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Follow on Interview

Posted on Thu Nov 30th, 2017 @ 11:08pm by Captain Emily Jones & Lieutenant Commander Arturo M'Rohass & Lieutenant Mark Whistler

Mission: S2E2 - Vindeux
Location: Brig
Timeline: Mission Day 128; 10:00

Arturo walked purposefully through the corridors of the Vindex, headed towards Security. He hadn't been present when Saalkan/Za'ul had been 'interviewed'. Neither had anyone else currently assigned to the Vindex. That had to be remedied, so another 'interview' session had been arranged between Saalkan/Za'ul and the new command team. Arturo arrived at Security and asked a master-at-arms to find Lieutenant Whistler and let him know that Arturo had arrived.

The doors into the brig opened and Emily walked through them and up to Arturo. That morning they would be speaking with Za'ul about his "conduit" and whether his story would match that of the one he told Emily's predecessor. If they matched up then maybe...just maybe...there was a conduit into another universe.

"Good morning Commander. How are you today?" Emily said.

"Looking forward to getting this over with," Arturo replied.

"Then let's get it done." Whistler said, walking into the brig. He looked at the two people already there. "He's been questioned by Starfleet. They got nothing useful from him. He'll talk to me." Whistler said, his face grim as he looked at the two. "But you need to stay out of sight, and let me handle this. I know how to speak to him, and I have an idea of the right questions to ask."

Za'ul sat in his cell contemplating his circumstances. Captain Ainscow and her command team had appeared to give him the benefit of the doubt - but now the entire command team of the Vindex had been replaced with a new one. Za'ul heard the unfamiliar voices but he continued to remain deep in his thoughts.

Whistler moved into view of the cell, and looked at the man, studying him. "I gave you a simple assignment." He said, his deep voice cold and unforgiving. "Do you have any idea," He began, as he lowered the force field, and stepped inside the cell, "The punishment for failing me? I don't accept failure." He said coldly, drawing a dagger, and looking at the man.

The Vulcan man closed his eyes and kept his head facing the wall opposite him.

"I'm afraid I haven't got the slightest idea as to what you're on about Lieutenant. I haven't had a chance to complete your assignment...I was captured because I was given false information about Starfleet Security deployments. Now I'm stuck in this cell. Are you going to help me escape or leave me stuck in here?" Za'ul replied.

"I have shut off the monitors." Whistler replied, placing the dagger to his throat. "Do not attempt to lie to me, Vulcan. I gave you this assignment myself, before you came to this godforsaken universe." He said. "How do you expect to live if you can't give me a good reason to let you carry on with your mission." He demanded. "Ingham already failed, and killed himself rather than face my judgement. How far did you get with your assignment? Or were you hoping to try to defect? You remember the last person, don't you?" He asked.

Whistler wasn't always good at making things up, but he knew that if he was considered high enough to report to by Ingham, then he was likely the one who sent this man on a mission. He just hoped he was convincing.

Za'ul remained completely calm as he felt the cold blade against his neck. He knew the man was a cold hearted killer but Za'ul was not afraid of him.

"You know nothing Mr Whistler. I suggest you get someone with some authority to talk to me...otherwise I'm not interested in continuing this conversation with you" Za'ul replied.

"You know what? I'm not interested either." He said, sheathing his dagger. He removed a small device from his pocket. "So let's just get on with the punishment." He said, attaching it to the Vulcan's neck, holding the man down.

Za'ul pleaded. "Please don't use it. I'll tell you anything you want to know...just...don't use that thing on me"

"I gave you a chance." Whistler said, his deep voice cold and harsh. "What can you tell me that'll spare you?" He asked. "And don't bullshit me either. I really hate that."

"I was arrested by Starfleet Security before I had the chance to complete my task. My counterpart in this universe is wanted for a number of serious crimes...and they didn't believe me when I said I wasn't who they thought I was. I can't possibly be blamed for the actions of my counterpart" Za'ul replied.

"You were given the task and told not to get caught. I can blame you for that." Whistler replied coldly. "Now I've had to come here myself to clean up after your damned mess. How pissed off do you think I am?" He demanded. "How far into your task did you get?"

Za'ul replied. "Fair enough. This ship will be in Terran hands before long"

Emily did not know what was going on but she decided to get the interview underway. Turning to Arturo she smiled.

"Shall we get this underway Commander?" Emily asked.

"Absolutely!" Arturo said, relief evident in his voice. "After you, Captain!"

Emily led the way and got to the cell to see Mark and Za'ul in the cell. Looking at them both she decided to get things underway before the Vulcan changed his mind about being cooperative.

"So...Mr Za'ul...what can you tell me about this conduit of yours? Where is it?" Emily asked.

Za'ul sighed. "I have already told Captain Ainscow the information you are asking about. Ask her"

"Captain Ainscow no longer commands this vessel - I do - and I'm asking you again. I've been ordered to go and investigate it and I want to know what you know about it" Emily replied.

Za'ul shrugged and looked back at the wall and decided not to respond.

"Well...perhaps we can do a deal...if you talk we might see about Starfleet giving you a more lenient sentence when we get back" Emily said.

Za'ul sighed. "There is a conduit at the co-ordinates I gave to the Commander. This will take you into the universe which I originate from - the Terran Empire is led by Empress Claudia. You're a Rear Admiral in the Imperial Terran Starfleet...all I can say is that I wouldn't want to cross you there. The Caitian gentleman is the First Officer of the ISS Vindex whilst the Lieutenant here is the Second Officer on the same starship. The Vindex in that universe is commanded by Captain Cusack...another one I wouldn't want to cross"

"One moment" Emily replied.

Emily led Arturo and Mark to one side out of earshot.

"So...what do you both make of his story?" Emily asked.

"Well," Arturo said. "We know that cosmic anomalies can lead to other dimensions or universes. We know that it is possible to cross universes in transporter accidents. We also know of the existence of other universes. How many other starship captains and crews have encountered them? More than I can count on two paws. Is he talking about the Terran Empire encountered by Captain Kirk and Captain Sisko? It could be. Given the sheer volume of potential 'alternate universes', it could be one of an unimaginable number of alternate universes in which there exists a Terran Empire. Either way, what he is saying is entirely possible. The only way we are going to know for sure is to investigate."

"I have to agree with you on that Commander. I'll admit that I'm very curious about this universe he speaks of but I wouldn't want to investigate it without knowing for sure that we have a way back. Do either of you have any objections into...investigating...this universe? I know it's against our orders the saying goes...rules are made to be broken" Emily said.

"That might be a bit too bold, Captain," Arturo said. "I was thinking more in terms of investigating the conduit. Taking sensor readings, running simulations based on the data. Going through to the other side is an entirely different matter. It would be difficult to be discrete in a Sovereign Class Starship. Even if we send just several probes, or even just one probe, through the conduit, we risk impacting the other universes culture, level of technology, etc. Do we have to worry about making them aware of our existence? Clearly someone over there knows we exist. Understanding the extent of this Terran Empire's knowledge of our existence would be valuable. Perhaps a small team? In a runabout? After we've determined whether we can get through unnoticed or not?"

Emily nodded. "You're right Commander. I feel that is the best course of action - I'd like you to assemble a team and prepare a runabout to traverse the conduit if it is safe to do so. You'll have a couple of days before we get there so that'll give you plenty of time to make your preparations"

"Understood, Captain," Arturo replied. "Everything will be ready when the time comes. If there's nothing else we need to do here, I'll get right to work."

Emily nodded. "That's fine. I will speak with Za'ul alone however I'd appreciate it if you could keep me up to date with your progress. If there's anything you need...all you need to do is ask"


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