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Cutting through Red Tape

Posted on Wed Dec 7th, 2016 @ 10:58pm by Petty Officer 3rd Class Rebecca Ainscow & Commander Akiva ben-Avram

Mission: S1E2 - Unity
Location: Mess Hall
Timeline: Mission Day 8

Saalkan was scheduled for his shift soon, but he had some business to attend to beforehand.

"Computer, where is the first officer?"

=/\=Lieutenant-Commander ben-Avram is in the Mess Hall.=/\=

"Where is that?" Saalkan had yet to dine in the mess hall with other crew members.


Mess Hall


Upon following the computer's directions, Saalkan found the Mess Hall to be as uninspiring as he had anticipated it to be. Indeed, his experience aboard starships gave him low expectations what with their spartan accommodations and nomadic protocols. He longed for a facility to call his own. One day, he would have one, and it would be properly outfitted with the right touch of elegance and sufficient equipment to pursue his ambitions. But today he was on a starship bound for almost certain doom, and he had no intention of dying on it. He would live forever or die trying. At the moment, that goal required circumvention of protocol with a most fastidious and subtle hand.

The first officer was sharing a drink with the new yeoman assigned to the captain. And it appeared she was getting up to leave. Saalkan could scarcely believe his good fortune. The stars were indeed with him.

As the yeoman approached the door, Saakan turned his head askew and walked into her. His angle of incidence upon her elbow was such that she dropped her PADD, and he released his to fall right after it. "I beg your pardon," Saalkan said as he bent over to retrieve the fallen PADD. He intentionally took Rebecca's.

Rebecca looked around and presumed that the PADD remaining on the floor was hers. She collected it and checked it to see where she was up to and realised that it definitely wasn't the one she was using. Standing up Rebecca looked around and saw a Vulcan officer walking away from her. Becky guessed that he had the PADD that she was using.

Saalkan walked ahead, knowing he had mere seconds. Without looking down, which would have telegraphed his actions to any observer, his dextrous fingers accessed Rebecca's PADD which she had left unlocked due to her reading it when they collided. The captain's appointment index was already pulled up. Another mark of good fortune. Saalkan began to enter his own name when he heard Rebecca call out behind him.

Running up to the Science Officer Rebecca tried to attract his attention in order to get her PADD back. Clearly there was some mistake - but having read what was on the PADD she had every intention of taking it up to Claudia after retrieving her own.

"Excuse me...that PADD is mine. Wait up!" Becky called.

Calm in the heat of stress was a Vulcan hallmark. Saalkan knew he could only ignore the yeoman once before arousing suspicion. Fortunately the date of his entry into the captain's appointment did not matter. He simply needed to be on the list. The yeoman called out once again.

"Damnit. WAIT UP!" Rebecca shouted.

Saalkan turned around with the PADD held firmly at his side, locked down and blacked out. "How may I assist you?" he asked. "If you are injured, I once again extend my deepest apologies."

"You walked into me and took my PADD instead of your own. I'd like my PADD back..." Becky replied.

She had every intention of taking the PADD she did have to Captain Ainscow. What was on there was above her level of knowledge but she knew that it wasn't something that should be kept away from her.

"I see." Saalkan kept his expression neutral as he exchanged PADDs with Rebecca. "Forgive me for the oversight." He held up his right hand with fingers spread at the middle. "Live long and prosper. Now if you will excuse me."

Saalkan hurried toward Akiva before the first officer could get away, leaving Rebecca to assume whatever she wished. "Excuse me, Commander," he said.

When Akiva heard his name, he sighed. It seemed there was no end to this long day. How many encounters was he going to have? As he turned around, he suppressed his nascent irritation at being bothered in the Mess Hall. "Yes, Lieutenant, what is it?"

Saalkan pulled his returned PADD from his side and held it to his waist. "I have a conundrum with which I was hoping you may assist."

"All right," Akiva said, hoping this would be short. With Vulcans, it often was. "Let's hear it."

"In collaboration with Lieutenant Himmel in Engineering, we have determined a means of installing a cloaking device of Romulan design to the deflector array," Saalkan explained. "However, we cannot implement it without the captain's approval. I have a standing appointment with the captain, but it is regrettably not for some time. She is very busy, as you know. I was hoping if I were to pass the request on to you that you could expedite the cloaking device's approval and subsequent installation."

Akiva blinked. "How... incredible." He knew that the science and engineering teams aboard the Vindex were top notch, but this was a whole new league. "You two are incredible. And you say Lieutenant Himmel is on board with this?"

Saalkan smirked. "The chief engineer already in possession of the tetryonic compositor and the required data to install it. We simply need the 'green light,' as you humans might say."

A cloaking device would come in very handy in the upcoming attack. That went without saying. Akiva noted the PADD. "I assume you have the schematics there. May I see them?"

"Of course." Saalkan stiffened. "The captain will have a copy of the schematics, as the chief engineer does now." He reluctantly handed over the PADD.

Akiva took a moment to quickly scan and assess the schematics. What he read made his hand tremble a little bit. Wars had been fought over data such as this. "Very well," he said at length. "I will bring this to the captain's attention immediately. If everything is ready to go, then perhaps we can even eliminate the need for your meeting with her entirely."

That brought a smirk to Saalkan's face. "If it pleases you, sir." He reclaimed his PADD without asking for it. "Now I must report to my duty station before I'm late. Until next time, Commander."

"Kol tuv," Akiva said, his mind still reeling from the Vulcan's proposal. "And keep up the good work."


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