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Confused and Concerned

Posted on 25 Oct 2019 @ 4:59pm by Captain Harvey Geisler & Lieutenant Commander Terry Walsh & Lieutenant Gemma Alexander & Ensign Aurilia Moretti & Chief Warrant Officer Roosje De Vries & Staff Warrant Officer William Griffin

Mission: Truth and Justice
Location: Flight Deck
Timeline: MD15 || 1630 hours

Alexander watched her Squadron Commander run past her yelling orders to stay put. Then he was gone, to say this was unusual was the definition of obvious. A pilot never went out without their wingman, first that thing about the Captain being a traitor then Walsh acting weird, sensors and coms were offline? just what the hell was going? "Stay ready! Keep Flight Deck Secure!" She spun on her heel and ran for the Flight Command Center, quickly activating it she had to rewind the external sensors a bit but she watched a runabout take off, followed by another then by Walsh. Her mouth briefly fell open as she watched them fire and chase the first runabout. The HUD obligingly labeling each with their craft names and personnel on board. Even if the Captain were a traitor would others fire on him?

Aurilia was busy checking her fighter and going over everything again and again. Things weren't making sense to the redheaded fighter pilot. The Security Chief openly calling the Captain a traitor? Who was in command of the bridge since the Captain had fled the fighter with a runabout with two Security officers on it and Commander Walsh after him? Who was in charge of them on the fighter deck? What would happen if Walsh didn't return or worse, the Captain? All she had was questions and there was no one around to answer them.

The maintenance team, normally energized by the amber alert panels that surrounded the flight deck, moved around cautiously. None of them could believe that their Captain had turned, and with only their Squadron Commander unleashed on chasing him down. Whatever the situation was, it certainly was delicate.

In the Flight Deck Control Room Alexander with some of the other pilots and ground crew watched in shock as the second runabout was forced to turn back but the first runabout and Walsh's fighter traded shots. A probe was released. Wait, probe? She made sure sensors took as good as possible scan of that as well. Then an unknown vessel locked tractor beams on both, a transporter detected before Walsh's fighter blew. Alexanders hands flew trying to eek out as much sensor data as possible for what she detected including the unknown craft.

Galahad leaned against his fighter ready to go in a matter of seconds if that was the order, he had no idea what was up but by what little he'd heard and seen so far it wasn't good. He'd just seen a bunch of personnel book for the Flight Deck Control Room but opted to stay where he was in order to be ready if that was the order.

Ensign Alice Liddell strolled out of a maintenance room where she'd been gathering some tools to work on a damaged fighter. Everything and everyone was in an uproar. So much had been going on as of late, but Alice just continued to do her work. There were rumors to go along with the announcement she'd heard so much about and people already speculating on whether they still had a Squadron Commander. She walked by the redhead pilot and smiled widely. "Looks like everyone is mad in here."

Roosje smiled as she saw the turmoil created by the flight of the captain and the weird orders given. She knew what was going on and observed. As she saw one Lieutenant, she realised the correct rank only in the last second of her thought, scan and record the whole thing she decided to interfere. Walking over to the console, she asked her if she knew what all this meant. In the same movement brushing her hand against the womans ear.

As Roosja was making her move, Cooper arrived with two other tactical officers she'd 'recruited'. The flight deck was busy but somewhat confused as though they had not yet coalesced behind a single action. This was good, however the flight deck was open. This was not as good, until they controlled more personnel they couldn't be seen recruiting others. The process was briefly painful and would attract too much attention. Nor however could they just stand in the doorway so they moved with the plan worked out on the way. There was a small repair and storage area off to one side where there were always few personnel working. Cooper and one officer made for that as the other made for the pilot's armory.

Galahad stood straighter as he was puzzled by the sight of three tactical officers come in and then shift to one side of the bay with another peeling off in another direction. Bored, tense and confused he decided to follow the loaner who was nearer to him, then seeing Tango he changed direction. He tapped on her cockpit where she was working.

"Hey, Galahad," Aurilia said with a smile when she saw who was tapping on her cockpit. "What's up?"

Galahad looked up at her, "Some weirdness, so Skipper gets declared a traitor and Rocco goes after without a wingman after telling us to stay put then Archer beats feet for the command center, and now tactical is here, I don't know inspecting the place? Anyway they're moving with purpose I was gonna find out if they know anything, want to come?"

Alexander heard words but she was already moving, this was insane she had rally the flight deck and, "Wha..." she never got to finish the sentence as the most intense pain she'd ever felt ripped through and she screamed.

Her screams were soon deafened by the klaxons sounding throughout the deck, announcing General Quarters Three had been declared. Under this, non-essential personnel were required to head for muster areas near the escape pods, but not a soul on the fight deck was considered non-essential. The lack of orders were enough to alarm the crew though, despite the fact that the communications system was down.

When Aurilia heard Archer screaming, she quickly climbed out of the cockpit and jumped over Galahad to the floor and headed her way. "Someone get a medkit!" she screamed over the klaxons.

Bill Griffin snarled, removing his head and shoulders from the guts of the thruster assembly he'd been working on and cracking his knuckles. The flight deck was technically no longer his station, he belonged to damage control and maintenance, but it was only on the flight deck that he felt at home. In lieu of a phaser, he picked up a heavy coil spanner - it was a formidable weapon in the big man's hands.

Galahad spun and ran for the wall pulling the medkit off then ran after Tango.

Alexander clamped her teeth together and the scream cut off as the entity began grabbing control. It moved swiftly, knowing it had little time.

For this part during all of this the solo tactical officer had pulled a small container from his pocket and as he came across one pilot coming out of a side he encouraged him to go back in. He made sure they were alone and without a word in the empty small corridor, he put quickly put an entity in the mans ear. After a few moments, the pilot straightened and the tac officer handed the pilot the container when it was done. The Pilot nodded and went off to infect others as the other officer continued with his main mission to render inoperable the pilots armory.

The three engineers including one Alice Liddell tried to leave the small repair area to support the flight deck during the alarm only to be stopped by Cooper and another officer. Their confusion held them in place as Cooper pulled her hand off some odd looking container and walked behind them. She smoothly touched each of their left ears and the three aliens made themselves visible and slithered in as the other officer watched ready to stun anyone who got a clue. Then Cooper stepped back as the the pain hit each of them.

Elsewhere off duty pilots and flight crew, already unsettled by the lack of coms immediately grabbed their gear and headed for their muster point of the flight deck. In case of a General Quarters 3 they were to break out the weapons in the pilots armory and help in securing the flight deck unless needed to augment a flight or back up security elsewhere as the on duty pilots prepped their crafts.

For the past while, the ship had been a confusing mess of rumor, counter-rumor, misinformation, and lies. At first, Griffin had done his best to keep his head down, keep working and ignore all of it, never believing for a second that Captain Geisler was in any way a traitor, but unable to believe that any other of the long-term crew could have been at foul-play. None of it had made sense, trust became a dangerous thing and cohesion had fallen away little by little. He'd dealt with it mostly by drinking alone in his quarters and punching things, mostly on the Holodeck.

Now, the erstwhile maintenance chief watched from the shadows of the bay he'd been working in with a familiar sense of fury as two officers did something to a couple of maintenance engineers. He tucked the coil spanner under his forearm and stepped out, walking towards the pair. "What's with the phasers, kiddies?" He grumbled, his deep bass voice rumbling.

Cooper mentally cursed the bad luck as she turned around the remaining officer, now helping the others to their feet. "There are intruders, we are checking the ship since sensors and coms are out and noticed these three seemed to be having trouble but they're ok." She lied smoothly, container in one hand and other hand in sight even as her partner moved to the other side. One engineer moved slightly, naturally seeming but ended up putting him near a table with tools on them.

Years of competition wrestling made his body turn, stepping back slightly in an attempt to keep both of the officers in view. Maybe, on a better day, he would have taken what Cooper had said at face value, but the past weeks had taken an already suspicious mind and twisted it. Alcohol, lack of sleep, depression, confusion, and anger all led to one outcome. Griffin was done. Done listening, done caring, done with all the chaos. Done.

He took another step backward, letting the wrench slip down his wrist into view. "You both stay right where I can see you, hear me?" He growled, "I've been in Starfleet a lot longer than you, girlie, and this ain't like any intruder alert I ever seen."

Cooper raised an eyebrow, "Seen a lot of places like the Zone have you? I was under the impression a lot of this was unknown." she snapped a little then regained more control and in a calmer voice continued, "I get that we're all tense but threatening us with a weapon is not the way to handle this. We all have our jobs to do." She said casting her mind through Cooper's memories on how to de-escalate. Cooper mentally gave her highjacker a middle digit image as she made looking through memories difficult by continuously tossing random memories and bits of earworm.

Cooper considered how long she could waste here. She'd sent the other tactical officer to the armory with a smaller container of their brethren but that would not get far, she needed to get the rest of these out. As she talked she considered whether to stun him, though she was concerned over how obvious that was or if there was a way to bring him in closer.

Griffin growled to himself, weighing his options. If she was telling the truth, which his instinct said she wasn't, he as just making a fool of himself. If she wasn't telling the truth, a wrench wouldn't really help against a phaser anyway and if it came down to a physical fight, he had no doubts that he could take both of them without it. He let the wrench slip, dropping it to the deck and forcing his body to relax a little. "Just get the hell off of my flight deck," he grumbled, turning to look at the other officer, "and keep your damn phasers..." The Chief's frown renewed itself as he caught sight of the container in the other officer's hand, "what the hell is that?"

Cooper opened her mouth to reply when one of the engineers spoke up, "That's mine Chief, a project I was working to improve containment in my own time." The Dolmoquor were invisible even if he could see into the see into the container which they couldn't. It was open however and one crawled onto Cooper's hand as she passed the storage tube to the engineer who had spoken. "As he was just informing me before you came up." She lied again rolling with the engineer's story. "You should return that and get back to work." She told the converted engineer who nodded and began to make his way, giving Griffin a wide berth. He would continue to convert the others."You should all get back to work." Cooper said to the other engineers.

The converted pilot continued to go around the flight deck, luring a few other pilots to somewhere quiet before infecting them. A Tactical Officer arrived at the pilot's armory to secure it against the uninfected as the plot continued to spread its tendrils throughout the flight deck.

The Chief couldn't quite shake the feeling that something was off, but the explanation was sound enough and there was, in reality, no reason to doubt any of it - the obvious logic ground on his nerves, overriding his irrational desire to hit something very, very hard. Griffin sighed, deflating as he simply gave up the argument. "As soon as you security grunts leave us be, we'll do just that... ma'am." He grumbled, bending down to pick up the wrench he had discarded.

The engineer with the rest of the Dolmaquor left the area with a small smile as the Chief let her go. She immediately began planning how to infect the rest of the squadron as Cooper moved. Cooper knew it might be a trick but it was too good to pass up, "Don't worry, we're out of here." She said. Cooper angled herself so that she'd pass near him. After she passed behind him, she gracefully put out her arm gesturing to her assistant, who now also began to move, her fingers angled such as to be near Griffin's ear. She hoped to drop it and walk but it would all depend on what he did next.

Griffin had to bend double to grab the wrench, at nearly seven feet tall and over 350 lbs of mostly bone and muscle, the chief wasn't exactly the most flexible of men. He grunted as he grabbed it, pausing for a moment to rest with his fist on the deck to suck in a breath of air.

It was still a risk but the reward would be worth it, Cooper lowered her arm toward her side, as she did so she shifted her hand. Silently the entity landed and crawled swiftly inside Griffin's ear even as Cooper's arm dropped and she moved away unwilling to try to tackle the large engineer as he went through conversion but needing to be nearby for whatever would come next. The other tactical officer shifted and land a hand near his phaser.

A tickle and something wet on Griffin's ear, and then blinding pain. The chief roared, his bass voice loudly echoing throughout the entire hangar and on reflex, swung the coil spanner up and to his side, putting all of his considerable strength into it. Had there been anything made of flesh and bone in the arc of the swing it likely would have died outright, but the coil spanner hit nothing but air molecules. The force of the swing and the disorientation tipped him sideways and his last thought was one of rage, realizing now that it was too late that he should have trusted his instincts.

When she was sure the take over had taken hold Cooper came closer, "We need to get him to Medical...." She said loudly for the benefit of the few not yet converted. Then she and the other tactical officer took each of Griffin's arms, "We'll go out in the hall for a bit then come back in" She whispered to Griffin. Thinking she should have just stunned the moose sized engineer, who knew he could bellow like that? The three converted engineers had long gone into the depths of the flight deck, converting others.

By the time that Aurilia realized that something was passing from person to person somehow, she had abandoned trying to help Archer and bolted back to her fighter. She climbed into the cockpit and started running down the pre-flight checklist as fast as she could while she stared out the canopy and hoped no one came after her. A glance down at her controls revealed she had an alternative option and she really hoped that Luc was okay as she pondered a self destruct in the hopes of keeping whatever was going on to the flight deck.

Galahad wasn't far behind in realizing something weird was going on, and when he saw Alexander in the distance chatting with Roosje like nothing was wrong he knew something was up. He turned to see one of his friends, a fellow pilot smiling, "Hey Galahad got a minute, there's something you should really see..." The man's arm started to move as he came closer and acting on instinct Galahad said, "Can't gotta go." and ran to his fighter, figuring Tango had a good idea. He locked himself in, tossed the med kit he'd still been carrying to the deck and wondered what the Blasted Fire Caves was going on.

 

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