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Cmdr Waterhouse, Ens Vausse, Ens Broll & Ens Varik - "So Hard to Find My Way"

Posted on 2017-08-24 07:27 by Captain Amelia Waterhouse & Lieutenant Zola & Ensign Kaylhan Vausse & Lieutenant JG Lem Broll M.D. & Ensign Varik

Mission: Cup O Noodle

Zola emerged from the GGTA self driving cab first, in front of a tall building in the Nob Hill district of San Francisco. She approached the front door, and submitted her hand to the access panel. It chirped as it scanned her palm, then the door unlocked to allow her and Lem to enter inside and approach the dedicated elevator that went up to the penthouse at the top of the building.

"This is Waterhouse's personal residence, that she shares with Caine... but he's not around right now. Given that we have reason to suspect the people we're dealing with have access to Starfleet resources, Waterhouse feels her penthouse is more secure." Zola explained as she waited for Lem to follow her into the elevator.

"Not around right now?" He chuckled a bit and then shrugged. The house was a nice touch, he never met an officer in their private housing before so Lem had a new adventure. "Oh, tell me about the Captain? I haven't met her that much and we have an elevator ride ahead to talk about it! Gossip, even though that is bad conduct, but ah. It is fun." Lem chuckled a bit and then looked downwards to the other, expecting a vile reaction. He always pushed a little at first when being around new people.

"Waterhouse is a little unusual by fleet standards, but she's a capable and fair commanding officer," Zola answered intentionally vaguely. She chose not to further elaborate on the Caine issue, as she wasn't sure if Lem was allowed to know the real situation or just the cover that'd been provided to Hades. The elevator was quick to reach the top and the doors slid open again. A short hallway extended from the doorway of the elevator to the front entrance into the penthouse.

That wasn't what Lem had hoped for, but he gave a small smile to the lieutenant and walked with her to the front entrance. "I don't know about that, but I trust your judgement. If she lets me work on board the ship. I'll be a happy Bolian." The blue man looked at the entrance and pointed towards the door. "That is all you."

Zola pressed an old style doorbell, and a screen flickered to life next to the door. "Come in," Amelia's voice came out, but she wasn't visible on the screen, it just showed a wall with artwork hanging on it. "Come through to the office."

Lem folded his arms, he was still in his familiar outfit by now. The teal shoulders of his medical uniform. The brown leather satchel over his shoulder. He stepped with her to the door and waited.

Zola reached out and turned the handle on the old-style door, opening it inward as she stepped inside. A short hallway lead inside with a couple doors on the right and opening up into a living room with glass doors leading out onto a sizable balcony — beyond a view of the city spread outwards. They passed a kitchen on the left as they went inside, and Zola turned left, like she'd been here before, to guide them past the island that divided the living room from the kitchen to the door that sat open just beyond.

"If I had hair I'd part it right now, buuut ...okay, sorry I am a bit nervous." He whispered that in front of the office before entering, but afterwards he smiled following the other.

Inside the office, two windows filled the wall across from the door and to the right of it, offering more of a view of the city, this time including the Golden Gate bridge, as well as Starfleet HQ and Academy. An old and well worn brown leather couch hugged the wall next to the door, and a desk sat in the corner facing out the rightward window. Amelia sat at the desk with a PADD. A small green blur came darting out from under the desk and circled around Zola and Lem's heels, yipping the whole time.

"Heya Captain! Oh ..Ehm. Ma'am ..Good day, Ma'am." The doctor gave a nod and was a bit thrown off by her casual appearance, since he and Zola were in full uniform. Standard working uniform, but still. The Bolian merely grinned now. He was rather confused about the situation still, but he had a feeling that would work out.

Amelia chuckled softly as she turned her chair to face Lem and Zola. "Any luck at the transit yard?" The green blur slowed down and came to resemble a green fox with horns again, sniffing at Lem's boot.

Still in a more casual nature, Lem kneeled and started petting the fox. He smiled at it and then looked up at Amelia. "Oh, Ehm. We found that the blackboxes were offline while they shouldn't have been. I think Zola would have more knowledge about that. I mean, I know why hearts stop working, not black boxes that are actually orange. Which is quite strange why wouldn't we call then orange? Oh ...Pardon." He rambled on again.

"The correct name for the device is a flight recorder, and they're orange to improve visibility when being recovered from a crash. Black box is a human slang term for the device, and is of debated origins. If you like, I can tell you some of the theories later," Zola told Lem, then looked to Amelia. "All of the flight recorders stopped recording data as the shuttles lost power, which shouldn't have happened because they're on an isolated and fully shielded power source. Whatever disrupted the power didn't appear to cause lasting damage the shuttle systems, aside from what was sustained as a direct result of crash; I was able to power on some of the systems of one of the shuttles and all flight recorders responded normally when interfaced with to transfer data."

"And no one could have erased or tampered with the recorders?" Amelia reached into her desk, pulling out a small case. She held out the open case to Lem, showing dried cherries inside. "For Mikey," she explained, nodding towards the fox. Mikey sat down with his tail flicking back and forth, looking from Lem to the container expectantly.

"Not possible, the recording medium is designed to be single write and un-erasable without showing obvious signs of tampering. The break in the data is consistent with unexpected power loss." Zola pulled her PADD out of her bag. "Here is all the data I collected."

"And just like a heart that stops, an unexpected powerloss is either a malfunction in the technical bits or it was inhibited from functioning normally by something from the outside. No?" Lem replied with a slight smile as he grabbed one of the cherries, holding it up above the Fox a bit. He tried to make the animal jump up a little to get its snack.

"Ah, at least I know those people are doing ... well they're being treated right in the hospital. Heh." The bolian stood up again after feeding the vulpine creature and folded his arms. "That is to say, this might've been part of some overarching plot to create panic within the confines of the city."

"It certainly looks like it was something outside the shuttle that caused the power loss," Zola insisted. "I think first of all, we need to give Starfleet and GGTA a reason not to fly anymore shuttles through the area until we figure out what's going on. And second we need to go in and see if we can find whatever it is."

Amelia took Zola's PADD and looked over the data. Then she turned to her computer terminal and brought up maps and flight lane data. "It looks like they're locking down those areas already in anticipation of the event with the Romulan Empress and Praetor. However, that makes me worry that whatever this is has some connection to the other problem we're chasing." Amelia frowned. "What sort of team would we need to search the area and attempt to locate the device?"

"That depends on how quickly we want to cover the area, and how concerned we are at tipping our hand if it is connected," Zola responded cautiously. "With disguised tricorders we could probably cover the area in a few hours with a couple of small teams. If we don't worry about tipping out hand I'd just ask the for support from Starfleet engineering and security and just flood the area with people as well as scanning from HQ."

"The information I have tells me the range of the weapon we're chasing is such it would harm all of San Francisco, as well as the Marin area and reach parts across the bay as well. That is too many lives to risk by tipping our hand. We have a little time yet before the Empress and Praetor arrive — that is if Lieutenants Khan and Lexil can't successfully persuade them otherwise. Put together small covert teams and start the search, and hopefully Ensigns Vausse and Varik will have some success finding out the nature of the weapon, so that when you find whatever it is, if it turns out to be the weapon, we'll know how to handle it." Amelia handed Zola her PADD back.

"Hm, well, that sounds rather bad, doesn't it? I do hope we don't get face to face with some organisations that wishes evil. It is always such a hassle I imagine." He replied with a small smile and leaned a little over, petting the fox again. "That is too say, I am not very talented at the usage of engineering equipment. I could read biological data fine, but other than that, I do not know how I can ... add to this team."

"Well, I can't order you to help out, all of this — which is to say that I believe this connects in with something else we've been chasing — is very much off the record, and I have reason to suspect that there are moles within Starfleet that are tipping these people off. If you don't want to pursue this further, I understand Doctor. I appreciate what you've done so far." Amelia sighed and crossed her arms. "I do think you could still be a help, you are the one that put together the shuttle crashes into a pattern and started the investigation into them."

"Hey, I don't really mind either way, Captain. If I'm needed here I'll work here if they need me during some epidemic I'll be there. Orders or not. Just put me where you like!" Lem gave a small nod. "Not to say I'm not serious about it."

There was a chirp from Amelia's desk, and she looked at the surface where a notification illuminated. It showed a video feed of the balcony and four women standing on it — two familiar, Ensigns Kaylhan Vausse and Varik, one nervous Bajoran, presumably the Jalys woman they'd gone to meet, and an unconscious woman in a suit. Amelia pulled a phaser and a tricorder from a top drawer on her desk. "If you'll give me a moment," she said with a nod to Zola and Lem as she headed out of the office to greet her guests. She'd given the two ensigns the handshake protocol for the security system, just in case of an emergency, but she hadn't expected them to bring anyone with them if they'd had to use it.

"I hope you ladies are alright?" Amelia greeted them as she walked out onto the balcony, phaser in hand aimed at the unconscious woman, and tricorder scanning all four of them.

"Fine, thank you Captain" Varik replied placidly. "This is Jalys, our contact from the Carrington estate and this..." she indicated to the still unconscious woman " the reason for our unexpected and unconventional arrival. She was tailing Jalys and pulled a phaser when we made our escape. I suspect she is linked to Carrington's security somehow."

Varik sat the unknown woman up and -ever the practical engineer- easily lifted her, walking her inside and placing her on a convenient couch to get her out of sight.

"Experience dictates she will be conscious shortly" she informed the group, looking at Amelia particularly.

“I suggest she is detained for questioning, Captain.” Kaylhan began. “After all, she did pull a phaser on us. We also have some information and I have an idea on a plan of action.”

The Betazoid turned to Jalys – the Bajoran's nervousness was like a background hum in the telepath's mind. Kaylhan's first instinct was to reassure Jalys that everything would have been fine. Yet, given the mission they were going to embark in, she realised the words would have probably sounded hollow and would have had the opposite effect of what she intended.

“Would you like a drink?” She said instead. “That is, if it's okay with you, of course, Ma’am.” She added, now looking at her Captain.

Her curse as a Betazoid – she had to do something to help relieving distress.

"So how exactly did you knock out the random lady that pulled a weapon on you?" Lem walked past the others and to the woman, pulling out his trusty tricorder from a leather satchel that hung over his shoulder and secured the information on her well being, to then turn around to the others. "Oh! I hope you're all fine as well. Yep. Quite so, need any help? Do I need to check anyone of you? Administer a calming solution perhaps, miss?"

Varik smiled at Lem, she had missed his scatty nature.

"A Vulcan nerve pinch. She will suffer no permanent damage" she told him.

"Unfortunately." Kaylhan added casually, before taking a brief look around. "What?" She cleared her throat and focused again.

Amelia closed her tricorder and set it down on an end table. She hadn't detected any bugs on any of them. "Doctor, please make sure our guest remains unconscious." Amelia looked from the human to the Bajoran woman, then to Kaylhan. "The replicator is in the kitchen, there's also a kettle and fresh tea if that would be preferred... And there's a liquor cabinet above the replicator if it's been that stressful."

Jalys gave a tight lipped smile. "I can get myself some water, thank you." She walked through to the kitchen, keeping half an eye on the unconscious woman as she passed her.

"Okay, let's focus on what's critical right now. Who is she, and what are we looking at right now?" Amelia perched herself on the arm of the couch facing the one where the woman slumped unconsciously.

"If you are referring to our unconscious friend, I believe she is one of our terrorist suspects." Kaylhan took a few steps towards the couch where Amelia was seated, and turned to face the human, also. "She followed Jalys and was an awful lot interested in what we were saying. But I am fairly confident we spotted her before she could get too close."

>>In the mean time, Lem grabbed a small hypospray from the satchel that was still hanging from his shoulder. A hypospray was fetched out of it and put on the correct dosage, before injecting the anesthetic into the unconscious person. He did it silently, but just listened to what the others had to say next.

The Betazoid paused for a moment to think at the conversation, crossing her arms.

"Jalys knows where they are building the device and she wants to help us infiltrate it. She knows the lay of the land. I'd like to accompany her, but I would need some help from our Doctor here to look more human and a little less like me, so people who have seen me at the Carrington residence before won't recognise me."

The Blonde stopped to sigh. "Yes, we need to go back there... I would appreciate it if someone else came with us, too."

"The idea of taking an untrained civilian into a potentially dangerous situation like this doesn't sit well with me, but I agree we need to get in there, and you need support to do it. We just took on a new infiltration officer, an Orion woman raised here on Earth, and if Dr Broll can make her pass for human, she'd probably be an ideal partner for the outing." Amelia looked over to Jalys, who stood clutching a full glass of water. "Do you think Jalys will be okay to come with you? She looks shook up," Amelia asked quietly.

"Making anyone look human is quite easy with some quick surgery in a professional environment. If you give me access to one that is." Lem smirked a little, excited for the work to come, already painting the new faces on his crewmates in his mind.

"Can you work with a holographic surgical bay?" Amelia asked. "I have a holosuite here and we can pull in Akadi or Dragomirov to assist you, whichever one we can reach first, and what equipment that the holographic version won't suffice."

"Ah, that will suffice. It might not be my best work, but if I can get some extra time. Well, let's say half out crew will be quite different." Lem smiled softly at the others and rubbed the back of his head softly.

Kaylhan pondered upon Lem's excitement for a moment or two, wondering what she was getting herself into. "I better look like a model." She said eventually in jest. "But before we get into that, Captain, the thought of having a civilian in a mission doesn't make me happy either. She is motivated though, and would make our entry in the facility a lot easier. Perhaps you would like to speak to her directly to assess her suitability."

The Betazoid shifted her weight onto her right leg. "We also need fake IDs, maybe to pass as new engineers? Unless someone has a better idea."

"We should have some general purpose contractor ID templates that can be adjusted for this purpose." Amelia replied as Jalys walked back over.

"Company IDs are really simplistic," the Bajoran said as she pulled hers out of her pocket. "It shouldn't be hard to copy. They get new workers in that building regularly, easily twice the rate of the other manufacturing locations, so you won't stand out." After Amelia took the ID from her, she stood with her arms crossed. "One of the people I regularly get lunch with works in HR, and she'll talk your ear off if you let her."

"We appreciate all the help you've given us, and you've indicated you'll continue to give us... But I want to make sure you understand that agreeing to take us into this building is potentially very dangerous for you," Amelia said, turning Jalys's ID over in her hands as she spoke. "These people we are facing have killed, and I have no doubt they'll do so again. You can still be a tremendous help just telling us everything you know, and staying back when you're not trained for a dangerous place is often the tactically advantageous move."

"My grandmother hadn't held a weapon in her life before her first action with the Bajoran resistance. That didn't stop her. Besides, Mr. Carrington has been the best boss I've ever had, and Kaylhan made it sound like he's in danger from all this too. I'll help however I can, and I think your best chance of getting into that building, because of the building security, is have someone who is familiar accompany you."

"That seems logical." Varik kept up the premise of typical Vulcanicity around Jalys. "Perhaps I can analyse the Carrington security field and find an an effective method of nullification."

"I can provide you with my login credentials, but I probably don't have access to any of the information you need. Most of my access is relating to financials..." Jalys said. "If you can't find a more covert way to get inside, I will escort you through the front door."

"You can make use of the terminal in my office," Amelia offered. "But first, Varik, can you assure me you did something to make sure that our shadows wouldn't have traced you here from your beam in?"

"Yes ma'am I did" Varik told her, contemplating the ease at which she could manipulate the transporter operator who had beamed them in and in fact males of most species. It was quite a startling thing to witness for those who did not know the young Vulcan how easily she could switch on and switch off emotions. Doubly so as despite being closer to thirty Varik was the one of the youngest Vulcan academy graduates currently serving and due to differing lifespans to human eyes looked more like twenty than thirty. It was a fairly killer combination. Fortunately she had little desire to cause trouble.

"The transporter operator at Starfleet headquarters presented no challenge. According to the logs it was only Ensign Vausse and I who beamed in and then back out again to a beach north of the city."

"Very good, see what you can find out and we'll decide what our plan is." Amelia gave a whistle, and Mikey came running out of the office. "He likely would have disturbed you," Amelia commented as she scooped the little green fox creature up and set him on her shoulders. He looked around at the others and he settled down curled around the back of her neck.

Varik smiled internally at Mikey but gave no external indication of her amusement. Instead she answered with a "probably" and a "thank you" and made her way directly into the office.

Jalys quickly followed Varik, and Amelia looked around at the others. "I'm going to make a couple calls, so please make yourself comfortable. Help yourself to the replicator or anything in the kitchen." She looked at the unconscious woman still sitting on her couch a moment before pulling open a drawer on an end table and pulling out handcuffs, which she tossed onto the couch next to the woman. "Someone cuff her, please. Doctor, please get me a list of what tools you need that the holosuite can't provide you with, and hopefully we'll have a clearer path forward shortly."

=/\= End Log =/\=

Commander Amelia Waterhouse
Commanding Officer
USS Joshua Norton, NCC-74819-A

Ensign Kaylhan Vausse
Reconnaissance Specialist
U.S.S. Joshua Norton

Ensign Lem Broll M.D.
USS Joshua Norton

Ensign Varik
MEP Specialist
USS Joshua Norton

NPCs by Amy: Lt Zola, R&D Specialist; Michaelangelo Waterhouse, fuzzy green pain in the ass; unconscious woman


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