Obsidian Command

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Look But Don't Touch

Posted on 07 May 2022 @ 4:45pm by Lieutenant Commander Lance Quinn & Captain Corvus DeHavilland

Mission: M3 - Into the Deep
Location: Obsidian Command - Docking Bay
Timeline: MD02 - 1115HRS
1484 words - 3 OF Standard Post Measure

It was rare that Lance, as Chief Engineer, was called to the main docking bay to make any kind of assessment or judgement. The only time that had happened in recent memory was following the attack on the station and some noncom had delayed repair work by an extra week because he wanted to post a big memorial board up right over the main EPS grid access. That was one occasion where Lance's natural "tact" had probably proven a something of a boon to his peers.

This, on the other hand, was not what he expected to see.

"Hey, sir. We were just looking over the initial scans, and-"

"Tell me none of you touched this?" he said, ignoring whatever it was the Ensign was saying.

"N-no sir. We just ran some scans..."

Lance took the offered tricorder and took a glance. Then he did a double take, tapping feverishly for a silent moment. "Fetch, Captain DeHavilland."

"Sir?" the young officer blinked.

"Did I stutter, Ensign? Shoo. Fetch. Whatever your version of 'go' is in your vocabulary." he waved a hand, eyes flitting between the tricorder scans and the burned-out husk in front of him. Curious, he noted, that there didn't appear to be any identifying insignia.

A pair of bay operators were shifting over with a grav-lift, likely with the goal of moving it to a more secure location, but he quickly jumped in front of them.

"Gentlemen. If you had any idea what you were about to touch, you'd probably think twice." He pointed at the wreckage. "I'm reading at least five different banned components and several more that would probably leave the average person sterile..."

"Huh...?" one of them instinctively covered himself, stepping back.

"Oh yes," Lance continued. "And I'm quite sure just by standing here we're probably breaking at least four, maybe five intergalactic laws..."

The grunts looked at each other, clearly trying to work out if he was having them on, but after a second they figured it wasn't worth the risk and backed well away. Satisfied that the area was less prone to being disturbed, be took a few more scans before the Captain herself appeared followed by Commander Zayne.

Corvus was glad to see Quinn on station as quickly as she'd hoped he would be. She'd herself only just left with Thad to discuss how they were going to go over this with the Admiral when they'd decided to wait until Quinn had done a more through analysis. His timing couldn't have been better.

"Captain. I'm not sure if anyone has briefed you yet but...well, I hope you already had breakfast. Or perhaps not. I'm not sure..." he trailed off. "What I mean to say is that this here is probably one of the most illegal and dangerous arrangements of technology I've ever seen. And you're talking to an engineer that worked down the hall from the AI lab at the Daystrom Institute."

"That's... comforting," Corvus replied quietly. It wasn't something that they didn't specifically know already, but hearing it from Commander Quinn just etched into stone.

"Is it stable in its current state? Do we need to be worried or take any other precautions?" Commander Zayne asked, tapping a PaDD against his thigh with uncharacteristic concern.

"Safety is a relative term," Lance replied. "There are indicators of polaron weapon emitters, a protomatter projection cannon of some kind, and there's a subquantum processory for what looks like the targeting system for a subspace torpedo system of some kind. I can think of a few people who would be in dreamland examining some of this..." he paused. "They would be the mad scientists, of course."

“Thankfully they aren’t here,” DeHavilland replied with just a touch of concern in her voice that he might in fact be that sort deep done, confronted with so much crazy at once.

"As regards precautions? It appears almost all of it is unpowered. So no danger of anything exploding right now. But I'm seeing power relay systems we won't fully understand without a deeper examination, and there's no telling if there's anything that might suddenly decide to reactivate." Lance explained. "I'd recommend we keep the grunts away from it, Captain. And any unscrupulous foreign power that might have some fun with banned weaponry."

“Tell me what you need, or don’t need, Commander. This deck is yours, without question, until you’re comfortable with this,” she said, gesturing to the wreckage.

“What is your tactical assessment?” Thad asked, glancing at it all and then back to Quinn. “Can existing defenses handle this level of tech?”

Lance pondered that for a moment. "Well, the problem is that all of this was banned for a reason; protomatter and subspace weapons are highly unstable. If they were able to balance out the kinks - which I doubt - then these weapons might be as dangerous to them as they would be to us." He crossed his arms. "Advance warning of these weapons being employed by an attacking force would give us adequate time to prepare a moderate defensive measure. Depending on the size of the force attacking, of course."

Zayne glanced at Corvus who cocked her head curiously to the side. Did he know something she didn't, she wondered?

"Captain, I think we need to speak with the Admiral now. Right now," Thad said, repeating what he'd told her multiple times already yet they hadn't left the deck to go and do that. There were simply too many other balls in the air at the moment, and despite his insistence and her acceptance of that, she hadn't. "Commander. I would assume that the beings that developed that," he said, gesturing to the ship on the deck. "Will attack. In force. I'd like defensive alterations and additional measures for the station and our supporting Fleet put together as fast as humanly possible," he ordered, looking again to DeHavilland.

Corvus felt the color drain from her face. Zayne had been nagging her to speak with the Admiral since he'd seen this wreck but she had put it off, wanting to gather all she could before she darkened his door with this. He would ask and she had to have the answer. But clearly Thaddeus knew something she didn't and was purposely not telling her. Instead sending her to the Admiral to share it.

"Commander. If you know something about whoever this is, I need to do know it right now. That's an order," she hissed icily.

Thad adjusted the bottom edge of his uniform but didn't look flustered or upset. If anything, pensive. He looked to Quinn, then to Captain DeHavilland and shook his head. "I'm sorry, Captain. But the information is above your clearance level at the moment. Only Admiral Sepandiyar can override that."

Lance's eyebrow shot up. He almost interjected but bit his tongue very quickly to suppress the instinct. A Commander pulling that sort of statement on their Captain was both unbelievable and unexpected. He looked wide-eyed at Corvus to see what she would do.

DeHavilland stared at him, dumbfounded, "Over.. my?" she breathed, incredulously.

Evidently she wasn't going to challenge it. Lance's perspective was probably tainted by his opinion of Zayne - the man had usurped Calliope, for a start - but this was highly irregular.

"Doesn't Captain De Havilland have operational seniority over the Loki sector? Surely an imminent threat to our defensive measures, as you imply, would permit some sort of...intelligence sharing?" he suggested. It was a diplomatic way of telling the man to spill the proverbial beans.

"She does," Zayne replied. "But it's nor information in my position as XO, it's information I had when I was Strategic Operations Officer on Falkirk. Meaning I can't divulge it without the Admiral's approval. I'm sorry, Captain. It's not my choice," Thad explained further, imaging that he could see the vein throbbing in Corvus' forehead at being told by her own First Officer that she wasn't cleared for information that he had. "That's why I think we should be straight to the Admiral with this. The sooner I can share what I know and the sooner we can access any new information, the better."

Corvus resisted the urge to grind her teeth with frustration. "Alright," she grumbled. "We go see the Admiral. Commander, in the meantime..." she sighed with frustration, "...Commander Zayne is right. We need defensive alterations and additional measures for the station based on what you're finding her and we need it fast. You have access to any asset or personnel you need."

"Just not the full picture..." Lance muttered, glancing at Zayne with thinly-veiled disapproval. "We'll get started immediately." His mind was already ticking. And she'd just given him the authority to pull in anyone he needed. Anyone. And there was a perfectly good asset he had sitting in his quarters...


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