Attacked from Within
Posted on Sat Nov 30th, 2019 @ 12:17pm by Captain Enalia Telvan & Petty Officer 2nd Class Ila Dedjoy & Ensign Varnok Jahal & Petty Officer 3rd Class S'Rina Wil'I'Ams & Petty Officer 3rd Class V'Nus Wil'I'Ams & Jaeih Dox-t'Aan
Edited on on Sat Nov 30th, 2019 @ 2:43pm
Neutral Zone Neutrality
Location: USS Hera, Deck E, The Intel Pod
Timeline: 2396 - During the Battle of the Aldebaran Nebula
"Red alert! All hands to battle stations!"
The Captain's voice could be heard over the ship's comm system as the cluttered lab of Yeoman Ila Dedjoy was rocked. The U.S.S. Hera entered just the Aldebaran Nebula, being pursued by Riov Rendal's warship, the Iurret, and the gasses of the nebula had created a shearing turbulence that caused the massive Starship to rock.
Several tools and PaDD's that were still loose on the many open worktables slid with loud clangs to the deck as the Hera's resident Mad Scientist steadied herself against the console she had been working on.
As Ila ran around the lab slapping the containment field controls to at least secure the tables so everything on them wouldn't go flying, she muttered about sudden battles in nebulas being inconvenient as another wave rocked the ship and she almost fell over.
"Perhaps you should secure yourself as well," suggested the pod's British voiced AI, Lucky.
"I will in a moment. After all, with how things are going, I'd rather not get knocked into something and get hurt again, or get sucked into space..." As soon as she was done locking down the tables, the ship was rocked again as she caught the edge of her cybernetics maintenance cradle. She pulled herself into it and engaged the micro-tractors to hold herself in, but left the cage unlocked as usual so she could get out if she had to. "Ok... Lucky, bring up the status of the battle. I'd like to see how things are going and if there's anything I'm needed for." As holographic displays came up around Yeoman Dedjoy came up around her, she focussed on her readouts and did her best to tune out the rest of the world.
It wasn't long before her screens flickered for a moment, but in the heat of combat, such things happened - after all, the holographics in the pod were older and sometimes had glitches like that. Paying it no mind, she continued monitoring the ship's systems and barely looked up as the door to her lab looked up, recognizing her co-worker as he entered. It wasn't usual for someone that had access to come in to see her, after all.
"Is there something I can help you with?" she asked, barely giving the person more than a cursory glance as they reached up and locked her maintenance frame, all but helpless as her body automatically entered a maintenance mode. "Umm... What are you doing? Lucky? Computer? Security alert?" Fear was starting to creep into her voice as she realized she was now completely cut off, unable to do anything but watch her status readouts.
Especially when they left and the lab was vented into space, leaving her with nothing but her thoughts and those readouts.
"Computer! Has the POD been locked down as ordered?" Jaeih Dox called up to the ceiling as she held on to the wall of the turbolift as the ship shuddered slightly again.
=^=Affirmative. The POD is in security lockdown. Security forcefields are now in place and the venting doors have been closed.=^=
"Excellent." As the elder intel operative held on, the lift stopped as expected and the door opened up. As it did, the tall lean Klingon security officer, V'Nus Wil'I'Ams entered, phaser rifle at the ready, with the short fireplug, Petty Officer Liu, on her heels carrying a type 2 hand phaser.
"Agent Dox. I received an order from the bridge to meet you on the way to the pod, but nothing further? What is amiss?" The more cool-headed of the two sisters said as the lift doors closed and it continued quickly on its way.
"I'm not entirely sure, Miss Wil'I'Ams, but we have a situation. The intel station I was manning at the bridge received a warning that the primary research lab of the POD had been vented into space, and we've not been able to raise anyone there. Not Yoman Dedjoy or Ensign Varnok or Chief Clemens. As soon as I received the notification, I had the POD locked down. Nobody has entered or left since."
Looking up to the much taller woman, the elder Rihannsu woman cricked an eyebrow. "I told the Captain I'd check it out and asked for assistance. I approve of her choices."
"Of course," the Klingon warrior expressed. "We will take point. As you are a civilian, our first priority is to protect you. Move as we indicate and coordinate with our actions. We will assume this to be a boarding action until we have secured the area. Is this understood?"
Even as the tall and lean Klingon petty officer spoke, Liu nudged the Romulan agent to hand her a type 1 personal 'holdout' phaser with her usual inscrutable expression.
Taking the smaller phaser, Jaeih rolled her eyes in a somewhat exaggerated fashion towards the Klingon warrior woman with a light smirk. "Of course, Miss Wil'I'Ams. Still, I need to do something about this 'civilian' status nonsense of mine. I'm fully capable of taking care of myself. But in the meantime, lead the way."
The three women began slowly making their way down the dark corridor, and as she spoke, Jaeih pulled out a tricorder from her rear pocket and began scanning. "This is not good. I'm getting... nothing. Something is sending out a jamming signal from Yeoman Dedjoy's lab."
The two security officers exchanged glances, and V'Nus nodded. Pulling back her sleeves to expose the bronze bracers beneath, the Klingon warrior brought her wrists together before her in a swift and violent motion, and was suddenly clad in tactical EVA armor. As the armor systems powered up, a round blue shield of energy sprang up from her left wrist, even as she traded the phaser rifle for a bat'leth.
"Then let us be prepared," the Klingon stated firmly. "My sensors confirm your readings. Officer Liu, there is an auxiliary access located in the lounge. Make your entry there for a two-pronged approach, and let us unseal this laboratory." Moving in slowly and cautiously, V'Nus tapped at the comm panel beside the door, inputting her security override. "It is... encrypted. My override is locked out."
"Hmm... let me take a look." Jaeih said, with narrowing eyes as she leaned in to the comm panel. Tapping her own security clearance in, she received the same lockout message that V'Nus did. But in doing so, she got to observe the system in action and formulated a strategy on the spot.
"Ah, I see. One moment, Miss Wil'I'Ams." As the experienced infiltrator spoke, she skillfully popped open the access panel under the comm panel to reveal the inner workings. Unplugging a bundle of wiring, she took them and connected them to a panel on the side of her own tricorder and began typing away. "Interesting..."
Thinking out loud so as to not exclude the Security officer from her thought processes, Jaeih was quickly manipulating the controls on her tricorder. As she did, every couple of seconds they could hear the lockout buzz repeat. "This is... difficult. Whoever locked us out has... oh, this is not good. You are not going to like this, Commander Paris." Jaieh muttered as if continuing the conversation with Rita Paris she had had at the onset of this mission. "This is a multi-fractal coding sequence. It's an algorithm that is using predictive... no... oh, no. You aren't going to go there, are you? You little..."
After approximately a minute and a half, the door buzz was replaced by a familiar chirp and the sound of the security clamps in the wall housing releasing. Looking slightly pleased with herself, Jaeih reconnected the wiring and resealed the wall paneling. "Whoever locked us out used a level four STARFLEET security clearance to gain access in the first place. That implies something I don't like to think about, Miss Wil'I'Ams. However, I have locked their own reworked codes out and replaced them with a new one. Transmit this silently to Miss Liu, if you will, and we will have access and our mystery intruder will not."
The cagey Romulan operative handed her Tricorder to V'Nus with the long code sequence she had just created which could be transmitted securely through their EVA armor computers.
"Culturally, I prefer to be referred to as Petty Officer V'Nus, if it is all the same to you, Agent Dox," the Klingon volunteered, as it was a correction she made to subordinate enlisted but did not correct her superiors with. However, as a civilian asset, Jaeih Dox she felt within her bounds to correct, as she rather disliked the eponymous surname she and her sister had adopted to join Starfleet. Particularly when being addressed by another warrior, civilian though she may be. As she cloned the code and transmitted it directly to Liu, upon receipt of the confirmation signal she nodded and moved into position.
While she showed no outward sign of it, Jaeih logged the information and V'Nus's ever-so-slight shift in tone while asking for future reference. Nodding with deference. the Rihannsu operative simply replied, "Of course, Petty Officer V'Nus. I should have asked in advance, and the fault was mine for making an incorrect assumption. You have my apologies for any unintentional misstep to your honor."
When she spoke, it was with complete sincerity, as she generally wasn't a fan of being called 'Mrs. Dox' either. That surname was simply taken to help complete the illusion of her daughter's false parentage that was now known. Her 'marriage' to Declan Dox had always been a sham and she kept the name to respect her Daughter's continued use of it as her own house name had been stricken from ch'Rihan after she had betrayed the Imperium.
"It is done- we may proceed. Please watch my flank and stay to the rear, as the Commander left rather explicit instructions regarding the safety of the crew in her absence," Officer V'Nus ordered as she did her best to fill the doorway, shield at the ready as she gave the command and the laboratory door slid open.
Inside, the room was as dark as the corridor, with the only light coming from the slowly strobing Red Alert lights along the ceiling. A few of the consoles sparked occasionally, seemingly having been destroyed in some fashion. Keeping her phaser at a low ready position, set to stun, Jaeih entered behind V'Nus exactly as instructed.
"Even with that sensor blind, I believe your EVA suit should still have several visual enhancement modes. Can you see anything? Is Yeoman Dedjoy still in here?" Jaeih whispered softly from her position, trying to let her own eyes adjust to the lack of useful light.
“For someone unschooled and inexperienced in wearing one, you seem surprisingly informed on the capabilities of our armor,” V’Nus observed with unguarded suspicion in her voice. Moving in, she swept the room cautiously, even as the maintenance hatch unsealed and Officer Liu emerged, flicking on her helmet light.
Raising her phaser ever so slightly, Jaeih scanned the room a bit as her eyes had begun to get more accustomed to the limited light. As she did, she responded with a whisper, "Consider it a touch of professional jealousy. I looked up the basic stats... at least what my clearance could show me... after watching you all wear them during the battle in the Tribunal. My interest was piqued."
“It would appear Yeoman Dedjoy is currently locked into that… recharging station at the far end of the lab. Sensors are still blind, and we are proceeding with caution,” V’Nus reported to the bridge as she stepped, carefully, keeping her weight carefully balanced as she stepped slowly and deliberately, her eyes missing not a single detail, her armor recording real-time telemetry to document the incident.
A panel to port beeped, and the Klingon warrior whirled toward it, only to realize it was a diagnostic completing on one of the many pieces of equipment the security officer could not identify in the scientific laboratory. But the distraction was sufficient to enable a figure to detach itself from the shadows, and slap an ionizer onto the tall woman’s EVA armor, seizing up the systems immediately as she struggled to move within it.
Spinning around, weapon raised, Jaeih stepped around to put herself between V'Nus and the shape of the intruder she could still make out, rimmed in the red glow of the alert. As she did, she shouted out a warning. "Move and I'll fire!"
It was a bluff and she knew it, as weapons file was prohibited in Ila's lab due to the extremely volatile nature of her experiments. Jaeih knew she couldn't fire, but so did the mysterious shape as Jaeih heard a hoarse whisper that was uncomfortably familiar. "Not in here, you won't."
"Nouhha... No." Jaieh whispered under her breath as her eyes went wide, recognizing the voice. But she didn't hesitate as she tucked the phaser into her belt and spread her arms wide between the attacker and V'Nus, still struggling to wrest control of herself.
Quickly, Jaeih worked out the mental math of how quickly she could remove the ionizer and still keep the intruder in her eyes. she shouted out to Liu on the other side of the lab. "Officer Liu! Get Yeoman Dedjoy OUT of that cradle! She can restore power and security systems once she's free."
Not worrying about protocol or Jaeih's civilian status, Liu simply began moving as quickly as she could across the room toward Dedjoy's cradle as she was closest to it and too far from their position to intercede quickly enough.
Shunting the EVA armor to the extradimensional space inside the technologically advanced bracers she wore, where it was stored when not in use, the Klingon warrior growled as she could move once again. Placing her hand on the Romulan woman’s shoulder to pull her back and step forward. “I need no phaser and you will surrender now, or I will cripple… you....”
As she spoke, the intruder rushed forward. Stepping out of the shadows into the dim red lights in the room, V'Nus and Jaeih could clearly see the face of one of their own. The face of Ensign Varnok Jahal, the Hera's very own Junior Intelligence officer.
Taking advantage of the momentary shock on the face of the Klingon warrior, the Cardassian officer connected with a swift that strong kick to her middle that knocked the wind out of her for an instant. But only an instant. As another kick came in at her head, the Klingon warrior caught the leg, then with a strangled grunt she used it as leverage to drive the Cardassian officer to the deck. A stomp to the crotch tended to produce similar results in most species, and the Cardassian was no exception.
There was a clear consideration of following through on the threat to cripple the man, but honor dictated that to do so to a crew member, even one who had turned to sabotage, would earn her dishonor with her commander. If there was a force stronger than Klingon rage, it was Klingon honor. Coldly, the tall and slender warrior reached down to grasp the intelligence officer by the front of his uniform, then she hefted him to his feet with a grimace as Liu unlocked the regeneration cradle, freeing Yeoman Dedjoy from bondage.
As the locks were finally released, Ila Dedjoy was finally able to move and talk again and the first thing she did as she stumbled out of the framework was bring up her right wrist and activate a holographic display built into a bracelet she wore, tapping out a series of access codes and bypasses into it, bringing the pod's systems back under her control. Within seconds the lights and safety protocols came back online. "Thank you, Liu. Do you want a containment field?"
"No. I want answers," the security officer replied. "What have you done, Ensign Varnok? What sabotage have you enacted? Confess and there may yet be some mercy for you." Without waiting for a reply, the security officer tapped her comm badge. "V'Nus to bridge- we have apprehended Ensign Varnok in what appears to be an act of sabotage, in addition to assault on Starfleet personnel."
There was a long silence from the bridge before a soft "Standby," was replied as it almost sounded like a shouting match was taking place for a moment.
Jaeih stepped back slightly, eyes squinting as Varnok gasped, blinking rapidly but not yet replying. The seasoned Intel operative stared for an instant at the man that she worked side by side with. The officer she had worked with to save the Captain's child. The man that had befriended her daughter who was now, inexplicably, a traitor. The elder Rihannsu woman was beginning to fear the worse.
Having no authority in the moment, Jaeih instead did what she could, which was gather information, hopefully before the situation escalated. "Ila... Yeoman Dedjoy. Are you alright? Do you know what happened? Were you aware while in there?"
Ila nodded as she regained her full faculties. "I was aware... I just couldn't do anything but watch."
Then a proper reply from the bridge finally came through from Captain Telvan herself. "Telvan to Yeoman Dedjoy. Rendal... She beamed a beacon full of data that was ejected from the pod aboard and escaped. Can you tell me what was in it?"
"Aye, Captain, I can," Dedjoy replied as she began to move. Making her way to the nearest computer console that wasn't visibly damaged, she entered her access codes and began searching the ship's databases.
Her fingers flying over the console, her large, doll-like eyes darted back and forth. "It appears he tried purging our files after he copied the data out but ran out of time when we locked down the pod. But what was... oh... fot'en'dimmel!"
Running her hands down the edge of the console, Dedjoy shouted angrily, cursing in her native tongue as the others looked on. As she did, she slapped her combadge and composed herself down. "Captain, she has it. Rendal got what she failed to get from Lieutenant Commander Dox. He copied... 74% of the POD's files... on protomatter technology."