Episode One - "Bridge Over Troubled Water"

On-Duty posts of the USS Firewall crew.

Re: Episode One - "Bridge Over Troubled Water"

Postby jdrake » Tue Aug 02, 2011 6:03 pm

”Regardless of what you might think about the wisdom of the situation, Lieutenant Junior Grade, I was following direct orders from Lieutenant Danforth.” Jack smirked a little but, as he spoke, his voice came off as cold, ”You weren’t on the bridge, so I don’t expect you to understand the situation in its entirety, sir. Under the circumstances, however, of a ship jumping into an unknown system with shield up and behaving erratically,” Both things that could have been avoided at the hand at command not been so green, but he didn’t feel it necessary to add in that last part. Everyone knew it already, ”I think we both know that our initial response would be attempting to hail the vessel, and if no answer, we would take other actions. To prevent this…Alliance from that, yes. A response was necessary. Furthermore, the Alliance knows most everyone on this ship suffered from an invasive mind invasions, the side effects of which they already seem well familiar with, and they also know, since we’re hanging in their orbit, well within their sensor range, that none of our major systems are malfunctioning. My options, when instructed by Lieutenant Danforth to deal with the hail, were limited.” The smirk remained on his face, ”So yes, Lieutenant Junior Grade. I used all the tact and skill from someone in my rank and position.”

He had given the man whatever amount of respect he could manage, and it had been thrown back into his face. If Astor wanted to play the blustery commanding officer, that was his prerogative, but Jack felt no need to sit there and take the man’s sarcastic reprimand, however veiled it might have been. Maybe Astor was still angry about the situation with the lieutenants, maybe he was always like this. Jack had no idea. He didn’t know anyone on this crew aside from a handful of enlisted personnel. He was the new transfer, and he understood that carried some stigma with it, especially as far as giving orders was concerned. People seemed to look at him as an outsider, and he was. While his previous service in Starfleet had seen him rise to the occasion, the decade long gap between the skirmish in the Cestus system and now was a glaring area of nothing in his record, and he couldn’t explain it to anyone with the clearance. Considering the circumstances of those years, he wasn’t entirely sure if he wanted to.

Grey eyes focused on the acting captain for a moment before Jack spoke again, his voice retaining that same lack of emotion as Astor dismissed him, ”Yes, sir. I’ve already ordered long and short range sensor sweeps, as well as security teams to search for Commander Unger. This isn’t my first shindig, sir.” There was probably no real reason to add in that last part, but unlike what seemed like the majority of people on this ship, he wasn’t some green recruit fresh out of the academy, and he didn’t like being treated as one. Still, the man was acting CO, and Jack gave Astor a sharp salute before turning and moving towards the turbolift. He paused as he waited for the doors to open before turning around to face the bridge, ”One more thing, sir. Ensign Franklin is, by all accounts, an excellent operations officer, but Lieutenant Hemingway, who has taken over for Lieutenant Sa’Ra,” He repeated that bit of information for his original debrief, ”Is a far better pilot.” Not waiting for a response, Jack stepped into the turbolift and spoke a curt “Deck Six” as the doors closed.

He typed on his PADD as the lift took him down, doing what he could to ignore the situation on the bridge. Astor had rubbed him the wrong way, and he had no doubt he had done the same to the JAG officer, which was never a good idea under normal circumstances. Jack smirked a little at the thought, wondering just how things would play out for him. Respect went both ways, and while the more emotional side of him felt Astor should have shown him more, as he was trained to be a command officer, taking a step back from the situation as he was, Jack knew that he should have dealt with it a little better than he had. Ultimately, he would probably owe the man an apology, and that thought caused a small sigh to escape his mouth. For now, though, he figured the best thing to do was carry out the man’s orders. Being a little snippy towards a superior officer being an ass was one thing, but down right disobeying a direct order was something else. Even though Jack, at the moment, didn’t particularly like Astor, he had no intention of taking things to that level.

He stepped off of the turbolift and moved to one of the wall computer consoles, pressing a button to open a ship-wide com, ”All security team leaders please report to the armory for updates on patrol schedules.” It was a routine procedure, albeit a little earlier than usual, but, being at yellow alert, it was to be expected. He also sent a com message to one of the marine units, requesting they report to the armory as well, although that went through personal com badges. Jack made his way to the armory, punching up a holodisplay of the ship from the console there, glancing over it as the handful of people began to arrive. ”Any luck locating Commander Unger?”

“Not yet, sir.” One of the security team leaders responded.

”Well, keep looking. We’re at a yellow alert so patrols are considered necessary anyway. Work under that cover.” He straightened a little, ”Lieutenant Astor has ordered me to see to the security of the ship while we land, and to that end I’m using all of you.” He nodded to the marines to cover his thought about an absent chief of security, ”I want marines stationed at all air locks. We should have enough to have at least two. If you can spare more, do so, but I want two squads on standby in case our diplomatic team encounters any hostilities. Report back to me when you’re in position.” He dismissed the marines and looked back to the security officers, ”I want every deck locked down and a headcount of personnel submitted to me every hour. That said, Lieutenant Astor wants things played close to the chest, and I agree with him. This crew doesn’t need any more excitement if it can be avoided. You all are patrolling the hallways anyway. Make sure no one is where they shouldn’t be, and if someone is, contact me immediately. Do not take action beyond isolating said person. And keep looking for Commander Unger while you patrol. Understood?”

“Yes sir.”

”Good. Also, make sure everyone in your patrols know when each deck’s weapon lockers are and have qualed on type-3 phasers. We have no idea what this species is capable of and hand phasers might not be the way we have to play. Ultimately, should there be an incursion from an airlock, you are all under orders to assist our marines in holding off any boarding parties.” He pointed at one of the enlisted men, ”You. Pick three of your men, or yourself and two others, and get kitted up for an away team. That includes rifles. Any questions?” He waited as he looked over them in silence, ”Good. Dismissed.”

He waited in the armor, looking over the ship’s armament and making sure everything was calibrated correctly. Jack made a few notes on his PADD about systems that could use some improvements. Improvements that would ultimately have to be run past engineering. This wasn’t a warship, and while he knew the power drain some of his modifications might have, he didn’t want to do anything without clearing it with the people who made the ship go first. Ultimately, however, he didn’t have much time to think over such things as the marines began reporting in, followed by the security teams. He used the tactical console in the armor to access the ship’s onboard sensors, which didn’t seem to be doing so well considering they couldn’t locate the Commander.

Jack let out a breath and punched his combadge, ”Drake to acting-Captain Astor,” He threw that part in as an unspoken attempt at the respect game again. At the very least, he hoped it would show he recognized the man’s current authority, ”I have marines stationed at all airlocks, and two squads on active standby should they be needed. Security teams have resumed their patrols on all decks, in accordance with yellow alert, with orders to report any unauthorized personnel on their assigned decks. Aside from new standing orders the team leaders know, everything is proceeding in accordance to the yellow alert, so while a lock down is in place, it isn't overt. One of the smaller teams, a three man, should be arriving at the bridge shortly. An escort is standing by for the away team. Um…sir.” He paused a bit before continuing, ”I’m certainly qualified for this, but as has been pointed out, I'm just an ensign. I can’t help noticing the absence of a chief of security. Should I attempt to fin…” He interrupted himself, ”Never mind. Given things so far, I think I know the answer. Anyway, I’m also running constant ship wide scans to monitor any fluctuations in the systems and unusual or unauthorized access. That said, if there’s an engineering team to spare, I would recommend they recalibrate the ship’s internal sensors. We haven’t had much luck using them to locate people. Might be a glitch in the system.”

”Also, none of the teams have reported any luck in finding Commander Unger. I’m going to assemble and lead a wandering team to conduct a more extensive search and to be available should any of the others needed assistance. Drake out.” He pressed the badge again and logged out of the console before moving back to the turbolift, which took him down a deck as he again returned his attention to what he was previously doing on his PADD. He made his way through the hall to the brig, punching in his access codes and moving towards the weapons locker while the three men there immediately fell silent and stood up. Jack again entered his codes before the locker would open, removing a rifle and tossing it to the taller of the guards, ”Stephen, I need you to pick five good men for a patrol. If they're off duty, tell them they're back on. I’ll be leading.” He walked over to the only occupied cell, looking at the half-vulcan within it, ”Lieutenant Sa’Ra, I’m Ensign Drake, apparently acting-chief of security. I do wish we could have met under better circumstances. Right now, I need to know if I can trust you. I know enough about the Pon Farr to know that once the deed is done, Vulcans regain most of the control of their faculties. I also know enough to know that we should probably be grateful you didn’t try to kill any female crew members in the Kal-if-fre..sorry. Kal-if-fee. Too much Romulan these last few years.” He smirked a bit as he checked the charge of his compression pistol, ”Anyway, Lieutenant. I am in the unfortunate situation of having to pull a couple guards from you. I need your word as a Vulcan and as member of Starfleet that, basically, you’ll act in accordance to the oath you took as an officer until I can get an off shift to cover the brig.” He holstered his pistol, ”In exchange, I’ll be more than willing to speak to Lieutenant Astor on your behalf.”

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Re: Episode One - "Bridge Over Troubled Water"

Postby Sonja Kinnunen » Tue Aug 02, 2011 8:48 pm

Ensign Sonja Kinnunen
Chief Infiltration Officer
U.S.S. Firewall, Bridge

"Understood, sir." Sonja began striding around the bridge toward Garret's station now that he was free to resume it. Something she could certainly participate in gathering, though actually being on the planet would provide her better access to facilities and personnel that could answer their questions. Provided the situation didn't warrant otherwise, she'd been planning a stealth mission on the ground to uncover what their friends might not want to openly admit. That plan was still under consideration, however; things might turn out where such an operation might not be necessary. No need to risk a diplomatic incident if a clandestine op wasn't prudent.

"Ensign Garret," the Halanan greeted the Bajoran science officer on her approach. Drake was making his way off the bridge to see to the search when he announced--again, subtly--he'd already ordered sensor monitoring of the area. True enough, but Sonja was happy to lend a hand openly and there were things the two of them might catch that, alone, they would not. To say nothing of her background; she wondered if Garret had any Intelligence training. As she recalled his background was entirely scientific.

She paused just a moment, giving him a chance to respond and to gauge if he felt her presence an intrusion. Would help to know the situation she was walking into. "Have sensors picked up anything noteworthy?" Her bright, blue eyes scanned over the console quickly to discern if he'd been using only passive scanning or had taken to a few active scans of vessels, planets, and other objects in this system. Active scans could be seen as an intrusion if you did it to someone that was watching--like another starship--they also brought out the most detail, however. "We should scan everything between and around us and the designated landing area. Try to mask it as navigational sweeps." No ship would want to slam into something on a descent after all. Starships were not typically graceful under atmospheric conditions--a matter that left a bad taste in Sonja's mouth. Why did they need to enter the atmosphere? Surely they weren't safer down there.
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Re: Episode One - "Bridge Over Troubled Water"

Postby Garret Gein » Wed Aug 03, 2011 12:33 am

Garret had return to station and started login in when Astor order intelligent officer to gather Intel with his assign. When Kinnunen approach him, Garret studied her features. She wasn’t human because the large point ears. He thought for a moment she could be Vulcan but her mannerism weren’t Vulcan. When she said, “Ensign, Garret”, He replied, “I presume you are Ensign Sonja Kinnunen” . After she confirm her identity, she asked, ”Have sensors picked up anything noteworthy”, Garret replied,” Yes, I have detected scatter set of Temporal anomalies , asteroid belt , Nebulae, and three motioning station”. He paused for a moment then told her, “We could launch class 3 probe undetected if no other ship in area”. He then continued, “The probe can synchronize with monitoring station active sensor so our scans would be undetectable”. A class-3 probe was a type of surveillance probe carried aboard Federation starships, that were designed to be virtually undetectable. He then said, “If we use the probe, it should gather more data than a mask swept of the area”. The only problem was they might able to detect the actual launch of the probe so he was thinking of ways to counter that problem. “The only problem, I can see is with the actual launch of the probe”. He looked at Ensign Kinnunen wait for opinion or comments.

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Re: Episode One - "Bridge Over Troubled Water"

Postby Mia Cummings » Wed Aug 03, 2011 4:45 am

LtJG Sa'Ra
Helm/Brig Rat
USS Firewall

He turned away from the other guards and moved to the cell Sa’Ra was being held in, lowering the force field long enough to toss a uniform onto the bed, “Ma’am.” He didn’t say anything else. He had no idea what had occurred, it wasn’t his place to know, but if the allegations were true…well. He wouldn’t say it out loud, but the usual respect he had for an officer was waning. He gave her a crisp nod and raised the force field again before returning to the guard station.

Remaining as if in a trance in the middle of the cell, Sa'Ra had managed to control the anger she'd felt and she was now just trying to keep herslef from showing any other emotions. Her mantra repeating itself over and over in her head, "Only Logic.. Only logic...no emotions..only logic..." Sa'Ra heard the force field drop and the sound of the clothing landing on the bed. Her eyes did not move, nor did she. She'd been able to hear him moving quickly, and her peripheral vision caught the quick nod. Slowly she moved across the room to the bed and picked up the grey uniform. She stood there holding it in her hand, the feel of the fabric in her fingers brought forth a memory of what Jan's uniform had felt like. Before she'd... they'd....

Her eyes took to focus on the blank wall once more as her hands dropped to her sides, the clothing falling from her grip back onto the bed. Sa'Ra was unaware how much time had passed. She was feeling things she'd never felt before and was trying to control those feelings. Flashes of the.. event.. moved through her mind. Or was that another vision. Sa'Ra wasn't sure. And that bothered her. She felt like she'd been torn open and left without her usual defenses.

She closed her eyes and could picture his face at the peak of their joining. "One," she whispered, "we are one."

She became dimly aware of voices from outside her cell. And turned slowly, waiting for them to make their way to her, expecting to see either Astor or the Captain.

"Lieutenant Sa’Ra, I’m Ensign Drake, apparently acting-chief of security. I do wish we could have met under better circumstances. Right now, I need to know if I can trust you. I know enough about the Pon Farr to know that once the deed is done, Vulcans regain most of the control of their faculties. I also know enough to know that we should probably be grateful you didn’t try to kill any female crew members in the Kal-if-fre..sorry. Kal-if-fee. Too much Romulan these last few years." He smirked a bit as he checked the charge of his compression pistol, "Anyway, Lieutenant. I am in the unfortunate situation of having to pull a couple guards from you. I need your word as a Vulcan and as member of Starfleet that, basically, you’ll act in accordance to the oath you took as an officer until I can get an off shift to cover the brig." He holstered his pistol, "In exchange, I’ll be more than willing to speak to Lieutenant Astor on your behalf."

Sa'Ra blinked as she tried to focus on his words as thoughts of Jan kept going through her mind. She finally spoke, slowly and just barely sounding like her normal self, "I will endevor to maintain control, Ensign. It is not necessary to elicit coersion."

With that she turned away from him and sat down, her eyes once again finding focus on a bare wall.

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Re: Episode One - "Bridge Over Troubled Water"

Postby jdrake » Wed Aug 03, 2011 6:23 am

”Coercion was not my intent, Lieutenant, so I apologize if it came across as that.” Jack’s PADD beeped and he pulled the device from his belt, scanning through it quickly before punching in another inquiry for it to look up, ”I have absolutely no doubt that Lieutenant Astor’s assumptions about the events that occurred with you and Lieutenant Von Tiessen are well grounded in his mind, and they probably have some merit legally.” He smirked a little, ”That said, you are a Vulcan, at least half of you is, and you know the full reality of what it was you went through. I don’t know what occurred with the mental invasion,” That wasn’t entirely true, but close enough. He had, luckily, not been on the bridge. For someone who had spent the last few years in what was, essentially, a completely different body, the experience for him had been rather uncomfortable. ”But I do know that a telepathic bond can be established between a Vulcan and whomever they mate with.”

He smirked a little, with the relative awkwardness of talking about an intimate act in a relatively clinical matter, with a force field barrier in the middle, ”I suspect you could confirm it, but you don’t really need to. Conduct unbecoming? Maybe. What you were detained for? I’m not entirely convinced things played out quite that way, especially given all the circumstances.” His grey eyes lingered on the woman for a few moments, ”Right now, though, the situation requires you remain in your cell. Might as well get comfy. No telling when things are gonna settle down.”

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Re: Episode One - "Bridge Over Troubled Water"

Postby Thomas Astor » Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:06 am

[OOC. Man, I’m even worse with names than usual…Let’s hope I don’t get a third strike this time, I don‘t want jail time :P…]

Astor listened as the Ensign started citing the reasons that validated his response, that their ship had dropped out of warp and pulled up shields, remained incommunicado and behaved erratically deep inside friendly territory, hovering over the homeworld of a warp-capable species. The man implied it would be seen as a threat, which only seemed to point to a jump-the-gun and typical militaristic outlook on the ensign’s part. He’d open fire at the first sign of doubt, it would seem. A viable strategy on an actual battlefield, where things were quite simple really. You had your opponents, your friends and a healthy dose of friendly fire to worry about. Diplomacy was an altogether different field, where you couldn’t afford to simply open fire and let God sort out the dead. Where in war, you left an enemy dead, you could only leave him politically wounded…Yes, there was a discrepancy in behaviour in following someone, then pulling up the shield once you got there. Yes, it wasn’t standard behaviour for a ship to fail to respond to hails when there seemed to be no technical difficulties…But as long as the weapons remained offline and their course didn’t collide with any other vessel or the planet itself, Astor remained sceptical that their hosts would’ve been the first to engage in anything of the hostile sort. The Ensign believed himself in the right, of course, being trained to think of anything as a tactical problem, to which there would only be one response, overwhelming force…But the JAG officer remained unconvinced. Perhaps the man’s words had only magnified the problem. They had indeed be under mental assault…A non-standard response could mean the situation was far less in hand than the alliance already suspected. Men were always more willing to believe the worst instead of the best…Astor doubted an overt break of command structure had eased any of their worries…

Still, there was the fact the man believed his own statement. It wasn’t enough to convince Thomas that it had been the right course, but at least he couldn’t fault the man if you accepted his premises. What was done, was done…And little could be changed about it. Astor ignored the comment that this wasn’t the first time Drake had flown on board a ship, wondering if the ensign meant to imply that it wasn’t his, but silencing the thought. Do not attribute to malice what can be caused by something else…

The last comment of the man, as he left the bridge, left no such opening. There was Thomas own mistake of course, mixing up names, faces and roles, something that was entirely his fault. On the other hand, though there was a discrepancy in the message and the meaning, it would be clear what he had meant…As was what the Ensign had meant with his own comment. A last, somewhat childish dig before leaving…An attempt to have the last word. Astor shrugged, not bothering with an answer. Let him have it, not like it mattered much.

Still, as unwelcome and pointless that last word had been, Thomas was forced to admit he was messing up his names more than usual. He grimaced slightly, the JAG officer had never been good at linking people and faces to their names, but this was pretty bad. Furthermore, there was the fact that he was irritable, more irritable even by his own standards. The reference to their previous mental assault made him wonder whether or not these things were really caused by the drink, the stress, the headache and the lack of sleep he’d had and not by something else. Perhaps…Perhaps there was another reason indeed…And perhaps that too was the reason why Sa’Ra had snapped, or why people were disappearing all over the ship…The Pantothec had told them they had stopped worst of the illusions, but could they really have? Human physiology and psychology might be wholly incompatible with theirs, not to mention that there was no certainty about their real intentions. A ship filled with disoriented, confused and perhaps even slightly unhinged officers and crewmen could be an easy prize, resulting in either a diplomatic or perhaps even military victory…Astor was worried, suddenly, that perhaps it wasn’t the Thilane who they should worry about, but their erstwhile saviors…Never attribute to malice what can be attributed to something else, but keep a healthy dose of paranoia, just in case…On the other hand, the only way to get out now would be to go along and catch the other by surprise, if this were the case…He kept his suspicion to himself, for now…

He watched as Kinnunen and Garret moved to work together, trying to figure out a way to get more intensive scanning done than had already been enacted before. The main thing that interested Astor were transmissions, actually, any kind of idea what was brewing down there, but intelligence was Kinnunnen’s department. If there was anything out there to be found, he’d have to trust she’d get it…

”Try to go as slow as you can, Hemingway, without arousing suspicion. Any extra time you can give intelligence to figure things out would probably be appreciated…” Not to mention it would give the security troops time to find the Commander and any other staff who had disappeared, take their positions and gear up. There was a bad feeling in the pit of Astor’s stomach, but he wasn’t sure if he could still trust his own paranoia…

Drake to acting-Captain Astor,”

He pressed his badge. ”Astor here. Go ahead.”

Seemed like the situation, at least in terms of tactics, was well in hand. Seemed that the Ensign’s claim to competency was well-deserved, in his own department at least. Of course, at least according to the few combat-oriented seminars Astor had had, plans tended to go awry when the opposition moved…At least there was some good news, but Commander Unger nor any of the other crewmembers had been found…It was worrying.

”Roger that, Drake, I’ll pass the suggestion along…Good work, keep searching.” He thought for a moment, deciding that it might be best to voice at least some of his suspicions. He would’ve preferred to confide in the chief of security, but as long as she was missing, the ensign would be the only one in charge of security and the armed arm of the ship…It wouldn’t do to not let the man take care of his duties…”Be extremely cautious, especially of our own, I have my doubts as to whether we’re all thinking straight. Astor out.”

The Jag officer doubted that he would have to include himself into that order, Drake was probably already doing that. It went both ways and perhaps this paranoia was the first step of whatever it was they had been blasted with…But it was the only answer Thomas could think off. The might be a way to find out. He had seen Garret working his scanner before, right after the attack. Probably taking readings of everyone on the bridge…There was only one way to find out…After passing along Drake's suggestion to Engineering, Astor got up from the captains chair, throwing a quick look at the main screen to figure out whether or not everything was proceeding according to plan and moved to the pair of ensigns working together…

”Excuse me, but could I borrow Garret for a second…Thanks.” He drew the Bajoran off slightly to one side, speaking a bit more softly than before. ”Garret, immediately after the Thilane attacked, you were scanning the bridge…I want you to scan me again…” He took a deep breath. ”I’ve got a suspicion we might not be ‘cured’ at all…”
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