USS VINDEX - NCC-2474-A
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What's Going On?

Posted on Fri Dec 9th, 2016 @ 12:34am by Captain Claudia Ainscow & Petty Officer 3rd Class Rebecca Ainscow & Commander Akiva ben-Avram
Edited on on Fri Dec 9th, 2016 @ 1:19am

Mission: S1E2 - Unity
Location: Captain Ainscow's ready room
Timeline: Mission Day 8

Claudia was busy working until she was suddenly interrupted by Rebecca - a lot earlier than she expected. It was the Yeoman's first day and already she'd cleared most of the backlog - but when she entered without knocking it was clear something was up.

"What can I do for you Petty Officer?" Claudia asked.

Rebecca was almost out of breath from her urgency to get up to the bridge to show Claudia the PADD that she'd briefly seen a glimpse of the contents.

"You're going to want to see this. I can't make heads or tails of it...but...I know it's important whatever it is. It was a Vulcan Lieutenant Junior Grade in the Science division who had it" Rebecca said.

Claudia accepted the PADD that was offered to her and she attempted to unlock it. It was locked - she couldn't see what was on it though. She wasn't impressed.

"What's on it? It's locked" Claudia commented.

Becky replied. "I don't know what it is but it's on there"

"Fine...I'll call the XO to have a look at it. I haven't got time for this shit" Claudia commented.

Placing the PADD on the desk she sighed.

=/\="Ainscow to ben-Avram. Please report to my ready room immediately"=/\= Claudia said.

Akiva was already on his way to see Claudia and had been crossing the bridge when she contacted him. Rather than acknowledge her, he buzzed at her ready room door almost immediately after her summon. When admitted, he noted Rebecca's presence and greeted her with a friendly nod before turning to Claudia. "Captain, I was on my way here to bring something to your attention. First, however, what do you need from me?"

"This PADD was brought to me by Miss Fuentes. It was dropped by an officer in the Science department who took Rebecca's - whether that was accidental or not we don't know - but it's locked. Apparently it contains something of...high interest...so I need you to work your magic and unlock it for me" Claudia replied.

"I think I can help you there without unlocking it." Akiva grinned. "That's actually what I came to talk to you about. Lieutenants Saalkan and Himmel have prepped a cloaking device. What you have there is probably the encrypted schematics. I believe the science officer even has an appointment to request your approval, Captain, so perhaps this was, how you say, fate?"

Claudia's facial expression said it all. She wasn't very happy in the slightest - the last thing she needed was people doing things like that on the Vindex without approval. A cloak wasn't even necessary so why on earth was the Vulcan making it in the first place?

"A cloaking device? Who the hell authorised a fucking cloaking device? Get his disobedient insubordinate backside up here now" Claudia responded.

Akiva was taken aback at the captain's outburst. "I agreed to expedite the request," he said meekly. "It seemed ... a prudent advantage in the upcoming attack." He coughed into his hand, then added. "If it works."

"You do realise I could get my arse handed to me on a plate if my superiors found out about this? I can't just use it without their permission...who on earth does he think he is?" Claudia replied.

She then turned to Rebecca.

Claudia spoke. "How did you get this...I don't buy the fact he just gave it to you"

"I decided to call to Lieutenant Zuzan after I saw what I saw on it - there was no way I was letting him walk around with that sort of stuff on a PADD. Anyway she found him and then she took it off him and gave it to me to pass on to you. I know he'll suspect I had something to do with it but I thought you should know about it" Becky replied.

Claudia nodded. "That sounds more plausible...you're dismissed for the time being so myself and the Commander can sort this situation out more confidentially. Thank you for bringing it to my attention"

Rebecca nodded and left to resume her work. It was a side of Claudia she liked to see - she almost found it...sexy. However she bumped into Saalkan outside - and giving him one look - she pointed in the direction of Claudia's office.

"You're wanted in there" Becky said.

Saalkan gave a glib nod of acknowledgement to Becky before turning over his shoulder to Amber Zuzan. She had detained him and then personally escorted him here. "I suppose you are dismissed now, Lieutenant." He walked inside and let the doors close behind him before Amber could reply.

Once Rebecca had gone she then turned back to Akiva. She'd calmed a little but she was still unhappy - not with him - but with Saalkan.

"Get that...man...in here now please. I'm ready to throw this thing at him for being so disobedient" Claudia said.

Saalkan walked in at the end of Claudia's outburst. "And which command have I disobeyed, Captain?" He stood toe to toe next to Akiva as if presenting a united front.

Akiva twitched at the Vulcan's proximity. He turned 90 degrees to his left so he could stand perpendicular to the lieutenant and the captain, facing both at once.

"You will not speak unless spoken to," Akiva cut in. For a highly evolved intellectual specimen, Saalkan was behaving rather foolishly in Akiva's estimation. He then nodded in deference to the captain.

Claudia watched for a moment and restrained herself from throwing the PADD at the Vulcan and instead slammed the PADD on her desk. She had every intention of making sure the book had been firmly thrown at him and that he unlocked the PADD before leaving.

"What command have you disobeyed? Let's start with who gave you permission to design a cloak?" Claudia said.

"I am in possession of such classified data due to my tenure with the Vulcan Science Academy," Saalkan said. "As present company demonstrates, the proclivity for violence among many Federation species yet compels us to maintain classified records and discoveries above the clearance of even Starfleet. Given our current situation, it seemed only logical to disclose this particular advantage, particularly since there is precedent for lawful use of cloaking devices in the Gamma Quadrant." Saalkan raised an eyebrow. "So long as we provide information and intelligence to the Romulans, then we would not be in violation of the Treaty of Algeron." Saalkan sniffed, one side of his mouth rising as he added, "That is, of course, if Starfleet Command deems it necessary to disclose our actions at all."

"That still doesn't excuse the fact you haven't been given permission to even pursue the idea. For a cloak to work effectively we would need to reduce our speed which is pretty useless if we want to get to Starbase Unity before The Consortium get there. You have undermined me and your department head...so I suggest you explain the real reason why you decided to go ahead and do this without speaking to Lieutenant Johansson or myself first. I'll find out if you're lying so I suggest you tell the truth before I call Lieutenant Zuzan up here and relieve you of duty" Claudia replied.

Saalkan put his chin forward with his head slanted sideways.. "'Real' reason? Captain, I have not yet given my motive because I had thought it was self-evident: survival. Lieutenant Johansson has given me free rein to pursue my research, and rather than focus on something frivolous like nascent nebulae, I addressed a more pressing need. Granted we cannot travel at warp while cloaked, yet should a pitched dogfight turn against us, the cloaking device may prove the difference between life or death."
Raising a finger to Akiva, he continued. "The commander can confirm that I did not intend to undermine the chain of command on the ship because I went to him in order to expedite the process before the chief engineer and I even thought about implementing it. Your own yeoman can confirm that I do, in fact, have an appointment with you wherein I would have stated my case in full, but I feared it would have been too late to provide any benefit. Please forgive my breach of protocol, but it's my understanding that the ship is already going against orders in pursuit of the greater good."

"That has nothing to do with you," Akiva interjected. "The captain and I will answer for our choices, and right now we're talking about you. I commended you for a job well done, and I stand by that. What I will not abide is blatant insubordination. I don't care what the reason."

"I submit that I will unreservedly accept any discommendation you wish to levy," Salkaan said slowly, drawing out each word for emphasis, "so long as we survive long enough to have it filed with Starfleet Headquarters. It would not truly matter otherwise, would it?"
The Vulcan stepped back and stood at rest with his hands folded behind his back, ready for Claudia's determination.

Claudia rested both of her hands on the desk and leaned forward slightly. She really didn't like the fact Saalkan had gone against the chain of command as it was undermining and completely out of order in her view.

"My decision is final - we will proceed to Starbase Unity at our best possible speed without hindering our progress unnecessarily. You can unlock that PADD and leave it with me - until further notice you are not to partake in any further development of this...project...of yours until I say so myself. I seem to recall that you were demoted although considering your attitude towards the authority of your chain of command is evidently poor I'm not entirely surprised. Or was it or another reason that you were demoted to Ensign?" Claudia said.

"My project is already complete," Saalkan said bluntly. "All that remains is for you to decide to utilize it or to allow emotionalism to cloud your judgment. My demotion was the result of the latter decision from the commanding officer of the last ship I served aboard." Saalkan stepped forward to Claudia's desk and, without picking up the PADD, tapped it several times in a complex and unorthodox password system. "As a measure of good faith and subordination, I will acquiesce to leave you with my personal PADD and the data it contains." His face was neutral, but his eyes remained smug as he turned the PADD around to face Claudia.

Reaching over to turn her console back on she looked back at the Vulcan. Once the PADD had been placed - unlocked - back on her desk she continued. Although still angry she didn't feel like throwing anything at Saalkan anymore.

Claudia replied. "Your access codes will be voided until you can learn to respect the chain of command and you can be trusted not to break the rules that are there for a reason. So there'll be no more thinking about going behind my back...otherwise you'll end up with another demotion and also a court martial. Clear?"

"It seems as though we have an understanding," Saalkan said with an exhalation of that teetered on boredom.

"Good. Get out of my sight before I change my mind and throw you in the brig" Claudia responded.

Saalkan merely nodded and showed himself out.

Once the Vulcan had left the ready room and Claudia was sure that he wasn't loitering around outside the looked at Akiva.

"I really don't like his attitude. We should keep a close eye on him..." Claudia said.

"Genius often yields arrogance," Akiva said. "That's what my father used to say...when he and I butted heads similarly to this." He shook his head and looked at the captain. "I think a lesson in humility is precisely what he needs. It appears he does not much care about rank and protocol, so restricting his access codes was a smart move. Hit him where it hurts, and perhaps he will learn some respect."

Claudia sighed. "I think I'm going to have him court martialled and demote him myself. Clearly he still thinks he's above the chain of command so it's time to show him that I'm not going to tolerate him thinking he's got the right to do what he wants to do. I'm going to put it on file that he's demoted back to Ensign - again - effective immediately"

"Given his display just now, I will support that decision in my log," Akiva said grimly. "Since we seem to have a working cloak onboard, I suppose we must decide what to do with it," he mused with a half shrug. "We could always scrap it, though I wonder if we shouldn't have Lieutenants Himmel and Johansson thoroughly inspect it first." He cracked a small smile despite himself. "Truthfully, if I had time to spare, I would not be opposed to taking a look under the hood myself."

Claudia shrugged. She really didn't know what to do about it - it was a marvellous piece of technology but Saalkan had undermined her and she certainly wasn't going to let his work on a cloak gloss over the fact he'd undermined the whole chain of command.

"I'm not sure. I don't feel comfortable with having it around...but...perhaps it's worth seeing how good he actually is compared to how good he thinks he is. Once it's been analysed destroy any traces of it you can find - although I wouldn't be surprised if he's buried one somewhere we can't find it. As for his goodwill gesture he can shove it up his arse...this is my ship and he can count himself lucky I haven't thrown him in the brig already" Claudia replied.

Akiva merely nodded. He was not accustomed to this side of the captain. In many ways, he found it reassuring, seeing as how they were about to go into a battle for their lives.

"I'll wait until after our away teams have returned to the Vindex and we're all underway to Altor before dismantling it," Akiva said with reluctance. "We do have a schedule to keep, after all."

Claudia nodded. "We do. If you can keep a close eye on our Vulcan friend then I'd be grateful. Otherwise...I don't want to keep you any longer Commander. Thank you for your assistance - and be assured - I'm not angry at you"

"I appreciate that, Captain," Akiva said. "Who knows? Maybe Saalkan's insubordination will make any of our potential double agents comfortable enough to slip up."

"I'll see you round Commander. Come and find me if you find anything of interest" Claudia replied.

"I will do just that, Captain. Good day."

 

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