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Lt Khan II & Lt Zola - "When Logic And Proportion Have Fallen Sloppy Dead"

Posted on 2016-07-13 20:37 by Lieutenant Streeh Khan II & Lieutenant Zola

Mission: Black, White & Red All Over

Zola hadn't liked the warnings the systems near the forward airlocks had been giving, and she knew that Oswin wouldn't forgive her bringing the ship back anything less than perfect — the chief engineer knew Zola had served as a chief engineer of a defiant class in a past life. So she went to look at the systems personally.

Everything had seemed normal enough, and a less diligent engineer might have just recorded the diagnostic information, reset the systems, and called it good. Zola didn't like unexplained glitches in normal situations, but things had been unusual enough lately, she really couldn't make the idea of something being wrong leave her mind. She pulled on an ev suit to look at the outside systems directly, since she couldn't find anything wrong from inside the ship, and that's where she found it. The access hatch for the airlock controls was sitting open, and a program was in the process of deleting itself from the buffer. Zola quickly copied over what she could, then headed back inside.

"Zola to Khan."

"Khan here," Streeh said as he looked over the tactical systems as he ran a analysis to make sure that all the weapons systems were operational and up to whatever may be required of them.

"I found something you should be aware of. Can you meet me at the forward airlocks?"

"I'm on my way," Streeh said as he finished the diagnostic and secured the station before he headed out of the Security office and went to the turbolift. There, he ordered the turbolift to deck three and headed to the forward airlock where the tiny Ferengi was. "What have we got, Lieutenant?"

Zola set her ev suit's helmet on the deck, and held out a PADD to Streeh. "I'm in the process of doing a recovery on the program I pulled from the buffers, but it looks like someone popped this hatch from the outside. It didn't set off any alarms, made it look like some surges and fluctuations in neighboring systems... I asked the system to do a silent scan, so as to not spook whoever it is, but no unexpected life signs are coming up."

"From the outside?" Streeh raised an eyebrow and leaned closer to inhale deeply to see if he could get more than the scent of Zola, lubricant, metal and the everyday use of the airlock. He grunted and looked back up. "I should take the ship to full alert," he said. "If some accessed the airlock and it was none of us, then we have intruders on board."

"We should probably also search for a cloaked ship nearby? There's nothing blocking the airlock, I was just out there, but they had to come from somewhere. I know our passive scans would have picked up a transporter signal if it was too close to the hull on the outside."

"Can you do a tachyon burst in the space around us to detect them?" Streeh asked.

"In my sleep," Zola insisted, moving to a wall panel to access the computer. Her fingers danced over the display as she tapped into the sensor system, and initiated the tachyon burst. A hum of disappointment escaped her as the sensors picked up nothing in the wake of the tachyons.

"If there was one, it's probably already gone. What about detection of residual warp trails or anything?" Streeh asked as he headed to a terminal and began a scan of the ship for lifeforms.

"I'd have better access to the sensors in engineering. Might be able to refine the internal sensors from there too. Come with me?" Zola scooped up her helmet and headed down the corridor, trusting that Streeh would follow or go where he was needed.

Streeh initiated a silent coded ship wide alert to anyone at a terminal that had access that it was possible that intruders could be on the ship, then headed after Zola. "I just sent a silent alert," he said.

"Hopefully our guest isn't at a terminal right now," she commented, almost as if asking a diety or saint for a favor.

They reached engineering shortly, and Zola quickly took over a terminal to tap into the sensor systems. She routed the internal sensor readouts to the terminal next to her. "It'll take a moment for the algorithms to do their work."

"You could send your swarm of drones out, too," Streeh suggested. "As for our guest being at a terminal, it's coded just like everything else we do."

"Well, if it's the same people we've been dealing with since your Vulcan friend turned up dead, they may know our codes," Zola pointed out with a frown. "We should talk to Waterhouse about having codes that only the crew know, that aren't on record with HQ. To supplement the normal intel codes. I've only got a dozen of the probes ready to go at the moment, but once I set up the sensors, I can go deploy those and replicate more."

"If they have the codes or not, our people are going to know there are intruders aboard the ship and be prepared," Streeh said.

"Of course, but I thought part of the point with the silent notification was to let the intruders believe they were still undetected in order to give our people an advantage in tracking them." Zola shrugged. "At any rate, it doesn't look like the modifications to the internal sensors are finding anything, and the external sensors are starting their sweep now. I'm going to head to my workshop to deploy the probes. I think using the audio sensors looking for heartbeats will be our best bet. Should be easy to load all present crew's heartbeats, and tell the sensors to track any heartbeats that aren't within that data set. That sound good to you? I can try out the cloak I've added to them too, so that they should go unnoticed as they swarm through the ship."

"Speaking of stealth, I could change into my wolf form and then use the suit to overlay a holographic representation of something a little friendlier," he mused.

"A sheep?" Zola suggested as she locked down her console, and turned for the door.

"Why would a sheep be on the ship?" Streeh asked. "Maybe a Saint Bernard. They're big enough to cover my dire wolf form."

"Considering the only forms of non-humanoid life on the ship right now are Waterhouse's green fox, and Liebenswert's cat, you might be just as conspicuous. Are you coming to help with the probes?"

"And a sheep wouldn't be," he pointed out as he followed her. "Maybe I should put one of the personal cloaks on and stalk the ship in my crinos form."

"That is your prerogative as chief of security, but what would that accomplish?"

"It would be a tactical edge on our part, especially if they know the codes and are aware that we're looking for them," Streeh said. "If I were cloaked, they'd never know what hit them. I'd need one of those personal transporters, too."

"The good news is that those are also in my workshop, so you can see me deploy the probes and start on your rounds at the same time."

"Let's get there and get everything set up, then," he said.

"For such a small ship, it sure feels like it sometimes takes a while to get somewhere," Zola observed with a smirk. "Could just be my short legs. Here we are." She laid her palm on the access panel to unlock the door into the converted cargo bay.

"Hang on," Streeh said as he began to transform into his dire wolf form until it was completed. He nodded towards the panel and crouched down to make himself as small a target as possible, his muscles bunched and ready to launch himself at any attackers.

As the door slid open, the alarm sounded, and the computer spoke the words that should have come as no surprise to either officer who stood outside the R and D workshop: intruder alert. It then identified the ready room as the source of the alert.

Streeh looked over at Zola, then turned his head to his back and back to her and nodded his head twice before he crouched down some more when the alert sounded.

"Go, I should get the probes launched and start analyzing the program," she insisted, heading into her workshop instead. "Promise to stay on alert and keep a phaser at my side, just in case."

He nodded, turned and headed for the nearest turbolift, shifting forms as he went and then headed to the bridge.

=/\= End Log =/\=

Lieutenant Streeh Khan II
Chief of Security
USS Joshua Norton

Lieutenant Zola
R & D Specialist
USS Joshua Norton


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