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A Personal Motive

Posted on Tue Jul 25th, 2017 @ 2:24pm by Mystery Man

Mission: S2E1 - Secrets
Location: HMS Ranger
Timeline: Mission Day 100; 17:30

Mystery Man sat aboard the Bird of Prey. He had observed the Vindex's removal of the alien shuttle and watched it depart the planet it had discovered after being in orbit for over two weeks. He had already been at loggerheads with Captain Ainscow and Commodore Hutchinson over the transport of the shuttle - and as much as Mystery Man wanted to tell Claudia he was her father - he still didn't feel it was the right time. He was beginning to think that time would never come.

Summoning his First Officer to the ready room of the Bird of Prey the El-Aurian Commodore was planning his next move. The mission he had been given to infiltrate a group of mercenary pirates had been deferred indefinitely due to the discovery of the shuttle - and the Commodore was delighted.

"You asked to see me Commodore?" the Commander asked.

Mystery Man nodded. "Yes. I want to speak to you about this shuttle which the Vindex is carrying..."

"The one we shot down? I told you we should have just disabled it and used a tractor beam to bring it into the shuttlebay. Unless you have a cunning plan I don't see any easy way - if any - of getting hold of it ourselves" was the response.

The El-Aurian tapped the side of his nose with a finger before activating the console on the desk. He had formulated a plan to get hold of the shuttle - but only after it had arrived at its destination - and it wouldn't involve attacking his daughter's starship once it got there.

"Ah...I'm ahead of you there. Once the Vindex delivers the craft to the starbase we can beam aboard without arousing too much suspicion - seeing as we're all wearing Starfleet uniforms - and fly it out ourselves. I don't believe it will be kept there for long because my superiors have a vested interest in returning it to Earth and taking it to pieces to formulate a defence against them" Mystery Man replied.

The Commander was slightly sceptical of that plan - a few of the HMS Ranger's crew were wanted by Starfleet for various misdemeanours - and there was no way the Commander wanted any part of stealing Starfleet property. At least he didn't want to be seen stealing it.

"A few of us are wanted by Starfleet Security - the only one aboard with any sort of authority to order anyone around is you. I might be on your team but I lack the order anyone of significant standing around. Might I suggest we try and steal it mid transport between the Vindex and Starbase Unity? We could decloak the area around the tractor emitter and shuttlebay - a very small area - and once it is aboard cloak and go to warp" the Commander suggested.

The El-Aurian knew that his idea was always ambitious but not impossible - however his First Officer's idea was far less risky and wouldn't risk anyone getting caught. However he knew if his attempt failed then his chance to get the shuttle would be undoubtedly lost.

"Perhaps you're right. If you can work on a way to do that I don't see any issues keeping up with the Vindex and striking when the time is right" Mystery Man replied.

The Commander was pleased to see the Commodore had listened to his suggestion. The was no way he was going to risk all of this hard work for nothing - he still had a mission to do and he was getting closer to accomplishing it as each day passed.

"Might I ask what you actually plan to do with it? I can't see us taking it back to Earth somehow" the Commander asked.

Mystery Man nodded. "I plan to reverse engineer its tactical systems and install them on this ship"

That was going to be some undertaking. Whilst the crew on board were highly skilled there wasn't a chance in a month of Sundays they would be able to reverse engineer the alien craft that quickly before they were found by Starfleet. Whilst the benefits of the alien technology would be extremely advantageous to Mystery Man the Commander wondered why he wanted to all this trouble. The Bird of Prey's current weapons array was decent and they had held their own in a couple of skirmishes with relative ease.

"Well I think what we have is adequate...but if you feel the alien weaponry is better then perhaps it could be worthwhile finding a nice place to hide and carry it out. It might take a while to properly reverse-engineer it all and modify our weapons ports and shield generators to be suitable for all of the modified systems" the Commander replied.

Mystery Man again nodded. "Once we have the craft I'd like you to lead the team to reverse engineer it. We will set course for the Moray Nebula
and carry out our modifications there away from Starfleet's prying eyes"

"You speak of Starfleet as if they're our enemy Commodore"

Mystery Man shrugged. "Maybe I'm just fed up of certain things being done by the book constantly. There comes a point where you have to do things for the greater good"

"Perhaps so. If we're going to hide in the Moray Nebula then we will need to modify our shields to protect us against Gamma radiation. We could be in there for a couple of weeks at the very least - I would say double is more likely" the Commander sid.

The Commodore agreed with his First Officer's suggestion. The Moray Nebula wasn't ideal but it was the closest nebula and although pirates were known to have bases inside it he knew Starfleet wouldn't be able to find them in there.

"Get started on the shield modifications. I want to head straight into the nebula when we get there" Mystery Man said.

The First Officer merely nodded and took that as his cue to leave the room. He was keen to stay loyal to the Commodore but the Commander was beginning to have his doubts about certain things - particularly stealing the alien shuttle to take it apart and depriving Starfleet of the chance to develop a defence against the technology.

If the HMS Ranger was caught by Starfleet then he could lose more than just his cover - however for now at least he intended to carry out his orders and modify the Bird of Prey's shields.


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