USS VINDEX - NCC-2474-A
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An Unexpected Surprise

Posted on Wed Jun 8th, 2016 @ 9:04pm by Captain Claudia Ainscow & Lieutenant JG Tora Benjarvi
Edited on on Wed Jun 8th, 2016 @ 10:11pm

Mission: S1E1 - Booby Trap
Location: Deck 1; Bridge
Timeline: Mission Day 1; 13:00

“Looks like that’s your ride right there, Ridges”, called out the pilot of their shuttle as it banked away from the USS Vesper and toward Unity Station. Benj closed his eyes and took in a deep breath and shot off a silent prayer to the Prophets to help him not to throttle the pilot, some Tellarite who seemed to get off on making fun of any unique feature that was prominent on each person. So far, the shuttle had a spoonie, a lober, ridges, and spots (Cardassian / Ferengi / Bajoran / Trill respectively). It was all that Benj could do not to let the Cardassian bash the pilot’s head in. Still the Tellarite just kept it coming all the way until they landed on the deck of the station. The others grabbed their gear and disembarked post haste, but Benj waited for a moment.

“Hey Piggy, if you are around for a little bit when my ship takes off, I would love to sink a torpedo into your left nacelle.” Benj patted the Tellarite on the shoulder and grabbed his duffle. As he exited the shuttle, he could still hear the pilot roaring with laughter.

Immediately, Benj turned left and moved away from the crowd that was flowing like a river toward the station. No doubt there were a many splendored thing on the station, but this was not his home.

The USS Vindex was docked at across the way and it was only a short shuttle ride for Benj to find his new home.

Once aboard, he was able to contact the Quartermaster and got his room assignment. As Head of Security, he warranted a single room to himself. He basically looked in his quarters and dumped his duffle on the couch before heading out.

=/\= Computer, where is Commander Ainscow?=/\=

=/\=Commander Ainscow is in her Ready Room.=/\=

Benj changed course to head to the nearest turbolift that would take him to the bridge. So far, the hallways were a little sparse, meaning the crew of the ship were still on their way. As he waited for the lift, he began to run through the last specs of the ship’s armory in his mind.

As the doors opened, he moved to step in and noticed that there was already someone in the lift… a small human female. He recognized her in an instant.

“Captain Ainscow, I am Lt. Tora, your Chief of Security and Tactical Departments. It is good to meet you.”

Claudia - who was on her way back up to the bridge to see what was going on and work on some paperwork in her office - turned to face Benj and smiled. She extended her hand to the Bajoran officer who she was planning to summon to the Observation Lounge for a meeting once she'd finished per paperwork. By coincidence however they were now in the same turbolift together.

"It's good to meet you too Lieutenant. How was your journey?" Claudia asked with a warm smile.

Benj reached out and shook her hand. She was short... almost a foot shorter than Benj, but she had a welcoming smile. One that probably put most people at ease.

"Well if you don't count the Tellarite that tried to get a Cardassian to butcher him by calling him Spoonie, it was quite enjoyable." At the memory of the flight that had just happened moments ago, the corners of his mouth turned up in mirth. Looking back, his flight could have been the start of a very popular joke - A Cardassian, Bajoran, Trill and Tellarite walked into a bar...

"Where are you headed, Captain?", Benj asked, indicating the turbolift.

Claudia laughed at Benj's story of the Tellarite insulting the Cardassian - although her experience of Tellarites in the past on the Endurance had resulted in a fair few arguments between the Endurance's Tellarite Quartermaster and various other members of the crew.

"Well...that doesn't surprise me based on my past experiences with Tellarites. I'm glad you enjoyed the journey though...it's shame I couldn't have been aboard to join you all from Utopia Planitia but here I am now. Well - I was looking for you but it appears I didn't have to look very far" Claudia replied with a smile.

Benj returned her smile. "I was just heading down to the main armory. Before we leave, I want to make sure that we are stocked up on supplies. If you care to join me..." The offer trailed away a bit. Benj realized that the Captain was probably a very busy person, but he was enjoying the conversation.

"Well seeing as I thought it'd be nice for us to have a chat about things I don't see why not. I'd love to join you" Claudia replied. She instructed the turbolift to belay her request to go to the bridge and instead take herself and Benj to Deck 5 where the main armoury was located. The lift paused its ascent to the bridge before acknowledged Claudia's instructions before descending towards Deck 5.

"I must admit I do like having a look around the armouries now and again...even if I'm an Operations Officer by trade. I often think I should have taken the course to be a Tactical Officer instead of Operations but never mind" Claudia replied.

"ah, Operations... the unsung hero of the fleet. Not at glamorous at the Marines, but no starship can run without that department", said Benj. The turbolift came to a stop and the doors opened. Benj indicated with a sweep of his hand that the Captain should go first. The armory was just a few meters down the corridor. Benj put in his code that unlocked the doors and then he took a step in and took in a deep breath.

"Don't judge me too harshly, Captain. I am a religious being and all, but honestly, I've always loved the site of a fully stocked armory. It is.... soothing." Benj began to move about through the racks of equipment and weapon caches, momentarily lost in his thoughts. He ran his hands over one of the crates, its smooth surface was cool to the touch. Then he remembered where he was and who was with him and he smiled sheepishly.

Claudia liked Benj's manners and found him to be the perfect gentleman on all accounts. She entered the armoury behind the Bajoran officer and watched as he looked around the room which was fully stocked ahead of the Vindex's departure which was hopefully going to be in the next couple of days.

"I can't say I disagree. Nice to know there's plenty of weapons on board if we ever need to use them..." Claudia replied.

She continued to look around the armoury and saw a few officers were busy with some last minute checks before departure. It was something Claudia liked to see - especially with the Vindex operating in such an unknown and dangerous area of the galaxy.

"Well, Part of me knows that if we are using them, then Diplomacy wasn't successful. Of course I am of the mindset, it's better to have then and not need them than to need them and not have them." Benj reached down to flip the latchets on one of the crates opening it. "I pray to the Prophets, that we don't have to use them...BY THE PROPHETS!"

Benj cut off his thought process with his usually exclamation. He pushed the lid back, letting the contents of the crate be seen. Sixteen rifles typically fit in a crate, unless they were modified to be sniper rifles. However, as he looked inside, one of the rifles was missing, its spot in the crate empty. Quickly he moved to the next crate and flung it open. Again, one of the rifles was missing.

He cast a quick glance at Commander Ainscow. "Did you authorized the removal of any weapons, Ma'am?"

Claudia was surprised that there were rifles missing from the crates - especially as she had been told in the handover report from Commander Briggs that everything had been accounted for and nothing was missing from the list.

"No....I didn't" Claudia said as she came over to examine the empty slots in the containers.

"That's not good", was all he said as he continued to open crate after crate.

Claudia kept watching to see just how many rifles were missing from the crates. They hadn't even left space dock yet and things were going missing. It wasn't good and Claudia wasn't very happy with the situation. Had they been Type 1 phasers she would have been slightly less unhappy - however these were phaser rifles and she knew just how powerful and deadly they were in any hands.

"We need to find where they've gone and get them back in place before we leave Lieutenant" Claudia said.

"Yes, sir", responded Benj. He was know in full business mode. "First I will check with the Marines to see if they borrowed them or of they have been placed around the ship. I honestly doubt it because they took one out of each crate, though. Then I will review the inventory logs and finding the serial numbers that are missing. Then I will track them back to the last time the they visually inspected. From there, I'll access our logs to see who has accessed the room after they arrived here." Benj motioned to the 3 or 4 crewmembers who were still working in the room. As of now, they seemed to be unaware of the situation. "I will want to keep this quiet for now. If it is a traitor, I don't want to spook him back onto Unity Station. It would be impossible to find them then."

Claudia liked Benj's action plan. It could well have been a mistake or they could have been borrowed but Claudia agreed that it seemed rather unlikely that the Marines would take one out of two crates rather than two out of one.

"I think that's a very good course of action. At least if it comes up once we've left then there's no chance of them escaping without us knowing. Do what you need to do discreetly but keep it between us as long as we can - discretion is the key here" Claudia said.

They hadn't left Starbase Unity and already something had happened. Despite that Claudia wasn't downhearted and hoped that the culprits could be caught before the left Starbase Unity - although that was easier said than done Claudia thought to herself.

"Will do, Captain", said Benj. He gave her a smile. "Looks like our stroll around the Armory isn't going to end well, but I do appreciate getting to know you." Benj sighed and began closing all the crates. "At least will have some recommendations for Lt T'Mia as she requested. If you will pardon abrupt departure, I must return to security and start tracking down the mission rifles."

Claudia smiled and nodded. It had been a productive meeting despite the discovery of the two missing phaser rifles. Still - at least she knew that the situation would soon be under control and that Benj would be doing everything he could to locate them and return them to their correct place in the armoury.

"Very well Lieutenant. Keep me updated" Claudia replied with a smile.

"May the Prophets guide and protect you, Captain."

Claudia smiled. "Thank you Lieutenant. You too"

Claudia then turned on her heel and left the armoury to set about her next task. So far Claudia had had productive first meetings with T'Mia and Benj and looked forward to the next ones. Her crew was coming together nicely and she was optimistic their departure would be much sooner than she first expected.

Benj watched her leave the Armory. Then he looked around. He had 32 missing rifles that he needed to track down. He didn't want to think about the implications if they had been taken and used against the Federation.

Benj left the Armory and headed directly to the Security Office. Time to track down some weapons, he thought.

[END]

 

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