USS VINDEX - NCC-2474-A
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Interrogation

Posted on Sun Jan 1st, 2017 @ 12:48pm by Commander Tolan & Lieutenant JG Amber Zuzan & Lieutenant Elsa Johansson & Ensign Anastasia Bogolyubov

Mission: S1E3 - Operation Adrestia
Location: Brig
Timeline: Mission Day 16; 08:30

Amber had met with Tolan after his release from sickbay an hour previously. After a lengthy discussion - and receiving permission from Akiva - the two officers walked down to the brig to interrogate Elsa and Anastasia over the minefield being discovered. Once they were outside the brig Tolan took Amber to one side to tell her that he would take the lead in the interrogation.

"Miss Zuzan - I'd like you to let me ask the questions. You can come in but please just listen unless I ask you to speak. It's nothing personal but I know how - they - work and I think I can get whoever it was to admit it sooner" Tolan replied.

Amber shrugged. "It's cool. I guessed that was going to be the case anyway Commander"

"Thank you. Come on" Tolan smiled.

Tolan led Amber into the brig and he stood between the two cells each prisoner was being held in. He looked at Elsa for a moment and then Anastasia before beginning. Tolan knew who had sent the message to the Dark Horse about the minefield but he didn't want anyone else to find that out...yet.

Amber dismissed the brig officer and stood to the right of Tolan.

"Which one of you sent the message to the Dark Horse?" Tolan asked.

Elsa wasn't sure why Anastasia had been placed in her cell when the Russian officer had been brought on board. It could have been a simple mistake, or it could have been a stratagem to see if the two women would reveal anything in a discussion. Because of course everything in the Vindex's brig would be recorded and analyzed.

The first thing that Anastasia had done was apologize for the two women being in the brig, as it was Anastasia who had pointed out to the Renown's commander that Elsa and Anastasia were the most obvious suspects when the materializing Consortium force immediately moved to removed the threat of the cloaked minefield.

"It's all right, Anastasia," Elsa told the junior science officer. "Somebody or other would have gotten around to picking us up the most likely suspects."

Once Elsa had reassured the Russian woman, the discussion took a surreal turn when Anastasia asked her department head if she could discuss a personal matter with her. The next thing Elsa knew, she was having a discussion about the practical mechanics concerning "the birds and the bees."

It was almost a relief when the Suliban officer appeared on the other side of the force field at their cell's entrance.

Anastasia eyebrows furrowed at the question. "That would assume that it was one of us sent a message to the Dark Horse, or that a message was sent to the Dark Horse. Assuming that you are implying a message to the Dark Horse alerted the Consortium Task Force of the location and strength of our minefield, there are a number of scenarios of varying probabilities that would not require either myself or Lieutenant Johansson to contact the Consortium Task Force on the location and strength of the minefield."

The sitting Elsa leaned against the bulkhead, a hint of a smile on her lips. "She's got a point, Commander."

Keen to keep up his facade Tolan decided to go on the attack. In the eyes of others there was no obvious suspect other than Elsa - she knew everything and she'd had dealings with The Consortium before. She was an easy person to point the finger at and Tolan knew that from the moment Amber told him what had happened with the minefield.

"Maybe so but the most likely culprit considering both of you were involved in the mine production - and seeing as Miss Johansson was not only present in the briefing which ordered their construction but she served aboard a Consortium starship. It seems pretty obvious to me that it was you Miss Johansson - so tell me - why did you send the message? It's only a matter of time before I find out anyway so you might as well admit it now and save us a long and lengthy investigation which we don't really have the time for" Tolan replied.

"Hero complex, Commander," Elsa said in neutral tone. "I like to make the situation as dire as possible before I contribute to its successful resolution. Successful for Starfleet, that is," she added.

Anastasia studied her department head for a few seconds before concluding, "You are being sarcastic, aren't you, Lieutenant?"

Elsa let a small smile on her lips before replying, "Yes, I was, Anastasia, but not at your expense," she added, looking toward Tolan.

Anastasia nodded solemnly before looking at Tolan. "There is a solution to your quandary, Commander, which is to determine whether either myself or Lieutenant Johansson are viable suspects in a timely manner."

"Then what is it? We don't have all day Ensign - the Captain wants those responsible hauled up before Task Force command and I'm sure the Commodore has plenty of other things to deal with other than traitors. She has enough of those to deal with already" Tolan replied.

If Tolan's posturing was meant to intimidate Anastasia, she failed to interpret it that way. Instead she answered, "There are a number of telepaths on board who could ascertain whether myself or Lieutenant Johansson are involved in this action. Although telepathic probes are not admissible evidence in of themselves, the uniform code does allow for telepathy to be used to locate allowable witnesses and evidence." Anastasia paused before adding, "In addition, if I am a suspect of an official investigation, the Starfleet Uniform Code also states that I have a right to counsel. I would like to request Ensign Jaya Maera, who Starfleet recognizes as a qualified telepath who can use her skills to help establish my innocence, as well as that of Lieutenant Johansson, if she will consent."

Elsa stood up and stretched, before turning her attention to Tolan. "I'll consent to letting the Counselor read my mind, Commander."

He looked at Amber and requested the Type 2 phaser she was carrying before sending the surprised woman out of the brig to get on with her duties. Once the door was closed Tolan sealed them by ordering the computer to lock them until he requested otherwise.

"I'm afraid she isn't available - but even so - you gave your rights to Starfleet Uniform Code when you turned the location of the minefield over to The Consortium. Unless you can offer me solid proof that it was neither of you then I'm afraid I'll be calling Starbase Unity's security detachment to take both of you into custody" Tolan replied.

Anastasia was taken aback by Tolan's announcement. Elsa, on the other hand, came to attention, her eyes cold and hard. "With respect Commander, Ensign Bogolyubov may have been accused of treason, but neither of us have been convicted by a duly authorized court martial. Therefore, we are presumed innocent until proven guilty, and are allowed to retain counsel, if we so elect. The right to counsel is guaranteed by both the Uniform Code and the Constitution of the United Federation of Planets, neither of which, Commander, you are in a position or authority to deny." Anastasia eyes narrowed in suspicion before she continued. "I actually can prove my innocence, and that of Ensign Bogolyubov, but I'd like to present it to the Captain directly. And Ensign Bogolyubov has still requested her counsel."

Tolan was doing his best to stall them so he could release them without charge - he knew that whilst both officers were very intelligent it was highly doubtful they had the capability of encrypting the transmission to the extent it had been.

"In case you've forgotten Lieutenant the Captain is in sickbay after having life saving neurosurgery - so you can present it to me instead seeing I report directly to Captain Ainscow's superiors anyway. Perhaps I was a little hasty in denying you counsel - if you can nominate someone else then I will get them for you. As far as I'm aware Counsellor Maera is unavailable so if there's anyone else you can think of then as I said I will get them for you" Tolan replied.

"Commander Avram then," Elsa replied, her tone still cool. There was a growing suspicion nagging at the edge of her mind."

"And Ensign Annie Wilson," Anastasia quickly added. She paused before asking, "Commander Tolan, you said there was a message sent to the Dark Horse. May I assume, then, you have a copy of said message, and knowledge of which ship the message originated from?"

"I have a copy of the message here. It was sent from the Communications Lab - now I can't prove whether you were in there...but...you should forgive me for pointing fingers given Miss Johansson's past. I may be wrong but...we can't be too certain of things now can we?" Tolan replied.

Just as Tolan was about to request for Commander ben-Avram and Ensign Wilson to come to the brig to serve as Elsa and Anastasia's counsels respectively the call Tolan was expecting came.

"Excuse me one moment - these will be the results of my investigation" Tolan said.

He went into the cell furthest away from the two prisoners and accepted the call - quietly instructing the person on the other end of the communication to keep their voice down.

=/\="What is it?"=/\= Tolan whispered.

The caller replied in a whisper. =/\="It's worked Commander. It's done"=/\=

=/\="Good work. I will meet you later"=/\= Tolan replied.

Closing the communication link he then decided it was time to let the two women go. They were evidently not the culprits and Tolan knew they weren't to start with - he just needed to buy some time for his colleague to complete their task. The Suliban proceeded out of the cell he was using and around to the cell containing Elsa and Anastasia and decided to tell them the "news" he had pretended to receive that cleared them of being held in the cell.

"Alright it appears I was wrong. You have my sincere apologies - however we can never be sure. If there's anything I can do for you to make up for my actions then please let me know. You're free to resume your duties as normal" Tolan said.

He reached for the panel and deactivated the forcefield to release Elsa and Anastasia before disappearing to get back to his task.

Anastasia nodded, her mind readily accepting the chain of events. She knew she was innocent, but had fulfilled her duty to pointing out the probability that she could be involved, thereby allowing her superiors to eliminate her from the list of suspects so that the real investigation could begin. She did make a note to make a study of Suliban society.

Elsa, though, had a thoughtful look on her as she exited the brig.

Tolan had watched the two officers leave before leaving himself. His work here was done - now it was down to the others to carry out their orders and deliver the USS Vindex to The Consortium at Deep Space 11.

 

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