USS VINDEX - NCC-2474-A
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A Suprising Discovery

Posted on Fri Jun 2nd, 2017 @ 5:15am by Lieutenant Commander Martha Cusack & Lieutenant Victor Alexander & Lieutenant Kazyah Linn
Edited on on Fri Jun 2nd, 2017 @ 9:06pm

Mission: S2E1 - Secrets
Location: Nova Mercia
Timeline: Mission Day 85; 14:00

Martha and her team had made their way to the site of some debris that a scan from the USS Sankey had discovered. Using an Argo buggy Martha's team arrived at the site and almost immediately they were shocked by what they'd found. The area of the debris wasn't as large as expected for the mass of the crashed probe but the damage had been done to render it useless.

"What's the origin of this thing?" Martha asked.

The team scanned the probe and various exposed parts of it. After ten minutes or so the team had drawn a blank - they all looked at each other clueless and gathered by the buggy. As much as the team wanted to take the probe back to their headquarters for a more detailed analysis there was simply no room. It would have to go up to the Vindex.

=/\="Commander Cusack to USS Vindex. Please respond"=/\= Martha said.

On the bridge of the Vindex, Victor sat up in the center chair after slouching for the past half-hour. As much as he enjoyed any opportunity to sit in the center chair, invariably his time passed without much to note. Perhaps this communication would change things. Victor pressed a small button on the right side of the chair, opening up a comm channel.

=/\= "Vindex here. Go ahead Commander." =/\= Victor stated in an uncharacteristically formal, deep tone

=/\="We've discovered an unidentified probe on the planet's surface but unfortunately we're currently lacking space to analyse it back at our headquarters. Is there any chance you could beam it back up to your ship - with Captain Ainscow's permission of course"=/\= Martha replied.

Victor leaned back in the center chair as he slowly swiveled it around 180 degrees to face the master display map of the ship as he started to make calculations in his head as to what location would be sufficient to house the mysterious device.

=/\= Understood Commander, that's certainly something we can do providing the Captain doesn't have any objection. How large is this probe? =/\= Victor replied in an inquisitive tone.

=/\="It's a approximately 15 feet in length and a couple of feet wide and tall"=/\= Martha replied.

"You're not actually thinking of bringing an unknown device aboard, are you?" Kaz asked from the seat to Victor's left.

Victor swiveled his chair 90 degrees to the left as he arched his eyebrow, "Do you have any reason to believe that the device poses a threat?" Victor inquired as he nestled his fist under his chin, leaning on the chair's armrest as he made eye contact with the Intel officer, "Clearly they can't handle this on their own on Nova Mercia." Victor's face lightened into a mischievous grin as he slowly swiveled the chair back to the MSD, "Besides--where's your sense of adventure?"

"Trust me, adventure isn't a desirable fate," Kaz said as he turned his chair to look at the MSD with Victor. "I'm just concerned about an alien device aboard the ship without proper precautions taken. We need it analyzed first."

Victor nodded slowly as he turned his head to Kaz, "Agreed, obviously we should take the proper precautions--but that doesn't preclude bringing the probe on board." The Security Chief pulled himself up out of the chair as he walked over to the MSD panel.

=/\= Commander, while I understand your team can't do a comprehensive study of the probe given your current resources, are you able to conduct a preliminary examination? Can you be certain that the probe is inoperable and give us reasonable assurances that it poses no danger to the ship? =/\= Victor inquired as he crossed his arms.

Kaz stood and followed the man. Without saying a word, he pointed to two different places on the screen, indicating that they'd be good to store the probe.

Martha reviewed the data on a large PADD and moved the schematics of the probe around on the screen - zooming in and out in various places using pinch gestures on the screen.

=/\="Our scans of the probe indicate it is damaged to an extent where it does not pose a threat to the crew. Whilst its origin is unknown we have gathered that it is nothing more than a standard exploratory probe which must have crashed after a propulsion system malfunction"=/\= Martha replied.

"Do you detect anything that could identify the galactic power of origin?" Kaz asked, not waiting for Victor to speak.

=/\="Negative. The design and technology are unknown - there is nothing here that points to the origin of this probe. However Starfleet want it taken apart and analysed...that will be difficult in the little space we have back at headquarters"=/\= Martha replied.

Victor nodded as he walked back to the center chair and plopped down casually into the seat, crossing his legs as he entered a few commands into the small panel on the left side of the chair.

=/\="Alright Commander, we'll clear out some space in Cargo Bay 4 for you and your team on Deck 23. There are some nearby laboratories that may be able to provide support. I'll take us a couple of hours to make the necessary preparations, we will contact you when our preparations are complete. =/\= Victor swiveled his chair towards the nearby Ops officer and nodded to indicate that he should begin the necessary preparations before continuing.

=/\="Understood - we'll send up the co-ordinates once you're ready for us"=/\= Martha replied.

Martha gave out instructions to her team to prepare for the probe to beam up to the Vindex. She decided to take Andrews with her to assist the Vindex's Tactical and Intelligence team to take the probe apart and work out who it belonged to. Her assignment to Starfleet Tactical was already turning out to be asking more questions than it was answering.

Victor swiveled his chair back towards Kaz, "Lieutenant, I'd like for you to liaise with Engineering to ensure that the necessary precautions are taken to minimize the risk of any adverse interactions between the probe and our computer systems." The Security Officer leaned forward in his chair as he stroked his chin as he continued, "While I trust the Commander's assessment that the probe is not a threat to our ship, I'm sure we'd all feel more comfortable if safeguards are in place."

Kaz stared at the man, his eyes unblinking as his face sat stoic. "I would feel more comfortable," he said, his words dripping with annoyance. "Until a few moments ago, you were completely content to bring an alien device on board this ship without taking any precautions." The Lieutenant stood, "Don't forget that you're new here," he said. "Remember that next time you want to risk our lives without thinking. We've been through a lot of shit lately, and you're just riding our coattails."

Victor met Kaz's unblinking gaze as he gently pulled himself up out of the center chair and walked calmly over to the Intelligence Officer, taking care not to break eye contact. After a few moments of silence, Victor crossed his arms, moving closer into the other man's personal space.

"Lieutenant," Victor began in a hushed but terse tone as he looked down at Kaz, "Do not mistake my outward cheerfulness and enthusiasm as an indication that I am foolish, reckless, or will tolerate insubordination. I have seen more shit than a waste reclamation unit, and am certain to see a lot more of it before the universe finally decides to kill me."

Victor leaned in closer to Kaz's ear as he made his tone even quieter, but heightened its intensity, "We may be the same rank, but when I am sitting there in that chair, you will address your concerns respectfully, constructively, and you will not question my authority or sincerity. If you find that you are unable to control yourself you will remove yourself from the Bridge and hand over your station to someone who can behave in a manner that is expected of a Senior Officer on this ship."

The Security Chief tilted his head slightly as his eyes widened, continuing to maintain contact with Kaz's eyes as he leaned in even further, his face now just inches away from Kaz's ear. "Do I make myself perfectly clear, Lieutenant?"

A smile spread over Kaz's face as he looked at the man. "You're very cute," he simply said. "It's funny that you think your little..." Kaz waved his hand in the air a bit, "charade of strength is going to somehow scare me into submitting to your authority. The truth is, Lieutenant, you have no authority over me. My role on this ship as Chief of Intelligence and Mission Advisor gives me the ability to come and go as I please because my orders and mission do not come from Starfleet Command."

Kaz's smile widened. "So how about this. You take your boyscout ass back to that chair you think means so much and sit down and shut up. And I'm going to go do my job, which is protecting this ship from things that even your worst nightmares couldn't conjure up. And at the end of the day, this ship will be safe and protected, because we all did what we do best. So..." Kaz brushed his hand forward, "Shoo."

Victor let out a grin on his face as he backed up slightly, putting a bit of space between him and Kaz. "It's good to know you think I'm cute Lieutenant," Victor replied in a half-playful, half-flirty tone, "But now is hardly the time to discuss such things. That's a much better conversation over drinks, off-duty. For now, however..."

The Security Chief turned to the nearby crewman manning the auxiliary security console, "Crewman Leroi," Victor barked in a loud tone so that the whole bridge could hear him, "Lieutenant Linn has work to do elsewhere. Please provide him an escort to the turbolift and to a deck other than Deck one."

Victor walked over to the center chair as he sat down, grabbing the armrests as he swiveled over to face Kaz, "My suggestion is that you report to Cargo Bay 4 and do your part make those security preparations to ensure that this ship is safe and protected. The rest of us will be doing our part up here."

"I'll take your suggestion under advisement," Kaz said, not moving from the place he stood. "Also, I don't drink." The man's eyes slowly moved down from the Lieutenant's face to other parts of his body. "But if you ever want to fuck, let me know."

The Security Crewman walked up to Kaz, reaching for his arm.

Before he could grab him, Kaz swatted the young man's hand away. "Touch me and you'll lose that hand, Crewman." He turned and walked to the turbolift, entering it. He held out a hand to keep the Security Crewman from entering the lift before the doors quickly closed in the young man's face.

Victor couldn't stop a little smirk from developing on his face at Kaz's invitation. Still, the whole encounter had left him ill at ease. He swiveled the center chair back to the view-screen as he let out a deep sigh. This wasn't how he wanted his first shift in the center chair to go on a new assignment...and there were sure to be consequences. Still, he didn't see how he could've left his authority go unchallenged on the bridge. Perhaps he should've behaved more professionally, perhaps he shouldn't have been so jovial and joking--but no, perhaps the problem wasn't with him at all...

After his thoughts raced within him for a time, the deafening hush over the bridge became apparent to Victor as the junior officers maintained their startled expressions over the scene that had just transpired before them.

"Alright everyone," Victor belted out in a commanding yet re-assuring tone, "We've got a lot of work to do before we bring this probe on board, and Starfleet Command is clearly counting on us to provide support. Let's focus on that and get to it." Victor slapped his right armrest as a sign for everyone to jump into action.

Victor let out another sigh, this time one of relief, when the assembled junior officers resumed their duties and went about their normal business. As frustrating as his encounter with Kaz had been, he couldn't deny a strange attraction to the guy. As he looked down and straightened his uniform, he quickly noticed a need to re-adjust his seating position to hide the evidence of that attraction.

Clearing his throat, he turned back to the small panels on either side of his chair and began to get to work making his own department's preparations for the arrival of this mysterious probe.

 

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