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SD241811.27 || Joint Log || "The Bad News"

Posted on Tue Nov 27th, 2018 @ 5:31pm by Lieutenant Commander Leigh Carson & Commander Robert Schoening

Mission: Once More Unto The Horizon

He was right in front of me, and I let him slip away...

The resounding thought echoed through her mind and made Leigh Carson grind her teeth together. Unpleasant memories were rising to the surface, despite her full awareness that the situations were not at all the same. He had been there, and she'd let him get away... She hadn't listened closely enough to her instincts, and now there was a likely sabotuer loose on the ship. Her first tour of duty on the Bismarck, and this was what she let happened.

Would they court martial her this time?

Stop it. Those thoughts don't help, she chastised herself as she stepped out of sickbay and stood in the corridor. She tapped her comm badge, wondering if Bob was still in Ten Forward. "Carson to Commander Schoening."

Her call managed to shake him out of his reverie about her - at least for the moment, anyway. He suspected she was calling with the results of the medical tests and he hoped it would be something that would tell them what they needed to know about that bomb and it's creator - or at least who put it there.

"Schoening here. Go ahead Commander." He had almost called her Leigh over the open comm, but obviously this was not a social call.

"Do you have a moment, sir?" she asked formally, voice tight. Hell, whole body tight with tension. "I have a report, but it needs be made in person."

"My time is your time," he responded. "I'm in my office. Should I come to sickbay or would you prefer to come here?" He obviously didn't know what she had found but obviously it was something that she didn't wish to discuss over an open comm.

"I'll meet you in your office, Commander. Carson out," she said, closing the channel and heading straight to the XO's office and pressing the chime. She resisted the urge to press it more than once.

"Enter..." he called when he heard the chime. He was reasonably certain that it was the chief of security and when the door opened he saw that he was right. His first thought was to ask her if she needed another good stiff drink but one look at her expression told him that now was not the time for levity. So instead he motioned her to a chair in front of his desk. "Have a seat Leigh. Something tells me I'm not going to like what you found out."

"I can't imagine you'll like it any better than I did," she said, taking a seat even though she sat rather stiffly. She couldn't get all the tension out of her muscles enough to relax. In quick, precise language, she detailed her discovery: the DNA sample that was brought to the lab, the med-tech who ran the test, her uncertain feeling about him, the botched test that could well be sabotage, the missing tech, and the fact that the ship didn't even register that tech as being a crewman on the ship...

With a short sigh, she finished with, "I've ordered my people to start a deck by deck search, but with the test botched and new medical record on file, we have to do it visually because we have nothing to use ship's sensors to scan for. And this isn't a small ship."

Bob reached up and massaged his temples for a moment. He gave a short laugh but it was one definitely without humor. "All this and only my first day," he said."A visual security sweep? There are over a thousand people on this ship." He shook his head slowly. "Talk about your proverbial haystack." Schoening fell silent for a moment, contemplating everything she had just told him. A saboteur aboard the Bismarck? "What was this tech's name again?"

"T'Kanek was the name I was given," Leigh said, "but I doubt that was his actual name. He was, or at least looked like, a Vulcan."

"A Vulcan saboteur? I would think that highly illogical," he mused. "But not unheard of, unfortunately. What was that female Vulcan's name that was implicated in the attempted assassination of President Jaresh-Inyo at Khitomer? Valris? Valeris? Yes, that's it. Valeris." It had happened long before he was born and involved a conspiracy involving Starfleet Admiral Cartwright, Klingon General Chang, and Romulan Ambassador Nanclus. It was required reading in the Starfleet history class he had taken, and he had remembered it.

"I would be willing to gamble that the person we're looking for is not Vulcan," he said to Leigh, "but someone who has been altered to APPEAR to be Vulcan in order to throw us off the trail."

"I would be willing to bet that too," she agreed. "Although I'm hopeful that it's not a sort of disguise that he, or she, can take off easily. Thus, I hope he still looks like the Vulcan we all saw earlier."

Bob clasped his hands together on the desk in front of him. "So how do we find someone who may have altered his appearance?" The question was as much to himself as it was to her. Then, he focused his attention on her once again. "Has anyone checked the video logs over the past few hours? Or the transporter logs? What if this person is not Vulcan? With all these ships in the area, what if he's an altered Klingon? If that's the case, could he have transported onto one of those ships?"

Leigh considered this. "There's obviously been no authorized transporter use, obviously. The logs don't show anything at the moment, but we're examining more closely for signs of tampering. With the way this individual managed to set the bombs and create the havoc they did without showing on our records... Well, they obviously know what they're doing. We're looking for evidence that something was changed. Video logs so far show T'kanek leaving sickbay, but we haven't been able to trace where to. There's a lot of surveillance from a ship this size, but my people are going through it now."

Bob nodded slowly at this last. "There is a lot of surveillance but there are also a lot of places someone can hide on a ship this size - unfortunately. Are the parts of the bomb itself being checked for DNA residue?" He was sure that she would have already seen to this, but he had to ask just for the record anyway.

"The tests are being run by the CMO herself," Leigh replied certainly, "down in the security forensics lab."

"Hopefully we'll have something on that before too long," he answered. "Maybe then we'll have more to go on than we do now"

Leigh nodded. "We can but hope." She sighed. "I just wanted to let you know the latest, sir. And I didn't think open comms were ideal."

"You're right about that,"he agreed. "IF the person we're looking for, or possibly anyone associated with him, are still around, the last thing we need is for them to overhear anything. Anything else I need to be aware of?"

"Not yet," she replied. "Permission to be dismissed? I'd like to go check in with Doctor Kendrick."

"Absolutely," he replied with a nod. "I appreciate you keeping me informed about all of this. Maybe our next meeting won't be so formal."

To that, she offered a sparing smile and a nod. It wasn't insincere, but she was pretty focused. "I hope so," she said, getting to her feet and heading out. There was much to do, and no time to do it.

He watched her as she left the office. She was a *very* intriguing woman and he knew that somehow he wanted to get to know her better. Perhaps after all this was over he should ask her out. Maybe rock-climbing or something like that. Or maybe a quiet walk on a beach somewhere.

=/\= End Log =/\=

Commander Robert Schoening, XO & Lieutenant Commander Leigh Carson, CSec


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