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We're All Mad Here

Posted on 18 Jul 2017 @ 3:31am by Captain Harvey Geisler & Lieutenant Joey Geisler & Lieutenant David Moreau Jr

Mission: The Finnean Crisis
Location: Conference Room
Timeline: MD 5 || 1730 hours

Even after all the senior staff left the conference room, a distracted Joey remained seated in her chair. So many different thoughts, emotions and a wide range of other things were playing through her mind. Most of them weren't good, like being on an away team in what could be a very hostile situation with a Doctor she viewed as a loose cannon lately. Commander Teixeira was never an issue for her, but she couldn't very well make her feelings known in the middle of a briefing. Still, she'd tried to bow out, and that hadn't gotten her very far.

She shook her head in an effort to clear her mind. Orders were orders no matter the outcome, and as a Starfleet Officer, she vowed to follow them no matter what the outcome would be for herself. She'd been through many situations that should have killed her, but Joey had been lucky. Like a cat with nine lives... she'd been lucky. Wouldn't her luck eventually run out? Probably so, and she could only pray to whoever was listening that it would happen after she'd safely brought her child into the galaxy.

Joey lowered her head into her hands and closed her eyes. There was still so much for her to do. Look at the scans of the scene from the da Gama in an attempt to see if she recognized the markings, dig through countless hours of data from The Net once she was able to have the dataport removed, and find the time to make herself appear normal again. She wouldn't be sleeping any time soon, but it was still only early evening. Maybe she could get in a couple hours down the road. For now, she had more important things to focus on... as soon as she felt like moving.

Harvey remained behind as well, his arms still crossed, but his gaze had turned to watch the rest of the senior staff leave. It was impossible to not notice that Joey had remained behind. After all, her hair color was so vibrant, the rest of the room seemed pale in comparison. Once they were alone, Harvey walked around the table so that he could sit beside her.

He sat in the chair to her left. Facing her, he rested at the very end of the seat, leaning forward so that he could put a hand over one of hers. "Looks like you had an adventure," Harvey stated.

Joey jumped when she felt someone touch her hand, then looked over to see Harvey sitting next to her. She thought he'd left with everyone else, but then, she hadn't really paid attention to the retreating backs leaving the conference room. "All in a day's work," she said with a shrug. Things would go back to normal as soon as she had a little free time to do so. Time just wasn't on her side right now. "It kept anyone from recognizing me, and helped get the job done."

She leaned back in the chair she still sat on and tried to push away the negative feelings still surging through her. "I saw Starfleet personnel moving about DS15 when Allen and I arrived. Congratulations on the success of your negotiations. That's got to be a relief."

"If only," Harvey said. "I feel like we're just getting started. Besides, it was too easy. The negotiations were done in ten minutes. No, something else is going on."

"Well, you've got a crew that will work around the clock to figure out what's really going on," Joey said. "I'm just one of many, which is why I won't be home tonight. I've got countless hours of data to sort through with zero guarantee I'll come up with anything useful. Torg was right. We're looking for a needle in a flapjack."

She had her theories, but would be keeping those to herself for now. "I need to analyze those markings Commander Djinx mentioned, too. The saying is true. There's no rest for the weary," she said with another shrug. "Such is the life of a Starfleet officer."

"A needle... in a flapjack?" Harvey asked, wondering who could have butchered the ancient axiom. "Don't worry about the not being home bit. I have a feeling Commander Teixeira and I will be trading shifts on the bridge just so we don't keep the situation without one of us near the helm. We can't afford any mishaps."

"Torg was the one who said it. He's Tellarite, so I didn't correct him on it," she said, reaching out to grab a PADD that was left behind. Joey pulled up the da Gama scans while they talked. "Maybe we can both find a few minutes later on to have dinner together, but considering our present situation, I won't be upset if it's not possible."

She scrolled through the images, her expression changing with each one. Some earned sadness, others earned anger, but one... and it was the one that was displayed on the screen in front of her... that one offered furrowed brows and shock. "I know these!" she all but shouted. "I've seen them before!" Joey enlarged the image to focus entirely on the markings as the color began to drain from her face.

"What is it?" Harvey asked, sliding his chair so that he could sit beside her to get a close look at what she was seeing. The image was quite grotesque, seeing dried blood affixed to the typical Starfleet duranium walls. Then again, having dealt with several infectious diseases, Harvey knew that he had seen worse. Far, far worse.

Joey had seen some pretty gory scenes throughout her career, so for her, this was another day on the job. "This is the symbol of The Followers of Dolmoqour," she said with a frown. "I've seen it before... mostly among murder scenes. I don't think Ensign Akagi's death was a suicide, and no one will convince me otherwise. Especially not now... not after seeing this. This puts the Followers on the da Gama, and if the probe was there, they could have taken it."

She quickly rose to her feet with the PADD still in her hand. "I have to go. You can come with me, or you can stay, but I have to go," Joey said, moving for the door. It was almost like she took on the role of Mr. Hyde suddenly. A mad woman on the run.

"Go where?" Harvey asked, leaping to his feet and meeting her by the door. Whereas earlier he wasn't at all conflicted when the room was filled with the senior staff, he was now thinking as a physician and a fiancé. "You've put yourself through a lot today. You've got to take it easy tonight."

"I need to go see Moreau," she replied, stopping just short of the door. "As for what I've put myself through today, it was a walk in the park compared to what could happen on the surface. I'll be able to rest when this is over. Now, are you coming or not?"

Harvey had a feeling he shouldn't let her go alone. "All right," he said. "But only if we get a chance to sit down for dinner afterwards. Can't have you working into the night without nourishment."

Joey smiled and leaned in to kiss him. Thankfully, she hadn't gotten close enough to the door activate the sensors and open it yet, so they still had privacy. "We will, I promise, and if it makes you feel better, I'll use that pretty amazing office of yours in our quarters to go through all of this data. I can do it there just as easily as I could in Intel."

He nodded his affirmation. "Only if you're comfortable. Besides, your Intel Center will have more priority and resources with the computer core and ship's systems." Harvey did make a note to see the Operations Chief about adjusting that.

"I'll start there, then if I need to move, I'll migrate to my office," she stated. "I know you're busy, and I suddenly feel like I have a million things to do, so I'll see you for dinner. I love you." With that, she offered him a smile and finally made her way out of the conference room.

***


With her mind running in overdrive, the journey to the new Security complex seemed like a rather short one, and she'd managed to ignore the looks she'd gotten compliments of her attire. She'd be changing soon enough, but right now, there wasn't any time for that. She looked to the nearest Security officer. "Lieutenant Moreau... where is he? I wouldn't be bothering him if this wasn't important."

"I saw him leave the bridge a bit ago," the Bolian Security enlisted man told her. "He'd be easier to find using the computer or a combadge, Lieutenant."

Of course, Joey thought before she tapped her combadge. =^=Corwin to Moreau... what is your current location? I'm in need of your assistance, and it's important.=^=

=^=I'm on my way to see Carmichael,=^= Came the response a minute later. =^=What can I do for you, Lieutenant Corwin?=^=

=^=It's something I would rather not speak about like this,=^= she answered. =^=Meet me at your office as soon as you're able to.=^=

I need a clone David thought. =^=Are you certain?=^= he asked as he paused in the corridor he was in to respond.

=^=Yes. I have something I can do in the meantime,=^= the female Lieutenant spoke. =^=Notify me when you're done so I can get back here. Corwin out.=^= With that, she tapped her combadge to end the link between the two of them and made her way back out of Security with the PADD still in hand. Now she was going to head to sickbay to have the dataport removed, which would put her one step closer to analyzing the information she downloaded.

Sometime later, her combadge chirped. =^=Moreau to Corwin. I can see you now.=^=

=^=On my way,=^= Joey said with the dataport tucked into a pocket of her uniform. She'd finally had time to change, but there hadn't been a chance for her to return her eyes or hair back just yet. It didn't take long for her to arrive at Moreau's office where she pressed the chime.

"Come in," David called as he sat on one of the guest chairs in the small office looking over a PADD.

"Lieutenant Moreau," she greeted as she walked into the office and allowed the door to close behind her. "Thank you for meeting with me. Do you recall mention of mysterious markings found with the body on the da Gama?"

"I do," David said as he came to his feet. "Not to mention the other things surrounding it. What can I do for you?"

Joey still held the PADD in her hand, holding it out for him to look at it. "I was able to identify it. It's the mark of the Followers of Dolmoqour. I know this because I've seen it before at the scenes of murders, most of which were from mysterious circumstances. This puts the Followers on the da Gama, and it's possible that they could have stolen the probe. What I need from you is to pull the security footage."

"All the information that was in the computer core was beamed back here by the away team that went there," David said. "As for the Followers of...what you said...I never heard of them, but if they were on the ship and had anything to do with the Ensign's death, we'll know it soon."

He got up and squeezed behind his desk before he activated the terminal. "Computer, pull up all Security footage from the Vasco de Gama from the moment of boarding."

The computer beeped and whirred in reply. "Over thirty minutes of footage is accounted for at the time of boarding. Please specify location and time."

"All of it," David said. "Identify any known or unknown species and known affiliations." He looked at Joey. "I can't take the chance of missing something by jumping around in it."

Again the speakers were filled by the whirr of the processors. "The USS Vasco da Gama was boarded on Stardate 65798.2 by thirty Selubassari. Initial boarding locations were the bridge, engineering, and security. An additional fifty Selubassari boarded the ship through Deep Space Fifteen's docking port."

David watched the scenery go by before he spoke again. "Isolate footage from Science labs and identify Ensign Akagi," he said. "Also identify any Federation probes in visual range and persons around them."

The computer beeped in reply. The screens changed to show the inside of a vacant science lab where a Class Nine probe lay gutted on the table. The doors opened. Ensign Akagi entered first, along with a shorter woman, collared in red. Behind them where six Selubassari. Four of them began to gather the probe innards and hastily placed them into containers. Two others examined the probe casing before placing pattern enhancers and beaming the probe off of the ship.

During all of this, the woman and Ensign Akagi stood near the entrance as if they were observing and directing the Selubassari in their actions. Once the Selubassari had all they wanted, they departed the room, leaving the woman and the Ensign. Both appeared to be speaking to each other for a moment, the conversation not recorded, and neither person appearing to be belligerent to the other. When the conversation ended, the woman left. Akagi moved to the other side of the room and picked up a long, sharp object.

The ensign then proceeded to stab himself, repeatedly. Every time he removed the knife, he'd dip his fingers into his blood and drew on the wall. Once the mark was left, Akagi was dead.

This wasn't at all helpful, but at least they knew that only the insides of the probe were take Computer, pull up the personnel file of Commander Yuki, Executive Officer of the Vasco da Gama along with the photo on file," Joey ordered, then gave her access code just in case it wished to be difficult. And thanks to the briefing, she knew Yuki was the XO, which helped, but was the woman with Akagi the missing First officer? "What is listed as her species?"

A display next to the security footage flashed to reveal the personnel file. "Lieutenant Commander Amaya Yuki. Date of birth, April 4, 2355. Place of birth, Tokyo, Japan, Earth."

"Well," Corwin began as she folded her arms across her chest. "Now we know that Yuki was the last person to see Akagi alive. The questions we face now... where is she, and why didn't she or Akagi put up a fight when the Selubassari came in?" She took a deep breath. "Computer... pull up the personnel file for Ensign Akagi. Compare the two files for any similarities and list them." Would there be any? Unlikely, but she was going to check it out anyway.

Another display flickered, adding the file for Ensign Akagi. The computer scrolled through both files quickly, highlighting very few similarities between the two. If there was a true connection, the computer didn't find it.

"Computer, locate Commander Yuki," David said on a hunch. "This is getting weirder and weirder."

The computer buzzed. "Lieutenant Commander Yuki is not aboard the USS Black Hawk, USS T'Pol, USS Chanett, USS Vasco da Gama or Deep Space Fifteen."

This was beginning to frustrate Joey. How were they going to find the probe when they had nothing to go on? One saving grace... the planet. "Computer, show us the security footage of Commander Amaya Yuki's last known location aboard the USS Vasco da Gama before leaving the ship."

A monitor flickered to show Commander Yuki walking off the ship escorted by the Selubassari.

"A number of things could be happening here..." the Lieutenant said. "Commander Yuki is a Follower, and she's how they found out about the probe. Or, she's got some kind of debt to be paid, and they're going to put her to work."

David shook his head. "Carmichael told me that Captain Stryk would have filled Commander Yuki in about the probe and message," he said. "Only he, Carmichael and Akagi knew about the message and now Akagi is dead and Yuki is confirmed missing and it looks like it was done by her choice."

"Computer, is it possible to extract the beam out coordinates that were used to take the probe off the Vasco de Gama?" David asked. "Check all sensor records of that time."

The computer buzzed again. "Insufficient data to provide a conclusion."

"Captain Stryk is currently in critical condition, too," Joey pointed out. "There is only one individual who can talk and seems to have vanished into thin air. We have to find Yuki."

"Resume play to the end," David instructed the computer before he looked at Joey. "This footage is getting us nowhere fast other than to confirm that Akagi killed himself and that Yuki seemed to be working with the Selubassari."

The computer performed as instructed. After Yuki and the Selubassari team departed the Vasco da Gama, a small contingent of troops remained behind to guard the vessel. A short time later, another group of Selubassari arrived and began to disassemble the ship's engines. Meanwhile, in the Science Lab, Akagi simply remained dead on the floor.

Joey pinched the bridge of her nose. This was beginning to give her a headache. Nothing useful was coming from the da Gama footage, but she still had an ace up her sleeve. It was a long shot, but at least it was something. "Yuki has to be on the planet. There's no place else for her to hide," the female Lieutenant commented as she moved over to a console and began to move her fingers over the controls. First, she searched the da Gama's sensors for Yuki's combadge signal. "If we're lucky... she's been too busy or distracted to take her combadge off." And with that, she began to search the surface for the other woman's combadge signal.

For several minutes, the sensors searched the surface of the planet. Though it detected several million lifesigns, the sensors were unable to detect a combadge signal. Faint whispers of components commonly found in combadges, however, were barely detected up in the Sixth Steading.

A dead end, much like she expected it to be, though the search wasn't a total waste. "No combadge signals, but I did pick up faint traces of combadge components near one of the dig sites in the Sixth Steading... which is controlled by the Selubassari," Joey said with a scowl. Her frustrations were at the point of boiling over, and was seconds from bleeding into pure anger. "This means they have, or at some point had, Starfleet personnel doing their dirty work." And that did it. A choice four letter word that sounded a lot like duck was shouted just before she grabbed the nearest (but not valuable) object and hurled it against the bulkhead where it wouldn't hit anything.

"What the hell are you doing, Corwin?" David yelled when she threw and broke his coffee mug. "I don't give a crap how frustrated you are. You are a Starfleet officer and you don't throw temper tantrums like an Academy brat who's daddy is an Admiral!"

Joey shoved her hands through her hair and began to pace the office. The anger she felt inside was raging, and he was only making it worse. "I'm not frustrated! I'm pissed off! You have no idea what kind of hell this place is! Almost two years of my life was spent here dealing with this shit, and I narrowly escaped with my life the first time! Who's to say I'll be so lucky again?"

She wanted to pick something up and throw it at him, but by some miracle she refrained. "And what you call a 'temper tantrum' are my hormones wreaking havoc on my body. So, if you want to stoop to the level of a twelve year old and call me names while I deal with my own form of personal hell on top of being pregnant, then be my guest! I'll replace the mug." With that, she grabbed her PADD and moved for the door. She wasn't going to cry in front of him.

"It's the chances we take when we swear an oath to protect the Federation," he said as she moved for the door. "And I didn't call you any names. I said like, not that you were an Academy brat. There's a big difference."

Joey said nothing as she walked out of the Security Chief's office. She had more work to do that would only lead to dead ends like everything else before it. Still, she'd do it. It was going to be a very long and tiring night. That was okay, though, because she didn't really feel like being around anyone.

When she left, David cleaned up the pieces of his mug and headed out to see the Captain. There was still a lot to do and very little time to do it.

 

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