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Clean up.

Posted on Wed Mar 17th, 2021 @ 4:34am by Captain Rhenora Kaylen & Commander Savar cha'Salik hei-Surak Talek-sen-deen & Lieutenant Dean House & Lieutenant Thomas Haldeman

Mission: The Jungle
Location: Bridge - Varied

"Captain, I've got some more scans over the planet and the ships around. What should I do? There's a lot of them. Manchester first?" Dean glanced up from his console.

"From what Captain Haldeman mentioned it was pulled apart for parts and componentry " Rhenora admitted sagely as she slipped into her command chair. There were another scattering of ships orbiting the planet in question, bone of them overly familiar to her.

"Have you got a reading on any of they other ships? Are they parked? Do they have crews?" Her gut twisted to think that they may be ghost ships.

"I've got at least three hulks, I don't know if there's anyone on them however." Checking again, Dean glanced a second time, "At least not yet."

"Scan for lifesigns, we may have more crews we need to search for." Rhenora ordered, before coming up with an idea.

"Lt Haldeman, please report to the bridge" She ordered. requesting the Game Master's presence. HE would be able to advise if any of the crews survived or not.

Thomas was in the quarters he shared with his wife and daughter when Rhenora's summons came through for him to report to the bridge. "Haldeman to Captain, I'm on my way.:

Moments later he was in the lift headed to the bridge. Scant seconds later it came to a stop with a gentle jerk and the doors opened to reveal the bridge. He was surprised by the spaciousness of it. The Manchester had been small and compact compared to this. He took a deep breath and stepped onto the bridge. "You wished to see me Rhen..." He stopped they weren't equals anymore she was his commanding officer. She had earned the right to be called Captain. "Excuse me, you wished to see me Captain?" As he came to a stop, still on the upper part of the bridge.

" I did indeed" Kaylen said with a smile, heading up to the rear of the bridge to meet him, hoping to ease his discomfort. We've picked up several ships orbiting the planet and would like your assistance in identifying them" She started, gesturing him to come forward and sat in the vacant chair to her right.

He hesitated briefly but followed her and sat in the chair she indicated. He looked at the sensors. "Cardassian Keldon class, a Pakled. Klingon bird of prey, B'rel class and an Andorian ship." He finished.

She paused for a moment, trying to remember if they were all in the Game as she had suspected. "Do you have any intelligence as to their crews?" She said carefully, knowing it would be a touchy subject.

He met her look head on and unblinking. "You know I do. What would you like to know?"

" Are the crews still alive?" She asked simply without any hint of judgement. She looked at him and offered a smile of encouragement. What was done in the past was done, it was time to clean up the mess and move forward.

"No." He said quickly and without further explanation then thought better of it. "Only the Manchester and Liberty crews are alive."

" Damn... perhaps we can tap into the computer systems on those ships and retrieve the crew manifest, at least then we can inform their respective governments" Rhenora replied, thinking if there was any other way to find the names of all those people.

"I can go aboard the ships Captain and set up an interface with those ships computers and the Liberty's." He offered.

" I'll come with you" Kaylen offered, seizing the opportunity for an away mission before Savar could object. The risks should be low. Boarding abandoned ships to download the crew manifest wouldn't be high on the danger list.

Tom's eyes widened fractionally in surprise but he simply nodded in agreement and said "Sure thing."

"Commander Savar, you have the bridge" Rhenora rose and indicated for Haldeman to follow her. They would take hand phasers, and tricorders with them as a precaution. "Life support status on those ships?" She asked Lt House.

"Acknowledged." Savar replied evenly.

"They seem functional," Dean turned to follow, Was his job after all, and he should be trusted at this point.

"Good to hear we won't be asphyxiating to death then..we'll keep an open com-link" She advised.

She headed for the turbolift with Haldeman behind her, heading for the armoury to grab hand phasers for them both as well as a tricorder. She stopped by one of the computer labs and grabbed a simple toolkit in case they had trouble accessing the computers. Hopefully Haldeman would be able to assist in that regard.

"Are you ready?" She asked as they approached the transporter room.

He didn't answer right away as he thought on the question for a moment. Was he ready? Was he able to go back to his past a past he was desperately trying to escape and forget? After a moment he had his answer and he answered firmly. "Yes, Captain I am ready."

"Good to hear." She smiled in a reassuring manner, hoping that he would soon find his feet as a starfleet officer again. "Captain to bridge, we're ready to beam over to the first hulk" She advised, stepping onto the transporter platform.

Tom took his place on the transporter platform and felt the familiar sensation of a Federation transporter take hold and an instant later he and Rhenora were standing on the bridge of the Pakled ship.

The lights were at 50%, the air cooler than expected with a slightly stale quality to it. Environmental controls were running on limited power, not surprising for a ship with no crew.

"How long?" She asked, referring to the crew that were no longer alive.

"A little over nine years Captain. This was the first crew after the Manchester's crew was abducted." Thomas replied as he moved to what he thought was the Ops station and began to work on creating an interface.

"I'm surprised there's still life support at all" Rhenora admitted, looking around the Pakled bridge to find something that looked like a functional ops terminal.

"Never under estimate a Pakled, they may act slow but their devious and cunning." He looked around the bridge it was simple in functionality but well built.

For now, Dean just kept a look out, just in case the scans were wrong. There was no telling what might be set up on these ships to fool them.

" That looks like something that might help us" Rhenora pointed to a flickering consol to Thomas' right. it seemed to be the only functional panel on the whole bridge.

"Yes. Very good Captain." Thomas replied as he got to work. After a few minutes, he muttered, "Rusty." but soon had the interface ready. "Ready when you are Captain."

Rhenora headed over and pulled the tricorder out of her holster. The small device easily connecting with the Pakled database with a few simple commands and overrides.

"Righto - one done...onto the next. "Liberty are you able to beam us to the next one?"

Savar's cool voice came back to her, "Indeed we are Captain, which ship would you next like to visit?"

"I know you asked the Captain for the next one, but my suggestion would be the Cardassian ship. Given their affinity for subterfuge and intel gathering, my best bet would be we can get a lot out of their computer core, Commander." Dean mentioned, looking to Rhenora for her approval.

" Leave it till last maybe, and we may take a security detail with us" Rhenora advised. "Can you run a security sweep of it before we get there?" She asked.

"If we want to go with the smallest and easier, I would say the B'Rel, but being here I'm not sure. Given as the Pakled's is a mess of dozens of ships systems." Dean gave a pause. "You weren't talking to me were you."

"Not directly Lieutenant but I'll keep it in mind. Commander, beam us to the Klingon vessel" Rhenora instructed, holstering her tricorder and replacing it with a phaser in her hand.

They materialsed on the silent bridge of the Klingon ship, again life support was minimal but just enough. The air was stale and had a slight odour of decay.

Tom looked around the bridge. "Let me see if I can coax some more light." He said sitting down in one of the chairs and tapping a few buttons. Seconds later the lights brighten not to full intensity but enough to see without squinting. He tried to ignore the smell but it was hard as he concentrated on opening an interface between the Klingon ship and the Liberty.

"Have a seat Captain. This is going to take a little longer." He told her without looking in her direction.

" Lt House, scan the Klingon systems and see if you can coax any more power" Rhenora asked over the commlink to the Liberty's bridge. She couldn't quite bring herself to sit down on a Klingon bridge, it seemed wrong somehow. Instead she moved over to where Thomas was working.

Dean gave a glance, though, not exactly his job fortay exactly, he could work with it. "Captain, I think. It looks like one of the main power cuplings has purposely been disconnected. Not giving full power for what the Klingons call EPS conduits. I could come over there and fix that as well as clear the ship just in case."

"Negative there Lieutenant, I need you on the Liberty to beam our asses back in the unlikely situation that we get stuck somewhere" The Captain advised. Her reasoning was she wanted to observe Haldeman one on one to gauge where he was at. Not to mention there was still a slight element of mistrust.

Tom worked on establishing a connection yet he was aware Rhenora was watching him, not that he could blame her, he was an unknown quality. Ten years ago he would have been insulted but now mistrust went with the territory. 'Almost done Captain." He informed her.

"I'd have to disagree a bit, as I should have gone over with you to start with. However, then, I can point you to where those that physical connection is. Otherwise I can't do anything remotely that Haldeman hasn't probably already tried there, Captain." Dean gave a bit of a sigh.

" Understood" Rhenora smiled, knowing the Dean would rather be exploring wreckages than be on the bridge on a scanner. There would be time for action later, right now it was data collection and move on. The data terminal sputtered to life with a flash and a whiff of smoke. "Good work, lets get the crew manifest and get off here... this place gives me the creeps" Rhenora admitted.

Tom nodded, the connection was made and secure for now. He tapped a switch to begin transmitting the manifest back to the Liberty. "Just a few more seconds Captain." He replied as a soft chirp sounded. "Okay we can go now. The manifest has been transmitted." He told her as he shut the console down.

Since Dean was keeping a constant lock on them, and unless they turned them off. Open comms. "Got the data, which ship now, Captain? I'd like to recommend at this point, perhaps a probe launched by the rest. It will show more, particularly if someone is hiding on them."

" Send the probe to the Cardassian ship next, that's where we are heading" Rhenora instructed, "Ready to transport when you're ready"

Tom shook his head but stayed quiet. He wasn't here to comment just to do a job. Though inwardly he agreed with Rhenora, it was creepy being on these ships.

Dean set up the probe and then got it sent off. Checking the readings coming back. Given Rhenora's comment about the place giving her the creeps. That actually would have been right up his alley.

Within a short amount of time the probe had been launched and came up clear, the two officers beaming onto the Cardassian bridge into pitch black. The air was cold to be point of being uncomfortable.

"You're clear still. Not getting anything thus far."

"May be clear but we're in the dark." Tom muttered Only a few faint lights from various consoles greeted them. "Now this is creepy." He told Rhenora.

Kaylen swtiched on the emergency light on her tricorder, providing them some illumination. The bridge was cold and silent bar one or two consoles that seemed to be in some kind of power saving mode.

"I don't think this - lets get the manifest and get the heck off here" She said.

"Couldn't agree more." Tom answered as he walked to what he thought was the Cardassian equalivent of an Ops station and sat down. The console glowed with a faint yellow light. He looked it over and spoke "Alright, lets get started so we can get out of here."

Dean sighed a little bit, "Every ship, regardless as long as there is some semblance of emergency lighting. Unless the entire grid is down, which it sounds like it isn't. So Ops or Tactical, if those are working, you should be able to turn those one that way, Captain."

"Thanks for your assistant Lt House" Rhenora replied, feeling his frustration. The console glowed faintly before them. Rhenora pressed a few buttons to attempt to coax it to life, using her knowledge of Cardassian langauge to help guide them.

"That one says database" She pointed to a faintly illuminated key in the bottom corner.

"Alright, then that's the one we'll try." Tom said as he placed his hands on the console and the trouble began. The console blinked rapidly. Then the console got brighter before fainting. "Um, I don't think this is right Captain."

Rhenora stepped closer and peered at the small text display "I should have known - identity not confirmed" She grumbled "Damned suspicious Cardassians" She wriggled under the terminal and began to pull the covers off "Just a minute...let's see if I can remember the override sequence"

Tom lifted his hands away from the console, careful not to touch anything as Rhenora worked under the console to bypass the security feature. "How's it going?" He questioned feeling quite useless.

Something sparked and there was a string of curses that would make the hardiest of sailors blush. "Just a second..." She continued, wiping her grimy hands on her trouser legs. 10 years sitting idle never boded well for componentry. Another series of sparks as she rerouted the power then the console flickered to life again.

"Yes, yes, I think that's it." Tom replied as the console flickered and then steadied up. "Nice work Captain." He replied as he reached a hand down to help her up. He returned his attention to the console and noticed what looked like a timer and it was flashing, counting down. "Um Captain?"

" Coming" There was something in Haldeman's voice that made Rhenora worried. She emerged with a layer of grime smeered over her skin and uniform. "Crap..." She looked at the screen then dove back underneath it, rumaging around.

"Tell me when the timer stops" She said as she started messing with the circuits again. Outside the shields went up and an alert klaxon began to blare. The Cardassian equivalent to 'Intruder alert' bellowed from the speakers.

The timer continued to count down until suddenly it stopped and remained stopped. "Timer stop Captain! You did it!" Tom exclaimed happily. "But I think the shields just came on." He informed her.

Another string of curses erupted from underneath the console accompanied by a bang, another curse and a series of sparks that cascaded like rain.

"Damn you Cardassian temperamental system - LET ME *grunts* WIN" She swore. "Haldeman, anything?"

"Perhaps Captain." He replied as his fingers flew across the console, attempting to disengage intruder alert system." He replied as the alarms suddenly stopped. "Well that's better, now to get the shields down." As he worked to bring the shields down.

" Owww damnit!" Rhenora swore as some kind of electrical charge interrupted what she was trying to accomplish. Every time she tried to reroute the security protocols she got zapped. " I HATE Cardassian ships!"

"Alright, enough is enough." Tom grumbled. "I'm going to shut the whole console down. Force it to reboot then maybe we can get somewhere." He told Rhenora as he reached for what it appeared to be the power control for the console. As he flipped the switch to off an electrical charge emitted from the console striking him and throwing him from the chair before lancing out towards Rhenora.

Rhenora hit the deck with a thud - colours swirling behind her eyes for a few moments before a period of darkness.

"Captain? What's going on over there. Did you just say the shields went up?" Dean looking and confirming that on his console. "Well that's great. That's got to be annoying. If you completely disable all power systems, including their auxliary-auxilary batteries, that might do it. Though that will give you about an hour of air, considering it's pretty much empty. In theory."

The sound of Dean's voice woke her up, she crawled over to Thomas who was also waking whilst fumbling for her tricorder.

"We've been hit by some kind of energy discharge, damn anti tamper systems, we're fine I think, I just need to kill power to that system" she replied, hoping that the Liberty wasn't in any kind of danger from any other rouge cardassian systems.

Dean nodded, even though it couldn't be seen. "Yes, ma'am. Are you okay? I just literally explain that." Does so again. Checks for any comm issues.

"Oooh." Tom groaned as he sat up. "What hit me?" He asked as he heard Rhenora talking to the Liberty. He moved over to her, "Shields are up and weapons are online." He said just as the ship jerked. "It's firing phasers!"

There was another string of curses as the Captain aimed for another console and slid underneath, yanking the cover off the bottom of it and started to reroute the power. "Liberty, get yourselves to a safe distance!" She yelled over the din of intruder klaxons and venting gasses. Somewhere behind them something overloaded.

"I've a better idea, but you're not going to like it, Captain." Dean also glanced to Savar.

"Do you plan on telling us your idea Mr. House or keep it top yourself?" Savar inquired.

" I'm all ears.... mostly ears.. hands are a bit busy" Rhenora grunted as she forced two systems that were not designed to operate together to share a power source as she forced life support to handle the power from the weapons systems.

"Captain, that surge in power is going to blow out the life support system. You need to disengage the system." Tom told her.

"Well..essentially. We fire. Disable the ship. Take the shields down. Disable the power systems. Instead of trying to figure out the safety features and intrusion systems. The logical thing is to just shut it all down."

"Have you considered the possibility that shutting the power completely off will engage a self destruct of the ship? Savar asked.

Dean nodded, "I have, however, that would be counter productive. We know for a fact that, that simply happening in battle doesn't happen. Even if so, once the shields are down, we have at least five seconds to beam them out."

"Normally I may have concurred with you Mr. House this is not a normal situation. The Captain and Mr. Haldeman have undoubtedly through their tampering activated a security program. Any further tampering may cause destruction of the ship." Savar replied calmly.

"Well, I've a different idea then. Not sure I can do it or not. May need someone else to. Yes, I know why didn't I lead with this. It just came to me. Why not just use the database to get the codes for the Gul to shut it down. I'm sure its Obsidian Order, and we have a secure uplink. Security protocols are in place." Dean gave a shrug, "Pretend to be them."

Rhenora listened to the back and forth on the bridge of the Liberty, trying to tune into the words as she tried to avoid blowing the Cardassian ship to smithereens.

"Thomas - see if you can redirect the power surge to something non-essential" She stole the power from the weapons and tried to redirect power from the shields in order to lower them.

"Right, I'm on it." He replied and for several long moments worked on finding a suitable system. "Okay, think I have one." He told Rhenora.

"I redirected the surge into the waste management system."

There was an explosion of decaying waste matter propelled at great velocity out one of the waste ports.

"Ok weapons should be offline.... I'll try and work on the shields next" Rhenora muttered from underneath the console, resisting the urge to hit the damned thing with a blunt object.

"Captain, try to reroute shields into nav control." Tom suggested. "It's a high priority system and should take the extra surge from the shield system."

" On it" There was a thud as she applied force to sever the connection from a particularly stubborn power coupling. "I HATE Cardassian ships.... " She grumbled.."Try that"

Tom studied the power flow., it was steady and even with no surges. "Yes, that did it Captain! Good work."

" Can you get into the database yet? Or am I gonna have to get creative?" She breathed a sigh of relief to know that the Liberty was no longer in danger.

"I'm in and sending the information to the Liberty." Tom answered. "No need to use up all your creativity at one time."

" Good cos I'm fresh outta swear word" Rhenora wriggled out from underneath the console - looking more like an old fashioned grease monkey than a Starfleet Captain. Grime was smeared from top to bottom and her uniform was singed in a few places.

"Well, don't you look a sight." Tom remarked with a grin. "I think a trip back to the Liberty and a clean uniform for you is in order. Don't you?"

Rhenora wrinkled her nose at the smell, not noticing how filthy she had been.
" Ahh yeah, a shower wouldn't go astray - how'd you manage to stay so clean?" She quipped as she attempted to wipe some of the grease from her face, only managing to smear it further.

"I stayed topside, no grease up here and very little dust." He admitted. "A shower is a definite yes. In fact you should have the Liberty beam you directly to your quarters. Then no one can see how dirty you are."

" I like the way you think." She smiled, and requested a beamout directly to her quarters, leaving Haldeman to beam back to the bridge with the data they had collected.

Tom watches as Rhenora is beamed off the bridge. A moment later he contacts the Liberty and he too is beamed off. As he is being beamed off he thinks this was a job well done.


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