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Dealing with Ghosts

Posted on 17 Oct 2016 @ 8:50am by Captain Harvey Geisler & Lieutenant Elizabeth Marion

Mission: Click Three Times
Location: Capt. Geisler's Quarters
Timeline: MD8 || 2100 Hours

Lieutenant Elizabeth Marion leaned up against the wall of the turbolift car as it hummed hypnotically on its way to the destination that had been requested. It had been a long day, between the myriad visits from their acting First Officer and the full on war she had waged in the computer core, Liz wondered if she had worked so hard in one day. Of course, she knew she had and that it hadn't been all that long ago either. The only difference between those hellish days and the one she was currently living through was that she didn't have to go before the Captain and explain it.

The turbolift slid to a halt and the doors slid open, allowing Lt. Marion to reluctantly disembark on the deck she had asked for. As she moved through the corridors, she realized it had been no more than fourteen hours since she'd been there last, which made the situation all the worse for her. Liz sucked in a breath as she reached the door and let it out slowly as she pressed the door chime.

'What's the worst he can do? Replace me?' Marion tried to reassure herself that it wasn't going to be as bad as her nerves were lamenting it would be.

Harvey had just moved one of Joey's bags off of the couch when the chime sounded. He wondered who it could be at this hour, knowing that his newfound girlfriend would simply enter on her own now that the sensors were programmed to recognize her. Part of him hoped it wasn't his temporary Executive Officer, but given the state of affairs lately, he wouldn't put it past anyone.

"Come!" he said with a grunt, lifting another parcel from the couch to set it off to the side of the room.

Lt. Marion walked in the door, and her disheveled appearance spoke volumes for just how little she had wanted to walk through his door, "I really didn't want to have to bother you this late but we have a problem and it's not something I felt overly confident about simply... fixing."

Harvey set the box down by the fall wall and turned around. He took note of her appearance and considered her words. "We seem to be having a lot of problems lately, Lieutenant," the Captain remarked. "What's the situation?"

"We have a virus... and more importantly it's a virus that mimics Iconian viruses. Having seen one in action before, I can tell you that they are not nice, and between myself and Lt. Burke, we've spent the last four hours doing everything short of setting the computer core on fire to root it out. There really is only one solution to the problem... but..." Liz left it hanging in the air, not sure if she had gone too fast for him or not.

Harvey sighed and narrowed his eyes. Something that mimicked a Iconian virus? On his ship? He didn't have to wonder how it got there. Surely it was deposited during one of the boarding parties, especially the one that hit the computer core. "Miss Marion," he told her, crossing his arms as he leaned against the back of the couch. "This is a late hour. If there's a problem, spit it out. Otherwise, it's going to have to wait until the morning."

"The problem is, we're going to have to completely wipe the memory cores and reload the secure archive. Lt. Burke has already pointed out that we'll lose a great deal of information that didn't make it into the last backup, including scans made when we crossed over into this alternate reality," Lt. Marion informed him.

"Wipe the core?" Harvey repeated. Normally, his eyes would have widened in surprise, but frankly, surprise was the emotion furthest from him. If anything, he was deeply frustrated. This would mark the second time in under a year the computer core would have to be wiped, a fact that he was certainly displeased about.

The Captain frowned and shook his head. "Thankfully, the most detailed scans of the rift were recorded on a shuttle that is still on our flight deck and backed up on an isolinear chip, which is in the possession of the Chief Science Officer. I think we got off easy on this one."

Liz managed a small smile, "That's something at the very least. The problem now is, how you want us to proceed. Taking the core offline means, among other things, that for the duration, we can't have any system tied to computer control active. That means we'd have no weapons, no navigation, no shields, and we'd have to take the warp core offline as well since most of the coolant and matter/antimatter reactions are controlled autonomously. I don't foresee it taking longer than a few hours to complete, but that's a few hours we're dead in the water, for lack of a better term..."

"I don't suppose it can wait until we get out of this universe, can it?" Harvey asked, not keen on the notion of hiding somewhere while the computer was rebuilt. "What exactly is the virus doing right now?"

"It's already spread to the entire core and while I can't swear to it, it will do one of two things. It will either overwrite the computer and give whoever planted it complete control of the ship, or it will rewrite enough subroutines that the ship will basically explode under all the trash code being thrown around. And those are just the first two things that come to mind. Leaving it will only give it and whoever is behind it time to do whatever it is they put it there for," the Operations Officer cautioned.

Harvey heard some movement in the bedroom. Glancing over, he saw Rico peek his head out with a sock in his mouth. The captain shook his head again, both amused at the dog and the situation. "We know it came on board with the Chimera's boarding parties, correct? If that's the case, we can bet it will be a matter of time before the Confederation learns of it." Sighing again, he asked, "Based on our star charts, are there any locations known to the Federation between us and Razmena where we can do this?"

Liz had to think about it for a moment before responding, "There's a nebula about four hours away from the station, I want to say it was a class four with a sensor dampening composition. That's the only thing that comes to mind off hand."

"What about shields?" Harvey asked. "And weapons?" He knew theirs would be offline, but if the shuttles and fighters maintained a patrol around the ship during the process, he'd feel better about the situation.

"Not that I know of. It just scatters broad wavelength sensor scans. Shields operate on a much tighter frequency, and phasers are about as narrow as you can get, wavelength wise. We shouldn't run into any issues in that respect," the woman explained.

"And, in the meantime, we just hope that no one else is in there." Harvey gave the matter an additional thought. "We're just under 36 hours from Razmena. Go ahead and start prep work. I'll let Langston and Walsh know of the changes. In fact, we might just launch the Away Mission before entering the nebula. Four hours will give the away team plenty of time to do what we need to do before we'll need to be picked up."

"I'll have Lt. Burke start planning out the schedule for the shutdown," Lt. Marion nodded, "Is there anything else you want me to do before I go?"

"Not for tonight," Harvey replied. "Just have a full report ready by noon tomorrow. We'll need to brief Commander Walsh and Lieutenant Di Pasquale. They'll have to protect the ship while your team is working."

"Aye, sir," Lt. Marion nodded and hurried out of the quarters to do exactly that.


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