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Behind the Veil
Defensive Mechanism

Operations <Deck 8> [Gibraltar Station]

This room is the heart of Starbase 247, from which all systems can be controlled. The room is circular, with a ring of consoles centered on a lowered "pit." This area is dominated by a circular table which typically employs versatile and highly realistic holograms to create a cylindrical viewscreen. The entire area of space outside the station can be seen at once, or it can focus on a particular sector. There is also capability to project single images for communications or complex reports.

Several consoles are arranged in a ring 3 meters from the central viewing area, with three breaks for stairs leading to the pit. One arc is given over to a command console which faces the viewer as well as the door to the corridor. To the right of this station (if one is facing the viewer) is an arc which is shared by the Tactical and Sensor consoles; to the left is an arc shared by Navigational Control and Communications. All of these stations are arranged so that one may easily see the central viewer and are outfitted with tan chairs. Within the pit are four consoles set up against two of the cherrywood arcs so that one sitting at them must turn to see the central viewer. Engineering and Operations face Tactical and Sensors, while Environmental Control and Mission Operations face Nav Control and Communications. The space below the command station is clear. Each arc sits atop a lighted pedestal, as does each shared console in the pit.

The outer walls are broken by three doors, each spaced in line with a set of stairs. Besides the door to the corridor there is one to the ready room and one to the head. Behind the command station is a standard viewscreen which can project whatever image the commander so wishes. The master systems displays for the command section and various modules are behind the tactical/sensor arc, while the MSD for the spacedock is behind the last. The floor is carpeted in gray trimmed with light tan. Lighting is provided by panels placed along the join between walls and ceiling.

Players:
LtJG Winifred Brooks
LCmd Koram Nobil
Lt Jason Turner

"Orders from the Captain," Jason grunts. "Getting rid of these gel packs. I hear some moron down in Science has been drinking 'em, and that's a better use for 'em than they ought to have in a computer system!" From beneath the console slides a translucent blue gel-pack, skidding past Koram and slapping wetly against a support beam.

Koram leans against the console, crossing his arms over his chest. "I read that order," he says watching the gelpack smack into the metal beam. "You'd think that we could find a better way to do this." He walks over to the gigling item and picks it up. "What exactly is the chemical composition of this material I wonder."

"Non-toxic. That's all I know." Jason shoves his way back out of the crawlspace, picking up an isolinear relay from his tool set. Back under he goes, still talking. "Drinking the things! Does someone want to end up in the fine Doctor's sickbay?"

Brooks doesn't look at all like her normal self. She isn't managing to make herself look smaller, for one. She heads right over to the Science console, nodding to people as she goes. "Oh, hi there Commander. When'd you get back?"

"Maybe," Koram says placing the thing next to his tool kit. "Or he's got the stomach of a Jem'Hadar." He turns to see Brooks and nods curtly. "Leutenant, I returned just several days ago."

Brooks settles herself at the science console and starts tapping away. "It was that stupid infection, I bet," she says. "Then blinks, peers to the console Turner's under. "We're taking out the gelpacks? Really?" She sounds... excited.

"The goddamn things don't work!" Another gel-pack slides out from the crawlspace under the Tactical station--the one Jason's disappeared into, at least to his waist. "We blew the waste processors last night and barely got them working again. Took an EV crew to chip off the frozen block and melt it enough for the turbines to spin. The Captain wants 'em all gone."

"Apparently not," Koram says turning to walk back to the OPS console. "It's comforting, I guess, to know that mistakes can be made without me present." He hovers over the OPS officer's shoulder. "Pull up the recent docking reports." He says quietly.

Brooks comments, "They were a stupid idea to begin with. I'll be glad to see 'em gone... futzing up my telescope." She sighs, keeps tapping. Oh, come on... hey, Mission Ops, can you give me a hand here? Or is your console messed up too?"

Koram looks up as Brooks speaks. He listens to her for a moment, and grins slightly. "Some things do change I guess," He says quietly. Reaching over the officer's shoulder he keys up some information. "I want this new duty roster ASAP, understand?"

There's a crunch that sounds like the death knell of something structural, but Jason pops back out from beneath the console looking satisfied. "The only 'good' thing about those packs is that they're smaller. Hard to fit the isolinear gear in the same conduits. Had to break off a piece of the cowling."

The Lieutenant at Mission Ops raises his hands in a defensive gesture. "No can do, Lieutenant. My console's messed up too." Brooks sighs to this and gets tapping. "Maybe if I... hrm." She peers at Turner, actually giggles.

"Another borked console? Alright, what the hell." Jason stands, dusting off his front. Apparently his uniform jacket wandered off during the shift, and he's wearing only the turtleneck portion of it. "There's one big downside to modern Starfleet technology. Emergency Repair Procedure One doesn't work right."

Koram looks up at the crunch. He looks over the top of the console, with a worried expression. "I do hope you would be able to fix that Leutenant," He watches Turner with a raised eyebrow. "And I also hope that you can find the rest of your uniform before long."

"When they bring back the old ones that didn't get in the way, I might. Too tight in the shoulders." Jason glances around, a mildly annoyed expression on his face. "Usually at least someone asks what Emergency Repair Procedure One is..."

Brooks shakes her head, then grins. "Ha! There. I think I have it." She taps again and the central viewscreen changes to an image of the Maelstrom. She looks down at Mission Ops. "Get on a console that works and patch me through the data from the telescope... I need a current position fix." The man nods and gose to do so.

Koram sighs, and rolls his eyes. "Alright Leutenant," he says crossing his arms over his chest. "What is Emergency Repair Procedure Number One? Though I suspect that it involves bashing the console with a solid object." His gaze jumps to the viewscreen. He grins slightly. "Well done, Lieutenant Brooks."

"Guilty as charged. And it doesn't work anymore." Instead, Jason leans over the console and taps a few buttons. "There, one bio-pack I don't have to yank right away." He nudges the Mission Ops lieutenant with an elbow. "I routed it through a different set of command pathways. When you're done on this one, get the hell out of the way and I'll patch it back up the right way."

The Mission Ops guy nods to Turner, does what Brooks needs, and moves. Maybe a tad scared of the engineer? As for Brooks, she taps away with a grin and finally waves. "Ta-da! There!" On the screen is the Maelstrom, showing the position of the 16 objects in a circle around its edge. "And now... add in the data from the Origen..."

Lines begin to radiate out from the objects, first connecting them in a circle and then radiating into the center under the Maelstrom looks like a green cloud with a wheel superimposed on top. The lines pulsate through blue to purple to red and back again.

Koram steps down from the console. He stands in front of the view screen, his hands behind his back. He examines the image carefully. "In a nut shell Lieutenant Brooks," he says turning over his shoulder. "What exactly am I looking at? Other than the obvious Maelstrom."

"I knew it! I knew it!!" Brooks grabs the Mission Ops Lieutenant's hands and dances around, pulling him with her. She stops after a moment and turns to Koram, grinning. "Those objects are... border beacons, I guess is the best word. Iconian in origin. We found them in the Maelstrom... they emitted a warning message to stay away, because it's dangerous. The first time, one of them pushed us back out. The second... just the messages. We scanned them, and the data of the energy pulses being sent between them comes up with... this." She points to the viewscreen. "According to what I've got here, those energy pulses are actually holding the Maelstrom together, in its current form."

Turner looks toward Brooks with a skeptical expression, then toward Koram. Then he sighs. "Alright, give me two hours and I'll have the photon torpedo launchers put back on a runabout. Any special frequencies needed?" He pauses, and a pirate's grin crosses his face. "I think we've got some quantum warheads in storage..."

Koram chuckles at Brooks, seeming to enjoy her enthusiam. He turns back to the Ops console. "I would think you might need a senior officer's approval before pulling out the big guns, Lieutenant Turner," He says, turning.

Brooks turns to stare at Turner. "Oh, no! We don't want that... the objects are failing. That's why the Maelstrom's coming this way... they were keeping it away from inhabited systems, including, evidently, this one. If we can fix them, we can force it back where it should be... and it'll never come near the station!" The grin on Fred's face couldn't possibly be wider.

"Look at my record sometime, Commander," Jason says, turning away. "'Tis easier to ask forgiveness rather than permission." He sobers somewhat, though, looking toward Brooks. "How are you going to fix Iconian technology, exactly...?"

Koram looks at Turner with a sober look. "Ill remember that Leutenant when you are up for your next promotion," He says somberly.

Brooks blinks at that and seems to come down off of her high. "Well. I dunno exactly. But we've come a good way toward translating their language. Shouldn't be too hard to come up with a simple fix. We've got a few months."

"Careful Lieutenant Brooks," Koram says standing at the OPS console with his arms behind his back. "A few months can turn into a few weeks rather quickly, then to a few minutes even quicker."

"I outranked you six months ago, friend." Jason's tone is clipped as he drops to a knee, opening the panel beneath Mission Ops' console. "Ah, lucky me. No climbing back down in there." This gel-pack is easy to remove, and he quickly replaces it with a conventional isolinear system.

Brooks waves a hand to Koram as she walks back to the Science console. "I'm putting my team on it right away. And I ain't suggesting we stop planning for evacuation or anything." She peers over the console at Turner for a moment. "So how close is that to being done? 'Cause there's a team down in Astrometrics right now fixing those consoles since they don't work..."

"I've got my work detail busy on systems that matter right now, Lieutenant." Jason doesn't say this in a rude way, simply matter-of-fact. "When they're done with Sickbay, double-checking all of the shield systems, and ensuring that the construction facilities are all set, we're going to be able to get down to Stellar Cartography." He pauses. "Veshedsky must have sent a team to Astrometrics."

Koram turns back to the Ops console. He listens to the exchange between the other officers, but doesn't seem to respond as he studies the information displayed.

Brooks shrugs. "I don't care how soon it gets done, and I've no idea why there's a team in there right now. I'm just curious, since I figure our systems ain't vital, so I need to keep people busy. Y'know, so they don't kill each other." That's said a tad wryly.

"Still?" Jason spares a glance toward Brooks. "Any progress on getting them to place nicely in the sandbox?"

Koram listens quietly. He taps the console once, his brow furrowing at the information there.

Brooks sighs softly. "It's... a process. We're making progress, though." She blinks, glancing at her console. "Look at the time... gotta run."

Office - Ch. Science Officer <Deck 35> [Gibraltar Station]

Though not terribly spacious, this office is well-appointed and comfortable. The central feature of the room is the glass desk, trimmed in cherrywood, which sits with its longest side facing the door. There is a small terminal atop the desk, as well as some personal items of the occupant. Behind the desk is a tan swivel chair, well-cushioned with comfortable armrests, and in front are two smaller copies of this chair for visitors to sit in. The wall in which the door is set is mostly comprised of windows that look out on the main science lab. The walls are paneled in light cyan and the carpet on the floor is a slightly darker color. Lighting panels line the upper junction between walls and ceiling.

Players:
LtJG Winifred Brooks
Civ Ed Danley

Brooks sits behind the Chief's desk, though it's clear she's not entirely comfortable there. She's looking down at a PADD and doesn't look up as the door chimes and she answers. "If this is another complaint, I don't want to hear it. Legitimate issues only, please, I have reams of paperwork to catch up with." Her tone is short, curt.

Danley plops down in a chair, "Hey Fred, sorry to interrupt ya. But ya got a minute?"

Brooks looks up at Danley and pust down her PADD, quirking an eyebrow. "What exactly do you need? I'm terribly busy."

Danley frowns a bit, "I just hadn't really had a chance to talk to you since the incident." Standing he starts to head for the door, "But it can wait if you're busy."

Brooks waves a hand. "Sit down. May as well talk now."

Danley sits back down, "Well if you're sure. I just wanted to apologize for my behavior. It shouldn't have happened."

Brooks nods. "Well, no one was harmed, and you weren't in control of your actions anyhow, so it's fine. Apology accepted. Anything else?"

Danley shakes his head a bit, "I don't understand you women sometimes. You're just ehh.. not your fault you weren't in control. I don't know if I would even want to talk to me. Then Bunni... well that's another story. And Solvek is upset with me, rightly so, but... I still feel like it's my fault."

Brooks shrugs. "If that's how you feel, that's how you feel. No one got hurt, not badly anyhow. You snapped out of it. Why make a big deal out of it? I have six months, or so, to fix the Maelstrom and plan a wedding, and I have to fill in for Alexandria and try to fix my department while not doing so much that she freaks out at me when she gets back. I have far more important things to worry about, Mr. Danley."

Danley nods as he stands, "Well, if there's anything I can do to help. Let me know."

Brooks nods. "I doubt I'll need anything, but I'll keep it in mind. Have a good evening."

Operations <Deck 8> [Gibraltar Station]

This room is the heart of Starbase 247, from which all systems can be controlled. The room is circular, with a ring of consoles centered on a lowered "pit." This area is dominated by a circular table which typically employs versatile and highly realistic holograms to create a cylindrical viewscreen. The entire area of space outside the station can be seen at once, or it can focus on a particular sector. There is also capability to project single images for communications or complex reports.

Several consoles are arranged in a ring 3 meters from the central viewing area, with three breaks for stairs leading to the pit. One arc is given over to a command console which faces the viewer as well as the door to the corridor. To the right of this station (if one is facing the viewer) is an arc which is shared by the Tactical and Sensor consoles; to the left is an arc shared by Navigational Control and Communications. All of these stations are arranged so that one may easily see the central viewer and are outfitted with tan chairs. Within the pit are four consoles set up against two of the cherrywood arcs so that one sitting at them must turn to see the central viewer. Engineering and Operations face Tactical and Sensors, while Environmental Control and Mission Operations face Nav Control and Communications. The space below the command station is clear. Each arc sits atop a lighted pedestal, as does each shared console in the pit.

The outer walls are broken by three doors, each spaced in line with a set of stairs. Besides the door to the corridor there is one to the ready room and one to the head. Behind the command station is a standard viewscreen which can project whatever image the commander so wishes. The master systems displays for the command section and various modules are behind the tactical/sensor arc, while the MSD for the spacedock is behind the last. The floor is carpeted in gray trimmed with light tan. Lighting is provided by panels placed along the join between walls and ceiling.

Players:
Cmdr Solvek
LCmd Koram Nobil
Lt Jason Turner

(We return to the prior Operations scene, still in progress.)

Koram taps the console again. "Here," he says pointing to a space on the readout. "Begin scheduling more disaster drills." He places a hand on the officer's shoulder. "I want an update on the current evacuation procedures, and an update on what the current clock is for all abandon ship drills."

Solvek walks into Operations, moving toward the command console. He takes a look at the graphic still on the viewscreen and nods. "I see that Science has been working diligently on the findings." He turns to the Chief of Operations. "It is good that you have returned, Commander."

Jason slaps the panel beneath the Mission Ops console closed, pushing to his feet. "There," he grumbles. "That should be the last of 'em in Ops." He sighs and sags against the side of the console, reaching up and gripping the rail with both hands.

"Good to be back, Commander," Koram says with a nod. He looks back to the console, looming over the other officers shoulder. "Lieutenant Brooks has been quite diligent in her work today."

Solvek looks down at Turner. "It seems that Engineering is also working at peak efficiency. What did Lieutenant Brooks explain about this image?" He looks to his console.

"Something about Iconian satellites keeping the Maelstrom in place," Jason says, rather distractedly. "I was a bit busy ripping chunks of organic goo out of the command pathways to pay much attention."

"And losing his Starfleet uniform," Koram, says glancing up from the console. "Not to mention let me in on a plot to try and use some of the Quantum torpedos in storage without prior authorization." He grins.

"When in doubt, bring 'em out." Jason sounds entirely unrepentant.

"That sounds in keeping with Mr. Turner's record." The Vulcan's tone is almost... amused? Nah. Vulcans don't get amused. Solvek continues, "Did Ms. Brooks elaborate on the current plan concerning these objects?"

Koram chuckles slightly. "Commander," He says steping down from the Ops console. "She mentioned trying to find a way to activate them and use the Iconian technology to move the Maelstrom back into its place, but that is all I gathered."

"That was about it, aye." Jason nods toward Koram, then winces. "I'm definitely going to highlight the complete lack of familiarity with Iconian technology if they go looking for an engineer..."

Koram nods toward the Lieutenant, and turns back to Commander Solvek. "Commander," he says clasping his hands behind his back. "I shall be in my office should you need me." Koram turns and steps out of Ops.

"I believe the only reason an engineer would be called in this instance would be to code a transmission, but I do not think that will be neccesary." Solvek looks up at the viewscreen and a simulation of one of the objects disappearing runs. The system seems to become unstable and the Maelstrom widens.

"Brooks said that the probes were damaged," Turner says, folding his arms. "Never heard of a transmission fixing a machine."

"The software is what is failing. 200,000 years of minute errors in calculations will accumulate into large errors. If this deterioration proceeds, the shielding around the probes will disappear and the radiation of the Maelstrom will surely destroy the objects." Solvek nods to the viewscreen.

Danley walks into Ops carrying a tray of coffee and whistling a jaunty tune.

"And that's why they invented the sliding mantissa for floating-point calculations," Jason mutters, shaking his head and leaning against the Tactical console. "Easier than monkeying with the hardware, though."

Solvek nods and his gaze moves to Danley. He frowns slightly. "Good evening, Mr. Danley. You seem to be in a good mood."

Danley shrugs a bit as he sets the coffee down, "Ehh, it's been a good day so far. Could be a lot worse. I could be dead."

Jason's got a frown of his own on his face as he notices Danley in Ops, slowly shaking his head. He turns around to the console behind him, idly checking something or other.

"That is quite true." Solvek quirks an eyebrow. "I am curious as to why you are here in Operations instead of your establishment."

Danley starts taking the cups of coffee off the tray and setting them out, "Well Lieutenant Commander Koram asks me to bring drinks up here to help keep his staff happy I guess. Not sure why. I'm just doing what my clients ask."

Jason shakes his head imperceptibly, calling up a diagnostic on the console before him. "New junction's working fine," he mutters, eyes sweeping the readouts. Seems he'd rather that than listen to the current conversation.

Solvek nods to Danley. "Understood. You will forgive me if I do not partake of your selection. I do not often drink coffee."

Danley nods, "Next time I'll bring up some tea as well. I should have thought about it this time. Would you like me to go and get you some?"

Jason moves toward the Mission Ops station, performing the same command-junction test on the other newly installed system. Seems he's making every effort to not be dragged into conversation.

Solvek shakes his head. "No. I am content at the moment." He looks around and, noting that all of the drinks have been served, looks to Danley. "I believe you have fulfilled your duty. Now, if you will kindly leave Operations as there are many matters that require our concentration at the moment."

Danley arches an eyebrow and gives a slight shrug. Picking up the tray he heads out the door.

"Thanks," Jason mutters, glancing over a shoulder toward Solvek. He lets out a low laugh, blanking the console he's standing before and moving over toward the Science terminal--which doesn't have bio-gel circuitry in it, but it can't hurt to run a diagnostic.

Solvek turns to Turner. "What exactly is your current problem with Mr. Danley, Mr. Turner?"

Brooks walks into Operations carrying a PADD. Spotting the First Officer she heads on over toward him, though she says nothing for new, merely stands quietly nearby.

Jason glances toward Solvek with a smirk. "It might have something to do with him trying to punch me in the face," he offers. "He's lucky the Capain got in front of him before I cleared a phaser."

Solvek's eyes shift to Brooks briefly, then look back at Turner. "I expect your reaction, as your record states, was highly illogical?"

Brooks just waits quietly, watching the conversation.

"I didn't shoot him, did I?" Jason barks a laugh. "I have to say my reaction was quite measured, if not 'logical'." He calls up the display on the Science station, squinting down at it. "Moron went off half-cocked."

"I stand corrected. However, I must point out that while Mr. Danley does have a temper, he is far from being a 'moron.'" Solvek looks down at his own console. "But you were correct in your attempt to defend yourself."

Brooks glances down at her PADD as she waits.

"Reasoning incorrectly with information he does not possess," Jason says, tone curt. "There's not much else I can call him, Commander." He glances over his shoulder and spots Brooks. "Think someone's waiting to talk to you, boss."

Solvek turns and his eyes narrow in that studious Vulcan look.. "Yes, Lieutenant?"

Brooks holds out the PADD. "I'm fixing the department, and I don't care what Alexandria thinks when she wakes up. I'm doing her a favor so I can stand to work around here. I just need you to sign off on a few things before I move on them."

Finished with his work up here, Jason gathers up his tools and grabs the discarded pile of bio-neural gel packs. "I'm headed off-shift," he says breezily. "Have fun, you kids." He ducks down the corridor, whstling.

Solvek nods as Turner leaves, then looks down at the PADD. Pulling a stylus from it, he scrolls through the various requests. "Let us see... reorganizing various teams... requesting certain officers speak to command staff... remanding certain officers to Counseling... all things seem to be in order. We will look over those who are up for promotion promptly." He pauses. "I have more to tell you about Lieutenant Alexandria, and my duty shift is over. Shall we retire and I can inform you in private?"

Brooks nods as she takes the PADD back. "I can get to this tomorrow. Let's go." She turns to walk out.

901 - Senior Staff Quarters <Deck 9> [Gibraltar Station]

These quarters are spacious and comfortable, and of fairly good size. The main room is a rectangle with the door centered across from a bank of tall, straight windows. There is a work station to the left of the doors, with desk and display panels, a maroon swivel chair providing seating. A white sofa, large enough for three, is placed under the windows slightly to the right, facing the door. A small fern sits upon the window ledge, its twin resting upon a smoked glass coffee table in front of the sofa. Twin chairs of the same plush style as the sofa complete the seating arrangement. There is a replicator and table ringed with four chairs to the right, opposite the desk. Left is a door leading to the bedroom. The bed is large enough for two, with maroon comforter and gray pillows. There is a closet and cupboards for the occupant's belongings, and a bathroom that boasts not only a shower but a full tub as well. The carpeting throughout the quarters is cyan trimmed with light gray that matches the wall paneling. Soft lighting comes from panels in the ceiling, and there are twin vertical alert tracers on either side of the door.

Players:
Cmdr Solvek
LtJG Winifred Brooks

Solvek walks over to the replicator and calls for two glasses of sweet tea. Walking back to Fred, he hands her one and motions to the couch.

Brooks takes the glass with a smile and moves to the couch. "So... what was it you wanted to tell me?"

Solvek walks to the couch and sits. He places a hand on Brooks' knee. "We are concerned with Alexandria's condition. Its lack of improvement is disheartening."

Brooks frowns as she sips her tea. "So what's going to be done about that?"

Solvek also sips from his glass. "Gwen and I have decided to call in a specialist to determine our options. The specialist will let us know if our medical facilities are sufficient to revive her."

Brooks nods to this. "Well... I hope that we can, or that someone on Earth can."

"I was curious as to how your session with Counselor Salvir went." Solvek relaxes a bit, his 'duty' stance fading. He reaches out to put an arm around her shoulders.

Brooks relaxes into the embrace, if a tad more stiffly than usual. "It went alright. He seems to think I need regular counseling. I guess I can handle that." She sighs. "It's really not a big deal, though, hon."

Solvek nods. "I hope that he is more successful than your past Counselors have been."

Brooks shrugs. "I hope so too."

Solvek gives Fred an affectionate squeeze and rises. "Shall we retire?" He motions to the bedroom.

Brooks sighs softly, standing as well. "I can't just yet... I've got a bit more to do. I'll be along in a bit, okay?"

Solvek pauses, giving Brooks that studious look again. He nods. "Very well. If I am already sleeping by the time you return, I will see you tomorrow."

Brooks frowns a bit, but nods. "I'll hurry back. Try to stay awake, okay hon?" She reaches up to brush his cheek with a kiss and then starts out.

As the door closes, Solvek raises his hand toward Fred's retreating form as if to call her back, then closes and lowers that hand. "I will have my Fred back, if I have to lose all that I am to do so." He retreats to his bedroom, his form sagging more than usual.

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