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Posted on Sun Aug 6th, 2017 @ 1:48pm by Chief Warrant Officer (Grade 2) Amara Vaun Jr. & HALP & Ensign T'Sai & Ensign Ashir Zh'evhihloss & Chief Warrant Officer (Grade 2) B'Rala Of House Seeth & Petty Officer 3rd Class Max Tragar & Kalstri Tenistion
Edited on on Sat Aug 12th, 2017 @ 12:32pm

Mission: Mission 2: Echoes of the Dominion
Location: Messhall
Timeline: 30 March, 2394 - 1130 Hours


PO3 Max Tragar flicked a french fry at Officer Vaun just to see if she would notice. She didn't. The replicated stick of potato balanced precariously on the edge of her tray--would it fall off? Or on? He looked around to see if anyone else had noticed and caught the new warrant officer, B'Rala's eye.

B'Rala hated these childish games. Why throw food that is made to be consumed? She was about to address Tragar when the lights went out. It was dark. She could hear someone slip and fall in the kitchen area as pots started crashing to the floor. B'Rala first put her dominant hand on her phaser and second, pulled out her tricorder to turn its light feature on to give her a chance to see.

T'Sai had taken her seat away from the rest of the crew in the mess hall. She liked the ability to observe the crew from afar. When the lights went out she heard a slight commotion from a near by table. Evidently some of the others were enjoying the opportunity to have a little joke. She tapped her commbadge, it chirped the sound that indicated that it was unable to connect to any of the communication networks.

"Ensign Zh'evhihloss, is your commbadge functioning?"

"No," Ashir replied, tapping her own commbadge again to confirm. "Can anyone get through?"

Max copied B'Rala and opened his tricorder, using the light function to illuminate his immediate area. It spotlit the french fry--which had fallen off Amara's tray. He slapped his commbadge. "Nej. Nothing."

Kalstri was in the middle of spinning a pizza with one hand and flipping burgers with his second while he seasoned and stirred some soup with his others, when the lights went out. He missed catching the pizza dough and his foot stepped on it, slipping as a burger went flying and the ladle caught the pot sending it crashing to the floor along with Kalstri. Luckily it was pitch dark, because his kitchen and him were not a pretty sight. Kalstri stood up and shook himself. He strode out the door his foot dragging bits of pizza dough and soup dripping down his front apron, "Alright, who's the prankster that turned out the lights?"

With news the combadges where not working, B'Rala made her way over to the door and tried to open it but without power the console was useless. She was going to use the manual override but noticed her tricorder was registering a force-field in place. She started to do a scan of the room.

The tricorder's results were far from ordinary. It indicated that a forcefield, a very powerful one, had been erected not just around the door but the entire messhall. B'Rala could see on her display where the power was simply cut off. Thankfully the life support was operating at peak efficiency. In the messhall, without windows, the glow from the tricorder was the brightest light, shining in the darkness and reflecting off of the uneasy faces.

Max pulled out the PADD he'd been using to keep an eye on his stellar dust calculations. He still had a connection to Science Lab's computers. From there, he gathered a status report. "Ship's comms are down, and we are moving on impulse engines." His slow voice rumbled in the dark.

Vaun pushed away the vegetarian soup Kalstri had made with her latest squash harvest and got to her feet. Her forehead crinkled as she took in the heavy shadows of her crewmates in the near darkness. "Moving? Why would we leave the station?"

T'Sai came along side Max to see if she could determine the trajectory they were on. The information was limited, and she could not determine the course. She pulled aside Ensign Zh'evhihloss.

"Apparently we are the ranking officers. I recommend that we attempt to find a way through the forcefield if that is possible."

Ashir nodded. She was already thinking of the forcefield as an enemy. "Unfortunately, I don't have a phaser with me and I don't think Kalstri's cutlery is going to get us through. Our tactical options are limited. This is an interior compartment and the ducts are small. We can't get out that way." She thought for a moment. "Wait. Max, you have a connection right? Can you get through the computer to the transporter controls? Maybe we can beam ourselves into the hallway?"

"Ja.I have connection but..." Max thought about it. How to reroute from Science Lab 1 to transporter controls... He was locked down to the scilab computers. He tried a few probes, then got back something very unexpected.

[. .]
[o_o] Who is this? Are you safe?
(w_w) PO3 Max Tragar, Stellar Cartography. I am safe. Who are you? Why are we at impulse?

Ashir saw Max's expression change. "What is it, Max? Did you find something?" Ashir said in a low voice. She didn't want anyone to get upset in a highly stressful situation. These were starfleet officers but most of them were lower ranked officers and that meant they were generally inexperienced.

"Perhaps. There is something..." Max said absently, his low voice quiet, his fingers busy typing out a message on the PADD.

[o_o]7 Greetings, Max Tragar. There is a mutiny afoot by Dominion Agent Jacques Fantome and... But you can help. You want to get to the Firebird through the Science Lab network?
[d_b] I am a long story, but a weapon I know is in control of the ship. An AI named Margaret. I have never known a nice Margaret.
[0_0] Can you try to delete some of her control nodes? There are 5,123,895 of them, and each one I touch tells her where part of me is. See these ones blocking your ports to the onboard sensor network?

A graph of the Firebird computer network appeared on Max's PADD. Millions of wires of light, from hair's breadth filaments to fat aortas wove together, and small blockages peppered the diagram like black stars. The Science Lab system gateway rotated and magnified into focus.

B'Rala watched in the dim of the glow being produced from peoples Tricorders. The people of rank and smarts seem to be maybe on to something. She hated being in the dark, by all imagination under attack, and unable to fight the enemy. She waited for a sign that they could get out of here and back to her armory so she could bring violence on top of who ever was behind this.

Max tilted the PADD to show Ensign Zh'evhihloss what the strange AI had said about Fantome. This was above his pay-grade, and also, letting her read it rather than repeating it was more efficient. Margaret? He'd once known a perfectly fine Margaret, though she went by Maggie. He'd never gotten around to asking her out either...

As Ashir got up to speed, he typed:

(w_w) I do not know this AI Margaret. I will delete the nodes. Kindly push my signal through the ports as I clear them. We want access to sensors.

It was lucky Max typed much more quickly than he spoke. With a task like this, he was even faster. Using the map of the Scilab gateways, he sought out and destroyed the blockages between him and sensors, a little pulse of victory urging him more and more quickly along as he did so, noting whoever was on the other end pushed and boosted his signal as he went. It was like Galaga, each block a tiny enemy ship he blew to smithereens.

Vaun peered over Max's shoulder as he swiped and tapped at his PADD with a starry-eyed grin. Was he playing a game at a time like this? A few lines of text peeked out from behind the game window, and she goggled in disbelief. "Fantome is mutinying? How can that be? For heaven's sake, Max--we can't play games now!"

"I battle an AI named Margaret," Max rumbled, his words punctuated by the rapid movements of his fingers. "To gain access to the sensors... there."

(w_w) The way is clear. Boost signal, Long Story.

While Max looked up proudly at Vaun, his clean graph flipped and slid to a dense thicket of black nodules. "Looks like you're on level two, starboy."

"Helvete," Max cursed, then got back to work. This is just like challenge mode...

Kalstri made his way over to where the majority of the crew was clustered around a PADD. He set a tray of sweet rolls he'd had in the oven when the power died down on a nearby table. "What is this?" he said. "Are we playing games to pass the time? Did you know I am an expert at most games, especially those involving cards. You should all eat. These rolls are Venetian sweet bread and are still warm."

Max threw himself into Battle Of Margaret, level two, with a vengeance. As nodes he hadn't reached started disappearing, too, he realized someone else was online helping him. I have freed a fighter to join me... He almost laughed, but the somber mood of everyone encouraged silence.

Vaun sighed and picked up one of Kalstri's tempting sweet rolls. The game was kind of addicting to watch, and Max's enthusiasm was contagious. With nothing to do until engineering or security got them out of there, she plunked down on the bench beside Max and peered over his shoulder as his fingers raced with a practiced rhythm and grace through the abstract world of neon lines and exploding barnacles.


Ensign T'sai
Assistant Chief Flight Control Officer
USS Firebird NCC-88298

NPC Th'Kharia

Ensign Ashir Zh'evhihloss
Assistant Chief Security/Tactical Officer
USS Firebird NCC-88298

NPC Davis

Chief Warrant Officer B'rala of House Seeth
Master at Arms
USS Firebird NCC-88298
NPC Stephens

Chief Warrant Officer Amara Vaun Jr.
USS Firebird NCC-88298

Petty Officer 3rd Class Max Tragar
Stellar Cartographer
USS Firebird NCC-88298
NPC Stern

Kalstri Tenison
USS Firebird NCC-88298
NPC Smith


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Comments (3)

By Lieutenant JG Luka Stern on Tue Aug 8th, 2017 @ 1:51pm

Very fun to write this with you all. Awesome descriptions, everyone!

By Lieutenant JG Luka Stern on Thu Aug 10th, 2017 @ 8:31pm

Also, the name of this post is very cute because of where we are :D

By Lieutenant Commander Yumi Han on Sat Aug 12th, 2017 @ 12:39pm

Nice to see so many snapshots of our minor characters. They pitch in without stealing the spotlight and always add flavor. ;) B'rala, Kalstri, and Max were especially amusing.