Updated: Mar 18
Things take an unexpected turn when the Valley Forge picks up an ancient Klingon escape pod, and Mia finds herself at the centre of a conspiracy where she must sabotage the ship in order to save it...
Keelah@crystyll: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjaejG-LDAQ Keelah@crystyll FX | Following an extended layover with their newfound allies in the Trinity Alliance, the Valley Forge is now fully repaired, restocked, and back underway Keelah@crystyll FX | Life is gradually settling back into a routine on board as fresh research projects keep the various shipboard departments busy Keelah@crystyll FX | And while the body of the crew are enjoying the time to focus on their work, the bridge is predictably quiet with the ship cruising gently through deep space Keelah@crystyll: ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcCYBk3e6b0&t=2790s ) Keelah@crystyll | Kazra strolls onto the bridge, idly glancing around. Her gaze settles on Kelly and she strolls over, "Commander" Keliaya@anncarise looks up from her console and smiles at Kazra, "Hello Commander. Nothing of note to report right now, we're just cruising and all systems are green." Keelah@crystyll | Kazra sighs, "Figured as much... So... nothing fun happening up here then?" Keelah@crystyll | TQ glances up briefly with a smirk at Kazra's boredom, but doesn't speak Keliaya@anncarise: "Not yet, at least. I think it's good to have a break after that Trinity situation though." Keliaya@anncarise grins, "Besides, there's other ways to have fun than interesting happenings while on duty." Keelah@crystyll | Kazra smiles, "Oh, of course. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't /wish/ for excitement or anything. Just, you know... a little interest. A new system to chart or something at least" Keelah@crystyll | Kazra narrows her eyes curiously as she looks to Kelly, "What exactly are you suggesting?" Keliaya@anncarise: "Well, there's plenty of things to do. A holodeck simulation, strategema, chess. You know I'm up for trying anything." Keliaya@anncarise smirks, "I'll leave the specifics of that up to interpretation." Keelah@crystyll | Kazra chuckles, "Aah yes, all perfectly fine off duty diversions. It's alright for you anyway Commander, you've always got engines to look after. But when sickbay's empty..." she sighs again Keelah@crystyll | Fisher looks over, "I thought you science'y types were always researching stuff, or writing your next paper to get you recognized by the Daystrom Institute or something?" Keelah@crystyll | TQ chuckles: "He's got a point, Commander. Lennie's been flat out of late with all the new stuff we've encountered!" Keliaya@anncarise nods, "I'm sure with your knowledge as a doctor, our xenobiology teams will welcome your help." Keliaya@anncarise: "And we have a professor from the Institute on board, though he's not an expert in biology." Keelah@crystyll | Kazra slumps a little, "Yeah, but truth is I'm trying to help Lendaria by not getting involved. She wants to give the junior staff a chance to produce the studies first" Keelah@crystyll | TQ smiles happily at that sentiment Keelah@crystyll | Fisher spots her reaction, "Yeah, that means /you/ Cadet. Get your homework in on time!" Keelah@crystyll | TQ looks back with a playful smirk, poking her tongue out, "I might be studying, but I'm still a Petty Officer until I graduate... /Sir/" Keelah@crystyll | TQ adds, "And enjoy that while it lasts, because I'll sure enjoy it when I outrank you and you have to call /me/ Sir! Or ma'am... not decided yet!" she chirps happily Keelah@crystyll | Vrolmacht looks around discretely at the sudden increase in conversation with a disgruntled grunt Keelah@crystyll | TQ glances to her screen, refocusing as something clearly draws her attention Keelah@crystyll | TQ taps a few times, slowly nodding, "Well Commanders... this might constitute an example of the old Earth saying about being careful what you wish for..." Keliaya@anncarise chuckles at the conversation, "Maybe you can study something more specialized, Kazra. Not sure what the Trinity's shared with us, but there could be medical procedures and data in there that's-" Keliaya@anncarise glances to TQ, "You have something, Tee?" Keelah@crystyll | TQ nods, popping in her earbud and holding it in place to listen more clearly, "Sounds like a distress signal. It's weak, but seems to me like an automated repeater" Keliaya@anncarise: "Any audio or visual, or just a repeating signal?" Keelah@crystyll | TQ nods again, "Putting it up" Keelah@crystyll: ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkycNvrpjCs ) Keelah@crystyll FX | Mixed faintly in among the background subspace noise are discrete hints of dialogue: "jatlhqa'... boQ yu'... maH..." Keliaya@anncarise listens curiously, "Is that Klingon?" Keelah@crystyll: ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcCYBk3e6b0&t=2790s ) Keelah@crystyll | Vrolmacht stands up straight, listening intently Keelah@crystyll | TQ nods, "It sounds like request for assistance" Keliaya@anncarise: "Where's it coming from?" Keelah@crystyll | TQ: "Triangulating..." shakes her head, "It's too weak to get an exact fix, best I can put it is a heading of 052 mark 4. No... mark 3" Keliaya@anncarise: "If it's a call for help, then we're obligated to respond. Fisher, take us in that heading. And let the Captain know, Tee." Keelah@crystyll | TQ nods and calls Keelah while Fisher begins furiously working his console Keelah@crystyll FX | The Valley Forge swings majestically to starboard and accelerates while the bridge becomes a buzz of activity as they attempt to track the signal Keliaya@anncarise: "Let's see if anything shows up on sensors that could be the source of the signal..." Keelah@crystyll walks in from her ready room a short time later, "Any update on our errant signal?" Keelah@crystyll | TQ: "Signal strength is improving with range. Hopefully Commander Keliaya should be able to get a fix on the source now" Keelah@crystyll: "The message was in Klingon... the QanwI'?" Keelah@crystyll | Vrolmacht shakes his head, "No Captain. That message was an older format not used for several decades by the KDF" Keliaya@anncarise: "I think we'd be able to ID a signal from the QanwI', wouldn't we?" Keliaya@anncarise taps her console, trying to find anything that might emit such a signal. Keelah@crystyll | Vrolmacht nods to Kelly, "Correct. They would use their transponder code as a more modern vessel" Keliaya@anncarise: "I have something. A small metallic construct, could be an escape pod or a very small shuttle." Keelah@crystyll: "Life signs?" Keelah@crystyll | Kazra checks before responding with uncertainty, "I'm... not sure, Captain. I'm reading biosignatures but something is interfering, unable to get a positive ID" Keelah@crystyll: "Drop us out of warp as soon as we're in visual range, Mr. Fisher" Keelah@crystyll: "Kazra, Kelly; keep scanning to see if you cut through that interference" Keliaya@anncarise nods and continues scanning, "If it's a decades old signal, biosignatures is a little odd...unless they've been out here for all that time." Keliaya@anncarise checks for any chroniton or tachyon signatures or signs of quantum flux. Keelah@crystyll | Vrolmacht grunts proudly, "My people are more than hardy enough to survive that" Keelah@crystyll | Fisher: "Dropping out of warp now, Captain. Object should be 20,000Km off our bow" Keelah@crystyll looks to TQ, "On screen" Keliaya@anncarise: "No sign of temporal activity or major spatial disturbance." Keelah@crystyll: https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/memoryalpha/images/e/e7/Goroth%27s_starship%2C_escape_pod.jpg/revision/latest/scale-to-width-down/180?cb=20160929005132&path-prefix=en Keelah@crystyll: ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TcbQkns8W4 ) Keelah@crystyll squints at the image, "Magnify" Keelah@crystyll FX | The image zooms and sharpens to reveal the distinctive form of a Klingon escape pod Keelah@crystyll | Vrolmacht, "That's definitely Klingon. And definitely old, a Bird of Prey maybe... 22nd or 23rd century" Keelah@crystyll | Fisher snorts, "Well that doesn't really narrow it down, those old Bird's run for centuries, even now!" Keelah@crystyll | Looks back to Kazra, "Any more clarity on your bio readings?" Keelah@crystyll | Kazra shakes her head Keliaya@anncarise: "That's true, but if it's from a modern ship, it would still broadcast with a modern signal." Keelah@crystyll: "Alright... bring it into the cargo bay. Kelly, Kazra, Vrolmacht; head down there and see what you can find out" Keliaya@anncarise nods and heads for the turbolift. Keelah@crystyll | Vrolmacht & Kazra follow suit after handing over their stations Keliaya@anncarise totally calls a random engineer to take over too. Mia@crystyll: ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=haZJ8-rq4pg&list=RDhaZJ8-rq4pg&start_radio=1&t=130 ) Mia@crystyll FX | By the time the team from the bridge arrive in the cargo bay, the pod has already been brought on board and Mia is conducting an initial survey Keliaya@anncarise smiles as Mia as she steps inside, "Hello Mia. What have you found so far?" Mia@crystyll looks over with a bright smile, "Not a great deal so far Ms. Kelly! We did not want to start probing too closely until you arrived" Mia@crystyll: "We are simply here at mon Capitaine's request to assist with bypassing computer lockouts if required!" Keliaya@anncarise: "And if someone is alive inside there, possibly catching them up on history too..." Keliaya@anncarise scans the pod with her own tricorder. Mia@crystyll: "We cherish the thought!" Mia@crystyll FX | The pod appears largely intact, though it's apparently taken quite a beating with lots of impact damage from debris or asteroids Mia@crystyll FX | This, coupled with the layer of spacedust particles clinging to it's surface further suggests that it has been here for some time Keliaya@anncarise: "Looks damaged, but not unstable. Fairly old, though. Think you can get it open, Mia?" Mia@crystyll nods eagerly, "Yes, we believe so Ms. Kelly! Should we proceed with attempting to do so?" Mia@crystyll FX | *Tap... tap... tap*, coming from inside the pod Keliaya@anncarise: "Be careful. There's some kind of biosignature inside, but we're not sure if it's a person or just..." Keliaya@anncarise: "Well, it seems to be able to move, so it's still alive..." Mia@crystyll FX | *Tap... tap... tap...* a little louder Keliaya@anncarise nods to Mia, "Try to get it open without cutting it. We don't want to startle whoever's inside." Keliaya@anncarise looks to Vrolmacht, "Stand by to quarantine the cargo bay, just in case." Mia@crystyll: "Of course!" she hurries to the pod and begins trying to work it's manual release control Mia@crystyll FX | *Tap... tap... tap...* Keliaya@anncarise steps up behind Mia, "Is someone inside? Can you hear me?" Mia@crystyll frowns in frustration, "Non! The controls are too heavily corroded. We shall have to utilizie our dedicated tooling attachments, not these digits!" she smiles, wiggling her fingers before rippling + Mia@crystyll: + out of view Mia@crystyll: FX | *Tap... tap... tap...* ... *Tap... tap... tap* Keliaya@anncarise watches the pod as Mia works. Mia@crystyll FX | Miadrone floats over to the panel and materializes a flashing isolinear connection node which it connects to the pod. After a few moments, a hiss of air as the seal breaks and a small cloud of + Mia@crystyll: + dust particles blow all around from it as further emphasis of how long it's been left untouched Keliaya@anncarise steps back as the pod opens, looking to Kazra to see if she can get a better reading. Mia@crystyll FX | Miadrone backs away with a wary 'wooo' before Mia ripples back into view behind Kelly Mia@crystyll | Kazra steps closer, medical tools at the ready, "Hello... nuqneH?" Mia@crystyll | Kazra peers in before prying the case open fully after getting no response. She steps back aghast to see that the pod is... empty?! Mia@crystyll gives a curious head tilt Mia@crystyll | Vrolmacht scowls, "What trickery is this?!" Keliaya@anncarise checks her tricorder to see if the biosignatures are still there. Mia@crystyll | Kazra steps back, shaking her head lightly as she struggles to match believing with seeing, "I have no idea big guy, but I don't like it" Keliaya@anncarise: "The biosignatures are gone...but none of you saw anything come out of the pod, right?" Mia@crystyll: "Perhaps... the noise was simply... inner workings, creaking pipework and such as it settles in a new environment, non?" Mia@crystyll: "It was very cold to the touch, and it is not so cold in here" Keliaya@anncarise: "But if there was some kind of bio-reading, there should at least be a body inside." Keliaya@anncarise: "Or food, even. Something organic." Mia@crystyll looks to Kelly, "We have detected nothing on our sensors Ms. Kelly, and they have been capturing constantly since we arrived" Mia@crystyll | Kazra scans the empty pod interior more closely with hopes of finding some clue, but the defeated sigh that eventually follows says it all Keliaya@anncarise: "No biosignatures at all? I was seeing it on my tricorder and Kazra could see it when scanning with ship sensors too..." Mia@crystyll | Kazra: "Nothing, not even a microbe!" Keliaya@anncarise makes her way towards the pod cautiously and peers inside. Mia@crystyll FX | It is indeed the empty shell of a Klingon escape pod, smelling mustier than ever Mia@crystyll | Kazra does a cursory scan of herself and the others to check for contaminants but finds nothing Keliaya@anncarise steps inside with tricorder in hand to locate any active systems, hoping to find whatever may have broadcast the signal. Keliaya@anncarise: "I think I found the source of the signal though..." she goes over to see if she can remove the recorder. Mia@crystyll FX | With a little jiggery-pokery (technical term), Kelly is able to retrieve the computer Keliaya@anncarise steps out with the recorder and looks to Mia, "Can you analyze this? See how long it's been repeating, and maybe clarify the message." Keliaya@anncarise: "We were only able to pick up a few words over comms." Mia@crystyll: "We... yes, o-of course Ms. Kelly" she smiles, taking the device and backing away a step, "We shall go now. And see to this, now..." she smiles again, backing away a step before turning and leaving Keliaya@anncarise: "Well that was unusual..." Mia@crystyll | Kazra looks back distractedly, still intently studying her readings, "Hm?" Keliaya@anncarise: "The disappearing biosignatures are odd, but I'm not sure why we all saw it on multiple occasions but Mia didn't..." Mia@crystyll | Kazra, "Oh? Hmm... maybe she just meant that she didn't see anything leave the pod?" Keliaya@anncarise: "She said she's been running scans the whole time and didn't notice anything, though..." Mia@crystyll | Vrolmacht grunts, "It's Mia, weird is just normal for her. Anyway, there's nothing here so I'm going back to the bridge" and he promptly stomps out Keliaya@anncarise nods, "Don't see anything else that warrants further inspection other than the recorder. I'll probably check on Mia, see if she finds anything from that." Keliaya@anncarise looks to Kazra, "Check over our scans, and see if there's anything that might explain the disappearing biosignature." Mia@crystyll | Kazra sighs, smiling as she turns and pockets her tricorder, "Too bad, an ancient Klingon who maanged to stay alive despite all odds would've been quite the pique to one's interest for the day!" Keliaya@anncarise chuckles, "That would definitely make for an interesting guest!" Mia@crystyll | Kazra: "Come on then, let's go inform the Captain that there's no further excitement today!" --- Ann Carter@anncarise steps into the lounge and makes her way over to the counter, "Cup o' lemonade, please." Mia@crystyll | Jexala smiles, "Sure thing sweety, coming right up!" Ann Carter@anncarise smiles back, "Thanks. So, any gossip goin' around o' late? We had quite the eventful stay in Trinity space." Mia@crystyll | Jex glances back over her shoulder with a smirk, "Now, Ensign, really! Just because I tend bar doesn't mean I partake in the sharing of vicious rumours about the ship!" Mia@crystyll | Jex continues, "That said... I heard we brought a ghost ship on board!" Ann Carter@anncarise: "A ghost ship on board? We ain't a specialized carrier...gotta be a shuttle at most..." Mia@crystyll | Jex, "Apparently - and you didn't hear this from me -" she leans in over the bar, sharing a secret in hushed tones, "It was an escape pod belonging to an ancient Klingon warrior, but it was empty!" Mia@crystyll | Jex: "So now folks reckon his ghost is walking the halls of the ship, trying to find his way to Stovokor" Ann Carter@anncarise chuckles, "Now tha' sounds like the kinda thing I'm used to hearin' in bars..." Mia@crystyll | Crystyl - sitting at the end of teh bar, and listening with an entertained smile - chimes in, "Please! Ensign, you know better than to listen to this crazy cat!" she gives a playful wink to Jex Ann Carter@anncarise: "It's a fun story if nothin' else!" Mia@crystyll | Jex feigns shock, "Chief, you wound me! Not least for calling me a cat, I might be furrier than most, but I'm no Caitan!" Mia@crystyll | Crystyl laughs, "And I'm sure you're not partial to a scratch behind the ears either, right?" Mia@crystyll | Jex grins, "Well, really now... I mean, who isn't?" Mia@crystyll | Crystyl gives a whimsical sigh, "You know if there's one thing you can always rely on a starship crew for, it's making crazy rumours out of nothing" Mia@crystyll | Jex nods as she hands Ann her drink, "Truer a word was never spoken!" Ann Carter@anncarise: "Yeah, it's the same among all spacers, even Starfleet." Ann Carter@anncarise: "Guess space gets lonely, an' folks get imaginative." Mia@crystyll | Crystyl looks to Ann, "Sounds like the voice of experience talking there. Any fun stories worth sharing?" Mia@crystyll steps into the room, looking around cautiously before slipping over to the replicator Ann Carter@anncarise: "Oh a lot, I can't even remember half o' 'em. Probably cause they're just different versions o' the other half people have stole!" Ann Carter@anncarise laughs. Mia@crystyll | Crystyl laughs with her, "Yeah, sounds about right!" Ann Carter@anncarise notices Mia and gives her a wave, "Hey Mia!" Mia@crystyll jumps a little, "Oh! Mon dieu! hello... Ms. Ann. Having fun we see, yes? Good, good. You should do that, lots of fun and smiling, yes" she gives a brief smile and turns back Ann Carter@anncarise: "Just chattin'! Ya wanna join us, ooor?" Mia@crystyll: "Oh, non non non, we must not intrude. Lots of... our own fun, yes! You enjoy now, we must return to our own fun. Like any other day, just the old routine!" Mia@crystyll bundles up what appears to be several large bottles of water and scurries out the door, barely holding on to them all Ann Carter@anncarise: "Huh..." Mia@crystyll | Crystyl, "Is it just me, or was that odd... even by Mia standards?" Ann Carter@anncarise: "Yeah it was..." Ann Carter@anncarise: "Looks like she's up to somethin' with all tha' water. An' she sounds busy..." Mia@crystyll | Jex: "Maybe she's feeling the burn after taking on too much? I mean, being the Captain's yeoman is one thing. But juggling that with teaching an ever growing cadet squad too? Stars, I get anxious + Mia@crystyll: + just thinking on it! Ooh, maybe a nice Tyrellian tea to settle the nerves..." she disappears into the kitchen, muttering about spices Ann Carter@anncarise: "Does tha' even have the same effect on Mia?" Mia@crystyll | Crystyl shrugs, "As I understand it, she's a new form of life right, so there's no baseline for comparison really" Mia@crystyll | Crystyl chuckles, "For all we know, she could be overly sensitive to such things!" Ann Carter@anncarise chuckles, "Tha' is possible!" Ann Carter@anncarise: "Anyways, think I should check on her, or?" Mia@crystyll | Crystyl, "Not really my place to say. But... I think you two are friends, right? So if you're worried about your friend, I'd sure go for it" Ann Carter@anncarise: "I'll see wha's up with her then! An' figure out just where she went..." Mia@crystyll | Crystyl smiles, raising her glass to Ann, "Well good luck to you then!" Ann Carter@anncarise: "I'll see ya around!" Ann Carter@anncarise goes off to search for Mia. Mia@crystyll FX | After being led a merry chase halfway around the ship and back, never quite managing to catch Mia as she moves about. Ann finally gets confirmation upon arriving at main engineering, from the + Mia@crystyll: + computer, that Mia is in this section Ann Carter@anncarise steps through main engineering, looking for any sign of Mia or Miadrone. Mia@crystyll FX | No obvious sign anywhere, the engineering staff here are just going about their normal business Ann Carter@anncarise steps up to one of the engineers, "Hey, ya seen Mia passin' through here?" Mia@crystyll | Engineer looks up, slightly disgruntled by the interruption, "Nope" Ann Carter@anncarise nods and moves along, looking for Mia. Ann Carter@anncarise heads over to an unused console to check if it can specify where Mia might be. Mia@crystyll FX | The console shows no registered access for Mia, though it does list one off-log access to a jefferies tube hatch Ann Carter@anncarise: "Huh...tha's unusual...must be where Mia went..." Ann Carter@anncarise makes her way over to the hatch and examines it. Mia@crystyll FX | Nothing appears out of the ordinary Ann Carter@anncarise opens the hatch and climbs inside, beginning to make her way through until she reaches any branching paths or crossroads. Mia@crystyll FX | Before reaching the first branch, Ann's attention would be taken by an open access panel deeper into the tube Ann Carter@anncarise makes her way towards the open panel. Ann Carter@anncarise: rolls 52 (1-100) Mia@crystyll FX | Ann would notice that the open panel accesses an EPS distribution node, though for what systems it's hard to say without Kelly's intimate knowledge of the ship Mia@crystyll FX | *CLANG* Something bangs off the bulkhead in the tube further ahead Ann Carter@anncarise turns her attention ahead and begins cautiously proceeding forward. Mia@crystyll FX | A frantic beeping can be heard echoing through the tubes ahead. A beeping Ann would recognize as Miadrone Ann Carter@anncarise: "Mia? Everythin' alright?" Mia@crystyll FX | More frantic beeping, a brief pause, then the same beeping but quieter Ann Carter@anncarise keeps crawling forward, "It's me! What're ya doin' in here, Mia?" Mia@crystyll FX | Ann almost gets bowled over as Miadrone comes tearing around the corner. It backs off, beeping frantically at her Ann Carter@anncarise: "Woah!" she backs away slightly as well, "I can't understand ya right now, but is somethin' wrong?" Mia@crystyll FX | The - almost angry, panicked sounding - beeping continues, before it replicates a tool on it's nose not unlike the tip of a stun gun. The pronged front sparks with blue jolts as it jabs + Mia@crystyll: + threateningly towards Ann, in an attempt to force her backwards and clear of it's route Ann Carter@anncarise slowly moves back, "Hey, I ain't tryin' to harm ya or anythin'. You can go if ya want, I just wanna check if everythin's okay..." Mia@crystyll FX | The drone gives another apologetic beep as it zooms away Ann Carter@anncarise: "Well tha's not usual..." Ann Carter@anncarise slowly makes her way back through the tubes to find the hatch in engineering. Ann Carter@anncarise makes her way over to a console once she's back in engineering to call Lennie, since she's not in uniform. @drcrippler has logged off. @drcrippler has logged on. Ann Carter@anncarise: <C> "Hey Lennie, ya busy?" Mia@crystyll: <C-Lennie> "Oh heya Sweets! Jus' runnin' through some o'this fresh new data we'se got from th'Erudis, 'sup?" @USS_Dauntless has logged off. Ann Carter@anncarise: <C> "Well, Mia's been actin' a lil weird. No clue wha's wrong, but thought I'd call ya first before I go to anyone else." Mia@crystyll: <C-Lennie> "Oh? Sounds serious. Why don'tcha swing by th'lab an' tell me wha's goin' on" Ann Carter@anncarise: <C> "I'll be right there!" Ann Carter@anncarise heads over to the lab. Mia@crystyll | Lennie is happily working away at her lab office Ann Carter@anncarise steps into the office, "Hey vijra!" Mia@crystyll | Lennie looks up with a smile, pushing her screen away, "Hey Sweets! Wha's up now, sounded pretty serious before?" Ann Carter@anncarise: "Well, I ain't sure how bad it is..." Ann Carter@anncarise takes a seat, "Just noticed her actin' a bit off in the lounge, so I went to check on her. Found her drone in one o' the jefferies tubes...doin' somethin'." Mia@crystyll | Lennie: "...somethin'?" Ann Carter@anncarise: "Not sure wha', she opened one o' the EPS panels. She wouldn't talk, just used beeps. Sounded a lot angrier than usual, though. Or maybe scared." Ann Carter@anncarise: "Even used the projector to replicate a stun device to make me let her go past, so the projector's workin', but Mia ain't showin' herself." Mia@crystyll | Lennie sits a little taken aback, "Wait... she tried t'use a stun gun on ya?!" Ann Carter@anncarise: "I dunno if she woulda actually used it if I didn't let her pass, but she was definitely desperate 'bout somethin'." Ann Carter@anncarise: "An' either way, she ain't actin' like the Mia we know, or even how the drone did before it joined with Mia..." Mia@crystyll | Lennie hrms, "Sounds pretty serious t'me. Better let the Cap'n know somethin' might be up wit'her" Ann Carter@anncarise nods, "Yeah...just wanted to let ya know before I went an' brought this up to the Cap'n." Mia@crystyll: "Appreciate it Sweets, I'm-a worried 'bout her too. Want me t'come wit' ya, or ya got this?" Ann Carter@anncarise: "If it doesn't take ya away from too much work, might be best if ya come along too." Mia@crystyll | Lennie smiles and stands without a second thought, "C'mon then!" Ann Carter@anncarise stands and heads to find Keelah with Lennie. Ann Carter@anncarise rings the doorbell to the ready room. Mia@crystyll | Keelah: "Come in" Ann Carter@anncarise steps inside with Lennie, "Cap'n." Mia@crystyll | Keelah looks up with a smile, "Ensign, Commander. To what do I owe this pleasure?" Ann Carter@anncarise: "Well, it's, uhh...'bout Mia." Mia@crystyll | Keelah leans back in her chair, gesturing for the pair to sit, "Oh?" Ann Carter@anncarise takes a seat, "She's been actin' strangely today. Thought she was odd in the lounge, but followed her into the jefferies tubes in engineerin' an' she sounded upset an' panicking." Ann Carter@anncarise: "I thought she did at least. Just saw the drone an' Mia wouldn't actually talk..." Mia@crystyll | Keelah, "I see... What exactly was this odd behaviour?" Ann Carter@anncarise: "First she was just not really like herself. Not very talkative, seemed to have a lot on her mind, y'know. So I looked for her to see if somethin' was wrong." Ann Carter@anncarise: "When I found her though, she was just the drone, an' all angry an' stuff. Forced me to back away by replicatin' a stun device an' all." Ann Carter@anncarise: "She was doin' somethin' there too. No idea wha', but there was an open panel used for EPS distribution." Mia@crystyll | Keelah perks a brow, "That does sound especially odd, and she has no business poking around those EPS nodes." she taps her comm panel, "Kelly, could you join us in here a moment?" Ann Carter@anncarise: <C - Kelly> "On my way, Captain." Ann Carter@anncarise | Kelly steps in a few moments later, quietly looking to Keelah as to not interrupt any ongoing conversation, but clearly curious what's going on. Mia@crystyll | Keelah waves Kelly over to join them, "Kelly, Ensign Carter has raised concerns regarding Mia's behaviour, did you notice anything unusual when she was with you in the cargobay earlier?" Ann Carter@anncarise | Kelly: "I did, actually...I was going to check on her after duty, especially since I gave her the recorder to examine, but it seems the Ensign got there first." Mia@crystyll: "Could it be possible she's developed some sort of corruption in her positronic network?" Ann Carter@anncarise | Kelly: "Kazra and I both detected a biosignature in the pod with our tricorders and ship sensors. You were on the bridge when Kazra got the initial reading. But Mia didn't detect anything like - Ann Carter@anncarise: - that despite claiming to be running scans the whole time. It's possible it's corruption or some other type of error, but I'll have to examine her to be sure." Mia@crystyll nods, "Agreed. Ensign, do you think you can show Kelly where this junction was on the MSD? I'd like to know what she was doing" Ann Carter@anncarise nods, "It wasn't tha' far from the entrance. I can find it again easily." Mia@crystyll | Keelah: "Computer, what is the present location of crewman Mia LaRouche?" Mia@crystyll | Computer: "Crewman LaRouche is in the port hangar bay" Mia@crystyll looks to the gathered officers, "Kelly, get that hangar locked down. Now!" already getting to her feet to head to the bridge Ann Carter@anncarise | Kelly nods and taps her combadge, ordering the hangar locked down. Ann Carter@anncarise stands as well. Mia@crystyll | Keelah leads the group out on to the bridge Ann Carter@anncarise | Kelly: "Controls are non-responsive to lockdown. Sullivan's reporting an unscheduled shuttle launch and it's not answering his attempts to communicate." Ann Carter@anncarise: "Tha' must be wha' she was doin' with the EPS access..." Mia@crystyll | Keelah: "So it would seem. Commander Lendaria, stand by tractor beam. Tee... hail that shuttle and tell Mia to stand down" Mia@crystyll | TQ doubletakes at the mention of Mia apparently stealing a shuttle, but nods an affirmative and sets to it Mia@crystyll FX | The viewscreen shows a visual feed looking backwards from the rear of the saucer on that side. Everyone left to watch helplessly as the bay door opens Mia@crystyll | TQ: "No response, Captain. Signals are going through, but she refuses to acknowledge" Ann Carter@anncarise: "Wha's she doin'..." Mia@crystyll FX | The smaller Type-8 shuttlecraft: Syrran, is seen exiting the hangar bay Mia@crystyll | Keelah: "Tractor beam, now" Ann Carter@anncarise | Kelly scans to see if Mia or Miadrone is on the shuttle. Mia@crystyll | Lennie nods and engages the tractor beam, and... nothing happens Ann Carter@anncarise: "Did she sabotage tha' too?" Mia@crystyll | Keelah looks back to Lennie when nothing happens and the shuttle continues to move away, only to get an incredulous shrug in repsonse, "Analyzing systems now, but yeah... seems she may have" Ann Carter@anncarise | Kelly: "Mia's definitely on board, but it sounds like she was quite thorough..." she checks if transporter systems are still online. Mia@crystyll FX | The ship is suddenly rocked by a weapons hit to the forward saucer. Felt unusually strong with shields down Ann Carter@anncarise is sent stumbling backwards since she's not near a console or in a seat, "Is she shootin' us now?" Mia@crystyll | Keelah groans, "Transporters will have to wait. Raise shields! Ensign, take your station and lay in a pursuit course" Mia@crystyll | Keelah mutters to herself, "Oh Mia, what in the heavens has gotten into you...?" Ann Carter@anncarise rushes over to take the helm. Mia@crystyll FX | The slower shuttle, clearly not capable of outrunning the VF, warps towards a nearby nebula Ann Carter@anncarise sets the VF on the same course, warping after the shuttle. Mia@crystyll FX | It is only a (relatively) short distance, so the shuttle's head start was sufficient for it to arrive before VF still. On screen it can be seen moving towards the nebula at impulse Mia@crystyll | Keelah: "Bring us into range and get those tractors back online! Have a recovery crew standing by to launch in a Runabout with Eon as escort" Ann Carter@anncarise | Kelly: "We might be able to configure the deflectors to produce an EMP burst if the tractors can't be brought back on time. It might fry a few shuttle systems, but nothing irrepairable, and - Ann Carter@anncarise: - it's a lot less riskier than firing at it." Mia@crystyll | Keelah: "That's why I want a Runabout ready to launch. We can use it's tractors if needs be. I dare not fire an EMP, for what it might do to Mia herself" Mia@crystyll | TQ: "Captain! I'm receiving a hail from the shuttlecraft" Mia@crystyll | Keelah sighs with relief, "Well it's about time... let's have it!" Ann Carter@anncarise | Kelly: "Good point..." Mia@crystyll FX | The image of Mia sitting in the shuttle appears on screen, already heavily distorted due to it's location within the outer perimeter of the nebula Mia@crystyll | Keelah: "Mia! I don't know what's gotten into you, but please! Just... calm down and come home. We'll help you figure this out" Mia@crystyll shakes her head, "No can do mon Capitaine. We are sorry, but you are not you. Fear not though, because we will make this right. We will make the voices go away again!" Mia@crystyll | Keelah: "Mia, whatever you think is wrong I promise you; we're not your enemy. Let us help y-..." is cut short when Mia fires again on the ship Mia@crystyll | Keelah scowls: "Mia!" Ann Carter@anncarise | Kelly: "That definitely sounds like a malfunction..." Mia@crystyll: "Apologies again, mon Capitaine. But it is the only way!" Mia@crystyll FX | The shuttle fires again through the gaseous nabula. This time as the energy beam strikes VF's shields, they begin to ripple with an energy not dissimilar to the nebula itself Mia@crystyll FX | Everyone on board would be suddenly struck by a shooting pain in the temples. Not crippling painful, but enough to be a shock to the system Ann Carter@anncarise grunts, "Wha' was tha'?" Mia@crystyll FX | As people slowly recover from the shock to their systems, they would begin to notice shadowy figures standing over each them Ann Carter@anncarise looks around, "Who- get back!" Mia@crystyll | Keelah snaps to when she sees the visages all over the bridge, "Security! Intruder alert!" Mia@crystyll FX | As security officers scramble, including Vrolmacht and Silvestrie on the bridge, to find a defense again the sudden appearances; another phaser hit from the shuttle strikes the shields and this+ Mia@crystyll: + time, the shadowy figures crumple and slowly fade with a sustained burst of phaser fire Ann Carter@anncarise | Kelly looks around, puzzled, before tapping her console to quickly run a scan and try to see if there are intruders on the ship before trying to figure out what happened. Mia@crystyll | Keelah looks around, still playing mental catch up, "Secure all quarters" to which Silvestrie nods and sets about doing Ann Carter@anncarise | Kelly: "No sign of intruders on board, anymore at least." Mia@crystyll FX | Mia once again appears on the viewscreen, she peers around the visible bridge like she's studying each officer in turn. Then she smiles brightly Mia@crystyll: "There! We told you we would make it right, did we not! Permission to return to dock, mon Capitaine?" Mia@crystyll | Keelah observes Mia a moment before nodding, "You will comply with the security escort who will be waiting there for you and report directly to me to explain" Mia@crystyll nods, "But of course, mon Capitaine. We will be relieved to do so. Ciao!" she gives her usual cheery wave and the comm closes Mia@crystyll | Keelah stands, a simple glance to Silvestrie to confirm the required escort be assigned, "Kelly, Ensign Carter, with me" Ann Carter@anncarise nods and stands to follow Keelah. Kelly steps over as well. Mia@crystyll | Keelah: "You've both been close to this today, so I want you both present to help us understand what's been going on with Mia. Any questions before she gets here?" Ann Carter@anncarise | Kelly: "I think most of our questions would probably be for her." Ann Carter@anncarise: "Yeah. I've seen plenty o' weird things, an' tha' was pretty weird." Mia@crystyll | Keelah nods, retrieving a tea from the replicator before sitting. She gestures for the pair to help themselves, clearly distracted and troubled by recent events Ann Carter@anncarise takes a seat, while Kelly replicates a drink for herself before sitting down. Mia@crystyll FX | It is not a long wait before the door chimes and Mia enters, the security escort visible hanging back outside the door Mia@crystyll: "Mon Capitaine!" Mia@crystyll | Keelah, "Don't you 'mon Capitaine' me. You sabotaged this ship, stole a shuttlecraft, /fired/ on this ship. I sincerely hope you have a good explanation for this Mia" Mia@crystyll pouts a little, "You saw the creatures, non?" Ann Carter@anncarise: "Could ya see 'em the whole time?" Mia@crystyll | Keelah nods, "We saw... something, yes. What were they?" Mia@crystyll nods to Ann, "We do not know what they are. Only that they appeared when the Klingon escape pod was opened. We saw them almost instantly form as a shroud around every person in the room" Mia@crystyll: "We dared not confront them for fear of what they may do to those they seemed to be interacting with, and so we hurried away to come tell you! But by the time we travelled here, they had too! We saw + Mia@crystyll: + them around everyone, even on the bridge!" Ann Carter@anncarise | Kelly: "But you said you didn't see anything. Or was that to prevent them from knowing that you were aware of them?" Mia@crystyll nods to Kelly, "We saw nothing because there was nothing to see. We believe they were influencing your perception from a long time before. The black box you recovered has not had the power to even + Mia@crystyll: + produce a signal for at least half a century, let alone broadcast across lightyears. We surmise that these... things, projected the readings, or the perception of the readings" Ann Carter@anncarise | Kelly: "But the Klingon escape pod was real?" Mia@crystyll: "It was, and is. It is still there. Just a very old and empty physical shell" Mia@crystyll | Keelah; "So why did they ignore you, and why were you able to see them?" Ann Carter@anncarise | Kelly: "Maybe it only impacted organic lifeforms?" Mia@crystyll nods to Kelly with a smile, "Yes! This was our hypothesis also! As for the perceptions, well our drone shell is more advanced than a standard tricorder, which in turn is even more advanced than the + Mia@crystyll: + sense of an organic lifeform. We were able to see because they did not see us to obscure our perception of true sensor readings. At least, this is our theory to fit the observed facts" Mia@crystyll | Keelah nods along, listening and comprehending slowly, "So from what you could tell, these beings appeared to be... surrounding each of us?" Mia@crystyll: "Oui. We had no way of discerning their level of symbiotic perception, or their reaction to any perceived threat. Ergo we surmised that the safest course of action was not to let any member of the + Mia@crystyll: + crew realize that we were aware of these creatures, for fear of what may happen to them" Ann Carter@anncarise: "How'd ya know how to get rid o' 'em?" Mia@crystyll looks to Ann, "Which is why we had to try and scare you aware in engineering Ms. Ann, for which we are so very very sorry!" Ann Carter@anncarise: "I thought ya sounded like ya were feelin' bad 'bout it at the end..." Ann Carter@anncarise: "Glad I was right!" Mia@crystyll: "Aah, now that came with a little research! You see, we first observed that they were unable to maintain their shrouded connection - which we surmized to be how they perceived our realm - when we + Mia@crystyll: + witnessed one lose it's connection briefly with an engineer who got near the ionized cooling system. So we fabricated a 'blind spot' using ionized water, which we replicated from locations all over+ Mia@crystyll: + the ship to avoid detection by overuse of a single terminal. There we were able to freely access the sensor arrays directly without compromise" Ann Carter@anncarise: "So tha's wha' all the water was for!" Mia@crystyll: "Then, with the real data present" she presents a PADD to Keelah, "We were able to trace the route of the escape pod back to this nebula. A quick peek through long range sensors - as we used to do + Mia@crystyll: + for fun - led us to make the connection between their base energy signature and the nebula. In short, this is their home. We still do not know if their intent was malicious or simply curious, only + Mia@crystyll: + that it was not with consenting free will. It did not take much calculation to determine that phaser energy directed through the nebula would have a similarly deionizing effect. We simply needed to+ Mia@crystyll: + make you raise shields in order to spread the effect across the whole ship safely" Ann Carter@anncarise | Kelly: "Well if the escape pod was real, and they were only making us hear the signal...that suggests they /wanted/ us to find it." Ann Carter@anncarise "You said they only appeared after we opened it. Could they have been trapped inside or somethin’? The pod wasn't in the nebula..." Mia@crystyll: "Oui Ms. Kelly, but we do not know why they wanted this. It could be their method of exploration; baiting vessels close enough to study first hand. It could have been an attempt to seize control and + Mia@crystyll: + leave their nebula" Mia@crystyll: "That is also possible Ms. Ann! In theory, the pod could have travelled through the nebula and inadvertently picked them up. They may have simply been trying to get home" Mia@crystyll | Keelah hrms, "This... is a lot to take in. Mia, I want a full report on my desk by 0600" Mia@crystyll nods, "Of course, mon Capitaine" Mia@crystyll | Keelah looks to the others, "Does this satisfy any lingering questions you two may have from your experiences over the day?" Ann Carter@anncarise | Kelly: "There's still the question of the Klingon escape pod itself. If there's a pod, there had to have been a ship, and Vrolmacht said the pod corresponded to a smaller type of vessel. A bird - Ann Carter@anncarise: - of prey wouldn't come here alone, it would probably have accompanied other ships that might still be out there, at least as wreckage or derelicts that might have more answers..." Ann Carter@anncarise | Kelly: "But I don't think that's a question Mia has any more of an answer to than we do." Mia@crystyll | Keelah: "It is certainly a mystery, but given the potential age of such a pod and the amount of stellar drift over such a potentially long course of time... I do not hold high hopes of making any + Mia@crystyll: + great discoveries on that front today" she smiles Ann Carter@anncarise | Kelly: "Seeing how big space is, we might never find out what happened to those Klingons. Or if these shadows we encountered had anything to do with them." Mia@crystyll | Keelah: "I'll review Mia's report and her data with you and Lendaria in the morning. If we can discern enough from this experience to warrant it, I am open to attempting communication. But for + Mia@crystyll: + now, we will back off to a safe distance and maintain alert status" Ann Carter@anncarise | Kelly nods, "I'd definitely rather not be influenced by one of those things again either if we can help it. Maybe we should have Kazra run a few medical scans, just to be safe." Mia@crystyll | Keelah nods, "Don't you worry, she's going to have her work cut out for a while after this!" Ann Carter@anncarise | Kelly chuckles, "She's going to regret complaining about not having enough at the start of the day..." Mia@crystyll | Keelah smiles, "Aah she was, was she? I shall have to remember to remind our dear doctor that this was all her fault for wishing it on us then" Mia@crystyll giggles at that, mostly relieved to see the Captain no longer mad at her for shooting the ship Mia@crystyll | Keelah looks to Ma, "Well then if there's nothing more, you've got a report to submit. And... thank you Mia, it took real courage to act as you did today. It won't be forgotten" Ann Carter@anncarise: "Yeah, thanks for gettin' rid o' those shadow folks!" Mia@crystyll beams proudly, "Our pleasure mon Capitaine! Ladies" she gives a cheery wave to the group and heads out with a skip back in her step
SUBMITTED: Stardate 96839.8 FILED BY: Miyata LaRouche SECURITY: Level 1 - Open
MISSION:Defend USS Valley Forge from unidentified infiltrators
OUTCOME:Infiltrators repelled. Minor damage caused to saucer section (apologies!)
CAPT Se'Lai CMDR Meel LCDR Keliaya LCDR Lendaria LCDR Vrolmacht LT Fisher LT Silvestrie ENS Carter MCPO Tyr CPO T'Quila Mia LaRouche
It all begin while we were crossing sector V-008, after leaving Trinity space. The duty bridge crew detected a faint distress signal that sounded Klingon and so moved to investigate. Upon locating the source they found an old KDF escape pod, which Mr. Vrolmacht estimated to have come from an older Bird of Prey - circa 22nd / 23rd century. After it was brought on board, we were requested to join Ms. Keliaya, Ms. Kazra and Mr. Vrolmacht in the cargo bay to investigate - and potentially assist with bypassing any damaged control systems.
Our first observation of suspicious circumstances came after the rest of the investigation team arrived. Ms. Kazra stated that she could detect some biosignatures within the pod, and that they had detected the same with ship's sensors. This was odd because our own sensors did not detect any such thing, though we did not consider this sufficient cause for concern and simply scheduled a systems diagnostic for later in the day. Ms. Keliaya ordered us to proceed with opening the pod, and we quickly found that our avatar's digits were insufficient to achieve this and so utilized our drone shell's tooling to bypass the manual controls and open the pod. Upon doing so, our own sensor readings were seemingly confirmed as there was no lifeform within. Further suspicion was raised by the insistence throughout by the present officers that they could hear a tapping noise from within, and thought it was someone on the inside banging on the interior of the canopy.
That is when events took a sudden and alarming turn. With the pod open, we observed shadowy shrouds appearing to encompass the present officers but with no reaction or sign of awareness from said officers. The shrouds movement and reaction to their surroundings suggested to us that they were a lifeform of some description; possibly existing out of phase with our own plane of existence. This theory was later refined when we concluded that they were connected - not unlike a hive mind, or single cells of a larger lifeform - via a strong telepathic field. This field was used to alter the crews perceptions of sensor data from a great distance, and allowed the shrouds to completely obscure their presence from anyone's awareness.
But we digress; following our initial observations of the sudden appearance of the shrouds, we determined that it was too high risk to attempt to expose their presence to the officers present, not knowing what reaction they might have and what harm they may be capable of bringing to the officers they each surrounded. To that end, we promptly excused ourselves whilst attempting to maintain natural behavior in order to avert suspicion. We had intended to report directly to you, mon Capitaine, in order to raise the alert. However as we passed through the ship, we observed shrouds surrounding everyone - even on the bridge. At this point we concluded that we were the only lifeform on board not affected - reason; surmised as owing to our nature as digital life, not biological. Hypothesis stands that the shrouds did not register us any differently to the Valley Forge or it's systems, and so either did not see us to act or did see us, but did not recognize us as a lifeform and so chose not to act.
We continued to observe the shrouds and their interaction with the crew whilst formulating a strategy. By happenstance we observed a shrouds difficulty in maintaining it's illusion over an engineer when they came into close proximity to the plasma cooling system. A little experimentation confirmed that it was a reaction to the ionization and so we formulated a plan to first create a safe isolation chamber from which we could safely interact with ship's systems without the shrouds awareness. This was achieved by fabricating an aquarium-type structure which we filled with ionized water to create a surrounding of the terminal in our quarters (thankfully achievable as we recently undertook a similar fabrication to house our new pet obtained from the Chlasi!). From here we were able to bypass security protocols and retrieve data directly from the sensor arrays, this is where we obtained confirmation of the perception 'filters' being applied by the shrouds. We determined also, that the Klingon pod came on a trajectory which took it through the heart of a nebula only 4LY from our current position, and a quick check with long range sensors confirmed that the nebula housed comparable readings to the shrouds themselves.
Following our data collection exercise, we formulated a strategy based on the concluded theory regarding the nature of the shrouds and promptly set about putting it into action. In our haste through all of this, we had failed to observe that Ms. Ann's suspicions had been raised while we were gathering water from various replicators around the ship (done to avoid raising an alert for excessive use of a single terminal). She had tailed us to main engineering where we were in the process of disabling specific ship systems in order to accommodate our plan. Again, not an action we are proud of but ultimately deemed necessary for the well being of the ship and crew. Ms. Ann caught up to us in the jefferies tubes where we were disabling the tractor beam and docking systems, with fear for her safety if the shrouds realized what we were doing we had no choice but to take a threatening stance against her where we replicated a tazer attachment to our drone shell (thankfully we did not have to use it).
With time running short at this point, we made haste to the shuttlebay where we seized a shuttlecraft and departed. Our overrides of ship systems proved successful as the hangar controls and tractor beam did not prevent our departure. In order to execute the recovery plan we knew that the Valley Forge's shields would need to be raised and so we fired on the ship to prompt this reaction. As shields were not already up, this caused minor surface damage to the saucer section - for which we profusely apologize and offer to to assist in repairing). This had the desired reaction and once we saw shields being raised we engaged on a course to the nebula where we took up position within it's outer perimeter. Once the Valley Forge arrived we engaged in communication and drew the ship into range. Once in range we fired through the nebula to strike the Valley Forge shields with a connecting low yield phaser beam which was ionized by the nebula and formed a direct energy connection between the nebula and the ship. With shields raised, it was sufficiently spread around the entire ship to achieve the desired effect on separating the shrouds from the crew. Though our initial calculation for the harmonic frequency was sufficient to disrupt the shrouds perception filter, it was not enough to completely remove them and so a second shot was fired with a corrected frequency. This proved successful and reports from the Valley Forge crew confirm visual observation of the shrouds dissipating at this time. At this point I re-established contact with the ship and proceeded to explain, though you - mon Capitaine - along with all of the crew, were suffering the ill effects of the first separation attempt in the form of disorienting head pain.
Following our debrief and further consultation with Ms. Keliaya and Ms. Lendaria, we have concluded that the Shrouds (formally named) are a non-intelligent lifeform indigenous to this nebula. Believed to be gaseous in nature, our current theory is they form a single organism as the nebula itself with the individual Shrouds we witnessed serving more akin to cells within a biological lifeform. We believe they are interconnected by a strong telepathic field which is what they used to exert control and influence over the crews behavour & perception. Our belief is that this errant escape pod passed through the nebula and a number of Shrouds were inadvertently pulled away with it. They bonded with the microscopic cellular residue left behind by it's former occupant and were able to produce the illusion of the distress signal from this. Once on the Valley Forge, we believe they were in the process of learning to comprehend conscious biological life in order to exert control - presumably with the intent of using the ship to return themselves to the nebula, though we have no means of confirming this hypothesis.
Given the instinctive behavior of the Shrouds and their capacity to exert influence over biological lifeforms - even those with innate telepathic ability - we recommend maintaining a minimum safe distance of 5LY from the nebula. That said, this is a previously unrecorded form of life and so we believe an array of marking buoys to warn vessels away from the nebula can be safely interspersed with observational probes to continue gathering data. We believe it is worth allocating at least one communication-capable probe to this array as a means for the Shrouds to reach out, should they develop the capacity and desire to do so.
With regards to the Valley Forge and her crew, we believe a period of medical monitoring be conducted to ensure no lasting ill-effects from contact with the Shrouds. Given the alarming nature of these events, it may also be prudent for Ms. Yoona's team to reach out and offer counselling to any crew member who is particularly troubled by the personal invasion. The damage caused to the Valley Forge by our initial phaser fire is apparently minor and easily repaired, though we understand this does not absolve our responsibility in said actions and so subject our self to Command decision regarding any disciplinary action.