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POW exchange: Time to change ships Part 1.

Posted on Fri Nov 2nd, 2018 @ 1:17pm by Lieutenant Commander Brad Talon & Lieutenant Narira Atay

Mission: Mission 28: They do not play nice
Location: Aboard the StarChaser
Timeline: 20 March 2392

ON:

LtCommander Talon landed the wyvern aboard the Grissom class *StarChaser* and left the transport shuttle as soon as he shut it down. Once on the deck he looked around for an engineering officer who was among those he was transferring to the SaraHale. Which was another Grissom class freighter but the one we were taking home with us. He had a picture on his PADD and he spotted her among her engineering team. He walked over and bowed slightly offering his hand to shake. The offer was tentative as he knew many did not shake hands. He never knew who would see the offer as a polite greeting or who would see it as a stupid and unwelcome gesture. "LT. Narira Atay?" He asked the question in his voice. He spoke with increased confidence though as he added "Commander Brad Talon at your service Ma'am. I am here to transfer your engineering team over to the SaraHale to take over their engine room."

Narira heard her name and stood up. "Yes," she spotted the three pips scanning on his collar, and had a moment if confusion. She wasn't used to having outranking officers call her ma'am, "sir." She glanced at his outheld hand and decided it was safe enough to shake, so did so, careful not to press too hard, just in case. She turned back to the small group of petty officers and specialists, waving a hand in a gesture for them all to start getting their gear together. Whilst they were gathering up their gear, she eyed the Wyvern class shuttle he had got out of, wondering if she would need to reconfigure the cabin to fit everything in. "Pleased to meet you."

He was careful with her hand and nodded "I have room inside for you and your gear. Make sure everyone has all they brought because this ship is staying here. None of us are coming back to this ship." Talon knew even as our people were leaving the Talarian crew were being transported aboard. Captain Wulfe had decided to let the Talarians use the ship's transporters while we would use the wyverns to move our people from one ship to another. It was a simultaneous move and this seemed the best way to limit any interaction. Which was what the xenophobic Talarians demanded. Brad smiled, his eyes were friendly but his expression was rather fierce otherwise. His tone was light as he asked "while we are working together here Ma'am what would you feel comfortable with me calling you? You can call me Brad, Paladin, which is my call sign as a pilot, or Commander Talon? Any are fine with me."

"Narira is fine with me, sir." she replied taking back her hand. Paladin? no wonder he was still adressing a juniir officer as Ma'am. he must like the chivalry. Which was charming, if not something she was used to. "And not to worry. We weren't expecting to come back. We're already to ship out. Just need to stow the gear."

Talon nodded "join me up front in the co-pilot seat when you are ready to depart. I have some information to relay to you from the Captain." Talon stepped back bowing slightly before returning to the pilot's seat. He had rarely flown these craft and found the controls a bit primitive but fun just the same.

"Yes, sir." She turned away, calling for her team to fall in, and together they headed around to the larger doors to start loading gear. It took ten minutes of heaving and shifting, and in one case, removing a seat, t get everything on, And Atay and her team worked closely, mostly concentrating, with the occaisonal in joke and banterthrown around, though nothing rowdy. Once they were all seated, Narira slid into the co pilots seat, brushing some fine hairs that had escaped the complex braids she wore back behind her ear. "We're all ready to go sir."

"That was quick. I imagine everyone wants to get this done and home though. Just a second and I will be with you." Brad turned on the intercom in the bay section "Sealing up the boat, keep you fingers and toes inside the yellow lines." Brad sealed the doors and sent the ready to launch to the deck boss, who was now a Talarian. The all clear was given and the wyvern lifted. Turning a slow 180 degrees so that the turn was barely noticeable inside. Brad believed showing off was proving ones skills, not show-boating. The wyvern slid out of the bay into the black with only enough acceleration to get moving.

Once in the black Brad's smile faded "Narira, as I mentioned I have a message from the Captain. Our Intelligence Chief spotted a known saboteur/terrorist aboard the SaraHale. You have to go over every bit of the engine room before we leave the system. Even as we are talking the last of the Talarians are off the SaraHale. Because, Captain Wulfe thinks nothing will happen till we leave the system." Brad shrugged "I don't think he has any solid information to back that up though. In any case we can't move all fifteen hundred plus off the ship. If they have a trigger they could set it off as soon as we started."

Brad aimed the wyvern at the SaraHale's docking bay. "Any help you need just ask, other teams are checking the rest of the ship but we can find you some extra bodies." Brad laughed lightly "I heard you were joining the Asgard as our Chief Engineer. Well this is the sort of thing we get into on a far too regular basis." He checked his controls as he continued speaking. "I am the fighter group leader and sometimes 2ndXO. I seem to be little more than an errand boy at times though. You will have to join my wife and I for dinner some evening once you get settled in."


"Thank you, that would be nice." She meant it too. Things like dinner with friends were the sort of things she'd taken for granted 6 months ago. Now she was determined to get in as many of those in as possible. Then she mulled over the facts that Talon had just given her. "Does the Intelligence chief know anything more about the saboteur? People who tinker tend to have habits and signatures, knowing what they are might speed up checking for whatever it is they've done?"

"There was not much on the file. He seems to have a knack for engines and power plants. There has not been enough left in most cases to even look for clues." Brad handed her a PADD, "I copied the file, I thought you might ask. You might see the pattern, he goes after the power plants. Which is why the search is most intent in your section. The thing is we don't know how he does it? Speculation is varied. The experts suspect fuel supply tampering, corrosives on a time release. One thing is consistent, there appears to be no warning before the explosions. In not one of fifteen suspected cases has there been any signal, alarm, message, nothing. So you are in the hot seat lieutenant." The file on the PADD showed or reported on fifteen massive explosions. There were several ships with nothing more than some data as no one had been close enough to record anything. A few ships had been seen to explode near a base, so there were recordings. Six were ground installations where a power plant has pretty much ceased to be anything. Just a crater with debris.

Narira began to page through the data. If she was going to sabotage a ship, she wouldn't want to give a warning either. Which would mean disabling the diagnostics and internal scanners in a subtle ways. Okay, two systems engineers to examine code right there. Power plants and generators. On a ship that meant the Warp engine, and the back-up generator, if it had one. Transport ships would occasionally have small ones, usually fusion reactors. They might not put out much power when compared to something that warped the laws of physics, but you didn't need much to make a ship explode.

"There's dozens of ways you can break a ship, sir. Sheningans with EPS conduits, play with the anti matter mix - its a lot easier than playing with the containment field. Disable the censors on the flow manifests so they overload. If you've got the right kit you can bypass the self destruct sequence. A different set of kit and you can activate the charges directly. Replace dilithium crystals with tricobalt scavenged from a photon torpedo - " SHe drew a breth, clearly intending to go on.

Brad shook his head again "you and my Group tech chief will get along splendidly." There was laughter and honest humor in his eyes. I sometimes forget how passionate engineers are about their toys." He was still smiling as he pointed to the docking bay "You can talk but I won't be able to answer for a couple minutes." He flicked a comm switch =^=Tiger-4 ready to recover to the SaraHale. Can you receive us?=^= The answer was inaudible to anyone but Talon and he seemed to be satisfied by the reply. The wyvern eased into the bay. "Okay you can bend my ear for three more minutes Narira, after that it will be time to go to work."

"I'll be fine sir. People tend to start freak out when their engineer lists all the way their home can turn into their grave for ten minutes solid." She bookmarked a particular page on the technical specs to come back to later. "Are there any Talarian's left on board? She was curious about the race who had caused so much trouble. Before she'd got her assignment to the Asgard she'd never even heard of them, and had to hurridly swot up on their near constant border skirmishes with the UFP over the last forty years.

"No, none left aboard." Brad face became serious and all humor left his eyes. "We had some problems with the exchange that is not common knowledge. There were a number of personnel not returned, they tried to switch people they had taken some other time for the missing. Those bodies were returned to us this morning. That was the snag that caused the delay. They did not want to return a number of bodies due to the condition those bodies were in." Brad signed "your a department Chief so you have a need to know. We are trying to keep this quiet at least till we get back to base. This is not the time to raise tempers." It was obvious Brad had a problem with the story he had just told. He was taking the official line as befit his rank but it did not sit well with him. The tension faded and he relaxed once more, "Anyway you have a task to do to ensure no other bodies are added. I can escort you and your team to the engine room if you like? I have time."

As talon spoke of the dirty tricks pulled with the fallen, Narira felt glad her dose was only a few hours fresh. She wasn't sure she wanted to pick up on what he was feeling. "Thats okay. We'll want to take it slow, look as we go along. If there's something to find, its actually proportionally more likely it will be in somewhere with less traffic than the engine room. Somewhere easier to hide." SHe wondered if he might be offended by her rejection. "You're welcome to help search though. Extra eyes are never wasted."

"If you don't need an escort I will check with you later. I want to check in at the bridge. We want to be leaving here as soon as we are sure the ship is safe." Talon shut down the wyvern unsealing and opening the cargo doors from his seat. "Take your time Narira, this is an important cargo we are hauling." Talon flicked open the intercom "You are clear to disembark, take everything with you when you do though. This wyvern will be returning to the Asgard soon." Talon smiled at the engineer "There is an engineer already in the engine room, Eric Stotlz. He will be useful to you I am sure. I will see you again before I leave, If you require help I will remain as long as needed. Nice meeting you."

The young betazoid stood up, ready to tackle the task at hand. "Thank you sir. And I look forward to getting to know you and the Asgard." She moved back to her team who were now unslinging their gear and heading out into the Sarah Hale's shuttle bay. "If there's anything here, we'll find it, neutralize it, and shhot into space. I promise."

OFF:

Lieutenant Narira Atay
Chief Engineer
USS Asgard

 

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