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A Troubling Development

Posted on Thu Feb 1st, 2018 @ 2:04pm by Lieutenant Cailus Griffin & Ensign John Logann

Mission: Into The Wild
Location: Deck 17 (Security Division)
Timeline: BACKPOST: Before “Gates of Hell”

With half the command staff away making first contact with the Mendazians, the remaining crew onboard the Pandora were preparing themselves for the inevitable confrontation with the Ravager ship. The Pandora itself was patrolling the Killing Fields that surrounded the Mendazian star system, using the talents of its helmsman and its extraordinarily powerful sensors to skirt much closer to the edge of the Killing Fields than any other starship could. The ship of exploration had, for the moment, become the hunter.

Among the starship’s defenders, a sense of anticipation pervaded through them. They had a battle-hardened captain whom they trusted, a hard bastard of a chief in Lieutenant Griffin, and a deputy chief in Ensign Logann who was quickly demonstrating his own formidable competence. The security and tactical were eager to get the fighting done, eager to dispatch of the Ravagers so that the Mendazians would be safe, and yes, eager to get revenge for all the Federation citizens who had been murdered by Ravager weapons. The catastrophe at Deep Space 7 was still fresh in everyone’s minds. It wasn’t right, it wasn’t proper, and they’d be all be content to return to peaceful exploration after the battle was done...but for now, the security and tactical personnel wanted to make the Ravagers pay.

All these thoughts were on Lieutenant Griffin’s mind as he passed through the bustling large chamber on Deck 17 that Security and Tactical called home. At least twenty gold-shirts were in the room, either at their desks or discussing matters with their comrades, with a pair of them even practicising CQB on the mat in the center of the room. After Logann and Griffin had encountered a Ravager with a hulking greatsword on Salvaxe, both men had encouraged their people to brush on their CQB skills.

Seeing Logann studying something, on a wall-mounted display, Griffin approached him. “Mister Logann,” he said. “Do you have a moment?”

Breaking his attention away from the side by side comparisons of the last 3 Ravager raiders, he turned to Griffin. "Sure. What can I do for you L.T.?"

“With me,” Griffin said curtly, glancing subtly around them at the other Sec/Tac officers, then turned and walked.

Logann nodded and followed Griffin.

The two men strode briefly to one of the adjoining rooms, an empty storeroom for the Brig, and the lieutenant stopped. Crossing his arms, he regarded Logann with a frown, heedless of the full shelves around them or the thrumming EPS conduit over their heads.

“Ensign, I don’t give praise often, but I recognise when it is earned.” Griffin’s words, though honest, were quite plainly not enthusiastic. “Your actions on Salvaxe were commendable; not many officers would’ve charged that position with me. Your courage under fire, general skill and professional conduct thus far have surpassed my expectations, in keeping with your record. Whatever resulted in your demotion, I am satisfied that it has nothing to do with your actual ability.”

Logann nodded. "Thank you sir. I hope I continue to impress." he said, trying to sound sincere, and not like a complete smart ass. "However, I take it you didn't pull me in here just so you wouldn't seem like a big softy in front of the other staff."

Would it be bad to say, I didn't even think twice about charging in. Probably send me to the head shrink thinking I was suicidal or some such nonsense. Heh.

“Damn right,” Cailus grumbled, crossing his arms. “I just spoke with the captain and Lieutenant Mindo about the transporter malfunction that occurred while we were on the surface. There was a minute fault in one of the transporter components. If Mindo hadn’t caught the malfunction and repaired it, we would’ve all been beamed back aboard with inoperable tumours in our brains. None of us would’ve survived more than a few days.”

"Well, that is a...... very specific malfunction. Not to mention one that would have been very tragic. Would have wiped out most of the sec/tac department, their head, and the head of the intel department." Logann thought for a moment. "Sabotage?"

“That’s the concern,” Cailus said. “It could also be damage caused by our brush with the dark matter in the Killing Fields. Either way, Captain Temple wants it investigated, and you’re the most technically adept officer in Sec/Tac. You may excuse yourself from additional duties as required. Use whatever resources you need, but most of all, be discreet. If there is a saboteur, we should try to avoid alerting them to our suspicions.”

"Aye sir. I will try and not excuse myself too much, as I don't want anything to seem out of the ordinary if it sabotage. I will keep you in the loop, but only face to face conversations. I can also let the Captain know the same way, but I don't want anything in the computer for now."

Cailus nodded gravely. “Good. I like a paranoid investigator. This is a damned foolish distraction alongside the Ravager business, but it’s one we can’t ignore. Give me regular updates as your investigation proceeds, and when you make any kind of substantative breakthrough, we’ll report to the captain together. Treat everyone as a suspect until you can eliminate them, including me and you.”

The literal interpretation of those parameters caused Cailus a slight smidge of discomfort, even if there was no external sign of it. From a dispassionate, logical perspective, he knew who his Number #1 suspect would be if he ran the investigation: the one person aboard with a proven history of sabotage, technical aptitude, criminal culpability and murder of Starfleet officers.

“You have your orders, unpleasant as they may be,” Cailus concluded grimly. “Dismissed, Mister Logann.”

Logann nodded, already forming search parameters in his head, and where to start. "Aye sir." Logann stepped past the Chief and headed to his quarters where he could quietly start his investigation.

Once in his quarters, he secured his quarters and set the computer to several searches. These included anyone who had accessed the transporters in the last two weeks, anyone that had requested any type of logs be altered in the last month, and anyone that had any type of personnel disciplinary to do with dereliction of duty, refusal of assignment, collusion with the enemy, or any other infraction that might be seen as harmful to Starfleet, the Pandora, or the Federation on the whole. As the computer was working, Logann got up and headed to the replicator. He did not expect to have anything fruitful come up on this round of searches, but it was a jumping off point.

"Prune juice, room tempature, large glass." Logann ordered.

Damn you Worf. Can't believe you got me hooked on this. Logann thought, as the glass materialized.

Logann thoughts drifted momentarily to the security/intel conference that had been held by then Commander Worf on DS9 that Logann had been lucky enough to get sent to by Captain King on the Pathfinder. His thoughts also turned to Dr. Bashir, who had mentioned something about Section 31 in passing, before clamming up about it.

Hmmmmm. Worth a shot.

"Computer, also include a list of anyone currently on the Pandora, or anyone that has served on the Pandora within the last six months that has any type of classified reports, missing times in service, and any personnel with a mention of Section 31, the Tal'Shiar, Obsidian Order, or any other secret squirrel organization in the known universe."

As the reports came in, Logann began reading them, sorting into two different categories: Not associated, and further research. Most went into the not associated categories, but a few caught his eye. All but one of the transporter accesses he dismissed. He wanted to pursue several of the log changes, but didn't hold out much hope for them. There were several personnel disciplinarys that he wanted to look into also. After finally dismissing all of the above reports, Logann secured all the information and passcoded it to his eyes only and to report any attempts to access this information to himself immediately. Shortly after lying his head on his pillow, he fell asleep.

::Several hours later::

The computer chimed loud enough to wake him up. His report concerning the clandestine security groups was complete. As he dismissed files, he found that there were several that he couldn't get into, which was not out of the norm, but he could put the names on the bottom of the list due to time frames.

Among the files, many of them classified in one way or another, was one file header that caught Logann’s eye. It didn’t have any classification markings, and indeed otherwise appeared quite normal, just an ordinary Starfleet investigation file. It was the header, however, that was quite concerning.

Stardate 64452.52: Investigation of Lieutenant Kalin Brennan, USS Tornado, NCC 72701
Suspected Offences: Conduct unbecoming of a Starfleet officer, espionage, sabotage of a Starfleet vessel, deliberate murder of Starfleet personnel, treason
Case Officer: Ensign Cailus Griffin

Logann paused, his 4 hour old stale glass of prune juice at his lips. Well shit.

The file seemed like it came straight out of a holodrama. There, in excrucriating detail, it explained the shameful circumstances that had occurred six months prior. Lieutenant Brennan, acting on the orders of an unknown party (amended anonymously by Starfleet Intelligence to ‘Section 31’), had planted a thermite-based incendinary device onboard the Tornado. Four crewmen lost their lives in the incident, and in the ensuing investigation, Lieutenant Brennan was found out and arrested. A small note by the case officer noted that Lieutenant Brennan had not resisted arrest despite her considerable combat skills, and that subsequent interrogations suggested she may have been under duress. The case officer recommended that these aspects be factored into Lieutenant Brennan’s court martial, and that a broader investigation be launched by Starfleet Command.

But there was no court martial, no more investigations. Lieutenant Brennan was back on duty within days on the authority of Captain Ryoko Takato, and a final note at the end of the file declared that Ensign Griffin’s entire report was now heavily classified by Starfleet Intelligence...with no explanation.

No stranger to odd command decisions, Logann leaned back in his chair. Classified, but here it is in all its glory for anyone to look at. Logann sat there, a hundred thoughts forcing their way into his mind. Logann went to his bedside table and opened a drawer, withdrawing an isolinear chip case. He opened the case, and withdrew a single chip. He replaced the case, and took the chip to his desk.

"Computer, transfer the case file currently on my screen to this isolinear chip. Then delete all searches and results made at this terminal. Then scrub said search and result history using program Logann shredder 1." Logann waited as his personally written program went to work, getting rid of all traces of the search and results.

So, we have at least one member, possibly unwilling, of Section 31 on board. Logann thought as he hid the chip with the information on it in the waistband of his shorts and returned to bed.


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