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Looking for clues

Posted on Sun Jan 13th, 2019 @ 5:36am by Lieutenant Commander Arturo S'Rohass & Senior Chief Petty Officer Coltan Xan & Lieutenant Me'Shlaht & Lieutenant Xiulan Song & Ensign Sienna Nora & Valywen

Mission: Captain Lost
Location: Briefing Room
Timeline: Current

OOC--Allison: This is basically a staff meeting post on tracking the OSS Venom through hostile (near Orion Syndicate) territory. Please feel free to add ideas and suggestions during the course of the post.

ON:

Valywen shifted in the chair some--it wasn't the most comfortable chair. She had elected to stay aboard the Valiant, especially since learning of Commander Jacobs' abduction--she owed the woman and this crew her life. Now, she waited for the others to arrive at this meeting. She wasn't considered a senior officer but she wanted to feel useful in some capacity as she finally stood and made her way over to the replicator. "Um, computer? Can I have seven cups of the coffee beverage?"

The computer chirped in response as the sups soon materialized. The sounds of doors opening caused her to turn suddenly, spilling a cup onto the deck as it shattered. "Jukkette!" she cursed in her native tongue. "Sorry," she said, looking up at the person who entered, as she began to pick up the shattered pieces of the cup.

Arturo entered with Colt on his heels. Arturo smiled at Valywen to show it was nothing, while Colt stopped to help her pick up the pieces.

"No problem at all," Colt said. He grinned. "Whatever that expletive was, the UT didn't translate it. I'm guessing it's something really nasty. Hey, sorry I've not been around to talk. Things have been...hectic."

"Yes, I can tell...and there is no need to apologize," Valywen said as she placed the pieces of the shattered cup into her hands. "Thank you for assisting me but I can get it from here," she smiled at Colt as she stood and placed the broken pieces onto the replicator, recalling that Colt had showed her how to recycle objects. "I got coffee for everyone," she announced as she grabbed the cups and began to set them on the table.

Arturo moved to sit at the head of the small table in the little conference room.

"Thank you, miss Valywen," he said. "That was very thoughtful of you."

Warrant Officer Nalla Kalor and Ensign Sienna Nora walked into the room, headed for their respective seats. This was Kalor's first Staff meeting since for the moment, she was the ranking officer in Medical until an actual doctor could be assigned by Starfleet. "Greetings, Commander, Senior Chief," Kalor greeted with a small grin.

"Ensign," Colt said. "Miss Kalor. You've both met Valywen?"

"It's good to see you again," Nora said with a grin

"Not personally, but I did get a chance to review her medical profile," Kalor replied. "It's good to see you finally, Ms. Valywen."

Valywen smiled. "Thank you. It's good to see you as well."

"Yes, welcome, both of you," Arturo said. "As soon as everyone is here, we'll begin."

Me'Shlaht was quiet on entry... and as stonefaced as a feline could appear. Her tail, however, gave away her mood as it lashed back and forth. She didn't know whether to be angry that someone had taken their captain or to be angry that she'd failed to catch them. Either way, when she finally caught up with them, she had some... aggressive negotiations for them.

Xiulan entered shortly after, pausing in confusion at the heat signatures at the table; there were small spikes of heat on the table at each seat, but a second later she caught the aroma of coffee and realized that someone must have set out a steaming mug for everyone. Accepting this assumption, Xiulan found her way to an empty chair, hoping she hadn't stolen someone else's seat at the table. Mmmm, that coffee smelled good... No, bad Xiulan, they had more important things to talk about than coffee!

"Sorry if I'm late; Lougheed and I were looking into possible suspicious individuals and I wanted to make sure the program I wrote was tracking properly. Unfortunately, there's nothing to report just yet, but my program is still running, if something hinky is going on then it will find evidence of it," Xiulan said as she settled into her chair.

"Thank you, Xiulan," Arturo said. He almost chose to refer to his wife by her rank, but everyone knew she was his wife, and it seemed stupid to try and pretend differently. "Alright. Our interrogation led us to an Orion vessel called the Venom. It's headed towards a system controlled by the Orion Syndicate. I've already got us headed in that direction at maximum warp. If we can intercept that ship and board her, I believe we'll find the Captain. We're not entirely sure why she was taken, but she seems to have a role to play in the plans of an old adversary."

Arturo sighed.

"Around thirty years ago," he said. "A parasitic species attempted to take over the Federation by infiltrating by physically entering the bodies of key figures in Starfleet and taking them over. Those thus controlled possess great strength and speed and are resistant to phaser fire, particularly when we use the stun setting. They very nearly succeeded but were stopped in the end by Jean-Luc Picard and William Riker. Colt and I followed Admiral Robertson after the hearing and observed that he and several Captains and Commodores had been possessed. Robertson was killed in our confrontation with him and his possessor was captured. You may have noticed Security scanning everyone aboard and then physically examining the backs of your necks. The tail of the parasitic race, just the very tip, sticks out of the back of the neck at the base of the skull when they possess someone. The entire crew of the Valiant has been cleared. However, we know that even though our Orion 'guest' was in the employ of the parasites, he was not himself possessed. So, Xiulan, you and Evan will continue to look into the crew, quietly please, because it is entirely possible that someone or someones aboard are in the employ of these parasites, knowingly or not."

'Bugs controlling people?' Valywen thought in both interest and disgust.

"I'll keep working with Ensign Nora is studying the creature you were able to capture, sir," Kallor stated.

"If one is not possessed, how is it possible that they would not know they were being... employed?" Me'Shlaht was, admittedly, not scientifically minded. Nor was she versed in the tactics used by those who would force others into their employ. "Don't most people have an innate sense of right and wrong?"

"That's philosophical discussion for another time," Arturo said. "As for how they might not know..."

"The parasites possess some of the right people here," Colt said. "And manipulate some of the right people there. I'm fairly certain Robertson had others in his employ that had no idea that he'd been possessed by an alien parasite bent on interstellar conquest. That way they minimize our opportunities to catch them."

Nora looked at her PADD, running a comparison test of the DNA sample she had taken from the mother parasite. Her PADD soon chirped as it found an 85 percent match. Her eyes went wide with shock. "Umm, Commander. I just ran a DNA comparison of the mother parasite with any known species...and one came back with a 85 percent match. It's the Gluak."

"The Gluak!" Arturo said. "That means...I wasn't here when you encountered the Gluak so you're going to have to tell me what that means."

Nora shrugged sheepishly and brought up information on the Gluak from the Valiant's Database and transferred it to the view screen. "The Valiant first encountered the Gluak during our first mission. Gluak appear to be between 6-7feet tall, covered mostly in a hard exoskeleton rendering them nearly impervious to phaser fire save for the soft tissue at their abdomen. And they are immensely strong. One managed to go toe toe with a Tholian and nearly crushed the Tholians carapace. Their ships seem to run off of polaron energy. They are a very aggressive and dangerous species.

Arturo frowned.

"I liked them better when they were bugs I could step on," he said. "Or at least swat with a newspaper made of duranium. If the Orions are planning to rendezvous with one or more Gluak warships, I would rather we intercepted them before they make their appointment. In case we cannot do that, I would absolutely love some options for dealing with Gluak ships and the Gluak themselves. Give that some thought, people, while we're bearing down on our quarry like the Hammers of Hell! Dismissed!"

 

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