some success on the vessel but is unable to gain complete control. Some of the crew has been eliminated, but the remainder are putting up a resistance and she is - Keliaya@anncaris - requesting assistance from the Latenter. Are you ready for extraction? We have the younger you prepared to transport back over." Mischa@crystyl:"It sounds like our hand is being forced now into a confrontation with the Survivor ship. If they realize they are under siege then it is make or break for us now. Alright yes, bring me back and - Mischa@crystyl:- let's do this" Keliaya@anncaris <C - Victoria> "Should we transport the other you back first for you to position, or?" Mischa@crystyl:"That would be for the best, yes please" Keliaya@anncaris <C - Victoria> "Energizing now." Keliaya@anncaris | The younger Mischa, still dressed in her exercise clothes, materializes on the bed beside her Mischa@crystyl takes a moment to get her set, "Alright, we're good to go" Keliaya@anncaris <C - Victoria> "Beaming you back, Commander." Keliaya@anncaris | Modern Mischa disappears in a transporter beam... --- NPC@annpc#557 | Mischa returns to the main bridge of the Latenter, where the bridge crew are already working away at their stations Mischa@crystyl walks in, still in her old uniform, "What's the situation?" NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria: "I've taken the liberty of getting us underway, Commander. Just in case the infiltrators gain the upper hand and Acey needs help." She adds with a smile, "Haven't seen you in that - NPC@annpc#557 - look for a long time." Mischa@crystyl glances down and chuckles, "Quite the throwback. What are they doing right now there?" NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria: "We don't know yet. Acey's message said she should be able to keep them stationary but they're trying to fight back. We're not in sensor range yet." Mischa@crystyl:"Fair enough. How long until intercept?" NPC@annpc#557 | Nethay: "Thirty minutes. Shouldn't be long until we're in sensor range." Mischa@crystyl:"Alright, that's 30 minutes to come up with a plan for every contingency" NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria nods, "We're on it, Commander." Mischa@crystyl:"So what are we thinking at present?" NPC@annpc#557 | T'Bee: "Acey will be attempting to debilitate the enemy vessel as much as possible. I suspect we will have at least some openings to exploit." Mischa@crystyl:"It would still be preferable to avoid a head on clash with them I expect. At this point, our best option might be to board and seize the ship" NPC@annpc#557 | Hassan: "Agreed. I'll organize a boarding party. Will you be joining them, Commander?" Mischa@crystyl nods, "We know how formidable they can be if we give them a chance to get armoured up so we'll need to pull out all of the stops. A large force may be wasteful though so I will take an elite team - Mischa@crystyl:- of our best, should that eventuality come to pass" NPC@annpc#557 | Hassan nods, "I'll get Ori on it." NPC@annpc#557 | T'Bee: "Might be a good idea to bring Sabina too. Her augmentations make her one of the most formidable personal combatants on board." Mischa@crystyl:"That's why I said I'm taking our best; I meant all our strongest not just those in uniform" NPC@annpc#557 | Hassan: "Understood, Commander." NPC@annpc#557 | T'Fel: "We are still in possession of three chroniton torpedoes recovered from the battle at the Vault. If we are required to destroy the vessel, their own weaponry may be more effective than - NPC@annpc#557 - anything in our usual arsenal." Mischa@crystyl nods, "Have them primed and ready, but don't waste them too early should it come to shooting. If all else fails, we can have Acey attempt to locate their shield frequency before pulling out" NPC@annpc#557 | T'Fel nods, "I will be certain to make the torpedoes count." Mischa@crystyl:"Alright, I'm going to get geared up before we make our approach. Comm me if anything changes" NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria: "Will do, Commander." Mischa@crystyl heads off --- NPC@annpc#557 | Mischa returns about twenty minutes later, as the Latenter begins to approach the coordinates... Mischa@crystyl takes her seat, "What's the latest, any update from Acey?" NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria: "Not yet, but we do have sensor data on the enemy ship. It's uncloaked and stationary, and there's occasional power fluctuations and system failures. Probably means Acey's still - NPC@annpc#557 - active, though some of the failures might be the crew fighting back." Mischa@crystyl:"Well, that's a promising picture at least" NPC@annpc#557 | T'Bee: "Their shields and engines are currently offline. We are approaching visual range. Putting the vessel onscreen now." NPC@annpc#557 FX | https://i.imgur.com/tzjFCdf.jpg NPC@annpc#557 | Daurant: "That's certainly a Krenim design, like the reports in the timeline we came to prevent said Starfleet later encountered." Mischa@crystyl:"Makes sense I suppose. Could also explain us getting the upper hand, if these aren't the usual suspects" NPC@annpc#557 | Daurant: "It's still more advanced than our ships today, but from what I can tell, it's most likely a science ship. Not exactly built for combat." Mischa@crystyl:"Doesn't mean there isn't a combat one already en route to support however" NPC@annpc#557 | T'Fel: "It possesses less armaments than the Survivor warbirds and cruisers and is more comparable to the frigate involved in the Lleiset destruction. Like that encounter, it is possible that - NPC@annpc#557 - this vessel will call for support." NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria: "We've got contact with Acey." Mischa@crystyl:"So let's not allow ourselves to become complacent and proceed with haste" she looks around, "What's the latest?" NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria: "She's got full control of their comms. I can patch her through, if you like." Mischa@crystyl:"Please" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey's voice comes through, "Just in time, Latenter. I am running out of holoprojectors here to eliminate the crew with projections and they have engaged a manual override on the environmental - NPC@annpc#557 - controls. These repair drones are not intended for combat, though I have been forced to find some very creative uses for them." Mischa@crystyl:"You're doing great Acey, we'll be with you soon. Focus on restraining the crew for now if needed; lock them down. I'll be over shortly with a team to assist" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "There are only small pockets of resistance remaining. Their hull prevents transportation. I suggest bringing the team in my Dart. If necessary, I will be able to evacuate quickly." Mischa@crystyl:"We can do that. Can you override their shuttlebay for us then?" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "Affirmative, Commander. The vessel possesses only one shuttlebay. You will be able to locate it easily." Mischa@crystyl:"Perfect. Anything else you can tell us about the crew or the situation there?" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "They are primarily Krenim. They possess no natural physiological advantages, though some of the remaining crew are equipped with the Survivors' combat suits. Wiping and sabotaging their - NPC@annpc#557 - computer core was one of their first actions attempting to counter me, so I do not have access to full records. What roster information I have salvaged indicates that many of them are - NPC@annpc#557 - scientists. The vessel itself appears to be designed for the purposes of scanning and monitoring timelines." Mischa@crystyl:"Hopefully something remains salvageable on their computer core or this will all be for nothing..." NPC@annpc#557 | Daurant: "Not quite. The technology will be very useful, especially in completing our own timeline monitor here. Not to mention the insight into Survivor tech as a whole." NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria nods, "This'll be the most intact salvage yet." Mischa@crystyl:"True. Still, it would be nice to have gained that insight into them as well" NPC@annpc#557 | Hassan: "That it would. Team's ready to go. I'll head out with you for this one." Mischa@crystyl nods and stands, "Let's do it" --- NPC@annpc#557 | The strike team consisting of Mischa, Hassan, Ori and Sabina gathers in Acey's Dart in the shuttlebay NPC@annpc#557 | Sabina: "Time to fight more of those suits. This is going to be interesting..." Mischa@crystyl:"Acey has most of them locked down or removed from the equation. Our priority is to subdue any remaining crew and seize control before they can destroy the ship, or help arrives" NPC@annpc#557 | Sabina nods, "Got it. Well we don't have Acey to fly for us...who wants to pilot?" Mischa@crystyl | Ori takes the seat, "I'll do it" NPC@annpc#557 | Sabina: "All yours. I can fly, but I'm not trained to fly into battle. In case that ship starts shooting at us. Hopefully Acey's got things under control, though." NPC@annpc#557 | Ori receives the go-ahead to launch from the bridge, and the shuttlebay door opens... Mischa@crystyl | Ori: "I flew solo for a long time after the exodus, so I'm used to it!" NPC@annpc#557 | Sabina: "The exodus?" Mischa@crystyl explains while Ori works, "When Ori's creators were forced to flee their homeworld by an overbearing enemy. The same one in fact that this past Gainsborough is about to make first contact with" NPC@annpc#557 | The shuttle exits the bay, making its way towards the Krenim Survivor ship NPC@annpc#557 | Sabina: "Interesting. So that's what this is all about..." Mischa@crystyl | Ori smiles, "Yes, it is the destruction of this ship that will lead to my template's death and my creation!" Mischa@crystyl groans NPC@annpc#557 | Sabina: "You seem awfully casual about that." Mischa@crystyl | Ori, "Well it is my existence after all! Besides, she's fine now. She was only a little bit dead!" NPC@annpc#557 | Sabina: "A...little bit dead?" Mischa@crystyl:"She wasn't /technically/ dead. But on the verge of it from severe trauma. Ori, I'm sure you didn't get away with exaggerating like this when you were on the Valley Forge with her" Mischa@crystyl | Ori muses a moment and lowers her head, "No, you are right Commander. I apologize, I forget my wording sometimes" Mischa@crystyl looks to Sabina, "Another trait unique Ori over her Human template; an uncanny obliviousness to what comes out of her mouth at times" NPC@annpc#557 | Sabina smiles, "Personality quirks are something we augments are very much used to." Mischa@crystyl:"I think we all are after bringing her on board" Mischa@crystyl | Ori beams proudly NPC@annpc#557 | As the shuttle nears the Krenim ship, its shuttlebay doors open as Acey promised, allowing Ori to dock NPC@annpc#557 | Hassan checks his rifle as they arrive at their destination NPC@annpc#557 | Sabina glances over, "That's not Starfleet standard issue, is it?" NPC@annpc#557 | Hassan: "It's a Guardian heavy blaster. Based on Lupan mobile cannon tech, miniaturized to be usable by us more normally-sized species. Just about. This thing's heavy. The full Lupan version's - NPC@annpc#557 - practically a portable shuttle-mounted disruptor bank, but hopefully this is enough to punch through those suits of theirs." NPC@annpc#557 | Sabina: "That can't be legal in Federation space." NPC@annpc#557 | Hassan smirks, "The Federation's not regulated it yet. Besides, you're hardly one to judge." Mischa@crystyl:"Consider it a perk of our role" NPC@annpc#557 | Sabina chuckles, "Fair enough." Mischa@crystyl:"Anyway, we're not here to get bogged down in fights with suited up crew. Quick and dirty at every opportunity this time; incapacitate, lock away, whatever it takes" NPC@annpc#557 | The hatch opens as the Dart touches down, and Sabina draws her own pistols, "Can't fight fair even if I wanted. Augmentations, remember?" Mischa@crystyl draws her pistol and heads out, "And that's why you're here" NPC@annpc#557 | As they step out into the shuttlebay, Acey's voice comes through the comms, "Enemy group, two decks above you. They don't know you're here yet, so you should be able to surprise them." Mischa@crystyl smiles, "Perfect. Let's move" NPC@annpc#557 | They step out of the shuttlebay and into the halls, beginning to make their way through the ship. The halls are dimly lit with a red lighting similar to red alerts on familiar Starfleet ships. - NPC@annpc#557 - Many of the lights are damaged and flickering, and there are cracked screens and consoles. Several halls are lined with the bodies of dead Krenim. It looks like a scene out of a horror holo NPC@annpc#557 | Sabina: "So this is what happens when you unleash Acey. Impressive." Mischa@crystyl | Ori: "Remind me never to get on her bad side..." NPC@annpc#557 <C - Acey> "Jefferies tube access to your right. It will lead you to your targets." Mischa@crystyl looks around and diverts to said tube, "Acey do you know if they are suited?" NPC@annpc#557 <C - Acey> "Negative. However, they appear to be engineers attempting to take back control of the vessel, making them priority targets." Mischa@crystyl:"Got it" NPC@annpc#557 | The team reaches an exit from the tubes into an engineering room. All the consoles are dark, and sensors register six Krenim lifesigns within NPC@annpc#557 | Sabina: "Acey, can you do anything about the lights?" NPC@annpc#557 <C - Acey> "What do you wish me to do?" NPC@annpc#557 | Sabina: "How about turning them off in this area?" NPC@annpc#557 <C - Acey> "Cutting power to lighting systems." NPC@annpc#557 | The lights in the room suddenly disappear, and flashlight beams can be seen activating in the darkness beyond NPC@annpc#557 | Sabina: "Perfect. I got them, Commander." NPC@annpc#557 | Sabina pauses a second, "...with your permission, of course." Mischa@crystyl:"Just try not to enjoy yourself /too/ much. This is still supposed to be work" she smiles NPC@annpc#557 | Sabina: "Just keeping with the theme Acey's set," she smirks, taking off her shades and quietly exiting the tube. A few seconds later, a thud can be heard and the lights begin moving - NPC@annpc#557 - as the Krenim clearly begin searching for what just happened NPC@annpc#557 | A few seconds later, a second thud is heard, and red flashes light up the room as someone opens fire. Then another thud, followed by frantic yelling, screaming and firing NPC@annpc#557 | The sound continues for the better part of a minute before abruptly coming to a stop. The room beyond goes completely dark NPC@annpc#557 <C - Acey> "Good work. All Krenim lifesigns eliminated." NPC@annpc#557 | Hassan: "You can turn the lights back on, now." NPC@annpc#557 <C - Acey> "Restoring power." NPC@annpc#557 | The lights turn back on to show Acey standing alone, with various dead Krenim scattered around the room NPC@annpc#557 | Sabina: "Well, you wanted me to fight dirty. Or dark, in this case." Mischa@crystyl:"True enough" NPC@annpc#557 <C - Acey> "Do not be alarmed. I am sending a repair drone to your location to lead you towards the next priority targets." NPC@annpc#557 | A few seconds later, a different hatch opens and one of the Survivor repair drones hovers out Mischa@crystyl:"Let's keep moving then" --- NPC@annpc#557 | As the team makes their way through more tubes, Acey's voice comes from the drone, "The next group consists of one enemy with a suit. He is supporting three unsuited personnel who is - NPC@annpc#557 - currently attempting to manually trigger the communications systems, likely to send a distress signal." Mischa@crystyl:"Understood. Hassan, time to try that little toy of yours" NPC@annpc#557 | Hassan nods, "I'll take on the suited one. You can pick off the rest." NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "I'm leading you to a good vantage point." Mischa@crystyl:Alright, take point" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey's drone takes the team to a nice platform overlooking an area where a suited figure stands watch, with three unsuited Krenim, one working on a console and two messing with panels and wiring NPC@annpc#557 | Hassan takes up position, readying his large rifle and taking aim... NPC@annpc#557 | Hassan gives Mischa a nod as he opens fire. The rifle unleashes a beam several times thicker than that of a standard beam phaser, impacting the suited figure and causing his shields to flare - NPC@annpc#557 - up. It immediately draws the attention of the three unsuited Krenim, though they are in the middle of working and have the disadvantage of needing to reach for their weapons, giving the others - NPC@annpc#557 - a chance to finish them off before they can fire... Mischa@crystyl & Ori waste no time in quickly taking them out NPC@annpc#557 | Sabina joins in, and the three unsuited Krenim are immediately downed. The suited figure turns to Hassan, raising his hand to return fire. Hassan however sustains the beam, and the moment the - NPC@annpc#557 - figure raises his arm, his shields collapse, causing him to stagger back and throwing his aim off, sending antiproton bolts into the walls instead. Hassan ducks back into cover as the figure - NPC@annpc#557 - readjusts his aim, but his shielding is now gone and he is protected only by the armour of the suit Mischa@crystyl joins the others in downing the unshielding Krenim NPC@annpc#557 | Hassan draws his pistol sidearm and fires at the suited Krenim as well. The shots disintegrate chunks of armour away and before long, bolts find their way through and he drops dead NPC@annpc#557 | Hassan: "Don't they usually transport away when they're injured or dead?" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "I have locked them out of the transporter systems. Escape is no longer an option." NPC@annpc#557 | Hassan: "Yeah...definitely not getting on your bad side." Mischa@crystyl:"Alright, what's next?" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "A group is attempting to gain access to the temporal drive. They are the next priority. Follow the drone." NPC@annpc#557 | The drone dives back into the tube Mischa@crystyl follows NPC@annpc#557 | Hassan picks up the rifle and moves in after Mischa, "So it'll burn through their shields with one sustained shot. Good to know." Mischa@crystyl:"Hopefully the same applies to the rest" NPC@annpc#557 | Hassan nods, "This thing burns through power like a starved jackal, though. Fortunately I brought plenty of extra cells." Mischa@crystyl:"Anyone would think you were out to make the most of this" she smiles NPC@annpc#557 | Hassan: "It's a good weapon. Wonder if they make sniper variants. We might be able to design one for you if there aren't any Guardian designs available." Mischa@crystyl:"Even if there are, I would still prefer something built to our standards" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "An enemy team has become aware of your activities and are attempting to hunt you down. I am diverting them as much as possible, but a confrontation will likely be unavoidable soon." Mischa@crystyl:"Where are they now?" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "Two and a half decks below and closing." Mischa@crystyl:"And the group we're heading for?" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "One and a half decks. They do not know your precise location due to your lifesign masking devices, though I calculate a 73.19% chance that they are moving to reinforce the team - NPC@annpc#557 - breaking into the temporal drive." Mischa@crystyl:"If we engage that team then chances are the hunters will get the drop on us. What's the composition of the team we're at the temporal drive?" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "Five Krenim, one Turei and one Vostigye. One of the Krenim possesses a suit." Mischa@crystyl:"Alright then, that will take all of us. Can you find us somewhere to set up an ambush on the approaching team first?" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "Affirmative. Rerouting you now." The drone takes a turn at the next tube junction NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "You should be aware that the approaching team contains two suited opponents. One of them is Hazari." NPC@annpc#557 | Sabina: "I'm not familiar with that name." Mischa@crystyl:"Tactically formidable opponents from the Delta Quadrant" NPC@annpc#557 | Hassan: "Thanks for the warning, Acey. This really is a Delta Quadrant crew. Interesting that the Survivors are so diverse, but run ships primarily crewed by one species, or species from a - NPC@annpc#557 - certain region. Like our own fleet. Most of our crews are diverse but we've also got some ships crewed primarily by one species." Mischa@crystyl:"Yes but no matter how much you wish it, or how much body paint you use, you won't land a transfer to an all-Orion ship. Or if you do, it won't be the Orions you're hoping for" she smirks NPC@annpc#557 | Hassan smirks back, "Maybe I'll get lucky enough to go undercover on an OSN ship like you someday." Mischa@crystyl:"It might actually be worth it to see you glammed up in green paint and cybernetics!" NPC@annpc#557 | Hassan chuckles, "Let me know when you need another Orion infiltration job then, Commander." --- NPC@annpc#557 | The team emerges in a mess hall. Inside, tables and chairs are overturned, food lies scattered across the floor, and there are many dead crew Mischa@crystyl "This will do. Hassan, you draw their fire. The rest of us will take cover to flank them" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "There is an 86.4% chance that they will be entering from the opposite door." NPC@annpc#557 | Hassan nods, setting up position behind the counter NPC@annpc#557 | Sabina meanwhile moves to hide behind an overturned table near the door Mischa@crystyl & Ori also take cover NPC@annpc#557 | A few seconds later, the door opens and a suited figure steps in with two unsuited ones behind her. Hassan fires, hitting the suited figure square in the chest while Sabina pops out of her - NPC@annpc#557 - cover, picking off one of the unsuited ones with her pistols Mischa@crystyl waits for Hassan to draw them in and then pops up, shooting at their exposed backs NPC@annpc#557 | As Hassan takes down the suited figure's shield, Mischa disintegrates a few chunks off the back of her armour and she ducks behind the door for cover. The other unsuited figure goes down - NPC@annpc#557 - quickly, but then Acey's drone announces, "Two other team members are heading towards the other door to flank you. One of them is the Hazari." Mischa@crystyl turns back to defend against the stragglers NPC@annpc#557 | The back door opens and the Hazari steps in with one other Krenim. The Hazari's shields seem to be set to deflect, sending Mischa's shots back towards her direction. Hassan fires his beam, but - NPC@annpc#557 - it is similarly redirected, and he rolls out of the way just in time as the powerful beam blows a chunk right through the counter. The other suited figure tries to take the opportunity to - NPC@annpc#557 - press the attack, but Sabina darts behind her, firing a pistol point-blank into one of the gaps in the armour made by Mischa, taking her out NPC@annpc#557 | Hassan: "Okay, this rifle's a problem when he bounces it right back at me. Ori, think you can take him close-up?" Mischa@crystyl | Ori nods, "Give me some covering fire to close in" Mischa@crystyl obliges, creating an opportunity for Ori to get in and pounce NPC@annpc#557 | Mischa's covering fire allows Ori to close in on the Hazari. He raises an arm and fires red antiproton bolts from the wrist of his suit, but Ori is now too close, allowing her to step aside - NPC@annpc#557 - from the shots and engage the Hazari in hand-to-hand Mischa@crystyl | Ori makes her usual show of using dance-like moves and agility to effortlessly twist around the Hazari's every move, all the while entangling her hands and feet perfectly to lock her foe down - Mischa@crystyl:- before making a clean neck snap to finish the job NPC@annpc#557 | The Hazari's suit doesn't protect him from the force of the neck snap. As Ori finishes him off, the final remaining enemy, an unsuited Krenim, tries to get a shot in on her... Mischa@crystyl shots over Ori's shoulder to take care of the Krenim first NPC@annpc#557 | Mischa's pinpoint accuracy hits the Krenim straight in the head, taking him down before he can shoot at Ori Mischa@crystyl | Ori spins around at hearing the Krenim drop behind her, then looks back to Mischa with an appreciative bow of her head Mischa@crystyl looks around to check if any remains NPC@annpc#557 | All enemies are down and Acey announces, "Enemy lifesigns neutralized. However, the other group is gaining manual access to the temporal drive. You must hurry." Mischa@crystyl:"Got it. Let's move out" NPC@annpc#557 | The drone quickly leads the way further into the ship NPC@annpc#557 | The team soon arrives at a door which has clearly been blown open, with the remains of destroyed repair drones like the one they are following scattered around the nearby hall NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "Targets are within." NPC@annpc#557 | Hassan ejects a power cell from his rifle, replacing it with a fresh one Mischa@crystyl:"Alright, Hassan, hold back for the breach. Sabina, Ori, you two take point NPC@annpc#557 | Sabina nods, readying her pistols and taking cover on one side of the door Mischa@crystyl | Ori takes the opposite side and with a nod of confirmation to Sabina, bursts in, quickly firing at each viable target as she steadily pushes inside to more cover Mischa@crystyl comes up behind her, holding the door and providing cover NPC@annpc#557 | Sabina follows, her rapid, almost supernaturally fast movement making it difficult for the enemies to hit her as she advances. Two Krenim and the Vostigye go down. The suited figure shows - NPC@annpc#557 - himself and begins returning fire. Hassan takes aim, his powerful rifle once again burning through the figure's shields, which go down before they can be adjusted to reflect incoming fire Mischa@crystyl bides her time and takes a critical shot on the suited figure once Hassan has done his thing NPC@annpc#557 | Ori's shots burn down the suited figure's armour and Mischa fires directly into a gap on his chest, downing the suited figure. Another unsuited Krenim goes down, but the Turei turns around and - NPC@annpc#557 - aims his pistol at the core. Sabina spots him and charges him with blinding speed, knocking him over. His shots go wild, but one of them still hits a wall panel by the core, which begins to - NPC@annpc#557 - surge up. Sabina finishes the Turei quickly while the last Krenim goes down to fire from the rest of the team NPC@annpc#557 | The temporal drive lights up... --- NPC@annpc#557 | As the temporal drive blazes with activity, Mischa's combadge sounds Mischa@crystyl taps, "Leveson-Scott" NPC@annpc#557 <C - Victoria> "Is everything alright over there? We're reading a spike in chronitons and an unknown system just powered up." Mischa@crystyl:"Yes, I'm looking at it. One of these idiots was kind enough to hit a panel in their temporal drive room with a weapon blast before we could put him down. Acey, what can you tell me?" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "The shot overloaded one of the circuits and sent a surge of power which is activating the temporal drive. The same overload has cut off my ability to access the system and shut the - NPC@annpc#557 - drive down." Mischa@crystyl groans, moving to a console to see what she can do herself NPC@annpc#557 | Though there are some things familiar about the ship, it is still very different from a Starfleet vessel. Mischa finds no way to get rid of the excess energy already within the drive, but she - NPC@annpc#557 - might be able to prevent further energy from getting into the core by directing Acey's repair drone to cut certain conduits Mischa@crystyl does so NPC@annpc#557 | Acey's drone promptly begins to cut the conduits. As she does, she announces, "Warning. The last enemy party has made it to the shuttlebay and overridden the doors." NPC@annpc#557 | Mischa's combadge chirps again Mischa@crystyl taps, "Go" NPC@annpc#557 <C - Victoria> "The Dart and everything else in the Krenim vessel's shuttlebay has just been ejected. Should we send another craft over for extraction?" Mischa@crystyl:"Stand by. We're getting the situation in hand here. Acey can you download back into the Dart?" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "I do not believe we have the time, and you will need me here, Commander." NPC@annpc#557 | A button begins to flash on the side of the drive. It emanates an ever increasing hum and sparks fly from several parts of it, before suddenly going dark Mischa@crystyl:"Alright, leave it for the Latenter to pick up. Let's get this back in hand" NPC@annpc#557 | The lights and consoles in the room flicker before stabilizing NPC@annpc#557 | Sabina: "That doesn't look good..." Mischa@crystyl keeps working to get a handle on it NPC@annpc#557 | Mischa sees that the temporal drive has expelled all the built-up power. With the conduits cut off, there is no longer a risk of overload. However, the drive is inactive, and several - NPC@annpc#557 - components have burnt out NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "Well, the good news is that I have managed to keep the ship in one piece." Mischa@crystyl:"That is indeed good news Acey, nicely done" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "I expect you won't like the bad news, though..." Mischa@crystyl:"Well it's coming thick and fast here, so have at it" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "The temporal drive has displaced us to Stardate 4181.7." Mischa@crystyl slumps, bopping her head on the console and leaving it there, "...bugger" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "My apologies, Commander. With no option to dispel the energy, the only option remaining was to exercise my control over the rest of the ship to ensure that we survived the journey." Mischa@crystyl stands, "It is not your fault Acey, you did a grand job. I would rather be alive in the past than dead in the present. Or, well, the not so distant past I suppose..." NPC@annpc#557 | Hassan: "You can execute another slingshot maneuver to get us back to the present, right? I'm sure Victoria will realize what happened and if I know her, she'll rendezvous with us back at - NPC@annpc#557 - Crateris for the meeting." NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "About that...we should neutralize the last enemy team before discussing our options. They are still working against us." Mischa@crystyl:"I think that would be quite an assumption on her part. Without knowing the full circumstances, she can't assume that we have such control over a return so I would expect her to hold position and - Mischa@crystyl:- wait for us before returning to our natural timeframe. But yes, let us deal with the matter at hand first, then we can worry about getting back" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "I have access to the transporters. I will take you to an optimal location to intercept the enemy team. Stand by." Mischa@crystyl:"Can't you lock on to the enemy?" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "Negative. All surviving crew have modified their personal transport inhibitors to block any lock from their own vessel." Mischa@crystyl:"Alright, then get us into position" NPC@annpc#557 | The team disappears in the flash of a tachyon transporter, appearing once again on a raised platform NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "The hostiles will be coming across here in fifty-two seconds. They consist of four Krenim and one Zahl. Only one of them is suited." Mischa@crystyl:"Alright folks, you know the drill" NPC@annpc#557 | Hassan nods and they set up on their high vantage point. About a minute later, the enemy team moves through, cautious with weapons in hand, but unaware of the ambush Mischa@crystyl signals Hassan to take the shot when he's ready NPC@annpc#557 | Hassan opens fire, the thick beam hitting the suited figure square in the back. Before the figure can turn and suit, her shields are down, allowing the rest of the team to take her down by - NPC@annpc#557 - wearing down her armour until a shot gets through. She doesn't make it to cover in time and drops quickly, while the four remaining unsuited figures find the best cover they can and return -- NPC@annpc#557 - fire, though at a significant disadvantage due to having the lower elevation NPC@annpc#557 | Mischa can get a pretty good headshot on one of them despite being in cover, thanks to her angle and higher vantage point... Mischa@crystyl takes the shot, of course NPC@annpc#557 | The Krenim goes down, and the team quickly drops the rest of the unsuited enemies as well. Hassan's rifle cools down and he decides to use it again on the last enemy, hiding behind a wall - NPC@annpc#557 - support. The powerful beam burns a chunk out of the wall and goes on to strike the Zahl hiding behind it. The body of the Delta Quadrant alien doesn't even halt the beam slightly as it - NPC@annpc#557 - continues right past him to leave a large round scorch mark on the wall, while the Zahl is instantly and totally disintegrated, leaving no visible trace behind NPC@annpc#557 | Hassan: "So that's what it does to an unsuited target." Mischa@crystyl:"Maybe be extra careful where you aim that thing going forwards..." NPC@annpc#557 | Hassan nods, "I'll keep that in mind." NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "All hostiles neutralized. The ship is now entirely under our control." Mischa@crystyl holsters her phaser, "Alright, let's get a handle on the condition of things so we can start figuring out a way back" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "Unfortunately, the slingshot maneuver is not currently an option. Well, it /is/ an option, but I would recommend against it." Mischa@crystyl:"Is that because of the condition of other systems?" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "Partially. The computer core has been sabotaged beyond repair. I am currently running on processing power drawn from various active systems across the ship. As you know, executing a - NPC@annpc#557 - slingshot maneuver requires complex calculations. With the current processing capabilities I have at my disposal, I calculate an approximately 94% chance that we will miss the target - NPC@annpc#557 - stardate by more than a year, an 82% chance of missing for more than a decade and a 23% chance of crashing the ship into the star." Mischa@crystyl:"I'm in no rush to try my luck against those odds. So let's figure out what we need to do in order to effect repairs and give you the necessary processing power" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "The computer core is unsalvageable, and duotronic Starfleet computer cores of this era are incompatible with this vessel's technology. The most likely compatible technology would be a - NPC@annpc#557 - Krenim computer core. However, the gateway generator has also been sabotaged. The time it will take to reach Krenim space even with this vessel's transwarp speeds is still considerable." Mischa@crystyl:"We may have to make do with less than optimal supplies" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "While repairing the computer core will be difficult, the vessel should possess the necessary components to effect repairs to the overloaded temporal drive, which we can utilize to - NPC@annpc#557 - travel back to the precise time we departed and rendezvous with the Latenter. I calculate that this is our best option, though this approach does still possess drawbacks." Mischa@crystyl:"I am not surprised, but for now it's the best we can do. So let's get to work on the priorities. Ori, go to the bridge and see about getting a handle on our present status and surroundings" Mischa@crystyl | Ori nods and heads off NPC@annpc#557 | Hassan and Sabina awaits their orders from Mischa as well Mischa@crystyl looks between the pair, "I appreciate this isn't either of your respective fields - neither is it mine - but we need to get our heads around this tech and start making repairs" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "That is one of the drawbacks I mentioned. I will do what I can to guide you in effecting repairs." NPC@annpc#557 | Hassan nods, "We'll do our best." Mischa@crystyl:"Acey, if you can give us a task list, we'll get to work" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "On it now, Commander."