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Return of the Away Team

Posted on 24 Nov 2016 @ 12:55am by Captain Harvey Geisler & Lieutenant Commander Terry Walsh & Lieutenant Commander Jayla Kij & Lieutenant Commander Arjin Djinx & Lieutenant Camila Di Pasquale & Lieutenant Joey Geisler & Lieutenant JG Samantha Lopez & Lieutenant JG Felix Langston & Lieutenant JG Catherine Cooper & Lieutenant JG Dean Winchester

Mission: Click Three Times
Location: USS Black Hawk
Timeline: MD 11 || 0030 hours

===[Runabout Mississippi / Space]===

The last four hours had been quiet. Since their departure from Razmena, the entire team had fallen silent, allowing their strange encounters to soak. Even though their passenger was secured in the aft cargo hold under armed guard, Harvey didn't want to debrief the team in front of the sole Karemma. That needed to be done aboard the ship, where they had access to sensor logs and star charts.

Ever since boarding the runabout, Harvey hadn't left the cockpit. He sat right next to Lieutenant Langston, doing some checks of his own using sensors and trying to filter through the runabout's logs, at least what it had collected over the last nine months. They might not know much about this universe, but they knew plenty about their native timeline. Knowing some of the basics hadn't changed gave them a head start in learning the location of the Cochrane -- and even a way home.

Felix felt pretty good as he manned the controls for the runabout. Even though they were taking a prisoner along for the ride, it was still another day at the office. Suddenly, he looked down at his HUD to see a familiar ship coming in.

"Sir," he said with a slight smile, "we're coming up on the Black Hawk."

"Bring us out of warp," Harvey said, grateful to be near his starship once again.

"Aye, captain," Felix said as he pressed the commands to slow the ship down. He breathed a sigh of comfort as the Black Hawk came into view.

As the star streaks faded away, they could clearly see the Black Hawk in front of them. She didn't look like how he'd left her, with the nacelles powered down and limited lights behind the windows. Hopefully, they were nearly done with the computer wipe and restore. He didn't want to stay here any longer than they had to.

Terry watched as the ship that had been approaching dropped out of warp. He activated his comm =^=Stand down weapons. It's the Mississippi. Rocco to Mississippi, care for an escort?=^= He'd already begun to move his fighter toward the runabout, regardless.

Since Harvey was at the forward station, he happily tapped the communications control. "Rocco, Actual. We care indeed. It is good to see you." Harvey wasn't kidding. After their ten or twelve hour trip in a foreign world, he couldn't be happier to hear a familiar voice. "We'll follow your lead."

"Understood, Actual. Rocco out." He accelerated and brought his fighter to the runabout's port side. Terry activated his comm link again, this time to the Black Hawk, =^=Rocco to Black Hawk, the away team is back. Providing escort to the Flight Deck. That said, Flight Deck Commander, prepare to receive.=^=

===[USS Black Hawk]===

=^=Acknowledged, Rocco,=^= Camila said as she got up from her seat with a smile. It was good to hear the away team was back. "Lieutenant Cooper, you have the bridge. Try not to destroy anything while I go to meet the away team," she said with a smile, but was serious. With that, she left the makeshift bridge and headed down to the flight deck.

"Aye Ma'am I'll do my best..." Cooper said in a similar fashion, pleased the away team made it back in one piece. Now to get the Cochrane back and they could blow this joint.

===[Runabout Mississippi]===

Joey was so grateful to be nearing home. It didn't matter where they were... what universe they were in... the Black Hawk was home. Her eyes were fixed on the Karemma.He was the key. He held the answers to so many questions, and whether he knew it or not, he was going to provide them. One of the biggest questions would be answered soon enough, then when it was out of the way, the rest could follow.

She turned her gaze from him and to the place where the replicator once was. Joey was sure she was going to be in trouble for that, and now with the Karemma, it all felt like it'd been for nothing. She would still justify what she'd chosen to do and face anything that came her way. That would happen in time, and for now, she couldn't focus on it.

Jayla sat quietly, knees hugged to her chest, thinking as she stared at the wall. She had been in pretty much the same position, almost without moving, since returning to the shuttle. Just before they had left the bar or restaurant or whatever it was, she had glanced back to see the Hunter who she had pulled off his feet lying motionless and it had made her think. Had she killed him? She didn't remember killing him. She vaguely remembered him jumping on her and her slashing out with one of her knives, but...

Not that killing in self defense bothered her any more than it did any other person- it had happened once before and with a few counseling sessions, she had come out none the worse for wear. That wasn't what bothered her about it. What bothered her was that the memories were so vague, almost like they'd happened to a previous host. Was it a defense mechanism? Could be. She would have to make an appointment with the counselor as soon as possible.

With a sigh, she unfolded her legs and stretched a bit. She couldn't wait to get out of this blasted shuttle.

Thatcher sat next to Jayla lost in her own thoughts, security was more likely than some to have killed before but the method that was new, so much blood. She had worked it out quietly and in her own head, it helped to move on to other projects so she mentally through her to do lists. Keeping things orderly, this calmed her. She glanced at Jayla at a few points with sympathy, it did seem like she was having a rough time, "We'll be back soon enough..." She said trying to be comforting.

Jayla nodded. "Yeah," she said. "I can't wait. I'm getting really sick of this runabout. Hey, by the way, sorry about that kiss. I thought it would be distracting to anyone watching."

Thatcher smiled politely but a bit embarrassed, "Well it met the need, so well thought but maybe have a few back up plans for when that's not feasible?" She offered good-naturedly.

"Yeah, I wouldn't normally go for the first thing that came to mind, but I was under stress for some reason," she tried to joke, but her preoccupation ruined it a bit. "Next time, I'll think a bit first."

Thatcher smiled understandingly, "Right you did well, perhaps when we've time I can show you a few security tricks. May help make it a bit more familiar, you know for missions like this." She said trying to help.

"I'd appreciate that," said Jayla, looking truly grateful at the suggestion.

"Captain... when we return to the ship, I'll personally escort our 'guest' to the brig and prepare him for questioning," the acting Chief of Security stated, turning her attention from the Karemma to the man she was sitting next to. Things could have ended so much worse than they did, and she had no doubt they'd all be wanted by now.

Harvey turned nodded to Joey. With what little energy he had left, he offered his girlfriend a reassuring smile. They'd made it, and right now, that counted more than anything.

===[USS Black Hawk]===

Dean hit his combadge and said, =^=Winchester to Cooper.=^=

Cooper looked up from her console, =^="Cooper, Go.=^= she replied.

"You want me and Rex to have a sniff around when that shuttle gets here?"

Cooper wasn't sure what he expected to find but she was too busy trying to wrap things up for Lt. Corwin and she guessed it never hurt for an extra pair of eyes. =/\="Just remember your bipedal partner as well and when you're done do a sweep of the ship before returning to the security offices. Don't forget Deck 1 is still off limits."

"Understood, Winchester out". Grabbing Rex'es leash, he leashed Rex up and proceeded to the Shuttlebay.

Arjin looked up from the tricorder he was doing a swipe on when he heard that the Mississippi was back from its away mission. He hoped that all the crew had made it back without any complications. Throwing the tricorder onto the pile of treated devices, he nodded to the other officers to carry on whilst he went off towards the bridge. Ready if needed to be present on the debriefing.

===[Flight Deck]===

"Alright everyone," Felix said, "hold onto something, we're coming in for a landing." Felix's hands deftly moved over the console, pressing commands in rapid succession. The Mississippi glided smoothly into the shuttle bay. The runabout came to its mooring and set down with a loud hiss as the pneumatics in the landing gear gently cushioned the ship's landing.

Harvey was one of the first to step out of the runabout onto the Flight Deck. He didn't care that it was still illuminated by emergency lighting, though he'd hoped the process would be complete by now. After all, they'd been away for at least ten hours. Spotting Lieutenant Di Pasquale, Harvey offered a nod, but nothing more.

"Welcome back, Captain," Camila said and looked like she had gotten very little sleep since the away team had left. "When you're ready, I'll have a full brief for you."

"I'll take it now if you can handle it," Harvey said, approaching her. The four quiet hours in the runabout had taken a toll on him as well, but he had a feeling that by now absolutely everyone was in the same boat.

"To summarize, we were attacked by pirates but the Black Knights held them off in combination with some well placed torpedoes fired by Lieutenant Cooper," Camila said. "All systems should be coming online soon, too. All PADDs and tricorders have been wiped and restored and critical systems have been backed up. We're waiting on word from Lieutenant Burke about the full status of the main computer backup."

"I'd like to talk to Mister Burke as soon as possible," Harvey told her. "Our sensors didn't pick up anyone following, but the way we left Razmena... I'd say we can't stay here too much longer." He paused, letting her words sink in. "Wait. Pirates?"

"I'll contact him as soon as possible, Captain," Camila replied. "And yes, I did say pirates. They discovered that they bit off more than they could chew. Commander Walsh and the Black Knights changed their minds and they retreated."

Harvey didn't immediately respond. He'd noticed the change in demeanor on the Flight Deck and that all eyes had turned towards the runabout. Wondering what was up, he turned as well.

Joey moved off of the runabout with her hand wrapped around the arm of their guest. She didn't have time to stop and chat, so giving a nod to the Captain, she and the Karemma left the flight. Her destination... the brig. No longer did she care that Major Jackson was still a resident. More important things had taken root in her mind now, leaving no room for the acting CO of the Chimera to be there. He was a small fish in a much larger pond.

Ricardo stepped out of the runabout behind Joey and the prisoner and kept one hand on his pistol as he walked a few steps behind them. If the alien tried anything, he'd discover that it was hard to walk with a bad limp.

Shep exited the runabout and stretched his legs and cracked his neck as he watched Joey and Ricardo leave with the prisoner. He knew there would be a debriefing, but getting the prisoner secured was also a priority.

Thatcher exited the shuttle and stretched, she stood off to the side for a few moments in case anyone had anything further for her before she headed off to write her after action report.

"As you can tell, Lieutenant," Harvey said, turning back to the blonde Acting XO. "We brought back a friend. Hopefully, he'll be of some use."

"So I see," Camila said. "I look forward to the debriefing. Shall I assist Lieutenant Corwin in the interrogation?"

"Only if you're done being a Captain," he replied in jest. "I want to check in on the bridge or Lieutenant Burke anyway, and at least grab a combadge."

Camila had to laugh. "I'm done," she said. "You were right about the paperwork, too, Sir. Everything is as it should be for the most part. Go ahead and do what you want to do. I'll go assistant Lieutenant Corwin."

"Then I gladly relieve you," he told her, removing the holster and the pistol from his waist. "You might not like to know I never got to use Bertha."

"I stand relieved," Camila acknowledged formally as she accepted Berth and the holster back, although she had a feeling her would shoot her when he saw the stack of PADDs on the desk in her quarters. "Perhaps next time. If you'll excuse me, I have business to attend to."

Harvey nodded, letting that nonverbal action dismiss the Lieutenant. As the Flight Deck returned to normal, Harvey approached a nearby flight deck attendant. "Crewman, can you contact Lieutenant Burke for me?"

The Andorian nodded, tapping his combadge. "Crewman th'Davon to Lieutenant Burke. I have Captain Geisler here for you."

With that, Camila headed off to see what the deal with the prisoner was and to help Joey in the event that he proved hard to crack.

By the time Allen had exited, the crew had already started to disperse somewhat. He absentmindedly put his hand on the pistol and realized that he had a job to do. It was time to turn it in. Allen then left the Deck and headed to do just that.

Though Jayla had been entirely sick of that tiny ship, she was still the last one to exit, long after everyone else had. She had spent a few moments stealing herself and trying to force her normally cheerful disposition back onto herself. She didn't know if she had succeeded, but she couldn't stay in the runabout a second longer without arousing suspicion, so she finally got up and headed onto the Flight Deck, trying to look happy.

Thatcher watched the brass leave and shrugged turning to head out. She caught sight of the doctor coming out and nodded to her, "See you around Doc, remember what I said. I'm not hard to find." and with another quiet smile, headed out.

Jayla nodded, giving Thatcher a grateful smile. She was definitely going to take her up on her offer.

Gale walked over to where Jayla was standing, seeing her forced smile as she came off the shuttle. "Everything ok doc?" He asked, smiling at her.

Jayla's head snapped up in surprise and she looked straight into the eyes of an enlisted man she did not know. "I'm okay," she said, voice tense. "Well, no, I'm actually pretty miserable. But, I'll be okay. I just... I need a good sleep and an appointment with the counselor. But, I'll be all right. Thanks," she added, and tried to give him a reassuring smile.

After over 2 hours of sniffing the shuttle, both inside and out, Winchester hit his Combadge and said, "Winchester to Cooper"

=/\="Cooper, go"=/\=

"Ma'am. me and Rex have checked both the inside and outside of the shuttle twice, as well as the entire bay and came up with nothing at all"

She wasn't sure what he had expected to find but was just as happy he didn't, =/\="That's certainly thorough, You should report to Lt. Corwin. Now that's she's back she'll be taking over her duties again but she may be busy with items relating to our new guest still so just write a report and check into the security office. She'll find you if she needs to. Nice working with you, Cooper Out." =/\= She said as she bent to her own work.

===[Operations Center]===

Lieutenant Burke looked at the Operations console and could feel the pressure mounting. The computer system had been completely restored from the protected archives, and they were just now finishing their tests, and getting ready to power up the ship's systems, when one of the indicators on the console turned to red. There was indeed a problem.

Another memory cell, represented on a diagram on the board, turned to red. And another.

"What the hell's going on?" asked Burke.

Ensign Ghirizii Ra-Bobkartreii shook his head, which made the Efrosian's whiskers tremble. "One of the Bridge consoles wasn't shut down properly," he reported. "The virus is still there."

"What?!" exclaimed Burke, not quite believing what he was hearing. He called up the report, and drilled down to identify the source of the problem, when the comm system came to life.

"Crewman th'Davon to Lieutenant Burke. I have Captain Geisler here for you," came the voice.

"I'm a little busy here," replied Burke.

=/\= "Then I'll come to you, Lieutenant," =/\= Harvey's voice responded, followed immediately by a click that closed the channel.

"Sorry about that, Sir," apologized Burke. He turned his attention back to Bob the Efrosian, and paid no attention to the captain's response.

Ensign Bob brought up the temporary Bridge's schematics. There was one station that hadn't been properly powered down, and that had still been active while the memory wipe was in effect. This had allowed the virus to escape the purge. They needed to identify that station, and isolate it as quickly as possible, before the virus had the opportunity to spread again.

"Tactical," identified Burke. "It seems they were issuing orders, and firing torpedoes, while the computer was supposed to be off-line."

"What's that?" Harvey asked, entering the room, still in his Away Team gear. He'd likely stay in it until the computer was back up and the ship could get underway again.

"It seems the Tactical console was left active on the bridge during the memory wipe," summarized Burke, barely lifting his eyes to acknowledge the Captain's arrival. "The virus remained in active memory, and it's still alive in there."

Ensign Bob tapped a few keys. "It seems to be contained to that station," he reported.

"Then shut it down immediately," ordered Burke. "Reroute Tactical functions somewhere else."

Harvey swore under his breath. Despite all of their efforts, they still hadn't beaten the damn thing. "Will this contain the virus?" he asked. "If so, I say we take it to the nearest airlock and just space it."

"Shutting down the affected station should be enough to contain it for now," replied Burke. "But that station should never have been left on in the first place."

He waited for a second while Bob got the confirmation from the Bridge Ops officer that the station had been shut down before continuing. "All right," he said. Let's run one final scan to make sure the virus isn't still alive somewhere else, then start powering up."

The Operations staff launched into overdrive scanning the computer memory, and came up with a negative report five minute later, confirming that they were now free of the virus.

"Start powering up the computer. Starting with the matter-antimatter regulators. Let's not cause a core breach after what we've been through."

The Captain nodded to the Operations officer. "I couldn't agree more." Deciding to leave Lieutenant Burke to the task at hand, Harvey left the Operations Center bound for his quarters.


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