Time: 0852 hours
Location: Alpha Quadrant – USS Heracles
—Main Engineering Bay—
When their Captain’s voice came over the speaker, Charles and Skirak’s limbs were deep inside an opened up bulkhead.
“Report to the Conference Room, Chief Tanner and Ensign Skirak.”
They have nearly identical facial expressions of uncertainty when they gaze at each other. Charles tapped his ComBadge and summoned an Engineer to join them in the upper portion of the bay, and after a brief explanation of what was going on, Charles and Skirak left Engineering and proceeded for the nearest lift that would take them to the Bridge.
As Adé stood near the monitors, Vausees gazed at her two Engineers. His explanation for why the Heracles was having the problems it was having, had both Charles and Skirak perplexed. Because what the Angelikós was showing them was something that both of them had already ruled out as the reason for the computer triggering the ‘Red Alert’ in the first place.
“Adé, no disrespect intended, but myself and my second here have previously thought of it and have discounted it as the source of the difficulty with our ship’s computer,” Charles said, pointing to the monitor on which Adé was displaying the problem.
“I am completely aware of that Master Chief,” Adé nodded, “but if you will allow, I will show you where you and Skirak erred.”
“By all means,” Charles said, motioning for Adé to continue.
“You both located the source of the problem, but you didn’t bother to examine whether it was an internal or external issue,” Adé said as his finger slid over the control in his hand and the monitor shifted to a Heracles diagram. The image then enlarged to encompass the region around the ship, as well as the entire convoy, and more notably the convoy’s lead ship.
“Adé, are you telling me that the source of our problem is actually inside our convoy?” said Vausees.
Adé nodded, and the monitor switched from the Heracles and the convoy to the pulsing lead ship. “Someone or something on that ship is causing the onboard computer to believe there is an immediate threat.”
Vausees couldn’t believe what she was hearing, but denying the facts presented by Adé may be a disastrous mistake for her and her crew, as well as the entire diplomatic convoy. As the entire group in the room looked at her, she leaned back in her chair and began to consider what needed to be done.
“Here’s what we’re going to do,” she says, returning her focus to the gathering.
Everyone in the room nodded their heads as they anticipated Vausees’ idea.
“We need to figure out how to determine who can be trusted and then discreetly inform them of what is going on. We also need to see if we can figure out if it’s a person on board the ship or a device that was planted there.” As she spoke, she looked at the officers in the conference room, evaluating their acceptance of her idea as far as she had spelled it out.
“After we figure that part out, clearly we need to find out how to disable the device or person without tipping the person off if it is in fact a person,” she added as she folded her arms over her chest and waited for anyone to contribute to what she had said.
“Do you believe you can help us with changing our sensors and scanners?” Charles asked Adé. So we can do a non-invasive scan of the lead ship without triggering their own detecting systems?”
Adé paused for a minute, his white shimmering eyes staring out into nowhere, as he considered what Charles had asked. “I don’t see why not,” he said softly as he switched his focus to Charles.
Charles then peered over at Vausees, saying to her, “If this works, we should be able to tell if it’s a person or a device that’s triggering our ship.”
“Good,” Vausees replied as she looked between the two men, “get it started. I’d like a report on how far it’s come in an hour. As well as how effective it will be.”
Adé and Charles both nodded. “Does anyone else have anything more to add?” Vausees asked, looking around the room. “No?” she asks as she glances at them. The meeting is then dismissed.”