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A Matter of Communication (The Station Part II, Team Two)

Posted on 26 May 2018 @ 4:12pm by Ensign Quinn Mackie & Lieutenant Camila Di Pasquale & Lieutenant JG Jennin Rhula

Mission: The Search Begins
Location: Vargass Station (Orbiting Alpha Trios III)
Timeline: MD 2 || 0935 Hours

Camila looks out at the area her, Rhula and Mackie were assigned to and let her trained eyes take in the aliens milling about, looking for obvious weapon bulges or blatant displays of weaponry. She looked over at Joey and was mildly annoyed that she was going on her team to keep an eye on her but the woman was former Security as well and had taken down a starship by herself. She finally spotted an area that had lots of people going in and out other than the one that Geisler pointed out and gave her people a nod. "Let's head over there and see where the operations center for this place is," she said. "Let's go."

Quinn nodded to the lieutenant as he pulled out his tricorder. The sensations in this place were overwhelming, ranging from rotting food to what had to be overuse of cologne and perfumes. Aliens of various shapes, sizes, colors, limbs and appearances passed by them going both directions. Not a single species was familiar, and Quinn actually found himself wishing an Aketi was around. In fact, that thought gave him an idea.

"Lieutenant," he called out. "We should find an Aketi. Maybe we can pay him to be a translator until the UT can catch up to all of these languages?"

"Good thinking, Ensign Mackie," Camila said. "Do a discreet scan with your tricorder to locate an Aketi for us." She had seen one when she had no memory, but never without their suits and face masks on.

Discreet? thought Quinn, nodding to confirm that he heard the order. The three of them stood out like sore thumbs in this place, giving rise to any confirmation that he could indeed be discreet. "I'm picking up quite a few," he said, spotting three lifesigns just a few feet away. Looking up, he saw the three Aketi, who appeared to be armed and dangerous. "But it might take a bit to find someone who's actually willing to work with us. Maybe... that way," Quinn said, pointing to his left and down what appeared to be some sort of market.

His own tricorder already in hand, Rhula was collecting biological information. He would prefer to be able to open some of these species up and see, first hand, what was going on inside. For better or worse, that opportunity had not, as yet, been presented to them. There's still time, though, he thought. He had learned some time ago that it was best to not share some of his thoughts. He tended to make some people uncomfortable, specifically when he started talking about his pathology work. Or the hands-on research he had performed. Something about hearing details about being elbow deep in a corpse that just turned some people's stomachs. Doctor Jennin, that's disgusting! they'd say.

Quinn led the group around a corner and spotted what appeared to be a rather interesting junk shop where the Aketi lifesigns were coming from. A variety of strange and familiar materials were registering on the tricorder. Deuterium, isolinear acrylic, Trellium-D, Kironide, Pergium and so much more. Behind the counter was an aging Aketi, fondling some sort of duotronic relay, passing the time while waiting for customers.

Camila followed the young Ensign and smiled when she saw the aging alien and stepped forward. "Hello," she said and was careful not to smile. "I was wondering if you can help out some weary travellers?"

The older Aketi looked up, saw the colorful trio, then looked back down. "Here you can only buy or sell. I don't do favors."

Camila reached into the pouch at her side that Joey had given her and pulled out a fistful of gold coins and rare gems. She laid them on the counter. "How much will this get me in that case?" she asked casually.

Shopkeeper glanced over at the trinkets and used a spanner to slowly turn a couple of the gems over. He looked up at the omber haired woman, then back down at what she laid on the counter. After a moment's thought, he reached under his counter and lifted a foot-long metal pipe and set it on top of the counter. "This much," he answered.

Camila shook her head. "I want information," she said. "I want to know what happened to this system and if anything has ever gone through the blue zone in space."

He responded with a grunt, looking up to see the strange-haired younger man browsing the shop with some sort of scanning device. Normally the shopkeeper would protest, but considering these aliens were new, he allowed it. "Look over there," he gestured to a corner of the shop where a pile of debris laid. "I deal in technology, not information. You want that, you'll have to find a Triosian."

"Where can I find a Triosian?" Camila asked. "And do you have any translators for different languages?"

"You'll find Triosians on the fourth planet," replied the shopkeeper. "There's a couple on the station, exiled from home, but they're scattered. As for translators, I have a few. But, your trinkets are not enough to pay for it."

Quinn, having kept an ear on the conversation, turned his attention to the corner the shopkeeper indicated. He didn't even make it all the way to the corner before he froze in his tracks. "I don't believe it," he muttered, surveying the pile, taking note of the extremely familiar materials and labeling. "These are Starfleet probes."

Camila heard Quinn and turned back to the shopkeeper as she pulled out an Exographic Targeting Sensor. "Will this get me those probes in the corner and a translator?" she asked as she activated it and handed it to the old Aketi. "Look through it with one eye at any wall."

The shopkeeper picked it up and looked through it, as best as his methane breathing apparatus would allow. It was a remarkable piece of technology, being able to look through obstacles in real time, especially since the club next door was quite the attraction. "This is not worth translation matrices and that junk in the corner. Probes, you called them? How do you know what those are?"

Camila shrugged and went to take the Exographic Targeting Sensor back. "If it's not worth some junk and a translation matrix, I suppose I'll find someone else to trade with," she said as she reached for it. "Did you get a full scan, Mackie?"

A loud gruff escaped the Aketi's mask. "One sensor is worth the matrices. Two sensors will get you the junk and those probes." After all, it only made sense to have more than one. If he broke one while trying to reverse engineer, then he'd have a spare to finish the work.

"One sensor and the probes," Camila countered since she didn't have a second targeting sensor. "And you can keep the gems and gold as a bonus."

The breathing apparatus concealed the drawn scowl on his face. "Matrices and one of those probes." Normally, he would have tried to give those strange pieces of salvage away since they didn't work with anything in this sector. But, seeing how he actually had a customer that wanted that pile, he was going to try and get everything he could for it, especially since she'd need those translation matrices to talk to anyone else on this station.

"Done," Camila said. "And we get to pick the one we want," she added before she looked at Quinn. "Any of those from us?"

While the Aketi started to dig in a nearby crate, Quinn shook his head in response to the security chief. "The Black Hawk has never fired a probe into the zone," he remarked as he scanned the probes, looking for the one with the most potential. "The Vasco da Gama fired hundreds over several years. This one," he said, pointing to a twisted shell, "registers as ten years old. This one is from 2383. I can tell from the isolinear acrylic. They thought a new polymer would double processing power, but all it did was turn brittle after a year of use. Fastest recall I ever heard of."

Camila turned her universal translator off and spoke in English. "Get the most recent ones and a scan of the others," Camila said, having only knowledge on various types of probes. "I say the Aketi got the better end of the deal, but we still need to find a Triosian."

Quinn continued to scan while the shopkeeper approached Camila with a few chips of his own in his hands. "Here are the matrices. Twenty languages in there, but bear in mind, they haven't been updated in a few years."

"Thank you," Camila said as she pulled her tricorder and scanned them to determine if they were viable, then put them in one of her belt pouches and turned to Quinn. "Anything of use, Mister Mackie?" she asked him.

The operations officer didn't reply, still scanning the probes. "This one," he said, pointing to a rather charred housing. "Might not look like much on the outside, but this 2385 special still has most of its interior workings and still has a small measure of power. That means the data recorder should still be operational."

Camila pulled the matrices out and handed them to Quinn. "Check these while I get Mister Rhula's attention, then we can get this probe out of here." She turned to the Science officer. "Mister Rhula, can you please help me and Mister Mackie with the probe, please?"

"Jennin," he corrected. "Standard Bajoran naming convention," he explained, moving towards the other two. Although he had a medical license, he wasn't stuck on titles. At least outside of Sickbay. Certainly he'd insist with someone if they questioned his judgement in a medical matter, but he couldn't be bothered with correcting everyone all the time. "What do you need?"

Camila felt like an ass for forgetting the Bajorans placed their first name last. "My apologies, Lieutenant Jennin," she said and meant it. "Could you please help Ensign Mackie carry this probe out, please?"

"I'll take this end," Quinn said, before a thought struck him. "What about the transporter, Lieutenant? We could beam it back to the runabout without attracting too much attention to us going back and forth."

Why didn't I think of that? the ombre haired Chief asked herself before she tapped her combadge. =^=Di Pasquale to Ensign Thomas. Lock onto the probe at my coordinates and transport it back to the runabout=^=

=^=Understood, Lieutenant=^= came the reply a moment before the probe shimmered out of existence.

Camila pulled the language matrices out of her pouch and handed them to Quinn. "Can you interface these with the tricorder and link them to our universal translators?"

"I..." Quinn said, taking one and giving it a thorough visual inspection. Stammering a thoughtful hope, Quinn inserted one of the matrices into the top of his tricorder. He'd wisely loaded their limited knowledge of the Aketi language into his tricorder before leaving the Black Hawk and used it to interface with the matrix. "Yes. I can definitely do this," he confirmed. "It'll probably take about twenty minutes to do the full batch. Faster if I interlink remotely with the runabout's computer and all of our team's translators will be updated as we go."

"Then get it done," Camila said to Quinn before she turned to Jennin. "Have you found anything of interest, Lieutenant?"

"Depends on how you define 'interest," the Bajoran answered in his usual sardonic tone. "There are some species here that I wouldn't mind getting on my slab. But I don't think that's what you're asking about."

"I think I'm done," Quinn said. "The matrices are uploaded to the runabout. Its computer will work with them and disseminate them to our UT's in a few minutes."

"Now to find a Triosian," Camila said. "Shall we, gents?"

Quinn nodded, keeping an eye on the tricorder to keep abreast of the runabout's progress with the translator matrices. Hopefully they'd be able to communicate with others before the next time they ran into an unknown soul.


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