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Evidence

Posted on 26 May 2016 @ 3:48am by Lieutenant Camila Di Pasquale & Captain Harvey Geisler

Mission: Outbreak
Location: Ready Room
Timeline: MD 10 || 1315 Hours

Once Ensign Hollingsworth headed to Medical to oversee the stasis unit and the force field containment unit which held the Class Two probe, Camila headed up to the bridge with Saduk, the Paradan in tow. "Let me do the speaking until the Captain asks you a question," she told him.

"May I not make a simple request? You have the probe and my body," Saduk wanted to know.

"When he wants to know, he'll ask you," Camila said as the turbolift came to a half. She exited with the Paradan and looked around for the Captain.

"Captain Geisler is in his ready room," an Ensign said when he saw the Chief of Security looking around with an unusual visitor with her.

"Thank you, Ensign," Camila said before she led the Paradan to the Ready Room and pressed the chime to announce her presence.

Captain Geisler hadn't been in the ready room for very long. It was, after all, his first trip out of sickbay in a few days, so there had been much to catch up on. Thankfully, Commander Xiao had been faithful in keeping tabs on the paperwork during the crisis, which was hopefully nearing its end.

At the sound of the doorchime, Harvey looked up from his seat behind the desk and lowered the PADD he was reviewing. "Come," he beckoned.

Camila entered with the Paradan coming in behind her. "Captain," she said with a nod. "May I introduce Saduk, the individual who first died as a result of the virus on Yolvanda II."

Were it not for Harvey's encounter with a Paradan several months ago and recalling that they were skilled in creating replicants of many species, the Captain would have been a little more surprised at the man's introduction. Harvey rose behind the desk, but did not hold his hand out or give any sort of friendly gesture.

"I suppose that you're here just off my bridge because my Chief of Security believes you actually had little to no involvement in the start of this outbreak," Harvey surmised based on what he could assume the facts were. "At least from a voluntary standpoint."

Saduk shook his head. "I was a victim as was everyone else," he said. "I gave her the probe which I had originally found, and only desire to take my leave of this system in exchange for that any any cargo room you can spare for my goods. I do not know much about the probe, but it I do know that it is a Starfleet probe from the markings on it."

Harvey's eyes immediately widened. "A probe?" he asked in his surprise.

Camila nodded. "I'm afraid so, Captain Geisler," she said. "I confirmed it's a Class Two probe and it is Starfleet. Saduk had it enclosed in a forcefield containment unit in his apartment."

"That..." the Captain's voice trailed off, considering the implications that Starfleet had something to do with this, whether it was intentional or accident. It was likely due to a certain third party, but a forensic team would have to determine that.

Quickly, he pulled his thoughts back together. "How did you find the probe?" he asked.

"I had been out in search of salvage when I came upon the wreckage of it in a field near the capital city," Saduk said. "It was leaking badly before I managed to obtain a forcefield generator which could contain it, but after I took it back to the apartments where I was staying, I began to feel strange. I have a habit of creating replicants for myself and always keep one in stasis in the event something happens to me and have a life monitor linked to activate if I should die. Granted, I miss some memories, but I do remember having a sore throat and then things got rather hazy for me."

Harvey looked at Camila for a moment, then back at Saduk. He was no engineer, but he had worked with several probes in the past. Very very few had ever carried any sort of liquid aboard. This all but absolutely confirmed that this virus was indeed engineered. "And this new replicant... have you been near this probe again?" It was very likely that Saduk had been re-infected but didn't know it.

Camila nodded her agreement to what the Paradan was saying, but waited to be asked a direct question by the Captain.

"Not without the forcefield being in place," Saduk said. "I retrieved my original body after I found where they had buried it and put it in a stasis unit. It was beamed up to your medical bay as well, I believe."

"That is correct, Captain," Camila verified. "We made certain that all safety protocols were in place before the transfer."

He nodded. There was much to do with the probe, but that discussion needed to take place in front of different company. And, there was much to do with the body. "Your original body. We do need to examine it closely. I don't suppose you have any objections to that?"

"Not at all," Sarduk said. "It is just a shell to me now. However, I would like it back to give myself a proper burial in the custom of my people. Does this mean that you agree to my terms as well, Captain?"

"Terms?" Harvey echoed. "You want me to take some of your cargo so that you can leave a quarantined system? A quarantine and several deaths to tourists, locals and even members of my crew that could have been avoided if you hadn't decided to tamper with Federation property instead of reporting it?"

"Tamper with it?" Saduk sputtered. "I was infected by this Federation property, Captain." He started to draw himself up.

"And instead of reporting it, as the Captain said, you decided to keep it and see if you could sell Federation technology to others without knowing the full ramifications of your actions," Camila said. "I believe that is a very serious offense to the Federation. Wouldn't you say so, Captain?"

"Indeed," Harvey agreed. "Plus, when the local media began reporting the crisis, your picture started popping up everywhere." The Captain picked up a nearby PADD that displayed the news report with Saduk's face plastered under the headline. "It's not going to look good when Patient Zero turns out to be alive and well."

"I...I...isn't there anything you can do to help me?" Sarduk asked as he deflated. "I need to get out of here as soon as the quarantine has lifted. You have my body. You have the probe. What more do you want?"

"The truth," Harvey said simply. It was logical for Harvey to keep the Paradan close, especially since the man was Patient Zero. "Which it seems we have the most of, Mister Saduk. I need to confirm that you had no hand in the creation of this virus, at least from a voluntary standpoint. Until then, you will need to stay with us until the quarantine is lifted."

The Captain purposely made no mention of transportation. Until the appropriate confirmation came across his desk, the safety of this ship, Yolvanda II and subsequently Starbase Unity would be his primary concern. And that meant keeping Patient Zero alive and out of sight. "How many others knew about the probe?"

"No one else," Sarduk insisted. "I made sure that no one knew about it once I got sick. I couldn't think of anything else that could have done it. I would have reported it. I would have." His voice started to get louder and desperate. "My cargo, though...what about my cargo? I'm already taking a loss..."

"We're all taking a loss," Harvey commented. "Where's your cargo now?"

"It's in my apartment on Yolvanda II," Sarduk said.

Camila made a dismissive gesture. "From what I saw and where you were attempting to offload your cargo, it was mostly salvage, Sarduk. It makes me wonder how many others might be interested in what you have in there..."

"Alright, alright!" Sarduk said. "I surrender it. Just don't let it get out that I'm still alive and keep me alive. Is that too much to ask?"

"That we can do," the Captain confirmed. He'd have Lieutenant Bast issue a temporary set of quarters until they could figure out what to do with the Paradan. "For now, we should have our doctor verify that you are indeed virus-free."

"I'll get him to sickbay right away, Captain," Camila said. "Do you have any other orders?"

He looked at the Paradan, and figured that any additional orders would need to be given away from civilian ears. "Not at the moment," he told her.

"Yes, Sir," Camila before she hesitated as the Captain looked at the Paradan before he responded to her. She tapped her combadge. =^=Di Pasquale to Hernandez. Please report to the bridge and escort Mister Saduk to sickbay.=^=

=^=Right away, Lieutenant=^= Xavier responded. A few minutes later, he showed up and headed off with Saduk.

Camila waited until the door closed. "I may have made an assumption, Captain and if I have, please forgive me, but it seems that you were reluctant to discuss anything in front of Mister Saduk."

"How accurate do you think his story is?" Harvey instantly asked, gesturing for her to have a seat. Without waiting for her decision, Harvey sat down behind the desk and pulled down on his uniform jacket.

Camila took the indicated seat. "One, he acts like a bad Ferengi with his talk of cargo, but gives up easily which means it isn't that important. Two, he's desperate to get away from this system, which means he knows more than he's saying. Three, he wanted us to guarantee his safe, which means someone knows that he has the probe or knowledge of it. Four, we had to chase him down when we finally found on him on Yolvanda II, which an innocent being wouldn't do. Five, I wouldn't trust him any further than I could drop kick him. I say we monitor him very closely and deny him use of communications and very restricted computer access."

Harvey couldn't help but release a smirk and light chuckle. "I had a feeling something like that would be the case. Honestly, it's too convenient. If this virus came to Yolvanda via a probe, then this is definitely an engineered situation. Someone wanted people to die, and to blame someone. It sounds like we have more questions than answers."

"Given the fact that it's a Class Two Starfleet probe, Captain, I wouldn't place any bets on saying that it wasn't launched a Consortium-controlled ship. However, every one has a unique identifier and will tell us what ship it was launched from and how long ago. I'm certain that Engineering or Operations could provide far more information on it, too."

"Enlist whomever you need," Harvey ordered, agreeing with Camila's statement. He was convinced that this was indeed a Consortium plot. "I want to know where it's been and where it came from." A very small part of him hoped that this virus was something the probe picked up on the way, but the scientist in him knew otherwise.

"The probe is in medical at the moment," Camila said. "But as soon as Doctor Kij clears it, I'll get on it, Sir."

"Sounds good, Lieutenant," Harvey replied. "Anything more to report from the surface?"

"No, Sir, but there is a noticeable lack of tourists there now," she said. "Then again, who could blame them for wanting to be off the surface even with the quarantine on the system?"

"I wouldn't." Harvey sighed. "Blame them that is. All we can do is end this as quickly as possible."

"We'll get it sorted, Captain," Camila said. "It was fate that put me in charge of Security here on the Black Hawk and I'll stake my reputation that we'll persevere and come out on top."

"Good." Harvey's smirk turned into a smile. "If we don't, I'd hate to have to break in a new Security Chief. It gets tiring after a while."

"I wouldn't worry about having to do that for a long time, Captain," Camila assured him. "I don't plan on going anywhere any time in the foreseeable future."

"Except for sickbay," Harvey countered, realizing for the first moment how peppy he was sounding. Jayla had been rubbing off on him more than he knew. "We do still have a mystery to solve."

Camila watched him and gave a secret smile. She knew about Jayla and him, but hadn't said a word to anyone about the two of them and planned to keep it that way. "Once the Doctor gives the word, I'll be on the probe like a Ferengi on gold-pressed latinum. If it has any secrets, it will be found out and the person or persons responsible for launching it in the first place will regret it. My one major concern is that it was a distraction from something else their doing."

"Or if it was meant to do more damage than it already caused," Harvey replied. "Imagine if we had left just as quickly as we came. It's possible we'd be spreading this disease to Starbase Unity or the rest of the Task Force. Of course, that is extreme thinking, but it is a possibility. Obviously, we thought of something the Consortium didn't."

"Whatever the case, we now have some idea and will have a better one if it was them," Camila said and decided to play a card. "We will find them, and we will stop them. I'm not just doing this for myself and Temerant, or you and Jayla, or anyone else. I want to to it for everyone."

His left eyebrow arched as he found the particular individuals she named interesting. She knew something. But to mention the Operations Chief that Harvey had a bit of disdain for at the moment revealed something else entirely. Perhaps some of his distrust in the man was misplaced. "You and Mister Bast?" He asked. Were it not for his budding relationship with the Chief Medical Officer, Harvey would have deduced something completely different.

Camila noted that the Captain didn't deny that he and the good Doctor were in a relationship. "Yes," she said simply. "I had a very long talk with him when he was in Sickbay after the T'Pring incident and got to know him better. He's not the Consortium-controlled person that he was, Captain. It was a horrible experience for him."

He nodded. For Bast to have the support of someone he shot at certainly said something. "And I also understand he had a hand in breaking down this virus." Whether it was an act of redemption or an act of duty remained for Harvey to decide once he was fully caught up on the situation.

"He's also doing very well in Operations despite only having a single cadet there to help him," Camila said. "He's been running ragged from shift to shift trying to do everything himself. If there's anyone on this ship who deserves more than he's been getting, it's Temerant."

His eyebrow arched again. It seemed that there was certainly more to this is she was on a first name basis with the Trill. Though she knew something about Harvey's situation and did not pry, he chose to respect her privacy as well. Like he and Jayla, if Camila and Temerant wanted to be more serious about their status, they would say so at an appropriate moment. "I'm sure I can do something about that," Harvey remarked.

"I'm sure he would appreciate that, Captain," she said, then after a moment of thought, she looked at him. "Everyone deserves happiness, Sir. No matter where you find it or who you find it with. I'm well aware of what the Officer's Handbook says down to the exact wording on a specific paragraph regarding such things, but if you can be happy...be happy. We have enough to deal with without going back to our quarters and being alone."

Harvey's eyebrow settled in its normal position. Camila did know, and she certainly had a unique way of letting him know. "Thank you, Camila," Harvey said, purposely choosing to use her name in this instance. "I hope you can find the same, if not better, happiness on board."

"You're welcome, Captain," Camila said. She had no plans to be as informal with him as he chose to be with her, but she felt the air change between then. "And thank you. It's the small moments that are the best ones, Sir, and we're on a course of exploration."

"That we are," Harvey remarked, though that course was on a temporary hold. "And I shouldn't keep you from your investigation any longer. I do want to get back to exploring."

"The moment I learn anything about the probe," Camila said as she came to her feet. "I'll let you know. Good day, Captain."

Harvey rose from his chair in response. "Good day and good luck, Lieutenant." He hoped she wouldn't need much.

 

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