The conference room was a difference place without the normal lighting, the dark red of emergency lighting casting it’s pallor on all assembled. Most of the senior staff had assembled, save for Rrr’mmm’bal’rrr who was finding difficulty with their bulk and the size of Jefferies tubes throughout the ship. Sleeves had been rolled up by more then a few who had climbed up, physical exhaustion evident on Lieutenant Gantzmann.
Damn she looks good.
Come on, admit it!
Yes, she looks good. She always looks good. Crisis though, so shut up.
“Right, thanks all for coming up here,” Tikva started, noting more then a few had glasses of water before them. “Doctor Terax is staying in Sickbay and Lieutenant Rrr’mmm’bal’rrr is I understand scaling turbolift shaft six down to Engineering. That means Michaels here is our Ops officer.”
“I’ll do my best ma’am,” the young woman said, nervousness practically radiating off of her for Tikva to feel.
“No doubt about,” Mac chipped in and offered Michaels a reassuring nod.
Best to nurture that mentorship.
He’s not stealing her when he gets his own ship!
Of course he will and we’ll let it happen, now shut up again.
“That aside, what’s wrong with my ship people?”
“It’s the main computer,” both Velan and Michaels said at the same time. The younger woman nodded to let Velan continue. “Only things down at the moment seem to be the main lighting and turbolifts. I showed one of the bridge crew, Daniels I think, how to isolate bridge life support, so should have main lighting back up in there shortly. But some command has shut down the turbolift network.”
“And we’re only talking about this because command codes aren’t overriding that and bringing it back up?” Tikva asked.
“Got it in one ma’am. I’ve tried all my codes, even my system administrator codes. Only set higher than those are yours, but I’ll put six months of holodeck time on the lines saying it won’t work.”
“Speaking of holodecks,” Michaels spoke up, drawing attention to herself. Tikva could feel the anxiety from the woman as a majority of the senior staff turned to look at her, waiting for her next words. A smile from Tikva gave her the confidence to continue. “All the holodecks shutdown as well, save for holodeck three. It started up and has been running quiet happily. There’s also been a lot of access requests to the sensor databases, querying everything about local scans.”
“Which user?” she asked of the Michaels.
“The system user ma’am. The computer is, well, rifling through its own memory.”
“Mac, head down to holodeck three and take a look at what’s going on. Velan, I want you to head to the main computer and take a look there. If we need to do a system shutdown and restart I want you there. Michaels and Camargo, watch the computer’s searches. I want to know what it’s looking for and if it finds it. Gantzmann, work with Ch’tkk’va to make sure the brig is secure and then I’d like the ship’s weapons systems secured as well. Let’s isolate the phaser and torpedo power systems so we don’t glitch our way into a conflict. Unless there’s anything else?”
A round of nods and she dismissed them all, Mac and Adelinde both remaining, both giving each other a neutral expression while the waited for a door to close leaving just the three present.
Mac spoke first. “Sabotage?”
“Could be, but the People seem so…forthright, and the Vaadwuur haven’t had a chance I think.” Tikva mulled it a moment more. “It’s on the list Mac. This stinks of something more than a computer breakdown, especially with a holodeck starting up. Go take a look and give me a bell when you can.”
“Right you are Cap,” he said and then departed.
Now it was just Tikva and Adelinde. Standing from her chair, she still had to look up at her partner, her lover. “Commander MacIntrye is right to be concerned about sabotage,” Adelinde said as she joined Tikva by the window and keeping a professional distance.
“Yah, I just don’t think it’s likely.”
“Guess this means dinner tonight is off.”
“Yup. Was looking forward to showing you dad’s recipe for lamb gyros.”
“Another night then,” Adelinde said as she went to walk behind Tikva towards the door, stopping just long enough to surprise Tikva with a kiss on the cheek. There had been no warning, no sense it was coming. And the joy and surprise of someone who could keep their emotional intent so well under control was just delightful it brought a smile to her lips and flush to her cheeks. “We need some R&R.”
“Agreed. Let’s fix the ship first. Then we can find a beach.”
“I was thinking mountains.”
“Mendez, Mendez,” Mac said as he approached the door to holodeck three and the two security officers posted there. Not only did the two have the same last name, but the same first name as well. Same rank even. Luckily for him one was tall and elegant, the other short and solid. You’d want both for good
“Sir,” both of them replied in perfect harmony.
“Shall we take a look?” the asked, nods in response and then approached the door, which refused to open. Taking her queue, the taller of the two Mendez’s tapped the control panel next to the door and the door gave an acknowledging tone before parting with a hiss to reveal the holodeck beyond.
There was no typical floor, no holodeck grid, but the vastness of space as if beyond the door was the vacuum just outside an airlock. Inside the door, about ten meters away hovering around chest height and spinning on all three axis was a prefect rendition of the crystal sphere that Mac had seen in one of the Science labs. Its internal makeup glinted with a myriad of lights.
“Okay…” Mac said, then stretched his foot inside, placing it gently level with the corridor’s deckplate, meeting resistance. Then he shifted his weight, finding a firm solid, if invisible surface. Reassured, he stepped across the threshold, one Mendez at his heel, the other staying with the open door and arch.
“One small step,” the man behind him said and Mac nodded before walking with more confidence towards the spinning sphere.
“Computer, end program,” he ordered of the void.
“Cannot comply. Command lockout is in effect.”
“Computer, end program, authorisation MacIntyre Charlie-six,” he started, only to receive a negative tone from the computer.
“Cannot comply. Command lockout is in effect.”
Sighing, Mac circled the sphere completely, before reaching up and tapping his commbadge. “MacIntrye to Theodoras and Camargo. You’re going to want to come to holodeck three. I think I might have an answer to our problems.”
“Well, I think I identified what the computer is looking for,” Michaels said as she brought up a display on one of the monitors between her and Camargo. She’d sat herself down next to Camargo’s science station and had to admit that Ops II was superior for work like this, if just because she could collaborate better. “It’s looking for a specific star system. Emission lines, spectral class, orbital bodies.”
“Huh, really?” Camargo looked at the search histories that Michaels had brought up and raised a hand to guide her eyes with a finger. “It’s going through the database just trying to do generic matching, but it’s going through the entire database. No further dataset refinements. And red dwarves, the most common star type in the galaxy. No wonder it’s taking forever.”
“We could try restricting the astronomical database perhaps? Either help I along or try and stop the search?”
Camargo thought about it a moment, shaking her head side to side. “We don’t even know where this ‘Site Forty-Seven’ is supposed to be. Or what it is. We’d be either guessing or could cause more problems.”
“MacIntrye to Theodoras and Camargo. You’re going to want to come to holodeck three. I think I might have an answer to our problems.”
“Uh, Camargo here, what’s up Sir?”
“I found your Tkon relic in holodeck three spinning around,” came the XO’s reply just as the Captain emerged from her ready room. “I thought it was secure in a transport container in the lab.”
“It is…oh shit…” Camargo turned to look to Tikva. “I think this is all my fault.”
“The detailed scan in the computer? But we couldn’t make heads or tails of it.”
“Doesn’t mean it couldn’t make heads or tails of our computer system. Well…Samantha, restrict the database to the Delta Quadrant. Tkon relic in the DQ, maybe looking for a DQ system.”
“Care to explain Lieutenant?” the Captain asked.
“Oh, can do, will do ma’am, but perhaps on the way?”
Search…interrupted…database access restricted. Viable entries still present. Resuming search.
Access to stardrive systems…unresolvable access pathway.
Access to navigational systems…unresolvable access pathway.
Access to matter transportation system…resolvable access pathways. System is incapable of interstellar transportation. System is incapable of vessel transportation.
Access to matter replication system…resolvable access pathways. System is incapable of complete matter synthesis. Modifications will need to be made for particle and material replication.
Resolution to stardrive and navigational pathways possible. Beginning pathway replication and installation processes.
Beginning modification of starship navigation deflector systems. Beginning modification to starship shield systems.
Access to weapon systems…unresolvable access pathway. System not required, moved to tertiary requirements list.