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Intel Briefing

Posted on 08 Feb 2020 @ 11:21pm by Lieutenant Commander Joey Geisler & Petty Officer 3rd Class Klim Sokamin

Mission: Sentience
Location: Intelligence Center
Timeline: MD 1 || 1400 Hours

Now that they were officially underway, Joey managed to sneak back to her office for a few moments. She needed a few minutes to compose herself, not that the start to her day had been truly horrible or anything, but it was a bit rockier than she'd hoped thanks to a certain counselor. Closing her eyes and taking a deep breath, the Intel Chief pushed the incident from her mind for the moment so she could focus on more important things, and that was updating her people about what was going on.

She walked into the main area of the Intel department, her department, and took a moment to look around her domain. The domain of spooks, spies, cloaks, daggers and analysis. And boy, was there a lot of analysis. In fact, it was all analysis. Dry, boring analysis that rendered a few pieces of viable data.

Joey sighed. It was a hard job, perhaps harder than Security in some ways, and since she'd been given the task of running the department, it was something that she took quite serious. Perhaps, on occasion, far too serious when it consumed her day and night as it had done in the past. She moved over to a vacant terminal to pull up the meager roster of personnel and summoned the ones not present.

The Intelligence Department was not big by any means. Aside from Lieutenant Commander Geisler, there were only nine other personnel in the entire department. One could argue there were more joined Trill aboard than intelligence officers. None of that mattered to Petty Officer Third Class Klim Sokamin. The Zakdorn analyst had been aboard for three weeks, and already he could tell the starship was full of cliques. It was an absolute miracle that Command hadn't broken up the crew and divided them throughout the galaxy. Perhaps the ship's soul was fractured more than anyone cared to admit.

Klim hadn't been at his station when the summons to report for duty had come through. In fact, he'd just finished his lunch and had stopped by his join quarters to see if the latest Strategema Tournament standings had been posted. He never had the stomach for the game, but his sister was quite adept. She had even quit her civilian job to try and make it in a professional capacity. The summons, coupled with the lack of results, only soured his already brittle attitude. He departed his quarters and made the trek to the Intelligence department. When he arrived, he nodded to the senior staff member. "Commander," he greeted.

Said Commander found herself sizing the new Petty Officer up as he made his way inside. Petty Officer Klim Sokamin certainly was no Petty Officer Mofrich Torg, but then, she really hadn't expected him to be. Joey already looked over his personnel file and based on what she'd seen, she felt he'd be a good fit, but time would provide a definitive answer there. He didn't even realize it, but her new Senior Analyst had some pretty large shoes to fill. "Petty Officer," she acknowledged. "I know you've not been on board very long, so I trust you've familiarized yourself with the ship as well as the Intelligence Center?"

Klim's eyes narrowed. For an Intelligence Chief, she seemed to not be so... intelligent. Still, protocol required a certain amount of decorum, and decorum he would maintain. "I have committed the ship's layout, capabilities and nuances to memory. As for the Intelligence Center, my desk is already fully customized, and I am certainly more than familiar to its features."

"Glad to hear it," Joey spoke, clasping her hands behind her back. "It's no secret this facility houses data that, if placed in the wrong hands, could prove detrimental. Have you familiarized yourself with the new protocols that have been put in place recently?"

Again was another obvious statement. Klim felt like he was working with a child, though he'd long heard rumors of human females reverting to a near child-like nature whenever newborns were involved. Oh, this assignment would certainly prove challenging. "Tracking virals, data encryption and scrambling, yes, yes."

"Good, because now we need to come up with some sort of protocol in the event that the Captain, Executive Officer or myself are compromised in the future," she stated. He seemed to know everything else, so she was just going to assume he'd been debriefed on what happened with the Dolmoqour. If not, someone else could work on that. "We have until the conclusion of our shakedown tour to come up with something to be presented to Commander Walsh."

Now Klim was curious. "Why would Commander Walsh desire a new protocol? Is he concerned about the intraship connection the Black Hawk has with his fighters?"

So, there was something the Zakdorn didn't have knowledge of. Joey didn't know why, but it gave her a twisted sense of satisfaction. "Commander Walsh no longer runs the Black Knights. That responsibility now rests on the shoulders of Commander Alexander," she stated. It was also a bit surprising that the rumors hadn't quite made their rounds yet. All in time, she supposed. "He is now our Executive Officer."

Klim simply blinked. He really should have expected that. Maybe he should brush up on his strategema. "I see. Is all interdepartmental communication this inefficient? I make it a point to review all notices and bulletins sent to the crew."

Joey could feel the anger starting to build inside of her, but she was able to contain it for the time being. "That's why we have a Chief of the Boat, the person responsible for all of you enlisted personnel. If he isn't doing his job, I suggest you take it up with him about being informed on who is doing what."

The Zakdorn managed to keep himself from frowning, which was a difficult task considering none of their species had ever smiled. Her response displeased him, especially since it would have been a simple courtesy for a leader of ten to share a rather critical announcement. But, there was no battle to be won here. "Very well, Commander. I'll consider that. As for establishing a new protocol, have you anything in mind as of yet?"

"As of right now, no, but I'd like this to be a group effort. Commander Walsh is also giving thought to it," she replied, moving over to one of the consoles. Joey really hoped there would be no more butting of heads in the future, but she seriously doubted that would be the case. "The Dolmoqour were able to take complete control and use their hosts bodies and memories however they wished. I'm unsure what kind of protocol we could implement that would prevent sensitive data from being used against us if me, the Captain or the XO were compromised."

"That depends," Klim remarked. He stood from where he sat and crossed the room to retrieve a datapad from his station. Like most of the new crew, he found the Dolmoqour incident to be most intriguing. Klim had only been able to review a few reports, and even for an analyst, he could only read redacted information. "When you were controlled by these organisms, how well could they access your mind?"

Joey didn't like talking about what happened all those months back, but it was a fair question, and her people all deserved as answer to it. "Once it was inside my head, it knew everything I did, and was able to use whatever it wanted to. Nothing was off limits to it. I was lucky it didn't think to make its way here, but their interest was more focused on the ship as a whole."

Klim made a few notes on his padd. "But did it know immediately? Or did it have to search your mind whenever it hit a road block?"

She started to remember everything that happened that fateful day. Being on the bridge and picking up Camila's tactical belt, then moments later suffering some of the most excruciating pain in her head she'd ever experienced. From what she could tell, it was an immediate hold the second the Dolmoqour was where it needed to be. "Immediate. I was a prisoner in my own mind... aware of everything it was doing and not being able to do anything to stop it."

The Petty Officer set down his padd. "What is the human expression.... If it talks like a duck and acts like a duck? There's no solution in that regard then. The possessed would know all protocols, all checksums. You can't fight an enemy who knows you better than you know yourself. Yet, somehow, you still beat them."

"You're exactly right. I don't think there is a way to protect against something like that," Joey agreed, which shocked her a bit more than it should have.

"Then we consider that a worst case scenario, and if we get that far, we're likely dead anyway." Klim picked up the padd and reviewed his notes, starting a search in Starfleet's database regarding possession. "But we are, after all, talking about information and intelligence, but not security. Most of our work is already classified as far as the rest of the ship is concerned, and information is disseminated according to relevancy to each department. Information in the wrong hands is certainly dangerous. Perhaps we need some sort of authorization challenge reset every few days. Or even upon request of the truly classified data."

Joey listened as he spoke and mulled over what he was saying. "Those aren't bad ideas, and definitely increases the security side of things. We can hammer out the details and get started on making those changes once we're done here, but before that can happen, we have a couple other things we need to cover," she said. "The first being the Holographic Assistance and Support Avatar, or HASA. The computer can now take on the shape of a person and interact with the crew that way. Go ahead and give it a try." She'd already had the privilege of seeing the HASA in action and wanted to give the others an opportunity to see it as well.

Klim found himself slightly confused by the Commander's statement. "HASA?" he echoed, trying to understand the odd acronym.

Beside both of them, a soft whisper could be heard as the holographic avatar shimmered into existence, rendering a Tellarite male. "Standing by," it gruffed in a typical manner.

Klim took a step back, surprised by the interface. "It's... it's terrible!" he gasped. "What a waste of resources, rendering an interactive construct that the computer itself already provides. How exactly can this be helpful to us?"

Joey looked at the avatar and cocked her head to the side as she studied the Tellarite that appeared near them. Even though they didn't see eye to eye on some occasions, she missed having Torg around. Maybe what the Intel Chief was about to do was unhealthy, but it was happening anyway. "Computer, access the personnel file of Petty Officer First Class Mofrich Torg. Assume that form," she ordered, then looked toward Klim. "You aren't the first person to be unhappy with this change, and you're unlikely to be the last. There are holoprojectors all over the ship, which allows HASA to be anywhere it needs to be. He," She gestured toward the Tellarite even though there was technically no gender attached to it. "is capable of physically helping anyone on the ship that might need it, and is synced directly to the ships primary core. It's our job to test it."

The avatar's change of appearance didn't bother or phase the Petty Officer in the slightest. If he was bothered, it was because . of his superior officer's choice to use the form of a deceased crewman, particularly the one whose vacated position Klim now filled. "Test... it?" he gave Commander Geisler a shocked look. "You want us to give a general purpose avatar access to classified Starfleet intelligence?"

"As of right now, it's limited to the use of Senior Staff because it uses a decent amount of active memory. The Captain wishes it to be put through the paces during our mission and report the things that we like, don't like... things along those lines. Restrictions on who can use it will be lifted over time ," Joey explained, dismissing HASA for the time being. They'd gotten the chance to see it, and that was good enough for now. "As far as the avatar having access to classified Starfleet Intelligence, HASA is a visual representation of the computer, so whatever the computer had access to before, it still has access to now. I'm still not sure how I feel about it, but my orders come from the Captain, and I plan to follow them."

"But it's a general-purpose construct," Klim countered. "I know our consoles in this department still interface with the main computer, but are protected through isolation on a private and encrypted network. Do you know if there has been any work on this... HASA to provide the same, if not better, encryption?"

Joey knew next to nothing about the HASA short of what she was told. Hell, it had only been introduced to the Senior Staff earlier that morning. "I would imagine things are still the same, but I don't have a definitive answer for you regarding your question," she said. "What I told everyone moments ago, is all the information that I have on it. That being said, I will find out and get back to you."

Klim didn't reply immediately. As they said constantly in the service, orders were orders. He surmised that it would be easy enough to test the avatar with low-level intelligence information and then track it through the computer system to see where any possible leaks were. "Aside from developing protocols and experimenting with this... thing... what other tasks are we to be doing? Several rumors I heard on the way to being assigned here was that there was an increase of piracy and other black market activities in the quadrant. Are we to be monitoring sensors and communications to see if these rumors carry any weight?"

"It isn't a rumor. We've already begun to pick up an increase in those activities," she answered, turning to the console she was standing next to. Her fingers moved over the surface for a few seconds before she brought up the information they'd already gathered so far. "We don't have much to go on aside from what you see here, but yes, we will be keeping an extremely close eye on that."

Klim nodded. Already he started making a mental list of duties and tasks in order to effectively mount an investigation. "Then it sounds like we have much to accomplish."

"Indeed, we do, and welcome aboard, Petty Officer Sokamin," Joey told him. She wasn't sure how well they'd work together as the future progressed, but she would damn sure try her hardest. "Let's get busy."

 

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