Splinter Faction And Assisting
Location: Bridge of the USS Independence
Kevin completed the DNA scan of the bridge consoles and uploaded the data to the computer for analysis. He didn't expect that they would find any evidence that the unknown assailant had been on the bridge. It was a secure area, constantly manned and monitored. A humanoid wearing the EMF dampening fabric would be able to avoid electronic sensors but not the most primitive of all senses, organic eyesight. Besides, there were much less secure areas from which to access the ship's sensitive systems.
As he was finishing, he observed Commander Gillespie approach from the Science console. "Did you analysis of the evidence reveal anything of significance, sir?" he asked.
"Quite a bit, Mr. Lance," Chuck replied. He looked around the Bridge. "Where are you at with the scan?"
"Scans are complete," Kevin reported, "The computer is collating and analyzing the data."
"Your efficiency is admirable, Mr. Lance. I need to up my game."
Kevin's comm badge chimed. "Lieutenant Lance this is Ensign Devroe, I have isolated the Intruder's movements and as per Commander Gillespie's orders I would like to meet with you at your convenience to go over my findings"
"I'm meeting with Commander Gillespie now," Kevin replied, "Please join us on the Bridge."
"Great, I'm on my way" Devroe replied as she grabbed her PADD and was off to the Bridge.
"That was fast," Chuck said. "We should be able to fill the Captain in on the 'how.'"
"But we lack the who and the why," Kevin remarked, "Without that context, we are in the dark about how this event impacts negotiations."
Chuck pulled out a chair from the science console and motioned for Kevin to do the same. "I have a thought about that," he said as he sat down. "Maybe we should play the role meant for us."
The Lift doors opened and Ensign Devroe stepped out and made her way over to the Officers and acknowledged them, then stood by in silence waiting to be addressed by her superiors.
Chuck stood up out of personal courtesy. "Your report, Ensign?"
The Ensign stood for a moment collecting her thoughts "Commander, Lieutenant" then she proceeded "Here is the Science, the intruder beamed aboard the Ship into a Jefferies Tube, since there was no evidence of any other entry point, and made it's way to Jefferies Tube Seven B by the way of the connecting Tubes where it paused for several moments to set a charge multiple times while moving on. Then exited the Tube across from Engineering and stopped at the LCARS Panel for a few minutes, probably to upload a bogus file into the system and also to set off the explosion, then beamed off the Ship since it's signature disappeared. I also noted the time stamp just before it's departure, which coincided with the time of the blast. As a side note, the only way that I discovered the intruder was to have the Computer apply a filter past ultraviolet as we had discussed previously."
"I question the conclusion that the intruder beamed aboard," Kevin countered, "Ship sensors recorded no unauthorized energy patterns and if they were able to beam in without being detected, why traverse the Jefferies tubes? For that matter, why come aboard at all if you could beam an explosive device in without being detected." Kevin noticed a flicker of anxiety in the Ensign's eyes. "Blast it," he thought, "I didn't intend to scare her." Out loud he added, "The rest of your conclusions about the intruder's movements fit with the evidence."
Ensign Devroe composed herself "Lieutenant the reason that Ship's sensors were unable to detect the intruder was because it was not visible to the system. Unless the sensors are recalibrated to recognize past ultraviolet then the intruder would appear to be invisible; that's why the filter was applied to the Computer before it was even detectable. There was no other point of entry except for the Jefferies Tube; that was the first place that the intruder was detected."
Chuck raised an eyebrow at Kevin. He turned back towards Heather and motioned to a chair, which she sat down on. "Lieutenant, our devices report all sorts of information. We just have to listen to what the say.
"I am convinced that whoever was behind the bomb in the Jeffries tube MEANT FOR US to find the pip." Chuck jabbed with his index finger for added emphasis. "We were also meant to have an invisible intruder and for the Marines to see an invulnerable foe. What we weren't meant to see was the EMF fabric itself and the tuft of fur. Again, why shouldn't we play the role we were meant for?"
"I agree that the EMF dampening fabric is the only real piece of evidence," Kevin agreed, "None of the ship's personnel who were in the area admitted to losing a pip so the conclusion is that it is from the assailant but likely a red herring. Same with the tuft of fur. It was in such a obvious position we were meant to find it as well."
Chuck took a deep breath and continued. "Mr. Lance, what is the defensive protocol for when a Federation ship is mediating peace talks?"
Kevin shrugged, "It is up to the Captain but given the attack, I would recommend departure from this system for a position in deep space to give us clear sensor fields, patrols by shuttlecraft, yellow alert and full shields. Aboard ship, security details and escorts for all diplomats, regular physical and sensor patrols, and electronic monitoring of all guest."
While the Commander and Lieutenant were discussing the situation something was nagging at the back of the Ensign's mind; after a few minutes she quietly got up out of her chair and went over to the Science Console to access the data from when the Astrans had beamed aboard to meet with Commander O'Connell. After searching through the data for a few minutes the Ensign came up empty; then decided to apply a filter past ultraviolet just for the sake of argument.
"Oh hell" the Ensign said out loud when she noticed that the Commander and the Lieutenant were looking at her wondering if she had lost her mind or not.
"Gentlemen you may want to take a look at this" she stated as the Officers came over and were looking over her shoulder as she started to explain "This is the data from when the Astrans beamed over to meet with Commander O'Connell in Cargo Bay 12, which was a day before the explosion. After applying the filter there shows the three figures in the data and if you look carefully there is a fourth figure which looks like a shadow as opposed to the other three."
"Ensign, find out how many locks the transporter targeting scanners had," Chuck ordered.
"Aye Commander" came the reply, as the Ensign pulled up the data from the transporter targeting scanners and began studying the data. After a few minutes "Commander the number of locks appears to be two.....wait a minute" something didn't looked right, so she made some more adjustments to the console "Look at this.....this lock seems to be stuttered" then the Ensign made one last adjustment "There you are" she exclaimed "Now there are three locks....it's like two of them were piggybacked one on top of the other....if that's even possible."
Chuck looked at the display, his mind working out the problem. "Oh, these perps are slick!" He turned back to Kevin. "Regardless, it doesn't change my hypothesis. Whoever we're up against has a good understanding of our standard operating procedures. They were able to do this because we were wanting to appear open and welcoming, not defensive." He paused. "Lieutenant, if you were wanting to disrupt peace negotiations on a Federation starship at yellow alert, what would you do?"
"As you were the Chief Strategic Operations Officer I am guessing that you already know the answer," Kevin replied as he considered Chuck's question, "Neither the Triangularians nor the Astrans appear to have ships capable of defeating the Indy. Trying to infiltrate a starship on alert and in deep space would be difficult. An enemy ship would have to be within sensor range to beam someone over and then the shields would disrupt the attempt. If they can't assault or infiltrate once we are in deep space, the attempt will need to come from within. Either from one of the delegations or from within our own crew."
Chuck considered this. "So, you think the saboteur is still aboard the ship?"
"No, sir," Kevin shook his head, "The evidence Ensign Devroe found around the LCARS Panel outside Main Engineering support the conclusion that the saboteur beamed off the ship after activating the explosive device. I was merely pointing out that the only way to defeat the security measures of an alert starship would be from within."
Before Chuck could respond the computer chimed, "Analysis complete."
"Computer. Query. Is the DNA provided in sample D-394-V found on the Bridge?" Kevin asked.
"Negative," the computer replied. So the saboteur had not been on the Bridge of the Independence.
"Well, that's a bit of a relief," Chuck stated. "Ensign, give Mr. Lance the specifics on the UV settings so he can establish the saboteur's movements on the ship." He leaned back, his index fingers on his lips. "Time to brief the Captain, I guess."
"As you wish Commander" the Ensign replied as she uploaded the information to the Lieutenants Station "All set Lieutenant, you have the information."