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A Matter of Cargo

Posted on 24 Jan 2016 @ 8:08pm by Captain Harvey Geisler & Lieutenant Commander Terry Walsh & Lieutenant Commander Roget del Rosario & Lieutenant Camila Di Pasquale

Mission: Rude Awakening
Location: SS T'Pring || USS O'Carroll || USS Black Hawk
Timeline: MD 9 || 1340 hours

Down the corridor, a set of turbolift doors opened, depositing the ship's Bajoran captain flanked by two other crewmen. The T'Pring, like most transport vessels, didn't sport a large crew and were certainly light in armed escorts, forcing the Captain's guard to be comprised of engineers. All three stepped out of the turbolift with their weapons drawn. They hadn't needed sensors to know there was a fire fight below decks, the sounds had echoed through the deck plates, including a muffled explosion.

All that mattered to Captain Nigora at the moment was finding out what the hell was going on in his cargo bay. A question he immediately verbalized the moment he turned the corner to see the appearance of Starfleet Security Officers as their transport completed. "What the hell!?" he demanded, seeing the damage and debris.

When the Tellurite and other man had been secured, Camila took four more Security personnel and beamed back to the T'Pring. Seeing the Captain of the vessel and not knowing if he were Consortium or not, she drew her phaser. "Lower your weapons. I'm Lieutenant Di Pasquale, Assistant Chief of Security from the Black Hawk. Three men from your crew were attempting to beam these crates into space and I want to know why."

"What?" Nigora hissed after releasing a string of Bajoran vulgarities. "These are medical supplies bound for the crisis on Gavara. I've made this run three times in the past month and I'll be damned if this cargo doesn't make it to the planet on time!"

"Then why were crates being beamed into space in a wide dispersal pattern?" Camila asked. "With your permission, Captain, I'd like to open these crates. In particular, the one with the burns on it that a Tellurite was firing at."

"These are medical supplies!" Nigora snapped. Had this been an isolated incident he might have complied. Being attacked three times and losing more crew than he could replace had certainly been trying for him.

"Then there shouldn't be a problem opening the crate, Captain," Camila said evenly.

Nigora narrowed his eyes. He couldn't believe the audacity of the Starfleet Lieutenant, but he certainly was in no position to stop her. "Very well," muttered the Bajoran. "If any of these medical supplies expire, I'll make certain that you pay for them."

Ensign Tran, one of the security officers that had beamed to the T’Pring, also had his weapon drawn. When Lieutenant Di Pasquale mentioned the crate with the burns, he moved in its direction. If that’s the one that his boss wanted to open, then that was the one he would secure. Well, the crate and the surrounding vicinity. He was intent that no one other than the Security Chief would get near that crate.

"Rest assured that if they are medical supplies and any get compromised, they will be replaced by the Federation," Camila said. "Would you like to open the crate, Captain?" She looked at the one that Tran had gone near and bore the brunt of the Tellurite's assault. "With the exception of that one and the ones that fell, nothing should be damaged."

Nigora holstered his phaser and approached the crate that had attracted the armed guard. With narrowed eyes, he pulled the crate closer into everyone's view, broke the security seal and removed the lid. "See, medical supplies!" he exclaimed without looking into the crate himself.

* * * * * * * *

"Te geci!" Niequist swore as she finally pieced together the data. "Walsh, you're going to want to see this for yourself. I think I just figured out what they've been beaming into space ..."

Terry couldn’t sit back down, not after all this started. He had been standing, or rather pacing, back and forth, waiting. He wasn’t too far from Niequist’s station when she called him back over. “Seriously? Is that what I think it is, Niequist?”

Imráe shook her head at the data on the screen. "Those are weapons," she said to Walsh unhappily. "And look here," she narrowed in on a power pack. "They're not Federation weapons, but they're definitely using Federation power cells to power them. Walsh, none of this makes sense. Why would a medical convoy be carrying this many weapons?"

“That’s a good question,” Terry said. “I’ll notify the Black Hawk.” He walked back to the command chair and sat down. He did not want to vocalize this over an open channel, just in case. A medical convoy ferrying weapons wasn’t something that he wanted to get out. Especially when they were non-Federation weapons using Federation power cells.

* * * * * * * *

Camila stepped over and looked inside, then arched an eyebrow and looked back at the Captain. "I take it that you have a different interpretation of what medical supplies are than I do, Captain," she said mildly, her phaser firmly in hand.

With a quizzical look, Nigora looked down to what he thought was a crate of medkits, only to be greeted by a slew of photon grenades. "I... I have no... Why are there...?"

"That is a very good question," Camila said with her phaser now trained on him. "Can you explain this, Captain? Ensign Tran, would you and the others begin opening the other crates, please?"

"I..." Nigora stammered, his tone overtaken by shock. "These are supposed to be medical supplies!" He grabbed the torn seal and waved it in the Lieutenant's face. "This seal says so! Not to be opened except in an emergency! There are not supposed to be weapons in this crate!"

Two of the other Security personnel with her went and began removing the seals on other crates, revealing more weapons. "Lieutenant...there's enough here to supply a small army," one of them said.

Camila looked at the Captain. "I think it would be best if the T'Pring and the crew become the honored guests of the Black Hawk until this can be resolved, Captain," she said.

Nigora gave no reply. Instead, he did his best to wrap his head around why someone would trick him into smuggling weapons to the planet below. And, in the futility of the moment, he yielded to the Lietuenant's suggestion.

"Go round the crew up," Camila ordered the other two Security personnel before she tapped her combadge =^=Di Pasquale to Black Hawk, two to beam over. =^= she said as she nodded to Captain Nigora before they dematerialized. On the Black Hawk, she escorted the Captain of the T'Pring up to the bridge. "Captain Geisler, this is Captain Nigora of the T'Pring, Sir. Do you have a moment where we could speak in your ready room?"

Harvey was not suprised in the slightest to see the Bajoran captain escorted to the bridge. He motioned for both of them to follow him as well as his acting Executive Officer, Commander del Rosario. If what Harvey had heard and seen so far was true, then the nature of their mission had most certainly changed.

Del Rosario rose from his new position next to the captain's chair and followed Geisler. Since assuming the role of Executive Officer, Roget had tried to further his mission to safeguard the Black Hawk, a charge given him when he was first assigned to the ship. Until now, he had done everything in his power to assure that the ship was as secure as possible. Restructuring the security department, increased patrols, advanced computer security subroutines... All in the name of protecting the ship from threats, both internal and external. Now, as XO, he had one less level of red tape to deal with in implementing changes. He had been warned specifically about potential threats prior to his assignment, and he fervently hoped that he was succeeding in defending against them.

Camila entered with the Captain of the T'Pring behind Commander Del Rosario and thought about what she had seen and done while on the convoy ship.

Once all parties were inside the ready room, Harvey turned to face the Lieutenant. "Report," he simply ordered.

"I was sent to the T'Pring to investigate as to why things were being beamed into space on a dispersal pattern, Sir," Camila began. "Me and several other Security crewmen had just gone down a corridor when someone threw a phaser set to overload. I managed to disarm it and someone shot at me. I looked and discovered it was Lieutenant Bast." She took a breath. "I managed to stun him and beamed him back here to the ship with Security. Then a Tellurite and another crewman on the T'Pring began firing at us and at one of the crates before we subdued them."

"When I went back to the ship, Captain Nigora and his security personnel were in the cargo bay and I requested that the crates be opened," Camila continued. "All the crates we checked were full of photon grenades, power cells, phasers and other weapons, Captain."

She was telling the truth after all... Harvey thought, crossing his arms in front of him. He looked at the Bajoran and asked, "I don't suppose you knew these weapons were aboard your ship, Captain?"

Nigora shook his head, replying simply, "No." He sighed. With frustration rising in his voice, he continued, "It explains why your rogue Starfleet vessel keeps attacking me. It's only natural that the Consortium wants the weapons in my cargo hold."

"Weapons that you didn't know that were carrying," Harvey quickly countered. "And judging by the actions of your personnel... and mine... someone else very clearly knew what you had aboard your ship."

Captain Geisler sighed. "Lieutenant Di Pasquale, please escort Captain Nigora to a holding cell. Captain, I trust we'll have your full cooperation while we investigate."

The Bajoran reluctantly nodded. "Just as long as your investigation reveals who's truly responsible, Captain."

"If you're come with me, Captain Nigora," Camila said as she led the Captain of the T'Pring out of the ready room. I really need to start arranging forcefields on quarters if we get any more people to put in the brig she though to herself. Once she had arranged the stay for the Bajoran captain, she headed back to Security to check on the status of the other Security matters aboard the Black Hawk and crew.

After the doors closed, Harvey turned to his Acting Executive Officer. "Today is not without its surprises, Commander."

The security officer nodded in agreement, though his thoughts were more nuanced. "What are you going to do?" Roget knew what the Black Hawk's orders were: to bring the O'Carroll back. He didn't know, however, whether Geisler was planning on complying with their orders or not.

That was the question of the hour. What was Harvey going to do? For the first time in his life, Harvey was questioning everything, including the validity of his orders. The logs given to him had been faked. The convoy was indeed carrying an arsenal disguised as medical supplies. The testimonies from both sides didn't match up. Harvey was even wondering if his Executive Officer was framed.

Standing up straight, he continued to face del Rosario. "I was supposed to report in as soon as I had the Commodore," he replied. "I believe I've delayed too long. Establish a secure commlink to Deep Space Eleven and route it to here."

Roget remained silent, responding to Geisler's request with a simple dip of his head.



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