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Looking For Answers

Posted on 10 Aug 2016 @ 7:15pm by Captain Harvey Geisler & Lieutenant Commander Terry Walsh & Lieutenant Camila Di Pasquale & Lieutenant Joey Geisler & Lieutenant JG Felix Langston

Mission: Risky Business
Location: Brig
Timeline: MD 6 || 1320 Hours

Lieutenant Aulder, a Bolian and Flight Officer of the USS Cochrane groaned and sat up in the Brig, his ears ringing and a extremely unpleasant sensation filling his head with white noise. He brought a hand up and tapped the side of his head and was rewarded with such pain that he fell back against the wall with a cry of pain. He squeezed his eyes shut and tried to focus, but it was no good; whatever had did this to him had did a number and he wasn't even sure where he was.

Ensign Kal Jerrod slowly opened his eyes. Wherever he was, it was bright, but it didn't look like Sickbay. The young Bajoran shook his head and felt the most excruciating pain. He tried to set up but was lightheaded. There was also the ringing. The horrible, loud, ringing. Nothing in the Academy had prepared him for this. He pushed himself up and leaned against the wall of...a cell. Not good. Not good at all.

Groaning, Nick Taggart refused to open his eyes. Refused. It simply hurt too much. The human struggled with his memory, trying to pin down what had happened but thinking was like playing jenga with crash symbols. Every thought was painful, filled with edges and loud. It didn't take long before the blond young Lieutenant simply settled on groaning in place as his current lot in life. Even rolling onto his side was difficult but struck him as profoundly necessary given the nausea he was currently feeling. There was a lot of light, an obnoxious amount and he draped an arm over his eyes in an effort to block it out. He must be in medical...

Lt. Commander Dr. William Godfrey woke up with a severe ringing in his ears. The last thing he remembered, he was in sick bay while the Chimera was at red alert. His blue medical lab coat had streaks of all different kinds and colors of human and alien blood smeared across it. He looked up and saw three walls around him with a seemingly open space in front of him. However, he knew that open space was a forcefield, waiting to shock him back into his cell. He pulled himself to the cell's bench and sat on it. He reached into his pocket to find a hair tie, only to find that his pockets had been emptied, so he simply reached up and tucked some of his shoulder-length hair behind his ears.

Lt. Hannibal Owens laid on his back with his hands folded behind his head and his right leg crossed over his left at the knee. He was doing his best to stave off the nausea and he knew the best thing for him would be to simply do nothing. After all, he was in a cell, no doubts about that, and if he tried to escape, he knew exactly how much force the forcefield would use to push him back. "What I wouldn't give for a rubber ball right about now," he quietly mused to himself. He looked around at the dimensions of his room. It was a little smaller than the cells on the Cochrane, where he'd placed many fugitives, criminals, and brigands before. Not exactly the Plaza, he thought to himself.

Lieutenant Helen Bennett stirred around with a groan, bringing a hand up to her head in a vain attempt to stop the throbbing. Her entire body felt like it was on fire... like she was being burned from the inside out. She found herself wondering what happened, and if the pain was ever going to go away. With a groan, she pushed herself up to an elbow, but that's about as far as she was getting before her entire body protested. In what level of hell was she in? Did she die while they were battling the Black Hawk? Was this her punishment for some wrong she'd done in her past? There were no answers coming to her, unless they were coming in the form of dry heaves.

The entrance to the brig opened, permitting entrance to Captain Harvey Geisler, Warrant Officer Janell Tanika, and a security detail. This room had only eight small cells, and at this point, six cells were occupied. The other intruders had been secured in Isolation Room Three for the time being, and the Captain had yet to decide what to do with the remainder of the two crews. They were bound to wake up shortly, so Harvey found himself ordering all medical and science staff to both ships to begin treatment and isolating everyone to their quarters. He'd have to make longer-lasting decisions soon, and that was all dependent on what happened in this room.

As discussed in the corridor before entering, the Warrant Officer stepped in front of the group and began to probe the six individuals, hoping to get an early indicator on their mental states.

Helen looked toward the man who was making his way inside with a woman and Security in tow. She had no idea who any of them were, and now that she'd had the chance to look around, she figured out her current hell came in the form of a cell. "Why am I here?" she found herself asking through waves of nausea.

The mind of the Bolian, Aulder, threatened mutiny at the sound of other voices and he forced his eyes open and looked around. He saw that he was in a Brig and that several Starfleet officers were on the other side of the force field. " I doing here?" he asked, deciding to play as if he was just a regular Starfleet officer and not associated with the Consortium.

"You are under arrest," Harvey said simply, stepping forward to stand beside the Administrative Officer, "for crimes against Starfleet."

"Crimes against..." Bennett struggled to get to her feet as every part of her body protested with tears in her eyes. Either she was one damn good actress, or she really had no idea what the Captain was talking about. "What crimes? I haven't done anything wrong to warrant my being here!"

Crimes against Starfleet, thought Ensign Kal, and shook his head. He could hear other people in the cells next to him and could even see some across the way. He stood, hand against the wall, and shuffled towards the forcefield. On the other side, he saw a Starfleet Captain and bunch of other officers. Damn! He rubbed his head as if in a daze and looked out. "What are you talking about? What are we doing in a brig?"

Hannibal rose to his feet, yet said nothing. His eyes were fixed on the captain and the Administrative Officer who had just walked in. He felt a throbbing in his head as his body struggled to equalize itself after being knocked out and dragged to a strange location. He brought a hand to his face and slowly rubbed his chin upon hearing the words "crimes against Starfleet." He saw the Bolian protest against the captain and heard the chief engineer's cries through the adjacent wall. He decided to keep listening to see where it would lead.

William rose to his feet, feeling a slight lurch of nausea as he did so. He walked up to the force field in order to have a word with the captain. He took a deep breath just before talking with the captain. "Excuse me," he said, trying to muster up every bit of dignity and decorum in spite of being held in a brig, "my name is Dr. William Godfrey." He continued in a pleasant Swansea accent, "Um, I'm afraid there's been some sort of a mistake."

Gently taking his head into his hands, Nick forced himself to sit up and look at the man causing all of the commotion. Medium build with sandy blond hair in a light blown back style, the Captain was strange to the Lieutenant and the presence of a security team was a serious shock. It was then that he remembered the battle and the alert for the intruders. Things had apparently gone very wrong. It was clear now that he was in a brig. Brushing himself off, he tried to compose himself with as much decorum as he could muster.

"Crimes against Starfleet?" Mr. Taggert whispered as clearly as he could. "Our host, ladies and gentlemen, has a well developed sense of irony. Tell me Captain, is this how you gain new recruits?"

Harvey arched an eyebrow at the blond man, though he gave little nonverbal response to the barrage from those contained by the forcefields. "There is no mistake," he told them all. "Your ships opened fire on mine without provocation. You are also, as I understand, on a special assignment in this nebula, looking for something that shouldn't exist."

Bennett was still trying to make sense of everything that was going on. She struggled to hear what the others were saying. To her, it sounded like she was trying to listen to everything being said from under water. "We fired on you because you're the enemy, and now you've got us caged up like we're dogs. What's the matter with you?" Helen asked, finally making her way to the forcefield to look down toward Harvey and his entourage.

"I'm not the enemy," Harvey quickly replied, turning his head towards Helen. "I'm here to stop the Consortium from gaining a superweapon."

Helen didn't try to hide her confusion. If he wasn't the enemy... "I'm not Consortium, Captain," she said, bringing her hands to her temples. When was it going stop? "I'm just an Engineer following orders."

Hannibal's eyes widened when he heard the word "superweapon." What could be hiding in that nebula? And what would anyone, Consortium or Starfleet, want with it? He turned and sat back down on the bunk in his cell, putting his bald heads into his hands to try and think.

William spoke up. "I'm a doctor, captain! Please! I have wounded aboard the Chimera! You have to let me see my patients!" He pounded a fist against the wall of the cell. "Please! Captain! You have to let me out!" he continued to yell, growing more distraught with each phrase.

"Shut up!" Aulder yelled at the others. "Snivelling dogs! Gah, you act like Ferengi women!" He looked at the Captain. "Do you want to know who did what, Captain?" He asked Harvey.

Harvey did in fact want to know who did what, but there were more important matters on his mind, "What I want is to know why two Consortium starships are looking for a Romulan Valdore."

So that's why they're here, thought Ensign Kal. Of course. Why else? Then he looked at his senior officer from the Cochrane, and senior agent, when he asked that question. Was it now time to forego the charade of being good little Starfleet puppets? Had the time come to no longer hide since they had been captured? He waited to see what would happen before he spoke up.

"Grant me immunity from court martial and a private interrogation and I'll tell you what you want to know," Aulder said as he went up to the very edge of the force field.

Helen shook her head... partly to rid her mind of the swimming feeling she had, but mostly in disbelief. "I'm an Engineer, Captain. I was only following orders. I can only speak for myself. I don't know about the rest of them. You have to let me out of here. I'll serve you and your crew, but I don't belong here."

Harvey eyed the Bolian, instantly thinking that a private interrogation was not a good idea at this point. "Tell me what you know and I'll consider it." To the engineer, he asked, "What orders were you following?"

"The ones given by Captain Furell," Helen answered. "I swear to you I had no idea."

"I want it on a PADD and official," Aulder said and crossed his arms.

Senior agent? Hah!, thought Jerrod. Shove me out an airlock will you? We'll see about that. "Hey, you don't want to give him full immunity on squat. All he did was steer the boat," said Jerrod. "And that woman over there, the Engineer? Pffft. You want to give someone full immunity? I'm your man. Just put it down and sign it, Cap'n Fancypants."

Hannibal remained silent, yet took notice of the helmsman. He'd never made any mention of insults toward Ferengi before. Why is he asking for immunity? he thought. Why is the counselor asking for immunity as well? And what's with the doctor screaming about his patients all of a sudden? He listened further.

Harvey did his best to keep himself from frowning. He became increasingly suspicious of the Science Officer and the Helmsman. Before even considering granting either of them immunity, he still had four other officers, plus the intruders who came aboard the Black Hawk. Therefore, he looked towards the other three, including the silent Security Chief. Either they didn't want to come forward or perhaps they wanted to see how he reacted.

To the doctor, he answered, "My medical staff is tending to the crews of both ships as we speak. I have no interest in seeing anyone else get hurt today."

Then, to the engineer, Harvey asked, "What orders were those?"

Shaking his head, Nick couldn't believe how easy this was going. The Consortium Captain already had them pitted against each other and begging for a plea deal. "Stop it. All of you. He's trying to play us against each other. This is what the Consortium is all about, dividing us, weakening us. Don't play his game."

"Captain," Lieutenant Taggart began, finally able to stand, "You've treated us relatively well. You could still walk back from this, sir. Turn yourself, and your crew, over to us and we can begin working on your psychological profile. I will speak in your defense sir. Think of your crew. Certainly not everyone aboard the Black Hawk is a member of the Consortium. Those people have families, sir, loved ones. They will never see them again if you continue along this path. I'm asking you to do the honorable thing, sir, and think of your crew. Behave as a Captain should."

"I'm doing just that," Harvey said, moving over to the cell to look the man in the eye. "I am thinking of my crew and their families. I can guarantee you, Lieutenant, that I am not an agent of the Consortium. Nor is any member of my crew. What I hate to tell you is that both Captain Kylar and Captain Suresh are in league with the Consortium."

Bennett was still trying to make sense of everything she was hearing, so she'd waited to answer the Captain when he'd asked her a question. "Our orders were to get to the Hadyn nebula to prevent the Consortium... you and your ship... from getting your hands on a super weapon. My job was to keep the engines going at maximum efficiency. I swear to you, I had no idea Captain Kylar was Consortium. If I did, I would have tried to stop him... or would have died trying." She felt completely disgusting.

Harvey looked back to the engineer. "Ambushing us was the best option then? And where is Captain Suresh now? Obviously she is somewhere where she is not supposed to be."

"I... I don't know, Captain," Helen answered with a frown. She was not Consortium, but a fool that believed her Captain was doing the right thing. "We were trying to keep the superweapon out of your hands, but if you aren't Consortium as we were led to believe, then my guess is Captain Suresh is in possession of it. I really don't belong in here, and I can help your crew."

Ensign Kal sighed. His thoughts of faking a confession and trying to keep Cap'n Fancypants occupied and away from the sniveling Fleeter Engineer wasn't working. Then came the reprimand from the Counselor. The young Ensign knew that anything he said now would be flip-flopping and make things more obvious. He was seething inside and wanted to break Taggart's neck. Hell, he wanted to break the Engineer's neck. But instead he stepped back.

Still standing in front of the Engineer's cell, Harvey turned to look at Tanika. The woman had been silently listening and observing for the past few minutes and had enough information to go off of, at least for the woman Harvey was silently inquiring about. She gave a subtle nod, a small assurance that the engineer was not Consortium.

Harvey then reached forward and deactivated the forcefield on Helen's cell. He then nodded at a security officer, whom he'd already briefed to take her to an anteroom for a private interview, just to get a few final details before releasing her back to duty.

Helen stepped out of the cell and moved to the waiting security officer. "Thank you, Captain," she said just before she was escorted out.

"Snivelling dog!" Aulder cried as the human engineer was released. "Pity is treason and you give pity to traitors!"

"I pity you, Lieutenant," Harvey replied, his expression calm and his tone stern. "You are the one who betrayed the uniform you wear." Looking back to Taggart, he asked, "What does Suresh plan to do with the Valdore? After all, if you were sent to keep me from getting it, why not destroy it immediately?"

Hannibal sat up when he heard the words "pity is treason" come from the Bolian helmsman. What the hell... he thought, you, Aulder? He then decided to play his hand. "Captain," he said in a low, calm voice. "I believe I can help you as well."

Dr. Godfrey was furious upon hearing the security chief from the Cochrane. "Don't listen to him, captain!" he shouted towards Geisler. "He's Consortium and he's only trying to cut a deal with you. That's how they work, anyway. Then after they've made their deals, they break you! Don't let him do that to you!" His exasperation was partially feigned and partially real. This security chief can't know anything about the plans! he thought.

Taggart cocked his head to the side in confusion at Aulder's cry. The Bolian had always been stressful from a counseling perspective but to hear him suddenly spouting such Consortium nonsense was disturbing. Could the helmsman really be Consortium, and if not, why would he yell out so angrily? There was only one way that this fit.

"You play a long game, Captain," Nick said, turning to regard the man behind the curtained force field, pointedly ignoring the question. How big of a fool did this "Star Fleet" Captain think he was? Who did he really expect everyone to believe? Him, a man they had just met or Captain Suresh, whom Taggart had served with for years. "You've had plants among us all along, even more than we initially rooted out. I bet you're formidable at chess. Would you care to play sometime? I find that distraction often helps men of action open up about their conscience."

Harvey glanced over to the Administrative Officer, trying to hide his inquisitive look. With a nod, she confirmed the man's allegiance, much to Harvey's surprise. Feigning a sigh, he looked back to the Counselor. "I don't play games," Harvey replied sternly. "Not with people's lives."

Turning to face the Security Chief, Harvey pressed, "What does Suresh plan to do with the Valdore?"

Lt. Owens calmly walked toward the force field in his cell. He spoke in a low, gravelly voice. "I don't know what the captain is planning to do, but I do know where it is. I can give you the coordinates." He then looked around at the other crew members in their cells and narrowed his eyes. "Plus, I can give you the names of suspected Consortium agents."

Harvey didn't get a chance to respond as the Squadron Commander's voice sounded from his combadge. =/\= "Rocco to Actual! Valdore dead ahead and moving fast! Activating external camera!" =/\=

"Dammit," Harvey muttered, tapping his badge instantly. "Acknowledged. Get all of your birds in the air and assume a defensive perimeter." He tapped his badge again to close the channel.

Turning around to face security, he began to bark orders. "Secure the brig," he told them as he walked out the door. With another tap of his badge, he called out, "Geisler to bridge. Red alert. Sound battlestations."

"Aye sir," the Security Brig officers said as they moved to their station and double checked the force field and backup systems for the Brig.

Hannibal pounded the side of his cell with his fist. "Captain! Please!" he shouted, "I can help you!" He pounded the cell some more. He then looked up to see Dr. Godfrey grinning at him, wagging his finger back and forth. Hannibal sneered at the doctor and sat back down on his cell's bunk, doing his best to keep his eyes on the Consortium agents in the room.

Ensign Kal Jerrod sat in the back of that cell and sighed. Death, he thought, death in the brig of a Starfleet vessel. Then he grinned as the thought crept into his mind that they would die, too. Right along with him, they would die. The Consortium was rising to a power that couldn't be equaled. And he would give his life for that.

Dramatis Personae

Lt. Commander Dr. William Godfrey, Chief Medical Officer, USS Chimera - Lt. JG Langston (Consortium)
Lt. Hannibal Owens, Chief of Security, USS Cochrane - Lt. JG Langston (Starfleet)
Lieutenant Nick Taggart, Counselor, USS Cochrane - Ens. Dzhossen (Starfleet)
Lieutenant Aulder, Helm, USS Cochrane - Lieutenant Di Pasquale - (Consortium)
Ensign Kal Jerrod, Science, USS Cochrane - Lt. Commander Walsh - (Consortium)
Lieutenant Helen Bennett, Chief Engineer, USS Cochrane - Lt. Corwin (Starfleet)


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